Thursday, 31 August 2017

Book Review - Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner



General Information


Publisher: WiDo Plublishing
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Tamara Hart Heiner
Number of pages: 265

Plot summary: (blurb)


Jaci Rivera joins her best friends Callie, Sara and Amanda for a night of pizza and shopping. But an evening at the mall turns into a terrifying twist of events that drive Jaci and her friends 2000 miles across the Canadian border. The girls find themselves alone and running from unknown enemies on all sides, and not even the police can be trusted. . . . Detective Carl Hamilton is called out on a homicide case where the partially decayed body of an unidentified teenage girl is found along a remote highway. He is drawn into a life and death race to stop the killers before they strike again.

Positive points


I really enjoyed reading this story. It kept me on the edge of my seat with the many twists and turns. The suspense was awesome and left me really rooting for the characters. Each one came over as realistic through different POVs. It was very well written, absolutely flawless. Great job, Tamara.

Negative points


I found nothing negative about this book.

What makes this book unique


It is not something I would normally read, so to me it was unique and very enjoyable.

Overall impression


A great and suspenseful story.

My rating


It has to be a big, fat five stars!



Meet the author




I live in Arkansas with my husband and four children, two crazy boys and two pretty little princesses.

I am the author of the young adult suspense PERILOUS series (DELIVERER, PERILOUS, ALTERCATION, and PRICELESS), INEVITABLE, LAY ME DOWN, and the Cassandra Jones saga. My non-fiction book about the Joplin tornado came out in May, 2014.

Author links


Amazon US


Amazon UK


Author site


Blog


Facebook


Twitter




Thursday, 15 June 2017

Book Review: Sign of the Green Dragon by C. Lee McKenzie



General Information


Publisher: Self Published
Date of publication: 7th May 2016
Author: C. Lee McKenzie
Number of pages: 182

Plot summary: (blurb)


Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure. After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen. When team mates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure. With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.

Positive points


This was a great adventure story for kids. It was well written and well paced, with plenty of twists and turns to keep young minds entertained. It reminded me of the type of adventure I would have love to go on as a kid AND as an adult. Funny enough, I just got myself a metal detector to go on a real treasure hunt myself and this story was the perfect inspiration.

Negative points


I didn't really find anything negative with this story.

What makes this book unique


I loved the oriental dragon aspect bringing the two cultures together to add even more mystery.

Overall impression


A great fun-filled adventure that was a mix between Indiana Jones and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

My rating:




Book links:


Amazon US


Amazon UK


Meet the author, C. Lee McKenzie




My Passions: 

Besides reading and writing, I love to do two things: I love to hike. I love to practice Yoga. Well, three things if you count eating. I love to eat. That’s why I love to hike. Might as well make it four things, because I love to spend time with my family and friends. Wait! I love to grow my own salad. And cats—I love to grow them too, so now I’m up to six things I’m passionate about. I know there’s more, but I’m out of space and you don’t need to be bored.

My Favorite Books:

Anything with Hobbits.

Anything Stephen King writes, except I don’t like some of those stories at night when I’m alone or even if I’m not because I’m a real sissy in the dark.

Anything with a dragon in the title or on the cover.

Barbara Kingsolver’s books.

Edgy Joyce Carol Oates books.

E.B.White’s Essays, and stories that start, “Once upon a time . . . .”


Author Links:


Author site:


Blog:


Facebook:


Twitter:




Monday, 12 June 2017

Book Review: Bellanok - A fantasy novel by Ralene Burke



General Information


Publisher: Self-published
Date of publication: October 24, 2016
Number of chapters: 36
Author: Ralene Burke

Plot summary: (blurb)


A haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in.

With evil darkening the mountains to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He's tired and frustrated--a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian's eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven's secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.


Positive points


This was a great fantasy adventure aimed at the Christian fiction market. I loved the realistic characters that really brought the story to life. The story was filled with all kinds of mythical creatures brought together in a battle between good and evil having to fight against impossible odds. I really enjoyed the story never knowing where the story would go in the many twists and turns. A great book by a great author!

Negative points


I wasn't quite sure of what age group this story was aimed at. It read similar to a children's fiction story, but with adult main characters. Not that that is actually a negative point, but the only negative thing I could come up with.

What makes this book unique


For me it was the first time I have read a fantasy aimed at Christian fiction market so this was unique for me.

