Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Reading Wrap-up For May at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out May with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, BookmoochAmazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Rereads
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba
- Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
- The Wolf of Britannia Part I by Jess Steven Hughes

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Counterfeit Heiress by Tasha Alexander
- A Christmas Homecoming by Anne Perry
- A Christmas Escape by Anne Perry

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba
- Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
- Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 808
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was May. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Introducing The Last Vampire by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

I'm delighted to tell you all that Kathryn Meyer Griffith's EPIC EBOOK Awards  *FINALIST* for 2012 - the horror novel The Last Vampire - is currently $3.99 to download from Amazon. I have it on good authority - Ms. Griffith herself - that the Amazon sale will only last for a limited time. Since this is actually the first time that the book has ever been on sale, I would advise you all to take advantage of it while you still can!

I had the pleasure of reading Ms. Griffith's 2012 EPIC EBOOK Awards  *FINALIST* horror novel - The Last Vampire - back in December of 2010! Here is my review.

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

The Last Vampire by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 419 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

The Last Vampire Blurb: 

Emma, watching the world disintegrate around her, finds herself alone, her family dead, and fighting off an unnatural hunger as she becomes one of the undead. Defying her unwanted destiny, she is determined to resist the bloodlust and loss of humanity she feels, and deny the need to kill and feed on human blood, for as long as she can bear it. But she is so hungry and the night calls...

May you read well and often

Friday, May 27, 2016

Jess Steven Hughes - The Wolf of Britannia Part I

11. The Wolf of Britannia Part I by Jess Steven Hughes (2015)
The Sign of the Eagle Trilogy Book 1
Length: 321 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 1 May 2016
Finished: 27 May 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 26 April 2016
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Jess Steven Hughes is a new author for me.

Britain during the first century is a divided land - a fragmented and unsettled country populated by a myriad of warring Celtic tribes. Thus, it is also a land ripe for invasion from the military might of imperial Rome. Knowing that the Roman juggernaut would love nothing more than to subjugate Britain to the will of the Roman Empire, a young warrior prince must somehow unite his people.

The soon-to-be-legendary Prince Caractacus realizes that he must find a way to unite the southern tribes if they are all to survive. Imperial Rome is proving to be a cunning and strategic adversary; a dangerous enemy more threatening and powerful than either Caractacus or his people could possibly have imagined. Britain surely faces an epic battle for its very survival.

Standing beside the eminent Prince Caractacus is his wife, Rhian, a warrior princess who takes no prisoners. She is the first woman Caractacus has ever loved, and is also a force to be reckoned with in her own right. With her support and that of his other allies, Caractacus must outsmart Adminios - his traitorous older brother who is determined to take the throne. Adminios is aided in his devious plans by a conniving Roman diplomat and a tribal chieftain who is in the pockets of the Romans.

Caractacus' mission is a necessary one, but also incredibly difficult to fulfill. He must not only save his country from the pending onslaught of the Roman Empire, but also from a more insidious internal threat: his own people's treachery. As the various combatants begin to emerge from the shadows and prepare themselves for battle, Caractacus knows that he must succeed in his mission...or else die trying.

I have always enjoyed reading historical epics and The Wolf of Britainnia Part I by Jess Steven Hughes was no different. In my opinion, this story was well-developed and intriguing. At no point in the story did I feel like I was reading a dry, step-by-step historical account.

I found myself quickly immersed in the story and freely admit that I got lost in the plot. I really connected with many of the characters and I'm avidly waiting to find out what happens in the next installment of this trilogy. I give The Wolf of Britainnia Part I by Jess Steven Hughes an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Introducing Scraps of Paper by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

I'm delighted to tell you all that the first book in Kathryn Meyer Griffith's Spookie Town Mysteries Series - Scraps of Paper - is currently free to download from Amazon. Having said that, I would also like to remind you that the book will remain free to download for a very limited time! Ms. Griffith has one teeny, tiny, little favor to ask of you all. If you'd be kind enough to write a brief but honest review of the books in the series for her on Amazon, she would be absolutely delighted. Just email Ms. Griffith at rdgriff@htc.net, and she'll be happy to send you a complimentary copy of any of the books to read.

Scraps of Paper by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the first book in her Spookie Town Mysteries Series, and I had the pleasure of reading Book 2 in the series - All Things Slip Away - back in March of 2014! Here is my review. I'm delighted to say that I actually have Books 1 and 3 on my TBR pile as well, and I hope to read them some time soon. You can also download the other two books in the series - Check 'em out! ;)

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Scraps of Paper - Revised Author's Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 192 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Scraps of Paper - Revised Author's Edition Blurb: 

Abigail Sutton's beloved husband walks out one night, doesn't return, and two years later is found dead, a victim of a long ago crime. It's made her sympathetic to the missing and their families.

Starting her new life, Abigail moves to small town and buys a fixer-upper house left empty when old 
Edna Summers died. Once it was also home to Edna's younger sister, Emily, and her two children, Jenny and Christopher, who, people believe, drove away one night, thirty years ago, and just never came back.

But in renovating the house Abigail finds scraps of paper hidden behind baseboards and tucked beneath the porch that hint the three could have been victims of foul play. 

Then she finds their graves hidden in the woods behind the house and with the help of eccentric townspeople and ex-homicide detective, Frank Lester, she discovers the three were murdered. Then she and Frank try to uncover who killed them and why...but in the process awaken the ire of the murderer.


All Things Slip Away - Revised Author's Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 264 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

All Things Slip Away Blurb:

Ten years ago Frank Lester, a Chicago homicide detective, thought he had rid himself forever of the Mud People Killer who’d kidnapped and murdered six people. Frank had shot him as he’d fled through a snowy night; had killed him, he believed, though a body was never found.

But the killer wasn’t dead. He’d only been waiting to take his revenge on Frank and those he cares about now…ten years later. Frank retired early and is living back in his hometown of Spookie when the killer resurfaces to take up where he left off. Kidnapping more innocents and tormenting Frank and the people he cares about.

Unless Frank and his artist girlfriend, Abigail Sutton, can find and stop him before he kills more people and perhaps both of them.

Ghosts Beneath Us by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 343 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Ghosts Beneath Us Blurb:

Someone is terrorizing the elderly in a certain neighborhood in Spookie and vandalizing their homes. As usual, Abigail Sutton, a freelance artist, and her boyfriend Frank Lester, a retired homicide detective, are called in to help find out who’s doing these awful acts. The two seem to have an uncanny knack for unraveling mysteries and getting to the bottom of such strange happenings. 

Some of the old people think it’s ghosts in their basements, in their homes, doing these destructive deeds but Frank doesn’t believe in ghosts; while Abigail isn't so sure. Then the old folks begin to disappear one by one or to die suspiciously and Frank thinks there’s a sinister plan behind the crimes and is determined to uncover who or what is responsible. In the end, they, with a little help from their friend eccentric old Myrtle, must solve the mystery or more of the old ones in town might end up dead. Sequel to Scraps of Paper (Spookie Town Murder Mystery #1) and All Things Slip Away (Spookie Town Murder Mystery #2)

May you read well and often

Monday, May 23, 2016

Introducing A Time of Demons and Angels by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

I'm delighted to tell you all that the book that Kathryn Meyer Griffith calls "my masterpiece" - the apocalyptic thriller A Time of Demons and Angels - is currently $3.99 to download from Amazon. I have it on good authority - Ms. Griffith herself - that the Amazon sale will only last for a limited time. Since this is the first time that the book has ever been on sale, I would advise you all to take advantage of it while you still can!

I had the pleasure of reading Ms. Griffith's apocalyptic end-of-days horror novel - previously titled, Before the End: A Time of Demons - back in July of 2010! Here is my review.

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

A Time of Demons and Angels by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 525 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

A Time of Demons and Angels Blurb: 

The world has always been divided into good and evil…and some humans are called to fight for one or the other. If you’re called…would you fight?
Cassandra Graystone and others like her are born to battle the proliferating demons as the end-of-days approach. She is fated to receive the sword of the angels, warrior-beings who will stand beside her as she battles the demons for herself, her family, friends, and for the last remnants of humanity - for afterwards those remaining will have one last chance to save their souls. They must fight and they must win.

Since she was a child she knows and sees things other people don’t…when someone will die or when a demon lurks beneath a human skin. She sees them. Yet she craves a normal life singing out with her musician brother, Johnny, and caring for her elderly aunt and uncle; to be with her friends, Sarah, a psychic, and Walter, a carnival clown.

But when Sarah sees apocalyptic events in Cassandra’s tarot cards and demons are everywhere, Cassandra fears she’s either going insane or something terrifying is truly happening in the world. Rayner, an ancient blood demon is obsessed with her. Never having felt pity or affection for a human before he believes he loves her. The demon realm gathers for the final confrontation, Rayner warns.

The apocalypse comes. You and your friends must prepare. Cassandra flees that knowledge until an angelic being, Manasseh, tells her: Your powers will grow. Fight for humanity’s survival after the first wave is taken and seek out others like you. Persuade them to join the battle.

Only these chosen can see and challenge the demons until the end when all eyes will be able to see them. She doesn’t want her life to change, be anyone’s protector, doesn’t want to be a nomad who battles demons…until catastrophic events force her to and she can no longer deny her destiny. She and her friends must take to the road; they must fight…or see the remnants of humanity consumed in flames.

May you read well and often

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Deborah and James Howe - Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

10. Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe (1979)
The Bunnicula Series Book 1
Length: 116 pages 
Genre: Horror 
Started: 19 May 2016
Finished: 21 May 2016
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 14 April 2015
Why do I have it? I like horror and Deborah and James Howe are new authors for me.

The Monroe family is just a typical American family - and still is in many respects. However, little does this normal family realize how much their situation will change by the end of a particularly  dark and stormy night. The family pets - Harold the dog and Chester the cat are both spending a quiet night at home, while Mom and Dad Monroe and their two sons - eight-year-old Toby and ten-year-old Pete - are at the movies.

By the time that the Monroes return, they seem to have acquired an unexpected guest - a tiny cute-looking black and white bunny, that the boys found bundled up in the very last row of the movie theater. Obviously, such an innocent, harmless creature only needs a good home and a loving family to care for him. So, the Monroe family decides to take this homeless little waif back with them, and name him Bunnicula, in honor of the movie that they saw: Dracula.

Immediately, Harold and Chester's suspicions are raised. Apparently, all the diabolical signs are there - a seemingly heart-broken mother's message is pinned to the baby rabbit's blanket: "Take good care of my baby" is scrawled in an obscure foreign dialect; strains of exotic violin music echo hauntingly through the night; the desiccated husks of defenseless vegetables litter the Monroes' kitchen floor, although the peculiar bunny shows an obvious aversion to garlic. As Bunnicula slowly settles into his new home and family, Harold and Chester's ultimate mission soon becomes abundantly clear: Beware of the Hare!

The furry duo know that they must do everything within their power to protect the unsuspecting Monroe family from the frightening repercussions of their kindly actions. This well-meaning family has absolutely no inkling of the immense danger in which they have placed themselves. After all, Bunnicula's master plan of domestic domination is stunningly devious for all its quiet simplicity: "Today vegetables...tomorrow the world!" Before it gets too late, Harold and Chester must discover the truth about the newest addition to their household - the suspicious-looking bunny with the mesmerizing eyes and unusual behavior...and fangs!

I've actually read this book once before - when I was approximately ten years old. I had received this book from the Scholastic Book Club during one of the several times a year that the book club sent their newsletter around to all the school districts. The kids in my class were allowed to choose whichever books they wanted to buy, and I was usually the one kid who ended up having the most books stacked up on her desk. I have since lost my copy of this book but wanted to get another copy to keep in my collection.

I found this book to be easy-reading and to be extremely funny, although it seemed to be slightly dated for being written in 1979. I would still give this book an A! I think that I have some of Mr. Howe's books from this series somewhere on my bookshelf.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Introducing Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

I'm delighted to tell you all that the first book in Kathryn Meyer Griffith's thrilling Dinosaur Lake Series - Dinosaur Lake - is currently free to download from Amazon. Having said that, I would also like to remind you that the book will remain free to download for a very limited time! Ms. Griffith has one teeny, tiny, little favor to ask of you all. If you'd be kind enough to write a brief but honest review of the books in the series for her on Amazon, she would be absolutely delighted. Just email Ms. Griffith at rdgriff@htc.net, and she'll be happy to send you a complimentary copy of any of the books to read.

Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the first book in her Dinosaur Lake Series, and I had the pleasure of reading Book 1 way back in March of 2014! Here is my review. You can also download the other two books in the series - Check 'em out! ;)

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.


Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2012)
Length: 451 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Dinosaur Lake Blurb:

Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it's been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he's about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin, people begin to go missing, then there's some mysterious water creature that's taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it's not only growing in size, it's aggressive and cunning and very hungry.

And it's decided it likes human beings. To eat.

And it can come up onto land.

So Henry, with the help of his wife, Ann; a young paleontologist named Justin; and a band of brave men, must not only protect his park and his people from the monster but somehow find where it lives and destroy it before it can kill again.

Now Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is a 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* in their Suspense/Thriller category.


Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 248 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising Blurb:

Prehistoric creatures have again invaded Crater Lake National Park…and this time there’s more than one.

Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for thirteen years now and thought the days when he’d had to fight a rogue dinosaur that lived in the caves below the lake were long over.

Until one of his park rangers, to save a visitor’s life, is in a deadly struggle out in the woods with a new breed of dinosaur worse than the last one. It’s as big as a man, but this one is a young one. And growing.

Then more of the creatures begin to show up everywhere, threatening people and destroying the tranquility and safety of his beloved park.

A tourist trolley filled with fifteen people is snatched up off the crater’s rim by another version of the younger one…but this one has grown into a giant with fangs, claws and a deadly tail. And this one has wings. Ugly Gargoyles, Henry calls them. For this one isn’t alone. They’re flying beyond the park’s boundaries into the neighboring towns.

So Henry, with the help of his son-in-law, a paleontologist named Justin, and a band of brave park rangers, and a few good soldiers, must not only protect his park and his people from monsters once more but find their lair and destroy it and them before the creatures kill again.


Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 285 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation Blurb:

Chief Park Ranger Henry Shore has dealt with and fought real live dinosaurs at his beloved Crater Lake National Park for over six years. With the help of his rangers, a few brave FBI friends and army soldiers he’d been victorious over a prehistoric lake creature and years later some particularly fiendish, and clever, specimens of the flying variety. He and his newspaper publisher wife, Ann, thought their park was finally rid of the monsters and they could reclaim their tranquil life in a place they cherished.

Not so. For suddenly across the park new and even more malevolent mutant species of dinosaur begin to appear and create havoc, attacking the park’s visitors and threatening its peace. And this time the primeval scourge isn’t confined to just their park. The creatures have moved into the nearby towns, across the western United States and up into Canada.

They are so much more aggressive, smarter and hungrier than any that have come before and the infestation is spreading further and faster than Henry and Ann can even imagine. This time there’s no easy way to defeat the dinosaurs. There’s too many of them and they’re too devious. This time it’s full out war and the victor will someday claim Earth.

May you read well and often