Attention Authors or anyone wanting a review: I am currently NOT taking on any more reviews at this time. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I'm overwhelmed at the moment.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

{Book Review} Uncontrollable (The Nature of Grace #2) by S.R. Johannes

Uncontrollable (The Nature of Grace #2)
by S.R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Released:September 24th 2012
Genre: Fiction- YA: Suspense
How I got it: Received a copy from the author

As Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program".

While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants.

After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues.

Little does she know, she is being hunted too.

Review: This picks up several months after Untraceable. Grace is understandably traumatized from her ordeal and slowly getting her life back together. When she's picked to help research the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program" by Agent Sweeney she is excited and also wary. Grouped with Wyn, her ex, and Skyler, his new girlfriend, she must go out in the worst winter on record to gather information. When wolves start dieing, Grace almost gives up but her dedication to the project and renewing her life gets her right back out there in the thick of it.
While I liked Grace, she seemed overly cautious in this book and it made her feel less confident than she was in the first book. I understood why this was, but it also took something from the character. Her conflicted emotions over Wyn, bugged the hell out of me. He irked me as well, I mean he has a girlfriend yet he's willing to make out with Grace in a snow shelter. Makes me wonder about him, especially after how he's treated Grace. I guess it boils down to I just didn't like him.
The plot is fast paced, with lots of twists and turns as well as heart pounding action. Grace's survival skills are put to the test, multiple times. I have to admit this did push my limits of suspending disbelief because I couldn't imagine responsible adults putting teens in the dangers that occurred in the book, but I rolled with it. I was actually surprised by the outcome at the end and who was behind everything. While I had an inkling of who it was, Ms Johannes was able to twist the clues so things were never quite what they seemed. Over all this was a good read and follow up to the first book.


Monday, September 15, 2014

{Book Review} Captured (Fallen Siren 0.5) by S.J. Harper

Captured (Fallen Siren 0.5)
by S.J. Harper
Publisher: Unknown
Release: June 10th 2014
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Paranormal Romance
How I got it: Received a copy from the author

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.
Their mission is redemption.

Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now she works for the FBI and is on temporary assignment in Charleston. Solving this next missing persons case could be the key to ending her ancient curse—unless the temptation that’s her new partner gets in the way.

Zack Armstrong is a Werewolf. Tall, dark, and dangerous, he currently works for one of the bureau’s elite Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams. In many respects the man is every bit as mysterious as his secret and perilous past. But there are two things he’s certain about, that he’s going to get his man and his woman.

When Zack finds himself suddenly shy a partner and a third child goes missing in Charleston, Emma goes from consultant to CARD team member in the space of a few hours. The abductions of the first two boys ended in murder, an outcome that neither Zack nor Emma can abide. As they race against time to track down the kidnapper and rescue the latest victim, they find themselves fighting something just as treacherous—a growing attraction that can’t be ignored or denied

Review: This is a prequel to Cursed, which I really enjoyed.
Emma is a siren, cursed by Demeter for failing to protect Persephone from Hades, she must seek redemption by saving innocents. As an FBI agent she has saved many each one step closer to her freedom, or so she hopes. Sent to Charleston to help Zack Armstrong, when his partner takes leave, she finds herself drawn to the hunky werewolf.
Emma and Zack have chemistry, they are attracted to one another from the get go. The flirting and sexual tension fairly burn up the pages. This paired with the twist and turns of the plot, keep everything moving forward and interesting. I enjoyed seeing more of how these two met and interacted. While short, I think this was a great read.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

{Book Blitz} Wounded by Shannon Mayer




Wounded by Shannon Mayer
(A Rylee Adamson Novel, Book 8)
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: September 9, 2014

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"My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker."

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I'm the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

The clock is ticking and I can feel the weight of the final battle with the demon hordes looming over my head. The puzzle pieces are becoming clearer, but the casualty list is growing. And with each name that is added to those we've lost, my confidence cracks a little more.

Yet there is hope.

A child saved.

A life lost.

A prophecy fulfilled.
 Available at...



Trailer

EXCERPT
“You don’t think that all of the disasters that humanity has faced were all natural, do you? The bubonic plague is a good example. It was blamed on a number of things. Rats, the Jewish people, punishment from God. It all led to a cleansing of anything unusual. Mostly supernaturals, who were trying to blend in, and in that process the humans wiped out many of their best defenders against the demon population, which then went on to spread the plague across the world. But that is just one example.”
“What was the point though, wouldn’t the demons have wanted people to be alive so they could possess them?” Liam asked.
Erik gave a ruthful smile. “Yes and no. The bubonic plague wasn’t so much about killing people off, as it was infecting them. Making them weak and easier to possess. The plague compromised their immune systems, allowing them to be taken over. Especially the young.”
Something about what Erik said sent a twang through my brain. I struggled to put the pieces together that floated just out of reach. Damn it. Liam touched my arm. “What?”
I closed my eyes and pressed my palms into them, blocking out any light. “Just let me think for a minute.”
The feel of the night air and the sound of the fountain filled my ears as I looked at the pieces one by one.
Demons escaped in London who bred fast.
Minor supernaturals were being possessed by lesser demons and evil spirits.
Packs of Orion’s demons were free to cause chaos.
The only thing we were missing was a plague and then Orion would have access to all the young people he wanted. The urge to vomit swelled up through my stomach and burned the back of my throat.
“Children are normally hard to possess, aren’t they?” That was why it had taken a full pentagram when the black coven was trying to have India possessed so many months ago. At least, that was what I understood.
Bert bobbed his head. “Yes, it can be very difficult to possess a child. There is a natural protection over the young when it comes to demons, something the elementals put into play.” He grimaced as he said ‘elemental’ and again I wondered at these particular supernaturals that I’d only just been hearing about. “But when the small humans are ill, that protection goes into keeping them alive, rather than keeping them from being possessed.”
Feeling like a bully, but not really caring, I leaned in to Bert. “How did the bubonic plague really start?”
An interesting thing happened. Bert paled and shook his head. “I can’t tell you.”
My eyebrows shot up and I glanced at Erik. “You want to make him talk, or do you want me to make him talk?”
Erik shrugged. “Either way is fine. I haven’t interrogated a demon in years. I’ve missed it.”
Bert paled even more and his lower lip trembled. “I can’t tell you. I can’t. Tracker, Slayer both of you have to trust me. Please.”
“Begging will get you nowhere, little demon.” Erik growled. He had a short, serrated knife in his hand that he’d pulled from somewhere within his robes. It was curved, like a skinning knife, and if it hadn’t been for the rough edges that’s what I would have called it.
“Track demons and evil spirits.” Bert blurted out as he fell to his knees. “Proof I am on your side. Track them; you’ll see it isn’t me fooling you.”
Erik paused and looked over at me. “Up to you. Personally, I’d just as soon dice him up.”
“Fuck, why not, Tracking will take me two seconds.” I grumbled.
I send out a thread to Track demons as a whole, paired with a thread for evil spirits, just to satisfy—
Holy. Fucking. Hell.
I swayed on my feet and went to one knee, the overwhelming wash of pings I got back seriously making me re-think getting out of bed the day before.
We were surrounded by Orion’s minions.
Hundreds of them.
About the Author

Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her.
She is the author of the The Rylee Adamson Novels, The Nevermore Trilogy, A Celtic Legacy series and several contemporary romances.  Please visit her website at http://www.shannonmayer.com  for more information on her novels.
Author Links
Buy Link
        
All of the books in The Rylee Adamson Novels series will be on sale from September 9-15th at $0.99 down from $3.99 regular price.
Links to other books in the series:
PRICELESS (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 1)
IMMUNE (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 2)
RAISING INNOCENCE (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 3)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CJJ1SEC/?tag=wrioutwor-20
SHADOWED THREADS (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 4)
BLIND SALVAGE (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 5)
TRACKER (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 6)
GUARDIAN (THE RYLLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 6.5)
ALEX (A RYLEE ADAMSON SHORT STORY)
VEILED THREAT (THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS, BOOK 7)
GIVEAWAY
$50 Amazon Gift Card:
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

{Book Review} The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters #13) by Heather Graham

The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters #13)
by Heather Graham
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Released: July 29th 2014
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Paranormal romance, mystery
How I got it: NetGalley

A place of history, secrets...and witchcraft.

Devin Lyle has recently returned to the Salem area, but her timing couldn't be worse. Soon after she moved into the eighteenth-century cabin she inherited from her great-aunt Mina—her "crazy" great-aunt, who spoke to the dead—a woman was murdered nearby.

Craig Rockwell—known as Rocky—is a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's team of paranormal investigators. He never got over finding a friend dead in the woods. Now another body's been found in those same woods, not far from the home of Devin Lyle. And Devin's been led to a third body—by...a ghost?

Her discovery draws them both deeper into the case and Salem's rich and disturbing history. Even as the danger mounts, Devin and Rocky begin to fall for each other, something the ghosts of Mina and past witches seem to approve of. But the two of them need every skill they possess to learn the truth—or Devin's might be the next body in the woods..

Review: I've found myself really enjoying this series. It's rich with history and the paranormal. The great thing, at least I think it's great, is these books while part of a series can be read as stand alone. Granted you might find yourself hooked like me, and want to read them all anyway.
So Devin returns to Salem after her great-aunts death to live in her cottage and write children's books. While working one night she sees a figure outside and thinking some one is in trouble chases after her. Only she's to late and the figure she's chasing is a ghost. Devin is new to the whole seeing ghosts thing, and embraces it after talking to her great-aunt's ghost which is haunting her cottage. Rocky is the hunky FBI agent sent to Salem to check out some strange murders, which look remarkably like the one he stumbled on as a teen.  He too can see spirits but is much more reluctant to embrace his gift.
The chemistry is there between Devin and Rocky but they kind of dance around it, building a bit of a relationship before jumping into anything, which I liked. I actually felt this book focused more on the mystery aspect than the romance, which I also enjoyed. There was just the right balance to keep the book going and engaging.
I really liked all the history incorporated into the book and have to say that Ms Graham did a great job making it part of the mystery. She also did a wonderful job keeping me on my toes wondering who was the killer. I had my suspects, but all the twists and turns made it hard to know just who was on the up and up and who wasn't. I was a bit surprised by the reveal and usually I'm pretty good at figuring these things out. So kudos to Ms Graham.
All in all this was very enjoyable read, if you like mystery, the paranormal, and a little romance this is your book. .

.

Monday, September 8, 2014

{Book Blast} Track Presius Series, Books 1 & 2 by E.E. Giorgi

Track Presius Series, Books 1 & 2

by E.E. Giorgi





Chimeras

by E.E. Giorgi

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by:
Quemazon Publishing
Publication Date:
April 5 2014
Number of Pages:
406
ISBN:
978-0996045100

Purchase Links:

Haunted by the girl he couldn't save in his youth, and the murder he committed to avenge her, Detective Track Presius has a unique gift: the vision and sense of smell of a predator. When a series of apparently unrelated murders reel him into the depths of genetic research, Track feels more than a call to duty. Children are dying -- children who, like himself, could have been healthy, and yet something, at some point, went terribly wrong. For Track, saving the innocent becomes a quest for redemption. The only way he can come to terms with his dark past is to understand his true nature.

Kudos:
Chimeras is now a Reader's Favorite 2014 Book Award Finalist!! Check it out here: Reader's Favorite.

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

It was one of those hot summer afternoons, with air made of cobwebs and a glare as sharp as pencils.

“Something’s wrong today,” I said.

“It’s L.A.,” my partner replied. “Something’s always wrong in L.A.”

A few hours later Johnny Carmelo was dead, his brains skewered by the whistling path of one of my bullets. He collapsed on the pavement, a red trickle of blood weeping down his face. They told me they weren’t going to clear me back to duty until the investigation was over. I left the next day. I drove up to the Sierras, camped in my truck, and hunted at night.

There are days I long to disappear in the wild, go back to the predator life I was meant to have. Kill the prey or be killed: it’s in my genes.

A chimera, that's what I am. And this is my story.








Mosaics

by E.E. Giorgi

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Quemazon Publishing
Publication Date: 9/2014
Number of Pages: ~410
ISBN: 978-0-9960451-1-7


PreOrder Today:

Dubbed the Byzantine Strangler because of the mysterious mosaic tiles he leaves at the crime scene, a new serial killer is stalking the streets of Los Angeles. Racing to decipher the code encrypted in the tiles before the killer strikes again, Detective Track Presius faces a new challenge: the "awakened" genes that make his vision and olfactory sense so sharp are now taking a toll on his life. When a new set of tiles appears in his own backyard, Track makes a chilling realization: those very same genes that are threatening his life are drawing the Byzantine Strangler closer and closer. The line between hunter and hunted has suddenly blurred. Will Track be the next piece of the mosaic puzzle?

Read an excerpt:

MOSAICS – excerpt




A dark hallway with no windows opened to the right of the foyer. The smells changed—the staleness of a vacant place and the victim’s scent—feminine, ambitious, seductive. The wall displayed wrought iron sconces and a collection of photos of Amy—Amy in her graduation gown, Amy with friends, Amy with her cat. A pretty face, I noticed, whose beauty didn’t distract from an underlining drive for determination.




Her bedroom was orderly. There was a half-empty birth control kit in her nightstand drawer, but no boyfriend in her life, according to the friends and relatives interviewed, only an ex-husband who now lived in Oregon. Toiletries on her vanity table, regular clothes in her closet, a few garments in her drawers that told me she was no nun, but no distinctive masculine scent anywhere. If she shared her bed with somebody, she’d done a good job at hiding it. The sheets smelled clean and freshly washed.




The next door let to her home office, a small carpeted room with a couple of white bookcases, a table with a desktop and printer, a metal chair, and, on the opposite side, a futon, a laundry basket, and an ironing table folded against the wall. Through the window, the hills of Montecito glowed against the evening sky, a wavy fabric of glimmering lights.




I inhaled. The bookshelves were crammed with medical books, the desk buried under stacks of papers.




The sweet, foul smell of the tiles…




I sat at the desk, opened the drawers, sniffed the keyboard, then the computer screen.




Not here. Close, though.




The papers. He went through the pile of papers.




I rummaged through the folders not knowing what to look for, just tailgating a smell. Gloved fingers had brushed through printouts and graphs, tables, essays, research proposals…




Did he find what he was looking for? And if so, what?




Article after article of scientific jargon, each title some random permutation of the words immunodeficiency, vaccine, study design, therapy, antiretroviral.




“What are you gonna see in the dark?” By the office door, Satish flipped the light switch.




“Smells.”




“On paper?”




“Yeah. And patterns, too,” I said. I sniffed the top right corner. I could follow the gloved fingers searching through the pile of papers, most likely a left thumb holding up the top ones so he could read the titles, and a right index flipping through. Until the trace stopped.




He found what he was looking for. Probably took it with him.




I inhaled and gave one last look around. Everything else seemed untouched.




“What did Gomez have to say?”




Satish shook his head sideways. “Autopsy’s scheduled for Thursday morning. Just got an invitation. Wanna join the party?” He smiled. Waited.




Amy Liu smiled too, from a silver frame on her desk, a man’s hand draping her shoulder, and a strand of black hair blowing over her face.




“Fine,” I said, walking past him out of the room. “I’ll keep you company on Thursday, but—”
He switched the lights off and followed me back to the foyer. “Uh-uh, Track. First things first. Tomorrow you pee in a cup and get your LAPD badge back.”




“I pee in a what?”




We locked the house, replaced the yellow crime scene tape. The air was tainted with a hint of humidity and the scent of jacaranda blooms. A handful of pale stars dotted the sky, the glow of downtown beneath them like a disoriented dawn. A broken streetlight strobed from farther down the street. The Latino music persisted. Yo sufrí mucho por ti, mi corazon…
Satish unlocked the car and slid behind the wheel. “Union mandated drug test. Your leave of absence from the department was longer than ninety days. Welcome back to regulations, Detective Presius.”




I made a face.




“Look at it this way. Whoever handles those cups has it way worse than you.” He started the engine and backed out of the driveway. “Shit happens, Track. Never forget that.”




“Hard to forget on days like this.”




I rolled down the window and let cool air blow in my face. The freeway droned in the distance, as another night descended upon L.A. Another murder, another killer on the loose.




It was June 2009, the beginning of summer.




Killing season had just started.






What Readers Think:


Author Bio:
E.E. Giorgi is a scientist, a writer, and a photographer. She spends her days analyzing genetic data, her evenings chasing sunsets, and her nights pretending she's somebody else. On her blog, E.E. discusses science for the inquiring mind, especially the kind that sparks fantastic premises and engaging stories. Her detective thriller CHIMERAS, a hard-boiled police procedural with a genetic twist, is now available on Amazon.




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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

{Book Review} The Dead Are Watching: Ghost Stories from a Reluctant Psychic by Debra Robinson

The Dead Are Watching: Ghost Stories from a Reluctant Psychic
by Debra Robinson
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Released: September 8th 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: Paranormal
How I got it: NetGalley

Psychic Debra Robinson investigates hauntings and helps send spirits to the other side. A haunted factory owner's suicide and guilt over leaving his son permeates the building but lifts after Debra's assurances that his family is okay. A strange and terrifying investigation of an unreported murder with the body stuffed down an outhouse changes lives. Ongoing visits in Debra's own home keeps her family on edge. Terrifying and inspiring true stories pulled from Debra's life round out her new work with more evidence of the afterlife from those who've found that love survives beyond death.

Review: Ok the cover and blurb make this sound much more scary than it actually is. The book is basically a bunch of stories from Ms Robinson's experiences with the paranormal. While interesting, not really campfire material. I did like how the stories were of places that weren't famous, just regular old houses. I thought it was refreshing to read stories that didn't have demons, vortexes or spirit guides. Ms Robinson was knowledgeable yet not over bearing. She didn't seem to flaunt her gifts, but did use them to help people understand what they were dealing with.
I liked her writing style and storytelling ability. It kind of reminded me of being a kid and listening to the grown-ups tell of their own experiences. Yes my family had a lot of ghostly happenings, still does now and again. Over all I liked that Ms Robinson came across as someone looking for answers just like the rest of us.


 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

{Book Review} The House Where Evil Lurks: A Paranormal Investigator's Most Frightening Encounter by Brandon Callahan

The House Where Evil Lurks: A Paranormal Investigator's Most Frightening Encounter
by Brandon Callahan
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Released: September 8th 2014 by
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: Paranormal investigation, ghost
How I got it: NetGalley

This is not a Hollywood tale; it is a true account of the most malevolent home that Brandon Callahan and his team have ever investigated. A former funeral parlor, the demon-infested property had a dungeon and a sinister past that included murder, suicide, and vile rituals.

When Brandon Callahan answered the homeowner's plea for help, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. A monstrously tall entity in a dark-hooded cloak moves through the embattled home it considers his domain. An expressionless phantom follows one of the investigators home. Innocent bystanders and paranormal investigators alike are plagued by physical attacks and bleed-through phenomena: inhuman laughter, bloody scratches, disembodied shrieks and growls, horrific nightmares, and escalating threats. The House Where Evil Lurks is Brandon Callahan's terrifying true story.

Review: I'm kind of torn by this book, I liked a lot of things about it yet was also skeptical on others.
I really liked that Mr Callahan just offers up the information he basically say here's what I did for better or for worst. He's not preachy or says this is how it must be done, just that he did things this way and maybe others can learn from what he did. I found this very refreshing as well as how he took most things with a "grain of salt" until the proof was staring him in the face. His tone and way of writing make it feel like he is right there telling you this amazing story. He brings his fellow investigators off the pages, making them feel real. This probably doesn't make sense, but sometime when reading or watching something the characters just feel fake. I didn't get that from this book.
I'm always skeptical about EVP's and the ghost box. I just feel that it's to easy to hear what you want or to want proof so bad that you hear something from nothing. There seemed to be a lot of EVP's and focus on the ghost box, yeah it's cool but hard to believe unless you can hear it for yourself. I don't know, maybe it's me but between this and the KII meters these ghosts just seemed way to chatty. There were a few other small personal issues, including what I felt was a stupid experiment. The Ganzfeld experiment is controversial and wasn't developed for paranormal investigation. I'm not going off on a triad, but I will say I thought it was dumb.
I did find it interesting that unlike many books and shows, this took place over several months of dealing with the same house and entities. Also the case is still open, they didn't banish or exorcise what ever was in the house which is usually how these books end. Despite my own personal quirks about things, I feel this is one of the best representations of an actual paranormal investigation I've read.