Alison Reviews: Dragon Consultant by Mell Eight


Title: Dragon Consultant
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 30,000 words
Characters: Dane & dragon kits’ father
POV: Third
Sub-Genre: Alternate World, Family
Kisses: 4.25

Blurb:

The FAA has been struggling with dragons attacking their planes, and hire Dane, a supernatural consultant, to look into the matter. What Dane finds in the woods is not quite the problem he expected: a group of dragon kits and their sick father.

When he learns the real reason the family was in the woods, his case only grows more dangerous, and while Dane is plenty experienced at watching his own back, taking care of baby dragons and their handsome, distracting father almost makes danger look easy.

Review:

“Dragon Consultant” is a sweet story set in an alternate contemporary setting where the beings of legend (naiads, witches, dragons, sirens, banshees, centaurs, and a whole lot more) are as much a part of the world as humans. Dane, who has set himself up as a Supernatural Consultant, troubleshoots any problem that might have a supernatural component, for a fee.

I think the best part of the story were the dragon kits. I really loved them, although it was Lumie who stole my heart. And I the details the author put into the story, like the different ‘types’ of dragons, were brilliant.

I have read a fair few of Mell Eight’s stories, and find they tend to go from nice but not particularly memorable to enjoyable and sweet. This story is definitely one of the latter, as is “Cleanly Wrong” if you have not yet read it.

If you are looking for a sweet story with a bit of detective work and a wry humor, this one’s for you. “Dragon Consultant” will definitely be staying on my ereader, and I’m sure I’ll re-read it whenever I need a quick pick-me-up.

Reviewed By: Alison

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The Oracle’s Hatchling by Mell Eight


Title: The Oracle, Book 2: The Oracle’s Hatchling
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Characters: Ling and Pince Damarion
POV: Third Person (limited)
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 3.5




Blurb:

Ling is hated because his birth killed his mother. He hopes that testing will ease his troubles—either his rank will be so low that everyone forgets about him, or it will be so high they’ll be forced to respect him. What he doesn’t expect is to walk out of the testing chamber with an egg emblazoned on his back. Laughed out of the Monastery, Ling hides himself in Altnoia, where he becomes embroiled in a plot to overthrow King Edan and the Oracle who supports him.
The ringleader behind the plot is Prince Damarion, son of the evil despot who forced King Edan to flee in the first place—but his motives are not anything that Ling could have anticipated. Neither could he anticipate a friendship, or what that friendship could become, and the choices it would force him to make.

Review:

The Oracle’s Hatchling is the second story in a fantasy series. The books can be read as standalones, but characters from the first do appear in, and have influence on, the second.

Ling is an orphan, raised in the monastery, and used to being ignored at best. Determined to better his standing, he grabs at what he sees as his first and best chance. The Choosing doesn’t guarantee anything, often hopefuls have to return several times before they are accepted for testing. Ling is hell-bent on at least making the attempt, sure he won’t get another chance due to those who hate him for his mother’s death, and is successful. But his testing reveals unusual results. So he takes the chance to leave the monastery before laughter turns to something more lethal.

As with all Mell Eight’s books (that I’ve read, anyway), things go relatively smoothly. Having been the subject of gossip and rumour his entire life, he chooses to ignore what he hears about the prince. This means that when Ling actually meets Prince Damarion, his opinion is not negatively biased. In fact, the similarities he can see in how they’ve been treated causes him to be a bit more forgiving of the prince’s rough edges.

I really loved the “crab” dinner. It made me chuckle.

I have found that Mell Eight tends to write enjoyable romances with interesting worlds. This one is no different. If you enjoy reading formulaic romance, I suggest you take a look at this one.

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Mell Eight

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Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

Thank you so much for letting me visit!  I’ll have tea, please. 

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

This is one of the hardest questions I’m ever asked.  How do I make myself sound interesting without also sounding self-absorbed?  I’m a twenty five year old woman who has been writing with LT3 since 2011.  I really enjoy writing and I hope to continue for a very long while. 

When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?

It was more a mass jumble of “oh my god,” “I can’t believe it,” and “squeeeeee!”  Not exactly my most graceful moment, but I was so happy. 

What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?

Why write about a handsome man if he’s only going be taken away by some other girl?  I want the only female in the lives of my handsome men to be me!  Plus, two handsome men are much yummier. 

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Oatmeal raisin.  Yum! 

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We ran out of the oatmeal, so these will do, yes? How many hours a day do you spending writing?

I usually spend anywhere from one to six hours a day writing, depending on how much free time I have.  Unfortunately, there are also days where I don’t have time for writing at all.  Those days aren’t fun. 

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

I have to revise as I go along.  I go back and reread often, either from the beginning of the story or from the last section break.  It helps remind me of where I want the story to go so I don’t go off on a tangent I’ll just have to delete later.  Constant revising also helps me feel accomplished on days when writer’s block is trying to take hold.  A lot of the time writer’s block is mental, so feeling like I’ve done something good for my story, even if all I’ve done is fix a small grammar mistake, helps me fight against the insidious claws. 

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

It’s a mixture of both.  When I write a story there are always a few important scenes in my head that have to happen.  Usually there’s one in the beginning, one near the middle, and one at the end.  My goal is to tie all those scenes together in one coherent book.  Everything that is written around those scenes is free of preplanning. 

Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?

I think this question is like asking a mother about which of her children she prefers!  She loves them all, but there’s always the one she likes/understands a little better than the others.  For me, that’s Tori from Stealing the Dragon, book three of my Dragon’s Hoard Series.  He’s bouncy and bubbly and practically wrote himself.  There’s something sweet about my baby dragon.  I really love Tori. 

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

Pardon me while I toss some salt over my shoulder to ward off evil.  Writer’s block happens and I hate it.  I’ve gone weeks without putting any words on a page before, which is not fun.  I’ve found there are a couple of ways to fight it off.  First, I have tried to power through it by writing anyway.  Usually whatever I write is awful and I end up deleting it, but sometimes just the act of writing itself is enough to free myself.  Another way is the one I already mentioned.  I go back and reread my story.  I fix spelling and grammar, which makes me feel accomplished and fights against the miasma writer’s block can impart.  Rereading has also sparked a new idea or a new direction to take my story.  The third way, and the best, is to walk away.  I’ve always found that when I’m fully immersed in another project that has absolutely nothing to do with writing, the best ideas start to percolate.  At the time I’m usually nowhere near my computer and I don’t have a journal, because karma works like that, but when I switch my brain around it reorganizes itself to fight off writer’s block on its own. 

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

I have never been able to do any work at a physical desk, not homework or writing.  There are a lot of people who don’t understand why, but I just find it more comfortable to stay in bed all day.  Wrapped up in my cozy blankets with a warm pillow for back support and my computer in my lap is easily the best way to write. 

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

That would actually be a great idea!  Then people would stop bothering me when I’m writing. 

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

I prefer intellectual jokes.  Potty humor goes right over my head, but add a touch of someone’s brain to the jokes and I’ll never stop laughing. 

What is the most frequently asked Mell Eight question?

That’s easy: “More Tori, please?”  My readers love Tori as much as me and they all want to know when I’ll be writing more of him. 

What are you working on now?

As always, I can’t just work on one thing at a time.  I’m currently writing a short story compilation in my Dragon’s Hoard Series to give my readers more Tori.  I’m working on Road to Home, the sequel to Road to Revenge, which just came out this past July.  I also just started writing a fun story titled Kelpie Blue about horses and horse racing.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?

I keep my creative spark alive by not limiting myself.  I like to say I’m a fantasy writer, a genre I really enjoy reading and writing, but when the idea for Road to Revenge came to me I wrote it anyway.  A thriller set in Jerusalem was way outside my comfort zone, but at the same time I grew as a writer because of it.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?

I’m a paranormal fantasy nut.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer-

I’m not really a fan of any of those.  Can I choose something else? 

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I take a self-defense course called Krav Maga.  It’s the martial art taught by the Israeli Defense Forces and it’s awesome.  Basically, it teaches a thousand different ways to emasculate a man.  I have fun. 

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

The next big story I have coming out is Paint, Guns, Money, and Love.  It’s about a painter who manages to get mixed up with the mafia, but it’s also a love story.  That’s coming out in serial at LT3 in February. 

I have a short story coming out in November with LT3.  It’s titled The Oracle’s Flame and is about a young man coming into his powers and trying to find and save a prince.  There’s fire and pirates and dragons.  The sequel for this book is also on my to-do list. 

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

I am everywhere on the internet!  But the best places to reach me are all the usual suspects. 

My website: http://melleightfiction.weebly.com/

My blog: http://melleightsblog.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MellEightFiction

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/mell-eight

Twitter: @MellEight

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

Thank you for having me!  The cookies and tea were great.  I’ll come back any time as long as you’re not asking me to hand wash the dishes. 

Of course not….I just need help watching Charles is all. This way!

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Road to Revenge by Mell Eight


Title: Road to Revenge
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Pages: 148
Characters: Rafi, Mihi
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary , Mystery
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Rafi only wanted to spend a relaxing day in Tel Aviv with his lover, Mihi. When a bomb goes off outside the restaurant where they stopped for lunch, killing several people and leaving Mihi in critical condition, Rafi vows to catch the culprits and make them pay. Set on revenge, Rafi accepts an assignment to infiltrate a group of humanitarians to figure out which of them was responsible—and to stop whatever they’re planning next.

Review:

Road to Revenge
is a well written, interesting story that involves extremes in terrorism and humanitarian causes that are brought to light through a love story of two men, Rafi and Mihi.

I would have loved to read more about this interesting couple. With Mihi in a hospital bed throughout the story, there is a great mixture of angst and tenderness that I enjoyed. It was clear that the love these two share went very deep.

To take a subject as deeply disturbing as suicide bombing and murder of innocent people and weave a love story throughout while explaining the volatile climate in the Middle East takes a very talented and well informed writer. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it.

Reviewed by: Cheryl

Melting the Ice Witch by Mell Eight


Title: The Dragon’s Hoard, Book 4: Melting the Ice Witch
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Pages: 96
Characters: Kam, Lor, and multiple side characters.
POV: Third person
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 3.5


Blurb:

The Tribe of the White Dragon has lived in the frozen wastes of the north for thousands of years, slowly dying without their dragon to protect them from the inhospitable cold. In desperation they kidnap Kam, hoping to use him to breed witch power back into the Tribe. But Kam is not a witch and there is nothing he can do to save them—until he sees the white dragon encased in ice and all alone.

Review:

My immediate reaction on finishing this story was to hunt down Mell Eight’s website so that I could find out more about the previously released books in the series and if there were any more to come. This book was so totally up my alley I was delighted to be given the opportunity to review it.

The focus is definitely on the story. The romance between Kam, the lead character, and his love interest is sweet, though there is not a lot of attention on it. There is little in the way of ‘on screen’ physical love between the lead characters but with the focus being on the story rather than the romance, it is not really missed.

When we meet Kam, he has already been living with the tribe for a few months and vastly prefers it to where they kidnapped him from. Kam is determined to be a useful member of the tribe and has no desire to be made to leave because he cannot contribute. He has been thrust into a life vastly different from the one he knew before but is settling into it very well and making a place for himself–one his gift makes him particularly suitable for. Clever hints are dropped as to what his gift is, though as he is unaware of it himself they are disregarded until things are explained to him. It was a good job too as I was starting to become puzzled… a big ‘ah! So that’s why…’ moment, for me.
The side characters are introduced slowly enough for me to be able to keep up with them and remember who they are even though there are quite a few. Some, from previous stories I have not read yet, stand out vividly and I am very much looking forward to going back and reading the first three books. Tori is adorable and I cannot wait to read more about him!

All in all, a nice little tale which has prompted me and my love of fantasy to look up and read more from this series.

Reviewed By: Violet Joicey-Cowen

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