Category Archives: Reviews

Review Tour: White Swans by annamaria bazzi

 

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Review: Oddly Normal by Otis Frampton, book 1

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Expected publishing date: March 24, 2015

Purchase Link: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Meet Oddly Normal, a ten-year-old girl with pointed ears and green hair — a half-witch who will be the first to tell you that having a mother from a magical land called Fignation and a father from Earth doesn’t make it easy to make friends at school! On her tenth birthday, she blows out her cake’s candles and makes a disastrous wish. Now, Oddly must travel to Fignation to uncover the mystery of her parents’ disappearance. Join Oddly as she navigates a strange new school, monstrous bullies, and Evil itself on an unforgettable fantasy adventure through the vibrant world of Fignation in Oddly Normal. Collecting Oddly Normal #1-5.

My Review:

You’d think that being a half witch with a full witch for a mother would be an idyllic life with magic to learn and play with. However, for a girl named Oddly Normal that is not the case. Her green hair and pointed ears are just one more thing to be bullied about. Her parents, while loving, are both completely oblivious to what Oddly’s life is truly like. Things come to a head on the night of her 10th birthday party.

I haven’t read many graphic novels but I really enjoyed this one by Otis Frampton. I feel like this is something that I could share with  my eldest daughter. The storyline made me want more and I could empathise with Oddly as I believe many kids could as well. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. The illustrations are amazing, especially when it comes to Fignation where I would love to live.

* Note I received this graphic novel for free in exchange for an honest review

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Unseen by Amber Lynn Natusch

 

Welcome to the Kingdom of Hades, where even its prodigal princess sleeps lightly.

After fighting Soul Stealers in Detroit, Khara hoped to return home to find answers in her father’s realm. But the land of the dead offers little information, and far too much tragedy. Now cut off from her brothers, and left only with her dark and unreliable companion Oz, Khara must navigate the centuries-old webs of deceit and betrayal, all while eluding the Underworld’s most depraved inhabitant. But she soon finds an unexpected ally in her adopted sister Persephone. Together, they endeavor to right a terrible wrong. And as Khara soon discovers, there’s more riding on her success than she ever thought possible.

 

If you’re lost at all now, that’s because you absolutely have to read book one first this time. Otherwise, you will be totally lost and not understand half (or more) of the storyline.

 

Unseen picks up where we left off in book one without much backstory that you tend to see in some books which are meant to be more stand alone than read in a series time. I find this refreshing as those types of books tend to be repetitive when you’ve read the preceding book and slightly annoying in as much.

 

The change in Oz is incredible as he becomes like a dark, psychotic guardian angel. I’m not sure why so many people are rooting for their relationship to succeed. Perhaps it’s the underdog aspect? Or maybe it’s that most women love to be able to fix someone and Oz definitely presents as the ultimate fixer up boyfriend – poor, misunderstand, and evil.

 

Khara does finally get some answers, however, she unfortunately develops even more questions. It may seem like she’s lived her life in an emotionless void, but I don’t feel that is the case. I think she’s more like Spock and feels very deeply (take the sudden bond with her brothers for example) except the emotions just do not show on the surface. It appears that her public mask has started to crack and we’re finally getting a glimpse of what lies beneath. Keep in mind that where she was raised (Hades) emotions were seen as a weakness, and weaknesses got you killed, exploited, or any number of other things that you did not want to happen.


I feel like book two is even better than book one which I absolutely loved! The future looks bright for book three and I, for one, can not wait to see where it take us. My personal hope is to learn more about Khara’s mysterious mother, but only time will tell.

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Unborn by Amber Lynn Natusch

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Khara is the adopted daughter of Hades. Yes, that Hades, the God of the Underworld. She splits her time between an adoptive mother Demeter, who hates her, and a loving father. Unfortunately for Khara her time in the Underworld comes to an abrupt end at the hands of a Dark One. He brings her to a dark and empty alley in Detroit and abandons her there without a word. She’s quickly found by one of the immortal warriors who guard the city. What results is a fast paced ride into chaos, destruction, and finding out what things are worth fighting for.

 

Unborn is 258 pages full of riddle, action, adventure, and mythology.


I really enjoy when the title the author picks is explained in the book and is not immediately clear. It’s like a little puzzle for me to figure out. I loved the fresh spin on mythology, sprinkled with urban fantasy, and topped with a dash of dystopian. The world is so richly detailed, I can immediately feel myself there beside Khara. I also believe that Khara is a character with whom those who have been adopted will relate. She goes through many struggles to find out information about who she really is, who her parents are, and why was she given up. While I have not previously read anything by author Amber Lynn Natusch, that is something that I will quickly remedy. She is to be congratulated on her world & character building as they are utterly superb.

