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Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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suspense

Review: Danu, by T.L Harty (book 2 in the Line of Enya series) 5 stars

My Review:

The Line of Enya saga is off to a great start. I really enjoyed the first book, Behold Ellowee, and in my opinion this second one is even better! Having the second book in a series actually top the first book is so rare. I couldn’t be any more thrilled that T. L. Harty actually accomplished this task. The content flows from where the first book left off, weaving everything together seamlessly.

Danu has everything, from suspense to family drama to love, and more. It’s also rich in historical culture. Taking what was in many different countries and weaving in it’s own magical past. This braids fiction right along with factual happenings, making the entire story have a real believable feel to it. Also, it’s appropriate for all ages, teen and up!

In the first book Muriel is coming of age and discovering the magical secret heritage that’s thick in her bloodline. She fights it, and wants nothing but a normal life despite how strong her visions are and how powerful she has the potential to be. In Danu, Muriel has come to terms and begins a training on how to apply herself, as well as honing in on what this may mean in her future. The entire book is like a pivotal point in Muriel’s life, and the build up to continue onto the next book is excellent!  I can’t wait to read book three.

One thing I love about Muriel is her wit. The banter in this series is awesome. Muriel is sarcastic and so is her daughter, Deidra, which adds in a little humor and makes the reader feel tied to the characters. I also love how patient Deidra is with her bull headed mom. They’re quite the pare, leaning on and trusting each other.

The story goes back and forth from past to present, just like the first book. It tells of Muriel’s travels with her Grammy as well as her interactions as a teen. All of which is necessary to the story as a whole. Everything blends together, and sets the chain of events to come in play. I was glad to read more about Grammy. The time Muriel spent being raised by the mysterious old bird was imperative, so the story wouldn’t have held near the esteem without her.

Much of the setting of this book is in a beautiful castle, and there are a slew of new characters introduced. Most of which have an abundance of powers of their own. Muriel and Diedra spend some time learning from each of the gifted women. They learn much about their past, and it finishes up with a gigantic surprise!

 

Description:

Muriel is whisked away, safely nestled in Danu castle so she can’t be found.

Still coming to terms with her abilities, she begins to understand their importance, and gains more insight about her ancestry, as historical errors are revealed in a powerful way.

With so much to learn and loved ones to protect, she can’t afford to ignore the inevitable responsibility of her lineage.
Muriel is destined to complete the Council, which has been missing the Line of Enya seat for over 500 years.

Sometimes, life has to fall apart before it can finally come together.

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Book Tour #review The Shadow Girl, by Misty Mount 5 of 5 stars @shanannigans81 @MistyAMount

Genre: YA/ Fantasy/ Coming of Age

Publication Date: December 28, 2017

Synopsis:

Shy, thirteen-year-old Zylia has always known she was different. Most teenagers feel unnoticed and unseen, but for Zylia, it’s something much worse. She’s disappearing from this world and doesn’t know how to stop it. At times, she’s not sure she wants to. Until she stumbles across a family mystery surrounding the disappearance of her great-aunt Angelica years earlier. During her quest to unravel the mystery, Zylia discovers she’s able to cross the boundary and enter the “in between” world. Now, it’s up to Zylia to save herself before she’s trapped “in between” forever.

Goodreads

Quote:

 “As the freezing rain hit me, I could feel the stares…smoldering on my skin. I longed for invisibility. At times like this, the very curse that plagued me was also my protection.”

Purchase Links:

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Misty Mount

About the Author

Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife, and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist. She resides in Wichita, Kansas.

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Twitter @MistyAMount

Giveaway: 1 print copy of The Shadow Girl and 2 digital copies

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*Print copy is available to North American residents only

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MY REVIEW:

I think what I loved most about this book is the balance. There is a little mystery tied in, making you think and wonder. But, more importantly it brings about awareness on a couple different subjects that are rarely touched on. They’re real and necessary subjects that actual people and families face oh so often, making the entire story relate-able. From cover to cover this book brings about certain emotions that really tug on the heart strings! Tying it all together is the pace and character development, which was in my opinion perfected. I kind of felt like the pace was a bit slow, which in this particular case it made the story that much more real. It wasn’t rushed.

First lets talk about Zylia, the main character. She’s quiet and socially awkward, not only in school and around her peers, but at home as well. She goes un-noticed more often than not and prefers to disappear into the background. Her ambiance is borderline depressing, but in a poetic way… and its eye opening! Too often this is the case, especially with teens. We all know people who have suffered from this at one point in their lives or another, or even have suffered from it ourselves. Zylia gives us an insight to how it feels to be the outcast, the un-noticed one. I love how amidst her insecurities she’s also kind, compassionate, curious, and even clumsy. Her personality is one of a kind. This is no cookie cutter novel!

For me though there is one aspect that’s even bigger. Zylia’s grandmother has dementia. This aspect of the book really hit home for me, as my Grandpa is in the final stages of dementia as we speak. The similarities in behavior, temperament, and day to day changes of mindset between this character and my Grandpa was almost surreal to read. Misty Mount really hit the nail on the head with this disorder! Dementia is such a hard ailment, not only for the sufferer but also for the families involved. It’s confusing, draining, and just straight up devastating. This book portrayed it exactly as it is.

Kudos Misty! The Shadow Girl is an excellent book, very well written! It’s absolutely captivating and I’m thrilled to have experienced it!

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Book Tour provided by R&R Book Tours

Review: The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall 5 of 5 stars

My Review:

The Stone Arch Secret by K. D. Dowdall is my favorite of all the books I’ve read so far this year. What I love most about it is the deep rooted feeling of authenticity poured into each sentence. Dowdall has the gift of giving life and appreciation to the setting in a way that’s like no other author I’ve followed. The characters are excellent, I love Lilly and Noah both! They’re developed perfectly. It’s packed with personality, physical explanation, and the emotions felt as the reader are booming from cover to cover.

The main setting is in a place with beautiful, mysterious, and even creepy wooded areas, along with many old colonial style homes and places of business. Dowdall draws attention to the details that matter. As a rule, most colonial homes have a history, and The Stone Arch Secret brings this feature to the surface. Colonial building restorations, as well as usages are explained in a way that really give the entire book a rich authentic historical feel, and I love that!

It offers a few twists here and there that are shockingly unexpected. Enough so to keep you on the edge of your seat, yet still have a realistic feel!

Lilly, the main character, experiences a strange encounter of sorts as a teenager. She goes exploring in the woods with her cousin Dax, and something happens that changes her life forever and is shocking enough for each of their subconscious to block it. Dax winds up in a mental institution, and neither he nor Lilly can remember exactly what played out. Years later, upon hearing of the death of Dax, Lilly goes back to their childhood hometown Salmon Brook looking for answers from that life altering day.

Noah, a now grown man remembers Lilly from their childhood. He liked her then and is utterly drawn to her now, as she is him. He’s spent the last several years building a life for himself, and has also returned on a mission of his own. The two wind up weaving themselves into each other’s lives, and helping one another with each agenda. The flow is lovely, and the pieces of these two characters fit together seamlessly.

I love the unique angle of the villain (s). The community of Salmon Brook is not how it seems at first blush. There is a group of religious fanatics that are extremely shady. Their leader is a super creepy, calculated, and vindictive guy. As was his father and several others before them. The history of the group is disturbing and the current state of it is pure evil.

I love this book, and I look forward to reading even more of K. D. Dowdalls books!!

Description:

Readers who like books by Debra Burroughs and Melinda Leigh will like, The Stone Arch Secret. Twenty-eight-year-old anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead. The cause of death is unknown. At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital in a catatonic state. For Dax, his memory loss is a subconscious act of self-preservation, a blocking out of all memories. Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares. After Dax’s funeral, Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that destroyed Dax’s life. While searching for clues to the incident, Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne. Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares. They soon realize that their hometown has a deadly secret and both their lives are now in danger. However, Noah has a secret of his own that puts Lilly in harm’s way.

 

New Age Lamians #teaser

26 Amazon reviewers have given New Age Lamians an average of 4.2 of 5 rating saying things like “Excellent Quick Read worthy of any nightstand.” and “More Than Your Average End-Time Novel!!” It’s  multi-genre steam-punk with a mythological twist.

Print Length: 152 pages  Publication Date: April 22, 2014

Read Free with Kindle Unlimited

***** Snippet*****

I studied the drifters face as I listened to his words. He was obviously aged by the sun and weather.  His  skin was like leather, with eyes covered in wrinkles, and a chin blanketed with hair.  His beard touched down to his mid neckline and moved as he spoke.  I listened to the scratch in his voice and watched the slight shake in his hands.  I wondered how old this man must be.  He spoke with a certain confidence and truth in his voice.  With his arms wrapped around the rolled up snakes skin, he left the crowd making his way to the tree line.  Bending at the waist, he unraveled the skin.  I watched as this towering man unrolled the ball.  He left one end at edge of the grass, and slowly rolled the rest through the waiting crowd, to the other end of the clearing.  The rolling ball grew smaller and smaller as the laid out portion was left behind in one long, thick, impossible skin stretching out across the entire length of the clearing.  Shock instilled into the voices of the men and women standing next to me. I on the other hand stood speechless along with my silent father.

The dead and detached skin of this snake stretched along the entire distance of the clearing that we had proclaimed as the marketplace.  Each scale was larger in diameter than the length of my wrist to forearm.   Fearful whispers lingered amongst the crowd.  “Where did you come across this snake skin?” ask my father.

“It has been passed through two other travelers before me, along with the story of its origins.  But I assure you sir, this is the skin of no snake.”

“It sure does look like a snake to me.”

“At first glance yes.” He replied, “But notice the shape.  It does not shrink down on both sides nor have the head of a snake.  It is triple the size on one end as the other.”

Again my father retorted “Well that doesn’t mean anything.  What if it is much larger and just broken in the middle?”

Rolling laughter escaped from the drifters lips. “I do like your style my good sir!…  come along with me to the end and I’ll show you something before I tell you all the tale of what this skin belongs to.”

My father walked next to the drifter and I followed close in tow.  The rest of the crowd slowly made their way behind us at a cautious distance.  I stared down at the skin laying at my feet as I made step after step to the edge of the clearing.  The skin grew wider and wider until it came to an abrupt stop. Pointing at the end of the shedding Johnson explained the way that scales shrunk back down around the edges and rounded out into a different shape along the final row.  In conclusion he noted the slight indents at the outer edges indicating the way the scales formed and attached to the creature.  Nodding his head my father seemed to agree with the drifters logic. I let my eyes wander down the length of the shedding.  I was overwhelmed by the size and mystery of it.  It was dark gray in color, unlike the average clear tan pigment held by most other reptile shedding.  Each scale had been diamond in shape.  An eerie beauty radiated from it, as its flow filled the grassy clearing and demanded the attention of every man and woman standing close to it.

“You do have my attention, Mr. Johnson.”

“Just Johnson please.”  He stated with a warm smile.  “They are calling these creatures Lamians.  Half serpent, half man… Well woman I should say.”  Already a head above the rest, he seemed to stand even taller.  His proud smile quickly faded into a menacing blank stare.  A cloud crossed over the wrinkles in his face and bags under his eyes.  “Upon much study, the story has been passed along with the skin. After seeing the terror in the eyes of a few men and women before I came across it, I believe every word.  It is said that snakes carrying the Lamian venom were stirred awake from an ancient sleep.   The shock of the lightning and the horrendous roll of the omnipotent thunder, unleashed its power.  Snakes containing the most potent of a magical line awoke from centuries of undisturbed slumber.

“The original beast was said to be transformed from a human into a serpent hundreds of thousands of years ago by an overwhelming loss in her life.  She cursed the Gods, and in turn was cursed herself to live out her life as a serpent.  Her name was Lamia. Upon being slaughtered, the unborn snakes inside of her was also put to rest by the gods.  Until the lightning began.  The storm awoke the decedent snakes of Lamia.  Her blood boiled in their veins.  Her sight peered through their eyes seeking out only the most beautiful woman alive.  Upon finding these women the snakes would sink their fangs deep into the flesh infecting them with their venom.  It is said that over time this venom changed the women bitten.  At first their beauty lasted for years not allowing them to age.  As time went on the serpent inside of them started to surface changing these women into an awful creature that feeds off of the pure blood and flesh of humans.  Once the serpent has completely taken over, the evil that is their new selves devour their old souls.  They can smell human life just waiting to be fed upon from miles away.  They move from house, to hut, and to cave consuming every human they come in contact with.  They travel and feed at night, amongst the lightning, when the rest of the world is in hiding.”

Glancing around at the faces in the crowd his expression remained the same as it had when he began his tale.  He explained that he had made it his mission to travel as far and as fast as he could to warn survivors of the storm, that the Lamians are coming.  He doesn’t know how far away this skin was picked up or how fast the creature moves.  He also stated that it has been at least a year since he has been to a place that had already heard of the beast.  I looked up and down the length of the clearing at the giant shed skin of the serpent as he spoke.  No mater how hard I imagined I just could not picture this horrendous being.  My stomach twisted and stirred at the thought.  I was only 22 years old at the time with no life experience other than that of our cave and the marketplace.  I am now 26, and my story is one of courage and heartbreak.

Book Blitz: The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount @MistyAMount @shanannigans81

Genre: YA/ Fantasy/ Coming of Age

Publication Date: December 28, 2017

Synopsis:

Shy, thirteen-year-old Zylia has always known she was different. Most teenagers feel unnoticed and unseen, but for Zylia, it’s something much worse. She’s disappearing from this world and doesn’t know how to stop it. At times, she’s not sure she wants to. Until she stumbles across a family mystery surrounding the disappearance of her great-aunt Angelica years earlier. During her quest to unravel the mystery, Zylia discovers she’s able to cross the boundary and enter the “in between” world. Now, it’s up to Zylia to save herself before she’s trapped “in between” forever.

Goodreads

Quote Selections:

“I have always known that I am invisible—I had no idea that eventually I would fade away completely.”

 “Blackness. Nothingness. It was in the shape of a giant, hazy shadow, enveloping me, swallowing me, and digesting me into the unknown. It was my biggest fear and my ultimate fate.”

 “As the freezing rain hit me, I could feel the stares…smoldering on my skin. I longed for invisibility. At times like this, the very curse that plagued me was also my protection.”

 “…in school I felt more undetectable than ever. I walked through the crowded hallways like a human pinball, careening off one person and bouncing into another.”

About the Author

Misty Mount.jpg

Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist. She resides in Wichita, Kansas.

 Facebook

Twitter

@MistyAMount

 Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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Giveaway:

Enter the giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 2 digital copies of “The Shadow Girl”

 Click Here To Enter!

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Review: The Pretty Ones, by Ania Ahlborn 4 of 5 stars

My Review:

Ania Ahlborn has become one of my favorite thriller/horror writers!  Within the last year I’ve read four of her books and every single one of them has blown me away! Her style is one of a kind, she’s brilliant!

The Pretty Ones is in my opinion right up there with the best of her work!  Brother is still my favorite, but this one is seriously neck and neck. Just when I thought I had things figured out, Ania threw in a curve and had me wide eyed with my jaw to the floor!  I freaking loved the end of this book. From cover to cover it offers everything a great psychological thriller should. It’s nasty, twisted and shocking, yet it still has that authentically raw and believable feel to it.

The main character Nell is extremely quiet and self conscious. She’s awkward, full of a longing to belong, and she has this deep routed hate that practically consumes her. Nell works day in and day out at a tedious call center, surrounded by girls that she absolutely loathes. These women either ignore her completely, leaving her to feel invisible, or they pick on her. She sticks with the job, and keeps quiet to support her brother Barrett in their crappy apartment on a very dicey part of the city.

Barrett doesn’t speak. He’s an aspiring writer, who makes notes to Nell to communicate. They are both extremely obsessive, possessive, protective and weird with each other. This very strange brother/sister relationship was forced into it’s weirdness by their horrible up-bringing. Their father died when they were young and their mother was an awful woman. What makes their relationship unique is that it’s layered into physiological surprises that unfold in perfect timing through out the story.

There has been a series of killing in the city, and as the book unravels those murders grow closer and closer to home. This book is awesome and I’ll definitely be reading more and more of Ania’s work!

Description:

A terrifying e-novella from the bestselling author of Within These Walls, Brother, and The Bird Eater!

New York, 1977. The sweltering height of the Summer of Sam. The entire city is gripped with fear, but all Nell Sullivan worries about is whether or not she’ll ever make a friend. The self-proclaimed “Plain Jane” does her best to fit in with the girls at work, but Nell’s brother, Barrett, assures her that she’ll never be like them. When Nell manages to finally garner some much-yearned-for attention, the unthinkable happens to her newfound friend. The office pool blames Son of Sam, but Nell knows the awful truth…because doing the devil’s work is easy when there’s already a serial killer on the loose.

Cover Reveal: Danu (line of Enya, book 2), by T.L Harty

Danu, by T.L. Harty is the second book in a YA Historical Fantasy packed to the brim with fascinating insight to a dangerously magical blood line. It was released just a few days ago and I can’t wait to read it. Stay tuned for a review, it’ll definitely be sooner than later!  I finished up the first book in the series just over a week ago and it was an excellent read.

Read the review for book one here: Review: Behold Ellowee: Destiny is Rarely Your Own, by T L Harty

Muriel is whisked away, safely nestled in Danu castle so she can’t be found.

Still coming to terms with her abilities, she begins to understand their importance, and gains more insight about her ancestry, as historical errors are revealed in a powerful way.

With so much to learn and loved ones to protect, she can’t afford to ignore the inevitable responsibility of her lineage.
Muriel is destined to complete the Council, which has been missing the Line of Enya seat for over 500 years.

Sometimes, life has to fall apart before it can finally come together.

Review: Deity’s Soulmate, by Angelina Kerner 4 of 5 stars

My Review:

4 of 5 stars.

Deity’s Soulmate has the most uniquely modern twist on mythological aspects I’ve ever read. It’s different, and I love different. Gardenia is the daughter of Athena and Zeus. She has a bit of a temper, and often makes rash decisions. She lets her family and the fates press her buttons, and she’s known to act on emotions rather than thinking things through.

Her stubborn bull-headedness isn’t all bad though. After breaking the rules, checking out human kind in war without permission, and listening to some negative comments of belittlement from her family and one of the fates, Gardenia makes a split decision to create a Galaxy of her own. Such a task usually requires years of extensive training. It’s extremely taxing on the body and soul, and the complexities of creating life is far to overwhelming for a teenage goddess to understand.

Luckily Gardenia survives the first step. But, for punishment Zeus places her creation in a limbo state and requires her to train for quite an extensive period of time. Everyone is expecting her to fail. After her choice to seek out the help of dragons as her trainers rather than the obvious choice of her family, they all seem to stand against her even more. Gardenia uses the lack of faith in herself by her family to feed her determination. She seeks out the help of dragons to train her for the task at hand. What she finds in her journey is far from what she expected.

I really enjoyed the style of this story and am excited to read the next books in the series!  I enjoyed the fates. They’re deceptive and weave a path of destruction. It’s kind of like they are irritating in a perfect way. I love the approach Angelina took with Dragons! I felt like Gardenia was a bit juvenile. A part of me felt like that was necessary to the plot, and part of me not so much. Ultimately I really enjoyed the read, and will definitely be reading the next in the series!

Description:

From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.

A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself. Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.

Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete. But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice. She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.

Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries. For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!

Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way. The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri. Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…

Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance. What’s a young goddess to do? Flight or fight?

The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall @shanannigans81 #blogtour #thriller #giveaway

Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date: January 2018

Blurb:

Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead.  The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss.  For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation.  Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

Available on Amazon

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

About the Author

D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

KD Dowdall

https://karendowdall.com/

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

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