Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book Review: The Zombie Always Knocks Twice

                                     Today's review is on The Zombie Always Knocks Twice by E. Van Lowe

As far as YA books go, this one is pretty good. Filled with the usual drama you would expect from a female outcast's perspective, Lowe has been able to add his own flair of paranormalacy.

Kristine "Kris" Golden is different. And it's not just her mixed heritage. As though being half Caucasian and half African American wasn't bad enough, she has this "gift." That is, if you can call being able to raise the dead a gift. But raising the dead is just half of the problem. She also has a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest.

It's been pretty quiet all in all though. Sure she's still bombarded by the various spirits wandering her Hollywood stomping grounds, but there hasn't been a true deadie bothering her for some time. That all changes however when she comes across three in a span of a few days.

Now Kris has to solve the possible murder of a cheerleader, defend herself from a love struck Zombie, and not fall in love with the handsome Alex Romero. Oh yeah, they are all dead, and she'll have to lay all three of those "people" to rest. Eventually.

Lowe's experience shines through with The Zombie. Though I feel that the characters of Talia, Ann Marie, Randy, and her father were weak in this first installment, there is room for their growth as the series continues.

No sex, no explicit violence, just some good wholesome fun for young readers who have an affinity for the paranormal.

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Hollywood California, Swimming pools, movie stars… and now the risen dead
Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business.

When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him.  If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’ door, rocking her world and threatening her family.

Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into… Hollyweird?

About the Author:

E. Van Lowe is an author, television writer, screen-writer, playwright and producer who has worked on such TV shows as "The Cosby Show," "Even Stevens," and "Homeboys In Outer Space." 

He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. His first YA Paranormal novel, "Never Slow Dance With A Zombie," was a selection of The Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an American Library Association Award.  His Best Selling novels, “Boyfriend From Hell” and “Earth Angel,” are the first two books in the Falling Angels Saga.  “The Zombie Always Knocks Twice” is the first book in his Hollyweird series.

E lives in Beverly Hills California with his spouse, a werewolf, several zombies and a fairy godmother who grants him wishes from time-to-time.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

6 Days until the release of This Blackened Night, The Order: Book 3!

Every author has a set of characters more dear to their hearts than any others. In most cases, this stems from these characters being among the first ever created. I won't claim Lori and Terrence were my very first, but they did come close. Their first book, Stalking Shade, which released in 2011, was originally written in 2007. And rewritten. And rewritten.

And now it feels like a dear friend is moving away. With the release of This Blackened Night on September 24th, 2012, the trilogy will come to an end. Lori might be a prickly character, not easy for anyone but Terrence to love, but I had a lot of fun with her. When I wrote this third book late last year, I dragged my feet to see it finished for the same reason. I didn't want to let the pair of them go. A not-so-secret part of me is hoping for an overwhelming response from readers asking me to continue so I have an excuse to revisit my favorite characters.

For now, I'm counting down the days until the third book releases. Maybe you'll fall in love with Lori and Terrence every bit as fiercely as I have. Lori might be stubborn in pushing people away, but Terrence is the most persistent character I've ever written. Good thing, too.

Join me in celebrating the release of the third book a bit early with this short, sweet teaser excerpt:

This Blackened Night by L.K. Below

With murders cropping up all around, who should she trust?

After months of searching, Lori finally scrounges up a clue as to the whereabouts of the missing leader of her secret organization. But her vision isn't encouraging--it points to her vampire companion Terrence as the culprit.

Terrence is adamant that he isn't at fault. Even though she knows she might be walking into a trap, she follows his lead to a shabby island port. When her informants start turning up dead with puncture wounds in their necks, Lori wonders just how well she knows Terrence. And why does he act different during the search than in their hotel room?

Lori doesn't know who to trust anymore. She only hopes that she won't be the next victim.

Seven Sweet Sentences from the book:

She ran her fingers over Terrence’s jaw. It was rough with stubble. Who knew vampires had to shave? She lowered her mouth to his slack lips, hoping. Still no vision. When she pulled back, he remained asleep, thank God.

Would she ever know what the vision had meant?

Do you want to win a copy of the first book in the series, Stalking Shade? Comment below with your email address before September 20th, 2012 at 11:59PM EST. Contest open worldwide. Winner announced on September 21st.

Learn more about the series as a whole on the Lyrical Press, Inc. website:

Read a longer excerpt from This Blackened Night at

Bio: If L.K. Below gets far too attached to her characters, well, that's because they're interesting people. Read two of her favorites in her urban fantasy series, The Order. Join her online at to learn more. Want to keep up to date with her tour stops? Follow her on Twitter ( or Facebook (

Book Review: The Devil is a Gentleman

        Today's review is on The Devil is a Gentleman by J.L. Murray

The Devil is a Gentleman is the second book in the Niki Slobodian series, and though I enjoyed it very much, I wanted to see more in the way of Niki's relationship with Sam. I mean, am I the only one that wants these two to get together? It's all there, I can see it coming; I think. I just don't want to wait to book four to get there.

Anyway, book two picks up right where we left our heroine. Hating her father for what he had become, but loving him just the same. But did she really know her father? In Gentleman, Niki finds out the truth about her him when she learns about The Blood.

The Blood is a group of twelve powerful individual's that even Sam want's Niki to avoid. But when the person responsible for The Registry, the one man who ruined your life, comes to you, an "abby" for help, how can you NOT get involved. It's only when Niki learns about how her father and her sister were treated, and continue to be treated by The Blood, does she begin to understand why Sasha did what he did.

But there's a war brewing. A war between Heaven and Hell, and Niki's actions will bring the deciding factor into play. Will Niki's "do-gooderness" win out in the end? We'll have to wait for book three to actually find out.

FYI, Gentleman is NOT a stand alone book. You will understand the overall concept better if you read the first book; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, first. My only complaint is that I would really like to see a bit more romance for Niki. (I vote for Sam, just in case you're wondering)

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: An Echo Through The Snow

     Today's review is on An Echo Through the Snow by Andrea Thalasinos

With all of the hype surrounding the release of this book, I was expecting to be carried away on a fantastic journey. Sadly this was not the case. Though there are parts of the book that I did enjoy, An Echo Through the Snow has some serious flaws.

First off, for a book of this size, I should have a firm understanding of the major players. However, as it's written, I don't get a real "feel" for the Chukchi people, let alone Jeaantaa or Tariem. In fact, I have more questions regarding their relationship than not. Questions that should have been answered by the end of the book.

And speaking of relationships, why even put in another dysfunctional "love" for Rosalie only to kill him off?? That relationship could have not only been developed better, but it could have resolved some issues for Rosalie.

I've never been to Siberia, so I want to see, smell, and feel it through the author's description of it. Unfortunately this didn't happen either.
A friend of mine once said that you have to "visualize what you are writing about. Close your eyes and think about what you smell. What you feel. What is going on around you?" Then open your eyes and write about it." This is something that perhaps the author needs to work on.

These are just but a fraction of reasons why An Echo Through the Snow didn't meet my expectations. I'm sure others may love it, for me it's just average.

3 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: Believe Like a Child

                                                   Today's review is on Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth

Believe Like a Child has got to be the most amazing book I have ever had the pleasure of reading.  It's not only inspirational, it's also heart wrenching, educational, and thought provoking.  This book is NOT intended for children, as it tells the tale of sexual and emotional abuse of a child and her continued journey of victimization.  Though not written like a erotic novel, the author does not hold anything back, and it is graphic.  I guarantee, that once you finish this book, its message of courage and perseverance will stay with you for a very long time.

Alessa; who's name was chosen by her grandmother and means "Defender of Mankind", is the youngest of four children in her family.  Growing up with a father who is emotionally absent and a mother who seems to enjoy playing the victim, Alessa's only comfort is her loving grandmother.  So when grandma passes away; when Alessa is six, she is devastated.  While everyone else in her family paid her no attention, her grandmother adored her and made her feel special and loved.  Thankfully she had her Uncle Danny.

Uncle Danny flawlessly took the place of grandma in Alessa's world.  He would spend more time with Alessa than with her other siblings, and he would spoil her with gifts, love, and affection.  But Uncle Danny had ulterior motives, and a dark secret.  Uncle Danny was a pedophile.

At the age of seven, Alessa is surprised to find Uncle Danny in her bedroom.  She couldn't understand why the uncle that she thought was her "protector" could rape her.  And as the rape continued to occur, Alessa became withdrawn, finding an escape within her mind somehow.  There was no one she could turn to, even after she told her mother of the abuse.

Finally fleeing her home at the age of 17; with the help of her BFF's mother, Alessa finds herself living in a really bad neighborhood where she is attacked by four guys.  Thankfully she is "saved" by her new BFF's brother.  But even this savior isn't what he seems.

Thrown into the world of sex, Alessa becomes an exotic dancer and prostitute before fleeing once again from a horrible life.  She ultimately ends up living in shelters or on the street.  But Alessa never looses hope that there is a better life out there waiting for her.  She just has to "do what she has to do" to survive, and to get there.

But how could someone write a story like this and make it so profoundly life like?  By being a victim themselves.

At the age of seven, Paige Dearth was raped by her uncle.  And like many teens that suffer from sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse, she married young.  (Perhaps to the first man that showed her love and made her feel safe.)  She later became pregnant and found out that her husband was a heroin addict.  She then divorced and moved back to her home town, but the feelings of isolation and fear remained.  Paige defied the odds however, and is now happily married to her second husband.  Though she does have an MBA, Paige didn't feel fulfilled until writing this first novel at the age of 46.  But what a novel it is.  As far as Debut books are concerned, this has got to be one of the very best.  Though there were some inconsistencies and grammatical errors, the writing was exceptional.

Believe Like a Child is a story so compelling, you'll want to reach out and be that one person that provides that one random act of kindness that could change a life.  And, you'll want to tell everyone you meet to read this book so that it can change their lives too.  A random act of kindness in and of itself.  

5 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy Set


   Today's review is on Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy Set by Shoshanna Evers

There is no denying that Shoshanna Evers is deserving of #1 status for her Erotica writing.  Within just a few pages of this highly enjoyable trilogy set, I was fit to be tied up myself.  After just reading another BDSM novel where the male was the Domme, it was a welcome change to read Spanked, Denied & Collared where the whip was in the hands of a female Domme.

The BDSM scene wasn't something that ever crossed Blake's mine, that is, until he met Victoria.  Now he will do just about anything to see that smile on her face that tells him that he has pleased her, even if it means submitting completely to her.  There's no denying that everything his Mistress does turns him on, but each punishment and each encounter makes him question his very own sexual issues.

Each short in this book; including the extra, is so hot that you'll be needing a cold shower of your own to calm down.  The characters have real lives and real issues, adding a feeling of believability, which in turn makes it easier to fall in love with them.

I know I'll be adding more of Evers' books to my personal library.

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review: Blackstone & Brenwen

                                          Today's review is on Blackstone & Brenwen by: Andrew D Mellusco

What to add and what to take out of your manuscript have to be the hardest questions any new author must ask him/herself.  In the case of Blackstone & Brenwen there should have been more taken out.  Though the main story is both entertaining and exciting, there is just too much other "stuff" thrown into the mix, that I often heard my inner voice saying "blah, blah, blah" through the parts that, quite simply, just did not have to be there for anything but to take up pages.

Little Red Ridding Hood isn't so little anymore, but that doesn't mean her troubles with the Wolven population are over.  In fact, it is much worse now than when she witnessed her sweet grandmother & her parents get attacked.  She stands accused of murder, and she'll need the help of her childhood friend Elliot Blackstone to prove her innocence.

With the help of his new trainee Epona Brenwen, a Centaur,  his friend Vincent Traum, a Sandman, and a Fire-Nymph named Fury, Elliot; who is a Half-Angel, will uncover a conspiracy that will rock the very foundation of this fairytale world.

I did enjoy the primary story, as I said before, however, there were so many characters and so many tangents thrown in there, that it just seemed to go on and on.  What is a 354 page book could, in actuality, be 250 pages or less.  I have noticed that the second book in this series is already out there and available for purchase, unfortunately, I may not be one of those buyers.

3 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon