The Quiet Ones by Betsy Reavley


The Quiet Ones

By: Betsy Reavley
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Thriller
Pages: 215
Publisher: Bloodhound books
Published on: February 18, 2016
The Quiet Ones by Betsy Reavley

What if you didn’t know where you came from?

Who am I?

This is the question Josie asks herself when a mysterious letter arrives. Then a brutal murder turns her world upside down.

To make sense of the present, Josie must go back to the start.

But who can she trust when no one knows the truth?

And who is the sinister stranger obsessed with her life?

The past is catching up with Josie and the consequences will be fatal …

 

I read this book quite a while ago, but I just realized that I had not done a review of it, which is poor form for me.

 

Josie is a young woman who is with an older man, Charlie.  Josie for some reason doesn’t understand her past, she has parents, but they aren’t her “real” parents.  As the book progresses Josie’s past starts to catch up with her when she finally meets her real mother.  She knows that there was a significant trauma and with the help of her husband, she attempts to seek out the answers. There is an ending that that I believe shocks everyone who reads the book.

 

This book isn’t just about Josie and Charlie, this book is about how sometimes the past is better left in the past, and how sometimes your future isn’t as ordained as you would like to think it is.  Touching on things such as mental illness a little bit, and how secrets are sometimes best left uncovered.

 

I found this book slow, and it is over 200 pages long, so it takes a long time to get to that stage where I really actually felt the book was progressing.  Charlie is a supportive but not overly active husband in the sense that the characterization fell a little flat.  I never really connected to any of the characters, but the plot helps some of those issues.  Apparently this author is an international best-seller so maybe I just don’t like her style of writing, or this is different than the others since I haven’t read her other works.  I personally liked the plot and I liked the idea behind it, I just think it would have been better a lot shorter, or more detail added.

 

 

 

Goodreads

Amazon

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Lockdown Apocalyptic Horror Anthology


Lockdown

By: Claire C. Riley, Mike Evans, Katie Cord, Kindra Sowder, James Wallace, William Allen, James Dean, Kya Aliana, Doug Dandridge, Greg P.Ferrell
Genres: Horror
Pages: 310
Published on: March 10, 2017
Lockdown Apocalyptic Horror Anthology

Lockdown Anthology: A Dystopian Anthology

A collection of ten terror-filled zombie stories from some of your favorite zompoc authors.

When the zombie apocalypse hits, you want to be prepped, ready, and around people you know you can count on.

Now imagine the exact opposite…

The outbreak has just begun and you’re trapped at work, the building is in lockdown and you only have your fellow co-workers to watch your back. Would you survive, or would the bitch woman on reception be your downfall?
Could you really fight the dead with only your meagre office supplies, or is your hidden skill-set going to be vital to yours and everyone else’s survival?
If the zombie virus was within your customers, could you kill them? After all, the customers always right…right?

Well that’s what the heroes and villains in this anthology have to decide.

Some floors will thrive…

Others will try…

And some will only have their screams to comfort them in their final hour.

Foreword by Timothy W. Long

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Also by this author: Odium II, Limerence 2, Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella. Part Two
 
Goodreads


 

Lockdown is a cool zombie Horror anthology featuring a couple of my favorite zombie authors. The basis of the anthology is there is a 13 story building which is supposed to be one of the most secure buildings in the city of Chicago that is placed on lockdown after an attack of some sort in the lobby. The stories are what are happening on each floor as the lockdown is occurring. I think it’s a fun way to set up an anthology.

 

One of the things I liked about Lockdown was the setup. With any office building, there is usually a variety of businesses contained within. In this building, there are things from tattoo parlors, to robotics labs, to apocalypse prepping, to a seemingly mythological porn studio. I think it adds to the variety of situations each floor is placed in and gives the reader plenty of different scenarios they could find themselves in had they been in that situation.

 

On occasion, there are references within the stories linking them to other stories in the book. I liked that as well. I thought it was a cool way to keep everything connected. My favorite story was Merry Maids by Kate Cord. It was pretty twisted. Some of the stories have a bit more humor in them than others.

 

Overall, Lockdown is an exciting anthology, providing the reader with a variety of scenarios and stories that are relatable to for the most part. It makes us really think about what the perfect place to have been caught in the apocalypse would be, and what could go wrong if you are. I do find myself wondering what happens next for all of the stories.

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

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Onyx Webb 5 by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz


Onyx Webb

By: Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 234
Series: Onyx Webb #5
Published on: April 27, 2016
Onyx Webb 5 by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

Welcome Back to the World of Onyx Webb! This is Book Five. (Episodes 13, 14 & 15) Haven't Gotten Entangled Yet? Please Start with Book One.
Readers of the series will see the web tighten in this book, the past and present are slowly starting to catch up to each other and shocking connections continue to be made.

Onyx Webb is a complex multi-genre mash-up that combines elements of supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more. The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times.

The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series. Written like a book version of your favorite tv series (think: supernatural soap opera like American Horror Story) each character’s story moves forward with most every episode. It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.

In Book Five: It's the 1980's and Bruce Mulvaney starts his own family while a killer watches from afar. It’s 2010, and the Mulvaney's are dealing with Koda's accident. Onyx Webb fights to keep her way of life.

Also by this author: Onyx Webb: Episodes 1, 2 & 3, Onyx Webb, Onyx Webb 3: Episodes 7, 8, 9
 
Goodreads


 

I cannot get enough of the Onyx Webb series. Every episode brings us closer and closer to all of the dots connecting. I haven’t decided if I’m going to be relieved or sad when everything is finally revealed. I want to know everything, but that means it has to end.

 

Fenton and Waltz continue to blow my mind with their creativity and ability to design such a well thought out and complex story while keeping everything easy to understand. With all the different storylines and where they are intersecting and jumping around, any other author would have me shaking my head in confusion. These authors do an amazing job of making everything clear.

 

Onyx Webb is one of the most addictive series I have ever read. We are shown glimpses into the character’s pasts and personalities, secrets are being revealed in every episode and with every question answered, we get another to ask. I really think this would make an amazing movie, and it’s rare I say that about a book.

 

Overall, I love this series and I think everyone should read it.

 

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

About Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz are professional speakers and authors of the #1 Amazon Sales Best Selling book, Go for No!® Go for No! has been among the top 20 Best Selling Sales Books on Amazon for over three years. They have also written several other business fables. Onyx Webb is their first fictional book series.

As Andrea likes to joke, “We decided to begin small so this series will just have 27 episodes, 10 total books.” Adds Richard, “Like any great series we wanted to create a world – and for us – a “web” of characters that people will get to become a part of and that is going to take many books.”

Richard and Andrea are married and yes they do spend each and every day working together. They live in Central Florida with their cat, Courage.

When they are not writing, they are traveling and speaking and also love reading, going to the movies, and working out so they can enjoy a great meal and a glass of red wine, guilt free.

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Exiled by Amanda Carlson

Today, I’m super excited to bring you a guest post from one of my favorite authors, Amanda Carlson that is near and dear to my own heart, as I live in Florida and the beach is never more than 65 miles away (I’m much closer though). She is the author of the Jessica McClain series and more recently, the Phoebe Meadows series. Today is release day for Exiled, the 3rd book in the Phoebe Meadows series.  Both are absolutely exciting and great reads so if you haven’t read them yet, you are missing out! You can find my reviews on the first books in the Jessica McClain series HERE  and the Phoebe Meadows series HERE.

I think my favorite beach is New Smyrna Beach because that’s where I normally go though it is known as the “shark bite capital of the world”. I think the prettiest beach I’ve seen is probably in Destin, Florida.

 

Top Five Beach Destinations:

 

I live in the north (MN) and around about this time cabin fever sets in big time and I find myself dreaming about the beach. Here are my Top Five best beaches. I’d love to hear what yours are in the comments.

 

  1. Number one has to be La Ropa beach in Zijuatanejo, Mexico. My parents took me here as a child many times, and one of the best vacations we’ve ever had was taking my kids back to visit. It’s maintained its charm after all these years. Restaurants right in the sand. Not too built up. Perfect.

 

 

  1. Hoopers Bay, Exuma, Bahamas. One year when the kids were little, we found cheap airfare to Exuma, which had just opened up to more travel after a large chain built a hotel on the tiny island. We found an extremely good deal on a house, situated on a deserted white sand beach. It was heaven. There wasn’t much to do on the island, but the white sand and calm waters were a dream.

 

 

  1. Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI. Yes, it’s super crowded, but it’s so iconic. I spent my 8th grade year in HI, so it was nostalgic to go back. While Waimea Bay might have my heart, Waikiki gets my vote.

 

 

  1. Hanalei Beach, Kauai, HI. I have two pictures on my wall of this beach, that’s how much I loved it. Kauai in general was a dream, but very quiet. (I’m sensing a theme, lol). The most memorable part of it was me creeping through the bushes to get a good look at Julia Robert’s vacation home!

 

 

  1. Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico. My husband and I happened on this beach by chance. We had a getaway weekend in Puerto Rico and decided to take a ferry someplace. We chose Culebra. It was (quiet) and stunning! If you get a chance to visit, do it.

 

 

I hope I’ve given all you folks who are sick of winter weather some good ideas! Alas, I haven’t been anywhere for spring break in two years. It might be time to dust off the bathing suit. Hope you enjoy my Phoebe Meadows series. It’s full of action and fun, just the way I like it.


Exiled

By: Amanda Carlson
Genres: urban fantasy
Series: Phoebe Meadows #3
Published on: March 24, 2017
Exiled by Amanda Carlson

Phoebe Meadows is on trial for her life.

After freeing her half-brother, Baldur, Phoebe is set to stand before the Council in Asgard to answer for her actions. The threat of exile if she’s found guilty looms, not to mention the added stress of meeting her real father for the first time.

Upon entering Asgard, Phoebe discovers new allies in a half-brother she’s never met as well as an oracle who is in possession of valuable information. A little added help couldn’t have come at a better time, because when Phoebe is tossed into an unknown realm, she’s only armed with Gundren, a jewel, and her wits.

When Loki shows up, all bets are off. The trickster god throws a wrench in Phoebe’s plans and kidnaps Fen, her only ally. And just when she thinks she sees the light at the end of the tunnel, Phoebe finds she has to defeat one last obstacle: The Norns.

And they aren’t planning to go down without a fight…

Also by this author: Aces Wild: Sin City Collectors, Ante Up, All In

Excerpt:

“Sweet mother of all that’s holy.” Sam coughed violently into the bucket positioned in front of her. “Please tell me we’re here. My body can’t take much more of this.” She lifted her head, dragging the back of her sleeve over her mouth, wheezing. “I’m pretty sure my tank is finally dry, but bile is a tricky thing, as my body is making more of the hot, searing liquid as we speak.” Tyr stood next to her holding a clean pail, his face a mask of concern.

“Aye, we’re here,” Tyr answered solemnly, bending down to place the new container in front of Sam, who was promptly in need of it.

We all stood on the deck of Ringhorn, my half brother Baldur’s boat, which had been gifted to Tyr upon Baldur’s untimely death. We’d arrived in Asgard less than five minutes prior, so I could face the Council and Frigg, Baldur’s powerful goddess mother, to receive punishment for freeing her beloved son.

I’d broken Baldur out of a dark elf prison—the very place his mother had placed him for protection—only to watch him die a short time later at Verdandi’s hand.

It had been awful and heartbreaking.

The boat had just taken us through an insane vortex. One that had hauled us up in the air at breakneck speed, only to drop us the next instant. I’d lost count of how many times my stomach had hit my knees.

But I’d fared better than poor Sam, who was now huddled on the deck spilling her guts.

“Are we really here? In Asgard?” I asked, squinting into the darkness, trying to discern a single shape on the horizon, but coming up empty. The boat had lurched to a full stop in what looked to be a solid void. “I was expecting it to be a little more…vibrant?”

“We’ve landed in a holding bay,” Fen answered, his frame tense beside mine, his arm tight around my waist. This was the first time he’d been back to his home in many years, and he was poised for any threat that might come our way, his nostrils flaring, his sword at the ready.

My mother came up beside us. “There are various ways in, but if you take magical transportation, like Ringhorn, you must wait to be inspected before accessing the city.”

“Yep,” Ingrid added, moving toward a gated opening that would lead us off the boat. “Lots of nooks and crannies on a big boat like this. We might be harboring unknown aliens. We’ll have to wait for the inspectors to clear us.”

“Why is it so dark?” I asked. The only illumination we had came from the boat itself.

Before anyone could answer, a loud grating noise filled the air. All at once, the scene before us began to change as bright light pierced the space like a dazzling spotlight.

We were in a large cylinder of some kind.

As light penetrated the tunnel, my eyes adjusted, and I began to get my first glimpses of Asgard beyond the tunnel. I noticed blue sky right away. It was cobalt, a deep, resplendent tone that seemed impossibly rich for a sky.

“Brace yourself, kiddo,” Ingrid said as she removed her spear from her waistband. “Along with the inspectors, there will be guards.”

“Why are you drawing your weapon?” I asked, alarmed. “Isn’t this your home?”

“Because I’m getting ready to argue, and I do it best with Betsy at the ready.” She shook her trusty spear, and it seamlessly morphed into an eight-foot killer with a razor-sharp edge.

“Betsy?” Ingrid had never shared her weapon’s pet name before. “You named your spear Betsy?”

“Yep, she was christened my ‘Best Bet’ when I first got her. Found her in a pile of discarded old weapons and never looked back. If these guards try to separate us, Betsy will have her say. And I can guaran-damn-tee”—she waved her spear in the air—“there is no argument we can’t win.”

 

Copyright © 2017 Amanda Carlson. All rights reserved. None of the above can be reprinted without permission from the author.

Purchase Link:

Amazon

About Amanda Carlson

Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a BA in both Speech and Hearing Science & Child Development. She went on to get an A.A.S in Sign Language Interpreting and worked as an interpreter until her first child was born. She enjoys playing Scrabble to an unhealthy degree, shopping trips to Ikea and has a great weakness for tropical beaches. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three kids.

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Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake


Wickedly Powerful (Baba Yaga, #3)

By: Deborah Blake
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, urban fantasy
Pages: 304
Publisher: Berkley
Published on: February 2nd 2016
Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…
The only thing more fiery than Bella Young’s red hair is her temper. She knows that a Baba Yaga’s power without strict control can leave the people she cares about burned, so to protect her heart—and everyone around her—the only company she keeps is her dragon-turned-Norwegian-Forest-cat, Koshka.
But when Bella is tasked with discovering who’s setting magical fires throughout Wyoming’s Black Hills, she finds herself working closely with former hotshots firefighter Sam Corbett—and falling hard for his quiet strength and charm.
Sam may bear the scars of his past, but Bella can see beyond them and would do anything to help him heal. Only before she can rescue her Prince Charming, she’ll have to overcome the mysterious foe setting the forest fires—a truly wicked witch who wields as much power and even more anger than Bella…

Also by this author: Wickedly Dangerous (Baba Yaga, #1), Wickedly Wonderful (Baba Yaga, #2)

 

This is the third and currently last book in the Baba Yaga series.  There is an off shoot series that deals directly with the riders that are part of every Baba book.  This one deals with the fire.  Bella and her magical motorcycle arrive in a forest, a victim of magical fires.  A lot of this book’s sub plot is directly related to the first two’s sub plots.  I of course bucked the system and read this one first.  It was a good starting point.  Especially since I like fire, and there is a lot of that in this book.

 

So the story starts with sweet little Baba Yaga Bella.  Like Kono from Hawaii 5.0, Bella is sweet and spicy.  But she does have a classic motorbike and possessed ‘house’.  The forest is near nothing, except for a fire watcher.  The firewatcher used to be a wildland firefighter, like I was.  This was an actual event that occurred in Arizona. Anyways the incident left the firefighter as the only survivor.  Disfigurement and survivor’s guilt haunted him on a daily basis.  The fear was so strong, that he could not be near open flame.

 

This book isn’t just about fires, but also about how two wounded individuals can learn from each other.  Sometimes with the help of a large dog/dragon.  So anyways, magical fires, and Bella has control over flame.  See where this could go astray?  During the course of her investigation, a fire began so close to someone, that death was imminent.  Bella had to decide if saving a life was worth exposing her abilities, or ehh…lack thereof.

 

At the same time, there is a subplot that directly involves the Riders and boy is it a doozy. Bella’s job becomes a lot harder with the Riders thrown in.  She not only has to keep Sam from the truth, saving a lost one, and figuring herself out.  Oh did I mention her dog is a dragon? and that her living arrangements are strange.

 

I really enjoyed this book.  The Baba Yaga mythology has always interested me.  I have ancestors who are gypsys from that overall region.  Maybe that is why I like Vampires mythos so much as well.  Obviously these are not the chicken house living, child eating Babas of yore, but they can hold their own. The thing is, even though at a certain time, all Babas leave earth, some don’t want to.  Being a Baba is tiring. After years of helping everyone, retirement is not a bad idea. They have raised their successor, so why stay around? The elixir of Life and Death does funny things to certain people.

 

The story as a whole is very good and really gets into the character’s personality.  Even though all three Baba’s are strong independent women, they are all different.  I really respect that the author gives each one different abilities and distinct personalities.  It makes each book a standalone.  Another thing I really like is their dragons are also completely different.  Not just in size, or type, but in personality.  They are snarky, smart, and sneaky.

 

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Amazon
Barnes & Noble
 

About Deborah Blake

Deborah is the author of nine non-fiction books on modern witchcraft from Llewellyn and the Baba Yaga series from Berkley Romance, including Wickedly Magical (novella), Wickedly Dangerous, and Wickedly Wonderful, Wickedly Ever After (novella), and Wickedly Powerful, plus an urban fantasy, Veiled Magic.

Deborah lives in a 120 year old farmhouse in upstate NY with four cats, and runs an artists' cooperative shop when she's not writing. She believes in magic, laughter, chocolate, and wine. The order may change depending on the day.

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