Review: An Irish Promise by Isabella Connor

untitled (20)An Irish Promise by Isabella Connor

“A promise is a promise …
Art historian, Rachel Ford has returned to the Irish village of Kilbrook intent on keeping her promise to take revenge on the school bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family.
Australian actor, Finn MacKenzie sets hearts fluttering when he turns up in sleepy Kilbrook to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet his confident façade hides heartbreak and tragedy. Although Finn isn’t looking for love, when he meets the mysterious Rachel, there’s a definite spark between them.
Rachel is torn between her desire for revenge and this new love affair. She doesn’t want to deceive Finn, but can she trust him to keep her real identity a secret? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost? ”

 

“An Irish Promise” is a masterpiece! I thought “Beneath an Irish sky” was fantastic but I was blown away.  There was so much packed into this book, I could not put it down. There was romance, intrigue, mysteries and a few corkers along the way. This novel was heart-warming, tear jearking and very thought-provoking. There are some amazing plot twists that you just wont see coming, so I am limited with what I can say for spoliers but, this book packs a memorable punch.

I fell in love with Finn and Kilbrook and I was despondent for days when the book ended. I was left wanting more, or for it to be a never-ending story. “An Irish promise” was so beautifully written page flew by and totally immersed me into the story- once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. This is the perfect book for long winters nights to escape into a world of lush greenery and intense drama. If I could give ten stars, I would! This is a series that I will be purchasing in paperback and re-reading often.

Both books are linked by the setting but they are very much stand alone stories and can be read in any order. I can highly recommend them both.

 

 

Review: No such thing as immortality by Sarah Tranter

imortalityNo Such Thing as Immortality by Sarah Tranter

“I will protect you until the day I die … forever!

A vampire does not have to feel any emotion not of his choosing. And Nathaniel Gray has spent two hundred years choosing not to feel. But when he accidentally runs Rowan Locke off the road, he is inexplicably flooded with everything she’s feeling, and that’s rage, and lots of it.

He is consumed with the need to protect Rowan at all costs including from himself. To Nate, what is happening is unthinkable and is pretty much as unbelievable as the existence of faeries.

But you see, ‘There is no such thing as …immortality.’ 

 

This book has been on my wish list for some months now, and it was worth every moment of my waiting. No such thing as immortality is a beautifully crafted adult vampire love story.

A car crash is what starts it all- and hooks you in. I found I couldn’t put down the book down. Nate is so overprotective at times, he behaves like a mother hen, but it is that fierce loyalty that makes him such an exceptional character.

The thing that impressed me about No such thing as immortality is the portrayal and importance of family and friendship. Usually vampires are shown as solitary creatures but here we have actual family members in Nate’s sister, Elizabeth. It is refreshing to have a vampire marriage (Frederick and Elizabeth) and feature monogamy as theme.

Rowen’s and Nate’s relationship is portrayed honestly. Rowen’s reaction to finding out what Nate truly is- is probably as close to how it would be if you found out the man you loved was a vampire. At no point does it get all dreamy, the author did a wonderful job of dealing with all the practical problems of a vampire to human relationship.

In essence, I think this book is about unconditional love. It is about finding that rarity of a person whom you love more than yourself and would die to protect. Sarah Tranter’s writing is so beautiful and she expresses love so uniquely.

This is another gem of British Vampire fiction, and luckily for us- this is book one of a trilogy.

 

Also not to be missed by Sarah Tranter:

romancingRomancing the soul by Sarah Tranter

“Your Soul Mate is out there! Let a past life lead the way Rachael Jones hasn’t exactly chosen an average career path. She’s a ‘past-life regressionist’ and is now hoping to help her clients find their Soul Mates through reconnecting them with their past lives. But despite her best intentions, there are problems. Rachael made the mistake of regressing her best friend, Susie Morris, who has since been haunted by events that occurred in her past life.
When Susie meets Hollywood actor, George Silbury in unlikely circumstances, she is completely unprepared for her reactions. There’s an intense mutual attraction that neither can explain nor ignore.
Can George help Susie to overcome the sense of desolation she feels as the result of her past-life regression or will history’s habit of repeating itself ruin all chances of her finding happiness?

