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Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

Crash

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Crash (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 1) by Chris Muhlenfeld

And then it went dark…

…the world’s electrical grid was gone.

Who would survive the chaos?

For James and Alexa, they saw it unfold from their ranch, which was a blessing. They were away from the chaos, and they thought they were safe. They thought wrong.

What will they do?

All across the country cities are in crisis.

Logan and his family look out from their Manhattan penthouse. The world is crumbling before their eyes. Unprepared, he’s got to do something. They can’t stay. But how can they leave and where will they go?

Someone has a solution.

It’s Logan’s domestic android.

Can he believe a machine?

The twists and turns may leave you dizzy, but you’ll love the adventure.

Get it now.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website Here.

 

My Review

4 stars

Some years from now, in a world with neuroderms, bots, food assemblers, something has gone wrong. Ian and Jess are on a plane that is redirected to land and as soon as the people are off a load of robots fill up the plane and take off. Nothing is connecting to the web and nothing is working. Ian takes Jess under his wing and tries to get her home to her parents.

Logan, Mia, and Grace are shepherded from their apartment to a secret underground bunker then to New Chicago. A world of strange material, everything is automatically provided for them and not wasted. But something is wrong with this new city, the story of a nuclear war doesn’t sound right, and Logan can’t help but try to get his family safe.

James and Alexa are on his ranch in the forties when things go wrong. They have managed to stock up and have neighbors that are similarly minded. Strange reports are coming in from around the world and everyone is worried about whatever caused the crash.

This was a really good start to the series. It seems humans have become very dependent on technology. When something happens some turn evil and many people die. It’s interesting to follow along with the different groups. It’s not real surprising what happens if you love dystopian stories like I do.

Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this book. He had my attention through the whole story even if I become a touch tired of the redundant events. I admit that I guessed what happened but then again I love these kinds of stories. I am really glad that I have the whole series to review because although Crash tended to drag at points I am excited to see what happens next. If you like dystopian stories I think you will like this one. It’s definitely worth checking out.

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

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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A World Torn Down

 

A World Torn Down
A Novel of Survival After the Apocalypse
by Rebecca Fernfield
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Fruits of All Hallows
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
An extinction-level plague is only the beginning.
Cassie Morgan watched the world die from the comfort of her penthouse suite. She never expected her life of privilege to come to an end but, with all food gone, she has to face the survivors in the city alone.
Sometimes, when the SHTF, you have to kick off your strappy sandals, let your fake tan fade, your Brazilian grow out, and become the woman you are meant to be.
Rick Carter is the last of his unit to survive. To stay alive he must escape the disease infested city and head north to his prepper friend’s self-sufficient farm. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman with zero survival skills.
When the apocalypse arrives, most will die, some will survive, whilst others will thrive.
With most of the city dead, and no sign of rescue, Cassie and Rick have to rely on their own ingenuity to deal with the end of the world. Working together wasn’t what either had planned, but these are desperate times.
Does Rick have what it takes to get them to the farm?
Can Cassie rise to the challenge of survival?
Will Rick have the stomach to help when he discovers Cassie’s secret?
‘A World Torn Down’ is an epic tale of the apocalypse with a fresh take on TEOTWAWKI.
Read today!
Previously published as six books: ‘The Road to Ruin’, ‘The Savage Road’, ‘The Outcast’s Journey’, ‘The Path to Despair’, ‘The Route to Justice’, and ‘The Road to Redemption’.
What readers say:
The series gave me a very Walking Dead comic feel. I loved it, and the characters were all very well written. The detail that went into all the characters was brilliant.
It was fast paced and kept you interested right to the last sentence.
I loved the strong female characters, Cassie being my absolute favourite, I love how she just gets things done and doesn’t let the male characters walk over her.
This series kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I would have to stop to go to work, and all I could think of was the book and getting back to finding out what would happen next.
**Only 99 cents! **
Author. Mother. Free spirit.
British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist, and former research fellow, given to flights of fancy about the end of the world and what she’d do if the supermarkets suddenly ran out of chocolate, wine, and other essentials!
A full-time novelist, she lives with her numerous children among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords.
She writes action-packed, suspenseful tales of horror, the supernatural, and the apocalypse.
She can’t stop writing because the voices in her head just won’t shut up and there are SO many stories to tell.
Don’t lose touch! You can join her newsletter for the latest updates about new releases and the bribe of a free book.
Guest Post
How long have you been writing?

The official start of my writing career was in March 2017 when I published my first novels. However, I had been writing for a while before that. At first, I wrote for children, then progressed to young adults, until finally my confidence grew and I decided that what I really wanted to do was write books for adults.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

The characters usually come to me as I write. I often have one or two characters to start with but, as the story moves along, other characters will introduce themselves. Often new characters take the story in new, unexpected directions, which can be exciting. I particularly enjoy it when a quirky or unpleasant character turns up; they can be the most fun to write. A great example is Saskia in my novel ‘A World Torn Down’. She’s a first-class bitch and says the worst things to the other characters! I don’t think she has any kind of social filter and operates at a psychopathic level.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Research for my books can span a whole lifetime! There may be things I research as I’m writing to give the scene/idea more depth, but my books often contain ideas that have been part of my knowledge base for years. My stories are often triggered by something I’ve read or heard about several years prior to actually starting to write a book. For example, ‘The Kielder Strain’ is my version of the werewolf story. Research for the book started with the first film I saw in my teens.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, and it is a very rewarding one once you have readers who love your work. I love getting emails and messages from readers asking when my next book is going to be published, or letting me know that they’ve just read one of my books and loved it.

However, writing fiction or non-fiction as a career has to be coupled with a business mindset. Writing a great novel is one thing. Writing a great novel that you are able to bring to market and sell to readers is quite another.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Publishing is tough. It’s a business, and you have to have a business mindset to really succeed and as a creative that can be a massive challenge.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I love to read and lose myself in someone else’s imagination. I’m an eclectic reader, so am willing to try most genres, Jane Austen used to be an absolute favorite (I even started a university degree because they had programme of study dedicated to her) but my go-to genre is horror, so Stephen King, and James Herbert are my author heroes! I’ve read and re-read many of their novels. One book I discovered recently, although it was published in the 1960s, is Richard Matheson’s ‘I am Legend’. I found it completely enthralling and read it in two sittings. It’s the book that inspired the film starring Will Smith. The story is quite different, but I love them both.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I have to write in a quiet space, so no music for me. If I’m in the flow, then I don’t notice the noises around me, but trying to get my head into that writing space can be tough and I’m far too easily distracted.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I have tried SO many times to write more than one book at a time, but I just don’t seem to have enough headspace to carry two stories. I can think about another book, and that often happens as soon as I start writing my latest novel; a case of the next shiny new thing! I know authors who do manage it, but I need to immerse myself in the story and my characters, so whilst other characters may start nagging at me to write their story, I can only jot down ideas rather than write their stories.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

I am in awe of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’. I wish I had his talent for prose.

Pen or type writer or computer?

I used to write with a pen and then type up what I’d written. However, this is laborious and wastes a lot of time. If I’m out and about I always carry a notebook and pen so that I can jot things down, or even write a paragraph or two if need be, but I use my laptop 99% of the time. I can touch-type so it’s much easier to keep up with my flow of thoughts; my handwriting becomes an indecipherable scrawl if I get overexcited!

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. I have an aunt who writes, and she was very fond of telling me that there is a novel in us all. I’m creative, and have to have an outlet for that creativity, and telling stories lets me do that. Plus, I love the idea of entertaining people, and as a writer, that is my main goal. That I get to earn a living doing just that is absolutely fantastic. Self-publishing is a rollercoaster ride and can be very tough when your book doesn’t sell as well as you’d like, or someone leaves a bad review, but I definitely made the right decision.

A day in the life of the author?

I write when my children are at school as I find it impossible to write when they are at home. They also need my attention and I have given up trying to write and look after them too. My day starts at 5 am when I get up and do my chores then get the children off to school. Once back home, I check my sales and any messages from other authors or readers. I also check to see how my adverts on Facebook and Amazon are running. As soon as possible, I get down to writing. If I’m a little stuck, I reread the previous chapter, or refresh my memory with any notes, then try to use the time until school ends to write. It’s a matter of bum in seat and fingers on the keyboard five days a week for me.

Advice they would give new authors?

If you want to write just write. If you want to write in order to earn a living, learn as much as you can about self-publishing, read heavily in your chosen genre, then write a book those readers are going to love.

Also, once you’ve written your book don’t ask friends or relatives to read it and give you feedback. Instead, find a reader who loves that genre and ask them for an honest response. Listen to negative criticism and use it to improve your craft. It’s far more difficult to find someone willing to tell you where you’re going wrong than it is to find a reader who will tell you your story is just great!

Describe your writing style.

Fast-paced and full of action. I write in the present tense which I think gives my writing an immediacy. Readers often comment on how vivid my writing is too, as though they’re watching a movie in their head.

What makes a good story?

A good story is one that captures your attention from the first page and doesn’t let it go until the end. I love character-led stories. Discovering how a character thinks, what drives them, and their past lives is fascinating. I also love plot-twists that I don’t see coming. A good story has to entertain, and engage with the reader’s emotional need whether that is to read a story that scares them, intrigues them, or makes them laugh. Each genre has readers with different needs.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I write the blurb first! I know it sounds odd, but I find it a great springboard for the story. I may have a vague idea of what the story is about, but thinking about how I will present it to the reader in a few short sentences helps crystallize it for me. I often have the ending and a general idea. I’m rubbish at plotting although when I get stuck, I will sit down and try to think through key scenes.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Being tired, comparing myself to other writers and feeling inadequate by comparison.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to be entertaining within the expectations of the genre but with my own twist on the story.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I don’t find writing about characters from the opposite sex difficult.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

For a sixty thousand-word book, it can take between four and eight weeks depending on how easily the words flow. My first book took me two years to write and, in those days, I would often only manage 200 words a day. Since then, I’ve written a fair number of books, and nearly a million words. It’s true that the more you practice the better you become. On a good day I can write five thousand decent words although I’m far more comfortable with around three to four thousand.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Not really. Sometimes it can be tougher than at other times to get the words down, or get into that state of flow. If a story comes to a grinding halt it is perhaps because I don’t feel comfortable with the subject matter and need to do more research, or sometimes the story doesn’t have legs. I came across a really interesting article the other day outlining steps you can take if you’re stuck with a story. Basically, have a brain-storming session and list twenty exciting things that could happen to your character in the story. Choose the five most intense and work those into your story. I won’t go through the whole process here, but it works.

My Review
4 Stars

A man made bug was released that caused a plague to decimate the world. The story starts with trophy wife Cassie Morgan and soldier Rick Carter trying to get to his friends house. They meet people, both good and bad, children that they protect, and situations that are tough to get through.

I really enjoyed this series. I like a good post apocalyptic story and I quickly fell into this one. Cassie doesn’t seem like one that will survive but she definitely surprised me. Rick was a typical soldier but he also had a heart and surprised me several times throughout the book.

Of course we meet several other characters throughout this journey. Some were good, bad, and continuously changing. There were a couple that I was pulling my hair out at screaming at them because I wanted to shake them and wake them up then there were others that I wanted to group to run away from as fast as they could.

Over all this is a great read and I’m so happy that I could sit and read them all at once instead of having to wait for the next book. If you like a good post apocalyptic story, you need to check this one out. Since this is the first book of Rebecca Fernfield’s I have read, I admit that I can’t wait to check out her other stories.

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

$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Frankie’s Scared of EVERYTHING by Matthew Franklin

You would be scared too if your own brain was out to get you! The world can be a dark place. More and more we find ourselves and our children feeling overwhelmed by the unknown and the pressures of society. This book helps instill early on the fact that our fears can be our greatest strengths. Follow Frankie as their imagination runs wild creating robots, beasts, sea creatures, and even a mole man on this technicolor adventure. Being afraid has never looked so fun.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 About the Author

Mathew Franklin is a tattoo artist, painter, graphic designer, and musician. After receiving degrees in painting and photography from Miami University he immediately became a staple in the art scene in Columbus, Ohio where he currently resides.

My Review

4 stars

It’s time for bed and Frankie can’t sleep. He hears monsters at his bedroom window, in the kitchen and in the basement. He doesn’t know where else to go so he heads to his mom. She shows him how his imagination can be a good thing when it comes to the monsters he sees and hears.

This is a good little story with some very dynamic illustrations. The story starts out rough and it took me a little bit to figure out what was going on. I do think this is a great message for kids that have very vivid imaginations. I think this would be a good story for little ones.

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

I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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LovePotion

Welcome to the long awaited blog tour for Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw! Follow along for tour details, exclusive content, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Love potions FRONT DRAFT

Love Potions and Other Calamities

Expected Publication Date: November 7th, 2019

Genre: Comedy/ Mystery

Publisher: Headline

Welcome to the strange world of Rosie McLeod, an amateur detective with a big difference. Her deductive powers are based solely on the careful preparation and use of plants and herbs.

Love Potions and Other Calamities is pure comedy, with a bit of drama thrown in, as Rosie sets out to discover whether her husband is having an affair and, as the story unfolds, to solve a murder – before she becomes the next victim.

Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of some renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.

She has the fortune, or misfortune, to live in one of Scotland’s most famous places – the East Lothian village of Holy Cross, which takes its name from the legendary Glastonbury Cross that was spirited away – and subsequently lost – when Henry VIII purged the English monasteries. The cross of pale Welsh gold, reputedly buried within the village, had at its centre a fragment of emerald from the Holy Grail. The story is, of course, complete baloney.

But the association with the Holy Grail and the later witch persecutions of James VI mean that the village is as well known around the world as Edinburgh Castle, haggis or Loch Ness. It has been described as “the heartbeat of Scotland” and is a major tourist destination – many of whom visit the village with metal detectors, hoping to discover the elusive cross.

However, a sighting of a large, black cat by the local Church of Scotland minister sets off a chain of events that lead back twenty years and, although the villagers are blissfully unaware of it, to a woman’s murder. The black cat had last been sighted near the village some two decades before, and the minister’s predecessor was sure that it had triggered something evil. The villagers, of course, think otherwise.

Nothing ever happens in Holy Cross.

For fans of Mel Brooks and Monty Python!

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Excerpt

Coincidentally, Rosie had once owned a black cat, although it was very small, and was eaten by an eagle on the Christmas morning she was given it. That was also the Christmas she stopped believing in Santa Claus. One minute, the kitten was on a scrubby patch of grass in their Sussex back garden, a round ball of black fluff, peering fretfully at her new world; the next, she wasn’t anywhere to be seen until, looking up, Rosie saw large and predatory wings disappear over the farmhouse roof.

She was at an age when she knew that bad things happened, but still believed that Christmas Day was somehow exempt: guns fell silent, everyone had enough to eat, and pestilence was postponed until Boxing Day. Her parents tried to console her by saying that eagles weren’t native to Sussex, searching fruitlessly in flowerbeds and, then, in the surrounding fields. In a way, that day had become a metaphor for her life: that in unexpected ways good things can be randomly snatched away. It felt like that now: sagging boobs, carpet slippers, a dreaded birthday – and the revelation of a precise delusion.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon!

About the Author

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

 

My Review

4 Stars

In the little village of Holy Cross in Scotland, Rosie McLeod is the owner of a local pub. She is about to turn forty and not very happy about it. So she decides to use her herbalism to help her out. But when Reverend Lionel Kennedy sees a large black cat Rosie finds this more interesting than her age. Something is happening and it’s going to be up to Rosie to solve the mystery along with dealing with her birthday.

Poor Rosie is just having a hard time dealing with turning forty. Her husband hasn’t touched her in ages and the new girl at the pub is young, pretty and getting all the attention. So she decides to start working her magic to help remedy this trouble. I love herbalism and Rosie’s witchcraft, they really added to the story. The potions don’t always go the way they were planned to but it just made me like Rosie more.

This book is a downright laugh out loud story. Poor Rosie is dangerous and determined to find answers. I will admit that it was not what I was expecting from the story when I read the blurb and I’m so glad that I decided to review this book. This is one of those books you just have to check out. It is the first book I have read from Charlie Laidlaw but it won’t be my last.

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

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For your chance to win a signed copy of Love Potions and Other Calamities, click the link below!

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Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Water Viper

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Jesse Alexander, #1
Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Date Published: May 11, 2017
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During Starfall, magic flooded the Earth and destroyed most technology while humans developed strange new powers. As the scion of a male-dominated clan, Jesse should have risen to become a hero.
One disastrous choice ruins her hopes for the future.
To forget about her life as an assassin, she heads to the dying coasts of Florida. Unfortunately, a chance encounter with a Starfall stone and the Siberian tiger shifter after it thrusts her into the limelight. Escaping Nate’s sights is only the beginning of her woes.
When two dangerous Starfall stones are stolen, it’s up to Jesse to recover them. Should she fail, she’ll only be the first to succumb to the rogue stones’ powers.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Kobo     iBooks

Excerpt

Most men hated when I defied them. My opponent waited, intriguing me when he hesitated to force me out of his way so he could take what he wanted. Men liked to think they ruled, and in their opinion, the strongest men got the best women, and that was that.

Wise men realized some women conquered their own mountains and tossed off every man who challenged them.

One day, I’d figure out where I stood in the grand scheme of things. I’d been raised to be a man, a warrior above other men, the strength and pride of my clan. I should have become a man when I had turned ten, but thanks to my stupidity, I had ended up a woman instead.

Remembering pissed me off enough I either needed another beer, a fight, or both.

“Move.”

The bar cleared out, and Petey numbered among those bailing. I arched a brow, shrugged, and reached across the bar to snag myself another beer, careful not to touch the Starfall stone. “When I’m done drinking my beer, I’ll move.”

Within a minute, Oyster Bay emptied, leaving me with the three cloaked figures and a man at the other end of the bar too stupid to run or too brave for his own good. When he spotted me looking in his direction, he lifted his bottle in a salute.

Men were a dime a dozen, but sometimes, a pretty one came around, and my flavor of the month was tall, dark, and handsome enough to remind me there were a few perks to being a woman. He smirked at me, likely anticipating the fireworks from the stone or the brewing fight between me and the three men who wanted it.

I liked his mouth, and my gaze locked on his lips before I managed to force my attention back to my trio of unwanted guests.

Outside, thunder rumbled, rain pattered on the bar’s metal roof, and the storm stirred the ocean’s ire, splashing salt water against my feet.

“Move.” The man took one step forward, and his voice remained emotionless and calm.

“Cheers,” I said, lifting my bottle towards my lone spectator. If he wanted a show, I’d give him one, and when I was finished with the three men determined to invade my personal space, I’d leave him a little memento to remember me by. I scooted my stool back, stepped into the water, and met my adversary’s gaze.

I set my beer down beside the Starfall stone. “You’re not going to let me finish my beer in peace, are you?”

He took another step and leaned forward, his breath hot on my face. “No.”

Walking away would’ve been smart. Leaving the Starfall stone to burst and cause mayhem without me in the general vicinity would have been wise. Instead, I unsheathed my sword and rammed the pommel into his gut.

I smiled and went to work. All I’d leave for him were bruises and his life. He didn’t deserve anything else from me, not even a scar.

 

R.J. Blain
About the Author
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Website    Facebook    Twitter    Blog    Goodreads
My Review
4 Stars

Starfall is a time where magic washed over our world giving strange powers to humans. Jesse Alexander makes the choice to stay a human. She leaves her clan and becomes an assassin called the Water Viper. Several years later she finds a piece of a Starfall stone and becomes a wanted woman. Jesse has the chance to correct her decision to stay a human but she is going to have to stay ahead of the people after her now.

Jesse is a great character. She is tough, strong, and has enough snark to keep me laughing through the whole book. I love how human she is with all the mistakes she makes. As for the story, there are several little off shooting plots and the main point of the book. I liked the little branches off the main story but at the same time they fell like filler and could have been left out with no problem.

It has been a while since I have read a book by RJ Blain. I will be honest, when I saw that this book was 500 pages I started to wonder if I was going to have time to get through the book. I am happy to say that I quickly fell into this story and didn’t even notice that I had read the whole book so fast.

This is a great story with lots of action and humor. I really enjoyed how you have more story than romance/insta-love. I would recommend checking out Water Viper. I really enjoyed it and will continue reading this series.

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

Enter for your chance to win an Autographed hardback of Water Viper and Steel Heart (to be mailed following Steel Heart’s release in December.)
RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Awa and the Dreamrealm (Dreamweavers Book 1) by Isa Pearl Ritchie

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.

She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

Amazon UK     Amazon US     Goodreads

About the Author

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.

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My Review

4 Stars

Awa Bryant is having a tough time lately. Her parents are divorcing, she is moving and starting a new school, has lots of anxiety, and of course the school bully has chosen her to be the new target. But at night when she dreams things start taking a new perspective.

Things seem to be more real than they used to be and she meets Veila, a dreamcharmer that tells Awa she is special and can navigate the Dreamrealm. But the Dreamrealm is not as wonderful as it first seems. There is something off and it is up to Awa to fix things.

This is a fascinating story that will appeal to midgrade readers and up. Awa is multiracial and the new girl at school which puts a big target on her back for the local bully. It also doesn’t help that she is battling anxiety. At home her parents are divorcing and she has moved into a new home. She is essentially looking for an escape when she stumbles upon the Dreamrealm.

I loved watching Awa as she grew during the story. She doesn’t let her current situation stop her as she keeps fighting to save the Dreamrealm and to deal with her present situation. I really like that although her mother had her own problems she was there for Awa. What a great role model!!

This is a fantastic story for midgrade readers. It has a great story and message for those that have present challenges in their lives. I think kids that love fantasy will really enjoy this story. Well adults to, I loved it.

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

Enter to Win 1 x kindle copy of Awa and the Dreamrealm (INT)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

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Patch Lane

PatchLN

Ooh this cover just gives me chills! Welcome to the blog tour for Patch Lane, a brand new thriller by S.F. Barkley! Read on for an exclusive excerpt, and a chance to win a Kindle copy of the book!

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Patch Lane by SF Barkley

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

Genre: Thriller

Sarah Hastings is a rookie cop who works the night shift in Amber Forest, a small rural town nestled in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. After repeatedly responding to an abandoned and allegedly haunted farmhouse for 911 hang up calls, she discovers a dead body in a secret room. The forensic investigators determine that the body has only been dead for three to four days, but the case takes an unexpected turn when Sarah runs the victim’s fingerprints and finds that her Jane Doe actually died 20 years ago.

The murder investigation is complicated with a sloppy autopsy and delayed forensic reports. When the US Marshals and FBI join the case, Sarah realizes that she is caught in a web of jurisdictional politics that seem to care less about the victim and are more concerned with a larger confidential case. Sarah soon realizes that she may be closer to the victim than she thought and finds herself drawn deeper into the case, threatening not just her career, but her life.

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Excerpt

The house was in total disrepair. The exterior had white wooden siding with loosely attached, rotting black shutters. The moonlight highlighted the chipping paint, making the shutters appear two-toned. The old brick chimney was pulling away from the side of the house, and small trees were growing on the lower roof. There were no signs of life inside—no lights, no sound, not even a car parked on the property. It was the only house on the lane, so I deduced this was once a running farm. This must have been the original farmhouse. I slowly made my way around the house, trudging through the overgrown grass, to check the perimeter. With no evidence of life or habitation, I was beginning to question if Dispatch had gotten the address wrong. I got on the radio. “1034 to Dispatch.”

“Dispatch, go ahead.”

“I’m at 52 Patch Lane. Can you confirm this is the address?”

“Stand by.” After about a minute, Dispatch got back on the air. “1034, yes, that’s the correct address. Do you need backup?”

“Negative. It appears no one is home, but I’ll update.”

At this point, I knocked on the front door and announced myself. “Officer Hastings, Amber Forest Police Department!” No answer. All of the windows were closed, so I tried the front door. Locked. I didn’t have any extenuating circumstances that would allow a warrantless entry, so all I could do was leave. There wasn’t even enough for me to write a police report.

“1034 to Dispatch,” I radioed again.

“Dispatch, go ahead.”

“It looks like this house is abandoned. I think the 911 hang up might have been some crossed telephone wires. Clear me from the call with no report.”

“10-4.”

I began driving back down the gravel lane when another wave of chills shot through me. I hit my brakes and glanced in my rearview mirror. My brake lights flooded the house in red, and for a split moment I thought I saw someone standing in the window watching me leave. I blinked, and the figure vanished. My intuition had kept me alive this far, but I knew Chief Fox would rip me a new one if I tried to enter that house based on my intuition and faintly seeing shadows. I took a deep breath and convinced my foot to ease off of the brake and back on the gas.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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S.F. Barkley is a former police officer who uses her law enforcement knowledge and experience along with her love for all things creepy to create short stories and novels. She had several eerie experiences as a cop, including having discovered secret underground tunnels and responding to 911 hang up calls to an abandoned industrial building. She has published short horror stories in various anthologies and is publishing her debut mystery novel, Patch Lane, in October 2019. She was raised in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her husband and their rescue pup.

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Five Things That Inspire My Writing

By: S.F. Barkley

Some people grow up always knowing that they wanted to be a writer. They loved writing essays in school, maybe got their college degree in English, or perhaps they even wrote their first novel before ever finishing grade school. That, however, wasn’t me. I had no idea that I wanted to be a writer until, well, I started writing. To explain what gave me the push to first put the pen to paper (or more realistically, my finger to the keyboard), I’ve narrowed it down to the five main things that inspire my writing.

  1. My Love for All Things Creepy

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the paranormal. Every eerie sound I heard in my house as a child, every chill down my spine, I always believed in ghosts. It’s no surprise that my favorite books growing up were Goosebumps by R. L. Stine. My interest in the paranormal only grew the older I got. I love going on ghost tours of old cities, visiting supposedly haunted places (big fan of Gettysburg), and hearing the fascinating histories of buildings and places. 

  1. My Experiences as a Cop

I was a cop for nearly three years. During that time, I discovered an underground tunnel system, a secret room behind a fireplace, and was dispatched to an abandoned building for 911 hang up calls- all while on the job. First responders commonly find themselves in creepy situations, especially those who work the night shift. All of my experiences left me wondering, “What if…” 

  1. My Personal Life

One of the most famous pieces of advice for writers is to “Write what you know.” I know law enforcement, but there’s a lot more to a story than just the main character’s career. I constantly draw on my personal life’s experiences to help build the world and characters in my stories. For example, I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania, so the fictional town I created was in Western Pennsylvania and inspired by the towns that I knew. There are pieces of my life sprinkled throughout my stories.

  1. Reddit r/NoSleep

My first attempt at writing was on Reddit’s subreddit r/NoSleep, which is a forum for realistic horror stories told from first-person perspective. My first short story was about finding dead space in my house, but it only received about 60 upvotes, deeming it not very popular. I still had a lot of fun writing the story and reading the responses though, so I wrote a second short story series. This second series was about being a rookie cop and getting dispatched repeatedly to an abandoned house for 911 hang up calls. In a blink of an eye, the story blew up. It was read over 100,000 times, upvoted by over 5,000 readers, and eventually went on to win Story of the Month in August 2018, having competed with nearly 4,000 other short stories.

Once I received such an outpour of positive feedback, I was inspired to turn the short series into a novel, and that’s how Patch Lane was created.

  1. Wine

There are actually two ways that wine helps inspire my writing. First, it’s no secret that alcohol loosens us up and gets the creative juices flowing. My writing routine involves sitting in my wine/writing room, pouring myself a large glass, and turning on some soft music. Second, by making such a cozy and zen writing setting, I give myself something to look forward to. I don’t allow myself to sip on wine until I’ve sat down with my laptop in hand.

My Review

4 Stars

Sarah Hastings is a young police officer in the little town of Amber Forest, Pennsylvania. Most days her calls are minor but recently she has had several 911 hang up calls from the haunted farmhouse on Patch Lane. While exploring she discovers a dead body in a hidden room. Although the body has been dead for a couple days prints show the Jane Doe was supposed to have died 20 years ago.

If that wasn’t enough mystery for you, Sarah seems to have a connection to the victim. She can’t just walk away from the murder but it seems the murder knows who she is and is going to stop her investigation one way or another. Pig’s heads are nothing and won’t scare Sarah away from the truth.

This is a great police procedural thriller. I liked Sarah and having come from a small town I could relate to her normal cases and dealing with the old school guys at the station. This was a great mystery that kept me guessing. It also has a touch or paranormal added in to keep things moving.

I really liked this story and recommend those that like thrillers check it out. I can’t wait to read more from SF Barkley.

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

Click the link below to win a Kindle download of Patch Lane!

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Blog Tour Schedule

December 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

Horror Tree (Guest Post)

I’m All About Books (Review)

Kim Knight (Review)

December 3rd

B is for Book Review (Guest Post)

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight)

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review)

December 4th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview)

Reading Nook (Spotlight)

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review)

December 5th

Cup of Books Blog (Review)

Read and Rated (Review)

My Comic Relief (Review)

December 6th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight)

Jessica Belmont (Review)

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight)

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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