Tag Archive | Reviews

A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZG is for Ghost

 

The 11th Percent

T.H. Morris

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

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

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

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

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

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The 11th Percent : Review

The 11th PercentI enjoyed this exciting, fast-paced and original book. It brings a fresh and unique look at spirits and the afterlife.

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

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

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

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

T.H. Morris
T.H. Morris is the pen name of myself, Terrick Heckstall.

​The initials T.H. honors my family name, and the surname Morris honors my late grandmother, Dora B. Morris, whose passing serves as one of the seeds for my series.

 

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016

Enter the chilling Ghostly Writes Anthology and be prepared to be scared with 27 short stories from around the world. Creepy houses, murder mysteries, paranormal and much more to haunt and thrill those who dare.

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Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016: Review

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016 If you like ghost stories, you’ll be entertained by this excellent creepy collection of short stories from a wide variety of authors.

Some stories were scarier than others, but they were all well-written and most held my interest.
As is usual with the variety of tales in anthologies, I found some of them more enjoyable than others.

In fairness to all the authors involved, I’m finding it difficult to choose only one or two favourites, although Cabins by JB Taylor, Canvas by Sarah Moiser, Hello Dear by Stewart Bint and Ruby Kisses by Jessica Wren are at the top of my list…
and I would love to read more of Soul Man by Claire Plaisted

 

 

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A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZF is for Fantasy

 

The Journey of the Marked

Rebecca P. McCray

The mark means honor. The mark invites death.

On a distant planet, Eros thrives in the Human settlement he calls home. Raised to follow his grandfather’s noble footsteps, he studies the details of each species that co-exist here. But when his sixteenth birthday arrives and the mark appears, he’s called to fight, which changes his life forever.

Forced to abandon his home, the mark makes him the hunted. He’s attacked the night he arrives in the city. A tough, street fighter named Kenrya saves his life. When they join others on the same journey, her cynical attitude drives a wedge between the group.

Given the perils facing them, can they put aside their differences and trust each other long enough to survive?

Discover this epic adventure where an individual’s unique abilities can change the course of the future.

Finalist in The 2014 Wishing Shelf Book Awards

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The Journey of the Marked: Review

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Rebecca P. McCray has a fantastic imagination and her vividly detailed writing brings to life the complex world of Zolei.
The many different species living on the planet are wonderfully described and I have a clear picture of most of them, although keeping them straight was hard at first, I soon figured out who was who.

In some chapters we join the five marked teens; Eros, Tip, Kenrya, Prizene, and Azetan, as they make the dangerous journey to the Miyran training camp. Other chapters follow the family members and friends who were left behind, as they meet up while searching for news of the five. There are also chapters that show the story from the Tyrnotts and Graeliths (the bad guys) point of view. These different perspectives give the story and the characters a great deal of depth.

It’s an amazing book that I did not want to reach the end of, but I have, and now I’m desperate to read the next one!

Rebecca P. McCray:

Rebecca McCray is a financial consultant by day and fantasy world-builder by night. She enjoys building out a world that is a cross between high-fantasy and gritty sci-fi.

 

The Witches of Merribay

B.J. Smash

A twisted tale of earth, air, fire, and water

Living in Maine with her grandmother and eccentric aunts is not how sixteen-year-old Ivy Seaforth expected to spend her summer—but working for a peculiar wealthy man and running errands for a powerful witch who is cursed to live in a tree house wasn’t in her plans, either. Ivy soon discovers that her sister Zinnia has been frequenting the forbidden forest and acting strangely as a result, and Ivy wonders if it has to do with the fortune-telling witch on the bay. As they drift further apart, she discovers that her sister may not be as trustworthy as she thought, and she intends to find out the cause.

When she discovers the mysterious forest holds many deep, dark secrets and a race of otherworldly beings called the Fae, her life changes forever. In a curious world filled with power, magic, and a strange boy that can never leave the forest, Ivy may just be in over her head.

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The Witches of Merribay: Review

51KzreqTL2LWitches, ghosts, fae, mermaids, hellhounds, fairies, elves and pixies…
this series has them all and more.

It has a well written, fast paced, busy plot, with plenty of action and plot twists

The characters are interesting and the descriptions are creative.

I have read the first two books of the series, and will be reading more.

B.J. Smash

B.J.Smash aka Brenda J. Smith, grew up in a small town in Maine, literally in the middle of nowhere, where she may or may not have been taken to fairyland. She also may or may not have seen an elf or two roaming in the woods. Her books are inspired by dreams that she had in her younger days.

Brenda lived in Thailand for five years, and now resides in Maryland with her husband, daughter, son, and two dogs. She loves to visit Scotland and hopes to someday visit Ireland.

 

Child of Blackwen

Melanie Rodriguez

The epic fantasy novel Child of Blackwen is a coming-of-age adventure story about the young dhampir Artemis in the mystical world of Arrygn.

Born of a human and a vampire, Artemis was raised among the elves of Ellewynth by her mother’s friends Shadow, an elven soldier, and Talisa, a witch. An outcast in elven society, Artemis is protected by the Elders of the Woodland Realm because her mother, the vampire Tamina Ravenwing, once served them. As Artemis struggles to overcome prejudice, she must also learn to control her innate thirst for blood. Her efforts are made all the more difficult when Shadow and Talisa are called to serve in the eight-year-long war against the dragons.

Just after they return, Artemis begins dreaming her mother’s memories, only to discover that her guardians are plagued with the same dreams. This, along with the mysterious murders in the Woodland Realm, leads Artemis to learn the shocking truth about her mother’s death: the unsavory woman in the dreams is none other than Tamina’s younger sister, Arlina.

Artemis poses a threat to the madwoman Arlina, usurper of the throne of Blackwen City—and the vampire will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat.

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Child of Blackwen: Review

51Ub5crLZkL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_An amazing and intriguing start to a new series.

Melanie’s descriptive writing pulled me into the wonderful world of Arrygn and dropped me in amongst the action. Arrygn is a fascinating place, with elves, vampires, witches, mages and much more.

The characters are dimensional and likeable, and I felt like I had made some new friends in Artemis, Jack and Shadow, to name just a few.

The book was well-written, kept up a good pace throughout and the ending had me heading straight into book two.

Melanie Rodriguez:

Melanie Rodriguez holds a BA in creative writing from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont.

She says she’s been compelled to write stories dictated by the voices she’s heard inside her head since she was a child, citing the story line of her debut book Child of Blackwen: An Artemis Ravenwing Novel as one of the main reasons she majored in creative writing. It’s an epic work of high fantasy narrating the coming-of-age story of a young half-vampire, half-human creature known as a dhampir.

A former New Yorker, Rodriguez is an avid reader and sports fan who now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her overly excitable shepsky (a shepherd-husky mix), Shadow.

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
B is for Blood
C is for Creepy
D is for Death
E is for Emotion

Books I Read in July 2015
Books I Read In February 2016
Books I Read In March 2016

A-Z: Books I’ve Read

 

A-ZE is for Emotion

 

The Storm Creature

Maria Gibbs

At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realized.

A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever.

That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself?

Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?

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The Storm Creature: Review

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An intriguing short story that hooked me on page one and kept my attention to the end. I was glad to be able to read it in one sitting, as I didn’t want to put it down.

The descriptive, and almost poetic, writing created a creepy and tense atmosphere. It was an emotional book, with a tragic ending, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

This is the first book by Maria Gibbs that I’ve read and I’m certain it won’t be the last.

Maria Gibbs:

Author, dreamer, loves travel, crafting, speed, horse-riding & music. Finds inspiration in many things, bursting with enthusiasm…maybe too much sometimes!

 

Raining Down Rules

B.K. Rivers

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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Raining Down Rules: Review

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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.

B.K. Rivers:

BK Rivers grew up riding through rolling fields of grain on horseback, driving hay trucks and catching frogs in a silver creek. She traded country life for the big city when she married the love of her life, but the heart always returns to the country.

When she’s not writing, she can be found baking anything sweet, in fact it’s been said her brownies are so good they save marriages.

The inspiration for her novels comes in many forms, but mostly from her Gotye channel on Pandora. She writes young adult and new adult novels to the beat of Gotye, Snow Patrol and many others.

 

A Casualty of Grace

Lisa Brown

When ten-year-old Oliver and his younger brother are unexpectedly orphaned, they are left with nobody to care for them. A promise to his dying mother means Oliver must now step up. As the workhouse looms and the threat of being torn apart becomes painfully real, Oliver sees the offer of a good home together in distant Canada as their salvation. His fears are eased, but not for long.

After being separated from his brother, fate delivers Oliver to the Pritchard farm, where Liza Pritchard, a woman struggling with her own fractured and afflicted life, sees in Oliver the family she so desperately wants. But Oliver has to contend with her husband, an angry and violent man, and he can’t see past the terrible life he has been thrust into. Both Oliver and Liza have much to learn about faith and forgiveness, and together they embark on an emotional journey that will change each of them forever.

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A Casualty of Grace: Review

26863388This touching and emotional story follows Oliver on his journey to manhood, after losing his parents, being forcefully transported to Canada and being ‘adopted’ by a family far from his home.

It is a realistic, thoroughly researched historical fiction that flows well.

All the characters are thoughtfully developed and I felt for Oliver, Simon, Liza and even, towards the end, for the cruel and flawed, Pritchard.

I was a little disappointed with the ending, which seemed rushed and was set many years after the main story.

Lisa Brown :

Lisa Brown is an avid lover of historical fiction and genealogy. Work on her own family tree began with a desire to reach beyond her Canadian roots and learn more about herself. She is intrigued by the natural order of life, of the sometimes serendipitous and sometimes cataclysmic results of singular moments in time, and how they can echo down through the generations.

Digging into the past led to the discovery of a wealth of fascinating people, places, and events, and an insatiable desire to tell some of their stories.

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
B is for Blood
C is for Creepy
D is for Death

Books I Read In December 2015
Books I Read In May 2016
Books I Read in February ’17

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.

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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?

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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?

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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 – One Series – One Author

Looking for a good, clean and easy to read mystery series?
Try the Charlie McClung Mysteries by Mary Anne Edwards

 

Brilliant Disguise

Book 1

Brilliant DisguiseAre you sure you could tell the difference between murder and suicide?

Having had more than enough of the big city, Detective Charlie McClung moves to a small town looking for a simpler life. Turns out his first case is the most complicated of his career.

A young woman is found shot and while everyone is telling him suicide, his gut, and the dead woman’s beautiful neighbor, are telling him something quite different.

How far can he dig before he uncovers secrets never meant to be unearthed? Throw in a shady police chief and an unexpected love interest and McClung quickly finds himself with more trouble than he ever imagined.

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My review:

Mystery and romance rolled up into one story.

The characters are well developed and colourful.

The descriptions and detail drew me in.

The book was intriguing, well-written, and kept me guessing until the end.

 

A Good Girl

Book 2

A Good GirlFor Charlie McClung, going home to Virginia with Marian was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but upon arrival at his childhood home, he’s met with a note instead of his family. “Don’t worry, Love, we’re all okay. Come to the shop. A dead girl was found in an armoire delivered just now. Huggies, Ma”

Charlie is quickly recruited to help solve the murder of a young girl who was on the path to becoming a nun. The suspects begin to mount as Charlie delves deep into the girl’s life revealing a sordid and ugly side of the town’s good girl.

“Is there anything more fun to read than a book that’s equal parts captivating mystery and charming romance? A GOOD GIRL will keep you on the edge of your seat guessing and will warm you to your bones as Marian and Charlie, meant for each other, race to the end.

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My review:

The second book in the series picks up soon after the first, with another crime and another mystery.

It introduces us to Charlie’s extended family who were fun and likeable. The introduction of so many new characters was done in such a way as to not overwhelm you.

Another well-written mystery, although this time I did have the suspect pegged before the end. 😉

 

Criminal Kind

Book 3

Criminal KindIt’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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My review:

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.

 

Sins of My Youth

Book 4

Sins of My YouthSecrets, 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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My review:

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.

 

Flirting With Time

Book 5

Flirting With TimeDo you know what it’s like to feel someone stalking you, shadowing every move you make?

For months now, Detective Charlie McClung and his wife have been tormented by an elusive figure, toying with them, almost daring the detective to catch him.

Any hopes that this is the work of a harmless prankster vanish when an innocent man is found brutally murdered.

McClung will go to any lengths to protect his family, but how far is too far?

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My review:

Another wonderful and entertaining mystery in the Charlie McClung series.

Mary Anne Edwards’ books go from strength to strength. The characters continue to develop and the mysteries get more intriguing and suspenseful.

I’ll be looking forward to the next instalment in Charlie, Marian, and their friends lives.

 

Note:

Each book could easily be read as a stand-alone mystery because you are not left hanging, but you wouldn’t have the background or see how Charlie & Marian’s relationship has evolved since the start of the first book and also the developing mystery of the paper hearts.

 

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 🙂

 

A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZD is for Death

 

The Name of Death

Joshua Robertson

Drada Koehn is a fearless, formidable fighter ensnared in a presaged war against the northern humans. When the Speaker foretells their victory upon discovery of the name of death, she sets out to unravel the mysterious prophecy. Now, bound by duty and honor, Drada faces untold horrors with her companions, searching for what may never be found. In a story of unexpected twists, she soon finds that her resolve to see the quest done will be the fortune or doom of her people.

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The Name of Death: Review

33636392I enjoyed this short story from Joshua Robertson.

It was a well-written and entertaining read.
The characters were fairly well fleshed out for such a short tale.

A good introduction to the authors writing and to the world in his novels, which I look forward to reading.
Joshua Robertson:

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in fantasy, and a writer for Fantasy-Faction. Robertson is also a Licensed Master Social Worker, who received his degree from Wichita State University. He has worked with children and families for the past fifteen years in a variety of unique venues: a residential behavior school, a psychiatric treatment facility, and the child welfare system. He has functioned as a supervisor, an educator, a behavior specialist, and a therapist during his career. Mr. Robertson has presented trainings for hundreds of professionals and military personnel on topics that include child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, strengthening the parent and child relationships, and the neurobiological impact of trauma.

You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin’s and Christopher Paolini’s dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers.

He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins.

 

Where Death Is a Hunter

Christopher Stookey

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

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

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

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Where Death Is a Hunter: Review

26206927An exciting, well-written, fast-paced book that is a mix of medical drama, legal drama, and mystery.

It kept my attention from cover to cover, and with a multitude of suspects it was impossible to identify the offender before the climax.

The author is a doctor and his medical background shows in the stories realistic feel. He focuses on what’s important and doesn’t get bogged down with irrelevant details and jargon, which makes this book easy to read and understand.

Hannah is such a great character, that she slightly overshadows the supporting cast, who weren’t quite as fleshed out but still believable
Christopher Stookey:

For my day job, I’m an emergency physician, but I’ve been a book lover and avid reader all my life, ever since I discovered the Hardy Boy mystery books when I was 7-years-old.

I started writing stories of my own in my teens, embarrassingly bad tales of teenage angst and pimpled juvenile idealism. My medical career took me temporarily away from writing. However, over the past five years, I’ve returned to my earlier passion, and I’ve written two novels, both medical mystery/thrillers: Terminal Care and Where Death Is a Hunter. The novels are published by the small, Massachusetts-based press, Silver Leaf Books.

I’ve also written a memoir about my father who, at age 83, suffered a devastating stroke that left him conscious yet paralyzed, unable to talk and communicate. Do Go Gentle is the story of my family’s anguished decision to stop further hospital treatment and bring my father home to die with dignity.

I love the outdoors, and I enjoy surfing and mountain biking. In addition, I am a hopeless animal lover (animals make frequent appearances in my books). I live in Laguna Beach, California with my wife and two shelter mutts, Kobi and Joshi.

 

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
B is for Blood
C is for Creepy

Books I Read in May ’17
Books I read in November 2015