Blog Tour Book Review: Firefiles & Hope From the Ocean by P.S. Bartlett

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my stop on the virtual blog tour for both Fireflies and Hope From the Ocean written by P.S. Bartlett! This is a pretty special post since it covers two books in one which I have been really excited about! I’m happy to introduce you to the beautiful covers and descriptions of these books below!

FirefliesTitle: Fireflies
Author: PS Bartlett
Release Day: April 3th, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Historical Irish Fiction

However peculiar Ennis Whelan has been for the first six years of his life, not until the day he found the bird, did the degree of his strangeness become so tangible.

Dr. Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah, both Irish immigrants, have been living the American dream, as well as raising seven bright and expressive children. Their youngest Ennis, however, has since birth, been a bit of a mystery.

Ennis was always small, meek and frightfully odd but there is so much more to him than anyone could have imagined. His sister Teagan grows increasingly suspicious of his behavior but their mother dismisses her claims, until the day he starts healing people.

When Ennis ultimately reveals the gift of sight, he questions his father about visions of his past, including his voyage to America in 1844. Owen prayed he’d never have to share those tragic memories but he will share them, when he realizes he has no choice. Ennis’ life may depend on it.

TBlank white book w/pathitle: Hope from the Ocean
Author: PS Bartlett
Release Day: May 30th, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Historical Irish Fiction

When Owen Whelan revealed his secret, he was set free from a haunting past and an uncertain future for his son, Ennis. However, in order to know the true depths of his heart, first we must follow him all the way back to a dirt road on a chilly and bitter spring dawn in Ireland. Behind the locked doors of his memories and hidden beneath shame, hunger and eventually escape, we learn the true meaning of the proverb, “There’s hope from the ocean but none from the grave.” Owen’s journey will teach him that sometimes you have to cross that ocean not only to survive but to finally find love, life and become the man worthy of your own admiration and respect.

 There are turning points in life you cannot come back from but if you’re brave enough, you can begin again.

I want to start off by thanking P.S. Bartlett and GMTA Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read not one, but two books in one tour! It was definitely a treat to be able to spend a lot of time with these characters and in this world.

I loooved these books. I love this story. The characters and the settings were so real to me and I attribute this to some really beautiful writing. This story is really unlike anything I have ever read before. The genre I would definitely most associate this story with is  historical fiction but it’s distinctly unique because it has these paranormal, spiritual and romantic elements mixed into the story as well.

It was really easy for me to fall in love with this story and these characters. I feel like the books themselves are so beautifully written that they are the types of books that are just heartwarming and special…definitely the kind of story that gives you butterflies in your stomach and makes you smile and laugh aloud. I will admit as well to the occasional swoon.

It’s really hard for me to decide which one I liked the most out of the two so I won’t even endeavor to make the decision because I loved them both. In Fireflies  I loved spending time with the Whelans and experiencing their simple on the surface, yet surprisingly complicated lives and seeing how fate and faith work their magic on this family. It is such a beautiful story. In Hope From the Ocean I really enjoyed seeing the Whelan origins and the history of basically how the family came to be. Again, such a beautiful, moving story that I just couldn’t put down. What is so special about these books is they make you wonder, they make you feel…they are extremely moving stories with wonderfully detailed characters.

As a fan of early Irish literature I found the mention of Tir Na Nog a nice little Easter egg for me as a reader. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up to P.S. Bartlett for working that into the story and rejuvenating my love of Irish literature. It’s always also interesting to me to read historical fiction books and be able to find parallels in the work of fiction and real world fact like the potato famine and the emigration of the Irish into America.

I give both of these books well deserved five star ratings. I thought these books were both incredible and incredibly moving. If you read one you MUST read the other and let me know what you think of these books!! There are 20 copies of these books up for grabs, if you would like a copy please leave a comment below and be sure to include your email when filling out the form so that I can email you your copy asap! Happy reading everyone and be sure to pick these up!!


Author Bio:

I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m the youngest of eleven children. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family. I write, I draw and I work full-time. I also paint beautiful watercolors with my three year old granddaughter.

I’ve been married for nearly 19 years and together we have two sons and a daughter. I’d call myself a football fan but I mostly only watch my home team, the World Champion Baltimore Ravens. I love super heroes and Superman has been my favorite since I was a little girl. June 2013 the new Superman movie “Man of Steel” arrives in theaters and it cannot get here soon enough for me. I love cats and I have a Maine Coon named Columbus.

Be sure to follow this author via the various social media avenues she participates in! She is definitely an author to watch!  I can see these books being made into movies!







 Fireflies Book Buy Links:








Blog Tour Book Review & Giveaway: Arcanum by M.C. Moulton

arcanum_blogtourfArcanum Cover

Title: Arcanum written by M.C. Moulton
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Mythos Press (an imprint of GMTA Publishing)
Page count: 216
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface using Nook App)
Rating – 4/5

Between fighting a race of magic-wielding winged monsters, scaling Krakens, blinding Cyclops, running from Sirens, and being abducted by pirates it’s all Arc Arcanum can do to keep his head on straight; literally. After losing the only home he’s ever known, and with nowhere else to turn, Arc enlists with the Human Liberation Front to help fight against a ruthless species known as the Winged Ones and stop them from unleashing a world-wide human holocaust. He quickly finds that he may have bitten off more than he can chew when he’s tasked (completely by accident) with escorting humanity’s last hope, a red-eyed android named Celeste, across the sea to one of the few remaining human safe havens. To make matters worse he’s accompanied by two fellow cadets: the feisty vixen Rose and the polyamorous playboy Prince, both of whom seem entirely set on making sure nothing goes as planned. It’s a magical journey that proves blood isn’t the only bond that makes a family. (Goodreads)

Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Arcanum. Thank you to M.C. Moulton and GMTA Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book!

Arcanum is a fantasy novel that deals with a group of unlikely friends from very different backgrounds that are soldiers in an army brought together to defend the human race from the wingers, a flying foe that can wield powerful magic on the battlefield. When the three friends discover Celeste, a beautiful silver haired girl beneath their military compound they find out that she may very well be the last hope for humanity…and it is thrust upon their young shoulders to see her to safety.

I really liked this book, I thought it was well-written and the world building was great although sometimes it was hard for me to gauge a timeframe from the things the characters say. I thought the premise of the story was great, it was definitely one of those books where the characters embark on this really important journey and are racing against the clock with the fate of humanity resting upon their shoulders. I love books like that. Arcanum definitely did not disappoint. It was fast paced, super fun and filled with a wonderful amount of humor and action. Our characters meet other interesting characters along the way like a band of pirates and encounter many different trials like a murderous nymph and a terrifying kraken. All of these things and much more make for a wonderfully entertaining story. I gave Arcanum a four star rating since I did have a few  really slight problems with the world building but overall Arcanum was awesome!

I love this book cover by the way, I couldn’t help but picture this as an anime film in my head when I was reading it which just added to the fun I had reading this novel. I can’t wait to read the sequel!

As an added bonus I am giving away 20 free copies of this book to the first 20 people who comment on this blog post with their email.

About the AuthorAuthor Pic Arcanum I

M. C. Moulton is currently living in Kansas and trying desperately not to be swept away by a tornado to a magical land of munchkins. In his off time he’s lazily at work on the Arcanum sequels or playing way too many video games. Oh yeah and he’s awesome.

Visit the Author’s Website : On this site you will also find links to where you can purchase the book!


Blog Tour Book Review & Excerpt: The Seduction of Miriam Cross by WA Tyson

the seduction of miriam cross buttonCan Delilah Percy Powers figure out who killed Miriam Cross before she becomes the killer’s next target?

 Miriam Cross, author, feminist and philanthropist, disappears from her Philadelphia home. A year later, a lonely recluse named Emily Cray is brutally murdered in her bed in a small Pennsylvania town. Miriam and Emily are one and the same. As Delilah and her staff of female detectives – a militant homemaker, an ex-headmistress and a former stripper – delve into Miriam’s life, they become submerged in an underworld of unfathomable cruelty and greed with implications that go far beyond the gruesome death of one woman or the boundaries of one country. Eventually Miriam’s fight for justice becomes Delilah’s own…until Delilah’s obsession with finding the truth may prove just as deadly.

the seduction of miriam crossWelcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Seduction of Miriam Cross! Thank you to WA Tyson and CLP Blog Tours for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!

The Seduction of Miriam Cross was a superb read! The best way I can describe it is as a thriller/murder mystery novel. This book reminded me of why I have fun reading murder mystery novels.

I was immediately sucked into the story when I began reading this book. It was really late at night and I was having trouble sleeping when I decided to start it and I can truly attest to it deserving the “thriller” genre categorization. I was immediately spooked when I read the Prologue which was awesome, and it really didn’t stop there.

Reading this book was really interesting and I think that detective type books are always really fun because the main character is putting all these pieces of a puzzle together and taking us along for a really great ride. Plus, in the case of The Seduction of Miriam Cross, it is so easy to fall in love with the characters that make up Delilah’s PI team. I thought it was really great the way the author presented the story from all different perspectives of each member of the PI group and gave us different pieces of the puzzle and all these twists and turns that made up as I said earlier, a really great ride!

I also really liked the subjects that this book deals with which are subjects that we may not really think about during our daily lives but which occur right here in not only our country but in our hometowns. It deals with subjects like human trafficking, indentured servitude and political corruption. Great things to think about and be aware of and they were just one of the many layers to this story!

What I find in a lot of novels of this sort is that I like the main characters but I don’t love them. This was not true in the case of Delilah Percy Powers, I absolutely loved her as a character. I love that she was sort of thrust outside of her comfort zone as an investigator…really all of her team was and it was interesting to see them work through it all both as a team and individually. This story was complicated, it had a lot of different aspects to it and their investigation just kept getting more complicated and there were multiple layers that Delilah and her team had to just peel away slowly and carefully but in the nick of time. This was SUCH a good book, well deserving of a five star review!!

If you’re looking for a fun, thrilling read The Seduction of Miriam Cross is your book! And as a teaser, here is an excerpt of the book for your reading pleasure, information about the author so you can check her out and keep in touch, as well as links to places you can purchase The Seduction of Miriam Cross because it will be well worth the read!


“Delilah Percy Powers, never in a million years did I think I’d find you doing something like this.  Your momma was right!  You have lost your mind.”

“My mother has a narrow view of sanity, Katrina.”

Delilah sank back in her office chair, amusement and irritation battling it out.  She’d agreed to see her old school mate only because the woman had driven hours for a consultation.  For what purpose, Delilah still wasn’t sure.  Getting information out of Katrina Straub–now Katrina Rice–was like prying a bone from a rabid dog.

“Well, never mind that, you haven’t changed a bit.”  Katrina laughed, a gesture that did nothing to soften the horsy look of her face.  “Your momma is worried about you, you know.  After everything . . . .”  Katrina shook her head.  “Back home, we understand your need to get away.  But here?  Never expected to find you running to a place like Philadelphia.”

“This is Jenkintown, not Philadelphia.  And I’m not running away from anything.”

Katrina looked pointedly around the office.  “Well, sweetie, it doesn’t look like you’re running to something, either.”

Delilah refused to bite.  As she recalled, Katrina had been mean-spirited in high school.  Seems some things never change.  Delilah took her time straightening the papers on her desk, careful to keep her face neutral.  No good would come of saying more, even if the words were burning a hole in Delilah’s mouth.  As satisfying as it would be, Katrina would scurry back to their hometown, full of half-truths and syrupy anger.  And then Delilah’s mother really would have her Spanx in a twist.

Delilah said finally, “What do you want Katrina?”

Katrina sniffed.  “That’s all I get after almost twenty years?  Down to business already?”

“Most potential clients are in a hurry to discover some truth or another.”  Delilah folded her hands on the desk, strained patience losing out to frustration.  “But maybe you’re the exception.”

Katrina pursed her lips, clearly deciding whether or not to be offended.  She held out a magenta-manicured hand in supplication.  “It’s Hank.  I think he’s desirous of other women and I mean to prove it.  Your momma told me about what you do, and I thought, well . . . I thought maybe you could do something to help me out.  I’ll pay, of course.”

Delilah thought about this.  She remembered Hank Rice as a tall, balding, dour-faced young man.  While he didn’t seem to be much of a catch, he also didn’t seem like the cheating type.  But Delilah knew that a pickle could be a cucumber and vice versa; you had to be close enough to smell the difference.

“Do you need him followed?”

“Not exactly.”


“Kind of.”  Katrina looked away.  Delilah and Katrina were the same age, but Delilah could see the thinker’s crease etched between Katrina’s thirty-five-year-old eyes.  She didn’t look like a woman who feared her love was betraying her.  Delilah smelled a scheme.

“I can’t help you, Kat, unless you tell me what you need.”

“Your momma said you’re a private investigator.”

“That’s right.”

“You have women who . . . who can nab men?”

“I hire professional detectives.”

Katrina stood up.  She walked to a bookshelf in Delilah’s office and scanned the photos that lined the top.  She picked up a picture of a young man standing in front of a rocky cliff.  His smile was generous, his eyes focused on something just beyond the camera.  An involuntary shudder coursed through Delilah.  She held Katrina’s stare.

“Have you ever fallen in love again, Lila?”


“You were lucky with him, you know.  Had things turned out differently”–Katrina flashed an apologetic smile–“he’d probably be a bastard like the rest of them.”

“That’s enough, Kat.  Whatever your problems, don’t involve Michael.”

Delilah’s voice was quiet, but Katrina must have heard the underlying steely threat because she put the picture down and turned back to face the desk, suddenly all business.  She sat down.

“I want one of your sexiest women to come on to Hank in a bar.  I can give you the name of the place where he hangs out, I can tell you the type of women who excite him, I can give you any information that will make it more likely that he’ll bite.  And then I want pictures.”

“You want one of my investigators to sleep with him?”

“Whatever it takes to get incriminating photos.”  Katrina took a deep breath and continued.  “I can’t be married to him anymore, Lila.  I’m miserable.  I dread every day waking up next to that man.  But we have a pre-nup and the only way out is if he’s cheating.  You understand.  It’s for the kids.”

“Does he hurt you?”

“No, of course not.”

“The kids?”


“You suspect him of having an affair?”

“Not exactly.”

“Homosexual trysts?”

Katrina laughed.  “Why would you even ask that?”

“So you want me to set up what amounts to a sting operation?”

Katrina nodded.

“For money?”

Katrina smiled.  “What other reason is there?”

Delilah said, “No.” Katrina let out a strained laugh.  “You’re refusing?”


“If you don’t want your girls getting sexual, hire a prostitute.  I’ll pay.  There are women out there who can be bought, I assure you.”

“But I’m not one of them.”  Delilah stood and pushed her chair back from her desk.  It was after six o’clock and her stomach was rumbling.  She had another two hours of muggy daylight to get the horses settled down and she still had her other chores to do.  She wanted Katrina and all she represented out of her office–and out of her life.

“I offended you.  I’m sorry,” Katrina said.  She stayed seated on the chair and looked up at Delilah with beseeching eyes, fluttering unnaturally long lashes.  “I couldn’t go to someone near home for fear that Hank would find out.  I knew I could trust you to be discrete, being school friends and all-”

“Look Katrina, I’m sure you have reasons for wanting out of your marriage, but at Percy Powers, we don’t set men up to fail.  Lord knows, they do that often enough on their own.  Hank may be an honest man.  I won’t have a hand at turning him.”

“I drove almost four hours to get here.”

Delilah opened the office door.  “Then you should have called first.”


“What was that about?”  Margot asked in her typical matter-of-fact way, but Delilah heard the undertone of concern.

“Just an old acquaintance.”

“Didn’t sound too friendly.”


“Or turning away business?”

“Let’s just say it wasn’t a case for us.”

Margot nodded, clearly not satisfied.  The older woman reached under the receptionist’s desk and pulled out her purse.  She slipped on a pair of driving glasses.  With her shapeless brown skirt, dowdy cream sweater–even now, in early June–and wedge-sole shoes, Margot looked every bit her seventy-two years.  But Delilah knew what a spitfire Margot McDentry could be.  She only worked for Percy Powers part-time, mostly doing administrative work and research, but she was smart and could operate under the radar.  Two attributes that came in handy at a detective agency.

“A few more applications came in,” Margot said, peering at Delilah over the top of her glasses.  “I put their resumes on your desk.”


“Some have solid backgrounds.”


“Try to hide your excitement, Delilah.”

Delilah gave her a weary smile, Katrina’s caustic reference to Michael still on her mind.  Fourteen years had done nothing to dull the ache.  Or the anger.

“You’re turning away cases because we‘re understaffed, yet you’ve been looking for someone for nearly three months.”  Margot shook her head.  “You’re stalling.”

Delilah sighed.  “We’re a well-oiled machine.  If anyone should understand that, it’s you.  Barb, you, Natasha . . . If we introduce a new person, it’ll upset the mix.”

“I left the convent for a reason, summed up in one word: control.  But clergy aren’t the only ones cornering that market.  Perhaps it’s time you stop holding so tight to everything and let the world in.”

Exasperated, Delilah turned away.  While Margot, an ex-nun and former headmistress, was not shy with her opinions, it was rare that she voiced them in business matters.  Yes, Delilah had been turning away business, real business, not like Katrina’s offer, for months now.  But introduce someone new and the chemistry she valued would disappear.

Delilah glanced in the mirror behind the desk.  The woman staring back at her looked tired and worn, her red hair more tarnished penny than fresh copper, her skin pale, circles like bruises under her eyes.  She was tired.  It had been a long day and tomorrow would bring with it new crises.

“Margot,” she said finally.  “I appreciate your concern.  When the right person comes along, we’ll hire her.”

“Or him?”

Delilah sighed.  “Or him.”

Margot gave Delilah an appraising stare.  She straightened her skirt, tossed Delilah a curt nod and marched toward the door, stopping short of the threshold.  “In life, Delilah, there is no bigger thief than fear.”  With that, she left.

Delilah walked back to her office, mulling over Margot’s words.  It had taken eight years to build this business into what it was today: one of many private investigative firms near Philadelphia but one of the few places women could go to find justice.  Was Margot right–was she afraid to relinquish control?  No.  If she was turning away paying cases, it was because she had to, plain and simple.  If she expanded too much, she’d lose what she’d set out to do in the first place.  The personal touches, the tough but caring atmosphere, would be gone.

Why am I spending time thinking about this nonsense?  But Delilah knew why.  Margot had uncanny intuition.  And between Margot’s comments and Katrina’s visit–specifically, the mention of Michael and her mother and, like entwined vines, all the suffocating pain they represented–Delilah felt rattled.

Delilah locked away the few files still on her desk.  She glanced around at her cramped office.  One large mahogany desk, a yard sale find, and two upholstered arm chairs filled most of the space.  A bank of filing cabinets lined one wall, rows of neatly sorted book shelves the other.  Matted and framed photographs of her father’s ranch in Wyoming were scattered about, roots in a crazy world.

The entire room measured 90 square feet.  Katrina had been right about one thing–the office was nothing to look at.  Her employees shared one large office and, other than the two rooms and reception, there was just a tiny kitchenette and an even tinier bathroom.  But this place felt like home.

Damn it, Lila, you’re getting sentimental.  Cut it the hell out.

      Delilah turned off the lights to her office and walked through reception.  On impulse, she went back to her desk and grabbed the stack of resumes.  She’d give them a quick glance.  At least then she could tell Margot she’d considered everyone.

And that the answer was still no.


It was well after nine when Delilah closed her front door, finally in for the evening.  Night had fallen fast and hard on her little farm, and Delilah, exhausted, wanted nothing more than dinner and a hot bath.  She’d driven up the gravel driveway that led to the two-hundred-year-old house in Ivyland nearly two hours ago.  After running inside to throw on jeans, sneakers and a tank top, she’d headed back outside to feed the animals.

Delilah rode the horses, brushed each horse down and picked the mud out from their shoes.  Chores finished, she leaned back against the small barn and inhaled the clean scent of fresh hay.  If only everything in life were so simple.  Millie, her rescue horse, an old brood mare, nuzzled Delilah’s hand with her soft muzzle, searching for the carrot that Delilah offered at the end of each day.  Delilah fished the vegetable out of her back pocket and watched the mare devour it.  Millie had lived on the ranch for over a year, but it was just recently that the haunting had left her eyes.

Millie’s treat got Spur worked up and he whinnied, poking at Delilah’s stomach with his nose.  She stroked the white star on his head.  “I have one for you, too, old boy.”  Spur had been her childhood horse and the first thing she came back for when she moved north.  He was an old man now, nearly thirty, but he had the spirit–and manners–of a young stud.

“What would I do without you two?” she asked aloud.  The horses, chewing contentedly in their stalls, simply stared at her with a mixture of innocence and old-soul wisdom.  Delilah locked the barn gate behind her and walked briskly back to her house.  She heard a meow and turned to see Mittens, the stray that had adopted the horses, following her.  “You, too, huh?”

Two dogs greeted Delilah at the front door.  She smiled at their noisy hellos and went inside.  She scooped a bowl of cat food from inside a pantry and placed it outside, next to a bowl of water.  She gave the skittish cat a quick stroke, then closed and locked the front door.  The dogs,  Sampson, a small Terrier mix and Goliath, a Great Dane, sat next to each other in the kitchen, waiting expectantly for their own food.  Delilah fed the dogs and then poured herself a tall glass of Pinot Grigio.  In her bedroom, she traded her jeans and tank for pale green cotton pajamas.  Back in the kitchen, she put together a ham and cheese sandwich.  She sank into the sofa, sandwich in one hand, remote in the other.  The time on her BluRay read 9:33.

Her cell phone rang.  Work.  Reluctantly, Delilah stood back up, the muscles in her legs and back complaining loudly, and picked up her phone, half expecting it to be Katrina.  Not a number she recognized.

“Delilah Percy Powers.”

There was a moment of silence.  Delilah was about to hang up when finally a soft voice said, “Delilah?  Lucinda Mills.  Do you remember me?”

Indeed, Delilah did remember Lucinda, a quiet, unassuming woman with extensive burn scars on her arms and neck.  Lucinda had been one of Delilah’s first pro bono cases.  Lucinda’s ex-husband Butch had been the worst kind of abuser: an abuser with power.  A cop.  Terrified that if she asked for a divorce, Butch would get the kids, Lucinda had put up with the beatings for years.  Desperate, she showed up on the firm’s doorstep convinced that she needed proof of the abuse to get her divorce and keep custody of her boys.

At first, Delilah had said no.  How could she sit idly by while a client was beaten?  But Lucinda had insisted that they could intervene after they got photos.  She just needed proof.  They got proof alright–proof that Butch beat his wife and harassed the homeless, runaways and prostitutes he encountered on the streets.  When all was said and done, Delilah and Barb had the pleasure of giving Butch a tiny taste of the hell he’d spread like cholera in a developing nation.

It’d been a troubling case, but in the end, Lucinda got her divorce and full custody of the kids.  Butch Mills was fired from the Philadelphia police force.

That was three years ago.  Delilah hoped that Butch was not back in Lucinda’s life.  While she liked to believe that her clients were able to move on and create new lives, she was pragmatic enough to know that abusive relationships, like all relationships, were complicated.  Some women could not resist the call.

As though reading her mind, Lucinda said, “It’s not Butch, Delilah.  Haven’t seen him since the divorce.”  Lucinda paused.  “But I can’t talk about this over the phone.”


“I just . . . can’t.”

“Are you in danger?”

“I . . . I don’t think so.  I don’t know.  Listen, Delilah, I can make this job worth your while, but I need to talk to you, explain everything.  Can you meet me?  Please?”

Delilah looked at Sampson and Goliath lying on the cool stones of the hearth by a dormant fireplace.  Content.  Happy.  A knot of anxiety twisted in her stomach.  Lucinda sounded nervous, and the fact that she couldn’t explain the job over the phone made Delilah nervous.  Either Delilah was stepping into a hot pile of manure or she was dealing with a paranoid and unstable woman.  Neither option seemed attractive.

Still, Delilah was not one to turn away someone in need.  She could at least get the facts before making a decision.

“Where do you want to meet?” Delilah said finally.

“Center City.  I’ll email you the location.”

“Fine. Nine a.m. sharp.”  Even as she clicked off her phone, Delilah wondered what she was getting herself into.

Author Bio:wa tyson
Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers.  The Seduction of Miriam Cross, published by E-Lit Books in November 2013, is the first novel in the Delilah Percy Powers mystery series.  She has also authored Killer Image, published by Henery Press, the first in the Allison Campbell mystery series.  Her second Allison Campbell mystery is due out this summer.  Find Wendy at

Find her at: and on twitter ( and Facebook (

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons #1) by Kaitlyn Davis

The Shadow SoulTitle: The Shadow Soul (A Dance of Dragons, #1) written by Kaitlyn Davis
Genre: Fantasy
Self Published
Page count: 231
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface using Freda App)
Release Date: 02/20/14
Rating – 5/5!!

GAME OF THRONES meets GRACELING in a new fantasy series by bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis.

Jinji has been haunted by the death of her twin brother for ten years. Now, on the dawn of her joining, the nightmare that claimed him has returned for her.

Prince Whylrhen is determined to prevent the past from repeating itself. His kingdom is expecting a new heir, and he will stop at nothing to keep the child safe.

Though they’ve never met, the two share a deep secret—magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Whylrhen can pull burning flames into his flesh. But neither of them knows what they are truly capable of until a chance encounter brings them together. For their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time—an age of myth that is about to be reborn…

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As an avid reader of fantasy titles and a huge fan of Game of Thrones, I was super excited to read this book when I saw that it was reviewed as a “Game of Thrones meets Graceling” in the Goodreads description above. I have never read Graceling although I plan to but I have heard that it’s a great book as well. I’m always pretty sold on anything fantasy and anything with magic or dragons in it so I was happy to sit down and dig into this book.

I really enjoyed this story. I don’t know what it is but I love reading fantasy books with female protagonists although this one switches between a female and a male perspective in which I extremely enjoyed both.

The story opens with Jinij, our female protagonist getting ready for her wedding day although the day turns out to end in a vastly different way than she ever could imagine. She is the last of her people which gives her story and perspective this really sad, desperate element with a lot of internal and external struggle which makes her a really interesting character. For most of this book she is also hiding under the guise of being a male which also lends a pretty interesting twist to the story. When she meets Rhen it is pretty obvious that someway, somehow he will end up being a love interest but not a lot of that is explored in this story although it is hinted at here and there so I am extremely curious and excited for the next book to see what goes on with that aspect of the story. I also love Rhen’s character and how he doesn’t have the attitude or arrogance that one would typically experience when dealing with a character that is a royal. Both of their powers are really interesting and it seems like as the story continues we are going to encounter a lot more people with powers and like we will learn a lot more of why these people are special and why the shadow is interested in them…and maybe if each is a dragon soul!

I am also very curious about the dragons, which weren’t really a huge part of this first book so I’m hoping that they will be a much larger aspect of the next books to come because it seems like this series is going to treat dragons in a whole different way than I have seen before. It’s always wonderful to see authors play with such staples of the fantasy genre and see what they can do differentlyhe S with them.

Aside from this story being interesting and fantastic, I thought the writing was superb. I always think it’s commendable when I don’t encounter mistakes in a final product and I found none!! <applause>!! The writing was detailed and the story was fresh! I always know world building is done right when I feel like I have physically visited the places and seen the people discussed in books and I definitely feel this way about the setting of this book. Well done!

Overall I gave this book a full five out of five rating, I thought this was a fantastic first book in a series. I’m excited to see where this series is going to go, there is definitely a lot of room to build out the series and I think the author is going to do some really interesting stuff with this story. The next book in this series comes out this year so I will be looking forward to that for sure and it is on my TBR list! Fantasy fans will not want to miss this book…it’s definitely YA but I think that it would be a fun read for mature fantasy readers as well! Who doesn’t love an entertaining fantasy read?

Also, a huge thanks to Kaitlyn Davis and YA Bound Book Tours for allowing me to read and review this awesome book!

About the Author

kaitlyn davisI’ve always been a writer. I grew up duct taping my novels together, started writing complete manuscripts in high school and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating, I decided it was finally time to actually give my dream career a chance. So, of course, I started writing a young adult paranormal romance series — and no, I’m not jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve been a true paranormal supporter for my entire life! I blame my obsession almost completely on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all-time favorite television show. And, before you ask: Yes, I own every season… even the post WB ones! I especially challenge anyone to watch the first three seasons and not fall in love with Angel, securing a lifelong love of vampires! Other culprits of my paranormal obsession are some of my favorite authors: JK Rowling, Raymond Feist, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Lynne Ewing and Tamora Pierce.

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Blog Tour Book Review: Hope Street, Jerusalem by Irris Mackler

????????????????????????????Title: Hope Street, Jerusalem written by Irris Makler
Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir
Published by Harper Collins Publisher
Page count: 320
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5 – It was amazing!!

‘I had no idea how demanding this consuming, cruel, dangerous and fascinating place would be. I would fall in love here, I would do some of my best reporting, I would be injured, ending my run of good luck – my life would change dramatically …‘

Moving to a strange city always takes courage, but never more so than in a place where the daily expression of love and hate can turn a simple choice of a romantic table by the window into a life or death decision.

Both a love story and bittersweet tribute to her beloved adopted city of Jerusalem, Irris Makler shines a hopeful light on a part of the world where the news reports often makes it seem impossibly dark. From juggling the danger and unpredictability of her work as a roving foreign correspondent , covering everything from Palestinian suicide attacks to Israeli incursions into the West Bank, to falling in love with a handsome and charming young Israeli, and gaining a mischievous four-legged companion along the way, she allows us an intimate glimpse into a passionate, vibrant and fascinating world.

Adventurous, compassionate and engagingly honest, the award-winning author of OUR WOMAN IN KABUL is a master at capturing the personal stories behind the news we really want to know – and her story is the most interesting of all.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Hope Street, Jerusalem. I would like to take a moment and thank TLC Book Tours and the author, Irris Makler for allowing me to participate. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and I’m excited to share it with you today!

Although I don’t get around to reading a lot of nonfiction, I discovered my love of nonfiction and memoirs in college when I enjoyed assigned reading for classes like geopolitics and international economics a little more than my peers. It was this enthusiasm for memoirs and nonfiction that made me super excited to read Hope Street, Jerusalem. Once I read the description of this book (as you can see above), I knew I had to read it. Once I held the book in my hands, I was even more intrigued. As you can see, it has this hauntingly beautiful cover that I found myself drawn to whenever my eyes roamed over my bookshelf.

I wasn’t disappointed.

I feel like I can’t even rightly express how much I loved this book. Wow, just wow, is really all that seems to sum it up. I feel honored to have been able to witness the events in this book in the author’s words. When I started this book, I could not put it down…I was literally just riveted until the very last page. I went through a lot of different emotions in one sitting…happiness, disappointment, sadness, astonishment and I could probably go on.

I was familiar with a lot of the historical content in this book mainly because of classes I took when I was working on my International Relations degree . I thought that was really helpful when reading this book but even if you don’t have any sort of background reading on the events that occur in this book the author does a great job of describing everything and giving you background information.
I loved reading this story as a memoir. For me memoirs read like fiction but when we are reading it we are conscious of the fact that these things really did happen, someone really went through this. This book reminded me of the important fact that while I’m sitting here typing on my computer, playing with my dog, or eating dinner…these tragic events like suicide bombings are occurring at the other end of the world. This book definitely puts that into perspective, a book with that kind of impact is something so rare it must be treasured.

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. The writing is impeccable, Irris Makler transported me into the life she was living at this point in time. I feel intimately familiar with Mia and with Meg even though I have never met them! I absolutely love the themes of hope and love in this book and how the author writes about Mia and herself towards the end of the book and how their relationship has changed. Being a fur mommy myself I just treasured this so much, I love Mia!! I also have fallen in love with the love story of Raphael and Irris. I desperately hoped they would end up together. One of my most favorite things about this book are the descriptions…the author does such a wonderful job in presenting us with the sights, the smells, the sounds of the places she goes whether it’s a market in Jerusalem or the site of a suicide bombing…her ability to do this is almost magical! I enjoyed this book so much I was almost sad to see it end. One thing is for certain…what a life the author has lived!!! Few ever get to see or experience what she has in her lifetime and all I can say is just wow! Thank you for sharing your story with us! I also appreciated the photos included in this book, I didn’t look at them until I finished reading the book and I found that I had imagined the setting different than what it really is so it was good to be able to see photos from Yemin Moshe.

In conclusion, I gave this book a five star rating because it was amazing. I am in love with this book and I definitely plan to read it again. Do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK!!!!

About the Author

Irris Makler

For the past seven years, award-winning foreign correspondent Irris Makler has been based in Jerusalem, filing stories across the Middle East for radio, television and online news services around the world, including Australia. Previously based in Moscow and London, she reported extensively from Afghanistan as one of the first journalists on the scene after 9/11. She is the author of Our Woman in Kabul.

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Book Review: Semmant by Vadim Babenko

untitledTitle: Semmant written by Vadim Babenko
Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk
Published by Ergo Sum Publishing
Page count: 285
Format: EPUB (read on Microsoft Surface, Nook app)
Rating: 4/5 – loved this book

A brilliant scientist creates a brilliant robot. Working together, they beat the stock market. But which one will survive the battle for love?

When Bogdan Bogdanov, a troubled cybernetics genius, creates Semmant, a robot living inside a computer, he feels on top of the world. Semmant takes on the capital markets and makes money with the ruthless efficiency of a machine. Bogdan grows richer by the day, but when he falls deeply for the irresistible Lidia, Semmant’s artificial mind faces a new challenge. The robot becomes involved in a genuine human drama and is forced to confront the cruelty of real life. He discovers the eternal joy of what it means to have free will, but it takes him to a destination no one could have predicted.

This is a tale of lust and affection, an erotically charged story of betrayal and murder. It explores the scope of human feelings from a truly unique point of view. Universal chaos and the strict laws of society; precise mathematical rules and the elusive nature of love: all interact and clash, working together and against one another. Tragedy looms, but free will fights back – bringing hope that lasts forever. (Goodreads)

I received a copy of Semmant  in an exchange for an honest review and was instantly intrigued after reading the description of the book. I’ve been aching to add more books to my reading list from the Sci-Fi and Cyberpunk genres so I literally jumped at the chance to read this.

I gave Semmant a 4 out of 5 which indicates that I loved the book. I think the book is really well written and in retrospect was a really good book. While I was actually reading the book I was confused for maybe the first fifty or so pages but kept reading because the story was definitely interesting. Semmant is actually a book unlike which I have ever read which is a generally good thing. I definitely think this book was a lot more intellectually stimulating than the books I typically read which is why it took me a little bit longer to read this book than it would normally take me to read a book of its size but even though it was a bit more intellectual it was still enjoyable and entertaining.

I think I expected to see more about Semmant and less about Bogdan and his exploits but looking back at the story and how it unfolded and came to fruition at the end, it was definitely necessary to have such an intimate look at Bogdan, his actions, his needs and how these translated to and impacted Semmant. It was definitely interesting  to see the impact of reality  on a being of artificial intelligence who does not really have the capacity to express himself as we are familiar with and capable of understanding. I really liked Bogdan’s view of Semmant and the possibility of his existence changing the way mortality is viewed. It’s interesting that this possibility is undone by love much as Bogdan is as well.

I found a lot about this story to be quite interesting. I really loved all the descriptions about the stock market and Semmant’s handling of the market…I also really liked the descriptions of the women that Bogdan knew and observed in the story. He was an interesting character to me and his relationship with Lidia was doubly interesting. A few times in the story he mentions his sort of inability to genuinely love but I really think he was in love with Lidia no matter how many times he tells himself it is just lust. I especially feel this way because of how things end up towards the end, I don’t think he would have tried what he did had he not loved her and been utterly crushed by her and what transpired between them. I enjoyed contrasting his relationship with Lidia to the “relationship” between Semmant and Adele – each ending in such stark contrast to the other.

Overall, while I didn’t love the book so much  that I want to go outside and shout it at the top of my lungs, I did end up loving it in a way. I actually feel completely wrecked by this book because in part I think it is quite tragic in how it ends both on Semmant’s end as well as on Bogdan’s end.  It was an enjoyable read and I think that sci-fi and cyberpunk fans will enjoy it! As for myself, I am really intrigued by the work of this author and am looking forward to reading and reviewing another one of this books so be looking forward to that!

Blog Tour Book Review: The Sense of Touch by Ron Parsons

The Sense of TouchTitle: The Sense of Touch written by Ron Parsons
Genre: Fiction – Short Story Collection
Published by Aqueous Books
Page count: 250
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5

Sprung from the variously lush, rugged, and frozen emotional landscapes of the north country, this luminous collection of stories captures the progress of a diverse ensemble of souls as they struggle to uncover themselves and negotiate a meaningful communion, of any kind, with the world around them. A brilliant but troubled Bangladeshi physics student searches for balance, acceptance, and his own extraordinary destiny after his father disappears. When a Halloween blizzard immobilizes Minneapolis, a young woman is forced to confront the snow-bound nature of her own relationships and emotions. During an excursion to an idyllic swimming hole hidden in the Black Hills, two old friends unexpectedly compete for the affections of an irresistible, though married, Lakota woman. Like a mythical expedition to reach the horizon or the quest to distill truth from the beauty around us, the revelation confirmed by these imaginative stories – elegant, sometimes jarring, always wonderfully absurd – is that the very act of reaching is itself a form of touch. (Goodreads)

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Sense of Touch! I’d like to thank both Ron Parsons and TLC Book tours for allowing me to be a part of the tour and for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t typically consider myself a fan of short story collections but I’m finding out fast that it is mostly because I just don’t have a lot of experience reading them. This is the second short story collection I’ve read in the past year and I must admit that I am definitely enjoying this previously unexplored territory. I jumped at the chance to read and review The Sense of Touch because of this and also because the description (as you can read above) just drew me in.

I found the complexity of each of Parson’s stories to be rather engaging. I enjoy a story that makes me think beyond the surface…read between the lines. I love stories that teach me something or that can translate it’s meaning into life. Parson’s definitely has this ability. I felt that each story in this book discusses the many ways that people or events touch us, our lives and our thoughts. This book emphasizes the importance of the impact of people and places in our lives even if just for a brief moment, one night or years. The characters really spoke to me as well, although they were not intricately described characters as is possible in a novel, I really felt like they were described in such a way that I could see them clearly and relate to them clearly. I love that the characters are all flawed in their own small ways and searching for something or someone whether it be themselves or just a connection.

I also enjoyed the setting of the stories of this book, the Midwest and I love the ways in which Parson’s describes these settings and the way the characters interact with the environment especially in The Black Hills and Her Heart is Navigated. Parson’s writing is beautiful, elegant and descriptive to the point where I felt like I could touch the snow he described or see the sky as he wrote it. Just beautiful.

While I don’t think that this short story collection (or even short story collections  in general) are for everyone, I loved this collection. I gave this book a rating of 4 out of 5 because of the wonderful writing, the depth of the stories and the fact that I could not stop reading this book!

About the AuthorRon Parsons

RON PARSONS is a writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared In literary magazines such as The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, and The Onion.

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