The Quest for Nobility, written by Debra Martin and David Small, is the first book in The Rule of Otharia series. This action packed book takes us into a world where the Telkur twins, Darius and Dyla, are part of a dominant family. Then through unexpected events, their happy lives are thrown into a world of chaos as they discover their parents have been murdered and the family name dishonored. While still trying to cope with the loss, the twins enter into a competition in hopes of using the prize money to keep the family land free of debt. The competition is made up of a series of objectives where each team, made up of three members, must use their psychic abilities and training to reach the objective successfully. However, things don't go according to planned and the twins soon find themselves wanted for murder and have no choice but to flee to the planet Earth until they can figure out what their next course of action will be. Murder, betrayal, and corruption will be revealed while the twins learn who they can and can not trust. I really enjoyed reading The Quest for Nobility and am eager to read book two of the series, The Crystal Facade. The only thing that didn't sit well with me throughout this book was the time frame while Darius and Dyla were on Earth. I may have missed something, but it seemed as though they were only away for a few days, but once back on their planet, the time shifted and made it seem like they were gone longer. I'm interested in seeing if there is a time frame explained in book two that will wrap up that issue for me from book one. However, that being said, I still very much enjoyed reading The Quest for Nobility and am anxious to see how authors Debra Martin and David Small fine tune their skills in book two, The Crystal Facade.
I normally do not read many travel books, not because of my preference to them, but because I want to read so many books that books such as Travels in Ghana by Marie McCarthy are often pushed lower on my to-read list. However, once I got the time to read this particular book, it was very refreshing and a delightful read. Travels in Ghana is the re-telling of Ms. McCarthy's trip to Ghana and all the sights along the way. This book is written very much like a journal would be, and was a pleasant change from the normal books I read. There are also several pictures along the way that help you feel as though you were on the trip with Ms. McCarthy. I personally do not travel much, as I'm not big with the unfamiliar, especially in reference to travels to such places as Ghana. Though if I ever did find myself traveling, I believe I would enjoy going to a place like Ghana. Ms. McCarthy shared with us all the ups, and downs, of the trip and if you are planning on traveling to Ghana, I would definitely read this book. It prepares you for such things as food preferences, ATM usage, and tipping (even though some times it was repetitive) and I feel as though reading it from someone's personal experience is better then reading it in a mass marketed book that is strictly based on statistics. I do know that if I ever were to travel to Ghana, I would come home a much poorer woman as I can envision myself buying several souvenirs, like from the bead shops that are talked about in the book, though most women would probably feel the same way. Even if you aren't planning a trip to Ghana, this book would be a great way to learn about the variety of people the world as to offer and how the things that most people take for granted are only things that some could ever dream of.
Northwoods Deep by Joel Arnold is a morbidly delicious tale that will keep you hooked and wanting more from beginning to end. In an attempt to get away from her ex-husband who focuses his time on stalking her, Carol decides it would be good for her to get away and spend some time with her sister Brenda at the same time. The sisters quickly make plans to go on a camping trip where they will enjoy some fresh air and spend some time canoeing. Little did they know that their lives would be forever changed. Family bonds will be tested and personal strength stretched to the limits as Northwoods Deep takes you down the ultimate river ride of terror. And you would have to read the book to understand my next statement but take note: If anyone ever offers you a drink with the words ‘Special’ and ‘Brew’ in the title...just say no people...just say no.
This book does contain adult material and should be read only by mature adult audiences. Also, I would love to see Northwoods Deep in print form as I would love to have a copy on my bookshelf.
You always hear how great reality TV is, turning ordinary people into celebrities practically overnight. I’m sure we have all watched one reality TV show or another. But what happens when those ‘stars’ return back to their normal lives? In Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba, Cassidy Novak fought her way to the finals on the reality TV show Sink or Swim. She is disappointed when she realizes that she has lost the show, including the million dollar prize money that would help pay off her debt and open a chain of fitness centers. Being the character that everyone loves, she bravely walks the plank and plunges into the cold water below, all while staying strong for the sake of appearances. Once back to her small hometown, she realizes that her days in the lime light are far from over. Not only does everyone recognize her, but Cassidy must also deal with a crazed stalker who will do anything to win her love, even if that means murder. When things can’t seem to get any more confusing for Cassidy, she must also struggle with feelings for the handsome photographer who is doing a story on her and a previous contestant on the show who happens to be engaged. Can Cassidy trust her instincts to save not only herself but those closest to her, or will she end up a loser in reality? Sink or Swim is a quick read and is one of those books that sucks you in and won’t let you stop reading until the very end. Will you guess right as to who the stalker really is? Read Sink or Swim to find out!
The Ghost of a Flea by John Brinling is an intricate web of mystery, intertwined with even more deceit and lies. Just when the reader feels as though they have a solid lead in the right direction, more suspicion is added and the reader, along with the characters, are reverted back to square one. Roger is just your average man. He spends way to much time working at a boring job that he could care less about. All of the people in his life that are closest to him, people who he should be able to turn to for support, leave him with nothing but more unanswered questions. Just when Roger is starting to put some of the puzzle pieces in the correct order, new events occur and he must start over. But who can he trust when everyone keeps telling opposing stories? His wife Natalie is constantly having arguments with him and then claiming she doesn't know what he is talking about. His best friend Ted is filling his head with falsities and making Rogers sanity slip further with each word. Top it off with Roger being accused of murdering the musician Gideon, the mysteriously attractive Peggy, and everyone in the city chasing him for various reasons and the reader is left with a twisted roller coaster of intrigue and betrayal. If you enjoy puzzles and trying to piece together fact from fiction, then I suggest you give The Ghost of a Flea a whirl.
There must be a balance between books and their endings. Some must end happily and others are destined to go the darker route, such as The Judas Syndrome by Michael Poeltl. We are introduced to your average teenagers that are carefree and optimistic about their futures. In an attempt to put off summer jobs and escape the gloom brought on by threats of the apocalypse, the group of teens gather for a camping weekend. Upon returning home, the teens are forced to discover that the threats came true and the world has fallen victim to nuclear attack. It is clear to see who the main teenagers are as they are forced to grow up and plan for their survival.
Joel is deemed the leader of the group although he never saw himself as the leading type. Other main characters are Connor, Sara, Eric and Jake. Most of the other teens in the group stay as secondary characters. I am certain that the secondary group will have their time to shine in the second book to this series.
There is a lot of drug use throughout the book and at first I figured it was just kids being kids. I expected drug use to be the furthest thing from the kids minds while they are trying to survive so I was surprised that not only was it an important part, but the leading cause of Joel's insanity spree.
The reader should expect that beginning with the title, this book will have to end on a sad note in order for a more positive message to shine through. Friendships and inner turmoils are put to the test...the Judas test. I am curious to see where the survivors lead in the second installment.
There was mild adult language, heavy drug use, and somewhat bloody descriptions, so this book is better suited for an adult audience.
Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski is a quirky tale with all of the essentials: murder, mystery and great fashion! Presley Thurman is just your average single female trying to make her way up the corporate ladder while looking the best she possibly can. So when her boss fires her after she refuses his advances, she naturally prepares thinking of ways she can have a career and her shoe collection at the same time. Quickly being offered a job for a newspaper, Presley heads to her small hometown where she is to write an article about a local Senator. Dressed to impress, she sets off on what she expects to be an easy endeavor, only to have the tables turned when the Senator is found murdered. Presley quickly takes advantage of the situation in hopes of writing the piece of a lifetime.
Cooper Sands is not only extremely charming and sexy, but he happens to be in charge of protecting the Senator while he is in town. When his job brings him face to face with Presley, the connection that sparked to life in high school is back and hotter than ever. Cooper must find a way to solve the murder and keep the stubborn Presley out of harms way.
Stilettos & Scoundrels is written in third person and is mainly from Presley's point of view. There are only a few paragraphs throughout the book that are from the perspective of other characters and I feel as though this prevented me from getting to know what some of the other characters were really about. Although this did add to the mystery in some ways so it works out well with the story line. And there is plenty of mystery to go around! Just when I was getting comfortable thinking I knew who the murderer was, new scandals and clues were thrown in to throw me off of the trail.
My Perfect Wedding by Sibel Hodge is a fun, light-hearted caper with just enough love story thrown into the mix. The story takes place in North Cyprus, away from the hustle and bustle of the ever-changing and up-to-date UK. Kalem and Helen are looking to make a new life for themselves in the beautiful countryside of the Mediterranean. With their perfect wedding only a week away, they're ready to settle into their new home, Kalem's new job, and an entire new way of living. The simple life! They soon realize it's going to be anything but simple when they stumble upon plans for the elaborate heist of a centuries old artifact and the plot to kill the President himself! Instead of looking the other way, Helen and Kalem set out to do whatever it takes to keep the President , and his treasure, safe!
Sibel Hodge has created quirky, easy to love characters. Moving the story along with non-stop action and amusing twists and turns. Honestly, this isn't a book I would typically read purely because it just isn't "my thing". The story unfolds very quickly without giving much background information and tends to be repetitive. Ms. Hodge uses alot of dialogue which I found a bit unorganized, but overall this didn't take away from the appeal of the book. I think this book would be perfect for a late teen, early twenty-something reading audience. That being said, there are sexual situations in this book, but they are not graphic and are written in a sort of cheeky way. If you are looking for a quick and fun read, this will definitely do the trick!
Written for the Juniper Grove blog,
Quest of the Demon by M L Sawyer is the exciting story of Darci, just an average teenage girl, who is accidentally summoned into a world full of magic called Nahaba. The young apprentice wizard, Taslessian, is the one who summoned her although he doesn’t know how or even why it happened. There are instantly some small sparks between Darci and Taslessian, as both are intrigued by the other’s world and habits.
Quest of the Demon does not waste any time jumping into action as Taslessian’s master and wizard Belderon is forced into battle with an evil wizard named Domati, ultimately being killed in the process. Domati wants Darci in hopes of learning about her world and believes that her knowledge will give him endless power. Taslessian and Darci set out on an adventure that neither expected to be possible.
Soon Taslessian and Darci are brought to Grisham, one of the last Great Dragons. He proceeds to tell them what they are up against and what must happen. An epic battle is about to occur between the North and the South parts of Nahaba, with an evil Demon and Domati leading the attacks. Together with the knight Maledorian, an Amazon warrior named Defyance and an elf named Lief, the group sets out with hopes of ending the battle before it starts. The sole outcome of the battle depends on Darci and a choice that she isn’t even sure how to make.
Quest of the Demon is a great story and is definitely filled with potential. I know there are other books that follow characters found in Quest of the Demon but I don’t know if they are part of the same series. My only complaint, or issue if you will, with this book is that I would have liked to see more of the relationship between Taslessian and Darci. It starts out great and the spark between them grows when they share a steamy kiss, but then it all fizzles out as the story focuses solely on the battle ahead. If more of Teslessian and Darci’s story is included in the next book, I am hoping to see where their relationship may lead, especially after how this book ended.
False Refuge by Steve Anderson is the thought-provoking story of Alex Swenson, an army reservist who has gone AWOL. Having fought for his country, Alex is left to determine what loyalty really means to him and how far he is willing to go. Alex soon makes up his mind that he is done with the violence and suffering and takes action into his own hands by going AWOL in hopes of starting over. He travels to an island in Hawaii where there are rumors that a place called Krieger Estates will help him stay hidden. Alex’s conscience is put to the test when he must decide between staying hidden or risking everything to disarm a gunned robber.
Alex happens to meet a local Hawaiian named Kanani who puts up a good cover of being an innocent local when really she has a dark and mysterious past that she is running from. Instantly drawn too Kanani, they go on the run together in hopes of starting new. Things turn out differently once they reach Krieger Estates when Kanani’s past may be more of a hindrance rather than an attraction. No matter their pasts, Alex and Kanani must stick together and enlist outside help to battle the powers that are demanding their obedience inside the Krieger Estates walls.
Mr. Anderson writes an extremely descriptive tale that allowed me to easily envision the scenery and really get a feel for Hawaiian climate. The descriptive details alone make this book a good read but is balanced out with a great story line as well. I could almost feel the wetness of rain soaking into my pores while reading False Refuge.
There are several issues covered in the book that may leave the reader agreeing, or disagreeing, with Alex and his beliefs on war. Is war needed to secure our freedom, is it just a necessary evil, or is it just a way for certain people to gain more power without having to get their own hands dirty? If you have an open mind when it comes to aspects such as war, I recommend giving False Refuge a try.
Unleashed is the page turning debut novel by Emily Kimelman. The main character Joy Humbolt, who recently broke up with her boyfriend and lost her job, makes the rushed decision to adopt a dog from the pound for company. Little did she know that adopting the large husky mix named Blue would change her life forever.
Soon a dog walking business is thrown in her lap and she decides to give it a shot since there is a lot of money to be made. On her first day learning the ropes of being a professional dog walker, her world is thrown for a loop when the dog she is walking discovers a dead body. Joy is quickly thrown into a world she never knew existed where things aren’t always what they appear to be.
The super sexy, self-confident Declan introduces Joy to a hidden world of the rich, powerful and greedy. While she tries to uncover who murdered her boss, she will learn just how far some people will go for money but more importantly, how far she is willing to go to protect her family.
Detective Mulberry is a great detective who will stop at nothing to solve a crime, even if that means throwing the rule book out of the window and doing things his way. When he finds himself thrown off of the case, he must learn to trust Joy and help her solve the murder before more people end up being a victim.
I really enjoyed the writing style of Ms. Kimelman. She told an intriguing tale that kept me wanting to know what happened next. The only thing I wish had been different is how the relationship with Declan played out in the end. It felt rushed and unfinished to me. I would still recommend everyone read Unleashed.
Under The Neon Sky: A Las Vegas Doorman’s Story by Jay Rankin gives us a candid look into working in one of the largest hotels in Las Vegas – the MGM. What goes on behind the scenes? People work very hard to make Las Vegas a tourist attraction, focusing on the fun that one can have in Vegas. The bright and shining neon lights. The shows and performances. Not to mention that fun to be had at Casinos. But in today’s society so many people are focused on their own paths, not paying attention to their surroundings, that it is easy to miss the things that are happening right in front of you.
Mr. Rankin shares his experiences with the reader and allows us to feel what being that environment is like. So many events and emotions are told, not all positive, and it really opened my eyes to Las Vegas. It amazes me about the behavior some people exhibit in public places. Getting a job that tons of people strive to get isn’t always the best way to go. The pay received per night may be worth it, but Jay’s story reminds us that sometimes your personal life and emotional state may suffer the consequences.
If you are interested in visiting Las Vegas, I would suggest you read Under The Neon Sky: A Las Vegas Doorman’s Story as a way to prepare yourself for the adventure you will be embarking on.