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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Relief Efforts for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

As many of you know I live in north Florida. When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida I was relatively safely tucked away in the western panhandle in Destin Fl.

I didn't see much of the storm there except tropical storm force winds and rain Monday Sept. 11. On our drive to Destin we passed rest stops filled with evacuees and soon the hotel we were in filled with more evacuees from the eastern and western coastal regions and Tampa.


Finding gas was a challenge since so many stations were out but the gas buddy app was a huge help and I was sure at each we stopped at to update whether gas was available or not. Some of my family evacuated and only recently gained electricity again. Other members of my family and friends stayed put and waited it out.

When we returned home Tuesday it was like a ghost town. Gas stations had no power. Saran wrap was around the pumps, few restaurants were open. Those open had lines wrapping the building and into the street. 

In twenty years of living in the Jacksonville area of Florida this is the worst I've seen. The flooding was extensive and helicopters were out in search of survivors, many roads were impassable and so many lost their homes or can't live in them until they're repaired. Houston is just as bad after Hurricane Harvey and their suffering continues.

My heart breaks for these people and I already donated half my earning made in Destin Fl but it's simply not enough so I'm donating all the royalties until 10/14 from the sales of my St. Augustine Novellas, the Bloodseeker series.


I chose this series because it takes place in north Florida. St. Augustine wasn't only affected by Hurricane Irma but also Hurricane Matthew last year. The series cover designer has also decided to donate royalties from her book Winter Thrillz. Together we hope to donate a nice chunk of money to Red Cross for disaster relief.  


The series on Amazon 
The Vampires Next Door Book 1
The Monster Upstairs Book 2

Winter Thrillz (includes page reads as part of KU)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Field of Red by Greg Enslen

The jury's still out on this one.



My Review:
This book had a slower pace. Frank is an ex-cop who specialized in missing children yet he refuses tvbvo assist in a local case when girl's start disappearing. He's an alcoholic who'd rather have his lips to a bottle than help.

I didn't like Frank much. He seemed pretty worthless to me, eventually he helps. I hope that's not a spoiler but I think any reader who starts the story will figure that out on their own.
The mystery in the story was solid and kept me listening. There's sufficient suspense most of the way through.


The plot stalls at times but is easy to follow. It's a decent book and those who love cozy mystery will most likely enjoy the story.

Amazon/Audible

Death by Honeymoon by Jaden Skye

Started slow but got better!



My Review:
The first chapters dragged on and on. They weren't too exciting but there was enough mystery I didn't quit. Glad I didn't the story gets very intriguing.

Cindy marries Clint, the man of her dreams and they honeymoon in Barbados. He turns up dead. For weeks she's depressed and falls in on herself. Her sister comes to visit ad takes care of her until she's injured when the brakes in Cindy's car fail.

After that is where it gets good. Clint's family is horrible and treat Cindy as though she's guilty of something. But more people associated with Clint and his company begin dying which sends Cindy packing and back to Barbados.

Once there the plot thickens and she's in peril yet doesn't back down and the story takes on a faster pace.

All and all an entertaining mystery!

Amazon/Audible

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Prison of the Past is out!

Released Tuesday I'm a bit late in announcing this. My apologies. 



The final book is complete with all the suspense and excitement of the other books. Cleo wraps up loose ends and discovers more about herself in the process and finds a couple accomplices that join her in the final journey.





All the other books in the series are .99 right now!
The entire series on Amazon!

All the books are available at iTunes, Kobo and Nook.







Friday, September 1, 2017

Deadlocked by A.R. Wise

The cover may not look like much but looks can be deceiving. Great story!



My Review:

Another action packed, suspense laden listen. David's an average guy at work when he see's a gruesome sight on the news. Children on a school bus eating other children. Horrified he and his co-workers check out early.There's more backstory given about the break out and illness infecting everyone.

All he wants to do is get home to his wife and girls but the odds are against him. One terrifying moment after the next it seems he will perish. Luck isn't with him and fights tooth and nail. Hes an office guy gone zombie vigilante to get home to his family. As unrealistic as that seems I think under the circumstances most people would find the strength to accomplish heroic acts.

The plot is simple, the story progresses quickly and as a bonus the first couple chapters of the second book are available at the end. Even I cringed throughout this story and I really enjoyed the little things the author thought of and put into this.

Infected Freaks by Jason Borrego

Plenty of science and horror!



My Review:

All kinds of good stuff here! Red Dead plummeted to Earth sending it into chaos and a new civil war has sprouted. Abraham feels somewhat safe isolated with most of his family in the mountains of Colorado. Two of his grown children left and he makes a weekly radio call at a local abandoned place in hopes they'll hear and find him. It's one of those missions that sparks the story.

This author uses a real illness caused by a fungus that infects insects to make zombies out of. Who knows it could happen. I loved the science. The zombies are ruthless and come out at night. The red sky caused by Red Dead feeds them energy in the late hours when they come out of their hiding places.

This is a clever story chalk full of action and suspense. Not a single dull moment as Abraham and company fight off the evil, disgusting zombies as they try and make it back to the mountain home.

Amazon/Audible

Rest Haven by Erik Therme

Spooky young adult thriller!



My Review:

Great story that kept me hooked from start to finish! Kaylee's mom forces her to hang out with a group of other kids. She's more of a homebody and prefers safe activities but that's not on the order for this night. She's invited to a scavenger hunt in a closed retirement home while there she faces all types of horrors.

One of the girls is a real piece of work and they get into an argument the next thing the mean girl is gone and all the others including Kaylee are locked into the retirement. All the doors are boarded and there's no way out. They get separated at various points, chased by a stray dog, a creepy old man and Kaylee finds a boy she tricks into coming with her. It's important to her that she get him out.

Banter between the kids is realistic and so are their ideas and actions making them dimensional. There's enough creepy stuff to make this story a real nail-biter. The story moves quickly. I loved that, one moment to the next the story kept moving and intensifying. I was a little disappointed when it ended.

Amazon/Audible

Monday, August 28, 2017

Wendigo Fever by Kevin Hardman

Not what I expected and pleasantly so. 



My Review:

This is a fantasy/horror in my opinion and a short listen. The main character Errol is brother of the Warden and the man who keeps the land safe from horrible creatures. When his brother disappears and the people have problems that need assistance he rises to the occasion. He helps those in peril and also seeks his brother.

What he finds is gruesome, more gruesome than the zombie and revanant, a wendigo. He has to find a way to destroy it even though they can't be killed. By his side is a young lady who insisted on joining him. Together they make a cute team.


There are equal helpings of horror, gore and mystery. The characters are lively and the world building is amazing! I'm definitely checking out the next book in the series.

Amazon/Audible

Asylum by Ambrose Ibsen

Great! What might happen in a closed down asylum that has past reports of experiments on patients? Many writer's have tried this and not as successfully. 



My Review:

I really enjoy this author"s work. His stories are one of a kind and have the perfect mix of scary, creepy, mystery and suspense. 

In this story we meet an adjunct professor who isn't pleased with his life and dismayed by the low pay of his job, teaching only one class. A student makes a proposal to him. She wants him to be the supporting teacher behind a ghost hunting club. He agrees because a nice bonus comes with it.

It doesn't take long and they're knee deep in a mystery surrounding an asylum. With the owner's permission they set out and explore the empty building. I won't give away anymore but let your imagination go wild.


The characters are as intense as the situations. The plot is deep and the overall story is compelling.

Amazon/Audible

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Scraps of Paper by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Cute story!



Review:
Cozy mystery isn't my normal genre but this book was a nice break. Abigail moves to a small town and into a house where the previous residents disappeared. She finds notes from the daughter tucked into the strangest places. I liked the uniqueness and idea of finding those and thought about what I would do in that situation.Abigail sets out to solving the mystery of what happened to the former residents of the home. I probably would have done the same thing out of curiosity.

As she sets about solving this mystery she runs into some very interesting characters. They are full and vibrant. I especially liked Myrtle and eccentric older woman filled with surprises.There's some suspense but it's really mellow. I was waiting for something a bit more extreme and it never happened. The flow of the story is easy to follow and lighthearted.


For anyone who really enjoys the "Murder She Wrote" type of fiction this book falls right into that category.

Amazon/Audible

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Apocalypse Underwater City by Chrissy Peebles

It has a lot of potential.



My Review:
This is a new author to me and I have very mixed feeling if I'll check out anymore of her books. I enjoyed the author's style and the story. I'm the reader that enjoys YA because of the angsty teenage moments because they make a YA book realistic. Said honestly that's from my many years teaching secondary students. This story nails teenage drama.

The world is thrust into disorder and death when a huge asteroid strikes the surface. Fortunately for Sky her grandparents were on top of that and with investors built an underwater city for the survivors to live in until the surface recovered. Sky is a very  normal teenage girl. She bucks rules and authority and does what she wants. Her best friend isn't so rebellious and more of a follower.

I purchased this book without checking to see who the narrator was. Huge mistake. Elizabeth Meadows is my least favorite of any narrator I've heard. That's my fault for not checking. I did learn she sounds better when I increase the speed. 


A huge issue I had with the story is that it just abruptly stops. No cliffhanger, nothing solved. It simply stops after a major event. Nothing is solved in the book only introduced. It's like the first 8 chapters of a larger text that was cut. The characters and situation are introduced and that's it. There's no real purpose. If it wasn't for that its a fun story but that ruined it for me.

Amazon/Audible

One Wish Away by Ingrid Seymour

I'm hoping my luck doesn't run out. The the third awesome book in a row I've listened to!



My Review:
If you had three wishes what would you do? Lots of possibilities there but don't forget the rules. Muriel is raised by her grandfather after her mother passes and father turns to alcohol. Grand dad owns a nursery and has spent her life time telling her stories about the djinn. She thinks its all a load of bull until grand dad passes then it all becomes very real.

I loved the authors voice. The story had a nice flow. A few parts weren't as easy to follow as others but the plot was unique and the characters vivid. It was a refreshing read like an ice cold drink on a hot summer day.

Lisa Angelini was really impressive. Her voice not only fit the character but made the story come alive.


This is a fast paced, character driven paranormal that is truly enjoyable.

Amazon/Audible

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Ghost and the Graveyard by Genevieve Jack

Loved it! I was laughing from page one.



My Review:
This is the first time I've read or listened to any of this authors stories and will not be the last. This book had me rolling in laughter. Grateful is a young woman with bad taste and luck with men. The last boyfriend somehow drove her into deep debt so she moves into an old house of her dad's, something he inherited. The rent is free but with that is a catch.The back yard is a graveyard!

Almost immediately she meets Rick the caretaker who is hunky and lives next door.She also meets a couple of ghosts living in her house. Logan, one of the ghosts is hot and a great cook who makes her morning coffee. There's also a locked room in the house. Grateful grows more curious about the room and the tidbits she'd getting from Rick and the ghosts who coincidentally don't necessarily like each other so she pursues the mystery which leads to secrets about herself.

I absolutely loved the author's voice. She adds little antidotes that made the story memorable. I'm not a fan at all of romance but the humor, coupled with the mystery and paranormal had me glued. I started it in the car on my way to work and was so involved I continued listening while I worked. I couldn't put it down. The narrator was perfect for the character. Her voice was also clear and she used excellent pacing and inflection. 


Through and through a wonderful, hilarious story!

Amazon/Audible

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Secret of Mirror House by Jennifer Blake

I absolutely enjoyed this one! It's going in my memory as a favorite read.



My Review:
Amelia has just received notice of her father's death and an invite to stay in his creepy house. She doesn't know it's creepy until she gets there and it so much the house as the residents, her cousins, that are strange and eccentric. She discovers secrets about her father's past and is pushed by her cousins to marry one of them. That was a bit strange but the book is set in horse and buggy days so maybe not so much then.

There's plenty of suspense to keep me listening intently. I listened to most of it in one setting. The author drew me in with her descriptions of the old house and pacing. She never gave away too much at a time and she painted vibrant characters through dialogue and actions. The only think I really didn't like was her use of the most obscure adverbs, sometimes a couple per sentence. 

The narrator was awesome! I loved her voice and how she varied her inflection. She was also great with voices!


A fun listen!

Amazon/Audible

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It Began by Max Lockwood

A post apocalyptic novel. 



