Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review: Explorations: Through the Wormhole

Explorations: Through the Wormhole

Publish Date:  September 2, 2016

Format:  eARC

Genre:  Sci Fi

Series:  Stand alone stores

First Impression:  Different lives lived around and through the wormhole.

It's 2052 and the first known wormhole appears in lunar orbit. Earth sends a ship to investigate and the future of space travel changes forever. The Solar System develops in many ways over the centuries, but one thing remains constant; the wormholes continue to appear.

Join many of today's most exciting indie science fiction authors as they chart a shared universe and future-history, each telling us stories of: Explorations: Through the Wormhole.

The Challenge - Ralph Kern
Through Glassy Eyes - PP Corcoran
Here, Then, Forever - Chris Guillory
AI Deniers - Rosie Oliver
Flawed Perspective - PJ Strebor
The Lost Colony - Josh Hayes
The Aeon Incident - Richard Fox
The Doors of the Temple - Jo Zebedee
Dead Weight - Thaddeus White
Webbed Prisms - Charlie Pulsipher
Anathema - Jacob Cooper
When the Skies Open - Shellie Horst
A Second Infection - Stephen Palmer
Personal Growth - Stephen Moss

Purchase At:

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was offered a copy of this book from the author or publisher for review.

A book full of wormhole stories. Each is different in the worlds they create and characters that interact. There is a story here for everyone.

After each story is a quick interview with the author. One question is on where they got the spark of an idea for the story. Nice to meet the authors this way in the book. Especially if they are new to you.

The Challenge by Ralph Kern
Captain Elaine Harmon-Sykes flies the Olympus through the newly appeared wormhole, the first to investigate. Working to learn more of the worlds and the wormhole from the other side, the wormhole starts to fade. Will they make it out in time?

This story feels relatable to what we have in the way of technology now, not like Star Trek or super advanced technologies. Which makes it easy to understand and visualize things.

The story was good. I liked that we also got to see 400 years later. This future vision gave the story the feel of conclusion.

Through Glassy Eyes by P.P. Corcoran
Professor Chris Kane is working back on Earth, after the wormhole closed. He's made a great discovery that could rocket human and machine interface into existence. Wetware.

This story gives us a glimpse of over two years of meetings with Chris on his creation and launch of Wetware. And there is a complication in the end.

This was a good story but not what I expected in this book, especially with the title. I had thought all stories would be about space and adventures on the other side of the wormhole. This one was not about going through a wormhole. It's only connection was to the first story, and the wormhole closing on the Earth side, then it dove into a story on human technology that's the next evolution in human and machine interfacing.

Here, Then, Forever by Chris Guillory
Aliza volunteered for this mission. It's a one way mission, to fire the item into Khonsu, the wormhole, to keep it stable and from closing.

I really liked this one. The beginning caught my attention, though the transition to memory felt unclear until after I read it. Where Aliza ends up feels like a science fiction fantasy story. And was something I totally enjoyed!

In a wide rounded way it felt as a reminder of Alice in Wonderland.

AI Deniers by Rosie Oliver
Melrika headed out into space to fix the droid, but upon touching it found herself in the future and a different part of space. Through an unknown wormhole she had gone.

When Melrika is found and brought back to the world she learns she's rich, and many want her money. People will work for her or kidnap her for it. But the wildest thing is the way of the world now. She recovers in the hospital then sent to a recovery center to gradually bring her into the world of technology and living now. Things have drastically changed since her time. The recovery center had me thinking of a rotating stage of eras she would move through to gradually get use to the technology as it expands. Though some people never move past certain years.

While in the hospital and at her recovery center she sees snipits of the news, which we get to read, on the Al Denier.

There is a reason she has so much money, and why someone attempts to kidnap her. That we learn in the end.

I felt like there was a lot to this story and world and this short format was too compact with information. To much in one place.

Flawed Perspective by PJ Strebor
His ship comes out of the wormhole 64,000 light years away. They expected to only be 20,000 light years from Earth when entered the wormhole. The mission, find a planet suitable to sustain human habitation.

Oh how easily someone's views and ideas start to sway from the path with events and options before them. I really liked this take on this story. Captain Stonehaven is on a peace mission, but becomes the policing of peace in space when he hears of a bullying race. But could he become the bully with his reactions?

I liked this stories format. We have movement and reason to the characters, and a dilemma to get through. The type of technology here reminds me of the Star Trek feel, which I do enjoy.

The Lost Colony by Josh Hayes
Unscheduled use of wormholes carry a hefty fine with the STA, if you are caught. Captain Hale plans to not get caught. He has a passenger who's paid him to jump. Captain Hale's ship is pulled further than expected, to discover the key to the wormholes.

Off the bat I enjoyed Ears and Captain Hale's chatting, more banter. Even Kenzie and Lincoln too! There was great chemistry with the characters on this ship. The technology and connection between tech in body and the ship and how it works is a cool addition that makes this story and plot.

I was left wondering, what if Earth was the colony... Well done.

The Aeon Incident by Richard Fox
Lyon and his crew are sent through the wormhole to inspect the observation shuttle that was watching over Aeon, and now are all dead. What happened from a race that's not far into technology yet can get to a shuttle?

This is sort of like a little mystery and action story. Lyon finds the doctor from the station is alive and held captive. He's determined to get the doctor back, and find out what happened here.

I liked the story. Lyon acts differently than expected in a crucial moment, but it seems to work!

The Doors of the Temple by Jo Zebedee
The war has left Earth battered and destroyed. A new wormhole opens. But it's different, one way in, two ways out. Coulter volunteered for this mission.

This story has a mythical feel to the reasoning for going through the wormhole. What they find on the other side explains, as does the passenger from Trinity College in Dublin. To save those left on Earth.

This felt like a fast read. There is a reason to the wormhole and something more to the world than some expected.

Dead Weight by Thaddeus White
Guan will not surrender his ship. Even though they are damaged and limping along, he finds a way to make it to the wormhole and escape. But when he comes out on the other side, the ship is in need of desperate repairs. They have to stop to fix it, and may not have enough supplies for all aboard.

We start in with action. The crew interact under stress and personalities shine. I like the daring and determined action, but in being this there are deadly consequences too. It's a story that kept me reading.

It seems there could be someone on the ship killing people, so they can survive longer...

Webbed Prisms by Charlie Pulsipher
T'en has powers he shouldn't with being of a slave stature. But he sees the ripples of the Nexus from his world, and watches it nightly.

After 19 years of applications at Omniscient, AJ's dream of working with wormholes comes true. His synthetic arm making the job a bit easier as he's already wired to the interface of Omniscient's technology. Kendra works with AJ and create a strong bond together.

This is a bit different in how AJ is able to travel into space. It's interesting. And he has a bit of a different way in which he works "with" the wormhole, like going through it.

This is a blend of computer science fiction tech and wormholes.

We get this story from two sides of the wormhole, AJ and T'en. We see where AJ and Kendra are coming from and where they are going.

Anathema by Jacob Cooper
A supply run through the wormhole. Through the wormhole, to the station, then home. However when they come through there is debris everywhere and hitting their ship.

This story has many elements to it. We have haulers coming through behind Everson's ship that need protected from the floating debris. Then we get a signal that they need to investigate. Possible survivors? But we also have some elements that feel supernatural in a sense, though it's done by technology. One example is the elemental, he's of science fiction creation but has a paranormal feel to him. Even the Captains "knowing".

The characters all feel like a crew. They have their connections and dislikes in each other but keep working. It all works together to create the environment.

This story works the story and characters to the end. I enjoyed it.

When the Skies Open by Shellie Horst
I ended up giving up on this one. There are hints to the world and characters, but I found it harder to keep it all in line and pieced together. Others might like this, but the style didn't work for me.

A Second Infection by Stephen Palmer
I think my interpretation of this story was wrong. I just couldn't visualize what Seneschal Smith went through. I passed onto the next story.

Personal Growth by Stephen Moss
The wormhole was thought to be normal. The crew was thought by citizens to never return, like others in different wormholes. This one turns out special, it grows in size as they near it, but now they can't turn around. They will find the works of the wormholes on the other side.

This is the longest story in the book.

This is different. I like it but sometimes I struggled understanding the world or way of things to adapt to space needs. Once we get through the wormhole though, things iron out and I understood clearly what's happening.

I enjoyed the ending of this one. Neat. It might be a one way trip, but seems worth it.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: Heir to Defendants

Oh this is a cool series I've been working on. I just HAD to share the cover of the newest release coming so soon! The twin sisters were on the first two books, now... Well, he's got an important part in the series too! And the faint image of the wolf in the background. YES! They are a huge player in this game!

Curious? Check it out!

Heir to the Defendants
Rise of the Temple Gods #3
By:  K.L. Bone
Due Out:  October 19, 2016
“Fear to the fearless. Hope to the hopeless. Mercy to those who hate you. Death to those who love you. That is your destiny, Princess of Kale, Princess of Koloso, heir to both.” – Prophecy of the Kalian Twins 

Two heirs. One throne. Return to the land of Kale for the third installment in the Rise of the Temple Gods series and follow twin princesses Mariana and Ameria as their struggle for the crown divides not only their hearts, but the kingdom they strive to rule. 

Named by her grandfather as the future Lady of Serenitas, Princess Ameria distinguishes herself as a ruler while, in secret, delving further into her family’s shadowed past. What is the meaning behind the wraith’s prophecy and how does it connect to the identity of her father’s killer? 

Seated on the throne as acting queen, Mariana struggles to navigate royal court politics while grappling with the possibility the man she considered a second father, Master Leo, may not have been the hero she once believed. To discover the truth, Mariana sends her trusted captain and love, Kyle, to meet with her sister, Princess Ameria. 

Kyle is not without secrets of his own. Each night he endures the same dream. Two men, trapped in eternal, mortal combat. And behind their clash of blades, a voice growling in the darkness: Beware the twins of Kale.

If you're curious and would like to check out the series, please do!


Pick up the previous books:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Audio Book Review: Highland Raven

Highland Raven

By:  Melanie Karsak

Publish Date:  June 2015, Audiobook Release August 4, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 6 mins
Narrated By:  Lesley Parkin

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Saga of Lady Macbeth series

First Impression:  Lady MacBeth long before she was MacBeth. The land of Scotland has magic, and so does Gruoch.

Destined to become Queen of Scotland.

Bound by blood to the Celtic gods.

Scotland, 1026--Gruoch, descendant of the line of MacAlpin, should have been born into a life of ease. But fate is fickle. Her father's untimely death, rumored to have been plotted by King Malcolm, leaves her future uncertain and stained by the prophecy that she will avenge her family line.

Escaping to one of the last strongholds of the old Celtic gods, Gruoch becomes an adept in arcane craft. Her encounters with the otherworld, however, suggest that magic runs stronger in Scotland than she ever imagined.

Haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she's never met, Gruoch soon feels her fate is not her own. She is duty-bound to wed a powerful lord, if not the Prince himself; however, she's not sure she can stop her heart when she meets Banquo, a gallant highlander and druid.

Fans of Outlander and Mists of Avalon will relish this sweeping Scottish Historical Fantasy that tells the tale of Gruoch, a woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

First Sentence:
I've been defamed.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Gruoch, raised by her loving aunt and cruel husband, is destined to be called by the goddess. When the goddess calls, Aunt Madelaine tells her husband that Gruoch is going to a convent to study the White Christ, but truly she's going to learn the old ways of their people.

This is the first story I've heard narrated by Lesley, and I'm highly impressed. The thick accent of the time and place comes through and feels genuine. Emotion and spirits of the characters come through the rise and fall of her tone. I was really drawn to her narration. Lesley even gives different feel to voices for different characters.

The writing feels so real when I listen to Lesley narrate. The brutal treatment woman lived under as wives and servants alike. The story starts slower, setting the stage of where Gruoch comes from and what she's seen to bring her to who she is. This is Lady MacBeth and her journey through life.

This is one of those stories I was drawn into and really enjoyed, yet it's difficult to write about. I don't want to give away anything as I want you to have all the feels as you experience the story as well.

This story is Gruoch's. Who is Gruoch? She's who we know as MacBeth. This story tells of what she's experienced as she has grown up. On the day she was born her father called to the goddess. That goddess has answered and will call on Gruoch when she's older. Gruoch lives a good, but at times difficult, life with her aunt as her father fights for their king, and his brother. But then finds she lives permanently with her aunt when her father dies, on a mission for his brother.

Gruoch has lived through much with the way woman are seen and treated in this time. Watching the hatred and love that men could show woman, but mostly the mistreatment above all. She's even been at the receiving end as well.

The story really gets going for me when Gruoch receives the message that it's time to go live with the ladies of the goddess and learn the ways of old. However, Gruoch is different. She's of an older blood. Soul magic. Gruoch finds who she was by who she meets. There is a magical feel of old ways to all Gruoch lives through. She has a connection to the goddess, she believes thanks to her father's doing at her birth. I love when Gruoch goes to the ladies, all that she learns and sees, so much magic.

Aaah. Sid. Sid is very different. She's alone in seeing the faerie folk. And she can really see them! Gruoch sees enough to believe it, and so do I. Sid shows Gruoch her past life, one they shared. And when Druid named Banquo arrives at the holiday celebration, Gruoch sees more of that past life. A past life she loves and would do anything to have again. However, Gruoch is having visions of another man. And this man can see her as well. Who is he and what does he mean to her? And the goddess has other plans for Gruoch.

Gruoch is one strong woman. She witnesses abuse and stands in it's face when she realizes at a young age as to what's happening. Even when that abuse finds her. Gruoch also feels love. She finds dear friends and the man that's dear to her. She stands for herself and not just as a pawn for her uncle, the King, to pass around, although she knows she could be married off as a political piece.

I enjoyed the magical feel we get while Gruoch is learning the old ways of her people. This story is set in Scotland and we get that magical historical feel from it.

There is more books to come with Gruoch and her life. I know there's more to come as we haven't gotten through MacBeth's story fully yet, and I very much look forward to what's to come!

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cover Reveal: Odin's Spear & Giveaway

I loved the first book and meeting Livi, her family, and West *sigh*. I am now thrilled to share the cover reveal of Livi's next book!! Eeep!

Odin's Spear
A Livi Talbot Novel #2
By:  Skyla Dawn Cameron
Due Out:  February 2017

After nearly losing her family and her life, Olivia Talbot is trying to leave the world of artifact hunting behind. But an adrenaline junkie unsuited for a 9 to 5 job can’t hide herself forever, especially when deadly operative Dale West comes knocking with off-book work for his covert organization.

It’ll be “easy”, West says—just a trip to the museum. But a deranged former solider is seeking to reunite the pieces of Gungnir—spear of the Norse god Odin—which is capable of starting war, and this job is much bigger than anyone has let on.

Followed by the dogged son of a tabloid mogul, competing with her archeologist older brother, and still struggling to trust West against her better judgement, Livi will venture into an ancient underwater city in the Mediterranean to stop the dawn of a new war. But the spear of a god has plans for them all, and power not even she might be able to withstand.

Sound awesome!? I hope sharing this cover and synopsis has you curious about this world touched with magic and what might have happened with/to Livi in the first book.

Since the first book recently released and we have the cover for the second amazing sounding book, I want to do a giveaway of the first book!

One (1) eBook of Solomon's Seal (Kindle or Nook or Kobo or iTunes)

Prize: 1 ebook of
Solomon's Seal

Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant as a teen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. Since the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them.

Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A potential new client wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off.

The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Audio Book Review: Mirror Mage

Mirror Mage

By:  Linsey Hall

Publish Date:  May 4, 2016, Audiobook Release August 18, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 6 hrs 35 mins
Narrated By:  Laurel Schroeder

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  2nd in Dragon's Gift: The Huntress series; Book 1 ~ Ancient Magic

First Impression:  Friendships help when pasts surface.

Cass Clereaux likes her job. It’s simple—steal the magic, don’t get killed. FireSouls like her are perfect for magic treasure hunting. Their dragon soul helps them find treasure, their wicked powers help them steal it. But there’s a big freaking downside—FireSouls are hunted. If either of the magical governments figures out what she is, she can kiss her life goodbye.

When the Alpha Council comes to her with a special job, it’s a no-brainer to turn it down, no matter how much money they’re offering. Shifters who can sniff out her weird magic are the last supernaturals she needs to be around. Worse? They have a history of hunting FireSouls. But when Cass learns that a little girl’s life is at stake and Cass is her last hope, she doesn’t have a choice.

With her sisters and Aidan Merrick at her back, she’s got a chance at saving the girl and keeping her deadly secret—until she learns there’s far more to this kidnapping than meets the eye. It’s far too similar to what happened to her as a child, and everything new that she learns scares her even more.

First Sentence:
"Everyone knows you're not supposed to pick up the golden idol!"

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I requested a copy of this audiobook from the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

Cass is working to learn to use her magic with control, with Aidan's help. She returns home with an artifact for a client, and to rebuild their magic inventory at the shop, when she's approached by Mathias. One of the organizations Cass and her deirfiur fear, Alpha Council, is looking for her. They've lost something of great value and have heard from Aidan of her Seeker skills. With the shops lack of inventory since the break-in, meaning rent will be a terrible struggle to meet, the million dollars to simply meet with the Alpha Council and hear them out is tempting, then, if she takes the job the additional million dollars... The tipper of scales is that lives are at risk, and the thought that helping the Alpha Council could help her if she ever gets caught.

Laurel returns to voice Cass and crew in this second book. Oh, when she voices Aidan in the first chapter, I just smiled. I love her accent for him. Laurel voices new characters we come across with a different accent, vocal tone, personality, and emotion for the moment. I enjoy this as it brings the story to life and shows a bit of difference among the characters we see. The audio seems seamless and no distractions in the background. It's all about the story when I'm listening to Laurel.

Something I really like about Cass, and it stuck out to me in the first book along with here too, she's not our normal find the ancient artifacts and sell them kind of gal. Cass and her sisters find the artifacts that are old, where magic is starting to decay and could become dangerous. They remove the magic from these artifacts and place it in a replica of the item, then return the original to the sacred place it has been kept for years. She tries her hardest to not ruin the secret places, though that's not always possible.

In this book Cass is learning to trust a bit further than her close circle of her two sisters. The events in this book show that others think dearly of Cass, Nix, and Del, along with doing anything to help them. The reason, the three sisters have been great friends that will do what they can for friends, and their friends know it. We even get to see Cass realizing Aidan is trustworthy, that he's not going to hurt her by turning her in. Cass's actions show she's not the dark, killing and greedy sponge that people thing FireSouls are. Though, she does realize something about her FireSoul in this book.

I do enjoy Aidan. He seems like a perfect gentleman, though that is what throws up the red flag for Cass and she tries to keep moving slow with him. Sure, they've kissed and she'd love more, but she wants to get to know him. He does help Cass to learn her magic, pushing her to the edge of her limits to learn and get control of them. He also tries to protect her, even when the ceiling is falling in, he'll throw himself between Cass and the falling rocks.

We start to learn more of Aidan and the Origins in his family past with Cass, even about shifters too. We also start to learn with Cass about her own past. Through dreams Cass learns how they escaped the cell and that monster of a man, even how she became a mirror mage.

I really like that we get more time with Nix and Del in this book too. We got some time with them in the previous book, but this one they are more involved earlier on. Of course we get our Aidan time too. ;) The time feels well balanced between friends, sisters, and growing love.

I'm enjoying this series thus far. It's fun, relaxing, and I really like the personality of Cass and Aidan. Then there are the small hints of what we learn about Cass that has me curious. Not to mention that Monster Man from her past in that terrible cell.

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Audio Book Review: The Witch of Roan Mountain

The Witch of Roan Mountain

By:  Blaire Edens

Publish Date:  October 7, 2015, Audiobook Release July 15, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 3 hrs 21 mins
Narrated By:  Kathy Bell Denton

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  The Witching Hour Collection

First Impression:  Returning to your roots and finding who you are, while solving a long dead case.

Maeve McMahan, a criminal defense attorney, has just blown the case of her career. When she returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to clear her head, she moves back in with her grandmother. On an easy hike, she meets the one woman she never expected to see: Delphine, The Witch of Roan Mountain.

Accused of a terrible crime she didn’t commit, Delphine has been haunting the county since just after the Civil War and she can’t rest until her name is cleared. She’s counting on Maeve’s help to get to the bottom of the century-old mystery.

Campbell Hyatt, a sheriff’s deputy, has never gotten over his first love, Maeve. When her grandmother breaks her leg, Campbell’s on duty and he finds Maeve at the top of Roan Mountain, convinced she’s seen a ghost. A cop who doesn’t believe in ghosts, he thinks Maeve needs to be focused on her grandmother not an old legend that hits a little too close to home for his liking.
With Maeve’s car out of commission and Granny stuck in the hospital, Campbell and Maeve are thrown together in a quest to find out why Delphine was branded a witch. It will take both of them to get to the bottom of a nineteenth century story love story that may impact them more than they realize. Can they banish a ghost without rekindling an old flame of their own?

First Sentence:
If I'd known what was going to happen, I wouldn't have worn my best dress.

Purchase At:


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Maeve has come home to Avery County, North Carolina to get back on her feet and be off again after she finds a new job. Out hiking, Maeve sees a woman she didn't expect to see. Delphine, a ghost who needs her help.

Campbell, a sheriff's deputy in the small town, is called to help Granny, Maeve's grandmother, when she falls. Campbell is also Maeve's high school love, which makes things more complicated when they each realize there are still feelings there, but Maeve's going to leave again...

This is my first with listening to Kathy. Her voice is clear and crisp when speaking, nice as we can easily understand what she's saying. Kathy does a slightly different done to her voice to sound like Granny, an active 80-something grandmother. Even with Campbell she does a slower, more relaxed feel to his words. Kathy sounded a bit older of a voice for being in Maeve's mind for me though. Their is a small sound of air around her when she speaks. I can tell when a section starts and stops in the same chapter, like she's turning the microphone on and off. There is no sound to go with it, just the small sound of air starting then stopping.

This is a short story, novella, about realizing who you are and what you want in life the most. Maeve doesn't 100% realize in the beginning that she has lost her goal, or more that her vision and drive is to prove something, not to be happy. She's had a hard life with the shadow of her mother's actions, and she wants to be nothing like her. Maeve has worked hard to reach the top, and she has. But things happened and she's home in the mountains once again. Here, she's tied to a ghost of old who wants Maeve to prove her innocence so she can rest. The witch of Roan Mountain speaks to her, and Maeve's drawn by curiousness to solve the case.

Maeve learns more than just about the ghost and her past. Maeve learns about her connection but also about her handsome boyfriend from high school's connection as well. Campbell's never left town, and never will. He's happy and at peace here. Campbell has never been able to get over Maeve since she left. He fights his love, but he'll gladly take the minutes she'll give him when she's home again. Goodness is he a kind and loving man!

We get short clips from Delphine's point of view that tells of the past, what she lived through and then the events that surrounded her death. It shows love, revenge, and more. I really felt for Delphine in these sections. We get most of the story through Maeve's mind but also see through Campbell's eyes as well. This brings all three story lines together and how they impact each other.

This is definitely an adult read. There is sexual content to the story. We see Maeve and Campbell come together as he's helped with Granny while she's been gone. But they are drawn to each other as they both still feel the attraction and rare love between them.

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Author Guest Post: DNA of a Hero

I'm thrilled to have Skyla Dawn Cameron by today for a guest post about her hero's roots. Lili Talbot is a kick arse character and I'm excited to learn of her DNA. I hope you enjoy learning about her as well!

Please welcome Skyla!

DNA of a Hero

Like many heroines, Livi Talbot—though she’s her own person—owes some of her DNA to the heroines who came before her.

1. Lara Croft

Yes, let’s get this one out of the way straight off the bat. ;-)

The concept behind the series was “Tomb Raider meets Gilmore Girls”, about a young single mother who is also a treasure hunter. And I love Tomb Raider. I have all the last several games and play them frequently—it’s probably the only game franchise I buy new installments of on release day (and schedule time off of work to play them).

Olivia Talbot owes a lot to one of the ultimate action heroines. Initially her Match pistols in the book were to be a placeholder for a different gun until I did some research...then I did said research and realized they were exactly the kind she’d use, and remain as a fun nod to Croft.

It also gave me something to draw on when it comes to aspects of Livi’s personality that are so far from my own. I’m not a daredevil. I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I would rather pretend-climb a mountain in a video game than climb an actual mountain, and thank you very much but I’ve seen The Decent several times and I would nope right out of any cave you pointed out to me.

But Livi’s not me, and soaking in that whole other point of view of a very physical sort of character helped a lot.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Just about every damn urban fantasy heroine owes something to Buffy, I’d say. The snarky one-liners, for starters (which, I suppose we all kind of owe to Spider-man? Buffy was highly influenced by various comic book heroes herself), not to mention the very cinematic moments of badassness.

That’s the Buffy that really influenced Solomon’s Seal and Livi Talbot: the purely visual, cinematic moments I hope came through in the text. The slow-mo leap into danger presented in widescreen, the purely heroic moments no sane person would choose but Livi is a hero and that’s just what she does.

Plus...okay, yes, she’s snarky.

3. Ellen Ripley

Livi is a mother and that protective mama bear streak owes a lot to Ripley of Alien and specifically Aliens. (We do not speak of that abomination Alien 3, thankyouverymuch.) Not just this obvious moment:

But the quieter ones as well.

As Newt becomes her surrogate daughter, Ripley adds Badass Action Heroine to her title with Final Girl Survivor and Smartest Person in the Fucking Room. She’ll risk everything, including her life, to save this child, and takes on the queen alien herself if it means Newt’s safety. Livi has that same primal maternal instinct, no matter how she tries to keep a boundary between her identities as Mom and Treasure Hunter, which causes no end of trouble but also makes her a terrifying force to be reckoned with if anyone crosses her daughter.

Solomon's Seal

Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant as a teen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. After the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them. 

Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A powerful man wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off. 

The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.

Purchase at:
Amazon  /  Kobo  /  Nook  /  iTunes

Author Bio:
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.

Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.

Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.

Find Skyla at:
Twitter - @skyladawn

Book Review: Solomon's Seal

Solomon's Seal

By:  Skyla Dawn Cameron

Publish Date:  September 20, 2016

Format:  eARC

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in A Livi Talbot Novel series

First Impression:  Yes! Thank you! Feels like a cross between Tomb Raiders and a single, hard-working mom with a supernatural feel to the world


Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant at seventeen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. Since the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them.

Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A potential new client wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off.

The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.

First Sentence:
The man hanging from his bound ankles over the cliff's edge hadn't been forthcoming with answers thus far.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I requested a copy of this book from the author or publisher for review.

Olivia does her best to make a home for her daughter, Em, and give her everything she deserves by hunting down pulse activated artifacts for private paying clients. When the check bounces for her daughters prestigious school, Olivia takes a job that takes her away from home and into the underground caves with a new crew of experts. While she's 'leading' the expedition to find the ring of Solomon, Livi will learn there are more than 'activated' artifacts that have come to life since the Pulse. Livi'll have to dive into the mouth of danger to save herself and those around her that become friends. And that's only in the caves, what she faces when she returns home will drive all maternal instincts to kick in.

Skyla has packaged several things I rarely see together, and yet love as a combination. Adventure with danger, a mother and family connections, and a hot man that's a potential love interest (for me and the lead character). The story feels like a cross between Tomb Raiders and a single, hard-working mom with a supernatural feel to the world since the Pulse occurred. The artifacts of the past are activated and can be dangerous with the powers they possess. The creatures that can be present! Oooh never know what I'm going to come across in this world!

Olivia, Livi as I like to call her, is one strong woman! She's a single mom making ends meet in the world. She has a strong sense of rules about her when it comes to a team she works with. She also has a quick mind with what needs to be done on the job as nothing is what is expected and in retorts to others.

There is a strong family connection present for Livi. Well, where her daughter is concerned. Livi, like every parent, wants the best for Em and works hard to get it. Sure work pulls her away time to time but being a single working parent it happens. But Livi has support and help. Pru, her best friend, has been there through thick and thin. Pru is an important element in the family and also has normal human troubles that ties the story to the world we know. Pru lives with MS. These friends are there for each other and help each through the tribulations of life. Now Livi also has troubles in the way of family, with her father and absent mother but that is a topic for later.

We also have a connection that sparks with new friend ties. Dawson is the first to connect with ease with Livi. But there are others as we read that gives a feel of a full cast of characters that are needed to get the job done. I'm hoping to see several of them again in the future!

Lets talk about West. Um! Hot! He's a dangerous man but feels to have a baseline to his ways as well. He's not always around, but when he was I loved seeing him and Livi interact. There was a flirtation between them I found put a smile on my face as they bantered. Buttons! lol. I can't wait to see them together more as the books come!

Skyla draws many great elements together for us in the book. The world's not perfect and even Livi's world is the same way. Pru lives with MS. It's something they all work through as a family, Livi, Em, and Pru. There is so much support here and it's amazing! There are family troubles. Livi is on the outs with her father but still talks to her brother. Livi lives with not knowing who Em's father is yet there is a great man from Livi's past that is willing to be the father figure for Em. Totally an awesome step for him! Then we learn of West's past, just a drop, and where he's from - North Korea. There are terrible things that happen to people there. But through all these hard times and memories, there is the fun and love and enjoyment of having people around that do love you. Livi and all the characters keep their chin up and move on through the days making the best of all they have and do.

It's well written with a balanced blend of humor and adventure you can't deny is spellbinding. Skyla's smooth writing easily walks me through the dangers with Livi. I could picture what was happening, even though I've never been caving.

Thank you Skyla for creating a story with so many extraordinary elements that I've been wanting together while keeping the story real and grounded.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Audio Book Review: Apocalypse Machine

Apocalypse Machine

By:  Jeremy Robinson

Publish Date:  March 15, 2015, Audiobook Release July 12, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 10 hrs 18 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafer

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Stand alone

First Impression:  Wow. So much more than expected!


A chain of subglacial volcanoes erupt in Iceland. The melting ice floods the countryside. Poisonous gas descends on Scotland. A tsunami devastates the Norwegian coastline. An ash cloud rises into the atmosphere, blotting out the sun across Europe, ushering in a new Ice Age. Dozens of nuclear power plants, flooded by ocean water, experience meltdowns. Millions perish. Many more are displaced. All on the first day.

On the second day, a series of earthquakes moving in a straight line, reveal the presence of something massive, walking across the landscape. Concealed by a thick, radioactive ash cloud, the ‘aberration’ heads west, toward Russia.

Abraham Wright, a science writer for Modern Scientist, who wants nothing more than to be reunited with his family, finds himself at the center of the United States’ response to the crisis. Under his new title as Assistant Science Advisor to the President, Wright is sent to Europe with a team of Army Rangers, where he uncovers the truth about the ancient behemoth laying waste to the world: there have been five mass extinctions on planet Earth, and the aberration has been present at each.

On the third day, the world fights back.

And loses.

Separated from his family by continents and oceans ravaged by countless disasters and populated by strange new life, Wright struggles to survive in an evolving world. Hoping to uncover the key to mankind’s redemption, he fights for answers, and to reach his loved ones—before the human race’s extinction.


Jeremy Robinson returns to the Kaiju Thriller genre he popularized with the largest Kaiju to ever appear in fiction: the Apocalypse Machine. Bursting with all the epic action, desperate struggle and complex characters that readers have come to expect, Robinson takes the world to the brink once more, pitting humanity against the greatest threat he has yet to conjure, and asking the question: Does humanity deserve to inherit the Earth, or is our time up?

