Supernatural

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

Website| Twitter | Goodreads| Facebook| YouTube

Enter The Giveaway Here

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

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TOUR HOSTED BY:

  “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”

Blackheath Review + #Giveaway

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Blackheath
Gabriella Lepore

 
Genre: Young Adults Paranormal
Release Date: December 21, 2015
Publisher: Of Tomes Publishing
 
ISBN: 978-1522836254
ASIN: B019PQPVGW
 
Pages: 284
Goodreads Rating: 4.24
My Rating: 5.0
 

Book Description:

 

Seventeen-year-old Maggie Ellmes is dogged by a case of chronic bad luck. She figures that’s just her lot in life—that is, until the psychic at Blackheath’s annual carnival reveals that Maggie’s problems are caused by more than just ordinary misfortune; she’s actually been cursed.

 

Desperate to shake the hex, Maggie has no choice but to seek out the help of Joel Tomlins, a rebellious classmate who’s descended from Blackheath’s most powerful line of witches. After breaking all of his coven’s conventions to help her, Joel discovers that the curse isn’t as bad as Maggie fears. In fact, it’s much, much worse.

 

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28218066-blackheath

 

My Take on the Book:

 

Eepp! I love this!!!

 

Having read/reviewed a previous novel from this author I knew I’d like this book but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. This was a super quick read for me and I greedily took in every page and scene.

 

In this book you are introduced to some great characters that are easy to like and grow fond of. Another good note is that you do get to have alternating POVs so there aren’t very many gaps in this story in terms of story progression.

 

I can’t say enough about this book and yet I’m fearful of saying too much and ruining the experience for all of you! But I will say that not everything is at it appears and you should read this book with an open mind because chances are, if you’ve guessed how something is going to go, that you are wrong.

 

5 Quills

 

Here’s to hoping that there is a sequel to this book in the works, so I can read more about these characters! There were a lot of unanswered questions and it did finish off as open ended so that’s another reason to hope for a follow up.

 

It’s a solid read that is sure to enthrall and entice you. Kudos to Ms. Lepore for creating such a vivid world with such interesting characters.

 

 

About The Author

 

Gabriella Lepore lives on the coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. She began writing at an early age and grew up with a passion for all things supernatural —especially witches!

 

She currently has six (6) Young Adult books in print: Evanescent, The Blackheath Witches, How I Found You, Secrets In Phoenix, and The Witches of the Glass Castle books 1 & 2.

 

 
 

Enter The Giveaway Here
$15 Amazon Giftcard

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Thanks for stopping by,

 

 “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”

 

Forbidden Forest Review + #Giveaway (Interview Coming Soon)

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Forbidden Forest

The Legends of Regia

Tenaya Jayne


Genre: Young Adults Romantic Fantasy
Release Date: December 29, 2012
Publisher: Cold Fire Publishing LLC

ISBN: 978-0988275716
ASIN: B009JVTLA6

Pages: 264
Word Count: 77,000
Cover Artist: Erika Doucesse

Goodreads Rating: 3.97
My Rating: 4.0

Book Description:


Born in shame. Cast from society. Shape Shifter/Elf hybrid, Forest must fight for any respect she can get. Targeted in her youth by a vampire noble who placed an illegal slave mark on her, she is forced to obey him, no matter what.


Slipping the grip of her master and abandoning the prejudice of Regia, her native world, Forest takes a job on Earth, guarding the portal, using her skills as a warrior to enforce Regia’s laws. Now, called home for a black ops mission, Forest must put aside her own prejudice to transport the vampire prince, Syrus, through enemy territory in a time of war.

Prince Syrus, mage and master of the Blood Kata, wants Forest more than he’s ever wanted anything. In spite of their mutual mistrust, their attraction cannot be denied. Through the danger of their mission, and the secrets they both keep, it doesn’t matter what they feel. Forest is forbidden.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25915131-forbidden-forest

 Book Trailer

My Take on The Book:

 

Wow
That was awesome . At first I was 100 percent sure how that story has characters very strong from the beginning and the story seems to thrust you into a world that already has so much going on . Luckily, the story finds a seamless way to introduce you to past events and what makes all these characters tick.

 

I really enjoyed the new world and all the inner workings of their ‘hierarchy’. The characters are not the kind you can ignore and I couldn’t help but love them. I do admit though that there were plenty of times that said characters pissed me off… they were extremely stubborn after all but for the most part I found them to be really enjoyable and I liked the unconventional romance. I also really liked how different the supernatural beings are in this book.

4 Quills

 

I look forward to reading book 2 ‘Forest Fire’ because this definitely ended with a cliff hanger! But I think this is a solid read that most of you are going to enjoy 🙂
 

About The Author

                     
Nationally Bestselling author Tenaya Jayne has always walked a shaky line between reality and fantasy. A nomad by nature, she’s lived all over the US, and now resides happily in the Midwest, with her husband and sons. She’s an advocate for Autism awareness and women trapped in abusive relationships, and feels everyone has too much pain to not enjoy an escape into a fictional fantasy world.