 

 

 

irishOn March 17, 2014 I reviewed “Beneath an Irish sky” by Isabella Connor. Isabella Connor is the pen name for two very talented ladies who wrote this book transatlanticaly. Liv Thomas lives in the U.K. and Valerie Olteanu lives in Canada. Today I caught up with one half of this dynamica duo- Liv Thomas. She stopped by to answer a few vampire questions and to tell us what she and Valerie Olteanu is doing next:

EPBR: Would you ever write a vampire novel?

LT: It’s not currently on the agenda, but never say never. I’d have to learn a bit more about the topic before I’d ever contemplate it, though I’ve learned a bit from Being Human (which I loved) and books by Jane Lovering, Sarah Tranter and Berni Stevens – the first vampire stories I read.

EPBR: What is your favourite vampire book and or film?

LT:I did like The Lost Boys, way back in the 80s. Maybe because there was a lot of humour in it, and it wasn’t too graphic. As mentioned above, I enjoyed the books by Sarah, Bernie and Jane. I also like The Mortal Instruments – series, though haven’t caught the movie yet.

aiden
EPBR:Who is your favourite vampire?

LT:Definitely Mitchell from Being Human. And Aidan Turner, who plays Mitchell, is a werewolf in The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones. Obviously trying to see both sides of the coin!

EPBR: You and Valerie Olteanu are working on a new book titled “An Irish Promise”, can you tell us about that?

LT: An Irish Promise is a book about the long-term effects of bullying on a young girl in a small Irish village, and how it also impacts on her family, and in later years, the bullies themselves. This is the blurb:

“Rachel Ford has returned to the Irish village of Kilbrook intent on keeping her promise to take revenge on the school bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family.

Australian actor Finn MacKenzie sets hearts fluttering when he turns up in sleepy Kilbrook to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet his confident façade hides heartbreak and tragedy.

When Finn and Rachel meet, there’s a definite spark between them, and she is torn between her desire for revenge and this new love affair. She doesn’t want to deceive Finn, but can she trust him to keep her real identity a secret? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost?”

Thank you Liv Thomas and Valerie Oltneau, I can not wait for “An Irish Promise”.

 

amandaI managed to pull Amanda James from away from her keyboard to answer some vampire questions for us. It is short and sweet because she is busy writing her next work in progress. I am personally desperate to read her next adventure and I didn’t want to take the very talented Mandy away from her computer for too long.

EPBR: Would you conside writing a vampire book?

AJ: I have no plans in that direction at the moment.

deppEPBR: What is your favourite Vampire book?

AJ: No Such Thing as Immortality by Sarah Tranter. She is such an intense writer and gets across the emotion of her characters in just a few well chosen words. Brilliant!

EPBR: Who is your favourite Vampire?

AJ: Johnny Depp, but I guess it would also have to be Christopher Lee. He’s not what you call sexy, but he is the classic vampire in my mind’s eye.

Great news on the horizon- Amanda James just finished the sequel to “A Stitch in time” and should hit shelves in December.

 

Books by Amanda James:

stitchA Stitch in time  by Amanda James

A time-travel tale á la Dr Who only with a heroine going back to three different periods, making sure people find their happy ending. It is a pure delight according to my reader. –Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller, Paperback Preview, December 2012.

Hitch a ride and whisk back in time with a heroine readers will relate to, feel sympathy for and then root on till the finish. James effortlessly creates vibrant characters and places them in different eras, with each setting spot on. Even the dialogue changes as the time periods do. Readers will be on the edge of their seats from chapter to chapter waiting for the next adventure to begin in this unique, romantic story. ”

 

 

 

seaSomewhere beyond the sea by Amanda James

“When love begins with a lie, where will it end?
Doctor Tristan Ainsworth has returned with his family to the idyllic Cornish village close to where he grew up. The past has taught him some hard lessons, but he’ll do anything to make his wife happy – so what’s making her so withdrawn?
Karen Ainsworth daren’t reveal her true feelings, but knows her husband has put up with her moods for too long. A chance to use her extraordinary singing voice may set her free, so why shouldn’t she take it? Surely her past can’t hurt her now?
As a tide of blackmail and betrayal is unleashed to threaten the foundations of their marriage, Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strong enough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?

 

dancing Dancing in the rain by Amanda James

“What if the responsibility for preventing a major disaster lay with you?
Jacob Weston has felt like he doesn’t belong for as long as he can remember and the strangely vivid dreams he experiences only serve to make him feel more alone …
But when his job in research science takes him thousands of miles away from what he thought of as home, Jacob finds the mystery of his past begin to unravel. A trip to the breathtaking Monument Valley and an extraordinary encounter with a Navajo guide seem to hold the key to who Jacob really is.
After meeting the beautiful Rosenya Neboyia, Jacob feels he may have found what he’d been searching for. But with this meeting is the discovery that his dreams come with a responsibility, and that responsibility is bigger and scarier than he could have ever imagined …”

 

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Some other vampire themed series you may enjoy:

carriger Soulless by Gail Carriger

“Soulless is a character-driven romp with great worldbuilding and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse.” – io9.com
“Deliciously, vampiricly satiric, a tremendously clever, sexy read.” — Karen Marie Moning, New York Times bestselling author
“”Soulless” has all the delicate charm of a Victorian parasol, and all the wicked force of a Victorian parasol secretly weighted with brass shot and expertly wielded. Ravishing.” — Lev Grossman, author of “The Magicians”

other books in the series:

 

Changeless 2
Blameless 3
Heartless 4
Timeless 5

 

tanyahuffBlood Price by Tanya Huff

It began with blood and death. And Vicki Nelson, PI was at the scene. The victim had been brutally, inhumanly opened up. Messy work. She’d had to cover the corpse with her coat. It had sort of made her feel involved.

 

Now Vicki is caught up in the deadly pursuit of a mass murderer with an inhuman appetite for mayhem and destruction. And her advisor on the case is doing nothing to dampen her growing sense of foreboding. But then, with a being of unspeakable evil stalking the city, only Vicki Nelson would ally herself to Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate child of Henry VIII and a five-hundred-year-old vampire.

This popular book series was made into a Canadian Televison show called “Blood Ties”.

 

Today’s quiz is “Test your vampire knowledge”. Don’t forget to post us your result and visit the Facebook sister site for more freebies, book recommendations and fun. Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

Feature: Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

irishBeneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

The past is never over … Jack Stewart thought he’d put the past behind him.
On the surface, he has everything – success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters his world.

Raised as an Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn’t had it easy, and when he wakes in a Dublin hospital to find the man he’s hated since childhood at his bedside, he’s hungry for revenge.

Two very different worlds collide, bringing new dangers, exposing past deceits, and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives. Can new love heal old wounds, or are some scars there for good?

This complex book centres around two families- one gypsy traveller and the other an upper crust English family. They are brought together by a death that exposes years of secrets, lies and betrayals. I could not put this book down. I found it to be very compelling and read it within a few days. Before I read this book, I had no idea about the travelling community but now, I feel as if I had an inside view of what really goes on.  I recommend this book highly.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone. Here is a few thing to get you in the mood to celebrate everything Irish.

Ingredientsirishsodabread_67445_16x9

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
  2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
  5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  6. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Today’s Quiz is  Father Ted General knowledge

maveYou can’t mention Irish literature with out mentioning the wonderful Maeve Binchy. This is what her Bio on Amazon said about this inspiring woman:

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the IRISH TIMES. Her first novel, LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers.

Several have been adapted for cinema and television, including TARA ROAD. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snellfor 35 years, and died in 2012.

She is greatly missed. Her Last book Chestnut Street is due out April 24th 2014