Friday, April 29, 2011

Master of Voodoo: Rise of the Dead by Justin Cline

The concept of this book is one that I haven’t seen too often and was refreshing to attributing events to voodoo rather than vampirism.  For that alone, I liked the book.  However, I found it hard to follow in some places.  When he made the transition the first time from reality to dream I completely lost it.  Took me a while to realize I missed something.  The second time was a little easier to spot.  There were also some references in there, or innuendos such as the cell phone in my head part that I feel could be elaborated on more.  Which brings me to my other issue with this book … it wasn’t near long enough.   

I would love to see the author go back through this novella and elaborate more.  I think it can be a blown-away book if some pieces were followed up on and areas were made more … well just made ‘more.’  Gibson is totally likable and the poor guy has no clue what he’s gotten into and I believe that should be taken advantage of.  More history, more voodoo, more explanation of events;  well, just more!

I did like this book but I beseech the author to go back and take advantage of the great start and make me a page-turning-epic novel.  Oh and I almost forgot ... the cover of this book is super cool!

Author site:  Justin Cline

Review by Sue Owen

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Across the Sea by Eric Marier

I simply loved this book. It was easy to follow, the characters were adorable, and I fell in love with Lily almost immediately. She was so much like me (not really) that I think the author was watching my childhood unfold (I only wish!).

Francis was unfaltering in his quest to find his brother. I loved the reunion…oops hope that doesn’t give too much away. He is exactly what a boy hero should be and his adventures are exactly like adventures should be. I loved being taken along with him and rooting for him as he got himself into trouble and back out again.

I have to say, there were a couple of places that I kind of got lost in the story and had to read back a bit to figure out where someone came in or what happened. I think, though, that was my own fault for wanting to read faster to find out what happened next rather than a fault of the author’s narrative. This whole book was so much fun to read I found myself putting it down to just think about it a while. Wonder how in the world he, or usually she, would get themselves out of that mess. It was fun to try to figure it out, then go back to the book to see what really happened.

I like the way the author kept us in the era of pirates and kept us in the world of Spain and England. It was fun to imagine those times and he kept the pictures vivid in my mind so I felt I was part of that whole mess and helping them get to the end. I’m really bad at following war stories and I’m afraid this was no exception. I kept getting the two teams mixed up and kept having to go back to check to see who was who. The author was great at not really denoting them as good guys and bad guys which made it that much harder for me to keep track.

The writing style was easy to read, fun to follow and hard to put down. He writes simply without a lot of ‘adult’ words and for that I would recommend it for your young readers. I’m definitely recommending it to my grandson. He’ll love it.

Generally, this was a great book and one well worth reading. You will have great fun with Lily especially. I just adored her and hope to see her in future books.

Author Website:  Eric Marier

Review by Sue Owen

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our First Giveaway!!!!

We have decided to do our first giveaway, the first of many. The book up for grabs is a historical romance by Sharon Nelson called Pursuit of Midnight. A free E copy will be given to the winner in the format of their choice. Giveaway starts today and ends at midnight Pacific time on Sunday. Simply comment on this post and we will be posting the winner on Monday morning. Here's a little something about the book:

Is it possible for two people to stop a secret organization from destroying London, find a missing man, and catch a killer? Will they be able to do it all without losing everything?

Society believes that her twin brother is dead but the recently widowed Lady Cadence Cooper was given reason to believe otherwise. A message delivered by a mysterious veiled woman has led her to suspect the involvement of the Midnight Club in his abduction. In order to keep her sisters out of danger, Cadence has no choice but to enlist the aid of a perfect stranger to help her. The Duke of Remington owed her father his life and she is hoping it will be enough to convince him to aid her. Little does she know that the current Duke of Remington is not the same gentleman her father once called friend and getting this dark stranger to help her may cost Cadence more than she is willing to offer.

Blake Morris, Duke of Remington has his own reasons for investigating the Club and when a very audacious Lady with surprising information about the club demands his assistance, he has no choice but to succumb to her demands. Before long he is caught up in her crazy plans and swept away by her courage. When a plot is uncovered that could destroy London they will risk everything to save the city, their families and each other. Will they be able to unravel the secrets of the Midnight Club? Or will they lose more than just their hearts in The Pursuit of Midnight.

And the trailer:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Father's Child by Mark Adair

This was billed as a thriller but it is so much more than that.  It’s riddled with philosophical ideas about the character’s, life, hope and what is true happiness.  I say riddled because it’s definitely not dripping or over done in any way.  This book is well written and kept me guessing as to where it would all end.  It is definitely not a casual read.  If you want a run of the mill thriller with no thought put into it, this is not the book for you.  The author has gone inside the minds of the main characters and along the way taught the reader about feelings and life in general.

I thought I saw the end coming but at the last it took a surprising turn.  I didn’t see part of it coming, I do want to know what exactly happened to the first friend and by golly I’m ecstatic the way the rest of it worked out.  Go team! 

The author, I believe, took a good, hard look at the way things are put together and carried the story through all that meant.  It wasn’t over done and it certainly isn’t just another thriller.  It is one of those kinds of books that you can read over and over and still find something new that you may have missed.  I almost read right past the big revelation because I just wasn’t looking for it.  That’ll teach me to read well into the night!  

Generally, this is a well thought out book and definitely a do-over.  Excellent job, Mark!

Author Web Site:  Mark Adair

Review by Sue Owen

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Run by Blake Crouch

From beginning to end this book was full of action.  The author does a fantastic job of keeping us with his characters and seeing what they are seeing.  There is some pretty gruesome stuff in this novel but none of it is beyond reality.  People do some pretty terrible things to each other when they think there is no cost.  His story line is totally believable and keeps the reader in suspense not only for the end but for each time the family has to run.  Will this be the last time they are together?  When Jack gets taken from them, I felt for sure that was the end of him and I felt very sad.  During the whole book I was fighting right along with them, screaming in some places to get them to do something to help save their lives.  

This book is very intense and the many scenes of violence and bloodshed as well as the steps this family goes through to protect each other and themselves is amazing.  The author is gifted in building suspense and then ‘pow’ you are blown away with the resolutions.  I won’t give away the ending because you absolutely have to read this book but suffice it to say, I was bawling my eyes out by the end.  Suspense, drama, love, hate, revenge, mayhem and murder are all here.  This is a must read as far as I’m concerned but allow plenty of time to read it through because it is so hard to find places where you can leave the family and put the book down!

Author Web Site:  Blake Crouch

Review by Sue Owen

Friday, April 8, 2011

And Let Us Begin the Ranting


I’m sure most of you are familiar with Amanda Hocking.  She’s the sweetheart of indie world.  She’s published many, many books as an independent author and, rumor has it, Hollywood is seeking to get movie rights to one of her books.  This rant isn’t necessarily about Ms. Hocking and her success.  My hats off to her and I definitely hold her success up as a remarkable achievement and encourage other indie authors to use her as an example for that at least.

What my issue boils down to is her lack of being part of the real world.  As infamous as she is in the indie world you would think she would at least read her books before publishing them!  Seriously, does it make any sense at all that someone is so dumb they don’t know a vampire until the end of the book AND they have to be told???  And her oh so smart young brother won’t even acknowledge the fact that they exist?  Really?  How does that make any sense?   No cops when she runs away?  What mom would not turn her in?  Can we say child abuse?? Why would the vamps take her in knowing she’s underage and it’s illegal!!!  Seriously???  

I was prepared to hate this book because as I started reading it the misspellings and misuse of the English language was atrocious.  Even the font and formatting didn’t follow throughout the book; fodder for future rants, by the way.  However, once I sealed myself again all the badness in the book, and got past the really annoying reality overlooks, it was a pretty good plot.  Kind of reminded me, however, of another recently movie-ized vampire movie which will remain nameless.

So I probably won’t read any more of her books even though I enjoyed the ending.  It physically hurts me when authors don’t take the time to read over their own works and leave completely idiotic and lame plot lines in such as Ms. Hocking did in My Blood Approves. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Charmer by Autumn Dawn

I was truly sorry to have this book end.  Not only is it a good story but it is well written and thought out.  I loved the characters, even the ones I hated!  There were some plot twists that I truly didn’t see coming and I won’t share those but some that were soooo obvious… but I won’t share those either!  And some that I hope happen in the future between a certain Haunt and Ronin.  It was a very enjoyable book and one that I had trouble putting down.  The author’s narrative style was very easy to follow and told from the main character’s point of view.  The first few pages were a little hard to follow and I had trouble figuring out where the dog fit in and I see he kind of disappeared after a while.  Probably could have left him out but was a nice way to start the book.  
Overall this was a good book to read and I recommend it.  The love scenes were well written and not so graphic as to embarrass a reader reading in a public place but graphic enough to make the imagination a bit warm.  I look forward to reading more of Autumn Dawn’s creations.  There appear to be a few more in this Dark Lands Series which I will read with pleasure and, of course, share my thoughts.  

Author Website or Blog:

Review by Sue Owen

Monday, April 4, 2011

Murder Creek By Allure Van Sanz and Random Wicks

This book takes a walk on the dark side of humanity.  Shy is completely believable as an assassin that has little humanity left.  She’s rough and unforgiving.  Its pretty easy to tell no one has cut her a break and she’s going to treat everyone else the same.  When she goes after Vic it becomes a contest of who is the badest.  Could a relationship between them really work out?  You’ll have to read to find out.

From the beginning the authors draw you into a world of darkness making you challenged to remember your own humanity.  To be honest this type of book isn’t one that I would seek out to read.  It has too much bitterness, hostility and maybe honesty for me.  However, it is very well written and the images are extremely graphic and draw you completely through where the authors intended.  If you like this type of dark story, it is well worth purchasing.

Review by Sue Owen