Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This was supposed to be a cover reveal of my latest release, but my publisher released my book sooner that I anticipated.  So, here is my new book.  

Also, Creativia Publishing has some very talented authors.  I just hope I live up to their caliber.  Please see some of my prior posts on the book reviews I have done.  


Hi, I’m Arthur Merlin. I used to be an ordinary guy, until a freak accident changed my life. Now my friends are afraid of me, and so am I. See, I developed superpowers: telepathy, pyrokinesis and telekinesis, to name a few. 

The US government wanted to control me. But how do you control someone who can teleport anywhere he wants to in a blink of an eye? Fed up with their shenanigans, I headed for the Institute of Psychic Research in London. 

But something is pulling me; calling me, and I don’t know what. I ended up at Lake George, where sightings of The Lady of the Lake and Excalibur have been reported. With the help of Dr. Burns and Commander Dobie, we uncovered the secrets of the lake, but they’re more than anyone imagined. 

What would I sacrifice to save the world from Excalibur?

US:  EBOOK  http://amzn.to/1w8UMSe
US:  PAPERBACK  http://amzn.to/1wwyXfw

Saturday, December 13, 2014

WHEN THE MUSIC ENDS by Simone Beaudelaire

WHEN THE MUSIC ENDS by Simone Beaudelaire 

The story revolves around two best friends, Sheridan and Erin, who are almost like sisters.  During the homecoming dance, events happen that change both of their lives.  Danny’s for the worst.  As the story progresses, Erin becomes the primary POV.  This is a wonderful tale of young love and also the tragedies in life that either make you stronger or tear you down. 
I thought the plot and the pace of the story was well done.  The characters are so alive and rich; they practically walk off the pages.  I really identified with Erin, being the unwanted and unworthy child.  And the demons that haunt you do bring around your worst self-fulfilled prophecies. 
This is a beautiful coming-of-age tale, and I look forward to seeing what happens for Sheridan in the following book.  I give it my 5 feathers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014



Here’s another well-written collection of works by Brian L Porter.  There were several short stories in this collection that I really enjoyed.  The Significance of Cherries, Breathing to Death, Bodies in the Cellar and Megalith, to name a few.  My favorite, though, was Red Sky in the Morning.  I can just see the poor Captain and his crew as they endlessly wander the oceans, searching for any signs of survivors. 
At the back of the book is a preview of Under Mexican Skies.  Now I’ll have to add this one to my TBR list.  Just enough of a teaser to get me interested. 
There’s also a story by guest author Carole Gill, entitled Raised.  If you’ve yet to read her stories, you must give them a try, as she’s another gifted writer.
If you like odd and unusual, plus short stories, this book is for you.  I give it 4 feathers.

Thursday, November 27, 2014



First off, I love the book cover and it’s what made me want to read this story to begin with.  Not enough mention is given to the covers, and I know how hard it is to get one that really Pops and fits your story.
Arthur lives in the underwater city of Avalon.  As an orphan with immense PSI power, he grew up in Sanctuary under the control of the Seers.  Unhappy with his life and future, searching for his parentage, he uses the Archive to access its database.  He becomes obsessed with a Brethren named Shadow and discovers secrets that could destroy him and his world. 
 When I first started reading this story, I felt like I’d been catapulted into the middle of a large lake, lost, floundering around trying to find the nearest shoreline.  I had no idea what or who Shadow was until the fourth chapter.  I’m not an obtuse person, but there is so much vagueness in this story, especially at the beginning.  I had a hard time understanding when PSI powers were being used and why or how.  A little more clarification would help, a lot.  Even when Arthur was in danger from the Archive, I didn’t get that until several chapters later when the characters were actually talking about it. 
I think some the vagueness is due to the lack of Cause & Effect in the writing style, making the reading of the story out of synch.  One of the principles of writing is Cause & Effect.  When you put effect before cause, it leads to long meandering sentences.  Sometimes I had to read a sentence twice to figure out what the author meant. 
Even with the problems, I found the characters solid as well as the underwater world of Avalon and the aboveground world of the Terrans.  This is a nice spin off the legend of Arthur and Avalon, with a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi.  There are the Submariners, Arthur and Ector and the Outcast Brethren, Shadow and Copper.   I really got involved with Shadow and Copper’s relationship and was sorry to see him leave the story.  And through the whole story, who or what are the Nestines / Harvesters?  That question is answered, somewhat, at the end which is a perfect drop off point for the sequel.  Now I’m invested, I’ll have to read the next book.
As much as I want to give 4 feathers, I can’t, because of the above issues.  If you love epic fantasy worlds and people, I recommend this book.  I give it 3 feathers. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014



This novella is the prequel to the SOULS OF THE NEVER.  Olume and Tenybris were 2 strong magical beings growing up together on the planet Teralia.  Their bond was as strong as brothers, until Lynmaria came along.  She only had eyes for Olume, but Terybris was in love with her too.  In the land of Terelia, there’s only Lightness.  Darkness doesn’t tempt The People of the land, but Darkness finally found its way through the jealously of Treybris. 
This is a very well-told story and the prequel sets the stage for the novel.  The characters are solid as well as the surroundings.  And there are dragons.  Who doesn't love dragons?  More time should’ve been spent on proofreading, as I found several instances where the word thought was spelled as though and one sentence was repeated twice.  I reread it again, just to make sure I wasn't seeing double.  

All in all, this is a good start to a series and I give it 4 feathers.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014


THE FOURTH BRIDE by Carole Gill 

Another well-written, exposition style of writing by Carole Gill.  Each book in the Blackstone Vampire Series is from a different character’s point of view.  Not any easy task as each voice has to be unique for that specific character, but Gill is able to accomplish just that.  Dia’s journey to the undead is quite different than what happened to Rose, Eve or Justine.  Though Justine, Into the Blood is not a part of the Blackstone Vampire Series, the story goes into more detail about the horrible nature of Ned and Anton and the terrible ordeal Dia suffered at their hands.  I do recommend reading that book to help flesh out the last of this series.
As a baby, Dia was cursed by Dracula to become his fourth bride.  Rose and Louis Darden tried to protect her from the curse, but once Dia turned of age and set to marry to a mere mortal, Dracula claimed her as his and changed her life forever.  After the destruction of Dracula, Dia finds herself betrayed and turned over to the sadistic Ned and his freak sideshow.  One element I like about Gill’s stories, they really show the dark nature of the human soul.  Society condemns vampires and werewolves as monsters and demons, but that same darkness dwells in the souls of man.

Because of proofreading errors, I have to take away one feather and give a 4 feather recommendation instead.  If you love dark, vampire stories, this one is for you

The Dark Writing of Carole Gill : What Pushes Your Scare Buttons?

The Dark Writing of Carole Gill : What Pushes Your Scare Buttons?: Dolls, clowns, ghosts, shadow people, the dark, bogeymen, zombies, werewolves, vampires, creepy children, haunted toys. If you can ...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

TRESSIE: Book One – A Spirit Unleashed By Blaine Hislop

TRESSIE: Book One – A Spirit Unleashed By Blaine Hislop 

This is such a dark, powerful story.  Poor Tressie.  Not only was she born under the burden of being mentally handicapped, she gave birth to a mentally challenged daughter.  Shunned by their small community, they learn to survive on the outskirts of town.  But some of the boys that live on The Hill have other plans for Tressie’s daughter, Trina.  Unfortunately, their ‘fun time’ leads to Trina’s death and the hobnob’s on The Hill use this opportunity to get rid of Tressie, one way or another.  Unable to articulate her innocence in the death of her daughter, Tressie is convicted in the murder of her daughter and sentenced to death.
This story grips you from the very beginning and pulls you along.  It’s one I couldn't wait to get back into to see what happened next.  The characters are well developed and so is the setting in Griffin’s Peak and the Prison.  I really felt for Tressie and the way she was treated by the townspeople and the prison guards, so inhumane.  Book 1 ends in the middle of the story, so you have to buy the next book to see the outcome.  But I feel it will be worth buying Book 2. 
I thought the writing style was a little choppy, but it worked for the most part.  I did find some proofreading errors, but they were toward the back of the book.
If you love dark, ghostly stories, this book is for you.  I give it 4 feathers.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

THE EIGHTH DAY by Donovan Gray

THE EIGHTH DAY by Donovan Gray

This story covers so much ground, from a western to zombies to time portals.  The story-line is quite a feat to follow.  It jumps and skips all over the place.  But each segment is so well written, that you get lost in it, then suddenly you’re back to the present or another form of present time and you have to try to remember again the plot and who all the characters are. 
The main plot is Ben and Joshua, two immortals, for whatever reason not explained yet, that are trying to kill each other.  Man, they must be so tired of dying, all the pain and blood.  Joshua is pure evil, while Ben is just trying to stop the dead from rising and saving the human race at the same time. 
This is an intriguing story and if a convoluted plot line doesn't deter you, I would highly recommend this book.  But, if you like a linear story, do not buy.  You won’t like it.   I give it 4 feathers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Current WIP: Chapter One

This is my current Work In Progress, which I haven't found a title for yet.  This wasn't one of my favorite stories my husband wrote.  I thought it had a great story idea, but the writing was bad.  So I went back and did some rearranging and now I like it.  Please read and let me know what you think.  

Sunday, December 16, 1991

Road-weary, seventeen-year-old, runaway Don Giroux steered his 76’ Dodge Dart up a steep incline of a side road then applied the brakes with an ear grating screech.  They were fifteen miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and still had several hundred miles to travel before they reached their destination, Anaheim, California. 
Noticing a clump of five-foot tall dense brush, he drove off the rutted road, bouncing in his seat as he parked between them, facing south.  Switching off the headlights, he glanced nervously at the instrument panel.  Would his beloved clunker be able to last the remaining miles? 
When he was sixteen, using money he earned tutoring fellow students on computer programming, he finally bought his long-awaited car.  Even though it had more rust than green, had ugly green fur on the dashboard and an odometer that read years instead of miles, he loved his car.  The Dart gave him the freedom to break away from the constraints of a small-town life, and a place for him and his high school sweetheart to be alone, parking along the wheat fields of Manhattan, Kansas. 
With a sign of relief, he said, “The engine seems to be holding up so far.  We should be okay here for the night.”
Hearing a rustling of paper, he looked over to see his girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Janet Bartinski, with a flashlight, studying a New Mexico roadmap. 
“With all the red lines you drew on those maps, I’m surprised you can read them,” he teasingly said.  “Are we still on track?”
Sticking out her tongue at him, she retorted, “You know I’m a planner.  I needed to make sure we took the shortest route from Manhattan, Kansas to California.”  Being second in a family of seven siblings, she learned how to manage and organize at a young age.  Studying the map again, with furrowed brow, she said, “Donny?  This road isn’t on the map.  See?”
His eyes followed her cotton-candy fingertip.  “That blacktop road we pulled off must be this one,” he explained, pointing to another line on the map.  “We turned off onto an entrance to a farm field, which wouldn’t be shown on the map.  Don’t worry, honey.  We’ll be fine.” Reaching for his door handle he said, “I really need to take a leak.  I’ll eat my yummy bologna sandwich when I get back.”
 “I’m sorry Donny, but with the check you got, that’s all we could afford.”  Even with her frugal spending, they only had thirty-seven dollars left in cash.  “I got to go too.  I’ll be in the bushes on my side.”
Leaving the car idling for the warmth, Don climbed out of the car, Janet clambering out on her side.  With a flashlight and roll of toilet paper, she scampered around to the other side of the bushes, disappearing as she squatted. 
He stretched and yawned, trying to get the kinks out of his back; it felt as though his back was molded into the shape of the car seat.  Feeling the pressure in his bladder, he hurried off several feet to relieve himself.  Watching the steam rise in the chilly air, he heard the slam of the car door as Janet returned to the car.  After he was done, hands tucked into the front pockets of his worn, old jeans, he wandered up the frozen, rutted road, looking over a landscape unfamiliar to his flat-land eyes.
Finally, he was away from the wheat fields of Kansas.
Strolling slowly, gazing up at the sky in wonderment, he was amazed at the enormity of the sky, the brightness of the stars and the small, full Moon.  He had read the mountains made the sky seem enormous, and they were right. 
Taking a deep invigorating breath of the crisp, pine air, he stopped in midstride, realizing he was right at the edge of a sheer drop-off.
“Oh shit.”  Arms pin-wheeling, he threw himself backwards.    Heart pounding he looked around.  He’d been so entranced with the night sky, he hadn’t been paying any attention to where he was stepping.  He had almost killed himself with his own stupidity.   Then he thought about Janet.  What would’ve happened to her?  Would she know what to do if something did happen to him?
Taking a few deep, steadying breaths, he turned back toward the car.  Oh my God, he thought, look how close I was at driving off the cliff.  He berated himself for endangering Janet and him.  How could he be so careless and stupid?  She depended on him to protect her.  True, he’d never been in the mountains, and he was unfamiliar with the lay of the land, but that would’ve been small conciliation as they were plunging to their deaths. He’d have to be more aware of the environment around him on the remaining drive to California.
Arriving back at the car, Don climbed in, grateful for the heat and the safety. 
Janet was sitting in the passenger seat, munching on a bologna and cheese sandwich.  She held out a sandwich to him.   “I was starting to get worried.  I thought you got lost or fell off a cliff.”
Don stared at her in amazement.  She always did that to him, as if she could read his mind.  “Uh, no, I was doing some sightseeing,” he stammered, deciding not to tell her about his near death from falling off the cliff.  Taking the offered sandwich, he then fished out two lukewarm sodas from the small cooler in the front seat, handing one to Janet. 
They sat there, eating their supper of bologna and cheese sandwiches, which Don was starting to detest.  He hated the way the bologna and cheese always stuck to the roof of his mouth.  As they ate, Don said, “You know Jan, once we get settled and I start making some real money, I don’t ever want to eat bologna again.  Ever.”
Giving a dreamy smile, she said, “Then we’ll save bologna for just special occasions, dinners with candles and music.  Bologna will always remind me of this time, when we left to start our lives together.”  With a soft sigh and a faraway look in her eyes, she was already planning their romantic dinners.
Looking at his sandwich with distaste, Don wondered, how can you get romantic over a bologna and cheese dinner?  He had a different idea about romantic dinners.  Now steak and lobster, with some wine, that would be romantic. Hmm, he might have to teach her some new ideas about romance.  And not like the first time, on a wave of cheap wine and too many warm beers, they’d lost their virginity to each other at the Best Western Inn on US 177 and Bluemont Ave. 
While they were finishing their mushy supper, they continued discussing their plans for when they reached Anaheim. 
The only hobby Don enjoyed was computers, and he was a natural at it.  His programming skills were better than his teacher, so usually he taught his teacher with the rest of his computer class.  His forte was computer games, and several weeks back he’d mailed one of his gamer discs to a big software company located in Anaheim, California. 
Three days ago, Don received a letter from the same software company, with a check for airfare.  They wanted to meet with him and discuss employment opportunities, after he graduated in five months.  Don figured once they saw the rest of his computer games, they would forgo his high school diploma and hire him on the spot.  So he decided to spend the airfare money on a road trip instead.  This was his dream, to move to Anaheim, California and do computer programming, preferably games.
But he didn’t want to leave without Janet, whom he loved and adored.  One day, while they were parked at their favorite make-out spot, he told Janet his plans, and crossed his fingers, hoping she would agree to leave with him.
After he popped the question, Janet sat unblinking, staring at her precious Donny.  The only dream she ever had was to be a wife and mother, especially Donny’s wife, with their children.  She was so excited he wanted to include her in his plans, but that also meant leaving her parents, which would be a difficult choice to make.  She loved her parents and her home.  But after looking into Donny’s pleading, gentle, brown eyes, she knew her answer.  With tears gleaming in her cornflower blue eyes, she nodded yes, throwing her arms around Donny’s neck. 
With a big smile of relief and love, Don hugged her back, promising her they would be married when they were settled in California.  Cuddling together, they made detailed plans about food, fuel and what they would need to start their new life together.
In the trunk of their car, were three suitcases, two personal computers and a brand-new laptop Don’s mother had given him as a pre-Christmas gift.  In the back seat were pillows and blankets with a bag containing Don’s computer games and his notes and on the floor, Janet’s overnight bag.
Sipping her soda, Janet pointed toward some lights visible through the windshield.  “What town is that?”
“That’s Albuquerque,” Don answered, stifling a yawn.  “We’ll be there tomorrow morning.”
  Looking at her arm in the moonlight, he noticed her normally soft, tanned skin was now silvery and luminescent.  In wonder, he turned to look at her.  Her short hair, the color of the wheat fields she grew up in, was now silvery-white with a halo radiating around her head.  She was glowing with a beauty he’d never seen  and she was irresistible.
A uunfamiliar, intense need to possess her and make her his overwhelmed him. Reaching out and pulling her to him, he began kissing her deeply and passionatelyAlways a more than willing partner, Janet kissed him back just as fervently, and before long they were in the back seat, naked, fogging up the windows, the car rocking as though it were in a tornado. 
By midnight, Don was drifting off to sleep; tenderly holding the girl he loved, dreaming of the wonderful new life they’d share, once they arrived in Anaheim, California. 
Janet shook him awake.  “Donny?  Wake up, please?  You fell asleep on top of me.  My back and neck are killing me, honey.  Can you move over?”
Half-asleep and naked, Don climbed into the cold, front seat. 
Handing him a pillow and blanket, Janet asked with chattering teeth, “Can we leave the car running for the heater?  It’s freezing back here.”
Don looked at the gauge, saying, “Yeah, we have a full tank of gas.  I’ll turn the up heat and it won’t take long for the car to warm up.  Go back to sleep, babe.”
Soon, both kids fell asleep in the warming car. 
Several hours later, Janet loudly protested from the rear seat, “Donny, are you awake?  I’m baking back here now.  Can you turn off the heater?”
Groaning, the boy rolled over, reaching his sweat-covered arm toward the ignition switch, turning it off.  Shifting around to find a more comfortable position to sleep in, he said, “Jeez, it sure got hot in here.  Wake me if you get cold again.”
From the back, Janet inquired, “Donny, isn’t dawn usually around seven-thirty or eight this time of year?”
He mumbled back, “Yeah, about.  Why?”
“Well, I was just wondering.  My watch shows it should only be ten after four in the morning, but I could swear its getting light outside already.  And Donny?”
The boy rolled onto his elbow, shaking the car.  “What, Jan?”
“Didn’t we see a full Moon last night, while we were making love?”  Her voice sounded soft and dreamy. 
He lay back down, still trying to find a comfortable way to sleep, but not finding any.  “Yeah, we did.  We almost watched the Moon go down.  So?”
“Well, because I can see a Moon out the window on your side, but it doesn’t look right.  Can you see it?”
He rolled a bit, craning his neck up to look out the driver’s door window.  “Yeah, I see it.  But I don’t think that’s the Moon, Jan.  It’s too small, plus its red.  Maybe it’s Mars, or Venus.  Probably planets we don’t normally see in Kansas.”
As he lay down, he felt her moving around in the back, before she asked, “But Donny?  I see another Moon on the other side of the car.”
Sitting, he leaned to peer out the passenger side.  “That’s weird.  This planet is blue, one planet red, and the other blue.  They are kinda of neat to look at, though.”  Turning toward Janet, he pleaded, “Now please go back to sleep, Jan.  We have lots of miles to travel later today.  And since when did you care about astronomy?”
Her voice came again, sounding a little fearful.  “But Donny, what about the other Moon, that’s sitting way up high and toward the front of the car?”
Leaning forward, he craned his neck upwards to see under the rearview mirror mounted on the windshield.  “Yeah, I see a blue/green planet.”  He sifted his gaze up farther in the sky.  “Jan, can you see the really big one?  It’s almost right over the car and it’s a pale-yellow color.  I don’t remember seeing so many different planets before.”

From the rear came shuffling, as she said, “No, not from here I can’t.  Wait and I’ll look out the back window and see if I–IEEYAAH.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ALIEN NIGHTMARES by Sharon Delarose

It takes a lot of courage to publish a book stating you've been an alien abductee.  Even in this ‘enlightened age’, anyone claiming to have had personal contact with alien beings is scoffed at.  Most of us never talk about it, to anyone. 
I’m about the same age as Sharon Delarose, and I’ve had my own encounters, but I never knew what they were until I was much older.  Just lots of very strange, powerful dreams and I grew up with an end-of-the-world mindset.  Sharon had her repeat dreams; mine were tornados, war in the US and alien invasions.  Some of them were prophetic, like the tornados, as 2011 was called the Year of the Tornados.  I also had flying dreams and what I always considered Out Of Body dreams, but I’m not so sure now.  I’d wake up so bone-freezing cold and it would take an hour for me to warm up.  Once I found myself levitating on the bed.  My husband told me I’d done that before. 
I also had some very frightening, paranormal experiences in the house I grew up in.  I always attributed them to an evil ghostly entity, but after reading some of the author’s screen dreams, I wonder if they were actually alien abductions.  And Sharon is right; they leave you alone once you hit your late thirties / early forties. 
If you’re a skeptic, nothing you read will change your mind.  But then, maybe you’re in denial.  But, if you’re experiencing strange, unaccountable dreams, you might find this well written book very insightful.    Thank you for publically talking about a hidden secret so many of us share.  I give my 5 feathers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE: From Epidemic to Pandemic By Thomas Jerome Baker

This is a very informative book regarding the nature of Ebola, with lots of active links to additional, supporting information.  I did learn some FACTS I wasn’t aware of.  But even knowing the truth, it still scares me, a lot, especially since I reside in Omaha, where we have so far treated 2 Ebola patients.  Successfully, I might add. 
I believe this book was written before the truth came out about how unprepared the US hospitals really are, in relation to the treatment of Ebola.  It this truly spreads to a pandemic, because of the governments turning a blind eye, our healthcare systems will be overwhelmed with sick and dying patients.  And quite a few Americans feel like I do, we just don’t trust anything said by government agencies.  We've been lied to too many times over the years. 
The MSF Presentation to UN Security Council really brings the plight of the West African’s to light.  As a hard-working, middle-class citizen, it’s hard to see our nearly defunct government handing over our hard-earned money to other countries that always have their hands out begging for more money.  But what’s the answer?  Either treat the outbreak in Africa, or wait until Ebola reaches our shores.  I feel a Pandemic is imminent, and long overdue. 

This is a Must Read for everyone concerned about Ebola.  I give it 5 feathers.

Saturday, October 25, 2014



In 1888, while Jack the Ripper stirred fear in the hears of London residents, there was another, unknown, serial killer running loose, dumping his victims in the tunnels of the new Underground Railway system.  With all the manpower being used for the search of Jack the Ripper, the case was assigned to Albert Norris, previously of the Scotland Yard, but now demoted to Inspector of the London Police Force.  Hampered by the constraints placed on him by his upper command and high government officials, Norris nonetheless perseveres, going against all odds to catch the killer.
This was an entertaining historical thriller, well written for the time period involved.  The settings and the people were believable and there were plot twists to keep me bouncing back and forth on who the real villain was.  I did think some the dialogue was flat, as well as some of the personality traits, but that might be the difference from an American to an English standpoint.

I did find several handfuls of proofreading errors, which lowered my rating.  I look forward to reading more about Inspector Albert Norris.  I give it 4 feathers and recommend this who-dun-it thriller.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

ANGEL by Alex Norris

ANGEL by Alex Norris 

I don’t ordinarily read M/M stories, but I’m glad I did this one.  It took a while for me to get into the story, not because of the gay theme, but for the different cultural and younger generation difference. I never heard of half the musicians / bands mentioned in the story.  LOL.
Suffering from a broken heart, Lewis goes to the local club to get roaring drunk with his fellow college friends, when he stumbles across a homeless woman named Rosie.  Through her he hears about a church that one day a week offers a free meal for the homeless and elder residents of the area.  Feeling worthless and lonely, he decides to volunteer at the church and it opens his eyes to the REAL world around him.  Because he comes from an affluent family who can afford to send him to Cambridge, he starts wondering why he was so lucky and how can he help all the homeless people that are so easily ignored. 
This is a well-written self-awareness tale.  Lewis puts himself in risky and dangerous situations to help the homeless people he has come to know and love.  Harry, the painter, that Lewis gives money to so Harry can continue his painting / graffiti around the town.  But Lewis wasn’t prepared for what Harry finally painted.  LOL.  And then there’s Rosie who’s afraid to move into a hostel to get out of the freezing cold, because of past events.
The characters are real as well as the settings.  There is some sexual context, but not overly graphic.  If you''re not offended by M/M I highly recommend this book and give it 5 feathers.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

WATCHER by Alen B Curtiss

WATCHER by Alen B Curtiss  

What a creepy, paranormal, psychological predatory / prey story.  From the beginning, the tale draws you into the mind of the killer.  During the course of the story, Curtiss slowly fills in the questions, what is the End Game?  What is the killer’s motivation?  This type of story should make you look nervously outside your windows, wondering, is there someone watching me.  Even walking down the street, Has someone targeted you?  I did figure out the twist 2/3 into the story, but it didn’t detract from the ending, which I thought was perfect.

This is a well written story that I highly recommend. A great Halloween read.  I give it 5 feathers.



The story starts with Chiomara, a poor pheasant girl, being wed against her wishes to the Chieftain of their tribe, Ortigon.   Her father was a Roman soldier that raped and then killed her mother’s husband.  Even though Roman blood runs through her veins, she hates Romans will all her heart.  After several years of blissful marriage, two Consuls from Rome decide to attack and wipe out her people for siding against them in a recent war.   The Romans consider them filthy mongrels, mixed blood.  How will Chiomara and her people survive?

Chiomara is a feisty, hot-tempered beauty that even her husband has trouble controlling.  I did like her character, always looking out for the less fortunate people of her tribe.  Her beauty ends up attracting the eye of the one the Cosuls, which leads to several confrontations she will have to deal with. 
I felt the pace of the story was slow for the first 1/3 of the book, and I almost lost interest.  But the storyline and pace finally picked up and I became involved with Chiomara and her people’s plight.  The dialogue wasn’t always authentic for the time period the story takes place in, too many slang words and phrases not known during the Roman era. 

There were so many proofreading and editing errors, and for me, they really kill the enjoyment of a book.  Finnish for Finish, or should for she’d.  With some polish and a little more work, this could be a really good story.  For now, I thought it was an average read and give it 3 feathers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014




About half way into reading this book, Carole asked if I would read and give an honest review for her new book, Justine: Into the Blood. I did, giving it 5 stars, a very good story. While I was reading it, I was afraid that once I returned to The House on Blackstone Moore, Justine’s and Rose’s personalities would blend. I was pleasantly surprised to find that never happened. As soon as I started reading Blackstone again, I slid right back into Rose’s character.

 Now, let’s get back to Blackstone. This is a series, which I read out of sequence. I read Unholy Testament: Full Circle first, Eco’s journal. In my review for that book, I said I couldn't connect with Rose or the children, now I do. Reading the 3rd in the series first, did give some of the plot away, but that didn’t detract from the story. I thought it helped, though I felt there were some scenes out of place once Eco popped into the picture.

 The characters are well developed, as are the settings and scenes. Carole likes to portray weak female characters, always fainting and swooning, which I can’t relate too. But that could be for the time period she likes writing in. Females were always considered the weaker of the sexes back then, yet, they always persevered.

 If you like dark Gothic, vampires, demons and satanic worship, this is your book. I give it 5 feathers.

LEST WE FORGET by Brian L Porter

LEST WE FORGET by Brian L Porter  


All I can say is WOW! I had tears in my eyes while reading these poems. So well written, I felt like I was there, in the trenches, battling in the air, just trying to survive. Such a wonderful tribute to the men and woman that gave their life’s for their countries, whether friend or foe. 

My father was a Marine during the Korean Conflict and returned a changed man. He couldn’t see the future, thinking each day was his last. And my late husband was in the Army during the Viet Nam Conflict. He had a lot of ghosts he never got over. War is such a terrible crime, perpetuated by governments that don’t care, such as ours now. 

If you’re a WWII buff, this is the perfect book for you, whether you read poems or not. I don’t normally read poetry, but I’m glad I read this book. I give it 5 feathers.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I was nominated by a great writer and terrific person, J.M. Northup for this Work-In Progress Blog Train.   I’m so fortunate to have met her thru the Creativia Street Team on Facebook, a great group of authors with Creativia Publishing.

