Blog Archives

The Magical Tarot Deck

The Magical Tarot Deck by Marieke Lexmond is a fascinating fantasy novel that transports the reader into a magical world filled with fairies, tarot cards, and witches. Book 2 of the Madigan Chronicles follows the Madigans once more as we pick up where book one left off.

This time the Madigans learn that Seamus, Tara’s husband created magical tarot cards to hide the Dagger in. Within these magical tarot cards made up of each member in the family and if anyone uses the card, you will get pulled from real life until they fulfill the question of the person who pulled the card. The cards are stolen by a mysterious man and now the Madigans, fearful that the stranger may be using the cards against them set out to find who stole the Tarot Cards. Can they find out who took the deck before it’s too late and each family member starts to disappear one by one?

Author Lexmond has done it again with her creative writing skills and free-flowing imagination she immerses the reader into the family drama with a dash of magic. The author seamlessly provides a brief recap of book one and then moves into the plot of book two without disorienting the reader. This shows the author’s expert craft at showing rather than telling. The characters that you either love or hate in book one are back in book two along with their emotions and personalities. It was great to see Bridget maturing and being the voice of reason for her family and seeing her come to terms with her witch side. The pace of the story is a smooth one as the reader gets a recap of what the family has gone through, what they are going through now up to their current issue which is the tarot deck disappearing.

I highly recommend The Magical Tarot Deck to those who are looking for a refreshing magical read that will transport them into a different world filled with fantasy and mystery.

Pages: 286 | ASIN : B096G6B5SD

Buy Now From Amazon

The Younglings: Fire & Magic

The Youngling gang of supernaturals is back in the second installment of Helena M. Craggs’ series. This time Quinn and his friends are more experienced, more determined, and have even more troubled spirits to clean up after. A wannabe vampire on the loose, stalkerish witches and the pressure cooker of first years of college mean that their break from the supernatural realm has well and truly come to an end.

The Younglings: Fire & Magic picks up from where it left off, continuing the journey of first loves, sexuality, friendship, loyalty and familial unity. The ongoing guidance of demon nanny Mrs. D was the feel-good stability and wisdom that can often lack in the young adult genre.

Narrated predominantly from Quinn’s perspective Helena M. Craggs has done well to maintain his humorous and charismatic character. The addition of storytelling from multiple perspectives created the perfect amount of angst to keep the reader feverishly turning pages and builds upon the logic and reason of characters the reader has already had the opportunity to understand.

The natural progression of the original characters truly shines through in this second installment. Eve and Quinn have matured immensely; tougher and more direct, they set the tone of the novel to be logical and infallible, genuinely growing into the ruling roles so heavily focused on in book one. An outstanding friendship dynamic with purposeful powers and personalities, Craggs has taken her time to evolve relationships through real-life themes young adults face. The romantic subplot solidified this novels place in the workings of a brilliant young adult read.

The Younglings: Fire & Magic is a lighthearted paranormal fantasy that takes young adult readers on an action-filled adventure. The supernatural characters are engaging and will have readers hooked from the start.

Pages: 340 | ASIN : B09YHMTV4Z

Buy Now From Amazon

James’ Ragtag Adventure in Questworld

James’ Ragtag Adventure in Questworld follows a group of five pals who find themselves stuck in a magical realm. They awaken the Goblin Queen and her army of goblins during an adventure gone wrong! Now they’ll need to find backup to battle her wicked majesty. Along the journey, they’ll come across fascinating and mystical creatures. Some good, some bad… Are they going to be able to defeat the queen? What is the origin of this mysterious land, and how did they get there? This adventure will have you on the edge of your seat. Follow James and his group of friends as they navigate the exciting world of Questland!

This adventurous book will have readers hooked from the very first sentence. One of the highlights of this story is the solid character development. This novel has a prototypical group of friends. M. Doyle has included the sassy one, the strong one, the brainy one, the shy one, and the leader. These familiar character types and themes will appeal to middle-grade readers as they can relate to the characters’ personalities and feel comfortable with the storyline.

M. Doyle has done an excellent job with pacing in this novel. There are pauses throughout, and it gives readers the feeling that they are sitting alongside the gang, resting and getting to know them better. The moments of rest come as a welcome break from the captivating and suspenseful action that the characters encounter in Questland. It seems like they discover new creatures and monsters at every corner and are constantly in danger.

James’s Ragtag Adventures in Questworld: Return of the Goblin Queen is a thrilling fantasy adventure novel for middle-grade children. This exciting novel takes place in a video game and is a great way to introduce reluctant readers to the fantasy genre and help them become avid readers.

Pages: 103 | ASIN : B093Z64K41

Buy Now From Amazon

I’ve Always Felt Empathetic Toward Others

Author Interview Michael J. Bowler

Shifter has the two main characters grappling with some big moral decisions. What was the inspiration for putting them into this position?

I like stories where characters, especially teenagers, have to grapple with more than just who to ask to prom because it’s when we’re faced with serious issues of right vs wrong that we show what we’re made of and who we are inside, and most of us will face tough choices throughout our lives. As a reader, I can ask myself the same questions I pose to my characters and consider which way I might go. My hope is that other readers will do the same. I’ve also thought about the ramifications of having such a power that I could decide who lives and who dies. As pointed out in the book, would it have been moral to kill Hitler before he got very far in his bid to take over the world? Even now, with what we know of history, some people would still argue no and others would say yes.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your characters of Alex and Andy?

I’ve always felt very empathetic toward the pain of others, even as a child and a teen, and wanted to “cure” those people of what ailed them, so I created this character of Alex to do that for me. I just don’t like seeing people unhappy or suffering, which is one reason I could never have become a doctor. Alex’s skills with his wheelchair and his innate tenacity were based on a boy I taught in high school. Despite his wheelchair, that boy could do whatever he put his mind to, sometimes with help from his friends, but mostly by himself. For Andy, I used much of the pain I absorbed from incarcerated kids I worked with who told me horrific stories of being locked in closets for years on end or about how some despicable adult slaughtered their pets in front of them. I sought to depict how hard it might be for such a child to accept love and friendship once released from such an evil upbringing, and I hope Andy comes across as believable in the minds of the readers.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in the development of Alex and Andy’s relationship?

Neither knew of the other’s existence until shortly before they met at the conclusion of Spinner (The Healer Chronicles 1), so I tried to imagine what it would feel like to meet a twin brother I never knew I had. Given the respective backgrounds of the two boys, I felt they could relate as outcasts and that might be the beginning of a friendship and even familial ties. The small moments they shared—when Andy would learn something new from Alex, or when they were washing dishes or working out in the fitness center—these moments helped cement their relationship. Learning how to combine their power and work together defined the growing connection between them, not just because their minds were linked, but because they needed to trust each other, and that must’ve been hard.

Will the next book conclude the story of Alex and Andy or is there more to tell? When will the next book be available?

The next book will conclude this particular storyline, but I have opened enough doors to tell other tales involving these characters and hope to return to them in the future. Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles 3) releases on July 12, 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Fifteen-year-old Alex and his learning-disabled friends barely survived the events of Spinner, but their nightmare has only just begun.

Alex’s wheelchair has never stopped him from doing what he wants, but his supernatural power to heal every human ailment known to science has put him in the crosshairs of a dangerous doomsday cult that will stop at nothing to capture him and his long-lost twin, Andy, who can shift illness from one person to another. When the boys combine their “gifts,” they unleash the power to control life and death.

Now Alex, Andy, and the others have been kidnapped by the U.S. military. On a creepy Air Force base in the remote Nevada desert, they must decide who to trust and who to fear while uncovering secrets this base wants to hide from the world. Who is the young boy with unusual abilities who’s treated like a soldier? What is hidden in an ultra-secret hangar that no one can access? And what unnatural experiments are conducted in that closed-off laboratory?

As Alex unravels these mysteries, he strives to bond with his twin, but Andy is distant and detached, trusting no one. He’s also more attracted to the dangerous power they wield than Alex would like. When misplaced faith in science ignites a hidden lust for supremacy, rescue can only come from the most unlikely source, and Alex must confront a terrible truth.

The Healer Chronicles continue…

The Dagger

In The Dagger: The Madigan Chronicles, written by Marieke Lexmond, Bridget tries her best to keep her witch side shut off and out of her life. However, she doesn’t know that she can ever truly shut her witch side off as she finds herself seeing a recent murder. She is thrust into a flashback and finds out who and why they murdered this witch. Bridget can’t believe her eyes. This discovery leads to her reconnecting with her family, which she has kept more than an arm’s length away. Unfortunately, Reconnecting brings up more secrets that her grandmother has hidden for decades. Bridget has many decisions to make, and she must reconnect with her witch side. But is she up for it?

The Dagger is an absolutely marvelous book. Many readers will find this book relatable in some ways. There is a lot of family drama in this exciting story; the Madigan family has many secrets hidden away. All the characters have unique backstories and well-formed personalities. Each unique individual that the author has created brings an essential element into the storyline, giving readers clues to the family’s secrets locked away for so long.

The grandmother, Tara, is a character full of depth; with secrets and desires to protect her family. She plays a vital role in Bridget’s life, and this is shown in interesting ways as the story advances. However, Tara is holding a secret from the family, which impacts how she interacts and how she is perceived by them and readers.

This intriguing book has an excellent pace for the start of a series. The worldbuilding and character development were integrated well into this first book’s plotline, giving readers enough information but not slowing down the action. The author used multiple characters’ points of view for this novel, so readers could see situations from different vantage points to paint a complete picture of things.

The Dagger is the first book in the paranormal series The Madigan Chronicles. Fantasy readers will be taken in by the unique characters and the dynamic plot. This is a fantastic start to the series, and readers will be anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Pages: 271 | ASIN : B08NF9HYY9

Buy Now From Amazon

Mystical Force: Volume 2: Angels and Demons

In Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons by Craig Weidhuner, Humans do not believe Earth is the only inhabited planet. Sister Rose is one of five nuns who hunt and kill demons. They are called upon by God to destroy the demons using their magical bullets which are specially designed to kill demons. Sister Rose’s parents passed away long ago, leaving her to become a young orphan raised in the church. Her roots are from the church, and their beliefs are deeply embedded in her mind. However, she meets a demon called Tokijin, who can transform into a human form. They fall in love, and Rose is caught between the beliefs she was raised with and her love for Tokijin.

Long ago, it was common for humans to destroy villages they thought were inhabited by demons and to murder any demon that was found. This created a war between demons and humans that has lasted centuries. However, not everyone in the universe feels demons are evil. For example, there is a planet called Orathos. The beings that reside there are determined to bring peace to the races of demons and humans.

Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons is told from several viewpoints and at different locations in the universe. Weidhuner has fantastic character development. Each character is well thought out and brings a unique feel to the story. I found getting to know the characters, seeing their development and growth to be one of the most enjoyable parts of this novel.

The author’s writing style is spellbinding, drawing readers into the plot with strong emotional conflicts. However, the book primarily focuses on the romantic relationship between Rose and Tokijin. A demon and a demon hunting nun are two people who should despise one another because of how they have been raised. Yet, despite being taught from a young age to hate, they see the good in one another.

Mystical Force: Volume 2 Angels and Demons is a thrilling young adult fantasy novel. Combining science fiction elements and paranormal activity, the author creates action and suspense that will captivate teen readers.

Pages: 69 | ASIN : B0921PPSGC

Buy Now From Amazon

Shifter

Twin brothers with the power of life and death – will they choose the path of good or evil? In Shifter, the second book in the Healer Chronicles, Michael J Bowler brings us back to the world of Alex and Andy and all the characters revolving around them. Having survived the events in the first thrilling book, the brothers begin to get to know each other and test the limits of what they can do together. But with secret organizations and military operations vying for control of their power, they have to make difficult choices that could save people… or leave them dead. The story takes twists and turns that make you question everything and everyone, from well-guarded fortresses and secret military labs in the desert.

Early on, we’re taken back to Andy’s horrific childhood, which explains his character to the reader and his brother Alex. The reader also gets some recaps and explanations of events in the first book, allowing those that have not read the first novel to understand this one. The author expertly balances dialogue, description, and action, creating incredible tension. A few scenes in the military lab had me literally at the edge of my seat! The author also created a rich and relatable world by adding small details between big moments.

There were plenty of everyday things that we take for granted highlighted in these extreme circumstances. For example, Alex’s experiences with his disability, not being able to reach a shirt in a closet that wasn’t made for someone in a wheelchair. Alex’s human existence gave us a closer connection to a character with incredible power. I loved so many of the characters in the novel. They were unusual heroes, abandoned or scorned by society because of who they are, mistakes from their past, or circumstances beyond their control.

There were also plenty of more important questions of ethics and morality in the choices the main characters have to make, as exemplified in the passage below: “And you would be, Alex. You two could save more lives than anyone in history.” “By killing,” Alex said, his voice barely a whisper. “How is that good?” “Because some people need to be killed so others may live.” Without giving too much away, you can see the dilemma Alex faces when he learns about how some powerful forces would want him to use his power.

However, conflict in the book doesn’t touch only upon questions of morality but also on adolescent insecurities and friendship. Many characters grapple with complex feelings of jealousy or fear of a new person joining the group and taking your place, wanting to prove their strength.

Shifter (The Healer Chronicles Book 2) is a suspenseful young adult thriller. With strong and memorable characters, non-stop action, and high tension, readers will not want to put the book down and anxiously await the conclusion of this exciting trilogy.

Pages: 372 | ASIN : B09R2K41L7

Buy Now From Amazon

The Impossible Girl

Ava Marie Jones doesn’t know anything about her past. That is until she falls through a tree. Ava finds herself in a whole new world with creatures from all types of fairytales. She soon realizes that she belongs here. She fits in! Or so she thought. She is soon dubbed The Impossible Girl because she was never registered at birth. Author Ashley White has us follow Ava as she navigates through this new realm and school. Will she learn more about her family? Will she test the limits of her powers?

The Impossible Girl will have readers enchanted! It has a feel to it similar to books by J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan. The story pulls readers in from the very beginning and keeps them engaged throughout the whole novel.

This magical novel starts with a long prologue, readers will find this information imperative as they start reading chapter one. The story has a great flow to it, combining action and dialogue seamlessly. The author has a way with descriptive language. The details that went into her world building will have readers envisioning the city under the tree as clearly as if they were walking there themselves.

Ava’s character is well thought out. She is taking everything she learns in stride. Ashley White has given her a strong and distinct personality that readers will be able to relate to. Ava is shy, but she is starting to come out of her shell. Her friend Duncan is an interesting character. He seems very nice and caring. However, he is a pleaser. Duncan wants to please and impress his father. He follows the rules. Can he be trusted in the future? We shall see. Ava’s friend Tara seems to be an open book and is filled with all kinds of useful knowledge. She is also a very caring friend. Always aware of her friend’s feelings. Colin is another friend of Ava’s. He is shy in the beginning but is very brave by the end. I look forward to seeing his character progress in future novels.

The Impossible Girl is a children’s and teen fantasy novel that will take readers on an adventure as a young girl discovers her true identity. With magic and mystery readers of all ages will want to follow along as Ava discovers what makes her unique.

Pages: 314 | ASIN : B09SNG2MJB

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: