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. 

April 28, 2017

Genna's Fight by Sheldon D. Newton

Genna’s Fight: Will She Be Able to Discover Her True Self and Get Her Son Back in Time by Sheldon D. Newton is a poignant story of one woman’s triumph over adversity and how she wins back her self-respect and more.

After years of physical, emotional and psychological abuse from her husband, Genna finds herself alone and homeless. A chance encounter with a kind and friendly truck driver, Reggie, takes her to a safe haven for battered women in California. However, Genna’s newfound peace and safety is marred by a deep longing for her son whom she is forced to leave behind. Moreover, deep down Genna’s seemingly peaceful visage lurks a dark and painful secret that pierces her soul and refrains her heart from healing.

This is a touching and memorable story of one woman’s struggle as she tries to come out of the pit life throws her into. It depicts what simple acts of kindness and compassion can do to a broken heart and a battered soul. It shows how faith in God restores hope and gives strength as He empowers the weak with His steadfast love. Most importantly, the book shows how nothing is impossible with God by your side.

It is a story of friendship, kindness, faith, hope and success. It features different kinds of love: love of a mother, love of a child, love of a friend and love of God. Ultimately, this is an inspiring story and encouraging book that will tug at your heart and will stay in your mind for a while. The author creates admirable and endearing characters. Though Genna is the main protagonist, my favorite is Reggie. He is the kind of friend everybody hopes for.

Congratulations to Sheldon D. Newton (@sheldondnewton ) on such a great book. For more books by the author, click HERE

April 25, 2017

Loss of Reason by Miles A. Maxwell

Loss of Reason is Book 1 of State of Reason Mystery written by Miles A. Maxwell.

While Everon is excited over his new jet, his sister Cynthia doesn’t understand where her feeling of unease is coming from. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard cutter Penobscot registered a tiny blip on the scope but classified it as merely an aquatic vertebrate.  

Shortly after, as Cynthia, with her husband Steve and their baby girl Melissa, settles for the night, two sounds blend into one and a fireball illuminates the nighttime sky as a nuclear bomb is detonated in New York. As soon as Everon learns about the news, he tracks down his stepbrother Franklin, Cynthia’s younger brother, and prepares for a desperate rescue mission to find their sister.    

This is a suspenseful thriller that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats as they want for more action. The book realistically depicts people in desperate situations. Moreover, it presents how people show their true colors even in the midst of a catastrophic event. The author creates not only admirable and endearing characters but also unpleasant and hateful ones. I cannot decide which brother I like more, Everon or Franklin, as they are equally lovable.

Though it may be necessary to end the book the way it does, I prefer something more cheerful and less vague. Still, it is an enjoyable read perfect for fans of thriller and suspense.

Congratulations to Miles A. Maxwell (@MilesAMaxwell) on such an enjoyable read. For more books by the author, click HERE.

April 15, 2017

Thrown Away by Sheldon D. Newton

Thrown Away: No Mommy, No Daddy, Nobody Wants Me!!! is Book 1 of The Wanted Chronicles written by Sheldon D. Newton.

Ben is a handsome and very intelligent boy of eleven when he learns the painful truth about how he ended up in the orphanage. Feeling unloved and unwanted, Ben is embittered and turns against everyone around him, even the kind and motherly Matron Ann who raises him and loves him unconditionally.

Several years have passed and it seems like life is not going to be easy for Ben because he soon finds himself in a predicament where the only one he can ask help from is God.

This is a poignant, inspiring and encouraging story of love, faith, hope, sacrifice and determination. With a steady and consistent pacing, the story begins with very emotional and heart wrenching scenes. The book continues and introduces characters that play important roles in Ben’s life. Just when the readers feel that everything is going well, unexpected twists and turns of events change the mood of the story and the readers are gripped with mixed emotions ranging from pity, sadness, admiration and even anger towards Ben. Moreover, unlike some novels which make the reader feel he is part of the story, this feels like watching a scene unfold while listening to a great narrative.

Despite the lack of elaborate physical descriptions, the characters are very much relatable and my favorite among them is Mr. Hung. He is kind and fair and a good judge of character. He knows when to set his limits and knows when to reach out to a friend in need.

However, the settings of the story are not described in details which may make it difficult for some readers to visualize some scenes. Moreover, skeptical readers may find the story unrealistic and not at all unique but just an ordinary tale with overuse ‘rags-to-riches’ theme. Finally, there are several errors, mostly typos and misspelled words which may detract from the enjoyment of reading the novel.

Congratulations to Sheldon D. Newton (@sheldondnewton ) on such a great, touching and very inspiring book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

April 10, 2017

Dead Time by DL Orton

Dead Time is Book 3 of the Between Two Evils Series by DL Orton.

With her daughter, Shannon, being held captive in a dilapidated biodome inhabited by religious zealots, Lani decides to rescue Shannon, by herself. However, an accident in the Bub causes her to reconsider her plans and leave her daughter’s fate in the hands of someone else. Shannon, realizing how right her mother is, finds herself in a world where men greatly outnumber women and the very few women left treat her with contempt. In the midst of them is Peter, a beacon that shines brightly in Shannon’s life.

Meanwhile, Diego is faced with the greatest surprise of his life so far, and what more, he receives another note reminding him that his time is running out and instructing him to find the Magic Kingdom.

The mystery and excitement continue in this third book. Consistently told in conversational tone with a fairly steady pacing, the story is just as exciting as the first two books, Crossing in Time and LostTime. DL Orton keeps the readers in suspense by alternating three subplots: Shannon in Catersville, Diego in C-Bay and Lani in the Bub. I find all subplots quite engaging, though with a teenage romance in the mix, Shannon’s story appears to be the most exciting. The other two, however, offer unexpected turns of events and surprising revelations that held me captivated until the end of the book. I find the ending very satisfying with one loose end tied up pretty neatly with a promise of more exciting events to come in the next book in the series.

Congratulations to DL Orton (@DL_Orton) on another great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.  

April 4, 2017

An Arabian Night by Garon Whited

An Arabian Night: Nazin’s Dream is a short but profound and very touching story about love, life and people written by Garon Whited.  

Nazin is a poet in the city of Baghdad who falls in love with a beautiful and skillful courtesan, Jezira to whom he spends lavishly. After his wealth is depleted, Nazin finds himself without Jezira, without money and without friends. More than the loss of his wealth, however, is a deeper sense of loss that leaves Nazin with a broken heart and makes him seek for freedom from pain and life itself in exchange for everything he has.

This is a wonderful book that subtly describes the various natures of men. In a very short story, the author is able to depict the meaning of love, greed, duplicity and desperation. Written in a formal style, that sounds like a classic novel, which clearly portrays settings as well as characters’ emotions, the book can be read in fifteen minutes but will stay in memory far longer.

The author creates minimal but memorable characters and two of them I find very endearing. To say that the ending is surprising is, for me, an understatement because I can say it is dumbfounding that I had to reread a few paragraphs back to fully comprehend what happened. Needless to say I enjoyed this short book a lot.

Congratulations to Garon Whited (@GaronWhited) on such an amazing book. For more books by the author, click HERE

April 3, 2017

Lost Time by DL Orton

Lost Time is the second book in the Between Two Evil Series written by DL Orton.

On his mission to save the love of his life, Diego travels in time. His malfunctioning time machine, however, delivers his pod up a tall evergreen tree. The climb down leads to an unfortunate incident and Diego wakes up with an injured head and several broken bones and lying on a hospital bed inside an aging biodome in an alternate universe. To top everything off, Diego learns that Isabel is not in any of the existing biodomes and his effort to save her is all in vain.

Diego has nothing left to live for. However, his kind and caring but evasive doctor would not give up on him. With both of them nursing a painful past and both facing an uncertain future, they find solace in each other. Then Diego receives an unexpected note that says Isabel is still alive.

Just like the first book in the series, Crossing in Time, this is a very interesting and mind-boggling story that will keep the readers hooked from the first to the last page.  Every chapter offers new information, whether about the alternate universe or about a character. The author writes coherently and concisely that every detail is significant while every event is intense and engaging. The characters, both the pleasant and the unpleasant, are solidly developed and are distinctly portrayed.

However, just like the first book, I find none of the conflicts resolved. It seems like the author will keep the readers in suspense until the last book in the series. Though it holds my interest and makes me stay put for the next book, other readers may not be as patient. Moreover, this style of writing may prevent some readers from enjoying each book as a standalone.

Despite my unsatisfied curiosity, I enjoyed this book a lot, that I even felt a sting when it ended, and I recommend it to fans of sci-fi and romantic fiction.

Congratulations to DL Orton (@DL_Orton) on such a mind-boggling and very enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE

March 31, 2017

Timmy, the Flying Mouse by Denis Boytsov

Timmy, the Flying mouse is a beautiful children’s book written by Denis Boytsov.

Timmy is a little mouse with big dreams. His ultimate dream is to fly and ‘see what the world looks like from up there.’ Though his friends call him crazy, Timmy does not give up on his dream. With the help of his father, Timmy tries different ways to fly but fails. Just as he starts to entertain the possibility of giving up, an unexpected friend steps forward to lend a helping hand.

This is an inspiring and encouraging book about holding on to your dream. It shows one creature’s unwavering determination despite failures and mockery from friends. Moreover, it depicts how helpful support from family can be.

The author creates a set of admirable characters first of which is Timmy, the brave, courageous and determined little mouse who never gives up on his dream. Then, there is Timmy’s mother who does everything to make Timmy feel better after each failed effort and Timmy’s father who never says ‘no’ to Timmy instead supports him and helps him try to make his dream come true.

However, some pages did not load on my device; pages which I presume are illustrations that complement the story.

Despite that small issue, I enjoyed the book a lot and I recommend it to both the young and the old.

Congratulations to Denis Boytsov on another beautiful book!

March 30, 2017

Bride of the Dragons by Selina Coffey

Bride of the Dragons is a shifter ménage fantasy romance written by Selina Coffey.

For Adelina Harcourt, third daughter to the poor Earl of Fanten, a bleak future in the nunnery is waiting. So, she takes extra care to make herself beautiful at the historic meeting between humans and the High Dragon’s court hoping to catch the eye of a rich nobleman who wouldn’t require a dowry. What she catches instead is the eye of not only the alpha but also the omega of the powerful Blue Dragonflight.

This is a short but very exciting book of romance and action. I find the plot unique and very intriguing, different from other paranormal and shape-shifter stories I have read before. Told in casual and conversational style, the book is easy to read and can be finished in one sitting. The characters are well developed and are given distinctive descriptions that it is easy to distinguish the stubborn Elekon from the calm and wise Siron.

However, with the book being too short, there are no backstories to any of the characters making it difficult to relate to any of them well-developed though they are. I also find the ending a little predictable and though I don’t mind that at all, other readers may. Moreover, the steamy and vivid sex scenes may not be suitable for young readers.

All in all, I like this book and though I’m not much into shape-shifting stories (because I always wonder where the clothes go) I enjoyed this book a lot and wished it were longer.

Congratulations to Selina Coffey (@selina_coffey) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.   


March 24, 2017

Alpha Wolves by D.J. Swykert

Alpha Wolves is a touching and memorable historical romance novel and second of the Maggie Elizabeth Harrington Books written by D.J. Swykert.

Maggie Elizabeth Harrington is guilty. She is guilty for being happy over the funeral of James Stetter, the person who sent away Tommie, the love of her life.

It has been ten years since Maggie and Tommie ran away with a pack of wolf cubs to save the animals from a bounty hunter. Consequently, Tommie was sent East to study while Maggie was left in Central Mine, Michigan, to face the implication of their misadventure. To her rescue was Jeremy Paull, the strong and kind friend who never left her, who defended her and made her feel protected and special.

Maggie knows Jeremy Paull enjoys her company as much as she enjoys his. She also knows that she loves Jeremy but not as much as she loves Tommie. And now, Tommie is back for his father’s funeral, and when it comes to Tommie, Maggie is helpless.

This is a bitter-sweet story of love in the real sense of the word. Told in the first person perspective of Maggie Elizabeth, this is a very intense book that depicts a strong and intelligent woman who is torn between two men she deeply loves and her courage to deal with the situation she finds herself in.

Worded and phrased casually, the story is written in an easy to read style and the descriptions of Central Mine, Michigan can be easily visualized. The plot, though not exceptionally unique, is at some points suspenseful and becomes even more so because of an unpredictable turn of events near the end of the story. The author created a set of admirable and relatable characters among which my favorite is Jeremy Paull, the kind, strong and dependable man who loves deep and true.

However, in addition to some noticeable typo errors, I found the emphasis on Maggie’s love for Tommie repetitive and redundant. Still, this is one enjoyable story and I like it a lot.

Congratulations to D.J. Swykert (@djswykert) on such a great book! For more books by the author, visit DJ SWYKERT.

March 13, 2017

Coffee-Drunk or Blind by Elle Knowles

Coffee-Drunk or Blind: An Alaskan Homesteading Adventure is a poignant book by Elle Knowles. It is a memorable account of her family’s courage to try homesteading in the, then, newly admitted state of Alaska. It is a compilation of letters written by the author’s mother, Helen Knowles, and some short narratives by the author and her siblings as they recount their own memories of that specific time in their lives so many years ago.

In June 17, 1959 at 6am, with only $1000 and a credit card, Vernon and Helen Knowles together with their four young children Debbie, Naomi, Lindy and Chip, began their journey in their ‘two bedroom house trailer behind a truck, with a camper built onto the bed’ from Oakdale, Louisiana towards Alaska to take advantage of the Alaskan Homestead Act. After 4040 miles and several motor troubles, the family finally arrived in Alaska in July 1, 1959 at 8:50 pm.

This is a memorable, touching, inspiring, entertaining and sometimes amusing story of a family’s courage, love, and faith in themselves and in each other. The book is a chronological presentation of letters written by Helen Knowles mostly to her sister-in-law Letaine. I, personally, attribute the success of this book to these letters. They are thoroughly detailed and vividly descriptive in their accounts of the family’s life and situation in the wilderness.

Halfway through the book, I realized why the author worked hard to complete this book. This is not just a simple compilation of their memorable time in a faraway place. This is their legacy, and reading it is a kind of time travel, a journey in time and place where people dig their own well, where having a telephone connection, even only with a few people, is a reason to be excited, where reading a book to the children is the only form of amusement and where a child wakes up and sees a moose in the front yard.  Undoubtedly, the Knowles experienced hardships in Alaska but those same hardships made them what they are now.

At the end of the book, I felt jealous and envious of the Knowles. I envy them for their adventures, but most importantly I envy them for their memories.

Despite a few typo errors and a couple of dangling modifiers, I enjoyed the book a lot. Congratulations to Elle Knowles (@knowleselle) on such a great book. For more of the author’s books, visit Finding MyselfThrough Writing.

March 7, 2017

City of Hidden Children by Victoria Randall

City of Hidden Children is Book 3 of the Children in Hiding Series written by Victoria Randall.

It is the year 2055, thirteen years after Willa, with the help of Thomas Sawyer, successfully rescued her then four year old daughter Katy from Renton Children’s Center, home of unlicensed children. Unlicensed children are those born without the necessary but very expensive reproductive permit also called ‘baby license’ under the No Unwanted Children Act.

After a series of disturbing and recurring nightmares and the discovery of an old picture taken in the Children’s Center, Katy starts to have flashes of blurred memories of two long lost friends. An unexpected encounter strengthens Katy’s resolve to go back to the center. Her naivety and inexperience lead her to believe that she can simply go to the center, find her friends and take them away from that dark and cruel place. She has no idea of the extent of the depravity waiting for her in the center where unlicensed children are not even considered humans but garbage that can be tossed about and dispose of.

Though not as suspenseful as the first two books, this is much more intense and more poignant. The description of the place, the corruption of those in charge, the depiction of cruelty and atrocity and the portrayal of hopelessness and helplessness are done in vivid details that twist the hearts of the readers.

Apparently, however, it seems that the author focused more on the plot as Katy is the only developed character in this book and plays a part bigger than that of all the other minor characters put together. Though Katy is too stubborn, too impulsive and too naïve for my type of main protagonist, she proves herself a worthy heroine with her sharp tongue and steely determination to save her friends and other children in the center.

Just like the other books in the series, this is casually worded and easy to read. However, though this book can be a standalone, I recommend that readers check out the first two books and read the series in proper order to get acquainted with and appreciate the important characters.

Again, my congratulations to Victoria Randall (@Entlover27) on such a great book and a wonderful book series! For more information and updates on the Children in Hiding Series, click HERE.    

March 5, 2017

Bad War by Summer Cooper and Stephen Kingston

Bad War is a military paranormal romance written by Summer Cooper and Stephen Kingston.

After getting seriously injured in Vietnam, Zebadiah Rasnake is sent home to West Virginia. Though he knows he still has two more years of military service, he is happy to be going back to his family: his mother, his beautiful wife Mary and their unborn child to their modest house up in the woods.

As soon as Zeb gets off the bus, he senses something off with the way the bus driver and the other passengers look at him. Limping and in terrible pain, Zeb takes the three-mile long walk to their house bursting with anticipation for the reunion. As he neared, however, there lingers a strange burned out smell that makes Zeb feel uncomfortable. But the moment he sees Mary standing at the gate, Zeb rushes to her arms and everything else is pushed away to the back of his mind.

This is a short and eerie book filled with nagging mystery and sizzling love scenes. The entire book is written in easy-to-read style with vividly described scenes and predominantly vernacular dialogues. The plot, though not exceptionally unique, is interesting and attention-grabbing. The subtle hints to the mystery keep the readers going and wanting to know more.

However, due to the shortness of the book, there seems to be not enough space for ample backstories to solidify character development and explicate events. Still, it is one interesting and entertaining book about love that transcends death and mocks the living.

Congratulations to Summer Cooper and Stephen Kingston on such a great book! For more books by Summer Cooper, click HERE.