I love to read and like to review almost as much as reading the books! I am a fan of dogs and horses and love Hersheys chocolate bars, without Almonds. Doritos are a must have when reading!
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Smashwords book reviews by laura thomas
- Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot
on Jan. 28, 2012
I have just finished Molly Gumnut rescues a Bandicoot. I loved it. It's the story of a young girls struggles after rescuing an injured baby bandicoot. The author captured the emotions of a girl struggling to stand up for her beliefs. She gets in and out of trouble trying to protect this adorable animal. avery funny, delightful read for any age!
- Between The Land And The Sea
on Feb. 05, 2012
Follow marina as she discovers the meaning of friendship, family and first love. With vivid descriptions and attention to detail, I felt a connection to human and mythical charcters alike. I look forward to more in this series. A must read.
- Love's Labours Won
on Feb. 16, 2012
The want ad said "Companion Wanted". After many dead end jobs Sarah Dexler decided to apply. While waiting for her interview to conclude she is whisked away by the mysterious Demetrious. Sarah discovers she has a long lost grandfather and a family history of hidden abilities. This fast paced book with entertaining plot twists and great characters is a good read. I would like to read more about Sarah.
on Feb. 18, 2012
Upon reading this I was very surprised to discover this was a debut. By paying attention to specific elements of the story and developing genuine characters, Christie Rich has given us a must read. I am pleased to know this is a series and I will read them with great enjoyment.
- A Rose Before Dying
on Feb. 18, 2012
There is a serial killer at work on the streets of London, targeting his victims by sending tham roses with a card.
Authorities suspect Sir Edward Marlowe, the uncle of Charles Vance, the Earl of Castlemoor. The same roses delivered to th victims were also found to be growing in Sir Edwards gardens. Charles enlists the aid of an agent from Second Sons, Discreet Inquiries to help prove his uncles innocence.
This story takes place in the early 1800's and the author captures the essence of 19th century life. A recommended read.
- Survival, a YA Paranormal Romance (The Guardians of Vesturon Series, Book #1)
on Feb. 19, 2012
When Maddie Pierce decided to go packbacking in the Smoky Mountain Park, she was unaware of any danger. Stalked and tortured by a sadistic mad man and left for dead, she is rescued by Rayn. Who is this strikingly handsome savior and what does his presence mean for Maddie.
Join Maddie as she struggles to overcome her injuries and accept that her world has been changed forever.
I really enjoyed being swept away by this story and look forward to more of the same in Resurrection.
A must read.
- Resurrection, a YA Paranormal Romance (The Guardians of Vesturon Series, Book 2)
on Feb. 22, 2012
A.M. Hargrove has written another gem. There is a lot more going on in Resurrection, second book in the Guardians of Vesturon series. The characters have matured and the focus is not only on Maddie and Ryan. You get to learn more about the planet Vesturon, described in rich detail.
A superb read, fast-paced with sub-plots that combine well and a flowing story line.
If you are looking for a solid adventure and lots of action, look no further.
I am anxiously hoping for a third book in this series and would like to get to know the stories behind Ryan's family.
- Howl (Kane Wolves, 1)
on Feb. 26, 2012
Imagine my delight when I found out that I had won this book. I've been wanting to read it and now that I have, i urge you to do so.
I sat down last night and started reading. At first it was a bit slow, but then I glanced up at the clock and four hours had flashed by and I was finished.
Howl is about Sophie and her family of werewolves, trying to live as a pack and remain undiscovered. Glimpsed by a hiker in her wolf form, Sophie later meets him again in her human form. A mutual attraction grows, but since it is forbidden to be with human mates, Sophie secretly starts dating Jaime.
The pack has troubles of their own when people are being viviously attacked and sitings of an unusually large wolf are reported.
I really want to tell you more, but I don't want to spoil it for you.
Annalise Grey gives you just enough detail, with flowing dialogue and well developed characters that you feel connected to.
Upon reaching the end of the story, I was left wanting more and I will be watching for another book, hopefully several.
If you are looking for a "howling" good read, this is it. What are you waiting for?!
- Shades of Grey
on March 30, 2012
Michael Cargill, with Shades of Grey, gives you three very different tales.
What you get are well written, engrossing tales that deal with torture, the horrors of the battlefield, and physical abuse, which draw out a subjective response.
Be prepared for some dark, thought provoking reading as this book is not your typical collection of scary stories.
- Angel Evolution
on April 03, 2012
In Angel Evolution, the author introduces you to a new breed of angel, one not created in heaven. While I usually prefer angels over demons, in this book I was more drawn to the demons and the angels were not always nice.
Best friends Taylor and Sam are beginning their first year of college, busy making friends and starting romantic relationships. What they don't know is that their boyfriends are not human and they have a hidden agenda.
Taylor discovers that she is special. Her inner light, or aura, is very powerful and the angels want to use it to vanquish the demons.
The characters are unique in that I found myself liking the bad guy more than the so-called good guy. I loved the spin on how the angels came to be and the overall story had me quickly turning the pages, anxious to read what would happen next.
Thoughtfully written and fast paced, Angel Evolution is a very engaging read. I will be reading the next two books in the series.
Grab your copy and join the evolution.
- Gathering Clouds...
on May 23, 2012
I remember reading science fiction when I was a teenager and falling in love it. I couldn't get enough. James Field writes science fiction the way it is supposed to be written.
The pages are filled with technological wonders and fantastical alien life forms. I was snagged, hook, line and sinker by the first sentence.
"Within the next few seconds Trevor will either experience a titanic swell of satisfaction - or die a gruesome death."
Did it hook you? On to the story.
The cloud machine may look like a giant egg but it is a technological marvel. Want to go deep underwater, it will take you. Feeling like a little trip into outerspace, climb aboard. Trevors space craft is virtually indestructable and can go anywhere.
Trevor Cloud, the more serious of the brothers, is a physics genius with an amazing idea. Build a travel machine and explore outerspace.
Russell, the younger sibling, is a martial arts master and rabble rouser with special meditative abilities and visions. These visions will be needed if they are to survive what is coming.
While traveling in space they discover that it is crowded with aliens and not all of them are friendly. One, in particular, wants our resources.
Add together aliens, the end of the world, heroes and a couple of bumbling thugs, stir vigorously and you have all the ingredients for a great science fiction adventure. This author sure can cook.
- Undermountain (The Undermountain Saga #1)
on Jan. 22, 2013
It starts normally enough. Six teen-agers and their guide, Harvin, are on a grand adventure, camping in the wilds of Canada. Harvin is gruff and unfriendly but very knowledgeable about the Rockies and its dangers. The kids are from all walks of life and couldn’t be more different. This trip is going to be interesting.
While collecting water Danny and Breyona see something amazing. Racing along is this two-headed creature with four pointy legs and right behind him is this huge hairy beast best described as a Bigfoot. When Danny tells the group what they witnessed, the other kids laugh it off as a joke.
When they discover giant footprints on the bank of the stream, their guide passes them off as bear tracks. But Shiv isn’t so sure of that. He has books on the flora and fauna of the Rockies and can’t find anything that matches the prints.
Danny and Breyona have another close encounter with the hairy bigfoot when it fishes Danny out of the stream, saving his life. They run away and hide in the woods, stopping to spy on the creature. It’s not chasing them. Instead it’s pacing back and forth on the bank, holding it’s hand to its head and muttering to itself. No wait, it’s talking into a cell phone and it’s speaking English.
It’s not long before everyone has a close encounter. The four-legged creatures, called Shriekers, which I visualize as the bugs from Starship Troopers, are hungry and they hunt as a pack. The kids are on the menu and running for their lives. Separated from their guide they are quickly surrounded and things look really bad. Seemingly from out of nowhere a bigfoot appears and quickly subdues several of the shriekers. He doesn’t kill them. Instead he calms them somehow.
Several more of the hairy creatures take care of the rest of the pack and turn their attention to the humans. Then, the one Danny recognizes from before speaks, “Be at ease. I cannot harm you.”
