Book Review: Storm Warned by: Dani Harper


Publisher: Montlake Romance

Publication Date: March 31, 2015

Origins:  From Publicist for Review

Synopsis: When Caris’s unearthly musical talent attracts the attention of the Wild Hunt, the Welsh farm girl is stolen away to serve as a faery grim, a herald of death. Two centuries later, she’s finally escaped back to the human world—and into the present-day life of a reclusive and heartbroken American musician.

Music was Liam’s whole life—until a crushing betrayal left him desperate to flee the public eye. Yet long-dormant passions awaken after a powerful storm strands a beautiful, strong-willed woman on his isolated farm. When a Fae prince bent on ruling both human and Faery realms threatens Caris’s life, Liam must decide if he can finally believe in love again, not just for her sake—but for the sake of two worlds.

From the best-selling author of Changeling Moon, this sweeping and passionate story of paranormal romance follows two souls from centuries apart who lost everything . . . and found that only love can save them.

Review: STORM WARNED is the third book in the Grim series. Two centuries ago, Caris’ rapturous and forbidden music catches the attention of the fae’s Wild Hunt. Her defiance in the face of the fae cost Caris her freedom and she was transformed into the first female grim – a death dog, a harbinger of death. In the present day, Liam has moved to his aunt and uncle’s farm to lick his wounds after his music cost him the person he held dearest. An unnatural storm blows through Liam’s farm and leaves behind destruction, as well as an injured dog. When Liam meets Caris and the dog has disappeared, he’s not sure what’s going on. With the help of some friends, they discover what the fae are up to, but can Liam open his heart again to love and to music in order to save Caris? STORM WARNED is captivating! I didn’t feel as if I missed anything important by not reading the first two books in the Grim series. The characters are great and the world the author has built is strongly reminiscent of the original dark faery tales. STORM WARNED is an excellent story. I was immediately engaged with the characters and the unfolding events. I plan on going back and reading the first two books in the Grim series if they’re anywhere as good as STORM WARNED!

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Book Review: Golden by: Melinda Michaels


Publisher: REUTS Publications, LLC

Publication Date: March 24, 2015

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived /once upon a time/, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s /just right/, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

Review: Hanna Loch doesn’t remember the first few years of her life and suffered from blackouts previously. However, she hasn’t had a blackout in ten years – the one which took away her memories of ‘before’. Until today, when Hanna blacks out in school and when she realizes this, she’s understandably scared out of her wits. From this newest blackout, she’s determined to find out the answers about her past. GOLDEN has diffused fairy-tale elements with a focus on the darker aspects – closer to the original Grimm fairy tales. The world- and character-building is excellent and the writing is formidable. Anyone who enjoys fairy tales with a grim twist will definitely love GOLDEN!

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Book Review: Death Wish by: Megan Tayte


Publisher: Heaven Afire

Publication Date: February 7, 2015

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE. 

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint? 

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense. 

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need. 

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power. 

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death. 

To believe the impossible.

Review: DEATH WISH is the story of Scarlett Blake. She’s mourning the loss of her sister and determined to find out why she supposedly took her own life. Scarlet goes to Twycombe, Devon, which is the last place her sister was before her death to find the truth. I thought DEATH WISH would have the Ceruleans taking a bigger role throughout the story, but the paranormal aspects were very subtly laced throughout the story until the end. DEATH WISH seemed to be more of the story of a girl dealing with the loss of her sister than a paranormal fantasy novel on the outside. I liked Scarlet and the descriptions of the scenery and surfing made the story come to life. While I enjoyed DEATH WISH, I hope readers get to learn more definitive information about the Ceruleans in future installments of the series. 

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Book Review: The Wretched Walls by: Brian Kaufman

 
Publisher: Dark Silo Press

Publication Date: February 14, 2015

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: While renovating an old Victorian home, Garrett Jenkins finds an antique box full of vintage 1920s pornography hidden in the walls. Who was the woman in the photos? Is there a connection to the presence Garrett suspects is haunting the home? As curiosity turns to obsession, the restoration of the building suffers. His mother’s life savings and his girlfriend’s hopes for the future are on the line. But with each new discovery, Garrett steps closer to a shattering truth that may end in madness.

Review: THE WRETCHED WALLS is a fascinating horror novella featuring Garrett Jenkins. The way the author draws you into the main character’s obsession with the old Victorian home he has purchased to renovate is nothing short of dynamic. The descriptions bring the foreboding atmosphere to life and before you know it, you’re sharing Garrett’s nightmare. THE WRETCHED WALLS is psychological horror at is most frightening. For readers who enjoy more seasoned horror, THE WRETCHED WALLS is for you.

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Book Review: Dark Sun, Bright Moon by: Oliver Sparrow


Publication Date: November 8, 2014

Origins:  From Publicist for Review

Synopsis: Human sacrifice, communities eaten from within, a vast mind blazing under the mud of Lake Titicaca; the rise and fall of empires cruel and kind.

In the Andes of a thousand years ago, the Huari empire is sick. Its communities are being eaten from within by a plague, a contagion that is not of the body but of something far deeper, a plague that has taken their collective spirit. Rooting out this parasite is a task that is laid upon Q’ilyasisa, a young woman from an obscure little village on the forgotten borders of the Huari empire. This impossible mission is imposed on her by a vast mind, a sentience that has ambitions to shape all human life. Her response to this entails confrontations on sacrificial pyramids, long journeys through the Amazonian jungle and the establishment of not just one but two new empires. Her legacy shapes future Andean civilisation until the arrival of the Spanish.

Dark Sun, Bright Moon explores the unique Andean metaphysic: not one of gods and heavens, but a cosmology developed over millennia of isolation, developed over generations by its practitioners but at constant war with the various state religions. It has been systematised from current beliefs, but is essentially authentic to them. As described in the book, therefore, this cosmology is a concrete thing, neither magic nor religion but a technology with a logic of its own that drives the story line. However, this is above all an adventure story in which credible people undertake rational if desperate acts in the face of extreme threat.

Dark Sun, Bright Moon is illustrated with over a hundred images (B&W, engravings and maps) and consists of around 170,000 words set in 40 chapters and an appendix, which last gives extensive background material. The author knows modern Peru very well, and has visited all of the physical sites that are described in the book.

Review: DARK SUN, BRIGHT MOON has such a beautiful concept and the author has done extensive research to create this work. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get into the story. I wish the author the best of luck and great success.  

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Book Review: The Long and Faraway Gone by: Lou Berney


Publisher: William Morrow & Company

Publication Date: February 10, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Neither crime was ever solved.

Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead. 

Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.

As fate brings these damaged souls together, their obsessive quests spark sexual currents neither can resist. But will their shared passion and obsession heal them, or push them closer to the edge? Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened, that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?

Review: In the summer of 1986, two lives in Oklahoma City were irrevocably changed forever. Wyatt is the only survivor from an armed robbery at the movie theater he worked at in which six of his coworkers and friends were murdered and Julianna’s older sister disappeared from the annual State Fair, never to be seen again. Both Wyatt and Julianna struggle with their losses even after two decades. They both get dragged back into investigating their tragedies to the point of obsession. Yet the truth doesn’t always set you free. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE is two separate stories, told from Wyatt and Julianna’s alternating viewpoints. Wyatt has come back to OKC from Las Vegas as a favor to a friend on a different case. Julianna’s never left and never given up hope of finding her sister and when one of the original suspects returns, she knows she has her chance. Wyatt and Juliana interact a couple times by happenstance, but nothing meaningful happens between them. I think the stories could have done well on their own as separate books. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE shows how much our experiences impact our lives, no matter how great or small. The book is well-written and readers will get caught up in this tale of tragedy. THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE teaches us a lesson about the cost of not being able to let go of our pasts.

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Book Review: Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl by: A. Giacomi


Publisher: Permuted Press

Publication Date: January 25, 2015

Origins:  From Author for Review

Synopsis: Eve used to be an ordinary girl, from an ordinary town, with ordinary dreams, but her dreams rapidly turn into nightmares when one grave mistake leaves her a little less than human and a lot less average. 

Eve’s not quite the same girl she used to be. She desperately clings to her humanity as new desires, new abilities, and new urges take over with each passing day. 

Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is a tale that takes you on an emotional and terrifying journey as Eve struggles to cope with her new life and find a cure for her strange illness before time runs out. She desperately clings to her humanity as she tries to control the monster she knows is lurking inside her. 

Turns out living was the easy part. 

Review: EVE BRENNER: ZOMBIE GIRL is a unique take on this very popular genre. The way the zombie virus was created and spread was an interesting twist, especially since there were different ‘levels’ of zombieness dependent on how the virus was contracted. EVE BRENNER: ZOMBIE GIRL is told through three narrators: Eve, and her best friends Alex and Cam. I enjoyed how EVE BRENNER: ZOMBIE GIRL is a tale of human vs. animalistic (base) instincts. The fight scenes were well-executed, but to me the romance aspects didn’t flow naturally. Eve’s struggle with her altered nature is what really drew me into the book and Eve was definitely my favorite character. While Alex and Cam were a good support system for Eve, for the most part they didn’t seem to add a whole lot to the story. If you’re looking for a fresh take on the zombie story, check out EVE BRENNER: ZOMBIE GIRL. I think EVE BRENNER: ZOMBIE GIRL is well suited for YA & NA readers alike.

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Book Review: Loving the Amnesia Bride by: Sara Daniel


Publisher: Musa Publishing

Publication Date: January 1, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: If she remembers the past, they won't have a future. 

Gwen Fairfax awakens in a hospital, deluged by stabbing head pain and unable to remember anything about her past, especially the man who claims to be her fiancé. A trip to the Wiccan Haus is her only hope to discover the woman she used to be, her mysterious dreams about a resort, and the man who’s supposedly the love of her life. 

Tucker Wilde is willing to do anything to stop his stepmother’s land development schemes from ruining the natural habitat he’s dedicated his life to preserving. But he never expects he’ll have to go so far as to pretend to be engaged to the woman his brother left at the altar. He knows better than to trust anyone in cahoots with his stepmother. But he feels an overwhelming need to protect the sweet, vulnerable woman who has no one to turn to but him. Soon, he’s losing sight of the fact that the engagement isn’t real. 

Gwen tempts him at every turn, hoping physical contact between them will jog her memory. If she never remembers the past, Tucker begins to believe they could make a life together. But if the Wiccan Haus delivers on healing her memory, it will destroy any hope for their future.

Review: LOVING THE AMNESIA BRIDE is the 13th book in the Wiccan Haus series. Gwen Fairfax was at the altar with the man she thought she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. When he ran out on her, she was injured to the point where she has retrograde amnesia and doesn’t remember having a fiancé. A trip to the Wiccan Haus is arranged for her and her fiancé’s brother, Tucker, (who Gwen was told is her fiancé) so Gwen can heal. However, it’s not only Gwen who needs healing. LOVING THE AMNESIA BRIDE is a beautiful story of the healing power of love. I liked the new characters of Gwen and Tucker and, of course, seeing our ‘old friends’ from the Wiccan Haus. LOVING THE AMNESIA BRIDE is one of the few of the Wiccan Haus books where both main characters are human and I think it made for a lovely addition to the series.

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