Song of the Sea
Song of the Sea by Meredith Leigh Burton is a charming and engaging story about mermaid princess Aria and her sister Octavia, who live in their beloved ocean home. As daughters of the Sea King, they are responsible for protecting the sea, helping the spirits of the departed, and discussing their potential fiancés, all of which are part of their everyday routine. However, their lives are upended when a mysterious storm threatens the life of human prince Reginald, and Aria risks everything to save him.
Burton’s tale of tolerance and understanding draws inspiration from classic fairy tales, particularly The Little Mermaid, as Aria embarks on a dangerous adventure to uncover the truth and save two kingdoms from destruction. Aria and Reginald’s friendship and alliance are at the heart of this story, and Burton’s use of musical terminology adds depth and richness to the narrative. This novel has many twists and turns, keeping readers hooked as they watch the thrilling plot unfold. Burton manages to keep readers guessing, waiting to discover the fate of the two kingdoms.
Song of the Sea is a compelling and thought-provoking story with a plot that closely follows the storyline of The Little Mermaid. Aside from that similarity, this novel has a new villain and a fresh take on well-known characters, making this story stands out as a unique work. In addition, their book has some mature content, making it better suited for older teens and young adult audiences.
Song of the Sea is a captivating and enjoyable read with an important message of love, harmony, and cultural understanding. It is perfect for readers who enjoy a fresh retelling of classic tales, and its story of diplomacy and friendship offers a new perspective on a familiar theme.
Pages: 132 | ASIN : B0BMM6PY7K
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens book, ebook, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, folklore, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Meredith Leigh Burton, myths, nook, novel, paranormal romance, read, reader, reading, romance, self discovery, Song of the Sea, story, teen, writer, writing, young adult
Thaddeus and the Master
Louis Sauvain’s Thaddeus and the Master is an enthralling continuation of the College of Sorcerers Trilogy, promising an exciting adventure for readers. The novel follows Thaddeus and his two brothers, Rolland and Anders, as they face new challenges and obstacles at the College of Sorcerers. The looming threat of expulsion adds a sense of urgency to their training, forcing them to trust each other and rely on their bond as brothers to survive.
Sauvain has crafted a rich and vivid world filled with magical spells and fantastical creatures that will captivate readers. The story is expertly woven together, with each character adding depth and complexity to the overall narrative without overshadowing the central storyline. Thaddeus is a compelling protagonist, and readers will be invested in his journey from beginning to end. The supporting cast is equally intriguing, adding layers of depth and nuance to the story. Despite Master Silvestrus being less prominent than anticipated, Sauvain provides enough detail to keep readers engaged. Unfortunately, the Prophecy is only partially revealed, leaving readers anticipating the next book in the series.
Thaddeus and the Master is an engaging and immersive novel, drawing readers into the world of the College of Sorcerers and keeping them hooked until the very end. With each twist and turn in the plot, readers will be on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating what comes next. Sauvain has created a captivating and entertaining fantasy series that readers will enjoy.
Pages: 444 | ASIN : B0BMGGN3MN
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, dark fantasy, ebook, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, folklore, goodreads, horror, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, Louis Sauvain, magic, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, Thaddeus and the Master, writer, writing
This story begins with Jim going on his hike through the canyons. He’s excited about this trip and wants to make the most of it. As he was settling to sleep, a howling sound could be heard around him, coyotes. He examines where the noise comes from and discovers the strangest ancient ritual, the coyotes stood around a fire, their howls sounding tuneful. This wasn’t a ritual meant for human eyes; Jim begins to back away and run to his car. He can feel the coyotes all around until he meets the coyote, who wears a blazer, and a hat and smokes a pipe. Jim escapes, but not entirely – he is plagued by this coyote every single day. He feels unsafe and on edge no matter where he is.
Coyote by Charles Combee is a fascinating story about a coyote dressed smartly in a red blazer and black hat, which is powerful and not of this earth. This story depicts a coyote who has an unusual but deadly power. Jim escapes narrowly, but the same could not be said for Audrey and her family. Audrey and her family were just as unaware of what was ahead for them as Jim. The coyote tears this family apart, as well as causes the strange phenomenon of certain areas of land becoming ‘dead’ and generating a feeling of knives if you enter. Audrey attempts to escape but is caught and trapped alone in the darkness until Jim frees her. However, when Audrey is free, they discover she is still linked to the powerful coyote, and they must break the link for Audrey to get her life back.
This book is excellently written with interesting and unique characters. The world-building and the scenery are described so well that the reader can clearly imagine the surroundings and feel like they are there with the characters. Charles Combee successfully creates suspense throughout the story, and the reader can feel the uneasiness of the characters. This book is dramatic, exciting, and has a unique storyline, which is thought out and completed perfectly. I’d thoroughly recommend this book to anybody who loves suspenseful stories. Readers will be fully emersed in the world created in Coyote.
Pages: 178 | ASIN : B0BM52CT25
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Charles Combee, Coyote, dark fantasy, ebook, Fairy tale Fantasy, fantasy, fiction, folklore, goodreads, horror, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, mythology, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural thriller, thriller, writer, writing
The Magic Involved
The Masque of Count Milado follows a man from Earth who sets off on a quest to retrieve the missing masque before it goes missing forever. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I wanted to reprise characters introduced in “The House on Chambers Court”, though the challenge I set for myself was to write a traditional murder mystery. This book was an attempt to do that, and of course it’s a lot harder than it seems, the challenges of exposing the clues to both the characters and the reader in such a way as to move the story and keep everyone guessing.
Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?
Many of the characters in my book are based on people I know personally or in the public eye. Villains are easy to spot in the political and corporate spectrum. At least that is the root of their creation. It gives me a ‘face’ to work from, though once the book is under way, they really take on their own personalities.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Each book I write represents a particular challenge for me, in this case writing a murder mystery. I don’t want my books to be carbon copies of each other, though some themes run through each. A subtle part of the book is taking on animal perspectives and how they may be different from our own. Add to that, Xavier Gaines is faced with an additional perspective, the differences between men and women. Empathy is an important element of the magic involved.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
“The Wizard of Grimmer’s Wharf” has just been released (another mystery) and I’m well into the next book, “The Rift of Brande”. I’ve a great deal of experience sailing and so I wanted to write a ‘sea story’ involving adventure and lost treasure. I’ve reprised characters introduced in “Grimmer’s Wharf” and “The Henna Witch”. It looks to be a bigger book, perhaps rivaling “The Deck of the Numinon” in size. Of course magic is involved, which is also a great way to introduce some metaphysics into the story. Speaking of “the Deck of the Numinon”, which is wonderfully illustrated, I’m working with the artist to create an entire deck, providing the guide book to supplement her work. Fundamental excerpts were included as an addendum in “the Deck of the Numinon”. With a little perseverance on my part, both will be ready by the end of ’23.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, fairy tale, fiction, folklore, GJ Scherzinger, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, mythology, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, The Masque of Count Milado, thriller, writer, writing
The Masque of Count Milado
The Masque of Count Milado by GJ Scherzinger is a fantasy mystery centered around a powerful masque thought to be long lost. Xavier Gaines, a man from Earth who found his way to the magical world of Terranovae, has been asked by a friend to use his magical and physical abilities to retrieve this mask from Count Milado, who has acquired it. So Xavier sets off to infiltrate the count’s court with his wife and daughter in tow. Shortly after arriving, the count is found mysteriously dead, and the race is on to locate the missing masque before it’s lost forever.
This was a fantastic story. This world had excellent story building. There was some nicely done backstory that really brought the characters to life and made them richer. The magic was beautifully described. I love how each transformed state was kind of its own being and not the magic user in just a different form. They each had their own personality and were treated as such, complete with different pronouns. There was a beautiful mystery that I wanted to solve. There were twists I wasn’t expecting that kept me guessing how the story would play out. I got excited when things were revealed to me, making the story more engrossing. This kept me reading on, captivated.
The beginning has a slow burn as things get set up but really picked up as the plot progresses. I felt that it was redundant that every time Xavier became a tiger, the beast was described to us. Seeing as how it was the same tiger each time, I feel the initial description was enough to give us a clear picture of what it would look like from then on.
The Masque of Count Milado is a fascinating new fantasy novel with mythology and folklore elements. A world filled with magic, mystery, and mischief to keep readers engaged. I definitely want to read more of this world.
Pages: 267 | ASIN : B0B1P9YDW3
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fairy tale, fantasy, folk tales, folklore, GJ Scherzinger, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, mythology, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Masque of Count Milado, writer, writing
Rasputin’s Scorn is the exciting new YA mystery novel by Courtnee Turner Hoyle. While the book’s exact setting is never really confirmed, it can be inferred from clues within the novel that the book is set in the modern-day or near future. This world is almost exactly like ours except for one big difference. A new street drug, Scorn, has appeared that grants people remarkable new abilities but comes at a significant cost. Users become increasingly bestial and suffer from terrible blood lust. Addicts are often thrown into camps by the government, never to be seen again.
Our protagonist, Rasputin, a straight-A student, is one such potential user. At 14 years old, Rasputin’s life is beginning to unravel. His loving mother is terminally ill, his mysterious father abandoned his family, and the girl he’s crushing on seems unobtainable. This leads Rasputin to go against his better judgment and steal a vial of Scorn from a local dealer. What follows is a roller-coaster ride as Rasputin is dragged into a centuries-old conspiracy where he must rely on his closest friends, Loila, Monique, and Aiden. But in this crazy new world, he’s discovered not everyone can be trusted.
Hoyle has worked as a teacher for many years, which shows in her writing. She really nails the young adolescent voice. Rasputin is immediately likable as the lead and easy to root for. Young readers will find many of Rasputin’s attributes relatable, making it easy to empathize with his struggle. This novel may be a mystery at the core, but Hoyle fills the book with many real-life problems. Rasputin has to deal with issues of bereavement and abandonment. At the same time, it is clear that someone close to him is a victim of domestic abuse while another has struggled with drug addiction. The reader follows Rasputin as he and his friends start to deal with their changing bodies and the genuine nightmares of middle school, making this a read that hits close to home. There’s a lot to unpack here, and there’s a lot to relate to.
Rasputin’s Scorn is a great young adult fantasy novel. It deals tactfully with issues many teens struggle with today. It’s also an excellent read for adults, and I look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.
Pages: 197 | ASIN : B0B1Q3GXJJ
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, coming of age, Courtnee Turner Hoyle, ebook, fantasy, fiction, folklore, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, magical realism, mystery, nook, novel, Rasputin's Scorn, read, reader, reading, story, teen, writer, writing, young adult
God’s Greatest Miracle
God’s Greatest Miracle is the book you need to feel closer to God and connect with him. In the book, Jean-Michel Polyakov, through different tales, shares the actions of God and how he reveals himself through his people. God’s Greatest Miracle is a straightforward book and fun to read. The language in the book is simple, and the text is streamlined for young readers. Every sentence or phrase is precise and can be understood after the first read. I love how unambiguous the author made the text. Jean-Michel Polyakov’s simplicity with words inspires even kindergarten kids to embrace a reading culture.
In God’s Greatest Miracle: A Tale of Two Little Angels, we follow the story of a traveler who gets transported to a new country. This traveler meets an old man, and later a prince and princess. I loved the transition between the traveler’s transportation and his encounter with the prince ad princess. Jean-Michel Polyakov is a smooth writer, and every time a new character is introduced in the story, the reader feels like they have already bonded. The traveler is given tasks, one of them being sharing the tale of God’s Greatest Miracle. This is where it gets intriguing as the narration becomes more easy-flowing. The reader feels like they are part of the story thanks to the engaging nature of the writing.
The story of God’s Greatest Miracle was fascinating to follow and had dozens of lessons. The story of the two angels was touching. As a reader, you feel a shift in your thinking and get to be reintroduced to the love of God, knowing self, being kind, and living righteously. As you keep reading, you reflect on your life and resonate with the teachings. My favorite teaching in the story was about choosing good versus evil. Through this book, the reader can find pride in living morally and virtuously and ask for God’s guidance. I like that the author helped me connect with my inner child. In a way, the story of God’s Greatest Miracle makes the reader view everything with innocence and purity.
The concept of having a story within a story was genius. This helped with the comprehension and made the reading experience such a delight. I would recommend God’s Greatest Miracle: A Tale of Two Little Angels to readers that enjoy spiritual stories and anyone that wants to become closer with God.
Pages: 60 | ASIN: B09WJWKW2H
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, christian fantasy, christian fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, folklore, God's Greatest Miracle, goodreads, Jean-Michel Polyakov, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, religious, spirituality, story, writer, writing
Screaming for Pleasure
Screaming for Pleasure by S.A. Bradley is a chilling book about the genre of horror. Bradley talks about all the physical and psychological benefits of experiencing horror for entertainment purposes. The author writes in a conversational tone and recollects events from his life that made him fall in love with horror. From his “First Kiss” with horror to dealing with the trauma of death, this book covers a lot of diverse themes about horror while including various anecdotes from the author’s life.
Children are fascinated with the forbidden; the thrill of seeing their first actual horror movie gets them hooked. From there, they seak out more thrills and scares. The societal conditions changing what we view as taboo or scary, advancements in technology, and special effects, have shaped how the author consumed horror movies. This personal and anecdotal nature of the writing gives readers an engaging and intimate experience as if they were sitting down with Bradley having a discussion.
One feature of this intriguing book is that the author talks about several movies that have come to define the genre, which serves as a great list of recommendations for anyone who wants to dive into the horror genre after reading this book. The author does a great job at striking the perfect balance between describing these classics enough to be able to talk about them but not so much as to give out any spoilers.
This thought-provoking book is not an academic analysis of the topic; instead, it is meant to spark an educated debate. It also serves as an introduction to those that may have shied away from horror in the past and gets them to look more deeply into horror as an art form, not just screams and scary monsters.
Screaming for Pleasure: How Horror Makes You Happy and Healthy is a psychological look into the genre from the perspective of societal norms and expectations to personal encounters and analysis. Readers that are interested in the history of horror and the role it has played in the entertainment industry will find this a fascinating book.
Pages: 290 | ASIN : B07HVHMQDW
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: art and film, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, entertainment, folklore, goodreads, horror, horror movies, kindle, kobo, literature, mythology, nonfiction, nook, read, reader, reading, S.A. Bradley, Screaming for Pleasure: How Horror Makes You Happy and Healthy, social psychology, writer, writing