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Sunday, February 23, 2014

From Long and Short Reviews

TRUTH
Truth-Teller Rebellion by Kenneth D. Schultz
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (292 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
He knows if you’re lying. She knows what you’re feeling.
In 4012, fossil fuels are exhausted and an Ice Age grips the Earth. After their parents are swept away in a flood, visitors reveal to a pair of teenage orphans the truth of their parent’s past, and they soon find themselves running for their lives. Hunted by assassins of the dictator who has invaded their country, Cary and Krin must learn to use the full extent of their powers and uncover the mysteries of their formidable family.
Can an eighteen-year-old truth-teller elude a psychopathic assassin long enough to uncover the secrets of his family’s past and unlock his formidable mental gifts?
It’s hard to know who to trust when your life is at stake and even the good guys have been known to lie about what they know.
The world building in this book first becomes evident by the sometimes odd ways in which the characters speak. Archaic words are effortlessly mixed in with futuristic slang and references to cutting-edge technology. Strictly speaking this isn’t steampunk, but I do see some influence from that genre in the ways in which the characters communicate about certain ideas. It took me a few chapters to adjust to some of their odder uses of syntax, but once I did I really enjoyed learning about how Cary and Krin think in particular based on the types of words they choose to use and how they string them together.
I never quite became comfortable with being introduced to a new scene only for it to end so rapidly. The inclusion of extremely short scenes works well in the introduction because of how quickly the plot heats up, but I would have preferred to have more time to settle into later scenes once various subplots begin to bump into one another.
Mr. Schultz’s scenery descriptions are not to be missed. The earth has changed a great deal over the past few thousand years, and the best passages in this story describe how humanity has adapted to some pretty extreme climate shifts in North America. Enough time has passed that none of these dangers are particularly newsworthy to characters who have never known any other way of life, but as a reader I really enjoyed quietly comparing their world to my own.
There was also a lot of telling instead of showing in this novel. Due to the large cast of characters I certainly wouldn’t expect every thought or emotion to be conveyed to the reader indirectly, but it was difficult to remain invested in what happened to certain individuals when so much of what I know about their personalities come from the author directly telling me what kind of people they are instead of uncovering it for myself.
What I liked most about this book was how intelligently the characters respond to the dangerous situations they find themselves trapped in. I may not have always understood why they made certain choices, but Cary and Krin were written in such a way that they honestly act and sound like two teenagers who grew up herding cattle on the steppes. They know how to react quickly in a crisis and are clearly used to thinking creatively and making the best of their resources.
I would recommend Truth-Teller Rebellion to anyone who has ever read a post-apocalyptic book and wondered how humanity would adjust to such a cataclysmic change in their circumstances over the course of several millennia.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

From You Gotta Read Reviews

One Too manyTitle: One Too Many
Author: Arlene Knowell
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Rating: ★★★☆☆ You Want To Read
Reviewed By: Donna
Blurb:
Molly sets out on a weeklong adventure on Aphrodite’s Island, a tropical paradise where fantasies come true. She only wants one thing; a chance with Seth Dailey.
Warned that the fantasy she was in might not always be her own, she soon realizes that Seth has a few fantasies of his own. He is a man with a healthy sexual appetite and is willing to push the fantasy adventure to the limit. What will Seth do when he realizes too late that Molly was hoping for a lifetime with him?
As sexual fantasies fulfill, then collide, Molly flees in hopes of salvaging her pride and her heart. Will Seth set aside the rest of his fantasy for an opportunity to love Molly? Will he continue to enjoy the fantasy of every man? Or will he enjoy the best of both worlds and hope to pick up the pieces?
Review:
Molly is a much more forgiving person than I would ever be! She took a trip to an island getaway to live out her fantasies with the man of her dreams. What she got was humiliation and pain as her dream man had sex with another woman and expected Molly to happily join right in. Uh, I don’t think so!
One Too Many is a very short story, so there is not much room for character development, but we do get a glimpse at the “hero’s” angst and regret. Not enough angst, regret or groveling, in my opinion, but apparently it was enough for Molly because we do get a happy for now ending. There are a few typos in the story, but overall it is an entertaining read.

From Coffee Time Romance and More Reviews

DIRTY WATER
A Nick Sibelius Mystery, Book Two
RICHARD HACKER
ISBN: 9781927454459
June 2013
Champagne Books
www.champagnebooks.com
E Book
$ 4.95
227 pages
Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 3 cups
PI Nick Sibelius is in dire need of money to keep his PI business afloat. Money is the sole reason he takes on Dan Hoyt's vandalism case despite Nick's misgivings.
A simple open and shut case making easy money evolves into a sociopath named Charity hell-bent on ruining Hoyt and killing Nick. Additionally, Hoyt's business partner, Izzy, is delving into unethical practices which may also include betraying a major drug cartel, contaminating Austin's water supply, and killing Hoyt.
Along with his new partner, Theresa, and an ex-flame from homeland security, Mary Lou, Nick is in a race against time to save everyone's lives and Austin's water supply by thwarting Izzy from executing his plan which is in its final stages. Will Nick succeed?
This was interesting book which was at times tacky, a little disturbing and other times, entertaining and fast-paced. In short, it kept me involved until the end. The current use of Internet, especially Facebook, shown in this story was pretty disturbing, but I did find Charity's character very fascinating and I especially loved what she did in the end. All the characters are close to real in the sense they are human with all their flaws, and I did not at any time only just hate or like them. The feelings kept changing for all the characters as the story unfolded. If you like a light mystery with lots of creative twists and a touch of romance, you will definitely enjoy this one.
Mav`
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

- See more at: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/dirtywaterbook2byrichardhacker.html#.UvacJGJdXYE

From My Book Addiction Reviews

Tower Of Obsidian


Genre: Historical Fantasy/Science Fiction
Source: Received for an honest review from the publisher and/or author.
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Publisher: BURST (February 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BAH9XSW
*Amazon*
 February 2, 2013
When Kale mac Tadhg is betrayed by his Lord’s men, he is sent on an impossible quest: slay a witch in a tower, and end a people’s curse. Both Kale’s best friend and brother-in-arms Aaron Smithson and former betrothed Aoife of Westgate set out to rescue him, but their journey takes them into the uncharted waters and Northwestern Nordic colonies, to a land cursed and all but forgotten. They begin to realize that there is some truth to old legends. Kale’s rescue comes at a price—for by the time Aaron and Aoife know where to search, like so many before him, Kale is bound to the ancient tower’s fate.
MY THOUGHTS:
TOWER OF OBSIDIAN by L. T. Getty is an interesting and entertaining Historical Fantasy/Science Fiction set in Killiath, Ireland 994. Join Kale mac Tadhg, Aaron Smithson,and Aoife of Westgate are on a quest. When Kale is sent on a quest to slay a witch and end a people’s curse,he is betrayed by his Lord’s men, he is now bound to the ancient tower’s fate. Aaron, his best friend and Aoife, his former betrothed are determined to rescue him,but at what cost?
Their journey takes them to the uncharted waters,to the Northwestern Nordic colonies, and a cursed land. What they find are legends, danger, ghosts,a dragon,a witch,sacrifice, immortality,a sorcerer and an ancient tower with secrets.
There are many relationships and sub-plots in this story. At first, it is a little disconcerting, but than you get the hang of things and the storyline moves quickly. Many, many characters, but they help move the story along. There are many twists and turns. Oh did I mention kidnapping, dark magic and a monster or two. What a tale of betrayal, sacrifice, and love. Can love truly lift a curse and free a people? To find out you must read “Tower of Obsidian”. I must say this was a unique look into Historical Fantasy with a side trip down the road of magic and good vs evil. With a trip into legends, and myths. A unique read. Received for an honest review from the publisher and/or author.
RATING: 4
HEAT RATING: Mild
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

From Book Crazy Reviews

hitchhiker ecoverTitle: Hitchhiker
Author: Audra Middleton
Genre: Humorous Paranormal Thriller
Length: 178 pages approx
Publisher: Burst Books ( a division of Champagne Books)
Buy Links: Amazon | Book Burst | Kobo
Synopsis:
Supernatural abilities haunt her. Brainiac students taunt her. The FBI “Freak Squad” wants her. Will she abandon her extra sensory talents in favor of freedom, or will she hone them to help catch crooks?
Former army brat, Ainsley Benton, may have finally found her place in this world, and it’s among the freaks. This small town art teacher has the ability to see, hear, and feel what other people are experiencing, and now the FBI’s freak squad wants to use her “human bug” abilities to catch bad guys. Despite her fear of commitment, failure, and responsibility, Ainsley temporarily agrees to join this team of misfits, and ends up risking her life to investigate a conspiracy that may only be one of her schizophrenic coworker’s paranoid delusions.
Review:
When I started reading this I was in two minds whether I was going to enjoy it or not. Ainsley is a school teacher with a supernatural ability in the form of having the Hitchhiker gene although at that moment she knows something is not right but doesn’t know exactly what it is. There is a blood drive at the school and she donates some of her blood, what she doesn’t realise is that her blood is screened and the FBI ‘freak squad’ know all about the hitchhiker gene and asks her to see them.
Her world from there is turned upside down. The hitchhiker gene allows her to hitchhike into someone else’s body, seeing through their eyes’ just by a small transfer of blood and she is now working with the freak squad which consists of people talking to dead people, a schizophrenic  who has hallucinations and other equally as freaky people. Ainsley seems to be fitting in quite well though.
One of the other people working for the squads friends daughter is dead and leaves a trail that must be followed up on but it is dangerous. Can they find out who the killer is? why he killed her?  There are other cases in with Ainsley works on and finds it quite difficult when she experiences her first hitchhiking disaster.
With suspense,  romance, supernatural and thriller qualities this turned out to be a brilliant book to read. I felt I got to know all of the characters pretty well from how the author wrote about them. I particularly liked Dylan and Jack.
It was well written and I look forward to reading more from this author.
4starslovedit

From Long and Short Reviews

Out of the Cave by Cotton E. Davis

CAVE
Out of the Cave by Cotton E. Davis
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (219 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
First, Adam was hurt. Then, he was betrayed. Now, Adam is mad.
Timewarp Inc, brings Adam Stancil, a 15-year-old Neanderthal boy to this century, where he is mainstreamed into a Midwestern high school. As he assimilates into modern culture, makes friends, deals with bullies, plays on the football team, he discovers it was human ancestors who, back in the Ice Ages, murdered his people with superior weaponry. First, Adam was hurt. Then, he felt betrayed. Now, Adam is mad.
Humans often fear things we haven’t experienced before or don’t understand. Is prejudice integral to the ways in which our species interacts with the unknown, or is it a something that can be unlearned?
High school is one of the most difficult times in life to stand out from the crowd. The idea of attending a school full of adolescents from another species is what first drew me into Adam’s world. My compassion for his growing pains grew as I got to know the Neanderthal boy who was raised by humans. His responses to a world he has been largely shielded from are as humorous and they are realistic, and the scenes in which he acclimates to his new school are by far the best in this tale.
This is the second entry in the TimeWarp series. It can be read as a standalone novel. While I had no problem getting caught up on everything I needed to know as someone who is unfamiliar with these characters, the brief references to the adventures certain individuals had earlier on in the TimeWarp timeline are intriguing.
Jumping between the perspectives of so many different people was jarring at times. Adam’s point of view is fascinating to me because his understanding of human culture is so heavily influenced by his earliest memories. It was less interesting to see how other people react to him, and while I gained the occasional insight into the personalities and motivations of his classmates I would have preferred to spend more time in Adam’s head.
The way Adam is treated by some members of his community also made me pause. The slurs used against him were historically used in extremely racist contexts, and while I understand the comparison the author was making I would have liked to see the characters approach this topic with more nuanced discussions. The parallels between Adam’s treatment and modern day prejudices are only superficially explored. I hope that these themes will be given more time to develop if Mr. Davis decides to continue this series as they really are quite fascinating.
With that being said, I couldn’t stop thinking about these characters. Clearly a lot of time was put into developing their backstories and personalities, and all of that effort shines through in the sensitive, multi-dimensional portrayal of Adam in particular. He has the most extensive character development of anyone in this book by far. I did not want his adventure to end and was a little sad to say goodbye at the end of the plot.
Out of the Cave is full of questions about human nature. It’s a good choice for readers who like to have their minds stretched, and I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind a little philosophy in their young adult fiction.

From Romance Junkies

Sugar Babies
Author: Mickey J. Corrigan
Publisher: Champagne Books
Release Date: Nov 3, 2013
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5
Format: EBOOK



Maire, Esme and Niki are three young women who are struggling to make it in the world.  Having no other prospects in sight, they turn to the high-stakes world of professional dating.

is the founder of Arranged Relations, a business created with the intent of helping wealthy, older gentlemen to find young women in which to share a mutually beneficial relationship.  Maire is living the high life with her own sugar daddy who helps fund her business.

Esme is a beautiful, buxom blonde who has come to Coconut Island in order to find a wealthy man who will help to assist her and her boyfriend’s dream of owning their own bar. Esme has so much going for her, but she allows her boyfriend to dictate her life.  Can a sugar-daddy help turn her life around?

Niki is a college student who is deep in debt with student loans.  She is desperate to make ends meet on her own without the help of her parents. Niki makes the mistake of falling for her landlord, whom she claims has some weird sexual practices.  When Niki goes missing, it becomes a mystery that needs to be solved.

SUGAR BABIES is an interesting read that kept me turning the pages.  I found myself pondering whether or not there really are professional dating sites on the web.  Filled with an air of mystery and intrigue, you will be kept guessing as the story plays out.  Surprisingly, there is very little sex added to the story, which I found refreshing.  Mickey J. Corrigan is one of my favorite authors and I urge you to give her a try.  Her stories are very well written and always entertain!  Sweeten your reading this month with SUGAR BABIES. 
 

From Sinful Reads

Review: Sugar Babies by Mickey J. Corrigan

Review: Sugar Babies by Mickey J. CorriganTitle: A Sip Of You 
by Sorcha Grace
four-stars 
A sugar daddy can make your money woes disappear overnight. But for sugar babies, life is like a chocolate covered time bomb: sweet on the outside, deadly on the inside.  Young, beautiful, and hungry, Maire, Esme and Niki want what every woman wants: love, work, safe shelter, the bills paid off, a diamond-studded Rolex, and a two-bedroom condo with an ocean view. Working as sugar babies seems to be the only way to make this happen. But the sugar life is more dangerous than they thought.

Maire O’Rourke is too hot to handle herself properly. She tends to wear too tight clothes and too much make-up, but she’s got more than sex on her mind. She’s already landed one of the richest sugar daddies in Coconut City, a tropical paradise boasting more lonely men per multimillion dollar estate than just about anywhere else.  Sweet Esme Grant is a buxom blonde with a rough and tumble lover she’s left behind somewhere in hill country. She’s come to Coconut City in order to find herself a sugar daddy, a rich older man willing to fund her, along with her hometown boyfriend and their Mayberry-gone-bad dreams.

Niki Stephanopoulos, a dark, iconoclastic artist enrolled in a teaching certification program at Coconut College, struggles with depression fueled by guilt. She is embarrassed by her dependence on her family for the money she needs to survive. But she feels even worse after sleeping with her sexy, much older landlord when she’s short the rent.  Welcome to the secret lives of sugar babies. On the first day of the month, Maire, Esme and Niki struggle with overdue bills and sexy beaus. Readers can join them as they figure out ways to pay the rent, make decent love to indecent men, and stay upright on the rough road to happiness. Sugar Babies is a modern-day romance, a blue martini with a nasty twist. An intoxicating mystery steeped in social satire, the story of Esme, Niki and Maire is an all-American morality tale.

