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Graveshift by Michael Haspil Review

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Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift

Michael F. Haspil

 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books

 

ISBN: 978-0765379627
Pages: 352

 

Goodreads Rating: 3.68
My Rating: 4.5

 

Book Description:

Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.

Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

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My take on the book:

As a native Miami girl, I was pretty excited that this story took place in my hometown. Cities like Doral, Coral Gables and Wynwood helped add to the character of the story and give the setting a nice visual for me. As for the characters, I normally reach for books with female leads since I can relate to them more but the characters of Alex/Menakaure and Marcus were solid characters with well-developed backstories. I enjoyed the whole mystery aspect of the story even if I did see many of “twists” coming. I honestly found this story to be a breath of fresh air in the vampire genre. Adding a pharaoh turned reanimated mummy into the mix as the lead character as opposed to the vamp was a great move and helped make the story so interesting.

Throughout the story, I caught myself reading too much into Alex’s interactions with other characters and expecting a “romance” as I have come to expect this of many urban fantasy books, especially the ones with vampires in the mix. I was pleasantly surprised, that while there is a slight mention of relations, there is no actual romance in this book. Whether this story is a one off or part of a series I feel like that was a bold move to make and it paid off. Sure, Alex could go on to build romantic relations in future books if the author so chooses to continue these characters’ stories but the fact that it was not introduced in this one makes this story stand out from the others like it in this genre.

My only slight complaint was how Miami itself was portrayed. While I enjoyed the mention of these larger cities and it helped me to envision the setting while reading, I felt like there was too much focus on the bigger, more popular cities and gave the setting a staleness that I wish hadn’t occurred. I felt like facts were being spouted and less imagery was given which made some of the setting come off a dry. Some of it just didn’t read as true. But honestly it was not enough to distract from an otherwise stellar novel.

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4.5 Quills

Michael F. Haspil

About The Author

Michael F. Haspil is a geeky engineer and nerdy artist. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he had the opportunities to serve as an ICBM crew commander and as a launch director at Cape Canaveral. The art of storytelling called to him from a young age and he has plied his craft over many years and through diverse media. He has written original stories for as long as he can remember and has dabbled in many genres. However, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror have whispered directly to his soul.

When he isn’t writing, you can find him sharing stories with his role-playing group, cosplaying, computer gaming, or collecting and creating replica movie props. Lately, he devotes the bulk of his hobby time to assembling and painting miniatures for his tabletop wargaming addiction.
Michael is represented by Sara Megibow of the KT Literary Agency and Adrian Garcia of the Paradigm Talent Agency.

He has collected and made replica movie props for over twenty years and enjoys the way a particular collectible lets an individual connect with a meaningful story.

He spends entirely too much time gaming or thinking (some might say ‘scheming’) about strategies and tactics in all kinds of gaming be it board games, computer games, or his passion, tabletop wargaming. He devotes the largest share of the gaming pie to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game. He has collected and played Grey Knights, Space Marines, Tyranids, Dark Eldar, Necrons, and Space Wolves. Michael is a regular contributor to “The Long War” a premiere podcast and webcast dedicated to tabletop gaming, but especially to Warhammer 40,000.

Photo Content from Michael F. Haspil

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Enter The Giveaway Here

5 Winners will receive a Copy of GRAVEYARD SHIFT by Michael F. Haspil

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  “I received a free copy of the book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”

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Of Breakable Things Review + #Giveaway

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Of Breakable Things

A. Lynden Rolland

 
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 
Release Date: April 8, 2014
 
Publisher: Month9Books LLC

 

ISBN: 978-1939765154
 
ASIN: B00ILZ69IS


   
Pages: 300
 
Goodreads Rating:  4.62
 
My Rating: 5.0

 

 

Book Description:
 
 A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.
 
When Chase dies tragically, Alex embraces her own mortality. What she didn’t expect was that she’d have to make a choice: forget the years of pain and suffering once and for all, or linger as a spirit and get another chance at life and love.
 
Alex doesn’t hesitate to choose; she’d follow Chase anywhere. But the spirit world is nothing like she expected, and Alex finds she’s forced to fight for her life once more. For even in a world where secrets are buried much deeper than six feet under, a legacy can continue to haunt you—and in a place this dangerous, no one is resting in peace.
 

 

My Take On The Book:

 
Hands down this is single best book I’ve read in 2014. There was really NOTHING that I disliked. I’ll admit to some hesitancy when opening the book, while the cover is hauntingly beautiful the synopsis that I originally read was not the one posted I posted above from Goodreads and Amazon so it was lacking a bit in the intrigue. The story sounded heart wrenching so as I opened up the book I geared myself up for a sob fest and even procrastinated… I didn’t wanna cry lol.
 
I was super tentative, like I said I didn’t wanna cry and I was expecting a sad, sad tale about a sick girl who lost the single most important person in her life. I put on my big girl panties and started reading, a page in a half in and I realized how wrong I was. This was a fantastical romantic tale of the after life. A unique take on ‘ghosts’ and moving on after death. But what really catches your attention besides the cool abilities is the epic love tale that transcends death. What kind of reviewer would I be if I didn’t talk about the romance and chemistry, swoon. I loved Chase but funny enough he didn’t make my book boyfriend list simply because I couldn’t imagine him with anyone other that Alex, They were the perfect book couple. ❤

 

The Great (Pros):

     

  • Family. I loved the whole familial connection going on in this book. From legacies to the brothers, this book is just chalk full of families. Its sweet and while there is a lot of ‘good’ family stuff going on this very talented author doesn’t shy away from the darker side of families and the bad things that can and do go wrong within them.

 

     

  • Friendship. Just like the emphasis that’s put on family, I enjoyed the friendships that are forged in this book. Whether they be new or old each relationship is developed and thought out.

 

     

  • Story. The story is a very original one. I love paranormal books but I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of reading anything like this before but I’m glad that I read this one because it’s one that’s sticking with me. When a book keeps you on your toes and thinking about it long after you finished it, you know it’s a keeper.

 

     

  • Romance. The romance in this book is subtle and it plays more on the friendships BUT it is there and its so perfect. You have these 2 lovely characters and a connection people only dream about having.

 

     

  • Alex. Her character was so endearing. It ridiculous how much you can grow to love a character when the book mainly takes place in their POV. She’s the kinda character that you root for without even realizing your it. Alex had a difficult upbringing and the cards she was dealt were pretty horrible but she focuses more on the positive things like her friendship with Chase and his brothers and Olivia ‘Liv’ Frank.

 

     

  • Chase. His character was special. He befriended and cared for a girl that most people wouldn’t. He didn’t see her as broken, he saw her as beautiful and special. He is the furthest thing from shallow. Honestly I think I liked the glimpses into his mind the most. ❤

 

     

  • Liv. She wasn’t a super important character but I just really like her. The fact that people thought she was weird didn’t really bug her and she never cared much if people thought she was overweight. Bullies didn’t faze her. She knew she could see ghosts and she knew who she was. I liked her character and would like to think, she reminds me of some of my closest friends (not the whole ghost seeing biz) so I probably would have befriended her.

 

     

  • POVs. The different POVs make the story come together seamlessly. It’s done in such a subtle way you don’t even notice the change at first. Sure, when there is a gender change it is kinda obvious but what I mean is that it’s a seamless transition, not at all choppy or abrupt.

 

     

  • The ending. The ending leads me to believe that this is meant to be a part of a series and I can only hope that to be the truth but even so, I like the way the story ended. I can’t say too much because, well it’s the end and that defeats the whole purpose of YOU going out and reading the book.  What I will say that not only was this story and its ending enjoyable but the questions that are answered and the ones you are left with are probably, in my opinion, the best part of the story. The quest for answers make up the story.  


The Not So Great (Cons):

     

  • Is it a Series? Unless you count the fact there is no word on if there will be a second book then there isn’t really a ‘con’. O_o The ending was awesome but it was pretty open-ended which leaves a ton of room for a second book.

 

     

  • Personal Pet Peeve. I have this thing about the description of scratching. I pretty much hate it when someone says ‘I itched my…’ or ‘He/She/They itched their …’ Itching is a symptom not an action, scratching is the relief to the symptom so it should be ‘I scratched my hand’ or ‘they scratched their neck’. However, as I said earlier it is a personal pet peeve, something that my English professor stressed to us English majors along with ‘by accident’ being the proper usage.

 

 

 

5 Quills

 
 
If there is going to be a book 2, I need it and now would be most appreciated lol. I loved all aspects of this story…. Everything. I’m not really sure what to compare this book too, it a one of a kind type of read and one that is surely worth your while. Its beautiful and captivating and yes there might be some tear shedding but nothing to serious.

 

Purchase Links:

 

About The Author 

 
 
A. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, a picturesque town obsessed with boats and blue crabs. She has always been intrigued by the dramatic and the broken, compiling her eccentric tales of tragic characters in a weathered notebook she began to carry in grade school. She is a sports fanatic, a coffee addict, and a lover of Sauvignon Blanc and thunderstorms. When she isn’t hunched behind a laptop at her local bookstore, she can be found chasing her two vivacious children. She now resides just outside Annapolis with her husband and young sons.

 
Connect with the Author:

 

 

Enter The Giveaway Here

 
 

Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland (INT)

One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

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  “I received a free copy of the book from the author/publisher for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”

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Out of Tune Book Blast Giveaway

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Twenty-year-old Maggie Roads’ parents are legendary in the country music world. She wants nothing more than to follow their example, but the limelight is not reserved for singers who cannot carry a tune, let alone keep a rhythm.

When her parents tell her they are getting divorced, Maggie decides it’s time to leave home and take her future into her own hands. Moving in with Cole, her best friend and sometimes boyfriend might not be the best of ideas, but she has to start somewhere. 

Their off-and-on romance gets even more complicated when Maggie crushes on her new voice teacher, Nathan, who unlocks her stunning potential. 

A sensational music career of her own is finally within reach, but Maggie might need more than perfect pitch to find what she is really looking for.

 

                                                                                                       

Cole’s steady beat on the drum relaxed her. She could feel his eyes on her as she played, but she did not turn around. He would never know what this meant to her. She had wanted and dreaded this moment forever. She could only imagine what tomorrow would be like, with an audience full of strangers.
She closed her eyes as the music flowed into her. Iza came in on her fiddle, her notes weaving in and out like bright threads in a tapestry. Justin started singing the first lines and she tapped her foot, counting like Nathan had taught her. “Every beat is a physical thing,” he had said. “See the music, feel it, just like you’ve done your whole life. Pearls on a string—let each one slide through your fingers. Measured.”
Mandolin line. Then the bass started. Maggie’s turn.
When she came in, her voice was louder and stronger than it had ever been. Justin’s voice filled her up like honey. She swam through it, adding her own to his. Maybe he was a womanizer and constantly looking at her like, he wanted to get her in bed, but he was an amazing singer. They smiled at each other as they melted into the song.
She had never been inside music like this before. The stage lights sparkled in her eyes and she understood for the first time in her life why musicians put up with all that travelling and recording, and the stressful nights like when her mom was puking her guts out with the flu—the real
flu—but had to go on stage in five minutes. Maggie remembered her smiling as she wiped her mouth and shrugged. “It’s part of the singin’ life, hon. We don’t always get breaks when we need them.” She had patted Maggie on her twelve-year-old head and squared her shoulders as her makeup artist dusted some powder over her pale cheeks. Then she had left for the stage in a flutter of sequins and curls.

 

 

 

 

 

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Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She adores cheese, chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter.
She believes a simple life is the best life. 
Michelle writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction (and other genres when she feels like it).
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