Monday, 26 September 2016

The Moreva of Astoreth By: Roxanne Bland #ScienceFiction #Erotica #Review


The Moreva of Astoreth
By: Roxanne Bland


In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.


The Moreva of AstorethThe Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*** Gifted in exchange for an honest review ***
I give this story 2.5 stars, there is a good storyline in this book, it just needs a better editing team to get rid of the repetitive monotone and highlight to the author where she needs to input more information where it is required.

I quite like sci fi, I was contacted via my blog, no cover or links to the book sent, and as you will see from the blurb not much is given in the way of information, other than to compare it to known published sci-fi authors, I have read Anne McCaffrey when I was younger, so that is why I agreed to read this book.

IF I had been sent a cover, I would have probably said no up front, as I DO JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER... now some will say the cover is good (sorry no offence to those who do, but I don't) it looks like someone spent a while in a computer game rendering this cover - but it looks horrible ( in my opinion at least).
but I guess it does give you an idea of what this story is about - a blue-faced, red-clad, white-haired, face-painted (she has a mask that does it daily!) alien figure on the cover of The Moreva of Astoreth shows how most of the story is spent on boring scientific geekiness that bored me to sleep. I had to keep going back to this book, I was going to give up, but when the Moreva begins to spend more time with the healer Hyme and Teger the Laird of the village, it gave me the push to see where the author was taking this. I liked the two male characters much more than the spoilt whinging Te

But I am afraid that although I enjoyed the basic storyline, as I said just now there are lots that need to be cut and then stuff that needed more explanation/back story such as the very weird rituals and practices with no backstory to explain why this was so.

Also to base the story on known languages then to add words, seems irrelevant to me, why not just make up a whole language - OR NOT, ok weird worlds and character names I can get, BUT why did we need different times, volumes, weight and distance???????

Also - this is shelved on amazon as a romance and there are no warnings about the heavily sexual rituals that the character has to deliver. So be aware that this story has some scenes that involve rape.

with the writing/language used in the book, if you are going to write about a different world with different languages and meanings, you need to think as a reader and give a glossary for a reader to access - preferably at the beginning of a book where its easily seen. Although the Author adds a note about the time, distance and volumes, I can't understand why she did not consider to explain other crucial things such as the gods and goddesses and their laws/rituals, which although are sometimes explained in the book in the narration, the book did not hold my attention nor did any of these facts sink in - other than that the goddess has a kinky side and expects her granddaughter to be the vessel for group orgies ( I could not get over this, and it was basically a rape scene as Tehi, the main character, even though she is a Moreva, she feels violated every time.

The story is told in Moreva’s POV and I would groan as I turned another page to find her daily routine mentioned yet again. The cycle contained, getting dressed, breakfast, working in the lab with Hyme, of which sometimes it was interesting when the characters were discussing emotions or differences in cultures, but potions and the routine of an experiment was just too much for me and I would switch off yet again.
her whole day would be spelt out, from beginning to end with the reader is told rather than being able to feel the character.

And I mean every step from waking then getting ready with the makeup tattoos from programmed masks that sprayed waterproof makeup in different designs to each skimpy outfit and whip, kinky heals etc ???? Each meal and service given to the soldiers that mann the tower.

This made the book harder to read until about half way through. I did not like the love interest created between the Laird and Tehi, it was too predictable, he hated her kind but felt explicitly drawn to her it was a typical plot romance trope.

The use of an unknown language that the reader is not given an explanation for was another gripe.

I did like the way the author wrote how the attitude of the Hakoi villagers to Tehi was hostile and and how both eventually overcame their preconceived ideas. Where the story started to grab my attention was when she went against everything she was drilled to believe in to help the villagers and that was when their attitude changed towards her too, as this is where a character/situation is relatable.

The Moreva Tehi character hates that she is a hybrid of the Devi, Morev and Hakoi, and this Hakoi side is the part she hates, she has been bullied and seen lesser because of this and having to service the Hakoi soldiers in the orgy rituals, she finds abhorrent. I couldn't understand how the character had been able to do these rituals constantly with such revulsion, then after getting to know the villagers could get over this just like that.

The other issue I had was the convenience of the ending and a miraculous lab creation to solve her problem.

It seems so readers loved this book just as it was, but not for me, you may think different, and you can try the sample and see for yourself.

View all my reviews

Buy Links:      Amazon | B&N | Kobo 

Author Info

I've been a fugitive from reality since forever. As a child, I constantly made up stories--some would call them lies--about my family, friends, neighbors and even strangers on the street. I had friends that only I could see. Oh, the adventures we had! 

Learning to read was a revelation. Words fascinated me. Whole new worlds opened up, and since my parents forbade nothing, I read everything. Some of it I didn't quite understand, but I didn't mind. I read it anyway. I even read the dictionary. When I was a little older, I was big on mysteries--English cozy mysteries, that is, Agatha Christie, were my favorites. Then I graduated to horror. Whenever a new book came out by Stephen King, Peter Straub or Dean Koontz, I was first in line. I was reading a little science fiction at this time--Robert Heinlein and authors like him--but I really didn't get into it until I was in college. The same with fantasy. I really got into high fantasy--Lord of the Rings style--in college. 

During this time I was still making up stories, but not writing them down. They were private. Besides, I thought my family and friends would laugh at me. In fact, the only story I recall writing was one that won a contest when I was in elementary school.

So anyway, life goes on. I went to law school. After I graduated and entered the workforce, I finally started writing down my stories. I wrote a bit here and there, short stories that never saw the light of day (which was probably a good thing). Then I fell ill. I had the flu for a month. Bored out of my skull, I started writing a piece of fan fiction, though I didn't know that's what it was at the time. I showed it to a friend of mine who suggested I finish the story. 

Well, that piece of fan fiction fell by the wayside, but in its place came a manuscript that would eventually become my first book, The Underground. I absolutely adored writing it. I absolutely adore writing, period. Slipping into that alternate reality for hours on end, there was a time in my life when it was called daydreaming and I got into trouble for it. Now it's legitimate. And that's the best part of all.

Author Links:  WebsiteTwitter | Facebook 


Chapter One
“I could have you executed for this, Moreva Tehi,” Astoreth said. My Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love, scowled at me from Her golden throne in the massive Great Hall of Her equally massive Temple.

Sitting on my heels, I bowed my head and stared at the black and gold polished floor, trying to ignore the trickle of sweat snaking its way down my spine. “Yes, Most Holy One.”

“You blaspheme by not celebrating Ohra, My holiest of rites. And this one was important—the worthiest of the hakoi, handpicked by Me, celebrated with us. ”

“I can only offer my most abject apologies, Most Holy One.”

“Your apologies are not accepted.”

“Yes, Most Holy One.”

“Where were you?”

“I was in the laboratory, working on a cure for red fever. Many hakoi died last winter—”

“I know that,” my grandmother snapped. “But why did you miss Ohra? Did you not hear the bells?”

“Yes, Most Holy One. I heard them. I was about to lay aside my work when I noticed an anomaly in one of my pareon solutions. It was odd, so I decided to investigate. What I found…I just lost track of time.”

“You lost track of time?” Astoreth repeated, sounding incredulous. “Do you expect Me to believe that?”

“Yes, Most Holy One. It is the truth.”

A moment later, my head and hearts started to throb. I knew why. My grandmother was probing me for signs I had lied. But She wouldn’t find any. There was no point in lying to Astoreth, and it was dangerous, too. Swaying under the onslaught from Her power, I endured the pain without making a sound. After what seemed like forever the throbbing subsided, leaving me feeling sick and dizzy.

“Very well,” She said. “I accept what you say is true, but I still do not accept your apology.”

“Yes, Most Holy One.” I tried not to pant.

A minute passed in uncomfortable silence. Uncomfortable for me, anyway. Another minute passed. And another. Just when I thought maybe She was finished with me, Astoreth spoke. “What do you have against the hakoi, Moreva?”

The change of subject confused me. “What do you mean, Most Holy One?”

“I’ve watched you, Moreva. You give them no respect. You heal them because you must, but you treat them little better than animals. Why is that?”

The trickle of sweat reached the small of my back and pooled there. “But my work—”

“Your work is a game between you and the red fever. It has nothing to do with My hakoi.”

I didn’t answer right away. In truth, I despised Her hakoi. They were docile enough—the Devi’s breeding program saw to that—but most were slow-witted, not unlike the pirsu the Temple raised for meat and hide. They stank of makira, the pungent cabbage that was their dietary staple. From what I’d seen traveling through Kherah to Astoreth’s and other Gods’ Temples, all the hakoi were stupid and smelly, and I wanted nothing to do with them.

I did not want my grandmother to know what was in my hearts, so I chose my words carefully. “Most Holy One, I treat Your hakoi the way I do because it is the hierarchy of life as the Devi created it. You taught us the Great Pantheon of twelve Devi is Supreme. The lesser Devi are beneath You, the morevs are beneath the lesser gods, and Your hakoi are beneath the morevs. Beneath the hakoi are the plants and animals of Peris. But sometimes Your hakoi forget their place and must be reminded.” I held my breath, praying she wouldn’t probe me again.

Astoreth didn’t answer at first. “A pretty explanation, Moreva. But My hakoi know their place. It is you who do not know yours. You may be more Devi than morev but you are still morev, born of hakoi blood. You are not too good to minister to the hakoi’s needs, and you are certainly not too good to celebrate Ohra with them.”

I swallowed. “Yes, Most Holy One.”
“Look at me, Moreva.”

I raised my head. My grandmother’s expression was fierce.

“And that is why you let the time get away from you, as you say. You, Moreva Tehi, an acolyte of Love, are a bigot. That is why you did not want to share your body with My hakoi.” She leaned forward. “I have overlooked many of your transgressions while in My service, but I cannot overlook your bigotry or your missing Ohra. I will not execute you because you are too dear to My heart. The stewardship for Astoreth-
69 in the Syren Perritory ends this marun on eighth day. You will take the next rotation.”

My hearts froze. This was my punishment? Getting exiled to Syren? From what I’d heard from morevs serving in Astoreth’s other Temples, the Syren Perritory in Peris’s far northern hemisphere was the worst place in the world to steward a landing beacon. Cold and dark, with dense woods full of wild animals, the Syren was no place for me. My place was Kherah, a sunny desert south of the planet’s equator, where the fauna were kept in special habitats for learning and entertainment. As for the Syrenese, they were the product of one of the Devi’s earliest and failed experimental breeding programs, and were as untamed as the perritory in which they lived.

But I knew better than to protest. Astoreth’s word was law, and it had just come down on my head. “Yes, Most Holy One,” I said, my voice meek.

“Mehmed will come to your rooms after lunch tomorrow so you can be fitted for your uniform.”

“My uniform, Most Holy One? I will not be taking my clothes?”

“No. As overseer of the landing beacon, you are the liaison between the Mjor village as well as the commander of the garrison. Your subordinate, Kepten Yose, will report to you once a marun, and you are to relay the garrison’s needs to Laerd Teger, the Mjoran village chief.”

“Yes, Most Holy One.”

“I will make allowance for your healer’s kit and a portable laboratory, but you are not to take your work on red fever. I am sure you have other projects you can work on while you are there.”


“No, Moreva. It is too dangerous.”

“I can take precautions—”
“No. That is My final word.” Astoreth leaned back in Her chair. Her eyes narrowed. “One more thing. You will be the only morev in Mjor, but that will not prevent you from observing Ohra. And you will do so with the garrison stationed there. Go now.”

I stood on shaky legs, bowed, and backed out of the Great Hall. Once in the corridor, I turned and fled to my quarters. I threw myself on the bed and sobbed. It was bad enough to be exiled to the Syren Perritory, but Ohra with the garrison? Only the hakoi served in Astoreth’s military. I felt dirty already. And not allowing me to work on my red fever project was punishment in itself.

A few minutes later I felt a hand on my shoulder. “Tehi, what’s wrong?” a worried voice said. It was Moreva Jaleta, one of my friendlier morev sisters.

“I-I’m being sent to the Syren Perritory to steward Astoreth-69,” I wailed.

Jaleta sat on the bed. “But why?”

I sat up. “I missed the last Ohra and n-now Astoreth is punishing me.”

Jaleta gave me an unsympathetic look. “You’re lucky she didn’t have your head. Be thankful you’re Her favorite.”

I sniffed but said nothing.

Jaleta patted me on the shoulder. “It won’t be so bad, Tehi. The year will be over before you know it. Come on, it’s time to eat.”

Friday, 23 September 2016

REVIEW: DEATH: The HORSEMEN Series by Lila Rose & Justine Littleton #NewRelease #5stars @lilarose78 @Justinesbooks
Title: Death
Series: The Horsemen Series #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Purchase Links
Here’s the problem with myths and legends; they're fiction. At one time, they may have been stories of real people, but over time, the story was passed from person to person, so what was once fact, becomes the written fables of those long ago.

This is the true story of Death and the five horsemen.

Quitting her teaching career and working full time on her fledgling editing business, Julie Michaels isn't prepared for the shedload of changes heading her way. To be precise, it’s just one screeching stop on the crazy train away. 

Dean "Death" Apocalos never imagined change would come so swiftly in the form of love, chaos, and Decay. Dean and his three brothers are about to see their worst fear come to light; their forgotten brother and the fifth horseman, Decay.

Previously entombed, someone has let the loon loose on LA. It’s now up to the horsemen to put him back in his box… before he upsets the balance once more.
*** Gifted in exchange for my honest review***
AWESOME - I want MORE!!!!! 5stars
So I had signed up for this because I was interested to see what Lila had in store for the Horsemen, being a Horsewoman, and a paranormal/supernatural fan it made me make room from my backlogged schedule, and I am glad I did, I have not heard of Justine Littleton, I have heard of the blog that she is admin for of course, but I had not realised that she is now wearing so many hats, seriously she made me feel tired just reading her Bio. 

Anyway back to the book... I was hooked on the scenario that the two authors have chosen for their interpretation of the fable of the Horsemen, to me the horsemen have always been something I read about in bible class as a child and as an Image - the artistic interest because art has always been one of my passions I have seen the many interpretations and also one of my favourite illustrations of DEATH was Gustave Dorรฉ 

Death on the Pale Horse

engraving — 1865

This book is also very readable, I started reading and kept on till I finished, only putting it down when I really had to do something out the bookworld ( Dam having to do stuff in the real world, its so annoying when all you want to do is stay engrossed in a fictional world!)

I am already hooked on the '5' - yep there are FIVE HORSEMEN, in book 1 the authors introduce the foundations for the series and focus on the horseman Dean "Death" Apocalos, We get introduced to the Horsemen we are familiar with: WAR aka 'Warren' is the Oldest and the grumpy leader, FAMINE aka Falcon is the sensitive one, and CONQUEST aka Conner is the comedian/ladies man...   and then there is the 'Forgotten' brother,  in fact no 5 has a soft spot in my heart, I do hope that somehow his future changes! I try not to do spoiler reviews so I can't say too much as I feel that a reader needs to go into this story as I did, with no preconceived ideas ( I left what I had watched or read behind me and just read). 

You won't be disappointed. the book is both full of wit and action and sassy girls who are not damsels in distress, but strong women with minds of their own. our Female MC for this book is Julie, a teacher who is finally about to start her dream business with her bestie Fallon.

The way we are introduced to where the supernatural stuff starts happening was gripping, I kept reading and flicking my kindle, thinking what the heck ooh this is getting good! ( my imagination is very vivid since I watch Sci-fi 90% of the time) - if I tried to pick a TV show which would describe this book I would choose my top fave show 'Supernatural' the snarky banter between the brothers was similar to Sam and Dean.

With collaborations between authors I am often found wondering how much input did each author give in the book, But given this is Justine's debut into the writing world I guess I will have to wait and see what type of book she will give us when she publishes her own individual work.  I have read one of Lila's books and I have a few others on my Kindle from her MC genre on my TBR and I will have to try and bump them up a bit in between my current schedule. I will be waiting with baited breath for the next book in this series, for I didn't want to leave this fictional world.

One little niggle I had - and in the end it did not affect my rating - was the 'Product' and Author name dropping.  I have no idea what PINK gym pants are ( other than that the colour!) I even googled it later on and I am still flummoxed, maybe its supposed to be PINK SODA but they didn't put the full word for copyright reasons, then there was the 'Author' Name dropping, it just seemed a bit unnecessary and it was only in one section (10% in) this was an ARC review so this may not be in the final edit, I hope not as it detracted from the great story I was reading.

OK how long do I have to wait before I can ride along with these Hunkalicious Horsemen Ladies!!!

#Authorstowatch #PNR #Favorite2016,h_375,al_c,q_80,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/197ff2_8124dc1ba5a04b88a273ae3a80ce3323.jpg
I was born in Brisbane Australia, my step-dad was in the Army which caused us to move around a lot. We finally settled in country Victoria, Australia. I am the youngest of four children and I can say that I was spoilt a bit. I drove my mum crazy when I refused to eat meat at a young age.

Now I live with my husband and two children, and I find myself regretting all the troubles I put my parents through because my monsters are just as picky as I was.
I wear many hats in the book world, but my newest is author. I juggle writing with being a wife, and mother to a family of six, working for Hot Tree Publishing as submissions coordinator, pre-edit beta reading for Hot Tree Editing, and of course, I still admin for Bex 'n' Books' book blog. 
Geez, I'm tired just typing all that, but I wouldn't trade a single moment. Not even for all the Chinese food and cheesecake in the universe.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Satisfaction (Temptation #2)by K.M. Golland Review @KellyGolly

Satisfaction (Temptation #2)by K.M. Golland Review

‘I have this one week to prove to her that we belong together, and I’m not going to waste another second of it. Now that I have her, I am never letting her go.’
Alexis Summers is no stranger to facing challenges. She has had her fair share of them since falling for handsome billionaire Bryce Clark. Just to make it even more complicated, Bryce is her boss. He is also a man who gets what he wants — and what he wants is Alexis.
The problem is, Alexis is married. But her husband Rick has confessed to a secret from his past that has set Alexis free, at least temporarily.
Alexis has finally allowed herself to give in to the temptation that is Bryce Edward Clark, but as they realise the connection they share goes far deeper than anything either of them have ever experienced, will a single week together be enough?
Can Alexis find satisfaction, in the compelling sequel to the bestseller Temptation?
I have had this book for ages since RWDU15 but I did not get time to read it, since I am without internet and a house I am finding time to catch up reading.
I remember book 1 well and I found it easy to slip back into the lives of Lex and Bryce. or Brilexis lol.
I am not a fan of books where the storyline has a married couple involved, but this series is not a salacious scandalous marriage breakup, but more a realisation of that the couple have drifted apart and changed, so I have found it an enjoyable read.
Alexis has fallen for her charming boss - a billionaire ( well we all know this doesn't happen everyday, but heck this is fiction you know) and this book is a continuation of book 1, Alexis and Bryce are spending a week together, to find out where their feelings are going...
OK so that's all you get on the plot.
My thoughts
Well - as I read book 1 when it first published in 2014 I am glad that Ms Golland had the series picked up by Harlequin Mira, I loved Temptation and Ms Golland is a lovely lady.
Harlequin have not changed the voice of the characters but brought the best version of Ms Golland's Alexis and Bryce to the wider public.  I found a copy of this book in my new local library in Bluff Southland, so it will be the furthest southernmost copy!
The story is sweet, romantic, hot and at times heart wrenching, it also has some laugh out loud moments - the toilet scene at Opals had me trying to stifle my laughter while my hubby was sleeping soundly next to me.
I did not want to put the book down by the time I got to the last few chapters, so I read on to late into the night.
The story went as I expected with a few plot twists that will bring some new challenges for Brylexis to handle the book finishes at a spot which will not leave you with a book hangover, but have you wanting to read book 3 'Fulfilment' to see what will happen next.
a well deserved 4 stars.
International Best Selling Author of The Temptation series, Wild Night series, and Discovering Stella which is on my shelf to read
Twitter: @KellyGolly
Instagram: @kmgolland 

Rachel M Raithby

Rachel M Raithby
Author of the Deadwood Hunter Series

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