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The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

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Praise for The Saturday Night Ghost Club

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

“Davidson smudges the line between comedy and horror, cruelty and mercy. His remarkable stories are challenging and upsetting. Don’t look for comfort here.”
Chuck Palahniuk, AUTHOR OF FIGHT CLUB

“There is a strikingly original tone to Mr. Davidson’s stories. The prose is spare yet elegant, the insights are fresh and real, and best of all there is a boundless humanity in Mr. Davidson’s writing: a love of life that is beautifully woven with an acute sense of its darkness.”
Clive Barker, AUTHOR OF THE BOOKS OF BLOOD

“A writer of immense power and surprising, accurate insights.”
Peter Straub, AUTHOR OF A DARK MATTER

“Man, this guy can write.”
Paul Haggis, ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING WRITER AND DIRECTOR

Craig Davidson

About the Author

Craig Davidson is a Canadian author of short stories and novels, who has published work under both his own name and the pen names Patrick Lestewka and Nick Cutter

Born in Toronto, Ontario, he was raised in Calgary and St. Catharines.

His first short story collection, Rust and Bone, was published in September 2005 by Penguin Books Canada, and was a finalist for the 2006 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Stories in Rust and Bone have also been adapted into a play by Australian playwright Caleb Lewis and a film by French director Jacques Audiard.

Davidson also released a novel in 2007 named The Fighter. During the course of his research of the novel, Davidson went on a 16-week steroid cycle. To promote the release of the novel, Davidson participated in a fully sanctioned boxing match against Toronto poet Michael Knox at Florida Jack’s Boxing Gym; for the novel’s subsequent release in the United States, he organized a similar promotional boxing match against Jonathan Ames. Davidson lost both matches.

His 2013 novel Cataract City was named as a long listed nominee for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Website

My Review

4 Stars

This is the story of Jake Baker. The adult Jake is a neurosurgeon and has stories of the brain. But the other half of the story is in 1980’s Niagara Falls. When Jake was twelve he didn’t have friends so he spent most of his time at his Uncle Calvin’s shop Occultorium. But during this summer he starts spending time with the new kids in town, Billy and Dove Yellowbird. They become the Saturday Night Ghost Club and spend their time researching different haunting and such in town.

I liked how this book takes you back to your childhood and the different things you dealt with. From bullies to crushes and the various adventures you went one. But mingled with that story is Adult Jake talking about the brain and memory. I’m always curious about the brain and like how little tidbits are mixed in with the other story.

Although you may think that this is just another coming of age story with a paranormal twist this is so much more. As things wrap around and around we start seeing how they mingle closer and closer until you learn more about Jake’s family and Uncle C’s own past. I admit that my heart broke at that moment.

This is a great read and will drag you through all the emotions you can feel in a book. It’s not a typical coming of age story; this one has more meaning than a lot I have read. It was a great story and one I recommend checking out. It is the first book of Craig Davidson’s that I have read but it would be my last.

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

Penguin Random House

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Last Summer

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Last Summer by Kerry Lonsdale

From the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Everything series comes a new novel of love, lies, and deceit.

Lifestyle journalist Ella Skye remembers every celebrity she interviewed, every politician she charmed between the sheets, and every socialite who eyed her with envy. The chance meeting with her husband, Damien; their rapid free fall into love; and their low-key, intimate wedding are all locked in her memory. But what she can’t remember is the tragic car accident that ripped her unborn child from her. Ella can’t even recall being pregnant.

Hoping to find the memories of a lost pregnancy that’s left her husband devastated and their home empty, Ella begins delving into her past when she’s assigned an exclusive story about Nathan Donovan, a retired celebrity adventurer who seems to know more about her than she does him. To unravel the mystery of her selective memory loss, Ella follows Nathan from the snowcapped Sierra Nevada to the frozen slopes of southeast Alaska. There she discovers the people she trusts most aren’t the only ones keeping secrets from her—she’s hiding them from herself. Ella quickly learns that some truths are best left forgotten.

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Kerry Lonsdale

About the Author

Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author Kerry Lonsdale writes standalone and series based emotionally charged domestic drama, family suspense, and women’s fiction. Her books are sold worldwide in more than 28 countries and are being translated into 24 languages (and counting). Co-founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, an international organization that boasts over 1,000 writers, Kerry resides in Northern California with her husband and two children.

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My Review

4 stars

Ella Skye wakes up in the emergency room with no memory of the car wreck that put her there or the loss of her unborn baby. When she asks about what happens, those around her brush her off. Since Ella is a journalist she is determined to find out the truth. She looks to her last story on Nathan Donovan, a celebrity adventurer. He seems to know more about Ella than she does. The question is if Ella is ready to learn all about the secrets from those around her along with her own.

I admit when I first read the blurb to this book I did an eye roll. How many books are out there where the main character loses her memory and has to go digging to learn the truth? Initially this book starts out the same way. But then you get rolling and what I thought might happen was so far from the truth that I was hooked.

This book is full of twists and turns and had me guessing the whole while. I admit that I really didn’t like Damien and was curious about how Ella would be pregnant when it was clear that he didn’t want children. When I read about Nathan I figured oh, here is the missing piece. I was so very, very wrong.

This is a great story that kept me on my toes through the whole thing. This is the first book from Kerry Lonsdale and I really enjoyed it and although I’m not a fan of contemporary romances I would check out her other books. If this is your genera then I recommend checking this one out. You may find your new favorite author.

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

I would like to thank Little Bird Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Blood

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Blood by Maggie Gee

Who attacked Dad?

When a corrupt, brutal dentist, Albert Ludd, is found battered and bloody after failing to attend a memorial party for his youngest son, suspicion falls on the dentist’s other children. Especially on Dad’s middle daughter, 37-year-old buxom bruiser Monica Ludd, who was heard ‘uttering threats’ against her absent father. How come her car is found outside Dad’s house? Why did she buy a large axe? And yet, Monica’s a deputy head teacher… Blood is a Gothic black comedy seen through the eyes of six-foot Monica, who cannot help speaking her secret thoughts aloud and who has been banned by the principal of her school, from using social media. ‘”Parents are sensitive to abuse.” “Neil, I would never abuse our parents.” “Governors queried ‘moron’ and ‘twat’.” ‘ Set in an angry, anarchic, Brexit-ing Britain where terrorism has become routine, Blood also asks serious questions about modern life: what can we do with the brutal men who bully women and the weak? Can we wait for a world of order and justice? If we hit back, can the circle of violence ever be broken?

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About the Author

Maggie Gee is an English novelist. She was born in Poole, Dorset, then moved to the Midlands and later to Sussex. She was educated at state schools and at Oxford University (MA, B Litt). She later worked in publishing and then had a research post at Wolverhampton Polytechnic where she completed the department’s first PhD. She has written eleven novels and a collection of short stories, and was the first female Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, 2004-2008. She is now one of the Vice-Presidents of the RSL and Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. She has also served on the Society of Authors’ management committee and the government’s Public Lending Right committee. Her seventh novel, The White Family, was shortlisted for the 2003 Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

She writes in a broadly modernist tradition, in that her books have a strong overall sense of pattern and meaning, but her writing is characterised by political and social awareness. She turns a satirical eye on contemporary society but is affectionate towards her characters and has an unironised sense of the beauty of the natural world. Her human beings are biological as well as social creatures, partly because of the influence of science and in particular evolutionary biology on her thinking. Where are The Snows, The Ice People and The Flood have all dealt with the near or distant future. She writes through male characters as often as she does through female characters.

The individual human concerns that her stories address include the difficulties of resolving the conflict between total unselfishness, which often leads to secret unhappiness and resentment against the beneficiaries, and selfishness, which can lead to the unhappiness of others, particularly of children. This is a typical quandary of late-20th and early-21st-century women, but it is also a concern for privileged, wealthy, long-lived western human beings as a whole, and widens into global concerns about wealth and poverty and climate change. Her books also explore how the human species relates to non-human animals and to the natural world as a whole. Two of her books, The White Family and My Cleaner, have had racism as a central theme, dealt with as a tragedy in The White Family but as a comedy in My Cleaner. She is currently writing a memoir called My Animal Life. In 2009 she published “My Driver”, a second novel with many of the same characters as My Cleaner, but this time set in Uganda during a time of tension with neighbouring DRC Congo.

Maggie Gee lives in London with her husband, the writer and broadcaster Nicholas Rankin, an author, and their daughter Rosa.

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My Review

4 Stars

Albert Ludd is a dentist that has terrorized his children. This middle daughter, Monica, believes that he pushed his youngest son into the military which killed him. Monica doesn’t know what she is going to do to her abusive father for sure but she buys and ax and heads over to his house. But before she can decide what she is going to do she discovers her father dead in bed. But she hears police sirens and runs and leaves her car and the ax behind. Now Monica is the prime suspect and it’s going to be up to her to find the killer.

Monica grew up in hell as her father abused her and her siblings. I was surprised that the kids turned out as well as they did. I could relate to Monica and her siblings and my heart went out to them. I came to like big and loud Monica and wanted the best for her. As we dance around discovering who killed Albert we also have the political upheaval of Brexit-ing and the terrorism which seems to mirror the drama closer to home.

This was an interesting and dark read, very bloody. But the ending wraps up nicely and left me wanting to read more from author Maggie Gee.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

Storytellers

Storytellers by Bjorn Larssen

In March 1920 Icelandic days are short and cold, but the nights are long. For most, on those nights, funny, sad, and dramatic stories are told around the fire. But there is nothing dramatic about Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith who barely manages to make ends meet. He knows nobody will remember him – they already don’t. All he wants is peace, the company of his animals, and a steady supply of his medication. Sometimes he wonders what it would feel like to have a story of his own. He’s about to find out.

Sigurd – a man with a plan, a broken ankle, and shocking amounts of money – won’t talk about himself, but is happy to tell a story that just might get Gunnar killed. The blacksmith’s other “friends” are just as eager to write him into stories of their own – from Brynhildur who wants to fix Gunnar, then marry him, his doctor who is on the precipice of calling for an intervention, The Conservative Women of Iceland who want to rehabilitate Gunnar’s “heathen ways” – even the wretched elf has plans for the blacksmith.

As his defenses begin to crumble, Gunnar decides that perhaps his life is due for a change – on his own terms. But can he avoid the endings others have in mind for him, and forge his own?

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About the Author

Bjørn Larssen was made in Poland. He is mostly located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one. Since then his short stories and essays were published in Rita Baum Art Magazine, Writer Unboxed, Inaczej Magazine), Edurada.pl, Homiki.pl, and Holandia Expat Magazine. He is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors and Writer Unboxed.

Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics, worked as a graphic designer, a model, and a blacksmith. He used to speak eight languages (currently down to two and a half). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland, even though he hates being cold. He has only met an elf once. So far.

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My Review

4 Stars

Gunnar is a drunken, depressed blacksmith in 1920’s Iceland. Then one night a man comes to his house with a broken ankle, Sigurd. Gunnar reluctantly lets him stay. Sigurd doesn’t really say much about himself but every night when Gunnar comes home Sigurd weaves this captivating tale that has Gunner hurrying home.

Out in the village of Klettafjordur, Gunnar’s neighbors have their own secrets and plans for him. Brynhildur wants to marry him but this is more than simple infatuation. Then there is the Conservative Women of Iceland that want to stop his heathen ways.

This was an interesting story. Although Gunner is a grumpy old jerk the more you are around him you kind of understand why. This is a brutally honest look at depression with everything Gunner feels and I hoped that he would find that one thing that would help him.

Sigurd is suspicious from the beginning but I think that is just me, I always think there is something going on with the strangers. I loved the ending with how everything came together yet left you wondering about other things.

This is a great read and first book from author Bjorn Larssen. I love all the details that went into this story. It’s definitely worth checking out. I can’t wait to see where Bjorn Larssen goes with his next book.

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

Giveaway to Win 5 x copies of “Iceland: Making Memories” (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

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.

Grey Skies

Grey Skies
by William Becker
Genre: Horror
Roman Toguri finds himself burying the body of a nun in Boone, North
Carolina. As the skies darken and it begins to storm, he is forced to
shove the corpse into his trunk and take it home for the night,
unaware of the torment that playing God will bestow upon him.
Enter Hell with two bonus short stories: The White Shade, an ultra-violent
look into the mind of a mass shooter, and The Black Box, a
psychedelic dive into weird horror.
William Becker is an 18-year-old horror author with a mind for weirder sides
of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines
that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the
vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned
within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable,
throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing
compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of
the popular modern horror.
His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14.
After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story
arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for
his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story
known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting.
Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to
see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of
bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of
the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second
story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.
My Review
4 Stars

Roman Toguri is getting ready to bury a nun when it starts to rain and he stashes her in his trunk and goes home. But when he gets home things go weird and to the next level. We follow along with Roman as he has delusions, or visions, or memories. All are gory and messed up but as you follow along with him you wonder what really happened to him.

I was instantly hooked from the beginning and wanted to know what Roman was doing with a dead nun. Then the story took a dark and very twisted turn as we learn about his past and around to his present situation. There is all kinds of brutal and dark things that are happening that made me wonder about Roman and how much of this was just his addled mind.

But when you get to the end, I was blown away. Everything was a shattered mirror that came together. There are several puzzles throughout the story, unfortunately I’m not really good at solving them but I have the feeling if you did they would add another dimension to this already off the wall story.

William Becker is a wonderful author that has caught my attention. There are two short stories afterwards that are great and have me curious about his other story Weeping of the Caverns. He is definitely someone to keep an eye out for.

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

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