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Review of Bloodwalker by L.X. Caine

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 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

L.X. Cain lives not too far from the beautiful beaches and turquoise waters of the Red Sea. Despite the scenic delights, she’s an indoor gal and spends most of her time happily tapping away on her laptop keyboard, coming up with thrilling story ideas to entertain readers! 

Bloodwalker is a very enticing book. It follows the life of circus folk. The traveling Eastern circus known as Zorka Circus is constantly looking for the next place to perform in. Due to the seeming nature of people, the circus folk handle most of their business and problems on their own. Head of security for the circus, Rurik discovers that children are missing in the different cities that they visit. One day while out on a watch, Ruirk meets the one responsible for the acts, a child kidnapping / killing clown. Ruirk uses his skills and select others that he trusts to help search for the clown. 

Another group of people with a unique history enters the situation. The Skomari is a clan of people with abnormal beauty. They historical have been around for hundreds of years dressing the recently dead and communicating with spirits. Many outsiders considers them ghouls or demons.  

In an attempt to keep harmony between the groups, marriage took place in their location. The Skomari were not well received but were eventually connected into the string of murders secretly surrounding the circus. One Skomari in particular, Sylvie acted with her gut and in some ways could be seen as the last representation of her clan. 

I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. I quickly found myself wrapped in the story and not wanting to put it down. The plot itself was easy to understand. The subject and theme was intriguing and different enough that it felt like a breath of fresh invigorating air. Even though the air most times was far from “fresh”. Several times throughout the book, I thought the characters were trapped or going to be killed. I was rooting for their success and wondered how they would navigate out of the situation.  

L.X. Caine did a wonderful job with the description of scenes and character development. Some phrases that she used made me feel as if I was truly standing watching the scene next to the characters. While written to be a stand-alone book, Bloodwalker has the potential to become a series. I would like to see what other adventures or nightmares Rurik and Sylvie encounter. 

Bloodwalker is a thrilling adventure that is sure to leave you on the edge searching for more. 

Get in touch with L.X.Cain at her blog

 

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Review of Her Forbidden Cowboy by Maggie Carpenter

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If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

Review by Carlton Rolle

Maggie’s suspenseful, riveting romances, consistently garner five-star reviews, and her books have won numerous awards. She has often been listed in Amazon’s Top 100 Erotic Authors, and her books are consistently in the top ten, oftentimes landing in the #1 spot. Male dominance / female submission is her passion. The alpha males that she writes about range from down-home hunky spanking cowboys, to fantasy, sword-wielding, warriors, to artful wealthy Dominants who don’t need dollars to melt their sweet subs. She is an old-fashioned romantic, complete with her own white knight fantasies.

Her Forbidden Cowboy revolves around two people Scott Sampson and Cathy Coleman. Scott is the owner of Sampson’s Boarding Stables. A passion of his for years, he lives his life as a rugged guy working in the stable with horses. Cathy has two horses that she has at Sampson’s Boarding Stables, Cinnamon and Moon Doggie. Cinnamon is her jumper. Cinnamon has a pretty strong personality and seems to be filled with opinions of her own. Moon Doggie on the other hand is retired and gray colored.

The story starts roughly a year after Cathy has been boarding at Scott’s stable. While they knew of each other, they didn’t really interact much. When they did, it was normally for Scott having to step into the boarder’s arguments and business. One time, Cathy got into trouble and went further by lying and placing the blame on another boarder. Scott knew Cathy was guilty the entire time. When confronted, Cathy ended up being spanked by Scott. This set the sexual tension into action for the two. Even though Scott had a rule about not dating boarders, he found himself further drawn to Cathy.

The two were able to meet up and have a cup of coffee to learn about each other. Sparks flew and the two thought they could hit it off. Scott stated that he would be stepping down from managing the barn so that he could focus on his next venture with horses. Once the process was finished, they would see whether or not they would take the next step. When the time did come, Scott and Cathy hit it off perfectly. Behind closed doors, Scott became a dominating guy. Cathy had the submissive role. This was new and exhilarating to her. The two found they comforted and sated each other.

While this was going smoothly between the two, a storm was beginning within Cathy’s rich family. Catherine’s mom, didn’t approve of Scott and sought to split the two up before it became too serious. Cathy’s mom attempted to bribe Scott with money to push them away. With her determination, Cathy’s mom also tried to set her up with a guy she much rather would’ve seen Cathy with.

The entire situation comes to the surface during a horrible storm that happens in the area. It causes everyone to reflect on their actions and that of others. Attitudes change and the whole group of them find themselves that much closer with one another.

Of course, with most things in life, when something is good, you want more of it. Scott and Cathy were just that. Their connection and lust was strong and steamy. Cathy’s parents see that their daughter and Scott are serious. Through a series of events (romantic, manipulation, and outside factors) Scott, Cathy, and her parents grow further to learn more about each other.

Her Forbidden Cowboy is an erotic story with a “happily ever after” ending able to get you off! If you’re a reader looking for something to put a little spice into your life or even give you a few ideas, give this book a try!

Learn more about Maggie Carpenter at: facebook.com/maggiecarpenterwriter

Review of The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave by Brydie Walker Bain

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If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Brydie Walker Bain is a playwright, poet, and children’s author. She studied History and Theatre & Film at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and furthered her studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Brydie’s plays have enjoyed readings in London and sell out audiences in Auckland, Hamilton, and Waitomo.

The story follows the life of Nat Sheppard and her family in New Zealand. At the beginning of the school holiday, Nat and her siblings Jack and Kathleen discover a hidden room in the family house. The room contains a letter and maps with the location of the fabled Sinbad’s treasure. In their search, the kids come across others that are professional treasure hunters. These people are willing to do whatever they have to do in order to get money from their loot. With both groups being aware of each other, the rush to get the treasure is on! Nat, Jack, and Kathleen were even more motivated to find the treasure to protect their farm being sold off. It’s a very endearing situation for the characters.

I loved the way the book was written. It wasn’t too heavy or difficult of a situation to comprehend. Many times, I was hoping that the kids would get everything and more they wanted. It felt like Bain took the time to really craft the imagery of these kids and the landscapes of their adventure. My least favorite aspect of the book was that there was more to the plot that could have been worked out. Then again, that may be the entire purpose of the series is to have the reader continue on to find out what completely happens. One thing that was a little frustrating about reading was some of the names used. I didn’t know what they meant, and would be left with context or not knowing at all. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I saw there was a short glossary of reference words. I appreciate the cultural reference to the Maori though. It’s insightful and gives greater depth to the entire story behind the treasure.

It’s exhilarating to be a part of a treasure hunt. When it’s woven into family history and future, the kids have no choice but to be drawn by the thrill and hope. This is a good travel adventure book. With so much of it occurring in a cave, it’s cool to see the action happen in a different space. This is great for the youth to be able to read and have really fun imaginative stories. Because of this, I’d be interested in seeing what the next book Brydie Bain writes. If you’re looking for your inner youth, while reading, give The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave a read.

More can be learned about Brydie Walker Bain at www.facebook.com/brydiewalkerbain

Review of Next Of Sin by Lisa J Gordon

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

 

Lisa Jacqueline Gordon is an author who loves to write with freedom and originality.  Entertainment and characters who are out of the ordinary excite her. Lisa loves sports, adores politics, thrives among people, practices astrology and is a big advocate of democracy and fair trials/justice. Lisa is from Johannesburg and attended St. Mary’s; then Sandown High. She studied BCom Law at Witwatersrand University before coming to do a BSc. Ind. Economics at Warwick University in England. Lisa studied Chartered Accounting with the ICAEW, but her passion is entertaining.  Lisa vlogs about astrology and Indie Publishing and she is also a firm believer in the power of diet in physical and mental health. Lisa studied astrology with the London Faculty of Astrological Studies.

 

Next of Sin is an intense psychological thriller. The story follows the main character Gaby Butler. Gaby is hunted by a reoccurring dream from her childhood. In an attempt to work out the situation, Gaby ends up working through much more then she intended to. Gaby realizes that there is a serial killer potentially very close to her. Being as careful as possible, Gaby conducted research to confirm what she suspected. Each clue or contact is another step toward justice and the killer.

 

Gaby decides to inform her sister Megan and together they hire a detective to do more searching for evidence. While Gaby and Megan search for clues, the killer catches onto them and attempts to stop the entire investigation. The two sisters are involved in a fatal accident leaving the family in peril. With recovery time, Gaby’s memories began to return to her. She had a short period of time to act before the killer struck again. Gaby and her new allies work tirelessly to bring justice to the families affected by the entire situation as it unravels.

 

I really enjoyed this book. It took a while for me to warm up to it and get a handle on what was happening. Once I did understand, it was intense. I connected with Gaby and her allies. Some points I felt incredibly protective over the entire team. Other times, I wondered what traps lay ahead for them. The story had a deep effect on me. I wanted the best for the characters in the story and hoped things would be smooth. Yet with almost every shade of life, the good things or luck don’t last too long.

 

This brings me into my favorite aspects of the book. There were several issues that were influencing characters and the story. Trust, misunderstanding, identity, communication, and love were all highly fought factors. I appreciate the way Gordon introduced these topics causing characters and readers to reflect on their values. Some people were really open and willing to take an internal look at themselves. While others that had no desire to change or wouldn’t even properly acknowledge a situation. It was a very touching to see characters have internal strife, reflection, and growth.

 

Next of Sin is a compelling story that keeps readers in its bone chilling grip. If you’re in need of a dark adventure filled with death, secrets, and crime investigation, check it out!

 

More information about Lisa Gordon: https://lisalazuli.com

 

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Review of A Jealous Heart by Ester Byrt

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 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

 

Ester Byrt lives in Canada with her husband and two yappy but loveable sheltie dogs. She has worked as a bartender, bookkeeper, computer technician, graphic designer, and web designer.

 

‘A Jealous Heart’ follows the life of two main characters. Jackie is a widow of two years working a youth center. One of her charges, Danielle, is in need of a place to stay. Jackie contacts Danielle’s uncle, Mark in an attempt to have him care for her. Mark quickly learns Danielle’s situation and decides to have her move in with him.

 

Mark works on the town’s oil field. He is intrigued by Jackie when they first meet. After deciding to take Danielle, Mark reaches out to Jackie to get some tips on raising a teenager. While somewhat successful in taking the information, he became more enamored with Jackie. After a couple lite lunches and dates, Mark and Jackie gain feelings for one another. One night, while Jackie is alone, the room temperature suddenly drops and electronics turn on and off by themselves. One evening, after a romantic date, Mark and Jackie come back to her place. They both witness the strange occurrences.

 

Jackie believes that she is being haunted by her deceased husband Kevin. He was very jealous and aggressive when he was alive. The incidents become more and more apparent. Voicing her opinion to Mark, they decide on the next option to get rid of the hindering ghost. Together they go to a tarot reading and have a medium come to the house. The most useful information though came unexpectedly from Danielle. She helped guide Mark and Jackie into what she thought they could do to get rid of the ghost. With strong intentions and plenty of love, Mark and Jackie eventually exorcise Kevin’s ghost from their lives.

 

While Byrt does a nice job making sure the story sticks to the plot, I think there were several parts in the story that could have been fleshed out better. At some points, I felt the scene was rushed. There could have been greater detail in the situations. For instance, adding further to the hot and steamy emotions that were happening between Jackie and Mark. Or work could have expanded on the cold and dangerous feelings emanating from Kevin’s ghost. Overall though, I felt everything mentioned in the book was relevant and connected.

 

This book shows the length that some people are willing to take in the name of love. ‘A Jealous Heart’ is a decent read if you’re looking for romance and a dash of sci-fi.

 

Visit Esther Byrt at: http://estherbyrt.ca/

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Review of Diamonds Fall by Rebecca M. Gibson

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 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

REVIEW BY CARLTON ROLLE

Rebecca M. Gibson grew up in Cornwall, UK surrounded by plenty of inspiration. She has always had an interest in stories ever since writing ghost stories on her mom’s computer. Gibson studied at Aberystwyth University and obtained a psychology degree. When researching World War One, Gibson became fascinated by the poems and letters written during the time period. She wanted to understand the complexity and strength of human character. Armed with that intensity, Gibson channeled it in the hardship that her character’s encounter.

Diamonds Fall is a story revolving around a young woman named Annabel Hoddington. Annabel comes from a hierarchical family and wealthy lifestyle. On the day of her 18th birthday, she plans to announce her coming-of-age and marriage to another prestigious family. Shortly before the ceremony begun Annabel snuck off into the woods to have some time alone. After entering the seemingly majestic forest, Annabel is attacked and abducted by a group of men.

As Annabel is taken further away from her home, she is humiliated and abused. She eventually finds herself isolated inside a horse stable. Tending to her was the stable boy Billy and his sister Patsy. Annabel grasps that she is in a tiny village. As she realizes more about the situation, she learns more of her captors Tom and Trevor. With time, the three find comfort and companionship within each other. They grow to have the same common enemies.

Annabel was tested on every level to rise above her circumstance. Gibson gives the reader a clear understanding to the mindset that Annabel was in. She had to change most of her behaviors and thoughts in order to survive in the village. While intense and difficult at times, Annabel finds a way to overcome whatever obstacle is put in her way. From a mental perspective, it is interesting to look at the change that one would undergo is exposed to the situation. The story highlights the good, bad, and neutral parts of life. It also shows the interconnectedness of these variables and how strong relationships or bonds are formed.

There were a couple of things that didn’t quite make sense to me. At the beginning of the story, readers are introduced to Annabel’s way of life. It would have made for stronger character development if there was more detail in her life before the abduction. Readers are left most guessing at the lifestyle that Annabel and her family had. Another scene that was odd was the forested area that Annabel was taken, it seems sketchy or too convenient. The area was relatively close to her living quarters. Considering the importance of the day and the degree of attack, I expected someone to hear her or more information on those that were searching for Annabel.

Overall Gibson does an amazing job creating scenes that are beautifully detailed and captivating. There were instances where I felt as if I was locked in the stable with Annabel and others. The level of expression literally took my breath away. The story was laid out in a way that made it easy for the reader to follow along and fall into the dialogue. We find that Annabel ultimately learned to accept life with whatever the situation presents. It truly goes to show that nothing is guaranteed in life.

Learn more about Rebecca Gibson

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Review of A Decent Bomber by Alexander McNabb

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 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

Alexander McNabb has been travelling around and working in the Middle East for almost 30 years. Formerly a journalist and magazine publisher, he spends his time advising companies on communications strategies, focusing on digital media and online publishing. When he’s not writing books, he’s posting half-thoughts and snippets on his blog, Fake Plastic Souks. Alexander’s first published book was a comedy thriller in 2002. From there, he wrote books specific to his knowledge of the Middle East.

‘A Decent Bomber’ – is set in Ireland and the UK. Pat O’Carolan has worked for the last 20 years as a farmer on his family’s plot of land. One day, he is forced into his past profession as a bomb-maker. Pat is given instructions to pick up cache and make bombs for his past organization, known as IRA.

Once the process begun, Pat’s visiting niece Orla was kidnapped by the new group to ensure that he would cooperate with them. The leader seems to be a Somali terrorist turned extortionist known as The Accountant. This was a warning, among other subtle things to Pat showing that the group of people were not from his own organization. Taking matters into his own, he killed the men watching him and rescued his niece. Together the two sought to trace the men who had the bombs.

Pat left clues in the bombs and so that the police would be able to notice the situation and follow accordingly. With intentions of setting a bomb off every couple days, the new group made a ransom to the government. When the first bomb was discovered, it lead the police to follow the same clues as to who the terrorist cell was.

Pat realized that the terrorists were using information gathered from his old team to be able to secure weapons and materials for bombs. He attempted to connect with various buddies that were still alive to get information or protect them, but many times he was too late. Pat had to ensure that he was ahead of the police so that he wouldn’t be caught.

McNabb brings many nuances and messages to light within this book. He shows the brutally and psychological scars of terrorism. In many cases, the innocent ones are effected most. A lot of people involved in the story, had layers of pain and guilt that stemmed from the broad effects of terrorism. Those who survive violent attacks are left with memories and scars that can never be healed. This really hit home for me and allowed me to further connect with the characters and the story.

McNabb combined action and crime investigation skills into a suspenseful story. He delves into love, family-ties, karma, LGBT, and cultural issues without steering too far away from the main story line. I enjoyed reading this book. ‘A Decent Bomber’ is a fast-paced story that sure to keep many readers involved until the very last page.

You can find more about Alexander McNabb here