Definitely not a bigfoot!
Here are a couple quotes I really liked:
“I’m sorry I didn’t believe you about … bigfoot,” Wa said. “But you need to work on your delivery.”
- A barrage of swearing came flying in. Breyona. “I’m gonna kill you, and after I kill you, I’m gonna kill you again. I’m gonna keep on killing you until your dead. Do you hear me, you furball?”
Everyone will love this story. It’s action packed, you’ve got alien creatures and a huge secret. I wish I could tell you more. I really want to, but that would be spoiling it.
One scene in particular sticks in my mind. It ‘s when they base jump from a cliff and the cliff is inside the mountain. Can you just picture it?
The author does a beautiful job of describing this secret world, you’ll feel like you’re there. I’d love to visit.
Anyone looking for a grand adventure will love Undermountain. It’s so well written, flows seamlessly and rushes along to a great ending. There’s never a dull moment and I eagerly turned each page, excited to see what was coming next. That’s what makes this story so great. There’s always something new and surprising and it makes me wish I could be there.
- Afterlife (The Undermountain Saga #2)
on Jan. 22, 2013
I really love the cover art for these books. They compliment the stories and are just incredible.
All of my favorite characters are back, human and hairy. And of course, since there’s a second book, you know our hero’s will be seeing their alien friends and enemies again.
It’s been more than six months since they returned from the mountain, bringing something away with them that’s changed them forever.
Now they are having a reunion of sorts. All meeting up again at Danny’s grandma’s house.
I can’t wait for you to meet Grandma. She is amazing and I just love her. So much character in such a tiny, frail looking body. You’ll see what I mean.
Everyone is there except for Breyona. She’s running late. Then the doorbell rings.
Danny froze as a surge of excitement filled him. The doorbell rang again, followed by two sharp knocks.
“Are you going to stand there like a lump or are you going to open the door?” Grandma asked.
Danny smiled. It had to be Breyona. He turned the knob.
The door smashed into his face and sent him stumbling backward. He tripped and fell over the porcelain frog and landed hard on his back.
A man wearing a black track suit and gas mask barged in. “Okay, nobody move.”
Another man in a gas mask rushed in and pointed a spray can at Danny.
Grandma stepped forward and kneed Track Suit in the groin. He bent double, swearing in a high-pitched rasp.
“Sit on him, Bronson,” Grandma said.
Didn’t I tell you. You can’t help but want to hug her. She is such a tough old bird. But not tough enough. They all succumb to the gas.
Breyona is four hours late when she finally pulls up to Grandma’s house. Once everyone is awakened, they discover that Danny and Wa are missing.
The whole thing was caught on security cameras and they watched it play out on Grandmas computer. The men came there looking for something Danny had. Something they needed badly. And they got it. They take the unconscious Danny and bring Wa along for leverage.
It looks like the enemy isn’t done with them and it’s time to go back under the mountain.
This time they may not be so lucky.
Eric is at it again. Filling the pages with excitement, danger, intrigue and plenty of humor. This series is so addicting. And it just keeps getting better. He builds this incredible secret society, fills it with amazing creatures, and opens you up to a whole new world. I swear I can hear the sounds of this city and see all the wonders with my own eyes.
It’s a fast read from beginning to end, pulling you along with it. You won’t want to stop until you reach the conclusion, and maybe not even then.
- Legend Unleashed
on Jan. 22, 2013
Pretty cover isn’t it? Wait until you read the story!
Tick Tock, Tick Tock. That’s all that Ted hears as he rushes through the deserted streets of Carwick, heading for the Town Hall, where his office is located. He must hurry.
Carwick is a small, quiet town. The kind where people don’t lock their doors. It’s Ted’s job to keep it that way.
He reaches the building and enters his tiny office. It’s more like a broom closet, but hidden in the floor is a stairway down. Down there. Down to a hidden city time has forgotten.
Ted enters the underground city and rushes through the dark streets. Tick Tock, he must reach the old grandfather clock. He can’t let it wind down.
He finally reaches the clock, but it’s stopped ticking. When he dares to opens its door, it’s empty.What was inside is now behind him, it’s hot breath moist on his neck. He couldn’t turn around. He doesn’t want to see what’s coming.
In the unsuspecting town of Carwick, Christmas is coming. Temperance works with her father Pratchett, decorating their bookstore. The Haven is always the first shop to do it.
Her father has gotten out the spider web decoration for Boris, a ghost spider. Temp thinks it’s a convenient story that he’s a ghost, as only her father can see him.
They banter back and forth as they decorate, her father mentioning that his friend Cyprian has a nephew coming to stay with him. Alastair is right around Temp’s age, a not so subtle hint.
“Anyway, I’ve put the mistletoe over the door in case he comes while you’re in the shop.” Pratchett wiggled his eyebrows at her.
“Sometimes I wonder what age you really are,” Temperance sighed.
Her parents are always meddling in her love life, or lack of it, and it adds humor to this story.
It’s almost time for her classes at the university so Temp heads out. When she arrives the doors are still locked so she settles on a bench to wait.
She’s soon joined by a tall, handsome man who introduces himself as Alastair. She quickly learns how he knows her. Her father’s been busy. He gave her picture to Cyprian to pass on to Alastair. She doesn’t want to know what might be written on it.
The doors to the school open and out steps Cyprian followed by an older man with a walking stick. They seem to be arguing and when the older man bangs his stick on the ground, something strange and unnatural happens. But Alastair denies noticing anything.
Soon after, the man leaves and Cyprian comes to join them. He invites Temp to dinner and an evening at his place. At first she’s tempted to refuse, but then she remembers it’s the night of winter solstice.
Her parents were having friends over for a winter solstice gathering. She didn’t think she could face another of her mother’s versions of a Wiccan party. It would be crowded with menopausal women dancing naked around plastic cauldrons on the hill behind their house.
She sighed. “It’s true. I wouldn’t mind missing jangling crystals and saggy bits this year.”
She accepts the invitation, not knowing that life is about to take a dangerous turn. There are many strange things out and about in Carwick, some not human. After this night, people will huddle behind bolted doors in fear of the dark and what’s in it.
When I started reading Legend Unleashed, I was so engaged, I only stopped reading because my kindle battery died. Got to remember to charge it more often. When I resumed reading, I was held captive to the end. It’s not a long book, and with the mystery, humor and romance, not to mention the creatures, it’s very engaging and easy to follow.
If you like all of the above and reading about witchy, magical, and hairy things, you’ll enjoy Legend Unleashed. I sure did and can’t wait for more in this series.
- Mr. Bear
on Feb. 04, 2013
A bear of a man walks in the bar…..
Well, he does! Sorry, I couldn’t resist:)
Midu leads you on a merry chase with Mr. Bear, literally.
Things happen fast and you chuckle all the way. That often happens when you’re dealing with shifters.
I was a little down this evening. Worrying about life, as usual. Now I’m smiling and feeling good.
Mr. Bear will do that to ya.
I read this in 10 minutes. That's all it took to make my day!
4 Hugs for Mr. Bear
on June 09, 2013
There is a big age difference between me and the characters in this book. Also, I’m not rich or famous. But Jaded still brought back many memories from when I was a teenager. Foremost were the strong bonds with my girlfriends and the insecurity about my decisions, and boys. Oh, the pain and angst of young love.
Right from the start I liked Scarlett Ryan. She’s nineteen years old and been touring with her rock band for four years. She’s never had a chance at a normal life. Too busy touring to make lasting friends or fall in love.
She knows she’s acting like a spoiled brat when she throws a tantrum, telling her manager, who also happens to be her father, that she’s had enough and storms off.
She catches the first flight out of California and lands in Hope, Florida.
Being rich and having a personal assistant has its perks as everything is taken care of while she’s high above the clouds.
She arrives at her posh new digs and her stylist has her enrolled in school and even filled her wardrobe with clothes appropriate for her age group.
Lying out is her outfit for her first day of school, along with this note.
“You told me to dress you like a normal teenager, and I did my best. Don’t blame me that you look extraordinary, no matter what you wear. Good luck with high school. Go to lots of parties, get drunk, and kiss lots of boys. But no matter what you do: DON’T FALL IN LOVE!(Trust me, high school love sucks, and always ends in heart-break). Have fun!”
Ain’t that the truth.
I really connected when Scarlett begins highschool and attempts to live a normal teenager’s life.
Her first day of school is daunting. Once the fervor of who she is dies down, she literally bumps into Thor. Her name for this handsome God. She doesn’t know his name and he’ll only tell her when she meets him for lunch.
Then she meets Stephan. Your typical confident, young alpha male, but he does have something going for him. A wonderful smile. He’s not impressed with who she is and quickly gets under her skin, especially when he shortens her name to Scar.
At first I was thinking, Oh no, a love triangle, and these two are step brothers. But this doesn’t last long and you clearly know where Scarlett’s interest lies. With the guy “with black hair, gorgeous green eyes, snarky attitude that makes you want to slap him…” Stephan.
Ethan and Stephan quickly become an important part of Scarlett’s life, treating her like everybody else and teasing her relentlessly.
Just when things seemed to be going smoothly, Scarlett got some startling news that shocked her. She seemed to accept it too readily, but who knows how someone would react, especially a young, vulnerable woman trying to find her way.
You are taken in a whole other direction and I could see what might be going to happen. I liked the idea and hoped it would be so.
While Jaded is written for a younger audience, Ya and New Adult, I thoroughly enjoyed this romp and raced to see what could possibly happen next, grinning all the way.
And the ending. Oh no! The ending leaves you thinking, “No way!” Luckily I already had Faded, Book Two, and dove right back in.
on June 09, 2013
Faded starts off right where Jaded left us. I really liked that, as the ending left me with lots of questions.
Scarlet leaves Florida believing it is best for her friends. She thinks it’s not fair to them to have their privacy invaded because of her fame.
She can’t stay away though. She needs them and misses them. Especially Stephan. So she returns.
Faded reveals answers to many questions from Jaded. Scarlett is maturing, becoming a stronger, emotionally grounded young woman, despite her notoriety and unusual younger years.
The secondary characters from Jaded begin to come into their own with this second book, and are an integral part of this series now.
It’s hard to review a second book without spoilers, so I’ll just that Faded is every bit as good as Jaded, if not better, since we are led further into Scarlett’s and her friends relationships and stories.
I’ll warn ya. The ending is a wowser. Just sayin. You’ll definitely be reading the third book, Hated, when it’s released.
- Morning Warning
on Aug. 05, 2013
I’m not sure if this would be categorized as suspense, horror, or paranormal. I would say all three as it has some of each.
Young Anthony drags himself out of bed and gets ready for school. It’s Friday and one week closer to the summer break.
After the usual race to beat his older sister, Rachel, to the bathroom, which he lost, and the fight over the TV remote with his big brother, Alex, which he also lost, it’s time to meet the school bus.
As usual, his sister and brother leave him at the door and he runs to catch up with them.
As they wait for the bus, Anthony notices how quiet it is, how still it is. He looks back up the long driveway to his house and sees the heavy green clouds. They cover the sky, hanging low to the ground.
Living in a tornado prone area, he’s so used to the tornado sirens going off all the time, he wonders if he should be worried by this calm. There are no sirens, but he becomes uneasy, then fearful. He really wants to go back to his house.
The author’s description of the weather is dead on. I’ve been through a few tornadoes, and how he describes the greenish clouds and the sense of foreboding they cause, brought back some vivid memories.
The family dynamics, with the older brother and sister teasing their little brother rings true. I am the youngest of six and was at my older siblings mercy.
As the weather takes an ominous turn, the author creates a sense of apprehension, of fear. It builds just like the storm does.
Morning Warning made me shiver.
Though a short story, the writing is powerful, and the author gave me quite a surprise with the conclusion.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the ending was a twister!