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Monday, September 16, 2019

Simulation Game:Evolution Series, Book 1 by E.M.G. Wixley

Simulation Game is an exciting sci-fi thriller!



My thoughts:
Enter the world of virtual reality making it difficult to negotiate between reality and the virtual world created by Felicity's father. This story had me guessing at each step. It's fast paced and packed full of suspicions and suspense. The world building is phenomenal as the author builds this alternate believable reality. From character building to effective yet not over whelming descriptions this is a fantastic story.

Wixley is a talented author that surprises me with each new book. Her talents extend into fantasy, horror and now sci-fi. She creates worlds my mind couldn't dream of.


I think anyone who enjoys a good thriller would enjoy this story even if sci-fi isn't your cup of tea.

Amazon/Audible

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Soul Freedom: Soul Series Book 4 by Miranda Shanklin

This is a great series; witches, fae, elves, and doors to other worlds!



My opinion:
Anissa the girl with the big heart takes a turn in this segment. She's far more than she ever considered herself and with more power she is the strongest of the group and takes the leadership role. To her it's new but not to those of us who have read the other books. 

What I really enjoyed about this book was how the other realms fit in. It was about acceptance and understanding how different yet how similar we are. I relay this to the world we live in. There are many countries filled with people but truly we aren't much different except customs and languages. I heard that message loud and clear and thought the author did a nice job of relaying the positive.


The narrator again is fabulous, great pacing and a clear voice. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves YA paranormal. It's clean yet there is the whole romance between each pair in the group. The main focus is Anissa and Chase.

Amazon/Audible

Reflections: Cathedral Chronicles 2 by E.M.G Wixley

Book 2 is a prequel and is every bit as strange and mysterious as book 1. 



My opinion:

In volume 2 Sophia is watching her niece and nephew who are kidnapped by an evil entity. The story exists between two worlds. It seems they are colliding as the author cleverly brings in new monsters and helpers.Sophia of course has to find them which takes her on the adventure of a lifetime, filled with action. 

Like volume 1 there's many details to listen for. I was on vacation and driving when I started this book and got a bit distracted so I automatically set it back a chapter to relisten. I didn't want to miss anything. The story is fast paced and filled with suspense. It kept me on my toes and that's something I like in a book. I want to think while I'm reading or watching a movie. The world building is phenomenal and is written so well it seems real.


It's a great listen for anyone who loves fantasy, action and adventure. There's even a romance between Sophia and long time friend Adair. It packs a punch!

Amazon/Audible

Saturday, June 22, 2019

In the Devil's Own Words; Cathedral Chronicles by E.M.G. Wixley

Venture into a different world. This story is a magnification concoction of horror meets fantasy!



My thoughts:

This wasn't the first book from Wixley that I've read, in fact I listened to the entire Witchfinder series so I knew what to expect; an imagination that knows no boundaries and a horrifying ride. All that is up my alley. This author's imagination never ceases to amaze me. This story reminded me of a more twisted Lord of the Rings instead of middle earth they venture into another world filled with monsters and creatures only created in Wixley's mind. 

The pace of the story is quick and there are lots of important details so if you miss anything you'll need to backtrack. The pacing keeps my mind at attention. The world building and characterization are phenomenal. The narrator really fits the story and he keeps up well with the pacing. This isn't the first book he's narrated that I've listened to and his voice is always a pleasure. 


For horror and fantasy buffs I highly recommend this book! On to book 2 in the series!

Amazon/Audible

Out of Darkness: The Starborn Uprising Book 1 by Jason D. Morrow

This isn't another zombie story. It's zombie story with a paranormal twist!



My thoughts:
Mora's attempting to save her village from the relentless greyskins when she begins noticing strange things about herself but she's unsure at first until she meets others like her. She has to learn to use the powers to take down the greyskins all the while, greyskins aren't the only problem. Not all humans are simply trying to survive, some have evil intentions. 

The author builds a believable world filled with monsters or zombies that he calls greyskins. I liked that from the start. Mora is also a likable character, simply a young woman trying to survive and hold onto what's left of her family. The greyskins are everywhere and don't travel singularly but in hordes. The characters are real. I could picture the whole story playing out in my head. Their actions and thoughts mimic what one may really be thinking and doing. 

The plot and action heighten throughout the story as more elements and twists are brought in. This was a really cool story and it was original. 

Amazon/Audible

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Beyond the Hidden Sky in audio by Marcha Fox

One of my favorite books now in audio! 



My thoughts:
I loved this story in paperback so when I saw it was an audio I had to listen. It's such a classic story of a teen girl and her family. Creena - the teen girl - after a disagreement with her brother gets onto a small ship within the large transport ship she and her family are traveling on. The small ship is ejected with her, into space. She is a bit of a rebel, a free thinker and doesn't get along well with the ships on board computer. There are a lot of funny moments in the book as well as suspenseful adventure. That begins her journey. Her father sets off after her with her brother but with light travel the way it is they have a job trying to find her.

The adventure includes other planets, aliens, an intelligent plant and forms of artificial intelligence. There's twists in the plot so it's hard to guess exactly what's going to happen next or how the story will end. Author Marcha Fox doesn't simply have a gift for words on paper but she creates a believable world of hard core sci-fi and characters that make the one laugh and cringe. What's a good story without an evil villain?


The added narration of listening vs. reading is the next best thing to this series being put into a movie. T.W. Ashworth does an amazing job with the voices and keeping up with the pacing of the story. I'm ready to listen to book 2 A Dark of Endless Days! This series is like the perfect combination between Star Wars and Lost in Space!

Amazon/Audible

Saturday, May 18, 2019

What is writing to an author?

For this author writing is a means to no end. I started a journey four years ago and began The Bloodseeker St. Augustine Novellas. This idea implanted when, I, after divorce moved into an apartment. My neighbors -- young women -- slept all day and partied all night. I wrote a very rough draft. They got evicted after several calls from angry residents and my life was peaceful again. I picked it back up a few years later, did some research about vampires in St. Augustine then became distracted by the city beneath the city being excavated and began The Bloodseekers.

Innocent teens caught in the middle of a supernatural battle that had been waging for centuries. They came together, didn't always like each other but fell into the rolls they thought were their birthright. Now they learn the truth in the Slayer Chronicles.

I started the chronicles and got through book 1 with a lot of holes and started a rough of book 2 with many thoughts for the rest of the series that keep bouncing in my brain.

Isandro volume 1 of the hidden journals, a Bloodseeker spin off series led into volume 2 Alarico. Upon the urging of my editor I put the chronicles away and have focused my attention on the hidden journals. Alarico is a bloodseeker and the story is his account of something he considers quite spectacular and it is. It is the hole in my Slayer Chronicles, the back story that explains so much. I assume at this point so will all the other hidden journals and it is a matter of piecing and reading between the lines.

As Alarico unfolds a new question is answered. If only there were enough hours in the day and no distractions to finish this story which in an odd way will connect to Isandro but that may not be revealed until the Slayer Chronicles. 

I wish so much to tell the story here but it is far too complex. History always is. As an author it would be really stupid to reveal any spoilers. Read the story you will not be disappointed and remember within the next couple years the entirety of the saga will be revealed. Secrets in history that we never knew, how other supernatural beings came into existence and so so much more!

The Bloodseekers was barely the beginning and I knew that when I started book 3 The Ghost Within. Every part of me wanted to jump into the Slayer Chronicles then but I knew book 3 had to be finished first. Now my brain goes crazy and the story and plot thicken, puzzle pieces come together and what's in store is far more than I and the Slayers ever imagined.



Even more beautiful you can start this journey for free!
The Vampires Next Door - FREE!

Until May 22 find books 2 and 3 on sale
The Monster Upstairs Book 2 - .99
The Ghost Within Book 3 - 1.99

Sales not available at Amazon/Kindle

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Twisted Magic 1: Twisted Books 1-11 by Jo Ho

This is the first boxed set I've listened to. 29 hours of witches! It was great but I'd love to do it again, one book a day.



My thoughts:
The pros and cons of listening to his entire book. The story is great so I hate for it to end but on the other extreme it didn't happen in one sitting but a few chapters each day. Most likely I will listen again, one book at a time.The characters are real and a bit quirky. The writing is great. Between the authors words and the narrators performance it kept me listening and curious. 

The story surrounds four college girls, none who know anything about magic. They're all very different coming from different walks of life. It turns out they are witches, powerful witches. The story follows their journey as they understand and take on their powers and fight a powerful enemy.


This is very much a character driven story. The author never lost me once switching from one girl to the next. For anyone who enjoys urban fantasy this is a great book.

Amazon/Audible

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Prophecy of Ashes by John R. Monteith

The full name is A Prophecy of Ashes: A Supernatural Psychic Thriller: Wraith Hunter Chronicles, Book 1. This was my first listen to one of this authors books. Below are my thoughts.



My Thoughts:

This story develops around three groups before they all merge. There are wraith hunters who hunt every 50 years. Diane a woman who believes she's an empath and the wraith who is a psychopath. There are thrills and suspense but I have to admit I didn't really like Diane. She was kind of whiny through most of the story and I wished the wraith would have tortured her. On the other hand there was enough elements to keep me listening. One of them was wondering when the wraith was gonna kill her and how he'd do it. Would it be bloody and quick or slow and painful?


I loved the hunters and their use of technology. That was clever but it was the young stud hunter who thought of it and it was a nice touch. If the police and FBI use this stuff why not a couple guys searching for a wraith? It makes sense and added a lot to the story. Overall it was enjoyable with its quick pace and action. The characters are developed as well as the plot.

Amazon/Audible

Black Acres by Ambrose Ibsen

Wow! Ambrose Ibsen and Joe Hempel are an awesome match. I know, I know I've said that before but with every book I'm more hooked.



My Thoughts:

I'd love to give this story more than 5 stars. It's creepy factor is off the charts. A couple city dwellers buy a house in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing for miles except dead forest but the house was a good price and they were finally in a financial situation to afford a house. The husband figures with the money they save buying the house they can afford to put money into it. He's happy as a clam but the wife hates it. She never feels comfortable in it and when she starts seeing and hearing things wants nothing more than to get far away.

The pace of the story is perfect, it ramps up as the plot develops. At certain points I thought she needed to bean her husband over the head, throw him in the car and drive but she's dutiful. The character building is a big part of the charm of the story.On one hand the husband seems blind to everything but the stinking house and the wife is either going insane or something paranormal is truly happening to her. 


It's a clever story and one I'll enjoy over again, and over again!

Amazon/Audible

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Wayward Souls by LD Greenwood

I always enjoy stories that don't have the same story as everything else. I also enjoy well-written stories. This filled the bill for both.



My thoughts:

There's plenty of intrigue in this story and I'm like a bug to a light when it comes to paranormal. Ellie finds her sister dead and a soul broker in her living room. Most people can't see the soul brokers but she can. This puts her on a mission to save her sisters soul and a different world. I offer huge compliments to the author for her great world building. I felt like I was there but there wasn't so much it drowned the story.

There are twists, suspense, mystery and other elements of suspense that kept me listening every chance I got. The story has a nice pace that gets faster as it moves towards the climax. I love that Elie is a normal person not a super anything. She's humble and kind. None of the characters are perfect in any way. That makes the story believable and the characters relatable.

Meghan Kelly took a minute to get used to but once I did I really enjoyed her voice and think she's a good fit for the story.


Overall, a really great story!

Amazon/audible

The Unheard by Anthony Del Col episodes 1-8

Neat story done as 8 podcasts using multi voice actors!

My thoughts:
I love how this was done. Melissa Lopez is a San Diego California girl in college in Europe. She gets involved with a missing student Anna and as a class assignment starts a podcast interviewing everyone who knew the missing student. Each episode the story left me hanging, wanting more. 


As the story progresses it gets more mysterious with a paranormal twist. This is the first time I've listened to an sudio with several voice actors and I really enjoyed it. They were all really good and played their parts well. The story is genius and each episode made me curiouser and curiouser. I would definitely reccomend this for anyone who loves mystery and plot twists.


Audible

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Modified by Kat Stiles

Hilarious!



My thoughts:
I absolutely loved this authors style. Written in the first person the listener gets an upclose look at Kate's thoughts which had me rolling in laughter. Its light--hearted fun for adults, especially if you enjoy a paranormal twist. Note there is some profanity, actually lots of profanity.

Kate doesn't have a glamorous life. She works as a temp, doing boring work, has a boss whose sexually harrassing and has little to no social life with the exception of one friend. Then she wakes with a huge throbbing lump on her head, can't remember anything about the previous night and soon finds out she has super powers.


Along with the humor is a touch of mystery and action. And the narrator is awesome. She does the Northern accent well which really adds to the authenticity and humor of the crazy story.

Amazon/Audible

Off-Season by Colleen Thompson

Filled with Chills!



My thoughts:
This story was really good, had me caught on every word. The plot was thourough without any holes, the characters were realistic and there's a lot of twists and turns. 

Christina is a doctor. Her husband recently passed away and so she moves herself and daughter from Texas to her birth town of Seaside Creek New Jersey. Its a small town and she hasn't kept in touch much with her childhood friends. Many years ago as teenagers she and the npw chief of police had a one night thing. Since he married and divorced her teenage best friend.


As soon as she moves in creepy things start happening like voices in her house, her daughter repeating strange things she's heard, home vandalism and a ton of other sordid mayhem. The polt thickens and the mystery grows. This is one for the psychological thriller junkie.

Amazon/Audible

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Homecoming by Alan Russel

This is one I borrowed from Prime. I haven't figured out yet how to send it back now that I've listened but the story was worth the listen.



My Thoughts:
Stella Price vanishes at 7 years old after a family day at the beach then reappears 7 years later. The family goes through a rough time and the mother goes as far as contemplating suicide. The father drowns himself in his job. taking position as an elected official. When Stella reappears their joy is mixed with questions.

The story isn't completely unique but  was enjoyable and fast paced. Everything the family went through was realistic as well as their reactions to having her back. There was suspense, twists, even a bit of conspiracy. The writing is even paced and builds towards the plot. The characters were vibrant and the scene descriptions were developed and not overwhelming.


This story is one not only for sci-fi fans but those who enjoy a good mystery with a touch of conspiracy.

Amazon/Audible

Ever After by Odessa Gillespie Black

Great paranormal!



My Thoughts:

A little romancy but done in taste. Allie comes into an inheritance from someone she's never met. The mansion is all hers if she spends 30 days in it. In that time there is small host of colorful characters including Cole, a dark brooding man. She feels an instant connection to him but his prickly attitude pushes her away. The obvious part was the relationship between them but I really enjoyed how the author developed it.


I was hung on every word which the author so colorfully wrote.  The scenes were vivid and the story was filled with its share of suspense and intrigue.
 

Molters by C.A. Gleason

Different concept of zombies.



My Thoughts:

This story was different and is a bit sci-fiish. There are references to the molters evolving from something on Earth, although, that is only speculations by the main character, Jonah. He's an ex soldier and when bodies start piling up he takes charge. He's forced to or die. There's a long string of characters in the book and it could almost be divided into two separate books in a series.

The story had a good flow. The narrator matched my thoughts of the main character and it had enough suspense to intrigue me. It also has a fair amount of death. In a situation like Jonah faces death would be unavoidable. I don't normally have problems with character dying anyways but in this case it fits well. There are a few heroic moments for Jonah as he attempts to slay the molters that keep his life on edge.


Overall, I really enjoyed it and would reccomend it to anyone who enjoys zombie/apocalyptic type books and movies.

Amazon/Audible

Madhouse by Miguel Estrada

Great story! Like reading a nightmare.



