#WeekendBlitz: Blood Bank by Zoë Markham @ZoeMarkham @Kristell_Ink @NeverlandBT #Excerpt

Welcome back to day two of the weekend blitz for Blood Bankorganised by Neverland Blog Tours. Today I have an excerpt from Blood Bank for you and I was over the moon with the excerpt I was given as it features my favourite character from the book. If you want to find out more about my thoughts about the book and you missed my review then check out my review which I posted yesterday.

Description

Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…

Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?

And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.

In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…

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Excerpt

Ben locked the front door behind him and grimaced as he was hit by the full force of half a dozen warring stereos. How can they listen to that stuff? It wasn’t music, it was just noise, discordant, repetitive and pointless. Like them. No wonder they were always so angry – how could anyone not be when that reverberated around them day in, day out?

 

Ben’s small two-bed terrace was in arguably the worst possible part of town. Penryll was a sprawling, run-down council estate, dotted with a few private properties and banked by a lush green which was impressive in the daytime, but lethal at night. Ben had survived almost ten years on the estate now. No mean feat, as it wasn’t a place for the faint of heart or gentle of soul. When the cash from the first round of web sign-ups had come in, Viktor had thrown him a generous advance, and Ben had found a company who soundproofed domestic walls and blown the lot. He couldn’t have lived there without it. His home was his own personal oasis of calm in a microclimate of depravity. It had put his savings plan back a little, but saved what remained of his sanity in the process. And if Viktor continued to let him develop the sites, it should be less than a year now before he’d finally be able to afford to move out of the estate.

 

It hadn’t been easy to convince Viktor of the benefits to an online branch of the business. Always one to favour the direct approach, he had little time for hiding behind computers. But Ben had taken things painfully slowly, researching his projects meticulously and carefully projecting a set of figures that would hold Viktor’s attention. Ben recognised the web as the future of the business. That was exactly why he’d been brought in to the operation, of course, to see opportunities the others wouldn’t. And now that the money was starting to roll in, Viktor was slowly coming onside. Real expansion of the online business was on the cards at last.

 

One more year, Ben repeated to himself like a mantra. One more year and then he could think about moving to the other side of town, or maybe go one better and get out of Swindon altogether. There were some peaceful-looking little villages on the outskirts that would be his idea of heaven. But Ben didn’t qualify for heaven. That was why, in some small way, he felt relieved to be living smack bang in the middle of hell.

 

About Zoë Markham

Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.

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Book & Buy Links

TitleBlood Bank
Series: N/A
Author: Zoë Markham
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Vampires | New Adult
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 25 May 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 156
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#WeekendBlitz: Blood Bank by Zoë Markham @ZoeMarkham @Kristell_Ink @NeverlandBT #Review

I have been looking forward to this book for a really long time and signing up for this blitz organised by the very lovely Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours was a no brainer. As it’s a weekend blitz I’m taking part on both days because, well Zoë is an absolutely awesome person as well as a fantastic author and I really wanted to show my support for this book. Today I’m reviewing Blood Bank and tomorrow I have an excerpt and you really won’t want to miss that!

Description

Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…

Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?

And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.

In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…

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Review

Zoë Markham told me absolutely ages ago that her next book was about vampires in Swindon. That was all she told me and that was enough to have me chomping at the bit. I love Zoë’s writing style, the way she teases you through the book and leaves you hanging where other authors would fill in gaps.

I sat down to read Blood Bank and immediately got pulled into the seedy underworld in Swindon. Unlike Zoë’s previous books this was aimed at a slightly older audience, definitely more new adult than young adult but it hits the mark and still sits firmly in the horror and paranormal genres.

Taking a unique twist on loan sharks, Zoë Markham has given us a character in Zack who is up to his neck in debt to the vampires. His only way to keep the interest off his debt is by giving blood. But he has no hope of ever clearing his debt, and if he runs away or kills himself his debt will pass to a loved one such as his girlfriend Lucy.

Lucy is sick of Zack, he’s become lazy, uninterested in anything, and now he’s dumped her in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Because that isn’t dangerous at all.

Then there is Ben who is a vampire, he works at the vampire club, but isn’t like most of the vampires, he’s solitary, a coder and prefers to be alone until he rescues a human and feels a connection that makes him go against the boss which could be lethal for him and her.

This is a short book, only 156 pages but a lot happens in those pages to keep you riveted to the page. As these three characters come closer together their stories weaving together the story becomes more terrifying the vampires in this story are not fluffy and sparkly. These are mean and terrifying vampires, the kind who will rip your head off for looking at them the wrong way. They are devious and clever, and not at all kind or sweet. Well with the exception of Ben maybe, who definitely seems to have a pinch of humanity in him.

We meet Zack at a point where he is utterly desperate, it’s hard to like him but it’s also hard to dislike him. I felt desperately sorry for him but he was in a deep hole which he had dug himself and getting out was going to be almost impossible. The problem was he was pulling Lucy into the hole with him.

Lucy is a strong young lady, the youngest character in the book but she in some ways is the strongest and full of gumption. She knows her own mind and is willing to stand up for herself completely.

Ben was my favourite character, because he was a vampire? possibly but I think because he was a little geeky and a little insecure but also had a strength that he didn’t like to show unless it was completely necessary. But when he did it was terrifying and enticing all at once. He was quietly brave and yet he makes some decisions which could make you question whether he is good or evil in the end.

Zoë Markham’s writing didn’t disappoint, as with her previous books, so many questions were raised around morality, mental health, and loyalty. Many weren’t answered directly leaving the reader to decide how this story pans out.

Another excellent offering from Zoë Markham which I enjoyed as much as I expected to! I’m really quite hoping for a sequel to this one.

Rating

About Zoë Markham

Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.

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Blood Bank - Tour Schedule

Book & Buy Links

TitleBlood Bank
Series: N/A
Author: Zoë Markham
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Vampires | New Adult
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 25 May 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 156
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: The Art of Forgetting: Rider by Joanne Hall @hierath77 @Kristell_Ink

Description

A young boy leaves his village to become a cavalryman with the famous King’s Third regiment; in doing so he discovers both his past and his destiny.

Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit stationed in the harbour town of Northpoint. His training reveals his talents and brings him friendship, love and loss, and sexual awakening; struggling with his memories of his father who once ruled there, he begins to discover a sense of belonging. That is, until a face from the past reveals a secret that will change not only Rhodri’s life but the fate of a nation. Then, on his first campaign, he is forced to face the extremes of war and his own nature.

This, the first part of The Art of Forgetting, is a gripping story about belonging and identity, set in a superbly imagined and complex world that is both harsh and beautiful.

Review

I’ve had this on my Kindle for at least a year, and in my effort to read more Fantasy this year and to clear down my TBR pile I finally picked it up and boy am I glad I did, because not only did I love it I finally understood Joanne Hall’s Twitter handle!

Rhodi, has been brought up by the family who found him wandering the woods as a young boy. People in his village are convinced he is fae and treat him like a leper, the other children bully him. When the King’s Third ride through town and a few key members of the regiment take a liking to Rhodi, he see’s his opportunity and joins up seeking a chance to discover the truth of his past and a more rewarding future.

Rhodi has always been convinced he was the son of someone important, nobility, and he wants to remember more and find his Father. This novel takes us on the journey through his training to become one of the King’s Third rider’s. As Rhodi changes from an insecure boy to a strong and capable man.

Not only does it tackle the expected military fantasy topics of war, swordplay, and some supernatural elements. The book also tackles sexuality and gender in very comfortable and natural way.

The worldbuilding was exquisite and the city itself became vivid as I read through the book. There wasn’t as much travel as I had expected but there was some and the locations through the travel sections were well described keeping the images flowing.

There is a great mix of characters with some you will love and some you will hate, I find this really important, you don’t want to like everybody in a book of this size!

The only thing I wasn’t keen on is the way the book ends. I felt like I had hit a brick wall. I was still very much in the flow of the story and then I was “is that it”? I know this is because this book is the first of two parts but it was a very sudden drop off a cliff rather than a cliffhanger!

That being said I will definitely be buying book two so that I can finish the story!

And as this book is currently free on Amazon/Kobo etc I highly recommend picking it up and getting started as a special treat to yourselves (just leave Joanne Hall a review as a thank you)!

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Art of Forgetting: Rider
SeriesThe Art of Forgetting #1
Author: Joanne Hall
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | LGBTQ
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 30 June 2013
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 330
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | iBooks

#Review: The Summer Goddess by Joanne Hall @hierath77 @Kristell_Ink

Description:
When Asta’s nephew is taken by slavers, she pledges to her brother that she will find him, or die trying. Her search takes her from the fading islands of the Scattering, a nation in thrall to a powerful enemy, to the port city of Abonnae. There she finds a people dominated by a sinister cult, thirsty for blood to feed their hungry god.

Continue reading #Review: The Summer Goddess by Joanne Hall @hierath77 @Kristell_Ink

#Review: Fight Like A Girl by Various @Kristell_Ink @grimboldbooks

Description:
What do you get when some of the best women writers of genre fiction come together to tell tales of female strength? A powerful collection of science fiction and fantasy ranging from space operas and near-future factional conflict to medieval warfare and urban fantasy. These are not pinup girls fighting in heels; these warriors mean business. Whether keen combatants or reluctant fighters, each and every one of these characters was born and bred to Fight Like A Girl.

Continue reading #Review: Fight Like A Girl by Various @Kristell_Ink @grimboldbooks