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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

23 Jun 2012

Children of Subspecies

Children of Subspecies is written by Mike Arsuaga and published by MuseItHot Publishing. The novel is 82,714 words and 22 chapters and 223 pages in length.

Mike Arsuaga is the author of Subspecies, Subspecies Inc and Children of Subspecies, there are at least another two books in the series titled Tenth Legion and Lagrange Point. Mike is also working on an anthology of short stories to fill the back stories of important characters.

It is 2021, approximately 5 years have passed since Jim returned from being missing for 15 months in the Pyrenees and the triplets are now twelve years old. Sam is CEO of Subspecies Inc, the coporation she and Jim started. Many subspecies have adapted to the new way of life while few ferals still remain in the wilds of the world at least until Subspecies Inc located them offering rehabilitation or death. Jim must use his knowledge of ferals gained from his months away from Sam to track down a group. Subspecies have always been known to lag behind humanity in learning to walk and talk as babes but concern has been growing as the hybrid children develop at the same time as human children. Cynthia arrives still child-less and with the hope that a dream has revealed that Eddie will be the one to give her children but Eddie himself is still just a child making this revelation a little tough for Jim to digest even if the age gap between Cynthia and Eddie is the same as Jim and Sam. In 2026 a flu outbreak leaves cause for concern as to whether the children are at risk or whether the subspecies could be at risk but there is still wonder as to whether any of the children will be subspecies at all. Cynthia’s adopted son Mikey, the boy whose mother died in book 2, is taken by Cynthia’s brother believed to be a member of a group known only as Tenth Legion who despise the Subspecies. Is her brother brain washing him?

Book3 of the Subspecies saga is fast paced covering a number of years taking the triplets from almost teenagers into adulthood. Mike Arsuaga has plotted key events that will determine who these children are and who they are to become. We can expect the usual sex and blood going hand in hand but as well as love between two characters we have the love a family possesses, one that cannot be broken. With the children comes growth, the how and why they develop into the adults they become through love, loss and betrayal. Death itself is a big key to this story and tells that even perfection can be undone however there is always hope, a hope that could take the subspecies into the stars.

Children of Subspecies much like its predecessors drags you in straight from the first page however unlike its predecessors this one is written slightly differently, written from the perspective of vampire Jim White this book plots and links all key events throughout the years that will lead to the subspecies having to move yet again, call upon old friends and face old enemies. Are the triplets or even the twins subspecies? Can they continue the subspecie lineage? Who are the Tenth Legion? Did they instigate the 2026 flu outbreak that claimed so many lives? And will the world ever be the same again? Again as with the previous books I would recommend Children of Subspecies to anyone aged 18 years and over. Personally I hope there are many, many more books to come. I give Children of Subspecies 5 out of 5 stars

By R.N. Hadley

8 Jun 2012

Boneyard 11

Boneyard 11 is written by Linton Robinson and published by Adoro Books. The novel is approximately fifty two chapters and 123 pages in length including contents, author bio and bonus chapters.


Linton Robinson was born in Japan but has lived in Latin America for over twenty years of which he has worked as an English and Spanish journalist. Linton has also written Sweet Spot, Imaginary Lines, and Mayan Calendar Girls amongst other titles, he is also a screenwriter and has a TV series currently in development.

Rudely awoken at a ridiculous hour call girl Nan is about to be handed her next job. A job that asks something big of her. Accustomed to the life and world of whoring Nan is adept at knowing what men want, how to treat them as well as how their minds work. Not only that but she is knowledgeable of the drugs and arms world. Always treating clients the same Nan never expected that when she met Gasper in prison she would actually like him and she certainly wasn’t expecting the job to be to marry Gasper and meet with him on a regular basis in prison for their intimate encounter in Boneyard 11. However, if Nan is to prove her loyalty to her husband and if she is to gain the trust and respect of her husbands men then she is going to have to play the part of dutiful wife to the Godfather. A Kickass, no shit, kinda gal Nan is going to face a number of obstacles including a cop who fancies the hell out her and pushes every one of her buttons, not to mention betrayal in the ranks, and the gun totting Syco with a rather short fuse. When Gasper is attacked in prison and Nan’s own life is put in jeopardy she decides to up the game, alter the contract and take charge of her husband’s estate. Does she love him? Can she handle the world she has walked into? Or will she leave it all and go back to work? With a territorial fight brewing with Gasper behind bars ‘out of the way’ will Nan adapt to her situation and run with it or fall at the first hurdle?

Boneyard 11 is described as a cross between the movies Pretty Woman and The Godfather, and to some degree I would have to agree. The action never stops and the characters and locations are all colourful and aid in the progression of the story. However what I did find quite daunting was the fact that the story was fifty two chapters in length and there were no margins which meant the text was stretched to the limits of the page, this made the story feel much longer than its 123 pages even though some of the chapters are only a paragraphs length. Although the pace of the story is quite fast moving, between scenes I would say slow it down when reading in order to get your inner voice around some of the language used especially for the likes of the character named Syco. Being someone who knows little of the language and culture of Latin-America I would have to say unless you are comfortable and capable to adapt to this type of writing where culture is a huge influence if you still choose to read-on then take in every word whether you understand or not because the story itself is not just about the culture for there is an underlying current of hope to find that which was thought unattainable as well as loyalty and trust.

Although I did not understand some of the language used you do get an idea as to what is being said by what is being described. I did enjoy reading Boneyard 11 and would recommend both it and Linton Robinson to any reader over 18 years of age.
I give Boneyard 11, 4.5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

18 Apr 2012

The Watchtower

The Watchtower is written by Darke Conteur and is published through Smashwords and Amazon. This is a six chapter, 27,732 word paranormal novella.

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”.

Martin Cunningham is at a loss, with no job he fears for starvation and the loss of his home. Sending out job applications is a regular thing next to receiving no replies. Deciding to follow up on an application several weeks old, Martin finds himself asked to attend the creepy office of a mysterious lady by the name of Jezryall. However what is more creepy, the gothic surroundings reminiscent of Dracula’s castle or the mysterious package he was asked to deliver by a scaredy cat courier? And why is everyone so frightened by a harmless object?
Sometimes things happen for a reason and events have a tendency to occur when they are supposed to. Danger can lurk around any corner and even the most innocent of looking packages can be deceiving and in this case they really are. When Martin’s would be employer receives a mysterious package the race is on to find out exactly what it is and where it came from but was Martin supposed to be there? A job application he has not heard from, he decides instinctively to contact and is asked for an interview. Was it fate?
With Jezryall not used to receiving packages of any kind, Martin’s interview is about to get very hands on and unbelievable. Will Martin survive the interview? Who are the Gemini? Who or what is Jezryall? Who is trying to kill her? and why?
With their lives in danger and Martin completely out of his comfort zone, does Martin get the job? And if so after everything, will he still want it?

The Watchtower is a novella at less than thirty thousand words therefore the story moves quite quickly. For me I feel this story should have been a little longer to fully appreciate all the story has to offer as it comes together in a whole. There are a number of interesting aspects, magical spells and abilities present within the story, so many in fact I do not feel that each quite get enough reader time to understand them, as well as characters.
I enjoyed this story very much but it did read very quickly which can be frustrating for people who like to flesh out their characters and stories. At times I feel there were moments when the pace should have changed to aid in visualisation. I would recommend The Watchtower to anyone with an interest in the supernatural. If this story is anything to go by then Darke Conteur is someone to watch out for, I would definitely like to see something longer by this author. I give The Watchtower by Darke Conteur 4 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

19 Mar 2012

An Eternity Of Shadow : Book 2 Dante's Diary

An Eternity of Shadow : A Collection of Vampire Diaries is written by Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc and is published by Helm Publishing, Florida. A full length novel at 220 pages, this is book two of the Dante’s Dairy Vampire series. This book is split into two collections The Lost Memories of Ivanna Morriander and, The Estate of Barren Hill – Pennings.

Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc resides in Florida with her husband and cats. A multi award winner and best seller Andrea has the knack for taking her readers into the dark and twisted areas of our mind sometimes to places we wish we had never gone or could never leave. Andrea is the owner of Twisted Dreams magazine and the store The Celtic Belle. Wherever possible Andrea visits conventions and book signings, she loves to meet with her fans both online and off.

When Percival Parkins is called to an old gothic building due for demolition it becomes apparent that this is not your average meet. Summoned by Salvatore Compregna, Grandson of Dante Compregna , Percival is asked to look at something Sal found in a wall of the house, a journal which belonged to the mysterious Ivanna Morriander and another belonging to his Grandfather Ivanna’s friend. With Ivanna claiming to be a vampire Percival is beside himself to learn all he can from these books no matter how long it takes to fully understand them and the stories and lives they share.

The Lost Memories of Ivanna Morriander
The first diary speaks of the unlife of Ivanna Morriander, vampire, from the moment of her turning through her journeys, her loves and friends and emotional turmoil’s shared through her love of poetry. Ivanna shares her sorrow of the loss of her life of having it torn from her without her wish or say so. Then the long, slow, changes that occur in a being that create acceptance and a need to embrace what is. It is not just about revenge it is about life, death, feeling and acceptance. The journey we have in life makes us who we are, both good and bad. Being a vampire you’ve so much time on your hands that the feelings change with the centuries.

The Estate of Barren Hill – Pennings
The second diary tells the events and the account of Mr Carmichael’s visit to the house and recording the history of the coven of vampires and stories related to the estate. The stories themselves show the torment, suffering and sometimes love that each member of the coven endured in their lifetime with whom Ivanna spoke. These are the most memorable but they each in their own way speak the same tale of how even vampire relations are the same as humans, and no matter how hard you think you have things you can always find someone worse off than you.

An Eternity of Shadow is the second book of the Dante’s Diary Series and straight from page one you are pulled in with the promise of secrets to be shared. Pain, loss, love, anger and suffering are key elements of these diaries and you soon learn that no matter someone’s age no-one is truly innocent and everyone has a story to tell.
At first we meet Percival whose own story reads somewhat like a ghost story opening up. When we enter the world of the journals we meet Ivanna Morriander, vampire.
Ivanna clearly chronologically sculpts her pain from the anger of being turned to the pain of loss, to love and again more pain and misery that follows as time goes by and one becomes accustomed to a life where people come and go.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it hooked me from the very beginning to the very end. I have to commend Andrea for her detail and the amount of work she has clearly put into this book, she really is The Mistress of Macabre. My only one big issue is I want more about Ivanna’s life. I have to admit I did not care too much about the life stories of the other members of the coven but I would love to see a book of Ivanna’s life detailing everything, every thought and journey she made. I would even like to read more about Percival Parkins who seems like a fascinating character himself yet barely had a chance to reveal himself to us.
I could rate this book but I believe a rating of 5 is nowhere near high enough to do credit!

By R.N. Hadley

14 Mar 2012

Hazardous Choices

Hazardous Choices is written by Joseph Rinaldo and published by Smashwords. The novel is approximately 88,000 words and 30 chapters in length.

Joseph Rinaldo has two published novels the third he is currently editing. Joseph has a daughter who has down syndrome and he hopes his voice can be a guide to parents in a similar situation by creating a character within his first two published novels whom have down syndrome.

Coach Rotteli is keen to get his football team, the Western Kentucky state University Bobcats, back on top form after several losses but it is going to take a lot of work for everyone, so he needs his home life to run smoothly and between a son who has down syndrome and a daughter who is little interested in her studies he has his work cut out at least until another teacher steps in to help with the families communication barriers when it comes to son Eric.
When Darnell, a football player and member of the Knights of Neptune wants out of the gang, he hides who he really is. On return home and to the gang Darnell’s life takes a turn for the worst when he kills someone to please the gang and to enable his return to school and football. Ashamed of his life outside of school Darnell keeps it secret. But just how long can he keep living two separate lives and prevent them from crossing paths without casualties on either end? How many decisions is he going to have to make and will they be the right ones? How many lives are going to be effected by his actions? Not wanting to appear siss-e-fied by either side, if he wants to follow his dreams and leave the tower block back home, what is a guy to do?

Life is full of hazardous choices and that appears to be the point in this story however as much as I know football is important to this story, for me there is just too much description about the game because of this I would have to say that this book is aimed more at a male audience rather than a female one.
However, the story of Eric is far more interesting and I would have liked to have seen more of his story open up and perhaps have his character a little more involved especially at the end.
Gang life appears portrayed very well and the story itself is well written but I have this nagging feeling that some of the football descriptions were word fillers to amp up the word count and this has thrown off the balance of the story. I actually like the idea of the story and would have liked to have seen more about the similarities between gangs and teams rather than read about a football game.

Hazardous Choices is very much a story about brotherhood and loyalty to the end, it also depicts slight similarities between gang life and that of a team of footballers. There is also a story of connections between people and the bonds they have which is especially portrayed by Nicole and Eric.
From a males point of view this book would probably have a higher rate however being a female who prefers books to sport I could only recommend this book to males above 18 years of age or football fans.
I give Hazardous Choices by Joseph Rinaldo 3.5 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

25 Feb 2012

Subspecies Inc.

Subspecies Inc is written by Mike Arsuaga and published by MuseItHot Publishing. The novel is a 75,800 word paranormal erotica and is the second book in the series.

Mike Arsuaga author of Subspecies, and My Life As Dog lives in Orlando Florida with his wife author and editor Cynthia Arsuaga and Yorkshire Terrier Thumper. Mike spent almost 23 years as a US Navy officer and uses his travels as ideas and locations for his stories.

Since book one more than six years have passed, safe and sound Sam and Jim have both moved and moved on with their lives, now with triplets in tow showing signs of high development at a very young age. Protected by the Waldrup Enterprises Inc otherwise known as Subspecies Inc to those on the inside.
However even travelling to Spain they cannot avoid people going missing and dying similarly to how attacks occur. Waldrup Enterprise strives to abstain from human consumption and find an adequate alternative however not every Subspecie is in agreement, though they are in agreement that they need to preserve and expand their kind through mating.
As if bringing Cynthia through emergence wasn’t enough, this time having spent the last 6 years trying Cynthia is trying to get pregnant with no luck what so ever and so yet again Jim is called upon. But will this leave Sam happy or will she be angry this time round? With the Subspecie community at odds a dark shadow arises that could potentially destroy them. Will the book Critters of the Night come back and haunt them? And is someone amongst them working against them?
After an accident in the hills leaves Jim MIA and suffering amnesia how is a vampire to survive the wilderness?

Mike Arsuaga has done it again, reintroducing us to the world of the Subspecies with their enemies and issues but this time as opposed to remaining hidden the greatest issue is how to reveal themselves to the world. But when the secret comes out in an uncontrolled, unexpected and unforeseen way quickly the lives of all Subspecies become a subject of fascination by the wrong people and for the wrong reasons. A new way of thinking and handling the world are going to have to become second knowledge if the Subspecies are to survive in a world that believed they did not exist.
Based in America, Spain and France each character will be tested to their limit and forced into making some tough decisions. Can Sam and Jim’s love for one another withstand what they are about to face as they themselves are tested individually, as a couple and in business.
Love, trust, loyalty and family drive this story and keep it neatly woven together as politics, sex and beliefs threaten to tear apart Sam, Jim and the Subspecies once and for all.
An amazing story that continues on from the first and opens up the world of the Subspecies not just to the locations visited but also to the rest of the planet, this story is now capable of going absolutely anywhere in the future and has already been to many places and done many things. Subspecies Inc is just as good as the first book of the series if not better. I highly recommend it to anyone aged 18 years and over. I give Subspecies Inc 5 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

7 Feb 2012

Painted Jezebel

Painted Jezebel is written by Jolie Pethel (pen name) and is published by MuseItUp Publishing. The novel is 65,000 words and 22 chapters in length.

Jolie Pethel is a character / pen name used by author Billi Wagner who also writes under her legal name. Part Irish Billi was born in Ohio, and raised in Arizona but Billi moved back East so that her six children could enjoy a proper white Christmas. She penned her first short story in 2nd grade but Painted Jezebel is her first published work. Painted Jezebel is the first of a series of Jezebel Jinx mysteries and Billi is currently penning the second volume Poison Pens.

When HOT publicist Finn Mackenzie knocks on author Jezebel Jinks’ door whose to blame her for thinking she’s been sent a stripper for her birthday. Dreams shattered Jezebel is about to have her worst case scenario become literal. A home bound author she is about to be forced to face her enemy, the outside world in order to get her to attend a writing conference to plug her new novel. First Finn has got to get her out of the house, but how?
Then her second enemy and Finn’s ex, author and competitor, Constance Mallard’s presence at the Book Lovers Expo causes all sorts of issues.
Feeling completely jinxed, with many fears and phobia’s to overcome and an awards ceremony to face Jezebel’s life feels like a rollercoaster of emotions. But with the arrival of the brother of ex-lover Jack, being food poisoned and a murder it looks as if this rollercoaster is about to derail. Is Jezebel really jinxed? Does someone want her dead? Will she be doing time for murder? Having been involved in one once was bad enough but a second time surely this is bad luck... even so will Finn remain by her side? And can he keep things professional this time round?

Painted Jezebel is a book you will not want to put down, there is surely nothing that can pry it from a readers hands once they get started. A whirl wind from start to finish from love and romance to murder, food poisoning, family issues and the complication of what is more important love or career. Jolie Pethel (Billi Wagner) has gone above and beyond on this novel making sure her readers relate to her characters and stay interested. This story literally just flows from its pages and that is a very good thing because all you’ll be interested in is what happens next and who is responsible. I am sure the rest of the Jezebel Jinks series will be both a fascinating and colourful read.
I recommend Painted Jezebel to anyone above 18 years of age as containing mild sexual scenes and I give Painted Jezebel 5 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

30 Jan 2012

The Speed of Darkness

The Speed of Darkness is written by Sarah Baethge and published by Smashwords. At just shy of 40,000 words, 18 chapters and 104 pages this book comes under the description of a novella because of its lower word count.

Sarah Baethge lives in Salado Texas on her step-moms donkey ranch with her dad and sister. She has written at least five short stories and published one book. Sarah has some more works in various stages of completion and admits she writes the stories that she would like.

Computer Professor Eric Omlup teaches adult learning and two of his students (the best and worst of the class) have him tearing his hair from his head. It is no wonder then that he miscalculates the coming fullmoon, until Ms Brenner shows him while she tries to get a date with him.
Eric Omlup, werewolf, about to be caught, with only 20 minutes to get to his apartment but with only 2 minutes remaining to get into the apartment from his car. Time is not on Eric’s side as he transforms and is left to wonder the streets. Happening across some Professional werewolf trappers and their prey Eric’s life is about to get even worse.
As if Eric’s own secret wasn’t enough the prey, Nigel, has one of his own far different from Eric’s the only problem being they are both now being hunted by the evil group known as The Eclipse.

In a world where both werewolves and what appears to be mutant-like abilities exist in secret.
Good and evil. Light and dark. We are about discover the monster that lurks inside us all.
Can Eric hold back the wolf long enough to help bring down one of the world’s greatest organisations? What is shadow skating? Who are Solar Flare? Who are Eclipse? And which side are they on? What are the agenda’s of each side?

The Speed of Darkness has an interesting plot that has the potential to go further, deeper and be expanded upon. The plot is also unbalanced to the pace of the story where one speeds up the other appears to slow down.
This is an interesting and at times enjoyable story with some colourful characters but I believe that this unbalance between plot and pace has let the story and the author down considerably which is a shame. I would perhaps be inclined to pull the story from publication in order to reassess the story in its entirety perhaps wearing a different hat. For the world created I believe this story to be merely a drop in the sand as there is great potential for this story, but I do not feel it has yet been discovered as there is so much more ground to be covered and I personally would like to see more of these organisations and how they work. The science was not bad either and I would have liked to have seen more science but perhaps less theory.
Written in third person with a miss-matched mix of first person that leaves the reader confused and having to re-read sentences to see what was actually meant to have been said. There is also an unsuited combination of single spaces and double spaces used.
The font this novel is published in is not the usual Times New Roman or Arial format we are all accustomed to seeing. In fact this story goes completely against all known publisher requirements. So I recommend it to be best read at 75% magnification.

This was perhaps one of my most difficult reviews to undertake to date and I found it so hard a task to stay on track as well as to rate but I must rate on what I see therefore I give The Speed of Darkness 3 out of 5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley

22 Jan 2012

The Diary of A Seventh Grade Hybrid

The Diary Of A Seventh Grade Hybrid is written by Lee Mavin and available through Createspace.com and amazon.com is a fantasy adventure. The book is 232 pages in length broken into manageable daily bitesize outtakes suitable for any age reader.

Lee J. Mavin lives in Shanghai, China with his wife and daughter. He teaches, has written and published three books including a poetry and unused lyrics book, plus a collection of horror themed short stories. Lee also writes articles and the monthly must do’s and don’ts in Shanghai for The Get Go Magazine.

The day before Ziggy (Sigmund) starts seventh grade at Fuqain International his mom hands him a notebook to record all thoughts and memories so that he does not forget a thing, unfortunately for him he does not remember the day before this.
As if being a seventh grader wasn’t hard enough poor Sigmund (Ziggy) Zhao has a huge secret to hide under his cap, voices in his head and the school bully Timmy Tang to deal with threatening to “flush him”.
There’s something about Ziggy. At first he appears to be your average loner at school who has few friends but introduce the school bully and some very strange teachers and there are things to be revealed beneath the surface, things that Ziggy does not want revealed. So when it becomes common knowledge that Ziggy has antennas on his head. Of course the whole school want to know him which just about makes things worse for him in that his popularity drives Timmy Tang round the bend and fuels his fury for flushing Ziggy even more.
With the teachers behaving strange around him, and his random kidnappings he decides something is going on and he needs to find out exactly what. But whatever it is it seems to have something to do with these strange voices that keep feeding him information on the Toyota Company, a man named Takeshi Shibuya and an alien attack on the planet in the future.
Joining the basketball team and taking a few extra classes how is Ziggy going to keep his secret? Why can he not stop writing poetry for his English Teacher the flame haired Miss Woods? How will the others kids and teachers take his secret? Why does he keep getting kidnapped? Who is the quiet weird girl constantly following him? And what is with the voices in his head to do with The Toyota Company and a supposed future alien attack?
With question after question piling up school is about to get all kinds of crazy but it is nothing when compared to his own eccentric mother’s behaviour and lack of interest to the goings on in his life.

The Diary of A Seventh Grade Hybrid is a title which literally describes the book. Unable to remember his past Ziggy is asked to keep a diary in order to help him remember. Written on a day to day basis covering school, dates and adventures this book reads like a kid who can’t quite get his words out fast enough.
An enjoyable book spanning a school year and based in Shanghai, Lee J. Mavin has done a marvellous job at portraying an average Joe whose not so average afterall. A possible hero in the making will there be more of Ziggy to come in the future?
I give Lee J. Mavin and The Diary of A Seventh Grade Hybrid 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to any child from around ten years of age upwards.

By R.N. Hadley

15 Jan 2012

My Life As A Dog

My Life As A Dog is written by Cynthia and Mike Arsuaga and published by Secret Cravings Publishing is an erotic paranormal romance at approximately 67,000 words and 14 chapters in length.

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?

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.
I would recommend My Life As A Dog to anyone aged 18 years and over and award the novel 4.5 stars.

By R.N. Hadley