Monthly Archives: April 2020

Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller by Timothy Jay Smith Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young Greek-American FBI agent finds himself searching for an arsonist, uncovering hidden secrets in a small island community in the Greek Islands and wrestling with a growing and passionate affair with someone who may very well be the prime suspect in the arson case in author Timothy Jay Smith’s “Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller”.

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The Synopsis

For lovers of crime fiction and the allure of the Greek islands, Fire on the Island is the perfect summer read. 

FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.

Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.

A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of  Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.

The Review

A brilliant blend of action, dramatic tension, thrills and romantic humor and passion, author Timothy Jay Smith has created an engaging read that will keep readers invested in the cast of characters throughout the narrative. The novel does an excellent job of not only creating the tension of the thriller and the passion of the romance, but infuses into it the tone of the very real distrust, heartbreak and painful situation regarding refugees forced to flee and ending up in the Greek Islands. It demonstrates the division amongst the communities regarding accepting and helping these refugees and those who want to blame them for all of society’s woes. 

Amidst this important storytelling sits a beautiful work of character building that really fleshes out the cast of characters well in this novel. The setting comes alive on the pages of this book and really does a great job of making this community become its own character, giving the book’s plot more heft and importance as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, “Fire on the Island” by Timothy Jay Smith is a fantastic read with a quick pace and engaging plot that will keep the readers on the edge of their seat both for the book’s thrilling plot and romantic character developments. Be sure to grab your own copy on July 7th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, will be published in spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.

Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.

https://www.instagram.com/timothyjays…

www.facebook.com/TimothyJaySmith/

Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes by Jeremy Rubinstein Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

One man’s journey through a painful home life and a life of addiction takes a drastic turn in author Jeremy Rubinstein’s “Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes”. 

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The Synopsis 

“Just call it the memoir love story of a drug addict white rapper with unresolved mommy and daddy issues.”

Ha. Yeah, that’s a laugher.

(Cause everything’s changing – just not myself lately / What have I become, Mom, this is not how you raised me / I pray to God save me – ‘fore the Devil he claims me / And I unleash the curse I was given when I was a baby)

The love story part of course being my wife Alice.

Except she forgets that my rap career in Southern California essentially ended –

(. . . like I was cursed from the start / As the fault lines start to shift again, the Kingdom falls apart / Another rapper’s got beef – it goes from the studio to the streets / And before we know what happens – Gunshots replace the beats)

With the shootout in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble, sending us pinballing across the country like a couple of wanna-be Bonnie and Clydes.

Only Bonnie and Clyde weren’t high on drugs, and they stuck to banks –

(Call it a Spiritual Malady – Attracted to what’s bad for me / As we give a new meaning to Comedy and Tragedy / Masks on, Guns drawn – as we run up in the Applebee’s / And turn our moral values into a pile of blasphemies)

Alice was a waitress when we met, so restaurants just made sense.

And I’m pretty sure Bonnie and Clyde never had children.

Our son Caleb was born in a crack motel while the cops were out in full force looking for us.

But all that comes later – like way later – after Alice first goes into labor with our daughter Hannah on Halloween night – the night Corey and I got robbed at gunpoint by the Three Stooges.

Of course, that wouldn’t have happened had I not let Alice convince me that selling crystal meth would make me more money than just pot and ecstasy.

But then Corey always said events like that tend to serve a Higher Purpose.

Kinda like that dream I had where I was trapped in the circus and the White Rabbit who’s foot had been chopped off lead me back to my childhood apartment where my long lost father was teaching my daughter Hannah how to skip stones over our linoleum kitchen floor while Fred turned my Mom into a Ventriloquist’s Puppet and then those teenagers dressed up as the characters from the Wizard of Oz set fire to my neighbor’s bush.

What can I say – Halloween has always had a weird significance to me. There’s something symbolic about running around at night with a mask on trying to be Master of your own Universe surrounded by ghosts and ghouls and goblins with your toy weapon in one hand and goodie bag in the other trying to score as much candy as you can before the real darkness takes over –

(Where did that child go? That kid with the He-Man mask? / Sometimes our biggest fears are the answers to questions that we ask)

Any other questions?

Just read the damn book. 

The Review

A well-written novel, author Jeremy Rubinstein does a fantastic job of bringing out the painful, cringe-worthy and heartbreaking moments of the protagonists life in a very real way. Readers are able to see the steady decline in the life of this young man named Paul and a young woman named Alice, both of whom go on a journey of addiction, crime and family life. 

The author does a wonderful job of character building in this novel, really fleshing out the backgrounds and histories of the characters that clearly contribute to their mental states and the choices they make as the book progresses. As time goes on however it is the shocking events they find themselves in and the consequences of their actions that reveal the troubled lives they’ve lead and forces them to make a decision that will affect not only their own lives but the lives of those they love most.

The Verdict

A lengthy yet moving read, author Jeremy Rubinstein’s “Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes” is a gut-wrenching, emotional read that delves into the painful process one goes through with addiction and the impact it has on so many factors in a person’s life. The author speaks with a tone and quality that speaks of authenticity and emotion, grabbing the reader’s attention thoroughly and keeping them engaged until the final page. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Not really sure what to say about myself; I’ve been writing since I was a child. I started getting ideas for stories and movies and even poetry as far back as Kindergarten. I was also in love with music from a very young age, and at 13 got my first guitar and took off writing my own songs almost immediately.

I’m also sort of a wanna-be scientist and inventor, and have recently developed and obsession with Bill Gates, as well as a new-found love for speed reading.

Thanks to this, my new goal for reading this year is about 50 books.

I draw all of my inspiration for both my writing and my music from life, and all of its experiences, much of which has been centered in the world of drug abuse and addiction – and all the drama and trauma that comes along with that – followed by recovery (in January I picked up 6 years of sobriety).

Because of this particular life experience, my writing, as well as music has deep undertones of spirituality, which lends a sort of hopeful wisdom to the darkness. I like writing about the human condition, and all of its many facets, both heartbreaking and beautiful. Oftentimes, my inspiration will come in the form of a rather mundane daily experience that my overactive imagination will toy with, adding the “What if?” element, and I’ll just go from there.

Or, it’s therapy – as a way to keep from committing any felonies.

In May – God Willing – I’ll be starting school again with a major in psychology to become first a certified drug and substance abuse counselor, followed down the road with simply working with troubled teens. I expect much of this will play into my future fictional writings.

My book, Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes, is of course based in part on my own life experiences as a person in active addiction, being in a relationship during that time, and growing up in a dysfunctional household. It was my way of processing and healing, but it was also my love for the Bonnie-and-Clyde style of outlaw romances that I’d grown up with as a child. Natural Born Killers with Mickey and Malory, True Romance with Clarence and Alabama, these films were always near the top of my list as favorites and I just always wanted to do my own version of that, so that’s really what Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes was: my way of processing my own pain and trauma from life, using a vehicle/plot that I’d always found engaging and entertaining.

I also brought in my love and talent for music on the story, so most of the songs that the characters do in the book are actual songs I’ve written, or am in the process of still producing, along with the rap/hip-hop lyrics of the main characters.

So it was a rather large project, even aside from the writing itself. 

https://jeremyrubinstein.com

https://booksprout.co/arc/32702/broken-mirrors-and-burning-bushes

The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale by Neal Cassidy Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A final weekend together before starting their adult lives takes six college friends on a journey they won’t soon forget in author Neal Cassidy’s satirical dark comedy novel “The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale”. 

The Synopsis 

“A tale of indulgence and camaraderie that ultimately proves moving.” – Kirkus Reviews

In the last days before the real world, six college friends prepare to take a bow in epic fashion.

After Sunday there’s just Harry, the future business owner; Justin, the medical intern; Trent, the hapless wanderer; and Clarence, soon to don the badge and blues. But now they have years of memories to honor, all packed into one weekend. Will they grow into their new adult roles? Will they go out in style with the girls? Will the four of them even survive the sheer level of debauchery?

Living in an apartment paid for by the Grandma, an ex-hooker turned millionaire, Courtney and Ling-Ling couldn’t be more opposite, yet are completely inseparable. Courtney and Harry have been hooking up for years, neither able to commit, but their imminent separation is about to test that arrangement, and Ling-Ling’s never-ending reciprocated crush on Justin just might become more than that.

Their lives intersect with that of Professor Goodkat, their idolized instructor who never quite “left” college himself. In Goodkat, we find the consequence of getting to live out a hedonist fantasy, and the possibility for change in anyone.

Hilarious, raunchy and uninhibited, “The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale,” captures contemporary society while chronicling the dreams, regrets, perspectives, and future after youth in an unbroken sequence of shockingly touching exploits. No longer armed with the excuse of college stupidity, these friends will go on a journey with higher stakes than a night out has ever had. Because there are things about themselves that blacking out can’t erase.

The Review

A well written, humorous and one of a kind read, author Neal Cassidy does an amazing job of defying expectations by telling a wonderful story of friendship, memories and honoring a significant period of one’s life through a series of pranks, partying and alcohol fueled nostalgia. 

The story takes readers through a ever shifting narrative as the perspective changes between each character throughout the novel, giving readers a chance to really understand and see the motivations and thoughts of each character. By the book’s end, readers are shocked into a more thoughtful, surprising and introspective narrative that makes the reader look back upon the narrative with a new set of eyes, making this a truly remarkable read.

The Verdict

A evenly paced read, author Neal Cassidy’s “The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale” is a must-read novel that really keeps the reader invested in the story and the characters. Memorable, funny yet impactful, readers will be shocked by the depth of the narrative by the books end, really telling a tale that speaks to the modern era well. Be sure to grab your copy today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Neal Cassidy is an American writer who grew up in Forest, Va. An ex-tennis pro, he also spent his winters competing in Big Air & Slopestyle competitions on skis. After many years of an undiscerning lifestyle, he decided to put his experiences into his first novel, The Final Weekend: A Stoned Tale. He does his best writing at home while listening to Tchaikovsky at a low volume, with a hot black tea, frozen chocolate fruits, and five pre-rolled blunts within reach.

“I am who I am not, but who I wanted to be..”

Neal Cassidy

For more information, please visit

Facebook at Facebook.com/Neal Cassidy – The Final Weekend

https://www.instagram.com/thenealcassidy/

STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn Of Athir by Dr. Anay Ayarovu Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An aspiring writer and author finds themselves at the center of an ancient prophecy and must become a savior to an entire people in author Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s “STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir”. 

The Synopsis

A strange and mystical prophecy was found in the city of Treebarad. On a piece of parchment,

old long-forgotten events come back to life, the memory of which was intentionally erased. A mysterious prophecy now gives hope to the twisted ruling race that the power they seek lies behind an ancient gate. On the reverse side of the oracle are coordinates to the location of the Chosen One.

Lael is an introverted and naive writer who grew up with a book in one hand and a quill in the other. All his life, he has lived in a peaceful solitude, reading and writing his short stories and dreaming big of one day becoming a prestigious author. To his surprise and delight he must now become savior of the Star people and take the journey to find answers that do not exist in books.

The Review

A truly engaging and fun read, STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir is a fascinating YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy read that thrusts readers into an already established world of creatures descended from modern-day animals and unique languages and vocabulary that will appeal to fans of epic sci-fi and fantasy. 

The story is also unique in that the protagonist is not a born adventurer, a young man seeking to travel to distant lands and become a hero. Instead, the protagonist is a quiet and at peace writer who dreams of becoming an author and has that quiet life threatened by a prophecy that makes him into a would-be savior to an entire people. The author does a marvelous job of world-building and mythology building throughout this novel, setting the stage for a rather one-of-a-kind sci-fi and fantasy series to be born that readers will instantly fall in love with. 

The Verdict

An evenly paced yet gripping and engaging narrative, author Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s “STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir” is a one of a kind sci-fi/fantasy read that YA fans are going to love. A fun read, the author also does an amazing job of creating a narrative that is thought-provoking and challenges the reader to delve even deeper into their own imaginations, making this a must-read novel. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dr. Ayarovu is currently residing in Miami, FL, where she hopes to build STAZR Universe into a multi-media platform. Her love of sailing brought her to the coast and falling in love with her husband kept her firmly in place. She previously spent time as a creative photographer, where she gained inspiration for her debut epic fantasy novel STAZR The World Of Z: The Dawn Of Athir. Dr. Ayarovu found herself writing backstories for her photoshoots based on societal roles and expectations; those short stories made up the very first draft of what this novel is today. She holds a love for the way society works with and through one another and has strategically sculpted the characters to reflect the way current day society plays off shared issues and ideas.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51493691-stazr-the-world-of-z

https://stazr.com/

Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3) by Ellen F. Feld Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A feel good children’s picture book series enters a third novel into the story in author Ellen F. Feld’s Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3)”. 

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The Synopsis

Donkey-Donk wants to hike Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Before she can hike the mountain, however, she must get in shape by lifting weights and working out on her treadmill. Then it’s off to New Hampshire and the White Mountains, where Mount Washington awaits. Follow along with Donk as she hikes this amazing mountain and enjoy the incredible scenery that she discovers.

Over 20 beautiful, professional photographs of Donk as she prepares for, and then hikes, Mt. Washington.

The Review

In such a short read, the author does a great job of establishing a connection between the reader and the protagonist through not only great photography but artful storytelling. The book brings the story of this miniature donkey to life brilliantly, making the story flow at a reasonable pace for younger readers. 

The use of photography over artwork was an inspired choice, as it allowed for more personal touches to the story than artwork may have. The story itself showcases the narrative that with hard work, training, and perseverance anyone can achieve their goals, including hiking and climbing Mount Washington for Donkey-Donk in this tale. 

The Verdict

A well written, short yet impactful read, this is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys picture books and children’s narratives. Full of heart, joy and creativity, author Ellen F. Feld’s “Take A Hike! A Donkey-Donk Story (Book 3)” is a must-read children’s story that stands out on its own while fitting into the overall series of stories expertly. Grab your own copy of this book on May 07th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Award-winning author Ellen Feld began writing about horses more than 20 years ago. At first she wrote for small, regional magazines, but within a few short years, her work began to appear regularly in large, national publications. In 2001, while waiting for her next assignment, Ms. Feld wrote a short story about a Morgan. That tale became the first chapter of Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse. The book went on to win a coveted Children’s Choices award (as did the second book in the series, Frosty), an honor bestowed jointly by the International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council. The book was also picked up by Breyer Animal Creations to be sold with a model of the star of the story, Blackjack. To date, Ms. Feld has authored fourteen horse books, including seven in the Morgan Horse series. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, twelve horses, and assorted other pets.

http://www.willowbendpublishing.com/shop/take-a-hike-a-donkey-donk-story

Nefer Blue Phoenix by Micah Patton Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young warrior haunted by the events of her past must fight to reclaim what is rightfully hers and protect her family along the way in author Micah Patton’s “Nefer Blue Phoenix”. 

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The Synopsis

We all fear the unknown. Scared of never achieving the ultimate dream. On an island of ancient super beings lives a warrior haunted by attaining one goal. Kill every rebel responsible for stripping an innocent child’s family of their throne. They left the empire decorated in death and gave birth to a warrior hellbent on restoring the rightful order of the nation. But will the warrior go as far as to risk forsaking friends? Family? The gods themselves? Absolutely…

In a land of magic, pharaohs, and thrones, one warrior will discover just how treacherous they will have to become to achieve the ultimate goal. Power. Welcome to the island nation of Serenium. Where the quest for power is a must. The ability to lose it is just a scandal away. When the rich and powerful cry. They kill.

The Review

This is a fantastic historical fiction/fantasy novel that delves deep into a world of gods and royalty in the days of Ancient Egypt. In the Kingdom of Serenium, a young woman born to avenge her fallen parents and retake the throne that was meant to be hers must play a dangerous game of deceit, power and even battle amongst the new Pharaohs and the royalty surrounding them. 

The mythology really takes center stage here, mixing with the political drama of the narrative that showcases the dangerous rise to power one must take and the powerful individuals the protagonist must overcome in order to achieve it. The introduction and use of the gods and the Divinity was a nice inclusion in this fantasy narrative, bringing a sense of otherworldly wonder into the bloody, sexual and tense drama of the royal court and all it’s backstabbing that comes with it. 

The Verdict

A well written, lengthy yet well executed narrative, the story of Nefer Blue Phoenix by Micah Patton is a must watch for anyone who enjoys ancient mythology, fantasy, history and political drama. Action packed, character driven and a fun read overall, be sure to grab your copy of this amazing novel on April 10th, 2020! 

Rating: 10/10

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Kingdom of the Silver Cat (The Sapphire Fruit Chronicles Book 1) by Thomas M. Carroll Review

 I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A day that begins with a bus ride ends with mystery, wonder and danger for a group of students after a crash sends them into another world in author Thomas M. Carroll’s “Kingdom of the Silver Cat (The Sapphire Fruit Chronicles Book 1)”. 

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The Synopsis 

Kingdom of the Silver Cat is a fantasy adventure novel about friendship, adversity, risk-taking, and self-discovery. When a school bus full of children drives through a mysterious blue light in the road, the bus is transported to an empty field in a strange land. The bus driver leaves to find help but doesn’t come back, and the children realize they must fend for themselves. They soon discover they each have a magical power, but with each power comes a weakness.

Alone in a mysterious land, Sarah, Wesley, and their schoolmates set out to find their way home. As they journey through the land, the children encounter strange and wondrous creatures, including playful clouds, thundering fireballs, warrior fairies, giant wolves, and bouncing bears. But when terrifying winged beasts begin hunting them, the children must flee for their lives. They find help in unexpected places and learn the only safe place for them is the Kingdom of the Silver Cat.

They set out to find this kingdom. Along the way, they encounter dangers and hardships. They must work together and support one another if they hope to survive and someday return home.

Kingdom of the Silver Cat is a fantasy adventure for ages eight and up, which Kirkus Reviews calls a “fast-paced, sparkling fantasy for tweens in which great wish fulfillment entails great responsibility,” and IndieReader says is a “clever and engaging fantasy with a lively cast of characters and an imaginatively-drawn world” containing “a variety of peoples and places, enough novelty and beauty to delight, and enough danger (both apparent and promised) to keep the suspense going until the end.”

Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re…

IndieReader: https://indiereader.com/book_review/k… 

The Review

A story that immediately begins with a shock takes readers on an incredible journey throughout this first book of a wonderful new fantasy driven series. Readers are immediately immersed into the narrative of this magical land the children find themselves in, and have a unique character study of these characters when they find they have fantastic new powers, but powers that come with a cost. 

One unique thing that really stood out immediately was the amazing artwork picturing the cast of characters in the book, which added to the imagery used by the author throughout the story as the characters encountered new environments and new threats along the way. A story that was very reminiscent in style and approach to the Chronicles of Narnia, The Kingdom of the Silver Cat does a marvelous job of showcasing an already established world to the audience that feels natural and magical all at once, creating that sense of awe that keeps children, teens and adults invested in the narrative. 

The Verdict

A whirlwind adventure, author Thomas M. Carroll’s “The Kingdom of the Silver Cat” is a phenomenal first novel in a brand new fantasy series. Filled with action, mythical and magical creatures alike, and a much needed new narrative of young people discovering themselves and their relationships with each other and the world around them as they navigate a mysterious land, this is a novel not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.facebook.com/SapphireFruit/?view_public_for=107805530726017

Dream Chasers (Screamcatcher #2) by Christy J. Breedlove Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman uses her new experience gained from the first book in a powerful mythological series and delves further into the realm of dream catchers and Native American lore in author Christy J. Breedlove’s “Dream Chasers (Screamcatcher #2)”. 

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The Synopsis

Seventeen year-old Jory Pike knows a thing or two about Indian lore from her half-blood Chippewa ancestry. She can trap, hunt and fish with the best of them. She has a team of three other teens friends called The Badlands Paranormal Society. Instead of bagging groceries or playing on I-pods, they think they can excel at banishing evil spirits. They hope to cleanse houses and earn fat paychecks for their services.

Dream catchers aren’t just the chic hoops tourists buy at novelty shops–they work. And sometimes they clog up with nightmares until they collapse under their own evil weight, imploding and sending the dreamer into an alternate world. Jory uses her worst nightmare to enter the dream catcher world. She’s pulled her teammates in deliberately. Everything goes right on schedule but they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Now Jory and her friends are there, trapped between the people who have confessed their sins to the Great Spirit and are seeking a way out, and the monsters and evil spirits, which are happy to keep them trapped in the web world forever.

They were once considered Seekers in the dream world. Now they’ve become vigilantes and call themselves Pathfinders. Is it spiritual enlightenment they after? Or have they now become fatally reckless?

The Review

An action-packed and deeply mythological sequel, author Christy J. Breedlove has done a fantastic job of connecting to the larger mythology established in the first book and bringing forth a new twist in the evolving story of these characters. The thing that really jumps out is that for returning readers, the story sees a much more educated and experienced protagonist in Jory and her team of investigators, but newcomers will still be able to jump into the series even if they haven’t read the first book yet. 

The speed in which the group of characters is thrust into the world of this possessed dreamcatcher keeps the reader’s hearts pounding in their chests. Unspeakable creatures and beautiful imagery give the reader a deeper connection to the character’s during their journey into this other realm, while the ever-evolving story do a great job of delving into the complex and treasured history and mythology of the Native American people amongst the varying tribes and people. 

The Verdict

A must-read YA fantasy and mythology series, “Dream Chasers” is a brilliant sequel for Christy J. Breedlove’s “Screamcatchers” series. Filled with intense action, deep character growth and an overall sense of adventure, this is a unique read in the YA genre that delves into a mythology that deserves far more storytelling than it typically gets, so be sure to grab your copy of this amazing book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I became a story teller. I’m a diehard frantic creator of Young Adult fiction, whether it’s paranormal, science fiction, suspense or fantasy. I believe in pure escapism with unceasing action adventure and discovery. If you want a moral message or cultural statement, you’re apt to get a small one. But let me tell you something, reader, I want to make you laugh until you gag, cry until you’re dry and tear out tufts of your hair. Today, young adult lit needs a resurrection. How soon we’ve forgotten about Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight. Oh, the mania! Where has it gone? Are we losing our young readers? We need something really fresh and new. I and several writers are going to pour everything we have into that end. You are the kindly judge–help us get there and we will deliver!

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A family of undertakers from the Weird West must traverse the underworld after long and recently passed neighbors begin rising from the grave, upsetting the balance and their business, in author Lorin Morgan-Richards’ “The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain”. 

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The Synopsis

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain follows the lives of Weird West undertakers Otis, Pyridine, and their daughter Orphie. Pyridine is a witch and matriarch mortician, Otis is a brainless but bold hearse driver, and Orphie is appointed grave digger for her strength of twenty men. Through bumbling, Otis discovers his neighbors are turning into zombies, a mystery that is directly affecting their burial business. In their backyard cemetery, they travel to the underworld for answers and uncover a plot to surface the evil entities that would otherwise burn in the Lake of Fire, have risen again through oil pumps that are bottled up as a tonic medicine for the ground above. The tonic goes fast, and the host takes over the body when the body perishes. Can the Goodbyes hilarious gaffes and revelations plug up the works? Find out in this fast-paced carriage ride through the underworld. The story includes an exclusive foreword by entertainer and medium Richard-Lael Lillard.

The Review

This is a fun and unique read for YA audiences everywhere. An entertaining blend of the Wild West meets sci-fi and Victorian Goth horror, The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain is a fast-paced read that creates an imaginative and magical world filled with zombies, the underworld and literal magic. 

The author’s ability to fuse this wild and creative mythology within the novel’s world with the humor of the cast of characters, particularly the odd yet fun protagonists the Goodbye Family, make for a unique literary journey. Otis, in particular, will delight audiences as his strange comments will showcase the surrounding character’s bemused and dumbfounded looks in the reader’s minds. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, evenly paced and magical read, author Lorin Morgan-Richards’ novel “The Goodbye Family and The Great Mountain” is a must-read for 2020. Action-packed, whimsical yet haunting in its an approach, readers can easily picture the novel adapted into a Tim Burton-like claymation animated film. It’s a delightful read that I highly recommend, so be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Lorin Morgan-Richards is an author and illustrator, known mostly for his YA fiction. A fan favorite is his daily comic series The Goodbye Family about a family of eccentric undertakers living in the Old Weird West with their daughter Orphie who oversees the town of Nicklesworth as their sheriff. Richards writing career started in 2009, with his latest novel The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain (2020) being his thirteenth release. In addition to writing and illustrating, Richards colorizes Old West and Victorian-era photography.

Official site: https://www.lorinrichards.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lorin_morgan_richards/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorinmorganrichards/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lorin-Morgan-Richards/e/B002LTN6KO

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2943244.Lorin_Morgan_Richards