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Review
5 Stars
beginnings
Deadly Occupation: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mystery (Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mysteries Book 1) - Suzanne Adair

“These are the times that try men's souls.” - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

it is late January 1781 and the 82nd Regiment arrives in Wilmington, North Carolina. leaving behind defenseless civilians to surrender to the Crown, rebels and patriots alike flee from the regiment's approach. no sooner had Lieutenant Michael Stoddard stepped foot inside the town when his commander Major James Craig assigns him on a case - to find a missing woman and to look into the suspicious activities of Vicar Elijah Spivey and his Church of Mary and Martha of Bethany. with Nick Spry as his assistant, Michael immediately conducts his investigation and discovers more than he bargained for.


although Deadly Occupation is the third book in the Michael Stoddard Mystery series to be published, it is chronologically the first book. it takes the reader to the start of Wilmington's occupation and rehabilitation by the redcoats. we meet a pimply, younger, more naive Michael Stoddard and learn how Nick Spry became his assistant and how he met the beautiful "Ice Widow" Kate Duncan.


i have read and reviewed the other two books in the series (Regulated for Murder & A Hostage to Heritage) and as a fan, the events, people and places during this era made more sense now that i had the opportunity to read the series' Genesis.


the author has proven herself again and again to be an excellent wordsmith and storyteller. her attention to detail is spot on as always - from the setting, clothing and weaponry to the era's speech and conventions. mixing fact and fiction as to make the distinction so thin and fine is evident again in this novel. moreover, Michael's sensual nature is a revelation and a welcome surprise here yet it has never distracted him from his duty as an officer and his bearing as a gentleman.


Adam Neville, a double-spy, makes a brief appearance as well and despite not being physically present, Lieutenant Dunstan Fairfax continues to intrude upon and torment Michael's memories.


i welcome Suzanne Adair's latest installment and i embrace it for its action-packed scenes, twists and turns, well-developed characters and engaging, fast-paced storyline.

 

 

*received an ARC for review

Source: http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2015/10/review-deadly-occupation-by-suzanne.html
Review
5 Stars
a feel-good tear jerker
Spanish Bay - Hans M. Hirschi

“I am more than my scars.” - Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle

 

Christopher Titus Miller rescues Neil Joseph Horner from bullies. sparks fly the moment they meet and soon, Chris and Neil fall for each other. but nothing is picture perfect as their relationship grows and deepens. challenges come from left and right, testing their mettle and their love. will there be a happy ending in sight for both?

 

picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County, California offers the perfect background for the novel Spanish Bay. within this European-style village nestled above a white-sand beach, Chris and Neil find each other and fall in love.

 

whether individually or as a couple, Chris and Neil have to face so many difficulties. i could not help but admire both for their spirit and resilience especially Neil who is bound to a wheelchair because of Kugelberg-Welander Syndrome. Chris, too is such an exceptional human being who sees beyond another person's imperfections or disability. i also admire their families and closest friends for the support and love they give from the get go.

 

everything may sound too good to be true but i do know that people and scenarios like those portrayed in the story exist in real life. there are shades of ugliness and sadness yet there are also bursts of beauty and joy to balance the equation. that is what really endeared me to Spanish Bay. it was as real as one can get in a book.

 

this is the first time i have read a novel by the author and i devoured the book with gusto from cover to cover. i must say that i was very impressed by the quality of the writing, the plot and character development. despite the occasional teary-eyed moments, i felt good when i was done reading and i did not want to say goodbye to Chris, Neil and their families just yet. i wanted to stay a little longer but alas, i had to take my leave in the end.

 

if you're longing to read an mm romance:
• that's wholesome
• a bit unconventional
• without too much angst or histrionics
• and would make you feel good again about the world in general and believe in the kindness of people in particular,

 

then i highly recommend this latest novel from Hans M Hirschi. just remember to keep a box of tissues handy!

 

 

*received an ARC for review

Reblogged
FREE New Release - Beyond Regeneration
Beyond Regeneration - Jenny Schwartz

My new science fiction romance, "Beyond Regeneration", is just out AND free till Monday! You can grab it now on Amazon. I'm just so excited. Compliments on the cover will be happily received -- I designed it! If you don't like the cover, please download the book anyway! LOL

 

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0169S6H44/
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0169S6H44/
Amazon Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0169S6H44/

 

It’s complicated. Charley Rowdon knew Dr. Jack Bradshaw years ago, before the accident, before she lost her left arm. Before her husband died. Jack is an internationally respected regeneration specialist, and he’s just made the breakthrough of the century: using QNA to grow non-human bio-enhancements on people, including himself. Think superhuman senses, claws, and even, wings.

 

However, when, as a journalist, Charley accepts Jack’s invitation to accompany him to his private clinic, a luxury resort on the beautiful south west coast of Australia, she finds more than medical science and altered humanity.

 

Murder, espionage and a scientific development that Jack never ever predicted will challenge Charley to shed her grief and fear, and solve a mystery beyond imagining.

But as Charley regenerates her life, how much will she risk by loving again?

 

 

“Beyond Regeneration” is a novel of old grief and new beginnings. The science is fabulous, more fiction than fact, but the emotions are real. This is the story of a woman badly hurt by life who finds the courage to embrace the unbelievable, and love again.

Reblogged from Jenny Schwartz
Review
5 Stars
just deserts
The promise of a New Tomorrow (A supernatural short story) - D.F. Holland

i loved this short story about megarich businessman Bill Weston and his insatiable greed for power and money. for a man who only owned things that were custom-made for him, he truly deserved everything that happened to him in the end!

Review
4 Stars
worth the while
A Cabin In The Woods: Until Dawn - Dustin Brubaker

although i was able to pinpoint the identity of the killer after a few pages, there were still a couple of twists that i did not see coming. this was a short fast-paced whodunit that kept me entertained for a few minutes and it was worth the while.

Great site, easy to work!

#freebies from BookLooks Deals

BookLooks Deals is offering a treat!

 

download ONE of these two ebooks for free:

 

Dear Mr. Knightley - Katherine Reay  

https://aerbook.com/books/Dear_Mr_Knightley_A_Novel-13326.html

 

or

 

Max On Life: Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions - Max Lucado 

https://aerbook.com/books/Max_on_Life-13324.html

 

note: click the red Get Now button at the top right corner and submit your email address. this automatically subscribes you to HarperCollins Christian newsletter. wait for the reply in your inbox. choose your preferred format and read the book in any device.

 

the free access will be available until December 31, 2015.

October freebie from the University of Chicago Press
Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence - Alan Gilbert

Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence

 
We commonly think of the American Revolution as simply the war for independence from British colonial rule. But, of course, that independence actually applied to only a portion of the American population—African Americans would still be bound in slavery for nearly another century. Alan Gilbert asks us to rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, many black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. Further, a movement led by sailors—both black and white—pushed strongly for emancipation on the American side. There were actually two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality.

Gilbert presents persuasive evidence that slavery could have been abolished during the Revolution itself if either side had fully pursued the military advantage of freeing slaves and pressing them into combat, and his extensive research also reveals that free blacks on both sides played a crucial and underappreciated role in the actual fighting. Black Patriots and Loyalists contends that the struggle for emancipation was not only basic to the Revolution itself, but was a rousing force that would inspire freedom movements like the abolition societies of the North and the black loyalist pilgrimages for freedom in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone.
 

grab your copy at

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/freeEbook.html

 

no registration/subscription required. link to free ebook is valid for 1 year!

Source: http://www.press.uchicago.edu
#freebie: Broken Worlds super boxset

FREE today at Amazon from author James G. Hunt:

TWO complete book series in ONE super boxset!

Exiled Omnibus- A Tale Of Prepper Survival (Exiled: A Tale Of Prepper Survival Book 4) - James Hunt and GMO 24- Complete Omnibus- A Tale Of Prepper Survival - James Hunt  

 

 

grab your copy at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015YF232I

 

"back to school"

Sock Poppet at Play's 2015 Read-By-the-Month Reading Challenge for September was to read a book:

1. with school as a setting.
2. about the beginning of something (new school, new job, new marriage).
3. about teaching, teachers.
4. where a character learns a new skill.

 

the first book i read and reviewed for September answered all 4 prompts:

Picture (Im)perfect - J.S. Frankel 

1 - two senior high school students from different schools and both are in the swimming teams
2 - these two fell in love so it was the beginning of a new relationship especially for the girl. it was her first time to be involved with someone.
3- although it didn't really focus much on the teachers, they were there in the background and it was towards the end of the book that the guy's Sociology teacher and his Coach helped turn things around for our MC
4 - our boy MC learns a new skill - people skills (more understanding/acceptance of the diversity of the human species [e.g. the LGBTQIA community], etc)

 

this book fit prompt 2 to a tee:
  An Iranian Metamorphosis - Mana Neyestani  

An Iranian Metamorphosis is a graphic novel based on the author's imprisonment and his escape to freedom. now in France, he begins a new life in a new country with his wife.

 

this short ebook answered prompt 4:

Prize Bucks - Matthew Keville 

a police officer discovers something about the case he's working on. he now must learn to hone his "deception" skills if he wants to keep innocent lives safe and maintain his sanity on the job

 

these three books answered prompts 1, 2 and 4:

Sam Dorsey And His Sixteen Candles (Sam Dorsey And Gay Popcorn) (Volume 1) - Perie Wolford,Michelle Doering  Sam Dorsey And His Dirty Dancing (Book 2 in Sam Dorsey And Gay Popcorn series) - Perie Wolford,Michelle Doering  Sam Dorsey And His First Days In College (Book 3.1 in Sam Dorsey And Gay Popcorn series) - Perie Wolford,Adriana D'Apolito  

this YA coming-of-age series is about gay teen Sam Dorsey who seems to have a 'birthday curse' attached to him as far as he can remember:

1- Sixteen Candles and First Days in College tell of his adventures and misadventures in high school and college respectively

2 - something new happens to our MC in all three books like he falls in love twice, gets a new job waiting on tables, etc. at a resort

4 - waiting on tables at a resort requires skills in taking orders, remembering who gets who and maneuvering dishes from the kitchen to the dining hall and vice-versa

 

this was a great challenge and i loved it that i was able to answer all four prompts!

 

October's challenge is about thrills and chills and i need to find something:

1 ~ with characters disguised in some way.
2 ~ i have to read with the lights on.
3 ~ with characters who are scared or scaring someone else.
4 ~ with character, setting, or theme that will thrill me to my toes.

 

i already have a couple lined up and will be looking for more!

September 2015 wrap-up

September went by so fast for me! i managed to read and review better last month though and i hope to maintain the same record or surpass it this October:

Picture (Im)perfect - J.S. Frankel  An Iranian Metamorphosis - Mana Neyestani  Turning 16 - Perie Wolford,Michelle Doering  Feast of Fates (Four Feasts Till Darkness) (Volume 1) - Christian A. Brown  Sam Dorsey And His Dirty Dancing (Book 2 in Sam Dorsey And Gay Popcorn series) - Perie Wolford,Michelle Doering  Sam Dorsey And His First Days In College (Book 3.1 in Sam Dorsey And Gay Popcorn series) - Perie Wolford,Adriana D'Apolito  Sin Eater (Episode 1.1): Dark Urban Fantasy Serial - Jessica West,PK Tyler  The Disenchanting of Princess Cerridwen: A Tale from Adalonia - Angela Korra'ti  Midnight At Herlong Manor - Sherrie Bain  Prize Bucks - Matthew Keville  Feast of Dreams (Four Feasts Till Darkness Book 2) - Christian A. Brown  Chad Stinson Goes for a Walk: A short tale of obsession and possession - Shawn Inmon  Eating the Moon - Eleanor Kos  Chocolate Uncle: A Short Story - Roji Abraham  The Last Lesson - David Xavier  Thrill Kill Part One - Ann Savage  Sin Eater (Episode 1.2): Dark Urban Fantasy Serial - PK Tyler,Jessica West  In Death and Darkness - Kendall Frost,Caelan White  

 

from the BookLikes giveaways, i got:

The Untold Unlocking of Secrets - James Jean-Pierre  Of Royal Descent - Ember Shane  BLEED - Dax Varley  Lust - Catarina Linhares  Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Vol. 1 - Eme Strife  Broken People - Ioana Visan  City of Masks: An Epic Fantasy Novel - Ashley Capes  Flight 505: a novella - Leslie Bohem  Poems for Mom - Aubrey Durkin  Into the Mind of a Killer: A Diagnostic Battery of Charles Manson - Aubrey Durkin  Fur, Fangs and Secrets - Katie Gatto Rise of the Storm (The Desolate Empire) (Volume 1) - Christina Ochs  Sparked - Lily Cahill  The Winged Turban - Joshua Grasso  Life Of A 'prayer - Midu Hadi  The Cat Who Spied On Me (The Secret Life and Career of Arlo the Barncat) - Jane Oldaker 

 

a few books made it midnight of September 30 - freebies for signing up with Curiosity Quills Press review program and winning a giveaway courtesy of DarkFuse through Char's blog but i'll be blogging about these titles in the next couple of days so stay tuned for those!

 

meanwhile, i have already plotted out my October calendar earlier and it looks like i'm going to be busy again but happy nonetheless.

 

here's wishing everyone more long days and pleasant nights!

 

Review
5 Stars
when evil evolves
Sin Eater (Episode 1.2): Dark Urban Fantasy Serial - PK Tyler, Jessica West

“Keep away. The sow is mine.” ― William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist


Father Zelophehad heard Nikolai Grekh’s desperate call. Zeph finds Nik and takes him back to the sanctuary of his church and private quarters but the last demon Nik fought refuses to leave and seeks another host…


the second episode in the Sin Eater serial has grown darker, more emotional and more intense. Nik is almost killed and has sustained a lot of physical injuries. he would have died had it not been for Zeph’s aid. Nik’s battles with demons are getting worse. these hellish beings are evolving into something Nik had never encountered before. there was even one chapter depicting possession and religious articles that was so extreme, blasphemous and profane to my “non-practicing” Catholic sensibilities that I could not help but cringe. however, such was the risk I took when I read this episode and the aforementioned chapter really did shake me up.


more characters are introduced and we are allowed brief access inside the sanctum sanctorum of the shadowy Old Order. one also gets to read about Zeph’s abusive childhood including some information regarding why Nik happened to be a Sin Eater. the details were still not enough and they only piqued my curiosity further. a couple of questions I had in mind while reading Episode 1.1 were answered somehow regarding Nik and Zeph’s relationship vis-a-vis their homosexuality and religious beliefs. the issues involved are deeper and more complex and as I mentioned before in my 1.1 review, I would like to see how things sort themselves out in the next episodes.


in the meantime, the bizarre turn of events at the morgue and the last chapter gave me goosebumps. everything looked grim and desperate at this point. i am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for some positive outcome.


once again, authors Pavarti K Tyler and Jessica West did an excellent job with their writing. they minced no words in shocking the hell out of me (no pun intended!). although, this may be a dark fantasy involving demons and arcane rituals, one cannot deny or ignore the fact that evil does exist in the world today. we only have to look around and witness or hear about its myriad manifestations.

 

 

*received a copy for review

Review
5 Stars
a worthy literary sequel
Feast of Dreams (Four Feasts Till Darkness Book 2) - Christian A. Brown

"Blood is only one tie. We have made others - as men and friends..." - Beauregard Fischer, Feast of Dreams

the storm of fire and ice wrought by the clash of the Immortal Kings Magnus of Eod and Brutus of Zioch have stained the land and its people with rivers of blood and filth. a number of people have vowed to seek help and retribution for such devastation and affront, thereby unleashing a series of events that would usher in a new age across Geadhain.

Feast of Dreams continues where Feast of Fates left off. the stakes involved have increased in this second volume as new players are introduced and familiar ones are encountered once more. the plot has thickened as well and there were more twists and revelations that i never saw coming. new alliances are forged as old ones are broken off. secrets are brought to light and mysteries that i thought were resolved beget more wonders.

it may appear to the reader that a large part of the novel is steeped in darkness and uncertainty over an impending war. yet within this dim and grim scenario are seen glimmers of light and hope as our major protagonists display awe-inspiring fortitude, patience, and determination. even at the hands of their adversaries or with death staring them in the face, these men and women would always forge ahead. later, i realized two themes that were central to the whole novel and the reason why our heroes never gave up despite the whimsical forces swirling around them - love and family. these themes were there all the time and i failed to recognize their worth and their power until the very last chapters. even the villains were not exempt from their potency.

Christian A. Brown has woven a worthy literary sequel. the writing is as constant and flawless as ever. i continue to be mesmerized and impressed by his unique style of blending prose and poetry and by his fertile imagination. savoring this second feast only made me whet my appetite for more and i look forward to the next books in the Four Feasts Till Darkness series!

 

 

*i received a copy for review

Source: http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/2015/09/107-bewitching-book-tours-review-feast.html
celebrate the freedom to read!

September 27 to October 3, 2015

 

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

 

show your love and support for Banned Books Week 2015:

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek/

Review
5 Stars
welcome to Nik's world
Sin Eater (Episode 1.1): Dark Urban Fantasy Serial - Jessica West, PK Tyler

“I am the perfect weapon, I can kill with a single touch.” - Melinda Salisbury, The Sin Eater’s Daughter

unlike most people who work for a living, Nikolai Grekh’s job is of a unique and dark sort – battling demons and saving possessed souls.

the first episode in the Sin Eater serial is an introduction to Nik’s world. it is a strange one, fraught with darkness, horror, sensuality, physical and spiritual demands.

the battle scenes were well-written and the descriptions of how Nik got rid of the demonic entities were quite graphic and may not be for the fainthearted. they explained what being a Sin Eater entailed and it was no walk in the park.

despite the limited length, it still shed some light into Nik’s childhood and how he met his best friend Zeph. it does not explain yet how Nik came to be a Sin Eater and why he was burdened with such a task. it does tell us from the get go about Nik’s sexual orientation though. my curiosity is piqued as we have here a Catholic gay man. i would like to see how this plays out – whether his faith and his sexuality come into conflict or not, etc. the answers would probably be found in the next episodes.

this collaborative take on sin eaters by Pavarti K Tyler and Jessica West was interesting and intriguing enough to make me want to read more about Nik. i know there would be a lot more to come especially after what took place at the end of this episode.

 

*Sin Eater Episode 1.1 is FREE 9/25 - 9/26 at Amazon so grab your copy now!

check out the authors' giveaway as well HERE

Review
5 Stars
Eating the Moon - Eleanor Kos

what a dark and entertaining read about monsters - both human and paranormal ones. a few details are not for the faint of heart so be forewarned.

although it was good enough as it is, i still wish it were a bit longer as i wanted to know more about Meredith and Jane's secrets.

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