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!

The Hawk in Winter (Rise of the Hawk Book 1) by Bekah Clark – My Review!!

The Hawk in Winter My Review!!

 

Hawk

 

 

My first review of 2018! This time it’s The Hawk in Winter (Rise of the Hawk Book 1) by Bekah Clark. This one hit my TBR list after a Goodreads recommendation and it was a great choice!

Synopsis (from the author): Maevan, Korla, and Renna, three devoted sisters, have been trained all their lives how to defend themselves, hunt, and strengthen their minds by their mother, Queen Xenya. What they didn’t prepare for was separation.

Many years ago, Queen Xenya of the First House was forced to flee her throne to the icy land of Cardea. Now the rogue queen, Shaezen, has demanded Xenya’s eldest daughter, Maevan, return to the ruling city of Traven. Alone.

Mae loves her home and family but understands the necessity of her placement within the palace of their enemies. Her mother has been preparing Mae and her sisters for the return of the First House to power their entire lives. Something no one could prepare Mae for is the sheer evil of Queen Shaezen and her many devious plans. Mae must find a way to survive her time in the palace while dealing with an evil queen, romance, betrayals, religious fanatics, and court life.

What I liked: The Hawk in Winter was a good start to the series. Xenya and her family were excellently developed characters. Shaezen was a great villain and I sympathized with Mae as she had to endure the many trials put upon her. Romance and a royal pairing clash as part of the story and the plot, though it developed slowly, was good. All told, I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

What I didn’t like: Just a couple of things bothered me in the book. First, as I mentioned above, the plot developed slowly. Secondly, the assassin introduced late in the book seemed oddly out of place with the rest of the cast. I suspect Bekah Clark wanted to create a despicable character (which she did) but for me it just didn’t fit well.

Overall impression: The Hawk in Winter (Rise of Hawk Book 1) was an excellent fantasy book. Filled with romance, intrigue, and action, the story held my attention. I identified with the characters and the end of Shazaen was fitting. I recommend this one to any fantasy reader and look forward to reading the rest of the series!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Connect with the author:

Where is The Hawk in Winter on your TBR list? Near the top I hope! After you read it, please consider leaving a review and visit Bekah Clark’s website and Amazon Author page to find out more about her and her books!

Connect with me:

Since you’re here reading this review, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. And, if you like, connect with me on the socials. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google +, Tumblr, and Pinterest! Stop by and say hi!

Quartz, Topaz, Emerald, and Fairy Crosses!!

Quartz, Topaz, Emerald, and Fairy Crosses!!

I went rock hunting with my brother and niece recently. We found lots of great rocks and I thought I’d share a few of them. First is a nice piece of quartz (I like to call them pencil quartz but this would be a BIG pencil!). The rusty color is internal to the rock, which is pretty cool! I think I’ll try to polish it a bit, but don’t really plan on changing it much. I like the way it looks!

Quartz

 

The second find of the day was a great piece of topaz. The topaz we find is usually clear or maybe has just a touch of blue in it. As you may have read in previous gemstone posts, topaz’s blue color can come from heat and exposure to radiation. North Georgia ‘s mountains have a lot of granite (which may contain trace radioactive elements). I think I’ll play around with a smaller piece of topaz and a butane torch to see if I can get color enhancement. If so, maybe I’ll try it on this piece. At 168.4 carats, I don’t want to damage it.

 

The last find I want to share is this great piece of moonstone (I think). I love the orange colors and I believe it will make a great cabochon. I’ll cut a slab or two off it and see if I can get it to shine. I’ll post pictures and let you know how it works out.

In addition to the ones I found, I ordered a bag of chiastolite fairy crosses and staurolite fairy crosses (these came from Fannin County Georgia). If you recall from The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian, the elf Findecano was trapped in a chiastolite fairy cross, so I had to get me at least one. And Aidan found a bunch of staurolite fairy crosses before Maggie found Findecano’s prison. Given how important fairy crosses are to the books, I just had to have some.

Quartz

The last picture I wanted to share with you is this emerald. I found this one a while back and want to take it to my friend for him to examine and cut for me. This one is about 16 carats, but it has a great green color and I hope he’ll be able to create a beautiful stone from it!

I’ll be heading out for another rock hunting excursion soon. If I find some noteworthy specimens, I’ll be sure to post pictures. In the meantime, check out the blog for other gemstone posts and subscribe so you don’t miss any updates. Connect with me on social media, too! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest! I look forward to meeting new friends!!

Beyond the Forest (Gem Powers Series Book 1) – My Review!!

Beyond the Forest – My Review!!

Forest

 

My readers know I love gemstones. I even based my books on gemstones and their magical properties. When I ran across Beyond the Forest (Gem Powers Series Book 1) by Kay L. Ling and discovered the book also focused on gemstones and magic, I had to read it. Glad I did!

Synopsis (from the author): Lana can draw arcane powers from gemstones. When she started reading the folklore, it sounded farfetched. She should have closed the books right then and walked away. Special abilities are nothing but trouble. Someone always wants you to do something impossible. Or dangerous. Usually both. Like going through a portal to save an oppressed race in another world. In this case, gnomes, whose ruler happens to be a gem master with unimaginable powers.

Lana decides an exploratory mission seems harmless. She can visit the other world and come up with a plan. Who knew there would be flying serpents, mutant insects, and goblin-like mutant gnomes? Or that she’d end up in a dungeon while the queen decides whether to kill her or turn her into an enchanted creature? The gem master hopes to rule Lana’s world next and has already put plans in motion. Lana is determined to escape from the dungeon, but then what? She has two potential allies with gem powers, and she’s afraid of both. But with two worlds in danger, and time running out, she may have to trust them.

What I liked: Beyond the Forest drew me in immediately. Lana’s interest in gemstones and the folklore surrounding them was a familiar theme for me. The way she meets the gnomes and enters their world was entertaining, and the mystery surrounding the hound was a nice twist. The creatures she meets and befriends provide a bit of comic relief, and there’s even a little romance. Add to all of that, the danger presented by the queen to both worlds and there’s something for everyone!

What I didn’t like: Despite enjoying the story, it did bog down at times. In addition, fleshing out the supporting characters would help the story.

Overall impression: Beyond the Forest (Gem Powers Series Book 1) was a fun and clean read. I identified with Lana and her love of gemstones, the quest was good, and the action entertaining.In addition, I enjoyed getting to know the rats and their antics provided comic relief. I would recommend this one to anyone who likes clean fun fantasy!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Have you added Beyond the Forest (Gem Powers Series Book 1) to your TBR list? If not, what are you waiting for? Please take a few minutes and visit Kay L. Ling’s Amazon Author page and her website to find more of her books. Once you read the book(s), please consider leaving a review. I know Kay Ling will appreciate it!

Any thoughts on the review? If so, leave me a comment or send me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. Don’t be shy. And connect with me on the socials. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Lastly, don’t miss a post: subscribe to the blog!

 

A Fine Line: The Beginning by J.C. Brennan – My Review!!

A Fine Line: The Beginning – My review!!

A Fine Line Cover

 

I was looking for something different to read and A Fine Line: The Beginning showed up in my recommendations. Not normally a fan of Civil War era novels, I wanted to read this one as the blurb and the cover intrigued me. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): This historical fantasy will take you on mystical journey with William T. Healthaway and the Crew one you won’t soon forget. William T. Healthaway, a Union soldier, fights in the battle of Pickett’s Mill. The battle is brutal and treacherous. However, however, William will soon learn that surviving this battle is only the beginning of his adventure. He is about to be thrown him into a whirlwind of preternatural happenstance and danger he and the rest of the Crew could never have dreamed possible.

The war awaiting them after their homecoming is one which has been raging for centuries; a war that will lead them into a world they never dreamed might exist. Unknowingly, the family will be plunged into a world of mystery, encountering intrigue, deception, death, temptation, and powers not of their world. With every miraculous power revealed will come a sinister evil. William and his Crew will find themselves in a world which defies every reality.

What I liked: A Fine Line: The Beginning drew me in from the start. The battle scene, William’s injury, his vision of Caroline, and his rescue by Tyrone and Cecil, set the stage for the book. Add to it the powers Tyrone and Cecil possess, and the reunion of William’s war compatriots and all the elements are in place for this historical fantasy! The elements of good versus evil, temptation, redemption, and sacrifice all play important roles as the story unfolds. All told, a good read!

What I didn’t like: At times, the introduction of the characters’ powers seemed forced. In addition, for a historical fiction piece, much of the interaction among the characters was more modern than the time setting would dictate.

Overall Impression: A Fine Line: The Beginning was an intriguing and interesting read. Good characters, an ancient lineage, awakening powers, and the battle between good and evil kept my attention. I read this one quickly and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My rating:  4 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read A Fine Line: The Beginning? What about any of J.C. Brennan’s other books? If you have (or will), please consider leaving a review. And, if you have a moment, stop by her Amazon author page or website and discover more about this talented writer! I know she will appreciate it.

Connect with me:

Like (or dislike) my review? Please let me a comment and let me know. If you want to connect on the socials, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, too!

 

Wire-Wrapping – My First Attempt (Not My Last)!

Readers of my books (The Gemstone Chronicles) and this blog know I love gemstones! I try to go gemstone hunting about once per month, and my two rock tumblers run continuously turning out polished stones by the 3 lbs. barrel full . In fact, I have gotten quite a nice collection of tumbled stones (as evidenced below)!

Wire-Wrapping Tumbled Stones

So, what to do with all these gorgeous stones? I pondered the question for a short time, and then decided I would try my hand at wire-wrapping them. And, since I received a Dremel and a Dremel workstation as gifts, and had a set of diamond drill to use in the tools, I could drill holes in them, too! In addition, my lovely and adorable bride (Lana) gave me the tools from her experiment in beading a few years ago, and I had everything I needed to give wire-wrapping a shot. Here is my drilling station. The plastic container holds water (keeps the rock and drill bit cool) and a piece of rubber (so I don’t drill through the plastic). Pretty cool!

Wire-Wrapping Dremel Workstation

How did my experiment work? Well, I drilled holes in an amethyst and a piece of jasper I had tumbled and decided to give the jasper a try. Below is what the jasper looked liked after drilling.

Wire-wrapping Jasper

 

Now for the drilled and wrapped piece!

Wire-wrapping wrapped jasper

I like the way it turned out and I think it will make a great pendant. I still have to do the amethyst and drill more stones, but I think this will be a great way to use the tumbled stones I keep producing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll open an Etsy store in the future!

That’s my first wire-wrapping effort. I know it isn’t great, but I will keep practicing until I get better. What do you think? Is this a good use for my tumbled stones? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Do you wire-wrap? Any tricks or tips you want to share? You can let me know in a comment, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com or connect with me on the socials and tell me there. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest, so  look me up and say hi! I can use all the wire-wrapping help I can get!

Reflections of 2016 – My Year in Reviews!!

Reflections of 2016 – My Year in Reviews!!

Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve have come and gone, I wanted to spend a few minutes reflecting on 2016 and the books I read. I didn’t read and review as much in 2016 as I did in 2015, and I need to do a better job in 2017. Still, in keeping with my belief that writers want to know what readers think about their work, I managed to read and review 32 books last year. Without further ado, here is a roll call of my reviews from 2016!

January 2016:

I started 2016 with my review of The Ruby of Helios by Scott Larson. This book is the 3rd installment of the Scepter series. If you are looking for a good fantasy series, check out this one!

Reflections Ruby of Helios Cover

I discovered many new authors last year. One of my favorites was Tamie Dearen. I read the first book of her Alora YA fantasy series aptly titled Alora: The Wander – Jewel and gave it 5 stars!

Reflections Alora Cover

Iron Mike by Patricia Rose rounded out my January 2016 reads. Aliens and the dystopian aftermath of an invasion of Earth entertained me!

Reflections Iron Mike

 

February 2016:

My February reviews kicked off with a cool YA fantasy from L. R. W. Lee called Blast of the Dragon’s Fury. Book 1 of the Andy Smithson series, it was a blast to read!

Reflections Blast of the Dragon's Fury Cover

Tacenda by Christine Vann was the next February read. A sci-fi novel with a unique set of characters made this an interesting read.

Reflections Tacenda Cover

February’s last book was Blott (The Canvas Chronicles Book 1) by Daniel Parsons. I thought the concept of this novel was brilliant and enjoyed the read immensely!

