An Unexpected Break

Well hello there! As you can imagine by the title of the post, I’m taking a short, unexpected break from the blog – not too long, but long enough I thought I’d mention why I may miss a Free Fiction Friday or review during the interim. The TLDR; of this, is that I got sick, but let’s talk about what happened.

Around Christmas, I became ill. I basically thought I had a bad case of food poisoning. I was nauseous, my stomach hurt, I couldn’t eat without pain, and I ran a low-grade fever. I spent two full weeks just drinking water and soup broth and hoping it would pass. And it did. Eventually.

For about a month, life returned to normal. I as able to eat normal food again, and life went on as it always had. Until February 1st, when I got sick again. I ate a sandwich. Just a sandwich – nothing special – and once again, I was extremely ill. The symptoms were the same, but much worse. I couldn’t eat at all, and I was having a difficult time consuming enough water to stay hydrated. I was in pretty poor shape to be honest. At one point, I tried to eat 5 saltine crackers for my first meal in days, and spent the next 19 hours writing in nearly unbearable pain.

Finally, I had enough. I couldn’t even contemplate making it one more night on no-sleep, barely drinking, not eating. So, I broke down and had my husband take me to the ER. I thought I’d get there and at best, they’d give me some fluids and some pain meds, and probably send me home, and at worst, they’d tell me I had indigestion. I didn’t care at that point, and obviously I wasn’t making entirely rational decisions, I was just desperate not to be in pain.

No one here should be surprised, except maybe myself, that things didn’t go as planned. I was admitted to the ER immediately, and after a battery of tests, it was decided I was going to need surgery. It turns out, I didn’t have food poisoning. I was transferred to a second hospital via a medical transport ambulance, and, I spent the next week there. It turns out, what had actually happened, was that my gallbladder threw a stone – and this isn’t like a kidney stone, where you pray it will pass, and life goes on. It’s bad news when your gallbladder tries to pass a stone. Mine got stuck in a duct between my gallbladder and my pancreas, and all hell broke loose. My gallbladder essentially died. My pancreas, unable to function, became enflamed and infected. My liver enzymes began to rise as my body tried to figure out how to stave off disaster.

I could have died. Easily. frankly, it’s a miracle my gallbladder didn’t rupture, I didn’t get sepsis, and my organs didn’t completely shut down. I was close. Real close.

In the end, I spent a full week at the hospital, with countless bags of antibiotics, Morphine, and anti-nausea meds to try to keep me functioning. I had emergency abdominal surgery to remove my necrosing gallbladder – and up until the last two days, I was restricted from eating or drinking entirely, because it turns out that’s the only way to keep your pancreas happy when it’s throwing a fit. No food. No water. I literally survived on IV fluids.

I had multiple MRIs, ultrasounds, even an echocardiogram (because they thought I had a heart attack – don’t worry, I’m A-OK), but I tell all of you this to emphasize how truly sick I was, and how sick I still am at this moment. I’m heavily restricted right now on what I can and can’t do. No lifting over 10 lbs is one of the more annoying ones. I’m still in a lot of pain, and it’s going to be roughly 6-8 weeks of recovery before I’m back to normal… so if I miss some posts, you know, just understand that it wasn’t really a choice I made, but a necessity for the moment.

What I learned: listen to your body. Don’t try to tough it out when things go wrong. I didn’t have to suffer like I did, and honestly, it probably would have been a lot better for my health if I’d just gotten checked out earlier – but you know how it can be. I didn’t want to look stupid going to the ER if it was something I could handle on my own. Don’t be like me. Seriously. It wasn’t a fun experience.


Today is Black Out Tuesday, and you’re going to see a lot of blacked-out social media posts everywhere. I’m not going to black out my social media, because I don’t want to jump on a bandwagon, and I have something to say. Instead, I’m going to share my thoughts loud and clear.

If you don’t believe in equality between all people regardless of nationality, race, gender preference, economic status… or whatever… I think less of you. It doesn’t matter if you are a friend, family, or stranger. We are all human, and we are all sharing this planet, and it’s time we acted like it. It is so hateful, small-minded, and selfish to think less of another human being because of things they can’t control and have no choice in – and you should be ashamed.

It’s time we all step up and shame these people loudly and publicly because it’s unacceptable. It’s inhuman. Grow up and be a better person. I will not unfriend or unfollow you from this point forward If I see you spewing hate towards others… instead, I will call you out. I will make sure that everyone knows what a piece of trash you are until you become accountable for your actions, and I will encourage others to do the same.

These people hide behind friends and relatives who let them get away with their hatred because they don’t want to strain relationships… but we can’t allow that anymore. It’s time to stop making excuses for letting racism and hatred continue. We need to stop this cycle here before another generation grows up thinking this hatred is acceptable, normal, or something to be proud of… because it’s not. It is the fear and anger of small-minded, selfish people, clutching desperately to all that they have and fear to lose… like small children clinging to their toys to make sure no one has more fun than them.

Woops! I disappeared.

Hello people of blogland! I know, I know, it’s been awhile. I have been so ridiculously busy lately that it’s not even funny – mostly with just living life, enjoying the summer with my family, and keeping up with breeding fish, which I’ve been doing for the past year or so now.  You may have noticed that I disappeared for a bit. Don’t worry. I’m still here, and I’m gearing up for some reviews. At the moment I am slogging through the few hundred review requests sitting in my inbox. It will probably take me a little while to get through them all, organize them, and decide which ones I’m adding to my list, so be patient. It will happen. I’m not gone.

