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Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts

Saturday, December 16, 2023

The Dying Game by Sara Schoen #Book Review

The Dying Game is like many teen horror movies, with a group of friends traveling to have an exciting adventure, and that’s precisely what they got, though it wasn’t what they wanted. Two things bothered me about this book and why I only gave it 3 Stars. The prologue felt like a poorly written synopsis of the story I was about to read, making it worse with the use of first-person, leading me to the next thing. The use of first-person can hinder a story, making it feel clunky, as it did with this book. I’ve read many first-person tales, and they felt natural, but this one wasn’t one of them.

I gave The Dying Game 3 out of 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!


Linkville Horror Series by Mike Salt #Book Review

When I started reading The House on Harlan, I had no idea this was a series. It wasn’t until I read The Valley that I noticed the “A Linkville Horror Series” subtitle. Since only location connects them, I wasn’t confused about who was who.

The House on Harlan has a strange door in the cellar, and what emerges from it isn’t pleasant. The happy family that moves in soon learns that things aren’t what they seem, and Alex fights to save them from the evil that lurks on the other side. The story is unique and dark. When the author showed me what was happening, I was impressed.

I gave The House on Harlan 4 out of 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

The Valley

When a group of friends go to the mountains for a vacation, their hopes for a fun-filled adventure soon turn horrifying. Of the stories I’ve read from Mike Salt, this is my favorite, and I couldn’t get enough of it. From opening to close, I was excited to find out what going to happen next.

I gave The Valley 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

Damned to Hell

I’m glad I didn’t read this story first because I wouldn’t have read the others in the series, and Mike Salt is an exceptional author. I just couldn’t connect with the main character, Rob. He was pathetic, but I trudged through the story to see where it went. Guess what? He just kept making things worse for himself. I get the idea of being able to see a deceased loved one, once more, but come on.

I gave Damned to Hell 3 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

The Disembodied by John Grover #Book Review

I felt like I was missing something when reading The Disembodied and I still do. There was really no explanation (that I remember) of the hows and whys behind the dead reincarnating. At least, the creepiness was great.

I gave the Disembodied 4 out of 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

Heaven's Peak: A Gripping Horror Novel by Miguel Estrada #Book Review


Heaven’s Peak is about Kevin Miller, who’s recently moved to a new town with his father and sister after his mom died; they’re hoping for a fresh start. Unfortunately, the freshness doesn’t last long as his father falls back into his old routine of drinking and not remembering he and his sister exist. 

The darkness that overlays this story is harsh and not friendly and one of the many reasons I enjoyed this book. The agony the main characters feel is translated very well and I was pleased to have found this book.

I gave Heaven’s Peak 5 Stars.

Get your copy on Amazon!

Avernus Island (The Monsters & Mayhem Collection Book 2) by Patrick McNulty #Book Review


I didn’t pay attention to the fact that this is Book 2 in The Monsters & Mayhem Collection and didn’t notice anything that connects the first book to this one (maybe, I’ll read it to find out). That being said, I don’t think it matters because I didn’t feel like I walked into something pre-existing. 

Avernus Island is creepy and dark and unsettling. It kept me interested and I had a hard putting it down. The strangeness of what happens was amazing as was the back story, showing what caused the darkness to come to this island.

I gave Avernus Island 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

Tamed (Werepets Unleashed Book 1) by Douglas R. Brown #Book Review

Tamed is an interesting take on werewolves, slavery, and how things are run by unscrupulous people and I loved it. Every page kept me engaged, making me wonder what was going to happen next. The book is filled with action and I felt a strong connection to the characters as they worked to bring justice to the WerePets.

I gave Tamed 4 out of 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

The Garage by J. Dispenza #Book Review

The Garage wasn’t the worst thing I’ve read, but it was predictable and on the boring side. Nothing really happened except Zoe’s prophetic dream coming true. Based on the description, I expected a lot more, but it was anti-climactic.

I gave the Garage 3 out of 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

The Killing Complex (The Killing Saga Book 1) by KG Leslie #Book Review


The Killing Complex is a lot to take. Its ultraviolence left me unsettled at times, but there was so much of it after a while it was just oh hum. I honestly didn’t understand the point of it at times or where it was going. Since it’s a series, I probably will never know, since I didn’t really care for it.

I gave The Killing Complex 3 out of 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

Shatterbones by Robert Brown #Book Review


Shatterbones is an apocalyptic novel where children are changed into different beings, and let me tell you, I was quite impressed with the imagery. Each chapter kept me interested and on the edge of my seat. The different settings and action scenes were well-crafted by the author. There’s so much more I want to tell you about this book, but I can’t because I hate spoilers.

I gave Shatterbones 5 Stars.

Get your copy on Amazon!

Halfborn by Soleil Daniels #Book Review

Halfborn is about Coral, who is a vampire. She dreams about a man and not the one she changed. Most of the time, I couldn’t figure out where this story was going. Which, sometimes, is a good thing, but where it ended up left me empty. The overdone sex scenes were uncomfortable to watch, and that’s saying a lot. Since I have the habit of not putting a book down until it’s done, and I reached the end.

I’m still unsure how I feel about Halfborn, so I’ll give it 3 out of 5 Stars.

Get a copy at Amazon.

The Legend of Ethni LeDoux by Linda Mims @boom_lyn #RRBC #Thriller


Some of the questions I had from Linda’s Neon Houses were answered in this prequel. Traveling with Ethni and seeing what she’s capable of was great to learn. While this is only a short, there’s so much in it to keep me entertained and waiting for the next installment.

I gave the Legend of Ethni LeDoux 5 Stars.

Get your copy at Amazon!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Breathless: A Short Story by Yvette M Calleiro #Review #RRBC

Breathless is a short story by Yvette M Calleiro and brings a wonder-filled tale that kept me guessing with each paragraph. The detail of the characters and scenes are amazing and mesmerizing.

I recommend you give this quick read a chance, and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars.

About Breathless

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.

About Yvette M Calleiro

Yvette CalleiroYvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.

When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who allows her to enjoy children’s literature all over again. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.


Ghostly Interference by @JanSikes3 #Review #RRBC #ParanormalRomance

I always find it interesting to read something that isn’t within my normal genre and discover new stories. Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series) being a romance doesn’t fit into my norm, while the ghost part does. I enjoyed the world that Jan created with Jag and Rena and their almost deadly first encounter. For me, the ghost of Sam could’ve been more frightening at the beginning, but that’s not what this story was about.

Throughout the book, Jag and Rena become their better selves, allowing the other to make them stronger. These characters are very well developed and strong, making them feel real as I read. Even the harassment part of the story seemed like something that has happened in real life.

4 Stars

I was very impressed with Ghostly Interference and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

About Ghostly Interference

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical runestone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

About Jan Sikes

RWSIA_Author_Jan_SikesJan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council, and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.

Connect with Jan

link facebook Twitter link

Through The Nethergate by @RobertaEaton17 #Review #RRBC

Through The Nethergate drew me in quickly and I was immersed in a wonderful story immersed in history. The perfect narrative provides a world that I wasn’t expecting that is dark and frightening (just the way I like them). As I read, I had a hard time putting the book down because I wanted to know the next dreadful that was heading for Margaret, her grandfather, and the ghosts that she’s befriended along the way. The unexpectedness of Hugh Bigod’s desire turned into a super cool twist. The historical parts, while fictionalized, add a nice layer of realness to the story.

5 Stars

You need to read Through The Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle because I give it 5 out of 5 Stars.

About Through The Nethergate

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Robbie CheadleAbout Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle has published nine children’s books under the name of Robbie Cheadle. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

For more about her and an excerpt from Through The Nethergate, check out my post from October 10, 2020.

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The One Enlightened by Yvette M Calleiro @YvetteMCalleiro #RRBC #YAFantasy

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 2) continues where The One Discovered left off with a little glimpse of the ending (thank the Goddess because it’s been a while since I read it). The story follows Sofia who is learning about being a Diasodz and her power.

This chapter in the Diasodz series isn’t as exciting as the first, but when it comes it is exceptional. Much of this book is about self-awareness and romance, which are integral elements to this story. Each page paints a beautiful picture of this world down and I felt like I had been transported there and can clearly see each detail through Sofia’s eyes.

4 Stars

I enjoyed The One Enlightened very much and you need to grab a copy if you haven’t already. Keep in mind though, if you haven’t read the first, you might be a little lost. I give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

About The One Enlightened

theoneenlightenedSofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

About Yvette M Calleiro

Yvette CalleiroYvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.

When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who enjoys paranormal and adventurous stories as well. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Prey for the Dead by Susanne Leist @SusanneLeist #BookReview #RRBC

The first thing I thought when I finished reading Prey for the Dead was that the male characters are jerks yet the female leads, Linda and Shana, are in love with them no matter how badly they treat them. The men are vampires, but still, it left me with an uncomfortable feeling.

That aside, I did enjoy the story with the many twists thrown in Linda’s path as she discovers what is actually happening in Oasis. I felt confused about what was happening at times, but everything was answered for me as the story unfolded.

Please know that this is part of a series and is Book Two of The Dead Game Series, and I recommend reading the first, if you haven’t already, as a few details from the first are intertwined and explained in this chapter.

4 Stars

I gave Prey for the Dead 4 out of 5 Stars, and I must say that enjoyed the first book in the series better.

Prey for the Dead by Susanne Leist @SusanneLeist #BookReview #RRBC Click To Tweet

About Prey for the Dead

Prey for the Dead book coverLinda Bennett’s dreams of happiness have always eluded her.

Five years ago, she moved to Florida from New York to escape heartache. The Dead, an evil group of vampires, ruined any hope of peace for her and the small town of Oasis. Since then, Linda has learned to live among vampires and human vampires, finding finds solace in her bookshop. Then one morning, Oasis goes dark, and an explosion rocks her store and any future dreams for a happy ending.

News of a vampire presence at an exclusive club in Disney World prompts Todd and Sam, hybrids, to go undercover as members. Linda and her best friend, Shana, join them as trophy wives. Disaster follows in their wake as vampires fight for control. A devastating surprise waits for them in the tunnels beneath Oasis and then at a tree island in Florida’s swampland.

Can Oasis survive the battle between good and evil?

Will Linda find her happy ending?

About Susanne Leist

Susanne LeistA career in writing has been an enormous leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. However, I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. I write every day and have even tried my hand at poetry. So don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late in life to try something different. It is never too late to follow your heart.

THE DEAD GAME SERIES brings fantasy and surrealism to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. In addition, it offers vampires and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.

MEET ME IN MAINE, the first book in THE BLUE HARBOR SERIES, provides the backdrop for murder, mystery, and romance in a seaside town. Love falters and flourishes as the residents fight the persistent evil plaguing their small-town lives.

Sit back, put up your feet, and let me bring mystery and romance to your lives.

The Altar Boy: A Dark Tale of Comedy Sorrow and the Catholic Church in the 1960s by Phil Stephens #Book #Review #RRBC

The Altar Boy is one of those stories that I had difficulty putting down as I wanted to know what would happen next. I related to Carl with his fears of the dark field and creepy people in his hometown and a few of his other experiences.

Phil did a fantastic job taking me back in time to an era that I’ve heard so much about but not experienced because I wasn’t born yet. I loved the music references. They gave an extra dimension to the story, making me enjoy it more. And I swear, at one point, I smelled a hint of patchouli.

The Altar Boy is one of the most chaotic tales of growing up that I have ever read, and I am happy to have spent time with Carl and his family.

5 Stars

I gave The Altar Boy 5 out of 5 Stars.

The Altar Boy: A Dark Tale of Comedy Sorrow and the Catholic Church in the 1960s by Phil Stephens #Book #Review #RRBC Click To Tweet

About The Altar Boy: A Dark Tale of Comedy Sorrow and the Catholic Church in the 1960s

Altar Boy CoverBlack-robed nuns, priests, bishops, the select fraternity of Altar Boys, and the ancient ceremonies of the Catholic Church. Music of the ’60s, boyhood shenanigans, Cootie doctors, and coming of age. Set in the socially and politically tumultuous period of the 1960s, The Altar Boy is the fictionalized memoir of Carl Sanders, a funny, sensitive kid, who’s caught in the middle when his family is fractured by the intrusions of a priest. We follow Carl’s confusion and pain as he watches the pious façade of the Church fall away to reveal unholy carte blanche, cover-ups, and collusion.

The book opens in the late 1980s. Carl and his brother down beer after beer at a favorite pub, trying to piece together their family’s chaotic past. The stakes are high—someone is about to return after a 20-year absence, threatening to re-ignite the family conflict. As the brothers’ painful recollections of their past become more traumatic, Carl drifts back in time to the era he tried for so many years to forget.

The story is realistic, poignant, and at times very funny. Stephens shines a timely spotlight on the then-unquestioned power of the Church while taking the reader back to the ’60s era of rock & roll, Catholic schools, social upheaval, and boyhood pranks.

About Phil Stephens

phil stephens photoPhil Stephens is an Indiana native and a graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and of the Dale Carnegie Course. He spent many years working in Fortune 500 America. Raised in a solidly Catholic family, he attended Catholic grade schools in the 1960s and served as an Altar Boy. His writing has appeared in the local newspaper and Pen IT literary magazine. His passions include reading in his favorite genres–history and horror. He also enjoys cooking, exercising, and the environment. Stephens resides in beautiful Brown County in Southern Indiana with his wife Marie, and has an adopted granddaughter, Crystal Maiden, in the Philippines.

Phil’s book was named the 2016 gold medal winner in the International Publisher Awards for Best Contemporary Novel. In the video on this page, Phil is interviewed by popular talk radio host Jordan Rich about book — and what’s behind it.

Find Phil at the following places

Amazon Author Page
Independent Author Network Page

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The One Betrayed by Yvette M Calleiro #Fantasy #Review #RRBC @YvetteMCalleiro

The One Betrayed is the third installment in the Chronicles of the Diasodz and shows what happened to Rafe after Sofia went with Ar’ch and Angel (basically an overlay of Book 2). This book is quite the page-turner, and I had a hard time putting it down even when my eyelids started to get heavy.

4 Stars

If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. I gave The One Betrayed 4 out of 5 Stars.

The One Betrayed by Yvette M Calleiro #Fantasy #Review #RRBC @YvetteMCalleiro Click To Tweet

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore #Horror #Comedy

I read Practical Demonkeeping when it was first published in 1992 and only remembered one scene from it, so when I came across it on Amazon I couldn’t resist getting a copy to rekindle the memories. I’m glad I did because this is a great read. I also learned that this is part of a mini-series of sorts about Pine Cove, the fictional town where it’s set.

The dark elements in this novel are amazing and they are offset slightly by the comedic interludes. The layers of stories within the story are great and done perfectly, keeping me turning the digital pages and losing track of time.

5 Stars

I gave Practical Demonkeeping 5 out of 5 Stars.

Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore #Horror #Comedy Click To Tweet

About Practical Demonkeeping

In Christopher Moore’s ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and “roads” scholar Travis O’Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets. Behind the fake Tudor façade of Pine Cove, California, Catch sees a four-star buffet. Travis, on the other hand, thinks he sees a way of ridding himself of his toothy traveling companion. The winos, neo-pagans, and deadbeat Lotharios of Pine Cove, meanwhile, have other ideas. And none of them is quite prepared when all hell breaks loose.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Baubles to Die For by Tonya Penrose #Cozy #Mystery

The way the lead characters are introduced and past events are discussed, I thought Baubles to Die For was two or three in the series. Then I noticed the statement in parenthesis,  A Shell Isle Mystery Book 1.

The story follows Page Wright and her cousin Betsy Ross as they unravel a mystery that falls onto their laps while vacationing on Shell Island. There was so much in the first half of the book that made it feel like I’d been reading it for weeks that when I reached that fifty percent mark, I was on the verge of boredom. But since I made it that far, I finished it. Once the clues fell into place for Page and Betsy, it went fast, and then it ended, abruptly.

4 Stars

All in all, it wasn’t a bad read, and I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.

Baubles to Die For by Tonya Penrose #Cozy #Mystery Click To Tweet

About Baubles to Die For

Gifted sleuth Page Wright’s inner world is anything but ordinary, yet her outer world craves a revamp from her mountain bookshop’s continuing demands. A summer escape to her beloved cottage on Shell Isle with cousin Betsy Ross always promised fun and relaxation…until this latest holiday. Two constants exist that Page can’t escape: Betsy’s spicy culinary fiascos she’s obliged to chase with endless antacids, and the special guidance she receives from ‘inklings’ when her sleuthing gifts are needed.

While the ever-curious Page and Betsy savor lunch at the Bistro, the sleuth observes a cryptic exchange between her la-di-da neighbor, Catherine Lange, and a seedy-looking guy sitting a few feet away. Their words travel across the café’s table on a paper napkin. However, it’s the pistol passed under the table that awakens Page’s first inkling that unknown forces are conspiring to muck-up her and Betsy’s carefree sojourn.

The cousins witness subsequent sightings of Catherine, dripping in her canary diamond jewelry and making ominous threats to five people in her inner circle. On alert now that trouble lurks, Page must entice an always reluctant Betsy to help when the nudge comes to act, knowing time is pressing.

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