Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review of Darkest Nights: Awakening by Lee Ferrier



Book Title: Darkest Nights: Awakening
Genre: YA Horror
Pages: 301
Author: Lee Ferrier
Date Published: 27 June 2015

Synopsis:


Eighteen-year-old Jewel Hudson thought she was going to have the perfect Christmas. But that was before the murders started. Fear and paranoia soon take hold of her hometown and the police are holding back a secret. The corpses are beginning to heal from their lethal wounds and the only explanation is a Supernatural Force. Jewel is thrown headfirst into the investigation when she meets half-werewolf Peter Wharton and his best friend Lucy Beaumont, a very talented witch. They are then roped into helping Dante Tybalt, a vampire investigator, and Scott Baxter, a below-average wizard, who are both seeking the killer for their own personal gain. Only Jewel can get them the information they need to solve the string of murders and to prevent any more deaths.

Review:


Darkest Nights -Awakening-Darkest Nights -Awakening- by Lee Ferrier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an intriguing YA Horror story. I loved it!

Peter Wharton is a wonderful character. I loved him as soon as he was introduced. He is a half-werewolf. "How can he be a half-werewolf?" I hear you cry. Well, for that answer you will just have to read the book to find out for yourself. He has a wicked sense of humour that just screams "practical joker", but he has a more serious side which I loved too. He is a bit of a rebel, but he has a strong sense of duty and loyalty to his family.

Lucy Beaumont is a wonderful character too. I liked this feisty young woman. She is a very powerful witch and is also Peter's only friend and confidant that knows who and what he is. She also happens to have a girlfriend. When several murders of supernaturals begin to threaten to expose their world to the humans, Peter and Lucy find themselves on a race against time to find and stop the murderer.

Jewel Hudson is a difficult character to describe. She is likable enough I suppose, but I felt there was many layers to this young woman that were not fully explored within the story. She does seem to have a sensible head on her shoulders, but I felt that she was way out of her depth within this storyline. She is an ordinary human teenager (or is she?) thrown into a dangerous world of murder and supernatural beings.

I had the great honour of being one of the first people to read this book in it's raw form whilst editing it. This review is my own honest opinion and I have not received remuneration for it.

I fell in love with most of the characters and laughed and cried as the story unfolded. I found myself on occasion reading it instead of editing, so had to go back over it at times. However, what struck me about this book was how well developed most of the characters were. They came alive on the page. The story is told through various characters' points of view, which made this book most intriguing as the reader gets to see their thoughts and feelings. I liked meeting Dante (a vampire policeman/investigator) and Scott (a wizard) too. They are like chalk and cheese, but when they team up with Peter, Lucy and Jewel they make a formidable team. However, I felt that Jewel's character (who is meant to be the lead character in the book) is over shadowed by Peter and Lucy. They are such strongly written characters that they (I felt), rather than Jewel, should have been the leads. I mean no disrespect to the author when I say this. I felt a little envious of Peter and Lucy's friendship. They are fun to be around and the love and respect they have for each other touched me deeply. They have been best friends for years and have a tight bond that has seen them through some rough times. I wish I had them as my friends!

This is a dark tale of murder and mayhem, not to mention horror, that had me completely riveted. There are a whole array of supernatural beings in this story, from vampires to werewolves, witches and even zombies and a ghost! The mystery, suspense and uncertainty of who the murderer was kept me hooked, as well as their motivation for the gruesome deaths. I must admit feeling completely surprised at finding out who the culprit/mastermind was. I certainly didn't see that twist coming! However, I couldn't make up my mind whether this person was evil, or completely insane! I did think that the rationalization the killer used for the murders fell a bit flat and not entirely believable. But, then again, if they are insane, it doesn't matter if their motives are believable to anyone but themselves. Right?

I loved the descriptions of certain scenes and giggled or laughed at quite a few, but there are some decidedly chilling and creepy ones that had the hairs standing up on my arms and a chill running down my back. The chase in the library was especially terrifying! I also found myself shedding more than a few tears during one shocking scene as my heart broke, and I cursed at the author for doing that to me. I had to put the book down long enough to mop up my tears whilst shouting "NO! WHY!!" up at the ceiling.
This story took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion from beginning to end. Speaking of which, this book does end in a cliffhanger, but this just made me want to read the next book as soon as possible.
Please note: This book is written in British English, so some terms and spellings may confuse American readers.

Lee Ferrier has written a fantastic debut YA horror story. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. This is an author who is not afraid to tread into dark places and kill off characters. In this respect he is similar George R.R. Martin (so I have heard, as I haven't read his books yet). This is one British author whose career I will follow with interest and would definitely read more books written by him in the future.

There is a lot of violence (fighting and/or bloodshed) and, on occasion, gore that may upset sensitive readers. There is also mention of sex (M/F and F/F), though implied and not explicitly shown). Therefore, I do not recommend this book to those who would be upset by this. However, I highly recommend this book to teens aged 15/16 upwards and those adults who love dark young adult supernatural/paranormal horror novels. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


               

About The Author:



London based urban fantasy writer. Loves Japanese anime and blue hedgehogs. Lifelong goal: to own a husky...and a life sized Dalek named Jeff. Currently have twenty-one stories stored away in my Mind Palace and will eventually get round to writing them all. Favourite colour: blue. Scared of circus folk. Fan of cheese and noodles. Can't live without my notebook and laptop.

Author Links:


Friday, June 26, 2015

Chicken with kick ala Wanda

Remember a few days ago I told you I am branching out.  Well, join me on my new product review and recipe endeavour.

All tried and tested by myself, my friends and my pooches.

Have fun.

You will need
Fresh Basil

Feta cheese, I used a full circle but that is me


600 to a 1Kg of chicken.  I always use Woolworths chicken because it is simply the best I can find

One Knorr cook in bag, the sticky chicken wing

Now take chicken.  Use spice in Knorr bag to cover.  Place Chicken in bag.  Do not close bag, they say use one KG but.... you need and want to add this..

I added 2 x 250grams to my bag with

brown garlicked stuffed mushrooms, two per person.

Then I added the Feta Cheese, then used basil to basically cover my chicken so that it was blanketed and placed the dish in a pre heated over of 180 C.  The package of Knorr recommends a cooking time of 35 min and 10 min to roast but I added 20 minutes to the original time and 5 min to roast so in all I had my chicken in the oven for 70 Min.

It came out soft as can be and very tasty.

Got it?

Simple and unbelievably tasty.  It has a bite to it but suffering from ulcers etc I can tell you now it only warms up your soul not your tummy.

Do not get rid of the excess sauce.  We will be using it again soon!!!!

Have fun with this amazingly easy way to prepare a main meal. 








Book Review of Josh Anvil and The Pivotal Weapon (Josh Anvil Series Book 2) by Bruce E. Arrington



Book Title: Josh Anvil and the Pivotal Weapon (Josh Anvil Series Book 2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 353
Author: Bruce E. Arrington
Date Published: 16 May 2013

Synopsis:

Age Level: 10 - 18

Teen/Young Adult Fantasy Adventure

Josh and Troy find themselves in a strange tropical world, far from home. They’ve come to explore a new planet, excited for what wonders await them. But it doesn’t take long before they are on the run from the aliens who conquered this world. In their attempts to help Anton find his family, Josh and Troy find themselves immersed in a terrible war that has spanned millennia.

Josh and Troy find their abilities change with each new planet they land on. If they can figure them out and use them in time, they just might make it out alive. It’s up to them to help the humanoids and then escape back to Earth before they are stranded forever.

Weaved in YA fantasy and science fiction with elements of action and comedy, Josh Anvil and The Pivotal Weapon follows the other-world adventures of two high school freshman with extraordinary powers.

Review:


Josh Anvil and the Pivotal WeaponJosh Anvil and the Pivotal Weapon by Bruce E. Arrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Josh Anvil Series. I loved it!

Josh Anvil is a fantastic character. I liked him very much. He is a smart and curious fourteen year old. Unfortunately, he doesn't see himself the same way. He has low self-esteem, which is caused by his dyslexia and being bullied at school. However, he is an excellent story teller and basketball player, has a vivid imagination and incredible powers thanks to the aliens that saved him after an accident in the swamp where he lives. (Read book 1 to find out how that happens). But he's about to embark on a journey full of danger and adventure. Can he save his planet from a vengeful alien?

I have been wanting to read this book for some time (ever since I read the first book in the series, Josh Anvil and the Cypress Door, way back in 2013). Unfortunately, due to my long reading list, I have only now been able to get to read it. I must admit, it was worth the wait!

This story continues on from the end of the first book and I was quickly drawn back into the tale. *Minor Spoiler Alert!!* Josh and his best friend Troy are sucked through a portal and find themselves on an alien planet or five. Here, they find themselves facing several challenges and making new friends, as well as enemies. This story is just as fast paced and exciting as the first book. There are several twists and turns, and a few surprises that kept me hooked from beginning to end. The descriptions of the planets visited and the characters on them are vivid enough for me to picture them with ease. I also liked meeting Kodi, Lonnie, Libby, Jana, Axel, Sadie and Marty, who are humanoid aliens from the different worlds that Josh and Troy visit, plus a few others that bring this story to life. There is also a surprising familial reunion in a twist I didn't see coming. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion, and in shock at the end of one scene. I couldn't believe that what I had read was true, so had to re-read that part. Once it sunk in, I felt like bawling like a baby! Luckily, I managed to control my sobs long enough to keep reading. I liked reading the scene where Josh learns how to fly an alien spacecraft. It made me giggle! In fact, there are several scenes of comic relief, courtesy of Josh's friend Troy. He has a laid-back attitude that belies that he takes things seriously, but he does have a serious side which I admired. He is also incredibly brave and faces several dangers that most fifteen year old boys would never dream of with grace and good humour. This book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion. When I reached the end of the book I felt sad, but this was only because I wanted to keep reading! I am now looking forward to continuing this series by reading the third book, Josh Anvil and the Gathering Storm, as soon as possible.

Bruce Arrington has written an exciting fantasy adventure. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.

I highly recommend this book to young readers aged 10-18, but I also recommend this book to adults who love to read YA fantasy books filled with action, adventure, danger and aliens. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


            

About The Author:



Bruce Arrington wrote the first three installments of the teen Josh Anvil Series, and other fantasy stories for children, teens and young adult readers. His 15 years as a wildlife biologist, and his current endeavors in teaching have helped pour creativity into his stories. Currently, Bruce lives in Oregon with his family and several spoiled pets.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tortoise Stew by P.C. Zick

About the author of;
 
 
 
P.C. Zick
 
born
in Stockbridge, Michigan, The United States
gender
female
website
twitter username
 
genre
influences
The world around me!

About this author


I'm a storyteller who writes. It's as simple and as complicated as that.

I have always been a writer and reader. I dabbled with writing during vacations from teaching. I always received praise for my writing. As a high school English teacher, I became known as the “writing teacher” and taught creative writing and gave writing workshops to other teachers. When I burned out on teaching students to write, I began getting more serious about my own writing, and one summer I finished a novel that had been languishing in a file cabinet drawer for ten years. A small publisher picked it up after my tenth query letter. I retired from teaching in June 2001 and began working as a journalist while writing novels in the evening and early morning hours. I’ve never looked back. It’s very exciting to be involved in the new revolution in writing and publishing today. I’m learning something every day that teaches me I still have much more to learn.

Trails in the Sand is my fifth published novel. Right before I started writing it, I was embroiled in the real-life drama of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a public relations director for Florida’s fish and wildlife agency. I handled the media for the sea turtle nest relocation project that took place during the summer of 2010. At the same time, I was beginning a new relationship with a lost love from thirty-five years ago. We married in August 2010. During the environmental disaster, I was in the process of moving to Pittsburgh to be with my new husband. Two weeks prior to the oil spill, twenty-nine miners were killed in a coal mine explosion in West Virginia, just a few hours from where I was moving. It all fell into place.

Trails in the Sand is about restoration and redemption in both nature and human relationships. It also asks the question: Can we make up for something we destroy?
 
 
 
About the book 

 
A Family Saga Filled with Love Triangles, Sea Turtles, and an Oil Spill

When environmental writer Caroline Carlisle sets off to report on endangered sea turtles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the last thing she expects is to uncover secrets - secrets that threaten to destroy her family, unless she can heal the hurts from a lifetime of lies. To make matters worse, Caroline's love for her late sister's husband, Simon, creates an uproar in a southern family already set on a collision course with its past.

Using real-life events as the backdrop, Trails in the Sand explores the fight to restore balance and peace, in nature and in a family, as both spiral toward disaster. Through it all, the ancient sea turtle serves a reminder that life moves forward despite the best efforts to destroy it.
 
What I think
My love for this book may be nothing but admiration for the enviromental aspect. 
That said, that is no sneezing subject.  I loved the dedication of the characters.  Their determination.
Their zeal.
I fell in love with this aspect of this book to such a degree that I am not sure how I feel about the rest of the story.
Sure the mystery was intriguin etc.
The writing smashing
But the conservation theme made this a must read for me. 
WaAr
http://www.amazon.com/At-Odds-Destiny-Uvi-Poznansky-ebook/dp/B00SHYGG7C/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
click on the box set pick above to get your own free copy. 
 



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Review of Knot of the Slain (Blood Angels Book 1) by T.C. Archer




Book Title: Knot of the Slain (Blood Angels Book 1)
Genre: Horror
Pages: 332
Author: T.C. Archer
Date Published: 21 May 2015

Synopsis:

Parts One through Four
TWISTED
NOOSE
BOUND
SPLICED

For Gerald Forstner, veteran detective, son of a cop, cult hunter, and divorced dad, the face of Miami changes when he must solve a series of murders eerily reminiscent of his first case as head of Miami’s Serial Killer Task Force.

When Gerry is inexplicably healed of a mortal stab wound by a beautiful blonde murder suspect, he questions his sanity and wisdom in remaining on the force. Discovery of Icelandic artifacts that document immortal priests and female assassins breaks the case wide open. The case, however, becomes personal when each murderer becomes the next victim in a chain that links directly to his son.

Review:


Knot of the Slain (Blood Angels Book 1)Knot of the Slain by T. C. Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of horror, but having read another book by this author (Chain Reaction: Phenom League), I couldn't wait to read this book. This is an intriguing horror. I loved it!

Gerald (Gerry) Forstner is a fascinating character. I did like him, but felt his character was not as fleshed out as he could have been. He is a police detective, leading a task force charged with catching serial killers. He and his K-9 partner, Hargrave are thrown into a cat and mouse game that has roots in an old Norse religion. As the body count rises and old religious practices come to life, will he be able to figure out what the killer's next move will be in time? Can he catch the killer before more victims are found?

This book is split into four sections. Each section was released separately, similar to a serial. I bought this as the whole collection and I am glad I did, because it would have driven me crazy to finish one section without having the next one to start straight away!

This book caught and held my attention from the first page. It is not easy to describe this book without giving any spoilers, but I was quickly pulled into the story and found myself intrigued by the way it unfolded. There seems to have been a lot of research done on Norse mythology, but the author has added a supernatural twist to it, which made me sit back and think, "This may be entirely possible!". I loved this aspect of the story. However, I did think that some of the characters could have been a little more fleshed out. I was intrigued with Freyja/Sula. I would have loved to know a little more about this woman warrior. She had a rather brutal experience to become what she was, but I would have liked to know more about her before she became a Valkyrie. Though she only appears a few times throughout the story, the impact she had on me, as well as Gerry, was profound.
Gerry's ex-wife Brenda, however, really ticked me off. I would imagine that it's hard being married to a cop, but it bugged me that she would be so bitchy/spiteful to Gerry with regards to their son. I know that good marriages can sour, but using a child to emotionally blackmail an ex is disgusting in my opinion and hurts not only the affected ex spouse but the child too.

This book took me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. There are several scenes of violence and, in some cases, gore. The mystery surrounding the killer and the connection to an Icelandic cult over one thousand years before kept me riveted. There are several twists and turns that I didn't see coming and a few red herrings scattered through the story that had me constantly guessing. Some of the violence is a little shocking and could disturb some readers. I did find that because this book is in four sections, some of the continuity and pace was affected. However, I think that could be easily fixed by having it re-edited as one book and give it a bit of a polish to smooth the rough edges. I reached the end of the book and felt a little sad, because I wanted to keep reading! I hope that the author is working on book two, because I would love to read it as soon as possible!

T.C. Archer has written an intriguing story that is part horror and part crime thriller. I love this author's (or should I say authors' as there are two of them writing as one?) fast paced writing style and, although the flow and continuity was a little off at times, I enjoyed that too. I look forward to reading more of their books in the future.

Due to the violence and the mention of sexual abuse (alluded to and not explicitly shown), I do not recommend this book to younger readers or those of a sensitive nature. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love horror or crime thriller genres with a supernatural or paranormal twist. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


            

About The Author:



T. C. Archer is comprised of award winning authors Evan Trevane and Shawn M. Casey. They live in the Northeast. Evan has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and Shawn is a small business owner. Their collaboration began on a lark with the post WWII film noir story The Pickle My Little Friend, and has evolved into nearly a dozen works, which includes their new series The Phenom League, and Daphne Du Maurier winner the romantic thriller For His Eyes Only.

Author Links:





Saturday, June 20, 2015

Be a 21'er. Lets us all water our lawns. Let us grow.

I am the youngest of five children. My youngest closest sibling is an older brother who was a month away from his 11th birthday when I was born. He turned out to be completely his own person from the get go. He believed in visualizing your wants and needs long before such "new agey" ideas took hold in South Africa. He met plenty of people. He were very literally our high school jock...and if that was where his goals ended I would not be writing this. The people he met, friended, he picked their best aspects.  Looked at what drove these good character traits and learned those he did not possess himself.
Those traits which he could not learn he kept as an ideal.

So somewhere in February we were talking. And he said ; so I was asking my girls, what are your goals for end of March, end of June. Because if the March deadline is not reached they will be hard pressed to meet mid year goals. And that got me thinking...

So I jumped to it. Mentally. Took stock. Started.

Tomorrow the sun turns. Our summer is coming back, we have loaned it to the Northern hemisphere long enough now.

So in celebration I went outside. It is winter here and a cold one at that. But with the sun turning I am thinking my grass has rested long enough and I need to get every aspect of my life back to sunshine. My lawn and garden as well. Soooooo I was standing outside. Looking like an eskimo watering my lawn. And I recalled my dad, tomorrow is also one more fathers-day I would be thinking of him and not celebrating with him. He also adored the 21st. Really. And I never could figure out why. But I think I am starting to get two of the most important men in my life's personal ideologies.

Tomorrow signifies life. Change and in a way a clean slate. Now my dad hated gardening. Almost as much as I do. I love a lovely garden and being out in one but not doing anything myself to get a lovely garden. I get a few seconds every three months where I feel like doing something in the garden and I then eat a cookie and let the feeling go. But my dad loved watering the garden. He was often found standing outside watering away in his old own good time. As I was standing there I started to mentally take stock. Realized I made my half year goals. Some completely. Some I adjusted but I got them done better. Some I changed. And that was well...good. So I thought of my dad and It hit me, he was taking stock. Like I was. Watering your lawn is a very weird activity. It takes time. It shows results only in the long term. And unless you skip sections you can hardly water it faster than you are doing. Making this the perfect activity to think.

I achieved all if not in the original format, my goals. I even managed to accomplish a host of stuff I did not take into account in Feb. So for the next six months I plan to build on these goals. Work on some brand new goals and make my world larger, better. How will this affect you?  I plan to branch out in my on life undertakings as well. Explore more of my passions. Get more passions. Share my highs and lows.

And in my sharing I hope to inspire. I hope to be that person my brother used to make himself better, I already have so many people I am learning from. So here is what I challenge you with. Share with us how you expand your life. Better your life. And be the person who inspire others to build their goals upon. Be the person with that character trait we all need to learn to make our own.

Join me to make the change of the season the first day of the rest of this year. A clean start. A better start. A start with goals and personal growth.

Become a 21'er with me.

Let us take stock. Let us water our lawns. Let us grow so we can be the inspiration for others to grow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Review of A Knight of Passion by Tarah Scott



Book Title: A Knight of Passion
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 156
Author: Tarah Scott
Date Published: 1 November 2014

Synopsis:

Lady Riana Ellis will risk the fires of Hell for those she loves.
Can she let a man do the same for her?

As whore for the Duchess of Arundel, Lady Riana Ellis keeps her sister safefrom the duke’s lascivious desires. Now the duchess demands that Riana murder the man already sent to her bed.

Sir Bryant Cullen determines to have the duchess’ whore. Her land is a prize, but it’s her secrets he wants. Once he knows what she knows, he will control one of the most powerful houses in Scotland. And she will be his.

This is erotic romance.

Review:


A Knight of PassionA Knight of Passion by Tarah Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won a complimentary copy of this book from the author in a competition.

This is an extremely hot historical romance. I loved it!

Lady Riana Ellis is a wonderful character. I really liked this feisty, determined woman. She is basically a slave, forced into prostitution by the Duchess of Arundel in order to protect her younger sister from the attentions of the Duke. When Sir Bryant Cullen enters the room instead of the expected knight, all of her secret plans go up in smoke. Can this knight save her and her sister?

Sir Bryant Cullen is also a wonderful character. I liked this knight very much. He is an honourable man, though he can be ruthless when needed. When he finds Lady Riana in his bed, he can't believe his luck.

I was extremely excited when I found out I had won this book. Having read two other historical romance books by this author, I knew I would be in for a roller coaster ride of action, adventure, danger and romance. I was right, because when I started to read this book, I was quickly hooked and didn't put it down until I had finished it. This book is told through both Lady Riana's and Sir Bryant's points of view. I love this, because it allows the reader to get to see their thoughts and feelings.

But, one thing I was not expecting was the sheer heat that this book has! The author did put a warning in the book for me and I quote, "This one is hot. Keep something cold nearby to drink when you read this book.". The chemistry between Lady Riana and Sir Bryant is sizzling! Their passion is so hot, I'm surprised the pages didn't burst into flame! There is also one scene that contains anal action, so if you are offended by this, this book may not be for you, but it's done in such a way that it feels natural. This is definitely one of the hottest, erotic historical romances I have read so far this year.

I also love the historical aspects of the story. Set in the Scottish Highlands in 1338, this book takes a reader back to a time where England is still at war with Scotland and knights roamed the land. The vivid descriptions of the scenery and clothing, as well as the characters, brought the story to life. The Duke and Duchess of Arundel are perverse in their sexual predilections; the Duke is a pedophile and the Duchess is a voyeur. In a way, they deserve each other. I did like the older knight, Sir Neas Dunbar. He is a canny warrior and a kind man. This book is also full of action and danger. There are sword fights and attempted assassinations, which kept my heart rate high. There is also one scene with a prison warden that made me shudder and left me feeling a little uncomfortable. However, this did not ruin my enjoyment of the story. I reached the end of the book and was saddened, I wanted to keep reading!

Tarah Scott has written a wonderful historical erotic romance novel. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is absolutely wonderful. I have another one of her books, not a historical romance but a paranormal one, sitting on my "want to read" list. I need to read that book soon! I am a huge fan of this author and look forward to reading more of her books as soon as possible.

Due to sexual scenes that are a little on the explicit side, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 16. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love historical romances with sexy men and stubborn/strong females. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


          

About The Author:



Award winning author Tarah Scott cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance, and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.

Author Links:

Facebook ; Amazon Author Page ; Goodreads ; Twitter ; Website

Fish