My Thoughts:
Lucas runs away from his home to teach his parents a lesson. He soon meets a nice but strange lady who takes him home with her and soon he's steeped in her home of horrors. The sick and depraved situations this author thought to write into this story are very creative. I admire the talent and the twist at the end.

This is something of a cautionary tale but not for children to read. The story is a quick listen and flows well with a large helping of suspense at every turn.  I cringed several times and had a hard time pulling myself away until the book ended. The narrator does a great job with pacing and tone. The characters are vibrant, although, not the kind you want to meet.


This is an swesome horror thriller for the reader who craves twists! 

Amazon/Audible

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Jacksonville Landing

For the past 20 years I've lived in the Jacksonville area. The jags were a young team, the city had  potential and the Landing was something new and exciting.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville_Landing

Now, many years later the Landing is a run down section of Jacksonville right on the St. John's river and is most famous for shootings in the past coule years. 


Jacksonville's answer is to close the Landing.
I think this is like Jacksonville. I've lived here long enough, cross county lines four times a day to get to my home not even in Jacksonville but walking distance from it. The city much like their team the Jags have no vision, no dream. It is but a pit stop on people's vacations to Orlando and the great Disney mess and St. Augustine. Or maybe their going further to Miami or the Keys.

The city lacks creativity in spades. My idea is to take the natural beauty and uniqueness of one of the very few rivers that run backwards and make it something people want to see, want to visit, maybe even plan their vacation around it.

How does that happen? Cruises. Yup. Simple right. Day and dinner cruises that go up and down the St. John's. The only foreseeable problem is they would have to be eco-friendly and not disturb the environmental balance of the ecosystem but that can be done. 

If I had the millions of dollars to invest I'd do it. Not only would there be cruises but the place would have its own resteraunts ran and owned by locals. Seriously, when people go on vacay they want something unique to the area. The theme wouldn't stop there I'd also bring in locals artists and businesses to the shops. Who wants a souvenier made in China when your visiting somewhere besides China -- no one. 

To top it off I'd put in a parking garage for people visiting the shops and taking the cruises. Parking in J'ville is a nightmare so having it is a commodity and a must.

I can't be the only peron with vision, maybe just the only one who lives in the area.

http://news.wjct.org/post/2017-state-st-johns-river-report-another-mixed-review-rivers-health

I plea with the Jacksonville City Council and Duval County (one in the same) to consider doing something with this beautiful parcel of land that will bring people to the city for more than a stop at Chick-fil-a.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Soul Knowledge: Soul Series Book 3 by Miranda Shanklin


Book 3 is now in audio!



Review:
This is a fantastic series if you anjoy witches and paranormal. The series is well put together, each book they have a new challenge yet there's a deep overarching plot that brings the stories together and keeps me reading. Each new book is another piece to the journey the six are taking and is filled with growing pains making the plot so real.

In this book Anissa is touched by darkness. This goes against everyting Anissa is, caring, compassionate and kind. The darkness drives her into doing things very out of character and compulsive but that's only half the battle as a wedge is driven between her and soulmate Chase. The six have to rid the darkness before it takes its toll on helpless humans.

I normally don't always like a new narrator in a series but Molly Merseal does it seemlessly and keeps good pacing with the plot and characters. Definitely one to check out!


Winter's Rise by Breezy Jones



Fantastic new release from up and coming new author!



Review:
I truly enjoyed this story. The author has such a fantastic voice making this book a pleasure to read. 

The story s about a female werewolf who only recently realized it. She's kind of a loner and her best friend is the man she works for but along comes a hot werewolf who takes her under his wing and shows her the ropes. Soon enough their relationship takes a more romantic turn and she makes friends where she never thought she would.

The story is as much a romance as it is a paranormal mystery. I really loved the authors creativity and use of fantasy creatures. It made the story playful and fun. There are also a few suspenseful moments. Its a clean read for teens or adults.


Great job! I see amazing things for this up and coming author. This is one you'll want to check out!

Amazon