Please click HERE to view previous book list and reviews.Books that make my list are considered for a variety of reasons and span a number of genres. I like to remain eclectic in my reading habits and as advertised, I've added a number of 'indie' and small press books. This is not because I do not get a number of requests from large publishing companies, but because I'm continuing my mission and promise to provide book reviews for independent authors. I support a wide gamut of authors and consider all works equal in creative value. See REVIEW POLICY for more information.
The Marked Son
Author Shea Berkley
Special Feature August 2
Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what. When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power. Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…
Ward Against Death
Author Melissa Card
Special Feature August 6
Twenty-year-old Ward de Ath expected this to be a simple job bring a nobleman s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can t be a surgeon the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying so bringing people back from the dead it is.But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can t bring himself to break his damned physician s Oath and desert her. However, nothing is as it seems including Celia. One second, she s treating Ward like sewage, the next she s kissing him. And for a nobleman s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive...
The Mighty Walzer
Author Howard Jacobson
Early Review Library Thing
Finished Review Post
Oliver Walzer is a natural at ping-pong. He can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion. At sex he is not a natural, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, his game improves. Unabashedly autobiographical, this is Howard Jacobson's masterpiece.
Author Daniel Shortell
Jack Addington is stuck. A carefree life wandering the globe has morphed into a monotonous existence working for an oppressive Manhattan-based software company peddling products which destroy the lives of decent people. Jack struggles through soul-sucking affairs with despotic executives and eccentric scientists by mentally projecting himself out of the present and into past adventures. Avoidance, however, is temporary, and it does not take long for his overly medicated mind to lose perspective, causing him to act increasingly irrational in a brutally rational world. Jack attempts to reconnect to reality through the guidance of a colorful group of 'advisers', but, a bleak situation continues to spin out of control despite his best efforts. Ultimately for Jack, a slice of contentment is found only when luck stands amid the rubble of his failed attempts at perseverance. Sharply satirical, funny and painfully honest,Where's Unimportant is a snapshot of one man's failed attempt at the American Dream.
The Zombie Monologues
Author Steven E. Metze
Dr. Clyde Marshall is the world’s first zombie psychiatrist, and he’s discovered a way to tap into the still-human subconscious thoughts of the living dead. Found here are his recovered transcripts from the Necrotizing Ambulation Disorder (NAD) Psychological Laboratory Facility “To condemn this material is to condemn the true authors, the many undead who I subjected to hours of brain scanning and verbal interviews. They are the real storytellers. I only kept the record.”
The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski
Author Gerald R. Schmidt
It's 1842 in Prussian-dominated Poland. Something sinister is happening in the peaceful, bucolic countryside surrounding the village of Lasin, causing people to keep their doors locked. It begins when sexually-addicted Moishe Karnowski, the rabbi's son, stumbles upon a coven of Satan-worshippers deep in the forest. There are murders, rapes, a kidnapping, and sacrileges. There's a cultural clash: Catholic Poles, Lutheran Prussians, and Jews. Collaborators with the regime clash with resisters.
Blood of the Demon
Author Rosalie Lario
Special Feature August 9
Keegan lives to exact revenge on the evil demon who sired and abused him. When his father devises a plan to bring on the apocalypse, he and his three half-brothers, interdimensional bounty hunters for the Elden Council, are charged with capturing and delivering their father for punishment. Art gallery owner Brynn Meyers has no idea that her ability to read memories embedded in objects and drain people of their life force means she has demon ancestry. Unfortunately for Brynn, she’s also the key to raising an ancient zombie army, which puts her on every demon’s Most Wanted List. And no one wants her more than Keegan’s father. Keegan must protect Brynn from his father by any means necessary, but he’ll have to learn to harness the other half of his genetics—the far deadlier, uncontrollable half—when he starts to fall for the one woman standing between him and the vengeance he so desperately seeks. The one woman he’ll never be able to resist.
Beast of Burden
Author Ray Banks
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The biggest race riot in Manchester's history and his brother's death have left PI Callum Innes a physical and emotional wreck. He's about to leave his newly established agency to partner Frank Collier when the word comes through that his erstwhile nemesis Mo Tiernan has gone missing. Innes is the only one Mo's ganglord father trusts to investigate, but he's not the only one working the case - Detective Sergeant 'Donkey' Donkin has a vested interest in both the Tiernans and Innes, and he'd sacrifice his career to see them both behind bars. After all, he has a score to settle...And he's not the only one.
Author Deborah Lawrenson
When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to purchase Les Genevriers, an abandoned house in a rural hamlet in the south of France. As the beautiful Provence summer turns to autumn, Eve finds it impossible to ignore the mysteries that haunt both her lover and the run-down old house, in particular the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful first wife, Rachel. Whilst Eve tries to untangle the secrets surrounding Rachel's last recorded days, Les Genevriers itself seems to come alive. As strange events begin to occur with frightening regularity, Eve's voice becomes intertwined with that of Benedicte Lincel, a girl who lived in the house decades before. As the tangled skeins of the house's history begin to unravel, the tension grows between Dom and Eve. In a page-turning race, Eve must fight to discover the fates of both Benedicte and Rachel, before Les Genevriers' dark history has a chance to repeat itself.
My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies
Author Allen Zadoff
Finished Review Post
High school sophomore Adam Zeigler, who lost his father to a sudden accident two years ago, thinks the best way to live life is behind the spotlight. As a member of the theater crew, he believes he's achieved it all when he wins the coveted job of spotlight operator. But that was before a young actress, Summer, appeared in his view. Instantly smitten, Adam is determined to win her over. But to do so, he'll have to defy his best friend and break the golden rule of his school: techies and actors don't mix. Set against the backdrop of a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Zadoff's latest is a bromance, a love story, and theater story in one. The politics of love and high school collide as Adam struggles to find the courage to step out of the shadows and into the light.
Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions
Author Nina Hamberg
Route One Press
Finished Review Post
Set in San Francisco in the 1970s, Grip is the true story of how an eighteen-year-old fends off a stalker with just her wits. She goes on to become the toughest female martial artist in her karate school, an early advocate for women’s rights, and a residential counselor for troubled teenage boys. For her, the best way to make her world safe is to seek out threats and face them head-on. Even in personal relationships, this five-foot fighter is drawn to men with volatile tempers, men like her father. But her strategy of confronting danger doesn’t free her from her past — it creates a wake of greater destruction. Only by marshalling the strength to be vulnerable can she discover intimacy and love.
Author Karina Halle
FINISHED Review Post
With Book Two of the Experiment in Terror Series, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray trade in the stormy Oregon coast for the unforgiving deserts of New Mexico. In the for got ten town of Red Fox, a Navajo cou ple is tor tured by things unseen and by motives unknown. Wild ani mals slink through their house in the dark, a bar rage of stones pound their roof nightly, and muti lated sheep car casses are turn ing up on their prop erty. Armed with a cam era and just enough to go on, Perry and Dex travel to the des o late locale, hoping to film the super nat ural occur rences and add cred i bil ity to their flailing web cast. Only their show has a lot more work ing against them than just grow ing pains. Tested by dubi ous ranch hands, a ghost from Dex’s past, and shapeshift ing decep tion, the ama teur ghost hunters must learn to trust each other in order to fight the most ancient of myths…or die trying.
Jane Was Here
Author Sarah Kernochan
Grey Swan Press
A mysterious young woman calling herself Jane turns up in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in this place, yet she has never been here before in her life. Upon her arrival, strange and alarming things begin happening to some of the town's inhabitants. As Jane's memories reawaken piece by piece, they carry her back to a long-buried secret, while the townspeople hurtle forward to a horrific event when past and present fatally collide.
An Epitaph for Coyote
Author Bryan R. Dennis
Here lies Henry Pluck -- real estate closer and frequent visitor of nursing homes, who believed his life was one slice short of the starry-striped apple pie of success. A perfectionist at work and an eater of sandwiches, he drove an import, lived alone in a box, and was virtually indistinguishable from any other salaried clerk in Vegas Baby, Nevada. So might have read the inscription on his gravestone.But when he encounters Rosa Santana, an unconventional and perplexing young woman from the desert, he learns what a defunct building feels like before a wrecking ball. This is a portrait of a lonely man coming to terms with his flawed interpretation of perfection. For the world is not what Henry thinks it is, and as he’ll soon discover, neither is Rosa. This is the wild, mysterious world of 4,000 year old movies, cosmic irony, predators, and prey. This is the American Dream, just before its pants fell down.
Port of Errors
Author Steve V. Cypert
Black-Hearted is the most feared pirate on the Eastern Atlantic seas. Captain Daniel Stirvin is the most revered and courageous captain in the Queen's Royal Navy. As Black-Hearted and Captain Stirvin get closer to the inevitable battle that will leave only one man standing, a past is uncovered that will leave both men regretting the unseen outcome. With love, brotherhood, loyalty and betrayal, Port of Errors is an epic adventure that doesn't stop moving.
* In addition, if a book does not appear on this list and you know you have sent it and I've received it, it means I have already read it, it's featured in an early reading queue post or will appear in my next book group post. There is usually a reason to my madness and it always works to the authors advantage. :)