SERPENTS AND SAVIORS – the new book by Jamie Zakian


From the author of the dark Ashby Holler series comes book 2 in Jamie Zakain’s newer Sci-Fi Emergence series … SERPENTS AND SAVIORS.

What is it about?

Joey got separated from her twin brother Jesse when their luxury spacecraft broke apart halfway to Mars. The terrorists are dead, but so are most of the passengers who escaped a dying Earth for a new life on a new planet.

The remaining survivors, the future of humanity, are scattered across the lush planet of Mars. Joey and Kami are in a mountainous forest, and they’re locked in a power struggle to guide the people. Jesse and Rai landed on the coast, and are desperate to reach their sisters.

This new world can be a fresh start, where everyone is equal and class sectors are finally made obsolete, if only Kami would give up her self-appointed position as Commander of Mars. Both Joey and Kami are willing to die for their beliefs, even sacrificing the lives of those who’ve chosen to follow them, unless cleared heads can prevail before it’s too late.

ebook
Published April 10th 2018 by Month9Books
ISBN13   9781946700841
Edition Language   English

Series  Project Emergence #2

 

 

 

 

Jamie Zakian lives in South Jersey with a rowdy bunch of dudes, also known as family. A YA/NA writer, her head is often in the clouds while her ears are covered in headphones. On the rare occasions when not writing, she enjoys blazing new trails on her 4wd quad or honing her archery skills. She’s a card-carrying member of the Word Nerd Association, which means she’s probably stalking every Twitter writing competition and offering query critiques so keep an eye out.

TWITTER: @demoness333
WEBSITE: http://www.jamiezakian.com

A Note from the Author

Dear Reader,

This has been a long time coming, but thank you. Thank you for spending your hard-earned dollars on my books. Thank you for taking time from your busy life to get lost in my imagination. Thank you for getting my quirky sense of humor, and appreciating my sometimes purple prose. But most importantly, thank you for being you. If not for those with a sense of wonder, with a love for beautifully strung together words, there wouldn’t be any authors to tell thrilling stories. You, Reader, are my source of inspiration. You’re the reason I continue to create new worlds, the purpose of my very existence. So, basically, thank you for being awesome.

xoxo-Jamie Zakian

Link to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37915783-serpents-and-saviors

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Tour Schedule:
http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-serpents-and-saviors-by-jamie-zakian/

Giveaway Info:
• One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Serpents and Saviors by Jamie Zakian (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spring 2018 #YASH has begun!


Spring 2018 #YASH has begun! And you’re hunting with Team Red!!

What is #YASH?  It’s a bi-annual event first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors … and a chance to win some awesome books and other prizes! This Spring, there are 80 authors divided into six teams. I’m on Team Red. Each author on each team has agreed to give away at least one book to the grand prize winner. As a scavenger hunter, you can hunt on as many teams as you want, but you’ll need to play fast. This contest is only open April 3-8, 2018. When you visit each author’s site, make sure you look for other chances to win extra prizes as a lot of authors have giveaways going on separately that you don’t want to miss (I have one going on, so make sure you check it out!)

What exactly are you hunting for?  A number.  Each author on the team will have a special number embedded in their post. Add up the number clues for your team, head over to the Rafflecopter giveaway that matches the team color, and enter the number. That’s it. As you read my post, you will see I’ve mentioned the number a few times (just in case you missed it). While I mention it several times, you will only use it once. If you win the grand prize for the team, you’ll get a book from each of the authors on the team.  Only entries with the correct number will qualify to win.

Rules: the contest is open internationally. Prizes must be claimed within 48 hours or the prize will be re-drawn. You must be 16 years or older, or have the permission of a guardian to enter. Duplicate entries will be deleted. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 8, 2018, at noon Pacific Time. You must enter to win before then. Good luck and happy hunting! Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Want to see all the books involved in this Hunt?  Check out the Goodreads List and start salivating.

I’m super excited to be hosting the awesome Colleen Oakes, author of WAR OF THE CARDS. 

I can’t wait to read this book. I’ve read at least 15 retellings of Alice in Wonderland and I could read 15 more. It is one of my favorite novels. Of course, I could name 15 other titles that I love, but I’d rather focus on Colleen’s book, WAR OF CARDS.

So who is this gal, Colleen Oakes?


Colleen Oakes is the bestselling author of books for both teens and adults, including The Queen of Hearts Series, The Wendy Darling Saga and the upcoming YA novel The Black Coats. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling or immersing herself in nerdy pop culture.

She currently at work on her third YA fairytale series, a YA thriller and a collaborative YA fantasy. You can catch up with her through any one of the links below:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

And now on to the EXCLUSIVE CONTENT … (yay!)

Colleen is giving us a lot of really awesome stuff! Want to hear the music that inspired the book?  Check out her Spotify playlist. Want to see the artistic inspiration for her book? You’ve got to head over to her Pinterest board.  And who doesn’t love that fan cast, huh?

A playlist for the book: Queen of Hearts Playlist, a playlist by Colleen Oakes on Spotify

A Pinterest board: Queen of Hearts, The Novel

A Fan Casting: Mae Whitman as Dinah, Kevin Costner as Sir Gorrann, Aaron Tveit as Wardley, Tom Hiddleston as Cheshire and Amanda Seyfried as Vittiore.

You can also find a special post by Colleen on Instagram about YASH so make sure you check it out and say hi. @colleenoakes

CONTINUE THE HUNT

Next author on the list to visit is the super-amazing, talented author, Erin E. Moulton!!

Make sure you spread the word!

ADDITIONAL  GIVEAWAY!!!

I’m running another special giveaway.  Everyone who leaves a comment below (it could be anything: favorite YA book, favorite YA character, etc) will have a chance to win a signed paperback copy of the 1st book in my Chronicles of Fallhollow series, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING:

AND winner’s choice of one of the following $10 gift cards

Good luck to everyone and happy hunting!!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Back ~ 2018 Spring YASH!!


It’s back everyone! Welcome to 2018 Spring YASH!

What is YASH? It stands for Young Adult Scavenger Hunt, and it’s a bi-annual event first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! Want to learn more? Click here.

This makes the 4th time I’ve participated in YASH, and this year, I’m on the RED Team!! I’m so excited!!  Look at all those awesome books and amazing authors surrounding me!!! I couldn’t ask for a better team!

The Spring hunt begins at noon PST on April 3 and ends at noon PST on April 8. Winners will be announced on April 11!  Stay tuned for more details.

Click the links below to find out more about the authors and books on the Red Team.

RED TEAM
Amy Fellner Dominy
Amy Trueblood
Anna Hecker
Brendan Reichs
Carly Anne West
Cole Gibsen
Colleen Oakes
D.S. Murphy
Erin Cashman
Erin E. Moulton
Ginger Scott
Heather McKenzie
J. Keller Ford
Jessica Bucher
Julie Reece
Lisa Maxwell
Mary Crockett
Paula Stokes
S.F. Henson
Yvonne Ventresca

 

Hold on to your pantaloons – PHOENIX DESCENDING is going to take you on a wild ride!


Book 1 in the Curse of the Phoenix series

Published: November 28, 2017

Publisher:  Snowy Wings Publishing

AISN #:  B075LLJG2M

SUMMARY (from Goodreads)

Who must she become in order to survive?

Since the outbreak of the Phoenix fever in Drothidia, Tori Kagari has already lost one family member to the fatal disease. Now, with the fever threatening to wipe out her entire family, she must go against everything she believes in order to save them—even if that means making a deal with the enemy.

When Tori agrees to join forces with the unscrupulous Khadulians, she must take on a false identity in order to infiltrate the queendom of Avarell and fulfill her part of the bargain, all while under the watchful eye of the unforgiving Queen’s Guard. But time is running out, and every lie, theft, and abduction she is forced to carry out may not be enough to free her family or herself from death.

First, let me say I wanted to read this book ever since I saw the cover. I was hooked. It was almost as if I didn’t care what was in between those covers. It’s gorgeous and I could stare at it for hours.

But as it turned out, I loved the pages in between. From the beginning, the story is full of action and unforgettable, complicated characters. Takumi the fox…omgosh…I want more of him!! And Tori is an amazing main character with a strong sense of right and wrong, justice and moral fortitude. There were so many subtle twists, and the storyline is compelling. It was difficult to put it down.

The book is a quick read and I think it would appeal more to YA fantasy readers more than NA readers, even though the characters are a bit older. There is an LGBT element to the story. I thought it was handled well but I was unnerved by the violence that presented itself because of it.

This book has zombies and princess and queens, right up my ally with YA fantasy. Some I despised (Queen Maescia) and others I adored (Princess Wrena). She’s so incredibly kind.  I loved the innocence of Tori and Bram’s relationship as well as the author’s dive into YA Game of Thrones political intrigue.

There were a few issues I had with the plot line such as how did the Undead become the Undead and why do they only exist on one place, but it didn’t bother me enough to not like the book.

It does end on a cliffhanger and I screamed out at the end. I wanted more, more, more and now I have to wait for how long???  Come on, Ms. Dreyer. So not fair. I can’t wait for the second book in the series. That comes out when…tomorrow???

I think fans of the Throne of Glass series will love this book.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Free Sci-Fi / Fantasy Ebook Extravaganza! 60 New Authors to Choose From!


You read that right.

There are 60 authors featured in this amazing Sci-Fi / Fantasy Ebook Giveaway! Some you may have heard of. Others may be completely new. Either way, you can’t go wrong with so many Ebooks to choose from. Click away and have fun!!  I’ve already collected a dozen at least.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/scifiandfantasy

#1 Reason you MUST view this post…


You don’t want to miss the awesome cover reveal for E.M. Fitch’s latest YA spooky novel!

From Goodreads:

It’s only a matter of time before he gets what he’s come for.

Cassie Harris has turned her back on best friend Laney Blake. She had no other choice. Laney is one of them now, a creature of the trees. As Cassie’s senior year wears on, the woods grow quiet, snow blankets the ground, and the murderous beings who once taunted her have drifted away like the brittle leaves of Fall. Though the woods no longer stir with rushed whispers and wind-blown laughter, the fear remains.

No one understands this fear better than Cassie. She wishes she could tell them not to worry. After all, the shape-shifting men of the trees and the women who travel with them, seeking out girls to abduct from carnivals, are gone. And the one that stayed behind? He isn’t interested in anyone but her.

Now, Aidan’s interest in Cassie is a chilling reminder of the what lurks at woods edge. He stalks her home, her school, her bedroom. He won’t stop until he can find a way to lure Cassie into the forest to become one with him forever.

Expected publication date:  March 27, 2018

Other books by E.M. Fitch

@e.m.fitch and @Month9Books

#YABooks #CoverReveal #YABookstagram #YAReads #YAHorror #YAFantasy #month9books #month9squad

Book Review: LOOKING FOR DEI


A few weeks ago, the author, David A. Willson, approached me and asked if he provided a free copy, would I review his book, LOOKING FOR DEI, in exchange for an honest review.  The premise of the book sounded great, so I accepted his request. What follows is my review for LOOKING FOR DEI.

 

 

From Goodreads:

Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

 

 

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the story itself. I liked the message it tried to get across. I liked the religious aspects and the use of ruins and magic and the connections with the divine. My biggest issue is with the writing.

It’s not bad, but it was very hard to follow at times and I couldn’t get into the characters because of it.

The story opens with a beautiful scene of a 2-year old child playing in the field of an orphanage. The picture was very clear in my mind of her running and chasing butterflies, but something happens to the little girl (who we later learn is Nara) that is life-altering…and I didn’t get the sense of urgency, the terror, or the reason for what happened.

The story jumps into the future by 15 years to our leading lady, Nara, who seems at times to be like she’s 14, not seventeen. We don’t learn until sometime later why the events happened to her when she was 2-years old, and the explanation seemed to fall a bit flat because the plot itself was a bit convoluted. Nara’s reaction to the truth was almost nonexistent. I know if I found out what she found out, I would be livid. I would be demanding. I got a moment of surprise, but she seemed so accepting. It didn’t feel ‘right’.

This leads me to a second issue I had with the writing style. The book is written in several POVs, which I don’t mind, but there were times within chapters when I was supposed to be in Nara’s or Mykel’s POV, but then I head-hopped into someone else’s POV. It was jarring. As a reader, I tried to overlook it, but as an author, it drove me batty. The editor in me was very strong while reading this book. There were also cliches and info dumps where we learn so much stuff about the characters all at once. A few of these are okay, but sometimes it felt as I was being told everything instead of discovering it for myself. Also, sometimes I was left hanging after the introduction of characters, especially Gwyn. She arrives in Chapter 7, and I loved the mysteriousness about her. She comes across as this kick-butt warrior (think a female Aragorn/Strider) kind of girl…and then she disappears in Chapter 11 only to reappear briefly toward the ending of Chapter 14, and still, nothing happens. She’s an ‘observer’ type of character. I was hoping to get some action, some plot building going, some interaction between her and Nara and Mykel and Bybo, but there was nothing. Instead, the author moves on to another chapter and introduces us to another character, Nikolas. I felt so bad for him. My heart tugged at the way his father treated him, but in the course of a couple of pages, he grew up and he became the Minister. It was almost as if I didn’t have time to process it all. Of course, they all have a way of tying things up in the end, but initially, it was difficult at times to get through.

Toward the end of the book, the plot thickened and grew. The stakes became high and the reading grew a bit more intense. Overall, it had a satisfying ending, and Nara comes into her own and shows she is the heroine of this tale.

I will say the author has a way of making the story seem realistic. During the entire read, I knew where I was. I could see the realm, the castles, the lakes, the forests. I could feel the pain of the characters. I could smell the air. I could feel breezes on my face. I could feel the ground beneath my feet and experience the horrors no person should ever go through. That is a wonderful accomplishment in itself.  The story was also a fairly quick read. I could have done so in one sitting if I’d had one day to do so, but I finished in two. There were plenty of twists and turns, and I think many teens would find this to be an enjoyable read.

I give it 3 stars. As I said, I liked the story but felt the writing could be tightened up a bit to make for a more intense, cohesive read.

Year in Review – Month9Books – Part 3


I am so happy to bring you the final installment of my publisher’s YEAR IN REVIEW. From dragons, to superheroes to magic, to space epics, there is something here to please any sci fi/fantasy lover.  Read on until the end for the ultimate Giveaway!!

 

 

It’s time to celebrate even more amazing 2017 titles from Month9Books!

Today we are showcasing just a few of the books that you need to get and enjoy while relaxing during the holiday season.

While your here, be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2017:

 

David and Charlotte paid their dues. They traveled to another realm, battled the Dragon King, recovered the all important magic key to the mage tunnels, and found the heir to the throne of Hirth, as promised. Now it’s time to go home. There’s just one problem: the powerful crystals needed to activate the tunnels have been stolen…and David’s parents have mysteriously disappeared along with them. Guess who’s not going home to Havendale anytime soon.

Eric Hamden, squire extraordinaire, survived the poisonous knick of a shadowmorth’s blade, rescued the king of Hirth from the bowels of the dragon’s lair, and confronted a heartbreaking betrayal that nearly got him killed. Still reeling from the news, Eric sets his sights on a daring rescue only to wind up in a prison of his own with David and Charlotte at his side. But rescues come in strange ways, and before they know it, the three end up in David’s hometown of Havendale…and Eric gets a quick schooling in Modern Life 101. He’d rather fight a dragon.

With secrets, lies and betrayals meeting them at every turn, David, Charlotte and Eric soon discover that Havendale isn’t the sanctuary they’d hoped for. Even their best-laid plans can’t prepare them for the danger that stalks them. This time, no amount of magic or prayers can save them. War has been declared, and in the final battle, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice. Let the battle begin.

Rage of the Dragon King (The Chronicles of Fallhollow #2)
by J. Keller Ford
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N |TBD | iBooks

 

J. (Jenny) Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind and oozes out in sweeping tales of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters and traveling. She is a mom to four magnificent and noble offspring and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.

Published works include The Passing of Millie Hudson, a paranormal short story that can be found in READING GLASSES. IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING is her debut novel and the first installment in the Chronicles of Fallhollow Trilogy. Book 2 in the series is slated for Fall 2016.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, dreams of playing football. But his dreams are thwarted by his lack of athleticism and overall lanky build. Like any kid with a dream, Alex tries out anyway, just in case. If nothing else, maybe he can win the role of water boy. So when Alex suddenly manifests superhuman powers during football tryouts, Alex can’t believe his good luck. He’s got game! But his new abilities can get him kicked off the team; unless Alex can keep it a secret long enough to find out how the heck he got this way. Enter Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Now, Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret. Except, the boys have caught the attention of some pretty nefarious adults, intent on making sure neither Alex nor Dex make it through the season.The only thing stranger than Alexander Graham Ptuiac, accidental quarterback, is the shocking truth about himself and his parents. When truth is stranger than fiction and adults are out to get you, there’s only one thing to do. Play ball!

Accidental Quarterback (Weirdo Academy #1)
by Charles Curtis
Publication Date: November 7 2017
Publisher: Tantrum Books/Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

Alex and Dex are local heroes. Suddenly, everyone wants to be friends with Alex, Dex and Sophi.

But someone more powerful than any of them lurks in the background, keeping a close watch until it’s time to swoop in and capture them. Still, Alex tries to maintain some semblance of normalcy — in the offseason, he wants to play baseball. As Alex becomes a formidable pitcher, his powers grow and so does his obsession with controlling them.

With Alex finding less and less time for Dex and Sophi, Dex discovers his cat-like abilities start to disappear soon after he starts spending time with a girl.

As the friends struggle to maintain their friendships, that mysterious someone gets closer and closer. Can the three friends find their way back to one another before it’s too late? Or will middle school tear them apart for good?

The Impossible Pitcher (Weirdo Academy #2)
by Charles Curtis
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Tantrum Books/Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

Charles Curtis a sportswriter for USA Today’s For The Win. He has reported and written for other publications including ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, Bleacher Report, NJ.com, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

 

After being orphaned, high school student Josie Barton only has one person she can turn to when things get rough—a mysterious legal guardian who calls himself her Benefactor. “Ben” takes care of everything for her. He pays her bills, provides food, clothes, and even a cell phone. But there is one thing Ben doesn’t know: Josie Barton sees scary imaginary creatures everywhere she goes. Even her apartment is being haunted by an invisible monster! And just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse . . . she meets the guy from across the hall.

Zeph Clemmont is a man of many faces. He’s a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a magical curse that could end his life. He loves a good argument and has incredible magical power, but he may have met his match in Josie. So far, she’s the only one who seems able to rein in his childish tantrums and magical explosions. Zeph will have to swallow his pride and finally let go of all his dark secrets if he really wants to break his curse. And with Josie at his side, he might actually stand a chance this time.

Mad Magic by Nicole Conway
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book. Other works include MAD MAGIC (Sept 2017), FAULBENDER (tbd), SCALES (tbd), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN STARS (May 2017).

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

 

Nat leaves her home, Dome 168, just as they begin to colonize on the outside. She travels with Evan to his home, Dome 569, to deliver a replica of the immune serum and allow Evan to report back to his mother, Caroline. But when they arrive, members of the “New Order” take them into custody and Nat and Evan are separated, once again.

Thankfully she is reunited with her uncle, Alec, who takes Nat under his protection. But Nat has a lot to learn about Evan’s home, a progressive dome that colonized on the outside over a decade ago. There are many rules in Dome 569 put in place by Caroline; some that come with sharp and sometimes deadly consequences when broken. Here, Nat learns of the struggles that can come with change, and how tearing down the old ways doesn’t always make things better overall. In the process, she uncovers truths that could tear down the kingdom Caroline has sacrificed to protect, and in turn puts Nat at risk.

Will Nat be able to protect Evan from the lies, or will he succumb to them for the sake of his family, just as his mother did many years before? As Nat uncovers the secrets of Dome 569, will she be willing to give up her morals and values to pay the price for freedom, or die fighting for what she believes in?

Here Skies Surround Us (Dome 1618 #2)
by Melanie McFarlane
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie has focused her powers on her YA debut There Once Were Stars, and her YA urban fantasy Summoner Rising.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

THE SCARLET THREAD – A dismal review of what could have been excellent


Today I’m reviewing a YA book by D.S. Murphy, THE SCARLET THREAD. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be pretty.

  Click here to read the full synopsis and book info on Goodreads.

I have to tell you, I’m so disappointed in how this book ended that I actually feel angry. Not the sort of angry you get from hating the outcome, but hating the way it actually ends…as in the story was cut off in the middle and the author is forcing the reader pay for the second half to see how it ends.

Not cool.

The sad thing is, I follow D.S. Murphy online. I subscribe to his newsletter. I think he has some valuable tips for writers, but if writing a book like this is one of them, I am greatly disappointed in his teachings.  Mr. Murphy, you don’t end a book in the middle of the story and then make your readers pay to see how it ends. I know there are those who say you will make the 2nd book available for free to your newsletter subscribers, but a reader shouldn’t have to subscribe to a newsletter to see how a book ends. I already paid for the book. I shouldn’t have to pay twice to get the ending. This is the equivalent of buying THE WIZARD OF OZ only to have the book end when Dorothy meets the cowardly lion. Then to find a note at the end from the author to buy book 2 to see how it ends is a slap in the face to the reader.  I hope your other books aren’t written like this. I find it false advertising as well as a way to scam readers. If you don’t have a complete book finished, don’t publish it. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a sequel, but you should “finish” book 1. Have some closure. Have something that ties up the book and entices the reader to want more, not just put on the brakes and end the book halfway through. (By the way, the 2nd book is out and I have yet to see a newsletter from you offering up book 2 for free to your subscribers).

Upon looking at the reviews on  Goodreads, there are many who are ok with this kind of writing. I am not. When I sit down to read a book, I want the book to end, even if it leaves with the promise of book 2 or 3. You don’t stop it in the middle and then make your reader pay for the rest. There are others who state on Goodreads that the author has several books like this for sale. Shame on Mr. Murphy.

It’s sad. I really liked this book. I was planning on giving it 4 stars. The writing was really good. I was engaged. Murphy clearly has a talent with words. I loved the premise of the book, the ideas of good and evil, good and bad, and how we perceive them. I loved the take on the Greek Gods and how they functioned in our world. I also loved the way Murphy delved into how we are often wrong about 1st impressions of others. I loved learning about Kai and her mythical abilities, but…

It ended, with no closure, with not knowing how Kai could use her powers. Without understanding any of it. Under normal circumstances, I would dive for the next book. As it is, I will not venture into finishing the book because of the way the author fooled me. As a reader, I feel used and abused. Cheated.  I feel the time I took to read the story was taken for granted and twisted to the author’s whim, and he’s scamming me into buying the 2nd half of a book that should have easily been one. He should have finished the book and not split it into parts.

I am not one to give bad reviews, but in this case, I feel the warning is warranted. “Part one of Book One” may not bother some, but to me, it was a HUGE letdown, especially from someone who ‘educates’ other authors on how to write. Like I said, the book would have received 4-stars from me for the writing, but the way the author teased and abused my trust as a reader. I could only give it 2 stars.

Mooseletoe – a cute romance for the holidays


As most of you know, I usually write about and review young adult and middle-grade fiction. Very rarely will you ever see me review outside that genre, but today, I bring you my review of a Christmas romance by Tiffinie Helmer, titled MOOSELETOE.

This was a cute story of a woman, Holly Noelle Snow, who loves Christmas so much she sets up a small, quaint gift shop, aptly named Mooseltoe, in the tourist town of North Pole, Alaska. She’s really looking for love but doesn’t expect to find it in a crabapple eating, drunk, matchmaking moose named Bullwinkle (he is really quite adorable, even when he’s up to no good).

The story opens with Holly fearing for her life when she hears what she believes to be an intruder trying to enter her shop. Enter Officer Reese “Scrouge” Sutton, the long-haired, blue-eyed protector come to save the day. A brief romantic interlude occurs where Holly and Reese get tangled up in lights, thanks to Bullwinkle, thus setting up the rest of the story.

While I found this to be a typical romance, and could pretty much predict what was coming, it was still a cute, uplifting tale with humorous happenings and a happy ever after ending. The romance was a bit cheesy. I wanted to smack Sutton a couple of times. I also wanted to shake Holly.  I mean, there were a lot of “aww, come on! Ya gotta be kidding me” moments. Still, I enjoyed the story as well as all the characters like Lynx, Gemma, and Trixie.

If you like adorable little Christmas romances that are quick reads, then this is for you. It really is about as sappy and sweet as you can get. Pleasant read.