Tagged: Paranormal

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.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it 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)

Spirit Fall – 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 Spirit Fall Review
Jenn reviews Tessa McFionn’s Spirit Fall

About the Book:

Spirit Fall; Tessa McFionn
Adult; Paranormal Romance; 306 pages

Published by Etopia Press December 26, 2014

The Guardians Book One

After a year-long depression following the murder of her fiancé, Siobhan Whelan stands on a bridge, tormented by unending nightmares, one step away from jumping. Only the kindness of a seductive stranger brings her back down to earth. But the handsome stranger is more than meets the eye, and soon Voni finds herself thrust into a strange new world.

For seven hundred years, Malakai Vadim has shouldered the mantle of Guardian Warrior. But a chance encounter with the tormented beauty brings him face to face with his destiny. His nemesis, Dmitrius Konstantin, has been feeding Voni’s grief through nightmares, wanting her and her untapped powers for his own. As Kai learns of his foe’s deadly interest, he must solve the riddle of Voni’s tortured dreams while holding his growing desire for her at bay. 

Too bad the enemy Rogue Warriors have other plans. Now, along with fellow Guardian Eamon McClearon, Kai must venture into the In-Between, the enemy’s powerbase, to save her soul as well as his own. But can his love be strong enough to save them both?

About the Author:

Tessa McFionn, author of Spirit Fall

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music, as well as the regular trip to The Happiest Place on Earth with friends and family.

Jenn’s Review:

Romance fans – grab a glass of ice water, some tissues and hold onto your seats for this one.

I’ve read Tessa McFionn’s science fiction Romance, To Discover a Divine, and when she asked me to read and review her paranormal romance series, I jumped on the chance. And I was definitely not disappointed.

From page one, Kai and Voni’s connections and conflicts pulled me in, and had me sing-songing, “Just one more chapter, honey,” at bedtime. You know I love a good romance – the hotter the better.

Sparks fly between these two characters almost from the beginning, and when they finally give in to the call of their wild natures, it’s hotter than hot. but there are mysteries and problems on the horizon, and the story keeps you turning pages right to the end before all is revealed. And the best part? This book isn’t the final chapter in their story.

In a style reminiscent of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ms. McFionn spins a steamy-hot, action-filled romance between an Otherworldly being and a seemingly normal human. 

TRB Pin Spirit Fall Review
Jenn reviews Tessa McFionn’s Spirit Fall

Buy this book:

This book is available in Kindle and Paperback editions here.

Other books in the series:

Spirit Bound (book 2)

Spirit Song (book 3)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Also by Tessa McFionn: 

To Discover A Divine (Rise of the Stria Book 1)

Divine Challenges (Rise of the Stria Book 2)

And finally:

You can read our interview with Ms. Fionn here.


Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Spirit Bound – Review

Jenn Reviews book 2 in Tessa McFionn's Guardian series, SPIRIT BOUND - Adult paranormal romance on Thrice Read Books' blog

About this book:

Spirit Bound by Tessa McFionn

Paranormal Romance The Guardians series, Book 2

Published by Etopia Press October 15, 2015

282 pages

The Guardians Book Two

Ancient danger. Deadly rivals. A love that spans the Void of time…

Kidnapped and tortured for days, grad student Calliope Vandeen is sure her pleas for mercy have fallen on deaf ears. But when she hears a seductive voice in her head, followed by a towering warrior straight out of her ancient history textbooks, she begins to believe in fairy tale endings. Swept into a world of living heroes with magical powers, Cal must call upon her deepest wells of strength…if her captors have left anything alive within her.

Galen Alexiou is one of the oldest Guardian Warriors, serving the cause for almost 2,500 years. Never once did he think he would find his spiritmate, much less that she would call to him across the Void. But when he hears the voice calling for help, he realizes that not only is she real, but she’s in deadly danger at the hands of Rogue Stefan de Coldreto, an ancient enemy with a ruthless gift. With this mysterious young beauty in his hands, he must learn how his enemies found the female who holds the key to his salvation, and destroy this evil before it claims both Calliope’s life, and his very soul…

About the author:

Spirit Bound author Tessa McFionn

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music, as well as the regular trip to The Happiest Place on Earth with friends and family.

Jenn’s Review:

Holy Moley, girlfriend. Tessa McFionn strikes again with book two in her Guardians series with Spirit Bound

Once more, the story kicks off with the heroine, Cal, in a very dark and dangerous place. The bad guys (Rogue Warriors) once again, have their hooks in a woman destined to be a Spirit Mate, and when our hero, Galen, crashes onto the scene, he has zero mercy for the culprits.

Their journey together isn’t all roses and champagne though (or pastries and coffee, for that matter). Cal comes with her own set of struggles, and Galen is wrestling with an old nemesis, and his haste to help Cal settle into her new reality kinda screws the pooch – and significantly shortens his window of opportunity to woo his new-found Spirit Mate.

Another kick-ass heroine in disguise (this time, as a grad student of ancient history) defies the damsel-in-distress cliche, and a literal ancient Greek hero adds spice to this paranormal romance. 

I likened Ms. McFionn’s writing to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series in my review of book one, but to be honest, by the time I finished this part of the book, I think Tessa is on the verge of passing Kenyon in the ranks of “My Favorite Authors”. (Sorry, Sherrilyn! Hubby and I both still love you!)

If paranormal romance, packed with action, is your thing, check out Spirit Bound. It isn’t entirely a stand-alone – the couple from book one does make a significant appearance in this book – but it can be followed easily enough on its own. One word of caution – this book is heavily peppered with the F-bomb. But with its plethora of street-wise warriors and assorted, seedy gang bangers, it is well-used for character. 

This week on the Thrice Read Books blog, Jenn reviews book 2 in Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, SPIRIT BOUND. Adult paranormal romance

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions here.

Other books in this series:

Spirit Fall (book 1)

Spirit Song (book 3)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Other books by Tessa McFionn:

To Discover a Divine (Rise of the Stria, book 1)

Divine Challenges (Rise of the Stria Book 2)

Check out our interview with Ms. McFionn in our newsletter archives here.

Spirit Song – Review

Jenn's review of book 3 of Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, SPIRIT SONG. Adult paranormal romance review on Thrice Read Books' book review blog.

About the Book:

Spirit Song by Tessa McFionn (Book 3 of The Guardians)

Adult Paranormal Romance

Published by Etopia Press August 30, 2016

181 pages

The assassin and the angel. Can her song redeem his soul?

Miranda Devalande had long since given up on her dreams of a happy life. Forced to sing at mob boss Slick Sal’s seedy nightclub to cover her brother’s rising gambling debts, she survives from day to day as a caged bird. With each new bad bet by her wayward brother, her hope of finding a way free of her “contract” fades. Until a mysterious stranger arrives at the club and turns her whole life upside down…

Danger has always swirled around reluctant Guardian Warrior Sebastian Lambert. Trained as an assassin and recruited out of desperation, he now battles the evils of power-hungry Rogues in Chicago. When his friend and fellow Guardian Viktor Arnhart drags him into a nightclub, he would have never imagined to find an angel at the mic.

Caught between his desire to keep Miranda safe and his drive to hold her close, Bastian must walk the line between the light of a beautiful songstress and the dark of his perilous past even as dangerous forces threaten to destroy them both. Will he open his heart to her in time, or will she fall prey to her soulless fate?

About the Author:

Tessa McFionn, author of Spirit Song and the Guardians Series

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. 

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music. 

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

Jenn’s Review:

Number three in a series can be a killer, but Tessa McFionn dodges the blow and has a winner in Spirit Song, book 3 in her Guardians series.

Sebastian is a warrior, an assassin and a Guardian by chance, rather than by choice. Centuries after being roped into an eternal gig, he’s tired, raw, and a little off the rails. The only thing keeping him this side of crazy-town is fellow Guardian, Viktor.

