Tag Archive | childrens book

Molly Bell and the Wishing Well by Bridget Geraghty

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Middle Grade
Date Published: December 2016

 
Molly Bell and the Wishing WellMolly Bell is an eleven-year old girl who used to be a whimsical, sporty type of a child with a zest for living. All that has been turned upside down by the untimely death of her cherished mother two years ago. To make matters worse, her father is getting remarried to a high-maintenance beauty that Molly seemingly has nothing in common with, and she comes with an annoying six-year old son, Henry, who finds a way to wreck everything in his path.

Molly can’t find anything about her new circumstances to be excited about, until her Aunt Joan tells her about the wishing well at Molly’s grandparents’ farm. According to Aunt Joan, every wish she ever made there came true. And it just so happens that Molly and Henry will be staying at the farm for a week while their parents are on their honeymoon. Molly is convinced if she could just find that wishing well, she could wish for her mom to come back to life and everything will be okay again.

But Molly is in for a few surprises, and more that a few hard lessons about being careful what you wish for when the consequences of Molly’s selfish desires wreak havoc on her entire family. Can Molly make things right again through the wishing well? Or will she need to find it within herself to bring back the joy in her life that has been missing all this time?

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER EIGHT

Molly was lying in bed, still as a mummy, staring up at the ceiling fan. The whirling of the fan and the rhythm of the ticking of the clock on the wall should have lulled her to sleep hours ago. But sleep didn’t come easy when your mind buzzed as busy as a swarm of bees. As hard as she tried, Molly couldn’t get the thought of the wishing well out of her head.

What if Grandpa Cody’s wish didn’t come true because he didn’t believe hard enough? Didn’t Grandma Saige say that the power of a wish was believing in it? What if Molly really believed as hard as she could, would it still be possible? The waiting drove her crazy. Too many questions remained un- answered. What did it look like? And why did her mom show it to her in a dream?

That was it. Molly had to find out. And now was as good a time as any, since she wouldn’t be getting any sleep anyhow.

Molly sat up, stiff and groggy, and pulled the covers off of her. Luckily, the full moon outside cast a dull glow inside Aunt Joan’s room from the window. It gave Molly just enough light to find her way to her suitcase without turning on the bedroom light and risk waking anyone up.

What should she wear? Molly decided on jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt. Even though it was most likely still warm and muggy out, she didn’t want the bugs pestering her. She fumbled her way through the suitcase and got dressed as quietly as possible. That was very hard to do in a mostly dark room.

But where were her sneakers? Molly’s heart sank. She had left them outside because they were muddy! Oh well, they were most likely still there. That was not a good enough reason for her to give up now.

Molly snuck the two pennies on the nightstand into her jeans pocket for safekeeping. She was ready, but not really. Molly was nervous. She didn’t yet have a plan. Oh, well, just go for it, she decided. What else was she going to do, sit up all night and think about it?

The first step would be to get out of the house undetected. Molly tiptoed to the bedroom door. She turned the knob ever so slightly. Phew, it wasn’t squeaky. Molly eased the door open and peered into the upstairs hallway.

All the other doors were closed. Molly paused to listen. It was noiseless, except for Molly’s breathing, which sounded too loud.

Molly put one foot out into the hallway to test and see if the floor was creaky. It was, a little. She imagined herself a burglar and inched across the side of the hallway, careful not to disturb any of the pictures on the wall. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, but she could still see only about a foot in front of her at a time. Molly held her arms out to feel her way, relying on all her senses to maneuver down the hall.

The moonlight from the downstairs front window illuminated the stairwell. She was worried about tumbling down and waking everyone up, ruining her adventure. Not to mention hurting herself. So, like a fool, she sat down on the front step. And slowly, one by one, scooted down each step on her bottom until she safely reached the first floor.

Once she was downstairs, Molly looked up to make sure she was still alone. She was, and she sure felt like it. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. It felt really creepy. She fought against the urge to get back upstairs and tuck herself back into bed. Maybe this would be the resolve that was needed to show the wishing well that she really did deserve to have her wish come true. Molly steeled herself and carried on.

She would need a light for outside. Molly remembered that Grandpa Cody had gotten a large, bright flashlight out of the pantry in the kitchen when the power had gone out during one of her visits.

Molly crept into the kitchen. The refrigerator buzzed. Funny, she had never noticed that sound before. The light from the clock display on the stove showed her the way to the pantry. Molly eased the door open. Everything inside looked the same, mostly cans and boxes. She took a breath to give herself patience. One impulsive move could send everything flying off the shelves and cause a ruckus.

She felt around the items on the pantry shelves, her fingertips guiding her from one thing to the next. Something felt like plastic. Molly carefully re- moved it and brought it close to her. It was a large container of ketchup. Disappointed, and not sure that she should bother to keep looking, she spotted a basket on the pantry floor. Molly knelt down and felt through it. Batteries, a radio maybe, and the flashlight!

With a sigh of relief and thanks, Molly grabbed the flashlight. As much as she wanted to turn it on for help, she knew she had to wait until she was far enough away. So she clutched it next to her body and snuck out the side kitchen door, being sure to shut the door slowly and quietly.

Thank goodness, Grandma Saige had left the outside light on next to the kitchen entrance. And there were Molly’s sneakers, placed neatly on the stoop. They had been carefully cleaned, shined up to a polish. Molly smiled. Grandma Saige must have done it.

Molly pulled on her shoes and breathed in the damp nighttime air. She noticed that far off into the distance, past the vegetable garden and the fields where she was headed, it was pitch black besides the moonlit glow way up in the sky.

It was so different than nighttime in her own neighborhood. At least there were streetlights there, homes all around giving a sense of not being utterly and completely alone. Here there was no such security. It was just Molly, and the sound of bugs that couldn’t be seen.

Molly stood and walked briskly past the vegetable garden. She strutted with a purpose, her arms around her waist for comfort, clutching the still unlit flashlight. She was approaching the pathway between two rows of cornfields. She would follow this narrow dirt path to the end of the corn, and then she should be close.

Molly’s concentration was broken by a rustling in the cornfield beside her. She froze, her heart screaming inside of her. It could be a coyote. Or a serial killer. What a fool she was!

Her hands trembling, she pressed the button of the flashlight to turn it on, and shone it in the direction of the unwelcome noise. “Who’s there?” she whispered loudly, sounding more like a scared little girl than she wanted to.

A shadowy shape emerged from the cornstalks. It moved low to the ground, creeping toward her.

Molly scolded herself for going outside all alone. What kind of trouble was headed her way?

 
The Author:

Molly Bell and the Wishing Well Author Bridget GeraghtyBridget Geraghty lives in northern Illinois with her husband and three children. She taught elementary school for eight years before focusing on writing. It is her sincere hope that her stories inspire and uplift the minds and spirits of her young readers.

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Principal Kidd: School Rules! by Connie Colon

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17270843_749884778505180_1134429680_nEleven-year-old whiz, Oliver Kidd, had no trouble using his genius IQ to skip grades and zoom through the accelerated college program. But after landing a job as the world’s first kid principal back at his old elementary school, Oliver faces sabotage from the jealous vice principal, Mr. Dagger, along with challenges of a kid in charge of the teachers, parents, and students. Good thing his trusty sidekick and school mascot, Chelsea the chicken, is on his side. Principal Kidd scores points with the students with his new rules, until the town health inspector shows up and threatens to shut the doors on Eggshell Elementary. Join in on the giggles and mayhem as Oliver Kidd and his friends since kindergarten try to save Eggshell Elementary. (Just watch your step, you may encounter chicken poop!)

(Children ages 7 – 11)

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Excerpt:

 

      “You have 24-hours to fix it all,” said the Inspector, “or I shut this school down.”
      Inspector Dusty wiped the last of his spit, then turned and left.
      Needing to walk off his stress, a grownup trait Oliver learned from his grandfather, he began pacing. He felt like the walls were closing in on him and it was hard to take deep breaths.
      The minute the principal’s chair was vacant, Mr. Dagger slunk into it and put his feet up on the desk.
      Oliver finally spoke, pacing even faster now. “This won’t look at all suitable on my resume if the school closes two days after I’ve become principal!”
      “Face it, Kidd,” said Mr. Dagger, “you’re in over your head. You need my help.”
      Oliver stopped and faced the vice principal. “What do you have in mind?”
      “I’ll take care of all these problems,” said Mr. Dagger. “All you have to do is…”
      “What?” yelped Oliver. “I’m ready to do anything!”
      Mr. Dagger stood and looked down at Oliver. “Resign tomorrow and announce to the entire school that I will take your place, as principal.”

 

 

Author Bio:

headREVaiMy mom used to tape paper to the tray on my highchair and give me crayons, so I’ve been drawing since before I can actually remember! I grew up in Elizabeth, NJ and that home had the coolest built-in bookcases that were jam packed with books! My mother taught in an elementary school so I was raised loving books. My dad was a police detective, so not surprisingly my favorite books as a child were the Nancy Drew mysteries.

I have a degree in art from Syracuse University and spent most of my career years in advertising – in agencies from Madison Avenue in NYC, to St. Petersburg, FL and in NJ. I’ve done everything from secretary, to broadcast production and ended up as Director of Account Coordination up until becoming an at-home mom for my son, Tommy. I have been married to my husband, Dan for 27 years – we met while working at the Ad Center at Time Inc., so Rockefeller Center and the Time-Life building will always be special to me!

I began reading to my son since I was pregnant, which led me to trying my hand at writing children’s books from home. I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and served as a Committee Member for years in the NJ chapter. I now attend events throughout Florida, but try to go to the NJ conferences whenever possible.

I had the unique opportunity to have been selected to work with award-winning kidlit superstar, Jerry Spinelli, during a weeklong Highlights writers workshop in Chautauqua, NY in 2006. What an honor! (I loved Highlights as a kid – especially the “hidden pictures” section – still love them!) A magazine workshop that week sparked an idea for an article for FACES magazine that turned into a monthly feature called “Dear Tommy” that ran for over seven years. I’ve also written for other children’s magazines such as Fun For Kidz, Appleseeds and a short piece for Highlights.

Being an artist, I tend to “think visually” as I write, often picturing my stories as TV shows or movies. I played up that aspect by taking TV Screenwriting classes in Alan Kingsberg’s Advanced Writer Room in NYC. I loved that and hope to develop my chapter books into animation one day. If you are going to dream, you may as well DREAM BIG!

I am thrilled to now be part of the Foundations Books family where my dreams are beginning to come true.
            ~Connie

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Books I Read in March ’17

1

The Yellow Hoods

by Adam Dreece

Along Came a Wolf
Breadcrumb Trail
All the King’s-Men
Beauties of the Beast
The Day the Sky Fell

33258591This clever mix of fairytales and steampunk is a wonderful and original, fast-paced series. Delightful for young(ish) readers and adults, albeit on different levels.

I spent the best part of two weeks in the company of Tee, her friends and family, and their rivals, and enjoyed every minute of it.

The plot and the sub-plots weave back and forth seamlessly, making an entertaining and riveting read that’s hard to put down. (How the author kept everything straight while writing the series is beyond me, but he did it well.)

There are more twists and turns than a roller-coaster ride, some danger and tragedy, plenty of wit and humour, and lots of action and adventure. A general theme of growing up.. .family, friendship, confidence, loyalty and more, runs smoothly within the story.

The author brings the large and diverse cast of characters to life, and as they continue to develop and change throughout the series, we learn more of their hidden depths… and flaws. At the same time, he paints a detailed picture of the world they inhabit, starting with the small village in book one to a much larger expanse by book five, as our heroes (and villains) travel further away from their homes.

I liked the names of the characters, many of them plucked from fairytales and myths and given a twist… my favourite, being Ron-Paul Silskin!

Book 1
Tee, Elly, and Richy peaceful little world is shattered when they become entangled in a plot to steal the world’s first steam engine plans from master inventor, Nikolas Klaus. Will Klaus’ ties to the secret society known as the Tub (lead by a butcher, baker, and candlestick maker) be their undoing? Or will they live on to become legends?

The series grows in intensity as it goes and uses humor along the way. It has strong female characters, no graphic violence, no sexual content, and is loved by kids aged 9-15 and adults (written for both audiences). Loved by fans of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Ranger’s Apprentice.

