Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Release Announcement: Immortal Creators (#2 of The Immortal Writers) by Jill Bowers

Today I'd like to share the release of Immortal Creators by Jill Bowers.

Immortal Creators
by Jill Bowers

Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers

Sixteen-year-old author Scott Beck never wanted to be an Immortal Writer—not after his father was killed on a mission attempting to dispatch his own villain. Scott blames Shakespeare and the Writers for his father's untimely demise, but no amount of hatred will prevent the oncoming alien attack, which has come over to reality straight from Scott's book.

Scott is forced to collect his characters—an Air Force colonel, two of the best pilots on Earth, and an alien enthusiast from the year 2134—and defeat the alien king before Earth is obliterated by his ships. But an odd sickness Scott calls his Writing Fever might just kill him before the aliens have the chance.

Will Scott be able to defeat the monsters he created, or will the world end in flames?

My Review:
I'm excited that this is releasing and that I had the chance to review it ahead of time.

This is a great story, especially for anyone who's intrigued by the idea that an author's creations can be so real that they literally become real.

You can read my original review here.

About the Author:
Jill Bowers is a technical writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She is one of two composers-in-residence for the Westminster Bell Choir and has a great love for all music. She used to be the writer and host for the award-winning radio show Olde Tyme Radio on the Aggie Radio Station at USU and has dabbled in stage play writing as well.

Jill enjoys attending Utah's Comic Con and Fantasy Con and has an unhealthy attachment to Netflix. She lives in Utah and has a lovely dachshund that needs to lose weight because she probably doesn't get enough walks and is too cute to not feed. Jill attended Utah State University for their creative writing program, where she actually specialized in creative nonfiction rather than fiction. However, Jill loves delving into different worlds in fantasy and sci-fi novels and is excited to have people enter the worlds she has created.

Author Links:
w: www.immortalauthor.com/
t: @Jilliard08
f: facebook.com/immortalauthorjill
g: goodreads.com/user/show/2509616-jill-bowers
p: pinterest.com/jilliard08/
i: instagram.com/jilliard08/
y: youtube.com/channel/UC4FH9bS51qVga7rPot7awTw

Other Books in this Series:

You can check out my review of Immortal Writers here.


P.S. If this post looks familiar to you, no need to doubt your sanity. This post was rescheduled at the request of the publisher when release was pushed out to 18SEP2018.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Classic Review: Moby Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville

Moby Dick, or The Whale
by Herman Melville

"It is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships' cables and hawsers. A Polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it."

So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author's lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

My Review:
Finally made it through with audio! I tried a few times before, but didn't get very far.

Very good book, and informative. The ending was fantastic. I don't know how I've managed to avoid spoilers for this, but it was quite an exciting finale.

There are its slow points, though. When Herman Melville says he's going to catalog all of the whales, he's going to catalog all of the whales. Still, there were some very interesting asides, and many, though about whales on the surface, have a rather deeper and profound message.

I can totally see why it has been described as an important book.

Anyhow, I really liked this as an audiobook. Recommended for fans of the classics, of whales, and of sea stories. Vast in its scope.

Borrowed this from the library. Took a little over two weeks to get through.

About the Author:

The writing career of Herman Melville (1819 - 1891) peaked early, with his early novels, such as Typee becoming best sellers. By the mid-1850s his poularity declined sharply, and by the time he died he had been largely forgotten. Yet in time his novel Moby Dick came to be regarded as one of the finest works of American, and indeed world, literature, as was Billy Budd, which was not published until long after his death, in 1924.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Romance Review: Helping Her Remember (Crawford Falls #1) by Kate Carley

Helping Her Remember
by Kate Carley

Kelly’s back.

How can two simple words make Dylan Bronstad’s heart ache and sing at the same time?

Even seven years ago, Kelly Anne Leeson had possessed that power. Back then, all Dylan wanted to do was drink and make love to her. Really, it was no wonder she’d climbed out of his bed and walked out of his life, leaving him with nothing but a nasty hangover and the lonely memories of their time together.

Today, Dylan’s life is on track. He’s sober with the support of his family and his tight-knit group of friends. But Kelly could derail all he’s worked to accomplish. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to stay away from her.

Lured by the offer of her dream job, Kelly returns home to Crawford Falls and the friends she’d abandoned a lifetime ago. Mending those broken relationships will require some honest answers and a fair amount of forgiveness.

But facing Dylan will take a lot more—like maybe a suit of armor to protect her battle-weary heart and the secret she fears she’ll never be able to keep.

While Kelly searches for a way to maintain the safe life she’s created for her son, Dylan works to remind her of the relationship they once had.

Just as they rekindle their relationship, secrets and half-truths threaten to destroy everything.

My Review:
Helping Her Remember is a tale of forgiveness wrapped up in a steamy package. Betrayal cuts deep, but the spark’s still there, and where there’s a spark, there’s hope.

I enjoyed Kelly and Dylan’s romance, particularly because it doesn’t come easy for them. I also dug their troupe of friends and am looking forward to seeing which of them will get their own books.

Dylan’s father and his challenges brought some heart into the story and also threw some monkey wrenches into the works. And of course, AJ was much more than a plot twist. He was sweet and added a dynamic that really upped the stakes for Kelly and Dylan, which in turn made the story more of a page turner.

Then again, this story did fall into some expected patterns, and I didn’t feel too surprised by the outcome. Most of the intrigue I felt was spawned by the supporting cast and side plots. Kelly and Dylan, although this was there story, seemed just a small part in a greater drama.

Overall, good story. I think fans of steamy romance with complications might dig this. It wraps up just fine as a standalone, but sets up nicely for the next in the series for those who want to read on.
I received the review copy of this book from the author.

Add it on Goodreads!

About Kate Carley:
How Kate Carley went from majoring in mathematics and computer science in college to writing steamy contemporary romance still remains a mystery. She broke out into the indie publishing scene in 2015 with her debut novel, Challenged, a 2017 RONE award winner. Two more books completed her romantic suspense trilogy, Changing Krysset.

With three published works under her belt, Kate is excited to launch her new contemporary romance series. Just like her first novels, the Crawford Falls series is set in a small town in Kate’s home state of Minnesota.

When Kate isn’t busy at her desk writing, you’ll find her dreaming up new characters and plotting perfect ways to make their lives miserable before giving them their happily ever after.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Instagram | Pinterest

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Historical Thriller Review: The Hangman's Daughter (Die Henkerstochter #1)

The Hangman's Daughter (Die Henkerstochter #1)
by Oliver Pötzsch

Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years’ War has finally ended, and there hasn’t been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin.

Jakob Kuisl is charged with extracting a confession from her and torturing her until he gets one. Convinced she is innocent, he, Magdalena, and her would-be suitor race against the clock to find the true killer. Approaching Walpurgisnacht, when witches are believed to dance in the forest and mate with the devil, another tattooed orphan is found dead and the town becomes frenzied. More than one person has spotted what looks like the devil—a man with a hand made only of bones. The hangman, his daughter, and the doctor’s son face a terrifying and very real enemy.

My Review:
I quite enjoyed this story, but I think the title of it is a bit misleading. The hangman’s daughter, Magdalena, is hardly the main character. She’s one of the three folks trying to clear Martha, the accused witch, and solve the mysterious deaths of the orphans.

There some rather exciting sequences and the images really pop. It makes for a great thriller.
I also find it interesting that the author is basing the story on his own family history, though I’m pretty sure the exact scenario in this book is fiction.

Overall, I loved the story and recommend it to folks who enjoy historical fiction and thrillers.

I purchased my copy of this book.

About the Author:

Oliver Pötzsch is a German writer and filmmaker. After high school he attended the German School of Journalism in Munich from 1992 to 1997. He then worked for Radio Bavaria. In addition to his professional activities in radio and television, Pötzsch researched his family history. He is a descendant of the Kuisle, from the 16th to the 19th Century a famous dynasty of executioners in Schongau.

Author Links:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Review: Finding Mr. Wrong by George Caplan

Finding Mr. Wrong
by George Caplan

Mothering her brothers wasn’t enough, Tookie wants a child of her own. After “auditioning” numerous men—one date at a time—all of them fail the test. Frantic, with her biological clock ticking down, she accepts a blind date with momma’s-boy engineer, Ollie, who works with her secretary’s husband. Ollie’s old-country mother, Rose, yearns for grandchildren, but will she squash Tookie when her PI uncovers Tookie’s past indiscretions?

My Review:
Finding Mr. Wrong is exactly as described. Tookie is back, and in her direct way, she has begun her search for a man who will provide her with a daughter and stick around to help her raise her.

This story, while channeling Tookie’s quest in a straightforward manner, still tugs at the heart. All the close, but not quite right fits. Tookie has her standards. And then she’s running out of time. Truly, I found myself fretting at her single-mindedness. Her lowering of standards in favor of getting the one thing she refuses to give up, a daughter of her own. But though it frustrated me, it came across as true to character. And in the end, she really doesn’t mind landing with Mr. Wrong, so long as she gets what she signed up for in the bargain.

The struggle to control her urges and desires in her quest to land a stable father for her future daughter added an interesting edge to this installment in Tookie’s story. There’s a lot of growth for her, and she tackles much of her previously destructive behavior in the process.

On the downside, I found it hard at times to suspend reality and accept her as a realistic portrayal of a woman. She can be jarring in her words and tendencies. I’m not entirely certain whether it was intentional or otherwise. I want to believe it was intentional.

Overall, I really liked the story, though I was frustrated for Tookie. Folks who enjoyed Only Tim Sent Flowers will likely enjoy this one, too.

I received a review copy of this book from the author.

Add Finding Mr. Wrong to your shelf on Goodreads or pick up a copy on Amazon.

About the Author:

After a career of chasing, and being chased by, spies and assorted thugs across national monuments while being mistaken for Cary Grant, George Kaplan hung up his shoulder holster and used the money to buy a computer to serve as his word processor. Although well versed in writing after-action summaries, Kaplan had no experience with writing fiction, other than his expense reports. Government repercussions about modeling characters after his cohorts and enemies would have been far too risky, so he fabricated a heroine who has qualities he'd seen a few of on each of a number of women he'd rubbed shoulders (and sometimes more) with, during his long career undercover. Kaplan's first novel, Only Tim Sent Flowers, launches his Tookie series about an undiagnosed Aspie girl who perseveres through numerous unexpected adventures.

Author Links: