Tag Archives: magic

The Tales of Little Lady M by Diego Di Mauro (Book Review)

A far kingdom hidden beyond the boundaries of imagination. A place where fantasy never sleeps, and dreams are much more than just a mind game. In that land inhabited by magic creatures and strewn with lost secrets, a little girl will begin a journey full of adventures and learnings. Always on a quest for knowing more, she will discover friendship, courage and the wonders behind an act of kindness. And that not everything is what it seems to be… In a far kingdom that only true dreamers can reach, a little lady will rise.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Since The Tales of Little Lady M is a children’s book, and I have a child, I decided to do things a little differently. I’ve asked my 11-year-old daughter to weigh in on her thoughts of the story.

 

But first, here’s the critique of a 40+ woman.

The artwork and poetry, in The Tales of Little Lady M, can be best described as whimsical. It reminded me of Mother Goose nursery rhymes I read to my youngsters. 

In this story, everyone spoke in rhyme. Some poems like in “The Witch’s Home,” reminded me of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. You can tell Diego was inspired by Seuss and Mother Goose. Another possible inspiration was in regards to Little Lady M. She was an adventurous, kind girl who carried a purple backpack, which was magical. She also lived in a land where animals spoke to her. Hmm, does she sound like Dora the Explorer to you?!

Whether or not any or all of the above mentions were inspirations for Diego’s creation, I will say it was a cute story that taught children many lessons. Examples: It’s important to be kind to others. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t enter a stranger’s home. Helping a friend in trouble can bring much happiness to yourself. My score: 4 

 

And now for my 11-year-olds thoughts.

The story, The Tales of Little Lady M is a great book, but there is just one problem. Some of the words in the book are hard to read and pronounce. For example, on page 71, when the good witch said the beginning of the spell, it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t usually like fairy tales, but some of them I love. The book The Tales of Little Lady M  is definitely one of the fairy tales I love. The rating I give it is 4 1/2 stars. 

 

KB: After much discussion, my daughter and I agreed it scored closer to 4 than 5. Therefore, when I share this review on Amazon and Goodreads, I will mark it as a 4. Here though, it will stand at 4.5!

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤❤❤❤1/2

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Hi, my name is Diego Di Mauro, and I was born in Catania, Italy.

As a child, I enjoyed playing outdoor games, watching cartoons, drawing and reading comics. I soon became a huge lover of video games – and pizza – too.

At the age of 11, I entered and won a local writing contest, with an essay celebrating the bravery of the Italian armed force “Carabinieri”.
I also co-wrote the story, dialogues and lyrics for a school play.

Computer programming quickly became my main interest, and eventually my future profession. Nonetheless, I never lost my taste for writing: over the years, I’ve written a few poems and a couple of drafts for fiction stories. The last one inspired by my first trip to Poland, back in 2013.

I’ve also painted a few portraits for relatives and friends.

I lived in Italy, US and Czech Republic, before moving to England. I visited Canada, Mexico, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Luxembourg. At the age of 16, I spent a few weeks in Australia.

“The Tales of Little Lady M” is my first published author and illustrator work.

 

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The Horror Collection, Silver Edition by KJK Publishing (Book Review)

Contents:

Won’t You Open the Door? by Steve Stred

Hooch and Honeyby Kevin J. Kennedy

The Blood-Soaked Branches of the Bullingdon Family Tree by Lex H. Jones

Death, She Said by Edward Lee

Forbidden Fruit by Calvin Demmer

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(digital copy supplied by Kevin Kennedy for an honest review)

 

Won’t You Open the Door? by Steve StredAs young children, it is hardwired in our brains to fear certain supernatural beings. As we venture into adulthood, those same unnatural beings still frighten us, whether in word form or on the movie/television scene. 

There isn’t one supernatural being I’d mock with. I’d definitely not trifle with a witch. Dead or alive, they are powerful. Ezkiel, his brother and family, and even his best friend Oliver learned this the hard way. 

Steve chose the right character to haunt the characters. I felt their fear. I understood why Oliver pissed himself. And I grasped why the witch struck out against Ezkiel and the others. 

Again, I say, never f**k around with a witch, living or dead! 

 

Hooch and Honey by Kevin J. Kennedy: Okay, aspects of this short story were creepy… like I would’ve gagged if I witnessed firsthand how the hooch was made. However, I think the story ended before it really began. Not bad though. 

 

The Blood-Soaked Branches of the Bullingdon Family Tree by Lex H. Jones: Twisted, sick, disturbing… wow, Lex has quite the weird imagination. The plot and characters were 100% f’d the hell up!

 

Death, She Said by Edward Lee: As a person who’s contemplated suicide on several occasions, I didn’t particularly care for how this story began or ended. Everything in between was bizarre. Not my cup of tea. Sorry.

 

Forbidden Fruit by Calvin Demmer: This story wasn’t gory. It wasn’t your typical supernatural short story either. It was different, and that’s what I enjoyed about it. Man was really his own worst enemy in this story. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤❤❤

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This Time: A Nadira Holden Novel by Azaaa Davis (Book Review)

Legendary demon hunter Nadira Holden paid the ultimate price to end the war between demons and hunters.

Resurrected in present-day New York, many years have passed, everyone moved on without her, and the demons she once battled have made peace with humans. Nadira no longer has a purpose here. Dying again might be her ticket back to that “next life” she experienced.

Except humans are disappearing, and Nadira’s father is one of the missing. Feeling a strong obligation to find him before sorting out her own fate, she begins investigating.

She won’t rest in peace unless she can prove the demons are behind the disappearances. But Nadira is running out of time. The darkness within her is causing her to lose her humanity while the rest of mankind is on the verge of enslavement to the demons they now worship.

Fight with Nadira in a new urban fantasy series that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance. Experience why not even death can stop her.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

We’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed. However, when Nadira woke up from her “slumber,” she had every reason to be bitchy. 

1.) Nadira clawed her way out of a buried coffin. 

2.) Recently resurrected, she was in a constant battle with hunters and demons. That is when she wasn’t being held captive. 

3.) It was revealed she’d been dead for 25 years. Everyone has aged, unlike herself. 

4.) Bombshells keep getting thrown at her. Some surprise developments push her over the edge; whereas, other revelations give her the power to fight. 

5.) The numerous fight scenes were INTENSE. Weaponry (bone daggers) was unique. And the in-between moments were just as spellbinding to read. 

Recommend: Hell yeah! 

 

Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

 

Azaaa Davis is an American author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

She debuted with This Time, A Nadira Holden Novel, in 2018 about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love.

Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

 

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Nevermore: Raven Crawford Book 2 by J. C. McKenzie (Book Review)

Rundown waitress, part-time private investigator, and full-time shifter, Raven Crawford, always gets the opposite of what she wants most.  She works two jobs but can’t pay the bills. Her confrontation with Queen Lloth has unexpected and unfortunate consequences, and her love life is a hot mess.

With failure and disappointment honed to painful perfection, Raven’s life is riddled with complications, including her troublesome attraction to the lethal Lord of Shadows. When her latest case leads to a group hell-bent on destruction, she must decide who to trust. Will she choose wisely, or will she fail once again and become the next casualty in a war between the Mortal Realm and the Underworld?

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

When I read Conspiracy of Ravens (book one), I was immediately drawn into the story. Every character, no matter how big or small their role, captivated me. I liked the good guys/gals and even found myself warming up to the questionable characters as well. 

After reading Nevermore (book two), I can safely say it shared similar qualities with its predecessor: suspense, mystery, love, passion, shocking developments, humor, action, and plot twists. 

However, unlike CoR (acronym), I wasn’t instantly engaged with the storylines. I didn’t particularly care Robert (Raven’s ex) kept vanishing on his fiancée (Sarah). I didn’t mind Kelly Clementine (the teacher) was attempting to cheat the system and collect disability checks. I wanted more Cole and Raven time. I also wanted Bear to have more of a presence this time around. 

Oh, we did get more Cole time. Let me say; he will never have to resort to toys when he has shadows at his beck and call. *wink, wink* 

As for Bear, he didn’t grace the pages too much but Mike (younger brother) sure did. He brought the funny many times over. 

Even though I didn’t take a sudden liking to the sequel, my opinion changed halfway into the book. 

Raven’s two cases (Robert and Kelly) were linked. Bombshell after bombshell was dropped. When you think Raven’s life can’t become any more complicated, she learns another big secret that will change everything for her. I can’t wait to see how she’ll handle the latest curveball. 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤

 

~~ CHECK OUT BOOK ONE! ~~

Raven Crawford knows better than to venture into the seductive world of the dark fae or agree to any of their salacious promises. She plans to pay off her debts so she can get on with her life and stay far away from the denizens of the Underworld.

Unfortunately, her numbskull twin steals from the most tempting and lethal fae of them all. Now, Raven must help the Lord of Shadows get back what her idiot brother stole. Her only weapons? Just a little ingenuity and a whole lot of snark. It’s suicide for sure, but she’ll do anything to protect her twin.

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J.C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She’s the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish, alpha-type men.

J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

 

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Conspiracy of Ravens: Raven Crawford Book 1 by J. C. McKenzie (Book Review)

Raven Crawford knows better than to venture into the seductive world of the dark fae or agree to any of their salacious promises. She plans to pay off her debts so she can get on with her life and stay far away from the denizens of the Underworld.

Unfortunately, her numbskull twin steals from the most tempting and lethal fae of them all. Now, Raven must help the Lord of Shadows get back what her idiot brother stole. Her only weapons? Just a little ingenuity and a whole lot of snark. It’s suicide for sure, but she’ll do anything to protect her twin.

 

 

Shadows encased them. Her scalp prickled as if someone reached out and gripped her head with giant fingers. Raven twisted around to find a large figure blocking out the moonlight.

“You!” she hissed.

“Move.” Cole’s deep voice punctured the quiet forest and silenced Mike’s whimpering.

Before she could demand answers, Cole flowed forward, gathered them both in his arms and pushed them into the darkness of the trees. A shadowy film settled over them, much like the dark cloak when Cole had pulled her into the shadows at Bear’s apartment.

A branch snapped down the deer trail to the right.

Cold settled over her skin.

Moments later another large, looming figure entered the clearing. Luke. Again. She couldn’t lose these two dark fae. They kept hopping back into her life like rabid fleas.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Conspiracy of Ravens is by far my favorite J.C. McKenzie novel

I loved how she didn’t limit herself to stereotypical shifting scenarios. Human body to ONE particular animal… No, not for JCM. JCM didn’t limit any character’s power, and the story was better for it. 

Mystery.

Passion. 

Love.

Anger.

Humor. 

Danger.

Magic.

Deception.

Heartache. 

Surprises. 

Plot twists.

You’ll find all the above in Conspiracy of RavensYou’ll also find yourself eagerly grabbing for book 2 in the series, Nevermore

Special note to the author: I love how Raven curses. “Odin’s scrotum!” 😀

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

Kindle Purchase Link

Books2read Purchase Link

Barnes and Noble Purchase Link

Apple Books Purchase Link

Kobo Purchase Links

Angus & Robertson Purchase Link

Goodreads

 

 

 

J.C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She’s the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish, alpha-type men.

J.C. McKenzie’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

 

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