Thursday, October 10, 2019

Book Feature: Shadowland by Robert B McKnight



BLURB:

Shadowland is a book about stretching your imagination into another universe that's here on our own planet. There are creatures that live among the world's population, without detection. What happens when ordinary people come face to face with them?

In the 1990s, a dark discovery was made deep in the shadows below Raymond and Sandy Watson’s quaint little home in Cleveland, Ohio. Ray and his band of cohorts; he was not sure if they all qualify as friends; delve deep into the Shadowland to discover its secrets. In the process of pursuing the mysteries below Ray’s rec room, they battle with issues of greed, friendship, loyalty and love while trying to outsmart and outrun death. Some are winners. F.L.I.C.K.E.R. Some are losers.

FLick…er…

Wanting more from Shadowland than they initially obtain, Ray’s group enlists the help not of hired mercenaries, but a team of experts from E.F.F., Environment First and Foremost, and archaeologists from the Cleveland Natural History Museum. Everyone was searching for treasure but for very different reasons, some for the historical perspective of finding ancient artifacts and others, like Ray, for the pure power of the riches. Team leaders Laura Hatch and Bernie Edelman command the excavation with volunteers from the museum led by the minuscule Dr. A. E. Slattery and a team of Cleveland State University archaeology students led by the tall beanpole Professor Engstrom. What they find does include a long list of archaeological treasures, but also death and darkness in Shadowland.

The group’s journey into the world of science fiction reveals a secret world that they try hard to understand. They must work together to preserve not only their own lives, but perhaps the fate of the world. In the present day, does Shadowland still exist in the depths of the earth?

FLICKER…….

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48202463-shadowland?from_search=true
- - - BOOK EXCERPT - - -


Ray stood transfixed, inside a ring of fire. He was looking up at a giant statue. In all his childhood nightmares, in all the fire and brimstone preaching he had endured as a child, in all of his adult life, he had never imagined the ugliness that towered above him. The stone creature was gigantic...forty, fifty feet, maybe more in height. The feet of the beast were cloven. The body nude and muscular. The face was frozen into a sneering smile. Long flowing tangled locks adorned the head, crowned by what looked to be horns from the ground level. The statue seemed to stare down on this mere human with an arrogant air, despising the puny surface creature at its feet. Ray had trouble focusing on the statue, with the fires surrounding the stone Goliath flaring to new heights. Ray had to squint to get a better look at the face. Wait!!! What was that flash? Ray tried to lock out the devilish dancing flames from his view. He tried to ignore the demonic shadows that darted about, just out of reach and conscientiousness. He tried to concentrate on the face staring down in disdain. “There it goes again,” he said out loud. The right eye of the beamouth gleamed when the flames hit just right... not gleamed, sparkled. The right eye sparkled like a diamond.


ROAR...FLASH....FLICKER....FADE...FAde...fade.....fade.. 

Amazon BUY link


Robert B. McKnight has had a long and varied life.

Bob is a 1958 graduate of The College of Wooster with courses at Case Western Reserve University and Illinois University. He served in the U. S. Air Force as a recreation specialist and combat defense air policeman. He was stationed in Texas, Montana, Illinois and as far as Reykjavík, Iceland.

He has written articles for magazines, written humorous greeting cards for American Greetings, designed a brochure and catalog for an industrial sales company, sold advertising and written for The Cleveland Press newspaper. Most recently he has written, produced and directed commercials for an ad agency including one that was Emmy-nominated.

To round out the various types of employments, he has also spent some time bottling produce in a factory, driving a tour bus and selling appliances .

In the theatrical world, Bob started out by winning a play-writing award in college. He has now directed over 100 plays and shows and written five produced plays and musicals. He was the director of the Willoughby South High School drama department for several years.

Bob is a sports enthusiast that currently lives in Ohio with his wife Carole not far from daughter Michelle's family of five and son Douglas' family of three. He coached softball for 14 years and basketball for 4 years in youth league. He enthusiastically follows all Cleveland sports teams, plus Ohio State football.

Author Website: https://themcknightmares.wixsite.com/mysite/books

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Book Feature: The Dragon's Rising (Ancient's Armor, #1) by Nathan Ayersman



Falkier Inalumin has spent the past six years imprisoned by the king whom he had served under as a scribe. He hadn't attempted to escape even when the opportunity arose until one night when a stranger comes to break him out of prison at knifepoint.

After his escape, he is granted the power of the Dragon Sword, a weapon imbued with the power of one of the Ancients who created the world. He is also tasked with assembling a suit of armor imbued by the rest of the Ancients so that he may kill Rakar Gorxand, a man who had been granted a set of armor by the Ancients which was corrupted by the evil he was chosen to eliminate.

On this first leg of Falkier's journey, he becomes a mercenary, learns a sword style which allows him to fight without sight, and faces off against a man with the power to weave the fabric of the universe.


 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47808236-the-dragon-s-rising
--- BUY LINKS ---


--- EXCERPT ---

The men woke early the next morning. Swagin had drunken himself stupider the night before, so Falkier and Jofalk had needed to haul the Dhorn into a room above the tavern. They doubted that he would notice they had paid their bill from his pocket with an additional small fee for themselves. The burly man’s face showed the wearying effects of the previous night as he and Jofalk saddled their mounts in the light of early dawn. Falkier would have offered to help out except that he had no idea how to prepare an Aoun for travel, and the tavern owner’s young son was helping Jofalk with his bay.

Watching the men get ready to leave, Falkier pondered over all that had happened in the last two days. He’d been rescued from prison by a mysterious man, became an accomplice to the deaths of six men, been saved from being captured or freezing to death in the woods twice, joined a band of mercenaries, and received a sword from his dreams. The sword was slung over his shoulder, a weight that was becoming more familiar than when he had woken with it the previous morning. He was still unsure how it had gotten there. If his dream was to be trusted, it was a sword given to him by the Ancients, but for what purpose? And why had they picked him? Though his imprisonment had been unjust, he was still an escaped prisoner and far from the most moral person in the world to deserve such an honor.

The cloth wrapped around his hand was stained with blood. The X-shaped wound had started to scab over, but he kept the cloth on it in case it opened again. He had been perturbed when he discovered that it had been ultimately unnecessary and would mean nothing if he was rejected by The Archer, but Swagin had been adamant that Falkier would be accepted since he needed to repay a debt. Jofalk had asserted that, as Archer’s protégé, he could convince their leader to accept a new member. The Archer could be very welcoming to people when he wanted to be, and Jofalk knew how to hit his soft spot. Falkier held onto that idea as he mounted Olorn with Swagin.

The Bronze Bulls mercenary guild was located in an abandoned stronghold a day’s ride northeast, so they hoped to get there by nightfall to allow The Archer to evaluate him. According to Jofalk, Archer had started the Bronze Bulls not long after Falkier had been imprisoned following a botched assassination attempt. After narrowly escaping with his life, Archer’s reputation as the perfect assassin was marred and nobody would hire him. He had been training Jofalk for years and decided to expand his horizons by bringing together a group of young non-nobles who had shown the potential to be great warriors. Swagin had been the first recruit and had been initially paired with Jofalk to help him acclimate to the mercenary life. Upon seeing how well they complemented each other, they were permanently made a team, and The Archer modeled his following choices after them. Since then, the Bulls had slowly grown to a point where it could compete with other mercenary guilds.

The Bulls competitive edge stemmed from their ability to be customized to the task at hand. Whereas most mercenaries were simply strong-arming fighters, every member of the Bulls had a skill that they specialized in, like spying or robbery. Jofalk’s specialty was assassination at range while Swagin’s skill was unarmed combat. As a unit, they could handle most combat situations, which is why they were given their escort mission. The two were also sent on missions where the employer seemed unlikely to pay, as both made more than adequate debt collectors. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candice Ganger



BLURB:

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It's causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43178166-six-goodbyes-we-never-said

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. No payments made between me and the publisher.



I saw an email regarding this book a month back, I got curious and immediately sent a form to the email sender. I didn't even read the blurb of the book, it becomes a habit already. I prefer to be surprised of what the book could offer. Will I be disappointed? Or I'll like the book a lot? Who knows? For me that's the exciting part.

The moment I started reading the book, I was hooked right away. I remember I was in a lounge one Saturday afternoon and I was just killing time with my kindle, I finished one book already and I immediately chose to read this since I also have to make my review and be posted on this day. It was so hard to stop reading, I keep reading every words and marking the ones that hits a nerve. I left the lounge with almost half of the book done. It just took me a while to finish since weekdays are usually busy so I only read during nights when I get home and that's 1-2hours reading time just to refresh my head. Anyway, reading a book this good makes me giddy. I love the characters especially Dew. He's such a nice young man, despite his life experiences, being an orphan and adopted, he is such a positive thinker. He hides his loneliness well but he is so easy to cope and adapt in his environment. He inspire people. He had down moments but he's so easy to go back up. He knows what he wanted and just try all his best to get it. Naima on the other hand, she's always moody and always in deep thought. She's a complete opposite of Dew. Both of them lost their parents the difference is, they see life differently. 

Six Goodbyes We Never Said, gave me a different perspective, I know that I knew this before already but of course there were times that we forget; never ignore your love ones, no matter how mad you are, make time for them and forgive them. Who knows what happens tomorrow, right? Don't live life with regrets. I love this book a lot, it made me laugh and cry at the same time. The POVs of each character is very touching and clear, you won't get lost as a reader that the other person is already talking. Their thoughts are clear and all the conversations in the book are pretty much get me hooked. I was really curious about the letters though, did Naima opened it? I would love to know what was written. Also those short phone recordings, I feel like I can hear Naima's dad talking. It's beautiful and hurtful at the same time. This book was Naima's life, I was wondering if there'll be another book about Dew? I feel like, he's another person with a different story that people must read. 

I'll definitely get a physical copy of this one once it is available in the country where I live in, maybe an audio book too, I want to hear Naima's dad recordings. People must read this beautiful masterpiece! I'm so happy to be part of this blog tour and thank you so much to the publisher for giving me a chance to read this. 

"It doesn't matter who make you proud, as long as you find peace within yourself. Make yourself proud." - Dew

"Hope never leaves us - we're the ones who abandon it." 
- from the voicemail of Naima's Dad

My Ratings

 
 


Candace Ganger is a mother, blogger, Entertainment writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet, and contributing writer for sites like Romper, Teen Vogue, TWLOHA, Bustle, XO Jane & Hello Giggles. She’s also an obsessive marathoner and continual worrier (yay!). Her debut YA novel, THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH, is out now via St. Martin’s Griffin, and she’s part of a YA mental health anthology, LIFE INSIDE MY MIND, out now via S&S. Her forthcoming YA novel from St. Martin’s Wednesday Books, SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID, releases September 24, 2019.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Book Review: The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi Volume I: Homecoming by Kelvyn Fernandes



BLURB:

Follow Peter and Fi as they work together, each searching for something uniquely special to them through the four kingdoms of their known world. It’s a tale of fantastical beasts, peculiar characters, remarkable settings, and a unique brand of biochemistry-based magic. A story that focuses on meaningful character interactions, delicate world building, and intense action battles.

She emerged within a dark sea of green, shielding her eyes against the crescent moon’s pale blaze. The twinkling stars hummed softly, discordant against the chattering birds below. The lush leaves rippled in the breeze, tempting Fi to dip her toes in for a swim. The wind blew at her back and she turned east to face it. The fresh air carried the salty spray of the Shimmering Sea. Although she could not see it, she knew it was right there. Her ears caught the distant waves crashing against the shore. One last step. She thought.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43266479-the-many-adventures-of-peter-and-fi-volume-i

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. No payments made between me and the publisher.



First of all I want to thank for this copy of The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi. I viewed this book and immediately got excited because of it's cover that looks anime-like. I do watch anime too so I'm a big fan. I was amazed and fell in love at the book cover right away. 

As I read this book, I experienced mixed emotions, I enjoyed some parts of it and I enjoyed it when Peter is using his bubble magic. I was thinking he's some kind of a big guy making bubbles (just kidding). Anyways, I think he's a cool guy with amazing type of magic (I haven't heard that type yet, even on games since I always choose mage as my character), but his character is some kind of a person who has lots of secrets and I'm so interested to know. Meanwhile, Fi, I imagine her as that cute little kid on anime but with amazing powers! She intrigued me and it was awesome to know where she was really from. Despite the enjoyment with the characters, I honestly had a hard time to finish this book aside from my busy schedule. There were down moments, I was confused on the sudden change of point of view. It was like, one moment, I'm reading Fi's then after a few sentence it's already a different person without realizing it right away. I'm the person who can be distracted easily so this type of book will get me lost midway. One more observation, I do think this book must have illustrations especially when Peter or Fi is showing their magic. It will be a manga type but a novel. The book itself it awesome and lovely already don't get me wrong but I do think, it will really be amazing if there's additional beauty in it.

I'm excited for Volume II. I think there would be more adventures and surprises. I also wonder what are the other magic does Peter and Fi have. I know there's something else besides from what they know now. Also, I would love to know more about Peter on this Volume II.

I am so glad that I'm able to make a review on this, so, thank you so much for the copy as I said above.  I haven't read a book like this before, I meant, I've read about magic and all but this one is really cute!

My Ratings





Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Upcoming Book: Mars Colony Agatha: Nikki Red by Jack Chaucer



Release Date: November 01, 2019

BLURB:

Nicole Janicek already has stared down a high school shooter, a cult of criminal ex-Scientologists and six months of frigid darkness at South Pole Station in her young life, but now she risks it all attempting to ride a rocket to Mars in 2022. After the Red One mission quickly aborts in the skies over the North Sea, Nikki gets a surprise phone call from Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. What follows is a euphoric, historic, tragic and heroic mission to establish Mars Colony A, dubbed by some in the media as “Mars Colony Agatha” when misfortune strikes. While doubters predict the perilous mission will morph into “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, Nikki and her crew are determined to write their own story. Through it all, Nikki is surprised to learn how strong her connection to those she loved on Earth remains despite the chasm of time and space.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46779287-mars-colony-agatha?from_search=true
--- EXCERPT ---

CHAPTER 4
THE LINK

September 11, 2022 — Launch-Minus-11 Day
Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Cruising stealthily in a black Musk-designed Tesla sedan from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base toward nearby Kennedy Space Center, Nikki stared out the tinted window at the Atlantic Ocean and recalled her last disastrous visit to Florida in August 2019.

It began with her defying The Bridge leadership’s orders in Fort Lauderdale and nearly ended when she was struck by flying debris as Hurricane Felicia raged in Miami Beach.

But she lived.

And now she was back, and free, and here by her own choice.

She was ready to leave Earth on her own terms; saddened by her parents’ objections, but determined to blast her life so far past the ordinary.

Thirty-eight Raptor engines, quietly waiting on iconic Launch Pad 39A, would propel her beyond her imagination and into a cold, beautiful and deadly reality.

Dozens of Space Shuttle liftoffs had cleared that same pad; two missions had ended in explosions, deaths and parental heartbreaks.

But Nikki truly believed she would survive to see Mars up close.

Her extensive training in Antarctica had steeled her spirit for this all-in mission to deep space, and now Musk’s unexpected lifeline after the Red One splashdown only convinced her further that she was destined to actually land there in 2023 at age 26. Wow.

KSC headquarters rose about 10 stories in the foreground with massive American and NASA flags draped down one side. The boxy building was surrounded by sprawling parking lots dotted with palm trees, but Nikki’s eyes initially were drawn to the sleek, futuristic SpaceX sign on an adjacent rectangular building. The left leg of the X in the logo shot up diagonally and arced away, like the trail of rocket smoke.

Beyond all of that, at the edge of the ocean, the stainless steel Super Heavy Starship gleamed as it aimed toward the bright blue sky. From Nikki’s vantage point more than a mile away, it looked like a child’s toy, and in a way it was. Musk had been experimenting with rockets of all sizes since his aloof engineer father literally left Elon to his own devices during a rough South African childhood split from his mother and siblings. In reality, the full SHS stack stood 387 feet, 82 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

This was beyond freedom.

Where this rocket would take her, there would be nothing but red dirt, ice and murderously thin air. No government. No police. No trees or animals. No streets, with or without names. Just a brand new, very old and very empty world, apathetic to the arrival of six human beings, one of whom remained an 11th-hour, L-minus-11 stranger to the other five.

Nikki scrolled through their names on her phone one more time:

1. Commander Xander Vermilyea. Really? Internal rhyme? Nikki still dabbled in poetry, but that name in the email Elon’s assistant sent her sounded more like a Muskian prank.

2. Pilot Jo Guigere. Not Joe. Not Josephine. But female, Nikki presumed. Awesome.

3. Engineer Ulysses Parker. She wondered if his middle name started with an S. like the old Civil War general and president who now graces $50 bills.

4. Dr. Susan Wilkes. Nikki tried to suppress her brain’s urge to stick with the 1800s theme, add “Booth” to her name and charge her as an accomplice in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

5. Specialist Edward Etergino. “E Squared” immediately came to her mind as a possible nickname.

And what would they think of Specialist Nicole Janicek, the late and unexpected wildcard crew member with the red streaks in her hair?

If I can find a way to get along with the person who shot me for six months at South Pole Station, I’ll find a way to get along with these people, Nikki vowed.

But first, she was scheduled to meet face to face with the visionary who designed the car she was riding in and the spaceship that would drive her to Mars.

***

Jane Rushmore, blonde and personable, ushered Nikki into an eighth-floor suite where Elon Musk, hipster-techno-casual in a black short-sleeved shirt and jeans, quickly looked up from his phone and grinned. The SHS pierced the blue horizon in the massive window behind him.

Still star struck, Nikki hesitated for half a beat before crossing the surprisingly drab, outdated carpet to shake his hand in the large, rectangular room.

“Welcome, Nikki. How was your flight?” he asked, guiding her toward a pair of recliners. “Come relax. Can I get you anything?”

“Good, no, I’m fine,” she replied as they both sat down across from one another.

“Most people I know try to avoid flying on September 11th out of, you know, extremely warranted superstition, but we’re L-minus-11, so …”

“It was no problem,” Nikki said, struggling to form more than simple sentences in this surreal moment.

“How old were you in 2001?” he asked, still grinning.

“Four,” she said, finally allowing herself to exhale.

He nodded as if he already knew that. “Back then I was one year away from launching SpaceX in a California office about the size of this room and look how far we’ve come. I’m still renting space … this time from NASA.”

“But now you’ve got a rocket on that launch pad right there ready to take six people to Mars,” Nikki pointed out while gesturing toward the window.

“Can you believe you’re one of them?”

“No … this all seems like a dream.”

“I’m glad you said dream and not a nightmare.”

“Oh, I’m scared,” she admitted.

“So am I. Perfectly normal. This is gonna be big … truly the start of something monumental in human history. Deep space travel and establishing a human base on Mars.”

“What do you see as my role in this mission … other than trying not to die?” Nikki asked, smiling as she realized she just echoed Thomas’ parting words to her.

Elon fed off her smile and practically bounced in his chair as he talked, with his hands in constant motion.

“I really see you as the link, the communications link between Starship and Earth on the burn to Mars, and then between Colony A and Earth from Sol 1 on,” Musk said, referring in space jargon to the crew’s first day on the Red Planet. “You’re considerably younger, more charismatic and less of a technical person than the rest of the crew, so I really see you as the person to help tell the story of this mission, human to human.”

“Wow,” Nikki beamed.

“It’s an important role … getting on camera, wearing GoPros, shooting videos and sending video emails — v-mails — to interact with especially young people and children in classrooms on Earth,” he continued. “Think of yourself as the first travel guide on Mars, encouraging the next generation to want to help set up a city there some day. Because this mission will be far more effective and inspiring if we maintain that human connection with Earth every mile and every step of the way.”

“What can I say? I’m humbled and amazed to do that,” Nikki said.

“Fantastic. Now when I say interact, as you know, there’s about a 20-minute delay in communications between Mars and Earth, so the videos will be more like a one-way video letter, if you will, and then you’ll receive the reply from Earth.”

“Of course.”

“The less glamorous role for you would be to get extremely involved in keeping the common areas and cabins clean aboard ship and in the Martian hab environment …”

“Housekeeping?” Nikki asked with a smirk.

“Your word, not mine,” he replied with a laugh. “But essential either way.”

She nodded, biting her tongue and smiling. “Anything else?”

“Oh, there’ll be many other tasks, I’m sure, but one very real thing to keep in mind is you are the most expendable crew member. I know. I’m shamelessly blunt. But that’s a fact.”

Nikki picked up her jaw, tilted her head and understood.

“I know. I totally get that.”

“It just means that when there are dangerous situations or choices or truck runs to be made, you should be the first to raise your hand.”

Nikki’s eyes met Elon’s and didn’t blink.

“I will do that.”

“Good. Even if any of the other five tries to be the hero and insist, you remind them what I’ve told you here today. This mission is all about sacrifice. It has no chance of succeeding without it.”

“I’m so ready,” Nikki told herself and the leader of SpaceX. “You have no idea how awful it felt to come crashing down and lose that opportunity.”

“On the contrary, I know exactly how it feels. I’ve seen my share of exploding rockets. And that’s why I reached out to you … someone who would appreciate this second chance like no one else.”

Nikki took a deep breath and grinned. “I do appreciate it and I thank you for tracking me down. I’m truly blown away by all of this.”

“You’re welcome,” Elon said, standing up and offering her a hug. “And officially, welcome to the mission.”

Nikki accepted his embrace and smiled.

“Thank you. What’s next?” she asked.

“Dinner with your commander and crew. You better enjoy real Earth food while you can get it. And after that, I have a little surprise movie for all of you. It should be an inspirational and bonding experience."
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