Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) – My Review!

Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) – My Review!!

Blood Relic Cover

I read the first two books of the Paranormal Peacekeepers series by Lucretia Stanhope and thoroughly enjoyed them. I added Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) to my TBR list a while back and finally got a chance to read it. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):

When a string of dead witches points to the illegal practice of making relics that eternally drip with magic blood, Alice is called to go deep into the vampire underground. The mission plants her as the lead on a military targeting squad, serving a branch of the PPK she despises. To reject the task means the blood of witches on her hands. To succeed means her and Amarok will never be simple ambassadors again – if they ever were.

With her and Amarok one step closer to serving the military division of the PPK, she finds comfort in her new, albeit temporary, partnership with the vampire Matthias. While balancing their own evolving relationship, Matthias prepares her for what she will see in the blood dens.

Once she steps into the seedy world where ruthless vampires pay to play with magic blood it is quickly clear that everyone underestimated the vampires’ cravings. Can the power she keeps hidden from her keepers save her life without changing it into a life of service not worth living?

What I liked:

After reading the first two books, Alice is like an old friend that you are eager to catch up with and find out what she’s been doing. Amarok and Matthias make great foes and love interests for her, and Alice’s growth into a complex woman continues. Lots of action and intrigue with this one and many twists and turns kept me interested throughout. If you like dark fantasy, Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers#3) is your kind of book!

What I didn’t like:

Despite the action, there were a few slow parts in the book. In addition, Alice’s quandary over who she loves got a bit repetitive.

Overall impression:

I enjoyed Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3), though not as much as the previous books. This one is quite a bit darker, with more violence and blood, and delves deeper into sexual situations that the other books. Overall, an entertaining read for dark fantasy fans!

My rating:

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)

Connect with Lucretia Stanhope:

Find Lucretia Stanhope on her Amazon Author Page or on her Facebook page. Discover more about the Paranormal Peacekeepers and her other books (and maybe buy a few). While you’re there, consider leaving a review or a comments!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect!

Rings of Polaris Collection by Paul Alan – My Review!!

Rings of Polaris Collection – My Review!!

 

Rings of Polaris Cover

Science fiction shows up in my recommendation occasionally and when they do, I take a good look at the blurb before committing. Rings of Polaris Collection by Paul Alan looked good and I added it to my TBR list. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):

Masterfully crafted by Paul Alan, the ‘Rings of Polaris’ series fuses science fiction, dystopian fiction, and action – in an adventure giving Arthur C. Clarke a run for his money.
Readers are invited to strap in with Jason and Rebel Lexis on a mission across the vast wasteland that was once Earth to the surface of Mars. While nobody will deny science fiction’s timeless popularity, both readers and critics are currently crying out for wholly-unique new narratives that don’t succumb to recycling of the “same old” concepts.

What I liked:

Rings of Polaris had the interesting characters, cool, technology, and galaxy-altering intrigue that I enjoy in science fiction novels. Jason and Rebel Lexis fill the characters’ role nicely, especially Rebel Lexis’ emergence as an almost human syn. Jason has enough baggage to allow him to be a brooding hero. The tech on the ships was a bonus. With plenty of action, a touch of mystery, and a bit of time travel, the book entertained me!

What I didn’t like:

I thought the book could have used another round with an editor. I usually don’t comment on particular words or writing style unless it throws me from the story. In Rings of Polaris, the word ‘albeit’ was overused and, after the first couple of appearances pulled me from the story. In addition, I felt there were some rambling parts that didn’t connect with the story as a whole.

Overall impression:

Rings of Polaris Collection had some excellent good sci-fi elements. Good characters, solid technology (including the syns), and the intrigue all make for an entertaining read. Sci-fi fans will enjoy it!

My rating:

3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 stars)

Connect with Paul Alan:

Find Paul Alan on his Amazon Author Page and his Facebook page. When you visit, please consider leaving a review or a comment and maybe pick up a book or two!

Connect with me:

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Find me and say hi! Subscribe to the blog and never miss a post!

Myths of the Mirror by D. Wallace Peach – My Review!!

Myths of the Mirror – My Review!!

Who doesn’t like dragons? For me, a fantasy novel with dragons will always have a place on my TBR list! When I received the recommendation for Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet #1) I added it to my list. Here is my review!

Synopsis (from the author):

In the distant mountains of the Mirror, exiled skyriders fly dragons in the old Way, merged in flesh, blood, and bone. Twenty years past, they fought for the freedom of the valley’s dragons … and lost.

Imprisoned in the stone lair, the captive dragons beat their webbed wings and thrash serpentine tails. They tear their flesh and batter their bodies against the black bars of their cells, iron grating against iron. The once peaceful creatures howl, tormented by spine and spur, their fury matched only by their despair.

Treasa, the daughter of exiles, seeks the secrets of a hidden past and a father she never knew. Gifted with visions, she glimpses pieces of years long lost and a veiled future that only raises more questions. The dragons visit her dreams, laden with contradictions that tear at her heart—for one day she sails in unfettered flight, her arms thrown wide, and the next she writhes in tortured darkness, desperate to be free.

The lair’s black-garbed riders sense the dragons’ growing savagery. Yet Conall longs to grasp their power, to subdue them and soar. He will endure the reek, filth, and terror of the lair to earn his right to fly. With a heart encased in steel, he masters the weapons of compliance to see his will done. At the cost of the woman he loves.

Then, a curved talon rends flesh and dragon scale, rattling against white ribs. Blood falls like rain and the world shifts. Treasa and Conall must decide who they are and what they stand for. Thus the battle for the dragon soul begins again. Alliances form, old myths are revealed, and new myths are born.

What I liked:

First, I enjoyed this book! The imprisoned dragons fueled much of the story and intertwined everyone’s lives and actions into a great story. The characters were good, the writing flowed smoothly, and the story had a nice pace. Romantic elements abounded throughout the book, which only added to the depth of the tale. All told, Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quarter #1) was an excellent book!

What I didn’t like:

The only thing I didn’t like in the book was the ongoing lack of communication between Treasa and her mother. I can’t really say much about it without adding spoilers, so you’ll just have to read the book and make your own decision.

Overall impression:

Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet #1) by D. Wallace Peach had all the elements for a great fantasy novel. Good characters, a downtrodden dragon population, romance, intrigue, and a good plot line made it a book I truly enjoyed. If you like fantasy, try this one!

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with D. Wallace Peach:

Find D. Wallace Peach on her Amazon Author Page or her website. Check out the entire Dragon Soul Quartet and discover more about the author and her books!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog!

The Scholar: The Genoa Chronicles, Book 1 by J.J. Anders – My Review!!

The Scholar: The Genoa Chronicles, Book 1– My Review!!

The Scholar Cover

I admit that I’ve not really listened to an audiobook in its entirety until I received an Audible gift certificate. I chose The Scholar: The Genoa Chronicles, Book 1 by J.J. Anders and narrated by Marnye Young as my introduction to audiobooks. Read on for my review.

Synopsis (from the author):

Anna is clearly different from others. With obvious physical differences and powerful abilities, she’s never quite fit in…anywhere. Having no knowledge of her parents, she sets out to discover her true origin. On the run for most of her life, she’s become a master at eluding capture, even a little cocky, you might say. When a sticky situation forces her hand, she hitches a ride with a wizard, who whisks her away to another world where, according to him, she’d been exiled from as a child. This new magical place seems oddly familiar as Anna discovers powerful enemies and treasured allies on her quest for answers. The dangerous journey thrust her headlong into the arms of Kriston, who finds himself caught between sworn-duty and insatiable curiosity.

What I liked:

First, I liked the story. Anna had some great adventures and met many interesting characters and creatures. The rock trolls were my favorite, though the huge horses were a close second. Secondly, I enjoyed Marnye Young’s narration. The various voices she used impressed me.

The book has many of the classic fantasy elements like a quest, cool creatures, adventure, and a touch of romance. The Scholar: The Genoa Chronicles, Book 1 moved along briskly and had enough action to keep my interest. Overall, a good book.

What I didn’t like:

I didn’t find the audiobook format to be a favorite. While Marnye Young did a great job narrating the story, I missed putting my own imagination into the story. The story itself, though entertaining, seemed a bit disjointed to me and jumped around more than I liked.

Overall impression:

The Scholar: The Genoa Chronicles, Book 1 audiobook was entertaining and beautifully narrated. Although I didn’t enjoy the audiobook as much as I would an ebook or physical copy, it made a couple of flights enjoyable. As far as the story goes, it’s a good one! If you like fantasy, give this one a try!

My rating:

4 Stars for the book

5 Stars for the narration

Connect with J.J. Anders:

Find J. J. Anders on her Amazon Author Page or her website. While visiting, consider leaving a review or a comment, and maybe buy a book or two!

Connect with Marnye Young:

Find Marnye Young on her website, check out the books she’s narrated, and maybe pick one up for your listening pleasure!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect. And don’t miss a post. Subscribe to the blog!

Making History by Bruce Polky – My Review!!

Making History – My Review!!

Making History Cover

 

A friend recommended Making History by Bruce Polky and I added it to my TBR. Read on for my thoughts about this sci-fi novel. 

Synopsis (from the author):

One little decision can get you killed, or something worse.

Dav jumps from planet to planet in Safe Space selling computer hardware, whether people need it or not. His life starts to fall apart when his Personal Assistance Device crashes. Like every citizen of Safe Space, his PAD’s been his ID, wallet, phone, and more, from the time he was six years old. Without it he can’t travel, can’t work, can’t even buy lunch!

Under Government law, every citizen must carry their PAD at all times, and any modification is illegal. Leaving it unattended will set off alarms, even calling it bad names will get you fined, or result in a visit from the Protectors.

Marsy, a black-market tech, can fix his machine, but her work has attracted the worst possible attention. Marsy is dragged off by the Protectors, kicking and screaming till the last. Dav gets out, but the Protectors know who he is and that is not a good thing. His new PAD is much more than he expected. Through it, he gets a glimpse of what lies behind Safe Space and the rigid control of the Government. Everything he has always known about life is challenged. If the Protectors find him, they will remove him for what he has discovered. He must learn to work with the new capabilities of his upgraded PAD to survive, but this device plays by its own rules, and it could kill him even faster!

His only option is to hunt for Marsy. She can tell him what this damn thing is, and maybe together they can uncover what the Government is hiding.

Or maybe humanity’s whole future has already been decided.

What I liked:

First, I liked the story! A nice mix of science fiction and dystopia with a few little twists along the way kept my attention. Samuel (our resident computer inhabiting Dav’s PAD) was an entertaining character. Dav himself was a good character, too, though I liked Samuel better. Marsy and Garth added nice background, but the story revolved around Dav and Samuel. The discoveries Dav and Samuel made and government control of everything showed the dystopian side of the book. All told, a fun and entertaining novel!

What I didn’t like:

For me, the science fiction wasn’t futuristic enough. Yes, the PADs were cool, but from a technology perspective, not much different that tablets and phones available today. The space travel was cool, but the habitats, again were not so futuristic.

Overall impression:

Making History by Bruce Polky entertained me! Dav and Samuel’s adventures and the secrets they uncovered made for an interesting and thought provoking book. While it could have been heavier on the science fiction, the story kept me interested. If you enjoy sci-fi with a nice mix of dystopia, read this one!

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with Bruce Polky:

Find Bruce and his book on his Amazon Author Page. While visiting, consider leaving a comment or a review and maybe pick up your own copy of Making History!

Connect with me:

Let’s meet on the socials and connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. If you see me, say hi! Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe to the blog!

The Black Fox: Run for Your Life by Gordon Bickerstaff – My Review!!

The Black Fox: Run for Your Life – My Review!!

The Black Fox Cover

A while back, I read the first of Gordon Bickerstaff’s Lambeth Group Thrillers, and gave Deadly Secrets 4 Stars. When The Black Fox: Run for Your Life appeared in my recommendations, I added it to my TBR. Here is my review.

Synopsis (from the author):

Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.

Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.

Run for your life…

What I liked:

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I like thrillers. The Black Fox: Run for Your Life has all the elements for a great thriller. Lots of action, plenty of plot twists, and a large-scale conspiracy blend to make this an excellent read! Zoe is a great character, a believable operative, and her talents are fully on display in the book. Gavin plays a central role as the pair struggle to stay alive and solve the mystery of why the CIA wants him dead. No spoilers from me, so you’ll just have to read this one to find the answers!

What I didn’t like:

I had a couple of complaints about the book. First, Gavin was such a weak persona in this book compared to the first book of the series. Secondly (and admittedly this is personal bias as a former submariner), the submarine parts seemed a bit farfetched.

Overall impression:

The Black Fox: Run for Your Life entertained me from start to finish. With tons of action, good characters, lots of plot twists, and an interesting finish, I enjoyed it. If you like thrillers, try this one! 

My rating:

4.5 Stars (round to 5 Stars)

Connect with Gordon Bickerstaff:

Discover Gordon Bickerstaff and his book on his website and his Amazon Author Page. While you’re visiting, consider leaving a comment or a review. I know Gordon Bickerstaff will appreciate it!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect! If you don’t want to miss a post, please subscribe to the blog!

Laird of Dunans Castle? Me? Maybe or Maybe Not!

Laird of Dunans Castle?

I’ve been interested in my genealogy for some time now and have gotten pretty far back on part of the family. I’ve discovered I have deep roots in Virginia (perhaps as far back as Jamestown but I have to verify that story) and, according to my DNA test, my ancestors are mostly from England, Scotland, and Ireland (with just a touch of Scandinavian). Not much of a surprise there. One of the big mysteries in the family tree, though, is where my Stuart ancestors originated. That was one of the reasons why Lana and I went to Scotland in September 2018. I wanted to see the lands from which my ancestors may have hailed. I didn’t do any genealogy research while I was there but it was a little surreal to sit in Edinburgh Castle having tea with Lana while surrounded by the names of the Stuart Kings and Queens.

Am I a Laird?

This post is not about my genealogy, though. It is about a Christmas present Lana gave me. How she found it, I don’t know, but she purchased a square foot of the grounds of a castle in my name. According to my understanding, since I am now a Scottish landowner, I am entitled to be referred to as a Laird!

What? Me a Laird? Well, yes and no. The title is decorative, meaning that while I may use it, it holds no true legal recognition. A Laird (or Lord) recognized by the Court of Lord Lyon would legal have standing, but buying a square foot of land doesn’t make me a qualify me as a Laird (I’m not sure the Scottish Land Register would even recognize a square foot of land as property). Regardless, as noted in the photo below, if I’m ever in Scotland again, I’ll have to visit Dunans Castle and see my plot of land. I doubt I’ll ask them to use the title, though.

Laird of Dunans Certificate

Do I look the part?

I couldn’t leave this post without a picture of me taken while I was in Scotland (Inverness to be exact). Lana convinced me to rent a kilt and have my picture taken while in full regalia. While Lana was taking my picture, three women from Germany and two from Alabama wanted to have their picture made with me. From my picture below, I guess I look the part!

Dunans Castle

The purchase of the plot of land at Dunans Castle helps restore the property, which burned in a fire in 2001. Originally owned by Clan Fletcher, it now belongs to Charles and Sadie Dixon-Spain. This picture, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, shows the castle. Pretty impressive!

What do you think? DoI look like a Scottish Laird? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Connect with me:

Want to talk about Dunans Castle or your own possible title? Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, or Tumblr. I look forward to hearing your comments!

 

 

Standing on a Whale by B. J. Tiernan – My Review!!

Standing on a Whale – My review!!

Standing on a Whale Cover

I’m not sure how I found Standing on a Whale by B. J.Tiernan, but after reading the blurb, it intrigued me enough to add it to my TBR list. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):

Recluse Lance Stavros is a successful doctor who runs his own practice, but on the inside, he’s basically high-functioning human wreckage. He was born into a loveless home that lacked the nurturing to help him develop an ability to cope with life’s challenges. Now Lance is forty-seven, and the only reason he’s survived the past four decades without taking his own life is cowardice.

As hopelessness overcomes him, and he’s finally finding the guts within to pull the trigger on his existence, a house call pulls him out of the deadly spiral. It will turn out to be the call of his lifetime.

Lance becomes a live-in medic for a controversial mystic and lecturer who irks the Greek government—and becomes an assassin’s target. Amid this new and curious world, and a reignited past romance, Lance battles his cowardice to investigate who is trying to kill his employer, and he’s about to uncover more than he bargained for.

What I liked:

Standing on a Whale was an interesting read. It was a curiously entertaining cross of philosophy, religion, and political commentary set against the backdrop of Lance Stavros’ personal crisis. Hadden, as the mystical philosopher, added a nice character. They mystery of who Hadden’s would be killer was, and the twists and turns surrounding it kept me guessing. Lastly, Lance’s budding romance with Kavita (and its many twists and turns) completed this enjoyable story.

What I didn’t like:

My only criticism of Standing on a Whale was that some of Hadden’s lectures had a preachy feel to them. Other than that, good stuff!

Overall impression:

I enjoyed Standing on a Whale by B. J. Tiernan. From Lance Stavros’ crisis through his transformation, the novel leads us down a twisty path to redemption. What more can you ask of a book?

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with B. J. Tiernan:

Find B. J. Tiernan on her Amazon Author Page. While you’re there, leave her a comment or a review and maybe pick up a book or two!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect! If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog!

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz #1) – My Review!!

The One Discovered – My review!!

The One Discovered Cover

I love the way fantasy can move in so many different directions. It can be classic epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and even have a bit of the paranormal in it. Such is the case with The One Discovered (Chronicles of Diasodz #1) by Yvette M Calleiro. Here is my review.

Synopsis (from the author):

How do you choose when both options have dire consequences?

Sofia is a 17 year old who is quite content with her life. She has a caring boyfriend who also just happens to be her best friend since birth. She has a loving mother. She is successfully completing her last year of high school and enjoys her part-time job. She can’t imagine wanting more from her life…until Ar’ch (pronounced Ar-rick) enters her dreams, sparking a burning flame inside of her that she can’t seem to extinguish nor does she want to.

Ar’ch is a Diasodz (Die-ah-sodz), a species created by the Goddess back when God created humans. Diasodz were made to heal and protect humans, but when the Diasodz turned their backs on helping humans and left Earth to live in their own world, the Goddess abandoned them. Since then, their powers and their very lives have been fading. A prophecy foretold that a young girl born on Earth would be the Diasodz’s savior. Ar’ch and his brother, Angel, travel to Earth to retrieve her and bring her back to their world before her death day in order to save their kind. Ar’ch knows the drill: find the target, capture her, and safely bring her home. But what happens when the target captures his dormant heart?

Choices create action. Actions have consequences. When faced with the truth, what choice will Sofia make? Will she be able to accept the consequences that follow?

What I liked:

The One Discovered was a nice read. Written for young adults, I nonetheless enjoyed it. First, the book has solid characters. Sofia and Rafe make a good couple, and Ar’ch’s intrusion into her dreams and her life make for interesting conflict. The story hints of other powers at work, though Rafe and Sofia are ignorant for the most part.  Follow their adventures and see if Sofia comes into her powers!

What I didn’t like:

Despite the fact that Sofia and Rafe are a couple, their lack of physical attraction seemed out of place. In addition, Sofia’s repeated swoons over Ar’ch got a bit repetitive. A better explanation of what Ar’ch and Angel are would help, too.

Overall impression:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz #1) was a good read. Filled with a nice blend of fantasy and paranormal and good solid characters, it’s a book I recommend to anyone who likes the genre!

My rating:

4 Stars

Connect with Yvette M. Calleiro:

Find Yvette on her website or her Amazon Author Page. While you’re there leave a comment or a review and check out the rest of her books (and maybe buy a few)!

Connect with me:

Find me on the socials on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect.  And subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss a post!

Hexborn (Hexborn Chronicles Book 1) by A. M. Manay – My Review!!

Hexborn – My Review!!

Hexborn

I’m happy to start 2019 with a review of Hexborn (Hexborn Chronicles Book 1) by A. M. Manay. This one came through my Amazon recommendations. Read on for my thoughts on this interesting fantasy novel!

Synopsis (from the author):

Hexborn. Abomination. Unclean. Young Shiloh knows exactly what she is. She just refuses to let that stop her. Her illness might make her an outcast, but her broken body hides great magical power. And she intends to make the most of it.

Silas, the king’s ruthless fixer, seeks to use that power to preserve the uneasy peace the kingdom has enjoyed since the end of the Siblings’ War. Silas hauls Shiloh from her mountain village to the wizard academy at the king’s court, where magic and political intrigue conspire to create danger around every corner.

Can this child of war save the peace? Or will old sins rise to threaten Shiloh, Silas, and the kingdom of Bryn?

What I liked:

Hexborn was an interesting twist on fantasy. Shiloh and Silas are strong characters, while the King is weak. The story follows court intrigue, arranged marriages, and religious persecution, all as a backdrop to Shiloh’s growing power and Silas’s concerns over her power and the threat of her heritage. Add to it the King’s marriage to Shiloh’s friend Penn and we have a lot going on.  All told, it’s an excellent read!

What I didn’t like:

My only real complaint about Hexborn (Hexborn Chronicles Book 1) was how long it took to explain fully what hexborn meant. Other than that, good stuff!

Overall impression:

I enjoyed the book! Great characters, plenty of action, intrigue, and hints of romance kept me turning pages. Shiloh’s powers are interesting and there are plenty of twists and turns. If you like fantasy, try Hexborn!

My Rating:

5 Stars

Connect with A. M. Manay:

Visit A. M. Manay at her website or her Amazon Author Page. While you’re there, leave a comment or a review and maybe buy a book or two! I know she will appreciate it!

Connect with me:

I’m on the socials, so find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+. Let’s connect! And don’t miss a post. Subscribe to the blog!