Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Murder at Rough Point (REVIEW)

New Release! 

Murder at Rough Point

(A Gilded Newport Mystery)


Author:  Alyssa Maxwell
Category: Historical Fiction Murder Mystery
Suitable for: Teens+
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle
Pages: 304

Description: Emma is an independent woman and journalist from Newport, RI in 1896. She tends to find herself surrounded by murders she must solve with the help of a police officer and friend, Jesse. Will she be able to solve these puzzling mysteries and will she fall in love along the way?

In Short: This is a great mystery novel full of clues and suspicious suspects who each have intriguing motives of their own. The cast is an eccentric crew of artists and nobles who all seem to have a love-hate relationship with one another.

Pros: This is a very good book. I am very impressed with both the writing and the story. I was worried about starting with this book when it isn't the first in the series but I had no reason to fear. It is a great stand-alone that requires you to know no back-story. I imagine you could read the series out of order and not miss out on anything. I liked the inventive style of the killings. It really made me wonder what kind of person would do that. The murders almost seemed to show resentment for the victim's individual style of art. The characters are such an odd bunch that every one of them could be a suspect. Even the opera singer has means, motive and opportunity and the ballet dancer is crazy! It doesn't help that this group of "friends" is at odds with each other. The protagonist is likable and overall the journey of this story is a fun one. It is very fast paced and never leaves you bored.

Cons: The ending fell flat for me. It unfortunately took that cliché mystery route where the crime isn't so much solved as revealed and the murderer/motive is a bit random. The killer's personality, motive, and clues against them are not revealed until the very end, unlike every other character. The bratty, deluded murderer and the artistic complexity of the murders don't match each other. So that disappointed me.

Parent's Guide: This book is a murder mystery so there is some violence and minor gore. There is no sex or swearing. 

I was given a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. Click on the images for buying options on Amazon.

Friday, August 26, 2016

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY CONTEST! Wicked Truths by Michelle Areaux


Tah-Dah, Cover Reveal of "Wicked Truths" by Michelle Areaux

Special offer until 9/25 you can pre-order a SIGNED copy of this book with a personalized message of your choice for $14.99

Wicked Truths will be released Oct. 1, 2016. 


Death seems to follow seventeen year old Sadie Sanders everywhere she goes--literally. As a mediator to the dead, she must constantly face fighting demons and the occasional angry dead girl.

After a dangerous and almost deadly first year in Salem, Sadie's parents decided to send her away for the summer to visit her Aunt Morgan in the small town of Nicholasville, Kentucky. After uncovering a murder hidden for centuries, she embarked on a deadly mission to solve the crime while trying to enjoy her summer vacation.

Now back in Salem, Sadie has found another hidden secret in the wicked town. Secret underground tunnels are hidden under the streets of Salem, beckoning to those with wicked souls. When Sadie encounters a ghost named Laura roaming the streets of Salem, she and her friends, Noah and Lucy must uncover the clues leading to Laura's death. Which is made even more complicated by the fact that Laura has no memory of her life or death. To make matters worse, Sadie must also track down the person who has been sending her threatening messages in an effort to stop her mission for justice.

In Wicked Truths, the third installment of the Wicked Cries series, Sadie learns that some secrets are meant to stay dead. For the truth, once it has been uncovered, may be more wicked than she could have ever imagined.

Wicked Truths is the 3rd book in the Wicked Cries series. This series is about a teenage girl who can speak to the dead and makes it her mission to right the wrongs that have been done to them.

In the giveaway contest below one winner will get a SIGNED paperback copy of books 1 and 2: Wicked Cries and Wicked Lies. 

Win signed copies of these two books. 
Click the images below for more information about these books on Amazon. 

Wicked Cries is free with Kindle Unlimited! A perfect way to check the series out. 
Get Kindle Unlimited with 30-Day Free Trial here - snag yourself a ton of great free books! 

