Friday, 19 June 2015

BOOK RECOMMENDATION & REVIEW - Graced by Amanda Pillar

Title: Graced
Author: Amanda Pillar
Release Date: 26 January 2015
Genre:  PNR

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City Guard Elle Brown has one goal in life: to protect her kid sister, Emmie. Falling in love–and with a werewolf at that–was never part of the deal.

Life, however, doesn't always go to plan, and when Elle meets Clay, everything she thought about her world is thrown into turmoil. Everything, that is, but protecting Emmie, who is Graced with teal-colored eyes and an unknown power that could change their very existence. But being different is dangerous in their home city of Pinton, and it's Elle's very own differences that capture the attention of the Honorable Dante Kipling, a vampire with a bone-deep fascination for a special type of human.

Dante is convinced that humans with eye colors other than brown are unique, but he has no proof. The answers may exist in the enigmatic hazel eyes of Elle Brown, and he's determined to uncover their secrets no matter the cost...or the lives lost.

  Guest Reviewer - Jo Matthewman

Graced is a fantastic first novel from a young Australian author, Amanda Pillar. Pillar, a well-known editor of urban supernatural fantasy stories, has brought together the tired old Vampires vs Werewolves (or just plain Weres) and a post-apocalyptic world to create a wonderfully written and intriguing tale of suspense, danger and, of course, love.

Graced is about a young woman finding out the secrets of her heritage, as well as the heritage of the other creatures that live in her world. Whilst the Vamps, Weres and the “special” humans may suggest to the reader that this is another Twilight fan fiction, after reading the first chapter, you understand that story is anything but a Twilight rip-off.

Elle, the main ‘human’ character, is a quick-witted city guard who understands the delicacy needed to survive in her environment. Her priorities are to keep her sister safe and to make sure that their secret is never found out by anyone. The Weres and Vamps are the rulers of this world and humans are looked upon as either beneath their notice or as their food source…with the exception of Dante.

Dante, a vampire, is a freak even amongst his own people. He knows that there is something not quite right going on with the human population, and begins experimenting to prove his point. 

When Clay, the devastatingly handsome and cheeky Were, arrives on the scene, his presence triggers a sequence of events that throws Elle’s, Dante’s and his own world into turmoil.

Whilst, at times, the story can seem a little slow to develop, when it does, all the pieces start falling into place. The novel ends with an opening for a possible sequel, which I hope, will be on the cards for the future.

Overall, this is a beautifully written story that captures the reader and takes them along for the ride. The character and scene development ensures that the reader is right there in the dirty, stinking alleyways of the city, feeling what the characters feel as they discover the secrets of their individual races.


Amanda Pillar is an award-winning editor and author who lives in Victoria, Australia, with her husband and two cats, Saxon and Lilith.

Amanda has had numerous short stories published and has co-edited the fiction anthologies Voices (2008), Grants Pass (2009), The Phantom Queen Awakes (2010), Scenes from the Second Storey (2010), Ishtar (2011) and Damnation and Dames (2012). Her first solo anthology was published by Ticonderoga Publications, titled Bloodstones (2012). Amanda is currently working on the sequel, Bloodlines, due for publication in 2015.

Amanda's first novel, Graced, was published by Momentum in 2015.

In her day job, she works as an archaeologist.

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