First Sentence:
T.S. Eliot got it wrong.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

I'll leave the synopsis of the book stand for the description. I'm afraid if I give a description I'll give away the book because it's one of those that builds and builds on itself and full of suspense and racing for lives.

Jeffrey is an amazing narrator for suspense. His pace keeps the urgency at a pacing that's easy to understand and think on as it's happening. He vocalizes the event with rise and fall of his voice that keeps me on edge, waiting and wanting to hear what's next.

Interesting beginning. We start in Iceland, on a volcano that's to be studied when they find a spire sticking out of the ground. Abe grabs it and has one heck of a vision. A vision predicting the world to burn and rebirth of a nation from the ashes. When the volcano erupts, I found I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the characters will make it away!

We get a few different views to see the horrors that wreck across Europe from the eruption of the strip of volcanoes, though the whole world is affected. The lives of the people and how they are touched with the fall outs - deadly gas, earthquakes, and tsunami. This gives us the first hand view of all that's affected, the many terrible tragedies that happen when the world falls apart. People have created many things that could easily kill us when the world goes wrong, and we see those along with naturally caused dangers and deaths. All these terrible events and suggestions Abraham makes come to be obstacles in his path.

I really enjoyed listening to this story as it didn't stop. I would have sat and listened to this all day if I could. The first two hours flew by as it leads up to what really happened at the volcano. It was excellent. Even the events of trying to stop the machine, then we jump to 15 years later, when the world is completely changed. Wow. All of it was gripping for me.

Abraham is the main character throughout the book. He's a journalist, and being in this field he's experienced and worked with many different people and circumstances. In doing this, and being a studied person as well, comes in handy with all he faces. Abraham faces more dangers than I would ever want to see, or hear about, in this book as he is put in places to learn what he can of the Apocalypse Machine, which he names. I like how his life's experiences bring him to know details while he's on the move. This puts a light on the events that gives us something to relate to in what could be seen as fantasy moments and moments we would not have experienced (like nuclear plants failing).

Abraham also faces a few things about himself too, things he doesn't want to think on but is brought to his attention - like why he's always taking jobs away from his family that he's always wanting to get back to. Is there something he doesn't want to face there? He does have a special and unique relationship in his home life.

Then the story takes a turn I did not expect to see. Wow. The way of the world in the future, those that have survived the devastating events that changed the world as it was known to something completely new. We see the now and the changed future.

This story was one of the greatest finds I've come across in a long time. It's much more than an apocalyptic moment changing the world or a monster story. I am highly impressed with Jeremy's take on the events and twist to telling his story.

I found I was emotionally invested in the book and characters too. I teared up at moments, mostly the happy ones but a few sad ones too. I even smiled when I found my way back to my regular characters in the story.

I am totally amazed with this book! I didn't expect what I got here, and I'm thrilled with it. I was constantly held at attention. Even the last sentence hit me with a whoosh, it made sense.

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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Post #145

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 feel like I've been away for weeks! Life has been on fast forward these last few weeks with kiddo back to school and football season here. Thursday I spent ALL day cooking meatloaf dinner. I ended up with about 30 kids here for dinner. They were, as they were last year, thrilled with the mini meatloaves. lol. My lower back has been a mess since then.

I'm also all confused on what day it is.

Friday was my day, but I ended up taking kiddo to get a new knee brace that he bent on Wednesday and driving my husband around truck shopping. Oh! Kiddo's knee brace. Yeah, that's a story! He has a brace he's to wear for contact sports that's to be indestructible. Ha ha! I laugh in the face of indestructible. We got his third brace Friday, and he bent it within an hour of the game. He has bent three, THREE, braces! Yep, that's a call for tomorrow when the brace place is open.

Saturday I was exhausted. I got nothing done but yet I did get some things done. Today is going to be catch up day. Oh the list has grown!

I have a lot of reading to get done!


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... I did get some exercising in this week. I'm thinking I only got one day in with all the cooking and everything.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Exploration: Through the Wormhole anthology
The Side of Good / The Side of Evil edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Current Audiobook:
Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!)

Finished Last Week: 

Audiobooks from Audible:
The Witch of Roan Mountain by Blaire Edens
Mirror Mage by Linsey Hall

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


Last Week on the Blog:

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

Guest Posts:


Spellbound in a Flash:
This week I didn't post with working on writing. Sorry!

Challenged Writers:
I'll share again at the beginning of October.

Around the Internet...

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

"Micheal never ceases to amaze me with his turn of events and catches me off guard at times. This book brings many things into light and has me curious to see how they will work out."

Dead Red by M.R. Forbes

"I found I liked the world and story in this book better. I think I understand it better going into this book and got to see Conor running or fighting something at all times. There are a few turns with those after him that have different reactions than Conor, or I, expected."

"With Cassia being a daughter of a storyteller it gives the author a way to tell the past to the reader. We get stories of long ago, though those told by the tellers now are not always right."

Podcast Review:

Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have 3 reviews scheduled and a release post by an author. Hope you visit!


Received Last Weeks:

Review & Review Consideration:
Every Kingdom Divided by Stephen Kozeniewski
Goodreads Synopsis:
2035 A.D. After the 2nd American Civil War Jack Pasternak, a laid-back California doctor, receives a garbled distress call from his fiancée in Maryland before her transmissions stop altogether. Unfortunately for Jack, citizens of the Blue States are no longer allowed to cross Red America. He is faced with an impossible choice: ignore his lover's peril or risk his own life and sanity by venturing into the dark heart of The Red States. When the armies of the Mexican Reconquista come marching into Los Angeles, Jack's hand is forced and he heads east in an old-fashioned gas guzzling car. Stephen Kozeniewski, writer of Braineater Jones, The Ghoul Archipelago and Billy and The Cloneasaurus, brings an epic future adventure.

Freed by Amanda Carlson
Goodreads Synopsis:
Phoebe Meadows has one thing on her mind: Free her mother. 

For the last month, Phoebe has been training in the Valkyrie stronghold readying for battle. But when she stumbles into a secluded valley after a day of grueling practice, she’s given a dire prediction. Phoebe must leave the stronghold immediately with the aid of the giant, Junnal, to rescue her mother from the dark elves. If Phoebe fails, Leela will be transported to a place that can no longer be reached. 

Leaving Fen behind threatens to undo her, but Phoebe stays true to the mission. Along the way, she allies with the god Baldur and an old white elf mage. Together, they storm the realm, and with the help of an angry wolf and her Valkyrie sisters, they just might stand a chance to free the valiant shieldmaiden. 

But Phoebe soon learns that in order to save her mother, she might lose something too precious to sacrifice…

Audio Books Requested for Review:
Anubis Nights by Gary Jonas
Goodreads Synopsis:

A dead sorcerer in the Underworld named Henry Winslow, a contemporary of Aleister Crowley and former member of The Golden Dawn, steals a spell from The Forbidden Texts in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Thrice Born. He divides himself into three aspects and goes back in time to steal the Emerald Tablets of Thoth from the Great Pyramid of Giza. He wants true immortality and to change the course of history.


Jonathan Shade’s old friend, Sharon, shows up with the master of time, Chronos, to send Jonathan and his team into the past to find and kill Winslow.

First stop: ancient Egypt

Jonathan and Kelly arrive in Egypt during the reign of King Tutankhamun. As they appear from nothing, they are mistaken for gods, but when Tut is murdered during a chariot race, things get out of control.

At stake is, well, everything. Because if Winslow succeeds, the world as we know it will no longer exist, wiped from the sands of time…

Ark by David Wood
Goodreads Synopsis:
A Native American artifact points the way to one of the greatest legends in history! 

Archaeologist Dima Zafrani receives a mysterious package containing fragments of an unknown text that proves the existence of the lost Book of Noah. Pursued by a shadow organization known only as The Trident, Dima crosses paths with former Navy SEALs turned treasure hunters Dane Maddock and Bones Bonebrake. Can the three find the legendary Noah Stones before the Trident can harness their power? 

Join Dane and Bones on another action-packed adventure as they set off on a quest for the Ark! 

Stolen Magic by Linsey Hall
Goodreads Synopsis:
Being a FireSoul has its perks. Cass Clereaux can find any type of magical treasure—or steal any type of magical power. She’ll pick hunting treasure any day because she doesn’t have to kill for it, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t stolen powers. She needs them to stay alive. Because a fight to the death is the least of what she can expect if other supernaturals find out what she is, she’s become an expert at laying low.

When her friend is sucked into a magical portal, she’s the only one with the power to help him. But what she uncovers is a danger greater than she’d ever imagined—and linked to her past in a way she’d never expect. Worse, the portal puts her whole town at risk. As the threat grows, she must confront her fear of losing control of her new powers, or lose any hope of saving hundreds of lives.

The Marked by Lilith Saintcrow
Goodreads Synopsis:
A winding road, a freak storm, and a lightning strike. Jude Altfall’s life, just beginning to coalesce after her divorce, is shattered afresh. Dazed with grief, she’s not sure if the weird things happening around her are hallucinations…or something more. And there’s the mark on her hip—a tattoo she can’t for the life of her remember getting. 

Preston Marlock left a shadowy government agency two years ago, to hunt a killer. Each time the bastard strikes the trail goes cold, and not even Marlock’s more-than-natural abilities are helping. Now the killer’s taken one of his very few friends, and there’s a surviving witness. The Altfall woman is now that most precious and fragile of targets, newly Marked. All Marlock has to do is dangle her like bait, and the killer will eventually show up. 

The Skinner knows some people are different. Special. He has a collection of stretched skin and pretty pictures, each harvested with care. The trick is to take them while the victim is still struggling, still alive, otherwise their power is lost. He is careful, methodical, and precise, but chance robs him of a prize. Once he realizes Jude Altfall has what he covets, and has possibly seen his face, her fate is sealed. And just to be cautious, the Skinner might swat at the annoying fly who has buzzed along his trail for two years...


Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Space Slugs by Frances Pauli
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Xenobiologist, Dr. Murray, receives yet another phony wedding invitation 
from her galaxy hopping sister, she does what any good sibling would do. She 
drops her research and hops the first flight to some obscure planet at the edge 
of the civilized universe. 
But Zora's weddings never manage to go off as planned, and before the cake is 
served, Murray finds herself imprisoned with the unapologetic bride. With the 
assistance of a mysterious android and the universe's last living space slug, 
the two find themselves on the run in a stolen space ship with half the galaxy 
in hot pursuit. Thanks to Zora, it's the least desirable half. 
Maybe Murray will get lucky, and the crash landing will kill her.

Free Audio Books/Stories:

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
Solomon's Seal by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Apocalypse Machine by Jeremy Robinson
The Witch of Roan Mountain by Blaire Edens
Mirror Mage by Linsey Hall