Monday, December 05, 2011

Tyburn By Kevin Grote

About the author - courtesy of an open source search on Google

Kevin John Grote was born in Latrobe, PA. His family moved to Southern Maryland in the late 1960's. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. Kevin served as an Engineering Officer in the Coast Guard on several cutters.. After the Coast Guard, Kevin went to work at the Naval Ordnance Station in Indian Head, MD. Kevin worked for the Navy, until his retirement from Federal Service. Kevin has a US Patent, and has authored many technical papers on electronic design, software engineering, and information systems.
Kevin has been an avid reader his entire life. His favorite authors are Sir Walter Scott, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O'Brian, and James Fenimore Cooper.
Kevin grew up in an area steeped in the French and Indian War. This series of novels (Letters of Fire and Sword) will be an homage to that conflict and the struggles in the wilderness.


It is the unmistakable sound of the hammer of a flint-lock pistol being pulled back to full-cock.
“Stand and deliver,” orders a voice again from the woods nearest the road, “Your money, gentlemen, or your life? It matters not to me, gentlemen. Please raise your arms. Keep your hands where I can see them.”
A horseman moves out of the shadow of the trees and into the road, blocking the coaches’ progress.
The coachman wrestles with the idea of reaching for his shotgun.
His hand slides down beneath the seat..........
After dark in 18th Century England, it a dangerous time.
Honest folk avoid the roads at night, and lock themselves in as the sun goes down. Both in the countryside and the great cities.
Strangers are feared and avoided.
Predators roam unstopped. Only the most desparate or well-armed venture out at night. Footpads, highwaymen, thugs of every shape and size, patrol the roads and streets. Lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on any unsuspecting victim.
Lawlessness is rampant. The abuse of low-priced Gin plagues the lower classes, adding more misery to those least able to afford it. Those addicted are turning to crime in desperation.
There is no organized police force.

That is the blurb guys.  Here is the stunning cover!

And here is the review by my guest blogger Denise Jones.  Thank you Denise.

I can't praise this book up enough, I just loved it! The charactures, the
story......I could almost imagine I was actually there.
The research done for this book is fantastic, brings back the atmosphere so
well of those times gone by.
I certainly will be reading more by this author!
I give it a well deserved 6/6  Brilliant read!

LS The Beginning by Kelvin O'Ralph

LS The Beginning an e-book by Kelvin O'Ralph.

What a sweet whimsical book. This is an old fashioned love story the likes
of which I have not read in years. Its also a paranormal YA / New Adult
read. Although the two main characters Stephen and Lisa have super powers.
The one commands over fire the other ice. It is the love story that mostly
sticks with me.

The writing is excellent. Pacing is fine and the author goes through a lot
of trouble building character. The book is written from a male point of
view. You read the story and experience everything through the eyes of
Stephen. That is the one thing that gave me pause. I stopped reading the
book because something bothered me and made me feel uncomfortable while
reading. At one stage I gave up reading the book for two days. When I
returned to the book I realised what exactly it was that I found so hard to
read. It had nothing to do with the male point of view. Instead it had to do
with the respect Stephen and by proxy Kelvin shows to all females.

I know we all are told we are worth it. But somehow reading how much respect
Stephen has for females, from his mother to Lisa and several other strangers
and friends in between caught me unawares. Once I realised that I had
trouble reading a book due to the fact that the male lead has so much
respect for woman gave me several moments of pause. But I picked up the
story where I left it and continued together with Kelvin and Stephen and
Lisa in a journey into the unknown.

At the end of the book you know a few things.
Lisa and Stephen have super powers and they are not alone.
Lisa's life is in danger through a threat posed by another male who also has
super powers.
The books name LS the Beginning is not explained. LS is something that will
become apparent only in the third book in the series.
Stephen will do anything for Lisa.
Men believe in true love and some men show their respect for women.

I loved the fact that by the end of the book no real answers has come forth.
Questions has been asked and certain story lines have come to a conclusion
but in such a manner that you feel comfortable is finishing the book whilst
looking forward to the next book in search of answers.

I really enjoyed the book after I got over my own preconceived notions and
feel I owe the author a word of thanks. It is seldom that a fictional tale
has served to broaden my mental horizons. Thanks Kelvin - because we are
worth it!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating

Please see blurb of this book on Goodreads. Smashwords, Amazon etc.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Willow Cross The Dark Gifts Birthright

So here is the book blurb via Goodreads
Throughout the ages, druids have passed down a prophecy from one generation to the next. A girl, born of a witch clan, will become vampyre and spark a war that will divide the vampire nation. This young woman will either save humanity from vampire reign, or be the end of it. Although she’s never heard the prophecy, and doesn’t believe in witchcraft, Liz Markum is that woman.

Working with her maker, Michael, and the remaining members of the warring Vampire Council, Liz must defeat the darkness inside her, and learn to become more than a killer vampire. She must become a vampire killer

Here is the book cover via Facebook
Here is my review.  But what ever I say, I cant stress enough what a brilliant read this is.....

The Dark Gifts Birthright by Willow Cross.

In the beginning Liz meets with Michael. He bites, she turns vamp. Quite Bram Stoker like for three or four pages.
They meet up and fall immediately irreparably in love. Quite Twilight like for the next 15 or so pages.
Then the good the bad and the ugly rears their ugly little heads and from here on out its different to any Paranormal / YA / or New Adult book I've ever read. Minerva, Gregoria, Jenna and about 60 other characters join the cast to make this book totally amazing.
I was struck with the amount of research that must have gone into writing this book.
For those of you who follow my reviews you will know that I refrain from making technical judgements.
This will be the exception.
Willow has a rare ability for pacing and introducing an array of characters in rapid succession. But never does she use this fast level of pacing and her cliff hanger chapter endings to get out of character development. By the time you are finished with the book you really hate the bad guys and absolutely love the good guys.
By this time you also know that I don't rehash the story of the book in a brief synopsis. Usually I don't since I feel that the authors blurb or my own will get the reader of this review a good idea of what the book is about in essence. In this case I can't do it at all even if I wanted to.
Her fast pace, introduction of evil and saint like characters left me feeling like a child playing hide and seek. You don't want to be found out but you can't resist peeking from your hiding place to try and see what is coming next.
For those romantics out in cyber land - do not fear. This book is filled with romance and not only the romance between Michael and Liz bit also some other less predictable characters.

As I read the book I was filled with the idea that this book is a ken to watching a master Persian carpet weaver undertake another master peace.

I loved the fact that almost all things known to go bump in the night were mentioned in this story and that the symbiotic and discordant life styles of these dark creatures were explained logically and believably.

I give this book a 6 out of 5 star review. I will not only recommend you buy it and read it yourself, I would proudly gift it to my friends. Oh no wait. I already gifted it to my friends. That's simply how good this book is. I can't wait to start on the rest of the books authored by her.

I need to thank Denise Jones for correcting my spelling and grammar errors and for translating South African English to real English.  Thank you Denise.....