Tag Archives: military

Review of “Nexilexicon” – Keith Anthony Baird

NOTE: A story which incorporates similar themes to major motion pictures such as these – JURASSIC PARK, ALIENS, ALIEN RESURRECTION, STARGATE, THE LOST CITY OF Z.

From the sworn oath of an ancient curse a cult rises. She is the ocean vast, its deadly rake, and primal power. Her first ones commune from across the great divide and make their new hive in the emptiness of men. A secret project, born from the ambitions of a young nobleman, transcends the passage of time and reaches through the veil of life and death for her reawakening. Deep beneath a mountain, inside a secure facility at the heart of a covert black op called Nexilexicon, a team of scientists, the military and the CIA are about to punch a hole through to another dimension. What could possibly go wrong?

What begins in the wilds of the Amazon jungle in 1847 culminates in a threat to mankind’s very existence.

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


This story takes part in different time periods, so I’ve broken up my review into sections to discuss each area. Beware, there are spoilers! 

 

Chapters 1-8

The story begins with Sander van Straten embarking on a voyage. It’s not long before feelings of excitement turn to feelings of dread.

First, a mighty storm struck and they lost a young sailor.

Next, a swarm of insects descended on their ship and the crew had to hunker down below deck.

Then, there were the strange markings on the barrels and several stolen items.

Was the cook correct in saying this voyage was cursed? Even though I found Keith Anthony Baird (the author) long-winded at times, and the story seemed to teeter on the dull side, I was curious about the crew’s fate.

The crew’s trek through the Amazon jungle was quite adventurous, but I’d expect no less. They crossed paths with many exotic creatures, came face to face with a spider the size of a man’s head, and were ambushed by the natives. I wished they’d stayed in the jungle longer. I was thoroughly enjoying their time there, even though they weren’t at the least.

When they went back on the Eva, trouble again struck hard and fast. Rhames overtook their ship, and Eva’s crew members were held captive for two weeks, starved before released onto a small island. No drinkable water, no food, nothing but the clothes on their backs. The men turned into savages. They ate one of their own, had to if they wanted to survive. Sander couldn’t allow himself to partake of human flesh. I’m not sure I could’ve either.

 Life on the sea was hard, but life on land was no picnic either.

 

Chapters 9 -11

We jump forward in time to 1964. For over a century, Eva’s treasure has been lost to the sea but no longer. Wreck hunters have found the bounty and, with it, the curse that accompanies it. These chapters were laced with mystery, intrigue, suspense, death, and left me wondering what the hell was going on.

 

Chapter 12

It’s 1973, and an international team has been in the Al-Hajar Mountains for five weeks. Five weeks before the discovery of a chamber’s entrance. What they did find there is an archaeologist’s wet dream: mummified creatures, crystals, and a civilization that thrived and appeared highly evolved and intelligent. Unfortunately, their good fortune didn’t last long. Nobody’s luck remains good for long in this story.

 

Chapters 13 – 15

2012 – Project Nexilexicon was underway, and things were finally getting really good. Using DNA discovered at a dig site 40 years ago, scientists have reanimated/resurrected the creature Sander van Straten saw during his time in the Amazon jungle. The animals had six limbs, around 650 pounds, and had a presumed bite force that would resemble a crocodile’s.

I knew these creatures would escape their enclosure, but I didn’t realize how they would. They were extremely organized and intelligent in their escape. I won’t go into detail, but you’ll be amazed by what these creatures could and did accomplish.

Humans versus beasts… I knew it would be a bloodbath, and I was right. Keith Anthony Baird had the creatures biting heads off and separating limbs from bodies. Soldiers did everything to stop them, even sacrificing themselves for the civilians.

This set of chapters were my favorite out of the entire book. I actually could’ve used more action like this. In my opinion, I would’ve edited out much of the beginning time spent in 1847 and devoted more paragraphs to Project Nexilexicon. What the scientists and government were doing underneath a Nevada mountain range was the only reason why my score became a solid three stars.

 

Overall Impression 

The first eight chapters were mostly bland. Chapters 9-11 were okay. Chapter twelve had great potential but fell flat overall. However, Chapter 13-15 had me on the edge of my seat! I also enjoyed the epilogue because Keith ended with a nice twist. It’ll make you wonder what’s going to happen next for Project Nexilexicon.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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Keith Anthony Baird lives in rural Cumbria, England, with his partner Ann, a mad spaniel, two cats and two goldfish. He’s also inherited two daughters and a grandson. He’s had a varied career, having been a journalist for ten years, and also a designer and a retail manager in his time. The Jesus Man is his first novel, written throughout 2016 and based on an idea he devised just under thirty years ago.

Inspired by such luminaries as H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. G. Wells, his aim has been to deliver stories in a classic vein, but with a contemporary slant in both style and content. He aims to remain entirely independent, producing his works his own way, without interference from traditional publishing houses.

In his spare time, he and Ann indulge their shared love of the mountains by scaling the many peaks of the inspirational Lake District National Park.

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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 “Into the Crossfire (First Force Book 1)” – Cindy McDonald

Jack Haliday has a score to settle. 

It has been four years since ex-Navy SEAL Jack Haliday, had an explosive run-in with a biker gang, wounding their leader, Gunner. During those years, Jack had acquired everything he ever wanted: a beautiful wife, daughter, and a lovely home in the suburbs–everything was just about as perfect as it could get, until Gunner returned to twist Jack’s world inside-out with a vengeance that he could never have prepared for. 

Now Jack has a score to settle and he’s got some friends to help him do it.

 

 

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

Starting from the end of chapter three, Into the Crossfire was non-stop action. There were kidnappings, gun battles, a knife fight, and a house fire. Basically, Cindy McDonald threw everything at us but the kitchen sink and that’s a good thing.

Honestly, there wasn’t too much I would change. I adored Lil, the 4-year-old cutie pie. Every time she entered a scene she cut the tension drastically and this book definitely needed it. It was an intense read.

 

Other positive things to note:

Cindy McDonald integrated the flashbacks moments featuring Dr. Rayne Lee very nicely into the storyline. She also didn’t overwhelm us with a bunch of team members. She introduced us to only a handful, which means many more books in the series. All in all, a good read.

Recommend: YES!

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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For 26 years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance–she was a professional choreographer. She taught ballet, jazz, and tap. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Most recently, she has retired to write her novels. She resides with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Allister, on their Thoroughbred farm know as Fly By Night Stables near Pittsburgh.

You can also find out about her cozy mystery series, Fiona Quinn Mysteries, and her children’s books under her pen name, C.S. McDonald. 

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Into the Crossfire: Amazon Purchase Link
To The Breaking Pointe: Amazon Purchase Link
Into the Dark: Amazon Purchase Link
To the Brink: Amazon Purchase Link
Into the Dawn: Amazon Purchase Link
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Author Showcase – Laura M. Baird (Shades of Sepia: Book Two, Cover Model Series)

Tasha Linthrop paved a path all her own by becoming a cover model and opening her own boutique. Marcus Everly is a veteran who isn’t ashamed to put his physique in front of the camera to pay the bills while pursuing his passion of working with other veterans.

The two have been friends, dancing around their attraction to one another, and when they finally get together, it’s explosive. But can Marcus move beyond his doubts of being good enough for Tasha? Especially when another shows interest in her? Tasha will have to decide who holds her heart.

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~~ Excerpt ~~

“Marcus,” Tasha whispered.

“Please don’t ask me to stop.”

As if she would. As if she could.

Marcus’s ragged breath across Tasha’s skin electrified her, bringing her body back to life after being dormant for what seemed too long. While one hand pressed into her back, his other pushed aside the fabric of her tank revealed beneath her off-the-shoulder sweater. His hot mouth moved down her neck and across her shoulder, licking and nipping and driving her insane.

Tasha gripped his steely arms, loving his muscles and the sheer size of him, trying to maintain balance as the world spun around her. Marcus was six feet of powerful man with delicious chocolate skin and soulful ebony eyes that always held humor.

Tonight his eyes seemed to hold a look of determination. A look that said he would have her.

The two had been acquaintances for a handful of years, both working as cover models for the same photographer, Jesse Steed. Since first meeting Marcus Everly, of course, she thought he was gorgeous. What woman wouldn’t? He was physically stunning, and his humor and intelligence were a nice change from the many self-absorbed pretty boys Tasha seemed to attract. Tasha had been modeling for Jesse for three years already when Marcus came on board. He was prior military, and now at the age of thirty-two, he continued to keep himself in fine shape. Over the course of two years, her fascination and attraction only grew stronger.

Of course, with Marcus’s heavy flirting, and Tasha’s ability to handle it as well as give it back, it was a wonder they hadn’t arrived at this point before now. They’d been circling one another more and more the past few months.

It was the start of February and they had just finished a nighttime shoot when Marcus said he’d see Tasha home. Once at the threshold of her apartment, he surprised her by backing her into her place, tearing off their coats, and kissing her senseless.

A niggling in the back of her mind wondered if this was a good idea, although she couldn’t exactly say why. But when a tempting male caused wicked excitement in your body, how could you possibly stop? Tasha yearned for his attention, for his ability to make her mindless. She wanted complete abandonment of everything but pleasure.

 

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Check out book one in the Cover Model Series!

Audri’s a photographer’s assistant, and she secretly fantasizes about Carson, the sexy cover model they’re working with. She never expects him to feel the same way. When an impromptu photo shoot puts them in each other’s arms, they’ll learn that life can change in a flash. But with obstacles thrown in their way, like a vengeful ex and pain from the past, can they find a way to break through their barriers in order to win one another’s hearts?

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I’m a voracious reader myself, hoping to bring you years of joyous and thought-provoking stories filled with excitement and fun; sexy romance, laughter, and emotion. 

Hubby and I enjoy watching our grown sons walk their path into adulthood. We’re always up for an adventure, and hope to one day fill our passports with stamps from Canada, Scotland, and Fiji. 

I love to engage with readers and writers, please contact me through any of the following social network links.

 

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Author Showcase – Cynthia Eden (Protecting Piper) (Guarding Gwen)

She was off-limits.

Eric Wilde has always known that Piper Lane isn’t for him. She is his younger brother’s best friend…and probably more. But that hasn’t stopped Eric from wanting her. For longing for the one woman that he can’t have. Sure, he’s rich, successful—he’s built a security empire, and he’s got the world at his feet. Only he doesn’t have her. 

He is the one man she needs the most.

Free-spirited Piper Lane has always considered Eric to be the enemy. He’s seemed to resent her, and the guy just flat-out makes her nervous. Every time she’s around him, she winds up doing something horribly embarrassing. But, this time…everything has changed. This time, he’s the one man she needs the most.

Something is stalking Piper.

A stranger has broken into Piper’s home twice, and she feels like someone is following her. Watching her every move. She needs a professional to help her—so enter Eric Wilde. He promises her protection, he promises to put his best investigators on her case, and he even moves her into his house. Suddenly, the guy who has always been the villain in her life…he’s now playing the role of hero.

Everything will change as the danger mounts. 

And maybe Eric isn’t so bad, after all. The more time that Piper spends with him, the more she realizes that her feelings for Eric are far more complicated that she ever imagined. Desire explodes between them even as the danger deepens around her. Someone in the dark is targeting Piper, and he is determined that if he can’t possess her…then he will destroy her.

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Lights. Camera. Action.

Gwenevere Solomon is the current “It” girl in Hollywood. The star of a dozen films, she seemingly has the world at her feet. Gwen’s problem? She also has one very dangerous stalker at her door. His attacks are getting bolder, and Gwen is becoming more and more afraid. Because this stalker…he knows secrets that she’s fought hard to keep buried. The kind of secrets that can destroy a woman’s life.

A ghost from her past can save her.

Gwen needs protection, and she needs that protection now. So enter her new leading her man…Simon Forrest. Tall, dark, and ever-so deadly, Simon is the lover she left behind. Or rather, the lover who left her behind. He went off and became a SEAL, saving the world and riding one adrenaline high after the other. But he’s back now, and as part of Wilde Securities, he’s supposed to offer the best, most discreet protection service in the business. He’ll pretend to be her lover so the press won’t realize her life is going to hell, and Simon will stop her stalker.

He can keep his hands off her…and keep her shielded at the same time.

Simon never got over Gwen, and the fact that she’s been filling the big screen with her gorgeous self? Yeah, it’s just made her even more tempting…and put her even further out of his reach. Simon was never good enough for Gwen, and he knew it. But this time, he can help her. He can catch the stalker, unmask the jerk, and keep Gwen shining in her spotlight. Easy as pie. Or, it should be.

Except…Simon might not be able to stop himself from falling for her all over again. 

Because when the cameras stop watching, that’s when the real action begins…GUARDING GWEN, a sexy romantic suspense from New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Eden.

Author’s Note: Love sexy suspense and second chance romance? Then GUARDING GWEN is for you. A stand-alone romance with no cliff-hangers, this title features one red-hot, alpha hero and a strong, funny heroine who has plenty of secrets hiding in her past.

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