Doctor Bell Anthology: Tinnitus Terror Tales by Jan L Mayes

Summary:

Horror. Humour. Educational. Dr. Bell is determined to find the cure for tinnitus (ear noise). No matter what it takes. No matter how high his dry cleaning bill is. It’s hard to get blood out of a white lab coat. Warning: violence and coarse language. Not for the faint of ear.

Overall

This is an outlandish horror with a level of bizarre that as each story is told, more strange than the last, it is hard not to question how Dr. Bell continues to get away with such ‘experiments.’ Thankfully just as the most tragic story is told, the author switches to Dr. Bell’s ‘punishment.’ I will be honest in saying the ending was disappointing. Without giving anything away I expected Dr. Bell to get his comeuppance…

A vivid horror of incompetence with a Machiavellian lead. If you are looking for a creepy set of horror stories about medical disasters, this is for sure worth your time. Leaves one shuddering. Also a bit of a lesson on blindly following authority. (As a side note: I could see how this could be offensive to those with Tinnitus, so be warned.)

Rating

3 Stars

Creepy and bizarre this set of short stories about medical disasters to cure a terrible disease will leave you squeamish.

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Pets and Masters in Space: Part 1: The First Voyage by Elfa Todari

Summary:

A young adult female, her cat and a technologically advanced telepathic adolescent alien male struggle to understand each other, themselves and their ever-changing world on a journey into outer space.
One million years in the future, Antaska accepts employment with an alien who will take her and her cat on an exploratory trip into space. Unknown to her, the aliens (Verdantes) hire human companions because they want them as pets. M. Hoyvil, her 650-year-old adolescent alien supervisor (in actuality her new owner), does not realize that although humans are assumed to be non-telepathic, she has some telepathic abilities and understands some of his conversations.
Antaska is soon distracted from the confusing sounds she hears by the inappropriate attentions of an un-Earthly attractive human male fitness instructor. Both he and his human female partner are irresistibly beautiful and incredibly powerful due to genetic manipulation in the aliens’ birth labs. The female becomes jealous and takes violent action against Antaska, always staying within the bounds of what is allowed by the Verdantes in her role as Antaska’s martial arts trainer.
In order to resolve a situation spiraling toward increasing violence and betrayal, Antaska must confront her own human but destructive desires. In his own desire to protect her, M. Hoyvil fights against the adult authority that has set strict limits on interference with humans. His martial arts master, a psychic Verdente adult, predicts that the conflicts he and Antaska are experiencing will prepare them for even greater dangers they will face in deep space. Part 1 ends with an emotional bond beginning to form between the three main characters as they land at the first stop on their journey, the home planet of the Verdante.

Overall

This was not a romance. It was a cute short story that could easily be a sci-fi adventure, but not a romance. I really struggled with the character of Antaska, but by the end she had redeemed herself. M. Hoyvil and her cat, Potat, made up for it though! (Gosh I loved that kitty.) The book does a far amount of head hopping which was confusing on more than one occasion as there are no clear transitions. The setting was vivid and interesting. The plot was a slow and uninteresting for most of the first half but after a key chapter happens about half way through, the book gets more interesting and quite enjoyable.

Rating

3 stars

Although this wasn’t a romance (as it was originally categorized) it was a cute enjoyable little book. Just get over the first little hump and know that Antaska will be less annoying in the second half, and you’ll be sure to fly right through it!

This is a voluntary review.

Dust and Ashes (Prosperine Trilogy 0.5) by P.J. McDermott

Summary:

In 2095 AD, near Hierapolis in Turkey, an elderly priest is exploring an archaeological dig looking for ancient artefacts. Inside a nearby cave, he discovers a chamber containing a limestone burial box.

What does the box contain? The answer will take the world to the brink of an apocalyptic war and change the future of the human race.

This 10,000 word short story is the prequel to the scifi—fantasy adventure, the Prosperine Trilogy, featuring the space heroine Hickory Lace. It takes place eighty-four years before the first book in the series, Avanaux, and deals with the cataclysmic events on the planet Earth leading to the formation of the Alien Corps.

Overall

This short story packs a punch. A lot happens in a very short number of pages and it was expertly written. Absolutely fascinating take on Christianity and the future of religion without being preachy. Easy to read with vivid scenes and enough characters to make me wonder where it was going next. For sure sucked me into the world the author painted.

I did doubt the coincidence at the start of the book, however.  The timing right at the start of an Earthquake happening and they just happen to be there. Once I got over that small hurdle I really enjoyed it.

Rating

4 stars

If I had to pick one saying for this short story, I’d say ‘pleasantly surprised.’

This review is voluntary.

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.

Wandering Storm by Noor Al-Shanti

Summary:

Loud banging resounded throughout the house. The housekeeper pushed a servant aside and wrenched the door open angrily. A man stood on the threshold, dripping rain and mud and blood. A stormy night brings Wandering sailors to a sleepy farming town in the High Kingdoms. (Short Story in the Tales from the Circle Series)

Overall

This had a very interesting setting, on the high seas, but some of the imagery of the setting was lost on me. After the rocky beginning some of it cleared up and I was able to connect more with this fantasy based novel. This seems like it was a short story meant to go to a bigger story and without knowing the bigger story, this was not as clear or enjoyable.

I enjoyed the second half of the story more, even though I was still a little lost, I was captivated! This is where the author’s ability really shined. The settings, the plot coming together, and the characters taking on more life. It was an interesting narration. I wouldn’t say this is a young adult, but it is clean enough that young adults could easily enjoy.

Rating

3 stars

It was okay. A little unformed, but vividly fascinating! I think if I had read the main book and then this one, I would enjoyed this more.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Mindfulness: 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge: Step-By-Step Guide to Living a Stress-Free & Happy Life (Mindfulness for Beginners) by Rachael Thompson

Summary

Who Will Benefit from this Book?

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge can be used alone or as a companion to the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness in a World of Chaos. If you have heard of mindfulness, perhaps read a bit about it, or even tried one of the popular coloring books, but have not experienced a significant change in stress level or happiness this book will help. It provides the perfect beginner’s guide to implement mindfulness every day.

What You Can Expect

The challenge is broken into four, weekly sections, with one bonus day to begin the challenge and another to end the challenge. Each week has a different focus to facilitate optimal learning at each stage of mindful skill development.

Overall

An interesting concept for sure. I went ahead and did the first week of mindfulness. It starts you out slow and lets you build throughout the weeks. I liked the introspective look it made you take. As a person who prides myself on knowing my strengths and weaknesses, I could see the benefit to those that feel their locus of control is constantly threatened by chaos. What I struggled with was the cookie cutter ideas that didn’t give alternatives to accommodate different personalities. I believe it was a little short sighted in that regard. That being said it was a great introduction to managing stress and I’d recommend this short read to those who would like a quick step by step approach.

Rating

4 Stars

A short read that doesn’t overwhelm the reader and could instill helpful stress reducing habits. If you don’t have something that helps reduce stress – this might be for you.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Lover in Hell: A Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal Romance by Dia Cole

Summary:

Ever since the Z-virus wiped out humanity, Eden spends her days rescuing animals from the undead and her nights avoiding Mike—the sexy alpha male soldier who wants to claim her for his own. He’s too intense, dominating, and overprotective—everything Eden doesn’t want in a man. Even worse, his smoldering gaze weakens her resolve to swear off men forever. But when a routine supply run goes horribly wrong, the unthinkable happens—Eden becomes infected. Now, trapped for the night with Mike, and with only twenty-four hours left to live, Eden must decide if she wants to die a virgin or experience mind-blowing passion in the arms of a man who would follow her to hell.

Overall:

This is a short story but the plot felt all romance. There are times I almost wanted to roll my eyes, but never quite did – this book walks that line. Eden is almost silly in her love of animals but actually in makes sense. In desperate times, it could see someone wanting to hold onto their humanity when the world goes to Hell. Mike was very much a strong male who wanted to continually protect Eden.

The writing style is interesting and very easy to read. I actually really enjoyed the author’s writing style. The zombies are creepy and the author does a great job weaving them in as a subplot. This book did leave me wanting…but almost too much. It just sort of ends abruptly, which felt like – ‘okay the romance is done…story over.’ That being said there were lots of hints of other issues that could be explored in a sequel (I won’t name them, but there were at least three that I found).

Rating

4 Stars

Easy to read in one sitting with action and steamy scenes…I only wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly.

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review. **As a complete side note…I don’t really like the cover…**