Audiobook Review: The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic, but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind. On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache, and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic? 

If you like character-based fantasy, then you’ll love The Lost Sentinel – book one in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.

Purchase Links

Audible  

Amazon Audiobook

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Kalaya is an island nation whose people no longer embrace magic; in fact, they persecute mystics and their protectors. Mystics now hide in the mountains. Tei is a young mystic whose father has taught her to hide her magic. After a visit from a stranger, he decides that it is time for Tei and him to leave for her safety. Tei hides with the other exiles, but she has an important mission: to find the lost sentinel before the current sentinel dies.

The author has done a great job at world building. It was interesting learning about Kalaya and its people. The characters, however, could have used more development. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters, even Tei. Hers is one of three stories that I’m sure will eventually all merge. The second story is about Brogan whom Tei has a connection with although they’ve never met. Farrell is probably my favorite character of the three. He is the captain of a ship but he wants more for his family and his people, and he’s wanting to make some difficult changes.

The narrator has a voice I really enjoy listening to. He also did well with pace and timing.

The Lost Sentinel is a fantasy that many readers will enjoy. I think it should be read with the realization that it would be preferable to read the trilogy, because although the ending was good, it’s not really a stand alone.

About the Author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Social Media Links – 

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About the Narrator

My name is George. Seoras, if you speak Gaelic. Born in the United States, German on my father’s side, a native of Bamberg, and a Stewart on my mother’s side from a wee parish outside Stirling. I am a keen learner, eager to travel the world around me, and an instructor of English with years of experience teaching in the US, Turkey, and Japan. In audiobook narration, I have discovered a perfect opportunity to perform and play with languages, dialects, characters, cultures. Essentially, my voice is my livelihood, and my spirit longs to explore.

Social Media Links –

blog: https://gaelicdreams.wordpress.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/geellington

ACX:  Audiobooks narrated by George Ellington | Audible.com

Book Review: Under the Roman Sky by G.W. Hixon

Recent Release

God and the Devil have decided to meet again at last, but to do so they must each take human form again. Rome will form the perfect backdrop to their summit.

So an Englishman who has lost his mind; an American couple with death on their minds; a young Argentinian man with living on his mind; a megastar songstress with trouble on her mind; a grouchy priest with too much on his mind … and a dog called Walter, are fated to meet, under the Roman sky.

This is not a who done it. This is a who the hell are they?

My Review

Under the Roman Sky is different than the books I normally read. It is about God and the Devil deciding to meet on Earth after many years of being dissociated. Theirs is a love/hate relationship, and they are both portrayed with human characteristics. God is not pure goodness, and the Devil is not pure evil. It tickled me that they used phones for communication.

The ideas in this book and the mystery of whose form God and the Devil take over makes it interesting. I spent a lot of my reading time trying to figure out who God and the Devil were in Rome. There were obvious choices, but there were several other characters to choose from.

A lot of the story flows well, especially where there’s dialogue. The interactions between God and the Devil were the best because they were easy to read and humorous. The story goes back and forth between the present and memories, but it was surprisingly easy to follow. There are times, though, that there is a lot of rambling.

God and the Devil aren’t anything like I would picture them, especially having been brought up Catholic. Their characteristics are more human. The Devil is too nice, and God isn’t nice enough. I found it funny, but there may be readers who are offended.

About the Author

G W Hixon lives in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. He has recently returned to his home town after having spent 20 years living mainly in the South East of England and latterly on the Yorkshire coast. He has a strong interest in theology, particularly why people chose to believe in the things they do. He is also passionate about ancient Roman history, being a regular visitor to the city of Rome. That city, along with the hills and vales of his native Yorkshire, heavily influence his writing.

Excerpt

“The Devil makes work for idle hands,” God said, quietly, mischievously, whilst starting to chuckle.

It caused the Devil to laugh out loud. “That is what they say, isn’t it? But the sentiment has always been quite wrong, old man. We have, you and I, all of the time in the world.”

“We have, indeed,” God replied.

“If only they knew it,” said the Devil.

For the first time, they laughed together and not at one another. For the first time, they shared the irony that formed the joke at which they were forced to laugh. But spite and envy tainted the sound of the Devil’s laughter.

“And now I turn the question on you, dear friend,” God said, as his spirit calmed. “Why him? Why then? Why, inside that house, when all else was good? Why him?

“Because you loved him,” the Devil replied. “And I knew that you loved him.”

“I did,” God said, subdued and sad. It is a funny thing, how sadness can befall someone so soon after they had been committed to laughter. “He had been my friend. He had been my friend for years. Someone who had been kind to me.”

“Then that is why him.”

“The woman had anointed my feet with her oil, that’s all she did.”

“You were in love with her!”

“It was not possible for me to fall in love. I am love.” Angry, now. The sound of laughter a memory.

“Lust, then. You were in lust with her. You wanted to experience … that … above everything else.” Anger, indeed, from both participants.

“No, you are – were — wrong.”

 

“Under the Roman Sky” by G W Hixon is available in paperback from Amazon at:

This fantasy fiction novel can also be downloaded in e-book format from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (G W Hixon’s literary agent)
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Spotlight: The Moscow Enigma by Christian Hirsch

Extortion, lies, duplicity and murder, all of which take place in Moscow’s dark underworld. At the center, unknowingly, is Alexandra Malikova, a white-collared professional by day and a high-end escort by night. Amid the chaos Alexandra decides to face the scars of her adoptive past, the emptiness of her superficial life and the future with the one man she has fallen in love with. Where no one is who they seem and a vengeful assassin is carrying out orders to prevent a weapon’s deal, who will emerge unscathed? And alive? Christian Hirsch has travelled and worked throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It’s having lived in so many diverse places and his exposure to the East and West that gives Christian a unique perspective in his writing.

About the Author:

Christian Hirsch is a former senior executive which helped lead international lifestyle brands in Munich, Amsterdam, Dubai and, more recently, Moscow. He has carried those experiences and business practices into property sales and now lives and works as a well-respected professional realtor in Augusta, Georgia in the Unites States.  “The Moscow Enigma” is his first full-length thriller novel.

Reviews on Amazon:

LAD

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating tale of international intrigue

Reviewed in the United States

Verified Purchase

Love for a broken heart, or love of country? How does one choose? As a beautiful but broken Russian escort crosses paths between the Russian mob and the CIA, what will happen? Twists and turns abound. Don’t let me spoil the tale. Definitely read the book!

Christopher

5.0 out of 5 stars Complex thriller

Reviewed in the United States

Verified Purchase

I really recommend this book as it truly had a bit of everything — drama, erotica, suspense and espionage. I liked the transformation of the central character, Alexandra and found myself consumed by her duplicitous life. Although there is a great spy/mob/bad guy espionage thriller throughout, the book, in my opinion, was really about her. Throw in a surprise ending and a complicated love interest and you have yourself a great read.

Ailan C. Sanchez

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!

Reviewed in the United States

Verified Purchase

My tastes in reading are more non-fiction or literature – but the title so intrigued me. The characters are very earthy and real. I could almost feel them come alive with every chapter. Highly recommend this to challenge what you think you know about psychological thriller novels.

 

“The Moscow Enigma” by Christian Hirsch is available in paperback from Amazon at:

www.amazon.co.uk/Moscow-Enigma-Christian-Hirsch/dp/1909039268

This thriller can also be downloaded in e-book format from Amazon at:

www.amazon.co.uk/Moscow-Enigma-Christian-Hirsch-ebook/dp/B00G80GVX6

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Christian Hirsch’s literary agent)
Tel. UK +208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Audiobook Review: The Mad Hatter’s Son by Helen Starbuck

Book Title: The Mad Hatter’s Son (An Annie Collins Mystery #1) by Helen Starbuck
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 285 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Routt Street Press
Release date:  2018
Content Rating: R. Two explicit sex scenes, profanity, medical scenes.

Curiosity killed the cat, so the saying goes, and it may end up killing operating room nurse Annie Collins. Annie’s estranged friend Libby Matheisen needs Annie’s help to discover what is causing her vague, puzzling symptoms. Unwillingly drawn into her friend’s life, Annie must discover whether Libby is really ill or if there is a hidden agenda. Faced with Libby’s apparent suicide, Annie is unable to stop asking questions to uncover the truth about her illness and death. The answers to these questions don’t come without a price, and pursuing the mystery of Libby’s death threatens to end her life as well. Friends change, love betrays, and the end results are never what you anticipate. Find out why the BookLife Prize called The Mad Hatter’s Son“An outstanding debut,” and it was the winner of The National Indie Excellence Book Awards mystery category.


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible
B&N ~ BAM 

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Annie and Libby were roommates until Libby got married to a rich man whom Annie didn’t like. Libby also seemed to change once they were together. After Libby moved out, they didn’t see much of each other and eventually lost touch. That is, until Libby called and asked Annie to help her.

Annie was understandably conflicted about caring for Libby who she no longer thought of as a close friend. What I didn’t understand is why, as a nurse, Annie wasn’t more curious about Libby’s symptoms. Yes, the doctors thought her problems were mental, but all nurses know that doctors aren’t always right.

I thought Annie was fairly clueless, and I thought her relationship with Ian was a bit odd. It seemed like they were instantly a couple, and he seemed too clingy. I liked Angel, Annie’s neighbor, a lot, and wished he wasn’t just a friend.

Although the killer was obvious pretty quickly and the protagonist was clueless, I still enjoyed The Mad Hatter’s Son. The author’s writing flows well, and this was an overall good read. It even had a little suspense at the end. I look forward to reading more by Helen Starbuck.

About the Author

Helen Starbuck is a Colorado native, former OR nurse, and award-winning author of the standalone romantic suspense novel Legacy of Secrets, and the Annie Collins Mystery Series. She loves mysteries, suspense, romance, and any book that is well written. She’s a huge fan of books with independent, strong, women characters and, as Neil Gaiman says, “…stories where women save themselves.”

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads

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Book Review & Giveaway: M.C. Plays Hide & Seek by Eva Grayzel

Book Title:  MC Plays Hide and Seek: An Empowering Story for Healthy Children Who Care About a Person Living with Cancer by Eva Grayzel
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  64 pages
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   Jan 5, 2021

Content Rating:  G for everyone.

M.C. is a cancer cell who shares just enough information about the nature of the disease to promote dialogue and minimize fear. The scary part of cancer is the unknown. Learn about doctors who look for cancer. Understand feelings children experience and learn ways to cope. Empower children with knowledge and how to make a difference. M.C. Plays Hide & Seek strengthens communication and builds emotional health.


Buy the Book
Amazon.com
Eva Grayzel ~ B&N

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Eva Grayzel wrote this book after she had cancer because she felt that it would have been great if her children had had a book like it. It is meant to help children to deal with cancer in someone they care about. It’s well-written, and the video below is of her reading M.C. Plays Hide & Seek. She has so much energy and good vibes as she reads it (and yes, I did notice that it’s backwards).

M.C. Plays Hide & Seek tells children that it’s important to share their feelings by talking, drawing, or in writing. It doesn’t matter how, it’s just important to do it! Also, no feelings are “wrong.” Some may feel sad while others feel angry. It’s even possible to not feel anything at first because of the shock of it all.

I like that feelings are discussed, but I also think explaining that cancer can hide in the body for a long time and that it can affect any organ in the body is also important. There is so much that adults don’t think to explain to children when they’re dealing with a serious diagnosis. Also, the different types of doctors are defined. Some of those doctor names can be so long and confusing, it’s nice to know what the adults are talking about!

Finally, in M.C. Plays Hide & Seek there are pictures of people having a good time because kids need to know that they and their loved one can still have fun together. Cancer won’t stop that!

For parents, at the end of the book is a Quick Reference Guide about things that were discussed. There’s also a section about why to tell children about the diagnosis, and I think it is absolutely right: children are intuitive and will know something is going on, sharing will minimize their fears, hiding your diagnosis promotes secrecy, anger and resentment.

I definitely recommend M.C. Plays Hide & Seek for children who have a loved one with cancer.

About the Author

Eva Grayzel is a motivational speaker, storyteller, and cancer survivor. When her children were five and seven years old, she was diagnosed with cancer. Their fear of losing her was deep, real, and suppressed. When she got a second chance at life, she created the Talk4Hope book series to help children understand cancer and make it less scary.

connect with the author:  website ~ twitter ~facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram

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