Tag Archive | Review

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

False Flag by Rachel Churcher ​​

False Flag Rachel Churcher coverKetty Smith is an instructor with the Recruit Training Service, turning sixteen-year-old conscripts into government fighters. She’s determined to win the job of lead instructor at Camp Bishop, but the arrival of Bex and her friends brings challenges she’s not ready to handle. Running from her own traumatic past, Ketty faces a choice: to make a stand, and expose a government conspiracy, or keep herself safe, and hope she’s working for the winning side.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

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My Review:

In Battle Ground, the first book of the series, Ketty Smith was Bex Ellman’s nemesis and not a particularly nice person. However, there are two sides to this story.

Instead of following on from book 1, as I expected, this book revisits the same events only this time from Ketty’s point of view.

Although we already know what happened during this timeframe, the shift in viewpoint added depth and showed new aspects of the events.

I now understand Ketty as a person, although because of the ambiguous political backdrop to the story, I’m still unsure which side I should be rooting for!

I am enjoying this fascinating and plausible series and I’m looking forward to reading book 3.

 

The Author:
Rachel Churcher Author photoRachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Botanist by L.K. Hill​

The BotanistIn the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.

Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.

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My Review:

A well written, captivating and nail-biting story from L. K. Hill.

Detective Cody Oliver stumbles across a burial site in the desert. From that moment the small town in which he lives descends into a mass of journalists and extra policemen as Cody and his colleagues attempt to track down the serial killer.

Having escaped the clutches of the killer previously, Alex Thompson returns to Mt. Dessicate to remind the investigators of her experience, and finds herself, once again, targeted by the murderer.

Although I guessed early on who the killer was, the twists and turns the author took me through to get there kept me turning the pages. The slow-burning romance between the two main characters was somewhat predictable but added another dimension to the story.

The book held my attention throughout. It was dark and thrilling, and with some descriptions of the brutal torture inflicted by the killer, probably not for the faint-hearted, but I will be adding more books by L.K. Hill to my to-read list.

 

The Author:

L.K. HillL.K. Hill is a pen name for author Liesel K Hill. She writes across three genres. Her historical romance is written under the pen name K.L. Conger. She writes scifi and fantasy, including dystopian, under her full name, Liesel K. Hill. Her crime fiction is written under her initials, L.K. Hill.

She comes from a large, tight-knit family and resides in Northern Utah. She loved to read and write at a young age, and her earliest memories consist of her father sitting in the doorway of her room at night, relating stories of Frodo, Gandalf, and the One Ring. Her mother also read to her every afternoon as a child, sometimes for several hours a day.

Today she is an award-winning author. She plans to keep writing until they nail her coffin shut. Or the Second Coming happens. Whichever comes first. ;D

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A Paris Fairy Tale by Marie Laval

 

Is Paris the city of happily ever afters?

A Paris Fairy TaleWorkaholic art historian Aurora Black doesn’t have time for fairy tales or Prince Charmings, even in the most romantic city in the world. She has recently been hired by a Parisian auction house for a job that could make or break her career. Unfortunately, daredevil journalist Cédric Castel seems intent on disrupting Aurora’s routine.

As Aurora and Cédric embark on a journey across France, they get more than they bargained for as they find themselves battling rogue antiques dealers and personal demons, not to mention a growing attraction to each other.

But with the help of a fairy godmother or two, could they both find their happily ever afters?

 

 

My Review:

A Paris Fairy Tale is the second book by Marie Laval that I’ve read. I enjoyed Little Pink Taxi, but this book is my favourite of the two.

Aurora Black is a dedicated workaholic with low self-esteem, because of the scars and limp she was left with after the car accident that killed her parents. She doesn’t remember much about them or her early childhood, although her Grandmother paints a picture of neglect and poverty due to her mother’s flighty attitude.

When we meet Aurora, she is leaving for France, as she’s been hired by Florent Maupas to work on a rare manuscript, previously thought to have been destroyed. Once in Paris, she meets Cédric Castel, a journalist who is suspicious of her and believes she is involved in the criminal activities of Maupas and his associates.

What follows is an exciting and intriguing story, with twists and shocking discoveries in both their professional and personal lives as Cédric and Aurora attempt to uncover the truth about the manuscript, and break down the barriers they have erected between each other.

A Paris Fairy Tale is a well-written, emotive, action-packed romantic suspense novel and was a delight to read.

 

The Author:

Marie LavalOriginally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes.

She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance).

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Sins of the Father by Maria Gibbs

Children from the Streets Book 2

 
Sins of the FatherHaving seen first-hand the results of starvation, abuse, and murder, Carlos Suarez knows all too well that the streets of Rio are no place for a child to grow up.

Because of his own history and subsequent rescue from that poverty at the age of fifteen, he makes it his life’s work to ensure opportunities are available to the future generations of Brasil’s homeless children—but no matter how many kids Carlos saves, it’s never enough for him.