 

Her passions include reading, independent and foreign films, cooking, and moody music. For more about Tenaya and her books, visit her website.

 

 Enter The Giveaway Here

1 set of ‘The Legends of Regia’ on Audible

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Revealers & Uninvited by Amanda Marrone Book Spotlight + #Giveaway #TipsySpooktacular Stop 5

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Ahem.

 Ohai there!

Welcome back!

 
Today I have a treat for you all. It’s another book spotlight BUT there are 2 and they are NOT part of a series :O I know that seems odd from someone like me who absolutely LOVES to read book series, serieses… Ehh I know, not very English major or author-y of me but whatever, I think the first one is correct.

So back on topic, this is more of an Author Spotlight. I don’t exactly remember when I bought these books just that I love them and I really hope you all take a chance on them. I know the goodreads rating isn’t all that great for one of them but I think the books rock.

The books in question are ‘Uninvited’ and ‘Revealers’ by Amanda Marrone. Uninvited is an out of the box vampire read. Abso-freaking-lutely like nothing I have ever read when it comes to vampires. Sure I got a Dangerous Girls by R.L. Stine vibe from it BUT it was a novel all on its own. The similarity starts and ends with the age of the main character, the vampire thing and how dark it is. Literally that is it. This book, and other vampire books sit at 2 vastly different ends of the spectrum. There is no romantizing the vampires. And personally, I liked that this was not really marketed as a vampire book. Aside for my knowledge of vampire invitations, the night time visits and the eerie but beautiful cover, there was no giveaway to the vampire tidbit. Now, before you go all crazy reader on me, this is not a spoiler. The author has mentioned that it is a vampire story and this in no way gives away the plot of the series of events that follow. I literally love this book. It is dark and can seem a bit slow to start with but it’s worth the wait. 

Revealers is an interesting and fun magical read. I was initially drawn in by the cover because well come on who wouldn’t be, it’s gorgeous! I love the blue smoke and the simplicity in the design. So I did what most do when a book cover jumps out and snags their attention I flipped it over and got to reading the synopsis. I was all for it! I got to reading and I couldn’t put it down. I even remember where I was sitting for the couple of hours it took for me to finish it. It’s full of plot twists and interesting magic and witches. Its spooky to an extent
but really keeps you on your toes. This too stands on its own as a paranormal novel and book featuring a witchy cast. When all was said and done, I was super sad to see this story was over. They are not spooky in your typical sense but I do feel like these are great books to get you into the Halloween/Samhain mood. See what I did there 😉

Also, funny story guys, I penned a character who was a witch years ago when I was 14, before having read any of these books but she was nameless… I just kept using ‘insert name’ then I read Revealers years later, I loved the characters, all of them. But one name just kept haunting me. Fast forward 1 year and I actually met a woman with this name while shopping for incense. She was a pagan woman like my sister, but her personality was so similar to this witch I had written and it felt like it was meant to be. So in a weird chance of fate, this woman and the book ‘Revealers’ helped me name one of my main characters in The Birth Curse Series, I give you, Zahara Frost ladies and gentlemen.

 

Revealers

Amanda Marrone

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse

ISBN: 978-1416958741
ASIN: B004KKXN3W

Pages: 288
Goodreads Rating: 3.58

 
Book Description:
 

Witchin’ ain’t easy.

Jules has a rebellious streak, a massive crush on Connor, and the abilities of a Revealer witch. By day, she and her coven friends seem like typical high school seniors. By night, they have the power to make werewolves, vampires, and ghosts reveal themselves, so they can destroy them. It’s not exactly cheerleading, but at least the girls know they’re doing the world some good.

One by one, Jules’s friends turn eighteen and are initiated into the coven’s inner circle. And one by one, they are getting completely freaked out. Jules is the youngest, and though her friends are too scared tell her what’s going on, something’s clearly not right. As her birthday approaches, Jules realizes she’s got to find out what’s behind the shadows of her coven before it’s too late to save her friends…and herself. But what she discovers may be too powerful for even the toughest witches to defeat.

 

Uninvited

Amanda Marrone

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction
Release Date: October 23, 2007
Publisher: Simon Pulse

ISBN: 978-1416939788
ASIN: B003YFJ1DK

Pages: 224
Goodreads Rating: 2.95

Book Description:
When rejection comes back to bite you…

Jordan’s life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.


Jordan can’t understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life — once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn’t relate to — now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.


Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say
the words….

 About The Author

 

Amanda Marrone grew up on Long Island where she spent her time reading, drawing, watching insects, and suffering from an over-active imagination. It didn’t help that her father told bloodcurdling stories, and would take Amanda and her siblings for moon lit walks in the graveyard—the highlight of which involved having them march up to mausoleums and knock on the doors—alone. On more than one occasion, Amanda turned around to find they’d ditched her for laughs. (No, she didn’t find that particularly funny.)

Not surprisingly, she was extremely scared of the dark—living in fear of cats meowing at the door at night (she was sure they were really monsters pretending to be her cats), and things lurking in basements, attics, dark rooms, and closets.Amanda successfully avoided monster attacks by leaving all the lights on in her house, and convincing other family members to let the cats in—eventually earning a B.A. in Education at SUNY Cortland. She taught fifth and sixth grade in New Hampshire, where she was known for putting on mini-musicals, and dissecting eyeballs and owl pellets with her students.

After taking a very early retirement to raise a family and write novels—some of which have vampires and other creepy creatures, Amanda now lives in Connecticut with her husband, Joe, two kids, two cats, a crayfish, hissing cockroaches, and
their newest addition is Griffin, a havanese dog who can say “Hello” and “I love you”. Check the links page to see Griffin’s YouTube videos where you can see him in action.


Amanda loves reading, going to Broadway shows, creepy crawly things, hiking, annoying her husband with show tunes, and is thinking about getting another tattoo. She is still scared of the dark.

Amanda’s first two books for teens, Uninvited and Revealers are available now, and her next book Devoured will be out in September of 2009. Her middle grade series The Magic Repair Shop Chronicles: The Multiplying Menace, Kobold Blues
and The Shape Shifter’s Curse will be available starting in the summer of 2010.

 
Connect with the Author

 Enter The Giveaway Here

I’m giving away some paperbacks to US residents and a few ebooks.
Books will be from the ones you find on the #TipsySpooktacular Stops
Must be 13+ to enter
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Super Freak by Vanessa Barger Review + #Giveaway

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http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-super-freak-by-vanessa-barger-presented-by-tantrum-books/

 


Super Freak

Vanessa Barger


Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Tantrum Books


ISBN: 978-1942664536
ASIN: B014C57RIG
Pages: 285

Goodreads Rating: 4.5
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24963447-super-freak

My Take:

 

That was a really cute story. A book I would definitely recommend, and one that I will be by my niece for Christmas this year.

 

I really enjoy the characters, and I didn’t feel like they were too young so to speak. They were pretty mature for their ages. I don’t mean mature in what you expect of a young adult story, but you aren’t drowning in their age. It’s mentioned a few times, and you told that they are in middle school but it’s not at all what you would expect from a middle grade fiction book. It’s focused more on a mystery and friendship and I have to say that has got to be one of the cutest stories I’ve read.

 

I also found, that I enjoyed the uniqueness of this story. It’s not every day you come across a story that has the world as supernatural and one character as normal. I also like that you find really brave individuals, braver than most and intelligent characters in the story. And while there is just a smidge of predictability, it’s done in such a way that you forget that you have your doubts and your speculations so when the story completely unfolds you’re just as shocked as the characters.

 

5 Quills

After a bit of research, I for one, am really happy that this is part of a series and not just a standalone novel. This is definitely something I would wholeheartedly recommend to parents looking for an interesting read for their children. It has a good message, overall great characters and nothing overtly heavy or depressing. I can’t wait to buy this for my niece and see how she reacts when she finishes reading it.

 

 Purchase Links:
BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

About The Author

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

 

Connect with the Author:

Website | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads Pinterest | YouTube

 

Enter The Giveaway Here

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Super Freak by Vanessa Barger (INT)
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Thanks for stopping by,

 

Realm Walker Review and Giveaway!!!

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Realm Walker

Realm Walker Series

Book One

Kathleen Collins

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
ISBN: 9781426896545
ASIN: B00E1V5S3S
Pages: 189
Word Count: 76,000

Goodreads Rating: 3.75
My Rating: 4/4.5

Book Description:

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…

As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That’s only the first of her secrets.

Most people don’t know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don’t know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don’t know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…

Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can’t reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.

Amazon     BN

My Take On The Book:

What can I say… I’m a sucker for these types of books and this one didn’t disappoint. Realm Walker and author Kathleen Collins take you on a great adventure with a lovable albeit frustrating cast. I initially found myself pulled in by the synopsis which I had to read on my very unreliable phone and email app, so I stared the email and made sure to check it out on my computer when I got home. I did, and boy am I happy I did. Not only does the cover art have the same feel as some of my favorite authors, so does the writing and the setting. I was a tad hesitant, but only slightly cause as of late I’ve read too many vampire stories and truthfully I felt they might be a tad played out… but I’m happy to have been proved wrong. It had a strong plotline, easy to follow and interesting but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Great (Pros):

  • Juliana. She’s just so badass, excuse my language. Granted she had her whiny moments, a couple of which just want to make you shake her silly, she pretty much always delivers on the awesomeness.
  • Realm Walkers. I gotta say I love the concept of Realm Walkers and they reminded me ‘Shadowblades’ from the Horngate Witches Series. Sure they had some differences but they were equally kick butt.
  • Nathaniel. I have a soft spot for the furry werebeast. I’m not sure if it’s just my love for werewolves in general or it was Nathaniel’s smart ass comments and swagger but I absolutely loved his character. The relationship between Juliana and him was just so cozy and cute, you kinda want your own Nathanial, pain in the ass or not.
  • Thomas. Ok, so I’ve said it before but I was totally over the vampire fad, but Thomas may have just pulled me outta that mindset. He too had some annoying quirks, mainly from his age which he definitely shows proudly through his vocabulary. ‘His Bride’ was thrown out so much, I kinda wanted to cuff him upside the head and hope I got away with my life. Understandably, regardless of his issues with Juliana he sticks to his guns making him a totally lovable vamp.
  • The Demons. Ok, so this is the second book I’ve review with Demons as a foe. And just as much as I loved them in Dark Souls, I love them as much in this one too. Not the Demons themselves, because I really really hated them but more the role they play in the grander scheme of things. I really liked the integration of the demons into the story line and the scariness of not knowing what the hell to do to stop them. My absolute favorite scene in this book stares one pissed of Demon and a swimming pool.
  • Jeremiah and family. The fire elemental and his family are way too cute. I love how they dote on Juliana in that very familial way. Jeremiah is a father of sorts to our heroine and he shows how much he cares for her almost immediately. The twins are sexy little turds… the way they mess with Juliana and Thomas is priceless!

The Not So Great (Cons):

  • Inconsistency. Unfortunately, for every good there is usually some bad and this story is no exception. There were a couple of moments in this story that kinda contradicted themselves. I wish I could delve into this topic a little more but to do that would ruin the experience for you guys as readers.
  • Love Triangle. I am not a huge fan of love triangles; they are played out and washed out. I know they tend to creep into stories you write and once the idea has revealed itself it’s hard to ignore. As authors we tend to feel we are exempt and I know I myself have said “Mine will be different” unfortunately often at times they aren’t and tend to just cause an unnecessary drag in the story. Granted this one is done in a completely different way that will kind of leave you reeling and scratching your head, but a triangle is a triangle and a square is a square. Regardless of the ending, there is always that awkwardness that accompanies the characters when they are all on the same page. Plus as a reader you can’t help but root for one character over the other.
  • Catalina. I really really REALLY did not like her, but I kinda feel like that was the point lol. She was a vial witch with a b to Juliana, and well that my friends, is completely unacceptable. So for the sake of pros and cons she’s being filed into this character even if the character itself isn’t a fault in the book.
  • Michael. Ok I was really conflicted with putting him here cause I genuinely liked his character through most of the book, but there is this one scene in the book towards the end of the middle… a scene with Juliana, that constantly replays in my mind when I think of his character and it irks me, especially since it falls into the inconsistency I spoke about earlier. It was outta character for the person/vamp the author was making him out to be. It just doesn’t work and once you read it you guys will understand completely.
  • Ben. Grr. Nuff said. No I’m kidding, he much like Catalina bugged the ever loving daylight outta me. He started off as a completely likeable character and then at the end he makes a 180 that makes you want to drop kick him in the face with a steal toed boot cover in silver. Seriously what a douche bag.

4

4 Stars/Quills

This book is one I’d definitely recommend to people, especially people with a love for urban fantasy. It was similar to ‘The Anita Blake Series’ by Laurel K. Hamilton, the earlier ‘Southern Vampire Series’ by Charlaine Harris, ‘The Hollows’ by Kim Harrison with writing comparable to Chole Neill author of ‘Chicago Land Vampires’ and Diana Pharaoh Francis author of ‘Horngate Witches’. A definite must have for your virtual or literal bookshelves. I definitely can’t wait for the next installment as I’m sure I will gobble that one up!,

About The Author

Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.

The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.

She is currently hard at work on her next book.

Connect With Kathleen Collins

www.Kathleencollins.net

@kathy_collins

www.facebook.com/kathleencollinsauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191208.Kathleen_Collins

Enter The Giveaway for your chance to win Goodies from the Author

1 Halloween Theme Prize Pack open to US Shipping

 The goodies include:

A felt owl bag

A cool Skull sign

A skull glow in the dark ring

Charms – including the vampire themed “Blood Donor Wanted”

Fuzzy socks

A cool woven bracelet with silver skulls

A skeleton voodoo doll key ring

Vampire themed cookie cutters

Vampire shot glasses

8 ebook copies of Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins

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“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.”

Release Day Book Blitz: Silent Oath Review on Books 1&2

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Locked Within

Locked Within Trilogy

Book One

Paul Anthony Shortt

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: WiDo Publishing

ISBN: 978-1937178253
ASIN: B009GL6XAK

Pages: 200 pages

Goodreads Rating: 4.42
My Rating: 4.5

Book Description:

The supernatural realm and the mundane world have existed side by side since the dawn of time. Predators walk the streets, hidden by our own ignorance. Once, the city of New York was protected, but that was another age.

Now a creature emerges from the city’s past to kill again, with no one to hear the screams of its victims. The lost and the weak, crushed under the heels of the city’s supernatural masters, have given up hope.

But one man finds himself drawn to these deaths. Plagued by dreams of past lives, his obsession may cost him friends, loved ones, even his life. To stop this monster, he must unlock the strength he once had. He must remember the warrior he was, to become the hero he was born to be.

His name is Nathan Shepherd, and he remembers.

My Take On The Book:


Nathan Shepherd is literally your average Joe at the start of the book. Your average Joe with an unusual hobby that is. This book not only entertains but fascinates. From the go, I couldn’t put that dang thing down. Author Paul Anthony Shortt did a marvelous job turning a normal person with a normal 9 to 5 job into a hero, a protagonist everyone can get behind. It’s a fast paced rollercoaster ride that leaves you hanging by the edge of your seat. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to want to put this book down once you start. 


I loved the idea of reincarnation and past lives and I believe whole heartedly that Mr. Shortt managed to do what many could not, make you believe. While reading this story you are aware that it is just that, a story. But it is written so well, you are able to envision almost every aspect of the book. To be quite honest, I never expected to enjoy this book as much as I did. The story was something out of a movie but thankfully it wasn’t written that way. You get the imagery you need without the awkward writing that sometimes (most times) accompanies those types of books. The characters were strongly developed and almost real. So let’s do a really quick pros and cons list of this book, you’ll be surprised… trust me, I was lol. 

 

The Great (Pros):

  • Nathan Shepherd. Literally, the coolest HUMAN hero I’ve read to date. I can’t stress how much I enjoyed reading about someone normal for a change. Sure he had some pretty cool odd ball attributes but he was mortal and faulted and that to me was awesome! It’s not every day you get to read about a character that not only kicks ass but gets his ass kicked. He makes mistakes and that’s alright in the end because he doesn’t really mope on them but uses them as a learning experience and tries not to make those same mistakes over and over. 
  • Libby and Rolland. I loved these two from the moment they stepped foot on the page and each interaction after just made my love for them grow. 
  • Katherine O’Reilly. Badass chick who kicks ass and isn’t accompanied by your usual bitchy attitude while kicking ass. 
  • Cadence and Cynthia. Cynthia is hands down my favorite character is this book simply because of her loyalty. She is smart and sweet and loyal to a fault. Cadence on the other hand isn’t someone I would typically like but she was written in a way that made it possible to do so. She makes no real excuses for why she does what she does, she just does it. Sure she’ll explain it to you if she deems you worthy of such but other than that not really. I liked that she wasn’t all whiny and trying to make anybody like her. 
  • The Vampires. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good vamp romance book but one of the reasons I liked this book so much is because the author takes you back to a time where vampires and bad and they are scary. It was refreshing to say the least. I hated the vampires in this book, they were so evil and mean, but I loved that I hated them. 
  • The Setting. I’m not really a fan of books that take place in a big city like New York simply because they are usually overrated but once again this book blows that notion outta the water. I loved the vibrant city life and the blending of the supernatural world with this world. But mostly I loved how Mr. Shortt explains it all, in the span of a couple of sentences in one chapter he explains the way humans are oblivious to the world around them and why all without droning on and on and annoying the living day lights outta you. 
  • Michael Shepherd. Hands down, he’s gotta be the coolest dad around. His character though not prevalent throughout the story, is basically what molds Nathan into the man he is. He’s a strong and caring character and he’s exactly the support the main character needs. 
  • Lack of romance. It was refreshing to read a book that while it had some sort of couple aspects, the story did not dwell on those parts of the story. Paul Anthony Shortt made sure to focus on the important, the story of Nathan and what makes him who he is. 

 

The Not So Great (Cons):

  • Laura. I absolutely abhor Laura. Her character was the equivalent of nails on chalk board. I disliked her from her first appearance on page, not while he wistfully stares at her picture but the real deal, when she first speaks. It did not get better over time, she only served to piss me off more and more. 
 
  • Ben. Originally, I liked his character. He seemed like a cool dude and someone Nathan could depend on and for the most part he was. It was only towards the end of the story that his character started to grate on my nerves. 
 
  • The mysterious dude in the cloak. I can’t delve too deep into this topic because it would definitely give something away but I wish we could have learned a little more about him and what his role in everything was.
 

4.5 Stars/Quills

All in all, this was a very entertaining read. Nearly perfect really. Something I would definitely recommend to anybody that likes Urban Fantasy stories. So make sure you’ve gotten your copy because the sequel is sure to please.

Continue Reading for Silent Oath (Book Two) Review and Excerpt

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Book Blitz: More by T.M. Franklin Excerpt & Giveaway!

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More (More #1)
Release Date: 10/04/13
 
Summary from Goodreads:

Ava Michaels used to think she was special.

As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn’t so bad after all.

Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass Physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core.

Because Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he’s not entirely human, and he’s not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she’s not actually normal . . . she’s not even just special.

She’s a little bit more.

 
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Excerpt From More by T.M. Franklin

“Okay,” Ava said. “Now what?”

Caleb pulled out his phone, tapping away on it.

“Wait a second,” Ava said, stilling his hand. “Is it safe to use a cell phone? Can’t it be traced?”

Caleb shook his head. “Not this one.” He glanced up at her. “Do you have one?”

Ava pulled her phone out of her backpack, and Caleb cursed under his breath.

“It’s not on,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter.” He grabbed the phone. “I could take out the battery, but they’d still know this was our last location.” Caleb thought for a moment then grabbed Ava’s hand, turning to walk quickly down the block.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

Caleb pointed to a Greyhound sign across the street. They walked into the small bus station, coming to a stop in front of the departures board. “Wait here,” he said after a moment, glancing around the station before heading out the back door. Ava paced nervously, her eyes darting around, before she took a seat on one of the hard plastic chairs. Caleb returned a few minutes later, motioning for her to join him as he walked back out the front entrance.

“What was that all about?” Ava asked with an irritated wave of her hand.

“Couldn’t risk leaving it here in town, even if we took the battery out,” Caleb said. “We’ve been monitoring your movements for quite some time. It’s good that you turned it off, but even then, it’s not impossible to track. I put it on a bus to New York, just in case.”

“New York?”

Caleb nodded. “It leaves in a few minutes. With any luck, it’ll throw them off the trail. At least long enough for us to get to the safe house.” He looked back down at his phone and pulled out a small piece of paper from his jacket pocket.

“What are you doing?”

“The location is encoded. I just have to figure out . . .” He looked back and forth between the paper and phone for a moment, and Ava leaned in, scanning the strange combination of symbols, letters, and numbers.

She tried to make sense of it, biting her lip as she leaned in a bit closer. Caleb’s breath ruffled the hair at her temple, and Ava stiffened, suddenly very aware of how close they were standing. She swallowed thickly, fighting the urge to jump back like a frightened kitten.

Then—so slightly that she thought she might have imagined it—Caleb’s breath hitched. A prickle of awareness ran along Ava’s skin, her heart thudding heavily in her chest, and she stepped back purposefully, looking away down the street.

What in the world was that?

– MORE, Chapter 9

About the Author

T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.
 
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.
 
In addition to MORE, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology. The sequel to MORE, The Guardians, will be released November 7, 2013.
 

Connect with T.M. Franklin

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Daughter of the Dragon Princess Release Day Blitz Review, Excerpt and Giveaway!!!

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CaptureDaughter of the
Dragon Princess
Nina Croft

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 7, 2013

ISBN: 9781301417209

Pages: 240

Word Count: 59,640

My Rating: 4.5/5

Book Description:

 

Found abandoned as a baby and brought up in a children’s home, Lily Palmer has no clue that she is the last of the Dragon Princesses and destined to be mated to a king. But when she wakes up one night to find her apartment invaded by a stunningly gorgeous, but totally deluded madman, she can no longer ignore the dreams which have haunted her life.

Exiled on Earth, and trapped in human form, the dragons have waited two thousand years for the only person who can open the portal between their world and this one. Now they have found her and Malachite Smith has one job—to deliver Lily to his King. According to dragon law, only the King and the Dragon Princess together can open the portal and take them home.

But neither Mal nor Lily are prepared for the overwhelming attraction which flares between them. Or for his reluctance to hand her over to a king he despises. Can they stand as one and challenge the old ways, even if it means destroying his people forever?

My take on the book:

This book was in one simple word, riveting. I loved it from page one, an almost perfect read. The title was a bit long and I found myself tripping over it but that w.e. no skin off my teeth lol. As the title suggests this book is about Lily Palmer, the last daughter of the dragon princess and how her she is thrust out of her seemingly normal life and into an age old conflict, which involves her more than she could have ever imagined. This story is literally dripping with umph. And that is literally the only word I could think of to describe it. It’s sensual and sexy and downright action packed.

The Great (Pros):

 

  • The Characters. Each character was well developed and perfectly outlined in this story. The author gave us the perfect combo of information and story progression.
  • Lily Palmer. What’s not to love about this girl? She’s kick butt and fallible. She tries, she fights and she’s loyal. A perfect combo for a heroine. She isn’t someone you’d expect to win a fight and she most likely won’t. She’s a damsel in distress but she’s snark your ass off.
  • The Dragon mythology.  I loved the story behind these dragons. Their homeland, their faults, their triumphs. I loved it all and how every aspect of it intertwines into the storyline. Every action and decision leads to a consequence whether it be good or bad but the author doesn’t balk at the possibilities and just keeps on through, which makes this story not good but great.
  • The Scenery. It wasn’t something Ms. Croft spent too much time on. In a few perfectly strung together words she depicted the surroundings and moved on. I love it when an author can paint a picture for you without having to constantly repeat the same words.
  • The Tattoos. Something this simple, also happens to be one of the elements in this book that stands out most to me. It falls slightly under my con predictability because its one of the reasons I knew what would happen and the author basically said the outcome if not in so many words but regardless I love the detail put into these marks/tattoos. Keep in mind they aren’t really tattoos and more like birthmarks.

 

The not so great (Cons):

 

  • Speed. Really the one of the only things, I didn’t like about this book. I found myself, frustrated with a couple of scenes because they just seem to rushed and overly constructed. I’m not sure exactly how to explain it except that I felt like some of the more important scenes were a tad less than what they should have been. When it came to the steamy scenes between Mal and Lily, Nina Croft was spot on if not dwelling too much on what had already been established but in some of the more action packed scenes, she was lacking. I’ve come to expect a bit more from a book in the action department so this was a letdown for me in my opinion; this was such a well written story and well developed story line.
  • Predictability. Unfortunately, this book also suffered from this problem. Maybe I’m psychic or maybe the author gave too much detail and a lot of the major twists and plot points where predictable. I found myself sagging with disappointment when certain events came to pass, I just knew and I was unable to push it to the back of my mind that they would happen.

4.5

4.5 Stars/Quills

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book; it was such a great read. Definitely for adults as it has quite a few of the more risqué scenes but a great read that will great you just as invested in the outcome as the characters are. Nina Croft definitely created a world where the characters are people you can connect with. You get the action you would expect from a group of mythological beings such as dragons and you get the romance you’ve come to expect for the adult genre. Make sure you read the excerpt below to get your first glimpse into Daughter of the Dragon Princess

 

Excerpt:

The hallway was dark, and she reached out her cuffed hands for guidance and encountered his hard body, her palms resting against him.

“Shit,” he muttered, then turned and backed her against the wall. She could just make out his form towering over her, as his head lowered and his lips slanted across hers. Her mind went numb, her body took over, and she didn’t resist as he plunged his tongue into her mouth. The kiss was hard and held an edge of anger barely contained. It didn’t matter. He tasted like her dreams, of heat and spice. Her tongue thrust back against his as a pulse started its incessant throb between her thighs. She stood unmoving as he deepened the kiss, pressing his long, hard body into hers so she was plastered against the length of him. Hunger ignited low in her belly, and she groaned against his lips while her hips shifted restlessly against him trying to get some relief from the craving building inside her.

One hand slid beneath her top to cup her breast, his palm rubbing over the peak, and pleasure shot from her nipple to her groin. Her head fell back, and she raised one leg, wrapping it around his hip so she could press her core against the hard length of his erection. Desire was building like a heaviness inside her, swelling…

A bolt of lightning lit up the room, briefly illuminating the savage intensity of his expression. His mouth stilled, his fingers tightened on her breast, then the light flashed again and he jerked free of her and swore viciously.

A second later, his fist slammed into the wall at her side.

Her hands came up to drag him back to her. She was clumsy in the cuffs and her senses returned—what sort of woman kissed a man who’d cuffed her? A crazy one, that’s what sort.

She pressed her wrists against him, so the metal dug into her skin and the fog of desire cleared enough for her brain to function. She shoved him hard. He didn’t budge.

“Get off me, pervert!”

His brows drew together. “Pervert?”

“You know, the sort of man who likes to tie women up?”

He didn’t answer, just took a step back, and shoved his hands in his pockets. He breathed out deeply and the tension drained from his body.

“Why?” she asked.

He didn’t pretend not to understand. “It occurred to me that we may not get another chance. And I was…curious.”

She gritted her teeth. “Curious?” Her tone was filled with outrage.

“Just leave it.” Lightning flashed again and he frowned, then took her arm. “Come on, I don’t like this.”

“Like what?”

He didn’t answer, just led her along the hallway and through a door. In the dim light, she could make out a comfortable sitting room. Everything appeared so normal and she blinked in confusion.

Mal pushed her toward an armchair. “Sit.”

“Yes, sir,” she muttered and sat. She didn’t understand him. Why would he kiss her like that, as though he cared?

He seemed about to say something but instead moved away to peer out of the window. She followed him with her eyes as he came back and stood over her again, rubbing a hand across his face.

“Lily…” he said.

She searched his expression, and he shifted under her gaze, not meeting her eyes. “What?”

“This man you are to meet tonight…”

“The one you’re handing me over to like an unwanted parcel?”

“Jesus,” he almost snarled the word. “Just don’t get him angry. Do as you’re told, and you’ll be all right.”

Was he actually afraid for her? “You’re frightening me,” she said slowly. “Mal”—for the first time she used his name—“am I going to die tonight?”

She held her breath waiting for the answer.

“No, he won’t kill you.” He paused. “But there are worse things than death.”

Icy cold washed through her. “Now, you’re really scaring me.”


Meet The Author:

nina croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

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Scars of Bifrost Review, Interview and Giveaway!!!

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Soft-BookCoverScars of the Bifrost
The Scars Saga
Book One
AJM Mousseau
 

Genre: YA Paranormal/
Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: April 10, 2013
Publisher: Dauntless Hawk Ink

ASIN: B00CBCB8NS
Pages: 301 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.78
My Rating: 5

Book Synopsis:

Freya Catten has lived on the fringes of society her entire life, growing up in hiding with her mother in the deepest, wildest places left in North America—the national parks and forests. Freya’s mother taught her how to live off the land, away from civilization—mysteriously warning her of the dangers of getting involved with society and leaving traces of her DNA behind. But five years ago Freya’s mother abandoned her, leaving Freya to survive on her own. 
Freya knows how to stay alive, whether she’s hiding in the forest or running on the city streets. She changes her appearance often and owns nothing but her backpack filled with survival gear and a necklace that had been her mother’s. 
But, keeping one step ahead of Social Services isn’t her biggest fear. Freya’s true terror lies with The Takers—strange men who rappel from silver cords out of the deep blue sky from nowhere. They snatch up their victims then evaporate without a trace. Freya holds a dark suspicion—that the Takers are really after her, and they are closing in.
Freya realizes that if she is to ever have a normal life she must first find her mother and answer the questions that have kept her in hiding. Along the way, she meets Theron Hawk—a rugged teenage soldier from a war-torn country—and finds herself truly trusting someone for the first time in her life.
As secrets are uncovered, and Freya comes closer to solving the mysteries surrounding her life, her blood and the priceless necklace that lays at her throat, the scars of the Bifrost will threaten to rip apart Freya’s very existence.

SCARS OF THE BIFROST is the first story in The Scars Saga and is a Young Adult science-fiction/fantasy/paranormal romance novel infused with wilderness survival, urban fantasy, dystopian elements and mythological realism.

Amazon  

My take on the book:

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Too many books now a days end up as a carbon copy of another story with the same characters dressed up in different clothing. Luckily that wasn’t the case with ‘Scars of the Bifrost’. Author A.J.M. Mousseau has a unique ability to tell a story with a fresh take on the young adult’s genre, weaving a world unlike many others. It was an honestly pleasing read with ups and downs and characters that captivate and enthrall you. I loved it from the go. Within a couple of minutes of reading I found myself unable to put down my kindle, so much so I should say that my blog may have suffered from it. 🙂 The characters were strongly developed, and while you do find yourself questioning bits and pieces of the story, their story, nothing really goes unanswered. So here’s my break down on the good and the bad.

The Great (Pros):

 
  • The world AJMM created so masterfully. I loved the scenery in this book; she literally took me on a literary adventure. I felt as if I was right there experiencing some of the scenes with Freya.
  • The Characters. I know I mentioned above that those characters were greatly developed and I meant it. I loved A.J.M. Mousseau’s characters, from the good down to the bad. Sure I wanted to rip the face off said villain, but isn’t that how you know that the author has created a note worthy opponent for your hero? Truthfully, I can’t say that any character’s storyline really irked me. Freya is pretty awesome and Theron is Ah-maze-ing, two of my favorite main characters as of yet. I loved Piper, she was just too cute and Scarlett was oddly reminiscent of my own aunt. I loved Jesse even when he seemed to be that brooding over protective guy you tend to get annoyed with. I can’t get into too much detail involving the characters cause I might give away some of the plot points but just know that I could spend hours discussing this book and those characters.
  • The Science and Mythology. Really guys, this author did her homework before penning this masterfully written story. She breaks things down for us readers in a way that’s informative, not condescending. The mythology was woven into the story so well I found myself getting chills at some points.
  • The Cover Art. Seriously this cover art is so amazing and fits the story. It was one of the main reasons I found myself drawn to the story and one of the reasons I decided to read it. Even though it’s not a full facial shot it helped me to imagine Freya in my mind.

The not so great (Cons):

 
  • The ending. Don’t get me wrong the ending itself was pretty cool, but a tad anti-climactic. I saw it coming and that really bugged me when I went to turn the page and found I had reached the end. I wasn’t expecting that ending for a book that in my opinion worked so hard and succeeded in proving it was NOT like the rest. But this was a small faux pas that I can overlook. Truthfully only because I know, as a writer, that it is meant to keep readers on the edge of their seats and keep them hooked and tuned in for the next installment in the series. The ending gives the author a plot to work with so like I said bearable.
  • Predictability. I know, this might seem to conflict with my earlier statement to the contrary and for the most part this book was a breath of fresh air. But there was one moment in the book other than the aforementioned ending that I can’t delve into because it definitely is a major plot point, that I totally knew without a shadow of a doubt would happen. As the author continued, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and hoped that it wouldn’t play out that way… but it did.

5 Stars/Quills

That’s my list and my take. My advice, go to amazon right now and buy your copy before the next installment is released because it’s a read that’s well worth your time. If you like Hunger Games and Percy Jackson or really anything Young Adults and Sci-Fi then this is definitely the book for you. Personally I’m super excited for UNLOCKING BRISINGAMEN, Book 2 of The Scars Saga. I’ll be sure to post a review as soon as it’s out and I’ve read it.  Make sure you check out the interview I did with the author and get a quick sneak peak into the book with the excerpt located in the scroll box below.