Thursday, June 21, 2018

Audio Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

By:  Tomi Adeyemi

Publish Date:  March 6, 2018, Audiobook Release March 6, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 18 hrs 9 mins
Narrated By:  Bahni Turpin

Genre:  Fantasy, Young Adult

Series:  1st in Legacy of Orisha series

Impression:  Rich culture, with battles to survive

Synopsis:
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

First Sentence:
Pick me.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Wow. Bahni was wonderful with the accent of the characters and tone set for them. When she recited the incantations as Zelie or other characters did, it had a singing quality to it that brought it to life. I expected to see something happen as I felt it in my heart. Each chapter is from one of three characters views, and Bahni gave a different tone to each. She spoke with the emotion and passion of the characters when they spoke. She hit the words with love and hate as the characters would.

The story starts with a powerful saying at the beginning. This saying is what Zelie thinks about, and leads me into the book wondering about these things as well. I felt for Zelie from this moment.

The culture feels rich with life and history. I love this aspect of the story. The way they live is intertwined with their history and beliefs. We get this strong feel from Zelie and Tzain in their home village, and see it again when they come across a village of others. The visit to this village hidden away is beautiful and brings to life the way things could be.

Tomi is in it for the long haul. The story is a fantasy style read. We learn and see the world, culture, beliefs and more as the characters live through events. This deepens the investment of the characters and grows a series. The story ends with an unexpected turn, which will bring a new list of complications to those in the world.

We get the story from Zelie, Amari, and Inan's view points. This gives us the view from two sides and the one in the middle of all that's happening and happened. There are two histories to every event, and we see that here. There are people hurt on both sides of the battle, and they keep battling for the hurt they feel. What is the answer to this? I don't know. Our characters are looking for the answer as well.

The story was powerful. It started strong and drew me in. But it felt to move at a slower pace in the middle for me. The ending picked up with strength and pacing for me, just like the beginning. This is a fantasy pace with the characters on a mission yet on the run. There are moments of love for the characters. They find more in others and grow to care for the kingdom and others, others they never thought they'd love.

This is geared more for Young Adults. It feels to be a story but also with a feeling of treat others as you want to be treated. That people fight when knocked down and everything taken from them. There is more to people, ALL people. I felt strong emotions when listening to the book as we get the stories and feelings from the characters. I could see why they felt the way they did, yet I knew the other sides point too. It's hard to resolve this when people don't open their eyes, minds, and hearts to see all.

Then I came to the end... Seriously?!? It's going to end like that? I want to know what it means, what happened. Gah! LOL! Yep. I was shocked. I want to know what will come next.



****If my thoughts were helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Audio Book Review: Agent Prime

Agent Prime

By:  Jake Bible

Publish Date:  February 20, 2018, Audiobook Release April 24, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 37 mins
Narrated By:  Andrew B. Wehrlen

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  Stand-alone

Impression:  Delivery mission via undercover.

Synopsis:
Denman Sno is Agent Prime!

The best of the Fleet Intelligence Service's elite Special Service Division, Denman Sno will need to use all of his skills and resources to stop the galaxy from plunging into another War with the alien menace known as the Skrang Alliance.

Sno's assignment: protect and deliver Pol Hammon, the galaxy's greatest dark tech hacker, to Galactic Fleet headquarters.

Hammon is in possession of new technology that can and will change the landscape of galactic life. The Galactic Fleet will do anything to keep that technology out of the hands of the Skrang Alliance even it it means sacrificing their best agent.

Even if it means sacrificing Agent Prime!

Murder. Espionage. Romance. Treachery. Greed.

Agent Prime is prepared for it all!

First Sentence:
"Rylia Five?"

Purchase At:
Amazon

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Andrew seems to be sure to pronounce everything properly. There are moments where speech slows to get all enunciated properly. Though, usually when a character is talking, the flow of the words is constant. I give him credit, there are a lot of words and names that could easily be pronounced wrong. I don't think I could do as well as he did. Andrew did give a physical feel to each character as he spoke for them.

The beginning is full of hints to the world and Denman Sno and his job. But it feels heavy with creation. There is a lot with being science fiction/space setting. There are many different beings and planets along with technology to pick up on. Jake dives right into the meat of it. There is a lot to create as this is a stand alone, so far.

The beginning feels agency/military strategically strong as Sno details out what he sees and does. I wonder if Andrew's voice compliments this feeling as it's how Sno sees things in his mind. He is an Agent after all, he gets paid to see things in this perspective.

One thing I'm learning about Jake Bible. He can write many different styles. Wow. But, I'm learning that with Jake, I'm invested or just along for the ride. For me in Agent Prime, I was along for the ride. I struggled with some of the connections as it seemed to appear as he went. The details were minor and hidden in text that you can connect them to what we know, but it felt like it could have been stronger for me.

I did love the ship that was used to travel, and was to be incognito for Sno and Pol. It was a luxury liner that's known for the passengers to find love. This was a fun twist to the story. Though, this is where majority of the story takes place. It might be a love ship, but Sno has to deal with being attacked in a whole different fashion.

I did come to like that the plot is thicker than expected the further into the book we went. There is more to Pol and others. There is a reason for what all transpires on the luxury ship. I liked the overall idea of the story with Pol.

I think some will enjoy this story while others will thinks it's good. It's hard to pick who would be who though. Take a look at the book and see if it's something you might like.




****If my thoughts helped you, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Post #201


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I didn't post this last week. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to post, it was more my back. I don't know what I did but it was hurting something fierce for a week and a half. It hurt to sit, stand, walk, lay... you name it, it hurt. I made several trips to the chiropractor and did my stretches and I'm starting to get around better. But, I didn't get on the computer when home much because I was trying to relax or stretch, even walk when feeling better as it kept my back moving and limber. I do sit at a desk all day during the day job, and that was a struggle. I was constantly shifting, trying to get comfortable. The last four or five days, I'm finally moving better and feeling better. But there are still sore spots and ways I can't move. I'm getting better though.

I promised photos of the t-shirts I got at Balticon along with my Jessica Jones toy. Here they are!
 The Goonies t-shirt is sooooo comfy! I am going to wear that one all the time!

So, I listen to audiobooks while at work. I'm currently listening to an 18 hour book. O.O I've found I struggle with a book of this length. I want to race to the end, like it takes too long to get there. Does anyone else struggle with a long book?

So, I need to set limits on everything. An hour for this and an hour for that. I'm going to try to set goals this week for each evening and see how that goes. I want to get back to everything I love.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Nope. Nada. Darn that back. But I did push mow the grass. I know I shouldn't but it needed done. Badly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Embracing the Dragon by K.L. Bone
Editing work.


Current Audiobook:
Marines by Paul E. Cooley



Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.


Finished Last Week: 
Books:
Not this week.



Audiobooks :
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Power of Five by Alex Lidell


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Alone by Scott Sigler (You can listen for free too! Go to Scott's website.)


DNFed:


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Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)




Guest Posts:


Posts:


Spellbound in a Flash:
Spellbound in a Flash now has a Facebook Page!

Have you seen Aubrey Burchell in the early stages of American Idol? She went to Hollywood but didn't make the top for the show. I got to hear her sing locally! And photograph her. She's a local gal.




Challenged Writers:
April Update - How Camp NaNoWriMo went & a little on my re-write process.


Around the Internet...



Reviews:
The Defiant Heir

"Melissa moves the story quickly without us knowing it. Events happen and Amalia, thinking as she always does to help, ends up right where we need her. The best part, it all feels organic! Amalia feels true to her nature and is in the places she needs to be, doing as she must. This keeps me wanting to hear more as I want to know what is happening and why."






Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will finished up two reviews for you this week.



~~~~~~~~~~

Received For the Last Month:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:
Siren's Tide by Philippa Ballantine
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ianthe Liakos is a mermaid from a different dimension and between that and now working as a PI in the corrupt climate of Washington DC, she'd thought she'd seen it all. 

But when following a case leads down a trail of money that connects the murders of young political interns to a new paranormal threat, she realizes she must protect the next target. 

The waters turn even murkier when Clayton Abernathy, a newly risen revenant fresh out of the grave, finds himself under the power of this new unnatural threat. Ianthe must hunt down this new threat to DC, while trying to keep her own identity safe. If the paranormal citizens of Washington DC found out that a mermaid has returned her own life and mission would be in danger. 
And when it becomes clear that the murderer and Ianthe's mermaid past are inexplicably intertwined, she realizes she may just be out of her depth dealing with this killer. 

======================================= 

Six remarkable female writers, bring you a new urban fantasy series of novellas. Their Sea King’s Daughters will carry the reader into uncharted waters.



Audio Books Requested for Review:
Power of Five by Alex Lidell
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist. 

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out... Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn. 

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to... a female. A mortal female. 

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone... especially for Lera herself. 

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel. 

Tracing Shadows by Alex Lidell
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
To protect the throne, seventeen-year-old spy Kali must play a male guardsman trainee by day and royal lady by night. 

Orphaned and trained on a spymaster’s remote estate, Kali is a scout who works alone in the shadows. But when a terror group threatens the Dansil throne, the king forces Kali to accept a mission at the palace or forfeit her sister’s life. 

Suddenly thrust into the light, Kali must infiltrate high society as the royal Lady Lianna while penetrating the servant ranks as Kal, a male guardsman trainee. It doesn’t help that Trace, the harsh and enigmatic captain of the king’s guard, is soon assigned as both Lady Lianna’s palace escort and Kal’s commanding officer. 

As Kali edges closer to the truth behind the violent group’s identity, she uncovers dangerous secrets that could bring her mission to a brutal end. A scout’s job is to observe and report, never to engage . . . but if it means saving her sister and kingdom, Kali may have no choice.




Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
I got a storybundle! Summer Steampunk. Check out all the titles I got!
Star Compass by Anthea Sharp
Goodreads Synopsis:
Charles Dickens meets Firefly in this tale of an orphan destined for the stars.

Steampunk with a twist! Enter a fantastical world filled with alien spacecraft and Victorian sensibilities, ball gowns and travel to the stars - where a pickpocket with a particular gift makes the journey from the gutter to the stars…

Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
In 1842, the gunpowder might of China's Qing Dynasty fell to Britain's steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers, eliminating China's best chance of fighting back. Since her father's execution eight years ago, Jin Soling has kept her family from falling apart. With her mother addicted to opium and her younger brother in danger of being sent off to the factories, Soling has no choice but to sell off the last of her father's possessions. Unwittingly, her actions bring her to the attention of the imperial court-the same court that betrayed her father. The Crown Prince has launched a secret mission to bring together the remnants of the former Ministry of Science. To restore her family's name, Soling must track down the rebel alchemist who holds the key to powering the imperial fleet. Her only ally is a man she's just met-the engineer with a mysterious past who was once meant to be her husband...

Legend of the Skyfire Stone by Joseph Robert Lewis
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lorenzo Quesada believes an ancient relic will restore his dying country to prosperity and honor, unless the military finds it first. Taziri Ohana is on a routine flight when she discovers a secret Espani warship, which shoots her down, stranding her behind enemy lines. Thrown together by fate, Lorenzo and Taziri race through a gauntlet of vicious assassins, undead demons, and giant beasts to find the fabled Skyfire Stone. But when the Espani warship sets sail for Marrakesh, Lorenzo must stop a war that could destroy the Middle Sea, even if it costs him both the stone and his life. Welcome to a fantasy world where strange machines sail the seas and the skies, enormous prehistoric beasts roam the earth, and the restless dead whisper to the living. Publisher's Note: This book was originally released under the title Halcyon 2: The Broken Sword. No content has been changed. 

Golden Heart by Christine Pope
Goodreads Synopsis:
The adventure of a lifetime...or a trap she can't escape?

When the proper Miss Lavinia Greene receives a letter from her eccentric inventor uncle asking her to visit him at his castle in Romania, her only thought is that his invitation will give her a wonderful opportunity to escape her carefully ordered existence. Even as she acknowledges her attraction to her uncle's mysterious new assistant, Joshua Jones, Lavinia also finds herself drawn into mayhem and murder as foreign agents attempt to seize her uncle's latest invention.

Fearing for her life, Lavinia must navigate a shifting web of loyalties and deceit, whether in the wilds of Romania or the elegant ballrooms of a Victorian London just slightly different from our own. But can she discover the truth of her own heart before it's too late?


Fall of Sky City by S.M. Blooding
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Book 1 of the Devices of War Trilogy

In a world governed by the opposing forces of the mystical House of Tarot and the tribal Great Families, Synn is caught in the crossfire. He witnesses the slaughter of innocent people, and the devastating murder of his father. This act awakens his Mark of power, a Mark greater than any the world has seen in a very long time.

Queen Nix thought she won a great prize when she destroyed Synn’s father, the leader of the strongest Great Families. She had no idea she’d be doubly blessed by capturing his son. However, before Synn can become her treasured weapon, before she can use him to bring the rest of the world to its knees, she must break him and bind his soul to hers.

She does her job with brutal brilliance. Synn’s mind is broken and his soul is seared to hers in an unbreakable bond.

That doesn’t stop him from wanting to be free. She may have broken his mind and claimed his soul, but he will find a way to destroy her. 

Experience a world of ships that sail the clouds and cites buried beneath the ocean, and survive the fiery battle brought forth by those who control the forces of nature!

The Books & Braun Dossier by Pip Bllantine & Tee Morris
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Agents Eliza D. Braun and Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire, were first partnered up in the Archives of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, it was hard to believe they would ever delight in one another's company, let alone engage in acts of derring-do within and outside the boundaries of Her Majesty's Empire. Collected for the first time in one volume are the cases before and in-between the award-winning steampunk novels written by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. In The Books & Braun Dossier, you will find out…

Why Eliza D. Braun was cast out of her homeland of New Zealand.

Who is Arthur Books.

How Wellington and Eliza cannot avoid trouble, even on Christmas Eve.

When Wellington is away, how Archimedes entertains himself.

From the award-winning podcast anthology series Tales from the Archives comes these fantastic adventures of spy craft, science, and the supernatural.
 


Heart of the Kraken by A.W. Exley
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Legend says if you consume the heart of a mermaid, you will know all the secrets of men

Ailin doesn't care if the legend is true or not - she's stuck in a crate on her way to feature as the main course at a lavish banquet. Her heart to be served while still beating for a cruel noble while the rest of her is sliced into sashimi. Unless she can escape.
Across the ocean, Fenton longs for a different release. Sold as a child by men who labelled him a mistake, a failed experiment. Except he has one valuable skill, he can summon the dreaded kraken. Bought by a pirate, he has only known life at sea, wielded as a tool by the captain.

Two lives collide when the pirates capture the vessel holding Ailin. The kraken holds the key to Ailin's freedom but in summoning the beast one last time, Fenton must choose between losing his life or his heart…

Clockwork Alchemist by Sara C. Roethle
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
A thief, a wayward detective, and an automaton with a soul. What could possibly go wrong? 

Arhyen is the self-declared finest thief in London. The mission was simple. Steal a journal from Fairfax Breckinridge, one of the greatest alchemists of the time. Arhyen hadn’t expected to find Fairfax himself, with a dagger in his back. Nor had he expected his automaton daughter, Liliana. Suddenly entrenched in a mystery too great for him to fully comprehend, he must rely on the help of a wayward detective, and an automaton who claims she has a soul, to piece together the clues laid before them. Will Arhyen uncover the true source of Liliana’s soul in time, or will London plunge into a dark age of nefarious technology, where only the scientific will survive? 

This novel is classified as Gaslamp Fantasy, with elements of magic within alchemy and science, based in Victorian England.

The Curious Case of The Clockwork Menace by Bec McMaster
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Friends, partners, and professionals... So just why is this case coming between them?

In a Victorian London ruled by the blood-drinking elite, Perry Lowell is a logical and accomplished Nighthawk: a rogue blue blood who tracks murderers and thieves for the Guild. So when she and her charming-but-reckless partner, Garrett, are charged with finding a missing theatre starlet, it should be a simple solve. 

But with an entire theatre of suspects, including a flirtatious understudy and whispers of a Clockwork Menace haunting the place, tension is brewing between the pair of them. Can they come together to solve the case - or will it be too late, when the murderer turns his gaze on Perry herself? 

Warning: This is not a traditional HEA. Set three years before Forged By Desire (available Sept 2014), it's a pre-romance novella featuring Perry and Garrett. Heads will butt, tempers will flare - and perhaps one of them might come to realise just what the other truly means to them?


THEN! For signing up for the newsletter, I got these two books:

Wreck of the Frost Finch by Joseph Robert Lewis
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Omar Bakhoum joined an airship expedition to the glaciers of Europa to find a lost island and to learn about the aether mist that reveals the souls of the dead, even though howling storms, rampaging beasts, and a deadly samurai stand between him and his goal. But when Omar is accused of murder over the north sea, his quest for answers may end in a watery grave. Welcome to a fantastical world where strange machines sail the seas and the skies, enormous prehistoric beasts roam the earth, and the restless dead whisper to the living.


Assassins of the Steam Age by Joseph Robert Lewis
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
When the local airfield is destroyed, Taziri Ohana is the only airship pilot left to help the marshals chase the killers across the skies of Marrakesh. But the case becomes terrifyingly personal when Taziri finds that her enemies have turned her own inventions into weapons and her family's survival may hang in the balance.

Meanwhile, exiled Incan princess Qhora and her swashbuckling lover Lorenzo face a gauntlet of assassins, cruel aristocrats, and wealthy industrialists conspiring against the very Queen that Taziri is trying to save, and her country's only hope for peace may be her crippled airship plummeting out of the burning sky.

Welcome to a world where strange machines sail the seas and the skies, enormous prehistoric beasts roam the earth, and the restless dead whisper to the living.
 



Audio:






Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Latina Ivy League grad Milagro de Los Santos can't find her place in the world or a man to go with it. Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family's estate to recover. Vampires don't exist in this day and age -- or do they? As Milagro falls for a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

Magick and Monsters: A collection of Fantasy and Urban Fantasy Novels
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ready for a touch of magic?

MAGICK AND MONSTERS is a best-selling boxed set of wicked paranormal reads, brought you by today’s best-selling and award-winning authors!

Supernaturally suspenseful, this boxed set has all the myths, magic, and monsters you could ever ask for: demons, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, shape-shifters, faeries, and other creatures to keep you awake all night, burning through the pages alongside the midnight oil.

Scroll up and one click to start reading this exciting collection today!

Brought to you by...
Vivian Lane
Alexa Padgett
Samantha Britt
Elle Boon
Joanna Mazurkiewicz
Erica Gerald Mason
Tameri Etherton
Annie Anderson
Erin Hayes
Amanda Booloodian
Angela Kulig
K.C. Finn
Jessica Aspen
R.K. Close
Jennifer Rose McMahon
Kim Carmichael
Alyssa Drake
Carmen Fox
Tara West
CK Dawn
Melinda R. Cordell
J.N. Colon
 

Miss Mabel's School for Girls by Katie Cross
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.

Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.

Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

Gate of Air by Resa Nelson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.

The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.

Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.

But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.

Especially when the one being punished is a woman.





Free Audio Books/Stories:




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Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
Agent Prime by Jake Bible
Alone by Scott Sigler
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Power of Five by Alex Lidell

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Audio Book Review: The Defiant Heir

The Defiant Heir

By:  Melissa Caruso

Publish Date:  April 19, 2018, Audiobook Release April 26, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 16 hrs 16 mins
Narrated By:  Saskia Maarleveld

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2nd in Swords and Fire series; 1st Book ~ The Tethered Mage

Impression:  The political games are deeper than Amalia could have imagined.

Synopsis:
Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action. Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to stifle the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and Zaira must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war. Or else it will all come down to swords and fire.

First Sentence:
It seemed a shame to burn a place so green.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

As things are hinted at in the first book, we see in this book that there is unease with the Witch Lords of Vaskandar and the Empire. There are attacks on high level Falcons and their Falconer, killing them. Lady Amalia Cornaro is willing to do anything to help keep her people safe, even court a Witch Lord to make an alliance known and learn more about Vaskandar, and even travel to the Witch Lords Conclave.

I enjoyed getting back into the world of Lady Amalia. I love Zaira and her sass. She's a great character that says it like it is, even if it's harsh. Amalia doesn't think of herself as crafty at diplomatic games as her mother, but from what I see, she's very versed in them. Amalia is more direct but still proper and professional with what she says. They are growing as a team and as friends. They balance each other where the other lacks - Amalia in politics and proper languages, Zaira bold and knows how to survive in dreary moments.

We slowly start to see there is more going on with the troubles in the Empire, all pointing to Vaskandar.

This brings us to a very interesting new character. I absolutely loved the Lord of Crows. Kathe is a character that I liked when we meet, and he grew on me more and more as the book went. He's always playing games with Amalia, a give and take sort of base to learn about each other. It's a child like feel to the games, or maybe more crow like. But they are endearing. Kathe also has his own political games in play here. They can be dangerous, but they are intriguing.

Through Kathe, we get to see deeper into Vaskandar and the Witch Lords. I love getting these small pieces of information. This keeps me hungry to learn more. We get to see details about the way Vaskandar is run, how each Witch Lord rules on their own.

I love how Amalia is growing! She's brilliant and more than ready for the position she will one day take. She learns and responds with her best thoughts forward as a spokes person for her Empire. She has to make some tough decisions in this book, ones that weigh heavy and will continue to weigh heavy on her heart. But, she has a heart. These are things that are forming her to be a great leader and ruler.

Melissa moves the story quickly without us knowing it. Events happen and Amalia, thinking as she always does to help, ends up right where we need her. The best part, it all feels organic! Amalia feels true to her nature and is in the places she needs to be, doing as she must. This keeps me wanting to hear more as I want to know what is happening and why.

As Amalia steps into the political light, we start to see the political games more visible in this book. In both Vaskandar and the Empire. These plots and plans and twists keep me listening. I want to know what will happen or how things will change when someone does something unexpected.

The characters feel to be alive, keeping me cheering and hoping for them. I'm loving all the aspects I'm getting here! All are weaved together, creating the people by their plans and choices in life and politics.

Melissa has moved up to one of my favorite writers with this book.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Post #200

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

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It's been a full two weeks here!

I went to the author signing at the Nebulas on Sunday! It was great. I couldn't believe all the free books sitting out for us to pick through. Wow! So, of course I picked some up...

I also got some of my personal books signed. I was excited to meet each and every one of these authors. I got to talk with Mur Lafferty. Then I got to talk with Alyx Dellamonica, who was in awe at my sticky notes in her book. Also, congrats to her wife, Kelly Robson, for winning a Nebula! Totally awesome! And also got to meet Patrick Rothfuss. He was amazed at my sticky noted copy of his book.

Then I spent the week readying to leave on Friday for Balticon. There's a lot that goes into preparing to leave... setting out pills for dogs, writing out bills before hand, figuring out what all I'm taking, getting gas before price goes higher... all sorts of things that I take care of that needs to be planned out before I leave.

I had a great time at Balticon. Though, I don't really take selfies when I go anywhere, so I don't have any. I know there are people who took pictures while I was on panels, so I'm waiting to see those come out. I was busy there. I had a panel on Friday, three panels on Saturday, four panels on Sunday, and one panel on Monday. I was worn out by the time I got home Monday. And I did get to see panels too. Lots to see. I did get swag and books while there. In the swag were two t-shirts and a Jessica Jones character. I'll have to take a quick picture of them to share next week.

This weekend was to relax. Hahaha. We seem to schedule our weekends full now that the kiddo's older. I went to visit my friend who has her own horse stable and trains horses. She's doing awesome! It was great to be around horses again. I use to love riding and seeing them, but life gets full of other things as you age and have kids.

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The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Nope. Nada. I did hit my step goal, which is only 6,500, for each day at Balticon and while walking around the horse stables.

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What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Embracing the Dragon by K.L. Bone
Editing work.


Current Audiobook:
Marines by Paul E. Cooley


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.


Finished Last Week: 
Books:
Not this week.



Audiobooks :
The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
Agent Prime by Jake Bible


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Alone by Scott Sigler (You can listen for free too! Go to Scott's website.)


DNFed:
Vamp City by C.D. Brown - My content editing brain wanted to fix a few things.

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Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)




Guest Posts:


Posts:

Around the Internet...



Reviews:
An American Weredeer in Michigan

"What surprises me, how the authors manage to connect all these problems into one conversation. It's awesome. I wouldn't have pictured the conversation going as it did, but it fits the characters and the story. It all works together!"


Starsigns

"I liked the world created with star sign readings as a way of life in contrast to the way of faery life beliefs. The world building comes through in the story strongly with these two beliefs."




Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will finished up two reviews for you this week.



~~~~~~~~~~

Received For the Last Month:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:




Audio Books Requested for Review:
Helios by Jeremy Robinson & Sean Ellis
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Goodreads Synopsis:
A deadly swarm of earthquakes shakes the planet. In the sky above, the sun appears to stand still. While the world reels from the vast destruction, George Pierce and the Cerberus Group, a team of scientific and historical experts, uncover an imminent threat straight out of history that must be stopped. But not everyone wants them to succeed. 

An apocalyptic death cult, made up of suicidal martyrs and true believers who will do whatever it takes to ensure the destruction of all life on Earth, goes head-to-head with a billionaire tech-genius commanding an army of robots, on a quest to own the sun itself. 

Caught in the middle, the Cerberus Group must fend off both sides while traveling to every corner of the map, and into the depths of myth and history, to find the holiest treasure on Earth—an artifact that can harness the power of creation. The prophecies are true. 

THE END IS NIGH. 

Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis, the international bestselling team behind the Jack Sigler thrillers, including Cannibal and Empire, continue the new series that rewrites the way we see history. Rivaling the best of Matthew Reilly and James Rollins, Helios combines a blistering pace with fringe science and myths reborn.

Flotsam Prison Blues by M.K. Gibson
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Goodreads Synopsis:
A couple of months have passed since the cyborg smuggler known as Salem led a small team in the violent coup that brought down Abraxas, demon Archduke of New Golgotha’s central kingdom of Ars Goetia. From the destruction, Salem became a hero, whether he wanted to be one or not, and was appointed the first human baron in the demon-run supercity. 

But Hell does not like being made to look foolish--or weak. And Salem’s actions, while noble, have consequences. A victory for man means a defeat for Hell. A single question will be asked of Salem: How far can a hero fall? The powers of Hell are willing to find out. 

Flotsam Prison Blues is the gritty, exciting sequel to To Beat The Devil. Following an assassination attempt by a rocket-launching madman, Salem must untangle a web of lies, theft, and conspiracies, lest his new world, and his citizens, burn. Follow Salem’s adventures as he is forced to relive the parts of his past he wanted to stay buried while once more pitting himself against the might of Hell. Salem will need all his strength and skill as he suffers the Hell-on-Earth horrors of Flotsam Prison.



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:

A Veil of Spears by Bradley P. Beaulieu
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Goodreads Synopsis:
The third book in The Song of Shattered Sands series—an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.

Since the Night of Endless Swords, a bloody battle the Kings of Sharakhai narrowly won, the kings have been hounding the rebels known as the Moonless Host. Many have been forced to flee the city, including Çeda, who discovers that the King of Sloth is raising his army to challenge the other kings' rule.

When Çeda finds the remaining members of the Moonless Host, now known as the thirteenth tribe, she sees a tenuous existence. Çeda hatches a plan to return to Sharakhai and free the asirim, the kings' powerful, immortal slaves. The kings, however, have sent their greatest tactician, the King of Swords, to bring Çeda to justice for her crimes.

But the once-unified front of the kings is crumbling. The surviving kings vie quietly against one another, maneuvering for control over Sharakhai. Çeda hopes to use that to her advantage, but whom to trust? Any of them might betray her.

As Çeda works to lift the shackles from the asirim and save the thirteenth tribe, the kings of Sharakhai, the scheming queen of Qaimir, the ruthless blood mage, Hamzakiir, and King of Swords all prepare for a grand clash that may decide the fate of all.

The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams
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Goodreads Synopsis:
The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.

Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard.

Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs....
 

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Espionage, diplomacy, conspiracy, passion, and power are the sensuously choreographed steps of the soaring new high fantasy novel by Ilana C. Myer, one woman's epic mission to stop a magical conflagration.

Lin, newly initiated in the art of otherwordly enchantments, is sent to aid her homeland's allies against vicious attacks from the Fire Dancers: mysterious practitioners of strange and deadly magic. Forced to step into a dangerous waltz of tradition, treachery, and palace secrets, Lin must also race the ticking clock of her own rapidly dwindling life to learn the truth of the Fire Dancers' war, and how she might prevent death on a scale too terrifying to contemplate.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk
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Goodreads Synopsis:
FORGED IN BATTLE...
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA...
A LEGEND WILL RISE


The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

Star's End by Cassandra Rose Clarke
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Esme Coromina has always known that one day, she would run the Four Sisters, the small planet system that her father grew into a corporate empire. Raised as the pampered heir to the company, Esme lived the best years of her life at Star's End, the estate her father built on the terraformed moon where he began his empire. In the tropical sunlight and lush gardens, Esme helped raise her three motherless half sisters. But as Esme is groomed to take over the family business of manufacturing weapons for the mercenary groups spread across the galaxy, she slowly uncovers the sinister truth at the heart of her father's company. And when those secrets are finally revealed, Esme is sure that she's lost her sisters--and part of her soul--for good. 

Now, after a lifetime of following her father's orders, Esme has a second chance. For the first time, Esme is making her own decisions, and the impact of her decisions will reverberate throughout the Four Sisters. As Esme struggles to assemble her estranged sisters for one last good-bye with their dying father, she has to choose whether she wants to follow in her father's footsteps--or blaze a daring new path.

Dune by Frank Herbert
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the 'spice' melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.

Anoxic Zone by John G. Rees
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Towards the end of the first century of the second millennium, the true end of the Industrial age, a working man with skills was rare. And so, being one was vital. Having the unfortunate opportunity to be alive at this time, when the infrastructure of the previous age was falling apart, operatives were much needed. Chosen for their aptitude, whether skilled in labor or in the sciences, these men were brought back to life again and again to become reuseables for Megacorp. Society at large never knew the making or means of this rekindling of life. Nor did the ones it was perpetrated on. At least that was the way it was supposed to be.

Megacorp was what its name implied: a massive worldwide organization that owned almost everything and everyone. Its decisions were paramount and capitalistic. It did whatever it had to do to increase shareholder dividends. Whatever would make money. It made most of its profits from the seas, filled with errant shipwrecks from thousands of years and all that they held. Metal of all kinds were the real currency in this world. Most of it was underwater.

Jake, a commercial diver and Johnny, a scientist, were regenerated as reuseables to serve this narcissistic, apathetic society. They have remained friends for over 100 years, through many lives and deaths, so to speak... A combination of human curiosity and inhuman nature conspire to have them discover just what they are. By finding out, they inadvertently release the evil that spawned them. Darkly charismatic, this evil befriends Jake and Johnny who are now fugitives from Megacorp for unleashing their dividend maker. In time, the two realize that his forged charisma belies a ruthless, pathological psychopath that has been alive for over a thousand years.

Myth and reality coalesce as the two struggle to deal with what they have become, along with the legacy that comes with it. Their nightmare takes them from deep in the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea. The darkest phantom of our subconscious surfaces to mete out his own brand of persecution to those betrayed him. Everything goes wild as the storm builds, reaching a fevered pitch. Not realizing the dissonant harmony that was happening, they release even more evil.

The book comes to its tornado-like ending, leaving you, the reader, along with the guys, thrashed in the whirlwind.

Halocline by John G. Rees
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Goodreads Synopsis:
This book, Halocline, begins as a torturous quest for survival and independence once again washes up on the shores of Romania. Over a thousand years ago a war was fought on the sands of the coast. Good did not win. But the winds of change are blowing and the Roma will have to go through hell all over again if they are to keep the right to live.

Jake must decide whether to save himself or a people from a fate worse than death. Kismet once again makes the choice. Who's to say which is the better? The risks are great and the cost his soul. The battle will be on two fronts with Megacorp and limitless greed on one side and the malevolence of a madman on the other. As Jake says, 'it's like being between a rock and a rock.' And it would be nice if it were all that simple. But it is not and Jake will have to confront the evil within himself when it gets tight if they are to prevail.

For Jake this is no small task. And the odds are overwhelming. A halocline occurs when fresh water mixes with salt water. A perfect example exists in the Black Sea. The result is a blurry translucent miasma, which makes it difficult to see things in perspective.

In our novel the halocline phenomena is a metaphor. All is not as it appears and is ever in flux. Past and present, good and evil, domination and independence, hatred and love, dreams and reality commingle creating a halocline of life that is nearly impossible to navigate or ever forget.

The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
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Goodreads Synopsis:
While Verity Fitzroy loses herself in magical mechanizations and fantastical science of London, she harbours secrets of the death of her parents, of a mystery she can't leave alone, and of her power over machinery that both excites and terrifies her. Verity is part of the Ministry Seven, street orphans that work for Agent Harrison Thorne of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Under his guidance, a whole new adventure begins for them all, investigating the strange, the unusual, and the bizarre.


When an Egyptologist from the British Museum is kidnapped, the only clue leads to the Delancy Academy, an elite school for gifted, young scientists. Now the Seven are called upon to go where Ministry agents cannot, and within the school Verity uncovers an ancient evil that could herald the end of the world.


The Seven set down a dangerous path of intrigue, mystery, and murder; and find that ancient curses are especially difficult to contend with when you have Chemistry assignments due the next day.


From the creators of the award-winning steampunk series comes a new adventure set in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences universe.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery by John G. Walker
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Life was simple for private detective Tom Statford. Sure, being the Keeper, the first, last and only line of defense between gods and mortals could make for interesting times, but a mundane existence in south-eastern Virginia kept things on the boring side of life. Boring, until bodies appear with all the trademarks of ritualistic homicide. Now, the Keeper must not only stop a psychopath, but also the end of the world. 

Easy enough, if the killer doesn't find him first.

In the Details by John G. Walker
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Private detective Tom Statford has a problem. A priest has been murdered in Hampton Roads, Virginia. That's bad. His killer is claiming the Devil as an accomplice, sending the forces of Heaven after the fallen angel. That's even worse. Lucifer comes to Tom to proclaim his innocence, which makes Tom's life more interesting than it needs to be, and he's the only one who can prove the Devil didn't make the killer do it. But who would believe the Prince of Lies?


Audio:






Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Shade by Merrie Destefano
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Goodreads Synopsis:
A broken heart. An infamous holiday gone wrong. A deadly curse brought to life. 

A holiday in Switzerland is supposed to lift Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin’s spirits. She wants to forget the past and have fun. In fact, everyone in her party is running away from one indiscretion or another—from her fiancé Percy Shelley to Lord Bryon to Mary’s stepsister, Claire. But from the moment Mary arrives at Byron’s villa, she knows something is wrong. He rushes her indoors and forbids all of them to go out at night, claiming that the horrible weather has driven wild animals down from the mountains. 

The only person who doesn’t seem to be running away from anything is a handsome, young Italian doctor, John Polidori. Instead, he is fervently pursuing local folk legends and a new scientific theory that claims people can be raised from the dead. 

But it’s not until they all challenge one other to write ghost stories that the real danger begins. In a nightmare, Mary envisions a patchwork man animated by Galvanism and she begins writing Frankenstein. Likewise, fueled by local legends, John writes The Vampyre—one of the first vampire stories ever written. 

What neither one of them knows is that they are conjuring a dark evil. Before long, all of their lives will be in danger—for neither of these characters are imaginary. Far from it. 

For fans of the Netflix program, THE FRANKENSTEIN CHRONICLES, AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY by Susan Dennard, and BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA.

Night Shift Witch by Cate Lawley
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Plenty of dead bodies in this funeral home, but murder victims? Just one.

Working night shift prepping bodies for burial isn't Star's dream gig. But with limited employment options, she jumps at the chance to work at the local funeral home. Everything seems to be going well, right up until the wrong body comes through the door. 

Click to read how Star, her ex-boyfriend, and her new boss untangle the mystery of a magical murder in the most unexpected of places.

In Too Deep by Sherry D. Ficklin
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Goodreads Synopsis:
One talented hacker.

One dead body.

One explosive secret.

When one reckless night leads Farris Barnett to the dead body of a classmate, she's as willing as everyone else to write it off as a suicide. That is, until cryptic messages start coming in from someone who knows the truth, and they want Farris on the case. Putting her hacker skills to work, she begins to unravel the life of a victim who might just have been the guiltiest of them all.

Her personal life in turmoil, Farris turns to the only person she can trust to help her get to the bottom of things: a friend on the verge of becoming much more. Together, they confront a killer with a secret not even she could have decoded.

The biggest bombs, the ones that do the most damage, are the ones you never see coming.



Free Audio Books/Stories:
The Black by Paul Cooley
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Under 30,000 feet of water, the exploration rig Leaguer has discovered an oil field larger than Saudi Arabia, with oil so sweet and pure, nations would go to war for the rights to it. But as the team starts drilling exploration well after exploration well in their race to claim the sweet crude, a deep rumbling beneath the ocean floor shakes them all to their core. Something has been living in the oil and it's about to give birth to the greatest threat humanity has ever seen.

Derelict: Marines by Paul Elard Cooley
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Fifty years ago, Mira, humanity’s last hope to find new resources, exited the solar system bound for Proxima Centauri b. Seven years into her mission, all transmissions ceased without warning. Mira and her crew were presumed lost. Humanity, unified during her construction, splintered into insurgency and rebellion. 

Now, an outpost orbiting Pluto has detected a distress call from an unpowered object entering Sol space: Mira has returned. When all attempts at communications fail, S&R Black, a Sol Federation Marine Corps search and rescue vessel, is dispatched from Trident Station to intercept, investigate, and tow the beleaguered Mira to Neptune. 

As the marines prepare for the journey, uncertainty and conspiracy fomented by Trident Station’s governing AIs, begin to take their toll. Upon reaching Mira, they discover they’ve been sent on a mission that will almost certainly end in catastrophe. 
The Derelict saga is a suspenseful mashup of hard military sci-fi, space opera, and mystery. 

Some mysteries shouldn’t be solved.

Derelict: Tomb by Paul Elard Cooley
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Their mission was to recover an ancient derelict from the farthest edge of the Sol system. What they’ve found could spell the end of humanity. 

Trapped on the Mira, Corporal Kalimura must lead her squad of injured marines to safety. But, aboard the derelict, every shadow is a possible threat, and around every corner lurks another hazard. Without life support or gravity, and only their suit lights to see by, they must explore the ancient wreck to find a way to communicate with their ship and escape their hellish prison. 

The remaining crew aboard S&R Black struggle to tow Mira out of the path of an incoming Kuiper Belt Object only to realize that the non-sentient hazard is the least of their worries. 

Derelict: Tomb, book 2 of the Derelict Saga, is an action-packed mashup of suspense, military sci-fi, and space opera horror that will keep you guessing every turn of the page.

Ghere's Inferno by Paul Elard Cooley
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Goodreads Synopsis:
In the midst of an historic drought, the real heat has just begun. 

When Houston Arson investigator Emy Aninzo discovers a strange symbol at the site of a burned historical landmark, she begins investigating a series of fires that have taken place over decades. As she digs deeper into the case, assisted by her boss and an HPD detective, fires with inexplicable causes begin to assail the city. Each site contains the same mark. Houston has a serial arsonist plaguing the city. 

While Emy and her colleagues attempt to track down the criminal, as well as explain the seemingly impossible heat of the fires, they come to the conclusion that the arsonist may be insane, and possibly possessed. 

Ghere’s Inferno, part police procedural mystery, part urban fantasy, and all thriller, will keep you turning the next page until the last fire burns. 

Paul E Cooley, author of the bestselling The Black series and The Derelict Saga, wraps ancient mythology around an eerie contemporary tale that will leave you burning for more.



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Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
Agent Prime by Jake Bible
Alone by Scott Sigler