Book Review: Koolura and the Mayans by Michael Thal

Koolura-and-the-Mayans-cover-copyTitle: Koolura and the Mayans
Author: Michael Thal
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Koolura, a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, is back again with pal Leila. The duo is off to Mexico for Koolura’s father’s wedding. When touring a Mayan archeological dig, the girls uncover a mysterious device that hurtles them 2000 years back in time. They soon discover aliens from the planet Aquari living amongst Mayan natives. Are these Aquarians planning to take over Earth? And can Koolura and Leila stop them in time?

Koolura and the Mayans is an engaging read for young adult readers and middle graders who are advanced for their ages. Koolura is a twelve-year-old girl with amazing psychic powers. Although this is the third book in a series, I had no trouble following along without reading the previous books.

Koolura and her friend Leila are touring a Mayan archeological dig when they find a mysterious devices that throws them back in time to the Mayan civilization’s prime days. Aliens from the planet Aquari are living amongst the Mayan natives, and Koolura and Leila have to figure out their purpose there. Are they planning to take over earth, and if so, can the two friends stop them?

The author has a vivid imagination, and does an admirable job describing the historical setting of the Mayan civilization. Koolura and Leila act like real kids / young adults, and are easy to connect to. This book is a pleasant read with a fast-paced plot, an easy, flowing writing style and fun characters.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Golden Dawn

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I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for paranormal romance “Golden Dawn”. Enjoy the tour, and win two signed paperbacks, three eBook copies and a $5 Amazon gift card. Scroll down to participate!

Tour Schedule

March 31st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

March 31st: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

April 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Paranormal Romance….And Beyond

April 5th: Promo Post @ Literary Musings

April 9th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

April 11th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

April 14th: Promo Post @ Rising Indies United

April 13th: Book Review @ Recipe Fairy

April 13th: Book Excerpt @ Squirrel Talk

April 14th: Promo Post @ Fanatical Paranormal Romantical

April 14th: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

About the Book

golden dawn smallTitle: Golden Dawn

Author: Aldrea Alien

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Family and blood.

After 1100 years, these simple words mean everything to Herald. His life has been ruled by keeping his siblings safe, keeping them from becoming prey whilst feeding on the weaker. His failures have been many and measured by those he has lost. People like his twin brother.

There has always been another enemy.

Just who the enemy is comes into question when Herald meets the dangerous, angelic creature he is to guard. Wondering where his true loyalties lie is a dangerous thought. No matter whether he chooses family over the heart, it will mean death.

Only the right choice will ensure the life taken is not his.

Author Bio

PhotoBorn and raised in New Zealand, Aldrea Alien lives on a small farm with her family, including a menagerie of animals, most of which are convinced they’re just as human as the next person. Especially the cats.

She discovered a love of crafting other worlds at the age of twelve when she first conceived the idea of The Rogue King. Since that that fateful day, she hasn’t found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind, all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first.

It’s a lot of people for one head.

Links

Website

 Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon

Giveaway

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Teaser Tuesdays (44)

Teaser-Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Books and a Beat. In this meme, we grab our current read, open it to a random page and share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page with our readers.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Teaser Tuesdays‘ posts.

Here is my teaser:

Leila signed, “Good one, Kool. You hit the bullseye this time.”

Koolura gave her a high five. She had finally mastered to transport everyone to the exact space she was thinking about.

~ p. 103 Koolura and the Mayans by Michael Thal

What’s your teaser for this week?

Book Review: Scooter Nation by A.B. Funkhauser

OFFICIAL SCOOTER COVERTitle: Scooter Nation
Author: A.B. Funkhauser
Genre: Humor / Noir
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Aging managing director Charlie Forsythe begins his work day with a phone call to Jocasta Binns, the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of Weibigand Funeral Home founder Karl Heinz Sr. Alma Wurtz, a scooter bound sextenarian, community activist, and neighborhood pain in the ass is emptying her urine into the flower beds, killing the petunias. Jocasta cuts him off, reminding him that a staff meeting has been called. Charlie, silenced, is taken aback: he has had no prior input into the meeting and that, on its own, makes it sinister.

The second novel in the UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, SCOOTER NATION takes place two years after HEUER LOST AND FOUND. This time, funeral directors Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue take centre stage as they battle conflicting values, draconian city by-laws, a mendacious neighborhood gang bent on havoc, and a self absorbed fitness guru whose presence shines an unwanted light on their quiet Michigan neighborhood.

When I started reading Scooter Nation, I had no idea what to expect and quite frankly, I’m still a bit shocked by how much fun the book turned out to be. The book starts by introducing a bunch of characters, and finally settles on Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue as the main characters. They’re funeral directors, but handling funerals is only one of the struggles they have to get through during the course of the book.

The book is full of surprises. The characters are three-dimensional and entertaining, in particular Scooter, but it takes a while for the readers to really get to the bottom of a character’s personality and connect with them. The writing flows nicely, and it’s quite fast-paced. The plot is filled with surprises, and I honestly had no idea where the book would go next or what direction it would take. A lot is going on at the same time, and there’s always one conflict or another, making it a very entertaining read.

Book Review: Time on her Hands

mj-tl-timeonherhandsTitle: Time on Her Hands
Author: Melissa Jarvis
Genre: Historical Time Travel Romance
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

A race against time, to save the world.

Derek Massey is the enigmatic head of the time travel agency The Lineage.  He makes the difficult choices, ones that have isolated him from everyone. Sarah James is an experienced Lineage agent, the one others look to for help. She hides her secrets and past well. Only one man has ever caused her to lose her temper.

But when the timeline is betrayed, Sarah will have to work with Derek to solve the biggest anomaly of all, one that threatens to destroy not just the Lineage, but the world itself.  Their journey will take them to the last days of Pompeii and to Renaissance Italy, to a familiar traitor and a pocket watch that could be the key to everything. Sarah and Derek also discover each other’s vulnerabilities, behind the confident agent and the inscrutable leader. Danger ignites the passion between them.

When the truth is finally revealed, both Sarah and Derek’s secrets, about their past, their families and their own feelings will come to light.  Each has to make a terrible decision.  Can a new love stand against years of duty?  Or will one of them choose the ultimate sacrifice?   Only time will tell.

What I particularly enjoyed about Time on her Hands was the time travel agency, The Lineage, and how it’s involved with everything. Derek Massey is the head of The Lineage, but having to make the tough choices has isolated him from everyone. Sarah James is an experienced Lineage agent, but quite secretive.

When the timeline is betrayed, Sarah and Derek have to solve an anomaly that threatens to destroy the world. As they fight to save the world, Sarah and Derek grow closer together, but when they’re forced to make a terrible decision, they’ll have to decide between love and duty.

I really liked Sarah. Although she hid a lot of secrets from Derek, especially at first, I felt like it was easier to connect with her than Derek. She was capable, intelligent, independent and knew how to handle tough situations. Derek did too, so they were actually quite similar. After a while, when you got ot know their vulnerabilities, they become more and more interesting, kind of like friends you’re just getting to know.

The writing was good, and I really loved the plot. It was fast-paced, and once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Nothing is Lost in Loving

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I’m hosting the starter day party today for women’s fiction “Nothing is Lost in Loving”. The tour runs from March 28 to May 28. Enjoy the tour, and stya tuned for my review on May 11.

Three lucky winners can each win a $25 Amazon gift card. Scroll down to participate!

Tour Schedule

March 28th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

March 29th: Promo Post @ Rising Indies United

March 30th: Book Excerpt @ Quest for More

April 3rd: Character Interview @ The Book Daily

April 5th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

April 8th: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

April 11th: Author Interview @ Dannie Speaks

April 15th: Book Review @ Stormy Night Reviewing

April 17th: Promo Post @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

April 22nd: Author Interview @ Indy Book Fairy

April 23rd: Promo Post @ Books are Forever

April 25th: Promo Post @ Just Books

April 28th: Promo Post @ Paranormal Romance…And Beyond

April 30th: Promo Post @ Bookaholic Ramblings

May 3rd: Guest Post @ Books Direct Online

May 5th: Promo Post @ The Book Gazette

May 8th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

May 11st: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

May 13th: Promo Post @ Hollow Readers

May 15th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

May 17th: Promo Post @ The Bookworm Lodge

May 19th: Promo Post @ The Reading Guru

May 21st: Author Interview @ Bedazzled Reading

May 22nd: Book Review @ Bedazzled Reading

May 25th: Promo Post @ Bookish Madness

May 27th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

May 28th: Book Review and Author Interview @ Fascinating Quest

About the Book

Moguez_NothingIsLostInLoving_jpgTitle: Nothing is Lost in Loving

Author: Brenda Moguez

Genre: Women’s Fiction

When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which is also the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to stop talking to his ashes, come to terms with her loss, and get her life back on track for her young son’s sake as well as her own. She never expected that posting an ad on Craigslist would send her into the arms of not one but two men, one of whom is her former boss. Now she’s working as an admin for a retired Broadway star, bookkeeping for an erotic video production company, and writing love letters for the mysterious “Oaklander.” Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces and the father-in-law she never met shows up on her doorstep. With the guidance of her best friend, Bono, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by.

