Darke Realms: Enraged : (Gorgon 1)
Mythology and legendary stories were made to entertain and hopefully make sense of the world. That doesn’t mean they speak on truth. Many times history is written by the victors, and mythology often was written to the detriment of what was considered the villains of that time.
How do I know this? From personal experience is how. My name is Xivani Stone, and I am a Gorgon. Yes, you guessed it – I’m one of those monstrous women creatures from mythology that was said to turn anyone to stone that looked upon our faces. Our most famous Gorgon sister was Medusa – made into a monster by a god and condemned to a life of misery.
Thankfully, there’s enough good people in the world that another god lessened that curse and let us become healers instead . . . most of the time anyway.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t still bad people in the world – humans, gods, and Supernaturals (or other creatures of the night).
It’s those villains with bad hearts and bad intentions that we fight. Shockingly enough, I’ve met my mate – Scorn – and his league of scorpion men assassins who were made to protect the world from the evil threatening to consume it.
There are plenty of bad actors – humans, gods, creatures that go bump in the night – is it any wonder that the rest of us are struggling to defeat the darkness? Even with the help of the half-human/half-angel hybrid – the Arcana – I still wonder if the world be strong enough to survive an evil that will never die – hatred.
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Mystical Force: Volume 5 Shadows and Darkness
Weidhuner’s fifth installment in the critically acclaimed series Mystical Force Volume 5: Shadows and Darkness continues the captivating journey of Detective Shinjo and the mystical Shi-Ria. Engaged in a ceaseless battle against the forces of crime and chaos, their purpose is to maintain equilibrium in their turbulent world.
Our protagonists’ path intertwines with a dangerous and notorious gang, the Poison Starfish, during an unexpected encounter at a shuttered store. A familiar face surfaces amidst this criminal ensemble – Chiyoko, a character carved by hardships and life’s cruel jests. Her sudden appearance initiates a chaotic distraction, perilously endangering Shinjo. However, the timely intervention of Shi-Ria ensures the duo’s survival and successful arrest of the gang.
Shi-Ria’s mysterious visions of Chiyoko start to crystalize, confirming her as the prophetic figure destined to become a Koldar or a Taman Knight, previously hinted at in Weidhuner’s earlier works. As the narrative unfolds, Shinjo, Shi-Ria, and Chiyoko collectively take on the ominous Sons of the Shadow and the looming rise of Kage Dai Yokai.
Maintaining the quintessential style that fans have come to appreciate, Weidhuner crafts each character with an individual narrative, each contributing to the grand tapestry of the series. The novel zips along briskly, with a steady tone, setting the rhythm for the reader’s immersion.
The addition of Chiyoko, previously a shadowy figure in prophetic visions, brings a fresh and intriguing perspective. Yet, one may find themselves longing for more, as the novel’s brevity leaves some questions unanswered. Compared to its predecessors, which offered richer action sequences and diverse points of view, this volume might seem a bit contained.
Mystical Force Volume 5: Shadows and Darkness perseveres in weaving Shinjo and Shi-Ria’s epic as they strive for harmony and order. This book promises to be an engaging read, ideal for fans of riveting adventures, themes of found family, and a hint of an enigma.
Pages: 84 | ASIN : B0C15X2KS7
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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In “The Visibility Mindset: How Asian American Leaders Create Opportunities and Push Past Barriers,” authors Bernice Chao and Jessalin Lam offer an authentic portrayal of Asian Americans, their leaders, and the significant impact they have on their communities. Drawing from their personal experiences and acquired wisdom, Chao and Lam present a balanced perspective, acknowledging both their Asian and American identities and exploring how minority status can either empower or hinder individuals.
The book begins with an engaging introduction that effectively dispels common stereotypes, myths, and misrepresentations of Asian Americans in the United States. This enlightening section sets the stage for the reader to fully appreciate the book’s content.
Structured into three parts, “The Visibility Mindset” covers a range of topics that are both informative and well-presented. Part one delves into self-improvement, encouraging self-reflection through the authors’ personal stories. It inspires readers to step out of their comfort zones and embrace personal growth by building their brand, recognizing their worth, and prioritizing mental health.
Part two focuses on cultivating social connections and enhancing interpersonal skills. Particularly noteworthy is the comprehensive chapter on networking, in which Jessalin Lam offers valuable insights from both an Asian and mainstream American perspective. Key takeaways include the importance of claiming one’s space and honing communication abilities.
The book’s final section serves as a call to action for corporations and organizations, addressing the challenges faced by Asian Americans in professional settings. Topics such as inclusion, diversity, and equality are discussed with a positive tone, providing practical suggestions for individuals to excel in the workplace.
As prominent leaders in the Asian American community, Bernice Chao and Jessalin Lam have assembled a wealth of information in this useful book. The firsthand accounts provide an accurate depiction of the current situation and offer potential solutions for improvement. Although the primary focus is on the Asian American community, the book resonates with many minority groups, allowing them to feel acknowledged and understood.
“The Visibility Mindset” is an insightful and thought-provoking read that I highly recommend.
Pages: 212 | ASIN: B0BLY7HBG8
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, Bernice Chao, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, indie author, Jessalin Lam, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, personal development, read, reader, reading, self help, story, Visibility Mindset, writer, writing
Curse: A Novel
Curse by Christina Maraziotis, the second installment of the Loveletting series, immerses readers in a mesmerizing and captivating tale that will leave them yearning for more. Within the pages of this book, a blend of romance, danger, and adventure awaits. Having faced the depths of despair and grappled with profound loss and grief, Charlotte discovers solace in Jesse McCoy’s tender and loyal embrace. While evading the law for crimes she has been unjustly accused of, Charlotte finds herself entangled in a web of enigmatic figures as the search for the elusive serial killer, Mac Kinnon, persists. Amidst the unsettling supernatural occurrences that unsettle Charlotte’s sense of identity and security, Jesse’s steadfast nature becomes a beacon of hope, allowing her to heal and rediscover the joys of life. As unexpected romance blossoms and her freedom is put to the test, Charlotte traverses a path that unravels the true essence of love. However, lurking behind captivating and mysterious faces lies a darkness threatening to corrupt even the purest of souls, transforming them into unrecognizable beings, yearning to reclaim their former selves.
From the very outset, Curse shows immense promise. The author’s skillful writing and thoughtful structure transform what could be an intricate and protracted narrative into a series of concise, well-crafted chapters. This approach enables the plot to breathe and seamlessly engross the reader in an immersive experience. Once engrossed in the story, one is transported to a new world where the narrative and its characters take center stage. The book’s length is justified, as it adds depth and complexity to the overarching storyline, allowing for fully realized character arcs that embody the true nature of each individual and the myriad challenges they face.
Passion, romance, and darkness intertwine throughout the narrative, with supernatural elements deftly woven into the fabric of the plot, heightening its mystery. This narrative technique captivates the reader, holding their attention steadfastly throughout, even during quieter moments. However, the true strength of this book lies in its characters. They are flawlessly imperfect, each possessing a depth and complexity that authentically reflects the human experience and its trials. Engaging and diverse, these characters form a vibrant tapestry of personalities and emotions, with their highs and lows.
Curse by Christina Maraziotis is an entrancing and spellbinding book that transports readers to a realm brimming with mystery and passion, reminding us that amidst the darkest shadows, true beauty can still be discovered.
Pages: 879 | ASIN : B0BVQHGTBC
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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On the Nature and Course of the Spirit
On the Nature and Course of the Spirit by Robert is an engaging and profound exploration of the intricacies of human existence, delving into the underlying principles of religious doctrines and their relevance to our everyday lives. With meticulous attention to detail, the book is structured into seven distinct parts, each addressing key aspects such as cognitive development, the Holy Spirit, The Father, The Son, earth, heaven, and ‘other mysteries’. Robert’s comprehensive analysis seamlessly traverses the realms of science and religion, skillfully intertwining a vast array of human experiences.
This remarkable work stands out for its highly individualistic approach to spirituality. It is a rarity to encounter such depth and intellectual rigor in books aimed at enlightening readers. Robert’s adept utilization of religious verses, evocative imagery, and compelling juxtapositions and comparisons instills a sense of credibility and reliability. Notably, the opening chapters captivated my attention, particularly the section exploring anthropomorphism, which both stimulates the mind of the reader and encourages introspection into one’s own subconscious. Additionally, the profound insights into the functions of the Holy Spirit provoke contemplation. Robert asserts that this power serves as a catalyst for creativity, both metaphorically and literally.
On the Nature and Course of the Spirit by Robert is a captivating exploration of spirituality, drawing from both theological and psychological perspectives, and is enriched with a wealth of figures and knowledge. As with any literary work aimed at awakening spirituality, it is important to approach it with discernment. The book is best suited for mature audiences, as its language is eloquent and sophisticated.
Pages: 576 | ISBN: 1685153887
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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We Make Our Own Monsters
Tales from P.I.T. Crew: Case of the Wayward Son follows a paranormal detective who prefers working alone and has to assemble a team to find the missing children. Is there anything about Dr. Darell Diamonback that came from yourself or your life experiences?
Darrell is a lot like me actually, then again, so is the rest of the PIT Crew. It helps me keep their personalities in check as sometimes when you have a broad spectrum of charters, voices can get lost or even sound the same. When you break it down: Darrell represents my intellect, Charlie my youth, Jaiden my feminine side and my heart, Ed my time as a marine, my stubbornness and my dogged determination, even Stravinsky represents my common sense and reason (though Jaiden does have a place there too with her blog at the end,) and I love animals so Nicodemus and Pooky made sense to me; everyone has their roll. Having a love of biology, science, CSI, and a bit of my background over all did help add to the gritty realism I tried to keep with this book despite the paranormal aspect, because take away the fantastic portion of the book and your still left with the underlined message: As a society, we make our own monsters.
How did you come up with the idea for the antagonist in this story, and how did it change as you wrote?
I do so love antagonists. I have ever since I was a kid, and the stronger the backstory, the stronger the villain. That’s why I focused a lot on the bogyman’s backstory so much. People needed to not only understand who he was, but why he was who he was, (if that makes sense). People love a good hero, but if you can bring a strong villain to the story, I feel those are the best stories. I had a pretty good sense of who and what I wanted the bogyman to be from the beginning: a psychopath and hopefully I portrayed him that way. He was the product of abuse though, so in understanding that, hopefully readers are able to still draw a connection to him and understand him a bit more and if not empathize then maybe at least sympathize with him by the end of the book.
Will there be another story about Dr. Diamonback in the future? If so, when will it be available?
Short answer: yes. Book 2- Tales From the PIT Crew: Mystery of the Missing Heart (I hope) should be out before the end of the year and I am in the process of penning book 3 as well- Tales From the PIT Crew: Secret of the Severed Soul. I even have ideas for books 4, 5, & 6 but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
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Tally’s Exciting Adventure
Tally and the Angel Book Two, Canada follows a girl and her guardian angel who set off on a journey to Canada to break a curse in order to save her father. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
After I had finished the first book in the Tally and the Angel series, which is set in India, I had intended Tally to go to Greece. However, I spent a week in the Yukon, husky sledding, and I just knew I had to set my story there. The idea for the curse came from a chance TV advert for a new film about a very old story. My experiences on the husky tour coupled with events that had taken place during an earlier stay in Canada in the winter, just clicked into place and contributed to Tally’s exciting adventure.
Was there a reason why you chose this location as the backdrop for your story?
I wanted the second book to be as different as possible from the first and so the sparsely inhabited, frozen wastelands of North Yukon, seemed a great choice after the hot, dusty, crowded streets of India.
Are you a fan of the Young Adult Fantasy genre? What books do you think most influenced your work?
I have always adored Tolkein’s work and also C S Lewis. These are the two writers who have influenced me the most, but I have to admit, the Harry Potter series galvanized me into action and confirmed for me that it is not necessary, nor even desirable, to ‘write down’ to children. I think this is why adults, as much as children, enjoy the Tally and the Angel series.
Will there be another story about Tally and Jophiel in the future, or are you working on a different story?
There will most certainly be more stories about Tally! I plan for them to go to Greece next (at last). Though before that I am working on the fourth book in my other series, The Amberwood Hall Ballet School series.
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Caught Up In A Bizarre Situation
Now and Forevermore Arabella follows a pre-teenage girl in the foster care system who discovers she was kidnapped and returns to her real family. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
I just got an idea one day of wondering what would happen if a car thief realized there was a toddler in the back of car that he hastily stole. That’s quite an unexpected “bonus” to receive! What the heck would he do with that child? So I created a story where the parents momentarily leave a toddler in their parked car, due to the mother having a medical emergency, and then when the dad rushes back to get the little girl, the car and the child are both gone. It takes nine years before they find her because the thief and his accomplices ultimately abandons her out of state, dumping her in a mall. She’s mislabeled as a “foundling” and put into foster care.
What were some topics that were important for you to explore in this book and share with your child and teen readers?
I myself was caught up in a bizarre situation, as a child, where a sociopathic teacher at one of the schools I attended had a personal grudge against my mother – and proceeded to harass me for two solid years to try to get back at her. That sick teacher was later also found to have been a perpetual drug abuser, and furthermore, later there was even an allegation of her, shall we say, inappropriateness with a little boy, so I’m serious when I say she was “sociopathic” – she most definitely was a one-woman walking maniacal horror story. None of that is in this book, but it is what I thought of as I wrote it. I wanted to create a story for children and teens showing that sometimes they can find themselves pawns, all caught up in situations that are the making of totally unscrupulous adults, and which are totally not their doing or their fault. There are several reprehensible adult characters involved in Arabella’s story of being stolen with a car and then “hidden” in the foster care system, and it’s entirely a situation beyond the little girl’s control, yet there she is, having to live with the consequences of it. However, most bad situations don’t last forever, and I wanted to show that to my child readers. As a matter of fact, whenever I write a story, whether it’s for children or adults, I’m always keeping one line in mind, and that’s, “What a difference a day can make!”
What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?
I wanted to show how a child in such a chaotic situation feels from the inside out, when her world has been upended, again and again, in this instance by being sent to one foster home after another. Arabella tries, initially, to fly under the radar wherever she goes, and not get noticed, so that she isn’t sent away from a foster home yet again or so that nothing else upsetting will happen to her. She’s rather jaded about people already and she’s only twelve. Later on, when she’s about to be reunited with her wonderful family that have longed to find her for years, she’s still initially cautious of them, but they’re terrific. Then once she’s back in their embrace, she starts to come out of her self-imposed shell. She finds out her real name, her actual family, and best of all, her voice.
When will book 2 be available? Can you give us an idea of where that book will take readers?
I have a habit of working on more than one book at a time, kind of freestyle, and the Arabella sequel is one of the ones I’m still in the process of creating at the moment. I’m not sure when it will be available yet, but probably some time later this year. Arabella has quite a past to overcome and, with her family, she has a much more pleasant present to enjoy, too. I’m putting another mystery in this book for Arabella, her friends and little sister to help solve, and bringing in a hard-to-figure-out character or two from her past, as well. She lives on an island in Florida, so I can put more of the location into this one, including a mysterious boat with a surprising cargo, since the first book was more about solving what had happened to Arabella that caused her to have such a past. Florida was more incidental in the first one but it’s going to be a big part of this one. It’s going to be so much fun to write that I’m smiling already as I think about it!
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