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The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun (Book Review)

After a sudden death, Will, a misguided angel, is tasked with protecting a baby girl. Watching over her as she grows up and navigates the world appears a harsh punishment for his past failings. Can he redeem himself, or will he fall further from grace?

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

 

While alive, Will was a horny devil. He thought with his dick, treated women like shit, and was an asshole. Even his ex-guardian angel proclaimed him an asshole. You’d think he’d end up in hell, but nope, he got angelic wings instead. 

Sometimes the best punishment is to watch your sins unfold, see the pain it causes, and keep reliving them until you feel empathy, pain and/or regret. 

BTW: If you haven’t listened to “Asshole” by Denis Leary, check it out. It’s the first thing that popped into my mind as I watched Will navigate through his assignment. 

 

🎶 

I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)

I’m an asshole (He’s the world’s biggest asshole)

A-S-S-H-O-L-E Everybody! A-S-S-H-O-L-E

Arf Arf Arf Arf Arf Arf Arf

Fung achng tum a fung tum a fling chum

Oooh Oooh

I’m an asshole and proud of it! 

🎶 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤

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Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre.

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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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The Midnight Exhibit Vol. 1: Rewind or Die by Unnerving Magazine (Book Review)

Wealthy couple drunkenly ditch their car and a strange tow truck driver regales them with off-putting stories, stories relating strangely to their personal lives. With short fiction by Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels, Mapping the Interior, The Only Good Indians), Philip Fracassi (Behold the Void, Sacculina), and Renee Miller (Cats Like Cream, The One You Feed).


Contents:
Eddie Generous – editor and wrote wraparound
Stephen Graham Jones – Too Little Too Late
Renee Miller – Another Pretty Face
Philip Fracassi – My Love, Do Not Wake
 

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(review request submitted by Eddie Generous, the editor, for an honest critique) 

 

I’ve tried to think of some witty, ingenious way to describe the stories in Midnight Exhibit. Then, I realized I could best sum them up by saying two words… fuck’d up. 

Yes, every contribution to the anthology was disturbing. 

 

Stephen Graham Jones – Too Little Too Late: Decomposing, coherent bodies… just eww. Cue the puke bucket!

Renee Miller – Another Pretty Face: This story will have men grabbing their junk for sure! 

Philip Fracassi – My Love, Do Not Wake: The story started off reminding me of a scene from Harry Potter. The one where Lord Voldemort’s face is on the back of Professor Quirrell’s head. Anyways, it might’ve started off like HP but then it took a weird-ass turn into the land of fuck’d the hell up.

 

I’m still shaking my head on this collection. So disturbing it’ll stick in my mind for a long while. 🙂

Recommend? Of course! 

 

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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