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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

KillorCure

Welcome to the Bloodlust tour, book #2 in Pixie Britton’s YA Science Fiction series, Kill or Cure. I have loads of fun stuff for you today! An exclusive excerpt, book trailer, a FREE book, and a chance to win a signed copy of Bloodlust! Wait, rewind…did I say FREE BOOK? I sure did! Read on!

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Bloodlust (Kill or Cure #2)

Publication Date: February 21st, 2019

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Dystopian/ Zombies

Publisher: Matador

He could save the world, or destroy it…

The virus that has swept the Earth hasn’t consumed Tommy, yet, but as his hunger for human flesh takes hold, his humanity vanishes behind the bloodlust of an infected. It’s up to seventeen year old Alyx and her friends to find answers. But saving her little brother isn’t their only problem. Lurking in the shadows of Alhena is the formidable General Sinter, hell-bent on capturing the boy with unrivalled superhuman strength for his own personal gains. With limited options, Alyx has no choice but to risk everything to protect him. A choice that she could live to regret

Kill or Cure: Bloodlust is the second book in the Kill or Cure series. Brimming with suspense, romance and heart pumping action!

Goodreads

Excerpt

Winter

“A look of intrigue flickers across Tyron’s face as he tries to take measure of this wild girl standing in the centre of his cage. To the untrained eye, Winter looks like an odd wild girl from the forest, and you wouldn’t necessarily know how deadly she is from first impressions. She’s slight in stature yet athletic and nimble, and it’s not until you’ve spent significant time with her that you can fully appreciate how skilful she is. Every single movement is deliberate and focussed, like she could switch into warrior-mode at the flick of a switch.

I can’t help but grin internally when I realise that this monster-man has just met his match and he has absolutely no idea.”

Excerpt From: Pixie Britton. “Kill or Cure: Bloodlust.” iBooks.

Amazon UK     Amazon US     Barnes and Noble

 

My Review

5 stars

The group is on the way to Alhena to try to find a cure for Tommy. But the path to Alhena is full of infected and General Sinter is still out there after Ally and Tommy. And even if they can get to Alhena it doesn’t mean that they could get in or if the person they are looking for could even help them.

There is so much stacked against them but the group still keeps fighting. I loved seeing how everyone has grown since the first book. I loved little Winter, she is so cute and so much more than the little mouse she comes across as. Of course you will have the love triangle but it has matured as well and not as awkward.

I really like where this series is going and can’t wait for the last book. It’s a fresh look at zombies and in Kill or Cure Bloodlust the group is on constant fight or flight mode. There is no room for a breath of fresh air. And even though they are fighting the infected and Sinter, I loved how the family was there for each other.

This is a great series and one that I recommend to those that like a good zombie and dystopian story. It’s one you really need to check out.

 

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Kill or Cure is a YA romance-infused sci-fi novel.
It focuses on human relationships in an undead, apocalyptic world.
A girl who will stop at nothing to protect her brother.

In a dystopian world ravaged by infection, society as we know it has fallen to the mouths of the dead. The remaining fragments of civilisation survive in walled compounds, scattered in the depths of the countryside. When her little brother becomes sick with a suspected flu virus, Alyx Silverthorne will do anything to keep Tommy alive.

With limited medical supplies and only herbal alternatives, his prospects of surviving this mystery illness are bleak. But saving Tommy is just the beginning. The infected are not the only monsters that exist in this new world, and human nature can be more destructive than the dead.

In a race against time, Alyx and her best friend Will stop at nothing to protect him, even from the same people that swore to protect them all.

Kill or Cure is a dynamic, multifaceted story of teenage love and gut wrenching loss in a dystopian world.

Amazon US     Amazon UK      Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Free Book Alert!!!

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Download your FREE copy of the Last Sacrifice: A Kill or Cure story today…

A world infected. A man’s quest to save his family. One impossible choice.

The mission was supposed to be simple; to find survivors and kill the infected. But when Lieutenant, Joe Hudson, discovers that the home of his family has been destroyed by the infected, he’s left with an impossible decision. A choice that could change his life forever.

With limited ammunition and morale hitting an all-time low, the survival of the squad rests on a knife edge. Joe has no choice but to turn to his girlfriend, Suzie, a fellow soldier and secret lover for support. Together they have to cross a line to save his family, but even in this new world where the dead roam the earth, there are some lines that should never be crossed. Joe’s loyalty to his squad will be tested and the ultimate sacrifice will be made.

