Tag Archives: magic

Review of “You Wish” – Mark Scott Piper

Imagine you are granted three wishes—and your second wish is captured by a television news crew and broadcast across the globe. Now the whole world knows you can wish for absolutely anything, and it will come true. Now imagine you’re fourteen years old…

Jake Parker is about to finish the freshman year of what’s shaping up to be a mediocre high school career. He’s a late bloomer. His family is living hand-to-mouth. And worst of all, he’s a nobody—until he discovers an ancient ship’s lantern. With everyone on the planet watching to see what Jake’s final wish will be, he becomes an instant media darling, and his social status at school skyrockets. That’s the good news.

The bad news is pressure is bearing down on Jake from family, public opinion, the media, government agents, and crooked politicians as he struggles to come up with a final wish that will truly help mankind. But if he’s going to pull that off, he has to outsmart them all.

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

 

At a very young age, we all start making wishes. Whether we are sitting behind a birthday cake’s candle or looking up at the night sky, we think of what we want most and hope our wish or wishes come true.

In You Wish, Jake finds an old ship’s lantern and discoveries it has the power to grant wishes. The catch: You can’t say the wish out loud or disclose your wish. If you do, the wish is recanted.

Like Jake, I think many of us would accidentally wish for something ridiculous. This magical blunder could really happen…if magic really existed.

As for Jake’s other wishes: The second one was caught on camera, viewed by onlookers and broadcasted around the globe. The repercussions were instant. Jake’s life was turned upside down. All eyes were on him to see what he’d wish for next. Many people had insights what he should wish for and the consequences of said wish(es).

End world hunger, cure cancer, world peace, wealth… Jake had so many suggestions thrown at him including one from the President of the United States. The POTUS’ wish was absolutely something I could see our current President asking for because he’s… well, I won’t tarnish this review by stating my feelings on the current White House resident.

When the world is watching your every move, the level of stress to make the right choice must be astronomical. I wouldn’t want to be in Jake’s shoes. I must reiterate, Jake’s life wasn’t his own anymore. Even his family was impacted by Jake’s sudden fame.

It’s nice to think about what if I had three wishes, but in actuality, I wouldn’t want three wishes because it’s too much pressure. However, it was NO pressure getting through this story. This book is worth reading whether you are a teenager, an older individual, or somewhere in between. So, pick it up and start reading it today!

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤

 

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Mark Scott Piper has been writing professionally his entire adult life. He is a longtime freelance writer and video director/producer. Mark holds an MA and a PhD in English from the University of Oregon, and he has taught literature and writing at the college level for several years.

Mark’s bookshelves are overflowing. Among his favorites are Christopher Moore, John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen Crane, William Faulkner, Tony Hillerman, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anne Lamott–all of whom successfully conspire to keep him humble.

Mark has written four novels, three screenplays and more than 16 short stories. You Wish is his debut novel.

His stories have appeared in Short Story America, The California Writers Club Literary Review, and online literary magazines, including, Scrutiny, Writing Raw, Animal, Slurve, and others. In addition, two of his short stories have been Honorable Mention selections in Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction contests.

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Review of “Molten Dusk: The Norse Chronicles Book 3” – Karissa Laurel

While recovering from a devastating betrayal, Solina becomes increasingly drawn to Thorin as he helps her hunt down Skoll, the mythical wolf who vowed to kill her. If she can find and destroy the beast, she’ll bring a swift and brutal end to her enemies’ schemes. But nothing ever goes as planned in Solina’s strange new world.

During her search for Skoll, Solina uncovers a plot to unleash a battalion of legendary soldiers and launch an apocalyptic war. Before she and her allies can locate the fabled army, several ghosts from her past return to haunt her. Solina must fight for life and the fate of the world, or her hopes for love and a peaceful future will go up in flames.

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

 

I decided to write an acrostic poem summing up Molten Dusk. Enjoy!

 

Mystery and deception go hand in hand in the battle for ultimate power.
Odin and Thor’s descendants call forth their allies; no one plans to cower.
Lord of the Rain Dance shall stand by his Sun.
The Valkyries will fight to protect the chosen one.
Every move they make is being watched.
No room for error; their plan must not be botched.

  

Do not let your guard down when you see a wolf or a raven.
Unite and fight or retreat to a safe haven.
Solina must survive; she shall not perish.
Keep her safe Thorin for she’s the one you truly cherish.

 

Okay, I don’t know if that poem is cheesy or not but I love it. Guess what else I love? If you said Molten Dusk then you’d be correct. 

Like the other stories in the series, Karissa gave us more than one suspenseful – lives on the line – battle scenes. We also finally got what we were all waiting for….. Solina and Thorin give in to their feelings for one another. Like Baldur said, “It’s about time.”

Similar to Midnight Burning and Arctic Dawn, Molten Dusk has deception, blood, surprise twists, tears, and love. It was a great book and I highly recommend others buy it today.

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

 

Want more? Check these out! 

 

 

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Review of “Midnight Burning: The Norse Chronicles, Book 1” – Karissa Laurel

When the police notify Solina Mundy that her twin brother, Mani, is dead, she heads for Alaska. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

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

 

Karissa’s modern-day take on the Norse gods and goddesses was quite fascinating. In Midnight Burning, mortals no longer believed in gods and goddesses but they haven’t vanished. In actuality,  they live among us in plain sight. This twist reminded me a bit of a television show, American Gods. In that show, gods and goddesses walked among us, battled each other, but that’s really where the similarities ended.

In Midnight Burning, Karissa wrote about a woman, Solina, who didn’t know how special she really was or extent of the power that lies within her. She was the sun. She was able to exude light from her pores and burn things to ash. She was fearless. She was ready to take on everyone and everything that stepped in her way. She was pretty badass when she wanted to be.

Admittedly, there were parts of the story that seemed to drag but when Karissa allowed Solina to shine the pages seemed to fly by.

As I read the final page, I immediately wanted to start book two, Arctic Dawn. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this book but I knew I had to remedy this quickly. Karissa left me intrigued, dying to know where Solina’s journey took her next. I had to know what became of certain characters and if Solina would allow Thorin to capture her heart.

When you read a book in a series and instantly want more, then that’s the sign of a good storyteller… a good book.

Karissa Laurel is such an author and Midnight Burning was that book.

I encourage fans of mythology to purchase this book and the rest of the series. I have a feeling the rest will be just as entertaining as this one.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Check out these books in the series! 


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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

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Review of “Touch of Smoke” – Karissa Laurel

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

 

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

 

About ½ way through Touch of Smoke and my mind was teeming with questions.

How did Nina die?

What was Owen’s part in Nina’s death?

What’s up with Rikki’s nightmares?

How can Owen afford everything he’s buying?

Who’s the mystery man in the black ball cap, polo shirt and khaki shorts?

I had many more questions and I needed answers. I wanted to know more about Rikki’s life — past, present and future. And it wasn’t just Rikki’s story that I wanted to know more about. Was Owen a good guy or was he a sheep in wolf’s clothing. I pressed on to the 2nd half of Touch of Smoke, looking forward to getting some answers.

 

In the 2nd half of Touch of Smoke, I got most of my answers. Owen finally opened up and told Rikki his deep, dark secret. A secret I won’t share because it would reveal too much about the plot.

I will admit that Rikki did annoy me at times except during the battle scene. During that section, she impressed me and then I thought…. Maybe this chick is all right after all.

As for Owen: I loved him, from first introduction to the very last page. As the legendary Salt-N-Pepa would say…

 

What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
Gotta say it again now
What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man
He’s a mighty mighty good man

 

Technically, Owen is more than just a man BUT to learn more you must purchase a copy and find out for yourself!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Review of “The Night House” – J. C. McKenzie

What would you pay for your freedom?

Caught by a powerful lord from the alternate realm of Arkavia, Taya’s offered the chance to avenge the dead, save her home world, and win her freedom.

Her days of stealing supplies and surviving among the remnants of Earth are over, but can she afford the price of Lord Thane’s deal?

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Thane clenched his jaw, took two giant steps forward and bent to catch her by the middle. When he straightened, he threw her over his shoulder. His gauntlet armoured fingers dug into her thighs. His swords’ hilts stared back at her, tempting and teasing. Her fingers itched to wrap around the smooth leather and yank one from its sheath.

If you’re going down, go down fighting, her dad’s life motto played in her memory.

If only her hands weren’t bound. Instead, she flopped uselessly as Thane strode toward the gate. His shoulder dug into her stomach and her face smacked against the cold metal back plate of his black armour. She had a perfect view of his ass. Fitting, since he acted like one.

What did she expect? Preferential treatment for a captive? How was she any different than any of the other slaves brought through this portal?

Thane walked unhindered through the thick air. The blue haze cleared. The buzzing stopped.

She wasn’t dead.

Thane pulled her down from his shoulder and set her on her feet in the snow in front of him. Over his shoulder, the other men walked through the gate leading the horses.

Cool air brushed her skin. The winter breeze contained exotic scents of Arkavia, smelling of pine, but different, more floral.

Thane watched her expectantly.

“I may have overreacted.”

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

 

In The Night House, death surrounded Taya for much of the story. At the start of this book, Taya lost her friends to a magical blue wave. This blue wave turned many people to ash and made all electronics useless. It was almost the perfect weapon against our civilization.

Taya, now she wielded a weapon that I thought was absolutely brilliant. She stumbled upon two swords that had flashes of blue and white light, which travelled in bolts of lightning from the pommel to tip of blade. Not just anyone could harness its power but Taya could. Whether she was swinging a sword, staff, or knife, Taya impressed me with her fighting skills and her quick thinking. She wasn’t a woman anyone should underestimate.

Thane, from the House of Jericho, was a multi-layered character: fierce, loyal, a great leader and loving. He was likable and so were the soldiers that followed his commands.

I think it’s worth noting, J. C. McKenzie wrote tremendous battle scenes and in these scenes we were able to see the camaraderie between the soldiers. We saw teammates become family, foes became friends, and unbreakable bonds form between many key characters. 

Through J. C. McKenzie’s gift of storytelling, readers will fall in love with Taya and Thane as they defy all odds and making their coupling work. Together, they are unstoppable.

 

I highly recommend reading this book. 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

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View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2J.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.

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