Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review | Master of Deception (Star Wars: Last of the Jedi, Book 9) by Jude Watson & Judy Blundell

Title:  Master of Deception
(Star Wars: Last of the Jedi, Book 9)
Author:  Jude Watson & Judy Blundell
Length: 160 Pages
Released: February 2008


The penultimate installment to Jude Watson's Star Wars: The Last of the Jedi series.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Jude Watson does a nice job including believable twists and works cliffhangers infuriatingly well. As with most books in this series, there are pieces of the puzzle left unsolved, which will be resolved in a later book.

I had other things to do, but I chose to read this book instead. Work will wait. A fun, fast read is something to savor. As the cast of characters gets larger, it's hard to balance them all, but Jude Watson has done so remarkably well.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Review | Batman Begins Soundtrack

Name: Batman Begins
Music:  Soundtrack
Tracks: 12
Released: June 2005

Track Listings

1. Vespertilio
2. Eptesicus
3. Myotis
4. Barbastella
5. Artibeus
6. Tadarida
7. Macrotus
8. Antrozous
9. Nycteris
10. Molossus
11. Corynorhinus
12. Lasiurus

I tend to listen to things obsessively, I'll admit that. On the way to and from work for over a month now, I've kept this CD going. It's that good. Pirates of the Carribbean 2 had kept that slot warm for the months prior to this one, but I think I found my new musical obsession. Heck, I'm listening to it right now, and I'm not driving... yes, I bothered to go out to my car, turn the car on, retrieve my CD, turn off the car, and walk all the way back into the house to play it while I work.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review | Revelation (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 8) by @karentraviss

Title:  Revelation
(Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 8)
Author:  Karen Traviss
Length: 450 Pages
Released: April 2008


During this savage civil war, all efforts to end Jacen Solo’s tyranny of the Galactic Alliance have failed. Now with Jacen approaching the height of his dark powers, no one–not even the Solos and the Skywalkers–knows if anything can stop the Sith Lord before his plan to save the galaxy ends up destroying it.

Jacen Solo’s shadow of influence has threatened many, especially those closest to him. Jaina Solo is determined to bring her brother in, but in order to track him down, she must first learn unfamiliar skills from a man she finds ruthless, repellent, and dangerous. Meanwhile, Ben Skywalker, still haunted by suspicions that Jacen killed his mother, Mara, decides he must know the truth, even if it costs him his life. And as Luke Skywalker contemplates once unthinkable strategies to dethrone his nephew, the hour of reckoning for those on both sides draws near. The galaxy becomes a battlefield where all must face their true nature and darkest secrets, and live–or die–with the consequences.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Whenever I read a book, I ask myself a question: was I entertained? The answer in this case was yes.
Was it the best book I've ever read? Not really.
Was it a worthy read with some great points that handled Star Wars lore competently? Yes.
Was the ending good, yes.

Fett overload or not, Karen Traviss knows how to write the Mandalorians well. Reading the bit in the back about the next book Invicible, I was struck several times at how utterly awful Troy Denning is at portraying Fett. Perhaps that is a testament more to Karen Traviss' strong characterization than an actual flaw with Denning, but I've a few major nits with Denning's past works - Star Wars meets bugland, 3 books vying for the worst book ever written...)

I digress. Back to Revelation. The title's not that inventive, but I love the sheer anticlimatic bit where the Revelation is an internal, yes "introspective" thing and not a huge explosion, literally or figuratively. The book's title can be applied to several events in the book, and that ambiguity is awesome.

It is definitely a set up of future books, but let's face it, Star Wars sells... so they're going to capitalize on that fact. Part of the lure of Star Wars literature is the fact that it intertwines with past books. The Clone Wars novels were largely pathetic, but there were a few redeemable stories and it helps to know the history to understand this present darkness. Look, it's freaking hard to avoid reusing old material. The fact that the authors have managed to take a good-boy-gone-bad plot point and made it do anything is an accomplishment.

I recommend this book for those who have been following this series, but if you have been, you've probably already bought your copy and read these as a sidekick to avoid your work. So, I'm probably just wasting my breath. In any case, it's a worthwhile read with some nice characterization. Very political, actually, and of course, I wish there was more mention of Tenel Ka and Han, Leia, and Luke, but there's only so much page space, people, show a shred of patience.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday | Nadia's Tears Chapter 8

Time Marches On

Did I mention waiting is totally against my nature? If I didn’t think all capital letters was an offense against nature, I would render “I hate waiting” in just that manner.

I don’t think Jillian has this problem because she gets so wrapped up in her dream work that her real sleep is very deep. There had better not be a fire in the Blairington home because I think Jillian would sleep or work right through it.

(Warning: Do not try reading the following sentence aloud in one breath nor take it as completely grammatically correct.) A typical school day works like this: wake up at a terribly early hour, do a quick loop between my house and the Blairington’s house to transfer Michio and Isaac to Mom, go to school, pick Jillian up, swing by my house to pick up the boys, do homework, watch Isaac and Michio, help Mrs. B. make dinner, eat with the Blairingtons, take Jillian, TJ, and Michio on their nightly constitutional, do more homework, drive home, greet family, crash into bed. Rinse and repeat four more times and you’ve got my typical school week. The days Mrs. B. has off are slightly easier because I don’t have to do that morning and afternoon loop between my house and Jillian’s. No wonder my mom thinks I’ve abandoned the family. Note to self: spend more time with the family.

The Exhausted One,

Danielle Matheson.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review | Nancy Drew: Double Dare Compiliation - PC

Name:  Nancy Drew: Double Dare Compiliation
Gaming:  PC
Released: March 23, 2004

Product Description

From the Manufacturer
Nancy Drew: Double Dare Compilation is a combination of two exciting games in one: Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand and Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake.

Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand

A first-person mystery adventure PC game, Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand lets players assume the identity of teenage super-sleuth Nancy Drew as she digs into the theft of a priceless Maya artifact.

You, as Nancy Drew, have taken on a summer intern position as Deputy Curator at the Beech Hill Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum specializes in ancient Maya culture and has just won a heated bidding war for the rights to borrow and display a strange Maya monolith recently excavated in Guatemala. While preparing for the exhibit Nancy learns about Maya culture and artifacts. When a thief nabs a prized piece from the museum, Nancy realizes that the missing artifacts may have more in common than just the thief’s signature scarlet handprint! In Secret of the Scarlet Hand Nancy’s investigation will take her outside the museum walls and into the U.S. capitol where she meets characters at the Mexican Consulate, visits a hospital, and takes the D.C. subway. Will Nancy be able to put the pieces of this ancient puzzle together? Or will the mystery remain entombed forever?

  • Journal mode allowing Nancy to review important notes
  • Mouse light tool illuminates cursor in darkened areas
  • New "circular cursor" navigation for fluid movement in 3D environments
  • Multiple environments for the player to search and discover
  • Beautifully illustrated and detailed 360-degree 3-D environments
  • New immersive puzzles that correlate to Nancy’s job as Deputy Curator
  • Museum exhibit and Maya cultural facts woven into game play
  • Two difficulty settings, Junior and Senior Detective, both of which offer help by allowing players to phone Nancy’s friends, Ned, Bess, and George.
  • Online Hints and Tips message board available at allows players to ask for and share clues and hints with other Nancy Drew fans.
For one player.

Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake

Assume the identity of teenage super-sleuth Nancy Drew as she rushes to help a friend tormented by a fearsome pack of phantom hounds.

A friend’s frantic note sends Nancy on the trail of a mysterious pack of dogs, whose glowing eyes and mournful howls threaten to chase her and her friend away forever. Locals say that the dogs have come back from the grave to protect the secrets of their master, who died long ago and was buried next to his beloved dogs. Players, as Nancy Drew, must use their detective skills to track the history of Mike Malone, the notorious gangster who once lived in the lakeside cabin recently purchased by Nancy’s friend. Are the ghostly legends true, or is there a flesh and blood answer to the dogs’ haunting howls? To solve the case Nancy ventures into the deep, dark woods surrounding the lake. Like a bird dog hot on a scent, she hunts down the history of Moon Lake and its residents in search of clues. Along the way she meets a variety of fascinating characters, all with something to hide.

  • In-game journal helps players keep track of clues
  • More than 30 activities and puzzles tie directly to storyline and give important clues
  • Original high-quality music and sound effects
  • Built-in game hints (but only if you want them)
  • Great opportunity for collaborative sleuthing with family and friends
  • A large cast of diverse and eclectic characters
  • New puzzles and activities including bird identification
  • Incredibly life-like environments, including extensive outdoor settings
  • Enhanced dynamic sound system and real-time lighting effects
  • 20+ hours of game play
  • "Second Chance" option--no need to start over
  • Two difficulty settings, Junior and Senior Detective, so both experienced and new detectives can have fun
  • A sense of community where players can get live online hints and tips at, as well as share their own clues with other Nancy Drew players and fans
For one player.

Product Description

Nancy Drew: Double Dare Compilation Pack takes you into he world of Nancy Drew, the world's greatest teenage detective! Mysterious ghost dogs, disappearing relics, and mysteries everywhere -- it's all in a day's work, when you become a young super-sleuth. Features Secret Of The Scarlet Hand and Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake. Test your thinking skills by solving the challenging quizzes and passing each level

I dare all Nancy Drew fans to take up this fun and very much doable duo. IMHO, Ghost Dogs has a more interesting story line than Secret of the Scarlet Hand, but both games are exciting, if mildly frustrating at times. Hint: use the online message boards for help and you'll have more fun. These two being about the 5th and 6th games made by Her Interactive, the graphics, character voices, story line, and overall script are great improvements over former pc games. I personally have not tried to play this game with my family, but the nature of the game is such that it is very family-friendly. Kids, young adults, and even some daring adult Nancy Drew fans will most likely enjoy both these games, but even if one disappoints, the likelyhood of both failing expectations is low.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snippet Saturday | Heartfelt Cases 4: The Keres Case

Chapter 5
The Calm Before the Storm

“I’m sorry,” Baker apologized. “I hate bearing bad news, but Taggert and Morgan want to meet with all of us tomorrow at seven thirty in her office in Pittsburgh. Edinboro had two child kidnappings yesterday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The second kid disappeared from the search for the first one. I’ve got to get over to Meadville Med right now to meet Lawson and interview the first victim.”

Ann tried to process all that. Baker’s boss—Irina Taggert, newly appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Pittsburgh field office—and Ann’s boss, Lance Morgan, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. rarely saw eye to eye on anything.

What could possibly make them want to work together?

“How did they find the first victim?” asked Ann.

“The kidnapper left a note saying the boy would be found in the Erie National Wildlife Refuge,” Baker said grimly.

“And is that where they found him?” Ann already knew the answer, and it made her stomach suddenly uneasy.

“Multiple kids are disappearing from the same town again,” Patrick murmured. The quiet statement stood in stark contrast to the joyful sounds of running, dueling, and make-believe deaths.

“Yeah, and last night the kidnapper called the Tyler family to taunt them. He also warned the mother that if we didn’t back off the girl could ending up like Gabriel Dawson or Lillian Green,” said Baker grimly.

“He said those names specifically?” asked Patrick.


He’s back.

Ann didn’t think it would be possible for her heart to sink any lower, but sink it did. She closed her eyes and steeled herself for what would come.

Lord, don’t let this end like the Dawson case.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Blitz | Promises In The Dark by Princess McConnell @PrmTjm1981

Book Title: Promises In The Dark
Series: Secrets of the Mystic
Author: Princess Racena McConell
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Released:  November 17, 2013
Length:  345 Pages Print
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
Banner Made by: Julia Hendrix


What began as a casual dinner with friends quickly blossoms into a beautiful friendship for Rachel Adams and Derek Williamson. In time, it will develop into something much greater than either could have ever imagined. The pair have each had their share of tragedy and heartbreak that time has yet to heal. As their friendship evolves into something much more, Rachel begins to open up to the man she has fallen in love with about secrets that have consumed her life for so long.

Just when life seems to be opening up possibilities for the two of them, inexplicable and unsettling things start to happen. When these mysterious occurrences begin to invade their happiness, they are faced with the reality that they must find the truth about what haunts them. Will they survive as they uncover some of these long-kept secrets? Will the mystical forces that linked the lovers together so long ago be the same to destroy them in the end?

A Valentine's Date with Derek

To me, Valentine’s Day has always been a magical time. There’s nothing sweeter than seeing the look of complete love on my baby’s face when she opens that special gift that came straight from my heart. If you were my Valentine, what would you want from me? A special night out, maybe a long walk on the beach ending with a romantic moonlight dinner by the shore? Or would you prefer an intimate night at home where you have me all to yourself? Can I tell you what I want? I want you, just you and me, in a room full of candles and roses. I dream of kissing you in places you’ve never been kissed, loving you in ways you’ve never dreamed possible, and hearing you say my name as only you can as I drive you wild with ecstasy. Just thinking of you touching me drives me wild, imagining the feel of your lips on my body is almost too much!

Believe my lovely lady when I say the first night we spend together will be the best of both of our lives! I cannot wait hold you in my arms, and caress every part of you. Loving you is what I was made for. So my sweet valentine…what do you say, will you be mine…can I be yours.

Book Links

Princess Racena McConnell( who has never and will never go by her first name) was born in Kings Mountain NC and now resides in the busy little town of Summerville SC with her husband of 32 years. She is the mother of 3 and grandmother to 4 with a 5th one on the way! "Promises In The Dark"; her debut novel—is part 1 of a story that has been in her mind for many years, and finally had to be told! She enjoys spending time with her family, and is so thankful they all live within 20 minutes! She also enjoys reading, writing and anything horror related. Her dream is to someday see her books splashed across silver screen!

Author Links

Presented by

First Prize: Promises In The Dark Signed Paperback & Set of Earrings
Second Prize: Promises In The Dark eBook & Set of Earrings
Third Prize: Promises In The Dark eBook & Signed Bookmark

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review | Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Book 2) by @DrewKarpyshyn

Title:  Rule of Two
(Star Wars: Darth Bane, Book 2)
Author:  Drew Karpyshyn
Length: 337 Pages
Released: June 2011


In the New York Times bestseller Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn painted a gripping portrait of a young man’s journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith–until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom drove him to destroy his own order . . . and create it anew from the ashes. As the last surviving Sith, Darth Bane promulgated a harsh new directive: the Rule of Two.

Two there should be; no more, no less.
One to embody the power, the other to crave it.

Now Darth Bane is ready to put his policy into action, and he thinks he has found the key element that will make his triumph complete: a student to train in the ways of the dark side. Though she is young, Zannah possesses an instinctive link to the dark side that rivals his own. With his guidance, she will become essential in his quest to destroy the Jedi and dominate the galaxy.

But there is one who is determined to stop Darth Bane: Johun Othone, Padawan to Jedi Master Lord Hoth, who died at Bane’s hands in the last great Sith War. Though the rest of the Jedi scoff at him, Joshua’s belief that there are surviving Sith on the loose is unshakeable.

As Johun continues his dogged pursuit of the man who killed his master, Zannah, faced unexpectedly with a figure from her past, begins to question her embrace of the dark side. And Darth Bane is led by Force-induced visions to a moon where he will acquire astonishing new knowledge and power–power that will alter him in ways he could never have imagined. . . .

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Overall, a wonderful story with protagonists who are undeniably intriguing. The grammar issues have been mentioned by nearly every reviewer, but I'll add my two worthless cents anyway. Star Wars has a highly demanding, and apparently very rich, fan-base. As such the book publishers churn out books in a ridiculously short amount of time. It's crazy easy to make a typo when writing a book, but when expectations are that high, mistakes in spelling and grammar are devastating to the sense of professionalism about the book. On the other hand, harping on the few mistakes in a brilliantly unfolded story is unusually cruel.

At times Bane seemed painfully overpowered, but the finale was handled well. I look forward to more of Zannah and Bane's exploits and machinations. As it is a sequel, please read Darth Bane: The Path to Destruction first so you have some context. That too is a very worthwhile read.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review | Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - Xbox

Name:  Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Gaming:  X-Box
Released: July 15, 2006

Product Description

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic takes place just a few years after the Mandolorian Wars, thousands of years before the events in the Star Wars movies we know and love. Two Jedi, master Revan and his apprentice Malak, led the Republic's forces to victory and pursued the Mandalorians into deep space only to return as Dark Jedi at the head of a huge fleet of Sith warships. Only the Force powers of the Jedi Bastila prevented the Sith from overwhelming the Republic's weakened forces. At the start of the game Malak has usurped control of the Sith by betraying Revan and has attacked the ship carrying Bastila and yourself. In true Star Wars style, the game begins with a bang.

The storyline could have been a standard coming-of-age yarn but is instead a genuinely interesting adventure told with humor, compassion, and respect for the source material. Your character has a mystical bond with Bastila, and the two of you share some kind of connection to the Sith villains Darth Malak and Darth Revan. The game's planet-hopping adventures are driven by your exploration of these connections and how they relate to your larger goal of discovering the source of the Sith's sudden fleet. During your adventure you can explore side quests minor (such as racing swoops or gambling) and major (such as uncovering the fascinating back stories of your companions). Star Wars fans will get a kick out of the rich lore introduced in the game, particularly the Tatooine storyline that reveals the origin and history of the Sand People.

Gameplay is an abbreviated form of Wizards of the Coast's d20 Star Wars RPG game system--anyone who has played Dungeons & Dragons will be familiar with the abilities, stats, feats, and bonuses in this game. The player creates a character as a member of one of three starting classes (soldier, smuggler, scout) and then later chooses a Jedi class (guardian, consular, sentinel). Joining the player's character are other Jedi, warriors, thieves, droids, a wookiee, and even a Mandolorian. Unlike the faceless non-player characters of other games, each member of the supporting cast has an intriguing history and even agenda. Up to two of these other characters can join your character at any time. Depending on who you chose to take with you, new dialogue and even intra-party arguments come into the game (put the Mandalorian veteran with the Republic patriot and you'll see sparks fly). Combat is real-time turn-based, meaning the turns are seamless but the player has the option of pausing the action at any time to issue orders or direct any character to use a certain Force power, ability, feat, or item.

Graphics range from adequate to exceptional. Building and character models are not impressive--about what you get in GTA 3. Lightsaber graphics and environmental effects (like waving grass, clouds, and weather) bring the world to life. Battles are just brilliant, with characters pumping out blaster fire at Jedi who dash, dodge, and even deflect the bolts back toward their assailants. Complete with sounds straight out of the movies, the thrilling combat is pure Star Wars.

All in all, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a masterpiece of Star Wars gaming. The pacing, balance of action and dialogue, clever puzzles and quests, and loving attention to detail have set the bar very high for role-playing games in general and Star Wars games in particular. Consider this a must-have game.--Mike Fehlauer

Captivating storyline
Clever dialogue
Star Wars feel
True story and dialogue support for either Light Side or Dark Side play
Brilliant combat graphics
Fascinating characters (the loyal--and homicidal--droid HK-47 is truly unique) Cons:
Occasional bugs in dialogue, movie playback
Cannot transfer equipped gear between characters while on your ship

Product Description Star Wars role playing experience with evolving characters including humans, droids & wookiees.

This game is by far one of the most awesome I've ever played. I really didn't know much about roleplaying, but it was not required to enjoy the game. You can customize and talk and just plain wander around the lovely planets and ships for hours on end.

The combat is intense without being finger-breaking.

The NPCs sometimes look the same, but the script and voice talent are superb.

I beat it ten times and still love it....which says something. Multiple plays are a must if you want to be good, evil, and experience all the great lines of dialogue.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Inviting Indie Authors to Submit Their Works for Review - Please Read All

Indie writers are welcome to submit their works as long as they understand a few things…
(Skip to Minute details to check if you write in a genre I review.)

The Fine Print:
  1. “Willing to read and review” does NOT translate to “you automatically get a 5-Star glowing review.” I write honest reviews and post them on amazon. If I super-like your book, I might even get my lazy self to sign into Goodreads and post a review there, too. I’ve currently written 506-ish reviews on amazon and am ranked somewhere in the mid 7000’s. So, obviously, a lot of people don’t agree with my reviews. You look at any popular series and you’ll find a ton of 5-Star reviews, but you’ll also find plenty of negative reviews. People’s reading tastes vary. It keeps life interesting. 
  2. Don’t expect speedy results. My blanket warning right now is that it could take 2-4 months between when I get the book to when I can post a review. Why? I have a fulltime job. I write. Amazon stuff now has set time wherein I must receive the product and review it. I am a very slow reader. Announcing that I’ll take indie submissions is probably going to break an email dam somewhere and flood my in-box. I’ll try to get back to everybody, but no promises. People who are already on my TBR list will stay where they are, everybody else will stack up after previous obligations. (I’m 80% through 1 and have 4 more on the list.)
  3. Don’t get offended. You might need some tough skin. I’ve actually only had one super horrible reviewing experience. Upon the author’s request, I read a horror novella that had a ton of 5-Star reviews and could only give it a 2 because it hit nearly every major annoyance on my list. The author then called me a jerk and got 20 friends to dislike my review. People like that are definitely encouraged to go elsewhere. As an indie writer, I’ve learned which things drive me crazy. If your book hits enough of those pet peeves, I’ll quit. There are too many good books out there and not enough time to read them. In short, I’m a very picky reader. I’ll try to be nice when I review, but if I cannot connect quickly with your work, I will likely stop reading. If I can’t honestly give you 3 stars, I will likely (no guarantees) send you my review directly, even if I’ve stopped reading, and ask whether you’d like it posted or not.
Read some of my reviews if you want to get a feel for my style. In either case, you’ll get exact reasons why and where I didn’t connect with your story.

Some pet peeves in no particular order:
  • Wooden dialogue – There’s a natural rhythm to how people speak. If your dialogue makes me think - “See spot run. Spot runs fast because Spot likes running.” 5-Star review dreams will die rather quickly.
  • Characters I don’t like/ can’t connect with – If your protagonist is a total jerk, I’m probably not going to fall in love with your book.
  • Graphic depictions of violence – Violence is a part of life and it makes for some darn good stories, but there is a good and a bad way to handle it. Describing how the vic’s intestines looked … (yeah, you get the idea). It ain’t pretty, and I don’t want to read about it.
  • Overabundance of foul language – If your characters can’t say more than 4-letter words, stop reading, I’m not the reviewer for you.
  • Gratuitous sex scenes
  • Vampires, especially sparkly ones
  • Poor grammar – Not every indie author has the funds to hire a professional editor. I get it. I’ve been you. My first book is absolutely riddled with mistakes. Did I mention I’ve learned a lot since I started writing? You live, you learn, you get better at what you do. A few grammatical mistakes can be expected. Heck, traditionally published, fully edited books still come out with mistakes in them. Publishers and their minions are only human, too. That said, if your first chapter makes me cringe, your books headed for my poodoo list.
Still want to request a review?

Minute Details:

Page/word count considerations: novellas welcomed; novels are okay too (less than or = to 100K words preferred) If you get much larger than that, I probably won't be able to read it in a timely manner and my idea of timely is quite loose already.
  • Genres I love/ usually read: YA, science fiction, Christian historical fiction, mystery
  • Genres I generally enjoy but may not always read: thriller, middle grade, fantasy
  • Genres I avoid/ rarely read: nonfiction, paranormal (zombie clause)
  • Genres I never read: erotica, romance
But wait! I wrote a thrilling sci-fi mystery/adventure/romantic comedy aimed at people from 9-99 …
No, you didn’t. Narrow that down.

What I ask in return:
Read my 2014 goal and consider helping out by checking out those charities or at least like the FB page so I’ll donate more this year. It’s meant as a challenge to you to challenge me if that makes any sense.

If you can identify with my goal and would like to read and review Ashlynn’s Dreams, email what ebook version you’d like (pdf, mobi, epub). This is NOT a review for a review. There’s no guarantee that you’ll like what I write, or I’ll like what your write. I’ve had people tell me they just couldn’t connect, and though it stings, I take it with a “that’s life” attitude. I’ve also had at least one kid tell me it was awesome. That means the world to me.

If your book falls in a genre you think I’ll enjoy, email your request to
  1. Email subject: Review request: 'Book Title'
  2. Don’t send your book right away!
  3. In your review request send me the genre, pitch and/or back cover copy.
If I’m interested, I’ll ask for pdf and mobi versions. I do a lot of reading on my desktop computer, but I hold high hopes for one day figuring out how to get my kindle to play nice and accept things I email to myself.

Why am I doing this? Indie authors are awesome, and I’m tired of reading popular review blogs only accepting traditionally published works. I get it, a lot of indie books are rough around the edges or just plain awful, but there are diamonds among the coal. I aim to find the diamonds.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review | The Joiner King: Star Wars (Dark Nest, Book I) by Troy Denning

Title:  The Joiner King: Star Wars
(Dark Nest, Book I)
Author:  Troy Denning
Length: 544 Pages
Released: Dec. 2005


After triumphing in Star Wars: The Unifying Force, the heroes of the New Jedi Order return in a dazzling adventure!

Luke Skywalker is worried: A handful of Jedi Knights, including his nephew and niece, Jaina and Jacen Solo, have disappeared into the Unknown Regions in response to a strange cry for help that only they could hear. Now the alien Chiss have angrily lodged a formal complaint, accusing the missing Jedi of meddling in a border dispute between the Chiss and an unidentified aggressor.

Luke has no choice but to head to the Unknown Regions for serious damage control. Han and Leia follow, intent on protecting their children from what could be grave danger. But none of them are prepared for what they find when they reach their destination.

A colony of mysterious aliens is expanding toward the edge of Chiss space. The leader of the alien nest is resolute. Adept in the Force, he is drawing old friends to his side, compelling them to join the colony and meld their Force-abilities with his, even if it leads to all-out war. . . .

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Okay so the romance parts are just weird and the whole concept and who the bad guys are and such. Still, call me an addict, whatever, I liked it.

I'm looking forward to the next two books. They had better straighten a few things out by the end though.

Plot was confusing but interesting. Not the best star wars book I've ever read but a valiant effort and a decent story.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teaser Tuesday | Heartfelt 1: The Collins Case Chapter 4

Shocking News

It was a very long drive from Washington, D.C. to Western Pennsylvania, but thankfully, the six-plus hours of driving passed quickly. Unfortunately, the long drive gave Ann plenty of time to worry about Rachel. Actual travel time was lengthened by the need to refuel both herself and the car.

“Home sweet home,” she muttered, nearing her destination. Ann’s family actually lived in Fairview where the Collins family also resided, but Albion was only about a twenty to twenty-five minute drive away. She considered stopping by to say hello, but figured she should try to talk to Officer Long first. Then, she could check out Rachel’s wrecked house and see if there was enough time for a visit home.

Her cell phone played “It’s a Small World,” courtesy of Agent Baker being bored and somehow getting his grubby hands on her


Darn, I really need to change that ringtone.

Ann fumbled for a moment, trying to dig the phone out of her purse and simultaneously stay on the road. At last, she wrestled the earpiece into position and turned her attention back to driving. “Special Agent Davidson.”

“Oh, you sound so professional!”

“Hi, mom,” Ann said wearily, rolling her eyes.

“Did you hear the news?” Carol Davidson’s tone turned somber.

“About Rachel?”


“I’m on my way now.”

That piece of information took her mother by surprise. “This is your case? Oh, Julie Ann, I don’t think I like the idea of you working on it.”

“It’s not officially my case,” Ann admitted. “The Pittsburgh Field Office probably has agents on it, but Rachel’s my friend. I have to help her if I can.”

“Honey, her house exploded. This could be a very, very dangerous—”

“Mom, I’m still on the road. Got to go. Love you. I’ll call you later,” Ann said in one breath. She hung up before they could get into the much overdone ‘dangers of your job’ conversation.

Sorry, mom.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snippet Saturday | Heartfelt Cases 4: The Keres Case

Chapter 4
Creepy Calls

A forceful knock at the front door pulled Rebecca Tyler’s attention away from the television. She didn’t mind. The local news kept bringing up depressing results in the frantic search for Silas Carver anyway.

“I get,” Ellie announced.

“No, Ellie!” Rebecca called. She muted the TV and bolted from the couch, casting an anxious eye toward the hot iron which still hissed occasionally from its perch atop the wobbly ironing table.

It’ll keep. Ellie’s at the door anyway. The thought lent extra speed to Rebecca’s legs as she tore through the house to reach the front door before her daughter.

She was too late.

The door stood wide open, letting the cool air rush out.


Suddenly, Ellie filled the doorway jumping and waving something excitedly. “Look! I—I find gift!” Ellie waved a half-sized manila envelope at her mother. “Here. For you.” Ellie’s sweet smile could brighten any day.

Rebecca solemnly accepted the package with both hands. “Thank you, Ellie. Shall we—”

A phone rang from inside the package.

“Ring. Ring. Ring,” said Ellie. She clapped both hands over her ears and moaned dramatically. “No ring!” she commanded the package.

The phone continued to ring.

Rebecca ushered her daughter back into the house and closed the front door before giving in to curiosity and ripping the package open. Something white fluttered to the floor, but Rebecca’s attention stayed on the black phone that appeared in her palm. The touch screen filled with a green button that said accept and a red button that said reject. Rebecca just stared at the phone, instinctively knowing that everything would change if she answered it. She didn’t want that. She wanted the relief of finding Ellie safe to last forever.

The phone stopped ringing and chimed instead. The screen flashed and informed her that she had a new text message.

“Kare-Kare!” Ellie exclaimed, waving the white thing that had fallen to the floor.