Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Nate (The Chaos Chasers, book 1)"
by C.M. Marin

For the first time in a very long while, Camryn has returned to the home where she grew up and lived with her parents. It has been quite a few years since she was last here, but it has just been too painful to return after her parents had been killed in a car crash. Now, it is finally time for her to face these ghosts. A year ago her fiancé was killed in a plane crash and she needs time away from her apartment in L.A. to finally say good bye to her lost loved ones.

Shortly after arriving in town, Camryn meets a man named Nate. The two share a strong attraction, though Camryn isn’t yet ready to yield her heart again. Nate is afraid to tell her that he is the president of a Motorcycle Club, as most of the women he meets who aren’t part of the club tend to avoid him after they discover his association to the Club.

There is also another problem that Nate notices as he grows closers to Camryn; a rival club’s members seem to be following her around. What is it they want from her? And can Nate, who has been falling for her, keep her safe?

This is very definitely not a book for younger readers as there is a great deal of rather descriptive sex throughout the book. This is not normally the type of book I would seek out, but as I got into the story I found myself being drawn into the tale & wanting to see where it was going. I found myself needing to read through to the end to see what happened to the main characters. I do wish that the book had gone through another round of editing though, as parts of the book could have used it. Overall though, I did enjoy reading it.

"Mystery of the Secret Queen" by Mark Miller

Olena has been Queen of he Eastern Sky for a year and is getting quite tired of the constant lessons she must learn to become an effective Queen. While she understands the reasons that the other Queens need her to complete her training, she is still only a 7 year old girl who misses her older sister and wants to have some fun. Spending most of her time in lessons is anything but fun.

When Isis, Queen of the Southern Valley is called back to her kingdom to deal with a crisis, Olena at first enjoys a little freedom from her lessons, but soon becomes bored as with no one her age in the castle she finds herself needing to keep herself entertained. When going through her things, she runs across a ring given to her by the blue rainbow princess. She didn’t understand the purpose of the ring when it was given to her, but now she tries it on for the first time.... and finds herself pulled into what seems to be a room inside of the ring.

Inside the ring, Olena meets 3 people who seem to be bronze statues that come to life to speak with her. While she is within the ring, one of it’s inhabitants takes her place in the outside world. But what is their purpose? It seems that Olena is to get the chance to have an adventure of her own.

Having read the first two books in this series, I enjoyed this one. The young Queen has a very large responsibility for a 7 year old girl, and the author does a good job of showing her as a young girl both trying to live up to her responsibilities, while still bemoaning the loss of her freedom to simply be a child and have fun. When she gets the chance to have her own adventure, she grabs it without thinking through the consequences of that action, just as any child tired of a seemingly endless number of lessons and responsibilities might do.

In this book we get the chance to learn more about the world Mr. Miller has created as well as those who inhabit it. I found it very entertaining. It held my interest and kept me wanting to read more about the characters he introduced me to in this book. I’m not certain if he plans on adding another book to this series in the future, but I believe that if he does that I would likely enjoy continuing to read about these characters and this world. Recommended

Friday, July 27, 2018

"Wish: Aladdin Retold" by Demelza Carlton

Maram, one of the daughters of the Sultan is is returning home from a trip to another kingdom where she had been acting as her father’s envoy and ambassador. Her mother had been one of the Sultan’s wives, but had been condemned as a traitor for falling in love with a man other than her husband. Maram is not just one of the Sultan’s daughters, but as the daughter of a traitor she has been raised to be a courtesan, trained in the ways of pleasing men.

Aladdin is what is commonly known as a “street rat” or someone who has nothing and is out seeking work every day, often not finding enough work to keep himself and his mother fed. Years before, his father had been a successful merchant, though he had died before he had been able to have his son apprenticed anywhere. Without a husband and his income, Aladdin’s mother had been forced to sell anything of value over the years to keep the two of them fed. Unlike most, Aladdin is somewhat educated and always honest and true to his word. He meets the princess by accident on one of her trips to a bathhouse, and is quickly as enamored of her as she is of him. But her status places her entirely out of his reach.

This was a fun retelling of the Aladdin story. It has all of the expected parts of the tale: a genie, a magic lamp, a princess, a Sultan, and his advisors. I enjoyed the description in this book of how Aladdin comes into possession of the magic lamp and the genie. One aspect of this retelling that I wasn’t familiar with was the explanation of how the genie came to be. I also enjoyed the fact that Maram isn’t your typical pampered princess. She was an ambassador for her father and quite successful in negotiating treaties and trade deals for the kingdom.

I enjoyed the twists in a story that many of us are quite familiar with. This is not a simple story of a young man finding a magic lamp that makes all his wishes come true. There is so much more to the tale. I found this book highly entertaining and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys twisted fairy tales.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"Cleopatra the Egyptian Queen"
by The History Hour

This was a short book that gives us a lot of information on the life of a woman known to history as a great beauty. Cleopatra was more than just a beautiful and powerful woman. She was also a highly intelligent woman who spoke multiple languages. She was ambitious and observant of those around her. And yes, she was a woman who knew how to use all of her assets to get what she desired.

I learned a great deal about Cleopatra that I hadn’t known before reading this book. It was well written and the further I got into reading about her life, the more interested I became in learning more about her. If you’re interested in learning more about Cleopatra, her life, and her family, give this book a chance. It’s a quick read with a lot of information that is presented in a way that will keep you reading until the end without leaving you feeling overwhelmed or like you are reading a school textbook.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

"Hero Society: Dawn" by Jessica Florence

A man who does not age and cannot die loses the love of his life. He wishes he could join her in death, but he promised her that he would continue on as there is a reason he remains alive and his wounds heal themselves. He has not yet completed his purpose for existing, and so he must remain without her. Suffering from the loss of his love, Draco withdraws from contact with almost all others. He just can’t bear to have his heart broken further.

Rose and her brother Phillip are two very special people. As they grew into adulthood, they each developed special abilities. Phillip sees visions of possible futures and Rose is an empath. The two of them seek to bring together others like themselves to create a force to do good for humanity. The world needs heroes. Can they find and bring them together in time?

I found this story fascinating. Superhero stories have long entertained me, and this one was no exception. While the characters may have superpowers, they also have flaws just like everyone else. They must deal with their faults and are not all-powerful. They may be special, but they also as quite human.

I did catch a few typos in this book, but only a very few. The story was so much fun to read that I am looking forward to picking up book two in the series. One thing the reader should be aware of is that there are a few instances of fairly descriptive sex in this book, so parts of it may not be quite appropriate for younger readers.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

"Margaritas, Mayhem, and Murder"
by Mary Cunningham

In the middle of the night, Andi Anna Jones is woken by a phone call from her former step-mother. She’s calling from the Cancun police department where she’s been locked in a jail cell and accused of killing a former Las Vegas performer on a cruise ship.

Being the only family member who is available to travel, Andi Anna must go to Cancun to find out what really happened and to bring her step-mother home. This is one time that being a travel agent definitely comes in handy.

I really enjoyed reading this novella. It held my interest and I honestly couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it. This book was very well written and well-edited. I would highly recommend reading this fun little mystery. It’s a quick read and very entertaining. I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading the next one in the series whenever it becomes available.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"Little Bear and his Chair"
by Claressa Swenson

Little Bear has a favorite Chair that he doesn’t want to share with anyone. But how do his friends react when he won’t let them sit in his favorite chair?

This was a very sweet little story that helps to show children who don’t like to share their belongings what can happen when they refuse to share with others. After all, playing with other children often means needing to be willing to share with them.

I believe this story will help to encourage young children to learn to be kind to each other. It very clearly shows how they can have more fun when they share their favorite things with each other than they will if they won’t share.

Monday, July 16, 2018

"Quinn's Faith" by Diane Garner

Quinn and Ajax have had difficult lives. Quinn nearly died in a car accident one winter, but was saved from drowning in a car she couldn’t escape from by the Angel Michael. Ajax grew up with his father in another town. His father was involved in criminal activities and trying to raise his son to follow in his footsteps. But Ajax does not want to be a criminal or to hurt others, and so he does what he can to escape the life his father had planned for him. It won’t be easy, but he is determined to stay out of that lifestyle.

Quinn and Ajax knew each other as small children, but hadn’t seen each other for many years. Now that he is back in town they have a chance to get to know each other once again. There is just one rather large problem.... A demon is after Ajax’ soul, and now is tormenting Quinn as well. Can they be Saved? Free Will prevents the Angel Michael from actively interfering in what they choose to do, though he does what he can to help. The outcome of this battle between Heaven and Hell for their souls depends on a choice Quinn must make. Is she strong enough to save them both from Hell?

While the story itself was interesting, I had a number of problems with this book. The first half had a few typos, but not too many and the editing wasn’t bad, but the farther I got into the book, the more typos and other errors I started to run into. There were portions of the book where some text had been moved and appeared elsewhere in the book where it clearly didn’t belong. It made parts of the story more than a little confusing and difficult to understand what was supposed to be happening.

Quite often I also ran into spots where either spaces were left out (causing words to run into each other) or where extra spaces were added in where they didn’t belong (causing breaks in the middle of words.) I saw far more typos in the second half of the book than in the beginning. It was as if the editor quit partway through the book. It’s too bad, as I was enjoying the story and more than a little interested in seeing how it would end. I did finish the book, but it would have been much easier to read and far more enjoyable for me had the author done a better job with the editing. I do hope that she will hire someone who can spend some time and fix the problems I ran into in this book so that others may enjoy it without all the problems I encountered. As I said above, the story itself was interesting but the book needs some work before it can be truly enjoyable.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

"Incursion: A novel of the O.C.L.D."
by Aaron Rosenberg

Special Agents R.C. Hayes and Danika “Nick” Frome have been sent to Pablo, Montana to work on a case in involving a number of deaths on the Reservation lands. Three men have been killed so far, each one shot though the throat with hand-made arrows. All three bodies were found in the same area of the woods, and the only footprints found nearby are too long and thin to be human.

Things get more interesting when they come across an illegal logging operation near the site of the deaths. The facts they have found so far just aren’t adding up. Something unusual is definitely happening here. Can the two FBI agents solve this case before more are killed in the woods?

I enjoyed this story. I got to learn a little about the supernatural creatures and the local Native American tribesmen involved in this tale. The story that the author told kept me quite interested in finding out what was happening and why. It was a very enjoyable paranormal thriller that I think most people will enjoy as well. I would recommend giving it a try.

Friday, July 6, 2018

"Net Impact" by Donald J. Bingle

Through a MMORPG, the world’s safety is threatened by various groups. A cyber terrorist has stolen the plans to a secret stealth spy drone and is selling them illegally through an online virtual reality game. But the group who stole them has been discovered and is being stalked by a foreign government who wants those plans for themselves and will stop at nothing to gain them.

Dick Thornby is a spy. It is his job to retrieve those plans and return them to the Subsidiary, whatever the cost. His orders are to make sure there were no copies made and that everything was recovered. But with additional complications, the mission he thought he’d finished became a much more difficult and time consuming project... One that might cost him his marriage and the family to whom he can’t explain his real job.

I greatly enjoyed reading this book. I don’t often read many thrillers, but after meeting the author and acquiring this one the at the Origins Gaming Convention, I gave it a chance and very much enjoyed reading it. The difficult task Dick has to accomplish only becomes more difficult through the plot twists he runs into all the way through to the end of the book. I felt it was well worth the time to read it and am planning on picking up the next book in the series to read soon. It was well written and drew me right in, keeping my attention all the way to the end of the book. I think anyone who enjoys thrillers will definitely enjoy reading this one. I strongly recommend giving it a chance.

Monday, July 2, 2018

"Alphabeast Soup" by Andy Hopp

This is a beautifully illustrated book that I found quite amusing. I picked up a copy at the Origins Gaming Fair recently and have very much enjoyed reading it. The tale is about a king who has horrible stomach pain that nothing seems able to fix. When he offers his throne to whomever can relieve him of the pain, his court wizard goes to great lengths to gather the ingredients for Alphabeast Soup, something that should magically cure he king of his pain.

I greatly enjoyed the poem format that the book appears to be written in and the illustrations that the book contains to go along with the story greatly enhance the tale told. I would definitely recommend this one. I found it quite humorous & entertaining. I’m very glad I picked up a copy and would highly recommend it to anyone who would like a quick laugh.

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...