Book Review! “Angel’s Gate” by Andrew J. Rafkin and Louis Pagano

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – *****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
5 stars

OK – so after reading this book I feel like I need a strong drink! I was so emotionally invested in the characters and what was going on, it almost reminded me of Ocean’s 11…which is a movie, but you know how it goes 😛

This is the story of four friends who have bigger dreams than pockets. Since they work in airport security they decide to smuggle in drugs. They get the biggest baddest gangster around involved and things take off from there!

This is listed as a true crime, and almost a *conspiracy theory*. Is it in fact true? Who knows!
I don’t doubt it is, along with many other things the government will never tell us about.

Fact or Fiction, this story is well written and non-stop action!
Highly recommend.

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BLURB:

Based on a true story of: The GREATEST heist-NEVER TOLD!
In 1983, the rapidly growing city of L.A. and beachfront communities were active in the illicit drug trade, successfully operating through Angels Gate Lighthouse, and LAX, the gateway to the City of Angels. This true story is a recounting of the largest monetary heist in history, carried out by four local surfers, and August Taracina, a successful marijuana smuggler.
The heist progresses with only minor hitches, until they open the bags of loot. Much to the  thieve’s chagrin, there is no cash, no gold, nothing but financial instruments, unable to be cashed.
While still in command of one of the larger marijuana smuggling operations on the West Coast, August begins a whirlwind, worldwide tour with his connections to organized crime, the Medellin Cartel, and international bankers, as he attempts to fence the items.
Other gangs, along with their treachery and murder, as well as FBI Agent Nick Cutler’s team, the Treasury Department, and Interpol pursue him. During this maelstrom, August devises an incredible plan to satisfy everyone’s interest and fulfill their dreams.
Now, all he has to do is MAKE IT HAPPEN!

 

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Book Review! “Sequela” by Cleland Smith

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – ****
Plot   – ****
Flow – ***
Grammar/Editing ****

On a review site:
 4 stars

This book is INCREDIBLY unique.

With so many books bordering on the *same ol’ same ol’* storylines it is refreshing to read something incredibly original.

That being said, there were some holes which kept it from being five stars.

First off, the beginning was really hard to follow. I don’t usually read the blurbs of books because I feel sometimes they give to much away.

With this book, after reading a few chapters I was looking at the blurb to figure out what was going on!

For example, I would have liked a little more background on WHY the upperclass/elite wanted to infect themselves with modified sexually transmitted viruses as a fashion statement.

Maybe it was a crazy superstar? Like a Lady GaGa who made it popular and people followed?

I felt like we were thrown into the futuristic timeline without enough world building.

However, the characters were well developed, and although they weren’t always like-able they were very real. The plot was good, and even though it was so “out there” still very believable.

Overall it was a unique book and  anyone who enjoys science fiction with a TRUE science spin would enjoy it.

BLURB:
 
Kester Lowe is the next big thing in viral fashion. For the price of a Brinkov suit you could be wearing one of his exclusively engineered STVs. And once you put it on, almost everyone will want you…


At least, that’s the plan. Alexis Farrell will stop at nothing to make her new designer a star, but not everyone is a fan; those offended by what he represents, those he has betrayed, his own suppressed ambitions and forgotten promises – Kester is racking up enemies and they are about to come together in an attempt to destroy him.

 

Sequela is a solid debut from a fresh new voice in science fiction. Set in London in the 2080s, it follows the story of virologist Dr Kester Lowe as he rockets to fame as the first fashion virus designer.
As events unfold, the reality of Kester’s fame and desirability bring him to crisis point, forcing him to deal with the consequences of selling his services to the highest bidder and reawakening his ambition to use his scientific talent to the greater good. A potent mix of nanotechnology, terrorism and sexual politics.

 

Book Review! “Ripple” by E.L. Farris

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – *****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
5 stars

It is incredibly hard to find words to explain a book like this. 

As a mom to four amazing little girls, I had a very hard time reading this book. Especially in the beginning, when Helen was just finding out what was going on.

I have never personally been the victim of sexual abuse. Or abuse of any kind really. It breaks my heart to read books like this KNOWING how real it is. Knowing that right now there are little girls suffering this kind of life.

I really liked the character of Helen. Put in her situation, I’m pretty sure I would do the same thing!

Phoebe was amazing as well. Strong yet fragile all at the same time.

All of the characters were great and the story was flawless.
You definitely won’t see the end coming!

Of course this book is great for anyone who was/is a victim of abuse and those who work with them, BUT it is also a must read for EVERYONE in my opinion.

Thanks to the author for writing such a great story.

Download “Ripple” NOW!

BLURB:

A Lyrical Book of Healing

When high-powered attorney Helen Thompson discovers that her fifteen-year old daughter has been sexually assaulted, she takes drastic measures.

Finding herself in trouble, Helen must relinquish control and put her faith in a process she knows to be flawed. As a team of lawyers, therapists and women from a safe house help Helen and Phoebe find hope and healing, a sociopath lurks, waiting for his moment to strike.

A lyrical, dark fairytale that will resonate with fans of women’s literature and psychological thrillers, RIPPLE delves into the nature of evil, without seeking to provide final answers to the issue of what makes a human commit evil acts. And while the author takes readers to scary places, she ultimately shines a light on the human condition and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the face of great tribulation.

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Spotlight Book! “Powder of Sin” by Kate Rothwell

I absolutely loved this book! Here we have a smart, independent heroine who isn’t a Mary Sue, a hero who is introspective and honorable without being in any way boring, and an aphrodisiac that actually works–overwhelmingly and on everyone who encounters it–and the heroine’s quest to keep it safe and NOT use it. – Amazon Reviewer

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Wealthy heiress Rosalie Ambermere doesn’t know why Gideon Reed sits scowling in her sitting room. Or why she finds him so appealing. She’d envisioned her heart falling to a serene gentleman, not to this unpolished, brooding man. And yet she finds Mr. Reed absurdly attractive. Surely her craving for his touch is due to the strange powder she recently inherited from her rakehell cousin. When Gideon offers to help her find a way to dispose of the aphrodisiac, she agrees. Best to be rid of the powder and her attraction to the man as soon as possible.

Hired as a keeper, former detective Gideon must follow his oversexed client Walter everywhere, including into lovely ladies’ homes. Reed suspects Miss Ambermere is just another eager chapter in Walter’s endless diary of bedroom conquests. Another hedonistic woman spoiled by inherited wealth, until he learns there’s another draw for Walter — the powder that could create disaster in the idiot’s hands. He soon understands there is more to the alluring Miss Ambermere than meets the eye; perhaps enough to tempt even his disillusioned heart. Gideon must work with Rosalie to safely dispose of the powder without falling prey to the dangerous effects of pure chemistry.

 

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Spotlight Book! “How To Survive Your Sisters” by Ellie Campbell

I totally ate this one up. I know lot’s will say it is a great vacation or beach read. There is a lot of humor, which I liked. There is also an equal amount of family squabbles. A great book for anyone with a sister! Heck you don’t even have to have a sister to get the humor!  – Amazon Reviewer

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A wonderfully warm and witty debut novel about family secrets and sibling rivalry.

The four MacLeod sisters are no strangers to sisterly rivalry and with one of them about to be married, there are bound to be fireworks. Perfectionist Natalie wants the ‘wedding of the year’. Harassed mother, Milly, just wishes her bridesmaid’s dress wasn’t the size of a tent. Career-obsessed Avril secretly moons over a married man and world traveler, Hazel, the youngest,
yearns to be taken seriously.

Forced together for the first time in years, and with an unexpected guest stirring up old resentments, squabbles are inevitable.

But when tragedy strikes things really fly apart – as some shocking skeletonsemerge rattling from the crowded MacLeod closet…

 

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Book Review! “Fang Chronicles: Mandy’s Story” by D’Elen McClain

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – ****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
5 stars

The one thing that makes a paranormal romance stand out among all the others is great characters.

This book had some AWESOME ones.
Mandy was great. Although she is young she mated to a Kodiak bear named Honey about a year previous.
She got tired of waiting for him to notice her (in fact, he was pretty much downright ignoring her!) so she decided to kidnap him and force the situation.

If that sounds hilarious, it is!
That is just the beginning of the funny situations Mandy gets herself into. Attacking her mates father, before she knew it was his father, was another great scene.
All in all, in was a great read.

Mandy’s story is not the first in the Fang Chronicles, but it is the only one I have read so far.

It read fine as a standalone book, but I am sure there are things I didn’t pick up on.
If you want to read it in order, “Fang Chronicles: Amy’s Story” is first and it is FREE! So go get it and read them all.

 

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BLURB:

Mandy’s Story is a standalone, humorous and little bit kinky side story to the Fang Chronicles series.

Every beastkind knows you don’t mess with a Kodiak bear—everyone that is except Mandy, the wolf-pack Alpha’s sister. When Mandy hears whispers that the bad attitude bear, Honey, has chosen a mate, she takes matters into her own hands because her wolf decided months before that Honey was hers. If drugging, kidnapping, and making him live in a feral cage won’t work she’s planning to give Honey a little bad attitude of her own.

The bear clan is ferocious, deadly, and their fighting skills coveted by other beastkind. With war on the horizon, Honey has little time for games or courting much less more than a few grunts of acknowledgement to a young she-wolf who seems to be everywhere he looks. When he wakes up in a feral cage at the hands of that same exasperating she-wolf… all bets are off.

If anyone thought bears and wolves don’t mix, they’ve never seen Mandy on a mission. She refuses to give into the sexy he-bear when he tries to seduce her out of her tight little assets and himself out of the cage she’s locked him in. Two can play that game and in the end Honey will learn, they both need to win, or else.

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Spotlight Book! “Dead Of Knight” by William R. Potter

“ The page-turning twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat. ” – Amazon Reviewer

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Dead of Knight takes the reader into the heart and soul of a homicide detective and into the warped mind of a psychopath. This thriller is told from the point-of-view of Detective Jack Staal and from the perspective of a killer who murders women on their birthdays.

We learn that Detective Staal is suffering from post-traumatic stress after a horrific shooting. Unable to shake the horror of that day, Staal has left his position with the Vancouver PD’s homicide squad and has resurrected his career with the police service in a fictional country town called Hanson, British Columbia.

Anxious to work the biggest case of his career, Staal is forced to the outside when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated Homicide Teams are assigned to the case. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Staal convinces his colleagues to follow his lead and pursue a serial killer the media has dubbed Birthday Boy.

Believing he is a soldier of justice, a misguided young man has begun a callous campaign of terror. Damian Knight (Birthday Boy) is convinced of his righteousness and continues his brutal crusade of revenge. As his death count mounts, so does Knight’s courage and he soon turns his anger on a fatigued Staal. Staal and Knight play out a cat and mouse thrill ride that culminates with an epic, one-on-one meeting of cop versus killer.
WARNING: contains scenes of violence, coarse language, and mild erotica

 

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Book Review! “Strawberry Wine” by Lee Adams

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – ****
Flow – ****
Grammar/Editing *****

On a review site:
5 stars

This book is AWESOME. I loved it. I found myself connecting to the characters on a deep level and I know I will be thinking about them for a long time.

It had every element I could want from this genre, along with a few plot twists I didn’t see coming at all.

The main character, Tanya, just can’t escape her past no matter how hard she tries. Even though 10 years have passed, it still comes back to haunt her.
The question is, can she forgive her old friends and begin a new great life?

The beginning hooks you and doesn’t let go.
It is a great read and I highly recommend!

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BLURB:

Ten years have passed since Tanya Smith’s last summer at Laurel Lake–the summer of Marie. Today Tanya is a confident, successful music promoter–a far cry from the naive seventeen-year-old who showed up at the lake full of rosy notions of first love, lifelong friendships, and evenings spent sipping strawberry wine on the shore. That September changed everything, and as far as Tanya is concerned, there’s no going back. That is, until a mysterious phone call from Marie’s lawyer brings Tanya face to face with the past. Suddenly she finds herself returning to Laurel Lake and to everything she left behind there. Will the dark secret that haunts the lake break her heart all over again? Or will Marie’s legacy be the key that unlocks the future Tanya gave up on ten long years ago?

 

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Book Review! “Beginning of a Hero” by Charles E. Yallowitz

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – *****
Plot   – ****
Flow – ***
Grammar/Editing ****

On a review site:
4 stars

What a great little fantasy book! I have always loved fantasy. I think the very first series I ever read was the Belgariad by David Eddings.
Although it has it’s differences I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Belgariad while reading Legends of Windemere.

The main characters are alike. They are both young and full of themselves.
I can only imagine how much Luke Callindor will grow though the series.
It is also CHOCK FULL of interesting characters! They are all such different creatures than are usually in books.
I can’t decide if my favorite character is charming halfling Nimby or or childish but wise dragon Fizzle.

Although this is written in Second Person, it didn’t really bug me. That could be because a lot of the books I read are in First Person. 

So, two things that could be a turn off in this book is the Second Person point of view and the fact that it takes a little while to *get going.*
I would strongly suggest giving it a go anyway, even if the beginning is hard. It is a GREAT start to what has to be a great series!
Plus, at .99cents it is a total steal.

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BLURB:

Take a step into the magical world of Windemere where history is forged by brave adventurers.

Luke Callindor was born into Windemere’s most decorated family of adventurers. Since his birth, he has been treated with the greatest amount of respect and awe. Now, with a lifetime of training and the reckless cockiness of youth, Luke has set out to prove that he deserves the admiration that comes from being a Callindor.

Luke gets his chance when he convinces a royal messenger to hire him to protect the heir of Duke Solomon. This future leader is secretly attending Hamilton Military Academy, an esteemed school run by the former mercenary, Selenia Hamilton. It is a dangerous secret mission requiring that Luke pretend to be an average student while keeping an eye out for any sign of danger. Unfortunately, Luke has no idea which student the heir is and a demonic assassin is already several steps ahead of him. Finding himself in over his head and constantly in trouble, the young warrior realizes that the only things he has on his side are some new friends and his unwavering courage.

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Book Review! “Pretty From a Distance” by Cat McCarrey

Personal Rating System:
Character Development – ****
Plot   – *****
Flow – ***
Grammar/Editing ****

On a review site:
4 stars

Pretty From a Distance is the story of a women who has been a victimized her whole life.
Because of things that happened to her as a child, Glory chooses the wrong man and he uses her past to control and threaten her.
He tells her he will go after her niece if she ever leaves him for a very specific reason.

If this sounds like the same old story of abuse, you would be wrong. It has a very strong story line with very vibrant characters. Some are likable – some aren’t!

You will find yourself being drawn into the story from the very beginning and turning the pages a little too fast to see what happens next.

The ending was explosive and I didn’t see it coming at all.
Definitely worth reading. It gives an insight into domestic violence that I haven’t really seen before.

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BLURB:

In 1999, Glory Morgan is fast approaching her fortieth birthday. Her boyfriend Vince Cole controls every aspect of her life, but she remains bound to him because of his threats to harm her young niece. As they travel the country year after year in a camper with no water or electricity, her despair continues to grow, as does her alcohol use…until Vince unexpectedly gives her the opportunity to choose their summer destination. Emboldened, she picks a small town in New Mexico, a choice that will change the course of their lives dramatically.

Encountering a vibrant community filled with eccentric characters including a Vietnam veteran, a psychic, and a man who had been abducted by UFO’s, she finds herself falling in love with the local bartender Doug Baylor. Inspired to assert herself, Glory slowly sees hope and joy return to her life and begins to stand up to Vince. As tensions escalate and Vince finds a lover of his own, a shocking event irrevocably changes their world forever.

Exploring the depths of abuse with compassion and honesty, McCarrey’s debut novel is an intense, warmhearted, and sometimes humorous story about the redemptive power of love and community. McCarrey deftly exposes the wounds of the past as these experiences play themselves out in our lives in a relentless pattern of symmetry—until one seizes the power to actively change them. Wondrous, evocative, and full of inspiration, Pretty from a Distance is a deeply moving passage into the lives of people caught in an interweaving dance of dependency and control.

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