Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Soulstealer's Child

Brandon Gray is the pen name of Braden Bell (Brandon writes YA fiction; Braden writes for middle grades). Braden holds a Ph.D. from New York University. He and his family live on a quiet, wooded lot in Tennessee, where he teaches middle school theatre and music. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys reading, gardening, and long summer afternoons writing in his hammock. His most notable skill is being able to eat a full rack of BBQ ribs with one hand on long drives.

Connect with the Author here: 
~ Facebook ~ Website
 ~ Amazon ~ Twitter
 ~ Goodreads ~

Can a human heart overcome a demon soul?

When soul-eating demons overrun his world, Kaelis, a young seraph warrior, uses the Queen’s ring to open a portal in space and flee with the infant heir to the throne, landing on earth. Unbeknownst to him, the demon leader, Nsark, follows through the portal, determined to devour the soul of every last seraph, especially the Queen’s heir. After Kaelis hides the baby, Nsark creates the ultimate weapon by fathering a half-human, half-demon: a soul-stealer’s child. 

Sixteen years later, an awkward teen named James struggles to fit in with his peers. In a last-ditch effort, he joins the school play, where he meets Lucy. Something deep draws them together, and their friendship reveals their hidden pasts: one is an angel, one is half-demon. Lucy and James find themselves pulled into an age-old war between their peoples. Hunted by relentless enemies, and grappling with deep-seated instincts and strange new powers, they must fight for their lives, their souls, and each other.

Top Ten List:

1. My wife
2. My kids
3. My students
4. Dr. Pepper
5. BBQ ribs
6. Amazon gift cards
7. Old Christmas movies
8. Turner Classic Movies
9. My new Amazon Firestick (love this!!!)
10. My job--teaching choir and theatre at a middle school.

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Wrong Side of Magic Review

Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte.

Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart.

Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse--but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return.

Janette Rallison/ CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms.  Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 26 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric. 

Connect with the Author here: 
~ Goodreads ~ Website ~
 ~ Amazon ~

5 out of 5 stars 
(+ an extra star for making me laugh so much)

This book was brilliant from the get go! I laughed quite hard at the opening paragraph (see below in the extra's section) and didn't stop laughing for the whole book! The word play was quite clever and even though I know I am no literacy expert (I can't even spell to save my life) I really enjoyed it. The comedy reminded me a bit of the styling of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams; completely bizarre and an immense amount of fun!

I loved this book. I loved the strange world Janette Rallison has created. I also love that even though it is completely off kilter there are things that tie into real life so well it makes it believable, such as why you can't remember early childhood memories. Basically I now have to search out every book this brilliant author has written.

While this book was written technically for Middle Grade I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to anyone who has even a remote sense of humour. This book is clean, fun and a great adventure! Thank you Janette Rallison for brightening my day!


SOMETIMES MAGIC SNEAKS up on a person like a sudden rainstorm, or bad news, or a mugger wearing really quiet shoes. That’s what happened to Hudson Brown. He was an average eighth grader, with average brown hair that usually needed to be cut and average brown eyes that didn’t always pay attention to his teachers. He lived in an average bedroom that needed to be cleaned and had average friends— many of whom also needed to be cleaned.
In short, Hudson was the type who hadn’t believed in magic for years. Truth be told, magic hadn’t believed in Hudson for even longer, but boys are often getting tangled in trouble, and Hudson was no exception. Except his trouble involved trolls, wizards, and several other things that wanted to kill him.
It started with a cat. Many problems do, which is why dogs, mice, and grumpy old men don’t like them. 

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Doorway to Murder Review

Secrets lurk in a small New York town and betrayal is just around the corner. The morning after the worst blizzard of 1934, Detective Steven Blackwell takes on a highly charged murder case. The investigation starts badly: one clue, lots of lies and alibis. To make things worse, Steven is seeing visions of a woman in his house.

One night, she speaks. Her name is Olivia Watson and she lives in 2014. She believes time has folded over in the house they share. As their relationship deepens, Steven’s investigation intensifies. Soon he can no longer trust anyone in his own time. Can Olivia help crack the case—and catch a killer?

The past collides with the present in DOORWAY TO MURDER, an exciting new mystery by debut author Carol Pouliot.

With its fresh premise covering two eras that crackle off the page, Carol Pouliot introduces compelling characters to lead her series forward. Add a sharply written mystery with clever plot twists, and you have all the elements that make DOORWAY TO MURDER an accomplished debut.
Marni Graff, award-winning author, The Nora Tierney series and Death Unscripted
Mystery. Romance. Time-travel adventure. DOORWAY TO MURDER is the total package. Carol Pouliot interweaves the past and present as easily as I turned the pages. I highly recommend this fun read.
Betsy Bitner, award-winning humor columnist, Times Union (Albany, NY)
There's nothing I like more than a time-travel tale, but how much better to get a crisp, fair-play police procedural, too. The atmosphere grabbed me. The ending surprised me. I'm already looking forward to Steven and Olivia's next adventure.
Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of the Edgar-shortlisted The Day She Died
Steven and Olivia make a great couple of crime busters in this era-jumping romance and hard-boiled police procedural. Join them. You’ll be glad you did!
Steve Axelrod, author of the Henry Kennis Nantucket mysteries

4.5 out of 5

I really enjoy time travel and murder mystery books so I jumped at the chance to read this book which combines the two. It was a nice escape from the stress of life and I enjoyed that it was written well enough to pull me away from my reality and sink me into another. I really liked the way the window between the two times shifts and expands through the book, making it almost a living entity.

The murder mystery part of it was really well thought through as well. It leaves you guessing and, the fact that the modern time frame does not give away the person behind the historical crime also keeps you in suspense, if not in a little bit of disbelief that the information isn’t found. This does however make the reveal a bit more climatic.

There were a few things that felt inconsistent, but I will admit that could have been caused by my own stress of moving house.

Overall this is a enjoyable read and a nice escape. I don’t recall anything to warn about. Extramarital affairs are part of the plot but not discussed in any detail. The relationship between the two character is extremely clean almost to the point of a platonic relationship, but you can feel an underlying attraction between the two. There may have been language but I didn’t notice any. I think anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery will love this book. If you like time travel this book would also be great. And of course anyone looking for a clean read this book should be on your list.

Hi! I’m Carol Pouliot. (French pronunciation the “t” is silent.)            

I’ve always loved books and learning. I can still picture the library my family went to when I was little. I remember my excitement picking out books. Now, the bookshelves lining the walls of my house are stuffed to over-flowing mysteries, political thrillers, time-travel, ancient Egypt, French literature, biographies of British kings and queens, and favorites from my childhood. I guess it was inevitable I’d want to write.

I fell in love with France and all things French at age 11. Throughout high school, I dreamed of getting my passport, packing my suitcase, and going to Paris. I graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BA in French and Spanish and got my MA in French at Stony Brook University. Then, I headed to France for my first teaching job.

After returning home to upstate New York, I taught French and Spanish for over 30 years. I also started my own business an agency that provided translations in over 24 languages.

I’ve always felt very much a part of the world and at home everywhere I’ve ever been 5 continents so far. I did volunteer work for a couple of international organizations. I loved getting to know people from all over the world. A friend from Kenya taught me some Swahili; a woman from Japan showed me how to make her mother’s favorite chicken recipe; a friend from Panama taught me to salsa. All these wonderful experiences have enriched my life beyond measure.

I currently live on several acres of woods in the lake-effect zone. This means I get about 10 feet of snow every year thanks to the strong winds off Lake Ontario. I enjoy seeing the deer, chipmunks, and foxes. I also love watching the birds at my kitchen-window feeders over 25 different kinds at the latest count.   

Connect with the Author here: 
~ Website

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