Book 2
In an act of desperation, inventor Maxwell Watt sends his teenage son to Nikolas Klaus with the secret plans for his steam engine. The Fare, a nefarious secret society, learns of the game-changing invention and accelerate their timeline to neutralize Klaus and reclaim control over the kingdoms.

While wars spark to the south, children in Mineau have started to go missing–again. Captain Archambault suspects the return of the Ginger Lady. With the help of the Yellow Hoods and their friends, the search is on to find the missing children before it is too late.

What is the secret that ties the Yellow Hoods to the Ginger Lady? Who are the Red Hoods really?

Enjoy this darker, edgier instalment in this exciting Emergent Steampunk adventure series.

Book 3
More than a hundred years ago, a king declared that all geniuses, scientists and inventors were abominations, save for those willing to become his Conventioneers. His edict spread like wildfire through the kingdoms, and drove the hunted into the arms of the secret societies, the Tub and the Fare.

Decades later, having taken control of the remains of the crushed Fare, a young Marcus Pieman follows up on rumors of a homeless, teenage Abominator in his city. When the scared Nikolas Klaus looked up at Marcus for the first time, a tremendous bond was forged.

A betrayal leads Tee to a showdown with her greatest foe. Who breaks and who lays bleeding in the middle of nowhere?

And Mounira learns the truth about the once great inventor, Christophe Creangle.

Book 4
The Lady in Red’s revenge against the Piemans is nearly complete, and soon there will be no one to stop her. She’s ready for anything, except for the return of her long dead son. But is it really him?

Tee watches as the airships rain down fiery destruction. She adjusts the rocket-pack’s leather straps and glances over her shoulder. Her friends might never forgive her, but she can’t stand idly by any longer. In a blink, she’s thrown into the air. Then, the unthinkable happens—the rocket-pack comes off.

Who’s the new Yellow Hood? Who dies? And are the Piemans really down for the count?

Beauties of the Beast continues the thrilling ride from All the King’s-Men and will have you punching the air with joy and biting your nails in angst.

Book 5
The gripping adventure continues in this international best-selling Steampunk meets Fairy tale series!

As the shepherd watched the aerial bombardment of his village, he had no idea it would lead him to tip the scales in the war between Marcus Pieman and the Lady in Red.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Hoods, along with the meager remains of the Tub, race to rescue Nikolas Klaus before it’s too late. Who will betray them, and who will be murdered?

The Day the Sky Fell picks up where Beauties of the Beast left off, and brings an epic finale to the series. But is this truly the end of the Yellow Hoods? Find out!

***

Chasing The Moon: A Grazi Kelly Short

by C.D. Gorri

34096384An enjoyable short story from C.D. Gorri, that lets us catch up with Grazi and Ronan shortly after the battle in Winter Moon: A Grazi Kelly Novel #4.

This book gives us more insights into Grazi’s world and hints of what’s yet to come.

I love how C.D. Gorri’s Grazi Kelly, Angela Tanner and Macconwood Pack series all interlink with each other!

If you like good, clean and easy to read paranormal stories with werewolves and witches, then you’ll enjoy a visit to Grazi Kelly’s world

On the mend after the battle of St. Lucy’s Day, teen Werewolf Grazi Kelly is on the run. The Hounds of God have been disbanded, the High Council wants her captured, and what’s left of the Scarred Sisters Coven want her dead.

Grazi finds herself far away from her family and everything she has ever known. What will she do when a group of Werewolves in Northern Florida need her help? Find out in this Grazi Kelly Short!

***

Blood Master: Book 1 of The G.O.D.s Series

by Kirsten Campbell

23116922I loved this book!

The story started slowly setting the scene and filling in some background, but soon shifted up a gear with some great action and a number of surprising twists.

The characters were well-developed and, for the most part, likable.

The romance between Tassta and Griffin was tasteful and didn’t overwhelm the story.

The author has created a fascinating and realistic world of the future, with vivid descriptions of the Brotherhood’s fortress and the Underground.

2052: Two-thirds of the human population have been killed by the Great War, the Clover Virus and the Death Plague. Only one man survived the Death Plague, an albino man named Griffin Storm. He’s the only albino in existence. No one knows what happened to the other albinos, but most believe the rumors that they were eliminated by the Guild Faction’s deadly experiments.

Griffin is hiding out in Underground Atlanta. He has special abilities. He can manipulate crystal and glass. He uses these abilities for good, raiding warehouses and old buildings for food and medical supplies to give to the abandoned children that live in the Underground. During a raid, he meets Tassta Vinetti. She’s a resident of the legendary Brotherhood Fortress. Griffin is taken to the Brotherhood and chaos ensues as Tassta, her twin brother Penn and her Uncle Lerin Sanctobous keep their new visitor and his untold powers secret. They can not disclose that the only albino in existence is now at their fortress or they could all be in great danger.

Fact is, the Guild is hunting Griffin. He is the only survivor of their deadly experiments and his survival will have dynamic consequences. The Guild believes Griffin will transform into a G.O.D., a Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensional being. If he transforms, he will have inter-dimensional doors within his body, doors that lead to heaven and hell. Griffin will become a Blood Master and he’ll be able to control the demons from the Dimension of Blood.

Will Griffin save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Will he transform into a G.O.D. and become the Blood Master? Only time will tell…

***

Blood Phase – Book 2 of the G.O.D.s Series

by Kirsten Campbell

34452658An awesome follow up to Blood Master: Book 1 of The G.O.D.s Series.

Blood Phase follows on seamlessly from book one, and we rejoin Griffin, Tassta, Lerin and all, in the continuing story.

Once again the characters are well-fleshed out and have their own personalities, and are like friends I’ve known for years. I feel their love, fear, confusion, frustration, and sorrow, and my heart goes out to them.

The descriptive writing draws you in and keeps you there through all the twists, turns, and action, and doesn’t let go until you turn the last page.

I am eager to read the next book and discover what happens next

November 12, 2052: Earth has lost two-thirds of its population to the Great War. Many more lives have been lost to earthquakes, the Clover Virus, and the Death Plague. Years later, survivors are clumped into factions. Two of those factions—the Brotherhood and the Guild Faction—have battled over medical supplies and food for years. The fight is coming to a head as manpower dwindles and the struggle becomes one to gain numbers, even if said numbers are children…

Griffin Storm, an albino man kidnapped and dragged into the Brotherhood, has transformed into a G.O.D., a Genetically enhanced Omni-dimensional being. Two weeks in the brig, and Griffin’s released after it’s determined that he’s learned to control most of his god-like abilities. His abilities have grown almost as much as his love for Tassta Vinetti and his unfortunate blood lust. His bond with Tassta’s twin brother, Penn, has grown as well and is cemented in secrets.

Soon after his release, Griffin’s told that Guild agents and the notorious Trips (super-agents of the Guild) are in the Underground. He must now test his abilities to save the abandoned children that live there. Will Griffin rescue the children of the Underground from a tragic end? Will Tassta and Griffin’s love survive such turmoil? Can a G.O.D. forgive himself when death and destruction follow his every move? Read Blood Phase, the gripping second book in the G.O.D.s Series!

***

Slowpocalypse (books 0.5 – 3)

by James Litherland

Durable Impressions
Certain Hypothetical
Threat Multiplication
Compromised Inside

3931360-bare-treeAn interesting series that’s easy to read and has plenty of suspense to keep you turning the pages.

Durable Impressions is a short introduction to a new and exciting world and to Kat, one of the main characters.

Although Certain Hypothetical (book 1) starts off slowly, it soon picks up and sets the pace for the series.

Each book has an intriguing plot that’s well thought out and is a good mix of action, mystery and suspense.

The two main characters are dimensional and they grow and evolve through the series.
The large supporting cast are occasionally hard to keep track of, but the ‘returning characters’ list at the in the later books reminds you, who’s who.

Each book wraps up the story lines satisfyingly, leaving the way open for further instalments, but without any great cliffhangers.

Having read books 0.5 to 3, I’m now looking forward to reading book 4, Peripheral Encounters.

I received a copy of Compromised Inside from the author, James Litherland – Thank you!

Book .5
—From Protected to Protector

As civilization has slowly crumbled, Katherine Miles has led a life of privilege—but also one of preparation. Now, under the ominous shadow of a society coming apart at the seams, her mettle will be tested for the first time.

This prequel short story is a triptych portraying how Kat became a hero.

Book 1
EVERYTHING changes when FURC Director Jonathan Miles seals the fourteen square mile compound home to the Federal University and Research Complex and the community that supports it, cutting them all off from the slowly crumbling civilization on the outside—and making them a target of those who want the facilities for themselves.

The director’s daughter Katherine returns to work for FURC Security with a promotion because of the crisis, eager to face any challenge—but as tensions among the residents rise, she encounters greater peril than she had imagined.

David Belue gives up his classes to help install additional defenses, but his curiosity leads him to discover a threat inside the community, endangering his life—because an enemy within waits for just the right moment to betray them all.

Book 2
—A Perfect Storm
MYSTERIOUS power outages, disrupted communications, and a rash of illness among the guards are only the beginning. Soon FURC Security Chief Anthony Nelson and his small, mostly inexperienced staff are overwhelmed by the hacking of the local network, the contamination of the food supply, and a seemingly impossible murder.

Rookie David Belue is trying to solve one of those mysteries when he comes under investigation himself, because he’s one of the few who had the means and a motive to murder. Which makes Officer Lisa Courdray’s job much more difficult—now she has to prove her own partner innocent while also uncovering a hidden saboteur within the community.

Lt. Katherine Miles can’t help—she’s far from the FURC on a secret mission and unable to contact them with a warning. If she can make it back at all, she’ll be bringing even more trouble along with her.

Book 3
—Beware the Gravity Bug
SEALED off from the crumbling civilization outside, the residents of the FURC may be safe from external threats, but their isolation only speeds the spread of a dangerous new infection, even as an upcoming election exposes divisions among them. And the fourteen square mile compound may not be big enough to prevent the pressure from building into violent upheaval.

Illness lays low Security Chief Anthony Nelson when he’s needed the most—as the crisis grows critical, will he jump back into the fray before he’s fully recovered? Lt. Katherine Miles has her own issues, but with Tony out of action, dealing with everyone else’s problems is distracting her from the real danger.

Caroline Sanderson runs in the election hoping to keep the community from falling apart, but she’s unprepared for what her rivals will do to win. Meanwhile, David Belue helps Dr. Amita Harker investigate the virus sweeping the FURC. Will the escalating epidemic eliminate everyone—or will they destroy themselves first?

***

Rat Tuesday

by Adrienne Quintana

34488701A fun and messy story for kids.

It doesn’t ‘teach’ anything, but I can see it firing up children’s imagination and curiosity.

Although I’m not sure about the firecrackers and matches!

When the neighborhood rat children meet at the park to play, they attempt a science experiment and disaster ensues.

***

Rat Tuesday by Adrienne Quintana

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Title: Rat Tuesday
Author: Adrienne Quintana
Illustrator: Shalece Fiack
Publisher: Pink Umbrella Books

coverWhen the neighborhood rat children meet at the park to play, they attempt a science experiment and disaster ensues.

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My Review:

A fun and messy story for kids.
It doesn’t ‘teach’ anything, but I can see it firing up children’s imagination and curiosity.
Although I’m not sure about the firecrackers and matches!

 

The Author:

authorAdrienne Quintana is the author of Eruption and Reclamation as well as several children’s books. When she isn’t writing, Adrienne enjoys running, hiking, and matchmaking (Are you single? She probably knows someone perfect for you.) She lives in Arizona with her husband and four children, who give her love, support, and plenty of good material for Instagram.
 

 

 

 

The Illustrator:

illustratorShalece Fiack has loved painting and drawing since her childhood. She is the illustrator for the Rat Tuesday series and an acrylic painter. In 2015, Shalece completed 100 paintings in 100 days. Shalece continues to paint soft, colorful pieces in her home studio in Orono, Maine, where she lives with her family.

Great Summer Countdown – Day 11

Summer Banner

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.

Amazon ~

 

 

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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.

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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.

25658897

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.

25658897

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