Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · JKS Communications · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #15: 10 Male Authors You Need To Know About

Binding of Bindings #15 isn’t just for the gallant, creative and amazing male authors out there!
Apparently, it’s also for a TON of Science Fiction stories that will make your head SPIN!
The ladies had their turn, now it’s time for the MEN!!

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~ 10 Male Authors You NEED To Know About~

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1. Michael Duda (M. Duda)

 

Michael Duda.

The author with the ability to reach into your mind, flip your thoughts sideways and upways, and then leave you lying there questioning your entire existence.

He’s an author of a collection of Shadow Books: A Cat Will Play, Bedtime for Seneca and Deny the Father. Each book contains three to five short stories, and each one will hurt your heart, your morals, or both. Some are creepy an show the negative side of human nature, and some show the beauty in life.

He has become one of my favorite authors because he can take such a simple interaction between characters, and turn it into one dripping with a thousand different meanings.

His latest release was Stars in the Winter Sky (see my review here) and it was, as usual, a delicate and wistful story. It follows two women as they travel into the woods to find the Winter Revelers, a supposed group of people who mysteriously perished.

If short stories aren’t your thing, it doesn’t matter. Read these books.

 

2. Evan Ronan

 

Evan Ronan has a special place in my book heart.

He is the VERY FIRST author to send me a book for review, and it was the first in his series, The Unearthed. The series follows Eddie McCloskey and his team of local ghost hunters as they travel around the country investigating claims of paranormal activity. The series can get quite dark, scary and gritty – so definitely for an older audience.

The series has 7 books in total, and they are so addicting. So I suggest just buying them all at once 😉

Otherworld is Ronan’s first attempt at a YA Fantasy story…and he killed it! It is a hugely imaginative and creative story filled with giant Venus flytraps and talking trash bins. It is guaranteed to make every reader feel like a kid again.

 

3. Arnulfo Cantarero

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Emotions is a Sci-fi/Fantasy about an extraterrestrial being who is born to human parents to live a life as a human, in order to better understand human emotions. The reader follows Jason Ariaz as he grows and navigates a world he has trouble understanding. With the assistance of his implanted thinking computer, Jason is able to better understand the feelings of humans and hopefully feel them himself one day.

This is the first book in a series, and hopefully the next one will be releasing soon. It is a really interesting and unique idea for a story, and one that immediately grabbed my attention.

This author just knows how to think outside of the box!

 

4. Cory Barclay

 

Another HUGELY talented author is Cory Barclay.

He has historical fiction DOWN, but where he really shines is his plot development and his amazingly dynamic characters.

His Of Witches and Werewolves series is a little Fantasy, a little Mystery/Horror and you guessed it, a Historical Fiction. It’s set in 1588 in Germany, and is based loosely on actual events that went on for about 20 years of the “Werewolf of Bedburg“. It jumps between various characters who are affected by the gruesome murders taking place in the countryside, and the series goes on to weave a haunting and disturbing tale of treachery.

This series started my Historical Fiction obsession, and it will always be one of my favorites due to his multitude of themes.

(See my review for book 1 here)

 

5. Doug Goodman

 

For all you adventure seekers who love a science fiction twist, Doug Goodman has you covered!

Goodman’s Zombie Dog series follows main character Angie Graves, who trains dogs to work with law enforcement to sniff out anything from guns to bodies. But when Angie and her dog come across a cadaver with a giant wasp attached to it’s skull, she changes up her line of work as a zombie tracker. After finding a half-dead and brutally beaten dog on the side of the road, Angie brings him back to health and begins training him to track the zombies that are taking over Colorado.

I am currently reading the last book in the series, and I am reading as slow as I can so this adventurous tale doesn’t end.

Goodman uses his real-life experience as a former search and rescue worker and love for the outdoors for his inspiration into this series, and you can REALLY tell that he knows what he’s talking about. His writing is superb, detailed and the reader will get lost in his story.

 

6. Jonathan Ballagh

 

Another Sci-fi series for your inner child to drool over.

The Quantum Door and The Quantum Ghost or books 1 and 2 in The Quantum Worlds series, but can definitely be read separately if desired.

The Quantum Door follows young brothers Brady and Felix as they stumble upon a door to another world where A.I.’s have taken over, and are slowly crumbling the world into nothing short of danger. The Quantum Ghost goes back to the same world where A.I.’s and “Elder Minds” rule, but follows a young girl named Remi Cobb.

Jonathan Ballagh is an expert at Science Fiction writing. He can easily transport the reader into another dimension that feels both exciting and frightening, while keeping the reader completely enthralled throughout.

This author is the reason for my love of Science Fiction now, and if you just read his books, you will know why.

 

7. Peter Brunton

The Stolen Child

I reviewed The Stolen Child back in 2015, and was BLOWN AWAY by Peter Brunton and his writing.

This book, is beyond AMAZING.

As I said in my review: “This book has literally robbed me of my acceptance of living in this ordinary world we call reality, and thinking that it was enough for me to escape into made up stories once and awhile. “

It’s THAT good.

The Stolen Child is a YA Fantasy set partly in London, and partly in a place called the Borderlands where flying ships and a floating Utopian society resides. It flips between two young female characters who live in different parts of the world, but are pulled together by strange events that happened before their births.

It is a WILD, magical and action-packed ride and I am f*****g shocked that it doesn’t have more review on Goodreads. This author is a born story-teller. His writing is flawless, his story building is vivid and creative, and I just can’t get enough of this book!

 

8. Mark C. King

 

I have had the IMMENSE pleasure of working with Mark C. King in all four of these books as an Alpha reader through his editing process, and was even written into Whispers of Bedlam Asylum.

I was made into a woman in an insane asylum.

Fitting? You know it.

The first three books are in the Sigmund Shaw series, which is a Sci-Fi Steampunk adventure collection. It follows Sigmund Shaw who has a penchant for breaking the law, but naturally only for good! The series is filled with gadgets, motorized carriages, and some rather sinister happenings.

The Book Reapers is set in England in 1891, where Naomi Gladwyn is sent to live in a work house after the mysterious death of her parents. It is a curious and riveting tale of a group known as the Book Reapers, who are a secret society who work to protect the world from the emotions that books can bring out in a person.

Mark is an amazing writer and one who has grown and improved so much over the years. I definitely recommend giving his books a try!

 

9. Robert Pence

 

Robert Pence is a fantastic writer of young Middle Grade books filled with mystery and SO much imagination!

One Deed Dude follows Otis who is cursed to only do one good deed a day after accidentally killing a gypsy boy-scout. Enraged by the accident, the mother of the gypsy boy-scout curses Otis to only be able to perform one good deed a day or else suffer terrible living nightmares.

Thump Squash is the tale of a creature who kidnaps children and chops off their feet. After the disappearance of eleven-year-old Billy, his friends go on the hunt to find Thump Squash and get billy back.

Both stories are delightfully spooky and unique for their strange plots, but ones that are WAY too good to pass up. Robert Pence is a witty writer who gives his young characters thoughtful and incredible voices.

 

10. Gary McPherson

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I was just introduced to Gary McPherson by JKS Communications when they sent me this book for review, and I was pleasantly surprised with his writing and story.

So much, that he has been given the honor of making it on this weeks book list! 😉

Joshua and the Shadow of Death is the first in the fictional Berserker series. It is the story of a childhood development psychologist that diagnosed two young boys with Berserker syndrome, a condition that causes the person to fly into a blind rage, and how he guides one of the boys through adulthood. After the father of one of the boys is found dead, the obvious suspect is his son who has been known to become quite angry and violent.

The reader is taken on a “who-done-it” ride, while also getting some interesting insight into the psychology of children.

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As usual, stay witchy!

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #9: The YA Reads for the Young YA

binding of bindingsthis

Today

is a day of innocence.

Of care-free smiles, child-like bliss, and a moment

Stop pretending to work, stop doing those dishes!

For the LOVE of BOOKS, STOP taking yourself SO SERIOUSLY!

For today is a day for the child in our hearts, the teens we once were, and the young readers around us.

Here we get to act ridiculous, make silly faces, let our minds run wild and be nothing but everything that we dream of. Today I bring you:

The YA Reads for the Young YA

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1. Butterfly Bones (Metamorphosis #1) by Rebecca L. Carpenter

Butterfly Bones

Though a…strange read, Butterfly Bones is a four-leaf clover in a meadow of California Poppy’s and daffodils.

It is about a teenage girl with a rare bone disorder that physically gives her the size and build of a ten-year-old child. As an infant she was told that she wasn’t going to make it, but she somehow defied the odds. This story follows Bethany as she navigates through high school and is subjected to ridicule and bullying for her appearance.

But the special aspect of this story comes from the work that Bethany’s father has diligently been working on for years, in which he tests the butterfly hormone on Bethany in the hopes that it will treat her disorder.

This story starts out with a contemporary/coming-of-age vibe, but blossoms into a beautiful and touching sci-fi/fantasy before your eyes.

I haven’t yet read book 2, but hope to get to it SOON!

(See my review here)

 

2. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped

If you guys saw my “Love is in the Book Air” post, you will have already heard me gushing and fawning over Flipped.

It is a contemporary romance and a coming-of-age story that switches narrative between two characters, Bryce and Juli. Juli has been in love with Bryce since he moved in next door when they were children, and Bryce has only wished for Juli to just leave him alone.

This is SUCH a sweet and innocent story of two characters with different beliefs and personalities growing up together. It has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid, and I adore every aspect of it.

Plus, there’s a movie!

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3. One Deed Dude by Robert Pence

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Robert Pence is one of the first authors to send my books for review when I first started out, and I am SO glad that he shared his two works with me.

The first of which being One Deed Dude.

This story is witty, creative and absolutely unique in every sense of the word. I believe I had started out my review of this book with “This book is so random, but in the best possible way“.

The story follows Otis who is cursed to only do one good deed a day after accidentally killing a gypsy boy-scout. Enraged by the accident, the mother of the gypsy boy-scout curses Otis to only be able to perform one good deed a day or else suffer terrible living nightmares.

But the concept for this book isn’t the only thing SPECTACULAR about this story. As Otis attempts to complete his daily good deed, he comes across other characters with curses SO ridiculous and comical, you won’t be able to help being completely charmed.

(See my review here)

 

4. Otherworld by Evan Ronan

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Evan Ronan.

What COULDN’T I say about this author?!

His Eddie McCloskey series were the FIRST books I was sent to review, and for that he has a special place in my book heart! BUT the reason I will ALWAYS and FOREVER accept any book for review from Mr. Ronan is because of his writing and creativity.

Otherworld is Evan’s first attempt at a YA story, and let me tell you…

He positively crushed it.

This story is BURSTING at the SEAMS with imagination, childhood adventures and pure bliss! It follows Aoife, a young girl with endless bouts of imagination and creativity. So much so, that her imaginary world she created in her head is actually possible for her to enter. And she must. Because her neighbor, Mr. Peterson, has begun stealing the imaginations of others in order to recapture his past.

Otherworld is one of the best young YA stories I have ever read, precisely because of the ability the author has to truly capture the voice, thoughts and minds of these children. There is a talking recycling bin named AL and “Leg Giants” which are literally giant legs with arms!

Its a world ANY child would want to get lost in, and one that I wish I could travel to!

(See my review here)

 

5. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Another book that was mentioned in my “Love is in the Book Air” post, and another great YA romance.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is about Steffi, a selective mute, and Rhys, a boy who is deaf. This story follows the two characters as they meet in school, and quickly form a bond over their isolation form their peers due to the uniqueness to each of their situations. The two quickly form a friendship through sign language, and it eventually turns into a beautiful and gentle romance that you’ll want to cherish forever.

This story is SO clever and gives the reader a NEW and DIFFERENT plot with characters you’ll instantly fall in love with!

(See my review here)

 

6. CUL8R Time Travel series by Bob Kat

 

The CUL8R series is a great middle-grade set of books about friendship and time travel, with a TON of adventure.

After moving to Florida to live with her aunt, Kelly quickly sparks a friendship with her smart next door neighbor and his quarterback best friend. The three new friends eventually come across an invention in Kelly’s garage called the Telephone to the Dead, which allows them to communicate to ghosts. After hearing the pleas for help from a young girl, Scott invents a time traveling so that the three can go back in time and help.

This series is PACKED with adventures and takes the reader through different parts of time so they can assist someone in need. It is a great series that will warm your heart, make you want to lend a helping hand, and just get you positively PSYCHED about science-fiction!

(See my review of book 1 here)

 

7. Stargirl (Stargirl #1) by Jerry Spinelli

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THIS is one of the earliest books I remember reading as a kid, and one of the most special! This story is about the yearning to be accepted for one’s self and originality, in the midst of popularity and social pressure to conform.

At Mica Area High School, Leo has learned to stay hidden and to not stand out. But with the arrival of Stargirl, the dynamic in this high school begins to shift. At first the students are taken with Stargirl and praise her unique look and personality, but just as quickly, she is shunned and put down for her uniqueness.

Stargirl is an amazing a breathtaking story with a message to ALWAYS be yourself, no matter what anyone says or thinks. It is the ESSENCE of a story that any young YA should read for its message, and for the pure pleasure that it brings.

 

8. Thump Squash by Robert Pence

Thump Squash

Another young YA by Robert Pence, and another clever tale!

Thump Squash is the tale of a creature who kidnaps children and chops off their feet. After the disappearance of eleven-year-old Billy, his friends go on the hunt to find Thump Squash and get billy back.

Though it sounds like it may be gruesome, it is a wonderful mystery/suspense for children and teens. It is the perfect who-done-it with relatable characters, funny moments and some very witty writing.

It’s almost like a Goosebumps story that won’t leave you with nightmares!

(See my review here)

 

9. Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar

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HOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!

The true obsession of my childhood.

At first a forced reading for school, but soon…a deep love and admiration. And the movie being SO amazing definitely didn’t sway my enthusiasm for these characters.

Stanley Yelnats believes the men in his family are cursed, why else would he have been sent to Camp Green Lake? There isn’t even a lake! After Stanley is unjustly caught stealing, he is sentenced to the camp in order to “build character“, by way of digging holes. But soon Stanley realizes that the boys at Camp Green Lake aren’t just digging holes to “build character“, and that the truth behind the curse on his family may be at the bottom of a hole.

If you haven’t had the immense pleasure of reading Holes or watching the movie, YOU NEED TO GET ON IT! This story is fantastic for anyone of any age, and is SUCH a treat! I have watched this movie a million times, and will continue to watch it a million more.

 

10. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting

We might as well start crying together now.

Tuck Everlasting. *Sigh*…this story is everything.

I read this in fourth grade right before the movie came out, and my teacher was so AWESOME that he took our entire class to go see it. You go Mr. Huberty!

This is a story of a family who will live forever due to drinking from a magical spring, and a young girl who happens upon the youngest son of the family while he drank from it. It is a tale of romance, but most importantly, a story of choice: to live forever or to simply live.

Another story great for all ages, and one with a fantastic and beautiful message to be present and live for now. Again, there’s also a movie to look forward to after reading! So hurry, hurry!

 

11. Hatchet (Brian’s Saga #1) by Gary Paulsen

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This was the first book I remember getting assigned in elementary school, and is definitely the most celebrated book on my list. It is an adventure story that can be placed right next to Call of the Wild, but for the younger audiences.

The story follows Brian as he becomes stranded in the forest after a plane crash, and as he learns to fend for himself and stay alive. This story will make the reader ask themselves if they could survive in the wild, and will most definitely spark the need to learn a few things.

It is a great story of perseverance, determination and courage. Fantastic for any age reader and a story that will keep you enthralled and connected to the main character.

 

12. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game

The last of my school book recommendations, but still one of my ABSOLUTE favorites.

I remember this was on my summer required reading list before going into my Freshman year of high school, and let me tell you…I was NOT excited to read this.

I had never read a science-fiction story up to that point, and had no need or yearning to. AT ALL. I remember complaining to my mother that it was a “boy book” and that I would NEVER be able to get through it.

Oh the agony!!!! THE UNFAIRNESS of it ALL!

But, I’m not too proud to say that my preconceived notions about this book were dead wrong…because it is AMAZING!

This story is set sometime in the future and when aliens arrive on earth to eradicate it and every soul on it. But the military has a plan. They train young kids to defeat the enemy, and Ender is recruited at the age of six. So ensues Ender’s journey to save planet Earth. It is an exciting read and one that will spark the sci-fi interest in any reader.

Annndddd there’s a movie! Winner winner!

 

13. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events barely even needs an explanation.

We all know the obsession.

So of course, it MUST be mentioned in my Young YA Reads because there is almost nothing better than this seriesexcept maybe a more cheerful series.

And Harry Potter.

Maybe.

The series is exactly what you think, it is a set of books about truly unfortunate and downright ghastly events! Three orphans are tossed from caretaker to caretaker whilst trying to discover the events surround their parents mysterious death, and of course avoiding the evil Count Olaf. Though this series does get rather dark, it is highly enjoyable and creative.

There was one movie made of it with Jim Carey, that I really liked but was never continued. BUT there is also the Netflix series of it as well!

 

14. The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani

 

I bought this series two years ago, but have yet to read them. I was instantly drawn to them by those BEAUTIFUL covers, and of course the synopsis.

The series is about a school that trains ordinary boys and girls to be villains and heroes. It is the story of how two best friends arrive at the School for Good & Evil to be trained in their assumed roles. Sophie who is charming and bubbly, and Agatha who flows in dark colors and detests everyone thought they knew exactly which schools they would be going to, until their roles suddenly get reversed.

It sounds like a truly fun and witty story, and I hope I can make time to read it soon!

 

15. A Moon in Your Lunch Box by Michael Spooner

A Moon in your Lunchbox

My mother bought this for me when I was still tiny and dripping in innocence. It was my first book of poetry, and a HILARIOUS one at that.

This book is a great way to start any child on poetry, and might even be helpful to them in school. I personally took a poem out of here for a class assignment in 3rd grade, and my classmates LOVED it SO MUCH that they made me bring it in so my teacher could read us one poem a day.

I WISH I had the book on me to show you the poem I chose, but alas, it is safe in storage somewhere.

It had something to do with mashing up a banana and pouring your Pepsi on it.

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Here we are, the end of innocence road.

How do you feel?

Nostalgic? Warm and Fuzzy?

Good.

Because next week, that probably won’t be the case.

Stay witchy!

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Kindle Unlimited · Reviews

Book Review: The Dream Machine

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Amazon.com – The Dream Machine: Book 6, The Eddie McCloskey Paranormal Mystery Series (The Unearthed) by Evan Ronan

~ Get the first 5 books in the series ~

Amazon.com- The Unearthed: Book One, The Eddie McCloskey Series by Evan Ronan

Amazon.com – The Lost: Book Two, The Eddie McCloskey Series (The Unearthed 2) by Evan Ronan

Amazon.com – The Accused and the Damned: Book Three, the Eddie McCloskey Series (The Unearthed 3) by Evan Ronan

Amazon.com – The Hysteria: Book 4, The Eddie McCloskey Paranormal Mystery Series (The Unearthed) by Evan Ronan

Amazon.com – The Traveler: Book 5, The Eddie McCloskey Paranormal Mystery Series (The Unearthed) by Evan Ronan

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Horror/Adult/Thriller

Plot: They’re watching her dreams…and seeing the future

At a remote federal facility, researchers are watching—literally watching—test subjects’ dreams on computer screens. Alison, a teenage patient, is of particular interest because her dreams seemingly come true.

Eddie McCloskey, paranormal expert, versed in the occult and in debunking bad science, doesn’t put much stock in dreams. He’s studied the paranormal literature as much as anybody, and he’s convinced there’s a perfectly good explanation for all dreams.

But when Alison dreams about a catastrophic accident and a terrible crime, the shadowy federal agents Eddie worked with in Oregon come calling again. Eddie and the feds are racing against the clock. Are the dreams predictions, or merely intimations of what might happen? Can the future be altered?

This is no ghost hunt, but they need Eddie McCloskey’s lateral thinking if they’re going to get the job done here. Because they’ll soon discover there’s something else, something even more sinister, about Alison’s dreams…
Opinion: Check it out guys, he’s baaaccccckkkk! It has been quite some time since I have had the pleasure of diving into the world of paranormal ghost hunter Eddie McCloskey. Oh, how I have missed these twisted and frightening tales! This is number SIX in The Eddie McCloskey Paranormal Mystery Series. I am LOVING the basis of this installment of the series, because author Evan Ronan has centered it around dreams and how they can be controlled. This my readers, is SO up my alley.

Eddie McCloskey finally feels like things are setting into place in his personal life. He is able to spend more time with his befriends Stan and Moira, and things couldn’t be better between Eddie and his girlfriend Sumiko. But when the Federal Agents that Eddie worked with (and almost died with) in Oregon start calling him about another job, his life starts to shift yet again. Eddie travels with Agent Manetti to a secluded base where patients’ dreams are being monitored, especially those of a girl name Allison.  Allison is suspected to be some sort of an oracle. She has had vivid dreams of natural disasters and shootings, and so far, each one has come true. When Eddie arrives, he is shown the most recent of Allison’s dreams, a horrifying car accident and a sexual assault. Now Eddie and Agent Manetti are against the clock to stop these events from taking place, and to prove that this young girl isn’t an all-powerful God.

I cannot express how quickly I got through this book, it captivated me THAT much. When I read the blurb for this installment of this paranormal series, I knew I was going to be hooked. Anything centering around dreams instantly pulls me in, and the fact that author Evan Ronan decided to base one of his paranormal/mystery stories on them got me crazy excited. The Dream Machine basically centers around this top-secret base where these patients are undergoing dream studies. The doctors are able to WATCH the patients dreams on monitors, and run tests on them to see what influences or effects their dreams.

There are two special cases in this high-tech “dreaming facility”, Allison and an inmate named White. White is a career criminal and was able to complete part of his sentence by assisting these doctors in their dream study, mostly because White is able to lucid dream (where a person is aware they are dreaming and can control the dream). Allison is quite a different case, in that she is a young teenage girl who is thought to be having premonitions of the future. When Eddie enters the scene, Allison has already had two dreams come true, a storm and a shooting, and two more that are waiting to happen, a huge car accident and a sexual assault.

Now if you have read the precious books in this series, you will know that Eddie is a paranormal investigator. Most of the time when Eddie is called onto a case, it isn’t a ghost or paranormal entity disturbing someone, it’s usually something more plausible. But in Eddie’s previous investigations, he has learned that some things truly just can’t be explained. When Eddie begins watching the tapes of Allison’s dreams, his first instinct is to debunk the idea that Allison is an oracle or some type of god that can see into the future. I personally found this idea to be really different, especially in a series that focuses more on the reality aspect rather than fantasy.

I of course don’t want to give anything away, but WOAH. I was NOT expecting the story to go in the direction that it did. I am kicking myself for not seeing the connection between these characters, but I like that it surprised me…that is ALWAYS a welcome trait in a book. All in all, I was pretty impressed with The Dream Machine. I loved that it centered around lucid dreaming and the idea that predicting future events may be possible. Plus, there was an epic shoot out at the end of the book that would keep anyone hooked, as well as some great characters that return to the story. Once again guys, you NEED try this series out! You will be hooked on Eddie McCloskey and his travels, trust me on that.

4-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: OtherWorld by Evan Ronan

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~ Buy through the links below ~

Amazon.com – OtherWorld: YA Fantasy Adventure by Evan Ronan

Goodreads.com – OtherWorld by Evan Ronan

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Teen/Fantasy

Plot: Aoife Finley is bursting at the seams with creativity. No one daydreams better than her and her imagination knows no bounds.

Mr. Peterson is old, his best days long behind him. He yearns for the past, mistrusts the present, and fears the future. But he’s just figured out how to recapture his past:

By stealing other people’s imaginations.

Armed with only her creativity, imaginary friends, and a few bickering classmates, Aoife embarks on an amazing, but dangerous journey into the OtherWorld that she created, a place that is slipping more and more out of her control and into Mr. Peterson’s, before the real world as she knows it—and as it could be—disappears forever.

OtherWorld is a YA fantasy adventure about the power of the imagination and how anything is possible. It is 80,000 words long and Evan Ronan’s first (but hopefully not last) YA novel.

Opinion: Seeing as how Evan Ronan was the first author to ever request a review from me (thanks Evan), and after reading five of his books and becoming obsessed with them, I naturally assumed that writing paranormal thrillers was a genre he would stay in because I felt he absolutely shined in it. Well THANKFULLY this author doesn’t stick to just paranormal thrillers, because WOW…I am once again super impressed with the stories that this guy comes up with. This is his first attempt at a YA story and he absolutely NAILED it!

Ten-year-old Aoife (pronounced Eef-uh) Finley has been pushing her imagination to the limits since as long as she can remember. Prone to constant daydreaming, Aoife often travels in her mind to a world she created called Paxsum (which is a re-creation of the actual town she lives in called Paxson). In Paxsum Aoife has the ability to imagine and create anything she desires, like a talking recycling bin named Al or “Leg Giants” which are literally giant legs with arms. Usually Aoife and her imagined friends are the only ones that can enter her made-up world, but one day that suddenly changes. Someone starts to steal the imaginations of Aoife’s classmates and neighbors, and suddenly Paxsum has turned into a place that is dangerous and almost impossible to escape from. With suspicions that old Mr. Peterson from town is behind it, Aoife and a few of her unruly classmates enter Paxsum together in the hopes of putting her world back together and restoring the imaginations of everyone in Paxson.

Let’s first start off with addressing how truly creative and different the premise for this story is. Hopefully we can all recall a time in our childhoods when our imaginations truly had no limit. Where we created other worlds and friends, and we fed off the imaginations of other kids as we traveled through those places together. Evan Ronan has literally taken a small piece of all our childhoods and expanded it into a story that shows the reader the endless possibilities to one’s imagination. Aoife Finley is a spunky 10-year-old girl who has a vast and wild imagination. I enjoyed the endless limit to her creaivity that the author gifted her, and I liked that her imagination is what expands and keeps Paxsum intact.

The characters that the reader is introduced to in this story are TRULY something else. Not only is there a BBQ named B that sounds like she has smoked for forty years, there are kids in Aoife’s class with nicknames such as Slob, Killer and Binky. The author has ensured to give us a nice potluck of kids to get to know and become invested in; as well as a feisty yet endearing young girl named Erica whose personality is prickly. As Aoife puts it: “Nobody clicked their gum as sharply as her”. Apart from amazing characters, this book is PACKED to the brim with countless turmoil and adventures. The characters find themselves running from larger-than-life Venus flytraps who try to eat them, ginormous rouge possums, and falling skyscrapers that they can only be avoided by yelling to the heavens “I am Steel Sunday!” With so many moments that the reader can relate to having imagined in their youth, I was able to be completely enthralled and entertained throughout this story.

One thing that I did have trouble connecting with was how many times our main character said “cool” at the beginning of this story. Understandably, a ten-year-old might not have a vast library of adjectives at her disposal when describing things…but a ten-year-old like this? She should be EXPLODING with adjectives. Though this is obviously not a huge problem for me in the story, the reader in me couldn’t stop focusing on the overuse of this word. Apart from this, I think the author did a fine job of putting the reader in the head of a young pre-teen. As Aoife was telling the reader countless moments when she couldn’t understand “adult talk” I found myself smirking at knowing that feeling all too well when I was her age.

Even though I think that target age for this book would be children or pre-teens, it is a story that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Considering how many adults have reviewed this book on Amazon or Goodreads, I think you can trust me when I say that. With that said, this story is really something SPECIAL. It filled me with nostalgia for the wonderful times that I had as a little girl, while also putting a small smile on my face as I relived my childhood. I HIGHLY recommend this story to any age group, and it is a book that can be enjoyed with your entire family.

4-5-stars

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Books · Reviews

THE TRAVELER by Evan Ronan

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Evan Ronan, for an honest review.

Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Horror/Adult/Thriller

Plot: This is the fifth book in the paranormal thriller series The Unearthed by Evan Ronan.

Eddie McCloskey is a survivor.

But the scars from his last big case run deep, slowly driving him mad.

Detective Sumiko Christie has her work cut out for her. Before the two victims died, they both reported seeing a ghost. And it gets stranger.

Both victims died from fear.

Christie is no expert in the paranormal. Eddie isn’t ready for a case this dangerous.

But they have no choice. The ghost they’re trying to find is the rarest of the rare.

˃˃˃ It’s a traveler.

And it will kill more people if Eddie and Christie don’t stop it.

Opinion: I am still not understanding why this series does not have a huge following by now, and why there is only about ten reviews on it. This series, is AMAZING. This is obviously the fifth review I have written for this series, so if you are one of those readers that STILL has not purchased The Unearthed (the first book in the series) you are truly missing out…and I think we need to rethink your judgment in what a good book is 😉

After the terrible events from Eddies last case in Oregon, he is still trying to pick up the pieces and get his life back to normal. But a call from a Detective Christie throws Eddie right back into the danger that comes with paranormal investigating. Detective Christie explains that they have two separate deaths that have occurred, and that both victims claimed to have seen a ghost before they died. Not only was that strange, but their autopsy reports conclude that they both suffered from elevated heart rates (heart attacks)…with the cause being fear. As Eddie joins Detective Christie on the case, more deaths start to occur and they soon realize that the ghost they are dealing with is a traveler.

First, let’s talk about the writing style of Evan Ronan. As you all know, I obsess over there being obnoxious amounts of detail in books. The Unearthed series might be my one exception, and this is why: Evan Ronan has a unique style of writing where he gives you just the right amount of detail in such a small amount of words. His writing style appears effortless and easy going, thought out but not overthought, and imaginative but oddly realistic. You know you have found a good author (or in my case, a good author has found you) when their books are completely fictional but the writing makes it eerily too real. Also, I have to again point out how awesome it is when an author ties themselves into their own series. Perfect.

The Traveler has become one of my favorites from this series (The Unearthed is still my favorite) because of a great storyline and new characters. There is a lot of names that the reader has to remember in this series, and I will admit that detectives always referring to characters by their last name gets confusing. Detective Sumiko Christie is the definition of a focused and disciplined cop, but she has no problem wrapping her head around crazy ideas and the paranormal. I grew very fond of this character and was glad to find how open minded she was. Stan, Eddie’s best friend, makes a reappearance in this installment and ends up helping Sumiko and Eddie on the case. I wish I could have gotten a little more from his character in this book though, I still feel like I don’t know Stand and Moira very well…but hopefully that will change as the series continues. Eddie has grown into an AMAZING character over this series, and has really shown that he is dedicated and loyal. Also he FINALLY catches a break with a lady, oh how I have been WONDERING when this would happen to the poor guy!

I was putting off reading this book because now I must wait until the author completes book six, The Dream Machine. Thankfully Evan Ronan has just sent me his new, and first, YA/Fantasy/Adventure story called Otherworld. So I think that will tie me over 🙂 . So if you haven’t tried this series out or are hesitant to…JUST GET IT! It is a truly addicting and suspenseful series, and I am so glad that it has gotten me into reading paranormal books.

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