Tag Archive | childrens book

Great Summer Countdown – Day 11

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Guinevere by Cheryl Carpinello

At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history….

Guineverefinal copyShe is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage.

For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits?

However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

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Author Picture 500x500I am retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Quest Books set in these worlds.

I also conduct Medieval/Short Story Writing Workshops in Elementary/Middle School classes. Contact me if you are interested in holding a workshop for students: ccarpinello@mac.com.

Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ ~ Parent/Educators ~ Quest Books ~ Blog ~
Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~ BookBuzzer ~ Pinterest ~ LinkedIn ~

 

 

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Q&A With the Author:

3.  What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

My biggest struggle is figuring out how to get my characters to the next pivot point in my stories. That’s when I put down pen and paper and spend time going over different scenarios in my head. Sometimes that takes a few hours, but usually it’s a few days.

4.   What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

My favorites are Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men.

 

Snippet:

At the bottom of the stairs, Guinevere paused and peeked out the door.  Seeing no one, she stepped out into the bailey, thankful for the clouds that hid the moon.  Focused on the outer door across the courtyard, she missed seeing the figure that slid out of the shadows and followed her.
Guinevere glanced once more around the bailey as she reached the outer door.  The shadow following her hugged the building as the moon drifted out from the clouds.  She crept through the door and turned to the right.  Keeping in the shadows and close to the stable wall, she managed to work her way to about twenty yards from the edge of the forest.  Taking a furtive look around, she stole across the open grass and slipped into the trees.
As she disappeared from view, the figure following her moved through the outer door.  As Guinevere had done, this figure kept close to the stable wall, staying within the shadows and watching the tree line for any movement.  Seeing nothing, the shadowy figure moved out into the moonlight, revealing himself to any who happened to be watching, but there were none.  Those not in bed stayed in the hall enjoying themselves too much to venture out into the late night.  The moonlight bounced off his grey gown and illuminated his white hair, making it appear ghostly.  Merlyn quickened his pace, not wanting to fall too far behind.
Guinevere crept along the forest path.  The fragrance of wet pine filled her senses.  Suddenly, the faint sound of a voice off to her right reached her ears.  She turned and moved cautiously through the trees and brush.  The  calming quality of the voice dispelled her fears.  As she moved closer, the voice’s volume increased very little.  Whoever it belonged to continued to whisper to someone, although Guinevere heard only the one voice.
Through the leafy oak branches, Guinevere made out the shape of a tall, slender woman dressed in a white hooded robe.  Edging closer she saw that the woman stood in a small clearing.  Moonlight filtered down, descending almost like a halo around her.  With the woman’s hood up, Guinevere was unable to discern any other physical features.  The woman continued to talk to someone concealed by her body.  Intrigued, Guinevere moved closer, careful not to make any noise.  While the woman did not move, from time to time her arms reached out in front of her, for some reason unknown to Guinevere.

 

 

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Books I Read In May 2016

The Shadow Rises

by K.S. Marsden

I read the three books in the Witch-Hunter series back to back.
The Shadow Rises drew me in after the first few pages and wouldn’t let go so I moved straight onto The Shadow Reigns, quickly followed by The Shadow Falls.
These books now make up one of my favourite trilogies!


The Shadow Rises is an awesome start to an original and exciting series, that has a new take on witches. It’s a fast-paced, fun and enjoyable read, with action and intrigue plus an unexpected and surprising twist.


Hunter is a strong character, he is arrogant but also shows enough fear and doubt to not be unbearable. James and Sophie’s characters are well developed and well suited to their roles within the story.


There wasn’t a huge cliffhanger at the end of book 1, just a satisfying ending that made me want to continue with the story!

Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.
Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witch-hunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.

The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.

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The Shadow Reigns

by K.S. Marsden

The second book in the series starts with Hunter recovering from the revelations and after-effects of book ones’ ending. It moves at a slightly slower pace, but with more descriptive writing. The details of the magic make it completely believable.

K.S. Marsden continues to develop the main characters, allowing them to grow with their actions and circumstances. I enjoyed getting to know Hunter much better in this book.


The ending of this book was so amazing that I was reaching for the third book as I closed this one.

The world has been thrown into darkness by the Shadow Witch’s revolution. The witch-hunters are scattered, but still strong. The race is now on to gather allies and win the war. New enemies will arise; loyalties will be pushed to the limit. And an important question will be answered: can a witch-hunter that practices magic ever be trusted, or will he be persecuted? It is said that ‘love conquers all’, but this twisted love must stay secret, locked away with the past.

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The Shadow Falls

by K.S. Marsden

Book three picks up where the Shadow reigns leaves off, with Hunter hiding from the witches and searching for the Benandanti.

The fast-paced action from book one was back in this book, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me on my toes.


Hunter’s personality evolves and becomes more complex as the story continues. A number of new, well-developed, characters are introduced in this book including Hunters son, his new love interest, a demon and the monks.


This book and the last few chapters were the perfect finale to the trilogy!


The plot, throughout all three books, was unpredictable and kept me guessing the entire time!

Hunter Astley has always known that he is different: being a witch-hunter that can use magic has sealed his fate.
He must destroy the Shadow Witch once and for all, with the help of some unlikely allies.

We delve even deeper into the world of the Malleus Maleficarum; into myth, rumour and history that refuses to stay in the past.

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Hellbeast

by Matthew W. Harrill

Take a trip to Hell in the final? installment of The ARC Chronicles.

This action-packed book with many twists, turns, and unexpected surprises is a well-written and awesome ending to the trilogy.


I’m not sure what I can say about Hellbeast, that I haven’t already said about Hellbounce and Hellborne.
“The graphically detailed descriptions don’t just let you visualise the scene, they draw you in and make you a part of it.”
“The interesting and dimensional characters were strong, believable and easy to love… or hate.”


I have enjoyed reading all three books and have loved being a part of the adventure.

 

The fate of the world is balanced on a knife-edge. Despite everything Madden and Eva have been through to prevent it, the ARC Council is in disarray, demons roam the Earth. The Apocalypse is closer than ever. The solution couldn’t be further from her grasp.

Enter the final chapter of The ARC Chronicles, where Eva throws off the yolk of personal tragedy and follows her destiny to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the one place she cannot hope to avoid.

Hellbeast: Heroes don’t always walk in the light.

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The Felix Chronicles: Five Days in January

by R.T. Lowe

This second book in The Felix Chronicles is shorter than the first and ends with a real cliff hanger.

All the main characters from book one are back, and their personalities continue to grow.
The story is, once again, well-paced with plenty of twists, turns, intrigue and suspense to keep you guessing, and the detailed descriptions place you right in the heart of the action.


It’s an exciting and fun book, and I’m looking forward to reading book three.


I received an eCopy of Five Days in January from R.T. Lowe in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Felix and Allison return from winter break with hopes of settling into the comfortable rhythms of college life only to find Portland College hasn’t escaped the wave of senseless violence sweeping across the land, from the malls of Minnesota to a small town in northern Maine. Amidst the chaos, a political movement rises, fueled by the turmoil threatening to tear the country apart. As the public’s discontent reaches a final tipping point, a new hope emerges from an unexpected figure, a man offering the promise of peace and security—the prospect of ‘freedom from fear’. When the line that separates allies from enemies blurs and good and evil becomes a matter of perspective, Felix must make a choice. But as the gears of a 2,000-year-old prophecy grind inexorably to the future, can Felix choose his own path, or is free will as illusory as the salvation promised by a man destined to set the world aflame?

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Slither

by Valarie Savage Kinney

Much more than a horror story…

A fascinating story that kept me on the edge of my seat and was impossible to put down.
The well thought out and unique plot twisted it’s way through this well-written book.


The main characters were well-fleshed out, each had their own flaws and abusive pasts to deal with, but worked wonderfully together to help and heal each other.


The villains were dark and menacing characters and easy to hate.

 

 

We’re often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She’s hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?

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Criminal Kind: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

I felt like I was holidaying with some good friends in the third book in the series. I joined Charlie and Marian, on their honeymoon cruise, which included an unexpected, and mysterious death.

Marian and Charlie are well-developed characters and there is a wonderful chemistry between them.


The murder ‘weapon’ in this story was quite creative and well thought out.


I had no idea who the murderer was this time, or their motive, until near the end.


These books could be read as a stand-alone mystery because you are not left hanging, but you would miss seeing how Charlie & Marian’s relationship has evolved since the start of the first book, and also the developing mystery of the paper hearts.

It’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway at sea: Caribbean breezes, clear blue skies, passionate nights, and murder? Not exactly what Detective Charlie McClung and Marian had in mind for their honeymoon. When one of their fellow passengers is murdered on her 35th wedding anniversary, Charlie and Marian get pulled into the investigation. Who would want to kill poor Tammy Ferguson in such a brutal way? As Charlie uncovers more sordid details about Tammy and her husband, Peter, it becomes clear that someone else has found the same skeletons in the Ferguson’s closet and Tammy has paid the price. Is Peter next?

Trapped on the ship with an insidious killer, shadows seem more ominous and even the most innocent faces seem sinister. Has Charlie inadvertently put Marian in harm’s way? How long does Charlie have before the hunter becomes the hunted?

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Sins of My Youth: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

Each one of the books in The Charlie McClung Mysteries can be read as a standalone, but the storyline is better appreciated if read in order.
Reading these books is like joining a group of old friends and helping them unravel the mystery.
The characters are well developed and colourful, and the descriptions and detail draw you in to the story.
Along with the new murders this book also continues the mystery of the paper hearts.

Secrets, lies, and revenge. What a deadly combination! When the owner of a local strip club is found with his throat slit, Detective Charlie McClung has only one obvious suspect: his wife’s best friend, Joan. Even though Charlie finds her clutching a bloody knife while standing over the body, he has been around long enough to know that crime scenes aren’t always as they first appear. But as other suspects become victims themselves, Charlie must delve deeper into Joan’s dark and seedy past to prove her innocence.

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Norma Jean’s School of Witchery: Book One: Jewel

by Rose Montague

I enjoyed reading this fun and action filled book, and liked the character connections to Rose Montague’s other series, Three J’amigos.

I quickly became attached to Jewel and followed her as she dealt with the trials of starting a new school, making new friends and discovering the extent of her magic powers.


Jewels new friends are a diverse and interesting group. I would like to get to know some of them better and hope we get to see more of them in future books.


Jewel and the main cast of supporting characters are dimensional, with their own strengths, weaknesses and personalities.

Jewel has a problem. She’s in a witch school and can’t get the most basic spells to work. Her true magical talents must remain hidden. That might be hard to do with a killer on the loose. Murder, mayhem, and magic with a little romance along the way.

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A Friend in Need

by Les Lynam, Tim Hemlin & Chess Desalls

Having read, and loved, all the books (so far) in Les Lynam’s Time Will Tell series and the first two books from The Call to Search Everywhen by Chess Desalls, I was over the moon when I was offered this book to read.

A Friend in Need is a brief but interesting insight into what happens when a couple of the characters from each of the above series meet in an alternative dimension/timeline.


It was well-written, as can be expected with three authors working on one book, and the crossover between the books worked well and seamlessly. It’s a wonderful and fun interlude for readers of any of the series involved… I would have loved it to have been longer!


I have not yet read Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders, but I was fascinated by the brief introduction to that world and will be reading it as soon as possible!

A Friend in Need is a short story collaboration between three different YA authors who combine their talents to create an intersection in an apocalyptic world populated with characters from their respective novels. LX and Jane (from Lynam’s Time Will Tell series) time-crash into Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders. Their only hope of returning to their own world requires help from Bear, Caballito, and the time-witch. Enter Calla and Valcas, (time-travelers from Chess Desalls’ Call to Search Everywhen series,) who land in the wastelands while conducting a time-search of their own. Will the travelers be able to return, or are they stuck in the wastelands forever?

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The Lost Shepherd

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

A compelling, short introduction to the Reacher Series.

I’ve read two shorts (edit: make that 3) and the novel, The Running Game, from this series and have enjoyed them all. I’m looking forward to reading many more books by L.E. Fitzpatrick.

In a world devastated by corruption, Father Darcy has lost his faith. After letting down the very people he had pledged to protect, he decides to take a pilgrimage across the dangerous English countryside in an attempt to find his mission again.

There he meets men hungry for his blood. A vicious, relentless landscape. And two boys more dangerous than anything he has ever seen before. But can he save these children, or will they his cause change forever?

This is a Reacher short story set before the events of The Running Game.

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Safe Haven

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

Another quick, easy and fascinating read from the Reacher Series.
This one gives some background into Rachel.


I’ve enjoyed all the short stories in this series, as well as The Running Game and am looking forward to reading Border Lines.

It’s Christmas time and snow is falling over Red Forest. Isobel is nine years old, she is running with her father and sister, trying to escape the gunfire tearing through the trees. Civil war is erupting and the family are right in the middle of the battlefield. With nowhere else to go they have to somehow make it our of the forest, but can they all make it out alive?

Safe Haven is a short companion piece to the novel The Running Game. Set two decades earlier this is the story of where the Reacher girls came from

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Family

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

Another short, but entertaining, story from the Reacher Series.
This one follows on from The Running Game, which I enjoyed immensely.

Rachel and the Smith Brothers are on the run, trying to escape the dangers they left in the city.

But when they stop off for supplies they suddenly find themselves in a whole new kind of trouble.

Rachel realises the true nature of the men she is travelling with, but where exactly does she fit in?

This is a companion short story to the Reacher Series set between The Running Game and Border Lines. This story does not contain any major spoilers to the main series and can be read independently.

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Raining Down Rules

by B.K. Rivers

A fun, fast and entertaining read, with a depth of emotion I didn’t expect.
There’s an interesting cast of well-developed characters, and there’s some great chemistry between them.


The ending was unpredictable and I wondered, whilst reading, who she would choose (I was happy with her decision)!


Mainly written from Jemma and Jordans point of view, I think it’a shame we didn’t get more from Vic’s point of view as well.

 

 

Jemma Bowers hasn’t kissed anyone in over a thousand days. She knows—she’s counted.

For twenty-year-old Jemma, rules are not meant to be broken…even if she’s the one who created them. Friendships have boundaries, relationships mean trouble, and don’t even get her started on sex. Haunted by the death of her mother and her father’s abandonment, Jemma finds herself hungry for something meaningful and permanent, but is afraid of what may happen if she pursues it.

Jordan Capshaw can’t fight his addiction. Not even if it will cost him his career…

When Jemma finds Jordan drunk and barefoot in the street, she convinces him to get in her car. Aside from the fact he’s the lead singer of her favorite band and pretty much the rock star of her dreams, she quickly realizes his addiction is a monster neither of them can control.

Who knew choosing between a rock star and a fireman could be so difficult?

Emotions run high as Jemma soon finds herself caught between the troubled rock star and her growing affections for Vic Harper, a swoon-worthy firefighter from her past. But when her grandmother passes away, leaving her with no other family, Jemma’s world falls apart.

To save herself from further heartbreak, she risks it all by breaking her own rules, and putting her heart on the line.

After all, the heart just might be the biggest rule breaker of them all.

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Girlie and the War of the Wasps

by Claire Plaisted

A thoroughly enjoyable book, for children of all ages.

The story is adventurous and interesting, and the illustrations were delightful.
I liked how the ‘lessons’ in healthy eating, bullying and discrimination were worked into the story without being preachy!

40% OF SALES GOING TO ‘CHASING A CURE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES.’
Girlie is a young blue ladybug who sees her best friend kidnapped. Venturing after her, she discovers some naughty wasps who need to learn about healthy eating. Along the way, Girlie meets many different characters, some who are helpful and some who aren’t.

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The Sweet Ones

by David Moles

A short snapshot of life for a small group of people during a zombie outbreak.

It’s a quick read with some suspense and a bit of a twist.
However, the story is too short to get to know the characters and I didn’t feel any attachment for any of them. This also made it difficult to understand the reasoning behind some of their actions.

The Bad People Are Coming

Can five year old Tommy and his family survive a zombie attack by barricading themselves into an old house?

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Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance

by Tanille Edwards

Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures is a lovely little educational book.
Young children will learn lots of facts about different animals.
The emphasis is definitely on educating rather than entertaining!

 

 

 

Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures® for Wildlife Alliance brings children right into the center of animal life at a wildlife conservation center. Jordan and Justine use their magical powers to explore the world of dolphins, to find out how laws can protect wildlife, and to learn what it means to be a mammal. Perfect for children ages 7 to 9. By Tanille Edwards and Latoya Edwards

2016 is the year to take a stand for Wildlife!

There are animals that need our help. Author, Tanille Edwards and publishing company, Fire Flies Entertainment have partnered with the national organization Wildlife Alliance to share 50% of the proceeds from each Wildlife book from the Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures series sold to the organization

Books I Read In April 2016

The Exiled (The Exiled, #1)

by Scott Borgman

Never a dull moment in this book! There’s always something happening.
Once you start reading, it’s virtually impossible to put down.

The book is beautifully written. The storyline, the conflict between good and evil, is well thought out and has a sense of uncertainty and tension.

All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.

An incredible story with a stunning ending. I can’t wait to read book 2.

 

 

David doesn’t believe in angels. He doesn’t believe in the devil. What better place for the key to Lucifer’s prison to hide than in someone who doesn’t believe in any of that?

When Lucifer discovers where the key to his prison is located, he sets out to claim it. The only thing standing in his way: the Exiled. For ages, they’ve fought to keep Lucifer and those who stand beside him contained within the prison. It’s a war between angels and fallen angels. Between Exiled and Imprisoned. Between brothers and sisters. And the Exiled are losing.

By a stroke of luck (or is it Fate?), Celeste and David cross paths, and the ongoing struggle to contain Lucifer takes a new turn as David discovers the world he has always known is not what it seems, that angels don’t wear halos, and his lack of belief doesn’t matter. Lucifer wants the key to his prison – and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Celeste may be Exiled, but she’s still an angel… still sworn to protect humanity – and that includes David. Protecting him from her Imprisoned brothers and sisters isn’t her only problem, though. She’s attracted to David like a moth to a flame, but angel Law strictly forbids any kind of intimate relationships with humans. Not even a single kiss is allowed. She knows why it’s forbidden, but that’s just a rumor…

‘The Exiled’ is the first book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Continuation (The Exiled, #2)

by Scott Borgman

Book 2 picks up some years after the end of book 1, with David and Celeste’s daughter, Kaly, learning about her heritage the hard way.
God, Lucifer and the old gods are all back along with the addition of vampires and werewolves.
The combination of the different myths and beliefs was handled brilliantly and well explained.

Once again the story grabbed me on page one and didn’t let go until the end of book three!

In my review of book one, I said “All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.”
This is still true in book two, and the new characters, especially Kaly and Cody developed and grew through the book.

This was an exceptional read, and I couldn’t help but dig straight into book three

 

They thought it was over. They thought they had won. But you can’t keep a determined devil down, and Lucifer’s got something new up his demonic-looking armor. He’s devious and calculating. He knows the rules – and this time, he’s going to use them in his favor.

As the story speeds ahead through the years, Lucifer’s plans begin to unfold. With the help of a shadowy ally, he manipulates the rules on a fateful night – the very night David and Celeste sit down to tell their daughter who she really is.

For 23 years, Kaly thought she was just a normal human being like everyone else. But when she becomes the target in Lucifer’s newest attempt to escape his prison, the veil is lifted once more as she learns through frightful experience that her parents have secrets – and she’s one of them.

They’re out there… dark creatures of myth and legend that have been portrayed in movies and written about in books. But the monsters are real. They’re coming for her. And this time, the angels are powerless to help. Lucifer’s plan is flawless. His freedom from the prison is assured. No human will keep him from escaping this time.

It’s going to take more than bullets to keep Lucifer contained… more than human determination, unexpected love, angelic defiance, or help from an old acquaintance with her own agenda. It’s going to take something this world has never seen before.

‘The Exiled: Continuation’ is the second book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Infinity (The Exiled, #3)

by Scott Borgman

In book three we see a more ‘human’ side to Lucifer, as former enemies join forces to defeat their common enemy.
This book is set five years later than book two, but for me it was as though I’d never left and I was immediately captured by the story.

There aren’t many books that make me cry, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed few tears during the ending of this story.

The trilogy as a whole is a roller coaster ride of emotions, as good battles evil and not everything is as black and white as it seems.
The three books were well written and rather than simply reading a story, you are drawn in and experience the action alongside the characters.
Although God and Lucifer, and heaven and hell, appear in these novels, they aren’t ‘religious’ books and aren’t at all preachy.

 

Scott Borgman is an amazing storyteller and the The Exiled Trilogy is an awesome read!

 

The angels have waited, knowing something is coming on the horizon. Something dark. But they don’t know what. They don’t know when. They only know it’s coming. For five years, Kaly and Cody have waited as well. And in those five years, neither has aged a day. Such was the gift that was given to them.

He’s plotted, planned, and studied each of his foes for ages. He knows their weaknesses. When he unleashes his fury upon them all, no one is prepared. Humans, angels, old gods… no one is safe. Chaos ensues and the death toll begins to rise.

As the angels fight to defend Heaven and the old gods battle for Olympus, Kaly makes a dangerous decision and ventures into Lucifer’s prison, while Cody travels to Olympus in a desperate hope to find a way to stop an unstoppable foe. And while they seek answers – humanity faces the Apocalypse on Earth.

The veil will be torn away. Enemies will become allies to fight a common foe. You’ll walk with uncle and niece into the darkest depths of humanity to discover how low we can sink… and how high we’re capable of soaring. You’ll fly with angels, stand with the old gods, and fight beside humanity in its most desperate hour.

The game draws to a close. Humans, angels, and olds gods face a foe that has planned everything so meticulously, there can only be one outcome: a stunning conclusion to The Exiled Trilogy that will last for Infinity.

‘The Exiled: Infinity’ is the third book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Hellbounce (The ARC Chronicles, #1)

by Matthew W. Harrill

An amazing story!

Join the ‘forgettable’ Madden and psychotherapist Eva Ross, helped along the way by Janus and the ARC, as they race against time to save mankind and stop the Apocalypse.

This well-paced and action-packed book grabs your attention and holds it to the last page and beyond. It’s a great story with a well thought out plot. The graphically detailed descriptions don’t just let you visualise the scene, they draw you in and make you a part of it. I loved being a part of this adventure.
The interesting and dimensional characters were strong, believable and easy to love… or hate.

I am very interested to see where the story takes me in the second book, Hellborne (less)

 

As a psychologist in a prison hospital, Eva Ross had always dealt with her share of sinners. The corrupt, the insane, their minds were all hers to unlock. But when those around her, those she trusted with her life start to exhibit the same characteristics, she is forced to turn to a stranger, a man whose name she is incapable of even remembering, for sanctuary.

Follow Eva as she crosses continents to unlock the answers, and her eventual destiny.

Hellbounce. Demons don’t always hide in the dark.

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Hellborne (The ARC Chronicles, #2)

by Matthew W. Harrill

Picking up where Hellbounce left off, the author delivers another amazing book in the trilogy.

As Madden and Eva marry and prepare for impending parenthood, all hell breaks loose…
this time, the demons are after the baby, and they’re not the only ones!

It’s hard to review Hellborne without revealing anything of the story, there is so much packed into the book. The characters are well fleshed out, and the vivid descriptions, once again, drew me in and kept a tight hold of me, right up to the end, and what an ending!

I need to read Hellbeast, NOW!

 

Heavily pregnant, Eva Scott finds herself challenged from all sides. Her husband Madden is not the man he was. Her mind is overburdened with the dreadful visions witnessed mere months before. Her new-found allies the ARC Council are prepared to turn against her unless she meets their demands. Above all, Eva feels she is being led on a path by a powerful, faceless forces, almost within touching distance, always in the shadows.
Join Eva as she battles against time to uncover the answers and seeks to find a safe haven to deliver her baby.

HELLBORNE: FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT

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The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

Take a small coastal town, throw in some humans, human vampires, good vampires and evil vampires, mix them up so you’re not sure who’s who. Add some dark shadows, deadly creatures and an old, creepy haunted house, with steps and doors that appear and disappear.
Combine it all with murder, mystery, intrigue and a dash of romance… and you have The Dead Game

The vivid descriptions in this fast-paced, action-packed book, stick you right in the centre of the action alongside Linda, Todd and their friends. There are plenty of surprise along the way. Just as you think you have it figured out and all is well, the author throws in another twist.

The main characters, are for the most part, well-fleshed out, but disappointingly, some of the dialogue was stilted and unnatural.

 

The Dead Game takes place in a coastal town with sparkling blue waters. But are its waters truly harmless? Or is evil lurking beneath its soothing waves, ready to ensnare unsuspecting victims into its dark and murky depths?
Life changes in the remote town…as darkness falls on the picturesque streets, the ominous sounds of chanting linger on the whispering winds. It all begins with the mysterious invitation to a party at End House. It is not at all what they had expected. They find themselves trapped in a deserted house where they must flee for their lives through revolving rooms and a trick basement. Not knowing if their stalkers are shape-shifters or human, they must uncover the one controlling the game and everyone else in town.

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The Guicai Talisman

by A.M. Griffin

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but most of us do, and I did with this book.
The cover of The Guicai Talisman reminds me of a comic book, which it certainly isn’t and I’m glad I read it!

I enjoyed visiting the world created within its pages. A vividly described world inhabited by many paranormal creatures including witches, vampires and demons.
Babylonia (Baby) Delilah Jones works as a private investigator in the Undercity. She is determined to prove herself despite (or maybe because of) her half-human, half-paranormal status.
Baby is well developed, as is the cast of supporting characters.

I received an eCopy of The Guicai Talisman from Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

 

What does a woman have to do to prove she belongs in the Undercity? Sure, I’m unclassed and only half paranormal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t solve cases. Since the established PI’s won’t acknowledge my right to a territory, I’m taking jobs from whoever will hire me, doing what I do best…proving myself to be a bad-ass problem solver. Which is how I find myself breaking into Zaid’s house, looking for a talisman my witch client says the very powerful vampire stole.

Now, I can make flowers grow, hear the wind’s whispers and talk to animals, but I don’t have the gift of seeing the future. If I did, I’d have known not to take this case. Because no matter the outcome, nothing good can come from messing with the Guicai Talisman, or it’s far too gorgeous guardian.

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Annalise’s Up and Down Day

by Denise L. Jenne

A wonderful little book for younger children, that takes them through the ups and downs of a day in Annalise’s life.

I could easily imagine a series of books exploring different ‘opposites’.
The writing was easy enough for young readers and the story short enough to keep them engaged.
(My grandson, aged 6, had no problem reading it)

The pictures didn’t really appeal to me (or him), though!

I received an ecopy of Annalise’s Up and Down Day from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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This is the story of one day in the life of three-year-old Annalise. It follows her, through her daily activities, adventures and misadventures on one summer day, as she explores the meaning of “up” and “down” in her world.

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After Dad: Novel

by Ralph Cohen

A peculiar, but strangely compelling book, made up of a series of interlinked short stories.

The stories take us through the lives of four family members – a wife, two daughters and a son -following the death of their father ( & husband).

Margot and Jenny’s stories are written in the first person, as is the wife’s. Oddly though, Toby’s story is written in the third person. The chapter about the funeral director, also written in the third person, seemed out of place.

The children all have emotional and moving stories in the years following their father’s death, which at times made uncomfortable reading.

Although I felt involved with the girls stories, I didn’t have the same connection with Ruth or Toby!

 

“He was always there for me,” Jenny Kovacek says in the opening of the novel After Dad, and indeed, her father is such a charismatic force in the family that despite his untimely passing, he continues to have a dynamic impact on his survivors. Set mostly in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s, Ralph Cohen’s debut novel tells the stories of the man’s three children and widow as they cope with their loss. Though missing, the father is never far from their minds, and during critical moments in their lives, he seems to reach out in various ways, from simple memories of touch and voice to artifacts left behind to a sense of his ongoing existence. How each of the family members responds to his lingering presence leads to results that are by turn comic, tragic and transformative. Two of the book’s chapters appeared previously in literary magazines, The Connecticut Review and REAL.

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Bed of Thornes

by Angel L. Woodz

 

Veronica Thorne is nearing her 30th birthday. An established painter who is quite comfortable financially, owning an art gallery in Dallas, TX. She has never questioned who she is and what she wants in life, until now. Veronica has an addiction, one that she is losing all control of.

Adrian, younger and open-minded, becomes a part of her mysterious world of secrets. Each of them swirling in unknown desire-filled paths, not knowing where their lives will lead from this. One afraid, the other wanting to embrace the beauty of what they consider darkness.

Cohen, Ralph

Girlie and the War of the Wasps By Claire Plaisted

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Thursday April 28, 2016

4:30 pm to 9 pm Eastern daylight time.

https://www.facebook.com/events/482083738652232/

 

FEATURING

Girlie and the War of the Wasps

By Claire Plaisted

 

‘Girlie and the War of the Wasps,’ is story set in a Cottage Garden
with the adventurous blue ladybug named Girlie.
The book is about healthy eating.

AmazonKoboInktera | B&N

 

40% of all royalties go directly to:

Chasing a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

 https://www.facebook.com/ChasingaCure4T1D

http://www.scsnz.org.nz/chasing-a-cure-for-type-1-diabetes/

 https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/chasingacurephase1

http://www.scsnz.org.nz/

 

Hosted by

Claire Plaisted and Jen Winters

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with

SPECIAL GUESTS

 

DM Cain

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J. S. Burke

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Wanda Luthman

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Maureen Larter

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Andrew Fairchild

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Books I read in November


Cemetery at Devil’s Bend

by Gina Moray

A well-written and spooky short story that grabs hold of you at the start and drags you along to the end.
Plenty of suspense and twists to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat, right up to the surprising conclusion.
I was, very quickly, just as curious as Marty, to find out about the creepy cemetery.

 

Something strange is happening to Pine Creek. A cemetery pops up just outside of town and it’s fueling the residents’ fears. The headstones bare the names of residents interred in town and the townsfolk are left wondering … what’s buried beneath the soil. Marty Duller, a historian with a passion for cemeteries, starts to ask questions and learns that all is not what it seems in Pine Creek. There are more than bodies buried in the town’s history and their very souls may be at risk.

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Ascension Within: A Story of Angels & Fallen-Angels

by Julie Nicholls

Wow! A fantastic conclusion to what has been a fantastic series.

For the final time, I joined Eloise, Kai, and all their friends in their adventures as they endeavoured to win the game and save all of humanity.
I am going to miss them all!

I don’t know what to say about this book, that I haven’t said about the previous two.
The steamy scenes, violent fights, surprises, intrigue, and adventure that I loved, in the first two books, are all back in this book, along with more sadness, joy, secrets, rage and excitement.

If you haven’t read Demon Within and Angel Within, then you need to read them before you read this one.

Thanks again to Julie Nicholls who gifted me an eCopy of the book. 

The story continues from book two, Angel Within, where we left Eloise in a state of unrest at Kai’s disappearance. Can Eloise save Kai? If she does, is he going to be the same man she fell in love with? Or will he revert to his old persona? Confused by overwhelming emotions of despair and betrayal over losing her lover, Eloise finds inner strength and rages with determined purpose to aid her husband’s return.
Together with her comrades and the angel, Anael, she makes her plan to rescue Kai, but as always when dealing with angels, it is not so easy. The angels are cooking more plots and schemes; they just won’t leave the mortals alone! Anael reveals additional secrets regarding Eloise and Kai’s past, and she’s angry and hurt. Lashing out at the Angel, she condemns his actions and his interferences with the lives of mortals.
The battle is on to release Kai, and to save the souls of man from Nivel, a dark angel. He’s playing a dangerous game and the prize is all of humanity.
The witch Jana is aiding Nivel. What deceit is she planning this time after hiding her intentions in Angel Within? Nivel strives to win a game he and Anael started over 25 years ago, but who has the better team?
You will learn everything in the final book, Ascension Within, book three in the Fallen Angels Series.
Ascension Within has more secrets and plots, just as with Demon Within, and Angel Within. Together with sensual, erotic bedroom scenes, and an adventure that will keep you guessing, you will be riveted to know the conclusion of this saga.
The Fallen Angels series is a story of love, passion, good overpowering evil, and loyalty.
Includes an additional bonus short story
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The 11th Percent

by T.H. Morris

I enjoyed this exciting, fast-paced and original book. It brings a fresh and unique look at spirits and the afterlife.

The story is well-written, with lots of action and plenty of suspense. I was hooked from the first page.

Johan and the supporting cast were well-developed, had their own personalities, and were, for the most part, likeable. Even the unpleasant Trip, turned out not to be a villain, which I didn’t see coming!

Thanks to the descriptive and engaging writing, I felt as though I had joined Johan and his new friends in the challenging world of the 11th Percenters.

The book ended well, leaving room to continue the story, but without a cliffhanger.

Thank you to the author for gifting me an eCopy of the book.

Jonah Rowe, a bored accountant and aspiring novelist, is sick and tired of his job as an accountant. He is burnt out from all the office gossip, politics, and double talk, and he longs for his life to matter. Truth be told, Jonah wants anything besides the lame routine of coasting through his workday….only to psych himself up enough to do it all over again the next day. He only wishes that his life had some meaning.

Amidst the combination of writer’s block and society’s expectations to have a “real” 9-5 job, Jonah gets his wish.

His world is turned completely upside down one evening when his vision inexplicably turns blue for several moments. He then receives a warning from a spectral visitor that not only is he in danger, but everything in his life is about to change.

Overnight, Jonah transforms from an overworked, underpaid accountant to the centerpiece of a spectral battle. Will he rise to the occasion? Can he accept that everything he knows about life and death is completely wrong? And, most importantly, will he be able to comprehend and harness the power of the mysterious 11th Percent?

Follow Jonah’s journey in this new breed of ghost story!

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The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen

by R.T. Lowe

I really enjoyed reading this book. If you like your books short and sweet, this isn’t the book for you!
I have no problems reading a good long book as it gives me something to sink my teeth into.

The Prologue is long and at first I was unable to see the connection to the story, but it all made sense as events happen and the various plot lines meet along the way.

Q. What do you get if you mix monsters attacking and eating people in a forest, a serial killer who kills teenagers, a stalker, a band of assassins and a group of college kids?
A. A damn good story!!

The book is well-paced, with vivid descriptions, and plenty of suspense and action. There are violent scenes, some of which are quite graphic. However, there is also normal college life and moments of humour.

Felix and his friends are all realistically portrayed and wonderfully fleshed out. As are The Faceman and other villains of the piece.

I was surprised and slightly disappointed to find the end of the book wasn’t the end of this complex story and I am eager to find out what the author has planned next, for Felix and his friends.

I received an ecopy of “The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen” from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.
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Awethology Dark

by The #Awethors

A great collection of stories by some awesome authors. Some of the authors were ‘new to me’ and this was a great introduction to their writing.

I find with most anthologies, that I prefer some stories to others and this book isn’t really any different. Though in fairness to all the authors involved, I have to say that I am struggling to pick only one or two favourites, as they were all well written and all held my interest.

I am looking forward, with anticipation, to reading the other book of the pair, Awethology Light

Because one voice in your head isn’t enough, here are so many more, as the Awethors chime together with our vast collection of stories and poetry to make you laugh, make you cry and make you feel alive. We are the Awethors and these are our words to you.

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Vampyr: The Complete Trilogy

by K. M. McFarland

I enjoyed this somewhat steamy trilogy, and getting to know all the characters and their relationships to one another.
K. M. McFarland has taken the vampire genre and given it a new twist, giving us vampires with ‘humanity’ but without losing their predatory nature, and a unique take on vampire reincarnation.
My feelings towards the characters changed often, some for the better and others from like to dislike, depending on their role within the story.

As characters joined, left and reappeared, it could have got complicated and confusing, but the author kept it all straight in my mind.

My only complaint would be the occasional repetitiveness of one character explaining the past to one another, but all in all, it was an entertaining and interesting read.

The author gifted an ecopy of this trilogy to me

Vampires are alive and well in the Big Easy. In the modern world of forensics, technology, and security cameras everywhere, vampires are now forced to live in secret. In this new age where vampires have evolved into gentle predators mainly depending on alternative methods for acquiring blood, vampire bars have risen in popularity. Owned by a former rock star turned vampire, Quinn Forrester, Vampyr is New Orleans’ most popular venue. Aside from being the French Quarter’s coolest music club, it is also a secret vampire bar serving the finest quality human blood to its vampire clientele. The cryptic alley next to it seduces the most delectable humans just itching to quench a vampire’s thirst. Welcome to Vampyr…

SONG OF THE VAMPIRE: Successful rock star, Quinn Forrester, isolates himself after being turned to a vampire. Eighteen years later, a chance meeting with the daughter he abandoned as a baby the night he was turned shakes his lonely, tormented world.

UNDER A BOURBON STREET MOON: Quinn and his vampire lover seem to have the perfect romance, but their relationship is put to the test when a beautiful mortal woman from his past and an adorable country singer, who has just arrived from Nashville with her own connection to Quinn, enter his world.

MASQUERADE: Quinn has his hands full as the owner of all three vampire bars in New Orleans. As he gets closer to his new attractive young personal assistant, the successful entrepreneur also must deal with a vampire daughter, a mortal daughter who sees dead people, a spiritually connected vampire ex-girlfriend who is her mentor and a deceased ex-wife that just won’t stay dead.
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Now You See Her…

by Dale Mayer

I enjoyed this book and felt immersed in the story. I tagged along as Dean and Stefan struggled to keep Tia safe and find out who was targeting her. It was a fast-paced read, with plenty going on to keep me engaged.
The characters were well defined, realistic and likable.
The story was a rollercoaster of emotions as Tia and Dean came to terms with their abilities and their feelings for each other.
Although this is book 8 in the Psychic Vision series, it does work well as a stand alone book.
I have read books 1-3 of the series and fully intend to get back and read 4-7, when I have time.
I received an eCopy of Now You See Her… from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Energy. The life force of good … and evil
And sometimes evil is stronger.

Tia spent years imprisoned in a ‘special’ program. When she finally escaped, she ran as far away as she could. But it wouldn’t leave her alone.

Only one person can help her. Stefan. But when she contacts him for help, she gets more than she bargained for. Six weeks later, she awakens from a coma to find more problems than ever – and she’s still being hunted.

Dean, moonlighting as a guard at the hospital, finds himself in an impossible situation. His belief system is stretched out of control by someone whom he can’t forget … and can’t believe. Until he has no choice.

With everything on the line, Tia and Dean must work together to solve the problem that has somehow – in a very unique way – entwined them both.

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Desert Wolf

by Heather Long
When I first started reading this book, I was a bit confused as to who all the characters were, but as I read on everything, and everyone, fell into place.
The book is well written and moves along at a good pace, with plenty of action and adventure.
The characters are interesting and well fleshed out. Their interactions and emotions are believable, and this made me care about what happened to them.

It’s an entertaining read, which can be read as a stand-alone story, despite being part of a series.
I haven’t read any of the previous books in the Wolves of Willow Bend series, although I do now want to. I’d like to know what happened before.

I received an eCopy of Desert Wolf from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before it utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.

Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack, a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several long months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.

Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…

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Where Death Is a Hunter

by Christopher Stookey

An exciting, well-written, fast-paced book that is a mix of medical drama, legal drama, and mystery.
It kept my attention from cover to cover, and with a multitude of suspects it was impossible to identify the offender before the climax.
The author is a doctor and his medical background shows in the stories realistic feel. He focuses on what’s important and doesn’t get bogged down with irrelevant details and jargon, which makes this book easy to read and understand.
Hannah is such a great character, that she slightly overshadows the supporting cast, who weren’t quite as fleshed out but still believable.

I received an eCopy of Where Death Is a Hunter from Christopher Stookey in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

Hannah Fâtier is a thirty-two-year-old physician fresh out of residency training. She’s just started her first job as an anesthesiologist at Deaconess Hospital in San Francisco, she’s bought a new home, and she’s engaged to be married.

In short, life is good for Hannah–until, one morning at work, tragedy strikes. A patient under her care dies unexpectedly during a routine operation. An investigation into the case reveals the cause of death to be a basic medical error committed by Hannah. Wracked with guilt, Hannah falls into a malaise of depression and self-reproach. Yet the more she ponders her alleged “error,” the more she realizes that something about the way her patient died doesn’t add up. Digging deeper into the records of the case, Hannah discovers a number of puzzling inconsistencies. She begins to suspect that someone has framed her for a medical mistake she never made. But who would do such a thing and why? And, more importantly, if there was no medical error, then why did her patient really die that morning on the operating table?

Where Death Is a Hunter is a medical mystery dealing with hospital death, betrayal, one doctor’s self-doubt, and the search for redemption.

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6 Ways to Where

by R. Mac Wheeler
The characters were superbly portrayed, as were their interactions with one another. Mar particularly caught my imagination as a strong but flawed teen.
The writing was descriptive and drew me into the story.
The suspense and build up was well written, along with the action scenes, but I felt that something was missing, that I was waiting for something to happen.
I’m not sure whether or not it’s because this is the 3rd book of the series and I haven’t read the previous two.

I received an eCopy of 6 Ways to Where from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

At eighteen it’s tough to decide a life path when the threat of pandemic hangs over the world, your brother is the genius who engineered the plague, and you’re repeatedly drawn into the fight against the terrorists spreading it. Plenty of people would kill an Abernathy on sight so it would be wise for Mar to visit the dojo, otherwise play invisible, but her brother is manipulating her into another adventure.

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A Boo-tiful Halloween

by Angela Shori

The illustrations in this short children’s book are bright and colourful, and the ‘monsters’ aren’t at all scary.

The vocabulary doesn’t seem too challenging for the upper age range (5 yrs) that this book is aimed at.
At the same time, it would be a fun book to read to younger children.

I received an eCopy of A Boo-tiful Halloween from Angela Shori in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Review From Dreydon -aged 5

I liked it.
The liked all the pictures, they were a bit spooky.
It was easy to read.

Gather all your ghouls and goblins for a colorful journey with the friendly monsters of A Boo-tiful Halloween.
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Rawblood

by Catriona Ward
I don’t like to leave things unfinished, so deciding not to read this book all the way to the last page was hard for me. I nearly didn’t leave a review, but on reflection I think I should.

I gave it a good shot, I read 152 of the 352 pages and I can’t say that it’s a ‘bad’ book, it’s just not for me. The writing is descriptive and the book is well-edited, but nothing much happened.

I was bored and eventually decided that I have far too many books on my to-read list to persevere with this one.

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

In 1910, eleven year old Iris Villarca lives with her father at Rawblood, a lonely house on Dartmoor. Iris and her father are the last of their name. The Villarcas always die young, bloodily. Iris knows it’s because of a congenital disease which means she must be strictly isolated. Papa told her so. Forbidden to speak to other children or the servants, denied her one friend, Iris grows up in solitude. But she reads books. And one sunlit autumn day, beside her mother’s grave, she forces the truth from her father. The disease is biologically impossible. A lie, to cover a darker secret.

The Villarcas are haunted, through the generations, by her. She is white, skeletal, covered with scars. Her origins are a mystery but her purpose is clear. When a Villarca marries, when they love, when they have a child – she comes and death follows.

Iris makes her father a promise: to remain alone all her life. But when she’s fifteen, she breaks it. The consequences of her choice are immediate and horrific.

Iris’s story is interwoven with the past, the voices of the dead – Villarcas, taken by her. Iris’s grandmother sets sail from Dover to Italy with a hired companion, to spend her final years in the sun before consumption takes her. Instead she meets betrayal, and a fate worse than death. Iris’s father, his medical career in ruins, conducts unconscionable experiments, to discover how she travels in the Villarca blood. Iris’s mother, pregnant, walks the halls of Rawblood whispering to her, coaxing her to come. As the narratives converge, Iris seeks her out in a confrontation which shatters her past and her reality, revealing the chasm in Iris’s own, fractured identity. Who is she? What does she desire? The answer is more terrible and stranger than Iris could have imagined.

A Boo-tiful Halloween by Angela Shori

dReview From Dreydon -aged 5

I liked it.
The liked all the pictures, they were a bit spooky.
It was easy to read.

 

 

27217557Synopsis:

Gather all your ghouls and goblins for a colorful journey with the friendly monsters of A Boo-tiful Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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The Author:

Angela Shori is an author, publisher, and marketer living and writing in Austin, TX. She is an expert on content strategy, traveling with children, and bedtime monster removal.