ignited

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Laurie Wetzel

eBook, 327 Pages

Published in 2015 by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Genres:  Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy

Synopsis: After surviving an attack from a demon that killed her friend, Maddy Page thought the worst was over.

It’s not.

Word is spreading through the supernatural world about Maddy, the mortal girl with rare gifts. Some want to use her powers; others want to destroy her. One wants to protect her—her boyfriend, an angel named MJ.

MJ knows that the demon that attacked Maddy was sent to collect her by someone very powerful. Someone he has tried and failed to stop before. MJ can’t beat him, but he will do whatever it takes to keep Maddy safe, even if it means turning his back on his own kind.

My Review: Okay, I liked this book as much as I liked Unclaimed.  I probably read it even faster, as I needed some answers! The story of Maddy and MJ flows easily to this second book in the series.  It’s almost as if they are one book, which I appreciate.  Sometimes you dig into a sequel and you are either inundated with information you already know, or you are completely lost from the start.  That doesn’t happen here.  It is a seamless transition.

Wetzel’s writing is still on par.  In this book Maddy and MJ are still desperate to be together while at the same time unable to completely trust each other with their secrets.  Maddy is trying to learn more about herself and her abilities, and MJ is trying to prevent all out war on earth.

When I got to the end of the book, I was shocked.  Not by the story (although there is plenty of tense moments), but because I wasn’t ready for it to end!  I actually went back a page and then forward and couldn’t believe I was staring at the Acknowledgements!  I wanted, no, needed to know what happens next!  Quite a cliffhanger we are left with.  I am sure the 3rd book will be worth the wait, but time will drag on until then.

Another great book by Ms. Wetzel.  Please hurry with #3!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

bats

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Jeffrey Hickey

Paperback, 39 pages

Re-published in 201 by Big-n-Boo Productions

Genres:  Middle School Ghost Stories

Synopsis: Bats and Bones is IPPY award winning author Jeffrey Hickey’s second work for children. This collection of spooky tales for middle school aged children and above is a subtle masterpiece of fright and emotion. Hickey wrote all the stories, the lush music, and does all the voices for the audio book. His wife, Karen Kiser, contributes the cover art, along with some penny whistle and a little piano. The inside illustrations, layout and design are by Rachel Betz, who also designed Hickey’s first work for children, Wages Creek.

This was originally released as a CD only. This is the first edition in print.

My Review: This is a fun book even though it is full of spooky stories.  I say that because the audio is so well done, that I couldn’t help but smile all the way through! If you can use headphones to listen, it makes it even better. My favorite story is Eye on Five, mostly because of the fast pace and excitement that is caused by the accompanying sound effects.

I am a huge Hickey fan and am delighted that he published this in print so that my children can look through it and read it at their leisure for years to come.

The writing is without fail as I would expect from Mr. Hickey.  This would be a fun book to listen to while camping, or during a children’s sleepover.  Well done!

Did I say I love the cover?  I do!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

flip

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Michael Phillip Cash

Paperback, 389 pages

Published in 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Genres:  New Adult, Paranormal Fantasy

Synopsis: Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants’ junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

My Review:  I am very conflicted about this book.   I enjoy Cash’s books, however can’t help but feel that this one was lacking the punch that he usually delivers.  Maybe I was expecting to hear and see things in my own home which usually happens after watching a scary movie or reading a horror/paranormal novel.  It just didn’t happen here.  While the writing is great as usual, I felt that the way this book ended took the easy way out.  I was gearing up for an epic battle with the medium and the spirits that never materialized (no pun intended).  The spirits moved on and we are left wondering who the Sentinels are.  The main characters Julie and Brad live happily ever after which is great, but felt that all of the conflict that occurred in the book just dissipated.  Hence my conflicted feelings.

Like I said, Cash is a great writer, there is nothing inherently wrong with this book, it just didn’t live up to what I thought it would be.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

unclaimed

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Laurie Wetzel

eBook, 472 pages

Published in 2014 by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Genres:  Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy

Synopsis: Abandoned by her birth parents and ignored by her adoptive family, Maddy Page believes she is unlovable. She only allows herself to dream of falling in love. That changes when she meets MJ; handsome and kind, MJ penetrates Maddy’s defenses. Maddy soon finds herself confiding in MJ like she has with no one else, revealing secrets even her closest friends don’t know. He makes her feel safe—a feeling she’s never experienced except in her dreams.

When Maddy witnesses MJ disappear and reappear in thin air, she realizes she might have been wrong about him. He could be dangerous—maybe even a killer. Determined to uncover the truth of who—or what—MJ is, Maddy ignores her instinct to run. But she soon realizes that getting close to MJ could cost more than a broken heart—it could cost Maddy her soul.

My Review: This book was recommended to me by author Aurora Whittet and I am so glad that I agreed to do a review.

For a debut novel, this is a surprisingly well thought-out and delivered story. The characters are easy to identify with and so easy to get attached to. The writing flows easily and is well constructed.

I was somewhat confused in the beginning when trying to decide if it was a dream or reality, but as the book progressed I quickly understood what was happening. There are many twists and turns throughout, and just when you think things are going to go the way you want them to, surprise! another twist.

I liked this book so much that it was hard to put down. It had me on the edge of my seat and wanting more. I was truly sad when it ended and can’t wait to read the next installment.

I would give this book a 4.5 if I could.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

the well

 

 

 

 

Author:  Colleen Golden

Paperback, 214 pages

Published in 2014 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction

Synopsis: Grace is dying. Everybody says so. Or is she? She finds herself at a sparkling portal of neon lights in the midst of her mental blizzard. She is seventy-six going on twenty-six, a comatose farm woman in a nursing home who is about to embark on the adventure of her life as a “transcendental traveler.” Following her mother’s voice singing an old hymn, Grace passes through the portal into a place both familiar and unknown. A place where she can devise and fashion a world of her choosing, call up whomever she wants to see, and even merge her own thoughts with those of others. A place she has known all her life, and where she has only just arrived: her beloved kitchen. Oh, it all looks familiar enough. But instead of her homestead, with the livestock pens, the beehives, her personal garden, the barn, the creek and the fields, the kitchen is surrounded by a place where she becomes younger, not older; more vital, not weaker. She names this place Possibilities. Her family wants to believe she will regain consciousness, and she does her best to communicate with them by means of an “evil” well, which offers no reflection from the water’s surface. But although she can hear their voices from the well, they can’t hear hers. In fact, anything that goes into the well from Grace’s side just disappears without a trace. Her attempts to advise, to help, or even just to converse with anyone are futile. So despite her newfound freedom and abilities in Possibilities, what Grace wants most badly remains impossible. The well seems to mock and taunt her, as her family’s voices ring achingly near, but maddeningly distant. She is drawn to it, and repulsed by it, all at the same time. She makes the best of things by expanding her new horizons and setting out on new adventures. But even the best of fun times has a downside. Grace is very lonesome for her “kinfolk” and her friends. And they are very lonesome for her. The Grace they see is wasting away in a nursing home bed.

My Review:  Let me start off by saying that I LOVE this book.  I wasn’t sure at first how it would go.  Would it be a depressing book about an old woman dying and her loved ones struggling to let her go?  No, not at all.  Ms. Golden has written a beautiful account of “what if”.  What happens to our minds when we are in a coma?  What happens when we die?

Grace is in a coma for a few years and during that time is very busy conjuring up a whole new world for herself.  One in which she is a young woman again.  She creates people that she can “inhabit” and have their experiences, ones that she has never had before.  In the backyard is a well where she can hear her present day relatives struggling with her condition, and she is desperate to help.

Unable to wake up and unsure of how to move on, Grace eventually is able to enter the thoughts of those people that need her the most.  In this capacity she can act more like a guardian angel.  Eventually, Grace must make a choice, and the result may surprise you.

Well written, with likeable characters this is a book that I will recommend to all of my friends and basically anyone who will listen!  There are many characters introduced here which normally makes it hard for me to follow, but in this case only added to the richness of the story.

You should go check it out.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

accidents

 

 

 

 

Author:  Phillip Rohlin

Paperback, 198 pages

Published in 2014 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction

Synopsis:  This is a story about borderline attorneys, their employees and associates, all yearning for a different life and devising madcap schemes that embroil them in seriously troubling entanglements. . One of them has withdrawn from the stresses of the profession and is trying to live a life of quiet contemplation and self-discovery in isolation at the beach, but he is constantly drawn back into the chaos engendered by his friends. His life- changing discoveries have taken him on a journey into the martial arts and to an unforgettable friendship with the great writer Henry Miller. His friends turn to him to help them untangle hopeless complications resulting from their misadventures. One of leading characters commits a heinous murder that upsets the delicate balance of trust and interdependence that holds their world together. It changes the street dynamic and causes their lives to be engulfed in increasingly disruptive turmoil. A love story is interwoven throughout between the attorney protagonist and a lovely woman. She ridicules his self-involvement and world view, and wants him to relate to her in ways he finds spurious and unrealizable. Their fluctuating relationship resonates throughout the bizarre events elaborated in the story.

My Review:  Giving a bad review is never easy but most times is necessary.  I stuck with this book only because I promised a review, however I will not be keeping it and will not recommend it to anyone.

It is not merely the case that this book is full of lawyers with very strange sexual perversions and the synopsis doesn’t quite seem to add up to the actual story, but the writing comes up short as well.  I will elaborate.

I have never claimed to be an expert on the English language, but I am college educated.  The first chapter alone had 15 words in it that I had to look up the meaning.  These aren’t your run of the mill $5 words that smart people use, these are words that no one uses.  The book continued this way and it got to the point where I glossed over the words without looking up their meaning which could take away from the story.  Here is an example of a sentence in the book:

“Everything is moving and roaring vertiginously, circumambiently, embracing and parting; a furious Hieronymus Bosch landcape with a madcap soundtrack.”  My computer doesn’t even know what vertiginously and circumambiently mean.  I could venture a guess, but writing like this is very cumbersome and not enjoyable to read.  Surely there are other intelligent words that could have been used here.

The point of view changes so frequently, that it becomes confusing with regards to who is speaking, and who the author is speaking to.  This is also a downer.

When it comes to the sexual perversion, I am sure that there is an audience for that, but it won’t be found here.  I just wish that the synopsis made this clear so that I could have passed on this review.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

birds

 

 

 

 

Author:  Joe Giordano

eGalley, 291 pages

Published in 2015 by Harvard Square Editions New York

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction

Synopsis:  What turns the gentle mean and the mean brutal? The thirst for wealth? The demand for respect? Vying for a woman? Birds of Passage recalls the Italian immigration experience at the turn of the twentieth-century when New York’s streets were paved with violence and disappointment.

Leonardo Robustelli leaves Naples in 1905 to seek his fortune. Carlo Mazzi committed murder and escaped. Azzura Medina is an American of Italian parents. She’s ambitious but strictly controlled by her mother. Leonardo and Carlo vie for her affection.

Azzura, Leonardo, and Carlo confront con men, Tammany Hall politicians, the longshoreman’s union, Camorra clans, Black Hand extortion, and the Tombs prison.

My Review: This book has been called “rollicking” by author Ben Fountain, however I didn’t find it carefree at all.  This is a story of two men who travel to America in the early 20th century.  They come here for very different reasons, but end up crossing paths.  It reminds me of The Godfather by Mario Puzo in that it describes how men fall into the world of the mob and just how brutal that can be.

While the writing is good, I did get confused once in while due to the fact that there are a lot of characters introduced here.  Sometimes, that overwhelms a reader and causes them to have to try to keep track of who is who.  The only other criticism I have is that the ending was too open-ended for me.  I felt let down that there was no real conclusion.

That being said, this was a good book.  I enjoyed the conflict and thought that the main character development was good.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the ‘mafioso’ genre and the internal struggle between trying to get ahead and feeling trapped into doing that at any cost.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

heroic.

 

 

 

 

Author:  Russ Woody

Paperback, 260 pages

Published in 2014 by Nycreative Publishing

Genres:  New Adult, Memoir

Synopsis: When my dad was told he had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he knew that his life was coming to an end. What he didn’t know was that it was also just beginning. In the time he had left, his life changed dramatically. He became friends with Ted Danson, spent Thanksgiving with Marsha Mason and Shirley MacLaine and he was the subject of an episode of Becker. He was featured on Entertainment Tonight, E! Entertainment and in TV Guide. But most important, he became a part of his young grandsons’ lives. Henry was six, Joe was four. And what they don’t remember themselves of their grampa, I hope they’ll rediscover in this book.

To be with a parent while they are dying is one of the most human of experiences. It is what we are supposed to do. And while those months with my dad were difficult in a myriad of ways, they were the richest and most rewarding of my life. They were, as well, chockablock with humor, since—as nearly any comedy writer will tell you—in the midst of great hardship, there is always funny.

At the time, I didn’t think of the experience as “an honor,” but when I look back, I realize that it was an honor of the highest order.

My Review: While this book is about a man who is seeing his father through the last stages of his life, it is neither depressing nor morose.  Touching and heartfelt, there is no doubt that Russ Woody loved his father.  Although incapable (pretty much mandated by his wife) of returning that love while Russ was growing up, you can see through this book that he reveled in the opportunity to be able to reciprocate those feelings.

The writing in this book is impeccable.  Russ Woody is a talented author who has created a beautiful tribute to a man who lived life to the fullest within the short time he had left.  At times both funny and sad, this is a read that you will not regret.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

welcome

 

 

 

 

Author:  John Marrs

Approximately 404 e-book pages

Published in 2015 by John Marrs

Reader Category:  Adult

Synopsis:  How far would you run to escape your past?

For eight strangers in a Los Angeles backpacking hostel, even the other side of the world isn’t far enough.

The craving for a new identity and the chance to start again is something they have in common. But the search for a fresh start isn’t as easy as they’d imagined.

And they soon discover that it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are – if you can’t lay the past to rest, coincidence, fate and deception have a way of catching up with you when you least expect it.

My Review:  After reading The Wronged Sons and enjoying it thoroughly, I was delighted by the opportunity to read and review Marrs’ second novel, Welcome to Wherever You Are. The only reason I did not finish this book in a day (it was so hard to put down) was because my 7 month old daughter takes up most of my time, as babies do.

There is nothing predictable in this book.  Through the many twists and turns Marrs is so good at crafting, the reader is often shocked and left to ponder ‘what next’.  Every chapter ends in a mini cliff hanger giving the reader plenty to contemplate and spurring them to keep reading.  Yes, Marrs introduces a wide range of characters, each running from (or to) their own demons, but this doesn’t detract from the story.  Each character is touched either briefly or deeply by at least one other, intertwining them masterfully.

Marrs is a genius when it comes to writing the OMG moments and left me mouth agape more than once.  This is a fact that I have come to gladly accept as well as look forward to with his work.

Well done Mr. Marrs, please keep them coming.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

rusted

Author:  Barry Jones

Paperback, 307 pages

Published in 2013 by Barry Jones

Genres:  New Adult, Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Based in 1928, Rusted Rails resurrects the now abandoned coal-mining town of Wilder, Tennessee. Life in these towns held little promise for the future. One family, that of David and Jenny Hughes, sought to keep their son out of the mines. Their plan was, however, jeopardized by David’s untimely death and by Jenny’s discovery that she was carrying her late husband’s unborn child. With few options, Jenny chose abortion. And so begins a gritty tale that tells of Jenny’s rescue from the dire consequences of her decision.

My Review:  I love a good work of historical fiction and am happy to say that this will go down as one of my favorites.  Jones’ portrayal of the 1920’s mining town Wilder, Tennessee is riveting.  Well researched, the subject here is not for the faint at heart, but is an important lesson in the history of illegal abortions.  One woman’s risky decision leads those desperate to find her into a web of violence and corruption that ultimately involves the FBI and Al Capone.

Well written and hard to put down, this was a very enjoyable read.  It is not just about the desperation of women in the 1920’s, it is also about the deplorable conditions of the mines and the sad fate of the miners’ families.  There are a few editing mistakes, but those are easily dismissed by the great story contained here.  If you are interested in reading about the “not so good” old days, this book is for you.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

sleight

Author:  Jennifer Fales

Paperback, 298 pages

Published in 2014 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  New Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis:  In the sequel to the award-winning novella Shadows and Fire, the tale of a future where humans and human/animal hybrids known as Supernaturals exist in separate societies continues. Adult twins Lilith and Laydon, the product of a violent act that bridges both worlds, each struggle to find their own identity, one leading to darkness and one into light, as they develop their powers deep in the shadowy world of the domes. Meanwhile the threat of war looms on the horizon. Lilith and Augustin, the retired warrior priest she considers a father, find the house they have aligned themselves with faces a critical threat to its voice and power. Lilith, the Dragon House, and its allies are set on a dangerous race against the clock to unravel the truth behind jealousy, lies and blackmail before it’s too late.

My Review:  Having enjoyed the first book, it was just a teaser for what was to come.  Sleight of Hand does not fall short on storyline or character development.  Fales yet again impresses with her ability to create a fantastical world where the collision of human and beast reside.  There are several story lines in this book, but the underlying story of twins Laydon and Lilith is pervasive throughout.  Lilith must choose whether to use her powers for good or evil while helping put a stop to The Hunt.

Action packed and full of generous detail, this book is perfect for the science fiction lover/fantasy lover.  My only caution would be not to put this book down for any length of time.  I found myself having to refer to the glossary more often than I would like when there was a gap in my reading time. If you are a fast reader, this should not be a problem for you and I wouldn’t consider it a bad point necessarily.

Book #3 promises to be better yet!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

shadows

Author:  Jennifer Fales

Paperback, 108 pages

Published in 2013 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  New Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis: In the parallel future, mankind has created its own worst nightmare – a hybrid species of supernatural beings that demands a high toll in return for peace.  Follow the adventure of a tortured man seeking redemption and a brother and sister, the unwilling product of both worlds, torn apart, determined to reunite with one another.  And remember that nothing is what it seems under the domes.

My Review:  Shadows and Fire is a well thought out story. I like the premise and the colorful world that Fales has painted.  She manages to creatively weave an intricate plot in a minimum of pages.

While the book is short, it is packed full of interesting characters.  If I could find fault with this book, that is where it would be.  I found myself taking a deep breath with each chapter as the characters changed and I had to try to remember who they were and what their role in the story was.  Had the book been any longer, I was going to start making a list.  Luckily, this is the first in a series and having peeked at the next book, there is a glossary at the front that gives me all the information that I felt I needed for the first book!

I’m looking forward to Sleight of Hand which is up next!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

 

savior coverAuthor:  Anthony Caplan

eBook, 308 pages

Published in 2014 by Harvard Square Editions

Genres:  New Adult, Dystopian

Synopsis:  A father and son stumble into the secret world of the Santos Muertos, a crime cartel bent on global domination. The son must find his father and keep the secret of the ancient Mayan code underlying the creation of matter in the universe from falling into the wrong hands.

A story of sacrifice and love.

My Review:  This book has plenty of potential, however I have a few issues with it.

One.  Underdevelopment of the characters.  Let’s start with the teenage boy, Ricky.  I know that this is an alternate future, but I find it hard to believe that a teenager could go through the events in this book, both caused by him and thrust upon him with such calm.  There were no inner struggle or freak out moments which would have been completely warranted.  We get a little luckier with the father, Al.  He has plenty of moments of struggle and reflection which make him slightly easier to relate to and connect with.

Two.  Story development.  The story/idea itself is not a bad one, but it felt like a little more care could have been taken to explain some of the more technical aspects.  I didn’t understand some of what was being discussed and felt myself “checking-out” at times.  Also, the Spanish being spoken was sometimes easy to get, but at other times went completely over my head.

Three (and last, I promise).  The dialogue.  Clunky at best, this goes along with the character development issue for me.  The conversations were short and awkward.  Most of them just didn’t feel like real conversations.  The lack of quotation marks took a little getting used to, but was not the main issue here.

Overall not a bad book, but definitely in need of more development for me.  Maybe a good proofreader would help to work these things out prior to publishing.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

wagesAuthor:  Jeffrey Hickey

Paperback, 40 pages

2nd Edition Published in 2014 by Big-n-Boo Productions

Genres:  Children (All ages really)

Synopsis:  Dercum Audio is pleased to invite you on a camping trip with the Hickey Family, where everything is going great until Dad catches a cold. That’s when the real fun begins. The story takes place at Wages Creek, a magical place where the grasses are tall, the creek bubbles lullabies, and the local ducks are not like any ducks you’ve met before.

My Review:  It is no secret that Jeffrey Hickey is a great storyteller.  It should also come as no surprise that his talents are not limited to books geared toward adults.  This very charming and often laugh-out-loud book is where Hickey shines.  I say this because it comes with an audio version read by Hickey accompanied by music that he scored.  To fully enjoy the experience of this book, you must listen to the audio while reading.  Not to say that the book alone isn’t worth the read because it is, but the audio vaults it to another level. 

As Hickey’s family leaves him behind in the campground with a bad cold, hilarity ensues with the arrival of three ducks.  Able to understand and talk to the ducks, Hickey offends Gilbert, the patriarch of the group and an intense game of horseshoes begins.  With a wager that he must win, this tale is both funny and heartwarming rolled into one.

Kudos must also be given to Hickey’s wife Karen Kiser for her lovely illustrations.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

I’m Back!

Posted: February 13, 2015 in Home

First of all I would like to apologize to any and all that I have promised a review to that didn’t happen.  2014 was quite a blur for me.  I went through a very difficult pregnancy delivering a very happy and healthy baby girl in November.  I am back now but will be taking things very slowly as I adjust to being back to work full time and taking care of an infant and a 10 year-old.

Please feel free to reach out to me to find out where your review stands in the large stack that I have.  I know that I missed many deadlines but promise to get to each of you as soon as I possibly can.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

https://bookloversattic.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/signature2.png?w=614

snow

Author:  David Meredith

eBook, 155 pages

Published in 2014 by David Meredith

Genres:  New Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:  What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

My Review:  I had been waiting a long time to read this book and it was well worth it!  I loved the unique way that Snow White’s story is revealed through the magic mirror.

David Meredith has created a great heroine in Snow White.  Her character is well-developed and although my life is nothing like hers I found her easy to connect and sympathize with.  With the help of the mirror, we are privy to Snow White’s memories, both happy and terrifying.  We are able to see her as the strong young woman that she was, and cheer for her as she realizes that she is that same person today.

Riveting and impossible to put down, The Reflections of Queen Snow White is a must read.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith.  I really like this book.  It’s a great take on the life of Snow White and her coming to terms with her past while trying to find happiness in the future.  Check out the synopsis below:

snow

Synopsis:  What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading The Shifter’s Trail by Adam Alexander.  It was an enjoyable read.  Here is my review.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read Sailing Dangerous Waters by D. Andrew McChesney.  Check out the synopsis below:

sailing

Synopsis:  The Gallician frigate had come out of the fog from windward, and had fired its first devastating broadside into the Tritonish frigate from near point blank range. They paralleled each other, mere yards apart, and made no effort to alter course or maneuver for an advantage. With more sail set now, the schooner forged ahead and rapidly closed with the frigates. “Ready the port battery!” “Aye aye, sir!” “Helm, steer as to pass between them!” “Aye aye, sir!” “Sure madness, Edward!” warned Hotchkiss. “But a method to it, Isaac! When I give word, we must put into the wind, and as our guns bear, concentrate fire on the Toad’s starboard quarter. Let us then fall off the wind and repeat with the starboard battery.” “Aye!” Hotchkiss nodded with understanding. Fully awake and alert, his senses at their sharpest, Pierce watched the battling frigates grow larger. The damp night air whipped past mingled with spray thrown up by Island Expedition’s hurried dash through the sea. Despite the apprehension in his gut, Pierce felt alive. Sailing Home From Another World Master and Commander Edward Pierce, captain of HMS Island Expedition, languishes with his ship and crew in a world both very like and unlike his own. A voyage of exploration has led him further afield than he would ever have imagined possible. As he works to convince the Tritonish Government that he is not a rebel pirate, Pierce is offered a unique opportunity to claim citizenship in this parallel world…but in doing so, will he breach his loyalty to King George III? Not knowing whether he will be able to sail back to England, Pierce navigates the uncertain course of diplomacy that allows Stone Island to become a official Land of Vespica…and allows him to be released to sail for home. But the voyage there is fraught with peril, and his welcome is uncertain. What will the Admiralty make of his incredible tale? And will Evangeline, his heart’s joy, still be waiting for him?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

I know that I have been MIA for a bit, but there are some exciting things going on in my life that I hope to share with you soon.  I am getting back into the swing of blogging and reading, so here is my TT for this week.  I literally just opened this book, so it is as much a teaser for you as it is for me!

The sunlight shining through high vaulted windows was wan and sickly. The air felt stagnant and stale and an inexplicable aura of weighty despair seemed to permeate every one and everything within.  (Kindle Locations 97-98).

snow

Synopsis:  What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace.

Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

shifter

Author:  Adam Alexander

Paperback, 343 pages

Published in 2013 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  Young Adult, Sci-fi Thriller

Synopsis:  If an alien passed you in the street, would you know? Except for an unfortunate attachment to numbers, Andromeda Brown is an ordinary girl with an ordinary life at a perfectly ordinary school. Until, that is, circumstances throw her into contact with folks whose zip code is, quite literally, out of this world. Her new acquaintances are in trouble and desperately need her help. They are frantically looking for a freakish, shape shifting alien scientist who has been hanging out on planet Earth for, well, ages. And hard as it is to track down someone who can change appearance at will, Andromeda’s difficulties are multiplied by the fact that she and her friends are not the only ones on the shifter’s trail. Darker forces are at work. For if the shifter’s knowledge falls into the wrong hands, humanity is in for a very bad day.

My Review:  In The Shifter’s Trail, author Adam Alexander presents a highly imaginative take on alien invasions.  When young Andromeda and her friends are plucked from Lake Michigan by an alien species, they unwittingly become involved a quest to find the Shifter and save Earth from certain destruction.

Well-written and thought-out, this fast-paced book leads the reader on a unique adventure.  Chock full of twists and turns, it is a fun read that I would recommend to any young adult sci-fi fan.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

I am probably going to start including links to Goodreads for my finds versus sharing the synopsis in the post.  If you would rather see the synopsis here instead of being redirected to Goodreads, please leave a comment.  Here are my finds for this week:

I really like the cover of this book and look forward to diving in!

perfiditas

This next book is a departure for me as I don’t read a lot of romance, but it looks like a good read.

alarm

I am not sure that I will review this next book, but was so excited to see it in the bookstore, that I had to grab it.  I enjoyed The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom so much that this had to end up on my bookshelf!

hero

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading The Shifter’s Trail by Adam Alexander.  So far the aliens are on the good side, which is nice.  Check out the synopsis below:

shifter

Synopsis:  If an alien passed you in the street, would you know? Except for an unfortunate attachment to numbers, Andromeda Brown is an ordinary girl with an ordinary life at a perfectly ordinary school. Until, that is, circumstances throw her into contact with folks whose zip code is, quite literally, out of this world. Her new acquaintances are in trouble and desperately need her help. They are frantically looking for a freakish, shape shifting alien scientist who has been hanging out on planet Earth for, well, ages. And hard as it is to track down someone who can change appearance at will, Andromeda’s difficulties are multiplied by the fact that she and her friends are not the only ones on the shifter’s trail. Darker forces are at work. For if the shifter’s knowledge falls into the wrong hands, humanity is in for a very bad day.

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading Chasing the Last Whale by Thomas Wictor.  It was surprisingly good.  There is a link to Thomas Wictor’s website on the left sidebar.  You can see my review here.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David C. Meredith.  I have been waiting for this for some time.  I am so excited I can’t stand it!  Check out the synopsis below.

snow

Synopsis:  What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

This week I am reading The Shifter’s Trail by Adam Alexander.  So far, so good!  Check out the teaser below.

The train jerked to a stop.  They were, quite literally, at the end of the line  pg. 127

shifter

Synopsis:  If an alien passed you in the street, would you know? Except for an unfortunate attachment to numbers, Andromeda Brown is an ordinary girl with an ordinary life at a perfectly ordinary school. Until, that is, circumstances throw her into contact with folks whose zip code is, quite literally, out of this world. Her new acquaintances are in trouble and desperately need her help. They are frantically looking for a freakish, shape shifting alien scientist who has been hanging out on planet Earth for, well, ages. And hard as it is to track down someone who can change appearance at will, Andromeda’s difficulties are multiplied by the fact that she and her friends are not the only ones on the shifter’s trail. Darker forces are at work. For if the shifter’s knowledge falls into the wrong hands, humanity is in for a very bad day.

whaleAuthor:  Thomas Wictor

Paperback, 312 pages

Published in 2013 by Thomas Wictor

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction, Black Comedy

Synopsis:  Chasing the Last Whale is a novel about rage. Elliot Finell—an angry, maimed young man—meets Trey Gillespie, who is even angrier and more crippled in body and soul. They become friends, despite their utterly dissimilar backgrounds, temperaments, and worldviews. Elliot’s rage has cost him his health, his relationship with his family, and the love of his life, a moody Southerner with a secret. While navigating his strange friendship with Trey, Elliot tries to heal his damaged body. He finds that despite Trey’s negativity, this “evil Okie medicine man” somehow gives Elliot the strength to carry on.

When Trey suffers a crisis, he turns to Elliot with a request. Elliot can’t agree to help. In response, Trey commits a desperate act that triggers a memory Elliot has long repressed. Suddenly aware of the truth about himself, Elliot must decide if he will maintain the anger that has become habitual, the main component of his identity. By understanding what has really crippled him, he’s finally able to see how it has damaged so many others: his lost love, his family, the beautiful young woman who is his implacable nemesis, his ambiguous British friend, and of course Trey, a nuclear reactor of rage, suffering, and bitterness.

Clarity leaves Elliot faced with the most agonizing choices of his life.

