Friday, September 30, 2016

Way Out West by @Frank_Tuttle #Kindle


Genre: Fantasy/Detective/Mystery/Adventure/Magic

Description:
Markhat and Darla journey into the unknown, where Trolls and worse await those who dare the wastelands, and old magics take on new life when fueled by vengeance and the undying power of greed.

Three thousand miles of haunted prairie lie between Rannit’s bustling streets and tiny frontier town of Railsend. Finder Markhat’s new case puts him aboard the steam locomotive Western Star, bound for Railsend…and the edge of the world. But before the Star sees its first sunrise, blood is spilled, and Markhat finds himself at the center of a murderous mystery.

When wartime magic of the killing sort enters the picture, Markhat realizes not all the passengers are who they seem. There’s a rogue sorcerer aboard the Western Star, a sorcerer bent on homicide — and not just one death will do.
Pressed into service by railroad law, Markhat must unravel the tangled web of lies before the next life taken is his own.”

Author:
Frank Tuttle lives and writes in the perpetually humid wilderness of North Mississippi. Frank tried to be a proper Southern author and write about pickups and hound dogs, but trolls and magic kept creeping into his stories, so Frank is a fantasy author. Although hounds do make occasional appearances in his fiction.”

To learn more about Mr. Tuttle’s series, The Markhat Files, and his other Young Adult series, Paths of Shadow, check out his website. I also recommend checking out his highly entertaining blog or stalking him on Facebook.

Appraisal:
Way Out West is sort of like Murder on the Orient Express Markhat style, but on a moving train surrounded with magic. Mama Hog is responsible for placing Markhat, Darla, Evis, and Gertriss on the Western Star headed west to secure her latest acquisition, a town she plans on renaming Hogstown.

It’s becoming quite clear there is an unsettling old magic in the air around Rannit so it seems like a perfect time to skip town for a while. Little does Markhat realize that this old magic is drawn to a certain crate in the baggage car of the Western Star as well. It’s a wild ride of murder, intrigue, and time warps. New characters who play important parts are written with depth and style. Darla is sharp and takes on an impressive role as Markhat realizes he married up in class.

There are delightful surprises among the darkness of this tale and more twists in the plot than any roller-coaster ever invented. I was enthralled through the whole story. I love it when that happens, except it makes functioning the next day difficult from the lack of sleep. Way Out West is an exciting addition to The Markhat Files and I have to wonder how Hogstown will factor into future stories. Well done, Mr. Tuttle.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Way Out West is book ten in The Markhat Files series. Mr. Tuttle does an excellent job filling in key elements so new readers will enjoy his stories without having read previous books in this series. However, I would highly recommend reading the whole series to fully appreciate character nuances.

Format/Typo Issues:
None.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Reprise Review: It Isn't Cheating if He's Dead by @JulieFrayn


Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:
Jemima Stone is tortured by the disappearance of her schizophrenic fiancé, Gerald. She seeks refuge from her pain by feeding the homeless.

When he is found murdered in a city three thousand miles from home, Jemima finds salvation in the arms of the detective who has obsessed over her case for four years, and redemption by reuniting one of her homeless friends with the family he thought he'd lost.”

Author:
From nine to five, Julie Frayn is a mild mannered accountant. But the rest of the time, her writer alter-ego comes to life. When she isn’t counting beans or making things up in her head, she is mother to the two most perfect adults on the planet. She isn’t biased, just observant. When they were younger, they were perfect muses for silly poetry about smashed peas and birds with gastroenteritis.”

Appraisal:
Jemima Stone, Jem for short, is one those characters I found myself caring about almost immediately. She isn’t without faults (who among us is?), but she also has a way of taking a negative and turning it positive, which is a quality we could all emulate. An example of this is her obsession with finding her fiancé, Gerald, who disappeared. When she spotted a man that looked like him apparently living among the homeless in a park, she took to preparing and delivering food to the homeless in this park each morning. While initially this was with the hope of finding Gerald, it quickly became more about helping those in need and continued after he was found murdered in another city.

In addition to the main storyline, finding out and coming to terms with what happened to Gerald and why he left like he did, there are secondary story threads which are no less compelling. The changing relationship with the police detective who was investigating Gerald’s disappearance is one. Another is Jem’s work with the homeless, especially one man who she goes above and beyond in finding out his story and trying to help.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Some adult language.

The author is Canadian and uses her native spelling conventions which are a mix of US and UK spellings. There is at least one, possibly more uses of Canadian slang. The one I noticed, twonie (although the spelling I've seen is toonie), is the slang for the Canadian two dollar coin and understandable in context for those not familiar with the term.

Added for Reprise Review: It Isn't Cheating if He's Dead was a winner in the Chick Lit/Women's Fiction category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran February 25, 2014

Format/Typo Issues:
No significant proofing or copy editing issues. There are a handful of occurrences of an invalid character that I suspect happened as part of the formatting or a file conversion process, but not enough to be a concern.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kingsteel by Michael Meyerhofer #Kindle @mrmeyerhofer


Genre: Fantasy/Saga

Description:
Kingsteel is the conclusion to Michael Meyerhofer’s The Dragonkin Trilogy. Rowen Locke has prevailed in the most recent battle, but the war is only getting bigger. Locke and company must stop the Dragonkin before it’s too late.

Author:
Michael Meyerhofer began publishing poetry before penning The Dragonkin Trilogy. Meyerhofer has a BA from the University of Iowa and MFA from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He currently lives in Fresno, CA.

For more info check out Mr. Meyerhofer’s website.

Appraisal:
Kingsteel is the conclusion to Michael Meyerhofer’s The Dragonkin Trilogy. I was hopeful going into it, but a little leery because I’ve been disappointed in the past with trilogies.

Well, that is NOT the case with Kingsteel.

The world Meyerhofer created is vast and filled with many different compelling characters and creatures. Meyerhofer gives each of them their due, showing their strengths and weaknesses as they battle to rid the world of the Dragonkin. They run into some of the worst people and at times seem as though they may not make it – and not all of them do.

What was important was that it wasn’t just Rowen Locke who could save the world – though he’s made to think he has to lead them. Yet, it’s teamwork and trust from an unlikely group of friends that winds up prevailing in the end.

Kingsteel offers a satisfying conclusion to this story, but hopefully not the ending to this great world.

Buy now from:      Amazon US      Amazon UK

FYI:
Kingsteel is the third book in a trilogy and should not be read without checking out the first two books.

Format/Typo Issues:
No serious issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Sooz

Approximate word count: 160-165,000 words


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reprise Review: Nine Feet Under by @MorganCTalbot



Genre: Mystery

Description:
Margarita and Bindi have big plans for the Fourth of July, involving borrowed bicycles, a geocaching power trail, live podcasts, and plenty of fun. But their day quickly goes awry when they stumble upon what looks like a murder in progress.

Strange rivalries and secret alliances test Margarita’s puzzle-solving skills, and Bindi suffers a rather painful setback when she comes face to face with someone she never thought she’d see again.

The overly stoic sheriff can’t be in two places at once, so the girls need to figure out whodunit and rescue the next potential victim before the explosive finale.”

Author:
Morgan C. Talbot is a fan of puzzles and enjoys geocaching as a hobby as well as many other outdoor activities. She lives with her family in Eastern Washington. This is her third book in this series and I just discovered she has written several books in a different genre using a different name.

Appraisal:
This is the third book of Talbot’s Caching Out series and my favorite thus far. Trying to understand why it was my favorite I had an epiphany. Although varied in the specifics, they all have many of the same things. Margarita and her roommate, Bindi, who is a native of Australia, are the main characters. Their hobby of geocaching is part of the story in some way, although how much of the story and mystery involves this pastime is inconsistent. They always stumble onto an apparent murder victim and Margarita’s obsession with solving puzzles drives her to try and solve the crime. But none of that explains why this is my favorite.

One possibility is that instead of the main characters being Margarita and her sidekick, this time around Bindi took a more central role, seeming like less of a sidekick and more of an equal. I liked that, but don’t think that’s the answer. Finally I came to the conclusion that there were two reasons. One, just a touch of humor seemed to have crept into the writing that either wasn’t there before, or I maybe I didn’t notice it. One example is this description of Bindi’s former fiancé, who we’ve never met in person, but certainly heard about.

Garrick had been her knight in shining armor. She wouldn’t have cared if he’d had a harelip, a third eyeball, and a burning desire to enter politics.

Another example was a reference to the FSM (the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for the uninitiated). That’s a reference many wouldn’t get and relatively few would be as amused by it as I was.

I also concluded that with a series like this an author has a balancing act between formula and keeping things fresh. There is a certain formula that develops (same characters, similar situations, settings, and so on). That might not sound good, but to a point it is because the reader gets to “know” the characters and develop an affinity for them. Which is what I think has happened with me.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Although part of a series, each book stands alone and shouldn’t require reading prior books to understand and enjoy later books in the series.

Added for Reprise Review: Nine Feet Under was a nominee in the Mystery category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran October 7, 2013.

Format/Typo Issues:
No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words


Monday, September 26, 2016

The Promise by @SamVickery01 #BookReview



Genre: Women’s Fiction

Description:
How far would you go to keep your child safe? 

Saraya Matthews knows that at thirty two years old, life should look better than this. With no spark and no passion, she decides enough is enough. She is going to find her purpose and stop wasting her life away.
 

Little does she know, her purpose will come in the form of an orphaned baby boy whose mother has been gruesomely murdered on the streets of London. 
Saraya finds herself in a battle between what's legal and what's morally right. The authorities expect her to hand him over, but baby Flynn needs her. Saraya is surprised to discover that once she lets herself love him, she can't turn back.
 

Flung full force into the unexpected position of mother and protector, she realises she will do whatever it takes to keep her baby safe in her arms. 
But will she succeed?
 

A tale of unconventional adoption and the immeasurable strength of a mother's love.”

Author:
Sam Vickery is an author, illustrator, and lover of all things creative. She writes YA fiction, children's picture books and books on natural parenting.”

Visit Ms. Vickery’swebsite to find out about new book releases, discounts, and free books or follow her on Facebook.

Appraisal:
A young woman has taken to the streets to escape her abusive husband. She steals and begs to survive always careful to protect her ten month old son, carried next to her breast in a sling. When she is brutally murdered, Saraya Matthews — a boring and bored thirty-two year old office worker — grabs the baby and runs.

This is the story’s premise and I thought it a good one. How would Saraya handle her decision with so many practical reasons why she shouldn’t have done what she did, and yet with many emotional reasons why she did.

In the main, the novel kept me turning pages. The writing is tight and easy on the eye. The speed with which Saraya and the baby connected was a bit of a stretch, but I was willing to go along. However, once officialdom became involved, I found the direction taken by the plot rushed and difficult to believe. I’m not familiar with adoption and police procedures in the UK, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have taken the approach portrayed in the story. So, for me, the tale didn’t end as well as it began.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:
Very few. English spelling and locations.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Friday, September 23, 2016

Killdeer Winds by Aaron Michael Ritchey


Genre: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Adventure/Young Adult

Description:
It is the year 2058.

The Sino-American War has decimated several generations of men, and the Sterility Epidemic has made 90% of the surviving males sterile.

Electricity does not function in five western states. Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana are territories once again. Collectively, they are known as the Juniper.

It is the most dangerous place on Earth.

Cavatica Weller and her sisters have one chance to save their family ranch--a desperate post-apocalyptic cattle drive across a violent wasteland. Having escaped from Denver, the Weller family will have to face the worst of the Juniper’s outlaws, the Psycho Princess. And still an inhuman army dogs their every step.

The mystery deepens—who is the lost boy Micaiah and why would the richest man on earth spend billions to find him? And will Micaiah’s secrets tear the Weller family apart?”

Author:
Aaron Michael Ritchey was born with Colorado thunderstorms in his soul. He's sought shelter as a world traveler, an endurance athlete, a story addict, and even gave serious thought to becoming a Roman Catholic priest. After too brief a time in Paris, he moved back to the American West and lives semi-comfortably with three forces of nature: a little, blonde hurricane, an artistic tornado, and a beautiful, beautiful blizzard.”

Mr. Ritchey’s Long Live the Suicide King was a nominee in BigAl’s Books and Pals 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards under the YA category. For more information about Aaron Michael Ritchey please visit his website.

Appraisal:
Killdeer Winds is a rip-roaring dystopian adventure, with a Wild West flair, that will have you on the edge of your seat during the whole book. Everyone’s resolve is put into question, relationships are tested, secrets are revealed, and then everyone dies. (Just kidding.) Maybe…

Tensions run high as the plot twists and turns. Wild risks are taken as the cattle drive is now being led by Cavatica, and she is only sixteen years old. She is forced to match wits with the crazy Madelines, the Wind River Tribe, and the Vixx Sisters’ army of biologically altered soldiers. All while trying to come to terms with a budding new love, that flipping New Morality Code, and family turmoil. It’s an out of control emotional roller-coaster ride as each new battle adds more complications.

Killdeer Winds is not a relaxing read by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve never read anything like this story before. It’s a thought provoking adventure that will grab you by your throat as well as your heart. And just as you think everything is going to work out, things go to hell in a hand-basket. Yep, of course there is a cliffhanger ending.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Killdeer Winds is book two in The Juniper Wars series. It is necessary to read the first in the series Dandelion Iron.

Format/Typo Issues:
I was given an ARC to read before the book was published and cannot comment on the finished book.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin


Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reprise Review: Strange Academy by @TeresaWilde



Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery/Urban Fantasy

Description:
Determined to uncover the secret behind her eccentric aunt's mysterious death, Sadie Strange, a quirky substitute teacher with a Master’s degree in comic book superheroes, takes a job at isolated private school Strange Academy. Her biggest obstacle? Haughty hottie Lorde Gray, the chemistry teacher who looks down his Roman nose at her as he tries to get her fired.”

Author:
By day, Teresa Wilde is a mild-mannered technical writer, but by night (and lunch hours, and weekends) she's a digital Sheherezade, weaving tales of strange and wondrous places and people. Strange Academy is her third first novel. She is currently working on a Regency Urban Fantasy, plus the sequel to Confessions of a Teenage Demon Magnet and the next book in the Strange Academy cycle. Check out her blog. Ms. Wilde also publishes erotic romances under the pen name Teresa Morgan.

Appraisal:
This book caught me a little off guard; I assumed by the cover it would be a light-hearted funny read. And it was that, but it was also so much more. Ms. Wilde did a wonderful job building her characters and exploring their backgrounds so we understood why each one was the way they were. Knowing the psychological makeup gave her characters depth and a more human quality making it easier to identify with them.

Sadie has denied who she really is her whole life because she wanted to fit in and be normal, unlike her strange Aunt Pippa, her witch mother, and her psychic older sister. She also has no idea why Aunt Pippa has recommended that she take over Pippa's classes at Strange Academy after her death. However she is determined to find out how and why Aunt Pippa died so unexpectedly. The whole campus is on alert to keep anything magical from Sadie as long as she is there and she seems more than willing to turn a blind eye or find logical, mundane reasons for anything she cannot readily explain. She is smart, logical to a fault, strong-willed, and witty. Sadie has also built walls around her heart after falling for the wrong type of man one too many times. So when she meets Lorde Gray at Strange Academy she instantly dislikes him because he is exactly the type she is known to fall for.

Lorde Gray was a character that was hard to like at first. He was egocentric, overbearing, and controlling. The perfect alpha male type. But as the story develops and we get to know more about his history he becomes quite swoon-worthy. However he has a lot of pride and Sadie becomes quite adept at challenging his pride which was fun to watch.

Most of this story deals with the teachers and administrators of Strange Academy instead of the students, so the theme is more adult oriented. Although two of the students in Sadie's class have a larger role than most. Sterling, Lorde's eleven year-old nephew, and Carmina, a Non (a human without a talent/power) who may never have talents, develop an interesting friendship that challenges the House of Gray. Sadie and Carmina also develop a relationship being the only two Non-talented humans at Strange Academy.

Woven through this story of challenging relationships is the mystery of Aunt Pippa's death which twists and turns with every clue that Sadie follows. It is an important element of the story and impacts Lorde Gray and Sadie's relationship in ways that will surprise you. Their dialogue is entertaining and believable. I loved taking this journey of self-discovery with them and found the book hard to put down until the wee hours of the morning.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
The story contains adult language and sexual situations that some may find offensive. I found the sexual situations tastefully written and enjoyed them.

Added for Reprise Review: Strange Academy was a nominee in the Paranormal Romance category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran November 28, 2013

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Softpaw (Smilodon Pride Book 1) by Osiris @Brackhaus and Beryll Brackhaus



Genre: Urban Fantasy/LBGT/Erotic Romance

Description:
Connor’s life used to be the dream of any cultured werecat. He spent his days in Paris’ gay quarter with comfortably little real work, playing the piano, surrounded by art, fine food and good friends. Now, a feral vampire preys on the prostitutes of ‘his’ quarter, killing the boys of the Marais, one by one.

When Connor invites a newly arrived hooker to stay on his houseboat, the last thing he expects is Michel to be a member of the Brigade Criminelle - a troubled, hunky rookie cop sent undercover to explore Connor’s connection to the murders, picked mostly because he had been a boy of the Marais himself, not so long ago.

Hiding their true natures becomes a problem for both when their initial attraction becomes much more than they ever thought possible. But in order to bring down the serial killer and maybe have a chance at making their relationship work out, one of them will have to take the first, critical leap...”

Authors:
Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus are a couple currently living their happily-ever-after in the very heart of Germany under the stern but loving surveillance of their cat. Both of them are voracious but picky readers, they love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, they write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of their happiness with their readers.

Beryll: An artist by heart, Beryll wrote stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word and the driving creative force of the duo.

Osiris: An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of the team. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.”

Appraisal:
Michel Dupont has a dubious past; he has fought his way back from sex, alcohol, and drug addiction with the help of his arresting officer, Capitaine Thierry Plouescat. Despite Plouescat and Michel’s rough start, Plouescat had become like a father to Michel. As such, after many months of rehab and therapy, Michel has recently graduated from E’cole Nationale de Police at the top of his class.

As his first assignment, Plouescat proposes to send Michel undercover as a male prostitute in Marais. Straight into the pit he has pulled himself out of to get close to Connor Acothley, their prime suspect for the serial killings happening in Marais. Connor, who plays the piano at Chez Chantal, a small but respectable gay pub, likes to think of himself as a sensitive, cosmopolitan, educated soul whose job it is to protect his small corner of gay Paris.

Both Michel and Connor are fully developed intriguing characters. I really liked them both. Connor’s Native American background and love of art drew me in. Michel’s physique made him captivating, his struggles and sharp mind made him likable once you set his ego aside. Neither Connor nor Michel fully trust each other, and this hampers both of their investigations. Their sexual attraction becomes its own story arc and adds a dimension with complications as we are allowed insight into both of their inner thoughts.

I generally love knowing what is going on in the characters heads; however, this time it separated me from the emotion. Sensations got lost in the translation of the action. Weird, huh? So don’t read this story for the sex. Instead enjoy the story for the twists in the plot and the paranormal elements. There is much more going on here than the reader is aware of until the end. Obviously, this book is setting up a series, which I think has promise. Hopefully, Connor and Michel will stop obsessing about sex and go with the flow. It should be interesting to see how this all develops.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Southpaw is book one in the Smilodon Pride series. This is book meant for adults, it depicts male prostitution, rough and explicit sex, as well as colorful language with several F-bombs.

Format/Typo Issues:
I noticed a small number of proofing errors in the file that was submitted for review.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 75-80,000


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reprise Review: She’s the Boss by @LisaLim8



Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit

Description:
The Devil Wears Prada meets The Office. Twenty-something Karsynn is now a boss, but she's not so much The Devil Wears Prada as she is The Angel Wears Payless. With a brighter career, things should be going better for her, right? Wrong. There's now a new director at the office, Carter Lockwood, and he's brought his reputation for wreaking havoc amongst the ladies. Karsynn prides herself on being the only one impervious to Carter's good looks. In fact, she takes great pleasure in blowing on the embers of Carter's hostility.

Karsynn thinks Carter is arrogant and obnoxious. Carter believes Karsynn is an ignorant, sassy spitfire. Once they start working closely together, they discover first impressions can be deceptive. Karsynn may be winning the battle against Carter, but will she lose the war? And more importantly, will she lose her heart?”

Author:
Lisa Lim’s debut novel, Confessions of a Call Center Gal, was shortlisted for “Goodreads No Young Adult Best Chick Lit Reads” and featured on the Wall Street Journal online.

For more, visit Lim’s blog.

Appraisal:
She’s the Boss largely takes place in the same call center as Lim’s Confessions of a Call Center Gal, but with a focus on different characters and no need to have read the prior book to easily follow what’s happening in this one. Humor abounds, with idiot customers (the characters may have to pretend that the customer is always right, but I don’t have to), and the normal hijinks you’ll find in any office full of young, energetic people.

The main character, Karsynn, is, as the book description says, a “sassy spitfire.” As a relatively new supervisor, she’s finding her way, learning how to balance the demands made on her from above with supervising those people who were recently her peers and are still her friends. Anyone who has gone through this balancing act will empathize with her experiences.

It would be fair to describe She’s the Boss as Chick Lit, as it has all the elements of that genre, primarily the humor in the situations the protagonist faces as she grows as a person. But the book is also being described as a “Romantic Comedy,” and has all of those elements too, with a potential love interest who is unappealing in many ways, yet Karsynn is unaccountably drawn to him. Categorize it however you want. What’s important is it’s a read that won’t leave your funny bone alone.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Some adult language and situations.

Added for Reprise Review: She’s the Boss was a nominee in the Chick Lit/Women's Fiction category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran May 6, 2013

Format/Typo Issues:
No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words


Monday, September 19, 2016

Ghost of a Chance by @EjDivitt #Kindle



Genre: Urban Fantasy/New Adult

Description:
No one told Jenny Chang she is descended from a long line of supernatural protectors. When her father is murdered, the mantle of Protector passes to her. Suddenly thrust into the world of the dead and beholden to Zhong Kui, the King of Ghosts, Jenny struggles with new powers and new responsibilities. As she tries to find her way, Jenny must face an old evil that is loose in the world and uncover a secret buried in her family’s past.”

Author:
EJ Divitt lives with her husband in a house they plan to live in forever. She enjoys curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea, can often be found singing along with the radio and has a brown belt in karate.

She has multiple nonfiction titles available including: Daily Writing Prompts To Spur Creativity, I'm Engaged! Now What? and Things Every Goddess Should Know.”

Learn more about Ms. Divitt on her website or follow her on Facebook.

Appraisal:
Ghost of a Chance is the story of a small, dysfunctional family of Chinese heritage who have the dubious honor of being supernatural Protectors. The mantle of Protector is passed to Jenny Chang at her father’s untimely death and she has just graduated from high school. She is also completely unaware of her heritage due to her mother’s fear. As such, dramatic consequences arise to complicate the plot.

As a supernatural protector, Jenny is essentially a ghost whisperer and it is her job to help ghosts pass over to the next realm when their progress is impeded. Sometimes it can be as simple as passing messages along to remaining family members. However, the crux of this story is about an evil shadow creature who is snatching souls before they go into the light. With each soul this evil grows stronger.

Ghost of a Chance is told through Jenny’s eyes. The problem I encountered is the author tells us every single move Jenny makes as she moves through her day, detail that is not moving the story forward. There is way too much telling rather than showing. Granted there is a lot of back-story that needs to be established, but mundane details slow the story down and cause a disconnection between the reader and the characters.

There are certain elements of the story that work well and show promise. The overall plot is unique, but things fall apart in other areas. I would suggest joining a fantasy author writing group for constructive feedback and aim for middle-grade age group for readers perhaps.

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK

FYI:
Ghost Of A Chance is the first book in the Ghost Protector Trilogy.

Format/Typo Issues:
A small number of proofing issues.

Rating: *** Three stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin


Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words