Friday, December 13, 2013

Vienna Nocturne

Vienna Nocturne is a novel by Vivien Shotwell. This is the story of Anna Storace who begins as a child prodigy in England and has to fight her way to be recognized as a singer throughout Italy as most Italians believed that only they could truly capture the art form.

Anna shows them all that with the looks of an angel and a heart full of passion who can accomplish all of your dreams as she ends up singing on all the biggest stages and even for the emperor himself. Though she loses herself several times her passion always helps her return until she gives it all to one man who is her equal. They can never be together for he is married but his fingers on the piano are the perfect match for her voice on stage.

For me the best part of this novel was the portrayal of Mozart. You can practically see the authors love and devotion to him through the way she wrote. He was brilliant and frantic and funny, egotistical and yet self effacing. I just loved the way she wrote him. You can definitely see how much the author loves and understands music, her descriptions were beautiful and detailed.

I have to admit I didn't super love the book. It was good but not great. I did like the fact sometimes with the most powerful of men you don't seduce them with your body but with you mind. I think that part was quite well done. If you are looking for some thing to read and this is handy then it's worth picking up.

The Lost Sisterhood

The Lost Sisterhood is an interesting read about the amazons and how they are represented in the myths throughout the ages and what if they were still real and with us. You can tell that a lot of time and effort went into the research of the topic even though the story is compelling and draws you in.

Diana, the main character, is a woman who has always tried to understand the world around her. As a child she was kept in the dark about her grandmother's disease and now as an adult she wants to learn everything. Working as a professor at Oxford her focus is on the Amazons. She is haunted by some of the stories that her grandmother told her as a child. She is drawn to these stories and yet she, herself has always played it safe. Her love affairs are short and she keeps her heart in reserve for the boy who has always been just out of reach.

Her safe life is turned on it's head as a gentleman approaches her on a rainy night and tells her to meet him the next day at the airport to go to Amsterdam. At her refusal he shows her a photo of an ancient language that part of her mind seems to recognize but her logical brain just can't seem to place.

Intrigued she heads off to finish her fencing match and then to dinner with friends. Her friends all scoff it off and tell her not to go, that the man has horrid intentions. Diana is still intrigued though and just can't seem to get that language etched out in blue ink out of her mind. That night she calls her friend since childhood and talks to her about it. At the same time "It was grandmother's book". The ancient writing on the wall was the same language her grandmother had filled a notebook with. With that Diana races home to find the notebook that she was never supposed to know about.

She finds it and inside "To Diana". Thus begins her adventure as she heads to the airport, could this really be an ancient Amazonian language. She feels she has to find out. Diana begins the adventure of her life as she risks death and her heart to discover what she has always felt was the truth inside of her.

I loved this book! So good! The author captures all the actual facts that know of the amazons and twists in all these little extras to make it run smooth and capture not just one story but two. I loved all the different takes on ancient history and battles that we only have the stories of old men to go on. It was brilliantly plotted and filled with action and romance and verve.

It doesn't come out until March but I suggest that as soon as it does you grab it! The author is  Anne Fortier and she is brilliant! I will checking out her other novel Juliet as soon as I have a chance because this author just makes a great story!

Lesser Creatures

So I enjoy me some zombie time, however sometimes I get a little tired of the genre because honestly The Walking Dead does it so fabulously that a lot of others can't compete. If you can think of books that can besides World War Z (which I keep meaning to read and just haven't grabbed it yet) then please tell me and I will happily check them out too!

However, Lesser Creatures takes the genre and flips it around. It's just such a great twist on a genre that we have been seeing get more and more popular lately. Imagine as a teenager having the ability to make a wish come true when you really love someone. What if that person is kind of deranged and you don't see it? Welcome to the world of Lesser Creatures and the Church of Grace.

Zombies don't go around eating brains, they don't chase us and try to kill humans. They really just want their liquor and Burger King. I mean honestly, who doesn't? The government controls them and keeps them safe. They don't speak and those who are slain are avenged by an ungodly power that corrupts and kills. They call it the curse and it keeps even those who live in fear and hatred from going on a good old fashioned zombie hunt.

An ad man who is slowly being driven crazy by his fear and hatred of the zombies is suddenly asked to work with one. And not just any zombie, but his ex girlfriend who may or may not have tried to kill him. That's where it starts to get interesting.

This book was great, it had a refreshingly new idea about zombies which I loved. The plot was fastpaced, the conversation was real. The embarrassment I could relate to (his mom pops by and finds last night's "friends" panties laying on the floor). Such a great read and the author really captures both the female voice and the male voices really well.

You can find it on Amazon for like $5 for the ebook!

Definitely worth the money!

Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol

I was contacted by the publishing house and asked to check out this book and I happily said yes because let't face it I spend two hours a day on the bus and I really like to read. I also liked the idea that the book was a special re-release as the author had been friends with the teacher Anne Marie Murphy who lost her life. Because of that woman's passion for children with autism the author has decided that all proceeds from the ebook will go directly to Autism Speaks.

I signed on thinking it was a great thing to be a part of and then I got a wonderful shock, Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol is a great read. A dad struggling to make sense of his life as a recovering alcoholic and a parent to an autistic child. The past haunts him as he remembers the love his wife and he once shared and now they are divorced and barely holding on to their friendship for their sons sake. The memory of his happy baby who used to love being held and cuddled torments him as he tries to connect with the boy who is his son.

His cousin has the life he always wanted with the great marriage, big house, prosperous job and happy children. He is filled with envy as the season creeps closer and closer to Christmas. When his best friend needs a bit of help and a place to crash he still gives him a place to stay. Brendan gets fed up though when his friend becomes obsessed with Chip Crockett and beloved children's TV show host that they all loved as kids. Rumours begin to circulate that a surprise showing will air on Christmas eve.

Brendan gets closer and closer to the brink as his friends and loved ones get filled with holiday cheer and all he can think of is the horror that his life has turned into. Until that midnight showing and a Christmas miracle happens.

I don't want to give everything away but seriously what a great read and so uplifting. Sometimes it's nice to think that if we just keep trying things will get better and that even those people who can't show us they really do love us most of all!

I would recommend this book at any time but right especially, the ebook is under 5 dollars and all the proceeds go to Autism Speaks which is such a great charity for those in need of a little bit of extra help!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time Slip Series

The Time Slip Series by Julie Tetel Andresen is definitely an interesting take on the concept of reincarnation. Each book (so far only 3) deals with a major environmental issue and the main characters who would have been involved in the situation throughout two different periods of time. I found it really interesting to read not only the stories of the characters but to learn about things that affect us every day that we really don't know that much about it. Ok well that I don't really know all that much about is maybe a better example. Julie Tetel Andresen is really great about developing characters that we really care about, and not just the main characters but the supporting cast as well. You just want to immerse yourself in the world to learn more and experience the beauty.

The series begins with the Blue Hour. Cancer researcher Alexandra Kaminski feels like she is right on the verge of something incredible when her star patient tries to set her up with Val Dorsainville. As their eyes connect a cold shiver runs through her and she hopes to never run into him again. That's when destiny decides to intervene because Alexandra and Val have been together before in a past that haunts their future and if they can't figure out how to fix their mistakes then the past is doomed to repeat itself, with dire consequences.

I really liked the cast of characters and the spirituality of those who fear that they are going to die soon. I loved how everyone was so interconnected. It's nice to think that those we love in this lifetime may find their way back to us in the following lifetimes. I also learned about cancer research and the new information about telomerase and how it can change the face about cures.

The second novel is the Crimson Hour. Where Eloise Popescu is sent an airplane ticket to see her father. She has gotten into trouble her whole life but now that she has worked so hard to get her life straightened she realizes she has to follow this trail to the father she never met. Unfortunately that fateful decision leads her right into the middle of warring Chinese mafia families. It also leads her to Hanes Reynolds whose life has been destroyed by the same families. As the two join together and run across the globe trying to figure out exactly what's going on they also have to make sure they don't commit the same mistakes as the past which could end in death for one of them.

The Crimson Hour deals with the red tides around the coral reefs. I wish I had learned a bit more about that side of the story besides the fact that this occurrence can not only kill the reef but if ingested by humans it can create poisons. I still learned something though which is always good! I liked this book though I have to admit I kind of liked the supporting cast at times better then the main characters but definitely still a great book.

The Emerald Hour is the third book in this series. Jordan Charles heads off with her team to search for an elusive rubber tree plant in the Kew Gardens in London, England. As they search for the resistant strain of this plant they are closely monitored by the West brothers who have sponsored the universities research. Theodore West realizes that every time his plans take him away from the american team and their research that his career takes a nose dive and so he begins to work closely with the team even as he finds himself drawn to Jordan Charles. He begins to realize that the past is playing with them as events begin to replay themselves. If he doesn't figure out how to correct the past then the tree will forever be lost.

The Emerald Hour deals with the Rubber Trees. It was actually really interesting to learn about. Rubber is everywhere and I knew it came from trees but I don't think I ever thought much more about it. Harvesting rubber is actually quite difficult and the trees are really susceptible to bugs and rot. The characters were really great and I loved some of the things that the author had done with this story. Up to this point the books really could have been read alone but during this book they started to tie in with the other books because of a society. I am not going to ruin it but I would definitely suggest this series to everyone!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sutton Place

I was lucky enough to be asked to do a review for Sutton Place by Louise Gaylord. Louise  has been popular since she released the first novel in her Allie Armington series which was an instant hit and began the fan base which is now world wide. She made her name in mystery/thrillers and as the books come out her talent just keeps growing. All thanks to her serving on jury duty for a few months. I think it's incredible how the smallest things that effect our lives can lead us down such strange roads but I am thankful that she served that time and was inspired to begin her new journey down the dark and twisting paths of her imagination!

Sutton Place is the prequel to Julia Fairchild. Julia Fairchild is the main character in this intriguing novel. She is brilliant in her own right. After struggling through mistakes that Julia had made as a child she rises to the top of her field in psychology in New York. Life takes an even better turn as she begins a whirl wind romance with one of her co workers. That's where everything falls apart as all the scars come back along with the knowledge of something deeper and darker that happened to her. 

Julia had grown up in privilege and wealth though secrets had surrounded both her and her sister. After the first of those secrets was revealed Julia had fled her home. That flight as a teenager ended horribly as she wrapped the car around a tree, causing a coma. Her family spared no expense and sent her to the best treatment center that they could afford. However even the most luxurious and renowned places have darkness. In a coma where Julia lay helpless one of the doctors who was supposed to protect her took advantage of her, warping and controlling her brain until she was what he had conditioned her to be. Thankfully Julia was able to muster the strength to tell her mother a few words.

Those incidents lay in Julia's subconcious for years, forgotten and unused, until her first love. After it falls apart horribly Julia leaves to go to New Mexico and just when the past finally seems like the past, it all comes rushing back with the smell of musk. 

I definitely recommend this book it was so well written! The author is a genius when it comes to the twists and turns that make a truly great mystery novel. She includes all facets of the lives of her characters which makes them seem all the more real and grabs the reader even more!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I.T. Confidential

I.T Confidential by C.D. Rahm is such a great novel! He captures all the boring and drama of working in the day to day office with computers from the eyes of the computer geek. I know by the end of my day I feel like my eyes are starting to cross so I could only imagine about the poor I.T guy (who I personally harass on a sadly constant basis as my computer likes to do strange and random things when I am in the middle of other things!)

It was so well written and captured me from the get go! I loved how he blended humour with every day occurrences to make it easy for everyone to relate to, not just those who would work with computers. I honestly can't even think about what else to say other then if you need a laugh or you work in an office then you should grab this book!!!!!

You can find it at for around $15 canadian!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Suspicious Hearts

Suspicious Hearts by Julie Tetel Andresen is such a great romantic thriller. Richard Worth wants to re-enter society and approaches his friend the Duke to find a suitable woman for marriage who will help make his debut flow smoother. With a list in hand Richard strikes out to meet the women and see which one he feels will be best for him.

Caroline had come back to town after leaving three years ago in disgrace. Her father was a gambler and had lost the majority of their fortune and so they had retreated to the country. She returns at the invitation of her aunt and so she can settle the affairs of her father after he passed several months before.  After learning that her father had kept up his gambling ways and through the twists and turns of fate Caroline ends up accepting the proposal of Richard Worth.

The story sky rockets after that with fast paced conversation, murder, and double crossing! All set against a wonderful Victorian society background. I loved how this story just flowed together and how all the characters ended up where I wanted them to be! Such a good read I definitely recommend it to anyone!!

Also it's a great deal as a kindle version for only 4 bucks!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

And Heaven Too

And Heaven Too is a great historical romance by Julie Tetel Andresen. I am so glad that I was introduced to her works because they kept me from going mad last weekend. Let us just say that it was a miserable weekend, the joys of flu or some other bug but thankfully for me I had this great book to help distract me! I pretty much finished this book and moved on to one of the others that I have from this same author and was able to keep sane! Well at least the majority of my sanity that I have any other day :)

Judith is such a great main character, she is bright and witty and trying so hard to be a good daughter to the uncle that adopted her. I think we have all struggled to live up to the expectations of those around us and I loved watching this character come into her own as she realized that sometimes to really live we have to do what's wrong to really be in the right of our own consciousness. 

Charles Lambert is the gentleman who shows Judith a whole new world that she hadn't even dreamed of. He is devious and filled with such theatrical drama. He had almost eloped with her cousin Diana years earlier and in attempting to capture someone who stole something from him accidentally captures Judith. 

The hi-jinks ensue from there as the  two try to figure out the importance of a painting, life and love in the renaissance era. All of this is set against the background of intrigue, an England that sways between it's two churches and of course the glory of art. 

Such a great and humorous read that you don't even realizing you are learning until you know it! It was so great and vividly written that I could see everything with my minds eye. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance or anyone looking for a good read!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Simon's Lady by Julie Tetel Andresen

What can I say about this wonderful author? So many good things! I really enjoyed this book. I love historical romance novels, they are a sad and guilty pleasure of mine. They have taught me what a fort night means, which isn't something that you hear everyday. But I digress, sorry about that. Mrs. Andresen combines humour, real history, and confusion into a real love story with some pretty hot scenes that made me flick through the pages pretty awkwardly as I read this on my lunch hours at work.

Simon of Beresford is told by the King's mistress that it will be an honour to marry the widow Gwyneth of Northumbria. Distinctly unsure of this "honour" there is nothing he can do and faces his bride to be. He is soon taken by the violet depths of her eyes even as his soul struggles with the mounting evidence proving her as a traitor. For Gwyneth, she went from one horrible marriage and knows that she can not deny another that is sure to be more of the same, especially as she meets her Lord Husband and realizes he has no manners. But his gentleness in the boudoir convinces her that there is more to this plain speaking brute who can not seem to see the webs that wrap themselves around him as she attempts to save him from one mishap after another.

I liked the fact that real historical events about King Stephen and the tumultuous time period that he ruled during as well as some of the intrigues that may have actually happened as the lords were torn in their loyalties between rulers. The love story is genuine and I really liked reading from his prospective as well as hers. Sex scenes are hot hot hot! There is also action and intrigue and even an almost murder or two to make things extra exciting!

Definitely something that I would recommend for a reader who enjoys historical romance or just romance novels in general! It was so good! And at only 4 bucks for the kindle version it's a great buy!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Family That Stays Together by Deborah Plummer

The Family That Stays Together by Deborah Plummer is a mystery that slowly draws you in. Though it starts slowly it does end up drawing you into the mystery surrounding the main characters long time friend when her ex boyfriend is murdered. It's part of a series so you might be slightly confused at first and some of the backgrounds of the characters are missing. But the fact that one of the main characters is an ex nun is definitely interesting. Also I liked the authors take on religion and faith being balanced without over powering the novel, even when some of the characters have a crisis of faith.

Kathy and her sister Tina begin to look into the murder of their friend's ex when she becomes the target of the police investigation. Things are only made more complicated when Kathy is approached by an old friend from the nunnery who wants her to begin therapy with her sister and nephew. Kathy begins to learn new things about the case and struggles between helping a friend and her career. 

It's definitely an interesting read with some unexpected twists and turns so I give it three out 5 stars! I would definitely check this out, especially if you can find the first one!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo

He Belongs to Me is a beautiful and moving novel about a mother's love and determination. This novel by Theresa Rizzo is moving and definitely makes me eager to find and read more of her work. I thought that she captured the crisis of losing a child very well as well as the heartache of struggling to retain the child that's left. 

Catherine begins the tale at her graduation ceremony. She is filled with pride after completing her degree and joy that now Drew can come and live with her. Drew is her young son who has been living with her parents while she finished school at Stanford. Drew spends some time with his mother and her roommate in California but when she goes to talk to her parents about him living with her full time is when she learns the horrible truth. In a moment of weakness and manipulation from her father what she thought was guardianship for a short time was really signing the rights of her son over to her parents. 

Horrified and betrayed Catherine feels like she has no one to turn to in this hour of need. With the support of her friends in California she reaches out to her estranged husband, Thomas. They had once been madly in love until one of their twins dies in his sleep and Catherine's family accuses him of murder. Torn asunder by the horror of the situation and Catherine's manipulative father, they haven't spoken in years. Until Catherine shows up on his doorstop with a strange proposal. Can they act like man and wife in an attempt to get Drew and then if Thomas wants he can walk away.

This story's over arcing story is beautiful, the two love each other so much and life just keeps forcing them apart. In the end they realize that their love can triumph over any darkness. It is so moving and beautiful how they find love again after years as they struggle with love and children and the court case. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys a touching love story!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chaperones by Megan Karasch

Chaperones is an entertaining novel about Andrea Lieberman and her journey to overcome her fears and England. The author uses great detail when describing the sights and sounds of different tourist places in England. I have been to a few of them and her descriptions brought back all the wonderful things that I too had experienced so I loved that. Megan Karasch's writing is good, her moods are evocative and the imagery is beautiful and real. Conversations flow easily and seem life like which is always a bonus!

Andrea Lieberman is the main character of this quirky novel. She was raised by parents who, though well meaning, coddled her to the point where everything causes her anxiety. At 26 years old she realizes that she has missed out on so much of life because she's just too afraid. So when offered a wonderful opportunity for a 6 month job in England she takes it. Unfortunately that's the day her boyfriend chooses to propose in a wonderfully romantic way! She regretfully says no because she knows that she has to do this on her to learn that she can stand on her own and be a real equal in a relationship.

At first she is a mess being by herself but after the boys, Harry and Rob, join her everything seems to begin to move smoother, even if at first she won't enter the church. Andrea learns that she can do things on her own as she begins to take charge of the photo shoots. Even when Robin hood falls out of the tree onto the maiden Andrea is still able to take photos and try to turn it into a success. Andrea struggles between feelings elated at her success and torn between everything that goes wrong while all her fears eat at her self confidence.

Chaperones is hilarious! It's a great story about how it's never too late to find yourself or to find what you love! It looks at all of life's little ups and downs and definitely makes you realize it's what you do when the sh*t hits the fan that really counts. Andrea is such a great character that you just want to root for her the whole time. I definitely recommend this as a great read!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley

Amity & Sorrow is a really interesting story about two children raised in a cult, their mother and their flight for freedom. It begins with Amaranth who is fleeing into the dark away from her husband, her 50 sister wives, and the horrors that lingered behind her. 4 days and nights Amaranth drove until she crashed the car and was rescued by a beaten down farmer. 

Amity and Sorrow are children who have lived their whole lives in the cult, surrounded by prayer and sister wives. Suddenly thrust into a world that confuses them, they are burdened with rules and laws that don't work in the every day world. But as they find space on the farmer's porch Amity begins to find her freedom. She begins small by breaking the rules to speak with Dust, the farmer's adopted son. Sorrow, on the other hand, can not seem to find her place in this new world where she is just like everyone else. In the cult she was the prophet's first daughter, born from his first wife, and was also the oracle. She would stand beside her father and look into the bowl of water and call out prophecies. Now in a world with no prayer, no wives, and only a broken piece of the bowl, she longs for her father and the world she knew and she will do whatever it takes to go home. 

Amaranth looks at her children and wonders were she went wrong. In the beginning they had such ideals. The religion was created with the idea that all women deserved a place where they could be safe and loved. She had been his first wife and he had been the first person to make her feel fully loved. But now years later she feels like the meaning of what they had tried to do has been lost and now, now there are hints that Sorrow might be his newest wife and that she can't allow. And so she had fled from everything familiar in the hopes of protecting her daughter who didn't want to be protected. But in getting lost Amaranth found herself.  After the farmer lets her and the girls stay on his porch she begins to find herself drawn to the this enigmatic man who continues to struggle against the dirt of Oklahoma. 

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it gave a really interesting insight as to what could start a cult and then how it can change as the people mature and change and seek things that they had never longed for before. It was entertaining to see how the girls interacted with things that we see everyday like candy and soda pop. And it even made me think much more kindly about Grapes of Wrath which is one of the few novels that I genuinely don't enjoy. 

I definitely recommend grabbing this book and reading it if you are looking for something deep and introspective! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tristis Manor by J.R. Wagner

Tristis Manor is an exciting novella that takes place in the Never Chronicles Universe. This book is reminiscent of great gothic literature. The atmosphere is haunting and grey while the characters are believable and well drawn out. I haven't read anything else by this author but after reading this story I am drawn to read the rest of of The Never Chronicles. 

The story begins with Margaret, a troubled child, who struggles between hurting herself and trying to find favour with her cold mother. Margaret's greatest joy is her father, when he is home she stops hurting herself as much, the bed wetting stops, she can find peace and act like a child. Unfortunately he is often gone for months at a time and Margaret doesn't feel that she has anyone she can turn to, not about the events that haunt her. 

Scratching her nails again and again over the wood comforts Margaret, easing her inner pain with one that she can control. Until her finger begins to swell, as infection rages through her body untreated causing her to fall into a coma. After a dream that will haunt her and change her life, Margaret awakens completely healed and stronger. 

It is this new found strength that will enable to her to protect and raise her sister after Margaret's mother turns her back on her daughter. But most importantly it is this strength that will lead her to protect herself against the cause of her nightmares. It will also allow her to begin a journey into an unknown future.

I really enjoyed this novella! Though it deals with some very dark aspects, they are sadly things that are more and more common in today's society. It was beautifully written with great language and emotion. Another great aspect of this book is that right now it's only 2 dollars on Amazon! And the best part is that all proceeds will be going to RAINN. To find out more about this great organization please go here

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mama's Child by Joan Steinau Lester

Mama' Child is a moving story of a bi-racial couple and the family they create. Elizabeth and Soloman met in the turbulent 50's. Elizabeth had left her home in the north to move to the south and teach black children, what she didn't expect was to lose her heart to the smooth talking musician fighting for equal rights. The chemistry was electric and from the beginning it was a done deal between the two of them, the white girl and the black man. Elizabeth stood beside Soloman with their black panther compatriots and fought for something better in the world. They brought two beautiful mixed children into the world that seemed to get crazier and crazier. Until Elizabeth couldn't even attend the meetings any longer and was forced to stay home while the children were allowed to attend. Both parents were brilliant teachers but as the topics heated up so did the sparks in their relationship until, sadly, the fire was to strong and they decided to go their separate ways. 

The focus of this novel is on the relationship between Elizabeth, Lizzie as she asks the children to call her after the divorce, and her daughter Ruby. She only reluctantly allows Soloman to take Che in the divorce and only then because he is coming home drunk and she hopes her soon to be ex husband can help him. Ruby sees this as the ultimate betrayal and maybe that's what begins the spiral downwards in their relationship. They fight constantly between moments of deep closeness like any mother and daughter. 

Lizzie struggles to find herself after losing her husband, she tries to identify with the feminist morals and even has a lesbian relationship. Her daughter disagrees with each of these decisions and hates being dragged to protests for any of the things her mother is passionate about. Until ultimately as an adult a therapist convinces her to stop communication with her mother. Her mother, heartbroken, tries to give her daughter what she needs as years of silence go by. 

I was very excited to read this book, I am white but my middle brother is mixed and I always wondered how life was for him living with an all white family, if he felt like he was missing out on something or felt something lacking because he had no black parent to lead or teach him. If you are reading this book for this reason then I sadly don't suggest it. I did enjoy the book, it's well written and the action moves smoothly. Lizzie is amusing with all of her imperfections and I enjoyed not liking Ruby. It's good to have those characters that you just love to hate. Lizzie isn't a perfect parent, not by any means, especially right after the divorce and as a teenager you always struggle with your parents. But as an adult to constantly accuse your mother, the activist, of being a racist? Ruby nit picked over the smallest things and made her mother feel horrible over them. Even over something as small as a crystal trinket she had picked up at a street vendor and then cutting her mother out of her life. 

It's an interesting read, especially for the descriptions of the 60's and 70's and the activism that was going on at the time. It gives a great idea as to what a lot of black families possibly went through as well. At one point Soloman is writing Ruby about some of his ancestors, slave women who fought and ran for their freedom, which is so amazing, I loved that part. So all in all a great read for entertainment value! I would recommend it for that reason. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Plateau: Voices of the Earth by Maureen Dudley

The Plateau ..... Please don't be scared off by the cover, I know it seems like it might be a children's novel but it's not. It's remarkable in so many ways. The story begins with Catherine, an environmental engineer, who feels overwhelmed both by what happens around her and by what happens in her dreams. Henry is the faithful husband who tries to understand the things that he can't see or feel while encouraging her to experience them rather then fear them. And there is Keitha, the archivist from the future and a possible descendant of Catherine's family. Keitha is a powerful perceptive who has seen images of Catherine since she was young.

Keitha, with the help of her mother and father, realizes that she has to connect with Catherine on a deeper level. Not only to save herself and her colony but to stop the Machiavellian's from changing an event that could possibly affect the future in unspeakable ways. To gain Catherine's trust Keitha begins by appearing to her on Mesa filled with animals that are near extinction. Catherine, flanked by her greyhound Addy, is mystified by these animals some of which she has no way of knowing. After a few mistakes on Keitha's part, Catherine begins to grudgingly trust that these dreams aren't her subconscious but a real visitation.

Both Catherine and Keitha are strong females fighting for what they believe in. Survival. The overall theme of this first novel is what are really doing to the world that we life in and what possibly could our descendants end up living in. How would you feel if you met a descendant of yours from 200 years in the future and they told you that they had to live under ground because it was the only place safe anymore. How sad would that realization be? This book raised so many questions for me and inspired me to do research of my own. But honestly everything was so beautifully outlined that I could easily understand all the topics and what it meant for the world around us.

The characters are so real and  engrossing that I literally missed my bus stop one morning on the way to work. This book just sucks you in and makes you want to care about Henry, Catherine, Keitha, Greer and so many other characters. It makes you care about their issues and which way their lives could possibly end up. Maureen Dudley was able to spin magic with her words, creating a world so close to our own along with a world that may be our ending place if things don't change. It was wonderfully written and quickly paced.

The e version is available through amazon and barnes & noble for only $10! I would definitely recommend this as a must read! Thankfully for me it was only the first one of a series and I can't wait to read the rest when they are released!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hell's Captive by Beth Ann Masarik

Beth Ann Masarik brings us closer to the story of Damien and Selene in this newest short story! In a world where the Greek gods are still alive and well a love story that begins with death and hate is starting to unfold before us. In this short story Elise Stevenson is conducting an interview with Damien, the Prince of Darkness. Damien, a demon, vampire, rocking hot man who is battling between the forces of darkness and light that seem to live inside of his soul is trying to get his story out about what really happened with the moon goddess Selene and his part of the events that unfolded. The short story leaves us feeling sorry for this creature who was born in the dark and yet hungers for light and love. And now that Selene is a mortal will their love ever be able to bloom? Or will she never be able to forgive him for what he has taken from her? It just makes me so excited to read The World Among Us:The Prince of Darkness, which will hopefully be released within a few months!

I definitely recommend this short story. It's only a dollar on smashwords, amazon and barnes and noble for the e copy. It's not very long but you get a great sense of who the characters are and some background history on the world before delving into the bigger book. This short story is a great example of the type of emotion this brilliant young author can portray! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hell Bound By Beth Ann Masarik

Hell Bound is the next short story in the series The World Among Us by Beth Ann Masarik. This up and coming author is has shown us her skill with the fact that in a few short pages she has clearly created well rounded characters that the reader know have depth. The main character is easy to relate too, a hard working woman who is just trying to get a story done in an impossible situation. Though I have to say I think she's braver then me because I don't think I could shit talk a goddess. The story is just an over all great blend of action, emotion and adventure! I really so hope that you all enjoy it as much as I did. 

This short story also features Elise Stevenson as the main heroine. A woman who works hard at her job and genuinely cares about getting the truth out to people. After working a long day her boss calls her into his office. After luring her in with praise he tells about her next interview, with the feared Hades himself in Hell. All poor Elise wants is a good night's sleep but unfortunately that's the one thing not on the table! The poor woman is whisked into an adventure walking through the dark halls of hell before encountering demons, a goddess named DuVessa and eventually Hades himself. 

So today we have something extra and awesome! With this review the author is running a give a way to help promote her series! I wish you all the best you can win everything from author signed swag to free copies of the book! 

<a id="rc-fd91c012" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

The short story can be found at Amazon and Smashwords for only a 1!!! I have included the links below so you can find them easier! It should be available at Barnes and Noble on Monday or Tuesday if that's the format you need!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Murderous Regrets by Beth Ann Masarik

Beth Ann Masarik begins the re launch of her series with this brilliant short story. After having to switch publishers she has been anxiously awaiting to share the beginning of The World Among Us with you. Murderous Regrets is the story of Elise Stevenson's interview with convicted killer Leon Greene. It begins the story of the rebirth of the moon goddess and the underhanded methods of the Lord of the Underworld, Hades. It begins the explanation of the supernatural world to be found in this series as well. The best part is that even though it is short it is written well. Many details and great conversation between the characters really set the stage for what's to come!

It can be found at Barnes and Noble, and .ca as well as on smashwords. At only a 1.00 it is definitely worth the price to read this beginning short story, soon you will be hungering to be lost in this world with the rest of us!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cover Reveals!!!!!

I am so excited to be able to share this opportunity with you guys! My friend Beth Ann Masarik, the author of the World Among Us Series, is having 4 wonderful short stories published soon and, dear readers, we are lucky enough to actually see the covers revealed early!!! In a few weeks I will also be reviewing them and telling you guys where to find them online!

The World Among Us Series is based vaguely on the Greek myths and what if those gods were still in play in today's society. This series has it all: love, danger, humour and the enduring spirit of humankind. All of the following short stories are based off of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness which is due to be re- released shortly as well!

So the first cover is ... Murderous Regrets!

Leon Greene is being accused of killing his best friend, Jason Aysel, and the world wants to know if he really did it. Cue Elise Stevenson, the top news reporter for the Daily Gazette who gets the scoop. Will Leon tell her the truth and his motives behind the murder?

Moon Spirit

Raul Blackoak's world is tossed upside down when he stumbles upon a damsel in distress. What he wasn't expecting was that his life would be changed forever by her. Because he risks his own life to save her, he is stuck between two worlds; the world into which he belongs and the human world. Will he be able to balance between the two worlds or will he have to give up one to be happily ever after in the other?

Hell Bound

After impressing her boss with the interview with Leon Greene, Elise is hell bound to do an interview with the  Lord of the Underworld himself. Mr. Murphy wants her to find out the dirty scoop on Hades while foiling his attempt to take over the world. Will she survive the clutches of Hell?

Hell's Captive

As if interviewing Hades wasn't bad enough, Elise gets sucked into interviewing his son, Prince Damien. It turns out the Prince has a few tricks up his sleeve though as well as some deep and dark secrets. Like the possibility that he is in love with the woman who was murdered .... can Elise really dig deeper into Hell's royal secrets and escape alive?

I am going to include all the info she has given me on herself but first just let me say that she is an amazing writer. I had the pleasure with writing/role playing with her for years. Plus she is the publisher for the magazine that publishes my reviews as well as some of my meandering poetry! As soon as these are available to review and thus for you folks to buy I will keep you up dated on all that good information!

Beth Ann Masarik was born on Long Island, NY in the year 1984 with an over-active imagination. She used to love playing make-believe games, and now loves creating her own fantasy worlds. Masarik has been writing since she was 15 years old, and had her first newspaper article published in her high school newspaper in her sophomore year. She has taken several creative writing classes, and started writing her very first novel in college, and is currently searching for the right literary agent. Aside from writing novels, Masarik enjoys bowling, gaming, and role playing online. She enjoys reading fantasy novels written by Richelle Mead, L.J. Smith, and J.K. Rowling, and looks to them for role models.

Beth is recently married, and when she isn’t writing or role playing, she is found volunteering down at her church.

Masarik is also the founder of Literary Lunes Magazine/Literary Lunes Publications, a bi-monthly zine that is dedicated to promoting authors.  You can find out more about Literary Lunes by going to its website at

You can find Beth at the following places:

Twitter: @theworldamongus and @literarylunes

Saturday, March 16, 2013

LARP: The Battle for Verona by Justin Calderone

Larp: The Battle for Verona was a really interesting read for me. It might be because I am a nerd and I used to LARP (live action role play for those who don't know) in the World of Darkness and I'm an avid fan and player of Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and pretty much any other system that I can play in. So to me nothing could be better then donning armor and going to save the world! Okay in this case it's an island but your home is always your world, at least in my world it is so there.

The story begins with Dennis reminiscing about his character Sir Dengar as he struggles to think about how his life would have been different had he not started to play LARP. His brother was a popular football player and Dennis was following in his footsteps until during a gym class he befriended Mark and Freddy, the resident nerds. They introduced him to LARP and ten years later he was still playing. Dennis feels that he should be more grown up now and focus on his job at the bank and he wonders if he missed out on the chance for love because of his affection for the game. He is also troubled by his friend Mark's personality when he plays because of his controlling and egocentric personality.

The boys head off to their yearly convention on the Washington main land away from their beloved island of Verona. Meeting up with the friend Jenn who works at the museum in near by Seattle. Unfortunately the weekend quickly goes bad for Dennis when Mark puts himself in a bad situation and Dennis ends up "dying" because of Mark's foolhardiness. Dennis leaves the convention in a huff and head back home until he is stopped at the bridge to Verona. Turned away by the military he becomes intrigued and pulling around to the back of a local store Dennis uses binoculars to spy across the water. He is disturbed to see flames and smoke and blackness as all the electricity has been turned off.

Dennis returns to the convention and gathers his friends together to discuss what he has seen. Jen gets a hold of her father who happens to be a general in the US Army. A plan is soon formulated that involves both the military and all of the larpers as it seems like the people who have attacked the island are Mongolian's who have forsaken the modern world.

I really liked reading this book. The characters are well rounded and have great depth. It's well written with great humour and the action seems to move along at a good pace. The main bad guy could have been a little more thought out and have more background but otherwise really good. The Mongolians were great sympathetic bad guys. I loved the conflict with Dennis and his friends as they try and re counsel what they feel are teenage hobbies with their adult responsibilities.

You can find this great book at Amazon both .com and .ca, it's a steal for under 4 bucks if you buy the e version. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tides of Avarice and Sagaria by John Dahlgren

John Dalgren is about to release his second young adult novel and begin his first journey to the US on his new book tour. As a psychologist he brings to the table this great ability to really give life to his characters as they deal with not only the major events but just life in general that everyone has to deal with. His language is vibrant and detailed which really helps to engross the reader into the story. 

Tides of Avarice is classified as a young adult novel but the humour and detail definitely make it accessible for older kids (adults like me) as well. As all good pirate stories start with there is a rumour of a treasure map and a vile villain willing to do anything to get all the pieces and obtain the treasure. This trail leads us across the great wet to the land of the lemmings. Sebastian, the librarian lemming, is trying to figure out how to win the woman he loves, keep his mother out of the mayor's clutches and deal with the fact that his father was sent out on the last exodus over the cliff and across the great wet. (That's right once a generation some of the lemmings go over the cliff lolz) Suddenly Sebastian is plunged into an adventure that he had only dreamed of. With a piece of treasure map in his pocket, dodging the pirate Rustbane and trying to save the love of his life, Sebastian has stepped out of his lemming life and into one of the novels that he so loves. This book was released to rave reviews several years ago and I am still giving it rave reviews today! This is a great book to get children interested in reading as well as keeping adults entertained!! Fabulous read!

Sagaria also has that great sense of humour though John Dalgren did a great job of adding in some deeper emotional stories in this tale. Sagandran is just a normal young boy who is bulled and tormented by other boys bigger then him. His life changes unexpectedly with the disappearance of his beloved grandfather. Soon he is transported to a world beyond his dreams where everything seems to have come from a fantasy novel. There he meets Flip. Flip the rat is in love even though that girl doesn't seem to notice him and instead cares for Flip's nemesis, Tod. Sagandran soon learns of an evil wizards plans to unite and dominate the three parallel worlds and a motley group is formed to stop him. The party formed up of Sagandran, Flip, the Toad Knight, an old wizard, and a princess journey over the hills to face the evil sorcerer. It was great to watch the characters of Sagandran and Flip build their self esteem and learn to defend themselves against the world. All in all definitely a great second book and I recommend it to both teens and adults!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

I was lucky enough to read Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman just before it was released to the general public. This is Jenny Milchman's first novel though she has had two short stories published. She is a dynamic writer, easily balancing heart ache with fast paced action to keep the reader entertained and eager for more. Once I downloaded this book to my kindle I was hooked and finished it within the day it was so good!

The story starts with the female protagonist, Nora Hamilton, waking up late in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. She is surprised when she realizes what time it is and that her husband hasn't woken her up yet. She pads downstairs to find the coffee pot still cold and begins to feel that something is wrong. As she searches for her husband the feeling grows. Entering the attic that they had just begun to renovate together she finds him, swinging from a rope. With a creak and a snap the body tumbles down and into her knocking her down, a physical manifestation of what has just happened to Nora's life.

Nora spends the next few hours in a blissful numb state but soon enough awareness comes back and with it comes the questions that will begin to haunt her. The Why of it all begins to torment her especially as the people around her either ignore it or tell her to move on from it. Everyone except her unconventional sister who challenges her to open her eyes and ask the difficult questions in an effort to heal. Those questions lead to an even bigger mystery as Nora strives to understand why her loving husband suddenly decided to take his own life.

Trapped in a small town in northern New York where no one seems to want her there let alone have her asking questions about Brendan's last days Nora becomes increasingly nervous about her own safety as her search takes a dangerous turn. Nora doesn't know who to trust when even the police seem involved and the few people who will speak with her either die or have mysterious fires begin soon after talking to her.

Jenny Milchman was able to balance the heartache and confusion that would come with losing someone to suicide with a murder mystery. It's tastefully done and so interesting! I was left guessing until the end as to who was really behind it all. And it actually leaves you wondering if you ever really know the people around us, even those we claim to love the most! The release date was January 13th, so look for it at your local bookstore!!! It is definitely worth it! Excellent read!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne

I first heard about this book through a friend of mine. He isn't a huge reader so for a book to really pique his interest I knew it had to be something different. He got me the first three for my reader and told me that I had to read them, especially since now they were gift. With a laugh I opened the book and that was it, I was just as hooked. 

The story begins with Atticus, the 2100 year old druid, who is hiding out in Arizona so the Fey can't find him and either harass him or attempt to kill him. I guess in that amount of time you are definitely going to make a few enemies. His ever constant companion is his dog Oberon. Atticus has awakened Oberon's mind so that he understands English and they can communicate mind to mind. ( Even if you don't normally like urban fantasy settings you should pick up this novel just for Oberon!) Atticus is just trying to live his life and enjoy the small things, like working with the happiest goth kid ever. Atticus' life is interrupted when the fey finally figure out where he is hiding and remember that he has something that they want. 

The rest of the book is filled with action, smexy gods and goddess', hindu witches, werewolf lawyers, and the random vampire, almost normal barmaids and of course delicious fish and chips! The action flows smoothly and is well described without taking over the whole book. The dialogue is witty and interesting to read. There are several side characters that are super interesting and you can't wait to find out more about them in later books. For Kevin Hearne's first novel this is well written and entertaining from beginning to end.