Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lore Master by Robbie Cox

Title: Lore Master
Author: Robbie Cox
Genre: Fantasy
Published: August 31, 2016
Pages: 300


After the implosion of Harvest Fellowship, Rhychard is feeling lost without Renny. Luckily for him, the faerie world has calmed down some and he's been able to get back to a normal routine. That is, until Lore Master Taryen's apprentice shows up at his moving truck wanting to write down the history of his life. Calm is thrown out the window as Rhychard starts suffering from visions of fire that leave real burns on his body, gets visited by a dark elf that says he wants to help him stay alive, and now Rhychard is seeing…ghosts? So much for his normal routine.


I was at the local Renaissance festival this past fall when a rather skinny man with pointy ears shoved a copy of this book into my hands. I tried to pay for it, but he ran off without a word. I'm sure he was just one of the actors though, in costume for the faire and all that. I didn't really have any intention of actually reading the book, because my TBR list is eleventy million miles long, but it kept calling to me, and I finally stopped resisting when it said "Ye slatternly whore, ye cain't resist me forever." It was a pretty powerful argument. 

Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I literally could not put the book down. It was attached to my hands as if by glue or something, which made going to the bathroom and feeding myself quite the trick. Thankfully the pages turned themselves so I didn't have to worry about that. But that gave me the incentive to get through the book quickly in the hopes that once I reached the end I'd be able to put it down. (I was, otherwise I would not be able to type this right now.) 

I wish I could say that I was really drawn into the story, because it would have made reading it that much faster, but sadly that was not the case. See, that elf guy who gave me the book made a mistake in giving me the second book in a series, so I was completely lost for large portions of this book. There were so many things that I feel like I should have already been familiar with or known, that I just didn't. Honestly, what kind of idiot gives someone a book from a series and makes it not the first one? 

Overall I give Lore Master 2.5 out of 5 stars. I really wanted to like the book, but I just couldn't. 

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About the Author

Robbie can be found on his back porch enjoying a cigar, a scotch, and a good story. He derives pleasure from his large family and his crazy group of friends that provide the inspiration for his blog The Mess that Is Robbie Cox. He writes fantasy, erotica, mystery, and memoirs and when he is not writing, he is out Messing through adventures with those he cares about.

He is the author of the urban fantasy Warrior of the Way series as well as the erotic romance, Losing Faith, the first in the Rutherford Series.

Alternate Reviews

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Ghosts of King Henry's Past by Matt "Grumpybritches" Schiariti

Title: Ghosts of King Henry's Past
Author: Matt "Graumpbritches" Schiariti
Genre: Horror/Paranormal
Published: February 31, 2016


Seth Gabriel thought life would get easier for him after dealing with his little demon issue a few years ago. Although his life wasn't exactly what he had thought it would be by this age, it was pretty good.
That is, until Jamie brought home the weirdest looking cat he'd seen in his life. (The thing had like 5 extra toes or something!) But that wasn't even the worst of it. The cat was King Henry, and not just in name. The thing was possessed by the ghost(s, he wasn't exactly sure) of at least one of the dead monarchs.

When cats start showing up in his backyard headless, Seth knows he needs to exorcise the ghosts from his new pet, or face the wrath of the neighborhood. But will King Henry be the same without his ghostly guests?


I hacked into the author's computer to obtain a copy of this book (don't ask me to send it to you because THAT would be unethical.) There were just so many hints and whispers about it's existence that I just had to know what all the hype was about. And boy am I glad I did.

This book had it all! Ghosts, cats, attempted exorcism. It was almost like a full on Chuck Tingle experience without all the gay sex. What more could a girl ask for (aside from a million dollars, a mansion, and enough diamonds to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, but I don't see any of those things happening for me any time soon.)

This story really sucked me in. The idea that the name you can choose for your pets can influence their behavior, and possibly invite in unwanted "guests" was unique and intriguing. It kind of makes me regret naming my cat Attila the Hun. But it also made a certain amount of sense, and the way it was woven into the story was masterful. Matt Schiariti is truly a word magician.

And then the ending, y'all, it broke my freakin' stone cold heart. I don't want to say too much because spoilers, but there was definitely a river of tears that the dams of a hundred beavers couldn't even stop. Just buy stock in Kleenex and have your tissues handy.

Overall Ghosts of King Henry's Past gets one million stars because it was just that good.

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To purchase a copy of this book, you will have to go post on Matt Schiariti's Facebook page letting him know that you want this book. Make sure you let him know that King Henry sent you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ghosts of Demons Past by Matt "Grumpybritches" Schiariti

Author: "Matt Graumpbritches" Schiariti
Genre: Horror
Published: June 10, 2013
Pages: 351


“Well, Mr. Gabriel. What do you know about…demons?”

For most people, that’s a question that never comes up. Medium Seth Gabriel isn’t most people and for him, it’s another normal day in an abnormal life.

It’s bad enough that his love life has seen better days but his personal problems are only the half of it. Seth’s ghost hunting business, SG Cleaning Services hasn’t seen a client in weeks and he’s desperate for a paycheck. Things look up when two potential clients seek him out.

Courtney Reeves hires Seth to investigate a paranormal disturbance in her home. On the surface it’s a run of the mill cleaning job but when you deal with the dead for a living, there’s no such thing as routine. The close of the case is the start of even bigger problems and Seth will find that, while there’s nothing to fear from the dead, the living are another story.

When the nervous and persistent Evan Gallagher enters his life, Seth sees the promise of a big payday. There’s only one catch. The wealthy lawyer thinks his wife is possessed by a demon. Seth doesn’t believe in demons…not anymore, but the money is too good to turn down. Is Evan crazy or is he one hundred percent sane? As Seth digs deeper, he’ll ask the same question of himself.

For a guy who’s coasted through life on not much more than Greek takeout, tequila, and attitude, Seth’s going to have to dig deep to survive what will turn out to be a very bad week.


A copy of this book mysteriously appeared in my house a couple weeks ago. I ignored it at first, but I swear that damn thing was following me around the house. It just kept popping up wherever I was, like freakin' magic or something. Then one day, I was sitting on the toilet dropping a deuce, and there the book was. I figured since I had some time on my hands, I may as well start reading it. I didn't get off the pot for thirty minutes, but that had nothing to do with getting caught up reading the book. 

As I read further into the book, I realized that Seth and I had a lot in common (I wasn't on the pot for thirty minutes for nothing. Greek takeout and tequila just don't agree with me like they used to.) And I'm willing to do just about anything for money. Well, within reason. (I may or may not have been paid to write this review.) It's also quite possible that I'm insane. I don't know for sure though, I've never been formally tested. 

I did have a few issues with the book though. There was a serious lack of cats and platypires included in the storyline, two things which vastly improve pretty much any story in which they're included. They should definitely be more heavily featured in the sequel that I have it on good authority Matt will be writing very shortly. 

In the end, I'm glad I started reading this book, because the trip was ultimately enjoyable, I suppose. I give it 3.14159 stars. 

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About the Author

Matt Schiariti is an Engineer by profession, guitar legend in his own mind, and would-be author, time permitting. When he’s not writing, he’s reading. When he’s not reading, he’s enjoying a beer sporting a fancy name on the label. When he’s not enjoying a fancy-named beer, he’s most likely reading some more. Sometimes he does all three at once, to disastrous effect. Matt lives in southern New Jersey, with his wife, two children, insane dog, curious guinea pig, and three reclusive hermit crabs. He is currently working on another novel as well as several short stories. Ghosts of Demons Past is his first full-length book, but not his last. You have been warned. Here are some links should you want to find out more about what he’s up to or just say hi. 
Official blog, ‘Overly Verbose’ : http://mattschiariti.blogspot.com/ 

Alternate Reviews

Monday, March 13, 2017

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

Author: Robert Eggleton
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: March 11, 2012
Pages: 284


Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn't great. But Lacy has one advantage -- she's been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It's up to her to save the Universe. 

To prepare Lacy for her coming task, she is being schooled daily via direct downloads into her brain. Some of these courses tell her how to apply magic to resolve everyday problems much more pressing to her than a universe in big trouble, like those at home and at school. She doesn't mind saving the universe, but her own family and friends come first. 

Will Lacy Dawn's predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family? 

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children's story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.


I found a copy of this book while I was dumpster diving last Saturday. I find the mostly blue cover to be very appealing since blue is my favorite color and I always find myself drawn to blue things (that's really the only reason I even took the book from the dumpster. I do have some standards.) 

This book was bizarre. Honestly, it was crazier than Tom Cruise jumping on a couch to proclaim his love for Katie Holmes on Oprah, and I think we all know how crazy that was! Every time I thought I was finally getting a handle on what was going on, the story went off in some new, weird direction and I was left to try to find my bearings once again. I don't normally get motion sick, but all these loops made me want to vomit. 

On top of that, this book was just really out of this world, and not in a good, the Force is with you, kind of way either. It was more of a you're a janitor who just accidentally launched yourself in a spaceship, knocking out communications with NASA in the process kind of way. An intergalactic train wreck if you will. 

Overall I give Rarity From the Hollow 2 out of 5 stars (it's got that blue cover going for it after all.) 

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About the Author

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Alternate Reviews

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Flame Caller by Jon Messenger

Author: Jon Messenger
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: September 9, 2013
Pages: 342



White Halls is no longer a sleepy little town. Its houses lie smoldering on their foundations. The residents take refuge in their homes, afraid to leave. And the town’s prodigal son and newest Wind Warrior, Xander Sirocco, has fled.

Xander survived the first assault on his life by the Flame Caste, but it’s at a great personal cost. He and Sammy are left to bury his family and tend to his grandfather, who lies in a coma.

With the weight of the world on his shoulders, he can’t help but feel the fight against the Fire Caste is hopeless. It seems that way, that is, until he learns of a secret race of Elementals, embodiments of the elemental powers that the different castes wield. With the power of the Elementals comes a chance to save not just the Wind Warriors and Sammy, but the world itself.

Emboldened, he sets off to find the Wind Elemental and with it, the hope for his survival. Too bad no one has seen the Wind Elemental in generations and now thinks she’s just a myth. As he quickly learns, however, the Fire Elemental isn’t a myth. It’s real and it has a secret plan for his girlfriend. 

And it won’t stop until Xander is dead.


So I went to the store the other day to pick up a 36 count package of Jimmy Dean sausages, and all I ended up getting was this book. I tried to feed it to my husband for breakfast, and he was just not having it, so I decided to read it instead. Sure, the page edges were a little crispy after frying, but I feel like that just added to the aesthetic of the book. 

I was expecting this book to have a lot more death in it than it did. The biggest disappointment is that there were no Katie deaths in this book, and books in which a Katie dies are far superior to other books, in my opinion. I'm also a bit disappointed that there weren't more people running around in flames. A couple major missed opportunities there. 

Overall, I give Flame Caller 3 out of 5 stars, because even though it was better as a book than as a 36 count package of sausages, it was only kind of meh because of the lack of people in flames and people named Katie dying. 

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About the Author

Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through multiple combat and humanitarian deployments. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.

Alternate Reviews

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Gathering Water by Regan Claire

Author: Regan Claire
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: January 25, 2014
Pages: 276


Della Doe Deare isn't like most people. Most people begin their life on the day they enter the world; the day they're born. Della, well, hers began on the day she turned eighteen. After all, it was the day she first heard her real name, and that of her mothers. With nothing but a couple of duffel bags and a folder full of questions, she travels home to coastal North Carolina to claim the house she inherited from a grandmother she never knew. She has two goals: discover why her mother ran away from home all those years ago, and avoid the family that had left her to rot in an inept foster care system. Hard to do when the family she's been trying to avoid is dragging her into an unimaginable world... a world on the brink of war, and both sides want her dead. All Della ever wanted was to know who she was, but the journey to self-discovery might just lead to her destruction.


I'm not going to lie to you. I stole a copy of this book from a small local bookstore when the old shopkeeper wasn't looking. It was his book. He'd been reading it when I came in the store to hide from some bullies that were after me, or maybe they were after someone else, but I was scared, so I ducked into the shop to get away. 

This book says it's by someone named Regan Claire, but you can't fool me. I recognize the emblem from The Neverending Story when I see it, and that's why I just had to have this book. But maybe this part of the story IS by this Regan Claire person, and that's okay, I guess. It makes sense that a story that never ends would have more than one author after all. Anyway, on to the story. P.S. Potential spoiler alert. 

So this girl Della inherits a house when she turns eighteen, because that totally happens all the time right, and all she wants to do is find out why her mom left her. It was super obvious to me from the beginning that her mom didn't choose to leave, but when Bastian couldn't think of a new name for her, she basically just vanished, you know. Because that's what happens when the children of the world stop using their imaginations, and frankly with the advent of iPads and YouTube, I don't think children these days even know what an imagination is. 

I still felt super bad for Della. Losing your mother as a child has to suck, and then finding out that you have family that could have rescued you from foster care but didn't. I'd want to avoid those jerks too. Then being drawn into a strange world to fight the Nothing would really just be the icing on the shit cake. 

Overall I give Gathering Water 5 out of 5 stars because you just can't give part of The Neverending Story less than 5 stars. 

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About the Author

A Tidewater girl born and bred, Regan Claire’s first friend and love was the Atlantic. Growing up being told legends about pirates and American Natives common in coastal VA and NC, coupled with being an only child, did wonders for her imagination; she’s had one foot in fantasy-land ever since, a trait her closest friends heroically endure (and one she secretly hopes her two daughters have inherited). She moved inland to Nashville when she was entering tweenhood, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t miss her childhood playmate and it’s crashing waves. Nashville has her perks though, and Regan’s proud to be raising her children in Music City. She loves fairy tales, teen movies, and is constantly late.

Feel free to email me at: ReganClaire.feedback@gmail.com, or visit my website at www.reganclaire.com.

Alternate Reviews

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: October 1993
Pages: 306


Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law—as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees—with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting—to help figure out who and why. 

Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along—yet. This popular series has a wild energy and humor, and some very appealing characters—both dead and alive.


A mysterious stranger gave me a copy of this book when I was living in a van down by the river. He said it would change my life. I don't want to say he was right, but about 2 minutes after I finished reading the book, I got a call on the cell phone that I didn't even know I owned offering me a job as Channing Tatum's personal baby oil applier. And the rest is history. 

So the book itself got off to a really weird start. Like, I don't know why Anita Blake is a vampire hunter. It's not like Buffy who desperately needs to kill the vampire army that is being created in her hometown. Vampires are a protected endangered species in this story, so it's more like True Blood. I wanted to like her, but I don't like vampire hunters who don't kill vampires. If I was a vampire hunter, you better believe all those vampires would be dead, like dead dead. Stakes through the heart, garlic shoved in their mouths dead. 

I tried really hard to picture myself in Anita's shoes, and I think I succeeded...I'm not sure why she raises the dead and hunts vampires in boots with six inch stiletto heels, but I put myself in them (and then proceeded to fall flat on my face because I just can't do six inch stiletto heels anymore.) If I could actually raise the dead, I would definitely use that power to terrorize ex boyfriends for...reasons. I feel like that was a missed opportunity for Anita. 

Although the book was really just kind of meh for me, it DID change my life as promised, so it gets 3 out of 5 stars. 

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About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut October 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.

Alternate Reviews

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