I just wanted to send you a brief message, wishing you a Happy Christmas and I hope you receive the love, time with family and gifts that you deserve! I also wanted to let you know, since I will be signing off of social media or posting a review of any sort till the Monday after Christmas. I will be happily at play with my family during that time. I may still be reading- but nothing to post.
I wish you all the best for this holiday season and now I must dive in to my next read. Peace to you all - Cheers!
*The Dispatcher is next.
"Merry Christmas" Audio-Review!
I was attracted to this ebook, NIght's Curse by Justin Sloan, all because of the cover. It's bright, eye-catching and just pretty! I loved it- especially the mystical wolf along the character's shoulder. It just looked like something I wanted to read, YA or not.
This free short, introductory story was about a young girl who'd been on a camping trip shortly before Christmas. She gets attacked by something- wolf, bear or what have you, and returns home. While home with her family, enjoying the holiday, she wakes on Christmas morn to a massacre, and that's all I can say. Anything else will give away the story and I mean that with all honesty. It was so fast and rushed, I was rather disappointed. I think I got a few chapters in to the ebook, when I discovered there was whisper-sync for a buck and change. I got it to listen while working out and man- that was a dollar I coulda kept!
I don't knock authors, because it takes a great deal of courage to put a book on a shelf- digital or physical, but this book was not written well. It was rushed, giving the story an elementary feel. It was as if Sloan was in a rush to get to the good stuff, skipping all the necessary dialogue, emotion and filler that would have allowed me to develop an attachment with the main character. Sad to say, it left me uninterested and fussing about my lost dollar!
He tried though. I always check reviews and surprisingly, he received 4 & 5-stars for this story! It had to have been shared by his friends... Maybe his other books are better, but when it comes to YA, you either have me or you don't. Sorry Sloan. I'm on to the next read! 📚
*My Merry Christmas Wish! is next.
**eBook available FREE on Amazon.com & audiobook available on Audible.com.
I thought I'd finish out the rest of the week with Christmas stories. This one was only a few hours long. Jody Taylor is the author of a book series The Chronicles of St. Mary's - a cool, time traveling series. I am not familiar with the stories, but this short story has interested me: Christmas Present.
It's a very brief tale of how a woman and her friends decide that a friend's unhappy holiday can not continue. So, if I understood correctly, guided by a goddess, Max decides she and her companions need to rescue two senior historians who were left in Roman Colchester 60AD!
The story is sweet, short and rather humorous. If you're in to historical fiction and lots of tea- this could be your next series!
On to the next read!📚
*Night's Curse is next.
**Audiobook is from my personal, Audible.com library.
Here's a VERY good, short story: Checking It Twice by Melissa L. Webb! When I read it, I actually hoped for more, but alas, there was none...
Have you any idea what Santa would do if there was a shortage of elves? What if there was a shortage of elves, close to the Christmas deadline? This story answers such a hypothetical. It's the story of a boy who finds out first-hand when Santa's gotta do what Santa's gotta do.
Written with an air of mystery, this short is sure to please- especially the ending. I honestly wished there was more. I guess I'll have to see what else Ms. Webb has to offer!
On to the next read!📚
Ratings: 👓👓👓👓👓 of 5 specs
*Christmas Present is next.
**eBook is from my personal library.
*an Audiobook review
Any time I am offered an audiobook for FREE, I am over it like bees and pollen! Yesterday I was offered the audio version of Perrin Briar's Z-Minus: A Zombie Novella. It is the start of a zombie series concerning a father, Chris and his daughter, Maisie. As a natural lover of the Z-pocalypse, I felt it my duty to listen to the three hour tale.
I was walking when I listened to this audio, around 7am. I had to admit, I probably surprised people with the faces I made while listening. There were so many things wrong with this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to finish it or just delete it from Audible library! No joke, there are so many things wrong with our lead protagonist alone, that I was disgusted! Is this a sign of a horrible story, or a great storyteller?
I won't offer up any SPOILERS, but I can say that I don't believe I'll be reading the rest of the books in this series. There's a handful of issues. First one was the reader, Kenneth Toles. I found several people under this name, so I couldn't place a link, but he was a cool narrator, just NOT for this book! It took place in London and the narrator had no accent! What's with that?! Then, there's the lead character, Chris.
He wasn't real enough for me to enjoy. It may be the author's writing technique, but he carried no real emotions. He didn't panic when he saw his daughter dead and even talked to his dead wife about sleeping all day, though he clearly saw the gaping wound on the back of her neck! "Oh no, I've said too much- I set it up!" Okay, the thing is, there's a lot not quite right with this novella and it prevented me from enjoying it. I have to be real about it. I don't even know how to rate it. It wasn't scary. It wasn't horrifying and it wasn't gross, but there was a bit of funny.
I guess I'll leave you with this: There's something that takes place that's worse than a British tale with no British accent! I"m off to my next read! 📚
Rating: 👓out of 5 specs
*Checking It Twice is next.
**Audiobook available on Audible.com and published by PErrin.
Instagrammer, G. R. Thomas is the author of this urban, dystopian fantasy. Awaken is about a young woman who finds out she's not just a gal in the world, but a woman with a people that need saving.
SOME PEOPLE AREN'T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY. With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life. As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted. However, destiny was about to intervene. Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination. Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity. Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger. Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate? Will the devil be her saviour? Will an Angel be her downfall?
This story is complex to follow, but we're talking about someone's destiny, right? I love female heroes because they're strong and even when faced with the worst in themselves, they can stand against it all. For me, the story was a bit fairytale-ish. Things happened a bit fast and in a way I thought stole from the focus, but it worked. After all, this is YA, right? That's how the world of young adults works!
I do not remember how this author found me, but I am happy he did. His stories are like food for my ever-craving soul. I've got two short stories to share today.
I adore horror short stories; you all know this. But what I love more than anything is when someone finds me and shares some really good ones. Both of these were written well, and kept me reading- hungry for more even! Hungry Ghosts was different and original. It took me to China- a place I've never been interested in visiting, and now I may never go! Labor Day Hunt was pretty cool, because though there was a tragic ending, someone was saved. I can't tell who, because that would be offering up SPOILERS! and you know I don't do that! Ha-ha! But if you enjoy the paranormal, you will enjoy these two stories.
Check out Calvin Demmer. He's on Goodreads.com; add these shorts to your TBR. I promise, you will like them. Cheers!📚
Ratings: 5 out of 5 specs
*Awaken is next.
**eBooks available on Amazon Unlimited by Calvin Demmer.
Because this story is a trilogy, I am not surprised that I walked away from this read a bit confused. It begins with an interview of very unstable prisoner. Then it moves to a grisley murder before he's forever put to sleep by the justice system. Then a woman spots a man, her ex, thought dead for years in a karaoke club in New Orleans, with her current husband- just to discover her daughter (also thought dead) is living too! This woman was a detective on the case of the unstable prisoner, mentioned in th first part of this blurb. THEN, an ex-FBI agent is pulled into a trap, lured by the man who may have gotten everything started with the deranged prisoner, also mentioned first! OMGOodness- your head will spin! It's all a loop, intertwined and forming into something big.
It's all good if you hold tight and wait for the next release. No matter how fractured the read may feel concerning the characters, there's a tie that binds them. The writing is excellent and once you begin, you won't stop until the ending is told. I can't figure any of it out- the author of What Remains, A. Lawrence Haskins, knows what he's doing. Though I've never desired to write something so reticent, Haskins is an artful author that I'd love to emulate.
The story is segmented but with invisible webbing that will eventually bring each piece together in a tale, I believe will be incredibly wicked!📚
Ratings: 5 out of 5 specs
*Hungry Ghosts & Labor Day Hunt is next.
**Short Story was provided by A. Lawrence Haskins.
Here's an amazing story that tricked me! For some reason I thought it would be something totally different than it actually was! I am proud to say, I was pleasantly pleased to be proven wrong. Mark that on your calendars; I don't admit that very often!
When I first received the book, I thought I'd be reading another street fictional tale of abuse, drugs and maybe prostitution. I'm thrilled I was wrong. This book was fantasy and I could tell Reed worked hard on bringing the story to life. Velma was an amazing character who wasn't sure who she was. She felt accepted when she became part of a group called the Taram. It wasn't till they flipped the script that she realized she was supposedly fated for something horrific- something she wasn't sure she could handle... so she ran away.
This story was deep, thanks to great character development. I felt Velma was written to be a strong young lady with a lot to deal with. She questioned and made mistakes but that's what a character's growth is all about, yeah? It made her real and I enjoyed reading her. I did find a difficulty...
I had a hard time seeing the world I was trying to immerse myself. The characters were wonderful but the world building was slightly unfinished. It didn't hurt the story but because I couldn't see everything the way I know Reed was, I felt more like an observer than a participant. That's not too bad though. I can also say that someone VERY important is missing througout most of the tale. I won't say who that is due to SPOILERS, but I was curious as to why they waiting so long. Other than that, I truly enjoyed this story and I think any reader who picks this book up will too! Check out Fair to Hope by the talented Sam Reed, while I move on to the next read! (HEY- I made a funny!)
Hopefully one of those reads will include another Sam Reed novel.
Ratings: 4 out of 5 specs
*What Remains is next.
**Book is by Sam Reed, North Loop Books.
Don't you just love it when a children's book comes along with a strong message? I rarely receive them, so I celebrated when this one was placed in my hands. I met the author of Why Me? Julie Parker, at a meeting and we hit it off. She's the sweetest gal and last Friday, we spent about three or more hours working on her second book! When she found out I reviewed books, she asked if I'd read hers. My reply was something like: "Heck yeah!"
Anyway, you have to take a peek at at this lovely story. The illustrations are bright, yet soft on the eyes. The children encourage you and the book collects proceeds that go to a pediatric speciality hospital: Ranken Jordan. Do yourself and others a favor and get this book! On to the next read📚
Ratings: 5 out of 5 specs
*Fair To Hope is next.
**Book provided by author, Julie Patker, an independent author.
What do you get when you combine dreams, flying and a determined pig? Icarus Swinebuckle by Michael Garland!
This story is adorable, mainly because of the rich illustrations- all done by Michael Garland, the author! The pictures are finely detailed and so alive, you can almost feel the pig's hairs on his pink skin!
The story's about an irresponsible pig and father, Icarus. He's a cobbler, but he's so busy imagining himself flying about in the clouds, he's disappointing his customers and late on his rent... again! But does that stop Icarus from following his dream: finding a way to fly like a bird? Not one bit! He uses a few items to create wings and before you know it- he's doing something crazy and everyone in his London town is there to witness it. I can't tell you what happens but it's a great children's tale! My Ewoks and I loved it.
Check out this beautiful children's book about dreams and how, if you stay determined, you can do ANYTHING! I'm on to the next book.📚
Ratings: 5 out of 5 specs
*Why Me? is next.
**Book is from my personal library.
I am so happy to finally get this book review out! Vulcana: Rebirth of the Champion was written by a great guy- someone I call friend. Brian K. Morris is a man who knows his heroes, how to develop a hero and make you smile the entire read!
I met Morris via a Superman group I follow. I also see him annually at the Superman Celebration that's held annually in Metropolis, IL. He's an awesome writer, supportive and a giver of excellent advice. When I finally got to meet him at Artist's Alley (a spot for comics, artists and authors), I grabbed his book- he even signed it for me. He's awesome but so is this book.
Vulcana: Rebirth of the Champion is exactly what the title states. A hero(ine) is made. Her name is Angelique Forge. She's an average gal with a blog that helps her get by. It's not till she meets up with an old college friend that things take a turn for the absolute worst. She's killed!
In this leg of Lucy's journey (Lucy is a series of children's books), she's interested in going hiking with her friend, One, but he's got other plans. Instead One sends Lucy hiking with Kodo, a friendly dog. Together they set off- OOPS! without a map... It's up to them to find their way while taking time to enjoy their journey.
James Livingood is an excellent children's book author. His illustrations are tranquil and soft on the eyes, allowing you to not just appreciate the events, but to gently fall into them. The images of the field, lake and waterfalls were perfect for bedtime reading with the little ones. The story was simple enough for beginning readers but carried a message for children as old as maybe eight. It's one of those books that reminds one to not be concerned with only the destination, but to treasure the journey.
My Ewoks and I liked all of Livingood's kiddie books so far. On to my next read! 📚
Rating: 5 out of 5 specs
*Vulcana is next!
**Book published by James Livingood.
I fought for this book for months! Literally entering and re-entering giveaways and ARC contests. When I finally got it- it was almost a joke, but I won't go into that. Just know I wanted it and I got it. And I got exactly what I was looking for: a mind-blowing, insane ride! This book will literally make you forget your life! LOL
There are some spooky books and some that are just haunting. This book is a unification of both. The sweet taste of fear and nightmare all in The Keeper of the Crows, by Kyle Alexander Romines.
What would you do if you spotted a scarecrow lurking in your backyard? That's what was happening to people in the town of Grey Hollow, Kentucky. Resolution was up to Thomas, a nosy reporter with a past and Jezebel, the local law enforcement. While bodies piled up and the sky grew darker, the crows flew and they weren't looking for carrion...
This is the month that leads to change. Please 'click' on Read More...
If you've been following my blog postings for any length of time, you know I adore entering giveaways for books, especially on Goodreads.com. One day, I found this lovely: The Night of Elisa, and knew I had to have it! So I skipped entering the giveaway and contacted Isis Sousa, the author and illustrator. Thankfully, she agreed to send me a copy.
So my reading practices keep me entertained. I usually read three books at one time. I have a physical book that takes me from mornings to around 6pm. I then climb into an ebook from there till I fall asleep. In-between those times, while walking, cooking or whatever, I listen to an ebook. That's always been my way of doing things. Well, with Beyond: A Ghost Story, by Graham McNamee, I cheated. I read this all the way through!
The story is about a girl who can't seem to escape death. She was born dead (resuscitated) and throughout her life she's encountered strange incidences and accidents that should have taken her from this world- yet somehow she manages to survive! Now she thinks something's actually causing these happenings. Something that wants her dead... and to stay dead.
(Original photo from http://paranormalhorror.com, edited by me.)
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