Archive for October 10th, 2017

Halloween is Murder


Halloween is Murder (McKinley Mysteries – 11) by Carolyn Arnold

Beware of all that goes bump in the night…

Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.

But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.

As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.

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Author’s Bio

CAROLYN ARNOLD is the international bestselling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that never kept her from dreaming big. On par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives outside Toronto with her husband and beagle. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

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My Review

5 stars

It’s Halloween and Sara and Sean McKinley has decorated their house up as a haunted house. There are lots of goodies inside and out and all profits go to a local charity. They even have a reporter, Chloe Parsons filming a little bit about everything. Things are going well until they see the news later that day and learn that Chloe has been found dead. The police don’t seem to really be looking into her death and Sara has a feeling that she was murdered. Sara talks Sean into looking into her death and they learn that there is a lot more to her story than what you see.

This is a great cozy mystery. Quick to read but will keep you guessing at who killed Chloe. There are several people that won’t miss her and Sara is determined to solve the case when her sister asked them to look into it. They are great investigators, even when they find themselves in a little deep. I just love how well Sean and Sara get along. But the thing that really got me was the charity work. I understand the Haunted House for charity. But I loved the PI firm that runs from charity. What a great idea!!

This is a great cozy mystery with a Halloween theme. It is the first book of Carolyn Arnold’s that I have read but it will not be the last. I can’t wait to start this series from the beginning.

I received Halloween is Murder from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Last Swordmage

The Last Swordmage
Magic of Solendrea Book 1
by Martin F. Hengst
Genre: Epic Fantasy
After being sold into slavery by her father and accused of a murder she
didn’t commit, Tiadaria finds herself facing the executioner’s axe.
The only thing standing in the way is the village Constable.

After thirty years of loyal service to the Imperium, Royce retired to
King’s Reach as the village’s Constable. He thought it would be
the perfect place to rest, relax, and die in peace. He was wrong. In
an unexpected complication, the slave with her neck on the block
seems to possess the same magic Royce has hidden all his life.
Paying off Tiadaria’s bond, Royce takes possession the slave. Now he must
teach her to trust him, teach her to fight, and teach her about her
unique abilities before they both run out of time. An ancient menace,
the Xarundi, have returned. They are the most dangerous enemy
humanity has ever faced, and they have a thousand years of
bloodthirsty vengeance to exact.

My Review

4 stars

Tiadaria is sold into slavery by her father, abused by the other slaves, and involved in a murder. She is in King’s Reach and finds herself facing a chopping block. But it will be up to Royce, the Constable to decide her fate. Royce notices that Tiadaria has the same abilities he has. Royce can’t let her be killed and purchases her. Royce then has the task of trying to gain Tiadaria’s trust then train her to use her abilities. But the Xarundi, enemies of the land, have gathered and are planning on an attack. It will be up to Royce and Tiadaria to stop them.This is a short start to a trilogy. Tiadaria does not have a happy home life and quickly finds herself being solve into slavery before she can even register what is happening. There the other slaves beat her, which I have to say confused me since I’m sure a slaver would not let such things happen to the merchandise.

The story flowed well from there with a couple other hiccups in it but I didn’t have a hard time reading it. At the half way point the action picks up and we start the fight scenes. I have to say that the ending did feel a little rushed. I do think that this story could be fleshed out a little more and it would be a lot better. Over all, I did enjoy it and I would be happy to read the next book in the series.

I received the Last Swordmage from Silver Bullet Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

The Darkest Hour
Magic of Solendrea Book 2
When an agent from the Imperium Intelligence Service shows up on
Tiadaria’s doorstep, he leaves her with unwelcome news. Recovering
from their brutal defeat at Dragonfell, the Xarundi are seeking out
an ancient and incredibly powerful relic buried in the snow and ice
of the Frozen Frontier.
Tiadaria travels to the city of Ethergate to seek out an apprentice skilled in
magical research. Even with his reluctant help, unearthing
information on the relic proves to be almost impossible until a
savage turn of events puts them on the right path.
Now it’s a race against time through some of the most unforgiving
territory on Solendrea to beat the Xarundi to the relic and stop them
from unleashing its devastating power on the unsuspecting masses.
The Pegasus’s Lament
Magic of Solendrea Book 3
A desecrated tomb, a missing relic, and cold-blooded murder. The
streets of Dragonfell are awash in blood and the King has called on
Tiadaria, the last swordmage, and Wynn, her quintessentialist
companion, to uncover the nature of the darkness.
What they find is more dangerous than they could ever imagine and from a
source they’d have never expected. Now Tiadaria must defeat an
enemy that knows her almost as well as she knows herself.
The survival of the Human Imperium is on the line and time is running out
for the last swordmage and everyone she holds dear.
Volinette’s Song
Magic of Solendrea Book 4
Volinette Terris has everything most girls could want: a famous family, plenty
of money, and a career as a talented musician. No one would expect
her to risk losing it all to try and become a mage, but when the
School of Sorcery opens for the Trial of Admission, that’s exactly
what she does.
If only she’d known that winning a place in the Academy of Arcane Arts
and Sciences would be the least of her problems. Now she finds
herself accused of murder, tormented by her fellow students, and
implicated in the theft of a mystical artifact that could bring about
the end of the world.
And that’s just the first semester!
Quintessential Tales
Magic of Solendrea Book 5
Four Quintessential Novelettes Featuring the Heroes and Villains of Solendrea
Quintessential Tales, a Magic of Solendrea Anthology, brings together four new
novelettes featuring the heroes and villains of Solendrea. Also
included is the Adventurer’s Guide to Solendrea, which includes
background information on famous faces and places, as well as some
mythology and folklore.