Chasing the Last Whale examines intent and outcome. What constitutes a crime? How does victimhood end? Can mercy be immoral? Is love a choice? Does trauma always destroy? And can almost any subject be made funny?

My Review:  I wasn’t sure if I would like this book.  Did I want to read about rage and suicide?  It definitely is a departure from the books that I have been reading lately, but I decided to plow ahead.

Main character Elliott has it pretty bad.  Living with pain in his legs from a tree house fall as a child, he is angry and depressed.  He happens upon Trey, an even more angry and depressed quadriplegic, and the two become unlikely friends.   Elliott struggles to come to grips with his own issues while grappling with the incessant pleadings from Trey to help him commit suicide.

Sound lively?  Actually, Wictor has infused plenty of humor here. He has the ability to take even the most dreadful moments and hit you with dialogue or descriptions that bring you out of your melancholy.  There are plenty of times in the book where we “hear” what Elliott is saying in his head, and then he verbally states the opposite.   This battle of internal vs. external brings levity to uncomfortable situations.

Don’t worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel in Chasing the Last Whale.  While there are no whales here, there is an explanation for the title of the book within its pages (page 177 for those of you who like to peek ahead).

I really liked this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for something different and that enjoys black comedy.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

Here are the books that I have discovered this week for review.  Again they are all very different.  Check them out:

olive

Synopsis: The story of a 23 year old woman’s journey to bring peace to her feuding family, filled with humor, insight and lovable characters. A best seller in Amazon’s humorous fiction category!

eagle

Synopsis:  After his job lays him off, Cosmo Greco takes his sister, Silvia, up on her offer to drive to Portland. At the beginning of the trip, a Mack truck wipes them off the road, nearly killing them. This near-death experience is a wake-up call for Cosmo, and he begins to question the life he’s been leading. He realizes that he is not happy with his current life and wants to make a change. A number of encounters along the way reinforce this desire, but he’s afraid to leave the familiarity of his humdrum existence for the unknown.

Cosmo’s journey is set against the backdrop of the American road with vivid and soulful descriptions and a cast of colorful characters. So come along on a journey of adventure and awakening.

This book is the sequel to Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees and the second book in the Greco family trilogy, although it can be read as a stand-alone.

tenacity

Synopsis:  A powerful being is angry and on the hunt. He is out to capture and destroy Aksel, and will stop at nothing until he does. Aksel’s elusive escapes are always met with the same fate—the complete obliteration of yet another planet and its inhabitants. Now, Aksel seeks refuge on one of the last remaining planets—Earth. With only days remaining, can Earth and two of its citizens help save Aksel from death and destruction at the hands of this powerful entity? Or will they be destroyed like the rest?

machinist

Synopsis:  A romantic steampunk tale of clockwork soldiers, persistent pirates, and political intrigue.

Book One of the Curiosity Chronicles

1837: Lydia Dimosthenis detests pirates, especially those of British ilk. The lady machinist will do anything to protect her island home of Aspasia from the scurvy knaves, even if it means crafting seven-foot clockwork soldiers to drive intruders away. When her automatons catch the eye of a charming yet stubborn ambassador from New Britannia, she is given an offer that she truly cannot refuse. But that doesn’t stop her from trying.

Rhys Cartret, ambassador and agent for the Cabinet of Intellectual Curiosities, didn’t count on having a strong-willed, attractive inventor thwarting his every diplomatic move. It’s hard enough keeping his pirate past a secret from Lydia. Matching wits with her is the last thing he needs, especially since New Britannia’s rival France is racing to get the automatons before he does. Intrigue, romance, and striking bargains abound in this curious tale of clockwork soldiers, ruthless pirates, and steam-powered ships.

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading Chasing the Last Whale by Thomas Wictor.  It is pretty good so far with a nice mix of humor and drama.  Check out the synopsis below:

whale

Synopsis:  Elliot Finell-an angry, maimed young man-meets Trey Gillespie, who is even angrier and more crippled in body and soul. They become friends, despite their utterly dissimilar backgrounds, temperaments, and worldviews. Elliot’s rage has cost him his health, his relationship with his family, and the love of his life, a moody Southerner with a secret. While navigating his strange friendship with Trey, Elliot tries to heal his damaged body. He finds that despite Trey’s negativity, this “evil Okie medicine man” somehow gives Elliot the strength to carry on.

When Trey suffers a crisis, he turns to Elliot with a request. Elliot can’t agree to help. In response, Trey commits a desperate act that triggers a memory Elliot has long repressed. Suddenly aware of the truth about himself, Elliot must decide if he will maintain the anger that has become habitual, the main component of his identity. By understanding what has really crippled him, he’s finally able to see how it has damaged so many others: his lost love, his family, the beautiful young woman who is his implacable nemesis, his ambiguous British friend, and of course Trey, a nuclear reactor of rage, suffering, and bitterness.

Clarity leaves Elliot faced with the most agonizing choices of his life.

“Chasing the Last Whale” examines intent and outcome. What constitutes a crime? How does victimhood end? Can mercy be immoral? Is love a choice?Does trauma always destroy? And can almost any subject be made funny?

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading Trapped by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.  It was really good!  There is a link to Dr. Gold’s website on the left sidebar.  You can see my review here.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read The Shifter’s Trail by Adam Alexander.  Check out the synopsis below.

shifter

Synopsis:  If an alien passed you in the street, would you know? Except for an unfortunate attachment to numbers, Andromeda Brown is an ordinary girl with an ordinary life at a perfectly ordinary school. Until, that is, circumstances throw her into contact with folks whose zip code is, quite literally, out of this world. Her new acquaintances are in trouble and desperately need her help. They are frantically looking for a freakish, shape shifting alien scientist who has been hanging out on planet Earth for, well, ages. And hard as it is to track down someone who can change appearance at will, Andromeda’s difficulties are multiplied by the fact that she and her friends are not the only ones on the shifter’s trail. Darker forces are at work. For if the shifter’s knowledge falls into the wrong hands, humanity is in for a very bad day.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

This week I am reading Chasing the Last Whale by Thomas Wictor.  I am enjoying it so far.  A good combination of humor and drama.  Check out the teaser below.

Thus was her custom.  She belittled my copy, imitated my laugh, pinched my cheek, mimicked me, greeted me loudly thirty times a day, commented on my meals, ruffled my hair, and drew pictures of me in my cubicle or in the break room with a black cloud over my head pouring rain on me.  It was a mystery why she hated me, but she did.  pg. 71

whale

Synopsis:  Elliot Finell-an angry, maimed young man-meets Trey Gillespie, who is even angrier and more crippled in body and soul. They become friends, despite their utterly dissimilar backgrounds, temperaments, and worldviews. Elliot’s rage has cost him his health, his relationship with his family, and the love of his life, a moody Southerner with a secret. While navigating his strange friendship with Trey, Elliot tries to heal his damaged body. He finds that despite Trey’s negativity, this “evil Okie medicine man” somehow gives Elliot the strength to carry on.

When Trey suffers a crisis, he turns to Elliot with a request. Elliot can’t agree to help. In response, Trey commits a desperate act that triggers a memory Elliot has long repressed. Suddenly aware of the truth about himself, Elliot must decide if he will maintain the anger that has become habitual, the main component of his identity. By understanding what has really crippled him, he’s finally able to see how it has damaged so many others: his lost love, his family, the beautiful young woman who is his implacable nemesis, his ambiguous British friend, and of course Trey, a nuclear reactor of rage, suffering, and bitterness.

Clarity leaves Elliot faced with the most agonizing choices of his life.

“Chasing the Last Whale” examines intent and outcome. What constitutes a crime? How does victimhood end? Can mercy be immoral? Is love a choice?Does trauma always destroy? And can almost any subject be made funny?

trapped

Author:  Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.

Paperback, 457 pages

Published in 2013 by Grass Valley Publishing

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction, Medical Suspence

Synopsis:  While medical students suspect that every headache is a brain tumor and that every chest pain is a heart attack, experienced physicians know diseases along a spectrum of horror-the ones they dread the most. Among these are cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). As the list continues, we come upon locked-in syndrome, a neurologic disease where a victim is awake and alert, but cannot move or communicate due to paralysis of all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes. In Trapped, a Brier Hospital Series novel by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D., the reader enters the neonatal and the adult intensive care units. Medical fiction works, not only due to its intrinsic drama, but because of the crucial ethical issues that arise, especially in intensive care. Lisa Cooke is the product of a passive mother and an abusive father. She finds her way into pediatric nursing, a world filled with men in control, especially the director of the Neonatal ICU, Mike Cooper. As Mike reminds Lisa of her father, it’s no surprise that they don’t get along. Ultimately, they fall in love and have a fulfilling marriage except that she’s unable to have children. They try everything, but fail. When an automobile accident severely injures Mike, Lisa is devastated. Shortly afterward, she discovers that she’s pregnant. Mike’s injuries are life threatening, and he nearly dies on several occasions. Mike suffers from locked-in syndrome and his survival is constantly in jeopardy, as is Lisa’s pregnancy. Will he/she/they survive?

My Review: I was eagerly anticipating this book and can say that I was not disappointed.  I could tell that it was going to be good from the very first page.  Gold is a master story-teller who pulls you in with well developed characters and a story that moves along at a fast pace, keeping you fully engrossed throughout.  Not to age myself, but it was as if I was reading a season of the television series ER.

The only negative thing that I can say about Trapped is that there were a few grammatical errors (mostly a word that was inserted that shouldn’t be) but these didn’t detract from the story at all.  Maybe a good proofread is all that is needed here.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys medical stories mixed with a little romance and drama.  Dr. Gold is definitely going up on my list of great indie authors!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

deadly

Author:  T.F. Coleman

Paperback, 223 pages

Published in 2013 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  New Adult, Fiction, Action/Adventure

Synopsis:  Jake Conley is thrust into the spotlight after stopping a deranged gunman at an L.A. theater, his new-found fame gets the attention of a private surveillance consulting company that recruits him to be a public relations asset and field consultant working in the world of data mining, hidden cameras, and drones.  The benefits are overwhelming and seem to include a beautiful young woman from Venezuela, Medalia Mendoza, daughter of one of the company’s biggest financial contributors, and whose mother has been missing for the last five years.  Questions about the company’s integrity and Conley’s role with it mount until he is face with the life and death decisions that affect everyone involved.

My Review:  Eerily taken from today’s headlines, this story starts with a gunman’s attempt to commit a mass shooting in a movie theater.  Luckily for those movie goers, Jake Conley is present in the back row and is able to take out the gunman without any casualties.  Conley then becomes involved with a company willing to go to drastic lengths to ensure public safety.  But is that really what they’re doing?

This book started off with a bang (still trying to figure out if my pun is intended here) and then slowed down a bit.  I appreciate the need for the detail, but didn’t feel the rush of suspense until near the end.  And then when I got to the end, everything fell into place (although a little too easily).  Without spoiling it, I am not sure that the events that took place would have gone as they did in similar real-life situations.  I know that this is fiction, so I just enjoyed the ride.

Well-written and cleverly imaginative, this was a good read.  Several parts of the book make you stop and think about the possibility of domestic surveillance and how easily something that starts out for public safety could go so wrong.

I am on the fence about this one.  I liked the story and the author tells it well, however waiting for the action to begin and the simplistic ending brought it down a bit.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

Happy Valentines Day!  Here are the books that have come in the mail this week.  So exciting!

kitty

Synopsis:  Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

farm

Synopsis:  What should a Navy SEAL do when faced with evidence that representatives of the U.S. Government are secretly buying old Soviet tactical nuclear weapoons for purposes other than disarmament? In this thriller, Andy Carlson responds by throwing a monkey wrench into the deal and by resigning from the Navy. Hoping to settle down on his family’s Virginia farm and resume his career as an emergency physician, Andy instead finds himself and those he loves the targets of his own governement and a Russian arms dealer. Although a capable warrior and field surgeon, Andy is disallusioned with his country and unprepared for the female operative sent to ensnare him. He’s a binge drinker, never comfortable around women when he’s sober and scarred by personal losses. Andy’s antebellum plantation is a major player in the action, with its network of limestone caves, family treasures, historical surprises, and natural defenses. Andy enlists three unlikely allies in his defense–a pregnant CIA agent, a male descendant of a former slave on the Carlson plantation who shares a common ancestor with Andy, and a teenage Saudi girl. Some of the secrets of the plantation have never been discused in polite company. Some have heretofore been unspeakable. There were good reasons why the Indians, the British, and the Yankees had lost on this same ground in previous battles. But the Carlsons knew who their enemies were in those fights. And tactical nuclear weapons had never been in Farmville before.

nuclear

Synopsis:  AFTER SEEING THOUSANDS OF DEAD CHILDREN IN THE STREETS OF WAR-TORN MIDDLE EAST, EX-NAVY SEAL ANDY CARLSON USES HIS 4,000 ACRE ANTEBELLUM PLANTATION TO TRAIN HIS PRECOCIOUS TEN YEAR OLD TWINS, JACK AND AVA, TO BE WARRIORS, NOT CASUALTIES. The U.S. President and the Prime Minister of Britain receive a startling warning. If they come to the aid of Israel in the coming Islamic Jihad against the Jewish state, martyrs hidden in their countries will destroy entire cities with nuclear warheads already in place. Any doubts the U.S. president has about nuclear weapons being in the hands of Islamic Fundamentalists are shattered with a mushroom cloud over the remains of Ras Tanura, a key Saudi oil export terminal near the Strait of Hormuz. One man and his wife have unique skills to address this nightmare. Their brainiac kids join them to track down one nail-biting threat after another. NUCLEAR FARM is the second novel in THE FARM series by award-winning author Charles C. Anderson.

blue

Synopsis:  Dive into the continuing saga of the Carlsons-the uniquely talented family who makes preparedness a way of life-in the third installment of The Farm series. Those who are visiting the Carlson’s 4,000-acre plantation for the first time will quickly be drawn to their anything but routine lifestyle. On a pre-enrollment visit to the University of Virginia, twin teenage prodigies Ava and Jack Carlson are devastated when their physically handicapped five-year-old brother Peewee is kidnapped in the Rotunda in Charlottesville. Days later, after paying a ransom, the family finds Peewee’s body buried on their own farm. Adding to the family’s grief and anger, the murderers leave a message indicating that Peewee is only the first of the Carlson clan to be targeted. The twins’ parents, emergency physician and former Navy SEAL Andy Carlson, and his wife, former CIA operative Lindsey Carlson, join forces with their precocious twins to bring the murderers to justice. As the family fights to defend their lives Jack and Ava stumble into their first loves, their first broken hearts…and the horror of who killed Peewee.

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading Deadly Provocation: A Year of Domestic Surveillance by F.C. Coleman.  So far it is pretty good.  I am waiting for the real meat of the story to begin!  Check out the synopsis below:

deadly

Synopsis:  The power of surveillance runs amok in this gripping thriller about paranoia, privilege and prying. Deadly Provocation: A Year of Domestic Surveillance is the debut novel from author T.F. Coleman, whose expertise in computer programming, data mining and data warehousing inform this compelling tale of intrigue.

When Jake Conley thwarts a deranged gunman at an L.A. theater, he finds himself thrust into the spotlight. Drawn by his sudden fame, a private surveillance consulting company recruits him as a public relations asset and field consultant to advise in the field of data mining, hidden cameras and drones. Jake is immersed in a world of intrigue, power and paranoia … and romance.

But all is not as it seems. Jake finds himself wrapped up with the beautiful Medalia Mendoza, daughter of one of the company’s biggest investors, and a woman whose mother went missing five years ago. Questions swirl about the company’s integrity and Conley’s own role in it, until he is faced with life-and-death decisions that affect everyone involved.

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading Secrets of the Speckled Oak by Dawn Alexander.  You can see my review here.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read Trapped by Lawrence W. Gold M.D.  I have been waiting to read this for quite some time, so excited to get started!  Check out the synopsis below.

trapped

Synopsis:  While medical students suspect that every headache is a brain tumor and that every chest pain is a heart attack, experienced physicians know diseases along a spectrum of horror-the ones they dread the most. Among these are cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). As the list continues, we come upon locked-in syndrome, a neurologic disease where a victim is awake and alert, but cannot move or communicate due to paralysis of all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes. In Trapped, a Brier Hospital Series novel by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D., the reader enters the neonatal and the adult intensive care units. Medical fiction works, not only due to its intrinsic drama, but because of the crucial ethical issues that arise, especially in intensive care. Lisa Cooke is the product of a passive mother and an abusive father. She finds her way into pediatric nursing, a world filled with men in control, especially the director of the Neonatal ICU, Mike Cooper. As Mike reminds Lisa of her father, it’s no surprise that they don’t get along. Ultimately, they fall in love and have a fulfilling marriage except that she’s unable to have children. They try everything, but fail. When an automobile accident severely injures Mike, Lisa is devastated. Shortly afterward, she discovers that she’s pregnant. Mike’s injuries are life threatening, and he nearly dies on several occasions. Mike suffers from locked-in syndrome and his survival is constantly in jeopardy, as is Lisa’s pregnancy. Will he/she/they survive?

Available: April 8, 2014

Format: E-book & Paperback (POD)

Genre: Post-Apoc Romance

Tags: Zombies, Survival, Dystopian, Romance, Road Adventure, Family Drama, Love Story, Gender Roles, New Adult, Adult

Warnings: Contains language some might find offensive, some gore and situations of a sexual nature.

Length: 81,000 words, # pages in paperback

Blurb:

Hulking shadows emerge out of the chaotic flurries of the blizzard. Something is dying, and so they come, like vultures.

After months of struggling south to escape the zombie-infested remains of New York, a snowstorm traps 23-year old artist, Emily, and her son in an abandoned gas station. Starving and desperate, they encounter Aaron, an Army medic on a mission of his own, who offers them a ride to ease the journey.

The road is a long and dangerous place to travel, and every day brings a new threat. But fear and adrenaline also drive the two closer together; they find laughter and a budding attraction that starts to thaw at their numb and deadened feelings. And that’s when the pain really starts to hit, when places long thought lost prickle back to life. Eventually, they will have to fight not just for survival, but for a future together, or their broken world will swallow them whole.

Excerpt:  

Emily stared first at him, then at the side-view mirror.

“They are fast…” she exhaled.

Rolling down the highway, Aaron was trying to avoid broken down cars and fallen trees, snow-choked drifts and holes in the road. They were slow, too slow; and the creatures had little trouble keeping up. There was no question of stopping, of course, but he couldn’t accelerate, either.

“It’s like they’re hunting…” he muttered, focus completely on the road.

(read more…)

Giveaway: 

Follow this link to enter the After Life Lessons Giveaway!

About the Authors:

Laila Blake & L.C. Spoering

L.C. and Laila met in 2010 on an online forum and have been inseparable ever since. Having supported each other in their individual writing projects for years, they finally decided to work more closely together in a cross-continental cooperative writing partnership. Together, they host the podcast Lilt and started their micropublishing venture Lilt Literary in 2013.

L.C. (generally known as Lorrie) lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, kids, and too many pets. Laila is a nerdy German translator, living in Cologne with her kitten and a lot of sparkly lights.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

This week I am reading Deadly Provocation: A Year of Domestic Surveillance by T.F. Coleman.  So far, so good.  Check out the teaser below.

From the police report, he walked into a cafe’ where several officers were having breakfast, picked up a chair, and started swinging it at the officers.  He broke the nose of one officer before they could subdue him.  pg. 66

deadly

Synopsis:  The power of surveillance runs amok in this gripping thriller about paranoia, privilege and prying. Deadly Provocation: A Year of Domestic Surveillance is the debut novel from author T.F. Coleman, whose expertise in computer programming, data mining and data warehousing inform this compelling tale of intrigue.

When Jake Conley thwarts a deranged gunman at an L.A. theater, he finds himself thrust into the spotlight. Drawn by his sudden fame, a private surveillance consulting company recruits him as a public relations asset and field consultant to advise in the field of data mining, hidden cameras and drones. Jake is immersed in a world of intrigue, power and paranoia … and romance.

But all is not as it seems. Jake finds himself wrapped up with the beautiful Medalia Mendoza, daughter of one of the company’s biggest investors, and a woman whose mother went missing five years ago. Questions swirl about the company’s integrity and Conley’s own role in it, until he is faced with life-and-death decisions that affect everyone involved.

oak

Author:  Dawn Alexander

Paperback, 220 pages

Published in 2012 by Outskirts Press

Genres:  New Adult, Biographical Fiction

Synopsis:  Laura, a loving mother and wife, struggles over the fact of revealing difficult family secrets to her sons, Max and Alex. She laughs to herself at the thought of how closely her “real-life” resembles that of a “Lifetime Movie.” She mulls over how difficult it would be to actually “tell” Max the entire story! When suddenly the answer to her dilemma strikes her! Laura elects to relive many of her joyful and heartbreaking events that helped to shape her life, by way of a letter! Laura lovingly writes a letter to her son, Max. She explains how not only heartbreak, but love has transformed her life into what it is today. Within the envelope of the letter, Laura places a special gift for Max and Alex to share, which the sons do not initially understand. Laura quotes scriptures from the Bible throughout her letter in hopes that it may aid her son Max through the “journey” of his mother’s life. She hopes once he has completed the reading of the letter and her life story, he may understand even though life does not always turn out exactly how one may have it planned, does not mean the outcome will not turn out even better than he could have ever imagined!

My Review: First of all let me say that the story here is quite moving.  A young mother’s story of falling deeply in love only to discover life is not a fairytale.  There were plenty of times that I reached for my tissue or simply let the tears fall.  That being said, there are a few issues with the book that I couldn’t overlook.

The first was the style in which it was written.  It was like reading a high school girl’s journal.  While that may not always be bad, it was somewhat distracting here.  The writing was overly simple with a lot of repeated words or phrases either within the same sentence or in sequential sentences.  There was even a time or two where the voice switched from third person to first.  I believe it was an unintentional slip, but it did skip me up a bit.

The second issue that I had was that there were way too many exclamation points throughout the book!!!  It gave me the feeling that the author was rushing the story, wanting to get every word down before it escaped her.  This goes back to the overly simple writing style.  I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this was written by a teenage girl.

Overall the story was good and had the author taken a step back and let the book rest and then re-read her work , or enlisted the help of a ghost writer I think that this could have been very good book.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

Check out my finds this week.  Again all very different.  The Well will require a box of tissue!

lawgivers

Synopsis:  Welcome to the near future, where law enforcement has evolved. Attorneys are judge, jury and executioner in one. Police officers are free to investigate, interrogate and apprehend at will. Working together in pairs, they are called Lawgivers. Like all attorneys, Sarah Jordan delivers justice with a katana blade. Moderate offenses result in the telltale scar of a Lawgiver sword through the palm. More serious crimes end with a blade through the heart. When a young girl stumbles into their office after witnessing her father’s murder, Sarah and her cop partner Robert seek the murderer but soon find they’re on the trail of a vast conspiracy revolving around a new drug that vaccinates against all genetic diseases. Going up against its creator, Integrated Life Sciences, would be the case of a lifetime. But against ILS and its shadowy backers, even the law offers little protection.

sailing

Synopsis:  The Gallician frigate had come out of the fog from windward, and had fired its first devastating broadside into the Tritonish frigate from near point blank range. They paralleled each other, mere yards apart, and made no effort to alter course or maneuver for an advantage. With more sail set now, the schooner forged ahead and rapidly closed with the frigates. “Ready the port battery!” “Aye aye, sir!” “Helm, steer as to pass between them!” “Aye aye, sir!” “Sure madness, Edward!” warned Hotchkiss. “But a method to it, Isaac! When I give word, we must put into the wind, and as our guns bear, concentrate fire on the Toad’s starboard quarter. Let us then fall off the wind and repeat with the starboard battery.” “Aye!” Hotchkiss nodded with understanding. Fully awake and alert, his senses at their sharpest, Pierce watched the battling frigates grow larger. The damp night air whipped past mingled with spray thrown up by Island Expedition’s hurried dash through the sea. Despite the apprehension in his gut, Pierce felt alive. Sailing Home From Another World Master and Commander Edward Pierce, captain of HMS Island Expedition, languishes with his ship and crew in a world both very like and unlike his own. A voyage of exploration has led him further afield than he would ever have imagined possible. As he works to convince the Tritonish Government that he is not a rebel pirate, Pierce is offered a unique opportunity to claim citizenship in this parallel world…but in doing so, will he breach his loyalty to King George III? Not knowing whether he will be able to sail back to England, Pierce navigates the uncertain course of diplomacy that allows Stone Island to become a official Land of Vespica…and allows him to be released to sail for home. But the voyage there is fraught with peril, and his welcome is uncertain. What will the Admiralty make of his incredible tale? And will Evangeline, his heart’s joy, still be waiting for him?

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Synopsis:  Grace is dying. Everybody says so. Or is she? She finds herself at a sparkling portal of neon lights in the midst of her mental blizzard. She is seventy-six going on twenty-six, a comatose farm woman in a nursing home who is about to embark on the adventure of her life as a “transcendental traveler.” Following her mother’s voice singing an old hymn, Grace passes through the portal into a place both familiar and unknown. A place where she can devise and fashion a world of her choosing, call up whomever she wants to see, and even merge her own thoughts with those of others. A place she has known all her life, and where she has only just arrived: her beloved kitchen. Oh, it all looks familiar enough. But instead of her homestead, with the livestock pens, the beehives, her personal garden, the barn, the creek and the fields, the kitchen is surrounded by a place where she becomes younger, not older; more vital, not weaker. She names this place Possibilities. Her family wants to believe she will regain consciousness, and she does her best to communicate with them by means of an “evil” well, which offers no reflection from the water’s surface. But although she can hear their voices from the well, they can’t hear hers. In fact, anything that goes into the well from Grace’s side just disappears without a trace. Her attempts to advise, to help, or even just to converse with anyone are futile. So despite her new found freedom and abilities in Possibilities, what Grace wants most badly remains impossible. The well seems to mock and taunt her, as her family’s voices ring achingly near, but maddeningly distant. She is drawn to it, and repulsed by it, all at the same time. She makes the best of things by expanding her new horizons and setting out on new adventures. But even the best of fun times has a downside. Grace is very lonesome for her “kinfolk” and her friends. And they are very lonesome for her. The Grace they see is wasting away in a nursing home bed.

owl

Author:  Jane Davis

Paperback, 402 pages

Published in 2012 by CreateSpace

Genres:  New Adult, Fictional Literature

Synopsis:  A rule-keeper, Ayisha Emmanuelle believes the best way to avoid trouble is by walking away. But, arriving on the scene of what appears to be a playground fight, that isn’t an option. To her horror she finds her colleague Jim Stevens has been stabbed. In the messy aftermath, when Shamayal discloses that he and Jim are friends, Ayisha’s first duty is to report her colleague. But, not knowing if he will pull through, something makes her hesitate. Now, all she can do is wait to see if her instinct was justified.

My Review:  Jane Davis develops well rounded characters along with an intricately woven tale of loss in A Funeral for an Owl. The story flows smoothly while flashing back and forth between the present and the past.  The British slang took some getting used to, but was fairly easy to figure out.

I especially liked the relationship between Jim and Shamayal.  Jim is risking his job to befriend a student in need.  Throughout the book we learn his motivation for doing so and are lead to feel very deeply for both characters and what they have been through.

On the flip side, I really didn’t care for Ayisha.  She is rigid and unfeeling at first.  Although she lightens up a bit I couldn’t bring myself to like her.  It may or may not have been the author’s intent, but either way I wasn’t able to cozy up to her.

My only difficulty (if you can call it that) is that there is nothing happy in this book.  It is a tragic story from beginning to end.  The saving grace comes in the form of a new life for Shamayal (who desperately needs it).  Other than that, this is a great read.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

I received these books this week.  They both look pretty good!

rip

Synopsis:  Rip Cooper must overcome his fears and kill dead people to prevent them from corrupting the living. This young loner learns he can perceive ghosts with his five senses as if they were flesh and blood, and he’s just as solid to them — pretty much the only solid thing, in fact. He works alongside an impure “angel” and his ex-best friend’s ex-girlfriend as they teach him how love can lead to strength.

RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death features the first four novelettes in this coming-of-age and redemption story: “Touch,” “Alone,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B,” plus the short story “Strength.”

deceptive

Synopsis:  The debut of a new hero in international suspense. MI6 has recruited its most unlikely agent an Irish musician sent to India to capture the man who ruined his career: his own brother.

Until Thomas disappeared, Conor McBride had assumed his brother was a simple Irish farmer, content to remain at home while his younger brother chased a career in Dublin as a violinist. That assumption was shattered the day Conor was arrested, falsely implicated as his brother’s accomplice in a conspiracy to commit international fraud.

Five years later, an eccentric British intelligence agent has turned up in Conor’s living room to deliver another shock about his missing brother: Thomas is in India, and involved in something far more dangerous than fraud.

Persuaded that he represents Thomas’s last chance for redemption, Conor is recruited by MI6 to find him. His unlikely journey progresses from the seedy dance bars and back alleys of Mumbai to the tranquil ashrams of Rishikesh, forcing a crisis of identity as he transforms from musician to trained operative.

He is becoming a virtuoso of a different sort, and as Conor reluctantly descends deeper into the world of covert intelligence, he confronts a revelation about his mission that will again shatter all his assumptions about his brother, and faces the possibility that the people he trusted may want him dead.

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading A Funeral for an Owl by Jane Davis.  I am about a fifth of the way and so far I am liking it.  Check out the synopsis below:

owl

Synopsis:  A rule-keeper, Ayisha Emmanuelle believes the best way to avoid trouble is by walking away. But, arriving on the scene of what appears to be a playground fight, that isn’t an option. To her horror she finds her colleague Jim Stevens has been stabbed. In the messy aftermath, when Shamayal discloses that he and Jim are friends, Ayisha’s first duty is to report her colleague. But, not knowing if he will pull through, something makes her hesitate. Now, all she can do is wait to see if her instinct was justified.

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading Bloodmark by Aurora Whittet. and have added it to my list of favorite books.  You can see my review here.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read Secrets of the Speckled Oak: The Story of a Mother’s Love and Perseverence by Dawn Alexander.  It looks like a very moving read.  I will be sure to have my tissues handy as I am a weeper.  Check out the synopsis below.

oak

Synopsis:  Laura, a loving mother and wife, struggles over the fact of revealing difficult family secrets to her sons, Max and Alex. She laughs to herself at the thought of how closely her “real-life” resembles that of a “Lifetime Movie.” She mulls over how difficult it would be to actually “tell” Max the entire story! When suddenly the answer to her dilemma strikes her! Laura elects to relive many of her joyful and heartbreaking events that helped to shape her life, by way of a letter! Laura lovingly writes a letter to her son, Max. She explains how not only heartbreak, but love has transformed her life into what it is today. Within the envelope of the letter, Laura places a special gift for Max and Alex to share, which the sons do not initially understand. Laura quotes scriptures from the Bible throughout her letter in hopes that it may aid her son Max through the “journey” of his mother’s life. She hopes once he has completed the reading of the letter and her life story, he may understand even though life does not always turn out exactly how one may have it planned, does not mean the outcome will not turn out even better than he could have ever imagined!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

This week I am reading A Funeral for an Owl by Jane Davis.  It’s pretty good so far.  Check out the teaser below.

People leave.  He’d got used to it, pitying the small boy who sobbed as he watched his father waving out of the back window of a police car.  pg. 141

owl

Synopsis:  A rule-keeper, Ayisha Emmanuelle believes the best way to avoid trouble is by walking away. But, arriving on the scene of what appears to be a playground fight, that isn’t an option. To her horror she finds her colleague Jim Stevens has been stabbed. In the messy aftermath, when Shamayal discloses that he and Jim are friends, Ayisha’s first duty is to report her colleague. But, not knowing if he will pull through, something makes her hesitate. Now, all she can do is wait to see if her instinct was justified.

blookmark

Author:  Aurora Whittet

Hardback, 333 pages

Published in 2013 by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Genres:  Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny?

My Review:  Look out Twilight, there’s a new pack in town!

I am so glad to have found this great book written from the werewolf perspective!  It is a much needed and refreshing change from the bevy of vampire novels out there.

Author Aurora Whittet offers up suspense, paranormal fantasy, and romance in her debut novel and the first in the Bloodmark Trilogy.  Her ability to depict the pull of first love and the desperation that sometimes accompanies it is impeccable.  The characters are well developed and the fast paced story leaves you on the edge of your seat and begging for more.

I was captivated from the start and couldn’t put it down.  I can’t wait for Bloodrealms!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

conspiracy

Author:  E.P. Rose

Paperback, 290 pages

Published in 2013 by Table Thirteen Books

Genres:  New Adult, Literary Fiction

Synopsis:  A sonnet is penned and, lo, the Conspiracy Kid Fan Club is born. Beware. To read this sonnet is to join the Club. Membership is automatic and irreversible.

This is the story of the earliest unwitting Conspiracy Kid Fan Club members: Edwin Mars (poet), Joe Claude (billionaire), Walter Cornelius (werewolf), Muriel Cohen (chef),to name but a few.

Or, as Edwin Mars, being a poet, puts it:

This is the story of Joe Claude and me,

And of my son and the sisters he loved,

And of their father, how he came to be

In a graveyard – naked and uni-gloved;

Hamburgers, hurricanes, murder and string,

Werewolves and waiters and barmen and cooks,

From Maine to Biloxi, Mayfair to Pring,

Furniture, ketamine, golfing and books;

Marriages made and broken and mended

Under the shadow of loved ones who died.

See how the grieving billionaire ended

Up in that prison where laughter’s proscribed.

Will he be rescued then? Read and find out

What The Conspiracy Kid’s all about.

My Review:  I really enjoyed this book.  At first I found myself writing down the characters names and how they were linked.  Some characters made brief appearances while others continued throughout the book. As the book progressed, it became easier to connect to the characters and the story flowed.

I struggled somewhat to find the poem/fan club’s existence in the story.  The poem is presented first thing, but not mentioned again until about midway through the book.  It distracted me somewhat, but not enough to keep me from enjoying the myriad of characters offered here.

The writing style was simple and easy to follow even though the author would switch perspectives frequently.  There is humor mixed with heartache, which made for great reading.

All in all this was a fun read and I would definitely recommend it.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

This week I received the books listed below.  They are all different, but look equally good.  Check them out:

emissary

Synopsis:  In her debut novel, Patricia Cori weaves her visionary message into a page-turning fantasy adventure that speaks to the very soul of the planet.

Within minutes of one another, three bone-chilling events take place around the globe. In Los Angeles, hundreds of blackbirds drop out of the sky, zapped to their death, mid-flight; in Maine, miles of beach are covered in tens of thousands of dead fish; in New Zealand, 150 whales and dolphins lie dead or dying on the beach.

Jamie Hastings, a renowned psychic researcher and telepath, forges a deep soul connection with the dying whales that leads to her troubled journey at sea as a consultant for USOIL, a Texas based oil company that’s drilling in the most pristine waters of the Pacific Northwest, looking for oil–or so it seems. A bizarre unfolding of events aboard ship sparks the unraveling of a truly evil plan of a secret government that is intent upon silencing the music of the oceans and destroying all life on the planet.

We meet Mat Anderson, CEO of USOIL, whose real objective is not oil but a colony of light beings that he hopes to destroy; Captain Jimbo, a low-grade NSA official, who thinks their mission it to open peaceful contact with the beings; Sam Kemmeries, a pompous MIT grad whose father, a congressman, has managed to get him the post of chief technician aboard the ship, The Deepwater; and Liz Bartholomew, a young college girl who’s supposedly an intern for a six-month training period–but she too wears a mask.

As impossible as it is to imagine anything as sinister as the shadow Jamie faces in her mission to save the earth from the doomsday weapon bearing down on the world, the fact is that it is actually happening, at this very moment, while most of the world is asleep–or simply unaware.

One woman has been chosen to be the voice, against the forces of evil, of the cherished creatures of the sea. She is the emissary.

The question is: Is there still time for her to stop it?

heroic

Synopsis:  When my dad was told he had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he knew that his life was coming to an end. What he didn’t know was that it was also just beginning.

In the time he had left, his life changed dramatically. He became friends with Ted Danson, spent Thanksgiving with Marsha Mason and Shirley MacLaine and he was the subject of an episode of Becker. He was featured on Entertainment Tonight, E! Entertainment and in TV Guide. But most important, he became a part of his young grandsons’ lives. Henry was six, Joe was four. And what they don’t remember themselves of their grampa, I hope they’ll rediscover in this book.

To be with a parent while they are dying is one of the most human of experiences. It is what we are supposed to do. And while those months with my dad were difficult in a myriad of ways, they were the richest and most rewarding of my life. They were, as well, chockablock with humor, since—as nearly any comedy writer will tell you—in the midst of great hardship, there is always funny.

At the time, I didn’t think of the experience as “an honor,” but when I look back, I realize that it was an honor of the highest order.

twelve

Synopsis:  Twelve Years Old And Pregnant… Twelve is the personal story of a young woman who not only survived being a preteen mother, but went on to dedicate her life to sharing information and helping others. Determined not to become part of the statistics that condemn preteen mothers and their children to lives of failure, Aries Free called on all her resilience, knowing in her heart that she deserved better. This moving and inspiring book calls attention to the need for young women to receive better education at home and at school about sexuality, and the need for society as a whole to be more open and supportive. Twelve will open your eyes to the ways in which poverty and social discrimination contribute to the epidemic of preteen and teen pregnancy, and the ways in which our schools and social services fail to provide a solid structure for these at-risk mothers and children. The cycle of preteen mothers stops only when there is honesty, compassion, and action. Twelve provides a strong role model for preteen and teen mothers, and shows that there is always hope, even in the most difficult circumstances.

accidents

Synopsis:  This is a story about borderline attorneys, their employees and associates, all yearning for a different life and devising madcap schemes that embroil them in seriously troubling entanglements. . One of them has withdrawn from the stresses of the profession and is trying to live a life of quiet contemplation and self-discovery in isolation at the beach, but he is constantly drawn back into the chaos engendered by his friends. His life- changing discoveries have taken him on a journey into the martial arts and to an unforgettable friendship with the great writer Henry Miller. His friends turn to him to help them untangle hopeless complications resulting from their misadventures. One of leading characters commits a heinous murder that upsets the delicate balance of trust and interdependence that holds their world together. It changes the street dynamic and causes their lives to be engulfed in increasingly disruptive turmoil. A love story is interwoven throughout between the attorney protagonist and a lovely woman. She ridicules his self-involvement and world view, and wants him to relate to her in ways he finds spurious and unrealizable. Their fluctuating relationship resonates throughout the bizarre events elaborated in the story

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading Bloodmark by Aurora Whittet.  Just started it, so opinions yet!  Check it out below:

blookmark

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny?

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading The Conspiracy Kid by E.P. Rose and quite enjoyed it.  My review will be up soon.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read A Funeral for an Owl by Jane Davis and I can’t wait!  I have been excited about this book since I read Cleopatra Loves Books review which you can see here.  Check out the synopsis below.

owl

Synopsis:  A rule-keeper, Ayisha Emmanuelle believes the best way to avoid trouble is by walking away. But, arriving on the scene of what appears to be a playground fight, that isn’t an option. To her horror she finds her colleague Jim Stevens has been stabbed. In the messy aftermath, when Shamayal discloses that he and Jim are friends, Ayisha’s first duty is to report her colleague. But, not knowing if he will pull through, something makes her hesitate. Now, all she can do is wait to see if her instinct was justified.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

This week I am reading Bloodmark by Aurora Whittet.  I am literally on the first few pages, so no opinion as of yet.  Check out the teaser below.

“He kept his eyes on mine and didn’t turn around.  She screeched an unholy sound and stomped out, ramming her shoulder into mine, but I didn’t look away from Grey’s intriguing green eyes.”  pg. 67

blookmark

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny?

Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can discuss books that you’ve discovered over the course of the week and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list. They can be books that are new or used.  They can be ones that you’ve borrowed (library or friend), found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

This week I am sharing books that have come in the mail recently for review.  They all look very promising!

braced

Synopsis:  When Beanie volunteers to foster a homeless basset hound from Lakeside Animal Shelter, she’s headed for calamity one way or another. Beanie and Cruiser are on the crime trail once again after a reviled shelter manager is discovered euthanized. Tahoe Animal Impoundment Liberation Society (TAILS) is a prime suspect in her murder, but there are plenty of other suspects among South Lake Tahoe’s irate dog lovers, including the grieving owner of Gilda, an ill-fated basset rumored to haunt the shelter.

If Beanie doesn’t have enough trouble unleashed on her with another murder to solve and daughter Nona’s health scare, foster dog Calamity is living up to her name, creating havoc at the MacBean house. With all her behavioral issues, this crazy hound could make a dog whisperer scream. Beanie is eager to find an adopter for Calamity at the upcoming Basset Waddle fundraiser for a new no-kill animal shelter, but Calamity has other ideas.

When TAILS crashes the Waddle rally and parade, chaos ensues. After Cruiser mysteriously vanishes during the mêlée, Beanie discovers he’s being held at the shelter and could be destroyed. Racing to Cruiser’s rescue, she stumbles into a deadly trap intended to put an end to the murder investigation along with Beanie and her crime-busting canine. When it looks like all may be lost, Cruiser and Calamity are “braced” for murder as they pair up to track the killer and save Beanie from a cruel death at the dog pound.

sleight

Synopsis:  In a world where predators rule, war is always at the doorstep and wolves flirt like nobody’s business, Lilith has a vision linking her to a desperate suicide bombing. The bomber’s cryptic message, spoken in a dead language, holds the key to Lilith’s unpredictable powers. When she learns the incident also ties to the blackmail of the powerful house she is aligned with, Lilith and her quirky band of allies must navigate a maze of lies, gadgets and danger to uncover the truths behind a horrible secret and the bomber’s ultimate riddle. A pack of unruly dogs, a slippery well-heeled night club owner and Lilith’s psychotic twin won’t make it easy on them along the way.

rusted

Synopsis:  Rusted Rails, based in 1928, resurrects the now abandoned coal-mining town of Wilder, Tennessee. Life in these towns held little promise for the future. One family, that of David and Jenny Hughes, sought to keep their son out of the mines. Their plan was, however, jeopardized by David’s untimely death and by Jenny’s discovery that she was carrying her late husband’s unborn child.

With few options, Jenny chose abortion, an unfortunate choice as the procedure was botched and she was abducted by the abortionists attempting to hide their criminal enterprise. And so begins a gritty, hard-hitting story that tells of Jenny’s rescue from the dire consequences of her decision. Her rescuers include a courageous newspaper reporter and his colleagues aided by a fledgling FBI and some Great War veterans. Their efforts were complicated by the well-meaning interference by Rose, a local prostitute who had inadvertently endangered Jenny by introducing her to the abortion ring. Jenny’s rescue involves a multi-state car chase culmination in a violent shoot out.

intangible

Author:  C.A. Gray

Paperback, 482 pages

Published in 2013 by Wanderlust Publishing

Reader Category:  Young Adult

Synopsis:  Peter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees… until she meets Peter and his father.

When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories… including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.

My Review:  I was very excited to start reading this book and I must say that I was not disappointed!  The mix of modern science with the tales of King Arthur and Excalibur made for very interesting reading.  I didn’t always get the scientific references, and lucky for me neither did some of the characters, so the author was able to cleverly explain those references in plain English without being too obvious. 

The cast of characters contains a good mix of jock, geek, devoted best friend and new girl.  While the main focus is on Peter, the loveable science nerd who can’t seem to stay out of trouble, I felt that the other characters were well rounded.

The story is fast paced and full of plenty of action and twists and turns. I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t want it to end.  I can’t wait for #2!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading Intangible (Piercing the Veil #1) by C.A. Gray.  It is a great Young Adult fantasy novel that brilliantly weaves in the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur.  I am having a hard time putting it down!  Check it out below:

intangible

Synopsis:  Peter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees… until she meets Peter and his father.

When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories… including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading A Fool Among Fools by John Terracuso and was thoroughly entertained.  You can see my review here.

What do you think you are going to read next?   The Conspiracy Kid by E.P. Rose.  Check it out below.

conspiracy

Synopsis:  A cast of charmingly eccentric characters is brought together through their accidental membership of The Conspiracy Kid Fan Club, resulting in a glorious series of adventures involving hamburgers, poetry, blues, mental breakdowns, art, death and golf, as it propels the reader from Hendon to Biloxi, and from Piccadilly to Pring.

The friendship between Edwin Mars, a shambolic and underfunded poet, and Joe Claude, a plodding and bereaved billionaire, lies at the heart of the book – a friendship kindled by Edwin’s sonnet, “The Conspiracy Kid Fan Club”.

But what is the Fan Club? Who is the Conspiracy Kid? And what effect does reading the sonnet have on all those who come into contact with it?

This is the story of the earliest unwitting Conspiracy Kid Fan Club members: Edwin Mars (poet), Joe Claude (billionaire), Walter Cornelius (‘werewolf’), Muriel Cohen (chef) – to name but a few. It tells of their loves and losses, their tragedies and triumphs, all tied together in a tangle of conspiracy, coincidence and string.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!
  • Share the title and author as well so that others can add the book to their To Be Read list!

This week I am reading Intangible (Piercing the Veil #1) by C.A. Gray and really enjoying it.  Glad to be reading a Young Adult novel again!  Check out my teaser (sorry, I know, I’m way over two sentences!) below:

“Peter Stewart…” Dolores repeated, still staring at him, her face slack with awe. Then suddenly she cried, “Lydia, come here, you’ve got to see this!”  Immediately a buxom girl in an apron appeared from the back of the cart expectantly, and Dolores pointed at Peter, as if he weren’t standing right there, able to hear every word. “Who does he remind you of?”

Lydia’s eyes followed Dolores’ finger, and her mouth fell open. “Well, I’ll be…”

intangible

SynopsisPeter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.  

Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees… until she meets Peter and his father.

When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories… including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.

fools

Author:  John Terracuso

ebook, 375 pages

Published in 2013 by Smashwords

Reader Category:  Adult

Synopsis:  It’s 1986 and Michael Gregoretti is a struggling copywriter at a big New York ad agency, trapped on accounts no one else will touch.Toss in one insane boss, a sweet and sassy gal pal, a dreamboat boyfriend with cold feet, a wisecracking roommate and what might be the worst TV commercials ever made, and you’ve got a witty, wonderful story that will keep you laughing until the very last page.

My Review:  I really enjoyed this book.  It is very well-written with plenty of witty dialogue and funny moments that hook you and keep you wanting more.

Who can’t empathize with Michael, who hates his job and finds himself often unlucky in love?  I quickly became attached to him and could feel his frustrations.  I applauded his gusto when he stood up for himself to the wretched Gwen, and wanted to shake him for not showing the same backbone in his love life.

Lucky for Michael, he has supportive parents and friends who love him for who he is and see the great in him.  When it seems all is lost, and he may as well just pack it in, Michael pulls himself up by his bootstraps (with the help of his parents), and gets ready to embark on a new phase in his life.

Even through the most melancholy moments, Terracuso pulls the reader through with humor and great writing.  I highly recommend this very entertaining book.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

WWW_Wednesdays4

W.W.W. Wednesdays is a weekly event brought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.  To play along, answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you are going to read next?

Here is my WWW for today:

What are you currently reading?  I am reading A Fool Among Fools by John Terracuso.   I just started reading this book, but so far so good!  Check it out:

fools

Synopsis:  It’s 1986 and Michael Gregoretti is a struggling copywriter at a big New York ad agency, trapped on accounts no one else will touch.Toss in one insane boss, a sweet and sassy gal pal, a dreamboat boyfriend with cold feet, a wisecracking roommate and what might be the worst TV commercials ever made, and you’ve got a witty, wonderful story that will keep you laughing until the very last page.

What did you recently finish reading?  I just finished reading Daughters of Twilight by Collette Jackson-Fink.  I enjoyed it.  Check out my review here.

What do you think you are going to read next?   I am going to read Intangible (Piercing the Veil #1) by Dr. C.A. Gray.  I am excited to read a young adult novel again and this one looks very promising!  Check it out below.

intangible

Synopsis:  Peter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees… until she meets Peter and his father.

When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories… including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.

daughters

Author:  Collette Jackson-Fink

Paperback, 290 pages

Published in 2013 by Outskirts Press

Reader Category:  Adult

Synopsis:  When an earthquake measuring seven on the Richter scale hits the tiny town of Waterloo, Iowa, life gets very strange indeed for the locals. A dark, hulking, pyramid-shaped tower pushes its way up through a corn field in Blackhawk County, thrusting the city into turmoil and into the national spotlight.

The “Black Tower” as it’s called is believed to be dormant, but when special tactical teams are sent inside to investigate, special team member Dane Coles is confronted by the impossible: a beautiful creature who claims to have been cursed and cast down into oblivion within the Garden of Eden. Now, the mystery creature is using the Black Tower as a doorway to the surface.

Coles has been trained for encounters with creatures made of real flesh and bone and blood, not for encounters with supernatural beings. What is he to do with this intelligence – and this “angel?”

My Review: A mix of science-fiction, military action and romance, Daughters of Twilight offers something for every reader.

Jackson-Fink was able to capture my attention from the very start with the prologue.  Her description of the man running from the black tower, desperate to escape the horrors he’d witnessed had me hooked.

This was a unique story and the characters were well-developed, most, easy to become attached to.  The military action did not take away from the love story that is embedded here and the fast pace made this book hard to put down.

As a side note, there were several instances where words were obviously out of place.  For instance summit was used where submit was the proper word.  Although this tripped me up, I didn’t let it deter from the great story.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.