Book Review: Ashes, Ashes

Jo Tregiarri just keeps coming with these great novels! I am continually impressed with the imagination she shows in the stories she creates and the worlds she builds. This on was called Ashes, Ashes and it was great!

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Synopsis: Epidemics, floods, droughts – for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can’t continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There’s something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

This book was a really fun dystopian to dive into. Lucy was a likable main character that was just trying to survive after mass plagues, earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms hit the Earth and wiped out a lot of the population. The survivalist in me was loving all the realistic ways that Lucy would live her day to day life and how she accustomed herself to a new way of living after everything she has known changed.

There were parts that built suspense so well that I found myself starting to sweat while reading because I was worried about what was going to happen next. The relationships built were very real and the plot felt like it flowed very smoothly.

I am a big fan of dystopian books or things to do with either the world ending or post-apocalyptic worlds where people have to learn to adapt to a new way of survival.

If I could sum this up, I would say that it was a mixture of Divergent (the social aspect) and The 5th Wave (dystopian world aspect) with a little bit of Maze Runner thrown in (villain aspect).

I would recommend this read for anyone that wants a fun dystopian adventure with a lot of stakes at hand.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.


It’s already November! I am being pretty ambitious and will be trying to read 5 books this month. Check out what I will be reading!

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Cover Reveal: Nutmeg Street

A fantastic cover for an exciting upcoming debut novel by author, Sherrill Joseph! Read more about Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets below!

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Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #1)

Expected Publication Date: February 1st, 2020

Genre: MG/ Middle Grade/ Mystery (Ages 9 – 12)

World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped.

Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored.

A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.

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Sneak Peek

“Here we go again. An aftershock! I’ve been afraid this would happen,” said Dr. Kurtz. She rapidly surveyed the room full of terrariums. “And one of my assistants just called to say he’s found a somewhat hidden but large crack from this morning’s tremor on one of our venomous snake enclosure’s glass panes. It’s a major emergency. Come out with me quickly boys—now! I have to attend to this immediately,” she shouted behind her, as she grabbed her tool bag, yanked open the heavy door, and fled outside and down the breezeway to the enclosure.

Unfortunately, Moki and Lanny weren’t as fast as Dr. Kurtz. The door banged shut in their surprised faces and locked. They were trapped in a windowless room.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the power failed simultaneously, and the room went pitch black. Both boys froze, helplessly surrounded by three walls of venomous snakes they could still hear but no longer see.

Egyptian Secrets, in paperback and eBook, will be available for purchase on Amazon, February 1, 2020!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph’s debut novel, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, had been inside her head for decades. The mystery genre took hold of her as a fifth grader when she discovered Nancy Drew and Phyllis A. Whitney mysteries. Years later, it still hasn’t let go.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s in education, Sherrill spent the next thirty-five years as a K-12 literacy teacher. When she retired from teaching in 2013, the Botanic Hill Detectives and their mysteries finally sprang to life.

Forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools, the author has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives mysteries with children of various abilities, cultures, and interests. She strongly believes that embracing diversity is the key to a better world.

Sherrill is a native San Diegan where she lives in a ninety-year-old house in a historic neighborhood with her bichon frisé-poodle mix, Jimmy Lambchop. In addition to her dog, the city of San Diego, reading and writing, the author loves her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She must also include dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, staircases, the color purple, and daisies. She is a member of SCBWI and the Authors’ Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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R&R Book Tours


t’s already November….well tomorrow! I am being pretty ambitious and will be trying to read 5 books this month. Check out what I will be reading!

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Book Spotlight: Dawn Of The Assassin

Welcome to the blog tour for exciting Adventure Thriller, Dawn of the Assassin, by Bill Brewer! To celebrate its launch, we have loads of exclusive content including a guest post from the author, and an AMAZING giveaway to enter — A signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (U.S. Only)! International readers will have a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

DotA Cover 8-2019Dawn of the Assassin

Expected Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Thriller

Dawn of the Assassin is an action/adventure thriller in which David Diegert, a young man of mixed race from a dysfunctional family, is coerced into becoming a hitman for an immensely wealthy, powerful man.

Thrust into violent situations, he surprises everyone, including himself, with how deadly he can be. After successfully completing trial missions, Diegert is selected for an advanced training program. The fate of the one person he loves, the reputation of his trainer and his own life depend on his ability to prevail in the final challenge of the program, the tournament of assassins.

With fast-paced writing, immersive action scenes, and surprises for Diegert around every corner, Dawn of the Assassin, is sure to keep thriller fans turning the pages.

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Excerpt

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“Just remain calm. They may not take anything or find us very interesting.”

“These guys are pussies. Let’s kick ass.”

“Oh no, you don’t. You start a fight with them, and they will simply scuttle the whole boat, leaving us without even a life raft.”

“Bullshit.”

The Somalis shouted for them to stop talking. There were three pirates on board and three more in the skiff. The small size of their open-hulled, rundown old boat surprised Diegert. It wasn’t more than ten feet long, and Diegert wouldn’t have wanted to cross a Minnesota lake in that thing, let alone the Indian Ocean.

One of the pirates went belowdecks and searched for valuables. The other two stayed above and kept their AK-47s in their hands. The pirate belowdecks let out a loud ululation and rejoiced for whatever he had found. The pirate guarding Barney shouted down to him, and when the other pirate shouted back, he couldn’t stop himself and went down below. The single pirate on deck was also distracted by what was going on below. Diegert seized the moment. He elbowed the pirate in the chest, bashed him in the mouth, grabbed the back of his head, and drove his face into a cleat on the mast, splitting his cranium on the rigid piece of metal.

Barney motioned for Diegert to stop, but the younger man stripped the AK off the dying pirate and descended into the cabin. The two pirates belowdecks were so amazed with the case of guns they’d found that, when they turned to see who was coming, Diegert struck the first one with a buttstock to the face. The second received a hand blade strike to the larynx. Both were dazed, and Diegert wrapped the strap of the AK-47 around the first guy’s neck and backhauled him over his shoulder. The force of the maneuver broke the pirate’s neck, and Diegert knew it when he heard the vertebrae snap. The second guy was coughing and struggling to breathe. Diegert noticed a knife on the man’s belt. He grabbed the man’s knife, slashed his throat, and plunged the blade into his chest. The pirate crumpled to the floor as blood bubbled out of his neck.

Three down, three to go. Diegert took the AK-47s and ascended the stairs. He tossed one to Barney and proceeded to the stern where the pirate’s skiff was tethered to the Sue Ellen. The men in the skiff were confused by the commotion on board. Diegert took full advantage of their lack of communication and their expectation that sailors wouldn’t fight back to open fire with the AK. The volley of bullets cut down two while striking the legs of the third.

With the dull illumination of the stern safety light, Diegert could see the third man was wounded, having fallen onto his back in the boat. Diegert’s weapon had a flashlight taped to it. Turning it on, he could see the remaining pirate better. The guy was young, maybe fifteen or sixteen, yet he had a rifle and was pointing it in Diegert’s direction. The defender of the Sue Ellen hesitated to see if the boy made any gesture of surrender. When the wounded pirate leveled his barrel at Diegert, he sealed his fate. With a rapid burst, the young sea robber’s life ended with bullets to the chest and head.

From the moment the second pirate went down into the cabin until the last shot was fired, barely two minutes had passed, and six lives had ended. Diegert’s adrenaline was on full blast, and he was still on point, making sure there were no other threats.

“Relax,” said Barney. “They’re all dead and we’re OK.”

Available on Amazon!

Giveaway Time!!!

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About the Author

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Bill Brewer is a member of the Faculty of the College of Health Sciences and Technology at RIT where he serves as the Director of Exercise Science within the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition. His areas of instruction include Anatomy & Physiology as well as numerous courses in Exercise Science.

Bill is a family man, happily married and the proud father of a son and two daughters. He lives in the South Wedge of Rochester NY. and loves to find outdoor adventure in the Adirondacks and in the Frontenac region of Ontario, Canada.

Bill Brewer Books


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Blog Tour Schedule

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

October 15th

B is for Book Review (Guest Post) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

October 16th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

LIBRORUM IN SEMPITERNUM (Spotlight) http://libroruminsempiternumhome.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

October 17th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

J Bronder Reviews (Spotlight) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

October 18th

Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Read and Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


I recently wrapped up the books I read in September and spoiler, there were some good ones!

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Book Review: Rise And Run

I have started my NEWTS for the Magical Readathon and this book was one that I read for the prompt of the first book that came to mind on my TBR. This one was called Rise And Run by RJ Plant.

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Synopsis: Felix and Conor Quinn are brothers at odds. After starting life as a less-than-ethical government experiment, the brothers now share the same body. When their adoptive father, illegal trades mogul Rian Connell, receives a tip that his niece is in danger, he sends Felix to track her down. The assignment brings up bad memories for Felix. It also threatens to bring Conor’s dark secrets to light—secrets that necessitate the manufacture of a drug to suppress his genome.

More pressing problems arise once Felix finds Kaitlyn. He soon realizes that Government Directive International (GDI)—one of the last governments of post-War 2042—has disturbing plans for him. By the time Felix realizes that Kaitlyn was only bait to lure him in, it’s already too late. GDI’s Agent-in-Charge doses Felix with a lethal, fast-acting virus, bringing Conor to the surface.

Immune to Felix’s virus thanks to his genomic difference, Conor must take up the mantle of uncovering the secrets of his past … before they get everyone around him killed. Every instinct tells Conor to run like hell, but in the end, his only choice may be to outsmart GDI. Or bring the organization crashing down.

This book was a new twist on SciFi/dystopian that I was not expecting. I found it to be a little choppy in that it jumped from scene to scene very quickly but it was interesting none the less with the two brothers fighting each other for control of the one body they shared.

The backstory was slowly revealed as time went on and I kept switching my feelings on which brother I was rooting for. I believe that it could have used a little bit more development for the cast of side characters so that they had more depth to them.

There was a decent amount of action that pushed the plot forward and kept it fun. I will say that there was a lot of Irish slang in it since a lot of it was based in Ireland (which is a cool point since I find it rare that books are set here) so be prepared to learn some fun terminology if you pick up the book.

This was a good starting novel for a series and I would continue the series based on what this book had to offer.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.


August has arrived and with it the Magical Readathon!! It is time to take my N.E.W.T.S! Watch this video to see which books I will be reading for my exams!

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Fid’s Crusade Book Tour Starts Today!!

Hey everyone! So a while back, I set up my first blog tour with David Reiss for his book Fid’s Crusade and today if the official start date! The tour will run from July 14th to July 20th so I encourage everyone to follow along and go check out all the blogger’s posts and Youtuber’s videos!!

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And David said that he will be doing a giveaway where you can win a physical copy of his book! The way he wants you to enter is by commenting on the blog posts and Youtuber’s videos! You can find everything you need at the Rafflecopter link!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a11/?

I will be adding the blogger’s posts daily so that you will have the direct link to the correct post so keep checking back to get more entries!


Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday July 14th

 Shaye from A Reading Brit (blog) https://areadingbrit.co.uk/

Amanda from Amanda readsss (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHl3RdpnJmuMP7ZZYdc-rA

Monday July 15th

Ross from Storgy (blog) https://storgy.com/

Hilary from Melted Books (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOatzzc3q5iTsRZkDPUEZig

Tuesday July 16th

Arden from the Phantom Paper (blog) https://phantompaper.wordpress.com/

Arts, Books and Other things (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrXMPBy0z1CiJZCkBOFzjQ

Wednesday July 17th

Jenny from Tecsielity (blog) https://tecsielity.wordpress.com/

Savy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9WShNx2HsXRGjj9F593HzA

Thursday July 18th

Sarah from Murder by Tomes (blog) https://murderbytomes.wordpress.com/

Kathy (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiN4woTQzWrciAcjIKQCzHA

Friday July 19th

Yes More Blogs (blog) https://yesmoreblogs.wordpress.com/

Toya – Reading Chemist (blog) https://thereadingchemist.com/

Scott from Book Invasion (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADGZU0eRD4SpeFyxtPBrzg

Saturday July 20th

James from the Miramichi Reader (blog) http://miramichireader.ca/

Cheyenne from Novel Insights (youtube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzc9HZ0T0YQAUksJ7XtWOA


Here is my video where I talked about the book in my wrap up when I first read it!

I am so excited about this and am looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the book! David is a great author and he wants to thank everyone participating as well.

Book Review: The Kill Code

Hey bookworms! I hope you all had a great weekend! I spent it doing a lot of reading and celebrating Canada Day so I had Monday off of work. I read The Kill Code by Clive Fleury over the weekend and it was a good one!

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Synopsis: It’s the year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the ocean rises higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.

Hogan Duran was a good man once. He was a cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.

But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets a chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavoury elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.

But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC are hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new world maintain their power…and just how far they will go to protect their secrets.

In a world gone wrong, can one man actually make a difference, or will he die trying?

This was a fast paced, action adventure and I am here for it. I really enjoyed the way it incorporated the futuristic technology and feel of past dystopian books I have read. It had elements of The Hunger Games and Divergent, two series I really love.

There are parts that had me thinking I knew what was going on only to be revealed that I was wrong and I was happy about that because the book kept surprising me. I couldn’t figure it out too quickly but it just kept moving and in a good direction. I hate when there is a book that I can figure out right away. I’m sure anyone who reads my reviews has heard me say this before.

I like reading books about a futuristic earth where resources are depleted because we never took the time to actually care about our planet. They are like little jabs at us as a population to get our priorities together (which I think we need that little kick in the butt, right?). At least if it gets to that point, after reading all of these books, I will be prepared for this type of future. But I would much rather just imagine it then have it as a reality.

Overall, this was a great, quick read full of action and adventure with twists and turns that no one could see coming!

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or Book Depository and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in ebook format to read and give an honest review.

And guess what? We had the pleasure of conducting an author interview to go along with this review! Check it out below.


Author Interview

What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

That’s a tough question. Probably “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper. It’s an eerie thriller set in the Australian outback. It’s beautifully written and has, as one of its main characters, a man called Bub. In my humble opinion, any author who is brave enough to call a central character Bub deserves high praise whatever the quality of the book.

What is your favorite book friendship?

John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” has, as its principal protagonists George Milton and Lennie Small. They are two displaced migrant ranch workers who move around California trying to find work in the Great Depression. George and Lennie have, at first sight, a totally unequal relationship.  George is bright, whereas the bulky Lennie is slow-witted. But they need each other and both benefit and enjoy the other’s company.  I remember when I first read the book feeling incredibly sad for days after I completed it. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Most anticipated book release of 2019?

Well, here’s an easy one. The sequel to Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel. I’m writing it and am hoping I will get it finished early enough for publication before 2020.

How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

Four, and I doubt I’ll get to them soon because I have to finish my next book.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s like asking: ‘What is your favorite restaurant’. It’s an impossible question, and the answer depends on the time of day, and the last good book I read.

How did you start writing? 

I was forced to write at school.  At first, I hated completing essays about questions like: “What did you do in your holidays?” But my English teacher was very supportive and told me that one day I would be an author.  Every writer needs that sort of encouragement!

Where is your favorite reading spot? 

Lying in a hammock, by a river.

How long have you been an author?

The first book I wrote was back in 2012, though I had written screenplays before that. That book, called ‘The Boy Next Door,’ is for sale on Amazon, and aimed at the young teens market. It’s very different from Kill Code, but is still has science fiction elements. Give it a read.

What do you like about reading? 

I imagine I like what most people like who read fiction—the ability to escape from this crazy world to another completely different place.

If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

An Alien in Miami.


Check out my Booktube Real Talk tag video where I answer questions regarding books and the bookish community!

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Book Review: The Afters

Two days in a row that we have Chris Connors reviews! He is a very fast reader. This one is called The Afters by Christopher O’Connell and it is the first book to a series.

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Synopsis: It’s the end of the world as we know it and Charles Gilbert Billingsworth the VIII feels just fine. Not only is he surviving the zombie apocalypse, but he’s also enjoying it too. But Charlie’s idyllic life as a daydreaming zombie killer takes a turn when he finds two lost children. One of whom is hiding an amazing, powerful secret. Meanwhile, Kalila Trout is on a quest for revenge. The only survivor of an attack by the warlord known as King George, Kalila’s vengeance is only stopped by his distinct advantage in numbers. When King George kidnaps one of Charlie’s children, Kalila finds an unlikely ally to help her get the closure she needs. But even if Kalila and Charlie manage to make it out alive, a new race of zombie might ruin everything they are fighting for.

What a good read! A real page-turner, if such a cliché can still be used for e-books. Christopher O’Connell’s writing reminded me of Chuck Wendig’s writings as found in his post-apocalyptic book series, Double Dead. He channels some of the best of Wendig’s qualities in his writing; O’Connell has a knack of rounding out his characters in your imagination without the need for long descriptive paragraphs that interrupt the story; the pace of the action is enough to keep you hooked, but not so repetitive that is like an interminable Hollywood car chase; and the dialogue/internal monologues are tinged with dark humor and witty wordplay without taking away from the realism of post-apocalyptic life.

Charles/Charlie/Chuck is a tough, resourceful, smart and likable character, who finds himself better suited for life in the apocalypse. As an aside, I wondered if Chuck’s name was a homage to Chuck Wendig himself given the similar styles?

Connell also handles backstory flashbacks deftly, inserting them into the main narrative at points that feel like natural breaks in rhythm, while still maintaining the tension of the plot.

Given how well-plumbed the zombie apocalypse genre is it is hard for writers to breathe new life into some of the tired old tropes. No matter what an author writes there will be someone who has already at least partly covered it. Chuck’s rules for staying alive reminded me a bit of Columbus’s rules in the movie Zombieland (2009). Some zombies are capable of intelligent thought and organization (I Am Legend movie remake); however, like any good author, he finds the small things that make the world his. E.g. his zombies aren’t dead or undead—they’re alive, feel pain, and can die from regular wounds. Such a small difference, but it seems to alter the novel in a way that is his.

The story eventually leads to a big showdown, which had me e-flipping through the pages fast as I could read. There is then a secondary climax after the resolution of the first. I thought perhaps some of this could have been written into a second book rather than trying to cram it into the last 15% of this book. However, I learned that this is just Book 1 so this exciting development from the second showdown will continue on with Book 2.

If this first book of his is typical of what he can do I’m hoping he’ll make a bigger name for himself like the way other writers (e.g., John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire under her Mira Grant name, and the aforementioned Wendig). A hearty 5/5 stars for this book and I hope to see much more writing from Christopher O’Connell.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

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Smarthome, Inc.

Book Review: Foiled by Carey Fessler

New book review alert! We have delved into the world of middle-grade books this time. Presented here is a book called Foiled by Carey Fessler.

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Synopsis: It’s 1947 on a U.S. Army base near Roswell, New Mexico, and eleven-year-old Kate’s friend and neighbor, Billy, shows her a secret. A CIA agent arrives at Billy’s house, to recover the Top Secret items, and threatens the family, warning them to never talk about the incident—ever. Special Agent Falco informs them of their sudden reassignment to Germany. Billy, not wanting to move to Germany or return his treasures, begs Kate for help. Feisty and fiercely loyal, she agrees to hide him.

Thus begins a most unusual road trip in which the two friends use their wits, their knowledge of the terrain and geography around the base, and sheer determination to evade capture. Kate must also reach her grandfather, more than two hundred miles away, and warn him how the secret poses a dangerous threat … to anyone involved.

Their race has begun, and there’s no turning back.

This was an average middle-grade book. It had likable characters, despicable villains and quite an adventure through different parts of New Mexico. I was kept entertained all the way through it with Billy and Kate’s antics. They bantered back and forth just like two young kids would and it was fun to experience this kind of honesty and childlike innocence.

It was set in the 1940s and had all these references to things that are a part of our history (especially baseball and comic books). I identified with Billy as a child because, like him, I would read comic books and want to be just like the superheroes/protagonists of the adventure.

There were some parts of the book where I would think that they should be a little more descriptive of the scene but this could have been because of the nature of it being a middle-grade book. The author was just making it easier for kids to understand and in turn, this would keep them from losing interest in the novel.

Overall, I think it is a genuine adventure book that would be fun for kids to read when they are experiencing books for the first time and just starting to explore the world of literature. It just gets better and better the more you open your world to reading!

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads or the Author’s Website.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by the author in ebook format to read and give an honest review.

Simultaneously contemporary and classic, chic prints mix with a classic color palette in Kate Aspen’s Modern Classic collection. Adorned with class and style, your wedding will inspire memories that will be treasured for years to come.

Book Review: The Demeter Code

Sara Mac is hitting us up with another review over here. She finished the trilogy she was working on. This was called the Demeter Code by Russell Brooks.

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Synopsis: When two American embassies in northern Africa are bombed, CIA operatives, Ridley Fox and Nita Parris, are assigned to track down the perpetrators. However, when their top asset is killed in a failed op, the agents suspect that there may be a new threat. Their search for the truth puts them on a collision course with a powerful multinational—which will go to extreme lengths to bury its criminal activities. However, the agents soon learn that someone with a personal vendetta against that company not only knows their secrets but will expose them in a way that could result in the largest single-day attack against America.

Unfortunately, this book is disappointing.

I enjoy the action scenes, and the concepts seem to be unique, so I like that too.

But I don’t really like anything else. Reading the ebook version, there are A LOT of weird errors, that may be due to conversion. There are bits of text inserted in the middle of words every three pages or so (the first book had this as well), and the entirety of chapter 18 is missing. Just gone. So I was really confused when chapter 19 started, as apparently chapter 18 had a lot going on.

This whole book feels like you’re dropped in the middle of a movie with no idea what’s going on. New characters pop up constantly like we should know who they are, with zero character development. There are connections between characters and organizations that aren’t fleshed out – I think there might be several double agents but I honestly can’t keep track.

Unfortunately, the whole book just feels choppy and as if no one read through it for consistency. I’m confused! And I really wanted to like it for the engaging action scenes, but that’s about the only redeeming quality. Sorry!

Book Rating:  2/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


If you would like some middle grade adventure stories, check out Foiled by Carey Fessler!

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Book Review: Unsavory Delicacies

We have Sara’s first review of the new year ready to share with you. This was the second book in a series that she started in 2018. Let’s see what she had to say about it.

*Also check out her Etsy store Adorkable Lil Crafties to see what she makes in her spare time*

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Synopsis: Rogues, Russians, Revenge…The Ingredients of a Three Course Meal.

Crème Brûlée

Rogue operative, Monique Beauvais, cons a software genius into selling her a coveted technology that would allow its user to control CIA drones while they’re in flight. And she will go as far as killing him in public in order to have it.

To the Last Bite

A renowned food critic–whose scathing reviews have closed down restaurants–gets a savoury surprise.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, leads a team against one of Russia’s most powerful crime families. He discovers secrets, but not one that he was expecting to find.

Three stories with three consequences. All containing three Unsavory Delicacies.

This collection of three short stories follow Ridley Fox, a spy operative we were introduced to in Brooks’ first novel. Mostly.

SPOILER HERE
In the first short, we have an agent attempting to kill her supplier for some tech, only to discover that the supplier is actually Fox in disguise, and takes down the agent in her own apartment.

In the second short, a food critic is killed by a chef whose food he actually enjoys, for stealing his girlfriend and giving him a terrible review in the past. No sign of Fox in this one, so who knows why this was included in the collection.

In the third, Fox is undercover attempting to find some important files from a Mobster who owns a restaurant. He gets away with it only because he manages to take down one bodyguard which apparently terrifies the Mobster into submission.

I’m not exactly sure what this collection is supposed to be FOR. One of the stories doesn’t include Fox, and none of them include Parris, who is supposedly the other main character. Overall the stories seem like introductions to what could be a more interesting larger story, so maybe they’re a hint of what’s to be in the third book? They also don’t do much to make me like Fox as a character any more than I did after the first book, as he seems to just be an arrogant ass, which might be the point. I personally like at least a couple redeeming qualities in my main narrators, but that might just be me.

I’m interested to see what Brooks will do for the next book, and I hope that it’s a full-length story like Pandora’s Succession. I ALMOST liked that book, and I feel like Brooks has potential as an author if he can use some more original dialogue and plot points. There are some pretty major cliches here that make it feel like you’ve read these ideas in another form already.


Book Rating:
2/5

You can buy the book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.

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