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Murder of the Obeah Man by Anthony Avina

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

A local herbalist and healer finds herself imbedded into a local murder investigation in author Judy Fishel’s “Murder of the Obeah Man”.

The Synopsis

When the owl hooted just outside her window, Jeenya cringed. She knew what it meant. When she was a girl her Granny, up in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, taught her the omens. This was a sign that someone was dying. It was probably MURDER.

They found his body in the morning. Josiah Overman had been the richest, the most important, the most respected and loved man in Jamaica Lakes. He had built Jamaica Lakes. He was also their Obeah Man. No Jamaican would dare kill the Obeah Man. They all knew that his duppy (a vengeful ghost) would come after them, torture them, and perhaps kill them. It had to be a stranger.

Jeenya Birdsong, herbalist, healer, and spiritual advisor knew her old friend wasn’t perfect but, even with her knowledge of the people in this Jamaican community, even with her ability to look people in the eye and know what they were thinking, she still could not imagine why anyone would do this.

Jeenya knew she would need to help the detectives find the killer. She remembered dreaming of being a detective but now she wasn’t sure. Would she really be able to help? Her husband would worry, thinking it was too dangerous. She worried about getting in the way or even making a total fool of herself.

The Review

A fantastic read! The author has crafter a wonderful story that really delves into the murder mystery genre. The atmosphere and tone of the tale immediately grab the readers attention, setting up that classic sleuth story fans of the genre love.

What really stood out to me was the author’s use of setting to bring more depth to the characters and story. The setting of Jamaica Lakes was a character all its own, breathing life into the cast of characters, including the protagonist Jeenya.

The Verdict

A breath of fresh air in the murder mystery genre, author Judy Fishel’s “Murder of the Obeah Man” is a must read novel of the summer! Engaging, thoughtful and full of rich characters, this novel will not only keep readers on the edge of their seat, but will educate readers on history and lore from the Jamaican culture and people. It’s a fun read that will not disappoint you, so be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Judy Fishel grew up in Florida, just across the river from Palm City. She and her grandfather often looked for wildflowers along the citrus groves. She also remembers the terrible freezes that killed the citrus trees. It made sense to set her story there. She started work on this book fifteen years ago but it just wasn’t working. She then wrote Straight A’s Are NOT Enough – study skills for college students. Finally, last summer she returned working on Murder of the Obeah Man. When one of her characters, Jeenya Birdsong, began appearing in her dreams, all the pieces began fitting together. Now, Judy likes to say that Jeenya is her spiritual advisor.

http://www.judyfishel.com/

The Seaborne by A.G. Rivett Review

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

A man shipwrecked and rescued finds himself on not only a different world, but a different time altogether in author A.G. Rivett’s novel “The Seaborne”. 

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The Synopsis

Seaborne. The word echoes in Dermot’s mind. Washed up from who knows where, with no people to belong to, no clan to speak for him: aa man alone in the world. If this man lives, what will he turn out to be? What might he bring among the Islanders?

John had not dreamed that anywhere in the North Atlantic could be this remote. There must be someone, if not here, then not far away, who even if they didn’t speak English would at least recognise it.

John Finlay, engineer, is running away from his failed business, his failed relationship and his debts. He runs away to sea. Dermot, pulling a body, barely alive, from the water, has never seen anyone so strangely dressed. His Celtic island knows nothing of debt or of engineering. And John, waking among a people who cannot understand his language, struggles to accept that he has been carried across time and into another world.

From this starting point, tensions build between cultures and outlooks, and focus on Shinane, the blacksmith’s daughter, who is looking for something beyond. John and Dermot find themselves stretched to their limits. It is a matter of survival, or transformation. Choice is key – and not only for John, Dermot and Shinane: the whole community finds itself caught up in conflict over The Seaborne.

The Review

This was such an engaging read. The author does a great job of creating a breathtaking world that draws the reader in and populates it with characters that keep the reader invested throughout. 

The interesting concept of how society has evolved and the ways in which people choose to live are thoroughly showcased throughout the narrative. The thing that fascinates me as a reader is how John’s mentality and way of life from his own time and the way of life he learns to have while in this new world is interesting to see, both in their similarities and differences. In the end, is it not true that the past and the future both have their ups and downs, and can impact the present? 

The Verdict

A powerful, memorable, and evenly paced read, author A.G. Rivett has masterfully told a brilliant tale of a man outside of his own time, and the community impacted by his appearance, both good and bad. Fueled by culture, romance, questions of morality, and advancements in technology, mentality, and society, the novel does an excellent job of creating a thought-provoking narrative that will keep readers wanting more. Be sure to grab your copy of “The Seaborne” today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Andrew (A.G.) Rivett was born in London. He has lived in England, Nigeria, Scotland (where The Seaborne was drafted) and now in Wales.

The inspiration for The Seaborne, his debut novel, came twenty years ago on holiday in Ireland, at which time he wrote some opening chapters, relics of which remain in the published book. The Seaborne, the first book of the planned Island trilogy, was published in November 2019.

Stormbreaker by Matt Sconce Review

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

A young man discovers he is connected to a whole new world around him and faces untold danger in author Matt Sconce’s modern-day fantasy, “Stormbreaker”. 

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The Synopsis

Young Mackinsi Wrighton has always been a dreamer. After he accidentally uncovers a hidden world around him, he discovers he is a Stormbreaker… A warrior of light destined to face an ancient evil called, Destroyer.

Possessing supernatural powers and weapons he has no idea how to use, Mackinsi must unite the other Stormbreakers against Destroyer’s fiends before Destroyer pulls our dimension into a relic of evil called the Heartstone.

Along his quest, Mackinsi will find love, loss, and adventure as well as a secret that will shake the very foundation of reality itself.

From sword fights on the skyscrapers of New York City to the underwater grottos of prophecy, Stormbreaker will take you on an action-packed thrill ride of imagination and modern day magic and leave you breathless.

Described as a combination of The Matrix, Constantine and the Lord of the Rings, Stormbreaker is a modern fantasy brimming with originality.

The Review

From the audiobook’s first pages the author and narrator deliver a tense filled, heart-pounding scene that sets the tone for the modern day fantasy thriller. The book never lets up on the intensity of the plot as the protagonist experiences a swirl of wonder and horror as his world flips upside down. 

The story was rich with character development and world building mythology that really sucks the reader into the narrative immediately. The protagonist is relatable and gives readers a typical yet rememberable origin of the young man in the midst of trying to find himself and in the process discovers how important he is. 

The Verdict

Well written, well read and an evenly paced read, author Matt Sconce’s “Stormbreaker” is the perfect first book in what deserves to be a fantastic fantasy series. The narrator captures the emotions and character interactions perfectly in the audiobook, and the story will keep reader hanging on the narrator’s every word as the story heads towards its epic conclusion. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Audiobook Blog Tour: Stormbreaker by Matt Sconce

Author: Matt Sconce

Narrator: Clinton Herigstad

Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

Publisher: Movie Heroes Studios

Released: Mar. 26, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Continue reading

Togwotee Passage by L.G. Cullens Review

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

A young man escaping an abusive household finds a journey of self-discovery in the midst of the natural world clashing with man’s world in author L.G. Cullen’s novel “Togwotee Passage”. 

The Synopsis

Togwotee (toe’-ga-tee) is the name of a challenging mountain pass in the Absaroka Mountains of northwest Wyoming. In the title of this fictive tale it’s a metaphor for the main character’s physical and cognitive passage through the seasons of life’s chaotic landscape.

The story begins with a dysfunctional family life in the 1940s that stains Calan’s outlook. When the abuse escalates to life-threatening, an intervention introduces him to wilderness on a grand scale, as well as a Shoshone friend with a differing perspective of life. This but fledgling steps in a life of unexpected twists and turns.

With off-the-beaten-path experiences and intimately relatable characters, this tale is a thought kindling journey of mind and spirit, complemented with expressive illustrations.

Literary Eco-fiction, Adventure, Nature

The Review

A well-written coming of age meets literary adventure story with a theme focused on nature and it’s placed in man’s growing world, “Togwotee Passage” is a fantastic read with a full cast of characters readers will instantly connect with. The sad yet familiar story of a young child growing up in an abusive environment and forced to begin anew after a particularly explosive event hurls the readers into a new chapter of the protagonist’s life that changes their interaction with the world from that point on. 

The friendship between Calan and Derek throughout their expanding lives gave a deeper sense of connection with the overall theme of the novel as well. The emotional growth of these two characters as they took on life and watched as the world of man began to encroach on the natural world as a whole, perfectly illustrating the personal journey the protagonist underwent as a whole.

The Verdict

A heartfelt evenly paced read, author L.G. Cullen’s “Togwotee Passage” is a must-read novel. A story of overcoming hardship, discovering your place in the world, and forming lasting bonds takes center stage as the characters grow and take a fully realized journey that is not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

L. G. Cullens was born and raised in 1940’s Wyoming with Shoshone friends (his naturalist grounding), served in the military, and pursued careers first in civil engineering, then computer sciences, and finally, in his fifties, woodworking decorative arts. Since, with diminished dexterity he’s turned to writing. A natural sciences passion throughout his lifetime is evinced in his art and writing.

Additional writing by the author and others as well as book reviews and artworks, all on a natural world theme, can be found at https://lgcullens.com along with a contact form.

1969 by Sea Gudinski 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 searching for a way out of her current life finds herself experiencing a historic moment in time in author Sea Gudinski’s “1969”.

The Synopsis

Take a trip down the rabbit hole without ever leaving the comfort of your living room…This is a novel in which history meets science fiction and psychedelics meet spirituality through a seamless blend of fact and fantasy. 1969: A Brief and Beautiful Trip Back is one girl’s account of her fantastic and unique experience of the hippie counterculture and how it changed her and those around her for the rest of their lives. From a run-of-the-mill existence in the ultra-conservative town of Fresno, California, formerly naïve teenager and rock devotee Rhiannon Karlson takes the trip of a lifetime after a drug dealer sells her a particularly potent and mysterious substance, sparking her unparalleled journey of soul-searching, consciousness-expansion, and unyielding search for the Truth. The rest, you may say, is history.

The Review

This was a beautiful and well written story that really did an amazing take on the historical fiction genre. The story does a great job of capturing the era of the period, both the highs and the lows.

The cast of characters really stole the show with fully fleshed out storylines and histories that made them come alive off the page. The protagonist goes on a fully realized journey of growth and understanding that many readers will recognize as a journey they themselves took. It’s a wonderfully relatable story for a historical fiction novel.

The Verdict

An engaging, lengthy yet powerful story, author Sea Gudinski’s “1969” is a must read book that speaks to the heart and spirit of the era. A brilliant historical fiction, this is the perfect book for fans of rock music, historical moments of the past century and emotional storytelling with relatable and powerful characters. Be sure to grab your copy of this book today.

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Sea Gudinski is a life-long native of the small town of Holmdel, New Jersey. She has written prolifically since the age of ten, producing six novels and one collection of poetry. 1969: A Brief and Beautiful Trip Back is her first published work. She is an avid reader and a lover of all things historical. With a wide breadth of knowledge and an unquenchable desire to learn she has delved into several eras in recent history with the hope of shedding some light on the issues faced in today’s world. Her works are a delightful marriage of fact and fiction, peopled with vibrant characters, each with a unique and meaningful story to tell. She writes with depth and passion in the hope that her work will inspire others the way other literary works have inspired her.Sea graduated Holmdel High School with high honors; however, she chose not to go to college and manages her family business instead. When she is not writing, she enjoys listening to old radio programs and live music and playing gin rummy.

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

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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Man on Edge (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 2) by Humphrey Hawksley 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 finds her only means of survival in an enemy state is her former fiancee as the clock races in author Humphrey Hawksley’s “Man on Edge (A Rake Ozenna Thriller Book 2)”. 

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The Synopsis

A tense and twisting espionage thriller involving state secrets, lethal assassins and the threat of a new Cold War.

Trauma surgeon Carrie Walker is taken aback when her estranged uncle makes contact out of the blue. Senior Russian naval officer Artyom Semenov claims to be in possession of an explosive piece of information which he is offering to share with the West. But can he be trusted?

Travelling to Moscow undercover to meet with Semenov, Carrie finds herself stranded when the carefully-planned operation goes catastrophically awry. In grave danger, there’s only one person she can turn to for help: her former fiancé, Major Rake Ozenna of the Alaska National Guard.

Aware how vital it is that he reaches Carrie before others do, Rake knows he’s pitted against a powerful and lethal enemy. But is it a rogue agent – or the Russian state? As preparations gather pace for a high-profile NATO exercise off the Norwegian coast, Rake must act fast if he is to prevent a global catastrophe.

The Review

An action-packed thriller, author Humphrey Hawksley has created a thrill ride of a novel. While I haven’t read the first book in the series, the author does a great job of gleaning into the backstory and history established in the first novel enough to create a clear picture of the major players of the narrative and their roles. 

The buildup of suspense and heart-pounding action is equally matched to witty banter between characters and powerful character growth throughout the novel as well. Playing into the government agent versus the world theme, the author blends the shadowy government operations of a good thriller with the personal ups and downs of protagonist Rake and his on and off romance with Carrie. The backdrop of Russia and the surrounding areas felt relevant to the current political scene in the world, creating a deeper connection to the action of the novel’s plot overall. 

The Verdict

A one of a kind read author Humphrey Hawksley has created a tension-filled, action-packed narrative that is not to be missed. An evenly paced read with steady character arcs and a great flow overall, everyone should grab their copies of “Man on Edge”, the second book in the Rake Ozenna Thriller series, today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Humphrey Hawksley’s brand-new international thriller series begins in paperback in October 2019 with MAN ON ICE a knuckle-whitening drama set on the remote and wild US-Russian border. In early, 2020 comes the nail-biting MAN ON EDGE set on the Norway-Russian border followed in 2021 by MAN ON FIRE whose location is yet to disclosed. Rake Ozenna, a native of Little Diomede island in Alaska is the series hero. Each thriller includes trauma surgeon, Dr Carrie Walker, American intelligence contractor, Harry Lucas, and his ex-wife, British businesswoman and diplomat, Stephanie Lucas.

Humphrey’s thrillers have been widely praised. Steve Berry describes ‘authentic settings, non-stop action’ from MAN ON ICE. Lee Child speaks of SECURITY BREACH as ‘high stakes, high octane’ and Alan Furst as a ‘hard-driving, a good taut thriller’ — right back to the first future history thriller DRAGON STRIKE: THE MILLENNIUM WAR which Steve Coonts hailed as ‘ominous and insightful.’

His recent non-fiction ASIAN WATERS: THE STRUGGLE OVER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND THE STRATEGY OF CHINESE EXPANSION has been acclaimed on every continent by those at the heart of global decision-making, such as Indian cabinet minister, Hardeep Puri; the last governor of Hong Kong Baron Lord Patten of Barnes; and Dr Wu Shicun, President of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies. China’s rise is a fast developing story, and Humphrey is currently working on an updated edition which is due out in June 2020.

Humphrey’s work as a BBC foreign correspondent has taken him all over the world with postings in Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Delhi and Colombo. He has contributed to ABC, National Public Radio and other networks in the United States and global publication of his work includes the Financial Times, New York Times, Yale Global, Nikkei Asian Review and others.

http://www.humphreyhawksley.com/