Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Bulwark by Brit Lunden

Book Title:  Bulwark by Brit Lunden
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  146 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Chelshire, Inc.
Release date:   January 2018

Content Rating:  PG + M due to violence and mild sex.

Series Details:

Bulwark: a wall or stockade that protects or sometimes hides the truth from the outside world.

The beating heart of this anthology is Bulwark, Georgia, isolated, hidden.

Sheriff Clay Finnes appears in each book, but he is not the main character in each book.

Every book is completely stand-alone. You can read the books in order or out of order.

About the Book

Clay Finnes is the sheriff of a small town in Georgia called Bulwark. Recently separated from his wife, all he can think about is what went wrong, and will Jenna ever come back to him. He’s troubled by a bothersome reporter trying to build a story from what he thinks is a normal day in his life. Clay has to admit that the fantastical stories, told by an accident victim as well as unusual sightings of wolves, things are getting a bit strange. A visit to the ominous Gingerbread House makes him realize that his life as he knows it will never be the same.


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible
Add to Goodreads

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.

I’m not always a big fan of fairy tale rewrites but Bulwark is a good one. It uses the idea of Hansel and Gretel but it’s very different. Yes, there’s a place called the Gingerbread House and there’s a witch, but the rest is quite different.

Poor Clay is a sheriff, a “regular guy,” who’s had a rough time of it after losing his child and then separating from his beloved wife because of that loss. What he thinks is going to be another normal day is anything but!

I like that there were two possible endings. Which one is better? I haven’t been able to decide. They both have qualities of a good ending.

The narrator took me a minute to get used to. He was not what I expected, but I liked him. He had good timing, and I enjoyed the way he presented the story.

Bulwark is short but I enjoyed listening to it, and I look forward to listening to the next book, The Knowing.

About the Author

Brit Lunden is a prolific author who’s written over 50 books in assorted genres under different pen names. Bulwark was her first effort in adult fiction and was chosen by several of her fellow authors as the basis for a new series, A Bulwark Anthology. Using her characters, they are creating new denizens in spin-off stories to this bizarre town. Brit Lunden lives on Long Island in a house full of helpful ghosts.

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

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/518e728438/?

Follow the Tour

Mar 30 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Mar 30 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of Bulwark /guest post / giveaway
Mar 31 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Bulwark / guest post / giveaway
Apr 1 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 1 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 1 – Literary Flits – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 2 – Books and Zebras – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 2 – Sahar’s Blog – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 3 – 100 Pages A Day – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 6 – Books and Zebras – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 7 – michellemengsbookblog – book review of Bulwark / author interview / giveaway
Apr 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 7 – Literary Flits – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 8 – T’s Stuff – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 8 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 8 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 9 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 9 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 9 – T’s Stuff – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 9 – Sahar’s Blog – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 10 – Books for Books – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 10 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 10 – Books and Zebras – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 10 – T’s Stuff – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 13 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 13 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 14 – michellemengsbookblog – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 14 – Amy’s Booket List – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 15 – Southern Today Gone Tomorrow – book review of Bulwark / author interview / giveaway
Apr 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 15 – FUONLYKNEW – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 15 – eBook Addicts – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 16 – eBook Addicts – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 16 – Sahar’s Blog – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 16 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 16 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 17 – Turning the Pages – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 17 – Books for Books – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 17 – eBook Addicts – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 17 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 20 – Amy’s Booket List – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 20 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 20 – A Madison Mom – book review of Bulwark / giveaway
Apr 21 – michellemengsbookblog – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 21 – Gwendalyn’s Books – book review of Bulwark / author interview / giveaway
Apr 21 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 22 – Southern Today Gone Tomorrow – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 23 – Turning the Pages – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 23 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 24 – Gwendalyn’s Books – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 24 – Books for Books – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 27 – A Madison Mom – book review of The Knowing / giveaway
Apr 27 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 27 – Amy’s Booket List – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 28 – Gwendalyn’s Books – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 28 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 29 – Southern Today Gone Tomorrow – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 30 – Turning the Pages – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
Apr 30 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway
May 1 – A Madison Mom – book review of The Devil and Dayna Dalton / giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway: Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque

Book Title:  Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  32 pages
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   March 17, 2020
Content Rating:  G

A “Mom’s Choice Award Winner”! Alycat’s brother, Bugsy, is playing in a golf tournament with some of his friends, and wants to use his lucky ball to win the game. But when Alycat forgets his lucky ball at home, Bugsy learns what luck is really all about. Can Bugsy win the tournament without his lucky ball? Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday is part of the Alycat Series: alycatseries.com.

Buy the Book:
Pre-Order Your Copy Today!
Scheduled release date is March 17, 2020!

Amazon.com

My Review

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

What a cute story! Alycat’s brother Bugsy has a lucky ball for when he plays golf. On their way to a golf tournament, Alycat realizes that she brought the wrong ball for him, but she draws on it to make him think it’s his lucky ball. Bugsy plays well without the lucky ball and realizes after he finds out what Alycat did, that he doesn’t need one after all.

This adorable story with colorful pictures teaches that luck isn’t as important as practice and hard work. Also, at the end there is a page called, “Alycat’s ABCs of Golf.” It lists a word that is related to golf for every letter of the alphabet. Such a fun way for children to learn new words! And adults, too. There are a couple of words there that I didn’t know.

Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday is a good book to get for young children, and I have a feeling it’s one of those that they’ll want to read (or want you to read) over and over again.

About the Author

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the award-winning Alycat series. Alysson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center.

After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. Alysson enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves wholeheartedly.

AWARDS & HONORS

The Alycat Series has won several prestigious awards including:
Three Mom’s Choice Awards®
Benjamin Franklin Digital Award, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)
Best Book Award Finalist
NY Big Book Award
Reviewed by Midwest Book Review
Southern Festival of Books Panelist
Louisiana Book Festival Featured Author

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

Giveaway

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Tour Schedule:

Mar 17 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Mar 17 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 18 – The Pen and Muse Book Reviews – book review / author interview
Mar 18 – Gwendalyn’s Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 18 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Mar 18 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 19 – Over Coffee Conversations – book review / giveaway
Mar 19 – eBook Addicts – book review / giveaway
Mar 20 – A Mama’s Corner Of the World – book review / giveaway
Mar 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway
Mar 24 – Svetlana’s reads and views – book review
Mar 24 – Laura`s Interests – book review / giveaway
Mar 25 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 25 – Rosco’s Reading Room – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Mar 26 – T’s Stuff – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 27 – Books Direct – book review / guest post / giveaway
Mar 30 – She Just Loves Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 31 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Apr 1 – Bookworm for Kids – book review / giveaway
Apr 2 – Pickagoodbook.com – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 6 – My Journey Back-The-Journey Back – book review / giveaway

 
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Book Review & Giveaway: Time with Norma Jeane by Elyse Douglas

Time With Norma Jeane: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Time With Norma Jeane: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Publisher:  Broadback (January 13, 2020)
Category: Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Time Slip, Women’s Fiction
Tour Dates March and April, 2020
ISBN: 978-1671646032
Available in Print and ebook, 258 pages
Time with Norma Jeane

Description

A young woman is hurled back to 1954 to spend a week with Marilyn Monroe.  Together, they embark on their own personal journeys — one a coming-of-age — the other, Marilyn’s journey, a struggle to reconcile with her past and perhaps change the future.

Guest Review by Laura Lee

Time travel books are always a big win for me. And time travel romances, doubly so. The author of this book, Elyse Douglas, is actually a married couple who write under that pseudonym and I have read and loved two of their books in the past. Both were time travel books with a twist so I knew that I would enjoy this one, too. And, of course, I was right!

“Time With Norma Jeane” pulled me in immediately with the introduction of the main character, Darla who is 16 and just recently lost her mother. Her father remarried quickly and Darla does not get along with her stepmother. The only solace that Darla finds in her day-to-day life comes when she watches old movies, particularly those that star Marilyn Monroe. Monroe was Darla’s mother’s favorite movie star and, in this small way, she feels as though she can connect with her departed mother.

One day, when Darla overhears her father and stepmother fighting, she decides to take a walk in the woods to get out of the house. While walking, Darla stumbles upon a strange, glowing path in the woods. Before she knows what is happening, she is transported back in time to the year 1954 and is almost hit by a car. When the driver steps out to check on her, it turns out that it was Marilyn Monroe herself driving. Of course, Marilyn is as kind and beautiful as she was in real life, and she brings Darla back to the house that she is staying at to make sure that she is okay. Marilyn and Darla become fast friends and spend a week together while Darla tries to figure out how to get back to her own time.

This book was both great fun and incredibly touching. I loved every minute!

Praise

“A delightful and enthralling read! Elyse Douglas captured magic and put it on the page.”—Ambling Bookworm Reviews

“This is just an astonishing read that will have you hooked on page one and won’t let go till the last. I read it all in one sitting and could not put it down.”—Donadee’s Corner Reviews

Praise for Lost Mata Hari Ring

“I am amazed by the research done into her characters, especially since with this book it is a known woman from the past – Mata Hari. From the moment Trace falls back in time, the descriptions of people and towns created a vision in my mind and I could imagine myself there observing the situations. This book captivated me to the end! If you like books that delve into past lives along with time travel, this is a book you should pick up and read!”-Storeybook Reviews

“I must say that the authors did a fantastic job in writing this book. I do not believe that time travel is possible nor do I believe in reincarnation. But while I was reading this book, I believed it was all possible. Part of me envied Trace Rutland for what she experienced, for the things she got to see. What an exciting thing! Well, except for the being thrown in prison part.  Once I was about halfway through the book, putting it down for any length of time proved to be impossible.”- Lisa’s Writopia

“This book has it all mystery, romance , history.  I really enjoyed it as I didn’t really know that much about Mata Hari.  I like historical fiction and this book was filled with history.  I am not a believer in past lives but I found myself being drawn into the story and holding my breath to see what would happen next.  A very well done story.  I would recommend it if you like historical fiction.”-Mindy, A Room Without Books Is Empty 

About the AuthorTime With Norma Jeane: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a master’s degree in English Literature.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist.

Douglas has worked as a graphic designer, a corporate manager and an equities trader.  He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years.

Website: www.elysedouglas.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/douglaselyse
Facebook: www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas

Amazon

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends April 22, 2020,midnight pacific time.

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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 9 Excerpt with Kickoff

Dee Donadees Corner Mar 10 Review

Mkowalewski Goodreads Mar 11 Review

Jas International Book Reviews Mar 12 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Mar 13 Review & Guest Post

STE Goodreads Mar 16 Review

Leslie StoreyBook Reviews Mar 17 Review

Elisha Rainy Day Reviews Mar 18 Review & Guest Post

Katy Goodreads Mar 19 Review

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews Mar 20 Guest Review

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Mar 23 Review & Excerpt

Gud Reader Goodreads Mar 25 Review

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Mar 27 Guest Review

Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings Apr 3 Review

Annie The Write Review Apr 8 Review & Excerpt

Ruth My Devotional Thoughts Apr 10 Review

Donna Amazon Apr 14 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews Apr 16 Review & Interview

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 17 Review

Mindy Room Without Books is Empty Apr 20 Review

John Around the Corner Amazon April 22 Review

Time With Norma Jeane: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Book Review: Five Minutes, Alfie by Lily Mae Walters

Alfie snuggles down in bed,
dreams still in his little head.

He dreams he’s a king going out for a ride.
“A dragon sleeps in front of the gate,” they cried.

How will they succeed in waking him up?
By helping each other and lots of luck.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Minutes-Alfie-Lily-Walters/dp/1681607077

US – https://www.amazon.com/Five-Minutes-Alfie-Lily-Walters/dp/1681607077

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.

Five Minutes, Alfie is about Alfie whose mom has told him he has five minutes to get up. Like many of us, he falls back asleep and dreams…but what a dream! He’s a king and there’s a dragon asleep in front of the gate. How will they get out?

This book is cute and it kind of rhymes. The illustrations are bright and colorful and my favorite part of Five Minutes, Alfie. This would be a fun book to read to youngsters.

About the Author

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/josiejames100/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lilymaewalters/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1

Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist by JT Hunter

The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist by JT Hunter

Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: October 11th 2014
Number of Pages: 365
ISBN: 1500909491 (ISBN13: 9781500909499)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

While he stalked the streets hunting his unsuspecting victims, the residents of a quiet Florida town slept soundly, oblivious to the dark creature in their midst, unaware of the vampire next door.

John Crutchley seemed to be living the American Dream. Good-looking and blessed with a genius level IQ, he had a prestigious, white-collar job at a prominent government defense contractor, where he held top secret security clearance and handled projects for NASA and the Pentagon. To all outward appearances, he was a hard-working, successful family man with a lavish new house, a devoted wife, and a healthy young son.

But he concealed a hidden side of his personality, a dark secret tied to a hunger for blood and the overriding need to kill. As one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, Crutchley committed at least twelve murders, and possibly nearly three dozen. His IQ eclipsed that of Ted Bundy, and his body count may have as well.

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.

I don’t read too many true crime books from cover to cover. If I come across them to sell, I’ll often skim through them, but since I had never heard of the Vampire Rapist, this one intrigued me. After reading this book, I’m not sure why I’d never heard of him. Maybe because I was working full time and going to college full time in the 1980s.

The facts of John Crutchley’s crimes are horrific, and I could feel the frustration of the men in law enforcement who were trying to find any piece of evidence that would keep him behind bars. I like how the information was presented except that there was a lot of repetition. There were facts about other events such as the Challenger explosion and the Ted Bundy case which helped with the timeline but were also distracting. If they’d just been mentioned without the extra explanation, it wouldn’t have been distracting.

Overall, I found The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist very interesting and well written. It’s obvious that the author did a lot of investigation for this book. I recommend it to anyone who likes true crime.

Excerpt

Chapter 2: You were a vampire…

Nineteen-year-old Christina Almah was still a virgin, and a bit naïve when it came to matters of sex, but like most teenaged girls on the verge of womanhood, she enjoyed receiving attention from good-looking, romantically inclined men. Yet, even she was surprised when, after a handsome, slightly older man took an interest in her, she found herself traveling all the way across the country to see him again.

Christina first met twenty-two-year-old Carl Von Bane several months earlier while he was visiting a friend near her hometown of Westminster, California. She immediately noticed him when he walked into the Drug Emporium where she had been working for the past year as a clerk, and they had quickly hit it off. His rugged, bad-boy looks and confident disposition combined to render her fully smitten. But the budding romance had barely begun before “Von” returned home to Florida. Their brief time together had passed much too quickly for the love-struck Miss Almah.

Since Von’s departure, they had continued their blossoming relationship by telephone racking up steep long distance bills. All the while, Christina had meticulously saved her meager Drug Emporium pay so that she could afford to purchase a plane ticket to visit him. When Von had called her a few weeks ago, Christina hinted at wanting to see him again by casually mentioning that she had some vacation time that needed to be used. When he suggested that she catch a flight to Florida to visit him, she had immediately agreed. After all, this was not some fly by night infatuation. She thought that she might be in love.

Christina had been counting the days until this trip—a weeklong vacation certain to be a memorable one if for no other reason than the fact that it would be the first time she had ever traveled alone. She booked a direct flight on Eastern Airlines from Los Angeles to Orlando International Airport, and Von had picked her up there nearly a week ago. Since then, she had been staying with Von in his mother’s mobile home at Lot 12 of the Enchanted Lakes Mobile Home Park on Malabar Road, near the eastern edge of the City of Palm Bay in southern Brevard County.

Named for the lush palm trees that lined the bay at the mouth of Turkey Creek, the nearly 100-square-mile Palm Bay had experienced a period of rapid growth in recent years fueled by an influx of retirees, northern transplants, and space industry workers. As part of the “Space Coast,” Palm Bay benefited from its proximity to Cape Canaveral, home to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s space shuttle program. To the west of Palm Bay, just past Interstate 95, a vast expanse of swamps and marsh grass stretched beyond the horizon, home to an endless assortment of flora and fauna. Under the blinding gaze of the eternal Florida sun, cold-blooded creatures swam silent and unseen as they had for ages past, ancient predators stalking their unsuspecting prey.

Immediately to the east of Palm Bay sits the Town of Malabar, a small, quiet community only thirteen square miles in size. Its eastern edge meets the Intracoastal Waterway in a subtropical paradise of palm trees, sailboats, and spectacular sunsets. The area’s abundant seafood, perennial sunshine, and constant sea breeze reminded Christina of her favorite parts of California. That familiarity was reassuring. It felt comfortable. She felt safe.

A petite girl standing about five feet, four inches tall and weighing a little less than 110 pounds, Christina was not a beauty queen, but she was not unattractive either. Indeed, her green eyes and brown hair combined in an inviting way that most men found sensual and appealing, and she had enjoyed her fair share of suitors. Although she had shared a few intimate moments with boys in high school, she had never found one with whom she felt comfortable enough to sacrifice her virtue. Still sexually inexperienced, she had the classic Libra traits of compassion, innate gentleness, and a genuine caring for others, traits that were sometimes misconstrued by men. Still, it never dawned on her that Von’s testosterone-driven brain would expect something more than a kiss hello, or that he would interpret her willingness to fly across the country to visit him as a green light for sleeping together. Von had tried to take that next step during her first night in Florida, and when she told him that she was not ready, he had reluctantly played the part of the understanding boyfriend, but he could not wholly hide his irritation and mounting frustration.

Von worked at Gator Chrysler in nearby Melbourne, and he had to leave Christina alone for much of the day. That had been the routine for most of the week, and the excitement of staying with someone in another state had long-since faded away. On this particular morning, she passed some time by listening to a worn down cassette tape of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” album, popping it into the cherry red Sony Walkman that Von had given her. She played several songs, rewound the tape, and played them again, but after a while she tired of listening to the provocative singer purr about being “touched for the very first time.” She tried watching television after that, but quickly lost interest in the mindless game shows and melodramatic soap operas that dominated the channels. Growing bored, she decided to walk to Melbourne a few miles away to visit several friends that she had met through Von. She would be flying back to California the next morning and wanted to say her good-byes and make the most of her final day of vacation. Wearing blue jeans, sandals, and a black t-shirt with a Harley-Davidson insignia splashed across the front, she left the trailer shorty after 1:00 p.m. It was the twenty-first day of November, 1985.

As she walked out of the entrance of the mobile home park, a light rain began to fall. She could see dark clouds gathering in the distance and a westerly wind promised that they would soon be present. Somewhere beyond the visible horizon, thunder rumbled ominous and angry, its source hidden behind an approaching wall of grey and black clouds.

Christina turned left and started walking faster as the rain increased, heading east on Malabar Road toward U.S. 1 and the Intracoastal. She planned to stop at the Jiffy Mart at the corner of Malabar Road and U.S. 1 to buy a pack of cigarettes before walking north into Melbourne. She had not gone far when a small, light-colored car pulled up beside her.

Behind the wheel of the two-door automobile sat a clean-shaven man wearing a stylish, navy-blue sports coat, a black-and-white striped tie, and a nice pair of dress slacks, not the cheap K-Mart kind, but the higher quality cloth and cut of a more fashionable men’s store. The man looked to be in his late twenties or early thirties. He had loafer style shoes, but he was not wearing them while he drove. Christine thought it slightly odd that the well-dressed man’s bare foot operated the gas and brake pedals, but she gave it no more than a fleeting thought. She had certainly seen much stranger things during her time in Florida. The man’s eyes were concealed behind darkly tinted sunglasses and his face was framed by a mane of medium-length, dirty blonde hair. He had a thin build, and though slightly pale in complexion, his handsome facial features held an undeniable allure. She could not help feeling an attraction to him.

Flashing a broad, inviting smile, he leaned over, rolled down the passenger door window, and greeted her in a friendly, reassuring voice.

“It’s a bit wet today for a walk, isn’t it?” he asked with a wry, disarming smile. “Can I give you a lift?”

Although Christina was initially wary of his invitation, he looked harmless enough and it was the middle of the day in broad daylight in a public place, so she did not wait long before responding.

“Well,” she said, deliberately drawing out her reply as she decided how much to trust the seemingly friendly stranger. “I’m on my way to Melbourne to meet some friends. Are you going anywhere near there?”

“Sure, I have to go that way to get to my office. I just need to stop by my house real quick to pick up a notebook for work, but it’ll only take a minute or two. Go ahead and hop in.”

She hesitated for just a moment, studied her Good Samaritan one last time, and then grabbed the passenger side door handle of the car. As she opened the door, she heard Sting’s new song, “Russians,” playing on the car’s radio.

The country had long since fallen into the depths of the Cold War, and the perpetual threat of nuclear holocaust loomed in the back of most people’s minds like some amorphous boogieman lurking in the shadows. As Christine pulled the door closed, Sting’s voice flowed out of the car’s speakers, echoing what seemed to be the universal mood in America and Western Europe, the growing fear of a nuclear attack by the Russian-controlled Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The song sought to appeal to the good in what President Reagan dubbed the “Evil Empire,” expressing a desperate hope that the Russian leaders loved their children enough to avoid the horror of a nuclear holocaust.

Suffering from the same state of uneasiness expressed in the song, Christina found herself captivated by the sense of calm that seemed to radiate from the man behind the wheel. They drove for a little while making small talk. While they chatted, she caught a glimpse of the man’s eyes behind his sunglasses. Their azure shade of blue added to the aura of assuredness he projected, and it seemed to Christina that the man’s eyes had the power to peer into her very soul, not in any unsettling way, but in an understanding, comforting manner that disarmed her naturally cautious disposition. He seemed genuinely interested in learning about her, and she was impressed with how articulately he expressed himself. He was charming, witty, and exuded self-confidence, and Christine felt relieved that he seemed to be normal. Some of Von’s friends that she had met were more than a little on the odd side.

After about five minutes, the man turned his car onto a bumpy, dirt road, and then continued on for a few minutes more before exiting onto a gravel driveway obscured by a tall row of hedges. Planted across the inner edge of the yard, the hedges had grown high enough to block a clear view of whatever was behind them. As the car continued down the driveway, a well-kept lawn, dotted sporadically with pine and oak trees, came into view. At the far end of the lawn stood a redbrick, Colonial style house with four white columns framing a large front door painted the same shade of white as the columns. The gravel driveway ended at a double-length carport on the left side of the house. The man pulled into the carport and parked. Two motorcycles stood at the opposite end of the parking area.

“I’ll be right back,” the man told her as he took the key out of the ignition and slipped on his shoes.

He stepped out of the car and walked to the side door of the house, where he paused and glanced back at her.

“Hey, you want to come inside for a drink?”

She smiled politely.

“Oh, no thanks, my friends are expecting me and I don’t want them to worry.”

“Suit yourself,” he said, before unlocking the door and disappearing into the building.

After a few minutes, the man emerged and announced with an embarrassed laugh that the notebook was not in the house after all.

“It must be in the back of the car,” he said, an amused smile spreading across his face as if he had just remembered an irresistibly funny joke.

He walked to the passenger side of the car and opened the door, flashing her the same smug alligator smile. He crawled into the back seat and began looking around, grinning all the while.

Suddenly, the back of Christina’s seat shot forward, slamming her violently against the dashboard. Stunned by the force of the impact and shocked by the unexpected attack, she was barely able to register the sound of something rustling behind her.

Then something brushed against her forehead. Before she could react, her neck jerked back painfully, and she began to choke. Frantically, she reached for her purse, attempting to grab something – anything – to try to defend herself. Her fingers brushed against the top of a can of OFF insect repellant. Desperate, she thought that if she could spray her attacker in his eyes, she might be able to blind him long enough to get away.

But as her fingers closed around the spray can, the man’s voice, angry and powerful, startled her into submission.

Stop it or I’ll kill you!”

As her initial impulse of self-defense gave way to a paralyzing feeling of despair, her hand retreated out of her purse and her arm fell numbly to her side.

Then the rope tightened and everything went black.

***

Excerpt from The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist by JT Hunter. Copyright 2014 by JT Hunter. Reproduced with permission from JT Hunter. All rights reserved.

 

J.T. Hunter

J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.

Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:
jthunter.org, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

02/01 Review @ Books with Bircky
02/02 Review @ The World As I See It
02/03 Guest post @ Nesies Place
02/04 Guest post @ Books with Bircky
02/05 Review @ fundinmental
02/06 Showcase @ Our Town Book Reviews
02/07 Showcase @ Read and Review
02/09 Showcase @ Buried Under Books
02/10 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods
02/11 Review @ Cheryls Book Nook
02/12 Showcase @ Lisa-Queen of Random
02/13 Review/showcase @ Avonna Loves Genres
02/14 Interview @ Books Chatter
02/17 Showcase @ Im All About Books
02/18 Review @ Quiet Fury Books
02/18 Showcase @ Im All About Books
02/20 Showcase @ CMash Reads
02/26 Review @ JBronder Book Reviews
02/27 Review @ Bound 4 Escape
02/28 Review @ Celticladys Reviews
02/29 Review @ Erica Robyn Reads
02/29 Review @ Forever the Wanderer
02/29 Showcase @ Teatime and Books

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Book Review & Giveaway: Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon


Book Title Monsterland by Michael Okon
Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 234 pages
Genre Urban Fantasy, Apocalyptic, Horror
Publisher Wordfire Press
Release date:   October 2017
Tour dates: Feb 3 to Feb 21, 2020 
Content Rating: PG-13 + M: There is some violence, blood and gore. 

About the Book

After Monsterland has imploded, the entire world is thrown into chaos. World leadership is gone, economies have collapsed, and communications are non-existent. Wyatt must go beyond the boundaries of his small town to reestablish contact with the outside world, and alert the government about a traitor-in-chief. During his journey he discovers a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park. When an army of relentless mummies, a life-sucking ooze called The Glob, and a hybrid reanimated Behemoth rise from the depths of Monsterland, who will survive?

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple iBooks
Smashwords ~ Kobo


Add to Goodreads

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.

Monsterland Reanimated is the second book in the series,and it starts soon after Monsterland took place. Once the dust settles, everyone realizes that things have changed, but they don’t know much because there is no communication working. Obviously, someone needs to venture to the next town to see if they know more there.

Things get pretty weird with anarchy, mummies, purple ooze and so much more. It got so weird that I didn’t think I was going to like this book. It hooked me though and once I got to the middle of it, I had to finish.

This was a quick read, and I found the characters, especially the teens, realistic in their relationships and reactions. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

About the Author


Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple
genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and
self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in
English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming
from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has
been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being
his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw
The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through
unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a
sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island
with his wife and children.

Connect with the Author:

website ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Check out the author’s guest post from 2018: https://bound4escape.com/2018/06/29/guest-post-giveaway-by-michael-okon-author-of-monsterland-reanimated/.

Giveaway

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Follow the Tour

Feb 3 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 3 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 3 – On My Bookshelf – book review of Monsterland / author interview / giveaway
Feb 4 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Monsterland / guest post / giveaway
Feb 4 – Miz B – book review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 5 – Literary Flits – book review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 5 – Dab of Darkness – audiobook review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 6 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / guest post / giveaway
Feb 11 – Literary Flits – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 12 – From the TBR Pile – audiobook review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 12 – On My Bookshelf – book review of Monsterland Reanimated/  giveaway
Feb 13 – Miz B – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 14 – Dab of Darkness – audiobook review of Monsterland Reanimated / author interview / giveaway
Feb 17 – Turning the Pages – book review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 17 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 17 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 17 – eBook addicts – audiobook review of Monsterland / giveaway
Feb 18 – Turning the Pages – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / guest post / giveaway
Feb 18 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / guest post
Feb 18 – eBook addicts – audiobook review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 19 – From the TBR Pile – audiobook review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 19 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of Monsterland Reanimated / guest post / giveaway
Feb 20 – Jypsylynn – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway
Feb 21 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of Monsterland Reanimated / giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway: We’re All Not the Same, But We’re Still Family by Theresa Fraser & Eric E.W. Fraser

This story was written for adoptive families to explore the benefits of adoption openness. The main character, Deshaun, loves his family but always wondered about his biological family. Does he look like them? Did they love him? With the support of his adoptive parents, Deshaun gets to meet his biological family. They develop an ongoing relationship, so Deshaun feels more stable in his adoptive family, but also develops a comfortable relationship with his birth family. Deshaun and his family are reminded (as we all are) that family can include biological, adopted, foster and kin members.

After reading this book, a child and their family will be able to:
– Discuss feelings about adoption
– Imagine what openness might mean for them
– Acknowledge similarities and differences among family members
– Discuss if an expanded sense of family is possible for their circumstances

My Review

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

This story about Deshaun and his adopted and birth parents is a good book for both children and adults to read who are involved some way in the adoption process. I’m sure many adopted children have a lot of questions about their birth parents, and the way Deshaun’s parents dealt with those questions are exceptional.

As the author points out at the end of the book, openness is very important but the adoptee needs to be taken into consideration. My mom was adopted, always knew she was adopted, and she didn’t want to know anything about her birth parents until late in her life, mainly for medical reasons.

My favorite line in the book is, “Finding his birth family made a big difference in how Deshaun saw himself.” We’re All Not the Same, But We’re Still Family is what the perfect circumstances would be for Deshaun. Both families love him and finding his biological father improved his life. Such a heartwarming story!

There are many children’s adoption books that address the important themes of identity, attachment, grief and loss; however, very few approach the topic of openness for older children in the in-depth manner that Theresa and Eric do in their book. The emotions that Deshaun describes are typical of many adopted children and could help normalize universal feelings for young adoptees. I would highly recommend this book for all adopted children and will certainly be using it in my practice.
–Tecla Jenniskens, M.S.W., R.S.W., adoption social worker

Many foster and adoptive parents fear the consequences of introducing their children to birth parents. This story offers a redemptive look at how parents can remain history keepers for their children by helping them answer important questions about themselves and their origins. This book is a beautiful example of how fearless curiosity and compassion can lead to increased coherence in a child’s story and an expanded sense of family for everyone.
–Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S, clinical director of Nurture House, executive director of the TraumaPlay Institute and author of A Safe Circle for Little U and Trauma and Play Therapy

We’re All Not the Same, but We’re Still Family is a lovely book that tackles issues adopted children really think about when they question their identity and place within a family. The authors describe the process of a boy’s search for his biological family, with the full support of his adoptive parents, and the events that brought him into the child welfare system. The illustrator’s rendition of the Skyped meetings between the two families is captivating, while the text gives careful attention to the unification process. I applaud the authors on their inclusion of realistic steps in this complicated process, as we witness a child’s journey to find and complete his family.
–Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, board certified psychologist and author of Please Explain “Anxiety” to Me!

From Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com

Available to buy from…

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   GPlay   Paperback   Hardcover 

Inside the book
Deshaun meeting his birth family over a Skype call

About the Authors

Eric Fraser is 17 years old and adopted. Like Deshaun, he found some of his birth family when he was in middle school. He likes lacrosse, skateboarding, and, ice-skating in the wintertime. He is a public speaker and talks about what kids need and value from helping relationships.

Theresa Fraser is Eric’s mom. She and her husband fell in love with Eric the second they saw him. He is an amazing teenager who carries around the love he received from his birth family and ancestors as well as his chosen family.
In her work as a therapist, Theresa believes strongly that families can be defined in many different ways, and often this includes foster/adoptive and birth family members. How blessed all family members are when contact can be shared and it is positive for the child.

Theresa has a variety of certifications that enable her to work effectively with people across the lifespan. She is a Trauma Specialist, Certified Play Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist (Ontario) and Certified Counselling Therapist (Nova Scotia). She has experience using a variety of evidenced based interventions. She has won provincial, national and international awards and has many publications.

You can also follow Theresa here…
Website   Facebook   Twitter  Goodreads

Follow the Book Tour

1. Tuesday, 4th February – Cover Lover Book Review  
2. Tuesday, 4th February – Miki’s Hope  
3. Wednesday, 5th February – KissyGLuvvyM  
4. Thursday, 6th February – The Faerie Review  
5. Friday, 7th February – Carly Wilson  
6. Monday, 10th February – Devorah Bergman guest posting on Ebook Addicts  
7. Tuesday, 11th February – Beck Valley Books  
8. Wednesday, 12th February – Novel & Mug  
9. Thursday 13th February – Bound 4 Escape  
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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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