Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Christian Bookshelf Reviews: It's Talk Like A Pirate Day and Me Birthday! Guest...

Christian Bookshelf Reviews: It's Talk Like A Pirate Day and Me Birthday! Guest...: Ahoy, ye mateys! Today be "Talk Like a Pirate" day and me birthday! Me be very honored that MaryLu Tyndall will be joinin' us today wit...

Remnants of Another Yesterday: My Review

Title: Remnants of Another Yesterday
Author: Johan van Nierop
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 481
Published: Self


Available at:
LuluiBookstore



Blurb:
Share in the trials and tribulations plaguing estranged and troubled brothers, Paul and Steve Stanton, as they struggle with morality and mortality throughout their lives, attempting to find the meaning and reason for their return to the town of their youth; a town that has recently lost its innocence to murder and corruption. Their tale chronicles encounters with people from different walks of life through the passage of time; each influencing and shaping their own and others' destinies in joy, sorrow, sacrifice and the pursuit of redemption. A slice of the grand unknown that is life, as lived through the eyes of each of the characters.
Expert #1
1.
The silver Smith and Wesson 9mm clicked as the full magazine clip was slid up into it. Bob
slowly slid it back into the suspender holster beneath his tanned suede jacket. He walked
gradually towards the door of motel room 9. It was going to have to be a quick and shipshape
job. He’d need to enter and exit hastily, do Joe, and then make like a library and book. In their
ongoing road-going game, there had been instances where they had used silenced weapons to get the job done; instances that required a job more akin to the finesse of professional hit men than two hired thugs. Jobs that had to be carried out in densely populated areas, where a gunshot heard could put the cops on their trail in less than five minutes; jobs that demanded for silent assassins. This contract in town, however, did not call for such stealthy and hidden operations, and alas, Bob would need to work around the fact that he didn’t have a silencer for what lay imminently ahead. Putting an un-silenced bullet in Joe in this place would be less risky than some of the contracts that they had previously undertaken, but it was sure to prompt someone (probably the manager, and owner) of the fleabag motel they were staying at to reach for the phone faster than a fat man at a dessert buffet, grabbing for the last slice of blueberry pie that had caught his ravening eye and call the law. Seeing that it was neither New Year’s Eve nor the fourth of July, the chances would be very slim that he would mistake the pop from the exploding brass cartridge as that of an exploding firecracker. Cops will thus be called and lowlife’s hunted: fact. But like every thuggish villain, Bob was very industrious and ingenious with circumventing that little problem of pending audible menace. Pillows make the unlikeliest, yet most effective do-it-yourself apparatus for silencing gunshots; that, of course, a technicality thoroughly dependent on the actual caliber of the firearm used. It is no use trying to silence a .50 caliber with a haemorrhoid-friendly ass cushion. That would be somewhat like trying to block out the sound of a stick of dynamite exploding two feet away by merely covering your ears with your hands. Still, no rocket science or PhDs were required to figure out what would work the best for Bob’s dilemma. Two normal bed pillows would convert the loud pop to a hushed phip with no problem at all. The underprivileged murderer’s homemade silencer would do the trick, which consequently meant none-the-wiser manager’s that could ring 911-rent-a-pig. The biggest and certainly the most daunting challenge that awaited Bob was actually getting Joe to submit to being in the path of the deadly pillows. Joe also had a piece of his own. That presented a new level of risk, though Bob was pretty sure that Joe wouldn’t have quick access thereto when he drew his gun. When he had left to call Ed, Joe was still sitting on the couch next to the window with the roadside view. He was dressed in casuals; jeans with no shoes and a vest. His gun was probably lying on the coffee table a few feet away. Bob would be quicker on the draw, for sure.
Well, he had to be, not so? It wasn’t going to be such a quick and risk-free job after all, Bob
thought as he reached for the door handle. Still, he’d figure a way out to do it. He didn’t have
any other alternative.
The door was still unlocked as it had been at the time he had stormed out of the room. He
entered. Joe was still sitting in the same spot as before, with his eyes closed in the dimly lit
smoke hazed room. Bob approached carefully.
“Trying to sneak up on me, eh?” Joe suddenly spoke from his slouched couch position, his
eyes still closed. The unexpected words had given an already nervous Bob a fair jolt. How the
hell was he going to pull this off if he couldn’t even enter the room without closed-eyes Joe
knowing he was there?
“Bastard! Always had a sixth sense, you.” Bob tried to conceal his real reasons for his
stealthy arrival by making a mockery out of being caught out. Joe opened his eyes and shifted
into a more upward position on the couch. Bob’s eyes skimmed the room for any sight of his
partner’s pistol. It wasn’t on the coffee table like he had hoped, but his eyes could also not detect its presence on Joe or in his immediate vicinity; a blessing without disguise.
“So where the hell did you storm off to just now in your pissy state?” Joe asked, as he shook
a cigarette from out of its confinement in the crumpled soft pack.
“Nowhere special, just went for a walk,” Bob said as his left hand crept towards the inside of
his jacket. Joe glanced over at his moving hand, inducing Bob to start scratching an invented itch of subtle misdirection. It had invoked no shape or mode of suspicion from Joe.
“For a walk, eh?” Joe dampened his words through lips stretched tight at the right-hand
corner of his cigarette-clasping mouth. He was busy fidgeting in the crevices where the
cushioning of the couch met the armrests and then directed his attention to the deep, dark realm
that lurked from beneath the couch. He straightened out from his bent-over position and placed a coin that he had found under the couch on the coffee table in front of him.
“Mmm,” he muttered with the cigarette in his mouth and continued mining beneath the
couch. He was leaning forward with his back turned to Bob. Bob’s hand crept to within his
jacket and gripped the butt of the Smith and Wesson.
“Got a light on you?” Joe asked, still in his curved-over position.
“Yeah, sure thing, buddy. Got a light right here in my pocket.” He withdrew the gun from its
holster and pointed it in the direction of Joe. Bob had the upper hand now. He’d force Joe to
walk to one of the beds in the bedroom where he would take two pillows and end his life.
“You know I lied about that walk, right? It wasn’t just for shits and giggles. I called up Ed,
spoke to him . . .” Bob spoke to Joe as he cocked the Smith and Wesson into loaded mode. Joe stopped his couch-rummaging for a moment when he heard the click and continued again as if nothing had happened.
“You know what he said, my old buddy? He said that I can have your share if I take you
out,” Bob almost whispered the last few words to Joe in a voice weighed down with conceit.
“And being the stand-up loyal friend that you are, you naturally told him to stick it up his ass,
right?’ Joe answered with his back still turned to Bob.
“Well now, if I did, well then, guess you wouldn’t have heard my gun cock back just now.
You see . . . I’ve been giving this some thought now. This situation between you and me. All the
stuff that has happened in this last week or so . . . and you know what, Joe? I think it would be in our best interests to do what Ed had told,” Bob said as he pointed the gun at his partner-incrime’s back.
“That so? Now when you say in our best interests, that actually means your best interests,
right?” Joe spoke from his faceless position, blasé and calm as if he were a man without a care in the world, let alone one that had a gun pointed at him at this instant.
“Well, now that you put it that way, my old friend, I guess you do have a point. Too bad it
had to be this way, Joey boy, just doing what you would’ve done in my situation. I mean, think
about it, Joe. You’ve lost it in the time we’ve been here. Lost that thing that used to make you
indispensable. You’ve gone soft, burnt out, not worth keeping on anymore. You’ve become just another expendable nobody, just another contract. You’ve always been cleverer than me, Joe, but not today. You should have seen this coming, my old friend, just more proof that you’ve struck out, that you’ve come to the end of your line.” Joe still hadn’t turned around from his crouched position to face his betrayal. His Judas with the gun pointing at his back.
“Fair enough. Still need that light, though,” Joe answered, cool and composed. If it weren’t
for his good fortune, Bob would have surely pitched a fit of rage at Joe’s tranquil and unfazed
demeanour, whilst death was on his doorstep.
“Sure thing, buddy, guess it’s the least I can do for you.” Bob reached into his jacket pocket,
feeling for the book of matches that was in hiding.
“You know what, Bob? You’re right. I may have lost it and may have even burnt out, but
you’re wrong about something,” Joe said, finally taking hold of what was under the couch.
“Yeah, and what may that be?” Bob asked with a smug look on his face as he produced the
matches.
“I did see it coming,” Joe said as he leapt up from his position on the couch, turning around
in a flicker of time as the bullet exploded from the dark cavity of his gun barrel. The 9mm
projectile hit Bob square in his chest. For a second or two they stood there in the silence and the gun smoke. Bob had a look that projected more of an incomprehensible fascination on his face, rather than one of disjointed perplexity at what had just happened. He looked down at the
expanding bloodstain beneath his jacket.
“Sneaky bastard,” he said with that bemused look of a man that couldn’t really make sense of
what had just happened, but captivated with it nonetheless. He pulled the trigger of the firearm
clasped in his hand. He hit Joe somewhere in the region of his stomach, causing him to
momentarily recoil at the flesh-penetrating impact. Bob’s hand grew weak and his grip released
on the butt of the pistol, sending it crashing down onto the motel room’s brown carpet. He
staggered left until he hit wall, trying to balance himself, but then he also went crashing down to
the floor. Bob sat slumped over to his right-hand side, with his left hand trying to hold back the
blood gushing from his wound. Joe left his wound to bleed and stumbled over to where Bob was sitting. There was a big dark puddle starting to form on the brown carpet around Bob. He tried to reach for his pistol as Joe slowly and off-balance approached, but his arms seemed to be nothing
more than two heavy pieces of lame meat hanging beside him. His hand had also now slid off the weeping hole punctured in his chest. Joe left a trail of blood behind him as he walked closer to Bob and finally fell against the wall beside him. He looked at Bob’s pallid face and into his
depleting eyes.
“You see, the trouble is, I’ve known people like you and me my whole life. Valueless
miscreants whose only talent is destroying others’ lives. But you know what I have realised, old
Bob? One hundred of our lives put together are not worth one of those that we have taken. The
road has become too long and too far now and I ain’t walking it no more. We have created
nothing, but have destroyed everything. No more. I have just two more lives to take and then it’s done. It all ends here today. It all ends with us,” Joe said as both men lay, systematically expiring on the carpet of a cheap motel room floor. Bob glared at Joe with the last hints of defiance in his eyes and started laughing almost hysterically. He shook his head and shifted it closer to that of Joe’s. He looked him in the eyes with ridicule and disdain.
“You will never escape from this,” he said as a stream of blood trickled from his mouth.
“I know,” Joe said with a sombre smile of finality on his face. “But neither will you,” he said
as he raised the pistol against Bob’s forehead and pulled the trigger. The back end of his head
splattered against the floral wallpaper as the bullet exited through his skull. He slumped down,
leaving a smear of bloody pulp signifying his trajectory of decent. Joe looked at the dead corpse of his long-time companion in misery and death. Only one more life to take and then it would all be done. He fell over to his left and dragged himself by his arms across the carpet to the notepad lying on the coffee table, next to the telephone. He reached for it and took the pen out from its oval compartment affixed to the spine. His hand started shaking and grew weak as he tried to hang on to consciousness, admitting his guilt in the murder of others. But he had grown too weak to remember who they were. He ripped the page from the notepad with his bloodied hand and crept the last mile across the room to where his deceased partner lay. He forced himself up against the wall and adopted a sitting position. With his last fading lucidity, Joe wrote a footnote on the bloodstained page:
Thank God.
This monstrous life has finally ended.
He crumpled the paper against his chest and placed the barrel of the gun in his mouth. As he
closed his eyes, he hoped that he would see heaven. He inhaled as a solemn smile appeared on
his closed eyelids. Heaven is no place for monsters. He pulled the trigger. Somewhere in one of
the motel rooms a woman was screaming and a child was crying. It was finally done. Ended.
Faded to black.
Expert #2
3.
The creek hadn’t lost its magic throughout all of the years that it had been an integral part in
the lives of the town’s children. Generations had played their different daydream games in the
same waters that Andy and Kyle now embraced. In a sense the creek was as much of a town
monument as town hall or the old church built by the first inhabitants deciding to settle down
here. Great-grandparents, grandparents, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters throughout the timelines spent countless hours growing up in its cool waters on hot summer days. In the ripples of these waters history was written. It was a place of memory, a silent testament remembering those who had come and gone throughout the course of time. It was a place that had the ability to purify and cleanse those who called upon it from all the troubles and discord of the outside world. A place of forgetfulness and a place without sin. A place that was there long before the birth of the town. A place that will be there long after its death. Unbeknown to Andy and Kyle, these waters were once the playground of another band of brothers: Paul and Steve. But with the passing of time, the innocent waters were forgotten and they drifted apart in the currents of life.
The consecrated water washed off their existence by the poisons and corruption of the world.
Their happiness turned into sadness, their presence here, a silent memory.
4.
With the escalation of environmental concern, a town proclamation was passed to ensure the
shielding of the creek against pollution and other vices. The local authorities did not overlook the importance of this place in the context of the town. Many of them had also called the creek a home away from home during their growing years and the preservation thereof was thus of
paramount importance. The creek was, after all, a place for children. A place that ensured a
wholesome development whilst at the same time safeguarding their innocence and virtue.
Swimming, playing, and messing about in the water protected children from the tempting vices
of the outside world. Drugs, hooliganism, and underage sex were a beast mostly confined to the
parameters of the cold and concrete world of the city. Technology was on the increase and more and more kids spent most of their young and formative years growing up two to four feet from a television or computer screen. The creek offered a substitute to this life of technological house arrest. Too many children were now being held hostage by the surge of electronic gadgets and gizmos. Thus, in order to curtail the evolution of a new species with square, pixelated eyes, the town did all that it could muster to rip their children away from lounge lives of isolation and into the creek: into a place of friendship and interaction, of activity and cultivation. Life in town was systematically changing; there was no doubt of that. Some of the unsavoury of the outside world had found a way to sow its seeds in the streets and the homes of the townspeople. But then again, the place wasn’t called “Perfection” and somewhere along the line certain vices were always going to be unable to eradicate. Still, the town had something that was special and conducive to innocence: the calm creek between the big old Weeping Willow trees. Winston was right in persuading his son to stay in town for the sake of his children. This was one of the last good places to raise a family. A place where they could grow up in due course to become upstanding young men. A place that still had some purity left.
 Expert #3
4.
But tonight wasn’t as clear as yesterday or even the night before. The translucent black skies
illuminated by its infinite radiating stars did not present itself on this addiction-filled night. The
light shining from the yellow moon and stars were shrouded by a copious veil of charcoalcoloured clouds. Ominous, menacing, and portentous looking clouds, stretching as far as the eye could see, blotting out whatever deep nightlight tried to fight its way from beyond the ozone to shine upon the earth; covering the way to the store, stealing light and replacing it with shadow.
Long, ubiquitous shadows. Julie felt a chill run down her spine, U-turn at her coccyx, and follow the same neuron back up her vertebrae to where it had originated. She, like most human beings would testify, always remain a bit circumspect of the dark. Call it the echoes of childhood Nyctophobia: an irrational fear of the dark tormenting the very core of most children when that light of refuge clicks off just before bedtime, the luminosity that kept them safe from all of the creatures of the night, now gone. Creatures that up until that moment had been nothing more than a dormant thought. Creatures that have now been awakened by the breath of shadow and darkness, filling the spaces with an expanding black mass of evil. Sinister eyes of something unimaginable peering from the partially open closet; deep, rasping breathing from below the bed (which always conveniently sports a base high enough from the floor to harbour an incarnate spawn from nightmare, as if bed manufacturers deliberately want to traumatise young children into bedwetting for shits and giggles). Sure, most people will claim that they have outgrown this fear of all things enveloped in shadow as they grow older, but in most cases that fear never really passes. It just becomes more manageable, more substituted by other rigors in life as time passes.
But it never truly disappears. The instinctual fear of things that we cannot see, but know are
there: peril of what the mysterious unseen may hold in store. An abdication of wanting to make
footsteps into the unknown.
5.
Julie increased her pace, shaking the feeling of hard, long talons of darkness scraping over
the nape of her back down her shoulders, which had knotted up with recoil. She didn’t like the
dark one bit. Suddenly she felt very young again. Staring at the closet doors in her room after
Mother had shut the light off. Hoping, praying that God would have an angel or two to spare, to
patrol as doormen in front of the closet of evil where she could feel in her very bones that she
was being watched. To prevent whatever was inside from escaping as soon as she closed her
eyes, and . . .

Biography:

Johan van Nierop was born in South Africa in 1981. He studied Law at the University of Natal and was later admitted as an attorney.  Following the publication of his first novel, Remnants of Another Yesterday, he decided to pursue a career in writing, for it is only when writing that he feels most complete. 

Contact:
remnantsofanotheryesterday@gmail.com




My 4 Star Review:
I was so surprised to meet a fellow South African on Book Blogs so when he asked for a review I jumped at the opportunity. Here is my thoughts.
A clear message were send in this book. Making decisions based on circumstances and feelings in your life and it would steer you on the wrong path. No matter how good the intentions at the time, explaining it to yourself in a believable script the end result will be: you will eat from the fruit of that decisions.We meet a family of three, Earl Stanton, his eldest son Paul and Steve the youngest and the heartache they faced for wrong choices. We walk with them through their developing years to see where mistakes were made. Bonds made in the rush of the moment were not honored and guilt and rejection took its place. Which sculptured their future leaving a father alone in his own failures as a man. Which brings us to the topic of the book mortality and morals. The author did a wonderful work explaining this in a detailed plot that spanned over years with in depth study laced with profanity, heart ache and the one question we all face. Why me God?The strong characters of each of the men in the story brought out the human race in its ugliest but also in its beauty. Moments that cause you to pink a tear away. The effects what people can do to each other in the name of greed and the unexpected care when a person act differently when you expect it the least.At times there was just to much detail that bordered on rambling but the author allowed the story to flow and develop into a good read. Well done Johan I hope we can expect more books from you soon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Devil's Mountain: My Review and Enter to win your copy


                Title: Devil's Mountain (Devlin Legacy #1)
Author: Bernadette Walsh
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Length: 122 pages
Genres: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance (Horror)
Heat Level: Steamy

AVAILABLE AT

 BLURB
You will hate Him for all that he's taken, but you will love Him. God help you, you will love Him. Mary Devlin accepted her fate years ago, to serve Slanaitheoir, the mountain spirit who saved her ancestors from the Irish Famine. The hauntingly beautiful woman submitted to His every caress, His every humiliation, but He’s gone too far by threatening her family. Mary’s daughter-in-law is now an unwitting pawn in the fickle spirit’s game. Mary must challenge her fate and that of all future Devlin women, but Slanaitheoir is the most powerful being in the land. And when part of her still yearns for His touch and love, how can she fight him and win? 
R-RATED EXTENDED EXCERPT:
Marcie, one of the Wanna-Be Manhattan Moms who had also experienced success, lived a few blocks away on East 85th Street. A group of successful Wanna-Be Manhattan Moms had formed a little Upper East Side sorority. We would go to Mommy-and-Me classes, play dates and at times babysat for each other. I’m not sure exactly what happened to the not-so-successful Wanna-Be Manhattan Moms. None of us mentioned them.
 Marcie agreed to babysit Aidan while I went to my acupuncture appointment at the Yorktown Natural Fertility Clinic. Bobby refused to go back to the New York Infertility Institute. In fact, it was all I could do to convince him not to use condoms. “I’ve got my beautiful wife and my beautiful son,” he said in a sing-song voice whenever I raised the topic of another child. “That’s all I want. That’s all I need.”Why wasn’t that all I needed?The first few months of Aidan’s life, I was completely satisfied. I’d never been so happy or imagined I could be so happy.But then, the old familiar niggling started. I’d take Aidan in his stroller through Central Park and see a woman pushing twins in a stroller. Or a mother holding the hands of a small boy and a girl. And I would get that sour taste in my mouth, the same one I had tasted for years whenever I saw a pregnant woman.
 And so it began.
 I couldn’t very well steal a vial of Bobby’s sperm and take it with me back to Dr. Feinberg’s office. But we had, somehow, managed to conceive Aidan on our own. Perhaps with some Chinese herbs and acupuncture we could conceive again. Marcie swore by acupuncture, and after she had been thrown out of two Manhattan IVF clinics she tried traditional Chinese medicine and conceived her own miracle baby. Why couldn’t I too, conceive a little miracle baby with the help of magic teas and shiny needles?
 Just one more, I thought to myself as I opened the heavy glass doors of the Yorktown Natural Fertility Clinic. “Just one more miracle. And then. Then I’ll be happy and content.”
 I promise, I silently swore to God, the universe or whoever else might be listening to my thoughts.



A row of needles lined my bare stomach. They were in my ears, on my wrists and even between my toes. The acupuncturist, a hippy-looking woman in her mid-fifties with frizzy red hair, twisted the needles between my toes once more before she lowered the lights and left the room.
 The first five minutes were always the hardest. Inevitably at least one of the needles would burn. Dr. Hippy-Dippy said that meant it was working. It was all I could do not to rip the offending thing out.
 I breathed in and out slowly, and tried to focus on my breathing, on anything rather than the needles. As I lay in the darkened room, with only the sound of a small fan to block out the traffic from Second Avenue, my shoulders, which had felt like they were jacked up below my ears, relaxed. I continued my purposeful breathing and closed my eyes.
 Someone took my hand. I opened my eyes and was no longer on the table, but clothed in a long red robe and standing in a forest. And the most beautiful man held my hand.
 “My love,” He said, His voice harsh and guttural. And somehow familiar.
 A lone ray of sunlight made its way through the heavy woods and shone on His black hair. His pale skin glowed and His jade eyes glittered in the low light. They drew me in.
 Without another word He led me to a roaring fire outside of a cave. The fire was hot, and a small bead of sweat formed on my upper lip. The man unbuttoned the red robe and took it from my shoulders. Underneath I wore only a thin sheath of white silk that hid nothing from His probing gaze.
 I should have been embarrassed, but the hungry look in His hypnotic eyes stirred a fire within me. With a finger, he gently followed the lines of my plump, full breast.
 “So ripe,” He whispered in a harsh rasp. “So fertile.”
 That word hit me like a hard slap. I turned away. “No,” I choked out, “I’m not.”
 He pulled me to Him, His lips mere inches from my own. His musky breath filled my
 nose. “You could be.” His lips covered mine. At first soft, like the finest silk, but then more forceful, moreurgent. My passion soon met His and I couldn’t help but run my fingers through His magical hair as he devoured my lips.
 He tore the sheath in two and it fell away from me, leaving me naked. His green gaze bore through me, and it was almost as if I could feel the very cells of my body change. My breasts felt heavier and skin softer, my lips fuller. It was as if He transferred His own beauty to me. I ran my hands across my face first, and then my breasts, my nipples, taut and tender. Instead of being embarrassed, I reveled in my newfound beauty.
 My skin was hot but His hands were hotter and they almost burned my flesh as they explored every inch of me. Every touch brought both pleasure and pain.
 I pulled at His golden shirt, eager to see all of Him and He seemed surprised by my daring, my need for Him. He smiled, like a wolf about to catch His prey, and ripped the silk from His body as well.
 This nameless man pushed me onto the soft grass beside the fire. Starting at my toes, His scalding tongue sucked and bit me. As He traveled up my calf and along my thighs, I trembled, not with fear, but with a hunger I’d never felt before. A ravenous, ancient hunger.
 He spread my legs and His rough, scalding tongue explored me, possessed me. Before I could climax, He stopped.
 “Don’t,” I begged. “Don’t stop.” His animal gaze bored into me. “Are you mine?” I threw my head back and arched my back, inviting Him to enter me. “Yes, yes. Go on!”
 “Are you mine? Will you give me what I want?”
 My skin was on fire, dying for His touch. “Anything,” I moaned.
 A terrible smile contorted His beautiful face. “Don’t you want to know what I want?”
 I couldn’t take it anymore. I rubbed myself against Him. “Anything. You can have
anything.”
 “I want you to have my child. I want to share the blood with you.”
 I don’t know where I got the strength, but I pushed Him off me. He lay on his back, more surprised than hurt. His eyes darkened, but before He could get up I pounced on him, lowering my swollen sex onto Him, allowing Him to fill me. I ground into Him and felt Him grow even larger within me. I rocked back and forth, overcome with ripples of orgasms as I fucked Him, as hard as I could. Like a woman possessed.
 Like an animal.

 AUTHOR BIOBernadette Walsh has been writing contemporary and paranormal romance for four years. She has published three novels to date (The House on Prospect (Echelon Press) and Gold Coast Wives (Lyrical Press)) and the first book of her paranormal trilogy, Devil’s Mountain -- Book One of the Devlin Legacy. While Bernadette has hopped around genres, all of her books to date have a common theme: strong women handling what life throws at them the best way they can.  Website: http://bernadettewalsh.comTwitter: @BWalshWriterFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernadette-Walsh-Author/196567653686807Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5321197.Bernadette_Walsh

My 4 Star Review

This was as it said a Fantasy Romance(Horror) in the genre division. Caroline had one desire, to have kids of her own. But it came at a cost she did not understand.
The story is set against the back drop of Devil Mountain where five families made a bargain with the devil and generation after generation of women must pay the price. Caroline was unaware of this bargain, unaware of the devil that only her mother-in-law could see. The village thought the woman Mary was out of her mind but she was the only one who could see him and have a physical relationship with him. The sex scenes edge more on the brutal savagery of the animal that he is, then the love between man and wife.
Bobby Mary's son loved Caroline, "the plain Jane" in the story and no one could understand this but yet he did and he protected her. Because of his love people liked her and accepted her except for Mary. I admired him for this. Mary knew the price that had to be paid and was not willing to pay it, not for Caroline.
The plot was well thought off the characters strong making it a good read.


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Enlightened: A 5 Star Review. Excellent Read

Title: Enlightened
Author: A.D.Spencer
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Fiction
Publisher: Self

INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS

Available at:
AmazonSmashwords

Blurb
When seventeen year-old Baylie Storm suffers an unlikely injury, her world is turned upside down. Her life evolves from normal ... to paranormal when she receives unexpected messages from beyond the grave. An unknown entity warns of a present danger to Baylie's beloved Tyler Caldwell. A dark spirit is awakened and a century-old unsolved murder is uncovered when Baylie's supernatural gifts emerge. As Baylie and Tyler work together to solve the mystery, their romance intensifies ... so do the threats on his life. Enlightened is filled with suspense and mind-blowing secret scandals that will keep the pages turning to the very end.




BIO: 
A.D. Spencer earned a degree from Drury University, and she resides in Missouri with her husband and three children. Although she is always a busy mother, she enjoys Karaoke and participating in outdoor sports/hunting with her husband in her spare time.A.D. Spencer is currently writing Cursed, the sequel to Enlightened.Something You Don't Know About Enlightened ..."It is fiction, but some of the details in the book were inspired by true events. My husband had a face-to-face ghost encounter several years back, and what he saw became the basis for Abbie's materializations.""The phenomenon with 11:11 is real for me ... it started with a horrible nightmare. In my dream someone walked into my office and told me about the death of a family member. The dream was so sureal, I felt the pain of losing a loved one. The time on my computer screen was 11:11 a.m. I woke up crying and sat straight up in bed, and my clock showed 11:11 p.m. at that exact moment. Luckily, it was just a bad dream, but since then I have seen 11:11 on my clocks nearly every single day."
Website= http://www.adspencer.com 

My Review
I was splendidly surprised with this book. Never one that reads Young adult books but I must admit this one got my attention from Chapter three. At first I could not figure out where the author was heading but then things started to happen. The vivid dreams, unfamiliar touch of ghosts leaving Baylie startled. The much older people colored the story with their knowledge. Surprised at all the twists and turns in the plot and could not stop till the very end. The story had a nice build up to it that keeps you interested to the end.
The growing relationship between Baylie and Tyler was pleasant to read. The Chastity ring and the promise to with hold until their wedding day a wonderful touch where young people of today think it is a curse to remain a virgin. The respect they showed to the parents and older people refreshing. The reasons I never read YA.
I even liked the undying romance between Jonathon and Abbi united once again after a very long separation. Which led to the Exoneration of Thomas and a "curse" lifted from the Caldwell family.
Really a good read and one that I can recommend.
Well done April. 




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Paint for Blood: A Review and a chance to win your copy

Title: Paint for Blood
Series: Dessa Collier, Vampire-Maker, Book 1
Author: Emily Ryan-Davis
Publisher: Self
Length: 216 pages
Genre(s) Gothic Romance, Paranormal Romance
Categories: Interracial/Multicultural, Menage (F/M/M)
Heat Level: Steamy

AVAILABLE AT:

BLURB:

There’s only one substance on earth that can create a new vampire--the blood of a Chalice, a rare individual with magic in her veins. Atlanta’s human-vampire Civility Laws demand that if a Chalice is found, she must be destroyed. Vampire Teijon Reyes allowed the mortal girl Dessa Collier to live despite the threat she posed to society. If he ever finds her again, he will kill her, personal desires be damned.
Heiress to a family tradition of ward-working, house painter Dessa Collier has spent the past twelve years pretending vampires don't exist. When a friend-enemy walks back into Dessa’s life after a decade-long absence, everything Dessa has been hiding from comes crashing down on top of her.
Thrown together on a mission to protect a city under seige, Dessa and Teijon can no longer hide from the powerful attraction that binds them...or the monsters out to destroy them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Emily Ryan-Davis is a lifelong East Coaster whose passion for the written word saw her through jobs writing obituaries, press releases and grants before she decided “I’m going to do this” and sat down to write a book. She made that decision in 2005 and has since published several short stories and novellas with digital publishers including Ellora’s Cave. On May 24, 2012, Emily left supervisors and payrolls behind in order to focus her efforts on writing and raising her son. Emily has been a member of the Writer’s Digest-recognized writing community Romance Divas, where she volunteers as a moderator and organizes the annual "Not Going to Conference" Virtual Conference, since 2006. 
Visit Emily at:
Website: http://www.scorchedsheets.com Blog: http://emilyryandavis.blogspot.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/author.emilyryandavis
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/emilyryandavis 
Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/emily_ryandavis
Email: emily@scorchedsheets.com
EXCERPT #1
She turned slowly, only gathering sensory impressions of his alleged safe zone. They faced one another across a sitting room furnished with sofas, chairs, and a writing desk. To her right, the dark shape of an open doorway suggested a more intimate area.
 Teijon lifted his shirt over his head, revealing smooth skin, dark and satiny over the pads of muscle beneath. She averted her eyes before they strayed to his waist. The tension was all wrong. She shouldn’t want him, not with his mood switch hanging in the air between them. She should have questions, should demand answers. And he should put his clothes back on. “What now?” she asked after the silence began to take on a sound of its own. “Earlier tonight…” She licked her lips. “I created vampires, didn’t I?” “You didn’t by choice.” “No. I did because Donovan wanted me to.” “Yeah. And that’s why I have to find Donovan. I need to meet with some people, so you’ll have most of the night to yourself.” He walked past her and went into the bedroom.
 Sighing, she raked a hand through her hair. He’d somehow managed to bring his tension under control, but hers continued to run wild. How would she sleep, surrounded by his scent? He returned to the living room moments later, tucking the hem of a fresh shirt into clean trousers. “I don’t have any women’s clothes around, but you can use anything of mine you’d like. Shower and get some sleep. I’ll be back… late.” “Wait. I need to know how this is possible.” “What do you mean, how? It just is.” “How is it possible that I’m more than one thing? I know I’m not normal. I never have been. But my heritage is…” she hesitated, came up with nothing better than, “good. White-light stuff. Protective. Do you have any idea how long my ancestors have been protecting people from their fears? That’s what I do. Who I am. I can’t be this too. This Chalice.” He frowned. “Why can’t you?” “It’s too many roles to fill. I have to make decisions about what I can and can’t work into my life. I have clients already, and my painting doesn’t make me feel like all of me is being sucked away in a mass of yearning. I choose that. I don’t choose you.” When a flash of something unreadable crossed his features, her chest tightened. Backpedaling, she said, “I mean your kind. Vampires. I can’t protect people from y—from vampires and other fears and serve as a support structure for the creatures I’m warding against. It doesn’t make sense.” He closed the distance between them and grasped her shoulders, pulling her onto her toes. The rough texture of his beard abraded her jaw when he tucked his face into the curve of her throat and opened his mouth over her skin. His perfectly-normal teeth closed around a tendon in her neck. At the contact, her thighs weakened and her skin tightened over her limbs, heated until her ears and cheeks burned. Teijon’s groan vibrated against her throat. One of his big hands slid into her hair. The other shifted from her shoulder and curved around her breast. He moved, walking her backward, until her spine came up against a wall and she could feel him thick and hard at her stomach. Memory zapped the strength she had left. She could smell the damp of the cave at Stone Mountain, the limo’s air freshener, the sliver of rose soap from her bathroom. Her body shivered with a backlash of the dread she’d experienced descending into the dark behind Teijon. She recalled every detail of that kiss. And every detail of what followed.  
EXCERPT #2:
Teijon rose in front of the vehicle, his fist wrapped in the fabric of a gray hoodie. The person’s face was turned away and might have belonged to a woman or an adolescent male. Unkempt hair tangled around skinny shoulders. As Teijon dragged the struggling figure to the passenger side of the SUV, she caught a glimpse of rough, sharp features and the beginnings of a beard. A boy. Teijon had apprehended a teen boy. He tapped on her window and she eased it down a fraction, uneasy with the way the stranger stared at her. He had sunken cheeks and a starved pallor. The walls of her stomach clenched, a shock of pain that made her gasp. Shaking, she lowered the window another inch. The hungry kid—vampire, with wet fangs showing behind dry, pale lips—stared at her like she was an oasis. Unthinking, she met the young vampire’s eyes. Blue and watery, with pulsing pupils that looked black when she exhaled and red when she inhaled. Her skin itched and her clothes felt too thick and hot. “Dessa.” Teijon growled her name. He forced the teen’s head down, breaking the spell stretched between them. “Look at me. At me.” Her gaze snapped to his. “He’s starving.” “It doesn’t concern you. I need you to drive. Don’t get out of the car, just climb over.” Mouth dry, she whispered, “Okay.” Worry made her clumsy as she changed seats. She unlocked one of the rear doors at Teijon’s request. He got into the vehicle first then pulled the other vampire in beside him. Their presence in the back seat made her wary, but Teijon kept himself behind her and had his hand locked around the younger man’s neck. “Where am I going?” She adjusted the rearview mirror and found the stranger staring at her. His eyes were starving, the pupils still pulsing. Closer inspection revealed saliva dotting his chin. She could see the distended points of his fangs prodding his bottom lip. He was pale and seemed very fragile, but she knew better. Even young and hungry, this creature had power over her. Her hands shook. She gripped the steering wheel tighter. Teijon’s warning came back to her, that she would meet somebody desperate and should endeavor not to surrender to her need to nourish. But the ache in her stomach persisted, as if she was too full to contain the contents of her body, and she desperately wanted to bring the starving thing’s face to her neck.   

A 3 Star Review
A very dark and uninteresting read. My imagination was not stirred in any way. The story not believable at best. Leaving you at a loss often during the read.
The main character Dessa Collier had no purpose, no direction. Her instability to make clear decisions unsettled me many times. She hated everything about her self. Even the twin girls born from her. Although she did try to find them but the urgency was not there. If it was my kids heaven and earth would have been turned to find and protect them. Dessa just give up to easily. The story just did not make sense. I must admit I am not a very big fan of this dark type of Paranormal stories. So maybe I do not understand. But it was a chore to read. There was no follow through on the scenes as they unfold leaving you in the dark.
The steamy scenes...?!
This story is meant for an acquired taste.

Love seen from Heartache: 5 Star Review

Title: Love seen from Heartache
Author: John Emil Augustine
Publisher: self
Genre: Biography

Available at: 
Smashwords

Blurp:
The follow-up to Love Seen from Hell, LOVE SEEN FROM HEARTACHE finds Augustine once again as the main character, struggling to make a new beginning after the events of book one. Poignantly honest, his first-person narrative delves this time into the definition and purpose of modern marriage; into its meaning and relevance based on his own triumphs and failures. Pulling from previously gained wisdom and acquiring new pearls in the face of new events, Augustine steers his narrative effortlessly through a captivating new chapter filled with drama and hard-fought lessons. Nothing is sugar-coated and everything is told unabashedly and exactly as it happened. A must-read for lovers of fiction and non-fiction alike. John Emil Augustine has been a landscaper, musician, English professor, mail carrrier, forklift operator, and is the father of four boys. John writes and performs in his spare time. “Love Seen from Heartache” is his second novel. 

Expert:
I opened the front door of the Blazer, and slowly walked into the main entrance of North Memorial Hospital with my fist thrust into the middle of my sternum. Patients waited in chairs to my left. Nurses and staff walked casually yet deliberately here and there. The main desk was in front of me and I walked up and said in a raspy voice, “My chest hurts.”

“Ok,” said the woman behind the desk, “Where does your chest hurt, sir?”

“Everywhere. I think I’m gonna pass out.”

Things happened quickly after that. I was almost immediately brought a wheelchair and I sat down. I was briskly wheeled into a room very near the entrance and helped onto the bed. Instruments were hanging everywhere. All kinds of tubes and metal stands were wheeled over to my bed and I was hooked up to an IV in no time. My shirt was unbuttoned and my chest was shaved in a few spots. Soon I had stickers everywhere, all attached to wires which lead to monitors. The staff, about five people, worked quickly. It was a fast shuffle they all performed rapidly and effortlessly, discussing in small snippets as they went.

I was given something to put under my tongue and that was the first I realized what was going on. It was Nitroglycerin, the same thing they had given my grandpa when he had his heart attack. “Am I having a heart attack?” I asked a nurse.

“We don’t know yet, but we will find out soon enough.” She went on with her work. They were doing many things at once and I was somewhat oblivious. All I knew was the pain and now the thought that perhaps I was having a heart attack. This was just great.

Contact: https://sites.google.com/site/johnemilaugustine (https://sites.google.com/site/johnemilaugustine/)



My Review
Expert
"Essentially, love has to come first, and love can only come from intimacy, from deep communication. Love will heal its holders if they come back to it. You have to walk toward love even if you can hardly make half a step at first. That half step will feel like you are caving in. You are. Caving into love can be ok if the love is met equally; if both sides can communicate unhurtfully and legitimately. You’ll know if love is not held by your partner. You’ll know if your communication is not being met equally and deeply. After a few times around, you’ll know. You bang your head against the wall like my Minneapolis neighbors or like Cindi and I had a few times, and it will become clear that things are not equal. But you have to give it a real try first – both of you. You have to come back to love and see if you can both make it happen. Baby steps. The relationship, the intimate communication, has to come first. Communication is everything. Without equal communication, everything goes to hell. With communication, even from within heartache, love can be seen. Marriage is love seen from heartache."
The second book of John Emil Augustine pulls you into his life from where he stopped in "Love seen from Hell" A biography of his struggles about life, God, marriage, relationships and intimacy. In the first book we get to know him as a man that struggled with his first marriage, love and divorce. While being the father he longed his son must have. Setting aside his own feelings and emotions for a woman he met during this trying times. A woman that showed him what love was all about. 
Meeting Jan and her son Andy in this book. Deciding that this was it and he hopped on a plane to meet her for the first time. To begin their own family after long Internet mailing. Once they established a family unit rules had to be laid down for Andy, not use to have a father figure around. John was firm and direct and the kid was smart learning quickly he had to change to fit in. But this knew relationship brought in a whole new set of twist and turns and a few times it caused him to reflect on his life, the meaning of his marriage with Jan. His job as a teacher or "babysitter" Charles his son from his first marriage and Cindi who still played her part. Bullying. The anger and betrayal he felt after the affair with his best friend. Ultimitly forgiving her to become the family he always wanted. It really touched my heart. The struggles with inadequate income working three jobs to keep the family together and the crash down when it all fell apart. Financial burdens can bring huge strains on the whole family, the constant fear that no matter what you do you will loose everything hangs over your head 24/7. Add that with a partner who is self absorbed and you can have a huge mess. John held nothing back as words tumbled on the page in great detail and coloring. But in the process he and Jan learned to be one, the reason for marriage. Working together and not separately as a team. a Marriage is about 100% giving and taking. Wise words from my father-in-law on the day of our marriage and still true today after twenty eight years. Jan really came to the table and for that I have to amend her. She knew she made a mistake but she also knew she was the one to mend the riff, bringing them closer maybe in an unconventional way but it worked. She had the wisdom and the patience to work it through with him. Her courage and love for him shining through the dark clouds.
The book will shock you in many ways. His thoughts about God and his own roll in it. His frankness and blunt no nonsense way of writing bringing a tale of sorrow, survival and love. Their live becoming a beacon of hope and love.
A very good read. Well done John