Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things – Martina McAtee

17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is.
They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.
As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together. – taken from Amazon

I have to admit to the fact that it was the title of this book that drew me to it, its a fantastic title for a book don’t you think?

but it was the story line that kept me reading. a very unusual book in that the heroine is a supernatural that is normally feared, she is a reaper, a gatherer of souls that can talk to the dead. having spent most of her life in hiding after a mysterious event from her childhood that she cannot remember. living with the father she thought to be an abusive alcoholic and knowing nothing of the magic inside her, Ember has grown up thinking she was weird, she had an affinity with the dead, spending more time in the cemeteries’ of New Orleans than she did in a classroom. she works part time in a funeral home, a strange job for a teenage girl but suitable for Ember.

When her father dies, Ember finds herself suddenly flooded with a strange power that scares her. It is during her fathers funeral she meets a mysterious stranger who at once scares her and attracts her. He has been sent to watch her, though at the time she doesn’t know this, but the boy doesn’t know what to make of this unusual girl.

There are so many twists in the plot of this story that it draws you in, never knowing what will happen next or who the real enemies are. it’s not something I would normally read but I enjoyed it, it was good to read something different and I love unusual storylines.

7/10 only because there was a few twists that where a bit obvious.

happy reading

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The Omega Protocol- Courtney McPhail

In 2017, the course of human history was forever altered. A cataclysmic event, which would come to be known simply as The Infection, swept across the globe. The world population was decimated and civilization as it was known came to an end.
All Malcolm Evans wants is to find his sister and her kids and get them some place safe. As an ex-CIA agent, he finds himself in the role of leader of a ragtag group of survivors heading to a promised sanctuary in the Great Lakes.
Veronica Alpert spent her childhood preparing for the end of the world, thanks to her paranoid survivalist father. Little did she know that decades later, her father’s eccentricities would prepare her and her siblings to survive in this new world…especially when tragic circumstances tear the family apart.
Jackson Webber had always been seen as no good white trash. Good people crossed the road when they saw him coming. So, how he ended up saddled with the care of two orphaned girls, he had no damn clue. Last things these little girls need is a screw-up like him looking out for them. Course, at the end of the world, it ain’t like they got many other choices. (taken from Amazon)

A group of unlikely heroes find themselves thrown together and fighting to survive. They have a place to go, a sanctuary set up by the CIA on an island in the Great Lakes. It’s a long way through dangerous territory where rabid freaks aren’t the only thing they have to worry about. If they make it there is no guarantee that the sanctuary will even be there and if it is, there is no guarantee that they will be welcome but its all they have and for the sake of human survival they have to try because the alternative is death and they have seen that and its not a choice they are willing to take.

A very diverse cast of characters that become an unexpected family, they fight for each other and protect one an other and struggle to hold on to what is good and right, while on a journey from your worst nightmares. If you think your summer road trips are bad, try throwing in the apocalypse, killer soldiers, crazed freaks that want to eat you and general bad guys who want to rob, rape and kill you.

These are just good people trying to survive and if Malcom Evans has anything to do with it, that’s exactly what they will do.

The first two books in what looks to be an enthralling series, I was sick over the weekend and managed to polish off both books in two days, looks like I will be having to wait again now for the rest of the series to be released but in the mean time the author has a vampire series that I have added to my TBR and looks really good. Its been awhile since I sunk my teeth into a good vampire series.

8/10

About the Author

Growing up in a tiny Canadian town, Courtney McPhail learned from an early age that her imagination was the best, and sometimes only, source of entertainment. Eventually her active imagination led to her writing down the adventures she created in her mind, leading to a copious amount of dog-eared spiral notebooks that are still in a box in her parent’s basement. She left that tiny town behind to pursue a degree in Literature and History at the University of Toronto. There she developed a love for the classics while supplementing with romance and fantasy novels between classes.
Writing had always been something she had done for her own personal enjoyment. It wasn’t until she hit the big 3-0 and went through an existential crisis that she realized writing could be a career. She began a series of paranormal romance novels that follow the lives and loves of a clan of supernatural beings living in Toronto, and a series of post-apocalyptic romance novels about a group of survivors searching for sanctuary when a plague sweeps across the world.
She currently resides in Toronto, enjoying the big city life while still maintaining her small town girl charm. When she isn’t working on her latest novel, she can be found enjoying a hike through the Don Valley Hills near her home. More recently, since discovering Netflix, she can usually be found on her couch, binge watching various television shows. (taken from Amazon)

serenity house Series–A W Exley

From the very first chapter you know that you have stumbled across something special, Serenity House is Downton Abbey meets Jane Austen and George Romero’s lovechild with a bit of Stephen King thrown in just to scare the pants right off you.

