Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Way of Sorrows - Jon Steele - A Book Review

The Way of Sorrows
Jon Steele

The earthly—and cosmic—adventures of Katherine Taylor and Jay Harper come to an electrifying, action-packed conclusion in The Way of Sorrows, the final installment of Jon Steele’s critically acclaimed Angelus Trilogy.
The earthly—and cosmic—adventures of Katherine Taylor and Jay Harper come to an electrifying, action-packed conclusion in The Way of Sorrows, the final installment of Jon Steele’s critically acclaimed Angelus Trilogy.

After the heart-stopping cliff-hanger that concluded Angel City, Katherine Taylor and Jay Harper return in this ultimate portrayal of good versus evil—Apocalypse-style. Will the remnants of the Nephilim—fallen angels from time immemorial—capture and destroy baby Max, Katherine’s half-mortal/half-heavenly child? Or will otherworldly Special Agent Harper be able to thwart these hideous plans and prevent the end of mankind? Spanning the globe—and the heavens—Jon Steele’s brilliant, rich, and imaginative book is a masterpiece of science, religion, and fantasy.

The Way of Sorrows was a unique read that required the full attention of this reader.  Maybe I wouldn't have been so distracted if I wasn't a student of prehistory of ancient Biblical history, but my brain kept working in overtime as I processed the complex story up against my own internal database of "ancients" knowledge.  I absolutely loved the added twist of the time dimensions and the way he inferred their beginnings.  What I am now dying to do is to go back and read books one and two.
I feel that Jon Steele has come the closest to verbalizing some of my personal concepts of pre-history and the war between good and evil than anyone else I have read and to do it in this fantastic sci-fi setting is totally awesome.  The Way of Sorrows is a classic example of a mash up of genre.  Even though it is definitely listed as Sci-fi, I would also not hesitate to place the book in historical fiction, or is it possible to create a new genre, Historical Sci-Fi Fiction?  I have actually read several books in the last few years that I could place in this category.  For students well versed in a certain historical period, i.e. ancient pre-history, they would identify the mash up quickly and easily.  They would see the parallels and draw history out of the Sci-fi setting.   Knowing this history, broadens the enjoyment and fills in and answers potential questions that might otherwise left me puzzled.
To say Jon’s characters were complex and deeply developed would be an understatement.  Each of the characters lived in multiple times and in multiple dimensions, with their earth and “other worldly” names.  Not having read books one and two yet (my bad, and soon to be remedied) this was at first confusing, but I caught up and was soon deeply immersed into the story.
His over-lay of the God family and the kidnapping was fantastic.  His understanding and being able to lay-out so clearly the concepts of inter-dimensional time and the layers and layers of time, as well as the creative way he had for moving between them was fabulous.  The conclusion was fabulous and gave you a sense of hope for tomorrow.    
Jon would be wonderful to sit down and visit with sometime.  His book is well worth the read for any true futuristic sci-fi addict, as well as anyone willing to take on a mental rollercoaster challenge.  I give this a full FIVE STAR for thrills and great reading.

JON STEELE is an award-winning journalist and author of The Watchers and Angel City. Born in Spokane, Washington, he traveled the world, working as a cameraman for Independent Television News. After a twenty-year career, Steele wrote the critically acclaimed War Junkie. In 2008, he co-wrote, codirected, and shot Baker Boys: Inside the Surge, a documentary about an American combat unit in Iraq. He lives in Switzerland.

·        File Size: 4376 KB
·        Print Length: 512 pages
·        Publisher: Blue Rider Press (August 4, 2015)
·        Publication Date: August 4, 2015
·        Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Altered to Kill - Ginna Moran - Book Reveal!!!!

Title: Altered to Kill (Finding Nate Book One)
Publisher: Sunny Palms Press
Page Count: 375
Release Date: Fall 2015


Seventeen-year-old Nate Burnham never thought killing would be easy, but when his girlfriend, Mira Everson, is attacked by an incubus disguised as a classmate, Nate discovers love is worth killing for. With the possibility of a grim future, Nate finds himself in the back of an unmarked van with a decision to make—spend life behind bars or enroll in the Special Abilities Task Force run by the Human Preservation Agency. In order to protect Mira, Nate joins the secret organization and is plunged into a world of monsters, murder, and secrecy.

Mira Everson’s life is turned upside down when she discovers Nate has been abducted by scientists who have the ability to rewrite lives. She flees her home to escape a deadly agent sent to kill her, and she must come to terms with the idea that any future contact with Nate could result in her death.

Thrust into a war between humans and creatures, Nate and Mira are fated to fight on opposing sides. Can they unravel the truth or will they face deadly consequences?

Add to Goodreads | Pre-Order on Amazon



I’m going to need a lot more than this dish rag and paper towels to clean up the pool of blood seeping from Ryder’s stomach. The puddle smears when I rub it instead of being soaked up like it should be. “Stop bleeding already, man.” I drop the dish towel, splattering blood on my shoes. “Where the heck is the mop?” I don’t know why I even ask. No one will respond.

I wipe my hands on my jeans without thinking. “Oh, come on!” I’m starting to look like a murderer. Hate to break it to you, Nate, but your appearance is the least of your worries. I’m sweaty, have blood all over me, and I’m sure my eyes are wild.

Think, Nate. Think. Think. Think. I growl like a rabid dog. “Why can’t you just go away?” I kick Ryder’s leg. “You piece of crap lunatic!” I kick him again. “You should be the one going to jail. You attacked my girlfriend. You held a knife to her throat. I heard you tell her how she didn’t deserve to live. How you were going to make her feel the pain she made you feel. But guess what? You did that to yourself. You knew she was in love with me. Mira is my girlfriend. Not yours. And if anyone should deserve to live, it’s her.” I kick him so hard his body rolls over.

What the…? No way. Bodies don’t decompose this fast. Part of the skin on Ryder’s arm is blackening. It looks like it’s raw and melting away, yet Ryder has only been dead for just over an hour. I nudge his arm with the toe of my shoe and it deflates. I jerk back in surprise. It’s foul and intriguing. Does Hollywood keep this postmortem fact a secret? I never knew this about dead bodies. At least he doesn’t stink. Actually, he smells rather nice. Like cinnamon rolls. Man, I’m disgusting.

Morticians have a lot of work to make bodies look presentable. If they threw Ryder in a casket now, it’d have to be closed. He’s nasty looking. But dang, his warm pastry smell is overpowering and making me hungry.

I shake my head to regain focus, but I can’t. My stomach growls. Despite Ryder’s disgusting flesh, his scent is mouthwatering, and I almost want take a bite out of him. Almost. Now that’s one way to get rid of the body.

I yank my shirt over my nose. This body cleanup business is ludicrous. I need to put him in a trash bag and somehow manage to get him in the back of my Ford Ranger without anyone seeing me.

I kick the dishrag away. No point in trying to soak up the blood if Ryder isn’t going to stop bleeding and decomposing. The police would never believe this happened just over an hour ago. Maybe that would help my case. I can find an alibi for another day and time. I wonder if anyone would believe I just stumbled upon him. With the way he looks now, only a DNA test could determine who the body belongs to. He’s in your girlfriend’s kitchen. That still leaves her a suspect.

I stumble around the rotting corpse and yank a few black trash bags from under the sink. They’re impossible to unfold with my gooey fingers, and I shake them until they open. With one hand, I yank Ryder’s blood-matted hair until he’s is sitting up. I let go to adjust the bag when he slumps against my chest. The trash bag slips from my fingers, and my shirt yanks down with Ryder’s weight. The cinnamon roll smell smacks me in the face, and I breathe deeply.  “You’re making me so hungry.”

I lean closer and closer. I can’t help it. I can’t do anything to stop myself. I have to taste him. One little bite won’t hurt.

I grab his soft, slimy arm and bring it to my mouth. Don’t do it! This is disgusting. And crazy. And completely not something a normal person would do. Pull it together. Seriously, pull it together! My mind doesn’t want any part of this Ryder tasting, but my hands won’t drop his arm, and my mouth won’t stay shut. I’m really doing this. I’m going to take a bite out of a dead guy.

About The Author

Ginna Moran started writing poetry as a teenager in a spiral notebook that she still has tucked away on her desk today. Her love of writing grew after she graduated high school, and she completed her first unpublished manuscript at age eighteen.

When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing young adult novels, she was senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.

Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching television shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, cheesy jokes, and organizing her bookshelf.

Ginna is currently hard at work on her next novel.

You can find Ginna Moran's Destined for Dreams at these retailers:

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Monday, August 3, 2015

The Last Concerto - Helaine Mario A Review

The Lost Concerto
Helaine Mario

A woman and her young son flee to a convent on a remote island off the Breton coast of France.  Generations of seafarers have named the place Ile de la Brume, or Fog Island. In a chapel high on a cliff, a tragic death occurs and a terrified child vanishes into the mist.
The child’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea, haunted by the violent deaths of her husband and best friend, has withdrawn from her life as a classical pianist. But then a recording of unforgettable music and a grainy photograph surface, connecting her missing godson to a long-lost first love. 
The photograph will draw Maggie inexorably into a collision course with criminal forces, decades-long secrets, stolen art and musical artifacts, and deadly terrorists. Her search will take her to the Festival de Musique, Aix-en-Provence, France, where she discovers answers to her husband’s death, an unexpected love―and a musical masterpiece lost for decades.
A compelling blend of suspense, mystery, political intrigue, and romance, The Lost Concerto explores universal themes of loss, vengeance, courage, and love.

As I sat down to review The Lost Concerto, I puzzled over which story to discuss, which tale to delve in to.  Most times when you are treated to a well written novel, you have a central theme (story) and one or two side stories that can be told to add breadth to the tale.  These could be stories that are running concurrently, back-stories that fills in the lives of the characters in the novel and adds depth and breadth to the central core and makes you love or hate the mainstay of the novel.  Sometimes, you might even get a side story that are small flash forwards of what is to come and whets your appetite for the coming pages and might give you a false sense of security or fright by leading you astray.
Helaine Mario swept this reader off her feet.  The mental score card came out as I began to track the numerous story paths through this complex and wondrous book that wrapped the reader in a web of intrigue.  There were several concurrent storylines that contained overlapping characters.  There were storylines with the same characters that flung the reader to the far and near past.  Each story, be it short or a longer one that continued to pop-up throughout the book, peeled back a little more of the total picture.  Each revelation changed the view of the panorama laid out before the reader, changing the viewpoint of what we thought and felt previously about a character or about where the story was headed. 
Who said, “nothing is as it seems, assume nothing”?  The only absolute to be assumed was that “all was not fair in love and war”.  Even as a reader, one felt ensnared in the tangled web of deceit that seemed to dominate both sides of this subtle war between the CIA and an ex-employee.  With a musician and a little boy caught in the web and at the center of the battle.  Who would win?  Would there be a winner?
Helaine did a great job of her character development.  Just like she did with her complex story lines, so she did with her characters.  Just as you thought you knew who someone was, you discovered that they were not the person you thought they were.  The friendships, the associations, the allies, the enemies; they seemed like fluid lines that moved and mixed.  You didn’t know who to trust, who to believe.  Much like the heroine, you had to stay focused on the reason – Max, the son of the heroine’s friend.  Nothing else could matter. 
This is one book that will go on the must be re-read shelf.  For with the coming of the last page, I knew I needed to read it again.  I wanted to gain all the nuances that I missed in the first read.  True, there were times I found myself rushing to turn the page, breathlessly waiting to see what the next page might reveal.  In my haste to absorb the incredulity and rush of the action of the story, what could I have missed?  Therefore, I find that I want to go back for a second read, knowing all, to wallow in the pure genius of the telling of the tale.
In my opinion, this is one book that should be up for multiple awards for fiction for 2015.  I cannot begin to enumerate the reasons for listing The Last Concerto a  FIVE STAR REVIEW!!!!

New York City born and raised, Helaine is a Boston University graduate.  She married in 1969 and moved to CT to raise her two children, volunteer at Save the Children, and write for the local newspaper.
 In 1985, Helaine’s life took an unpredictable turn when her husband’s career brought her family to Potomac, MD.  For all eight years of the Clinton Presidency, she was a White House volunteer for Tipper and Al Gore, and continues to be a passionate advocate for public service and women & children’s issues.
 Because Helaine believes strongly in “giving back,” she has worked on several non-profit boards and, in 1998, founded The SunDial Foundation, Inc., which benefits our most vulnerable women, children and families.  She also created Project PJs, offering new books, bears and pajamas to under-served children in the community.
 Helaine and her husband, Ron Mario, now spend their time in Arlington, VA – where she continues her advocacy work – Longboat Key, Florida, and Cape May, NJ.   She is grateful to be a twelve year cancer survivor and is most proud of her two children and four beautiful grandchildren.  Her son, Sean, is the pianist who inspired the classical music background inThe Lost Concerto.

Buy it at AMAZON