Friday, September 23, 2016

Audio Book Review: The Witch of Roan Mountain

The Witch of Roan Mountain

By:  Blaire Edens

Publish Date:  October 7, 2015, Audiobook Release July 15, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 3 hrs 21 mins
Narrated By:  Kathy Bell Denton

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  The Witching Hour Collection

First Impression:  Returning to your roots and finding who you are, while solving a long dead case.

Maeve McMahan, a criminal defense attorney, has just blown the case of her career. When she returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to clear her head, she moves back in with her grandmother. On an easy hike, she meets the one woman she never expected to see: Delphine, The Witch of Roan Mountain.

Accused of a terrible crime she didn’t commit, Delphine has been haunting the county since just after the Civil War and she can’t rest until her name is cleared. She’s counting on Maeve’s help to get to the bottom of the century-old mystery.

Campbell Hyatt, a sheriff’s deputy, has never gotten over his first love, Maeve. When her grandmother breaks her leg, Campbell’s on duty and he finds Maeve at the top of Roan Mountain, convinced she’s seen a ghost. A cop who doesn’t believe in ghosts, he thinks Maeve needs to be focused on her grandmother not an old legend that hits a little too close to home for his liking.
With Maeve’s car out of commission and Granny stuck in the hospital, Campbell and Maeve are thrown together in a quest to find out why Delphine was branded a witch. It will take both of them to get to the bottom of a nineteenth century story love story that may impact them more than they realize. Can they banish a ghost without rekindling an old flame of their own?

First Sentence:
If I'd known what was going to happen, I wouldn't have worn my best dress.

Purchase At:


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Maeve has come home to Avery County, North Carolina to get back on her feet and be off again after she finds a new job. Out hiking, Maeve sees a woman she didn't expect to see. Delphine, a ghost who needs her help.

Campbell, a sheriff's deputy in the small town, is called to help Granny, Maeve's grandmother, when she falls. Campbell is also Maeve's high school love, which makes things more complicated when they each realize there are still feelings there, but Maeve's going to leave again...

This is my first with listening to Kathy. Her voice is clear and crisp when speaking, nice as we can easily understand what she's saying. Kathy does a slightly different done to her voice to sound like Granny, an active 80-something grandmother. Even with Campbell she does a slower, more relaxed feel to his words. Kathy sounded a bit older of a voice for being in Maeve's mind for me though. Their is a small sound of air around her when she speaks. I can tell when a section starts and stops in the same chapter, like she's turning the microphone on and off. There is no sound to go with it, just the small sound of air starting then stopping.

This is a short story, novella, about realizing who you are and what you want in life the most. Maeve doesn't 100% realize in the beginning that she has lost her goal, or more that her vision and drive is to prove something, not to be happy. She's had a hard life with the shadow of her mother's actions, and she wants to be nothing like her. Maeve has worked hard to reach the top, and she has. But things happened and she's home in the mountains once again. Here, she's tied to a ghost of old who wants Maeve to prove her innocence so she can rest. The witch of Roan Mountain speaks to her, and Maeve's drawn by curiousness to solve the case.

Maeve learns more than just about the ghost and her past. Maeve learns about her connection but also about her handsome boyfriend from high school's connection as well. Campbell's never left town, and never will. He's happy and at peace here. Campbell has never been able to get over Maeve since she left. He fights his love, but he'll gladly take the minutes she'll give him when she's home again. Goodness is he a kind and loving man!

We get short clips from Delphine's point of view that tells of the past, what she lived through and then the events that surrounded her death. It shows love, revenge, and more. I really felt for Delphine in these sections. We get most of the story through Maeve's mind but also see through Campbell's eyes as well. This brings all three story lines together and how they impact each other.

This is definitely an adult read. There is sexual content to the story. We see Maeve and Campbell come together as he's helped with Granny while she's been gone. But they are drawn to each other as they both still feel the attraction and rare love between them.

**If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Author Guest Post: DNA of a Hero

I'm thrilled to have Skyla Dawn Cameron by today for a guest post about her hero's roots. Lili Talbot is a kick arse character and I'm excited to learn of her DNA. I hope you enjoy learning about her as well!

Please welcome Skyla!

DNA of a Hero

Like many heroines, Livi Talbot—though she’s her own person—owes some of her DNA to the heroines who came before her.

1. Lara Croft

Yes, let’s get this one out of the way straight off the bat. ;-)

The concept behind the series was “Tomb Raider meets Gilmore Girls”, about a young single mother who is also a treasure hunter. And I love Tomb Raider. I have all the last several games and play them frequently—it’s probably the only game franchise I buy new installments of on release day (and schedule time off of work to play them).

Olivia Talbot owes a lot to one of the ultimate action heroines. Initially her Match pistols in the book were to be a placeholder for a different gun until I did some research...then I did said research and realized they were exactly the kind she’d use, and remain as a fun nod to Croft.

It also gave me something to draw on when it comes to aspects of Livi’s personality that are so far from my own. I’m not a daredevil. I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I would rather pretend-climb a mountain in a video game than climb an actual mountain, and thank you very much but I’ve seen The Decent several times and I would nope right out of any cave you pointed out to me.

But Livi’s not me, and soaking in that whole other point of view of a very physical sort of character helped a lot.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Just about every damn urban fantasy heroine owes something to Buffy, I’d say. The snarky one-liners, for starters (which, I suppose we all kind of owe to Spider-man? Buffy was highly influenced by various comic book heroes herself), not to mention the very cinematic moments of badassness.

That’s the Buffy that really influenced Solomon’s Seal and Livi Talbot: the purely visual, cinematic moments I hope came through in the text. The slow-mo leap into danger presented in widescreen, the purely heroic moments no sane person would choose but Livi is a hero and that’s just what she does.

Plus...okay, yes, she’s snarky.

3. Ellen Ripley

Livi is a mother and that protective mama bear streak owes a lot to Ripley of Alien and specifically Aliens. (We do not speak of that abomination Alien 3, thankyouverymuch.) Not just this obvious moment:

But the quieter ones as well.

As Newt becomes her surrogate daughter, Ripley adds Badass Action Heroine to her title with Final Girl Survivor and Smartest Person in the Fucking Room. She’ll risk everything, including her life, to save this child, and takes on the queen alien herself if it means Newt’s safety. Livi has that same primal maternal instinct, no matter how she tries to keep a boundary between her identities as Mom and Treasure Hunter, which causes no end of trouble but also makes her a terrifying force to be reckoned with if anyone crosses her daughter.

Solomon's Seal

Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant as a teen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. After the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them. 

Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A powerful man wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off. 

The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.

Purchase at:
Amazon  /  Kobo  /  Nook  /  iTunes

Author Bio:
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.

Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.

Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.

Find Skyla at:
Twitter - @skyladawn

Book Review: Solomon's Seal

Solomon's Seal

By:  Skyla Dawn Cameron

Publish Date:  September 20, 2016

Format:  eARC

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in A Livi Talbot Novel series

First Impression:  Yes! Thank you! Feels like a cross between Tomb Raiders and a single, hard-working mom with a supernatural feel to the world


Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant at seventeen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. Since the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them.

Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A potential new client wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off.

The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.

First Sentence:
The man hanging from his bound ankles over the cliff's edge hadn't been forthcoming with answers thus far.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I requested a copy of this book from the author or publisher for review.

Olivia does her best to make a home for her daughter, Em, and give her everything she deserves by hunting down pulse activated artifacts for private paying clients. When the check bounces for her daughters prestigious school, Olivia takes a job that takes her away from home and into the underground caves with a new crew of experts. While she's 'leading' the expedition to find the ring of Solomon, Livi will learn there are more than 'activated' artifacts that have come to life since the Pulse. Livi'll have to dive into the mouth of danger to save herself and those around her that become friends. And that's only in the caves, what she faces when she returns home will drive all maternal instincts to kick in.

Skyla has packaged several things I rarely see together, and yet love as a combination. Adventure with danger, a mother and family connections, and a hot man that's a potential love interest (for me and the lead character). The story feels like a cross between Tomb Raiders and a single, hard-working mom with a supernatural feel to the world since the Pulse occurred. The artifacts of the past are activated and can be dangerous with the powers they possess. The creatures that can be present! Oooh never know what I'm going to come across in this world!

Olivia, Livi as I like to call her, is one strong woman! She's a single mom making ends meet in the world. She has a strong sense of rules about her when it comes to a team she works with. She also has a quick mind with what needs to be done on the job as nothing is what is expected and in retorts to others.

There is a strong family connection present for Livi. Well, where her daughter is concerned. Livi, like every parent, wants the best for Em and works hard to get it. Sure work pulls her away time to time but being a single working parent it happens. But Livi has support and help. Pru, her best friend, has been there through thick and thin. Pru is an important element in the family and also has normal human troubles that ties the story to the world we know. Pru lives with MS. These friends are there for each other and help each through the tribulations of life. Now Livi also has troubles in the way of family, with her father and absent mother but that is a topic for later.

We also have a connection that sparks with new friend ties. Dawson is the first to connect with ease with Livi. But there are others as we read that gives a feel of a full cast of characters that are needed to get the job done. I'm hoping to see several of them again in the future!

Lets talk about West. Um! Hot! He's a dangerous man but feels to have a baseline to his ways as well. He's not always around, but when he was I loved seeing him and Livi interact. There was a flirtation between them I found put a smile on my face as they bantered. Buttons! lol. I can't wait to see them together more as the books come!

Skyla draws many great elements together for us in the book. The world's not perfect and even Livi's world is the same way. Pru lives with MS. It's something they all work through as a family, Livi, Em, and Pru. There is so much support here and it's amazing! There are family troubles. Livi is on the outs with her father but still talks to her brother. Livi lives with not knowing who Em's father is yet there is a great man from Livi's past that is willing to be the father figure for Em. Totally an awesome step for him! Then we learn of West's past, just a drop, and where he's from - North Korea. There are terrible things that happen to people there. But through all these hard times and memories, there is the fun and love and enjoyment of having people around that do love you. Livi and all the characters keep their chin up and move on through the days making the best of all they have and do.

It's well written with a balanced blend of humor and adventure you can't deny is spellbinding. Skyla's smooth writing easily walks me through the dangers with Livi. I could picture what was happening, even though I've never been caving.

Thank you Skyla for creating a story with so many extraordinary elements that I've been wanting together while keeping the story real and grounded.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Audio Book Review: Apocalypse Machine

Apocalypse Machine

By:  Jeremy Robinson

Publish Date:  March 15, 2015, Audiobook Release July 12, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 10 hrs 18 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafer

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Stand alone

First Impression:  Wow. So much more than expected!


A chain of subglacial volcanoes erupt in Iceland. The melting ice floods the countryside. Poisonous gas descends on Scotland. A tsunami devastates the Norwegian coastline. An ash cloud rises into the atmosphere, blotting out the sun across Europe, ushering in a new Ice Age. Dozens of nuclear power plants, flooded by ocean water, experience meltdowns. Millions perish. Many more are displaced. All on the first day.

On the second day, a series of earthquakes moving in a straight line, reveal the presence of something massive, walking across the landscape. Concealed by a thick, radioactive ash cloud, the ‘aberration’ heads west, toward Russia.

Abraham Wright, a science writer for Modern Scientist, who wants nothing more than to be reunited with his family, finds himself at the center of the United States’ response to the crisis. Under his new title as Assistant Science Advisor to the President, Wright is sent to Europe with a team of Army Rangers, where he uncovers the truth about the ancient behemoth laying waste to the world: there have been five mass extinctions on planet Earth, and the aberration has been present at each.

On the third day, the world fights back.

And loses.

Separated from his family by continents and oceans ravaged by countless disasters and populated by strange new life, Wright struggles to survive in an evolving world. Hoping to uncover the key to mankind’s redemption, he fights for answers, and to reach his loved ones—before the human race’s extinction.


Jeremy Robinson returns to the Kaiju Thriller genre he popularized with the largest Kaiju to ever appear in fiction: the Apocalypse Machine. Bursting with all the epic action, desperate struggle and complex characters that readers have come to expect, Robinson takes the world to the brink once more, pitting humanity against the greatest threat he has yet to conjure, and asking the question: Does humanity deserve to inherit the Earth, or is our time up?

First Sentence:
T.S. Eliot got it wrong.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

I'll leave the synopsis of the book stand for the description. I'm afraid if I give a description I'll give away the book because it's one of those that builds and builds on itself and full of suspense and racing for lives.

Jeffrey is an amazing narrator for suspense. His pace keeps the urgency at a pacing that's easy to understand and think on as it's happening. He vocalizes the event with rise and fall of his voice that keeps me on edge, waiting and wanting to hear what's next.

Interesting beginning. We start in Iceland, on a volcano that's to be studied when they find a spire sticking out of the ground. Abe grabs it and has one heck of a vision. A vision predicting the world to burn and rebirth of a nation from the ashes. When the volcano erupts, I found I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the characters will make it away!

We get a few different views to see the horrors that wreck across Europe from the eruption of the strip of volcanoes, though the whole world is affected. The lives of the people and how they are touched with the fall outs - deadly gas, earthquakes, and tsunami. This gives us the first hand view of all that's affected, the many terrible tragedies that happen when the world falls apart. People have created many things that could easily kill us when the world goes wrong, and we see those along with naturally caused dangers and deaths. All these terrible events and suggestions Abraham makes come to be obstacles in his path.

I really enjoyed listening to this story as it didn't stop. I would have sat and listened to this all day if I could. The first two hours flew by as it leads up to what really happened at the volcano. It was excellent. Even the events of trying to stop the machine, then we jump to 15 years later, when the world is completely changed. Wow. All of it was gripping for me.

Abraham is the main character throughout the book. He's a journalist, and being in this field he's experienced and worked with many different people and circumstances. In doing this, and being a studied person as well, comes in handy with all he faces. Abraham faces more dangers than I would ever want to see, or hear about, in this book as he is put in places to learn what he can of the Apocalypse Machine, which he names. I like how his life's experiences bring him to know details while he's on the move. This puts a light on the events that gives us something to relate to in what could be seen as fantasy moments and moments we would not have experienced (like nuclear plants failing).

Abraham also faces a few things about himself too, things he doesn't want to think on but is brought to his attention - like why he's always taking jobs away from his family that he's always wanting to get back to. Is there something he doesn't want to face there? He does have a special and unique relationship in his home life.

Then the story takes a turn I did not expect to see. Wow. The way of the world in the future, those that have survived the devastating events that changed the world as it was known to something completely new. We see the now and the changed future.

This story was one of the greatest finds I've come across in a long time. It's much more than an apocalyptic moment changing the world or a monster story. I am highly impressed with Jeremy's take on the events and twist to telling his story.

I found I was emotionally invested in the book and characters too. I teared up at moments, mostly the happy ones but a few sad ones too. I even smiled when I found my way back to my regular characters in the story.

I am totally amazed with this book! I didn't expect what I got here, and I'm thrilled with it. I was constantly held at attention. Even the last sentence hit me with a whoosh, it made sense.

**If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Post #145

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


I feel like I've been away for weeks! Life has been on fast forward these last few weeks with kiddo back to school and football season here. Thursday I spent ALL day cooking meatloaf dinner. I ended up with about 30 kids here for dinner. They were, as they were last year, thrilled with the mini meatloaves. lol. My lower back has been a mess since then.

I'm also all confused on what day it is.

Friday was my day, but I ended up taking kiddo to get a new knee brace that he bent on Wednesday and driving my husband around truck shopping. Oh! Kiddo's knee brace. Yeah, that's a story! He has a brace he's to wear for contact sports that's to be indestructible. Ha ha! I laugh in the face of indestructible. We got his third brace Friday, and he bent it within an hour of the game. He has bent three, THREE, braces! Yep, that's a call for tomorrow when the brace place is open.

Saturday I was exhausted. I got nothing done but yet I did get some things done. Today is going to be catch up day. Oh the list has grown!

I have a lot of reading to get done!


The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I did get some exercising in this week. I'm thinking I only got one day in with all the cooking and everything.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Exploration: Through the Wormhole anthology
The Side of Good / The Side of Evil edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Current Audiobook:
Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!)

Finished Last Week: 

Audiobooks from Audible:
The Witch of Roan Mountain by Blaire Edens
Mirror Mage by Linsey Hall

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


Last Week on the Blog:

Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Guest Posts:


Spellbound in a Flash:
This week I didn't post with working on writing. Sorry!

Challenged Writers:
I'll share again at the beginning of October.

Around the Internet...

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

"Micheal never ceases to amaze me with his turn of events and catches me off guard at times. This book brings many things into light and has me curious to see how they will work out."

Dead Red by M.R. Forbes

"I found I liked the world and story in this book better. I think I understand it better going into this book and got to see Conor running or fighting something at all times. There are a few turns with those after him that have different reactions than Conor, or I, expected."

"With Cassia being a daughter of a storyteller it gives the author a way to tell the past to the reader. We get stories of long ago, though those told by the tellers now are not always right."

Podcast Review:

Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have 3 reviews scheduled and a release post by an author. Hope you visit!


Received Last Weeks:

Review & Review Consideration:
Every Kingdom Divided by Stephen Kozeniewski
Goodreads Synopsis:
2035 A.D. After the 2nd American Civil War Jack Pasternak, a laid-back California doctor, receives a garbled distress call from his fiancée in Maryland before her transmissions stop altogether. Unfortunately for Jack, citizens of the Blue States are no longer allowed to cross Red America. He is faced with an impossible choice: ignore his lover's peril or risk his own life and sanity by venturing into the dark heart of The Red States. When the armies of the Mexican Reconquista come marching into Los Angeles, Jack's hand is forced and he heads east in an old-fashioned gas guzzling car. Stephen Kozeniewski, writer of Braineater Jones, The Ghoul Archipelago and Billy and The Cloneasaurus, brings an epic future adventure.

Freed by Amanda Carlson
Goodreads Synopsis:
Phoebe Meadows has one thing on her mind: Free her mother. 

For the last month, Phoebe has been training in the Valkyrie stronghold readying for battle. But when she stumbles into a secluded valley after a day of grueling practice, she’s given a dire prediction. Phoebe must leave the stronghold immediately with the aid of the giant, Junnal, to rescue her mother from the dark elves. If Phoebe fails, Leela will be transported to a place that can no longer be reached. 

Leaving Fen behind threatens to undo her, but Phoebe stays true to the mission. Along the way, she allies with the god Baldur and an old white elf mage. Together, they storm the realm, and with the help of an angry wolf and her Valkyrie sisters, they just might stand a chance to free the valiant shieldmaiden. 

But Phoebe soon learns that in order to save her mother, she might lose something too precious to sacrifice…

Audio Books Requested for Review:
Anubis Nights by Gary Jonas
Goodreads Synopsis:

A dead sorcerer in the Underworld named Henry Winslow, a contemporary of Aleister Crowley and former member of The Golden Dawn, steals a spell from The Forbidden Texts in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Thrice Born. He divides himself into three aspects and goes back in time to steal the Emerald Tablets of Thoth from the Great Pyramid of Giza. He wants true immortality and to change the course of history.


Jonathan Shade’s old friend, Sharon, shows up with the master of time, Chronos, to send Jonathan and his team into the past to find and kill Winslow.

First stop: ancient Egypt

Jonathan and Kelly arrive in Egypt during the reign of King Tutankhamun. As they appear from nothing, they are mistaken for gods, but when Tut is murdered during a chariot race, things get out of control.

At stake is, well, everything. Because if Winslow succeeds, the world as we know it will no longer exist, wiped from the sands of time…

Ark by David Wood
Goodreads Synopsis:
A Native American artifact points the way to one of the greatest legends in history! 

Archaeologist Dima Zafrani receives a mysterious package containing fragments of an unknown text that proves the existence of the lost Book of Noah. Pursued by a shadow organization known only as The Trident, Dima crosses paths with former Navy SEALs turned treasure hunters Dane Maddock and Bones Bonebrake. Can the three find the legendary Noah Stones before the Trident can harness their power? 

Join Dane and Bones on another action-packed adventure as they set off on a quest for the Ark! 

Stolen Magic by Linsey Hall
Goodreads Synopsis:
Being a FireSoul has its perks. Cass Clereaux can find any type of magical treasure—or steal any type of magical power. She’ll pick hunting treasure any day because she doesn’t have to kill for it, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t stolen powers. She needs them to stay alive. Because a fight to the death is the least of what she can expect if other supernaturals find out what she is, she’s become an expert at laying low.

When her friend is sucked into a magical portal, she’s the only one with the power to help him. But what she uncovers is a danger greater than she’d ever imagined—and linked to her past in a way she’d never expect. Worse, the portal puts her whole town at risk. As the threat grows, she must confront her fear of losing control of her new powers, or lose any hope of saving hundreds of lives.

The Marked by Lilith Saintcrow
Goodreads Synopsis:
A winding road, a freak storm, and a lightning strike. Jude Altfall’s life, just beginning to coalesce after her divorce, is shattered afresh. Dazed with grief, she’s not sure if the weird things happening around her are hallucinations…or something more. And there’s the mark on her hip—a tattoo she can’t for the life of her remember getting. 

Preston Marlock left a shadowy government agency two years ago, to hunt a killer. Each time the bastard strikes the trail goes cold, and not even Marlock’s more-than-natural abilities are helping. Now the killer’s taken one of his very few friends, and there’s a surviving witness. The Altfall woman is now that most precious and fragile of targets, newly Marked. All Marlock has to do is dangle her like bait, and the killer will eventually show up. 

The Skinner knows some people are different. Special. He has a collection of stretched skin and pretty pictures, each harvested with care. The trick is to take them while the victim is still struggling, still alive, otherwise their power is lost. He is careful, methodical, and precise, but chance robs him of a prize. Once he realizes Jude Altfall has what he covets, and has possibly seen his face, her fate is sealed. And just to be cautious, the Skinner might swat at the annoying fly who has buzzed along his trail for two years...


Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Space Slugs by Frances Pauli
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Xenobiologist, Dr. Murray, receives yet another phony wedding invitation 
from her galaxy hopping sister, she does what any good sibling would do. She 
drops her research and hops the first flight to some obscure planet at the edge 
of the civilized universe. 
But Zora's weddings never manage to go off as planned, and before the cake is 
served, Murray finds herself imprisoned with the unapologetic bride. With the 
assistance of a mysterious android and the universe's last living space slug, 
the two find themselves on the run in a stolen space ship with half the galaxy 
in hot pursuit. Thanks to Zora, it's the least desirable half. 
Maybe Murray will get lucky, and the crash landing will kill her.

Free Audio Books/Stories:

Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Solomon's Seal by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Apocalypse Machine by Jeremy Robinson
The Witch of Roan Mountain by Blaire Edens
Mirror Mage by Linsey Hall

Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: Age of Myth

Age of Myth

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

Publish Date:  June 28, 2016

Format:  eARC

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Legends of the First Empire series

Recommendation:  Yes.

What does it mean if the gods can be killed?
In the land of the Rhune, trees can tell the future. Roaw can’t sleep before adding more human bones to their bed. Crimbels steal children through secret doors in the forest, and the gods are beyond reproach. But when Raithe’s father is slain, he does the unthinkable—he kills a god. From this act, rises the legend of the God Killer, the seeds of a rebellion, and the question of whether the gods are really immortal after all.

Before the Dark Ages, there was the age of Myth and Legend. Before kings and castles, there were mystics and heroes. Before two thieves, there was an empire. And before there was an empire, there was Nyphron.

Everything you think you know is a myth. Learn the truth behind the legend. Discover a new world by the author of The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles.

First Sentence:
Raithe's first impulse was to pray.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository 

My Thoughts and Summary:
All Raithe wants is to live on fertile land with a wife.

What he finds when defending his fathers' and family honor is the Gods can be killed. He's killed one and now on the run with an ex-slave of the Fhrey that helped him. On the move Raithe comes across a woman who could use his help, and a village that soon finds they are at the center of a battle between humans and Fhrey. And Fhrey against Fhrey.

I like the quotes from the Book of Brin at the beginning of each chapter. They are a slight insight to what is coming in the chapter, and seeing how a sentence or two summarizes the actions is amazing. We see that Brin is a talented story teller through these passages.

Our main characters are who's eyes we see through most. They are Raithe, Persephone, and Arion. We even get moments with a few others, which enriches the world and story. However, these three give us the view of three different angles in the world that are the most important. Raithe is a strong man, and capable of more than he is aware of. Persephone is a brilliant woman that doesn't realize she has stepped up to a position she is to be in, yet the world of the villages may not be ready for. Arion shows us the world of the Fhrey with a strong Art and the strength and impact it can have on the world.

Malcolm was a character that surprised me and kept me on my toes through the story. I was curious about his methods and motives. And I got a kick out of his comments. He was a great partner for Raithe. The two of them together had a few moments of fun banter. Then we see Suri. She's special. With Suri I got the feel of fey and Celtic history to the world. I liked what she brought to the story. There is Trilos who shows up a few times in the book. I liked the mystery and magical essence that surrounds him when we see him.

We see the Fhrey when they are strong, at the top of their being. And this could be their downfall at the same time. But we see what is important in their world, and the separation they are creating. They once had a strong Art, and a magic to many. We see why the humans (Rhunes) see them as gods.

Micheal never ceases to amaze me with his turn of events and catches me off guard at times. This book brings many things into light and has me curious to see how they will work out. I couldn't help but think back to the Riyria series and make a few relations to it. This story is of the world long before that time and the way of living we knew.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Audio Book Review: Dead Red

Dead Red

By:  M.R. Forbes

Publish Date:  March 15, 2015, Audiobook Release July 7, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 56 mins
Narrated By:  Jeff Hays

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2nd Book in Ghosts & Magic series; 1st Book ~ Dead of Night

First Impression:  Conor's scrounging, but finds the truth.

Conor Night, the world’s only surviving necromancer, is used to having bad days. After all, he’s spent the last few years as a minor pawn in the Game of Houses while keeping one foot planted firmly in the grave. But between the job offer he can’t refuse from a wizard he doesn’t trust, and the appearance of a cult bent on sending him to the afterlife, his days are about to get a whole lot worse.

He’s used to the threat of death. Death making threats? That’s new.

First Sentence:
I always tried to be quiet when I got back from a job.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Flat broke as Ms. Red broke her promise to Conor, he's on the scurry to find and purchase his drugs to stay alive. Finally, Conor finds a person, with help of a friend, to purchase from, but it doesn't end well. Another group has been searching for Conor, the longest living and practicing necromancer, to do a job. The boss of this group wants to use Conor to steal something, again, and play against the Houses. Conor feels the chase of Death as he works to earn money and the medicines he needs, and maybe even a way to earn time of invisibility to Death. Death's not willing to give up easily, even threatening his friends.

Jeff is back to voice Conor and all characters. As always I settle in for a great, entertaining listen. Jeff has no troubles acting out Conor and others as they fight through this world. Coughing, and all sorts of small extras are a pleasure to have added to their various voices. The dark laughter of the mask catches my ears with the feel Jeff adds to it for us, it feels like the darkness that it possess.

With this book, I know the term 'ghost' is meant as an assassin in the magical world. Not the ghost as in dead and a see-through, floating soul left behind.

Conor is still struggling for money and meds. He's got a score to settle as he wasn't paid from his last job, as promised. This leaves him scrounging but also gives a reason to take a job he normally wouldn't, for a bit of due revenge for stiffing him on payment.

Conor has a few things to fight through in this book, and they clash against each other at times. He has Death after him as Conor's been alive to long. Death is sending his Reapers after him, getting in the way as Conor tries to live on, earn money, and find his medicine. Death also gives Conor an ultimatum, to come with him or he'll take another in his place - a soul for a soul. Conor's one fear, to die, and he's running from it as best he can. Then Conor has to face the woman he has started to fall for and who stiffed him on payment, Jin. Conor is hired to steal the orb from her, again. Once he gets close, he learns more about Jin's reasons with how things ended on the last case, and where she stands now. He'll have many after him.

I like that we learn about necromancers a bit here. That they usually don't live more than a year or two, which makes Conor the longest living and practicing necromancer. Cool. This makes him valuable and wanted, by people to do jobs and death because he's escaped him for so long.

Oh Conor. His tools of his trade are dangerous. Especially the mask, it feels worse than the dice to me. When Conor uses the mask he makes a deal that is a bit hefty. Six souls. It wants six souls. Ouch. There is a protection yet a danger to the mask. I'm curious about it and wondering how it works.

We finally get to see Tarakona! Oh to see him! WOW! Cool. And what the orb really is... Oh my. I'm not telling you as you have to find out on your own. But he leaves Conor with a warning in the end. A warning that opens the world up to so much possibility.

I found I liked the world and story in this book better. I think I understand it better going into this book and got to see Conor running or fighting something at all times. There are a few turns with those after him that have different reactions than Conor, or I, expected.

**If you liked my thoughts, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!