Have I got not one, but two, treats in store for you today. Reviews of the prequel novella and book one of the Blood Web Chronicles: a scintillating new paranormal series. Currently available on kindle with paperback and audio versions on the way.
About the Author(s)
Caedis Knight is the pen name of established fantasy authors Jacqueline Silvester and N J Simmonds. In 2019 they teamed up to write their first paranormal romance series BLOOD WEB CHRONICLES and never looked back. The first book in the series was released 15 Oct 2020.
About the Blood Web Chronicles
Dive into a fantasy world hidden among our own – a dark world full of vampires, witches, werewolves, fae, shifters, ghosts and mermaids. Co-authored by two established fantasy authors, Jacqueline Silvester and N J Simmonds, the Blood Web Chronicles series is perfect for fans of Crescent City, True Blood and Veronica Mars.
Saskia de la Cruz is a Verity Witch – her only magic being that she can tell the truth from a lie. As an investigative reporter for The Blood Web Chronicle, the biggest news outlet on the paranormal dark Blood Web, Saskia spends her days cracking twisted para cases hoping that someday, some case, will bring her closer to finding her missing sister. Each book centers on a different European city, and a different paranormal crime, and are supported by a prequel novella set in LA and a Christmas special in Lapland.
With vibrant characters, page-turning suspense and steamy romance, this new series has been dubbed by early readers as “a fun crime-solving sexual adventure across Europe.” The series is classified as 18+ due to adult content. Book 1 in the series, ‘Vampires in Moscow’ (along with the prequel novella ‘Sirens of Los Angeles’) is available from 15th October 2020.
About Sirens of Los Angeles
Find out how Saskia de la Cruz became a reporter for paranormal newspaper The Blood Web Chronicle in this delicious prequel novella.
Saskia is a Verity Witch – her only magic being that she can tell the truth from a lie.
When she sets off for the glitzy shores of Malibu to spend spring break with her sister Mikayla, her one goal is to forget her university worries and issues with outdated witch hierarchies, and drown them in surfer six-packs and tequila cocktails.
But when local influencers and male models start washing up ashore, drained of their youth, Saskia knows something wicked dwells in the deep. Which is perfectly fine because she plans on staying the hell away from the water! That is until her powerful, siren-obsessed sister disappears, and the search leads Saskia deeper than she ever thought possible.
Accompanied by beautiful but suspicious surfers Eden and Zee, Saskia will have to travel for her answers to the home of Hollywood’s vainest residents – the ocean floor.
With vibrant characters, page-turning suspense and steamy romance, this new series has been described by internationally renown author, Anna Day, as “Addictive, sexy and wickedly funny.”
About Vampires of Moscow
Saskia de la Cruz is a Verity Witch – her only magic being that she can tell the truth from a lie.
As an investigative reporter for The Blood Web Chronicle, the biggest news outlet on the paranormal dark Blood Web, Saskia spends her days cracking twisted para cases hoping that someday, some case, will bring her closer to finding her missing sister.
In snowy Moscow drained corpses of illegal workers have begun to turn up, with hundreds more reported missing. When Saskia is sent on assignment to investigate an oligarch Vampire crime ring that might be behind the deaths, she plans to get in out of the city’s frozen grasp quickly…preferably with her neck intact.
But beautiful ballet dancer Konstantin Volkov and his wildcard brother Lukka complicate things. The vampire brothers have their own reasons for solving the string of murders, reasons that conflict with Saskia’s mission. Soon, Saskia finds herself enmeshed in the city’s glittering web of crime, passion, and violence, where truths and lies are one and the same.
With vibrant characters, page-turning suspense and steamy romance, this new series has been dubbed by early readers as “a fun crime-solving sexual adventure across Europe.”
What I Thought
Sirens of Los Angeles
This prequel novella starts with a bang. It’s steamy and sassy but also really explores the relationship between Saskia and her mysterious sister Mikayla. Sometimes novellas feel a bit like extra padding but this is a complete story in its own right and I’d highly recommend reading it before you get stuck in with the vampires.
The story was funny, hella sexy and very pacy. It shows that paranormals are not to be messed with but despite being a ‘lowly’ Verity witch it turns out being able to tell truth from lies and speak multiple languages is actually pretty useful.
Saskia is a modern woman and I love her air of confidence despite her inner turmoil at being ‘not as good’ as her sister. She is confident in her sexuality and sexual prowess but just a word of warning if you blush easily maybe don’t read this in public. She’s also super smart and resourceful so even when things look trike there’s no way out Saskia comes up with a plan. It may not be a good one but it’s much better than being passive.
We are left with a huge unanswered question that is set to be the driver of the whole series. The Blood Web Chronicles only gets introduced at the end but leaves the reader desperate for more, of both the mystery and Saskia’s need job, so it’s very lucky that book one is ready and waiting to bite.
Vampires of Moscow
This book starts some time after Sirens and Saskia is already deep into the Blood Web and causing mayhem. Looks like she has had a number of ‘final warnings’ and this assignment in Moscow is not one she can refuse.
This woman is not afraid to put herself in harm’s way to get her story and it’s great being in her head as we get immersed into the city.
Once again this is a fast paced read and we waste little time in meeting the vampire brothers. Thankfully. I have struggled with reading this year but these stories I whipped through. Not going to lie some of my first fictional crushes were vampires so I am super here for this.
Love the pop culture references littered throughout which makes the story feel modern but with some added nostalgia, I particularly liked the Paul Rudd mention.
Brothers Lukka and Konstantin strike that great mix of evil brooding bad boys with a secret side and they soon take advantage of Saskia’s skills!
But is it a case of bad boy(s) turn good or simply bad boy(s) that you should keep well away from your mother. Considering who Saskia’s mother is though that question is a little misleading. Needless to say that she is unlikely to approve of Saskia’s connections.
A story with grit, in a murky paranormal underworld, and plucky determination from Saskia. I love that the backdrop for each will take us to a different locale and that she has that key driver for moving forward. Mikayla is there in the background. The research and theming makes us feel like we are investigating alongside Saskia and I wouldn’t say no to a future Blood Web Chronicles themed road trip post pandemic. Rachel, Elizabeth – are you in?
If you love crime, complex families, urban fantasy and paranormal romance then this series is the perfect combo and I can’t wait to see who, or what we meet next. Will they meet Santa at Lapland, is he is a fae?
Treat yourself to you some bloody vampires and seductive Sirens. This series is the authors’ gift to us for us having to do 2020.
I am part of the Verity Knights street team for the series and I did receive gifted copies of the books in exchange for an honest review but I’d already pre-ordered them and wish I could do a series link pre-order. Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour to see what everyone else thought.
About the Book
Fern King is about to uncover a place that she could not have imagined in all her wildest dreams. Annwn is the dream mirror of our world, a place where Dreamers walk in their slumber, their dreams playing out all around them. An enchanted, mysterious place that feeds our own world – as without dreams, without a place where our imaginations and minds can be nourished, what kind of humans would we be?
But Annwn is a place as full of dangers as it is wonders: it is a place where dreams can kill you. Annwn and its Dreamers are protected by an ancient order known as the Knights – and when Fern’s hated twin Ollie is chosen to join their ranks, Fern will have to do whatever she can to prove she is one of them too.
But the world Fern discovers in Annwn, in this dream mirror of her London, is a fragile one, threatened by vicious nightmares. Nightmares that are harder and harder for the Knights to defeat. Something dark is jeopardising the peace and stability of Annwn, something that must be rooted out at all costs. And gradually, Fern realises that the danger lurking inside our sleep is more insidious and terrifying than any nightmare. Because if you can influence someone’s dreams, you can control their thoughts …
About the Author
Holly Race works as a development executive in the film and TV industry, most recently with Aardman Animations. Holly is a Faber Academy graduate, and Midnight’s Twins is her debut novel and the first in a trilogy. After spending several happy years in East London, a few streets away from where Fern lives, she now resides in Cambridge with her husband, their daughter and a large black poodle called Nymeria.
What I Thought
First up, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but 💙. How much does this make you see this book as an animated film because of it?! The artist who deserves the props for this is Gavin Reese.
The story starts with a Prologue which takes place around 15 years before the main story starts. In it we meet our protagonist’s mother in a mysterious place called Annwn, full of nightmarish creatures and where it’s clearly not wise to wish that all your dreams come true.
Then we shoot to the present and into the point of view of Fern King. Living in London, clearly not having a great relationship with her twin brother Ollie, at a new school where she feels like she doesn’t fit in, and suddenly receiving a mysterious text message that throws her life into turmoil.
Think of this as a cross between Nightmare on Elm Street meets The Call meets Shadowhunters meets Neverwhere. If you like portal or urban fantasy, subverting the chosen one trope, witches, knights, dysfunctional families or are a vivid dreamer then definitely pick this up.
The language used itself is often dreamlike, and Holly Race paints a picture of that murky space in between sleep and waking. I also like the metaphor of our inspiration and creativity being what makes us human but what can also challenge us. As a writer myself that spoke to me.
Will Fern become a Knight? What will come true, her dreams or her nightmares? This is the first in a trilogy to be prepared for not all your questions to be answered. And when you go to sleep after reading this – sweet dreams.
Thanks to Faye Rogers and HotKey for the gifted ARC for the purposes of an honest review. The book out tomorrow – do check out the rest of the tour stops too. And you can read the beginning here – http://bit.ly/DangerousDreams.