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Archive for November, 2013

The Warble

This week Victoria Simcox’s Book The Warble (Part 1 of the Warble Series) is going to be free on Amazon from Sunday 11-24 through Friday 11-30. Make sure you get a copy. This is a great book for all ages. For more information, check out my review here. While there, make sure to check out part 2, The Shard. You can get a copy for $2.99. This would make a great gift.

 

 

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Victoria Simcox just recently changed publishers and the names of her Warble books. I have had the pleasure of reviewing the first book, The Warble, you can find my review here. This was a great book and I can’t wait to read the second book, The Shard. Currently, they are on Amazon Kindle for $2.99. Go check them out. You will not be disappointed.

The Warble

The Warble (Bernovem Chronicles – 1)

Amazon

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her class−she doesn’t fit in and a couple of her classmates are down right nasty to her. Simply put, her school life is miserable. But things are about to change when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift; she suddenly finds herself mysteriously transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz.

In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Warble,” in its resting place. To accomplish this, she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.

The  Shard

The Shard (Bernovem Chronicles – 2)

Amazon

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard,” Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.

Victoria Simcox

About Victoria Simcox: I was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. I now lives in Western Washington with my husband, Russ and our three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Beside being a writer, I am a home-schooling mother of thirteen years and an elementary school art teacher of twelve years.

Make sure to check out her website for more information on her and her books: victoriasimcox.blogspot.com.

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The Secret of Lies

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The Secret of Lies by Barbara Forte Abate

3 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Propelled by an insurmountable sense of desperation, Stevie Burke is recklessly abandoning home, husband, and outwardly contented life under cover of night; at last resigned to defeat in her long battle against the tortured memories of the past.

Days later, lost and floundering in a dreary motel room without plan or destination, it is a long ago song playing on the radio that gently tugs Stevie back through the dust of remembrance. 1957 – The last summer spent at the ancient house overlooking the North Atlantic. A season which had unfolded with abundant promise, but then spiraled horribly out of control – torn apart by a shattering tragedy that leaves a family impossibly broken …

This story starts with Stevie leaving her husband to go fight the demons from her past. Then we jump to the summers of her youth. Stevie and her sister Eleanor live on a farm. But in the summer, they go visit their aunt and uncle on the beach. But when Eleanor is 17 and Stevie is 15 tragedy strikes and changes everything. Now Stevie is trying to face the demons from her past so she can get on with her life.

I have to say that I felt that the writing style was a touch jerky. We start out with Stevie leaving her husband to get her life in order. Then we jump to when she was younger and spending summers with her sister Eleanor, aunt, and uncle. Then you jump around some more. It was a little hard to follow the flow of the book.

There were many little things that were left hanging out there and a lot of stuff that was so over described that I lost interest. I feel like I should feel bad about Stevie and what she went through, but I don’t like her character at anytime, and can’t really get connected enough to care.

I think there is potential with the story. It is sad how little lies that are told can destroy everything. But in this case I think it would have been a better story if it was shortened, edited, and stuck to the point. I honestly had a hard time sticking to the end of the book and ended up skimming pages.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Sugar Rush (Ophelia Dawson – 2) by Kimber An

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Running and screaming will have to wait. A blood-sucking dead guy may be a vampire to you, but he’s an alien/human hybrid to Ophelia and she really must examine his olfactory nerve under a microscope first.
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Ophelia longs to be free, free of Diabetes, free of her ex-boyfriend, free to live. She loves Adrian, but she loved Martin once too. Something transformed Martin and made her his drug. If he has his way, she’ll never achieve the freedom to learn his true nature and origin.
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Adrian’s the new guy in school. He faked his identity to get close to Ophelia, because he knew the monsters who took his Diabetic sister would try to take her too. Then, he’d have them. But, he knew better than to get too close.
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Oh, yeah, he did. Seriously.
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All Sweets are really beautiful, but when Adrian masks himself for a costume party Ophelia kisses him like he’s the hottest boy on the planet. Then, her beloved, Diabetic father is murdered and he realizes she’s next. He closes the distance fast, but it’s complicated protecting a girlfriend who’s into lightsabers and photon torpedoes. For instance, she totally does not get the whole vampire seduction thing. When one visits her bedroom at night, she addicts him to Nintendo DS.

Opehelia hates her Diabetes. And if that wasn’t bad enough, her ex-boyfriend, Martin that just doesn’t get the fact that she doesn’t want anything to do with him, even if he starts calling her his Sweet. Thank goodness her twin sister Bianca is there to help put Martin in his place and help Ophelia out. Then Ophelia starts receiving little gifts from a secret admirer.

Adrian is an Oldblood, a vampire that is trying to protect the humans from the Newblood vampires that are addicted to a diabetic’s sweet blood. It seems the Newbloods have found a way to keep the blood sweet. Now Adrian is also trying to protect Ophelia from Martin too, but that is because he is a Newblood vampire.

This is a great story. I love Ophelia. She is a tough, geeky girl. It’s so hard to find lead ladies like this. I do admit that she was a little slow when it came to figuring out who her secret admirer was. I also have to laugh about her refusal to believe in vampires; instead she considers them an alien/human hybrid.

This is a great story. I think those that like young adult and the paranormal will like it. It is a new twist on vampires.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Keeping Cooper

Keeping Cooper

Keeping Cooper by Samantha Masone

4 stars

(Excerpt from Amazon) It was the shoes that did it…
I realize that you’re not supposed to base a major life decision on something as inconsequential as footwear, but these weren’t just any old shoes. These were my Jimmy Choo polka dot sling back sandals. As a starving college student I couldn’t afford to pay retail so I surfed eBay and scored a pair for less than half the original price. Even so, they represented a major indulgence for me; I saved my tip money for two solid months to pay for those suckers.
And then Johnnie ruined them and threw them out.
Maybe I should be grateful on some level that Johnnie did what he did, but I haven’t managed to evolve to that point yet. I’ve done a lot of healing and a lot of growing, as my shrink used to say, but I’m still royally pissed at Johnnie about those sandals.
So pissed that sometimes I forget to feel bad about killing him.

Casey has had a rough life. Her grandmother ended up raising her. She basically scraps by to make a living. Johnnie is the pretty boy that moves into town and seems to go through all the women. But when Johnnie finds Casey, he decides that he wants a long term relationship. Things start well, but then the true Johnnie comes out. He becomes the typical jealous, abusive partner.

Casey, with the help of her grandmother, escapes Johnnie. You just know that she can’t simply stay hidden from Johnnie. He finds her and discovers Cooper, their child that she was pregnant with when she left. Johnnie takes this as proof that she was cheating on him.

This is a great story. I felt for Casey for being stuck in a horrid relationship but I also cheered for her when she got the courage to leave. I have to laugh because of the blurb on the book. It doesn’t really have much to do with the story, but after being in relationships I can sympathize with her. It’s the straw that breaks the camels back. It’s just funny that it was the shoes that sets her off after everything else in her life.

This is a great story. I got sucked into it and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. This is a great story that I think a lot of people will like.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

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Cedardale Court

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Cedardale Court By Nathan Lee Christensen

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Full of daring fools, haunting old flames, and brimming with panicked villainy, Cedardale Court captures the final days of Canner Connelly’s ten year struggle; his quiet avoidance of death. Despite his best efforts, and a well-intentioned move to the Oregon countryside, the safety and peace-of-mind he’s longed for since the passing of his wife, for him and his daughter, Chloe, finally appears to be within reach. But, upon waking the next morning, the promising start at Uncle Henry’s falls rather short as the sun comes up over the tree line, and the ever inept inhabitants of Cedardale Court begin to start their days. A domestic dispute, a little reckless driving, and a broken fire hydrant later, what normally might have been a very enjoyable Sunday quickly turns into a slightly darker affair as a severed human hand, well, half of one really, turns up in Uncle Henry’s bushes. Things only get messier, and more frightfully uncertain as, one by one, the secrets that have so carefully been kept, for so very long, start to unravel for everyone. For Canner and Chloe, amidst the drunkenness, burgling, kidnapping, extortions and murders of the people around them, suddenly it’s no longer a struggle to maintain normalcy, or even an attempt to deny the familiar ghosts lurking around every corner; it’s now a question of whether or not they’ll come out of this with their wits, or if they’ll even make it out at all. In the face of the monstrously absurd, this little neighborhood, this absolutely out of control cul-de-sac, might serve as the key to opening the door for Canner and Chloe’s new life, or it might be exactly what it appears to be; the gateway to the undoing of them all.

Canner Connelly recently lost his wife. He decides that he is going to take his 10-year-old daughter Chloe to go live with his Uncle Henry in Oregon. The idea is that a small town should be quiet and help both of them recover from their loss. But things in a small town are not always quiet. An accident involving a fire hydrant unearths a body. But then the dark secrets of a small town are starting to surface. Obviously, a small town doesn’t always mean quieter or better.

I really liked this story. I have a dark sense of humor and was instantly drawn into the mystery. I grew up in a small town like this one and have to laugh at all the secrets. Christensen hit the nail on the head with how everyone has a secret.

I loved the mystery. And learning about each person in town was great. It added another dimension to the mystery. It seemed like everyone had a reason to be the killer and I was kept on my toes until the very end. I loved how the more you learn about everyone, how it becomes a giant snarled mess.

I agreed to do a review for this book a long time ago. I wish I would have read it sooner. This is a great mystery that you don’t want to miss.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Savage Rage

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Savage Rage by Brent Piley

4 stars

(Excerpt from Amazon) Transferred to 53 Division—known as the “Sleepy Hollow of Toronto”—after the murder of his partner, officer Jack Warren yearns to return to 51 Division, where his former colleagues are busy pursuing a criminal mastermind. Randall Kayne has been committing violent, bloody crimes that are hitting close to home in 51 Division, yet he manages to stay just one step ahead of the police. Although Jack’s wife wants him to leave the force entirely, an old enemy soon drags him into the Kayne case against his will, forcing a confrontation with Kayne that only one of them can survive. Masterfully entering into the hearts and minds of the cops of 51 Division, the second book in this exciting series propels Jack Warren deeper into the dangers of underground Toronto.

After the murder of his partner, Jack has transferred to 53 Division. The idea being that there is lest serious crime and he should be “safer.” His wife and her father would prefer that he quit and work a safer, more suitable career. Jack just wants to get back in the saddle. After an attack, he is transferred back to 51 Division. It’s not going to be easy with a new supervisor that is beyond difficult and a serial killer that is keeping one step a head of him.

I like how this book is written. It’s more like a biography than a story. It’s really easy to see all of these events as they would happen in real life. I also like how you get to see the inner workings of the police officers private lives. It’s hard to see how things happen and how each person feels, but you can understand both Jack and his wife stuck in this situation.

At first I was curious about the killer, but I got bored with him when he was wrapped up in getting high all the time. But when he got going, there was no stopping him. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next all the while cheering for Jack.

I have not read Lethal Rage yet, but don’t let that stop you from reading Savage Rage. I had no trouble keeping up with the story. Just so you know, this is not a pretty mystery. It has blood, guts, and drugs which gives it the real life feeling.

If you like mystery/thrillers, you do not want to miss Savage Rage and the other books in the series, Lethal Rage and Secret Rage. I can’t wait to catch up on the other two books.

This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Oh my goodness, time flies when you are busy. I have been able to get some of my old book reviews finished. Instead of waiting and posting them one day at a time, especially since I’m so far behind, I’m just going to get these things posted.

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Warm Bodies by Issac Marion

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) ‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.

This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…

R doesn’t remember anything before being turned into a zombie. But there is something rattling around in him. He stays at an airport with other zombies in a plane that he has stored different relics from humanity. While on a hunt for humans, R stumbles upon a small group of teenagers. When he bites into the brain of one of the boys something strange happens. He is transported to vivid memories and finds himself wanting to protect one of the girls, Julie.

R takes Julie back to the airport since he finds he is drawn to her from the other kids memories. Then Julie wants to go back home. But the more R is around Julie, he starts changing. More and more of his humanity is coming back. He also starts feeling physical things, like the cold from the rain. The strangest thing is when the other zombies at the airport start behaving like R.

But R is now on the run from the Bonies. They don’t want to have the new versions of the zombies. But he is not safe with Julie either when her father is hunting any and every zombie out there.

I really liked this story. It’s a new take on zombies with a light, young adult twist to it. I loved R, he has a sarcastic humor and just doesn’t seem to fit in with zombies. This is a young adult zombie story that you will want to read. It has a little of everything for the zombie lover in all of us.

* Movie Review*

I did watch the movie after reading the book. I have to say that they gave it a good try from the book. A lot of stuff carries over from the book, but I personally like the memories R has from eating the brain. There was so much more to them in the books. I have to say that I liked the ending of the movie too. Not completely the same as the book, but that is to be expected.

I recommend that you read the book first then watch the movie. Without that more personal story you may feel that the movie falls a little flat.

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