Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sarah Remy - Across the Long Sea

15. Across the Long Sea by Sarah Remy (2015)
The Avani and Malachi Series Book 2
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Started: 14 September 2016
Finished: 21 September 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. I also acquired a second copy through Apple I-Books.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 22 June 2016 from Dorothy; Since 12 September 2016 from Apple I-Books.
Why do I have it? I like historical fantasy and have read and enjoyed Stonehill Downs: A Novel by the same author in the past.

Malachi Doyle is the King's Lord Vocent - a man of many talents and very few fears. His responsibilities to king and kingdom are many: as protector, royal investigator and assassin, the trusted right hand of King Renault, himself. Indeed as the most valued asset in Wilhaiim, Malachi has become much beloved by the king, and truly indispensable. And until he met Avani of the cursed village of Stonehill Downs, Mal had always believed himself to be the last of his kind - a magus with the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead.

When Mal receives an urgent summons to return home to his native province of Selkirk, he reluctantly sets out to make the journey. However, the kingdom of Wilhaiim is left vulnerable when the magus and his young page, Liam, are ambushed and seized from the bustling seaport of Selkirk. As the two hostages battle for their lives on board a ship bound for the fractured kingdom of Roue - a warring kingdom across the Long Sea - Malachi soon learns that Roue is a kingdom in need of its own magus; willing to resort to such desperate measures to acquire one.

To make matters worse, a springtime plague is spreading rapidly through Wilhaiim and decimating the population. While it is believed that the sickness is being caused by some natural contagion - and nothing more mysterious than that - the situation is no less dangerous in the realm of the fair folk. Beneath the earth the sidhe have been preparing for war; but otherwise have kept to themselves for the past year.

A year ago, a majority of the residents living in the village formerly known as Stonehill Downs were murdered, and the entire village razed to ground by dark magic. While many others believe the land is now cursed, Avani - one of the very few survivors - nevertheless has been working diligently with certain members of the sidhe to rebuild her home. However after she receives devastating news of Mal's abduction from his own home province, Avani reluctantly steps into his position as Wilhaiim's magus.

Her allies are few and treachery may surround her - but despite hearing a myriad of conflicting reports to the contrary - she is beyond certain that Mal is still alive. Avani's own innate talents tell her that much. However, while her powers as a magus may be wholly unreliable and completely untested, will she ultimately be able to use them appropriately - to keep Wilhaiim, as well as herself - safe?

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to Stonehill Downs: A Novel by Sarah Remy. While I was only slightly disappointed that the two main characters spent the majority of the story apart, I soon came to understand that this distance actually enhanced their separate storylines. In my opinion, this was definitely a dramatic sequel - one which moved the story along at a surprising pace. I was intrigued by this story and appreciated the further development of the characters. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future and would certainly give Across the Long Sea an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Monday, September 12, 2016

Introducing the Lei Crime Series by Toby Neal!

Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. Since I have already done several book release posts for the novellas of the Kindle Worlds Lei Crime Series, I thought that I would also begin to highlight the novels of The Lei Crime Series written by popular mystery author Toby Neal. I would advise you to grab your own copies of these novels as soon as possible!


Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water - but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise. Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop, but often the cases she works activate wounds and complications from her tangled family history. Lei is affected deeply by her cases even as she solves them with persistence, obsession, and intuition. She falls in love with Michael Stevens, the charismatic detective she works with, and they make a life solving crime in contemporary Hawaii with all its beauty and deadliness.

 Meet Toby Neal

Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age five. After initially majoring in journalism, she eventually settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, “I’m endlessly fascinated with people’s stories.”

She lives in Hawaii with her family and dogs and enjoys many outdoor sports including bodyboarding, beach walking, gardening, hiking, wondering about human nature and coming up with original plots.

Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters - from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous and vulnerable heroine in the Lei Crime Series.

Bone Hook by Toby Neal (2015)
Length: 276 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Bone Hook Blurb:

***FINALIST: Best Multicultural Novel, International Book Awards 2016***

Maui’s ocean is beautiful, wild…and deadly.

It’s been five years since the events of Rip Tides, and Sergeant Lei Texeira gets into hot water much deeper than she’s used to at a crime scene ninety feet down off of the tiny atoll of Molokini, where the death of beautiful marine biologist Danielle “Lani” Phillips is anything but an accident. More suspects than a school of sharks circle a case that takes Lei into territory that hits dangerously close to home, even as husband Michael Stevens heads into his own uncharted depths.

“Toby Neal has delivered another preeminent novel in the irresistible and popular Lei Crime Series. In this tenth addition, Neal is better than ever, not waiting a moment to dive into a scintillating murder mystery set on Maui among that island’s resplendent coastline treasures. Don’t miss the very 
best of Toby Neal and the hottest Lei Crime addition yet. Bone Hook is a masterful, gripping story, destined to become a favorite journey into the darkness of selfishly deceitful human machinations set in the paradise of one of Hawaii’s most heavenly domains.” R.S. Guthrie, a Shelf Unbound Magazine 2014 Notable Indie and author of Wise Bear Digital Gold Medal-winning, Blood Land, first in the James Pruett Mystery series

Red Rain by Toby Neal (2015)
Length: 276 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Red Rain Blurb:

"Persistently riveting...Neal's writing is tenacious, highlighted by masterly crosscutting of two exhilarating storylines." Kirkie Reviews

In Hawaii, a red rain means the death, change, or birth of a chief.

The last thing detective Lei Texeira wants to do while her husband is overseas is deal with a child homicide cold case - but she gets one anyway, and it takes her beyond her personal limits. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Michael Stevens finds himself in a world filled with every kind of threat from crocodiles to kidnappers, and just getting home alive would be a miracle. 

“Toby Neal is known for well-crafted and emotionally charged mysteries, and Red Rain may be her best yet. Neal gives us two suspenseful and unpredictable storylines, equally taut with intrigue and masterfully told, woven together in an intricately carved puzzle filled with the kind of inner character exploration we expect from a Lei Crime story. Neal pulls out all the stops on this one!” M. L. Doyle, author of the Master Sergeant Harper Mysteries

Bitter Feast by Toby Neal (2016)
Length: 256 pages 
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Bitter Feast Blurb:

The farm-to-table food movement in Hawaii can be luscious, exotic...murder.

Lieutenant Michael Stevens investigates a murder in a fine dining restaurant on Maui that’s a Feast of possible motives, with jealousy, passion and revenge topping the menu. A host of familiar characters, from Jared Stevens to Dr. Wilson, chime in from their perspectives, each contributing essential information to one of the most complex cases Stevens has ever encountered - but that’s nothing compared to imminent parenthood with his wife Lei, who’d rather be packing a gun than a diaper bag.

"Neal's writing is persistently riveting...Masterly." Kirkus Reviews

May you read well and often

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Introducing the Elementals Series by Michelle Madow!

I'm delighted to announce that Michelle Madow's latest young adult Fantasy novel, The Portal to Kerebos has just been released today! This is Book 4 in her Elementals Series and chronicles the trials and tribulations of Nicole Cassidy - an unsuspecting teenage witch and descendant of the Greek gods - who soon realizes that she has moved to a new town that shields a dangerously secretive world that she has never known existed...full of magic and monsters. Yes, Ms. Madow young adult novel is now available to download from Amazon - so grab your own copy today!

As a matter of fact, as a special gift to her readers, Ms. Madow is also making Book 1 of her Elementals Series - The Prophecy of Shadows - available to download for free from her website. This is the book that started off the whole exciting series and I would certainly advise you to grab your own copy! Actually, all the books in the Elementals Series are now available through Amazon.


Meet Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

Connect and Socialize with Michelle!

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

 The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 309 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon or free from the author!

The Prophecy of Shadows Blurb:

Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods...but she doesn't know it until she moves to a new town and discovers a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she never knew existed.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole and four others - including mysterious bad-boy Blake - are gifted with elemental powers. But the comet has another effect - it opens the portal to another dimension that has imprisoned the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes, it's up to Nicole and the others to follow a cryptic prophecy in time to save the town...and possibly the world.

A thrilling fantasy adventure in a contemporary setting with Greek mythology and sweet romance, Elementals will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more!


The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 310 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Blood of the Hydra Blurb:

A demigod who can kill with a touch. It's an ability that must be kept secret, even from those trusted most.

Finding out that she was a witch was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. No one can know her secret - not even Blake, who she's had undeniable chemistry with since first moving to town.

Now Nicole, Blake, and the three others with elemental powers must journey abroad to stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Will they all survive the quest? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their mission to save the world - or die trying.

The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 279 pages 
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Head of Medusa Blurb:

The epic story of witches, gods, and monsters that USA Today called a "must read" continues in the third book of the Elementals Series!

When Nicole Cassidy moved to a new town, she discovered that she was a witch descended from gods. But that was nothing compared to learning that it was up to her and four others with mysterious elemental powers to help save the world from the Titans, who would soon return to Earth.

Now her relationship with Blake - the fire Elemental - is finally heating up. But she must remain focused, because Typhon, one of the deadliest creatures in history, has escaped from the weakening prison world. Only one object can destroy him - the head of Medusa herself. 

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the Earth, facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals Series, The Head of Medusa.

The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 141 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Portal to Kerberos Blurb:

She will venture into hell to save the one she loves.

After being betrayed by one of their own, Nicole watches helplessly as Blake is snatched into the prison world of Kerberos - along with Medusa’s head, which is the one item they need to stop the Titans from rising again. Now Nicole and the other Elementals must enter the portal, find Blake, and bring him and Medusa’s head back to Earth before the deadly monster Typhon returns and wreaks havoc on the world. But there’s one catch - their elemental powers don’t work in Kerberos. In a dimension designed to make those within it lose touch with reality, and that's filled with dangerous creatures who want to stop them from completing their task, will they make it out alive?

In this penultimate book of Nicole’s story, join the Elementals as they journey through hell to save the world...before it’s too late.

The Hands of Time by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 190 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Hands of Time Blurb:

Time is running out. War will be waged. Sacrifices will be made.

Months ago, Nicole Cassidy’s life was turned upside-down when she discovered that she was a witch descended from the Greek gods. She and the four other witches gifted with elemental powers fought all over the world - and in another dimension - to battle the supporters of the Titans and fight for the people they love.

Now the Elementals must stop Typhon - the most dangerous monster in the world - from rising, and seal the portal to the dangerous prison world of Kerberos. But they won’t be able to do that without facing their hardest decision yet…a sacrifice so great that it may be one they’re not willing to make.

Get ready for the stunning, action-packed conclusion to the bestselling Elementals series, with twists and turns that you’ll never see coming!

May you read well and often

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Introducing the Cover For The Hands of Time by Michelle Madow!

Meet Michelle Madow 

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

The Hands of Time by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 190 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Hands of Time Blurb:

Time is running out. War will be waged. Sacrifices will be made.

Months ago, Nicole Cassidy’s life was turned upside-down when she discovered that she was a witch descended from the Greek gods. She and the four other witches gifted with elemental powers fought all over the world - and in another dimension - to battle the supporters of the Titans and fight for the people they love.

Now the Elementals must stop Typhon - the most dangerous monster in the world - from rising, and seal the portal to the dangerous prison world of Kerberos. But they won’t be able to do that without facing their hardest decision yet…a sacrifice so great that it may be one they’re not willing to make. 

Get ready for the stunning, action-packed conclusion to the bestselling Elementals series, with twists and turns that you’ll never see coming!

The Hands of Time Cover Reveal:


Michelle Madow is also giving away a special gift to her readers!



May you read well and often

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Reading Wrap-up For August 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 August 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, Bookmooch and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))


Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash (2 copies)

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

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 242 pages
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was August. 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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Michael Phillip Cash - Pokergeist

14. Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash (2015)
Length: 242 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 24 August 2016
Finished: 30 August 2016
Where did it come from? I originally downloaded a copy of this book for free from Netgalley in July of 2015, although many thanks to Michael Phillip Cash and to Red Feather Publishing for sending me a copy of this book to read. I also downloaded another copy of this book from Amazon in July of 2016.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 July 2015 from Netgalley; Since 14 August 2015 as a physical book; Since 10 July 2016 from Amazon.
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed Schism: The Battle For Darracia by the same author in the past.

Sometimes life - as well as death - is all about second chances. During his lifetime, Oliver 'Clutch' Henderson was considered by many to be one of the best poker players in the world. As a matter of fact, he had even written several books on the subject and gained quite the following for himself along the poker circuit. Clutch had always viewed the game of poker as intrinsic to living the best lifestyle possible; and while his legions of fans unanimously agreed that he went exactly the way he would have wanted - playing poker in a tournament - they nevertheless deeply mourned the passing of the legendary Clutch Henderson.

Telly Martin has absolutely no clue what to do next in his life. After losing his job as an IT computer specialist for a casino - for the first time ever - Telly finds himself at a complete loss. Determined to find a way to become a professional poker player - even though he is turning out to be supremely unlucky as a gambler - Telly makes an impossible wish over a casino fountain in Las Vegas: and suddenly finds himself being mentored by a world-famous poker champion. The only catch...Telly's mentor is none other than the late and very-much-lamented Clutch Henderson.

Together, this unlikely pair of card-sharps must now navigate their way through the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas. However Telly, the hapless poker protégé - and Clutch, the vaunted 'King of Poker' - will first have to learn to trust each other if they are to have any chance at all of winning an elusive spot in the 'International Series of Poker'. Meanwhile, they must find a way to repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption - both in this life as well as in the hereafter.

First of all, let me say that although I may have classified this book as horror - the horror is more comedic rather than thrilling. I actually had the pleasure of reading another of Michael Phillip Cash's books - Schism: The Battle For Darracia back in June of 2014. This book was just as pleasurable for me to read; in my opinion, the author has created engaging and believable characters and an intriguingly well-developed plot. I'm also delighted to say that Mr. Cash has somehow managed to achieve a near impossibility with me: I'm actually beginning to appreciate poker!

To be perfectly honest, I've never paid that much attention to poker. Having never actually played the game myself, I guess that I just couldn't really understand the draw of it as a profession. Having said that, I would certainly give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Monday, August 1, 2016

Reading Wrap-up For July 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 July 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, Bookmooch and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Kaitlin's Tale by Christine Amsden

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash
- Spell Breaker by Joni Parker

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Stranger in the Looking Glass by Jan Fields

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

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 270
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was July. 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