Pandora Syndrome by April Wahlin – My Review!!

Pandora Syndrome – My Review!!

Pandora Syndrome Cover

Pandora Syndrome: Stories of Ithiria popped up in my recommendations not too long ago. Though I’m not a vampire story fan, I read the blurb, and added it to my TBR list. Here are my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author):

After being shot outside a club on her twenty-first birthday, Pandora Todd, aka Dora, finds herself in the bed of a handsome stranger with a pair of snake-like fangs. Now, instead of a hangover, Dora wakes with an intense hunger for blood and the strange ability to control all things dead, a distinctly un-vampire trait. Unfortunately, just when Dora grows accustomed to the vampire aspects of her eternal life, she finds herself targeted by a rival necromancer. Soon, Dora becomes wrapped up in a plot that will shape her past, present, and future.

What I liked:

First, I enjoyed this book! April Wahlin did a great job of taking vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other horror denizens and made them more human than monster. It was an interesting way to make the story different from others. Seen through the eyes of Dora, the story follows her transition from new adult to vampire – something she doesn’t particularly like to be. Pandora Syndrome also handles Dora’s relationships with other supernatural beings in a humorous and entertaining way. All told, a fun read!

What I didn’t like:

I only have two minor complaints about Pandora Syndrome. First, the story moved a little slowly in places. Second, the cliffhanger ending. I know, personal preferences, but that is why they are minor complaints.

Overall impression:

April Wahlin did a good job with her characters, the story, and building a supernatural world superimposed on Los Angeles. A few slow spots and the cliffhanger ending bothered me a little, but not enough to knock the rating. If you like supernatural stories, read this one!

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with April Wahlin:

Find April Wahlin on her Amazon Author Page, Goodreads, and her website. Check out her books (and maybe buy one or two), and leave a comment or a review!

Connect with me:

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Halfway Drowned by Terry Maggert – My Review!!

Halfway Drowned – My Review!!!

Drowned

 

Readers of my blog and reviews know I’ve read the first three books of the Halfway Witchy series by Terry Maggert and enjoyed them immensely. When Mr. Maggert released the latest in the series, Halfway Drowned (Halfway Witchy Book 4), it went directly to my TBR list. Here is my review!

Synopsis (from the author): A magical storm. An ancient shipwreck. A hidden evil.
All three are tied together as Carlie must defend Wulfric against his past, which emerges after a raging storm tears across Halfway Lake.
When government agents descend on Halfway to investigate the mysterious shipwreck, Carlie discovers that all is not as it seems.

A thousand years old, the Viking ship holds bones. And secrets.
Not everyone went down with the ship. There were survivors, but they might be less than human. They cross paths with Carlie in a showdown that will bring her own secrets to light, for saving Wulfric came with a cost. Now, it’s time for her to pay.

Dive in with Carlie as she fights to save the one person she can’t lose.
Herself.

What I liked: As with the other books in this series, I enjoyed the story. Carlie is her usual spunky self, and Wulfric lends both a romantic and somewhat comical relief. Granny is Carlie’s anchor and the citizens of Halfway provide an excellent supporting cast. The evil that comes to halfway from the shipwreck fits the bill perfectly, and the nerdy government agent develops into a likeable character. Overall, a Halfway Drowned is a good entertaining book.

What I didn’t like: I never quite grasped the purpose of Officer Domari. Additionally, this book dragged a little for me in places.

Overall impression: Despite the items mentioned above, I enjoyed this book. With familiar characters, good storytelling, and waffles, how can you go wrong? I’d recommend this one to anyone who’s read the first three and recommend the series to anyone who enjoys excellent books!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)

Connect with the author:

Witch (see what I did there) of the Halfway Witchy books by Terry Maggert have you read? I hope the first three so you will be primed to read Halfway Drowned (Halfway Witchy Book 4).Please consider leaving a review when you finish each. Don’t forget to visit Terry Maggert’s Amazon Author page and his website to discover his many books!

Connect with me:

If you enjoyed the review (or didn’t), leave me a comment and let me know. If you’d like, connect with me on the socials, too. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Stop by and say hi or shoot me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com!

Equi Knocks of Karma by Jada Ryker – My Review!!

Equi Knocks of Karma – My Review!

Equi Knocks of Karma Cover

 

I read the first Carr-Maah Consulting Agency Mystery (Dog Days of Karma) and gave it 5 stars in my review. Now the second book of the series Equi Knocks of Karma makes its way to the top of my TBR list. Here are my thoughts!

 

Synopsis (from the author): In the second standalone adventure in the Carr–Maah Consulting Agency Mystery series, Celeste Carr and Ericka Maah, business partners and friends, face a powerful and ruthless adversary.

Celeste and Ericka are shocked when Toni Rae Yelton, a self-centered party girl, storms the office and holds them hostage. Desperate, Toni Rae orders the mysterious Ericka to use her alleged supernatural powers to call off the police and the reporters, who are all convinced she’s the sinister force behind her little girl’s disappearance.

Adding to Celeste’s angst, Hobart has vanished. The mysterious man was forced off the streets some months ago. Ericka used a combination of her unusual talents and blackmail to coerce Hobart into working for her firm. He reluctantly agreed. More enthusiastically, at least until his disappearance, he was also Celeste’s boyfriend. Now, Celeste believes something terrible has happened to him.

Celeste is forced to not only investigate, but also navigate the landmines in her life. Celeste’s friend Ericka duels with her arch enemy and business rival, handsome and charismatic Christoph Metre. An odd little dog, curiously attuned to Celeste and using his teeth, claws, and smell for protection, attaches himself to her. When she’s in danger, a devilishly handsome stranger materializes to save her…and makes her less eager to find her missing boyfriend.

As the sinister cords of the mystery tighten around Celeste’s throat, she must find the person behind the mask in time to save not only herself, but others. With the fine Machiavellian hand leaving few clues but many deadly traps, Celeste will have to solve the mystery before it’s too late. 

What I liked: Jada Ryker’s quirky characters are back! Ericka Maah is as mysterious and enigmatic as ever. Celeste Carr still works on her anger issues – especially with Bennett. Hobart’s disappearance adds mystery, and Christophe Metre returns as Ericka’s nemesis and rival. Combine the things above with missing homeless people, a weird dog (who may or may not morph into a handsome stranger that protects Celeste), and the stage is set for an entertaining book!

What I didn’t like: Without giving too much away, Toni Rae’s missing daughter wasn’t critical to the plot and seemed unnecessary. Besides that, no complaints.

Overall impression: Equi Knocks of Karma is an entertaining read. Fast-paced, full of quirky interesting characters, the book had enough mystery and intrigue to keep me reading. I recommend Equi Knocks of Karma to anyone who enjoys mysteries with a touch of the supernatural!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read Equi Knocks of Karma? If you have, or if you have read any of Jada Ryker’s books, please consider leaving a review. Reviews help authors know what readers think of their books. I know Jada Ryker would appreciate it! Find out more about Jada and her books on her Amazon Author Page or on her website! And look for Jada’s Kindle Scout book Take the Body and Run!

Connect with me:

If you have a comment about my review, please let me know what you think. In case you want to connect on social media, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr. Lastly, you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to the comments and new connections!

 

Fade To Silver by Catherine Converse – My Review

Fade To Silver!

Fade To Silver – My Review!!

Fade To Silver Cover

 

I read the first book of The In Between series a while back and immediately had to get the second book of the series Fade To Silver. I was not disappointed!

The Review:

The premise of the series is there is a shadowy group that has a cadre of visionaries who foresee murders and report the events in the dreams. The group then sends in a team to intercede and prevent the murders. The first book introduced us to Adie, who has been having dreams of murders for a number of years. She was recruited into the IPA by Jeff(who she falls for) and meets Dannika, another visionary with a troubled past (and present).

Now, let’s fast forward past The In Between and into the second book Fade To Silver.  Adie has left IPA for a time to attend college and pursue a soccer scholarship. Leaving soccer one day, she sights Rens, one of her antagonists from the first book. Jeff tries to chase Rens down, but Rens escapes. That event leads Adie away from school and back to IPA. Dannika, however, is now in research and Adie is operating on her own. She steps into another girl’s dream, where she and the unknown girl witness a murder that IPA cannot stop. It leads IPA to Montana to investigate the events.

I haven’t forgotten Dannika. Rens captures her, hits her with a memory scan, and convinces her to come with him to Montana to visit Raile (the girl whose dreams Adie had entered) to help her interpret her dreams. IPA discovers that Dannika is missing. With their resources split between finding Dannika and trying to discover the meaning of Raile’s and Adie’s  dreams, IPA is stretched to the breaking point.

Will Dannika remember who Rens is? Will Adie find Raile and get to the bottom of the dreams and stop more murders? For that, you will just have to read Fade To Silver!

My Rating:

I wasn’t sure that Catherine Converse could top The In Between. While I am not sure she did, her second book is every bit as good as the first!! I gave The In Between 4.5 stars and will be giving Fade To Silver the same 4.5 Stars! As before, Bravo Catherine Converse!!

Author Spotlight – Sonia Taylor Brock and The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch

I have turned on the author spotlight for this week and today’s featured author is Sonia Taylor Brock! Sonia is an Atlanta-area author, so it is my pleasure to highlight another Georgia writer!!

 

Sonia Taylor Brock photo

 

Sonia’s urban fantasy book that I am highlighting today is The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch.

 

 

Sonia Taylor Brock The Inheritance of A Swamp Witch cover

 

 

 

The first in the Swamp Witch series, this story takes place in the Swamps of Southern Louisiana. Told in the Cajun dialect, it is about the adventures of a young man into the surprising world of the supernatural. He is shocked to learn that the world he has been accustomed to is not what it seems. In fact, nothing is what it seems. He discovers Witches, Dragons, Trolls, Fairies and Angels are only the tip of the iceberg.

Author Bio:

Sonia Taylor Brock, Author currently self published, has written two books, THE INHERITANCE OF A SWAMP WITCH and A WITCH’S WELCOME. Both of THE SWAMP WITCH series, the books are the result of a wonderful conglomeration of Cajun Creole culture and bringing legends of old into a modern focus in this urban fantasy. New twists on the creation of Vampires, Were creatures, Angels, Trolls, Titans and magic and how they mesh with today’s world where humans understand The One God and the power of prayer. These books use humor and adventure to tell the story.

She has also written a series of short stories that revolve around the main character of THE SWAMP WITCH series and how she affects changes in the destiny of the people she meets. Sonia has worked with several publications throughout her career such as The Cullman Times, Creative Loafing Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Facility Safety Management Magazine, Galz Magazine and published articles in Trade Publications as a Marketing Professional throughout career.  Sonia is a colorful person and characterizes her life development as constantly evolving and never ending. She refuses to be old and professes to have a young mind even it does seem to forget more things now. She loves to Live, Love, Laugh, Dream and dance in the rain. Sonia currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her Husband James and her daughters and grandson.

Connect with Sonia:

Book Links:

Sonia has written and published the second book of the Swamp Witch series. Entitled A Witch’s Welcome, I have included the cover photo below.

 

 

Sonia Taylor Brock A Witch's Welcome Cover

 

Book Links:

Visit Sonia’s links, check out her books, buy them, read them, and leave a review! I know she would appreciate it!

 

 

 

 

The Griffin Cryer by Julia Hughes – My Review

The Griffin Cryer

The Griffin Cryer Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is amazing how an ordinary act can have extraordinary consequences. This is what happened to Frankie Shaunessy when she tries to call her dog home. Instead, she summons a griffin from another world, complete with his Rider – wearing fancy dress! That is how The Griffin Cryer by Julia Hughes starts!

Frankie is determined to help Balkind, the griffin, and his rider return to their own world. Her efforts, set against the backdrop of a young woman trying to balance school, friends, teenage angst, and a tragic family situation, make for a compelling and entertaining story.

I loved the character development in this novel. Balkind is not your usual griffin. He is sweet and loves attention. His rider is rude and demanding. Frankie’s parents are solid parental types, but have their own issues.  Frankie, as with most young people, is complex and finds that friends aren’t always friends and enemies aren’t always enemies. Romance isn’t always like the movies, and relationships within the family can be difficult. But, in the end, love and friendship always win!

The story itself grabbed me from the start (who doesn’t love supernatural things happening in a graveyard) and kept its hold on me until the end. It follows Frankie’s life from finding Balkind and his rider, through a romance with her dream guy, and back to helping Balkind and the rider get back home. I did get a little confused toward the end when Frankie has to help her brother, but the story sorted itself out.

I think this book is suitable for all ages and all genres. It has some romance, teen issues, paranormal elements, suspense, and fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book to be added to your to-be-read pile!

My rating 4.5 Stars!!

 

 

 

The In Between by Catherine Converse – My Review

The In Between!

The In Between

By Catherine Converse

My Review

 

The In Between Cover

 

I had the opportunity to do an author spotlight on Catherine Converse and her YA paranormal novels The In Between and Fade To Silver, a few months ago on my blog. As I read the material for my spotlight, the concept of the book intrigued me and I put her book in my TBR pile. I got the book in January and read it in a couple of weeks. Here are my thoughts about it!

The Review:

The In Between introduces us to Adie, a high school senior with a promising future in soccer. Adie just happens to have the extraordinary gift of dreaming about murders before they happen. She is recruited by an organization – the IPA – to become a Visionary and have her dreams interpreted and acted upon to prevent the murders.

As Adie settles into her new life – deep underground in IPA’s headquarters – she is paired with another Visionary named Dannika. Together, the two slowly forge a bond and work together to help prevent more killings. A shadowy figure who seems to anticipate their intervention in his plans and who threatens their lives, becomes the focus of their work. That is as far as I will go describing the story so I won’t spoil it!

I found the story to be new and refreshing. The characters grew throughout the book and I liked the way Catherine gave them more personality as the story progressed. The introduction of romantic interests adds a dimension, but there were some awkward moments with them such as the first meeting between Jeff (the IPA recruiter) and Adie. Nonetheless, the relationships evolve and become an integral part of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed The In Between and I bought the second book in the series, Fade To Silver (which I am reading now). Bravo to Catherine Converse!

My rating:

4.5 Stars!!!

The Man With The Green Suitcase by Dee Doanes!!

Dee Doanes and The Man With The Green Suitcase

Now this sounds like an intriguing paranormal mystery! Read on to discover more about Dee Doanes’ The Man With The Green Suitcase!! You can read more about Dee and her work below. I included many different links for you to connect with the author and purchase her book! Read and enjoy.

 

The Man with the Green Suitcase Cover Dee Doanes

 

What does…

A prostitute

A corrupt businessman and

A disfigured young woman

Have in common with a mysterious, old homeless man who carries a green suitcase?

The old man comes into people’s lives because it is important for them to experience the visions that he is somehow able to show them—visions that even he doesn’t understand. But whoever he connects with will go through a transformation that will change the course of their life, for better or worse. The old man has no memory of who he is or even what the suitcase holds. But one day he will find out all about his own secret and dark past…

This story is magical realism, realistic with paranormal elements, a mystery that needs to be solved, and a man and woman who will finally realize that they were meant to come into each other’s lives and remain forever.

Author Bio:

Dee Doanes is the author of The Man With the Green Suitcase, her first fiction novel.

She has previously published short stories and poetry. She has a deep passion for writing and has been writing since the age of five.

Dee Doanes has a background in copywriting, communications, and social media.

She’s active in several charities and conducts a youth poetry workshop for the Atlanta Writers Club Youth Writing Camp, and is the former co-chair of the Writing in the Schools Program for Georgia Writers.

Dee Doanes lives in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoys spending time with her daughter and parents. Doanes’ mother encouraged her to read and to be creative while growing up. In her spare time, she enjoys attending writing events and workshops, fitness training, collecting art, world travel, and gourmet cooking.

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/deedoanes

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/DeeDoanesAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deedoanes

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/deedoanes

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/deedoanes/

Author website: www.themanwiththegreensuitcase.com

Blog: www.deedoanes.com

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/author/deedoanes

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/dee-doanes

When you read the book, please consider leaving a review!