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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

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Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves – 1) by Andy Peloquin

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

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Andy Peloquin

Author’s Bio

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!

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My Review

5 stars

When Viola is very young, her father sells her to the Night Guild to cover his debt. Through abuse and torture, Viola forgets her past and becomes Seven. Through the years of more training and abuse she becomes Ilanna and part of the Hawk Guild. Until things take a turn for the worst. But the one thing that her life has taught her is that she will not be broken and will rise again.

I’m going to warn you, this is a dark story. Viola goes through Hell several times in her training. This is meant to break her down to only know the Guild. But she won’t forget, or let them break her no matter what. She is the only female in a male world and is determined to survive. It is hard following her through the tortures she faces. All I could do is hope everything would work out for her in the end. But this is not a happily ever after story.

This is a raw and brutal story but I loved it each step of the way. There is so much detail that goes into this world. I loved all aspects of the Guild and the different jobs they learn. It’s so easy to get drawn into the story that I had a hard time putting the book down. I just had the see what happened to Ilanna next. And the ending, not what I expected but left me eagerly waiting for book two.

This is a wonderful, dark fantasy story that will appeal too many. It’s one that I recommend everyone check out. You may find your new favorite author.

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

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Deadly Spirits

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Deadly Spirits (Mac McClellan – 4) by E. Michael Helms

When PI Mac McClellan’s girlfriend convinces him to join the Palmetto Paranormal Society, he becomes embroiled in a case of whooodunnit. The society president, while investigating an old hotel, is found dead at the foot of the stairwell, his neck broken. The man’s secretary and current squeeze stands horrified beside his body. Authorities rule the death an accident. Mac has doubts—no one heard the man tumbling down the stairs. Then the secretary dies in an apparent suicide. Two deaths in two paranormal investigations, and not a peep out of either victim. Mac suspects there’s more going on than a vengeful spirit.

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Author’s Bio

Michael Helms grew up in Panama City, FL, on the beautiful coast of the Florida Panhandle. He played football and excelled in baseball as a catcher. Turning down a scholarship offer from the local Junior college, he joined the Marines after high school graduation. He served as a rifleman during some of the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War until wounded three times in one day. Helms discounts it as “waking up on the wrong side of the foxhole.”

His memoir of the war, The Proud Bastards,has been called “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written … a modern military classic,” and remains in print after 26 years.

The Private War of Corporal Henson, a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to The Proud Bastards, was published in August 2014.

A long-time Civil War buff, Book One of Helms’ two-volume historical saga, Of Blood and Brothers, was released September 2013. Book Two followed in March 2014.

Seeking a respite from writing about war, Helms decided to give mysteries a try. The first novel of his Mac McClellan Mystery series, Deadly Catch, was published in November 2013 and was named Library Journal’s Debut Mystery of the Month. The second Mac McClellan Mystery, Deadly Ruse, premiered in November 2014. It won the 2015 RONE AWARD for “Best Mystery.” Deadly Dunes was released in March 2016 by Camel Press. Deadly Spirits will launch January 15, 2017.

With his wife, Karen, Helms now lives in the Upstate region of South Carolina in the shadow of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys playing guitar, hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, and is an avid birdwatcher. He continues to listen as Mac McClellan dictates his latest adventures in his mystery series.

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Book

My Review

5 Stars

Mac McClellan has been drug to a meeting of the Palmetto Paranormal Society. By his girlfriend Kate. He feels silly walking around an attic full of cobwebs. But when the president of the society is discovered dead, at the bottom of the stairs of a broken neck, things get interesting. Mac wonders how he could have fallen without anyone else hearing him. But then the secretary dies of a suicide and Mac knows something is happening. The more he digs the more dirt he discovers and when he becomes the target of the killer he knows that he is getting close to solving this case.

Mac is a charmer and you can tell that he goes with Kate just to amuse her. Thankfully a dead body catches his attention. There are so many levels of dirt to dig through, thankfully Mac has Kate, Henry, and Deputy Dakota to help him out.

This is a great mystery, I didn’t know the who or why of the murderer until the end. I did have a couple guesses that were completely wrong. And then there was lots of action and of course a big reveal during a hurricane. Talk about delivering the killer with a bang.

I love Mr. Helm’s mysteries. The Mac McClellan mysteries are wonderful, easy to get into, and filled with lots to keep you on the edge of your seat. Make sure to check them out.

I received Deadly Spirits from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Pink Moon

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Pink Moon (A New World – 3) by Tonya Coffey

Cast from her home, Jessa struggles to find a place among the realms. With the loss of power, her premonitions are vague and tormenting. However with Micha at her side, she has hope for the future.
Micha has found his stride as the Ancient King. Nevertheless, the Shadows refuse to allow a Faerie sit on the Ancients’ throne, keeping them apart. Instead of fighting against the Shadows, he focuses his rage on the one who stole Jessa’s powers, a hidden heir herself. When he thinks he has everything under control, he is pulled into a dire situation that will force Jessa’s hand.
Accepting what needs to be done, Jessa takes a risk to save Micha – a choice that may be her last.

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Author’s Bio

Tonya grew up in a small town in Kentucky where she lives with her husband and two teen boys. Together, they motivate her to be the best at whatever she faces. If she isn’t writing or reading a fantasy novel with lots of action, you will find her sitting in front of a canvas, painting the landscape which is so abundant around her home.

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My Review

5 Stars

Jessa has lost her powers but is still plagued by premonitions. Micha is learning his role as Ancient King and longs to marry Jessa. The problem is the Shadows refuse to allow a Faerie on the throne. Instead, Micha is matched with a power hungry man and his daughter. Unable to marry Jessa, Micha decides to hunt down the person that stole her power. But Jessa is haunted by her premonitions and finds the only way to make sure Micha will rule and is determined to make sure that happens.

It’s so hard to read about two people that care about themselves so much but how others are bound and determined to keep them apart. I really do hope that they find a way to rule together. There are several that don’t want Jessa and Micha together but then there are others bound and determined to get power wherever they can.

This is a great series. This book has a great ending that has me anticipating the next book. If you are a fan of Young Adult Fantasy, you need to read this series.

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I received Pink Moon from the author and Ultimate Fantasy Books for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Possession (Song and Shadow – 1) by Anne Oldham

Constance Jerome wants nothing more than to make it through her senior year of high school without being noticed. But when her mother drops the world’s biggest bombshell, flying under the radar just isn’t in the cards. It turns out Constance is a necromancer-one of the few who can travel the realms of the dead. Apparently it runs in the family. And now there’s a threat coming: another necromancer with plans to disturb the living and the dead, and Constance and her mother are the only ones who can stop him. If only they knew who he was. Or what exactly he was up to. A quiet senior year isn’t an option, and Constance must race to stop a high school apocalypse before the balance between the living and the dead is overturned.

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Book

My Review

4 stars

 Constance Jerome is starting her senior year in high school and wants nothing but to quietly get through it. Constance is a loner but thankfully she has Greta, her best friend, to keep her company. As with any high school, Seline is Constance’s nemesis and things don’t get any better when she learns she is tutoring Seth, Seline’s boyfriend. If that is not bad enough, then Constance learns that her mother, Veronica and her are necromancers. The problem is another necromancer is causing problems in the land of the living and it is up to Veronica and Constance to keep everything in place.

I can relate to Constance since I was the loner in high school too. I understand how she wants to avoid Seline but it seems that she is always in her sights for bullying. Then there is Seth, he seems like he could be a decent guy when he isn’t under the thumb of Seline.

I really enjoyed Constance being a necromancer and how this is a bit different from other people’s stories of necromancers. Although I admit that Veronica clearly never fully learned about her abilities since she could old partially teach Constance and not really explain anything. It was frustrating to read this when there was so much I wanted to know.

I really like this story and am excited to see where it goes in book two, Illusion.

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Illusion (Song and Shadow – 2) by Anne Oldham

Constance Jerome has survived a vampire attack, a team of possessed football players, and her first trip to Limbo. Now she has to prove that Mr. Ransom is the dark necromancer before he topples the rules of the living and the dead. But then she discovers there is something else haunting the halls of Milltown High School, something with a sadistic side, something that has placed Constance’s best friend at the center of its unwanted affection. To save those she cares about, Constance must forge her own path as a necromancer and embrace the shadows that have plagued her. But will it be enough?

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My Review

5 stars

 Constance Jerome is a normal high school kid w that is awkward, has a great best friend, a crush on the jock, and a nemesis that is the jocks girlfriend. But she is also a necromancer and is trying to learn about her abilities. Her mother is trying to slow her learning down but it seems Constance might be more powerful than her mother and is learning faster on her own. This does lead to some problems at home when we learn more about her father. Then there is the dark necromancer. We learn his identity but no one would believe Constance. Then his threats get personal when he uses Greta in the fight with Constance.

I was glad to learn that Veronica has become a stronger woman and more serious about Constance’s training. When you learn about Constance’s father and the past you can understand why he is so hesitant about Constance becoming a necromancer. I really like Constance. She has growing into a powerful person and is involved in a lot trying to figure out who the dark necromancer is.

This story is filled with action, adventure, and great characters. The story just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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I received both Possession and Illusion from eBooks for Review for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Annie Oldham

Author’s Bio

THE BASICS

I adore writing and reading YA novels. I grew up with an insatiable desire to read and then came the insatiable desire to write. I’ve been blessed to have both of those in my life.

Away from my writing, I’m the mother of the most adorable girls in the world, I have the best husband in the world, and I live in one of the prettiest places in the world (the Wasatch mountains are breathtaking!). I love to cook, sing, quilt, and play the piano.

A FEW MORE DETAILS

I was born and raised in Ohio, land of gentle rolling hills, gorgeous autumn colors, and Cincinnati chili. Let’s be honest, there really isn’t any other chili out there. And if you’ve never had it, you’re totally missing out.

But moving away from the food and onto other things. I loved to write. And I will mention here that my parents are amazing. And they instilled in me this confidence that I can do whatever I dream. Of course going through the awesomely awkward teenage years, there were setbacks where I didn’t get my dreams, like trying out for cheerleading (honestly, what was I thinking?) or getting the lead in the musical (too much school politics among students, I tell you), but they still said it. You can achieve your dreams.

I went to college at Brigham Young University, and I decided from a few writing/reading classes to major in English, emphasis in writing and editing. I loved my major. I didn’t love when I had to read Don Quijote (and all its approximately 1,000 page glory) in a week. But I adored my classes, I ate up my homework, and I thrived. And I kept writing. And then it dawned on me. Forget cheerleading, forget the musicals.

Writing is my dream.

So I kept at it. When I had minutes here and there, I worked on my first novel. (No, you will never read it. I don’t think I even have it in my possession. Thank goodness.) It ended horribly, because I had no idea what I was really doing with this novel-writing business, but it ended. It was a complete novel. I had done it. And I had no desire to see it published. It really was that bad.

But I kept writing. That’s the story of how this goes. I kept writing. In between the writing, I enjoyed real life. I worked full time at a children’s software company in Salt Lake City, I married my best friend and man of my dreams (how did I luck out?), had four beautiful baby girls (who are now slightly bigger and way more mischievous), and now I have six  books published and there’s no end in sight. Because my parents told me, “You can achieve your dreams.”

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Kubrick’s Game

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Kubrick’s Game by Derek Taylor Kent

Shawn Hagan, a college film student obsessed with legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, discovers hidden clues in his movies which lead him on a harrowing quest toward a mysterious treasure that Kubrick left behind. Endangered by sinister groups on the same quest, Shawn has no choice but to claim the prize first because in the wrong hands … “It has the power to change the course of history.”

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Derek Taylor Kent

Author’s Bio

Derek Taylor Kent is an author, screenwriter, performer and director based in Los Angeles. His award-winning book series SCARY SCHOOL (written under pen-name Derek the Ghost) has become one of the most popular new series for middle-readers ages 7 to 12. His new bi-lingual picture book EL PERRO CON SOMBRERO came out August 18, 2015 through Holt/Macmillan and was a #1 best-selling new release. His first novel for an adult audience, KUBRICK’S GAME, is set for release September 26, 2016 through Evolved Publishing.

Other books include the award-winning educational picture book SIMON AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM and the magical adventure RUDY AND THE BEAST, both available now.

Derek also specializes in writing narrative scripts for Virtual Reality content. His VR sci-fi script EXIT TO REALITY won best screenplay at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and was nominated for best screenplay at Hollyshorts Films Festival, Red Flight Film Festival, and Reel Writers Screenplay Competition.

Explore this site to see more of Derek’s exciting projects in the works, including feature films, musicals and web series. Derek’s talents also extend to music, songwriting and production, which you can view and listen to in the Media section. Derek loves doing school visits and other book events.

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My Review

5 stars

Shawn Hagan is a film student that receives an invitation to participate in a puzzle that could change the course of history left behind by the famous director Stanley Kubrick. Shawn is not the only one participating, several nefarious people are also participating. It’s up to Shawn to get to the prize first.

I admit that I was watched a couple of Kubrick’s movies and was curious about the story. All I can say is WOW!! First of all, I liked Shawn. He was a great person and does have autism, but it is written in such a way that it is more of an explanation for some of his difficulties instead of making you feel sorry for him. I love he challenges as you follow Shawn on his quest. You can tell that there was lots of research put into this book. I also how you think you might know where this is going and then a twist leaves you off kilter.

But I think the best part of the book was the desire to go back and watch all of Stanley Kubrick’s films. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the story. But now I want to watch the movies again to see what I missed.

This is a great action adventure story revolving around movies. It will appeal to book and movie lovers alike.

I received Kubrick’s Game from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Travel Twins and the Lost Secret of the Vikings: The Kare Kids Adventures #4

The Travel Twins and the Lost Secret of the Vikings (The Kare Kids Adventures – 4)

by Charles A. Salter

Twelve year old twins Josh and Hannah travel from the USA to visit their Uncle Olaf in Norway. Olaf runs the Museum of Norse Antiquities in Oslo, and the museum’s greatest treasure-the Viking chieftain Leif Erikson’s fabled Sunstone-is stolen. Hot on the trail of the suspected thief, the twins ride on a dizzyingly high train through the Scandes Mountains to Norway’s largest fjord, a deep waterway which connects directly to the North Sea. While spying on the suspect’s suspicious behavior, the twins are suddenly kidnapped on the train! They elude their captors by breaking free, sneaking across the top of the train as it chugs through a tunnel, and tricking the kidnappers. Then they learn the thief’s true motivation: to use the Sunstone to interpret the coded Undredal Runes so as to re-create the Viking super-warriors known as Berserkers. Can the twins defeat the plot, return the stolen treasure, and save the world from the secret of Viking Berserkers which has been concealed for a thousand years?

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Author’s Bio

Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Charles A. Salter, Ph.D., S.D. served 28 years in the U.S. Army after seven and a half years as an assistant professor and then tenured associate professor at Spring Hill College.  He holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania (1973) and a Doctor of Science in public health from Harvard University (1989). He was licensed as a psychologist by the state of Massachusetts, as a nutritionist by the state of Maryland, and was a charter member of the Prescribing Psychologists Register.

He has written on family matters for the newspaper syndicate Scripps-Howard, Today’s Family, Life and Health, Woman’s World and more. He is the author of sixteen books, most recently the adult fiction series The Ebay Detective. The Kare Kids Adventures series are his first books in middle grade fiction. Charles currently resides in Maryland.

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My Review

5 stars

Twins Josh and Hannah are on a train in Norway. They had the opportunity to visit their Uncles museum and learned of the theft of the Leif Erikson’s Sunstone. It seems someone has stolen the sunstone to try and interpret the Undredal Runes to find the secret of the Berserkers. They are following this big, creepy guy when they are surprised and knocked out. They manage to escape and find themselves in Aurlandsfjord where it seems the giant has kidnapped a couple of people and plans on unlocking the secret to the Berserkers.

I love the Kare Kids Adventures series. The best part is how each is a standalone book yet as you start to read this book it talks about how they are all connected. This time the kids are hot on the trail of a museum thief.  Things get tense but the kids save the day with a little help.

This is a great chapter book for kids and parents alike. I really like how you learn new things. I’m sorry to say that I have never heard of sunstones before. It was something new even for me. If you are looking for a great series for both girls and boys, look no further. The Kare Kids Adventures are wonderful and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

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I received The Travel Twins and the Lost Secret of the Vikings from PR by the Book for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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I know that I missed Christmas for this book. Trust me, I feel horrible about it since this is a great story. I reviewed Anne Zoet’s book Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil, you can find the review here. This is her Christmas book. Make sure to check it out.

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Dreaming of a Green Christmas by Anne Zoet

While live-chatting with Burrball, their quick-witted sloth friend in Brazil, Darryl and his loveable cat, Purrball, learn about the impact that the logging industry has on forests. Darryl and Purrball decide to try to be eco-friendly as they prepare for Christmas, hoping to help protect Burrball’s environment for him and all the other animals who call it home. This charming story is ideal for fans of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Here Comes Santa Cat.” It will thrill children and adults alike with its delightful holiday tale that delivers an important message about conservation, while tapping into the readers’ own creativity. For more great adventures with these two, check out “Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil!”

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Anne Zoet

Author’s Bio

I’m Anne Zoet, a freelance creative director for both technology giants and countless startups in the Silicon Valley. My passions are art, words, travel, the environment and animals—all of which came together naturally in the creation of my children’s picture book, “Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil.” In addition to my human family, I share my home with three domestic cats (though sometimes I wonder if they’re not just a bit wild).

“Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil” is now available on Amazon! Apart from the kind peer reviews given here on Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews has said, “…the instant friendship between cat and sloth remains utterly enjoyable…this animal escapade should elicit plenty of giggles…” Fall in love with the cat and sloth heroes and get lost along with them in Brazil.

Please visit purrballandburrball.com and be the first to know about the next adventures of Purrball and Burrball! Kids are invited to find their inner cat and sloth: they can write their own adventures, help Purrball and Burrball out of their jungle mazes, download coloring pages and even a gallery where they can upload their cat and sloth art.

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My Review

5 stars

Purrball and Darryl are live-chatting with their friend Burrball in Brazil and talking about Christmas and the different things they do. Burrball tells them how he doesn’t like them cutting down trees. How he loses forests when people cut trees for paper. This makes Darryl, Purrball, and the rest of the family realize that there are some consequences of how they celebrate Christmas. They decide to change their celebrating to reuse paper to wrap presents with and get a tree that they can plant.

This is a wonderful story with beautiful illustrations. I love the message for both kids and adults alike. It’s so easy to forget about how what you do can affect others. I enjoyed how Purrballs family recycled paper for wrapping. It reminds me of the homemade gifts, which I wish people thought of more.

This is a great story with a big message. This is one to add to any kid’s collection of books.

I received Dreaming of a Green Christmas from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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