Book Review: Dear Daughter by: Elizabeth Little

Publisher: Viking Adult

Publication Date: July 31, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: As soon as they processed my release Noah and I hit the ground running. A change of clothes. A wig. An inconspicuous sedan. We doubled back once, twice, then drove south when we were really headed east. In San Francisco we had a girl who looked like me board a plane to Hawaii.

Oh, I thought I was so clever.

But you probably already know that I'm not.

LA IT girl Janie Jenkins has it all. The looks, the brains, the connections. The criminal record.

Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Janie was convicted of murdering her mother. Now she's been released on a technicality she's determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's last words, words that send her to a tiny town in the very back of beyond. But with the whole of America's media on her tail, convinced she's literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.

She knows she really didn't like her mother. Could she have killed her?

Review: Janie Jenkins was the latest LA It Girl to fall from the glittering heights when she was convicted of murdering her mother. Ten years later, she’s released on a technicality from when her trial was held. Now she’s on the trail which was started from her mother’s last words and which Janie hopes will lead her to the truth. Because she didn’t kill her mother, did she? DEAR DAUGHTER is written through prose, articles, and blog posts. Janie’s voice is spot-on and it was interesting to see her character grow while uncovering her mother’s past, yet maintaining her snarkiness and own brand of self. Especially with as hungry as the populace seems to be for hints of fame and the rollercoaster ride lives of celebrities and so-called celebrities, DEAR DAUGHTER fits right into this culture. There is a secondary world Jane enters – Ardelle and Adeline, South Dakota. These small-towns and the seemingly small-minded people who populate them just may hold the secrets Janie needs to discover who her mother truly was before and how she became the woman Janie knew. DEAR DAUGHTER will definitely appeal to readers who like Gillian Flynn or Marisha Pessl.

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Author Interview: Shauna Kelley, author of Naliyah

Publisher: Create Space

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Synopsis: Lenora Scheid can tell you much of human nature. After more than a century of traveling from warzone to warzone, she has experienced more than she can handle of mankind’s thirst for blood and power…she cannot, however, tell you what she is.

Not exactly human, but not precisely vampire either, Lenora’s whole life has been spent under the watchful eye of her father. With only her dreams of a mysterious blue‐eyed man as company, she has little choice but to follow her father across the world despite his refusal to help her understand her true nature. 

As Lenora reaches the end of her tolerance with their life of travel and death, she comes face to face with her blue‐eyed man and everything changes. Can this man save her from a life of brutality? Or will the secrets kept from her for so long destroy them both?

Interview: Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

TIME! In addition to writing, I work full time, teach part time, and try to spoil my niece and nephews frequently. I have taken to using vacation time to seclude myself and just write.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

Naliyah is the first in an intended trilogy. As I developed the idea, it just got bigger and bigger, so I knew it was something I was coming back to. I am about 1/3 of the way through the second book, and have a two week vacation planned to finish it over the holidays. Beyond that, my “ideas” list is very, very long.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have never started a book knowing anything about how it will end.  I usually write from an idea for a scene and the book evolves from that. My first book Max and Menna evolved around the idea of a place I wanted to write about. Naliyah started based on the idea of how it might be for an immortal child who was growing up without really knowing what she was.

Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!

I have a strange mix of hobbies I love horror and sci-fi movies, and usually crochet as I watch them. I also love to bake, but am allergic to milk so I can’t eat most of what I cook. I force it on my co-workers.

Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?

I have an idea for a zombie book… we’ll see :-)

 Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I really wish I could speak another language. I would likely pick Italian.

Q. What gives you the most joy in life?

My husband, my puppies, and being an Aunt. I have three nieces and three nephews who are my world.

Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?

Hmm… That’s a tough one. I think Lenora in Naliyah would be an easy but weird choice… I would live a long time, but have to kill to do it. I would likely go with Menna in Max and Menna. That’s sort of a cop out because Menna is more like me than any of my other characters, but she has a passion and drive I’ve always envied.

Q. How did you come up with the title?

Naliyah is loosely based on a Sanskrit word for love. I wanted something that sounded ancient and melodic, so I played around until I came up with that.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I just hope that everyone who reads this book enjoys it. Genre fiction is a new foray for me, so I hope I’ve added something worthwhile to the mix. I would also ask that all avid readers become avid reviewers. Writers thrive on your honest feedback, so please, give it freely!

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Book Review: Bad Mojo by: Shane Berryhill

Publisher: Ragnarok Publications

Publication Date: August 28, 2014

Origins:  From Publicist for Review

Synopsis: BAD MOJO is a tale of love and murder among the men, women, and monsters of a mystical, modern-day South.

Shane Berryhill’s first dark adult fantasy is the story of Zora Banks--a beautiful, Southern conjure woman of mixed race--as  told through the eyes of her partner, Ash Owens, a pretty boy-redneck cursed with a monstrous alter ego. 

When Tennessee State Representative Jack Walker hires Ash to find his missing, drug-addicted wife, Ash finds himself at odds with Chattanooga’s various underworld gangs--both the living and the unliving--as he and Zora become embroiled in a far-reaching occult organization’s grab for ultimate power.

Equal parts True Blood and Justified, BAD MOJO will prove a dark delight for fans of urban fantasy, Southern Gothics, paranormal romance, and hardboiled crime.

Review: In BAD MOJO, the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee is as much a character as the people who dwell there. BAD MOJO is the first book of the Zora Banks series and the story is told in the first person by Ash Owens, Zora’s partner  - a redneck who lives at the bar where he works and tries not to turn furry once a month. Something very bad is going down in the Nooga, so it’s up to Ash and Zora to figure out who is behind it all. I think the way the story is told through Ash’s eyes/words helped to give Zora, an exotically beautiful and powerful mixed-race Conjure woman, an air of the mysterious and taboo. Both the protagonists and antagonists of BAD MOJO were fully developed with distinctive personalities and abilities. BAD MOJO has it all – humor, mystery, magic, suspense, sex, twists, and thrills. Fans of dark and gritty urban fantasy will love to dive into BAD MOJO!

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Book Review: Welcome Home by: Tamer Brand

Publisher: Smashwords Edition

Publication Date: March 29, 2014

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: This story sheds light and truth on the old saying that, "If you look hard enough, you may just find exactly what you are looking for." This thrill ride brings to life the frightening events that take place in the breadth of a single weekend. For the military wife this story depicts how the horrors that unfold test the measure of her resolve and her will to push on. Her struggles trying to find normalcy in her marriage prove to push her to the brink as she dances dangerously on the edge of freedom and infidelity. The nightmare of coincidence thrusts her from one harrowing situation to another. In her struggle to maintain her sanity and save her family she finds herself desperately lost with no where to run.

Review: WELCOME HOME brings us Tim, a military man home from deployment and his wife, Cynthia (Cindy). After arriving home to a family which seems more like strangers, Tim sleeps most of the day while Cindy has to take care of the home, kids, and still work. When Cindy decides to take a detour, it opens up a nightmare world from which she knows she cannot escape. WELCOME HOME is a short novel, but very powerful. It goes to show you don’t always know the person you married and you may not like who they really turn out to be. WELCOME HOME is a psychological thriller where Cindy must choose if she will take the ultimate risk to save herself and her family.

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Book Feature: Rough Magick by: Kenny Soward

Publisher: Ragnarok Publications

Publication Date: October 13, 2014

Synopsis: Niksabella the gnome has tinkered in the shadows for years, developing an invention that might change the world, even if she doesn’t know it yet. She has few friends and even fewer allies in the city of Hightower, where social and academic status is quite important. 

Her brother, Nikselpik, is a cantankerous wizard who drinks too much, sings dirty songs, and makes rude passes at gnomestresses. A dark addiction consumes him, a habit called bugging, which gives him increased power and feelings of euphoria while pushing him closer to death. 

Dark creatures from the ultraworlds have come calling. Niksabella must fight to protect her life and her invention, while Nikselpik engages the enemy as an unlikely guest of Hightower’s military elite. Niksabella and Nikselpik must find their true powers together, or perish apart. Will they heal the wounds of their childhood before it's too late?

Book one of debut fantasy author Kenny Soward's GnomeSaga series.

Series: GnomeSaga

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