Friday, September 27, 2013

From Frights to Flaws Book Review

Age group: middle school Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy can no longer stand the toughness of her uncle and wants a better life. But one day she discovers not only the existence of magic, but also a villain hunting her down. The villain uses magic and magical technology to kidnap Alyssa to the Fiji Islands. As much as she wants to go home, she has to face some dangerous challenges first. Not only that, the villain himself must also be defeated. Can Alyssa succeed, even with the help of her mentors?

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My Review

Alyssa McCarthy parents died in a tragic accident five years ago.  Since then, she has been raised by her aunt and uncle.  After being with them for a few years her Aunt Laura passes away from a reaction to raspberries.  Now Uncle Bruce has become a strict guardian to Alyssa and her cousin Hailey.  No one believes in magic, especially not her uncle.  Will he listen before it's too late?  Will the evil wizard Duchamp get his way?

This was a great story about friendship, good versus evil, and love.  Alyssa is such a sweet character, you immediately fall in love with her and want her to win the battle against the villains.  I also enjoyed the unique mystical creatures.  Sunayna Prasad has an amazing imagination, I can't imagine any child not enjoying this book!

About the Author
Sunayna Prasad has been writing stories for over thirteen years, starting at the age of six. Now nineteen, she will start her junior year of college this fall, and will study accessory design as well as continue to write for children. Aside from that, Sunayna also likes to cook, watch movies, and draw. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her family.
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Two Brothers Book Blast


Two Brothers: Origin (A Ramtalan Trilogy)

Genre: YA What teenage boy doesn’t want to fit in and have friends? That’s what Argus Dachel, 17, wants more than anything, but because he’s half alien, and a New Breed, that’s not as easy as it seems. And it sure doesn’t help that he and his brother, Tai, are being pursued by a secret government agency. To top it off, now in their senior year at public high school, both boys risk exposure when Argus uses his extraordinary strength to defend himself against the school bully, falls for 16 year-old Lola and then learns that New Breeds are set for extermination by another group of hostile aliens. As government agent Max Jackson gets close to discovering the brothers’ identity and the hostile alien forces close in, what chance do Argus and Tai have of survival?

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About the Author:

Born in Sydney, Australia, Ms. Gabel now lives in the United States with her family and hairless Sphynx cats. She has dabbled in several careers, including archaeology and wildlife biology, but writing is her true passion. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno, obtaining two bachelor degrees and has taken additional courses at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Ventura College in Ventura, California, and is currently enrolled in graduate school for archaeology. Like writing, learning is a part of her life. She is a multi-genre writer, with a historical romantic suspense novel, a women’s fiction novel and a science fiction novella recently published, as well as several short stories published online and in print. Her latest novel is Two Brothers: Origin, A Ramtalan Trilogy, a young adult science fiction novel. Her favorite quote paraphrased from Sir Francis Bacon: Knowledge is Power.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Little Island Book Review


Grace
Flowers
By the water
Have fun!


These are Joy’s grandmother’s last words—left behind on a note. A note that Joy’s mother, Grace, has interpreted as instructions for her memorial service. And so, the far-flung clan will gather at their inn on Little Island, Maine, to honor her.

Joy can’t help dreading the weekend. Twenty years ago, a tragedy nearly destroyed the family—and still defines them. Joy, Grace, her father Gar, and twins Roger and Tamar all have their parts to play. And now Joy, facing an empty nest and a nebulous future, feels more vulnerable than ever to the dangerous currents running through her family.

But this time, Joy will discover that there is more than pain and heartbreak that binds them together, when a few simple words lift the fog and reveal what truly matters.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.  Grace Little is planning a memorial service for her mother, where she will meet her aunts for the first time. As if that isn't stressful enough, she has her annual family gathering with her husband and children the same weekend. Joy is Grace' s oldest living child, I say this because all of the children, although they never knew Abigail, lived in the shadow of her memory. Joy' s son, Rex, and husband, Stuart, have headed off to move Rex into his dorm. As she's packing for her trip to Little Island she becomes overwhelmed with the thought of an empty nest, what will she do with herself? How will she cope? Tamar, the youngest of the twins, is a successful attorney and brilliant businesswoman. Because of this, she has wonderful twin girls that she barely knows. Her husband Daniel has been raising them. This weekend, she'll be taking them to Little Island alone. Roger is the family troublemaker. Ever since childhood he's gotten into some sort of trouble. His worst, that fateful night exactly twenty years ago, this weekend. Now he battles drug and alcohol addiction, and memories of a lost love. Will Grace manage to pull off a fun weekend and memorial service? Will Joy be able to figure out what she really wants and return to her empty nest? Will Tamar learn what is most important in her life before it's too late? Will Roger be able to finally stop feeling like a disappointment to his father?


This book was so moving. There is some portion of each character you can easily relate to. Little Island sounds like a beautiful island to live on, where you could just be left to find yourself. The character I most related to was Joy. She was always treated like a third wheel when with her twin siblings, but when there was trouble, she was the one they turned to. The end of the book was so funny, I laughed until I cried. This was a wonderful book I'm sure everyone will enjoy.


About the Author

Katharine has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Education from the University of Vermont. Her first novel, HER SISTER’S SHADOW, was published in 2011 by Berkley Books (Penguin, USA). Her second novel, LITTLE ISLAND, is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2013 from the same publisher. Her screenplay, “Goodbye Don’t Mean Gone,” was a Moondance Film Festival winner and a finalist in the New England Women in Film and Television contest. Katharine is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and New Hampshire Writer’s Project. She has taught writing at Colby-Sawyer College, ILEAD, and at The Writer’s Center in White River Junction.

 When not at her desk, Katharine can often be found in her Norwich garden, waging a non-toxic war against the slugs, snails, deer, woodchucks, chipmunks, moles, voles, and beetles with whom she shares her yard. Katharine’s defense consists mainly of hand-wringing, after- the-fact.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Orange Moon Affair Book Review

Ex-British Special Forces soldier Thomas Gunn is drawn back into his old life of international intrigue and danger following the murder of his billionaire father. The deeper he digs the more complicated the puzzle becomes until he finds himself working for MI5 uncovering a global conspiracy that puts the freedom of the western world at grave risk. His girlfriend Julie becomes his accomplice surprising him with her loyalty, strength of character and physical prowess.

While traversing the globe being shot at, shot down, and losing loved ones - a haunting question tears at his soul – was his father really at the heart of this evil conspiracy? Or was he a pawn in a larger more insidious game that even he could not control?

Seeking the final answer could cost Thomas dearly, ripping from him all that he most loves and cherishes and leaving him questioning his past, his future and what kind of person he is or wants to become. The final outcome depends on him! Or does it?

As a former Captain of Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment and son of an MI6 operative, the author brings his unique and eye-opening experiences to the character and exploits of Thomas Gunn, as well as an unsettling blurring of the lines between fiction and reality when exploring the ruthless abuse of power and position for personal gain.
 Purchase: Amazon

My Review
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.  Thomas Gunn is recovering from injuries received as a Special Forces officer in Afghanistan.  While enjoying his yacht on the Mediterranean, he finds out his father has been murdered.  Thomas decides to take over his father’s company, if only to search for clues as to who killed his father and why.  He loses all he holds dear and his life is turned upside down as his quest for a murderer takes him into something bigger and more deadly than he could ever imagine.

This was a fantastic thrill ride.  The descriptions were so vivid it was like watching a movie with your mind’s eye.  Thomas Gunn is a excellent main character, he’s driven to find out the truth at all costs.  AFN Clarke’s writing is comparable to Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum, if you really like novels by these authors, you’ll love this book!  This was such an amazing novel; I look forward to reading more of his work.
About the Author
I've been fortunate as a writer to have written the best seller CONTACT and the screenplay for the award winning BBCTV film of the same name. The success of CONTACT was a turning point in my life and I now count myself lucky to be pursuing my passion and writing full time - with 6 works of fiction on sale on Amazon and more on the way. I enjoy writing in various genres - from suspense, intrigue and politically charged thrillers with controversial and provocative themes to literary fiction, humorous satire and books that explore the complexity of human relationships.
Apart from my many lives as a racing car driver, Captain in Britain's elite Parachute Regiment, screenwriter, pilot, yacht skipper, and proud father of four daughters I've lived in Hong Kong, India, Libya, Iran, the UK, USA and travelled extensively. Favorite things to do? Write, sail, listen to opera, rock music, cook gourmet meals, drink wine, have heated discussions and travel off the beaten path.
Having had a near death experience, lost half my insides and made it back from the trauma of war, all I can say is that tends to change how a person looks at life and maybe in a strange way it's made me a better writer. For me - and I suspect for most of my readers - good books are a great way to shut out every day life, suspend normal ways of thinking, and allow yourself to be transported to another world. I love a good story, enjoy laughing out loud, being challenged by thought provoking ideas, sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what's to come and the thrill of unexpected endings. And so I hope that's what my readers get - the thrill, suspense, drama, intrigue, humor, mystery, danger, poignancy, love and laughter of life seen through different eyes.
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