Category: Science Fiction


From Author’s Website

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out through its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending. Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, the world will burn.

My Review:

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the premise of the book. I found the world interesting and definitely would like to read more about this world. I will be reading the prequel novella, and the sequel once it is published.

I’m not quite sure how to categorize this book. There is a dystopian Urban Fantasy future but then the main character is sent back in time to prevent the event that caused the dystopian future. I wouldn’t list it as a romance novel, because the relationship between Alana and Gaelen wasn’t the core of the story. The core was stopping the disaster that was coming. It was very similar to Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel series, in that it has romance but it isn’t the driving force of the book.

I did find some issues. This novel could have gone through one more time with a copy editor. I found wrong words (using triskette instead of triskele) and some phrasing that didn’t make sense. There is one scene where there is a slight tense change during an observation that Alana makes and it makes is seem like she was comparing the situation to a previous time instead of seeing it for the first time.

This story is in the First Person Point of View, which I have no issues with, and I have no problem with switching between First and Third Person Point of View. (My favorite author jumps between the two regularly, but it is done by chapter usually.) My problem was the occasional jump to Third Person Point of View to provide information that the author felt was vital to the story. Since my first read through, I have read parts again, including a couple of the Third Person Point of View scenes. I’ve decided that the Third Person Point of View scenes are not needed. They really don’t provide information that the main character doesn’t figure out later, except for one scene which I still can’t figure out why the information was revealed in this book.

You might look at my rating and wonder why I gave the rating I did after listing the problems I found. Well, let me explain it. I felt that this book was better than a 3 Horseshoe rating but not quiet a 4 Horseshoe rating, but I couldn’t bring myself to do a 3 ½ Horseshoe rating only because you can’t have half of a horseshoe. (I know. There aren’t very many 5 legged horses out there….) Because of my waffling, I talked to my husband about my dilemma. He stated that most people won’t pick up on the things I do. He had me rate the book as if I was an average reader.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Anointed a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Anointed is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also available from Barnes and Noble in Nook and Print.

Publication Details:

Author Maggie Mae Gallagher
Title Anointed
Format Ebook
Length 401 Pages
Publication Date February 2014
Publisher Self Published
ISBN 978-0-9914-8171-2
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In December, Rosey from Rosey’s Reviews sent me a message asking if I wanted to contribute my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2011 after I participated in the half year Top Ten List.

It was a hard list to come up with. I strictly looked at the 16 books I had given a 5 Horseshoe rating and from those picked the books I have read more than once. I noticed that my Top Five have not changed from the first list, and like on that one the top three are easily interchangeable.

The images are linked to my review of the books. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

1. The Legend of Michael by Lisa Renee Jones

This book is number one because I have been recommending it like crazy to people! Lisa did an amazing job with her first book of her Zodius Series. (I think my mom has re-read it more than I have!)

The Legend Of Michael is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Title: The Legend Of Michael

Number of Pages: 382

Publication Date: May 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5156-6

2. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

This was my first Steampunk book and what a great introduction to the genre! This is the book I recommend to those who want to get in to this genre. Meljean did an amazing job with giving her readers a living, breathing Victorian era story that relies on automation. I have not had the chance to read the second book, but the novellas are just as enjoyable!

The Iron Duke is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Meljean Brook

Title: The Iron Duke

Format: eBook

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Publisher: Berkley Trade

ISBN: 978-0-4252-3667-6

3. 12.21.12 by Killian McRae

This is an amazing debut book by Killian McRae. She did a masterful job of weaving a contemporary story that explored the history of Egypt and the paranoid suspicion of the Mayan Calendar. If you love Indian Jones, Stargate, and Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon, you will love this book!

12.21.12 is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes and Noble in Nook Edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Killian McRae

Title: 12.21.12

Format: eBook

Publication Date: December 2010

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-9363-0554-4

4. Cowboy Fever by Joanne Kennedy

Cowboy Fever is Joanne Kennedy’s third contemporary western romance. The primary story is a rekindled relationship story between the two main characters (one of my favorite types of romance), but the underlying plot is an amazing social acceptance and education story. Joanne shows in this story that everyone, no matter their physical or mental disabilities, is capable of great things if given the chance and motivation.

Cowboy Fever is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Joanne Kennedy

Title: Cowboy Fever

Number of Pages: 393

Publication Date: April 1, 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-402-25141-2

5. On The Edge by Ilona Andrews

I greatly enjoy Ilona Andrews’ writing. This husband and wife team writes fantastic Urban Fantasy books. They write deep characters that are fun to watch grow through their stories. I knew that this book was going to be good when it starts with Rose shooting her grandfather with a crossbow.

On The Edge is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Ilona Andrews

Title: On The Edge

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: September 29, 2009

Publisher: Penguin Group

ISBN: 978-0-4410-1780-5

6. Badlands by Seleste deLaney

Badlands is a Steampunk Novella that takes place in the United States after the civil war, but it is a different world than what our history shows. Seleste wrote beautiful deep characters, and left me very satisfied with the story. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

Badlands is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes and Noble in Nook Edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Seleste deLaney

Title: Badlands

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: February 28, 2011

Publisher: Carina Press

ISBN: 978-1-4268-9125-0

7. Savor The Danger by Lori Foster

Savor The Danger the third book in Lori’s Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor series. I fell in love with Jackson after he had a night of passion with a woman he had been chasing for months and then couldn’t remember the night. While trying to protect her, he spends his time trying to convince her to do it again. Sometimes a desperate Alpha Male is fun to read.

Savor The Danger is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes And Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Lori Foster

Title: Savor The Danger

Number of Pages: 411

Publication Date: June 28, 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0-3737-7582-8

8. Locked In Silence by Shiloh Walker

Locked In Silence is book of Shiloh’s Grimm Series. Out of the ones I’ve read so far (which isn’t the whole series, yet), this one really touched me. I won’t spoil who the lead is, but his story is a tear jerker.

Locked In Silence is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes And Noble in Nook edition.
Publication Details:

Author: Shiloh Walker

Title: Locked In Silence

Format: eBook

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 978-1-6092-8528-9

9. Giving Up The Ghost by Melissa Ecker

With Giving Up The Ghost, Melissa gave every woman even more reason to hold tight on to their spouse. This is the story of a woman who loses her husband in a tragic accident and a year later believes he is visiting her. But things aren’t as they seem. Make sure you have a box of tissue next to you when you read this one!

Giving Up The Ghost is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also from Barnes And Noble in Nook edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Melissa Ecker

Title: Giving Up The Ghost

Format: eBook

Publication Date: April 2011

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

ISBN: 978-1-9358-1781-9

10. Creed’s Honor by Linda Lael Miller

Creed’s Honor is the second book in Linda’s 2011 Creed Trilogy. This series is following the Creed’s of Colorado. Linda Lael Miller has given her readers a couple, everyone can relate to, who reminds us all that home is where love thrives and that love has a stronger pull than anything else in the world.

Creed’s Honor is available on from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions

Publication Details:

Author: Linda Lael Miller

Title: Creed’s Honor

Number of Pages: 377

Publication Date: June 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0-3737-7580-4

There are many other books that deserve to be on a top ten list but these are my favorites of 2011. What are favorite books from 2012?

From Publisher’s Website

What if everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world turned out to be wrong?

For Davi Rhii, Prince of the Boralian people, that nightmare has become a reality. Freshly graduated from the prestigious Borali Military Academy, now he’s discovered he was secretly adopted and born a worker. Ancient enemies of the Boralians, enslaved now for generations, the workers of Vertullis live lives harder than Davi had ever imagined. To make matters worse, Davi’s discovered that the High Lord Councillor of the Alliance, his uncle Xalivar, is responsible for years of abuse and suppression against the workers Davi now knows as his own people.

His quest to rediscover himself brings him into conflict with Xalivar and his friends and family, calling into question his cultural values and assumptions, and putting in jeopardy all he’s worked for his whole life. Davi’s never felt more confused and alone. Will he stand and watch the workers face continued mistreatment or turn his back on his loved ones and fight for what’s right? Whatever he decides is sure to change his life forever.

My Review:

The Worker Prince is the first Christian Science Fiction novel that I have read in a long time. I am not much of a fan of Christian novels, but I enjoyed this allegory of the Moses story.

Bryan did a beautiful job in creating his world. Some authors feel they need to do an “information” dump in order for the readers to understand the history of the world the author has created. Bryan did not do that. He masterfully weaved that back story in to his novel.

The characters were well created. The reader can easily connect with them and root for them through the story. My favorite character was Tela. She was funny and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Davii’s journey was amazing to read. He went from being a well grounded royal to a rebel leader. The reader can see him deal with the hard choices and their consequences.

Bryan has also done a good job of adding elements of the Moses story, but still making the story his own. There are twists and turns in the story that the reader won’t expect.

However there are a couple minor issues with the story. There is a bit of point of view hopping that happens and it leaves the reader confused as to who is talking. The writing, I felt, was a little weak at the beginning but developed through the story. You can see the author finding his voice. This is to be expected in a debut novel.

The issues with the writing, did not diminish my enjoyment of the story or the characters. Bryan gives his reader an engrossing world and characters.

This book contains strong Christian themes. Personally I don’t think they were necessary to the story. If you are non-Christian and can ignore the Christian themes, you would enjoy this book.

I give The Worker Prince a 4 Horseshoe rating!

The Worker Prince is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also from the publisher in Print edition.

Publication Details:

Author Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Title The Worker Prince
Format Ebook
Length 292
Publication Date October 2011
Publisher Diminished Media Group
ISBN 978-1-4537-1898-8

From Author’s Website

HE IS A LETHAL WEAPON…

One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.

HE IS HER ENEMY…AND HER DESTINY…

Fate leads Michael back to Cassandra Powell, for she holds the key to defending his comrades. With their loyalties divided between duty and the people they love, only together can Cassandra and Michael overcome insurmountable odds to save humanity from the wrath of a madman.

But no ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one thing is clear—the world will never be the same…

My Review:

The Legend Of Michael is the first book in Lisa Renee Jones’ Zodius series. And what a start it is! Jones has created an absorbing, edgy, and compelling world of the Zodius Soldiers. This action packed story grabbed me from the first page. I couldn’t put this book down.

The first part of the book takes place a year in to the Zodius Project. This section introduces us to the characters that are key to this story and series. Not only do you meet Michael and Cassandra, you meet Caleb and Adam Rain, identical twins who react oppositely to the alien DNA. You also meet Cassandra’s father, General Powell, the man who started and runs the Zodius Project. Part one ends with a Zodius up rising.

Part two takes place two years later. Adam Rain is leading a group of Zodius Soldiers who want to get rid of the weak humans. Caleb Rain is leading a group of Renegade Zodius Soldiers who are trying to protect humans from Adam. Michael has spent the past two years working under cover for Caleb in Adam’s inner circle. Cassandra has spent the time in Germany working until her father recruits her to help end the mess with the Zodius Soldiers.

This story is an amazing romantic science fiction suspense story. The complex story lines and action packed sequences flow together nicely. The chemistry between Michael and Cassandra is hot and compelling. This book and the snippet for the next book left me wanting more. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series The Renegade Conquest which is scheduled to be released in November 2011.

I give The Legend Of Michael a 5 Horseshoe rating!!!

The Legend Of Michael is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author Lisa Renee Jones
Title The Legend Of Michael
Number of Pages 382
Publication Date May 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5156-6

It is that time again.  Two of PonyTails’ author friends have the covers for their new books and here they are! I am excited for both of these books.

Releases July 1, 2011

Releases October 2011

I have to say that I am in serious love with Joanne’s new cover.  But I guess it isn’t that surprising to all of you since you know I have a *big* thing for sexy cowboys.

 

 

From Author’s Website:

Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career as well as the memory of his deceased wife and partner on proving his widely-panned theory: Cleopatra VII, the last ruler of Ancient Egypt, was murdered. When a statue of the doomed Queen is discovered in an Olmec excavation site, Smyth is drawn to Mexico to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of the rivalry between the sexy, bewitching international thief, Victoria Kent, and commanding, ruthless Russian mobster, Dmitri Kronastia.

Both Dmitri and Victoria hold pieces to the puzzle that will finally shed light on Cleopatra’s death. As Shep is drawn further into their world of ancient gods, supernatural powers, and alternative history, little does he know that the fate of all—even humanity itself—may hinge on his ability to discover the truth among their fragmented claims. Working to decode the true past while attempting to save the future, Shep becomes a pawn in the hands of forces working out a quest older than the pyramids—a quest that may lead to the end of everything when it all comes together on 12.21.12.

My Review:

I was blown away by this book. I really didn’t know much about it other than the synopsis above. The description intrigued me which is why I asked to be on the tour. This book went beyond anything I expected.

The way I described it to my mom was that it was a cross between Indiana Jones and Stargate with a little of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon thrown in. It was a highly intellectual read and I loved it. Sometimes I find myself bored with normal romances because there isn’t anything that makes my mind think and process. I did that through this whole book. I literally could not put this book down and I haven’t been able to be quiet about it either.

Killian did a masterful job of weaving a contemporary story that explored the history of Egypt and the paranoid suspicion of the Mayan Calendar. She did it brilliantly. I am in awe with how she did it and then the conclusion she lead everyone too. There are twists that you never expect. Killian gave her readers enough to whet their appetite for more information about what was going to happen.

I am eagerly looking forward to Killian’s next novel. I hope it will be as amazing as this one.

I give 12.21.12 a rating of 5 Horseshoes!!

Please follow the 12.21.12 blog tour through the month of March. If you click the above blog tour badge, it will take you to the official calendar for the tour.

Publication Details:

Author Killian McRae
Title 12.21.12
Format eBook
Publication Date December 2010
Publisher Omnific Publishing
ISBN 978-1-9363-0554-4

From Publisher’s Website:

After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation’s border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.

Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen’s assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever’s reluctant ally.

As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands-if death doesn’t find them first…

My Review:

Seleste has definitely shown herself as a strong storyteller with this story. I love her alternate history of the Americas after the Civil War, including the different ways how each region reacts to Ever and her self confidence in herself and her body. Seleste did a wonderful job of showing the pros and cons of the clockwork mechanisms. How important they were for certain tasks but also how they could be used against other people.

The characters in this story were amazing. Their depth of personality and history blew me away. I enjoyed the cast of characters that were found on the Dark Hawk ship. I found myself telling Ever to not judge a book by it’s cover, when she believed that Spencer wasn’t a strong enough leader. Their relationship was an enjoyable journey.

I would love to see off shoot stories about the other characters. I would hope that they all could find their own Happily Ever After. I also hope that there will be more stories from the Badlands. They are a strong Matriarchal society, much like the Amazons, and it takes a strong society to develop in to that. I would love to read about their history and how they came to be the society they are.

If you are new to the world of Steampunk novels, I would recommend this as your first. It is a good one to read to get your “toes” wet in the genre.

I give Badlands a rating of 5 Horseshoes!!

Publication Details:

Author Seleste deLaney
Title Badlands
Format eBook
Publication Date February 28, 2011
Publisher Carina Press
ISBN 978-1-4268-9125-0

From Author’s Website:

Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she’s lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech.

But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out?

Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?

My Review:

Laura was kind enough to give me an extreme Advanced Reader’s Copy of Phantom Universe. It is an uncorrected e-proof. There are typos and some flow issues, but that said, it was an awesome read! I can only hope that not too much will change between this version and the published version.

I know I have said it before, but Laura has a wonderful talent for weaving stories and manipulating words! Her settings and characters are always so real and compelling. A reader can’t help but be sucked in to the story. Phantom Universe is no exception, even in this raw format.

I found myself emotionally wrapped up in the characters, especially Summer. I even cried at the end of the book. Summer’s story is so compelling. I just wanted to hold her tight and keep her safe. I wanted to beat the crap out of the people who hurt her. Gage and Landon are just wonderful young men. If I was to go the Cougar route, it would be for Gage or Landon.

I will warn you, that even though this is a book geared for Young Adults, it does deal with some possibly disturbing issues. Slavery is not a pretty thing. Laura does a good job of not being too graphic when describing the horrors (including an almost rape) that Summer endures. I would recommend that for anyone under 16 reading this, that a parent reads it at the same time so they can knowledgeably address any questions the young reader might have.

I give Phantom Universe a 5 Horseshoe rating!!

The current expected publication date for Phantom Universe February 15, 2011. The book is currently available for pre-order on Laura’s website. I plan on getting a sign print edition when it comes out!

Publication Details:

Author

Laura Kreitzer
Title

Phantom Universe
Number of Pages 280
Publication Date February 15, 2011
Publisher Obsidian Mountain Publishing
ISBN 978-0-98290-334-6