Tag Archives: review

Batman: The Audio Adventures Review

In honor of Batman Day, I thought I’d share this incredible new podcast series that DC Comics fans will not want to miss. HBO Max has decided to bring their own creative spin on iconic and classic radio show style programming and fusing the lore and history of DC Comics into the narrative in their latest project, Batman: The Audio Adventures!

Advertisements

The Synopsis

A tale of life and death in Gotham City. After years of vigilante crime fighting, Batman prepares  to become an official Gotham member of the Gotham City Police Department, deepening the rift between himself and Catwoman, who’s been using Gotham criminals as her personal ATM. Meanwhile, Two-Face is deteriorating, his two halves at war and his obsession with duality out of control — which his rival the Penguin is more than happy to take advantage of. The Riddler, after years in the shadow of Batman’s A-list foes, is desperate to have his work taken seriously. And the Joker has big, big plans for Valentine’s day… #Batman

The Review

I was enthralled with this engaging series from the very start. Having listened to the first couple of episodes, I can say the writers and actors have produced a truly haunting and entertaining series. The actors manage to create a very cinematic quality to this audio series, bringing such a strong energy to the narrative that it crafts an image in the author’s mind as each story within the episodes play out. 

The format of this audio series itself is what really drew me into the story. The creators managed to capture the engaging and entertaining quality of classic radio shows from the 1920’s, crafting imagery of the family surrounding the radios in their home as prolific narrators paint an image of the story in the listeners minds. It also managed to craft a well-rounded insight into Gotham City itself, including commercials and ads that brought the Batman mythos into the story. Gotham’s vibrancy and clash with chilling and gritty imagery comes through perfectly in the delivery of this series, making this series highly creative.

Advertisements

The Verdict

A memorable, iconic, and mythological new dive deep into the bowels of Gotham City, HBO Max and DC Comics new series, “Batman: The Audio Adventures”, is a brilliant work of art in a new medium that fans of the characters and comics will be able to get behind. Capturing the very noir atmosphere that classic radio shows always had, this series promises to give readers the much-needed dose of Batman they need in this time of isolation in our needed quarantine, and will entertain listeners for sure. If you haven’t yet, listen to the audio series today!

Rating: 10/10

Stream Batman: The Audio Adventures on September 18 on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max

The series stars Jeffrey Wright as Batman, Rosario Dawson as Catwoman, and John Leguizamo as The Riddler, and includes a number of SNL alums and A-List actors. 

An Impossible Promise (Providence Falls #2) by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets Review

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

A man out of time must choose between a moment of happiness with the woman he loves or his soul and his true love’s own true love in authors Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets’s “An Impossible Promise”, the second book in the Providence Falls series. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis 

Book 2 in the Providence Falls Trilogy. Outlander meets The Lake House (movie) in this epic love story that crosses continents and centuries. Master storyteller Jude Deveraux joins forces with up and coming author Tara Sheets to create a series that will appeal to women’s fiction and romance readers alike. A rogue thief in 1840s Ireland is sent by angels to a contemporary small town in America to make amends for his crimes in the past. Forbidden to tell anyone why he is there he must convince the woman he loves to marry another man or be damned for eternity.

In one century she loved him madly, and in another she wants nothing to do with him

In this second book of a trilogy, the story of Liam O’Connor and Cora McLeod continues. While they were lovers in the past, things are very different in the present. Liam and Cora are both police officers and roommates in Providence Falls, North Carolina. Liam is trying to do as the angels have commanded–make sure Cora falls in love with another man—but Cora is not the impressionable innocent girl Liam remembers. She’s strong and smart and not easily manipulated. Liam is forced to face the truth about himself as he comes to realize that he truly isn’t the right man for Cora. But, as Liam is coming to that conclusion, Cora is starting to see him in a new light.

Liam wants Cora for himself, but with his soul hanging in the balance, he must choose between a stolen moment in time or an eternity of damnation.

An Impossible Promise is romantic, fun and pure escape.

The Review

What a fascinating and engaging read! The author brilliantly finds a balance between passionate romance and mystery, drawing in a multitude of readers who can find a connection to it. The history, the more supernatural elements to the past-lives and destiny aspect of the narrative, and even the romance all sang in perfect harmony with one another as the story progressed, creating a perfect fusion of genres that many fans of contemporary women’s fiction and romance will love. 

The characters really were the heart of this narrative. The growth that each of these characters saw and the torn feelings of the protagonists really tugged at the heartstrings as the question of whether passion and love could matter more than destiny and romance took center stage. Getting to see Liam find his reflection in newcomer Magnus and seeing Liam’s evolution as a result of this was amazing character writing on the author’s part, and really drew me into the narrative further.

The Verdict

A heartfelt, engaging, and soulful read, author Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets’s “An Impossible Promise” is a must-read contemporary romance of 2021. The perfect follow-up to the first book in this series, the authors did a great job of crafting a story that could stand on its own while providing fans of the series a new series of twists and turns in the growing mystery and leaves a massive cliffhanger that will leave fans and Liam both shocked at the importance of Cora’s destiny. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Authors

Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide. Jude lives in Kansas City, Missouri

Tara Sheets is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her work has earned first place recognition in literary contests nationwide, and her debut novel, DON’T CALL ME CUPCAKE, won the 2016 Golden Heart® award sponsored by Romance Writers of America. Tara lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/an-impossible-promise/9780778332084

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/077833208X/thebookreport01 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-impossible-promise-jude-deveraux/1138489641?ean=9780778332084

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Impossible-Promise/Jude-Deveraux/9780778332084

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08QZ29VZ5/thebookreport01

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/an-impossible-promise/id1545574010?itsct=books_box_link&itscg=30200&ct=books_an_impossible_promise&ls=1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jude_Deveraux_An_Impossible_Promise?id=Ud4PEAAAQBAJ

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-impossible-promise-jude-tara-deveraux-sheets/1138876782?ean=9780369703071

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/an-impossible-promise

SOCIAL LINKS:

JUDE DEVERAUX:

Author website: https://judedeveraux.com/

Twitter: @JudeDeveraux1      

Facebook: https://facebook.com/224518397561073 

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/28574.Jude_Deveraux 

TARA SHEETS:

Author website: https://tarasheets.com/

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17082616.Tara_Sheets 

Here is an Exclusive Excerpt from “An Impossible Promise”

PROLOGUE

THE CELESTIAL CHAMBER OF JUDGMENT WAS not cozy by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the time it appeared to be nothing more than white roiling walls of mist, which the angel Agon found downright dreary. But his associate Samael deemed it necessary, believing that human souls facing judgment were better off with no distractions. This was probably why Samael’s face was now scrunched in open disapproval—an expression Agon had grown used to over the centuries.

“What,” Samael demanded, pointing an elegant finger at the object against the chamber wall, “is that?” With his blond ringlets and cherub cheeks, he looked like a Renaissance painting of a frazzled choir boy.

It made Agon want to smile, but he refrained. For an angel as old as himself, he’d learned a thing or two. Instead, he drew up to his full height, impressive even by angelic standards, and stretched his snowy wings wide. “It’s called a recliner,” he said cheerfully. “For sitting and resting. Very comforting to humans, from what I gather.”

Samael looked incredulous. “I’ve told you before, this is no place of solace. Human souls are summoned here to face judgment, and not all of them are headed to a comfortable destination.”

“True.” Agon sat on the edge of the overstuffed chair, swiveling left, then right. “But I see no harm in offering them a place to rest while we review their lives. If nothing else, it will provide an alternative to their usual pacing and wringing of hands and stumbling about in distress. It is pitiable when they do that, you must admit.”

Samael sighed, shook his head and turned toward the wall of mist. A good sign, Agon decided. For now, it seemed the new chair could stay. Perhaps later he could bring in a few other earthly things to liven up the place, but what was that human expression? Ah, yes. Baby steps.

“We haven’t time for your antics,” Samael muttered, waving a hand at the wall of mist. “Our wayward rogue is about to learn a valuable lesson.” 

The mist cleared, revealing a city street at night. A swarthy stranger in a black leather jacket and designer jeans pulled his motorcycle to a stop outside a sports bar.

Agon rose from the chair and went to stand beside Samael as they watched the scene unfold. “You’re sure this man is just like Liam O’Connor?”

“He has all the same traits as the rogue,” Samael said. “The arrogance, the selfish motives, the questionable morals. He wasn’t originally scheduled to cross paths with Liam, but it was easy enough to arrange.” 

Agon tilted his dark head, studying the man who was now sauntering toward the entrance of the bar. A neon sign that read ROOKIES blinked above the door. “And you’re certain introducing this man to Liam will serve a useful purpose?”

Samael crossed his arms. “It will be good for Liam to see his own personality traits reflected in someone else. Perhaps then, through serious introspection, the rogue will realize his many faults and be at peace with the task we’ve given him.”

“Perhaps,” Agon said, though he wasn’t so sure. Liam O’Connor and peace did not seem to mix. The man was hell-bent on winning Cora McLeod for himself, no matter how much he assured the angels he was trying to help Cora achieve her true destiny by marrying Finley Walsh. Agon knew what desperation looked like in a man’s eyes, and paired with determination, it could be a dangerous combination. Liam had both in abundance. “I hope it works. He only has two months left to achieve his task.”

Samael let out a huff. “It has to work. We can’t interfere with his free will, and this is the last thing I could think of to help steer him in the right direction. We’ve already agreed to some of the ‘boosts’ he’s asked for. Rudimentary computer knowledge. Fair warning when we plan to visit. We’ve even made it so he’d no longer feel pain whenever he and Cora touch.” He gave Agon a stern look. “That last one was only because you advocated so strongly on his behalf.”

“I think we can trust him to make the right decisions,” Agon said. “I know he seems like a lost cause, but let us have faith that he will prevail.”

“Mmm, faith,” Samael said as they watched the tall man disappear into the bar. “In a rogue. What could possibly go wrong?”

Excerpted from An Impossible Promise by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets. Copyright © 2021 by Deveraux Inc. Published by MIRA Books. 

Surfing with the Bishop: A Funny Business Novel by Jeff Costello Review

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

A man must find it within himself to save the company he’s poured his life into after his boss and mentor passes away, and his children begin the process of selling off the business in author Jeff Costello’s “Surfing with the Bishop: A Funny Business Novel”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

“A hilariously fun read loaded with relatable characters and laugh-out-loud moments that’s so damn entertaining, you’ll wish you worked with these people. Buckle up for a white-knuckle ride that will remind you of the best companies you’ve ever worked for and the worst.”

Tim Shiner, Entrepreneur and author of 50 Things They Didn’t Teach You in School!

Business owners die, heirs sell, and companies disappear. It happens all the time. But, when Grayson Quinn’s mentor Big Bill passes away – and his daughters quickly decide to sell off their father’s legacy – the burden of saving the company and the livelihood of so many others falls to Grayson.

To succeed, he must accomplish the seemingly impossible. It will take all of Grayson’s ingenuity to overcome insanely bad marketing, negotiate without money, and outwit obnoxious competitors who want to buy the company and steal his business, not necessarily in that order.

Hidden motives drive critical decisions, as Grayson is caught in the middle with little understanding of anyone’s true intentions. Business as usual is his directive to anyone who will listen, but there’s nothing usual about the final days of Martlet Visionary Products.

The Review

The author did a marvelous job of creating a unique reading experience that focuses on high-stakes business operations while also crafting memorable characters that readers will feel invested in. The amount of detail the author poured into the characters was amazing to see, as the business world felt alive and vibrant in the author’s novel, as did the businessmen and women who brought this company to life. The way the author infused humor and wit into the character’s interactions within this office setting and the issues protagonist Grayson faced were well-rounded and entertaining to see unfold.

Yet it was the tone and world-building the author did that really made this novel come alive. It is such a unique story as it really hones in onto the business theme and had detailed accounts of how the business side of things ran, elevating the characters and their own struggles as the story went on. Layering this into a story of loss and overcoming insurmountable odds, along with the theme of legacy, made this story really shine brightly.

The Verdict

A memorable, original, and highly creative read, author Jeff Costello’s “Surfing with the Bishop” is a must-read contemporary fiction novel. The funny interactions between the characters within this business world and the layered world and character growth the author introduced will definitely have readers enthralled, making this a brilliant feat of storytelling. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Jeff Costello served as a senior sales executive for 30-plus years, driving billions of dollars of revenue from emerging technology markets. He’s led worldwide sales teams that supported partners in over 100 different countries and participated in numerous company acquisitions. Having entertained customers for decades, he’s often boasted that he has, “fed more people than Mother Teresa, or at the very least, served better wine.” Jeff lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with his wife, Trina, and their dogs, Bentley and Bo. 

Author website

https://jeffreybcostello.com/

Social Links

https://www.facebook.com/jeff.costello.7

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jecostello/

Amazon Buy Links

Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/dp/1737501902

Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BT7C9YP

Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted Review

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

As a young woman starts falling hard for a man she meets while on vacation with her mother in Ireland, and her mother must not only contend with helping her daughter but deciding how much to sacrifice for her own love in author Gail Ward Olmsted’s “Driving on the Left”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

A trip of a lifetime and a love that changes everything…

Becca Colby was not expecting to fall in love while vacationing in Ireland with her mother, yet she falls hard for sexy tour guide Sean Donovan. He’s everything she never knew she wanted, but a summer fling is a complication that she really doesn’t need right now. Becca’s got a life waiting for her back home, but Sean may be just too good to resist.

Her mom Jackie knows all too well how a seductive stranger can change the entire course of your life, so how can she advise her daughter to resist Sean’s charms? And besides, Jackie has a problem of her own. She needs to decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice for the man she loves.

Driving on the Left celebrates the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter: two women with only one week to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives as they travel through the beautiful Irish countryside.

The Review

What a whirlwind story! The author does an incredible job of writing a story that both newcomers and established readers alike will love, as the narrative focuses on Jackie 20 years after the author’s previous book, Jeep Tour, and brings Jackie’s daughter in as the dual protagonist of this tale. The imagery that comes with any book set in a beautiful travel location such as Ireland is incredibly vivid as the author takes readers through the sites and brings fresh emotions and a balanced tone of light-hearted bonding and passionate romance. 

It is the bond of a mother and daughter that really makes up the core of this story. Both protagonists, Jackie and Becca, are struggling with their own set of problems in their lives. The way the author balances out their own struggles with the relationship that keeps them together and allows Jackie to see herself in her daughter is the emotional lynchpin that keeps this narrative together. The way the author paints the similarities to the first book’s narrative, (i.e., Jackie’s experiences) and the differences with Becca’s journey make this story so engaging to read.

The Verdict

An emotional, bonding, and entertaining women’s fiction and romance novel, author Gail Ward Olmsted’s “Driving on the Left” is a must-read novel. The relatable cast of characters that make up the protagonist’s story and the emotional bond between mother and daughter and the highs and lows that come with that will have readers enthralled and relating heavily to the narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Gail Ward Olmsted was a marketing executive and a college professor before she began writing fiction on a fulltime basis. A trip to Sedona, AZ inspired her first novel Jeep Tour. Three more novels followed before she began Landscape of a Marriage, a biographical work of fiction featuring landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a distant cousin of her husband’s, and his wife Mary.

For more information, please visit her on Facebook and at GailOlmsted.com.

Twitter https://www.twitter.com/gwolmsted

Facebook   www.facebook.com/gailolmstedauthor 

Email  gwolmsted@gmail.com

Amazon  www.amazon.com/author/gailolmsted

Goodreads   

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8158738.Gail_Ward_Olmsted

Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Break Your Bondage to the Past and Live a Life You Love by Denise Bossarte Review

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

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS BOOK INCLUDES MATERIAL AROUND TOPICS OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE, SUICIDAL IDEATION, AND EATING DISORDERS. READER DISCRETION ADVISED…

Author Denise Bossarte shares a personal tale of trauma, recovery, and healing in the face of sexual abuse in her self-help book, “Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Break Your Bondage to the Past and Live a Life You Love.”

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Indie Feature August 1, 2021 Kirkus Reviews
“A heartfelt and informative guide to recovery with searing literary recollections.” ~Kirkus Reviews

Nonfiction Book Awards GOLD AWARD winner

2021 Kindle Book Awards The Best of Indie semi-finalist


Quarterfinalist in the 2019 BookLife Prize Nonfiction Contest, Self-help Category

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

Thriving After Sexual Abuse is an eloquent and empathetic self-development book laying out a blueprint for survivors to heal themselves. Denise Bossarte writes with fierce candor as she shares her own traumatic experience with childhood sexual abuse. Thriving provides tips and suggestions for readers to seek help, self-reflect, and pursue healing through a range of activities and practices and offers tangible strategies for readers to reclaim their lives and move forward to a life of Thriving.

“Bossarte reveals vividly personal, harrowing recollections from a long span of her young years, contrasting those dark years and their negative effect on her personal growth with a plethora of resources for accessing professional guidance and unlocking inner determination. While not glossing over how difficult a path this can be, her book proffers hope and pragmatic solutions to anyone recovering from severe trauma. In a book that is at once deeply honest and informative, Bossarte examines the most difficult of subjects with grace, sensitivity, and profound empathy for survivors, which makes this book an essential guide for the process of healing.” ~Self-Publishing Review

Well-written, thought-provoking, and sensitive, Bossarte’s Thriving After Sexual Abuse is a guidebook for a wide audience of readers who will immediately recognize its value whether they are survivors themselves or know someone who is.” ~Nonfiction Book Awards

The Review

This was an incredibly powerful and moving read. It’s really hard not to get emotional reading this book, even if you yourself as a reader have not experienced this kind of trauma. The likelihood of knowing someone who has gone through this is high, whether it be a family member or close friend, and witnessing the pain someone you love is in due to this kind of trauma can be really difficult and heartbreaking to witness. 

Yet it was the powerful message that the author’s book gave that brought hope and strength to this book’s theme and narrative. The author’s ability to relay her own traumatic experiences while speaking with an authoritative voice and expertise highlights the techniques that can help other survivors to move beyond the trauma and find the things that bring them joy again in the world. Even the message on forgiveness is such an important topic, as it relates to how to find forgiveness for yourself for the false faults you found within yourself and instead keep the blame where it belongs, with the abuser. The way the author writes also allows for the reader to work on these techniques themselves, giving them the tools and practices they need to find their own path to heal and regain happiness in their lives.

The Verdict

A heartfelt, emotional, and memorable read, author Denise Bossarte’s “Thriving After Sexual Abuse” is a must-read book for survivors and readers alike. The honesty and engaging way the author not only relays her story but balances that out with lessons and techniques found through experience to help those who have had to deal with this kind of trauma is truly incredible and amazing to see unfold, as it shows the strength and work that goes into overcoming trauma and coming out the other side on a brighter note. If you are looking for a nonfiction read that shares a tale of pain and triumph in the face of trauma, then you have to grab your own copy of this powerful read today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Denise Bossarte is an award-winning author, poet, and photographer and artist whose passion is sharing the worlds of her mind and camera. Her daytime job in IT helps to keep the household running.

She enjoys writing, teaching Miksang contemplative photography workshops, and going on photo shoots to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary world.

She teaches and photographs near her home in Texas.

www.gracebishopnovels.com

www.doyourartyourway.com

www.denisebossartebooks.com 

Broken Pieces of God by David Seaburn Review

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

A family reeling from setbacks and tragedies must find a way of banding together to face the darkness in author David Seaburn’s domestic drama, “Broken Pieces of God”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

In Broken Pieces of God David B. Seaburn returns to the domestic arena to explore the complex and extraordinary lives of an ordinary American couple, Eddy and Gayle Kimes. Eddy, a supervisor for a cable company, loses his job. Gayle, a tax accountant, is recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unemployment, failed chemotherapy, and no insurance bring them to life’s precipice. Desperate, Eddy turns to a statue of Jesus, seeking a miracle, while Gayle dives deeper into a scheme she has been concocting for twenty-five years.

In the meantime, their adult offspring, Rich and Sandy, grapple with the aftershock of a tragic incident that has shadowed their lives since high school. What will happen when their secret is revealed?

At the eleventh hour, Gayle re-enters treatment and the family pulls together. Will it be too late?

This is a story of resilience in the face of uncertainty, hope in the midst of darkness, and family ties strengthened by life’s vicissitudes. 

The Review

The author does a fantastic job of relaying the paths we take in the face of overwhelming hardship, struggle, and pain, and how families each struggling with their own issues can come together to face the future with hope in the face of darkness. The author writes in a way that feels relatable and personal all at once, crafting a gripping tale that embodies life’s greatest trials and tribulations, and how people search for help or solutions from various sources, whether that be faith, family, or a little of both.

The character development was what really sealed the emotional pull this reader had with the story. The author perfectly captures the emotional depth of each character, highlighting the real-world struggles that many readers will be able to identify with while crafting a story that is engaging and pulls the reader in full-throttle. The blend of family dynamics and personal turmoil, and the family’s push to come to terms with the events of their lives was a whirlwind of emotional ups and downs as the reader became invested in this narrative. 

The Verdict

A heartfelt, gripping, and emotionally driven narrative, author David Seaburn’s “Broken Pieces of God” is a must-read drama this fall. The relatability of the characters and their plights will become super relatable to readers, while the narrative and the balance of faith and family in the midst of crisis will touch a lot of reader’s hearts. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

David B. Seaburn is the author of seven novels with his eighth, Broken Pieces of God, being released in September 2021.

David’s first publication was a series of poems when he was in seminary at Boston University (1972-75). He continued writing while serving a church for six years, mostly short stories, plays, songs, essays and two manuscripts of inspirational prose.   

He entered the field of marriage and family therapy in 1986 and was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center where he did extensive academic writing.  During this period, he co-authored two professional books and wrote over 60 papers and book chapters.

He started writing fiction in 2000, completing his first novel, Darkness is as Light, in 2001. It was published in 2005. 

Since then, David has been busy: Pumpkin Hill (2005), Charlie No Face(2007), Chimney Bluffs (2012), More More Time (2015), Parrot Talk (2017), and Gavin Goode (2019).

He has also written and co-written numerous non-fiction pieces some ofwhich are listed on the Other Publications Page.

www.davidbseaburn.com

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/going-out-not-knowing

Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story by Lilliam Rivera (Illustrated by Steph C.) Review

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

One of DC Comics best and most beloved characters of the past decade takes center stage in an original story that puts her in the midst of the immigration debate as she struggles with whether or not to stay in the United States and strange visions of Aztec gods in author Lilliam Rivera’s “Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera and artist Steph C. reimagine one of DC’s greatest Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz, to tell a story about immigration, family, and overcoming fear to inspire hope.

Jessica Cruz has done everything right. She’s a dedicated student, popular among her classmates, and has a loving family that has done everything they can to give her a better life in the United States. While Jessica is a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowing her to go to school and live in the U.S., her parents are undocumented. Jessica usually worries for her parents, but her fears and anxiety escalate as a mayoral candidate with a strong anti-immigration stance runs for office.

As the xenophobia in Coast City increases, Jessica begins to debate whether it’s worth renewing her status to stay in the U.S., or if her family would be safer and better off moving back to Mexico. And despite her attempts to lean on her friends and family, she finds herself constantly visited by visions of Aztec gods, one pulling her towards hope and the other towards anger.

But when her father is detained by I.C.E., Jessica finds herself being pulled into an abyss of fear. With her father gone and feeling helpless, Jessica must find her way out of her fears and ultimately become a voice for her community. 

The Review

What a powerful and engaging new take on the iconic Green Lantern character. This was a fantastic story that really captured the struggle and strength of the Latino community, especially when the debate over immigration has never been higher in recent years. Jessica Cruz is the perfect character to bring this fight for justice and equality to light, as her DC Comics history played into the battle between fear and hope that her character has embodied since her introduction. As a half-Latino man whose late grandfather came to this country as a young child and built a family of his own through dedication and hard work, the cultural element and the familial bonds that Jessica had not only with her parents but her community as a whole really spoke to me, as these core values are something I was taught at an early age.

The fantastic blend of DC Comics character mythology, history, and Aztec mythology was amazing to see come to life here. The visions that Jessica had really did a great job of highlighting the inner-struggle of her character between fear and hope, and seeing things like side character John Stewart come into play and her father’s lessons really made this story shine brightly. The artwork itself was so engaging, striking amazing contrasts between the light and darkness that Jessica struggled with and which settled over Coast City as immigration and politics took more and more of a prominent role in the community. The warmth that the artwork seemed to invoke really spoke to me and helped convey the message clearly.

The Verdict

A brilliant, heartfelt, and refreshing new take on a personal favorite and iconic DC Comics hero, author Lilliam Rivera and artist Steph C.’s “Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story”, is a must-read graphic novel and a contender or graphic novel of the year. DC Comics showcases a brilliant eye for talent as both the artist and the author did an incredible job of relaying a new take on some fan favorite characters and their history while also bringing an important topic and theme to life in a way that can highlight the issues without sacrificing entertainment and relatability. If you haven’t yet, grab your own copy of this amazing story today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning author of children’s books including her latest Never Look Back, a retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice set in New York by Bloomsbury Publishing. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Elle, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.

https://www.lilliamrivera.com/

Advertisements

About the Illustrator

Steph C. is a Mexican artist and illustrator mainly know for  her stylish characters that evoque a vibrant sensation within story and design whit a sense of geometry and sharp compositions. My goal is to inspire others through the power of creation!

https://thestephc.weebly.com/

https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/steph_c/

https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/unearthed-a-jessica-cruz-story

Dear Arlo: Adventures in Dadding by Tom Kreffer Review

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

Author Tom Kreffer returns with his unique brand of humorous and relatable anecdotes as he explores the first year of fatherhood in his latest book, “Dear Arlo”, the second book in his Adventures in Dadding series.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

It begins immediately.

There’s no transition period, no trial run, no supervised training, no e-learning module and no simulation that you can f**k up as many times as you need to until you get it right.

As soon as the midwife hands you your newborn baby, you are responsible for keeping it alive.

Picking up moments after Dear Dory ends, Dear Arlo: Adventures in Dadding continues the story of one dad and his journal as he strives to survive the first year of parenthood, blundering his way through bottle-sterilising, night feeds and some cataclysmic nappy changes – all while a pandemic sweeps across the planet.

WARNING: ONCE AGAIN, THIS BOOK CONTAINS A LOT OF SWEARING

The Review

This was a brilliant follow-up to the author’s first novel, Dear Dory. Where the first book followed the journey of pregnancy and expecting to become a father, Dear Arlo expertly navigates the real-life feelings and experiences that one encounters in their first year of fatherhood. The humor and wit in which the author infuses his personality into the real-life experiences of being a parent for the first time.

From the first moments of bliss you feel upon holding your child for the first time, to the anxiety of getting your child home for the first time, forgetful trips at the market, and even those moments away from home at work, missing your family dearly, the author finds a balance between his humorous writing style with realism that touches upon the emotional experience parenthood has. 

The challenges and anxiety-ridden feelings that come up during that first year, in particular, are captured exceptionally, and yet the magic and excitement and love that comes from seeing your child grow is infused naturally into the narrative, making this story shine so brightly.

The Verdict

A remarkable, engaging, and thoughtful nonfiction read on parenthood, author Tom Kreffer’s “Dear Arlo” is a must-read of 2021. The unique thing about this book is that the author doesn’t write it like a “how-to” guide on parenthood or give instruction on how you should be a father. Instead, the book comes to life as a memoir-style narrative that gives a more personal and emotional touch to the subject. Heartfelt in its delivery, be sure you grab your own copy of this fantastic book today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Tom Kreffer is the author of Dear Dory: Journal of a Soon-to-be First-time DadDear Arlo: Adventures in Dadding and the creator of the Adventures in Dadding Newsletter. He love Star Wars and Marvel movies and he has a degree in film and television that he strongly believes is worth less than a second-hand toothbrush.

He lives in Northampton, England with his family, whom he intends to exploit for many more story opportunities in the years to come.

Visit www.tomkreffer.com for updates on Tom, his books and his events

https://books2read.com/u/b5oBWp

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09G1V9WGF?tag=https://amzn.to/2NiJEoQ

Gaslight Paradise by Walrus Review

Three people discover how far they would go to live forever as they discover the sinister motivations behind an innocent seeming party in author Walrus’s “Gaslight Paradise”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

What would you do to live forever? Three very different people contemplate this question after it is posed to them at a lavish party where everything is more sinister than it seems.

The Review

This was the perfect fusion of otherworldly fantasy, historically-driven sci-fi, and old-time mystery thriller horror stories all in one delicious literary bite. The authors known as Walrus have perfectly captured both a humorous tone amongst the cast of characters and their interactions with one another and a haunting note of terror in the spine-chilling behavior of the “party hosts”. 

The mystery of the doors that take the trio of protagonists to this “party” is inviting and entertaining, to say the least. The author’s ability to translate fantasy, horror, and sci-fi in a mature and adult way was great to see, as so many stories delve into the YA world for these genres that getting a more adult turn in this genre was a breath of fresh air. 

The Verdict

A heart-pounding, chilling, and engaging sci-fi and fantasy read, authors Walrus and their book, “Gaslight Paradise” is a must-read novel. The story is invigorating and does a great job of adding a new twist on the class thriller-mystery genre. The shocking revelation of this party’s origin will stay with readers long after the book’s end, and the cliffhanger of an ending is open-ended enough for fans to want more but mysterious enough to be a brilliant conclusion as well. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Walrus was once believed to be an urban legend. Very little is known other than Walrus is said to sleep very little, eat very much, and write far more than is healthy for the normal mind.

To bestow a great story on the world is Walrus’ only wish.

https://mindofwalrus.weebly.com/