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13 Mar 2015

Top Dog (Script) Review

Top Dog, at 97 pages in length is the script version of the novel My Life As A Dog written by Cynthia and Mike Arsuaga which was published by Secret Cravings Publishing. The novel is an erotic paranormal romance at 14 chapters in length which I also had the pleasure in reviewing.

Cynthia and Mike Arsuaga live in Orlando Florida with their Yorkie Thumper, daughter and granddaughter. Both authors have completed individual works including such titles as Subspecies and Born To Be Wild, however there is word of another collaboration for a sequel to My Life As A Dog.

Drake Martin is no average human, being a part-time hitman, private eye, lover and shapeshifter. On the run in his 8lb Yorkie form Drake is captured by animal control and see’s his only option for survival as being adopted. In steps the little girl Kady Hartley who would change his life forever.
Making a home is not easy for a shapeshifter while in dog form perhaps this time is different, running away is not an option but has 12 years with the Hartleys made him soft and susceptible? after all the vet appears to have noticed something wrong with the fact of having immaculate health for an old dog and has something planned. So perhaps it is time to leave.
A decade later, and his about to meet Kady again, FBI Agent Kady Hartley and things are about to get all kinds of crazy.
Taking on what first appears a simple case of betrayal little does Drake expect to come across Kady mixed up in a big FBI case involving Russian mob families, sex slaves and bent cops. On top of that Drake the PI has fallen in love with Kady and Drake the Yorkie has returned to the girl who loved him unconditionally and whom he abandoned all those years ago. Can they survive this? Any of this?

The relationship between children of a young age and a pet is relatively unbreakable and the bond goes extremely deep. But, what if the child grew up and discovered that pet could turn into a person and was the person their heart belonged to? Or the person they shared their bed with?
Dogs are both renowned and accomplished for having an excellent nose and for Drake Martin there is no difference between him being in human or dog form, except when it comes to sex and appreciating the female figure. When it comes to Kady Hartley there is so much history between them that Drake can no longer love any other woman or look at them the way he once did, in fact he realises that for him it has always been Kady but how will Kady take finding out the truth of who Drake really is? Or finding out the true identity of Precious the dog she grew up with as a child/ the dog she found working a case?
A life without trust, and love is damaging enough but can a little girl now a fully grown woman and FBI agent renew belief in ones self, in life and allow for a change that goes deeper than anyone else could provide?
Is love truly unconditional? And can it span the differences between humans and shapeshifters?

Much like the novel Mike and Cynthia Arsuaga have created an action packed, heart warming tale of growing up, love, loss, and betrayal. I am sure many readers will think of times they wished their pet could turn into the man/woman of their dreams, at how no-one in this world expresses love like a pet can.
The transition from novel to script appears to have gone smoothly and was a rather enjoyable revisit. Mike and Cynthia have done a marvellous job at translating the book into a script. In both guises this story is an incrdeible read, and is a unique story I, in my personal opinion, would like to see take that next step onto the screen because when I read it, it is as if I am right there in the story watching it unfold.


By R.N. Hadley

19 Sep 2012

Alice & Chess

Alice & Chess: Relics of Oz book 1 is written by JC Noir and published through Amazon. A short story at 32,813 words across 242 pages and is split into parts rather than chapters.

JC Noir lives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with his daughter. Under the name JC Noir he has also published Solace Through Tragedy: Origins of Oz book 1. A talented photographer JC spends his spare time often creating artwork both for fun and as book covers for himself and other authors.

On Alice’s return from Wonderland she finds herself deemed clinically mad. Locked away for both her own and societies protection she grows up in Wonderlands penitentiary. However Wonderland has changed, now a darker version of itself and known as Lucidity Alice is no longer sure of the line between reality and the magical world she knew as Wonderland.
A mysterious visitor to her cell Alice meets Chess, a man-cat, and with him she sets out once again to thwart the Queen who seeks Alice to destroy her once and for all. But even Chess isn’t the only one to have changed so too has Alice herself.
A world of darkness and death, with influences of cyberpunk and steampunk, old friends must reunite for a new adventure where all is not as it seems and is nothing like it once was.

When innocence changes, it evolves and grows manifesting into something else. When we grow we change, our likes and dislikes, personality etc Did Alice’s growing change Wonderland? And is Lucidity a reflection of her newly created self? What is really going on with regard to the Queen? And why has she taken such a dark and sinister approach in ridding her life of Alice and those who support her. In a newer darker tale we ask ourselves whether Lucidity/ Wonderland is infact real or really a dream. Perceptions are everything when you are deemed insane but who is really the one who is mad?

Jc Noir has done a marvellous job at transforming the story we all knew and grew up with into something entirely different and its own. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone over the age of 16 and would be interested in reading further novels by this author. An enthralling read from start to finish I was glued from the very beginning and had the book read within two days. I give Alice & Chess by JC Noir 4.5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

12 Sep 2012

Long Gone

Long Gone is written by Thomas A. Bryant and is published through Smashwords. The novel is approximately 108,000 words and 300 kindle pages in length.

Thomas Bryant received his education at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, CA. While studying political science, he began a love affair with books and discovered a passion for writing. Coming from humble beginnings with economic demands, he took an internship in the service industry as a heavy-duty diesel mechanic, which left him little time for books or writing. He sought challenges, including baseball, football and wrestling as a young man and loved speed on the water in a flat bottom race boat called BORN to be WILD. Two weeks before he entered Arizona Bail Enforcement Academy to become a licensed Bounty Hunter, he was involved in a near fatal automobile accident. Disabled and facing his toughest challenge, he returned to his first love of writing and found a whole new world in print and writing crime fiction/suspense novels. He lives in the Ozarks of Missouri.

It is late, so late it’s almost early and Karl and Sammy are nowhere near fore filling their order on time. All out of luck they are racking their brains trying to find the Silver Anniversary Edition 1978 L88 Corvette. Remembering the location of one they head off to boost the car.

Sammy Page aka Cowboy was brought up in this life, having never had a regular day job he knows nothing else. When his wife Marla decides she wants a baby its time decide what is more important family or the job. A decision that is not easily made. Deciding he’d rather die than loose Marla he sets his final job in motion, unfortunately for Sammy this job is about to ruin his life. Accused of murder, theft and absconding from the law the noose is tightening around his neck and with a past like his there seems no way out. With friends on both sides of the law will Sammy come out of this innocent or guilty? Will the truth be revealed? Or is he being set up? Friend or foe Sammy is about to face the toughest and most challenging moment in his life.

A story about friendship and betrayal, how childhood friends can become enemies in adulthood. This is a story about growing up and accepting responsibility for actions taken and accepting consequences. When I first began reading this story I enjoyed it but after the first quarter I couldn’t wait to be on the final pages. There are events and moments within the story which are intriguing and interesting to read however for the majority I felt this book was not for me. I found at times I was getting confused between past-tense and pre-tense and was being bombarded with past experiences to explain present situations. Whilst I am a fan of the movie Gone In 60 Seconds, I felt that this book was trying at times to portray itself as a movie in the wrappings of a book. However for the last quarter of the book I found myself again hooked, I think if Mr Bryant had suggested such an intriguing court case in the first half of the story I would have been more glued to the pages. I think this book would be suitable for any guy reading it aged over 18 years but I am not convinced it would appeal enough to females. I give Long Gone by Thomas A. Bryant 4 out of 5 stars

By RN Hadley

23 Aug 2012

Under The Cover Of Wicca

Under the Cover of Wicca is written by Darke Conteur and is published through Smashwords. The novel is 7 chapters in length and 157 pages including excerpt from book 3.

Darke Conteur is a stay at home mum who is at the mercy of her muse writing anything from the paranormal to science fiction. Darke lives with her husband, son, two cats, one kitten and a ghost dog. She runs her own blog where she aids other writers to be heard posting interviews and news from the writing world, as well as updates on her own work and hobbies. Darke’s passion for writing began in her mid-teens. At 16 she completed her first novel but the manuscript was lost, she hopes to one day re-write the story with a “more scifi feel”. Book 3 Covens and Packs is due out Summer 2012.

Janet Weiss is a student and one determined on seeing the spirit of her dead mother even if it means summoning her herself alone in the cemetery at night. But when her spell doesn’t work she finds herself witnessing a human sacrifice. It has been some time since the Brosnie attack and Martin Cunningham is enjoying his flexi- hours however it only takes one call from the office to get him hot on his heels heading in. With a case of human sacrifice Martin and the others are about to discover not everything was completely sorted out back at The Embassay like they thought it was. With more bodies popping up there isnt just the balance of good and evil to be concerned about but whether the secret of their world is revealed. With a young girls freedom, innocence and life on the line it seems they are about to discover yet another coven.  Who or what are The Spire? Does Jezryall answer to someone higher? Is Janet a sensitive? And are sensitives lives in danger? Is Martin willing to give up his independence for a life of danger? Or is a life of independence danger enough? Can Terin Global maintain the balance between good and evil and keep their world hidden at the same time?

Under the Cover of Wicca is a very quick read flowing from page to page. I am still fascinated as to where this story will go in the future as it is suggested there are many other creatures. The ending gives a sneak idea as to where the story will be heading next and as dark as things became in the first book, things can only get darker. One thing I have come to notice and enjoy about this series of books is that it shows everyone’s experience with magic is different, how you come across it and how you interpret it differs from person to person. Another thing is that nothing is ever entirely good or evil there can be grey areas. With evil growing with every death I am keen to see what happens next for Terin Global now that they have a cop to worry about. I like the fact this book is more fleshed out than the first but I do still feel as if something that I haven’t yet been able to identify is missing. If you’re after a book where the dark and sinister are just another day at the office, then this is the book for you.

Darke Conteur has done a marvellous job continuing the story of Terin Global’s fight against evil, I look forward to reading the third book and learning something new about their world and the creatures who inhabit it. Again as with the first book I still feel a little like this novella should be longer however I would recommend this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars. 

By R.N. Hadley

9 Aug 2012

Redemption

Redemption is written by Troy Lambert and published by Rhetorical Press. The novel is 62,870 words in length and 24 chapters split into three sections.

Troy Lambert grew up in Southern Idaho and began writing at a young age penning the as yet unpublished George and the Giant Castle at age six. After a stint in the US Army Troy returned to Northern Idaho where he currently resides. By night Troy is a freelance writer and researcher, and by day he is the Museum Operations Specialist and Head of Research at the Wallace District Mining museum. Troy lives with his wife, two dogs and two of five children. He has also penned a collect of short stories titled Broken Bones.

When Sam is born in Bethlehem his mother considers him to be the next messiah. Doing her best to raise him a good Christian son even twenty odd years later she still believes his path in life is to help others. Even on her death bed and her son in jail she still believes this to be fact.
Having spent 12 years locked up for a murder he did not commit Sam is about to find God and graduate law school and become his own attorney but, what is a newly released man to do for work?

Socially stunted by his mothers religious beliefs Arthur even after his parents death still lives by their rules. When he is invited into the home of his school yard crush and her husband he is sure she is giving him the come-on. His mother now existing only in his mind still raises him to be a religious man without sin whilst his father tries to at least allow him some freedom especially from her. But when his own thoughts add to the mix love and lust is rekindled but with religious thoughts plaguing him the only way to have the object of his desire appears to be spoken in the words of God but does God really want him to kill? Is this the only way?
With his marriage on the rocks should Randy let Arthur into his families life when he knows that his wife had a thing for him? Can Sam clear his own name? And will it open up a whole new career for him as a criminal attorney? And finally what is more powerful, religion or love?

Redemption is a novel about sin, and forgiveness both through religion and the self. Told in three sections but with two stories in one. Redemption is full of multiple twists and turns, this is a novel sure to keep even the unsure reader intrigued when the story really begins to unfold in the final third.

Though not a religious person myself I was happy to see that the religious side of the story was not overdone or forced onto the reader. However, there were moments two for definite that I can say that I did see coming once the story seemed to be heading that way but the ending (the final third) I am happy to say went entirely against my thoughts.
A quick read, with so much to offer I would recommend Redemption to anyone interested in adult crime novels based from the perspective of the suspects. I give Troy Lambert’s novel Redemption 4 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

14 Jul 2012

TerrO.R

TerrO.R – a medical liability novel is written by Joseph J. Neuschatz and is available through amazon.com

Joseph Neuschatz born in Romania now lives in New York. An Israeli defence Sergeant and an Anaesthesiologist in New York after taking medical school in Paris, France. Joesph is retired and has appeared in many publications such as New York Times and Newsday. He is also an ex-regular columnist for Long Island's The North Shoreian Magazine.
The "TerrOR" novel was inspired by an old, never explained operating room incident.

Phil Newman M.D. is an anaesthesiologist looking forward to an afternoon of tennis but first he has a few surgeries to deal with. When a simple tattoo removal goes bad Phil Newman MD begins to wonder if it was merely a case of the unknown or if perhaps there is something more sinister going on. But when he learns legal proceedings have began and earlier than normally expected, alarms start ringing. Even more alarms begin ringing when another doctor from another hospital calls having experienced exactly the same situation several months earlier and worse yet these aren’t the only cases. Starting their own investigation Phil is about to discover that sometimes things aren’t as simple as they may at first seem and that there can often be a bigger picture globally rather than locally. Is someone looking to gain funds by medical aided suicide? And if so who? And why? Is this just a case of revenge? Or something a lot bigger? Possibly involving terrorism?

TerrO.R really is terrifying. Being a doctor with so much responsibility must make one feel like Atlas holding up the world, and with so many things that can go wrong if questions aren’t asked / answered must be very stressful if and or when things do go south. This book really does make you want to let every detail out should you have to go to hospital, but sadly no-one will ever know every little detail about their bodies tolerances and intolerances since they can change over time.
Whilst the story itself is riveting, I do personally feel that the first three quarters of the story is full of so much medical information it is possible to get a little confused although in most cases Joseph has explained in detail what is going on or what the condition is, perhaps too much information however Joseph himself being a Doctor perhaps makes explaining to the average person a difficult task in itself and you do have to commend him for his efforts. There was also at least one incident within the story that I was not quite happy with, that I feel the story had not quite been rounded off to my liking ie I thought something was about to happen but sadly not.
Joseph Neuschatz is a good writer, do not get me wrong, there are just times I feel that the Doctor took over when really the writer should have. However, the story is very straight lined and clean, therefore I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys novels based in the Operating Room and a tie to real life possibilities but, if you’re looking for something a little steamy then this book is not for you.  I give TerrO.R – a medical liability novel 4 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

5 Jul 2012

Tenth Legion

Tenth Legion is written by Mike Arsuaga and is published with MuseItHot publishing. The novel is the forth book in the Subspecies series and is 81,000 words in length and approximately 224 pages.

Mike Arsuaga is the author of Subspecies, Subspecies Inc, Children of Subspecies, Tenth Legion and Lagrange Point. Living in Orlando Florida with his wife/editor Cynthia, daughter, granddaughter and partner in crime Thumper a Yorkshire Terrier. With several books under his belt Mike’s aim is to learn to write screen plays and see at least one of his books become a movie.

After Cynthia’s death from the 2026 flu epidemic there came a rise in a group known only as The Tenth Legion, human mortals who deemed themselves ones capable of ridding the world of the Subspecies. Once again life took a leap backwards when the world changed.
Now it’s the 22nd century and the Subspecies have spread out throughout the world maintaining their link to Subspecies Inc but with an ever presence making them available in tight situations.
Lorna Winters is a lycan and an Orlando Florida Police Officer new to the department few actually know of her abilities so when a con gets free of his cuffs everyone is surprised when she morphs.
With murders, butchering, and a missing boy to deal with and a second family attached within a month there are possibilities of ferals on the loose, so Lorna decides it is time to call in Subspecies Inc to see if they can help. Being a lycan on the outside of the corporation for a number of years has made communication difficult, luckily for Lorna that her friend with benefits is one of their lawyers.
Later a bank robbery leaves important Subspecies documentation vulnerable and only Lorna is trusted to watch over them until the trial completes and the documents are returned to the White family.
On Valentines day Lorna is drugged and kidnapped.
When Lorna meets Mr White and family, she learns that she has a unique ability to visualise past events through scent, more specially she meets one woman named Cithara who warns of future events one being the end of the world.With a new virus sweeping the world all Subspecies are at risk, but Cithara warns of a worse threat, the threat of blood turning against blood. With many Subspecies gathered in one place exactly how at risk are they? And who is the betrayer? With both hybrids and Subspecies at risk as well as the impending doom that is the end of the world, the White family having started on colonising Mars must step up their plans if they are to protect the Subspecies from the likes of the Tenth Legion who continue to blame them for all the wrongs in the world and even their soon to be demise.

Tenth Legion is an amazing piece that can easily stand alone from the first three books of the Subspecies series. Stepping away from the characters of Sam and Jim who will be dearly missed, we jump roughly 50 years into the future where the White family has grown not only in numbers but in their knowledge and expanse around the planet to even colonising off world on Mars. This was a good time to introduce new characters since many years have passed and the story is beginning to traversing into the stars.
This book is not written from the point of view of one of the characters like the previous books however you don’t actually notice because Mike is such a great writer who simply picks the reader up and takes them on a journey they won’t forget.
While we thought Sam and Jim had a lot to deal with in the first three books apparently it was nothing compared to what lay ahead.
As always love, trust, loyalty, family and betrayal play big roles within the story however while the enemy is busy dethroning the White family and Subspecies Inc it becomes more apparent the threat is closer to home than Ed White would like to believe. Can Ed separate business and family? Should he? Perhaps they are one in the same...whatever he chooses will ultimately impact upon not only the White family but all Subspecies. With the world falling apart around him the last thing he needs is for his family to fall to pieces too.

As good as if not better than the previous books and with the universe knocking on the door to be explored you know there just has to be more to come. I would not hesitate in recommending Tenth Legion to anyone aged 18 years and over. I give Tenth Legion 5 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley