December 23, 2016

Feral by Laxmi Hariharan

Feral is Book 1 of Many Lives Series by Laxmi Hariharan.

After the discovery of a shocking and life-changing truth about herself, Maya leaves behind her pack of wolves and hybrids, her mother, and her future mate Luke, and goes to the city of Bombay.  

While working as a waitress at the Salt Water Café, Maya meets and gets drawn to Jai, the son of the mayor of Bombay and a member of the mayor’s personal army. Maya is torn. She loves Luke and her attraction to Jai makes her feel uncomfortable.

As the first book in a series, this can be a standalone. The plot is interesting enough and the writing style is engaging making the book difficult to put down. Maya’s character is quite developed and it’s easy to relate with her. The book is nicely wrapped up with a satisfying ending.

However, I want a more elaborate description of the setting. Back stories on the present condition of the city also wouldn’t hurt. Apparently, the author focuses more on Maya, and may be planning on disclosing more information on the next books in the series. As is, I can’t exactly call this a novel, but a short story of a young girl. Still, the book is an enjoyable one and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series,TAKEN.

Congratulations to Laxmi Hariharan (@laxmi)! For updates on the author, click HERE.

December 20, 2016

Coal by Constance Burris

Coal is the first book in the Everleaf Series written by Constance Burris.

As the only human, living with the elves in Everleaf, in the fey realm, Coal has suffered insults and discrimination. Only his friendship with Chalcedony, princess and soon-to-be queen of Everleaf, protects him from worse treatment.  

When the princess brings home another human, Coal feels the need to protect the child. So, when the child puts her life in danger by accidentally breaking an elven law, Coal knows he has to take action to save the child. However, his action may betray the queenling and hurt her budding credibility and power over her subjects.

This is a fast-paced, exciting, suspenseful and adventurous book written in casual and conversational tone. It is a story about love, friendship, betrayal and even obsession. I find the plot unpredictable with slight twists and turns making the book even more exciting. There are plenty of action scenes including fighting, chasing and magic-wielding like transforming and phasing.

However, though the characters are all interesting, I didn’t find anyone to my liking. Coal is too naïve and couldn’t seem to make up his mind. Chalcedony is too whimsical and uses her power to do what she wants without consideration for others. Elizabeth is a brat. Haline is smart and brave but too ruthless and unforgiving while Queen Isis and Royden are suspiciously nice.

The ending is brilliant. I think it’s perfect for a first book in a series. There is a kind of resolution for closure and a new conflict for the next book. Needless to say, I enjoy this book despite my issues with the characters, and I recommend it to those who appreciate stories about elves, sprites, dwarves, giants, dragons, spriggins and spidrens.  

Congratulations to Constance Burris (@constanceburris) on such a great book.  For more books by the author, click HERE.  

December 14, 2016

The General's Legacy by Adrian G. Hilder

TheGeneral’s Legacy, Part 1: Inheritance (The General of Valendo Book 1) is the first installment of The General’s Legacy written by Adrian G. Hilder. The concluding part, Part 2: Whiteland King, will be available in February 2017.

Prince Cory has always looked up to his grandfather, the legendary general and king-consort of the kingdom of Valendo, Garon Allus Artifex-Dendra who, not only regales him with stories of war but also trains him in the art of warfare to be the next general of the Army of Valendo

Shortly after the revered general died, the kingdom was attacked. Despite his rigorous training under his grandfather, Prince Cory was unprepared for and felt inadequate against a dead battle mage and his skeleton army. With his grandfather’s last letter and the old general’s sword in his hand, Prince Cory has to do everything he can and use everything he has to face what was out there and end the war.

This is an exciting story of war and magic with a little bit of romance. The book started with action-packed scenes complete with brave warriors, powerful mages and hideous monsters. Settings were vividly described and dialogues were casually worded making the book easy to read. The romance part was sweet and a good addition to the already charming story.

The author created endearing characters. General Garon was an admirable man, a brilliant leader and a good friend; the Archmage was brave and powerful; while the Silver Warrior was a great and dashing soldier. Prince Pragius was trying to be the responsible heir to the throne by turning his back on what he really was, Prince Sebastian just wanted to pursue his passion while Prince Cory was the young soldier who wanted to follow his heart’s desire but was faced with an adversity much sooner than he expected.

However, the pacing of the story was, somehow, inconsistent. The book began in a fast pace, then slowed down and even dragged at the first few chapters then picked up again. Moreover, there was a character that was simply dropped. Given his ample back story, I expected him to play an important role in the book.

Needless to say I enjoyed reading this book despite the pacing and I recommend it to readers who appreciate stories about war and magic.

Congratulations to Adrian G. Hilder (@AdrianGHilder) on such a great book. you may visit Adrian G Hilder for updates on the author’s works.

December 7, 2016

Gun by Lee Hayton

Gun is the first book in Gun Apocalypse Series written by Lee Hayton.

When a neurological virus sends affected people to indiscriminate shooting, it turns them into mass murderers leaving dead bodies in various places like the coffee shop, the mall, the school and even ordinary streets. The city is in chaos and help is, apparently, not coming any time soon.

Annie, Frankie, Becca and Robert are thrown together to fend for themselves in the midst of a dangerous city. Annie fears for her son whom she last sees buckled in the car seat with his father shooting at random people while driving away. Robert sees two teenage girls running from a gunman and Frankie and Becca barely escape the carnage perpetuated by a deranged shooter.

This is a fast-paced, exciting and suspenseful book from start to finish. As soon as the action begins, the suspense doesn’t stop until the last page. The readers are kept hooked by very gradual disclosure of information while giving ample and vivid descriptions of the gruesome situation.

The story is, generally, written in a casual tone and is a fast read. What I like most, however, is the sense of resolve at the end of the book which is usually absent in other book series nowadays. As a mother, I, naturally, relate with Annie though my favorite character is Robert.

I particularly like how the author empowers women in this book. They shoot, they fight, they die while fighting, and most importantly they help each other out. Moreover, I like that the characters do what needs to be done. I find that very practical.

All in all, I like this book and I enjoy reading every page.

Congratulations to Lee Hayton (@kathay1973) on such a great book. Visit Katherine Hayton for more books by the same author.

December 2, 2016

Interesting Times by Matthew Storm

Interesting Times is the first book in the series of the same title written by Matthew Storm.

Oliver Jones is a financial analyst living an extremely boring life. Living alone and making do with microwave dinners, he is perfectly aware of how unexciting his life is. He intends to enroll in a cooking class but never gets around to actually doing it. 

His life takes a completely different turn when a stray cat he recently adopts suddenly talks to him. Now he is on the run, with a werewolf who favors Hawaiian shirts and a grumpy girl who, he believes, will shoot him for any reason. 

Somebody wants him dead and he doesn’t know why. Neither does the leader of the group who assumes the responsibility of keeping Oliver safe, Artemis, a little girl who is apparently older than any of them.

This is a fast-paced, action-filled, adorably funny and highly entertaining book. Worded casually and told in an almost jovial tone, this is a real page turner. The author tells the story very animatedly that reading feels like actually watching a movie. I can almost picture Jesse Eisenberg playing Oliver Jones. 

Admittedly, the plot seems shallow and trivial compared with other science fiction books, but it doesn’t make it less entertaining and enjoyable. I find the characters fascinating. My favorite characters include Oliver, Tyler and the talking cat. Oliver, with his cluelessness, is just like any other guy you meet on the street; Tyler, with his baking talent, is kind and dependable while the talking cat, with his sarcasm, is simply adorable. Needless to say I enjoyed this book a lot.

Congratulations Matthew Storm (@mjstorm) on such an amazing book!

November 28, 2016

Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood

Magic of Thieves is Book 1 of the Legends of Dimmingwood written by C. Greenwood.

Ilan is a survivor of the Praetor’s cleansings in the province where those possessing magic are murdered. Her parents die trying to protect her leaving her an orphan at a very young age. She finds refuge in the forest of Dimmingwood with a band of thieves led by Rideon the Red Hand where she is practically raised by Brig and the other outlaws.

There she learns to protect and defend herself and eventually becomes an official member of the band, all the while keeping her power from the group a secret.  

The book is an interesting and exciting book about thieves, which reminds me so much of the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with all the romance and novelty of living in caves, hunting for food and fighting using blades and bows. In addition to the charming setting is the set of interesting characters, my favorite of which is Brig, Ilan’s kind guardian. I, however, find Ilan not to my liking as a protagonist. I find her too stubborn with a bit of an attitude which may be attributed to her being raised by outlaws instead of loving parents. I especially like the leader, Rideon. He is smart, firm and practical.

Though I generally enjoy reading the story, I find the ending a little disappointing. I believe, however, that it is a strategy by the author to keep the readers interested. Still, I prefer it if there was at least one resolution to a conflict. As it is, this book is not as satisfactory as I hoped it would be.

Congratulations to C. Greenwood on such an interesting story. For more books by the author, visit C. GREENWOOD.    

November 21, 2016

The Black Star of Kingston by S. D. Smith

TheBlack Star of Kingston is the prequel to The Green Ember Series written by S. D. Smith.

With his subjects of displaced rabbits from the Golden Coast, King Whitson Mariner settles near the Ayman Lake in the land he calls Natalia. Soon, the small community of rabbits becomes a town the king later names Seddle. King Whitson marries Lord Grant’s daughter Lillie and has a son, Prince Lander.

Meanwhile, the son of a coal miner, Fleck, begins to miss the Golden Coast, the land they leave behind. As he looks at the ominous mountains across the lake, Fleck is compelled to find out what is in those mountains. He strongly feels that there is coal in there, coal the people badly need for the winter. With a strong conviction, Fleck seeks audience with the king to express his desire to cross the lake and find out what lies there.

This is a great, action-filled and suspenseful book not only for children but also for adults who love good adventure stories. The book is about loyalty, bravery, friendship and sacrifice. At the end of the book, I found myself getting emotional over the outcome of the battle.

The author creates admirable characters like the kind King Whitson, the brave Fleck Blackstar and his loyal friends Galt and Burnley and Gavin whose bravery is found to save a life.   

What more, the book is graced with beautiful illustrations by Zach Franzen (@ZacharyFranzen).

Congratulations to S.D. Smith (@SDSmith_) on such an amazing book! Visit S. D. Smith for more books by the same author. 

November 17, 2016

The Perseid Collapse by Steven Konkoly

The Perseid Collapse is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian EMP thriller and the first book in the series of the same title written by Steven Konkoly.

Six years after the H16N1 virus ravages the world, Alex Fletcher, his wife Kate , daughter Emily and nephew Ethan are onboard the Katelynn Ann in Maine in their traditional family bonding. First comes a flash bright enough to turn night into day, followed by a gust of wind strong enough to knock out windows, then a tsunami. Though the catastrophe is publicly attributed to an asteroid hitting Earth, all evidence indicates detonation of thermonuclear device causing a massive EMP event.

With his son Ryan far away in Boston, Alex has to find a way to get him and take the whole family to a safe place until the situation calms down. Doing that, however, is not as easy as it sounds, and it would only get worse.

The book started out as a very suspenseful read. Not only was it exciting, it was also informative. How Alex weighed his options on which was safer, easier and more beneficial to the group gave an insight on how to act on such conditions. Moreover, the book gave sound advice on what and how to prepare for calamitous events. I loved how the author made the characters work together for a common goal, to save their children and go to a safe place.

The book depicted what desperate people could do: how far they were willing to go and what they were willing to do to save themselves and their loved ones. This was a portrayal of the world in chaos, where the armed were the law and the unsuspecting and the gullible perished.

Though I enjoyed the book for the most part, I found the later chapters, with all the military talks, too technical for me and I found myself starting to lose interest in the story. The ending was also not as satisfactory as I hope it would be. Still, it was one great read.    

Congratulations to Steven Konkoly (@stevenkonkoly) on such a great book! Click HERE for more books by Steven Konkoly.

November 14, 2016

Running Home by Barbara Ellen Brink

Running Home is Book 1 of the Second Chances Series written by Barbara Ellen Brink.

When it comes to his lying and cheating husband, Ivy is past caring. All she cares about now are her two children, Caleb and Riley.  But when Todd runs away with his latest girlfriend leaving Ivy to explain his disappearance not only to their kids but also to his employer who accuses Todd of embezzling company funds, Ivy has had enough. She packs her bags and runs away from California and takes her kids all the way to her hometown in Nebraska. 

Just when Ivy thinks she is ready to start a new life with her children, shady characters start to harass her family asking for something she knows nothing about. It seems like Todd does something worse than what he lets her on. Ivy doesn’t know what to do and whom to trust. There’s Samson Sinclair, the kind realtor who seems to genuinely care about her and her children. Unbeknownst to her, however, Samson is not actually what he says he is, leaving Ivy no other option except turn to God, whom she turns her back on several years ago.    

This is a fast-paced and suspenseful story though not very original is still very enjoyable. Told in casual, thus, easy to read manner, the book is riveting and difficult to put down. Though some parts are pretty much predictable, there are portions which are admittedly surprising. Any reader can eventually conclude that this is a Christian book and the subtle message of trusting the Lord lends a sense of calm and hope to such an exciting crime novel. 

The author creates realistic characters by giving them flaws and weaknesses. Ivy’s distrust for everyone including God is common to people nursing painful experiences. Todd’s selfishness and greed put his family in peril and lead to his ultimate destruction while Samson’s unwavering faith in God makes him good in what he does.

Needless to say, I like this book a lot.

Congratulations to Barbara Ellen Brink (@BarbaraEBrink) on such an enjoyable book. For more books by the author, click HERE.  

November 9, 2016

Crossing in Time by DL Orton

Crossing in Time is the first book in the Between Two Evils Series by DL Orton.

Estranged former lovers Isabel Sanborn and Diego Nadales meet again after a long and painful separation. Catching up on lost times proves to be too difficult for Iz and she ends up walking out on him. Shortly after, Brown Palace Hotel is bombed nearly killing Iz which leads to Diego’s untimely but long overdue marriage proposal.

Unbeknownst to the couple, a metal sphere apparently not from this universe is discovered from the bomb wreckage. The sphere contains a thumb drive, a button-shape white plastic and a handwritten message addressed to Diego.

This is a beautiful and romantic science fiction that features various subjects including time travel and end of the world, among others. The story is told in a very interesting fashion that keeps me hooked from start to finish. The book is rich in vivid descriptions which include sexy and romantic scenes. The characters, especially the male and female protagonists, are well developed and relatable with all their mistakes and wrong decisions.

However, though I can honestly say that I enjoyed the book, none of my questions were answered in the end and the cliffhanger ending gave me a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. I, personally, prefer neatly wrapped up stories with all conflicts resolved, be it a single book or part of a series. Still, I do believe other readers will enjoy this book and go crazy over the love story between Iz and Diego.  

Congratulations to DL Orton (@DL_Orton) on such a great romantic science fiction! For updates on this book series, you may visit Between Two Evils. 

November 2, 2016

Unspeakable Acts by Janet Leigh Green

Unspeakable Acts is Book 1 of the Mc Queen Investigation Series by Janet Leigh Green.

Charlie Love is having trouble in her newly renovated house. It seems like a supernatural being is taking control of her and violating her body. When the situation does not get any better, she asks the help of Doug and Scott Mc Queen. Because of the nature of her predicament, the brothers ask the assistance of their psychic friend Sheila Mathers. Apparently, all of them have no idea about the enormity of what they are up against.

This is a dark and gruesome story that spans more than a century. Told in alternating chapters between the present and the past, the book features evil manifested in the most unspeakable acts like abuse, torture and, ultimately, death.

The book is easy to read with plenty of light and humorous dialogues between characters. Moreover, there is an abundance of scary scenes as well as depictions of appalling and extremely disturbing scenes of abuse. Needless to say, this book is not for the fainthearted, nor for young readers due to a multitude of references to sexual perversion.  

As far as suspense is concerned, this book is a winner. The author is able to keep the story interesting until the end by unfolding the plot little by little and chapter by chapter.

However, I prefer more developed characters. I noticed that there was not any noticeable difference between Doug and Scott, or between Charlie and Sheila. Furthermore, there were issues that were not fully explained and events that were not portrayed in details. In addition, there were too many errors, typographical and grammatical that needed editing.  

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book more than I hoped I would.

Congratulations to Janet Leigh Green (@Estherhhoward) on such a great read! For updates about this author, click HERE

October 27, 2016

The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. by Sam B. Miller II

The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. is the first book in the science fiction series of the same title and the first novel written by Sam B. Miller II.

In 1947, a scout ship of the Chrysallaman Empire was unexpectedly brought down in the desert in New Mexico. It was carrying a crew of lizard-like aliens from the planet Chrysalis looking out for a planet to colonize. Apparently, the Chrysallaman race had more advanced technology, as evident by their ship and weapons, in addition to superior strength and psychic ability.

When the scout ship went down, the mother ship was forced to return to their home planet leaving behind their downed scout ship and a young alien boy. With their planet 30 light years away, it would take at least 60 years for the Chrysallamans to come back and colonize planet Earth.

An elite group of military personnel and brilliant scientists was brought together to come up with the best defense against the more advanced technology and mind control ability of the Chrysallamans.  In order to accomplish this, they have to employ the aid of the scared, lonely and lost lizard boy who was far away from home.    

This is an exciting, suspenseful and fast-paced science fiction novel. Written in casual manner, the story is easy to read and understand. The main point of the story is the preparation of the best defense against the alien race which could possibly be accomplished by first replicating the alien’s weaponry and second creating a generation of humans with unique abilities to stand up against the stronger and mind-manipulating alien race. Since it is told chronologically, the suspense builds up as the story goes and nears the estimated time.

The author created a group of admirable characters who dedicated their lives to the mission of saving the planet: a Xenobiologist, a Biogeneticist, an Astro-physicist, a weapons expert, an electronics whiz, a military tactician and a brave and intelligent military officer.  

However, in addition to a few typo errors, I found some of the physics and biology involved too technical for me. Moreover, some scenes, especially violent ones may be not be suitable for young readers.

Congratulations to Sam B. Miller II (@SamBMillerII ) on such an awesome novel! 

October 21, 2016

All's Fair in Love and War by J Theron

All’s Fair in Love andWar is a romantic fiction written by J Theron.         

Dr. Gabrielle Durand and Capt. Ryan Evans met in Afghanistan. Not only was Gabrielle Ryan’s doctor, she was also the love of his life. Gabrielle, in turn, loved Ryan with all her heart and promised never to stop loving him. So, when she left him without any explanation, he was crushed.

Three years had passed after that painful event and Ryan is now working as an agent for the CIA. When he is summoned in his immediate superior’s office, he receives two mind-blowing revelations. First, that Gabrielle has kept a secret from him and second, she is kidnapped by a Colombian drug cartel and he is the most qualified person to rescue her from her captors.

This is a beautiful love story told in alternating chapters between the present and the past. The author was able to depict the bitter-sweet reunion of Gabrielle and Ryan while simultaneously recounting the romance of three years ago. This proves to be a brilliant strategy as the reader is kept in suspense and not only anxious over the escape of the reunited former lovers but also eager for more details on how they broke up.

The settings are vividly described and the dialogues are realistically worded. In addition, the pacing is steady and the narrative concise and cohesive thus easy to read because of the absence of unnecessary details and scenes. The characters are admirable and endearing especially the main protagonists. Gabrielle is smart, brave, with high moral values and passion for work while Ryan is heroic, resolute and loyal, to his country and to his heart.

Though I think some scenes are a little predictable, I found it acceptable and would not want it any other way.

Congratulations to J Theron (@junet_theron) on such a great and absolutely romantic book.          

October 16, 2016

Out of the Box Everlasting by Jennifer Theriot

Out of the Box Everlasting is the third book in the Out of the Box Series by Jennifer Theriot.

A tragic news confronts newly engaged couple Ash Harper and Olivia Petersen as soon as they get back from a romantic vacation abroad. Hayden, one of Ash’s children, gets in a terrible accident in Seattle harbor. The accident leads to the discovery of a deep dark secret Ash has been keeping away from his children.

Just when Ash needs her most, Olivia has to be somewhere else. When the couple is finally reunited, a decision hastily made by Ash upsets Olivia and makes her feel betrayed. Olivia is suddenly haunted by her painful past and feels the need to get away.      

This is not just a romantic fiction but a great story of true love. It features realistic and relatable characters who suffer from ‘demons from their past’ but still hold on to the love they have for each other. The most prominent theme of the story is familial love as Ash’s and Olivia’s children blend into one big happy family.

With a steady pace, the story is full of twists and turns as well as shocking surprises. It is an easy read with realistic dialogues and vivid descriptions with love scenes carefully depicted.

However, I had difficulty keeping track of the characters, whose child is who, who is married to whom, who is what and who lives where. It, probably, would have been better if I had read the first two books in the series. Moreover, I felt kind of uneasy reading about not very young people making out. Nevertheless, this is one great book of love and I enjoyed it a lot.

Congratulations to Jennifer Theriot (@JenTheRiot ) on such a great book. Click HERE for more books by the author.

October 10, 2016

Lost Coast Rocket by Joel Horn

Lost Coast Rocket is the first book in the Mare Tranquillitatis Series written by Joel Horn.

Ken O’Brien has always found it difficult to be around kids his age. For one, he is way smarter than they are and second, his interest, astronautics, is different from theirs. So, when he meets Akira, he finally finds someone who shares his passion.

Unlike Akira, however, Ken displays nonconformity when it comes to formal education despite his brilliant mind, and he would rather spend more time in his grandfather’s shop. Together with Akira, Ken forms a group of rocket enthusiasts.

Unbeknownst to everyone except for Akira, however, a tragic event in Ken’s young life leaves him with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. When the girl from the past shows up in the shop and joins his rocket club, she stirs up not only painful memories but also new and unfamiliar emotions from Ken.

This is a fast-paced and very exciting YA fiction that keeps the reader hooked. A group of teenagers working together on their common passion is unusual in this age when young people are wasting their time on Facebook and video games. Their sense of adventure is contagious and their determination to see their mission through is laudable. The romance aspect of the story is sweet and just appropriate for the target audience.   

The writing is casual and easy to read while the descriptions are minutely detailed. The dialogues, especially among the members of the group, are for the most part funny, while those between parents and children are realistic.

The characters are well-developed that it is easy to determine who is talking, from Ken, the silent leader whom the group looks up to and Akira, the quiet brainiac who knows what he wants, down to the other members of the group.

However, I found some of the explanations too technical and the few noticeable misplaced modifiers distracting. I may not like the ending very much but I know it is necessary in preparation for the next book.

Congratulations to Joel Horn on such an amazing book! Looking forward to reading the next one in the series. For more of his books, visit JOEL HORN, AUTHOR.       

October 4, 2016

Annie's 1st Break by Willee Amsden

Annie’s 1st Break is the first book in The Annie Mc Cauley Romantic Comedy Mysteries written by Willee Amsden.

Rayanne ‘Annie’ Mc Cauley, from Mesa View Mobile Home Park in Texas, dreams to make it big in the fashion world and comes to New York City. Standing 5 feet and 9 inches tall and weighing 108 pounds, she could be on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily.

However, on her way to a very important interview with the sexy CEO of Di Ponti Cosmetics and Fashions, Tomi Di Ponti, she comes face to face with Brittany Carstairs, her arch-enemy all the way from Mesa View and ends up in an extremely embarrassing situation that might cost her her dream job.

This is one hilarious work of fiction that will make the reader laugh out loud at almost every page. The scenes are vividly described in all its chaotic glory while the dialogues between characters are so natural the reader can join in. Each character is fascinating in his or her own way. We have hot tempered Annie, the female protagonist who has the rare talent of getting herself in trouble. Luis is Annie’s Latino and loyal best friend and make-up artist. Brittany is Annie’s gorgeous and super sexy but devious arch nemesis who goes to all the trouble to make Annie pay for what she thinks Annie owes her. Tomi is Annie’s sexy and seductive boss and Luther is Annie’s handsome and stealthy body guard. Even the secondary characters are given their moments, like Uncle Joe, Florio, Vito, Tony and Paulie, Nonnie, Annie’s Mama and Daddy, Ida Grolsch and even Evie Carstairs.  

However, I prefer smarter female protagonists than Annie. I want my heroine to be always one step ahead of anybody. Considering, though, that this is a comedy series, then, Annie is perfect for the part.

Congratulations to Willee Amsden (@WilleeAmsden) on such a great book. Click HERE for more books on this series. 

September 30, 2016

Elementals by Michael Anstead

Elementals is the first book of the Arula Series written by Michael S. Anstead.

Denise is a simple barmaid from Terra. When she is arrested by the Guardians of the Empire for a crime she doesn’t know about, she has no choice but to trust the man who saved her, the man she only knows as the Storyteller.

The Storyteller, whose name Denise eventually learned to be Simon, takes her to safety and introduces her to an old woman Denise believes to be a Witch. They are soon joined by another woman, Sofia, Simon’s younger sister.

It seems like Simon and Sofia are part of an ancient plan to reunite the Twelve Kingdoms of Arula by reinstating the Council of the Circle. Twelve members of the council are said to be Masters of magical orbs while twelve are mortals elected by the people. The Council of the Circle ruled Arula for over two thousand years until a war broke out within the council. Arula was divided into twelve kingdoms which one by one fell to the Empire of the South.

Besides the steady and consistent pace, this book offers a great plot in addition to remarkable characters. The concept of magical orbs which include the elementals: air, water, fire, earth and the Lost Orb, is intriguing and certainly will pique the interest of the fantasy genre enthusiasts. The author successfully wrote vivid descriptions of the kingdoms and keenly portrayed fighting scenes.

Moreover, the author created formidable characters. My favorite, however, was Denise. Not only was she smart, but she was also patient, diligent and obedient. She practiced her skills with passion and performed whatever task assigned to her. She knew when and what to ask, and knew when to keep quiet. She was also very observant thus she learned fast and learned well.

However, I had a problem with the ending of the book. Though I understand the necessity of not revealing much in preparation for the succeeding books in the series, I would have preferred more enlightenment. Still, this is one great book (with a fantastic cover!) and I would love to read the other books in the series.

Congratulations to Michael S. Anstead (@ArulaNovel) on such an amazing book!

September 28, 2016

The Night Before Christmas by Rose Collins

The Night Before Christmas is a children’s picture book by Rose Collins. This colorful and enchanting book is a retelling of the classic Christmas story by Clement Clarke Moore‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, but with an awesome twist.

In this picture book, St. Nick visits the welcoming house of a family of four cuddly bears. While the cute little cubs are warmly tucked in bed, Papa Bear hears a sound and rushes outside to see a beautiful red sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer and driven by lively and chubby St. Nick.

While remaining faithful to the Christmas classic, Ms. Collins altered a few words in the original story, probably to make her version more understandable to the younger generation. This book, with its vivid and colorful pictures, brings out the spirit of Christmas in every single page. The pictures are so alive that the reader can almost feel the warmth emanating from the fireplace and can touch the snow resting on the evergreens. Even the font used for the story has an embossed look making the words appear as if they are floating on each page.

Needless to say, this is one beautiful and charming Christmas book, perfect for children and grown-ups alike.

Congratulations to Rose Collins for such an amazing book.                 

September 26, 2016

Talk to the Moon by Katlynn Brooke

Talk to the Moon is a romantic historical novel written by Katlynn Brooke.

After reading his godmother’s diaries which recount events that transpired between 1945 and 1947, Gabe Blanchard is burdened with deep dark secrets that he would rather not know, secrets about his father, his mother and his inheritance.

Gabe’s godmother Holly and her sister Eva move from South Africa to Rhodesia to work in King’s Kraal Mission. They meet and befriend other people from the mission including Faye, Avril, Gerald, Neil and the administrator Mr. Parrish and his wife Tootie. As they attend social events, they are introduced to other people and meet more friends including Tony and Eric. While Eva is obviously attracted to Gerald, Gerald seems to have eyes only for Holly. Holly, however, enjoys Tony’s company as much as he enjoys hers.

This was not only a romantic fiction but also a novel that began with mystery that kept the reader hooked from the first to the last chapter. The author successfully strung the reader along, keeping him interested and anxious with anticipation. Moreover, the author was able to put the startling climax at the last few pages of the book which justified the long wait. Furthermore, the writing style was casual that made for easy read.   
In addition to the exciting plot was the cast of realistic and well-developed characters. Though smart, sensitive and level headed Holly was undoubtedly the main character in the book, my favorite was her sister Eva. Eva was spirited and jovial and she always speaks her mind. I also liked Faye but her role was too small for such a great character. Needless to say I enjoyed this book a lot, except for a few errors in the copy I downloaded.

Congratulations to Katlynn Brooke (@KBrookeAuthor) on such a wonderful novel. For more books by the author, visit KATLYNN BROOKE

September 21, 2016

Accidental Cinderella by Emily Evans

Accidental Cinderella is a romance fiction for young adults written by Emily Evans.

Ella is the new girl in Erskine Preparatory School, an exclusive boarding school for the elite. Though she’s happy to be there on a scholarship, she knows right away that she doesn’t fit in.

Still, being in St. Erskine is better than staying in Texas with her stepmother. Here she has sweet and vivacious Penelope Penworth and her brother Hale, who lets her know early on that he is not dating for reasons he doesn’t wish to discuss with the new girl.

However, the new girl has a lot more on her plate at the moment besides not-dating senior and shady suitemate. She just learns that St. Erskine doesn’t offer scholarships. If that is the case, why is her tuition paid in full and who paid it?

This is more than a traditional romantic story for young adults. This is about family, friendship, passion and even prejudice. This is something that young readers will learn a lot from. It promotes loyalty between siblings and between friends. It encourages young people to pursue their passion and be the best they can be.  

However, it seems that the author focused more on the plot than on descriptions and character development. With a few shocking revelations, the plot is no doubt a great one. Though the settings were fairly described, I prefer more details and movements. In addition, the back stories were too brief making the characters less developed than they should have been.

Still, it was a great read and I enjoyed it immensely.

Congratulations to Emily Evans (@Emily_Evans_M) on such an amazing book. For more of the author’s books, visit Emily Evans Books