Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review, Author Q&A & Giveaway: The Devil's Flower by: Lisa Collicutt


Title: The Devil's Flower (Eternal Beings, #1)
Author: Lisa Collicutt
ISBN: 1620073838
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, NA Romance
Theme(s): Angels, Demons, Motorcycle Clubs
Length: 278 pgs
Binding: Paperback
Published: 19 November 2013; Curiosity Quills Press
Buy: Amazon.com, BN.com

Synopsis:

In a town called Nowhere, Colorado angels and demons battle for salvation. Who will win? And what will be the cost?

Killing isn’t exactly on Rosalie Lockwood’s list of things to do when she runs away from home. But despite her search for peace, guns and motorcycles become her latest fashion accessories as Divine interference leads her to Steele, co-leader of the Fallen Paladins motorcycle club.

Leathered and tattooed, Steele’s presence scares off most people he comes in contact with — but not Rosalie. She’s immediately drawn into the dangers of his biker world—and into his heart.

But Steele guards a secret that if Rosalie knew, could shatter their new love — along with destroy the human race. And the truth comes at a price.

Will Rosalie risks her soul to prove her loyalty to Steele?

The Dark and Light Realms collide as Rosalie chooses between life, death, and the ever-after to become that which she is fated to destroy.

My Rating:

My Review: We've read about angels. We've read about demons. We've read about angels vs. demons. But how about angels vs. demons and Motorcycle Clubs? The Devil's Flower by Lisa Collicutt is what I like to think of as a wildcard. The cover art is eye catching and sexy. The synopsis gives you the illusion that you are treading into familiar territory but you can't deny there is a sense of mysteriousness. You decide to give it a whirl out of sheer curiosity, albeit very skeptical and find yourself in a bit of shock by the time you come to the last page. These type of novels, these "wildcards", tend to be my favorite kind.  On a side note and I'm not sure why, but The Devil's Flower reminds me of the cult classic movie The Lost Boys. Even though this book has nothing to do with vampires, I think it shares the concept of innocence and perception. Both have a young, naïve person in a unfamiliar town that is drawn to a group of strangers. Instincts scream for them to stay away, but there is one in the group that they can't seem to stay away from and will eventually risk their very own life for. Definitely an interesting connection between the two.

Here is what I liked. The Devil's Flower is a refreshingly original novel. I know that may be hard to believe, considering there are very familiar elements on the surface. But what makes this story unique is how the author blends all of these pieces together. In the beginning, the story reads like a contemporary romance. Then somewhere around the 100 page mark, the paranormal element is introduced. This is an absolutely brilliant technique and here's why. Before even adding in the paranormal component, readers that are fans of contemporary romance, New Adult, MC (motorcycle club), even Young Adult, will find The Devil's Flower appealing. Not a fan of paranormal romance or new to the genre? This is the perfect novel to start and try because the transition from contemporary to paranormal is smooth and natural as strange as that may sound. The only complaints I've read are from hardcore paranormal readers that felt there wasn't enough of that particular element in the story. But I am confident this novel will appeal to paranormal enthusiasts who grow weary of reading the same type of story over and over again and are looking for something fresh and different.

The story itself was well written; great description, distinct character voices (and names), and had no issues with the pacing-- all topics that sometimes writers struggle with when writing the first novel in a series. I liked the third person narration and the switch in perspectives. The formatting and paragraph breaks signaled that a change in POV was coming, therefore eliminating any kind of confusion which sometimes happens.  Speaking of the format, the layout, font, and overall style of the book (including the chapter titles) created a very aesthetically pleasing reading experience.

I really enjoyed the romance between Rosalie and Steele. There definitely was an instant attraction, but a good portion of the novel was about Steele trying extremely hard to fight it. Part of it was to protect Rosalie from himself and the unsavory kind he surrounds himself with. He also feels that he is undeserving of her love and acceptance. The other part of his struggle to hide his growing feelings for her is to show no signs of weakness since he is the leader of the Fallen Paladins MC. There is also another reason he tries to hide his feelings, but I want to leave some mystery! There is some good sexual tension building between Steele and Rosalie, although the sex scenes themselves are more alluded to then explicitly shown which surprisingly works in this novel.

I found the angel/demon mythology in The Devil's Flower interesting and original. For example, in order for a half demon to become immortal, it would need 3 things: a) tear of an angel, b) blood of an angel, and c) death of an angel. Also, angels have souls but demons and half demons do not. If a half demon should mate with an angel, the angel would lose its soul to the demon. The use of the drug heroin plays a very creepy, yet important part in the story as well. These mythological elements add up to create some very tense, suspenseful moments in the novel.

Overall, Lisa Collicutt has spawned some very interesting characters, but I will admit, there were 2 that I struggled (won't reveal their names to avoid spoilers) with until I had a light bulb moment. These characters took Rosalie under their wing, taught her some survival tactics and how to fit within the MC. But then, out of nowhere, Steele starts thinking to himself that he has to protect Rose from them. At first I just didn't get the sudden wariness from Steele towards these particular characters when they did nothing to warrant his suspicious behavior. But then it dawned on me. The devil comes in many disguises and is a master of manipulation, seduction, and lies. It's this attention to detail that elicited my admiration for the author to grow even more.

I only had a few issues with The Devil's Flower, most of which were a bunch of small things that added up to annoyances rather than huge problems, so I will be going through them rather quickly.

First, I found Rose's statement here a bit startling: "...the fact that she was actually in a relationship with this person, a near stranger, hit her." She is obviously talking about her and Steele, but what bothered me is the fact that they have never talked about being together or being in a relationship. It's like the statement came out of nowhere. No declarations of love, other then Steele saying she can trust him and he wouldn't let anything happen to her as long as she is with him. And once you read that part, you will see why he says that. I'm also curious as to why Steele is so adamant about calling Rosalie "Rose" since the very beginning of the story. I get why Lithium calls her "Rosebud", but Steele is quick to correct people that she is to be called Rose instead of Rosalie, at least in the beginning. It's never revealed why and I am probably just looking too deeply into it, but it definitely left me pondering.

Second, I felt that Rosalie's stay with her grandmother was rushed and glossed over when in fact we learn the time she spends there plays a pivotal part in the story. This is where she discovers who and what she really is, what she is capable of and what is expected of her. When she meets back up with Steele, she is a wiser, stronger version of herself that apparently can now kick some ass. But we never get to see her training. We just hear about it in a sentence here and there when she is filling Steele in on her time away. I also didn't understand why she started college while at her grandmother's.  I'm not sure if she was biding her time, waiting for divine intervention, but the college thing bothered me since she ended up leaving to go back to Nowhere, Colorado. It just felt like an unnecessary detail.

Lastly, while I enjoyed the assortment of characters as I stated above, I did find Rosalie to be quite infuriating at times. I get that she is innocent and naïve (for more reasons that one) but I can only take the damsel in distress syndrome so much. Don't get me wrong, I love a strong alpha hero that comes to his woman's rescue-- it's sexy and it shows that Steele loves her and feels fiercely protective of her. But Rosalie puts herself in some really stupid and dangerous situations, especially with the drinking. Even when she knows the drinking got her into trouble before and she swears she will never drink again-- she still drinks AGAIN. Yeah, that's when my eyes start to roll and irritation sets in.

The Devil's Flower is a unique blend of contemporary and paranormal romance that doesn't fit into one specific genre. For this reason, it broadens its allure and I can see just about anyone picking this novel up and finding it an enjoyable read. This may also appeal to the YA crowd, since the female main character is 18. However, I would caution and recommend The Devil's Flower to  mature YA readers (16+) since there are some disturbing scenes including, drinking, drugs, and sexual situations (although not terribly explicit). Lisa Collicutt has given us a gem and I absolutely cannot wait to see the continuation of this story in book 2, The Demon's Wrath.

best wishes,mia



AUTHOR Q&A With Lisa Collicutt
    1. Angels. Demons. Motorcycle Clubs? What inspired you to merge these very different elements together to create The Devil's Flower?
This is a great question I love to answer. Up until I wrote The Devil's Flower, all my books were about witches (my favorite supernatural beings). Then one day I had a vision of demons wearing leather riding motorcycles in the sky. Okay, so I didn’t put my leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding demons in the sky; I kept them on the roads where they belong. But the vision gave me the idea of writing a story about angels and demons. And at the same time, my husband suggested I write about an all female motorcycle club, because he thought it had probably not been done. So, I put his motorcycle idea together with my angel/demon one, and came up with The Devil's Flower.

    2. One of the things I enjoyed the most about The Devil's Flower is the angel/demon mythology. I'm also fascinated with the MC culture which plays a pivotal part in your novel. What kind of research (if at all) did you do in order to write this story?
As with all things I write, I did loads of Google research. In fact, I swear I spent more time researching than actually writing. Having been around bikes since I was a teen, (my husband rides, I sit on back and think up story scenes) I had the biker thing down, but picked his brain on throttles, and clutches. Not belonging to an MC, made for a lot of patch research. And thanks to—I won't mention the name of the MC who displayed the different patches and rankings on their website—I became well informed. Because I've never been to Colorado or Texas, I did loads of research on them, but I chose to set the story in the fictional town of Nowhere. That way I could do what I want with the town and not offend anyone. But I still had to pinpoint Nowhere on the map and know roughly how many miles from there to Amaretto, Denver, and certain other places, even if they never show up in the story. Angels and demons are the paranormal aspect of the story, so you would think I could do what ever I want with them, and I can, but I still have to make them seem "real"; so a lot of research went into them as well. I wanted angel and demon names that were unique, and certain ethereal markings that made sense. And now I have to share; the weirdest thing I researched for this story—probably any story to date—was how to use heroin. I literally spent an entire weekend watching You Tube videos and reading case studies, along with forum posts of actual users. I can't say it was fun, in fact, some of it was downright disturbing, and all for a few lines in a book, but it shed some light on the subject, of which I otherwise knew nothing about.
    3. The Devil's Flower is the first in a planned series and I am very excited and anxious to see how this new angel/demon/MC world and characters develop. Have you started writing book 2? Is there anything you can tell us about it? Tease us with?
I'm about a third into book two (The Demon's Wrath), and hoping for an autumn release, but have temporarily put it aside to finish the last book in The Serendipitous Curse series. Budding relationship over and fully into the MC life for Rose—book two gets darker in all aspects. You'll find more graphic intimate scenes, as well as more violence, all in keeping with the paranormal theme, which doesn't overwhelm the story. There are new and interesting characters as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa likes to write dark and twisted tales of magic and romance. She has a passion for Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal. When she's not conjuring tales about witches, demons, and other magical beings, she can be found leathered, and bound to the back of her husband's Harley, touring her homeland of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Enter Lisa's imagination where light ends and fantasy begins. But heed these warnings . . . it's dark, it's magical, you may experience tingles.
Connect With Lisa

GIVEAWAY

US & Canada: Enter for a chance to win 1 paperback copy of The Devil's Flower by Lisa Collicutt + Swag Package shown above! Ends 3/22

Worldwide/International: Enter for a chance to win 1 E-book copy of The Devil's Flower by Lisa Collicutt! Ends 3/22

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4507f611/


23 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have definitely added The Devil's Flower to my wishlist. I do have problems with heroines being to meek for too long, but I have a suspicion that this being book one things are really going to heat up - that is my prediction at any rate LOL I am sorry to not be able to like the FB pages, but FB wont let me. I did spread the word, however.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Denise!

      Thank you very much for your kind comment and for spreading the word about the giveaway. Yes, I am with you. If this was a stand alone novel, I might have had more issues with Rosalie, but, since this is the first in a series, I have high hopes that we see a more mature, experienced heroine as the series progresses.

      Thanks again!

      Mia

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  2. Angels and MC??? You know that I love MC specially because of Sons of Anarchy. Here motorcycles are the most common mean of transport so you can imagine my father has one and my brother is a fan of them.
    I never actually met someone who belonged to a MC, we don't have many of them, but I would love to be part of that culture.
    Now to the paranormal side, I like that the autor introduces the subject slowly :)
    Great review & interview.
    Ruty@Reading...Dreaming

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    1. Hey Ruty!

      Yesss....I'm not even gonna lie. The MC aspect of the novel enticed me to give it a try. I am also a fan of angels, so I was like, OMG, the best of both worlds! My boyfriend rides a motorcycle. He has yet to let me ride with him, though *pouts* Sons of Anarchy...God, we only get 1 more season of that gloriously twisted show. I get depressed just thinking about it lol.

      Hope all is well with you!

      :) Mia

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  3. Sounds like a really good book. You did an awesome job on your review and Q&A. Thank you for the chance with the giveaway.

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  4. Hi Bobbi! Thanks for entering the giveaway! :)

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  5. Now this sounds badass. I can't wait to read it.

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  6. I have it on my wishlist now, it sounds great.

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  7. i would love to win a copy of this. i have it on my goodreads list at the top.
    https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5309274?shelf=to-read.
    i love the cover and i look forward to reading it.

    tammy ramey
    trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for entering the giveaway, Tammy!

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  8. Hello and thanks for your comment on my blog. Here is my facebook page as well:
    https://www.facebook.com/writtenportrait

    Ladybug, http://english-written-portairt.blogspot.pt/

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    Replies
    1. No problem! I'll be stopping by to check out more of your blog posts :)

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  9. Hi! Lately I'm really suspicious of blurbs. I don't know why, but I'm not impressed by any of them. Hence I've been reclining upon reviews adn you did persuade me that it's an interesting book. So thank you. :)

    By the way, here is my review blog, though, I just opened it and I'm only fumbling yet, trying to seek out the way I should do it. http://rebook424.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cassidie!

      I am now following your blog and left you a message over there :) Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes blurbs can be so misleading or tricky. There was just something about The Devil's Flower that caught my eye and held my interest. So glad I went along for the ride. It really is a great read!

      :)

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  10. Thank you so much for the amazing giveaway!! I have already added the book to my to-read list & friended the author - -i am SO excited about this brilliant paranormal novel x

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    Replies
    1. No problem! Glad you entered! The author truly is the one who should get all the credit-- she is offering to give away some really great swag :)

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  11. Hi everyone. I'm not sure if it's proper for the author to comment or not, but I'm going to anyway :)
    I just want to say a big thank you to Mia for holding the giveaway on her lovely blog and to you all for entering. I appreciate all your comments. And for those who may be a bit skeptical by the blurb, you can read the 1st three chapters (maybe more) for free on Amazon.
    Good Luck Everyone :)

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  12. I really really want this book & really really want to read this book.

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  13. I love your blog. Thanks for the Chance to enter giveaway.

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  14. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. My blog is jmbooktalk.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. No problem! Just stopped by your blog and am now following :)

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