Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Review: Miranda's Rights (Paranormal Detective Series Book 2) by Lily Luchesi

Release Date: January 7, 2016
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 128 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

The dead don’t always rest easy... Retired detective, Danny Mancini, is haunted by nightmares after he found out that paranormal creatures exist. All he wants is to forget them…especially a certain half-vampire. When cursed werewolves show up trying to kill him, he is forced to go back to the Paranormal Investigative Division for help against a powerful old enemy. What he was not expecting was a dead ex showing back up after twenty-six years.


Review:


I loved the first book in this series and this second one didn't disappoint.  In fact if anything this one was better since it didn't have some of the stumbles in the beginning that the first one did.  Angelica is fantastic, beautiful, kick ass and wonderful, Danny is believable as the man who was recently thrust into a world he didn't even know existed before a few months ago.  There is lots of foreshadowing and underlying maneuvering going on that makes you anxious for the next book in the series.  I love these characters and am excited and nervous for what is to come. I wish some of the struggles with Angelica could have played out a bit longer through more books but I'm interested to see where the author takes this new twist.



Disclaimer: Book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 27, 2016

ARC Review: Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin
Format: Kindle
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Mystery
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover |
Audio


Synopsis:

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

Review:


Fast paced with twists and turns this story tells the story of Quinn whose roommate Esther disappears one night and Alex the young boy whose father is the town drunk.  Alex stays in his small town taking care of his father and the agoraphobic woman who lives across the street from the diner where he works. One day a strange young woman catches his attention in the diner, as the two start to talk she becomes even more mysterious.

Quinn can't figure out where Esther went but finds strange things in her room that lead her to believe that she may not have known her roommate as well as she thought.  At first she just thinks Esther left, then she starts to believe there may have been more to her roommates disappearance than meets the eye, particularly when she finds her roommates phone.

While I figured out some of the puzzle pieces of this book the ending took me a bit by surprise.  The story was heartbreaking and mysterious and kept my attention. Very good read.





Disclaimer: Book was received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: Stake Out (Paranormal Detective Series Book 1 ) by Lily Luchesi

Release Date: May 17, 2015
Publisher: Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 128 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis: 

In a city overrun with the undead, an ex-cop is given a chance to get revenge... Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire! The department doesn't believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral. Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp. But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny's strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

Review:


The beginning of this book has some issues but they quickly worked themselves out and I found myself flying through this book.  I loved the concept and the characters.  The heat between Danny and Angelica reminded me of Mulder and Scully of the X-Files.  There are subplots and set ups for future books which I thought was brilliant forethought from the author.  I really became engaged and found myself really relating to the characters.  I love how the mystery and romance meshed but didn't overpower each other.  In fact I loved it so much I immediately picked up book 2! Great start from a promising new author!



Disclaimer: Book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Guest Post: James Hutchings author of Ideas and Inspiration for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers

If you want to spark new ideas for worlds, plots or characters, you want Ideas and Inspiration for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers. Medicinal corpses, the jargons of thieves and carnies, Nazi UFOs, the colonization of space and green children from nowhere are only a few of the topics covered. This sourcebook is for all writers of fantasy or science fiction--whether novels, short stories, games, or any other form of storytelling.

Ideas and Inspiration for Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers by James Hutchings was released March 2016 and can be purchased through: SmashwordsAmazon or DrivethruRPG

Here is an excerpt from the book:


D'Aubigny, Julie

Julie d'Aubigny (1673–1707), also known as Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin, was a French swords woman and Opera Singer.

Her father trained the court pages for King Louis XIV. She learned dancing, reading, drawing, and fencing alongside the pages. She dressed as a boy from an early age.

At fourteen, she became a mistress of the Count d'Armagnac who had her married to Sieur de Maupin of Saint- Germain-en-Laye. Soon after the wedding, her husband received an administrative position in the south of France, but Julie stayed in Paris.

Around 1687, she became involved with an assistant fencing master named Serannes. Serannes killed a man in a duel, and the pair fled for Marseille. On the way, the pair made a living giving fencing exhibitions and singing in taverns and fairs. D'Aubigny dressed in male clothing, but did not conceal her gender.

When they arrived in Marseille she joined an opera company, singing under her maiden name.

Bored with Serannes, she became involved with a young woman, until the girl's parents had her sent to a convent. D'Aubigny entered the convent, feigning interest in becoming a nun. She stole the body of a dead nun, placed it in her lover's bed, and set the room on fire, while the two escaped.

Their affair lasted for three months before the young woman returned to her family. D'Aubigny was charged in absentia, as a male, with kidnapping, body snatching, arson, and failing to appear before the tribunal. She was convicted, and sentenced to be burnt to death.

She left for Paris, again earning her living by singing. Near Poitiers, she met an old actor, who began to teach her until his alcoholism got worse and he sent her on her way to Paris.

In Villeperdue, still wearing men's clothing, she was insulted by a young nobleman. They fought a duel and she drove her sword through his shoulder. The next day, she asked about his health and found out he was Louis-Joseph d'Albert Luynes, son of the Duke of Luynes. Later, one of his companions came to offer d'Albert's apologies. She went to his room and subsequently they became lovers and, later, lifelong friends.

After Count d'Albert recovered and had to return to his military unit, Maupin continued to Rouen. There she met another singer, and began a new affair with him. They continued together towards Paris in the hope of joining the Paris Opera.

D'Aubigny contacted her former lover, Count d'Armagnac. He persuaded the king to grant her a pardon and allow her to sing with the Opera.

Julie sang regularly with the Opera. The Marquis de Dangeau wrote in his journal in 1701 that she had "the most beautiful voice in the world". She performed under the name Mademoiselle de Maupin since singers were addressed as 'mademoiselle' whether or not they were married. She assaulted the singer Louis Gaulard Dumesny after he pestered the women members of the troupe. She also fell in love with another singer who was the mistress of the Grand Dauphin. When this singer rejected her, Julie tried to commit suicide.

In 1695 she kissed a young woman at a society ball and three different noblemen challenged her to duels. She won all three duels, but fled to Brussels, since the king forbade duels in Paris. There, she sang in the Opera du Quai au Foin, and was briefly the mistress of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria.

She returned to Paris in 1698. She and her friend d'Albert both had further trouble with the law: he for another fatal duel, and she for beating up her landlord.

She entered into a relationship with Madame la Marquise de Florensac. When the latter died, d'Aubigny was inconsolable. She retired from the opera in 1705 and took refuge in a convent, where she died in 1707, aged 33.



Disclaimer: This guest post was received by the author - the opinions expressed within this post are the authors and do not always match those of the blog owner.  This post is not an endorsement of the book or product but to provide others information. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

ARC Review: The Allergy Solution by Leo Galland & Jonathan Galland

Release Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Hay House
Format: Kindle
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Health, Allergies
Buy: Hardcover | Kindle


Synopsis:

An epidemic of allergies is spreading around the world. One billion people now suffer from allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever, eczema, and food allergies. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In this groundbreaking book, award-winning doctor Leo Galland, M.D., reveals the shocking rise of hidden allergies that lead to unexplained weight gain, anxiety, fatigue, ADHD, depression, and much more. Astonishing new research shows how each of these is linked to the immune imbalance that is at the root of allergy.

The allergy solution takes an in-depth look at how we can balance immunity through nutrition and lifestyle to reverse allergies without drugs, then lays out an easy nutritional program, starting with a 3-Day Power Wash designed to “clear the tracks.” Do you suffer from asthma, eczema, or sinusitis? Are you sick of pain, brain fog, weight gain, anxiety, or depression, or wondering what is behind your mysterious symptoms? Let Dr. Galland's clinical experience and unique insights into cutting-edge science guide you back to health.

Review:

As a sufferer of allergies both food and nature this book was an eye opener, particularly the part about the sulfite allergy.  I have a severe sulfite allergy and to read that others have this and that it contributes to asthma (which I have) and other ailments really gave me pause.  There are a vitamin and mineral mentioned in the book that help alleviate sulfites in the body and I'm going to be talking to my doctor about them immediately.  I hate popping pills and would much rather turn to diet, vitamins and minerals to help with my symptoms.  The pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money trying to duplicate what is already in nature and charging an arm and a leg for it.  I believe there is a time and a place for western medicine but too many of us are relying on it and just getting sicker.

While Dr. Gallands experiences, case studies and methods may not resinate with everyone, those who are at the end of their rope or not enamored with western medicine may want to run out and pick this up, it might not only be an eye opener but also a life saver.



Disclaimer: Book was received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post by Don Spencer author of Memories of a Mad Man

Two life-changing words


Several people who have read my book, “Memories of a Mad Man,” have given me what I consider a supreme compliment—they said that while they were reading it they felt like I was sitting in the room talking to them.That comment/compliment had its genesis over forty years ago when I was a junior copywriter in a Madison Avenue ad agency.

To break into advertising any way I could I had taken a job in the mailroom, my bachelor’s and master’s degrees be damned.(Neither of them had anything to do with advertising.)The agency’s creative director was on my mail delivery route and one day I got very brave.Along with his ordinary mail, I dropped in his inbox a piece I had written for the night school copywriting course I had just taken.

When he called me up to his office I was terrified. But he surprised me by saying he thought I might just have the makings of a copywriter.And a few days later I was sitting in an office overlooking Madison Avenue as a brand new junior copywriter.

My first assignment was to write a radio commercial for our client Redbook Magazine that would entice listeners into buying the next issue.This was during the Kennedy years and in an advance copy of the next issue I found an article on Caroline Kennedy’s life in the White House.I sat down at my typewriter (remember those things?) and painfully wrote and rewrote and re-rewrote the 60-second commercial.

When I got up the courage to show it to my boss, he scowled.It was bo-o-o-oring. As he handed it back to me to try again, he said something that changed my life."Write conversationally…as if you’re talking to them, not writing to them.” And he meant it for all my advertising writing, not just for commercials.

I went back to my office armed with a whole new way of thinking about writing and I gradually discovered that the words flowed more easily. My new radio commercial made it through him and onto the radio.

I began applying his “write-conversationally” advice to everything I wrote and it worked." Writing was easier and people tended to like what they read or heard.

I attribute much of my success in advertising — and now hopefully in book authorship — to those two words.

Memories of a Mad Man: Stories from the Golden, sometimes Tin-plated age of advertising by Don Spencer was released on January 10, 2016 independently through Createspace publishing.

Disclaimer: This guest post was received by the author or the authors agent or publisher - the opinions expressed within this post are the authors and do not always match those of the blog owner.  This post is not an endorsement of the book or product but to provide others information. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

ARC Review: There Will Be Stars by Billy Coffey

Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Kindle
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: Fiction, religious fiction, christian lit
Buy: Kindle | Paperback |


Synopsis:

Only in death could Bobby Barnes begin to understand the true nature of love.

No one in Mattingly ever believed Bobby Barnes would live to see old age. Drink would either rot Bobby from the inside out or dull his senses just enough to send his truck off the mountain on one of his nightly rides. Although Bobby believes such an end possible and even likely, it doesn't stop him from taking his twin sons Matthew and Mark into the mountains one Saturday night. A sharp curve, blinding headlights, metal on metal, his sons' screams. Bobby's final thought as he sinks into blackness is a curious one—There will be stars.

Yet it is not death that greets him beyond the veil. Instead, he returns to the day he has just lived and soon finds he is not alone in this strange new world. Six others are trapped there with him.
Bobby soon discovers that rather than the place of peace he had been led to believe he was in, it's actually a place of secrets and hidden dangers. Along with three others, he seeks to escape even as the world around him begins to crumble. The escape will lead some to greater life, others to endless death . . . and Bobby Barnes to understand the deepest nature of love.

Review:


I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel, particularly after I looked it up on amazon and found that it is listed under Christian lit.  I'm not sure I agree with this.  What a fascinating book.  Bobbie Barnes is in a horrible car accident and when he wakes up he finds he is reliving the same day over and over, similar to the movie Groundhog day.  When he finds other people are trapped in this day, reliving it over and over but remembering what happened the last time,  he finds that no one really knows where they are.  Some call it Heaven some think its Hell, others just aren't sure but when strange things begin to happen and this afterlife starts falling apart they have to discover how to get out.  Some agree with him some just want things to go back to the way they were.

Really interesting take on what happens after death, how people cope, how their lives can change, and how people can find redemption.  You don't have to remain the same and change is a state of mind.  Even a small change creates big ripples in life.  I found the writing very easy to follow and Bobby is a very interesting man.  While so many think he is broken and horrible he is probably the most selfless and motivated person trapped.  By giving someone a chance or treating them with respect you can often change their life.  Just a really profound book that made me think about how my life touches others.




Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 

I found this on facebook the other day and it totally reminds of me of this book. Change your ending.




Thursday, May 12, 2016

ARC Review: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin (MIRA)
Format: Kindle
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover


Synopsis:

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.

Review:

I loved this book. If you'll excuse the pun it was very charming.  This is a book about rediscovering life.  Learning how to live again after tragedy and how sometimes the best way to honor someones memory is to experience new things and share your knowledge and past with new people.

I was sucked into this book straight away.  Arthur Pepper was a sad older man who had lost his wife a year ago and continues to spend his time in his rigid life routine, until he finds a charm bracelet in his wifes closet as he is cleaning out her things.  Fascinated by this jewelry he has never seen he decides to figure out what each charm means and in the process I think discovers himself and whats important to him.

Wonderfully written this book made me smile and made my heart warm.  Uplifting and quirky its a book that reminded me that no one is stuck and all you have to do is take a chance and you may find wonderful and fascinating things about yourself and the world around you.





Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Audio Book Review: Queen: Black Coat Rebellion Book 3 by Aimee Carter

Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audio
Length: 7 hours 37 minutes
Narrator: Lameece Isaaq
Genre: Dystopian YA
Buy: Kindle | Audio | Hardcover


Synopsis:

Kitty Doe is a Blackcoat rebel and a former captive with a deadly connection to the most powerful and dangerous man in the country, Prime Minister Daxton Hart. Forced to masquerade as Daxton's niece, Lila Hart, Kitty has helped the Blackcoats take back the prison known as Elsewhere. But Daxton has no intention of ceding his position of privilege - or letting Kitty expose his own masquerade. Not in these United States, where each person's rank means the difference between luxury and poverty, freedom and fear...and, ultimately, between life and death.
To defeat the corrupt government, Kitty must expose Daxton's secret. Securing evidence will put others in jeopardy, including the boy she's loved forever and an ally she barely trusts. For months Kitty's survival has hinged on playing a part. Now she must discover who she truly wants to be and whether the new world she and the rebels are striving to create has a place in it for her after all.

Review:


This book really pulled the whole series together and after my annoyance with the last book this was a refreshing change. I think Kitty really matures in this book, that isn't to say that she always goes along with the plan but I think she finally wakes up to her situation and the help or the hindrance that she can be.  As the war between the Black Coats and the government builds and ultimately gets resolved there is tension, tears and triumph.

The series Chess analogies were totally on point. The political maneuverings and schemes were endless and riveting.  Daxton always seems to be a step ahead of Kitty and Knox and I think that's what kept me coming back for more, to find out who finally wins.  Well done ending to this trilogy which had its issues in book 2 but Pawn and Queen really held this series together.





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Audio Book Review: Captive: The Black Coat Rebellion Book 2 by Aimee Carter

Release Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audio
Narrator: Lameece Isaaq
Length: 8 hours 4 minutes
Genre: Dystopian YA
Buy: Audio | Paperback | Kindle


Synopsis: 

The truth can set her free.

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, in a hostile meritocracy on the verge of revolution, Kitty sees her frustration grow as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoat rebels she is secretly supporting keep her in the dark more than ever. But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in - but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?


Review:

This book made me nuts.  I wanted to slap Kitty so many times, then I remembered she is only 17 was thrust into a political game that she doesn't know the rules of.  When I thought about that I realized how spot on the author was with depicting her.  However her constant battle of wills and arguing got to me, and I kept hoping that she would gain some maturity given the situations she kept getting thrust into.  I am having a hard time seeing what Benji sees in her, because I would have wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up several times.

The story itself however continues to be intriguing and there are some twists I didn't see coming.
I do believe that if it weren't for Benji and Knox I'm not sure I would keep up with this series after this book but I am interested in what will happen and I looked at reviews for the final book and they were mostly all positive.  So I will finish this series up and hope that Aimee Carter will turn Kitty into a heroine we can be proud of instead of the whiny, headstrong teen who doesn't trust anyone and always seems to need rescuing.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review: Riverside by Brett Burlison

Release Date: January 4, 2016
Publisher: Barton Creek Press
Format: Kindle
Pages: 348 pages
Genre: mystery, suspense, romance
Buy: Paperback | Kindle

Synopsis: 


Two young lovers decide to move in together and open a cafe only to be hindered by their own pasts, drugs, and bad guys from New Orleans. Set in Austin, Texas in the early nineties.

Bobby Patrick, abandoned by his mother as a child and by his alcoholic father during high school, wants a better life for himself and his true love, Katie. The couple decides to open a cafĂ© and chase their dreams under the radiant Austin sunsets. There, the long, hot days of summer in inspire their passion--but complications arise when Katie's former love interest returns, bringing with him a whirlwind of trouble.

As Katie's dark past reveals itself, Bobby fears it could threaten all they have been striving for. Along with Katie's best friend, Sara, with whom Bobby has his own secret history, the couple becomes tangled up in a drug deal and falls under close watch by Austin police and New Orleans mobsters.

Bobby must find a way to protect Katie, help Sara, and help himself to thousands of dollars from the ill-fated deal. If he can't, his future with Katie could be shattered forever.

Review: 


This is Burlison's debut novel and its pretty good.  There were some things that just didn't flow with me but for the most part I thought this was a solid book.  The beginning was a bit disjointed but then it started to flow, then it picked up and took off like a rocket.  The ending wasn't as strong as I would have liked but it worked.

The mystery isn't much of a mystery, since we sort of know what is going on the whole time, the question is how can they can get out of it. I believe this book is set several years ago since I don't think the technology in the book was as up to date - I'm not even sure I remember anyone having a mobile phone! Overall an enjoyable read.



Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 



Friday, May 6, 2016

Audio Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles Book 2) by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Macmillian Audio
Format: Audible
Narrator:Rebecca Soler
Length: 11 hours 19 minutes
Genre: Sci Fi/ Fantasy, YA
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Audio

Synopsis: 

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the best-selling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison - even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review: 

The intrigue continues as Cinder escapes from prison to track down someone who may know something about her past.  Scarlet is going mad trying to find someone to help her locate her missing Grandmother. A stranger named Wolf, says he will help her but she is torn between trusting him and thinking he is part of the group that took her Grandmother away.

Prince Kai, now forced to take over his fathers role is overwhelmed. The girl he thought was just a simple Cyborg girl from the market turns out to be Lunar! He feels duped, and Queen Levana is threatening war if she doesn't get the Cyborg girl to take back to with her to execute.

So far this series is riveting.  I love the way Meyer blends these well known fairy tales into a modern political intrigue.  Brilliantly written with twists and turns.  While you know the fairy tales this take on them updates them and makes them come alive for a new generation.  These books do for Grimm's fairy tales what Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz.

Rebecca Soler is a brilliant narrator who changes her accents and voices so you know exactly who is speaking.  Well acted and entertaining.  This would make for a great long car ride listen.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: The Rosegiver by Sandy Benitez

Release Date: February 4, 2016
Publisher: Create Space
Format: Kindle
Pages: 202 pages
Genre: Mystery / Fantasy
Buy: Paperback


Synopsis:

It is the late 1800s in rural England, seventeen-year-old Rachel Harper has been summoned by her aunt to assist with housekeeping duties at the family inn. She is also required to perform duties as a rosegiver, a messenger for the weak and the ill. On her journey to Rosethorne Inn, she meets a writer named John, who informs her about a rash of missing girls in town and nearby communities. He also discusses the topic of vampyres which intrigues Rachel and they soon become friends. Upon arriving at Thistle Grove, they are greeted by a young man, a graveminder, named Ronan. Shortly after, strange occurrences take place and Rachel is haunted by frightening dreams. On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she is given a letter from her deceased father. Will she discover the secret behind the missing girls, the strange dreams, and the letter?

Review:

This book started out pretty good and then got confusing.  I loved the feel of the book from the moment Rachel got on the train, to the time they pulled up to her Aunts Inn.  The premise of the Rosegiver was interesting, and I would have liked to know more about this but I feel like it was put on the back burner for the vampyre story.

The idea of vampyres gave the book an eerie and mysterious air.  However it was after Rachel and Ronan start chasing down some magical elixir that the story started to unravel and become confusing.  From that point forward the small family inn seems to be a distant memory.  The ending was very abrupt and almost seemed like I was missing half the book.

Both pieces were well done, I just didn't feel like they fit in the same book.  It became too disjointed.



Disclaimer: Book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Audio Review: Pawn (The Black Coat Rebellion) by Aimee Carter

Release Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audio
Narrator: Lameece Issaq
Length: 8 hrs 7 min
Genre: Dystopian/ YA
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Audio


Synopsis: 

YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed…and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Review:

I didn't know what to expect with this book, but it was surprisingly addictive.  Much like the society in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth at the age of 17 all citizens must go through a testing process that will rank them.  This rank determines where they fit into society.  Kitty earns a 3 which is a hard life, but she is offered the opportunity to become a 7, something only the Hart family has and before she can find out what the catch is she agrees and is thrust into the manipulative and dangerous world of the Hart family.

Conspiracies abound in this novel and you really have a hard time figuring out who Kitty can trust and who she can't.  Its a chess game to stay alive and Kitty is a pawn, can she make it to the end of the game or will she be killed before it ends?

Fast paced with twists, turns and what seemed to be a budding love triangle.  This book surprised me and kept me reading.  Can't wait to download book 2.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Review: The Invasion of Heaven - Part 1 of the Newirth Mythology by Michael B. Koep

Release Date: August 3, 2015
Publisher: Will Dreamy Arts
Format: Kindle
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: Mystery, thriller, mythology, folklore
Buy: Kindle | Paperback 


Synopsis: 

Psychologist Loche Newirth becomes hunted when he sees a painting that opens a window onto the afterlife. An ancient order of men seeking to control the art pursue him across the world, through centuries, into madness and beyond.

Psychologist Loche Newirth wonders if it was his fall: the fifty foot drop from the rocky cliff to the icy water below. Is this why he has been hallucinating? Or is it because one of his clients is dead, or his mentor has gone mad, or that his wife is leaving him? He can't bring himself to believe what he has been seeing. Insane things like a massive, searching eye. He sees it in the water below the cliff. He sees it in mirrors, on walls: a massive, crystal blue iris and fathomless pupil there in the center of his life, looking at him.

To find the answer, Loche pens the recent events of his life into a book and leaves the work behind for his mentor Doctor Marcus Rearden to interpret. As Rearden reads he plunges into the harrowing depths of Loche's reality: his loss of a client, the discovery of an unknown past, an ancient conflict over possession of the human condition, the awesome reality of the gods walking among us, and the crimes of humanity invading the hope that lies beyond the grave.

Review: 

Mystery, Madness, Fantasy, Adventure, Spiritual, Heavenly.  All of those words describe this book. Loche Newirth is a psychologist who finds himself thrust into a conspiracy that goes beyond this world.  He discovers lost relatives, a history he knew nothing about and a gift he isn't sure he wants.

Loche's world is turned upside down.  His gift could help or hurt the world, it really depends on who you talk to.  There are people who want to control it, want to harness it, but who is to be believed? Well written with lots of twist, turns and mythology that almost make your head spin.  Well written, well thought out and sucks you into this strange trip.  I found myself wandering wondering about the ideas presented.  If a book stays with me even after the cover is closed I have to give it props.  This one is sure to be on the shelves with Tolkien, Gaiman, and others for a very long time.



disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 
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