Monday, August 31, 2015

Bloodmarked by Lu J. Whitley

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal, Supernatural Thriller, and Dark Comedy
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars
Editing/Proofreading: 5/5
Linguistics/Stylistics: 6/5
Plot Development: 4/5
Plot Pacing: 4/5
Character Development: 5/5
Rating: 18+ for profanity, graphic violence, and sexual language and situations.
You saw your mother die an unspeakable death. You then get kidnapped by a fearsome (but mysteriously sexy) stranger who insists he trying to carry you to safety. You spend the next few days on the run with said fearsome and mysteriously sexy stranger and find your lust for him growing exponentially. You are then separated from your fearsome and mysteriously sexy friend and find yourself in a gigantic castle equipped with all sorts of Medieval torture devices. When you demand to speak to the person in charge, you find yourself sitting across a huge desk from…your dad? it would be enough for you to say “F this!”
Meet Greta Brandt, the kick-ass heroine in Lu J. Whitley’s Bloodmarked. She goes on the run with Jaromir after the Takers murder her mother in a hideous fashion. Along the way, Greta learns that her entire life has been a lie, that she is not the person she always thought she was, and that she is powerfully attracted to Jaromir, who reciprocates her feelings but knows that indulging in their mutual attraction could be dangerous for both of them.
I loved the snarky, sassy tone the characters used with each other, and the dialogue is awesome (think “How to Train Your Dragon” but with a lot more profanity and sexual innuendo). This adds a strong element of dark humor to the book. Greta and Jaromir spend most of the novel bickering like an old married couple, and later Greta gives Stein (Jaromir’s troll friend whom he has assigned to deliver Greta to safety) a dose of attitude and an enormous headache. The book even hints at Greta’s attraction to Stein, but her loyalty to Jaromir wins out. The characters are superbly developed. I think Greta is my new role model. Both Jaromir and Stein work for the Fraktion, an organization devoted to eliminating the Takers and other unsavory creatures, and protect those who have become targets for Takers and other unsavory creatures.
Another thing I liked about this book was its dash of Deutschland. The author sprinkles bits of German culture and language in the plot and characters.
Although the plot flows well and is in general well-developed, the abrupt shifts in point of view became a distraction. In many parts of the book, the point of view would suddenly change with no clear transition. I had to re-read many of the sentences over again just to be sure whose point of view I was following. And I was excitedly following the intense action of the book all the way to a somewhat anti-climatic ending. I am a lot more forgiving of loose ends and cliffhangers when there is a sequel in the works (there is), but this ending just wasn’t 100% satisfying. But I guess Ms. Whitley’s going to make me read the sequel ;). As Greta would say, “Get over yourself and focus.”
I highly recommend this book for its entertaining plot and lovable characters

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Knights of Dixie Wild by K. Meador


No period in the history of the United States of America forms a field so rich with chivalry, romance and drama as the years between 1865 and 1870, the so-called days of the reconstruction of the South, during which period the Nation was born again and started on its climb to the top rung of power among the nations of the world. 

The Tyler family relocates from Mississippi to Texas for a new start after having to give up their plantation and over one hundred slaves as a result of the War Between the States. 

Buck Tyler, also known as The Knight of the Dixie Wilds, is tested in courage, strength, loyalty, endurance and love. Facing hardships, deception, enemies, prison, and death, the years of reconstruction takes a toll on his energy, body and faith. 

Buck finds himself in love with two different women. Maggie, the dark skinned woman of his childhood and Kate, the delicate girl-child he found lost in the woods. 

Would he stand firm through the scenes of bloodshed, disappointment, and sorrow? Would he stand the acid test and, in the end, find victory, peace, and happiness? Or would he weaken in the strenuous struggle ahead and fall ingloriously? 

A harrowing adventure, based on true events, that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat and thinking upon days past…

What reviewers are saying: 

"Knight of the Dixie Wilds was a surprising romp through history. K. Meador takes the reader down a historic path, through brush and bramble of the Civil War era where we meet Buck Tyler, an extraordinary young man whose well-to-do family has fell on hard times. They move to Texas and Buck's adventures ensue. Through passages of careful symmetry of text and with the historic verbiage of the age(1861-1865), page by page, I was taken to a world of florid, genteel times entwined with the absolute horrors of the Civil War and the dealings of the KKK of the times. I was at once captivated with Buck's heroic nature and the fact that the story is based on true events made this book a true must read! By the end, I was chiming the sentiment, "There was never but one Buck Tyler, Knight of the Dixie Wilds!"-Kindle Customer

"A fascinating story about the reconstruction years following the end of the Civil War. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first began reading this story. In school, we learned about the Civil War but never went much beyond the years of reconstruction that took place after it ended, but this work of American fiction with its engrossing characters and a well-crafted storyline about a young man, Buck, and the losses, struggles and trials he and his family had to endure to start their lives over again cast light on what life must have been like trying to set roots in a wild frontier. These people who'd once had servants and didn't have to do manual labor had lost it all in the war and were now challenged to start over in recovering their losses while trying to survive in an untamed country running amok with bandits and criminals. Told in the genteel language and manner of the time period, is a great example of how well-written fiction stands the test of time.

Throughout Buck's adventures and mis-adventures, he garners the faith and loyalty from those surrounding him, from a freed Negro slave to a small tribe of Indians. Much like Civil War/reconstruction classic, Gone With the Wind, there's language and references in this story that reflects the beliefs (and prejudices) of the time period that, to me, shows how far we've come, and how far we've yet to go. 5 Stars to The Knight of the Dixie Wilds."-BookBelle

To check it out:

Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone by Lynne Murray


Planet Valkyrie carries a risky amount of Gravitas, a top secret aphrodisiac embedded in the Ritual Jewelry around her neck. Before she can trade it, she is attacked by an angry warrior from slave-holding Planet Roggr. Sybil lands on Earth—in the Forbidden Zone. Rescue is impossible, all portals are sealed. Can Sybil protect herself, shield her hazardous cargo and find a way home before the Gravitas destroys her?

What Reviewers are Saying:

I loved the plot of this amazing novella. It has a really, really unique concept of having a planet where women dominate men and they undertake several husbands to look after the estate and home affairs. Lynne Murray successfully created a unique world that is both believable and marvellous. It’s uniqueness really stood out and I was longing to be able to visit this wondrous place (but only if they’ll allow a human from earth to visit their planet!)
I loved the attention she paid to all the small details. Everything sounded so beautiful and real. The concept of humans worshiping the alien visitors was hilarious and interesting, I mean what if the world in the book is really ‘real’! God, that will be amazing!
The over all structure of the book is great and it keeps you glued to the book from staring to end.

I absolutely loved Val-Sybilla (a Valkyrian.) She is the strongest and the most independent female leads I’ve ever read. She is beautiful in her own way and I love this about her. The second character I loved in this book is Gelbrave. Initially I hated him but the author worked up her magic in showing his growth in the story. By the end I found him to be extremely humble and adorable.
Rest of the characters were also amazing and I was able to feel a connection with each one of them.

There was a lot of romance, or should I say, Gravitas propelled lust. Sybil carried around huge amount of Gravitas with her in a ritual jewellery and it made people get attracted to her sexually. So everyone kind of wanted to take her. But, the relationship between Josu and Sybil was beautiful. It was a true-love relationship and I loved the fact that he always supported her.

Lynne Murray’s writing is beautiful. It’s subtle and had an easy flow to it. I was lost in the story as soon as I started reading it. No complicated sentence-structures and no unnecessary tongue twisting words – just perfect.
At some points her subtle sense of humour made me laugh. It was a great experiences and for a novella, this book is amazing. Not too long, not too short, just the right length.

I loved the beginning, the first chapter started right in between a complex situation (as you can guess from the first line, see below) and then the author explaines how they got there and then later picks up from there and tells what happens after that first scene. The structure of this books is so amazing that it’ll grip you right from the first page.

The ending is perfect. It had the right amount of drama, action, emotions and logic. I enjoyed it and it made me smile broadly after finishing the book.

Cover Art:
I love the cover art. It’s stylish and beautiful. And the red hair girl goes well with the description on Sybil. The colors on the cover really stand out. It’s one of the two reasons I read this book.

The blurb is intriguing and is the second reason for me to accept this book for review-The Reading Bud

"This book is too much fun to miss. I've read all of this wonderful author's earlier books and was happy to find a new one. Lynne Murray is skilled at creating gripping stories in multiple genres -- science fiction, fantasy, mystery/detective, romance, etc. As is true in all of her work, Gravitas is filled jokes that do literally make me laugh out loud and call people so I can read them the jokes so we can laugh together. As funny as Murray is, she is also brilliant and I am delighted by the evidence of her wide ranging intellect. In Gravitas Murray takes on the human tendency to create religions and deify weirdness when they don't destroy it. She creates in just a few strokes a variety of planetary societies that place in perspective various human habits and peculiarities. She creates a profession -- the xenopsychologists -- whose practitioners figure out the human species' deification preoccupation and understand why it is such a problem for the human inhabitants of our planet. In explaining this all, Murray takes us on a tour of historically and geographically based religious ideas and establishments. What a delightful take on religions. I am moved, amazed, and inspired by the number of social justice issues Murray includes in this short novel and the interconnectedness of those issues -- slavery, sexism, sexual expression, body image bigotry, peace, income distribution, and others. Not the positions she takes (I agree with her on all those issues) but the clarity and ease with which she interweaves them makes the reader (me, the reader) realize once again the redemptive power of the best science fiction/fantasy whether utopian or dystopian. I hope lots of people read this book and enjoy it as much as I did."-Susan Koppelman

To check it out:

JET: Oblivion by Kim Cresswell.


After a catastrophic terrorist attack at a nuclear plant in California, JET, Mossad’s former deadliest operative, is leading a quiet life off the grid two-hundred-and-seventy miles away with her young daughter. But peace is short-lived when former FBI agent, Hal Decker, and ex-intelligence officer, Angela Donahue, track Jet down and blackmail her into helping them stop a new threat. 

In a race against the clock the team must hunt down an al Qaeda terrorist cell working with the Sur del Calle cartel before a dirty bomb is smuggled out of Colombia and into the United States unleashing a deadlier attack at a second nuclear facility.

What reviewers are saying:

"Ready for heart-pounding action? Ever wonder what would happen if Russell Blake’s Jet teamed up with Kim Cresswell’s Hal Decker and Angela Donahue? For sure the world must be on the brink of disaster, with little to no hope, why else call in the big guns? JET: Oblivion, by Kim Cresswell is a rapid-fire race for survival, filled with action, danger, suspense and even the story of how far a mother will go to protect her child.

Hang on for a white-knuckle race against time to find a deadly al Qaeda cell working with a Colombian cartel to attack and destroy a nuclear facility in the U.S. The results will be deadly, the death toll, catastrophic and only one team of agents have any hope of preventing the disaster, if time and luck play on their team. One former FBI agent, one former Intelligence officer and one of Mossad’s most efficient agents run the gauntlet, with only each other to depend on, will they learn to trust in each other? Respect each other?

Underhanded tricks, blackmail and desperation make for strange allies, and Kim Cresswell has brought it all together in a quick, yet powerful tale sure to satisfy every adventure-loving reader out there, especially those with little time to sit back and escape into another world."-Dii

"This book is exceptionally written. Very easy to stay with the plot, fast moving and very smooth.

This leaves you with some scary thoughts!

Very real to the point of wanting to check out every one who works in an important position.

As for the plot... Like I said its very real, especially in this time of our lives, makes you think and wonder.

I loved the character Jet!

This was the first time reading her series and it won't be the last..

Jet is a formative female with a super ability to preserver in many ways.

If you like strong women, fast moving action and a great read this is the book for you!- Joann Brown

"I Loved it!! It was a Great read!! It felt like going home... Seeing familiar faces, and meeting new ones! Lots of action, and just a great story!! Kim makes the characters real, and you feel like you know them!-Mary Daniels

To check it out:

Through Trials and Towers (Tal'Avern Chronicles Volume 3) by Scott Borgman


As the harsh winter ends, Tal'Avern is on the brink of war. The great wall that stretched across the southern border of the Province has been destroyed and is engulfed in flames, but the fires won't burn for long. When they go out, the waiting hordes of goblins and Slaath will sweep up from the Ashlands and into the Province unchallenged. In the lands of Mar'Druk, the dwarves will be facing a relentless foe against the combined might of the united clans of orcs. 

What chance does the world have against such odds? What hope is there against armies who are led by a god that is bent on conquering the world? Against dragons that can't be killed, who bring death and destruction with their very breath? 

Varik, Chaz, Camila, and Wrinn begin their search for the lost towers of Zanimarith, where they hope to find the answers to defeating Visanith, while Jenna, Rhogar, and Esmara head off in search of a way to fight back against the dragons. 

If they fail, Tal'Avern will fall to the darkness that is poised to sweep north and engulf the entire world. The stage is set. The war is about to begin. And everyone has a part to play in it.

To check it out:

Darkness and Dragons (Tal'Avern Chronicles Volume 2) by Scott Borgman


The world of Tal’Avern is in turmoil. In the northern part of the Province, an open rebellion has raged for more than two years against Queen Salia, which began shortly after she assumed the throne. To the west, in the lands of Mar’Druk, the dwarves stay isolated within their mountain cities, wanting nothing to do with the problems that plague their once-close allies. And to the south, in the hot and desolate lands known as the Ashlands, something stirs and looks to the north with desires of war and conquest. Old friends will reunite, and new companions will join their cause as a harsh winter sets in. Time is growing short. When spring arrives, the Second Great War is certain to begin. The dwarves will need allies if they hope to survive, while Salia faces threats on two sides. Even the shadow realm falls under attack. A darkness is coming, and with it - dragons.

What Reviewers are saying: 

"Again a very well written book. There were shades of characters from Tolkins world, but they were defined in different ways. I have no more issue with that then all the authors who write about vampires, or shifters. They each have their own methods of making the characters their own, putting their own spin on the actions of all of them. Scot managed to make his characters unique to his story. Well done! I would recommend these books to anyone of any age, who enjoys fantasy. The books are geared towards adults, but are also OK for older children to enjoy."-Jane Elizabeth

"Things are happening that is weird. When the threat of war looming in the Ashlands is discovered & questions arise. And dragons, creatures of myth that are rumored to not exist anymore , fly in the skies again

Awesome books"-Paula G. 

To check it out:

Province of a Thief (Tal' Avern Chronicles Book 1) by Scott Borgman


For as long as she can remember, Jaelyth has been a thief. And she's good. But when a successful job suddenly turns sour, the thief finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of events that forces her to flee the only city she's ever known in a desperate search for answers. Even the shadows that have always been her greatest ally will not help her. They hold the greatest danger of all. 

Along with an unlikely group of allies, the search for answers will take them from the only city Jaelyth has ever known to the far corners of the Province as they discover that things are not what they seem, and that there are more questions than answers.

What Reviewers are Saying: 

"In Province of a Thief, Scott Borgman takes us to a high fantasy world where magic is real, thieves and assassins have guilds and secret plots lurk in the shadows. The heroine, Jaelyth, is a master thief, the best in town. She can’t remember a time before she was a thief. She has mastered stealth and thieving skills to the point where she can see herself paying off the debt that keeps her working for the Thieves Den and “graduating” to possibly start her own Den in another city. But fate takes her life in a completely unexpected direction, and her missing memories turn out to be no accident.

The action in this book turns in unexpected directions and takes Jaelyth on a journey she (and this reader) couldn’t have imagined. I this being a good book for young adult readers too because it is classic sword and sorcery fantasy in the vein of Tolkien, T.H White and Tamora Pierce (rather than the noir kind of dark fantasy in the George R.R. Martin vein)."-Lynne Murry

"I honestly loved the story. The storyline was twisted (meaning I was unable to figure everything out in advance!) The development of the plot and characters was pretty much flawless. The descriptions throughout were very through, but not overdone. The movie played in my head as I was reading, which is great! I HIGHLY recommend the book."-Jane Elizabeth"

To check it out:

Soul Discovery (Book 5 of the Soul Journey Series) by Miranda Shanklin

Annisa and her group have finally made it to the point where they don’t have to watch over their shoulders for someone trying to destroy them. They have put together a system that allows the other realms access to our realm and they are still able to keep an eye on them. Will the faeries and the trolls outsmart them and accomplish their goal? Will Annisa and the others be able to obtain enough support to keep their realm intact? Or will the faeries and trolls destroy all that this realm stands for? Chase and Annisa have taken on a task that they are not sure if they can accomplish without the help of the others who have to stay behind and keep things running smoothly at the passageways. They will have to be creative and convincing to pull this one off and create a truce between all the realms.
What reviewers are saying:
"I really loved the fresh approach to a paranormal story. It was a little slow at start, but, it did not take long for me to become hooked. I can't wait to find out what happens next."-V. Hudson
"Miranda did a great job rounding out the ending leaving me satisfied with the complete story. If you haven't picked up book 1 in the soul saver series and are into paranormal YA I would recommend this series to you."-Caitlin
To check it out:

Soul Freedom (Book 4 of the Soul Journey Series) by Miranda Shanklin

With the stress of graduation and planning weddings, Annisa and her group of friends want to end things with the Counsel once and for all. They strengthen their bond to the strongest it can be and go on the offensive. After they achieve their goal, they find that was not their only problem. Now they have to figure out who will be the next Counsel, and how to deal with other realms that have found their way in. While the group guards over the Origin, Annisa goes with members of the other realms to track down the wayward travelers, before they cause too much damage in our realm. To prevent this from happeningagain or any damage that may result, the group, along with their newly appointed Counsel, must come up with a system to allow other realms access to our realm, so they don’t have to constantly be on the lookout for trespassers from other realms. Can it be done in time for Annisa and her friends to enjoy graduation, and Annisa's upcoming nuptials? With the help of friends and family, it just may be possible!
What reviewers are saying:
"This book is probably my favourite of the series so far...This one kept up at a steady pace and had me interested the entire time. I can't wait to see where Miranda takes them next."-Caitlin
"I was so engrossed in reading this book that I didn't even realize I was close to the end until I turned the page to the 'about the author' blurb"-Amanda Wise
To check it out:

Soul Knowledge (Book 3 of the Soul Journey Series) by Miranda Shanklin

Annisa Lawson and her friends were getting pretty good at surviving. So far, they have defeated every force sent to destroy them. So when they are faced with new forces they had never thought possible, they were not entirely prepared. They were scrambling to catch up their magickal knowledge of the forces that were being sent after them. With their newly strengthened bond, they would have to work together to triumph. Just when they think they have it all figured out, something new pops up.
They are offered help, but will it be enough to once again overcome the forces working against them? The highly misunderstood forces in play will either help or hinder them; the question is, who do they trust?
The collective uncertainty and lack of knowledge could be the downfall of the entire group, testing their ability to trust in their own power, and that of each other. Can they overcome these forces and once again defend their special bond from destruction?
What reviewers are saying:
"A real rollercoaster of a ride. With spells gone wrong, kidnappings, destruction and love put to the ultimate test"-Samaris
"This series is amazing. The way the author portrays witches is very unique. This book was full of action and suspense. It was hard to put down. All the characters are interesting and believable"-Angie Campbell
To check it out:

Soul Redemption (Book 2 of the Soul Journey Series) by Miranda Shanklin

Just when Annisa and her friends were starting to think maybe the Counsel would leave them alone, two new students arrive at school. In any other town, new students wouldn’t be a sign that something big was about to happen to Annisa, Chase, Landon, and Penelope; but this wasn’t a normal town and they weren’t normal teenagers. They had come into their powers and defeated the most feared assassin in their world, so the appearance of new witches in their small town could only mean one thing…..the Counsel was ready to make another attempt to destroy them.

After watching the new students alienate them from everyone they know, including their parents, Annisa and her friends break through the spell and things start to calm down for them. It’s not until an old enemy returns with news that will shock them that they realize everything is not as it seems. Now they have to decide whether or not to trust an old enemy claiming to help them, or try and fight against the Counsel’s most trusted Advisors on their own.

The choice the group makes will change their lives forever.
What reviewers are saying:
"This second book in the Soul Series, captures your attention and imagination, even better than the first book. You live through the characters. You feel what they feel, become angry at what happens to know them inside and out. If you like fantasy/romance/suspense/action/and young adult drama, this is the book series for you. 10/10!"-Crystal
"Lots of twists here with the witches coming into their powers. Great story!" Pamijo
To check it out:

Soul Journey (Book 1 of the Soul Journey Series) by Miranda Shanklin

It has been many lifetimes since the cycle began.

The cycle that still haunts Annisa Lawson.

A spell cast in desperation to help, which only caused heartache.

Now, Annisa has found her way out of the varying repeats of her past; only to bring more danger to herself, and those around her. Now she must learn to survive with the help of her friends: Chase, Penelope, and Landon have all gone through each life cycle with Annisa. Sometimes helping, sometimes hindering. Now that Annisa has broken the cycle of their collective punishment, she finds that she needs her friends more than ever to keep their enemies, known, and unknown, at bay. As the group of friends learn of their souls' journeys through their many life cycles, they must also learn to control the magick they have discovered within themselves and each other, in order to defeat the most feared assassin in their world. 
What reviews have said about Soul Journey:
"Such an amazing book!!!I don't even know where to begin... the feels, the conflict & uncertantity of life is almost too much for Annisa, but she recovers beautifully and accecpts her new found lot in life with grace & dignity." -Amanda Wise
"Fantastic coming of age story with a fun Sci-fi/Fantasy twist! The description of magic and how it's wielded was absolutely beautiful, it actually gave me chills. Book 2, Soul Redemption is definitely on my TBR!"-K.D
"What a suspenseful book to read. I loved all the characters. They were very well liked. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a book that is a YA book with great characters that you will love to read about.k has it all... mystery, love, conflict, regret, action... I have throughly enjoyed it!"-Tamra Cordery
To check it out:

The Tides of Time by P.A. Williams

The Poetic Blurb:

From the shadows I will come, 
to rip the minds and souls of everyone, 
to feast upon the flesh of fools and wench, 
to bathe within the blood of the fallen taking in every aroma and stench, 
to face the one who holds the key, 
to his or my destiny... 

From the darkness he will breathe, 
from the tomb he will leave, 
to begin a journey to watch the flames burn, 
everything and all, 
as the tides of time start to call, 
the tides start to call....

This is Book 3 in the Dark Clown series.

To check it out:

The Fires of Al Yon by P.A. Williams


Ten years have passed since the Battle of Southwell, peace flitters across the whole of Neduin. But a new deadlier enemy will rise from the shadows, hungry for blood and hungry for revenge, spreading his fires of terror from Snowspire all the way towards the Kingdom of the High King. 

Jonas Yale has to make a decision...a decision that could affect the whole of Neduin. Meanwhile, two thieves start an adventure that will lead them to treasures and terror, resulting in the discovery of an ancient evil from Neduin’s past that could destroy them all.

What a Reviewer had to say:

"An interesting and adventurous journey in an imaginative world, with plenty of action, intrigue, and unique characters."-Rainne

To check it out:

The Snake of Snowspire by P.A Williams


A storm rages in the north region of Neduin. Snowspire sits amongst the snowfields and cold dark forests. It's two distinct towering spires like great booming gravestones rise high above the city walls, casting its grey dark shadow upon the ground below. A greedy king waits for the arrival of the King from the East with hoards of gold to pay for his services and men. The King of the East seeks men to increase his own army as they venture south toward the High King's castle to take the throne for his own. But to gain these men he must put a plan into motion with various pieces in place. Unknown to him the High King aware of the army in the north, formulates his own plan which begins with the arrival of a stranger who has traveled from the south toward the kingdom of Snowspire, with murder on his mind . . . 
Away from Snowspire a soothsayer watches the events unfold, yet when the time comes will her involvement cause the downfall of Neduin? Or will a more sinister person cast the first stone to bring the Realm down upon its knees . . .

What Reviewers Are saying:

"This is not usually the type of genre that I go for but I was sucked into the story straight away. This is a fabulous book. Shades of George Martin, Narnia and a very, very dark Tolkien. All written in a crisp, economical style which is hard to believe comes from a first time author. Can't wait for the next in the series."-Truth42.

To check it out:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Wastelanders by Tim Hemlin


America is controlled by a corporate oligarchy known as the Water Cartel and warrior-priest Joey Hawke finds himself trapped between a mysterious geneticist amassing a clone army and a group of political fanatics convinced that a dead president will rise from his tomb to lead them to salvation. Caught outside his spiritual haven when the Cartel moves against the Wastelanders, Joey is aided by Bear, an enigmatic weapons runner, Moon, a lovesick Scrapwoman, and Bernie Hawke, his estranged father. But against the Cartel's military strength, led by the power hungry Rex Fielder, Joey's only hope may be Si-Ting, a young woman with prescient abilities--a woman who not only holds the key to his heart but also to an American conspiracy to crown its future with the withered laurels of the past.

Here is what reviewer Peaceseeker said about The Wastelanders:

'The Wastelanders' paints a disturbing picture of a dystopian society in America in 2116. The character development is layered and skilful and I was reminded very much of George Orwell's '1984': the ubiquity of the spy network, the menace and the mercilessness, the corruption and amorality: the totality of control in what is left of a clapped-out world destroyed by the senseless greed and paranoia of those in power. And yet beyond the totalitarian bubble - along its rim, and in the Wasteland beyond, populated by the banished - against apparently impossible odds comes the hint of a savior.
When we get into the Wasteland we find the anarchy that pervades 'Mad Max'. This is an allegorical journey through a futuristic hell on earth, which I will not describe because you need to make your own ËœPilgrim's Progress" through it. Suffice it to say that while it is a harrowing journey, it is one well worth making. Power brokers have initiated their own equivalent of the burning of the Reichstag Building in order to justify a kind of genocide presided over by the looming absence of a Fuehrer with a plan to live a thousand years. By the 21st century, cloning has reached a whole new level.
Tim Hemlin is a poet, and more than anything else his poet's perception enriches this book. Bone meal breaks beneath the brittle sun. Light deliquesces into darkness. There is an ellipsis of rooks. Coils of contempt tighten upon a face. He's a dab hand at telling similes: The long shadow of the late Leonard Malcolm Litz darkened the room like the stubble on Dick Nixon's face. The sun, like a flaming ball of barbed wire, scarred the sky. Expect strong metaphors as well, of course: the grin was a cheap coat against hard rain, the place had the stability of a home-made bomb; it was a toilet bowl waiting to be flushed. Light the color of bad teeth began its daily infection, gradually eating away at the meat of darkness.
Do not expect to be able to suspend your disbelief; but instead accept it as apocalyptic allegory, luxuriate in its language and give due consideration to its message: this is a state of affairs we seriously need to avoid, and the time to act is now.

To check it out:

The Kota by Sunshine Somerville


The future is an ugly place, but we are not left without hope...
Earth in Trok's day is plagued by war and the deadly DRK virus. Then his world is turned upside-down by Kota prophesies that explain how the world will be saved - prophecies that say he'll become the immortal Interceder. 
Five hundred years later, the prophesied Kota Warriors are born. Loree is gifted with perfect hand/eye coordination and invisibility. Her brother, Zaak, has mutate-genes that enhance his senses. A girl named Alex turns out to be a telepath. Her brother, Ryu, is blessed with incredible mutate-genes of strength. 
However, nothing about these children is what Trok expected, and the world is now in chaos...
Centuries of war have left entire countries in ruin, abandoned, and the global population suffers from poverty, the plague of the DRK, and oppression under a global tyranny known as the Dominion.  
Will the Warriors be able to make a difference? Working in the background, Trok knows that bringing down the Dominion and stopping the DRK will take a miracle. But how things come together surprises even him.

Here is what reviewer EJ Feddes said about The Kota:

It's rare to find a writer who can invoke a rich variety of influences without ever being derivative. Somerville does exactly that with "The Kota", presenting an original voice, a compelling story, and rich characters.

This is a difficult book to briefly summarize, because just when you think you've figured out what kind of story it's going to be, "Kota" goes in a new direction. It's big and intricate at the same time, combining pulpy action scenes with thoughtful ideas and clever and expansive world-building. "Kota" is clearly a labor of love, and you can tell the Warriors have been living in Somerville's head for a long time - they feel new and familiar at the same time, and I think that's down to just how well she knows her characters.

"Kota" occasionally evokes inspirations that I know and love. A trace of Claremont-era X-Men here, some Star Wars there, a bit of '70s Steve Gerber off to the side. But it's always just that - an inspiration. They never overwhelm or determine the course of the story, and anything that seems at first like it might be familiar quickly turns into something new and different.

The story is enthralling and the plotting is incredibly solid. It's a long book, but there isn't any fat to trim. All of it matters. And Somerville excels at explaining complicated ideas, but she can still sell a big set piece - she can involve you in the life of a man who exists outside time just as well as she can blow things up. It's exciting to see somebody this talented working in a genre that is too often filled with slapdash wish-fulfillment and barely-concealed movie pitches.

In short, it's a propulsive and powerful read with moments of genuine beauty.
To check it out:

Eternal Curse: Giovanni's Angel by Toi Thomas


“You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.”

Giovanni has been waiting his whole life to meet someone like Mira, someone from the outside world who might be able to help him. He wonders if there really is help for him as he continues to hold tightly onto dark secrets and even darker memories. Giovanni wants to be hopeful and he wants to accept Mira’s help, but first he has to look himself in the mirror and face what he truly is- and that is a reality no one is quite ready to accept.

Searching for new purpose and meaning in her life, Mira meets Giovanni online and an exciting and, in some ways, scary friendship is developed. Mira decides one day to meet Giovanni in person, at his secluded country home, in order to aid him on his journey of self-discovery. What these two are able to discover will not only test their strength and will, but it will stretch the limits of their minds and catapult them into a world where earth, Heaven, and Hell collide.

Giovanni’s Angel is the story of a man who may just be the answer to a spiritual war swiftly heading his way- but for now, he just wants to be a man.

This is what Reviewer TriciaAnne said about Eternal Curse:

"When Mira agrees to help the mysterious Giovanni, she has no idea what she's getting herself into. Giovanni is desperate for someone to help him figure out what makes him so different, in appearance and in certain abilities and strengths. Mira is a brilliant doctor who is willing to put her personal and professional life on hold in order to help him. Friendship evolves between Mira, Giovanni, and his old friend Abraham. The three build bonds of trust, but there is still a huge secret waiting in the wings - who Giovanni really is and what he can become. Until Mira has all the pieces of the puzzle, she can't truly help Giovanni. And until Giovanni can learn to accept himself, he can't expect Mira to accept him either.

This story is part medical mystery, part romance with a rich paranormal storyline at the heart of it. The story also delves into many philosophical issues. What makes a man a man? How is evil defined? Can you love another person if you can't love yourself? I loved the characters in this story, particularly Mira. She's intelligent, compassionate, and independent. Despite her independence, she's as alone and isolated as Giovanni. She's never felt like she truly belonged anywhere, and she's never known a sense of family. As she becomes more and more attached to Giovanni and Abraham, you can see how her vulnerabilities affect her, especially when she feels like secrets are being kept from her.

Both Gio and Mira undergo serious transformation in this book as they learn from each other and from a tragic loss. This book was a very enjoyable read and I was sorry for it to end. Fortunately, the sequel is being released soon! I'd recommend this book to readers who are looking for a thought-provoking story with a unique twist."

To Check it out:

A View From the Sixth Floor By Elizabeth Noreen Newton

This romantic thriller takes a fictional "what if" look at the JFK assassination. Suppose accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had lived to defend himself. Imagine if 50 years after the assassination someone stepped forward to reveal the truth of what happened that day. What if the assassination was a conspiracy and the impact of those revelations reached into the 21st century. This the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. You'll never look at your neighbors the same way.


Here are what some reviewers are saying about A View From the Sixth Floor

"When Olivia [Livvy] begins to tell her own story related to Lee Harvey Oswald and JFK's assassination, I thought it was a Forward by the author telling about why she wrote the book. "OK, so she had a reason," I thought. "Let's get on with the story." I moved on to the first chapter. Wait a minute. It said Chapter Two. Looking at the previous page showed me that Chapter Two followed what went before, so I paged back, page by page to find where Page One was. I ended up where I thought the author was giving the reason for writing the book. Did I say book? I meant masterpiece.

I only include this minor embarrassment to show the skill with which the author Elizabeth Horton-Newton begins her book to show the skill with which she creates a realistic feel to her writing in this book.

Early in the book Livvy's husband George dies, but references to him live, for next door is his best friend Bill. On his deathbed he has Bill pledge to protect Livvy. Protect? From what? The author doesn't say, but the reader knows something in which George and Bill are involved is a potential threat to Livvy.

Bill does all the neighborly things for Livvy like mowing the lawn, but there is no hanky-panky going on between them. Bill does not drive, so Livvy takes him shopping and on errands. They become fast friends. But when Livvy announces her desire to go to Dallas on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, Bill is adamant about her not going. She decides to go anyway and Bill accompanies her. To protect her? From what?

Most of the book then is about the trip to Dallas with Bill and Livvy eventually becoming lovers and Livvy discovering what Bill has been running from for 50 years. The trip is thrilling and suspenseful, as reported above---a masterpiece.

This 5-star book is highly recommended"

"I read this book in one setting and was wanting more. It was a true riddle and I too fell in love with Kort. The ending wasn't predictable. I thought I had it figured out and then I was really surprised. The romance is hot and steamy. I cried, laughed, and screamed at the characters. The book is so well written I felt like I was there and a part of the unfolding mystery. Great job!"-Cathy

To check out A View From the Sixth Floor:

Four Days by Jamie Campbell

Told in the first person (past tense), "Four Days" is Luci's story of collapse and rebuild; of broken love and the promise of future love - and redemption. A Contemporary Romance that includes a road trip through New Zealand, a hero, villains, a foul-mouthed best friend, and tennis.

Luci's Wijn's six year career as a professional tennis player started with early promise; then came mediocrity; then came life as just another obscure player moving from tournament to tournament. With her career in limbo and her personal life in turmoil Luci has spent the last six months hiding from the challenges ahead. But at her best friend's wedding it dawns on Luci that she has only four days until her first tournament of the year. With life on and off the court catching up with her, and events conspiring against her, Luci has no choice but to let a man she hardly knows help her through what just might be the most important four days of her life.


Here is what reviewer Ashleigh Zavarelli said about Four Days:

"Four days. Two people who are struggling to find themselves. A twist of fate.

These are the ingredients of a great romance novel.

When Luci and Jimmy find themselves on an unexpected road trip through New Zealand, the journey quickly becomes about much more than reaching the final destination.

Along the way, we learn about the characters, as well as the backdrop around them. Luci is Flemish, Jimmy is a New Zealander. They both have a love and passion for sport, and they both feel the pressure to perform.

When they practice together, you can clearly see the parallels of Luci’s inner conflict and the weaknesses in her game. I thought this was a brilliant way of deepening her character and allowing us to get to know to know her in the subtlest of ways. So often you find authors telling you what a character is thinking or feeling. This was not the case with Jamie Campbell. The highest compliment you can pay to a reader is to allow them to see these details for themselves.

By the end, Jimmy and Luci’s personalities were so imprinted on my mind that I’d felt as though I’d known them for years. He was the calm in her storm. The man who took the time to observe and reflect on his surroundings in a way that most never did. He was kind and patient, and sweet in the simplest of ways.

Luci, on the other hand, was complicated. She was socially stunted in some ways due to her circumstances, and she wore her emotional armor well. She admits that she feels younger than her age, and you can clearly see this shining through in her personality. She is Quiet. Stuck inside her head too much sometimes, and very curious at others. She is funny in a dry way, with her broken English and attempt to make sense of the world around her.

The interactions these characters have together are simple, yet powerful and moving. I would dare say that it would be impossible not to read this book and reflect on some of your own shortfalls and misgivings as a person.

Heartache, acceptance, growth, love… this book has it all.

If you are looking for something to pass the time, this isn’t it. You will become emotionally invested. You will feel emotions on opposite ends of the spectrums. And when the last page has been read, you will yearn for more.

Hats off to Jamie Campbell for writing such a beautiful story."

To check it out: