Tagged: Fiction

Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2) – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, JS Burke's Dragon Dreamer - YA Fantasy

About the Book

The Dragon Lightning, J.S. Burke (Dragon Dreamer Book 2)

Young Adult,  Science Fiction, 264 Pages

Lind Press; 2 edition (October 10, 2016)

Drakor foresees the doom of dragons. 

Drakor seems like a normal young ice dragon with a talent for making lightning swords. But he alone feels the changing heart of his island Volcano. It destroyed his beloved sire. Now he foresees their doom, but none will listen. As he seeks proof, the Volcano shakes him off into the frozen sea. Arak was mocked as a worthless dreamer until he and Scree, a fearless undersea misfit, saved the dragons. Now dragons and octopi sail north in search of mythical ice dragons. They find Drakor and a terrifying reality. When Scree enters the abyss to check his volcano, she discovers everyone is in peril. Can this crew of unlikely friends save three realms?

“Dragon Lightning” is stand-alone book II of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: science fantasy adventure with dragons, an undersea world, and unlikely friendships. “Dragon Lightning” won the Pinnacle First Place Award for Best Science Fantasy and the IAN First Place Award for Best Science Fiction. It’s also an IAN Finalist for Best Fantasy and an IAN Finalist for Best Young Adult book. This upbeat novel is for readers age 9 and older. 

About the Author

J. S. Burke is the creator of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world. Burke has worked as an author, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. The author lives in Georgia with family and rescue pets. Burke loves chocolate and so do the dragons! 

The Dragon Dreamer series grew from years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. These stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak, a young dragon, is one Burke survived. This series of young adult books is for age 9 and older. “Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book” has original, hand-drawn snowflake mandalas inspired by the Dragon Dreamer series. 

Book Awards for “Dragon Lightning” by J. S. Burke:
*PINNACLE FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FANTASY
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FICTION 
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST YOUNG ADULT

Book Awards for “The Dragon Dreamer” by J. S. Burke:
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST FIRST NOVEL
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION
*IAN Finalist for BEST CHILDREN’S Show Less

Sam’s Review

The sequel to Dragon DreamerDragon Lightning is still filled with magic and plenty of dragons. Arak and his friends have found a wounded ice dragon, a creature of legend and a creature of stubborn pride, by the name of Drakor. Drakor is like Arak, he sees what is to come. And he needs the golden dragons’ help to save his kind.

Dragon Lightning was fun, but again, it was pretty slow at times, which is a bummer, because the story is good. However, we’re getting more and more characters, and it’s becoming a bit too much for me.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, JS Burke's Dragon Dreamer - YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Related post: 

The Dragon Dreamer Book 1 in the Dragon Dreamer Series

The Dragon Dreamer – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Sam reviews JS Burke's THE DRAGON DREAMER on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner - YA Fantasy

About the Book

The Dragon Dreamer, J.S. Burke (Dragon Dreamer Book 1)

Young Adult,  Science Fiction, 253 Pages

Lind Press (April 23, 2014)

A dragon, an undersea misfit, and a dangerous dream. 

Bullied as a worthless dreamer, Arak flew far away on a quest . . . and crashed. A fearless shape-shifter octopus named Scree rescues him, and an unexpected friendship begins. Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. But a devastating illness strikes the clan. Then an undersea volcano erupts, which triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. How can Arak use his hidden talents and a dangerous dream to save the dragons? 

Dive into a new fantasy world! “The Dragon Dreamer” 
is a stand-alone book I of the Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with dragons and an undersea world. “The Dragon Dreamer” won IAN First Place for BestFirst Novel. It’s also an IAN Finalist for Best Science Fiction and for best fantasy Book. This series has real science with a fantasy take; the octopus abilities are the same as on Earth, though their life cycle differs. For young adults 9 to 99.

About the Author

J. S. Burke is the creator of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world. Burke has worked as an author, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. The author lives in Georgia with family and rescue pets. Burke loves chocolate and so do the dragons! 

The Dragon Dreamer series grew from years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. These stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak, a young dragon, is one Burke survived. This series of young adult books is for age 9 and older. “Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book” has original, hand-drawn snowflake mandalas inspired by the Dragon Dreamer series. 

Book Awards for “Dragon Lightning” by J. S. Burke:
*PINNACLE FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FANTASY
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FICTION 
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST YOUNG ADULT

Book Awards for “The Dragon Dreamer” by J. S. Burke:
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST FIRST NOVEL
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION
*IAN Finalist for BEST CHILDREN’S

Sam’s Review

Dragon Dreamer is amazing and incredible. Who knew that a story with octopi and dragons could be so good? This is highly recommended for fantasy lovers and sea lovers, so don’t hesitate. Try it!

Arak is a dragon with a special gift. He can see what is happening in other places. Scree is an octopus and a Healer. She’s brave and smart, and the only one daring enough to speak to squid and dragons, and ride sharks. Teamed up, they can make peace with different species, and learn that legends are more than stories, but that they are filled with truth and hope.

This book was impressive. Combining fire (the dragons) and the water (Scree and her pod), it creates a magical mixture of love and danger. What I didn’t like though was how it felt like a children’s book. It was slow at times, and then too fast at other times.

Sam reviews JS Burke's THE DRAGON DREAMER on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner - YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Miao Shan – The Awakening – Cover Reveal

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

About the Book

Miao Shan – The Awakening by G.A.M. Morris 

New Adult to Adult, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, 286 pages

Indie Published, to be released January 15, 2019

**Please note that the author has rated this book as 18+ due to graphic violence.**

When ten-year-old Chow Lei witnesses her parent’s brutal murder she becomes emotionally scarred for life. Her maternal grandmother adopts her and attempts to help her, but only when Chow Lei joins a Shaolin Kung Fu school does any emotional healing occur.

After a year of training at the Kung Fu school, her grandmother reticently agrees to send her to the Shaolin Temple so the emotional healing can continue.

After many years in the Shaolin Temple, once she had reached enlightenment, Lei returns home only to discover that her grandmother has also been murdered.

Alone and in tears she swears to bring justice to those who have killed her loved ones. Little does she know that she is destined to become, Miao-Shan, the living Goddess of Justice! Justice for all!

Cover reveal and promotion for a new adult/NA Fantasy fiction novel by G. A. M. Morris - Miao Shan - The Awakening

About the Author: 

Author G. A. M. Morris, creator of Miao-Shan: The Awakening

I was born in London in 1963. We moved to Cape Town, South Africa when I was 8 years old. I studied at the University of Cape Town Business school. For most of my working life, I have been a collectibles, art, and antique dealer. In 2007 I became a commercial property broker. I started writing fiction professionally in 2010, during which time I wrote two complete novels, of which Miao-Shan is the second one. At the end of 2010, I returned to the property industry, without having acquired an agent. For the next six years, I wrote part-time. Two years ago, I started to work full-time as a self-published author, mainly selling on Amazon, under a pen-name. I currently have two other books completed (one an unusual spy thriller, and the other a time-traveling paranormal fantasy), which will be published at a later date. The time-traveling paranormal fantasy novel, I intend to convert into a graphic novel. I’m now concentrating on getting Miao-Shan published.

Cover Reveal: 

Ta-Da! The moment you’ve been waiting for: 

Cover reveal and promotion for a new adult/NA Fantasy fiction novel by G. A. M. Morris - Miao Shan - The Awakening

Okay… now THAT is an awesome cover – right? Be sure to stay tuned. Brian will be reading this book next, and the review blog will be live on January 15, 2019.

Buy the Book

Miao Shan – The Awakening isn’t available for pre-order just yet, but it will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes. We’ll update this post when preorder links are available and have links for all the major outlets in our review post coming in January.

Incompetent Gods – Review

About the book:

In a dimension created by the ancient gods, most are now stuck working at Gods Incorporated. CEO Queen Louhi Pohjola, a mortal demigoddess turned vampire (on a diet), holds the planet in the palm of her hand and while she cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called a nice person, there’s worse lurking in her shadow.

Goblin, a bitter hybrid with childhood issues and shape-shifting abilities, has a grudge against the world. First on his to-do list is getting rid of the Queen and take her place by forcing the titan Ba’al to devour her.

As her friends and allies fall one-by-one into Goblin’s traps, the Queen’s fate seems inevitable. With no one left to fight, will Ba’al’s friends, a bunch of over-the-hill incompetent gods, be enough to stop Goblin from turning the world into hell?

About the author:

Gabriele Russo

Gabriele Russo was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors. 

Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. 

That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.

She now lives with her husband in Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, teaching French and Creative Writing, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.

Sam’s Review:

So, this book takes place in a dimension where all the gods and goddesses from the pantheons, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, you name it, try to survive in the modern world. Of course, all of them are governed by the leader of Gods, Inc. (trust me, it may sound like a comedy, by it really wasn’t… Either that, or I have a different sense of humor that what this book was geared towards.).

The queen, who happens to be a vampire, is named Louhi. I think that I’m pronouncing it right. The book didn’t really come with pronunciations here.

Of course Goblin, the bad guy, wants what she has: the seat of power. He gets it, he controls the gods, in a way. So, yeah, he’ll need to kidnap some gods, torture them, send Louhi to our dimension. It won’t work, but still.

This book is definitely not a kids book. It has a lot of bad language in it, but it is very good. It gets four stars, and it does have a sequel that I’ll do later. If you’re wondering why it is at four stars, allow me to explain. I did not enjoy it like I thought that i would. Sorry.

The reason behind the rating is simple, I didn’t like the concept. Gods would go great together, I thought. They’d be fine, I thought. Yeah, that kind of moment. I did like that they brought in vampires though. Vampires rock.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Other books in the series: 

Inclement Gods

Incoherent Gods

One More Run – Review

Jenn reviews One More Run by Matthew J. Cox on Thrice Read Books review blog

About the book:

One More Run by Matthew S. Cox     Roadhouse Chronicles Book 1

Published by Curiosity Quills Press      December 4, 2016

Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

In August 2021, they tried to disprove the adage that violence doesn’t solve anything―by killing everyone.

No people, no problems.

Fifty years later, humanity has emerged from the ashes. As if nuclear war wasn’t enough, a cruel virus followed on its heels, reducing many survivors to mindless killers.

With no infrastructure left, Drivers are the only link between scattered towns. Anyone with the skill to maintain a vehicle (and the balls to hit the road) can seek riches running jobs for the Roadhouse.

Kevin longs to trade in his steering wheel for a Roadhouse of his own, no longer being the idiot ducking bullets for a handful of coins. He’s one run away from retiring when a strange woman begs him for a ride to Harrisburg. Desperation has a way of getting a man to do stupid things, and he agrees to run a package so valuable half the Wildlands will come after him.

For his whole life, all Kevin cared about was himself―and maybe his car―yet his enigmatic companion makes him wonder if there’s more to life than selling food, booze, and weapons to reckless fools.

Her past catches up to them, stranding Kevin at a fork in the road: fulfill his dream, or let it go for something he never thought he’d want―love.

About the author:

One More Run author Matthew S. Cox

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world, in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place. More recently, he has forayed into young-adult and middle-grade novels. Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humor, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Jenn’s Review:

Mad Max meets Resident Evil in this fast-paced, post-apocalyptic novel by Matthew S. Cox. 

One More Run chronicles the unplanned adventures of Kevin, one of the few bold souls remaining brave enough to act as a courier between the far-flung, terrorized and tattered settlements that make up the former United States of America. 

Kevin is this close to having the cash saved up from his dangerous runs to found his own Roadhouse and retire from driving for good. But just as things are looking like the end of his dangerous struggles, Kevin finds himself in a situation that even his jaded conscious can’t walk away from – watch a woman dragged off to slavery, or stand up and take on a job that risks everything he’s worked for.

As one run after another goes sideways and wrong, Kevin holds onto his goal: Finish with being a courier for good, and settle down with his own roadhouse.  And as situations get more and more complicated, the jaded young man finds his heart softening towards his damsel-in-distress (who is far more than she appears to be), despite lingering questions about her humanity. Together, they dodge zombies, slavers, drug dealers and more, always braced for the next blow that could end one, or both, of them.

One More Run was an engaging thriller with just enough romance in it to keep me turning the pages. Clean enough to be a YA read for an older teen, this is also engaging enough for more mature tastes – due to language and occasional sexual references, I’ve shelved this one for Sam a few years down the road. Four stars, and looking forward to diving into the sequel, Redeemed, soon.

Jenn Reviews post-apocalyptic/Sci Fi novel One More Run by Matthew S. Cox on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle or paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other books by Matthew S. Cox:

The Redeemed (book 2)

Dead Man’s Number (Book 3 – coming soon)

Prophet’s Journey

The Girl Who Found the Sun

We Are Mars – Review

About the Book:

We Are Mars: The Rubicon Saga – Part 1      By Cheryl Lawson

Publisher: Southernwood Technologies Inc.

Series: The Rubican Saga      Genre: SciFi Fantasy

Release Date: May 15, 2018

The year is 2128. 

For the people of Rubicon, Mars is Home – hostile and unforgiving – but still Home. When Rubicon is taken by surprise by an unexpected and deadly threat, it’s a race against time and a desperate fight to stay alive. 

Jax and Dana, Ridley and Chuck, Lenny and Maliyah all stand on opposite sides of a class divide, battling passions and tensions in equal measure. But can they work together to avert a disaster? Could the fundamental differences between them be the key to their survival, or to their destruction? 

To make matters worse, unsettling events on Earth put the entire Mars Mission at risk and Rubicon – with little choice left – declares its independence. The news of this is not welcomed by powerful politicians that devise dubious plans to shelve the settlement, once and for all. 

Mistakes are made, allegiances shift and lives hang in the balance. No one can be trusted as allies become enemies and the true nature of life on Mars is revealed – One wrong move, and it will be your last.

About the Author:

Cheryl Lawson lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, with her husband and son. Cheryl grew up in South Africa, moving to Canada in 2006 when her son was just a year old. They settled in the lower mainland of BC, before moving, in 2017, to Kamloops. After a long career as a graphic designer, photographer and artist, Cheryl began pursuing writing, full-time, in 2014. She released her first non-fiction book in 2016. When she is not writing, Cheryl continues to pursue her passion for nature through her art and photography. Cheryl is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and a member of the Kamloops Arts Council. Her non-fiction book, a manifesto of her career as a creative professional, is entitled Authentic Creativity, How to Make the Most of Your Creative Intent, Strategy & Perspective. It is penned under her married name, Cheryl Bezuidenhout. We Are Mars is Cheryl’s first fiction novel.

Brian’s Review:

 As a person who would love to be a Mars Colonist, We Are Mars, is a great starter book for Cheryl.  The book moves pretty fast, and has enough entertainment to keep me interested. There are a few questions I have about some of the things that take place, but they aren’t hard to over look for the entertainment of the story.  Again for a first novel, the writing was pretty good and I am anxiously awaiting book two. Cheryl really hits home with her descriptions of life on Mars and the struggles that would come with it. The “Red Planet” never read so good, as far as I have read.  Recommend this book for anyone who looks at the stars and wonders.

Brian reviews Cheryl Lawson's debut science fiction novel "We Are Mars" on the Thrice Read Books blog

Sam’s Review: 

We are Mars by Cheryl Lawson was okay. It bounced from person to person, but it’s still worth reading. The book is a science fiction, for those who are wondering.

Mars has been claimed by the human race for science. However, the precious water from the dry planet has been poisoned, causing an outbreak that kills many. The heroes (and heroine) learn that they are not the only humans on Mars.

We are Mars is perfect for people who don’t mind sudden changes of point of view.  It was still good, though. I liked the characters, and the plot twists, though I don’t like the cliffhanger.

Sam adds her thoughts to the review blog for Cheryl Lawson's WE ARE MARS, book 1 in the Rubicon Saga, on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Beyond the Wicked Willow – Review

Sam from Thrice Read Books reviews MJ Rocissono's YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

About the book:

Beyond the Wicked Willow by M.J. Rocissono

Teen Science Fiction/Fantasy

Published by Pandosia Entertainment September 7, 2017

342 pages in print format

FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when he thinks things are looking up, well…all heck breaks loose. It happens in home-ec class just moments after the girl of his dreams, Jenny Moran, invites him to the annual town carnival. Still dazed from the unexpected invite, Frankie accidentally plasters the face of school bully, Brick McDuddy, with a giant scoop of chocolate mousse. 
Embarrassed, and fuming mad, Brick plots to deliver his painful revenge at the carnival. When Frankie, and his pals, Sam, Beef, and Bookworm show up to meet Jenny, Brick and his nasty bootlickers, Harold “The Horrible” Dunson and Billy “Scat” Pile, chase them into the eerie tent of an old Gypsy fortuneteller named Mala. Trapped with nowhere to run, Frankie makes a pact with Mala not knowing that he and his pals would be swept through her crystal ball to Medieval Italy. Now, their only hope to return home rests in Frankie’s hands. He must kill the evil Italian witch, Il Strega Diavolo, and rescue Mala’s twin sister, Tsura. But, can Frankie find the courage to face the Strega?

About the Author:

M.J. ROCISSONO is a lifelong daydreamer, an inescapable habit that earned him plenty of D’s and F’s throughout elementary and high school. After “graduating,” he spent seven years traveling around the United States, Europe, and the Balkans where he studied various cultures and customs. After moving to Vermont, where he settled with his wife and three children, he studied writing and literature at Vermont College of The Union Institute and University. His passions are family, human rights, social justice, animal welfare, and climate change. You can contact him on Twitter at @mjrocissono or by email at mjrocissono@gmail.com.

Sam’s Review:

Beyond the Wicked Willow, by M. J. Rocissono, is a teen read. It was very good, and its genre was fantasy. Filled with courage and humor, this good for those who like time travel, dragons and, more.

Frankie and his three friends, Bookworm, the nerd of the group; Beef, the glutton; and Sam, the strong tomboy who’s got a crush on Bookworm, are in a bit of pickle. Running from jerk bullies at the fair, the four buddies take shelter in the fortune teller’s tent.

Mala, the fortune teller, sends the four of them to the past to save her twin sister. Along the way, Frankie learns that he’s the Witchslayer, the one destined to kill the Strega, and his tiny army is made with seven people, counting Frankie and his buds.

I enjoyed this book because of the magic, and the hilarious scenes. I didn’t like how there were some words that I didn’t understand, but that’s okay since I don’t speak Latin. Other than that, I enjoyed. This book is fascinating to read, and easy to understand.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews M.J. Rocissono's Teen/YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats here. [affiliate link]

Beyond Circumstances – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit for Beyond Circumstances Review
Jenn reviews Gloria Joynt-Lang’s Beyond Circumstances

About the Book

Beyond Circumstances; Gloria Joynt-Lang
Adult; Contemporary Romance; 482 Pages

Independently published (June 12, 2018)

Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.

Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.

Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distance himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.

About the Author

Beyond Circumstances author Gloria Joynt-Lang

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.

Join Gloria on social media: Facebook     Twitter     Website

Jenn sat down for a chat with Gloria to talk about her debut novel. You can read all about it here.

Jenn’s Review

Holy wow! I had to read this book in about 3 sittings (darn you, Housework!), and had a hard time putting it down. Gloria Joynt-Lang knocked it out of the park in her debut novel, Beyond Circumstances.

When I say the characters of this book are well-developed, I mean that they could easily be the couple sitting next to you in the diner Friday evening. These aren’t “perfect” people. They are flawed, they struggle, they do their best, and they don’t always win. Even the secondary characters are developed and easy to picture (I actually spent time describing some of the characters, by giving them counterparts in our own small town).

Ms. Joynt-Lang lovingly, exquisitely crafts the inner and outer experiences of PTSD and bigotry. No subtle conflicts reside here. Nope. The reader is dropped deep into the mind of someone struggling with severe anxiety attacks and mental health problems. You walk right alongside the hero of the story as his past and present unfold and he fights to find something akin to peace.

The zinger, is in Lexie’s story. While you might think you understand what drove the heroine of this story to leave her big city life, the author waits…and waits…and waits…before she zaps you with the rest of the story.

This is the first book in a series, and I can promise that this reader will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series. An easy 5 stars.

Pin for Beyond Circumstances Review
Jenn reviews Gloria Joynt-Lang’s Beyond Circumstances

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.


Also by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Braking Hard

Interview with Gloria Joynt-Lang for Braking Hard

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Boy of Blood – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB STR Twit Boy of Blood Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s Boy of Blood

About the Book:

Boy of Blood; Megan O’Russell
Young Adult; Dystopian Sci-Fi; 242 Pages

Ink Worlds Press (March 19, 2019)

After Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

Nightland’s attack shattered the safety of the domes, leaving dead to be burned and debts to be settled. As the Domers struggle to rebuild, Nola tries to forget everything she learned beyond the glass walls. The people on the outside aren’t hers to save. There is nothing left for them but pain and death. Nola’s life will continue trapped in the domes, Jeremy by her side.

When the chaos of the city reaches the glass, the line between murder and protection blurs, leaving Nola with only one terrible chance for survival.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

About the Author

Megan O’Russell is the author of several Young Adult series that invite readers to escape into worlds of adventure. From Girl of Glass, which blends dystopian darkness with the heart-pounding danger of vampires, to Ena of Ilbrea, which draws readers into an epic world of magic and assassins.

With the Girl of Glass series, The Tethering series, The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, The Tale of Bryant Adams, the Ena of Ilbrea series, and several more projects planned for 2020, there are always exciting new books on the horizon. To be the first to hear about new releases, free short stories, and giveaways, sign up for Megan’s newsletter by visiting the following:

https://www.meganorussell.com/book-signup.

Originally from Upstate New York, Megan is a professional musical theatre performer whose work has taken her across North America. Her chronic wanderlust has led her from Alaska to Thailand and many places in between. Wanting to travel has fostered Megan’s love of books that allow her to visit countless new worlds from her favorite reading nook. Megan is also a lyricist and playwright. Information on her theatrical works can be found at RussellCompositions.com.

She would be thrilled to chat with you on Facebook or Twitter @MeganORussell, elated if you’d visit her website MeganORussell.com, and over the moon if you’d like the pictures of her adventures on Instagram @ORussellMegan.

Jenn’s Review

Megan O’Russell hits another home run with Boy of Blood, book 2 in the Girl of Glass series.

This book picks up right where Girl of Glass left off – the night Nightland attacked the domes. Nola struggles with intense feelings; she’s betrayed the domes, and those she tried to help, betrayed her. The boy she loved has turned on her, and she begins to accept Jeremy’s love as she starts to heal. The blinders are off now, and every time Nola turns around, she discovers another lie, another secret, more and more blood on her hands as she starts to ask herself who the real monsters are. What’s a girl to do?

Megan’s world building in this series is amazing. She’s created vivid settings and torn them down, piece by piece. Her characters are rich, deep and (mostly) relatable – I can’t honestly say I can relate to the blood thirsty, murderous and snarky Vamper, Raina. However, even the difficult-to-understand characters have their own story that makes them understandable, even if they aren’t likeable. (What kind of dystopian/urban fantasy would it be if everyone was rainbows and sparkles?)

Boy of Blood is just as fast-paced and full of plot twists as book 1 was. And… Nah. Not gonna give away the spoilers. Though, I will say that Megan has confirmed that there are at least 2 more books coming in this series. (I say “at least” only because she revealed this was originally supposed to be a trilogy, during our interview.)

Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood are easily on par with Hunger Games and Maze Runner. Fans of dystopian fiction – this one’s for you! Paranormal and urban fantasy fans looking for a twist on the usual vampires and werewolves – check this one out.

Easily 5 out of 5 stars from this reader. (Sam’s reading this book as I write my review – keep an eye out for her vlog post, coming soon to a YouTube near you!)

Sam’s Review:

Nola is safe in the domes, but she is more aware than ever. The domes were attacked. The current love of her life had almost been lost. She has been bitten and scarred. It is part of her history now, and she won’t forget it. She’s caught the eyes of the guards, and when dark secrets begin to reveal themselves to her, her trust shatters all over again. The guards are using the drugs from outside the domes now, going against everything Domers were taught. Who can she trust, if anyone?

Gripping, and well told, you will find yourself falling back into Nola’s world of glass and blood and danger. Don’t want to leave quite yet? Do not worry my friends, there are three more stories to tell. This story is far from over.

Updated review from Sam:

TRB STR Boy of Blood Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s Boy of Blood

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

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Last words:

Click here to read our review of Girl of Glass.

We also sat down with Megan and talked a bit about her new release. You can read the interview here.


Also by Megan O’Russell

Girl of Glass (book 1, Girl of Glass)

Night of Never (book 3, Girl of Glass)

Son of Sun (book 4, Girl of Glass)

Death of Day (Book 5, Girl of Glass)

Child Wound in Gold (Short story for Maggie Trent)

The Girl Without Magic (Maggie Trent, Book 1)

When Worlds Begin (Series Starter Set)

Diary of a Snoopy Cat – Review

Thrice Read Books review blog post for RF Kristi's "Diary of a Snoopy Cat"

About the book:

Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi; Inca Cat Detective Series book 5

Upper Elementary/Middle Grade Mystery Fiction

Self-Published October 28, 2017 182 pages

Read the hilarious and breathtaking antics of Inca and her family of furry friends as recorded through the eyes of Inca a Siberian Kitty. Inca decides to start a Diary! A heart-pounding saga unfolds as she keeps the reader thrilled recording her detective exploits.

When Inca and family move to London from Paris, they make a whole new set of friends, including Monk, a Blue Russian cat and Terrence, a Golden Retriever who ably and bravely assists his world-famous detective owner, Solo. Inspired by the adventures of her new friends, Inca sets herself the task of becoming the world’s best cat detective and begins to keep a diary of her exploits.

When Monk arrives one evening, with news of a meeting to take place later that night, Inca is excited and can’t wait to attend. She is told of a perilous journey that must be undertaken by Solo and Terrence, who are to travel to the Himalayas, to search for the missing Raoul, a friend who had failed to return from an expedition.

The departure of Terrence means that Inca can take on her first proper job; the baffling incident of Mr. Finchley’s missing will. But does the young cat have what it takes to crack the case and save the tormented and ferocious Rottweiler – Boss? And can she do it without the help of the wily old Retriever?

About the author:

R.F. Kristi, the author of the Inca book series is a former professional of the United Nations Children’s Fund. She holds a doctorate in economic development and has travelled and lived in various countries of the globe. With a deep commitment to animal rescue efforts, Kristy has a keen interest and love for animals. She created the Inca Cat book series for younger readers up to age 8 or 12 and also animal lovers. Kristi currently resides in France. It is anticipated that the proceeds of the Inca Book Series will be donated to animal rescue efforts in developing countries.

She has always been fascinated with cats. The intelligence and allure of cats has always enchanted her and she has found them the best of companions. She often remembers reading a good detective story with her feline companions close by her side.

Sam’s Review:

Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi is a upper elementary book. Inca wants to be a world famous detective. Seems simple enough, right? I mean, as a cat, she’s agile, quick, and smart. All she needs now is a case. Luckily for her, a will goes missing and an evil man tries to claim what’s not his.

This was very fun to read and another fun and innocent break from teen reads. I love cats, so giving this book a try was a no-brainer. I enjoyed this book from start to finish because of the well defined characters, and the wonderful illustrations.

What I didn’t like about this book was how I couldn’t see the Rottweiler actually speaking. I mean, technically, none of them should have been talking, but this is a kid’s book. It’s allowed. I can imagine the rough voice, but not the growl at the end.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner and Thrice Read Books features children's book, Diary of a Snoopy Cat, by RF Kristi on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook formats from Kindle here. [affiliate link]