July 18, 2017

The Golden Maple Tree by Marc Remus

The Golden Maple Tree is the second book in the magical children’s fantasy series Magora created by Marc Remus.

The fun and adventure continue as Holly and her friends Amanda, Brian and Rufus return to Magora for their second year as students in Cliffony Academy of the Arts. Happy as she is to be back in this beautiful and fantasy world, Holly is sad to learn that her friend, Ileana, a former Unfinished is so sick she is practically dying and only the leaves of the mysterious Golden Maple Tree could possibly save her life. With her friends rallying behind her, Holly makes up her mind to find the mysterious tree and save her friend.

Just like the first book in the series, The Gallery of Wonders, this is an exciting and adventure-filled book about friendship, what we are willing to do and how far we are willing to go for the sake of our friends. The book also shows how family does not necessarily have to be blood-related.

It is a well-written book and I find the scenes even more exciting and more suspenseful than those in the first book. The author takes us to a completely different word about art and beauty. He introduces new and intriguing creatures like the Chandrills, Hisslers and Sylkies. He also includes unexpected twists that makes the entire series much more interesting.

Congratulations to Marc Remus (@MarcRemusArt) on such an exciting and enjoyable book. For more books by the author, click HERE.

July 4, 2017

10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book by Scott Hughes

10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget is a practical and helpful reading material written by Scott Hughes.

In this very short book, Online Book Club Webmaster Scott Hughes shares 10 very helpful steps on how to promote your self-published book. As a newly self-published author myself, I find the tips practicable (except for #9 because book clubs are not so common in my country) and practical (in the case of #10).

The book is written in a casual tone complete with colorful language making it amusing and entertaining on top of being helpful. Explanation of each step is concise and direct to the point which makes the book very substantial. Most importantly, the steps are easy to follow if you have the passion and the dedication it takes to make your book a success.

Congratulations to Scott Hughes (@scottmhughes) on such a helpful book. Thank you for sharing it with us. For more books by the author, click HERE

June 24, 2017

Grey Areas by Brad Carl

Grey Areas is the first book in the Grey Areas Saga written by Brad Carl.

Henry Fields just moves in the small and quiet town of Gable, Iowa. After finding himself a job as a store clerk, Henry manages to secure a place to stay and easily blends in with the residents of Gable.

Though quite friendly and undoubtedly helpful, Henry remains elusive. That, however, does not deter Claire Mathison from being attracted to him. Then, an unforeseen event throws Henry in the middle of the action in the, otherwise, quiet and seemingly uninteresting town.

This is a fast-paced psychological thriller that will keep you reading past your bedtime so you could finish the book in one sitting. Very interesting and extremely unpredictable, the story is moving, at times funny and at all times suspenseful. The author creates intriguing characters and includes just enough back stories to make the characters relatable. Though the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, the book does not feel incomplete to me. Needless to say, I enjoyed it a lot.

Congratulations to Brad Carl (@BradCarl22) on such a great book. For more books by the author, click HERE.

June 23, 2017

The Old Guitar and Other Stories by KS Agustin

The Old Guitar and Other Stories by KS Agustin is a collection of fifty short but poignant, endearing, and didactic works of flash fiction that will make you ponder and contemplate on life.

The Old Guitar” is about a young man who left his wealthy family to live the life of a simple musician.

“The Toymaker” features a rich businessman who ran away from home to follow through on his passion.  

“The Piece of Plank” tells about a mysterious object that is believed to be miraculous and can grant wishes.

“The Mighty Hunter and the Skinny Old Man” is a story of a legendary giant of a hunter with unimaginable strength and whose legend grows after each telling.

“The Picnic” presents a seemingly ordinary but cryptic summons from the generous but mysterious owner of a successful company.

Love, passion, kindness, loyalty, and faith are among the numerous themes in this entertaining, touching, and memorable collection of flash fiction.   
For more details about this book, follow KS Agustin (@kimmyschemy06) on twitter.          

June 12, 2017

Justice by Scott Hughes

Justice is a novella written by Scott Hughes.

Brynn is an unhappy wife to a passive-aggressive husband, who, she believes, ignores her and abuses her emotionally. So, to get even with him for the pain he causes her, she gets back at him in the best way she knows how and calls it justice.

This is a short but thought-provoking story that features different people’s perceptions of justice. While the perceptions may be viewed as twisted and unacceptable by some readers, the possibility that there are people who actually harbor such perceptions is, somehow, sad and even, at some point, scary.

The author brings up a common yet ignored truth about marriages and successfully piques the interest of readers who might not be aware or consciously ignore that such truth exists. Due to the shortness of the story, the backstories provided by the author are enough only for the readers to understand the characters’ behaviors but not sufficient to empathize with them. Similarly, the scenes at court are too limited to provoke the readers to immerse themselves in the story.

Still, this is a great and well-written novella. Congratulations to Scott Hughes (@scottmhughes) on such an enjoyable book. For more books by the author, click HERE.

June 7, 2017

The Bordello Kid by Kendall Hanson

The Bordello Kid is Book 1 of Farr and Fat Jack western historical book series by Kendall Hanson.

When lone drifter Farrel Gunn arrives at Seven Rivers, he makes a very important statement: he can take care of himself. So, when Madam Lilah Craft needs a replacement lookout for her ‘boarding house’ her son Jack knows that Farr is just the right man for the job.

But when Farr rescues one of the ‘ladies’ from a competing bordello and takes her to Madam Craft’s boarding house, his heroic act stirs up a set of complications within the establishment he is trying to protect. Farr, however, vows to protect the woman, Madam Craft’s girls and the boarding house, even if it means risking his own life.

This is a very interesting and entertaining western historical fiction which reminds me of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. The plot, though simple and a little predictable, is interesting enough to keep the readers hooked. Despite the shortness of the book, important characters are given sufficient back stories to make them relatable. Among my favorite characters are Farr Gunn and Madam Lilah Craft. Farr is kind, tough and smart albeit a little naïve which actually makes him more endearing while Madam Craft is motherly, tough, firm and, I could say, fearless.

Though I find the ending a little abrupt and anticlimactic, I still consider it very satisfying.

Congratulations to Kendall Hanson (@kdhwriter) on such a very enjoyable book. To know more about the author, click HERE.

May 30, 2017

Blood Moon by John David Bethel

Blood Moon is a suspense thriller based on true events written by John David Bethel.

While waiting for a prospective client, Recidio Suarez of Suarez Medical Resources, a very successful medical supply firm, is beaten and abducted. Tape is wrapped around his head covering his eyes while his feet and hands are bound in handcuffs.

For one month, Suarez is beaten, tortured and extorted of his hard-earned wealth. He manages to survive the pain and the extreme conditions of his captivity and miraculously lives through his ordeal. Together with his lawyer, Suarez reports the kidnapping to Miami-Dade Police Department. His report, however, is not taken seriously and eventually ignored. It does not help either that there is a long-standing animosity between his lawyer and the head of the MDPD Special Investigations Division.

With foreword by Marc Schiller whose kidnapping this book was adapted from, this is an intense, moving and suspenseful thriller novel that will raise the ire of the readers not only against the kidnappers but also against the law enforcers. The author successfully portrays greed, prejudice and bias. Moreover, he adeptly describes physical pain, desperation and hopelessness. He includes just enough back stories that make the characters easier to visualize.

As a work of fiction, this is undoubtedly one great book. However, as a story based on real events, this is, indeed, scary. Some gory scenes may not be for the faint of heart.

Congratulations to John David Bethel (@betheljd) on such a well-written book. For other books by the author, click HERE

May 22, 2017

Hell Will Rise by Skyla Murphy

Hell Will Rise is Book 1 of the Bloodthirst Mafia Series written by Skyla Murphy.

It is not something he wants for himself, but Hunter is forced to join the Mafia in order to get custody of and protect his little sister Tessa, after their parents are killed. Not only does Hunter have a photographic memory, but he also has an uncanny ability with numbers making him a very valuable asset of the Mafia.

Smart as he is, Hunter knows right away that their ruthless and soulless leader has a special reason for putting a feisty blonde beside him, and when he finds out the truth, he is torn between his burning desire for revenge and an insane and illogical pull to protect her from everything and everyone including himself.

This is an exciting and romantic story of love, hate, revenge and redemption. The author keeps the book interesting and suspenseful by revealing the plot to the readers early on but at the same time keeping her main character ignorant of the truth. The readers are kept anticipating and, in my case, second-guessing Hunter’s reaction to each layer of revelation.

The author successfully creates endearing characters in both the male and female protagonists. Hunter is the perfect hero emboldened by his gift and haunted by his guilt but willing to do anything and everything for the people he loves while Shayla is the damsel in distress, beaten but not broken, who sees through Hunter’s façade and finds an affectionate and caring person.

However, in addition to a few noticeable errors, I didn’t like the ending much, though I believe it is a strategy to entice the readers to wait for the second book in the series. Still, I find this book very enjoyable.

Congratulations to Skyla Murphy (@skyla_murphy) on such a great book! To learn more about the author, click HERE

May 12, 2017

Lost and Forgotten: Discovery by Maurice Barkley

Lost and Forgotten, Book 1: Discovery is written by Maurice Barkley.

Former Army Ranger James Cagney is living a solitary, peaceful, but uninteresting life of a retiree when he stumbles upon two Marine-looking young men. After helping them out with a clue that is way too old for the young men to figure out by themselves, James inadvertently gets himself involved in locating a stolen electronic equipment which vanishes without a trace.

Though he doesn’t know it at the time, James signs himself up into something exciting, dangerous and unknown. But apparently, dealing with the unknown is more preferable than staying home alone with only a cat for company while mustering enough courage to ask the widow next door out on a date.

Written in the first person perspective, this is a fast-paced, funny, exciting and suspenseful science fiction novel that combines modern technology and remnants of the Second World War. The author successfully comes up with an exciting plot and writes in a casual and conversational tone that makes the book easy to read and easy to understand.

The author creates funny, smart and endearing characters. My favorite, naturally, is James. He is painfully honest and is trying to be modest about his skills. He is sharp for his age. He is intuitive and resourceful and he uses his skills when he needs to without holding back.

However, I noticed a slight shift in pacing. Though the book is predominantly fast-paced, there is a part that feels like dragging. It doesn’t, however, detract from the enjoyment of reading the book.

Congratulations to Maurice Barkley (@MauriceBarkley) on such an exciting book. For more books by the author, click HERE.

May 2, 2017

Contingent Upon Magenta by C. Drying

Contingent Upon Magenta is an exciting science fiction novel written by C. Drying.

Capt. Joan Jones is chosen to be the third member of a small contingent to Magenta, a matriarchal world inhabited by hostile purple humanoid, for two reasons: she is deadly and she is a woman.

With a heavy heart, Capt. Jones leaves her daughter with no expectations of making it back home. However, her arrival in Magenta, through Magentan Interrealm Conduit, is met with unexpected events and Capt. Jones finds herself on her own, far away from home, and in the presence of the captivating matriarch of Magenta.

Though I found the beginning of the book ambiguous and convoluted, it eventually grew on me and I found myself enjoying the story with its secrets and mysteries. The author successfully created a world with its scarred but formidable matriarch. I found the Magentan culture quite different but very fascinating that I could honestly say I was thoroughly entertained and altogether engrossed by the plot with its unpredictable turns of events. Though I preferred a different ending to the book, I believe it was necessary and quite justifiable.

However, though the characters are well developed with their own sets of values, weaknesses and misgivings, I didn’t find anyone to my liking. I found Capt. Jones to be too indecisive, Maerora Ma too cold-blooded and Mălīn too impulsive. Moreover, I think that the roles of Noma and the spying girl were cut too short. 

Despite my issues, however, I enjoyed reading the book and I recommend it to fans of science fiction. Congratulations to C. Drying (@CDrying) on such an enjoyable debut novel. For more updates from the author, click HERE.