All of that being said, this is a casual reminder, that if you don’t read my review faqs, and don’t send me a copy of your book with your review request.. well… your request goes in the trash. There are a lot of you.  I don’t have the time or willpower to reply personally to every single request – so if you don’t hear from me, don’t freak out. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I’m just quietly buried under piles of e-mails.

Anyways, give me some time. I’m sorting things out, and then I’m going to start scheduling reviews and free fiction fridays again. I may or may not do some articles to give you more info on what I’ve been up to the last few months, so keep an eye out. As you may have realized, even when I’m not here actively posting and scheduling reviews, I am still accepting requests and editorial work – so keep sending them my way. I will get to them when I get to them, but I’m still open.

Sorting Book Review Requests…

Although I am currently in the process of sorting through a year’s worth of book review requests, I feel the need to take a moment and talk about what I’m seeing in my inbox.  A few years ago I wrote an article about the various reasons I reject book review requests – and it still applies, but that information, readily available, seems to be mostly ignored. So we’re going to talk about it again – authors, listen up.

Book reviewers can’t read every book that’s sent to them. We’d love to, but we simply can’t. Over the course of this past year, I was sent more than 300+ review requests to my inbox. Assuming I was able to read and review a novel every single day of the year with no days off, I still wouldn’t be able to get to them all.

As it is, I post two book reviews every week, which is still quite a bit more than most people read. That’s 104 books a year, if I don’t miss any scheduled posts. I would wager a guess that as an author, you don’t read 104 books a year. You probably don’t read anywhere even close to that. Only die-hard readers will pick up and finish that many books. Unfortunately, that means that less than a third of the books that are sent to me are going to be read this year. It sounds staggering, but I want the authors out there to realize that even if you have the best book ever written, chances are I still can’t get to it. I have to be picky. Really picky.

There is a reason I have a FAQs section with a clearly outlined process to getting your book reviewed. It’s a weeding out process. And guess what? Out of the 300+ books I was sent in the last year, only about 50 of them bothered reading my FAQs and sending me appropriate information. That helped, a lot. If you didn’t send an attachment of your book to in my inbox, your e-mail went directly into the trash folder. I didn’t read it. I didn’t look at your title, your cover, your blurb, I didn’t even read your name. I just looked for an attachment and trashed those without. Why? Because I don’t have time to e-mail several hundred authors to inquire for more information about a book I still may not want to read.

From there, I read blurbs. If I read the synopsis to your book and didn’t think “ooh, this sounds interesting.” I trashed it. Because, again, I don’t have time to read every book – and I don’t want to read 104 books I don’t find interesting. I don’t like giving negative reviews – it’s painful to everyone… so if I read your blurb and your book doesn’t strike me right away, I pass it up. I look for books I think I’m going to love.

Although I’m not done, I’d venture to guess that out of the 300+ books I was sent, I will probably add less than 10 to my To Be Read list. Whatever space is left over will be filled with review requests that haven’t been sent to me yet, or books I randomly pick up off amazon or out of my library – sometimes I just randomly pick a book out of all the books that are sent to me – and here’s where that FAQs comes in handy. Are you paying attention?

If you sent me a book file, and I don’t put it on my TBR list, it goes directly into my library…. and there is a chance that I will still read it at some point – even if I initially rejected it. Sometimes it pays to pay attention.

So what can you do as an author to get yourself read? Here’s some tips:

  • Send your book to reviewers that specialize in and enjoy your genre. You are far more likely to be read by these book reviewers. I love romance. I am 200% more likely to read your book if it’s a romance and I’m emotionally invested in your characters than if you don’t have romance. That’s just a fact. If you write historical fiction—find a reviewer that specializes in historical fiction. You’ll be more likely to get read, and more likely to get a good review.
  • Read the book reviewer’s FAQs and stick to the procedures you find there about sending book review requests. Don’t waste our time – because we won’t feel bad about trashing your review request. We don’t have time to cater to every author. There are a lot of you.
  • Don’t pester your book reviewer. Don’t send several e-mails to remind them to have a look at your book. It’s annoying, it’s invasive, and we will probably trash your book.
  • Don’t be freaked out about sending your book file to reviewers – especially if it’s clear that that reviewer regularly does book reviews. We aren’t going to share your file. We’re not going to upload it to pirating websites or send it to our friends and family. If it gets out of our inbox at all, it’ll go directly to our library, where it will stay. You aren’t going to lose anything by sending it to us – because we have too many books to read already, and we weren’t going to buy yours just to give it a shot. We may purchase it afterward if we really like it though.
  • Have a good cover. If it looks like you photoshopped the cover yourself, we aren’t going to read your book – because we’re going to assume you put about as much effort into writing your book as you did on that cover.
  • Hook us with your blurb and your first page. Make sure they are incredibly well written and grab our attention – because that’s what we’re looking for. I’m making snap judgments… and if that snap judgment is that your book sounds interesting, you are beating 70% of the competition.
  • It’s okay to send us your review request more than once – as long as you do it better the second time around. Adjust the blurb. Edit your book, get a better cover. Provide more information. Try to sell me on your book… and be sure to include that book file. It may make it the second time around.
  • If you find an author that gives you a good review on one of your books – send them more books. They are more likely to pick them because we already know we’re not wasting our time by reading your stuff. You’re more likely to get more good reviews.

These are just a few tips – but they are important. Read them. Learn. Apply. I guarantee you will have better results than just blindly e-mailing every reviewer you find.

The Missing Year…

Hello ladies and gentlemen of blogland! I know, I know, it’s been awhile. Almost an entire year to be exact. So what’s up? Where have I been? Well, to be honest, I was super busy this past year. I moved just days before Christmas last year, which was crazy and exciting, and awesome – but it meant that I had to take some time off to organize my life, move everything I owned, and get my family back into a sort of routine.  We started homeschool for the year, and that involved a gigantic hands-on science project.

20181213_203407We started breeding fish, aquatic snails, and insects… and it took over our life. We went from having zero fish tanks, to having 17, four daphnia cultures, 150 betta fish, a couple hundred snails, guppies, beetles, worms, springtails…. it was nuts, and it took a lot of time and hard work to care for it all. We learned a lot, we started up a YouTube channel to share our journey, and it’s still going strong.

But it ate our life.

We had some family members pass, my daughter started High school, and I did some copyediting jobs. There wasn’t a lot of free-time involved. I even broke a finger and a foot. I didn’t have a lot of time to read, watch TV, or even hang out with friends. We had a blast – don’t get me wrong, but I’m glad to say that I’m back. My goal for this upcoming year is to better schedule my life and accomplish more, and in that vein:

Hi! I’m back. So let’s get started.

Kohaku2Free Fiction Fridays, as always, fall on Friday – and luckily I was able to keep up with them decently well this past year. That will continue into 2019. Same time, same place. Book reviews are being picked back up, and should fall on Mondays and Wednesdays – so keep your eye out. I’ve already gotten the next two weeks read, reviewed, and scheduled to go. I have a year’s worth of review requests sitting in my inbox that I haven’t looked at, but I will be sorting through shortly—so as long as you followed my procedures for putting in a review request, I should be getting around to picking through them in the next few days.  I may, or may not share some pictures and stories with what’s going on with my family in the upcoming weeks (weekend wrap ups!), so keep an eye out.

I’d like to get more writing done this year, more art, and continue on with YouTube, this blog, and reading/copyediting as I have in years past. We’ll see what we can get accomplished!

End of the Year & Moving

Hello, ladies and gentlemen of blogland! Wow, it’s been awhile. Moving is not fun. Sure, being in a new house is fun, even looking at houses is fun, but the actual moving? Not so much. My family and I went through a pretty rough time for a few months trying to deal with realtors that were never on time, often tried to swindle us, or simply never showed up. It was frustrating. A few times we found houses we really liked, but the realtors bogged down the process of paperwork and we ended up missing out because they lost paperwork or simply hadn’t filed it yet. It got to a point where I told my husband I was going to go look up houses to rent myself (since buying one wasn’t going well)… and one of the first houses I found was one of the largest and nicest homes we’d seen – and had sat completely empty for the past 10 months. We were finally able to get a look at the house, and it was everything we wanted, and 10x nicer than the other houses we’d put bids in on. Paperwork took an evening, and by the next day, we’d been contacted to sign a lease. Two weeks later, we were moving in.

We spent eleven years in a 900 sq. ft. home with 1.25 baths, and 3 bedrooms. Windows didn’t close. Doors didn’t close (including the bathroom door). Grass was growing through the carpet. Two of the bedrooms had two exits – and doors into each other. The laundry hookups were in a shed in the backyard instead of in the house. It was infested with roaches, the wiring was shot, and the appliances, heaters, and air conditioners were so old, that they’re not allowed to legally install them in houses anymore. It was a hellhole. We’re now in a 2334 sq. ft. home, with a double car garage, two stories, 4 bedrooms, a large loft, formal dining, breakfast area, fireplace, and 2.5 bathrooms. It’s five years old, clean, newly painted and newly carpeted, and we couldn’t be more grateful to be here. I’ve finally got my own office to work in that I’m not sharing with my 14-year-old. I cannot express how thrilled I am not only to be here but to be done with the whole process. We’re still unpacking, but we’re fully moved.

Obviously, I’m behind on my work here at the blog. Free Fiction Fridays and Reviews have been on hold for quite a while now because of the chaos that was going on in our household. I have hundreds of review requests sitting in my e-mail that I’m going to have to sort through in the near future. I’ve got a few books read and waiting to be reviewed and posted—and we’ll get to those soon. For now, I’m glad to say that I’m back. Things may still be a little spotty around here for a few weeks as we continue to unpack and get used to our new place, but with any luck, posts will be back to their normal schedule very shortly!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season—I am so looking forward to the upcoming new year!

It’s that time of the year…

Ah, August. August for me is met every year with a tiny bit of trepidation. My birthday falls near the end of the month (August 25th), and a few days later, the school year starts for our household. This is a time of enjoying the last clinging moments of summer, and a time of preparation for school and the upcoming holidays. Around this time of year my household gets extremely chaotic—and to add to that this year, we’re in the process of trying to move. (FINALLY).

This means that we’re spring cleaning the house, throwing out 11 years worth of clutter, scrubbing things down, boxing stuff up to be given to charity, and packing the rest for the upcoming move. We’re preparing for school during the week (since we home school) and cleaning, and then on the weekends we’re running household errands and meeting with realtors. As you might imagine, it’s hectic.

What does this mean for my reading? It means things slow down a bit. There will be reviews, but they will be more sporadic than normal until everything gets settled and back on routine. There will be weeks when there are no reviews, one review, two reviews… it’s hard to say. That being said, I will be endeavoring to continue to read when I can and to continue with regularly scheduled Free Fiction Fridays every week. I’ll be posting small updates to twitter as things change, so keep an eye on the feed for updates!

Let 2017 Begin!

DSCN0298-AHello, ladies and gentlemen of blogland! Wow, it’s been quite a year. Honestly, it didn’t go how I expected. I wanted to get more done. I’d planned on working to get writing done, to be healthier (which I should have known was a fail when we got sick the first week of last year), even to get more reading done. I hesitantly set myself a 50 book quota at the beginning of the year to go easy on myself, and still ended up barely making it to that quota. There’s certainly been a lot of ups and downs this past year that I didn’t expect—mostly having to do with health. I’m still learning to cope with my severe allergies, anxiety, and my husband’s health as well—and it hasn’t been an easy year on any of us.

So what are my plans for 2017? I’m not entirely sure. I may wing it a bit and see where things go. I’d still like to find more time to write and definitely read. I’ve got a huge pile of books clogging up my TBR to look forward to. I did some editing this past year, and I absolutely loved the experience, and I’ve got a few editing jobs sitting in my inbox I still need to review and get back to various authors about (man it’s going be busy this year!) Also this year, I’d like to continue to work on my health, and my family is tentatively looking for a new home in the upcoming few months, so I’m looking forward to getting out of this death-trap.

Right now, my plans for the blog are this: Reviews on Mondays, with make-up reviews on Wednesdays for weeks when life gets a little too busy. Free Fiction Fridays will be back on their usual scheduled day, and probably weekend wrap-ups again on Sundays with updates for when the reviews for the next week will be scheduled. I’d love to do more than that, but again, I think it’s probably better to under schedule myself and get more work done when I can than to stress myself out with more than I can handle. If I find extra time for more reviews, then they’ll be posted as I go, otherwise, I’m not going to worry about it.

Posts will resume as usual tomorrow (Monday, January 2), and I will be getting back to the authors/publishers that have sent me editing requests and book review requests as quickly as I can over the next week, so keep an eye on your inbox’s!

Thank you so much to all of my followers, and fellow readers, authors, and publishers out there that have supported me in this past year. Running this blog for the past few years has been such an exciting and fun endeavor. Here’s to another year! I hope you all have a great New Year.


Wow, you guys. I’ve been busy. You may have noticed that the last few review days and Free Fiction Fridays have gone un-posted over the last few weeks. Don’t worry. As some of you may have noticed from previous years, August-> December is one of the busiest times of the year in this household. Between a ton of birthdays, holidays, and the beginning of the new school year, things get crazy. That doesn’t mean that the reviews are on hold though! I’ve just been doing a bit of catch-up.

I’ve gotten in an astounding amount of review requests over the last month, far more than previous years (we’re talking 40 a day) and I’ve just now managed to sort through them all, send out e-mails to authors, and updated my TBR list. I’ve got some great book reviews headed your way, and very soon! I’ve just been taking a little time to get organized and ready for the push to the end of the year – so hang onto your seats!

Want to see what’s coming up? Below is a list of the books on my TBR and a little bit about them – check them out!

TBR1The Infernal Lands [The Aionach Saga 1] by J.C. Staudt

Genre: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy

Across the heat-blasted wastelands of a post-apocalyptic world, ages of high technology lay in ruin. Mutants and madmen roam vast derelict cities while nomads and monsters haunt the edges of a brutal wilderness. Armies rise up to war over what yesterday left behind.

But something larger than war is brewing beneath the Aionach. The inhabitants of this lawless realm are beginning to unearth mysteries from a forgotten age. Mysteries that may reveal the true nature of their dying world and unlock its darkest secrets.

The Infernal Lands is a tale of survival and heroism that follows a stunning cast of characters: the vengeful drifter, the council of kinetic mages, the cult priestess with a taste for human sacrifice, the bitter mercenary, the slaver king, and the sand sorceress who wields the power to command the very ground she walks on.

TBR2Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat From The Past [Bentwhistle the Dragon 1] by Paul Cude

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them. Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past? Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you’ll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile! You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.

TBR3Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Chilling Revelation [Bentwhistle the Dragon 2] by Paul Cude

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult

Following his harrowing and near death experience at the talons of the evil dragon Manson in ‘A Threat From The Past’, Peter Bentwhistle, the human shaped dragon and reluctant hero, finds himself on the slow path to recovery.
Helped by his dragon friends, Tank and Richie (both in their human forms), he finds solace in his new found friendship with the dragon king. But the three friends are soon unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.

Blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over, stretch the bonds of the dragons’ friendship like never before. New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen. Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.

Explosive exploits, interspersed with a chilly backdrop and unexpected danger at every turn, make for an action-packed, electrifying adventure.
‘Snow way you’ll wanna miss this!

TBR4Beyond The Sapphire Gate [The Flow of Power 1] by R.V. Johnson

Genre: Fantasy

Some magic should remain untouched.

Beyond the Sapphire Gate is the fascinating world of Astura, a world where a frothing, river of magic addicts those who use the power it holds.

Indentured to a private artifact collector on a dying world of high technology, Crystalyn naively activates a gateway. The temptation to touch the gate is irresistible for her sister Jade, who vanishes when she does. Crystalyn follows, stepping into a vibrant world infused with magic and those that Use.

Aided by symbol magic killing her with each use, the defining line between good and evil is not as clear as Crystalyn once believed. The Dark Users want to help her, the Circle of Light wishes to use her. The War of a Hundred Seasons makes her choose.

Half a world away, equipped with a seemingly useless ability to read auras, Jade embarks on a harrowing journey to escape the Dark Citadel with her soul intact.

Propelled to Astura by a devious assault, Garn has only two desires. Reuniting family and destroying those enforcing his servitude.

TBR5Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully [Ceruleans 5] by Megan Tayte

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult, Paranormal

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.

But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?

Pulling a single thread impels a great unraveling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.

All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the last journey. From London to Twycombe to Hollythwaite to Cerulea, Scarlett will be stalked by the ghosts of what has been, what may have been and what may come to pass. Until she reaches the place where it all began, and it all must end.

But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?

TBR6I Am Sleepless: Sim 299 by Johan Twiss

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult

While the others slept, Aidan spent hours each night running sim after sim. Although he was only a twelve-year cadet, he had completed more simulations than any prime— ever.

“You are setting history,” General Estrago told him. “No one has ever made it to the current simulation you are attempting. The other Masters and I are eager to see what comes next.”

So was Aidan.

The planet Ethos is at war with a mysterious enemy known as the Splicers. Their only successful defense is the Prime Initiative. All newborns with the compatible genetic code are taken from their families and injected with the Prime Stimulus. Each child that survives the stimulus develops an extraordinary ability and is conscripted into the military for training.

After turning twelve, Aidan is moved to the upper-class at the Mount Fegorio training complex. His special gifts allow him unprecedented success in the virtual training simulations, advancing him further than any prime cadet in history. No one knows what lies after sim 299, not even Director Tuskin, the ruthless and reclusive ruler of their planet. But something, or someone, has been guiding Aidan there. If he can pass the final tests, he may discover the key to ending the Splicer War.

TBR7Dead Silver by Max Florschutz

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

It’s been almost a year since Hawke Decroux had his run-in with adventure, and in that time he’s settled back to his usual day-to-day standard. Work as a humane animal control officer isn’t always riveting, but it’s steady and pays the bills. Plus, it’s pretty easy when your Unusual talent lets you speak with animals. For Hawke, life is right where he wants it.

At least until an old friend, an NSAU spook named Jacob Rocke, calls him with an intriguing offer. Silver Dreams, New Mexico is suffering a rash of animal attacks, all signs pointing towards a chupacabra as the culprit—a creature so rare no one has never taken one alive. Rocke is convinced that if they work together, they’ll have a good chance of catching it—and claiming the fifty thousand dollar live reward—for themselves. And if that doesn’t work out, it’ll still be fun to catch up and take a bit of a vacation.

But when Hawke arrives in Silver Dreams, things aren’t as hoped. Rocke has gone missing. The animal attacks are growing more violent in both size and scope. Townspeople are vanishing in the dead of night, walking out their doors and leaving no trace of their whereabouts. As the attacks pile up and the body count rises, Hawke is certain of only one thing: this definitely isn’t the vacation he had planned.

TBR8My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmaker, Feminist and Spiritual Seeker by Melissa Burch

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

“My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist and Spiritual Seeker” is based on Melissa Burch s experiences as a war journalist for BBC, CBS, and other networks. Her team was one of the first documentary crews allowed in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, and she was featured in a New York Times story about her time in Afghanistan. She was just in my twenties when she traveled with the moujahedeen, filmed an attack on a Soviet convoy, slept with an Afghan commander, and climbed 14,000-foot mountains in the Hindu Kush. My Journey Through War and Peace examines how, through outward action and inward exploration, life can unfold in mysterious ways, far beyond cultural and family expectations. In looking back at this momentous decade, Burch shares why she pursued such dangerous and difficult circumstances at such a young age and continued to live on the edge. She now understands that she was seeking self-discovery, a connection to something greater, and ultimately inner peace. This exciting memoir will resonate with fans of “Eat Pray Love,” “Wild,” and other popular memoirs that describe extraordinary inner and outer journeys.

TBR9An Empire of Traitors [Of Hate And Laughter 1] by Serban V.C. Enache

Genre: Epic, Dark Fantasy

Flesh will bleed. Bones will break. Swords will turn.

An Empire Of Traitors follows several principal storylines simultaneously. It’s been eight years since the end of the civil war between the Inquisition and emperor Zygar Ferus, worshiper of blood gods. Eight years into the aftermath, a new emperor sits the Sun Throne, and the Inquisition is no more.

In the five realms of the Empire things are stirring. Driven by ambition or wounded pride, many nobles like the dog-headed serpent of Stoneweed seek to change their fortunes, even with the price of treachery. And from exile, from the heathen nations of the Lowlands, another Sunborn scion of house Mero gathers strength behind his claim. No family, great or small, shall remain indifferent to fate’s whim. It takes an emperor to rule an empire, but it takes numbers and honored oaths to keep both crown and throne.

In the Westlands, Drakanes, a sister of the temple finds herself in the role of witness and proctor, of passing judgment on a man accused of murder, who claims to have been possessed. The trial’s proceedings enlighten her as to the truth of it all, and the good sister is willing to, out of pure stubbornness, risk death for justice. Emperor Hagyai Rovines Mero fears for the continuation of his line, and sends Sycarus on an errand to the Desertlands to bring back an Aharo maiden for his son and heir. It is said that the Aharo savage women always give birth to healthy babes. Hagyai Rovines desires a betrothal between the prince heir and a savage girl – trying to emulate a long dead custom of the Sunborn emperors. Such a move is most unpopular, and the whispers of another civil war are once again in the air.

The imperial chancellor warns Birus Mandon, lord of Rivermark and warden of the Streamlands, of a plot against the emperor, a plot made by his exiled brother, Amarius Soronius. Mandon tries to gather knowledge on the schemes of potential oathbreakers, but his trade is not that of a spy. When he hires the Mounted Arrows Company of Narak al Zull, Birus learns more than mere outlandish tactics; he finds a new source of strength in the sellsword’s foreign warrior god.

Kalafar Sodomis, lord of Weiyenor and warden of the Northlands, has seen his brother get married, and he himself is tried by notions of passion toward a certain lady of a southern house. But as the conflict breaks out, Kalafar needs to act as a proper lord, as a man, not a boy. He summons his vassals for a council at Devil Mound, to decide if the north will go to war or no; and there to also perform a certain ritual to honor the dead of Fengard and Wyrm.

TBR10A Heretical Divide [Of Hate And Laughter 2] by Serban V.C. Enache

Genre: Epic, Dark Fantasy

A Heretical Divide picks up right where An Empire Of Traitors left off. The Inquisition proves itself a hydra of murderers and schemers. The ram’s war in the Winterlands gets mired in betrayal, and the hawk’s vengeance comes to the devil’s home under sorcery and ploy. Even with a new emperor, the Sun Throne’s vassals are still brewing; each house following its own petty interests. Death’s breath looms upon the weak and strong, upon country and sovereign. The princes of ruin have many servants upon the earth – many souls to claim by storm and blood.

TBR11October 32 by Larry Rodness

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

It’s October 31, and insurance agent Alexander Malefant is sent to picturesque Elora during its annual Halloween festival. No sooner does Alexander arrive than he witnesses the near-drowning of a boy bobbing for apples. Shortly after that, a group of children are attacked by crows. Later that evening, all the children in the village suddenly disappear. Soon, every person becomes a suspect as residents frantically try to discover what happened to the children. Who or what is behind these disappearances, and can they get the children back before it’s too late?

TBR12Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Crime, Fantasy, Thriller & Suspense

When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he’s determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer’s trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable.

TBR13Devil’s Cove by R.C. Matthews

Genre: Gothic, Historical Romance

Shrouded in unspeakable horror and spoken of only in whispers, the abandoned Devil’s Cove Manor lures Captain Devlin Limmerick and his unquenchable thirst for revenge to its doors. Feared as the Devil on the high seas, the pirate’s desire to avenge his past is matched only by his hunger for the powerful young medium he has coerced to aid him in his nefarious quest.

Blinded from youth and touched with an ability to communicate beyond the grave, Grace is both feared and revered by the uneasy town folk. Yet she is powerless against the unrest brewing within the manor walls and finds herself drawn to the Devil’s darkness. Still, she refuses to sacrifice her soul to set Devlin’s unspeakable plans in motion.

But an evil lurks within these walls, and their very souls are in jeopardy. Grace’s presence at the manor spurs inexplicable happenings, forcing Devlin to believe nothing is as dead as it seems—not even his heart. Plunged into the throes of passion and danger, they discover the only way out is to search deep within and summon the courage to believe in true love.

TBR14Chakana by W.E. Lawrence

Genre: Historical Romance

Can a romance save the world? Maybe this one could. Chakana is a historical romance novel filled with action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue.

In 1939, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.

If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.

Vanish by Becca J. Campbell

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery

Reviewer’s Note: There’s not a lot I can say about this book. It arrived in my inbox with a 2-line teaser and an agreement to read it within a narrow 3-week period. I was intrigued, and agreed. I read it, it was a 4-star read, and is currently being edited based on reviewer’s feedback. I’m not sure when this book is going to be released, but I’m really excited for it to come out so I can tell you a bit more about it. Here’s the teaser:

Eva had two secrets. The second was that she periodically vanished into thin air.

TBR15Resurrecting Ghosts [Kings of Chaos 4] by Shyla Colt

Genre: Romance

Ruthie Gregg was the independent woman who had everything together. A homeowner with a successful job in advertising, and a busy social life, she never wanted to get serious with a man. Things with Kings of Chaos member, Skull, were meant to be fun and light. Then she made the mistake of catching feelings without discussing their relationship status. Misunderstandings and indiscretions lead her to call things off. But life is a cruel mistress who wasn’t done uprooting her perfectly managed existence. To get the life she’s dreamed of, she must put her past behind her, and fight for her future with a man who just may be the love of her life.

Tritt “Skull” Matthews was a man who wanted nothing to do with love. After watching the four letter word and mental illness destroy his family, he opted to take the path of a permanent bachelor. His brothers in the Kings of Chaos MC were all the family he needed until he took up with Ruthie. The mouthy red head with her vintage style and a strong back bone derailed his plans. When denial, drinking, and self-sabotage doesn’t shake her from his soul, he starts a new mission, to get her back at any cost.

Happiness is within their reach if they’re willing to lay the resurrected ghosts in their lives to rest. The things they fear the most holds them captive in invisible chains. Breaking free is imperative, lest they are doomed to repeat the past.

TBR16Lie to Me [A Touched Trilogy 1] by Angela Fristoe

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Phoebe Matlin has always felt broken. While one of her sisters sees the future, and the other can heal people, Phoebe has come to accept that her truth telling gift just doesn’t work.

Then her best friend, Tonya, lies to her and Phoebe’s gift flares to life. With Tonya pissed at her, being a Truth Teller suddenly doesn’t seem like such a great gift. Although, it is nice knowing she was the reason her crush, Nathan, dumped his stalker girlfriend.

But in lies, intention is everything and Tonya’s lies are a cry for help. The fear that her friend is covering darker and more serious truths is something Phoebe can’t ignore. But knowing when someone is lying is the easy part. Now she has to decide what to do about it. And with Nathan and his doubts about her ability confusing things, finding a way to help Tonya isn’t as easy as Phoebe thought it would be.

TBR17Inarticulate by Eden Summers

Genre: Contemporary Romance

At first sight, Savannah is drawn to the harsh appeal of a man who refuses to talk to her. Keenan’s hard stare is arrogant and unapologetic. The quirk of his sensuous lips is cocky and in control.

But there’s more. There’s something deeper he’s trying to hide behind those steely grey eyes—a slight hint of vulnerability which captures her intrigue.
She’d been warned, told that his silence hides a myriad of lies capable of affecting her career and relationships with loved ones. Only she can’t help herself. Testing Keenan’s defenses is an addiction she can’t deny.

TBR18My Heart’s Desire [Barrett 1] by Andrea Kane

Genre: Historical Romance

Never were there two more unlikely people to fall in love… Lady Alexandria Cassel scorned London’s frivolous social whirl, seeking adventure as a stowawayaboard a merchant ship. Drake Barrett was the vessel’s powerful captain — and a cynical duke who disdained a noble’s shallow life. At sea he revealed neither his origins nor his wealth, and to Alexandria he was simply a man who made her cool reserve fly with the winds…whose desire for her was as wildas the ocean they sailed. Caught in the crossfire of war, they were shipwrecked on an idyllic island, where they tasted perfect passion…and tenderness. But Drake dreaded the day of their rescue — when his love would discover that the virile man she adored was at the pinnacle of the aristocracy she despised. Hardlydid they suspect the base treachery that would soon threaten them…and the dangers each would brave to join forever their hearts and lives!

TBR19Samantha [Barrett 2] by Andrea Kane

Genre: Historical Romance

Samantha Barrett is looking for a hero. He can’t be just any man, but one worthy of her girlish fantasies. Dashing. Dangerous. Forbidden. Exactly like the mesmerizingly handsome stranger who just strode into the smoky tavern. Except he isn’t a stranger, he’s Remington Worth, earl of Gresham. London’s most notorious rake. Though tempted by Samantha’s beauty and innocent desire, Remington cannot allow her to be tainted by his perilous exploits. For he isn’t the man she thinks he is. As the Crown’s most loyal covert agent, the former navy captain and war hero leads a dangerous double life. But as passion builds between them, risking his life for his country is nothing compared to how far Remington will go to keep Samantha safe—and locked in his arms forever.

TBR20Beautiful Chaos by Alex Tully

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

While most seventeen year-olds work part-time delivering pizzas or whipping up frappuccinos, Brady O’Connell’s job is a little less conventional. Helping his dad with the family ‘business’ is a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly, especially when thousands of dollars are being exchanged. There are rules to be followed, timetables to be kept. But when his best friend Jay gets backstage concert tickets, and business interferes with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet their favorite band, Brady decides to break the rules, just one time.

And one time is all it takes to send his life spinning out of control. When an envelope full of cash ends up in the wrong hands—specifically in the hands of a pretty red-head named Vivienne—things get messy in a hurry. Where Vivienne goes, a whole lot of chaos seems to follow.

But sometimes…chaos is a beautiful thing.

From the author of Hope for Garbage comes another fast-moving, emotionally-charged tale, full of plot twists that will keep you guessing, and true-to-life characters you will root for. Most of all, this is a story of first love—crazy, chaotic first love—love that hits us hard, and never lets go.

TBR21The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings

Genre: Supernatural, Mystery

Would you like to know – I mean, REALLY know – what they’re doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain’t just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.
Of course, you probably already knew that.
But did you ALSO know that…
every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I’M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell books, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It’s not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you’d never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

TBR22Tormented By Ghosts: True Life Experiences by Lynda Bogert

Genre: Non-Fiction, Paranormal, Memoir

She wants to be normal, but the spirit world has other plans. Tormented by Ghosts is a true story about unfortunate encounters with ghosts and other otherworldly paranormal phenomena that have greatly affected Lynda’s life. The struggles include harrowing encounters of unwanted Out of Body Experiences (OBEs), her Near Death Experience (NDE), her horrifying visit from a demonic apparition, and mysterious bone-chilling ghostly visits. This book encompasses her thirty years of coping to learn and educate herself to understand and utilize her spiritual abilities and tools to help herself and others. Her daily battle is to overcome the paranormal and control the abilities that she has been given! Is she seeing and hearing ghosts that may have a message for her or to let themselves be known or to simply taunt her? This is a story with many stories. You’ll want to sleep with the lights on because it could also happen to you, too…

TBR23Sacred Planet [The Dominion 1] by Austin Rogers

Genre: Science Fiction

Only one woman can stop it. Only one man can save her.

After centuries of expansion into the galaxy and no contact with intelligent, extra-terrestrial life, humanity is split into three superpowers, each dominating one of the spiral arms closest to Earth: Orion, Carina, and Sagittarius. Divided along political, cultural, and religious lines, these galactic mega-states have grown alien to each other over time. Inter-arm relations have eroded. Minor differences have become dangerous disparities.

Now a ruthless religious faction threatens to plunge the galaxy into a catastrophic war.

Conflict sparks when Sierra Falco, the Carinian prime minister’s daughter, is attacked on her space yacht by a powerful and shadowy enemy. As a popular advocate for peace, Sierra’s loss destabilizes the fragile balance of the galaxy. But her attackers’ plans are disrupted when a rugged band of scavengers stumble across the yacht and jump at the opportunity to make a profit. Davin, captain of the scavenger ship, is caught between the lure of fabulous wealth and the nag of conscience as he is dragged into a conspiracy bigger than he can imagine.

A race begins between those who seek to prevent war and the secretive forces who want to escalate it-apparently with Earth in their crosshairs.

In this universe, Earth-the Sacred Planet, the epicenter of human civilization-holds the coveted key to victory.

Whoever controls Earth controls the galaxy.

TBR24Bite of a Vampire [Bite of a Vampire 1] by Anna Belsky

Genre: Paranormal Romance

I never was a romance novel kind of girl, maybe that’s why I decided to get in the business of proving that love was meant to be unfaithful. Call me bitter but my full name is Emily Johnson, and I work as a private investigator for Jonesville Extramarital Affairs. It’s my daily job to investigate, snap photos of and usually proves that a spouse has found someone else to dilly-dally with. It was a bit of a dream job after having my own respect and dignity broken so many times in college by a guy named Robert, Bob for short. I don’t hold a grudge against him, he was my first, and he taught me that love relationships are not really things that exist. My best friend Abby doesn’t believe me so I decided to prove my point and become a Private Investigator.

On this night Emily’s world turns upside down when she comes across a vampire attacking one of her investigations. She is swept into a world of the supernatural and must draw from all her experiences as Private Investigator to survive… or so she thinks until she meets Michael.

TBR25Candlelight [Ember Series Novella] by Stacy McWilliams

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Life was full of nothing but darkness for Nathan Stevenson until Jasmine appeared in his life. She brought his innermost desires to the surface. She burned her way through to his heart to become embedded in his soul. He knew she was dangerous but would she break down his wall as he dreamed of her touch and fought against the impulse to protect her?Would their love be enough to defeat his demons? Was he strong enough to resist her or would her light burn irrevocably?

TBR26Luminosity [Escaping Demons Saga 1] by Stacy McWilliams

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Urban fantasy, Horror, Romance
Jasmine Johnstone’s life was relatively normal until she was forced to live with the Stevenson family. As she stayed she found she had no choice but to battle mythical creatures. Strengths she never knew she possessed began to surface, surprising those around her. Her only chance of surviving the rising tide of evil was Nathan Stevenson. Could she really trust him as he fought against his love for her? With the world against them and time running out, would their love be enough to defeat demons?

TBR27Ignition [Escaping Demons Saga 2] by Stacy McWilliams

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror, Romance

Life has never been Easy for Jasmine Johnstone, but failing for Nathan Stevenson brings a whole new level of difficulty. He is sworn to kill her, and fights against his love for her more than ever, but he knows he can’t live without her.

As they run from monsters, and each other, can their love survive?
Time begins to run out and with new friends and enemies in the strangest places, will they learn who to trust in time?

With their love stronger than ever, but forces pulling them apart, is love enough to keep them together or will Nathan’s parents win and pull them apart?

Just A Quick Check-In

Hello people of blogland!

So, obviously it’s been awhile since I’ve posted (although I did have some reviews set up ahead of time). Here’s the skinny: My broken computer has now been fixed, which means I can now regularly post again! BUT, I’m going to temporarily hold off on new posts for a short while.

Unfortunately, I had to get a wisdom tooth removed this past Monday, and as anyone who’s had a wisdom tooth removed can tell you, it kind of sucks. It wasn’t the easiest of extractions (they had to break my tooth into 8 pieces to remove it because it wouldn’t come out) and no, I was not knocked out for the procedure… just your usual numbing shots. So as you can imagine, my mouth/jaw is super sore right now. They’ve got me on some pretty heavy pain medication, and my body doesn’t like it. I’ve been feeling super nauseous, dizzy, and tired the last few days, and I’m still recovering. So, I’m putting myself on break, at least long enough to let myself heal and get off of medication… because I’m just not functioning right now. (and don’t even get me started on how tired I am of eating mush). Hopefully I’ll be feeling better closer to the weekend.

I have a ton of new review requests queued up in my inbox to go through (I promise, I’ll get to them as soon as I can) and then I’ll be back to reading and reviewing. Right now, using my computer or my kindle to read leaves me feeling motion sick, so I’m going to take the time to heal up before I jump back into things. I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks, and I’m excited to be back!