Warren the 13th and the all-seeing eye

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing EyeWarren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Warren, the under appreciated and often comical main character in Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, is sure to warm the hearts of adult and younger readers alike. This book is just so much fun to read.

If you enjoy sharing stories with your kids and are looking for a book that will keep their imaginations captive, may I recommend this one. Warren is the bellhop for the Warren hotel, which has fallen into repair after falling under the control of his clueless uncle and his nasty Aunt Anaconda. The adventures he has trying to solve the mystery of the hidden treasure in the hotel and save the place that he loves are so exciting and enjoyable that you won’t want to stop reading until the very end.

This book is not tremendously long so would be ideal for children who are just beginning with chapter books. The characters are engaging, the story is unique and the ending is full of just the right amount of danger and happy ending.

I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good story for their kids, or even just for themselves.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

The Beast of Barcroft

The Beast of BarcroftThe Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart

Fans of Stephen King and Bentley Little will devour The Beast of Barcroft, Bill Schweigart’s brilliant new vision of dark suburban horror. Ben thought he had the neighbor from hell. He didn’t know how right he was. . . .

Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.

First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world.

Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I figured this would be another silly horror book with very little plot, but only a few pages in, I discovered that wasn’t true. I liked the main character right away, and that led me to being interested in the rest of the story.

What I enjoyed about this book the most, was the mystery surrounding what the creature actually was. Things would lead one way for a while and then something would change and it would appear to be something else. There was a good mystery about this story and it kept it intriguing until the very end.

I also liked the varied cast of characters and the descriptions of their situations. The characters each had strong, individual personality traits that set them apart from one another, so they were easy to keep track of.

If you enjoy books where the terror builds as the story moves along, this would be a great book for you to choose. Perfect for a spooky Halloween night or an any time fright.

I liked it. Thumbs up.

Hoping for a sequel.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, which was provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Live to Air by Jeffrey L. Diamond

Live to Air: An Ethan Benson ThrillerLive to Air: An Ethan Benson Thriller by Jeffrey L. Diamond

Television, politics, and the Russian mob: Live to Air is a riveting crime thriller, jam-packed with intrigue and unforgettable characters.

Ethan Benson is a charming and principled-if sometimes difficult-television producer in New York City who detests doing crime stories. But that’s of no significance to his high-powered boss at the network, and Benson finds himself assigned to investigating a bloody shoot-out in the Meatpacking District, whose old grime and new glitz provide a symbolic background for a sensational murder that has dominated the headlines.

As he pieces together his story, Benson literally covers New York-from Central Park and Fifth Avenue to Little Russia in Brooklyn and Rikers Island in Queens-crossing paths with a fascinating cast of characters on both sides of the law. Unknown to Benson, organized crime may be only one facet of the thrilling investigation. With his wife and son in hiding and his life in danger, Benson draws closer to a resolution that will have explosive results for the criminals-and for some members of New York City’s political elite as well.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved a lot of this book. There is a lot to recommend it, but there were also some parts that I thought could have been better. Allow me to explain.

First of all, if you can keep up with the Russian names in this book, you will be doing okay. So many K names. You can do it–but don’t attempt to read whilst you are distracted by other things or they will most likely all blend together.

I liked Ethan as a main character. His struggles with alcohol and trying to impress his boss made him seem more realistic than if he had been perfect from the start. I enjoyed the relationship with his son and wife and felt it made him seem more authentic. Overall, he was a character that I would like to see return again and again.

The problems I have with this book begin with the large focus on the mob connection. I thought those parts were interesting and well written, but then they just seemed to go poof and disappear. I am not completely clear on how so much of the book was devoted to explaining those activities, but then they were not integral to the plot at the end. I almost felt like I was reading two different books.

The ending of the book became a bit unbelievable, but I was still fascinated with the intricacies of the plot enough that it kept me reading until the very last page.

I would have liked to have seen what happened to some of the characters after the shocking revelations at the end, but that didn’t happen. It is up to the reader to decide how they think things turned out for those characters.

There’s enough action here to keep those who love a quick paced story going and for those who like the psychological aspects that is there too. It was a good book with a few quirks, but one that I still feel good about recommending.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Until We Break by Jamie Howard

Until We BreakUntil We Break by Jamie Howard

When Sloane Avery stops to help a stranded driver, she finds more than a broken down car on the side of the road. Luke Evans is faster and sexier than her Maserati, but with her heart still on the mend, she’s not interested in taking him for a test drive. Despite their initial disdain for each other, emotion and passion simmer, complicating their fragile friendship. But when a tragic loss and devastating betrayal send them spiraling, their growing love isn’t enough to save them.

That was five years ago, practically a different lifetime and definitely a different Sloane. Before she’s been hardened by booze, sex, and as much distance as she could get from the past. Now, called home on a family emergency, she’s determined to hold onto her heart the next time she sees Luke.

Except Sloane’s not the only one who’s changed. Luke’s turned his life around. Only the reappearance of Sloane and the reminder of his biggest mistake can put a dent in his plans. Luke is set on fixing what he’s broken. But with her emotions boiling to the surface, Sloane needs to decide if falling in love is life’s greatest gift or its cruelest joke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Usually I hate angst filled books with younger couples, but the writing in this one is too good to let it slip into that category. Jamie Howard gets it–she understands the complexities of relationships and that reflects in the behaviour of her characters.

Sloane immediately made me like her and the back story for her love interest drew me in as well. I liked the chemistry between them from a very early point in the story and waited with anticipation to see how things would work out for them. This is a book that will take the reader on an emotional ride, wanting things to work out and then cursing when they don’t go the way you want them to.

More than just another silly romance, this novel is written with readers in mind. I won’t soon forget it.

Give this one a chance, even if it isn’t the kind of book you would normally read. It’s worth the time.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Giveaway and info for “The 33”

This amazing film opens this Friday, the 13th of November. Watch the trailer below, and then comment or share the post to be entered to win a great prize–a t-shirt and flashlight branded with the movie logo, courtesy of Warner Bros. and Grace Hill Media.

A Winner will be chosen this weekend after the film’s release:)


From Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures comes the untold true story of “The 33.”
In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners had been buried alive by the catastrophic collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, waited and watched anxiously for any sign of hope. But 200 stories beneath the surface, in the suffocating heat and with tensions rising, provisions—and time—were quickly running out.

A story of resilience, personal transformation and triumph of the human spirit, the film takes us to the Earth’s darkest depths, revealing the psyches of the men trapped in the mine, and depicting the courage of both the miners and their families who refused to give up.
Based on the gripping true story of survival—and filmed with the cooperation of the miners, their families and their rescuers—“The 33” captures the never-before-seen actual events that unfolded, above and below ground, which became nothing less than a worldwide phenomenon.
The international cast is led by Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”), James Brolin, and Lou Diamond Phillips, with Bob Gunton and Gabriel Byrne. The cast also includes Mario Casas, Jacob Vargas, Juan Pablo Raba, Oscar Nuñez, Tenoch Huerta, Marco Treviño, Adriana Barraza, Kate Del Castillo, Cote de Pablo, Elizabeth De Razzo and Naomi Scott.

Patricia Riggen directed “The 33” from a screenplay by Mikko Alanne, Oscar nominee Craig Borten (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Michael Thomas, based on the screen story by Oscar nominee José Rivera (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) and the book Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar. The film was produced by Oscar nominee Mike Medavoy (“Black Swan”), Robert Katz and Edward McGurn. Carlos Eugenio Lavin, Leopoldo Enriquez, Alan Zhang and José Luis Escolar served as executive producers.
The behind-the-scene creative team included cinematographer Checco Varese, production designer Marco Niro, editor Michael Tronick and Oscar-nominated costume designer Paco Delgado (“Les Misérables”). The Academy Award-winning team of Alex Henning and Ben Grossmann (“Hugo”) supervised the visual effects. The score was composed by Oscar winner James Horner (“Titanic”).
“The 33” was filmed on location in Chile’s harshly remote yet breathtakingly beautiful Atacama desert just kilometers away from where the event took place, and deep within two mines located in central Colombia.
“The 33” is a presentation of Alcon Entertainment, co-founded by CEOs Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson. A Phoenix Pictures production, the film is being distributed domestically and in select international territories by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. This film has been rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language.

For downloadable general press information,
please visit: https://mediapass.warnerbros.com

George Washington’s Journey by T.H. Breen

George Washington's Journey: The President Forges a New NationGeorge Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation by T.H. Breen

This is George Washington in the surprising role of political strategist.

T.H. Breen introduces us to a George Washington we rarely meet. During his first term as president, he decided that the only way to fulfill the Revolution was to take the new federal government directly to the people. He organized an extraordinary journey carrying him to all thirteen states. It transformed American political culture.

For Washington, the stakes were high. If the nation fragmented, as it had almost done after the war, it could never become the strong, independent nation for which he had fought. In scores of communities, he communicated a powerful and enduring message—that America was now a nation, not a loose collection of states. And the people responded to his invitation in ways that he could never have predicted.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“George Washington’s Journey” is not your typical, boring historical account of the life of a president. Instead, it follows closely in the footsteps of a man who had many difficult decisions to make and set out on a course to learn everything he could about the new nation he took command of.

I love history, and that is no secret. I’d rather read non-fiction most of the time and tend to get particularly excited over early American history, so when I saw this book I had high expectations for it. Truly, it not only met those expectations, but far exceeded them.

Everything about this book was exciting for a history lover. Not only did it incorporate careful research and obvious effort from the author for accuracy, but it was written in a conversational tone that made it seem less intimidating for me as a reader. I liked the way the author made an attempt to follow the same roads that the former president had, offering unique insights into the changes that have occurred in these places since Washington’s original journeys.

If you are interested in the life and times of George Washington, or simply this period of history, this would be an excellent book to add to your collection. Recommended.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and was provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Derek Takes Action by Mac Black

Derek Takes ActionDerek Takes Action by Mac Black

Derek has a cause but, being Derek, he also has a host of misunderstandings to sort out, mistakes to rectify and a wife to mollify. As a natural leader, he knows that beating the Railway Developers is down to him. As a natural disaster area, we know it is unlikely to go quite to plan. In Mac Black’s fifth and final Derek book the plot is stirred as poor gullible Derek tries his best and makes us laugh all the way to the end!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve grown rather fond of poor, bumbling Derek over the years, and it saddens me a bit to see him go in this final sendoff, but what a sendoff it was.

Once more, he finds himself in the worst sort of trouble from the very beginning of this book, but manages to save face in time for the ending, becoming the local hero that all his readers knew he could be–albeit, with a bit of drama along the way. I still feel for Sally.

This book had Mac Black’s unique humour spread evenly through it, and is full of moments that make you glad you are not the main character in one of his novels. Derek is as witty and enjoyable as ever in this story, and after finishing it, I think it is a tie for me over which is my favourite–this one or the first.

I liked the new characters in this book and felt like this story did a good job of tying everything before it together.

If you haven’t read this series yet and you enjoy humour and unlikely heroes, you should pick up a copy of the first book and get started. I’ll miss Derek, but I understand that everyone has limits, and he has already used more than his share of 9 lives.

Read it, have a giggle.

This review is based on a complimentary copy in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

Salavage by Duncan Ralston

SalvageSalvage by Duncan Ralston

Something is Lurking Under the Lake…

When Owen Saddler’s little sister mysteriously drowns, Owen is determined to uncover the circumstances by following in her footsteps, even if it means diving into the murky–some would say haunted–waters of Chapel Lake.

Thirty years earlier, the town of Peace Falls had been flooded to build a hydroelectric dam, and its ruins remain below the surface of Chapel Lake. The strange disappearance of the town Pastor, along with many of the parishioners, still haunts the citizens of Chapel Lake. But does the church haunt the lake itself? Is Owen really seeing ghosts… or has he descended into the depths of madness?

Salvage is the debut horror novel of author Duncan Ralston (Gristle & Bone). A darkly disturbing story of depression, religious fanaticism, and the afterlife, Salvage seeks to illuminate the evil within us all.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This author knows how to write a truly terrifying story. I like that in a person.

I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. It was mysterious and I was immediately drawn to the main character. The author did an excellent job of creating a solid back story for his characters and he revealed it a little at a time with no major information dumps ruining the rest of the book.

This novel has many of the traditional creepy aspects of a good horror story, but also combines those with a mystery that you can’t solve until the very last page.

I liked the Hellfire and brimstone feel of this book and thought the paranormal aspects were handled well, not coming off as ridiculous or inappropriate to the scenes where they appeared.

The idea of the chapel in the lake was original, and frightening. Good descriptions of the town and the people in it also added to the scary atmosphere of this book.

Overall, this was a really entertaining and well-written book, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

A new book I am VERY excited about!

Lots of authors lately have made the jump to self publishing, and I have found some really great books thanks to these decisions. Here’s one that I am particularly excited about. If you haven’t met this author yet, please take a moment to stop by his blog and say hello. He’s a hard working writer–and just a great person in general, with a personality that won’t quit.

Visit him at: Fiction Favorites

Announcing His Revenge by John W. Howell is now available in paper and ebook on Amazon.

His Revenge front final

The sequel to My GRL titled His Revenge is available and a new story continues where My GRL left off.

His Revenge is available in the US in Paper and Kindle editions

In Canada in Paper and Kindle editions

In the UK in Paper and Kindle editions

Here is the blurb:

America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.

The second John J Cannon Thriller moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena and disrupt confidence in the government at home. If John refuses, Matt plans to murder innocent Americans including John’s latest relationship. John’s only way out is to pretend to go along with the plan and hope for a miracle.

Excerpt from Chapter one

The water rushes over my head. I’m sinking and don’t know why. With my breath held, I have trouble stopping the air from escaping since the pressure drives the air up and out. I try to keep my mouth closed, but the water pressure pushes the air out more and more. Will I pass out? In the distance, the light is dim. To rise to the surface in time might not be possible─I need to breathe right now. Toward ending the pain in my chest, my rambling mind rationalizes taking a deep breath—even knowing it will end my life. In conflict with the irrational thought of ending it, my body won’t let me suck in the water, as it fights to retain the little bit of oxygen left to fuel my brain.

The despair is nearly overwhelming, and my mind considers other ways to battle the feeling. What more could I have done with my life? The pressure becomes more intense, and I’m about to lose it all, and I decide I’ve lived the way I wanted and have no regrets. I close my eyes and hear only the roar of the sea. I’m so tired. Exhausted. Sleep will fix everything, and I want to give in.

Photo by Tim Burdick

About the Author

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a blog at http://www.johnwhowell.com. John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets. He can be reached at his e-mail johnhowell.wave@gmail.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241or Twitter at @HowellWave

My GRL_johnwhowell

His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold

Such a fun giveaway! Prizes for Voyagers!

Want to win an iPhone case, a couple of really great books and a button to push as you read along? Become a voyager!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and share this post with your favourite social media outlet. US residents only please. :)

I’ve barely dipped into the first book and already I am fascinated. I’ll update everyone once I finish the first two, but these are going to create quite a stir in anyone looking for an adventure!


Get the full Voyagers experience! One (1) winner receives:

  • The first two books in the series;
  • Branded iPhone6 case and home GadgetGrip button to deck out your device while experiencing the Voyagers app.



The action is on the page, on your device, and out of this world! This multiplatform middle-grade series is fully locked and loaded and ready for launch, blasting off in Fall 2015.

Part sci-fi, part eco-mystery, all action-adventure.


As the young heroes in VOYAGERS journey into outer space to save planet Earth, readers are invited to become part of the story by joining the crew through the multi-platform, VOYAGERS HQ. The HQ extends the adventure beyond the page, unlocking games and activities on their devices.

Each book has clues and codes that lead to world extensions to be explored, played, and shared. Your online profile tracks your progress through the VOYAGERS universe, and gives you rewards, ranking and virtually currency for each product code redeemed.

Readers become part of the VOYAGERS world, which extends beyond the books to a digital interactive experience, and downloadable pay-for-play mobile apps games.

Readers can create their own custom VOYAGERS character, follow the team and experience this space adventure through the eyes of their own virtual droid.

Free content on Voyagers HQ:Voyagers HQ Website

Team Alpha Member Profile

Every registered user will have a personal profile page. This is where they can see their rank/level, view their achievements and badges, access their inventory and ZRK creations, as well as enter and track codes.

VOYAGERS Secret Intelligence

After players register, they will be given a project folder that contains ciphers and decoders that can be used in conjunction with the books to unlock secret content and virtual currency.

Secret content includes:

Character dossiers and expanded background information, mission briefings, ship and vehicle schematics, detailed information on the planets from ZRK probes, and opportunities to test their STEAM knowledge.

VOYAGERS Bonus Chapter

In addition to the secret intelligence files, each book also has a special puzzle that unlocks a free bonus chapter. This will complement the book and fill in some additional details and storylines. It is not required reading, but they should add to the book narratives in a meaningful way.


VOYAGERS series creator and architect, Patrick Carman is head of PC Studios which has created and overseen pioneering multimedia brands including SKELETON CREEK, TRACKERS, 3:15, and DARK EDEN. He is also an acclaimed, New York Times bestselling writer of more than 30 books, and one of the first authors chosen for 39 CLUES. patrickcarman.com

42 Entertainment is the premiere online multimedia company developing the immersive, interactive universe for VOYAGERS. 42 Entertainment is a next generation studio world renowned for some of the largest online experiences in the world including THE DARK KNIGHT,THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and TRON LEGACY.



by DJ MacHale

In Stores Now


Earth is in danger! Without a renewable source of clean energy, our planet will be toast in less than a year. There are 6 essential elements that, when properly combined, create a new power source. But the elements are scattered throughout the galaxy. And only a spaceship piloted by children can reach it and return to Earth safely. First the ideal team of four 12-year-olds must be chosen, and then the first element must be retrieved. There is not a mistake to be made, or a moment to lose. The source is out there. Voyagers is blasting off in 3, 2, 1…

About the Author:

D.J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon, Morpheus Road, the SYLO Chronicles. He has written, directed and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?; Flight 29 Down and Tower of Terror. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California. djmachalebooks.com


by Robin Wasserman

In Stores November 3rd


The Alpha team has been chosen and they’ve already snagged the first element on planet J-16. The second is hidden on Meta-Prime, a planet filled with metal mazes, catapults of fire, and warring alien robots. But what our Voyagers don’t know is that there is another ship, the Omega team, following hot on their trail…

Author Bio:

Robin Wasserman is the author of several acclaimed books for children and young adults, including The Waking Dark, The Book of Blood and Shadow, Hacking Harvard, the Cold Awakening Trilogy, and the Chasing Yesterday Trilogy. A former children’s book editor, she lives and writes (and frequently procrastinates) in Brooklyn, New York. robinwasserman.com, @robinwasserman.


BOOK 1: PROJECT ALPHA BY D.J. MacHale [out now]

BOOK 2: GAME OF FLAMES BY Robin Wasserman [11/03/15]

BOOK 3: OMEGA RISING BY Patrick Carman [01/05/16]

BOOK 4: INFINITY RIDERS BY Kekla Magoon [03/01/16]

BOOK 5: ESCAPE THE VORTEX BY Jeanne DuPrau [03/01/16]

BOOK 6: THE SEVENTH ELEMENT BY Wendy Mass [05/03/16]


Learn more at Voyagers HQ

Follow the authors on Twitter:
@PatrickCarman | @DJMacHale | @RobinWasserman