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Smashwords book reviews by Sandy

  • Meeting Destiny on Nov. 03, 2011

    I loved it! Great story that was hard to put down. The ending was twisted and I will not give it away but I thought oh no! The book made me think about what type of person I am as the main characters has some life changing event occur to her and she starts to analzye her reason for existing and why the other people in her life are there. Great first book Nancy and ready for book #2.
  • Destiny's Revenge (Destiny Series Book 2) on Nov. 15, 2011

    Great read. Just when you think that things will calm down, something else gets thrown into the mix and you are in for another joy ride. Lauren's life will never be the same and she has come to accept it but the cast of characters in this second book just goes to show how twisted Lauren's life has become. Max thinks he can be the prince in shinning armor and rescue Lauren and be her everything but in the real world it doesn't quite work out to be that way. In fact, I don't think Lauren would like it that way either. Love the drama and love the conflicting cast of characters. What will happen next? Will Max stand by Lauren? An exorcism ? I guess we shall see. Nancy's style of writing has a way of surprising the reader when you least expect it. I found while reading her books that sometimes the character actions are not explained until later which is a great touch. Sometimes while reading I am thinking "what are you doing? are you insane?" These occur at times when the drama is unexpected and I enjoy these little surprises.
  • Underneath on Dec. 09, 2011

    Detailed, fast-paced action loaded with solid characters creating an book that I didn't want to put down. What exactly was so sinister about the Garneria exhibit that Rebecca had troubles with it? The author did a good job getting the action up to speed quickly and the suspense was building rapidly in the beginning chapters. I would have given it 5 stars as I like a quick-read with good suspense, good plot and also a read that leaves me as a reader hanging with some possiblities but....I thought the ending was rushed. Chapter 9 was the end of this story and a catch all: a huge wrap up, a "I am about to run-out-of-paper so I have to cram it all down to a couple paragraphs", to me, the last chapter was a disappointment
  • Ziggy Two Step - Courier Extraordinaire on Dec. 11, 2011

    Quick,fun read. Being totally committed to the task at hand and yet being so blinded to how you are effecting everyone else's life around you. Welcome to Ziggy's life. Ziggy gets so wrapped up in his new job with its time constraints that he does not see everything else around him. That is what I liked about this book, he is so engrossed about "his work" that he leaves disasters in his wake and didn't even realize it. I found myself reading faster as Ziggy pedaled faster, making his rounds delivering his packages just waiting for the next catastrophe to occur. It's a small town story with a fast-paced story line. Good, quick read and many funny parts. I kinda felt sorry for Ziggy at the end when he was confronted for his actions. I thought they were a bit harsh on him but then perhaps we will have Ziggy On the Move. But I am not so sure I want to eat at Tony's Food Shack: "....everyone noticed the burgers tasted different. They were a little crunchier but better tasting." Why? Read the book, I don't like spoilers. I will definitly read this again and I will remember it long after I have read the last page.
  • Feed on Jan. 02, 2012

    How long should a person have to suffer for a bad first-date? This short read by Mr. McKinney was off and running on the first page and had me turning my Nook pages faster than I thought possible. Ian was only looking for a good time and throughout this story he had a good time, but that depends on whose definition you are using. I liked the adrenalin rush that I felt when I read this book and the emotions where all over the board with the characters. The ending was quite surprising and poor Ian, but again....he got what he wanted. I read this book at night which I realize was a mistake as I had dreams/nightmares of Ian and his affairs- great job for a short story! "You can always die if you choose it. the same way others chose by living mundane lives...never dreaming...never reaching..never feeding their hunger."
  • In Extremis on Jan. 11, 2012
    (no rating)
    He's a priest and the church has become the home to the dwindling few who have not crumbled to the fate of a zombie. The church has always been know to be a santuary and the priest has had a calling from above but to whom is he calling now? Is helping the nervous individuals who are hundled inside the church or is his voice ministering to the unliving, hungry souls outside the church walls? As the dead pound upon the door, the preaching continues and the drama unfolds. This short story is fast-paced with alot of details. Open your heart and hear the message.
  • Tick on Jan. 11, 2012

    It gets on your nerves and the more you try to ignore it the more it drives you crazy, it's the ticking of a clock. The constant ticking, the tick, tick, tick. Colin has this constant ticking droning on and then with his wife at his side, he is living quite the life. I guess I should mention that his wife is dead. I loved how Colin is consumed in this book and how he deals with it. The ending was great!
  • Lie Canthropy on Jan. 15, 2012

    Thank you Jerry for creeping me out again with another one of your fantastic short stories! I don't know which one of your stories is my favorite. This small town was going along fine until all of the little twisted elements came into play and I was like wow, you done it again!! I'm visualizing Mayberry (small town, close neighbors)while reading this book and now, Mayberry will never be the same to me. Mack is quietly working in a barber shop keeping Joe company while doing the grunt work and out of the corner of his eye, he sees the little girl who makes her weekly trip to the butcher shop. Mack is so curious about this wild child with the pink jacket who runs into town weekly to buy from the butcher that he becomes obsessed with tracking her down. Joe ends up telling Mack the history of the town and why they have the Full Moon Dances and this is where the story gets interesting. I'm not giving the story away, but a great story line here. What happens at the dances and what if you don't attend? Mack's quest for the pink jacket girl is revealed when he discovers he is part of the group of 6 which keeps the curse at bay. I love Jerry's choice of words and his dialogue with the characters make the book feel so realistic. "Tangled hair bounced with each step, her dirty face only cleaned by the tracks of tears." (little girl) I will definitely read this book again and share it with others - creepy and mysterious.
  • Death Bonds on Jan. 21, 2012

    If the opening lines of this short story doesn't give you the creeps, something is wrong. Just visualizing, "remnants of bodily fluids gelling beneath them as the carpet soaked up the moisture, the pungent, sickening sweet smell of death..". Fantastic choice of words make this story worth reading. As the story unfolds, you are introduced to a young couple trying to get a fresh start in life. They start on an adventure which ends with a house with a history. Thinking his uncle is a generous man setting them up in his house, the eager couple is getting more than what they have bargained for in the long run. The author jumps right in and sets the stage for this creepy story from the beginning which makes the reader think twice about getting the facts about "a good deal". After reading this quick, life-changing read, perhaps instead of just getting "car facts" we should start getting "house facts" too. I love the line "A gust of warm air billowed out of the house as if it were exhaling." Great choice of words!
  • Tears of Love on Jan. 25, 2012

    The connection between many brothers and sisters is so strong that it can never be broken no matter what happens and that is the premise of this short story and well, is this a good thing? This tight-knit story consists of a family and the bond of love and emotions that are shed and held within that framework. With Mike & Charles sister missing, a void has been left in the household. One day, Charles spots something outside. Is it Amy? What unleases next is the sister that they never knew. What has happened to her? How tight is that brother and sister connection now? It's the family members who are left in the end who are wondering what happened and who can blame them.
  • Abe on Feb. 05, 2012

    Abe always thought he had the upper hand, he was the smart one. He entertained the ladies and he took pleasure in the games that followed. "He sat up and on the edge of the bed and looked down on her mascara-filthy eyes, smearing dark stains on his clean pillow cases." But Abe was about to find out that he was not the only player going to enjoy the games and the score was about to get even. Again, another intense, short story by Jerry with excellent choice of words. (I felt like a fly on the wall reading this piece.) The action starts off immediately and the end is abrupt which makes the reader think.....I love the subtly.
  • Patchouli on Feb. 15, 2012

    He let curosity and his needs get the best of him. He also was the apartment handyman so he needed to know what was going on, didn't he? Although sometimes knowing too much and getting too involved can lead you down paths you can't get back up. It's the people, their problems, and the smells they emit. The smell, what is that lingering smell that invades your space? Stu, he likes his job and Jerry does an excellent job showing you how well he does his job and the interactions among the tenants. But sometimes, you never know what goes on behind the locked doors and perhaps it should stay that way.
  • Christmas Spirit on Feb. 15, 2012

    A great twist to a classic has Chad being visited by 3 individuals on the night of his dreams. The tree is perfect, the box is nestled and Chad is just waiting for his women to arrive so he can ask the question that will determine the fate of their lives forever. But someone arrives at his door and changes his plans, why now? The journey Chad takes is the nightmare that could have been avoided or could it? Come walk with Chad as he relives his nightmare through open eyes and think "what sights would my hosts take me through?"
  • Pandora's Key on April 22, 2012

    Quite a page turner once the action started taking place and its one book that you will not want to put down. I don’t know much about Greek mythology but the whole story line had me intrigued – a line of female descendents holding a mystery key which is bestowed upon a 16-yr old who has no clue of her past. This key opens Pandora’s Box which has its own special powers inside which is also wanted by a group of people wanting to unleash Pandora’s powers. Will Evangeline be thrilled at her new role or will the curiosity of what is in the box be too much for her? For Evangeline whose life consisted of her mother and a few friends until she was 16, being a part of the Sect was a life-changing event for her and her family. Her mother kept this information from her which I thought was strange for a mother (any mother) to do. How would you feel if suddenly on your 16th birthday or close to your 16th birthday, you were given a necklace with a key on it and this key unlocked a box? Inside this box held some secret power that others wanted and would kill for? What if you they were hunting you down looking for this box and key? What if you were born into a female Sect and…..? I thought this was a great coming of age story and had lots of action.
  • Shades of Grey on April 23, 2012