My Review:
It Began is a cautionary tale. Clara is a teacher. A career that leaves her unfulfilled but it pays the bills and supports her family. At home she provides for her grandmother whose mind is slipping and her sister Tessa. Her sister has visions or a heavy sixth sense that predicts the future. Clara and everyone mostly consider her insane. When an EMP strikes and takes out electricity it changes their lives. All the conveniences used in the characters daily lives is gone and food is in high need.

The story wasn't as suspenseful as I was hoping but was an interesting story. The pace is very slow. There wasn't much solved in this segment except the showing of how Clara and the town she lives in deals with everything. There is a bit of mystery surrounding Tessa and a few spots where delinquent behavior is displayed. I tend to think people would act far more rashly than the book paints but these people are pretty mild. There was a couple other things that didn't add up either but I don't give away any spoilers.


It's a decent listen.

Amazon/Audible

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sisters Arcana by Ken Janssens

Great audiobook for the family!



My Review:
This story is perfect for a family vacation travelling by car. The plot and characters are entertaining. I wasn't fond of the narrator as many times she sounded mechanical but did get better with the progression of the story.

Nova is a young lady with a wild imagination and when Sammy goes missing she takes on the act of figuring out what happened and is encountered by a plethora of problems that prevent her from solving the mystery, including her sister Rowan. Rowan is a typical teen whose main concern in life is Mitchell the boy she has a massive crush on. When he goes missing to she jumps into action becoming her sister's accomplice. 


There's plenty of action and suspense along with aliens and other strange characters to keep the story moving along.

Amazon/Audible

Anthem by Ayn Rand

As I attempt to broaden my literary horizons I find myself listening to more classics.



My Review:
I wasn't fond of the story. It was written in more of a prose than story, repeating the same phrases so many times it drove me nuts. On the other hand this book was written decades ago and literature and what defines a good book has changed. Keeping that in mind the book wasn't horrible, it just didn't keep me at the edge of my seat.

There really wasn't a central character, more a narrator describing the world's various groups, named by number  Each group has various characteristics that make them stand out and they're all evil. Not really, but the story repeated how they were considered evil. One group in particular stands out as larger, smarter and more adaptable than the rest.

It's a very surreal story and I begged for a character to root for but there wasn't. If you enjoy classic fiction or just want to widen your literary horizons than it's worth listening.


I lost my desire to interpret literature after college so I'm not the one to tell you the deep meaning behind this story, although, I'm positive there is one.

Amazon/Audible

Thursday, July 27, 2017

No Direction Home by Mike Sheridan

Possibly the best account I've read as to what might actually happen in a post apocalyptic world.



My Review:
I've read a lot of apocalyptic and post stories and this one is possibly the most realistic as to how survivors would act. There story follows several groups, some with better intentions than others but all trying to survive. My favorites were the Irish couple. I adored them.

Some groups are trying to form and build societies, there's the egotistical power hungry leader, and the sweet young couple who find love in the ashes of society. Others are happy stealing from the hard working. The author makes a slam dunk describing the best and worst of humanity.


There's a few action scenes that set the hear racing and characters to root for and others to wish the worst for. Very good story!

Amazon/Audible

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tampa and Beyond

This month I went to Tampa, FL for the Indie Author Book Convention. It was great! I met new readers and reunited with a few I've met in the past and met authors new to me. I also got to hang out for the day in the elaborate Chic Venue.

Here I am!!                                     My table filled with books.



                           The VIP room for the after party.



As you know I love the beach so of course I couldn't stay that close to it without making at least one or a several stops. Here are a few.

                       Tarpon Springs (not the best quality, sorry 😣 )

                            Sand Key

Clearwater beach. If you look close you'll see the rainbow above the boat.

                                         Saint Pete   

And since I was in no hurry I took the long, long way home through central Florida. It's pretty amazing I've lived here twenty years and never knew these tiny little towns existed. Remember I did this while listening to gothic horror stories so my imagination ran pretty wild. 

A mountain in Florida. If you look into the distance you can see it!


I made a couple stops. this is the first town. I was leery about making it out alive, but I had to stop and use wifi to download another book. Maybe the strange glances were my out of state plates on the rental car. Either way it'll be a future story.



There was also a lot of nothing for miles and miles.


The best thing is I'd do it again but first I have to stock up on more horror audiobooks!