MINI REVIEW: When I was given the chance to read Sugar Babies I wasn't sure what to expect. The book title didn't necessarily give me a great impression but after reading the synopsis I was sold. Sugar Babies is a very different kind of read, one that will open up your mind to a world we know of but that we haven’t necessarily pay much attention to or heard much of.
This story starts a bit slow but then it catch up to an entertaining and well researched plot that will leave you wondering and guessing. I enjoyed the book because the characters felt like every day people, touching a dark subject and the hard reality of these women. Esme, Marie & Niki are all looking for a way out of their misery, a way to improve and live the life they always wanted. They all want to leave behind terrible times, sad times and embark into a life that promises change, prosperity and better times, however the reality is that not always life is pink and smell of flowers.
Sugar Babies keeps the reader guessing, a game of who will be happy and who will succeeded. I liked the plot, the characters and the sad reality behind every page, I recommend it if you want a very different book that involves sex, love, passion and suspense. Who is going to be happy, who will be successful who will end up dead? If you want to find out you must read Sugar Babies.

From Long and Short Reviews

South Sea Siren by Heather Geoffries

SIREN
South Sea Siren by Heather Geoffries
Publisher: Carnal Passions
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Fetish
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown
Amanda Mills knows how to have a good time and when she goes to Aphrodite’s Island she plans to embrace her naughty side. But when her current squeeze turns out to be a creep she winds up alone on her romantic getaway. Then she sees Kyrna walk out of the ocean like Venus and is blown away. All of her charm and charisma fly out the door when flirting with the lithe redhead. As they delve into a steamy romance, Amanda realizes that she is in way over her head. Now she must decide whether to take a chance at love and trust or keep playing the game.
Amanda was tricked into coming on a vacation with a couple with ulterior motives. She is disgusted and is walking along the beach when she spies a vision of loveliness. Kyrna and she connect on a sexual level immediately and as they bond, reveal some things about each other that take the relationship deeper. As Amanda shares her darkest secret with Kyrna, she reveals more about herself than she ever intended. Kyrna is determined to help Amanda over her hurdle, but it may be a wall that neither of them is strong enough to breach.
Dealing with the after effects of rape in a novel is tough. It is something that can trigger both the writer and the reader into remembering things best left in the past. In this book, Amanda is dealing with her memories of the tragedy and her family’s refusal to help. Kyrna gets past her defenses but the walls are thrown up again when she gets a little too adventurous in her therapy efforts. Bringing a man into their lovemaking sets Amanda off, even after declarations of love. Will they resolve their differences? Will Amanda admit she could maybe be involved with Michael, Kyrna’s best friend, and share her?
The tension in the book was good, I had an issue with the snark at the onset of the novel. I want to see what sets a character off, not read about it in a summed up narrative. It is more real for me that way. The immediate chemistry was fine, but in a sleazy catty way that left me a little cold at the start. I want to have an emotional connection to the character first, not a boink fest.
The final blow, I think was the introduction of BDSM to the sex scenes without a necessary conversation with Amanda. Let me be clear. You need to know what you are getting into before you go into a scene, especially when you are dealing with a rape victim. The author did try to capture this, but there was more opportunity to show a gradual trust building and her acquiescence. One other note; BDSM is great. I love toys and the things people do that go bump (bump, bump) in the night.
Overall, I liked the conflict caused by Amanda’s necessary aloofness, but wanted a little more emotional connection to the character, both in the bedroom and out of it. Victims of sexual violence can have intimacy issues. It is a subject I am unfortunately very familiar with. I wanted a connection to the character, a realistic sexual relationship with Michael and Kyrna and a real feeling of love.  However, thankfully the book wrapped up with another narrative at the end just as the three came (giggle) to a satisfactory conclusion.
If you enjoy erotic stories with a sense of carnal want, then give this short novella a try.

From You Gotta Read Reviews

Hot PantsTitle:  Hot Pants
Author:  Arlene Knowell
Publisher:  Champagne Books
Rating: ★★★★☆  You Need To Read
Reviewed By:  Laurel
Blurb:
Molly was simply repaying a favor when she agreed to go out with a friend’s brother-in-law. But what’s a girl to do when she finds herself face to face with  Butch Labadee, the jerk of the century? Perhaps bite her tongue and anticipate the moment the date is over and she never has to see him again?  Wrong. 
Trapped in a desperate situation, Molly needs a hero. She certainly doesn’t need Butch. Does she? Was he really the hard-nose he presents himself to be? Or was it  possible Butch was afraid of a little feeling called love?
Review:
Hot Pants is a short novella (approx. 63 pages) that packs a punch. Well written,  the story makes one stop to reconsider that what you see is not always the reality.
Our heroine is Molly, a strong, capable woman who we can all relate to.  Butch comes across as the egotistical, crass jerk that we all love to hate. Molly has agreed to go out with him as a favour to her friend. The story is not long enough to go further into the plot without spoiling it , suffice it to say things are not always as they seem.
The plot has enough twists and turns to keep me turning the pages to see what happens next. I thoroughly enjoyed the conflict between the characters and would recommend this story to others.

From Fallen Angel Reviews - Recommended Read




atasteofevil

A Taste of Evil by Christina Carlisle

A Taste of Evil is a spellbinding read. The storyline is intense, and Julia is remarkable in all her actions, as someone experiencing something in the afterlife experience. This reader enjoyed all the visual effects in the book. It was as if watching it on a big screen, the intensity of the surroundings could be felt and heard. Christina Carlisle composes a thriller that is edge of the seat suspenseful. The writing is tight, the expressions so full blown, especially when it comes to Julia facing the ones that don’t see her. The secondary characters indeed acted out their parts wonderfully. This reader cannot say enough about this positively absorbing read.

Genre: Contemporary
Published by: Champagne Books

Total Score: 50/50 +RR

Intro: 5Characters: 5
Plot: 5Setting: 5
Relationship: 5Dialogue: 5
Synopsis: 5Pacing: 5
Conflict: 5Mechanics: 5

Blurb:
Famous novelist Julia Raymond is found brutally murdered in the grounds of her estate in the English Lake District. Her death throws suspicion on her husband and sister, both of whom have reasons to want Julia dead.
The discovery of another vicious murder of a woman in nearby woods terrifies the close-knit community and police suspect the work of a serial killer who appears to be obsessed with Julia.
Unable to leave the scene of her crime, Julia’s spirit watches as the police investigation gradually reveals her family’s terrible secrets.

©Champagne Books

From Fallen Angel Reviews



adangerousdance

A Dangerous Dance by Jude Johnson

A Dangerous Dance is an exhilarating read taking this reader into the life of Maggie, who is at a standstill in her marriage. A life where her husband could almost be referred to as abusive without any beatings. This reader could sympathize in all her actions, and her desires to be able to change to something that would make her life more fulfilled.Jude Johnson really reaches deep into the heart to pen a story that touches upon a reader. The characters were relatable, the dialogue was spot on, and each of them are drafted well to allow the reader to interact with them. Indeed a story that is well worth the read.

Genre: Contemporary
Published by: Champagne Books

Total Score: 50/50

Intro: 5Characters: 5
Plot: 5Setting: 5
Relationship: 5Dialogue: 5
Synopsis: 5Pacing: 5
Conflict: 5Mechanics: 5

Blurb:
Maggie Pearce feels trapped in her loveless marriage to a Scottsdale stock broker. English actor and heartthrob John Harrison’s relationship with his bombshell costar isn’t everything it seems. When Maggie and John meet, sparks fly and desires ignite—but their attraction could destroy everything they’ve worked for. Is a love that appears to be destiny worth the hell they’d have to pay?
©Champagne Books