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

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Road To Saratin #ReadersFavorite #Review



In my email this morning, I found a link to a review from Readers’ Favorite for The Road to Saratin. I always get a little anxious when I get these and I put off opening them for a little while. I shouldn’t have waited, because it’s a 5 Star review.

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The Review

Reviewed by Michelle Mollohan for Readers’ Favorite

Charles W Jones’s The Road To Saratin is a gripping dystopian saga. There is a mysterious chemical attack that causes mutations in humans. Carl is a 28-year-old man who was taken to the Freedom Institute under the care of Dr. Emerson Sharod when he was just 6 years old. Carl hears mysterious voices all talking at once in a jumble that he can rarely interpret. Dr. Sharon experimented on him to try to tease the voices out. Despite Carl emphatically stating that he no longer hears the voices, Dr. Sharon does not believe him. One day the voices speak to him as one, telling him that it is time to leave. He walks out of the Institute and is shocked by the changes to the outside world over the 22 years since he has seen it. Carl is determined to travel to Saratin, the town he lived in with his mother. Along the way, he has to try to hide from the people seeking to return him to the Institute as well as from the mutated humans looking for a meal. During his travels, he is saved by Astrid, a woman doing recon for one of the bases nearby. Aided by the voices, he manages to overpower her and take her weapon. Astrid tracks him down and instead of turning him in as he feared, she joins in his journey.

I highly recommend Charles W Jones’s The Road To Saratin. With the current climate of viruses and potential bioterrorism, coupled with our lack of preparedness in staving them off, this story is eerily relevant. I feel that The Road To Saratin differs from other end-of-the-world scenarios in that it gives you not only a glimpse of the good guys but also the villains’ points of view, which provides a rich, detailed backstory. This is a medium-paced book full of memorable characters. The voices that Carl hears are varied and entertaining, from Milton who acts as his muscle to Miriam who hides his tracks along their journey. Carl also makes friends with people along the way. I loved Serena, the Matron of Sanctuary, a tent city. She stood her ground and refused to be intimidated or to let Astrid search within for Carl. I also enjoyed Thea, the goodhumored leader of Bonneville who made Carl cut firewood she didn’t need to trade for food and shelter. The conclusion of this book is immensely satisfying as it leaves no questions unanswered.

Reader's Favorite Five Stars - Road to Saratin

The Criteria

Appearance:  The appearance of a book can make a significant impact on the experience of a reader, whose enjoyment is often enhanced by an enticing cover, an intriguing table of contents, interesting chapter headings, and when possible, eye-catching illustrations.

Score 5

Plot:  The characters of a book should be well defined with strengths and flaws, and while they do not have to be likable, the reader does have to be able to form a connection with them. The tone should be consistent, the theme should be clear, and the plot should be original or told from a unique perspective. For informative books — those without plot and characters–this rating refers primarily to your concept and how well you presented it.

Score 5

Development:  Development refers to how effectively you told your story or discussed your topic. The dialogue should be realistic, the descriptions should be vivid, and the material should be concise and coherent. Organization is also a key factor, especially for informative books — those without plot and characters. The order in which you tell your story or explain your topic and how smoothly it flows can have a huge impact on the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of the material.

Score 5

Formatting: Formatting is the single most overlooked area by authors. The way in which you describe scenes, display dialogue, and shift point of view can make or break your story. In addition, excessive grammatical errors and typos can give your book an amateurish feel and even put off readers completely.

Score 5

Marketability: Marketability refers to how effectively you wrote your book for your target audience. Authors may include content that is above or below the understanding of their target reader, or include concepts, opinions or language that can accidentally confuse or alienate some readers. Although by its nature this rating is very subjective, a very low rating here and poor reviews may indicate an issue with your book in this area.

Score 5

Overall Opinion: The overall starred rating takes into account all these elements and describes the overall reading experience of your reviewer. This is 5 the official Readers’ Favorite review rating for your book.

Score 5

#5Star Review of The Road To Saratin from #ReadersFavorite Click To Tweet

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.

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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

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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

Twitter
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.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Betaken by Drema Ferrell #Thriller #Review

Betaken is a fantastic look into a place that I’ve heard and seen stories about for years, giving a view that hooked me from the first page. It’s about dark events that happened in the late 1970s to early 1980s in the Appalachians. From the first chapter, I was whisked away into this strange world and shown many things, including ones I didn’t want to know. There’s suspense lingering in the air throughout the book and I know something is going to happen in the backwoods, it’s just a matter of when. One thing bothered me was the use of the word “set” in places. I understand that its usage was to convey the accent, though at times it was used in the wrong places.

4 Stars

I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.

About Drema

drema ferrell

Drema Ferrell graduated with honors from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, acquiring majors in both English and Social Studies. Upon graduation, she taught school in the coal fields of West Virginia, where she was born and raised. Afterwards, she and her husband resided in Europe where he served in the US Army and she taught adult education. They eventually were able to return to southern West Virginia where she managed her husband’s CPA firm for 27 years.

Her deep understanding of small communities hidden in the hollows between the steep mountains of the Southern West Virginia coal fields creates the perfect backdrop for her debut novel.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan #RRBC #Thriller #Review

The Edge of Fear is about a couple who lose their child to revenge kidnapping because the kidnapper thinks he’s owed because she’s his ex-wife. I was captivated by the intensity of the emotions that Brennan conveyed. Each page was filled with scenes that felt real. At one point in the story, it stalled, which made what I was reading more real as I can expect that a parent that has lost a child to kidnapping would feel that their life had stalled as they waited for their child to walk through the door.

5 Stars

The Edge of Fear is well written and gripping and that is why I gave it 5 out of 5 Stars.

About Mara Beth

maura beth brennanMaura Beth lives in a small town in the pinelands of New Jersey. A lover of words and books since childhood, she found ways to incorporate writing into a variety of jobs, from editing an organizational newsletter to writing for the federal government. Now pursuing writing for pleasure, she is the author of two full-length novels, as well as a number of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys walking her dog, Ziggy, watching old movies, visiting the Jersey Shore, bargain hunting in thrift shops and, of course, reading. She has studied Reiki and is a believer in positive thinking, serendipity and second chances.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Short Story #Reviews No Pedigree @NonnieJules & Unwelcomed @pdoggbiker #RRBC

No Pedigree by Nonnie Jules

No Pedigree tells the tale of Baylee (no spoilers because you must read this). The way Nonnie wrote this story made it feel real as I walked along with Baylee. This short story is a must-read as it conveys how racial bias plays too strong of a role in the world.

5 Stars

I enjoyed No Pedigree and gave it 5 out of 5 Stars.

Unwelcomed by John Podlaski

Unwelcomed is a well-woven short that brings suspense I wasn’t expecting and that wasn’t the only emotion I felt by reading it. This story pulled me in with the first paragraph and kept me wondering what was going to happen next.
If you’re looking for a quick thriller this is the story for you.

5 Stars

I gave it 5 out of 5 Stars.

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Garden of Fragile Things by Richard J. O'Brien #Book #Review

On Amazon, The Garden of Fragile Things is categorized as Occult Horror and Occult Fiction, but I’m not sure that’s where I’d put them because the horror was few and far between, and I just didn’t feel the occult.

That aside, I enjoyed the book and found it entertaining. The memoir style is well crafted, as are the letters to a psychological institute and “the author” at the beginning. The story is about Joe’s life and how he ended up in the institute.

There are creepy parts, but as I said before, not very many, and most of them occur toward the end of the story. So if you are expecting scares through the entire story, you won’t find it here.

4 Stars

I gave Garden of Fragile Things 4 out of 5 Stars.

About The Garden of Fragile Things

In the late 1970s, Joe Godwin was just twelve years old, living in a working-class neighborhood. Plagued by bullies and a volatile home life, Joe spends his time with his three friends in search of adventure.

The discovery of an abandoned mansion during a simple camping trip in a state forest sets of a series of consequences in motion between the boys, inhabitants of the mansion, and the others who occupy the garden behind the colossal home.

 

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Death Room by R.P. Healy #Horror #Story #Review

Death Room is a short story by R.P. Healy, revolving around Edward, a lonely office worker looking for something extreme. He takes to watching pay-per-view snuff films on the internet and finds himself experiencing what he’s viewed.

Death Room book coverYes, this story is not for everyone with hardcore content, including murder, sexual content, and rape fantasies. Those things aside, the way Healy wrote the story makes it hard to digest at times. Here’s an example of the first paragraph. It was quiet outside. There was a heavy mist, there were a few birds out, chirping, probably freezing, too.

Even with the problems with the way it was written, I was captivated by the story itself and the strange twist at the end, giving it a “Fan Fiction” feel for Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser).

3 Stars

I gave Death Room 3 out of 5 Stars.

 

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Enigma Factor by Charles V Breakfield & Roxanne E Burkey #RRBC #Book #Review

The Enigma Factor has been on my reading list for a while, and now that I’ve finally had the chance to read it, I wish I hadn’t. The reason for that statement is it got me thinking about my passwords and cyber security; is my encryption enough?

