Remembering all the books I've read proved to be getting more and more difficult. I started this blog to keep track of anything I've read, answer the questions of those who need to know more before a purchase, or just need a recommendation. I'm just a person who loves to read and hopes to find others interested in this genre; Interracial and/or African American Paranormal ... But honestly ... As long as the leads are diverse (non-caucasian, differently abled, queer), I'm in.
Whispers of Shadow & Flame (Earthsinger
by L. Penelope Genre: Fantasy Romance, Dieselpunk Age Range: Adult
Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced
to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame, she is notorious and lethal,
but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that
commands her. She is tasked with capturing the notorious rebel called the
Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.
Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may
be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he
couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious
young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock
the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.
As forbidden desire
ignites their hearts, Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and
older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges,
the cost of
believes love is magic and likes her romance with a healthy dose of
imagination. She’s been writing since she could hold a pen and is the author
of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance with multicultural
At one time or another she’s been
a filmmaker, tape dubber, tech support specialist, model, poll worker,
professor, and DJ. She has a quote fromThe
her arm and sometimes dreams in HTML. After living on both coasts, she settled
in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound
lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.
Last Christmas my family decided to escape the frigid east
coast weather and spend the holiday in Palm Springs, CA. I’d never been there
before, but once I arrived I realized that this place where the was desert surrounded
by mountains was exactly how I’d envisioned one of the countries in my fantasy
world: I had arrived in Lagrimar.
The mountains are a huge part of the worldbuilding in the
Earthsinger Chronicles series. The country of Lagrimar is completely surrounded,
cut off from the rest of the world by this natural barrier as well as a magical
one. Driving down the highway through the Palm Desert with the imposing peaks
towering over me was deeply inspiring and helped me sink into the world I was
But it’s not always possible to travel to the exact place
your story is set. Some of the other locations were shaped and polished by
virtue of me stumbling across images accidentally. Like this one of Horseshoe
Bend, AZ, which becomes Serpent’s Gorge in the book.
And this article about toxic lakes and the petrified animals
in them haunted me until it found its way into the novel. https://roadtrippers.com/stories/these-toxic-lakes-are-beautiful-but-you-definitely-dont-want-to-swim-in-them?lat=40.80972&lng=-96.67528&z=5
The sights, sounds and smells of reality all go into making
a fantasy world work. Once a location is real to me and I can live inside it in
my head, then I know it’s ready to put to the page.
sure we can come to some kind of understanding.”
man before Kyara scrambled backward, slamming his back against the wall. The
scent of his fear was rancid, filling the interior of the dwelling. The stench
overpowered the smell of fresh vegetables roasting in the clay oven. His
whimpers drowned out the murmurings of the infant in a basket near the fire. A
woman cowered next to the baby. Kyara judged the distance and determined that
the mother and child were far enough away to remain safe but only if she stood
very close to her target. Close enough to feel his sour breath on her skin.
stomach clenched at the thought, but she forced herself forward, erasing the
few paces between them. Now the odor emanating from the man was mixed with
piss. The dark stain spreading across the front of his trousers was proof
enough that the fellow knew who she was and why she was here.
can negotiate. I’m sure there must be something you want.” Beads of sweat
punctured his forehead, and the thick vein at his neck jumped with his rapid
warped Song prowled inside her, impatient. It wanted to launch itself into the
maelstrom of source energy, to ride the brutal currents of the force like a
kite in a violent wind. She shuddered and reined in her Song. Instead of giving
in to the despised urge, she opened her mind’s eye. The world fell away,
leaving only a field of black. She spread her senses and focused on this
village, this home, this room. Moving arcs of white light burst across her
vision, like the undulating waves of brightness produced by a fire dancer
swinging a torch.
Ydaris had explained to her many years ago, while Earthsong was the energy of
life, Nethersong was death energy. And Kyara’s broken Song had never been able
to connect with anything else. She could not heal. She could not grow crops
from seeds with a single intention or feel the pulse of life moving in the
plants and animals around her.
was cursed. She had killed her mother at birth, and this was her punishment.
light of the man before her pulsed brightly. His death energy was a cyclone
spinning out of control. Judging by the strength of Nethersong within him, he
had not been kind to his body—a feat much easier when you were on the True
Father’s payroll and could afford an abundance of rich food and drink. If the
immortal king were a patient man, Kyara wouldn’t be needed at all. This
pay-roller only had a few months to live as it was.
the corner of the room, the wife’s light was dimmer. She was younger and
healthier than her husband. The infant’s light was so weak it barely
registered. Just a dull glow indicated the faintest traces of Nethersong. Kyara
nearly smiled. Children had so much life, so much strength. She wished she
could always see an endless field of dark in her inner vision.
shuttered her extra sight, bringing the man’s face back into focus. “I am not
here to negotiate with you.” Her voice was no louder than a whisper.
eyes widened. He spread his arms out on both sides of him, attempting to press
himself into the wall. Kyara didn’t move from her position a hairbreadth away.
She didn’t need to touch him, but he didn’t know that.
His Majesty believes I’ve stolen, I will return, threefold. I am but a simple
man. A husband and father.” He waved a pudgy hand at the woman in the corner.
“I give tribute for all I collect, I pay on time and—” His pleas became a drone
in her ears, mingling with those of a hundred other men who had begged for
their lives over the years. Other men in other homes like this, the ramshackle
dwelling a palace in comparison to the others in the village. Thick rugs
covered the dirt floor, and real glass hung in the windows. The enticing aroma
of okra and butter tickled her nose. Some unidentifiable spice hung in the air,
as well. Fresh vegetables, seasonings, real butter—these luxuries were
virtually unknown to most people in the Midcountry.
Though her mouth watered,
she never ate the food of the dead.
Book 1, Song of Blood & Stone, is currently on sale for .99cents until Nov. 5. Big thanks to the author for sending me all the info and the book. I'm currently reading book 2 and it will not disappoint. If you haven't read book 1, please get to it!
I haven't had the opportunity to do much actual reading. I've been into audiobooks because that serves my purpose better. And when I did have time for actual reading, I ran into so many duds that I'd gotten discouraged. Then this happened.
Banshee's Honor is about Azhani, the dishonored Warleader of a kingdom that's turned its back on her. She comes upon a Stardancer. Stardances are kind of like magic healers. Azhani helps this Stardancer, Kyrian, and Kyrian saves Azhani's broken leg. This sparks a beautiful friendship that we actually get to watch blossom. Kyrian, however, has her reservations about Azhani, as does everyone. She'd been disgraced beyond mention at the tongue of the new king, Arris, who wanted Azhani dead or married to him.
Now that Azhani's leg is healed, she spent her time in her cottage with Kyrian, trying to decide what to do. We will also meet Padreg. He is the king of a barbarian land, who comes to visit Arris and falls in love with a woman that Arris wants to bed. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose.
Thankfully, Padreg and his lady, Elisira, know Azhani and know, based on her character, that she didn't commit the crimes mentioned. And like clockwork, they all meet up and start to layout a plan to deal with horrid creatures killing people (Rimmerbeasts), and figure a plan to get Azhani to queen Lyseera, the sister of the woman Azhani was said to have killed.
Every character in the book is well written. I love them all. Even Arris, the piece of shizz. This is a lesbian fantasy novel and one of the best novels I've read all year. The world is painted vividly and the despair and loss Azhani feels is incredible palpable. She's a wonderful lead character, I can't wait to continue this adventure with her.
The only gripe I have is that things could get slow when everyone was sitting around bantering. However, it should be in the book. It sets the tone and you get to see how much the characters change in regards to how they see eachother.
So well written, I can't wait for book 2. I'm going to start stalking Shaylynn Rose.