Reflections Blott Cover

 

March 2016:

I was happy to read a short prequel to Doug J. Cooper’s Crystal Series as my first book in March. I read the first 2 books of the series in 2015, and Crystal Horizon gave me more background on the characters. Give this series a try if you like sci-fi!

Reflections Crystal Horizons Cover

Switching reading gears, I picked up the second book in Terry Maggert’s Halfway Witchy series. Book 2 is Halfway Bitten and was a wholly satisfying read!

Reflections Halfway Bitten Cover

 

April 2016: 

April found me reading outside my normal fantasy genre starting with Lorrie Farrelly’s DangerousWhile romance novels aren’t my thing, this book is a Reader’s Favorite selection, so give it a try!

Reflections Dangerous Cover

I moved to another genre to wrap up April. This time, a thriller by Bill Ward finished out a month. Deception (Powell Book 3) was a good read. My only regret was that I didn’t start with Book 1 so I had a better feel for the characters!

Reflections Deception Cover

 

May 2016:

Greek mythology inspired my first May read. Author C B Pratt created Eno the Thracian as a Hero for Hire and The Stone Gods  is the second book in the series. I completely enjoyed Eno’s second adventure and look forward to reading more!

Reflections The Stone Gods Cover

I wandered back to the fantasy genre and was pleased to be able to finish David Wind’s amazing series Tales of Nevaeh. The third and final book is Trinity: The Battle for Nevaeh. As with the first two, it didn’t disappoint! Read this one if fantasy is your thing!

Reflections Trinity Cover

My fantasy reading continued with the second book of Laura DeBruce’s YA fantasy series The Quicksilver Legacy. The Temple of Paris was a good read and I’ll be reading the next installment!

Reflections The Temple of Paris Cover

 

June 2016:

Paranormal romance isn’t normally my thing, but Jada Ryker’s Carr-Maah Consulting Agency series seemed like a good place to give the genre a try. Dog Days of Karma was a pleasant surprise!

Reflections Dog Days of Karma Cover

I returned to fantasy for Andi O’Connor’s SilevethielAn excellent start for The Vaelinel Trilogy!

Reflections Silevethiel Cover

Readers of this blog know I have a thing for mysterious things and conspiracy theories. I think Bigfoot falls into the category and I also read my first Bigfoot-inspired novel in June. Revived (Snoqualmie Valley Sasquatch Book 1) by J. M. Northup was an interesting read and one that I recommend to Bigfoot (or Sasquatch, if you prefer) enthusiasts!

Reflections Revived Cover

 

July 2016:

July brought another first for me – English cozy mysteries. Point of No Return by Diana J. Febry was my first read in the genre. While not my favorite genre, it was nice to branch out and explore something new.

Reflections Point of No Return Cover

Though I read mostly Indie authors now, occasionally I return to the traditionally published authors I’ve read for years. In June 2016, I attended a Brad Thor book signing and picked up Foreign Agent. Brad Thor’s event was excellent and he is a nice guy. The book was great, too!

Reflections Brad Thor Foreign Agent Cover

 

August 2016:

The second book of the Ben Whittle series started August for me. Eyes of the Accused by Mark Tilbury continues the excellent (though dark) thriller mysteries!

Reflections Eyes of the Accused Cover

Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past got me back to the fantasy genre. Written by Paul Cude, this engaging start to the Bentwhistle the Dragon series was a fun and refreshing read!

Reflections Bentwhistle Cover

I stayed in the fantasy genre for my next read. Mary Anne Yarde’s The Du Lac Chronicles follows Lancelot Du Lac’s descendants and their battles. Good stuff!

Reflections The Du Lac Chronicles Cover

In yet another first, I reviewed a non-fiction book. Written by Daniel Parsons (remember my Blott review above), #Art of Twitter provides valuable insights into using Twitter to grow your author (or other creative) platform and meaningfully connect with others on social media.

Reflections #Art of Twitter Cover

 

September 2016:

Jada Ryker made my TBR list for September with the second Carr – Maah Consulting Agency book Equi Knocks of Karma. As with the first book, this was a fun read!

Reflections Equi Knocks of Karma Cover

Gordon Brewer’s Shield of Skool was my final September book. An old school (no pun intended) fantasy that is a good start to the Clovel Sword Chronicles, give this one a try if fantasy is your genre!

Reflections Shield of Skool cover

 

October 2016:

Artifact by K. T. Bowes was a different book for me. Again a romance, but with distinct New Zealand and English roots. Different, but an excellent story!

Reflections Artifact Cover

I’ve read a few of Jada Ryker’s books and when I found out her novel Take the Body and Run was a candidate for the Kindle Scout Program, I wanted to read it and cast my vote! As with her other books, I completely enjoyed the story!

Reflections Take the Body and Run Cover

November 2016:

To start November, I went back to the fantasy world and read Vanna Smyth’s Protector (Anniversary of the Veil Book 1). Another good start to a series I will continue!

Reflections Protector Coer

Doug Cooper released the 4th book of his Crystal Series and it went straight to the TBR list. Crystal Rebellion was an excellent continuation of the story!

Reflections crystal rebellion cover

 

December 2016:

December was a busy month, but I managed to get a few reviews in to end the year. I started with Suzanne Burke’s Acts Beyond Redemption. A disturbing dark thriller filled with twists and turns, it held my attention for sure!

Reflections Acts Beyond Redemption Cover

A friend challenged me to once again read outside my favorite genre. Challenge accepted and I read Lorrie Farrelly’s action romance The Guardian’s Angel. As with Lorrie’s other books, this one was an entertaining read!

Reflections The Guardian's Angel Cover

The third book of Terry Maggert’s Halfway Witchy series caught my eye and I wasn’t disappointed. Halfway Hunted was a wonderful addition to the collection!

Reflections Halfway Hunted Cover

My last review for 2016 was Dragon Dreams (The Chronicles of Shadow and Light Book 1) by Dusty Lynn Holloway. Dragons, elves, and the fate of the world makes this the start of a good series I will continue to read!

So, there you have it. Reflections – my reviews for 2016. Despite not reading as much as 2015, I will strive to do better this year. Join me and review the books you read. The reviews don’t have to be long involved analyses. Simply saying things like “I enjoyed this book and recommend it to others” is sufficient. I know I enjoy discovering what readers think of my work and I do my best to return the favor to other authors!

Connect with me:

Do you have recommendations for me to add to my TBR list? If so, leave them in a comment, or send them to me in email at bill@williamlstuart.com. You can also connect with me on the socials and tell me there. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog!

Happy New Year and happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Shield of Skool by Gordon Brewer – My Review!!

Shield of Skool – My Review!!

 

Shield of Skool Cover

 

Epic fantasy is one of my favorite genres. I saw the Shield of Skool by Gordon Brewer and liked the way it sounded. Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author): In this epic fantasy, a modest mission from his overlord turns into a perilous trek and personal quest for Urith, known as the Clovel Destroyer. Leading his nephew Oslaf across enemy lands, the warriors find allies in the demigod Mivraa and a beautiful young prophetess named Fedelm. As told by mystic visions, one of the group is destined to discover the first piece of the lost Skool, an ancient weapon of the gods, long thought destroyed.

On their quest to recover this powerful weapon, they must battle mortal enemies, both human, and monster, who will stop at nothing to terminate them. The overlords who rule the lands of Kamin are against them, and chaos begins to creep into the mortal world. The realms of the gods start to become a battleground for control of the terrifying weapon. All sides learn they have much to fear about their future when enemies create shifting alliances. The powerful and the weak become treacherous partners in the race to find the Shield of Skool.

What I liked: The Shield of Skool is my kind of epic fantasy! Full of battles, an honor code among warriors, gods interfering with humans, intrigue, and a cool world, the Shield of Skool has it all. I enjoyed Urith as a character, and Oslaf is a good sidekick to the more experienced warrior. The budding attraction between Oslaf and Fedelm (and between Mivraa and Urith) add an interesting flavor to the story. The underworld god and goddess are delightfully evil. All told a nice start to the Clovel Sword series!

 

What I didn’t like: As much as I enjoyed the story, the Shield of Skool needs another review by an editor. I found many errors that detracted from the tale.

Overall impression: The Shield of Skool was an enjoyable read. With a review by an editor, and some corrections, this would be an excellent start to an epic fantasy series! I rounded it to 4 stars (since Amazon doesn’t allow half-stars).

My rating: 3.5 Stars (rounded to 4)

Connect with the author:

If you read Shield of Skool by Gordon Brewer, please consider leaving a review. And check out his other books through his Amazon Author Page or his website.

Connect with me:

Did you like my review? Leave me a comment and let me know. If you prefer, you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, or Tumblr. I look forward to meeting new friends!

The Eyes of the Accused by Mark Tilbury – My Review!!

The Eyes of the Accused – My Review!!

The Eyes of the Accused Cover

I read Mark Tilbury’s debut novel, The Revelation Room. Because the book was so entertaining, I gave it 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars). When he released the second book of the Ben Whittle series, The Eyes of the Accused, it immediately went on my TBR list. Read on for my review!

Synopsis (from the author): Fresh from the horrors of the Revelation Room, private investigators Ben and Maddie are plunged into a disturbing world of terror as they search for missing pregnant girl, Hannah Heath. Drawn to Frank Crowley, an original suspect in Hannah’s disappearance, Maddie is about to learn the true meaning of evil. But all is not what it seems. Crowley is just a small part of something unimaginable. Something so terrible and deranged it defies reason. After Maddie disappears, Ben is left in a desperate race against time to find her and uncover the truth.

What I liked: Mark Tilbury creates another evil and twisted antagonist for Ben Whittle. Hannah’s character is believable as the kidnap victim. Geoff (Ben’s father), still recovering from his encounter with Edward Ebb (from Book 1) is he irascible self, and Maddie is as courageous and cute as ever. With flashes of Mr. Tilbury’s dark humor, interesting plot twists, and the blossoming romance between Ben and Maddie, The Eyes of the Accused is a worthy successor to The Revelation Room!

What I didn’t like: In spite of how well written the book is, it drags in places, especially during Ben’s disagreements with Maddie and his father on Maddie’s involvement as an undercover operative.

Overall impression: The Eyes of the Accused, like its predecessor, is a dark mystery thriller. Ben Whittle grows into his role, and Maddie is cute, spunky, and a delightful character. Hannah definitely engenders sympathy, and the villain is perfectly dark and twisted. If dark humor, and everyday evil is your thing, The Eyes of the Accused is a book for you!

My rating: 5 Stars   

Connect with the author:

Want to know more about Mark Tilbury and his books? Visit his site at marktilbury.com!

Connect with me:

If you liked (or disliked) my review, leave me a comment and let me know! We can also connect on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr. You can also just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com.

Revived (Snoqualmie Valley Sasquatch Book 1) – My Review

Revived – My Review!!

Revived Cover

 

I entered a brave new world for me with Revived (Snoqualmie Valley Sasquatch Book 1). I’ve read books about sparkly vampires, regular vampires, zombies, and werewolves, but this was my first foray into Sasquatches. The book pleasantly surprised me, though!

Synopsis (from the author): When a mysterious friend reappears in the lives of cousins Hannah and Jenna, a haunting past is revived. Tragic loss and prejudices lead to a search for answers about ancient myths that thrive in the Snoqualmie Valley of Washington State.

Does modern science hold the key, or does the truth lie in something supernatural? Heartbreak and hope encourage an unlikely romance while drawing out the darkness of unexpected enemies.

Can the strength of the cousins’ bond protect them from a fearful future?

What I liked: Who knew Sasquatches had such abilities? Super speed, the ability to disguise themselves, and a barrier between the human world and their own made this a cool story. The tragedy connecting Hannah, Jenna, and Adam provided a great background. In addition, the romance that blossomed between Adam and… oh wait, that might be a spoiler!

With good writing and a story that moved along at a nice pace, the book had enough interesting twists to keep me entertained. The family interaction among the Sasquatch tribe was pretty cool, too!

What I didn’t like: Despite how well written the book was, I had a hard time relating to the characters. Maybe it was due to the almost human (though hairy) Sasquatches, but I had a little trouble getting into the story.

Overall impression: I liked the story and it moved along quite nicely. The tragic background of the tale, the interaction among the characters, and the possibilities alluded to for subsequent books make Revived a book to consider. I recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal romance and Sasquatches!

My rating: 4 Stars

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