About this Blog

I am a Senior Reviewer for Great Minds Think Aloud Independent Publishing. I specialize in Fantasy, Science, Realistic and Mythology Fiction, but enjoy reading all types of literature. My favorite authors include Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and Devon Monk. I am currently writing my own Fantasy Fiction book hoping to one day join the ranks of published authors. The books I have reviewed can be found on this site. The links to the right will take you to the blogs of my fellow reviewers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Upcoming Releases

Be looking for these New and Upcoming Releases from Great Minds Indendent Publishing
Title: "Follow That Dream" Author: Dawn Colclasure Synopsis: “Follow that dream.” Take a few moments to read poems meant to seek refuge from the harsh realities of life, from pain, confusion and loneliness. Allow these poems to take you on a journey of wherever your imagination may lead you. The poems in this book share coming-of-age struggles and the fantasies created in order to offer a temporary escape from the real world. Date of Release: (To be determined.)

Title: The Godling Chronicles (The Sword of Truth: Book One) Author: Brian D. Anderson Synopsis: Five-hundred years have past since the Great War between Man and Elf ripped the world asunder, leaving in its wake hatred and mistrust. Now, the Dark Knight has stolen the Sword of Truth, an ancient weapon made by the Gods. With it, he has sealed the door to heaven, leaving the Gods trapped and helpless, and will use its power to reshape creation.

The only hope for man and elf is a boy named Gewey Stedding, the only being born from the union of two Gods. Only he has the power to battle the coming darkness. However, he is God bound to earth and raised as a human. Ignorant to his own abilities and origins, it will take the aid of all his friends and allies to help him overcome the deadly perils that lay ahead. Date of Release: (Soon to be determined.)

Title: The Revelation of Love Author: Gideon S. Cecil Synopsis: In a heartwarming and touching poetry collection poet-author Gideon Cecil demonstrates the essence of love; that is real between a man and a woman, and is even greater with God’s love for man. This book is a magnificent compilation of romantic poems that deftly uses the language of love to fascinate the mind, excite the heart, and incite the soul.

With a myriad of topics that speak of sexual love, beauty of nature, God’s love,faith,philosophy, life, romance everyday activities,events,terrorism,politics,and so much more; readers will find this a mesmerizing poetic journey. His unique literary style and writing prowess reminds readers of Shakespeare,Tagore,Dante and Gibran. Cecil’s humor, emotional depth and sophistication make his verses and words even more captivating. Date of Release: August 1st, 2012

Title: Once Upon a Castle Author: Alan S. Blood Synopsis: Uncle Toby had said that there would be castles to explore, with ghosts and things. This helps to cheer up the glum twelve-year old Lovell twins, Tom and Mary, leaving their schools and loving parents to be evacuated to wild Northumbria during World War II.

Then the adventure begins. They live with their Aunt Victoria and Uncle Leslie, meet the loveable ‘Mrs M’, a strange dog called ‘Scamp’ and, worst, the terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart, from whom they run away to find a mysterious castle seen through an old telescope.

Now they are drawn into bizarre supernatural events of a time-warp between the war itself and ancient warfare. They encounter dark forces, as the story twists and turns, and are even rescued by the Royal Navy. Yet, this is only the beginning of more unexpected tragedies before the twins begin to escape from it all. Date of Release: August 1st, 2012

Title: Buried Pasts Author: George Stratford Synopsis: NOTHING STAYS BURIED FOREVER

Even after eighteen years, Canadian pilot Mike Stafford still carries a huge sense of guilt over the death of his best friend during a huge RAF bombing raid to Berlin in 1944. He eventually returns to England for a squadron reunion full of apprehension over what the visit may produce.

Siggi Hoffman, then a young German girl of twenty, also has terrible memories of a personal loss from that same night in 1944. She too is unable to forget. Nor has she ever been able to forgive.

When fate throws these two together in a small north Yorkshire town during the summer of 1962, the past collides devastatingly into the present. And all the time, lurking ominously in the background, is an unknown enemy intent on extracting violent revenge. Private demons are only one of the many problems that must be overcome when Stafford and Siggi find themselves fighting to survive.

Long buried secrets are finally revealed with explosive results. Date of Release: June 10, 2012

Title: The Green Book Author: Robert Ruisi Synopsis: A beautiful story about adoption and just how special some kids truly are. From the author's own memoirs. Date of Release: June 21, 2012

Title: The Panhandler Diaries Author: Robert Ruisi Synopsis: This is the story of Bob's adventures in the 60's as a panhandler trying to make his way in California. A surprising tale the highlights some important events in the author's life during this Peace, Love, and Flowers age. This is a novella of only 11,161 words. Date of Release: June 20, 2012

Title: Life Before Death Author: Matt Frend Synopsis: There’s something you need to know - there's more to life than living. This is the conclusion a young woman arrives at following a soul-searching road trip across Australia. Mandi and her friends including Timbo, a young man from Wardaman country, travel through the wilds of the Northern Territory, exploiting what they see as an unjust law – and grow a crop of cannabis. Their spirited ride through late-twentieth century Australian counter culture involves run-ins with the authorities, collaborating with bikers and seeing the underground side of life. Then an event occurs which gives Mandi an insight into the other side of life itself, and provides her with a message. A message, which for Mandi, resolves the ultimate unknown – why are we here? Date of Release: June 29, 2012

Title: Burly & Grum: Beyond the Forest Author: Kate Tenbeth Synopsis: Grum the groblin has been thrown out of his home by his two brothers and has to prove he is brave or he won't be allowed back. Grum decides the best way to do this is to find a human and take it back home. Along the way he meets Burly, a mellow kind of bear, who takes him under his paw and together they go to town! Date of Release: July 18, 2012

Title: Burly & Grum: and the Secret City Author: Kate Tenbeth Synopsis: Burlington Bear, Grum the groblin and Max are best friends. Burly and Grum show Max a Secret City in the middle of the forest but hunters are tracking them down. They knock out Burly, capture Max and want to turn the Secret City into a tourist attraction. Throw in some big cats, Grum's mother and brothers, Mike the Angel, a deer and a few ducks and the day becomes very exciting! Date of Release: July 18, 2012

Title: Burly & Grum: and the Birthday Surprise Author: Kate Tenbeth Synopsis: It’s Burly’s birthday and he’s decided that he would like to have a lazy day on the beach. Little does he know, however, that a bank robber called Gruel the groblin is close by trying to hide some stolen gold! Hot on Gruel’s heels are Detective Finn, his daughter Tara and the mean and nasty toolkit Gang. Add a crab with attitude and Burly has more than his fair share of birthday surprises! Date of Release: July 18, 2012

Title: The Flats Teachers' Test Author: Doug Lucas Synopsis: Great teachers are a rock jutting from--and sometimes engulfed by-- an ocean filled with the rip tides of passion, ineptitude, arrogance, and ignorance. They are protruding spikes of granite that will not be eroded easily. These are the teachers who make every effort against tremendous odds to polish young minds into the building blocks of society. Great teachers are awe inspiring in their efforts to create excellence; their influence is powerful, extending beyond even their own lifetimes. A fortunate few of us have had exceptional teachers who gifted our lives with knowledge as they challenged us and created a need to meet the potential of what we might achieve. These individuals changed the way we thought, possibly sent us down a career path, or simply gave us a passion for learning, a passion that will move forward with us for all of our lives. I invite you to wander through the very foundations of our education system and spend a few hours with a few truly great teachers. When you finish I'd ask you to answer one very simple question:"Would I be a great teacher or end up an educator?" Date of Release: July 22, 2012

Title: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Author: T.R. Stoddard Synopsis: T.R. Stoddard has done it again! Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell takes you right back to high school, to a life of cliques, horrible teachers, and best friends. In a prose that makes you feel as if you’re one of the kids sitting in Reformation Hall, you’re catapulted through a busy few weeks of Rachael Ainsley’s life as she goes undercover at a high school where a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is in the works and where she deems it her job to break the story to get her journalism career off with a bang. What she doesn’t realize is that she will befriend some of the best people possible, yet they’re also the ones the school administration is trying to abandon. Yet again a page-turning read, you will be sucked in and you seriously will not want the ride to end. Date of Release: (To be determined)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cynthia Garner’s ‘Secret of the Wolf’ is an Urban Fantasy leaning heavily towards Romance and Crime. This is the second book in the Warriors of the Rift series, what will definitely turn out to be a Must Read Series. The basis of the Fantasy is that Vampires, Demons, Werewolves and other mystical creatures are actually beings from a different dimension.

These beings were sent to our dimension as a punishment for crimes committed in their own. Most are using it as a second chance to live their life legally. The beings, referred to on Earth as ‘preternaturals’, have made their existence public knowledge and live freely among Humans. They have their own legal system, complete with laws, trials, punishments and enforcement officers.

Victoria ‘Tori’ Joseph is one of these enforcement officers. After being on Earth since 1866, she’s finally found the brother that she’s been separated from for over 130 years, the only family she has here on Earth. She is a werewolf liaison for the Council of Preternaturals, and as such is tasked with handling and investigating any illegal incidents involving Werewolves in her section of Phoenix. Tori is also required to work closely with Officer Dante of the Phoenix Police Department. The heat is obvious right from the start with these two as they investigate the scene of a bar brawl between a Vampire and a Werewolf.

As the story progresses we learn that there is a comet passing Earth in a few months, and when it comes it is dragging behind it a large rift between dimensions which will result in a giant influx of preternaturals into Earth’s population. These beings will take a human at will, merging with its consciousness. Tori has in her possession a device used to communicate across the rift, but she needs to figure out why it is here on Earth and what its being used for.

Tori’s relationship with Dante heats up as they are forced to work together to solve the riddle of the rift device. In the midst of these investigations, Dante and Tori’s co-workers have to deal with a rouge Werewolf who has moved from ‘turning’ humans to using them for a late night snack. When Tori hears details that leads her to believe her brother may be involved with the rogue Werewolf, she keeps the info to herself wanting to do her own investigation before turning him in. But it may be too late.

Tori has to try to balance her relationship with Dante, while investigating the rift device and trying to find a rogue Werewolf that has started killing in her sector (and may be her brother). This is a book that is well worth the read and will have you on the edge of yours seat. Cynthia’s next book in the series, ‘Heart of the Demon’ can’t come soon enough for this reader. I, for one, have found this book mind-blowing with its realistic plot points and references. Superbly written and exceptionally well thought-out and researched.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finding Magic - Stacia Kane

Finding Magic is a prequel to Stacia’s ‘Downside Ghosts’ series. The series is an Urban Fantasy about 18 year old Cesaria ‘Chess’ Putnam, a professional paranormal Debunker. There is a high level of paranormal activity in this book and makes mention of Magic, but not a lot of it is shown. This book delves us into the psyche of our Heroine Chess and where she came from before earning her position with the Church.

This storyline gives us a wonderful look into where she came from. Stacia does an excellent job describing Chess’ inner fears and a great look at her abusive history. The author perfectly describes her as the hard-edged, soft-hearted female she is. The plot starts in the last year of her education and a week-long training period on the Black Squad.

After accepting the training request from Elder Hancock, she is thrown into the middle of a murder investigation. Chess’ trainer, Jillian, and the other members of the Black Squad want to blow this off as another random ghost killing and leave Chess in the classroom where she belongs. These are accepted occurrences since Haunted Week 15 years prior when the ghosts made their presence known and put an end to all organized religion.

Chess disagrees with their decision and pushes to do her own investigation into the subjects involved. Jillian allows Chess to investigate the killings, thinking she can placate her and teach her a lesson at the same time. The investigation drags up bad memories of her past that she is forced to deal with the only way she knows how: Vodka.

Chess’ hunches prove correct, quite to her dismay, as she and her trainer are captured by the ghost controlling assassin. Thanks to her quick (or drug induced) thinking the ending is a complete surprise to this reader and makes me crave the rest of the series, that I MUST now go purchase to follow the rest of the exploits of Chess and her Debunking career.

After reading this book from front to back in a 5 hour period, I can honestly say it is riveting and will definitely keep your interest peaked and your free time full. 5 stars from this reviewer, and I am now a fan of Stacia Kane. Thank you for writing this series.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mesmer, Book 1: Sanctuary (A Three Towers Fantasy) by Isabella Amaris

This is the first book in Isabella’s series that I would have to classify as Alternate Universe with some Fantasy and Romance Aspects to it. I feel she has done very well crossing the genres in this book and not tying it down to one specific format. The plot is very easy to follow and flows from one chapter to the next. With magic in the world, portals to other universes and hallways changing with every turn I was riveted, page after page to see what would happen next.

We open the story with the main character Lea being found in the Forbidden Forest beaten and bloody. Lea lives an evasive life, hiding her true identity. Until now, Lea has lived believing there were only two kingdoms, her kingdom of Lorien with the White Tower and the kingdom of Makliaven with the Black Tower. Both kingdoms are occupied entirely by humans; non-magical, ordinary, run-of-the-mill humans.

Lea is rescued by a young man, Caleb, who takes her back to his kingdom, hidden deep in the Forbidden Forest, the kingdom of Verlaine, home of the Grey Tower. Here she is nursed back to health and given a plush room and a full wardrobe of new clothes. She is informed that she is not allowed to leave the kingdom until the ruler decides she is not a threat to the secrecy of his land and people. Lea calls it imprisonment; she is told she is a guest.

In an attempt to hide her true identity, starts her friendship with Caleb with a web of lies about her background and is forced keep up the charade during her stay in Verlaine. Her life has taught her that everyone has ulterior motives, to trust no one and because of this she finds life in Verlaine very complicated, as well as unbelievable.

Verlaine is ruled by Caleb’s Master, Gabriel Amarinth who is a very powerful Magi. Lea has been told tales of Feys, Giants and Faeries but until now has firmly believed they do not exist. Verlaine is a fully magical kingdom with all her childhood tales come to life, as well as a few other things. Lea refuses to believe the things she sees with her own eyes, putting it up to parlor tricks with smoke and mirrors, even after her in depth conversation with the healing panther.

After running into an unexpected visitor from her past, Lea’s entire visit to the kingdom turns upside-down, more preposterous then it had already become.

How will she escape the ‘guest’ accommodations provided by the powerful Magi ruler? Will this girl from her past recognize her and blow her cover story? How can she work any of this to her advantage? I’m hoping for a quick release of Memser, Book Two: Favoured.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Brotherhood of the Dwarves – D.A. Adams

This book is the first of a fantasy series, and as such starts out at a snail’s pace. However, with that said, this book was one of the most riveting I have read in quite a while.

The flow of the storyline is seamless and after the first chapter of the book, which goes into quite a bit of detail of the Dwarf culture and history, the action starts off with our protagonist being sent on a journey of discovery to follow the hard set traditions.

This first book of the series is a tale of the Dwarf prince Roskin and his rite of passage to take his father’s place as king of the clan. Along his one year trek across the war torn lands, this underground dwelling Dwarf experiences most of what life has to offer packed into the fourteen chapters of the book.

The character development is beautifully written as the coddled prince craving adventure and glory grows into a battle hardened adult. Along the way the half Elf, half Dwarf Roskin meets the banished Human war criminal he’s dreamed of, only to find that he isn’t exactly the fearsome leader everyone dreads. Many of the friends the Dwarf finds have their own inner demons and struggles to overcome.

D.A. Adams uses all of the races that have become staples of the Fantasy genre, but they’re not the same animals you read about in other books. Roskin makes friends with exiled Dwarfs, Ogres, Elves, Humans and a half Elf Wizard to assist him in his travels, some more than others. The Orc’s have developed their own society and nobility class, a far cry from the blood thirsty savages that have become popular in other series. This book will definitely change the way you view these races that have become so popular in Fantasy series.

Nemeses become friends; Friends become enemies; Soldiers kill civilians; Slaves run free – and the wars have only just begun -- again.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Overkill - Steven Shrewsbury

Deliverance will come - and it will be in the form of Gorias La Gaul, a 700 year old legend.

This is the 2nd book in a Fantasy Fiction series by Steven Shrewsbury. The action begins at the prologue and never lets up. Gorias provides a bit of comedy in what would be an otherwise dark tale. La Gaul never lacks for a smart assed quip or a colorful curse word. At his age he doesn’t care who he offends or how and it provides many humerous moments along the way.

The 700 year old man is quite spry for his age and his libido has yet to reach his peak. As a warrior, Gorias has killed his fair share of men, women and dragons and wears a trophy as proof. As a lover, he’s had his fair share of women, most of whom are 600 odd years younger than he. He was labeled a hero by the populous, but claims he’s no more than a very lucky man just trying to live his life. Through his travels Lord La Gaul meets up with old friends, receives a quest from a former lover to rescue a future one and kills numerous men and women, both alive and dead.

His quest is hindered by deceit, intrigue and more than a few vengeful and power hungry men, women and gods. He is assisted along the way by Alena, one the Queen’s guard, and Orsen, one of the Queen’s lackeys. Gorias’ lifetime of battles, women and whiskey has earned him top posting on many hit-lists. Not just the expected long lines cut-throats and bandits, but of fallen angels as well. Alena and Orsen have no idea just what kind of life Gorias has lead, but they are about to find out that there’s usually a hint of truth to most fables.

The storyline contains enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, but not so many as to confuse the plot. I was immersed in the book as soon as I opened it. After reading the last words I found myself thinking “I never saw that coming”. The action is kept fresh with wonderfully described battle scenes, explicit love scenes and detailed pasts relived as fables. The story flows from scene to scene with the hand of a well-practiced author.

If you love epic fantast books with dragons, pirates, swords, magic, angels and demons then I would strongly recommend this book to you. Personally, this is the first book I have read by Steven Shrewsbury, but I can guarantee it will not be the last.