Viktor drags a reluctant Bas to the seedy side of town, where the lovely angel on stage tugs at something inside Bas he’s long-thought dead.

Bas isn’t the only one tired of the hand fate dealt. Miranda wanted nothing more than to finish school and enjoy a career as a singer. Instead, she belongs to a mob boss who’s trying to impress Bastian’s arch-nemesis.

Will Miranda accept Bastian in all his brokenness? Can Bas find a way to get Miranda out of the bind she’s in?

Once again, Ms. McFionn keeps the pace brisk, and the plot driven. I struggled with having to put the book down to sleep.  (Just one more chapter!) The end snuck up on me, and I am more than ready to start book four, Spirit Shattered, which is already loaded and open on my tablet.

I think fans of Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series will enjoy this series. Paranormal and romance in a perfect balance with hot heroes, strong heroines, snarky humor and well-developed characters.

Jenn's review of book 3 of Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, SPIRIT SONG. Adult paranormal romance review on Thrice Read Books' book review blog.

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here.

Other Books in the Series:

Spirit Fall (book 1)

Spirit Bound (book 2)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Other Books by Tessa McFionn:

To Discover a Divine (Rise of the Stria book 1)

Divine Challenges (Rise of the Stria Book 2)

We sat down with Tessa to talk a bit about her books, and you can read the interview here.

Spirit Shattered – Review

TRB Twit Spirit Shattered Review
Jenn reviews Tessa McFionn’s Spirit Shattered

About the Book:

Spirit Shattered; Tessa McFionn
Adult; Paranormal Romance; 332 pages

Etopia Press May 31, 2018

Only a Guardian’s love can soothe her jaded heart.

Growing up in South Boston, Danika Callaghan was taught early on that life is neither kind nor fair. Fighting has kept her alive on more than one occasion. Under the abusive roof of her brutal uncle, she battles to keep her innocent nephew safe from harm. Yet, a fateful turn down a back alley leads her into a world where she learns heroes are real, and not every man is a monster. But does she dare give her trust—or her heart—to this gorgeous warrior from a forgotten era?

Ukrainian boyar Anton Yurchenko was chosen as a Guardian Warrior while standing on the steps of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral. Dedicated to the belief in peace and armed with the powerful mental skills of a Conduit, he has fought to protect humanity with grace and dignity. However, when a fiery slip of a girl saves his life, he is determined to discover the mysteries behind her skittish exterior. But evil has set its eyes on the star-crossed pair. 

Is true love worth the fight, or will Danika’s fear plunge them into a darkness even Anton can’t save her from?

About the Author:

Spirit Shattered author, Tessa McFionn

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. 

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music. 

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

Jenn’s Review:

Grab your tissues and buckle up, ’cause Tessa McFionn’s latest addition to her Gaurdians Series is a wild ride.

Danika could really use a break. It doesn’t matter what she does, she routinely gets the shirt end of the stick – whether it’s watching her childhood best friend and life long crush propose to someone else, or stumbling upon an honest-to-goodness sword fight in an alley just after someone tries to mug her. And we won’t mention her very screwed up home life.  But she’s strong, a fighting unwilling to back down voluntarily.

Anton is an almost-thousand year old good guy. Recruited by the Guardians for his deep sense of honor, he refuses to stand by while an innocent is hurt, and the angel who saved his life is mystery wrapped in painful enigma. He recognizes the signs of abuse and a hard life in everyone’s Danika does, but something else won’t let him walk away.

This book has three gears: super hot, emotionally gripping and hysterically snarky. I laughed, I cried, I stayed up way too late, trying to finish it in one sitting. (I didn’t, but it was finished before 10am the next day!)

This book is number four in the series, and really, you could read any of them as stand-alones, but WHY? I will be anxiously awaiting book five, because dang! Tessa McFionn’s books rock. She’s also grown quite a bit in her writing style, which readers might notice as they read through this series. (Especially if you read them in quick succession)

TRB Pin Spirit Shattered
Jenn reviews Tessa McFionn’s Spirit Shattered

Buy The Book:

This book is available in paperback here.

Other Books in the Series:

Spirit Fall (book 1)

Spirit Bound (book 2)

Spirit Song (book 3)

Other Books by Tessa McFionn:

To Discover a Divine (Rise of the Stria, book 1)

Divine Challenges (Rise of the Stria Book 2)

Jenn got to sit down with Tessa to talk writing and romance. You can read the interview here.

Evercrossed – Review

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features YA Paranormal fiction, Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler

About the book:

Evercrossed (Kissed by an Angel, book 4) by Elizabeth Chandler

Published by Simon Pulse March 8, 2011

YA Romance, Fantasy and Supernatural 304 pages

It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends.

But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life. As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost.

But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her….

About the Author:

Elizabeth Chandler is a pseudonym for Mary Claire Helldorfer. She is the author of the Kissed by an Angel and Dark Secrets series. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sam’s Review:

Elizabeth Chandler has written an okay story, named Evercrossed, about angels, humans, and love. I wasn’t a fan of the book, but it was still good. The book is part of a series, and it isn’t the first.

Last summer, Ivy lost Tristan, the love of her life, to somebody trying to kill her. Now, on the her anniversary of her relationship with Tristan, she has to put up with guilt. But once again, she is in danger. And her new boyfriend, Will, or Tristan, may not be able to help her.

I didn’t really enjoy this book, because it wasn’t my type, like I thought it was. It didn’t hold my interest, which is a shame, because it was a very interesting concept. The characters were well developed, and the setting was well done.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler (Book 4 in the Kissed by an Angel series)

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has 1 paperback edition

This book is also available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and Audio CD MP3 editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Tribute – Review

Sam reviews Chris Knoblough's Middle Grade Horror novel TRIBUTE in this edition of the Thrice Read Books review blog

About the Book:

Tribute by Chris Knoblaugh (The Cleaners, book 1)

Middle Grade Horror/Latino Fiction 255 pages

Self-published through Amazon Digital Services, LLC April 13, 2018 

When twelve-year-old Miguel’s gang member Papa makes promises to Santa Muerte, someone in Miguel’s family loses a soul. The last time, it was Miguel’s gentle aunt. This time, the target is Miguel’s brother, Juan.

Santa Muerte, the skeletal patron saint of drug traffickers and murderers, always claims her fee.

The trouble is Miguel won’t let Juan’s spirit go. The resulting paranormal possession attracts demons, doppelgangers, and an ancient soul slayer from the depths of Hell — all of whom must be vanquished if Miguel is to live. 

Even with help, Miguel’s refusal to release Juan threatens the lives of those Miguel loves most. Miguel must choose to release his brother or lose yet another loved one, for the bargain was made with Santa Muerte and the price must be paid.

About the Author:

Chris Knoblaugh runs Dancing with Words Tutoring along with her husband, Mark Dooley. She currently teaches English at a middle school in south San Jose, California. Her interests have expanded to include self-publishing and blogging. Her blog, https://dancingwithwordstutoring.blogspot.com, is structured to help reluctant students learn to be comfortable with writing. She and her husband live in California with more books than necessary and two rescue kitties. Her much beleaguered daughter, Monica, holds her own in this raucous family.

Chris has a B.A.in English Literature with High College Honors, a B.S. in Biology, and an M.A. in Teaching with Reading Specialization. Her novels and stories incorporate myths, cryptids, regional traditions, and historical settings. She enjoys writing for her students and for her tutoring business. You can find her at her blog, at FaceBook, or at Twitter.

Happy hauntings!

Sam’s Review:

Welcome to the land of Tribute, AKA, a book about demons, possession, and a heck ton of danger and ghosts. Tribute was written by Chris Knoblaugh, and is about a Mexican-American family living in San Jose, California.

Miguel has lost his brother, Juan, and is bound determined to find his killer. But Juan hasn’t found his peace, and is stuck in purgatory. This makes him a ghost, and when Miguel ticks him off, he summons a ton of demons that put him and his loved ones in danger.

For me, this book was a trip to crazy town, with a whole bunch happening at once. Several times, I had to shake my head and go, “what? Just, what?” Please know that this book has swearing, and some violent moments, mainly about the demons. It was still interesting, though.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam faces Santa Muerte in Chris Knoblaugh's middle grade horror novel, TRIBUTE

Buy the Book:

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle format only, here. [affiliate link]

Additional Information about this book:

 Ms. Knoblough was featured in her hometown newspaper about the same time she submitted her request for review. She talks more about her motivation behind writing and publishing Tribute. You can read the story here.

Reaper’s Return – Review

About the Book

Reaper’s Return, Ren Cummins (Chronicles of

Aesirium, book 1)

Young Adult Fantasy/Steampunk 302 pages

Self-published through CreateSpace March 10, 2011

What if Death wore a pretty black dress?

Everyone in Oldtown had heard talk of the Reapers. Even though nobody had seen one in years, everyone whispered the tales: flying from rooftop to rooftop, stealing the souls of the unwary, letting their undead beasts hunt through the streets for any member of the community too reckless or fearless to heed the nightly curfew … mysterious and terrifying, most feared to even mention them by name, lest they appear and gather your spirit away.

For 11-year-old Romany, her greatest fears were less about the mythological Reapers and more about surviving a miserable life inside of Oldtown’s solitary orphanage. Her stark white hair made her an obvious target for the bullies, and the cruel nickname of “Ratgirl” had followed her for years. But if Rom thought her troubles were behind her, being struck dead by a bolt of lightning would only open the door to an entire life of new ones.

First on the list? Finding out that she herself…is a Reaper.

Reaper’s Return is book one of the Chronicles of Aesirium, a YA Steampunk fantasy adventure series.

About the Author

Sam, Ren Cummins, & YA Author Kiri Callaghan at Westport's Pirate Daze, 2018

(Sam, Ren Cummins, and Kiri Callaghan at this year’s Pirate Daze in Westport, WA. Ren was kind enough to gift a signed copy of this book to Sam when we met him.)

Ren Cummins found his talent with storytelling in high school and has been writing ever since; either music or fiction. With a focus on creating kick-ass female characters in superhero stories for his child, Ren launched into the world of fantasy and sci-fi, where his love of philosophy and the bleeding edge of science returned him to tall tales that seemed fantastic but with an air of familiarity. 

He has authored over eight fantasy novels, beginning with The Chronicles of Aesirium and continuing on with the Tales of the Dead Man.

Ren continues his writing journey in Seattle, where he resides with his wife, their child and their two dogs.

More of this traveler’s journey can be found at www.renwritings.com

Sam’s Review

Introducing, a fun, and amazing book by the name of Reaper’s Return, filled with magic, and some themes of steampunk, which I love. Plus, it had talking animals! Alright!

Rom has a gift for handling animals. And, she’s dead. Kind of. She dies once, and then revives it all over, with the knowledge of what was going to happen. Then she learns that she is the Reaper, a entity that helps creatures move on to death.

But she is being hunted for her ability. It’s a really good thing that Rom has good friends.

I loved this book from beginning to cliffhanger end. That’s right, folks, it had a cliffhanger, sort of. But I loved this book. Rom, Kari, Cousins (gotta read it to find out how that name came to be.), and Mully are an amazing team, and work great together.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam reviews YA Fantasy REAPER'S RETURN by Ren Cummins.

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle (Kindle Unlimited, as well), paperback and audiobook formats from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Inclement Gods – Review

About the book:

When you live in a world pullulating with gods, can you truly be an atheist? Well, yes…if you know a way to get rid of them. Mysantheos, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist organization, has created a weapon able to kill gods and his kamikaze army is ready to attack.

As the divine bodies pile up, resentment builds at Gods Incorporated and violent factions start pushing for the extermination of the human race, and the CEO/Queen Louhi is running out of ideas to calm them down. Hopefully, her black ops teams are doing better. But will the Nerds and Richard (a down-on-his-luck private eye), saddled as they are with a group of angry gods, manage to find Mysantheos before all hell breaks loose?

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:

Just to let you guys know ahead of time, this book and it’s predecessor aren’t exactly kid appropriate. Just to let all the people looking for a new book for their little sibling, not appropriate. Sorry guys.

Humans are turning away from the gods and turning to science to explain their world. Thor and the weather gods are trying to get the other gods to kill all humans. God, AKA, the Big G (yes, God’s in this too), is most definitely against this. Just thought I should point this out now.

Not only are humans being, well, humans (no offense), gods are dying. Yes, dying. I know, I know, god’s can’t die. That’s the problem here! And the gods know it! And thus the search begins for how gods can die, and the dumb mortal who can kill them.

Okay, that’s the book in a nutshell, with a sort-of-cliffhanger. Okay, I told you guys that that this series isn’t for young kids? I mean, if letting them read books with cursing and stuff like that works for you, more power to you. I just wouldn’t recommend it.

Okay, this book gets three of five stars because I am just, not feeling this series because, as I have said before, the concept didn’t call out to me. It didn’t really hold my interest, which, if you’re like me and can’t really read a book that doesn’t hold your interest, makes it hard to read. Really, the only thing I look forward to in this series is Louhi, but even then it’s still hard to read when my mind isn’t so into the story that I jump when my timer goes off on my screen.

Sorry to insult any readers of this series. I like stories of gods, but this just doesn’t do it for me. 

Buy the book:

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

Other books in the series: 

Incompetent Gods

Prince of Wolves – Review

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About the Book:

Jaque Pierce was just an ordinary 17 year old girl getting ready to start her senior year in highschool in Coldspring, TX. When a mysterious foreign exchange student from Romania moves in across the street, Jacque and her two best friends Sally and Jen don’t realize the last two weeks of their summer were going to get a lot more interesting. From the moment Jacque sets eyes on Fane she feels and instant connection, a pull like a moth to a flame. Little does she know that the flame she is drawn too is actually a Canis Lupus, werewolf, and she just happens to be his mate, the other half of his soul. The problem is Fane is not the only wolf in Coldspring, TX. Just as Fane and Jacque are getting to know each other, another wolf steps out to try and claim Jacque as his mate. Fane will now have to fight for the right to complete the mating bond, something that is his right by birth but is being denied him by a crazed Alpha. Will the love Fane has for Jacque be enough to give him the strength to defeat his enemy, will Jacque accept that she is Fane’s mate and complete the bond between them?

About the Author:

Quinn is an award winning author who lives in beautiful Western Arkansas with her husband, two sons, Nora the Doberman, and Chewy the Cat who thinks he’s a dog. She is the author of 17 novels, and 2 novellas, including the USA Today bestseller, Fate and Fury. Quinn is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.

Sam’s Review: 

I will be reviewing one of the best werewolf stories that I have ever read. The book is called Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis.

There are so many reasons as to why I adore this book. I relate easily to Jacquelyn and her three friends, probably because that’d be me and some of my friends. Another thing, if there’s cursing, symbols are used to take the words’ place. Go Quinn! Oh! And I can’t forget that I haven’t had a good laugh that came from a book in a long time. The “royal butt” scene did it in for me.

Werewolves can shift into a wolf at any time that they want, Jacque has red hair and green eyes, which, by the way, don’t think that I’m stereotypical here, I think go great together. I do wish that Jacque is able to shift, since she’s half werewolf. I mean, just having the ability to communicate through thought-speak with her mate, Fane, has to suck.

As for the plot, well, I’m not revealing anymore spoilers. Nope. Not this girl. Okay! Moving on from the little self motivation thingy that I just did there. If you have read, written, or are currently writing, a book a book that is YA horror, fantasy, historical fiction, or science fiction that you think that I’d be interested in, please, suggest it to me! Seriously. I’m kind of running out of books to read here guys. Don’t send too many in!  

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, paperback, and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Related Blog Post:

Blood Rites (Book 2 in the series)