The Last Lumenian by S.G. Blaise

Story Summary:

She is a rebel. Lilla is fighting for the refugees’s freedom from oppression. The king, her father, lost touch with reality ever since Lilla’s mother died. Now everyone else is paying the price.

The arrival of Callum, a powerful Teryn general, complicates Lilla’s life. His presence leads to conflicted feelings and friction with Arrov, a handsome pilot and fellow rebel.

Her life is not what she imagined it to be. Not by far. Meddling gods, love interests and sudden magical abilities have no room in Lilla’s world, but that has become her new reality. No matter how hard she pushes them away, it’s too late. They all seek to control her anyway.

Now the Era War between two ruling archgods forces Lilla to act: accept who she really is magic and all; find true love; fulfill her destiny by defeating the Archgod of Chaos and Destruction before He finds her. The Last Lumenian.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/3gUBBcA

Kirkus Review:

A rebellious princess discovers magical abilities that help her take on a powerful enemy in this debut fantasy.

As the king’s daughter, 17-year-old Ma’hana Lilla of the planet Uhna is expected to obey. But Lilla strongly disagrees with her father’s policies, which keep refugees imprisoned in squalid camps even though Uhna is immensely wealthy thanks to mastering technology that’s combined with elemental magic. Lilla joins the rebellion, but events become complicated when Callum a’ruun, a general with the Teryn Praelium, arrives with a delegation. They’re seeking assistance from the 19 worlds of the Pax Septum Coalition, which Uhna leads. Although the Archgoddess of the Eternal Light and Order prevailed last time in the era wars, the Archgod of Chaos and Destruction is again gathering an army of corrupt fiends and servants. Besides politics, Lilla struggles with panic disorder, grief over her mother’s early death, and alarm over the control her new, young stepmother wields over the king. Callum is both irritating and attractive, complicating Lilla’s relationship with Arrov, a pilot who’s joined the rebellion. But all these local and personal difficulties pale beside the undeniable call of Lilla’s true nature, her untapped magical abilities, and her essential role in combating the Archgod. In her novel, Blaise deftly blends Lilla’s approachable, young present-tense voice with sophisticated worldbuilding, seen even in minor details. For example, guards still wear cutlasses because Uhna was founded by pirates, and Lilla’s island home is reflected in her favorite expletive: “Buckets of fishguts!” The plot’s many disparate ingredients—romance, war, politics, magic, technology, family tensions, theology, psychology—meld in a deliciously hearty bouillabaisse, helped by intelligent exposition, surprising revelations, believable conflicts, and strong character development. Everything builds to an exciting, dramatic, and satisfying conclusion.

A terrifically entertaining, complex, and original fantasy.
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/s-g-blaise/the-last-lumenian/

AWARDS:

2020 New York Book Festival
Winner: Romance
Honorable Mention: Science Fiction

2020 San Francisco Book Festival
Winner: Science Fiction

2020 Annual Best Book Awards
Winner: Best Cover for Fiction

2020 New England Book Festival
Winner: Science Fiction

2021 Independent Press Award
Distinguished Favorite: Fantasy

Author Info:

S.G. was born in a faraway land of castles, monarchies and fallen dictatorships. Hollywood movies were forbidden under the Soviet oppression during her childhood, but her dad smuggled them in anyway, risking his life so that his children could experience the magic and hope inherent in those stories. She watched rebellions unfold in real time. Journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean for love. She ended up in sunny California, where she is living her dream – writing stories and annoying family members.

Twitter – @SGBlaiseAuthor

Facebook – https://facebook.com/thelastlumenian

Instagram – @sgblaiseofficial

Ballet Orphans by Terez Mertes Rose

Book Summary:

It’s 1990, and New York soloist April Manning is trying to rebalance her world in the aftermath of her parents’ deaths. An offer to join the struggling West Coast Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer seems like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start—a new life in San Francisco, an exciting step up in her career, and the hope of a redefined sense of family. But the other dancers are wary, clannish and tight-lipped, particularly about an incident that hastened the departure of their beloved artistic director, leading to the arrival of his replacement, the young, inexperienced Anders Gunst. And no one wants to talk about Jana, a former company member who defiantly walked out rather than work under Anders. It is Jana herself who offers April hints, and even friendship, where she reveals a loneliness and hunger to belong that newly orphaned April well understands. But there is something troubling about Jana, and what April doesn’t know could prove deadly.

A prequel to the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, BALLET ORPHANS explores the work and sacrifices required to arrive at the highest tiers of the professional ballet world, coupled with the primal, universal desire to belong, to love and be loved, and the lengths we’ll go to protect those we call family.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/3aMriWH

Review:

Rivalries and power plays roil a San Francisco ballet troupe in this romance.

As a 24-year-old soloist at New York City’s dazzling American Ballet Theatre, April Manning is near the top of the ballerina heap when suddenly she loses everything: Her mother dies, and a Bolshoi-trained phenomenon steals her role and her boyfriend, Vincent, a handsome ABT dancer. April decamps to the seemingly friendlier climes of San Francisco’s West Coast Ballet Theatre, where her pal Anders Gunst, the brilliant new artistic director, makes her a principal. Alas, WCBT proves to be a snake pit. Anders faces a mutiny led by the domineering, Machiavellian dancer Dmitri Petrenko. Meanwhile, April struggles—the crowd boos her after one performance—and feels that she’s in cutthroat competition with everyone from the senior ballerinas to the company’s 16-year-old prodigy; in addition, she becomes the obsession of a sinister ex–WCBT ballerina fallen on hard times. The one bright spot is her romance with Russell, a nerdy childhood friend from Omaha who’s become the attractive director of a hot Silicon Valley startup. That relationship becomes complicated, though, when Vincent arrives to dance with April in Romeo and Juliet; he’s a superlative partner who makes her shine onstage but also a possessive, egomaniacal jerk. In this prequel to her Ballet Theatre Chronicles novels, Rose paints a vivid portrait of life in a cloistered dance company—one that’s seething with insecurities and antagonisms yet also capable of pulling together when the chips are down. April endures both the physical pain and social sacrifices required by her devotion to her craft, but she also basks in the sensual exhilaration of sublime performances, which Rose conveys in sharply observed but also exuberant prose: “See how you’re making my heart pound? I pantomimed, and took his hand, laying it on my chest….He lifted me and I draped myself over his shoulder with wanton abandon, every move imparting a feeling of joyous euphoria, absolute infatuation.”

A stimulating and entertaining tale in which passion and art intermingle.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/terez-mertes-rose/ballet-orphans/

Author Bio:

Terez Mertes Rose is the author of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles (OFF BALANCE, OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT, BALLET ORPHANS) and A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA. A former ballet dancer, her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Crab Orchard Review, Women Who Eat (Seal Press), A Woman’s Europe (Travelers’ Tales), Literary Mama and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She reviews dance performances for Bachtrack.com and blogs about ballet and classical music at The Classical Girl. (www.theclassicalgirl.com). She makes her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband and son.

The Twelve Realms by A.D. Sloane

Book Summary:

There are messages told through language.

There are messages told through symbols.

And there are messages told through terror.

Nabii Akachi, a young Moorish royal, unveils a series of cryptic messages and discovers her dreams are linked to an ages-old mystical prophecy with global implications.

The Twelve Realms is a historical re imagining that links kings and paupers, priests and soldiers, and shaman and witches in an epic adventure. Nabii is the key within a tapestry of intertwined people from Western Africa to the Far East and the British Isles who must join forces and find a weapon that will defeat the shadows prophesied to rise from the deep.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2USXkHd

Reviews:

Manhattan Book Review

The Twelve Realms by A.D. Sloane is a thrilling fantasy that carries readers on an epic quest to save humanity before time runs out and all of life is destroyed. From the very first page, Sloane creates such anticipation and a sense of urgency with her opening words: “In the mysterious tongue of my homeland/ Three words spoken, so pure, so sublime. Continuous whispers haunt me night after night/ Ni wakati wa. It is time. It is time. It is time.” Her writing is accessible and entertaining from the first to last page.

A.D. Sloane brings readers on a heroic adventure through numerous kingdoms and various explorations that are exciting and incredibly engaging. On this expedition, readers will meet an all-star cast of powerful heroes, crafty heroines, malevolent villains, and wicked scoundrels, all stocked with a litany of abilities. These capabilities appear in an array of situations that encourage the characters to grow or confront a deep sentiment once hidden or unknown. Sloane’s characters, which are well-rounded and diverse, are also filled with depth, and are relatable to readers across age groups and personal backgrounds. Some folks appear dangerous from their introduction but demonstrate true courage and valor when the need arises, whereas others that were at first perceived as champions will prove to have ulterior motives in time. The map and chart of clan members of the Twelve Realms at the beginning of the book provides readers with a visual reference of the domains and a clear outline of noteworthy individuals. Moreover, Sloane also includes a charming sketch of the Kingdom of Karacen for guidance and context to the narrative. This kingdom, in addition to many other stops along the way, will cleverly impress themselves upon the hearts of all those along for the ride. Readers will thoroughly enjoy traveling through the territories with Sloane’s characters, discovering the assorted differences and endowments between dominions.

Given the length of the text, an older reader will likely more appreciate the content and plot, although the frequent skirmishes and deep revelations in each chapter will hold the attention of any reader. In addition, the chapters are rather short and quickly move the narrative along. Readers familiar with texts such as The Lord of The Rings and other prominent action fantasy stories will thoroughly appreciate the fascinating tale Sloane has constructed. A.D. Sloane’s The Twelve Realms easily earns 5 stars and will quickly become a household favorite. Readers will anxiously await her next publication, eager to devour more by this mesmerizing author.

About the Author:

A.D. Sloane attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her B.S. in Occupational Therapy and DePaul University, where she earned her MPA. She has enjoyed a career as a development officer for nonprofits and universities where she focused on student advancement and K-14 outreach. She lives near Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two children.

http://www.adsloane.com

Death Do Us Part by Charles Salter

Book summary:

Remember those ground-breaking series from TV’s Golden Age which explored the frontiers of human consciousness and the dividing line between reality and other dimensions? Like those powerful stories, this new collection aims to bend your mind, squeeze your psyche, and maybe pluck a heartstring. Don’t each of us, at some point, walk that narrow line between love and loss… devotion and trust… treachery and betrayal… dream fulfillment or nightmare? Prepare yourself to enter our world of unique characters and experience their decisions to continue the path they’re on or open a door to new possibilities. What startling surprises may lurk just behind each door chosen?

These ten tales of mystery, suspense, and high-octane action aim to give you chills and make you wonder how to select the roads and doors in your own life.

  • Buddies Forever — In Vietnam, an American PFC awakens from grenade blast injuries and finds everyone calling him by his best buddy’s name.
  • A Lousy Way To Rye — Coming to consciousness at a bioterrorism incident site, the main character must figure out whether he is the special agent in pursuit — or the terrorist himself — before it is too late.
  • As His Excellency Wishes — In a small foreign country, Larry and his wife discover that a violent coup has occurred overnight and the new leader is someone his wife already knows quite well.
  • The Room — A disgruntled young loner kills a wealthy brother and sister, and a highly unconventional psychiatrist has only three days to determine whether it was an accident or murder.
  • Murder on Her Mind — Janet’s husband has seemed uncharacteristically attentive and considerate lately, but an alarmist friend tries to convince her that’s a bad thing.
  • The Herndon Secret — A brilliant but shy and klutzy physicist has four hours to help an intelligence agent rescue the agent’s wife and foil a devilish plot to take control of the very soul of the universe.
  • Time Conscious — What would make Elizabeth’s bedroom clock run fast and why do events seen from those two windows happen “early”?
  • That ASMR Girl — Why are top leaders at a secure Army base dropping like flies in front of their computers, and can Agent Radisson solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim?
  • Blade of Grass — Raising two granddaughters on their remote farm in 2026, Grandpa and his wife don’t see many visitors — so when a stranger does appear, it could mean big trouble.
  • The Caves Of Lonesanne Blu — On an isolated island, crippled war hero Lord Oonain risks all to save a beautiful young girl marked for death because she has vowed never to surrender her family’s sacred Blu-stone to the island’s ruler.

These are your ten journeys. But fair warning: be ready for some unexpected twists, hairpin curves, and sudden obstacles on this road!

Book Link – https://amzn.to/38HYeuY

Reviews:

San Francisco Book Review

Death Do Us Part, by brothers J.L. Salter and Charles A. Salter, is an anthology of the unusual. This short story collection is comprised of ten imaginative and tautly written page-turners, reminiscent of The Twilight Zone but with a new and fresh take. The stories contain well-drawn characters that keep readers rooting for them. Some have surprise endings or a mystery to solve, while others drop readers into strange and unfamiliar worlds. Each story is a carefully conceived wire-mesh gate that leads into a world where the bizarre and unpredictable happens. One cannot help but turn the page and be all in.

The book opens with “Buddies Forever,” a story about an American soldier in Vietnam. Everyone keeps calling him by his best buddy’s name. Their names are similar; Donahue vs. Donague (pronounced Don-ah-GHEE), but the men are polar opposites. What at first may seem like a simple mix-up turns into a mind-bender. In another military-themed story titled “That ASMR Girl,” an FBI agent is assigned a case on an Army base where leaders are dying under strange circumstances. But is he the right man for the job? “The Herndon Secret” is a well-paced thriller that amps up the tension. Two men must race against the clock to rescue an agent’s wife, and their back-and-forth banter provides some much-needed comic relief. “A Lousy Way to Rye” and “The Room” keep readers guessing who is the hero of the story. In “Murder on Her Mind,” an attentive husband is accused of attempting matricide by his wife’s best friend. “As His Excellency Wishes” provides a different kind of twist when a husband is surprised to learn that his wife already knows the leader of a violent coup. “Time Conscious” is a touching story that slows down the pace. An elderly woman relays an important incident that allowed her to see events in the future, thanks to her bedroom clock. “Blades of Grass” is set several years in the future and told from the point of view of an octogenarian farmer. When a stranger arrives on his remote farm, the farmer must determine whether he is a friend or foe. The book closes with “The Caves of Lonesanne Blu,” a fantasy tale with a crippled war hero who rescues a young woman marked for death.

The Salter brothers bring us a familiar style of fiction that imparts new wisdom to its readers. But proceed at your own risk. For those whose interests run weird, Death Do Us Part is a hard book to put down.

Reviewed By: Bobbie Peyton
https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/death-do-us-part/

About the Authors:

The authors are brothers who have published several books together, and each has published many others solo, both fiction and non-fiction.

Goodbye Homeboy by Steve Mariotti

Book Summary:

One sunny afternoon in 1982, a young businessman experienced a terrifying mugging in New York City that shook him to his core.

Tortured by nightmares about the teens who roughed him up, Steve Mariotti sought counseling. When his therapist suggested that he face his fears, Mariotti closed his small import-export business and became a teacher at the city’s most notorious public school–Boys and Girls High in Bed-Stuy.

Although his nightmares promptly ceased, Mariotti’s out-of-control students rapidly drove him to despair.

One day, Mariotti stepped out of the classroom so his students wouldn’t see him cry. In a desperate move to save his job, he took off his watch and marched back in with an impromptu sales pitch for it. To his astonishment, his students were riveted. He was able to successfully lead a math lesson for the first time.

Mariotti realized his students felt trapped in soul-crushing poverty. They saw zero connection between school and improving their lives. Whenever Mariotti connected their lessons to entrepreneurship, though, even his most disruptive students got excited about learning.

School administrators disapproved of Mariotti discussing money in the classroom, however. He was repeatedly fired before receiving one last-ditch assignment: an offsite program for special-ed students expelled from the public schools for violent crimes.

The success Mariotti had with these forgotten children—including coverage in the Daily News, The New York Times, and World News Tonight—inspired him to found the nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth.

By turns tragic and hilarious, Goodbye Homeboy shares Mariotti’s flaws and missteps as he connects deeply with his troubled students, and woos the most influential people in the world into helping them–saving himself in the process.

Today, Mariotti is widely recognized as the world’s leading advocate for entrepreneurship education. More than one million young people from Chicago to China have graduated from NFTE programs, and NFTE counts Sean Combs, Chelsea Clinton, Diana Davis Spencer, and many more business, entertainment, and community leaders among its staunchest supporters.

As Goodbye Homeboy powerfully illustrates, a spark of hope really can empower us to overcome life’s greatest hardships.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2T2ibbH

Reviews:

“Steve Mariotti is one of the great teachers of our time. In this deeply personal memoir, he describes how a bunch of high-school dropouts in the South Bronx helped him discover the power of entrepreneurship education. Goodbye Homeboy is a page turner—once you open this book, you won’t be able to put it down.”

—Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up and founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization

“I’m so inspired to finally read the inspiring, intense, and hilarious story behind the organization that helped me so much as a high schooler. NFTE taught me entrepreneurship skills that I still use to this day, as the CEO of a company that employs thousands and is transforming the real-estate industry.”

—Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass

“So many personal stories today are described as ‘inspiring,’ but Goodbye Homeboy is the rare true story that genuinely transcends the word. Steve Mariotti’s memoir conveys the heart, soul, and determination that has catalyzed the lives of so many young people.”

—Ray Chambers, World Health Organization Ambassador for Global Strategy

About the Author:

Steve Mariotti is the founder and former CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and an advocate for entrepreneurs worldwide. His previous books include the Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, which makes a convincing case for the power of entrepreneurship education to combat poverty, terrorism and totalitarianism. Mariotti is also the author of award-winning junior, high-school and college textbooks on entrepreneurship and small business management. He is a popular Huffington Post blogger.

In 1982, Mariotti left a successful business career to become a public high-school teacher in tough New York City neighborhoods like East New York, Bed-Study, and Fort Apache in the South Bronx. Frustrated at first by his rowdy classrooms, Mariotti discovered he could motivate even his most challenging students by teaching them how to run a small business. This experience inspired him to create NFTE in 1987 to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth, and empower them to create pathways out of poverty. Today, NFTE is widely considered the leading provider of entrepreneurship education to low-income youth worldwide.

Debra Devi is an award-winning author, journalist and musician based in Jersey City NJ. She has co-authored numerous books with Steve Mariotti, including The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business, How to Start and Operate a Small Business, winner of the Golden Lamp Award for excellence in educational publishing, and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto. Devi’s book The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu (foreword by Dr. John) received the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. As a journalist, Devi has written for Investor’s Daily, American Banker, Crain’s New York, The Village Voice, RollingStone.com, Guitar World and more. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Devi performs internationally and received a proclamation from Jersey City for her contribution to the arts.

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids by SB Hilarion

Book Summary:

After immersing themselves in mantras in I AM Manifesto, young siblings Hao Finley and Sabine Yi Lee are on their journey of seeking knowledge from around the world. In Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids, these philomaths not only learn about words from their own and other cultures and countries, they absorb new facts about stuff they thought they knew. Name the subject, they’re sharing: science and math (big, uncomplicated check!), different languages (“oui, sí, shì” check!), environmental awareness (layered-atmosphere check!), etiquette (thank you, check!), music (treble clef check!), international cuisine (lots of yummy checks!), and many more. Shared with wit.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2OvMJzZ

Review:

Readers’ Favorite:

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is a nonfiction educational book for children written and illustrated by SB Hilarion. Hao Finley Lee (HF) and his little sister, Sabine Yi Lee (SY) are philomaths, and they really enjoy it. What’s a philomath, you may wonder? According to the definition provided at the beginning of this book, a philomath is “a seeker of knowledge; a person who loves learning and studying new facts and acquiring new knowledge.” And by even picking up this book and reading through the first page or two, kids and adults alike will find themselves suddenly appreciating the concept that they might already be philomaths themselves.

Each chapter in this quite engrossing book covers a letter of the alphabet. No big deal, you say? Actually, it is. Along with learning the pronunciation and meanings of words that will dazzle parents, teachers and fellow students alike, readers are treated to entertaining snippets, drawings, and even some science as they read through this book. And while the thought of learning vocabulary usually makes even the most dedicated student yawn and start to feel drowsy, this book will achieve the exact opposite reaction in all but the truly undead zombies out there.

I love words and have always considered that I have a fairly strong grasp of vocabulary, at least English vocabulary, that is. SB Hilarion’s uniquely mesmerizing vocabulary primer had me questioning my actual credentials as a philomath from the very first page. I love this book! I enjoyed the presentations my two hosts, HF and SY, gave in each chapter, and I had to slow myself down to adequately digest all the data, drawings, humor and knowledge found on each page. This book is a sheer delight and will, no doubt, convert even the most abject despiser of vocabulary drills into a fellow philomath, one who easily uses the most amazing words and actually knows what they mean. Each word presented is given glorious, multicolor life, making learning an interactive and simply amazing experience. I hope that Hilarion, HF and SY are planning further books and eagerly await further learning adventures with them. Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is both humongous and cool — it’s also most highly recommended.

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/humongous-cool-words-for-kids

Author Bio:

SB Hilarion is the author and main illustrator of the narrative nonfiction children’s books in the Raising Young Scholars Series. The author of I AM Manifesto, Hilarion holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a law degree from Harvard University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, plus some deer who refuse to pay rent.

Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee

Book Summary:

Cordelia Lee has experienced something few in the Western world have even witnessed: exorcism. Demonic possession brought her to a Taoist shaman who could drive out her tormentors, but only temporarily. Cordelia’s problems were multifaceted: a troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, black magic, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression. Given the severity of her experiences and the return of the evil spirits, Cordelia had to dedicate her life to healing if she was ever to recover.

She had earlier experienced an unexpected kundalini awakening; it awakened her to the spiritual realm and the unseen energies that fill the universe. Things she used to think were illogical and nonexistent. But the spiritual realm that promised answers also held the ghosts that flooded her—and a much more human danger.

Not everyone had the kindness of the shaman who exorcised Cordelia. She met other teachers on her journey, and some of these gurus wanted to manipulate her with black magic. Discerning between helpful guides and wolves in sheep’s clothing proved challenging. Yet the promise of healing through earthly and spiritual means urged her forward. With the support of trustworthy friends, Cordelia would become a healer in her own right.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2p2vXxI

Review:

Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee is a memoir that reads like horror, and it’s hard to believe this is a true story, but the narrator’s voice is so real that the reader is compelled to accept the extraordinary events narrated in this memoir. Readers are introduced to a protagonist with a heap of problems — difficult childhood, molestation, attempted rape, black magic, anorexia, marital issues, and depression. Possessed, a shaman exorcises her, but is unable to completely banish the evil spirits. While Cordelia Lee seeks healing, she has an unusual experience of awakening — transported to a spiritual realm where she experiences the different energies in the universe. She could find answers to her quest for healing in this dimension, but this realm is also the dwelling of malevolent spirits. Can she beat the ruses of manipulative spiritual teachers who would use black magic to get what they want, find the tools she needs for her battles, and win her inner freedom? This is a story that exudes a rare kind of pathos and as the reader encounters young Cordelia Lee — a once happy and exuberant child — they become keen to find out what could possibly happen to her. They quickly learn to care about her.

The author has a unique narrative voice and knows how to make readers feel what she has felt. You’ll touch her fear; you’ll feel the chills run down your body as you connect with the images she conjures. While the writing might not be exceptional, the story is confidently told and the author has a voice that is original. Possessed: From Darkness to Light is a true story that gives hope to readers, making them understand that they can be masters of their destiny and that no matter how horrific their experiences in life, they can always choose to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. This is an engrossing story that will awaken all kinds of emotions in readers.

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/possessed

Author Comments about the book:

My personal memoir as a survivor of black magic and demonic possession, on top of other life challenges like troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression

This is the only personal memoir in the market of a real person who came out triumphant, positive and healed after a harrowing experience as a black magic victim and that of demonic possession.

Not to mention becoming a healer who helps others who suffer such torment.

Most victims end up diagnosed as schizophrenic and having to medicate themselves for life or end up being committed to a mental institution. Or they live a life of suffering till they are able to find salvation.

Author Bio:

Cordelia Lee lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband and their son. After overcoming depression and anorexia in her teens, Cordelia experienced a spontaneous kundalini awakening in her thirties. Although she had no prior training, she found herself able to perform vocal sound healing, which she has used to help others handle stress and heal.

Together with her husband Ket, they are meditation teachers. Their practice is nonreligious and not mainstream. The most important aspect of their work is to help and empower people to heal, especially those who have gone through ordeals like hers. Their work has taken them around Asia and Australia as they lead meditation sessions, retreats and workshops.

Cordelia is a firm believer in second chances and their availability to anyone who seeks them.

Lesath by A. M. Kherbash

Book Summary:

Amateur journalist Greg travels to a remote mountain area to investigate rumors of a sinister building only to find himself imprisoned there. As he tries to escape, he evinces symptoms of a strange affliction, and struggles to remain conscious while maintaining an uncertain hold on reality.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2A5KYBi

Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45173036-lesath

Advance Praise:

“Kherbash adroitly conjures an atmosphere of menacing uncertainty” — Kirkus Reviews

“An /X-Files/-esque read tinged with elements of /Shutter Island/, /Inception/, and the Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Every page will leave you questioning what is true and what shapes reality, what hides in the dark and what hides in our own inner depths. Are you brave enough to face Lesath? Are you brave enough to face yourself? Enter the shadowed halls of Duncastor, where dreams are reality, and reality tis but a dream.” — J. Aislynn d’Merricksson, San Francisco Book Review

Author Bio:
A. M. enjoys telling stories in one form or another. Born, and raised in Dubai, she worked as a graphic designer and art director for over ten years, during which her work was featured online and in print. Her writing desk doubles as her design studio, and when not working, she can either be found drawing, gaming, or reading. You can find more information at http://amkherbash.com/

The Misogynist by Steve Jackowski

Book Info:

George Gray, San Francisco-based reporter for the New York Sentinel, receives two similar emails an hour apart. One offers to expose well-known individuals who have criminally perverted use of the internet to enrich themselves. The other promises to murder women who have ruined the lives of technologists who were changing the world. Could they be the same person? Mike McKenzie, San Francisco homicide detective was frustrated by his last major case. He never caught the serial killer who targeted the clients of prostitutes in the Tenderloin. He’s hoping that this time, he’ll be more successful. Samantha Louis, unmarried psychiatrist who has finally decided to find a life partner, takes on a new patient, a technologist suffering from late-onset schizophrenia who was hospitalized after a psychotic episode. Could he or one of her other patients be the killer? George, Mike, and Sam are about to embark on missions that will disrupt their careers and their lives as they race to identify The Misogynist.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/31Og10o

 

Review:

George Gray receives a tip on a groundbreaking story. Coincidentally, he is also contacted by a serial killer alerting him to his plan to kill his first victim in a week’s time. George hands this information over to the police, and this marks the beginning of a joint effort to catch the killer.

The Misogynist is an exciting, fast-paced crime thriller cast in Silicon Valley. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The storyline is well developed and has no wasted characters. Everyone has a role to play, and they play it well.

My favorite character in the book is Janey, George Gray’s girlfriend. She is witty, funny, and extremely resourceful. The serial killer goes after women, and Janey is the exact opposite of the kind of woman the serial killer preys on. Not only does Janey help catch the killer, but she also brings balance to a narrative that portrays some women as selfish and opportunistic.

Author Steve Jackowski does a good job concealing the identity of the killer until the story reaches its climax. He does provide a few clues here and there, but you will never guess who the true killer is.

From the way he writes, you can tell that Jackowski has worked in technology and is familiar with Silicon Valley. In some ways, this book is an inside look into the lives of tech executives, if you were ever curious about them.

Dr. Louis is another one of my favorite characters. I found her most relatable among all the characters. She, too, has some theories on who the killer might be. Often, I found myself viewing things from her vantage point.

This is one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year. It had mystery and a good dose of suspense. I recommend it to anyone who loves mystery, crime, and thriller genres. The plotline is like no other, and the characters are well-rounded and believable.

If you find explicit language distasteful, you will enjoy this book. It steers clear of explicit language and is minimal in its description of explicit scenes, making it suitable for young adults.

The Misogynist isn’t just another crime thriller. It explores many themes that are relevant to this current cultural moment. Notably, it explores the misuse of the internet by actors who use it to make unfair gains while exploiting others. It also discusses the vast extent of modern-day slavery. You would be wrong to think that only the poor and destitute are vulnerable.

Reviewed By: Esther Wairimu
https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/the-misogynist/

 

Author Bio:

Born into a military family, Steve traveled extensively throughout the US and overseas, attending fifteen schools before graduating from High School. After studying mathematics, computer science, comparative literature and French at the University of California, Steve began his career with IBM as a software engineer. He later founded three successful high-tech start-ups.

A former competition hang glider pilot, Steve continues to surf, ski, kayak whitewater, and dance Salsa with his wife Karen whenever possible.

Steve divides his time between Santa Cruz, California and the Basque Region of France.

Find more info and his other books at http://www.stevejackowski.com/

Hostile Takeover by Cristelle Comby

Book Summary:

Moonlighting as Death’s earth-bound envoy, P.I. Bellamy Vale specializes in the weird, wacky, and slightly unhinged.

When a mysterious beast savagely mauls random residents of Cold City, the police assume that these are the killings of a rogue wolf. But experienced private investigator, Bellamy Vale, is unconvinced.

Ordered by Death herself to investigate, Vale has no choice but to obey for his boss is not someone to disappoint—if he wants to keep breathing, that is.

With friend and computer hacker Zian, interfering journalist Candice Kennedy, and homicide sergeant Melanie Ramirez by his side, Vale has no choice but to end the killings or face the wrath of the demon who literally holds his life in her hands.

Hostile Takeover is a fast-paced, edge-of-your seat paranormal mystery that will leave your heart racing, and have you looking over your shoulder.

WINNER Urban Fantasy Category in the 2019 Independent Press Awards

Book Link – https://amzn.to/2YGiatw

Amazon Review:

The PI trope has been done so many ways in urban fantasy, but it’s probably one of my favorites. Hostile Takeover adds another name to the detective game as Cristelle Comby writes a surprisingly well-done UF series debut. Toted as a paranormal mystery, noir fans will still get a kick out of Hostile Takeover as will fans of the Dresden Files.

Death’s own detective, Bellamy Vale isn’t just hard to kill. It turns out Vale is impossible to kill, unless “Lady McDeath” chooses it and she’s got plans for him.
Yeah, Death Incarnate really was every man’s dream. They call ’em femme fatales for a reason.
This doesn’t mean that Vale doesn’t see his share of beatings, because oh boy, does he. As the very archetype of the private detective, Vale has few true friends, is persona non grata of local law enforcement, yet truly believes in what he does. He’s a bit of a throwback in that he has his own set of rules yet he’s willing to get down and dirty. His own moral compass leads him, even as he skirts the gray area of law abiding. Vale is a knight in shiny cynism.

The other characters, Zian – hacker extraordinaire, and Kennedy – nosey reporter, fit their typical characterizations to a T. Yet in a trope so frequently done and characters who are so typically portrayed, there’s still such a great voice to Hostile Takeover. Add in Norse warriors, giant scorpions, Greek gods, and Egyptian goddesses, and gates to the Underworld, there is no lacking of adventure, chaos, and sarcastic charm. Hostile Takeover leaves us with a great many directions and pantheons from which to choose for the next book in the series. Hopefully, there will be many.

Author Bio:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.