Book Review: The Spec Set

Spending several weeks of his summer at a geeky science camp babysitting his odd younger brother isn’t the highlighted path E wants to travel.

Spending several weeks of his summer at a geeky science camp while babysitting his odd younger brother isn’t the highlighted path E wants to travel. Then, to top it all off, paths surround him as he and his brother become the focus of the FBI in The Spect Set.

Taya Okerlund creates a remarkable story that follows two brothers on the unexpected adventure of their lives. And though Max, the younger brother, knows of his talents, Emile (E) is just discovering his. A fun YA story filled with excitement, The Spec Set is one I enjoyed reading.

My Thoughts on the Spec Set:

Told through the eyes of Emile, the Spec Set brings the fun vernacular of a teenage boy burdened by too much responsibility for a younger sibling. What makes it worse? Max doesn’t speak. On the rare occasion he does, the single word response hardly covers the required answer. Though watching his brother at science camp isn’t an idea E likes, he still stands up for him regularly. Luckily, Lilly, the latest pain in his side, likes Max and helps out as much as she can. Eventually, when E’s own reality seems to explode, Lilly and Max let him in on a little secret, and he meets the rest of the Spec Set.

I quite enjoyed reading this fun story. Much of Max’s characteristics are obviously written in a way that leads the reader to believe he has Autism with selective mutism. Having a child of my own with Autism, I found the writing well-done. In fact, the story follows kids with conditions who have developed superpowers. The story states clearly they are not savants, but, wow, do they have talents!

So often, incredible children with neuro-diversities are left by the wayside, uncelebrated despite their amazing talents and qualities. The Spec Set may be science fiction but the preface behind it isn’t.

The book could use a good proofread. There are several instances of simple mistakes, usually out of place or incorrect words. It did affect my attention to a degree, and I would preface this point before handing it to my children to read. The story is squeaky clean and perfect for both boys and girls of any age, though readability probably begins with middle graders.

The Official Blurb:

Copernicus Science camp looks harmless enough on the surface, at least no one will tell you otherwise, least of all Max McKenzie, who doesn’t speak at all. He can’t even defend himself when he’s implicated in a high stakes chemical theft from the camp lab. Or can he?

His brother Emile is desperate to help, but he’s waking up to his own problems–chief among them the fact that he’s developed an incredible (and incredibly dangerous) new ability. He doesn’t know how to control his awesome new power, and turns to the one person he’s loathe to ask: Lilly Fang.

Lilly has everything under control, including other people’s biochemistry. (Or is Emile really that crazy about her?) Either way, she’s hiding a boat-load of secrets (and secret powers).

Lilly assembles a team of friends like none Emile’s ever dreamed of to help Max.

There’s Fetu, a near giant, whose presence alone seems to suck the air out of the room. Or does he do that literally?

And Danika, who’s so shy she seems to fade right into the background. Or does she actually become invisible?

And Eliza, who never lifts a finger–but is that because she lifts things with her mind? 

The Spec Set will need all of their combined strengths (and their weaknesses) to combat a threat reaching all the way go to another universe.

More info:

Purchase your copy of the Spec Set on Amazon
Follow Taya Okerlund on Goodreads

I received an ARC copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Devil of Gilding

After the death of his wife, nobleman James Blake cares little for anything other than his son Toby. But life changes when Toby goes missing in the book Devil of Gilding.

After the death of his wife, nobleman James Blake cares little for anything other than his son Toby. But life changes when Toby goes missing in the book Devil of Gilding.

Book Review: Devil of Gilding

December Knight, lover of counting to three in several languages, superfluous facts, God, and searching for Big Foot, has also brought us a great story, Devil of Gilding. The story, filled with mystery and convoluted plans by more than one villain, kept my attention from page one to page done.

My Thoughts on Devil of Gilding

Set in the time of carriages and corsets, Devil of Gilding begins with the birth of Toby and the death of his mother, Leah. A tender-hearted boy, Toby grows into a loving thirteen-year-old under the hand of his father, James, uncle Clemit, and caregiver Adelaide until he goes missing.

The exciting book includes wonderful descriptions, intricate plans, gypsies, criminals, and someone we only know as D, short for Devil. The well-developed characters drew me into the story, as did the perfect descriptions.

Devil of Gilding is written in a third-person omniscient point of view. Knight, however, does not project the narrator’s voice well, so occasionally the bounce from one character to another is jarring. I also found myself re-reading several sentences due to missing commas. That said, I didn’t find either too difficult to look past.

As much as these weaknesses exist, the story is well worth the read and the writing, itself, is quite engaging. I enjoyed the story immensely and cannot iterate strongly enough that the weaknesses should not dissuade anyone from reading the book.

Now, if you don’t like cliffhangers, you may want to wait a few weeks until the second book comes out, but add the Blake Duology to your list of series to keep your eye on. I know I’ll be waiting for the second book.

The official Blurb

Despite their troubled past, the Blake family have found their own kind of perfect. James, a nobleman, and his less than reputable brother Clemit discovered something to live for in James’s son, Toby. When jealousy enters their lives in the form of a new personality, all hell breaks loose. 

In a single instant, all of their lives change for the worst. A new greedier villain enters their world wrapping tightly around the one thing that kept everything together, Toby. Toby is forced to fight for his life, as James and Clemit desperately try and find him while avoiding the other villain that is still hungry for more. 

Will the Blake’s survive this trial or will they be pulled apart by the hands that have taken hold?

More Info…

Purchase your copy of Devil of Gilding on Amazon.

Follow December Knight on Facebook Instagram Goodreads
and don’t forget to check out her website.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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A Memoir to Remember: Danny Boy

Melinda Turner remembers what growing up with her special needs brother Danny brought to her life in Danny Boy: The Boy Who Raised His Family.

In a world where people would rather take care of themselves instead of others, Danny Boy shows the joy that comes through ultimate service to the ones we love.

When you grow up in a house with typical siblings, imaging what it’s like in a home with a special needs brother leaves out half the angst and nearly all the happiness. Melinda Turner remembers what growing up with her special needs brother Danny brought to her life in Danny Boy: The Boy Who Raised His Family.

My Thoughts on Danny Boy:

Melinda and I have a few things in common. We both grew up in homes with a sibling that needed extra care, we share the same beliefs, and our families both know how to have a lot of fun. Unlike Melinda, my sibling’s needs came from a car accident and the injury has always had a plethora of information and treatments available. I also relate to Melinda’s parents as a mother of a child with a developmental disability, Unlike both Melinda and her mother, I stopped having to clean up someone else’s poop long ago.

Born at a time when doctors could not diagnose him, Danny started life with a feeding tube. Later he became the best escape artist in the history of children and helped his family laugh until they cried.

Melinda covers the ins and outs of despising and absolutely loving a brother with needs that required the help of every member of the family. Something I have no experience with. Her honesty is refreshing, as is her family’s wonderful sense of humor. We might need to become best friends.

Whether I laughed or cried, Danny Boy kept my heart warm. Well-written and worth the read, I recommend Danny Boy, especially if you love biographies or memoirs.

The Official Blurb:

I was not quite eight years old when Danny was born. Even at that young age I can remember the exact moment I knew my life, my family’s lives, everything we had known up to that point had changed forever.

​It was evening in early summer. I walked to my parents’ bedroom at the end of the upstairs hallway wearing a soft summer nightgown and lurked silently, just inside the doorway. Mom and Dad stood side-by-side, arms around each other with their backs to me, looking down on their newborn son as he lay under the bilirubin lights in his crib. I don’t remember any words being spoken—only that I think mom was crying. Or maybe the baby was. What I do remember as the scene was forever stamped on my consciousness was that I knew something was wrong. Maybe not even wrong. Just different. This baby was different. And somehow, I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. And it never has been.”

At times hilarious, at times heart-wrenching; full of wit and wisdom, “Danny Boy” is a must-read for anyone struggling to care for a special needs child.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of Danny Boy: The Boy Who Raised His Family on Amazon.

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Book Review: Realm of Beasts by Angela J. Ford

When Citrine makes a deal with a dark creature the balance within Paradise becomes tipped. Can Tor Lir reach Paradise soon enough to help Citrine reset the balance?

Realm of Beasts: the mortal realm only survives when good and evil are balanced. When Citrine makes a deal with a dark creature the balance within Paradise becomes tipped. Can Tor Lir reach Paradise soon enough to help Citrine reset the balance?

Realm of Beasts: An Epic Fantasy Adventure with Mythical Beasts (Legend of the Nameless One Book 1) by [Ford, Angela J.]

Rated #60 in Amazon’s Witches and Wizards category, Realm of Beasts holds a world with both the perfect paradise and its counter-balance the evil forest. Award-winning author Angela J. Ford has done beautiful work at creating another fantastic fantasy for those who easily slip into worlds unlike our own.

My Thoughts on Realm of Beasts:

I’ve read a lot of fantasies. There is something about being able to completely forget what’s real and become immersed in worlds filled with magic that I find relaxing. However, with that comes discovering the rules and dwellers of those worlds. That takes time, which means learning patience when reading. Patience was a necessity while reading Realm of Beasts. The story jumps right and the world and character-building parallels, giving readers just the right amount of information as they read. But if you expect it all up front, you’re not going to get it. This, in my opinion, is a sign of a good author.

Many fantasies deal with one kind of beast, for instance, dragons. But, as this title suggests, there is more than one kind of beast in Angela’s story. If you prefer to read fantasies that revolved around swords and armies and an occasional magical being, this is probably not the book for you. However, if you enjoy the fight for a balanced world of good and evil, with an enchantress who speaks to beasts, and a wicked master that only a talented author can create, the Realm of Beasts might just become your favorite book.

This book is well-written and easy to read. The chapters are short—something I appreciate. There are some sexual innuendos. And toward the beginning of the book, it is mentioned that some of the characters have had partners—this is not an integral part of the storyline.

The Official Blurb:

Tor Lir, the Nameless One, is unsure what he is. However, he knows he was born to bring balance to the powers of good and evil.

Forsaking his birthplace and fleeing from suggestions of a dark knowledge he’d rather not discover, he decides to take his fate into his own hands.

A chance encounter with a dead body, a dangerous beast, and a desirous creature lead him on the path to Paradise, where he senses imbalance.

Banished from her village and lost in a wicked forest, Citrine makes a deal with a dark creature, but that was before she found Paradise—the legendary land of a friendly giant.

Falling in love with the land, Citrine takes advantage of her time to study the lore of herbs and craft a spell of protection for her mythical beasts.

When darkness creeps into Paradise, bringing the mysterious Nameless One and an omen of death, Citrine realizes the consequences of her actions spell danger for herself, her beasts, and Paradise.

As time runs out the undead come to life. Citrine faces the ultimate showdown as everything she holds dear is ripped away.

Will the Nameless One save Paradise or destroy it to welcome an era of peace?

Immerse yourself in a tale of the balance between good and evil with mythical beasts sprinkled in.

Realm of Beasts is the first of six planned books in the epic fantasy series: Legend of the Nameless One.

More Info:

Realm of Beasts comes as an ebook, print book, or audible book and can be found on Amazon.

Follow Angela J. Ford on her website   Facebook    Instagram     Twitter     Goodreads

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Shin by T. Cook

What do you do when for your entire life your shapeshifting mother prepares for your ultimate mission, your death? That’s Shin’s purpose in life, to die, and most of it he’s spent hating the person intended to kill him—until they fall in love.

Book Review: Shin by T. Cook

T. Cook, author of Spinning Silk, has now added to the wondrous story of Furi and Shin. While Spinning Silk follows the life of Furi, Cook’s newest book, tells the story of the shapeshifting mortal who steals Furi’s heart and love, Shin. Shin, a story filled with the mysterious, is a fantasy loosely based on the Japanese Spirit Spider and Tanabata folklore.  Fans of the Warp, Weft, and Weapon series will happily lose themselves in its pages.

My Thoughts on Shin:

Who doesn’t like to learn more about the mysterious love interests in their favorite books? I love it! T. Cook doesn’t walk through the story of Spinning Silk from Shin’s perspective. Instead, she tells us the story of Shin.  Readers learn about his life with his uncle and his immortal shapeshifting mother. We also learn how Shin became so knowledgeable about herbs and medicine and how he climbed the ranks as a Samurai.

I enjoyed this addition to the Spinning Silk story. T. Cook’s writing is still filled with wonderful imagery capable of taking the reader’s breath away. The story includes some of the same scenes as Spinning Silk, but for the most part, the content is new and helps fans come to a deeper understanding of the turmoil Shin feels in the various missions he performs for everyone but himself.

If you haven’t read Spinning Silk, do, then move right into reading Shin. You won’t regret it!

Official Blurb:

Shin is a powerful shapeshifter, but he is yet vulnerable, and too many creatures, both mythic and mortal, have a stake in his death. Caught between his samurai uncle’s ambitions for a bloodless war and his shapeshifter mother’s immortal fight for celestial territory, Shin’s uncle gives him up as a tribute warrior for the shogunate military.

In time, Shin wins the army’s loyalty away from the shogun to a cause he can’t be sure of himself, then strikes off on a new mission to recruit an assassin for the revolution. But this assassin is unlike any he has known before. She may kill him in the bargain, but only if all goes well.

SHIN is a second- generation spin on the Japanese Spider Spirits mashed with Tanabata folklore traditions. It joins the ranks of Japanese light novels such as Goblin Slayer, and Overlord.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of Shin on Amazon.

Read my review of Spinning Silk.

Follow T. Cook on Facebook and Twitter
Visit her website: www.tcookbooks.com

Learn more about me and download your free copy of Sometimes a Bird Has to Fly by visiting my website: kameomonson.com

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Book Review: ZARA by Aureola

Young childhood as a refugee, human trafficking, and drugs wreak havoc in Aisha’s life. Human kindness and love come only small doses, leaving her with a soul tormented by abuses. But an end to suffering awaits if she can overcome the hardships driving her life.

Book Review: Zara by Aureola

Author, Aureola, takes us on a journey most of us cannot fathom. Those who can, wish they couldn’t. Her novel, ZARA, explores a world where abuse by one’s spouse isn’t only commonplace, but legal, where refugees run from criminals and their abusers, and young children are sold as slaves.

My Thoughts About ZARA:

Understanding the depths of terror that abound in the world can only come as we experience it ourselves. But a glimpse through a fictional story can help us recognize atrocities, hopefully, so we can change them. Just as Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped loosen the bonds of slavery in the United States, ZARA works to loosen the bonds placed on women and children by those who seek power over them. Aureola does this by highlighting the atrocities of spousal abuse and human trafficking.

Much of the story takes place through the eyes of Aisha, a young girl who lives through the cycle of abuse time and time again. The love of those in her same position carries her through the very torments of hell. Though she wishes to escape, as is true for many, escape isn’t always possible. There are pockets of happiness and hope, but much of the book shows how Aisha survives. The survival that comes through her strength and the hands of others causes readers to cheer from the bottom of their hearts.

This story is not written by an American, so you can expect some differences in spelling and punctuation—specifically when it comes to commas and periods found outside quotation marks, which is considered correct in British English. There are also some formatting issues in the ebook that the author is currently working to fix, as well as minor grammatical errors. Some confusion may arise as the author switches from one character’s point of view to another.

I, personally, feel the author handled such volatile subjects well. Though dark subjects line each page, gruesome violence and unnecessary descriptions do not, neither does nudity, sexual acts, or other inappropriate expressions. I struggle some with the end of the book, though it is a happy ending, how happiness is discovered, leaves me disconcerted. However, I do believe the ending to be realistic.

Overall, I cautiously recommend this book. It has the propensity to help readers understand some of the complexities women and children in the world may experience and will open eyes to harsh realities while shielding them from debilitating anguish.

Official Blurb:

“I am Zara… and I know what it means to live in terror for my life…”

Born into an existence in which life and death walk hand in hand, abuse and an impending war throw Zara into a fight for survival in a dystopian society ravaged by insurgents and run by drug lords, arms dealers as well as prostitution rings. With her innocence destroyed, she survives by building a façade that sells a lie to the world. But when this is stripped away, she is left with one choice: a final end, a final silence… even at the cost of her life.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of ZARA on Amazon.

Follow Aureola on Goodreads.

Read more reviews, flash fiction, and fun at KameoMonson.com, and don’t forget to grab your FREE downloadable copy of Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly!

I received a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

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Book Review: The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife

If you spend your day changing diapers, eating chocolate every chance you get, or doing your best to squeeze into those pink exercise shorts that rise way above your belly button only minutes before a string of crimes ravage your neighborhood, you might be Lotty Brooks, the main character in The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife.

Book Review: The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife

Crissy Sharp, author of The Enemy Nextdoor and Other Misunderstandings and Love and Fat-free Cheese, has written another humor-filled mystery. The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife had me laughing from page one and my husband questioning my hysterical giggles through to the end. Somehow, Sharp managed to add a mystery in the middle of it all, making this book one you can’t put down.

My Thoughts on The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife:

We’ve been there, all of us. We spend our days wondering if we’ll get the chance to shower. And forget the cute clothes—comfy yoga pants and t-shirts are all we need for a life with toddlers anyway. The effort’s still worth it, but exhaustion took over our lives a long time ago, and of course, across the street, lives the perfect woman, thin, stylish, and a mother. We hate her. Add to that a failing marriage, and that is Lotty Brooks. To us, she’s awesome, unlike her neighbor (and ours). Scene after scene, Lotty tells it like it is. All of our hurts and failures, all of our wants and desires, outed by one fictional character so flawlessly written, we know she should be our best friend.

I haven’t had children in diapers or hanging on my leg as I walked down the street in years, but I love Lotty. Her husband, Jason, is a pretty cool guy too, which makes it hard to understand what happened to their marriage all those months ago.

As the title suggests, this book is lighthearted and fun with a mystery you can solve right along side of the characters. I enjoyed solving it while giggling at the predicaments Lotty finds herself in. There are a couple of tense places, but Sharp balances tension and humor beautifully. This read will keep you smiling. Grab the chocolate and a blanket and cozy-up, then thank me later.

The Official Blurb:

Lotty Brooks’ days consist of avoiding thoughts of her failing marriage, changing diapers, and trying not to eat chocolate brioche for breakfast and lunch. However, everything changes when her perfect, lakeside Montana neighborhood begins bustling with crime and she seems to be the target.

Jason Brooks wants to know what happened to the woman he married. Lotty’s a mere shell of her former self. When she becomes the focal point of neighborhood threats, and the town seems to question her innocence, he must decide how well he knows his wife.

As Jason and Lotty try to get to the bottom of the threats and find those responsible, they’ll need to remember what they once loved about each other. Otherwise, they may lose everything and everyone they care about.

More Info:

While both The Enemy Nextdoor and Other Misunderstandings and The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife are both Strawberry Lake Estate Mysteries, the books stand completely on their own.

Purchase your copy of The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife on Amazon
Follow Crissy Sharp:  On her website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads

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I received a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Eubeltic Descent by Nadine C Keels

Abigaia lives a poverty-ridden life, and dreams of visiting the Eubeltic Realm fill her mind with a passionate yearning she cannot explain. No one would believe she descended from royalty, especially if they knew who gave her the information.

Nadine C. Keels has authored several books across more than one genre. Perhaps that’s what makes Eubeltic Descent so unique. Written in a fictional world with fictional tales, the story contains no other fantasy elements. Instead, it reads more like a historical fiction, so much so, I struggle to put it with my fantasy recommended reads, feeling it fits better under the general fiction category.

My Thoughts on the Eubeltic Descent:

The world of literature starts when you realize everyone and thing in the has a voice. Voices ring truth, whether leaves rustle in the wind or laughter floats on a breeze. All of those words, those unheard feelings, eventually find their resting spot between literature’s pages. Such is true in Eubeltic Descent.

Another culture lives within the various cultures of our world, yet few of us live it. The world of the hearing and speech impaired. So what happens when a young woman, with great intellect, lives with no voice? What happens when, as hard as she tries to be heard, the one closest to her calls her unexplained hand movements crazy? In those moments, do you imagine she might wish for more?

Eubeltic Descent follows the story of a young woman who cannot speak.  Written in third-person, the fairytale-style writing of Keels will pull you into the story even as you wonder how she’s done it. The descriptions of Abigaia’s silent laughter tickled my imagination. Read the following excerpt to see why.

She could have run faster without her basket, but it didn’t matter. Her head went back as she released a delighted sound, but it wasn’t tinkly, cackly, melodic, or anything else that would require some audible note or tone. It was simply a bubbling of wind that took flight out of her mouth: spirited, airy, and tuneless.

So often we live through the dialogue, but Eubeltic Descent, which does have dialogue, invites us to live between it. The story is well-written, unique, and a wonderful start to what I know will be a phenomenal series.

Official Blurb:

Your soul will remember…
As a woman who wasn’t born to wealth or privilege, Abigaia has mastered the art of thievery. And she’s come to hate it. Not only is she plagued by guilt, but her shadowed upbringing and silent ways cause most of her town to question her sanity.

Yet, Abigaia’s eccentric father always taught her to be proud of her heritage. Her ancestry lies across the sea, in a prominent realm she’s read about but has never seen.

The man who desires Abigaia’s hand in marriage doesn’t share her hope of seeing the Eubeltic Realm. But disaster erupts in their path, and Abigaia’s dream may have a greater purpose—if that famed domain of her ancestors is now in crucial need of her.

More Info:

Purchase the Eubeltic Descent (Eubeltic Realm Book 1) on Amazon

Follow Nadine C. Keels:   Facebook      Twitter      Goodreads
Nadine C. Keels website: Prismatic Prospects

Read more book reviews, flash fiction, and more at KameoMonson.com

I received a  free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Diving for Love by Jenny Rabe

What do you do when you realize you’ve fallen in love with your best friend and he’s dating the girl that’s tormented you all year? Mariana set out to fulfill a new goal: forget about it. See how it all works out in Diving for Love by Jenny Rabe.

Book Review: Diving for Love

Jenny Rabe, a wonderful YA author and one of my favorite online personas, went on more than 150 dates before settling down with her husband and having soon-to-be four children. Certainly, this plays a part in her romance-writing abilities, which she demonstrates clearly in Diving for Love. This story may be for young adult readers, but ladies, you are bound to enjoy it, too.

My Thoughts:

Who of us hasn’t enjoyed the tingle of young love? I’m all for the rich and fulfilling love twenty-three years of marriage has provided me, but remembering the feelings of teenage love still puts a smile on my face. And though Disney stories are fun, my favorite young love stories include characters who don’t experience love at first sight.

Diving for Love starts with the classic story of a girl who falls in love with her best friend. When events turn against Mariana, due to the thick blinders Dennis wears when it comes to his mean girlfriend, she sets goals to forget the whole crush idea, focus on earning money for college, and to take care of Abuela. Having the new employee, Sam, diving with her at the snuba shop seems to help, especially when he shows interest in her.

The situations Mariana finds herself in float readers through a fictional reality that I quite enjoyed. Her love for Abuela and confusion over Dennis and Sam don’t come across as contrived, but as the emotions everyone feels at one point or another. I found myself laughing with and talking to the characters as if they could hear me, as well as worrying about what might happen next. The author’s casted ripples of mystery that appear throughout the story riveted me. Well-written, filled with plenty of punny humor, and completely clean, every romantic is sure enjoy Diving for Love.

Official Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Mariana Rodriguez is devastated when her best friend and long-time crush, Dennis, chooses to date her tormentor over her. She plunges into work at her uncle’s dive shop, determined to sink her feelings for Dennis. When the new employee, Sam, shows interest in her, Mariana feels like she’s found the perfect springboard to moving on.

After both the shop and her abuela’s house are vandalized, Mariana can’t help but suspect that the two events are connected. She reluctantly calls on the one person who can help her, but allowing Dennis back into her life only makes her feelings for Sam murky. To protect her family from financial ruin, Mariana must decide who to trust. And with any luck, she’ll get her chance at true love along the way.

More Info:

Purchase your e-book or print copy of Diving for Love on Amazon.

Follow Jenny Rabe on Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads
Visit Jenny’s website and her newsletter.

Receive your free download of Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly, my favorite flash fiction piece by visiting KameoMonson.com, where you can also find more book reviews, recommended reads, flash fiction, and stories about me.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Unforgivables by Tabi Slick

Circuses attract unusual performers, but the Beaumont Bros. Circus may attract the most unusual bunch of misfits the world has ever known, in the novella Unforgivables by Tabi Slick.

Tabi Slick

Tabi Slick, the author of the Tomkin’s School Trilogy, brings us the e-book novella Unforgivables, winner of an Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project Recommended Read award. In this award-winning story, people with unknown powers, like Emma, are hunted by people without. This time though, London’s most revered detective jumps on the case and puts Emma and her new friends’ abilities to disappear to the test.

My thoughts:

I read several kinds of genres and have always been a fan of the stories that include paranormal elements. Something about unexplained powers and phenomena tingles my imagination. The same is true of Tabi Slick’s newest novella.

Unforgivables takes place in London during the 1800s. I noticed immediately that the author built the setting from that time period well, which was shown not only in her descriptions but also in her word choice and sentence structure. She keeps this tone through the entire story and does a great job of creating a circus-feel. I never realized such a thing was possible until reading Unforgivables with imagined carnival music running through my head the entire time. The action starts on page one and moves right along all the way to the last word, so pages are not bombarded by slow passages that cause readers to lose interest. In these ways, Unforgivables is extraordinary.

However, I did find myself struggling through much of the novella. Upon reflection, I believe most of my struggle comes from a lack of connection to the characters. I often felt the writing told me how to feel by sharing exactly how the characters felt, instead of letting me make inferences. By the time I felt ready to start connecting with someone, the story ended.

Unforgivables also switches between third-person point of view (various characters) and first-person point of view (Emma). The first time the point of view switched, it jolted me and I stumbled, trying to figure out what had happened. After that first occurrence, I expected the change and rather enjoyed the setup.

All in all, I think there are plenty of people who would enjoy this book. I, personally, need a connection to the characters and just couldn’t get pulled in that direction. If you like fast-paced, paranormal novellas that keep you on your toes, Unforgivables is a good choice.

Official Blurb:

Emma seemed an ordinary girl, but she had secrets. Not only did she have the ability to transform into a winged monster, she was also wanted for murder. After a series of unlikely events, she finds herself on the run from London’s most revered detective with only a circus filled with paranormal misfits to keep her company. Emma must find her way to freedom, but will she be able to do what is necessary to leave her past behind once and for all?

More info:

Read Unforgivables by Tabi Slick on Kindle Unlimited or purchase your e-copy on Amazon.

Unforgivables is the prequel to Tompkin’s School Trilogy, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novella.

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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

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