Set in Somerset, England shortly after world war one, the Spanish flu has taken its toll on a small English village but they have come out the other side and are trying to rebuild. What nobody knows is that there is another war brewing and this will be more devastating than anything they had been through before.

During the flu epidemic mass graves were needed to bury the dead but something got out of one of those graves, something that was not alive but walking all the same and when it came across two servant girls it attacked. It was 18 year old Ella, daughter of a minor lord, who swung her fathers sword and took the head of the beasts.

When more of the dead begin to rise the village turn to Ella to send them back to their maker, she doesn’t relish the job but someone has to do it and the locals didn’t want to risk their own immortal souls by killing the undead so it fell to her to do what they could not

While out doing her duty she stumbles across Seth deMage, Duke of Leithfield and owner of Serenity House, the biggest estate in the region. There is an instant attraction and before long the two are working together to bring an end to the vermin once and for all.

Part horror story, part love story, I fell in love with this series right from the start. The setting is beautiful, the action constant and the characters are interesting. The story arc is unpredictable and exciting. Usually I don’t like too much of the mushy stuff in zombie books but the way the writer has written it, the mush stuff (I know, I’m such a romantic lol) fits in seamlessly and doesn’t distract from the base of the story, the zombies. These aren’t any ordinary zombies either, there is a bigger supernatural thread running through the storyline that isn’t obvious straight away, but I don’t want to give out any spoilers so if you want to know more, get over to Amazon and read the series for yourself.

About the Author

Books and writing have always been an enormous part of Anita’s life. She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.
Today, Anita writes fantasy historical novels with heart from her home in rural New Zealand.
You can find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AWExley
or Twitter @AWExley
Be the first to hear about new releases, specials and giveaways. Sign up at: http://www.awexley.com/newsletter

I love that she is a Kiwi writer, we have so few good writers in this genre. I look forward to reading more of her books.

9/10

Zed’s World–Rich Baker **Updated**

Audio Books provided by Author.

With terrorist attacks becoming more and more frequent worldwide there is a growing fear that a biological attack could be imminent. What if one of these terror groups did just that, developed a weaponized virus that had the capability of turning the human race into ravenous zombies? That thought keeps me up at night and Zed’s World taps straight into my worst nightmare.

Told from multiple points of view, Zed’s World follows the events before and after a biological attack by Jihadist fundamentalists, who have found a new way of spreading their message of death and violence. They have created a new army, an undead army. In terror cells across the globe, they are getting their soldiers ready to march, ready to spread their deadly disease to all that don’t believe.

Set in Colorado, the story follows a suburban father, two college boys, a former soldier and a sleeper agent who has grown to love his adopted country. Using the cover of a chaotic college town during graduation, the terrorists release their soldiers at various points around the town, anywhere people have gathered, including a graduation party where two of our heroes are celebrating the end of the college year.

Caught up in the gathering madness, childhood friends Ben Pucket and Keith Wallace take their friends and head to the one place they think they will be safe, their home town with their families. They could never have known how hard that journey would be, a normally short drive, it takes them to places they never thought they would go.

Meanwhile, their parents remain oblivious to the growing danger until it crashes into their safe suburban life and the need to survive suddenly becomes all important. A survivalist neighbour helps the group, giving them a safe haven to escape to.

In Denver Jason ‘D-day ’ Bowling finds himself in charge of the residents of his apartment building. With his background as a soldie, he is the only one with the knowledge that can keep the city dwellers alive, even when they complain about his rough riding over them, making them contribute food and labour to make the apartment building safe.

All though the Growing Hoards and Roads Less Traveled are short books they pack in a big story into the 6.29 hours of listening. At first, the narrator annoyed me, his voice is flat with little in the way of connotation but as the storyline takes over I found myself not listening to the voice but the story itself.

This is the sort of novel that nightmares come from, the threat is so real that I am really hoping the Jihad never get their hands on these books, they don’t need ideas on new ways to kill, they are doing more than enough of that as it is.

It is something I have thought a lot about, in fact, my own novel is based on something very similar (I got the idea long before I heard these books.) With the constant advances in science and terrorists always looking for more ways to kill, it is only a matter of time before someone decides a killer disease is the way to go. Forget nuclear war, the next big war will be fought in the secret labs across the world, not in government nuclear installations.

I would recommend this series to anyone, though I think I will be buying the books. I tend to take information in better if I read it and the narrator really could have been better, though his female voice is not too bad.Smile  The story is complex without being over the top, it is very realistic. Every thing that the characters go through is easy to picture happening. Normally having so many POVs can be confusing but because the books are short and each character or group get their own chapters you don’t have time to forget what each character is up to. The characters themselves are relatable, their pain, fear and frustration are very real and they have a very solid arc.

I would like to take this time to thank Rich Baker for sending me the audio books, I appreciate any author that is willing to let me read (or listen to) their hard work, I know how hard it is to share your baby with someone else and I admire anyone that is willing to send me a book to be reviewed.

I give this book 7/10, not because the story is bad but because the narrator was not as good as he could have been, though I imagine it’s not easy to find a good narrator.

Go to Amazon and get the books or audio books. The books are available on Unlimited if you subscribe and are well worth reading. I have just downloaded the final book No Way Out which I will review when I am finished.

I hope everyone north of the equator is enjoying their summer and those of us that are south aren’t too cold. Looks like rain here in Tasman, a great excuse to curl up by the fire with my kindle and a hot cuppa. Take care one and all and thanks for stopping by Smile

Update

Book Three – No Way Out

**Spoiler Warning!**

Our wee group continues to grow when the Pucketts are joined by D-day and Carmen after they are forced to run from the apartment block when one of the residents lets the infected in. The team faces loses that nearly break them, and one person imparticular will have a major impact and cause more damage to the group than any that has come before. She will bring enemies to the door and what follows will be a devasting blow and cause more backlash than she realises.

I have just one complaint about this book, the next one isn’t out yet. Nothing I hate more than getting invested in a series and having to wait for the next book. I am way too impatient for that sort of thing lol.

I am really enjoying this series and can’t wait to find out what happens next.

dEaDINBURGH-Mark Wilson

Edinburgh, 1645:
The bubonic plague rages. In a desperate attempt to quarantine the infected, the city leaders seal the residents of Mary King’s Close in their underground homes.

2015:
Mary King’s Close is reopened, unleashing a mutated plague upon the city residents.
The UK government seals the entire city. Declaring it a dead zone they seal the survivors inside alongside the infected. dEaDINBURGH is declared a no man’s land, its residents left for dead and to the dead.
2050:
Joseph MacLeod, born onto the cobbles of the Royal Mile and stolen from the clutches of the infected is determined to escape the quarantined city. Under the guidance of former marine Padre Jock, he leaves the confines of the city centre and hones his archery and free-running skills.
Alys Shephard, born into an all-women farming community believes a cure lies in the south of the quarantined zone. The finest combatant in the dead city, Alys burns with anger. The anger of an abandoned child.
Something much worse than the infected waits for them in the south, in the form of a religious cult led by a madman named Somna who collects gruesome trophies and worships the dead body of a former celebrity. Added to this the enigmatic Bracha, a supreme survivalist and sadistic former Royal with his own agenda, stalks the teenagers.
A self-contained story, dEaDINBURGH is a character-driven Young Adult/Horror/Dystopian novel exploring the human capacity for good, evil and for survival (taken from Goodreads)

Imagine growing up in an isolated community, spending your entire life fighting the dead and simply trying to stay alive. For Joey and Alys that is all they have ever known. Joey grew up amongst the monks who live underground and worship the undead until Padre Jock takes him under his wing and teaches him to be a warrior.

Alys grows up in a woman only community with a mother who’s idea of love is to make Alys become the best fighter she possibly can be. Her mother expects her to be the very best but Alys very best is never enough.

when the two unite they become an unstoppable team but life within the fences of Edinburgh is not all it seems and when the pair find out the truth it becomes even more dangerous than before.

A tale with so many levels, just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, a new subplot jumps up at you. from silent monks who believe the dead are a gift from god to a sociopath who stalks the young fighters and is intent on killing them, on to a complete nutter and his cult, who believe the dead body of a former celebrity talks through him, though not all of his followers are as loyal as they seem.

There are a great deal of mysteries and unexpected turn of events within these pages. A very enjoyable read that runs at a high pace throughout. I look forward to reading more from this author. Although this is a self-contained novel there is a second book in the series and once I have read it I will let you know my thoughts on it.

8/10

Happy reading everyone and I hope all those south of the equator are staying warm now that winter has well and truly kicked in. Its freezing here in New Zealand tonight with snow all around the place, expect in my wee corner of the coastline, it always passes us by which is a shame, I love a good snow fall.

Please leave a comment if you have enjoyed reading this post. Take care one and all.

Divided–R L Blalock

Back in February I reviewed the first book in the first book in the Death and Decay series Devoured as well as the prequel The Darkest Days. Divided, the second book in the series by the very talented writer R L Blalock will be released tomorrow and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy last week and I can tell you now, this is not a book you want to miss.

Divided is written from Olivia’s husband, Colin’s viewpoint and tells of his desperate bid to find his wife and child as the world falls apart and the undead rise. When he receives a terrified phone call from Olivia as she is fleeing from the bridge at the beginning of book one, Colin isn’t sure if he should believe her or not. That is until he steps outside the shop where he works and witnesses the chaos firsthand.

He flees with his workmates and a woman they rescue from her undead boyfriend and tries to get to Olivia. But there is a river between them and all the bridges are blocked by abandoned cars and zombies. They decide the best course of action is to get out of the city, they meet up with Colin’s  cousin, Samuel, and they all escape together to look for a place where they can get across the river and find Olivia and baby Elli.

Along their journey they meet other survivors, some friendly and so decidedly unfriendly. They find a safe haven but Colin still burns to find his family, he stays as long as he can to help the survivors but when he goes to leave he is confronted by members of the group who don’t think he should leave and that he and the small team he is taking with him, are far to important to be allowed to just go their own way. And that is when the serious division happens.

I won’t say any more, just be prepared for a zombie novel like no other. There is the normal fight for survival but there is so much more to this story, a lot of unexpected twist and turns and some very real scenes, the author does not gloss over the consequences of actions that the survivors take and as Colin slips further and further from the person he once was, as he does things he never dreamed he would, he starts to loses himself, the only direction he can take is the one that takes him back to his family and as close to normal as this terrible new world will allow.

And to top it all off a new big bad arises that will need to be dealt with in book 3, which I can’t wait to read. I have said it before but I will say it again, Don’t miss this series, its original and exciting and terrifying all at once. With each book it just gets better and better. So head to Amazon tomorrow, the 15th May (which is today here in NZ, very confusing lol) and pick up a copy of Divided by R L Blalock, devour the book and don’t forget to leave a review. Good authors deserve good reviews and R L Blalock is awesome!

9/10

Happy Reading

The Noru Series–Lola StVil

From the author of the Guardians series, Lola StVil now tells the story of the children of the Guardians, The Noru. So far I have read 5 of the 7 novels, all of which have their own merits.

The story follows Pryor, the daughter of Death and Guardian angel Marcus and at 14 years old, is the leader of the Noru team, a team which she deserted a year ago on the day they where suppose to be announced to the angel world as the new guardian team. She leaves the angel world to go to a human high school and makes friends with Randy, a geeky human boy. When she turned her back on the angel world she also turned her back on the boy she is in love with, Aaden, son of demon Rage and the teams second in command.

The team come back together when a new evil emerges and wrecks havoc on the angel world. But a year is a long time and the members of Pryor’s team have been through more than she knows. And the new evil turns out to be someone well known to her father, leading to betrayal and pain for Pryor.

The six members of the Noru team, Pryor, Aaden, twins Key and Swoop ,Bex, future Kon (king) of the paras and Easton, a Quo, are joined by Randy to protect the human world from the new evil.

The first five books are a rollercoaster ride of fear, fighting, love and heartbreak, Pryor must leave her youth behind and step up to be the leader she was born to be. She will have to reunite her team and build them back up to the demon fighting unit they once were, while dealing with the lose of a family member and being torn away from her parents.

There are things about this series that are not popular amongst readers, there are a number of rather graphic sex scenes that aren’t really suitable for the YA genre. To put it in a mothers point of view, my 11 year old daughter won’t be reading these books for a few years. I don’t think the scenes are necessary but they do add a depth to the books. Most of the reviews I have read on this series are not happy about a 14 year old losing her virginity which I can completely understand, if it was my daughter I would freak, but Pryor is no normal 14 year old, she has been killing demons since she was a toddler, I would imagine that would make one grow up quickly.

There is a bit of predictability about these novels, the very Twilight style love triangle and on again off again love affair, and the expected teenage drama, but there is enough solid storyline and realistic stupidity, like getting drunk and getting into trouble, that make them worth reading. The storylines are not just fight, fight, win and next please, the characters deal with some very realistic problems, such as drug addiction and teen pregnancy amongst others.

In the very basic sense its normal teenagers that are very mature and have super powers and have to save the world while trying to keep up with their homework and life’s everyday challenges . Except these teens are a brand new species of angel and no-one in their world knows what to expect from them, if they are good or evil or somewhere between.

If you are looking for something a bit different, something that has that little bit of predictability thrown amongst the completely blindsiding then this is the series for you. If your looking for boring teen romance, yeah this is not going to be your thing, move along. The books are well written with a lot of thought and imagination put into them and personally I am looking forward to reading the next two books.

7/10

Happy Reading, until next time.