Contemporary Fiction

The Felix Chronicles by: R.T. Lowe

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Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

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My Review

Felix enters his first year at Portland College like any other 18 year old, as a star player on the football team, dorm mates with Alison, his best friend and with his new reality star roommate, Lucas. However, being the the soul survivor of a house fire that killed his parents, having hallucinations of people trying to kill him and being able to move things with his mind makes him anything, but normal.

As Felix’s freshmen year begins to unfold we begin to understand several different components are going to come into play. A serial-killer called “Faceman,” is running up and down the the west coast abducting 18 year old’s and then shooting them in the face. In a local forest near Portland College, hikers and hunters are disappearing at an alarming rate and the corporate monguel, Lofton, seems to have more to do with it than we think.

This book is what I would call a cross between the Percy Jackson series and Harry Potter. While the story may be familiar, the voice is new. Being a new adult novel squarely places it out of the juvenile range with it’s language and some of its more mature content. While the new situations are humorous, I can’t help but be nostalgic for the reflection of innocence from the age we all believed in magic. *Sigh!* That is not to say this story is any less. NO! The characters then take on a new life-like quality making the story that much more entertaining.

As the story continued to unfold, new story lines were introduced that kept me guessing until the very last page. Hell, I’m still questioning!? This was an aspect of this book that I loved. It kept me on my toes. And I’m positive the “Felix Chronicles: Year Two” will not only do the same, but blow me away. I absolutely cannot wait for the second book in this series! Prepared to be entertained to the max!

-JL

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Even Angels Fall is Out!!

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After suffering an unthinkable loss, Abbey Miller and her family move to Leeds to rebuild their lives and start again, but the pain and grief that Abbey carries with her is impossible to escape.

As she finds herself becoming increasingly isolated from her family, she develops a firm friendship with Lucy, Nathan and Liam, three kids from her new school who introduce her to a brand new and exciting world, far removed from all of her problems.

But will her new friends bring her the light hearted relief she has longed for?

Or will she find herself getting drawn deep into their dangerous and intoxicating world?

Book Title: Even Angels Fall
Author: FL Darbyshire
Genre: New Adult Drama/Suspense
Release Date: August 21, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Excerpt #1

The bright, mid-afternoon sun pours through the open window as the soft, summer breeze makes the trees outside sway together in a gentle dance. Abbey Miller turns her face towards the sunlight and closes her eyes, feeling the warmth on her skin. As the birds sing and the leaves rustle softly in the wind, she allows her thoughts to slowly drift away from her.

“Abbey…?”

She reluctantly opens her eyes and returns to the present moment. Sitting across from her is Dr Morris, with a pen resting in her right hand and a clip board balanced in her lap. She watches Abbey curiously.

“Writing about your experiences, actually putting them down on paper… it has been proven to be an effective tool when coping with trauma. I feel you might benefit from this… you may find it an easier way to communicate?”

Abbey shifts uncomfortably in the large leather armchair. How can she be blamed for not wanting to ‘communicate’ when she is so aware of Dr Morris assessing her every movement, enthusiastically scribbling down more notes because she rubbed her head or cleared her throat. It’s not that Abbey doesn’t trust her. She is clearly good at her job. The many certificates of achievement and qualifications that are framed and mounted neatly on the wall speak for themselves. She is patient and understanding, as all therapists ought to be. She just doesn’t get the point in being here. What difference is it really going to make? Everything that has happened to Abbey in the past 18 months can’t be changed or altered in any way. She can’t take back all the bad decisions she has made. No, there is no point. In Abbey’s opinion, no amount of ‘communication’ is going to make the slightest bit of difference what so ever.

“Would you at least be willing to give it a try? You could write in the form of a story, or perhaps a diary…whatever you find easiest. And then in our sessions we can go through what you have written and discuss it together. Does that sound fair?”

Abbey sighs quietly, nodding in response as Dr Morris flashes a brief, reassuring smile and seemingly satisfied, once again begins to add to her notes. As the sun sets over the beautifully landscaped gardens outside, Abbey sits in her room, staring in frustration at the computer in front of her. It is dark – the only light coming from a small desk lamp that is balanced precariously on a pile of books and CD’s. She watches the cursor flashing at the top of the screen, her mind completely blank. Why on earth did she agree to this? How is she supposed to put her tragic, dysfunctional life into words? She exhales the smoke from her cigarette and twists it into the ash tray, running her hands through her long auburn hair. She looks older than her years. Only 19, yet her pale green eyes reflect the maturity of someone much older, someone who has been through more than the average teenager. Someone, in fact, that has been through more than the average person ever will.

Eventually, she reaches for the keyboard, hesitating for a moment before she begins to type…

‘Have you ever taken a step back and looked at your life?

Are you where you expected to be? Or do you often find yourself wondering ‘how the hell did I end up here?’

I seem to be asking that question a lot these days – and as I reflect on the circumstances that led me to this point I still find it hard to believe.

Trinity and All Saints Rehabilitation Centre is somewhere I never expected to end up.’

Excerpt #2

After a 15 minute taxi drive through Leeds, past the train station and out towards the bottom end of town, they stop at a modern, high rise building on the outskirts of the city next to the water of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. They pay the driver and approach the main door, where Liam presses a button for flat 38. There is a pause, then a click.

“Yeah…?”

Liam leans forward, putting his mouth right up to the speaker as he shouts in a stupid voice.

“EASY BRUVVAAAA…!”

Whoever’s on the other end of the intercom responds in exactly the same way and the buzzer sounds, releasing the door. Lucy rolls her eyes as the four of them make their way inside. They ride the elevator up to the 9th floor and walk down a long narrow corridor that is painted and carpeted in neutral colours. Various pieces of modern art hang on the walls and large free standing vases are placed sporadically along the passage way.

“Wow, this is really nice…” Abbey wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t something this up market.

“Yeah, Alex has a pretty high paying job…” Liam laughs and the three of them glance at each other as if sharing a private joke. Once again Abbey feels a little left out, but at least she is here with them. They have included her by bringing her along tonight and she reminds herself that she should be grateful for that.

As the four friends approach the very end of the hallway and flat number 38, Lucy reaches up to knock, but before she has a chance, the handle turns and the door swings open unexpectedly. Abbey stares, wide eyed and breathless, as everything around her fades into the back ground. Time seems to stand still and in that fraction of a second, her whole entire universe shifts.

“What time do you call this…?!” The man standing in the doorway asks his question in a deep Irish accent that flows so beautifully, it is almost surreal. He is tall, with dark brown hair that is styled into a slight quiff at the front. He is wearing faded jeans, a grey v neck t-shirt and a set of silver rosary beads that hang just past his chest. He is incredibly lean and toned, with the muscles in his arms standing out in stark contrast to his slender frame. He has incredibly chiselled features with a few days’ worth of stubble and the most piercing, electric blue eyes that Abbey has ever seen.

“We’re not that late! We just had to go pick Abbey up…!” Lucy kisses him on the cheek as she enters the flat and Abbey follows behind, smiling timidly. Her heart is beating so fast it feels as though it is going to explode out of her rib cage. She had never really given any thought to what Alex or the others looked like… she had never asked. So it is a complete shock seeing first-hand how unbelievably good looking he is. Liam enters the flat and Alex shakes his hand, slapping him on the back in greeting. Abbey can’t resist glancing back over her shoulder but she quickly looks away when she sees that he is still watching her. He greets Nathan in exactly the same manner, before shutting the door without once taking his eyes from Abbey’s face. She begins to feel uncomfortable under his constant stare and turns away shyly, desperately trying to control her blushing.

Meet the Author:

FLD

Fay Louise Darbyshire is a 28 year old first time writer from the UK. Born and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Fay finished High School at the age of sixteen and went on to enroll at Leeds College of Art and Design where she studied Media, Film and English.

After graduating into the world of full time employment, her passion for writing remained and she spent several years developing film scripts and screen plays in her spare time, finally deciding to adapt one of her stories into a book in late 2013.

In a recent interview she was quoted as saying, “I love how a book or poem or a piece of writing can affect an audience in different ways, whether it moves them, makes them question something differently or just simply entertains…”.

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I Take You by: Eliza Kennedy

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Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.

Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.

Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget.

 

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Brilliant. Outrageously funny. Beautifully imperfect.

Lily Wilder is 20 something New York lawyer engaged to her wonderful archeologist boyfriend of 7 months. As we enter the week of her wedding, we witness the horrifying acts of Lily on her bachelorette party, Lily and her boss, Lily and her dry cleaner AND Lily and more than a few random bar hook ups. What is this chick doing getting married!? The story continues and we watch her struggle with the decision to get married or call off the wedding. While unscrupulous, Lily does present a conscious. It is this glimmer of guilt and regret that makes this story so gripping.

Some may consider this story to be appalling, I consider more as entertainment. So, I’m going to assess it as such. While Lily and Will’s flaws lay bare and their relationship clearly romanticizes infidelity, it really isn’t too far off from over dramatization of the rippling chests and multiple orgasms of other romance novels.

Understandably, I hated Lily. She did and said everything I have known deep in by bones to be wrong since I was born, but she made a very demanding lead character. Witnessing her inner conflict eased my judgment for the sake of entertainment. She captured my attention from page one and I did not want to stop reading!

The supporting characters in this story move the plot along flawlessly. Not once does the plot stall waiting for motivation. Freddy, Lily’s ultimate BFF, is hilarious as she guides Lily through the final days before her wedding. She provides Lily a much needed reality check and more than enough levity for a sad situation. Next, are Lily’s father’s ex-wives. They provide the delightful wisdom of experience as they try to prevent Lily from deceiving Will into an untruthful marriage.

This book takes the saying “all’s fair in love and war” to a whole new level. Can a relationship work after a “Cold War” such as Will and Lily’s?  With multiple twists and turns along the way this book easily makes a readers head spin with anticipation.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

-JL