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Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die

Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die by [David Crane, Mary Holzrichter]

Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die by David Crane follows Naoko Kitamura who is forced to start a new life in Japan after saving her city of Osaka from a nuclear meltdown. With her new life in Tokyo she gets married and has children. She lives a normal life in the suburbs but secretly works for a covert organization sworn to protect Japan from supernatural threats. Unable to leave her past behind her she must face off with an old enemy that is determined to destroy her and her hometown. She must use her extraordinary powers of darkness and light to protect her country and, most of all, her family.

Crane has done an incredible job developing captivating characters in this spellbinding story. Naoko is a complicated character but you begin to connect with her and understand her battle with her inner darkness. I enjoyed reading about the characters’ history and their abilities. David Crane has a fresh take on demons and what they are capable of doing. The author’s description of Tokyo is picturesque and eloquent. His description of the culture implies that he has done his research and maybe even spent time in Tokyo. This book makes for a fast paced read that is full of action and explosive story development. At times it was a little tough to keep up with the story because of all of the action and movement of different characters. This does not take away from the story though. The non stop action and drama made it feel like I was watching an action movie.

Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die is an action packed supernatural thriller that has you rooting for Naoko the entire time in hopes that she will save her country and her family. I had high hopes for David Crane’s follow up novel to Demon Heart and I was not disappointed.

Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07F1BFC7V

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Don’t Give Up on Me

Don't Give Up on Me (An Otter Bay Maine Novel) by [Jodi Artzberger]

Don’t Give Up on Me begins with Amanda facing a deadly situation. After being attacked, officers are called to the scene which is the catalyst for an old flame to come back into her life. Ryker left Amanda heartbroken so long ago, and Amanda, rightfully, wants nothing to do with him. Amanda is left with no choice when he’s tasked with leading the investigation and keeping Amanda safe. Amanda is forced to deal with a man she has tried hard to forget, and old feelings come bubbling up to the surface. Can Amanda accept this man back into her life, and into her heart?

Don’t Give Up on Me is a riveting romance novel that explores an array of emotions that come with having your heart broken and your life threatened. Amanda is certainly dealing with a lot, and her inner turmoil and angst is something that kept this book consistently entertaining. Amanda is a bit naïve at first, but I enjoyed the slow evolution of her character.

The relationship between Amanda and Ryker added a much needed boost to this overall mystery novel. I would categorize this book as a lite-mystery, as its focus is on the compelling characters  within and their dramatic relationship. Jodi Artzberger explores themes of forgiveness, our relationship with God, and how people change through life experiences. These are powerful messages delivered in heartfelt moments throughout the book.

Amanda and Ryker have an intriguing history together. And exploring that history, and their current predicament, is the one thing that kept me coming back to this book. This story reminds me of a Lifetime made for TV movie; where the drama is palpable and the suspense is high. Jodi Artzberger has written an engrossing romantic thriller with an infusion of Christian ideals that makes this perfect for anyone looking for an exciting, but ultimately uplifting, read.

Pages: 228 | ASIN : B07WZ2R8X7

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The Bootlegger’s Mistress – Book Trailer

Carrie Lacey’s happy upbringing is seemingly immune from the pressures of growing up Black in rural South Carolina during the Great Depression. But life changes when her mother and six siblings are forced from their Anderson home, leaving Carrie and her father, Hallie.

While working for White businessman Tommy Joe Butlera bootleg liquor dealerCarrie becomes aware of the depth of her father’s campaign to change the lives of African Americans. He is using some of the strategies of the Underground Railroad, the nonviolent system of freeing slaves in pre-Civil War America. Her childhood friend, Nappy Eddie, attempts to keep the truth from Carrie, but to no avail. When Butler and Hallie continue to disagree over property ownership, she departs Anderson in frustration.

During her travels, Carrie encounters her alter ego, Dicie Caughman, commencing an odyssey that spans nearly eighty years and numerous locales. Carrie, in the form of Dicie, lives a good life, though marked with deep-rooted secrets.

The Bootlegger’s Mistress embodies the essence of The Great Migrationthe decades-long movement of six million African Americans from the racially oppressive South to the economic opportunity-laden North during much of the twentieth century.

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Emotionally Broken

Isabel Wells covers the important topic of being involved in a relationship with a narcissist in Emotionally Broken, telling the tale of Katelyn, a single mother of two girls who meets Jonathan, the handsome, rich Prince Charming who sweeps her off her feet and into his arms. As the relationship develops, we see Jonathan’s true colors emerge.

This book is about such an important topic. Katelyn lives with her mother and works to provide for her girls. She doesn’t really have much else outside of those relationships. When handsome and rich Jonathan comes into her life this novel certainly becomes a much deeper and thought-provoking novel.

Isabel Wells does an excellent job of showing how little self-esteem Katelyn has, for example in how she reacts to Jonathan looking at her. The book takes us on a journey, slowly watching their relationship develop into a marriage and then the end of a marriage as Katelyn sees the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Jonathan. There is a lot of dialogue to share conversations and arguments between the couple, but the dialogue felt stilted. Once the couple marry, the pace of the book picks up, but I felt that there were areas that were underdeveloped. I wanted to see what leads Katelyn to confide in others, instead I felt that we were simply told that this is now happening. We proceed at breakneck speed through the last third of the book. Although there are mentions of lessons Katelyn learned, I wanted more explanation of what those lessons were. This is an emotional book and I was enthralled with Katelyn’s character so my desire to know more comes from the sentimental connection Isabel Wells is able to create between her character and the reader.

This is a complex and sensitive topic to deal with and Isabel Wells handles it with care. The book would have benefited from more show, less tell and more development of some crucial points to help the reader understand the relationship. But in the end Emotionally Broken is a touching story that explores emotional connections and different types of personalities.

Pages: 124 | ASIN: B08CGNNS3S

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A Nest for Lalita

A Nest for Lalita by [Ken Langer]

A Nest for Lalita, written by Ken Langer, centers around domestic violence in India, a sensitive subject definitely, but displayed expertly. In all honesty, this was a struggle at times to read, not due to poor writing or story, just the opposite. Langer writes these topics with an unrelenting force, displaying all of it in all its ugliness – to put it lightly.

It also revolves around corporate greed, infuriating politicians, a budding love in a country that, at times, seems to fight against everything the protagonists, Meena and Simon, fight for.

As a reader, I wholly believe that first impressions matter. If you are able to capture my attention in one chapter – or at times in a prologue – then that is a book worth reading. Fortunately, A Nest for Lalita is one of these books. I was intrigued, angry, furious, and devastated, all in a four-page prologue. Which also established the tone for the novel – though without the little ray of hope shining in the rest of the book.

This is where we meet Lalita, who is ultimately not a protagonist but a catalyst for other characters and this felt like a missed opportunity. The short prologue had me wanting more from her, however, Meena and Simon are great protagonists that were a blast to read.

The setting is also intricate and fascinating. Langer teaches and explores Indian culture and religion thoroughly, especially religion, and he accomplishes this through natural means. That is, through multiple characters, and Kesh embodies this greater than any other character. Part of Kesh’s motivations and flaws involves the deep and rich Hindu religion.

It may sound like Langer delivers an unforgiving story encapsulating multiple sensitive topics, and it does, but there are brief respites throughout, splashing the reader with a refreshing bucket of water, a short break where the reader can take a breath and hope for the protagonists and their goals.

I really enjoyed A Nest for Lalita, I was left unfulfilled with Lalita’s absence, in some senses, the novel changes slightly after the first quarter, and there seemed to be a greater focus on plot instead of story in the later parts of the book.

Overall, A Nest for Lalita is a powerful, although tough, read but it was absolutely worth it. Ken Langer has written a riveting political thriller that will keep you entertained throughout.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B08HJPZTWB

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The Strangest Woman

The Strangest Woman (The Past and Passed By Book 1) by [Lydia R. Outland]

The Strangest Woman is a story that gets more compelling the deeper you go. The author slowly reveals details of the main story which always keeps the suspense high. The plot of the novel, while  unique, was built up in a creative way. Lydia R. Outland’s words are easy to understand, with simple language that encourages even non-readers to plow through this engaging book.

In The strangest Woman we follow Kyana Castway, an enigmatic woman with a remarkable past. Kyana, and the secrets she keeps was something that kept pulling me back to this book. There is a constant air of inscrutable intrigue about her and the story. I liked this character because of how expressive she was. One could read her face just by the authors excellent descriptions of her, even though I felt that there were some details that were repeated, possibly for a better understanding for the reader. Kyana Castway is an extraordinary woman, given the things she went through in the past and how she deals with things that affect her current status and future.

Imagine living in a seemingly bloodthirsty world where everyone seems vile, violence gets to be part of your life and the people you thought you could rely on get to be strangers. In this book, the reader gets to live through various lives that may get one emotional, sad, or angry. I appreciate how Lydia Outland portrayed Kyana Castway. Despite the obstacles and strange encounters, I got to love this character because I could see both her strong and weak sides. Lydia Outland is so good with words that one not only gets to read her characters’ personalities but also gets to understand their roles.

You know a book is an exciting read when you get to understand, if not relate to, the major characters. The plot twists, action, and mystery surrounding characters will keep you engaged through the sometimes lengthy pieces of exposition. The Strangest Woman presents a great adventure story for avid fans of epic fantasy and a great start to what is sure to be a spellbinding series.

Pages: 425 | ASIN: B08BR7SSQ9

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Sorcerers’ Prayer: Book 2 – Precious Blood & Honor and Majesty

Judge Kaona is a disturbed man, wrought with depression over his wife and unborn child’s death. For a short time he found solace in opium, but even that grew to not be enough. One day while presiding over a trial, he met Mister Jones and Priestess Kalehue, also known as TuTu Lana. It is later on from these two Kaona learns the secrets of immortality by drinking from the stone that resides under his old childhood church. After drinking the water, the Blood of Christ, Kaona is visited in a vision from Jesus telling him he is preparing to return and also, that Kaona’s son is alive out in the world. From here on out Kaona’s purpose in life is to find his son, and to retain position of the stone that the Blood of Christ flows from so he can keep his immortality. He endures extreme bipolar episodes, spends time in mental institutions, jail, and eventual in seeking out training for sorcery. All in the name of vengeance for the death of his Petunia.

From the opening pages this book hits the reader with culture, history, mystery and conspiracy. The dialect took some adjusting to but once you start following the flow, the Hawaian dialect enhances the story and draws you in more. The opening section of the book is a chaotic series of events as Koana transitions from the honorable Judge to crazed Prophet leading his followers against the law and convinced of the second coming. His ability to sway people and form his cult is fascinating. Luigi Spring’s ability to develop his characters is impressive. Koana and Jimmy, as they progress through so many different stages of their immortal life, intertwine their stories and you are constantly wondering what is real and what is an act. Sorcerers’ Prayer – Precious Blood touches on the mysteries revolving around the Freemasons. This is always a topic of conspiracy theorists and expert mystery novelists. The ability to cast his spells through prayer allows Kaona to obtain his long-sought revenge without revealing himself. This twist was different than other murder mysteries I have read in the past. The ever-changing relationship between Kaona and Jimmy was engaging and unpredictable. The plot lines and twists run deep and you are never sure how it will turn out, and if you think you know, you are probably wrong because some new information will pop up. This novel isn’t what I would call an easy read, but it is an enjoyable page turner. There are a lot of flashbacks and visions mixed into the plot line. You need to pay attention to what is going on and even the smallest of details will likely be important later on and you will have that “ahh ha” moment and it will suddenly all make sense, at least for the moment. I highly recommend this novel if you are looking for an escape. Sorcerers’ Prayer is a riveting mystery novel with some of the best elements of supernatural horror that I’ve seen in a while.

Pages: 213 | ASIN: B08HZ9BL7W

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Trip to America

Trip To America by [Liana Margiva]

Poetry is an interesting genre because one can interpret the words in more than one way. Poems are charming to read and also help one understand the perspective of the author. Trip To America is filled with excellent poems that one would want to read every day. Some poems are long and still exciting to read. The book is a beautiful addition to literature and great material to encourage the reading culture. The author is gentle with her words and embraces a modest tone through most parts of the book. The use of imagery, symbolism, sarcasm, and other literary stylistic devices together with the author’s astounding writing make Trip To America a future classic.

Liana Margiva writes from her heart. Her words can be felt by any reader and her message is perfectly understood. Some of the poems felt like monologues as the author made them personal. I enjoyed reading these types of poems as it enabled me to know how Liana Margiva’s mind worked. Some of the lines and phrases in the poem evoked strong emotions, some sad while others are happy. I loved reading the happy texts as much as those that had a melancholy mood. For the latter, I could feel the author’s state of mind as she penned the words.

Trip to America contains dozens of poems that anyone would love. I have a couple of pieces that I think every poetry lover should read. The first poem is among my favorites. The poem ‘Don’t Look into My Eyes’ is great because it helps us understand why it is important to have a listening ear. in the first half of the poem, we have the persona in the poem list down reasons why no one should look into their eyes. As you keep on reading, the persona later changes and says it is time to look into their eyes. I found the question and answer style in the poem to be a unique feature that would not only be appealing to the reader but also make them understand the subject matter of the poem better.

Other poems that I thoroughly enjoyed in the book were ‘To George Mateos’, ‘Don’t Call, Don’t Seek’, ‘Blue Eyes’, Pray, Linger, Soul!’, and ‘Black September’. Getting to chapter 78 was a pleasant surprise as this is where the transition from stanzas to prose happened. Reading the poems was a great experience but getting to read this beautiful narration in full sentences made Trip to America even more intriguing. One gets absorbed by the story as Liana Margiva’s narrating style is too great to not enjoy. The characters are intriguing and the storylines thrilling. The author is engaging throughout the book, making the reading experience fun and exciting. I recommend it to any reader that enjoys both poetry and prose writing.

Pages: 601 | ASIN: B08FMPV71X

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