Author Bio

Brenda Moguez writes the kind of stories she loves to read–women’s fiction, starring quirky, passionate women who are challenged by the fickleness and complexities of life.

She’s particularly drawn to exploring the effects of love on the heart of a woman. She has aspirations for a fully staffed villa in Barcelona and funding aplenty for a room of her own. When she’s not working on a story, she writes love letters to the universe, dead poets, and Mae West. Her second novel, Nothing is Lost in Loving, is set to release April 2016. You can find her at http://www.brendamoguez.com  where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.

Links

Author Site: http://www.brendamoguez.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMoguez

Twitter: @BrendaMoguez

Buy the book on Amazon

Giveaway

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Book Review: Beastly Manor by Alex Hall

beastlycoverTitle: Beastly Manor
Author: Alex Hall
Genre: LGBT Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Once upon a time in a faraway land a very wealthy merchant lived on a good piece of land just west of the hamlet we now call Littleton. The merchant was blessed with luck and guile, strong bones and sharp eyes, a pretty wife of gentle spirit, and four healthy children whom he called Faith, Hope, Beauty, and Corbin.

An LGBT twist on the classic love story.

Beastly Manor is a fun twist on a well-known fairytale. Faith, Hope, Beauty and Corbin are siblings, children of a merchant living in Littleton. They lived on a small firm, and life was relatively good. But when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Corbin to take revenge. To do so, Corbin has to train and learn how to slay a terrible beast.

Corbin didn’t just struggle with his family legacy, with fighting the beast, but also with his sexuality. He didn’t understand his feelings at first, and it took a while before he could admit them to himself.

The author did a great job making Corbin a character the reader could easily connect with. The writing was engaging, and the medieval / fairytale like setting was described in a lot of detail. Recommended to fans of LGBT fantasy.

Book Review: The Venus Cure by A.K. Leigh

TheVenusCureByAKLeighCoverTitle: The Venus Cure
Author: A.K. Leigh
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes, all that is needed is a woman’s touch…

Torrance Monroe couldn’t be happier. She has landed her dream job as a botanical scientist for the Parks and Wildlife Service in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her specialty will be the conservation, study, and propagation of the native plants that have fascinated her since her earliest memories: the Venus Fly Trap.

Dominique Black isn’t happy. As a Wildlife Officer, he has been working at the grass roots level to save the endangered traps from poachers looking to make a quick buck. It is gruelling work, with the majority of offenders going unpunished. How could a scientist with zero experience in the field help him when even the law was failing?

The two are at immediate odds even though they share the same underlying passion for the plants…and each other.

However, after a well-known poacher harvests traps from one of the local swamplands, Tori and Dom must set aside their differences in order to catch the criminal and keep the remaining plants from being harmed.

In the process, Tori learns to rely on the mysterious Venus Fly Trap folk lore she remembers from her childhood. Dom learns to release control and have faith in another person.

The Venus Cure is a fast-paced, erotic, and lightly mystical, romantic suspense novella that centers around the serious issue of Venus Fly Trap poaching. The author chose the title based on five possible meanings. See how many you are able to discover!

In The Venus Cure, we meet with two characters who are at two different ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, there’s Torrance Monroe, who landed her dream job as a botanical scientist. She’ll have to focus on the conservation and study of the Venus Fly Trap, one of the native plants that has fascinated her for as long as she could remember. Dominique Black however, Wildlife Officer, isn’t too pleased with the scientist showing up. She has no experience in the field, and he fears she’ll be a liability more than a help. He’s worked day and night to keep the Venus Traps from poachers, and is very passionate about it too.

Although both characters are very passionate about the Venus Fly Trap, they’re quite passionate for each other too. I particularly loved how the book focused on this plant – I thought a book that brought two characters together based on their mutual love for a plant wouldn’t be that enticing, but I’m proved wrong. As Tori and Dom learn that they aren’t so different after all, and they learn to rely on each other, they form a mutual connection.

I’m not a fan of insta-love, so I enjoyed how the romance wasn’t that spontaneous here, but how both started off at odds. I liked both characters. They were three dimensional, especially Tori, and I felt like I could really connect to them.

The book had several erotic scenes. Those are tough to write, but the author did an admirable job. If you enjoy romance with a touch of mystery and suspense, then I would recommend The Venus Cure.

Release Blitz Venus Cure

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About the Book

TheVenusCureByAKLeighCoverTitle: The Venus Cure

Author: A.K. Leigh

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Sometimes, all that is needed is a woman’s touch…

Torrance Monroe couldn’t be happier. She has landed her dream job as a botanical scientist for the Parks and Wildlife Service in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her specialty will be the conservation, study, and propagation of the native plants that have fascinated her since her earliest memories: the Venus Fly Trap.

Dominique Black isn’t happy. As a Wildlife Officer, he has been working at the grass roots level to save the endangered traps from poachers looking to make a quick buck. It is gruelling work, with the majority of offenders going unpunished. How could a scientist with zero experience in the field help him when even the law was failing?

The two are at immediate odds even though they share the same underlying passion for the plants…and each other.

However, after a well-known poacher harvests traps from one of the local swamplands, Tori and Dom must set aside their differences in order to catch the criminal and keep the remaining plants from being harmed.

In the process, Tori learns to rely on the mysterious Venus Fly Trap folk lore she remembers from her childhood. Dom learns to release control and have faith in another person.

The Venus Cure is a fast-paced, erotic, and lightly mystical, romantic suspense novella that centers around the serious issue of Venus Fly Trap poaching. The author chose the title based on five possible meanings. See how many you are able to discover!

Author Bio

AKLeighauthorpicA.K. Leigh is an international selling romantic suspense author, huge Michael Jackson fan, martial arts movie buff, astrologer, and identical triplet. She has a Graduate degree in Counselling, which she uses to help her develop rounded characters in her stories. When she’s not reading, writing, dreaming, or star-gazing, she spends her time with her three beautiful children. Though her books are set in North Carolina, USA (because she loves the state!), she lives in QLD, Australia. You can keep up to date with her releases, events and news by liking her on Facebook, or following her on  Twitter, Goodreads, and Smashwords . Her website is www.fallinlovewithleigh.com.

Get the book

Buy the book on Amazon.

Book Review: Against the Grain

Against the Grain E-CoverTitle: Against the Grain
Author: Phil Williams
Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age / Political
Age Group: Young Adult and Up
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

A tyrannical high school principal.
A young anarchist with nothing left to lose.
One way or another, this place is goin’ down.

Matt Moyer is an orphaned teen growing up on a primitive farm in the Pennsylvania coal region. He’s homeschooled by his eccentric and philosophical great-uncle, who’s a stickler for logic, reason, and intellectual honesty. Despite his uncle’s reverence for veracity, inconsistencies arise regarding the old man’s shady past and the teen’s parents.

Through a harrowing sequence of events, Matt is forced to attend a public school. The feral teen finds it difficult to cope with the hypocrisy, propaganda, and misinformation that adults and children so readily accept. Faced with the possibility of expulsion, arrest, and ostracism, he must make a choice. Will he choose the easy lie or the hard truth?

Adult language and content.

I wasn’t sure what Against the Grain would be about, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t stpo. Matt Moyer is an orphaned teen growing up on a primitive farm in Pennsylvania. He’s homeschooled by his great-uncle who is a tad eccentric, and has a pendant for people telling the truth and being honest. But despite that, Matt discoves some inconsistencies regarding his uncle’s shady past and his parents.

When Matt is forced to attend a public school, he finds it difficult to cope with hypocrisy, propaganda and the misinformation teens and adults readily accept. He has to make a choice between the easy road filled with lies, or the tough road filled with truths.

I didn’t want to give away too much of the plot, but Matt is pretty much an underdog fighting against the system. The story also focused a lot on how no one culd be trusted, the system can’t be trusted, and how we all have to think critically to find out the truths on our own. I certainly couldn’t just sit still while reading this – I felt a lot of emotions, mostly anger at the system, at authority, and how it influenced our every day lives.

A page-turner, with an intriguing world view and a likeable protagonist who, as the title says, isn’t afraid to go against the grain.