Review Round-Up, April & May ’16

Hi readers, it has been a while since our last Review Round Up. Life certainly seems busy at the moment, and a little chaotic. With Britain’s EU referendum resulting in an ‘out’ vote, the government in turmoil with no real plan, and the weather just as changeable, I am sure many of us are looking for ways to keep calm and focus on other interests.

Tina has been working extremely hard with the Tamworth Litfest group, ensuring the smooth run of the Romancing the Word event, as well as setting up many author events over the next year. As a visitor to Romancing the Word, I have to say that it was a magical day for all – authors and visitors. It was an absolute pleasure to meet with Helena Fairfax, Pat Spence, J.A. Heron, Julia Ibbotson, S.J. Warner, and many, many more.

Meanwhile, I have taken some time away from the blog to build on the foundations of my family’s move to Scarborough. I have been volunteering at a local school, helping with reading, and joined a local Zumba class. Walking along the fantastic coastline and through beautiful parks and forests have also taken up weekends as we familiarise ourselves with this very beautiful corner of England. Another pastime has easily been taking my time as I have enjoyed photographing many a stunning view, and now with a new camera I am hoping to pursue this more too. And then, there is the Euro 2016 football tournament that I have been watching obsessively, as well as trying to fit in episodes of Outlander, Preacher, Outcast and Vikings!

Aside from this, we have our number 1 passion of reading some fantastic reads. Below you will find twelve reads from April and May that we have reviewed for you. From crime fiction, paranormal horrors and psychological thrillers to regency romance and erotic romance we hope, as always, that there is a little something for everyone. (Please click on the book titles for more book info and our full reviews.)

And please remember, whatever the weather, whatever the chaos find time to do a little of something you enjoy 🙂

Caroline & Tina ❤

Find us on Facebook and Twitter @areadersreviewb

bloqBloq by Alan Jones, crime fiction, thriller, drama (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: A father waits in Glasgow’s Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn’t get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.

This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content.

Cheri ChampagneLove’s Misadventure (Mason Siblings #1) by Cheri Champagne, historical regency romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Miss Annabel Bradley refuses to accept life as a spinster. Her many years of pouring greedily over gothic novels has put her head in the clouds; dreaming and hoping for the love she reads about. She has always held a tendre for her best friend, Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, but she does not want to jeopardize their friendship by telling him about those indecent dreams of hers. Anna, therefore, makes a life-changing decision; she is going to accept the proposal of the next suitor to ask!

Lane Mason is an average aristocrat; absorbed in life in general, and content with his status in society. Amid a frequently occurring moment of self-loathing, Lane shockingly discovers his feelings for Anna. Now armed with the awareness of his love for Anna, Lane decides to perpetrate a devilishly clever scheme. He will pay actors to abduct the two of them in order to give Anna an adventure like the ones she reads in her treasured books.

Lane’s plans go awry, however, when they are kidnapped in truth.

Mother coverMother by Alistair Cross & Tamara Thorne, psychological thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A Girl’s Worst Nightmare is Her Mother …
Priscilla Martin. She’s the diva of Morning Glory Circle and a driving force in the quaint California town of Snapdragon. Overseer of garage sales and neighborhood Christmas decorations, she is widely admired. But few people know the real woman behind the perfectly coiffed hair and Opium perfume.

Family is Forever. And Ever and Ever …
No one escapes Prissy’s watchful eye. No one that is, except her son, who committed suicide many years ago, and her daughter, Claire, who left home more than a decade past and hasn’t spoken to her since. But now, Priscilla’s daughter and son-in-law have fallen on hard times. Expecting their first child, the couple is forced to move back … And Prissy is there to welcome them home with open arms … and to reclaim her broken family.

The Past Isn’t Always as Bad as You Remember.
Sometimes it’s Worse …
Claire has terrible memories of her mother, but now it seems Priscilla has mended her ways. When a cache of vile family secrets is uncovered, Claire struggles to determine fact from fiction, and her husband, Jason, begins to wonder who the monster really is. Lives are in danger – and Claire and Jason must face a horrifying truth … a truth that may destroy them … and will forever change their definition of “Mother.”

The Con ArtistThe Con Artist by Kitty Thomas, dark literacy erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Art. Obsession. Twisted possession.

When starving artist Saskia Roth meets Lachlan Niche, a local art collector and tech tycoon, she has no idea how her life is about to change. One act of desperation, one con gone wrong, and she finds herself at the mercy of a powerful man she fears and despises–or so she thinks at first. As lines begin to blur, her life as his captive becomes something more… something that will both transform her and destroy her.

Demon Kassidy Bell 3Demon (Kassidy Bell #3) by Lynda O’Rourke, paranormal horror, psychological thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: After escaping the Bishop’s house with Ben Fletcher, Kassidy soon learns that there’s more to Ben than the eye can see.

Still running from the demons and police, her journey takes her north in a frantic pursuit to find Doctor Langstone, in the hope that Kassidy and her friends can remove the ever-spreading drug – VA20.

But will Kassidy get there before it takes over her mind and body, before she is snatched back to Cruor Pharma? Can she really make it, now that the demon, Doshia, seems to be travelling amongst her and her friends?

Vampires of Maze 3Vampires of Maze (Part 3) (Beautiful Immortals series 2) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal mystery thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Beautiful Immortals Series One) comes ‘Vampires of Maze’ (Beautiful Immortals Series Two) a vampire and werewolf romance with a twist.

Witch, Julia Miller, has been sent by the Wicce to bring an end to the war that rages between the Beautiful Immortals. Joining a pack of werewolves, Julia must travel with them to a land unknown to her. Here she will learn the horrifying truth about the dark secrets hidden in the town of Maze.

To stay alive, Julia will not only have to figure out who to trust but also who to love. For Julia’s worst nightmares are about to get a whole lot more terrifying as she heads into the war raging between the vampires and werewolves where even her own magic abilities won’t be able to protect her.

LabyrinthA Labyrinth of Love and Roses (Touchstone #4) by Beth Barany, contemporary fantasy romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: From award-winning novelist, Beth Barany, comes another magical tale of romance and adventure — a sweet, Hallmark-like tale.

What if what you wanted got in the way of your destiny?

French MBA grad Lili Grenault needs to succeed at her last pitch meeting to fund her international green tech business. But her grandmother tells her to drop everything, find her one true love, and embrace her magical legacy by Beltane, in one week, or chaos and failure in her life will ensue.

San Francisco investor Brett Barnaby wants to find his great-grandfather’s gravesite in Amiens, France, one of the primary battle sites of World War I. Family legend says that purpose, greater mission, and perhaps even untold riches, will be unlocked when he finds that grave. But his search in Amiens brings up fear, anger, and dire warnings about some wild Green Man. He turns to local Lily Grenault for help.

Can these two independent freethinkers work together to prevent chaos from triumphing and find love in time in the labyrinth of roses?

Pieces Like PotteryPieces Like Pottery by Dan Buri, contemporary fiction, drama (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: The first collection of short fiction from Dan Buri, Pieces Like Pottery is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. In this distinct selection of stories marked by struggle and compassion, Pieces Like Pottery is a powerful examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption.

Filled with graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love. In Expect Dragons, James Hinri learns that his old high school teacher is dying. Wanting to tell Mr. Smith one last time how much his teaching impacted him, James drives across the country revisiting past encounters with his father’s rejection and the pain of his youth. Disillusioned and losing hope, little did James know that Mr. Smith had one final lesson for him.

In The Gravesite, Lisa and Mike’s marriage hangs in the balance after the disappearance of their only son while backpacking in Thailand. Mike thinks the authorities are right—that Chris fell to his death in a hiking accident—but Lisa has her doubts. Her son was too strong to die this young, and no one can explain to her why new posts continue to appear on her son’s blog.

Twenty-Two looks in on the lives of a dock worker suffering from the guilt of a life not lived and a bartender making the best of each day, even though he can see clearly how his life should have been different. The two find their worlds collide when a past tragedy shockingly connects them.

A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.

One Night in BudapestOne Night in Budapest (novella) by Lucy Felthouse, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Hermione’s in Budapest on a romantic weekend break. Or at least it should have been romantic—an unexpected break-up means she’s visiting the Hungarian capital alone. Determined to make the most of it, she goes on a night-time river cruise, the perfect opportunity to see some of the city’s beautiful sights after dark.

On the boat, cute Budapest native, Emil, serves her cocktails. They chat a little on the journey, engage in some banter, and when Emil asks Hermione out for dinner, she’s seriously tempted. But she’s a long way from home, by herself—is dinner with a complete stranger a good idea? Hermione decides to take a chance, and what follows is an unforgettable night which will transform her life forever.

Rebel warriorRebel Warrior (Medieval Warriors #3) by Regan Walker, historical medieval romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: When your destiny lies far from where you began …

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

His PrizeHis Prize (The Cleaners #1) by Doris O’Connor, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: It’s the choice of her life—submit or die.

When Susie Elliot stumbles into the middle of a clean-up, undertaken by none other than Ellis Reynolds, she expects her life to be over. No one disturbs this ruthlessly efficient killer and lives to tell the tale.

The man they call Ren has no time for tender feelings, but there is something about the curvaceous redhead that calls to him. Rather than killing her he claims her as his prize. One night should be more than enough time to get her out of his system. However, Susie’s submission means Ren has to confront emotions, completely alien to him. Killing is easy. This relationship thing is fraught with problems.

When his criminal activities catch up with him, loyalties are tested to the max, and Susie has another choice to make—walk away, or stay and accept the darkness within.

In His CornerIn His Corner by Vino Arno, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb:

WORK OUT

No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild work-out…

KNOCK OUT

Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stiches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…

*Cover Reveal* Dark Confluence (The Darkening Book 1) by Rosemary Fryth

Dark Confluence - Banner

 

TITLE: Dark Confluence

SERIES: The Darkening Trilogy, Book

1

AUTHOR: Rosemary Fryth
GENRE: Paranormal Horror Thriller

IMPRINT/PUBLISHER: COVET, Bison

Publishing

RELEASES: MAY 3rd, 2016
Dark Confluence - Rosemary Fryth - BISON PUBLISHING

Dark Confluence – Rosemary Fryth – BISON PUBLISHING

SYNOPSIS

It’s just another ordinary day for Jen McDonald. Until she slams

on her brakes and narrowly misses hitting a shrouded woman. Disoriented and stumbling from

her car, she’s stunned when she discovers the woman has disappeared. Unbeknownst to Jen, the

one event triggers many others in the small Australian town of Emerald Hills.

In another part of town, a witch rises up, determined to gain

more power, influence, and wealth. Through persuasiveness, she sets into motion a series of

catastrophic episodes.

People disappear, only to be later found dead, animals are

mutilated, seedlings and saplings suddenly appear that only Jen can see, children go missing, a

strange group of pale men and women show up, and the town folk appear to be entranced.

Amongst this all, Jen is experiencing strange things happening to her as well. Something dark

and sinister is coming and it’s determined to take over the town.

Jen’s world is turned upside down when she’s told by Fionn, a

handsome Fae she sexually attracted to, that it is only she that can save the town and its

residents. Will Jen be brave enough to accept her destiny, even knowing she may have to

sacrifice herself?

ADD to your TBR: http://bit.ly/1qnjwYy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosemary Fryth lives in a small, quiet Australian country town

in an upland region that is known as ‘Celtic Country’. She is the author of the self-published

‘Riothamus’ and ‘The Darkening’ trilogies, and the poetry anthology ‘Elemental’. Her interests

include medieval and ancient history, paleoanthropology, astrophysics, and sculpting. Rosemary

lives a happy and peaceful life with her beloved husband in an eighty year old cottage. They care

for one and a half cats, four chickens, and a pond full of frogs. Rosemary will this year be

formalising her lifelong love of writing by starting an online Bachelor of Arts, majoring in

Writing, at a local University.

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
bison
Bison Publishing
Brooklyn, New York

 

**REVIEW** DEMON (Kassidy Bell #3) by Lynda O’Rourke

Lynda O’Rourke’s début series, Kassidy Bell, is one of the most thrilling experiences you’ll have, if you can cope with psychological, paranormal horrors! I am ecstatic to discover that although originally planned as a trilogy, there are now going to be more books! Lynda has a special talent, for this genre in particular, to be able to darken real life situations and stretch them into a great fantasy as admitted in a recent interview. She is most certainly an author on the top of my list!

“…. I….feel like I’m in a bad dream…. like I’ve stepped out of reality and into hell.” (Drug, book 1)

Demon Kassidy Bell 3Title: Demon (Kassidy Bell #3)

Author: Lynda O’Rourke

Genre: Psychological thriller, horror

Date released: February 24th, 2016

Released by: Ravenwoodgreys

Length: 170 pages

Blurb: After escaping the Bishop’s house with Ben Fletcher, Kassidy soon learns that there’s more to Ben than the eye can see.

Still running from the demons and police, her journey takes her north in a frantic pursuit to find Doctor Langstone, in the hope that Kassidy and her friends can remove the ever-spreading drug – VA20.

But will Kassidy get there before it takes over her mind and body, before she is snatched back to Cruor Pharma? Can she really make it, now that the demon, Doshia, seems to be travelling amongst her and her friends?

“Demon” – Book 3 in the #1 bestselling paranormal thriller series, by Lynda O’Rourke.

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Review ***** (5* rating)

Demon is the third instalment of the Kassidy Bell series, following Drug and Dwell. What begun as a small group of young, healthy volunteers taking part in a drugs test (VA20) has now become a full-on psychological and paranormal adventure of terror and horror; as the survivors of the group try to head towards the sister company of Cruor Pharma they hope they will meet with Dr. Langstone, a demon himself but one who chose to leave the original experiment due to differences of opinion.

The group hope that he may have the answer to prevent the VA20 from coursing through their veins and from them turning into demons themselves!  In the meantime they are being chased by the police, demons and ‘cleaners’ who are quite excited to take over their body, and it’s also possible that demon ‘Doshia’ is possibly travelling amongst them too. But which one of them, if any, has Doshia been lurking in?

Placing doubts in Kassidy’s mind, Raven shares her suspicions with Kassidy in regard to Max and Jude. But, Doshia can’t be in both. I find Raven to be quite irritating and constantly on Kassidy’s back, pointing out everything she finds odd with Jude or Max. This makes you wonder if she is in fact Doshia and trying to throw Kassidy off the scent. However, she could also have a point due to the behaviour of the others at times. I love the to-ing and fro-ing to keep the reader on their toes.

Despite Dr. Ben Fletcher having the demon Quint within him, both seem to be protective of Kassidy, even if she fears him at times. The electricity between these two characters is powerful, and I can’t help but be attracted to Ben, just as Kassidy is, regardless of his attentions! However, Kassidy’s friends are quite peeved when she defends him a little. From their point of view he has a demon inside of him, and he was the one to inject them with VA20! Why Kassidy listens to him they don’t know and this causes tensions between the group.

I feel the author displays a great deal of empathy towards Ben from Kassidy’s point of view, despite how the other characters feel about him. This not only makes you feel more kindly towards him and understand what he lives with on a daily basis, with Quint always ready to burst out and take over, but it also shows how considerate and thoughtful Kassidy is by recognising this.

It is this side to Kassidy which helps her try to reason with Quint early on in the story. When Quint takes over Ben and threatens Jude and Max quite strongly, Kassidy manages to talk him down when asking him to let go of them. I love the fact that Kassidy has this tiny hold over Quint, even if just in this instance. It shows the ability that Quint has to listen to her. This particular scene reminded me of John Connor talking down the ‘good’ terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day when the terminator tries to kill a couple of big, innocent guys that were just checking if John is okay after being grabbed by the terminator. John is able to order the terminator to leave them alone and he miraculously listens to John. Here, we find demon Quint listen to Kassidy. But, will this happen moreso as Kassidy gets closer to him/Ben, or is it a one-time occurrence?

This exciting, thrilling read will barely give you time to catch your breath as you find yourself in a very fast-paced read that is electrifying at every turn, whether it be the thrill of the chase or the powerful, intensifying moments between Kassidy and Dr. Ben Fletcher/Demon Quint.

Demon is great into picking up where we left off in Dwell (book 2) and reminding readers where Kassidy is at and what she has been through. Due to the author’s clarity, great description and some of the dialog it is clear what is happening with the story. That said, if you really want to feel every little bit of what Kassidy and the gang have gone through I would strongly recommend that you read Drug and Dwell too.

Demon is chilling to the bone – a raw blend of gritty horror and gore. All the strong feelings that make you feel alive are present within the first two chapters alone! You’re heart will be racing and you’ll put anything else off in order to finish the book. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it will leave you craving for the next adventure. An unforgettable experience!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

**REVIEW** ~ The Crimson Corset: The Vampires of Crimson Cove, by Alistair Cross

Modern Gothic Horror/Paranormal 

Bloody AMAZING!

Do yourself a HUGE favour – if you only read ONE horror/vampire themed book this year then make sure that it is this one! I first read Alistair Cross when I reviewed. Darker Shadows: The Ghosts of Ravencrest book 1, his collaborative work with Tamara Thorne, a Gothic erotica which let me salivating for more. In The Crimson Corset Alistair has excelled himself with a tale that not only has a lot of bite but also plays with the readers’ emotions, in one scary, bloody and lust filled ride! Scroll down to read the book blurb and my review in full. Tina ❤

Crimson cove

Blurb

Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
– Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
– QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS

My Review

Bloody AMAZING! FIVE FANGS! *****

Do yourself a HUGE favour – if you only read ONE horror/vampire themed book this year then be sure to make it The Crimson Corset by Alistair Cross.  Horror lovers will adore its unashamed gore and graveyard humour and it has plenty of romance to satisfy paranormal romance fans who fancy a darker, Gothic inspired read!I first read Mr Cross when I reviewed. Darker Shadows: The Ghosts of Ravencrest book 1, his collaborative work with Tamara Thorne, a Gothic erotic which left me salivating for more. In The Crimson Corset Alistair has excelled himself with a tale that not only has a lot of bite but also plays with the readers’ emotions, in one scary, bloody and lust filled ride!

The novel is full of memorable, quirky characters who populate the West Coast tourist town of Crimson Cove. Yet unknown to most, evil exists among them and one powerful vampire temptress, Gretchen VanTresse, has her sights on Cade, who has something she craves very badly indeed…… She will stop at nothing to get her hands on him, regardless of collateral damage, her sights set on ruling her kind and subjugating the human race. Gretchen is a formidable adversary: beautiful, deadly and remorseless in her quest for power. Yet, despite her undeniable evil which borders on madness, I could not help but have a sneaking respect and fascination for her as she is such a great kick-ass character!

Yet Gretchen does not bank on the bonds of brotherly love and friendship which exist between Cade, his big brother Brooks and Ethan the town’s sheriff. These three seriously hot men have each other’s back and when the chips are down they risk life and limb and their own humanity to annihilate her and her cohorts. Add a hefty dose of romance, some intriguing vamps from the other side of town (they are not all evil) to the bloody mix of terror and seduction and you have a read that will remain in your conscious and unconscious mind long into the darkness of the night and beyond……. To reveal more of the plot would spoil the adventure that I urge you embark on by reading this book!

Once more Alistair Cross’ writing and characterisations are truly sublime. The lush, often gothic like descriptions of Crimson Cove after dark contrast well with the seemingly mundane details of everyday life in the small town. The read had me quaking in my boots one minute to smiling at the wry humour and quirky exploits of its characters.

I sincerely hope that Mr Cross has the next book in this series lined up soon as I am itching to learn more about the many characters, humans and vampires, that he introduced. Highly recommended to fans of horror and the paranormal alike.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://alistaircross.com/

https://twitter.com/CrossAlistair

https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair

*Blog Tour* SPINNER by Michael J. Bowler

spinner banner

Spinner front cover 2100x1400Title: Spinner

Author: Michael J. Bowler

Genre: YA horror/paranormal

Date released: August 5th, 2015

Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing

Length: 445 pages

Blurb: Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.

If he survives…

Author Bio:

Michael J Bowler AuthorMichael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He acted as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II.”

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

* Spinner won Honorable Mention in Young Adult Books of 2015 from the San Francisco Book Festival.

Social Media Links:

www.michaeljbowler.com

FB: michaeljbowlerauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradleyWallaceM

Blog: sirlancesays.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938109.Michael_J_Bowler

Buy link: http://amzn.to/1C32T9v

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**Double Review** Cursed & Obsession (Books 1 & 2 of the Cursed trilogy) by Georgina Hannan

CursedTitle: Cursed
Author: Georgina Hannan
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Horror
Publication Date: 07th January 2013
Publisher: Fast-Print.net

Blurb: Reality and Myths collide.
A young adult story about a group of four friends who embark on a holiday together to the gorgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon. Each of them hoping for an adventure, something they will always remember. However it isn’t long before they get what they want.

The group are plagued by noises after hearing the myths and legends of the area. Is it just their overactive imaginations or is there a visitor in the spare room who is trying to get their attention?

Join the group on a spectacular journey as they discover what Dartmoor has to offer.

REVIEW

Cursed is a great beginning to this trilogy which young adult readers (I’d say 14yrs+) and adults can enjoy. The main character, Daisy, is travelling with her best friend, Alice, Alice’s boyfriend, Jake, and Tyler who is a close friend to them all. After arriving at the house they are to be staying in for their holiday it becomes quite clear that there is more than meets the eye with a possible figure in one of the room’s windows, noises around the house that sometimes sound like crying and the door to the spare room is found open after it has been closed. Could it have been one of the friends, are the noises just the wind, is it just their imagination, or is there something more sinister going on?

Cursed has quite an eerie feel to it, which I absolutely loved. These types of horror are my favourite, as well as being ghostly and unexplainable it creates a psychological feel to it as the characters question whether events are real or not. To really capture the feel for the place where the group are staying, and the surrounding area, the group enter the local pub and speak to Frank. Frank spends many an hour going through some of the myths and strange happenings around the area. Although listening intently, the gang do have their reservations and wonder just how true some of it is. But, as the story continues it becomes clearer that there certainly are at least some elements of truth to what they are being told. Some of the details Frank gives them provides them with an awareness of the possibility of what could be happening when they find themselves experiencing these strange happenings.

Daisy is the focal character and experiences the most, which does make her question whether or not she should tell the others just in case they ridicule her or believe that it is just her imagination. (Jake would have certainly taken this approach as he thinks scientifically and believes that there is an explanation for everything, although his belief waivers at times!) But, the figure of Lady Howard who seems to be haunting the house is wanting the attention of Daisy in particular. At the same time as trying to cope with these ghostly encounters, Daisy and Tyler reach a point where their relationship becomes a little more intimate and they enjoy a little romance. But as the holiday wears on Daisy begins to question whether this romance will continue once the holiday is over, or is it just a holiday fling?

The storyline and the characters come across very well. The reader can connect with them and easily get sucked in by the horrors. I did feel that at the very beginning of the story there could have been a little more build up to create more of an atmosphere, but then again as it is a story to engage young adults this may have been intentional by the author. The plotline is written clearly and therefore easy to follow, although at times I felt it could have flowed a little smoother. It is also packed with historical information of the Dartmoor area, with Alice enjoying being a tour guide for the gang and takes them and the reader through some of the nearby towns and their ancient buildings, such as churches, castles, etc.

Cursed left me wanting to read Book 2 of the trilogy, Obsession, as I wanted to find out how the group’s holiday affected them when they returned home, in particular how it affected Daisy. And I have to say that Obsession was an absolute brilliant read that did not disappoint. (Please see below for my review of Obsession.)

Cursed was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Buy Links:
PAPERBACK:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Fast-Print
Waterstones

eBOOK:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Smashwords

Obsession by Georgina Hannan_1Title: Obsession

Author: Georgina Hannan

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Horror

Publication Date: Friday 13th September 2013

Publisher: Fast-Print.net

Blurb: There’s a fine line between Obsession and Madness.

After a strange and exciting holiday, Daisy is looking forward to the new start University life will bring.

A life changing assignment makes her question the fine line between Obsession and Madness.

Can she tell the difference?
Can you?

REVIEW

Obsession is book 2 of the Cursed trilogy and engages young adult readers and adults. After reading book 1, Cursed, I had to continue with book 2 as it left me wanting more. I was not disappointed and felt that the writing and flow of the story was excellent. As the group of friends begin their University life they have new challenges to face. Daisy, in particular, has to deal with the affects that their recent holiday has had on her, her love life with Tyler and new-found family history facts.

The intro of Obsession is informative and recaps what took place in Cursed (book 1). It is written very well and reminds readers of Cursed at the same time as allowing a fresh reader of this trilogy to easily slip into the story without any confusion. I would strongly recommend that Cursed be read first, but it is not absolutely necessary.

As Daisy begins her first term at University, studying to become a journalist, the class is asked by the tutor to research their family history for an essay and newspaper article. Daisy spends a great deal of time speaking to her father, her grandparents and looking through family photographs to gather as much information as possible. During this time, even though Daisy has returned from the holiday in Dartmoor, she is still plagued by the ghost of Lady Howard.

Meanwhile, Daisy’s boyfriend, Tyler, is noticing the difference in Daisy and wishes that they could spend more time together. It doesn’t help when he is working on his own course and just taken up a part time job. But, when he does spend time with Daisy he feels she isn’t entirely with him mentally and is quite distant, behaving strangely at times too. Surely the myths of Dartmoor haven’t followed her back?

Daisy distances herself more and more from her friends as Lady Howard still appears to her and talks to her. To make matters worse, she also finds out the truth from her grandfather about what really happened to her mother. Her mother didn’t die, or leave, something she didn’t speak to her father about as it was too upsetting for him, but in fact had been institutionalised for mental health reasons. And what’s more is that there appears to be a connection between her family and Lady Howard. The family curse. Daisy becomes more and more obsessed with finding out as much as she can about her family history and the history of Lady Howard, becoming distant from everyone and eventually being heard talking to Lady Howard. Is she going mad or is she obsessed? Or both?

The idea of obsession being a form of madness is a constant theme running through Obsession. Is it really madness to be obsessed with something? The story provides many questions as well as answers. And again, the story is a paranormal horror but with psychological elements. It is quite a powerful read and the reader can easily become ‘obsessed’ with this trilogy.

The family curse that Daisy discovers means that sacrifices have been made in terms of life and love. Family members throughout generations have lost loves, and/or have been deemed mad and then lost time with loved ones as a result or lost them for good. Lady Howard appears to Daisy in flashbacks and talks to her in the present day. She wants the family curse to be gone, be destroyed, and it seems that she won’t stop haunting Daisy until she gets what she wants, or until Daisy is deemed mad and has lost Tyler and her friends.

Obsession carries on the trilogy’s insight into history and as the information is gathered by Daisy it makes for a very interesting read, as well as being eerie. The atmosphere in Obsession is built up brilliantly, the reader truly feels the fear and confusion in Daisy, and the flow of the writing is smooth and reads very well. I am certainly looking forward to reading the ending of this trilogy in Absolution!

Obsession was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Buy Links:

PAPERBACK:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Fast-Print

Waterstones

eBOOK:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Obsession-Cursed-Series-Georgina-Hannan-ebook/dp/B00F6YPFLO

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Obsession-Cursed-Series-Georgina-Hannan-ebook/dp/B00F6YPFLO

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/357536

Author Bio: Georgina is an IT Consultant and Writer from Surrey, England. 

She is the Author of the Cursed Trilogy.

Georgina started writing when she was fourteen; she always had a problem with reading before she started Secondary School. It was when she was about eleven or twelve that she started going to the library and she found the books which interested her. Since then she’s become a reader and a writer. She loves writing and hopes it can continue for many years to come.

Author Links:

Blog: http://authorworld.wordpress.com

Facebook Author: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Georgina-Hannan/418399218236108

Facebook Cursed: http://www.facebook.com/CursedBook1

Facebook Obsession: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Obsession-by-Georgina-Hannan/124919204352501

Facebook Absolution: http://www.facebook.com/AbsolutionBook3

Twitter: @AuthorGeorgina

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6912312

I.A.N: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/georgina-hannan.html

Email: authorgeorgina@yahoo.co.uk

And finally, here is the blurb, cover and links to Absolution. The final book of the Cursed trilogy!

Absolution (Cursed Series Book 3)Blurb: Daisy was pushed to the limits and finally agreed to end the curse surrounding her family.

However, her agreement sees her facing some of the hardest choices of her life and she stands to lose more than just her sanity.

Can she handle the choices?

Can she end the curse without ruining her life or that of a loved one?

Absolution is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

**RELEASE BLITZ** ~ James Classi’s ~The Last Prizefighter

Congratulations to author James Classi on his release of The Last Prizefighter, which looks to be an unforgettable paranormal/horror themed read. Tina and Caroline ❤

On a 20X20 boxing ring in the belly of Madison Square Garden, Tommy Farrow defends his title for the WBO championship belt against Jeffrey Johnson. Near the end of the 10th round, a solid left hook to Farrow’s head drops him to the canvas, killing him instantly.Thus begins an adventure into hell and a race against the clock.
Farrow must rescue the soul of a writer who dies only seconds before him. The writer, Robert Scalia, has been hijacked by demons through a passage into purgatory called the Hellmouth.
In the future, Scalia is supposed to write a tell-all book that will prevent a madman from becoming the President of the United States…a madman that will eventually cause a nuclear war.
If Farrow can rescue Scalia from hell, he and the writer will be put back into their bodies at their times of death and be allowed to give life another shot; but if he fails…the world as we know it will end.
The timer is set. Get ready to rock.
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More About James Classi
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James Classi has been writing since the age of 16. He lives on Long Island with his wife, children and 2 dogs. James has worked in Law enforcement for the last 8 years. His interests include photography, old rock music, and the Civil War, and playing the acoustic guitar.
His first  published a collection of short fiction titled “Nine Lives” was released 2 years ago. Each story in the volume has been liked to an episode of Tales from the crypt.
In his new novel, The last Prizefighter, James takes you to hell and a race against the clock.
He is currently at work on a second volume of short stories and a new novel.

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