Almost to the point of obsession.

Dedicated to his work, and haunted by his past, Carlos has never considered an intimate relationship with anyone, let alone another man, especially after that night. But when Fate throws him a curve ball, and his past comes screaming back threatening to destroy his future, Carlos will discover that redemption can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings, Sins of the Father is a story you won’t be able to put down.

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My Review:

I loved the first book of this series and I loved this book too.

This is a heartbreaking and emotional story, set a few years after book one. We learn about Carlos’ experiences of life on the streets of Brasil as a young boy.

We live alongside him as he works through his nightmares and, with the help of his friends and family, prevents as many children as he can from suffering the same fate as he did.

We witness his emotional trauma as he revisits his childhood struggles, bumps into the men who exploited him and falls in love.

Read A Boy from the Streets, the amazing first book of the series first, then be prepared for another poignant and emotive story.

 

About The Author:

Maria GibbsI started reading and writing from an early age, it has always been my passion and my escape. There are so many worlds out there to discover and to create. I write in many genres, my mind is alive with thoughts and ideas so I allow them free release on paper. If I were to sum up what the common denominator is between my books, I would have to say they tug at the heartstrings – in the main. My reader’s tell me I’ve reduced them to tears. Inspiration comes in many forms and I grab it with greedy hands. I am predominantly a pantser, planning only when needed.

I work full-time but my dream is to be able to make a living from writing and be able to give my undivided time to releasing all the books that are floating around in my over-active brain.

When I’m not writing, I like reading, crafting, running, listening to music or riding my motorbike.

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Duality by K. J. McGillick

Duality

 

Two sides of the same coin. Completely alike. Completely different.

 
DUALITYCOVERWhat started out as a normal art restoration project for Melinda Martin soon took on a life of its own. Could this unusual painting actually be a Botticelli masterpiece thought to have perished as part of Savonarola’s Bonfire of the Vanities? Had Melinda’s friend, Lana, a well-known art picker inadvertently acquired stolen art; art that might have ties to the occult and worth millions? Did a bad business decision endanger everyone who touched this potential treasure?

When the painting disappears and both women are found dead, the police think it’s an open and shut case. The husband – it’s always the husband. He had means, motive, and opportunity, and acted strangely cold after the fact.

Is it a case of mistaken identity? Does a secret relationship put Mr. Martin in the crosshairs of an assassin sent to retrieve the painting? Or is he really a sociopath forger with mysterious ties to the Vatican?

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My Review:

I enjoyed this interesting and intriguing thriller.

Although this is the fifth book of the series it works well as a standalone and I had no problem in following the story or identifying the characters.

The story is told by both of the main characters, Dalia and Mary, who took me along on their individual quests. I loved Mary, she’s a little old lady, who is independent and does her own thing.

This book is set in the art world and put me in mind of Dan Brown books, with many twists and much intrigue which kept me guessing all the way to the end.

I’m definitely interested in joining Mary and Dalia on more adventures in the previous books of this series and in any subsequent stories.

 

Author Bio:

K.J. McGillick.jpgK. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

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The Coven History by Lily Luchesi

The Coven Series Book 4

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The dead hold the key to saving the King.

LILY2When the Coven King falls deathly ill, Harley must search through his history, and the history of everyone she once knew, in order to find the cure.

As a child, Salem Sinclair was never meant to amount to much, until he met a girl named Daphne Fraser. As Light as he was Dark, he fell in love at first sight and would do anything to please her, even if his love makes him a target.
But there is a Darkness growing, and Daphne is at the centre of the conflict. Salem must pick a side and do what is right to save the girl he loves.

Meanwhile, will Harley find out how to cure her father or will the Coven once again lose its leader?

Available now for only $2.99
or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Excerpt:

         “Murder?” Caelum asked.
“What do you mean, murder?” Draven demanded, face pasty white.
“I believe he is trying to say that someone has died by nefarious means,” Salem said sarcastically.
“Where? What happened?” Daphne asked, ignoring the boys.
“In a house just up that way,” the man said, still unblinking. “We have to alert the PID!” And he dashed off without another word.
“What do we do?” Draven wondered.
“We go see what happened. I can feel the Darkness,” Daphne said. “It’s getting stronger and stronger with each step we take in this direction.”
That was the deciding vote and the five of them kept walking, guided by Daphne’s Fraser senses. With each step, it was Salem who was now filled with foreboding, however. Because they were closing in on the house he and Robert lived in.
His fears were confirmed when they reached the end of the road and found a group of magicians gathered around his house, 109 Dahlia Lane. Voices were murmuring and people seemed generally spooked.
“What happened here?” Salem asked the first person to meet his eyes. She merely shuddered and left.
He grabbed someone else by the collar of the cloak, a fellow student whose name he couldn’t place. “Hey, you. I live here. Tell me what happened this instance!”
The poor boy stuttered and couldn’t say a thing.
“Salem!”
Salem turned to see Robert near the doorway of their house, his face somber. “It’s Ms. Stanton. It’s bad. Really bad.”
Daphne clutched her head and said, “My body can already tell that much.” She began to walk toward the house and Salem grabbed her by the sleeve.
“Is it wise for you to go inside? With the way your head is already?”
“Yeah, I have to agree with Sinclair. Don’t go inside,” Michael said, arms crossed.
Daphne whirled around. “You, Mike, don’t ever tell me what to do. Sal, I appreciate the concern, but I have to know what’s happening.”
Salem nodded and let her sleeve go. “All right. Come on, then. Robert, did you call the PID? Or go to the castle?”
Robert said, “That bloke who ran off was going to call. Figured someone who lived here should stick around. Come on, if you guys really want to see. I wouldn’t.” He turned around and the five teens followed him into the house.
“Something smells awful,” Draven said almost immediately after he crossed the threshold.
Salem didn’t smell anything at first, until they got past the foyer. Then it hit him. When he was a boy, a few older boys had killed a small deer and left it to rot in some underbrush near a stream. During the summer, the heat had risen and cooked the rotting carcass. This sickly sweet, gaseous smell was similar to that.
Ms. Stanton was in the living room, on the sofa. She had been knitting when she’d been murdered. But the only reason Salem knew it was Stanton was because he recognised her grey and pink ombre robe, which she wore constantly. The body was decayed to the point where only a magician with the PID could have identified her with magic.
Her skin was wet and greenish, broken open in parts where old blood and Gaia knew what else was leaking out. Her mouth was open, lips blue, tongue black and lolling out the side. One of her eyes was normal, the other hanging from its socket on a long, sticky string of sinew.
“I’m gonna be sick,” Michael said, dashing from the house.
“Me too. The smell,” Draven groaned, following Michael.
Daphne whimpered. “It’s not the corpse making me sick. It’s the Dark magic.”
“The Decaying Curse,” Salem said softly. “The Darkest spell ever created. No wonder everyone in Clan Fraser was sick. That curse hasn’t been used in the Coven in over a century.”

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Read the first 3 books in the series for only $1.98!
Book 1 is FREE and books 2 & 3 are 99c each!

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My Review:

The Coven History, book 4 of The Coven Series, is another fantastic read from author, Lily Luchesi.

In this installment we learn the details of Salem’s life as a youngster at the coven. His daughter, Harley, journeys back through his memories to find a cure to prevent his death.

Harley witnesses the hardship and taunting that Salem endured, but also sees her the love and romance between her mother and father. There are twists and surprises for both Harley and the reader.

Does Harley find the cure for Salem? What does she discover about her father and her friends? You’ll need to read this book to find out.

Lily Luchesi is a brilliant author who continues to impress me with her writing, her plots and her characters. Her books grab you from page one and you live alongside the characters, sharing the same range of emotions as they do.

I loved this book and I love the series. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

 

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Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.

Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.

She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Arizona. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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Don’t Drink the Pink by B.C.R. Fegan

Don't Drink the Pink

 
Don’t Drink the Pink by B.C.R. Fegan

Illustrated by Lenny Wen

Published by TaleBlade Press

 
Don't-Drink-the-Pink-CoverMadeline adores her Grandpa Gilderberry – she always has. To everyone else he might seem a bit strange – an eccentric inventor – perhaps even a little mad. Yet Madeline knows that these are his very best qualities.

One of Grandpa Gilderberry’s most secret inventions is his box of potions which he delights in giving to Madeline each year on her birthday. Each potion conveys an unexpected and magical experience for Madeline. Year after year, Madeline selects a new potion with exciting results, however each time she reaches for her enchanted birthday present, her grandfather reminds her of only one rule – ‘don’t drink the pink’.

Exploring the special relationship between a grandfather and his grandchild, the potions in Don’t Drink the Pink provide an apt metaphor for each magical moment. Yet with birthdays comes ageing and this tale doesn’t shy away from what this means for both the young girl and her loveable grandpa.

Don’t Drink the Pink is available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and ePub through all major online retailers.

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Excerpt:

On my eighth birthday,
I ran and didn’t stop.
Before the sun had risen,
I had come to Grandpa’s shop

Don't Drink the Pink“Happy birthday, Madeline,”
he said with a wink.
“Take a potion, take a brew.
Just don’t drink the pink.”

I reached out for the black one
and drank till I was full.
Then slowly from my head to toes,
I turned invisible!

 

My Review:

Another charming picture book from the author of Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 and The Day That A Ran Away.

Madeline’s grandpa gives her a magical potion each year on her birthday, and we witness the fantastic results.

The book takes us through the numbers ‘first’ to ‘fifteenth’, and fifteen different colours, as well as the effects of ageing and the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter.

The illustrations by Lenny Wen are delightful and complement the rhyming text perfectly.

 
About The Author:

BCR-FeganBCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.

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