Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake

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Kindle price $1.99, release date September 19, 2017, available for pre-order!

This book is marketed as a romance, but honestly it reads as more of a YA magical adventure, though I do realize Wickedly Spirited is part of a series, so I’m absolutely certain (after having read this story) the other pieces of the world Deborah Blake has built for her readers are more romantically involved. As a matter of fact, the next bit of story will be released in November 2017 (Titled Dangerously Divine). But, as is, this story can standalone and I would easily recommend it to my fifteen year old daughter.

The story revolves around sixteen year old Baba-Yaga (witch) in-training, Jazz, after having been adopted by her mentor. Behind her mentor’s back, Jazz tasks herself with restoring immortality to The Riders, companions of the Baba-Yagas. With the help of her mentor’s dragon-cat, Koshka, Jazz ventures into the Otherworld to gather ingredients to help her out.

There isn’t much to add because this is a very short read, one which I really enjoyed because sometimes I’m really too busy to get too involved in what I’m reading, regardless of how enjoyable it might be. Those of you who are busy during the day and have jobs and lives beyond the internet probably understand what I mean. The premise of the story is nice, the characters are all great, if not surreal (reminiscent of late nineties dramedies), and knowing there’s more coming in just a few months–rather than years, as with other book sequels–is a treat.

I can give my recommendation for this book without having to mull it over because it’s an easy YES. A person can read this story while they fold their laundry. Kindle gave it a bit over an hour and a half, so great to read while you’re in a waiting room or having morning coffee. I really am glad I stumbled upon this.

I am going to make sure to get a copy of Dangerously Divine as soon as it’s released because I really would like to know what happens to Jazz next. Without going into too much detail, Wickedly Spirited sort of leaves you wondering.

PRE-ORDER WICKEDLY SPIRITED FROM AMAZON HERE!

TO PRE-ORDER DANGEROUSLY DIVINE (BROKEN RIDERS NOVEL, A) FRO

M AMAZON, CLICK HERE!

DANGEROUSLY DIVINE

Available for pre-order. Release date November 28, 2017

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Wychwood by George Mann

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After losing her job and her partner in one fell swoop, journalist Elspeth Reeves is back in her mother’s house in the sleepy village of Wilsby-under-Wychwood, wondering where it all went wrong. Then a body is found in the neighbouring Wychwoods: a woman ritually slaughtered, with cryptic symbols scattered around her corpse. Elspeth recognizes these from a local myth of the Carrion King, a Saxon magician who once held a malevolent court deep in the forest. As more murders follow, Elspeth joins her childhood friend DS Peter Shaw to investigate, and the two discover sinister village secrets harking back decades.

I absolutely adored this book. After doing a little bit of research on the author, George Mann, I realize that this was a fit made in wherever perfect fits are made. The guy worked on Dr. Who and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics! I have to admit, I am a wee bit in awe of him.

I enjoyed George Mann’s writing style. I couldn’t put this book down and overslept because of that (but, that is neither here nor there). I didn’t feel like it was a chore to get to the end and, to be honest, some novels feel that way because of a lack in plot or character development. But, in Wychwood, I felt mostly fulfilled at the end. I say mostly because I feel like I’m still going to close my eyes at night and see some of the images Wychwood delivers to readers. I imagine that’s also a positive.

Mystery readers will delight in the story telling abilities displayed on the pages. There is an eerie realness in the characters and the need to either like or dislike them is strong.

Wychwood is available from Amazon, and Titan Books.  

Today is the official release date! I really encourage you to read this one.

 

Clade by James Bradley, A cautionary tale.

clade.jpgAdam is in Antartica, marking the passage of the solstice. Across the globe, his wife Ellie is waiting for the results of her IVF treatment. So begins the story of one family in a changing world, where the apocalyptic mingles with the everyday; a father battles a biblical storm; an immigrant is mysteriously drawn to the art of beekeeping; a young girl’s diary chronicles a pandemic; and a young man finds solace in building virtual recreations of the dead…

Let’s be honest, this book was bound to come to my view one day and I’m glad that it did because I happen to absolutely love time travel or alternate reality type stories. This goes beyond that–it follows a family through the expanse of time, so readers get to enjoy a great story that explores both science fiction and something of a family drama. As far as I can see, it isn’t part of a series, either, so for those who enjoy single stories (instead of having to read multiple novels in order to get the full view of the characters and their plights), this is a great fit.

I have never read any of James Bradley’s other works, but I feel like I might. My to-be-read pile is absolutely huge right now, but I’ll make room and I would imagine that after reading Clade, others will too. He’s a good writer, but some of the characters weren’t as strong as I would have liked. He did, however, deliver a great premise and he followed through until the very last chapter. The climate change cautionary tale James Bradley has written for us is certainly thought provoking.

If you would like to find out for yourself, I found Clade by James Bradley on Amazon, but you can also buy it from Titan Books.

Marlon McCaulsky’s A Dangerous Woman, Interview and Blurb

I cyber meet a lot of people through different kinds of social media, but recently in my facebook feed I came across the cover (above) for Marlon McCaulsky’s A Dangerous Woman.  A cover certainly doesn’t speak for a book, but in a lot of cases, it does catch a reader’s attention. This one really pulled at me, so since I knew that McCaulsky and I already have a few things in common (we’re both fans of many of the same various comics and Netflix shows), I decided to reach out and share his newest release with you folks.
Also, he was gracious enough to allow me to ask him a million questions.
1)    Did you always know you wanted to write?
No I didn’t. But I guess looking back on it I was always writing in some format or another. whether it was creating my own comic book storylines/characters  or writing song lyrics. Then in college I started writing screenplays. I guess it was a natural progression to writing novels.
2)    Was there ever anyone who influenced you to write?
Yeah,  one of my first influences on me writing novels was Zane. After reading a few of her books I became confident I could do it too. But the biggest influence/inspiration have been Eric Jerome Dickey’s work. Every time I read his work I feel inspired to write.
 
3)    What was the last book you read and what are you looking forward to reading next?
The last book I read was “Finding Gideon” by Eric Jerome Dickey. Nothing else is currently on my radar to read.
 

 

4)    Besides writing, do you have any hidden talents, skills, or hobbies?
Besides writing, one of my hidden talents is sarcasm LOL… but really I enjoy watching movies and reading comic books. I’m a big fan of Hip-Hop and R&B music and I enjoy art work (drawing) 
 
5)    If you could co-author a novel with any writer alive or deceased, who would you choose and why?
I would love to do a joint project with Joy Deja King, I think our style of writing is very similar. I love the way her mind works so it would be fun to vibe with her on a project. 
 
6)    When you were young, did you have a favorite book or character?
When I was young my favorite books were comic books. I was (still am) a big fan of The X-Men, Incredible Hulk, and comic books in general.
 
7)    What inspires you?
Music is a very big source of inspiration when I’m writing. I can hear a song lyric and be inspired to write a scene or capture a mood for my characters. I even wrote a short story based on the Usher and Alicia Keys song “My Boo” in the anthology “Romance For The Streets” based on the lyrics of the song. It was like the lyrics told me a story and I just went and gave more detail too it. 
 
8)    Are you working on anything now?
Yes, I’m working with Creative Genius Films, director Lamont Gant on the sequel to our independent feature film “Returned” (available now at Walmart, Best Buy, and other streaming services) shameless plug there. I co-wrote the sequel to the film called “Returned 2: Kratóc” We will beginning filming it in 2018. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my next erotica/romance novel “If I Was Your Girlfriend”. But right now I’m working hard to promote my new action thriller novel “A Dangerous Woman”. I think it’s my best book to date. “A Dangerous Woman”, is about a character named Dice.
She is a dangerous contract killer. A former Central Intelligence Agency operative thought killed in action after a mission went bad. She decided to remain that way and now works and lives off the grid using her unique skills. Dice is a professional who always finds a way do get the job done. After completing a job she meets Noah Avery a man that intrigues her mind, body, and soul. For the first time in her life she sees a future but will he accept her checkered past or her current occupation? Things become complicated for Dice when she takes a job that puts her back on the radar of the CIA. She discovers a conspiracy that leads all the way to Washington D.C. Dice is forced to make a desperate choice, save herself or save the future President of The United States of America.”

 

 

Dark Immolation by Christopher Husberg

husbergA new religion is rising, gathering followers drawn by rumors of prophetess Jane Oden. Her sister Cinzia—once a Cantic priestess—is by her side, but fears that Jane will lead them to ruin. For both the Church and the Nazaniin assassins are still on their trail, and much worse may come.
Knot, his true nature now revealed if not truly understood, is haunted by his memories, and is not the ally he once was. Astrid travels to Tinska to find answers for her friend, but the child-like vampire has old enemies who have been waiting for her return. And beyond the Blood Gate in the empire of Roden, a tiellan woman finds herself with a new protector. One who wants to use her extraordinary abilities for his own ends…

Here’s the thing, kids. I read the first book in this quintet and wasn’t impressed. I didn’t even mark a review or rating on Goodreads or Amazon because I was that unimpressed with the story. Husberg is a good author. I like his style and I like his characters, but the plot in his novel, Duskfall, I disliked. But, I always approach novels with an open mind, particularly when I know the writer behind it can actually write and can create very believable characters. Characters were never an issue for me in Duskfall, FYI. So, with this all being established, I’ll get on with the review for the subsequent novel (the second in a quintet, I’m told), Dark Immolation.

As was true in Duskfall, Dark Immolation’s characters were great. That’s always key in a good story. I can’t read a book if I really could care less what happens to the people (or creatures) in it. If I can’t imagine them, if their dialogue is vague and generic, or if I just really dislike them, I’m not going to keep reading. One of Christopher Husberg’s strongest writing abilities (in my opinion) is that he can flesh out characters with an insane amount of skill. I’d like to buy him coffee and discuss this, but I’m sure that would border on stalker behavior and maybe he has a blog instead.

I feel like Christopher Husberg’s storytelling has improved since Duskfall. I enjoyed the feeling of dipping your toes into the waters of theology throughout this story and I enjoyed questioning my own thoughts as I read. I also like that when reading anything he has written (applies to both Duskfall and Dark Immolation) there is a good balance in the writing. Not too much dialog, but just the right amount. Not too much description, but just enough. Not too much this, nor too much that…See what I mean? He never lost my interest due to over stimulation or under stimulation. That’s important for me.

I would recommend this book. Heck, I’ll recommend the entire quintet (though, as of right now, subsequent books are not available yet). Just because Duskfall didn’t do it for me doesn’t mean it won’t some of you.

If you’re interested in seeing for yourself, hop over to Amazon and check it out. Read more reviews, if you so wish to do.

Empire Of Time by Daniel Godfrey

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For fifteen years, the Romans of New Pompeii have kept the outside world at bay with the threat of using the Novus Particles device to alter time. Yet Decimus Horatius Pullus—once Nick Houghton—knows the real reason the Romans don’t use the device for their own ends: they can’t make it work without grisly consequences.
This fragile peace is threatened when an outsider promises to help the Romans use the technology. And there are those beyond Pompeii’s walls who are desperate to destroy a town where slavery flourishes. When his own name is found on an ancient artifact dug up at the real Pompeii, Nick knows that someone in the future has control of the device. The question is: whose side are they on?

This novel is the second in a series. I read the first and enjoyed it, but I think I prefer the second book to the first, which is something I rarely experience.

In this second book, we get to follow Nick Houghton as he has become Decimus Horatius Pollus, the ambassador for New Pompeii as he and other citizens of New Pompeii are faced with the Novus Particles device, which can alter time.

The novel is fast paced, nitty, gritty, and comes with the teasing promise of maybe a third book. As it appears the author knows what he is doing as far as creating great characters, I hope that he continues with this series and, in doing, sates my curiosity. I want to know just where Daniel Godfrey is going next. More direly, I want to know where Nick Houghton is going in the future. Is there a third book coming or are we to be left wondering? Perhaps the ending was sufficient for other readers, but not this one.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this novel (and I would imagine you do because it’s fabulous), hop on over to Amazon and give them your money. But, buy New Pompeii first because it’s great, too. The link for that one is at the top of this review.

 

HiTwo Lost Boys by L.F. Robertson

robertsonI’ll just jump right in and say, right off the bat, that this was a good book. Not a great book, not an exceptional book. But, good. It’s a good read. It was a little bit open ended as there were many strings left untied. That being said, it was a good distraction for a Tuesday afternoon when it was too hot outside to do much else. And, I would imagine it would be a great fall read for you folks, too. If I had to give a star rating, I would say THREE. Not four or five.

The characters weren’t as well lifelike as I would have desired. It’s a good legal drama, but if I don’t feel any attachment to the people these big legal things are happening to, I frankly just don’t give a shit.

But, I would always encourage my blog readers to find out for themselves. You may enjoy it far better than I did. Or you might absolutely hate it. You just have to figure that out on your own. I will say that I’d like to read more of the author’s work, though, as it appears she has short stories published in some Sherlock Holmes anthologies. When I have more information on those, I will let you all know. Until then, here’s a blurb and a link!

Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked and recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy, convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. But Emory received a life sentence while Andy got the death penalty, labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory’s dominant personality.


Convinced that Andy’s previous lawyers missed mitigating evidence that would have kept him off death row, Janet investigates Andy’s past. She discovers a sordid and damaged upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous counsel, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the murders than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but does he deserve to die?

BUY THIS BOOK ON AMAZON!