November 20, 2017

SERIAL K by Brian Gallagher

SERIAL K is an exciting thriller written by Brian Gallagher.

As soon as Craig Breedlove gets hold of his vast inheritance after the unusual death of his father and suicide of his mother the day after his father’s death, he puts his nefarious plans to action that is to pay tribute to the greatest serial killers in history. Diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, Breedlove had spent three years in juvenile detention prior to his diagnosis giving him ample time to come up with the most diabolical plan that will make him the greatest serial killer of all time.

After emulating Robert Hansen in Anchorage, Breedlove moves to Spokane to pay tribute to Robert Lee Yates, Jr, then on to Salem, Oregon for a modified reproduction of Randy Woodfield killing. By the time the crimes are discovered to be interconnected, Breedlove is on to his fourth victim.

FBI Special Agent and part time fiction writer Ryan O’Callahan is assigned to the case and teams up with his ex-wife FBI profiler Lea Pucci. As they hunt down the serial killer, the couple gets to spend time together and begins to consider possibilities regarding their unusual relationship. Meanwhile, bodies are piling up and they are nowhere near the identity of the perpetrator.

The book is told in the third person perspective and is a real deal thriller fiction complete with graphically depicted scenes. Never once deviating from the plot, the author builds up the premise by introducing a depraved character performing terrible crimes that ultimately escalate to egregious atrocity. With a relatively fast pacing, the book is a real page turner with sporadic love and romantic scenes to break the intensity of the action.

The characters, both main and minor, are developed with just sufficient back stories to substantiate their roles. The conclusion, though not the usual kind of ending I go for, offers a temporary closure that leaves a slight feeling of discontent that may make some readers want for more.

What I like most about the book is the unpredictability. Halfway through the story, the author introduces a new twist and throws in additional characters making the flow of the book more difficult to guess.

Despite the few typo errors that I noticed, I enjoyed this book a lot and I recommend it to crime and thriller fans. Some violent and gruesome scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers.

Congratulations to Brian Gallagher (@GallagherAuthor) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.

SERIAL K was an Book of the Day on November 16th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.    

November 17, 2017

Programmed To Kill by David J. Murray

Programmed to Kill is an exciting and suspenseful thriller written by David J. Murray.

David Mainwaring is a retired teacher, a model citizen and a seemingly ordinary Vietnam veteran. Unbeknownst to other people including his own family, however, David is more than just ordinary and his feats in Vietnam as a member of the elite Special Forces Unit are unbelievably overwhelming. So, when an unscrupulous lawyer pays a group of hitmen to take David out and kidnap his family, the lawyer is ill-prepared for what he unleashes.        

David, together with his three other Vietnam Veteran friends who come to honor a pact they made years ago to assist when any of them or his family is in danger, retaliates with unimaginable intensity. Their slick maneuvers, however, are not lost on a dedicated police inspector, who is a Vietnam Veteran himself just like David and his friends.

Told in the third person perspective, this is an exciting book that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats in painful anticipation. While the readers would definitely root for David as he brings down the monsters who harm his family, the moral implications of his actions might give them conflicting emotions. The author successfully keeps the suspense at ultimate level until the last page of the book giving it one full blast of climactic ending.

Never deviating from the main plot, the author subtly supplies the back stories to justify the characters’ skills and finesse. Moreover, graphic descriptions of scenes make the readers feel more like watching a movie than reading a book. The author successfully creates admirable characters that it may be difficult for some readers to decide for a favorite. Though David is the most logical choice, I personally find it difficult to choose between Police Inspector Simmons and Alice Mainwaring.

What I like most about the book is the realistic take on a person’s thirst for revenge; the unleashing of the beast which I personally believe is inside everyone and the aching need to get back at the person who hurt him, see that person suffer and feel good about it. This book is the perfect depiction of ‘an eye for an eye’ which may sound unchristian but somehow liberating.        

However, I feel like the characters of David’s three veteran friends are less-developed than they should be considering that they are major players in the story. Moreover, there are so many noticeable errors within the entire book including misspelled words, missing or improperly placed punctuation marks, incorrect word usage and typos.  

Still, I enjoyed this book immensely and I recommend it to fans of suspense and thriller. Some scenes, of sex and violence, however, may not be suitable for young readers.

Congratulations to David J. Murray (@djyarrum1) on such a great book!

Programmed to Kill was an Book of Day on November 13th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.

November 10, 2017

The Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare

The Divinity Bureau is a dystopian thriller written by Tessa Clare.

The world is in chaos. Water is scarce. The air is polluted. Jobs are rare and low paying. So, Roman Irvine considers himself lucky to work in the Divinity Bureau as an IT Technician. The Divinity Bureau is in-charge of controlling the population explosion by randomly electing a certain number of people to die of lethal injection every quarter of a year.

As an ordinary employee who is dependent to the bureau in order to survive, Roman does his job seemingly indifferent to the bureau’s activities. That is until he sees April McIntyre’s name on the list.

In addition to a quite interesting premise, the book offers a beautiful romance that defies the law. It is told in alternating first person perspective between the two protagonists. The book is an easy read with consistently casual and conversational tone. References to futuristic inventions like the Mobiroid, BIONs and CLEO may excite some readers.  

However, I find the back stories on the founding of the Confederal Districts a little vague. There are also some questions that I find unanswered. Moreover, though Roman for me is a very relatable character with his financial problems and needs, April is not my ideal female protagonist. I find her a little insensitive and uncaring towards her family. Furthermore, though the ending is how I hoped it would be it feels incomplete because of the unanswered questions. Finally, I noticed too many errors (if you free tomorrow, fill the silence my cutting my vealI can select the which) in the copy I read which made for a difficult reading experience.

Still, it was a very interesting read and I enjoyed it.

Congratulations to Tessa Clare (@tessaclaretdb) on such an enjoyable book. 

November 4, 2017

The Hands of Ruin: Book One by Dylan Lee Peters

The Hands of Ruin: Book One is the first in The Hands of Ruin two-book series written by Dylan Lee Peters.

Trying to have a relaxing time with her jawhar Reego, reclusive zul master Ah’Rhea accidentally hears of an incident about a little girl, improper use of zulis and the election of a new zul master to address the issue. But just as the zul master starts to contemplate on the gravity of what she just heard, her attention is caught by an unusual activity which, unmistakably, means a summons for a particular zul master, her.

Meanwhile, Aschburner twins Zigmund and Zera just meet with their uncle Rainart for the first time. Though he knows they are better off with their uncle than anywhere else, Ziggy instinctively doesn’t like the limping and drunk stranger who takes them in. Little does he know that his dislike will grow even more intense in just a few short days.

With two separate plotlines told in alternating sequence, this book is initially confusing. Though both plots are equally interesting and the readers are kept in suspense anticipating how the plots will converge, there are too many scenes which I find irrelevant to the story and which the book can do without.

The book has fast-pacing and vivid, albeit dark, descriptions. Some characters are more developed than others, and some who play important roles in this book are left undeveloped. I believe, though, that the author has plans for them in the second book. Just as the two plots are getting interesting, the book ends in cliffhanger leaving a lot of questions unanswered. That gives the ending an incomplete and unsatisfactory feeling.

Still, I enjoyed reading the book and I find the premise very intriguing. Other science fiction and dark fantasy fans may find it interesting.

Congratulations to Dylan Lee Peters (@dylanleepeters) on such an intriguing book. For more books by the author, click HERE.   

November 1, 2017

Brave and Funny Memories of WWII By a P-38 Fighter Pilot by Lyndon Shubert

Brave and Funny Memories of WWII By a P-38 Fighter Pilot is an entertaining and heart-warming book written by Lyndon Shubert.

Unlike common stories about WWII, which tell of the horrors and the ravages of war, this book features a few light hearted even funny, albeit still frightening, events that took place in the author’s life during the war.

The author begins his story the night he received his order and said goodbye to his beloved wife whom he wasn’t sure he would see again. He was first based in Foggia, Italy in the 82nd Fighter Group, 97th Fighter Squadron to fly the greatest fighter plane of WWII, the P-38 Lockheed Lightning.

Because of his flying skills (at least as assumed by the 82nd commanding officers) combined with unelaborated ‘incidents’ of misconduct, the author was eventually transferred to the 15th Air Force Headquarters in Bari and was assigned to the 154th Fighter-Recon-Weather Squadron whose job was to scout and report (by radio) the up-to-the-minute weather conditions at potential targets to help the Headquarters decide if bombers were to be dispatched or not.      

This is a very entertaining book about the experiences of a fighter pilot during the war. It is also a thin slice of history, seemingly insignificant but part of history nonetheless. The author wrote his story as he would tell it personally, with passion and a substantial amount of humor. That makes the book, and the experience itself, sound amusing and fun. The readers know, however, that there is nothing amusing or fun about the war, and I commend the author for sharing his story in such a light hearted manner because I assume that he did it deliberately to lighten up a dark part of his life that only a veteran like himself would understand.

Congratulations to Lyndon Shubert on such a great story! For more details about this book, click HERE.       

October 31, 2017

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the second book in the Kitty Hawk Detective Agency Series created by Iain Reading.

Kitty is so excited. Her dream to fly around the world is about to come true, thanks to the generosity of her sponsor, Charlie Lewis whom she met with his brothers during her expedition in Alaska.

After a short vacation with her parents, Kitty finally begins the first leg of her journey in her trusty and newly-modified De Havilland Beaver seaplane and lands at Key West, Florida. Just like ordinary tourists, Kitty has a look-around and even joins the tour at Ernest Hemingway’s house.

After befriending the Johnny Depp look-alike tour guide at Hemingway’s house, Kitty visits Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park and accidentally comes across a suspicious activity that involves mysterious glowing lights, ancient shipwrecks and sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself and his boat the Pilar.

Just like the first book in the series, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold, this is an exciting, suspenseful and very informative Young Adult Fiction novel. But I find the pacing of this book faster and the scenes more suspenseful. I also notice that Kitty got more matured and, if possible, more daring and more stubborn. I think she also got less self-conscious and more comfortable in her own skin and more confident in what she can do.        
I simply love the lessons on ancient Spanish treasures especially the meaning of the symbols and markings on the silver bars. Apparently, this is another well-written, well researched and well referenced book by the author.

Congratulations to Iain Reading (@IainReading) on another amazing book! For more books in this series, click HERE.      

October 28, 2017

We Won't Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy by Ira L. White

We Won’t Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy is a touching and relatable book about love and family written by Ira L. White.

Gilbert McGillicuddy is an eighty-nine year old World War II veteran suffering from dementia. He lives in Ancient Adult Singles Apartments a few blocks from where his son, Robert, lives. Robert, a widower just like his father, is a radical and passionate blogger who writes about politics, racism and poverty among other topics.

When Robert’s daughter Ruby gets pregnant and the baby’s father turns violent, Robert urges his daughter and his twelve-year old granddaughter Sapphire, to live with him. Together, they await the baby’s arrival, take care of Gil and try to make both ends meet.

Meanwhile, a vindictive former FBI informant, whose plans Robert foiled forty years ago, discovers Robert and his family’s whereabouts. Consumed by four decades of hate, the man schemes to exact revenge on Robert’s unsuspecting family.

Told in the third person perspective, this is a touching book that describes the struggle of an ordinary family to stay together and make do with what they have. It also portrays the dreadful mental illness, dementia, and how it affects not just the patient but the entire family. Moreover, the book paints a vivid picture of a family trying to get along despite the generation gap wedging them apart. Though I initially find the side stories irrelevant, I eventually begin to appreciate their inclusion and their significance to Robert.        

The author successfully creates well-developed and relatable characters. Gil, the gregarious and charming war veteran who is gradually losing his memory; Robert, the radical blogger who fights for what he believes in; Ruby, the mother who wants what is best for her children; and Sapphire, the teenager who needs a father figure but finds her traditional grandfather too strict.

The best part of the book is the realistic depiction of an ordinary family trying to get by with how little they have and still manage to stay together and for each other in every challenging situation.  

However, though the ending leaves a hopeful and optimistic feeling, I prefer a more definitive conclusion to the book.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to readers who like stories about family and familial love.

Congratulations to Ira L. White (@irawhite11) on such a great book!

We Won’t Forget You Mr. McGillicuddy was an Book of the Day on October 24th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.    

October 25, 2017

Hunting Nora Stone by Colin Weldon

Hunting Nora Stone is a suspenseful techno-thriller novel written by Colin Weldon.

Nora Stone is a drifter taken from the streets by the black ops division of the CIA. After a series of ultra-expensive biological modifications, she is turned into an advanced and sophisticated bioengineered and unstoppable lethal weapon. However, a sliver of her lost memory finds its way to Nora’s consciousness and the once docile weapon of war turns against her creators to get back what they took from her.  

A contingent led by former Navy Seal Eddie Conrad is sent to hunt down Nora Stone. But it seems like she doesn’t need to be hunted, nor does she need any form of persuasion. She is actually going back for all of those who turned her into what she is now.

This is an action filled and suspenseful techno-thriller that will keep the readers hooked as the author dangles a giant question mark at the beginning chapters. The readers have no choice but to read on as Colin Weldon very gradually unravels the secrets of Nora Stone and her creators.  

While the subject of the story is primarily about protocols, command and subordination, the themes include revenge, loyalty, ambitions and, ultimately, love. The author creates intriguing main characters and endearing minor characters, my favorites being Former MI6 Head Gordon and US President Royo.

However, I noticed several obvious errors within the entire book including misspelled words, incorrect usage and missing words. Apparently, this book will benefit from another round of editing.

Congratulations to Colin Weldon (@colinweldon) on such an enjoyable read. For more books by the author, click HERE.  

October 19, 2017

Refugees by R.A. Denny

Refugees is Book 1 in the Mud, Rocks and Trees Book Series by R. A. Denny.

Emperor Zoltov, the ruler of the Tzoladian Empire, secretly meets with Bladar, the leader of the Sparaggi Horsemen, for a long-sought prophecy which speaks of three seals, an heir, and the end of the emperor’s reign.

The seals in the prophecy are entrusted to three individuals from different parts of the empire: a Webby, a Glider and an Armored. With the birth of the new star, these three young individuals leave, albeit in various unexpected fashion, the lives they have always known to follow their destiny.     

This is an intriguing and exciting first installment of a fantasy book series. I find the premise unique and genuinely interesting. The author successfully creates a completely different world and populates it with fascinating characters. Each of the three main characters has distinct personality complete with special abilities and admirable qualities.

The plot, including solid backstories, is unraveled in gradual manner alternately between the points of view of the main characters. Suspense and excitement are, at all times, at high level making the book difficult to put down.

As typical and even expected in book series, the book has cliffhanger ending. Since I prefer standalone books, whether single work or part of a series, for me, the ending feels a little incomplete. Still, I enjoyed the book a lot and I recommend it to fans of the fantasy genre.   

Congratulations to R. A. Denny on such a great read! For more books by the author, click HERE

October 17, 2017

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts is Book 2 of the Madam Tulip Book Series created by David Ahern.

When part of Dublin’s Palace Theatre collapses, out-of-luck American actress Derry O-Donnell finds herself unemployed again. To help with the fundraising to hasten the repairs on the Palace Theatre, Derry teams up with her mother to organize a celebrity art exhibition. The auction reunites Derry with supermodel Marlene O’Mara and gets herself booked in an engagement party in an English stately home as Madam Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous.

Derry, together with her friend Bruce, travels all the way to England and meets with the Dowager Countess of Berkshire, a former chorus girl at the Palace Theatre. They also meet with the Earl of Berkshire, his two daughters Lady Charlotte and Lady Bryony, Lady Charlotte’s fiancé Torquil and the family’s curator, Sebastian.

However, just when Derry and Bruce are starting to get settled, they find themselves caught in the middle of a gruesome and threatening situation. Derry’s gift, as subtle as it is, offers very little help and it’s up to Derry and Bruce to go around the situation they find themselves in.

Just like the first book, Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery, this is just as exciting and just as enjoyable. The author’s description of the affluence of the English aristocracy arouses envy in a common reader like myself. Unlike the first book, however, I find this to have a slower pacing while not all newly introduced characters are well-developed. The ending, though, is quite a blast and I like it a lot. Finally, I’m expecting for Madam Tulip’s ‘gift’ to be more developed by now but it seems like I have to wait for the next book in the series to find out.

Despite my issues, I enjoyed this book immensely.

Congratulations to David Ahern (@DaveAhernWriter) on another great read! For more books by the author, click HERE.      

October 8, 2017

Have Amber - Will Travel by Keith Vlasak

Have Amber – Will Travel is a fantasy adventure novel written by Keith Vlasak.

Standing five feet eleven inches tall, Paige Dylan is simply not a typical college student with her beauty queen looks and Medieval Longsword Champion title. That’s probably because she’s not typical at all, nor is any of her two brothers and two sisters.

Unlike other ordinary children of ordinary families, the Dylans secretly go on exciting quests they call ‘adventures’ as they are magically transported in another place and time. Unlike their previous quests, however, this time, they are not transported to Camelot but in ancient Egypt. What more, they bring along with them Paige’s classmate Steve Webber and her Introductory Writing 101 teacher, Professor Dettman.

More than exciting, this is a very informative book about the gods and goddesses of Egypt as well as ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. Moreover, the book realistically depicts the relationship between siblings especially the behavior of each child. How the oldest always feels responsible for the younger ones and how the younger ones lash at the older ones trying to find out how far they can go. The fighting scenes are superbly described and the setting is magnificently reproduced in words. The characters are well developed and at some points relatable, especially Paige.  

However, though I enjoyed the book a lot, history lessons and all, I think the entire book is heavy, in fact too heavy, on details, considering that the target audience is young adult. I also find the pacing too slow. Moreover, the plot raises too many questions that are left unanswered and for a standalone novel, it gives the reader an incomplete and, somehow, unsatisfied feeling at the end of the book. Despite those and a few noticeable errors (like it’s eyes and I can count you instead of I can count on you), this is a very enjoyable book.

Congratulations to Keith Vlasak (@keithvlasak) on such a great book. For more books by the author, click HERE

October 2, 2017

Forged in Fire by Fraser Scott

Forged in Fire is Book 1 of The Godewyne Chronicles created by Fraser Scott.

Rollie, the grandson of the elusive Ranulf, the only blacksmith in the village of Wickenshire, is hiding something in his pocket. A mysterious stranger commissions him to forge a Druid token out of a mysterious metal. Believing it to be a nice break from his usual job of forging nails, he accepts the commission and now keeps it a secret from his grandfather. But Rollie is not the only one with a secret. His grandfather, Ranulf, himself is not being completely truthful.

Meanwhile, the court jester is serving time in the dungeons and while he is contemplating on his precarious situation, Lord Aderland Maculinus is rounding up the nobles against King Godebert.

This is a fast-paced, intriguing and exciting first installment of a promising fantasy book series. The language used, though informal for its medieval setting, makes for easy reading. Narration and descriptions of scenes are vividly done with a touch of both wit and sarcasm and dialogues are fitting for each character. The author successfully builds up intrigue and mystery to keep the readers hooked.

However, for readers like myself who prefer standalone books whether part of a series or not, the ending of this book might be taken as less satisfying than it should be. Without resolution to any of the conflict presented or answer to any of the questions, it gives an incomplete feeling. Moreover, I find it difficult to connect with any of the characters, probably brought about by reservation because of the secrecy and mystery surrounding the characters.

Still, I enjoyed this book a lot and I believe other readers will enjoy it as well.

Congratulations to Fraser Scott on such a great book! 

September 28, 2017

2020 by Casey Dorman

2020 is a political thriller written by Casey Dorman.

Luke Evangelista, a non-violent activist and biographer/reporter whose books are banned by the incumbent government for their supposed subversive nature and attack on the president, is on edge. He just meets with Bill Lippmann, a witness in a recent terrorist attack that killed fifty people at the Galaxy Club, and what Bill tells him might incriminate the president for staging a false terrorist attack to heighten his popularity hence increase his chances of being reelected. Now, Bill is dead and so is another witness to the shooting. It is now left to Luke to look for other witnesses and uncover the truth behind the attack which might bring down the president and his authoritarian government.

This is a fast-paced and exciting political thriller that touches a multitude of subjects which include not only tyranny, bigotry, racism, discrimination and betrayal but also pacifism, camaraderie, unity and hope. It boasts of an intriguing and solid plot with equally intriguing subplots made more intense by unexpected twists that keep the suspense at high level. The author creates admirable and endearing characters like Derek Stewart, Wellspring Moon and Judge Eduardo Oreal as well as irritating, outrageous and even loathsome characters like Toby Davis, Barry Hurley and President Fremont Ferris, respectively. Told in casual tone with occasional sarcasm and witty remarks, the story develops smoothly and concludes in a satisfying ending.   

Congratulations to Casey Dorman on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.   

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 naïve 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.