Blog Archives

Earth 101: Time to Run

Earth 101: Time to Run by Emae Church introduces us to Jayne’s eerie world, where high school girls are disappearing and mysterious boys with unnatural features seemed to be all around. Jayne is the only one who remembers the missing girls, and it’s starting to make her feel like she’s going crazy. One boy in particular forms a powerful bond with her—Aithen is alluring and kind to Jayne when the rest of their school is suspicious of her research into the missing girls. With a strange man named Erek lurking around the girls and mutterings of possible supernatural creatures, all signs point to one dark answer: alien abduction.

The world is in peril, and the characters in Earth 101: Time to Run need to save it. Jayne herself holds the fate of the universe in her hands. Through her compassion for her missing friends and desperation to protect her family, Jayne connects the dots and becomes closer to Aithen as he shares the secrets of his home planet, Korudaz. He moves through time and sees the future where Jayne’s life is in danger. Rather than allow those pieces to fall into place, they decide to rewrite history and save the world.

I loved the pacing of this story. Every moment was a surprising twist, full of exciting action. The characters were nuanced and complex as they navigated the supernatural aspects of the story. I really enjoyed seeing the connections that Jayne made with others as she strives toward protecting the people she loves and saving her friends from being permanently deleted.

While I found the alien world fascinating, I was a little confused by all the terms that we are introduced to. There were many worlds, objects, and people to keep track of at once as the alien universe is first brought into our story. However, by the end of the book these ideas became easier to follow and made the story very intriguing and created an immersive experience. I liked how creative the approach to space was within this book.

Earth 101: Time to Run by Emae Church is a fast-paced, high intensity science fiction story that brings a new approach to stories of alien invasion. With our heroine Jayne and her intense focus, we’re able to travel through time and watch as she encounters daring feats. This is a story full of passion, action, and romance that you won’t want to miss.

Pages: 412 | ISBN: 1916300375

Buy Now From B&N.com

 

Eastover Treasures

Eastover Treasures by [Dawn Brotherton]

Eastover Treasures is written by award winning author Dawn Brotherton. The story follows Aury and her fellow quilters, as she tries to solve a series of clues for a treasure hunt that was devised in the 1860s. Eastover Treasures combines a mystery novel with a slight hint of romance, and is an interesting read.

This intriguing cozy mystery novel is set in the same geographical area, over two time periods. Geographically, Eastover Treasures is set on a piece of land and buildings in Florida. The first time period is the 1860’s. The land and buildings make up a large plantation. The time period is stated at the top of the chapter, but this is also supported by rich detail such as clothing descriptions, technology (or lack of) and the dialogue and speech of the characters. Subsequent chapters transition into the past as the characters read diary entries written in the 1860s. The present-day time setting is indicated by the land usage – a motel and discarded house, descriptions of nearby towns and available technology (electricity, internet, speech). The two time periods are linked in numerous ways: quilts found in both the house and quilts the women are making, remnants of buildings that existed in the 1860s and present day relatives of the family that lived on the plantation in the 1860s.

There are many fascinating characters that color this spellbinding story –  both present day characters and characters in the 1860s. Characters in the 1860s include Mary and her children, Frederick, Thomas, Noah, Sarah. The reader gains some insight into Mary’s feelings and motivations through her inner monologue. However, large parts of her life remain a mystery until the end of the novel. All of the children and their actions feature in subsequent diary entries. In the present day, Aury and Scott are the main characters of the novel. Both are well developed an authentic. Aury, an avid quilter, is an accountant by trade, whom has had her interest piqued in the estate by a mysterious treasure hunt she and her friends found reference to in a diary. Scott, owner of the estate develops an interest in both the treasure hunt and Aury herself. As the novel progresses their friendship develops and grows naturally.

Eastover Treasures is an interesting and worthwhile read. The geographical setting is well described and draws the reader into the enthralling story immediately. The characters are authentic, relatable and even heartwarming, and the relationship between Aury and Scott becomes a sub plot within the novel that was engrossing in itself. This is an mesmerizing historical mystery story that was a delight to read.

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B094D54C8R

Buy Now From B&N.com

Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy Series

Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy by [Anna J Walner]

Larougo (The Uluru Legacy Series Book Two) by Anna J Walner is a suspenseful paranormal adult fiction book that continues the story of Amelia and Roan from Garkain, Book One of the series. After learning that Amelia is pregnant with triplets, she and Roan travel back to Australia from the United States for their joining ceremony. But there are many surprises waiting for them when they return home. The couple learns that they are expected to take on the role of leaders of a new Colony, combining the Colony of vampires currently led by Amelia’s grandfather with Roan’s pack of were-dingos. And Amelia’s mix of vampire and lycanthrope bloodlines mean that they don’t know quite what to expect during her pregnancy. With a group of hunters bent on exterminating all of them, will anyone survive?

Author Anna J Walner has created a unique story within a packed paranormal genre that will feel familiar but still creates its own imaginative world. I liked the setting of Australia for this paranormal series, and the unique aspect of were-dingos instead of the typical wolves, couple this with a deep level of intrigue baked into the story right from the beginning and you get what fans loved in book one, but taken to a new level. How Roan and Amelia navigate pack politics is riveting and will appeal to any reader who loves the drama that goes with intertwining desires among strong characters.

While I enjoyed the story line and the characters, I felt that there were a lot of descriptions in the book; there’s a scene about making online purchases and unpacking boxes, but once we’re pass this the pace of the novel really picks up.

Amelia is still an impassioned character with strong feeling about things and her reaction to the events around her elevates the melodrama whenever she’s in the scene to ensure things are always interesting. With a twist later on that really challenges her love, and who she loves more, readers are in for an emotional-rollercoaster.

Larougo is a thrilling paranormal romance novel that continues the riveting story from book one. If you have not read book one, Garkain, I highly suggest you do as the second book presses forward without summary. This is an emotionally charged shifter romance story that will leave you wanting more.

Pages: 227 | ASIN:  B093LPV47C

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Tale of The Pumpkin Seed Squad – Book Trailer

Riley Chester-field Mouse has acquired both a name and some friends in this 2nd book of a series chronicling the life of the little field mouse. Through the same easy-read poetry and captivating caricatures exhibited in The Tale of the Christmas Hero, the author and artist comically relate the imaginative adventures — and misadventures — of Riley and his friends.

The tale begins on a crisp, fall morning as Riley hastens to join his friends in their newly-discovered game called football. In a flashback to the previous week, Riley recalls his disastrous introduction to the sport when he tried to interject himself into a people-boys’ game and was found to be no match for a football 10 times his size! But his inventive friend, Gus, hatched a plan to scale the game down to their level, promising to bring a mouse-sized ball to their next Saturday play date.

When Gus arrives at the field lugging a HUGE pumpkin, his friends scoff in disbelief until he climbs inside the pumpkin and proudly produces the perfect game ball — a pumpkin seed! So, then, “with walnut shells for helmets and long toenails for cleats, both teams stood ready to perform amazing football feats!!”

The game and the story play out in clever detail as each mouse team scrambles to conquer the scoreboard before the hungry little Gus devours all the delicious-tasting balls! Through a delightful twist at the end of the tale, the little mice discover friendship to be the real victor in their competition.

The Tale of the Pumpkin Seed Squad is a delightful commentary on competition and sportsmanship that will surely charm even the least of its budding-athlete readers.

Buy Now From B&N.com

It Often Comes at a Price

John  Hazen
John Hazen Author Interview

The Correction follows a man that has the ability to give people a chance to correct their past, but one wrong correction sends him on a perilous journey of redemption. What was the inspiration behind the idea of the ‘Correction’?

I sometimes get a concept—or more precisely a question—in my head I can’t get rid of that eventually matures and finds its way into a novel. Questions like ‘What would happen if someone came upon one of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas for Jesus’ life?’ or ‘Is it possible to compare two wars like the Civil War and the Vietnam War that are dissimilar in so many ways?’ are examples. The Correction is no different. Even the most fortunate and luckiest person on earth has one ‘what if’ moment where they would have liked to have done something differently. Making a mistake or saying the wrong thing or making a selfish decision that hurts someone else, these foibles of the human character seemed too universal not to try to capture. In The Correction, I give a lucky few people an opportunity to go back and correct a mistake. It seems like this would be too good to be true, but like any such gift, it often comes at a price.

What were some ideas that drove Joseph Vance’s character development throughout the novel?

I wanted Joseph Vance to be an everyman but at the same time be lofty in his goals, aspirations and ideals. He is a man who has what is most dear to him stolen from him through a Correction gone wrong. He slips into despair and cynically puts his gift to improper ends, but I wanted there to remain in him a spark of the better man he is. Hopefully, that spark is enough to burst into a flame of redemption, but you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

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

I always try to infuse broader societal messages in my books even as I’m presenting personal stories and relationships. The Correction is no different. The scourge of racism plays a special role in this book. There are also stories of love, devotion and acceptance throughout the novel. I think the one theme that most permeates this book is that of second chances. Everybody deserves a second chance. The Correction presents the epitome of giving someone a second chance to correct a mistake and make amends.

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

I’ve written a series, The Vega Investigative Thriller Series, about a New York City Investigative TV Reporter, Francine Vega. She uncovers and helps thwarts plots that, if allowed to proceed to fruition, could jeopardize the safety and security of country and even the world. The third book, Beyond Revelation, came out in December and it’s time to write the fourth in the series. I’m hoping to have the next book finished by the end of the year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

It’s human nature to make mistakes. We learn and grow because of them. What we can’t do is go back in time to correct a mistake—that is unless we meet Joseph Vance or his family. When Joe performs Corrections—a gift passed down generation to generation over eight hundred years—people are transported back for a do-over of a wrong decision they made. As a result, lives are changed, usually for the better. But after one Correction goes terribly wrong, Joseph loses what is most dear to him. He must then make a choice, one which will determine whether he will be redeemed or consigned to a life of despair.

Discovering Twins: no secret is safe forever

Discovering Twins: no secret is safe forever by [Stella ter Hart]

Discovering Twins by Stella ter Hart is a memoir, a biography and a short fictional stories all-in-one. It blurs the line between memory and imagination, and that’s what sets it apart. It takes us through the life of ter Hart’s family. With more than 20 short stories exploring different characters and their lives, Discovering Twins is a magnificent debut by Stella ter Hart. It talks about the life of a Jewish family under an oppressive regime; it celebrates life and explores motherhood, childhood, and families in fascinating ways.

The book explores various themes and has something to interest everyone. It talks about the small celebrations of life, taking us through incidents like childbirth, the discomforts and joys of pregnancies, a girl becoming a woman and the fear of the unknown that strikes when you menstruate for the first time. It later talks about Stella’s ageing mother, who suffers from mental illness in the later stages of life. It truly represents life and its various color and shades.

Divided into unconnected short stories about several people in no particular order, one would expect the book to be rather chaotic. However, the author surprises us by making the book feel coherent and rather beautifully connected from one story to another. The stories themselves do not follow the standard format of a story with an introduction, climax or ending. Instead, they narrate instances, some monumental, some mundane, but each brilliantly described. It feels like a window into Stella’s family that we peak into from time to time.

The book also gives us rare insight into the Holocaust and its horrors. How sometimes, parents were even forced to choose between their children. It talks about how her mother and their generation were forced to lie because the truth could get them killed. Stella brings out the horrors of war and genocide without letting the story become a book about the Holocaust, but rather how the scars have a ripple effect.

Discovering Twins is a must-read for anyone looking to get an intriguing and insightful look into the life and struggles of Jews during times of war contrasted with the warm, happy, bright life of ter Hart’s family.

Pages: 256 | ASIN: B094F8WYDT

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Andean Cross: A Novel – Book Trailer

Ever since Europeans discovered and came to conquer and colonize the Americas, a great question occupied European Christians. Did Jesus Christ, or his immediate successors the Apostles and the first Christians who followed, cross the great Atlantic or Pacific Oceans and proselytize among the indigenous peoples of the New World? Read the story of what may have happened. Using his knowledge of the age of the Conquest, the author begins with a shipwreck and an artifact and weaves the story of the Andean cross, a piece of Christian culture that is both American and European. This faced-paced story spanning Europe, North America, and Latin America will electrify you with its implications on the great age of the Encounter and the secrets and mysteries of Christianity that still fascinate so many.

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Journey of Life

The Journey of Life by [Teklemariam Birbirsa]

Mistre is one of those characters you can’t stop thinking about. She is living a life of the most challenging kind. She is a mother, but she is unable to be present for her children. Despite the choices she has made and the mistakes that have shaped her, Mistre manages to live her life for others. Her sights are set on helping those who cannot help themselves. Now, however, Mistre is on the run, and her life will never be the same–as her life changes, so do those of her children. If it is possible for a woman to triumph over what appears to be the depths of despair, Mistre is the woman to do it.

The Journey of Life, by Teklemariam Birbirsa, details all the turbulence and trauma of Mistre’s life. Beginning with an unplanned pregnancy that could be the beginning of the end for her, Mistre relies on her friends’ kind hearts and guidance. She has a purpose in life, and nothing will stop her–even some of the most devastating roadblocks a person can endure.

Birbirsa does a wonderful job of incorporating truths into this work of historical fiction. The timing and the settings truly bring the characters and their challenges to life. From governmental overreach to the Red Terror of Ethiopia, the author covers some truly heinous subject matter. Readers who look for bits of historical accuracy in their dramas will appreciate the efforts to which Birbirsa has gone to add details to Mistre’s story.

Time seems to pass quickly for the characters. I could feel myself zooming through Mistre’s life and found myself wondering, at some points, who was talking. Mistre’s life is full, offers many more chances for side stories, and could stand to be drawn out into even more detailed chapters. Overall, the book seemed short, and I was begging for more by the end.

The Journey of Life, by Teklemariam Birbirsa is a riveting and emotionally charged novel. Mistre is a truly involved character with many chances for a more well-developed storyline. There is an underlying current of fear surrounding the main characters that deserves even more exploration. I look forward to seeing more from Birbirsa in the future and would love to see an offshoot of Mistre’s life exploring the lives of her children.

Pages: 148 | ASIN: B08ZJRBPXG

Buy Now From B&N.com

%d bloggers like this: