**Double Review** November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries, Books 1 & 2) by Jamie Drew

I LOVED reading books 1 & 2 of The November Lake Mysteries by Jamie Drew. This is a mesmerising mystery series for Young Adults and adults alike. Originally released as a prequel series for Tim O’Rourke‘s Keira Hudson paranormal series, it has been reworked and brought to life some brand new characters in November Lake and Kale Creed, two young police recruits. A step in a different direction for O’Rourke away from the paranormal and into the mystery and crime.

And what’s more, Book 1 (ebook) is currently FREE on Amazon!!!

November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries) Book 1Title: November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries #1)

Author: Jamie Drew

Genre: Mystery, YA, crime

Release date: November 23, 2014

Length: 150 pages

Blurb: When 18-year-old police recruit, November Lake, joins training college, her curiosity and desire to solve mysteries soon has her investigating a series of creepy and chilling crimes.

With the help of her friend and colleague, Kale Creed, November is soon caught up in a dark world of strange and inexplicable mysteries, each with a deadly twist.

Three novella length mysteries in one book:

The Dead Girl In The Room

The Kidnapping at Blackwater Farm

The Menacing Stranger

REVIEW *****

Originally a Young Adult mystery prequel series belonging to Tim O’Rourke‘s Keira Hudson paranormal series, November Lake: Teenage Detective was reworked and released under the pen name Jamie Drew. Taking a step away from the paranormal, and into the mystery and crime genre, November Lake: Teenage Detective follows a young police recruit, November, as she solves mysteries, seeing things much quicker than most – working out how a crime has been committed and being able to explain why it must have been a specific person who carried it out.

November is a very likeable character with a great deal of intelligence and wit. She is very quick off the mark, being able to take in her surroundings at the same time as holding a conversation and weighing up possibilities in her head. By piecing her puzzles together and seeing much further than most in such a short amount of time she manages to solve many mysteries. However, this does come at a price where she acts upon her findings immediately and places herself in danger in order to finish her work and prove her findings.

I love how each story is a separate mystery for November, however the book as a whole is continuous and follows November through Police Training School and preparing for her exams. In this first instalment we are treated to three fantastic stories from November finding a colleague’s dead body (The Dead Girl in the Room) to a kidnapping (The Kidnapping at Blackwater Farm), and then the mystery of a ‘disgusting creature of a man’ coming to search for his dog in The Menacing Stranger.

Each story has November teaming up with fellow officer, Kale Creed, and shows the early signs of a great partnership between them. There are also signs of a deep friendship brewing as they spend time away from work to study for their exams. They stick together really well at all times, and I love the way they bounce off each other with their thoughts and humour.

With some nice twists throughout you will find that during many scenes not all is as it seems. During the second story, the kidnapping, Lake and Creed feel they have no option but to intervene which winds them in a great deal of trouble and danger. After being driven off a country road and seeing the car that raced passed also lose control they begin to check the area and try to call for assistance.

“The trail soon petered out or became invisible amongst the wild thorny shrubs and bushes that covered the slate walls on either side of the country road. The fog was still dense and surrounded us like smoky cloud. It muffled any sound, drowning our world in silence. The whole effect was disorientating, and it wasn’t long before I had lost all sense of direction. I rummaged through my coat pocket for my phone… I plucked my phone from my pocket. There was no signal.

“I haven’t got a signal either,” Kale said, standing beside me, phone in hand.”

Whilst the third short story is probably the most eeriest of the three. Again, not all meets the eye but the whole book creates so much mystery and curiosity for the reader you simply can’t put the book down until you have all of the answers.

I can’t remember reading this much mystery packed into short stories. The author certainly has a way of telling them, making them believable and so full of life. After reading this first instalment I had no hesitation to read the second. I’ll definitely be reading more from this series!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries) Book 2Title: November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries #2)

Author: Jamie Drew

Genre: Mystery, YA, crime

Release date: November 23, 2014

Length: 231 pages

Blurb: When police recruits November Lake and Kale Creed are ordered to stay away from each other by Sergeant Black, they can’t help but be drawn back together again.

Working side by side, November and Kale solve four more grisly and chilling mysteries. The first deals with deceit, the second betrayal, the third revenge and the fourth the greatest mystery of all – love.

Four novella length mysteries in one book:

The Reappearing Knife

The Death at Hook Inn

Splitfoot & The Dead Girl

The Mystery of November Lake & Kale Creed

REVIEW *****

The tales of November Lake and Kale Creed continue in book two, separated into four fantastic mysteries. Police trainees, Lake and Creed, are running before they can walk in the eyes of their Sergeant, Sgt. Black. Although they have cracked three great mysteries together in The November Lake Mysteries #1, their Sergeant can see the danger they are drawing themselves into, as well as not always following police procedure and waiting for assistance.

Therefore, at his request Lake and Creed are to spend some time apart whilst away from work for a week. The only trouble is, they have slowly begun to develop some feelings for each other that may be a little too much for them to be apart. In truth, neither one has ever felt lonelier. But, their jobs are on the line if they disobey orders, and so they need to fill their time with something more constructive.

November needs to distance herself. She can’t risk annoying Sgt. Black and losing her job. She wants to be a properly trained copper in order for her to later find her father’s killer. She knows there’s no chance she will ever get a chance if she messes up. Therefore, she goes to visit her father’s grave 20 miles away. Although trouble is never too far away from her… Lucky for her Kale is so lost without her he tries to find her when she doesn’t respond to any of his messages. But will he reach her in the nick of time?

After noticing Lake at her father’s grave, Father Rochdale approaches and begins to converse with her. Finding out that she is alone, on a break from work and a police officer in the making, he invites her to stay and investigate the strange happenings of a butcher’s knife being left outside his bedroom door. But not all is as it appears as the twists will show, and The Reappearing Knife will leave you more than a little petrified!

Not ready to go home Lake then stays at the nearby inn, The Hook Inn, where not before too long a murder is found to have taken place. Not ready to call for assistance for fear of Sgt. Black finding her name involved Lake takes it upon herself to find out how it took place and by whom.

With the heat of the drama and need to get away, Lake and Creed drive up to his parents house to keep away from any possible action. However, what is meant to be a fun night at a séance for Kale to see how November could prove the psychic a cheat (just between themselves), it turns into yet another murder right before their eyes. But in the dark, barely candlelit room nothing can be seen for certain!

As well as the eeriness and mystery in Splitfoot & the Dead Girl, there was also a small amount of humour. Not only was Kale sceptical of the psychic and the whole meaning of the séance, but when they are all sat around the table in the darkened room, with nothing but the faint glow of the candlelight, he likens the face of the psychic to that of a pumpkin!

“I guessed the darkness added to the whole illusion and gave camouflage to the trickery that was about to take place. I looked at November, who was staring up the table at the psychic. The light from the solitary candle before Splitfoot lit up his face in a gold and orange glow. It was Halloween all right, and he was the pumpkin.”

I love how each separate short story follows on from the story of November and Kale, and also how it can be read in chronological order , following the early career life of November Lake. The November Lake Mysteries #2 is written from both points of view, November and Kale, making a very interesting read with how the characters’ feelings towards each other are changing and the reasons they think that the other has for behaving in a certain manner.

The style of the writing is fascinating and reader’s will be gripped, wanting to keep on reading. Both November and Kale are easily likeable characters, even moreso in this second book of the series as the reader knows them so much more and can easily see how these two have grown closer. They are both lonely, without or away from family, working together and living to solve mysteries. The author has shown a beautiful build-up of emotion between the two which I suspect will grow ever stronger in the subsequent books of the series.

Copies of November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries #1 & #2) were provided by the author in return for honest and fair reviews.

November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries #1) by Jamie Drew Kindle ebook is currently FREE at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

November Lake: Teenage Detective (The November Lake Mysteries #2) by Jamie Drew Kindle ebook is currently 99p/99c at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Please note that prices are subject to change.

The third instalment of The November Lake Mysteries is set for release on June 26th, 2015, and is available for preorder.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

*Promo* The Awakening (Book 1) & The Reckoning (Book 2) by Emma Jones

The Awakening is the debut novel from author, Emma Jones. It is a YA paranormal romance and is followed by The Reckoning.  Between 26th March to 30th March the author is running a price reduction where The Awakening will be available for FREE, and The Reckoning for £0.99/$0.99. Be sure to check them out, and the super deal!

 

The Awakening Emma JonesTitle: The Awakening (Book 1)

 

Author: Emma Jones

 

Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance

 

Released date: December 6th, 2013

 

Length: 176 pages

 

Blurb: Do you believe in vampires? Ghosts? The supernatural world?

Meet Lauren who instantly clicks with Gavin at a friend’s BBQ. Everything goes well until Lauren starts to experience strange things and hears a weird voice. It seems like a warning but from what? Lauren eventually makes the… startling discovery that Gavin is a vampire and it has profound consequences for herself. The arrival of Daniel makes things even more confusing for Lauren as she is warned he is bad news from a ghostly source. Laurens life is turned upside down as things she thought were myths and legends become real and she struggles to cope with everything she has discovered.

Will Lauren and Gavin’s relationship survive and what about the mysterious Daniel?

THE AWAKENING is FREE at Amazon UK and Amazon US between 26 March to 30th March. (Prices subject to change after these dates.)

 

The Reckoning Emma JonesTitle: The Reckoning (Book 2) 

Author: Emma Jones

 

Genre: Young adult, paranormal romance

 

Released date: October 30th, 2014

 

Length: 191 pages

 

Blurb: As Lauren wakes after her 21st party she’s not sure if she’s hungover or dreaming but then she remembers.

The necklace.
The flashback.
The bond.
Daniel.

The consequences are great & details unknown. After a visit to the vampire council things settle down until vivid worrying dreams start to disrupt Lauren’s sleep & life.
The national news is filled with big cat killings but Lauren knows the truth & is being dragged into dark souls & black magic. Someone dangerous is getting into her head & her involvement with the council tests her relationships.
How will Lauren cope? Is there a happy ending? Will blood be shed?

THE RECKONING is only 99p/99c at Amazon UK and Amazon US between 26 March to 30th March. (Prices subject to change after these dates.)

Author Bio

Hi I’m Emma. I have always loved reading & about 8 years ago began writing as a hobby whilst on maternity leave. My hobby became my passion & The Awakening was born. I love the vampire genre so naturally my book is inspired by this theme. Self publishing has been a massive learning curve and my blog gives more information if you are interested into the ups and downs I’ve encountered. Apart from writing & reading my other interests are my two children (obviously) wasting hours browsing First Choice & Trip Advisor (I think I have a slight obsession) and spending time with my friends and family with a glass of wine or two.

I was inspired to write The Awakening (Book 1) and The Reckoning (Book 2) by my love of the vampire genre. I have always loved vampire films (long before Twilight was born) and below I have listed my favourites –

The Lost Boys 1987- This was my first proper vampire film and I’ve watched it loads of times. The character of Michael was my favourite and the actor Jason Patric became my first film crush. I can’t believe it was this long ago although the hair styles are 100% 80’s.

Interview with a Vampire 1994 – I love everything about this film and I’m sure most vampire fans will have watched it millions of times. I love the end scene and think the acting throughout is brilliant. The last quote “I assume I need no introduction. Oh Louis Louis still whining. Have you heard enough? I’ve had to listen to that for centuries.” is one of my favourites. Christian Slater was my crush from this film and although I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan I think he played an amazing part & stood out for me.

Blade 1998 – Love this think it maybe my absolute favourite. Stephen Dorff is absolutely gorgeous and I still love him now & Wesley Snipes is amazing.

Blade 2 2002- This film has amazing acting from Luke Goss who is barely recognisable as Jared Nomak.

Blade 3 2004 – Brilliant end to the trilogy and more humorous than the previous two courtesy of Ryan Reynolds who has some brilliant one liners and obviously has an amazing chest!

Twilight 2008 – I can’t believe the first film came out so long ago. I was always team Jacob and loved the films although always found Bella’s character annoying. I watched all five of the films at the cinema the last being released in November 2012 and has the best fight scene ever! It was a brilliant end which I didn’t see coming. Loved it.

There are loads more Underworld, Day breakers, Fright Night, Dracula this list goes on and on. What are your favourites? Have you seen the ones I’ve listed above?

If you would like to contact Emma Jones check out the following links –

https://twitter.com/booksemmajones

http://booksbyemmajones.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-by-Emma-Jones/611953792173504

**RELEASE PROMO, INTERVIEW & REVIEW** The Color of Happiness by K.P. Gazelle

We are very excited about this soon-to-be-released young adult contemporary story, packed with romance and drama, from debut author, K.P. Gazelle, and released by Radiant Books. It is a strong and meaningful story, with some beautiful moments with fantastic characters that will enlighten you and give you that boost you always needed! 🙂

Heart-warming story of adolescence, self-esteem & love!