The story revolves around Jacob Michaels, who works in the cyber security world. As the story progresses, he is whisked away from his ordinary life into one filled with criminals and countries plotting against each other. There is a point in the story where the pieces come together, though he’s not as upset or freaked out about what he learns as I expected him to be.

While The Enigma Factor isn’t my usual genre to read, I found it well done and entertaining.

I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.

About The Enigma Factor

A brilliant programmer is targeted by cyber predators!

Jacob Michaels, computer network security-tester extraordinaire, tries to settle into a quiet life of work to polish his cyber security skills after the death of his mother. Jacob is unaware that his growing reputation makes him a person of interest.

Cyber-criminals are hunting for new recruits. They target this brilliant programmer to seduce him into joining their cause. More people are hunting him than just the Russian cyber kingpin.

Jacob sets off to find those who are targeting him. He discovers he’s in the crosshairs of previously unknown global experts. Of course, having his identity erased puts him front and center above anything else.

Buzz, when looking for the easy way, makes a ghastly judgement error and inadvertently crosses the line to the darknet. He pleads to his best friend Jacob for help. Jacob, brilliant as he is, doesn’t have enough experience to help Buzz on his own.

Jacob battles against global cyber masterminds using his knowledge of programming, identity theft, and hacking. He is pulled up short when his security knowledge is dwarfed following his introduction to the distractingly beautiful encryptionist Petra.

Jacob’s challenge is how to keep ahead of the criminals and learn who to trust.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Fear in Souls: Reaper (Fear in Flesh Book 2) by Hesham N. Ali #Zombies #Horror #Book Review

Had I known Fear in Souls: Reaper was about zombies, I probably wouldn’t have read it, because, well, I’m just not a fan of them. But what Hesham does with them is intriguing and I’m glad that I read the book.

Fear In Souls CoverThe zombie part aside, the story of the people and the changes in them are what is imparting in this story. Violet and her brother both survived in a way that was unexpected, keeping me interested. The world Hesham created is horrifying with rich visualizations of the monsters and the settings as the story progresses.

Now, if you’re worried about not reading Fear in Flesh Book 1 before reading this one, don’t as it seems like an anthology series and this one focuses on Death.

4 Stars

I 100% recommend this book and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

About Fear in Souls

Fear … Hatred … Judgment … Deliverance

For what’s worse than Death itself coming after your soul? Violet Turner is wrapped inside a cocoon of darkness, knowing not where she stands, losing her will to survive. But what of the four riders rapidly approaching to deliver what was promised of this slowly decaying world?

About Hesham N. Ali

“Some believe writing is a lost form of art. To others, writing may just be another tedious full-time job . . .”

heshamn aliBorn and raised in a minuscule Middle Eastern island known to man as the Kingdom of Bahrain. His entire life, Hesham had traversed through the infinite cosmos and amidst the time of the dinosaurs, falling all the way down the rabbit hole. When he finally emerged on the other side into the backward world of fiction writing where he battled his greatest demons in a multiverse of genres–that was when his reign of madness began.

2014 was the year he was diagnosed with the infamous “Writer’s Bug”. By 2016 he debuted with two novels: {Fear in Flesh} and {A Portrait of Memories}. Hesham was 23 when he published both titles only 2 months apart during that year. As his passion for making up stories keeps on growing, so does his love for creating fictional worlds then tearing them asunder.

“. . . To me, writing is an artistically driven lifestyle. We make of it what we envision and desire.”
Find out more and stay in touch with the author through . . .

Instagram: @h.madrex
Amazon.com: @Hesham N. Ali
Goodreads: @Hesham N. Ali

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

#Book #Review The Witness by S.A. Felix #Paranormal #Romance #LGBTQ

S.A. Felix created a strange world where “Undead” come to life with the assistance of a Riser. Then there are Witnesses who find them and help them pass on. Sorry folks, no traditional zombies in this one; there’s not even horror.

What is there is the charming tale of Atsushi (a Witness), who falls in love with an “Undead,” Yoshiki. That part is a little creepy if you look at it from the necrophilia side of things. But the story isn’t even about that. It’s more like a man falling in love with a ghost, who then gets the chance to change events in the past.

The biggest problem with this book is the editing. It felt like S.A. Felix wrote it in Japanese, then used Google Translate for English. If that is the case, it needs a thorough edit from a Native English speaker to work out the kinks, because the story is amazing. I did enjoy the accent though, helping me feel as though I were in Japan. I admit, at times, I giggled at the strange wordings and phrases, reminding me of old Godzilla movies with bad overdubs.

3 Stars

As strong as the story in The Witness is, I can’t give it more than 3 out of 5 Stars because of the editing.

thewitness

safelix

About The Witness

Atsushi is a Witness. His job is to find the revived ones and help them pass onto the afterlife. His recent client is Yoshiki, a man who had committed suicide but came back to life. Atsushi has to find the person who unknowingly called him back and help them both move on.

But how could he, when he was falling in love with the beautiful man himself?

“It was time. I put my coffee back and returned to the morgue. However, when I got there, the dead body was not on the table. Panicking, I took my torch and frantically searched for the body at every corner in the room until I found him cowering in the corner.

He came back to life.”


Get The Witness

Friday, April 9, 2021

#Review My Soul Is A Witness by Yecheilyah Ysrayl #Poetry @yecheilyah

I want to say that poetry has never been high on my list to read until I saw the beautiful cover for My Soul Is A Witness on Instagram. There is something about its simplicity and 70s style that drew me in.

As a white gay man, I definitely didn’t know what to expect reading the prose and felt like a fish out of water, but as I read, I felt a sense of inclusion, though the strife in my life no way competes. Many of the poems in this collection are about celebrating life and people of color as well as motivational to write and live life to its fullest.

I am very impressed with Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s voice and I hope that everyone will pick up a copy of My Soul Is A Witness.

5 Stars

I give it 5 out of 5 Stars.

About My Soul Is A Witness

My Soul is a Witness is a collection of poems that reminds us that there is still hope in our darkest moments. Nothing we go through is without a purpose. No pain we suffer, and no trial we experience happens without reason. It all ministers to our education and the development of ourselves into the people we are ordained to become. It helps to cultivate in us a spirit of patience, faith, humility, and self-control.

I hope these poems will do that for you. I hope this piece will invigorate and restore your Soul.

About Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Yecheilyah YsraylYecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) was born Stacey Hereford (Newson) and grew up on the South Side of Chicago, IL. She is an award-winning Author, Blogger, and Poet. She studied Technical and Professional Writing at Chicago State University, and Psychology with a minor in Child and Adolescent Studies at Argosy University, Atlanta. She is a member of Queens Circle of ATL Book Club and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She writes Black Historical Fiction, Poetry, and Inspirational Non-Fiction. Ysrayl is the founder of Yecheilyah Books LLC (formerly Literary Korner Publishing), Yecheilyah’s Annual Poetry Contests, Lit Mag Literary Magazine for Poets, and The PBS Blog, where she publishes the work of other writers, Book Reviews, and Writing Tips for Independent (Indie) Authors and Publishers. Yecheilyah lives in Dallas, Georgia with her husband where attends the University of West Alabama online while writing and publishing full-time. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Follow Yecheilyah at the following places.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist @SusanneLeist #RRBC #YA #Vampires

The world of vampires takes an unexpected twist in The Dead Game: Book One of the Dead Game Series.

deadgameWhen I started reading The Dead Game, I was shown a dark scene with a family trying to escape a house, then it fades to black and returns with Linda moving to Oasis to start a new life away from New York City. It’s quite obvious that something isn’t right in Oasis, though, I’m not sure what, and I’m drawn into this world of bizarre events that make me want to know more about what is happening.

There are some very frightening scenes in The Dead Game that reminded me of the SAW movies. On top of that, there’s some steamy romance happening that made the characters real with their attractions and interactions. The suspense with what was going to happen next kept me turning the pages.

If you are looking for a well-written, gripping vampire story, this is a must-read.

4 Stars

I give The Dead Game 4 out of 5 Stars.

About The Dead Game

Linda Bennett moves from New York to Florida to live a quieter life. Life is peaceful until the dead body washes up onshore. She learns that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are typical for the coastal town.

Linda and her friends receive an invitation to a party at End House, a deserted house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The group arrives, but no one is there to greet them. The house has a sinister life of its own where horror follows their every step. Traps, illusions, and revolving rooms add to their growing fear. A bloody skeleton sleeps in an upstairs’ bedroom, and body parts fall from the chimney into the living room’s fireplace. Wild animals escape their cages in the basement. The young residents flee for their lives.

They embark on a harrowing journey, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the evil game.

Who are The Dead?

Are they humans or vampires?

Will Linda lose her heart to Todd, who knows more than he admits?

Will her best friend, Shana, fall in love with Sheriff Sam?

The Dead Game has begun.

About Susanne Leist

Susanne LeistA career in writing has been a giant 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. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. Don’t listen if someone tells you it’s too late to try something different. It is never too late to follow your heart.

I am working on my fourth book. A seaside town in Maine provides the backdrop for murder, mystery, and romance. Will this book become a series? I don’t know yet. But I’m eager to begin the journey.

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