The Rain (Pendragon Chronicles #1) by Amos Cassidy

RainCoverUpdateWhat do you do when you lose what you love the most? What do you do when every breath is agony?
Jake has lost the love of his life. Desperate for a fresh start, he moves to Longbrooke – a small British coastal town. The people are friendly, the town is quaint and Jake finally feels as if he could start anew. Then The Rain falls – an ancient weapon that only Jake can manipulate – and Jake is thrust into a world where Myth and Legend are reality and his bloodline the only possible saviour of mankind.
The rebirth of The Rain is a beacon to all that is sinister and as Jake meets his first challenge, he must quickly learn to master the weapon inside him or risk losing his new found friends. Will he succeed before it’s too late or will the deadly threat accomplish its lethal goal?
What do you do when your actions determine the fate of those nearest and dearest? What do you do when there is nothing on the horizon but uncertainty?
You lift up your chin and you fight back with everything you’ve got and hope – no, pray – for the best. If all else fails, sic your dragon on the bad guys.

Destinies aren’t written, they’re forged, and Jake Winters is about to get a 101 in forging.
A quaint British coastal town hiding ancient secrets, a heavenly weapon that claims a host, a dragon’s egg that has a tale to tell – Jake Winters is the line that connects all the dots.
But Jake has much to learn, and very little time, because a serial killer is on the loose, a monster with the face of a fashion model, and it’ll take Jake’s special brand of intervention to stop him…

I can’t believe how many ‘that didn’t just happen’ moments were packed into this book.

For the record, this is the third time I’ve read The Rain and that statement above still holds true. Not that I needed a reason to reread the book, but I needed to refresh my memory (it’s been over a year since my last reading) before the next book in the series (Lost Souls) was released and there were a few updates made since its original release, not the least of which was a brand new cover. As a side note, I love both covers and there are things about each version that I like… no major changes to the plot or characters, so the rest of my review pretty much stands as is…

Confession time… (I do that a lot, don’t I?) I got my hands on The Rain about a month before its release. I had been meaning to read a book by Amos Cassidy for a while and when I saw this book I couldn’t resist signing up for the tour. Reading the book wasn’t part of my stop on the tour, but being the conscientious reader/review that I am I had to know if what I was promoting was good, right? And honestly, after reading that synopsis and looking at the awesome and unique cover, how could I NOT want to read it? So, how did I like The Rain? Let’s put it this way. Even though I received an ARC – with no strings attached – I still purchased the book as soon as it was released. I rarely do that folks…. this book was that good. Alright, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to the review….

Just a little warning… the first chapter is… well… it hurts. I know, that seems a little dramatic, but there’s no easy or better way to put it. Reading it the second time wasn’t any less painful than the first. It’s necessary though. Readers aren’t left with any doubt of what Jake lost and where he was emotionally when he moved to Longbrooke. It was a rough way to get to know him as a character, but it definitely made me sympathize with him in a very real way. *sigh*

Longbrooke and its residents were a huge reason why I loved The Rain – and I loved them all – well at least the ones that weren’t evil. Greg was the first person that Jake really interacted with and he was one of my favorites. His sense of humor and loyalty were  exactly what Jake needed. Ivy was almost a force of nature and I loved the way Jake reacted to her. They all added an extra layer to the story and they each played a very important role. They were well developed and had their own brand of wit and humor. (It doesn’t matter how many times I read a certain chapter *cough* 18 *cough*… I will always laugh out loud. I’ll also never look at a claw machine again and not grin as I look for a particular toy. 😉  ) Yeah, this is definitely a book that left an impression. I love it when that happens.

The characters were just one aspect of The Rain. The formatting was unique and told from several points of view – readers sometimes didn’t even know whose POV the story was coming from, but instead of being confusing, it just added to the mystery. Even the way that Jake was clued into what was really going on and the part he played in this new world he’d been thrust into was done in a unique way. (Nope, I’m not giving that away either… it’s just too good to spoil.) Jake’s flash backs were even an important part of the story. They were more than just filler. It was a great way to get to know him better and to understand exactly what it was that he lost. *sigh*

One of the other things that drew me into this story is that I have a weak spot for the legend that this The Rain centers around. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what legend that is without giving things away. I can tell you that Amos Cassidy took an age old and familiar tale and gave it a unique spin. One that I didn’t expect but thoroughly enjoyed.

TheRainThe Rain was full of surprises. It was an epic fantasy set in a quaint British town with some quirky characters. There was a touch of bitter sweet romance, plenty of action, more than a few surprises, mythological creatures, some coffee spewing laugh-out-loud moments and some jaw dropping, heart breaking, tear inducing, cringe worthy moments. (I still can’t believe some of it happened.) And then there was the ending… gah! This is one book that kept you guessing until the very end and then sucker punched you. (I’m not complaining…. just still can’t believe it.) This may have been the first book I’ve read by the Amos Cassidy writing duo, but it most certainly won’t be the last.

DragonFlyRating5

 

A Kiss of Silver (Tales from Beyond the Veil #2) by Amos Cassidy

AKissOfSilverAn Ebony Forest.
A woman on the run.
A curse that becomes a destiny.
 

Silver’s life is unremarkable. No special talent, no real friends, just the respect and pampering that comes with the position of clan leaders’ daughter. The life of a Dryad is simple, peaceful, but for Silver it just isn’t enough. With a betrothed that gets her pulse racing, and her nuptials imminent, she should have everything to look forward to, but danger is on the horizon and Silver is soon running for her life. Little does she know that her path leads directly into the arms of a destiny she could have never envisioned. 
Silver is left with a choice. Break a curse or perish trying…

I love twisted fairy tales and the series of novellas in Tales from Beyond the Veil, so far has twisted some of those familiar tales splendidly. 😉

As with most tales, nothing is quite what it seems and Silver learns that the hard way. She ends up running away from people she’s trusted all her life. Not only that, but she’s running in the direction that most people, including herself, avoid at all costs.

There’s more than one ‘hero’ in A Kiss of Silver and it’s hard to be happy for one and against the other. I have a feeling that neither of their stories are quite over. Speaking of which, I suppose you don’t have to read the novellas in order, or even read all of them, but I’d recommend doing it anyway. Start with Scarlett’s Path and follow the progression. One of them builds on the other, which becomes obvious once you get to Ash Rising… stay tuned.

DragonFlyRating4

Crimson Chaos (Crimson #4) by Amos Cassidy

CrimsonChaosAn ancient prophecy.
An entity older than the beginning of time.
Surely the survivors of bloody battles on fey beaches deserve a timeout, a chill period, a chance to reflect? Yeah, right!
When the gang are faced with an ancient threat, it’s just another day at the office until they realise that this time their efforts may not be enough. This time maybe fate won’t be thwarted, because this time their foe is more powerful than anything they could ever have imagined. It’s a race against time, a race against the unpredictable, and, for the first time, the odds are stacked against them. It’s anyone’s game. No guarantees. No returns.
When Khaos strikes, who will be left standing?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1For those of you who haven’t started reading the Crimson series yet, you need to. Now. For those of you who have already started and have waited patiently for the last book in the series to be released… be careful for what you ask for. And since you are already familiar with the evil duo that is Amos Cassidy, that statement probably needs no further explanation.

The entire time I was reading Crimson Chaos I kept thinking ‘there’s not enough time left in this book for everything to be resolved.’ Honestly, I had this feeling more than once. I’m not saying that pages were wasted on irrelevant stuff. That doesn’t happen in this series. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but all of them serve a purpose. Trust me, when you read any of these books, pay close attention. The past comes back to bite everyone sooner or later and even the most minute detail shouldn’t be overlooked. This is definitely a series that begs to be re-read.

This series finale was full of action, drama, danger, romance, tears and even more twists and turns. And then… well, part of the evil persona that makes up Amos Cassidy is their ability to make a book impossible to review. Honestly, so much happens and so many people are affected by all that happens and then… I’m trying here. I’m trying really, really hard, but… well, you’re just going to have to read this one to understand. Then you can yell at the author yourself. 😉 (I may have done this once or twice, they can handle it, honest.)

Beyond the frustration, this was an amazing series and Crimson Chaos tied everything up quite nicely… kind of. The POVs switched between all the characters we have grown to love and most of their story lines came to a satisfying close… kind of.  In case you haven’t already surmised, the Crimson series may ended with Crimson Chaos, but Amos Cassidy isn’t quite done with these beloved characters yet. Thank goodness because I might have to chase them down if this book was really the end. 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Crimson Chaos (by Amos Cassidy) Release Day Blitz

Crimson Chaos gold 2


Crimson Chaos by Amos Cassidy, the thrilling conclusion to the Crimson Series, is out today! Rose, Raven, Roman and the gang must face their own personal demons and come together to fight an invisible threat that challenges the existence of their world.

An ancient prophecy.
An entity older than the beginning of time.
Surely the survivors of bloody battles on fey beaches deserve a timeout, a chill period, a chance to reflect? Yeah, right!
When the gang are faced with an ancient threat, it’s just another day at the office until they realise that this time their efforts may not be enough. This time maybe fate won’t be thwarted, because this time their foe is more powerful than anything they could ever have imagined. It’s a race against time, a race against the unpredictable, and, for the first time, the odds are stacked against them. It’s anyone’s game. No guarantees. No returns.
When Khaos strikes, who will be left standing?
 
What readers are saying…
…Amos Cassidy always does an amazing job of giving you just enough info to follow while still keeping you in the dark until the last possible moment…
…This series has been twisty and turny from book one, which I thought was going to be a typical UF but NOOOOO … we can’t have that. And following the gang’s story has kept me on the edge of my seat for the last three years…
Little Read Riding Hood
Fancy A Peek Inside?
Crimson Chaos release blitx image 2
Don’t miss out on the Goodies!
 
EXCLUSIVE!!!!!
 

For the next 48 hours only, you can grab the LIMITED EDITION. Purchase it before 12AM 29th August PST (8AM GMT) to get access to an exclusive download link where you can get books 2 and 3 FREE. The limited edition also contains 7k worth of exclusive content; character interviews, shorts, an author bio from a few years back, told by Roman himself, and Raven does karaoke…yep, that happened.

Crimson Chaos release Blitz image 1

AMAZON
KOBO
NOOK
iBOOKS
SMASHWORDS

Want to know a little bit more about the Authors?

 Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy. Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well, four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was born.

You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…

Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at amoscassidy.com, or just pop over to see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.

Links to Stalk the Author’s!
      

Raven’s Call (Crimson #0.5) by Amos Cassidy – Bout of Books 14 Review

RavensCallHe came from darkness, lifted from the bowels of despair, saved by hope, but who will save him now?
Raven is a survivor, a fighter, but not a lot of people know that. He keeps his past hidden, even from himself. His dirty little secret, the only secret, or so he believes…
When Raven and his friends are summoned to The Culling, it seems like a dream come true. Hosted by the Alpha at his famous Retreat, The Culling, an event to select the werewolves that will take on the role of Active Pack and protect the civilian wolves, is a gruelling test of skill. As Raven, Roman, Damon and Kris make the journey to Wales, the days ahead seem filled with possibility. But the stakes are much higher than any of them could have imagined. A shadow stalks The Retreat, a dark assassin with an unholy mission, a mission that will put Raven and his friends directly in the line of fire.
As the truth of his inceptions puts Raven on a supernatural hit list, a choice must be made, one that could change Raven’s life forever.
When the time comes, will Raven make the right call?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh Raven… yes, at the expense of feeling the wrath of others who have claimed him as their own, I am totally in love with this guy. I liked him before, but getting his back story… especially the beginning… totally made me team Raven all the way.

As for Amos Cassidy? They have the irritating talent of making their books impossible to review. They throw so many twists and turns in their stories that I don’t know where to start, much less continue, without giving something away. And don’t even get me started on the cliff hanger. *glares at evil authors*

Raven wasn’t the only character that got a POV in Raven’s Call. Even though the focus was Raven, readers were also given time with Roman, Damon and Kris. I loved getting to know them all better, but Raven is the one who broke me.

This was my second reading of Raven’s Call. It’s short so reading it twice wasn’t a huge deal, but worth mentioning because it was necessary and I’ll probably be reading it again. Short or not, there is a lot packed within those pages. There’s a lot of history, but there’s also a lot of foreshadowing. Some of it I remembered, but some of it I had forgotten and some of it I didn’t realize was as important as it was until… See… they’re EVIL!

If you haven’t read the Crimson series yet, Raven’s Call would be a good place to start. It’s short, and gives you just a hint of the torment that this talented duo is capable of. Plus, the final book in the series, Crimson Chaos is coming soon.

DragonFlyRating4

Release Day! Hawthorne (Darkling Saga #1) by Jamie Cassidy (aka Amos Cassidy)

Hawthorn posterWant more? Here’s just a little taste…

I don’t know how long I’ve been asleep when something wakes me. I don’t know what, and I lay there under the warm cosy duvet staring into the darkness. My heart is pounding real hard as if I’ve been running. I lie real still and listen, but there is nothing but silence.
Stupid, probably had a weird dream, can’t remember it now, but it probably woke me up. I roll onto my side and close my eyes.
THUD!
I bolt upright and out of bed. Before I register what I am doing, I’m in a crouch.
My door handle rattles.
I freeze.
It turns and the door swings open with a creak.
Heather shuffles in, rubbing her eyes sleepily.
I realise I am holding my breath and let it out in a rush.
“Hey, Hev. Come here.” I hold out my arms and she stumbles into them. We climb into my bed and I pull the duvet up, tucking it around us. She snuggles into me.
“You have a bad dream?”
She shakes her head. “Was having a nice dream, but the little girl woke me. She wouldn’t stop talking.” She yawns and closes her eyes.
My scalp prickles. “What little girl?”
“In the mirror.”
I look down at her, but her eyes are closed, she is already asleep. For me, sleep is a long time coming.

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Crimson Dawn (Crimson #3) by Amos Cassidy – Bout of Books Review

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00006]The Power is home and he’s parked his butt on the throne. Game over? Like hell! For Rose, being trapped in her body with an evil tosser had been a nightmare, but being stuck outside it is even worse. While Rose and Rune concoct a plan to get her body back before it’s too late, Raven must venture into The Dreaming to find the one person that may be able to give him the answers he desperately seeks. However, unknown to them, Roman has a bigger task, the final play before the curtain falls, but will he find the courage to take the stage? Where there’s love there’s determination and where there’s determination there’s hope, and Raven, Roman and Rose will do whatever it takes to bring The Power down A sacrifice must be made; one life to save the many. Who will it be?

I may have mentioned this once or twice, but if you’re going to read any of the books in the Crimson series, pay close attention. There are a lot of characters, a lot of action, more than a couple of twists and turns and just when you think you’ve got things figured out, the authors throw you another curve ball. Needless to say, Crimson Dawn was no exception. I have to be honest. I have loved this series from the beginning, but there are so many characters and so much going on, I found myself getting confused more often than not. I chalk that up to my reading comprehension flaw, not the authors’ BTW.

The only reason that I’m bringing that up now is that 3 books into this series, I’ve got everyone present and accounted for… I know exactly who everyone is, where they fit into the story and who I’m supposed to love and who I should hate… until.. Yeah, there’s absolutely no way I saw that coming. I’ve had authors change my opinion about characters before. That’s nothing new. I’ve never had an author make me do an about face in the middle of a book not once but twice. Yikes! And no, before you ask, I can’t tell you who I’m referring to… mainly because you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I still can’t believe half of what happened in this book. Not only did my very steadfast opinion change about two key characters, but there were so many revelations in Crimson Dawn I lost track. I’m still reeling from a couple of them.

All I can say is that I’m glad that I waited to read this series because Crimson Dawn is not the final book. Crimson Chaos is scheduled to release sometime this year. I will definitely be on the lookout for the final book in this series. DragonFlyRating4

Crimson Darkness (Crimson #2) by Amos Cassidy

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070]The lights have gone out, and the darkness is hungry.

There’s nowhere to run

London is in lock down, trapped beneath an impregnable cover of darkness, filled with some real creepy horror stuff, straight out of a heart-pounding, piss-yourself nightmare. There’s no way out, no way in, the only hope is to fight back, to find a way to reach the sun before the world is swallowed whole. When help arrives in the form of otherworldly allies, the news they bring sticks a big ticking clock on the whole operation, because something is coming, something huge and it’s hungry.
Now the wolves, vamps and witches must work together to face a common enemy?

Intense… that’s pretty much the first word that comes to mind after reading Crimson Darkness. That is pretty much the way things go from the opening scene through the final chapter with little or no down time.

You can pretty much guess from the synopsis how things are going for the characters since we left them at the end of Crimson Midnight. That sets the tone for the entire book. Given the fact that the entire world has changed, it isn’t a shock that the status of a lot of the characters changed as well. Personal worlds are turned upside down and lives, friendships, relationships hang in the balance and allies shift.

Just a fair warning, this series keeps you on your toes. I realized quickly that these are not books you can just skim through. You need to pay attention because not only is there a lot going on, there are a LOT of players involved. They’re all important though and they each add another layer to the action and the plot.

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m just going to let you know that this is a series that I’m really glad I picked up and I can’t wait to continue. The world building is great and the characters are well developed and there are many layers to several of them. There are some that I’ve loved from the beginning, some that had my heart breaking for them and some I’ve hated from the start. I don’t see either of those opinions shifting, but there are a couple that could go either way and if you’ve read the books I probably don’t have to explain which characters I’m referring to. 😉

Next up in the Crimson series is Crimson Dawn and I can promise you that there won’t be as much of a time lapse between books. Too much happened in Crimson Darkness for me to wait too long. Besides, Crimson Chaos is due to be released sometime this year and I want to be ready.

DragonFlyRating4

Aurora by Amos Cassidy

Aurora FinalThree hundred years ago humanity almost eradicated itself…almost, but not quite. As is the persistence of human kind, we hung on; we survived, but the world as we knew it was changed forever. The exact details of what happened have been lost in time. All we know is that this is our world now and we have no choice but to live in it….

Oz and his sister True have been traveling for as long as they can remember. Ma feels that staying on the move is safe, that it prevents them getting lazy and complacent. It’s a better way to avoid bandits and raiders, a more effective way to stay alive. But the thing, the person that protects them is Oz – a lethal fighter who will go to any lengths to defend his family.

Oz makes money from cage fights while dreaming of a better life for them all – a home where they can be truly safe. True dreams of freedom, love and hope and just when she thinks she’s found it their world is turned upside down and they are forced to embark on a journey that rips them apart. For when True is taken by an unknown enemy Oz must enlist the help of a man from the shadows to save her.

I may have mentioned once or twice that Dystopian novels and I have a love/hate relationship. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like them. I wouldn’t keep picking them up if I didn’t. It’s more the fact that it takes me a while to get wrapped up in the unique worlds the authors have so painstakingly created. Once I’m there, I’m good. The only reason I’m bringing this up… again… is because I didn’t have that problem with Aurora. I’d love to tell you why, but I can’t. If I had to guess though I’d say it’s because of the rapid, intense intro and my instant love of both True and Oz.

There wasn’t much ‘down time’ in Aurora. The world that Amos Cassidy created in Aurora was beyond harsh… and then it got worse. I guess I should apologize for being vague, but there were some major twists and turns in Aurora and I don’t want to give anything away. The main thing that you need to know is that NOTHING is as it seems. There’s more than one reality at play in Aurora, the one that True and Oz grew up in and the one that was hidden from them. Once those two worlds collide things begin to get really interesting.

The POV in Aurora switched between True and Oz and a few other characters, which kept things interesting. It also gave readers a little bit more perspective than the characters had. There were times that this wasn’t the easiest book to read, but as the cliche goes, ‘there’s a moral to the story’ and with any luck, those who read it will get it.

DragonFlyGreen4-5

Riding Red (Tales from Beyond the Veil #1) by Amos Cassidy

RidingRedScarlett lives with fear and disappointment – fear of what her step father wants from her, and disappointment in her mother for failing to see it. Her life is lonely and filled with darkness, her only sanctuary is the forest behind her small cottage. It is here that she finally steps off the path and encounters Red. 

Red is larger than life, solid and real and enticing. He is a man of little words, preferring action to speech and she is instantly drawn to him. 

In a small shack in a clearing in the forest Scarlett will find a new home, a passion unlike any other and a secret that will change her world forever.

Scarlett will never be the same again.

I love finding a new genre to fall in love with. My latest to add to the constantly growing list falls under twisted fairy tales. I haven’t read many, but the ones that I have read I’ve really enjoyed. When I found out that the Amos Cassidy duo were putting out a series of novellas based on these timeless tales I couldn’t wait to get their spin on them.

You probably guessed that Riding Red got its name from Little Red Riding Hood. The tale spun here is nothing like the one that you remember from your childhood though, and that’s the point. In this adult version there’s no grandmother, but a alcoholic mother, a pure evil step-father, a town full of judgmental people and more than enough reason for Scarlett to want to run away from home.

The forest is full of magic and Scarlett finds more than she bargained for when she runs into Red. Secrets are revealed, things aren’t always what they seem and the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ isn’t necessarily the scariest thing in the forest. There were a couple of twists that I didn’t expect but I totally loved.

The only complaint I have about Riding Red is that I wanted more. It worked great as a novella, but it would have been even better if it would have been a little bit longer. I know, I’m greedy. *sigh* I guess I can’t complain too much because the authors have already given us titles for the next 3 in the Tales from Beyond the Veil series. Tainted Snow is next, followed by Sleeping with Beauty and Beastly Heart.

DragonFlyRating4