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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

THE TRAGEDY OF KNOWLEDGE (AMARANTH TRILOGY #3) by Rachael Wade_Blog Tour and Review

Review: The Tragedy of Knowledge (The Resistance Trilogy, #3)The Tragedy of Knowledge by Rachael Wade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ToK Blog Tour Oct. 31 2012

The Tragedy of Knowledge by Rachael Wade
Amaranth Trilogy #3

When the series began, protagonist Camille discovered the existence of an alternate realm, Amaranth, purportedly a “rest” region for vampires, those who no longer wish to continue as vampires. But it didn’t take long for Camille to discover that, as usual, what seems to be “too good to be true” usually isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Amaranth is actually a feeding ground for the vampire ruler Samira. Camille, of course, will stop at nothing to free the frozen souls of Amaranth, if she can…

Author Rachael Wade continues her incredibly skillful and imaginative world-building, balancing in front of the avid reader a realm only she could have created. No suspension of disbelief is required, as the reader finds herself immediately catapulted into the story. “Magical thinking,” indeed-Ms. Wade’s writing is magically deft and vivid.


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FIRST TO FIND by Morgan C. Talbot (CACHING OUT #1)_Blog Tour


Review of First to Find by Morgan C. Talbot
5 Stars!

As well as an exciting and intriguing mystery, one which did not telegraph clues ahead of time, and so kept my total interest throughout, this well-written debut novel introduced me to an entirely new hobby category: geocaching. The process of using GPS coordinates (plain old latitude and longitude, folks, every locale has ‘em) to find “treasure” in a sense (or sometimes simply for the joy of being the first geocacher to locate a new “cache”), geocaching provides intellectual stimulation right along with physical exercise. In this particular venue, it also provides the wherewithal for a wonderfully fun novel with multi-layered mysteries, intriguing characters, and yes, even a little budding romance. Set in the Pacific Northwest, Ms. Talbot has even woven in a likable character who is an unintentional emigrant from Australia.
“First to Find” is just the beginning of  the “Caching Out” series, and I, for one, cannot wait for the next mystery!







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Sunday, October 28, 2012

DEAD EMBERS by T. G. Ayers_Blog Tour and Review

BLURB:
EXCERPT:
“For a shadow of a second, I stared into his eyes, shocked, horrified he'd do such a thing to me. A thousand fears filtered through my frigid brain. Was he in cahoots with Loki? Or was he Freya's dog all along?
It took an eternity for him to blink. Even longer for me to blink.
Then Fenrir pushed me and I fell off the cliff, into pure white oblivion.”
DESCRIPTION:
Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.
As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.
In the exciting sequel to DEAD RADIANCE, Bryn encounters dwarfs and dragons, new friends and old foes—but the worst enemy of all may be the person she trusts most!
BIO:
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.
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amzn.to/QECLcY
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Review:


Review of Dead Embers by T. G. Ayers
Innovative Online Blog Tours

It’s not uncommon for a series entry to stop with an abrupt cliffhanger. Maybe it’s not rare for the next novel to take up IMMEDIATELY where the earlier story paused. What is rare, to this reviewer, is the deft skill with which author T. G. Ayers takes up where she left off, and makes us feel the pain of the protagonist, grieve, weep, and get determined right along with her. The glorious attention to detail makes every setting vivid and well-defined, three-dimensional and lifelike. If you loved “Dead Radiance,” you will equally love “Dead Embers.” If you haven’t yet experienced this series, there’s no time to wait-get both. I was educated in Norse mythology by reading this series, all the time being entangled in the empathetic characters. A very special series from an excellent author,  indeed.

RENHALA by Amy Jo Lutchen_Review


RenhalaRenhala by Amy Joy Lutchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Renhala by Amy Jo Lutchen
5 Stars

A complex and multileveled contemporary fantasy, with its anchor in our world set in Chicago, “Renhala” keeps readers riveted and easily suspending disbelief while exploring an alternate world, at times lovelier than our own, at times horrifying and dangerous. Young Kailey undergoes a brutal and inexplicable assault, and through it finds that she has unheeded powers and abilities, and so do some of those around her. It is rather as if she looks through a glass table top and sees an entire other world co-existing with her own reality.