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Cursed by Fire Blog Tour by Jacquelyn Frank

FRANK_CursedByFire_blogtourGeneral Dethan and his brothers have been persecuted for daring to aim too high. They accomplished a Herculean sized task and in doing so won the right to claim immortality. However, in doing so, they have angered the Gods & Goddesses for their daring. Book one Cursed by Fire: The Immortal Brothers solely focus on Dethan. We are introduced to him slowly and very painfully being consumed by fire…again, for times unimaginable. The Goddess of Conflict gives him a chance for redemption from the agony of repeated being burned alive in exchange for helping her raise an army to defeat an enemy faction of Gods. Things are still firmly tipped in her favor since while he gets to again live free as a man every night he is still scheduled to burn and regenerate by morning. His meeting with Selinda, heir to the throne of Hexis, is purely by chance. Unfortunately, I don’t have a very favorable first impression of Selinda. She allows the men around her to boss her around be is very much akin to being a doormat. The author repeatedly shows us how sweet and good and caring she is, and that’s truly a wonderful thing, however, it takes to the almost end of the book before she grows a spine and becomes more than just a pretty princess. This is the type of book that builds up in layers. The further you go into the story the more past sections make sense. The world building and descriptions are on par with an experienced author. If you enjoy mythology, or historical settings, please give the book a chance and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I’m eagerly anticipating book two.

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All That’s Unclaimed by Constance Phillips Review

All That’s Unclaimed (Sunnydale Days Book 2)

by Constance Phillips

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

Ben Crawford is forced to face the ghosts of his past after his mother’s accident and Anna Jenkins’s announcement she’s starting her own stables. Only then does he find the strength to hold on to all he’s left unclaimed. 

 

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Ben Crawford has always believed the professional respect and acceptance he desired couldn’t be found at Sunnydale Farms. There were just too many ghosts residing in his broken home. Only when Anna Jenkins, the one constant at his mother’s therapeutic riding facility, announces she is leaving to start her own stables is Ben forced to grasp hold of all he’s left unclaimed. 

Fun Facts:

  1. Even though I was born in Detroit, MI., I grew up in a small town very near the real small town that I set the Sunnydale Days series in.
  2. I like to say, I began writing stories about the same time I physically learned to write. Not too far off, I began piecing together a first novel at about age thirteen.
  3. Said first novel will never see the light of day. ::grin::
  4. My first published novel – Fairyproof – spent almost two years on my hard drive after an initial round of submissions before I decided to revisit the book.
  5. After a very quick follow up edit, I submitted Fairyproof to just a handful of publishers before it was picked up and published.
  6. I’ve always been a dog person and have only rarely been without one as a pet.
  7. I’m addicted to Diet Coke.
  8. Ditto for chocolate.

 

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, two kitties, and four canine kids.

When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance is counting down the days until her son and daughter-in-law make her a grandma and planning a cross-country motorcycle trip with her husband for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.

 

 

 

 

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We Play review

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We Play Katrina Streza (Author), Jade Goegebuer (Illustrator)
There are so many fun things to do outside. This beginning reader focuses on action words and encourages kids to get up and get moving. Like all Discover Reading, level 1 readers, We Play features short sentences and beginning sight words along with activities in the back to continue the learning experience.

My Review- This is a great Level 1 book, I would recommend it to everyone with a child at that level. Ms. Streza has put together a great book that is engaging to readers of multiple ages and levels. I especially liked the activities in the back to allow for further exploration of the book. The art is something that I think would help interest readers and help them with the short sentences that are on the page. When my girls were little and level 1 readers this is something that I think we would’ve enjoyed reading as a family or listening to over and over while they practiced reading aloud. My only point of confusion, and perhaps this only bothers me, but where are the parents? I would’ve loved to see them in the background at least in some of the photos.

I did receive a copy for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Blog Tour – Stages of Desire by Julia Tagan

 

 

Stages of Desire
by Julia Tagan
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Release Date: January 5, 2015

 

 

To be or not to be—in love…

As a ward of the Duchess of Dorset, Harriet can hardly expect more from a match than the ringing endorsement of “from what I’ve heard, the man is financially secure and his teeth are quite regular.” After all, she’s only the lowly daughter of traveling actors, not the actual daughter of the duchess.

William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon is set to marry the duchess’s daughter. After his elder brother’s scandalous death, his family’s reputation is paramount, and he’ll allow nothing to damage it again. But when Harriet disappears to save her father from debtor’s prison, the scandal threatens William and his intended’s family.

The simple task of fetching the duchess’s runaway ward turns complicated when Harriet insists on traveling with her father’s acting company. William’s forced to tag along, and finds himself entranced. The stage transforms Harriet into a free-spirited, captivating beauty. But someone’s been sabotaging the theater company, and instead of facing scandal, William and Harriet discover a threat not only to their growing passion, but to their lives…

 

 

 

 

Julia Tagan lives with her husband and goldendoodle in New York City. A journalist by training, she enjoys weaving actual events and notorious individuals into her historical romances. Her favorite activities include walking her dog in Central Park, scouring farmers’ markets for the perfect tomato, and traveling to foreign cities in search of inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson

Synopsis:

In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.

 

My review:

Steampunk, war, and thrilling intrigue are just a few elements that make up the novel Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson. For me this was not the usual steampunk that I enjoy, however, it is still a great read and definitely a new flavor of the genre that I enjoy so much. The novel centers around our anti-hero and smuggler Jacob. Jacob is ruled by his love for the almighty coil (this dystopian world’s monetary unit). However, things begin to change for him after he gets caught in a deal gone bad and thrown into a prison cell with Whistler. He struggles to find a balance between his old life as a coil hungry smuggler and a new one as a somewhat unwilling participant in the Resistance movement. Whistler, as one of the Last (the last human children born before the demons took over) has the biggest influence over Jacob and has become his new moral compass and companion. I can’t wait to see what further adventures Jacob and the gang have in book two of the series, Lifemaker. According to the information at the back of this book it is due out March, 2015.

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Glitch by Olivia Linden and Leteisha Newton

 

 

 

GLITCH (Corporate Hitman Book 1)

by Olivia Linden and LeTeisha Newton
Genre: Multicultural Romantic Suspense
1Liam Gallagher, AKA Glitch, is the brain behind a trio of corporate criminals. Formerly known as one of the most notorious hackers in cyberspace, he now works to keep Hawk Global Industries one step ahead of its competitors. 
 

 

But there’s a catch. Being blackmailed to do what he does best isn’t how Glitch plans to spend the rest of his life, and his partners in crime feel the same way. When an old flame crosses his path unexpectedly, Glitch and company learn that betrayal is on the horizon for them. It’s time to put a plan in motion and reclaim their freedom, once and for all. Things are going to get pretty nasty along the way, even a little sexy, but it’s all in a day’s work for a Corporate Hitman. 
*Intended for readers 18+ due to graphic language and adult content*
 
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My review:
I enjoyed the story but I absolutely hated the ending. That said, I hate all cliffhangers so that isn’t anything against this book in particular. The first half of the book was mainly about Glitch and his friends Jack and Scratch. It isn’t until we introduce his love interest that things begin to go down hill. It was a few of pages worth of plotline and then several pages of gratuitous, explicit sex scenes. I’m not a very big reader of erotica, but some of it just didn’t make any sense to me, my husband, or my mother for that matter. In particular, the phrase “her nipples looked like honey-coated silver dollars” is just plain confusing and if someone could explain it that would be outstanding. The few pages of plot and then several pages of sex repeated that way until the abrupt end of the book. All of that said, I am still looking forward to reading Scratch, Volume 2 in the Corporate Hitman series and then finally Jack’s story in Volume 3.
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OLIVIA LINDEN 
 
Olivia Linden, a native New Yorker, was raised between Queens and San Antonio, TX. Currently living in Florida with her tween aged son, she decided it was time to follow her dreams of becoming a full time author. Her creative itch began when her elementary school principal posted one of her stories in the halls of her school. She was only seven at the time, but old enough to understand how integral writing would be to her future. From that moment on, reading and writing became her two greatest passions.It is her philosophy that laughter is essential to making it through even the toughest situations.Find your passion with Olivia Linden.
 
 
 
Follow me on twitter: @mslissa2u
 
 
 
 
 
 

LETEISH NEWTON
LeTeisha Newton is the author of a plethora of novels ranging from hot Interracial Erotica, Paranormal biters, Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy genres. She’s known for her extensive knowledge of shifter cultures, even outside of the generic werewolves and vampires, crazy world-building, and making shape shifters feel like they are living right next door. That has led to her being dubbed the Shifter Queen. Some of her series include the best-selling 
Claimed and Taken Series.
 

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