Overall impression


If you are a lover of fantasy but don't like in-depth descriptions of blood and gore then this will be perfect for you! A great adult fantasy.

My rating


As I don't have anything really negative to say about this story, it has to be five shiny stars!



Amazon US



Amazon UK



Meet the author



BIO:


On the day I was born, the doctor’s told my parents I probably wouldn’t live. I had a large tumor in my neck, and it was growing by the hour. When they finally removed this man-fist-sized tumor, the experts said I would be mentally and physically handicapped for the rest of my life, unable to care for myself.

Boy, did we prove them wrong!

Today, I not only take care of myself, I balance a husband, 3 kids, a career, and homeschooling. Granted, there’s often plenty of dirty dishes in the sink and toys on the floor, but who cares? I’m wrangling Spiderman, teaching princesses to sing, and pursuing my passions—what’s better than that?

I became a Christian when I was young. The miracle surrounding my survival pretty much sealed the deal. And, except for a few rebellious years, I’ve spent my life pursuing His calling—to change lives with the written word.

This calling started out in fiction novels, where I spin fast-paced tales of angels and demons, fantasy worlds, and the broader calling of every human being.

But the passion didn’t stop there!

The deeper I delved into the publishing world, the more I realized that I loved critiquing and editing—and I was pretty good at it. So, I took some classes, joined a couple of organizations, and committed part of my career to making other writers’ work SHINE!

Finally, there was only one natural outlet for my addiction to social media—get paid for it! So, I’ve been studying up on the various platforms and the mental marketing tactics in an effort to help other writers and publishing-related organizations grow their social media platforms. It’s a lot of fun.

So, join me on this crazy journey we call life, business, and the pursuit of happiness! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, weigh in with your opinions, or share your knowledge. I love hearing from people! (There’s a lot of love, as you can see.)


Author links


Facebook:


Twitter:


Pinterest:


Goodreads:




Monday, 8 May 2017

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever - Review



General Information


Publisher: SFBC; First Edition edition
Year of publication: May 1, 2002
Number of chapters: Varied (3 volumes)
Number of pages: 1152 pages

Plot summary: (blurb)


This complete "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" contains the books "Lord Foul's Bane", "The Illearth War" and "The Power that Preserves". The first chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever is a fantasy series written by Stephen Donaldson. The series follows the principle character of Thomas Covenant who is a disillusioned, bitter and very cynical writer afflicted with leprosy. Shunned by society, Thomas is hit by a car and awakes in a strange alternate world full of strange creatures and magic.

Positive points


I have always been a high fantasy fan and this is the first time I have read a Stephan Donaldson novel. I have to say the media hype was correct. These books definitely deserves to be among the classic fantasy legends. It had everything a proper fantasy should have and by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat, caring so much for the characters. I cried, I'm not ashamed to say. Admittedly, that is nothing unusual for me, but still. Great series!

Negative points


When I first started reading this series I got about two-hundred pages in and stopped reading for quite a long time. I struggled to get into it. I think the problem was, I disliked the main character at first. But as my wife bought me this as a present, knowing I wanted to read it, I thought I should at least try to read it. And I am so glad I did! And I was rooting for the main character long before finishing the first book.

What makes this book unique


I would have to say the main character. This guy who suffers from leprosy and all the issues that go along with this condition thrown into a fantasy world really was quite unique. The most unusual hero.

Overall impression


Fantastic! Enough said. If you love fantasy, you will love this.

My rating


Has to be five stars!



Links


Amazon US



Amazon UK






Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Through the Eyes of a Child by Kurt Chambers



When I was a child,
I remember when,
everything in life.
seemed much simpler then.

I try to capture that feeling,
from the eyes of a man,
when my heart is bleeding,
I try all I can.

Life's such an adventure,
when you are small.
This tiny person,
who knows nothing at all.

There is a whole world,
crammed with exciting things.
You want to discover,
the joy that they bring.

The smell of good food,
or the warmth of the sun.
Something you made,
or just wanting to run.

The taste of ice cream,
and a day in the park.
Wondering what's out there,
when my garden grows dark.

You imagine great things,
that the future could hold,
and believe almost everything,
when you are told.

As you get older,
the illusion grows frail.
Flowers less sweeter,
their colours more pale.

You think you grow wiser,
by the things you are taught,
but one day you realise,
you have only been caught.

You are trapped in a world,
that was created for you.
Not by your dreams,
or what you wanted to do.

If I could only go back,
to the days I once knew,
when all things in life,
were shiny and new.

To dream new dreams,
and once again smile.
Life is so much brighter,
through the eyes of a child.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Review of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson



General Information


Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Year of publication: December 1, 2015
Age Group: 9-12 Years
Number of pages: 272 Print version

Plot summary: (blurb)


The Begonia House keeps its secrets. Everyone knows that. Everyone, that is, except for clever eleven-year old Fairday Morrow, whose family has just moved in. Being the Senior Investigator in the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS, she’s ready to uncover the mysteries hidden within the strange manor. As the investigation gears up and the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, the three young sleuths enter into a world where anything is possible, and the danger is most definitely real. Can they piece together the puzzle before it's too late? Or will whatever's causing trouble find Fairday and her friends first?

Positive points


This was a great, well written story that will appeal to any children (and big adult type children) who love a good mystery story. It has very real, likeable characters that embark on a scary adventure (but not too scary) to discover the strange goings-on in a manor steeped in mystery. It is a real fun read and will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

There are a few scatterings of wonderfully drawn illustrations throughout the book that will help fire up the imagination of the younger readers. A nice touch! I'm so jealous, I want some in my books too!

Negative points


I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this book.

Overall impression


This is a great story filled with likable characters. The perfect addition to any school library. I highly recommend this book.

My rating


Five big shiny stars!



Meet the authors


Jessica Haight



Jessica is a true New Englander with a love of the ocean and the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. Jessica easily floats away with a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts. She lives in Connecticut with her family.

Stephanie Robinson


Stephanie lives with her husband in a quiet town, though not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. One of the many benefits of her job is that she learns something new every day. When Stephanie isn't working, she spends her time creating stories, getting lost in books, and traveling to new places.

Author links





Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmsfiles



Thursday, 19 January 2017

Happy Anniversary!!!


Tomorrow is my 28th wedding anniversary. Wow! How did I pull that off? I have actually been with my wife, Lesley, since she was fifteen-years-old when we first started dating. That is thirty-four years ago this year. When we were about eight-years-old we used to occasionally walk home from school together as we went to the same junior school and lived in the same area. It's the true childhood sweetheart story.

We started out as best friends and that is one thing that never changed. It hasn't always been fun and games. We went through some really bad times. Unbelievably bad. I could tell you stories that you wouldn't believe, proper horror stories, but despite all of it we are still together and still best friends.

I want to tell you a little about this amazing lady that stuck by my side through everything. She is without comparison the most unselfish and compassionate person you could ever meet. And this is genuine and from the heart. She spends her life worrying about everyone else without any concern for herself. There is nothing she would not do to help others in need. And she is a natural mum. She dedicated her life to raising our family and is loved, respected and adored by all children.

When we set out as a very young couple on this journey together into the world, life was an adventure. I was a cool dude in a rock band. I had a good job with money to burn and we had our own place within two years. We partied for six years before getting married, getting our first proper house and starting a family. Then we continued to party only with bouncy castles and balloons. It was amazing and so much fun. Now we have just entered a new phase in our lives. All our three children have left home and we have the whole house to ourselves. We are back to where we first started out all those years ago and I think it's quite exciting!

Just lately I have been reflecting on all the wonderful and crazy things that have happened as we grew up together. And what I see is just how lucky I am to have been given the opportunity to share my whole life with someone as amazing as you. You taught me so much. I wouldn't be the person I am now without you. I hope that's a good thing. lol I love so many things about you. I can totally be myself whether I am at my best or my very, very worst and it makes no difference to how you feel about me. Total acceptance. Absolute and unconditional love. You would do absolutely anything for me. Every week you bring me gifts and show your love in so many different ways. And you never ask for anything, ever! You are the most unselfish person I know. This, everybody, is my wife! Jealous much? LOL

Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for loving and caring for me. Thank you for being the best friend anyone could have. Thank you for your understanding and compassion. Thank you for the fun and laughter we shared and there was a LOT! You are one of the funniest person I know. Thank you for every single thing you ever did and will do in the future. There is not a person in the whole world who I would want to be with except you. I love you with all my heart. You are my true soul mate. 


Happy anniversary! xxx