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Romancing the Darkness by Tyler R. Snyder (Book Review / Author Interview)

ROMANCING THE DARKNESS by Tyler R. Snyder

 
Monsters of Mythical Proportion
Worlds of Magic and Power
Forbidden Love
And DEATH. DEATH is the consequence…

When Tristan defies Ambion’s only law—royal and common blood cannot mix, he discovers the consequences are real. The young guardian finds himself in a world where love and hate, war and peace, duty and betrayal blur into darkness. As his world devolves into a battle for survival, he learns only an Angel can save Ambion from the destruction wielded by the Dividers. Is Tristan the Angel destined to save the world or will he succumb to the wiles of a dark goddess?

​“Boy! Hey boy, let me show you the end.” Tristan looked in horror as tens of thousands of men and women were hooded figures. Explosions erupted everywhere, and the black sky spewed red lightning all around the warriors. A ground shaking roar forced Tristan to cover his ears. When he looked up, a massive golden dragon breathed fire upon the world: fire engulfed the horizon. “The end will begin with ash.”   

 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series by Tyler R. Snyder. It’s rated PG-13 + M. There is no sex, but it is implied. I think teen movies and television shows are 1000 times more graphic than this story!


Now, let’s discuss the monsters! I loved the variety of mythical beasts. I was familiar with certain popularized ones, such as the Kraken, wraiths, and dragons. However, Tyler introduced me to some new creatures: terpsichore (serpent-like horse) and a barking rabbit. Yeah, a barking rabbit! Cool, right?!


I think teens will love the fantasy elements in the story. They will probably love all the action sequences as well. Trust me –there are a lot of them. Battles scenes participants included humans, elves, angels, gods, goddesses, and the animals listed above, plus many more I didn’t mention. Fighters used magical powers, medieval weapons (swords and bows, weapons from today’s world (guns), and even futuristic ones (airships). Even though there are numerous fight scenes, they are not overly graphic. I would say they are on par with what teens are watching now. 


What Romancing the Darkness is missing, though, is a glossary/character page. It’s a lot to remember between the characters, beasts, locations, etc. In all honesty, I took notes. What else I would like to see is a card game. I think they would be wildly popular. 


As I stated in my opening sentence, Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series which means this story ends on a cliffhanger. 


Looking forward to book 2! 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Tyler R. Snyder
Tyler Snyder was born in 1984 in Medford, Oregon.

As a child, he was captivated by movies, video games, and Dungeons and Dragons, along with the worlds these activities created. The original spark that ignited Tyler’s imagination was when he wanted to see a movie similar to The Legend of Zelda, but the closest film at the time was The Dark Crystal. That itch, to this day, has still not been scratched. This led him to books and stories like the pastimes he adored and gave him exposure to a much grander well of ideas and possibilities. Meeting like-minded friends who shared the same hobbies, Tyler developed a passion for creating new worlds. In Romancing the Darkness, Tyler explores his world, Ambion, and the countless decisions confronting his characters.

Mr. Snyder currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, Sandra.

 

 

 

  1. If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

Tristan. Easy. In creating Tristan, I tried to put as much of myself into him as I could without deluding the character too much. With Tristan entering this vast world of magic and mythical monsters he is pretty much going into it blind and not as prepared as he would like to be. I feel a lot like that with life, becoming an author and juggling my passion with my day to day life.

 

  1. Do you have another profession other than writing?

I work for Frito Lay. I stock potato chips at three in the morning. It’s not a bad gig. I work anywhere from fifty to sixty hours a week. I actually really enjoy my job. The people I work with are great. And all the new people I meet help fuel some of the character interactions I have in my story. Witnessing social events and interactions between people help me develop my world and the characters that reside within it.

 

 

  1. Do you write every day?

I try my darndest to. With my busy schedule I try to sit down and write for at least an hour every day. Whether it is actual writing or going back through and editing what I have already written. As long as some form of progress is made I’m happy. But man it can get exhausting trying to squeeze it into the schedule. I feel if I stop I will lose that rhythm of doing it each day. In some ways it’s a lot like going to the gym.

 

 

  1. With long work weeks how do you balance your time?

I mean you get used to it after a while. As long as I stick to the schedule it doesn’t seem so bad. I have been bad and haven’t gone to the gym in month so I got to find a way to squeeze at least an hour each day to do that as well. But it’s nothing more than just putting in the work and keeping on your schedule. I make sure I don’t write past a certain time. I have to make sure I have some form of downtime for myself. Whether I’m playing a game after, catching up on Netflix shows or reading a book. Otherwise I may go nuts if work sixteen hours a day with no breaks.

 

 

  1. What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?

There is one book that has stuck with me for years. I’ve read other books since then but none of them ever really jumped off the page the way this one did. The book was Mr. Begone by Clive Barker. Outside my wheelhouse. But I really enjoyed this book. Mostly because I have never read anything like it. But the fact that this little “possessed” book spent every chapter trying to convince be to burn it so the little demon could be set free. I thought it was so clever.

 

connect with the author: 
website ~ twitter ~ facebook instagram goodreads

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 

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Blind the Eyes: A Dystopian-Gothic YA Urban Fantasy by K.A. Wiggins (Book Spotlight)

BLIND THE EYES by K.A. Wiggins

 
​A haunted teen outcast and her snarky ghostly best-frenemy outwit enforcers, monsters, and the scars of the past in a race to take expose a deadly conspiracy and escape a bloody end. A lush, award-winning debut to a captivatingly eerie YA Urban Fantasy trilogy. Discover a labyrinthine, post-climate-collapse dystopian Vancouver overrun by monsters and magic in this intricate and startlingly original journey of discovery, restoration, and revenge.
 
 
It’s hard not to be a little obsessed with survival when your only “friend” is an unruly ghost and the wrong thought could get your soul devoured by eldritch horrors. Haunted 17-year-old outcast Cole wants nothing more than to hide her forbidden fascination with the monster-taken and blend in with the (dreary) scenery. Her plans for a peaceful life take a turn for the deadly when a mesmerizing stranger and his dangerously tempting offer drive her into the middle of a grisly conspiracy.
 
But Cole hasn’t yet uncovered the biggest secret of all, and it might just have something to do with the mysterious threads tugging her into horrifying visions—not to mention the shimmering boy at their dark heart. Uncovering the truth will cost her dearly as she fends off scheming enforcers, dreamjacking ghosts & soul-sucking nightmares in a desperate quest for survival and retribution. Can she escape the scars of her past and expose the lies before she’s the next to die?
 
 
 
Blind the Eyes is the first book in a lush and labyrinthine trilogy of paranormal-meets-gothic-dystopian YA Urban Fantasy filled with glittering underworlds, delicious-and-deceptive strangers, and facing down the voices in your head. This slow-burn fantasy with an edge leads readers on a captivatingly unexpected journey of self-discovery, reclaimed identity, and conflicted sisterhood for those who like a little sparkle with their monsters (it glistens so nicely on all the blood.) Fans of post-climate-collapse dystopias, monsters-and-magic, and genre-bending dark fantasy will love this award-winning series starter in a complete and 100% binge-ready trilogy.
 
 
 
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Meet the Author:
 
Author K.A. Wiggins

 

K.A. Wiggins (Kaie) writes award-winning speculative fiction for young people and adults that explores the tangled webs of society, environment, and identity through intricate, dreamlike tales of monsters and magic.

Her debut novel was a Page Turner Awards 2020 Book Spotlight Prize winner and a Barnes & Noble Press “20 Favorite Indie Books of 2018,” kicking off a celebrated and recently completed YA Urban Fantasy trilogy set in a gothic-dystopian post-climate-collapse Vancouver. Her short fiction has appeared in small press anthologies, genre magazines, and in translation for international audiences.

She’s also the President of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia society, co-founder of marketing and business services consultancy The Creative Collective, and a creative writing coach with the Creative Writing for Children society, and was recognized in the 2021 Arty Awards, taking first place in Literary Arts category.

 

connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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War of the Staffs by Steve Stephenson and K.M. Tedrick (Book Review)

The goddess Adois brings a powerful vampire warlock named Taza through the void to turn Muiria into a planet of evil using her powerful staff. Needing an army, he turns a race of dark elves into vampires, but Prince Tarquin is born to fulfill a prophecy to stop Taza.

The prince cannot do it alone. The Wizard Celedant sends him to the Borderers, an elite group of dwarves to learn how to fight, while the wizard begins his search for the Staff of Adaman, the only thing capable of thwarting Taza and Adois’ Staff.

War of the Staffs is the search for two pieces of the ancient Staff of Adaman to counter Adois’ plans. The darkness is rising and using the black power of the Staff of Adois and his army of dark elves, giants, and orcs, Taza will begin a reign of terror the planet will not soon forget.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

There were quite a few elements in War of the Staffs that reminded me of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. However, War of Staffs differed from the popular series (mentioned in the opening sentence) by incorporating vampires and unique magic abilities. Taza (warlock and vamp) used his specially acquired magical skills to infiltrate his enemies and summon beasts of all sizes. The creatures he controlled led us into some pretty epic battle scenes. You’ll witness clashes between dwarves and orcs, wizard versus wizard, powerful beasts descending from above, and those awaiting the heroes in dark caves. There were numerous entanglements, so you won’t have to wait long for action scenes! 

With the number of characters featured in War of the Staffs, this book could have its own trading card set. People would probably love to roleplay the book. However, I would suggest a Glossary of Characters and Terms. 

Heads up: War of the Staffs is book one in a series. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2

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KM Tedrick is a writer and ghostwriter in the fantasy, science fiction, adventure, Christian, and young adult genres with one book that was made into a movie, and over sixteen books published.
 
 
Author Steve Stephenson an admitted bibliophile collects rare fantasy and science fiction media. He obtained a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Library Science. He has written four books including the War of the Staffs trilogy.
 
 
You can connect with Steve Stephenson through his Facebook Link or at Linkedin
 

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Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos (Book Review / Guest Post)

BOBOS BABES ADVENTURES: A MAGICAL HALLOWEED by Karen Bobos

 
It’s Halloween time in the land of Harmony, and the Bobos Babes are ready for some fun!

When Angel Scarlett, Fairy Cora, and Princess Daphne visit Lily the Ladybug’s Boutique to look for Halloween costumes, they find Lily has left aside three special masks for them. The ladybug informs the sisters that they must wait until noon on Halloween to try on the mysterious masks but assures them they will have the best costumes in all of the land of Harmony.
The sisters can hardly wait, counting down the minutes on Halloween until they can don their curious masks. When the time comes, they learn their secret masks are enchanted, and the girls are magically transformed into the costumes of their dreams.

 
​After a fun outing Trick-or-Treating, the little monster, witch, and ghost — or sisters — agree that this was the best Halloween of all.
 
 
Buy the Book
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Bobos Babes
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Children love Halloween. They adore selecting a costume, the excitement of getting candy, the decorations, and watching their loot grow with each knock on a door. 


While most kids can’t wait to dig into their stash, first, they must select what to wear on the spookiest night of the year. If your child is like mine, they start planning months in advance and change their mind about a thousand times. 


However, when the big night comes, they wake up and immediately dress up. Halloween allows their imagination to flourish, and it’s a magical day and night. 


Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos made Halloween an even more magical event by allowing the sisters to transform into whatever mask they chose for the evening. 


Imagine if a kid put on a Hulk mask and then became the Hulk. I can already see my daughter transforming into a little Loki. 😀


If you’re like me and love reading holiday stories with your child, then I highly recommend picking up Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween. The story is cute, and so are the illustrations. We especially liked the blue monster covered in pink dimples. 
 

Great job, Karen M. Bobos (author) and Jazinel Libranda (illustrator)!

Happy Halloween! 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
AUTHOR KAREN BOBOS

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story.  The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.​
 
 
 
 
Creating a Harmonious World During a Life of Chaos
 
 
My family lives downtown Chicago. You can literally see the John Hancock out of our dining room window. During the beginning of the pandemic, we spent months in our condo without a balcony. I was definitely feeling cabin fever once we hit week three of not leaving the house.
 
 fIn May 2020, Chicago became a city of unrest. With the protests and riots directly out our front door, my husband and I packed up the family and escaped to my mother’s home in Northwest Indiana. We had one goal in mind: keep our daughters in a magical, beautiful world when the real world was in a state of chaos.
 
Once we arrived at my mother’s home, I worked night and day to clean her unfinished basement. Then I covered her walls with white rolling paper and put pink plush throw rugs on the floor. Living in a condo, we don’t have a basement or separate play area, so I wanted this to be incredibly special for them. I bought my daughters a pretend store, a little play coffee shop, and a cute kid’s pop-up ice cream shop. I designed signs that said Daphne’s Dynamite Deals, Scarlett’s Sweets, and Cora’s Coffee Shop. I put a Disney Barbie house in the corner and bought princess wall applications to stick to my white paper walls. I made a little lounge area and put tons of books for them relax and read. In the center, there was a little pink and white table. In the back of the basement, I created a little art studio for the girls to be as creative as they liked. At the entrance of it all, I put a sign that said “Bobos Babes’ World,” and we surprised the girls with this fun world to play in when the rest of the word was at a standstill.
 
My wellness company was barely operating. While I probably secretly cried most nights living in fear of the unknown, this was my outlet. Not only was this a project of making “Bobos Babes World” for the girls, but it a huge distraction for me as I wondered what was to come of our life and my career.
 
About a month later, I wrote “The Case of the Giggles” as a night time story to entertain my girls. They were the main characters with magical powers. My dad, who passed in 2016 was a main character and so was my mother. I made our Bernese Mountain dog, Luke, who is abnormally large for the breed, even bigger in my story. The girls rode him all over their magical land. The magical land was called Harmony because I desperately needed to have this land be somewhere where everyone co-existed and got along. We craved a land filled with love especially with what was going on in the world. Scarlett suggested that I write a new story every Friday. Her deadline was just the motivation that I needed to get my Bobos Babes Adventures on their way.
 
So that’s how the Bobos Babes Adventures started. But the best part is, if you ask my daughters about the pandemic and all the chaos that happened in 2020, they just remember our entire family at Gigi’s house, playing in her backyard, running through sprinklers, playing in this magical world their mom created for them in the basement and getting a new story every night starring them. Mission accomplished.
 
 
connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 

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Realms of Glory, Realms of Death (The Epthelion Series) by Sandra Kopp (Book Review)

 

Valhalea lies in ruins, the victim of sorcerer Lucius Mordarius’ wrath.

In the black forests of Barren-Fel Ryadok, a rival sorcerer possessing a weapon capable of leveling the continent, snakes his destructive tentacles across Epthelion. Amid the chaos Destiny unites five unlikely allies: an ostracized mystic and his younger brother; a tradesman and a battle-hardened mercenary; and the daughter of a murdered nobleman–each a thorn in a sorcerer’s side and marked for death.

Battling nature’s wrath, the sorcerers’ relentless pursuit, and a land notorious for devouring its inhabitants, they find temporary sanctuary only to be thrust to opposite ends of Epthelion–the girl to the west where she falls into the hands of the blood-thirsty Horse Lords; and the men into the dark reaches of the shadowy east.

Victory is essential; defeat spells certain death for their world.  The girl must survive the Horse Lord’s brutality and rally them to her aid in defeating Mordarius while the mystic races to destroy Ryadok before his sweeping holocaust.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

There are not many fantasy books that I think would 100% translate beautifully onto the big screen. However,  I believe Sandra’s beasts, the lesser ones and the Destroyer, need to be brought to life in 2D or (better yet) 3D. Once you read Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death, I’m sure you’ll agree Sandra’s magical bringers of death need to be shown on a big screen. 

Besides the beasts, what I adored about Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death is its plot/subject matter is not limited to one age group. As a parent, I look for books that my daughter and I can read and discuss. I don’t recall seeing any unfavorable words except whore. While I am not a fan of this word, it didn’t hurt the book or affect my rating. I would still recommend my daughter to read it. I would encourage you to read it also. 

I can’t end this review without pointing out how much I appreciated Sandra giving props to women and their abilities. We are fierce. We are strong. We can fight. We are leaders! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤1/2

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About Sandra Kopp

I’m an Idaho native, a lover of chocolate, builder of kingdoms, and ever a dreamer. From childhood I loved a good story and spent hours lost in the wonderful and fantastic worlds I found in books. Even while pursuing a career in Information Technology I remained a voracious reader, and in 2003 began penning my own stories. My first three, a fantasy trilogy which I am currently reworking, were influenced by The Lord of the Rings. My current book, The Windwilder Haunting, arose from the arson fire of one of Pasco, Washington’s last landmarks, the James A. Moore House. The house’s rich and colorful history intrigued me, and I am proud to say I played a small part in its restoration. The Windwilder Haunting, however, details a fictional family and set of events. After relaunching the trilogy (in about two months) I will be working on a prequel to the Windwilder tale.

Fantasy and paranormal romance remain my favorite genres, but I am also working on a familial saga and a series of children’s books based on Timothy Wonder, an adventurous lad with a huge imagination.

When not writing, I enjoy photography, hiking, cycling, and playing the accordion.

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