Love and Mutiny: Tales from British India #bookreview @annegeorgebooks

First sentence: Edwina Hardingham stared, transfixed, as the rain pattered relentlessly on the enormously tall windows of her sister’s home in the city of Calcutta in India.

About the story: When Edwina Hardingham meets the dashing Mr. Grayson, she soon finds herself and her heart tangled in a blossoming romance. However a mutiny breaks out with the rebels seizing control of the Indian government ammunition and property. Edwina and her family are now dreading the fate of their family.

My thoughts: The way Love and Mutiny: Tales from the British India was written reminded me a lot of one of my favorite authors…Jane Austen. It made me enjoy the story even more. There are some books that put me in awe as I read, and I’m pleased to say this is one of them. Anne George has a way of taking you back in time to the 1800s. The book was written through the eyes of a British family who made their home in India. The characters are very well-developed, and the storytelling was even more so. The suspense kept my attention from the beginning until I reached the ending. It was very obvious that Anne George has done her research on the historical aspect. If you love the old-fashioned way of writing with a bit of romance and danger mixed within, then you won’t regret picking up this book. I know I’m glad I read it, and I’m looking forward to more releases from this author!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here!

*For more reviews, visit: Angela Kay’s Books*

A little bit about the author: Hello and welcome! I am so glad you stopped by. I am a newly published author and have just released my maiden novel, “Love and Mutiny: Tales from British India.” I hope you have had the opportunity to read it. If you read it, I hope you liked it! I constantly tend to imagine myself in the shoes of the people I read about, much to the chagrin of my family (it makes for some drama when I read something sad). Perhaps this is why I love reading historical fiction. The human experience appears to have common threads across distance and time that weave our worldviews collectively. Putting myself into the shoes (or corsets) of people from times and places faraway crystallizes their life experiences in my mind. This might also explain why I love art and literature that is full of joy. When I read for pleasure, I wish to be entertained, above all else (I do read for enlightenment, but that is a different subject all together). Is it because of the hectic pace of modern living? Perhaps we have so little time and are forced to condense moments of joy into intense little segments. Consequently, when I write, I hope to paint a picture for my reader that evokes joy and tranquility. When they read my books, I wish for them to enjoy, very simply, the story. I hope to keep writing the kinds of books that you prolong the reading of, savoring each page, like a delicious morsel of dessert that you allow to linger on your tongue for just a second longer, before you swallow it. I hope you will take the time to connect with me about my book. You are also welcome to visit my website at http://www.annegeorgebooks.com.

The Maker #Bookreview

36642652First paragraph: It starts as a half-moon with a braided cord hanging from the bottom. Wavy strings grow from the cord. Tentacles. Kind of looks like a jellyfish. I add more curvy lines until they’re a thick maze slithering down the page. I close my eyes, focusing on the image in my mind. A lidless eye glares at me from the jellyfish’s back. With a sinking heart, I trace out every creepy detail.

About the story: Nate loves to draw. He gets the passion from his dad, who disappeared without a word six months ago. Before the story opens, Nate had come in possession of a drawing binder. He has no idea how it got to be on his windowsill. Regardless, it doesn’t take long for Nate to begin having strange visions, which he draws inside the binder. To make things even stranger in Nate’s life, strange creatures come in the night to steal the binder and throws Nate into the adventure of a lifetime. Not everything is all fun and games, though. The lives of planets and his parents rest on his shoulders—and he’s only a thirteen-year-old kid.

My thoughts: This was definitely a fun story. I’ve read a lot of books where I need to turn a few pages before I truly get into it, but this one sucked me in right away. The writing was taut, the adventure original and not a single slow paragraph to be found. I was amazed. Truly. This is definitely a story young teens would love; however, I believe any lover—whether teen or adult—of science fiction and fantasy would adore it. I know I did. Reading this book started my new year off on the right note.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here!

A little bit about the author: With the launch of my middle grade sci-fi novel The Maker, the release of my new illustrated chapter book Charlie Sparrow and the Book of Flight, and the re-release of Charlie Sparrow and the Secret of Flight, 2017 has been a busy year.

Besides writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, walking in nature, collecting records, reading, and travel (some pictures from my trips to Southeast Asia and Africa are featured on my author website http://www.dfandersonauthor.com).

I live in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, with my wife, daughter, and tabby cat, Neko.

Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3) #bookreview

  • Title: Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3)Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 222
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

You always know you’re reading a good book when you’ve finished it in one sitting without realizing it. Such was the case with me and Retaliation, the third installment of Aaron Hodges’ Praegressus Project series. Chris and his band of renegades are still on the run from the government. As to be expected, they are wary of who to trust, but they know they’re going to have to trust someone sometime if they are going to survive the nightmare they’ve been sucked inside.

It’d been a while since I’ve read Renegades, so I couldn’t remember how it ended, but thankfully, as always, we’re fed everything we need to know throughout this third novel. Piece by piece, I’d begun to recall the events of the previous two books. Book three feeds us a lot of action that keeps you flying across the pages, eager for more.

In my opinion, with every book Hodges’ puts out, he gets better in his writing. I do wonder, though how The Praegressus Project can be stretched into a total of five books before it starts to become too many in a series. However, I do love the premise, the action, and the characters, so I care enough to keep reading and find out. I also find that the Chead is an interesting concept. Scary, too. Even scarier that the government is so corrupt that they will stop at nothing to keep the truth behind the Chead a secret—including murder.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Today, his adventures continue…

River Rising (Carson Chronicles Book 1) #bookreview @johnheldt

  • Title: River Rising (Carson Chronicles Book 1)River Rising (Carson Chronicles Book 1) by [Heldt, John A.]
  • Author: John A. Heldt
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel

Meet the Carson family. The eldest of five siblings, Adam, comes across a letter written by his mother. In that letter, he finds that his parents, who had disappeared months before, did not actually vanish. Rather, his mother provides him with evidence that she and her husband, found a time portal in which they walked through in search of adventure. But, something went wrong. Now, it’s up to the Carson children: Adam, Natalie, Greg, and twins Caitlin and Cody, to find their parents and bring them home.

This is definitely my favorite of John A. Heldt’s novels. It’s the same in many ways, yet it’s different. It’s the same in a way that we read the adventures the characters have: they travel through time, make friends, fall in love. It’s different because in the previous novels (I’ve only read The American Journey series), which everything ties together in the final book, we learn about different characters with ties of the same professor. Here, it seems as if the series will continue the Carson family in search of the same thing: reuniting their family.

Because of this, we’re left with a cliffhanger, living it open for a second book. This isn’t to say that we’re left hanging. River Rising, full of love, heartbreak, adventure and action, ties almost everything together. It just leaves us eagerly waiting to continue the journey.

As usual, the writing is engaging and keeps us on our toes. My only grievance is the dialogue. Having read another series by the same author, I’ve come to be familiar with the same style in the dialogue, when I wish it would be different. Here’s an example. Throughout this book, and the previous series, the dialogue is similar to this (this is not necessarily the exact dialogue):

“I have something to give you,” Adam said.

“What is it?”

“I’ll show you,” Adam walked inside the house, then returns with a box. “I want you to have this.”

Or…

“They didn’t,” Hank said. “They didn’t tell me much of anything.”

In the first example, my thought is that if you’re going to give someone something, you don’t need to tell them you’ll show them. A “allow me a second to retrieve it” would have sufficed, and to me seem more realistic. The second example is that there is quite a bit of repetition in the dialogue. Normally, this wouldn’t bug me, however, the same happened throughout the previous five novels I’ve read. And with both the future characters and past characters doing it, it leaves little room for character growth.

However, the dialogue issue aside, I did truly love the story. I love how the author gradually includes real-life tragedies into the narrative. My eyes refused to leave my Kindle as I read the ending. Although some things were predictable, I did find several shocking moments.

I look forward to learning more about the Carson family and following them onto their next adventure as they search to reunite.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

Silent Fear #bookreview @SterlingGate @MorcanJames

  • Title: Silent FearSilent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]
  • Author: Lance and James Morcan
  • Print Length: 708
  • Publication Date: September 21, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Wow! This is definitely one heavily involved book! Silent Fear is based on a True Crime that took place in Gallaudet University between 1980 and early 2000s. In the book, not only does Detective Valerie Crowther has to deal with solving a series of murders inside London’s university for the deaf, but she ends up quarantined after one of the students falls victim to the Monkey Flu. The good thing is the killer is looked in the school as well. The bad thing is that there are more than 400 suspects that Valerie must weed through.

I felt the characters and the setting really shined. I truly liked Crowther. She’s a strong woman who cares deeply for those around her, whether or not she wants to admit it. She was once married to Chief Superintendent Mark Bennett and as a reader, it was obvious that they really cared for one another. The only thing I didn’t care for was the continuous mentioning that Bennett was Crowther’s ex. I was reminded too many times within the narrative and the dialogue. The supporting characters were interesting and kept the story moving along.

The writing was tight. We’re given a lot of information (more than 400 pages worth), but keeps you intrigued and wanting more. In fact, I had misplaced my iPad during the course of this reading and after the initial sadness of losing my iPad, I became disappointed that I couldn’t finish the book. I had a PDF copy given to me by the authors, so it wouldn’t have worked on my Kindle. Thankfully, I did find my iPad and sped through the story. I couldn’t put it down.

Packed with drama, suspense, action and surprises lurking around every corner, I definitely think this is worth the read for anyone loving thrillers and/or British crime novels.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

The Silver Horn Echoes: A Song of Roland #bookreview

  • Title: The Silver Horn Echoes: A Song of Roland
  • Authors: Michael Eging and Steve Arnold
  • Print Length: 334
  • Publication Date: July 22, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mythology, History, Historical Fiction

After Roland learns of a new threat to the Frank Kingdom, he must fight his way to victory and to protect King Charles, who happens to be his uncle, the brother of his mother. Additionally, Roland must find a way to bring to justice, the murderer of his father.

First off, I have to be honest and say I don’t usually read or even watch any kind of war stories. Secondly, I have to be even more honest and say wow! This book held my attention from the time I started reading until I finished. There was so much going on…however, not in the way it was confusing. As I read, I became so engrossed with the characters. I knew who I liked and I knew who was evil. Roland was a young man and you can see how he grew as time passed. Amidst the death, destruction and betrayal that came with the war, Roland and his company held onto their Christian faith, which I loved to read most of all.

The narrative was so descriptive, I could almost smell the blood, taste the dirt and hear the clatter of sword against sword in my mind’s eye. It was as if I was there. I started out as taking notes of what I liked and didn’t like, but in the end stopped because I could pause long enough. As it was, I had to force myself to stretch out my reading because I wanted to enjoy every minute.

Was there anything I didn’t like? I can’t remember it because I was too engrossed in the story, the relationship, the whole shebang.

Although most books I read these days are from my Kindle app, I certainly wouldn’t mind to one day purchase a hard copy. This is an epic tale that would be fun to read on a cold day sitting by a fire…in my opinion.

The authors deserve every single praise they get for the making of this book. I certainly can’t remember loving a book so much.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia I learned from one of the authors: the cover artist hand painted the cover to Song of Roland. He’s an artist in LA who has done work for D.C. Comics.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

An Angel on Her Shoulder #bookreview @savvystories

  • Title: An Angel on Her ShoulderAn Angel On Her Shoulder by [Alatorre, Dan]
  • Author: Dan Alatorre
  • Print Length: 287
  • Publication Date: July 31, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, supernatural, thriller

This was the second book I read by Dan Alatorre and let me say it was legit. A man and his family tend to be surrounded by tragedies. But not normal tragedies that we all tend to face one time or another. These are tragedies that happen around the same time every year. Desperate for answers, our main character, Doug, will stop at nothing until he gets them.

An Angel on Her Shoulder is a beautifully written story that keeps you turning the pages. It does go back and forth between the present day and Doug’s childhood a few times, which at first, made it confusing because there were no dates letting you know that we’ve traveled to the past. You’ve have to read a little bit to realize it. However, later on, it didn’t bother me as much. I suppose I had to get used to it. Eventually, the way the childhood chapters were told were so smooth, my mind immediately clicked to the scene at hand. Especially chapter thirty-three.

The tension in the story was slow building, but not in a bad way at all. It was actually a very good way to tell the story. It leaves you with wanting more and then slams you with tension every so often until you reach the final conclusion.

The characters were extremely likeable and realistic, especially Doug. He’s just a normal husband, a normal dad, that wants to do right by his family and take care of them by any means necessary. Even if it means stepping way out of his comfort zone in search of questions for a confusing situation.

The only thing I would have suggest would be to erase the final sentence on the last page. I won’t say what it was, but I feel the inclusion of the final sentence diminishes the wow-factor.

Overall, this book is definitely worth the read.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Dan Alatorre

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.

And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever.

Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

Phantom Touch (The Phantom Series Book 1) #bookreview

  • Title: Phantom TouchPhantom Touch (Phantoms Book 1) by [Hawke, Jessica]
  • Author: Jessica Hawke
  • Print Length: 306
  • Publication Date: January 26, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, Thriller, Mystery

I absolutely love stories like this. I’ve always been intrigued with the supernatural and the possibility of seeing ghosts or spirits. Phantom Touch is an excellent read by Jessica Hawke. Had I not planned on spacing it out for a few days, I could have finished it in one. With each swipe of my Kindle, I found myself unable to set the book down. It was very rare—if there was even a spot—where the story lagged.

The storytelling was engrossing and the light humor top notch. The star of the book, Bridget Young, is your typical, normal sixteen years old: she’s trying to survive high school and getting past the death of someone close to her. Only, she’s not normal. She sees spirits, most of who had wrongfully died many years ago. When a young girl shows up, just weeks before Bridget’s seventeenth birthday, she realizes she must solve her murder for more reasons other than just letting the girl rest in peace.

Since no one, even Bridget’s best friend, knows her ghostly secret, she has to rely on the dead girl’s spirit and Bridget’s guardian, Kale, to reach the bottom of the truth. Along the way, Bridget learns more about the spirit world and herself.

There were two parts that I can think of off the top of my head that would have served better earlier in the story, such as when Bridget described her features in the narrative. I  would have preferred to know what she looked like within the first few pages, rather than waiting until I read about thirty percent. This way, I could have built the character in my mind, rather than changing it later.

Phantom Touch had a mixture of horror, comedy, and pain, which formed together to create an amazing read. Aside from a few wrong tenses in the writing, it flowed quite nicely. The world and fantasy rules were formed magnificently. It certainly intrigued me enough to want to pick up the rest of Jessica’s books in her Phantom series.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Jessica Hawke

Jessica Hawke is the author of the YA paranormal Phantoms series and an upcoming urban fantasy series. While she would love to say that she’s been writing for her entire life, that simply wasn’t the case. After a brilliant stint as a story-writer in third grade, she mostly kept to writing papers for school until she headed off to college. From eighteen onward, she spent too much time thinking about the book she might eventually write instead of just writing it. At twenty-six, she finally realized the book would not write itself and got down to the surprisingly difficult yet rewarding work of writing a novel.

Her favorite genres to read and write are urban fantasy, dystopian, and paranormal. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance musician and dabbles in musical theater.

Every Deadly Kiss #bookreview @readstevenjames

  • Title: Every Deadly KissEvery Deadly Kiss (The Bowers Files) by [James, Steven]
  • Print Length: 575 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley
  • Publication Date: July 4, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats: Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Crime

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love this author, and I love the Patrick Bowers series. It’s been a few years since I randomly picked up the second book of The Bowers Files, and ever since then, I anxiously await for more writings from Steven James. Especially when Patrick Bowers is the star of the hour.

Every Deadly Kiss is the second prequel to the series. First, a quick back story for those of you mystery fans who shamefully have not picked up James’ books. We first meet FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers in The Pawn, followed by The Rook, The Bishop, The King, The Queen, and Checkmate. He’s a widower who is learning to battle the dangers of his work along with raising his late wife’s teen daughter, Tessa Ellis. It’s rarely easy for someone in law enforcement to raise their own child by themselves, but Tessa isn’t his daughter, but his stepdaughter of only a few months. In the end of the first prequel, we briefly meet Christy Ellis, who Pat will one day marry. Now in Every Deadly Kiss, we get to actually meet her, which is exciting. To me, anyway.

I loved all aspects of this book: the mystery, the relationship between Pat and the Ellis women, and the fact that a former love of Pat’s, FBI Agent Sharyn Weist, requests his assistance, which eventually causes a rip in his love life.

Steven James is definitely a natural storyteller (and he knows it!). The way he weaves the action, the tension, even light comedy, to form his stories is the way I hope readers view my writing. It’s taut and you can almost, almost, smell the blood or feel the abandoned building with your fingertips. It truly is rare that I can get that much into reading a book. Every Deadly Kiss isn’t my favorite in the series, but James does not disappoint. Several times I feel my heart beating out of my chest. A few times I laughed, especially when it’s bantering time with Pat and his best friend/sidekick, Agent Ralph Hawkins, who just might be my favorite character (sorry, Agent Bowers, I still love you too). The thing I like most about the prequels is that we still get to hear from Ralph. In Checkmate, he’s moving on to bigger and better things and I got the sad feeling that if there were more books, any appearances of Ralph would be more of a walk on. Thank goodness for these prequels!

I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good mystery. For some, it may take a bit getting used to because, in this series, it’s written in first and third person. It did confuse me when I first began to read The Rook several years ago. However, the storytelling is so crisp and well written, it didn’t take long for me to get used to the difference in POVs.

I hope we’ll get plenty more of Patrick Bowers (and Ralph) soon!

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

*If you would like to get inside the head of the author, I was lucky enough to get him to answer a few of my questions. Click here to read the interview!*

Biography

Steven James

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

After consulting with a former undercover FBI agent and doing extensive research on cybercrimes, Steven wrote his latest thriller, EVERY DEADLY KISS—a taut, twist-filled page turner that is available now wherever books are sold.

If you’ve never met environmental criminologist and geospatial investigator Patrick Bowers, EVERY DEADLY KISS is the perfect chance to dive into the series and find out what fans and critics everywhere are raving about.

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