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Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Tale of the Fisherman's Daughter

Author: Paul K. B. Mercer
Book Format: ePub (Nook)
Obtained: From Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
My Rating: 2 stars
Pages: 338 on my Nook (662 according to Goodreads)
Published: November 19th 2012 by Itoh Press


A young Italian woman will go to any lengths to achieve her goals, even if that means committing cold-blooded murder from the unknown and powerless to the highest levels of government. Is there anyone who will dare stop her reign of terror and bloodshed? How many will be found dead before they discover who she is? Will the power she has amassed grant her freedom?


I chose this book from a list offered by the publisher for review. Based solely on the synopsis, I felt that this book was going to be exciting and full of action and adventure. In the end, I was right, but then again, I was wrong.

The main character, Angelina, left home at 19. She was tired of living as a peasant, working on an olive farm and living in a small fishing village in Italy. She felt that there was a better life for her out there somewhere, so she told her father goodbye and left, without saying a word to her mother. Soon thereafter, she was in the wrong place at the right time and ended up joining a Mafia family. After proving her worth, and proving that she would do “anything” to get ahead, she was soon one of the top members of the “family” and the Mafia Boss’s lover.

When disaster strikes the “family,” when the top henchman suddenly remembers what happened to him and his real family years ago, all of the “family” is murdered, except for Angelina. After escaping the tragedy, she goes and has her face surgically altered, and successfully changes her identity and becomes Victoria. In order to test her new look she revisits her home village and shows up at her father door. She learns that her mother died years ago, and that she has a little brother.

After confirming that her new identity is good, she sets off for the United States, which is where her new identity is from. Upon arriving in America, she seeks out one of the Senators that is running for President (he was also a target of the Mafia earlier in the book) and weasels her way onto his campaign staff. During this time she has a fling with the sitting President, who happens to be a bachelor, and finds out that he will run for a second term if there was no other choice. Upon hearing this information, she kills the Senator and kind of forces the President’s hand in running for the second term. Where, soon after, he takes her as his wife.

Being the First Lady is not enough for her. However, she finds that her further goals and want of power will be hard to come by for her secret is trying to reveal itself. And, soon she realizes that all the power has her about to crack up.

I gave this book 2 stars, but I honestly believe that it could have been 4 stars, easily. I liked the plot, the action was good, and the author was able to keep my interest for the most part. However, what made me give it a lower rating is because of a few mistakes I felt the author made in writing this book.

One: He dedicated an entire chapter to building up a character whose only purpose was to be killed off the next time he was mentioned.

Two: He did another deep character buildup for a character that was only in the book to eventually support one of the candidates running for president.

Three: Although I know this is a work of fiction, some events should be researched more and be portrayed a little more accurately. The author was claiming that America’s Presidential inauguration happened right after the vote in November when it isn’t held until January of the following year.

Four: The pacing of the book was off, I felt. There were some chapters that were too long, uncomfortably long. And there were some that I felt were rushed. I actually felt that the final 8-10 chapters were a little rushed.

With that being said, I feel that, with a little more editing and condensing, this book could have been an extremely good bit of fiction. When the pacing was good, it was a page turner that I did not want to put down.

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Q&A With Nikki Rae

Q: The main character in your story, Sophie, suffers from a very rare condition, an allergy to the sun. Why did you choose solar urticaria? Do you know anyone who really has it, or anything similar?

A: Sophie had always been allergic to the sun. No one really knows what it is, but Solar Urticaria is the closest they can come to an actual diagnosis. I thought I was really brilliant, making up something so complex, then a friend of mine read Sunshine, and asked how I knew about her condition. Haha. She had this disorder all along and I didn’t even know about it.

Q: It is believed, by some, that authors incorporate some personal experiences into their writings; are any of the situations with Sophie based on anything that you personally went through?

A: Yes. I’m one of those people that just can’t help it.  Parts of my life, my past, my character, always seep into my stories.  Some of it is intentional. I use it to heal from things that have happened to me, or to better understand a situation. But most of it isn’t done on purpose. I’m sure if I gave the series to a therapist, they’d have some interesting comparisons between the books and my life to tell me about. ; )

Q: In Sunshine, Sophie gets physically ill whenever a male figure come in contact with her, with the exception of those that she is really close to, but in Sun Poisoned she does not. How do you explain the change in character of her character?

A: In book one, Sophie gets physically ill when men she doesn’t know invade her personal space. During the course of Sunshine, she tries to get past that, especially with Myles. In Sun Poisoned, she still gets a little uncomfortable with male strangers, but she’s trying to move forward and not be that person anymore.

Q: Sophie obviously loves music, and can play anything on her piano by ear; are you a musician? If so, what instrument? If not, what made you decide to give this unique talent to Sophie?

A: No. I can’t play anything. Not for lack of trying (I’ve tried guitar and piano NUMEROUS times and failed). I’ve always admired musicians. Sophie’s talent was inspired by one of my idols, Amanda Palmer. I gave Sophie this talent because she is so closed off. She needed something to express herself, a space where she felt secure and not afraid to feel. Music was the perfect choice for her.

Q: Through previous discussions, you have told me that there is going to be a third book to this series; are you finally going to reveal what really happened to Stevie? I felt this was a very important part of the Sun Poisoned storyline, and that there is more significance to it.

A: Yes. Many things are going to be revealed in book three: what happened to Stevie, why Sophie’s past comes into her life again, and a lot more. There’s also going to be more questions because of how book two leaves off. Of course, no question is going to go un-answered, but Sophie’s going to face a lot more complications. Not just in her personal life, with everything.

Q: What can you tell us about the new book? Are you going to introduce new characters, or are they going to stay the same?

A: I’ve started a little bit of the new book. I can say that it’s already more intense than the other two. It’s a little more urgent. There are strange new things happening while Sophie’s trying to figure out the stuff that has already been going on. Sophie is changing, and more than in just one way. Myles is also changing. We find out a lot about him, and some of it shocked even me.

 Though I still don’t know a lot about it, I can say that it’s probably going to be my favorite yet. Myles also has a few chapters in his point of view, which is interesting and revealing many things he’s been hiding, to say the least.

So yes. Book three is going to be intense.

Q: How many more books do you see in this series?

A: I’m actually not sure. Usually, by the time I’m half way through a rough draft, I’ll have an idea of whether I can wrap up the story in one more book or if I’ll need more time. Right now there’s only three, but there may be four. I’d like to say that I can’t see it running for more than four books, but you never know.

Q: Is there anything else that you are working on?

A: Always!

I’ve been working on short stories a lot in school. I’m working on a long-short-story that’s set in the same world as Sunshine, called The Donor, and I’m really in love with it and can’t wait to share that too.

In addition to that, I’m working on a spin off book. Two characters we meet in Sun Poisoned, Evan and Ava, are getting their own story that takes place before anything in The Sunshine Series happens. It’s going to have more horror elements, and it’s probably going to be for a slightly more mature crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about a story. There are times that I have to stop writing to take a breather. I’m excited to share it. : )

Q: Are you planning to release these books in paperback, and, if so, do you have any idea as to when it might be?

A: Yes, yes, yes. I have been dreaming about paperbacks FOREVER.
Sunshine is going to be out in paperback by October (hopefully sooner!), and I'm aiming for Sun Poisoned to be in paperback by Christmas, but nothing's set in stone yet.

Sun Poisoned


Author: Nikki Rae
Book Format: ePub (Nook)
Obtained: from author as Beta & for review
My Rating: 3 stars
Pages: 250
Published: June 28, 2013 by Nikki Rae


“Sophie’s life has changed. She’s moved to New York, she’s playing music for new people, and she’s making new friends. Then there’s Myles, and the fact that he is now her boyfriend—and everyone knows it. There are a lot of new things to take in, but Sophie has no problem adjusting.

She’s not exactly normal, living in a half-human, half-vampire world, but she’s finally, truly happy. But some parts of Sophie and Myles’ old life still hide in the dark, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

Sophie’s having nightmares again, but they aren’t about her; Myles is hiding something that she’s not sure she wants to know.

And one lie will change everything.

No matter how hard she tries to cover up the marks her monsters have left behind, they never truly go away, and Myles’ monsters are no different.

Once again, Sophie’s caught between life and death, but this time, only she can save herself.”


Coming into this book, I did not really know what to expect. I knew that Sophie was moving to New York to pursue her dream in music. And, that she and Myles were going to be a couple. But, I really was not anticipating the slight twists and turns that their relationship was going to take.

Getting the full-time gig at Club Midnight proved to be a blessing and a curse for Sophie. She got to play music with her friends, Boo and Trei, and also got an invite to play with club favorite headliner Honus. But then, after spending a little time with club owner Evan’s girlfriend Ava, she learned some secrets that would begin to change her life, and her relationship with Myles.

When Sophie spends a little time with Ava, she learns that she was attacked by Michael as well, but that she is infected with his blood. This infection causes excruciating pain, and there is no way for her to be cured, and she will eventually die. This is what Michael tried doing to Sophie at the end of Sunshine. She also learns that where she lives, the club, and many of the area establishments are “protected” areas. Places where Michael cannot go.

After learning this information, and realizing this is the reason why she is where she is now, is enough to damage a lot of the trust she had in Myles. She now knows that Michael is still alive, after she was made to believe he wasn’t, she begins to worry about her safety, and the safety of her family and friends. When tragedy strikes, and Stevie, her brother Jade’s boyfriend, is killed in a car accident, she believes it is her fault. That because he couldn’t get to her, Michael got to Stevie instead.

It is because of this tragedy, however, that the defenses are weakened, and an opportunity is made for Michael to get Sophie out of the “safe” zone and away from Myles. When he gets her alone he attacks her again. This time it is believed that he will be successful. Now that she is infected with his blood she has to choose between being turned in order to live, or allow the infected blood to kill her. But, she is not willing to make this decision until she gets a chance to talk to Jade one last time.

I must say that Nikki did a better job on this one. There was a couple times, to me, where the story seemed to go a little off topic, like when Jack shows up. What was the significance of that? But she was able to pull it right back together. Once again the storyline was able to keep me interested, but it was not “gripping” like I feel she is capable of making it. There are a few unanswered questions, that made me feel a bit jaded when the book ended, in which I hope will be answered in a third book of the series, if there is one. We will have to wait and see.

Available from: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Naero's Run

Author: Mason Elliott
Book Format: Epub, Nook
Obtained: From author as random give away
My Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 422
Published: 2012


“2595. Ten years after the Fourth Spacer War with the rival Gigacorps. Naero Amashin Maeris works in her Clan's merchant fleet, dreaming of owning her own ship and developing psyonic powers without going nuts. After tragedy strikes her Clan in the Unknown Regions, agents from the Corps stalk her. They believe she holds the key to something priceless anddeadly: Lost tek secrets from an ancient, godlike alien race. Soon Naero's over her head in a white hot intrigue of raiders, assassins, and warring interstellar fleets. Even worse, the greatest dangers might yet lurk deep within herself. And Naero's run has only just begun to heat up. Go on the run with Naero.”


I was a little hesitant at first to even start this book. I have never been a big fan of sci-fi whether it is a movie or a book. However, since the author was kind enough to award it to me through a random give away (I honestly did not know he was going to give away copies of this book until he contacted me). So, I figured that I would give it a look-see and I am glad that I did!

It all starts out where Naero is a Leftenant on her Aunts fleet while her parents are off exploring the outer edges of their galaxy. She is about to come of age, 20 years old for her people, and has yet to develop her powers and is afraid of being a “nub” – one of her kind without powers. She decides to use pills, injections, even a stimulator helmet, during a training session to attempt to bring out her powers. But doing so seems to have brought on an adverse reaction, and still no powers.

Shortly thereafter she, and her brother Janner, learn that their parents exploration fleet was destroyed by enemy forces. They soon learn that the reason was because their parents found a highly powerful weapon created by an ancient, extinct, race. But, nobody could figure out if they actually did find it, and if they did, where did they put it?

It was soon found that the code for this powerful weapon what somehow split and engrained in the DNA of both Naero and Janner, and their enemies would stop at nothing to get the code, including starting another all-out war. Now it was up do Naero to find a way to keep herself and Janner safe and alive until her people could figure out how to combine the two strands of code to see what it actually possessed. But, she would soon find that it wasn’t just her enemies that she had to watch out for.

This was a very intriguing book for me. As I said, I do not typically read sci-fi, but the writer was able to keep me wanting more. It had the right amount of action, romance, and horror. It kept me guessing what was going to happen next, and most of the time I was wrong! I had a hard time putting it down.

Available From: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Author: Nikki Rae
Book Format: ePub - Nook
Obtained: From Author as gift
My Rating: 3 stars
Pages: 330
Published: 2013

Sophie “Sunshine” was anything but a typical teenage girl. Suffering from a rare condition, solar urticaria, she lived her life the best she could. She only had a couple of real friends, Boo and Trei (who happened to be brother and sister), until a young man, Myles, came into her life.

Sophie was not one to get close to new people, let alone a male suitor, and it tended to make her physically sick when someone attempted to get close to her – for unspeakable reasons. After getting kicked out of her mother’s house and moving in with her brother, Jade, and his boyfriend Stevie, she began to allow herself to get closer to Myles and a “friendship” began to emerge.

Myles knew that there was something about Sophie that she was not telling him. No matter how many times he asked, she would not let him know. When weird things started happening to Myles, it was Sophie that started asking questions. Myles finally decided to fill her in on the fact that he was dead!

Now that she knew, it was up to Myles to try to find out what she was keeping from him, and to keep her from the dangers that were heading her way.

This is not a bad “love story” written by a new author, as this is her first, self-edited and self-published novel. It has its flaws, but it also is able to keep the reader interested. It does tend to run along the same storyline as some other similar novels, but it also sticks to the typical – girl meets boy, girl tries to show no interest in boy, boy won’t go away, girl starts to fall for boy – storyline.

I would recommend for everyone to get a copy of this novel and give it a read.

Available From: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Four Fathers & Eleanore

Author: Autumn Rosen
Book Format: Nook Book
Obtained: Purchased through Barnes & Noble
My Rating: 5 stars
Pages: 296
Published: 2010 & 2012
Thomas Emerson Walling's adult life, as narrated by his daughter Sarah, will grip you from the beginning. The author does a great job with bringing to life the two main characters, and sprinkles in the other entities that takes over Thomas' life.

From the first page through the last word the author takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. You will laugh, worry, be slightly scared, and you will cry. And, be forewarned, you will need some tissue, and possibly time to take some breaks from reading, for the last couple chapters.

Good book that I would highly recommend everyone to take a moment to read.

Note: I originally posted this review on Barnes & Noble and Amazon on March 21, 2013.

Available from: Amazon, Barnes & Noble