Anita's Haven

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In Times of Violence

Karina Kantas never stops – helping push other author’s books, she also writes her own gritty, sizzling, energetic thrillers. What a treat featuring new books for the weekend. Here is another release by Karina Kantas…


In Times of Violence

MC Romance Young Adult Edition

Jade had been sheltered most of her life. Living in an isolated village with only sex and drugs to entertain. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father doesn’t give a damn.

Her only way out is to beg her Aunt to allow her to stay as a guest in their London house.

Jade meets fate head on in the form of Marcus, president of the Tyrants MC. She finally finds a family that loves and respects her and they are not BLOOD. Nothing comes easy to Jade and she is forced to fight to keep her title and status. Then just when life starts to go right, one-night changes everything.

A raw emotional story about love, betrayal and sacrifice.

&In Times of Violence had an addictive storyline. I actually got up in the middle of the night to finish reading it. I loved Jade, although I don’t fully understand her or her motives.&

&Do not miss this book. Jade, Marcus and Dylan will bring out the feels.&

&Remember it’s not always blood relatives that make a family!&


˃˃˃ From the Author

In Times of Violence is very special to me.  Some parts of the book are taken from my own experiences as a young adult. This coming of age story needed to be told. It was thanks to S.E.Hinton’s The Outsiders, that In Times Of Violence was written.

I hope you enjoy the book.
Order and start reading now

http://bit.ly/ITOVYAE


I had to settle things with my parents. I had to sit them both down and tell them my plans, hoping it would be the last I saw of them. I needed to pack up my belongings and say goodbye to my horrid past, once-and-for-all.

Marcus wanted to come along with me, but I talked him out of it. He wanted to see the cursed life I’d lived, and wanted to meet my mother. I had painted such a black picture of her I knew he wouldn’t be civil and I wanted to leave on good terms, despite everything. Even though she’d abused me, she was still my mother. I managed to convince Marcus to stay home and went alone.

What a nightmare! My first mistake was not having Marcus for moral support. Secondly, I’d chickened out and hadn’t told my dad I was coming. I thought I could cope with just seeing Mum, rather than both of them ganging up on me.

Third mistake, I wore my leathers. I think she would have gone easier on me if I had dressed down. Except that wasn’t who I was anymore. I wasn’t ashamed of who I’d become. I was proud to be a member of the Tyrants. I wasn’t going to shout it from the rooftops. I didn’t come home to show off and give the villagers something else to gossip about. I wanted to get in and out without anyone seeing me.

Mum wasn’t home when I arrived, so I used my key and let myself in. The house smelt of stale cigarettes, and damp. No change there, I thought. I’d only been in the room for a few seconds and already wanted to leave. Memories flooded like a wave, trying to drown my good spirits. I didn’t want to remember the unhappiest moments of my childhood. Literally shaking myself from the past, I cursed aloud for putting up with her shit for so long.

I expected her home soon, so I ran upstairs and started packing. I couldn’t take everything, just my treasured possessions. I’d been so busy, I didn’t realise how quickly the time passed. A door slammed shut, making me jump.

“Mum, it’s Jade. I’m up here.”

I didn’t want her to think I was a burglar. Maybe I should have phoned first.

Any loving mother would have run up the stairs and hugged her long-lost daughter, but not my mother. I timed her. It took her a full ten minutes before she came up. I heard the familiar tinkle of ice hitting the bottom of a glass, and the cabinet door being shut. Dutch courage, I wished I had some.

“Well, look what the cat’s dragged in. Decided to come home have you?”

Leaning against the doorframe, she held a glass in her right hand, a cigarette in her left. She looked a sight. Her hair needed cutting and dyeing, and I hate to think how long she’d been wearing the same clothes. She looked thin and haggard and had really let herself go. I turned away, unable to look at her in that state.

“I’ve come for a few things. I’m leaving, but is it okay if I stay the night?” I asked, pretending to be too busy to look at her.

She didn’t answer. Her stare burnt into my back, and I knew she was going to start.

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FORTUNE KOOKIE by Jean Gill – my review

Well this was a surprise! Quite an unexpected turn of events in book 2. I read Left Out and loved it, so I eagerly awaited to read book 2 in the series. Mind you, even if you skipped book 1, you will have no problem reading this one.

The well-loved characters of Jamie and Ryan are back, along with a bunch of others – their families, friends and teachers. They have continued their development, and I relished the tiny nuances in character changes the author displayed. I was happy to see Kelly return, and little Sam’s addition to the cast is wonderful. Sorry to say little about him here, but I hate spoilers in reviews. Let’s just say he will put Ryan’s empathy to the test and earn your sympathies.

This time the story starts off with Jamie involving Ryan in yet another one of her projects. This time it involves saving her mother from her addiction to fortune-tellers, psychics and horoscopes, which mum spends tons of money on and hides from the rest of the family. 

Touching on very important issues of modern life, alienation, delusion, family secrets, fame searching, etc. the author could have just followed that storyline and her exquisite writing would have made it a great story. But she takes a risk and leads the story in quite a different direction, one twisting reality and magic, fact and fantasy, playing tricks with the characters and readers alike, which is a huge difference from book 1 in which the story revolves around their reality. I have to admit I hadn’t expected that, but I actually could not put the book down once Jamie discovered the power of her subconscious, and Ryan’s inquisitive nature led him into psychological experimenting with their friends. To put it briefly – keeping the story on the borderline between reality and fantasy is far from disappointing when Jean Gill wields the writing wand. 

Jamie’s confidence, instincts, intuition and strength will be tested in ways she could never have imagined, and yet – perhaps it is just the mind playing tricks on her, and us. When you set out to battle something and then find out that perhaps you yourself are part of it, it makes you question all your values, which is what happens to teenagers on a daily basis, even without the extra, paranormal challenges. As Ryan and Jamie search for a good career choice, it seems life finds it for them, just like the rest of us.

What I most admire is how the author weaves it all into a rich tapestry, leaving some to the interpretation (perhaps even to book 3?), and manages to logically connect issues such as young romance, hereditary faults and virtues, history, parental concerns, staleness in marriage, town traditions, tested friendships, science and magic, life, death and afterlife… and all this in a YA novel. Jean Gill makes you question, wonder, guess, feel, cheer for the characters. I want to know what Jamie plans to do next. I am interested in whether Ryan will manage to balance his intellectual side with his feelings. I wonder if Kelly and Gareth will remain together on their way to fame. And what of their parents, and Sam, and granny?
And on top of everything, was it all real;)? Shhhhh, no spoilers. Looking forward to book 3 and recommending this book to all teenagers, young adult readers, parents and educators, especially those with a flare for a bit of the paranormal in the normal.

This review was written for Readers Review Room and deserves a gold bookworm from this reader.

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NYSSA GLASS & THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS by H. L. Burke – my review no.59

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This book was recomended to me by a friend who knows my fascination with old houses and their secrets, and quirky stories balancing the thin line between fantasy and reality, and my friend was right – I like this book.

The plot is engaging and imaginative. The main character, the 16-year-old orphan girl Nyssa, is well-portrayed; you practically get the full picture on her character through action scenes of the first 2 chapters, and then some added info later. The story oozes with elaborate gadgets and the quirkiness of details (vehicles, clothes, machines) is both fascinating and scary. The author’s style is fluent, easy to read and well-edited, with no superfluous words, but the right amount of description and action. The use of artificial intelligence and robotics will probably be a thrill for the geeks among readers, although for me, it was their human aspect which interested me most. The infinite whatifs in the potential of AI combined with human character are clearly displayed in the story with many of their positive and negative effects.

Nyssa Glass is a very curious and skillful teenager, great with electrical gadgetry but slightly weaker in social skills, who has pulled herself out of her shady, thieving, troublesome past, only to be pulled back in through scheming,  blackmail, violence and, ultimately, her own curiosity. She is a witty survivor with a good heart, and the only thing I missed was a sidekick for her. In a way, I did get my wish, but that remains to be explained for those who read the story.  I even liked her fashion sense and can see her in a movie.

The villains got me curious and I wished we’d had a closer look at them, especially Albriet (I envisioned her as Eva Green for some reason), who showed such facets to behaviour and speech that I wished she’d hung in there longer. In fact, the author shows great potential in portraying characters, the proof of which is also the brief but important appearance of the benevolent Mr C., and I hope to see her balancing more characters in her stories in the future.

The house Nyssa is ‘investigating’ for some shady customers with iffy motives but convincing arguments, is truly a nest of nasty and formidable surprises and horrifying shocks (avoiding spoilers). The author toys with the everlasting idea of humans who play the Creator (just) because they can, with personal agendas which, even if understandable, should always be questioned before implemented into action, but never are (or are questioned too late). Dr Frankenstein meets SF is  a motive which keeps the author balancing the thin line between Dr Frankenstein and SF.

If you are a fan of steampunk, Nyssa Glass has quite a wide age span. The main character, gadgetry, tentative young love and quirkiness are attractive for younger audiences, although there is some adult content. Being a parent and teacher myself, I worried, throughout the entire second half of the book, what age group I would feel comfortable with reading this kind of a story, and this is what steered me away from awarding the highest rating. Certain gruesome details and the weird romance do need parental guidance and are not for the faint-hearted and impressionable younger teenagers. Adults will find the morality issues interesting, especially because most of it is not guided by financial greed, but parental love and how far would we go to save our own child. However, for the adults, the romance in the end is slightly weaker when compared to the rest of the story. This is a story Tim Burton would be interested in, and for a younger teenager it may be emotionally charged, so they might need a warning such as ‘do not try this at home’. Then again, warnings are usually invitations for teenagers anyway.

The discoveries Nyssa makes in the house and the culmination of the story logically lend themselves to a sequel, which already exists and will make fans happy, thanks to the author’s intelligent writing and creativity. Nyssa and her new companion, an utterly uncommon couple, slightly eerie though romantic, will undoubtedly go through many more adventures and it will be a thrill to follow for those who like steampunk, interlaced wih horror, romance, wit and technology.

Since I have been asked to write this review for Readers Review Room, I am happy to award it a blue worm, well-deserved by the author’s writing style and vivid imagination.

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And what do YOU have to say? – A. MORAN SOLEY – interview no.3

INTERVIEW TIME

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the next author, my fellow fantasy enthusiast and teacher. Check out her fantasy world of Eshla, feel like a teenager again and travel in time.

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1. You are currently promoting book 2 from The Lost Heirs series. When did it first start seeing the light of day?

I started book 2, The Second Stone, early last Summer. It was much quicker than the first book because the story continues, so I had it all planned out.  It took about three months to finish the first draft, and almost as long again to get the cover and editing done.

2. Why do you write fantasy books?

I loved them so much when I was growing up. I spent hours looking in the back of wardrobes for a way into Narnia! There’s also a real freedom in writing fantasy; for example, if you need to get a character form A-B you can invent the machine of your choice, or conjure up an animal for the purpose.

3. Do you already have a plan for sequels?

Yes. The Eshla adventures are a trilogy – I’m a third of the way through the third and final book – The King’s Chamber.

4. What inspired you to create Eshla?

To be honest, it’s a very self-indulgent creation made up of my favourite things. I love steampunk and wanted to create that feel with the main city – mainly through inventions and flying machines. I’m a big fan of the 1920’s and also love the idea of living in tree houses (like the Ewok village in the last Star Wars movie!) so Cedwigod became a combination of those two things. Elgion was inspired by Venice – one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I have a bit of a thing about the sea too! Finally, there’s a place in Derbyshire called Black Rock, that I used to climb all over in my teens – Caregon is inspired by that.

5. Are your teenage characters inspired by real people you know?

Originally, Eric was inspired by my son Pierce, but he’s grown into his own character since then and pierce, if anything, is more like Corbin (a gadget freak!). Other than that, I’ve tried hard to keep my characters original in my head – I’m a teacher and don’t want to picture anyone specific when I’m writing them. I think it would put me off!

6. If your books were turned into movies, would you prefer an animated picture or a full-feature motion picture?

Full feature. The Harry Potter movies are so fantastic, I think any author would be blown away to see their story interpreted like that. CGI has developed so much that fantasy movies are in a league of their own now.

7. What do you think your readers like about your book? What do you like about it?

For me, it’s just about escapism. I love dabbling in the past and the time travel sections are some of my favourite parts. I also like the bits in the book where Eric is discovering the different regions, and I can be really descriptive.

The feedback I’ve had tends to mention the time travel aspects and Espog! He provides a lot of the humour.

8. Which part of the writing process was/is the most interesting for you?

Trying to write the battle scenes – I thought I’d struggle but they really flowed in the end. I like dialogue too, longer conversations. I found I could visualise these and write them more fluently than the straight forward narrative.

9. What is the one genre you think you would never write?

Horror – the gory stuff. I can’t read it either – I’m too prone to nightmares!

10. Whose critical opinion do you value the most?

My brother’s. He’s always been a really honest person and says it as it is.

11. Was there ever a point when you just wanted to give up? What would you say to aspiring beginner writers out there.

Yes – various times during the twelve years it took me to write the first book! I stopped regularly for periods of a year or more because I just didn’t think anyone else would like it. My advice would be to ignore self-doubt. You have to just get it out. Once you’ve completed the first book it gets a lot easier.

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I hope you enjoy meeting new authors. Do check out their books and leave your public rating and review! It matters!

Amanda’s book on Amazon
(Check out the rest as well!)

Anita Kovacevic

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