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Archive for the ‘3 Star Books’ Category

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Underneath Earl’s Bed by Cy Hartshorne

It’s hard to say that Dustyn’s life has been an easy one. As he sits in his shoebox with X512 and remnants from his past, he wonders if he will ever get that prized opportunity to leave. Of course, he’ll have to worry about a dangerous, robotic dragon that resides in the same room. But when a chocolate bunny enters his home, how will he respond? Can Colate’s bravery help the two leave their home behind and into a world full of danger and adventure?

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Cy HartshorneAbout the Author

Cy Hartshorne is the author of Underneath Earl’s Bed. He is one of the most ignored (and possibly mocked) writers on Amazon. He aspires to carry the torch for all the men and women before him that wrote about fictional bunnies over the years. He currently resides in the Western Hemisphere.

My Review

3 Stars

Dustyn is a dust bunny that grew up in the attic with his friends and family. Things were normal for him with school, bullies, and friends. But there was always the threat from the Black Widow. This was just a story passed off until one day Dustyn saw someone killed in front of him by the Black Widow. He leaves the attic but finds that the world outside of the attic is not very friendly.

Dustyn makes it to Earl’s bedroom and lives under his bed with X512, the robot. Earl is a rather spoiled five year old kid that has a dog and a robot dragon. Dustyn discovers a half eaten chocolate bunny and brings him to life for companionship and to help defeat the dragon and get out of Earl’s room.

This is an interesting read, one that has taken me a while to get through. I’m sorry to say that I had a hard time staying focused to this story which is completely me. This is a rough story with an interesting plot. I was not expecting the story to go where it did but was pleasantly surprised in that dark kind of way.

There are many topics that we face in our lives like bullies, monsters, and wanting to adventure yet fearing the unknown. I think this is a good read and although a little rough still a good start. I would like to read more from Cy Hartshorne. I am curious to see what he comes up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Author for the opportunity to read and share this book. I’m sorry that it has taken me this long to get a review posted.

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Mask of the Gods

Mask of the Gods by Karen Furk

Soul Demons live off the souls of the living.

When Haydan’s home world is invaded by a soul demon seeking an item shrouded in myth and legend, his father evicts him and sends him to safety. His chosen one and warrior should provide reassurance and sanctuary, but neither appears to be working very well. Just when he thinks matters cannot get any worse his scheming grandmother arrives. She has her own plans that appear to involve him, none of which bodes well.

Diego feels confident he has the soul demon under control. Overlooking his devious mother’s involvement, he fails to appreciate that he is not only storm rider elder, but also an elven prince and certain debts are about to become due.

Lavinia worries about her grandson, but also who she left behind in the elven realm a long time ago. Tallin thinks she abandoned him and he is livid. She has everything under control, including Tallin…at least that is what she thinks.

They all need to learn afresh who to trust. With a soul demon on the rampage, an unleashed, angry and betrayed elven king and a long-forgotten mask surfacing, what could possibly go wrong?

The past is about to catch up with all of them. Nothing is going to go as planned because the mask and the gods have other ideas.

Amazon US     Amazon UK    BN     Goodreads

About the Author

Karen Furk loves fantasy stories. She has done ever since she was a small, lonely child with an over active imagination. She’s particularly fond of stories that are crammed full of magic, mayhem and magical creatures. Karen’s background in marketing laid the foundations for her writing career which began after a serious bout of depression. No longer able to contain her over active imagination, the stories finally flowed onto a page. She aims to surprise and delight with the characters and worlds she creates. She lives in the North West of the UK with her husband, two boys and a hamster called Rufus (Yes, a girl hamster with a boy’s name. Don’t ask, she just embraces the crazy!). Visit her at karenfurk.co.uk or find her on social media and say hello – she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest under the user name karenfurkauthor.

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My Review

3 Stars

Where to begin with this review? There is a lot to this world and I have to admit that I was lost. You will need to focus on the story in the beginning. There is so much to building this world that I was lost until things got underway. To help explain the Sea of Souls and Bonding Karen Furk wrote a post on it. (Check it out here.)

Hayden is a special storm rider that is sent away on a quest when it is learned that a Soul Demon is hunting him. He is accompanied by his chosen on, Maya, and his warrior, Arianna. Although the kids are 9 years old in this story they have souls that are ancient, in a sense.

We follow along as the kids are on a quest that will help teach them about themselves and their abilities. They don’t really know who to trust because it seems everyone has a hand in this mess and not everyone that seems like they are an enemy is.

I loved the creativity and all the realms of the story. There is a lot of building going on and some things that I had trouble wrapping my mind around. But I did get into the story and am very curious to see where it is going from here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Hidden Cities

Mind the Gap
The Hidden Cities Book 1
by Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Thriller
“The super-fast pacing and creepy touches give this teen adventure plenty
of character.”—
Publishers Weekly
Returning to her home in London, teen Jasmine Towne realizes just how long
she’s been training for the moment she would be on her own. Her
paranoid mother’s last words, scrawled in her own blood, demand her
action: JAZZ HIDE FOREVER. In this moment, the strange men who have
always hung around her family’s life—whom her mother called the
Uncles—become starkly sinister. And they’re on her trail.
Seeking cover in the Underground, Jazz slips through a mysterious gate, down
tunnels, and seemingly through time. Inside an abandoned city of bomb
shelters and forgotten Tube stations, she finds temporary refuge with
a gang of petty thieves. Flashes of the past, spectral and haunting,
share the tunnels…with no regard for the living. For how long can
Jazz hide from the terrors of both her worlds?

My Review

4 Stars

Jasmine Towne, Jazz has lived her life with her mother and been looked after and terrorized by those she calls her “Uncles”. This life has left her mother paranoid and had her raise Jazz to look out for things that didn’t fit. This saves her life one day as she returns from school to find the Uncles had murdered her mother and are looking for her.

Jazz runs and finds herself in the Tube. There she finds a group of kids that call themselves United Kingdom. Jazz lives with the rest pick pocketing and robbing to survive as they live in a maze of old tubes, tunnels, and fallout shelters. But Jazz has a special ability; she can see what others can’t. This is why the Uncles and others are after her.

This was an interesting start to a series. I was instantly drawn in to Jazz, I wanted to know more about the Uncles and why they were after her. Then there are some areas in United Kingdom, The Hour of Screams, and such that I wanted more explanation. But the ending had me. It was an interesting ending and left me wanting to know more about this series.

I think Mind the Gap is a good start to the Hidden Cities series. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

The Map of Moments
The Hidden Cities Book 2
To what lengths would you go to undo the pain of the past?
“Golden and Lebbon have far outstripped their past efforts with this
wonderfully creepy thriller of a ghost story.”
Publishers Weekly starred review
“Golden and Lebbon vividly evoke the rich, enduring character of New Orleans,
as well as spinning a compelling fantasy yarn that builds momentum as
Max works his way through the city’s history.” —
Booklist
Max Corbett has returned to New Orleans for the funeral of his former
girlfriend, Gabrielle Doucette, but between the destruction wrought
by Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of his ruined relationship,
the city feels alien.
At Gabrielle’s graveside, Max meets Ray. Over a bottle of bourbon in a
dive bar, the two discuss Gabrielle’s unique connection to the city.
Ray suggests that this connection might mean her tragic death is not
truly her end. And he happens to know a real magic practitioner—not
some Bourbon Street phony—who could open a window to the past and
send a warning to Gabrielle. Maybe Max can even deliver the warning
in person? Ray offers him a cheap map and says the process is simple.
Follow the charted moments to build up a little bit of magical clout
and then find the man with the gift.
Surging with liquid courage, Max takes the ludicrous tourist map and sets
off. But it turns out this quest is not so easy. When Max enters the
First Moment, he is drawn into the fabric of history to witness dark
and violent periods, and with each passing step, a grim conspiracy is
revealed. Suddenly in too deep, there is nowhere for Max to go but
through. But when you trudge through a swamp, you’re going to get muddy.

My Review

4 Stars

Max Corbett is a history professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. There he meets a beautiful young girl and falls passionately in love with her until he catches her with another man. He leave New Orleans to return to Boston just before hurricane Katrina strikes. After that, Corinne, Gabrielle’s cousin contacts Max to come back for Gabys funeral.

Just after the funeral Max is approached by a man that offers him a map of New Orleans magical moments. If Max follows the map he will find himself at a monument that will let him change a moment in his past. But as he travels the map he attracts the attention of some powerful people. He also learns that changing the past comes with a high price to pay.

This is a great sequel to Mind the Gap. Although it is a different character and city, the tension and magic are the same. I kinds felt bad for Max but at the same time I could see Gabys betrayal and following course to change time coming like a freight train. But I loved the different moments Max found himself in. Of course the bad guys are close behind and wanting to claim the prize for themselves.

I really enjoyed this book and think it’s a great addition to the Hidden Cities series. I can’t wait to see what city is explored next.

The Chamber of Ten
The Hidden Cities Book 3
Archaeologist Dr. Geena Hodge is on the precipice of success: her team has found an
entrance to an underground chamber while searching for the Petrarch’s
lost library. A documentarian is joining her team for the descent
into the long-hidden structure and may be the key to extensive
funding. Best of all, she is able to share the excitement of this
momentous occasion with her assistant-slash-lover, Nico, whose
psychic presence resonates in her own mind.
Within a strikingly preserved room—unlike any Venetian excavation—the
team finds only one artifact: a small vessel that immediately
mesmerizes Nico. While the team investigates a slab of granite inlaid
in the floor, Nico becomes transfixed by the object, and before he
can be stopped, he has the urn in his hands. Then, it is broken open
on the ground. And with that, the impossibly withheld groundwater
begins to fill the chamber…
In the clamor to escape the rapidly flooding room and save the found
texts, the team is sent in all directions. And Nico’s mind, always
attuned to Geena’s, seems to go quiet. His actions in the days
after the incident feel unlike him, and his consciousness seems to
dissolve beneath the weight of his experience with the artifact. What
insidious force was within? And what can satisfy its restless will?

My Review

3 Stars

Geena Hodge is an archeologist working in Venice. While working her team finds what is thought to be the lost library of Petrarch. As exploring the room they find another room that is hidden and way below the water level. It is a complete mystery as to why both rooms are still dry until Nico, Geena’s boyfriend, breaks an urn. At that moment the rooms flood then Nico starts acting strange. It seems that Nico has become possessed by a powerful magician from hundreds of years ago.

What follows is a story from present time and the battle of the Group of Ten in the 15 and 16 century. I loved the history and the back and forth in the story. I felt for Nico as he tried to fight for control of his mind with the magician. I really liked this mystery and though this was a great story.

But I have to say that Geena seemed to push my buttons and acted like a silly school girl with a crush instead of the professional archeologist with a BBC documentary being filmed of her. Her behavior really drew the story down. Although it is still good I am sad to admit that I didn’t like it as much as the first two books in the series. I really hope The Shadow Men is better.

The Shadow Men
The Hidden Cities Book 4
From Beacon Hill to Southie, historic Boston is a town of vibrant
neighborhoods knit into a seamless whole. But as Jim Banks and Trix
Newcomb learn in a terrifying instant, it is also a city
divided—split into three separate versions of itself by a mad
magician once tasked with its protection.
Jim is happily married to Jenny, with whom he has a young daughter,
Holly. Trix is Jenny’s best friend, practically a member of the
family—although she has secretly been in love with Jenny for years.
Then Jenny and Holly inexplicably disappear—and leave behind a
Boston in which they never existed. Only Jim and Trix remember them.
Only Jim and Trix can bring them back.
With the help of Boston’s Oracle, an elderly woman with magical powers,
Jim and Trix travel between the fractured cities, for that is where
Jenny and Holly have gone. But more is at stake than one family’s
happiness. If Jim and Trix should fail, the spell holding the
separate Bostons apart will fail too, and the cities will reintegrate
in a cataclysmic implosion. Someone, it seems, wants just that.
Someone with deadly shadow men at their disposal.

My Review

3 stars

Jim Banks lives in Boston with his wife Jenny and daughter Holly. But one day when he wakes from a nap Jenny and Holly are gone. I don’t mean Jenny left him gone. I mean every trace of them is gone, like they never existed. Then Jim finds Trix Newcomb, she is Jenny’s best friend but has discovered that she can’t find anyone that remembers her.

Together Jim and Trix travel to the Oracle of Boston to figure out what is going on. They learn a prior Oracle made a mess of thing and created three versions of Boston that have grown differently. This is where Jenny and Holly are at. It is up to Jim and Trix to save them and put Boston back together. If the city doesn’t get combined it will explode shortly.

This story has a pretty good concept as Jim and Trix try to find jenny and Holly while uniting the three versions of Boston. There is a lot of history and an interesting reason for why the city was split up. I like the different versions of Boston not being too far off and the doppelgangers being interesting.

Now, having said that, I did feel that the book fell a little flat. I wasn’t all that invested into Jim, Jenny, and Holly. There was a race against time yet I wasn’t fully invested in the story so I didn’t really care. Although the book has potential, I’m sorry to say that for me I was just happy to be done with it in the end.

I received a complimentary copy of these books. I voluntarily chose to read and post honest reviews.

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN
is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as Ararat,
Snowblind, Tin Men, The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are
Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, and Of Saints and Shadows.
He has also written books for teens and young adults, including
Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence,
honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA’s
Best Books for Young Readers.
Goldenco-created (with Mike Mignola) two cult favorite comic book series,
Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective. As an editor, he has
worked on the short story anthologies Seize the Night, The New Dead,
and Dark Cities, among others, and has also written and co-written
comic books, video games, screenplays, a BBC radio play, the online
animated series Ghosts of Albion (with Amber Benson), and a network
television pilot. A frequent speaker at conferences, schools, and
libraries, Golden is also co-host of the podcasts Three Guys with
Beards and Defenders Dialogue, and the founder of the Merrimack
Valley Halloween Book Festival.

 

Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his
family. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen
languages in countries around the world.
TIM LEBBON
has been published for over twenty years and have written over forty
horror, dark fantasy and tie-in novels, including The Silence,
Relics, Coldbrook, The Cabin in the Woods, the Noreela series of
fantasy books (Dusk, Dawn, Fallen and The Island), the NY Times
Bestselling novelisation of the movie 30 Days of Night, Alien: Out of
the Shadows, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Into the Void, and several
books with Christopher Golden, including Blood of the Four, The Map
of Moments and The Secret Journeys of Jack London. He’s also written
hundreds of novellas and novels and have won several prestigious awards.
The movie of The Silence, starring Stanley Tucci and Kiernan Shipka, is
out summer 2018. Pay the Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage, was released
in 2016. More of his work is currently in development for the big screen.
Follow the tour HERE
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$20 Amazon Card or Print Copies of the Set
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share these books.

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Eternity’s Echoes

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Eternity’s Echoes (Shade Master – 1) by Evan Hirson

Aaron was a promising software designer with an upcoming company. He shared a quaint house on the outskirts of town with his best friends; another young man and two girls.
They’d known each other since school, and lived together peacefully for years with few problems.
Travis the newcomer however had a dark way about him, and all of Aaron’s attempts to get along with him had failed.
But just as the household began to settle down again, a strange device with a peculiar attitude entered their lives.
Would it fulfill all of their dreams, or instead become a curse?

Amazon     Goodreads

My Review

3 Stars

Aaron, Jay, Kim, and Mara have been friends for a long time and are roommates. Of course each has their own perks and quirks but they all get along. But then there is Travis, he is Jay’s friend and has out lived his welcome and causes lots of drama. When things calm down they decide to explore the backyard with a metal detector and discover a strange time traveling device run by the AI Pris. After they find the Shade, then the book picks up speed as we learn about time travel, paradoxes, what can and cannot be done, and the consequences of their actions.

This is an interesting story but it has a few flaws that take away from it. I enjoyed the simple explanation of time travel but things seem to have gone sideways at a point. We also have five people that seem to have a wide variety of characteristics if they would have been developed.

Please don’t think that I’m bashing this book. It’s a quick read and has a quite basic story. It’s a rough start to a series abut I am curious enough to want to see what happens in the next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank the Author for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Iron Flower

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The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles – 2) by Laurie Forest

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

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Laurie Forest

About the Author

Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles – OUT NOW) & Wandfasted (Book 0.5, The Black Witch Chronicles Prequel) are her first published novels. Coming in 2018 are Light Mage (Book 1.5, The Black Witch Chronicles) & The Iron Flower (Book 2.0, The Black Witch Chronicles). She is currently ensconced in the woods, hard at work on The Shadow Dryad (Book 3.0, The Black Witch Chronicles).

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My Review

3 stars

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last Black Witch but has no powers of her own. She has also lived a semi sheltered life and is unaware of a lot of the various races except for her small village teachings. She has learned the hard way that the Gardnerian’s have abuse and exploited these races over the years especially with the help of her grandmother. Now the various races are ready to fight back to gain their freedom.

Elloren has been verbally and physically abused since she looks just like her grandmother and that she is a Gardnerian. But she has had enough of how the other races have been treated and joins the resistance to help fight with them. But she also has her own challenges to face. The mage counsel has deemed it that anyone not wand fasted by 16 years of age will be fasted to whom they deem fit, Aunt Vyvian is going to get her wish one way or another.

