Book Review: Awakening by D.B. West

Awakening CoverTitle: Awakening (The First Tale of The Trine)
Author: D.B. West
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
 

America’s worst fears are realized when a hospital is the target of a suspected terrorist bombing. As our first responders descend on the area, a discovery is made that will change the course of human history. Three aliens emerge from the wreckage, and three humans are chosen as Earth’s champions. Will the bond they share be enough to save us all from destruction?

In Awakening, a hospital is the target of a suspected terrorist bombing. But as first responders get to the scene, they discover something that will change the course of human history. The terrorist bombing turns out to be something different, and the creatures emerging from the wreckage aren’t human: they’re aliens, dressed in blue-tinted armor, and with plans President Clark can only guess at. Three humans are chosen as Earth’s champions, and they alone can save humanity from destruction.

This book reads much like a scifi movie. The pacing is fast, and we tumble right into the action, right from the start, and from then on, race from every scene to the next until an epic climax. The characters are three-dimensional, especially the major players, but the book focuses more heavily on plot than on characterization, making it feel even more like you’re reading a movie.

Awakening had quite a few unexpected but welcome surprises, and a fluent writing style. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, fast-paced scifi novel.

Book Review Traveling Left of Center

Christie--Traveling Left of Center-printTitle: Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories
Author: Nancy Christie
Genre: Literary Fiction / Short Story Collection
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

There are some people who, whether by accident or design, find themselves traveling left of center. Unable or unwilling to seize control over their lives, they allow fate to dictate the path they take—often with disastrous results.

TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER AND OTHER STORIES details characters in life situations for which they are emotionally or mentally unprepared. Their methods of coping range from the passive (“The Healer”) and the aggressive (“The Clock”) to the humorous (“Traveling Left of Center”) and hopeful (“Skating on Thin Ice”).

The eighteen stories in TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER AND OTHER STORIES depict those types of situations, from the close calls to the disastrous. Not all the stories have happy endings—like life, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.

In these stories, the characters’ choices—or non-choices—are their own. But the outcomes may not be what they anticipated or desired.

Will they have time to correct their course or will they crash?

In Traveling Left of Center, author Nancy Christie introduces the reader to a remarkable collection of short stories about people who, for some reason, find themselves traveling left of center. Each character has to deal with a situation for which they’re not prepared, and this book truly shows humans at their most vulnerable, and sometimes at their most powerful when they show true strength.

Some of the stories were emotionally heavy, and others were lighter, but they all did paint flawed characters, and the author did an incredible job portraying all characters’ emotions, from lonelinss to frustration to sadness. Often in short stories I find it hard to connect to the characters since we share little page time with them, but I had no such issues here.

The writing was excellent, and the author had no trouble transporting the reader into the world of these characters. I really enjoyed this collection of quality work, and look forward to reading more books by this author in the future.

Giveaway

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Book Review: Strange Lineup by Hannah Holborn

30517155Title: Strange Lineup (A Missing and Exploited Suspense Novel, Book 2)

Author: Hannah Holborn

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

How far will a woman go to protect and provide for her family?
Detective Harvey Sam is about to find out.

Five years after botching the Gabriel Wheeler abduction case, Detective Harvey Sam faces the second major case of his career. An asthmatic mother, Gillian, eats peanut butter before surgery—and dies on the operating table as planned. Her suicide ends an abusive affair and is meant to provide for her family through a malpractice settlement. Instead, Gillian’s husband, her teenage son, and a doctor with an undiagnosed dissociative identity disorder, must flee for their lives. They are pursued by the doctor’s husband, the psychopathic lover who drove Gillian to her death.
Book 2 in the Missing & Exploited Suspense Series, Strange Lineup explores power imbalances between men, women and children and the alternative realities some young victims create to survive.

I’m not quite sure where Hannah Holborn gets her inspiration from for her books, but it’s a dark, menacing and utterly fascinating place that I want to visit too. Last week, I read and reviewed All That Remains, and mentioned how much I enjoyed the book. I was eager to get started on the sequel, Strange Lineup, and well… I liked the first book. I enjoyed it a lot. But book two? That book totally blew me away.

Harvey Sam, our detective in charge, is back to solve another case. Well, hopefully solve another case, because this case is complicated, filled with twists and surprises, and he’ll need all his wit and intelligence to figure this one out, and get everyone out alvie.

We also get some scenes from Harvey’s personal life, with his wife Romy and stepdaughter Helena, and I really enjoyed those scenes. They show a softer side to detective Sam, a loving, caring side, which is a stark contrast to the gruesome reality he often finds himself in while working.

The case at hand isn’t straightforward at all. A woman, Gillian, mother and wife, commits suicide on the operating table, a plan long hatched in her mind. While her plan is for this to provide for her husband, Frank, and son, Anatole, reality is quite different. Frank and Anatole have to run for their lives, pursued by the lover who drove Gillian to her death.

The writing is fast-paced, throwing us from one scene into another flawlessly. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. A truly enjoyable mystery / thriller.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading (79)

itsmonday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by BookDate. It’s where book bloggers gather to talk about what books they read and reviewed last week, what books they’re currently reading and what books they’re planning to read. This is a great way for me to plan my reading week, and to take a sneak peek at what others are reading.

Finished Reading

 

Currently Reading

What are you reading this week?

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Raising Sleeping Stones

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The third starter day party I’m hosting today is for middle grade fantasy “Raising Sleeping Stones”. The tour runs from June 27 to July 27. Stay tuned for my review on July 24!

Tour Schedule

June 27th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

June 29th: Book Excerpt @ The Reading Guru

July 1st: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

July 2nd: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

July 4th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

July 5th: Book Review  and Giveaway @ The Single Librarian

July 6th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

July 8th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

July 8th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Literary Musings

July 10th: Promo Post @ Bookaholic Ramblings

July 12th: Book Review @ SolaFide Publishing Blog

July 13th: Promo Post @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

July 13th: Book Excerpt @ Bedazzled Reading

July 15th: Character Interview and Giveaway @ The Book Daily

July 16th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

July 18th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

July 20th: Book Excerpt @ The Recipe Fairy

July 22nd: Promo Post @ Hollow Readers

July 24th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

July 25th: Book Excerpt @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

July 26th: Author Interview @ Books are Forever

July 27th: Book Review @ Books are Forever

About the Book

raisingcoverTitle: Raising Sleeping Stones

Author: P.H.T. Bennett

Genre: MG Fantasy

Like every kid in Solasenda, 11-year-old Kiva Stone has been far too busy training for one of the five town guilds to think about something as useless as dreaming. But when she and her sister DeeDee uncover a mysterious plot to get rid of them, their only hope lies with a shadowy group of people who get unimaginable powers from their dreams. As the girls escape with them up the river, they start learning secret dreaming techniques that have been forbidden for centuries. But how can they learn enough to stand against the enemies chasing them? The answer lies in the shattered history of Orora Crona, the lost Valley of Dreams, and whoever can piece it together first will rule for centuries to come.

Author Bio

raisingauthorP.H.T. Bennet began exploring his dreams when he was a child and has never bothered to stop. He had the good luck to have two daughters, Juliette and Paola, who not only served as the inspirations for DeeDee and Kiva, the main characters of Raising Sleeping Stones, but also helped him turn their family dreamwork sessions into this book. His lucky streak grew when he married his lovely wife, Mim,who tolerates his turning on a light in the middle of the night to write down ever-crazier dreams and talking about them in the morning as long as he lets her sleep in, first. His favorite dreams involve flying, visiting the dead, and replaying nightmares until they reveal their secrets.

Pratt’s latest projects are editing Book Two of the Orora Crona Chronicles and planning a virtual summer dreaming camp with other dream authors.

Links

Buy on Amazon

Website: http://www.raisingstones.com/

Facebook: http://bit.ly/RSSfacebook

Twitter: @phtbennet

Book Tours: Starter Day Party In Irina’s Cards

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I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for NA scifi romance “In Irina’s Cards”. The tour runs from June 27 to July 4. Stay tuned for my review on July 3.

Tour Schedule

June 27th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

June 29th: Book Excerpt @ Dormaine G’s Blog

June 30th: Promo Post @ Vampyre Lady’s Book Stuff

July 1st: Book Excerpt @ BB’s Book Reviews

July 3rd: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

July 4th: Promo Post @ Maari Lovers Her Indies

About the Book

29972015Title: In Irina’s Cards

Author: Christine Hart

Genre: NA SciFi Romance

Irina Proffer leaves mundane small-town life behind when she experiences visions inspired by a strange deck of tarot cards. To get answers, she travels from her northern British Columbia home to the province’s coastal capital. She quickly discovers a world of fringe genetic science and supernatural mystery.

Working for Innoviro Industries, Irina is drawn in by a powerful first love and compelling, yet dangerous questions about the nature of the company’s business. Meeting other ‘variants’ brings Irina closer and closer to the dark truth about her origins. She finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles as she scrambles to escape her employer’s grip.

Before she leaves the city, Irina realizes she has merely scratched the surface of a frightening conspiracy on a global scale.

Author Bio

authorpictureLocated on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I work as a novelist and corporate writer. I’m also a mother, artist, indie fashion fan, and avid traveller.

Coming in 2016, I have a New Adult trilogy titled The Variant Conspiracy which will be published by Soul Mate Publishing. Sign up for updates (on the right) or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Previous Young Adult novels are Stalked (2010), Best Laid Plans (2009), and Watching July (2008).

I also craft industrial-inspired wearable art, available locally and through Etsy.com.

My professional experience includes corporate communications and marketing, primarily copywriting and design.

I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and of SF Canada.

Links

Website: http://www.christine-hart.ca/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chris_a_hart

Buy on  Amazon (Kindle)

Book Tours: Starter Day Party The University Cat

universitycatbanner

I’m hosting the starter day party for urban fiction “The University Cat: A Tale for Grown Ups and Graduates”. The tour runs from June 27 to July 11. Stay tuned for my review on July 4.

Tour Schedule

June 27th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

June 27th: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing

June 29th: Book Excerpt @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

July 1st: Promo Post @ The Bookish Ailurophile

July 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

July 4th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

July 5th: Book Excerpt @ Vampyre Lady’s Book Stuff

July 6th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

July 7th: Book Excerpt @ Just Books

July 9th: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

July 10th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

About the Book

The University Cat QTitle: The University Cat: A Tale for Grown Ups and Graduates

Author: Jessika Jenvieve

Genre: Urban Fiction

Gargoyles are said to frighten off harmful spirits and protect the buildings that they guard. They are evil creations and those approaching the University’s Gothic buildings at night are advised to use caution. If you think that a Gargoyle is simply made of stone, you are terribly mistaken.

Penny, a super intelligent, well-educated Siamese cat moves into Professor Eagle’s office and sinks her claws into the exquisite calfskin binding of his books. The Gargoyles have her firmly fixed in their sights. There are terrifying times to come in the University Museum and a wicked plot to prevent Professor Poppett and Poodle from winning the Dog Show. If you thought it was safe to go to university, you might need to think again.

Author Bio

author pic 1Jessika Jenvieve writes Urban Fantasy, combining the fantastic with the ridiculous and funny. She is working very hard at establishing a cult-following, and has spent a small fortune on dramatic black outfits. She lives in a small village in England, where her unorthodox dress causes gossip and scandal. She is passionate about sports cars, the blues and the ocean.

Life has taken her on a long and unexpected journey from England to Australia and back again. She is an alumna of Bretton Hall, and also City University in London. After graduating, she followed her heart and tried her luck as an actress and singer. She designed costumes and won some awards, then dabbled in lighting design and finally settled on a career as a stage manager. She landed the best job in the world as a stage manager at the Sydney Opera House, spending ten years backstage with some of the greatest performers and musicians. In 2015, she returned to the England and has completed her first crime fiction novel.

 

Links

The University Cat: a tale for Grown Ups and Graduates

http://amazon.com/author/jessikajenvieve

http://jessikajenvieve.com

Book Review Expand Your Personal Brand

Expand_Your_Personal_BrandTitle: Expand Your Personal Brand
Author: Carla Jenkins
Genre: Business, Nonfiction
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

I have written this book because I want to save you, the reader, time, money and agony. I have learned these 20 lessons after 10 years of trial and error. The topics I cover are financial, personal branding, marketing and time management. I have started out with zero dollars in my pocket and have worked many 6-figure jobs due to these lessons. ‘ Expand Your Personal Brand!’ kills the learning curve by giving you realistic answers and timetables to solve your personal and professional branding problems. These 20 stories are real because I have lived them. I wish you, the reader, unlimited success.            – Carla Jenkins

In Expand Your Personal Brand, author Carla Jenkins writes down twenty lessons to help business owners, authors, bloggers, and anyone who wants to expand their personal brand to do just that. Topics range from finances to branding and even time management. The chapters are short but to the point, and it’s a fast read that provides a lot of useful information.

For me, the most interesting topics were the ones about meeting deadline through prioritization (I often struggle with meeting deadlines), avoiding scope creep, and the strategy tips for a personal brand.

Since one of my employers went out of business last month, I’ve been looking for ways to rebrand myself, and find new, similar employment, and I’ve used several strategies I found in this book to craft a new brand for myself, so the book holds a lot of practical value.

Book Review: A Family War by Stewart Hotston

30174284Title: A Family War
Author: Stewart Hotston
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Helena is one of the Oligarchs, genetically-enhanced, centuries old families who rule the world. As a new world war begins, she is ordered to find a boy who could save the human race from genocide. Yet all is not as it seems; Helena’s finds enemies on all sides, intent on bringing about the war with all its horrific consequences. To make matters worse, Helena’s own integral AI, accidentally freed from its constraints, challenges both her motives and her identity, yet she has no choice but to accept its treacherous aid if she is to have any hope of surviving those who need her dead.

In A Family War, a group of elites have found a way to enhance their genes by incorporating technology into their bodies, making them live for far longer, and making them far stronger than ordinary people. They’re called the Oligarchs, and they rule the world of business, and as such the world. The world has stumbled back into a class-system, with people who have had no enhancements belonging to the lowest class, and being responsible for labor. But when some of the Oligarchs decide these regular humans are no longer needed, and a new world war ensues.

Helena is one of the Oligarchs, but she’s keen on stopping the world war, and on preventing the genocide on the human race. She must find a boy who could save her family, humanity, and put an end to the war. Most of the book focuses on Helena’s journey, which is both a “real” journey and an emotional one. The Helena we meet at the start of the book is vastly different from the Helena we see toward the end.

I loved how the technology was explained – simple enough for readers to understand without having to break their heads over it. The writing was great too, and I really enjoyed reading this scifi novel.

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Chaos Rising

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I’m hosting the starter day party today for fantasy “Chaos Rising”, the sequel to “Children of the Blessing”. Stay tuned for my review on July 8.

The book is on countdown during the tour! Scroll down to check out the countdown deal.

Tour Schedule

June 24th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

June 25th: Promo Post @ Books are Forever

June 27th: Book Excerpt @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

June 29th: Author Interview @ Bedazzled Reading

June 30th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies

July 1st: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

July 3rd: Book Excerpt  @ The Single Librarian

July 5th: Book Review and Author Interview @ Ink Faction

July 6th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

July 7th: Promo Post @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

July 8th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

About the Book

Chaos Rising CoverTitle: Chaos Rising

Author: Perry Morris

Genre: Fantasy

The Lemurian Chronicles by Perry Morris is an epic fantasy that began in 2015 with the publication of Children of the Blessing.  Readers all over the world have been enthralled with the gripping tale of Renn and Avaris—two boys who were marked by the gods to become powerful magic users.  Chaos Rising, the eagerly anticipated second book of the Lemurian Chronicles, continues the exciting epic story.

Avaris travels into the heart of the Cragg Caves—the home of horrifying beasts, warlocks and demons—to rescue his sister and best friend from slave labor in the mines deep underground.  But getting out of the caves alive is only the beginning of his troubles as he is hunted by an army of evil magic users and blood thirsty beasts who have been given the assignment to kill him before he learns to fully use his powers.

Renn (Demaris) is studying at the castle on Elder Island under the watchful eye and protection of the lore masters.  But a traitor is in their midst who is being blackmailed by Shamael Daro, the new Grand Warlock, to carry out a single task—eliminate Renn.

Shamael’s power has increased significantly since taking on the mantle of Grand Warlock and he discovers the dark secret of how the most powerful Grand Warlock of all time, Nefarian Drakkas, nearly took total control of Lemuria more than two thousand years ago.  He uses this secret to create a group of soulless, magic using spies and killers to do his bidding.  His plan is simple; create chaos across the land so the dark forces of the Aven lore can destroy those who follow the gods of light once and for all.

Author Bio

Headshot C 1200pxPerry was born and raised in the greater Salt Lake City, Utah area. He is very happily married and has seven wonderful children and one grand-daughter. Perry works for a large, publically traded, international company in Provo, Utah, where he manages supplier management, procurement and packaging engineering functions.  His first exposure to the great world of fantasy literature was, of course, J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, when he was fourteen. After that, he read the books of Patricia McKillap, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Stephen R. Donaldson, etc…Currently his favorite author is Brandon Sanderson. He loves the unique and interesting magic systems Brandon creates, the memorable characters and interesting stories.

Perry is an author every day for an hour during lunch. He actually began writing the Lemurian Chronicles in 1993, and after more than two decades of rewrites, editing, re-editing, etc… finally decided to “take the plunge” and publish his epic fantasy. Don’t worry; each additional installment will be released no more than eighteen months to two years apart.

Thanks for you interest in Perry and his works.

Links

Author website:  www.perrymorris.net

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Kindle Countdown

Chaos Rising will be on Kindle Countdown during the tour! On the following dates, you can get the book at a reduced price:

June 28th = 0.99

June 29th = 1.99

June 30th = 2.99

And on July 1st, the book is back up to the regular price of $3.99.

Buy the book on Amazon