Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Teaser Tuesday #5

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

Beautiful white light surrounded me and I didn't hurt anymore, and I knew it was the end of days when our stories - Lorraine and mine and the kids - had happy endings. Or was it only the beginning?

~ Are You Sitting Down by Shannon Yarbrough, Prologue

Review: Blind Traveler Down A Dark River by Robert P. Bennett

Blind Traveler Down A Dark River by Robert P. Bennett
Publisher: PublishAmerica
Publication Date: 2 May 2005
ISBN: 978-1413769999
Genre: Science Fiction, Crime
Pages: 205
Kindle Size: 256 KB
Rating: 4 out of 5


Douglas Abledan is blind. But a blind man may just see something everyone else missed. A modern day miracle, a Virtual Sensory GPS unit, helps him navigate his world - but on one critical day it fails and Douglas apparently stumbles upon the scene of a what may just have been a murder. Disoriented and confused, he isn't the first man a retiring cop wants to listen to.
In the year 2021 increasing global earthquakes threaten civilization’s infrastructure. Unimat Incorporated is trying to stop the destruction by introducing a new building material. Special interests are up in arms. Environmentalists blame technology for the problem and want a different solution. Steel workers worry about jobs and safety. Now someone has hired a contract killer to stop the project. Can one lone blind man expose the killer without becoming a target?


I love science fiction and crime novels and to have both in one book was like heaven for me.  I requested this book from Robert P. Bennett, who kindly agreed to let me review it, without even reading the synopsis.  I was more intrigued by the title, Blind Traveler Down A Dark River. What an awesome title for a book.  As I started reading it I found that I was completely engrossed in the story and couldn't tear myself away.

First of all we have the character of John Haggerty, the CEO of Unimat. Unimat have been researching a product called Plasteel.  Basically they have taken the best properties of steel and combined it with plastic. How futuristic is that? Secondly we have Douglas Abledan, a blind R & D guy who uses a technology called the Virtual Sight GPS unit to help him get around. Again how futuristic does that sound? So how does this become a crime novel.

Well John Haggerty gets shot in a seemingly random drive-by shooting and Douglas Abledan witnesses it. Nobody believes that Douglas witness the murder, not even the police. How can a blind man witness a crime when he wasn't even in the area where it happened? Well basically his trusty Virtual Sight GPS unit malfunctions and tells him he's somewhere where he knows he isn't. So Douglas sets out to solve the crime himself.  That is when this book becomes a crime novel.  So how does Douglas go about solving this crime, well you're going to have to read the book to find out.  All I will say is I couldn't stop reading.

This is a fantastic book from beginning to end. I liked all the characters but I like the character of Douglas Abledan more. I hope Robert P. Bennett writes more novels like this, as I will definitely be buying them. This is a must read for fans of science fiction and crime novels, although I think anyone would enjoy it.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Its Monday, What Are You Reading?

Its Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of  Books.  This meme is a list of the book(s) that we read last week, what book(s) we are currently reading and what book(s) we plan on reading.

Books I read last week

Vampires and Cells by Agnieszka Biskup (review) - ARC
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross (review)
Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten by Trisha Speed Shaskan (review) - ARC
Midway Monkey Madness by Sarah Hines Stephens - ARC
The Forgotten Echo by Jennifer Wylie (review) - Author requested review

Books I'm Currently Reading

Are You Sitting Down by Shannon Yarbrough - Author requested review


A rape victim raising a biracial baby. A drug addict haunted by a dead girlfriend. A homosexual mourning a dead lover. A teacher having an affair with his student. And a businesswoman sexually harassed by her boss. What do they all have in common? They all sit at Lorraine White's holiday dinner table; they are also her children.
But Lorraine's children are not the only ones in the family dealing with ghosts of the past. This is the first Christmas the Whites have spent together since the death of their father. And it very well could be their last, as arguments ensue, secrets are revealed, and perhaps a murderer walks among them.

Blind Traveler Down A Dark River by Robert Bennett - Author requested review


Douglas Abledan is blind. But a blind man may just see something everyone else missed. A modern day miracle, a Virtual Sensory GPS unit, helps him navigate his world - but on one critical day it fails and Douglas apparently stumbles upon the scene of a what may just have been a murder. Disoriented and confused, he isn't the first man a retiring cop wants to listen to.
In the year 2021 increasing global earthquakes threaten civilization’s infrastructure. Unimat Incorporated is trying to stop the destruction by introducing a new building material. Special interests are up in arms. Environmentalists blame technology for the problem and want a different solution. Steel workers worry about jobs and safety. Now someone has hired a contract killer to stop the project. Can one lone blind man expose the killer without becoming a target?

Books I Plan To Read Next Week

Roll of the Die by Sean P. Bridges - Author requested review


An Ex-Con on the straight and narrow is pulled into a twisted game of Russian Roulette in Las Vegas to save his wife. 666. Six Contestants, six chambers in a revolver and six sides of a die.
Riley Toback is at a crossroads. After serving a four year prison sentence for Armed Robbery, he’s determined to make a fresh start in Atlantic City.
Until his brother-in-law, drowning in gambling debt, convinces him to pull a heist at a Jersey Shore nightclub.In the aftermath of the botched robbery, Karim Rashid, a vicious Indian gangster, tracks them down. And he makes Riley an offer.Triple Six. One round is loaded into a revolver and the chamber is spun. The Contestant rolls a die, with the face value dictating how many times the weapon is fired.If you can survive three rounds, you win.

With his wife and life on the line, Riley takes the deal.

The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden - Author requested review


In the mid-21st century, the human race stopped aging. Those who know why aren't talking, and the few who are brave enough to ask questions tend to disappear. To an elite few, The Change means long life and health, but to the increasing masses, it means starvation, desperation, and violence.
Four centuries after The Change, Grace Harper, a blacklisted P.I., sets off on a mission to find the man responsible for it all and solicit his help to undo The Change - if he's still alive. To complicate matters, Grace's employer is suspected of murdering his father, and when the police learn of their connection, they give her a choice - help them find the evidence they need to convict Matthew Stanton, or die. But if they discover Grace's true mission, they won't hesitate to kill her in order to protect their shot at immortality.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is an event hosted by The Story Siren

Requested and received for review on NetGalley

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera
The Poisoned House by Michael Ford
Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin
Quarter Square by David Bridger

In The Arms of Stone Angels by Jordon Dane
Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee
The Cellar by A.J. Whitten

The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell
The Mysterious Lady Law by Robert Appleton
Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson

Received for review from author

The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden
Touch of Fate by Christine Amsden
The Night Watchman by J. L. Manning

Revenge By Mark Young
Roll of the Die by Sean P. Bridges
The Forgotten Echo by Jen Wylie (review)

Brought for review

Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape
Photographs and Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape
The Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke

So that's what I got. What did you get this week?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Review: Vampires and Cells by Agnieszka Biskup - Edited

Title: Vampires and Cells
Author: Agnieszka Biskup
Illustrator: Jok
Publisher: Capstone
Publication Date: 1 August 2011
Genre: Non-fiction, Science, Childrens,
Pages: 34
Format: Arc eBook
Source: Capstone via NetGalley
Rating: 3 out of 5


What happens when you mix zombies, werewolves, and aliens with the science of motion, matter, and energy? You get some of the wackiest science books you’ve ever read! Dive into the science of animal and plant cells with vampires. Join Bigfoot on an exploration of adaptation. Check out what ghosts can teach you about atoms. The entire Monster Science series shows you what happens when the world of science collides with your favorite monsters!


I don't normally review non-fiction but I just had to review this one.

Vampires and Cells isn't your typical science book. Its a fun book to read as it combines a science text book and a comic.  The artwork by Jok is outstanding, if I had pictures to show you I would. I found Vampires and Cells to be very funny and really should be in every school on the planet, I would have paid more attention in my Science class if we had this book.  As the synopsis states it is part of a series, and if the rest of the series are as good as this, then these books should do well. Overall  Vampires and Cells is a very entertaining science book.

Reason for edit - Capstone kindly emailed a high resolution image to use in this review. So I would like to say a big thank you to them for doing that.

Author Bio and Interview: Jennifer Wylie

I recently had the chance to read Jennifer Wylies' short story The Forgotten Echo, review can be found here. The Forgotten Echo is part of the Immortal Echo series.

Jennifer was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions. Before we get to the interview here is a little bio about Jennifer Wylie:

Author Bio

Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.
Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.
Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011.
Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

Author Interview

Congratulations on having 5 of your short stories in the Top Ten on the Omnilit eBooks site.  How did that feel?

I would love to play it cool... however honestly, I'm ecstatic! When my first published short, Jump, debuted this past December and made the Top Ten there I cried I was so excited. As my other shorts came out and joined it I couldn't be more happy. I'm a very emotional person and there has been a lot of squee's, bouncing and happy dancing going on! (and calls to Mom and Dad) I'm thrilled to see readers are enjoying my stories and they are doing so well.

How would you describe The Forgotten Echo to someone who hasn’t read it?

The Forgotten Echo is a paranormal with a new take on the afterlife and ghosts. Echo's are more than ghosts. They are created by Immortals to protect and serve and so are stronger and are bound both to their Immortal and the Otherworld. This short tells the story of Cassy, how she became an Echo and her initial reactions and interactions (or lack thereof) with her Immortal.

Was it always yor intention to write The Forgotten Echo as part of a series, or did it just happen whilst you was writing it?

This story just popped into my head and was very easy to write. Even before I got a contract for it more ideas for further stories started to form in my already full brain! I have a second Immortal Echos story contracted and coming out this summer, The Untouchable Echo. It is about a pair of Echos, Julia and Jonathan, and their Immortal. It is not a sequel to The Forgotten Echo, but set around the same time in the same world. I plan on writing more shorts, and also a book which will tie everything together.

I noticed on your blog that you have written a short story  based on the character of Devon.  Are there any plans, either now or in the future, to publish this as part of the series?

Devons little story, which is a prequel to The Forgotten Echo, will remain free on my blog. I received so many emails and comments from people who read The Forgotten Echo and wanted to more about him I just had to write it. I do love my fans, so it is a little gift to them. :)

What was your favourite part of writing The Forgotten Echo?

Definitely all of Cassy's interactions with Devon. I enjoyed portraying her array of feelings and confusion over everything which had happened. Not only that, her personal feelings constantly warred with the magic that bound her to Devon.

What was the hardest part to write?

The ending. Most of my writing life I've written novels. The last year or so I started writing shorts again. Endings for shorts always are tricky for me, because I want to keep on going. It was also difficult not to make it too sappy and romantic. (I'm a hopeless romantic myself)

Are you currently working on another projects? If so could you tell us what they are?

Oh yes, I've a million projects on the go. I have the sequel to Jump, and the new Echo story contracted so will be starting edits for them soon.
My debut novel, an adult romantic fantasy called Sweet Light, will be released shortly. It's at the printer now and will make its print debut at Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago June 4th and 5th (I'll be there too!!) I don't have an exact date for its eBook release, but it will be out soon too!
I've also finished an YA fantasy novel and am working on its sequel. I've a number of other short stories in the works as well.
On top of all of this, I am taking part in Echelon Press' Electric Shorts program geared to get kids and teens reading. My series, Tales of Ever, is a fantasy for 13-17yrs (and adults too). It began in March and a new installment comes out each month ending in August. Keeping up with writing and editing all of these has me on my toes!

I noticed on your bio that you are an avid reader.  What do you like to read in your spare time?

I'm a fantasy nut. If there is romance, I'm even happier. I also enjoy some good sci-fi now and then too. I've too many favorite authors to count and love reading so many of the new authors coming out too.

Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would say have influenced you as a writer?

As a writer I'd say no. I have my own crazy mind full of stories and my writing style varies depending on the story I'm telling. However there are many authors who turned me into avid reader, and sparked my imagination so I could write. My mother had me reading books by David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey before I was even a teen.

Is there anything else you would like to share with World of Book Reviews readers?

Thank you so much for having me! It is always a pleasure to share myself and my work with readers.
I'm all over the web and love to 'talk' with readers and fellow writers.
All of my published work is available in eBook formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and OmniLit.

I would just like to say a big thank you, once again, to Jennifer Wylie, for taking part in my first author interview.  I also want to wish her the best of luck with her debut novel Sweet Light.

If you would like to find out more about Jennifer's other work please check out the links below.

Jennifer's Website: www.jenniferwylie.ca
Jennifer's Blog: http://jlwylie.wordpress.com/
To follow Jennifer on twitter: @jen_wylie
To follow Jennifer on goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4499919.Jen_Wylie
To join Jennifer's facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wylie/151266004895266

Friday, 27 May 2011

Review: The Forgotten Echo by Jennifer Wylie

Title: The Forgotten Echo
Author: Jennifer Wylie
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Short Story
Published: Feb 23 2011 by Echelon Press
Top Seller and top rated on OmniLit eBooks site
Word Count: 11 096
Rating: 5 out of 5


Sometimes death is only the beginning...

Even after the bad day she's had, Cassy is still surprised to find herself shot, an innocent bystander in a drive by shooting. Bleeding to death in an empty parking lot, she knows she is going die.

What she doesn't expect, is the arrival of a strange, and unnaturally handsome, man who tells her he can keep her from passing on in return for being his forever. In desperation, she agrees but afterwards she is beyond dismayed to discover she has died.

To make matters worse, the stranger has disappeared, leaving her spirit to wander through a series of worlds unknown to her. Her existence is one of fear and loneliness, until she meets another like her and discovers she's not a ghost at all but something much more.


Before I do my review on The Forgotten Echo, here is a quick teaser to whet you appetite:

I barely made it to the parking lot before the yelling and shooting started.  A car speed by, passengers shooting at their rivals two feet from me.  In reflex, I turned as the car passed.  A bullet ripped through me like a punch to the stomach.  The force knocked me up against the side of a van.


The Forgotten Echo, part of the Immortal Echo series, by Jennifer Wylie is a short story that tells the tale of Cassy who is accidentally shot in a drive-by shooting.  Whilst Cassy is bleeding to death in an empty car park she is approached by a mysterious, but handsome, stranger who promises to save her life. All he needs is her last breath.  In giving her mysterious savor her last breath, Cassy has doomed herself to becoming an Echo.

After spending a week alone and facing strange creatures that seem to glow, Cassy meets a fellow Echo.  It is during this encounter that Cassy learns what she has become and who her mysterious stranger is.  If you think an Echo is like a ghost, then think again.  Echoes are so much more...

From the opening paragraph to the last, I couldn't stop reading.  Jennifer Wylie has created a story that grabs you and doesn't let go, even after you have finished reading it. The Forgotten Echo is a must read for fans of paranormal romance.

The Forgotten Echo is available to buy from:

Buy Links: 0.99

OmniLit: http://www.omnilit.com/product-theforgottenecho-518338-234.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/43756
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Echo-Immortal-Echoes-ebook/dp/B004P5NQ1G
Amazon Uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004P5NQ1G
B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Forgotten-Echo/Jen-Wylie/e/2940012227799

Book Blogger Hop #1

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. It's aim is to bring book bloggers and readers together to share the love of the written word.  It's also an opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other and generally spread the worl about books.

This weeks question is from Britta who blogs for I Like These Books:
What book-to-movie adaptation have you most liked? Which have you disliked?

There were two good book-to-movie adaptations that I liked. The first being Harry Potter and the second being The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The one that I disliked the most was Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Follow Friday #1

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee.
This week's question: 
How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen?

Although I enjoy reading physical books, at the moment I am enjoying reading ebooks. I don't listen to audio books, as I haven't found any that have been really good. How many do I read a week? That depends on the size of the ebook, if its only a short story or novella then I can read about 6-7 a week but if its longer than I might only manage 2 a week. Physical books I would normally read about 2-5 a week.to them?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Review: Honestly, Red Riding Hood was Rotten by Trisha Speed Shaskan

Title: Honestly, Red Riding Hood was Rotten
Author: Trisha Speed Shaskan
Illustrated by: Gerald Guerlais
Publisher: Capstone
Publication Date: 1st August 2011
Format: Arc eBook
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 24
Category: Children's Book
Reading Age Group: 4-8 years
Rating: 4 out of 5


Of course you think I did a horrible thing by eating Little Red Riding Hood and her granny. You don't know the other side of the story. Well, let me tell you ....


Overall this is a very funny book, that is engaging to the young audience that it is aimed at.  My two daughters, aged 2 and 7 years, both enjoyed this book so much I have had to read it to them every night.  My 7 year old said that she found the story very funny and liked the fact that it was a retelling of the children's classic Little Red Riding Hood, but from the wolf's point of view.

The illustrations by Gerald Guerlais are first class and add to the overall appeal of the book.

Honestly, Little Red Riding Hood was Rotten is a must have for people with young children. My children and I can't wait to read the other books in the series.

I received this eBook arc courtesy of Capstone Publisher via NetGalley.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Review: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

Title: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Ebook
Source: Harlequin Teen
Series: The Steampunk Chronicles
Pages: 78
Rating: 5 out of 5


Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…


This is the first steampunk book I have read and I can honestly say that it wont be the last.  The Strange Case of Finley Jayne tells the story of Finley a young girl who isn't quite all she seems to be.  After being fired from her previous job  it isn't long before Finley is being offered a new one. This new job sees Finley in the role of companion to Pheobe Morton, a young debutante who has recently become engaged to Lord Vincent. It is during her role as companion to Phoebe that Finley starts to have concerns regarding the intentions of Lord Vincent, who is also not all he seems to be.

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is the prequel book to The Girl in the Steel Corset.  This is a novella so it isn't very long and is a quick read. Even tho this is a novella I found the characters very believable and I couldn't tear myself away, if I did have to put this book down I was always wondering what was going to happen next.

I am sad to say that The Strange Case of Finley Jayne isnt available to buy on any UK websites, so I had to get this book directly from the American publishers.  To get your free copy of this ebook click here
Overall The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is an awesome action packed book with characters that you care about. I can not wait to read The Girl in the Steel Corset, which is available for review on NetGalley.

Waiting on Wednesday #2: The Girl in the Steel Corset

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.  Here is the book that I am look forward to reading.

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 17 June 2011
Pages: 592
Format: Paperback
Series: Steampunk Chronicles


In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

I am currently reading the prequel, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, and when I saw that this was going to be released in the UK I know I will have to buy it.  The synopsis sounds really intriguing and I cannot wait to find out more about Finley.

If the synopsis hasn't wetted your appetite for this book, then take a look at the trailer.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Up and coming changes

Here are some of the changes that I will be making to this blog over the next couple of weeks.


As you can see I have already made this change, and I have to say that the blog feels completely different. The reason why I made this change was because the previous design had a very depressing feel about it, so I felt that it was time to change it and I have to say that I really like the look of this blog now.


This is the one area that I know this blog has been lacking and that is going to change in a huge way. Firstly you are going to see alot more content as I will now be reviewing movies as well as books. Let me explain what I mean by this. This is always going to be a book review blog, but recently I have been discussing movies that are based on books with a few friends of mine and decided to incorporate movie reviews into the blog as well.  Secondly I will still be taking part in weekly memes, but I will also be reviewing book covers and trailers. I am also looking into the idea of having monthly guest reviewers and author interviews.

Please leave a comment letting me know what you think to these changes or if you have any suggestions for future posts.

Lack of updates

I am really sorry that there hasn't been any activity on this blog since my last review, but I had my iPad stolen about a week after my previous post. I know that I should have updated the blog with other posts but I felt lost without it. I am pleased to say that I have now got another one and have just finished adding all my netgalley arcs back onto it. I know most book reviewers use the Kindle, but for me the IPad is just as good. I use two programs on my iPad for reading ebooks. The first program I use is the Kindle app, which I am just starting to use so I don't have may ebooks on there yet. The second program I use is called Bluefire Reader, which I use all the time as it always me to read all the netgalley arcs as well as PDFs.  Another reason why I haven't been updating this blog very often is because I really went off reading, I don't mean that I hadn't read a book in a few days I mean I hadn't read a book in a month. I just seemed to have lost interest in reading, but I have to say that that feeling has now gone and I am back into my reading.

I am currently reading a short novella called The Strange Case of Jayne Finley by Kady Cross, the prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset. I have to say that I am really enjoying this book and the review should be up by the end of the week , if not sooner.

Sorry if this post is a bit on the long side, but I felt that I owed you all an explanation.