Monday, September 5, 2016

Taken by Amy McKinley (spotlight, excerpt, review and GIVEAWAY) GFT





by Amy McKinley

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GENRE:  Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

Forged through a childhood trauma and cursed by the Fates, Layla vows never to be at another’s mercy. With determination and training she evolves into a deadly weapon and quiets her inner demons—until the prophecy activates, shattering her peace. The gods who want her dead converge and the hunt to end her life truly begins. The skills that Layla honed for protection become an unconscious tool for death and destruction, threatening not only the gods but her family.

Entrenched in clan turmoil, Thaull’s life hangs at a precipice. He’s faced with a condition known only to his kind, the soul-divide. If not dealt with, his soul will rip in half and he will turn into an unstoppable, ice-cold killing machine. As he hunts the traitor within his Phantom Warrior clan he worsens. A fragile thread of hope remains. The love of a female, freely given, can save him. Through a premonition of an alluring demigoddess, he gambles his very existence in the chance she will be his salvation.  

She will go dark from her curse. He will go numb from his. To survive, Layla must risk trusting another or become another.

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EXCERPT

Hades scratched one of Cerberus’s heads, while the other two vied for attention; serpentine tongues slithered out of mouths harboring razor-sharp teeth. A loyal watchdog to the Underworld, Cerberus prevented the dead from leaving and the living from entering. With a final rub, Hades dismissed the monstrous beast, absently watching as he padded away on lion’s paws, the distinct rattle of serpent tail and long mane of snakes making his ferocious presence widely known.

Hades grinned as he strode forward, boots crunching on jagged pieces of rock and bone. The charmed design he’d sent to the last born demi-goddess had been opened. He’d sent it under the guise of one of his servants—despite initial objections—along with a concealed spell courtesy of Deimos to further aid her transformation. His mind drifted to the veiled conversation he had with the god. Deimos would be both furious with him and indebted. Focusing back on Layla, he chuckled. Once she wielded the spelled halberd, she would be unable to resist its dark influence.

He rubbed his hands together, and a deep laugh rumbled from his chest. Why was Zeus so wary? As each sister succumbed to the curse, his larder of souls filled. If they beat the prophecy it hardly affected him. Either way, he benefitted.

Crossing the threshold to his lair, Hades stood in front of the enormous stone-lined fireplace. His thoughts shifted to his beloved wife, Persephone. Six months is too long. An ache that had taken residence throbbed in his chest. He absently rubbed it, missing her luxurious hair and curvaceous body. Most of all, he longed for the way her mere presence soothed his soul, the sound of her laugh, and how he lost time itself gazing into the fathomless depth of her luminous, brown eyes.

A flash of light drew his attention, and irritation spiked his blood. Zeus. By the look in his brother’s stormy gray eyes, this was not a social call. Hades bit back a growl, and instead replaced it with a grin. “What brings you to my world?”

Zeus snorted, his grip on his lightning bolt tightening fractionally, before a calculating gleam flashed across his turbulent features. “Someone needs to remind you about the five. If they aren’t stopped, our lives may be at stake.”

Hades strolled past his brother, amusement coloring his words as he spoke. “That’s very dramatic, even for you. I realize you’re the one who angered the Fates, but five meager demi- goddesses—scratch that I believe it’s four now since one beat the curse—hold an infinitesimal threat to gods such as us.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author of the Five Fates Series. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. You can find her at www.amymckinley.com



Contact:

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter   @AmyMcKinley7


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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


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My review:

 
3.75 out of stars

Taken by Amy McKinley follows the adventures of Layla, one of five sisters who are at the center of a conflict between the gods, cursed by meddling of the Fates. The Oneiroi are determined to destroy the sisters, spurred the manipulations of Zeus, who threatens their mates. Layla has sought sanctuary in her beloved Scotland, occupying herself with creating well-beloved tools that enhance the wielder’s talents. The evil darkness that Layla harbors within is getting stronger and she fears that she is about to succumb to her curse. Thaull, a being both Fae and Phantom, is facing the effects of the soul-divide until he meets Layla. Unfortunately, she must heal her own division before she can positively affect him, and given the challenges facing her, that may never happen and multiple beings will be negatively impacted, permanently.

This complex paranormal tale is part of the ‘Five Fates’ series and provides an atypical look at the jockeying for power among the male members of the Greek pantheon. It’s an intriguing twist on several aspects, including the sibling rivalry between Zeus and Hades, the chilling interference by the three Fates, and the manipulation that forces the cooperation of such powerful beings as the Oneiroi. Distilling the conflicts into the overwhelming desire of males to protect their mates forces one to see beyond the stereotypical characteristics traditionally ascribed to many of these powerful beings. I thought it was wonderful that Layla had such an unusual profession and that her works were in such demand, but confess to being frustrated by her stubbornness at trying to handle everything herself despite the improbability of being successful using that tactic.

Having read the first story in the series, I wasn’t quite as puzzled by the interconnections or end goals, but there still are a bewildering number of characters introduced, and it is very difficult to decide who to root for since there seem to be extenuating circumstances for the actions of some beings. It is not recommended to read this as a stand-alone story. I was fascinated by the glimpse of Cerberus as more than a mindless guard dog and would love to learn more about him.

I think the stories in this series have great potential and provide a fascinating alternative to traditional mythology but I think there are a few too many threads to follow and the action is somewhat erratic for my tastes, plus I had trouble establishing a rapport with the main characters. One should be warned that there is a lot of blood and violence to go with the sneaky and underhanded behavior of many of the players in this story, but that fits in perfectly with many of the stories that comprise myths. Those who enjoy a blend of mythology and realism with a dash of romance will probably be entertained by this glimpse of the life of the second mixed-breed sister whose fate has the opportunity to cause an upheaval in the hierarchy of those who are significantly more powerful than the beings whose lives they meddle with.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review, which has also been submitted to Night Owl Reviews.







20 comments:

  1. Thank you for the honest review, ELF! I am happy to answer any questions and good luck with the drawing!

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    1. Hi, Amy! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your story and good luck on the tour! I appreciate you taking the time to interact with my visitors, and I enjoy getting a different look at some of my favorite mythological characters.

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  2. I've always liked stories with the greek gods.

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    1. Hi Mary! I do as well :) I hope you enjoy the Five Fates series. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I used to love reading all of the myths, Mary! Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. I am a fan of paranormal romance, sounds like a great book---Rae

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    1. Hi Rae! That's definitely something we have in common. Thank you for stopping by and best of luck in the drawing.

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    2. Great to see you, Rae! Hope you get a chance to read the series.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your review! I'm a huge fan of paranormal romance so I'm looking forward to reading this one.

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    1. Hi Victoria! ELF does a fantastic job with her reviews and thanks for checking out Taken! Best of luck in the drawing.

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    2. Hi, Victoria. I look forward to reading your review.

      Thank you for the lovely compliment, Amy!

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  5. Replies
    1. I appreciate the compliment, Mary! Thank you for popping in!

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    2. I agree, Mary. E.L F. does an amazing job with her reviews and I'm so happy she read Taken. Thank you for stopping by and good luck!

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  6. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Rita! I appreciate you stopping by and best of luck in the drawing. :)

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy. I hope you enjoy the Five Fates Series. Good luck in the drawing!

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