Blog Archives


Book Review

Jetsam by Tracy Grogan is the third book in the A Divemaster Ricky Adventure series. It is a story about Ricky’s involvement in a mission where she was supposed to collect water samples to gauge the water pollutants in the sea. It seemed like a simple mission on the surface, but as Ricky dives deeper into the ocean, the mission begins to churn into a mill of deception and fake identities. With multiple close combats where she can lose her life, she surfs through several legal and illegal activities throughout the book.

The writing style of the book is engaging and fast-paced. I found myself stuck to the pages once the story caught momentum. Even though this is the third book of A Divemaster Ricky Adventure, you will find no difficulty in understanding the proceedings of the book. Multiple plots run throughout the story. The characters are well-developed. The twists of the stories never stop coming, and even when I predicted a few of them, reading them unfurl was an enjoyable experience.

The story is focused mainly on international waters and the Myanmar territory. Myanmar’s political and social conditions in 2016 form the central portion of the story setting. The terrorist groups, the smugglings, the role of US agencies, and the corruption prevailing in that have been explored by the author. It got heavy to read, at times, when things morphed into reality instead of fiction. The story is beautifully crafted, and the deaths keep the feeling of reality and morbidity alive in the narrative. I enjoyed the fun banter and the thrill that the book provides. Some heavy topics were explored in the book, but they add substance to the fictional events. Also, the in-depth discussions of the sea and the handling of the weapons left me with a feeling of actually being there with Captain Rich while he rants off about so many subjects he holds expertise in.

Overall, Jetsam is a thrilling mystery novel with nonstop action to keep readers hooked from start to finish. It will fill readers with a feeling of exhilaration and adrenaline rush after every ambush the characters step into. In addition, the book provides a heavy dose of reality checks with a shot of entertainment.

Pages: 358

Fugitive Mage

Following their success in the provincial dragon boat races, Mage Everand and Lamiya find themselves firmly and irrevocably in love. As they continue their journey together, it is clear that their paths are deeply intertwined. Although they just want some time to be together, events seem to separate the two of them again and again, from kidnapping to old loyalties. With the mages of his homeland expecting his return and a half-mage wreaking havoc in the provinces, Everand must choose his allegiance and deal with the consequences of being torn between multiple worlds. Meanwhile, Lamiya’s power grows, and she learns more about her destiny as more than just a caller of birds.

Fugitive Mage by Kaaren Sutcliffe is an action-packed story of escape, subterfuge, and romance. The characters are all likable and complex, with their own varying motivations. The reader can also feel sympathy toward those who had bad intentions in the past. In a marvelous feat of character development, those who were initially framed as enemies become allies or those in need of protection. The landscape is full of magic, lore, and river dragons while staying intensely human and relatable. Throughout all of this, Sutcliffe is able to create an atmospheric setting in which to continue with the second book of the series.

Overall, Fugitive Mage by Kaaren Sutcliffe is an engaging and entertaining read which is fast-paced and packed full of exciting events and plot twists without being overwhelming. The content is well-written and delightful to read. Moreover, the storyline is always accompanied by a light-hearted touch, even when the events themselves get serious. I would highly recommend Fugitive Mage for those looking for an action-packed fantasy that constantly keeps the reader on their toes.

Pages: 428 | ASIN : B0BY6QV6SV

Buy Now From Amazon

Malketh and the Undead

Three young knights in the king’s service, Raven, Romda, and Ravai, set out to investigate a mysterious threat deep in the mines of Gold Mountain. On the journey, they discover that the kingdom’s history has a significant part to play in the happenings of the now, as legends come to life before their very eyes. Encountering a deadly danger much more severe than the young knights ever would have thought possible, the team must summon all their courage to protect the kingdom from absolute destruction. Searching for answers and discovering the most unlikely of allies, the group gives its all to guard the kingdom they love.

Malketh and the Undead: Raven, Romda, and Ravai Book 2 by Dave Maruszewski is a concise fantasy adventure that packs an unbelievable amount of action into its pages. Somber Raven, the archer of the group, stalwart Ravai, the warrior, and fiery Romda, the mage, must work together to navigate the depths of Gold Mountain and discover the true nature of the threat to the kingdom. Raven and Ravai are best friends who tend to compete with each other, leaving Romda to act as a peacemaker and keep the group focused on their goals. However, threats escalate as the journey continues toward its conclusion, leaving plenty of room for more adventures in the lives of these upcoming heroes.

The story takes several pauses in the action to highlight an event of the past, giving readers more context to the tale. This novel does assume that the reader has read the first book in the series, so details are limited to past events, but these flashbacks help. In addition, the lighthearted narrative of the three friends embarking on an action-packed adventure to save the kingdom made this a fun read.

The author takes readers on a thrilling journey of magic and mayhem, making this an excellent fit for all who love a compact fantasy adventure. Malketh and the Undead is a tale of friendship and working together to overcome deadly odds. A story of camaraderie in the face of danger, this journey of three young knights at the threshold of greatness is filled with the promise of many more adventures to come.

Pages: 100 | ASIN : B0BT3FD25L

Buy Now From Amazon

Titanian Warrior

Titanium Warrior is the final book in the Titanium chronicles by Victoria Saccenti.  Hagen, the novel’s hero must find his eternal Phoenix mate or risk going rogue with blood lust and getting eliminated. The heroine, Faiza, and her sister are sold off by their parents to Master O, a strange wizard who Faiza suspects is not genuine with them. The protagonists’ destinies intertwine when Faiza’s vision of an injured man accompanying master O. is fulfilled. As Faiza figures out Master O’s diabolical plan, she must get them out of his clutches. Will Faiza be able to accept the destiny that connects her and Hagen?

Titanium Warrior by Victoria Saccenti is a story of eternal love, fated lovers, and everything in between. It is filled with adventures and action. Readers are quickly immersed in an exotic world which, although materially similar to the human world, is wildly different. This is a befitting recommendation for lovers of fantasy and paranormal romance, including readers who enjoy heart-warming tales.

The romance between our protagonists is passionate and believable. Although it might seem like an advanced reading with complex characters, it is engaging. The supporting characters are also well-developed, adding depth to the story. The use of suspense moves the story’s plot, and the pacing of the story is well-balanced. The novel explores several themes, including love, trust, betrayal, and redemption.

Titanium Warrior by Victoria Saccenti is a riveting, well-written, and blends romance, action, and fantasy seamlessly. It features an exciting display of supernatural forces and power in the modern world. A world with cars, computers, and technology that doubles as a world filled with Titanians, vampires, wizards, and different supernatural creatures that walk amongst humans. There’s also a unique, constant reference to supernaturals using technology to fight evil.

Pages: 284 | ASIN : B0BNZFHM28

Buy Now From Amazon

The Scam Series

Scam at Old River
After a night out celebrating the conclusion of a successful assignment, computer forensic expert Jack Rhodes, wakes up with a beautiful woman in his bed, an almighty hangover, and someone is pounding on his door. He answers, and the large stranger asks for the woman by name. The stranger goes on the attack. Jack thinks he’s in the middle of a relationship drama.
Drawing on his martial arts training, Jack subdues the assailant. He calls the police, but not before learning the woman has hidden incriminating files from a dangerous man. When the police arrive, the woman has disappeared.
Through his connections on the force, Jack volunteers to go undercover and discover the truth. It becomes a dark and menacing path into the hidden underbelly of San Francisco’s business and criminal element where murder, exploitation, fraud, and betrayal are a way of life. He needs to make the connections, get the proof he needs and find the woman fast. But to do so means facing his demons, a darkness within, and a past he cannot escape.

Scam at Five Mile Road
Jack Rhodes’ latest assignment seems straightforward. Investigate Link Industries’ Plymouth factory in Michigan, locate the company’s missing money, track for possible theft, and investigate the deaths of three men. The company’s current management says there’s a possible systems glitch, no stock is missing, and the deaths are tragic accidents, nothing more. But the company owner and Jack’s sometimes lover, Stella West, disagrees.
Once he arrives at the facility, it’s clear not everyone is happy about his arrival. After a string of near misses, it is evident that someone wants him out of the picture and is not afraid to get their hands dirty.
As Jack closes in on the culprit, he inadvertently places everyone he comes in contact with in danger. If he doesn’t get results fast, there’ll be more to lose than the factory and the people he cares for. This time, there won’t be any escape from the darkness within.

Scam at Mount Diablo
Computer forensic expert, Jack Rhodes, doesn’t go looking for trouble … but it always seems to find him! Even on the first visit to his latest assignment, investigating a straightforward case checking warehouse management software, it’s clear that someone wants to scare him off. Throw into the mix a dangerous connection to one of San Francisco’s most notorious crime families, an ex-director of Mossad, and an illegal trading platform, and it’s not long before Jack finds himself fighting for his life in a 3am attack on his uncle’s Mt. Diablo ranch, from a group of highly trained international mercenaries.
Adding to the drama, there’s a serial killer heading towards San Francisco, and his sometimes-lover, Stella West, is a perfect fit for the victim profile.
Unassuming and always underestimated, Jack has to rely on his extensive MMA fighting skills, his next-level data analysis, and sharp, logical mind, to protect the innocent. But what if his data is incomplete? Who can he trust, and who will be the next victim?

Call of Chaos

Call of Chaos: Book One: The Chaos Reigns Saga is a captivating high fantasy novel that follows the journey of our half-elven protagonist, Kyrianna. She is an outcast from her own family, viewed as a betrayer to their name due to her loyalty to an enemy clan. Her father has disowned her, and she must also confront the elven discrimination from townsfolk who do not accept her kind. Trapped in a temple dedicated to Thynitic, The Lady of Chaos, Kyrianna and her companions are tasked with finding an ancient artifact before they can leave. As the search for the artifact continues, Kyrianna begins to suspect that there may be a deeper purpose to their journey. 

The novel is a compelling portrayal of inner and outer conflict, with an array of interesting and realistic characters. The scenic descriptions are vivid and immersive, taking readers on a journey through various landscapes, including the dragon mountains. The relationship between Kyrianna and her brother, Erudus, is paramount to the story of her redemption. Her trauma of being an outcast from her own family adds a dynamic layer to the saga, creating an emotional pull for readers who long for justice for Kyrianna. I was drawn in by Kyrianna’s call to a mission by a voice that only she could hear. This hook compelled me to keep reading, eager to find out what happens next in her journey. The cast of characters and their interactions with each other is another highlight of the novel, with wolves playing a significant part in the story.

Overall, lovers of fantasy will find The Call of Chaos to be a gripping read. This is an excellent start to what is sure to be an exciting series. I can not wait to see what adventures Carol Hightshoe takes readers on next.

Pages: 332 | ASIN : B00ZTEOWSS

Buy Now From Amazon

With My Own Twists and World

Lewis D’Ambra Author Interview

The Year of the Dark Spring follows a historian examining how the people of a planet long ago reacted to a comet in the sky. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

Each of the individual stories actually came first. They are inspired by some of the myths and religions of the ancient eastern Mediterranean and Near east (and a little of the Americas too), with my own twists and world added in. However, I felt the idea of linking these stories together with one event upon which the narrative hinged, such as a comet, was an interesting way to show how various people and cultures would react slightly differently to the same phenomena, according to their own understanding of the world and their own history. The historian taking a step back to examine these events in the round then felt like a natural place to introduce the reader to this world. An event that effected the whole world and brought some big changes to humanity is certainly something I think any historian would be interested in examining.  

What was the inspiration for the culture of your characters? Is it modeled after any particular society?

The world is roughly analogous to the classical period in the eastern Mediterranean and Near east. Having studied history at university, this period has always held a fascination for me and so each of the characters and cultures in the book are modelled off the societies of Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia and with some Celtic influence in there too. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The book tries to delve into humanity, not only focussing on the internal conflicts we all have, but also the tests and tensions that inevitably develop within societies and cultures. I was trying to explore the ways in which human societies and cultures are tied to the world in which they exist and that they are inevitably shaped, influenced and changed by their environments. As those environments change and evolve, so human societies, and the way we interact with each other, inevitably have to do so too. Usually this happens over years, decades and centuries, but I felt that the comet was a device that would force this confrontation to happen over days and weeks, and so beginning to test people, societies, and cultures to their limits.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on the first book in a series set in the same world. During the prologue and epilogue of The Year of the Dark Spring, the narrator mentions the ongoing campaigns of Tekolger, the King of the Doldun. This series is intended to explore the aftermath of those campaigns and so is set about thirty years after the events of the The Year of the Dark Spring. The manuscript is finished, but being edited, so I am hoping I will be able to publish it within the next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter

Eight hundred and thirty-two years after the fall of the great city of old Kolbos and the civilisation ending event known as the Dusk, a burning red streak appears in the sky above the world of Kolgennon. The flaming tail causes the sky to darken for weeks, turning spring from a time of new life and renewal to a time of desperation and turmoil. Old myths and old gods re-emerge as the magic and knowledge that was lost to the world during the Dusk begins to return. The comet pushes societies to their limits as they struggle to contend with an unending darkness. As tensions grow, the rumble of war comes closer and each of the cultures and peoples of Kolgennon interpret and react to the omens in the sky in different ways.

This collection of short stories is set in the world of Kolgennon, in a time akin to our own classical world. Each of the nine stories places the comet as the key event of the narrative and each follows a new protagonist, seeing the events of the dark spring through the eyes of a variety of characters and settings. The narrative is framed by a short prologue and epilogue from a historian reflecting back on this time and speculating on what went through the minds of the people that these events effected.

Research-based Imagination

T.N. Baldwin Author Interview

Disciples follows four friends on a journey who are all looking for something different while trying to stop a war. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Essentially it was set up by the previous two novels, the concept for which originally came to me in a dream. However, it was certainly inspired by the different areas of life we can allow to limit us. Logan struggles with discerning who he can trust and how you decide, Carla chooses to pursue something she knows is wrong to get her greatest desire, Blessing allows herself to step out of mediocrity and to pursue something where she can be great and Junior, so long reliant on his strength and aura, has to overcome a horrendous injury. I think all of the stories pursue themes and values core to humanity.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your character’s life?

I certainly tap into some of my own flaws and inconsistencies and consider how they might be exacerbated in such extreme circumstances as those my characters face. However, I try to communicate the sense of experience rather than drawing on my own. Very few scenes depicted in my novels (bar two notable exceptions in one chapter) have any basis in fact. Most of what I write is research-based imagination.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

Ooh, two scenes stand out. I loved writing the scene where the wise-cracking ice dragon Floyd (which stand for Flying Lizard Of Your Doom) embellishes some of his past adventures. The scene in the hospital where Junior is trying to lead sick and injured children to safety while soldiers are hunting for them was a harrowing experience to write about but I’m really proud of how it came out. I like to think showcased the many personalities and behaviours we see in children and people in general.

Can you tell us where the book goes and where we’ll see the characters in the next book?

The book leaves us with each character facing a very different reality. Junior is about to be offered a job that satisfies the ego he tries to hide. Carla finally gets what she most wants but at a huge cost. After great success, Blessing is forced to humble herself to ensure she remains on an upward trajectory. And Logan… well, he’s in big trouble. Sorry about the cliffhanger ending!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website


Enter a dystopian future where terrifying creatures of the imagination have driven humanity underground.
The trouble with choosing a side is knowing whether you’ve picked the right one.
The dynamics of The War are changing. Allegiances are shifting. And sometimes, victories behind the scenes matter more than the ones everyone can see.
As the lines between right and wrong, human and Abomination blur, Junior, Blessing, Carla and Logan will each face a choice. It’s time for them to decide where they really stand. After so many betrayals, it’s impossible to know who to trust. And yet, the choices they are compelled to make today will alter the future of the Earth.
But what are they prepared to sacrifice to shape their better world?
%d bloggers like this: