Archive for January, 2016


I’m happy to say that today I am part of the cover release for the book The Temperament Scepter.

The Temperament Scepter by Allix Booth

Alexandria Roe’s haunted past comes to life when she turns sixteen. Her hallucinations and fevers spark a premonition of her family’s death. A darkness shadows her, but her struggle for answers lead to more than she bargained. Will she be consumed by her fears or overcome what waits beyond the horizon?

A Dragon Lord from the Northern Isles of Alabass conquers all kingdoms in his wake. He hungers for power, but thirsts for the three amethysts. Each gem’s unique ability is absorbed by the person that wields it. If all three are united, the power will bring to life the scepter, which unlocks the ancient prison. What lies in the depths can only be discovered by the holder of the Temperament Scepter.

Make sure to check out the cover release party here.

And be sure to check out the release day party on March 16 here.

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The Right Hand Rule


The Right Hand Rule by R.M. Clark

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Amy, Amanda, Marshall, and Ziggy expect their middle school to be empty on Saturday morning so they can get ready for the regional science fair. They don’t expect a botched experiment to attract a horde of time-displaced ancient Mayans when their unusual science advisor, Frederick Froth, goes missing.

The four must use their unique science skills and work together as they grapple with a Mayan god, the Dark Rift, and the principles of science to rescue Mr. Froth.


My Review

4 stars

Amy, Amanda, Marshall, and Ziggy are at school on a Saturday to try and get their science fair projects put together. But when the Mayan god of earthquakes and death shows up and the science advisor disappears, it is up to the kids to save him. They each have their own areas they prefer but this is not going to be enough to save Mr. Froth. Although the kids don’t really get along in normal middle school, they are going to have to learn to work together to solves the puzzles that they come across.

I really liked this book. Each kids has their own perks and although they don’t normal get along I love how they learn to work together. Each puzzle starts out where one kids can basically solve with their skills but eventually the puzzles change. That was about in the middle of the story and that is where things really pick up. As an adult I really like the science in the book. There are real, applicable facts and such that give the kids a chance for some real learning along with the great story.

This is a wonderful book for both midgrade readers and adults. This is my secondbook by RM Clark and I will be watching out for other books of his. I recommend you check this one out.

To purchase The Right Hand Rule make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads

I received The Right Hand Rule for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Dystopian

Date Published: January 26, 2016

In order to restore peace after the Dawn of Dae, the United States has declared martial law. Enforcing the militant regime won’t be easy, and a new policing force of dae and their bonded humans has been mustered to keep the populace under tight control.

Alexa wants nothing to do with the government, its army, or the special forces meant to keep rebellion at bay, but she has a choice: do what Kenneth Smith wants or die a quick death. As one of the unawakened, she has no chance of infiltrating the police on her own. Forced to partner with Kenneth’s dae, who dislikes her almost as much as she dislikes it, her life hinges on how well she convinces others she’s a big, bad monster just like them instead of an ordinary human woman.

Working for the police is no easier than dealing with Kenneth’s work. During the day, she’s a part of the law, but at night, she’s a tool of crime and war. It’s only a matter of time before she’s caught–or fails her mission and is killed by her drug-dealing boss.

If she wants to live a free life, she’ll need to take care of Kenneth once and for all. Since he won’t listen to reason and let her go, she’s determined to buy her freedom with his death.

Unfortunately, Kenneth isn’t the only problem in her life, and unless she does something about Rob, she’ll lose the independence she fought so hard for. Worse, unless she’s careful, he’ll make her like it…


My Review

5 stars

The government is trying to maintain peace or order after Dawn of Dae. There is martial law and strange new laws. Alexa is now on a mission to buy her freedom from Kenneth. To do so she partners with Kenneth’s dae, who hates her just as much as she hates it, to join the police force. Things are just going to keep getting complicated trying to live as a cop during the day and for a criminal at night. With the help of Rob and Colby she might just make it through.

This is a crazy story but a great one. You learn more about the Dae and this story starts to make sense, in a crazy sort of way. I loved Alexa, she is a woman on a mission and will do everything she can to kill Kenneth and get her freedom from him. I really liked how Rob and her have become closer. Their banter helps make them even more of a great couple in my mind.

I am really starting to love this series. It’s odd and out there but it really starts growing on you. It is definitely original and one of my favorite series. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope there is another book.

To purchase Unawakened make sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

Don’t forget to check out the first book in the series – Dawn of Dae.


The Dawn of Dae (Dae Portals – 1) by Trillian Anderson

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The chance to attend college is just what Alexa Daegberht needs to break out the mold of her caste. If she can become a Bach, she can escape the poverty she’s endured ever since her parents died when she was five. Only through education can she rise above her birth caste–and she knows it.

All of her plans fall to dust when she opens a portal within her refrigerator, turning her macaroni and cheese casserole into a sentient being. By dawn the next day, the mysterious dae have come to Earth to stay. Hundreds of thousands of people vanish into thin air, and as the days pass, the total of the missing number in the millions. Some say it’s the rapture of the Christian faith.

Alexa knows better: their dae ate them, leaving behind nothing more than dust as evidence of their hunger.

As one of the unawakened, she doesn’t have a dae, nor can she manifest any forms of magical powers. She’s lacking the innate knowledge of what the dae are and what they mean for the world. Now more than ever, she is an outsider. Her survival hinges on her ability to adapt to a world she no longer understands.

Unfortunately, one of the dae has taken notice of her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her. Alexa’s problems pile up as she’s forced to pick her allegiances. Will she submit to the new ways of the world? Will she become some monster’s pawn? Or, against all odds, can she forge her own path and prove normal humans can thrive among those gifted with powers once the domain of fantasies and nightmares?


My Review

4 stars

Alexa’s world is pretty close to ours except there is a caste system. It is not really explained but when Alexa’s parents die she is pushed to the lowest caste. A local drug dealer, Kenneth picked her up and uses her to find people and things that he needs. All the while Alexa is trying to improve her caste with an education. But when she returns home one day to find that her macaroni and cheese is alive and a strange man stepping out of her refrigerator she thinks that Kenneth slipped her something. The day just keeps getting stranger.

The Dae have come into Alexa’s world. The Dae are all fantasy creatures that you can think of and plenty more. They either merge with humans, protect them, or eat them. Now Alexa has to try and survive in this new world. She does find a Dae attracted to her for her pain and another that wants to protect her. Of course she is going to be strong willed and not let anyone help her. But that is not a choice that she can make in this new world.

Alexa feels like a real person, she is down and out and trying her hardest to improve her place in life. The Dae are strange, creative, and insane. There are so many different creatures and you can’t just them by how they look. Yes, I admit that Colby was a kick in the shorts and quickly became my favorite character.

I did find it a little challenging to figure out what was going on since the caste system wasn’t really explained. I also was surprised that it was not that surprising when the Dae started appearing and the mass amount of people that disappear. You would think humans would be a little more surprise, upset, something?

Over all I really liked this book. It did take a little to get into the story, but once I did I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Alexa. Make sure to check what happens in Unawakened.

To purchase Dawn of Dae make sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

Reading Addiction

I received both The Dawn of Dae and Unawakened for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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The Changing Season by Steven Manchester

This was supposed to be a simple summer for Billy: one more lazy expanse of time before college began. He’d fill the hours playing with Jimmy—his canine best buddy—going camping and doing all the things he promised Jimmy they’d do before Billy left. But that was before the accident that shook the entire town. It was before the summer job that turned into something so much more than a way to get a paycheck. And it was before Vicki. This summer was destined to be many things to Billy, things he didn’t truly understand until now. But it was definitely not going to be simple.

An enormously touching, richly textured, deeply moving novel of new adulthood, The Changing Season is an experience to savor—with special appeal to dog lover’s.

Steven Manchester

Steven Manchester

Steven Manchester is the author of four #1 bestsellers: Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island. His long-anticipated novel, The Changing Season, is currently available for pre-order. Steve is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian. He has written A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novelette), Just in Time (novelette) and The Thursday Night Club (novella), while his work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series and he is the produced playwright of Three Shoeboxes. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.

The Changing Season excerpt

The beach was nearly deserted. After erecting their tent and establishing a cozy campsite, Jimmy trotted to the water. As Billy looked on, the silver-faced mutt walked in slowly—like an old man easing himself into a warm bath—the reckless abandon he’d once been known for completely gone.

Jimmy swam for a bit before sitting in the shallows with the water line at his chest.

Billy waded in and took a seat beside him where they sat for a long while, looking out onto the horizon. While the tide gently lapped at their chests, Billy wrapped his arm around Jimmy’s shoulder. “This is the life,” he whispered.

A seagull landed on the sand a few feet from them. Jimmy just sat there, watching the squawking bird with mild interest. “You must be tired, Jimmy. Back in the day, you would have chased that vulture until you collapsed.”

Jimmy stood and took chase, but it was a haphazard effort.

“Half-stepper,” Billy teased the dog and stood to go for a walk and dry off.

As they strolled along the coastline, Jimmy shook the salt water from his coat. He also took breaks, long breaks, acting like he was exploring.

“I know you’re stalling,” Billy told him, “and it’s okay.” At least your spirit’s still willing, Billy thought, getting choked up.

When Jimmy slowed even more, Billy headed for the campsite. The sea grasses had lost their summer hue and were now brittle, snapping in half as Billy and Jimmy walked through the abandoned dunes.

They reached camp and sat together again where Billy discovered that the pads on Jimmy’s paws were dry and cracked. One was even bleeding, which Jimmy licked for some time. Billy pulled the big moose into his lap. “Too many miles on those old tires, huh?” he whispered, before noticing the patch of missing fur on the mutt’s hind quarter—a souvenir from a vicious fight he’d won in his glory days. A mean stray had swaggered into the backyard looking for trouble. Unwilling to let it go, Jimmy gave the growling stranger all the trouble he could handle. That one battle scar had been rubbed and patted thousands of times throughout the years, the family being forever grateful for Jimmy’s sacrificial love and fearless devotion. As they sat side-by-side, Billy rubbed it again.

Resting his head in Billy’s lap, Jimmy’s eyes squinted while he enjoyed the heavy scratching.

Billy worked his hand up the old dog’s body, stroking Jimmy’s head and kneading the scruff of his neck. “I love you, buddy,” he said. “You know that, right?”

Jimmy licked Billy’s hand.

“And I need to go away pretty soon…to college.”

Jimmy licked him again.

“The last thing in the world I want is to leave you, but I…” Billy stopped from going any further. A wave of tears was waiting to break on the shore just behind his eyes.

As though Jimmy understood, he nestled deeper into Billy’s lap and began giving Billy’s hand a thorough bath.

With his free hand, Billy rubbed Jimmy’s chest up and down—fast and hard—exactly the way the old mutt liked it. As he did, he looked up and noticed a bank of even darker clouds had gathered above. “Looks like rain,” he told Jimmy. “Hopefully, there’s no thunder.”

They napped in the tent, Jimmy appearing much less worried about his nails on the air mattress than Billy. They curled up together, the rain pitter-pattering on the light canvas above. “It’s just a shower,” Billy told him. As good a guess as any meteorologist would make, Billy thought, though it doesn’t matter either way. As they began to nod off in each other’s arms, Jimmy snored peacefully. Billy stared at his best friend’s face, studying every nook and cranny—memorizing every crease and line. But it was silly. He knew Jimmy’s face better than his own. And I’m going to miss it something awful, he thought, swallowing back the lump in his throat. While the rain picked up and began thumping on the tent’s roof, Billy closed his eyes.

When they awoke from their afternoon siesta, Jimmy stood on the wobbly air mattress and yipped in pain. Once the sound of playful banter, Billy knew it was from pain now. “You okay?” he asked, massaging the dog’s haunches and working out the knots as he’d watched Arlene do many times. “Feel better now?” he asked, stopping.

Jimmy reached up with his right paw and scratched Billy’s hand, gesturing that he continue.

After a few more minutes, Billy stopped again. “Better?” he asked.

Jimmy licked Billy’s face once before slowly stepping off the jelly-like mattress.

Billy hurried to throw two baby aspirin into a glob of peanut butter and fed it to the mutt.

When they came out of hibernation, the air was cool and fresh. The trees glistened from the rain. Billy looked up. The clouds had dispersed, leaving behind the last of the day’s light.

The sunset was a palate of coral pinks and greens, with swirls of purple brushed in. The light softened—like the ambiance of an expensive romantic dinner, before fading into the distance and becoming twilight. There was a giant pause, as if the world collectively exhaled after filing another day into the history books. Billy and Jimmy sat together on a sturdy fold-out chair, silently sharing the magic. Billy took a deep breath and sighed.

Jimmy did the same.

Billy laughed. “Copycat,” he whispered.

The beach had always been the place where Jimmy was free to romp and roam—to explore. And each year he did just that. But not this year. Jimmy nuzzled into Billy’s lap again, where he awaited the attention Billy had always showered on him.

“You’re a good boy,” Billy whispered, as he scratched the gentle canine under his chin. He shook his head. “Although you haven’t been a boy for a long time.”

In what seemed like minutes, a million flickering stars covered the dark sky. Billy and Jimmy got up to take another stroll. They walked a few feet when they happened upon a giant puddle. Moonlight was trapped in the puddle, along with Billy and Jimmy’s reflections—the two of them standing knee to shoulder. While Billy smiled, Jimmy bent at the water’s edge and began to drink, sending ripples through the portrait. “Don’t drink that, Jimmy,” Billy scolded him. “You have fresh water back in the tent.”

Jimmy paid him no mind and kept lapping loudly, slobbering all over himself and depositing an equal amount of back wash.

Billy shook his head. “Whatever, it’s your stomach.”

They made it down to the water’s edge again and stood together in the silence for a long, long while. It was as though neither of them wanted the night to end, as though both of them needed more time together. Billy closed his eyes and listened to the tide. The ebb and flow was constant but random, like surround sound lapping the shore on the left, right and center.

The night grew cold, real cold for the time of year. Billy was surprised he and Jimmy couldn’t see their breath. The drop in temperature was significant, reminding Billy once again that summer was quickly coming to an end. It was a cold slap to the face—literally. I’m moving away in just a week, he thought. One week! He looked down at Jimmy, glad that his furry friend had no concept or fear of time.

Billy built a campfire, which wasn’t easy considering that everything was still damp from the rain shower. But sitting by a campfire had always been his and Jimmy’s thing, the perfect atmosphere to spend quality time together, so he worked hard to get the fire going.

They sat together in silence for a long time, hypnotized by the swaying flames and the rhythm of the rolling tide. When it was time to turn in for the night, Jimmy licked his paw, running it across his face for the day’s final bath. They both stood and stretched, leaving behind a handful of glowing embers and heading for the tent.

Kneeling beside the air mattress, Billy said his prayers. As he crawled in beside Jimmy, he left on the battery-operated lantern for his timid, four-legged friend, knowing that two D cell batteries would be killed in the process.

While Jimmy snored, Billy watched as their silhouettes moved randomly on the ceiling of the tent. He locked onto them, hypnotized by the shadows dancing above. His eyes grew heavy and he yawned. Within seconds, the shadows grew smaller until they disappeared.

Billy watched Jimmy—as a puppy—crying because the bedspread was covering his eyes. Jimmy’s claustrophobic, he realized. “It’s play time,” he told the dog, tricking Jimmy into thinking they were going to horse around. The garden hose and bottle of dog shampoo, however, made the smart dog whimper. Billy laughed. When he looked back, Jimmy was stretched out flat on his belly, all four legs pin straight like he’d been strapped to the torturer’s rack. Billy did a double-take and Jimmy was wearing the cone of shame so he didn’t bite at his stitches after being neutered. Poor guy, Billy thought, and then yelled at the dog after he’d torn a pillow to shreds. In the next scene, an older Jimmy chomped on ice cubes, spraying them everywhere like a broken snow cone machine. And then they were fishing, both of them young again. Jimmy whined as he watched the small perch swim in circles in the bucket. He placed his paw on the lip of the pail, pulling it to him and dumping the flopping fish into the grass—in some sad attempt at freeing the prisoners. Billy laughed again and a moment later, he was watching on in horror as Sophie dressed the poor dog in some ridiculous outfit for one of her lively tea parties. Sophie played with Jimmy’s ears, his paws, his tail; the mutt just lay there, as if he understood it was the price he had to pay for free meals. Jimmy’s the ultimate pilot fish. Billy shook his head, while a water sprinkler soaked the summer grass and Jimmy exhibited another example of his terrible drinking habits. Billy could see himself falling out the tree in the backyard and grabbing his arm; the pain was mind numbing. While he healed, Jimmy never left his side. Billy then looked down to find that his cast was gone. He looked up again and Jimmy was smiling at him, his teeth covered in tartar build-up. “Have you been kissing a skunk?” he teased the dog. “You have a bad case of gingivitis, buddy…or is it halitosis?” Billy passed the groomer’s window and noticed that he’d grown tall. Jimmy was beyond ecstatic to see him; his nails had been clipped, his fur trimmed but his eyes were as wide as two chocolate pies. “What did she do to you, boy?” Billy teased the frightened dog.

Billy awoke, panting like a dog himself. He looked over at his tent mate, who was still snoring peacefully on the air mattress. “Oh Jimmy,” he muttered and wrapped his arm around the drooling heap.

Billy shook the cobwebs from his head and tried to make sense of it all. It was just a dream, he realized. Fragmented and confused in time and context, he’d dreamed about Jimmy. There were glimpses of the past and present merged together, as though Jimmy’s life had been thrown into a blender and Billy was enjoying each experience with him a second time. He pushed himself closer to Jimmy until he could feel the rise and fall of the dog’s breathing. “I love you so much, buddy,” he whispered, before falling back to sleep.

To purchase The Changing Season make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, or Steven Manchester’s website. For more information on The Changing Season check out The Story Plant’s website.

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The Book of Secrets


The Book of Secrets (Forbidden Books – 2) by David Michael Slater

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The world was turning out to be not just a book of secrets, but a whole library full.

Dexter and Daphna Wax have learned incredible secrets. Their mother was thousands of years old and on a Council devoted to destroying the First Tongue. And there are connivers, like Asterious Rash, who would do anything to learn Words of Power. They also know the Words were hidden in the Book of Nonsense.

But now it’s out of their hands, and they may not survive long enough to get it back.

The twins might stand a chance of completing their mother’s mission—if they can get on the same page—but danger looms closer to home than they ever thought possible.

And the new secrets Dex and Daphna uncover are ones they never wanted to know.


My Review

5 stars

Daphna and Dexter have just survived their brush with Asterius Rash. But there is so much more going on. Their dad Milton is recovering from the bump on his head. But he is continually getting worse. He keeps saying the name Adem Tarik and keeps looking worse and worse. Why does Milton keep saying that name and feeling like he is failing as a father? Then there is the son of the coffee shop owner in Turkey, a truck load of copies of the Book of Nonsense, words of power, and a bully that has his eyes set on both Dex and Daphna. The kids have their hands full, hopefully they can keep their dad safe and both the Ledger and Book of Nonsense out of the hands of Adem Tarik.

This is a great sequel to The Book of Nonsense. Neither Daphna nor Dex can part with the Ledger and the Book of Nonsense and being able to read them and use the words with power is very tempting and both use the words they have learned yet try to keep the secret from the other one. Things take an interesting turn when they find the coffee shop that their father visited in Turkey years prior, even though he doesn’t like coffee and that leads to another headache for the kids to try and fix. The bully doesn’t make things any easier for the kids either.

This is a great story for midgrade reader to adults. I couldn’t help but cheer the kids along each step of the way. And the ending, I was really surprised and can’t wait to see how this is going to affect the kids in the next book.

If you are looking for a wonderful fantasy book, look no further. This is a great series with lots of twists and turns and it will appeal to anyone. Make sure to get your copy today.

To purchase your copy make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and David Michael Slater’s website.

I received The Book of Secrets for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Kings or Pawns

Well I missed this one, I just knew I was forgetting something yesterday. Anyway, here is my review for Kings or Pawns.


Kings or Pawns (The Kings: Book 1, Steps of Power – 1) by JJ Sherwood

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The first book in JJ Sherwood’s Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.-The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and The Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem becomes the king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and daring, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but quickly finds his loyal council members brutally murdered by an assassin loosed within the city.

As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

JJ Sherwood

J.J. Sherwood lives in Ohio with her husband and four near-identical cats. KINGS OR PAWNS is J.J.’s widely anticipated debut novel, and is the first book of The Kings quartet. The series is set in the high fantasy world of Aersadore, home to hundreds of characters who all clamor for J.J.’s attention. To learn more about the trials and tribulations of General Jikun and King Hairem, visit StepsofPower.com. J.J. Sherwood will be at the tenth Fandom Fest Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky this coming August 7th-9th.


My Review

5 stars

The city of Elvorium has become corrupted and is now run by the counsel of Elves. Years prior, the king left the city because of this corruption. But now Prince Hairem going to try to get rid of the counsel of Elves and clean the kingdom. But this is not going to be an easy task. The counsel’s power reaches further than he realized. Those few council members that Hairem has managed to persuade to his ideas are being found murdered. There is an assassin that is bound and determined to keep Hairem from taking full control from the counsel. Now Hairem has to figure out who is friend or foe, who really wants to help him or kill him, and he has to keep Saebellus from attacking Sevrigel.

This is an amazing story. There is so much detail that I felt right there in Sevrigel. There are a wide variety of characters but they all were beautifully described. I couldn’t help but cheer for Hairem, he is trying to do the impossible by removing the corruption from Elvorium. If that was not a big enough task he also has to deal with an assassin killing loyal council members and Saebellus trying to invade Elvorium. His work is definitely cut out for him.

If you like epic fantasy stories I recommend you get a copy of Kings or Pawns. This is the first book by JJ Sherwood and I cannot wait for the next one.

To purchase Kings or Pawns make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and JJ Sherwood’s website.


I received Kings or Pawns from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Win 1 of 20 copies of Kings or Pawns

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The Book of Nonsense


The Book of Nonsense (Forbidden Books – 1) by David Michael Slater

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Before there were books, there were Words of Power, and those who spoke them could rule the world…

Dexter and Daphna Wax don’t quite fit in, even with each other. She loves reading and he loathes it, but neither is pleased by their “special” thirteenth birthday gift, a ruined old book full of nonsense.

But the moment it enters the twins’ lives, bizarre things begin to happen. Why is their father, who found the book, suddenly so distant? Is the old man who took it from him some kind of hypnotist? Why is a giant, red-eyed boy stalking them?

Now Dex and Daphna have to work together to stop the old man from ruining their lives. But as they unravel the secrets of The Book of Nonsense, they will discover the truth about their own extraordinary destiny.


My Review

5 stars

Daphna and Dex are pre-teen twins that find themselves on an adventure when their father brings home a rare magical book. Their father, Milton, works as a book scout. He seems to always be off on adventures looking for rare books. He brings one home with him and Daphna convinces him to take his books to the new store that just opened, Antiquarian Book Center or abc. There they meet the owner, Asterius Rash.

Rash knows that the book is a magical Book of Nonsense and must own it. He uses mind control on Milton and a strange kids that watches the twins. Now the twins must work together to save their dad and keep the Book of Nonsense out of Rash’s hands.

I really liked this story. I could relate to Daphna’s love of books even if she comes across as a know it all. I felt for Dex, I could understand why he doesn’t like reading. Although the twins fought like cats and dogs they do work together to keep the book from Rash’s hands. Rash was a creepy bad guy and I liked his role in the story.

This is a great story with lots of action and a really evil bad guy. I can’t wait to see what happened in the next book. This is a great story for mid-grader readers and adults alike. Make sure to get yourself a copy of The Book of Nonsense.

To purchase The Book of Nonsense make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and David Michael Slater’s website.

I received a copy of The Book of Nonsense for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Upper West Side Story


Upper West Side Story by Susan Pashman

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Upper West Side Story is a tale of friendships between people of different races.

The narrator, Bettina Grosjean, is a professor of Women’s History, and her husband, a high-ranking environmental policymaker in the New York City mayor’s office. Once a pair of student radicals, they are now raising their two brainy children on New York’s Upper West Side.

Their fierce parental love is tested in a startling eruption of racial hostility and political chicanery within the very community they have long loved and helped to build. Their world is suddenly thrown into crisis by a shocking and tragic event: During a school field trip, their son Max and his best friend, Cyrus, are horsing around when, in a freak accident, Cyrus falls down a flight of stairs, and dies a few days later.

The fact that Cyrus is black, that his mother is Bettina’s closest friend–that jealousy, suspicion and resentment have long been simmering in the community, and that there are powerful political forces at work as well–all conspire to reveal an ugly underbelly of the community the Grosjeans have worked so hard to shape into a model of an enlightened, multiracial world.

Upper West Side Story portrays a remarkable multi-racial friendship, the love of two women united by their ideals and their devotion to their children, then divided by events that spiral out of control.

With cries for racial justice again rising up all over our country, Upper West Side Story is a story you will want to read.


My Review

5 stars

Bettina and Stephen Grosjean have two kids, 13 year old Max and 9 year old Nellie. Both have high pressure jobs that look at the world from almost opposing sides. This has strained their marriage. Max is on a field trip and accidently pushes his best friend, Cyrus down some stairs. Cyrus is rushed to the hospital and initially the event is figured to be an accident by the police. But when Cyrus dies the fact that he is black makes everyone believe this is a racially fueled, intentional incident. Max finds himself in juvenile detention and Bettina and Stephen find themselves fighting for their child.

With the current events in our country today this is a great story to go along with them. Max and Cyrus are best friends and this is clearly a horrible accident. But once the media and everyone else learns that Cyrus is black they instantly turn it into a racial issue. I loved how Bettina and Stephen come together to fight this charge. I really liked how both mothers where there for their kids too.

This story is well told with a lot of truths in it. The characters are beautifully described and it broke my heart to follow along with Bettina. The story is told from Bettina’s perspective and journal entries from Max. I really liked that even though this is all happening, Bettina still struggles to keep her friendship with Cyrus’ mother. But even better is Stephen, he is wrapped up in the political view of Cyrus’ death. Usually you see politicians folding for the popular vote. I loved how he stuck to his guns, fought for his marriage, and was still there for his son.

This is a great story that really fits with present day situations. I think everyone should read this book.

To purchase Upper West Side Story make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Susan Pashman’s website.

I received a copy of Upper West Side Story for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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The Undoing


The Undoing by Averil Dean

(Excerpt from Goodreads) On a bitter January evening, three people are found murdered in the isolated Blackbird hotel.

Best friends since childhood, Eric, Rory and Celia have always been inseparable. Together they’ve coped with broken homes and damaged families, clinging to each other as they’ve navigated their tenuous lives. Their bond is potent and passionate—and its intensity can be volatile.

When the trio decides to follow Celia’s dream of buying and renovating the Blackbird, a dilapidated hotel that sits on the perilous cliffs of Jawbone Ridge, new jealousies arise and long-held suspicions start to unravel their relationship. Soon they find themselves pushed to the breaking point, where trust becomes doubt, longing becomes obsession, and someone will commit the ultimate betrayal.

An unflinching story of ambition, desire and envy, The Undoing traces the events leading to that fateful night, revealing the intimate connections, dark secrets and terrible lies that wove them together—and tore them apart.


My Review

4 stars

We start the book with Julian Moss leaping to his death from a pine tree into a ravine. From there the story revolves around three people: Eric, Rory, and Celia. Celia and Rory are step siblings. Their parents married when they were around 10 years of age. Both are best friends with Eric, who comes with his own baggage that helps keep the three together. Together they buy and start renovating an old hotel, the Blackbird. But jealousy starts to run rampant and the tight group is going to be broken apart.

This was an interesting read, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The story is told backward. You start with Julian committing suicide, his arrival at the Blackbird the day before, and on from there. I admit that I was kinds of lost at the beginning of each chapter and had to keep flipping back and forth to figure out where in time that part of the story was at. But this is a story that you need to read it that way. You just get the feeling that there is more to the story but it was better revealed in reverse.

This was a good thriller and I admit that I couldn’t figure out what was going on until the end. It was such a tangle of selfishness, jealousy, and such that it took me a while to figure out what really happened. This is a great story and if you like messed up romances, selfish playboys, and an old hotel that is being remodeled for a bed and bath, you will really like this story.

To purchase The Undoing make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Averil Dean’s website.

I received The Undoing for free from Harlequin/MIRA/HQN in exchange for an honest review.

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Planetfall by Emma Newman

(Excerpt from Goodreads) From the award-nominated author Emma Newman, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…


My Review

3 stars

Twenty years ago, Suh-Mi and Ren we lovers when Suh-Mi starting having visions about leaving a failing Earth to start a colony in space at a location that only she knew. With the help of Mack, they put together a colony of people that shared their idea and left the Earth. There were some troubles they had upon Plantfall, like a group of the colonists not making it to the planet, and other difficulties.

Present day, Mack and Ren have lots of secrets, but no one knows about them. Until a young man, Sung-Soo arrives at the colony. Where he come from is a mystery and more troubling is he shares DNA with Suh-Mi, who went into a structure they call God’s City. This is troubling for Mack and Ren since they know that truth of what really happened on Planetfall and know that the truth will be coming out with the arrival of Sung-Soo. The question is if the colonists will be able to live with the truth.

It is obvious Ren and Mack have a lot of secrets but you don’t find out about them until closer to the end of the story, which I admit does get a little annoying. Beyond that I can’t say that I really liked Ren. She clearly had issues relating to Planetfall and mental illness. I did like how this is part of the story. You don’t really have issues like this in most books. Sung-Soo is a great character. You don’t know if he is completely innocent or if there is more going on.

I admit that I didn’t like the end of the story. It works to end everything but I’m not a fan of endings like this. I have not read other books by Emma Newman and I do feel that I will check out her other books. As for Planetfall, it is not a bad book. There are good parts in it. But I don’t know if I would read it again knowing what I know now.

To purchase Planetfall make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Emma Newman’s website.

I received Planetfall for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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