Included in Quintessential Tales:

  • Warhorse – Being shipwrecked on a strange island is just the start of the
    dangers facing Royce and Torus.
  • If Wishes Were Horses – Twins stumble across an ancient temple in the
    middle of the wildlands that may not be what it seems.
  • Troubled Waters – Faxon and Gunter face off against new enemies and a
    treacherous old foe.
  • All Souls – Tiadaria and Adamon travel to Havenhedge to investigate a
    mysterious occurrence.
  • Adventurer’s Guide to Solendrea (Bonus) – Background information on famous faces
    and interesting places.

Note from the Author

Please be aware that All Souls contains spoilers if you haven’t read the
Swordmage Trilogy, particularly The Pegasus’s Lament. If you
haven’t, I highly recommend that you read the original trilogy
before reading All Souls.
Pirates of the Siren’s Sea
Magic of Solendrea Book 6

What do you do when the people you trust the most betray you?

Tiadaria, the last Swordmage, was once one of the King’s most trusted advisers.
Now she’s fallen out of favour and has been cast out of the realm she
helped save from demons and dragons. When pirates start sinking ships
off the coast of Dragonfell, Tiadaria offers her services to the
realm, but the pride of Kings is not easily put aside.
Unwilling to let the Imperium fall, Tiadaria approaches the King’s only
daughter, a reclusive Princess unseen by the people for almost two
decades. What happens next is a race against time as Tiadaria and her
allies commit an act of treason to stop a corrupt sorceress from
endangering the fate of the world.
Only a Swordmage can turn an act of sedition into salvation for the
Imperium in this rousing fantasy tale of swords and sorcery.
Martin F. Hengst is an American science-fiction and fantasy author. His
bestselling Magic of Solendrea series has delighted more than a
quarter of a million readers worldwide.
He writes the same type of books he loves to read: tales of science
fiction and fantasy where anything can, and frequently does, happen.
There’s nothing better than a rollicking good adventure and his
number one priority as a writer is to be an amazing travelling
companion for those intrepid explorers who pick up any of his books.
He lives in South Central Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.
When he’s not working on the next book or story, he enjoys music,
reading, and playing games.
He really like hearing from people who have enjoyed his books. Please
don’t hesitate to connect with him on
Twitter or Facebook.
For the latest news and information about Martin and his books,
check out his website at:
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

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(Extra)Ordinary: More Inspirational Stories of Everyday People by Keith Maginn

Burned on 100 percent of his body as a young boy, John O’Leary was given a 1 percent chance of survival. Thirty years later, he is a best-selling author, nationally known speaker, beloved husband, and dedicated father.

Once controlled by addiction, Todd Crandell is now an addiction counselor–and a world-class Ironman triathlete.

Born with no arms or legs, Nick Vujicic fought back from the brink of suicide to become a faith-driven motivational speaker admired by people around the world.

These are just three of the inspiring lives featured in (Extra)Ordinary: More Inspirational Stories of Everyday People–tales of individuals who started out as “ordinary” but have proven to be anything but.
Each of the people featured in (Extra)Ordinary reminds us of the depth of human potential and calls us to find our own strength to make our mark on the world around us.

(Extra)Ordinary opens our eyes to the power that rests in each and every person!

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 Keith Maginn

Author’s Bio

Keith Maginn was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the youngest of four children. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as an Evans Scholar. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology he relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, to work for AmeriCorps and for Habitat for Humanity.

Keith returned to Cincinnati after living nearly 10 years in east Tennessee. He enjoys being surrounded by family and friends. While writing is his passion, he also enjoys sports, meditation, yoga, reading and live music.

Keith released TURNING THIS THING AROUND, an inspiring self-help memoir of overcoming personal struggles, in December 2010. In January 2013, he self-published GOODWILL TOUR: PAYING IT FORWARD, detailing a 3,000-mile philanthropic pay-it-forward road trip through the southeastern United States. (EXTRA)ORDINARY: INSPIRATIONAL STORIES OF EVERYDAY PEOPLE, released by KiCam Projects in August 2016, tells seven inspirational stories of people I know personally. (All three books are available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com or at keithmaginn.com.) I feel writing to help and inspire others is my life’s purpose.

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My Review

5 stars

We all face challenges every day. They may be small like missing a work deadline or they can be major like facing cancer treatments. But how we face those challenges shows a lot about us as a person. You miss a deadline, what do you do? Do you take a breath, plan better for the next one, or break down in a panic attack? This is just a simple hiccup in a normal day. What would you do if you were burned all over your body? Born without arms and legs? Been abused? Facing serious addiction?

This book is a sequel of ten people that have faced overwhelming odds. Instead of letting their situations dictate how they should react, they chose not to give up on life or feel sorry for themselves. They used their experiences to grow and to help others. They rose from their situations and have become stronger people.

I love reading stories like these. Everyone has a bad day and some days feel like the worst one we are going through. But do you curl up in a ball and snivel, ok, yes I do. But after that, do you pick yourself up and go on? Do you learn from that experience? What about using it to help encourage others?

I love this book. If you are looking for a book to inspire you, get yourself a copy, you will not be disappointed.

I received (Extra)Ordinary: More Inspirational Stories of Everyday People from KiCam Projects for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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