Set in the same world as the thrilling YA series Kill or Cure, follow Victory Squad in this fast paced prequel. Filled with love, heartbreaking loss and zombie guts.

Download Here!

My Review

4 Stars

The world has fallen to the infected. People survive by staying in towns and avoiding the infected. But Ally Silverthorne’s brother, Tommy, has come down with the flu. There are no conventional medicines so Ally finds herself and her best friend Will in the forest looking for yarrow flowers to help.

There are some in town that are worried that Tommy will turn into the infected and want to do him harm. It becomes a race for Ally and Will to help cure Tommy before something worse happens to her family.

This was a good take on zombies, but I have to admit that I wished there were more in the story. Things in the compound suck and Ally is a strong minded person. She does manage to keep silent with all the demands that are expected of her but there is a breaking point.

This is a great start to a new series. The only thing that I have a problem with is the whole love triangle. These are not my favorite things in stories and this one felt especially forced to try to add more drama. This is still a great read and I am excited to see what is going to happen in the next book.

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

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As if a free book from the series isn’t enough, the author is also giving away a SIGNED copy of the book! All you have to do is enter below!

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About the Author

Pixie Britton is a British indie author and Wattpad extraordinaire. Her debut YA novel Kill or Cure, gained international success online with over 100k reads within five months of initial publication.

Shes lives in Essex, England with her husband and adorable furbaby. One day she dreams of leaving her job as a Treasury Analyst in the city, to become a full time author and creative entrepreneur.

Check out her website https://pixiebritton.com/ and sign up to her mailing list to receive the latest book release information.

Pixie Britton | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

KillorCure

Blog Tour Schedule

July 8th

Reads & Reels (Review)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Excerpt)

I Smell Sheep (Excerpt)

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight)

July 9th

The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Interview)

Bri’s Book Nook (Excerpt)

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Excerpt)

Book Addict Rambles (Spotlight)

July 10th

Breakeven Books (Excerpt)

Cats Luv Coffee (Interview)

The Faerie Review (Review)

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Excerpt)

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight)

July 11th

B is for Book Review (Interview)

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review)

Jessica Belmont (Review)

The Bibliophagist (Spotlight)

July 12th

I’m All About Books (Excerpt)

Eclectic Reviews (Review)

The Photographer’s Way (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 these books.

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A Thread So Fine

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A Thread So Fine by Susan Welch

Can love for a secret child heal old wounds?
Introspective and artistic Shannon Malone and her more popular sister Eliza are Irish twins and best friends. In the summer of 1946 as womanhood approaches, both look forward to promising–but different-futures. When tragedy strikes and rocks the Malone family to the core, one sister leaves, possibly forever. The other, physically and emotionally scarred, vows to hold the invisible thread that runs between them. In the course of her journey, she discovers a secret child and the true meaning of family, but is it enough to bring her sister home?

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Susan  Welch

About the Author

Susan grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin with either her nose in a book or her toes in the water. After graduating with a Masters in International Management from AGSIM-Thunderbird, she spent fifteen years in business calling on breweries across the world, which gave her a treasured perspective both on cultural diversity and on the opportunities she might discover for learning, giving and growing. She now works for a company focused on regional agriculture, new technologies, and craft brewing.

Always a writer, Susan often attempts to solve her problems in third person, creating fictionalized versions of herself and the main characters in her life—mostly in her head, but sometimes on paper. Nearly a decade ago, in the days after discovering her own adoption story for the first time, she turned to her imagination to trick her reeling mind so she could get a good night’s sleep. A THREAD SO FINE was born of those creative threads weaving into nocturnal dreams as she struggled to re-write the beginning of her own life story.

Welch created Shannon and Eliza, Nell and Miriam as a way to imagine how women such as her Midwestern birth mother and adoptive mother might have overcome challenges as young Catholic women in an optimistic, but socially restrictive post-World War II culture. With the exception of FDR’s Labor Secretary, Mrs. Frances Perkins, the people in A THREAD SO FINE are all much loved fabrications layered with realities, truths and insights about her cherished mother, her brave birth mother, her beloved mother-in-law, her younger sister, and herself. When not traveling for work or pleasure, Susan spends her time either on the family houseboat in Seattle, or in a cabin in the dark and rainy, sometimes balmy woods of Lummi Island – and if she’s lucky, her husband Bruce is right there with her.

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My Review

5 Stars

This story is about twin Irish-American sisters, Eliza and Shannon Malone growing up in Minnesota in 1946. When they were younger, they were on their own a lot as their mother had her own demons from the past to fight with. But as they grew older and even though they were close, different evens split them up.

I quickly found myself engrossed with the story of Eliza and Shannon. They are growing up just after World War II and finding their place in a male driven world. Tragedy strikes with an unexpected birth and a diagnosis of tuberculosis. Both girls have their own battles to fight but I kept hoping that they would find themselves back together.

It is clear that Susan Welch did her research and was talking from personal history. It was very easy to get into this story but extremely hard to put it down. I would step away but would find Eliza and Shannon on my mind pondering what was going to happen next. I also learned a lot about the tuberculosis sanatoriums, which I’m young enough to not know about. Definitely a heartbreaking read.

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

I would like to thank Page-Turner Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Blackquest 40

Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond Banner

 

Blackquest 40

by Jeff Bond

on Tour May 13 – July 13, 2019

Synopsis:

Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond

Deb Bollinger has no time for corporate training.

Her company’s top engineer at just twenty-seven, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she’s told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it’s an easy no.

Trouble is, her bosses aren’t really asking.

Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in forty straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door. What’s the worst that could happen?

Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour – Blackquest 40 is a fresh take on the Die Hard formula, layering smart-drones and a modern heroine onto the classic action tale.

Praise for Blackquest 40:

“Deb’s first-person narrative is brisk, gleefully snarky, and filled with indelible metaphors… A clever, spirited tale with a brainy, nimble heroine at the helm.” ~ Kirkus Review

“Bond weaves an entertaining story filled with deceit, robots, Russians, and tech entrepreneurs that all combine to give the reader a reason to flip pages furiously to find out what might happen next… BLACKQUEST 40 sparkles with imagination. Code flies from keyboards, setting off ingenious flying devices, hatching plots and subplots and, ultimately, giving heroes the chance to help the good guys win. This book is a delight, and one readers should download right away.” ~ IndieReader’s 5 star review

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller Published by: Jeff Bond books Publication Date: May 15th, 2019 Number of Pages: 348 ISBN:9781732255227 Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

I am in the middle of solving homelessness when my boss raps his knuckles on my cubicle border. I know it’s Paul – my eyes stay on the computer monitor, what with an intractable social ill hanging in the balance – by the timid tap… tap-tap pattern. Also the smell. Paul eats McDonald’s every morning for breakfast. He’s a Sausage McGriddle man. “Deb, we’re heading up to the meeting – ” “Busy.” I squint around the San Francisco street map on-screen, mousing over a blinking dot labeled Wanda. She isn’t moving. None of them are moving. Paul sighs. “We’re all busy. But it’s a Company-All, so if you – ” “Is it a Susan meeting?” “No. It’s the kickoff for Blackquest 40.” “Means nothing to me.” I click Wanda. Why aren’t they moving? Database problem? Paul says the meeting invite should have explained everything. Blackquest 40 is a training exercise, mandatory for every employee in the company. I look up and see that, indeed, he has the whole team in tow. Jared in his My Code Can’t Fix Your Stupid trucker hat. Minosh fingering his spiral-bound notebook, peeking at a clock. They are watching me – all 5’2″ if you count the platinum spikes, and a decade younger than them – like zoo visitors wondering if the glass is thick enough around this freak-colored poison frog. “Susan hired me,” I say, invoking our rockstar CEO again. “Susan said I don’t have to participate in anything I don’t believe in.” “Look, this project – ” “Is corporate training. High on my list of things to not believe in.” With that, I pop over to the log file, which confirms my worst fear: the Carebnb database isn’t refreshing. The last GPS coordinates are from eight minutes ago, meaning Wanda and every other unhoused person on that map is misplaced. Ugh. The timing is brutal. Today is my launch, the day I am supposed to start demonstrating to all the venture capitalists not funding my side project that a little technology plus basic human decency can equal disruptive positive change. Across the city, 137 unhoused San Franciscans are wearing 137 smart wristbands, produced at great expense by a local micro-manufacture co-op, in the hopes of connecting with a beta host. I signed up 344 hosts, but that number is dicey because many I bullied into joining. Some will have uninstalled the Carebnb app, not anticipating that I’ll soon be combing my list for chicken-outs and visiting their apartments to measure, then post on social media, just how many square feet of covered living space they waste nightly. My brain races for solutions, but Paul’s voice and eau de McGriddle distract me. He’s explaining that Susan is out of pocket tying up loose ends in Davos, that Carter Kotanchek has the ball until – “Okay Paul, honestly?” I click over to the T server, the probable source of my issue. “There is no combination of words or faux-words you can say that will get me off this workstation.” “You’re the principal software architect, Deb,” he says. “We need you. I’m still in the dark myself, but I’m hearing Blackquest 40 is enormous.” My mouth twists. “Getting colder.” Paul hates managing me. I’m sure he goes home every night to Li Wei, his former-secretary-now-wife, and curses Susan for poaching me away from Google. Now, as his eyes roam my workspace – hemp satchel, bin of droid Hot Wheels, Polarity of the Universe toggle currently set to Amoral, my toes in their sandals (he has a pervy thing for my feet) – his face drops another shade closer to dough. He looks at my screen. “How much time are you spending on Carebnb?” “Twenty-five percent, just like my contract says.” I manage to keep a straight face. It’s a required Company-All. You don’t badge in, you lose network privileges. It would set you back.” “You can void that.” “I can.” Paul taps his ample jowls, thoughtfully paternal. “But I won’t.” I’ve been working throughout our exchange, deciphering error messages, rebooting, tweaking this and that… nothing is helping. I grit my teeth. Resetting my network privileges would be a big, sticky wad of red tape. “Fine,” I say, “I’ll do the meeting. But I am still not participating in this Blockquest deal.” “Blackquest.” “Whatever.” I can bring my laptop and troubleshoot from the conference room. “Our queue is about ten miles long – whose bright idea was some lame time-suck training?” Paul grimaces. “Carter is driving it.” Carter Kotanchek, our chief financial officer, is warring with Paul about the makeup of the Codewise Solutions workforce. Paul favors programmers in keeping with our reputation as the leading machine-learning and optimization company on the planet. Carter wants more salespeople and has a knack for finding third-party vendors who sport the same Gatsby slickback he does. Inexplicably, Carter is winning. The engineers behind Paul knock in place like pens in a mug, waiting. I flop my wrist toward the elevators. “Go, go – I’ll catch up. Two minutes.” They go. Paul lowers his gaze in a final I know you will choose wisely appeal. I focus on my screen with a wonderfully McGriddle-free breath, then try refreshing the database. DENIED: CONNECTIVITY ERROR 612. I rejigger a script and try again. DENIED: CONNECTIVITY ERROR 612. Same error every time. This is infuriating. Have I been found out? I never officially informed Paul about routing Carebnb’s unhoused-person GPS data through T, Codewise’s least busy server. Did he shut me down without telling me? Coincidentally on my most important day of the year? No