Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays!

     First off, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. I would also like to thank those who have stuck with me over this past year while I have been virtually absent from my blog posts.

     I have suspected for quite some time that I was burnt out, but this morning I realized that it goes beyond just being burnt out. I have been reading the Maze Runner series, and when I finished The Scorch Trials just moments ago, my first thought was that I'm so tired of reaching the last page of a book and finding no conclusion. Once again I was faced with a storyline that was leading into the next book instead of concluding the current book. Instead of that sense of accomplishment that I completed a book, I felt - well, annoyed. It is early Christmas morning and I won't be able to get my hands on the next book in the series for several days most likely. I'm just going to be stuck in limbo waiting until I can read the next book - IF that book even gives a conclusion and not just a lead in for the next book. It is all so very frustrating.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Why Adults Don’t Read Fiction - Featured Author Guest Post

   by Jeff Gunhus

     More likely than not, if you are reading this on a blog about books and reading, you’re immediately wondering what I’m talking about. Chances are that you’re an adult and that you are not only a reader of fiction, but perhaps a devourer of fiction. That, my friend, puts you squarely into the minority.

     A recent poll showed that 41% of Americans had not read a book of fiction in the last year. Another 25% had only read between 1-5 books. Making a (very mathematically convenient) 66% of Americans having read less than 5 books last year. Ouch.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jack Templar Monster Hunter - Featured Author Review

book cover art of Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus Jack Templar Monster Hunter
by Jeff Gunhus
The Templar Chronicles #1
Genres: Fantasy, Children,
   Action Adventure

     Jack comes from a long line of monster hunters. Unfortunately, he is unaware of this fact as he is an orphan and doesn't remember his parents at all. There is even more bad news for Jack, on the eve of his 14th birthday he learns that monsters will come crawling out of the woodwork with one goal in mind: targeting the powerful monster hunter. But they don't want to kill him, oh no, that would be too easy. They want to torture him until he begs to die and be put out of his misery.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Night Terror by Jeff Gunhus - Book Review

Book cover art for Night Terror by Jeff Gunhus Night Terror
by Jeff Gunhus
Book 2 Night Chill Series
Genres: Thriller, Horror, Paranormal

     It is ten years later and the local newspaper marks the anniversary with a memorial article of those lost in what the town views as a simple cave in. Not only are emotions and memories stirred up within the family of those lost and affected by what really happened in the underground caves, but we find that an evil paranormal entity has just been waiting for Sarah to grow stronger and is now stirring as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Killer Within by Jeff Gunhus - Featured Author Book Review

book cover art of Killer Within by Jeff Gunhus Killer Within
by Jeff Gunhus
Genres: Suspense, Thriller

     Arnie Milhouse is a wimp. Brow beaten by his wife and resigned to a dead end job, Arnie has accepted his mediocre role in life with little resistance. Until one day when Arnie has a life changing experience, which wasn't necessarily a change for the better.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Big Wide Calm - Fun Read Friday Book Review

book cover art for The Big Wide Calm by Rich Marcello The Big Wide Calm
by Rich Marcello
Genre: Drama

     The big wide calm can mean different things to different people. Basically it is that place in life where you are completely relaxed and happy with where you are in life. As with most things in life, it isn't always about the destination but with the journey to get there. Singer/songwriter, Paige Plant is working on her first album. She believes she is destined to be famous. But not just famous, she is striving to be one of those artists that cross generations and whose music is cherished for years to come. Her songs are based on her definition of the big wide calm and what she feels is required to reach it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus - Featured Author Book Review

book cover art of Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus Night Chill
by Jeff Gunhus
Book 1 in Night Chill series
Genres: Horror, Paranormal,
   Suspense, Fantasy

     I see a lot of book synopses that claim works by lesser known authors are King-like or that their writing style is similar to Koontz. I always take these with a grain of salt. But in this case, it is very true. The plot was so deeply layered and well thought out I was half expecting a scene where someone spots Pennywise while driving through Derry, or of someone eating a bologna and Bermuda onion sandwich (has anyone else noticed King's character's obsession with this sandwich?), or that Jack was committed to Juniper Hill Asylum because this book does have that amazing degree of creepiness that Stephen King has perfected. Then again, there IS a yellow lab, which reminds me of the golden retriever which Koontz often has traipsing through his plots.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jeff Gunhus - Featured Author September 2014


picture of author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus

Main genres:
  Horror, Fantasy

     Jeff Gunhus lives in Maryland with his wife and five children. He began work on the Jack Templar series in an effort to get his reluctant reader interested in books. As a person who loves to read, and mother to children who needed a bit of encouragement to enjoy this pastime, I am always interested and supportive of quality stories targeted at this incredibly important age group.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Consecration of Jacob Jordaens - Book Review

The Consecration of Jacob Jordaens
by Michael Brown
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller

     Jake Jordaens moves from New Orleans to Providence, Rhode Island with his adoptive mother Lexis. At the tender age of 19 Jake is struggling with paranormal visions, college admissions, and his own identity - due to being adopted and also confusion as to his own sexual persuasion. Combine all this with falling into an underground ring of mafia run illegal activities primarily consisting of child pornography marketing both videos and children to pedophiles, and poor Jake has quite a lot on his plate.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vic: Never Give up - Serial Sunday Review

book cover art of Vic: Never Give Up by Jerry Gill Vic: Never Give Up
by Jerry Gill
Book 3 Vic Challenger Series
Genres: Action Adventure, Romance,
   Historical Romance, Fantasy

     Vic Challenger returns for another adventure in her quest to find Nu, the son of Nu. This time Vic and her friend Lin are headed to Scotland and London in search of an artist that Vic believes to be the reincarnation of Nu. Expecting a nice, quiet, fun vacation; the pair of adventurers stumble upon slave traders, strange beasts, and much more danger than they had anticipated. But never fear, for these super women are more than up to the challenge.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Killer Date by Kathy Clark - Book Review

book cover art for Killer Date by Kathy Clark Killer Date
by Kathy Clark
Book 2 in Scandals series
Genres: Action, Thriller, Suspense,

     Your typical sleazy private detective. Reno Marks, former resident of Las Vegas, has had more than his share of women and one night stands and seems proud of that fact. When Jenny Caldwell walks into the office of Scandals Investigation Agency, Reno accepts her case, free of charge, simply so he can get to know her better. But there is more to Reno than meets the eye, even more than Reno thought possible. Jenny may be petite but she is a woman of strong character that draws Reno in. He finds that he respects her as much as he yearns to feel her curves against him, and this fact alone amazes him.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Keep Calm and Ask On by Michael Samuels - Book Review

Keep Calm and Ask On: A No-Nonsense Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams
by Michael Samuels
Genres: Nonfiction, Self Help

     The author stresses how important it is that you define your goals and trust that everything will work out. Whether you are trusting the Universe, as Samuels phrases it, or God, fate, karma, destiny, Buddha, a higher power, etc. these principles can be applied - no matter what your beliefs or religion may be.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Unplugged by P.D. Quaver - Book Review

by P.D. Quaver
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller

     Unplugged is a thrilling tale aimed at young adults. A group of kids are sent to a new summer camp that claims to wean the children off of their dependence and addictions to electronics. But all is not as it appears as it turns out that this summer camp is merely a front for a kidnapping scheme. The kids are whisked away to a remote island and held hostage. Ironically, they DO learn to live and succeed without any electronic benefits. This is reminiscent of a modern day Lord of the Flies - almost, kinda, sorta. The classic book is mentioned in the story and may spark interest in your youngster, if they enjoy this tale, and I'm all for getting today's kids interested in reading classics.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Prodigal Nights - Fun Read Friday

Prodigal Nights
by Lisa Buffaloe
Genres: Romance, Christian

     This is another story where the main character is ticked off at God, but then sees the light and forgives Him for all the garbage that they have had to endure in life. I'm almost starting to wonder if these books find their way into my hands through fate or divine intervention in an attempt to get me back on speaking terms with God. But I digress ...

     Bethany has a wild past but is trying to mend her evil ways. Jason has also sown his share of wild oats and is attempting to plow under this crop and follow a good Christian path. When they meet, they both felt shame about their pasts and feared that the other would find fault.

     There really isn't much "He loves me, he loves me not" in this book, which is a relief. However there is an almost annoying amount of "can I trust him/her" and fear of getting hurt and/or whether or not they deserve someone so seemingly perfect in spite of their lurid past.

     That said, the story had many light hearted humorous bits that had me laughing out loud and the end was amazingly gripping. Regardless of my responsibilities and schedules, I did not manage to set this down until the end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No Words Alone - Review

No Words Alone
by Autumn Dawn
First book in series
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance,

     This novel is the perfect example of why I avoid reading the first book of a series. I loved it and I want to read more. Science fiction is predominently a man's genre, written by men for men, full of geeky high tech text that can make my eyes glaze over when I don't understand it. I have always enjoyed the concept of space travel though and marveled at the main stream egocentric idea that the earth is the only planet in the entire universe capable of sustaining any form of life.

     Xera is stranded on a planet that contains hungry hostile native creatures. She is in the company of her shipmates and the crew of an enemy alien race that also crash landed on the planet. As the only woman, she doesn't trust either group of men further than she can throw them.

     Author Autumn Dawn has taken two genres which are not my normal first choice to read and combined them to make this very original romantic story within a science fiction setting. The alien nation that resides within the Scorpio constellation is seen as savages by the human population but on closer inspection have some very gentle and caring customs within their society. Outsiders, however, are another story.

     Autumn Dawn also succeeds in avoiding a couple of pitfalls that many authors fall into that annoys the heck out of me: The "he loves me, he loves me not" scenario, and the cliffhanger. In spite of some editing issues, it is a great read that I highly recommend and that I moved into the folder on my kindle reserved for series books that I want to read more books of.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories - Saturday Shorts Book Review

Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories
by Amy Michelle Mosier
Genre: Horror

     This book is a collection of several short stories by author Amy Michelle Mosier. The tales are incredibly chilling with many downright creepy moments. This was my first reading of this author and I was very impressed. The plots were original, entertaining, and well thought out. I highly recommend this book as an excellent introduction to an unknown author. These short stories will be enjoyed by any readers who love horror that may be interested in finding their next favorite author.

I give it 5 star review graphic 5 stars!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter
by Nathanial Hawthorne
Genre: Classic

     This is a prime example of a classic that I would never read again. I can't believe that they make high school students read this. No wonder everyone has the impression that classics are boring and pointless. I knew that I had read it - or was supposed to have read it - in high school, as I still have my copy of it, but could not remember doing so. I probably blocked it out.

     Historically speaking, it is an interesting testament to the life and times of the Puritan era in the early history of America. But the story is just so dark and dreary, the main character suffered for her shame for YEARS. Speaking in general terms so as not to give away any plot spoilers, FMC finally has a little hope to her situation and *BAM!* Hawthorne takes it away. The end of the story was incredibly confusing to me as I could not understand the motivation behine FMC's actions and I could not fathom as to why she would behave in such a manner.

     My mind constantly wandered during the many dry areas of text which seemed to go on for pages with absolutely no clue as to what he was describing or how it might pertain to the story.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Playmates by Jess C Scott - Fun Read Friday Review

book cover art for Playmates by Jess C Scott Playmates
Book 1 - Wilde Twins series
by Jess C. Scott
Genre: Psychological Thriller

     Author Scott produces a promising beginning to her Wilde Twins series where fraternal twins are a grisly brother sister team of serial killers. In this first book she begins by introducing us to them as children. We see how Tania goes from a normal 9 year old girl to a teen with little or no empathy, especially for those that seem to have a better life than she does.

     *SPOILER ALERT* nope not going to give away the conclusion of the story. I couldn't if I wanted to since there was no conclusion, just a cliff for me to dangle off of. For those readers who enjoy cliff hangers, you're going to love this one. Personally, I feel jipped. When I invest my time to read a book and don't get some closure, some sense that the book has ended, even if there is a sequel there should be some sense of a conclusion to this book before the next one begins. Ok, off my soap box about my biggest pet peeve and moving on...

     The characters are incredibly well developed. Their actions and reactions are realistic and gives insight to the reader as to how and why the twins develop exactly as they do psychologically and allows us to sympathize with Tania even if we do not condone her actions.

     This installation of the series definitely piques one's interest to follow the Wilde twins lives to see where fate takes them next.

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Imaginary Friend by Troy McCombs - Book Review

book cover art for Imaginary Friend by Troy McCombs Imaginary Friend
by Troy McCombs
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal

     Nathan is not your average eight year old boy. He is a victim. Abused by his father, terrorized by bullies at school, and misunderstood by his teachers and principal, Nathan has had enough. He fantasizes about a monster that comes to his rescue, wrecking havoc and violent deaths to all who mistreat the boy. The more Nathan imagines his monster the more realistic it becomes - both in added details to the beast and in substance. It isn't long before the impossible becomes possible - Nathan's imaginary friend becomes real and Nathan finds that he cannot control his creation's murderous tendencies.

     A very interesting premise put forth by author Troy McCombs. While I could feel sorry for the little boy because of the abuse he suffered, I had a hard time really liking the character. His whole hearted rage, constant denial of any complicity, self righteous attitude, and lack of remorse once the killing spree began made the boy seem a tad bit creepy to me.

     Entertaining story that is well worth the time and effort that it takes to read it. I would recommend this book to those who love stories about fantasy creatures come to life or underdogs who come out on top.

