September 16, 2017

The Last Child of Leif by Chris Pridmore

The Last Child of Lief is an exciting paranormal, historical fiction written by Chris Pridmore.

Young Valiant is a prince and heir to the throne of the kingdom of Munich. When he was five years old, his father was murdered and he and his mother, Queen Natasha, together with the queen’s personal bodyguard, Sebastian, fled from the castle.   

Sebastian and Valiant find refuge in a travelling circus owned and run by a kind and generous man, Konrad. There they met new friends with special talents. But they are far from safe. Because it seems like shadows are lurking wherever they go, and they are after Valiant.

This is a fast-paced, suspenseful, and action and adventure-filled book set in the early industrial era. Told, for the most part, in Valiant’s perspective, with occasional third person point of view, the book boasts of exciting chasing and fighting scenes.  Moreover, the author successfully keeps the suspense throughout the book using a tone fitting for the setting for both the narrative and the dialogue. More importantly, however, the book has a set of endearing and admirable characters. First of which is Sebastian, the honorable royal bodyguard who fights fiercely and loves steadfastly. Then there is Konrad, the gentle and accommodating circus owner who treats everyone as family.

Needless to say, I enjoyed this book immensely except for a few noticeable errors (like I used to that, waiving my stick and destroy the whole the building). Furthermore, though I find the ending satisfactory, it doesn’t answer the questions raised in the prologue. Still, this is one great book and I recommend it to readers who enjoy medieval historical fiction.

Congratulations Chris Pridmore (@ChrisPridmore) on such a great book! For updates on the author, click HERE

September 14, 2017

Washed Away by Nikki DuBose

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light is a touching and unforgettable book written by Nikki DuBose and co-written by James Johanson. It is a moving and shocking memoir of a former supermodel as she recounts her dark and painful childhood which deeply affected her self-perception and thrust her to a life of alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorder, psychosis, body dysmorphic disorder and suicide.  

As a child, Nikki, a product of a dysfunctional family, experienced various kinds of abuse including physical, mental and sexual. This constant abuse and her mother’s deteriorating mental health led Nikki to develop eating disorder and distorted perception of herself. Without any friends to turn to or guidance from the very person who was supposed to protect her and keep her safe, Nikki turned to food, alcohol and sex to fill the emptiness she felt inside. This feeling intensified through adulthood and further pushed Nikki to the brink of insanity and self-destruction.

Through it all, however, Nikki stood her ground as she battled against her demons, falling down again and again but got up each time armed only with sheer determination and dim hope that, somehow, things will get better.

This is a story of an extraordinary woman as she fought to overcome adversity she had always believed to be much greater than herself and emerged victorious as she finally learned to love herself and recognized herself as God’s child. This is a well-written memoir that vividly paints a picture of one woman’s pain and suffering due to abuse inflicted by both herself and others. It gives the readers a glimpse to the plight and agony of someone afflicted with body dysmorphic disorder, psychosis and depression. Finally, this is a beautiful story of hope and faith, that no matter how bad things get, there is someone out there looking out for us and loving us regardless of how we look upon ourselves.

Congratulations to Nikki DuBose (@TheNikkiDuBose) on such a great book.  

September 6, 2017

God is a Woman by Michael Tavon

God is a Woman is a Price Jones Novel written by Michael Tavon. It is a story of self-destruction, and love that only a very special woman can give.   
Price Jones is a down-on-his luck novelist with a dark past and a murky future. After his mother died of heroin overdose, Price is left with two siblings who are his only reason for living. With his reckless life of drinking and indiscriminate sex, how can Price take care of two more people when he can’t even take care of himself? To make matters even worse, Price falls in love with two women: Benu, whom he feels deep attraction and Iris, whom he feels deep connection.

The story is written in casual tone making it an easy read. Scenes are realistically portrayed and dialogues are fitting which showcases the author’s writing skills. The plot runs smoothly and solidly with strategic twists and the readers are drawn to the story with that enormous question hanging over their heads: what would happen to Price?

However, though the ending is no doubt satisfactory, it leaves some unanswered questions like why is Price too deeply attached to Iris, what happened in the past that he simply couldn’t let go? A short chapter for a back story on Price and Iris would have helped. Moreover, though Benu seems like a likable character, some things about her weren’t explained, like why does she behave the way she does? Again, a short back story on her would have been nice.

All in all, this is an enjoyable story that readers can learn a lot from. It is interesting, hopeful and, somehow, inspiring.

Congratulations to Michael Tavon (@MichaelTavon) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.  

September 2, 2017

Ronaldo: the Phantom Carrot Snatcher by Maxine Sylvester

Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher is Book 2 of the Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer Book Series written and illustrated by Maxine Sylvester.

Ronaldo, a two snowflake second year flying cadet from the Reindeer Flying Academy, is having a problem keeping carrots in his backpack. Someone, whom Ronaldo calls The Phantom Carrot Snatcher, is stealing them right under his nose.

More than his missing snacks, Ronaldo is also preoccupied with the upcoming Speed Test. He wants so much to break the speed record and bring home the Gold Snowflake medal. But shortly before the anticipated test, Ronaldo meets Ernie, a playful wolf cub who recently got separated from her pack. Ronaldo is torn between helping Ernie find her pack and breaking the speed record.

Just like the first book, this is another exciting and fun story for children and grown up alike. It features various themes including friendship, courage, determination and sacrifice. It shows what it takes to be a friend and to have a friend. As Great Aunt Ernestinkle says:

‘Good friends make happy days brighter and problems lighter.’

Moreover, this book sounds more relaxed and more spontaneous than the first book, but just as enjoyable. Ronaldo seems more matured and Rudi seems smarter and a better flyer. I love this book and I recommend it to readers of all ages.

Congratulations to Maxine Sylvester (@flyingronaldo) for another great book! For more books in this series, click HERE.

August 31, 2017

Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery by David Ahern

Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery is the first in the Madam Tulip Book Series created by David Ahern.

Derry O’Donnell is a good looking, smart, and talented American actress in Ireland. She is a little bit psychic, being the daughter of the seventh son of the seventh son, and out of work in the meantime, and most of the time.

When her highly successful art-gallery owner mother gives her an ultimatum regarding her accommodation, Derry has to think of some ways to earn money to cover the rent, fast. With the help of her best friend Bella, another out of work actress, Derry creates Madam Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. On her first fortune telling event, The Celebrity Bash, however, a famous rap artist dies.

In just a couple of days, Derry’s world turns upside down. Her best friend might end up in jail, a supermodel might be murdered and she and some people close to her, including her father and her ex-lover, might suffer grave consequences.

This is a very enjoyable and highly entertaining book of crime and mystery. With casual tone for both the narration and dialogue, it is an easy read, totally intriguing and deliciously funny. The characters range from charming to annoying to contemptible. My favorite among the set of interesting characters is Jacko, Derry’s father. He is not the most responsible or most honorable, not even a good example to his daughter, but I find Jacko very realistic making him one endearing character for me.

Besides a few, probably typographical, errors, this book is generally well-written and I enjoyed it a lot.

Congratulations to David Ahern (@DaveAhernWriter) on such a wonderful book. For more books by the author, click HERE.  

August 26, 2017

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the first book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series written by Iain Reading.

Young and spirited pilot Kitty Hawk is excited about the summer. She just receives sponsorship from Tilley Clothing Company to spend the summer in Alaska and study the social interactions and feeding habits of humpback whales. Not only does she get to live with a warm and generous couple in Juneau, but she also meets new friends whom she learns a lot from. After identifying a particular whale by the marks of its tail, Kitty witnesses a spectacular phenomenon that she, so luckily, gets to record on her laptop. Things are going way even better than she expected, until her attention is caught by a suspicious looking fishing boat and her summer adventures turn from fun and exciting to ultimately dangerous.   

This is an exciting, enjoyable, informative and a totally entertaining book. It has a very promising beginning that turns into an all-out suspenseful story with surprising twists and unpredictable turn of events. Descriptions of the settings, Canada and Alaska, are rich and vivid while the dialogues are realistic and fitting for each character. The author creates an endearing protagonist in Kitty Hawk. She is smart albeit impulsive and kind yet tough. She is completely clueless about how special she is which makes her all the more charming.

However, though I appreciate the history lesson, I find it too long. I also find some scenes, especially the captivity, a little dragging. Still, I enjoyed this book immensely and I recommend it to readers who love adventures.

Congratulations to Iain Reading (@IainReading) on such a great book. For more books in this series, click HERE.  

August 17, 2017

_SHIFT by Brian Q. Webb

_SHIFT : A Thriller of Multiple Dimension is Book 1 of the Shiftspace series written by Brian Q. Webb.

When the editor of Wired magazine receives a USB drive with a cryptic message and an attached code, he sends his smart albeit inexperienced science reporter, Dr. Pei Xiao.  He also sends his down-on-his-luck former brother-in-arms freelance photographer Roy Bryant to accompany Pei, primarily, to keep her safe. Though her editor’s decision annoys Pei initially, it is proven wise and sound as Pei and Roy are thrown into a series of unexpected twists and turns of events.

This is a fast-paced and exciting science fiction thriller that will keep the readers hooked. It has a solid plot and just enough backstories to help readers relate with the characters. Descriptions are lavish but not superfluous and dialogues shift from academic/scientific to casual. The numerous references to familiar science fiction movies give the book a light touch while introduction of otherworldly creatures signifies the author’s creativeness and imaginativeness.

However, some readers may find the science part of the book too technical and difficult to follow. But besides a few noticeable errors (like it’s instead of its and we’re instead of were) the book is very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. Finally, though I’m not, generally, a fan of cliffhangers, I find the ending of this book satisfying and just perfect to entice readers to the next book in the series.

Congratulations to Brian Q. Webb (@BrianQWebb) on such a great book! For more information about the author, click HERE

August 9, 2017

Dear Maude by Denise Liebig

Dear Maude is Book 1 of The Dear Maude Trilogy written by Denise Liebig.

Emily Stanton manages to graduate from college under a scholarship from Evergreen Research Corporation with the strict condition that she will work for the company after graduation. Smart and tough albeit a little bit na├»ve and with high moral standards, Emily proves to be much more than another former scholarship student but a great asset to the company. However, as Emily learns eventually, Evergreen Research is not an ordinary nor a traditional employer. The type of research they are engaged in is something Emily never thought possible, going back in time and changing the past to benefit a few. 

When Emily realizes that the people around her are not what she thinks they are, she finds out how vulnerable she is in a place and a time where and when she has no one and she has nothing except a journal she writes on as she pretends to communicate with her deceased aunt Maude and takes comfort in one familiar object, an old suitcase that belonged to her dead great aunt.  

This is a very interesting, intriguing, absorbing and thought-provoking book that will keep the reader glued to every page. To borrow a line from Alice in Wonderland, it keeps getting ‘curiouser and curiouser.’ Moreover, though time travel is not at all a very original concept, the events that take place in the story make up for the banality of the subject matter. The corsets, the gowns, the balls, the trip to the opera and the horseback riding and other lessons give the story glamor and substance that make this book very enjoyable to read.  The author creates admirable and endearing protagonists as well as shameless and contemptible villain.     

Though the book is part of a trilogy, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone and the ending, though a little cliffhanger, is not only satisfactory but also satisfying.

Congratulations to Denise Liebig (@DeniseWithWords ) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

July 31, 2017

Ronaldo : The Flying Reindeer Academy by Maxine Sylvester

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy is the first book in the Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer series written and illustrated by Maxine Sylvester.

Young and spirited fawn Ronaldo and his best friend Rudi are flying cadets at the Reindeer Flying Academy. Ronaldo dreams of becoming one of Santa’s reindeer just like Vixen, Ronaldo’s hero and a part of North Pole Reindeer Team. With his father’s carrot pancakes in his belly and his grandfather’s words of wisdom in his mind “Imagine. See it, feel it, believe it! You can do anything, if you truly believe in yourself,’ Ronaldo prepares for his toughest flying test ever, The Endurance Challenge.

This is an exciting children’s book of fun and adventure complemented by beautiful and charming illustrations by the author herself. The book is filled with valuable lessons about friendship, family, courage and determination. Each page elicits either smile or laughter and in the case of young readers, offers inspiration and encouragement.

However, traditional parents may find some scenes not proper for very young and impressionable readers (like passing gas in public, belching, and laughing at other people’s misfortune) whereas, the less traditional ones would find the scenes extremely funny.

Congratulations to Maxine Sylvester (@flyingronaldo) on such a marvelous book! For other books in the Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer series, click HERE.

July 29, 2017

Aaru by David Meredith

Aaru is the first book in the Aaru Cycle series written by David Meredith.

Rose is extremely sick. In fact, she is dying. She wants nothing more than for death to claim her and for the pain and agony, she has endured for years, to stop. But her sister Koren would not let go. Not just yet. So, Rose agrees to try one final attempt to save her life, and that is to upload her mind to a super computer called Aaru.

Aaru is a virtual world where the residents can live forever, free of pain, sickness and death. It is developed by Elysian Industries ‘to allow the truly great members of the human race to continue their work of advancing mankind’ and to save unfortunate children, like Rose, from pain, misery and death.

Now, Elysian Industries is offering this virtual paradise to those who can afford it and with sweet, innocent and beautiful Koren as the spokesperson, Aaru is trending on social media and getting the attention of not only prospective clients but also of moralists and degenerates.

This is a very interesting book with a very timely subject. It actually reminds me of the movies Transcendence and Chappie but more creative since it also presents the virtual world from the inside. The book is told in alternate settings between Koren in the physical world and Rose in the virtual world. It features multiple issues including immortality, familial relationship, fame, obsession and cyber crime.

However, I find the style of writing too verbose for my simple taste, but aside from the few misspelled words (like drug instead of drag and breath instead of breathe) I like everything about the book and I enjoyed it a lot especially the suspense part which actually brings up the dangers lurking in the internet.

Congratulations to David Meredith on such a great book. Can’t wait for the next book in the series. For other books by the author, click HERE.