Eden Baylee - Seal of a Monk

Monday, February 29, 2016

4. Seal of a Monk by Eden Baylee (2015)
Kindle Worlds Novella: The Lei Crime Series Book 2
Length: 92 pages 
Genre: Short Story 
Started: 27 February 2016
Finished: 29 February 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Eden Baylee for sending me a copy of this book to read from Amazon.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 28 July 2015
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed A Snake in Paradise by this author in the past.

Madelaine Lee - a divorced bank fraud management consultant - has spent the past year and several months dreaming about returning to Hawaii. Despite the terror she experienced during her last trip there, Lainey cannot deny that the beauty of the island paradise still calls to her. She imagines that the ancient jungles of Kauai could provide the perfect setting for self-discovery.

To celebrate her upcoming fiftieth birthday, Lainey decides to treat herself by booking another trip to Hawaii. This time she is returning in the capacity of mentor and guide for a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast. Twenty-five women - including her best friend's troubled eighteen-year-old daughter, Kristin - will be under her care for the next ten days in a beautiful and remote location.

Lainey expects to find inner peace - for herself, as well as for the students under her tutelage. For the next few days, the ladies are introduced to the basics of meditation and set on the correct path toward enlightenment. However, four days into the course, one of the meditation students - Kristin - disappears without a trace...

As Lainey frantically tries to discover what happened to the girl, her mind is filled with numerous questions. Did Kristin leave of her own volition, or was she lured away somehow? Lainey is desperate for answers to these questions - especially when she learns of the existence of a secretive community calling itself 'TruthWay'. Ostensibly, 'TruthWay' seems to be hosting a course fairly  similar to Lainey's - open to anyone who might be seeking spiritual enlightenment - yet, she can't help but be slightly suspicious of the community's cult-like behavior.

As her desperation grows, she finds help from an unexpected source - a retired Navy SEAL named Maximillian Scott. Now, Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what actually happened to the missing teenager and can she possibly overcome her fear of what happened to her in the past. Can Lainey ever trust a man again?

This is actually the second novella that I've read by Ms. Baylee and I must say that I absolutely loved it. I loved the plot of the story, and appreciated that even though the novella was written within the same world as Toby Neal's Lei Crime Series, it was an entirely new and different story. I enjoyed reading another mystery featuring such a strong character as Lainey Lee - I could really appreciate how much she had grown since I read A Snake in Paradise in May of 2015. I give this novella an A+!

In fact, this is the second of six recently released Kindle World Novellas set within the Lei Crime Series that I've had the pleasure of reading. I still have three more novellas from the July of 2015 batch of releases set on my TBR pile and ready to read. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Release Day Blog Tour For The Strength of a Heart by Ioana Visan From March 1, 2016 to March 15, 2016 - Come Join Us!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Meet Ioana Visan

Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can't, she writes about it.

After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in Human Instincts, she played with shapeshifters in Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks, she dealt with vampires in The Impaler Legacy Series, and then she designed prosthetics in Broken People before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.

Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a Romanian short story collection Efectul de nautil and the Romanian edition of Human Instincts.

She received the Encouragement Award from The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.

Connect and Socialize with Ioana!

The Weight of a Wing by Ioana Visan (2015)
Length: 354 pages 
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Weight of a Wing Blurb:

Alise has achieved the impossible. After her wings were chopped off, the fairy survived and now finds herself in the human world, once again hunted like prey by the sadistic Gorem.

Locating him with her help means that the two Guardians of Balance, Rafe and Vale, will not only be able to turn him in and make him pay for maiming her, but make him accountable for the deaths of other fairies as well.

Gorem has plans of his own for the rogue fairy. With the help of a wizard, Fabian, and an army of monsters by his side, Gorem will stop at nothing to recapture Alise.

With already so much on the line, Alise not only has to keep herself safe from harm, but will also have to protect her new human friend, Cassie, in the process.

Who will win the battle of good versus evil? Is capturing Gorem worth risking what remains of Alise's life?

The Strength of a Heart by Ioana Visan (2016)
Length: 239 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Strength of a Heart Blurb:

One day, a pair of wings will change the world. Alise’s wings are killing her.

Twice condemned to death, Alise is slowly fading away after a poisonous Mermaid’s bite, but Rafe will have none of that. Along with two other Guardians of Balance and Alise’s human friend, they go in search of a cure in The Mists, where Gorem’s Wizard is in hiding.

Their journey will be met with danger and strife along the way. With werewolves, demons, dangerous sea creatures, and Alise’s poisoned-filled wings growing back, their chance of survival is slim.

Will Alise survive another murderous plot?

May you read well and often

John Calicchia - Mirror World

Thursday, February 4, 2016

3. Mirror World by John Calicchia (2015)
The Mirror World Series Book 1
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 22 January 2016
Finished: 4 February 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to John Calicchia and 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 29 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and John Calicchia is a new author for me.

From the time she was little, Cailyssa Larkin has disliked mirrors. She doesn't understand why she feels that way, but the feeling has always been there. Whenever she does look into a mirror, Cailyssa has a sneaking suspicion that her reflection isn't what she should see. Instead, she has an ominous feeling that someone or something else is watching her. She can't see anything out of the ordinary, but it still makes her feel incredibly uneasy.

Stranger still, she has visions of the future. From the time she became an adolescent, these visions have had the potential to come true. Cailyssa's visions are never usually about herself - except for having occasional flashes of insight about the minor things happening in her life - her visions have primarily  been about other people. Whether they are friends, relatives or classmates, her visions come true with a remarkable and alarming regularity.

One evening, while visiting her Uncle Spencer at his house, Cailyssa gazes into a mirror and sees a disturbingly dark vision of the future. This vision is one that Cailyssa refuses to accept - a vision that only she has the potential to change. So, with the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters this portal into another realm - the Mirror World. 

In this realm, the Dark Lord Speculus controls all the mirrors as well as the reflections within them. He bends every reflection so that all creatures can see only evil within themselves. So, with the help of her uncle, her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a variety of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces intent on destroying her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

I must say that I absolutely loved this book. I have always loved reading books about fantastic realms and epic quests, and featuring battles against good and evil. I so enjoyed reading such an action-packed plot, there was never a dull moment in it. I'm looking forward to seeing how this story will develop in subsequent books. I give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For January at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

Monday, February 1, 2016

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 January 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, Paperback SwapAmazon.

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 :))
- The Shell Seeker by Christine Nolfi
- One For the Money by Janet Evanovich

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
The Bad Lady: A Novel by John Meany

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Shell Seeker by Christine Nolfi

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

Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 439
Grade Range: A+! to A!

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