Review for Fading Echoes by Jaime McDougall

fe

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Jaime McDougall
Title: Fading Echoes (Echo Falls) (Volume 2)

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Amazon Description:
In a town full of werewolves and legends, Charlotte Peterson is unique. As the first ‘pure-bred’ werewolf in Echo Falls, she struggles to fit in even amongst her pack. When Dr. Adam Baker arrives in town, Charlotte is forced to balance their growing friendship with her need to keep the pack’s secrets – and her own. But she is not the only one keeping secrets and Adam’s past could threaten them all. That is not the only danger. Compass, the genetic research company intent on isolating the ‘werewolf gene’, will do whatever it takes to gain the final advantage over all werewolves. Compass CEO Calvin Stephens has a very special plan in mind for Charlotte… Time is running out for Charlotte and the pack as Calvin’s plans near completion. In a town where secrecy is the key to survival, can Charlotte trust Adam to help her? Or has she revealed the deadliest secret of them all?  

 Opinions:

Fading Echoes is the second book of the Echo Falls series. I had not read the first book prior to this one. However, I did not feel lost while reading. This book took place years later, but still features some of the characters from the first book – according to the description I read about the first one. So, if you want to just read volume 2, you can do so easily. However, there are major spoilers for the first book if you plan to go back later.

Characters:
The story is written in the third person that mostly follows Charlotte Peterson, a pure-bred werewolf – werewolf from both parents. She was just barely a toddler in the first book. Now, she is twenty years old. When she was about one year old, she was kidnapped by a hunter (one who hunts werewolves.) Since then, she is bound and determined to find out everything she can about hunters to keep her pack safe. Charlotte’s parents want her to become a doctor, because hiding werewolf secrets is hard in the medical field. On the other hand, Charlotte has no interest in becoming a doctor, but she is unsure what to do with her life. This creates some conflict, as well as, a need for self-direction. Calvin Stephens is the CEO of Compass – a new medical institution that branched out to Echo Falls. He has his eye on Charlotte, as well as, doing genetic experiments with werewolves. He wants to continue his father’s experiments and has some secrets of his own. Dr. Adam Baker is a newcomer to town – a sort of floating doctor. He and Charlotte have an instant attraction. However, Dr. Baker is human, and Charlotte must keep her werewolf identity secret (not only for her but for the pack.) He knows Charlotte is hiding something, and he wants to find out. In summary, most characters were multi-dimensional and faced different conflicts and struggles within the book.

Plot:
The plot is a little slow to start after the prologue, but it picks up the pace in the latter half of the book. Charlotte discovers that Compass and Calvin Stephens is not exactly what everyone thinks they are. She feels something is wrong with them and is determined to find out. She incorporates the alpha’s son, Tom, and her closest friend with her investigations. However, Charlotte’s and Tom’s parents are against any researching with hunters. When Dr. Curtis (the human doctor that knows about werewolves) has to leave town for a while, Dr. Adam Baker comes in as a temp. Although he and Charlotte seem to strike it off, Adam believes that there is something more to Charlotte and her family than what’s being said. He is on a mission to discover this secret.  Will he discover their secret? Although a little slow at first, the story soon picked up for me, along with a few twists in the story.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. If you like paranormal/werewolves stories, you might like this book.

 

Review for Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

bol

My Rating: 4/5

Author: Sam Cabot
Title: Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Background:

Amazon Description:
This document, dear friend, will shatter the Church…..

Reading these words in a letter in a dusty archive, Thomas Kelly is skeptical. The papers to which they refer have vanished, but Father Kelly, a Jesuit priest, doubts that anything could ever have had that power—until the Vatican suddenly calls him to Rome to begin a desperate search for that very document.

Meanwhile, standing before a council of her people, Livia Pietro receives instructions: she must find a Jesuit priest who has recently arrived in Rome and join his search for a document that contains a secret so shocking it has the power to destroy not only the Catholic Church, but Livia’s people as well.

As cryptic messages from the past throw Thomas and Livia into a treacherous world of art, religion, and conspiracy, they are pursued by those who would cross any line to obtain the document for themselves. Thomas and Livia must race to stop the chaos and destruction that the revelation of these secrets would create. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: She and her people are vampires.

In a sprawling tapestry that combines the religious intrigue of Dan Brown with the otherworldly terror of Stephenie Meyer, Blood of the Lamb is an unforgettable journey into an unthinkable past.”

Opinions:
Blood of the Lamb is a paranormal thriller that takes place in Italy. Centuries ago a document was formed between the Catholic Church and the Noantri. In a nineteenth century raid, the document – Concordat – was stolen from the Vatican. Threatening to publicize this document the thief goes at great length to hide it in case something happens while also making copies. It was never publicized to the world. Now, both parties are threatened again today. Father Thomas Kelly (a Jesuit priest) joins forces with Livia Pietro (a Noantri) to find the document before the wrong hands get it. A chase is on between multiple parties with different motivations. Just a note to readers who may have problems with religious fiction books: Although this is not The Da Vinci Code, you will have to have an open mind set for it – remember you are reading a work of fiction.

Characters:

The story is written in third person following multiple characters. The two main characters are Father Kelly and Livia. Father Kelly is a Jesuit priest whose mentor and cardinal friend becomes librarian to the Vatican. The cardinal enlists Father Kelly’s help in finding the secret document that threatens the church. Livia is part of the Noantri and is also enlisted by her “conclave” to find the document. These two are an unlikely pair, but must put aside their differences in a joint effort to save the document. The characters are multi-dimensional and face their own battles as they work through the secret clues left by the original thief while being chased by different groups.

Plot:

The plot flowed along well. The beginning was a little rocky for me, but I was hooked within about 75 pages. The chapters are usually short, which is nice if you need to stop. The plot centers on finding the hidden document through multiple parties. Father Kelly and Livia are the main party, but there are two other parties and the Italian/Vatican police that are also involved. The ending has a bit of a surprise, and everything seems to be explained by the last page. One thing that I would have liked to seen in the novel was for Livia and Father Kelly to have a little more difficult time solving some of the clues as they went. It seemed a little too easy for them, although it did make for a faster pace in the book.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. As I have mentioned, if you have problems with stories like The Da Vinci Code, then you probably want to avoid this book. However, if you don’t mind and like paranormal thrillers, then you should definitely give this book a try.

 

Sunday Recap July 28, 2013

Books read:

(Line up was slightly changed this week due to the fact that the one book was almost expired)

 Reb Sp

Rebel Spirits Lois Ruby (Point) – released June 1, 2013

This week’s published book reviews:

 shifting selves

Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall (Match books) – released April 16, 2013

d

Demigod Conception by Harlen Bayha (Createspace) – September 23, 2012

Books that I’m currently reading:

 ghosts of sherwood

The Ghost of Sherwood by Wilson Harp – released April 5, 2013

thou shall not

Thou Shall Not by Tina Glasneck (Vie La Publishing House) – released March 27, 2012

the boleyn king

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen (Ballantine Books) – released May 14, 2013

Books that I’m reading next:

 madness

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny (Back Bay Books) – released June 18, 2013

fire of the dragon

Fire of the Dragon (Bestiery Series, #1) by Lori Dillon (Amari Press) – released April 21, 2013

witchling

Witchling by Ari Harper (Lycaon Press) – released November 29, 2012

Books won or asked to review this week:

highlander betrayed

Highlander Betrayed by Laurin Wittig (Montlake Romance) – release August 6, 2013

Music_for_my_Soul_cover_550x825

Music For My Soul by Lauren Linwood (Soul Mate Publishing) – released May 15, 2013

Books received/downloaded this week:

 witchling

Witchling by Ari Harper (Lycaon Press) – released November 29, 2012

highlander betrayed

Highlander Betrayed by Laurin Wittig (Montlake Romance) – release August 6, 2013

Music_for_my_Soul_cover_550x825

Music For My Soul by Lauren Linwood (Soul Mate Publishing) – released May 15, 2013

Other Interesting News:

1. I updated the Free Books page. It is now called Author Dedication. It lists all authors that I have reviewed and have been or will be published on this blog. It also lists promotional authors. [Remember if you want me to promote your book on my blog, just click here.]

2. It’s been a busy week. Also, out of town family members are still here, so my reading is a little slower than normal. If I’m reading (or am going to read) your book, don’t worry! I will get it as soon as I can. Postings and Twitter/Facebook statuses are scheduled in advanced, so nothing will change there.

Remember you can also find me:

twitter-bird-blue-on-white facebook2

Have a book that you would like reviewed? Click here

 

 

Review for Demigod Conception by Harlen Bayha

d

My Rating: 3/5

Author:  Harlen Bayha
Title: Demigod Conception (Volume 1)

Genre:  Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:
“Kyla Farmer, a burned out firefighter, stops a madman on a shotgun rampage in Las Vegas, but dies in the process. Death wasn’t anything like she expected, and not nearly as permanent. Summoned from that terrifying darkness, she becomes a demon on the planet Hustis, far from everything she knows on Earth, and bound into slavery to a deranged keeper. While she remains sane, she has powers she never dreamed of, and the capacity to destroy everything in her path.

Forced to assassinate a leader in the archaic town of Dubrogund, Kyla fights against her master’s commands, nearly succeeding in saving that one life, when the man responsible for bringing her to Hustis in the first place completes her task for her and frees both of them from their psychological controls.

Kyla fumbles through her new world in search of a place to belong, a bit of solace from her own failures, and vengeance against the woman who bound her there. She allies herself with an assassin with no clients, a colonel with no army, a molder from whom she must hide her very nature, and a bard on a quest for revenge.

Armed with new allies and the power to shape her body as she sees fit, Kyla must decide what role she will take in this new world. Shall she become a demon, or a demigod?”

  Opinions:
Demigod Conception is the first book in the series. When Kyla dies, she finds herself on another planet. She is considered a “demon” and is controlled by Iron, a leader who dresses similar to a clown. Whatever Iron commands, Kyla must obey. However, her shelf life as a demon is short and she is desperate to go home. Iron promises that if Kyla helps defeat the leader of a nearby town, she will help her get back home. Kyla sets out to murder the opposing leader. During this time, she learns more about herself and Iron’s lies. Now she seeks revenge with the help of some unlikely characters.

Characters:

The book is written is third person, mostly following Kyla. Kyla was a firefighter and a do-gooder before she died. Suffering from guilt from a fire rescue gone wrong, she still seeks to help people and to find a purpose. Now as a demon, she has certain abilities that can be used for good – if she can get away from Iron.  I would have liked to have read a little more about her old life (prior to her death.) I think it could have made her more defined. Some of the other characters also could have used a little more background in the book rather than some brief descriptions.

Plot:

The plot followed Kyla in her experiences with in a strange new world.  There is action and adventure throughout the book, as well as different creatures and abilities. At some points, there was some jumping in the timeline. For instance, at the beginning, I thought it was the same day rather than the next. Considering this is the first book of the series, I am assuming there will be more about a certain character that is at the beginning of the book and then never seen or heard from again. I was also a little fuzzy with the whole baby thing. I would imagine these things are addressed in the next book.

The Bottom Line:
Although not exactly the type of book I usually read, overall it was a good read. If you like other world/fantasy/sci-fi books, you might want to give this book a try.

 

What’s Your Fairytale?

Like many children (and even adults), I love fairytales. The magical worlds, pretty dresses (yes, I am one of those girls), adventure, and love could keep me entertained for hours. What are my top 3 fairytale stories? [I like the happily ever after versions the best.]

  1. The Little Mermaid – Okay, growing up this was my favorite Disney movie, and I think the first one I saw in the theater. When I was little, you couldn’t get me out of the water. Granted, it might have been hard getting me in the bathtub, but once I was there, I was not getting out. Who wouldn’t like a story about a mermaid, an evil sea witch, talking sea life, and a handsome prince? The Little Mermaid was written in 1836 by Hans Christian Anderson
    (Picture source )
    mermaid
  2. Beauty and the Beast – First of all, the main character loves books. This is a guarantee win I with me. Second, the prince is furry and has an under bite – reminds me of my childhood dog. Moving furniture in the castle is also an easy task – especially if you are into redecorating. Finally, reciprocated love is always a good thing in fairytales. With all the reading I do, I think this most likely resembles me now – although I have cats not a beast. Beauty and the Beast was written in 1740 by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.
    (Picture source)
    beauty-and-the-beast
  3. Sleeping Beauty – Now here I thought I liked to sleep! A hidden princess, magical fairies, dragon-slaying prince, and roses (one of my favorite flowers) are a part of this story. This encourages my mantra to shop – I don’t want to prick my finger on a spindle! I also find that I shouldn’t feel guilty about sleeping so long. Sleeping Beauty was written in 1697 by Charles Perrault.
    (Picture source)

    sleeping beauty

It was hard to narrow down my favorites. How about you? What are your favorite classic fairytales?

Review for Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall

shifting selves

My Rating: 4.5/5

Author:  Mia Marshall
Title:  Shifting Selves (Elements, Book 2)

Genre:  Paranormal mystery

Background:

Amazon Description:
Aidan Brook’s world was shattered when the actions of a brutal murderer revealed long-buried secrets about her past–secrets even she didn’t know. A powerful elemental, Aidan discovered she possesses the wrong kind of magic. It’s a secret that could cost her sanity-or even her life. What she needs is some peace and quiet. What she gets is a phone call from a division of the FBI so secret it doesn’t even have a name, asking her help with a series of shifter disappearances. Before Aidan can settle into a new routine of pancakes and evenings by the fire, the case develops claws. She quickly finds herself caught between uptight bears, deadly mountain lions, overprotective parents, and unhappy federal agents. Throw in a stalled romance with an enigmatic shifter and the slow dissolution of her chosen family, and it’s hard to say which will drive her mad first: her magic, or her chaotic life.

Opinions:
Shifting Selves is the second book in the Element series. You will probably need to read book 1, Broken Elements, to stay up to speed with everything. [Review for the first book can be found here.]The author does provide small recaps at the beginning of the novel if you do want to dive straight into this one, but I would recommend reading the first book prior to this one. Please note that the rest of this review may contain spoilers for the first book. The story focuses on shifter disappearances around Lake Tahoe, and yet again, it becomes personal with Aidan and her band of friends. They must join forces to solve kidnappings and strange magical inhibitions. Aidan is coming to grips with what she has discovered from the last book – but balance is not always so easy to achieve. It’s another rocky ride for Aidan and her pals.

Characters:
As with the first book, this one follows Aidan in first person narrative. At the beginning of the book, the reader sees how Aidan is trying to find balance with her two elements/mental state. She has support from friends, but as with most novels there is some tension between them during certain points. Despite the tensions, they continue to support one another. Still not into exercise, Aidan tries to find ways to calm herself – obviously the yoga is not working for her. (If I was there I would have suggested swimming laps in a pool as her exercise attempt.) The FBI agents are also back. They hire Sera and Aidan to work on a “magical” secret case that involves the disappearance of a shifter. The reader learns more about shifters – especially those outside the bear and cat species. This begins another crime solving adventure, which not everyone is too eager about. Aidan’s parents are also back and more involved than in the prior books, wanting to protect their daughter from other people finding out what she is.

Plot:
The plot moves along nicely – similar flow to the first book. Crimes that involve magical beings are the theme once again, and Aidan with her friends jumps into action to help. Shifters and elementals do not always see eye-to-eye, which brings more interest to the story when elementals are asked to help shifters retrieve their loved ones. The plot takes a few twists along the way with a surprise at the end. The book leaves room for another – which I believe is in the making as I write this.

The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed this book and will look forward to the third one. If you like paranormal mysteries, you should give this series a chance.

 

Book Promotion: The Railway Dilemma by Sean D. Hattersley

Today’s book promotion comes from Sean D. Hattersley and his book called The Railway Dilemma. If you like supernatural thrillers, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

the railway dilemma

Book: The Railway Dilemma
Author: Sean D. Hattersley
Genre: Supernatural/Thriller

Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: June 10, 2013
Format:
Paperback and Kindle
Amazon link: Here    

Summary: The Railway Dilemma by Sean D. Hattersley is a short story based on a character from his book series ‘The Halve’. Garrick Radcliffe has recently come out of the army with his best friend Liam and they are trying to decide what to do with their lives. Garrick notices a pattern of mysterious death occurring on the same day each year on a disused railway track. It is now used as a public footpath, and with a few days before another death is due to occur he begins an investigation. His strange ability to create illusions and make people believe in anything he says, along with his knowledge on the supernatural, leads him to believe that something out of this world is responsible. Garrick believes he has left death and difficult decisions behind in a warzone, but as he unravels the mystery and discovers the truth he is faced with a dilemma. One that ultimate shapes his future

About the Author:

You can find his Twitter page: Here   

He says:
60,000 words of NaNoWriMo might sound impressive, but in all I have written well over half a million words in what is currently a four part series of supernatural novels, about psychics and demons. There are also multiple ‘short stories,’ like The Railway Dilemma, that are either being written, or on my ‘to do’ list. ‘The Halve’ as the main story is called, is currently being diligently rewritten. It’s four years old and needed an update. I hope that this bigger, (and hopefully better,) story will be finished and self-published, maybe sometime later in the year.

Q & A:

The best thing about writing this book?
Writing this novel was my part in the NaNoWriMo challenge. To complete a novel of 50,000 or more words in under a month. I managed to write 60,000 words in just 28 days. The hard work, day and night, the researching, the characters, all had to be done and brought to life in a relatively short time. It was very enjoyable during the dark days of November, and as it was set at the same time of year, the season made it come to life as I was writing.

Where did you get your idea for this story?
It’s a short story based on the adventures of a character in my book series ‘The Halve’. I got the idea from my local walks around the countryside, one of which is along a disused railway line, which is now a public footpath. My imagination started cooking up ideas about what supernatural goings on, could be taking place along this path. The Railway Dilemma was born, and the dark mystery of what happens along this route was a great challenge, for a great and entertaining character.

What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Love what you do, through the good times and the bad. Always acknowledge that more can be done. Your novel will never truly be finished, even if it’s on a shelf in a store, or a library. There will always be something new and interesting you think of.

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee! Not cheap nasty stuff, it has to be a good strong coffee with a delicious something to snack on to the side.

 

Favorite Books:
I don’t have a favourite book exactly. A book is a series of pages bound together. The words however… all are words fascinating to me, even in other languages. Words are strung together to make stories. So yes, my favourite story: Pride and Prejudice. It’s a brilliant classic. 🙂

 

I want to thank Sean Hattersley for allowing me to promote his book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read The Railway Dilemma.

 

Sunday Recap July 21, 2013

Books read:

                   true love     

True Love’s First Kiss by Heidi Garrett (Half-Faerie Publishing) – released June 18th
[Blog tour scheduled for August 7th!]

 i

Ignite by Erica Crouch (Patchwork Press) – released June 11, 2013

 This week’s published book reviews:

Legends

Legends of Marithia: Book 1 – Prophecies Awakening by Peter Koevari (Createspace) – released May 23, 2012

relatively dead

Relatively Dead by Sheila Connolly (Beyond the Page) – released May 16, 2013

Books that I’m currently reading:

 the boleyn king

The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen (Ballantine Books) – released May 14, 2013

 Reb Sp

Rebel Spirits Lois Ruby (Point) – released June 1, 2013

 thou shall not

Thou Shall Not by Tina Glasneck (Vie La Publishing House) – released March 27, 2012

 Books that I’m reading next:

madness

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny (Back Bay Books) – released June 18, 2013

fire of the dragon

Fire of the Dragon (Bestiery Series, #1) by Lori Dillon (Amari Press) – released April 21, 2013

ghosts of sherwood

The Ghost of Sherwood by Wilson Harp – released April 5, 2013

Books won or asked to review this week:

the cure

The Cure by Douglas E Richards (Forge Books) – release September 17, 2013

forevermore

Forevermore by Cindy Miles (Point) – released July 1, 2013

Books received/downloaded this week:

blood of titans

The Blood of Titans by C Michael Forsyth (Freedom’s Hammer) – released June 14, 2013

the cure

The Cure by Douglas E Richards (Forge Books) – release September 17, 2013

 

Other Interesting News:

  1. I added a new page to the blog – Review Book Request. If you want me to read your book, please take a look there before contacting me, please. I still have free promotions for your book. You can view that here. I was also thinking of extending this to other blogs. Input on this idea please?
  2. Mark Tullius (author of Brightside and 25 Perfect Days – scheduled for August 14 on this blog) informed me this week that my name will be featured in the Special Thanks page of his upcoming paperback release of 25 Perfect Days. Be sure to check it out!
  3. If you have Facebook, make sure you stop by to like my new Facebook page. Facebook should get 2-3 daily updates (which is less than my Twitter updates.) Click below to like my page:
    facebook2
  4. Out of town family members are still here, so my reading is a little slower than normal. If I’m reading (or am going to read) your book, don’t worry! I will get it as soon as I can. Postings and Twitter/Facebook statuses are scheduled in advanced, so nothing will change there.