    The writing of these three stories was astonishing and I was moved by the depth and the realism I felt as I read each one of them. Each of them was unique in their storyline but the characters each came out a different person in the end. A better person? Well, that all depends on your own perspective. To tackle a variety of different storylines inside one book was a nice change and I commend the author. The author did an excellent job in the details of each story, giving the readers just enough information about the characters and their surroundings, that I didn’t feel overloaded with the sights, sounds or unnecessary information. I can’t say which story was my favorite as I think a couple of them I’ll remember for a while. The story Shades of Gray has so many little symbols of things that come to mind when I recall the story. While the hostage is tied to a chair, the thoughts that go through his head are so random that they are funny yet so predictable, I think. In There and Back Again, I was transported to WWII and lived it, at least a small part of it through the eyes of a young and brave soldier. Finally in Down the Rabbit Hole, I met Tom and Borger. I thought this story had a lot of twists to it. It also made me think of everyone’s evil side and I love the way the story ended.
  • The Weeping Empress on July 03, 2013

    Cast into a world in which you might only read about, Chiyo awakes to finds herself in a battle alongside Muhjah and Senka for which they are saving refugees from a group of warriors. Her husband Michael and baby Hannah have vanished (where? She does not know) and Chiyo must figure out how she came to arrive at this nightmare of a life. Her simple life is no longer an option as she must travel with the duo to help these refugees find their freedom again. Under the care of Muhjah and Senka, Chiyo must learn to fight and learns the way of the sword to survive in her new surroundings. Chiyo becomes quite the warrior and rumors spread throughout the land that she is the Chosen One of the Goddess, fighting for the freedom and sacrificing her body for the ones held captive. How can this be, when only a while ago she was a wife and mother? Muhjah and Senka try to keep Chiyo from hearing the rumors and Chiyo doesn’t give it a second thought when the rumors pass over her ears. From the way she fights, a very strong and capable fighter, she can thank Muhjah and Senka for those skills. Between the three of them, they seize every opportunity for combat that they can find. In the meantime, the Emperor who controlled the refugees before the trio released them, sent his men out to find them as he seeks the Chosen One. He wants her to join up with him and together they will fight. But where will that leave the refugees and Muhjah and Senka? She has been traveling with these people for years learning the ways of the Sacerdotisa and they have a tight bond. As the Emperor’s people throw Chiyo in a cell, will her strength be enough to keep her alive? What will happen to Chiyo and is she the Chosen One? Chiyo is one tough lady. To have a deaf ear and not listen to the voices of the people as they whisper behind your back when it is such a glowing review, takes a very strong individual. When the people where voicing that she was a Chosen person and she ignored it, did not question them, or did not ask Muhjah or Senka for more information that was amazing. I would have been all over that! She could have been all proud and mighty but she remained calm and reserved. Muhjah and Senka were wonderful characters and I loved them just as much as Chiyo or perhaps even more. They were witty and they fed off each other. Lots of little stories and legends intertwined in this novel which added dimension and charm. I thought Sadie paid attention to her word choice in the book and the language flowed so well during much of the novel. There were a few times though, I was overwhelmed with too many words and I had to stop and reread a section. What a wonderful, in-depth story and the ending was fantastic. "Their bodies littered the floor like deep piles of autumn leaves."
  • Lingering Echoes on Feb. 02, 2014

    I read a lot of YA novels and it was so refreshing to read Lingering Echoes. As the relationship builds between Allie and Damien, the author focused more on the drama between these two as it intensified and the tensions that pulled these two together instead of building a steamy novel centered on their romance. Allie and Damien do have some tender moments in this book but the book was not solely focused on their romance. There were friendship issues, family issues, lots of drama, and many layers of this novel. Allie has her wall up for an incident that happened in the past and Damien has some ghosts in his closet that Allie soon uncovers. Perhaps these two are really not that different from one another. It all begins when Allie reluctantly shows up at Hidden Pines to start a two week vacation with her father. Tensions are already in the air. It’s the location of the destination that has Allie on edge and her step-brother isn’t making things any easier. As Damien enters the picture, Allie doesn’t know what to make of him but with his striking gray eyes and his dark hair. He’s a distraction from being with her family and what a distraction he ends up being. I loved the way that the author twisted Damien into the story, signs of a true master of storytelling.