I would have had no problem with this book if that is the main content. But I have to say the whole love triangle with Yvan got to be so irritating. I’m not a fan of love triangles anyway but this one just bogged the story down. I almost just put the book down then. But I persisted and the story did get better.

I will say that there were some unexpected moments that kept things interesting and the ending was a surprise. That was a good twist although I kinda had that one pegged. Overall it continued the story on from The Black Witch and expanded the world a little. I don’t know if I want to continue this series, I’m going to have to think about it for a little bit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Publisher for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Ruin

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Ruin (Kano’s Necromantic Comedy – 1) by Karl Radle

Humanity has died out, leaving their twisted biological creations as the sole inheritors of the earth. Plagued by visions of her past, Kano wanders amid the ruins of the old world, where violence has become a way of life.

Caught up in the machinations of necromancers, the only beings capable of creating new life, she stumbles upon “children” born from one of their insane plans. The meeting revives emotions she hasn’t felt in a long time. Emotions which echo her past self.

Amazon     Goodreads

 

My Review

3 Stars

The world we know is gone, destroyed by necromancers. Now you have ghouls and golems created by artificial souls. Kano is something more than just a simple Ghoul, she has some special equipment and abilities but has memory problems. But she stays with Nove, a beastial ghoul, even though it seems she has no feeling for her, Kano would rather spend her time high than deal with reality.

But when she wakes up naked and robbed, she goes on the rampage to find out who robbed her. This leads to a group controlled by a necromancer that she decides she is going to kill. There she gets a collection of small, childlike ghouls and takes a liking to one of them. But she realizes that something is wrong with her and goes looking for help.

I will be the first to admit that after reading the blurb of this book that this is not what I expected. Kano has memory issues so I can see some of her behavior but she is just a jerk. Mind you she does get better but just a little. I was kind of lost by this world and had a hard time sticking with the story.

This is not a bad read. There is potential for a great story and I could see some people liking it a lot more than me. Unfortunately it just was not for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Pushback

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Pushback by John Stith

Dave goes to his high school reunion for his very small school where he knew everyone… and nobody at the party was in his class, nor is he shown in the photo of everybody in the graduating class. He’s brought his new girlfriend with him, who’s understandably now wondering about if he’s right in the head. He knows he is (PTSD notwithstanding) but he doesn’t know what’s up… or who shot holes in his car… Things turn even more deadly as someone seems to have it in for him, but he has no idea who or why.

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Praise for Pushback

“Some people dream about going to their high-school reunion in their underwear. Dave Barlow goes to his and finds himself worse than naked — unrecognized. A lovely, twisty thriller that moves like a roller coaster — racheting up the suspense, then plunging into crisis, or doing a swift loop-the-loop through flashbacks of PTSD before the climb stars again.” — Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander series.

PUSHBACK is a fast-paced crime novel guaranteed to keep you reading into the night. Accelerating through enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, PUSHBACK ramps up to a heart-pounding ending that will leave you breathless. Stith, known for his award-winning science fiction, really brings it home in his debut mystery. Bring on the next installment!” — Chris Goff, author of RED SKY

John E. Stith

Author’s Bio

Science fiction and mystery author John E. Stith writes across many worlds. His books have been translated to French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian and are even available in braille for the sight-impaired.  His science fiction stories have been categorized as “Hard science fiction,” a label given to those stories thoroughly researched to play fair with the rules of science; something any die-hard SciFi fan can appreciate. PUSHBACK is his debut into the mystery, though readers will find both suspense and thrills in his SciFi novels, as well.

Stith holds a B.A. in physics from the University of Minnesota, has served as an Air Force Officer, where he worked at NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The passion for science runs in his family, as his father George worked at the White Sands Missile Range on such projects like the rocket sled.

He has appeared on a live nationwide PBS broadcast or Science-Fiction Science-Fact (SF2) and his work has also been sold to film and television. His novel Reckoning Infinity was chosen as one of Science Fiction Chronicle’s Best Science Fiction Novels,  Redshift Rendezvous was picked as a Nebula Award nominee and Manhattan Transfer received an honorable mention from the Hugo Awards and a nomination from the Seiun Award in Japan.

Stith is a member of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Writers Guild of America (WGA), International Thriller Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW), Colorado Author’s League and Mensa.  He currently lives in Colorado Springs.

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My Review

3 Stars

Dave Barlow is an investment counselor and discovers two bullet holes in his new car. But before he really can look into them, he takes his girlfriend to his ten year college reunion. But something strange is going on. He doesn’t recognize these people and they don’t know him either. His girlfriend takes this badly and breaks up with him. Thinking things couldn’t get worse, they do. It seems someone is out to get Dave. They want to destroy him completely.

Dave has some issues but is piecing his life back together after the death of his girlfriend in a car accident. He has found another girl and plans of going to his reunion. But things take a turn for the worse as it seems someone is determined to end him. From here Dave goes through hell trying to figure out who is after him and why.

This story has a rough feel to it. It’s not bad but there are a couple places that it just seems to stick. There are some descriptions that are way over done and then there is the whole Bolivia obsession. If the story would have been smoothed out I think that I would have liked it better. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book. Although I might not have been as excited about this book doesn’t mean that it won’t be someone else’s top read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Sami at Roger Charlie for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Red Harvest

Red Harvest
The Haunted Hollow Chronicles #1
by Patrick C. Greene
Genre: Horror
In the epic tradition of
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Jonathan Maberry, a chilling new
masterwork of small-town evil, centuries-old traditions, and
newly-risen terror…
Red Harvest
Every year at harvest
time, something strange and wonderful happens in the sleepy farm
community of Ember Hollow. It comes alive. Truckloads
of pumpkins are sent off to be carved into lanterns. Children
scramble to create the creepiest, scariest costumes. Parents stock up
on candy and prepare for the town’s celebrated Pumpkin Parade. And
then there is Devil’s Night . . .
But this year, something
is different. Some of the citizens are experiencing dark, disturbing
visions. Others are beginning to wonder if they’re losing their
minds, or maybe their souls. One newly sober singer with the voice of
a fallen angel is tempted to make a deal that will seal his fate. And
one very odd boy is kept locked in a shed by his family—for reasons
too horrible to imagine . . .
Whatever is happening to
this town, they’re going to make it through this Halloween.
Even if it kills them . . .
Patrick C. Greene is
a lifelong horror fan who lives in the mountains of western North
Carolina. He is the author of the novels Progeny and The
Crimson Calling
, as well as numerous short stories featured in
collections and anthologies.
My Review

3 Stars

Ember Hollow is a small town that goes to the extreme when it comes to Halloween. But this year there is more than normal. This town harbors some people with some serious issues. But as good or bad as those issues are, this Halloween is going to turn them on their head in the most disturbing kind of way.

So this town is small and secluded and similar to any little town that doesn’t have computers or cell phone and the paranormal is true and strong. We have a musician that is trying to make his little band go big. His little brother loves following him around especially when it means he can impress the girl he has a crush on.

Then you have a seriously disturbed young man that has an unhealthy obsession with all things Halloween including the blood, guts, and gore. And where there is evil, you will also find a woman that has taken her vows to God overly seriously and has planned to end the pagan/satanic Halloween at all costs.

This story definitely has blood and gore in it but I felt that it wandered away from the story. There were some interesting story branches but they got all caught up and lost the thread that they were on. But I will say that everyone in this town shows how messed up people can be and that there really are no true heroes or villains. People tend to dance the line between the two.

Red Harvest is a decent read and will appeal to anyone that likes lots of blood and gore.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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She Lies Hidden

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She Lies Hidden by CM Stephenson

How far would you go to find your missing sister?

When DI Thomasine Albright is informed that the remains of her fifteen-year-old sister have been found, she has the tragic responsibility of breaking the news to her mother. Thomasine promises her mother that she will be the one to find Karen’s killer.

But Karen Albright wasn’t the only girl to go missing during that weekend in 1973… Veronica Lightfoot disappeared too. They’d lived barely four miles apart, yet apparently never met. Suddenly there is a new question, was Veronica involved in Karen’s death? Is that why she vanished?

DI Mel Philips is handed the original case file and begins a new investigation. Unwilling to be side-lined, Thomasine decides to go it alone.

As the case unfolds, Thomasine realises that there may be other victims. Can she find them too?

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C.M. Stephenson

Author’s Bio

After growing up in a small Lancashire village, Christine Stephenson left school at fifteen. Four years later she moved to Cornwall.

In her late teens she met people whose lives were complicated, fuelled by drugs, and filled with violence and aggression. There were others too, in her mid-twenties, everyday people, educated, with careers, who had decent parents; people who you wouldn’t look at twice in the street. They were worse; she knew the victims of their crimes too. These experiences continue to influence her writing.

Her career can be described as eclectic. Jobs ranging from office junior to dental nurse, management consultant to executive and corporate coach. She ran her own training consultancy for over twelve years. It was there that her love of writing bloomed. She went on to produce an extensive portfolio of work which included resource packs, case studies, role-plays, games, presentations and academic texts.

In 2008 her husband’s job dictated that they move to South Gloucestershire. This in turn, lead to a brand-new life. They now live just outside a small medieval town, set between Bristol and Bath.

In 2009, she decided it was time to study the craft and undertook the A215 in Creative Writing with Open University, and later followed that with an MA Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2016. She gained representation with Andrew Nurnberg & Associates soon after. She spent the following eighteen months writing and editing what is now her debut novel. In May 2018 Christine was delighted to accept a contract with Bloodhound Books.  ‘She Lies Hidden’ is due for release in September 2018.

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My Review

3 Stars

Twenty three years ago DO Thomasine Albright’s sister Karen disappeared. Thom’s mother always insisted that Karen would return home. With the discovery of Karen’s body it is up to Thom to break the news to her mother. Since this directly affects Thom, she is not allowed to formally investigate Karen’s murder but this doesn’t stop her from looking into it and discovering a couple other girls disappeared at the same time.

This story follows along with a couple different story lines that eventually come together. Although the different perspectives gave this story a little more depth, it didn’t really bring us closer to the different characters. It was also a touch repetitious when you learn the same piece of evidence from different viewpoints.

For a debut book She Lies Hidden was a good start. It was a tough rough and I think the story was spread out a little thin. But this is not a bad thriller. I am eager to see that CM Stephenson is going to come up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Read Me

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Read Me by Leo Benedictus

Hitchcock’s Rear Window meets Messud’s The Woman Upstairs in this unnerving, superbly crafted novel which takes readers deep into the mind of a serial stalker and, through him, the lives of his unsuspecting victims.

Try it yourself. Go out, pick somebody and watch them. Take your phone and a notebook. Persist. What begins as a confluence of yours and another person’s journeys, on the train maybe or leaving a cinema, gets into an entanglement. You follow, feeling that it’s not really following because you’re going the same way, then when they at last reach their office you feel the clutch of a goodbye. It’s normal. But how many times do you think the person being followed has been you?

READ ME is a seductive, haunting novel that holds a sinister mirror up to the ways in which we observe, judge, and influence people. Benedictus’ prose commands and draws readers into the dark, manipulative mind of a serial stalker as he targets women across London, escalating his efforts until he settles on Frances — a bright young professional whose career is set to take off — whose life he proceeds to unravel from the inside, out.

A chilling rumination on power, manipulation, complicity, and anonymity, READ ME exposes just how vulnerable we are to the whims of others — people we may not even know.

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Author’s Bio

Leo Benedictus was born in London and graduated from Oxford University. He worked as an advertising copywriter and as a freelance sub-editor for The Guardian. His work on immigration issues has earned him widespread recognition: his article “London: The World in One City” won the Amnesty International UK Media Award (2005) and the Race in the Media Award (2006). His work has appeared in ProspectThe Observer, The New StatesmanThe London Review of Books and The Literary Review. Leo’s debut novel The Afterparty was long-listed for the 2011 Desmond Elliott Prize. Leo is currently a freelance feature writer for The Guardian and lives with wife Sarah and his two sons in Brighton. Leo is writer-in-residence at Holland Park School, London.

My Review

3 stars

This is the story of a stalker. He writes that years prior he inherited a large sum of money and has spent his time following random people. He follows people around making notes in his journals. But he has taken a liking to Frances. He sees her crying and introduces himself to her, a conversation happens about her work situation, and their phone numbers are exchanged.

From there he starts seriously stalking her, hiding cameras and microphones in her apartment. He even hides in her apartment when she is there. Then things go from bad to worse. It seems he is the reason she had trouble at work.

When I think of stalkers I just get a chill and I was excited to see how this book was going to tackle that story line. Although the narrator and Frances has the possibility to be really good, the story started falling flat for me. He started being more obnoxious than scary and Frances didn’t really make me care what happened to her.

This could be a story that people really life but I have to say that I didn’t really think it was a fit for me. Try it, you may like it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Twelve Books for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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