Author Amy Jo Lutchen demonstrates an incredible grasp of world-building. There are enough new species, locales, geographies, and cultures involved here to populate five volumes! Yet the tapestry of the two worlds is tautly woven and readily kept in mind as the plot swiftly unfolds.


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Saturday, October 27, 2012

WITCHFIRE by Ardath Mayhar_Audio_Review


Please note:

I reviewed the audio book production by Airship27, but I do not have an ISBN number to create a new edition. This review is NOT of the paperback edition.

Airship27's production of the new pulp fiction novel "Witchfire" is startlingly good. Produced by the inimitable Chris Barnes of Dynamic RAM Productions, "Witchfire" immediately grabs the reader's attention and maintains it (even for a non-auditory learner such as myself). Magical and mystical, with strong characters and a winning plot line, "Witchfire" deserves a wide audience. I predict it will appeal to a new generation of pulp fans, as well as us "oldsters" who grew up with pulp such as "Web of Terror." I personally plan to acquire and read the print edition as well.





http://robmdavis.com/Airship27Hangar/index.airshipHangar.html#witchfire

Friday, October 26, 2012

TRANSCEND by Christine Fonseca_Review


TranscendTranscend by Christine Fonseca
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Transcend by Christine Fonseca
5 Stars

I originally read this book as a Chapter-a-Day read for Goodreads Group Never Too Old for YA Books. I didn’t know what to expect, so I was gratified to find an excellently written book with a very mysterious plotting and a good sense of psychological underpinnings. The denouement really is not telegraphed, so the clues unfold on their own with a steady sense of tension. The character evolution is very well written too.

Seventeen-year-old Ien is a musician in a well-off, upscale family during the Gilded Age of New York. The younger brother until the heir Erik dies in an accident, Ien wants only to play music, and to marry the feisty and lovely Kiera, a violinist-in-training. He cannot accept no for an answer, no matter who it comes from; and the result is a horrible accident in which Ien is scarred to the point of disfigurement. Voices and apparitions taunt him nearly constantly, driving him to the brink of madness, for he cannot discern which is real and which is not. In the end, the truth will out, though the reader will be very astonished.


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OPERATION DARK ANGEL (FOUR HORSEMEN SERIES) by Pam Funke_Review


Operation Dark AngelOperation Dark Angel by Pam Funke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of Operation Dark Angel by Pam Funke
4 stars

In a collapsing society, it is easy sometimes to look to a savior, or anyone who promises to be a savior. Those who don’t believe in a Deity will flock to the one who promises peace, a good economy, an easy government. Such is true in “Operation Dark Angel,” which draws from the Biblical Book of Revelation to present Nicolaitanes Balac, prophesied by a Voice, born in immaculate conception, at a young age President of Italy and determined on world domination. Simultaneously, there is a move toward a one-world religion (“United World Religion”) which is to avoid divergence and embrace any and all faiths; and the dreaded “Operation Dark Angel,” which revolves around deadly biological warfare.

This is the first novel in “The Four Horsemen Series.”


I reviewed an e-book copy received from the author in return for my fair and impartial review.


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THE HIGHLANDER (THE RISE OF THE AZTECS #1) by Zoe Saadia_Review


The Highlander (The Rise of the Aztecs, #1)The Highlander by Zoe Saadia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of The Highlander by Zoe Saadia
Rise of the Aztecs Book 1

If you’ve read any of Author Zoe Saadia’s “Pre-Aztec Series,” you know to expect a combination of historical education with a smoothly-written, exciting story involving empathetic characters who maintain the reader’s interest throughout. The first of this new series, “The Highlander,” proves to be no exception. Immediately we get involved with the story of two boys (and one half-sister), one a Highlander, one a Lowlander, as they follow the dictates of their families, disparaging each other’s ethnicity, yet learn to value their growing friendship. It is no coincidence, perhaps, that these two will prove to play pivotal roles in the changes to come for their societies and the empire across the lake.

Suffused with thrills and adventure and romance as well as character development, this novel paints a vivid illustration of a society long lost to us, but yet in many ways so like our own, with characters who could be us or our friends or neighbors. The human condition does not change much despite technology and the Industrial Revolution. My recommendation: read and enjoy!

I reviewed an e-book copy received from the author in return for my fair and impartial review.


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

RICK & WYLIE'S FANTASTICAL, MAGICAL ADVENTURES BOOK ONE By Andi Katsina__Review


Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures Book 1: [Journey To The Kingdom] (Volume 1)Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures Book 1: [Journey To The Kingdom] by Andi Katsina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures: Book One, Journey to the Kingdom by Andy Katsina

Folks, this is not your ordinary YA novel. This novel takes suspension of disbelief and yanks it on its ugly little head. In moments (or sentences) you’ll be so involved you won’t realize that “things like this just don’t happen” because here they most definitely do happen. The delightful father-daughter pair of eco-documentarian Rick and thirteen-going-on-fourteen insatiably curious Wylie take a much needed vacation in Kaui, Hawaii. In the process the duo discover magical new worlds, and Rick learns that Wylie is even more intuitive than he formerly believed. Tricked and stalked by an inscrutable Oriental shopkeeper, Mr. Fang, Wylie and Rick must battle evil to save the Universe. (Mr. Fang reminds me so much of that beloved elusive and nearly immortal Oriental mastermind, Dr. Fu Manchu, so I couldn’t help rooting for him, just a little ).
This is the first in a trilogy, so get in on the ground floor and don’t miss out.


I received an e-book copy from the author in return for my fair and impartial review.


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A HINT OF FROST by Hailey Edwards_Review


A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation, #1)A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewing at author's Sept. 22 2012 request. Review copy provided by author.

Review of A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards
Araneae Nation #1
5 stars

What a well-turned fantasy romance is “A Hint of Frost”! I believe it has compelling reasons to be popular among devotees of fantasy, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Exciting, adventurous, thrilling, sensual, emotional-all the elements are present, and presented in a well-written and enjoyable fashion. Add a hot hero, and a sexy heroine determined to avenge her parents’ ugly deaths, a culture in which the new Araneidae maven, Lourdes, must mate to protect her clan (and hot or not, Rhys the Cold is from a clan that just doesn’t get along too well with Lourdes’ clan), and choices must be made: to mate and live, or refuse and be slaughtered? When Guardians prove dangerous instead of protective, sometimes “the enemy” becomes one’s best friend.




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DANGEROUS PROPOSAL by Jessica Lauryn_Review


Dangerous Proposal (The Pinnacles of Power)Dangerous Proposal by Jessica Lauryn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewing at author's Sept. 21, 2012 request. Review copy provided by author on that date.

Review of Dangerous Proposal by Jessica Lauryn
5 stars

A complex and multilayered novel of contemporary romantic suspense, “Dangerous Proposal” is populated by numerous villains and good guys; but like driving on a mountain road in fog, sometimes it’s hard to see where you’re going, and difficult to know whom to trust. A bad choice can result in years, or a lifetime, of trouble: just ask protagonists Alec and Lena, both of whom put their trust in the wrong people and have lived to regret it. Of course, living may no longer be the option, as some folks just don’t like to forgive and forget-and some mistakes are irrevocable.
Set in New Hampshire, “Dangerous Proposal” is unusual in that it’s not ascribed to the ordinary big-city, urban fast-moving locales of many suspense novels, but never fear, there’s plenty of suspense, plenty of convolutions, plenty of “steam” and I don’t mean of the locomotive brand either. Readers who like their mystery and thrills served up hot and wild will enjoy “Dangerous Proposal.”

I reviewed an e-book copy provided by the author, Jessica Lauryn, in return for my fair and impartial review.


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TO DANCE IN LIRADON by Adrienne Clarke_Review


To Dance in LiradonTo Dance in Liradon by Adrienne  Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke
5 Stars

I loved reading this book for its lyrical writing and poetic imagery, its easy suspension of disbelief, and the multitude of instances of tension in which the reader feels balanced on a tightrope (will the character fall this way? Or that way?) such as between Brigid and the Faery Queen, Brigid and Lord Osin, Brigid and Connor, or in many other instances. This tension keeps reader’s attention, because we really don’t know what “will happen next,” and we intend to find out. I applaud the writing and the story line. Even for a reader like myself to whom Fantasy is not my first choice of genre, “To Dance with Liradon” is a rereader. So don’t miss out on a special novel-get this one soon.


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THE ADVENTURES OF BAYLARD BEAR by Lucinda Sue Crosby_Review


The Adventures of Baylard BearThe Adventures of Baylard Bear by Lucinda Sue Crosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of The Adventures of Baylard Bear by Lucinda Sue Crosby

5 stars

“The Adventures of Baylard Bear” is subtitled: “a story about being different.” At first glance, the reader might think: well, of course, “different,” it’s about a bear. But the story is multi-layered and has some important lessons to offer us. Baylard is born into a happy bear family, but then his parents leave him at an orphanage, an institution for human children. Why? To allow him to find a better life than they can give him, economically. Baylard is taken in by the two elder ladies who run the establishment, and strives to fit in. He does so fairly well, but is saddened every Saturday when potential adoptive parents arrive to view the children.

One day a lady visits to play guitar and interact with the children; she makes a point to pay special attention to Baylard. He begins to daydream of living with her; and wonder of wonders, one day that dream does come true! But it’s not the end of Baylard’s adventures; he has much more to learn about the advantages and lessons of “being different.”


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PLAY HIM AGAIN by Jeffrey Stone (A Matt Hudson Novel)_Review


Play Him AgainPlay Him Again by Jeffrey  Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Play Him Again by Jeffrey Stone
5 Stars

A delightful peek into the backdrop of a long-lost era, the United States (and Canada) in the 1920’s-the era of rum-running and Prohibition, speakeasies and con artists, semi-organised crime and film studios, “The Jazz Singer” with Al Jolson. Talking films were just about to get off the ground, but studios had so much investment in silents that it was an uphill battle. The Volstead Act purportedly kept alcohol away from citizens; instead it spawned bootlegging, both with and without violence.

A totally engrossing reader’s hook launches this story into orbit, and the adventure, excitement, and thrills never stop. “Play Him Again” is a novel I could not put down, and look forward to rereading. I highly recommend it. Author Jeffrey Stone’s portrayal of this forgotten era is as vivid as if he had lived it, and he causes readers to feel they are living it now. His characters deserve and welcome our empathy, and we readily follow their exploits, confusions, problems, griefs, and successes.

I reviewed an e-book copy provided by the author in return for my fair and impartial review.


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PROGENY by Patrick Greene_Review


ProgenyProgeny by Patrick Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Progeny by Patrick Greene


What an astounding novel is this! I went in expecting horror-and horror I got-but also literate, character-evolving, coming-of-age (not just in the two young boys, but also in the person of one of the boy’s father), cultural and traditional clashes, the shifting tectonic plates of the established Appalachian culture of centuries against the more modern ecology-preserving approach (although this latter approach was present in the indigenous tribes from their very beginning). This story is much deeper and richer than I had any right to expect. It flung me from beginning to end without pause, and then beckoned at me to come at it again for a slower, more savouring, reread. I am so glad I read this book. I love it when a story speaks to me on so many levels, and promises to tell me more if I just examine it once again. Kudos to both author Patrick Greene and to the insight of his publisher, Hobbes End Publishing (and an additional thank-you to Micah Hanks for his Foreword).


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THE TASTE OF FEAR by Jeremy Bates_Review


The Taste of FearThe Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of The Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates

I reviewed an e-book copy provided by the author in return for my fair and impartial review.

“The Taste of Fear” ranks with bestselling thrillers (name your author, you’ll know to whom I compare author Jeremy Bates). Rife with glorious detail of geography, flora and fauna, culture, society, warfare, terrorism, economics, politics, crime lords, and a cast of characters from the very down-to-earth (as is the pickup driver Scarlett encounters in Laurel Canyon), to celebrities such as screen star Scarlett Cox, and powerful businesspersons such as her husband Salvatore Brazza and Macau crime tsar Don Xi, there is literally not a moment of rest in this book. Action, adventure, thrills, mystery compete with character evolution through adversity and surprise developments to keep the reader riveted. I raced through in one sitting because I refused to put the book down until I “discovered it all.” I truly expect to find this one riding the bestseller wave.




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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

UNEARTHED by Lara Stauffer_Review


UnearthedUnearthed by Lara Stauffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Unearthed by Lara Stauffer

A truly intriguing and unusual novel, “Unearthed” presents the story of a young man, newly graduated from high school, and his ongoing crisis of faith and struggle to find identity within his family. Matt is a basketball star with an upcoming full ride to Duke for his abilities; yet he has struggled for years under the assumption that his dad doesn’t value nor respect him. His father Ben is a diligent archaeologist, with the respect of colleagues and students, but he and Matt just can’t connect; until Matt is bribed by a girl he mocks, Taryn, to just try out thirty days with his father at the new dig. Sounds unpromising on the surface, but the night before they are to fly to Mexico, an earthquake in Mexico City creates a new fissure in the dig, and opens up an entire new realm of possibililities.

Ms. Stauffer weaves in the history and the geography of the Latter Day Saints’ Book of Mormon in an amazing and exciting way. Her characters truly evolve throughout the story, and in a very realistic and vivid way, we as readers see history as it was, and as it is, and hope for the future. I very much enjoyed this story and would like to see its continuation as a series. I definitely plan to look for more novels from Lara Stauffer.

I received a review e-book copy from Great Minds Think Aloud in return for provision of my fair and impartial review.


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BUCKO by Jeff Parker & Erika Moen_Review


BuckoBucko by Jeff Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of Bucko by Jeff Parker and Erika Moen
4  stars

“Bucko” is the product of a writer and an artist from Periscope Studio in Portland, designed initially as a “webcomic.” Poor “Bucko” is incognito in a sense, as his new maybe-about-to-be girlfriend can’t remember his name. She’s an artist working in cephalopod themes (octopi) which her roommate sells on Etsy; he’s a guy who needs a job to stave off eviction. What he doesn’t need is a corpse in the office restroom-for which  he’s blamed and arrested. What he does need is someone to believe in him, and that is what he eventually finds; but not before the city of Portland seems turned upside down, and we get a close look at a lot of the life “underneath.” Included are mystery, gang violence, homeless “villages” and guru-loyalty. The artistry is deft and the dialogue proceeds apace.

I received an e-book copy from Great Minds Think Aloud in return for my fair and impartial review.


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Monday, October 22, 2012

HELLO DARKNESS by Sam Best_Review


Hello DarknessHello Darkness by Sam Best
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Hello Darkness by Sam Best

Horror as it should be: implacable, juggernaut, inescapable. Horror that is and was and will be, world without end-or rather world-ending-is the category in this engrossing novel.
Who wouldn’t want to live in Falling Rock, Colorado: one hundred population year-round, a number which swells greatly during the annual festival-quiet, friendly, surrounded by nature-hike in the woods, climb Mt. Hodge, attend church in the valley. Or come face to face with an unstoppable, shape-changing horror never before seen or imagined?

Ben Howard lost his wife Marissa a year ago to an unavoidable vehicular accident. His grief at her death is entwined with his guilt as the driver, and at not being able to rescue her in time from the icy lake. But Ben has a daughter, Annabelle, who’s only four, so he must get a grip on life and raise her the very best he can. He and the precocious child return to his home town of Falling Rock, to the home his father built in the forest. Little could Ben realize that remaining in Baltimore and wallowing in grief would have been preferable to what waits for him in Falling Rock.

I read this very smoothly written and fascinating novel in one setting, and am eager to read more by author Sam Best. Excellent!

The author provided me with an e-book version in return for my provision of a fair and impartial review.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SAM by Iain Rob Wright_Review


SamSam by Iain Rob Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Sam by Iain Rob Wright
Reviewed for SalGad Publishing

Did this story scare me? You absolutely bet it did. Having just read Mr. Wright’s “Sea Sick,” I already knew that he is an accomplished and quite masterful author. What I wasn’t expecting was the unusual choice of roles and orientations for the protagonist (or, since she opposes the central character, maybe Angela should be called the antagonist) nor for the sheer terror that rang in my bones from very nearly the beginning.

“Sam” is a very finely tuned book-no stitch is dropped, no thread not followed to its end. It’s graphic and gory, yes, but more importantly, it’s very terrifying, and excellently written. I’m a firm convert of the writings of Iain Rob  Wright, and I can’t recommend him highly enough.


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SEA SICK by Iain Rob Wright_Review


Sea SickSea Sick by Iain Rob Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for SalGad Publishing
5 stars

What a story! I want to give 15 stars instead of just 5! Totally riveting, amazingly deep, philosophical and metaphysical, Sea Sick deserves my full approval. I knew from page one I was on to an exciting writer. I don’t think just any author could take this premise: a day that recurs again and again and again, ad infinitum; and make it intriguing, fascinating, riveting, and world-shaking. But Iain Robert Wright does. Not just horror, not just mystery, not just thriller, adventure, intrigue, but all this and more, Sea Sick is a story to read, savour, ponder, and reread. Don’t miss it.


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VICIOUS by Bryan Alaspa_Review


Vicious: A Novel of SuspenseVicious: A Novel of Suspense by Bryan Alaspa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A riveting and graphic novel told just as deeply and intensely from the dogs’ point of view as from the humans’, “Vicious” captures reader’s interest and empathy immediately. Yes, the dogs are killers, but not necessarily because of their breed, not because they were “bad seeds,” but because of humans who abused and beat them until they know not much more than killing and death. Even so, though, the male, Demon, cares for his mate Delilah, and is very protective of her-which goes to prove the point that these are not “evil” dogs. He doesn’t go out looking for trouble, he doesn’t hunt humans, he’s simply defending the territory that he has been careful to mark-so from his viewpoint, the humans are at fault for not paying attention to his markings.

“Vicious” is well-written and absorbing, and the secondary plot threads (such as the failing marriage of Stephen and Victoria, the background information on Jeremy’s first marriage and dog, the sorry character of Demon & Delilah’s owner, and more) keep readers glued to the ongoing story. Although quite frequently violent, the violence is part of the context and not gratuitous. The author includes an additional, divergent, ending as well, for the preference of some readers. (This reviewer much preferred the second ending.)


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Monday, October 15, 2012

DETERMINANT by A. M. Hargrove (GUARDIANS OF VESTURON #3)_Blog Tour





About the author:



One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove,
realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something
soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had
been dreaming of her whole life.  So, she rolled down the passenger
window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather
briefcase.  Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a
dodgeball pro and had ΓΌber quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting
bashed in the head.  Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M.
made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her
crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window.   She
breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit
#4 on her speed dial.

 Boss:  Hello

 A.M.:  Boss, is that you?

 Boss:  Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?

 A.M.:  Er... right.  Well, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.

 Boss:  Why ever would I want to do that?

 A.M.:  Because I quit!

 A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.

 A.M.:  Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?

 Hubs:  Sure... Having some car trouble?

 A.M.:  Not at all.  I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.

 Hubs:  WHAT?!

 A.M.:  It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.

So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance
author of self-published ebooks.  Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon,
centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery,
suspense and of course, love.  Survival and Resurrection are her first
and second full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the
prequel novella.  Her third installment, Determinant, will be released
on June 30, 2012.  (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the
idea!)



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October
16- Mallory Heart Reviews -entire series
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18- Owl Read It -Review/Guest Post
19- Shut Up & Read -Guest Interview with January
22- Samthebookaholic -Review (entire series)
23
Breath of Life -Review (entire series)
26- My Cozie Corner -Promo

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Mallory Heart Reviews DETERMINANT:

Determinant (The Guardians of Vesturon #3)Determinant by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blog Tour Stop Oct. 16-

Review of Determinant
Reviewed for I luv tours blog tour
5 Stars

“Determinant” continues Author A. M. Hargrove’s magically imaginative contemporary sci fi series “The Guardians of Vesturon.” Vesturon is a planet in a distant galaxy, a peace-loving entity whose Guardians patrol other systems to keep peace and to prevent war-like species from ravaging other planets for resources and populace. One team of Guardians is based on Earth, in the Smoky Mountains. In this entry to the series, January St. Davis, a brilliant early high school graduate and valedictorian, escapes from a dismal home life to enter college in Western North Carolina. Although she makes close friends, the disappearance of one and the ongoing depression of the other add to her constant striving to keep ends meeting. An internship at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta starts out excellently, till suddenly her supervisor finds fault in everything she does. On her way home to North Carolina at the end of the summer, January becomes deathly ill-and wakes to find herself part of a beautiful dream-if science fiction really is true. But of course, happy endings never come in the middle of the story, and January will find herself battling to win her dreams.

“Determinant” can function as a stand-alone novel, as Ms. Hargrove weaves in sufficient background to clue new readers to the earlier books, but not enough to overwhelm by repetition. However, this reviewer recommends reading (and re-reading) all three. The fourth in the series will appear in 2013.


Review of "Survival" (Book 1)



Survival (The Guardians of Vesturon, #1)Survival by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5 Stars

Just from Page 1 I fell in love with this awesome book, whose poetic imaging is priceless. I have lived near the area which is the initial setting, so I was poised to discern if the descriptions were accurate; my judgment is-more than accurate, perfect, poetic, lyrical, and oh! How I wish I were there inside the scene! It’s not every author who can make the reader experience a story with her senses as well as mentally and emotionally, but A. M. Hargrove does! This author deserves a very wide audience.

At first glance, the reader would think this novel is about a very likable young lady who suffers two tragedies in her life (the loss of her parents at eleven and at seventeen), but manages to stay strong, even though completely alone; to make good friends, and to succeed in college. But this is just the anteroom to the novel, as it were. Author Hargrove leads Maddie into some serious (potentially fatal) danger-and then into the experience of a lifetime-well, of anyone’s lifetime! I won’t spoil the progress of this novel for future readers; but I do want to add that surprisingly, the author even elicited empathy for the characters whose actions are negative and dangerous. That’s not an easy accomplishment.

This book is a “100 percenter” and deserves my highest recommendation!


Over decades of reading I have discovered that accomplished writing does not come from the number of novels or short stories penned, and certainly not from the quantity of bestsellers! It occurs when a writer works at her craft, and then-even in a “debut” novel, it’s apparent. Such is true of A. M. Hargrove. I don’t know how many years she has been writing, but boy, can she write! In fact, I am now a convinced fan and plan to read everything she publishes, including the sequel, “Resurrection”!


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Review of Resurrection (Book 2)


Resurrection (The Guardians of Vesturon, #2)Resurrection by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Guardians of Vesturon Book 2

Sometimes a reader is enraptured with the first book of a series, anticipating the next, and finds herself disappointed. Well, worry not, Gentle Readers, that will NOT happen here. You loved and reveled in “Survival,” now get ready to rock with “Resurrection.” A. M. Hargrove is a very special author who delivers the goods. Qs a writer myself, I am constantly amazed at how she is able to meld the crossing of genres (contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, and more) and make the consequent product not only work, but endear itself to the hearts of readers. I’m so excited that the third volume in this wonderful trilogy will arrive in only three months; but in the meantime, we have the first two books in the “Guardians of Vesturon” series to read, reread, and reread yet again.

Readers who’ve raced through the first volume know that Maddie was left in seriously dire straits-waiting for rescue that she could not be certain would ever come, or at least not in time. If you haven’t read “Survival,” worry not, you can certainly enjoy “Resurrection” (although I would highly recommend reading both!), I don’t wish to need a spoiler alert in this review, so let me just say: get “Resurrection,” don’t overlook it; it doesn’t matter if you don’t think this is your usual genre of choice (there’s such a blend of genres here almost any reader is going to love it). Unless you don’t enjoy fast-paced, priceless reads, you’re going to want this as a keeper. Now go and get “Resurrection” (and “Survival”) and don’t delay.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

DEAD RADIANCE Blog Tour (Valkyries #1) by T. G. Ayer

BLURB:
EXCERPT:
"That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe. I finally knew what the glow meant. I was a freak and Joshua was going to die." Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras - Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead. The new foster kid, Aidan, isn't helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she'd never belonged?

BIO:
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.
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Review of DEAD RADIANCE (Reviewed by Mallory Heart Reviews)



Dead Radiance (Valkyrie, #1)Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dead Radiance (Valkyrie #1) by T. G. At yer
5 Stars

What an engrossing novel! I truly enjoyed reading this first entry and am ready to move on to the second novel in the series, “Dead Embers.” Author T. G. Ayer has a fine and skillful touch with delineation of Norse mythology, a subject of great interest to me, and not nearly as well known by most readers as is Graeco-Roman mythology. No need to work on suspension of disbelief here, it comes automatically. There’s no surprise at encountering All-Father Odin, Fenrir, the Goddesses Freya and Frigga, or even that evil (not just mischievous) Loki. No, it all seems natural, just as logical as Valkyries returning to Midgard (where we live, folks) and reanimating the deceased as Warriors for Odin and Freya, diligently preparing daily for that great world-ending conflict of Ragnarok.

There are some truly heart-wrenching moments here too, so please keep your box of tissues near to hand. You’ll find falling in love, breaking hearts, grief, and all those other emotions humans can’t do without. But you’ll also come away with a new appreciation for the art of storytelling.

Reviewed for Innovative Online Blog Tours for Oct. 15 2012


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