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#NetGalley #BookReview of Myths and Mortals (Numina#2) by Charlie N. Holmberg(@CNHolmberg )#UrbanFantasy #YA

Review

Myths and Mortals

Numina, Book 2

by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release date: April 16th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Myths and Mortals Numina, Book 2 by Charlie N. Holmberg from NetGalley and 47th North 

…created another brilliant series, one filled with brilliantly crafted plotlines, compelling and unique characters and her world building…

True to form Charlie Holmberg has created another brilliant series, one filled with brilliantly crafted plotlines, compelling and unique characters and her world building skills are well…out of this world! 

Myths and Mortals picks up right where Smoke and Summons left off.  Sandis is no longer a vessel for Ireth and living with the only family she has, her Uncle. Although grateful for having somewhere to go now that she is no longer a numina, she is still grieving, terrified and feels alone in the world.  Still destroyed by Rone’s betrayal and plagued by bad dreams of the vessels left behind and of Kolossus, a numen, who can destroy humanity. Although she lives her life doing unusual jobs for her corrupt Uncle. When she refuses a particularly unsavoury one, he kicks her out without anywhere to go, there is only one person she can think of…Rone.  Rone managed to get his mother across the border to safety and even though he had papers to join her, he has stayed behind.  Rone won’t rest until he knows Sandis is alright and he hopes to have her understand why he betrayed her. 

Although Sandis doesn’t completely trust Rone when they are hunted by an assassin and learn that  Kazen might still be alive and looking for a new vessel for Kolossus they team up.  The two start out trying to find the other vessels to save them from a fate worse than death. On their journey, they pick up allies and make enemies as they find clues to Kazan’s whereabouts all leading to one terrifying cliffhanger.
 

All in all, a fantastic, fun series that I would highly recommend for young and old alike.

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Books

#NetGalley #Review of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett #Teens #YA #Romance #Mystery

 

Review

Serious Moonlight Cover

Serious Moonlight

by Jenn Bennett

Release date: April 16th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

“…filled with unique, quirky characters, incredible wit and it didn’t hurt she mentioned David Bowie a number of times…frankly, I was sold after that.”

I’ve been a fan of Jenn Bennett’s urban fantasy series and when this popped up on Net Galley even though it was YA, I thought I would give it a try.

I have to admit I really did enjoy this book. Like her other books, this was filled with unique, quirky characters, incredible wit and it didn’t hurt she mentioned David Bowie a number of times…frankly, I was sold after that.

Our main protagonist eighteen-year-old Birdie after the death of her mother is raised by her grandparents along with the assistance of her Mom’s eccentric best friend “Aunt Mona”.

After living with her grandparents, and under the watchful eye of her strict and very religious grandmother, Birdie becomes a very shy and introverted young woman. Being homeschooled, having strict rules, and not really knowing what true friendship is, Birdie’s view of the world and her experiences are very limited. After her grandmother passes, her grandfather who thankfully had bonded with Birdie over their love of mysteries, was a bit more laid-back allowing Birdie some freedom. At first, Birdie goes a bit wild having a one-night stand with a stranger which doesn’t turn out as expected. She struggles with her poor reaction to the situation, more so when she turns up at her first job, the graveyard shift at a famous hotel and said one-night stand, Daniel, is a co-worker. As Birdie tries to navigate “adulthood” her and nineteen-year-old Daniel strike up a friendship working on uncovering the truth behind a mysterious hotel guest that leads to a shocking and unexpected discovery.

All-in-all a fun, well written, character driven book, I would highly recommend it. Just a note to parent’s this book does contain sexual content as well as suicide but it is handled in a very responsible and tasteful manner.

 

Books

#Witchcraft and #SecretSocieties of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen by Nigel Pennick via #NetGalley #Review #NonFiction #Historical

 

Review

Witchcraft & Secret Societies of Rural England Cover

 

Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England

The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen

by

Nigel Pennick

Release date: April 9th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick from NetGalley and Inner Traditions/Destiny Books in order to read and give an honest review.

As a fantasy fiction writer, I have read some of Mr Pennick’s previous works as research material in the past, so this was right up my alley.

This author is prolific and knowledgeable when it comes to the folklore that surrounds paganism and it definitely shows in “Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England”.  As always, the author’s work is interesting, very meticulously researched and it is evident beyond doubt that he is passionate about the subject matter.

Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England” covers everything from the secret guilds that arose around trades to magic and folklore that surrounded witches. Sharing with the reader and giving us insight into their traditions and how they came to be.

Considering much of the history of these subjects was spread through oral tradition, being passed down through the generations, the author has discovered some very unique and interesting tales that are the origins of sayings or traditions still present today.  What really intrigued me was the folklore behind some of the artefacts that have survived, in particular, the “witch bottles” and “sprite traps”. Another impressive touch, which was particularly helpful, was the fact that the author included photographs and illustrations.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning about folklore and traditions that surround Anglo-Saxon paganism.

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#NetGalley #BookReview of Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer (@craig_schaefer) #UrbanFantasy #Sci-Fi #Bibliomystery

Review

Ghosts of Gotham

Ghosts of Gotham

by Craig Schaefer

Release Date: April 9th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer from NetGalley and 47North in order to read and give an honest review.

I’m a Craig Schaefer virgin so to speak.  I have had quite a few people recommend his work to me but I’ve always seemed to have let it slip by.  This time when given the chance to read and review Ghosts of Gotham I finally seized the opportunity, and wow, I am so glad I did! It’s so unique, is a bit of everything…urban fantasy mixed with mythology, bibliomystery and so much action making this such a fun page-turner. 

Our main characterLionel Page is an investigative journalist who has made it his mission to debunk anything that is considered “Supernatural”. When another up and coming journalist finds out about his past and threatens to expose him things get serious.  Enter Regina, a wealthy, a very powerful socialite who wants to hire him to investigate the discovery of, and the impending sale of, a mysterious manuscript by Edgar Allan Poe. She promises him that if he gets to the bottom of things, he will never have to worry about his past being exposed, she will protect him.  He agrees and the adventure begins. Immediately flown to New York City he barely gets time to breathe as he is running over town, finding bodies as well as clues that make this manuscript more than meets the eye.  When Lionel learns that the reporter who threatened to expose his past is murdered, he truly wonders what he has gotten himself into.  His path keeps crossing with Maddie a very strong, savvy and beautiful woman who is mysterious and holds secrets his life will depend on knowing.

 I absolutely loved everything about this book, the characters, the pacing, the writer’s voice, his twisty plot turns…it kept me voraciously reading and desperate for more when I finished.  I also love the way he portrays women in this book, smart, flawed, beautiful and resilient.  

Filled with magic, mayhem and amazing plot twists that you just don’t see coming. This is a fantastic book I highly recommend! I will definitely be reading more of his work. 
 

#WATWB, Art, Creativity, Personal Development, Quotes, Writing

#Painting with Light, #Blind #Artist Finds his Artistic Voice & Celebrating Two Years of #WATWB🎉

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Welcome to the “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB ). This month we celebrate our two-year anniversary and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful co-hosts who help share, visit and promote all of the positive stories our bloggers share. I would also like to thank Lynn Hallbrooks who volunteers to manage our Facebook page. The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation between myself and the wonderful Damyanti Biswas discussing how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Sylvia McGrath,Damyanti Biswas, Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, and myself, Belinda Witzenhausen.
To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!


If you follow any of my blogs you’ll no doubt notice that I am always sharing stories about individuals who turn their adversities into something positive. Today I’m going to share another one of those stories.

Artist Steven Erra’s vision is slowly deteriorating due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. When he was in college, Steven had no idea he had a disease that would rob him of his sight, in fact, it wasn’t until he was nearly finished his art degree. But Erra was determined to make the most of what sight he had left. Receiving that diagnosis only motivated Erra to further pursue his passion. He began taking photographs and using flashlights to paint images into his work. Personally, I find his work brilliantly creative and unique. These days, he works with The Seeing With Photography Collective, a group of sight-impaired artists who specialize in “light painting.” Watch his story below.

To view Steven Erra’s work online, check out these links:

http://www.literal-latte.com/2015/12/steven-erra/

https://nothingperipheralasightimpairedartist.blogspot.com

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#NetGalley #Review of How To Write A Page-Turner Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down by Jordan Rosenfeld via #amwriting #writing

Review

How to Write A Page Turner Cover

How To Write A Page-Turner

Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down

by Jordan Rosenfeld

Release date: March 19th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of How To Write A Page-Turner,
Craft a Story Your Readers Can’t Put Down by Jordan Rosenfeld from Net Galley and F+W Media/Writer’s Digest Books.

If you are a novice or seasoned writer who wants to publish dynamic and interesting novels… How To Write A Page-Turner is the perfect book for you.
There are novels that keep you riveted, you know the ones, the stories that keep you flipping pages into the wee hours of the morning? How To Write A Page-Turner teaches you all about keeping the tension in your story high, creating a story that is innovative as well as riveting and leaving your readers glued to the page.

I have quite a few writing books (okay, approx half my office) and I have to say this will definitely be in my writing library as a go-to book for a long time. Filled with excellent tips on creating and maintaining tension in your writing,  HTWPT feels different from the plethora of “how-to” books already out there. 

Jordan divides her book into four parts: Essential Tension Elements, Tension with Characters, Plot Tension, and Tension in Exposition. Each part breaks it down even further, covering everything from character development, writing effective dialogue, plotting your tension at just the right spots in your novel as well as word usage, sentence structure and writing imagery.  She also gives a review at the end of each chapter as well as exercises/tips for you to implement in your own writing, to help you appraise and polish your WIP to until it’s a page-turner fraught with tension!   

I really enjoyed this book and  I highly recommend it to all writers looking to take their writing to the next level.

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#Review of The All Seeing Digital Eyes by Neville J Kattakayam #InternetSafety #SocialMedia #Parents #Children

 

The All Seeing Digital Eyes

All Seeing Digital Eyes Cover

Release date: September 20th, 2018

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I received a complimentary copy of  The All Seeing Digital Eyes
by Neville J Kattakayam from the author and AshNel Inc in order to read and give an honest review.

… the author had done an incredible job showing us what is happening to our information and what we can do to prevent our privacy from being compromised…

Whether you are an internet veteran from the days of bulletin boards and WebCrawler (I know dating myself) to a novice just dipping their toes into the cyber water this book is for you. Neville J. Kattkayam’s initial inspiration was to write a book to help his 13-year-old daughter navigate the information age when everyone is utilizing smartphones, smart televisions, tablets and even appliances.  With the advance of technology when most of our lives are controlled by the transmission of electronic information so is our personal information.  The author has done an incredible job showing us what is happening to our information and what we can do to prevent our privacy from being compromised.  If you have already experienced problems it’s not too late, Mr Kattkayam also includes a section to get your information secured and tips on how to proceed moving forward.

Even though this book is inspired by a 13-year old I feel this is a great guide for everyone who is on the grid, definitely a five-star in my opinion.

 

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#Book #Review of Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore by @LynnHallbrooks #cozy #fantasy #shortstory # SCCA4

Review

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Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore

Release date: February 11th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore by Lynn Hallbrooks & Author, Reader, Cheerleader in order to read and give an honest review.

Incredibly fun and quirky, there is definitely something for everyone…

I am not a huge fan of short stories but found Animals, Acrobatics, Attitude, and Amore to be incredibly fun and quirky,  definitely something for everyone. Initially, a collection of stories written for a contest requiring various elements present, the author has taken up the challenge in brilliant and unique ways. Lynn’s stories range from talking animals and fantasy to cute chick lit. Taking it a step further the author also writes follow up stories to catch up with her unique and inventive characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to all ages but especially for anyone looking for a fun, quick read.

The eBook is available in various locations and these links should take you there.
Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6C2FB3
Amazon global link: mybook.to/SCCA4
Multiple vendor link: https://books2read.com/SSCA4

Author biography:
Lynn Hallbrooks enjoyed writing poetry and short stories as a teenager. After high school, she served her country in the US Air Force. While there she learned a career that spanned 30 years. In 2010 she switched to the writing business where she has learned a lot while reading books by and working with fellow authors. More recently she started a website to provide resources for authors and readers known as Author Reader Cheerleader.

You are invited to visit either of her websites.
Books and Business: https://cswcllc.weebly.com/
Author and Readers: https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/

You can follow her on Twitter:
ARCLynn: https://twitter.com/LHallbrooks
CSWCLynn: https://twitter.com/CSWCLynn
LynnHallbrooks: https://twitter.com/LynnHallbrooks

If you visit BookBub for book discounts and recommendations, you can follow her here: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lynn-hallbrooks

Or if BookGorilla is your favorite book discounter then follow her here: https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B0050ZOGAA/lynn-hallbrooks/kcc

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#NetGalley #BookReview The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag ‏ #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

Review

Wolf and the Watchman Cover

The Wolf and the Watchman

by Niklas Natt och Dag

Release date: March 5th, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Wolf and the Watchman
by Niklas Natt och Dag from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada in order to read and give an honest review.

Niklas Natt och Dag doesn’t hold back. Dark, gritty and brutally honest, the author doesn’t hesitate to show the bleakness of the times, the poverty…. “

When I came across this book I was intrigued and it didn’t disappoint. Well-written, clever, intricately plotted with well rounded, characters it kept me immersed in the story…. however, I issue a word of caution to sensitive readers… this book is graphic 

For his debut novel, Niklas Natt och Dag doesn’t hold back. Dark, gritty and brutally honest, the author doesn’t hesitate to show the bleakness of the times, the poverty, the distention between the classes and the depravity of the seedy underbelly of a divided Stockholm in 1793. 

Mickel Cardell a watchman and ex-soldier, is haunted by his past and learning to deal with the loss of his arm. When Mickel is called upon to fish a body out of the water he is overwhelmed by what he finds. An unknown young male, missing all four limbs, his tongue and eyes appear to all removed surgically prior to his death. When Cecil Winge, an attorney and consultant for the Swedish Police asks for his assistance, being an amputee himself Cardell cannot help but feel a connection to this poor victim and agrees.   

Winge and Cardell are just two of the characters we meet along the way. There are two others, Kristofer Blix and Anna-Stina Knapp who we watch struggle and survive.  

Kristof, a teen and former medic’s assistant from the country heads to Stockholm with hopes of becoming an elite and attending medical schoolWhen he finds it’s a lot harder than he thought he makes errs in judgement and in desperation he gets caught up in something so depraved it will haunt him for the rest of his life. A fatherless teen Anna-Stina raise in poverty and forced to struggle most of her life, loses the one person who means the most to her and is abandoned to a corrupt system. When she is falsely convicted of a crime and thrown into prison her situation becomes more perilous.
 

As the story unfolds and we get to the bottom of this horrendous crime the lives of these four become intertwined and we follow along on their journeys. The author’s portrayals are unique and add such depth to the story as does his descriptions of Stockholm which is written so vividly it almost becomes a character in its own right.  

I have to say that this is perhaps the most difficult review I have had to write, I really feel the book was well-written and clever but it definitely had a darkness that at the end of it left you with a queasy feeling or as I call it the “Ich” factor. It kept me engrossed which in my mind is what reading is all about.  Not for the faint of heart but I recommend it! 

Books

#NetGalley #Review of The Sound of Suffering by Darin C. Brown #Sci Fi & #Fantasy #Teens #YA

Review

Sound of Suffering Cover

The Sound of Suffering

by Darin C. Brown

Release date: February 21st, 2019

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Sound of Suffering by Darin C. Brown from NetGalley and Doc Squared Publishing/Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members’ in order to read and give an honest review.

Hunter is on a quest to find out what the aura’s, scents and sounds he experiences around people mean.  This is the second book in the Masters of Perceptions series, the first I have not read but feel it didn’t hamper my ability to enjoy the story.  Young Hunter is autistic and suffers from overwhelming stimuli when he comes in contact with others. At this point, he is learning a little bit about himself and his abilities.  While excelling at school and working his way through earning his Karate belts he still struggles with learning how to handle his gift and how to interact with those around him.  He has people to help him though, a few friends, one of which has a dubious reputation, his desk mate and his Sensei all help him but he finds his biggest confidant to be his grandfather who lives across the country.  When he gets strange sensations indicating one of his teachers is in trouble he can’t ignore the feeling and becomes determined to help her.  His friends by his side he sets out on a dangerous adventure that is much bigger than just helping his teacher. I won’t give any more away the plot takes an interesting turn you need to read!

The characters are well-written and as mentioned the story takes an unexpected and interesting path. I would give this story 4.5 stars only because I found that some things seemed a bit unnecessary and they detracted from the story. Although I appreciate that the author is trying to teach the reader through the process of reading, sometimes the “info dumps” distracted me from the flow of the story, it felt hard to stay connected.  It’s really is an ingenious story with interesting characters but many of the lessons seem repetitive. All in all, though I think it’s worth reading and would definitely recommend it!