Sandra Keys


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Smashwords book reviews by Sandra Keys

  • Cleah: The Lost Fury Chronicles The Otherworld on July 21, 2011
    (no rating)
    I really did enjoy the book even though it contained some typos and wording errors. Cleah starts her journey as a submissive slave and eventually goes on to find out she is a descendant of someone from the Otherworld. Ronan the other main character is the slave owners son and starts off arrogant, thinking the world owes him whatever he wants without doing anything in return, but ends up being a caring young man who helps others without asking or thinking no matter who they are. Would love there to be a book 2 as i would certainly want to read further adventures of Cleah.
  • Outside (Outside Series #1) on Aug. 13, 2011

    This is a post-apocalyptic romance tale. The World in the future is separated by Perimeters that are high security gated communities , where life goes on as normal. if you're inside you are lucky, if you're outside your survival rate is not looking so good. Riley is born on the inside, so lives a good privileged life, but it all comes crashing down around her when the perimeter is broken and her sister is murdered. Riley forsakes her safety and goes on a search for the killer. Luc decides to go with her , as if not, Riley wouldn't make it past the security gates. What awaits Riley on the Outside is more unbelievable than she could ever have imagined. I really enjoyed reading this dystopian novel There was a little romance, plenty of action, suspense,drama and of course a few twists thrown in. I will not give away spoilers but will say it didn't end how I expected. I initially didn't join the two time zones together but at the end it all becomes clear. In places its really sad and it shows how one person's actions can have a knock on effect on everyone else. The whole idea of the rioters and having to build perimeters was actually made even more believable by the awful riots going on in the UK whilst I was reading this not so far fetched novel. If you love dystopian you will love this, in fact I would call it a must read for dystopian fans!
  • Forever Sunshine on Aug. 28, 2011

    Forever Sunshine by Collette Scott Cherisse Bridwell is young and naive, and is focused solely on finishing her college degree and beginning her career. Her life changes in one evening when her sister Shelly turns up at her home. Shelly is in an abusive relationship. Shelly's husband comes to Cherisse's home and the police have to be called, that's when Cherisse first meets Sergeant Brandon Nicholson. With the guidance of Brandon both Cherisse and Shelly learn how to get on with their lives through the many ups and downs and trauma's they encounter. This book begins as a story of Shelly's abuse at the hands of her violent husband and how she attempts escape and a new life. The book deals with the subject of Domestic Abuse clearly and truthfully. It really is what happens, statistics back this up. It shows how hard it is to leave, how hard it is for the children to trust again. Then it flows into a whirlwind love story, that's so tenderly written, where everything is going perfectly only to be hit by a tragedy. The book shows how the characters pick up the pieces and carry on with life. Then finally it also deals with the danger of being on the police force. This book may be a novel but it is so true to life, it could have actually happened. Brilliant book that I read in only two sittings! i have tried so hard not to give away any spoilers in this review that the only other thing I can say is "Get that tissue box handy ladies , because with this book you will surely need it!" Just had to add to my review that my 74 year old mother read this on my kindle and thought it was fantastic, in fact, she asked if had really happened? Was it a true story? My mother found the whole writing about the domestic abuse really accurate and true to life. She said it was the best book she had read in ages. (and yes she did shed quite a few tears too!!)
  • A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends Book 1) on Aug. 28, 2011

    Seventeen-year-old Amber stumbles into the paranormal world by chance when Dallas, her brother, sets her up with a summer job in Scotland. Dallas has secretly seen something in the woods that he thinks could make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. However instead of finding riches, Amber unknowingly stumbles her way into an ancient paranormal race. Amber also promptly manages to win the first prize. The prize is so greatly wanted in the paranormal world that many would kill to have it. Amber, soon discovers her new boss, Aidan, didn’t employ her for her astounding housekeeping skills and he isn't who he claims to be either. Aidan is of course a vampire,as are the beautiful Claire and the humorous Keiran (Aidan's brother) The surrounding, lurking, dark forces slowly conspire against Amber, her naivety and her increasing love for Aidan catapults her into a calamitous series of otherworldly events. With every immortal creature hunting for her, whom can she trust with her life? Should she really trust Aidan who seems to have feelings for her, or are the feelings he shows towards her merely a way to get her onside to do his bidding? Is Devon the one with her best interests at hurt, how can she tell looking into his deep, dark fathomless eyes. Is Angel a true friend, as she is the only other immortal around? Or is she trying to coerce Amber into doing what the Shadows want? Why is it the only one she seems to trust is Cass, the devils daughter? I really, seriously, loved this book, it has humour, love and longing, the crazy dead ex, the gorgeous vampires, the sultry shadows, and of course the devils daughter who just happens to be the most direct and honest of the bunch of paranormals surrounding Amber! I enjoyed the suspense, even though you kind of know from the beginning that Aidan is a vampire. I enjoyed the concept of "The Shadows" they were a different kind of paranormal being than I have read before. All the twists and turns kept you wanting to read and puzzle along with Amber as to who she should really trust. I won't reveal spoilers but I will say at the end the book is left in such away that Amber is starting a whole new way of life, so there's plenty of scope for more Amber. Though I loved all the other characters too, maybe books from their points of view and their stories of how they came to be and now "live" would also be great. I of course would recommend this series to fans of Charlaine Harris , Mary Janice Davidson , Dakota Cassidy, and Michele Bardsley this book is kind of Chick lit with a bit of bite thrown in ! (if you'll pardon the pun!) Definitely want to read more of Jayde Scott's books.
  • Black Wood (A Witch Rising) on Aug. 28, 2011

    My 15 year old daughter has actually read this one before me so here is her review. Surely witches, trolls, nymphs and silverfurs are figments of imagination? Emily Jones thinks that until she moves into Ravencourt manor, her deceased grandmother's manor. Its just as creepy and scary as she remembered it. To bring her separated parents together again Emily opens a portal to Black Wood. And so Emily's long, dangerous fight against the evil Muriel begins. Will Emily learn to use her grandmother's legacy before Muriel unleashes her powers upon the world? I read this book to help my mum review and promote her blog giveaway and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I flew through it, it only took me two sessions on the computer to read it (I probably would have read it quicker but due to my mum's giveaway she was reading on the kindle!). I am hoping there is going to be a sequel to it, and if there is I will definitely want to read it! I absolutely love the cover as well, if it was on the shelf at Asda I would definitely pick it up to read!
  • Twin-Bred on Oct. 19, 2011
    (no rating)
    Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? Could the Twin-Bred be the answer to all the issues the Humans and Tofa have with each other? In Twin-Bred, the human colony on Tofarn and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other. Scientist Mara Cadell, who lost a fraternal twin in utero, proposes that host mothers of either or both species carry twins, one human and one Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara has secretly kept her own twin, Levi, alive in her mind as a companion and collaborator. Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?... Initially I found the book a bit hard going as the concept is quite complicated, but as you get further into the book and more is explained about "The Project" things become much clearer and you soon become attached to the main character Mara and of course the twin-bred themselves. Mara is a complicated character and at times you wonder if she has made up an imaginary friend whom she talks to and then you learn her true tragic story. You learn about the Tofa, the race that the planet really belongs there, then you learn about the humans who landed on the planet and are trying to take over. The story is of "The Project" and how both Tofa and Humans have their own agendas for this project. There are brilliant and poignant life stories within the actual main story. There are tragic deaths in the book too both Human and Tofa and how those affect the Twin-Breds who seem to belong no where. They are literally treat as out casts as they are neither Human nor Tofa in the eyes of those races. The story shows the issues of trust and different races learning to live together in peace. I could go on more and more about this book but do not wish to include spoilers, but I would compare this book to Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I hope that ther is a book two as I know i would read it and want to know what happens to the Twin-Bred and Mara and the other Humans. It is definitely worth reading!
  • The Legacy of Kilkenny on Oct. 20, 2011

    This book is the story of Abel Casey, an ordinary boy until the stunning Pru Phelan came to town and introduced him to his destiny. Pru has had a vision that the Great Wolf has been born and he can be found in Piedsville, Oklahoma and his name is Abel Casey. Pru's main assignment? To kill Abel... at least that is make his own family believe he is dead. The Great Wolf is expected to become the leader of all the packs.Abel starts training and he begins to have the abilities of a werewolf, but he hasn't shifted and he doesn't want his family to believe he is dead. Will Abel be able to convince the pack that he can protect his own family? Just when everything seems to be going okay, Abel's sister Allie meets a new guy named Arien. Arien isn't just any guy, Arien is a vampire and he knows the Phelan pack has found the Great Wolf. Arien wants to know who it is and he is threatening to turn Allie into a vampire if they don't tell him. Allie is already moody, will she contract the Human Vampiric Virus (HVV)? Abel wants a relationship with Pru, but Pru only has eyes for her bodyguard, Oakley. The story will have you cheering for the good guy.... hating the bad guy... dreaming of the sexy werewolves and loving to hate the vampire bad guy Arien. The multiple scenarios may be too much to bear for our newly unshifted werewolf Abel, can he save his sister? Will he find love? Will Pru be able to fulfill her assignment? Will Allie really end up becoming a vampire? Who will be brutally murdered? This book I feel had its own story yet it has also set the scene and introduced us to the characters of what could be a very promising series. At first I though the book was going to go somewhere along the line of being like Twilight however that didn't last long, I would compare this more to the Rachel Vincent Shifter series. This is more aimed at the YA market however is still very readable and enjoyable by adults in my opinion. I enjoyed how the story is told from Pru or Abel's points of view.I loved the characters, Dolly and Prudence who are both strong, no nonsense females who can stand up to the males in the pack. I initially had my suspicions and doubts about the character Parker and his role in events but warmed to him as a character as the book progressed. The book has Weres, Witches, Shamans and Vampires so for me the plotlines seem endless and the possibilities exciting! The cameraderie the pack has is well described and the whole love elements in the book of will Pru and Abel become an item? Will Pru and Oakley get together? etc keeps you guessing well into the book. the whole pack, imprintinng, rogue/stray wolves and mates for life themes have been done in books I have read before so where easy to follow and grasp. I did enjoy the dream walking, and shaman aspect which I hope will be explored further in forthcoming books, there has to be more books surely! The book ends in a way that "business has yet to be taken care of. There were many threads running through the book to keep track of and keep you interested such as the question of would able have to fake his death so that his family would have a safe future, in the end (and I think I can say this without revealing spoilers) the decision is taken out of his hands, and everyone else's that were planning it too. I will definitely be looking out for book 2 which I think maybe even better as in a way book 1 ended at the begining of journey on his new life path.
  • 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover - A Novella and Other Short Stories on Oct. 28, 2011

    I started reading this book the other evening thinking, I'll just read the first story and then finish it off tomorrow etc but I read the whole book start to finish. The first novella deals with Ellery and her husband Julien, I am finding writing this review really hard to do without giving away spoilers, so excuse me if I seem a bit cryptic. I could really identify with Ellery and how she felt betrayed, and thought her vengeance on her husbands possessions were hilarious! I think the way Ellery stops herself from taking revenge on Katrine was also very realistic and showed what a good character Ellery was. she was above sinking so low as to take such a revenge. At the end where Julien and Ellery were talking disappointed me slightly as I wanted her to be an independent, strong women/mother and walk away from him, you know the saying "once a cheat always a cheat". Although we don't really know for sure what Ellery's final decision was, in my mind she rather naively took him back. The second novella is written so brilliantly, it has you wondering who on earth Cinnamon is! I loved that part. I also enjoyed the way Cinnamon's loyalties changed from Steve to being loyal towards Leah, and how Cinnamon comforted Leah even though Leah had not considered Cinnamon as her "friend" The last novella is a real tearjerker, an reminded me of my grandparents, how my grandmother died first, and my grandfather died just 8 weeks later of what we all considered a broken heart. In the relationship portrayed in this novella the woman dies first and the man is left to find her. The way he tends to her is heartbreaking but I believe so true of that generation where marriages were for like and not until someone better came along to have an affair with. You sensed their true love and deep respect for each other. You also feel the desolation in the man as the ambulance takes the body of his wife away. I loved how he accepted that her spirit had left already and that the body left behind was just a shell but even so he tended to that body shell so his wife would not have been embarrassed by the state her body was when she died. I will definitely be looking out for more novellas and full length books by this author.
  • The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder on Feb. 25, 2012

    MY REVIEW Oh, wow where do I start? I loved this whole book, the concept of the time travelling, and of course one of my favourite subjects in it The Titanic. Casey is the "innocent bystander" in this really just walking through some gardens where the scientist Sam Altair is setting up his time travel experiment wanting to send a tree back in time. Casey happens to suddenly be near that tree so Sam runs out to warn her and they both end up being sent back in time. There they have a choice of trying to prevent certain events from happening. Quite by accident Casey meets Thomas Andrews the man behind the design and building specifications of the Titanic. After much deliberation and discussion Casey and Sam decide to try to intervene and if nothing else prevent some of the lives being lost on the Titanic. I do not wish to give-away too much of the actual story, you will have to read the book to find out what happens to Casey and Sam and how they become involved with Thomas andrews and the Titanic. I loved the descriptions in the book, the details, the history and the plot/stories made up around the actual true history of Titanic. I enjoyed the fact that Thomas Andrews was in fact a real person, such a shame we cannot go back in time to save everyone that perished the awful night that the "unsinkable" ship sank. I loved learning about the fashions of the time, all those extra buttons etc as well as the customers and social etiquettes of the time too. What women were expected to do and more importantly not to do. I would recommend this to those who like books with, romance, and historical elements to it too.This book is the complete story although I suppose there could be a bk two that would follow the young present day Sam, but I would be worried it would spoil this first excellent book. So to sum that one up I am a bit unsure if I would really want a bk 2 or not having said that if one came out I would definitely have to read it. So did I like it? Love it Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes
  • Project Hope on July 28, 2012

    ASIN: B008C9YSR2 Publisher: Self/Plastic Paddy Publishing Pages: 151 Formats Available: Kindle BLURB from Goodreads In the Zones, a troubled society walled off from the outside world, nineteen-year-old Dylan lives in the crossfire between rampaging gangs known as hoods, and tyrannical government guards. Trapped in a brutal reality, he confronts the helplessness of his situation the only way he can—through his art. By day, he takes on the role of protector, caring for his little sister, Lil. By night, he lives a secret life, breaking the curfew and braving the dangerous Zones to paint the perimeter wall with his subversive images. But with the eye of the warden upon him, and the hoods tightening their grip on the Zones, inaction is no longer an option. He must do the one thing no one else has dared to—unite the downtrodden residents and reawaken their hope. MY REVIEW I was sent a mobi file of this book to read by the author. He had heard about my blog from another author who I have worked with and loved her work, Shalini Boland. The cover is simplistic in that it has a backdrop of graffiti art, with a black circle for the title and author. I don't know whether I like it or not. To be totally honest, if I saw this one on the shelf, it would not be the first book I picked up because of the cover however, when you read the book, the cover then makes sense. The blurb would definitely attract me to the book as I have said on many occasions, dystopian is one of my favourite genres. The book is set in a place that could sadly exist in a few years time. A troubled, society has been cut off from the outside, so the ill and the trouble maker hoodies are kept away from the main population. Guards prevent people escaping to the outside. the only time you go through the gate is if you are on a work detail at the Ready Meal factory. It's bag breaking mind numbing work but at least you are at the other side of the wall. Your pretty safe as long as you stay on the good side of the guards and the warden. Food is provided in the form of ready meals in boxes to those on the inside, "captive" Zones area. The hoodies fight and steal peoples boxes, money,etc. The story is set around Dylan, his younger sister Lil, their friend Oscar and his elderly father. Dylan is left looking after his little sister when their parent die, taken by the "illness", they live in a flat in a tower block. Oscar lives a few floors above them in the tower block with his elderly father who is basically existing with his son's help. People trundle on day after day, coping with the monotony and fear, hoping to avoid the hoodies and hoping to stay out of the line of fire of the warden too. The only escapism that Dylan has is his painting. Oscar has a guard "friend" who enables Dylan to send his paintings to the "outside", but where is he sending them? Do they even get there? Does that place even still exist? There is tension in the zones as the hoodies want more and more from the people, thy take what they want and demand even more. If you don't give what they ask or can't give what they demand you are beaten, often beaten to death. The air is filled with tension as the hoodies demands grow more and more... Some of then men decide to take a stand, but will it work? What will the repercussions be? How long can people go on living like this. Is there a way of escaping to the outside? Even if there is what is it like outside? Is the art gallery still there that Dylan remembers visiting as a child. I won't go further as I don't wish to spoil your own voyage of discovery into this book. It's gritty, at times violent, but there's always a sliver of Hope. This book seemed quite short at 151 pages, and I seemed to fly through reading it. So did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I read a Bk2 or more by Sean Joyce? Yes. Would I recommend? Yes, for all those that love dystopian will certainly enjoy this.
  • Wander Home on Dec. 26, 2012

    MY REVIEW I was actually asked to Beta-Read this book and give my honest opinion on it. The book plot wasn't 100% finalized and indeed it has been tweaked since the first version I read. The book also had no title or cover. The cover above may yet be changed or tweaked. I like this cover as it could represent either the three main females in the book, and also three of the main "ages" visited in the book. The blurb is great it gives you enough information to interest you further yet leaves out the things I feel are important for you to discover in the book for yourselves. The book begins with Cassie, and I admit I was a little confused as to who she was and what was happening, but, as you read further all becomes clear and it makes you appreciate the beginning and how it was written. The book flows really well and keeps your interest throughout. Of course there are always characters you prefer to others, in this book I found I liked most characters. there was only Cassie's grand dad that I disliked a little and maybe that was as he was quite a small character within the whole story. I also admit to disliking Eleanor to begin with. Eleanor initially seems a selfish kind of person who cares only for herself giving no thought as to how her actions affect those around her. The character of Eleanor led me to believe that Cassie was viewed as a "burden" to her in her life. Then as the story develops you learn more about the character of Eleanor, and there are some twists and turns in the plot that explain that Eleanor to the reader so you can understand her more. The book deals with some complex issues that people have varying opinion on such as the afterlife, re-incarnation, as well as simpler and more widely and freely discussed concepts like fate and destiny. That there is a bigger plan for us all, that our lives are mapped out even before we are born. I loved Karen's version of how we "live on" after death and the fact that we reunite with our loved ones that have passed before us as well as seeing those that pass after us once again too. The book really reminded me of an old film I watched as a child. Originally a Russian Film dubbed into English, starring a very young Patsy Kensit. It was about two young children who are tasked with finding and bringing back an elusive bluebird. To find this bluebird they visit many strange places and meet many people such as "Old Father Time" They see a place where babies are collected and sent down to earth/life to their parents. they also see the "afterlife" where your loved ones go when they pass. It was depicted as a beautiful cottage and garden that your loved ones "live2 in and they some how "sense" when you think of them and feel happy you are thinking of them. The film left me feeling really contented and really calm and happy. That is the same strong feeling and emotions you feel upon reading this book. Karen writes it so well, I hope she doesn't take offense to the following analogy but you feel like you are slipping on a "comfy cardigan" when you fall into the plot and story of this novel. So did I enjoy the book? Yes *sigh* (that's just how contented you feel upon reading it) Would I read more, if this book turns out to be part of a series? Yes. Would I read more by Karen A. Wyle? I already intend to! Would I recommend? Yes and I have.
  • The Voice on April 05, 2013

    MY REVIEW The cover shows a female who looks scared on the front cover, you also see a barn or wooden hut, maybe cabin in the background with plenty of trees and perhaps forest there too. Upon reading the book you learn the scared female on the front cover is in fact Audrey, and when you learn the traumatic ordeal she underwent in a cabin in the woods you totally understand her fear. I think the cover represents the book really well, and would I pick it up from a book store shelf? Yes I think I would definitely pick it up to learn more. Now to the book, whilst Audrey is being held captive she begins to hear a voice in her head. she doesn't know if she is going mad due to her ordeal or if someone is truly communicating with her. The voice helps Audrey through her ordeal and when she is freed, the voice still speaks to her occasionally. Audrey naturally tells no one about the Voice as she doesn't want to appear more troubled or strange than she already is in other peoples view. Audrey hates that people look at her with pity, and the way her family look at her with pity and guilt, after all she had told her family about her attacker watching her and making her feel uneasy long before she was kidnapped. Unable to cope in the house she was abducted from she goes to stay with her young modern school teacher aunt Kate. Kate decides to keep Audrey's mind from her ordeal she should attend school so enrolls her and even gets the two guys next door that are Audrey's age to keep an eye on her. Caleb is outgoing, flirty, yet respectful and protective around Audrey. Justin seems to hate being around crowds, a bit of a loner yet is still around if and when Audrey needs his help. I really don't want to give away more of the story as it is a beautifully written book, that was an interesting read that lead you by the hand through the many emotions that Audrey feels. The Quote about the book that I have taken from the Goodreads book blurb is so totally true. This book tells the story of Audrey's journey where she has to heal mentally and physically, which takes a lot of courage. Probably an even bigger thing Audrey has to relearn the ability to trust those around her, even her family. So did I enjoy the book? Yes, yes, yes! Would I recommend the book? Yes I have recommended this book to my teen daughter and I think my mum would also read and enjoy the book. Would I read a Bk2? If there was one yes, but how the book ends I doubt there will be. Will I read more by Jennifer Anne Davis? Definitely, I will keep my eyes wide open for more future titles by her. I try not to compare books to each other but the feelings I felt throughout the book and afterwards did remind me of another fantastic book I have read and reviewed on my blog, called Read Me Dead by Emerald Barnes. So if you've read that book this is definitely for your reading tastes.
  • The Clearing (Outside Series #2) on April 13, 2013

    MY REVIEW I received a kindle version of this book direct from the author Shalini Boland, in exchange for my honest review. The cover has a desolate feel to it in the blueish grey colours and the girl standing near the window. I suppose the girl could be Riley, but after reading the book I think it is Liss looking longingly outside to a possible freedom from inside the canonary where she is being held. where Grey and his devout followers try and brain wash young people into becoming zombie like beings who obey orders without any other thought. The blurb is suitably criptic which I like. There's action, suspense, thrills, drama, friendship and a touch of romance. The Riley and Luc relationship status is still kind of up in the air, do things go any further? You'll have to read to find out! So in this book once again Riley and Luc team up with another character from Bk#1 Denzil to try and break in the compound. Yes, you read it right they want to get in! The reason they want to get in is to rescue Liss and FJ. Though things don't quite go to plan, when one of those they are going to rescue ends up having to be taken forcibly! But do they manage to all get out alive? Mind you, the lie those in the compound live is a monotonous one, where they worship Grey, who calls himself the father. Grey's voice has been damaged so he need a vessel to speak through. that vessel/person turns out to be someone you wouldn't expect it to be. There's plenty of surprises and little twists and turns. You sort of make your mind up as you are reading and think oh this is going to happen and then one thing changes and everything is turned on it's head. The book has a fairly fast pace, you definitely hate to put it down, I read it in just two sessions. I think had I had the time I would have read the book in one sitting. The book ends in such a way that you immediately want to read the third book too. So did you enjoy this book? I loved it. The Clearing is a brilliant dystopian/post apocalyptic novel. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I recommend this series so far, it's a MUST read for dystopian/post apocalyptic genre fans. Would I want to read more in this series? OoOoo yes please, I'd read it now if it was available. I felt this way after reading BK#1 in this series too. Would I read more books by Shalini Boland? I would definitely take a look at any/all books by Shalini as I do enjoy her writing style, she truly makes it so easy to read her books.