Book Review: Good Doing Evil By Wilde Blue Sky

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

Good Doing Evil is a delightful novella (short story? 81 pages according to Amazon) featuring a very unassuming, unremarkable man thrust into an extraordinary situation. Arthur is a bit of an everyman. By that, I mean that all of us have a little bit of Arthur in us. He is insecure. He is 48 years old and still lives with his mum and dad. He is lonely, unhappy with his life, but too afraid to take any steps which might lead to an improvement in his situation. Sound familiar? Of course it does. We all have something of those issues in one degree or another. But in Arthur, they are a thick miasma that affects his every thought and action.

One fateful morning, while driving to work, a man literally lumbers in front of Arthur’s car, collapsing on its hood. The man clearly needs help so Arthur, doing good, trundles the giant into his vehicle and delivers him to hospital… where he dies! After this single act of good, Arthur finds himself entangled in a web of deceit, terrorism, spies and lies.

The story is very well constructed, peppered with internal dialogue fraught with Arthur’s insecurities. He reacts in much the way many of us would: by the seat of his pants and because he has to. Arthur, and we the reader, get to learn a lot about what he is (and we are) capable of. Watching him grown via these strange and frightening circumstances is a true joy. I applaud the author for creating a character we can really relate to and root for in such a short amount of time. The sparse supporting characters are also quite likable and contribute to the story every time they appear.

Good Doing Evil is a really enjoyable little tale. Billed as a spy thriller, readers of all genres are likely to find it quite appealing if for no other reason than the unassuming hero Arthur.

You can experience Arthur’s adventure for yourself HERE (free in Kindle Unlimited).

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Book Review: Loved by the First by C.F. Rabbiosi

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars

Raina, Raina, Raina…. you are one hot mess! And I can’t get enough of you.

So, heads up: Loved by the First is book two in a series. If you haven’t read Loved by a Killer then you’ll absolutely want to do so before sinking your teeth (wink wink) into this little morsel. While book 1 was a great read, I found book 2 to be full of even more raucous fun!

Raina, or Rain as her friends and I like to call her, is living the best of two worlds. After securing her freedom from her maker, Marcus, she is living a life of intrigue with her dashing mortal beau Andrew. But the dream isn’t destined to last. When Marcus resurfaces and shares the terrifying news that Varo, the very first vampire, is after Rain as a means of getting revenge against Marcus, Raina has little choice but to abandon her love and beat a hasty retreat. America should be far enough away, right? Ha! Not a chance.

When she arrives in America Raina finds one of her favorite diversions: a serial murderer know as the Silver City Strangler. Just the thing to whet her, um… appetite. She also makes some new friends: a pair of wounded outsiders who seem willing to accept Rain for exactly who she is. But Varo is hot in her trail, in all his handsome, fearsome glory, and promises to bring death to her door. Despite her fear of him, Rain is also intrigued by him and manages to strike a bargain: Varo will allow her to live only long enough to bring an end to the Strangler.

What I adore most about these books, and what was executed even more splendidly this time around, is Ms Rabbiosi’s use of notorious historical serial killers in the telling. It’s such a delicious mix of fact with the vampire fantasy fiction! The vampire mythology she has created is truly unique and really fleshes out as we learn more about Varo’s human existence and his tragic ‘end.’ I can’t wait to learn more. The supporting characters, Raina’s new friends Phoenix and Kyle, are fragile and damaged gems! I looked forward to their appearances on the page. Then there’s our MC Raina… as I stated earlier, she’s a hot mess. Her one constant is her mercurial state. That girl falls in and out of love with the rapidity of her nickname, makes up her mind and then changes it, and basically makes me want to throttle her every few pages or so. But I wouldn’t change her for the world!

Take a chance on this gruesomely unique vampire saga. You won’t be sorry. And, like me, you’ll be eagerly awaiting book three!

Find this one HERE and if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber like me you can read it for free.

2018 TBR planning

9D147B74-916E-4633-B308-1C5481694889

Right around the first of the year (1/2/2017 to be precise) I posted a “My first 10 TBR Books” for the year. I’m going out on a limb and announcing one of the top books on the 2018 version of that same list.

Having read Zachary Paul Chopchinski’s Gabrielle series, I’m super stoked for his next release: Webley and the World Machine. Not to mention I’m über jealous of this bad a$$ book trailer. 😍 After my family’s steampunk Halloween, this book is right up our alley! Follow the link below to the Bow Tie Author’s page and check it out. You’re welcome!

via Webley and The World Machine Book Trailer

My first week of NaNoWriMo: The fun & the challenges


When I self-published (July 2016) I was woefully ignorant of all the resources, support, and communities out there for independent authors. By October I had started this blog and tried to broaden my author footprint on social media. When November rolled around and my recently acquired Facebook author friends started popping up in my feed with NaNoWriMo updates I was perplexed. What the dickens were they talking about? What was all the fuss? I did some research, but decided that mid-November was too late to join in, so I made a commitment to join the event in 2017.

Well, here we are, a week in to NaNoWriMo and I am ridiculously behind on my word count. According to their planning matrix I should be somewhere in the 10,000 word range as of last night. I have just over half of that. Here are my challenges so far:

  • Reading commitments – I read out loud to my family. We are smack dab in the middle of the Mortal Instruments series and the kids are loathe to give momma time off for other endeavors. The hour (or two) after dinner is family story time!
  • Review commitments – I have such a backlog of indie author books I need to read & post reviews of! That is, after all, the point of this blog, spreading the indie love. Right now I am in the middle of a sumptuous book, Miriamne the Magdala by fellow indie JB Richards. It’s awesome, but loooonnng. I really want to devote time to it, but NaNo is taking priority. 
  • The day job – Darn real life! Truthfully, I love my day job and even if (when?) I become a famous best-selling author, I’ve always told myself I would still work at least part time. Medicine is a wonderful, amazing, and fulfilling field. But it sure is cutting into my writing time at the moment!
  • My writing style – I am what most would all a pantster when it comes to my writing. No outlines or other formal plans, so that seems to be jiving all right with NaNo. What has been a problem for me is my tendency to edit as I write. My typical pattern is as follows: write until I’m done for the day then, the next time I sit down to write, read the previous chapter (or at least the  preceding 2-3 pages) and edit as I go… typos, punctuation, flow, the whole lot. By the time I finish writing one my projects there is very little editing left. Making myself STOP that for NaNo has been beyond difficult. 

So what has been working well for me so far? A couple surprising items, in fact!

  • Extra-curricular activities – My kids have activities after work / school and on Saturdays. So, while Mom is sitting on the sidelines watching them at Kung Fu or swimming, out comes the iPad mini and my teensy Bluetooth keyboard for an hour (or three) to hammer out un-edited paragraph after paragraph. 
  • The surprise surge – It’s amazing how much can be written in a few minutes. So far this week I have written (longhand in the spiral notebook I always carry) while waiting in line at the gas station and drive thru windows, the last 10 minutes of my lunch break at work, even while standing in line at the grocery store! It’s amazing the times and places you can find for writing when it is your top priority.

The question remains, will I make the 50,000 word count goal before the end of the month? I have no idea. And it doesn’t really matter. Because I’m having fun getting the words out, and that is what counts!

Book Review: Somewhere My Lady (Ladies in Time Book 1) by Beth Trissel


🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺 5 out of 5 stars

True love never dies… or so we’ve been told through the ages. But what happens when true love does die? When two souls, fated to be together, are torn apart? Somewhere My Lady, by Beth Trissel, poses those very questions. Hired for a summer job at Harrison Hall, a historical colonial mansion, Lorna Randolph never expected to see ghosts, nor to be reunited with a handsome soldier her heart and soul knows… even though her mind cannot place him. Hart Harrison’s life was shattered when his fiancé was taken by fever, but after she appeared to him in a vision promising her return, he vowed to wait as long as was needed. Now, fate has brought them together again within the enchanted walls of Harrison Hall. Skipping backward and forward in time, between current and colonial eras, Lorna and Hart must solve the mystery of their past if they are ever to have a future together. 

Beth Trissel creates a sumptuous feast for her readers. The two worlds, modern and colonial, were clearly delineated by both atmosphere and dialogue. Small details take on great importance and pull the reader into the world. The romance between Lorna and Hart is classic, timeless, and inevitable. The young lovers are surrounded by a delightful cast of characters, both from our time and the past. Somewhere My Lady is a sweet, clean romance with unexpected twists. If you’re looking for a time travel romance with something unique, look no further. 

If a little time warp sounds fun, you can snag your copy of Somewhere My Lady on Amazon HERE.


**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: The Mistress of the Vampires (Amelia’s Chronicles Book 1) by Deliaria Davis


🖤🖤🖤🖤 3.5 out of 5 stars

In honor of Halloween, I went in search of a suitably-themed book morsel to devour and came across The Mistress of the Vampires (Amelia’s Chronicles book 1) by Deliaria Davis. This monster-mash is a genre-bending blend of erotica, horror, vampires, trolls, zombies, gladiatorial combat, and revenge killings. I’m all for genre mashups, but given the short length of this novella (56 pages) you can sometimes wind up with too much of a good thing, as might be the case here.

Amelia is the daughter of two bad-ass monster slayers, Frank and Delsa, and although she loves her parents she is frustrated by their reluctance to allow her to join them on their monster-hunting missions. Daddy Frank has his reasons, however; three years ago, Amelia was enthralled and almost captured by the Vamp leader Draco, who seemed intent on making Amelia his vampire queen. Now, three years later, Amelia’s thoughts (and her dark sexual fantasies) are still influenced by Draco. Can she be trusted? Then, just before Halloween, when all the monsters come out to play, Amelia is captured by Draco and her parents are given an ultimatum: fight in Draco’s arena and win their daughter’s freedom or die trying.

What I loved about this book was the concept and Deliaria Davis’s fearless blending of so many elements. Amelia clearly loathes everything the monsters stand for, being raised a slayer and all, but with her mind awash in thoughts of Draco she is easily swayed by his seductive powers and the freedom of his blood lust. Unfortunately, due to the short nature of the novella, we really don’t get to experience Amelia’s angst. She very quickly flips from an ‘I hate you’ attitude to recklessly reveling in her new life. The depictions of the various monsters, and the addition of some new nightmare creatures for those who think they’ve seen them all, was well executed. Their hunger and their reckless abandon while on the hunt was intoxicating. I really enjoyed this book and devoured it quickly, a surefire sign that I liked it. But Amelia’s character arch could’ve been nuanced just a bit more. The Mistress of the Vampires left me hungry, like a newborn vampire ready to feed. 

Wanna get your fill of vamps & slaughter this Halloween weekend? You can get your hands on Amelia’s Chronicle HERE.


**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: Double Booked (Supernatural Treasure Hunters book 1) by CJ Anaya


👻👻👻👻👻 4.5 out of 5 stars

CJ Anaya has crafted a quick and witty treat for readers with her novella Double Booked, the first chapter in the Supernatural Treasure Hunters series. 

Analise Lavalle is on assignment. Visiting a quaint B&B on Texas’ Galveston Island to write her latest article on hauntings and the paranormal, she is expecting a quiet week and a quick paycheck. Unfortunately, things aren’t what they seem and nothing will go to plan. You see, Analise isn’t just a talented reporter with a penchant for haunted locations, she’s a spiritual medium who keeps her unique abilities a closely guarded secret. When she arrives at Windswept Inn only to find her room has been double-booked and there’s nowhere else for her to stay on the tiny island she’s forced to concede defeat and submit to sharing her suite with a total stranger. Much to Analise’s chagrin, her roommate for the week is a devastatingly handsome Spaniard named Miguel who seems to have magical secrets, and an agenda, all his own.

The immediate sexual tension between Analise and Miguel was delicious. CJ Anaya worked her own special brand of magic as the ‘relationship’ between the two characters took on a life of its own. With the book being told in first person from Analise’s POV, readers are gifted a fun, quirky heroine with some laugh-out-loud inner thoughts. I also loved how forthright and unapologetically Analise speaks her mind. Watching her try to resist the pull Miguel exerts on her was truly scintillating. The budding romance between Analise and Miguel, while captivating, is only a small part of the story. With a centuries-old mystery, warring warlock factions, ghosts, and a hidden map leading to treasures of unimaginable magical powers, Double Booked hints at the beginning of a wonderful series. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending, but if the rest of the series is as fun as this installment, all shall be forgiven in the end. 

You can grab this delicious morsel via Amazon HERE


**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: And They Lived by Sabrina Zbasnik


🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄 5 out of 5 stars

These are fairy tales and fables with bite! And They Lived by Sabrina Zbasnik is a deliciously wicked collection of nine short stories. Each tale turns familiar parables on their ear, twisting them in dark and devious directions. These damsels are rarely in distress. Take for example Red, a twist on Little a Red Riding Hood, in which our titular character is a contract killer under the employ of a shadow agency lead by the (aptly) code-named “Grandmother.” Or The Tower which puts a devilish twist on the Rapunzel tale. Another refreshing offering was Destiny, in which we get a glimpse of what might come to pass when a King refuses to kill his firstborn child despite prophecy asserting that child will kill him. My personal favorite was The Fifth Horseman. It had such a lyrical, poetic quality to its prose; it was absolutely magical.

Each tale offered up in And They Lived has its own unique tone and flavor. Some stories are quite short (no more than a couple pages) while others are a bit longer, but each manages to convey so much and packs quite a punch. I was also pleasantly surprised when I noticed the author’s deviation from the standard copyright blurb at the book’s start; her comedic and off-beat foreword gives readers a hint at what they’re in for. Sabrina Zbasnik has mastered the art of the short story, which is no small feat, and I’m eager to delve into more works by this author.

You can check them out for yourself (perfect for Halloween) HERE, free in Kindle Unlimited. 


**Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite**

Book Review: Penny White and the Vengeance of Snails (Penny White Book 4) by Chrys Cymri


🐌🐌🐌🐌🐌 5 out of 5 snails… I mean stars!

This fourth installment of the Penny White series is an absolute treat! Vengeance of Snails opens with Morey and Taryn about to become parents, Clyde eager for his confirmation, James slowly and morosely recovering from his near-fatal heroics, and Penny and Peter starting in on their wedding plans. It’s just life as normal since Penny involved herself with the denizens of Lloegyr. And, as always, there’s no smooth sailing for our dauntless Father Penny! Trouble is brewing in the shape of unexplained vandalisms at a number of sites linked to Penny as well as growing issues with snail sharks in both our world and Lloegyr. 

James has never been one of my favorite characters, but this book pulled him up quite a bit in my esteem. After some woe-is-me shenanigans, James has something happen (no spoilers!) which leaves someone utterly dependent upon him. Watching James grow into that role was lovely. And his paternal instincts! I might’ve actually swooned a little. 

Peter, Raven and Morey are steadfast, as always. The tension between Penny and Raven, as well as Peter’s trust in the search dragon were delicious. 

The biggest character arch in this episode involves, as the title suggests, dear little (or maybe not so little anymore) Clyde. As we learn more and more about snail shark society in Lloegyr and the two factions, Clyde is faced with a temptation few could resist, and a huge decision weighs heavily upon his left-spiraling shell. What will he decide? How will Penny cope with his decisions? And can their mother-child bond survive when Clyde finally learns the truth about what happened to his real mum? 

Fans of this series are sure to be delighted by Vengeance of Snails. I know I certainly was! Grab this new release today, available in Kindle Unlimited too, from Amazon HERE.

**I received an electronic ARC of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

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