Tag Archive | witches

Books I Read in January ’17

fbbannerChild of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves #1)

by Andy Peloquin

33412715An edge of your seat, fast-moving and unforgettable read from Andy Peloquin.

I was drawn in the moment I started reading and my attention was held right up to the last word!

I spent ten years with Ilanna, shared her hopes and fears, and her triumphs and failures. I felt the aches and pains, the cuts and broken bones, and sat with her friends as she healed. I watched her grow from a scared, lonely little girl, called Viola, through months of torture, as Seven, and years of training, as Ilanna the apprentice, into a strong and determined journeyman.

The details and descriptions of Praamis, and the believable characters, each with their own personalities and troubles, made this book come to life. I didn’t just read a story… I lived it!

Andy Peloquin is an amazing writer and story-teller!

I loved the book and am eager to read the next book in the series.

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

***

If Wishes Were Horses… (The Neil Marshall Mysteries Book 1)

by Tim Hemlin

30361439An exciting and suspenseful murder mystery which held my attention from start to finish.

Neil Marshall is a multi-dimensional character, friendly, loyal, and easy to like.
The rest of the cast are also well fleshed out with their own quirks and personalities.

The many twists and turns kept me guessing who killed Jason, but I didn’t have a clue until it was revealed.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Neil Marshall is a graduate student in the University of Houston’s creative writing program and a promising young poet.

However, facing a financially and emotionally draining divorce has him worried about more than paying tuition. So, to make ends meet, Neil moonlights as a chef for a high-society caterer.

Just when Neil’s life seems bleakest, his oldest friend, racehorse breeder Jason Keys, is murdered. And Neil becomes the prime suspect.

To avenge his friend, clear his name, and rescue a missing championship thoroughbred, Neil infiltrates the dark underworld of horse theft and illegal breeding.

Neil’s friends — his attractive writing teacher, his cooking colleagues, and a freckle-faced teenage horsewoman — offer their support. But their cheers quickly turn to gasps when Neil becomes the hunted.

***

The Darkness (Regina #2)

by D.M. Singh

31016234Book 2 picked up where the first book left off and The Darkness was as well-written, and just as hard to put down as The Monster Inside.

Regina and her friends were back. The witches, elves, and vampires were back. The quest to save Jay from the Darkness began.

I journeyed with Regina, (and enjoyed every minute of it,) as she struggled with her inner demons and those who wanted to either destroy her or use her for their own ends.

The unexpected twist at the end, once again, leaves me wanting to read the next book now!

The world is on the edge of a secret war! A battle rages between those who fight on the side of right and those who crave the darkness. Without their saviour (Regina), the resistance is in tatters. Regina has no idea if she can save Jay from the Darkness, but she has to try. Now she must battle the unknown demons of this place as well as the ones within. The future is uncertain, but Regina knows she must stop Helena before she destroys more lives. She will pay for what she has done! She has crossed a line for the ones that she loves and this time there may be no way back.

***

Dead Normal

by D M Singh

32801248I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

***

Joanna’s Journey

by Karen J. Mossman

28510893A well-written love story that follows Joanna through the pitfalls of falling for two completely different men, neither of whom is right for her!

Joanna is well-fleshed out and is mostly likeable. However, she is human and has her flaws, she can be selfish and I found myself frustrated with her at times. She refuses to listen to any advice and doesn’t always learn from her mistakes.

The ups and downs of Joanna’s life and relationships kept me turning the pages and I would love to know what happened next.

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs head long into another, and then another. Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

***

The Oracle (Enchena #2)

by K.S. Marsden

33667296The second book starts out with a new ‘leading lady’, but it’s not long before she meets up with Samantha and other characters from book 1.

The story is well-written with plenty of twists to keep me hooked.

In my review for The Lost Soul I said:
“The detailed descriptions allowed me to visualise the landscape, the scenes, and the characters.”
The same applies to this book.

I enjoyed revisiting Enchena, and am looking forward to further visits. The book ended well, without a cliffhanger but definitely leaving room to continue the story.

After a brief respite, the Gardyn rebels have returned to fight the tyranny of King Hrafn and Prince David. Samantha, Jillis and Tobias will have to find their place in the new vision of Enchena; but first, they have to risk everything to make it real. New allies will rise, as the past plays a huge part in the future; and an Oracle must be brought, to guide them all.

***

Spellbound

by L.A. Starkey, Chess Desalls, Kelly Hall, Tricia Copeland & Melanie Rodriguez

30322766I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories in this collection. Although the stories were short they all told the whole story and left me satisfied.

Each one invited me into a different world and I enjoyed my visit to each one.

Five complete never before seen YA novellas to help you find a quick getaway this summer!!

Part of Your World by L.A. Starkey – When two worlds collide at the edge of the sea in a measure of desperation, a prince will bow before a commoner and a lost soul will finally be found. Part of Your World – Where love is waiting just beyond the edge of what you can see.

Glistens by Chess Desalls – Marian Spritz won’t gain guardian fairy status if she fails her summer school project. But when she hears a call for help—a song felt only by Glistens—she must choose between not letting her schoolwork and teammates suffer and protecting a ward who faces grave danger.

Tethered by Kelly Hall – Life had been simple for vampire Jayden Blackwell until he met the runaway Emmaline Grey. One taste of her blood revealed that not only is she a fledgling vampire on the cusp of her transition, but she’s also his bondmate and the granddaughter of his family’s biggest enemy. Will family feuding keep them apart or is it Jayden who compromised Emma’s survival?

Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland – Working as lifeguard at a camp for the blind seems like the perfect escape for Nina. But a few perceptive kids can hear her thoughts. Can embracing her truth help her heal and reveal possibilities she never imagined?

Feathers and Fireflies by Melanie Rodriguez – Seventeen year old Rory of Vanora Village dreams of capturing the sacred summer solstice ritual of the animal shapeshifters with her trusty charcoal and parchment. But with only legends and tales to guide her, she cannot even convince her childhood friend, Lucas, that the ritual is real. On the night Rory follows the fireflies, she gets far more than she bargained for.

These fun beach reads have never been published before and were written specifically for this anthology. Hope you enjoy the adventure!!

Blood War by Danielle Rose

BLOOD WAR Teaser #1

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Get 3 novels for just 99c!

Box set special price changes to original pricing soon!

 

The Blood Books trilogy by Danielle Rose is Underworld meets The Craft that fans of Harry Potter and Twilight will enjoy! Readers are praising this “must read” trilogy as “unputdownable” and “purely addicting.”

This omnibus edition includes all 3 books (over 700 pages!) in the spellbinding Blood Books trilogy.

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Books I Read In May 2016

The Shadow Rises

by K.S. Marsden

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


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


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


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

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

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

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The Shadow Reigns

by K.S. Marsden

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

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


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

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

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The Shadow Falls

by K.S. Marsden

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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Hellbeast

by Matthew W. Harrill

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

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


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


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

 

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

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

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

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The Felix Chronicles: Five Days in January

by R.T. Lowe

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

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


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


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

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

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Slither

by Valarie Savage Kinney

Much more than a horror story…

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


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


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

 

 

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

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Criminal Kind: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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Sins of My Youth: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

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

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

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

by Rose Montague

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

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


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


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

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

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A Friend in Need

by Les Lynam, Tim Hemlin & Chess Desalls

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

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


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


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

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

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The Lost Shepherd

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

A compelling, short introduction to the Reacher Series.

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

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

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

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

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Safe Haven

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

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


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

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

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

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Family

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

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

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

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

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

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

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Raining Down Rules

by B.K. Rivers

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


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


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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Girlie and the War of the Wasps

by Claire Plaisted

A thoroughly enjoyable book, for children of all ages.

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

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

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The Sweet Ones

by David Moles

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

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

The Bad People Are Coming

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

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Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance

by Tanille Edwards

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

 

 

 

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

2016 is the year to take a stand for Wildlife!

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

Books I Read In March 2016

The Running Game

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

This book has it all… friendship, courage, intrigue, suspense, murder, betrayal and more, and I loved it.

I was hooked by the end of the opening chapter and the unique plot kept me captivated right up to the last page.

L E Fitzpatrick’s vivid descriptions depict S’aven as a dreary place with a dark and corrupt society, – not a great place to live.

The main characters, both good and bad, are well-rounded and believable with their own traits and behaviours, and I found myself rooting for Rachel, John and Charlie.

The ending was well done, no cliffhanger, but plenty of room for a sequel, and I’ll be waiting for it.

 

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war-torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John had a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless ganglord only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher – one of their own kind.

James Roxton, a conman and thief, is searching for the man who tried to kill his mother. Suddenly embroiled into the plan to kidnap Rachel, he decides he can turn things to his own advantage.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

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Illusional Reality

by Karina Kantas

An interesting and enjoyable read from Karina Kantas.

This well-written story clipped along at a good and steady pace.

The detailed descriptions let me see the magical land of Tsinia, with it’s tree-top dwellings and it’s friendly and peaceful inhabitants. Senx, the home of her ‘intended’, Kovon and his father, Darthorn, is a much darker and gloomier place.

The main characters are well fleshed out, and Thya/Becky runs through the whole spectrum of emotions, from disbelief to acceptance, anger to peace, and love to heartbreak, and I felt them along with her.

I am hopeful that Illusional Reality is the first book of a series!

 

Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie.
Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.
Becky will soon learn none of this was an accident, and the council of Tsinia are certain her union with Darthorn’s son, Kovon, will create peace. And although her future has been planned out, she gives her heart to another.

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The Journey of the Marked

by Rebecca P. McCray

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!

 

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.

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Jade (Three J’amigos, #1)

by Rose Montague

A great start to what promises to be an entertaining and original series.
The writing flowed well making it an easy read, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
It’s fast paced, crammed with action and has plenty of mystery to keep you guessing

Fae, Witches, Shifters, Vampires, they’re all in this well-written and intriguing book, and then there’s Jade, who’s a little bit of everything.
Jade and the cast of supporting characters are well fleshed out and easy to connect with.

I will definitely be reading the next book in the series and I’m looking forward to spending more time with the Three J’amigos.

 

Three against Three Hundred.

Jade is a little bit shifter, a little bit witch, a little bit Fae, a little bit vamp, and a whole lot of fun. Jade has arranged things so she is partnered with a shifter bear as police detectives on a big case involving vamps killing humans. There is some mystery to the book and many surprises. Jade’s origins, where she came from and why she is here are revealed along the way. A lot of humor, action, and fun involving a visit to Faerie, assassination attempts, adventures in driving, a magical dagger, and a little romance happen along the way. By the end, much of the mystery and her beast is revealed, and her origins and background are explained. All of this with a good deal of humor and some real shockers along the way.

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Defying Darkness

by Thanna Setliff

An awesome start to a new series by a new author. This is a great debut from Thanna Setliff.

The detailed and descriptive writing drew me in and I got lost in the fascinating world of the vahmpyr with Máire and Dorian, as they struggled with misunderstandings and their feelings for each other, at the same time as staving off attacks from Maire’s sire.

The characters were multi-dimensional and they all had their own personalities, complete with virtues and flaws.

I thoroughly enjoyed Defying Darkness and hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next installment of Worlds of Darkness.

 

Máire is being stalked by her Sire, a serial killer unequaled who is using new, otherworldly powers. She, and her former pack, is also being hunted by Vahmpyr ranger, Dorian, whom she mistakenly thinks is an Archangel sent to punish them. Dorian is rapidly attracted to and perplexed by Máire; how does a Master damned retain its soul?–or is it a ploy to capture him? When she leads Dorian into an ambush, he thinks he has his answer, but then the starving vampire uses precious energy to save him. Now she won’t survive teleporting, necessary to elude her Sire, unless Dorian feeds her. Could that make him damned? She’ll die if he doesn’t.

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Souls of the Reaper

by Markie Madden

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.

I am now eagerly waiting for book 3.

 

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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Summer’s Destiny

by Ariel Marie

This short novella is good, quick read, filled with action, and hot and steamy romance.

With some short stories it’s hard to get a feeling for the characters, but not in this case.
The chemistry between Summer and Ryan was great and I liked how her belief in him as a leader, helped him believe in himself and spurred him into action.

I was gifted an ARC of Summer’s Destiny by Ariel Marie – no review required.

 

The hunters came in the middle of the night. Killing every vampire in sight. Their screams still haunted her. Summer Rayne was one of the lucky vampires to escape the massacre. She did what every other vampire had been doing for the past decade— she ran. She ran as fast and far away as she could, not knowing that destiny would lead her to her future.

He failed his people. Vampire king Ryan Valerian lived in his own personal hell for years. Vampires were no longer the top of the food chain— they were now the hunted. The hunters wanted to eliminate the vampire race, killing them as they hunted them down. Ryan did as other vampires did— he ran. He remained hidden until destiny presented him a small curvy vampire that blew into his life like a hurricane.

Their meeting was destined. Their love was instant. Their chemistry sizzled. Summer was convinced that the vampires would once again rise but would her love be enough to convince Ryan to be the king he was destined to be?
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Lycan Heart

by Barbara Chioffi

A quick, easy and captivating read.
This short story is well-written and interesting and the characters are well developed. The instant attraction between Julia and Justin is undeniably passionate and steamy.

This is the first book of Barbara Chioffi’s that I’ve read and I’ll certainly be reading more!

 

Julia Monroe has been wandering all her life…from one foster home to another, then one job to another. She meets a wealthy man, Robert Flannery, who becomes her employer. His son, Justin, is attracted to Julia, but has a secret she needs to know. One evening, he reveals himself to her; first as his wolf persona, then in his human form. As their relationship develops, Julia learns more about the secrets the Flannerys hold…ones that will lead to love, friendship, and danger. Due to sexual content, recommended for 18 and older.

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Half Flashed

by Patrick Elliott

Another journey into the weirdly wonderful imagination of Patrick Elliott.

Most of the stories in this book are fairly dark, although not as dark as the ones in Half Flashed. There is something about each story that keeps you reading and makes you wonder what the author can come up with next. Some stories are only a page or so long, while others cover several pages.

My favourites from this book were a couple of the longer stories: Songs of the Lost and Flames of the Nightand the short story: Snow King, Gypsy Queen, along with Imaginary Friends, which has six linked shorts scattered through the book.

I won a signed copy of Half Flashed in a Facebook Giveaway – Thank you Patrick

A group of short stories and novellas. Great for reading on public transportation if you are trying to save the planet. If you drive this will fill the downtime at work and escaping life at home.

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Ghosts in Macau

by H.N. Wake

A short and entertaining quick read, with non-stop action from start to end.

The story was well thought out and sped along at a good rate.

The female agent Mac is a great character who only follows the orders she agrees with and appears to be prepared for any eventuality.

 

Why is the young mistress of a senior Chinese military leader under constant surveillance? What intelligence is she offering the US? Based on a cryptic note from the US Embassy in Beijing, Mac Ambrose is called back to duty for a last-minute assignment. To uncover the mystery, Mac must trust her intuition and look past Macau’s glitter, into the perilous shadows. She’ll be forced to rely on wits and grit to get the job done.

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The Mansion’s Twins

by Rose Channing

An enchanting and enjoyable story, which I imagine, would appeal to younger teens and the simplified writing style suggests that this is the intended audience. Although at just over 400 pages, it may be a bit long for young readers.

There were a lot of different characters, with different magical abilities, which got a bit confusing at times, although they were brought to life quite well. The main characters, Ellie and Savannah, were well written and grew emotionally (and magically) through the book. I’m sure that teenage girls will find them easy to relate to.

The plot was well thought out and had enough action and intrigue to keep me reading.

I received an eCopy of The Mansion’s Twins from Rose M. Channing in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

A beautiful, magical world has been ravaged by a terrible storm. Homes were destroyed, families torn apart, and even the sweetest magic twisted by darkness. Even years later, the world remains damaged, unbalanced, and dangerous, waiting for someone who might restore what was lost. Only the magic of twins has a chance, but the birth of twins is exceedingly rare.

In our own world, Ellie and Savannah know nothing of this. They know nothing of other worlds, magic, or even each other. Until magic blooms inside, them and draws them together. After years of feeling alone, raised apart and in the wrong world, the twin sisters are reunited at last. They find their way home, and discover their destiny.

The girls are welcomed into a grand mansion, the safest place in the aftermath of the storm. There, they learn who they are and what they have to do. To restore the world, they must travel through the mansion to the center of magic and reset the balance.

They discover their magical abilities, find joy and friendship in the mansion’s family, and face the dangers of the storm’s left-behind magic. The journey to the center of magic is full of twists and turns, magic and excitement. Ellie and Savannah support each other to overcome obstacles along the way, knowing the whole world is depending on them.

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The Jacq of Spades

by Patricia Loofbourrow

An intriguing mystery set in a ‘neo-victorian’ world, which was brought to life by Patricia Loofbourrow’s descriptive writing.

Written from the main protagonist’s point of view, Jacqui is fleshed-out, realistic and likeable. However, I found the supporting cast to be somewhat less dimensional.

Jacqui’s investigation into the mystery of the missing boy, was well-plotted and brought to a satisfying conclusion. Her other investigation into the Red Dog Conspiracy was left unresolved, and I presume will be continued in the next book.

I received an eCopy of The Jacq of Spades from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

The once-beautiful domed neo-Victorian city of Bridges is split between four crime families in an uneasy cease-fire. Social disparity increasing and its steam-driven infrastructure failing, a new faction is on the rise: the Red Dogs.

Jacqueline Spadros has a dream life: a wealthy husband, a powerful family. But her life is not what it seems. Kidnapped from her mother’s brothel and forced to marry, the murder of her best friend Air ten years before haunts her nightmares. She finds moments of freedom in a small-time private eye business, which she hides in fear of her sadistic father-in-law.

Air’s little brother disappears off his back porch and the Red Dogs are framed for it. With the help of a mysterious gentleman investigator hired by the Red Dogs to learn the truth, Jacqui pushes her abilities to their limits in hope of rescuing the child before the kidnapper disposes of him.

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Bad Men & Mad Men

by Anthony O’Brien

The storyline is intriguing and unusual, and is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing. The ending, however, left me with more questions than answers, although maybe that was the authors intent.

For the most part, it was well-written but tended to stray a bit too far into ‘poetic’ descriptions for my taste.
A page-turning psychological thriller. An unexpected phone call from an ex-student and lover, and for Jefferson Davies his life takes on an unexpected, dark and chilling twist.

Casey Lee Jones is a convicted killer, his defense for the murder of two police officers is his knowing, he knows the future, moments, hours, days, weeks or years before it happens, it was kill or be killed. Eve’s the psychiatrist at the prison, and her patient is Casey Lee Jones, and he will only cooperate if Jeff’s involved, yet both men have never met.

Jeff flies out to Colorado convinced that he’s dealing with a psychopath, yet no matter how hard he tries to scientifically explain away the phenomenon, he’s beginning to have serious doubts.

Through a series of mysterious incidents, he starts to question his own sanity, and discovers that by seeking the truth, a Pandora’s Box of paranormal happenings has been unleashed, and that what’s been started cannot be undone.

A fast moving, chilling, dark, psychological thriller suspense novel that will keep you guessing right to the end.

 

Books I Read In February 2016

Child of Blackwen

by Melanie Rodriguez

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.

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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Mistress of Blackwen

by Melanie Rodriguez

The second book in the Artemis Ravenwing series picks up where the first book finished and I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first.

All my friends from part one of the story were back and their characters continued to develop as we resumed the adventurous journey to Blackwen City, begun in the previous book, and struggled against the threats posed by enemies old and new.

I am looking forward to, and will definitely be reading, the next installment of this series.

Artemis Ravenwing, a dhampir and rightful heir to the throne of Blackwen City, struggles to accept her dark heritage as she plots to confront Arlina—a blood relative who murdered Artemis’ mother to usurp the title of Mistress of Blackwen.

Along with friends like Shadow, an elf and former soldier of Ellewynth, and Talisa, a witch and longtime vassal of the water goddess of Arrygn, Artemis heads to Westyron—a human-run city with a deep hatred of those outside their own race. But lying in wait for Artemis’ arrival is Arlina herself…as well as Gavin, the former human who fathered Artemis.

Lurking in the shadows behind it all is the specter of Tamina, Artemis’ full-blood mother. Keenly aware of the connection she has to her old pair of dragon-jeweled sai, she has a revenge-fueled agenda of her own for the power struggle taking place. But who will prevail?

A rich coming-of-age tale, the second installment of the Artemis Ravenwing series beautifully explores the strength of friendship and the dangers of revenge.

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Wolf Moon

by C.D. Gorri

I enjoyed this fast-paced and gripping story. The detailed descriptions drew me into Grazi’s world and didn’t let go.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing, and turning the pages.

The author did an amazing job of describing both the physical and emotional changes that Grazi goes through as she comes to terms with her new life as a werewolf, as well as dealing with the everyday problems of being a teenager. Grazi is written in such a way that she is easy to like and to root for.

The supporting characters were also well-fleshed out, and believable.

I found myself on a par with Grazi, at times, as I wanted answers to the same questions as she was asking. Some of which were still unanswered at the end of the book.

Not a problem though as I moved straight on to book 2, Hunter Moon..

“Hi. My name is Grazi Kelly. There are things I know are true and things that I never would have guessed. First, demons and witches exist and they are evil. Second, the world is up for grabs and the witches are getting their minions ready. Third, I’m a werewolf and it’s my job to stop them.”

High school sophomore Grazi Kelly leads an ordinary life in the suburbs of New Jersey helping her grandmother with chores and attending Catholic school. Things are pretty good except for her bullying cousin and the rest of the obnoxious cheer team. Then things take a frightening turn when the night of the full moon arrives and the bodies start piling up. Grazi learns that she is different in ways she never expected. She finds herself torn between Sebastian, the school soccer star and Ronan, a foreign exchange student who shares her secret. She must uncover the identity behind the mysterious attacker, but is she ready for the entire truth?
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Hunter Moon

by C.D. Gorri

Hunter Moon carries on from where Wolf Moon ended and within the first few minutes of reading, the detailed writing carried me back into Grazi’s world.

I joined Grazi and the cast of fleshed out supporting characters as they continue to battle the dark and dangerous supernatural forces. The characters making a return in this second installment continue to grow and Grazi starts to come to terms with her destiny.

The slowly developing attraction between Grazi and Ronan is unrushed and, therefore, believable.

At the end of this book, I was ready for book three of the series.

Being a teenage girl is difficult. Being a teenage Werewolf is almost impossible. A few weeks ago I found out that I’m a Werewolf. Yup, that’s right. I tend to get furry around the full moon. Don’t believe me? Well, it only gets more fantastic from here.

You see, I’m bound by an ancient pact my ancestors made to serve with the Hounds of God. They’re like this mega Wolf pack who technically work for the Catholic Church. The Hounds have been fighting an age old battle against covens of Witches who want to claim dominion over the Earth for the Devil.

You heard me correctly. I mean the actual Devil, you know, Lucifer, the Father of Lies. Yup. That’s the one. You see, the Devil, is an actual being. Not some metaphor for evil. He is a fallen angel and his minions take many forms. The Hounds of God fight those minions. We are an ancient order dedicated to protecting humanity.

My father before me was a Hound. He and my mother died fighting this battle when I was about three years old. I keep a picture of them next to my bed.

I don’t remember that much about them, except for this recurring dream I have of my mom. Anyway, I was raised by my maternal grandmother, Nonna Rosa. Her son is my Uncle Vito. He and his family live with us too. Only Nonna knows the truth about me.
Hard to believe? You betcha. I didn’t really buy it either until last night when I got all furry and fangy and ripped the throat out of my high school librarian.

Scary, right? But they aren’t the only things out there. There’s much more that I have yet to learn.

This world is new to me. It is full of dark and dangerous things. And most of them seem to want me dead. I’m scared, I mean, I’m not crazy. But I have to survive. I just have to. To find out what really happened to my parents. And to avenge them.

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Rebel Moon

by C.D. Gorri

Rebel Moon seamlessly picks up where Hunter Moon left off, and once again I was whisked away to a world of werewolves, vampires, witches and demons.

I don’t know what to say about this book, that I haven’t already said about books one and two…

It’s well-written. It cracks along at a good pace. The characters are multi-dimensional and believable.
The detailed descriptions let you join Grazi and her friends in her world.

Book four is waiting for me 🙂

“From school nerd to Werewolf girl. It was quite a change after all. I ran hard for all those changes, all my mixed feelings. I could do little but accept them. They were a part of me now.

There were some things I knew could never change. For example, I was a teenager and would be for the next few years anyway. I was also a Werewolf and as far as I knew that was forever.

Witches had messed with nature and thrown it completely off balance. A demon with an angel’s face wanted me as his bride. And a more powerful demon wanted to escape Hell and rule the Earth.

Nonna was in danger of losing her home to the IRS. Julianna hated me more than ever because for a while Sebby actually liked me. I was lying to my best friend Angela about what I was.

But none of that seemed as important as this one unchangeable fact. I was in love with Ronan…”

Join teenage Werewolf Grazi Kelly as she continues to battle evil in this third installment of her series. Will she get closer to solving the mystery of what happened to her parents? Will she find out what it means to truly be part of a Wolf Pack? Will she find true love? Find out in Rebel Moon.
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Winter Moon

by C.D. Gorri

I have read books 1 to 4 of the Grazi Kelly series and have thoroughly enjoyed each of the books.

Thanks to C.D. Gorri’s descriptive writing, I have got to know the characters very well and feel as though I have been beside them on every step of their journey.
I am going to miss them and will be waiting (im)patiently for the next installment.

“It was difficult to remember the girl I used to be when my Wolf instincts were at the forefront as they were now. I closed my eyes and counted backwards. A little calming technique Cara had told me in one of the rare moments during our training when she was not out for my blood. It was a useful tool. When I opened my eyes I could think more clearly. The footsteps were closer and any second their bearers would break from the stand of trees into the small clearing where I was being held.

I braced myself, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight that came next. Angela’s fiery red hair broke through the tree line followed by a tall mystery guy with dark hair and a limp Wolf in his arms. I knew that Wolf. It was Ronan.

It’s St. Lucy’s Day and the battle has begun! With her friends by her side, Maria Graziana Kelly has more than enough fire power to fight the Demon minions. But will she be able to reunite with her one true love? Will Grazi find out what it really means to be a Werewolf? Can she save her brother before it’s too late? Find out in Winter Moon!

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Have You Seen This Girl?

by Carissa Ann Lynch

By the time I’d read the prologue, I was gripped by this tense and dark read that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a well written and suspenseful story, that moved along at a good pace.

It was a book of two halves. In the first half, we follow a naive and young girl as she makes bad choices and is led astray by a friend. The second part of the book, as Wendi goes looking for revenge, is a tense thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing,
I liked that it was written in the first person, as it allowed more insight into Wedi’s thoughts and actions.

Have You Seen This Girl? is the first in a series of books, but with the story being rounded off nicely by the epilogue, it works very well as a stand-alone.

Wendi Wise is a troubled young woman who snorts her breakfast through a straw and spends more time in rehab than in the real world…
Her life is seemingly out of control.
But now she has a plan.
That plan involves a sharp set of butcher knives.
She’s going back to where all of her troubles began…
Flocksdale.
Wendi was lured away from a local skating rink, at the age of thirteen, and held captive in a place she calls ‘The House of Horrors.’ Dumped off blindfolded on the side of a dirt road, Wendi soon discovered that she was addicted to the drugs they fed her while she was captive.
Too scared to go home, and having a new habit to deal with, she hopped on a bus, vanishing from the family she loved.
Vanishing from Flocksdale…
The town of Flocksdale is littered with fliers with a grainy image of young Wendi, and the words ‘Have You Seen This Girl?’ written below.
Now, eight years later, she’s on a mission—a mission to find the mysterious house from her youth and the monsters who dwell inside it.
“This is the end, beautiful friend, the end…”
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House of the Lost Girls

by Carissa Ann Lynch

Having read book one of the series, I did wonder how the author could move the story forward, but as book 2 is set 20 years later that wasn’t a problem. The book was full of suspense, action, and surprises, which kept me turning the pages.

I could easily visualise the streets and buildings of Flocksdale, the same gloomy town that featured in book one.

Once again it is written in the first person which allows you to see things from Marianna’s point of view and feel what she’s feeling. As Marianna and her family move into the old creepy house of horrors, the evil that surrounds the inhabitants of Flocksdale rears it’s ugly head once again.

I liked that Wendi, (the missing girl in book one) was reintroduced in this one and was there to help, when everyone Marianne thought she knew turned against her.

Is evil ever truly defeated—or is it just waiting for another chance?
Seventeen year old Marianna Bertagnoli is miserable…
Not only did her father abandon her five years ago, now she’s being uprooted and forced to move with her mother and new stepdad to a creepy Victorian house they inherited in the even creepier town of Flocksdale.
Flocksdale has an evil, ugly past—and history has a way of repeating itself…
Marianna notices some strange qualities about her new home, and soon realizes she’s living in none other than the infamous House of Horrors. That’s right, the very house where the demented Garrett family ran a drug ring, leading to the kidnappings and murders of forty young girls.
The dark energy of the town begins to rise again…
Within a week of moving in, Marianna’s mother disappears, one of her small group of new friends is found murdered, and she’s attacked by a man wearing a hideous clown mask. As she searches for answers, Marianna wonders if the malevolence still lingers, somehow alive…and how her stepdad came to own the House of Horrors.
Unsure who to trust, Marianna turns to Wendi Wise, a survivor of the Garretts’ crimes…
Caught up in twisted family ties and surrounded by deceit, Marianna is targeted by a new generation of evil. Doubly imprisoned—in her own body and in the real house of the lost girls—Marianna needs Wendi’s help to unravel the bizarre history of Flocksdale.
But will Marianna survive long enough to bring the evil to light…or will she be trapped in the house of the lost girls forever?

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Carnival of Dead Girls

by Carissa Ann Lynch

Although the three books in this series work as standalone stories I would advise reading them in order to get the best out of them, as details and some characters from the previous books are carried forward.

This, the third and final book in the series is as chilling and atmospheric as the other two. I liked the creepy carnival setting of this novel, that and the haunted house, added to the darkness of this book. I also enjoyed the fact that Wendi (books 1&2) & Marianna (book 2) are back to save the day.

My favourite book of the three was House of the Lost Girls, but they were all well-written and had me hooked.

Nothing interesting happens in the podunk town of Lamison Point—until a freak show rolls through…

When a traveling carnival stops in the sleepy countryside, sixteen-year-old Josie Crowley is psyched to go with her new friend, Freya. But what started out as a fun-filled night of games, candied apples, and ferris wheel rides quickly spirals into a gut-wrenching encounter with one of the carnival attractions.

Once the excitement is over, Lamison is missing one of its residents…

When Freya is nowhere to be found, Josie suspects the carnival has something to do with her disappearance. Her goal to track down the elusive show leads to an alarming revelation—there is no record of it ever existing. And as she digs deeper, Josie is led to a mysterious town with a tainted past—Flocksdale.

Buried in Flocksdale’s sick, twisted history is where Josie may find the truth…

Creepy clowns, disfigured freaks, and a terrifying haunted house are the least of Josie’s problems…now she has to deal with a group of real-life monsters, otherwise known as the evil Garrett family and new, rising generation of hell-bound freaks.

If Josie is pulled into their world, she may become another member of a carnival of dead girls, where she goes in, and never comes out…
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Witches: Tea Party

by Mark Taylor

Although this first book of a new series is only short, Mark Taylor packs an awful lot of story into it.

This dark and suspenseful story had me on tenterhooks, wondering whether Mary and the witches coven she joined, could achieve their goals.

Despite the darkness of the story, there were moments of lightness and humour.

The characters were well-developed, and I became quite attached to the witches. I hope it won’t be too long before the next book is ready and I can catch up them again.

I was gifted an Ecopy of Witches: Tea Party from the publisher – no review required.

In Salem, 1692, Marie-Anne witnessed the death of her friend and confidant, Sarah Good. Charged with being a witch, Sarah goes to the gallows to protect Marie-Anne, a true witch.

Three hundred years later, Marie-Anne, under the name Mary Anson, vows to put things right.

With a new coven – Dina, Excalibur, and Lady – Mary puts in motion the steps to right what went wrong…and what followers is a chase across the country, a chase against time, pursued by monsters and darkness…

…will Mary put things right?

…or will she die trying?

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Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here

by Mark Rounds 

This book was a great beginning to what should turn out to be a great series. It is well-written and
perfectly paced.

The plotline of a virus being manufactured and dispersed by an unknown organisation is conceivable, but hopefully not in my lifetime. The plague, how it spreads, the attempts to stop it and the inevitable collapse of society is disturbingly realistic, although the control of the infected leans towards the paranormal.

The characters behave and react in a believable way, as they learn to work together to survive and fight against the infected population.

I am looking forward to the second book, and finding out what happens next.

I received an eCopy of Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here from Mark Rounds in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

“Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here” is the story of Chad Strickland, his family and friends as they try to survive the onslaught of a virulent plague. The setting is in the near future in Central Washington. Chad and Mary Strickland, along with their neighbors, Dave Tippet and Heather Tunney band together to protect their children and their way of life. Along the way, Chris Vaughn and Amber Hoskins join their group as they are hounded out of their homes and forced to go on the road to escape a gang of infected bikers led by Special Agent Macklin who is in turn part of a bigger plot to over throw the US Government and take control.
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I read a few more books this month than listed here, but as I was offline for a week I haven’t caught up with my reviews, so they will be added to March’s Round-Up 25658897

Books I Read in October

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

by Kirsten Campbell

I loved this book!
The story started slowly setting the scene and filling in some background, but soon shifted up a gear with some great action and a number of surprising twists.
The characters were well-developed and, for the most part, likable.
The romance between Tassta and Griffin was tasteful and didn’t overwhelm the story.
The author has created a fascinating and realistic world of the future, with vivid descriptions of the Brotherhood’s fortress and the Underground.


I can’t wait to see what happens next for Griffin and all.

2052: Two-thirds of the human population have been killed by the Great War, the Clover Virus and the Death Plague. Only one man survived the Death Plague, an albino man named Griffin Storm. He’s the only albino in existence. No one knows what happened to the other albinos, but most believe the rumors that they were eliminated by the Guild Faction’s deadly experiments.
Griffin is hiding out in Underground Atlanta. He has special abilities. He can manipulate crystal and glass. He uses these abilities for good, raiding warehouses and old buildings for food and medical supplies to give to the abandoned children that live in the Underground. During a raid, he meets Tassta Vinetti. She’s a resident of the legendary Brotherhood Fortress. Griffin is taken to the Brotherhood and chaos ensues as Tassta, her twin brother Penn and her Uncle Lerin Sanctobous keep their new visitor and his untold powers secret. They can not disclose that the only albino in existence is now at their fortress or they could all be in great danger.
Fact is, the Guild is hunting Griffin. He is the only survivor of their deadly experiments and his survival will have dynamic consequences. The Guild believes Griffin will transform into a G.O.D., a Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensional being. If he transforms, he will have inter-dimensional doors within his body, doors that lead to heaven and hell. Griffin will become a Blood Master and he’ll be able to control the demons from the Dimension of Blood.
Will Griffin save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Will he transform into a G.O.D. and become the Blood Master? Only time will tell…

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The Exiled

by Scott Borgman

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

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

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

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

David’s ordinary life takes a drastic turn when he finds out that he is the key to a struggle that has been going on for ages. Hunted by one side, sworn to be protected by the other, David finds that the fate of humanity itself rests upon him.
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Demon Within

by Julie Nicholls

Julie Nicholls is an awesome story-teller.
Demon Within is a well-written book, that trips along at a good pace.
There were steamy scenes, violent fights, and plenty of surprising twists and turns, to keep me turning the pages.
The characters are strong and well-developed. I feel as though they are old friends, as I’ve lived alongside them through the sadness, joy, betrayal, rage and excitement of the tale.
The world in which they live is easily ‘seen’ thanks to the vivid descriptions throughout the book.

Thank must go to Julie Nicholls, who gifted me an ecopy of the book!

When Angels ruled the heavens and mortals…one dared to risk everything for the love of a human and paid the price of eternal damnation.
Kai, sold into slavery at a young age, fought in the fighting pits of Darkmide, struggles with a violent, uncontrollable force that feeds on his anger. Coerced into an alliance with a King, Kai is offered his daughter Eloise, as a wife. In a twist of fate, she’s the only person able to bring Kai back from the edge when the demon within takes control.
When an act of betrayal causes the alliance to break, he rejects Eloise, bringing forth all his fears of being alone. Stubborn and running away from confrontation, Kai is about to lose the only person who isn’t afraid of him.
A connection between Kai and a fallen angel is discovered, as the angel systematically destroys all towns he’s connected with, bringing the two together in a fight for dominance. Only time would tell who would prevail.

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Angel Within

by Julie Nicholls

The first book, Demon Within, was awesome and was desperate to see what would happen next… I was not disappointed!
All my old friends are back in this sequel and together we fell in love and met new friends, and we fought old and new enemies.
The descriptions are so vivid that you’re drawn into the book. I could say that reading this book was like watching a film inside your head, but for me it’s more like being a character in that film.

The story is full of surprises, intrigue, and adventure, and will keep you involved and turning the pages to the end… and what an ending!
I need to read the next book now.

The books do need to be read in order and are definitely for adults.

Thank you, once again to Julie Nicholls, who gifted me an ecopy of the book!

Jana, a powerful witch, and Tigan, a deceitful mercenary from Sabe and Kiera’s past, join forces to summon Samyaza, one of the most powerful of all fallen angels.
The witch strikes a bargain with the fallen angel to possess Tigan, making him indestructible in battle. In exchange for granting this gift, Samyaza seeks a sacrifice, someone gifted with seraph abilities in order that he can free himself of the bonds that hold him captive in hell.
It’s a race to save the sacrificial offering, and to stop Tigan from becoming possessed. Kai and Sabe join Brightstone and Blackhill’s forces to rid the world of the powerful, evil witch and Tigan. Once again the seraph come to the warriors aid, yet at what cost? The final battle culminates with the transformation of Eloise from a timid queen to a feared warrior, as her husband fights for his life, and freedom from bondage, once more.
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Enchanted

by K.K. Allen

A great introduction to the Summer Solstice Series by K.K. Allen.

I liked Katrina Summer, who, when we first meet her, is a shy and awkward teen. As the story progresses she becomes more confident and courageous.
I enjoyed the way that the connections between the characters developed at a natural pace. The spark of romance between Kat and Alex wasn’t rushed and the strained relationship between Kat and her previously estranged Grandmother evolved gradually through the book.

The story is told from Kat’s POV and ticks along at a steady pace.
It’s a good coming of age story with an original and believable mythological/fantasy backdrop.

The book is, as the title suggests, enchanting. 🙂

After Katrina “Kat” Summer’s mother dies a mysterious and tragic death, Kat is hurtled into life at Apollo Beach. Her estranged and cryptic grandmother Rose fills Kat with legends of her Ancient Greek Ancestors from which the Summer family descends. Kat’s world begins to unravel as secrets from her heritage are exposed – secrets that her mother purposefully concealed.

Leading to her birthday, the day of the Summer Solstice, Kat becomes frightened when enigmatic visions and disturbing dreams haunt her. When her visions become reality, her fear turns to terror as powerful forces threaten the lives of those around her.

Amidst the turmoil, Kat meets Alec Stone, her gorgeous neighbor, who becomes her sole solace in an evocative world of mythological enchantment and evil prophecies that lurk around every corner…

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The Equinox

by K.K. Allen

Book 2 of the Summer Solstice picks up where book 1 left us and is, in my opinion, even better than the first.

The well-developed characters from Enchanted are back and some new ones are introduced. The new characters are as dimensional as the familiar ones.
Kat continues to grow into her powers, as she faces betrayals, new challenges and new friendships.

K.K. Allen has, once again, taken me on a journey to Apollo Beach, and now that I’m home I can’t wait to go back.

Hurry up with book 3, K.K.

Katrina Summer finally comes to terms with her enchanted skin as she is challenged with an evil that threatens the Solstice settlement of Apollo Beach…

At a private gathering on Summer Island Kat meets an entire secret society of Enchanters – and other mythological descendants of a different breed. The gorgeous Valli sisters appear forcing Kat to take a deeper look into her new existence. And when Arabella, the youngest of the sisters, befriends Kat, she learns the most disturbing Summer family secret of all.

To escape the lurking dangers of the Equinox, which brings outrage and heartbreak to the entire town, Kat accepts a job at the Island Grille where more trouble brews as her handsome, yet brooding co-worker, Johnny, makes life even more challenging. Meanwhile, Kat struggles between her lingering and undeniable attraction for Alec, the secrets that she is forced to keep from him, and a betrayal that sends them on separate paths.

Mysterious deaths, signs of pollution rising in the Bay, and discoveries of the Equinox’s motives stir up an entirely new and frightening adventure as Kat finally discovers that being an Enchanter holds a responsibility worth killing for…
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Fang and Claw

by Markie Madden

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.

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

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she 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 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 at stake!

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The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron: A Halloween Anthology

A great collection of 9 spooky stories from some brilliant authors.

As with all anthologies, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, and some were scarier than others, but they were all well-written and entertaining to read.

My favourites were Joe DeRouen’s Good Fortune, Zeece Lugo’s Five Stories, Leonie Rogers’ Roast Pumpkin, CJ Rutherford’s Treaters and Jalpa Williby’s Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast by Jalpa Williby is an imaginative story which drew me in. I loved that it ended well for Kelsey.

CJ Rutherford’s Treaters grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. It’s a descriptive and chilling tale and the ending made me cry.

The book introduced me to some authors who were previously unknown to me, and I will be looking for some of their full-length books to read.

A strange and wonderful collection of Halloween stories, ranging from paranormal romance to horror.

Joe DeRouen’s Good Fortune teaches us a valuable lesson about why you should be very careful when you hold someone’s fate in your hands. It may come back to haunt you, just as it does for Grimsley Harkness, who dares to wish for more than he deserves.

Celia Kennedy’s Nothing Scares Me takes readers on a test of endurance. Lost in the Florida Everglades, Ardith Deblois, wife, mother and intrepid adventurer, fights for her life. Enveloped within the humid swamplands is a perilous maze full of obstacles and adversaries. Which is the greater impediment, the humans that hunt her or the deadly animals and poisonous plants she hides amongst?
Can she fight through fatigue and dehydration to save herself? Nothing Scares Me. True or not?

Zeece Lugo’s Five Stories Up finds us on October 31st, 1966, and night is falling over the city. Below, the groups of little ghosts and goblins stream in and out of the front stoops and basement bodegas, running, laughing, white blankets flapping in the wind, their candy treasures tightly held in hand. But above, in the dark rooftop of Sonia’s building, something pale and evil watches her, and beckons…

Angie Martin’s “Sold” follows a paranormal team as they investigate the home of a serial killer for their live Halloween night televised show.

In Heather Osborne’s Will You Remember Me? past and present collide when ghosts from witch trials of long ago come to life. It’s up to Sierra to lay things to rest.

In Leonie Rogers’ Roast Pumpkin, Anna discovers that going trick-or-treating in her new home town is more of an out-of-this-world experience than she’d ever imagined.

CJ Rutherford’s ‘Treaters’ tells the story of Jaz. Who would believe the world would end on Halloween night? Can Jaz, a retired U.S. Marine, battle loss, grief, demons, and loneliness, to survive the end of the world?

In Jada Ryker’s Dead Eye, Alex takes Marisa to an unusual Halloween party in an isolated Kentucky community… with a murderer ready with deadly tricks, rather than treats.

In Jalpa Williby’s Beauty and the Beast, Kelsey’s entire family perishes in a fire on a dreadful Halloween night. Overcome by grief and guilt, she decides to end her pain once and for all. Will the mysterious stranger be her savior, or will he ultimately cause her tragic demise?

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Sharpshooter

by Michael J. Elliott

A short but suspenseful horror story.
A great storyline with a lead character who’s easy to hate.
I loved the vivid descriptions that placed me at the heart of the action.

In my opinion, the minor errors that I noticed didn’t distract from this spine-chilling story

When teenager David decided he must own the Sharpshooter game at any price he could not have known that his violent actions would transport him to a nightmarish realm of hell. He doesn’t know that Sharpshooter is far more than just a simple video game and Ukami the pleasant shopkeeper is not quite what he appears to be. Join David as he fights for survival in demonic hell zone where he will come face to face with the victims of his past violent behaviour. Should David lose, it’s game over…forever.

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Casting Magic

by C.D. Gorri
A great introduction to a new (spin-off) series from C.D. Gorri.

It’s an enjoyable, fast-paced and action-packed short story.
The book is well-written, easy to read and hard to put down.

I will certainly be looking for more books in this series, and will be reading the Grazi Kelly Novels

Things in Northern New Jersey just got a little more intense for Angela Tanner. She is a Witch who hasn’t come into her powers yet, but things go full speed ahead when her father is accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

Enter Jody Nieves. The tall, dark, and powerful Guardian is sent to fetch her and observe as she tries to clear her father’s name. He does more than that, he wakes up a part of her she never dreamed existed.

Can she save her father in time, trust that Jody’s attentions are genuine, and discover the truth about her own powers? Find out in this first installment of the Angela Tanner Files.

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Skin

by Dale Mayer

I don’t usually read ‘romance’ books, however, this one was enjoyable, believable and inspirational.
It was an easy read with likable characters, who were true to life through a roller coaster journey of recovery to acceptance.
A beautiful and well-written story.

A journey of exploration…

A journey of healing…

A journey of love…

Two people are forced by circumstances into a therapy class to help them deal with their problems. They are strangers. Forced to be partners. Naturally opposites.
Kane is dealing with anger of betrayal at the deepest level, needing to find his way back to forgiveness. Tania is a previous rape victim hoping to deal with her fear of intimacy so she can have a loving relationship.
Tania’s medium of expression – her camera.
Her subject – the human body – Kane’s physical body.
Looking through the lens of a camera, she learns to find beauty and compassion…and the strength to find wholeness…with him.

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Scars

by Dale Mayer
Another powerful and well-written story from the pen of Dale Mayer.
It is along similar lines as Skin with the emotional journey for the two main characters.
Although this is the second book in the ‘Broken, but…Mending Book’ series it works well as a stand-alone book.

Some scars are visible…

Some scars are hidden…

The worst scars are buried deep inside…

Robin and Sean are existing in their private worlds. Hiding in plain sight, not really living, definitely not thriving. They both need to move forward… if they can.

Yet the price of success is pain as they confront issues that have plagued them for years. They’re so different, with such opposite problems. Yet they complement each other – or at least they will, if they can work through their issues and find each other.

This is a story of pain and sorrow, joy and success… and… love.

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Scales

by Dale Mayer

Another emotional and moving story in the Broken but… Mending series.

The main characters in this story are, as I have come to expect from Dale Mayer, well-written and believable. They are both stronger than they think and both have pasts that they need help to come to terms with.

On a personal level, I found this book harder to read than the previous two.

Although this is the third book in the series, the story works well as a stand-alone book.

She thinks she escaped Justice
He is still waiting for Justice to happen.
She’s afraid her day of reckoning is near.
He’s afraid his day of reckoning will never arrive.
Will love balance the scales of Justice?

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The Life She Didn’t Take

by Marie Krepps
This maybe a short story, but it isn’t short on intrigue or steamy scenes.
A well-written and enjoyable read.

Serahfine has walked these streets time and time again. Endless centuries alone have her longing for death’s release. But on this night when she means to end it all, she meets someone who intrigues her.
Is this a chance encounter or destiny?
Can an ageless vampire truly find happiness with a mere human?

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It’s Like the Full Moon

by Glorie Townson

This love triangle has some great moments of tenderness and affection.

Follow Rebecca, and her friends, as she tries to figure out her love life.

Glorie Townson’s characters are dimensional and have a good mix of vulnerability and backbone, which engaged my interest.
I felt as though I had met some good people, who were all flawed but likable.

I was given an ARC of It’s Like the Full Moon for an honest review.

Releasing February of 2016, this romance ARC needs a cover.
(My choice would be the top right.)

Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.

In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.

A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?

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The Mine

by John A. Heldt
An enjoyable time-travelling old-fashioned love story, with some humour and history.

The book has a good plot and is well-written.
The story meanders it’s way calmly through the book.
The characters are delightful and dimensional, you get to know what makes them tick! The romance was sweet and innocent, as befitting the times.
The world building and scenes are portrayed brilliantly. I’m presuming the author researched the era pretty well.

And the ending? That was unexpected… and perfect.

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity.
He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

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Drawing Breath

by Laurie Boris

The book was well written and the plot nicely done although a little slow in places.
The characters were multilayered and the emotions and tension between Caitlin and Daniel were believable.
Caitlin, as a typical teen, swung between being childish and acting like an adult. She was easy to relate to and it was good to see her develop towards the end of the book.
I found Daniel to be a less endearing and somewhat naive in his relationship with Caitlin. Although I liked that he was shown as a person, flawed and imperfect, and not ruled by his disease.

Art teacher Daniel Benedetto has cystic fibrosis. At thirty-four, he’s already outlived his doctor’s “expiration date,” but that doesn’t stop him from giving all he can to his students and his work.
When he takes on Caitlin, his landlady’s daughter, as a private student, the budding teen painter watches in torment as other people, especially women, treat Daniel like a freak because of his condition. To Caitlin, Daniel is not a disease, not someone to pity or take care of but someone to care for, a friend, and her first real crush. Convinced one of those women is about to hurt him, Caitlin makes one very bad decision.

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Roads & Circuses 

by Tom Mazzone

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.

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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Baad Dog

by Sal Conte

A small cute dog that doesn’t need feeding, doesn’t poop and doesn’t bark, sounds ideal, right?
Not in this case!

Baad dog is a quick and suspenseful read. A bit slow to get going but it builds up the tension and evolves into an eventful story… but not a very scary one!

Since when did man’s best friend become his very own worst nightmare?

Harry wanted a dog.

He’d wanted a dog ever since his mother gave away the cute little mongrel pup he and his brother adopted when they were kids. His mom gave the dog away because Harry and Lenny didn’t take care of her as promised.
Now Harry is a grown man with children of his own. He brings home Queenie, a miracle of modern robotics who looks and acts just like a real dog. Big Mistake.

“One of the beauties of the K9-233 is that they don’t eat or poop.”

Harry’s wife, Pam, feels there’s something off about Queenie right from the beginning. And then strange things begin to happen: Harry’s five-year-old says Queenie talks to him. There’s the near fatal car accident after Harry makes Queenie spend the night in the garage for being naughty. But Harry loves Queenie—maybe a little too much. Will Harry realize there’s a murderous monster living under his roof before his entire family becomes dog food?

Baad Dog is a horror, sic-fi thriller with a twist from the author of 80s pulp horror classics Child’s Play and The Power. Sal Conte has been dubbed “the modern master of the surprise ending,” and this one is full of surprises.

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The Amaranthine

by Murees Dupé

Amaranthine, Vampires, and Werewolves are all included in this pleasant read from Murees Dupé.
There was enough action to keep me interested, but I didn’t feel ‘involved’ in the story.
The lead characters, Claire and Alex, were believable and well suited to each other, neither being good at dealing with, or expressing emotions.
I would have liked to get to know some of the other characters a bit better.
Although this is the first book of a series it doesn’t end in a cliff-hanger.

Claire is sassy, human, and an outcast of society―who only wants to know where she belongs.

Alex is arrogant, selfish, and an immortal warrior―who thinks he’s prepared for everything.

Claire knows the world of immortals is where she belongs. As her guide and guardian, Alex finds it hard to resist Claire’s subtle charm. Can the two overcome their differences and embrace their passion for each other, or will the possibility of true love be lost to both forever?

Books I Read in September

BloodMarked

by Lu J Whitley

I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s easy to read and clips along at a good pace.
The story is told from different viewpoints, alternating between the heroine and the hero.
The plot flows well with plenty of twists, turns, and action.
The descriptions pull you into the book and you feel involved in the story.
The characters are well developed, Greta is a gutsy heroine with attitude, Jaromir (aka Yummy)is a hot vampire who has problems controlling his inner beast and Stein is a charming, muscle-bound, tattooed troll.
I had a hard time putting down, and was surprised by the sudden ending, which was possibly a bit too sudden, but left me begging for more.

A ‘townie’ college student, living off campus with her overprotective mother, Greta Brandt thought everything about her life was right on track. Everything, except for the nightmares that have been plaguing her for as long as she can remember.
When her reality is torn apart, Greta finds herself adrift in a world she thought only existed in her fevered dreams. The only soul she can cling to, a dark stranger who seems to know her better than she knows herself.

Jaromir Ragnarsson is a shadow in a world men do not see. Charged with protecting the Brandt women from untold dangers, he had been ever vigilant in his task. Until one night, a fatal mistake threatens to take away mankind’s only chance for survival: Greta Brandt.
Now, he must find a way to protect Greta in his hidden world, where magic and myth are fact not fiction. And curses are very, very real.

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Storm Portal

by Michael R. Stern

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

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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GRAVITAS: VALKYRIE IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE

by Lynne Murray

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.

An urgent mission.

A woman with a past.

A dangerous burden.

Sybil, from Planet Valkyrie, carries a risky amount of Gravitas, a top secret aphrodisiac, to trade at a conference on ending slavery in her sector of the galaxy. Attacked by an angry warrior from slave-holding Planet Roggr, Sybil falls through an unmarked portal to land on Earth. The Forbidden Zone. Rescue is impossible. Portals to Earth are sealed. Sybil needs to defend herself, protect her hazardous cargo, and find a way home–while dealing with a damaging overdose of Gravitas.

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Cigerets, Guns & Beer

by Phillip T. Stephens

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’.

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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The Dragon Dreamer

by J.S. Burke

The author cleverly mixes fantasy with fact in this delightful and original story which is appropriate for all ages, including adults.
The friendships between the different species are as engaging as they are inspiring. They learn to communicate, respect and trust each other as they experience some tough and demanding adventures
The world(s) in which they live are wonderfully described as are the creatures that inhabit them. The characters have human qualities and emotions, and are easy to relate to.

The Dragon Dreamer is a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and an unexpected friendship. “Fear ran up his spine like an icy claw. The legend was alive . . . ” It’s a young adult science fantasy layered for ages 9 to adult.

Arak is different, a worthless dreamer, tormented by other young dragons. Determined to prove himself he leaves the clan and flies far over the sea on a dangerous quest. He’s caught in a fierce storm and crashes, suffering serious injuries and the loss of his trance-stone. A fearless, shape-shifting octopus named Scree finds and heals him, and an unexpected friendship begins. Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. When an undersea volcano erupts, it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his secret gift to save the dragons?

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Raising Hell

by Phillip T. Stephens

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.

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. Why waste a second chance to corrupt an innocent soul? 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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Power of the Fae

by Ariel Marie

The first book in The Mirrored Prophecy series is a well-written and somewhat steamy read!
Fae, Lycans, Witches and Vampires unite to battle Demons in this action-packed story, which is full of suspense and danger.
It’s highly descriptive and the attention to detail lets you ‘see’ the places and situations clearly.
The background on the different species is interesting and informative, and the characters have strong personalities.
The book is written from the points-of-view of a few individuals and brings different perspectives to the storyline.

The Ancients spoke of a Mirrored Prophecy that would determine the future. One version of the prophecy spoke of a small female of mixed heritage giving birth to a child that will save mankind. The other side of the prophecy spoke of the female’s child being the demise of the world.

The Princess of the Light Fae, Arlina Waldmar, may be small but she is deadly. She is a member of the elite Guardians of the Fae. She has been given the assignment of going to the human realm to investigate the vanishing supernaturals.

Colin MacKenzie, Alpha wolf, has determined that finding a mate is not in his future. His people are vanishing. He will need to lead his Legion, defenders of werewolves to find them. His wolf has recognized a certain dark haired Faery Princess to be his mate, but he refuses to claim her.

There is an evil set on destroying the Human and Faery realms. Colin and Arlina must work together to defeat this evil. His thoughts are constantly on Arlina. Arlina knows there is no fighting the attraction between them. Can she convince him to give them a chance before it’s too late?

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Fight for the Fae

by Ariel Marie

I enjoyed the second book in the series as much as I did the first.
It picks up the story where Power of the Fae ended, the Fae, Lycans, Witches and Vampires are still battling Demons to save the realms.
The writing continues in the same vein, with the vivid visuals, the suspense and the steamy scenes.
The characters strengths and depths are enhanced by the multiple viewpoints in this great follow up.

Arlina, Guardian of Faery, has sworn to protect all of those who consider the human and Faery realms home. She agrees to go to the Underworld and surrender herself to the Demon King. Discovering the missing supernaturals and his plan for them, she must stop the Demon King at all cost.

The Demon King’s banishment has been broken. His horde of creatures from the Underworld has been released onto the human realm, annihilating everything in their path. Once he conquers the entire human realm, Faery will be next. The power he harnesses from Faery will make him next to indestructible.

Colin has made a promise to go after Arlina. He refuses to let his mate go, but devastating news about her makes its way from the Underworld, tearing his world apart while his past comes back to haunt him.

Vampires, Shifters, Witches and the Fae must stand together in order to fight against the Demon King. Their belief in Arlina must not waiver. Their very likelihood depends on her powers and the destiny that she chooses. The Mirrored Prophecy has now been set in motion but Arlina refuses to roll over and let fate decide her future. Only she can control her destiny, no one else!

More is at stake now more than ever but will she prove that she can control her future, save the realms and reunite with her true love?

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Princess Alexia and the Dragon

by K. Meador

A wonderful children’s story that is sure to delight and entertain all princesses, and many princes.
Papa’s enchanting story about Princess Alexia shows Jasmine that sharing is important.
Younger children will enjoy having the story read to them and looking at the interesting and colourful illustrations while the language used is simple enough that older children can read it themselves.

Follow Princess Alexia as she and her brave dog, Zoey, as they embark on a mission to confront a fire-breathing dragon. She hopes to do what her father’s soldiers could not, capture the dragon so another Ample Apple Orchard celebration would not be attacked and the land set ablaze.

When Princess Alexia faces her adversary, she is frightened, but her fears abate once she and Titus, the dragon, begin talking. Can she convince Titus to stop plaguing her father’s kingdom, and will the festival be celebrated without fear of destruction?

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On Top of the Rainbow

by K. Meador

A lovely and imaginative story, with wonderful illustrations.
With the help of a unicorn and an unusual leprechaun, Gabe learns how much he means to his family, how important they are to him, and that running away won’t solve his problems.
It’s short enough to keep the attention of young children, and easy enough for school-aged youngsters to read.
On my kindle the writing is quite small, however, Amazon is working with the author to solve this.

Five year old Gabe runs away from home. While in the forest he meets Lep and Elita and climbs a rainbow. On Top of the Rainbow he must make the decision to cross over to a land of delight or go back to his family that he loves. Come and visit with Gabe, Lep and Elita as they discover the importance of family love.

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God Of War

by Ian Thompson

God of War is a well-written, descriptive and enthralling page-turner, that’s not for the faint-hearted.
The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next and who would survive (or not).
I liked the way the modern story and the one set in Roman times were told in alternating chapters through the book.
The characters, both ancient and modern, were fleshed out and believable.
I can’t say I liked all the characters, but then they weren’t all supposed to be likable.
A great book my a new-to-me author – I will be adding more books from Ian Thompson to my to-read list.

Horror of the Past. Terror of Today.

Roman greed and ambition created something almost two millennia ago. That creation still lives – starving, lusting for blood, eager to inflict suffering and carnage…
During the Roman Occupation of Britain, Gaius Pertinax embarks on a quest to provide “something special” for Nero’s gladiatorial arenas. The ever-worsening consequences of his actions will threaten his life, his sanity and even his soul…

A group of modern-day cavers discover the results of Gaius Pertinax’s ancient endeavours. They are trapped deep underground… Running out of food, supplies and power for their lights… Hunted by a behemoth worse than their darkest nightmares: a gigantic creature that kills both to feed and to satiate its sadistic desires…

Is there an escape from this subterranean hell? Can the God Of War ever be stopped..?

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Stone Cold

by Karina Kantas

A suspenseful short supernatural story that kept me hooked right up to the last page – I loved the twist at the end.
The story was well-written and flowed well.
The main characters have depth and dimension.
I would have liked a little more explanation regarding the possession.
It’s not an easy read, as self-harm, bullying, betrayal, and revenge are all portrayed in the story, but well worth it.

YA supernatural thriller.

Billy has been a target of bullying throughout her schooling. Exams are over but the stress she’s feeling leads her to thoughts of suicide. It’s her counselor that suggests she volunteers to assist in an archaeological dig in Scotland.

A secluded hostel. The residents start dropping like flies.
Billy knows who the murderer is.
Shane knows he’s next to die.

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Deep in the Hollow

by Brandy Nacole


The story is interesting with a few twists and has a new take on old legends and evil spirits.
The main characters were well developed and took you along with them as they battled the evil in their town.
This book has been a great introduction to new-to-me author, Brandy Nacole and I will be reading more of her books in the future.

Let me share some wisdom with you. There is evil in this world we cannot see, not because it is hidden from us, but because our minds refuse to accept its existence. But once we are able to get past what everyone says should not be, it becomes our responsibility to stop the evil we now see.

This insight wasn’t given to me until a year after I lost the most important person in my life: Bryce Rowan. Now, after another death at the same spot where he died—the overlook, where the mysterious lights dance amongst the trees—I begin to wonder if they were accidents after all.

Lucky for me, I’m not the only curious one in town. Cooper, a ghost hunter (aka chaser), and his sister Jada have moved to town and are starting to ask questions.

But the more we find out about this town and the people who live here, people who I have known my whole life, the more I begin to think there are those who would rather keep the evil secret, even if it means we will never be safe, and that more will die.

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Drayton, the Taker

by Tony Bertauski

A beautifully written, descriptive short story – the first of five, but is a good stand alone tale.
There is so much depth and intrigue in this story that I was drawn in and held captive for the brief time that I was reading it.
I was fascinated by Drayton and his unique story.
I’m glad there are more books because I’m looking forward to reading them.

Drayton once believed he was a vampire. He doesn’t know what he is. Or why he lives. He takes not his victim’s blood but the silky essence of their soul during their last breath. Often mistaken for the Angel of Death, his victims sometimes ask for forgiveness. Sometimes he delivers. After all, he is not without sin.

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JET: Oblivion

by Kim Cresswell


A short but great page turner with a superb plot.
Filled with non-stop action, it’s an adventurous white-knuckle ride with dynamic characters as the drivers.

After a catastrophic terrorist attack at a nuclear plant in California, JET, Mossad’s former deadliest operative, is leading a quiet life off the grid two-hundred-and-seventy miles away with her young daughter. But peace is short-lived when former FBI agent, Hal Decker, and ex-intelligence officer, Angela Donahue, track Jet down and blackmail her into helping them stop a new threat.

In a race against the clock the team must hunt down an al Qaeda terrorist cell working with the Sur del Calle cartel before a dirty bomb is smuggled out of Colombia and into the United States unleashing a deadlier attack at a second nuclear facility.

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Bleed

by Dax Varley

An entertaining and surprisingly light-hearted book.
The plot was unique and interesting, with plenty of suspense and twists throughout the story to keep me engaged. Alongside the tension and creepiness, there were also some humourous moments.
The vivid descriptions let me watch the scenes play out in front of me
The book is written from several viewpoints and I got a good insight into each person’s personality and their individual ability. Because of this I found it easy to like and care about each character.

LIFE IS A NIGHTMARE FOR Miranda Murphy. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms—an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months—one occurring just days before her arrival.

When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await.

Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students:

Topher – who can heal by touch.
Sam – who eats the sins of the dead.
And Xyan – who speaks and understands all languages.

It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds.

When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil that’s infecting their school.

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November Keys

by Michael & Brian Turner


Humour, magic, witchcraft, evil, crime, football, greed and a legendary tree mix well together in this book by Father and Son team, Michael and Brian Turner.
There’s a lot going on in this story (maybe a bit too much), with jumps back and forth in time and a lot of characters to get know.
The duo have done a good job of creating an entertaining read, but be prepared to leave your disbelief behind when you open the book.

November Keys Inhabitant
“If we had known, we would not have sold the club. I admit we succumbed to greed but we did not realise we were putting our heritage at such risk. They did take the team to great heights but the consequences were disastrous.”

American Gangster
“They asked for what they got. Did they seriously think that we were interested in some run down hick football club?”

November Keys Inhabitant
“Our benevolent buyers turned out to be ruthless. We had never experienced a murder in our village before. Not unless you include Cheryl’s cooking.”

American Gangster
“What did you expect? They had something I wanted. Something life changing. Do you think I was going to get it by playing peek a boo?”

November Keys Inhabitant
“Although we celebrated Harvesting Leaf Day and talked about the creatures in the tree, we did not actually expect to see them.”

November Keys, a quaint village that was ready to sell its soul to the Devil for hastily promised riches. However, when the Devil buys he expects to collect. A very funny tale of greed, gangsters and things that go bump in the night.

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Hell Is Coming

by N.P. Martin

An interesting and action-packed book.
The author has created a believable world populated by Nephilim, demons and more.
It was detailed, intriguing and kept up a good pace.
The main characters grew through the book and even the demons had their own varied personalities.

I enjoyed the book, however, it was like reading an episode of Supernatural but with Leia and her Uncle Frank as the main characters instead of Sam and Dean.

Leia Swanson has always believed in monsters, especially after one killed her parents when she was seven years old.

Now eighteen, Leia is being forced to confront those same monsters when they suddenly become part of her every day existence. Her life now turned upside down, she is drawn into a world of demons and the supernatural, where she must learn to fight for her life.

With help from an Uncle she never knew existed—one who harbours a dark secret concerning her mother—Leia must learn the ways of the Watcher’s, an underground group tasked with controlling the dark supernatural forces that threaten to destroy the world of humans. To become what she needs to be, Leia must put her life and very soul on the line, forever changing who and what she is.

Hell is coming for Leia Swanson—and she must do more than just survive to keep her soul.

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To Nowhere

by C.E. Wilson


A quick read from C.E. Wilson.
The story was a bit slow to get going, but picked up pace after a while.
I liked that the storyline was original and creative, it was that and the small details that kept my attention.
However, apart from the giant, Brindt, who captures and takes cares of Lyris, I didn’t find the other characters very likable, and at times I hoped they got what was coming to them.
Lyris was frustrating and annoying. She was too trusting at times and yet overly suspicious at others, and just as it seemed she was growing and making progress, she would suddenly revert back to her original spoilt self.

A world no one would believe.

From the moment Lyris is treated to coffee by a beautiful stranger, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. In her enthusiasm to start at a new school with a new boyfriend, Lyris is almost able to look past his oddities.

Almost.

The way he eyes up her striking red hair.

The way he loves that she’s seventeen. “The perfect age.”

And the way he’s gone from all but begging to show her a specific room in a specific house to making her swear never to even think about it again.

When Lyris doesn’t take his strange warnings seriously, she finds that nothing could have prepared her for what lay behind that door.

Suddenly, Lyris finds herself in a world no one would believe. A world where she’s only a few inches tall and giants aren’t creatures from fairy tales. Where humans are no longer the dominant race, but pets auctioned off to the highest bidder. Lyris understands the true danger of such a place, but there seems to be one person on her side.

Her kind and surprised captor.

And while Brindt appears to be sweet and trustworthy, he also straddles the line between seeing her as an equal and a cute animal.

Lyris has to get home… before the one person can turn to becomes the one person who can’t let her go.