way. Paul would write a huffy email or file a ticket. He won’t refill our departmental stash of teabags without paperwork. My calendar bleeps. YOU HAVE NOT BADGED INTO BLACKQUEST 40 KICKOFF (ORGANIZER: CARTER K.); NETWORK PRIVILEGES WILL RESET IN 4 MINUTES. I stand and grab my laptop, then remember it doesn’t have the software to access the T server. I won’t be able to troubleshoot during the meeting after all. I’ll be forced to sit there and eat an hour’s worth of corporate mumbo-jumbo. “Raven!” I call over my shoulder. My trusty solar-powered quadcopter perks up. She hums around to my sightline, her underside dome blipping green to indicate her attention. “Attend meeting in conference room 6-A. Badge in. Watch, back row. Record.” Raven processes each command using natural language algorithms I wrote in grad school, then lowers her claw – repurposed off a junked arcade game – to accept my keycard. As the drone whispers up the hall, I feel a twinge of unease. She’s attended meetings in my stead before but never on a different floor. She will need to push a button, read a floor indicator, possibly accommodate human riders… logic I have given her but not thoroughly stress-tested. It’s asking a lot. I work another five minutes without success. Air blasts through my nostrils. I need eyes on a live wristband. I grab the phone and dial Cecil, my go-to trial user. Cecil has known me since I was a baby, when Mom would push me around in her cart, snuggled in among dumpster scraps and Styrofoam peanuts. Cecil walked me through the roughest part of the city every day of second grade, and taught me the nutcracker choke after a kid pushed a shiv through my septum in fifth. “Lil Deb, yo,” he answers in a deep baritone. “Cec! Hey Cec, I’m seeing weirdness on my end and I need to know if you – ” “How’s your mom?” “Oh, she’s cool, I talked to the orderlies and – ” “They’re keeping her meds straight?” “No no, yeah, it’s all good,” I say – Cecil is so unfailingly polite you have to move him along sometimes – “listen, what are you seeing with Carebnb? Is your wristband working?” “Think so.” “Green light?” “Yep.” “Map of available host beds showing up?” “Yep.” “How many hosts in range? My database wonked and I gotta know if the problem is local or if peer-to-peer transfers are broken too.” A guttural breath over the line. “English, Deb. Regular English please.” I grip the keyboard tray, slow myself down. “Could we possibly meet? I think I have to see the wristband myself to diagnose this. Sorry, I hate to inconvenience you.” “I’m homeless. Where else I gotta go.” “Right. How about our usual spot, say twenty minutes?” Before he can respond, the call drops. Bzzzzzzzzzz. I clench my jaw and redial. NO SERVICE. I stand and waggle my phone outside my cube, I walk to the window, I glare at the Verizon logo and telepathically threaten to hack their transceivers to mush if they don’t find me a signal. Nada. I plunk back down. I’m contemplating flipping my Polarity of the Universe toggle to Evil when a tinny sound announces the presence of a new window on my monitor: Raven’s livestream. She made it up to the Blackquest kickoff meeting. Atta girl. I resize the window to span my entire screen and watch as the big conference room comes into focus. The Company-All is underway. Carter Kotanchek stands at the podium in a dapper summer-weight suit. Raven’s camera won’t win any TechCrunch awards, but Carter’s teeth still gleam from the middle of a plastic grin. “Like y’t’meet Jim Dawson,” he says, introducing a stone-faced man in chunky glasses. “Jim here runs Elite Development, the company that will be facilitating Blackquest 40. Guys are doing phenomenal stuff in a new space called Extreme Readiness. Helping organizations build capability to complete projects of extreme complexity, requiring extreme teamwork, on extreme deadlines. So far they’ve been working with high-leverage government agencies, paramilitary, et cetera. We, ladies and gents, are fortunate enough to be corporate client number one.” Dawson, in a bland accent – Ohio? Indiana? – thanks Carter and says he’s pleased to be here today. Excited for our shared journey. Gag. So not participating. As my focus returns to Carebnb, I groan at the ceiling. I need to test a wristband, but if I can’t meet Cecil… hmm. I have a few spares lying around, but none are initialized. I’m figuring how long initialization would take – and how true a read I’d get from a wristband not in the field – when I hear something that stops me cold. “… campus quarantine and data blockade will remain in place for the duration of Blackquest 40. If you absolutely require outside contact, in case of emergency or vital family obligation, a protocol exists… ” Wait, data blockade? I rewind Raven’s feed and replay the last fifteen seconds. Elite Development, in the name of “improved focus and personal efficiency,” is collecting every cellphone in the building and blocking all inbound-outbound internet traffic. I feel slight queasiness at the authoritarianism of the whole setup, but mostly relief. Because now I get it. These jerks shut down T. They killed my call. Probably they’re using some military-grade antenna to zap cellular signals, and a simple software block on the servers. And that won’t stop me. *** Excerpt from Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond. Copyright © 2019 by Bond. Reproduced with permission from Bond. All rights reserved.

 

  Jeff Bond

Author Bio:

Jeff Bond is a Kansas native and graduate of Yale University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On: jeffbondbooks.com | BookBub | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook!!

 

My Review

5 stars

Deb Bollinger is an IT engineer at Codewise. Although her coding skills are amazing, her pet project is an app that finds unoccupied places for homeless people to stay. On the day of the release of her app the company decides to have all the employees to partake in this mandatory training exercise. Deb is not one to follow the rules and specifically agreed to work for the firm if she didn’t have to do any of these menial tasks.

When Deb tries to leave she learns that there is more to this exercise than what you first see and it bothers her how militaristic it is. She starts to worry and decides that she is going to get the other employees and herself out of this team exercise no matter what she has to do.

This book has so much computer slang in it that I have to admit I understood some of it but most probably went over my head. But that didn’t change this book. It actually made it feel more real to me. Deb has a history regarding living on the streets and with someone that has mental problems. I loved how she wanted to change this situation for others. I also loved how she was tough, not going to take no for an answer, and was determined to beat this exercise.

I do see where this is a nod to Die Hard and I loved that. I think I’m going to have to go back and watch this movie again to see all the Easter Eggs I missed. This is a great story and one that any thriller lover will enjoy. Jeff Bond did a great job with this book and I can’t wait to check out his other books.

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

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Enter Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 13, 2019 and runs through July 15, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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I would like to thank Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson

As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.

Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.

Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?

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To celebrate publication day, all three books of the Silent Sea Chronicles series are $.99 today!

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The Lost Sentinel #1 Silent Sea Chronicles

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The Sentinel’s Reign #2 Silent Sea Chronicles

Amazon     Goodreads

About the Author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Website     Twitter      Facebook     Instagram     Goodreads     Amazon author page     Bookbub

My Review

5 stars

We have come a long way since first meeting Tei and learned of the island of Kalaya. The civil war is over and the people of Kalaya are picking up the pieces. But the magic users are still not safe. There are those that are still hunting down the magic users and killing them to keep a Fire Mage from killing the leader of the Elkena invaders.

To try and save themselves, Tei and some magic users travel to Stone Haven to try and heal the land with magic. But if they thought their battle at home was difficult the Stone Haven Counsel has even more hatred for the magic users.

This is a great conclusion to the series. We have come so far from Tei and her father running for safety. We have lost those we come to care about and meet others that hold a special place in the story. With war things are never easy and everyone has a huge fight if they plan on having peace and rebuilding this world.

I have really enjoyed this series and strongly recommend it to those that enjoy fantasy stories. There is a little bit of everything in these books. I can’t wait to read more from Suzanne Rogerson.

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 Chronicles of the Stone by Fiona Ingram

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The Secret of the Sacred Scarab (Book 1)

A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them.

They survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra, as well as sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor.

With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another! Book bonus includes a Readers’ Guide to Ancient Egypt for young explorers, plus hand-drawn pictures from Adam’s journal of what the cousins saw in Egypt.

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My Review

5 Stars

Adam and Justin Sinclair are over joyed when their journalist Aunt Isabel invites them to explore Egypt with her. On their first day they run into a peddler that gives them an Egyptian scarab that catches the eye of Dr. Faisal Khalid. The boys sense they are in danger and do end up kidnapped at one point. But they are on an adventure to solve the riddle of the scarab and find the tomb of the Scarab King.

This is a wonderful midgrade adventure in Egypt. Both boys are excited to find the tomb and are aware that Dr. Khalid is going to do whatever it takes to find the tomb also, including kidnapping the boys. The boys are going to be up to their necks in trouble but they keep fighting through.

This is a great adventure story for kids with a dash of Egypt. I think it will appeal to kids and adults alike. I really enjoyed how this was the first in a series that clearly opens the way to more about the Seven Stones of Power. I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens next.

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The Search for the Stone of Excalibur (Book 2)

Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur.

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?

Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, myths and legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in an exciting children’s adventure series-The Chronicles of the Stone-which began with the multi award-winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab.

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My Review

5 Stars

We jump right into the action with Adam and Justin in Scotland at the Strathairn Castle. But they are not alone, Aunt Isabel send them with a girl, Kim. The three kids are after the second Stone of Power. They think it is the stone in the hilt of Excalibur, which has just be rediscovered. Of course Dr. Khalid is still after the kids and the stones.

I love the continuation of The Chronicles of the Stone. Justin and Adam are back and not exactly happy about having a girl with them. But no matter what they think Kim comes in handy quite a bit.

Of course Dr. Khalid is back and after the next stone but the kids also have a new threat, the Eaters of Poison have their own plans. The kids will have to be on their toes around these guys. But they are not just hunting for the next stone; they also need to find the Scroll of the Ancients. This holds clues for finding the other Stones of Power.

This is a great action adventure for midgrade readers. I quickly found myself with the kids on their hunt for the next stone. But as they get closer they are going to find that the stakes are also higher and things are going to get significantly harder the further they go along.

I have enjoyed this series and can’t wait to see where the kids are heading for the next stone.

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The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper (Book 3)

Continuing the adventure that ended in Britain just a short while ago, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair, with their friend Kim Maleka, are now hunting for the third Stone of Power, one of seven mysterious stones lost centuries ago. The third stone might be located in an ancient city, hidden in the depths of the Mexican jungle.

When their small plane crashes in the jungle, Adam, Justin, Kim, and James are rescued by an uncontacted tribe. James, who is wounded, must stay behind as the kids, with only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the city. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task.

Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on in search of the lost city of stone gods. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

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My Review

5 Stars

Adam, Justin and Kim are on the hunt for the third Stone of Power. They find themselves flying to the Mexican jungle when things go wrong and the plane crashes. The kids know the dangers of the jungle but they still need to find the stone. They come across some Maya descendants that are being terrorized by a man calling himself Tezcatlipoca and believing himself a god. It’s up to the kids to find the stone, keep it out of Dr. Khalid’s hands, and to stop this man posing as a god.

I just love this series. This time the kids are in Mexican jungle and we get to learn more about the Aztec and Mayans cultures and mythology. I loved learning with the kids. I felt for Tukum and everything he had on his shoulders. Of course I hated Tezcatlipoca, Smoking Mirror and how he was treating the people. I was so glad when he got his.

This is a great adventure series for midgrade readers and any age. You learn history as the kids race to claim the Stones of Power. I am officially hooked and can’t wait to find out where the next stone will take the kids.

Fiona Ingram

About the Author

I can’t remember NOT having a book in my hand. My schoolmates called me a bookworm, and nothing’s changed since then. I was brought up on the children’s classics because my parents are also avid readers. My earliest story-telling talents came to the fore when, from the age of ten, I entertained my three younger brothers and their friends with serialized tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, which they survived through courage and ingenuity (of course!). Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and skeletons leaping out of coffins were hot favourites in the cast of characters that populated “Gruesome Gables” where all these adventures were played out. We also acted out the stories for my long-suffering parents, whom I see now were remarkably tolerant of my budding thespian and script-writing talents!

I graduated from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, with a double first in my B.A. (French & Drama). After completing my Honors in Drama at Natal, I then went to the University of the Witwatersrand to do my Masters degree in French-African literature. I also studied drama at The Drama Studio in London and mime at L’Ecole Jacques le Coq in Paris. Upon my return to South Africa, I immersed myself in teaching drama at community centres, and became involved in producing community and grassroots theatre with local playwrights and performers in Natal for several years.

A move to Johannesburg took me in a new direction—that of journalism. I have written freelance for the last fifteen years on everything from serial killers to relationship advice (making me a popular dinner guest to revive any flagging conversations). Writing a children’s book—The Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for my 2 nephews (then 10 and 12), who had accompanied me on the Egyptian trip. We had a marvellous time and it truly was the catalyst in changing my career. This short story grew into a children’s book, the first in the adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone. After the usual spate of rejections from snobby (British) agents, which I believe it every writer’s baptism of fire, I discovered America and made the decision to be published there. The book has done well there, even though the young heroes are South African, and has already garnered two impressive fiction nominations.

I’m already immersed in the next book in the series—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—a huge treat for young King Arthur fans (and older ones as well). Although I do not have children of my own, I have an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background who is just discovering the joys of reading for pleasure. My interests include literature, art, theatre, collecting antiques, animals, music, movies, and wondering when I am going to be the next J.K. Rowling.

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I would like to thank Loving the Book for the opportunity to read and share these books.

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Anything But His Soul: A Holocaust Memoir by Moshe Bomberg & Aviva Hershko

Meeting his brother in Auschwitz, he understood that they are all alone

A young boy’s world falls apart! He can trust no one and does not know what his tomorrow holds or if he will live to see it.

Poland 1944, Mjetek finds himself in Auschwitz after taking part in Zionist underground activities trying to fight against the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. He meets his brother and understands that their entire family has been massacred and that their days are numbered. Mjetek decides to not give up and says he is a blacksmith, though he has never worked with metal. At work in one of the factories, a melted piece of iron falls and burns him. He manages to go back to the camp and his brother takes care of him, selling his golden tooth for medical supplies. Staying in the “clinic” was supposed to be the end of Mjetek but this is actually what saves him. When his brother is marched to his death and they have to say their final goodbye.

Mjetek’s story of survival is marked with small miracles, determination and unbelievable bravery. This memoir will leave you breathless and heartbroken, yet, inspired.

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Moshe (Mjetek) Bomberg

About the Author

Moshe Mjetek Bomberg was born in 1920 in Warsaw – Poland. WWII brought him to the Warsaw Ghetto, the Osrowitz camp and the Auschwitz concentration camp where he understood that he was the only one survivor of his entire family. After the Soviets freed the camp and Mjetek was saved, he joined the Polish Security Service and from there, as a refugee, tried to make his way to Israel. His journey to Israel was not a success due to the British Mandate and he was sent to Cyprus. This is where he met his wife Sara.

In January 1949, Mjetek and Sara came to Israel and at the end of that year had their first daughter whom they named Zehava – after his mother. Their son was born 5 years later and named Yechezkel – after Mjetek’s brother.

In Israel, Mjetek worked as a wrestling coach and a referee and took part in the Munich Olympics, where 11 of the Israeli team members were murdered.
Mjetek’s children gave him five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

My Review

5 stars

This is the story of Mjetek Bomberg’s survival of World War II. Mjetek grew up in Poland and watched as the antisemitism blazed through his home country. He relates how him and his family found themselves in the ghetto then send to the concentration camps. Mjetek was separated from his family but when he got to Auschwitz he meets his brother and learns that the rest of his family have been killed. But that meeting was short lived as they were separated and his brother was killed. But an accident that sent him to the hospital is what ended up saving him.

I am a strong advocate for reading stories from the Holocaust because I feel that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Plus we have an obligation to the survivor’s to keep their memories even as horrible as they were. This can be hard initially since most survivors don’t want to talk about what they lived through.

Mjetek is one of those survivors that didn’t talk about his time but left tapes for his grandchildren. His granddaughter has put his story together and created a heartbreaking but wonderful memorial for her grandfather. But the story is not based on just his time in the concentration camps. His story goes on to talk about how the Jewish were prosecuted even after World War II.

We also learn of how Mjetek tried to get to Israel and how he met his wife in Cyprus. He goes on to become a wrestling coach and was part of the Munich Olympic where 11 members of the Israeli team were murdered. Mjetek definitely lived quite the life and I feel honored to read about it.

I strongly recommend checking out Anything But His Soul. This is one of those books that needs to be read so we don’t forget the horrors that happened during World War II and afterwards.

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

I would like to thank Ari at Candid Book Reviews for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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St. Benet’s

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St. Benet’s (DI Tanner – 2) by David Blake

A girl thrown from a church tower, a man sacrificed to Satan, and a priest murdered at the hands of the Devil.

When the body of an old man is found lying in the ruins of St Benet’s Abbey, his throat cut, a knife resting in his open hand, DI John Tanner and DC Jenny Evans are given no choice but to accept a ruling of death by misadventure.

But when the body goes missing from its tomb, after a priest is found nailed to a cross, and another impaled on a stake, everything begins to point back to the murder of a teenage girl, thrown from the top of a church tower, some forty-three years before.

Set within the mysterious beauty of the Norfolk Broads, this fast-paced British detective series is a murder mystery with a slice of humour and a touch of romance, one that will have you guessing until the very end, when the last shocking twist is finally revealed.

St. Benet’s is a totally addictive gripping crime thriller, the second in a chilling series of serial killer books, ones which will rapidly convert followers of L J Ross, Faith Martin, Joy Ellis, Damien Boyd and Helen H. Durrant into David Blake devotees.

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THE DEBUT CRIME THRILLER SERIES OF THE YEAR!
“Wow! Even better than Broadland!” Anna Burke

David Blake

About the Author

David Blake is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written fourteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his fifteenth, St. Benet’s, which is the follow-up to his debut crime fiction thriller, Broadland.

When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.

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My Review

5 Stars

An elderly man is found dressed as a monk in the ruins of the St. Benet’s Abbey. His throat is cut and the police don’t know if it was suicide, murder, or misadventure. They end up ruling the death as misadventure. The man said that he had a book that made him believe that he could rise from the dead. Then the body disappears from its tomb. Then more bodies start showing up and it is starting to look like they are connected to a murder for forty years earlier.

This is my first book from author David Blake and the second in the series. I had no problem hopping right into the story and not feeling too lost. But I do think that reading the books in order would give you more of a feel for the characters.

You have a strange death, a missing body, a murder from forty years earlier, and more bodies starting to show up. If that wasn’t enough you also have Tanner and Evans working together and their personal drama too. There is a lot going on but everything is relevant to the story. No fluff to fill in pages or throw you off the case.

I loved this story and was kept guessing until the end. I recommend this book for anyone that likes a great police procedure thriller. I can’t wait to catch up on what I have missed from the Broadland.

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

I would like to thank Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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