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Book Review: Dyrwolf

DYRWOLF by Kat Kinney 4 Stars Verdict: A typical paranormal romance.  I'm not one for wolf books, but this one I found quite readable.  Some of the imagery is fantastic although the writing starts a little bumpy – a tad on the purple prose side were my initial thoughts. It also rushes into headstrong plot within the first few pages, not really allowing enough time to connect to the characters and world before stuff goes down. However, I soon settled into the story and enjoyed it for what it is: a well-crafted paranormal romance.  Lea is tough and a good narrator. She’s an outcast from her village whose trained hard in order to be strong. She also struggles with migraines, and that’s a pain I can connect with (and one I’ve also written into my own books). I liked Lea and her chemistry with Henrik, a wolf that’s crossed the border and finds himself at Lea’s mercy. The two work well together.  On the down side, I struggled to understand or connect with any of the side characters, and
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Last Chance to Win a Paperback Copy of THE CLEARING

Happy Halloween, book lovers! There's still a few hours left before the giveaway ends, so enter below as soon as possible. The Clearing  is a dystopian adventure set in a village run by psychics, and it was awarded the Editor's Pick seal of approval by Evernight Teen. A couple more great reviews have rolled in recently, so I'm overjoyed about it. a Rafflecopter giveaway   If the giveaway above isn't showing, then use this link to visit the rafflecopter:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c24e37ac4/? Reviews so far Fantastic Book! It is an incredibly exciting post apocalyptic adventure with a strong female main character. It is a pretty quick read but it packs a lot of plot and character development. The writing is engaging and keeps you turning the pages. I ABSOLUTELY loved the ending. One of the better “zombie apocalypse” books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot!) I would love if she wrote a prequel. The village is so incredibly intriguing. I received this book

Book Review: Before and After

BEFORE AND AFTER by Andrew Shanahan 4 Stars Verdict: Unique take on weight loss and a zombie apocalypse. Trigger warning for eating disorders and body shaming. Ben is a soft soul struggling with mental health that centres around food. He's obese and hasn't left his flat in years. The day he's scheduled for surgery to remove his diabetic foot, the world seems to lose it's mind and turn into angry zombies.  I didn't like this book much at first. I could tell it was quirky, which appealed to me a lot, but it took a little while to get going, and then the apocalypse angle seemed...odd. I wasn't sure about it. The story jumps between day one of the apocalypse and Ben's weight story throughout his whole life beforehand. For a while, I only really enjoyed the flashback chapters. Here's where we really got to meet the main character and where I could understand him better. Here's where the charm and struggle of the book felt real.  There are a couple of fun

Indie Book Review: The City of Snow and Stars

THE CITY OF SNOW AND STARS by S.D. Howard 4 Stars Verdict: A dark fantasy with a wholesome cast.  Trigger warning for rape/abuse.  'I'm not wanted for me, only what I can give, and there is nothing left.' I don't usually quote books, but this is a very quotable story! The dialogue was powerful in places, and the way the characters bonded together was the strength of this Christian fantasy adventure.   It's written in third person with a narrative that I personally found a little distant at times. That said, the characters are easy to root for. Runaways Trinia and Jayden team up with a wizard to take down Trinia's abusive father before he can take over the kingdom. They're joined by a talking wolf and a shapeshifter called Batanny, who in many ways seems like an older version of Trinia. Threads of pain run through this book and pull the characters together in a way that makes this dark read still feel wholesome at times.  It soon became an easy to enjoy fant

Book Review: The Inheritance Games

THE INHERITANCE GAMES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 3 Stars Verdict: Great set up but I lost interest.  Avery is about to inherit a billionaire's fortune, despite never meeting the man - if she can spend a year living among the disinherited family. This one starts off strong with a smart main character. It has complicated families and a whole cast of shady rich folk who may or may not be threatening Avery's life in order to get their hands on a not-so-small fortune, and of course, there's an epic mystery at the heart of it: why has Avery inherited this billionaire's estate to begin with?  More mysteries pile around Avery, from clues coded into letters and secrets within the mansion. The extended family all have their quirks, which pulled me for a good while.  However, not a lot gets answered, at least not in the twisty, exciting way I had hoped for. There's a large cast of suspects to whittle down but not enough time with the carving knife, and Avery's focus is pulle

Win a Paperback of THE CLEARING

I'm giving away a paperback copy of my debut YA novel, The Clearing . It's a dystopian adventure set in a village run by psychics, and it was awarded the Editor's Pick seal of approval by Evernight Teen.  If the giveaway below isn't showing, then use this link to visit the rafflecopter:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c24e37ac4/? a Rafflecopter giveaway In the last surviving village, Ruby has made a name for herself as a rebellious teen. She challenges the Seers who use their visions to execute criminals before they commit their crimes, and, just like her father, she faces banishment into the forest of the undead. When a Seer sacrifices themselves to protect her, Ruby believes she has a future worth dying for – one that could help reconnect her village to undiscovered settlements. One worth waging the village's safety, just like her father. With her friends risking their lives alongside her, Ruby must find someone who understands the psychic-undead link t

The Clearing by Samantha Cook (That's me!)

As I've talked about before, my writing journey has been a really long one (see my Rejection Story video for more details). But now after 21 years dreaming, 14 years querying, 7 manuscripts, 2 mentoring contests, and countless rewrites - I'm finally a published author! So, introducing my YA dystopian adventure with a paranormal spin, fiery romance, and twist ending: The Clearing ! It's currently available as an ebook and the paperback version will go up shortly.  Thanks so much to team at Evernight Teen for putting together a beautiful cover, and a massive thanks to my editor Audrey who helped tidy up the book for publication.  In the last surviving village, Ruby has made a name for herself as a rebellious teen. She challenges the Seers who use their visions to execute criminals before they commit their crimes, and, just like her father, she faces banishment into the forest of the undead. When a Seer sacrifices themselves to protect her, Ruby believes she has a future wort