Cherese Vines

Biography

I'd love to read a review from you. Let me know what you think of Three Weeks in May.

I was born into a military family during the late 1970s. I've lived in a number of different cities throughout my life, including Chicago where most of my family resides. Although I have a background in Journalism, my love of reading fiction led me to creative writing pursuits. I have incorporated my experiences and travels into my writing, which include young adult fiction, science-fiction, and fantasy. I currently reside near the Atlanta area with my husband and two children.

Where to find Cherese Vines online


Books

Countercharm 2: Of Stars and Dreams
By
Series: Countercharm. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 62,090. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(2.67 from 3 reviews)
After Sydnie Knight called on the stars to destroy the man who terrorized her family, things should have returned to normal. But as dreams reveal that he may have survived, her only hope against the evil energy threatening to consume her is to find her father. Can Sydnie change the horrible visions of her future, or will unlimited power seduce her and destroy any hope of reuniting her family?
Countercharm
By
Series: Countercharm. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 33,710. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Sydnie Knight never knew how much her life would change when her mother sent her to Seattle to stay with her aunt. After a series of dreamlike visions, bizarre behavior, and a near-fatal drowning accident, who can she trust when she finds out her mother is missing and everyone seems to think she’s gone crazy? Including herself.
Three Weeks in May
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 80,520. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
When the Matchmaker denies Gwen and Elliot's request to marry, Gwen embarks on a relentless journey to find out why. Her search for answers may lead to a darker future for all of Humankind-a future made darker still as Gwen realizes that she may lose Elliot forever.

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Smashwords book reviews by Cherese Vines

  • Lately, and My Dreams on Feb. 02, 2012

    Hilarious book. I read this quickly in two days. This book has a lot of things in it I wish I could say aloud. Good writing. I loved the sisters' relationship. And those crazy dreams reminded me of some of my own. Definitely recommend this book for some good laughs and maybe find out what your dreams mean.
  • Snow White and the 7 Vampire Hunters on Feb. 22, 2012

    The title and the cover caught my attention. I'm always on the lookout for fairytales retold these days. I saw that it was a short piece so I took the time to read it. I'm not sure if this is a real story or an outline. If it is an outline, this has a lot of potential, however I did not care for the ending. Nothing is resolved for Snow, but then again she is living without a purpose. Also there are loose ends with several characters: Livvie and Artie to name two. The 7 vampire hunters could've been fleshed out for some great characters. But because there were numerous grammar errors, I will assume that this story is like an outline and I look forward to a more in-depth story with a better ending.
  • The Last Stop on Feb. 22, 2012

    Enjoyed it very much. Simple and creative look at something that many wonder about. There still is that wonder at the end, but satisfied with the ending.
  • The Other Slipper on March 12, 2012

    May contain spoilers, but not details. The Other Slipper by Kenechi Udogu The story begins with the preparations for the great ball where (Cinder)Ella will meet her prince and live happily ever after. However, this story is not about her. It is about Jo, and to a certain extent, her brother Ron. When Jo stumbles across a pumpkin and glass slipper and takes them home, she alters her destiny. When the slipper starts to hum for its mate, Jo is forced to accept the rumor about Ella and an enchanted slipper. Hoping she can just return the slipper and go back to normal, she seeks out Ella who is now living in the palace. However, Ella's godmother Arla tells Jo that she must now return the pair to their rightful owner, the Lady of Ould. Jo can no longer doubt the existence of magic as everyone has heard of the great and powerful Lady of Ould. So in the company of her protective older brother Ron, Jo begins a journey that reveals truths about her family origins that expand her small world and leaves no doubt that magic does exist. I was hooked right away. The author presents a good description of Jo as the too-tall awkward teenaged girl. The reader is immediately endeared to her. Although Jo can be frustratingly stubborn at times, her stubbornness does push the story forward. The story is an easy and quick read that keeps you interested. In one scene, Jo and Ron meet a stranger named Locke who offers to accompany them on their journey as protection when they are attacked by someone trying to take the slippers. When Locke reveals who he really is, the passage only explains the symbol he shows them and then the chapter ends. The reader doesn't find out what this all means until several pages later, and by then new surprises spring up to keep you reading. Some of the explanations of characters' history are a little confusing. Others are long and seem a bit awkward for characters to be narrating them. I would have liked a little more "he said" or "Jo said" because in places it took longer to figure out who was speaking until the end of a long passage of dialog. There are grammar issues but not too distracting. The description and consistency of prose really involves the reader. Jo's character is really perceptive on facial expressions, letting the reader "see" the reactions of other characters. Also, the humming of the slippers does not end when they are reunited and at first the constant reminder of this fact annoys, which is exactly what it's doing to Jo throughout the book until it just becomes background noise, again like Jo's experience. Great device to bring the reader in. The ending, although neatly tied up left me desiring a bit more from Jo and the antagonist. There does seem to be room for a sequel. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars, or 7 out of 10. Good reading for those who like fairy tale spinoffs. But don't be confused, this is an original story and not a retelling.
  • The Other Woman on June 29, 2012

    I enjoyed it. I guess every experience prepares us for what we're really meant for. Her experience as the other woman prepared her to trust herself and her choice to be with Mr. One-and-Only. Great feel to the story. It has emotion without feeling cheesy.
  • A Cop's Infection on Sep. 17, 2012

    It was ok. I didn't get what REALLY happened.
  • Burly and Grum's Halloween Adventure on Nov. 14, 2012

    Burlington the bear, Grum the groblin and Max all dress up for Halloween as Dracula, the Hulk and a Mummy respectively. Once Burly and Grum get the hang of Halloween, it promises to be a fun night. When they meet a distraught fairy named Meg, it becomes an even more exciting night for the three friends. This is a nice Halloween story. My 6-year-old thought it was cute. We even loved the surprise addition of finding the audio book link at the end of the ebook. So we listened to the story again. I recommend this quick and fun little adventure.
  • Flee: A Short Story on Dec. 10, 2012

    Flee by Alicia McCalla is a short story about Shania. Her grandmother has just died and she is dealing with a number of serious issues. One such issue is an alcoholic ex-boyfriend who quickly becomes a danger to Shania and her young daughter. On the surface this could be a Lifetime movie about domestic violence and stalking, but there are supernatural elements that quickly come into play. Reading this as a short story is like eating a caramel and trying to chew it, getting it stuck in your back teeth. There is so much going on in a few short pages it's difficult to wade through. The information the reader gets would not have been so overwhelming in a longer work. There is also a part that was gruesome and shocking. I realized too late that I should have read the tags under the description that state plainly what elements are in the story. I have learned my lesson. Read the tags. I'm not sure what to think of this short work. But it truly sets the tone for a disturbing supernatural thriller.
  • Aversion (Book One of The Mentalist Series) on Dec. 27, 2012

    Aversion, Book One in The Mentalist Series by Kenechi Udogu is a novella following the first Aversion performed by Gemma Green and how it goes oh so wrong. Fifteen-year-old Gemma is the only female Averter in a long history of Averters, an anomaly. Nonetheless, she has been taught from a very young age the responsibilities, honor and rules of Aversion. Averters use their minds to deter others (without the person realizing it) from decisions that will keep them from their life path. When Gemma gets her first "jolt" from Russ Tanner, she is confident and a little nervous. But this is what she is born to do. Everything seems to have gone well with Russ--disaster averted. That is until Russ approaches her at school the next day. She has never talked to him before and has kept a low profile at school, but now she can't shake Russ. He doesn't remember the Aversion, but for some reason he feels drawn to her. What else can go wrong? Gemma is a down-to-earth character that tries her best to live up to her legacy. But being a teenaged girl just gets in the way of duty sometimes. The reader goes with Gemma on her journey to becoming a full-fledged Averter (and not just a trainee) and her journey into the world of the average teen. She is believable, if a bit too analytical. The story is Gemma's first person account, so she's already been through the adventure that she's relating to the reader. The only thing that bothered me was that because it's already happened, she inadvertently reveals minor plot points. Description is minimal and other character development is scarce. We get to know a little about Russ and Gemma's father, but we're not yet sure what is true about either one of them. After all, we're dealing with Aversion. But there is still more to uncover. I liked this first installment in The Mentalist Series and recommend it for a quick read. I look forward to the next installment. I was provided with a copy for an honest review.
  • The Summer of Brian on Dec. 27, 2012

    The Summer of Brian by Kenechi Udogu is a good YA read. After the first chapter my first impression was "cute." Of course, I'm old and anything to do with teenagers and their first loves and crushes will be cute to me. I could easily see a couple of teenagers finding Charlene's predicament with Brian important enough to consume their summer. It is a quick, light read with normal characters in situations that seemed only slightly over done especially with Nathan's past and how it comes out. Of course, the best friend Orla is more entertaining than Charlene. But that's what secondary characters are for, relief from the more "serious" matter facing the heroine. Brian's character is kind of flat, which is surprising because he's in the title. Nathan is "cute." My favorite part is the scene where Nathan takes Charlene, Orla and Brian to the fair to see his friend play guitar. Too cute! OK, enough of the cutes. You'll enjoy it. I was provided with a copy for an honest review.
  • The Altercation of Vira on March 06, 2013

