Review: Nine Candles of Deepest Black by Matthew S. Cox


Nine Candles of Deepest Black
Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: September 15th 2016
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult

She saw it coming. She knew it would happen―but no one believed her.
Almost a year after tragedy shattered her family, sixteen-year-old Paige Thomas can’t break free from her guilt. Her mother ignores her, doting on her annoying little sister, while her father is a barely-functioning shell. He hopes a move to the quiet little town of Shadesboro PA will help them heal, but Paige doesn’t believe in happiness anymore.
On her first day at school, a chance encounter with a bullied eighth grader reawakens a gift Paige had forgotten, and ingratiates her into a pack of local outcasts. For weeks, they’ve been trying to cast a ritual to fulfill their innermost desires, but all they’ve done is waste time. After witnessing Paige touch the Ouija board and trigger a paranormal event, the girls are convinced another try with their new fifth member will finally work.
Once the darkness is unleashed, it’s not long before they learn it will give them exactly what they asked for―whether they want it or not.

Review
A Great Read in the run up to Halloween!
This is the first book by Matthew S. Cox that I have read and I would definitely pick up another of his titles! 
The author brilliantly builds the characters and has an excellent ability to tell a story that sucks you in and makes you want to sleep with the lights on (I so didn’t do that honest!!) 
With a good mix of suspense and horror this coming of age story will keep you engrossed throughout as well as hiding under the covers.  If you love films like The Craft then you will love this book! 


Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime,


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Blitz: Dots by Angie M. Brashears


Dots
Angie M. Brashears
Publication date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

This is a story about two strangers with nothing but grief in common.
Mason is great at connecting dots in other people’s life’s, but not so much in his own. His website, The F#ck it List, is all about connecting sexual requests. Matching never have I ever’s like a pair of socks. Efficiently. All in an effort to raise money for charity. That’s all he wants, to give. Why is that so hard?
Chloe’s in denial, but that’s not going to make the cancer go away. When her doctor gives her an expiration date, she can’t deny it any longer. It’s time to break the news to family and her best friend. She thought she’d have more time. There’s things she needs to say. She needs to be heard, but not by her loved ones. They’ve got enough on their plates with the diagnosis.
Two Months? Not long enough to do anything except…dig the hole.
It’s time.
This is Chloe’s story and how she copes with the end.
Just as there is a song for every occasion, Chloe has a friend for every occasion.
A pity party friend.
A truth friend.
A fixer friend.
And an end friend. Mason.
Mason and Chloe have nothing in common but grief. Two dots, floating in a sea of sorrow.
He’s lost his mother. She’s losing the fight.
When the end is near, is it too late for a new friend?
One woman’s end journey. Even when it’s time to get your affairs in order, it’s never too late for an “end” friend. Someone that will listen? Share your burden, so the family doesn’t have to. Help with the mess she’s created by keeping secrets. Be there for her best friend, a shoulder to cry on when the time comes.
It’s one thing to donate money to a cause.
What about your time, heart and soul? How much should you be expected to give?
If a stranger asked, could you be an end friend?

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Until October 1, 2016 50% or 5.00 from each print book goes to Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!
EXCERPT:

All your weight, it falls on me. It brings me down.
Truer words have never been spoken. My family and their feelings, that’s the weight of my world on my shoulders right now. How am I supposed to tell my overprotective mother, who freaks out over a sniffle…that, I’m…dying? My brother, Ronny, out doing his job, protecting us, battling on the front lines. Is it fair to distract him from his task at hand? Maybe he gets killed, or maybe his buddy takes a bullet? Why, so I can feel better? What about dad? Thoughts of the man that stuffs a pink can of mace and rape whistle in my stocking every year, and my burden just got heavier. And last but not least, my best friend, Lola. We’ve been the odd couple since the tampon video in fourth grade. Neat as pin, she never has loose ends, never commits to anything, no tangles no mess. That’s where I come in. I’m a friggin mess. Everything I touch gets smudged. Or at least, I’ve been told that, since as far back as I can even remember leaving a mess. Possibly, Lola’s bored with her muted tones life, maybe that’s why she steps into my sunshine and rainbows. Cluttered with dust motes, dancing on sun rays, like spritely fairies. Could be. So, what happens when I tell her I’m taking the sun with me? Some days, I can’t get off this sagging futon. Between the pain, the isolation, the guilt, the secret… I just can’t. I look at the website again. The F#ck It List. A place to put your Never have I ever… and you’ll be matched with the right person for you. I’m not interested in the sexual stuff. I’m so over that, and besides, my boyfriend, well, not boyfriend, stops by twice a week and we’re compatible enough as it is. And he’s another one. I broke up with him, so I wouldn’t have to paste a smile on twice a week and pretend like my world’s not falling apart. I love him, but man, does he need a lot of coddling. I haven’t brought myself to click past the privacy screen. That’s not what I’m interested in. The thing my nurse keeps talking to me about. My chemo nurse, Courtney, whispered to me. “You need someone to talk to, get things off your chest. I know you don’t want to burden your family, Chloe, but who takes your burden?” I shrugged, not really caring one way or the other. “I’ll be dead soon, so who cares? They can bury it with me.” She smacked my hand, the one without the IV. She was the one who had to poke around for an hour to find it, so she was protecting it like gold. But her words were kind. “Just like that. Who do you get to say those things too? You’re too worried about acting normal for your chemo buddy over there.” Em’s on her phone. She hates needles. I do too. “You need someone to hear you and not your cancer, you got me?” Her eyes look so compassionate, so loving I nod. She rests her hand on top of mine. I didn’t realize I was crying. “It’s my first time, I’m still a rookie.” I blubber out. She produces a tissue box from thin air and rubs my hand. “I have a friend; grandson has a website.” She lowers her voice. “It’s like a sex something or other,” then she’s back to full volume, “but that’s just to raise money for charity. I know she said he’s always looking for people with illnesses to help. “I guess my face must look funny, because she feels the need to add, “not like murder or anything like that.” I laugh. “Honestly, I was just wondering when this nausea would start to go away.” She nods, and squeezes my hand. “It doesn’t.” Later, when I’m pumped full of poison, she presents me with a gift bag. It’s got Band-Aids and syringes all over it. “Wow, Courtney how’d you know it was my birthday?” She laughs, “Well it kind of is. It’s your Chemo-day. You’re very first. Congratulations, kiddo, you made it through. Enjoy. Inside is the softest, most luxurious cashmere blanket. Pink, with raised dots. “Very chic, Courtney. I love it!” She hugs me and wraps it around my shoulders. “For the chills,” she whispers in my ear and I nod. She reaches in the bag and takes out a box of masks. “Remember your nadir.” There’s hard candies to suck on, for when my mouths dry. And an oral bag! With a rainbow toothbrush. “Thanks so much, I would’ve never thought of any of this. On the very bottom, a free month membership to Netflix. “For when you can’t make it out, but still want to watch something.” “I’m touched, really.” I use my new blanket, to wipe away a tear. “But I’ll have to read up on the rules, I don’t know a thing about Netflix.” As I leave, in search of my chemo buddy, who I haven’t seen in the last thirty minutes, Courtney calls out to me. “Chloe, did you want me to check on that thing, Mason’s website?” I think about it. I’ve got nothing better to do. “Sure.” That was four months ago. I’ll never see her again, chemo’s done dude. I’ll miss her. But not in the add another brick to the pile way. No, I’ll miss having someone who listens with their whole self. Two dots, connected by Courtney.

Author Bio:
Angie M Brashears is a lover of everything books. When not writing, she’s reading anything she can get her hands on. She grew up in Southern California, and loves the mountains, hiking with her dogs, the beach, and of course, Disneyland! She loves music, and loves singing along to the radio, loud and off-key, performing for anyone unlucky enough to be in the passenger seat.
Angie loves dark and twisted, which she refers to as Dark Ever After books, but is known to read an occasional HEA story as well. When she’s not writing, she working, saving lives. A busy Trauma ER nurse for over twenty years, she gets enough reality in her life, and is always looking for a story to take her away from the harsh reality of Emergency Nursing.
If there’s football on, she sure to have a huge party going on to cheer her team on…Go Patriots!
As a new author, she’d love to hear from you!


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Cover Reveal: Cherished by Christina Bauer


Cherished
Christina Bauer
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

For Elea, there’s never been a better time to turn away from witch life. The Tsar is in exile. The Vicomte is dead. And Rowan? Falling for him only broke her heart. Instead of casting spells, Elea spends her days running Braddock Farm and enjoying the flirtations of the very handsome and non-magical Philippe. Everything is going perfectly, except for one problem.
Someone’s trying to kill her.
Shujaa is a Changed One, a Creation Caster mage whose mutated form makes him invincible in battle. Now that the Tsar and Vicomte are gone, Shujaa wants to rise and rule. To do so, he must eliminate all those powerful enough to oppose him, and Elea is top on his list. Anyone who offers her aid quickly ends up dead.
In the end, there’s only one person who can keep Elea safe while helping her defeat Shujaa: Rowan. Like it or not, Elea must team up with her old love. With Philippe along for the ride, Elea plans to team with Rowan without losing her heart this time. But that’s when all her plans fall apart…

Previous books in the series:
29547423 29541045


Author Bio:
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien’s text, it’s entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.


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Review: A Mortal Song By Megan Crewe


A Mortal Song
Megan Crewe
Publication date: September 13th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.
As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.
“Megan Crewe’s A Mortal Song is engrossing from the first chapter. The world of the kami is beautifully fantastic and delicately drawn, and the switched-at-birth scenario made me instantly feel for both of these resilient, brave girls. A Mortal Song has lots of magic, lots of heart, and lots to love.” -Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns

Review
Beautifully Written and captivating A Mortal Song transports you to modern day Japan and yet brings the spirituality of the ancient history alive.  I was hooked from the very first chapter and found the authors style to be engaging as it enveloped me into the story.  I felt each drama unfold and the urgency of fight Sora undertook to protect the place she loved despite finding out she didn’t quite fit in where she thought she belonged. 
I found the characters to fit well with the story and the fight scenes enough to get my heart beating faster. 
My only criticism of this book,  if you could even call it that is that it all ended so abruptly! I wanted more of a challenge in the final show down I guess but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book


Author Bio:
Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.
Join her newsletter for book news, recommended reads, and exclusive giveaways: http://eepurl.com/btE8mH


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Disclosure: I have received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Review: Song of Princes by Janell Rhiannon


Song of Princes
Janell Rhiannon
(Homeric Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: June 22nd 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

Sing Muse. Sing of the shining citadel of Troy rising from the hot sands of Asia. Sing of the Greek palaces ascending from their rocky hilltops. Sing of one woman’s dream heralding the madness of men and the murder of innocents. From bull dancing rings and wild meadows, the Forgotten Prince must choose between love and a golden crown. From seclusion and safety, the Golden Warrior must choose between his honor and his life. From behind the Great Wall, the Golden Prince must choose between his family and his city. And from a rugged realm on the far side of Greece, the Warrior King must choose between his son’s life and certain exile. Here shepherds and princes, warriors and kings, and seers and lovers seek to conquer their passions, outwit destiny or surrender to it.
PARIS, the FORGOTTEN PRINCE.
ACHILLES, the GOLDEN WARRIOR.
HEKTOR, the GOLDEN PRINCE.
ODYSSEUS, the WARRIOR KING.
Where did their legends begin before their lives converged at Troy in one of the most famous battles of all time? The HOMERIC CHRONICLES tells the stories of Paris, Achilles, Hektor, and Odysseus in one chronological tale, beginning before the ILIAD and ending long after the ODYSSEY. Blending both history and myth, the Homeric Chronicles will satisfy your love of Greek mythology, while paying homage to the original storyteller, Homer.
SONGS OF PRINCES begins with the birth of Paris and Achilles, and introduces us to a young Hektor and Odysseus. The journey of the princes begins…
Janell Rhiannon has a Master’s degree in history. It was during her years studying Alexander the Great that she came to love the Greek and Roman myths. She loves warfare and romance. Visit her Amazon Author Page or visit her at www.janellrhiannon.com
Fall in love with Greek mythology for the first time or all over again.
…READ THEM ALL…
#songofprinces
#riseofprinces
#returnofkings
#homericchronicles

Review

A beautifully written book that navigates the reader through many aspects of Greek mythology.  A book that will grip the most avid fans of this genre whilst peaking the interest of the casual reader.  I was of the latter category; while I was aware of the characters and story lines, I had never ‘learnt’ the stories.  I am now a convert, hooked on this series and eagerly awaiting the next book.  Written in a style that is easy to read while at the same time pulling you in to the story.  A real page turner and a book I couldn’t put down.


Author Bio:
Janell always had her nose in a book, reading by flashlight when it was “lights out” time. Her love of reading turned to a curiosity about writing. She now writes in all the spare moments she can squeeze out of a day. She also writes fiction and fantasy with some romantic spice for good measure. Janell adores Mythology and Fantasy. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles. Her guiding motto: “I tell stories, not genres.”
She currently lives in CA.


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Disclosure: I have received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own