What We’re Reading: House of D’Antonio

House of D'Antonio

The views shared throughout this review are solely the opinions of Blu Moon Fiction Staff. As always, we recommend reading the book for yourself and should you disagree with our views we encourage you to tell us. The reviews published by Blu Moon Fiction have been read for content, spelling and grammar.

The very first thing I noticed when receiving my copy of, The House of D’Antonio by Reece Cooper James, was the beautiful cover. The young woman on the cover is very striking and the translucent figure gives a sense that something of the paranormal may be happening.

Flipping to the back of the book we read of Roman D’Antonio king of Brocklehurst and surviving ruler of the House of D’Antonio. He alone is charged with traveling through dimensions to seek out Abigail, whose bloodline is the key to breaking the D’Antonio curse. Abigail has been bred to understand her family’s legacy as one of great responsibility; in her world she envisions Roman as her imaginary friend. From the explanation you should infer  this novel is one that features the two meeting and blending worlds in a way that either successfully ends the curse or doesn’t. Unfortunately, that is not what you get.

The most noticeable thing when you open the book is the possibly triple spaced layout. There are a few minor typos that can be overlooked if you desire to power through. If layout doesn’t put you off and for some people it may, then continue reading and learn all about  Abigail “Abi”Trenaulde.

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My 2016 Reading Challenge!!!

Earlier this year I wanted to really commit to making myself a better writer. As my high school writing teacher would say writers –write, and therefore to become better writers you must read and then write some more. Who knew that while i was rolling my eyes then I’d be going back to those words now. In the thick of writing my very first trilogy I find myself grasping at anything not a research book to read. My imagination was truly becoming depleted. It was then that I decided to go back to the list of books I wanted to read. Initially I compiled the list for research. When deciding to write a book you have to decide on a genre and my genre is Urban Fantasy. I jumped in head first adding any book that seemed remotely interesting. Some titles sounded familiar though I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading them. They went on the list. Other novels i’d never heard of an hadn’t known they even existed. They also went on the list. I spent a large portion of time looking into Mythic Fiction. As my sub-genre it’s good to know the competition and what ideas have already been tried. At one point my boyfriend the afro-centric individual that he is commented about a lack of African American representation in my genre which sent me down a path to find not only black characters but black authors as well. The effort was definitely worth it. When i finished i’d collected more than 50 books in which to read this year. My 2016 goal is still 50 books of the Urban Fantasy genre. At present I’m starting with Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”.  I’m attempting to read at least two books a month. Wish me luck!

 

Feel free to start on this list where ever you choose!

 

50 books I want to read over the next year.

 

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol
    1. Through the looking glass (sequel)
  2. Moon Called:Mercy Thomspon  Book #1- Patricia Briggs
  3. Dead Witch Walking: The Hollows Book #1 – Kim Harrison
  4. American Gods #1 – Neil Gaimen
  5. Mistborn:The Final Empire
  6. The lies of Locke Lamora:Gentleman Bastard Book 1 – Scott Lynch
  7. Vampire Kisses:Book 1 – Ellen Schraiber
  8. Sister Sable: The Mad Queen #1 –
  9. The Magicians – Lev Grossman
  10. Modern Faierie Tales – Holly Black
  11. Iron Thorn – Caitlyn Kittredge
  12. The Name in the Wind – Patrick Rothfus
  13. Practical Magic – Alicia Hoffman
  14. Courting Darkness – Yasmine Galenorn
  15. Something Wicked – Catherine Mulvany
  16. Divine by Mistake – PC Cast
  17. Woven – Michael Jensen and David Powers
  18. The Mephisto Covenant – Trinity Faegan
  19. Dancer’s Lament – Ian C Esslemont
  20. Age of Myth – (Book One of the First Empire Series) – Michael J Sullivan
  21. The Cainsville series Book#1- Kelly Armstrong
  22. The Conjure Woman – Charles Chestnutt
  23. Kindred – Octavia Butler (Showed up on various sites)
  24. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
  25. Who Fears Death – Nnedi Okorafor
  26. The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
  27. Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings
  28. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
  29. Vampire Huntress  – L.A. Banks
  30. Amber and the Hidden City by Milton Davis
  31. Knights of Breton Court (series) by Maurice Broaddus
  32. Brookwater’s Curse (series) by Steven Van Patten
  33. Immortal (series) by Valjeanne Jeffers
  34. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
  35. Taurus Moon (series) by D.K. (Keith) Gaston
  36. The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan by Zig Zag Claybourne
  37. Redeemer: The Cross Chronicles by Balogun Ojetade
  38. African Immortals Series – Tananarive Due
  39. My Soul to Keep – Tananarive Due
  40. So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy
  41. Mindscape – Andrea Hairston
  42. Filter House – Nisi Shawl
  43. The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
  44. Shards and Ashes – Anthology (Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong etc.)
  45. The testing – Joel Charbonneau
  46. Superhuman – Michael Carroll
  47. Vampyres of Hollywood – Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Scott
  48. Etruscans: Beloved of the Gods – Morgan Llywelyn, Michael Scott
  49. The drafter – Kim Harrison
  50. Undead and Unwed:A Queen Betsy Novel – Mary Janice Davidson
  51. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Series
  52. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wait For You
  53. Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster
  54. Colleen Hoover’s Slammed
  55. Cora Carmack’s Losing It.

Dragon Hunter: Case Files of Erin Draconis

It’d been a family heirloom, the dusty book bound in worn animal flesh. She’d always been fascinated by the stones on the cover. Both a journal and an encyclopedia of sorts, it was among the things willed to her by her late uncle.

Vincent Draconis, renowned paleontologist had been keeping a secret. Though he had built his name and his fortune on the research and study of bugs and fossils they’d only funded his true passion.

He’d spent all of his youth and most of his elderly years pursuing and recording the few lasting breeds of an ancient creature. He’d stumbled on the existence of dragons. At first he needed proof that they’d really existed, he was sure the findings would make him famous.

Vincent had bee contacted by a secret order, sworn to protect the magical beings. At the height of their existence they were beings of untold power, every piece of their bodies could be used in potent spells. The dragons were almost hunted into extinction.

As a girl Erin had remembered going on many adventures with her uncle but none to explain this revelation. She’d seen him hunched over the book often, furrowed brow scribbling frantically while mumbling into a tape recorder. These moments she wandered the corridors of his mansion.

She’d been fourteen when she’d come to stay with her father’s brother; after a house fire claimed her remaining parent. Erin had lived through several tragedies at once for such a young age. Her mother weakened from the stress of childbirth gave her life so she could survive. At thirty – five Evan Draconis would fumble through her early years. They’d survived unscathed when Vincent fresh from college came to stay the first time. He’d become infatuated with fossils and decided to travel the world to study them. Her earliest memories were of his beard and backpack.

The backpack lay abandoned in the corner of the office now. his desk was still cluttered with maps and charts. He’d been planning to go somewhere prior to his stroke. Vincent was always full of life but he was a man of terrible health. In between meals he enjoyed copious amounts of liquor and fat. He was beloved, but had grown plump and slightly senile in his later years. The imminent stroke that claimed him was of no surprise; though it was heartbreaking just the same.

A knock at the door relinquished her from her thoughts.

The attorney had brought a flash drive she was to view alone and only after agreeing to the task on the drive. She’d signed her name and received a box promised to have everything she’d need for her new life. The lawyer shook hands and departed.

Everyone else had gone home.

She decided to watch the drive.

The Pet Shop – Serket

“Sirens are not born young one, they are created.”

Sasha had been after the voice each night as it took her closer to the temple. Even now at nine months she had to obey it. Swollen and wabbling in the island heat, the moonlight hid her figure and the waves washed her footsteps from the sand. The island didn’t need any one to know she’d been there.

The majestic temple beckoned her inside, flames shooting from the votive on either side of the door. She’d gotten shipwrecked here more than five months ago and had taken pleasure in making this oasis her home. She had nothing left for her back in New York.

Cramming into miniature condos, commuting like a sardine. Her whole life had been one mundane task after another. Always looking for that something more people were always referring to. All of that ceased when she’d met Rodney. He was charming, an investor on Wall Street he had enough funds to keep her comfortable. The romance was quick and impulsive and four years later she woke up one morning pregnant and nervous.

They’d never discussed the prospect of children. Neither had any and Sasha was sure Rodney had no interest in being a father. Jet – setting across the world seemed more his speed and she was willing to take that ride. To her surprise he’d convinced her to keep it. Promised that she and the newborn would be royalty. She’d relied on his words to steady her nerves and looked to his promise as motivation to prepare for motherhood.

She couldn’t have known as she grew in size the weight of Rodney’s deception. She’d been planning to surprise him at his office. She’d usually call and alert his assistant but was shopping in the area and wandered into the lobby one day. The expression on Morgan, the assistant’s, face was a mixture of terror and intrigue.

“Ms… Ms….. Ms. Stephens, how nice to see you was Mr. Graves expecting you?” she sputtered.

The all glass room that was his office, showed clearly that he was not. A tall leggy brown skin woman stood up with some minor help from Rodney. Hugged Carl, Rodney’s boss in a familiar embrace before being escorted from the office by Rodney himself. Before she even had time to process what had occurred she speed walked herself in their direction leaving Morgan slack – jawed in awe.

As she moved closer she could hear the giggling. It sends shards of anxiety to her heart each step she took. Bridging the gap between them she finally was close enough to approach.

“Rodney!”she churped.

He and his guest stopped walking and he swirled around to face her eyes darting from the woman he had at his side and the one standing within arms reach. He’d been wearing the button up she’d bought him at Saks, a money green which brought out the red in his skin tone.

The woman Sasha noted, was generically beautiful, bright brown eyes. Perfectly coiffed hair, even several months pregnant she had that motherly glow everyone talked about. Sasha felt inferior by comparison. She hadn’t been handling pregnancy well, always sick, her hair was in a messy knotted bun thrown a top her head. She was wearing no make up and even comfy sweatpants betrayed her good looks. She felt on the defensive but was unsure why.

The encounter was awkward at best. Rodney did his best to hide the obvious truth but of course it had caught up with him. He’d been married for 15 years and the woman clutching his arm for support in the wake of his affair was indeed his pregnant wife. The “Miracle Baby” she’d been carrying was a product of prayer and In Vitro, the couple were told many years ago they’d never conceive.

Sasha saw first hand that Rodney was capable of impregnating a woman, what she hadn’t seen was his ability to actually love one. She was crushed, the revelation of his affair hadn’t phased his wife one bit. In fact her aggression was turned toward Sasha. Rodney allowed the woman to verbally brutalize his mistress before leading her away flustered to have a seat in the car.

Sasha stood there, alone, ears stinging from the down dressing she’d received. It was a far cry from how she’d planned the afternoon going. She didn’t wait for Rodney to return, expecting it’d be to embarrass her further she made her escape through the nearest exit.

For weeks she muddled through edging closer to her due date. Single motherhood had never been a plan she laid out for herself. She regretted that now. She’d work at that firm for six years, made a name for herself there, her name carried weight. She’d requested some time off to prepare for her new baby. They happily obliged.

Sasha decided to take a trip to clear her head, she’d been unable to fly for her Eat.Pray.Love journey so instead booked a cruise to Bermuda. Gaia called out to women in need. The island sought the heart-broken, their hearts sang a song and the island echoed it through the waves. The longing felt by ship’s captains were echoes of hundreds of sirens from the island.

Sasha had awoken from her sleep the night the ship sank. Something called to her from across the waves. Whatever  pulled her from the ship that night, protected her and her unborn baby. As each survivor emerged from the waves, the island claimed them as their own. She hadn’t noticed the crates then.

Settling into the island was the easy part, she had nothing tethering her to the real world and had been welcomed on the island with open arms. At the time, Queen Hilaya reigned and took her under her wing. When Sasha arrived the island had been in stasis. The Sirens frozen in sleep. No one had set foot on the island in years. Sasha and her Order had been the first, Hilaya readied her for childbirth, Sasha helped her to bring the island back to life. The sirens had always been known for leading men to their deaths, but Hilaya had other plans for her victims. Sasha would capitalize on that.

It felt like a lifetime ago, inside the temple, quiet and vacant. She was expecting more miraculous wonders but found herself in an empty room in the center of the room was a sarcophagus. The darkness she found inside changed things on the island forever.

The Pet Shop – Graduation Day

2

Evan rose proudly as they called his name, he’d worked hard for this moment. Top of his class with more than a few job proposals lined up in the future, his plans for the summer involved endless conquests. He surveyed the crowd of beauties parading before him. The campus was large enough to house over 30,000 students. Evan was sure he’d become acquainted with most of the student body but there were a few girls scattered through he knew he’d never seen before.

Kali Samson

Sentiva Smith

Sanura Stephens

The three young women rose almost in unison, single file towards the podium. Evan noticed the one in the front first, she never looked up from beneath her brown bangs. Shook hands quickly before moving quickly down the steps. Her photo taken she seemed to vanish into the crowd. The two women behind her disappeared just as quickly.

He could spend his last few moments as a student playing detective or celebrating his achievement. His frat brothers would be waiting, surely the campus was crawling with scantily clad female graduates.

The campus had erupted, it was graduation day, it was the end of finals it was the calm before summer session started. Students both new and old spilled into the Quad in droves. Some to wish congratulations others to be apart of the party following shortly.

Each year the local night life through a weekend long series of festivities to celebrate the graduating class. This year would be no exception the class of 2016, had been the most explosive class the university had seen. Evan had single-handedly been responsible for some of the campuses most memorable moments. Like the Bikini Wrestling Wet T-Shirt event, he’d been inspired, all wet t-shirts got in for free.

His agenda, to be young, wealthy and desired. Having no family to tie him to one spot he was free to follow the money. The money would be taking him to the West Coast in September. He had a month to prep and pack.

Evan had managed to make it back to the fraternity house in record time, the mass exodus of students fleeing collegiate life  made traffic lighter than  normal during the school year. He’d earned his bachelor’s and was ready to take on the world, waiting at the red light his eyes roamed over the buffet of women passing in front of the intersection.  Amidst them all his gaze maneuvered to the young woman standing in the intersection. The unknown beauty from the ceremony. Flanked by the two women who’d been behind her, they were all animatedly chatting while crossing the street. No one turned in his direction. He’d considered lifting his foot off the brake just slightly to garner their attention. As he pondered the young woman looked in his direction.

Her green eyes were the last thing he recalled. A horn blaring angrily behind him shook him from his thoughts. He couldn’t remember her face but her eyes, had indented his brain he could feel her eyes everywhere.

The Pet Shop – Goddess Gifts

                                   1

Kali packed the final suitcase. This would be the last time she’d ever see the custard colored walls again. That strange crack that mysteriously appeared by the door one day. The wine stain on her cream carpet. It was bittersweet, she’d had only a few short months after her Tribute to prepare for life away from Gaia. She’d succeeded, and those choosing to return home to the island with her would make up the new Circle of Sisters.

Completing the tribute was step one. Many had the potential to make it through the trials and out into the open. Goddesses favored their daughters simply for having the courage to sacrifice their mortal beings in an attempt for closer communion with their deities. The challenge was leaving the island and returning afterward.

The tribute was a form of graduation, quelling the young ladies of the island, preparing them for the real dangers. No longer children protected by their innocence the real world would train them to be ruthless, cunning and careful. The speech Serket blared to the crowd of on lookers, of the guard, of the inner circle riling them all. Each new ORDER marked the continuation of Gaia and the Sirens who lived on it.

Worked into a frenzy the island itself sang the celebration, not only did this order have a new Queen and High Priestess in its ranks, But this group also had the 4 temple priestesses amongst the class. These young women were predestined to be the new Circle of Sisterhood. Gaia would reward their dedication by replenishing its power throughout the island.

Their instructions were clear. By summer’s end the order would board two boats docked at the end of the island and set forward on a 4 year mission. Any woman not interested in returning to the island could do so freely but banishment was the sacrifice for remaining in the mortal world. Most defectors did so knowing that they could never return.

A knock on the door derailed her train of thought. Sanura knocked softly again before letting herself into the room.

Happy to see you’re ready to go. Sanura grabbed the heavy suticase without batting an eye lash and hoisting it onto her shoulder, carried it to the livingroom where the rest of their belongings had been properly stacked.

Glad to see four years of ROTC hasn’t made you unladylike Kali joked.

It was bittersweet, she’d learned to call the bustling city home and would be leaving forever in a matter of days. The three bedroom apartment would be a distant memory in a matter of months. The Philadelphia skyline blazed bright against the summer sun. Four years had come and gone too soon.

Kali had lived on Gaia her entire life only venturing as for as the shoreline before her tribute. After a lifetime of preparation each girl took the sacred oath, promising her body, mind and spirit to the Goddess realm and aligning herself to their will.

It was this moment that she’d thought of her fallen. Four years ago 21 girls pledged their lives to the goddesses of the temple. Only 16 girls  exited that day. Two of the fallen had actually been friends of Kali’s. Maya, daughter of Rhea gifted by Bast; had failed the room of tempation and had to be rescued to the dismay of her mother. She’d been rafted off the island as soon as she’d regained conciousness. Janay, welcomed by the island at a young age; never made it out of the temple at all. Frozen in fear, her body rejected her Goddess Magic and dissolved. Her spirit trapped in the tribute temple until the end of days.

The ceremony was not only a rite of passage but a sacred ritual intertwining the island’s magic with the goddess within. Bathing in the fire and relinquishing there humanity was a necessity. You could never access the full might of the Gods while still clinging to your earthly form. Each of the new Order now possessed the gifts and talents of a Goddess. None were compared to that of their new High Queen, Kali.

She hadn’t had a reason to use her gifts in all her years in the mortal world. She’d only been taught the one spell to get them safely back to Gaia with their cargo. In the dead of night the fog rolled away from the pier in Penn’s Landing a ship that had never been there before docked amongst the other ancient symbols of nautical prowess.

From the ship two women sent by the Queen. Kali would be leading this voyage but they were here to ensure it went as planned.

###

Kali and her sisters surveyed the space. They’d packed everything but their pets. Most of the Order had managed to secure and subdue their true reason for being in the mortal world. Kali hadn’t been as lucky. She was weary of choosing a slave, never having known the men on the island, the “pets” were to be seen an unheard like all other beasts of land.

Tonight that would be rectified, the Goddesses had spoken and if Kali was unable to utilize her talents to secure her first conquest. They would take over and choose for her, she had only until midnight. Only Sanura and Eva knew her secrets.

Months ago, Kali arose from her sleep and wandered through the narrow halls of the off campus apartment. She was being controlled by Sekhmet who’d taken the body out for a spin. The deity had been rading the fridge.

The true life of a Siren Queen was to give part of yourself in exchange for the gift of the Goddess. The Queens of Gaia were hosts for the Deities spirits. Sekhmet and Hathor both could control Kali’s human form.

Sanura had attempted to wake her up, but soon learned that Sekhmet’s vengeance was not something any siren wanted to face. It was revealed that night that in order to remain free Kali would have to do as she’d been instructed on the island.

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Bingo!!!

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Bingo Board 1.1

The Rules

When you see a corresponding square   call it out by commenting or posting to the Facebook page using the tag #ONCEBINGO in order to be entered into the prize drawing your post must also feature the tag #SHOWSWELOVE, the tags #BMF or #BluMoonFiction may also be included to boost chances of us seeing your post.  The 5 winners who get #BINGO (which must also be included in the final post to claim your win) will win Once Upon a Time merchandise. Note: The merchandise offered as a prize for playing BINGO is manufactured by the people who sell merchandise at ABC.com but, purchased by us for the purposes of offering as prizes only. No monetary exchange between winners of #ONCEBINGO and Blu Moon Fiction is to occur. Upon winning Bingo you must inbox all necessary contact information within 24-48 hrs of claiming your win so that we may purchase and process your prize. Any questions comments or concerns can be sent to BluMoonFiction@gmail.com subject line: Bingo Winners