Giveaway contest 8/26/2016 - 9/9/2016 12 AM PST
Open to residents of the United States.
Entries will be checked for validity and fake entries will disqualify that participant. (So basically, don't click "I commented" to get the entries if you haven't commented etc.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway sponsored by the author, Michelle Areaux. 
Michelle is an indie author, teacher, and mother of two. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Hidden Soul (REVIEW)

The Hidden Soul

Author: Reagan Colbert
Category: Christian Historical Fiction
Suitable for: Young teens+
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle copy from the Author
Pages: 54

Description: This is an fictional short story about a roman soldier that is assigned
the task to execute Jesus, this being one of the worst days of his life. He is then assigned
to guard the tomb of Jesus, his life will never be the same again.   

In Short: To everyone around him he looks like a hardened fierce roman soldier but inside he is in turmoil. Trying to hold up to his father's reputation and not wanting to be
executed himself; Marcus follows orders given to him and executes Jesus. He fears he
has lost his soul until he experiences Jesus' love and forgiveness.

Pros: This books makes you feel like you're really back in Jesus' time. The characters are
so real and you can feel their emotions.

Cons: I had no notable issues with this book.


Reagan Colbert's Site - You can also subscribe to her newsletter for a free e-book!

I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Pinaboos: Belladonna and the Nightmare Academy

The Pinkaboos: Belladonna and the Nightmare Academy

Author: Jake Gosselin, Laura Gosselin
Illustrations by: Billy Kelly
Category: Children's Chapter Book
Suitable for: All Ages, ideal for ages 5-10
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: ARC e-book from the author/publisher
Pages: 96

This is a sequel to The Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem. View my review of that book here.

Description: In this installment the school bully, Vex has left Fright School and is trying to start her own Nightmare Academy to turn the sweet Frights, who help little girls, into evil monsters who scare little girls! Vex is playing on the insecurities of some of the students, like Wither, who was the only one not to get assigned a little girl. She convinces these characters who lack confidence to join her in terrifying little girls. The Pinkaboos discover her evil agenda and have to go into the dreams of a little girl to stop Vex and also use creative means to help the little girl overcome her fears. Like the previous book it is highly entertaining and features themes of bullying, teamwork, and overcoming fears.

In Short: I was really excited to read this book after reading the previous one because of how shocking the ending of that one was. If your child loved the first one they will definitely want to continue reading with this one. This is a great early-chapter book series that isn't very long. Ideal for kids beginning to get into chapter books. Also, it's very, very pink, so if you know a child who loves pink, this would be a great gift for them.

Pros: I love the friendships between the characters and they way they work together to solve problems. The story line is very interesting, fast paced and super fun to read. I thought this book was a little more light-hearted than the first one. It is also well written and edited. There are fun crafts, activities, and facts about bats in the back of the book. The art in this book is cute. At first I thought it was a bit weird-looking but it's grown on me.

Cons: The characters are listed in the back in the Major Frights section, which is cool except that in this book it is the same bios as the previous one and I think it should have been updated to match the new information that developed in this book.

I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Storm Surge (REVIEW)

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein:

Storm Surge (1-6)


Authors: Dean Koontz, Chuck Dixon
Illustrator: Andres Ponce
Category: Horror, Comic Book
Suitable for: Adults
My Rating: 3 Stars
Format Read for Review: E-book from the author/publisher
Pages: 138 (6 comic books about 23 pages each)

Description: Victor Frankenstein, in true form, creates a machine to raise the dead. Erika, one of his creations steps through a portal in his secret lab that takes her to a parallel dimension. The Victor in this universe has gotten a little bit farther on his evil plans, taking advantage of a storm he starts a zombie apocalypse using his powerful machine.

In Short: This version of Victor Frankenstein is incredibly evil, but his monster isn't a half bad guy. I have to say, I hated Victor's character in this rendition but if you like horror, comics, and zombies you may like this series. If you don't mind an ambiguous ending that leaves the conclusion up to your imagination you'll enjoy this.   

Pros: I enjoyed some of the humor and dark jokes in this comic, although the one-liners began to get a bit dorky. I always enjoy zombie horrors and I thought it was a fun twist on the Frankenstein stories to have a zombie apocalypse. The story is fast paced and full of action. It made for a quick entertaining read. I liked the idea of how the zombies were created by utilizing the flood to electrocute a crowd. The magic Deucalion (Frankenstein's monster) wielded was really interesting. This story blends science fiction, fantasy and horror.  

Cons: Overall pretty sexist feel to it. There is too much innuendo. Even toward this an intelligent woman who appears to be some sort of police officer or something, by someone she saved, and is working side by side with. Someone who should show a little respect. I mean she just shot up a zombie and is actively devising plans while he suggests they should be 'doing it.' The art is just OK for a comic book. For one thing some of the zombies look way too decomposed considering within a few moments they went from perfectly alive people to the walking dead. Some shouldn't be rotting just yet. Too many of the characters look alike and they all have the same body type. There are some editing issues with the text. Overall the story was OK but I didn't care for the ending, I would have preferred something more conclusive. The ending was kind of a slap in the face after all the buildup of the heroes struggling to save the world.

Parent's Guide: Partial nudity, sexual innuendo, references to abuse, violence, violence with guns.

To read the full story you'll need all 6 comic books. Approx. $12 and 138 pages total.

I was given a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Vroom! Kevin's Big Book of Vehicles (REVIEW)

Vroom! Kevin's Big Book of Vehicles

Author: Liesbet Slegers
Category: Illustrated Children's Book
Suitable for: All Ages, ideal for ages 2-7
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: ARC e-book from the publisher
Pages: 32

Description: Kevin loves vehicles and using his imagination he plays with his toy cars in creative ways. This book has a bunch picture games that have the kids decide what items don't belong, and identify different things.

In Short: This book is ideal for children who show interest in any kinds of vehicles or even farming or construction. It is an interactive teaching book that shows children all kinds of vehicles and what they do.

Pros: The best thing about this book is how interactive it is. It is almost like school work, but in a fun way! Some of the pictures double as games for kids and the book asks them a lot of questions to get them thinking and learning. I think this book would be good for parents to start reading with their children at a young age to teach them and get them thinking more about the vehicles they see outside every day. Some of the questions might challenge young readers so it would be good to discuss them. The pictures are really cute and colorful. Kids who love toy cars will really get a kick out of this book.

Cons: The book has some translation problems. I don't believe in dumbing down English for kids. When you speak to them normally they usually have no problem learning big words at a young age. Some of the word choices I didn't agree with. They use "quick helpers" for emergency vehicles and "strong workers" for construction vehicles. Those terms just aren't very common place. They also teach kids the word "threshing" which is good and a word a lot of adults who didn't grow up in farming communities don't even know. So, at that rate kids could handle the term "emergency vehicles."

I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

New Release - Pacific Cove: Haunted Visions

New Release!

Pacific Cove: Haunted Visions (Book 1)

By: J.E. Grace

Genre: Mystery/Ghost/Suspense/Christian/Short Story(93 pages)

Description off Amazon

Naomi & Jason Sanders, move to Pacific Cove Ranch shortly after their wedding. Prior to her graduation from college, Naomi’s younger sister is killed in a hit and run accident. Naomi is having a hard time accepting her loss, and the isolation of her new surroundings bring a new type of terror; haunted visions that keep her on edge terrifying her.

Is Naomi being tormented by her own inner demons or some new type of ghostly visions that haunt the Pacific Cove Ranch? Can she survive or will they drive her mad?

Can she convince her family that she isn’t just grieving for her sister, but that these ghosts are trying to tell her about a secret she is supposed to discover? Will she figure it out and prove to her family she isn’t imagining things?

What a chilling synopsis! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Little Tails in the Jungle (REVIEW)

Little Tails in the Jungle


Author: Frederic Brremaud
Illustrator: Federico Bertolucci
Category: Illustrated Children's Book, Educational & Entertaining
Suitable for: All ages, ideal for 4-8
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: E-book ARC from the author/publisher
Pages: 32

Click this affiliate link to Amazon to find pricing and pre-order options. 

Description: A beautiful illustrated children's book that mixes comic style with colorful paintings. It teaches children about geography, jungles and the life forms that live in them. A puppy and a squirrel go on a fun, educational adventure through various jungles, teaching the reader about everything they encounter.  

In Short: This is a great book to entertain and educate children. The art is absolutely stunning and I think children would enjoy the comedy, adventure, and animals in this book. I highly recommend this book.

Pros: The characters are cute, funny, sweet and have good manners. The art style is unique and really pretty. The characters go on an adventure in their cardboard airplane (oh, the power of imagination) and they are portrayed in a cartoon-strip style while the background shows the jungle and the life within it in magnificent color in a lovely painted style. It is very detailed and informative and teaches children about different jungles, their locations, the weather, the animals and the bugs you find there. This is one of the most educational children's books I have read this year, and I really appreciate that. I even learned about the pink colored Amazon river dolphins! I also like that it made a point to teach children not only interesting facts about animals but that they should always use caution around unfamiliar animals. It also expresses the preciousness of nature. The end of the book has more images of the animals and some more information and fun facts about them. Overall it is a very informative and fun book!

Cons: I have no issues with this book.

I received a free e-copy of this book in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Release Announcement - Warship Jolly Roger

Today, Warship Jolly Roger was released! 

This is a gritty, dark graphic novel set in a dystopian sci-fi universe. The protagonists escape prison during a riot and are now struggling to achieve their freedom and settle conflicts with old enemies.

If you missed it, you can find my review of this book here

Parent's Guide:  Violence, gore/blood, some profanity, partial nudity (no sexual content).

Friday, August 5, 2016

Deadfall Lane (REVIEW)

Deadfall Lane

Author: Israel Finn
Category: Horror Short Story
Suitable for: Adults only
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle
Pages: 10

Description: Pete is pushed over the edge and commits a heinous crime with unforeseen consequences for him and his family. A hundred year old tree is now dying, leaning, and pointing accusing branches at his haunted soul.    

In Short: A dark, chilling, gruesome, and tragic short story. If you love gory horror, don't mind adult content, and are looking for a really quick read check this book out.

This book is $0.99 on Amazon for the kindle edition. 

Pros: This book is really well written, edited, and descriptive yet concise. The story is definitely easy to imagine and a very haunting tale. It is complicated and made me feel conflicting emotions. The story is very creepy and even though Pete, the star of the book has committed some awful sins I feared for his safety and sanity while portents of revenge began to cast a dark shadow in his direction. I was on the edge of my seat enjoying the thrilling suspense and was sad to see it end. I really enjoyed the author's writing style and would definitely read more books by Israel Finn.

Cons: At about 10 pages this story was just too short. Although the ending was chilling it came too quickly after the climax and as a result left me feeling like I wasn't getting to know what happens next. The main character gets left in limbo. I would have liked to see him either meet his fate or escape the darkness in the end. I know part of the fear is in the not knowing. However, with how short and quick the conclusion was, that didn't work for me. There was also some adult content that I feel limited the audience pool. There was an imagined-rape scene that didn't add anything to the story but makes it a no-go and potential trigger for some readers.      

Parent's Guide and Trigger Warnings: This book contains themes of violence, gore, murder and rape. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Artist Spotlight - Children's Book Artist: Jhon Simatupang

I got the coolest surprise in my Twitter inbox earlier today:
My new Twitter cover image courtesy of Jhon Simatupang @hariYangGerah
I am so happy with this new cover image! It is also the first image that Twitter hasn't made blurry because of how hi-res it is! 

So now I want to share with you this great Children's Book Illustrator's talents! He offers super affordable work which you can find here on: Fiverr

It's time to stop putting off creating that awesome children's book you've been thinking about. Now you have the resource of a very talented artist with great rates. He works quickly and already has great reviews on Fiverr. He can do characters, landscapes and he accepts custom orders. 

Here are some examples of the types of listings he offers on Fiverr. 

You can get amazing full color scenaries like this
Find this listing here

Your next children's book will be a big hit with beautiful art like this

Here is another example off Fiverr of a character in 5 poses. 
Find this listing here

Even if you are not writing a children's book for just $5 you can get a vector drawing of your house or another building in a high res image that you can print and frame! 

Or have yourself drawn as a vector character to use as a cool Facebook profile image! Getting a cartoon of yourself for only $5 is a great deal. Find the listing here

All images in this post were created by: 
Visit his Fiverr or Twitter profiles to see more examples of his art and to contact him.