Monday, April 24, 2017

I Will Love You Forever (REVIEW)


I Will Love You Forever 

Author: Tatsuya Miyanishi
Category: Illustrated Children's Book
Suitable for: All Ages, ideal for ages 5-7
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: ARC from the author/publisher in return for my honest review.
Pages: 40

Description: A Maiasaura (herbivore) finds an egg in the forest one day. She keeps it safe with an egg of her own until both eggs hatch. When the mystery egg hatches she discovers it is a baby Tyrannosaurus (carnivore). She raises the Tyrannosaurus with her own baby even though he is her natural predator. As the Tyrannosaurus grows he discovers what he truly is and after meeting his biological father in the woods he disappears with him and never comes back.

In Short: Overall I thought this book was too dark to be enjoyable for children. Although it tries to have positive messages of unconditional love and loving others even when they aren't like you, it in the process isolates adopted children. The adopted dinosaur struggled with his identity, was regularly drawn with tears in his eyes, and eventually runs away from the family that raised him and loved him.

Pros: The start of this story was cute and had potential, but I hated how it turned out. Maybe the other books of this series have more uplifting themes. I would suggest, if you are interested in this series, or your child just loves dinosaurs to check out the other books of the series first. I had never heard of the Maiasaura before so I learned something new. I really loved the Maiasaura characters and wish they could have gotten a happier ending.
Cons: The art and story are a bit dark and melancholy in my opinion for small children. For me this story is too sad and I think the ending could be confusing for the age group. I didn't feel that there was any sort of resolution by the end or that any valuable lessons were learned. I don't think adopted children should read this book because it could make them feel like they don't belong. Even though the mother Maiasaura raised the baby tyrannosaur with love and said all the right things he left her without any warning. It is a very heartbreaking ending that leaves a lot of questions unanswered and is not comforting.

Parent's Guide: This book contains some cartoon violence and sad themes that may be hurtful to adopted children. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chartreuse (REVIEW) #ShortReadsSaturdays


A Sci-Fi Short Story

Author: Lisa Shea
Category: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dystopian, Short Story
Suitable for: All Ages
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Nook (free)
Pages: 17

Description: Set in a dystopian France in an overpopulated world a woman makes an unpopular choice to join a solely male monastery. Despite her loved-ones objections she follows her dreams to La Grand Chartreuse where the monks make the 'Elixir of Long Life.' She quickly finds herself at home and at peace away from the overcrowding and starvation. Years pass and she becomes a full fledged member. One day she makes a huge discovery about the Elixir and is faced with a choice that will affect the world.

In Short: An entertaining short story full of detail and plenty of plot. For me this was a very peaceful and relaxing read that also makes you think, what would you do with such a powerful secret?

Pros: Beautifully written and very descriptive. Great standalone, feel-good read. I thought the story was very interesting and well thought out. In this world illness is a thing of the past and people live to be 120 years of age. The world has become overpopulated and people are starving. The protagonist is a very well developed character that sought employment in a monastery to escape her dystopian world. A lot of detail was packed into those 17 pages.

Cons: I have no notable issues with this book.  

Parent's Guide: Clean.

This is a perfect #ShortReadsSaturdays read!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Short Horrors for Occult Fans by Sarah Buhrman

 Short Horrors for Occult Fans

by Sarah Buhrman

Genre: Paranormal Horror

Release Blitz- April 17, 2017


Three thrilling tales to bring you shivers... and nightmares.

*A chemical spill may have effected the residents of a small town when their dreams become reality.

*A pair of mirrors turns a late night at a museum into a bloodbath.
*A night security guard teaches a rookie the details of a job where it is more important to protect people from the building than vice versa.

Buy Links and Goodreads TBR

Amazon: US/CA/UK/AU

Goodreads: Add to your TBR

Other Books by Sarah Buhrman

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About the Author:

Sarah is an Author Goddess, one who embraces the divine honor of creating worls with words in the hope of inspiring others. Sarah has been writing for more than 15 years. With a tongue-in-cheek way of looking at the world, her form of story and verse is blunt and witty. She lives in the middle of nowhere with two monsters (the kids), an ogre (the hubby) and whatever drama-llama is coming to visit this week.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Little Tails in the Savannah (REVIEW)

Out July 11, 2017
Find it on Amazon here

Little Tails in the Savannah

Author: Frédéric Brrémaud
Illustrator: Federico Bertolucci
Category: Illustrated Children's Book, Educational
Suitable for: Ideal for ages 4 - 8
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: E-book ARC from the author/publisher in return for my honest review.
Pages: 32

Description: Chipper and Squizzo go on another adventure in their paper airplane. This time they are off to the Savannah where they explore and introduce the reader to all the wonderful animals they encounter.  

In Short: The Little Tails books are perfect for children that are very interested in animals because they have the most gorgeous art of animals along with fun, educational facts about various exotic creatures.

Pros: The art is fabulous. Pairs cartoons (Chipper and Squizzo) with more realistic paintings of animals that are just stunning. The book is very colorful and the images fill the pages. At the end there is more information and fun facts about many of the animals. This book is educational in a fun way. Kids who love animals will want to read it over and over.

Cons: I have no notable issues with this book.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

HEY DOORMAN VIII (REVIEW) #ShortReadsSaturdays



True Tales of an Uncommon Bouncer in Los Angeles


Author: John P. Kildemm
Category: Short Story Anthology, Nonfiction, Narratives, Political, Humor, Entertainment
Suitable for: Adults
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Pages: 36

Description: A series of short stories based on the author's experiences as a bouncer for a Los Angeles night club. He has had some crazy experiences and he shares these short tales with a lot of thought and wit.  

In Short: This short book definitely resonates the post-election angst that many Americans are currently feeling and expressing. If you enjoy humorous short stories based on the dark reality of nightlife that draw comparisons mocking the rhetoric of Trump's campaign you will like this book. But if you are a Trump supporter you could be upset by many of the comments made in this book, and I would suggest passing on it.

Pros: This book is very interesting and really more of a 3.75 Stars Rating. It gives you a fantastic view of Los Angeles club culture. These stories are quick, fun to read, smart and humorous. Some of the stories or commentary were so funny that I laughed out loud! It was like watching a TV show about a bouncer who encounters some pretty wild people and then throws jokes onto it. Many of the stories were very exciting, action packed, and entertaining. Some of the stories featured very violent characters and it made the story quite scary. Very well written anthology of unique narratives.   

Cons: The amount of cynicism was a downer for me at times, fortunately there was humor too or I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did. Some of the pop culture references went over my head and left me lost. At times I thought some of the stories were too negative and based on just interpersonal issues that I didn't think were very important or entertaining. For example the narrator explained how he didn't like a particular man's name so he chose to call him by a name that he created to insult him. It came across as a bit disrespectful to me. I wish the book had been longer because there were many stories that I did enjoy and would have liked to read more.     

Parent's Guide: This book contains graphic language, swearing, violence, sexual themes. I suggest only adult readers.

To find more time for reading in my busy schedule I read short books on Saturdays! If you like short stories, novellas, novelettes and other short books, join me for the fun and let's discuss great short reads!

What great short book have you read lately? 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Awaken (REVIEW)

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. 


Sleeping Beauty Retold

Author: Demelza Carlton
Category: Fairytale, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Medieval, Historical Romance
Suitable for: 17+
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle
Pages: 204

Description: This is a Medieval Romance, a twist on a Fairy-Tale based on Sleeping Beauty. It features royal living, medieval tournaments, magic, conspiracy, and of course passion and romance. The story follows sleeping beauty, Princess Rosamond, who goes from being a carefree young lady to a woman on a mission when a magical curse changes her life and her kingdom forever. Read it to see how she gets her fairy tale Prince and happy ending.

In Short: This book has potential and I think there are many readers who would love it but for me it had some issues. If you like sweet medieval romances and fairy tales retold you should check this series out, as long as you don't mind some plot holes. Overall, I thought it was entertaining and I was completely sucked into the story and the characters until the end.

Pros: This is a cute story and overall the book was fun to read. I really enjoyed the beginning of the story it was action packed and exciting and drew me in right away. I was able to easily devour it in one sitting. There was some good depth to this book and the plot takes some surprising twists and turns. I enjoyed the Princess's powers. The way she could heal people and control plants was very interesting and well implemented. For the most part I actually really liked the protagonist's character. She is a princess and a spoiled one but also a very strong and admirable character. She consistently acts with arrogance and entitlement but she also manages to be a very sympathetic character who can be incredibly caring and she proves she is willing to sacrifice herself for others.    

Cons: There are some grammar and spelling errors that could be corrected with basic copyediting, it wasn't too distracting. There were some holes in this story and in the characters I'll try to describe them without spoilers. For example Rosamond claims she never wants to get married and then suddenly she wants to marry someone, and she's demanding sex and disrobing all willy-nilly. I could not suspend disbelief at the very unlikely sex scene. I didn't really care for the ending. I didn't think the coronations were fair as far as gender equality is concerned. The king received a grand reception and the queen - not so much. But maybe she created that situation for herself. And I didn't understand why the matter that needed to be taken care of as soon as she became queen was OK to put off for a year. I also still have no idea exactly who created the curse, who the target of it was, and why. Missed opportunity for a more powerful story because the ending was just too confusing. I also didn't like that there were so many mentions of how the Princess could barely eat anything. I thought it was borderline glamorizing eating disorders and wasn't a good influence to young ladies.   

Parent's Guide: Sex and innuendo (not very graphic).

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

#ShortReadsSaturdays Spotlight of Last Request: A Victorian Gothic

Instead of reviewing a new book this Saturday I've chosen to spotlight a particular short book that I read last year that I really loved. 

This 42 page story really stuck out to me!

It is a chilling and thrilling story of dedicated niece who embarks on a dangerous journey to fulfill her uncle's last request... to be beheaded. 

Last Request: A Victorian Gothic
by Jeff Chapman

Description off Amazon:

For the love of God, cut off my head."

The last request in Uncle Silas's will shocks everyone speechless, everyone except his favorite niece, Anna. More than death itself, the claustrophobic Silas fears a premature burial. Will her elders carry out his request? Anna is certain they will not. It's up to her to do the right thing, even if it is a bit grisly. Armed with butcher knife and candle, Anna heads for the crypt underneath the church in the dead of night. All does not proceed according to Anna's careful planning. Graves have a way of not letting go.

Last Request is a historical novella set in Victorian England with gothic sensibilities. What's more gothic than beheadings, nightmares, and a dusty crypt filled with moldering corpses? Your heroine faces plenty of suspense, terror, and horror in her quest to fulfill her uncle's wish, but there are also moments of comedy along the way. Fans of historical fiction, gothic thrillers, and Edgar Allan Poe will find something to like in Last Request.

So step inside a dark story in the tradition of the penny dreadful, at times humorous and horrifying, but don't close the door behind you. Someone might lock you in.

Categories: 19th century historical fiction, historical fiction novellas, gothic historical suspense, Victorian horror stories, gothic thrillers, Victorian thrillers.

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Please join me next Saturday I will be reading and reviewing:
True Tales of an Uncommon Bouncer in Los Angeles
by John P. Kildemm

What are you reading?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Released Today - The Penance of Pride

(Shadyia Ascendant Book 2)

347 page Sword & Sorcery Fantasy novel

Shadyia's Adventure Continues!

'I will never leave you, and I will always come for you.'

Shadyia’s vow to her lover is put to the test when the Innocenti rise and envelope the sisterhood she adores.

As the magician she aided hunts for the path to an ancient city, the new madam of the Silver Rose strives to please the evil that has promised, upon its freedom, to make her a queen.

Meanwhile, the advisor to the Innocenti prepares the final stage of his strategy to crush the faith of the old gods. He needs but a bit of magic to carry out his ultimate plan.

Magicians. Zealots. Madams. Whores. It’s all the same to he who waits within the enchanted box. Soon he will unleash his servants, and every horror of the abyss will once again consume humanity.

Books 1 and 2 are just $0.99 each on Amazon

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Books of 2017 (Part 2)

New Books of 2017 (Part 2)

Check out these new books that have been released as of Jan. 2017.

Click on the book covers to view the book on Amazon.

Crime Thriller:

Homicide detective, Bruno Norcross, is called to investigate the brutal murder of a college call girl. This isn't just any other crime scene. Bruno has seen this scene before, only the last time, the killer got away leaving Bruno feeling as though his career is incomplete. Nobody escapes Bruno's grasp twice and when his nemesis arises again, it’s time to bring him in. A serial killer, only known as the Kiss of Death, is back, only this time he made a mistake. A witness, like no other, was left behind and this witness knows the victim better than anyone.

Rosie's stalker, Ashley Truelove knows everything about her, from what she wears to who she sees. The question isn't can Ashley help Bruno catch the killer, but will he? With meager and confusing clues, two known victims and time running out, Bruno realizes that the cost of bringing the murderer to justice will be paid in blood. With the police Sergeant on his back to catch this killer and provide justice for the death of his daughter, Bruno is racing against time. Kiss of Death only hunts occasionally and time is running out before he vanishes again. Can Bruno find the evidence to stop him or will he escape his clutches once again?

Political Satire:

A virus has struck America and anyone with an IQ over 84 is in danger. People's heads are exploding. The country is on lockdown. Everything is about to change.

Luckily, the President of the United States is very much still alive (and most of Congress, too). They’ve decided to fix things.

Which brings us to David Dingle. He's the not-too-bright guy whom this whole story revolves around. A lot of people revolve around David Dingle. Some of them include a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, an ineffective jihadist, a Grand Dragon of the KKK, a creationist and his very extended family, a pill-popping doctor, a drop-dead sexy clepto-nympho-suicidal-maniac, and a rogue Illuminati mastermind to name just a few. All of them are eager to figure out why their heads aren't blowing up.

Now David Dingle doesn't know much about these people, but frankly, he doesn't know much about much. He's just a simple American with a government job and a fantastic phone who one day finds himself at the epicenter of the biggest biological terrorist attack perpetrated on American soil. And now everyone's after him. Not cool. All the while, the President of the United States has to keep voters’ heads from blowing up before re-elections - things couldn’t get worse.

A timely satire that dives into the darkest corners of American Culture, IQ84 examines some of the most controversial issues in America today. It’s a book about freedom.

Illustrated Children's Book:

If I Was a Caterpillar by Ben Jackson, Sam Lawrence, Danko Herrera

Read along with the caterpillar as it travels around the world trying exciting new activities and having fun! Reading with children is one of the biggest forms of early education, helping to develop young minds.

As a young child, it’s important to believe that anything is possible. If I Was A Caterpillar is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that follows a caterpillar on its journey as it discovers new activities.

Too often these days, children are being put onto tracks that are unachievable or told that a dream is just a dream and to forget about it. One of the most enjoyable things about being a young child is believing that you can fly to the moon as an astronaut or dive under the water searching for hidden treasure.

If I Was A Caterpillar shows young children that you can do anything you want. Your dreams can come true! If you enjoy reading books with beautiful illustrations and love having your child read along with you, then make sure you check out If I Was A Caterpillar!

YA Fantasy Adventure:

The Nature of Gods: The Awakening by D.J. Torres

When gods and goddesses abruptly overthrow Earth, humans are given two choices – worship or die. Desperate to survive, Olivia and her family devote their days to fulfilling the will of the gods. But the wrath of the gods is insatiable and unpredictable. With her hope crushed, Olivia is resigned to her bleak fate . . . until she meets Nature.

Immediately, Olivia knows this charismatic girl with color-changing eyes isn’t normal. Nature looks like a teenager yet she has the power to control the weather and converse with animals. Nature opens Olivia’s eyes to a hidden world that had always existed in harmony with her own. However, know-it-all butterflies and mystical creatures aren’t the only secrets revealed as Olivia discovers the dark plan of the gods.

When Nature decides to confront the gods, Olivia is catapulted to the forefront of humanity’s battle for survival. Olivia must rely on her courage, strength, and newfound gifts as she faces monster-infested pathways and ever-looming traps. But does she have enough courage or skill to battle brutal gods eager to rule the world and dole out punishment to anyone who defies them? Nature and the world depend on it.

Crime Thriller:

The Steps by Iveta Redliha

"Shivers ran down Reyna's spine. For a moment she thought his last words were meant as a threat. The stranger's look had been so sharp and penetrating, horrifying and exciting at the same time. She embraced herself and shuddered once again. This time it was due to the pungent wind that was becoming stronger as the evening grew closer. For a while she stood there watching Lucas walk away, then finally looked away."

Bradbury is a gorgeous property that stands amidst dark secrets. One fine day a young reckless woman Leonora, driven by desire for easy money that a rich couple would offer their surrogate mother, comes to live at the mansion, unsuspecting of the paths this seemingly carefree life and lust for money will bring to.
Meanwhile, Reyna’s steady life is turned upside down the moment her mother dies in suspicious circumstances and leaves her an unknown property and dark secrets from her turbulent past. Around that time handsome yet secretive Lucas comes into Reyna’s life. At the end the truth about the young man and the horrors of his past that haunt him, not allowing him to give in to his feelings, serves a final blow to Reyna.

Iveta Redliha (b. 1977) is a Latvian writer. With great passion she unravels in writing destinies of people of different walks of life, and their entangled feelings. “The Steps” was born out of the writer’s imagination and built on inspiration from gothic love and detective novels.

Want to see other new 2017 books? Click Here for Part 1

What 2017 book are you looking forward to?