Cassie

Biography

I am happily married and a mother to three beautiful young children and a sugar glider! ;-) I have a BA in Psychology/Religion. I volunteer occasionally as a Client Advocate for SavALife of Limestone County and Choose Life of North Alabama.
Books are my passion, and I love to write as well as read and review all kinds of work!! I am a regular contributor for JournalStone Publishing (www.journalstone.com), and I love working with them and having the opportunity to learn and grow so much!!
I am a co-host/chat room queen for the Blog Talk Radio show, JournalJabber (www.journaljabber.webs.com). You can join in the madness every Tuesday evening at 8PM CST.
If you'd like to read something I wrote, you can find my story "The Mirror" in the Creative Reviews anthology, Christmas Lites. All proceeds from the anthology are being donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
I also offer proofreading/editing services. I have worked with several authors in addition to JournalStone and The Eyes for Editing. For more information on my services, please visit the Proofing/Editing page at www.gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com

Where to find Cassie online


Books

This member has not published any books.

Cassie's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Cassie

  • Shifting Fate (The Chronicles of Fate, Book 1) on May 08, 2011

    Shifting Fate (The Chronicles of Fate1) By: Alexis Leno My Rating: ★★★☆☆ Shifting Fate by Alexis Leno introduces us to the world of the heroine, Brynn. As the princess of the kingdom of Alii in the mystic realm of Lizon, Brynn lives a rather ordinary and uneventful life with her parents and two brothers. When a man from her past resurfaces with new and dangerous power, her familiar world is turned upside down. A once certain and literally predestined fate is suddenly thrown off balance, and Brynn finds herself on a journey to discover just how extraordinary she truly is. I luckily snagged a complimentary copy of Shifting Fate in a book giveaway. I truly appreciate the opportunity to read and review new books! Overall, I believe the core story of the book is really great. I was drawn in by the characters and what they could do from the very beginning. Leno unquestionably has a tremendous amount of creativity and imagination. I most certainly never had any trouble visualizing the setting or any of the characters. The chemistry between Brynn and Cyrus was believable and entertaining without going overboard. I also appreciated the dynamics of the royal family and the people of the village Brynn later visits. At times I felt that the writing was a bit too wordy. I think Leno tended to “over-describe” everything a little. She also used the same words several times in a paragraph quite often. I cannot criticize too harshly, because I know I do the same (having been told so by someone else)! What I really feel that this book needed was a great editor. The content is there; it just needs to be cleaned up! Back to the pleasant stuff: I would really love to see Alexis go back and write more about the Great War of the past. I felt a lot of the events in Shifting Fate would have made a lot more sense if she had started the story a little further back or dedicated some more of this book to clearly explaining past events. I think she has a great deal of fabulous material to carry this narrative on for at least another volume or two, and I encourage her to work on that! This review can also be found at www.gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com and www.journalstone.com.
  • Entangled in Darkness on May 31, 2011

    I was a lucky winner of Entangled in Darkness in a Library Thing giveaway. This might be one of the most personal reviews I write. When I learned that this book dealt with a psychological disorder, I was certainly interested since I also hold a BA in Psychology and plan to work in the mental health field. Much of my life, I personally have dealt with depression and anxiety, partially inherited from my father—another similarity with this read. As I read through the first third of Entangled in Darkness, I was immediately wrapped up in the intensity and darkness of Annalyn’s story. It brought up a lot of personal memories and feelings for me. My life certainly wasn’t exactly like hers, but I could definitely identify with her helpless spiral into depression. That first night, I slept horribly because of the nightmares that the memories had brought on. The following day, I was in a total funk both from exhaustion and all the thoughts that were crowding my head. I actually had to take a break from the book to catch my breath. When I continued, Annalyn was moving into the more manic stage of her disorder and starting to realize something more was going on. I identified less with her from this point, but I was no less enraptured with her life. Her relationship with her father was striking for me. Again, it was not exactly the same, but there were many similarities between their relationship and my own with my father. Overall, I really liked this book. Lindsey absolutely knows about the darker side of mental illness—the side that often stays hidden within the person’s own mind. She describes this perfectly through Annalyn’s experiences and thoughts. The effect that it can have on family and friends is also flawlessly portrayed through her story. My only issue with the book is that sometimes the actual writing became a little repetitive, and there were several technical things that could have used a little cleaning up. I read the Kindle version, so the paperback might be somewhat different. Without all that, I probably would bump my rating up to 4-stars, because the actual story is very interesting and enlightening. I am curious now if Lindsey will continue the story or if she is just going to leave us hanging! This review can also be found at www.gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com.
  • Doodling on May 31, 2011

    Doodling is something I most likely would not have read under normal circumstances. Since I was given a copy to review, I was happy to try it out. I have to say, it was truly delightful! Doodling best falls under the category of comic fantasy. It rides the waves with A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and an inkling of Gulliver’s Travels. The writing is creative and perfectly paced—quite comparable to Lewis Carroll. The book is chockfull of metaphors, if you care to notice them. Although, you might just want to sit back and enjoy the wit (think a rather G-rated Monty Python production). At times it reminded me of one of my son’s favorite Nickelodeon television shows, The Upside Down Show. The quirky humor and fun, inventive resolutions fall right in line with that show’s aim at both comical entertainment and education. I think it is something that my kids would enjoy reading when their attention spans are slightly more extensive. I was able to zoom through this short read in just a couple reading sessions, but it certainly did not lack in amusement! Bravo to Mr. Gould!
  • Legacy - Book One of the Balancer Chronicles on June 17, 2011

    Legacy: Book One of the Balancer Chronicles By: Chris Adonn AISN: B004W0II3K Published April 9, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★☆ When Katrina Blake is summoned to her family estate after her grandmother’s sudden death, she has no idea what is in store for her. The truth of her family’s past, her true nature, and what her future may hold lies within the pages of a mysterious journal locked away in her grandmother’s private study. Kat is surprised to find that her very great-grandfather is actually interacting with her through his journal. But that is not the most incredible thing she will learn… I was the lucky winner of Legacy in a LibraryThing giveaway. Legacy is a beautifully written, engaging fantasy novel. Sure, you have your vampires and werewolves, but the lead of the story is the balancers. Balancers are basically the peacekeepers of the world, keeping all other supernatural beings in line. I became completely enraptured with Jamie and his family and supernatural friends as he tells Kat the history of the balancers and the story of his exceptional life. I believe some others have said that Kat did not even need to be involved in the story—it could have just been told from Jamie’s viewpoint. I do agree that Jamie’s story could stand perfectly on its own, but I do think having his descendent reading about him and how she has become what she is added a delightful little element to the plot. I initially thought I might have some issue with the flow of the novel. I was certainly interested from the beginning, but it took me just a bit to really grow accustomed to the diary format and absorb all the information Jamie was throwing at Kat. I wasn’t expecting the book to be as long as it was—it’s hard to tell sometimes with the Kindle. I thought I’d be through it in a couple days at the most, and it was more like five! The little twist at the end with Wolf seemed just slightly out of place, but I still enjoyed it. It really makes me look forward to what will happen in the future now that Kat is moving from the journal to the “audiobook” as Jamie calls it. What challenges will she face in her role as balancer? Will she finally get to meet her very great-grandfather face-to-face? What will happen when she meets Sebastian? Is there a great love story in store for her? Now, I am really looking forward to reading the prequel novel, The Eyes that See: A Prelude to the Balancer Chronicles!! You’ll be hearing about it soon! You can also find this review at www.gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com and www.journalstone.com.
  • Max and Izzy in 'Wheres my Iggy?' on June 27, 2011

    Max and Izzy in ‘Where’s My Iggy?’ By: Catherine Isom ASIN: B0051UC75A Published May 19, 2011 My Rating: ★★★★☆ This is a children’s adventure book that is recommended for children ages 4 to 10. It is Max’s birthday and his beloved stuffed piggy has been pig-napped!! It is up to Max and his mischievous sister Izzy to find Iggy before Max’s big day is completely ruined. Much to Izzy’s delight, the clues that the pig-napper left behind lead them to many of her favorite places to snack. Coincidence? I received a copy of this charming book for review. After my initial read, I probably would have rated this about three stars, but after speaking further with the author, I decided to bump my rating up. The copy I received did not have illustrations, but Catherine told me that she has an illustrator working on that right now. I think pictures would be a tremendous improvement on an already adorable story. There were also some minor errors which just needed a quick proofing job to clear up. I pointed these out to Catherine, so those changes will be made as well. Aside from those slight technical things, the actual story of Max, Izzy, and Iggy is absolutely delightful! I read this with my six-year-old son who said his favorite part was that it was Max’s birthday and they were on a type of scavenger hunt for his best pal. Even without the pictures, he was able to fully enjoy the mini adventure that we were taken on with the siblings. I have already told Catherine that I would love to purchase an illustrated copy when it is available, and I encourage you all to do the same! This review can also be found at www.gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com.
  • Killers and Demons on July 26, 2011

    If you are all about sweet little love stories and happy endings, Killers and Demons is not for you. But, if you want some gruesome, spine-chilling murders and merciless demons, look no further! Killers and Demons is a collection of five short stories about, you guessed it, twisted serial killers and disturbing demons. From Valentine’s slayings to callous, vindictive soul-hunters, A.F. Stewart gets it right! I was absolutely hooked from page one. Actually, make that the cover! Right away, you know what this book is all about, and you know it is going to be remarkable. Stewart has a fantastic writing style that gives the reader the haunting feel of the story immediately and portrays the terror of a full-length horror novel in just a few enthralling pages. Her characters are spot on, from the abrupt and heartless murderers of “Devoid,” “You Got to have Heart,” and “London, 1888” (which reminded me very much of Sweeny Todd) to her humanized yet pitiless demons in “Victorian Shadows” and “Advent of Night” (the latter two being my favorites). I highly recommend this collection of stories as a quick and entertaining piece—for more mature readers!
  • The Docks on Aug. 29, 2011

    The Docks By: V.H. Folland ASIN: B0051BU0B2 Published May 14, 2011 by Ragged Angel Ltd Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★☆ The Docks is a short crime novella about Harry, a recently released convict who is struggling to stay on the straight and narrow. When Harry agrees to a small act of arson, he quickly learns there’s more to the plan than he was told. When he takes drastic measures to rescue innocent lives, taking one not-so-innocent life in the process, he finds himself neck deep in trouble. He has to confess to burglary and acting in self-defense but is trying to avoid murder and terrorism charges. Harry quickly must learn who is on his side and who might still be out to get him before he finds himself behind bars once again. I really enjoyed this quick read. Despite his sordid past, Harry is a truly likable character. He obviously has some heart, saving the ship’s crew like he did and putting himself at risk of returning to prison. So he has to skirt the truth a bit to maintain his freedom and start rebuilding his good name—can you really blame him? Folland’s writing style is easy to follow, and I completely felt I was part of the action throughout the whole story. You know I’ve said it before, this sort of crime drama is not really my thing, but I’m finding I enjoy it just fine every now and then, especially when it is written as well as this. For such a short book, it is really fleshed out like a full novel, which obviously takes some writing skill! I definitely recommend The Docks for a fast, entertaining read! How else can you get a glimpse into a life of crime without ever having to pay a lawyer or wear an orange jumpsuit?
  • End of Mae on Aug. 29, 2011

    End of Mae By: Angela Yuriko Smith ASIN: B0053CPO1U Published May 29, 2011 Available Format: Paperback, ebook My Rating: ★★★★☆ Mae is a small-town journalist on the cusp of an exciting story when something suddenly attacks her. She wakes in a dark room and is confronted with what she can only describe as an angel. On the brink of death, Mae is whisked away to a strange mansion full of bizarre people. The most thrilling story might be her very own, and she is dying to tell it. I’m certainly glad I took a couple hours of my life to devour this fantastic little read! I love the mystery of Heylel—how we never really know exactly what he is until the end. I may be weird (okay, I am), but I always love it when the ‘evil’ characters are more humanized and given more realistic feelings and emotions. Mae was hilarious! Every time she turned around something was happening to her, and usually, in some sick twisted way, it was funny. She is exactly the kind of girl I could imagine I’d be in her situation—falling down stairs, choking on wine, having a knockdown, drag out with the evil old maid. This story is full of mystery, suspense, a little horror, and some warped characters. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and full of conflicting emotions about the characters and what was happening to dear Mae. Sure we could have known more about the characters, but I didn’t really feel like that distracted me. I was so engrossed in what was going on with Mae, and I appreciated the bit of mystery surrounding her. I do wish there was more to the story, in a good way. I want to have a full length novel with lots of explanation and more about what happens after the ending of this novella!! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Angela! ;-)) I really love it when I read a book by an author I know. It’s almost like getting another look into their lives, and I am able to pick up little glimpses of their personalities in the story—kinda like when you recognize the parents in their children. Angela is a great lady and obviously a great author too! Please grab yourself a copy of End of Mae and enjoy!
  • Flidderbugs on Sep. 01, 2011

    Flidderbugs is a sort of coming of age story about young Kriffle who is preparing to take over his father’s role as leader of the Triplifer tribe. In a series of debates, each tribe, the Triplifer and Quadrigon, try to convince the other of the correct number of points on the Krephiloff Tree’s leaves. The Triplifers naturally argue that the leaves have three points, while the Quadrigons insist they have four points. When Kriffle sees a mysterious ‘bug lurking around the council and sneaking out of the Fleedenhall with the shears, he knows something isn’t quite right. He vows to get to the bottom of things, going so far as consulting the top professors of the Flooderversity. No one seems to have the information he needs regarding the leaves, and he returns home disheartened. Soon, he runs into his nemesis, Fargeeta, and in a moment of desperation drags her to his terribly overgrown side of the Tree. With a new perspective, the two team up to set things straight in the Tree for good. There’s an odd, prophetic rumble in the Tree; the two had better hurry before it is too late for everyone. I received an advanced copy of Flidderbugs for review. This is the second of Gould’s books that I have had the pleasure to read and review. I have to say I like this one even better than Doodling. Regardless, Jonathan is an exceptionally talented and creative writer! I was impressed with his attention to detail, especially regarding how the ‘bugs relate to their Tree. For the Flidderbugs, the Krephiloff Tree is their entire world. When we would say ‘What in the world?’, the ‘bugs would say ‘What in the Tree?’. I just think that is so incredibly cute, and by Gould being so clever to add little elements such as that, it gives the story even more depth and dimension. The characters are impeccably fleshed out; I knew exactly what they were each about through every part of the story. I had no trouble whatsoever imagining myself in the Krephiloff Tree, Fleedenhall, or Flooderversity. My absolute favorite character was the philosophical Professor Yangbelu. In describing the ‘concept of the leaf’, Yangelu tells Kriffle, “Everything and nothing. The leaf is us, and yet we are not the leaf. The leaf is other but only when we see it as such, for in becoming the other, it becomes us and so we become it.” How can you not love that?!?  The story of the Flidderbugs is based on the power of perception The group that holds the power seems to create the definition, and life for both sides must follow their rules. Of course, as with any politics, there are those in the middle who ultimately must choose sides. In every society there are the countering perspectives: rich/poor, black/white, educated/uneducated, north/south, popular/unpopular, male/female. The majority of the time, it is greed which fuels this disparity. This story is no different. The moral is it is the foundation that counts, and unbalance eventually leads to collapse. We could certainly learn a lot of lessons from our Flidderbug friends. We are all human, we all live on this earth together, and we are all ultimately responsible for each other. The BEST thing about this story, for me: I can read it to my children, and they will LOVE it! Young adults and adults can read it, and they will LOVE it too! There is something for everyone to learn and enjoy.
  • Diary of a Dead Muse on Sep. 26, 2011

    Diary of a Dead Muse By: Benjamin Goshko ASIN: B005G88OKE Published August 5, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★☆ The main character of this short story is a writer struggling to find a place for his favorite character, his muse. She’s become so much a part of his life, he is devastated when his real-life wife becomes jealous and gives him a frightening ultimatum. I loved the straightforward, normal-life-of-a-writer point of view in this one. I like how the writer has this relationship with his character that sometimes blurs the lines of reality and make-believe, but it doesn’t make him seem super creepy or anything (well, at least not to me!). Just like any other writer, his creative world bleeds over into his real life in very real ways. I think every writer goes through something like this at some point. Writing isn’t just a job, it is simply part of life for a writer. It is just there, always. For his wife to ask him to choose between her and his muse is like asking a surgeon to cut off his hand. Absolutely nothing could ever be the same again. This is a great, quick little read. Check it out and get in the mind of a writer for a while…
  • Starblazer on Sep. 26, 2011

    Starblazer By: Barbara G. Tarn ISBN: 2940011221903 Published March 5, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★☆ When a woodcutter’s wife comes upon a mysterious winged Sila in the forest, she does everything she can to help him, but he needs another magical creature to be fully healed. The woodcutter remembers the witch and brings her back to their home. Together she and the Sila search for the source of the dark magic that struck him and his partner down. This short story has something that I absolutely love—black-winged creatures! Yum! I love how she starts with the woodcutter’s wife who tries to help the creature in conventional ways only to learn they are surrounded by this powerful, mysterious magic. Since I am easing my way into all of Barb’s work by way of these short stories/novellas, I am getting glimpses of all these fantastical creatures, and I cannot wait to dive into her full-length pieces! She is obviously a wonderful storyteller. What an amazing and magical world she has created for these remarkable creatures to reside!
  • The Asking - and other stories on Sep. 26, 2011

    The Asking and Other Stories By: Charles G. Timm ASIN: B0058PJ080 Published April 13, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★★ Synopsis from Goodreads: Seven short stories, intensely concerned with young people at the heart of change, struggling to do the right things in moments of surprising revelation, when life alters, often in unrecognizable ways, and it falls to the young to win back love, rescue friends, stand against the crowd, be the voices in the chaos, in lives as meaningful as those of any adult. This is a beautifully written collection of short stories. Each story shows the reader a progressively older protagonist making important decisions and changes through each stage. These vignettes all about growing up are definitely worth checking out!
  • A Singular Gift on Nov. 16, 2011

    A Singular Gift By: Sue Santore ISBN: 2940011446368 Published July 31, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★★ Bonnie Jean Ryan’s grandmother is dying and passes down a very important gift—a gift that will cause Jean to grow up quite quickly. It will be up to her to hastily learn her magic, suppress the darkness, and win a very important battle between good and evil. Along the way, Jean is sure to learn some very significant lessons about friendship, family, selflessness, and love. This is a fantastic coming-of-age story, with a plethora of little life lessons peppered throughout. In the beginning, it might appear that Jean is kind of a spoiled little brat, in a way. She is obviously the favorite of the dying matriarch and many in her family envy her for that. But, could any of them have shouldered the burden that is placed upon her with her grandmother’s final gift? I think not. Beneath the superficial, Jean is really an old soul with a big heart, albeit a confused one at times. She is sometimes easily influenced, and that has brought about some big problems in her life. Overcoming this vulnerability is one of the major themes of this story. Not only is it wrong to side with evil, sitting back and doing nothing to fight it is just as bad. I am truly impressed with this story. Sue does such a wonderful job of getting into the head of a young teen and making her life and the lives of those around her so completely believable in the midst of so much fantasy. The book is very clean and great for the younger side of young adults—no language or mature situations to worry about. It reminded me at times of a little Chronicles of Narnia, with the magic hallway bit, especially when they venture into the Winter Room. The writing is spot on and the plot was fleshed out beautifully. I adopted A Singular Gift and Sue as part of Adopt an Indie month. I am honored to have been able to read and review this delightful novel!
  • Kiwi in Cat City on March 04, 2012

    Kiwi in Cat City By: Vickie Johstone AISN: B004YKSZMM Published April 28, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★★ Goodreads Synopsis: Amy and James live in a house with their parents and their little black cat, Kiwi. One dark night, Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see Kiwi transfixed by the moon, which has taken on a weird, glowing shape like a cat's claw. Waking her brother, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi that night to see where she goes... whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that, with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, they gain an understanding of what it's really like to be a cat. There they will be asked to help Inspector Furrball solve the mystery of the missing catizens and find out exactly what happened to Madame Purrfect. This book is the first in a series of adventures. Yes, this is a children’s book, but don’t let that fool you into believing that it is any less entertaining for adults! I hung on every word of this fantastic little novel, from Amy and James’ home through Cat Crime and back again. Kiwi and her cat friends are super fun characters, and the reader gets to go along with the children for a grand adventure. Vickie has a terrific imagination and truly amazing talent in putting her vision into words. As we were getting ready for the blog feature, Vickie asked me who my favorite character was, and after some thought I decided it was Inspector Furrball. He has that intelligent quirkiness to him that makes him fun and relatable. There were a ton of cute, funny things throughout this book which kept the mystery from bogging it down too much. Each of the characters had their own unique personality, even the city itself. Due to time constraints, I haven’t read this one with my kids yet, but it is definitely on our to-read-together list. I’ve already purchased the other two books as well, and I am anxious to revisit Kiwi and Cat City again!
  • Kiwi and the Missing Magic on March 04, 2012

    Kiwi and the Missing Magic (Kiwi Series #2) By: Vickie Johnstone AISN: B005AL3D7Q Published July 4, 2011 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★★ In Kiwi in Cat City, we were introduced to the magical world of Kiwi and her friends in Cat City. For the second installment of the series, Amy and James join Kiwi in the city again, and there is, naturally, another mystery to solve. This time, the city is suddenly threatened by a giant mouse, and it is up to the gang to find out how he got into Cat City and what exactly he is doing there. In addition, some of the Magic is missing, which could be extremely dangerous for all the catizens. Some old friends are revisited while some new, super cute characters are introduced to round out this highly entertaining, furry fun adventure. You won’t want to miss it! I have been dying to jump into book two of the Kiwi series since I finished Kiwi in Cat City a couple months ago. I was absolutely not disappointed, of course. Kiwi is such great fun, and it is interesting to see this new world through the eyes of Amy and James as they transform into cats and must integrate themselves into the feline society. I thought it was such a great idea to bring James’ hamster into the group to help them solve this new mystery. I admit, I was a bit thrown off in the beginning when we meet the bees, but later in the story I saw how that tied into what was going on in Cat City, so all was well again. Other than that little bit of temporary confusion, there was absolutely nothing wrong with this adorable story! I love the personalities of each and every one of the characters, and there is always something neat to learn about what happens in the fantastical city. It is always great, also, to find a good children’s/YA series that adults can fully enjoy as well. It is a great story to share with your children or just keep for yourself if you are so inclined! I can’t wait to see what is next for Ms. Kiwi and the kittens. Maybe it won’t take me two months to dive into Kiwi and the Living Nightmare!
  • Conditioned Response (Phoenician #2) on April 20, 2012

    I have had the immense pleasure of working with Friday on this lovely novel. She swears it is cursed, but I say great things come to those who… toil… endure… a lot… I know she has been looking forward to the release of Conditioned Response for a very, very long time, and I am happy to be a part of the process. I’m not much for reading the same book more than once. I do it occasionally for some of my favorites, and I obviously have to read what I edit or proofread more than once, but Conditioned Response is something that can definitely be read again and again. This is a long novel, which is common for a lot of sci-fi or epic fantasies and the like, but you never really feel like it is taking a long time. You get so absorbed in the story, in the lives of these characters, that you can’t do anything but hang on every word and eagerly turn every page wanting even more. At the end, 230,000 words in, I was STILL sad it was over. Every character is fleshed out so well, even the more minor characters. There is so much depth to each one of them and they each have their own story, sometimes only briefly touched, but you get to know every one of them in some way. This is very hard for an author to do, and Friday does an amazing job. This is one of the most intriguing, action-packed, and emotionally charged novels I have read in a long time. I was sympathetic. I was angry. I laughed, a lot. I cried, quite a bit. I dreamt about the story. I thought about the characters even when I was not reading. I was hooked. What more can you ask out of a book—a piece of literary art?? Anything that can make you feel—anything—is a success. And Friday has a huge success on her hands. I wish her the very best with this and all of her writing endeavors.
  • On Dark Shores 2: The Other Nereia on May 06, 2012

    To be honest, I have book one, but I just have not found the time to sit down and read it (sorry JA!!!), so I started book two with a lot of questions. I haven't really gotten to know the characters previously, and I literally dropped in the middle of the story. But, when I got about halfway through, I was completely immersed. I still have questions, and you can be sure I'll be reading book one very soon, but book two was enough to get me hooked on the series. It certainly left me wanting more… in a good way. JA is a fantastic author. Her writing is vivid and descriptive and perfectly gripping. The settings are easy to imagine and the characters are completely relatable. The tale is dark and suspenseful, and it is interesting to follow each character as they grow and evolve and come together in different ways. A great fantasy series—I can't wait to catch up on book one and then dive into book three!
  • When Minds Collide (Phoenician Short #0.1) on Aug. 02, 2012

    When Minds Collide (A Phoenician Series Short Story) by Marjorie F. Baldwin Published August 1, 2012 ISBN: 9781476235936 Available Format: ebook My Rating: ★★★★★ When Minds Collide is a bit of a short story preview into the world of the Phoenician Series and Conditioned Response. Not only do we get a little intro to the planet where Earth's inhabitants are now living, we get a peek at the Phoenicians and their creatures, and a major look into the lives of William Harrington and Andrew Caine right when their lives truly changed forever. Having already read Conditioned Response (find my review and an interview with Friday HERE), I really enjoyed getting to go back and get the more in depth story of Will and Drew and Joshua Scherrer—basically where it all began. It really makes me curious how things play out between this story and the beginning of book two. Of course, I would love for the story to be longer (though Friday admits it is really a short novella instead of a short story ☺), but it is a great little taste of the series for anyone who might not be sure if this will be their cup of tea. As always, Friday's writing style is easy and she is fantastic with the details that really make a story shine. Readers are immediately drawn in and find themselves fully invested in the lives of the characters. The pacing is perfect and the sci-fi/fantasy aspect is completely believable from start to finish. You can snag this story FREE on Smashwords right now, so you have no excuse not to give this series a try! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/209623 While you're there, go ahead and purchase Conditioned Response, because if you haven't read it already, you will definitely want to when you finish When Minds Collide! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/150558