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Archive for August, 2015

Eden’s Creatures

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Eden’s Creatures by Valarie Zambito

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Some rules cannot be broken. Ever. Until it happens. Twice.

Cal Taylor hates his life. A neglectful mother, an abusive stepfather, and town thugs all conspire to tear him down. But, he never could have imagined that his dreams of striking out on his own would take him to a whole different world.

When he stumbles into the mystical Faedin, he can’t help but be drawn to the beautiful girl who captures him. Stassi is everything he’s not. Confident. Strong. Ruthless. More animal than human really. Before he knows it, they’re caught in a dangerous struggle for survival and neither are prepared for the cunning of the serpent that slithers just out of sight.

Valerie Zambito

Heroic fantasy author, Valerie Zambito, lives in New York with her family. A great love of world building, character creation, and all things magic led to the publication of her epic fantasy series, ISLAND SHIFTERS, in October, 2011. The first book in her paranormal fantasy series, ANGELS OF THE KNIGHTS, followed in 2012.

Review

Cal Taylor has a rough life. His mother could care less about him, his step fathers beats him and his mother, and the bullies at school beat him too. The only bright thing in his life is his little brother. On day when things are particularly rough, he escapes to the woods behind his house for a break. He enters Veil and starts his adventure with Stassy. Stassy has watched Cal for a long time and wants to be more like him, human. Together they are to help the Faedin keep the Gai’tan, the evil serpent, from taking over the world.

This story has some adult themes but it works since Cal is just months away from graduating high school. Cal’s life sucks and my heart breaks for him. I loved the story of Gai’tan. I have not heard of the serpent before and love how that plays into the story. Eden’s Creatures is a great story that flows well and kept me engaged. I admit that I didn’t like the ending but it had to happen that way, no other ending would have worked.

I do have to add that this is an absolutely beautiful cover. This is my first book from Valarie Zambito but it will not be my last. Make sure to add Eden’s Creatures to your TBR list.

For more information on Eden’s Creatures or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Goodreads, and Valerie Zambito’s website.

Reading Addiction

I received Eden’s Creatures from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Purified

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Purified by Elizabeth S. Sullivan

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) When a mutilated body of an African American girl is found in a park sandbox, the media shows no interest. Instead, their attention is riveted on the disappearance of Olivia Safra, a college student and only child of the powerful and dangerous Richard Safra. Suspended ADA, Beck Oldman, demoted to a rookie PI is assigned her first cases to find a missing teenager and Olivia Safra.

Leads connect the murders to the Safra case. The investigation into her client’s private life reveals a dark side in the relationship between a father and daughter and exacts his wrath against Beck. More girls are found murdered, putting Beck in a race to stop a serial killer and stop her own client from destroying her

PURIFIED is a thrilling story that explores many dark subjects, including what it does to those who have to live in the world of killers in order to stop them.

Beck Oldman is a disbarred attorney that is trying to make amends by working as a PI. But Beck is a mess both emotionally and physically. She is assigned to look into the disappearance of teenagers. But the deeper she digs, the more connections she finds to other disappearances. The question is if she can catch the serial killer before her own time gets cut short.

This is one dark story. As I was reading I figured that there would be you usual murdered girls, a serial killer with some sick plot, and Beck being in the sights of that serial killer. That would over simplifying this story. There are layers upon layers of sick stuff happening and damaged Beck is the right person to discover the truth.

This is a great, messed up story. It’s scary to think that things like this happen in stories but even worse when you think about how it happens in real life. If you want a great thriller, you have found your book.

For more information or to purchase Purified make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

Reading Addiction

I received a copy of Purified from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Mind Over Bullies

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Mind Over Bullies: A Mob Forms by D.K. Smith

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Margo is pretty, popular and unsympathetic to just how intense bullying can get. As a counterfeiting plot sweeps through the city of Oak View, life for Margo will change dramatically.

With a mystery unfolding, an unlikely group of heroes emerges. Bullied teens love them, the police hate them and bullies fear them. Together they will try to get to the bottom of the counterfeiting mystery while ingeniously teaching a few bullies a lesson or two along the way… that is, if the police don’t catch them first.

There are two parts to this story. The first one is bullying. A lot of people get bullied, especially in school and some of the things that happen in Mind Over Bullies happen every day for some people. The second part is a counterfeiting ring. Margo is a journalism student that knows bullying happens but thinks herself above it. But she gets her eyes opened when she starts looking into the counterfeiting.

I liked the mystery of the counterfeiting. It was a great way to keep the story moving without being drug down by too much emphasis on bullying. I really like how Margo goes from the top of the social food chain to those that get bullied. I also liked how everyone had their own personality that stood out from the rest.

I admit that I am one of the people that had to deal with bullying personally in school and I admit that I get a little wound up when the topic comes up. I really like how the MOB worked to help those bullied even though they had some advanced technology that many don’t get to use. But I still liked how this part of the story played out.

I really like Mind Over Bullies. This is a great story that anyone can read. There was good action and mystery and some people getting their just desserts. This is one book that I recommend everyone read.

For more information on Mind Over Bullies or to purchase this book make sure to check out Amazon, Goodreads, and D.K. Smith’s website.

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I received Mind Over Bullies from iRead Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Dragon’s Guide to Slaying Virgins (Otherworld Realms – 3) by Isabelle Saint-Michael

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Morgan had resigned herself to death. She had been ready to follow her true love into the afterlife, if only a certain Dragon hadn’t “rescued” her. She wasn’t grateful – after all, she was a full-fledged Lady Knight and perfectly capable of making her own decisions, without the help of arrogant Dragon Lords, no matter how good-looking everyone seemed to think they were…

After dragging Lady Morgan from a Troll’s lair and dropping her off in another realm, Vallen thought he’d never see her again. But then an old member of his Knight Order betrays her oaths and begins amassing an army of thugs and highwaymen – in the same realm he’d left Morgan.

Racing back with only his brother for a squire, Vallen finds Lady Morgan, accompanied by a teenage Werewolf, ready to take on this Dragon all by herself. But it will take all of them to defeat her, and little do they know that in this battle, the secrets of their broken hearts will rise up from the past and walk again…

Morgan is a knight that has just lost the love of her life. She has decided that she is just going to take on a quest that she will surely die, unfortunately she is a little too good at her job and just gives herself to some trolls. Vallen is a good-looking, grumpy old dragon that insists on doing the right thing. He stumbles upon Morgan and his brother, young, about to be the main course for trolls and decides to rescue them and ends up leaving Morgan in another realm.

But then Vallen learns that an old knight friend has decided to amass an army and conquer that realm that he left Morgan in he decides to ride to her rescue again. But to his surprise, Morgan has picked up a teenage werewolf that she is going to help her avenger her pack along with getting Vallen for leaving her in that realm to begin with. Doing the right thing is not going to be easy for Vallen.

This is my first book of Isabelle Saint-Michael’s and I loved it. You have the typical fantasy romance story that is turned on its head. I loved the conflict between Morgan and Vallen, neither knows how to back down from a fight and think they know how to solve problems for other people. And the snark from Heather and Young just make this story.

This is not going to be my last book from Isabelle Saint-Michael. I can’t wait to see what happens in Practical Uses for Princes With Pointed Ears and Holiday Spirit for Hire.

For more information on Dragon’s Guide to Slaying Virgins make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Isabelle Saint-Michael’s website.

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I received this book from World Wind Virtual Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Sonnets

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Sonnets

by Charles Gerard Timm

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The sonnet is the most useful and, arguably, the most-popular poetic form in English. Long-lived, brief, fashioned by rhyme, sharing private contemplation at its best. Here are thirty-three such momentary monuments.

Charles Gerard Timm

Charles Gerard Timm

Charles Gerard Timm is an American creative writer from New Jersey, thrilled to have his books available through Amazon. His writing has been called “inspirational,” “classic,” “poetic,” and “vivid.” He also acts and draws and hopes you find your time with his work well-spent. Please follow him on Twitter and visit charlesgerardtimm.com for more.

For more information on Sonnets or Charles’ other three books make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Smashwords.

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Assumptions bookcover

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The Asking and other stories . . . bookcover

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The One You Feed

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The Ones You Feed (Out of Darkness – 1) by James Drummond

5 stars

Excerpt from Goodreads) Like most kids who grew up in the small Oregon town of Silver Falls, Toby Hoffman had heard all the scary stories about the monsters living in the neighboring woods of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Now a teenager, he knows the stories are told to keep the town’s children from wandering where they aren’t wanted. However, when an unknown animal begins brutally attacking Silver Falls’ residents, Toby can’t help but wonder if one of the fables might be true.

Then his best friend, Nate, wakes up covered in blood in the reservation woods, with no recollection of whose blood it is or where it came from. Toby convinces himself that it’s time to take action—not an easy decision considering he’s barely left his room in over a month, still stricken with grief and guilt following a family tragedy.

With the help of Rachel, a determined Native American girl who has moved off the reservation and into the house next door, Toby searches for a way to save his hometown from further attacks. He also develops feelings for his new neighbor, which are put to the test when he and Rachel discover that certain mythical monsters really do exist and that her uncle may be responsible for their unexpected emergence.

To make matters worse, there’s also evidence that Nate is now one of the beasts and he has every intention of holding onto his extraordinary new creature capabilities—no matter the cost. In order to save Silver Falls from a true scary story, Toby will have to face off against his closest friend.

Toby Hoffman has lived his life in Silver Falls and has grown up on the stories of monsters in the woods. Now he is a teenager and is suffering from the loss of someone close. But there are strange murders happening in town. Although Toby doesn’t want to, he decides that with the help of his friends Nate and Rachel he is going to put a stop to them.

Nate has his own things going on. He wakes up covered in blood with no memory. He seems to have obtained supernatural powers and he is quick to embrace them. Toby gets the feeling that Nate knows more than he is telling and decides to press Nate. But there is a lot more than just Nate. Will Toby, Nate, and Rachel be able to stop the killer?

I absolutely loved this story. My heart broke for Tody but I loved how he decided to step up and find out what is going on. There is some mystery as to what is really going on. It is drawn through the book but it just keeps you wanting to find out what’s going to happen next. I loved the ending; the bad guy gets what he deserves.

This is a great young adult story. I can’t wait to read other stories by James Drummond.

seriesExcerpt

Rachel barely managed to hang up the phone before Bruce pulled her away from it. He turned them toward the stairs and began leading them up to the second floor.

Toby heard his father calling after them from the hallway. “Dammit, Bruce, I meant get them out of this house!”

Bruce paid no attention, yanking Toby and Rachel to the top of the stairs and then down the second-floor hall. Toby tried to pull away, but immediately felt Mr. Bennett tighten his grip.

Walter called out again from the living room. “Bruce! Get them out of here!”

The stubborn plant owner tugged the two of them into a dark room at the far end of the hallway and shut the door behind them. Toby stood in complete darkness for a second, then Bruce flipped on the lights to his upstairs study and locked the door.

“You think a locked door is going to stop them?” Toby asked incredulously.

“No,” Bruce answered as he strode over to an enormous oak armoire. He opened it to reveal several large-caliber weapons hanging on built-in custom racks. Removing a 20-gauge shotgun, he gave them both a wink. “This is.”

“No,” Toby moaned. “It’s not.”

 

Downstairs, Walter and Paul finished reloading their weapons, yet again, as the werewolves wobbled to their feet.

“I’m running out of ammunition here, Sheriff,” Paul said as he raised his rifle to fire another round into Willard. “That girl’s uncle better get here soon.”

Walter stepped cautiously toward Nate, getting just close enough to see the werewolf’s bullet wounds healing rapidly below its scruffy clumps of fur. Completely flummoxed and frustrated, he fired off three more rounds, but the pistol shots did more to anger Nate than hurt him.

The werewolf swiped at a coffee table, sending it flying into the sheriff. It struck him solidly in the chest and chin, sending him to the floor in a daze. His view now partially obstructed by the table, Walter could no longer see Paul, but he heard the hunter’s rifle blast as the creature lunged.

Both the werewolf and Paul moved into view as the beast clamped down on the hunter’s arm and, with a swing of its massive head, flung him clear across the room. Paul crashed into a life-sized portrait of Bruce Bennett and then tumbled to the floor. The werewolf pounced, clawing out the hunter’s throat with one swipe. Too concussed to take action, Walter could only watch as the creature reared back and unleashed a victorious howl.

 

All three of the frightened souls in the upstairs study jumped as Nate’s howl reverberated through the walls. Toby’s heart sank as he turned toward the doorway. Why weren’t they hearing more gunfire?

He took a step toward the door, wanting to go make sure his dad was okay, but then took several steps back when a snarl came from the outside hallway.

Bruce leveled his shotgun at the room’s entrance. “You kids, get behind me.”

Toby was going to do more than just get behind Mr. Bennett. If a werewolf was coming in, they needed to find another way out. He quickly surveyed the room and hustled over to the nearest window.

Flipping the latch, he slid open the lower pane and punched out the screen. Looking at the hard-packed dirt below, his first thought was that it would be a long jump. They’d get out of the room easily enough, but would be easy prey after twisting a knee or blowing out an ankle.

Then Toby looked up. It was a far more promising option.

“I think I can reach the roof,” he said, ducking his head back inside.

Before anyone could respond, Nate burst through the door. The sound of Bruce’s gun blast immediately filled the room and blood splattered the study wall. The creature collapsed right in front of the doorway, its chest left bloody and ragged from the shotgun’s powerful slug.

Toby eyed the wounded beast. If the group could climb over it, they’d be able to get back downstairs, but there was no way to tell how injured the monster really was. Toby had no intentions of getting close enough to find out. He glanced over at Rachel who seemed to be thinking the same thing.

“Roof sounds good,” she said.

Toby quickly shrugged off his jacket and dropped it to the floor, then climbed onto the windowsill. He steadied himself, getting a good grip on the outside of the frame, then leaned his body outside the window and stood up, all the while trying not to look down.

About a foot above his head was a copper gutter that ran the length of the house, a choice Mr. Bennett had possibly made to give his cabin a more rustic, historical appearance. Toby was just glad it looked sturdy. He reached up with one arm, pushing off his toes, and gave the gutter a good tug. It held. Determined not to let doubt set in, he hurriedly crouched down and took a deep breath.

Leaping up and to his right, Toby grabbed the gutter and pulled. Using his body’s momentum, he swung his right leg onto the roof’s slate shingles. It landed and stuck, but only for a moment. The shingle below his sneaker suddenly gave way, and the next thing Toby knew, he was swinging back past the window.

“Toby!” he heard Rachel call out from inside.

He held tight as his momentum swung him to his left. His upper arms burning, he frantically kicked his left foot onto the shingles. Everything stayed put this time. Grunting and panting with the effort, Toby strained to pull himself up over the gutter and then rolled onto the roof.

 

Seeing that Toby had found his way safety, Rachel turned away from the window briefly to watch Bruce cautiously approach Nate and poke the werewolf with the barrel of his shotgun.

“Think I killed the bastard,” Rachel heard him mumble.

Her eyes moved to the creature. The intense prickling she felt spreading throughout her body, which she’d come to recognize as some sort of werewolf sixth sense, told her something different. Things in this room were about to take a turn for the worse. She wanted out of there before they did. Rachel spun around and stepped up onto the windowsill.

“Hey,” Bruce called out to her. “I said I think I killed the bast—”

The werewolf jerked its head up and chomped down on the plant owner’s upper right arm. Then, in the blink of an eye, it tore the limb clear off. A shocking amount of blood spilled from the wound. Tossing the appendage aside, the beast knocked its stunned victim to the floor and completed its assault by splitting open Bruce’s chest with its five-inch claws.

Lifting her other foot onto the windowsill, Rachel frantically reached into the air. Not feeling any hands grabbing hers, she looked up for Toby, but he was nowhere to be found.

“Toby!”

His head and shoulders suddenly emerged, and he quickly stretched an arm toward her. “C’mon. Grab my hand.”

Rachel reached up again, and Toby grasped her wrist. She wrapped both of her hands around his and held on tight.

Glancing back inside the room, she saw Nate gnawing on Bruce’s head like it was a chew toy. The creature peered up to notice her hanging outside the window, and they locked eyes. She felt like bait dangling there, and apparently looked like it too. Having polished off its original target, the werewolf released the slaughtered Mr. Bennett and took a step toward her.

“Grab the gutter,” Toby grunted. “You need to pull too.”

Rachel looked up to see he was starting to slide off the roof. She quickly let go with one of her hands and grasped the copper gutter, straining to lift herself as Toby pulled her up by her other arm. Her torso had just cleared the roof’s edge when she heard the werewolf’s heavy paws trotting across the study’s hardwood floor.

It was coming for her.

A sudden explosion of knotty pine paneling, wood window framing, and Owens Corning showered Rachel as the werewolf broke through the window and part of the second-story wall. As she was hoisted upward, she caught a glimpse of the creature through all the debris, seeing it snap at her heels and just barely miss. Then she saw the sky as Toby grabbed her by the belt and rolled her over his body and onto the roof.

 

“It was going to kill me,” Rachel said between jagged gasps. “Whoever that thing is, it was definitely going to—”

“I know.” Toby’s pulse roared in his ears as he lay next to the freshly made crater in the lodge’s roof and second-story wall. According to Bimisi Chochopi, the Shaman hadn’t attacked Rachel because she wasn’t among his sworn enemies. Nate and Willard didn’t appear to have the same ability to discriminate. At least Toby hoped that was the case. Otherwise, one of his best friends had just knowingly tried to bite Rachel and him in half.

Toby maneuvered his way around busted timber and plaster, inching his way towards the roof’s edge. In the yard below, he saw what he assumed was Nate, or possibly Willard, glaring up at him with those luminous yellow eyes. The stare down only lasted a few seconds.

With an aggravated snarl, the werewolf turned and loped off into the forest.

For more information or to purchase The One We Feed make sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

Reading Addiction

I received The One’s You Feed from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Deceptions

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Deceptions (Cainsville – 3) by Kelley Armstrong

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) TRUST NO ONE

Olivia Jones is desperate for the truth. The daughter of convicted serial killers, she has begun to suspect that her parents are innocent of their crimes. But who can she trust, in a world where betrayal and deception hide in every shadow?

RISK EVERYTHING

Liv does have one secret weapon: a mysterious sixth sense that helps her to anticipate danger. The trouble is, this rare power comes with its own risks. There are dark forces that want to exploit Liv’s talents – and will stop at nothing to win her to their side.

FACE THE TRUTH

Now Liv must decide, before it’s too late. Who does she love? Who is really on her side? And can she save herself without burning down everything that matters most?

The fae of Cainsville and the Wild Hunt are still after Olivia and Gabriel. Olivia is having visions that are nearly killing her with a fever but she has to see them through to get answers. When Olivia learns the truth about Matilda, Gwynn, and Arawn Olivia finally learns how Gabriel, Ricky and she are linked in this fight and not participating is not an option.

Gabriel is starting to have feelings about Olivia, not romantic in a sense but just a sense of connection to another person. Then he is arrested for murder. It’s clear that someone wants him out of the picture and will do anything to accomplish that goal.

I really love this series. You have lots of action, a great romance, and the broken man that has a huge role if he can figure out how to mend the damage. Olivia is such a strong female character yet she has the tendency to try and run from her problems. I can’t wait to see how this series ends!!

I have read a lot of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series which I love. I had not heard of the Cainsville series until I was offered Deceptions for review. All I can say is this is a series that you HAVE to read. I have yet to read a bad book from Kelle Armstrong. Now I can’t wait for the next two books!!

For more information on Deceptions or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Kelley Armstrong’s website.

I received Deceptions from Penguin Random House for free in exchange for an honest review.

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