50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Milk Teeth: Stories with Bite by Lizella Prescott

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Publisher: Hungry Lizard Press
Publication Date: June 7, 2017
Pages: 58
Format: ePub
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2

A sorceress gets married and forgets her powers. A prince fears true love’s kiss. A little mermaid is hungry for something a little strange. A swamp witch takes a messy stand. All of these stories are new takes on classic tales, meandering down unlit paths only fit for monsters, fools, and the brave.

At 58 pages, this collection of 12 bite-sized tales can be consumed in a single sitting. Or read one story each night at bedtime, while you sip a cup of herbal tea.

 

1

5 Stars

my-review

I received this eBook from Book Review 22 in exchange for an honest review. 

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I absolutely love retellings of fairy tales. Whether they’re full-length retellings or short and … sweet retellings.

The tales in this short book were all familiar tales that we grew up on. Some that have become simple with Disney but others remain in the pages of the more complex Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales. Either way, they’re familiar. However, they’re not the tales you grew up with. Ms. Prescott gives the Brother’s Grimm a run for their money with her tales of witches planting milk teeth for the future to the Frog Prince who may actually fear True Loves Kiss and a Little Mermaid with interesting tastes. Familiar tales with new twists and incredible imagery!

What I really enjoyed was some of the tales had a more modern spin on them and faced some of the concepts that modern society faces. But at the same time, some stayed within the realms of fantasy.

Definitely try out this book if you are seeking a short read or like the synopsis said, spread it out each night and enjoy the tales.

Where to Buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US

3


Lizella writes a dark and tasty blend of fantasy, suspense, and experimental short fiction. She’s also partial to epic poetry, Greek mythology, and anything Dystopian. You can read her work here.

When she’s not dreaming up new ways to torture fairy princesses, Lizella writes business journalism under a different pseudonym and tries to keep up with one husband, two kids, and four large dogs.

Connect with Lizella

Medium | GoodReads

 

 

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Dawn of the Vie by Laura Diamond

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 276
Add to Good Reads

1

4 Stars

2

Since their Arrival, immortal alien Vie rule the planet. Enslaved humans are their servants, entertainment, and food. Anemies—humans with various types of anemia—are exterminated. Their nutritionally deficient blood is useless to the Vie. Or so it’s thought…

Alex, an Elite Vie, is part scientist, part Raid Specialist, and part drug addict. He knows Anemie blood is valuable—as a drug. Rather than blindly carrying out his boss’s kill order, he spares a few Anemies, not only for study, but also for his own private stock.

The more Anemie blood Alex drinks, the more he slips into delusion, and the more his double life threatens to crumble. But quitting Anemie blood is not an option. There’s no rehab for his condition.

When Alex tastes Justin’s blood, his hallucinations bleed into reality…

Anemie Justin knows he’s living past his expiration date. It becomes a guarantee when he’s bitten by Alex during a raid and infected with the Vie’s toxin. Alex adds insult to injury by promising Justin a second chance—a cure if he agrees to be a lab rat. And a mule…of his own blood.

The only leverage Justin has is a stake and a serious lack of self-preservation.

GAME ON.

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

What if vampiric aliens came to Earth, enslaved the healthy human’s and cast out unhealthy humans to the slums? Well if that was to happen, then the future would be this book.

The Vie control everything, including free will and right down to feeding what the author calls “Anemies.”
Healthy humans are the slaves to the Vie. They are their food source and they take care of their homes. The Anemies are humans who have varying degrees of anemia. Clearly the Vie prefer the hemoglobin in the blood of the humans, so the lack of isn’t as appetizing to them.

In comes Justin, an Anemie, and his little sister Sammie who is also an Anemie. They’re hiding in a building to sleep when the Vie conduct a raid and we’re introduce to Alex, an Elite Vie with a taste for Anemie blood. It is a drug to their kind. It becomes obvious why the Vie then raid the Anemie slums, to replenish their drug habits.

Alex takes Justin’s little sister Sammie, after he bites her and challenges Justin to find him. To which Justin happily does and thus finds out that Alex has more of a hand in the care for Anemie and that he has motives for Justin.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was that it was told in a masculine voice. Although Justin is supposed to be 15, I found that his voice was that of someone much older. I would say 18 or 19.
I actually found Justin to be a little grating on the nerves with his constant paranoia. While I understand that the Anemie’s fear the Vie and Justin has a reason to hate Alex, it was just grating how paranoid he was.

Now Alex is the fascinating character. For someone who has everything they could wish for, he develops a guilty conscience. However, what ever his motives are, they remain pretty much unknown. Especially involving Justin’s sister, Sammie.
Sammie remains something that Alex can hold over Justin, so it does make Alex a little iffy.

Sara, Alex’s human slave, became a love interest for Justin. She seemed to be a background character more, at least until the end of the novel. She was mostly just the pretty slave girl. Her personality didn’t really develop until later on. A lot of that was probably because the Vie have the ability to trance their slaves, so that took away their free will to be themselves.

My only wish is that there had been more focus on the scenery. The world building, involving the Vie and the Anemies had been great, but the scenery didn’t really match it. Of course they were building this biodome over the city to block out UV lights, but the city itself wasn’t really described. It would have been nice to see the city itself as well.

However, it will be interesting to see where Justin, Sara and Alex go from here.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Chapters | Barnes & Noble | Alibris | Indie Bound

3

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

Connect with Laura

Website | Good Reads | Twitter | Facebook

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · ARCs · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews

ARC Review: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

ARCReview

 
Genre: 
Gothic Horror, Mystery
Publisher: Hideaway Fall
Expected Publication: July 27, 2017
Format: Paperbook
Pages: 294
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1

4.50 Stars

4 half stars

2

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

my-review

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

The entire atmosphere of the story, especially involving the tree in the front yard was very creepy. Especially involving that tree in the front yard. It seemed like it had a lot to do with the family’s history but it wasn’t really portrayed that way much. Just that sense. Kind of like in Poltergeist where Robbie was terrified of the tree outside his window. This tree, in the beginning, just seemed to be a large ominous object.

There are two story lines in this tale. It follows Ian Perkins in the present and in his past. This does create a slight disjointed flow but not terribly. Some people struggle with past and present stories, but this worked out to explain Ian’s mother, father and brother as well as Ian’s present story.

While this had elements of horror in it, this was definitely more befitting of a Gothic Horror. It had that lovely sense of suspense and mystery. Especially with Ian.
It was incredibly surreal to participate in the total break down of the main character’s mind. The obvious loss of Ian’s grip on reality. At first you are sympathetic to his feeling of loss with his wife Rachel, but eventually the story reveals that there is more going on here than Rachel just being distant with Ian.

My only major qualm was that the house clearly had a lot of tragedy in the past and it should have been a lot more creepy for that. The curse should have been played up a little more and the ending as well.

Available July 27, 2017

Amazon CAN | Amazon US

3

M. Jonathan Lee is an award winning English author. His debut novel, “The Radio” was nationally shortlisted in The Novel Prize 2012. His second novel, “The Page” went on to become the Amazon #5 most downloaded thriller. His third novel, the critically acclaimed “A Tiny Feeling of Fear” was released in September 2015. “Broken Branches”, his fourth novel, will be released by Hideaway Fall in Spring 2017.

 

Contact M. Jonathan Lee

Website | Facebook | Good Reads | Twitter

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 2, 2013
Format: ePub
Pages: 155
Add to Good Reads
Buy on: AmazonAmazon US

1

3.85 Stars

3 half stars

2

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

my-review

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

You know, I was always one of those kids who wondered what happened AFTER the fairy tale was finished. Did they really live happily ever after? What problems did they encounter in their future? How many kids did they have and so on. I’m really glad when authors take the chance to write a retelling of a fairy tale and add their own spin on it. I enjoyed Queen Snow White from David Meredith’s point of view.

This story definitely tugged on the heart strings though. No shame, lots of feels. I definitely cried with Snow White when she was sifting through her grief with the mirror.

This Snow White was more feminine and naive. She had to learn to be a wife, a Queen and eventually a mother. She had many hiccups and clearly struggled with her title, despite her bringing down her step-mother to attain that title.

I do warn you, this Snow White is in a very deep state of grieving. Despite it being a year since her Prince Charming passed away, she stills mourns his loss. Her grief is overwhelming which might make her seem like a simpering, whiny woman. But from the reflections of her past with her Prince, he was her only stability after her step-mother. That loss of stability can be devastating and understandably so. It is important to try to see it from that aspect as well. Everyone grieves differently.

What shocks me, though, is that this won an award and it had so many grammatical errors. I hope the finished copy is more polished than the one I received. It made it difficult for me to rate this because of that. Especially because I enjoyed the story and grieved along with Snow White when she talked about her past with her husband. I also grieved for the small Princess that suffered so greatly at the hands of her step-mother. That people did nothing to help her, much of that was because they couldn’t. It is definitely a heart string tugging story. I just wish a little more finesse was put into it.

Either way, it was a good story. If you enjoy a good retelling of a fairy tale and enjoy seeing the conclusion of what happens to the Fairy Tale princesses, this is definitely the story for you.

3


David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee as well as a Tennessee State Teaching license. He is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Connect with David

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Amazon

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Thursday Book Reviews

Dragon Redeemer by Amy Bearce

thursday


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Format: ePub
Pages: 220
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1

5 Stars

2

Four years have passed since a fairy swarm released the voice of prophecy in Nell Brennan. In that painful moment, a skilled warrior became a reluctant leader and defender of Aluvia’s magic. Now a new enemy threatens their still-fragile lands, one Nell feels powerless to stop even with help from the voice within her.

A mysterious dark alchemist from the Ice-Locked Lands is rising to power on the strength of his sword arm and an ice-breathing dragon obedient to his command. He promises unlimited magic to his followers and death to those who defy him. If he takes over the ports, his corrupt elixirs will disrupt the delicate balance of peace between Aluvia’s people and all magical creatures.

The voice of prophecy sends Nell and her friends to their enemy’s treacherous domain to find a sword of legend. Only the sword’s magic can prevent a return to a world of dying fairies and caged merfolk. But Nell’s up against the toughest foe she’s ever faced. In order to defeat him, she must master the unimaginable power of the sword―and the unwanted magic inside herself.

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say, out of all the three books of the world of Aluvia, this is possibly my most favourite.
At first, I wasn’t too keen on Nell, when I read about her in Fairy Keeper. But she really grew up in this book. She embodies everything people look for in a strong heroine. She is strength, determination and while she is a tom-boy by our Earthly standards, her connection with Corbin was lovely to watch.

I love books that go on grand adventures. Instead of the two sister’s this round, it is Nell who has to follow the prophetic voice inside her head to the Ice-Locked Lands in order to save Aluvia from someone trying to steal the land’s magic. This someone is eerily familiar to Nell as well. A reminder of her past where she delved into organized crime to provide for her family.

This is a great trilogy for your kids to grow up with. Especially those who are in middle grade starting with Fairy Keeper. As Sierra, Phoebe and Nell all grow up and learn their paths in life, find their life partners. It is a great timeline for that and each girl is an inspiration.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

3


Amy Bearce writes fantasy stories for tweens and teens. Her debut, FAIRY KEEPER, is an upper-middle grade fantasy and is the first book in the World of Aluvia series. MER-CHARMER (World of Aluvia, Book Two) released May 9, 2016. Book Three, Dragon Redeemer, is scheduled for release May 23, 2017. She is a former reading teacher who now has her Masters in Library Science. As an Army kid, she moved eight times before she was eighteen, so she feels especially fortunate to be married to her high school sweetheart. Together they’re raising two daughters and are currently living in Germany, though they’ll be heading home to Texas this summer.

Connect with Amy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest | 

Google Plus 

 

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Myths of Mish by Katie Hamstead

Saturday Review

 
Genre: 
New Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Format: ePub
Pages: 281
Add to Good Reads

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

4.75 Stars

4 half stars

2

Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he’s about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.

Wilhelmine Nordon has plenty of experience with Hansel’s quirkier side. So when she catches him and Gretel running away in the middle of the night, she follows to keep them from getting killed. The siblings have never left the capital of Mish on their own, so they need a babysitter. Except when she’s discovered, Hansel gives her his usual cold shoulder, and Gretel secretly begs her to take them back.

The problem is, Hansel’s paranoia turns out to be well founded, and they’re all being hunted.

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Thank you, Katie Hamstead, for having a deep love for Firefly and continuing to use it as inspiration in her stories. I love it and it completely fills that Space Cowboy and Steampunk love that I have.

Hansel and Gretel, we’re all familiar with that story. House made of gingerbread and a witch captures them to eat them. Well, the story happened. Now Hansel and Gretel are all grown up.
Hansel’s father and stepmother plan to marry Gretel off to a much older man, and the father of Gretel’s friend Mina. Hansel tries to stop it and takes off with his sister to save her. Ever since he returned from the witches house, he has been highly suspicious of his parents, especially his step mother. If something traumatic like that happened to you or I, we would be just as suspicious too.

However, Hansel is one of the most disagreeable characters ever. He is neurotic to the point of insanity. He is also really, really rude to Mina. Some of that is because he had forgotten she had grown up and was her own person, not some fourteen year old girl with silly fantasies in her mind. But you know, the bigger the jerk, the harder they fall… right?
It would have been nice to see Gretel in a different light. She kind of took a back burner to Hansel. In that, she seemed meek and naive. At least until much later in the book when she began to truly shine.
Mina, she was the best character. She was everything people look for in a character. She was bad ass, head of her own naval ship, in league with the pirates and could handle herself easily. She also managed to keep Hansel at an arm’s length without revealing her feelings.

I truly enjoyed the mixing of fairy tales and myths in this. Mermaid’s and siren’s was perfect to add into the tale. Especially with siren’s. It was a perfect Brother’s Grimm tale with that. Also, nothing like evil step parents!

I totally look forward to seeing where Ms. Hamstead takes her stories. I hope to see more myths and fairy tales retold. I do enjoy a good retelling!

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US 

 

3

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press · Saturday Reviews

Princess of Tyrone by Katie Hamstead

Saturday Review


Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: March 31, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 263 pages
Add to Good Reads

1

5 Stars

2

Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone.

All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss. Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable.

Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming—but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms.

But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever.

A quirky, adventurous retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a less than princess-ly princess!

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Now, throw away your ideas of how Sleeping Beauty was in the Disney movie and the way the Brother’s Grimm told Sleeping Beauty (thank god, if you know the tale). The heroin in this tale, Apolline, is kick ass. She has absolutely no idea who she is, other than she is an orphan and is being raised by fairy Aunts. Oh and that she is betrothed.
At a young age, to get her out of one of the Aunt’s hair, she is taught to hunt a deer like creature that can only be seen by those who have magic or are around magic enough. She sells the meat and hide of these animals to help out her Aunt’s, financially.
She is a gun toting woman who stands up for herself and keeps herself busy. Hell, she even beat up a pirate when he tried to take off with one of her kills.

At least until Allard, a mysterious soldier, makes his appearance. Then we see Apolline wrestle with herself about her feelings for Allard and her promise to her betrothed. We also learn who Allard is really and how he struggles to remain true to his promise as a Prince and his betrothed.

For me, this had such wonderful tones of Firefly and Doctor Who. Captain Mal would be proud to know Apolline.

I definitely recommend this! I enjoyed the fairies, especially their part in the story!

where-to-buy

Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Alibris

3


Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Connect with Katie

Blogspot | Twitter | Curiosity Quills Press

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Linda (Rebirth of the Gangster: Meet the Family #5) by C.J. Standal and Juan Romera

Saturday Review 
Genre: Crime, Comic
Publisher: C.J. Standal Productions
Publication Date: March 31, 2017
Format: PDF
Pages: 24 pages
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1

5 Stars

 

2

The gang’s back!

Linda’s been fighting a battle with cancer, but she stumbles onto something even worse: the addictions of her past resurface to tempt her again. And Alex starts to suspect Hunter, but will Alex confront him? Plus, Marcus and Andrea both make a trip to the gun range. The acclaimed crime masterpiece gets even more complex, casting light on the past secrets.

The acclaimed crime series continues as the creative team–writer CJ Standal and artist Juan Romera–keeps firing on all cylinders. This neo-noir modern masterpiece is a perfect match for fans of Breaking Bad, 100 Bullets, The Wire and The Godfather.

my-review

I received this comic from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

In this issue, we get to know Hunter’s mother Linda a bit better. Especially as she faces down cancer and an old addiction surfaces when her doctor prescribes opiates to help with the pain.

Meanwhile, Alex and Hunter have a run in. Alex is very suspicious of Hunter and tries to let Marcus know this. Although Marcus seems to brush him off.
It also becomes apparent that Hunter’s friendship with Marcus is also having some negative feedback on Marcus’ spotty attendance at work and poor workmanship. Very worrisome, indeed.

It was sad to see Linda cave and take the opiates, whether it was for pain or another reason. I just hope she is able to distinguish between taking them for pain and not addiction. But we’ll have to see in the upcoming issues!

This just continues to get more and more interesting. The artwork, as always, is awesome. I enjoyed the cover as well.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US
Issues 1-4

 

3

I love writing in all sorts of playgrounds: Rebirth of the Gangsters  is my first comic book, and I’ve been published by Slant magazine: https://www.slantnews.com/user/cj.standal

You can also find me on Philip Smith’s site promoting indie authors:
http://www.philipsmith.eu/kindle-ebook/rebirth-gangster-meet-family-marcus

I’m also a high school English teacher: next year I’ll be teaching a graphic novel course; in the past I’ve taught a hip hop course; and I educate the youth about other valuable things, like Shakespeare.

Thanks,
CJ.

 

50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Thursday Book Reviews

Xander’s Folly by Belinda M. Gordon

thursday

 
Genre:
Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Shaggy Dog Productions, LLC
Publication Date: May 13, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 204 pages
Add to Good Reads

1

4.50 Stars

4 half stars

2

Celtic mythology, suspense, and a modern day romance!
Xander spent most of his life exploring his mother’s disappearance. When new clues surface that suggest she’s alive and waiting for him to find her, he must decide what he’s willing to risk to get his answers.

Tressa longs to accept Xander’s proposal of marriage, but as evil fae surface around every corner, she must choose between putting him in constant danger—or letting her soul mate go.

Tressa and Xander want a peaceful life together, but will their destiny make it impossible? As the King’s Jewel, Tressa is destined to save her people—but at what cost? When the Sword of Light brings out Xander’s violent side—can he break the hold it has on him?

Xander’s Folly is the second book in the King’s Jewel fantasy series that blends Celtic mythology with a modern story.

my-review

I received this eBook through Book Review 22 in exchange for an honest review. 

I found that this story was more about Xander than it was about Tressa. It revolved around Xander’s bonding with Tressa, his bonding with the Claíomh Solais (Sword of Light) and protector of Tressa, the King’s Jewel. It was interesting to see the sword through Tressa’s eyes, as it bound itself to Xander’s aura.

This story was also about Xander’s family, specifically his father and missing mother. After a mysterious phone call about Xander’s father, Tressa and Xander rush off to find out what has happened. There they happen upon several Unseelie loose in city where Xander’s father lives. Which might attribute to his father’s disintegrating memory. They also find a Lost Child who doesn’t know what or who she is.

It was interesting to find out what Xander’s “folly” really meant. I won’t ruin it for anyone else, but it is quite interesting.

This was a great book. I look forward to the third story. Maybe one day, Tressa will get her wish of being a mom.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Alibris

3


Belinda M Gordon was born and raised in Pennsylvania and currently lives in the Pocono Mountains with her wonderfully supportive husband, her thoughtful easy-going son, and two delightful dogs.

She is of Irish heritage, which is how she became interested in Celtic Mythology. She used the Celtic Mythology, specifically of Ireland, as the starting point of her Romance/Fantasy series, The King’s Jewel.

Belinda also enjoys photography, fashion, music, dancing and a good mystery. You will find these influences throughout her writing.

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Curiosity Quills Press

Muddy Waters by Sara O. Thompson

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Genre: 
Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 276 pages
Format: ePub
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4.80 Stars

4 half stars

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Twenty years ago, the boundary between worlds dropped. It will be a while before the political, social, and religious upheaval settles down but the good news is: now you can book a vacation to Valhalla as easily as you can go to Las Vegas. Your real estate agent might be a Wood Sprite. Your mechanic might be a Minotaur. For better or for worse, Supernormals are part of Earth life.

Five years ago, Tessa Reddick was convicted of killing her entire family: 37 Witches from one of the most powerful covens in history. She’s been locked up at Lakeland Psychiatric hospital, still grieving but mad as hell at whoever–or whatever–put her there.

Half an hour ago, a handsome FBI agent showed up to spring Tessa from the joint
–but there’s a price. A series of murders is picking off Supernormals and the feds need the help of the last known Reddick Witch.

Determined to learn who set her up for the fall, help solve the FBI crimes, and maybe get closer to her mysterious (and seriously hot) Dark Elf partner, Tessa is more than willing to play Witchy Nancy Drew.

But Tessa has few friends left and something is coming for her, too – maybe it’s the one who framed her and killed her coven, or perhaps a new foe with a taste for Witch’s blood.

Solving crimes, doing magic, drinking bourbon. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.

my-review

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a wonderful story. It was a great mash up of the modern world and the fantasy world.

This story involves rift between our world and the fantasy world. Where the boundaries between the two have become thinner. And fantasy creatures then come over the boundaries to our world. Some to escape their lives, and some to cause hell. Either way, all kinds of creatures end up mixing with humans and try to blend in.

Tessa is accused of murdering her family and her coven. She is put in a psych-ward and heavily medicated until the FBI springs her. She is then sent on a crash course to becoming an agent to help find out who is murdering the supernatural’s in the human world.

I absolutely enjoyed Tessa. She was full of life and snarky. She told it like it is too. No word was really minced with her. But I guess after being accused of murdering your coven and locked up, knowing you’re innocent, you’d have to keep some sort of honesty about you. I enjoyed that she was a full blooded female who had the hots for her partner, Qyll the Dark Elf. No shame there, ha ha.
Qyll, on the other hand, needed a little more complexity. He seemed to be only there for Tessa to hit on. A little more character building with that character would have made the story even better.

I did have one issue with consistency though. If you’re going to break your main character out of a psychiatric ward where she spent time being heavily medicated and basically ignored, one would need some serious recovery time. Antipsychotic’s are not easy to come off of at all. Detox time would have been needed. The other issue would be that she wouldn’t have a crash course in the FBI either. She would have been brought in as a consultant, because training isn’t a week long thing. I know it’s a story, but a little more consistency and world building would have been nice in that aspect.

I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a new fantasy read. Especially if you like shows like True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl.

where-to-buy

Amazon CAN| Amazon US| Barnes & Noble| Book Depository| Alibris

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Sara O. Thompson’s first attempt at a book was prepared on a Remington typewriter and bore a suspicious resemblance to a famous novel whose title rhymes with ‘Gourd of the Spies.’

In her spare time, she performs improv comedy, tells stories on stage, and loves ballroom dancing. Sara lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her family.

Sara O. Thompson | Curiosity Quills Press | Good Reads| Twitter