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FANTASY REVIEW – BookLife, Publishers Weekly

BLOOD DRAGONS – the first book in the REBEL VAMPIRES series – recently received a critic’s report from the respected BookLife. It was described as a:

 …well constructed novel filled with adventure and intrigue—and a side of romance that does not overwhelm the plot.

One thing I write with is a strong voice – I love my characters and they’re at the heart of my stories.

Johns’s novel is set apart from others in the genre by an engaging narrative voice that grabs readers and doesn’t let go.

Light – the rebel vampire anti-hero – isn’t the side-kick or the love interest. This is his world to weave.

The narrative voice is strong, engaging, and one of the book’s greatest strengths.

I write thrilling action, twists and passionate romance but when it comes down to it, the characters are the reason you fall in love with a book.

 The characters are well developed and compelling. Johns’s vampires learn hard lessons that leave them better prepared for dangers to come.

A vampire’s keeping a secret that breaks every rule… Escape into the hidden world of Blood Life, where vampires are both predator and prey here

See what readers are calling Interview with the Vampire meets True Blood!

BLOOD SHACKLES RECEIVES HONORABLE MENTION – Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, 2017

BLOOD SHACKLES - REBEL VAMPIRESToday I discovered that the second book in the REBEL VAMPIRES series, BLOOD SHACKLES, has received HONORABLE MENTION in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

This is especially important to me because it’s a book about FREEDOM, which took the idea of slavery and twisted expectations. Here the vampires are the slaves, the humans the masters. The woman is the mistress, rather than the man.

Slavery isn’t an easy topic to discuss, and taking our perspectives of vampires and turning it into a metaphor. The First Lifers think they’re superior and treat the Blood Lifers like they’re objects. – Readers’ Favorite 5*

Hunted by humans, Light’s bought by his enemy’s daughter.

Light’s caught between breaking under the cruel training, or battling to hold onto the rebel inside. If he can remember the vampire he once was, he can fight to uncover the conspiracy behind the slave ring and free his family.

But to do this, he must face his worst terrors…

Blood Shackles is tragic, triumphant, addictive, and somehow hopeful. I was so engrossed in Light’s story that I didn’t notice my Kindle was dying.

The Gold Award winner was Eric. J. Gates’ OUTSOURCED. A thriller that’s a mix of quantum mechanics and the supernatural.

BLOOD SHACKLES is Light’s Slave Journal. It’s also his journey of discovery. When a man’s broken from predator to prey, how do you find yourself again? How can save your family and the world, if you can’t save yourself?

Johns succeeded in creating a world, characters, and a story that pulled me in until I had to finish reading it. I had to know what was going to happen to Light, Hartford, Donovan, and Grayse. This is a novel everyone should read, along with Blood Dragons.

Learn more here.

 

END OF SUMMER 0.99 SALE AND BOOK REVIEW – ‘A Paranormal Version of The Notebook’

Blood Dragons - Rosemary A Johns

As we come to the end of summer – a wet but humid one where I live – BLOOD DRAGONS is on 0.99 sale to celebrate before the return to school rush.

This week BLOOD DRAGONS was reviewed by the prestigious YA BOOK CENTRAL.

Totally pulls off different. The reader falls in love with Light. A paranormal version of The Notebook. You will feel a bit heartbroken throughout, you will have emotional stakes in the action scenes, and you will feel uplifted by the end.

Like novels, every review, newspaper, magazine or blog has its own review style.

Light is an edgy and outspoken vampire with a wry sense of humor.

Blood Dragons Rosemary A Johns

YA Book Central grades in a range of categories (which it then discusses), including character, plot and world building. BLOOD DRAGONS scored 5* in each category.

There are many intricacies in the paranormal world-building; Vampire powers, history, culture, and biochemistry.

Blood Dragons - Rebel Vampires series by Rosemary A Johns

What I love about the review, however, is the in depth way it discusses the book: insightful and passionate. There’s enough mystery and debate for a book club to run with – or to excite a reader without giving away spoilers.

This is not your typical paranormal story.

Dive into Blood Life for only 0.99 until September 1st HERE

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FANTASY SHORT STORY – First Edition New Magazine

Look what just arrived in my hot little hands…the first ever edition of SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE!

How to Scalp a Doll - Rosemary A JohnsMy short story – HOW TO SCALP A DOLL – was commissioned for this special first edition.

Danny, a lonely long distance driver, is trapped in a world of human trafficking. He saw the slaves as no more than dolls. Until one day, he broke his boss’ rule, opened the back of the truck and looked inside…

The sea was a smudge of blue against the horizon; the salt was sharp on the dead air. Danny stiffened. For a moment, when he stared out across the beach, he saw rows of scalps, no longer miniature but life-size – brunette, blond, and bald. Danny blinked. And then they were gone.

The magazine also includes an interview with me.

Rosemary A Johns - fantasy author

 

I discuss the short story…

The girls are invisible because they’re viewed as less than human.

…why I write fantasy…

…it allows me to give a voice to the forgotten. Or the deliberately hidden.

…and freedom.

The free have choices. But that’s often hard to face. Ourselves.

The Editor reviews BLOOD DRAGONS:

‘The kind of book you’re likely to pick up a second time, finding new dimensions…an empowering book…about true love. It is a book with formidable literary ambition. Rebel to the core, Rosemary trailblazers through stigma… Highly recommended. 5*

Click here to read more.

Scaffolding Magazine

 

5 OF THE BEST FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION REBELS

Rebel Vampires fantasy series

Rebel here, yeah?

Rebel Vampires fantasy series Rosemary A JohnsThat’s the rallying cry – or the misfit call to individuality at the heart of my series Rebel Vampires. In fact, it’s the core of every book I write: there’s a reason they’re called ‘Fantasy for Rebels‘.

Yet rebellion – against corrupt societies, conformity, kings or patriarchs has been one side of both fantasy and science fiction’s coin.

On the other?

A style of fantasy that conforms to safe patterns: yearns back to a time when men were men, women were women and peasants knew their place…even if they were all elves.

So to celebrate the rebel in fantasy, here are Five of the Best Fantasy and Science Fiction Rebels:

 

5. V for Vandetta: Alan Moore. V is an anarchist: violent and vengeful. His porcelain Guy Fawkes mask is also the influence for Anonymous and activist groups in the real world. How’s that for subversive fiction?

4. The Handmaid’s Tale: Margaret Atwood. All right, so who’s not watching this right now? Interesting thing about the book? EVERY main character in it is a rebel, even though this is a nightmare world. Each one disobeys Gilead’s Laws, either with active resistance or rebellion within their family. No rule can be absolute.

3. The Dispossessed: Ursula K. Le. Guin. The unlikely rebel here is a physicist. How he rebels? By questioning: neither the anarchy of one world not the pacifism of the other is perfect. There’s no such place as Utopia? Yeah, got it.

2. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: Robert A. Heinlein. This is a true novel of rebellion: a moon colony – an underground penal colony that’s like the Old West – rebels against Earth. The term ‘Rational Anarchist‘ is invented.

1. A Song of Ice and Fire: George R. R. Martin. Where to start? The whole series is a sequence of political machinations, military campaigns, and rebellions. The obvious is Robert’s Rebellion but the one that sums up the spirit..? It’s the Mother of Dragons’ attempts to give the control back to the slaves, so they’ll free themselves in Slavers Bay. Daenerys is the ultimate rebel: against her place in life, her gender, her role and for freedom. What’s not to love?

Like Daenerys, in Rebel Vampires Light rebels against his role and for freedom. He finds himself in both a human and Blood Lifer world, which is corrupt and controlling.

Sometimes rebellion is less dangerous than hiding in the shadows…

So who’s your favourite rebel in fantasy?

EMPOWERING FANTASY – How Books Can Break Down Walls

Blood Dragons was featured in the first edition of the literary magazine Scaffolding:

5* “The kind of book you are likely to pick up for a second time…an empowering book” – Scaffolding Magazine

From my days as a teenager spellbound by the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer every week (dangerous thrills wrapped in snarky comedy…learn from the best), I’ve loved the idea that fantasy can be empowering…and fun.

I only write what I’m passionate about – a writer’s voice should be in their works.

As a playwright I loved to challenge audiences: make them laugh one minute, cry the next. Always? Question one little lie society teaches us, as Light would say, ‘cradle to the grave’: money makes you happy, disabled people can’t succeed, old people are boring or democracy can’t fail.

Trick of it is to create a world, characters and plot so exciting that readers are pulled into these questions.

“A book that stands behind causes, that advocates inclusion, that denounces walls and barriers.”

Light is a Blood Lifer and Kathy is a human. Their love is forbidden. In the wild 1960s Light realises that not as much divides the species as he’s always been taught. That maybe Blood Life isn’t about freedom but control.

That love can be free…

“Trailblazes through the stigma of mental health and disability in some of the most authentic ways we’ve ever read.”

My son is an autistic savant: everything he sees he remembers. My main character’s chief talent is his photographic memory: living as a vampire and witnessing all the glories and horrors, this becomes both a blessing and a curse.

His first true friend is an autistic vampire. Both elected because of their exceptional talents.

“A book with a formidable literary ambition… Highly recommended.” 

In Rebel Vampires Light battles for love, family or home. Always he fights for freedom. Those walls and barriers? Light won’t rest until they’re tumbled down, smashed at his feet.  Welcome to the Rebel Age!

Start your rebel adventure into Blood Dragons here!

Blood Dragons Rebel Vampires Volume 1 - Rosemary A Johns
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PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD – Fantasy Review

Blood Dragons Rebel Vampires by Rosemary A Johns

“More than just a vampire story, it is a story of love…so beautiful” – Paranormal Romance Guild

Today the Paranormal Romance Guild reviewed Blood Dragons:

“It has been fifty years since Light and Kathy came together, and although she refused to be turned, he stayed with her, going from husband to her boy toy… Now he watches as she lays in bed with no memory of who he is and what their life together was like.

This book is Light’s story from the time Ruby came into his life and changed him, to the time in between when they hunted together without a care in the world, until Kathy changed him for good. He began to realize that first lifers were not that different from blood lifers, and that blood lifers were not the only monsters.”

Click here for the full review.

Click here to escape into Blood Life…

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards - Blood Dragons

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE MEETS CONFESSIONS OF A LOST SOUL – How Do You Compare Books?

 

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In the latest review of Blood Dragons by Gothic Mom’s Reviews, the book was compared to: “Interview With The Vampire meets Confessions of a Lost Soul. Yes, Rosemary A. Johns does bring to mind the writing style of the great Anne Rice.”

anne-rice-lestatAnne Rice’s Lestat is one of my favourite anti-heroes. Anne Rice’s greatest skill is to get inside the mind of her characters and then bring us readers in so close, we live their lives alongside them.

As a writer, you ask what works, why and then hope you can create something as spellbinding.

“Light is torn between two worlds, that of the living and that of the blood, the woman he loves, and the woman who truly loves him. Rosemary A. Johns creates a world so real it makes you wonder…Gothic Mom’s Reviews 5*
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A second review, also out this weekend, compared Blood Dragons to a different book: this time The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.
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“It’s written (ala the Notebook by Nicholas Sparks) in order to remind his human love, who is aged and suffering from dementia, of their past. The author has done a stellar job of capturing Light’s unique voice… I’m still in awe of the writing itself. Descriptive, interesting, evocative. For folks who enjoy perhaps more “literary” paranormal fiction that will challenge the brain a bit, and creates an entirely new vampire mythology, then I highly recommend it. This author has writing chops” – Long and Short Reviews
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 What books would you choose?
To buy Blood Dragons now click here.
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5* HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – Love, Death, Humanity, and Monsters…

underground-book-reviews badge five stars recommended read Blood Dragons fantasy book

When blinding badges are awarded? This one by Underground Book Reviews is near the top… Seriously cute and seriously…serious.

It represents a 5* Highly Recommended and Selected Read. Try saying that fast, five times. blood-dragons-cover-medium-web

It’s just been presented to Blood Dragons, which the review describes as “just a brilliant book“.

Their reviews are held up as best standard on how to write reviews. I agree: well-written, exciting and passionate.

I love Light, so it was interesting to read the reviewer’s take on the main character in Rebel Vampires: “The book jumps from the present day to the past, with the tension and drama building at a faster and faster pace. The plot itself is enough to keep you reading, but I also loved Light and the journey he went on. He’s a brilliant and believable character and his language amused me endlessly.”

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Click here to read the full review.

Underground Book Reviews’ Recommendation:

“A unique book told from the point of view of a vampire addressing his dying wife, whilst looking back on the drama they’ve left behind. Quirky, amusing, frightening and dark, Rebel Vampires, Volume One offers a brilliant story, with plenty of twists and turns, romance and gore. For anyone who already enjoys vampire or supernatural horror style stories or for anyone who is just looking for something a bit different, a bit edgy, something that will amuse you, frighten you and take you on one hell of a journey into love, death, humanity, and monsters, then I highly recommend this book” – Underground Book Reviews

And a cute badge too? What more could anyone want?

To dive into Blood Dragons today click here.

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