    The Altercation of Vira is the story of Ama, whom I liked right away. Ama is on her way to a going-away party for her closest friend, Mel and his girlfriend Janet. She hasn't seen Mel in a few years since he moved to the big city and hooked up with Janet. Ama is driving to the city and thinking about her dislike for Janet when she nearly hits something that runs across the road. Her already ancient car gives up the ghost and she starts walking to find help. From there Ama ends up kidnapped (or so she thinks) and taken away from Earth realm to Vira which turns out to be her real home. But before she's whisked away, Ama manages to contact Mel because she thinks she's in danger. In search of Ama, Mel is taken to Vira also seemingly to help save a race who has been persecuted for generations. However, Ama and Mel find themselves on opposite sides in a brewing war. The world building in this book is imaginative and believable. Vira is a dark realm, remaining in "night" for most of the book. I had a hard time remembering this, but the author does remind the reader sufficiently. The characters do not seem to change as much as I would've liked. Mel is not tested and is really just a plot device, although he is a fleshed out plot device. Ama changes only slightly inwardly due to a shocking trial she endures. It was one of craziest things I've read that was completely plausible. I could see ancient earth peoples doing these rituals no matter how crazy they seem to us now. The book drags between maybe chapters 5 and 13. There is a lot of narrative and explanation that bogs it down, but it is cool history of Vira. But once it picks up, the story progresses and builds anticipation. I was up to 3 a.m. reading and only stopped because my phone battery died. The ending was a little quick. I kinda thought it should have been extended. I wasn't expecting what happens between Ama and Mel, especially after all the build up. I gave it 4 stars for the entertaining world building and interesting plot. I couldn't give it 5 because of the slow down in the beginning set up, and because the climax and ending, although satisfactory, left more to be desired. But I had to accept the ending no matter my or Mel's personal feelings on the matter. There were also several characters that I felt needed more purpose or could've been left out altogether. Overall a good read Read more reviews by Cherese Vines at www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com
  • Talented (Talented Saga #1) on May 12, 2013

    Talented by Sophie Davis is the first in the Talented series. Natalia Lyons is only eighteen, but at the McDonough School for the Talented she is an exceptional Mind Manipulator (she can read and influence others' minds). Her only goal is to enter the Hunter program with TOXIC, a government agency, and avenge her parents' deaths. The book takes place during her Senior year which is her Pledge year, where she trains with a team and prepares her for her solo mission that will determine whether she graduates and becomes a Hunter. It doesn't help that she is one of only a few female Hunters. Things are also complicated when Talia's love life begins to interfere with her training. Talented flows well and Talia has an easy voice to follow, so it is an easy read. Talia's character is tough, yet vulnerable enough to identify with. I was able to get a pretty clear idea of who she was. The supporting cast is decent although some secondary characters didn't differentiate in my mind. I would have liked a clearer image of Donovan, her best friend and boyfriend, who is also a Hunter with TOXIC. When I finished the book, I had to go back and skim to remember what Talent he had. The setting is detailed and convincing. It takes place in a future where the Talented have telekinesis or can morph into animals among other cool "powers." I was impressed with the details of everyday life as well as government involvement in the setting and the plot. I think it is the details that give this book credibility. There were several times that I felt like, "Oh, I didn't think of that. Good point." These were things that I would've easily overlooked, but then after thinking back I would want clarification on. The author was really on top of these minute details. Talented also has a lot of action in it and the scenes are clear and well paced. It has you glued to the page throughout. There are places where it slows as we follow Talia through training and such, but it overall keeps a good pace. The dialog is realistic and playful or intense when it needs to be without being theatrical. There is a good deal of dialog that occurs in Talia's mind. I thought it was handled pretty well. There are only a few parts that seemed weird about it. I didn't give it 5 out of 5 because there are times that the plot does push suspension of belief a little bit and there is a revelation that I did not agree with. However, I enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to see how Talia handles all the information she gained in this first book. I recommend this book to readers who like science-fiction, romance and espionage. There are some really cool gadgets in there. Rating 4/5 More reviews at www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com
  • Aversion (Book One of The Mentalist Series) on June 28, 2013

    Aversion, Book One in The Mentalist Series by Kenechi Udogu is a novella following the first Aversion performed by Gemma Green and how it goes oh so wrong. Fifteen-year-old Gemma is the only female Averter in a long history of Averters, an anomaly. Nonetheless, she has been taught from a very young age the responsibilities, honor and rules of Aversion. Averters use their minds to deter others (without the person realizing it) from decisions that will keep them from their life path. When Gemma gets her first "jolt" from Russ Tanner, she is confident and a little nervous. But this is what she is born to do. Everything seems to have gone well with Russ--disaster averted. That is until Russ approaches her at school the next day. She has never talked to him before and has kept a low profile at school, but now she can't shake Russ. He doesn't remember the Aversion, but for some reason he feels drawn to her. What else can go wrong? Gemma is a down-to-earth character that tries her best to live up to her legacy. But being a teenaged girl just gets in the way of duty sometimes. The reader goes with Gemma on her journey to becoming a full-fledged Averter (and not just a trainee) and her journey into the world of the average teen. She is believable, if a bit too analytical. The story is Gemma's first person account, so she's already been through the adventure that she's relating to the reader. The only thing that bothered me was that because it's already happened, she inadvertently reveals minor plot points. Description is minimal and other character development is scarce. We get to know a little about Russ and Gemma's father, but we're not yet sure what is true about either one of them. After all, we're dealing with Aversion. But there is still more to uncover. I liked this first installment in The Mentalist Series and recommend it for a quick read. I look forward to the next installment. I was provided with a copy for an honest review. Read more reviews by Cherese Vines at www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com
  • Burly & Grum and The Birthday Surprise on Aug. 07, 2013

    This short chapter book about a bear named Burly and his groblin friend Grum having a birthday day trip to a deserted island has many surprises. The blend of unique characters sets the Burly and Grum stories apart. Who would think to put a talking bear, a groblin, a human boy and an angel all in one story? Their personalities are diverse and entertaining. The setting is perfect for such a zany story. I recommend this book and look forward to the others in the series. More reviews at www.cheresevinescharmingwords.wordpress.com
  • Maebelle's Hat on Aug. 07, 2013

    This is a cute little story about a Nado. Don't know what that is? Find out with the characters. My three-year-old liked the story. I recommend for ages 3 and up.
  • Legon Awakening: Book One in the Legon Series on Aug. 07, 2013

    I received this as a free kindle download. This is the story of Legon and his sister Sasha who are forced from their small mountain village into a world of magic and dragons. I would not recommend this to readers with weak stomachs because of the detailed violence. People are not just killed, their demise is medically detailed with amounts of blood and which tendons are involved. It sounded slightly clinical in the details. Like someone who had medical training wrote those parts. That said, the world is well thought out and the author knows it well. Although I didn't need to know every little detail as sometimes described relating to the mechanics of some of the magic. The characters' language was a bit too modern. There was too much modern slang in it and made the story sometimes sound foolish. The language was easy to follow but like one reviewer said, why were they "fist bumping" with elves and calling themselves "hot" when they had on nice clothes in a fantasy. It just seemed out of place especially after what some of these characters went through. For these reasons it was hard to immerse myself in the story of this world. Was this a distant future or a completely new and fantasy world? I gave it three stars because of the world built and story potential. The characters were funny sometimes but really not individuals. We knew what everyone was thinking and they pretty much sounded all the same. And when there could have been potential for a character to really stand out, it didn't happen. This is a series and I'm not sure of the outcome. I'm not sure the author knows either. Our hero Legon has no idea what he's destined to do and neither does the reader. Sometimes you have an inkling of where the story will lead, but in this first book of the series I was not made to care enough about Legon to find out his purpose. Great imagination. Just like Keither there just needs to be a little more writing practice and training to reach the full potential.
  • Sentient (Book Two of The Mentalist Series) on Nov. 19, 2013

    Gemma Green (Colt) is back in Sandes and nothing is the same. When we last saw our heroine, she had just escaped a threat that could've destroyed her family. But by luck or destiny, she survived only to face a more powerful foe. Sentient is the next installment in The Mentalist Series by Kenechi Udogu. New characters arrive and new talents surface. In this book, Gemma seems emotionally drained by everything that has happened, however her abilities are gaining strength. Although Gemma is more subdued mentally this time around, outside forces push the plot forward. Russ is as solid as ever and holds Gemma up where she's lacking. Laura is a quirky character that Gemma nor the reader are really sure of her intentions. She brings much needed relief to the growing tension of the plot. The background of The Mentalists is really beginning to grow here. Something big is brewing and it looks like it's headed toward Gemma whether she likes it or not. You'll have to read to find out what. I recommend this for a good read. There are many mysteries posed and many mysteries made clear. I'm looking forward to the next installment to answer some big questions and see what Gemma is really capable of.
  • Broken Ties (Prequel to The Mentalist Series) on May 22, 2014

    I really liked this prequel to The Menalists series by Kenechi Udogu. The author has a way of drawing on the reader's emotions that really brings you into the story. My only compliant is that this is a teaser. It was much, MUCH too short. It leaves a cliffhanger that does make you want to read the rest of the series if you haven't done so already. Great writing. I'm looking forward to The Keepers, the third installment in The Mentalists series.
  • DEAD(ish) on May 22, 2014

    Dead(ish) is a short work by Naomi Kramer about a ghost named Linda who’s lost her body. As the story progresses from her boyfriend’s point of view to the viewpoint of the private detective (who dead Linda hires), we find out that it’s not a simple case. The language is rough and the plot shocking. But it has a great twisted sense of humor to carry you through. I’m rating this R for Restricted. If you’re not easily offended, check it out. It also offers a preview of the next book in the Deadish series: “(technically) Dead.” Linda is back and it’s too funny.