The_Color_of_Happiness_KINDLETitle: The Color of Happiness

Author: K.P. Gazelle

Genre: Young Adult, contemporary, drama, romance

Release date: March 1st, 2015

Released by: Radiant Books

Length: 197 pages

Book Blurb: Faith Lane is the girl who has everything. At least, that’s what everyone thinks when they see her rocking a killer dress while laughing with her best friend, Tiffany. But Faith’s life is far from flawless. Her peers torment her relentlessly, and her parents expect her to be the epitome of perfection. Criticized and pressured at school and home, Faith retreats into silent acceptance and finds an escape in her passion of dancing. Then she meets Alex – quirky, forever with a pass, and concealing a mysterious secret of his own. And through his encouragement, Faith starts believing in her gift for dance and gains courage to stand up for herself. But will she be able to keep her footing when the events of one night consume her with the need to jump off the rocky cliffs near her coastal home? And what has pushed her to the edge of reason?

REVIEW

Adolescence hits us all, along with the many lessons we have to learn about ourselves and others. We all want to be accepted, we all want to feel great and we all want to experience love. The Color of Happiness explores all of these subject matters and I loved every second. It really put me in the mind frame of movies such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and St. Elmo’s Fire – to name but a few!

Faith Lane experiences teasing and torment from her peers as she has her own individual wardrobe – sometimes she’s a hit and other times a flop. But the teasing upsets Faith and keeps her self-esteem low. If it wasn’t for her best friend, Tiffany, she would be quite alone. However, she is one that is strong enough to stand up for what she believes in, and even when her mother wants her to wear an outfit that she has made looking like the Mexican flag, Faith wears it in a selfless act to spare her mum’s feelings.

Tiffany is a strong character – she accepts Faith for who she is, encourages her when she’s feeling low and gives her a great boost when she needs it. We can all do with a Tiffany in our lives. She is the one person that Faith opens up to about her feelings of her peers, school work, her parents, and boys.

Faith’s parents can be quite controlling over her life -not wanting her to do too much socialising with the wrong sorts and keeping a very close eye on her grades. Even when reaching 95%+ in her exams, her mother in particular tries to push for more. Faith knows it is because her parents just want the best for her and because they worry, but she needs a release of pressure at times.

One day at school changes her life forever. After being teased by an upperman, she is relieved from further torment as his friend, Alex, encourages him to stop. Although dubious at first, after bumping into Alex around the school and having conversations and small flirtatious moments with him, she begins to develop feelings for him and they begin to see each other on a regular basis. Albeit, without the knowledge of Faith’s parents – they are so controlling over her life she feels that they won’t accept her having a boyfriend and therefore feels she has no choice but to keep him a secret from them.

Alex soon becomes the love of her life. They share many lovely, intimate and emotional times together. And he really is the boost that she has always needed, giving her courage and building her self-esteem, as well as showing her what true love is all about. The moments with Alex are written beautifully.

Alone in her bedroom, she has been watching dancing videos on the internet and practices the moves around her home and in-between classes at school when no one else is around. After noticing Faith do this and knowing that there is an opening with the dance class, Alex (and later Tiffany) encourage Faith to audition. Not really believing in herself, and knowing her parents want her to dedicate time on her studies, she tries to shrug it off. But deep inside she knows that she would love the opportunity to feel free in dance. Being urged to at least try the audition out, she flourishes and her confidence soars.

Faith’s life comes crashing down when there is a major twist in the story with some very unfortunate events. The reader is taken on a journey with Faith as she tries to piece her life back together. It is extremely touching in parts that may bring a tear or two to your eyes.

The Color of Happiness is a powerful read with so much meaning. It puts the message across for all of us, not just adolescents, to ‘have a go’, even if in doubt. That during dark times you can pick yourself back up. It is a huge confidence boost, uplifting and a great read for any teen, as well as a motivation boost for those feeling down or those with low self-esteem. The story provides courage and faith to all those that read it, which is exactly what Alex does for Faith’s character. It is a great debut from author K.P. Gazelle!

An ARC copy of The Color of Happiness was provided by the publisher in return for an honest and fair review.

The Color of Happiness is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, K.P. GAZELLE

Welcome to A Reader’s Review Blog. We would like to thank you for participating in our interview for The Color of Happiness.

Thank you SO much for having me 🙂

Where did your inspiration come from to write The Color of Happiness?

Different events and people inspired different parts of the book.  The element of grounded friendships was inspired from my personal life.  I have the BEST friends!

Can you relate to any of the characters in The Color of Happiness, either personally or through a friend?

I can relate to Faith in certain ways.  Like Faith, I put a lot of pressure on myself to excel and do the best that I can.

Your character, Faith, escapes her peer pressure and the pressure from her parents through dance. Has dance ever played a part in your own life?

Nope!  I’m more like Tiffany – Faith’s best friend – in that regard LOL.  Couldn’t dance if my life depended on it!

Can you tell us more about Alex, and the effect he has on Faith?

Alex, of course, is Faith’s love interest in the book.  He’s one of the people who really get Faith to start believing in her dance abilities and in herself as an individual overall.

Were any particular areas of the story more difficult to write than others?

Definitely, yes.  Sometimes, it was difficult to share the exact emotions a character was experiencing at a given time.

How would you describe your writing style?

Hmmm . . . I don’t know if I have a set style.  I like to write in character, so that changes each time.

Are you an avid reader? Do you have a favourite book/author?

Yes!  I absolutely LOVE to read!  I love too many books and authors to pick a favorite . . .

When you are not writing, what do you do like to do? What is next for K.P. Gazelle?

You would probably find me reading.  I also enjoy taking pictures, although I’m not very good at it LOL.  There’s been an idea rattling in my head for some time.  Let’s see what happens with it!

 Thank you for your time. We wish you every success with The Color of Happiness!

*Spotlight with excerpt* The Girl In Between by Laekan Zea Kemp

We welcome Laekan Zea Kemp to our blog with a great spotlight of The Girl In Between, a Young Adult paranormal romance novel and the first in it’s series. Released in September of this year, it is now perma-free (details below) and a book we are looking forward to reviewing in 2015!

The Girl In Between (The Girl In Between Series Book 1)

Blurb: Bryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.

But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.

Author bio

Laekan is a writer and explorer extraordinaire who grew up in the flatlands of West Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech with a BA in Creative Writing and is the author of the multi-cultural New Adult novels The Things They Didn’t Bury, Orphans of Paradise, Breathing Ghosts, and the Young Adult novel The Girl In Between, which is the first in an upcoming paranormal romance series.

Website: http://laekanzeakemp.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaekanZeaKemp

Goodreads

EXCERPT

“Can I show you something?” she asked.

I wasn’t sure if I should follow her or even if I could but I didn’t want her to let go of me. I didn’t want her to disappear again and leave me there alone, still lost. So I nodded.

We swam to the end of the dock and she untied the small rowboat. She climbed in first, reaching for the oars and holding it steady as I sat down across from her. I watched the house recede. My eyes trailed back to the road, still waiting for someone to come down it. They didn’t.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Not far.”

I searched the horizon but it was empty. No land. No boats. It felt like we were headed straight for the skyline, about to fall off into nothing. The waves grew choppy and I wanted to take the oars from her but I didn’t know where we were going and for some reason I liked listening to the slow rhythm of her breathing as she fought the waves.

The boat finally grinded to a stop and when I looked over the edge the water was so clear I could see tiny creatures bedding in the sand, their thin shadows eclipsed by the girl as she climbed onto the sandbar.

“I went to the Bahamas once when I was thirteen,” she said. “The water was so blue. I strapped on a snorkel and spent the entire week just walking from sandbar to sandbar, face underwater watching the fish swim by.”

I followed her out of the boat and a school of bright yellow fish cut between us, scales glinting.

“This?” I said.

She smiled and walked around to the other side of the boat. The water was a dark grey, my legs tangled in a mess of rust colored seaweed. I could barely see my feet, their shadows disappearing beneath swirls of mud.

“This is the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston. I tagged along on one of my mom’s work trips. It was just a few weeks after Hurricane Ike.”

I stared at the muddled outline where the two oceans converged—one light, one dark. I waited for them to mix, for that invisible seam to break free but it didn’t.

We waded farther out into the clear water, another school of fish bumping against my calf, bright red coral twisting near my ankles. It was startling.

“I used to come here,” she said. “When I first got sick I would stand here and it wouldn’t feel like purgatory anymore. They’re memories.” She faced the beach. “My memories.” Then she looked at me. “I don’t know why you’re here or if you’re—”

“Real?” I asked.

She nodded and I wasn’t so sure anymore either.

“But you don’t have to be afraid,” she said. “It doesn’t have to feel like purgatory.”

I watched the sunlight reflecting off the ocean and dancing against her skin. Her eyes were lighter in the sun; green churning to a soft sea foam like the waves crashing near our feet. And standing there in that invisible seam between two oceans, two worlds, she was just as startling.

The tide swirled in her gaze and I watched it shimmer there, glinting from a soft grey to jade and then I said, “It doesn’t.”

Buy links:

The Girl In Between is now perma-free and is available on the following sites:-

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Smashwords

Google Play

Review Round Up December ’14

Hi readers, we hope that you’re Christmas preparations are going well and that you are not too stressed with all of the arrangements, shopping and wrapping to do! Here is the last Review Round Up of 2014! As usual, there are quite a few genres with the fourteen books that we have reviewed, and we do hope that they pique your interest. (For the full review please click on the titles.)

You may be pleased to hear that we will both be doing our Top Reads of 2014 over the holidays. We have had the pleasure of reading many great reads and look forward to sharing them!

Enjoy!

Caroline & Tina ❤

Invasion Earth (Delroi Connection #1) by Loribelle Hunt, erotic/sci-fi romance (reviewed by Tina)

In the distant future, Earth has been ravaged by war and famine, and after generations of bloodshed settles into peace only to be invaded by the alien Delroi. General Alrik Torfa needs a mate and his seers promise mates for many of his people on the distant planet Earth. He doesn’t expect her to come easily, but is more than a little surprised to find her leading an enemy army. Outmanned and outgunned, there is no way the Earth forces can win.Sergeant Major Laney Bradford has always played her part and served her people well, but the demands of the Delroi’s surrender are a bit extreme. Marriage? To one of them? Not likely. But she’s fought for peace her entire life and when surrender talks are threatened by a conspiracy led by her people, Laney must choose. Will she submit to the alien invader or lead the fight against him?

Entropy by Robert Raker, dark crime drama, thriller suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s.
United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

To Avenge Her Highland Warrior (Highland Fae Chronicles #3) by Samantha Holt, historical romance, fantasy (reviewed by Tina)

Lorna lost everything to war. Her home, her wealth… her lover. And now she wants revenge. When her hasty plan throws her at the mercy of her enemy’s men, she holds little hope of returning to her kin and fears death is around the corner. But could her salvation lie in the arms of her dark captor? Logan has little time to be dealing with a stubborn noble woman. His orders are to prepare for war. His laird—the man he owes his life to—intends to join forces with the Norse and bring a battle to Scotland that will see the fate of the country forever changed. Scarred, and with no memory of his past, Logan is determined to forge a new future for himself as well as prove his loyalty to the laird. But the beautiful lass has him questioning his previous life and his goals. When she starts claiming he once loved her, he knows he’s being manipulated and she’s taking advantage of his memory loss. So why is it so hard to resist the idea of having once been her lover? With the threat of impending war—a battle that promises to bring slaughter to her family—can Lorna persuade Logan to believe her, and is the bitter man he’s become even worth saving? Whatever the outcome of the battle, a certain interfering faery is resolved to see fate back on its correct path. And that means forcing Lorna and Logan together—no matter their differences.

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, dark crime drama, thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Wealthy entrepreneur Robin Bradford had it all – the house, the cars, the fine dining – and he lost it all. All except Lizzie, his perfect, loving girlfriend. Down on his luck and with no immediate prospects in business, Robin’s energies found another outlet, Just a little something spicy to bide his time until his financial world recovered, leading him down a very seedy path, onto a very rocky road. Time however was all he had, and all he was going to get.

Due to violence, drug references and sexual content, readers are recommended to be of 18yrs+.

Benddontbreak_front_coverBend, Don’t Break (Irrevocable #2) by Skye Callahan, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

I thought I was done.
my End
I couldn’t take my eyes off her as the bullet tore through me, leaving me with nothing but the hope that I had done enough to save her. The darkness tried to engulf me—to brand me as its own and drag me to my fate.
my Darkness
Waking to see her tear-stained face above me was enough to make my heart stutter. I was alive and free from that place—but not from the toll it had taken on my mind and body.
my Strength
My story should have ended, but one woman kept standing in the way of that. The only way I could have her was to find a way to put the darkness to rest.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance, romantic comedy, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Miranda Cates finally graduates from college and is excited to begin her dream career in law enforcement. After the final betrayal and heartbreak of her college boyfriend, Chris, she moves back home with a firm plan in place for her life.

However, the life she has carefully mapped out for herself takes a serious left turn. Miranda finds she not only has to be strong for herself, but for the daughter who hadn’t been part of her plan.

Determined to still believe in true love, life throws Miranda one more wicked curveball. She meets Jace Lawless, a hot minor league baseball player, whose warm aqua eyes and big dimple have her unraveling her carefully laid plans. A man who may be just be too good to be true.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is book 3 in the Duty & Desire series, and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it’s not necessary.

An Autumn CrushAn Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson, contemporary romantic comedy (reviewed by Caroline)

In the heart of the windy season, four friends are about to get swept off their feet…

Newly single after a bruising divorce, Juliet Miller moves into a place of her own and advertises for a flatmate, little believing that, in her mid-thirties, she’ll find anyone suitable. Then, just as she’s about to give up hope, along comes self-employed copywriter Floz, and the two women hit it off straight away.

When Juliet’s gentle giant of a twin brother, Guy, meets Floz, he falls head over heels. But, as hard as he tries to charm her, his foot seems to be permanently in his mouth. Meanwhile, Guy’s best friend Steve has always had a secret crush on Juliet – one which could not be more unrequited if it tried…

As Floz and Juliet’s friendship deepens, and Floz becomes a part of the Miller family, can Guy turn her affection for them into something more – into love for him? And what will happen to Steve’s heart when Juliet eventually catches the eye of Piers – the man of her dreams?

21473101Apartment 2B by K. Webster, Adult contemporary paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Sidney has a rough life. Her mom is incredibly abusive both mentally and physically. One day, she’s awarded the escape she’s always wanted and thrust into a world she barely understands. Each day is a struggle to feel human and not terrified of everything around her.

Sidney has rules. Routines. Structure. It’s the only way she can cope

When a handsome, yet mysterious stranger inserts himself into her life, Sidney begins to come apart at the seams. She’s having trouble sticking to her habits and it’s threatening to shred any hope of a normal life to pieces. Will this stranger help her in ways no other person can, or will things get worse for her?

He comes with his own set of problems and secrets he’s unwilling to share. Will they work together through the mess of their pasts or will they get caught up enabling each other? Will their toxic relationship ultimately be destined for demise?

MistUnveiled_HiResMist Unveiled (Elemental Desire #1) by Nancy Corrigan, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Cat has one love in her life—science. Facts rule her, not passion. At least it doesn’t until an unknown deadly virus claims her sister’s life. Cat’s quest for answers takes her to Greenland and drops her into the arms of the one man who sways her devotion from logic to passion. Rune stirs her lusts, ignites her desires and fuels her carnal cravings, but he isn’t simply a lover, nor is he human. He’s a weapon, one that has the potential to save or destroy her.

Rune, a child of the mist, awakens into a world hovering on the verge of destruction. Rising temperatures have released his enemies from their frozen prison without his knowledge. He searches for them but finds Cat, a human with the power to save him and the world. He hungers for her—blood, body and soul. Every moment of shared passion convinces him of the truth—she’s his greatest treasure, one he’ll die to keep.

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives (Virginia #1, Lana #2 & Nella #3) by Rhian Cahill, Cate Ellink & Cathleen Ross, erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Cool, collected, confident – those who know Virginia in her personal and professional life would never expect to find her in Boyd’s, a bar across town from her circle of friends and socialite world. But Boyd’s offers her something she can’t get among her rarefied acquaintances: sex. Rough, hard, mind-blowing, anonymous sex. In her casual clothes, she’s no one important. Incognito, unnoticed by everyone except one: the bartender who knows her drink order – and would like to know a whole lot more.

22584Lana by Cate Ellink: Lana lives her life by her own rules – and she has very few. What she wants, she goes for, and she very rarely fails. So when a young, handsome waiter at her favourite restaurant catches her eye, she has no hesitation in asking him to escort her home. But one night of passion opens up exciting new possibilities, and a chance for Lana to enact one of her deepest, most illicit fantasies.

23510826Nella by Cathleen Ross: Nella is one hundred percent in control of her life – all aspects of her life. She excels at knowing what everyone needs, and in meeting those needs. So when it comes to her husband, Michael, and his deepest desires and most fundamental requirements, she is committed, creative, and unswerving in her responsibilities. A strong man needs a strong woman, and Nella’s love is as strong as steel.

Cursed (Cursed trilogy #1) & Obsession (Cursed trilogy #2) by Georgina Hannan, young adult paranormal horror (reviewed by Caroline)

CursedCursed: 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.

Obsession by Georgina Hannan_1Obsession: 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?

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseCandy Cain (festive short story) by C.L. Scholey, hot, contemporary romance, festive (reviewed by Caroline)

Candy is on top of the world. She’s a high priced corporate lawyer with expensive cars, time on her hands, and money to burn. Although, she has no one to burn it on, except for a yearly ritual of buying toys and treats for the needy at Christmas time.

Cain is an egotistical enigma. A very deprived and hurting enigma, who feels wishes are for fools. A car accident leaves them stranded together, and the two have no choice but to warm each other’s cold bodies, lest they freeze to death.

As the temperature dips outside, the heat begins to sizzle inside. Candy and Cain, though worlds apart in society, begin to feel perhaps they have more in common than either could ever wish for.

Will they both discover the miracle of Christmas wishes isn’t just for the very young?

A Way from Heart to HeartA Way From Heart to Heart by Helena Fairfax, contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

After the death of her husband in Afghanistan, Kate Hemingway’s world collapses around her. Kate’s free time is spent with a charity for teenage girls, helping them mend their broken lives – which is ironic, since her own life is fractured beyond repair.

Reserved, ex-public school journalist Paul Farrell is everything Kate and her teenage charges aren’t. But when Paul agrees to help Kate with her charity, he makes a stunning revelation that changes everything.

But can Kate take a risk with her son’s happiness as well as her own?

6624391The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, historical romance, religious (reviewed by Tina)

Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems. Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley’s secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?

**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 Day* Future Girls by Catharine Bramkamp

Half face closeup portrait of beautiful blond girl with peachy makeupEternal Press is proud to announce the publication of Future Girls!

 

Title: Future Girls
Author: Catharine Bramkamp
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Time Travel
Release Date: 1st December 2014
Publishers: Eternal Press

 

PRESS RELEASE
2145.  All work and world negotiations take place in virtual reality, call the Realty Cloud – run and organized by men. Charity Northquest knows that her future is set – marriage at 18, babies and the same struggle over dwindling resources that her mother faces daily.

 

But there is another way.  And Charity accidentally becomes one of the girls the women of the Time Cult send back in time.  Charity has only 100 hours in the past to make the right change that will create a better future.  Or she will stay in the past forever.

 

Future Girls is Handmaids Tale meets Back to the Future.  The action takes place in the “Past” – The SF Bay Area of 2045.  Charity travels from San Francisco as far as San Jose.  Her adventure begins in an old pub named the Duck and Screw.

 

SYNOPSIS
On October 10, 2145, 18 year old Charity Northquest’s whole future is ahead of her – and the future sucks.

 

On October 11, 2145, she unexpectedly has a chance to fix it.  

 

When Charity’s best friend is reported killed, but then re- appears the next day as an old woman,  everything Charity has been taught is called into question.  Even if she doesn’t believe in time travel, she has little choice but to trust and take the leap.The ill-prepared Charity is flung back to the mysterious and captivating  21st century where  her single purpose of  changing the future is clouded with the increasingly more urgent question, can she survive the past? here  her single purpose of  changing the future fades with the increasingly more urgent question, can she survive the past?

 

REVIEW QUOTES
“Charity is achingly believable. I liked her spunk. Future Girls
  was freaky, sad, terrifying, depressing, and captivating as hell.”
 – Beth Barany author of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer and Gargoyle: Three Enchanting Romance Novellas

 

“Wow, Catharine! Great story. I think you have a winner.”
 – Carol Collier author of Bohor and An Appalachian Summer

 

EXCERPT
Charity slipped into room 509 and closed the door quietly behind her.
            For a minute she thought the old woman was already dead.  The TV was turned up, the Preacher bellowing about the sanctity of marriage and the exalted position of Mothers in the Kingdom of the True God.  After they were dead.
            “It’s Charity,” she kept her voice as low as she could. “Now tell me what you know about Mirabella.”
            The woman smiled.  “You’re getting feisty, that’s good.”
            “Oh stop. Just tell me.” Charity’s urgency propelled her to the edge of the bed and she unconsciously picked up the woman’s good hand. It was blue veined and thin. The skin felt like the soft paper of an old book.
            “Okay, Go. The old university is the easiest place.  And go change this.” She rolled her eyes to indicate the whole the room, maybe the whole of the city.   “We don’t have to live like prisoners, we don’t have to just be mothers.”
            “But we’re protected, we’re safe, we have peace.”  Charity automatically protested.
            “Safe. Prisoners. Same.” The woman dismissed Charity’s reflexive response.  “Just go. I know this is hard and you don’t understand.  We aren’t told anything at all, never will, by the way, and there isn’t much time.  You remember Hannah Vandermere?  She did okay.  I haven’t heard about Mary or Honesty.  But you need to go back. You’ve read books, you’ll be able to cope.  Just try to get to the 21st century, not far.  The 19th isn’t where the change is.”
            “What are you talking about?”  Charity glanced back towards the hall, but it was still empty.
            The woman closed her eyes.  “Please, for me.  For Mirabella, if you will.  Go.” 
            A tingling ran up and down her arms and spread over her whole body.  Go where?  What did the old woman mean?  She glanced back at the sleeping woman and almost shook her awake. But in the space of a heartbeat, the old woman’s breathing had stopped. 

 

FROM THE AUTHOR
I agree with Madeleine L’Engle,  “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

 

I had been writing adult mystery novels and self-help for writers.  The Real Estate Diva Mystery series is doing well but sometimes you don’t know where your mind will take you. I started Future Girls during NaNoWriMo and began with the small idea: what if the future sucked?  And what if you could change it?  I love the film Back to the Future  that was part of the inspiration for Future Girls.

 

I also love books with strong female heroines.  When I was a young adult reader, books with a kick ass heroine were more difficult to find than they are today, that’s probably whey they are so cherished.  The not to subtle message of Future Girls is you can change the future, and it doesn’t need to be a big war, or a small dragon. Change can come from inserting a different idea, showing one person a different way to see things.  In the Future Girls series,  women work to change the future, because historically women often have much more to change, we have more at risk.  It is said that children are our future, but that attitude seems too passive for me, at the very least, too passive for a novel.

 

I started this book two years ago as a NaNoWriMo project and met the publishers for Damnation and Eternal Press at a local book festival.  I glanced down at their book display and said,  hey, I think my book would fit into your collection.  I sent them Future Girls and they accepted it.  Publishing with a small publisher is great, but it is a slower process if you are accustomed to publishing your own work.  But in the end I was quite happy with the results.

 

The second book in the Future Girls series is Future Gold, set in the Gold Country in 1861.  And I am working on the third book, Future Run,  a weird Mad Max- like road trip across the western states.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Catharine Bramkamp is a writing coach and podcaster specializing in Newbie Writers. She is the author of hundreds of articles and a dozen books including The Real Estate Diva Mystery series, two essays in the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, Don’t Write Like You Talk and the poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise.
She holds two degrees in English, and is an adjunct university professor of English and writing.
She lives with her husband, Andrew Hutchins in Sonoma County and Nevada County, California.

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS

Recommended Halloween Horrors for Young Readers, Teens and Young Adults (11yrs+)

PumpkinThis weekend we are looking at our recommended reads for Halloween. With little than a week to go, and with half term holidays here in the UK, it is a fantastic chance to check out some reads for this season and hopefully read them over the hols! Today we are focusing on our younger readers (11yrs+), but of course the reads are just as much fun for mature readers too. Tomorrow we will be checking out some Halloween horrors for our adult readers (17yrs+). Be sure to come back then!

So without further ado here are some great reads for the younger and coming-of-age audience! (Please check recommended ages as there are some for 15/16yrs+.)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Caroline and Tina 🙂

WaysToSeeGhost CvrWays to See a Ghost by Emily Diamand (reviewed by Caroline and Tina)

Teenagers Unite to Combat Evil in Explosive Paranormal  Thriller              

For ages 11+

Isis, the daughter of a charlatan psychic, can see ghosts – including that of her dead little sister, Angel. Gray is the son of a UFO-chasing conspiracy theorist. The two teenagers are forced together when their parents start dating. After a reluctant start, a friendship develops and Isis confesses her secret ability to Gray. But when Isis’ mum is inducted into an elite psychic society, run by charismatic Philip Syndal, Isis discovers there are sinister intentions beneath Philip’s charm. She and Gray find themselves in grave danger and Isis is forced to use her considerable powers to save them both.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

WolfstoneThe Wolfstone Curse by Justin Richards (reviewed by Caroline and Tina)

Thrilling Paranormal Adventure

For age 12+

If Death were an animal, she would be a wolf…

Welcome to the historic town of Wolfstone, where dark secrets lurk in the shadows and strange beasts stalk the land. Can teenagers Peter and Carys uncover the real truth behind the legend of the werewolf and will they survive the Wolfstone Curse? Read on, if you dare…

When Peter joins his archaeologist father in the strange village of Wolfstone, he has no idea what dark secrets the village and its manor house hold. From ancient standing stones, to the genetically engineered Wolfen SS soldiers, he uncovers the real truth of the werewolf myth in this action-packed adventure. The plot is interjected with ‘source documents’, letters and other ‘authentic’ material.

Exclusive interview with author, Justin Richards

Justin Richards Bio

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)Blue Moon (The Crystal Trilogy #1) by Pat Spence (reviewed by Caroline)

Supernatural, spellbinding horror

For ages 15yrs+

“Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Keira Hudson Series 1, 2, and 3 by Tim O’Rourke (reviewed, or to be reviewed, by Caroline)

Paranormal horror adventure

For ages 15yrs+

When 20-year-old police recruit Kiera Hudson is posted to the remote town of The Ragged Cove, her life is changed forever. Investigating a series of horrific murders, grave desecrations, and missing persons, Kiera uses her unique ability of seeing, and soon realizes her own life is in danger. When Kiera falls for police officer Luke Bishop, not only are her mind and heart opened to a terrifyingly new world, she comes to suspect that Luke might be involved in the killings. In a race against time to unearth the truth, Kiera must discover the identity of who – or what – is behind the gruesome deaths on her Vampire Shift.

Vampire Shift (Keira Hudson series One, #1) is available at Amazon for FREE at the time of writing. (Please be aware prices are subject to change). Check it out at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The latest release, Keira Hudson & the Creeping Men (Keira Hudson series Three, #1) is also now available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

All titles in the Keira Hudson series are mentioned below, with either a link to our review or to reviews on Goodreads. We do intend on reviewing the remaining books in the not so distant future!

Vampire Shift (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 1)

Vampire Wake (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 2)

Vampire Hunt (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 3)

Vampire Breed (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 4)

Wolf House (Potter’s Story) (Kiera Hudson Series 1 Book 4.5) – novella

Vampire Hollows (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 5)

Dead Flesh (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1)

Dead Night – Potter’s Secrets (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1.5) – novella

Dead Angels (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 2)

Dead Statues (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 3)

Dead Seth (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 4)

Dead Wolf (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 5)

Dead Water (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 6)

Dead Push (Keira Hudson, Series 2, Book 7)

Dead Lost (Keira Hudson, Series 2, Book 8)

Dead End (Keira Hudson, Series 2, Book 9)

Keira Hudson & the Creeping Men (Keira Hudson, Series 3, Book 1)

In addition to the above, please check out:-

Vampire Shift – The Graphic Novel (Volume One) (Keira Hudson Series One) –  illustrated by Craig Twyman

CursedCursed by Georgina Hannan (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Scary and suspenseful horror romance.

For ages 16yrs+

A young adult story about a group of four friends who emark on a holiday together to the georgeous 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 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.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Amethyst's incredible journeyAmethyst’s Incredible Journey by Lisa Bland (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Fantasy adventure

For ages 11yrs+

Amethyst is a witch with extremely evil and powerful parents. Amethyst is terrified that if she don’t stop her parents soon it will be too late, and they will gain control of Golden Dragon City and the Fountain of Magic. Amethyst knows that she has only got until her next birthday to stop them!.Amethyst has to travel through different realms to collect the blood red rubies that she needs to stop them.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US(Please note that this book is showing as currently unavailable. We do hope that it is available as soon as possible.)

WHEREWOLVESWherewolves by John Vamvas and Olga Montes (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Horror thriller

For ages 16yrs+

Using a fun, explosive style, full of new slang and fresh dialogue, WHEREWOLVES is the story of a group of high school seniors, most “military brats”, who are headed for an army-type survival weekend.

The underdogs, Jeffrey and Doris, do not want to go as they fear for their safety among the disdain and cruelty of the popular students. Sergeant Tim O’Sullivan, their teacher, as well as their dysfunctional parents pressure them into going, but it is an unforgivable act by their peers that propels the pair to go. Likewise, Elie, a student resented because of his Arab roots, is even more determined to prove himself this weekend. In the background, a news report cautions of a wanted couple with alleged super-human strength supposedly brought on by a new drug on the streets.

In the woods, the students hike, hunt, camp, and soon act in unity as the forest brings them closer together. But does it? O’Sullivan leaves them alone for the night. The students bond, chant, tell campfire tales, and quickly lose their fears and inhibitions. HOO-AH! Though sexual tensions are high, it soon turns to violence and everything quickly turns sour.

When the kids start disappearing one after the other, the remaining begin to unwittingly “act like the natives” carving spears, ready to face whatever is out there. What has gotten into them?

Amid the blood-curdling growls and the gruesome deaths, the story’s underlying layers are revealed. We see how misconceptions, prejudice, greed, fear, and hatred bring out the worst and best in them.

What is out there? Can it really be werewolves?

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

For more great reads and best sellers in the horror genre for teens and young adults please visit Amazon UK or Amazon US.

And be sure to come back tomorrow for our recommended reads for mature/adult readers, 17yrs+!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

*Recent Release* The Golden City of Doubloon by Richard Natale (with author bio and excerpt)

The Golden City of Doubloon-510 (2)We are excited to introduce a recently released (on 26th September 2014), a Young Adult, fantasy novel, The Golden City of Doubloon by Richard Natale. It is  published by Double Dragon Publishing and is available both as an e-book and paperback. (Please scroll down for author bio and exerpt.)

BLURB: The Golden City of Doubloon is an adventure novel with a strong moral and spiritual underpinning. Set in the Great Depression, the protagonist’s journey of self-discovery includes a massive flood, a tornado, a terrifying massacre at a tent revival meeting and a climactic battle aboard a zeppelin. Our hero, Japeth Finian, 20, the devout, orphaned son of missionary parents, embarks on a time-constrained journey to Doubloon, the “oasis of the Midwest,” to find a serum that will save the inhabitants of his small town from a blood disease that robs them of their immortal souls in return for the promise of eternal life. When they arrive in Doubloon they are confronted by all the wonders, and terrors, of modern life. Joining Japeth in his adventures are his friends, the brave and noble Crowell, the loyal but scatterbrained Lon, Crowell’s sister Lucinda, with whom Japeth is not so secretly in love, and Abra, Japeth’s mute younger sister who may possess secret powers.

Author Bio

Richard Natale is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles whose work has appeared in such publications as the The New York Times, the L.A. Times, The Washington Post, W and Time Magazine among others. He is also a past winner of the National Playwright’s Competition. The Golden City of Doubloon is his third published novel.

Excerpt

A few minutes later, they pulled up to the shelter and pounded their fists on the metal doors, shouting “Open up, Reverend, open up,” until they were hoarse. But the howling wind drowned out their efforts.
“We’re too late,” Lon screamed. “Now we’re gonna die.”
They looked up in horror as one of the twisters touched down on the far end of Main Street, wrapping itself around the new fire house and spitting loose bricks like they were bits of confetti. One by one, the swirling, dark eddy ripped its way down the street, dismantling the post office, the general store, and the schoolhouse.
Abra pulled on Japeth’s arm and drew him down the hill toward the church. One of the chapel doors was open, flapping aimlessly in the wind like an invitation.
“But there ain’t even so much as a basement in there,” Lon cried.
“Don’t matter. It’s our only hope,” Japeth said.
Crowell climbed into the truck and rolled it downhill. Japeth and Abra jumped onto the running board and held on. Lon brought up the rear, riding Becka up the steps and inside the church.
“I don’t care if it is the Lord’s house, I ain’t leaving her out there,” he said before anyone could protest.
“All creatures great and small,” Japeth reassured him.
After parking the truck behind the church, Crowell helped Japeth secure the doors and bolt them, while Lon rode Becka around to shut all the windows and attach the shutters. They scanned the dimly lit room for a suitable place to take cover and nearly jumped out of their skins when the wind blew through the organ pipes, producing a blaring, discordant tune.
“That’s it,” Japaeth shouted. “We get behind the organ. Thing weighs a ton. Not even a twister could lift it.” He crouched down and peered behind the organ. It was a tight fit, but it would have to do. “Get in,” Japeth commanded Abra, who got down on all fours and crept into the darkness.
Japeth was about to follow when there was a sudden roar. The twister, now just outside, was rattling the front door like an determined burglar.
Lon got down from his horse and tried to find someplace to tether her. Frightened, Becka bolted and ran straight toward Japeth. He jumped out of her path and spun around. One of the window shutters exploded and slammed against the back of his head, throwing him across the room.
The gyrating wind howled through the insides of the church picking up any loose object it could find. Crowell and Lon flattened against the floor and crawled over to Japeth, who was unconscious. They dragged him toward the narrow opening behind the organ. Lon went in first, grabbing Japeth’s wrists. Crowell clamped his hands tightly around Japeth’s ankles to keep from being swept away.
“I can’t do it. I can’t,” Lon said in a panic. But slowly, he inched Japeth in. The last thing Crowell saw as he folded his body under the organ was poor Ol’ Becka being lifted into the vortex.
The wind tapped out a deafening dirge on the organ as it devoured the chapel. Abra had to press an ear against her brother’s heart to be certain it was still beating.
A few minutes later, as impulsively as it had descended, the twister relinquished its hold on the church and raced away. But the group remained huddled behind the organ taking no chances. The two tornadoes flirted with each other on the outskirts of town for most of the day. They finally gave in to their attraction and, just after nightfall, returned to visit their combined wrath on the graveyard. The giant twister skipped lightly over the old cemetery and concentrated its fury on the annex, churning the dead from their eternal rest. Tombstones were overturned, coffins lifted out of the ground and corpses were carelessly tossed about.
Sated, the tornado then trailed off in search of fresh prey.

PURCHASE LINKS

The e-book is available from Double Dragon, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Ibook among others.

AMAZON US (e-book)

AMAZON UK (ebook)

LULU (paperback)

 

Bounty Hunter by S.J. Hollis

Bounty Hunter

Blurb: What do you do when your magic makes you a target? Run. Fight. Die.

14-year-old Kai Koson had nothing to do with the apocalypse, thank you very much. He was just a baby the day a coven of blood witches ripped a hole in the universe and the demons fell screaming from the sky. Earth and its magic perished. Witchkind was hunted and annihilated.

Now, because he was born a witch, Kai must spend his life running and fighting for survival. Even his own uncle seems determined to abandon him.

With nothing left to lose, Kai runs away and joins a team of galactic bounty hunters. But instead of providing an escape, it sets Kai on a path that will destroy everything he believes about himself and the apocalypse, transforming him into the most wanted teenager in the galaxy.


Written with humour, imagination and darkness, Bounty Hunter and its protagonist Kai Koson stand confidently beside Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Young Bond, Mortal Engines and Harry Potter.

S.J. Hollis’ BOUNTY HUNTER is an excellent read for young or adult readers who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. It is essentially a coming-of-age apocalyptic/dystopian, following the story of a fourteen year old boy, Kai, and how he struggles being a hunter when he is the hunted…. by the whole galaxy!

Kai is an unfortunate boy as the reader realises that he understands very little about the truth of his very early life. Being brought up by his uncle, Galway, he is used to running from town to town every time it appears that he is being chased away for being different, for being a ‘witch’. Kai is gradually discovering his magic and coming to terms with who he is, trying to identify himself and his abilities. Galway is constantly looking out for him and protecting him to the best of his abilities, but once Kai begins to feel settled he longs for stability and to stop running and face his ‘demons’ if he has to. However, Galway is not supportive of this decision.

However, the reader feels sympathy for Kai and longs for him to be free – free from running, free to live as and where he chooses. Why should he have to keep running his whole life? At the same time, we also realise the danger that he is in, and as the story continues we find out that it is not just his magical quality that he is being sought for but actually who he is. The significance of Kai’s life plays a major storyline in this book, making for an intense read, especially when Kai seems a little lost until he meets the Bounty Hunters – Sam, Yamiko and Cassius.

The imagination of S.J. Hollis is amazing as the reader is then taken on an adventure travelling to different planets with different beings. In fact, at one point it reminded me of Star Trek, with the spaceships, planets, aliens and the politics between each kind. The next moment I was taken on a nostalgic ride back to when I read Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ as a kid, where each day there would be a different land above the tree and within the different lands there would be different kinds of folk, some witch-like characters selling magic potions, etc. Just like the characters in ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ never knew which land was to be atop the tree each day, in Bounty Hunter Kai and the reader is never quite sure what to expect from each planet and the beings that live there.

Another great aspect of S.J. Hollis’ work is her quirkiness and the use of sarcasm within the dialogue. This certainly breaks up the intensity of the whole story and enlightens the mood. These moments occur mostly between Cassius and Kai. Cassius isn’t too keen on Kai being around and displays his feelings very clearly with his dialogue. The relationship between these two characters is interesting and entertaining to follow.

There were moments when I found some of the descriptive paragraphs a little too ‘heavy’, for example, describing the layout of the spaceship, docking bays, etc. However, due to the nature of story, especially being a sci-fi/fantasy, I realise that most is needed to assist the reader in building up the setting, planets and helping the reader to visualise the various characters, i.e. witches, demons, aliens, etc.

The front cover illustrated by Lawrence Mann is very eye catching, original and draws the potential reader in. I love the colours, the darkness and contrast between the red and the blue. It also shows a little of the magic that is in Kai’s hands, which is ironic as the reader has a sense of his magic before he is aware of it.

The whole layout of Bounty Hunter is carefully planned. Each chapter is named appropriate to its content and are quite a nice length to read, making it easy for the reader to read in small doses if they don’t have the chance to read in one or two sittings. Having the chapters named also helps the reader to find areas of the story they may wish to recap on.

If you’re looking for a timeless story within the sci-fi/fantasy genre, suitable for the younger or adult reader, with fantastic imagination, magic, adventure and wondrous characters then look no further. And what’s more, S.J. Hollis is working on a sequel to be released later this year!


E-book and paperback copies can be found at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker