The Ghostwriter’s Legacy by Douglas Debelak

Summary

The Ghostwriter’s Legacy, the third book in The Ghostwriter’s Series, continues an epic tale, which purports to be the autobiography of God, or, as He insists, not God, but the Creator of our universe, a universe which is only one of many. It continues the Creator’s journey through forever, finding Himself potentially immortal, but alone, reeling from the greatest loss, fighting to have the strength to honor the greatest of gifts, or is it the greatest of curses, giving truth to the words, oft repeated through the series, “Forever is a very long time.”

As with the first two books, The Ghostwriter’s Legacy introduces the hero of the next alternate narrative thread, Jonathon Fry’s great-grandson, Sammy; who was given a copy of his great-grandfather’s book when he was six years old and refused to believe it was just fiction. He believed the words within were Magick.

Amazon

Characters

This story continues the story of “God” aka the “Creator of our universe.” It also brings in Sammy and Eve. Sammy is related to the writer who was practically overcome in the first two books while writing the blog about the Creator’s life. Unlike the first two books which had a good balance, this book was dominated by the blog/book, while Sammy and Eve’s story fell by the wayside. It was like a tablespoon in a gallon of words. That imbalance caused a lot of issues for me. I found I enjoyed neither narrative very much. That being said I did like the addition of Mary.

Plot

The Creator’s story, which ended so well in book two, picks up and runs millions of years into the future. Although enjoying at parts, it does stretch the imagination. At the same time Sammy Fry is brilliant and inspired by the book his great-grandfather wrote. He is enamored by a girl who is good at biology. Deciding to work together to emulate the book, they find out a lot about forever and about themselves. And I can be honest in saying most of it isn’t good. The theme of sex and the need to connect with others continues. I found Sammy and Eve’s story to be hallow and felt like filler with its rampant sex scenes and little dynamic. There are still compelling themes and very graphic sex, but this one felt less fleshed out.

Overall

Although the transition from book 2 to book 3 was seamless, I found it to be an overall disappointing addition to the series. It had a strong start that was as interesting as the first two books. The dark edges of the story surprising but flowed. After about half way I found the writing lagged like a boat that was too heavily loaded on one side. Until it felt like I was pulled into unnecessary circles. As though it were a platform to showcase information rather than progress the story.

I would 100% still recommend the first books in the trilogy but I wished I’d stopped there. Book 2 has a poignant end that grips the soul and has the same points that book 3 had. There were aspects of book 3 I did enjoy, so perhaps it will float your boat rather than pull it in listless circles. That begin said, I’d absolutely pick this author up again.

Rating

3 Stars

After the first two books were amazingly imaginative and compelling, I found this one disappointing. Still a good book, just not a great one.

Where did  I get a copy?

The author provided me one. This is a voluntary review.

 

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Far-Knowing (Book 1) by Melinda Brasher

Summary

After the Chaos Mage traps their mentor within a deadly spell, two apprentice mages set off to find and defeat this menace to the kingdom. But how can these inexperienced young women possibly track down and battle the sort of man who destroys villages with summoned wind or fire just for fun? They’ve learned no aggressive magic and never tested themselves against a real enemy.

Kallinesha, still an apprentice after seven years, struggles against her lack of raw magical power, compensating instead with discipline and study. Daughter of the High Commander, driven relentlessly by the duty in her blood, she knows they can defeat the Chaos Mage and safeguard the kingdom.

Ista, a commoner and daughter of a city baker, harbors no such delusions. But after only three years of study, her power burns much brighter than Kallinesha’s. The task before them terrifies her, but she loves her mentor too much to let her waste away under the Chaos Mage’s spell. Not if there’s the slimmest chance of saving her.

The two have never been able to get along while studying magic. Will they be able to work together now when so much is at stake?

Amazon

Characters

There are two primary character for most of the novel—Kallinesha (or Kalli) and Ista—with Ryveld joining later as a third point of view. The rest are supporting characters, my favorite of which is Taylendar (or Tay). For the first half of the novel it is Kalli and Ista…bickering. Right when it really starts to get annoying, Tay comes into the mix, followed closely by Ryveld. I would say that was a turning point in the novel once there was someone else in the dynamic besides Kalli and Ista.

Plot

The Chaos Mage has been wreaking havoc all across their land; killing and destroying. When Kalli and Ista’s mistress performs a far-knowing and gets a glimpse of the Chaos Mage, they are sent to stop him at all cost. Inexperienced but not powerless, the girls set out to rid their land of this powerful evil. This is where the book lost me. Why send such terribly unprepared girls? They aren’t the best or the most powerful. It didn’t make sense. Right up until they started to question why they were sent and perspectives change. I don’t want to get into specifics but the book picks up about halfway through and there are a few twists.

Overall

There is an entire big world built by the author. One of the major aspects is the magic, but it gets back to basics. Such as spells needing ingredients and time to be cast. Also there are hints of romance later in the story but it became very prominent at the end. As a part of the stories aftermath. For young adult readers, but many adults will likely enjoy too.

This novel had a slow start. I very much expected from the premise and what I was reading for it to be ‘just another fantasy novel’ but it wasn’t long until that slow start turned into a non-stop, read in one sitting kind of book. This author also relies on subtleties, so it may be missed by many readers, but it was all there for those who are paying attention. In the end it is worth reading the first half of the book so you can thoroughly enjoy the second half!

Rating

4  stars

A rough start to an interesting fantasy novel that will teach you a lesson on perspectives and taking people at their word. A start to a sword and sorcery series for young adults. I’m looking forward to book 2!

Where did I get a copy?

The author provided me one. This is a voluntary review.

Wrath Of The Jaguar Man (The Curse of Inca Gold #2) by J.A. Kalis

Summary

When Didier embarks on a quest to recover a priceless artefact, he gets entangled in more than he has bargained for.

Meanwhile, the ruthless treasure hunters resolve to go back to the ancient ruins hidden deep in the Amazon jungle with the aim of finding other intact tombs and pillaging them.
But the spirits of those whose graves have already been desecrated are angry. Their thirst for revenge urges the Indians who inhabit those remote territories to take action. This time they will do everything in their power to defend the burial sites of their ancestors. They are watching the ruins, waiting…

Amazon

Characters

Didier appears to be the primary character from what I can tell. He is a world traveler and by all regards an emotional coward. I was very frustrated with him for most of the book—perhaps if I had read book 1 before book 2 I wouldn’t feel this way. Thankfully the book doesn’t just follow him. There is Menga, a jungle living warrior, who wants to right the wrongs of the bad men and appease his ancestors to save his love. Then there is the thread with the arrogant Aberlardo and tough guy Antonio with his hired guns, not to mention Aberlado’s wealthy father—the one stealing priceless artifacts.

Plot

This story is plot driven. It jerks you around the world and into many perspectives, which I found very engaging. Most of the chapters flowed easily from one to the next. There were a few twists and turns but they were obvious to me, with the exception of one. I actually hoped everything wouldn’t perfectly ‘work out,’ but you’ll have to read it to find out what ‘worked out’ means. Bad guys bad, good guys good, bad loses, good succeeds. A little boring that way but if you like the suspense more then the mystery, you’ll very much enjoy the settings and the thrill of the journey!

Overall

The story grips you from the get go. It is breakneck and suspenseful, sprinkled in with action. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book before the first (even though it says it can be a stand alone) because I was so lost at the beginning and didn’t get as much satisfaction from many of the results that I may have if I’d been with the characters longer. The dialogue could be stilted but the descriptive imagery of the setting made up for it.

There is a big element of a supernatural or mystical aspects that cropped up. I was a little torn on it throughout the book but I enjoyed Menga’s chapters and I like a little supernatural in my books so this was a plus not a minus for me. In the end the title lives up to its name—you’ll just have to read it to find out how literal!

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down)

A suspenseful international treasure hunt with a dash of mysticism and mystery. An enjoyable adventure with suspense that I would have enjoyed more if I’d read book 1 before book 2.

Where did I get a copy?

Author provided me a copy. This is a voluntary review.

Forbidden by Haru Ichiban

Summary

A promise of unbound carnal delights. That’s what her sultry, proud classmate Lei is to Sween. However, only known to her, much more than just lust binds her to this man.

Despite competing against a love rival which holds the upper hand, her carefree college days are full of laughter, but they hide a sinister reality: if Sween succeded in making his heart hers, being branded a criminal and relentlessly chased down by angels would only be the beginning of her problems. However, if only Lei loved her back, she would not mind breaking every law for him. No matter the consequences. Even if it meant living a forbidden love with a dubious future as she defied everyone and everything in Heaven… and everything she once stood for.

Forbidden is the first book in a long saga of romance full of sweetness and erotism, plots with substance, smart heroines, manly and sensitive heroes, morally ambiguous main characters, a mysterious supernatural world, detectives and lots of humor.

Amazon

Characters

This book is written like steaming consciousnesses every thought is on page. I could not for the life of me like Sween for most of the book. I found her over the top, obsessive, and obnoxious. I actually thought she was a very ugly person. Although later on I felt there was a clear issues with the contradiction/dichotomy between the virgin and the whore—a concept that could have been really powerful. Lei was a little easier to like because you understood he was ‘controlled’ by a demon. So his behavior, although ridiculous and cruel at times, was easier to swallow. I cannot say I liked Sween by the end of the book but I no longer disliked her as much either. There are a few supporting characters but they mostly seem to come and go.

Plot

Sween wants Lei. Wants to kill the demon controlling him and be with him. That much was easy to see. Think high school angst with mature content and a paranormal flare (interesting take on angels and demons). It felt like reading an over the top anime or manga. Sween and Lei are attending police academy and there were some very interesting facts there—almost felt out of place with the story at times, but well done there.

Overall

This book needs an editor—badly (just look at the two spelling errors in the summary above taken directly from Amazon). I rarely post this unless it is painfully apparent or detracts from the story and in this case it does. The first 20% of the book could be significantly reduced because I felt like I was stuck in a unexplained and unclear loop. Same information, actions, and no furtherance of a story. That being said—I noticed a significant shift after a scene were Lei drives her and a group (about 20% of the way in). It was the first crystal clear scene that actually sucked me in—like those bloody Buggypop were a hoot. Some of the nonsense was great and some of it was just…well nonsense. The sexy parts were decent but I had a hard time just because it felt like a fantasy (as in so far outside reality) so I ended up laughing instead.

The biggest redeeming factor for me was I could feel how much the author loves to write. I have a distinct feeling the author sees each character clearly in their mind and each scene is no doubt like a movie. There in lies an issue—the author assumes you can see what they can see. Which we, of course, cannot. It leaves a lot of context and description out. And just like that driving scene, there were some amazing concepts and ideas that really showed potential!

Rating

2 stars

Great concepts, specially on the paranormal side, so others may enjoy it but it was too unpolished for me.

Where did I get a copy?

Author provided me a copy. This review is voluntary.

Three Incidents at Foster Manor by P.T. Phronk

Summary

An old mansion. An apocalyptic storm. Whispering voices in the air. She was right to fear the worst-case scenario.

Amy Burnett has been buried in her work as a security expert. She likes it that way—her dark past can’t invade her thoughts as long as she stays holed up in her office. So why the heck has she ended up at a gothic mansion’s doorstep in the middle of the night?

It’s because Craig Foster summoned her there. Amy’s company built the sealed chamber in his basement, for any worrisome worst-case scenario, but now the safe room has presented a scenario of its own: Craig’s daughter is trapped inside.

It should be a quick fix. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen when a stranger arrives at a remote mansion on a stormy night? An impossible mystery? A haunting? A visit from the lurking strangers in the woods? Surely not all three—that would require extraordinarily bad luck.

Unfortunately, Amy’s been short on luck lately.

Amazon

Characters

Amy is the primary character but there are a litany of supporting characters. She is an interesting character, with a lot of baggage. Despite some of her characters flaws, I quite liked her. Other characters include Caleb the needy teenager, Ash the jerk, Craig the weak-willed father, Marcus the likable dad, Jasmine the plucky one, and Trista the girl locked in the room. Each has a role to play and by saying much more I may be ruining it.

Plot

It reminded me of reading horror  genre clue. A very interesting who-dunnit where it isn’t just about who…but also about the bigger mystery and the bad dudes that show up. It will keep you on your toes with constant tension. Amy is the only one you can trust so everyone else is suspect—leading to great scenes. I did figure out both aspects but it took quite a while and I wasn’t 100% spot on—there are a bit of a twist on each. This book never lets up—in a good way.

Overall

A very easy and enjoyable read. I read this in two sittings and stayed up late to finish it. Because I just had to know if I was right and turning the pages was easy. I felt I could easily have read it on the weekend in one sitting. The writing and imagery created such vivid scenes, many of which had me gripping my phone from the suspense! A real page turner!

My only compliant was—I didn’t catch onto the whole ‘rain is dangerous because this is in the future when the environment is going to heck in a hand-basket.’ So I could not understand why people didn’t just leave. It wasn’t until much later that some very subtle hints finally made sense. Some more world-building throughout would have fixed this but it wasn’t enjoy to ruin my enjoyment of the book.

Rating

4.5 (rounded up)

A great mystery suspense for an airplane ride or a quite night in. You’ll easily read this in one sitting and feel satisfied by the end of it. Be ready for one crazy ride!

Where did I get a copy?

From the author. This review is voluntary.

A Convenient Death by Laurel Heidtman

Summary

When Tracy Andrews, night clerk at the Eden Quick-Mart, is murdered along with an elderly customer, there’s no shortage of suspects. Tracy liked men more than a married woman should, and her estranged husband, a Raven University police officer, knew it. Did he “lose it” and kill Tracy and her customer, did Tracy put too many demands on a boyfriend, or did a spouse of a married lover decide she’d had enough? Or was it a simple robbery gone wrong?

No one looks at the elderly man killed with her, but when someone breaks into his home, Eden police detective Jo Valentine takes a closer look. What she doesn’t find surprises her.

Characters

I liked Jo Valentine. She was tough and working through some stuff. All made for an interesting character. By contrast I found Ann’s chapters to be a little boring. At first they weren’t but as the story went on, they started to drag. There were a few other characters that came to the forefront including a chief of university police named Lou (woman). I liked the strong women in the book but it would have been nice to have at least one stronger male character—Dan came into the picture too late. Although Sticks (Jo’s partner) was close. Also the names: Ann and Nan, Edna and Eden. It was unnecessarily distracting and the story could have used more original names.

Plot

This is a very plot driven story. Steady storytelling punctuated by action scenes including an assault and a shootout! This book starts with a simple homicide…so you think. It balloons out quickly and just when you think everything has been uncovered…there is another twist!  It brings lots of different elements into a single setting. I thought it did a good job of showing what Detective Valentine had to contend with on an enforcement front without losing the personal piece. The police procedure seemed on point.

Overall

I guessed the ending but the author did a good job of misdirection. I was certain and then I hesitated, thought I’d gotten it wrong. Then I was positive, but it wasn’t until nearly the end. That was a job well done by the author. Lulled you into a state of calm and then starts to build the suspense to a crescendo.

Rating

4 Stars

A solid mystery that will keep you on your toes with each new twist. You might just get this one wrong!

2018 – 4th Quarter Writing Updates

It is that time again! Let’s how much progress I’ve made on my goals before I post my next year’s goals. 2018 was an interesting year!

Goals for my writing for 2018:

  1. Finish getting The Gate Trilogy Ready
    1. Book 2 – Publish Summer August 8 of 2018 (The Nowhere Gate)
      1. Beta readers (First came back two are behind and I’ve scheduled a fourth)
      2. Schedule Cover Reveal (July 7, 2018)
      3. Professional editor
      4. Order link: Amazon
    2. Book 3 – Publish Summer Fall of 2019
      1. Edit (Lots to rewrite but edits are done)
      2. Cover Completed
      3. Do rewrite
      4. Transcribe edits (Started! Five chapters in!)
      5. Beta readers (Sent out in December/January)
      6. Cover reveal (Scheduled for June)
      7. Professional editor
  2. Publish Audiobook
    1. Unfathomable Chance
      1. Release in 2018 – Release happened in May. 
    2. Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand
      1. Find voice
      2. Consider publishing 2019
  3. Focus on Unfathomable Plan (On Hiatus)
    1. Finish writing in 2018 (At 42,000 words)
    2. Start editing 2019
  4. Work on other writing projects after Unfathomable Plan is done.
    1. Temporum: The Four Seasons – Book 1
      1. Finish Outline
      2. Start Writing
      3. Finish Writing 2018 (On Hold)
      4. Edit
    2. 1001 Islands 2
      1. Finish Outline
      2. Start Writing
      3. Finish Writing 20##
      4. Edit
    3. Seven Eves – Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel (on hold)
    4. Demon’s Due – Paranormal Erotica/Romance
    5. Noble Chronicles Series (5 Books Planned)
    6. Zendar 2 (Added April)
      1. Finish Outline
      2. Start Writing (Started writing for NaNoWriMo – Just hit 20,000 words!)
      3. Finish Writing 2019
      4. Edit
    7. Write Anthology Short Story – (Part of Gate) – Romance The Curse Anthology
      1. Write!
      2. Submitted for review!
      3. If you are interested go to my new anthologies page: The Truest Gate
    8. Write Anthology Short Story – Epic Fantasy
      1. Write!
      2. Submit for review!
    9. Worlds Apart Sci-Fi Anthology
      1. Submit Story
      2. Help Promote
      3. Published: Amazon
    10. Holiday Chords: Christmas Romance Anthology
      1. Wrote story
      2. Help Promote
      3. Published: Amazon
  5. Consider Publishing Love’s Metamorphosis in eBook
  6. An Honest Misunderstanding
    1. Publishing on Wattpad in 2018 – To come out over the winter! 
    2. One Beta Reader is editing
  7. Editing Projects
    1. Red Door
    2. Truthseer (Started editing in September)
  8. Participate in NaNoWriMo 2018
    1. Will be writing Zendar 2: A Tale of Wind and Blood
      1. Wrote 15,000 words for NaNoWriMo
  9. Work on Escape Room information.
    1. Conjured Kingdoms
      1. Writing (Finished Writing)
      2. Find Cover Artist
      3. Website Summary
      4. Book Summary
      5. Promotional Video and other supporting work
      6. Room/Puzzle work
    2. Work on video language
    3. Work on media kits
  10. Keep up momentum on writing events, speaking events, and conventions.
    1. Book and Attended Steamposium CANCELLED BY COORDINATOR
    2. Book and Attend Arctic Comic Con (April 2018)
    3. Book and Attend SenshiCon (September 2018)
    4. Book Read Alaska (Didn’t attend)
    5. Attend Read Alaska
    6. Submit Application for World Con 
      1. If I get in Attend WorldCon in San Jose.
    7. Apply for Emerald City Comic Con (2019)
      1. On the wait-list for Artist Alley.
  11. Read 5

Writing updates:

The King’s Gate (book 3 of the trilogy) has gone to Beta Readers. I’m so excited to hear back from them! There is still some work to be done but I’m pretty happy with the final product. The King’s Gate is scheduling for release on September 9, 2019. Now all that is left is to schedule the cover reveal!

Unfathomable Plan has been placed on Hiatus while I work on Zendar 2. I needed a break to work out a particularly difficult scene. I have a few ideas.

Zendar: A Tale of Wind and Sand is progressing beautifully. I hope to be done writing in the next few months and then I can share Bella’s romantic story! Thanks to a start on NaNoWriMo I was able to get a fantastic head start! I’m already 25,000 words in and show now signs of slowing!

I’ve made some progress on Truthseer but it is slow going. It’s is really eye opening

Anthologies:

Crazy Ink Anthologies has scheduled The Curse for release on November 3, 2019. Woot!

The Epic Fantasy anthology story was cancelled so I’ll start looking for another group for A Ghostly Gate. I’m totally behind writing this but I’ve gotten around the hard part and starting the easier part that I already had a clear picture of. Should hopefully wrap it up this month.

I had a last minute request for a short story Christmas romance for Stained Glass Publishing’s Holiday Chords. It is very cute! Also Pandemonium was published in World’s Apart, make sure to check them both out! (Links above.)

Escape  Book:

Conjured Kingdoms is done! I’ve turned it in for reading by the client. I hope to hear something back soon! It’s a cute and sweet YA/middle school story. It is fun for all ages! It will cover the story leading up to the ‘creation’ of the escape room. I can’t wait!

Here is the summary:

Has life ever been so unbearable that you wish to be anywhere else? That is what Bennie was imagining with all her heart; to be far away from her unhappy relatives and cruel school mates. One day her belief in other realms where she could be happy was so strong that she conjured a door to a different world. Places of wonder and bursting with magic—real magic! Unwilling to return Bennie jumps from world to world, making friends, and finding mystical objects. That is until one day she opens the wrong door.

Reading Goal:

It is my goal was to read 50 books. I’ve completed them and finished the 55 books read! I’ve kept the goal at 50 for 2019 but I’ll talk more about that.

Happy reading!