Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review - Allah's Revenge - Pete Barber - Giveaway

Giveaway at the bottom
Allah's Revenge
Title:  Allah’s Revenge

Author: Pete Barber

Review:   I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but after reading the sample I decided to jump in.  This is a fast paced story of terrorism, nano technology, genius and prejudice.  The story involves the Muslin rite of passage and a genius who Allah talked with and told him to do his bidding(at least he though Allah talked with him.)  The nano idea was fascinating and the idea of making ethanol so easily out of garbage is what scientist are trying to figure out today.  Garbage being turned into fuel is the dream of the future and yet could it be a plaque if it falls into the wrong hands.

The deaths are pretty gruesome yet so interesting.  An airborne chemical that can be timed to kill so no one is there to be blamed.  Mass casualties, yet unexplained how they died. A subway car in London- where all aboard are dead, a peace summit in Korea with high security- all found dead.  What’s next?  I have to say that this book kept me turning the pages and interested to the very end.   I loved the police inspector, Quinn, he made the book and I hope to see more from this character.

This book is frightening when you think of what could be out there being developed right now.  A weapon that is microscopic, yet can reproduce itself and do whatever it is coded to do.  Nano technology that can change the world for the better and yet can also be used to destroy the world.  A great concept that will make you think about the good and bad of this fast paced world we live in…this technology could be just around the corner.

Give this mystery/thriller a chance and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

This thriller is well worth the $2.99 Kindle price tag.

Published:  Published May 15th 2012 by PJ Publishing

ISBN: 9780985523008

Copyright: 2012

Pages: 354

Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)

Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:  A religious rite dating back to the seventh century inspires a young Muslim scientist and lights the fuse on a fast-paced, thrill-ride of a novel populated by larger-than-life characters, cutting edge technology, a hero you can root for, and villains you will love to hate. . .

An Arab genius creates a nanotechnology weapon capable of destroying the human race and yet small enough to conceal on a hint of perfume. Recruited by Allah's Revenge, a Palestinian terrorist organization, he triggers worldwide panic when his weapon suffocates the passengers on a crowded London train in ninety seconds, filling their lungs with hard, black charcoal.

Quinn, an English detective, is first on the scene. A British journalist has a link to the terrorists, and Quinn uses him as bait to flush them out.

When their demands are not met, Allah's Revenge wipes out the world leaders attending the G20 summit in South Korea, including the US Vice President.

Quinn tracks the terrorists to their lair in Jerusalem and seems to have the weapon under control, but it is unleashed again in Phoenix, Arizona, and Quinn needs all his wits and courage to prevent a horde of nanobots from decimating America.
 Pete Barber
Author Biography:  I was born into a blue-collar family in Liverpool, England. Like my peers, I grew up working with my hands until an uncanny aptitude for building computer software allowed me to trade overalls and hard-hat for a suit and tie.

I immigrated to the US in the early 90s, became an American citizen, and lived the American dream.

After twenty successful years in the corporate world, I turned my back on eighty-hour weeks and quarterly results and bought a run-down, dog-friendly motel in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. A close friend still refers to this decision as a brain fart, but life is a one-time play, and no one can write, and run a public company.

When the worlds of finance and real estate went stir-crazy in 2005, I sold the business and moved to Lake Lure, North Carolina where, in addition to helping my wife manage a small herd of llamas, I am, at last, fulfilling my life's ambition to write speculative fiction.

Other Reviews:
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review - LaughterHouse - Paul Cleave

The Laughterhouse: A Thriller
Title:  The Laughterhouse

Author: Paul Cleave

Review:   How far would you go to defend your family, specifically your child?  I think most of us believe there really isn’t a limit to that response.  I entered this book wanting to identify with the bad guy, but ultimately I couldn’t.  The question was altered ever so slightly; How far would you go to revenge your child? And in that I found myself parting ways.

What I did like about this book is a realistic presentation of revenge and how empty it can all be.  Revenge cannot fix what has happened, it cannot bring someone back, and it will not provide a sense of satisfaction (or rightness in the world) when you are done.  In the end it just reduces you to what you despise, you become your perpetrator. Not that forgiveness is easy, but it will afford a happier life in the long run.

Also the author presents a story that demonstrates that there are consequences for every decision we make.  Trying to help one may lead to the hurting of another, whether intentional or not those results exists.  When Mr. Smart hired the homeless guy to help out at his house he was trying to be a good guy, yet that led to horrific consequences for his daughter Elizabeth.  Does he hold some responsibility for what happened?  This book presents a scenario in which one man attempts to provide judgment upon those he believes are responsible through these indirect means for the death of his child.  But of course that all goes Charlie Fox before he is done.  

So while this book asks some very interesting questions it was a little too sensationalist for my personal tastes.  In the tradition of most American crime fiction the killer is a little too clever, a little too violent, and the crime is a little too much.  Most of the book is focused on the killing of children in front of the father.  While I am sure these situations come up in life, it is a far cry from the realistic police procedural I lean towards.  It’s as if regular murder isn’t enough, we need to ratchet it up to Saw or Hostel proportions, which seems a little like cheating to me.  A good story doesn’t need these elements to work.

A well written, quickly paced novel.  Worth the read, especially if you enjoy the more extreme crime fiction featuring (typically a serial killer, but in this case) a spree killer.  Unfortunately it was a little too far out of my preferences. NOTE: I did find it clever that if you drop the S from slaughterhouse you get laughterhouse.

Publisher: Published August 21st 2012 by AtriaBooks
ISBN: 978-1-4516-7795-9
Pages: 421
Copyright: 2012
Quick Review: 3 1/2stars out of 5-
Why I Read It:  Sent by the publisher for review/my favorite genre.

Synopsis: From the internationally bestselling author of Blood Men and Collecting Cooper comes a riveting new thriller about one father’s revenge and another’s fight for survival. Theodore Tate never forgot his first crime scene—ten-year-old Jessica found dead in “the Laughterhouse,” an old abandoned slaughterhouse with the S painted over. The killer was found and arrested. Justice was served. Or was it?

Fifteen years later, a new killer arrives in Christchurch, and he has a list of people who were involved in Jessica’s murder case, one of whom is the unfortunate Dr. Stanton, a man with three young girls. If Tate is going to help them, he has to find the connection between the killer, the Laughterhouse, and the city’s suddenly growing murder rate. And he needs to figure it out fast, because Stanton and his daughters have been kidnapped, and the doctor is being forced to make an impossible decision: which one of his daughters is to die first.

In The Laughterhouse, the city of Christchurch becomes “a modern equivalent of James Ellroy’s Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness” (Publishers Weekly). Fast-paced, dark, and intensely clever, this exciting thriller represents a brilliant new chapter in the career of a world-class crime writer.
Paul Cleave
Author Biography:   Paul Cleave lives in his home city of Christchurch, where all his novels are set. His books have become international bestsellers, with The Cleaner being the top-selling crime/thriller title for 2007 on in Germany.

Cleave has been shortlisted for the Australian Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing, and has made The New Zealand Listener 100 Best Books of the Year list several times. Blood Men is his fourth novel, and first to be published in the United States. His fifth novel, Collecting Cooper, was published in the US in July 2011.

In August 2011, Cleave's fourth novel, Blood Men, won the prestigious Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.

Other Reviews:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review - The Unruly Princess and other stories - Damaris West

Title:  The Unruly Princess and other stories

Review:    To give a children’s book a good and thorough review, I felt it necessary to read it to my kids, ages 6, 3 1\2 and 20 months.  My three year old daughter is a tomboy princess. She loves pink, princesses and anything girly but can roughhouse with her brother’s friends as well. My six year old son is a boy from head to toe. His life is cars, Legos and using his imagination.

I started by reading The Unruly Princess to my son and daughter.  My son was off playing with his toys the second he heard the word “princess” but I was able to keep my three year old interested.

The Unruly Princess is about a young girl who is more of a tomboy than a princess.  She get dirty, loves to throw rocks at the swans, shouts louder than most men and she refuses to do anything that most girls generally do her age.  One day her cousin, a boy, comes to live with her family. He is a rough boy that loves to throw rocks at everything from animals to people.  One day the princess decides she doesn’t like what she is seeing and decides to show him how to act.  They both grow up and one day the King’s brother comes to get his son and finds him a changed man.

The story is simple, sweet and easy to read but I felt it not interesting enough for adults to enjoy while reading to their young children and the illustrations are below the standards I have seen in many other children's short stories and books.
There are six short stories in the book and out of the six the Unruly Princess in the most competent with its descriptive language.

The next short story, The Best Of The F.D. Lambert Collection.  It is the story of a young boy who is given a display cabinet to take care of and inside he creates an exhibition using items he finds around his house or other items family members have given to him. I thought my six year old son would love this story but just as before he was uninterested and I found myself hoping something would happen with the cabinet but instead it was all about what the little boy collected and that was pretty much the story.

The next story, Lucy's Treat.  The story is about a little girl named Lucy and how disappointed she becomes when weather prevents her from having the perfect day.  Her parents come up with a brilliant idea and turn a closet into her own little space.  That is the story. There is nothing extraordinary that happens or that is noteworthy. Nothing more than a simple story about a girl upset about a storm and her mom being there to save the day. The story gave did me a wonderful idea if we ever have a storm or terrible weather, but other than that, nothing more and nothing less than a simple if somewhat uninteresting story.

The next story, The Gift.  It is about Rebecca a little girl who grew attached to a gift her grandfather gave her before he passed away. That gift being a stuffed kingfish.  Rebecca's parents throw away the falling apart kingfish and Rebecca is so angry about what happened to the kingfish she runs away.

This journey is filled with terrible grammar, misused words and awful spelling.  I tried hard to read it to my children but found myself confused by the poor grammar.  For example in one passage the author writes, "She 1ived her despair, like a part in a play which occupied all her waking hours."  Live should be spelled with an L not the number 1. Another example is as follows, "As well as Policemen abmonish. Parents are angry once their fright is over." That is how it is spelled and written in the book. The Gift is riddled with incomplete sentences, spelling errors and words that are not really even words.  I couldn't finish this story because I couldn't understand it due to it being evidently poorly edited if edited at all.

The next story,  The Talking Tree, which I personally enjoyed because it a story of life and appeals to adults as well.  The story is about a boy named Michael, a lonely boy who was scolded by his mother again and he finds himself running into the woods only to trip over a tree root. Michael finds peace with the tree that tripped him, and is able to talk with the tree. In turn, the tree tells the young boy the stories of its life. This story is simple and sweet. The tree explains that it will die and come back to life many time but the boy will only die once.  It is a simple story with a simple message that life gives and life takes away. 

The last Story, Alfred, it is about a frog who wants a better life outside of his dull pond. However when into his dull life  a girl comes to whisk him away, he realizes his dull life in the pond his actually where he desires to be most of all.  Out of all the stories, I found that in this story, the author used a lot of descriptive language,which helped bring the story to life. However, the drawings were something I could find on my Word Program and nothing exciting to look at, even for kids.  The author mentions Wellington boots several times throughout her stories and I found myself having to look up what the boots are used for.  I wish the author would have referred to them as rain boots instead making it easier for a potentially younger reader. I am aware she is a British author but to reach out to American readers it has to have something they can reference.  I only know about Wellington boots because Kate Middleton was mentioned wearing Wellington Boots in a news article at some point.

I gave these stories 2 out of 5 because of all the editing errors. There were too many to overlook and several times I was unable to even finish reading the story to my children because the writing was so poor.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.

Publisher: Any Subject Books (July 3, 2012)


Copyright: 2010

Pages: ebook - 59

Quick Review: 2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis: The Unruly Princess & Other Stories is an anthology of six short stories aimed at children in the 4 to 12 age bracket with the idea being that older and more advanced children could read unaided and younger children be read to, especially at bedtime.

All the tales have a strong 'natural world' element and they are aimed at inspiring children to make their own investigations and to stimulate them to want to find out more where the stories leave off.
Image of Damaris West
Author Biography: Damaris West (nee Damaris Naylor) has been writing almost for as long as she can remember, cutting her teeth on atmospheric poems and ferocious little stories about her own fictitious exploits.

Although her family home was in the heart of Cambridge, UK, hers was none-the-less a rural style of upbringing in which natural history was of immense importance. Of her immediate family, Damaris was the only non-scientist.

Damaris' first novel, 'Wild Goose', drew inspiration for its setting and details from her autobiography, and reflects her own struggle to break away from the family mould. Her third novel, 'Queen Anne's Lace', depicts the complex interrelationships of a family (not altogether dissimilar to her own) when their values and desires are brought into sharp relief following a change in circumstances. Her second novel, written in time wrested from the demands of running a tuition agency with her husband Clive, is one of fantasy.

Apart from novels, Damaris has written poetry, short stories and articles, some of them commercial.

She currently lives in Umbria, Italy, in a rebuilt farmhouse with her husband and three dogs, all Italian rescue puppies. She divides her time between writing and tending her garden which is in constant need of protection from the ebullient native plants and insects.

Other Review:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review - Dead Ringer - Allen Wyler

Dead Ringer
Title:  DeadRinger

Author: Allen Wyler

Review:  I didn’t know what to expect with this book, the author is a neurosurgeon and that sounded…well boring to me.  I was wrong….BOOM the book started with a splash and just got better from there.  You know what it’s like to run into people you know when on vacation?  Strange and yet somehow interesting…well this is even more interesting and yet disturbing at the same time. 

Have you even seen someone that looks just like someone else and yet they aren’t that person you know?  Strange and yes it happens, we call them Dead Ringers….well this is a twist of that and let me say that it is freaky.

A fast paced mystery that kept me turning the page and staying up way too late.  I wanted to know what happened to the bad guys and to the good guys for that matter.  If you like murder mysteries then this is the book for you.  Even when you know Who-dunnit- you have to figure out a way to prove it without getting yourself killed in the process.  The cops can only do so much and then it is up to you to finish it. 

Give this book a chance and I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

Publisher: Published June 26th 2012 by Astor +Blue Editions


Copyright: 2012

Pages: Kindle Edition, Kindle Edition, 286 pages

Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  Sent by the publisher/author for review.

Synopsis: While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed with the shock by what’s staring back at him: His best friend, Andy Baer.

Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.

McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the body parts ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.

Internationally renowned neurosurgeon Allen Wyler takes us deep into a nightmarish scenario, shockingly ripped from recent headlines, and delivers a horrifically plausible, page-turning thriller.
Author Biography: Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Feature - Twice A Bride - Mona Hodgson - With trailer

This is in celebration of the video trailer release.  This book is available October 2nd, 2012
Twice a Bride: A Novel (The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek)
Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.  
With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?     
Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns. 

Review link to two of her other books we have posted.
The Bride Wore Blue
To Rich for a Bride
All published by Waterbrook Multnomuth

Mona Hodgson's Web-site

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book Feature - Dead Ringer - Allen Wyler

Heart Stopping Medical Thriller Takes On
True-to-Life Body Snatcher Syndicates
Recent Newspaper Headlines Confirm Horrifying Premise

"In the tradition of Robin Cook, Wyler takes us behind the scenes to show us things the medical establishment doesn’t want us to see. DEAD RINGER builds a high-speed plot on a startling but all-too-plausible premise. This is the stuff nightmares are made of."

-- Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and Buried Secrets

“…Wyler does for hospitals what Benchley did for the ocean.”

--Joe Moore, Co-author of the International Bestseller, The Grail Conspiracy

Neurosurgeon Allen Wyler knows of what he speaks, and writes, and the result is a thriller that equals and updates the best of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton.”

--Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong at the Break

 Dead Ringer
While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed by what’s staring back at him:  The face of his best friend, Andy Baer.

Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.

McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the cadaver ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.

Internationally renowned neurosurgeon Allen Wyler takes us deep into a nightmarish scenario, shockingly ripped from recent headlines, to deliver a horrifically plausible, page-turning thriller.


Medical research has always been a cornerstone of medical innovation, and thus of our society.  But throughout history, many suspect that the gathering of human bodies for research has never been purely ethical or legal.  Many believe that today, sophisticated international syndicates exist that traffic in body parts for medical research; the most recent incident appearing in the New York Times just weeks ago. (

We feel this crime has been elusively clandestine, easily dismissed, and in many cases overlooked for cynical reasons.  We would like to go on record as agreeing with ethics scholars that everyone involved in the medical community, be they students practitioners, media or affiliates should remain vigilant and forthright; and embrace the high standard of responsibility inherent in the ethical conduct of medical research, especially when it involves human remains.

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of theInternational Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head(2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.
He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

My review of this book will post soon.  Thanks for looking.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review - Fatal Intentions: Sin of the Siren II - Curtis L Alcutt

Fatal Intentions: Sins of a Siren 2
Title: Fatal Intentions: Sins of a Siren II 
Author: Curtis Alcutt 

Review: The latest in Urban erotica, and you can know it is Urban because Streetz on the cover is spelled with a Z.  To be honest I did not enjoy this book and I will get to that shortly, but for as bad as it was there was one thing that made reading it totally worth it.  An expression that much to Lisa’s chagrin has become a part of my personal lexicon.  At one point in the book a woman’s lady bits (genitalia, vagina, etc.) is referred to as a spasm chasm.  That makes me smile every time I hear it, and this is one of those rare times I can honestly say an author has changed my life forever. 

Unfortunately the rest of the book did not live up to that standard.  Our story begins with the heroine, Trenda Fuqua, being released from prison after spending two years locked up.  In her first twelve hours she experiences the following: visually sexually assaulted by a dyke (masculine lesbian?), assault and attempted rape by a drunk, actual sexual assault by a police officer, witness to public felatio and subsequent manslaughter of the felatio-er, attempted murder and her subsequent assault with a deadly weapon on the gang member to avoid her own death, and finally her almost involvement with her lawyer (and his lawyer girlfriend) in a threesome.  In that last one she restricts herself to just sitting on the bed naked as she coaches the lady to perform the oral copulation just the way her lawyer likes (it involves prostate massage).  Lest I forget she also reminisces about being a teenager masturbating outside the men’s room at church so the aged handyman would come out and commit statutory rape (He Does!!).  Now I can see all this happening in any given week, but all in the first 12 hours; come on. 

All the more disconcerting is that before every bad or sexual thing the heroine recites a bible scripture to herself which made the whole the book seem a little schizophrenic.  The main problem is the whole sexual angle of the book clearly came across as being written by a man.  Imagine every lame pornography plot in which all a man has to do is suggest sex or show his penis and every woman immediately wants to have sex; and not just straightforward missionary but she is looking for things that would make Sasha Grey blush.  Belladonna would need premium pay to consider it.   

I guess I am saying that the sex was completely removed from reality.  There was no suggestion of foreplay or any semblance of love in the intimacy.  A good dirty story should tap into the possibility of the reader being able to identify with the character.  Would this ever happen to me (obviously on your best day)?  This was just graphic sex (and unrealistic sex at that) tied together with a very lose plot.  Which is a shame, because the plot if it had been developed could have been a good story.   

At the end of the day the author should put the story first, and grafted in some good realistic sex (with believable female characters) second.  That would have been a good book.  I would suggest researching to find some sex done right (to be fair it is also done horribly wrong there too), and best of all it is free.  But still, SPASM CHASM!!!!  Totally awesome. 

Publisher: Strebor Books 
ISBN: 978-1-59309-377-8 
Copyright: 2012 
Pages: 336 
Quick Review: 1.5 stars out of 5 
Why I Read It: Beautiful black ladies getting their sexy on – what’s not to love? 
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review. 

Synopsis: A fast-paced thriller from the author of Sins of a Siren finds a young woman fighting for her life as she struggles to avoid her criminal past. After running away from home as a teen, seeking to escape her overprotective and heavily religious family, Trenda Fuqua is seduced by street life. Drug running, theft, and murder are part of the world she lands in. However, the religious teachings she grew up with are hard to shake off.      Although she ended up in jail, Trenda manages to find peace within herself and rediscovers the Bible. She gets paroled, but temptation, bad luck, and threats to her family send her spinning down her former path of destruction. Can Trenda navigate the male-dominated criminal underworld?      Following Sins of a Siren, Fatal Intentions grabs readers with a combination of action, thrills, and erotic excitement. 
Author Biography: Curtis L Alcutt is a Northern California native and author of several published urban fiction and urban erotica stories. Most recently he was picked up by Strebor/Simon&Schuster for his erotic thriller “Sins of a Siren.” The follow up, “Fatal Intentions: Sins of a Siren 2” is scheduled to be released August of 2012. His writing journey began in 2005 with the publication of his first novel “Dyme Hit List,” (now re-released as “Eyes of a Player,”) which was very well received. He enjoys writing in many genres including sci-fi, fantasy and mystery. He’s also half of the team responsible for penning the “Black Widow and the Sandman” suspense/thriller series (released June 28, 2011). Black Widow and the Sandman is a remarkable, ongoing writing project with his writing partner, Deatri King-Bey. They chose to write under the pseudonym L. L. Reaper because neither of them is known for writing in the suspense/thriller genre.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review - Wake - A Watersong Novel - Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong, #1)
Title:    Wake – Watersong Series Book 1

Author:  Amanda Hocking

Review: This is a story about two sisters who have lost their mother(she’s alive but living in a group home.)  The oldest sister has pretty much raised the younger sister Gemma.  They love each other, but the relationship is strained due to their mother’s issues.  You feel for both sisters, the one who wants to be free and the one who wants to be young, but feels responsible for everyone and everything.  I’ve known both of these personality types and they can butt heads more often than not.

The story revolves around three girls who have shown up and the disappearance of some residence of the small seaside town.  Gemma becomes involved with the three and the story goes on from there but I don’t want to ruin it for you.  Romance is in the cards for both girls, even is one is not as willing to embrace it at first.  I really liked the way Gemma’s romance developed and yet her sister’s determination to be responsible made the making of her romance even sweeter.  Alex and Daniel are men I wouldn’t mind getting to know, both different and yet the same where it matters.

Wake kept me turning the pages until the bitter end and now my 12 year old daughter is reading it.  I loved the idea of the water singing to Gemma and the ending left me wanting to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible.  The ending was a bit scary and the idea of Gemma, who is sweet, driven and competitive, being involved with the three strangers is worrisome.  Will she become one of them or will she find a way to be free?  Will her sister help save her or will she be lost forever?  I want to know and think that waiting until November a bit unreasonable.  But what choice do I have?  

If you enjoy paranormal teen romance you will enjoy this book.  If you enjoy Amanda Hocking’s books then this is a must read for you.

Give the Watersong series a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Publisher:  Published August 7th 2012 by St.Martin's Press.

Copyright: 2012

Pages:  309

ISBN:    9781250008121

Quick Review: 4 Stars out of 5. 

Where Did I Get the Book:  Purchased at a book signing with the author.

Synopsis:   Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.
Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
Amanda Hocking 
Author Biography: I live in Minnesota, and I write young adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy mostly. The My Blood Approves series is about vampires in Minneapolis, and its available now. I also wrote the Trylle Trilogy, which is a paranormal romance without vampires, shifters, mermaids, fae, angels, dragons, ghosts, or ninjas.

My latest book is Hollowland - a zombie urban fantasy set in the dystopian near future. It's a bit more violent and gritter than my other books, but there is still romance. Mostly though, Remy kicks a lot of butt.

I also enjoy Red Bull, Jim Henson, Batman, Jane Austen, Star Wars legos, and I absolutely hate long walks on the beach out of my intense fear/hatred of wet sand

My favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Alan Moore, and J. D. Salinger, but I don't write anything like them. I have an obsession with River Phoenix, and I've seen Silence of the Lambs more than any other movie, even The Dark Knight. If I were trapped on a deserted island, the one thing I'd take with me would be a boat capable for taking me home.

I'm also the guitarist in a band called the Fraggin Aardvarks, and even though its even twice as cool as it sounds, we haven't had a practice in like two years, so I'm not sure that technically we are still a band. But we never broke up, and it's an awesome thing to tell people, so I'm sticking with it. (We even had a synethesizer!)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review - The Secrets of Ravelston - Sergio Silveria

The Secret of Ravelston
Title:  The Secrets of Ravelston

Author: Sergio Silveira

Review:  Well this one is tough book to review.  I read it and I enjoyed it for the most part.  I felt the mystery that took Jane over was not well developed that if it had been me I would have just forgotten about it.  Why pursue something with so little interest.  Yes, as the book progressed she found more to interest the mystery, but I would have lost interest at the beginning and so should have Jane.

I don’t know about his being a YA mystery, it could be for any age, but the telling of the story did slow the flow of the book down.  Telling and telling without showing gets old really fast.  I was sick this last weekend and picked up this book.  I read it and put it down to start another and when I finished that one I picked it up again and finished it.  A bit slow in parts, but not a bad story overall.  A bit tweaking of the writing style would greatly enhance the reading experience and maybe a bit more to grasp on for the mystery to start.  Jane was bored, but I still did not see that as enough to get her interests sparked as much as they were in this Mary.

The ending felt a bit rushed and well a bit strange for that matter…what the heck was really going on?  Is what I had to ask myself too many times.  

Publisher: Published January 20th 2012 by Self Published


Copyright: 2012

Pages: 180

Quick Review: 2 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  Sent by the author for review.

Synopsis: As a young and well-to-do British lady of 1805, Jane Freemont's fate was solely decided by others. But her spirit was that of of a fearless sleuth, determined to discover the fate of a poor young woman who had vanished.

If you enjoy the genres of the English novels of manners (Pride and Prejudice) and English mysteries (Miss Marple), you will enjoy the Secret of Ravelston. It attempts to put together both. It also has much satire of aristocratic, well-to-do, individuals, who spend most of their idle lives attempting to amuse themselves, and being served by countless human beings they don't see as real people.

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Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.