Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #10: 18 Female Authors You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Friday may be the Binding of Bindings day, but Women Day is EVERY day!
LADIES!
Put those stomping boots and heels on, push the hair out of your face and don’t even bother to look like anything other than the complete BADASS that you are!
We’re stepping out of the shadows and landing SMACK dab in the middle of the book hierarchy!

We came to obliterate the competition with style and flawlessness.
We came to show these guys JUST how we do things!

These women take no prisoners, get the job done THEMSELVES, and DEFINITELY don’t need any Heroes to save them.
Welcome to the Sheroes!

Step aside lads, the women are taking over this post.

18 Badass Female Authors

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1. Maggy Farrell

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Guilt Trip is a YA/Adult Paranormal Suspense story about a sixteen-year-old girl named Melissa. After surviving in a car accident where her mother perished, she travels with her father to the English countryside on holiday.

Strange things start to happen by way of a woman screaming for help, and unexpected visions. But let me tell you one thing about this story, you will NOT expect what happens. If you love a good blindside, read this story!

You won’t be disappointed!

(See my review here)

 

2. Angie Grigaliunas

Are you guys tired of me talking about this series yet?

Too bad.

This series just might be everything your feminist heart desires…or…despises?

It follows two sisters who live in a place where Hulcondans rule over the people as their protectors, but also use their power as a means to get what they want. For Rabreah, the Hulcondans are corrupt and need to be taken down. But for Ariliah, they are who she trusts without a doubt.

This series is AMAZING and one i have become utterly obsessed with! These two female characters transform into strong and fierce characters who you will fall in love with. There is danger, murder and a TON of mind games.

Though I think Angie Grigaliunas is trying to kill me with this series, I still love her.

(See my review for book 1 here and book 2 here)

 

3. C.L. Clark

C.L. Clark is one of the first authors I had the pleasure of working with!

She has a knack for the ghostly Thriller/Suspense stories, and knows just how to pull the reader in and keep them interested until the last page.

Opening the Veil is about a young woman named Cassie as she delves into her new talent of being able to speak to spirits. But then she discovers that a paranormal entity is using her neighbor as a puppet while it goes on a killing spree. The series continues with A Brighter Light and tracks Cassie as she learns to hone her abilities and help spirits move on.

I have not yet read Staring Into Darkness, but it is on my TBR list and I am excited to get to it! It is a collection of ghost mysteries that promise to give a little spook and a lot of thrill!

(See my review for Opening the Veil here)

 

4. T.L. Schaefer

T.L. Schaefer has MANY books, so I am just going to give you the covers of the four that I know the best.

The C.A.S.I. series, Behind Blue Eyes and Shoot to Thrill, are a few favorites of mine that I read some odd years ago. It follows crime-scene photographer Sara Convington as she tracks a serial killer and works to catch him before his next killing. The series is SO exciting and there is even a little romance involved, if you like that sort of thing.

The C.A.S.I series is a great suspense thriller with a badass female lead. There’s just NOTHING better than a woman that is intelligent and can kick some ass!

(See my review for book 1 here and book 2 here)

5. H.A. Leuschel

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H.A. Leuschel is the QUEEN of combining psychology and fiction short stories!

Her book Manipulated Lives has five stories that each showcase how people can be manipulated by others and how to deal with it. These stories touch on abuse, narcissism, overbearing parents, first love, and even friendship and acceptance.

This collection is so beautiful and breathtaking. You will read through it so fast, but try to savor every story and every moment!

(See my review here)

 

6. Kathleen Valenti

Did you guys see my review for As Directed?

It was…SPECTACULAR!

This author writes in a way that is just perfectly dramatic and snarky, it feels like poetry for the reader that loves when sentences are explained in creative ways rather than just saying someone turned around and breathed.

I was given As Directed in exchange for a review, and yes, it is book three in the series. I HAVEN’T read books one or two, but I am most definitely planning on doing so.

As I said in my review, Kathleen Valenti is my new favorite suspense/mystery/thriller writer.

(See my review for As Directed here)

 

7. Talis Jones

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Okay…I haven’t read this yet…

But don’t you judge me!

I was gifted this story by Talis Jones in exchange for an honest review, and i am hoping to make it my next read. It’s got the dystopian/wild-wild-west vibes and is set in the future after the U.S. has fallen. It follows a girl as she tries to navigate this new world…and that’s honestly all I know.

This one is REALLY shrouded in mystery, but I am really liking that aspect of it. It seems like MANY writers are leaving their book descriptions vague, but that just makes them more alluring. I can’t wait to find out what happens, and judging from a few Goodreads reviews, some unexpected things are going to take place!

8. Meg Anne

The Chosen series is a Paranormal Fantasy about a girl named Helena who is plucked from her simple life and told she is the prophesized ruler of the Chosen, those who are blessed with magic and powers.

I have read the first book in the series and have the next three on my long, long list of books. Helena is a fierce, badass female lead who you will absolutely fall for. The best part is, she turns into this fearsome demonic all-powerful queen.

Um….to die for!

(See my review for Book 1 here and Book 2 here)

9. Rebecca L. Carpenter

I JUST mentioned Butterfly Bones in my YA Reads for the Young YA post last week, but i am still going to mention it again!

Rebecca Carpenter has come up with SUCH a unique and beautiful concept for these books, and i can’t believe more people don’t know about them! The Metamorphosis series is about a ril named Bethany who was born with a rare bone disorder that keeps her body from growing. Though she is a teenager, she physically looks like a child. The story is about how her father is trying to find a cure for her by using butterfly hormones, and how Bethany goes through social situations with her condition.

Though this story sounds like a Fiction/YA/Contemporary…it is…but it isn’t.

It transforms into this beautiful fantasy story that is both heartbreaking and sweet.

Do your inner child a favor and read these.

(See my review for Book 1 here)

 

10. T.S. Pettibone

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T.S. Pettibone is the pen name for identical twin sisters Bittany and Nicole. Together they wrote the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Hatred Day series, and is set in 2052. Hatred Day marks the day when Earth was inhabited by an alien race that eventually lead to an environmental uproar. As an Inborn, Snofrid and her people are enslaved by the alien race, but worst of all, she wakes up with her memories stolen.

The first book in the series was AMAZING and I have been patiently waiting for the release of book two. I am not sure when it will be released, but i am hoping it will be soon. The Pettibone sisters possess such creative minds to come up with this world, and i thank them SO much!

  If you are as obsessed with this cover, and with a post-apocalyptic style of world where everyone is in gas masks, please read this.

(See my review here)

 

11. Cyndy Drew Etler

Ready for something heavy?

The Dead Inside is a true story about author Cyndy Etler’s experience in a “tough love” camp run by Straight, Inc. The camps were drug rehabilitation centers for troubled and out-of-control youths, and were extremely popular during between the late 70’s and early 90’s. Many of the children and young adults brought to these camps weren’t even on drugs, but were sent there because their parents didn’t have any way of dealing with them.

The experiences in these camps were both horrendous and shocking. Countless reports of physical and mental abuse have been reported during and since the closure of the camps, which can be found at http://survivingstraightinc.com/

The Dead Inside is Cyndy’s story of her time in one of these camps, and We Can’t Be Friends is the story of her struggles in society and her own mind after being released. It is almost unfathomable to know that this story is true, but I am so grateful to have been able to read it.

(See my review for Book 1 here)

 

12. Kelsey Sutton

Gardenia is another great story that barely anyone has heard of, and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!

The reason I love Kelsey Sutton is because she is gifted with a mind that comes up with the most CREATIVE ideas for books, see below:

Main Character Ivy has the ability to see the “countdown clocks” over everyone’s head, which indicated when that person will die. Though she has tried to save lives, she has never been successful and her own impending death is just on the horizon. But then girls start disappearing, and everyone begins to pint the finger at Ivy.

Now, I have not read Smoke and Key, Some Quiet Place or Where Silence Gathers, but I LITERALLY just put them on my TBR list because I just now came across them.

Smoke and Key is about a girl that awakens in the dark to learn that she is dead, has fallen from her grave and now resides in a place called Under. With no recollection of who she is or what happened to her, she tries to find a way out.

Some Quiet Place and When Silence Gathers is an interesting spin on emotions. Elizabeth doesn’t feel emotions, she seems them in human forms. None of the emotions can touch her, except Fear, who is her constant tormentor.

I’m a lover of anything dark and grim, and I think we can agree that Kelsey Sutton is too. If you share this strange deathly love with us, I highly recommend these books.

(See my review for Gardenia here)

 

13. Elizabeth Langston

I Wish is an adorable story about a girl who is forced to provide for her family and bring money in, with very little time for herself or to be a teenager. One day she comes across a music box at a flea market, and out of the box comes a genie willing to grant her one wish each day for a month.

It is a sweet and innocent story of friendship, strength, romance and doing what is right. A great story for all ages, and one all of us can relate to. I mean come one, who wouldn’t want to come across a genie?!

(See my review for Book 1 here and Book 2 here)

 

14. C.J. Anaya

The Prophecy series!!!

A series that starts out in modern times and goes back to 1000 A.D. There are gods, tyrannical rulers, and magic galore!

Hope starts out as a teenage girl in present times in book one, and by books 2-4 she learns that her previous life was lived as a Princess of the Kagami Empire. Her father was a cruel ruler that used her healing powers for selfish purposes. The story goes through both of her lives and the demonic threats that plague both.

It’s a fantasy series with a lot of romance, and a lot of action. It’s like a new-age Mulan/Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon story.

(See my review for Book 1 here, Book 2 here, Book 3 here and book 4 here)

 

15. Mary G. Thompson

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Flicker and Mist is set in a world where some people can Flicker, become invisible in an instant, but not without great threat against their life. Myra learned of her ability as a child, and since then her parents fought to keep her ability a secret. Because is a Flickerkin is discovered in New Heart City, they can be put to death.

I am ALWAYS looking for a story that is different and creative by way of plot and concept, and Flicker and Mist is one of those stories! It is so creative and exciting to read, and a story I wish I could fall into because my dream superpower is to become invisible at will!

(See my review here)

 

16. Elsie Chapman

DID YOU READ ALONG THE INDIGO YET?!

I have been ranting and raving about it for months now!

You know the one I’m talking about. Where people go to commit suicide, where a girl skims their bodies for money and valuables, and the one where said girl lives in a boarding house for woman who serve Johns.

Dreamy, right?

(See my review here)

The Dualed books are ones I have seen around, but haven’t gotten to read yet.

In this series every person has a genetic alternate, and one they must kill by their twentieth birthday in order to live. West thinks that she is the superior Alt until tragedy strikes, then she begins to question her very existence.

 

17. Stacey Marie Brown

THIS is the Big Kahuna of the Paranormal Romance books!

This series has magic, werewolves, faeries, goblins, demons and Dark Dwellers. Which is what our main character Ember is. After being thrown out of her school for accidentally causing an explosion, Ember is sent to a facility for troubled teens. There she learns who she really is, and which world she actually belongs in.

It’s like Twilight, if Twilight was written better and wasn’t so mushy.

This series is a MATURE YA/Adult series, so fair warning!

(See my review for Book 1 here)

 

18. Claire Warner

Amber Sky is the first book in the C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass dystopian/steampunk series. It is about a girl that is thrust into court life after making a deal in order to save her family from starvation. It has been featured MANY times on my blog and is one I cannot wait to continue…if the next book ever comes out..

(See my review for Book 1 here)

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You know the deal ladies, stay witchy and keep on being a badass!

 

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #6: Love is in the Book Air

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I can show you the world,

Love, affection, devotion.

Tell me, reader, your afflictions,

So that you can avoid those books.

I can open your eyes,

To heartbreak and true love.

Under harsh rules and above,

On a magic book ride.

A whole new world,

With Fae, Ghosts and Murderers.

Some stories may start out sweet,

But then end dark and bleak.

But don’t let that keep you away.

A whole new world,

One where you can find your mate and lover.

You may cry with despair, or even joy

But no matter which, your tears will deploy.

Because those mushy stories are here!

Your heart will start pounding,

You might feel like you’re drowning.

But just make sure you come up for air.

A whole new world,

One of intrigue, passion and flare,

Don’t you dare turn away,

Here is where you have to stay.

Because:

~ * ~ Love is in the Book Air ~ * ~

 

 

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

*Sigh*

We all just need a Rhysand, don’t we?!

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This series is EVERYTHING our mushy, hopeful souls need when it comes to romance. Some Fae male to steal us away from the human realm, a first love, despair, true love/mates and a High Court of lethal dark characters.

I am currently reading this series over, AGAIN, just because I needed that soul-clenching love to hit me like a ton of bricks.

 

2. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

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A favorite of mine for YEARS! Just Listen is an incredibly sweet and sad story. It follows a girl named Annabel who is dealing with a very traumatic event that happened one night with her former friend Sophie. As she tries to come to grips with the event, she meets a guy named Owen who helps put her back on her feet.

This is SUCH a touching story that focuses on some serious topics like anorexia and sexual assault, but it is also a tender story of acceptance and forgiveness.

This will make you swoon.

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3. The Purification Era series by Angie Grigaliunas

If you want a Fantasy series obsession, with a truly envious romance, READ THESE BOOKS!

Sowing and Quelling follow the lives of two sisters, Ariliah and Rabreah, as they try to find their place in a village ruled over by the Hulcondans – ruthless soldiers who are meant to protect the city and inhabitants. For Ariliah, the Hulcondans are her protectors and people she trusts without question, but for Rabreah, they are vile and will take advantage of men and women just because they are the law.

Rabreah joins the rebellion and meets Sorek, their fearless leader. So ensues a tale of an uprising, battles and murders, and of course…romance.

The romance in this series is definitely one of my favorites, because the characters feel SO real and relatable. The love in this series is a slow-build, so one you can definitely get to know and appreciate. Plus, the female characters are BADASS and Sorek is truly my dream man. LOVE it.

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4. Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Grab your tissues boys and girls.

This will rip your heart out.

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This book starts in 1934 and takes the reader through World War II, following the lives of two lovers, Robbie and Cecilia. It begins with a young girl named Briony making a colossal mistake of accusing Robbie of a heinous crime one summer night, which in turns changes the lives of these three characters forever.

This is a tale of fierce love and loss, and will absolutely make you WEEP.

I’m not kidding guys, this will crush you.

But it’s just OH SO worth it!

 

5. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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This is a BEAUTIFUL and UNIQUE YA contemporary romance that I know you guys will LOVE!

Steffi is a selective mute, and has been for years. But with her choice of silence comes isolation from her peers at school, until she meets Rhys. Rhys is deaf but is able to communicate with Steffi through sign language. Soon a romance sparks between them, and they learn how to navigate through the world together.

This book does a fantastic job of showcasing the struggles that both of these characters endure, while also giving it a positive layer of perseverance and helping one another grow.

It’s a fantastic coming-of-age story, and one with a romance SO sweet and innocent that you’ll want to put these two in your pocket.

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6. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

I have always had a liking for Meg Cabot books (especially the 1-800-Where-Are-You series) and this series is no exception.

The main character, Suze, can speak to the dead. The series goes through her life at school, and each book showcases a new spirit who needs her help to cross over or move on. But the real story is with a ghost named Jesse who she falls MADLY in love with, even though they obviously cannot be together.

It is a very lighthearted and enjoyable series, and one you will FLY through.

 

7. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

There obviously can’t be a “Love is in the Air” post without Throne of Glass!

This series as you know (at least, I hope you know) is positively SEEPING in romance and lust! There’s endless games of cat and mouse, love triangles, mates, deaths, battles and murders. It is a series with such intense and soul-crushing romance that you will never again be satisfied in an actual relationship in real life.

You can thank Sarah J. Maas for that.

There’s just SOMETHING about a man that would skin someone alive for hurting you

 

8. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

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Dreamland is another book you will need that box of tissues for, so I hope you’re stocking up now!

Caitlin and Rogerson.

The beautiful relationship that starts out so promising, so smoothly, and then…it shatters.

It’s a relationship that is just as much addicting as it is toxic. It is one that is SO relatable to so many readers, and teaches us all a really amazing lesson.

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Your heart will need bandaging after this one.

 

9. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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I think we have all seen this amazing movie, but have you read the book?!

The book is set in 1958 and follows Landon Carter as he recounts his days in high school. He starts to spend his time with Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister, and soon a romance blossoms. This story is a passionate fairy-tale dream, one with a bad boy falling in love with a sweet girl…but one that also ends on a sad note.

If this doesn’t capture your heart, I don’t know what will.

My stomach is doing little flips just thinking about it!

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10. The Garden by John Nuckel

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The Garden is a short story of love and forgiveness.

Walt is nearing the end of his life, and while laying in the hospital he recounts small memories with his daughters and late wife, Meg. The reader follows Walt as he makes his journey into the afterlife by making amends with his daughter.

It is a short and sweet tale filled with love and adoration, and one that completely reminds me of Carl and Ellie.

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11. Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why has been at the top of my “Most Obsessed-Over Books” for years now, and there’s so many reasons why.

Not only is it COMPLETELY unique, but it gets down and dirty into suicide and what comes after.

Clay Jensen comes home one day to find a box of cassette tapes addressed to him. As he plays the first tape, he realizes it is Hannah, a girl who had committed suicide two weeks earlier. On each tape Hannah gives a reason that lead to her decision to kill herself, and that the tapes will be sent to each person who played a role in her suicide.

This book will strip you bare, make you take a long hard look at yourself and your actions, and will make you feel EVERY SINGLE FEEL there is.

It’s the story of a romance that never was, but in my opinion, a romance that is incredibly powerful and important.

 

12. The Darkness series by Stacey Marie Brown

On a lighter note…

The Darkness series!

This is a Mature YA Paranormal Romance that includes demons, faeries, goblins and Dark Dwellers. This series is HOT, HOT, HOT!!! It’s like a Twilight for the mature reader, but with more bloodshed and better writing 😉

It is about a girl named Ember who is forced into a school for troubled youth after she accidentally causes a series of electrical explosions. Here Ember learns the truth of what she is, a species of Otherworld that is forbidden to be alive, and falls for the alluring and dangerous Eli Dragen.

It is another story with a romance that builds, so don’t worry…no Insta-Love here!

 

13. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped

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Awwww…Young love!

If you have not had the immense pleasure of reading Flipped, you NEED to get involved!

It’s a Pre-teen/YA Coming-of-age Contemporary Romance, but is a wonderful read for all ages! The story flips back and forth between Julie Baker and Bryce Loski as they grow older. Julie has been in love with Bryce since the day they met when his family moved in across the street, but Bryce wants nothing more than for Julie to leave him alone.

It is a WONDERFUL, innocent and heart-filling story of two young characters as they grow, make life decisions, and really find out who they are and who they want to be.

 

14. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel

The Immortals is YA Fantasy/Paranormal romance series about a girl who acquires the ability to read people’s auras after a fatal car accident. By just touching someone, Ever can learn someone’s life story. This pushes Ever into a life of isolation from her peers, until a boy named Damen enters her life. Damen is both mysterious and intoxicating, but knows just how to help her and keep her sane among the insanity that her life has become.

This series is the epitome of a love story. It is SO sweet and beautiful, and definitely the reason I have such high expectations when being courted! 😉

 

15. Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler

AW, this brings back such wonderful memories!

I read this series in high school. I fell in love with it, and expected all my future loves to be JUST. LIKE. THIS.

Obviously, I was very wrong. But I’m still hoping!

Ivy and Tristan are everything that embodies the title of love. When Tristan suddenly dies in a car accident, Ivy’s world shatters from the loss of her soulmate. But when Tristan comes back as an angel to protect and watch over Ivy, his dreams are crushed when she is unable to feel his presence.

I know it sounds cheesy, and it is. I mean come on, it’s a LOVE story guys! But trust me, this is a swoon-worthy series and will make you wish you had an angel to fall in love with.

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Ugh, am I the only one nauseous from the FEELS of all those books?!

I just want to crawl into a hole and suffocate myself with every single one of these romance books, until my hole becomes a puddle from my tears.

Which will turn that puddle into a river, that you can tell me to cry for you.

Let me know how these turn out for you, I’m dying to know how much they rip your heart out!

 

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Book Promo · Books · Reviews

Book Promo: Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka

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Title: Environmentally Friendly

Author: Elias Zanbaka

Genre: Thriller, Action, Short Story

 

Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.

 

BLURB

A highly unstable army veteran gripped by PTSD is hell-bent on waging his own personal war against Mother Nature. 

He is the number one target being hunted down by the LAPD as he rampages through the city in an attempt to provoke such a powerful and overwhelming force as Mother Nature into a highly personal battle. 

Out of the entire LAPD, well-armed and prepared to take down the veteran in a hail of lead if necessary, one officer has gone against the grain and embarked on a desperate mission to apprehend the suspect without breaking him.

He has become intent, almost to the point of equal obsession, in helping that army veteran by giving him the fight with Mother Nature he has been waiting for.

EXCERPT

“SERGEANT SCHAEFER dove into the shallow puddle in front of him to douse the fierce, scorching glow that engulfed his entire body. His target, manically wielding a makeshift flamethrower and a stolen, rusted chainsaw, launched away from him like a missile just as he collided hard with the wet concrete.

Schaefer slid down the unyielding pavement before unleashing his entire body into a desperate spin across it. Heavy rain assaulted the agonizing heat clawing at his skin while the harrowing screams of the many wounded environmental protesters flanking him rose above the roaring thunder. The glistening ground and unstable, grey sky alternated in his vision, twirling in rapid succession before violently blurring into one. His skin sizzled and screamed just as the heavens shot out blinding flashes in frightening sequence. The tinge of burnt flesh that hung in the thick, black smoke now emanating from his body signalled him to arrest his movement.

With no time to observe the damage to his body, Schaefer painfully propelled himself off the ground in time to see flames engulf two trees in front of him, then three, then four. He lunged toward the distant, shrinking figure of the target, whose finger mercilessly strangled the flamethrower’s trigger; causing a horizontal geyser of fire to relentlessly sweep over each tree the figure flew past.

Schaefer’s eyes could only watch while his right hand could only freeze above his holster that once housed the Glock now tucked into the back of his target’s pants.The trees lining Hollywood Boulevard now brilliantly ignited like the lights on an airport runway.

As Schaefer pounded his legs through the air, the target began to swell in his vision until he could spot the flames chaotically glinting off the myriad of army medals that hung proudly from his target’s immaculate Army Service Uniform.

Amid the glowing trees, his target’s legs now plowed into each bin, allowing a stampede of garbage to spill out onto the street and explode into flight. His target’s crazed eyes glared in delight at the polluted sight. This was his army, his army against his enemy, an enemy he needed to confront nature.”

AUTHOR BIO

Elias Zanbaka is an Australian author who has always had a great passion for both teaching and storytelling. Like a lot of people, he grew up on a not so steady diet of exciting and engaging stories as if they were another major food group that couldn’t be skipped. This would eventually manifest itself as a love for both devouring and telling the most exciting and entertaining stories as he could.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/XKQ7M9DTQ8R4K01KZ8HR

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/B01CMK5YA6

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/B01CMK5YA6

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · JKS Communications · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review:Immortal Girls by Griffin Stark

Immortal Girls

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by JKS Communications on behalf of the author, for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/YA/Teen

Plot: The year is 1095, Normandy, France. Five year old Skylar runs away into the woods to escape nuns who are convinced her inexplicable seizures are the work of Satan. She survives after being adopted by wolves, when two mysterious strangers appear and reveal Skylar’s destiny to her. Skylar is the first of the Immortal Girls, destined to save humanity from itself.

“Immortal Girls” follows Skylar, Rachel, Caitlin, Beth, and Bethany, five immortal sisters who, over the course of a thousand years, attempt to learn the purpose of their own existence while hunting down the worst criminals this world has ever seen. They’ve faced the likes of Jack the Ripper and the Nazis, but as a new enemy arises to threaten the sisters’ survival they’ll soon learn that immortality doesn’t mean forever.

Opinion:

It is I, on this Sunday, that blesses you with this:

A book with the potential to reach the stars

if only it had gone through a few Beta/Alpha readers first.

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This book has tremendous potential to be amazing, but it just doesn’t feel finished. There are a few positives, a few negatives, and some gray areas in-between. There were times when I really enjoyed the authors writing, and times when I had no idea what he was trying to convey to the reader. If I look at the work as a whole, I find it to be a cute story and something I really didn’t mind reading. But it could have been SO much better.

Let’s start with the length of the book. Yes, it is short. But let’s categorize it into the “Short Story” genre then. In that regard, it is the perfect size. The writing is quick and to the point, and doesn’t waste time with too many words and unnecessary “fluff”. But if the intention is for this to be a novel, then okay, it’s short. However, in my opinion, I think the story is fine at this length. I saw a few complaints from readers expressing that it was too short for a fantasy story which caused there to be a lack of story and character building. But every book is different. This just happens to be a shorter fantasy book that doesn’t include an exuberant amount of description and detail, but I think it works.

The plot for this book is what immediately interested me, and what compelled me to accept it for review. I loved the creative idea of moving through historical events and characters, and bringing a fictional side into it. The author successfully weaved a tale of inventive possibilities and outcomes that COULD have happened in history, and it was enjoyable to see them play out. I liked the interaction with Joan of Arc and how the author portrayed her as a typical teenage girl who was seeking friendship, the idea that Anne Frank met a girl in her concentration camp and wished her to share her diary with the world, and that a few eighteen-year-old girls were the true demise of Jack the Ripper. This is all VERY creative. But some of it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

The change of scenes was only separated by paragraphs, which made it EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with what was happening. There was a moment when one immortal girl was introduced and described to the reader, but in the next paragraph the reader is thrown into a scene from her past. Where was the notice that this was happening?! It could have been completed with just three small characters. Look, it’s so simple:

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The author paints the parents, Isabelle and Alistair, to be these divine and heavenly beings who are tasked with showing the girls the “right” path in life that could save the world. I mean I think that was his goal? It’s not very clear. But who are these two characters? Where did they come from? They could be tricksters from Satan for all I know about them! But what is even more confusing is that these girls are actually “trained” to be savage killers. And when I say “trained” I mean they become immortal, and then instinctively know to reach through a guy’s chest and rip his heart out.

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I DID like the introductions for each Immortal girl though, and how each one was a little different. I REALLY liked the introduction of Caitlin when the author described her. THIS is how they entirety of the story should have been described. It was detailed and gave me a PERFECT image of what she looked like and who she was, but wasn’t overly wordy. It was just right. But then by the end of Caitlin’s story I was confused again because I didn’t understand if she was already immortal at that point, or if she was then going to become immortal?

Also, I think those cheesy one-liners when the girls are killing don’t even need to be touched on.

Honestly.

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By the end of the of the book I was a bit annoyed, but I had learned to accept it for what it is. I think it would be a great idea for this author to use Beta and Alpha readers for his next book, because it would only benefit him to have the opinions of readers that are going to give him honest helpful criticism. I think this story was cute and creative, but it just didn’t execute in the way I had hoped it would.

2-5-stars

 

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Books · Netgalley · New Releases · TBR

The 2019 TBR Book List

2019 TBR Heading

Happy New Year boys and girls! My 2019 book goals have been dutifully organized and perfected into tiny little stars, put into a glass tea kettle and now wait earnestly to be chosen. My glorious list of books for 2019 goes well over my Goodreads goal to read 100 books, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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This 2019 list includes books from authors, publishing houses and Netgalley, both new and old. Seeing as how this list does NOT include the books I will be receiving this year from author and publishers, I think we can all agree that I have my work cut out for me.

This just might be a book fiend’s dream!

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Deep breath kids, this list is a big one! 😉

 

Let me know if we share books for our 2019 TBR, or if you have read any of these! I love hearing what you guys think!

On that note, I better get reading. I have a long ways to go! XoXo

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

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Amazon.com – Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, H.A. Leuschel, for an honest review.

Genre: Short Story/Fiction

Plot:

Five stories – Five Lives

Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?

Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well-balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

Opinion: Hello readers, today I bring you a collection of short stories! Manipulated Lives showcases five different stories, with each story portraying a different form of manipulation. The reader is introduced to five characters who either come in contact with a manipulative person or prove to be the manipulator themselves.

The first story is called Tess and Tattoos and focuses on an elderly woman named Tess who resides in an “old folks home”. Tess is a very kind and artistic person and yearns for company and affection from others. As Tess forms a friendship with one of the staff members, she begins to open up about her past and an abusive relationship. I found Tess and Tattoos to be an uplifting and hopeful story about friendship and acceptance. Tess was a very gentle character who had been manipulated when she was younger into staying in an abusive relationship. Though this story is about how Tess was manipulated by another, I found that Tess even had her own forms of manipulation that were more positive. She would do small things in the mornings of her assisted living home to receive extra attention from staff, and this COMPLETELY pulled on my heartstrings. I think this is a FANTASTIC example of how manipulation doesn’t always have to be negative either.

The second story is called The Spell and is one of the longer short stories in the collection. It is about a woman named Sophie who meets a young boy named Leo and forms an instant kinship with him. Soon after Sophie meets Leo’s father (David) and they begin to date. Sophie becomes a mother figure for Leo, as his mother is out of the picture. David explains that Leo’s mother was a horrible and manipulative woman, and was put into a mental hospital years before. The Spell is interesting because there are two manipulators that come into Sophie’s life. One more obvious than the other. I found this dynamic to be very interesting, and it proves how hard it is to know when someone is manipulating you. Like Sophie, I am still not quite sure who was telling the truth by the end of this story. And like life, sometimes you never really know.

The third story, Runaway Girl, really hits home for me. This story was the one I really connected with, and it left my heart aching quite a bit after reading it. It follows a sixteen-year-old named Holly who is saving up every penny she has in order to run away to Scotland to live with distant family. One day at school, a boy named Luke starts to show interest in Holly. At first Luke is charming and caring with Holly, but that quickly changes. He begins taking advantage of her for her money, and smoothly talks his way out of things to continue manipulating her. I was once a Holly, so this story really resonated with me. It saddens me that this sort of thing happens a lot to young girls and women, and that so many boys/men can get away with it. I adore the ending and the strength Holly has, you go girl!

The Narcissist is the fourth story in this collection, and a great example of another type of manipulator. In this case, the character the reader follows is the manipulative person. The reader is introduced to an old man in a hospital who is dying and is having a hard time remembering his life due to his medical condition. Eventually, the reader learns that this man has been manipulating people his entire life in order to get himself ahead. He lived a double life and challenged and mocked anyone who tried to tell him he was wrong or incapable of something. In the end, he does something horrible which leads him to dying alone. This story ends on a sad note where I wished that the main character could have realized things sooner. Karma, karma, karma.

The last story is The Perfect Child and is about a woman who coddles and gives way too much to her child, and the repercussions of doing so. This mother spends most of her life making excuses for her “perfect child” by blaming others for his faults and insisting that he does no wrong. This obviously teaches her child how to manipulate others for his advantage, especially his mother. I know a mother and son just like these characters, and let me tell you, this author is SPOT ON. It is a great example of how a parent needs to be more objective and standoffish with certain things when it comes to raising their kids, in order to teach them right from wrong. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect child.

Go out and get this story guys, the writing is descriptive and paints a beautiful picture for the reader to get lost in. I think anyone can connect with at least one story in this book, and hopefully it can bring clarity to your personal life. I am so glad to have read Manipulated Lives, and so grateful for the author for reaching out to me. I think this is a great story for all ages to read, because it can teach everyone something different. I strongly urge you to read this, and if not you, your friends or kids! There are so many important lessons in these stories. I wish someone would have given me this book years ago. It is something EVERYONE should read!

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Deny the Father by M. Duda

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~ Buy through the links below ~

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

Genre: Short Story/Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal

Plot: The first story in this collection, “A Sarjeta,” follows an impoverished Portuguese with one simple dream. He wants to taste meat. Although Leandro also has larger goals of becoming a famous artist, his hunger and poverty are always at the front of his mind. When he forms a relationship with the wrong person, Leandro will realize that incredible evil exists just across the street.

The middle story, “Good-bye, Sweet Mercury” takes a turn away from the horrific and focuses on a father’s love for his daughter. In this short, simple tale, the father stands at a precipice in his life. He doesn’t want to leave his little girl and will have to make a big decision about his future.

The last story, “Yesterday Never, Tomorrow and Today,” furthers M. Duda’s theme of metamorphosis and introduces an indentured farmer who is trying to make up for his criminal past. In a future civilization, the farmer faces harsh truths about himself.

Through these glimpses into different worlds, M. Duda tells three intricate, compelling tales of transformation.

Opinion: Readers! I bring you yet another collection of short stories by the highly imaginative author M. Duda. This is the third book I have received from this author, and might I just say these stories just keep getting better and better. What I love about this author is that he isn’t afraid to create stories that reflect on the darkness and savagery that exists in the world. I love any story that is able to make me slightly nauseous at the truths that I am seeing, but a story that also excites the ravenous reader that I am.

Deny the Father has a total of three short stories. The first story A Sarjeta (The Gutter) follows a poor young man that has the sole desire to earn enough money to taste meat for the first time. While living with his sister and her children only eating beans day after day, Leandro finds himself caught up in a dangerous game on his path to riches. In the second story, Good-bye, Sweet Mercury, Tim struggles with saying goodbye to his daughter and moving on after his death. The third and final story, Yesterday Never, Tomorrow and Today, is set on another planet called Menhir-X. Jax and his wife, Delna, live on this planet as sugar cane farmers along with other alien life forms called Allohms. This story documents as Jax struggles to keep his farmer, while also confronting his past and present mistakes.

I think my favorite story in this collection would have to be Yesterday Never, Tomorrow and Today. The overall theme focuses on the struggles to provide for oneself and their family, while also putting a spotlight on the mistakes that one makes and how they can cost you dearly in the end. This story shows the wrinkles and imperfections that can scar a person in time, and I think it was an interesting tale of a man seeking redemption. A Sarjeta (The Gutter) is a truly gritty and grimy story. It captures the idea that innocence can be stolen rather than lost, and it gives the reader a sad feeling of hopelessness and despair. It made my heart squirm in my chest and left me feeling uneasy. To me A Sarjeta (The Gutter) and Yesterday Never, Tomorrow and Today are two stories that test the evil inside oneself and others, and it makes the reader question their conscience or morals.

Good-bye, Sweet Mercury is a very VERY short story that lasts only three pages. I have noticed that the author, M. Duda, touches on life after death at least once in each of his books. In this story, like his other paranormal tales, we are greeted with a character who struggles with the idea of moving on and leaving a loved one behind. Good-bye, Sweet Mercury instills a moment of hope for the reader while they read this story. It was a welcome moment that brought me out of the darkness that usually embodies these shadow books and restored my faith in humanity…if only for a moment.

When it comes to reading an M. Duda collection of short stories, I am always very pleased with the imaginative and poetic tales that I read. As much as I adore reading my overly fluffed YA/Fantasy stories, I will always be seeking a story like this that evokes deep thoughts long after I have finished reading. As always, I HIGHLY recommend reading these shadow books! I hope this author NEVER stops writing these eerie stories, they are truly special and amazing.

5-stars

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