Search

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Category

Christianity

Review: Demon’s Daughter by Amy Braun – A Must Read!

Demon's Daughter: A Cursed Book“I had seen horrible things in my life. Men spread-eagled on a table, slowly being skinned alive with rusted knives. Women bound to chairs, beaten with brass knuckles until their attackers chose to rape them. A knife sawing roughly through a screaming man’s neck until his head was severed from his body. A traitor whose knees were shot out, leaving him unable to run to his family when they were set on fire.” – Constance, Demon’s Daughter

These are the things that humans do. Even the demons, as debauched as they are – and Constance knows all about demons – aren’t this depraved. No, it takes humans to commit these atrocities. But Connie will protect her sister, Andromeda, no matter the cost. Even if the cost is working as an enforcer for the Espanis de Sangre – The Blood Thorns – the most brutal, vicious cartel to ever ooze out of Mexico. But now Connie and Dro are on the run, not only from The Blood Thorns, but from the demons who are Ddetermined to have Dro, no matter the price.

Constance was four, the daughter of destitute Mexican immigrants who fled across the border with a price on their heads – a price set by the Blood Thorns – when she found Andromeda as a tiny baby, abandoned by a stream. Connie gained a sister, and someone to care for. Pale, white-blond Dro, who grows more beautiful every day, is Connie’s life, and she will protect her no matter the cost. Even if it means their life is lived poor, starving and on the run, stealing and fighting for survival. Connie is a weapon. Hard, harsh, untrusting, and absolutely brutal in the protection of her sister. The demons are coming from every direction, and there is no one to turn to. Until they meet Mannie and Max, and a picture begins to appear. Will the dusty town of Amarillo, Texas be their final stand?

The atrocities, savagery and utter evil of humankind, the brutality of demons, the utter soulless disregard for anyone but themselves of the angels – sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, mid-Victorian era Fops, refusing to get their lily-white fingers dirty – unless someone can be twisted to their advantage.

“The archangels would be saving your world. Collateral damage is irrelevant.”

God is love”. Yea, right. In what universe? Certainly not this one.

“Why do demons want to kill her and angels want to protect her? It can’t simply be because of what she is. The angels never cared enough to stop any demons from chasing us.”

But they are more than willing to slaughter innocents if it means they get what they want. Amy Braun doesn’t wield a pen, so much as a microscopic laser scalpel, slicing away the shroud of what humanity would like to be seen as, to reveal the rotting essence of blackness, the vile intent inherent in every entity from the church’s beliefs in what constitutes ‘goodness’, who would damn a child to the pits of hell for doing everything she could to save the life of an innocent, to the actions of humans who would put the most vile of christian ‘demons’ to shame.

http://www.jmdarhower.com/extinguish.htm
Art courtesy of J.M. Darhour, from her book “Extinguish“. All rights reserved. Click the art to go to her site.

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” – Blaise Pascal

I first ‘met’ Amy when I was asked to read Path of the Horseman and absolutely fell in LOVE with her writing.

“Amazing inventions, colossal failures, and countless wars. We watched it behind the scenes. Watched the monkeys from beyond the glass. We were intrigued, Hell was amused, and Heaven was losing patience.
Finally, the monkeys threw too much shit on the windows. They sparked a third World War, one that the Big Boss upstairs knew would obliterate the world.
So he sent us instead. We were much more effective. We were much more eager.” –
Avery, The Rider Pestilence

Only the Second Coming never came, and the Four Horsemen were stuck there with a few demons, the Plagued, the Soulless, and devastation all around. A wonderful analogy for so many things wrong with this world, and religion in particular. Amy has done it again with Demon’s Daughter. She rips the shields off of faith, humanity, and reality and shows the pus and rot within. It. Was. AWESOME. For until we lance he boils, the wounds can’t heal. And walking blindly will never allow any of us to see the light of the real truth – the truth that says, until we grow beyond our greed, hatred, and superstitions we have no hope of avoiding total destruction of not only humanity, but the Earth and all her beauty.

“The difference between a saint and a hypocrite is that one lies for his religion, the other by it.” –   Minna Antrim

Amy Braun doesn’t write for the foppish, the blindly religious, or the weak of heart. She rips apart sanctimony and blind faith, setting sunlight to darkness. She is one brave author, who can go toe-to-toe with the greats of both modern and ancient literature. She shines the light of truth, and blast the consequences – and I love her for it.

I received Amy Braun’s Demon’s Daughter in exchange for a realistic review.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER WORK. I can’t speak highly enough of her writing, and I can’t WAIT for the next.

Amy BraunAbout the Author:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, is an active member of the Writing GIAM community, participates in NaNoWriMo, and is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery.” When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

Coming Soon:

Short story SURVIVALISM to be featured in THE DEAD WALK VOLUME 2 from FoF Publishing.

Short story DISMANTLE to be published in THE STEAM CHRONICLES from Zimbell House Publishing.

Short story HELL TO PAY to be published in LEGENDS OF SLEEPY HOLLOW from Myth Ink Books.

Advertisements

Things To Think About Today

I will be working on editing all day today, but I wanted to give you something to think about while I am gone for a bit. The Pinterest posts below touched me, heart and soul. I hope they will also garner your interest, and give you something to think about. Women are pretty darn wonderful – and they get no respect. . . and Native Tribes? Well, we know what happened there.

irena
I am not sure where the original post came from. This was found on the Pinterest site as posted by Doug Gray (http://www.pinterest.com/scarface90156/) If someone can point out the original, I would appreciate it.
rita
This was posted on Pinterest by Corriera Mattina. Click the photo to go to Corriera’s site. It is amazing what women do, and yet are so often overlooked. Good for the Nobel Prize committee for awarding Ms. Levi-Montalcini the Nobel for Medicine!

 

12million
And two final photos regarding subjects even more dear to my heart. My tribe, the Quapaw (my mother was Quapaw, my sperm donor white), were once a peaceful, numerous tribe. In the late 1600s, the Quapaw were estimated to have a population greater than 5,000. Over a period of 80 years, their population had dropped to 700 due to a smallpox epidemic in 1699. Sadly, because of this massive population drop, much of early Quapaw history and lore, which was passed on orally, died with its storytellers. Even today the Quapaw Tribe doesn’t have as many members as it did in the early 1600s. By 1720, the Quapaw had abandoned one of their villages because there simply were not enough people to maintain all four of their original villages. 1918: The last Hereditary Chief, Tall Chief, died.
handcuffs
These are actual tiny child handcuffs used by the U.S. government to restrain captured Native American children and drag them away from their families to send them to the Indian boarding schools where their identities, cultures and their rights to speak their Native languages were forcefully stripped away from them. Think the US is a bit hypocritical when they talk about other countries and how they handle human rights?

 

Review: Redemption – C.J. Barry

redemption
SO not recommended.

Sigh. I simply can’t express how much I hated this book. Of course, as I will now enumerate many of the things that made me so intensely dislike the book, that is sort of a silly statement, but you get the point, right?

Let’s see, where do I start. The good. The cover is terrific. The art is beautifully done, and it makes you want to read the book. You are expecting to find a strong, paranormal female heroine inside, and in some ways that is what you get. The main character, Reya, is a Redeemer, basically the last entity you see before the Grim Reaper comes to sweep you away to where you are going.

While it sounded like a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy thriller, what you get instead is a mishmash of Christian mythos and crystals, New Age philosophy and lei lines as Angelic power points, Atlantis and six dimensional physics, all rolled into a snarled bundle of “let’s put in a little something for everyone” that was, well, absurd. The Christians will hate it for the new age philosophy; the New Agers will hate it for turning their beliefs into a joke; and the scientists will just laugh uproariously. Of course, I did run across a New Ager once that said that anything bad that happened to you (she was talking to a cancer patient at the time-a cancer patient with small children who would be without their mother soon) “brought it on herself because she must have been putting bad vibes out into the universe.” Yes, I did slap her silly.

I won’t go into the actual storyline, as it is a rather basic ‘good (sic) guys chase the bad guys’ mystery/action adventure plot. What I do want to talk about is the underlying thesis of the story which is, in short, no matter what atrocities you have committed in life, all you have to do when Reya shows up is bat your eyelashes and say something to the effect of “Aww! I wuz a baaad little boy, I am sooo sowweee, weally I am!” and you automatically get trotted off the Heaven to decide if you want to be a sadistic, baby-raping murderer all over again. Or maybe play the role of Hitler or Pol Pot all over again. But hey, that’s A-OK with God, cause it’s just a learning experience. And hey, you over there, you chose to be an infant who is sodomized to death, cause you just had to learn what that felt like. Can anyone say “Let’s Blame The Victim?”

The “let’s blame the victim” attitude of the book is what really made me find this book to be the worst kind of psychological abuse. The whole story arc takes the blame away from the worst dregs of society and dumps it right onto the victim, premising that the victim chose their own abuse, that they brought whatever happens to them into their own lives. It gives sanction to the worst that humanity has to offer, assuring them that, whatever they do, no matter how heinous, they just have to say the equivalent of “Oops, my bad” and they are off scott free.  There is no judge or jury in Heaven. So, does that mean when Jews get to heaven they get to share a meal and a giggle with Hitler and reminisce about the good old days?

As a Redeemer, she offers the soon-to-be-departed one last chance to atone for their sins. I didn’t really give that line all that much thought, and I apparently should have, because when I got into the book I came to a point of wanting to gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon. If this is the author’s concept of “God” I will take the courts any day. They may not always get it right, but at least they try.

All in all, the book mouthed platitudes about “loving one another” and still managed to make it perfectly acceptable to do whatever you want, no matter how depraved, with impunity. If you have ever been a victim, of physical, mental, emotional or even financial misconduct of others, I encourage you not to read this book unless you are into self-flagellation and blaming yourself for your treatment at the hands of others.

NOT recommended.

TWO Happy Dances!!

wicked
Click the cover to purchase!

The amazing Jillian Klein Der Lowe just shot me an e-mail letting me know that her book, Wicked, just hit the #3 spot in her genre on Amazon!!

applause
Icon courtesy of
http://unf.edu
Thank you!

Click the cover to grab the book from Amazon FOR FREE!!!! Then, of course, after you have read it, I am sure Jillian would love a review. (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge!)  My review is here in case you want to refresh or haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet.

Congratulations, Jillian!!

Now, for even MORE good news, we turn to another wonderful author, J. C. Mells, author of the Pierced series.

J. C. is happy to announce that her next book in the series, Pinked is nearing the end of editing, and will be out soon! Pinked continues the adventures of Pierce and Mia, a fascinating pair, with a story that is one of the most interesting I have read in recent memory.  Watch for the review here, and for publication at Amazon soon. Until then, you really MUST pick up your own copy of Pierced! Click on the book cover to order. My review is hereIt is only 99c right now, and J. C. is sure to be a wonderful addition to your ‘must-buy-as-soon-as-published’  author list!

Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Escaped, volume 1.5 of the Pierced series! It is also only 99c for a short time at Amazon.

Congratulations, J. C.!

Shrieking and Jumping up and down! J. C. just sent along the cover for PINKED!!!

Drool worthy, huh?  Click on the cover to see the video trailer!PINKED BC3

J. C. just sent me the cover!
Click on it for the YouTube Video
for the upcoming book!
Squeeee!!!!
pierced
For now, Pierced is only 99c at Amazon.
Click cover to order!
escaped
Click to purchase from Amazon!
Only 99c for a short time.
You KNOW you won’t be able to live without it
after reading Pierced!

Review: Wicked by Jillian Kleine Der Löwe (A Seven Deadly Sins Novel, Book 1)

wicked
Click the cover to purchase the book.
Come on, Live a little! Do it!
You KNOW you want to!!!

When was there placed before your eyes the idea of most fervent love, the male and female embracing each other so closely that they could no more be torn asunder, but through unsearchable love became one?  – Arthur Edward Waite The Golden Tract

After a few weeks of tweaking and tightening with Jillian, as her proofreader and editor, Jillian proudly placed Wicked on Amazon.com for sale. She should be proud! This is a wonderful, wildly creative novel. Jillian has a very distinctive voice in this novel. Her turn of phrase is enhanced by a ‘wicked’ sense of humour as she carries you back through billions of years of creation – then turns creation on it’s head.

In Wicked angels and demons and creation (oh, my!) have been around since the Big Bang (yes, there really was one of those, you mean you really doubted it?). How boring is that, the same old same old, eon after eon? One must what one must, and if you are a Half-Angel, Half-Demon, Half-Elf and Half-Goddess (hum? Yes, yes, that is quarters, but then, you weren’t there when it happened, were you?) and have lived as long as Sev has (well, that isn’t really her name, but hey, if you, well, wouldn’t you get bored and want to change your name too?) and you are stuck on Earth for no reason you can remember, it sucks to be tasked by grandpa Yahweh to kill off your husband, Lucifer. Yes, that Lucifer. Hum? Didn’t know Lucifer was married? Oh, yea, baby! The love of the millenniums, don’t ya’ know.

What follows is by turns funny, sad, exciting and ultimately awe-inspiring. Angels and demons are, after all, just human in their own way, right? That whole ‘created by the same creator’ clause in the contract. With all the shortcomings, pain, longing and heartache any self-respecting celestial being should suffer. The metaphysical equivalent of Romeo and Juliet, Sev suffers as she pines for her great love, Luc, while Luc himself suffers the slings and arrows of self-flagellation, longing for things that were and were not, and should never have come to pass, if it ever really did and it wasn’t just a figment of his imagination. Or Sev’s. Or maybe Yahweh’s.

Overall, this is a metaphysical romp of the ‘well, yes, that’s what was said, but realllllly’ sort that was both exciting and frustrating to edit. Well, what can I say? No contractions?! I guess being a celestial being trying to speak English without an accent is sort of irritating, huh?

If you have a wicked sense of humour, this is definitely the book for you. If you don’t have a wicked sense of humour? Grow one. You really don’t want to miss this tour-d-force of laughs, snide commentary, misunderstandings on a universal scale and moments of great and abiding love. Throw all your expectations out the window of the Enterprise NCC-1701A (Hey, I like originals) at warp eleven, settle in, and enjoy. You won’t regret it!

Highly recommended.

Review: Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables . . . by Natalia Dobzhanska

The road of life can only reveal itself as it is traveled; each turn in the road reveals a surprise. Man’s future is hidden.” Anonymous

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

legends dobzhanska
Click cover to order!

I don’t often wander the halls of poetry, tracing my fingers along the walls, breathing the scented air. And perhaps this is not poetry, not in the strictest sense. But to me, these words are poetry, touching my heart, my mind, my soul. A beautiful weaving of words, reaching inside you, touching those hidden places where love and grief and longing reside.

The nature of evil, of grief and loss, of exhaustion and despair. And yet, through all, a deep vein of goodness and light, of Heaven and Earth and all things between.

Natalia Dobzhanskas words speak to these times, to times of pain and times of love, an an overweening hope for redemption. Her words, filled with the horror and beauty and loss of her Ukranian homeland….. a land which, in 1657–1686 suffered “The Ruin” a devastating 30-year war amongst Russia, Poland, Turks and Cossacks for control of Ukraine. Where once again, as always, the people suffer the pain and death while those in power drink the blood and hopes and lives of the poor.

There are touchstones amongst these stories, words which caress the soul of each fable. For each, a line which touched me . . .

The Carrier
Oh, when will I be a carrier of Joy?”

Legend Of A Sea And A Cliff
To join her and fly to the heavens where the flaming star is twinkling to us, calling us. . .”

Together
And it bloomed so beautifully, though it was a guest from the south, and it did not fear the frosts…”

A Wrapper
And, seeing that, the wrapper went drunk with still more pride . . .”
And she was grateful to the wind . . .”

Boots For The Refuse Collector
“. . . can trolls, someone may ask, can trolls really do good deeds?”

Lilac
. . . that its dust flew to all ends of the Universe, together with the light stolen from Niall . . .”

A Hunchback
Oh, I am foolish, so foolish!” he reviled himself. “For the sake of illusory dream, I have wasted my life!”

The Gift
Can anybody fail to notice how special she is?”

Re-Lig… (Angel Incarnate)
The moment of the fall was long – but still, it was only an instant . . .”

Story Of A Little Girl And A Fairy-Tale Castle
. . . then it turned and dragged its way back pensively – to where a fairy tale lives and ends . . .”

The Man In Whom A Dragon Lived
The dragon entered his heart along with an evil intention.”

Legend Of A River And Desert Wind
The Wind whirled and gusted, spilling out all his bitterness against the ungrateful, ungracious humans . . .”

The Man Who Had No Face Of His Own
And he decided to go to a sage and ask him for advice about who he must look like now.”

Ballad Of A Sad Princess
And the sunrays broke her still wet tears into a rainbow, and the rainbow struck her in the eyes. . . “

 Poem Of A Cloud And The Sun
And the Cloud wept for the sprouts, and the sun let her go – “

 Legend Of An Iron Tower
Grief is always grief. Sorrow is not joy . . .”

Doors
. . . the course of time will never cease, there will be no turning back to the past, will never be . . .”

The Three Doors – Brian Holland

the three doorsI will admit that this book took a lot longer to get through than my usual “swallow in one gulp” reading style. When I was first asked to read the book for review I expected something quite different. I was surprised, interested and sometimes disappointed, sometimes deeply engrossed.

It is important that I be clear that I am not a “Christian” as many people are. In my mind, any creature capable of creating the absolute wonder of universes without end is so far beyond our comprehension as to be totally incomprehensible to a mere human. Hence, I rarely pay attention to Christian metaphors and belief systems. Too much cruelty and hatred for my sensibilities. However, one cannot grow up in the world we have without being subjected to the trials and tribulations of the Christian/Jewish/Hebrew/Muslim mindsets and belief systems. Especially those concepts regarding “good” and “evil”. Everyone is so sure they are right, they are willing to commit the most horrendous acts to prove their own ‘holiness.’

Mr. Holland is well versed in the horrors of the twisted in religion and uses his knowledge to great effect in “The Three Doors.” This book is definitely a morality play. The lines between good and evil are sharply drawn within the construct of “God” and “Lucifer” using characters you either love or hate. The scene is set in a “small-town America” that anyone could recognize and identify with, thus adding to the creepy feeling engendered by the book. There is definitely horror laced throughout the book which will be deeply satisfying for any horror aficionado. But what I really liked about it is the “creepy” factor that kept me reading when I would have otherwise stopped to do things like eat and sleep.

Overall, the book as much to recommend it. The writing is good, the characters are solidly written and in their way believable. This definitely isn’t a book for children, as it is both frightening and bloody as well as containing some really twisted sex scenes. For a horror novel, Mr. Holland truly makes you feel the horror. It is scary, suspenseful and often creepy. I applaud Mr. Holland for a well written, gripping tale!

Blood, gore, sex scenes and deep evil enclosed. If you love a good horror novel, this is a must read.

About my star ratings:

5 stars I was totally engrossed with the book. The characters and world building was immaculate, the story held together and kept me interested at all times. I groaned when I finished it because now I have to wait for another by this author! Goes immediately to my “must buy” list and the book goes onto my “pull out to read when I want to read something really good” shelf.

4 stars: Still engrossing, these books still need to fully develop, but they are awesome in their own right. I will definitely be checking out the authors next book, and she/he went on my list of “watch for this author.” The book isn’t quite ‘there’ yet, or I am expecting to see something kick-butt coming with the next book and don’t want to give out that 5 star rating quite yet, even if I am thrilled with what the author has accomplished so far.

3 stars: These are the books I am on the fence about for some reason. They are good. Usually well written or have good character development and world-building. Some reasons for 3 stars are less than exceptional editing, rough patches in the writing style, problems with characters or storyline, or that the book just simply isn’t to my particular tastes. It isn’t a bad book, in a lot of cases it just doesn’t ring my particular bell.

2 stars: OK, things are getting ugly. Poor writing, sloppy editing and lack of care in development will drop off stars every time. Two star ratings are for those books that disappoint me, especially when I expected so much more from the writer. A writer who has developed a good character in a previous novel and then blows it will get themselves a two if I have been encouraged to expect more from them. The book leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and takes the author out of contention for any more book sales to me.

1 star: I save this one for special cases. I have never given this rating to a new author, I wouldn’t be that cruel. Simply putting out the effort and placing your soul out there for others to see deserves more respect. What I save the one stars for are authors who should know better and still make me throw a book across the room and scream. These are the books that totally tear apart the worlds they have so carefully built and spit on their characters. Not only do these books make me sick, they send me on a rampage of snarked off that can last for days.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