“’Crach Ffinnant’ The Prophecy” by Michael Tyreman-Wilde–It’s the year, 1375 and a dwarf named Crach Ffinnant is an apprentice to Llywd ap Crachan Llywd, an old wizard when suddenly his training is over, and it’s time to fulfill his destiny. Through the prophecy, he learns that one day he is to serve the future Prince of Wales. What’s real and what’s fantasy in this book, we aren’t exactly told, but I’m inclined to go do some research after this truly spellbinding tale! There are colorful characters, sacred scrolls, magic, dreams, and adventures galore in this captivating story. There’s ten years worth of adventures including deep caverns, a Fire-Dragon, King Richard and even a Travelling Circus! Of course, there’s a reason for everything as Crach was taught by his wise master and he will learn the meaning of it all and get help from Prince Owain Glyndwr as his prophet and seer. In the end, the reader is left ready to rise above his own “inner-dwarf” and find like Crach, there is a solution for every problem, and the answer was more simple than we imagined. There are many witty sayings and shrouded truths throughout, and we will come to learn with Crach that ultimately, “Justice always prevails.”
Spellbound by Shannon Simpson— Ashlie, is a slow-aging witch with a multitude of powers but she prefers to keep to herself as much as possible. She avoids developing friendships with anyone, except for her dog Netter and her deceased witch-sister Stephenie who constantly remains in her thoughts giving often-times unwanted but needed advice. It’s an emotionally endearing relationship that provides a great deal of witty dialogue throughout the book. Some of the unsolicited advice begins to wear Ashlie down, and she ends up making an excellent friend named Ericka who she begins to confide in. Finding love, however, was out of the question until vampire Aidan Crane entered her life. Being a vampire made him more durable than a fragile human but his one weakness, fire, was the one power Ashlie seemed unable to control. Suspense and danger lurk at every turn of the page, but the most compelling drama is how will Ashlie find a way to be with the boy she loves, despite the possibility of a high cost to herself? There is great intrigue in this vampire-witch relationship involving deep introspection and gripping dialogue. The reader will hang on each painfully honest and heartfelt word right down to the surprising ending in which we see the true meaning of sacrifice.
Ghost of Switchyard by Daniel Fernando David— “Do you believe in ghosts?” You will by the end of this thrilling tale, at least one, in particular, the one that troubles “Switch Yard.” For fifteen years the world of Ever-Earth has endured droughts and famine, but it gets much worse when a mysterious force suddenly appears and begins destroying lands and villages. They call this unknown force, the “Ghost of Switch Yard.” When a young boy named Christian Castle survives an attack that killed thousands, he sets off on a journey to prevent a great war from taking place. In fact, Christian should have never have grown up at all were it not for the mysterious Providence that takes place in the first chapter. Christian learns many important lessons from the old man that saved his life which will serve him later on his journey. The book is full of witty dialogue including one fascinating exchange between Christian and his grandfather after a game of chess. “Almost isn’t winning,” says his grandfather whose sacrifice of a knight ultimately leads to his victory. “Sometimes the right sacrifice will secure your place as the victor – you’ll be wise to remember that.” Christian takes this and many other lessons to heart and so will the reader in this and mesmerizing drama.
Painkiller by John Gibson— This book goes high and above your average crime-thriller. There is a political scandal, murder, cover-up, drug addiction, affair and cover-up and that’s not even the main point. Will Earnest, a nationally-known religious figure, but his reputation is destroyed after a humiliating scandal which costs him everything. Ten years later, Will seeks to rebuild his life, but he has a very painful secret. Set against the backdrop of the ongoing “War on Drugs” and the bitter cultural divide of American politics, Painkiller is essentially a story of redemption and love, but it goes well beyond that. Painkiller actually tackles some critical issues in culture and politics and does it in a way that both informs and entertains readers.
Love & Bloodlust: The Sacred Objects by Tiffany Maczynski–This ain’t your typical boy meets girl story. Avery is a vampire slayer, and Talon turns out to be a vampire. They hit it off at first, then Avery learns that Talon is a vampire which pretty much wrecks the burgeoning relationship until that is, he saves her life and proves to be a …wait for it…genuine stand-up vampire! After already losing her parents to a gruesome murder, Avery’s sister Kyrie is killed by vampires, and she’s ready to throw in the towel when Talon indeed gives her a reason to live and love. Yes, they also fight together to destroy an enemy almost as old as the world itself, the dominant vampire Cain who seems to be invincible. There are several compelling subplots here and even shrouded biblical overtones as to who exactly Cain is and what is Avery’s higher purpose. Ultimately, this is a highly imaginative and very detailed book which will keep the reader enthralled and guessing to the heart-stopping and stunning conclusion.
Legendville by Stuart Grant–Detective Stephen Lewis is a burnt-out cop in Detroit whose life continues to spiral out of control when he is made a scapegoat by the Justice Department’s investigation into corruption and police brutality. Stripped of his job and hitting the bottle Stephen hits rock bottom and can only see one way out, ending his life. Before he can go through with it, Agent Maguire turns up at his door. That’s when the real fun starts! Maguire offers the second chance to end all “second chances,” and a real opportunity to do something meaningful with his life. “Hi, I’m John Candy and welcome to Legendville.” Yes, you read that right, “John Candy.” Project Blue Chrysalis was established in 1948 by Joseph Kennedy Jr. and Adolf Hitler and offered a place where the rich and famous could live out their lives in comfort away from the never-ending scrutiny of life in the public eye, all faking their deaths in order to join the growing community living within the confines of the Project. From Ronald Reagan to Martin Luther King to Buddy Holly “Sheriff” Jimmy Hoffa. They are here and many more! But I digress, Detective Stephen Lewis becomes Noah Franklin and is tasked with stopping a murderer before his work can be completed. Surrounded by the worst that society has to offer and being pressured by superiors to deliver Noah must do everything in his power to bring the killer to justice. This book almost literally has everything to offer. Murder mystery, conspiracy thriller, tragedy, comedy and that a shot at redemption all played out in a very witty and engaging writing style that will leave the reader thoroughly entertained and may be seeking a one-way ticket to “Legendville.”
“Everything to Lose” by Jenna Montes— From an explosive beginning with bombs dropping in the Afghan desert to the shocking conclusion, you have “nothing to lose” and LOTS of entertainment to gain by reading this mystery/thriller. In reality, it’s much more than a mystery including great lessons about true friendship, second chances, and even budding romance. Of course, there is non-stop action to boot. When her brother Alex is reported to have died accidentally, things don’t add up for Kristy, and she enlists the help of Cameron, her brother’s best friend, to help her uncover some shocking secrets involving a deadly domestic terror plot. Kristy learns to lean on, trust and fall in love with Cameron, despite his rocky past, which proves to be a very entertaining subplot. Back to the plot, there is one surprise after another and then, believe it or not, a BIG SURPRISE in the end! Oh, and wait till you get to the Epilogue!