Tuesday, February 7, 2023

#Review ~ Bite of the Gargoyle: A Standalone Fantasy Romance Novel by H.P. Mallory and J.R. Rain ~ #FantasyRomance #Fantasy #Romance #HPMallory #JRRain #Gargoyle


Publisher: ‎ Rain Press (January 16, 2023)
Publication Date: ‎ January 16, 2023
Print Length: ‎ 231 pages

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RDwak8

I’m a hunter.

But I don’t hunt the usual game you might find in forests—I hunt monsters.

For most of my adult life, I’ve imagined the moment I finally come across a certain vampire—the one who took my family from me and left me with a scar on my wrist in the shape of a bite.

All my kills are leading up to this one moment—the moment I end the bastard for good.

So when I find myself face to face with what I think is a vampire in the woods—one with the same eyes, the same long, black hair, and the same snarling fangs as the one all those years ago, I make my move.

But this monster won’t be taken down so easily.

It’s not long before I find myself in over my head because this is no ordinary vampire—this one can take the shape of mist just as quickly as he can shift into the form of a gargoyle.

Outmaneuvered and overpowered, I soon find myself in a position I swore I never would—as a prisoner.

And when the bloodsucking gargoyle offers me a compromise I can’t refuse?

Regardless, I pledge to myself that vengeance will still be mine...

My Review:

Bite of the Gargoyle is a romantic adventure story that begins on the premise of revenge. I love the storyline, the characters, and the setting. Gargoyle shifters are one of my favorite paranormal creatures and this book was right on target. There are twists and turns, misunderstandings, and action. 

H.P. Mallory and J.R. Rain are master storytellers that hook readers and keep them engaged, no matter what the genre, time period, or location. This writing duo creates interesting stories, intriguing and complex characters, and rich world-building. I love watching their characters grow, whether they write a series or a standalone. 

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Monday, February 6, 2023

#Review ~ Blood Rose: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Novel: (Blood Rose Academy) (Haven Hollow Book 26) by J.R. Rain and H.P. Mallory #JRRain #HPMallory #PWF #ParanormalWomensFiction


Publisher: ‎ Rain Press
Publication Date: ‎ January 27, 2023
Print Length: ‎ 205 pages

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3XmMkQx
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/87569314-blood-rose

About the Book:

I’m finally going to Blood Rose Academy, where I’ll be trained in witch magic, and I can’t wait…

Except Blood Rose Academy isn’t exactly how I hoped it would be.

First off, the witches are all catty and hex-happy, and I’ve been targeted as their newest victim.

And if that weren’t bad enough, there’s a longstanding feud between the witches and the vampires, which means all vampires hate the witches and vice-versa.

Maybe that wouldn’t suck so hard (no pun intended) if I didn’t sorta, kinda have a crush on one of the vamps—a loner named Rook, who happens to be the headmaster’s son.

But Rook doesn’t even know I exist. Well… it’s actually worse: he does know I exist, but he’s made it pretty clear he can’t stand me.

Fun times!

The ‘fun’ only increases when I learn that a handful of Fae students have gone missing and my only friend, a faerie named Oleander, insists there’s foul play.

Suddenly recruited into a club of rebels, I find myself helping them to solve the mystery of the missing students.

And guess who happens to be in this club?


To say he’s unhappy to see me is an understatement. Now, if I could just train my wayward heart to get over him… things might start looking up.

Between battling my own kind, trying to keep from getting drained by the vamps, searching for the missing students, and uncovering my own shocking truths, I’m wondering if I should have just stayed home.

My Review:

I have loved the Haven Hollow series since book one. Full of wonderful characters, excellent storylines, and a perfectly created setting, I immerse myself in each and every book. There are multiple spin-offs that focus on one of the main characters, and Blood Rose is told from Astrid's POV. She finally gets to go to Blood Rose Academy to be properly trained in witch magic. Astrid's world comes crashing down when she realizes the Academy isn't at all what she had hope it would be. She is on the end of a lot of hazing, and right in the middle of a feud between the witches and the vampires. Learning about missing Fae just adds to her misery. 

Astrid's book is by far one of my absolute favorites in the series. I love them all but Blood Rose was
exceptional. I love Astrid's character and love that she got her own spin-off. Astrid is a wonderfully written character. She's so likable and her attitude and personality is so different than the witches at Blood Rose. I'm excited to see how everything goes in the next book. Blood Rose left a lot of things hanging.

The series also just continues to get better and better with every story. Blood Rose is the first book in the Blood Rose Academy series (and book 26 in the Haven Hollow series) by H.P. Mallory and J.R. Rain. This writing duo brings interesting stories, intriguing characters, and thought-provoking mysteries to life. The character development provides history and growth, and the world-building creates a fantastic world to watch the characters do their thing. 

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Saph's Cozy Corner is hosting a #Bookmark #G1veaway

 It's bookmark giveaway time!

I haven't done a bookmark giveaway in quite awhile, and I don't believe I've ever done one on Saph's Cozy Corner. 

(Photo is an example. Bookmark prize~variety of bookmarks and quantities~may be different than shown.)

(Photo is an example. Bookmark prize~variety of bookmarks and quantities~may be different than shown.)

Head over to Saph's Cozy Corner for details and the Rafflecopter entry form!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

#Review ~ Wolves of Asgard (Wolves of Valhalla Trilogy, Book 3) by J.R. Rain and H.P. Mallory @HPMallory #PNR #Paranormal #Fantasy #NorseMythology


Publisher: ‎ Rain Press
Publication date: ‎ January 13, 2023
Print length: ‎ 228 pages
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wLF0Tj
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63065682-wolves-of-asgard

About the Book:

Now we are all pawns in a war against the gods…

The four of us (Skarde, Fyrcat, Torsten, and I) all have one common goal: to find the goddess Freya and convince her to join us against Odin to end the forever Winter that’s overcome the earth.

But along the way, we encounter more and more hostile enemies—the forces of Odin sent to deter us on our mission.

Not only that, but we’re also suffering internal battles as we all struggle to understand whom we can trust and whom we can’t.

Will the ice of the forever Winter eventually overtake us, or will we be successful in our mission against the gods of Valhalla?

My Review:

Wolves of Asgard picks up right where Wolves of Winter, book 2, ended. Jovi, Torsten, Skarde, and Fyrcat are on a mission to locate Freya. The goddess is instrumental in going against Odin to save Freya's descendants. As they traverse the lands, Odin's armies come out of the woodwork to impede their plans. There is a lot of internal battles as each character tries to figure out their place, who they are, and whether their travel companions are trustworthy. 

The authors created a wonder world and exceptional characters. The characters were complex and their history rich with Norse mythology. This complexity, the way their destinies were intertwined, and the masterful plot kept me engaged in Wolves of Asgard - the whole series, actually. The final book in the trilogy is full of twists, turns, and gasp-out-loud events. I really enjoyed the Wolves of Valhalla series, the characters, their enemies, and their ultimate showdown. 

I was provided a copy of this book.

My Rating:

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Saph's Cozy Corner is hosting a #Bookmark #G1veaway

 It's bookmark giveaway time!

(Photo is an example. Bookmark prize~variety of bookmarks and quantities~may be different than shown.)

(Photo is an example. Bookmark prize~variety of bookmarks and quantities~may be different than shown.)

Head over to Saph's Cozy Corner for details and the Rafflecopter entry form!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

#Review ~ Cycle of Hatred (World of Warcraft #1) by Keith R.A. DeCandido #EpicFantasy #VideoGame #WorldofWarcraft


About the Book:

The Burning Legion has been defeated, and eastern regions of Kalimdor are now shared by two nations: the orcs of Durotar, led by their noble Warchief, Thrall; and the humans of Theramore, led by one of the most powerful mages alive -- Lady Jaina Proudmoore.

But the tentative peace between orcs and humans is suddenly crumbling. Random attacks against Durotar's holdings suggest that the humans have renewed their aggression toward the orcs. Now Jaina and Thrall must avert disaster before old hatreds are rekindled -- and Kalimdor is plunged into another devastating war.

Jaina's search to uncover the truth behind the attacks leads her to a shocking revelation. Her encounter with a legendary, long-lost wizard will challenge everything that she believes and illuminate the secret history of the ...

World of Warcraft

Book Details:

Publisher: ‎ Pocket Star; 1st Printing edition 
Publish Date: February 1, 2006
Mass Market Paperback: ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 0743471369
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0743471367

My Review:

 I began playing WoW after meeting my husband in 2007. He had been playing since Vanilla dropped and I decided to go by the old adage: "If you can't beat them, join them" and created my very first toon. You can read more about how my name, Sapphyria, came about by reading my About Me page on this blog. There is a WoW tie-in. As a gamer girl who has been playing World of Warcraft (WoW) for 15 years, I loved this book.

Cycle of Hatred is a fun book with recognizable characters and locations. The story is rich in lore and begins after the war against the Burning Legion. Jaina Proudmoore is the leader of the humans and Thrall is the leader of the orcs. Both Jaina and Thrall are desperately trying to keep the alliance between both their races. While Jaina, Thrall, and their trusted teams fight to strengthen the alliance, a sinister force is working hard to break them apart.

This novel takes the reader on a trip through Azeroth and even readers who've never played WoW will get a sense of the land. The author does a great (although, sometimes inaccurate) job of setting the stage. There is backstory that aids in progression of the story and it provides why the orcs and humans are enemies. I'm excited to move on to the next book in the series.

My Rating:

Monday, January 9, 2023

ARC Review ~ Colors of Film The Story of Cinema in 50 Palettes by Charles Bramesco

Taking you on from the earliest feature films to today, Colors of Film introduces 50 iconic movies and explains the pivotal role that color played in their success.

Publisher: ‎ Frances Lincoln 
Publish Date: March 14, 2023
Hardcover: ‎ 208 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 0711279381
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0711279384

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Pre-Order the ebook on Amazon

Pre-Order the hardcover on Amazon

About the Book:

The use of color is an essential part of film. It has the power to evoke powerful emotions, provide subtle psychological symbolism and act as a narrative device.

Wes Anderson’s pastels and muted tones are aesthetically pleasing, but his careful use of color also acts as a shorthand for interpreting emotion. Moonlight (2016, dir. Barry Jenkins) cinematographer (James Laxton) and colorist (Alex Bickel) spent 100 hours fine-tuning the saturation and hues of the footage so that the use of color evolved in line with the growth of the protagonist through the film. And let’s not forget Schindler’s List (1993, dir. Steven Spielberg), in which a bold flash of red against an otherwise black-and-white film is used as a powerful symbol of life, survival and death.

In Colors of Film, film critic Charles Bramesco introduces an element of cinema that is often overlooked, yet has been used in extraordinary ways. Using infographic color palettes, and stills from the movies, this is a lively and fresh approach to film for cinema-goers and color lovers alike.

He also explores in fascinating detail how the development of technologies have shaped the course of modern cinema, from how the feud between Kodak and Fujifilm shaped the color palettes of the 20th Century's greatest filmakers, to how the advent of computer technology is creating a digital wonderland for modern directors in which anything is possible.

​Filled with sparkling insights and fascinating accounts from the history of cinema, Colors of Film is an indispensable guide to one of the most important visual elements in the medium of film.

My Review:

Colors of Film is a remarkable coffee table book, but is also available as an ebook. As a lover of photograph and movies, I found Colors of Film to be a wonderful book filled with historical information on the use of color in cinema. While filled with interesting history, color, and information for the casual reader, this book may be better suited for the professional photographer, cinematographer, and/or movie buff. 

I was enraptured by the film stills and color pallets presented throughout Colors of Film. Each film includes an infographic color pallet, including RGB color numbers, and some historical data. As I read through the pages, I could feel how passionate Charles Bramesco is on this subject. His passion made these movie stills leap off the pages. 

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Review: