What happens to us when we die? It is the universal question. Every civilization and culture has asked this question and sought to answer it through religion and philosophy. Stafford Betty’s The Afterlife Unveiled seeks to answer these questions. Betty's compilation of sources spans decades and includes mediums, or communicators, who have no way of knowing each other or what previous communications have been made. Together they weave a common narrative that enlightens as much as it astounds. Betty acknowledges that mediums may taint the information transmitted through them, but maintains his confidence that what he has presented is truly from the Other Side. Those who pass speak of a world of vivid colors where sound has a melody and cathedrals and schools exist. Souls continue to learn and grow. The departed don’t just speak about what the next life is like, but speak explicitly about what the “purpose of life is here and now” for the living.
The concept that an individual continues to grow and learn in the "Other Realm" is encouraging and comforting in a strange sort of way. There are those who care for children and minister to the yet struggling souls. The communicators all speak of troubled souls who remain in a sort of a self-constructed "hell" they carried over built by their earthly addictions and unfinished struggles. This certainly gave me pause. The idea that the “demons” haunting us in this life can continue to plague us in the next life if we are unwilling to grow in enlightened purpose is disturbing, if not spiritually motivating. It makes you realize the importance of striving forward with your individual spiritual growth. The afterlife isn’t about whose religion was right or wrong, or what color your skin is, or even if you believed an afterlife existed at all. It is another part of the journey our soul experiences. I found myself thinking about the movie What Dreams May Come. The colors, the joy, the growth of the soul...and the agony of being stuck in a hell of your own making were so clearly evident in the film. I highly recommend this book. It will change the way you think about the afterlife. Maybe, challenge your thinking and beliefs is a better way to phrase that. (Thank you Nathan for bringing this book into my world).
what dreams may come...
I just love reading Anna Snow's stories. This one was a quick read that I deemed creepy sexy. First of all, I am very squeamish about anything scary...a big abandoned mansion, a single gal, and things that go bump in the night really freak me out. The short story centered around Heather Martin, a quiet and pretty unassuming woman. She recently moved to Lakeshore to take up a newspaper job. She buys the town's "haunted" mansion. Of course, no one can tell her anything about why it was abandoned, so the investigator in her takes over. As Heather gets closer to the truth, her life becomes in danger. Enter hunky handyman, Andy. He is the wounded muscley type (when he was first introduced, he had on a pair of jeans ripped in the knees...I grinned at the the thought) and I knew somewhere in the digital pages is was going to get heated in the haunter mansion. I was not disappointed. Anna kept the mystery and the tension building with small events. The first creepy thing that showed up was so simple: Heather was investigating the room of two little girls...everything was pink and cream...but I had to put my Kindle down a couple times, because I kept thinking "holy crap" something is going to pop out right now. This was a fast read with spooky elements and some hot romance. It was a perfect fit for me with my busy schedule and my guilty pleasure of steamy stories. I enjoyed my tour of Haunted Haven :)
Saving Tatum is a New Adult novel about a young woman, Tatum, who has been closed off from herself and truly living because of her brother's untimely death. The object of her anger and love is Jude, a womanizing sexy man. He is not without his own personal tragedies. Together these two make a fantastic couple to follow as they learn things about each other and love and forgiveness. They are both closed in their own way to love and deep matters of the heart. Micalea unravels their hearts on the page. It was truly a page turner (or slider, if you're on your eBook).
I picked this book up because I love guys in beanies. I don't know why I love this look, but if a guy can pull it off...well, it's just sexy. And I also needed a good, solid romantic read to help me manage these chilly winter days. I'm a little late jumping on the Micalea fan-band-wagon, but I am so GLAD I did! She can tell a story.
Here are some of my favorite lines, highlighted in the Kindle:
JUDE: Don't you know, falling is the best part of flying.
TATUM: I'm pretty sure I wanted to lick him in that moment. Could you get drunk off sugar?...Yep, you could definitely get drunk on sugar.
JUDE: I like this side of you...the real one.
JUDE: You were f-ing made for me...You're mine, do you understand me?
TATUM: I found that Jude made me want to be honest. I didn't want to hide myself from him. I wanted to give it all to him.
Micalea really did a great job setting the characters up. She laid the solid ground work to build the perfect tension and wow, I fell in love with both Tatum and Jude. Well done and I am ready for more.
my music selection for Tatum and Jude
Here is a book with edgy angels, intrigue and basic bad-assery. In Remiel's world, angels come to earth to help and protect humans from themselves. The archangel Gabriel swoops to earth as a suave and sophisticated human. He sets up a private investigation business, Seeker Investigations, and within hours has his first clients. He has to free a dozen young prostitutes from their scumbag pimp.
He guards those in need of protection with a furious determination. Wielding a lethal sword, Gabriel dispenses a quick and heavenly justice. His Brethren companion, Nathanael, provides a similar service, but his heart is tormented because he actually enjoys killing the bad guys. He has a difficult choice to make...continue or turn.
I enjoyed this book for the sheer fun of the characters and the good/bad angels :)
Find Deena at her blog Deena Remiel's Place
Amazon Author Page
BUY her books at:
Amazon and B & N
She responds to your messages and tweets:)
Where to start with Easy? It's not easy. First, I love the cover couple. I bought it because I liked the way the guy was looking at the girl. I flipped the book over and read the synopsis. I thought, "I hope this has grit. Looks gritty." I'd never heard of Tammara Webber (TW) before, so she was a brand new author for me. I was in Target, supposedly buying mundane things like toilet paper and Muscle Milk and true to form blowing my budget buying books. Go figure. Yes, I've seen this couple on another book, but that's fine. This guy IS Lucas for me. (Stay tuned for a surprise). So, I guess I'll dig into the story and what I loved about Tammara Webber's book. I loved that she had a distinct voice for Lucas and Jacqueline. I loved that she created a New Adult world that wasn't whiny. I loved that she created such a believable and tortured soul in Lucas, because I love that. It reminded me of one of my favorite books, Wuthering Heights. Damn, I love Heathcliff so hard. Especially Tom Hardy as the tortured Heathcliff. Tom just pulled that angst right out of his jackson and put it on film for us to agonize over. And TW does a similarly fine job with her two characters. I actually want them to be real people walking around on a college campus somewhere.
the surprise...you're welcome
Stalk this author at these places :)
Official Website: tammarawebber.com
I found Revelation by Randi Cooley Wilson quite by accident. I was looking to write a blog about #gargoyle books and I came across hers. So, I investigated. I found her book on Amazon. I tweeted her. She was kind enough to tweet back. Then, I downloaded Revelation to my iPhone Kindle app and off I went. I was doing so much reading, I had to read upside down to unkink my neck. No joke. She was nervous because we both love gargoyles, so it was fun tweeting her my progress as I read. Well, I have to say I loved this book. It has everything in it your paranormal heart could desire: gargoyles, angels, faeries, an assortment of demons and of course gargoyles, wait I said that already. There were so many things I liked about Revelation, so lets start with the main guy, Asher. Holy cow. Holy moly. Holy hotness.
This is what I saw when I read about Asher. Conflicted. Intense. Indigo eyes, she said. Jeans and white T-shirt, she said. Tattooed with a---- (you'll have to read that yourself).
But, I digress. Let's get to the center of the story. The focus is on Eve, an orphan raised by her maternal aunt, who has just begun college as a communications major stuck in a boring architecture class, where she meets Asher St. Michael (Mr. Indigo Eyes). He's infuriating. She's tenacious. His lips are more interesting than the professor's boring lecture on medieval building design. It doesn't take too long for Eve to realize something is up between her terrifyingly real nightmares and her inexplicable draw to Asher. She faces off with demon dogs and a bent gargoyle, all of whom are agents of Lucifer. Eve discovers she has a special place among humans and the paranormal creatures she encounters. Her ability to fulfill her destiny, or not, will affect everyone around her.
Bottom line, Randi has created fantastic characters and a great paranormal world.This is a wonderful new adult/young adult read. It was fast. Easy to get into. And can I say...THAT ENDING!! What?! I'm on to book two because I need to know what happens. I enjoyed this book until my neck hurt, so how could I give it less than 5 stars? Available @ Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.
Randi Cooley Wilson
First, let me state that of all the books that I've ever read in my life, HOMER is my favorite author...the Iliad and the Odyssey are my most prized books. So, when I found the Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller I was, shall we say..."stoked." Superficially, I liked the ancient helmet of raised gold on the cover. I read the back and thought, "okay" this should be a decent portrayal of a beloved character...Achilles.
It's hard to talk about this book and Miller's particular view of Achilles without making comparisons to a more widely-known portrayal of Achilles in the movie TROY. The only things I loved about that movie were the costumes and the casting of Brad Pitt as Achilles (with the exception that he was too old, but he was definitely the "golden" type and hunky...). In the film, the story was butchered beyond repair. They could never do a sequel without eliminating other mythological stories, say the bathtub murder of the cuckolded Agamemnon by his estranged wife Clytemnestra, because OOPS! Hector killed him in the movie. And Achilles chopping off the statue head of Apollo when he knew damn well his mother was a sea nymph was an act tantamount to him snubbing his nose at the arbitrary nature of the gods' will, which he knew existed because his mother was one of them. I highly doubt that Achilles would ever do that. And Orlando Bloom as a mewling Paris made me wish Legolaus, a worthy warrior-prince, would show up and target him with an arrow in the heel. And the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus...cousins? No. No. No. What David Benioff did to Homer was nothing short of sacrilege, as far as I'm concerned, and since this is less about how awful I thought the adaptation of the Iliad was in the movie TROY and more about the adaptation of that story in the Song of Achilles, I will stop now.
Miller's story of Achilles was much more on point with the basic mythology of Achilles. I enjoyed her inclusion of Achilles young wife, the ruse almost wedding to sacrifice Iphigeneia, his education by the centaur Chiron, and the eventual arrival of Achilles's little-spoken of son, Neoptolemus. I applaud her for taking the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus into a more appropriate love-zone. They definitely shared a close loving bond, a bond close enough that Patroclus's death caused Achilles to lose all his marbles and fly completely in the face of tradition and the gods. The best evidence we have by Homer about their mutual affection is the extent of Achilles's grief regarding Patroclus's death. That said, Miller takes us right into their bed, a literary interpretation that made me realize I was NOT reading a YA novel, but one meant for a more mature audience of women, non-homophobic men, and classical Greek mythology lovers. I suppose that is one of only three criticisms:
1. that it read like a young adult novel
2. that Patroclus was as mewling as Paris in the movie TROY
3. that Thetis was a grotesque, shining blob with a grating voice and gnashing teeth
Why did Miller make Patroclus such a thin and weak sounding character? Was it too hard to conjure the image that two warriors might be boon companions and in love? At least in the movie, Patroclus was a much more sturdy character visually and more militaristic, which is more in line with the Patroclus of the ancient Greeks. I find it hard to believe that Achilles, the greatest among the Greeks, the captain of the Myrmidons, would find a love interest in a "mewling" anyone. Patroclus becomes the physician, in Miller's novel, who in the end begins to seem more like a man.
Thetis. Sea-nymph. Lower-level goddess. Love interest of Zeus. Neither the movie nor this book do justice to her at all. Miller makes her out to be grotesque, frighteningly eerie...which raises the question: Why would Zeus want to bed anything that hideous? Or Peleus for that matter? "Her mouth was a gash of red, like the torn-open stomach of a sacrifice, bloody and oracular. Behind it teeth shone sharp and white as bone." I sort of envisioned the Sea-Witch from the Little Mermaid...how would this vision make Hera jealous? It was a weak point for me.
All in all, I liked the book. I liked her story. It fell short of the "epicness" we expect for anything related to Homer. Achilles and Patrolcus's relationship, the primary focus of this work, was a step in the right direction paying homage to a love story between warriors (okay, one warrior and one tent-wife-turned-physician). And because Miller was brave enough to write this love story, as a love story, I liked it enough to give it five stars.
....this really was a fun book to read....I read this eNovella in two days. Kassandra Kush did a great job snagging my attention with the opening scene. In The Things We Can’t Change, we are introduced to Zeke and Evie. Ezekiel, nice Biblical name, is a tough, trying to stay on the straight and narrow, almost reformed graffiti artist. Evie is a country club prep, daughter of a doctor trying to strike a balance a between her sanity, safety and her abusive boyfriend. Both of these characters struggle with their inner demons, while trying to navigate high school and family life.
Short version: Evie is abused emotionally and then raped by her popular boyfriend. We are witness, as readers, to Evie’s pain and confusion. (It’s rather intense, but not inappropriate for upper teen readers.) Zeke discovers the truth, encourages Evie to be brave for her own self, but when she is unable to or unwilling to, Zeke doesn’t understand. He thinks she should be able to just walk away from the abuser, like he did from graffiti. But in the end, it all comes crashing down around them both.
I really liked the character of Zeke. There was something about the way Kush caught the essence of a misunderstood young man.” I loved how he looked after his little sister. I thought Zeke’s layers as the protagonist were well written, and there was honesty about his character that came through the story. So much so, that I can image Zeke hanging out around any corner on a high school campus. Evie, although the “maiden in distress in need of rescue”, was not as likable in my opinion, but her story was central to helping Zeke manifest bravery he didn’t know he had. Kush did a bang up job presenting a story based on tough real life situations.
After I read this, I thought about who Evie and Zeke are in the real world...he is the bad boy, tatted, troubled, and afraid he is unlovable. Evie is the spoiled little rich girl, who should have had it all, and lives with the fact she doesn't believe she's lovable either. Classic. We all run around shielding ourselves from our fears, hiding truths we can't face, refuse to face. So, I found a little music video that reminded me of this story. I will definitely be watching for part two. Bring it on Miss Kush!
And then, Kassandra Kush just applied the brakes on her keyboard and left us HANGING! And I mean hanging, literally...so...don’t expect any resolutions in book one. Curses!!! Part two is due out
You can find Kassandra on Facebook (I did)
and in my fav place Twitter world (because you know I can't tweet just one):
here's her teaser for part two...and yes..YOU ARE TEASING US! No fair. There. I said it.
Secrets and Lies by Tracy James Jones is a novel of a different kind. Tracy weaves an unusual love story between a man confused about what he wants and who he loves and woman seeking true love. But the story isn’t that simple. Not by a long shot. It’s complex in a soap opera kind of way. You see the train wreck coming and can’t look away.
Kennedy Jordan loves a woman...a different kind of woman named Bren. He loved her, yet on a basic level, he wasn’t sure she would be enough to satisfy his needs...forever. Bren knew it and because of her secret, she overlooked his “affairs” as nothing more than his efforts at confirming his affections for her. Yes, it’s complicated all right.
Enter Camilla Vargas...the young woman with an agenda of her own. High on her list was finding an upwardly mobile business man to marry. She baited her trap (no pun-intended) and Jordan fell hard. But, did he fall hard enough to forget his feelings for Bren?
This story is not what I expected. Miss Jones addressed a contemporary love triangle with a completely different angle. It is not about being homo-sexual, hetero-sexual, or straight. It’s about love...just loving who you love despite societal prejudice. It’s about the struggle to be loyal, to be honest about your purpose, and to be honest with yourself. Fantastic read for a summer by the pool, the river or the beach.
You can find Tracy James Jones at her Facebook page and twitter.Facebook: http://facebook.com/tracyjamesjones
You can also find her blogging @ http://tracyjamesjones.wordpress.com/
I jumped into Stacey Rourke’s Gryphon Series books with the novel Sacrifice. The book opens with the heroine, Celeste Garrett training with her mentor a grumpy little gnome. Yes, a walking, talking garden variety gnome. Celeste is charged with protecting humanity from the maliciousness of Titans...demons shaped like fire tornados with flaming whips, Bat-bulls and my favorite creepy one...land sharks like Great Whites! (Just the idea of a shark on land freaked me out.)
Celeste’s boyfriend is a devilishly handsome demon named Caleb. He is the quintessential tall-dark-haired-dreamy-eyed Irishman. He wants to shed his immortality for humanity, and Celeste has the potion to make it happen. What he thinks will bring them closer is really a ruse to make him disappear for his own safety. The aftermath of Celeste’s decision leaves her with the hollowness of grief that she attempts to fill with a rogue...a tattooed rascal pirate demon named Rowan. (Ah, he was my favorite! Go team Rowan!) I love a story where the bad-boy gets to be sexy, funny and scoundrel-ish. Celeste allowed Rowan to fill the gap left by Caleb’s “disappearance”...much to Rowan’s chagrin. Because Rowan has a secret of his own, although it should have been obvious to everyone, especially to Celeste. (Again, go team Rowan!) But, I’m not going to tell you how that little scenario plays out, as that would be a *spa-oiler*!
Amidst all the demon and Titan fighting, a wedding is being prepared. Celeste’s brother is getting married to the love of his life in a luxurious and beyond rich estate, courtesy of Rowan’s mind-bending powers. He has the ability to make people do things he wants them to do, like a “Jedi-mind trick” and the helpful power to mask Celeste’s painful feelings of missing Caleb. He also has the ability to make Celeste swoon against her will, but that’s all I’m saying about that. You’ll have to read it to find out what happens between them. I don’t think it’s over...not yet, at least.
I liked this novel for several reasons, not just because I liked Rowan more than Caleb (Go team Rowan!) Stacey created some really quirky, funny, and witty characters that live in a world shadowed by our own. She writes quick witty dialogue matching her quick witted characters. I liked that. I could hear Celeste’s voice in my head. The world of demons with flaming irises that travel in a puff of black smoke, a haughty High Council with a hidden agenda, fast paced fight choreography makes Sacrifice a fantastic paranormal adventure romance read. Stacey develops her characters, shows them love, and then yanks them away from you! Argh! Although I didn't scream out loud like I did watching the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones, BUT I kept reading into the wee hours of morning to finish the last twists and turns. Then, Stacey left me hanging....again...so, here’s to the next book...maybe she will have it out by the time I go back a read the first part of the series!
You can find Stacey Rourke at her Facebook page:
and her webpage:
and her twitter: Twitter @Rourkewrites
(everyone knows i love tweeting)