Saturday, 21 May 2016

Review: Argenterra by Donna Maree Hanson

Every one hundred years a woman comes to Argenterra through the Crystal Tree Woods. This time two women came… 

While on a ghost tour in Castle Crioch, Sophy and her best friend and foster sister, Aria, are sucked into the world of Argenterra, where they encounter a strange Crystal Tree. Two leaves fall from it, one of which Aria catches and the other mysteriously delves into Sophy’s chest. 

Met by Dellbright, the prince of Valley Keep, and Oakheart, the high king’s ambassador, the girls learn they are expected. Aria has beauty and talent with the given, the land’s native magic. She finds a home and a husband in Prince Dellbright and is revered as the legendary Gift of Crystal Tree Woods. 
Sophy is out of place as anything made with the given makes her ill. 

Sophy accompanies Oakheart to the capital to find out why the crystal leaf is in her chest. A sinister force is tracking her—trying to snatch her away or kill her. Only Oakheart suspects her importance: she is the talisman that can cause great harm to the world of Argenterra if she falls into the wrong hands. 


Argenterra is the first in Donna Maree Hanson's new series, Silverlands. It brings an alternate fantasy world which is both unforgiving in its beauty and pure in its treachery and dangers together with a solid friendship story as we follow Sophy and Aria through their combined and individual challenges with their new lives in Argenterra.

Argenterra's magic, the given, permeates everyone and everything in the land. It's used in everything from building and cooking to healing and holding the people to their oaths. I liked how the given not only weaves through the lives of the characters but through the story itself. The given has its own history, champions and enemies. The given lives through the story as a character in its own right, complete with unique relationships with other characters and a life changing challenge.

For me, characters and their fellowships (among other things) bring Argenterra to life.

I appreciated and felt how close Sophy and Aria were. It didn't matter what else was going on, I could always count on solid affection and support between the two. *Sucker for buddy stories here* There relationship was well put together and supported and left me genuinely anxious when they weren't together.

My favourite character, besides Sophy/Aria, is Oakheart (in spite of my Kindle text to speech calling him Oh-Eckhart, silly Kindle.)  As much as Dellbright came off as too good to be true (which he was), Oakheart is *that good.* For me, he is the pure hero of Argenterra.

I also liked how each castle and land was distinct and appreciated the care Hanson took hi-lighting both their faults and reasons to shine. Loved the forest people and Lillia and the screavers (scary, scary, scary.)

Hanson reveals Argenterra to us through her characters' experiences, particularly those of Sophy and Aria which I enjoyed because I felt like I experienced Argenterrra first hand through their adventure.

And I'm very grateful for the sample of book two, The Crystal Gate. Not only did it reassure and soothe my delicious worry at the end of book one, it also twisted my engagement to the story up several notches and I'm very eager to move in to book two.

You can also read my interview with Donna Maree Hanson here. I also recommend her dark fantasy Dragonwine series, Shatterwing and Skywatcher and her fun science fiction Rayessa and the Space Pirates.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

New Release! Sabotaged Desires by Rebecca Airies

Super excited to speed the word about Rebecca Airies new release, Sabotaged Desires

Suz Lore thought she had everything she wanted, a job as an engineer and a position on a colony ship headed to another planet. That was before her arranged ménage marriage with Robert Smith and David Bradford turned into a disaster. She’d thought they were building more than a sizzling sexual relationship, but all they do is argue now. She isn't surprised when they're sequestered in a room in order to reignite the passion between them and learn to trust again.
Robert believes she betrayed him while David is stuck in the middle of their conflict. Getting Robert to talk about what made him angry is difficult, but they discover there's far more behind their problems than a message with misleading information. A virus has overtaken the ship's computers, put them on a different heading and cut them off from all communication. They must work together to find a way to survive and rebuild their relationship.

PG excerpt:
“Get your ass to the hatch and let us out now,” Robert yelled.
Ever the demanding Captain. Robert expected people to follow his orders immediately.  He’d behaved like an ass lately. That arrogance set her nerves on edge. His tendency to bark out commands even when on personal time made her want to rebel or strike out at him.
The argument hadn’t stayed within the confines of their quarters. Suz didn’t know how he was surprised that they’d been placed here. At the moment, his yelling was getting on her nerves.
“They won’t let us out. Not until they’re convinced our problems are solved.” She eased to the edge of the big bed. At least, she wasn’t nauseous from coming out of stasis or have a headache any longer. 
David strode to the side of the bed, sat beside her and put an arm around her shoulders. “Are you all right?”
His dark blond hair stuck up in spikes, looking delightfully mussed. She only wished she’d been the one to run her fingers through it. Concern turned the corners of his full lips down. His muscled chest was bare offering yet another lure for exploration and he wore only loose, light blue pants which most men chose to wear into the stasis pods.
“The pain has faded. I sort of expected this after our last rotation, although waking up from stasis in this room scared me and for a little while, I didn’t realize what had happened.” She relaxed against the strength of his arm for a moment. Normally, they were left in the open cryopods until they were able to walk. She’d almost panicked when she woke here. Her heart had felt as if it were going to burst through her chest.
The feel of his muscled body against hers soothed a little of the tension and worry. Between David and her, they would find a way to get through to Robert. Even though they couldn’t get out, she didn’t fool herself that this would be easy. 
“So did I. I think he’s the only one who thought things could go on as they were.” David smiled and used his free hand to brush the silver blond hair away from her face.
“They should stay out of our business.” Robert glared at her.
His dark brown eyes moved from her to David. He didn’t look mussed or even sleepy as David did, but then again, his close-cropped black hair always seemed to be in perfect order. The dark brown skin of his chest gleamed. Her eyes hungrily trailed over the expanse and down to the white shorts at his waist. Even though anger pulsed through her at his stubbornness, she hungered for his touch. Her body remembered the pleasure he’d given her.
“Our business is everyone’s concern. We’re on a colony ship. There are only married groups here. There aren’t extra women and men and our group will be the only people on the planet until more colonists are sent, which could be years. The crap you’ve been doing can’t continue.” David straightened a little and his eyes locked on Robert.
A voracious reader since childhood, Rebecca Airies has always enjoyed getting lost in the fantastic worlds of science fiction, horror, fantasy and romance. When she began to write her own stories, they always had a romantic edge.
Rebecca currently lives in Texas and writes with the help of a couple feline critics. She’s a multi-published author whose muse loves fantasy, sci-fi and the paranormal, as well as strong heroines who are sometimes as stubborn as their heroes. She loves to here from her readers. Email her at

Come say Hi to Rebecca, you can find her in all the places!
My New Release Newsletter: