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Promises by Ardyce Durham

As many fans of history know there are several ways to keep history alive and to record the events of the past. Author Ardyce Durham uses just one of those ways by researching the life of her paternal grandfather to find out the man had lived a very interesting life. She used these historical findings to put them into a very well told story that, although fiction,  gives us glimpses to a period many have forgotten.

Promises takes the reader back into the 1800’s prior to the Civil War and up thru and beyond.  The book opens with the reader getting an introduction to both the Walker and Cartwright families. The main characters are going to be a set of boys who were born just days apart. Their names are Owen Cartwright and Wes Walker.

The story will follow the lives of these two young men as they grow up into adult hood, and go off to war. The story will be filled with things from moments of comedy, to that of sorrow. One of the comedic pieces that stuck out to me is when the young men try chewing tobacco for the first time. I could almost imagine what they went thru as who has not tried something they shouldn’t as a child only to have it backfire and cause sickness.

There is also heartache and tragedy within the pages as often happened in the mid 1800’s whole families could be uprooted from their homes as they must move to where the work is to survive. This happens to both families when the local sawmill where both men work, shuts down. The families are forced to travel and find jobs and we find a lot of the original grit of the human spirit on how they react to these changes. We have to remember there are no paved roads, no cars and worse of all no CELL phones at this time. A trip that today, could be a few hours to a day trip by car on an express way took days, maybe weeks or months during this period.

The story will follow the boys as their families must move to a new town, a new way of living and how they adapt. We will read how they take up fighting in what can only be called an early fight club. The reader will have to take time to see how they do as I want to avoid a lot of spoilers. There again though we get a glimpse at the bond between the boys and also their families.  The bond forged thru their youth will take them into the Civil War and be part of what comes after that conflict.

Readers will get a sense of the bond the boys build throughout the book as they read the stories before and after the Civil War. I am sure there will be some who may suffer with the language used in the book. It’s in no way something you need to have fear about, it’s just that a lot of the language is period based. It fits the story and is something I enjoyed as it took me even more into the story.

There are some great characters developed within the pages of Promises by Author Ardyce Durham. She does a very good job at not just building the story between the boys but the scenery of the era the book takes place within. The backdrop of a strong bond between families, to that of the conflict that put families against families was brought to life with the writing. There are some moments of sorrow, love and anger within the pages but the book is a great telling of a story that is based on the life of the author’s grandfather.


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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Reviews


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Kin Ship by Author D.K. Snape

Kin ShipChildren of military parents are used to being taken out of school, the life and friends they have to move to their parent’s next base. It is something that becomes a reality for those children and can lead to new and exciting events for the children. In some cases they struggle to make new friends, and make connections but if strong they will be fine.

The question is what if you are not in the military and suddenly some strangers show up at school. Your father has sent them and you are to leave with this people immediately. They look human but do not quite act human, and the bag they use to pack your belongings in holds everything you have at school. The bag is then taken and folded up that it will fit in a pocket.

This may seem strange enough but things get a bit more unbelievable in the book Kin Ship, which is book one in series. A science fiction book written by author D.K. Snape and will bring something new to Aliens and how Earth was initially inhabited. The book has been published by Sirens Call Publications.

Kin Ship will take the reader into Marnie’s life as she is pulled out of school. We learn that the Earth has been on a planet wide alert for years as a strange event happened on the moon. The moon suddenly developed a “moustache” of sorts as something laid itself across the service. There is of course hints of panic, questions, Earth governments trying to posture to find what is that thing. This is something Marnie will find out largely due to the decisions her father makes that impacts his whole family.

As you read you will discover a very plausible theory on how the Earth found humans to be on the planet. There is a gene found within many individuals, like Marnie’s father, that make them candidates to travel the stars. The will find out that they are not the only ones and a large group of families from many types of lifestyles. These people will need to work together on their new journey and will have to form a community.

Author D.K. Snape does a great job of telling the story from the 15yr old Marnie’s mind. We read and learn to understand what has brought all these people together. There are of course aliens and the reason for the moustache on the moon will become known and discover it is called a Beigorri.

Kin Ship is a great read in the science fiction genre and does a great job of introducing new things into the genre. The aliens, their technology and mode of travel are unique and not something I personally have read before. The description of the special gene that makes some members of humanity special is also well defined. The book is part one of a series, so in hopes there will be more Marnie, her family and the aliens (the Euskadaz).

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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Reviews


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The Dragon and the Needle by Author Hugh Franks

Dragon&NeedleThe sad thing about humanity is that at some point in our life it will come to an end. I’m sure many want to life long and fruitful lives and not have a life snuffed out early. It is just another factor that some of us will die from disease, murder or even combat.

The book, The Dragon and the Needle by Author Hugh Franks, will take the reader into a world where people are dying through natural causes. The problem these are relatively healthy people and many are politicians or family members. One of those who are found dead is even the daughter of the United States President within the book. They are dying and meeting their end through a disease called Extraordinary Natural Death Syndrome, or the acronym of ENDS.

The book is told from the British experience and involves not just MI5, but the leadership of the government. The world’s health agencies are actively searching for the cause of ENDS and the deaths have been occurring at an alarming rate. There is no evidence on how the people have been killed but, the experts just know it is untimely wrong for the deaths to be happening. The fact it is the elite dying of course puts massive pressure and money into finding out why, and who may be to blame.

The book starts with a seemingly mundane car ride through the busy streets of London. A car ride that has the driver taking off before the passenger can even get the paper he purchased from a sidewalk vendor. The events seem nothing to extraordinary at this point as the setting just seems normal till something unexpected takes a turn and adds a light of danger that will run through the book. The event will send a shockwave into the investigation of ENDS and put all the pressure on one young British doctor.

The doctor, Mike Clifford, will have to follow in the footsteps of his mentor to unravel what is causing the disease. He will follow the notes and meet the well-known American acupuncturist, Eleanor Johnson, who may be able to help with his investigation. Eleanor having studied in China the art of acupuncture after her husband was murdered in a subway when they lived in the US. There will be some friction between the two at first, and some would say a bit “prickly” as west meets east in the medical discussions.  They will both have to put aside their misgivings to work toward finding out what ENDS is, and who is causing the deaths.

The Dragon and the Needle is a really good read. Author Hugh Franks does a great job of showing the reader how the prejudice of Eastern medicine could be hurting the western world. There are things that either side does not understand about the benefits of the use of both kinds of medicine. On top of this lesson there is a wide reaching cause of the disease and shows how the world must understand each other. I say this as to me it seems the fault in all of humanity, pride, comes into play within the pages of the book.

The characters are well developed and there is plenty of intrigue with the pages. There is some old fashioned cloak and dagger type of spying as well as background checks on both doctors. These experiences are told through Eleanor as she must be vetted by the US and British secret service agencies. This is what makes the book so enjoyable the ability for author Hugh Franks to capture the detail of so much and keep the story on point till its conclusion.

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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Reviews


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Red Desert – Point of No Return by Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

RedHumanity has been looking at the stars in the skies for the longest period of time. Cave drawings, pictographs and so much more has been used to write down the speculations of what is out in the vacuum of space. Drones have been sent to other planets, and satellites have encircled the world, yet we still look out into space. Currently there are those who want to land on the big red dot out in space, the planet called Mars.

Italian independent author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli dives into speculation on what could be on Mars in the novella, “Red Desert – Point of No Return”.  The novella will take the reader into the mindset of the crew of the Isis mission to Mars.

Isis is not the first attempt of humanity to colonize the planet, but the hope is they will have better results.  There was the Hera mission that had gone before, but those people died mysteriously. After so much time the Isis mission was sent and their arrival on the Red planet will also come with challenges.

The novella will take the reader into the mindset of Anna Persson, who has left the station and begun walking out into the vastness of the planet. She will tell the reader what has been happening on the planet since their arrival.

The first of four parts, Point of No Return, will live up to its name. Why? It’s simple Anna’s “stroll” out onto the planet is one way. She is burning up her oxygen supply as she continues her walk. The events on how she got to this point in life will be remembered. The eventual acts that pushed her out of the station and onto the red planet will also become very clear.

Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli does a great job in setting a story for the follow up novellas in the series. American readers may get a bit thrown off by some of her word choices, or spellings, but this is due to the book being written using British English. This fact will not take anything away from the book, and neither will the fact English is not her first language. The facts portrayed and story development show work was done to get the proper feeling for this novella. It is something that many will put down asking where’s the second part.  We may have to wait, but after this first entry into the series, it should be well worth the wait.

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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Reviews


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Famine: Book one of The Apocalyptics by Monica Enderle Pierce

Apocalyptics_Famine_600x800Famine is a word that most of us think of when we hear of a massive draught and crops dying. It’s a lack of food production that leads to the death of hundreds, if not thousands of people. It’s a word that often is used when talking about South Africa, although some history buffs will remember the 19th century potato famine in Ireland.  This historic famine caused many to leave their homeland, or die.

There is another version of Famine that many may not immediately think of when they hear the word. It is fortunate than that there are authors like, Monica Enderle Pierce, out there. She will introduce us all to the black rider, the bringer of death and destruction, the rumored third member of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.

Monica Enderle Pierce is the author of the book, Famine: Book one of The Apocalyptics. The book will introduce us to a myriad number of characters of which the key is not the ex-soldier Bartholomew, but a young girl named Matilde. The story will bring the reader into a turn of the century, the 20th century, struggle to stop the immortal Famine.  An era that saw the birth of the automobile and overland travel done by train, or horse.  A period where gaslight was used over the modern conveniences we know today.

The book will first introduce the reader to Bartholomew who for some reasons is besieged by crows.  It is during these first opening passages that we find out how old the man really is. I won’t spoil his age as it is best left to the reader to find out.  He despised the black winged creatures but knew they were the eyes of “The Catcher”. They wanted him to see something, or someone, and he knew he must follow to see what they wanted of him.  What he sees does not leave him much hope but leaves enough curiosity that he will remember what he sees.

It is just a bit later that the reader is introduced to the main antagonist of the book, and the one whose name graces the books title. The character is the black rider, the creature that consumes death and despair where it travels. The last thing to note, there is no reason for this character to be a hideous creature, but instead it’s a lovely woman. A woman that has Bartholomew in her control and will make him do things he does not wish to do.

Famine is an imposing character no matter you may sense from the character as you first are introduce. As the reader learns more about her and her cadaver army of followers, yes I wrote cadavers her nature will come out even more.

The book takes time to introduce each character including Bartholomew’s butler and maid (Mr. Vernon & Mrs. Henderson) you will get to care for these characters.  This is how Pierce writes most, if not all, of her characters within the book. They are well developed and as you learn more about each one it’s like pealing back a layer of coating to get to the original item below.  This is really evident as we become to know Matilde, who will become Bartholomew’s ward.

The story of Bartholomew’s past and how he becomes involved with Famine, and the Catcher, will show what formed this man. He is torn between two voices who wish nothing more than to control him. One wishes to stop Famine, while the other is the creature herself. She wants Bartholomew to bring the Catcher to her to ensure she can raise the other horseman.

The book will follow Bartholomew, Mr. Vernon, Mrs. Henderson and Matilde as they try and escape Famine. They will go to the ends of the country to escape her and as time passes the fear of Famine will not be far away. There are many aspects of this book that make it a great read. There is the suspense that is built as word of Famine will continue to find the group. There is the stress of keeping what Matilde’s fate holds for her secret as she is trained to be ready. There are also some moments of levity that help keep the reader grounded and being pulled too far into the darkness. There could be a reason for just such writing as you will find out what could lay in the darkness as you read.

Author Monica Enderle Pierce sets up a great story that will leave you wanting more in the pages of Famine: Book one of The Apocalyptics. The character development and settings created are done masterfully. You will be able to visualize some of the homes, business, streets, and people as you read. The book does have some violence and sexual overtones so just a warning to those with younger eyes. Overall though this is a great read and great start to the series.


Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Reviews


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Confessions of a Cyber Slut by Randi Zohr

I first havCybere to say don’t let this title scare you away from this book or bring you to the wrong assumptions regarding its subject matter. The book instead tells how a conservative woman gets out of small town America and into the big city and starts experiencing life. The book does have some suggestion language but overall the book is written in a safe manner, and includes some great humor.

Confessions of a Cyber Slut will take the reader into the fictional world of its main character Randi, or Miss Randi. Those with kids in daycare, or school, will get the Miss Randi comment and yes the main character is a teacher. She is not just a teacher but also does volunteer work that brings her to Alaska.

Author Randi Zohr writes the book so it almost reads like a diary. As you turn the pages you learn more and more about who this Miss Randi is. You get to learn how she grew up as a country girl and did not have the greatest self-esteem. She is a woman in her early 30’s that still has her purity intact in more ways than one.  Also a woman who never saw herself as beautiful and attractive and although living in a warm climate still enjoys layering her clothing to have ample protection from the men she will meet.

As the reader begins reading the book they will get an introduction to the character. There will be information on how Randi first starts in the cyber world through dating sites. There will be men of all types that she will meet while online, and some she will meet in person. It’s those interactions and how she learns to deal with the real and cyber world that is truly told within the pages of this book.

The author does a great job in developing not only the lead characters but the men who enter her life. There is even a small primer at the beginning of the book that will give the reader a brief introduction to the men. The one thing I want to add is a comment from the back of the book jacket that does a great job in giving a description of what will be found in the book. This is not a direct quotation but is rather close. In simple words the reader will find how Randi kissed many frogs but finds out that many are just horny toads.  It’s a sad statement but does give an insight into the online dating world.

Confessions of a Cyber Slut, does a great job into taking the reader into that online dating world. As you read this book you will get to see how the realities of life outside of a conservative world may not have prepared Randi for this new world. However, the reader gets to see how well she will adapt to this world through tongue and cheek humor and great storytelling by author Randi Zohr.

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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Reviews


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The Dead of Night by L.C. Mortimer

Dead of NightPaige Bowers was just another small town girl in a college town. She was going to classes and doing pretty well due to her study habits. She had an idea on what she wanted to be in life and is a focused student.

The big problem with being so focused is that you can miss the little things around you. You can miss the fact that the streets of your city are not busy. There are less people in class, and even the dorms. It is even worse when a professor in one of your classes must point this fact out to you as you maybe “there” but not fully there.

Paige does have enough sense to ask her teacher, Dr. Bales, about what his thoughts are regarding a flu virus everyone is being told to get. It appears that this year’s strain is even more dangerous as the government has been pushing everyone to get the shot. The problem for her is that she has parents that are a bit alarmist. Her mother, more than her father, is one to believe shots are not healthy. There are things in the shots that could harm a person, and she had kept Paige from getting many shots when she was still an infant.  So, after a talk with her mom, there is no shot being taken by this young college student.

The one thing you must ask yourself is how you would react when a teacher tells you to purchase a few emergency supplies. I for one would question why, much like Paige and as you heed his words of wisdom you may find out you have been missing out on a large picture that has been developing all around you.

As that picture comes into focus you will find power outages, people panicking and rushing stores and gas stations. The dorms are nearly empty and worst that phones are nearly useless and everyone is being told to stay indoors. If you are fortunate, you know of a small shop and will be able to get some of the supplies others are rushing to large stores for. It may also help that you have parents who have been hoarding and have prepped you for the worst case scenario and you have a bug out bag ready.  Why is this all helpful? Well as you read LC Mortimer’s book The Dead of Night you will find that Paige had missed quite a bit and will have to face a new world.

The book takes the reader into a realm where death is nearly unavailable, panic is the root of disaster, and humanity is its own worst enemy. It’s a story that will bring the reader into a well-developed world and the mind of a young woman just trying to get home. It will not be easy as major roads are sure to be cluttered with people running for their lives. Supplies will run short at stores and vandalism and crime will become critical to stay alive for humanity.  It’s how Paige deals with all of this that is the forefront of the book.

L.C. Mortimer does a great job of bring the reader into this girls world, and what it encompasses. You will live through her eyes as she travels and wonder if you’d make the right choice. Could you leave others to escape, or try to save them? What if they don’t listen? What if you are too tired to go and just need to sleep? How do you face others you meet?

All of these questions will be asked as one reads the book. It’s a book that makes great use of the surroundings that are established within the pages. A book that will keep you interested and keep you reading.  Simply a book that is sans zombies but you find out there are monsters in the world, and they also walk on two feet.

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Reviews


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