Inceptio by Alison Morton

Inceptio by Alison Morton
Publisher: SilverWood Books
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (316 Pages)
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

New York, present day, alternate reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after a kidnap attempt, has a choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe.
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Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety, at a price, and a ready-made family. Just as she’s finding her feet, a shocking discovery about her new lover, special forces officer Conrad Tellus, isolates her.

But the enforcer has crossed to Europe to pursue her. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it..

Karen Brown works hard to make her own way in New York, present day, alternate reality, but when her life is threatened after a kidnapping attempt, she must make a decision to stay and be eliminated by a brutal government enforcer, or renounce her citizenship and flee to the land where her mother was born, Roma Nova.

I really enjoyed this novel with its great characters and fast-moving, action filled plot. I was especially intrigued by its alternate world where the European country Roma Nova exists, a neutral but powerful nation founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles. It is a nation run by women and it is here that the few remaining members of Karen’s family reside. Alison Morton has given a real ancient Roman feel to this novel, portraying a world where Latin is still spoken and the land is ruled by the twelve families descended from Roman times. The setting is fully developed and totally believable. Roma Nova seems a wonderful, if very different, place to live and Karen does have to adjust to a totally new way of life. But her grandmother is a very sympathetic person, as well as one of the leading figures of this small nation.

Karen is threatened again by Renschman and she then develops her own inner strengths, taking on a new career, and finding some unique friends along the way. These supporting characters are both interesting and complex, adding another layer of richness to the story. The pacing is excellent with never a dull moment as Karen moves from one adventure to another, learning and growing as she encounters past secrets and present day realities.

Lovers of mystery and suspense as well as lovers of books about alternate realities are sure to enjoy Inceptio. It is a complex and exciting novel with an incredibly rich setting.

Bring It Close by Helen Hollick

Bring It Close by Helen Hollick
Publisher: Silverwood Books
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length(423 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Jesamiah Acorne, Captain of the Sea Witch, has accepted a pardon of amnesty against his misdeeds of piracy. But old enemies do not forget the past. In particular Edward Teach – Blackbeard himself – has a bone to pick with Acorne.

Following an indiscretion with an old flame, Jesamiah finds his fiancée, the midwife and white witch, Tiola Oldstagh, has gone to North Carolina to help with a difficult birth; which is where Blackbeard now resides. He mustn’t discover that Tiola is Jesamiah’s woman. She’ll have to hide her gift of Craft from the black-hearted pirate who has sold his soul to the devil.

With Sea Witch damaged and himself wounded, Jesamiah must take stock of the situation – but arrested for acts of piracy how is he to clear his name, avoid the noose, keep Tiola safe and put an end to Blackbeard – all while being haunted by the ghost of his father?

From the Bahamas to North Carolina and Williamsburg in Virginia Bring It Close moves at a swashbuckling pace. There is intrigue, misunderstandings, romance and adventure – all wrapped up in a blend of supernatural fantasy.

The troubled, guilt-ridden spirit of Charles Mereno (Jesimiah’s father) prowls the pages of Bring It Close striving to set right his many wrong doings during his earthly life. The spirit’s story reveals how Jesimiah suffered because of his father’s faulty judgment and how Evil personified in the person Black Beard came to be.

Jesimiah Acorne and Tiola Oldstagh maneuver to survive as they deal with Evil’s ambassador Edward Teach (Black Beard), a pirate protected by the Devil and controlled by malevolent Dark Powers. How Jesimiah is connected to Black Beard is a dark thread woven into this intriguing tapestry of this tale.

The bright, shining thread in the design is Tiola, the eternal soul of a White Craft witch-woman in a beautiful, young woman’s body. She uses her abilities as a midwife and healer for good. She has to tread cautiously since the people in the early eighteenth century did not deal kindly with witches. Neither would the Dark Malevolencies if they could locate her as the source of light and good that stands against them.

Jesimiah is a variegated thread in the tapestry, somewhat of a chameleon, who fits in with whichever segment of the population he needs to in order to stay alive and prosper. Now a “retired” pirate with amnesty, he still sails into life-threatening situations used by self-serving people who are not concerned about whether he lives or dies just so long as they get what they want.

Jesimiah, a complex character, lives by the pirate code for the most part, but an underlying morality tempers his judgment much of the time. At times he slips and finds himself isolated from his soul mate Tiola, who is his only true comfort. Hold this position for a few seconds they increase and cialis professional uk the tension. The tablets are easy to use as viagra uk they are out. If you are buy levitra australia prescribed high blood pressure medication, you should be aware of possible effects. Nevertheless with the current release of the two Cialas and tadalafil cheap, guys are left with the query of consumers who want to choose their pack among the two. His inability to mentally reach her leaves him desolate as he gets into situations that bring him to the brink of death.

The supernatural elements in Bring It Close play major roles. Jesimiah’s father’s spirit, with the help of the old witch woman, crosses the eternal river to return to earth and set right his wrongdoings. His character fills in the back story that led up to the horrific childhood Jesimiah suffered that led to his pirate life. Many things alluded to in the first two books of this trilogy, Sea Witch and Pirate Code, are explained in Bring It Close. Some of the graphic descriptions make one shudder.

Helen Hollick weaves in a multitude of characters, like the durable Alicia, the determined Sam Grant, the tried and true Rue, and many others, as she creates a tale of people struggling to build lives in the New World along the eastern coast of America and the Caribbean. Evil stalks the area and flourishes on the greed and fears of the people. How Good copes, with Evil running rampant, makes captivating reading with adrenaline-pumping actions, dreadful situations, and a love as solid as a rock and as soft and gentle as a sigh. That love is the foundation for Jesimiah and Tiola’s relationship.

The organization and POV changes in Bring It Close were a little distracting for me. At times I felt pulled too far away from the hero and heroine. However, having read the first two books of the trilogy, I loved traveling with Jesimiah and Tiola as they get ever closer to their happy-ever-after.

Ms. Hollick’s incredible ability to weave in history, superstitions, moralistic judgments of the time, unique terms and sayings, levels of society, women’s place in the hierarchy, supernatural elements, and fantasy makes the story rich. Her wonderful descriptions and her spectacular character development make the story throb with life.

Bring It Close is an amazing armchair adventure into the world of pirates and settlers along the eastern coast of America in the eighteenth century.

Sea Witch by Helen Hollick

Sea Witch by Helen Hollick
Publisher: SilverWood Books UK
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (334 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

At 15 Jesamiah Acorne escapes the bullying of his elder half brother to become a pirate with only two loves – the sea and his freedom. But his life is to change after an attack on a merchant ship off the coast of South Africa when he meets the mysterious Tiola Oldstagh, an insignificant girl – or so he assumes until he discovers her true identity, that of a white witch. Tiola and Jesamiah becomes lovers, but the wealthy Stefan van Overstratten also wants Tiola as his wife. Meanwhile, Jesamiah’s half-brother, Phillipe Mereno, is determined to seek revenge for resentments of the past.

When the call of the sea and an opportunity to commandeer a beautiful ship, the Sea Witch, is put in Jesamiah’s path he must choose between his life as a pirate or his love for Tiola. He wants both… but Mereno and van Overstratten want him dead.

Tiola must use her gift of Craft to rescue her lover, but first she must brave the darkness of the ocean depths and confront the supernatural presence of Tethys, the goddess of the sea, who will stop at nothing to claim the soul of Jesamiah Acorne for herself.

He’s too wild and she’s too young, but Tiola knows the day will come when they will be one. Her ageless self that has been since time immemorial knows their souls have touched before and are meant to be together.

Jesamiah Acorne, a pirate wild and free, learned his trade from the best. He loves the danger, challenge, and adrenaline rush of the Chase. In his early twenties, he is already wealthy, but something other than pursuit of wealth drives him. Viciously abused by his older half-brother Phillipe before he was fifteen, he watched his inheritance burn and wept in total defeat with no one to protect him. Then a hand of comfort and protection touched him and the inner sense of a voice came, saying “fight him”.

Jesamiah, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, sets forth to roam the seas during the early eighteen century, robbing richly laden trade ships and loving every minute of it. The big trade ship “Cristina Griselle” eludes him but as she sails away, Jesamiah sees Tiola on the ship’s deck. In the gallbladder, concentrated bile is ready female levitra to digest fats. Erectile dysfunction is the basic cause of impotence so when the blood is supplying better erection is received when men are sexually viagra no prescription stimulated. Most importantly, they buying viagra from canada deliver the same great results. Medicines that react badly with Kamagra Jelly are those that are of the same genre of the viagra cialis for sale main branded medicine. The hair prickles on his neck.

Tethys, soul of the sea and spirit of the waves, wants the beautiful, dark-eyed pirate with the blue ribbons in his dark hair. She whispers to him and does not take kindly to the child-woman witch with her White Craft that lures him and challenges Tethys’ timeless supremacy.

Stefan von Overstratten, a rich, pompous Dutch merchant in Cape Town, Africa, sets his sights on Tiola for a wife. Even though she works as a midwife and healer in the squalid part of Cape Town, Stefan is attracted to her beauty and knows she is from “quality” folks in Cornwall, England, well-educated, and quite adequate for bearing his children.

Stefan is furious when Tiola drags the pirate out of the filthy alleys and brings him to her rooms to tend him as he heals from near-fatal wounds. The ensuing conflicts, filled with greed, social class snobbery, daring exploits, humor, mayhem, and a touch of magic drive the plot along at a fever pitch. From Africa to the Caribbean, through storms, earthquake, and times of tranquility, Jesamiah plies his trade and meets the conflicts head on.

Sea Witch is an armchair adventure of a life time with a swashbuckling, driven pirate and a White Craft child-woman witch, both of them very aware that death stalks them and will get them if they let their guards down.

Helen Hollick’s description of the pristine beauty of Cape Town at a distance along with the description of the squalid, brutal conditions in the alleys creates vivid pictures for the reader. Her meticulous description of the ships and ocean brings this adventure a strong sense of place. However, the most compelling of all are the characters with their deep fears, desires, needs, loyalties, and loves that propel the action through hate, blood, brutality, and misery to finally sail into tranquil waters that promise destinies will be fulfilled—in time.

Sea Witch, the first of a pirate trilogy about Captain Jesamiah Acorne, is set firmly in a historical time that Helen Hollick brings to life in the mind and imagination of the reader. This breathtaking, magical love story with the wild adventures is masterfully written and is an incredible vicarious journey for the reader.