Book Review: “Distant Horizon” by Stephanie and Isaac Flint

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Goodreads Synopsis

The Community is safe.
Unless you have superpowers.

Sixty years ago, a hallucinogenic plague annihilated half the world’s population, leading to the formation of the Community—an international government that promises its citizens safety, security, and efficiency. Every day, Community citizens swallow a mandatory pill to ensure their immunity to the plague. A year after graduating high school, they take the Health Scan.

Most pass, and continue with their lives. Others disappear.

Eighteen-year-old Jenna Nickleson hasn’t taken the pill since her senior year in high school. She feels more alive without it, and she hasn’t shown any signs of infection—at least, not until two days after a surprise Health Scan is announced and Special Forces arrive at her university campus.

Spurred by the recent string of hallucinations, Jenna searches for any inkling of what happens to those who fail the scan. Rumor has it that they’re sent away for treatment and, once cured, receive a menial job. But when she uncovers the cruel truth behind the plague, her ideal world is shattered.

Underneath the illusion of safety, Special Forces agents harbor a dark secret.

The plague is a lie.

Bookworm1102’s Review

I received a free ebook from YA Bound and the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Jenna Nickleson has not taken the mandatory daily pill for six months. She feels more alive without it. This is fine until a surprise Health Scan is announced, and she panics. Whoever fails the scan is never heard from again. When she fails the scan, Jenna and her friends are whisked into a new world, where they discover the ugly truth about the plague and about the government they trust so much. Who can Jenna trust?

I enjoyed this book. The world was set in the future, and it was a fast paced novel. The characters all had a unique backstory, and you found yourself getting whisked along on their journey, which was full of new discoveries, some good and some bad. Jenna was a likeable heroine, and she had her two friends Lance and Tim with her. Tim was my favourite character, as he was the one who was very reliant on his government, and he really had to work to change his mindset (plus he had a technology power!)

I rate this book 4/5 stars!

If you like the sound of Distant Horizon, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

Book Review: “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer

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Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

Bookworm1102’s Review

Before I read this book, I had heard nothing but good things about this series, so I thought I’d give it a try myself. I was not disappointed!

Cinder is a mechanic living in New Beijing. She lives with her stepmother and her two stepsisters. Cinder is also a cyborg. Her youngest stepsister becomes suddenly ill, and Cinder is blamed for this by her stepmother and oldest stepsister. Alongside this, Earth is being threatened by Queen Levana of Luna, who has the ability to wage war on Earth if she wants to. Cinder’s life becomes entwined with Prince Kai and with the Queen, and Cinder does not know that she is more important than she realises.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a futuristic take on ‘Cinderella’. I could see some of the similarities between this book and the classic fairytale, such as Cinder being forced to work for her stepmother, and Cinder meeting the Prince. There is also a lot of new characters in this series, like Queen Levana and Doctor Erland, who is one of my favourite characters.

The story was fast paced and there was always something new happening with every turn of the page. There were a few twists and turns that I did not expect, and the ending was a cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series to see what happens.

You can find Cinder on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

Guest Post: The Bridge Of The Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand

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A child with a knack for solving problems helps some hungry fish and finds a treasure. Illustrated folk tale teaches how to spot opportunities to help people and make money. Comes with money-making activities; ideas for businesses; and online resources on finding customers, managing money, and moving up in an organization (for ages 5 and up). Young children will be captivated by the story; older ones will want to apply the things they learn. The book is illustrated by Yaniv Cahoua.

Links To The Book

childrenearn.com

amazon.com

amazon.co.uk

gozobooks.com (to buy)

gozobooks.com (learn and earn)

goodreads.com

The book is currently free on Amazon until January 30.

Guest Post: Esper Files – The Sky Cult by Egan Brass

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Freya has joined the Institute – an organization created to help Espers control their powers, and she thought she’d finally found peace.

That is, until Anti-Esper weapons find their way into the hands of The Coalition, a radical group who is determined to kill anyone with powers.
At the same time, the Sky Cult has arisen, claiming that Espers have the right to rule over lowly humans.
The timing couldn’t be worse, as all of this happens three days before Esper Day, the first holiday designed to show that humans and Espers can coexist.

Now Nathan, Freya and the team have to fight both organizations in a race against time before one of the radical groups tips the scales, and plunges the entire world into their own version of Armageddon.

If you are interested in Esper Files – The Sky Cult, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

Book Review: “The Vets At Hope Green: Part One: Escape To The Country” by Sheila Norton

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I received a free ebook from the author and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sam lives in London with her boyfriend Adam. She is a receptionist at a London vets. One day, an emergency makes her feel ill, and she realises something important, something that she knows her boyfriend will not like. Needing to get away, she goes to stay with her Nan and Rufus, her nan’s dog, deep in the countryside, in the village of Hope Green. She immediately knows that she is meant to live in the country, but there is one problem: her boyfriend does not share the same dream as her.

I enjoyed this book. It is the first in a series, more of a novella. It was a fast paced start to this series. Sam is a really likeable character, she really enjoys her job, although she would rather be a vet than a receptionist. The only character I ‘disliked’, although that is a very loose word, was Joe Bradley. I am hoping we learn more of his past and present in the next few books.

I rate this book 4/5 stars!

If you are interested in The Vets At Hope Green Part One, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here

Guest Post: Cocaine To Bain: Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll And The Inside Story Of The Hollywood Guitar Center by Taylor Van Arsdale

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1986…Hollywood, at the peak of the cocaine-fueled, hair-band era that swept through the ‘80s like a screeching guitar solo on a double-necked custom Gibson. Taking a gig as the first Check-In Girl at Guitar Center on the Sunset Strip, journalist Taylor Van Arsdale was given a front row seat to the parade of dreamers, druggies and misfits that came flocking to the iconic LA store. But in this world of — yes — sex drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll, lies the story of a young girl discovering herself, making mistakes, falling in and out of love, and becoming a woman. Part fiction / part memoir—Cocaine To Bain snorts and grinds its way through sexual dalliances and love triangles, through celebrity encounters and mental breakdowns and does so during the unexpected corporate handover of Guitar Center.

If you like the sound of Cocaine to Bain, you can find it on Amazon US here and Amazon UK here. If you would like to visit the author’s website, you can find it here.

Book Review: “Anomalies” by Sadie Turner and Colette Freedman

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In the future there is no disease. There is no war. There is no discontent. All citizens are complacent members of the Global Governance. But one summer is about to change everything.

Keeva Tee just turned fifteen. All of her dreams are about to come true. She s about to make the trip to Monarch Camp to be imprinted with her intended life partner. One day they ll have perfect kids and a perfect life. But in her happy, carefree life in the Ocean Community, something weighs on her mind. She hears whispers about anomalies citizens who can t be imprinted. No one knows what happens to them, but they never seem to come back.

When Keeva arrives at Monarch Camp, her worst nightmare becomes a reality she is an anomaly. After imprinting, the people she loves change, and she starts to doubt everything she s ever believed. What if freedom and individuality have been sacrificed for security? And what if the man who solves all the problems is the very man who s created them and what if he isn’t a man at all?

When Keeva finds a warning carved under a bunk bed she begins to understand: nonconformity will be punished, dissent is not an option, insurgents will be destroyed.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks A MillionSelect Books | Audible

Bookworm1102’s Review:

I was given a code for a free audiobook on Audible by the authors and YA Bound Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Keeva is looking forward to attending Monarch Camp. Everyone does this when they are 15. They get to meet their intended partner, the person who they will spend the rest of their lives with. There are stories of people who are called ‘anomalies’, people whose intended partner has passed away. Keeva tries not to think about this, choosing instead to think about her new life with her intended partner.

At Monarch Camp, she finds out that her intended partner has passed away, and she is now an anomaly. Her whole world flips upside down. Keeva finds herself finding out secrets that the world leader has hidden, and she realises her whole world is a lie. Can she and her group stop Sobek?

 

I really enjoyed listening to this book. From the first chapter to the very last sentence, I was hooked. The characters are well described, and I could imagine myself taking this journey with them. Keeva was a likeable heroine, I really wanted her to meet her intended partner and I was sad for her when she found out that he’d passed away.

At first, I was a bit confused with having the two separate storylines in one chapter, but once I knew the layout, I settled back into the story very quickly. The ending is wide open for a second book, and I am looking forward to discovering what happens next.

I give this book 5/5 stars!

 

About the Authors

SADIE TURNER is a Los Angeles-based producer and writer originally from Brighton, England, who works in business development with several Hollywood entrepreneurs. She has various projects in development, and also teaches yoga.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterInstagram

COLETTE FREEDMAN– An internationally produced playwright with over 25 produced plays, Colette was voted “One of 50 to Watch” by The Dramatist’s Guild. Her hit musical Serial Killer Barbie can be heard here.

Her play Sister Cities was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews:  It has been produced around the country and internationally, fifteen times including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur), Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle) and Australia.  It is next up in  Chicago August 2016. She wrote the film which is currently in post-production and stars Jacki Weaver, Alfred Molina, Jess Weixler, Stana Katic, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amy Smart, Troian Bellisario, Tom Everett Scott and Kathy Baker. She  has co-written, with International bestselling novelist Jackie Collins, the play Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies, which is gearing up for a National Tour.

In collaboration with The New York Times best selling author Michael Scott,  she wrote the thriller The Thirteen Hallows  (Tor/Macmillan). Her novel The Affair (Kensington) came out January 29, 2013. The play of the novel earned both critical and commercial success as it toured Italy February through May 2013. Her sequel novel The Consequences (Kensington) came out January 28, 2014. Her YA novel Anomalies (Select Books) came out February 9, 2016. She also co-wrote the film And Then There Was Eve  which is currently in pre-production and begins principal photography May 2016.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

GIVEAWAY:

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Blog Tour Organized by:

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Guest Post: The Good Dictator I: The Birth Of An Empire by Gonçalo JN Dias

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An unidentified object park on the moon, no one seems to know his inception. Gustavo a middle-aged computer programmer, with a comfortable and grey life, decide to make a list, along with two friends, in order to survive in case of a hypothetical attack. He became obsessed with the list, spend a fortune, rob a drugstore and his own family think he is going insane. However, after the attack, the insane it’s well prepared for a new era in society. First book of a trilogy.

Excerpt
– I’ll ask you something and you may not decline. – Said Rute with a seductive look.
– Tell me.
– Today, you will have to have dinner with me as a way to repay you for all of your work.
Gustavo gave a little laugh and placed his right hand on Rute’s left arm.
– You don’t have to repay me; I did it because I like your company.
– I won’t accept a no, please.
At that moment, Gustavo felt like kissing her thin lips, but he thought that perhaps he was misreading her signs and feared being rejected.
– I accept the invitation, then. But first, I will go home, take a shower, change, and bring some wine to water the food.
– Perfect. – Rute answered with a pleasant smile.
While he dressed up for dinner, Gustavo found himself a little nervous, he liked Rute and felt attracted to her, but he wonder if she felt the same way and it everything seemed so fast and recent that it was best to just have a single peaceful, relaxed night, in good company, and not to try any foolishness. He left home very elegant, with two bottles of red wine and with his hands sweating in anxiety.
When he arrived, Rute was already dressed with one of Marta’s beautiful dresses, which was somewhat weird for Gustavo. She was still cooking dinner, and they had an exciting talk which lasted the entire dinner, always watered with red wine, which soon made Rute a little tipsy, since she had not drunk for a long time. They talked about the past and their previous relationships. Rute confessed that she missed her two daughters and her father a lot, but she did not mention her grandson, because she did not want to give the image of being grandmother, she didn’t even mentioned having missed her husband, because she actually did not feel that way. Gustavo talked about the list, his obsession with the attack, his idiotic parents-in-law, how they had gotten hold of power and the complicated political situation in which he was involved. He did not know whether or not he should kiss her, if he should make a move, if he was mistaking things; Rute on the other hand, felt like kissing him, but she was afraid he took her as an old woman, that the nine year difference would be too much for him. A little after finishing dinner, there was an uncomfortable silence; Gustavo did not know what to say, nor what subject to bring up, he thought silence was a signal it was time to depart, besides, tomorrow he would have to wake up early for the agricultural tasks. He got up, and when he was ready to speak, Rute got up with him and caught his hand softly; she thought of saying something to keep him from going, but she simply looked at Gustavo’s blue eyes; he was filled with courage and approached Rute’s face and lips slowly. After the first kiss, many others came and their hands ran across both of their bodies with more and more intensity; they got into the small bedroom without stopping their kisses as they took off their clothes as they took off their clothes in a clumsy manner and ended up naked on the old bed that Gustavo had brought a few hours ago.

If you like the sound of The Good Dictator, you can find it on Goodreads here, Amazon US here and Amazon UK here. It is currently free on Kindle from 19 January until 21 January.

Other Book Reviews

This page is for books that I have reviewed that I have not received in exchange for an honest review. All these books are mostly physical copies of books that I have at home that I have bought to read in my own time. These books are listed in alphabetical order.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Guest Post: A Sinister Six: A Collection Of Six Darkly Disturbing Stories by Steve Boseley

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‘A Sinister Six’ is a collection of darkly disturbing stories, where the ordinary and mundane become extraordinary and fantastic.

Come along, as we journey to the edges of reality and glimpse what lies just beyond our reach. Discover that nothing is quite what it seems, and explore the horrors that travel with us throughout our lives.

The characters you will meet within have been forced beyond the boundary of their reality and have encountered what lies beyond.

Die, Blossom Bloom is the story of TED HARRIS, an old man who feels a yawning chasm of grief and guilt from the loss of his wife and the way her life ended. Keeping these details secret leads him to commit acts he never thought himself capable of.

The Girl in the Park tells the tale of a boy who encounters an enigmatic young woman in the park. As he grows, he begins to fall in love with her, but it is only at the end of his life that he discovers how he can be with her.

A Snap of The Fingers asks the questions What would you do for a loved one? Would you die for them? Would you kill for them? Ten-year-old SETH ROGERS is asked that very question by a stranger that offers to save his mother from the cancer that is killing her.

The Photograph A photograph is rediscovered decades after it was lost, only now the picture has several new faces in it, faces that were not there when it was taken.  

The Book demands to be read. It needs to be read. Doctor MONTE HILTON is tasked with helping a man that believes The Book is urging him to read it and that the very existence of our universe is in danger if he does.

I’m Watching You is the story of one man’s descent into insanity. Long hours and late nights force MIKE to question what is real and what is imagined. Some people can only be pushed so far before something breaks.

If you would like to buy A Sinister Six, you can find universal purchase links here. The book is available to pre-order until February 1st. If you pre-order, you can receive an extra two stories by emailing Steve with a screenshot of the purchase. You can email Steve at: authorsteveboseley@gmail.com
About The Author
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Steve has been writing since his late teens, but after losing his way when children and life came along, he picked writing up again seriously, in 2011.

After several false starts, Steve was published in several online horror webzines, including Microhorror, Schlock! Horror, and several others.

Steve has also had work published by Alfie Dog fiction and those stories will be appearing in one of Steve’s future collections.

Over the past 18 months, Steve has had stories included in the anthologies The Asylum Within, and the Halloween edition of Dead but Dreaming.

Most recently, Steve was a guest author for the short story collection Deathly Musings, which was at the end of 2015.

Steve’s next goal was to self-publish his first book, which he succeeded in doing, when Die, Blossom, Bloom was published in May of 2016.  His next work in progress is already nearing completion, a collection of some of Steve’s best known work, called A Sinister Six.

Steve was born and raised in Nottingham, UK, in 1971, and he lives there now, with his wife, two children, two cats and two rabbits.

Steve’s first job was in a factory that made car parts, which was where he stayed for two years until he realised it was boring.  It was where he met his wife, so he still views it as a positive experience.

A very active sportsman, Steve went back to university  to study Sport Science (anatomy and physiology) and expected to move into a career in sports.

Instead, Steve worked with children and young people for several years, before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of just 30.  He now works for a local charity, supporting and empowering disabled people.  Writing resurfaced following his diagnosis, offering endless imaginary worlds to escape into.

You can connect with Steve on various social media platforms below.

Website:  http://www.authorsteveboseley.com
Blog:  https://authorsteveboseley.wordpress.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SteveBoseley
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorsteveboseley
Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/steveboseley/