She is the author of A Prisoner Within, Fear of Darkness,   A Ripple of Fear and Soul Searching.

Previously on my blog, I gave 5 feathers to A Prisoner Within and 4 feathers for Fears of Darkness.

Anyone who’s read my social media pages knows I’m in the process of publishing my late husband’s stories.  Bob wrote for several years, and all those handwritten, yellow, legal-sized papers have followed us around for years.  I have a box full of them, more than I’ll be able to edit and publish in the rest of my lifetime.  So I have to pick and choose the ones I like best.

My current WIP, Arthur Merlin, has always been my favorite as the characters remind me so much of Bob and me.  I held off doing this one first, as I didn’t have the confidence I needed to make Bob proud.  Now I do.  Well, maybe. 

After an ice-filled, rain gutter falls three stories knocking Arthur senseless, several days later in a fit of anger, he discovers his psychic abilities by setting his cigarette on fire, with just his mind.  “You name it, I can do it,” he’s been known to boast.  Several years later, disgruntled with the US government trying to control him, and feeling an irresistible pulling inside, Arthur travels to England, to the Institute of Physic Research. 

There, he meets the shy, beautiful, aristocratic Dr. Ruth Burns.  Due to several tragic events that happened when she was younger, Ruth wants nothing to do with men, let along an arrogant American.  But Arthur has other ideas, as his male hormones spring into action.   Suddenly, Ruth finds herself saddled with the uncouth man, as her mentor and boss issues an order for her to take him into her home.  With jade eyes blazing, she wonders What is a girl to do?

Eventually, they find their way to Lake George, where years ago Ruth had had an encounter with the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur.  When Arthur is mentally probed by something Alive!, Metal! Not Moving!, he knows he’s the only one that can solve the mystery of the lake. But what they uncover is far more than anyone imagined.  Now he’s faced with a question, what will he sacrifice to save the world from Excalibur? 

So, who’s ready for a frolicking, paranormal, sci-fi, adult adventure with a cast of zany characters?

My three nominations are:
 Bridgitte Goosen author of My Lady Love and Dreams Come True
Gemma Farrow author of Beneath the Willow

 Jada Ryker author of Mayhem Takes a Dare

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

JUSTINE: Into the Blood by Carole Gill

JUSTINE: Into the Blood by Carole Gill

I was given a free copy for an honest review

With all the TV shows, books and movies glamorizing the vampire life, this is a nice shot of reality showing that the pasture isn’t always the greenest on the undead side.

Growing up in an improvised life, Justine never thought she would find a decent life, or happiness, until she ended up in the Queen’s Court as a Royal Seamstress.  After several years of happy-ever-after, Fate knocks her down again and puts her on the run for her life.  Attacked by Rogue Vampires, she is found and brought back as the undead by Gascoyne.  Thus begins her life as the undead and her learning to come to terms with the monster that she sees herself as and inhumanity of human beings to creatures different than themselves.

There is an array of very rich characters in this story, Edward the painter, Ali the Sultan Prince and the evil Ned and his son Anton.  And Eco makes a cameo appearance.  Carole Gill does a fantastic job at bringing the characters and the settings to life.  My heart ached for the evil that Justine was forced to endure during her journey to find herself and her lost love.

This is a great dark tale, and I recommend this book to anyone who loves vampires and their lifestyle.  I’m looking forward to book 2.  I give it 5 feathers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

FLUSHED by Joseph Mulak

FLUSHED by Joseph Mulak

This is a different type of “coming-of-age” story.  We normally relate them to the Young Adult genre.  This is a tale about Ivan Wells, a 30+ man who doesn’t want any responsibilities in life.  He lives in a dumpy apartment, has a failed marriage and earns his living by playing poker at the local casino, just barely enough to cover rent and food.  He resents his family and friends as they’re always expecting more from him and keep insisting being a poker gambler is not a “real” job.  He’s comfortable with his lot in life, no expectations, no one to answer too.  Then one day a high school crush shows up, asking for his help. 

I really enjoyed Ivan and the development of his character throughout the story.  Always having to measure up to his older brother, Doug, Ivan knows where he stands in life, at the bottom of the totem pole.  Now he’s faced with choices he never thought he’d have to make.  The mother and father are richly detailed; you just want to shake them and yell, Wake up and look at your youngest son for a change.  Joseph Muiak writes with a lot of insight into the human psyche. 

This is not a high energy story with lots of drama, but it kept pulling me along, wanting to read more.  I was sorry to see the story end.  My only complaint  are all the proofreading errors.

I highly recommend this story and give it 4 feathers.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014



What a dark, twisted tale.  And I loved it.  From the first opening pages, you’re thrown into the violent, abusive relationship between Tiffany and her mother.  The first half of the book bounces between past and present, as J.M. Northup shows how the Mother has trained Tiffany to be the perfect slave to her aggressive needs for control and domination.  With her smart intellect and knowledge of the human mind, he Mother spins tales and lies to turn everyone against Tiffany, even the people in authority that are the only ones that can save Tiffany from her abusive lifestyle. 
As the story progressed, my hatred for the Mother and step-dad grew.  But at the same time, as Tiffany started doubting herself, thinking maybe she was really the problem, I started wondering if Tiffany was suffering from Schizophrenia.  What a roller-coaster ride of emotions.  And then everything culminates with Tiffany’s 18th birthday, her day of freedom from her tyrannical mother. 
Growing up in this type of lifestyle will bring out the dark nature in anyone.  How do you be true to yourself, when everyone around you sees you as evil?  All the self-doubts instilled in you as a child are very difficult to overcome as an adult.  How do you stop yourself from repeating the abusive nature of your parents?  One of the reasons child abuse is so rampant. 
There are gaps in the storyline that I found slightly confusing as I tried to follow the linear path of the story.  But, overall, a well done job.
I highly recommend this book for a peak into the dark nature of abusive relationships.  I give it 5 feathers.

KISS OF LIFE by Brian L Porter

KISS OF LIFE by Brian L Porter 

Freelance reporter, Alan Dexter, accepts an assignment in Bucharest, Transylvania to investigate the mysterious deaths of five people whose bodies were drained of blood.  His contact in Bucharest is the sexy, journalist Christina Radaluc.  Dexter, as he likes to call himself, scoffs at the idea of vampires, but soon, he might have to change his beliefs.
This is a pretty standard plot for a vampire story.  No hidden surprises.  You know how it’s going to end from the first chapter.  The only slight twist is how Dexter and Karen meet their fate.
The description of the surroundings and places was interesting and in-depth.  I felt like I was right there in the freezing countryside.  The characters were a different story.  I couldn’t relate to Dexter or Christina.  I thought Dexter was too full of himself, but I think that’s from Brian Porter’s writing style.  There was something about his writing that really put me off.  Plus, I thought the dialogue was flat, no spark between the characters, other than what you read in Dexter’s mind. 
For all the accolades at the back of the book, I thought I was missing something.  So I started rereading the story, but no, it’s his writing.  He uses a lot nice vocabulary, but the sentence structures are too wordy and full of redundancy
If you like vampires and a dark tale, you’ll probably find this a good read.  Myself, I feel its average, so I give it 3 feathers.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

UNHOLY TESTAMENT: Full Circle By Carole Gill with Creativia Publishing

By Carole Gill 

This is the third book in a series, and the only one I’ve read so far.  Not knowing the background of the characters may have influenced my review, but I feel this story does well as a standalone book. 
The story starts with Rose being held hostage on a ship bound for America by the evil, immortal being called Eco.  Trying to win her love, he wrote a journal about his life and how he ended up the terrible evil creature that she knows.  The majority of the book is from his POV, through his journal.
This is a well-written, Gothic style of writing.  The settings and events are well-defined, along with the characters.  As the journal unfolds, you can’t help understanding Eco and how he became the mad creature as known by Rose.  I even felt sorry for him.  But that all comes to a crashing halt at the end, when the story goes back to Rose and what transpires afterwards.  Not having read the first book, I didn’t develop an affinity towards Rose that I probably should have.  That familiarity would have put more UMPH into the ending, I’m sure.  What happened to Edmund and Daniel, the true victims in this tale, affected me more.
I really enjoyed Carole Gill’s personification of Satan and Death.   Louis I saw as a self-righteous twit, with a God complex, turning people into the undead to justify his own existence.  I thought the children were too weak for being vampires, probably due to be being smothered by Eve. And poor Eve, who was condemned to a life of evil from almost her mortal birth, because of Satan’s lust for her.  I’m sure my perception of them will change once I read the first book.  The author did a great job getting me to identify with each them.  
The only complaint I have is the length of the book and the never ending sin and debauchery.  There’s only so much a girl can take.  It all started sounding the same, over and over.  Halfway through, I found myself looking at the percentage read, thinking, are we there yet?    
If you love dark, vampire, Gothic tales, this one’s for you.  After I read the first book, I might have to update my review on this one.  I give it 4 feathers.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

WRATH: Prequel to Tredan’s Bane by Lita Burke

WRATH: Prequel to Tredan’s Bane by Lita Burke

Tredan, owner of a Potion Shop, is hounded by an Enforcer who has been sent to recover a secret journal that Tredan hid after leaving the Enchanters.  He has to find a way to warn his wife and still keep the journal out of the hands of the Divine.
This is a well-written short tale.  In only a few chapters, I became invested in Tredan and how he was going to overcome the Enforcer.  There are a number of things not addressed in this prequel, that I assume will be explained in the full-length novel.  I enjoy the premise and look forward to the actual story. 
I can’t see giving 5 feathers to a prequel, so I will give it 4 feathers.  I received a free copy of this book for a honest review.  No review was returned in favor.