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.

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Cupid’s Chance by Tina Creek

Summary

Carter Lockhart has everything going for her; a job she excels at, a wonderful home, a dog she adores, and a cat she tolerates. Everything except for someone to share it with her. She’s given up on love after a painful break-up, but love hasn’t given up on her.

Carter Lockhart. Just another name on the list of a Cupid, Archer Valentine. His job is to find Carter true love. He promises to find her perfect match. A Cupid can’t always keep his promise, but he can sure as hell try.

Characters

Although Carter started off really dull and stubborn, she did grow on me by the end of the book. I was a little disappointed in her decision making a few times but overall she really grew with the book. Archer was like a child in many ways, but he does some growing of his own. Evony felt a little silly and over the top more than once, but she did create some good definition for Archer. The rest of the supporting character were a little flat at times, but grew with the book which was nice.

Plot

It was a romance with other things happened, circling around the central theme. Absolutely unique idea wrapped around a familiar plot. I appreciated that most of the cupid lore was brought up and hinted on. I did appreciate that Carter had friends (Troy) and there was more going on in her life than falling in love. It brought another dimension to the book that is sometimes missing in romances.

It didn’t take long for Archer and Carter to just become so cute! That being said I did struggled with a few of the scenes being necessary. I remember thinking ‘I wonder when this is going to come up later’ and then it never did. (Side note I thought the epilogue was unnecessary – I would have preferred an entire book dedicated to that last little quip.)

Overall

If I had picked this up off the shelf for fun reading, I probably would have quit about 15% in because it was VERY slow and uninteresting. The author took too long to get to the starting point. That being said after that point the book really picked up steam and got better and better. By the end I was a little sad to see it end and a little frustrated that more wasn’t revealed—showing how much the book sucked me in!

Fair warning that although there is chemistry between the main characters, the sex scenes aren’t detailed. I can usually take it or leave it on these, but with how much the author built up to it, not having it was both surprising and somewhat disappointing. Also I don’t normally like to mention this in the review, but this book needs a thorough editing job—badly.

Rating

4 stars

I like it! Between the shaky start, massive amount of editing errors, and questionable filler, I just couldn’t give this book a resounding 5 stars. It was a little silly, but absolutely adorable!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review

The Tudor Heresy by Samantha Burnell

An Introduction to the Tudor Mystery Trials

A gripping Historical Adventure set in 16th Century Tudor England. Elizabeth Tudor needs a hero. Murder, Mystery & Intrigue with a Splash of Romance.

Based on actual historical events, an epic tale of a young Tudor nobleman’s courage as he tries to keep his future Queen safe in one of England’s most turbulent eras.

If you enjoy Tudor Fiction by Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir then ‘A Queens Spy’ is perfect for you. A fascinating insight into Tudor England and the life of Elizabeth I before she sets foot on the steps to the throne.

The story unfolds in 16th Century Tudor England

Richard Fitzwarren is a Tudor nobleman with a dubious past who takes risks for a living.

His close friendship with Princess Elizabeth leads to his banishment to France, but when he returns he remains loyal to her.

At his side is Jack, his bastard sibling, and their relationship is a troubled one due to a family secret and their opposite personalities.

Will he keep the future Queen safe?

Overall

I would like to start off by saying I love Tudor history. I jumped at the chance to read this and it was very enjoyable. It was a bit jerky at times following from one year to another without any introduction or transition, but I appreciated the writing style was very succinct and to the point. This made for a quick read. The brutality of the era was well depicted. I could for sure see reading and enjoying more about Jack and Richard as Elisabeth comes to power. There were a few POV shifts, but it felt more of a narration so it didn’t feel jarring after the first time it happened. The verbiage felt right for the era and I was impressed with correct terminology being applied in more than one place.

Rating

4 stars

Overall a very enjoyable historical short story to whet ones appetite. If you are in need of a short story to pass the time – I’d recommend this one!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

Little Library System – Zendar

I’d like to start off by thanking author Misty Mount for graciously adding Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand to her local free little library box! Not to mention I love the DoctorWho theme to it! It warms my heart to see my book being added to this awesome system. I hope whoever picks it up, loves it and returns it back to the system for others to enjoy!

Check out her author page on Amazon here: Misty Mount

If you are interested you can also buy Zendar for only 99 cents on Kindle and Nook.

Third Quarter Writing Updates

I’m nearly on time this quarter and it is time to see where I am on my goals.

Goals for my writing/the year:

  1. Building Mailing List – I’d like to get a mailing list so when I have giveaways and such, I can let everyone who is interested know.
    1. Mailing lists can be found HERE.
  2. Finish Writing The Gate Trilogy (I expect this to happen within the next month). (I’m done writing, now on to the editing)
    1. Get all 3 covers done for The Gate Trilogy, reveal the first one.
      1. Book cover 1 is done (Reveal completed!).
      2. Book 2 is done.
      3. Prequel was done – pushed off completion of book 3.
      4. Book 3 is in draft but in the last stages.
    2. Publish The Sixth Gate on July 7, 2017
      1. Published on July 7th! On Amazon.
    3. Finish editing all 3 books – get ready for Beta readers.
      1. Working on editing book 2 – finished but need to transcribe.
      2. Consider publishing in 2018.
  3. Choose which book to have done for Audio Book
    1. Find a ‘voice’ for the audio book and pick a date for release next spring (2018).
    2. Send a poll in the fall for which book through Mailing List.
    3. Consider putting off another year.
  4. Start writing next book. Decide between 1001 Islands #2, Unfathomable Chance #2, or the new YA Fantasy novel – Temporum: The Four Seasons.
    1. I’ve started writing Temporum: The Four Seasons
      1. Found a major plot hole. Working to resolve it and get writing again.
    2. I’m planning to write Unfathomable Chance #2 for NaNoWriMo and am working on the Outline
      1. Came up with a tentative name: Unfathomable Plan
      2. I’ve tentatively started writing. About 9,000 words in as of today!
    3. I’m also working on the Outline for 1001 Islands #2 which will be a backup for NaNoWriMo if I haven’t completed the outline for Unfathomable Chance #2
      1. Finished outline for Book 2 just today!
  5. Work on Seven Eves – Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel
    1. I’ve written three more chapters and hit 10,000 words!
  6. Edit and Get to Beta Readers An Honest Misunderstanding and consider publishing (maybe just on Wattpad).
    1. One Beta Reader is editing
  7. Breathe new life into my Historical Mystery Novella. Finish writing ‘The Red Door’ – SO MUCH REWRITING/EDITING!
    1. Edited and started jotting down notes to finish writing.
  8. Editing/rewrite Truthseer 
    1. I finally re-read this. It is going to take some work but I sure love this story!
  9. Participate in NaNoWriMo
    1. I’ll be working on Unfathomable Plan for NaNoWriMo!
  10. Keep up momentum on writing events, speaking events, and conventions.
    1. Attended YukiCon.
    2. Attended Steamposium and TaikaiCon
    3. Scheduled/booked SenshiCon and Colony Christmas.
    4. Attend SensiCon
    5. Attend Colony Christmas
  11. Read 45 30 0 books before December 31st. Done! Now I’m just gaining books!

Writing updates:

I’ve published The Sixth Gate and already have 11 reviews on Amazon! Make sure to check it out.

Temporum: The Four Seasons is a YA Fantasy. Eva is a 17 year old heroine who falls through a mirror and ends up where the word is divided into four courts based on the seasons. I finalized the outline and just hit 10,000 words! Until I realized there is a major plot hole. Next to fix/rewrite before I continue.

To complicate matters, Unfathomable Chance 2 – tentatively named Unfathomable Plan – has been harassing me, so I started writing it just to make it leave me alone…now I’m over 9,000 words in…oops! Not to mention I’ve been pulled back into Seven Eves. So many stories wanting my attention.

Audiobook:

The votes are in and the winner is Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand by one (1) vote! It was so close, I was worried it would be a tie!

Reading Goal:

It is my goal to read 45 books. It is October and I’ve already read 46! I’m already one book over with a good pile to keep me busy!

Happy reading!

Loved by the First (Book 2) by C.F. Rabbiosi

Summary

Raina’s Sire has released her to be with her human love. Finally.
If only her hunger for blood wasn’t getting out of control and endangering him.
If only the first vampire and most dangerous being on earth wasn’t pursuing her for his torturous pleasure.

If only she could stay.

She travels across the world to escape him, leaving everything she loves behind. In Tombstone, “The Silver City Strangler” has been making his own living dead girls- using and abusing them before leaving their naked bodies to the desert sun. Finding him, and killing him most terribly will ease the beast inside the beautiful new vampire, while protecting her human soul. But The First has found her.

He plans to use her to hurt his enemy but never thought his stone heart would come alive again.

In her.

Characters

Raina’s still a bit of a mess but she isn’t taking this book laying down…mostly. She doesn’t always make the best choices but at least she is making choices and being her own woman. The biggest choice being that she must sever contact with those she knows to and to hunt killers to make up for what she is. Marcus is in this book but much less. There are a few chapters from Varo’s point of view and one from The Silver City Strangler’s point of view. Overall these dark characters are back with a few new characters in addition to Varo – such as new friends Kyle and Phoenix.

Plot

This book also has a few plots, but this time the author did a better job of making them all relevant in one capacity or another. The most dominating plots is Varo and the second is Raina hunting The Silver City Strangler. I figured out who the strangler was pretty quickly but I won’t tell you how I figured it out so early on. Instead I’ll say if it wasn’t for me reading between the lines early on, I would have been ping-ponging my suspicions between a few characters. If you like a little mystery in your books – this one was well done!

The pacing is pretty fast, almost too fast, to the point that it was jarring in a few areas. I was a little lost a few times because I would think they were in one person’s room but then suddenly they are in another place entirely and I missed the transition. The scenes that I could connect with were great! Dark to be sure, but I could almost see Raina fighting or dancing or…another ‘f’ work. The ending is what had me scratching my head the most because so much happened in a very short period. In the end it felt rushed, as though the author wanted to finish it and make sure it was set up for a third book. I did like the ending but it could have been spread out a little to expand on what was happening.

Overall

I’m still trying to process everything that happened in this book. Part of the reason I devoured the last 20% in one sitting and then needed to take a few days to decide how I felt about it. I’ll start off by saying that this book is much darker and more deprived then the first book. Not only are you twisting with the mystery but this book is just straight up twisted! There was one part was I was like “No, the author isn’t going to let that happen – it is too messed up.” Boy was I wrong! Positively shocking!

That being said, I did have a few things I didn’t like. There were a lot of historical inaccuracies and more then a few items a questioned. For example “slumber parties” and knowing was a microscope slide is before the 1900s. They had microscopes but they called them “sliders” in that era and were much different then what we know today. Plus I questioned Raina knowing what they were at all. Another issue was the types of drinks and how they ordered them. I know at least one of them was for a specific scene but ordering a drink “on the rocks” is a little too modern, plus ordering a rum and coke or long island iced tea. Rum and coke is possible but I questioned it because Coca Cola wasn’t invented until 3 years prior to the book’s time period and it was used as a medicine since it contained cocaine.

As a side note: this book needs a new cover. This cover just doesn’t do the book justice!

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down on Goodreads and up on Amazon)

In the end this book was better then the first in many respects! Raina was a fantastic character and I felt like the book followed her dark turn. There was an introspective effect to what was happening to Raina that made me really connect with her. Not  be able to relate to her but for sure ask that question – what would I do if this was me? I’d read the next book! If you like dark (and I mean DARK) vampire books – pick this up!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

 

#giveaway for The Sixth Gate

I’m giving away a signed copy and sewn bookmark for The Sixth Gate!

book1_the_sixth_gate_frontl.jpg

You could win these!

In July, The Sixth Gate released and I’d like to send a copy to someone who loved the prequel!

All you have to do is these three things:

  • Acquire a copy of The Gate Guardian’s Daughter (you get a free copy when you sign up for my MAILING LIST);
  • Read The Gate Guardian’s Daughter; and
  • Leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads (both to double your chances)!3

I’m only giving the opportunity to those who are on my mailing list – so make sure you sign up! You could win a copy of the book and the hand stitched bookmark.**

You have until September 30, 2017 to submit in a review. I’ll select (using a random selection program) and notify the winner the following weekend.

**If you live outside the United States (US) you can only win an unsigned copy of the book (not the bookmark).