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Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Stars

Looking for a new fantasy/paranormal book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

 
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Title: Rising Tide: Dark Innocence
Author: Claudette Melanson
Genre: Paranormal

Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

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My review:

This book is one of those you read from beginning to end without stopping.

The story was fantastic and the characters & plot were well developed, with great twists and turns throughout.

I really enjoyed reading it and I look forward to discovering what happens next.
I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

It was well written supernatural book for readers all ages

 

40694055Title: Souls of the Never
Author: C.J. Rutherford
Genre: Fantasy

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 20-year-old Katheryne dreams. Her dreams are killing her. Each night she sleeps, the beast comes closer to taking over and crossing into her world.

On Sanctuary, a world at the heart of the Never, the Liberi warrior, Derren, searches desperately for the face from his dreams. His soul cries out for her. She is the saviour, and only he can find her.

At the edge of the universe a dormant evil awakens. His slumber is over as the Veil that hides his source of power slowly collapses, allowing magic to trickle back into his malevolent grasp.

This is a battle of light against darkness. If darkness wins, we can only hope we die. The alternative is too terrible to imagine.

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My review:

Wow! Never a dull moment in this interesting and thrilling blend of fantasy and science fiction.
The storyline is complex and attention grabbing.
All the characters were well-rounded, not just the main ones.
The world building was creative and the author puts his own twist on the idea of alternate/parallel universes. He must have a vivid imagination.
There are dragons, faeries, brownies, a horrifically evil bad guy, plus love, romance, trust, and betrayal all wrapped up in an amazing story.
I’m looking forward to reading Worlds of the Never.

 

25690556Title: Blue Moon
Author: Pat Spence
Genre: Paranormal

Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable… in this supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth…

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My review:

An entertaining and interesting read. Well written with an original and unique storyline. A great start to the trilogy.
It started off slowly, but gained pace soon enough.
It captured my attention with vivid descriptions and awesome characters, and kept me on my toes with the mystery and unpredictable twists.

 

25477431Title: The Rise of the Elohim: The Spirit of Iris
Author: Rocky Rochford
Genre: Fantasy

Set in a world much unlike our own, on a lonesome planet at the end of the universe, an epic battle between good and evil is about to come to pass. Living in a medieval era, the inhabitants of the world find themselves up against the dreaded Shanzi, vile creatures of pure darkness who seek one thing, the annihilation of that which is good. There is only one who can stop them, a young boy by the name of Zach who must Rise up against the forces of darkness and drive them back to the shadow existence from whence they came.

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My review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was well written, very descriptive, and easy to read.
The story pulls you in and doesn’t let go even on the last page.
Rocky Rochford has a great imagination and is a wonderful storyteller.
He has created an entirely new and unique world with its own history and legends.

I also read The Rise of the Elohim: Hour of Darkness which gives a brief look at events following The Spirit of Iris but from a different perspective

 

23148767Title: Deceived
Author: L.A. Starkey
Genre: Paranormal

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principal, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principal states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.

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My review:

Deceived is the first book In The Soul Keeper series, and I’m pretty certain that it’s going to be fantastic series.
Deceived is a wonderful book that kept me interested until the end and left me wanting more. I will certainly be reading the next book in the series.

The mix of mythology and modern teenage life means there’s a lot going on, but it all flows well.
Wonderful storytelling of an incredible story, with many multi-faceted characters and multiple perspectives.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

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Five on Friday

5onFriday

 

Five Books – Five Authors – One Reviewer

Looking for a new fantasy to read this weekend?
Try one of these books, reviewed by Suzanne Rogerson

 
I finally have space to bring back my Five on Friday feature and I’m kicking off with a guest reviewer:

Suzanne Rogerson is a self-published author of epic and heroic fantasy, who loves reading books almost as much as she love writing them.

“When Rainne asked if I would like to take part in her Five on Friday, I was excited to have a go and share some book love. But after many false starts, I just couldn’t work out which books to showcase. It’s so difficult to pick just five. In the end, I’ve opted for five fantasy books I’ve loved but never reviewed on my blog. Here they are…”

 

Title: Dream-weaver
Author: Jonathan Wylie

2030986As civil war threatens the land of Ahrenia, Rebecca is thrust into a central role in the momentous drama that is engulfing her home. Yet, as the armies of nightmare draw closer, she discovers that war is not the ultimate evil.

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Suzanne’s Review:

This was the first true fantasy book I really remember reading. I was about 17 and I was blown away by the magical world. It was at a time when I was struggling to decide what direction I wanted my own writing to take, so I feel Dream Weaver is partly responsible for me choosing fantasy as my genre.

It’s a YA fantasy (at the time I didn’t even know this term) and follows Rebecca as she learns about her dream weaving abilities whilst her land is thrust into civil war. Even if I can’t fully remember the story, I remember Rebecca and hope one day to enjoy her adventure again.

 

• • •

 
Title: Firebrand
Series: Rebel Angels #1
Author: Gillian Philip

8433024It’s the last decade of the 16th century: a time of religious wars and witch-hunts in the full-mortal world. The Sidhe are at peace until their queen determines to destroy the protecting veil. But exiled brothers Seth and Conal have vowed that they will survive and return to reclaim their fortress and save the veil.

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Suzanne’s Review:

I loved the beginning of this book! It starts with a terrible event – Seth preparing to watch his brother burnt for witchcraft, while in his hand he holds a crossbow. Will he kill his brother before the fire does?

Before the answer is revealed, we switch back in time to see how the two brothers got themselves in the terrible predicament. I spent the whole time reading it wondering what would happen and dreading finding out as Seth’s brother, Conal, quickly became my favourite character.

The writing is excellent and it’s a real page-turner. I love the premise of the veil between worlds and the adventures it offers the reader.

I introduced my son to the Rebel Angels series this year. He’s already read all four books, while I still have to find the courage to read on past book 2! He assures me it is worth continuing.

 

• • •

 
Title: Bloodsong
Series: Raven’s Shadow #1
Author: Anthony Ryan

13569581“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.

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Suzanne’s Review:

As I read this book, I found myself thinking ‘here is the new David Gemmell!’
We follow the story of Vaelin Al Sorna as his father leaves him in the care of a secret organisation – the sixth order. He trains with them through his childhood and learns many harsh lessons, before growing up to become a feared killer dubbed Hope Killer by his enemies. This is an addictive epic fantasy and I loved every moment of it. I hope to finish reading the Raven’s Shadow series this year.

 

• • •

 
Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
Series: Farseer Trilogy #1
Author: Robin Hobb

77197In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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Suzanne’s Review:

She is a living legend. I fell in love with Robin Hobb’s story telling and her worlds, especially the later books The Rain Wild Chronicles. Assassin’s Apprentice was the first book of hers that I read and it was a revelation for me early on in my own writing journey.

I loved one of her characters in particular – Nighteyes the wolf. In fact, Robin Hobb started my obsession with all things wolf!

There is the amazing magic called the Wit, where people bond with animals, though it is forbidden. People are drawn to a certain species and as Fitz grows up, he bonds with first a dog and then a wolf.

There are other magical abilities he must learn to harness and control, and he learns to be an assassin. Some of the relationships Fitz forms, in particular with Burrich, Chade and Verity are brilliantly portrayed.

These books have everything you could want in a fantasy – assassins, love, friendship, heartache and even dragons! This series has certainly made me shed more than a few tears – always the sign of a good book!

 

• • •

 
Title: Sword in the Storm
Series: The Rigante #1
Author: David Gemmell

62292Fierce and proud, the Rigante dwell deep in the green mountain lands, worshiping the gods of air and water, and the spirits of the earth. Among them lives a warrior who bears the mark of fate. Born of the storm that slew his father, he is Connavar, and tales of his courage spread like wildfire.

The Seidh–a magical race as old as time–take note of the young warrior and cast a malignant shadow across his life. For soon a merciless army will cross the water, destroying forever the timeless rhythms of life among the Rigante.

Swearing to protect his people, Connavar embarks on a quest that will take him into the heart of the enemy. Along the way, he receives a gift: a sword as powerful and deadly as the Seidh who forged it. Thus he receives a name that will strike fear into the hearts of friend and foe alike–a name proclaiming a glorious and bitter destiny . . .

Demonblade.

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Suzanne’s Review:

I could choose any David Gemmell book and tell you how much I loved the characters, the setting, the magic and the story. He will always be the first person to come to mind when someone asks me to name my favourite author.

I read Sword in the Storm years ago and loved it. All four books in the Rigante series are brilliant, but this is probably the only one of Gemmell’s novels that I can’t bring myself to re-read, and I have tried.

I know what is going to happen to the characters and I’m not brave enough to face all that heartache and pain again.

It’s an amazing read following Connavar’s story, but it is a harsh world and he makes choices that are hard to swallow. This book ripped my heart out and then some.

If you haven’t read any of Gemmell’s books yet, firstly why not? Secondly, read the Rigante series!

 

• • •

 
Suzanne RogersonSuzanne Rogerson lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children. She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. Suzanne discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she’s lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she should get a proper job.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collect books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography. She’s interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all Suzanne likes escaping with a great film, or soaking in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

To read more of Suzanne’s reviews, or to find out more about Suzanne and her books visit her website.

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If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Do you read? Do you review? Would you like to feature on Five on Friday?
Yes? – Contact me!

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Lots of Laughs

 

Looking for a new and humorous book to read this weekend? Try one of these…

 

Cigerets, Guns & BeerTitle: Cigerets, Guns & Beer
Author: Phillip T. Stephens

Murder, sex, buried bank loot and legends of UFOs Dodd breaks up a convenience store robbery when his car breaks down in Sweet Water Falls, Texas. What’s the thanks he gets? The sheriff won’t let him leave, the car lot can’t find the parts and everybody wants him for something-sales pitch, church membership, and even stud pony. But most of all, it seems a family named Dodd were shot down robbing the bank in 1949 and the half million they stole remains missing. Everyone thinks Dodd returned to dig up the loot and no one intends to let him leave until he finds it-along with (or so the legends go) a long lost flying saucer

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My review:

With plenty of dry humour from the beginning, this is an enjoyable book to read.

The characters are well-developed, from the likeable and calm ‘hero’ to the lowbrow backwater villains.

It’s a fast-paced story that has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Just as you think you know where the story is going it veers off in a different direction.

Due to some descriptive, (though not pornographic,) sex scenes this book is not suitable for young readers.

All in all, I would say that this is a ‘ripping good yarn’.

 

The Jigsaw and the Fan.jpgTitle: The Jigsaw and the Fan
Author: Stewart Bint

How much trouble can one disgruntled ghost really make?

Albert Carter has died, and finds himself in the spirit world to get sorted out at St. Christopher’s gates. Having been a successful shop steward picketing the management of Jebson’s Glue Factory on behalf of his colleagues, he feels confident his final destination is Heaven, with the rest of the decent, honest working class.

However, upon his arrival to St. Christopher’s Doomsday Ministry, an inspectors’ strike causes all spirits in transit to be temporarily relegated to Earth as ghosts until negotiations can be met.

Albert’s ghostly assignment is his worst nightmare: a wealthy lord’s manor which operates on the hard-earned wages of his own class.

Immediately upon arrival he decides to ruin the capitalist family and begins his unlawful haunting as the Ghost of Marlston Manor. Watching him from the heavens is a host of guardian angels, elders, overlords, and scribes—all scrambling to undo the havoc that Albert is blunderingly creating in his short stint as a ghost.

The final straw comes as Albert riles up a “fright” of ghosts to collude and protest their sentences on Earth—and Albert finally faces St. Christopher.

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My review:

Trade unionist, Albert, is dead but his journey to heaven or hell is disrupted by a strike.
Sent to a grand house to wait out the strike, Albert causes trouble for the Lord of the Manor.

A witty and satirical read with a disruptive ghost, quarrelling angels and mysterious beings pulling the strings.

The characters are fully developed and brought to life (…well, death) by Stewart’s pen.

It’s a well-written, humorous book that’s a delight to read.

 

Roads & CircusesTitle: Roads & Circuses
Series: West Dublin Series: Book 1
Author: Tom Mazzone

Some Civil Servants are not so civil.

Marcus O’Malley is the brown-nosing suck-up everyone despised in school. He also happens to be Ireland’s best known barrister who truly has it all: a beautiful runway-model wife, two perfect children, prestige, power and wealth. When he refuses a dangerous villain’s request to defend him of heinous crimes, Marcus is rightly intimidated. A seemingly random opportunity to run for political office pops up and only as means to save him from the threats does he decide to dive in.

With his reputation as a do-gooder, Marcus takes like a duck to water to the local scene and his meteoric rise through the party’s rank begins. But as he sets his sights on becoming Prime Minister, he must cooperate with unsavory colleagues, bide time and determine what’s best for him versus what’s best for the party. Could outside forces bring him down, ruin his career and potentially send him to jail? Can he play the game in the shark-infested waters of Irish politics? Does he want power just for the sake of having power? Is he able to see that the chaos and the mayhem in his life are self-created? Can he continue to fool all of the people all of the time? Including himself?

Roads & Circuses is a thrilling satirical look at the world of politics and the duplicitous mind of a politician. It’s not so much what a politician says or does that should worry you, it’s what they actually THINK! And although set in Ireland, Marcus O’Malley could exist in any country or political party in the world.

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My review:

Satire, wit and laugh out loud moments.

Follow the rise and inevitable fall of manipulative Irish politician, Marcus O’Malley.

The political intrigue, laughable situations and humorous thoughts are well-written.

The characters are memorable though none of them are likeable or have any redeeming qualities.

Even if, like me, you’re not into politics, it is good for laughs.

  

How I Magically Messed Up My LifeTitle: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days
Series: The Tale of Bryant Adams #1
Author: Megan O’Russell

Ever wanted to grow a five-story tall flower in central park? How about fight a deadly battle under the subway tunnels of Manhattan?

Don’t worry. I never wanted to either. But if you’re ever being chased by ladies made of mist and you have to save the girl with the sparkly eyes you’ve never had the guts to say actual words to, there’s an app for that.

I found a magic cell phone, opened an app I shouldn’t have, burned down the set shop for my high school’s theatre, and it was all downhill from there. A drag queen seer who lives under a bridge is my only hope for keeping my mom alive, and I think the cops might be after me for destroying my dad’s penthouse.

But it gets better! Now I’m stuck being the sidekick to the guy who got me into this mess in the first place. It’ll be a miracle if I survive until Monday.

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My review:

An entertaining, action-packed and humorous read!

The book is written from Bryant’s point of view. Bryant is the accidental hero of the book and is a well-drawn character… likeable, socially awkward and ‘madly in love’ with Elizabeth.

When Bryant and his best friend, Devon, find a magical cell phone in a cab their lives and the lives of those around them change dramatically. Eric wants the phone back and is willing to do anything to get it.

Caught between the ‘light and dark’ the four protagonists, with help from some wildly wonderful characters, fight to protect each other and stay alive.

The main characters, as well as some of the supporting cast, in this quick and easy read all have their own personalities, weaknesses and strengths.

The story is imaginative, fast-paced, well-written, and fun to read.

 

Who Killed Randy RatphinkTitle: Who Killed Randy Ratphink?: The Postmortem Adventures of a Fried-Brain Hippie!
Author: Jerry Flu

A paranormal cozy mystery. Randy Ratphink, baby boomer cum geezer boomer, flower-power fossil, way-past-never-trust-anyone-over-thirty sexagenarian suddenly finds himself dead—murdered—and his spirit won’t rest until he discovers whodunit!

From his postmortem perch in the astral plain Randy’s life flashes before him like a Piggly Wiggly surveillance video. Determined to seek out his killer and avenge his murder before he moves into the shining white light, Randy Googles his memories for clues and suspects from his hippie days in the Haight to his present predicament.

But it’s only when he discovers that the identity of his murderer is none other than … well it wouldn’t be much of a mystery if you found out whodunit just yet, would it? So why not begin reading now, and find out for yourself Who Killed Randy Ratphink?

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My review:

Written in the first person, by the late Randy Ratphink, this book takes a light-hearted look back through his life, as well as his time in the after-life.

The book was well-written, detailed and descriptive, and we meet a variety of weird and unpredictable characters as Randy tries to discover his murderer.

Although it was an interesting and, at times, humorous read, I found it to be more of a fictional autobiography than a murder mystery..

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

Five on Friday

5onFriday

 

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Genres

Looking for a new book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

 

View From the Sixth FloorTitle: View From the Sixth Floor
Author: Elizabeth Horton-Newton
Genre:Romantic Thriller

This romantic thriller takes a fictional “what if” look at the JFK assassination.

Suppose accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had lived to defend himself. Imagine if 50 years after the assassination someone stepped forward to reveal the truth of what happened that day. What if the assassination was a conspiracy and the impact of those revelations reached into the 21st century?

This is the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. You’ll never look at your neighbors the same way.

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My review:

A fascinating and unique take on an unforgettable event in American history.

The book is as much a romance as it is a thriller. It’s well-written and the story ticks along at a steady pace.

The main characters of the story, Olivia and Bill, are believable and make a great couple. It was refreshing to read a book in which the protagonists were older than I am!

The book is written in the first person and after a page or two, I felt like Olivia was telling her story to me personally and from that moment on I was hooked on this interesting and enjoyable read!

 

Storm PortalTitle: Storm Portal
Series: Quantum Touch #1
Author: Michael R. Stern
Genre: Time-travel

Time travel is real, of that, Fritz was certain. He’d just done it. Meeting Robert E. Lee was fascinating, especially the way he got along with the kids. But witnessing the Triangle Fire with his class was scary. As a history teacher, his job was to teach, not participate, in events long past. And what if they hadn’t been able to get home?

Fritz Russell, an experienced and well-liked teacher at Riverboro High School, has found a portal to the past, his classroom door. But his trips didn’t happen every time. To make matters worse, he and his principal, George McAllister, walked in on the President of the United States. The portal was also a tunnel in the present. And he had no idea how it happened, how to control it, or what damage he was causing, in the future.

With his wife, Linda, and his friends, Fritz investigates the mysteries of time travel, of the portal itself, while the nation’s security apparatus gears up. Can the President help them?

Can they find the answers in time?

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My review:

Michael R. Stern brings a new twist to the concept of time travel in this fun, fast-paced and inventive read.

The quality of his writing makes it easy and exciting to read. It’s a real page-turner, with a new surprise or twist with each turn of the page.

The captivating plot isn’t overloaded with science, but takes you on a wild ride into the past and back to the present day, bringing history to life on the way.

All the characters, past and present, are fleshed out and have their own personalities. Fritz is a down to earth, nice guy who cares for his wife and his friends, is committed to his students, and struggling to understand the circumstances he has found himself in. The President is tactful and poised and responds with confidence to the unique situation, as befitting his position. Ash is intriguing, and I think there may be more to him than meets the eye.

Storm Portal is a wonderful start to the series and I am eager to read book 2, Sand Storm

 

Raising HellTitle: Raising Hell
Author: Phillip T. Stephens
Genre: Humour

A clueless optimist ruins a perfectly good hell.

Pity poor Lucifer. He rules hell with a vice grip. Demons and damned scatter at the sound of his foot steps. The Supreme Butt In hasn’t pestered him in eons. Lucifer’s future looks perfect, pitch black, until an administrative error sticks him with an innocent soul—an overweight optimist who calls himself Pilgrim and who believes he must be in hell to do good.

Lucifer never considers sending him back. He orders his subordinates to torture, degrade and humiliate Pilgrim until he promises to become evil if only it will ease the pain. Unfortunately, Pilgrim makes the best of the worst possible experiences. Always polite and well-mannered, he makes Pollyanna seem like a prophet of doom. Even worse, the damned start catching on, and set about making hell into the most enjoyable place of everlasting torment they can.

Lucifer can’t let Pilgrim continue to wreak happiness, but he can’t send him back untainted, either. When God arrives with a deadline for Pilgrim’s return, he enlists fellow fallen angels Screwtape, Azazel and the gender morphing Mephistopheles in a plot to corrupt Pilgrim’s soul before the deadline expires.

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My review:

An unusual, one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud road trip through Hell.

This book is unique it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before.
Phillip T. Stephens is a master of one-liners with a brilliant, albeit dark and mature, sense of humour.

It’s a descriptive, brimming with details, that make you feel as though you’re there, however, this doesn’t prevent the story from moving along at a good pace.
The characters are well-written and likeable and had me alternating between rooting for Pilgrim and feeling sorry for His Satanic Majesty Lucifer, Sovereign Lord of Hell.

I loved the names for all the different parts of hell.

 

GravitasTitle: Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone
Series: The Gravitas Series – Sybil of Valkyrie Book 1
Author: Lynne Murray
Genre: Sci-Fi

Trapped in the Forbidden Zone with no way out.

A predatory warrior is on Sybil’s trail, the one man she could never forget stands beside her and a dangerous payload of Gravitas, a powerful aphrodisiac, has been implanted in her body. Rescue is impossible, all portals are sealed. Can she protect herself, shield her hazardous cargo and find a way home before the Gravitas destroys her?

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My review:

A well-written and fast-paced adventure. I liked the plot and the humour of this easy to read book.

I enjoyed the author’s ideas on how people from other worlds and cultures may see us, and the attention to detail and witty dialogue.

The author’s take on the origin of religions on earth is unique and amusing.

The characters are interesting and memorable, and I loved that the heroine, Sybil, is a ‘well-built’ woman instead of the size zero that seems to be the norm in a lot of books as well as in society itself.

 

FreshmenTitle: Freshmen
Series: The Felix Chronicles #1
Author: R.T. Lowe
Genre: Fantasy

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, with the help of his reality star roommate, and Allison, his friend from home, he immerses himself in the distractions of college life and 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’; an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence; and a grassroots movement emerges from the shadows to capture the public’s imagination, its hidden agenda as revolutionary and terrifying as the man who created it. 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.

Amazon

My review:

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.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Books I Read In January 2016
Books I read in November 2015
Books I Read in September 2015

Five on Friday

5onFriday

 

Five Books – One Series – One Author

Looking for a good, easy to read paranormal series?
Try the Undead Unit Series by Markie Madden

 

Fang and Claw

Book 1

Fang and ClawOver a hundred years in the future, it’s a world where supernatural beings live and work among humans. Of course, the governments of the world have forced them to take the Undead Oath in order to gain citizenship; they must not prey on humans for food. They’re given tasks in jobs suited for their species, but just as among other minorities, they must struggle to prove themselves.

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a new elite squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortal species like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead hundreds of years ago when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the grievous ordeal.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command of the unit. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s family. She doesn’t know this, but she still doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange, unknown physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is in danger!

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My review:

I loved this book, it grabbed me on the first page and didn’t let go ’til the end.

Set in a future where supernatural beings have been accepted in the human world, a unit of Immortals investigate crimes committed by other Immortal and undead creatures.

The authors portrayal of the world and the law enforcement of the future is well-written, descriptive, and entirely believable.

The characters are complex and dynamic. Lacey and Colton, the two main characters, have a complicated and tense relationship, which adds to their opposing personalities.

The story flows well and throws up a few surprises for the investigating pair, and for the reader.

 

Souls of the Reaper

Book 2

Souls of the Reaper

Someone’s stealing souls in Dallas. Can the Undead Unit stop it, before it’s too late? A rogue Reaper is on the loose in the city of Dallas. Su Xiong is a sociopath with no care for human life. He steals souls whose numbers are not yet up in order to become a more powerful Immortal. While he’s on the prowl to gain power, his soulless victims roam the streets without morals, without inhibitions, without any code of conduct or social mores.

Crime has risen tenfold: petty crimes, road rage, prostitution, drinking, and gambling. But for each soul that he captures and keeps, his own mental stability begins to degrade, a fact that Xiong is dangerously blind to. Can Lacey and Colton, along with Doctors Matthews and Dilorenzo, find him and stop him, before the insanity inside spoils the souls he holds within?

AmazonB&NiTunesKoboGooglePlay

My review:

This second book in the Undead Unit series is as good as the first.
Over two hundred pages of action and, edge of your seat, suspense.

Rookie, Kazz, joins Lacey and Colton as they race against time to bring down the rogue reaper, who’s stealing souls.

Kazz fits into the team perfectly and adds an extra dimension to the supernatural crime fighting unit, while Lacey and Colton’s personalities continue to develop as the story progresses.

 

Blood Lust

Book 3

Blood LustLacey is awakened by a chilling phone call. Her boyfriend, a Vampire, wakes alone in his home, covered in blood, with no memory of what happened. It looks as if he’s violated the Undead Oath, and fed on a human.

While he’s in custody, more reports come in from all over the city. Other Vampires, covered in human blood, know nothing about what they’ve done. Lacey and her team struggle to find the person responsible for framing Vampires for murder.

Can the Undead Unit put a stop to the worst hate crime in Dallas’ history, and can Lacey overcome accusing the man she loves of homicide?

AmazonB&NiTunesKoboGooglePlay

My review:

Having read the first two books in the Undead Unit series, I’ve got to know Lacey and Colton quite well, and settling into this, the third book, was like meeting up with old friends.

Kazz, who joined the team in book 2, was also present and we get to know her better as the three of them struggle to find who’s framing vampires, one of whom is Lacey’s boyfriend.

Once again, Markie’s portrayal of the world and the law enforcement of the future is descriptive and believable.

Another enjoyable read from Markie Madden

 

Siren Song

Book 4

Siren SongCan the Undead Unit resist the call of the Siren?

Singer/songwriter Briona Solis is one of the top musicians in the world. Her voice is acclaimed as the most radiant on the planet, and she has a gorgeous figure to match. When her band Solace books a two-week tour in Dallas, shows are sold out.

Kirsten Wagner is found in a deserted alley just minutes away from the concert. She’s in shock and barely alive; her eyes have been removed with surgical precision. The team struggles to gather information on their case, hoping to prevent another assault.

And Kirsten isn’t the only one. Each night brings a new victim. The Undead Unit must race against time to catch the perpetrator. Will they be able to resist the call of the Siren, or will these cases go unsolved forever?

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My review:

The fourth book in the series and another case for the Undead Unit to investigate.

Victims are turning up around Dallas with their eyes missing.  The only thing they have in common is that they attended a concert by Briona Solis.

With not much to go on Kazz goes undercover at the next concert only to go missing. Lacey and Colton race against the clock to stop her becoming yet another victim of a brutal attack.

The book is well written and the dynamics between the three investigators grows with each story.

 

Ashes to Ashes

Book 5

Ashes to AshesWith the success of Undead Units spreading through law enforcement agencies around the world, Lacey, Colton, and Kazz are sent to Egypt to teach Lacey’s friend, Chantay, how to form and manage an Undead Unit of her own.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian government is preparing to unveil a startling secret: the resurrection of ancient Pharaoh, Akhenaten, using DNA from this unpopular leader’s mummy to clone a new body for him. Egypt’s people despise Akhenaten; this King once tried to force monotheism across the land.

Long thought dead, an ancient  religious cult still lives on in the form of an Immortal Phoenix, who does everything in his power to prevent the reanimation of Egypt’s most infamous king. Can Lacey’s team, along with local authorities stop him before he sabotages this fantastic scientific breakthrough?

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My review:

Lacey, Colton and Kazz take a trip to help Lacey’s friend, Chantay, set up an Undead Unit in Egypt.

Whilst there, they become involved in a case which revolves around the Egyptian government, the resurrection of an ancient Pharaoh and a religious cult headed up by an Immortal Phoenix.

The team must cut through the misdirection and red tape of the authorities and  sift through bomb wreckage to discover the culprit and prevent disaster.

This is one of my favourite books of the series, as the author’s obvious love of all things Egyptian shines through.

 

Note:

Each book can be read as a stand-alone story as each is a separate case, but you wouldn’t have the background or feel the dynamics between the investigating team.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

 

Books I Read in October (2015)
Books I Read In March 2016
Books I Read November & December 2016
A-Z: Books I’ve Read (B is for Blood)
An Interview with Markie Madden

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Brief Reviews

I’ve been spending some time this week cataloguing my reviews and came across these books on Goodreads, with some of my first reviews, which I thought I’d share with you.

 

So… If you’re looking for a new book to read this weekend, try one of these:

 

22441671Title: Seed
Series: Keepers of Genesis, #1
Author: D.B. Nielsen

A powerful, hidden artefact is unearthed and, with its discovery, an ancient conflict is reignited. Seventeen-year-old Sage Woods, the daughter of an eminent archaeologist, uncovers the artefact’s disturbing secret and is placed in terrible danger. Unwittingly, she has stumbled into an invisible war between two primordial dynasties of a supernatural order – a war in which she has a fateful role to play in a race to control the power of the SEED.

Embroiled in a quest that takes her from the British Museum to the Louvre to the Vatican Secret Archives, Sage realises that her blossoming romance with the mysterious, alluring St. John Rivers is inextricably tied to the artefact. Up until now, St. John has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Sage is determined to delve deeper to uncover his dark secret and his connection to the SEED. It is a decision that will have a devastating effect on humankind…

Amazon 

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My review:

Wow!! I loved this book.

A hard to put down, page turner. Well written, with a thrilling and intelligent storyline and believable characters.

I only have one complaint…. the book ended. 😉

Thank goodness there are more to follow!

 

22585896Title: The Girl at Midnight
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Author: Melissa Grey

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Amazon  • B&NKoboiBooksGooglePlay

My review:

I loved this book!!

It’s a quirky, entertaining and sometimes humorous fantasy, and I enjoyed it…. a lot!

I loved the characters and their interactions, and the wonderful world they inhabit.

 

21415080Title: Land
Author: Alex Campbell

The sea rose. Civilisation was wiped out, countries drowned. Out of the ashes of a desperate refugee camp, a new society was born, with a new place to call home: Land. Trapped by an aggressive sea, its citizens were bound to rules that saw the weak removed, marriage and children by approval only, and designated work for all. All for the greater good……

Decades later, and seventeen year-old Christy’s life is on the cusp of irrevocable change. She has become eligible for the Pairing, a carefully selected marriage of political and social convenience where romance is out of the question. Her grandmother, Cons, has also reached a significant age – sixty-six: soon the Selection Truck will arrive to take her away forever.

Christy’s only hope for protection lies with her missing rebel father…..but nothing goes as it’s supposed to. As Christy finds a Pair who might offer a new opportunity for love and security she also uncovers a destiny that has been hidden from her; truths that have been disguised as childhood lies. With Cons’ life under threat, Christy is forced to face a whole new world, one where she must choose between those she cares about and the greater good….a new life where she must play the reluctant rebel, the revolutionary, the lover…..the assassin.

Amazon  • B&NKoboiBooksGooglePlay

My review:

I loved this book.

It has a fantastic plot, with never a dull moment. Some likeable, strong characters and some not so likeable ones.

It was really hard to put down.

 

18568775Title: Dawn Solstice
Author: Olivia Kiernan

Archaeologist, Dawn Kennedy, is sent to work at a Neolithic tomb in Ireland. The tomb, Newgrange, is famed for its history of reincarnation. Dawn is drawn to studfarm owner Evan O’Brien but their relationship seems thwarted from the start. The locals talk of The Legend of the Banshee, a harbinger of death and when Dawn is haunted by a strange spectre, she feels the past reach out to her. Soon she is living in fear, fear of love, the banshee and Ireland’s fractured history and overlooking the river Boyne, Newgrange seems to be waiting, waiting for her love, waiting for her to die.

Amazon  • B&N 

My review:

A very enjoyable read.

This was one of those books that once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished.

 

18147185Title: Ways to See a Ghost
Series: Ways To See A Ghost #1
Author: Emily Diamand

Isis, the daughter of a charlatan psychic, can see ghosts – including that of her dead little sister, Angel. Gray is the son of a UFO-chasing conspiracy theorist. The two teenagers are forced together when their parents start dating. After a reluctant start, a friendship develops and Isis confesses her secret ability to Gray. But when Isis’ mum is inducted into an elite psychic society, run by charismatic Philip Syndal, Isis discovers there are sinister intentions beneath Philip’s charm. She and Gray find themselves in grave danger and Isis is forced to use her considerable powers to save them both.

Amazon  • B&NKoboGooglePlay

My review:

I like that this book was a quick, easy read, and suitable for younger readers of paranormal, as well as interesting enough to keep adult readers entertained.

The book was well-written and the characters were interesting.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

 

Five Books – Five Authors – Lots of Dragons (I love Dragons!)

Looking for a new book to read this weekend? Like Dragons? Try one of these…

 

DragonhomeTitle: Dragonhome
Series: Worldhole Series Book 1
Author: Rick A. Mullins

Gordon Barrow is traveling a crowded highway when lightning strikes an overpass and opens a portal to another world. Traveling at highway speeds, dozens of trucks, buses, and cars pass through the portal and find themselves stranded on an alien world when the portal disappears.

Resolved to spending the rest of their lives on this alternate Earth, the involuntary colonists meet and befriend the natives, then discover that their adopted world goes through a massive population surge every decade until starvation and massive die-offs allow the land to recover for another decade.

Just when they’ve figured out how to survive on their new world they discover that they are infected with the same parasites that have extended the lives of every living thing on Dragonhome, the very thing that causes the cyclic population explosions.

Now they have found a way home using the same worldhole crystals that brought them to Dragonhome. But if they return they will bring their immortality infection with them, and with it introduce the same cyclic population explosions that decimates Dragonhome every ten years.

Amazon 

My review:

A unique sci-fi action book, that follows the adventures of a group of humans after they are unexpectedly transported to another world, where dragons are the dominant beings.

I was captivated by the detailed storyline and fantastic world building.

It was a clean and fun read, that left me wanting more.

 

Flash PointTitle: Flash Point
Series: Nite Fire #1
Author: C.L. Schneider

Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.

But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.

Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

Flash Point is the first book in The Nite Fire Series.

Amazon 

My review:

An amazing start to a new series by C.L. Schneider.

I loved the multi-dimensional characters, the humans, the dragons and the half human/half dragon like Dahlia. Dahlia is a strong and complex female character, and completely believable.

The plot was original and well thought out. The story is fast-paced, easy to read and kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this outstanding series.

 

Dragon LightningTitle: Dragon Lightning
Series: Dragon Dreamer #2
Author: J.S. Burke

Dragon Lightning is book 2 in The Dragon Dreamer series. It’s a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and unlikely friendships. This science fantasy is layered for readers age 9 to adult.

Drakor seems like a normal young ice dragon with a talent for making lightning swords. But he alone feels the changing heart of his island Volcano. It destroyed his beloved sire. Now he foresees their doom, but none will listen. As he seeks proof, the Volcano shakes him off into the frozen sea . . .

Arak was mocked as a worthless dreamer until he and Scree, a fearless undersea misfit, saved the dragons. Now dragons and octopi sail north in search of mythical ice dragons. They find Drakor and a terrifying reality. When Scree enters the abyss to check his volcano, she discovers everyone is in peril. Can this crew of unlikely friends save three realms?

AmazonB&NKobo • iTunes

My review:

I read The Dragon Dreamer had been looking forward to reading this, the second book in the series. Now I have to wait ‘patiently’ for the next.

The wonderful and enchanting story continues as Arak, Scree and their friends set out on more adventures, this time they’re looking for Ice Dragons.

Once again the author blends fact and fantasy in an exciting story which is suitable for both children and adults.

The story is detailed and well written and I found myself immersed within the pages of the book, sharing the experience with the dragons and octopuses.

 

Dragon MoonTitle: Dragon Moon
Author: Julie Nicholls

I’m nineteen and wish I had a clue about my future. Instead of my own bed, this morning I woke in the strange land of Lur Neval. My name is Scarlett, but the Nevalese call me Dragon Mage. Seems it’s my job to preserve the all-important dragons and oh, while I’m here, bring peace to the warring clans. Piece of cake if I can outwit Madoc, the manipulative, evil seer who wants every dragon destroyed. Whatever it takes, I’m here to fulfill my destiny under the light of the Dragon Moon

Amazon

My review:

Another amazing book from Author, Julie Nicholls.

I enjoyed Dragon Moon. It’s beautifully written, easy to read and hard to put down.

Julie has an awesome way of bringing her characters to life and I fell in love with them, both human and dragon, and hope we haven’t heard the last of them.

I’ll admit that, at times, this wonderful adventure made me shed a few tears, but it also made me smile.

This book is a great, clean fantasy which, in my opinion, will appeal to fantasy and dragon lovers from mid-teens and up.

 

The Dragon's ValentineTitle: The Dragon’s Valentine
Series: Falk Clan #1
Author: C.D. Gorri

“She’s given up on love, but he’s just begun…”

After five hundred years of servitude, Dragon shifter Callius Falk and his three brothers are finally freed from their bonds. Callius has one mission, to find his true mate.

Winifred Castillo spends her days working as an assistant realtor for Maccon City Estates and her nights tending bar at The Thirsty Dog. She’s completely sworn off men. For good!

But what’s a Werewolf to do when a dark-haired stranger with golden eyes and rippling muscles tells her she is his mate?

Amazon 

My review:

I read a shortened version of The Dragon’s Valentine by C.D. Gorri as part of Claiming My Valentine: A Collection of 14 Paranormal Romances and enjoyed it.

I love C.D. Gorri’s Grazi Kelly, Angela Tanner & Macconwood tales, so I was looking forward to reading this extended version of The Dragon’s Valentine when it was released, and finding out how it fits together with the other books.

Unsurprisingly I was not disappointed, C.D. Gorri has a way of writing that sucks you into the world she has created. A world of werewolves, witches and now… dragons.

Yes!! Dragons are real and one of them has claimed Winifred (a member of The Macconwood Wolf Pack) as his mate.

This is a hot and steamy story, which, although it’s set within the world that C.D. Gorri has created, is a wonderful stand alone read.

Dragons are my favourite supernatural creatures and I can’t wait to find out more about Callius Falk and his brothers.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

 

Books I Read July – October 2016
Books I Read November & December 2016
Books I Read in April ’17
My Top Twelve of 2017

Claiming My Valentine Anthology