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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

Perturbations

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Perturbations by Gary Beck

Evoking concern about disruptions to the desire for a comfortable, prosperous, untroubled life, Perturbations leads us through all its gloriously chaotic uncertainties.

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 Gary Beck

Author’s Bio

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 2 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines & Tremors (Winter Goose Publishing). Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living will be published by Thurston Howl Publications. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts ( Lillicat Publishers) State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

Website

My Review

5 stars

Perturbations is a magnificent collection of poems from Gary Beck. The poems are about many things we face in our lives. From birth to death, love and loss, and loneliness. We start with the Pledge of Allegiance and go from there.

Gary Beck has such a way with words that you feel part of every poem. I will be honest, I’m not really a poetry person so there were a couple poems that I had to go back and reread. To think about the whole picture, not just what you see when reading the poem but feel too.

Function speaks of “exuberant spring” and how “I sit on depression bed.” Sanctuary about an apartment where you “take refuge in a secret haven.” A Defeat hits home with “crippled, strength fled, wingless, unable to seek refuge.”

This is a great collection of touching poetry that I strongly recommend checking out. It would be the perfect addition to anyone’s shelves.

I received Perturbations from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Follow the Snowflakes

Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

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Follow the Snowflakes front cover.jpgAuthor Name: Angelina Kerner

Book Title: Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

Date Published: December 15, 2017

Genre: Chick-lit/ Contemporary Romance

At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.

That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger.

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My Review

5 stars

Cat thought she had the perfect guy until her best friend, Regina points out and engagement notice with Cat’s boyfriend and his fiancé. Now Cat is worried that she is going to be single for another year. But Regina tells her about one of her student’s Dear Santa letter asking for a new mommy.

Regina tries to setup Cat but things fall through on Cat’s end. But on the way home, Cat witnesses a hit and run and helps a clearly sick man to the hospital. They form a sweet friendship and Cat is very interested in Hunter but he has a wife and Cat was just badly burned with her last boyfriend.

This is the sweetest little Christmas story. It could easily be a Hallmark Christmas movie. Cat is sweet and gets a bad deal with her now former boyfriend. But she stumbles upon Hunter and starts falling for him. But Hunter has his own story, including the sweetest little bow, Lawrence.

This is the perfect little read that will leave you warm and fuzzy and ready for Christmas.

I received Follow the Snowflakes from Reads &Reels Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

About the Author

Angelina Kerner

ANGELINA KERNER is a self-published author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

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Excerpt

Sunday

December 17th, 2017

Dear Diary,

When I eventually return to read my entries in my old age, I’ll always remember just how miserable I was in December of 2017. I should have had a diary when I was a teen; then it would have been funny to re-read what I went through back then. When I was in high school, I didn’t have many friends. In fact, my mother introduced me to a girl on the day of orientation. Here’s the story:

Mom parked her car, and we got out. She began looking for all the gathered students outside of the gymnasium. I knew no one at the high school and Mom knew that too. It was mainly because I finished middle school in a different district and at that moment, I was not happy about the move. I gazed at the students and my Mom. She had that glint in her eyes that said a plan was forming and I could do nothing to stop it. After a minute, she motioned me to follow her and I did, just like the good girl that I was. We walked up to two girls. One had long brown hair and was wearing a loose shirt and long skirt, while the other had short blonde hair, glasses and wore a tiger t-shirt with jeans. Mom told them how it would be nice for them to take little old me into their friendship. They said ‘sure,’ and she just left me there.

You see Diary? Now those are memories. Memories of dating an engaged guy at 28, is not as good as that one, huh?

If you’re wondering, I couldn’t really make friends with the long skirt. She and I were too different. She was very opinionated, and I couldn’t hold a conversation without being confused. The glasses girl and I stayed friends until the first year of college. We grew apart after she moved away. I did hear from her once. She congratulated me on my degree. It was random. She sounded happy, and she met her life partner. I was happy for her, but that conversation didn’t rekindle the friendship that lasted for five years.

Now, I am off to work. Yes, I’m working today, although it’s a Sunday. There are branches open on Sundays; I am talking about the ones inside the grocery stores. My friend, Jessica, who’s a manager at one, called me to cover for her today because she has a cold. I couldn’t say no, so I need to go. Oh, and she told me to buy her crew breakfast! At least, we’re only open until 2 pm today.

Cat

PS: Buy those groceries TONIGHT, or you’ll be eating Chinese noodles, and not the take-out ones.

Giveaway

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I have the sweetest Giveaway for the tour – pictured here – & open worldwide.

Included is a Wine bottle Christmas tree, chocolates, Rudolph hot chocolate with Snowflake marshmallows, a Christmas tree ornament and a signed copy of Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted.

While you read, you can enjoy chocolate!

 Angelina XO

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Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

Blog Tour Schedule

Dec. 11th

Reads & Reels (Featured Promo)

Book Reviews by Shalini (Excerpt)

Darque Dreamer Reads (Review)

Gemma’s Book Reviews (Review)

Dec. 12th

Jen Med’s Book Reviews (Review)

Romantic Reads and Such (Review)

Loves Books Group (Review)

Tranquil Dreams (Review)

Nesie’s Place (Excerpt)

Dec. 13th

Book Inspector Blog (Review)

Spunky n’ Sassy (Review)

Endless Reading Blog (Review)

Didi Oviatt (Review)

Novel Gossip (Review)

Dec. 14th

Books to Get Lost In (Review)

JBronder Book Reviews (Review)

Portable Magic (Review)

Bookish Lifestyle (Review)

Book Lover in Florida (Review)

Dec. 15th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review)

Splashes into Books (Review)

 Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

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Child of Creation

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Child of Creation: Book On of Then Came a King by Robert Donohue

Alone and terrified, the only son of the village’s hunter is on the run from a threat he can’t even understand. Marauders, who destroyed his village and murdered his parents, are chasing him to silence the only voice left able to bear witness to their atrocities. His parents ominously warned him to trust no one as they sent him away while they fought courageously to give their young teenage son a chance to live. Thus, begins the adventures of Lark, son of Roclin. Follow Lark as he joins a group who teaches him that the world isn’t as simple as he was raised to believe. Lark soon learns that the fantastic stories he and his friends grew up hearing of a much bigger world where not just Elves and Dwarves, but Gnomes and Trolls, even magical Sprites could exist, are true. Even more disturbing, he begins to learn that his own heritage includes stunning secrets. Secrets that cause Lark to question not only who he can trust, now that he is on his own, but why his parents kept so many truths from him. Lark is forced to grow up quickly as he ventures into the incredibly dangerous world outside the sleepy little village of his youth and must learn and adapt, or die. Without any other real options, he begins a personal quest to make those who destroyed the only world he had ever known pay for their crimes. All the while, learning what it means to be the Child of Creation.

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 Robert Donohue

Author’s Bio

Born in Chicago and raised in a suburb of Syracuse, NY I then moved to Vicksburg, MS where I still live. I started writing fiction in college after getting a few A’s on my Composition class papers and have kept at it until I finally decided to see if people were interested in reading what I was writing. I spent most of my career as a police officer and would write as a way to burn off stress. Child of Creation is my first published book and I am looking for some feedback to tell me if I am on the right track here or not.

My Review

5 stars

Lark lives in a small village with his parents when they are murdered. Lark is sent out on his own and discovers a young lady. He ends up joining her and learns that the stories that he has been told all his life are real and there is much more to the world than what he knows. Lark is a very important young man and will be needed by his God to create.

Lark travels along with his companions to the Great Western Fair. Along the way he is going to meet a lot of creatures and people and learn plenty of his world. He is also going to learn that not everyone is going to help him and many want to stop him.

This is a wonderful epic fantasy story. I love Lark, he is thrown into a huge world and is a fish out of water. As he travels he meets many creatures, some we have seen before and some that are fresh creations. Ultimately he learns that he is the Child of Creation and is the key to prevent the eastern hordes from crossing the Great Divide and destroying the western people.

This is a wonderful story that will leave you hanging. Yes, there is a huge cliff hanger, be prepared, that will leave you wanting more from Robert Donohue.

I received Child of Creation from PR by the Book for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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12 Days to Happiness

Book Details:Book Title: 21 Days to Happiness: Increase Your Happiness, Productivity and Happiness
Author: Ingrid Kelada
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 230 pages
Genre: Motivational, self-help
Publisher: Wellness Ink
Release date: September 19, 2017
Tour dates: Nov 27 to Dec 15, 2017
Content Rating: G (The subject is intended more for adults, but there’s no explicit language or content.)Book Description:

Struggling to find work-life balance? Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated or just want to increase your happiness, you can learn how in just 10 minutes a day!

For some of us, feeling busy or stressed has become the new normal. Others feel okay, but just want a boost to productivity, energy and motivation.

Instead of hoping for happiness, what if happiness is something you DO, something you CHOOSE every day? The good news: it is and the solutions are simple.

Psychologist and happiness expert Ingrid Kelada provides a practical, step-by-step guide to help you increase your personal happiness and feel more motivated. You can learn how with simple 10-minute strategies. Each day of the 21-day journey focuses on one key area of your life, including:

Time: how to break the cycle of chaos and manage your time effectively.
Body Language: exploring the surprising links between body language and happiness.
Relationships: how to make the most of the number one predictor of happiness.
Work: how to use your strengths and talents so that you are engaged and motivated.
Money: what you should spend your money on to feel most satisfied.

The book is interactive. Each chapter features resources like apps to try, videos to watch for deeper understanding, or tools to help you master these new habits. At the end of three weeks, along with increased happiness, you’ll find you’ve become more:

• productive
• focused
• patient
• energetic
• healthy
• motivated
• positive

Happiness is a choice. A daily decision to choose happy can be easy, fun and rewarding. With this book, in just a few minutes per day, you can practice one new happiness habit, add resources to your arsenal, and jot down your notes in the journal section.

Buy 21 Days to Happiness today to create a happier more satisfying life.

Buy the Book:
Watch the trailer:
My Review
5 stars

How happy are you? Do you desire to be happy? Feel like you are struggling? Look no further. 21 Days to Happiness is a great guide to how to be happier, more productive, and decrease your frustration. Ingrid Kelada goes into the science of happiness. How you define happiness, benefits, factors, and so much more.

From there Ingrid has 21 Happiness Tips. She suggests that you do the tips one a day for three weeks. Of course this is to help change your mind and start a habit. But I love how there are the tips, more information, and a section that you can records how it went on each tip.

This book is a great guide to help change your mind and to be happier. It’s amazing what a change just being happy can make on our lives. But it seems so hard to be able to change our frame of mind. I love this guide, it give you scientific information behind happiness, then gives you an amazing guide to help rewire your mind.

If you are serious about being happy then you need to check out this book. You will love it.

I received 21 Days to Happiness from iRead Books Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Meet the Author:

 

Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world. People find her to be pragmatic, inspiring and funny! She has an online personality questionnaire store to help people identify their talents and interests. With over 25 years experience, she offers her expertise to a wide range of clients. She is bilingual and a member of the professional association of Psychologists of Quebec. Visit her online at http://www.keladacc.ca

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn ~ Instagram

 Excerpt
The Benefits Of Living A Happier Life

Do you want to feel better? Feeling good is just the start of the exciting benefits that stem from increased happiness. Hundreds of studies on positive psychology show that feeling happy, which is defined as having more positive emotions, has a wide range of benefits.

With all these rich benefits, it’s worth investing your time and a little effort in increasing your happiness. Here are some outcomes you can anticipate.

Health: Happier people tend to get sick less frequently, recover more quickly, and live longer.

Success at work: Happier people and happier teams are more productive and profitable. They have higher sales, more satisfied customers, and get better evaluations from their employers.

Deeper connections: Happier people have better relationships and deeper connections with other people.

Generosity: Happier people give more of their resources, including time and money, to help others.

Positivity: Feeling happy widens the span of possibilities. Happier people are shown to be more creative and curious. They are open to exploring new ideas and possibilities, which leads to more growth.

Resilience: Everyone experiences life’s ups and downs, but happier people are better able to bounce back, and are more likely to find solutions to the challenges they face.

Infectiousness: Last but not least, I always say that happiness is contagious. Happier people share their positive emotions with family, friends, and colleagues, leaving a wake of smiles and positivity wherever they go.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 23
 One winner will get a signed copy of 21 Days to Happiness plus a $20 Amazon gift card
(open to USA and Canada)
and
two winners will each get an ebook copy of 21 Days to Happiness
(open to int’l)
3 winners total

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The Four Worlds Series

The Five Warriors
The Four Worlds Series Book 1
by Angela J. Ford
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy
“The characters were well-written and well-developed, the story was clear
and enjoyable without being predictable, and there were a couple of
evenings I stayed up later than I intended just so I could get to the
end of a chapter. If you’re a fantasy fan, you’re going to LOVE
this!” —Amazon review


What if…
your best friend started a rebellion in the middle of a war?
your lover awakened a deep evil and helped it grow?
your people were too cowardly to face a battle?
you stole an ancient power source?
you gambled with the fate of the world?
Join five powerful warriors each with a unique ability and magical
weapons. Their quest is to discover where the transformed creatures
are coming from and put a stop to it.
Along the way they run into treacherous immortals, sea monsters,
powerful beasts of the air and talking animals.
Each has their own reasoning for joining the quest, but one carries a
deadly secret which just might be the destruction of them all.
“Angela’s imagination has brought these characters to life and the
worlds they live in.”
Amazon review
 My Review
5 stars

An immortal evil has risen and it is up to five warriors from the four worlds to fulfill a prophecy. Alaireia, Marklus, Legone, Starman, and Crinte have their own battles and wounds. They are not a perfect group but they are going to learn to work together. But are they all really going to fulfill the prophecy. It seems that someone in the group is going to do everything they can to stop their little group.

You have a world of diverse people that are going to have to come together to save the Western World. All of the characters are strong and have that little spark that keeps them fighting. I love that Alaireia is a strong female lead. I love strong women and think that she is my favorite person.

This is a classic epic story where you jump right in with a battle and go on the adventure from there. You won’t get bogged down with a ton of world building, you are going from one adventure to another and learning on the way.

I loved this story and cannot get enough of this world. I can’t wait to see what happens in book two.

The Five Warriors. Excerpt 1.

PROLOGUE

“Are there beings with the ability to shift forms?” he asked.

She reached out a hand to caress his serious face and laughed lightly. “Why would you ask me that?”

“Tell me, would I know if I saw one?” “You are serious.”

She stood, letting the moonlight filter through the waves of her waist-length hair. “Changers are old beings from the beginning of time, the last scraps of the creator’s spark which formed this World. You would be unlikely to meet one, for they are above us; too distinguished to flirt with the people groups, and too haughty to lower themselves to live with the immortals.” Her long fingers rested on the balcony, gripping it tightly as she continued. “If you ever met one it would be unexplainable. They have two forms which makes them indestructible. One is physical and another is spirit.”

“Would you know if you met a Changer?” he pressed. “Are they dangerous?” She laughed again, her voice rippling gently through the air like the tinkling of silver bells on a crisp night.

“Dangerous? There are no creatures in the World more powerful or dangerous.”

“What if I met a Changer? What should I do?”

She turned back to him, bending to take his face in her hands. Her intense gaze met his questioning eyes. “Run as fast as you can and never stop.”

The Blended Ones
The Four Worlds Series Book 2
Over 100 years after The Five Warriors saved the Western World, the
Blended Ones have become a curse in the Eastern World. Beware the
Blended Ones…

Phyllis and her 17 year old twin sister, Ilieus are Blended Ones. But Ilieus
suffers from visions of darkness she is unable to discern. Forsaken
by their parents the two cross the country in search of the Order of
the Wise for help.
Cuthan the Charmer is mischievous enough to change anyone’s mind with a
smile and a wink. Born into a family of treasure hunters, he s
searching for the key to unlocking his dormant powers.
Pharengon the Horse Lord was born to be King. Young and inexperienced he
seeks a weapon to turn the tide of the war in his favor. But when his very
own army betrays him, he will have to turn to the Lost Ones for assistance.
Caught in the fate of the Eastern World the youths destinies become twisted
together in a frightful quest that will change the course of time. In
the midst of their whirlwind adventure, they discover love, loss, and
uncover the truth about who and what is behind the chaotic, spiraling
events in the Eastern World.
This can be read as a stand alone novel
My Review
5 stars

It has been a few years since The Five Warriors. The worlds have come together and the different people have started blended families. But these children are dangerous and many are killed as babies. Phyllis and Ilieus are two of these blended children. But Ilieus is starting to have dark visions and Phyllis decides that the best thing for them to do is to find the Order of Wise.

The sisters are joined by Cuthan, the son of treasure hunters that doesn’t take things too seriously. There is also Pharengon, an upcoming king that tried to turn the war in his favor but ended up with his own army turning on them. He is going to the Lost Ones to help save this world.

The Blended One is a change from The Five Warriors. The Five Warriors were ready for battle and willing to jump into the fight. The Blended One has the feel of a reluctant quest with everyone being the last person that should have gone. But the group has to succeed, if they don’t the Eastern World will fall.

I have to say at first it was a little disappointing going from a strong, kick butt, female warrior to twin sisters that are not really adventure material. Although this felt more of the ragtag group, they do come together to fight.

This is a great sequel to The Five Warriors but could easily have been read as a standalone novel.

Excerpt: Cuthan

The Blended Ones – The Four Worlds Series Book Two

By Angela J. Ford

Cuthan the Cron stood in front of the Dezzi queen, arrogantly holding his blond head high. Heavy iron shackles bound his wrists in front of him, and linked chains reached down to connect to the iron circlets around his bare feet. The sharp features of his tanned face were marred under streaks of mud and dirt, but his green eyes gazed out almost lazily, already bored with his sentencing. His tunic was ripped from the scuffle, and his pants were too short, cropped off at mid-calf. Generally, he liked his appearance to be impeccable, but this time it couldn’t be helped. He made a mental note to acquire new clothes as soon as the ordeal was over. The butt of a whip punched into his shoulder blades, forcing him to move. He shrugged and shuffled two steps forward. He was slim and fast, standing at just over five and a half feet tall, but his movements weren’t his strength. As the queen gave him a chilling glare, he cocked his head and smiled at her.

“Cuthan the Charmer.” Her deep voice rang out. “Cuthan the Adventurer, whatever you call yourself these days.” She waved a hand as if flicking his insignificant names off into a distance pile of rubbish. “We know you are a spy, yet you have been brash enough to enter our lands. Explain.”

Cuthan arched his eyebrows and continued to smile as he held out his bound hands. “I would like to explain.” He looked down at his shackles and then back up at the queen. “But your hospitality is a bit lacking. I was not expecting chains; will you release me?”

Two of the painted guards stepped closer to him in warning while the queen frowned. “No.” She rose. “Not until you have proven you mean us no harm.”

Cuthan sighed, but his mocking smile remained stamped on his grubby face. “As you command.” He shook a lock of blond hair out of his eyes. “I come from the North Forests, but I am one of the Lost Ones. I am on my way to Wind Fresh, but the wild lands are haunted with the Riders. I need safe passage as, on my own, I cannot hold them off.” He shifted in his chains, moving forward and dropping his voice. “I understand you have a message to send to Wind Fresh, but one of your own cannot take it across the Sea. I propose,” he held up his hands, “you send me to Wind Fresh with the message and an escort of warriors for protection across the wild lands. Once I reach the coast, your warriors may return to you, and I will deliver the message.”

The queen’s eyes narrowed as Cuthan finished with a flourish and attempted to bow, but the jingling irons restricted his movements. “Why,” her voice was hard and sharp like a dagger, “do you think there is a message?”

Cuthan’s lazy smile grew wider. “Aha! So, there is.” He laughed. “I have seen the shadows of the forest; the world is ending, war is coming, and we must choose our allies wisely.”

The queen stared into his green eyes for a long moment, looking past the spells that lay there that distracted her from his true desires. She crossed her arms, ripped her gaze away from his, and turned to her painted warriors. “Release the prisoner, but watch him. He is free to roam with a guard at his back.” She turned her head to address Cuthan directly. “There is a message. It has not arrived yet. You will stay with us until it does.”

The flirtatious grin slid off of Cuthan’s face, and his brow wrinkled in confusion. “What do you mean?”

But the queen waved her hand and turned away, effectively ending his audience.

“Wait!” Cuthan begged as the guards dragged him away. “What do you mean?”

Eliesmore and the Green Stone
The Four Worlds Series Book 3
Changers have arisen, wreaking havoc as they harvest the world, searching
for the Green Stone. The South World sinks in despair, holding its
breath, waiting for the One.

Eliesmore is a Blended One, growing up on the edge of the forest of the
creatures of the wood. Young, headstrong, and inspired by magical
rituals, he spends his time between his overprotective mother and
sneaking out to dance with the wild things.
His courage is tested when Eliesmore discovers that he is the One who is
meant to save the Four Worlds from the Changers. Unwilling to accept
his fate, he turns his back on the prophecy and the futile quest to
dissolve the Green Stone.
But Eliesmore will soon learn he cannot escape his destiny. Beset by
creatures of the deep and hunted by servants of the Changers,
Eliesmore finds his task will test the loyalty of his companions and
help him answer the ultimate question:
Can he trust the immortals – or are they the reason the Changers
have come to power?
My Review
5 stars
Eliesmore is a blended one. He spends his days with his mother but sneaks out to dance with the creatures in the forest. But he is going to learn that he is the One from the prophecy and is going to stop the evil in the land. But like most people, he doesn’t want to accept his fate. Eliesmore turns his back on the prophecy and goes on a quest to dissolve the Green Stone. But the Changers are hunting for the Green Stone and Eliesmore is going to learn that you can’t avoid fate.I loved Eliesmore and his night time dances. You can tell that he is a free spirit yet he is going to have to grow up quickly. He doesn’t want to accept his role in this world and finds it easier to go on the quest for the Green Stone. He doesn’t realize that it is truly about him the whole while.

I love this land and the world created by Angela Ford. You feel like you just stepped into this book and don’t want to leave. This is another great addition to the Four Worlds Series. I was cheering Eliesmore on and hoping that he would come out ahead. This is an addicting series and one that you won’t want to put down.

Myran
A Tale of the Four Worlds
Darkness has fallen in the South World, a land ruled by forces of evil and
dark powers. Those who would resist live in hiding, hoping for the
prophecy concerning the One to come true.
Born into a shadowed world Myran experiences her first loss when her
parents are murdered before her eyes.

Adopted by the Green People she makes it her goal to hide from the woes of
the world. As she grows older, she discovers her actions will birth
the most significant change in all of the Four Worlds.
Recommended:
Read this after reading “Eliesmore and the Green Stone”
My Review
5 stars
Myran has lived a sad life as she witnessed her parents killed in front of her. But the Green People have taken her in and she has made a new life for her. Things are not always easy but there is a greater purpose for her.

Reading this short story after the last three books threw me off a little. Plus as I read I didn’t realize that this book would come before Eliesmore and the Green Stone. I loved the story and I liked Myran. She has risen and will become such a pivotal person.

The ending blew me away. It is that missing piece to the puzzle of this series. Many questions from the other three books will be answered and will draw everything together for the final book.

I can’t wait to get my hands on Eliesmore and Jeweled Sword.

Brought up as a bookworm and musician, Angela J. Ford began writing The Four
Worlds Series—a fantasy series—at the age of twelve. The
storyline of those books was largely based off of the imaginative
games she played with her sisters.

Angela originally finished the series when she was sixteen. After college,
Angela began to rewrite The Four Worlds Series, bringing it from a
child’s daydream to an adventure young and old can enjoy. Since it
is inspired by fairy tales, high magic, and epic fantasy, Angela
knows you’ll enjoy your adventures within the Four Worlds.
If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll most likely find her at a
local coffee shop, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and furiously
working on her next book. Make sure you say hello!
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 I received The Five Warriors, The Blended One, Eliesmore and the Green Stone, and Myran from Silver Dagger Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of these books.

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Uploaded

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Uploaded by James Hughes

In the near future, the secrets of immortality have been unlocked.

Those lucky enough to live forever reside behind the walls of the Enclave, like seventeen-year-old Xander, who on his next birthday is to be Uploaded into a new, indestructible body, never to age or die.

Then there are those that live in the Outside, shrouded in the miserable shadow of the walled city. For Rachel, fighting to survive is a way of life, but trouble is brewing.

When the two paths cross, the secrets of Uploading begin to unravel. Not everyone can live forever, and as each day passes, the price of immortality grows.

The clock ticks down, and Rachel and Xander are left with no choice but to fight the terrifying Enclave government, who will stop at nothing to preserve their way of life.

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My Reviews

5 stars

If you are in the Enclave you will live forever with no problems. Humanity has progressed to the point that at a certain age you can upload yourself into an indestructible body. Xander is 17 years old and having doubts about his upload. Once uploaded Xander will lose everything about himself and become just another cog in the governmental wheel. He is determined to get to the underground and out of the Enclave.

Rachel lives Outside in the shadow of the walls of the Enclave where people die all the time from illness and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is doing anything possible to keep her family together and alive. But it gets harder and harder every day. Together Xander and Rachel find themselves in the middle of a rebellion. Although neither one of them wants to be part of it they are going to have to step up if they want their freedom.

I love dystopian stories and this one had a fresh outlook on them. You do have the elites inside and those suffering outside. But I like the idea of uploading and how the story talks about the waste we have today.

This is the first book in a series so prepare for a cliff hanger. But as a first book I think James Hughes did a fantastic job. I can’t wait to see what he has instore next.

I received Uploaded from Ari at Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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White Water, Black Death

White Water Black Death - cover.jpgWhite Water, Black Death

Author: Shaun Ebelthite

Release Date: Septemer 2017

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense

“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”. These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.

Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.

Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.

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About the Author

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Shaun Ebelthite was born in Namibia, raised in South Africa and educated in Dubai in the Middle East where he is a maritime and cruise journalist. He has been covering all aspects of ocean transport for more than five years and runs the Middle East’s foremost online cruise magazine. He has had two children’s books published, and is now branching out into a new genre with his first thriller.

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My Review

5 stars

Geneva Jones works as an editor for Cruisecritique.com. She finds herself on board the Symphony. But something weird is happening. Whenever she asks Rachel Atkinson, the CEO of the cruise line, about the odd things she sees. Rachel skirts the subject and doesn’t give straight answers. Then there is the suicide of a crew member that sounds strangely made up. Then Geneva finds out what is really happening, there has been an outbreak of Ebola on the ship and Rachel has been trying to keep it quiet.

The ship is outside of Cuba but they refuse to let the passengers off. When Aaron, Rachel’s son announces what is really happening rioting breaks out. People are jumping off the ship and ignoring the lock-down. With no choice they decide to try to get to Miami but Geneva knows a sinking ship when she sees one.

I have to say that I have always been leery of cruise ships with news reports of people disappearing, sicknesses, tipping over, and such. After reading this story I doubt that I will every take a cruise. You have a large number of people, in a semi confined space, and a quick spreading disease without the means to stop it. This is a disaster the size of the Titanic.

But I have to say that in the beginning I was lost for a little bit but stick with the story. Once it gets rolling there is no stopping it. This would be a killer disaster movie.

I received White Water, Black Death from R&R Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Excerpt

Ebola. It sounded better suited to a field clinic than a cruise ship. If this was Ebola, she was utterly fucked. Emma knew without any doubt that she was right though. She’d been right before the WHO and CDC contacted them, before Bermuda closed its border, before the FBI launched its investigation.

She’d realised before anyone else what this was, but had been too afraid to accept it.

Little good acceptance would have done anyway. The virus was deadly in more than half of all infections, even with expert supportive care. A person could go from perfectly healthy to dead in a few days. Most of her patients were exposed to the virus more than a week ago, and began showing symptoms three to four days later. They had forty-eight hours left, if that.

According to Rachel, Miami was more than seventy four hours sailing at full speed.

Even if Bermuda had taken them ashore, they’d still die. Once the bleeding started there was very little any hospital could do.

And her patients were bleeding.

It started in the stools and urine, then the nose, ears and eventually the eyes. The young girl she’d examined just two days ago was bleeding from every orifice.

Emma could see the vague shape of her body on a mattress between a white sheet and the windows. She was trying to give the worst-off patients what privacy she could. They had to be stripped down to their underwear and constantly sponged in a futile attempt to control the fever.

Some sort of privacy was all she could give them.

The girl’s mother was with her, sponging her and periodically being sick in a wastepaper basket. There were no more buckets available, even the disposable vomit bags had run out. Emma had just a few boxes of paracetamol left and only one of Imodium, her last remaining Ovartin would be used to save as many as she could when they were within airlift range of the US.

All other medication of any use had run out during the night.

She was using 19th century means to treat the most deadly virus of the 20th century.

“You’re all right my baby,” the woman was telling her daughter, the girl was trembling violently. Emma didn’t need to see her face to know she would be looking at her mother with wide, terrified eyes. Dozens of her patients had given her the same stricken look in the last twenty-four hours.

Emma couldn’t remember their names, but their faces were there like skulls in Ntarama church.

“Fight it Megan, we’ll be home soon,” the woman said.

She hadn’t let her daughter see her cry. Her husband’s body was one of those wrapped in a sheet in a line with four others that had died during the night. They’d been placed next to the doors on the left of the lounge, nearest the bar. Crew in protective gear would come to collect them soon and take them to the hold.

“You’re going to be okay, Megan.”

The girl would be dead within the next two hours.

“Doctor?” Emma felt a hand on her arm, the fingers clutching nervously, almost politely. “Her temperature is getting worse.” The young woman, her sandy blond hair hanging in clumps in her face, was looking at her with a wild optimism that made Emma feel like a fraud. “Could you come and see her?”

And do what?

“Of course,” Emma smiled, following the girl to her friend. She’d been brought in during the night when the ‘clinic’ was being set up. She lay shivering on a bare mattress, dark stains all around her. Emma lifted her chart, little more than a sheet of paper from one of the cruise line’s notepads and pretended to examine it. ‘Lucy’ scrawled just below Seaborne’s elaborate goldleaf logo.

The vitals noted by Ryan showed a clear trajectory. She wasn’t bleeding from any orifices yet, but her temperature was dangerously high, her blood pressure dangerously low and her blood urea nitrogen and creatinine were elevated. Her kidneys were failing and she was haemorrhaging internally.

Emma couldn’t waste resources on her.

“I’ll get her something right away,” she told Lucy’s friend. The girl flashed a relieved smile, slipping her hands into two plastic bags. She put a damp cloth on Lucy’s pink forehead.

All Emma could give her were electrolytes.

“We thought she was just seasick, she’d been feeling iffy since before yesterday, but we thought maybe it was from the sunburn. We made her come to the pool deck party last night.”

Lucy’s friend wasn’t showing symptoms yet, but Emma had let her stay because she didn’t have enough healthy people to look after the sick. The girl was using plastic bags to protect herself.

It was shameful.

Emma made her way across the lounge, trying to muster a smile and a kind, reassuring word as she went. A teenage boy with acute diarrhoea and vomiting would be prioritised for antiemetics and loperamide. It would make his death more comfortable, but his mother thought it was treatment. A wife was told her husband would get diazepam within the hour. The woman was just a wrinkled face to Emma, they were all blurring into one swarming mass of people she couldn’t help. The woman’s husband had a rash over his chest and stomach that looked like a war-torn archipelago. A diffuse erythematous maculopapular rash that was also desquamate.

He wouldn’t survive the next three days. A sedative would ease his suffering.

It was inhuman.

Disaster triage, ‘resource allocation based on potential medical benefit’ was what medical textbooks called it.

She’d have to sedate most of her patients soon, she couldn’t keep this act up indefinitely.

Emma had crossed a line during the night, entering unexplored, ethically gray territory. She would have her medical license revoked for it. She was lying to her patients to keep them calm, giving them placebos because there wasn’t enough of the real thing.

She had to lie. Ebola was terrifying enough. Ebola without anyway for the ship’s doctor to treat it would cause total hysteria, endangering everyone on-board.

“Five more incoming,” Ryan sighed, a walkie-talkie held in a gloved hand that hung loosely by his side. They were probably both infected.

A patient could present with symptoms anywhere between two days and three weeks after exposure to it. A week was the average.

It was only a matter of time before he started experiencing nausea and an elevated temperature. Emma wasn’t throwing up yet, but she knew it would come. Fatigue was the first symptom. Extreme fatigue. The long hours she was working in the clinic masked it for the first day or so, now she could feel the tell-tale achiness in her joints, the oversensitivity of her skin. She wouldn’t be able to control the shivering soon.

“Ryan,” she thudded heavily across what had been the marble dancefloor a few days ago to where her nurse was checking someone’s temperature. “How many have we lost?” she asked in a whisper, tiptoeing around the truth, afraid to wake it.

“Forty-five.”

Emma had forgotten. He’d told her at sunrise. Emma never forgot details like this, but now she couldn’t hold onto to basic information. Couldn’t concentrate.

“Are the opiates still in the clinic?” Emma wasn’t sure why she was asking, she had the key to the medical stores and if she did need the morphine and acetaminophen and other painkillers she would get them herself.

“Yes,” said Ryan, but there was a question in his eyes.

Emma was looking for permission. She wanted to ease the suffering, but Morphine could be lethal to someone already presenting with low blood pressure.

“Doctor, you need to sit down. You need to rest.”

“I’m going to do another round.”

“Miss Atkinson is already…”

Emma tried to turn, but her feet wouldn’t follow her body’s lead. She stumbled awkwardly, almost falling into a row of patients lying on haphazardly arranged mattresses. They’d been in orderly rows last night.

A hand caught her arm, holding her up.

“One hand for the ship, doctor.” Rachel smiled at her like they were waiting for the dinner announcement. “I’ve asked some of the crew to clean things up a bit, I hope you don’t mind? I think the smell is what gets to people most. I know it does me.”

That smile again.

Emma’s opinion of the CEO had been low even before the emergency meeting in the captain’s office two nights ago. Now she was convinced she must be crazy. Worrying about the cleanliness of her lounge with death all around them, closing in like a creeping tide. She’d been going from one passenger to the next, making chit-chat and cracking jokes for the last hour.

“Of course.”

Emma hadn’t given sanitation a thought for hours. Early this morning some of the crew already quarantined in the lounge had volunteered to help, but she needed an army to empty buckets, clean up feces and vomit, hand out water and fresh towels, let alone actually try to treat any of the more than two hundred people now crammed into the room.

Even if she did have the medicine and equipment she needed, she didn’t have enough hands.

“You are going to sit here behind the bar and rest for half an hour,” Emma hadn’t realised Rachel was leading her to the other side of the lounge, through a maze of makeshift screens and mattresses. “We’re going to clean up, then I’m going to have a chat with you about what you need.”

“Medicine,” said Emma. “Need more. We’ve run out of…”

“We can get it airlifted from Bermuda,” said Rachel, handing Emma a bottle of water. “Have something to drink and close your eyes for a few minutes.”

Emma was sitting now. Perched on a footstool, her head below the bar’s countertop so that all she could see were bottles of water on shelves all around her. There were more than two hundred bottles of water stoked behind the bar, she’d noted it down somewhere. Rachel said there were another eleven thousand available in the hold.

“I’m going to have to start sedating patients soon,” said Emma. “As more die, those left are going to get increasingly agitated.”

“That’s not necessary yet.” Rachel was kneeling in front of her. “Doctor,” she waited for Emma to lift her eyes. “Promise me you won’t do that yet.”

Emma nodded, looking down at her gloved hands. The gloves were unnecessary now, serving as part of a costume rather than a purpose.

“Tristan?” Rachel was looking for a member of the cruise staff, her voice carrying over the moaning of a man nearby. “Is there any way for us to discreetly put out a call for volunteers to help here? The doctor’s overwhelmed, we need as many of our first aid people as we can get.”

“I’ll ask security to pass the word.”

“I’ll call Richard,” Rachel lifted the phone behind the bar. “We need to get supplies airlifted from Hamilton.”

Rachel was taking over her clinic, but Emma could only feel relief.

She hadn’t been alone like this since the day before yesterday. Was that the last time she slept? Emma couldn’t remember, but she could remember how many bottles of water there were. How many patients were there in the lounge now? She needed to ask Ryan. Should be keeping a runny tally. Why wasn’t she able to remember these details? Emma flicked through her notebook and found the page.

124

142

156

179

192

203?

Why had she put a question mark next to it? She must have intended to double check with Ryan. She’d do a headcount herself, he was as overworked as her. She made a note to find out the total number of Ebola cases throughout the ship.

Shouldn’t be sitting here doing nothing.

“…almost heaven, West Virginia, blue ridge mountain, Shenandoah river…”

Emma stood up, incredulous. Singing. Her patients were singing. It was just a few people at first, the Philipino staff mainly, who, despite being sick, had also volunteered to help in trying to keep the lounge clean.

“life is old there, older than the trees…”

They were being led by Rachel, standing in front of a group of children all singing along, clapping out of time. There were thirty-five children in the lounge. Emma could remember that. Almost all the children on-board.

“younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze…”

Most of them had been brought in by parents who weren’t sick yet. Emma had intended to enforce a strict quarantine, but couldn’t separate children from their parents.

Everyone was infected anyway. Quarantine was a plan that failed as soon as it started.

The voices grew, spreading through the lounge until everyone who had the energy was singing, joining in on the chorus, some filming on their phones.

“country road, take me home, to a place I belong…”

Rachel had lifted a small boy up, his hands in the air in glee, beaming at his dad like he’d won a prize. Jack, though his mother called him Jackie. She was feverish behind one of the curtains; she would likely die during the night. His father wasn’t showing symptoms yet. He might survive until they reached Miami. His son wouldn’t.

“West Virginia, mountain mamma…”

The doors closest to the bar opened, two security guards with tasers at the ready and ten crewmen in masks and gloves, come to remove the bodies.

“take me home, country road.”

Rachel caught Emma’s eye and launched into the chorus once more.

With most patients in the lounge distracted by Rachel and the children, Emma stumbled forward to help them lift the dead. She’d been focusing so much on what medication and treatments her patients needed, and dwelling on her inability to provide it, that she’d forgotten one of the worst parts about being ill.

Boredom.

She watched the first three bodies carried to one of the elevators on the other side of the lobby and tried to remember how many had died. What had Ryan said? She needed to see what was being done with the bodies, she had to make sure they were being treated respectfully.

She gestured to Rachel and then stumbled over to the lift, catching the alarmed glance of a passenger on a mattress closest to the door. By tomorrow, even Rachel wouldn’t be able to keep the flood gates closed. Panic was going to set in tonight. Several dozen people were unlikely to make it through to the morning and with death on every other mattress in the lounge, Emma and Rachel’s deception would be laid bare.

She wasn’t escaping, she would come back. She wasn’t abandoning them.

By tomorrow, she would be incapacitated anyway, and would be unable to control the diarrhea. She’d end up soiling herself like so many of her patients, whose shame she’d had to ignore as she or one of the crew helped them clean themselves.

It was absurd, but this was what scared her most. Not death.

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