Book Review – First World by Jaymin Eve

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First World
(A Walker Saga Book One)
Jaymin Eve
4 stars

Jaymin creates an interesting post-apocalyptic style New York City, complete with a Mad Max gang feel. Her main character, Abigail, reminds me of more than one teenage girl I went to high school with, aside from the combat training. Dialogue and attitude seems pretty spot on. The interactions between Abigail and her best friend Lucy are entertaining. I picked this one up as a freebie off a mailing list I was on and thought, why not. The concept of these Walkers Jaymin creates is intriguing. I wouldn’t say this book (and maybe the series) is necessarily marketed to my demographic but I would certainly have my teen children read this one. It was nice of the author to include two chapters of book 2 at the end of book 1. Almost makes me want to pick them up just to see what she does with the concept of “Walkers”.

 

First World (Walker Saga Book 1) on Amazon

Author Jaymin Eve’s Website

 

Book Review – Evensong by Krista Walsh

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Evensong (Meritas Trilogy Book 1)
Krista Walsh
5 Stars

Krista Walsh earned 5 stars and more with this one as far as I’m concerned. She takes a deep dream of mine, to enter the worlds I create (or others have, Hello Middle Earth) and spins a tale that is gripping. I devoured this book as quickly as I could, stealing a page or two every chance I got.

Jeff Powell is an above average author of fiction working on the fourth, and as far as he is concerned final, book in his successful fantasy series. As tension and potential tragedy mount in his writing, Jeff looks forward to moving on to other projects. His current project will have none of that as Jeff awakens to find himself trapped in his creation. At least, these are the characters and locales he ‘thinks’ he created.

After getting to know the people he had told stories of in the flesh, Jeff begins to doubt his own sanity. Is he dreaming? Is this one big hallucination? Or is it possible that Jeff didn’t create the world, he is merely telling and influencing a small part of it.

Time is running out for Jeff to fix the disasters he has forced upon the realm of Feldall as a mysterious force from Feldall’s past is seeking to gain control of Jeff and the entire realm. Now Jeff must save his characters, himself, and the woman from his realm that he loves before it is too late.

If you like swords and sorcery fantasy you will find much to love about this book. It has all the classic elements, with the added twist of getting to see the Author interact with his characters. I highly recommend this book.

Evensong on Amazon  As of 3/17/2016 you can pickup Evensong for Free on Kindle. Who knows how long this deal will last.

Book Review – Another Broken Wizard by Colin Dodds

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Another Broken Wizard
Colin Dodds
2 Stars

Colin Dodds gives us a glimmer of a story here, but it falls flat for many reasons. The biggest of these is personal growth. The ebook itself was formatted well and I didn’t catch too many spelling/grammatical errors that ripped me out of the story.

The story revolves around two friends, Jim and Joe. Jim is your typical small town boy moved on. He leaves Massachusetts, gets a job in New York City and things are going well. Until he is laid off and he returns to his hometown to take care of his father who is having open heart surgery. Joe is the friend who stayed behind, never growing up from the drugs an alcohol induced fog that was his high school and early twenties years.

From the get go, it is hard to see Jim even making a half-hearted attempt at his actual responsibilities of life. He spends more time drinking and doing drugs with Joe than he spends contending with his father’s needs, which don’t seem to be much even after the surgery. Jim’s inability to have any integrity in his personal relationships is disappointing.

Joe is just a train wreck, and SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

He crashes HARD, no big surprise really.

There are a few shimmers of light and profoundness, but they are grossly overshadowed by the complete foolishness of the scenes that play out.

It took nearly the entire book to get to this shining passage: “You can interpret and re-interpret what happens to you. But reality only lets you get away with so much.” Maybe the author should have led with this line and let reality have a bit freer hand in the rest of the prose.

Honestly, disappointed and glad it was free from a mailing list I was on.

Another Broken Wizard on Amazon

Book Review – Bright Horizons by Wilson Harp

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Bright Horizons
Wilson Harp
3 Stars

First contact is made and the aliens have requested Earth to sign a treaty. In comes Colonel Kyle Martin, the “Butcher of Hyderabad”, to head up the Marine led diplomatic mission. Building his team of the best of the best of the best (intentional repetition there) is not going to be easy, since his ‘lucky charm’ is serving 50 years in Leavenworth.

Once Kyle has assembled his team he embarks on a space mission every astronaut dreams of, to meet the first alien race. The meeting with the Hedali does not go fully as planned and suddenly Earth is thrust into a galactic world that had previously deemed humans not worth invading and subjugating.

Twists, turns, and a lot of science fiction technology staples abound in this fast paced adventure story. The problem for me was plausibility in some of the scenes. I was no military child, but even a laymen knows some of the procedures and protocol seem off. Chalk it up to aliens but everyone is a little too perfect. Character growth seems minimal at best.

Wilson Harp’s Bright Horizons has a lot going for it my Gentle Readers. If you can put aside any preconceived thoughts on how the military worked, you can find things to enjoy in this book.

Bright Horizons on Amazon

Spell a Day – Feb 28th 2016

Time to take stock of where we are so far this year my Gentle Readers. We are 2 months in, one-sixth of the year is over. How is everyone doing on their goals for the year?

Here was my list I made:
1 – I want to finish the rewrite/editing of my first book so that the improved second edition can be released. – The second edition is at my editor friend getting looked over, hoping for a spring release.
2 – I want to self pub my novella (still in the editing phase). – I have the edits back, just haven’t worked through them all yet.
3 – I want to finish, edit, and self pub my the second book in my Family Heritage series this year. – Waiting on feedback to the extended ending of book 1 so I can flow it right into book 2.
4 – I would like to make some major progress on my high fantasy (think Tolkien) series. I have the skeleton of a realm, deities, antagonists/protagonists. Just have to finish plotting and then get to work fleshing out the stories. I haven’t quite figured out if it will be a series of short stories/novellas, or if each set of characters will end up in their own full blown novel. Since they will also overlap I have to make sure my outlines are complete for consistency. – Tabled this one for now.
5 – I plan to get myself down in weight before summer. I have at least the 20-30 to lose that I want to, so from there I will evaluate what I still can lose healthily. – Still holding steady where I was at the beginning of the year. At least I haven’t gained back any of the 30lbs I lost last year.
6 – I want to blog at least once a week, if not more often. I will be looking for topics to discuss. As part of this I want to do at least 2 book reviews a month. I need to get a submission page setup for anyone interested in having me review their work. – So far this is going well. I am averaging at least 1 book a week and my Spell a Day posts seem to have gathered some avid readers. I hope everyone is enjoying them.
7 – It would be nice to put together a book of poetry as well. I have a notebook almost full and a thumb drive with a few dozen from when I was younger. Just not sure if I have enough that would be of interest to others. The ones I have blogged here have received favorable reviews so perhaps there is potential in others as well. – This is buried under the other writing projects.
8 – I want to bring down and gain a better handle on my temper. I am not a homicidal maniac, but there are times where a cooler head would be a better face to present. I have noticed my son picking up some of my habits and I hope that if I can break my cycle, I can help him to not struggle like I have. – Things seem to be going well in this category. No blow-ups. 

A few other updates, my home office is done and so is the nursery. We are all ready for the new baby to arrive in April. I am excited and scared all at the same time. That’s all for now my Gentle Readers. Take stock of where you are and keep striving for those goals.

 

Book Review – Edgewood by Karen McQuestion

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Edgewood
Karen McQuestion
4 Stars

Today Gentle Readers we have another teen focused young adult supernatural book. I picked this on up for free from a mailing list I am on. I thought that it would be something I could screen for content and maybe get my son to read so he isn’t on the video games as much. I think I will have a winner here.

Russ Becker is your typical teenage insomniac. I was always a night owl so I could relate a bit to his plight.When one of his late night walks leads him up close and personal with what looks like a meteor shower, everything changes. Russ finds out about group of teens his age that all have the same problem, and solved it all the same way. They also have another secret in common, they all experienced a light show similar to Russ.

Now Russ, Mallory, Jameson, and Nadia have something else in common, they all developed special powers after their exposure to whatever the light and rocks were. With great power comes an organization designed to exploit those who are gifted in this way. As Russ tries to sort out his new reality and the hidden world he has been exposed to, secrets are brought to light. Will Russ be able to continue his previously unremarkable life? Or is he destined for other things?

Come along for the ride that Karen takes us on in Russ’s quest of self discovery. If you are still a kid at heart, there is entertainment to be found in these pages.

Edgewood on Amazon

Karen McQuestion Website

Book Review – A New Beginning by Christina Escue

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A New Beginning (Second Chance Series Book1)
Christina Escue
1 Star

I really wanted to love this story and I made myself finish it to be fair to the author but I just can’t give this any more than one star.
The idea of poor Karla Hall, abused and neglected, pulls at my heart. The problem is there is no problem. Other than a brief recounting of what happened to Karla, the rest of the book becomes page after page of people telling each other they love each other and how proud they are of Karla for her strength and maturity. See how I used ‘each other’ twice in the same sentence? Get used to that sort of thing in this book.
The dialogue between the characters is stilted and robotic. I may be far removed from being 14 anymore but even I know this doesn’t work.
Every situation that could have been cause for well developed teenage drama is smoothed over with a hug and an ‘I love you ‘. I kept reading hoping the author ended a chapter truly different but I was wrong. Closest thing to a villain is a teenage boy who needs an ass kicking before a trip to jail and we are denied even that.
I sincerely hope the author will keep trying but we are going to need a thesaurus IV and a content editor stat.

Book Review – Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson

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Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1)

Cidney Swanson
5 stars
Cidney takes a classic wish we’ve all shared I’m sure, invisibility, and gives us a new and exciting twist.
Samantha is your typical 15 year old girl, right? Except that she’s not your typical 15 year old girl at all. Sam, to her friends, has faced tragedy in her young life. Losing her mother and best friend in a hit and run by a drunk driver mars what should be joyful childhood years. Now Sam is finally starting to regain her happiness. One of her childhood friends has returned and she has the serious beginnings of a crush on her cross country teammate Will.
Just as things are starting to look up, something happens on the team building rafting trip. Sam just vanishes, and Will knows something is going on. After helping her cover up for her disappearance, Will becomes her confidante as Sam tries to figure out just what happens when she “ripples”.
Conspiracy theories and a dark history reaching all the way from Nazi Germany threaten the lives of Sam, Will, and his sister Mickie. Can they discover who is after them in time to stop their nefarious plot? Or will they be victims of another accident?

 

Rippler on Amazon

Book Review – Everblade by G.M. Browning

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Everblade
G.M. Browning
5 Stars

Everblade has everything a High Fantasy should have my Gentle Readers. Swords and sorcery, betrayal and love. Alek and his lifelong mentor Oskar must stop Alek’s brother Darren from unlocking the full power of the legendary Gateway of Realms.
Darren’s first attempt to control this ancient and powerful magic dumps his brother and Oskar in a realm thought to be myth. As the duo seeks a way to get home and stop Darren’s dark plot, they are swept up in the renewed war against an evil sorceress from the same myth of their home world.
To stop his brother and the evil sorceress, Alek must find a weapon of magical bane, the Everblade. This won’t be as easy as simply stepping into an armory or vault and collecting the powerful weapon. That just won’t do. Along the way there must be struggle and hardship.
Can Alek stop his brother before he enslaves countless worlds with his growing mastery of the Gateway of Realms? Pick up “Everblade” to find out. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Everblade on Amazon

 

Book Review – The Vampire Keeper by Sabrina Street

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The Vampire Keeper
Sabrina Street
3 Stars

Sabrina Street’s debut novel has such potential. There is a story here that should be told, but it was a little difficult to sift through and find it. The Bad – lots of proofreading/typographical errors, the constant point of view shifts can be jarring and steal much from the story line by making the reader jump from head to head of the main characters. If it were two characters, clearly distinguished it might work better. When you hop sometimes two or three times in a couple pages, it makes it difficult to read.

This is not to say the story is without any merit. I think the concept of Larkin, a troubled and dispirited vampire is intriguing. The idea of a vampire having the special Keepers is gold. The lead female, Jezalyn, is sweet in her sheltered innocence trying to break free of an overbearing and vastly paranoid grandfather. The twist at the end will leave you wondering a few things.

I am not in the habit of revealing spoilers from the books I review, so I will not start here. I will say that I have some questions for the author that I am hoping to get answers to sometime in the future, perhaps in an interview, or in a book two.

The Vampire Keeper on Amazon

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