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Go For It by Matthew Martino - Book Review

Go For It: Be Your Own Boss
by Matthew Martino
Genres: Nonfiction, How-to,
   Inspirational, Self Help

     UK author Martino shares his experience and expertise to help young people become entrepreneurs. This book covers a wide range of advice from how to choose what type of business would suit you best to common mistakes that should be avoided. Martino covers options for if you want a business as a sole support of income, as a legacy for generations to follow, or as just a side income earned from a hobby in your spare time. Even though this informative guide is geared towards students and recent graduates, it could also be found helpful to older people, as well, who are tired of the rat race and ready to start a business of their own.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wraithsong by EJ Squires - Book Review

by EJ Squires
Desirable Creatures Series Book I
Genre:Paranormal, Fantasy,
   Young Adult, Romance

     17yo Sonia has always known that she was different but it isn't until her senior year of high school that she learns exactly how much. Her mother has the uncanny ability to control people and Sonia has inherited this ability, but with it takes a lot of responsibility and consequences when used unwisely.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Destiny: Illusions by Daniel Rafferty - Book review

book cover art for Destiny: Illusions - The Crime of Our Ancestors by Daniel Rafferty Destiny: Illusions - The Crime Of Our Ancestors
by Daniel Rafferty
Book 1 in series
Genres: Science Fiction, Action Adventure

     Is there intelligent life on other planets? If so, how would those of us on earth react to such knowledge? Would we panic and assume they were hostile and become hostile ourselves? Would the aliens just become yet another culture subject to racial hate by the close minded people who already have such attitudes? Could we learn to live in harmony and trust without fear of differences? These questions make some wonderful food for thought. Author Daniel Raffety provides us with a scenario where aliens have come forth in peace and a friendly alliance is made. Both races benefit from shared technology and a seemingly strong bond is formed between the two planets. But when Earth falls victim to an attack from space will our underlying tendencies to distrust outsiders lead to a full scale intergalactic war?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

RIP (Rest in Peace) by Bob Kat - Serial Sunday Review

book cover art for RIP (Rest in Peace) by Bob Kat RIP (Rest in Peace
by Bob Kat
CUL8R #4
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult,
   Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction

     Four high school teens; Kelly, Scott, Austin, and Zoey; find adventure using an invention that they have named the Spirit Radio. Kelly's aunt's historical house had been the resting place of this technological marvel that had been created by Thomas Edison and lost for years. With some modern tweaking by Scott, the group's technogeek, the radio now picks up voices of spirits which the group travel through time and space to try to help the spirits' ability to rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Anna Lynn Blog Tour - Book Review

book cover art for Pulled by Darkness by Anna Lynn Title: Pulled by Darkness
Series: Finding Light Series Book 1
Author: Anna Lynn
Genres: Romance, Drama, Fiction

      After the loss of her husband and two children to a drunk driver, twenty nine year old widow Eva Hernandez sales her home and business. Then to only add salt to her wounds she attacks the drunk driver, lashing out in court, mourning her loss she is given the choice or jail or therapy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Seeker by Jerome Gilden - Fun Read Friday Book Review

book cover art for Seeker by Jerome Gilden Seeker
by Jerome Gilden
Timeline Series #2
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

     Jerry Daniels is back for this sequel to the original book Tracers. He is a bit older, wiser and much more powerful. It required massive amounts of damage to have killed off the entire Royal family and Jerry is determined to find out how and why, hopefully before those behind it decide to unleash their power onto the mortals of the world.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vic: Mongol - Serial Sunday Book Review

book cover art for Vic: Mongol by Jerry Gill Vic: Mongol
by Jerry Gill
Second book in series
Genres: Action Adventure,

     Vic Challenger is back for another exciting adventure. Set in the 1920's, a time when women were expected to only yearn for marriage and babies, Victoria Custer breaks the mold and sets her own standards. A courageous sharp shot who is just at home hunting a wolf and skinning it herself as she is playing with her guide's cute little twin girls.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Secret to Startup Failure - Book Review

book cover art for Startup Failure by Sonia Lin Secret to Startup Failure: Fail Fast. Fail Cheap. Fail Happy.
by Sonia Lin
Genres: Humor, Nonfiction, Self help

     Failure is a part of life. Successful people see failure as a learning experience, not as just another road block in this journey we call life. Author Sonia Lin uses humor to share what she has learned through such experiences and manages to make what could otherwise be a very dry subject, entertaining.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Feel Good Factor in 30 Days - Book Review

Feel Good Factor in 30 Days
by Andrea Morrison
Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help

     Do you find yourself often grumbling that you have the worst luck, that even if something can't go wrong then it will go wrong in your life, and other assorted bits of negative thinking that we are so routinely in the habit of making? Author, Andrea Morrison, saw that her life was beyond mere negative thinking. She grabbed destiny by the collar and retrained herself to be more positive.