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Released Today: The Line by J. D. Horn

February 1st, the release date for The Line by J.D. Horn. If you read my blog, you will know that I received the book through Amazon’s Kindle First Program and truly enjoyed it. And now, you have the chance to enjoy it too!

Here is my review, for those of you who missed it earlier. If you like richly written story lines, this is the book for you. Full of familial angst, witchcraft, and the lush language of Savannah, you will love it.

theline
Today is the release date!
Buy your copy today at Amazon by clicking the cover.
Enjoy!

Who would that old woman have accepted her death from? That’s the Question you need to be askin’.” Mother Jilo, The Line

An atmosphere of lies like that infects and poisons the whole life of a home. In a house like that, every breath that the children take is filled with the germs of evil.

HENRIK IBSEN, A Doll’s House

The allure of having unlimited access to power is too hard to resist. If Mercy Taylor had remembered that, had truly thought about it? Well, who knows what pain could have been diverted. What truths could have been uncovered. But when you are just about to turn twenty-one, and power has never been within your grasp, it is understandable, maybe even admirable, that the true brutalities of power are outside your comprehension. But given a bit of power, what will even the most innocent among us reach for? And given unlimited power, what atrocities might one commit in the name of that power?

Mercy Taylor is in that most uncomfortable of positions. A magical dud in a family of some of the most powerful witches in the world. Mercy is happy however, enjoying her life leading “The Liars Tour of Savannah,” getting her customers a little buzzed, telling ‘some black and wicked lies about the people of her hometown,” and basically enjoying her life. It’s simple, and it is all hers. Well, mostly happy, except for the fact that she is loved by a good man, yet loves the man who belongs to her twin sister – the twin sister who is in line to take a place as one of the ten who control The Line, the magical wall between this world and the others.

And so, Mercy makes a mistake. A mistake with the best of intentions, but with deep and unforeseen consequences. And yet – is the mistake really her own? Or is her mistake simply a smokescreen, misdirection for something much deeper and more twisted, betrayal upon shocking betrayal?

I received this book through Amazon’s “Kindle First” program. I get the opportunity to choose one of four books featured for free each month in advance of the release date. I love these opportunities to meet new and upcoming authors and get a peek at their books before anyone else. And, yes, the opportunity to brag about it, and to help a new author as much as possible to get the word out about their works. To be honest, this is one of the better “Kindle First” books I have read, and I am happy to have found this bright new author.

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Review: Amazon Kindle First: The Line by J.D. Horn

theline
The Line by J.D. Horn
Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by 47North

Who would that old woman have accepted her death from? That’s the Question you need to be askin’.” Mother Jilo, The Line

An atmosphere of lies like that infects and poisons the whole life of a home. In a house like that, every breath that the children take is filled with the germs of evil.

HENRIK IBSEN, A Doll’s House

The allure of having unlimited access to power is too hard to resist. If Mercy Taylor had remembered that, had truly thought about it? Well, who knows what pain could have been diverted. What truths could have been uncovered. But when you are just about to turn twenty-one, and power has never been within your grasp, it is understandable, maybe even admirable, that the true brutalities of power are outside your comprehension. But given a bit of power, what will even the most innocent among us reach for? And given unlimited power, what atrocities might one commit in the name of that power?

Mercy Taylor is in that most uncomfortable of positions. A magical dud in a family of some of the most powerful witches in the world. Mercy is happy however, enjoying her life leading “The Liars Tour of Savannah,” getting her customers a little buzzed, telling ‘some black and wicked lies about the people of her hometown,” and basically enjoying her life. It’s simple, and it is all hers. Well, mostly happy, except for the fact that she is loved by a good man, yet loves the man who belongs to her twin sister – the twin sister who is in line to take a place as one of the ten who control The Line, the magical wall between this world and the others.

And so, Mercy makes a mistake. A mistake with the best of intentions, but with deep and unforeseen consequences. And yet – is the mistake really her own? Or is her mistake simply a smokescreen, misdirection for something much deeper and more twisted, betrayal upon shocking betrayal?

I received this book through Amazon’s “Kindle First” program. I get the opportunity to choose one of four books featured for free each month in advance of the release date. I love these opportunities to meet new and upcoming authors and get a peek at their books before anyone else. And, yes, the opportunity to brag about it, and to help a new author as much as possible to get the word out about their works. To be honest, this is one of the better “Kindle First” books I have read, and I am happy to have found this bright new author.

Review: Pinked – J. C. Mells

PINKED BC3Take a pinch of Othello, throw in a heaping handful of Mildred Pierce and a big splash of Jack Kerouack. Serve with a blast of What It’s Like by Everlast. Stir well and serve with a side of desperate hope. Just read it.  – Me.

These were my final words in my review of Pierced the first volume in J. C. Mells Pierced series. I raved and carried on about Pierced – it’s depth, storyline, amazing characters and creative twists. I loved it, and I hope you got a chance to love it too.

The second volume of the series, Pinked is out now, and it does not disappoint.  J. C. reaches deep in Pinked, expanding upon an already fascinating character, reaching deeper into her psyche, and twisting her life beyond anything she ever imagined it could be.  Pinked shows yet again that, though she may have lived through horrifying perversions, she still has an ability to not only survive, but to thrive in circumstances that would warp a weaker person’s soul.

Things are moving fast for Pierce, in ways she never would have expected. Life, family, tragedy, its all here with a vengeance.  As if life wasn’t hard enough for Pierce, even her DNA has changed, as Lucas has been forced to change her in order to save her life. Now, Lucas looks back at what led up to Pierce’s change, and what it means not only for Pierce, but for himself and the rest of his extended family. Can Lucas learn to get past his self-hatred, his fear of his wolf and the need of those around him for him to step up and accept his place as Alpha?

The story cranks up fast, and blasts into a race against time. Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, suspense, it is all here. Just as Pierced was, Pinked is wonderful and complete, with a raw brutality that sucks in the reader, keeping you on the edge of your seat and drawing you into a world so very like our own, and yet so very strange.  Once again, you are in for a book of depth and character I haven’t seen since, well, since Pierced!

Highly recommended with a bullet!

Review: Wink by Eric Trant – Five Star Review

wink
Click to order the book. Really. click it. You won’t regret it. You need to read this book!

Sometimes we hear a voice. Deep at times, at times trembling on the very edge of hearing, a vibration, a whisper. A voice that reaches into your soul and changes what was there before. Rarely do you find these voices, but when they do, they are to be cherished.

Eric Trant has that voice. He speaks of the darkness in the human soul. The pain, the agony of savagery and brutality, of hopelessness and agony too deep to bear. Of the absolute depths of what can pass for a human soul. I could taste Trant’s characters on the back of my tongue, copper and brass and old, diseased blood. Smell the decay of souls rotted beyond redemption.

Yet on top of that, he layers a sheen of hope, a blue-shimmering breath of possibility, scented and yet not seen. Two children, separated by the width of a yard, and by a chasm of darkness without end. One child broken, trapped within her house, neat and tidy and real. The other living inside a nightmare with no end: It was a place where the unburied dead mired themselves between life and death. It was a place of half-living, half-dead, spiritless creatures, and except for Marty, what lived there did not walk and dwell like other living things, but crawled and crept and slithered and hid from the light.

So much of this book is lived within the ‘real world’. A world of poverty, drug addiction, hoarding, hatred and child abuse. A world of no hope, no joy, no possibilities. And then, things begin to change . . .

Thrilling, painful, heart-rending and yet hopeful. All of these things and more. I highly recommend this book, no matter if you like thrillers and paranormal, or are up for some heavy-duty literary fiction. The book walked right inside me and turned on a light in a dark place.

Review: The Prodigal – Michael Hurley

“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.”
Homer, The Iliad

“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

the prodigal cover
Click the cover to purchase this book.

 Aidan Sharpe is a weapon. A tightly honed weapon of savage grace, designed to cut and hew his way through a courtroom, leaving a trail of blood and broken lives in his wake. And a man who, as Michael Hurley describes him, a man who refused above all else to learn from his own mistakes . . .” And a man who, apparently, neither learns from his own mistakes, nor understands the depths to which he has fallen when his world comes crashing down. A man so intent on his own destruction, so lost in admiration of his own reflection in the mirror that that he thinks, even then, to grasp glory from ignominy.

And hence begin the travels of a man, once powerful, into a world entirely new. A world that, unbeknownst to him, will change his life, and his soul, forever.

Aidan washes up upon the dwindling sands of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, a man once renowned for this ability to miss no objection, to leave no emotion unexploited; now empty and barren, a shattered career leaving him no anchor to hold against the wind, and yet no sail to cross the wine dark sea of his own inner landscape.

Forced now, to become someone he never thought to be, he settles into the home of the local Catholic Priest, and begins his life as a simple boat yard hand, surrounded by the beauty of the island and the people there. A land of unadorned and sometimes brutal honesty, where life or death lie upon the break of a wave or the gust of a wind.

Hurley’s characters are heart wrenching and uplifting by turns. A lost woman, washed up amongst the waves, with no name to call her own. A priest more interested in kindness than creed. A Bahamian sailor, with secrets of his own. And a redheaded, female Irish tugboat captain, whose openness and honesty are in diametric opposition to Aidan who, in his own words, is quite capable of betrayal, deceit, manipulation, cruelty, self-pity and cowardice. And yet, those around him still think him a good and true man . . .

Into his life comes a sailing ship, lost upon the seas, empty and forlorn, which changes not only his life, but the lives of those around him. A boat, perhaps, out of time, and out of legend. A boat which, once again, changes his life and his destiny. Or does it?

There are great swaths of this book that I found touching, heart breaking and deeply moving. There is kindness and black cruelty, deception and honesty, lies and the purest of truths. In all honesty, I was brought up rather short about three-quarters of the way through the book when it became bogged down, in my opinion, in a type of blatant religiosity which pulled down the narrative. The story line is drug down, into a fog of didactic symbolism that lessened much of the joy inherent in Hurley’s words. The story to that point was poetic in nature, carrying me along in a haze of beautiful words. The story did pick back up, though some of the joy of the story was stolen from me, much to my disappointment. But it was, in all, not a deadly issue for the overall clarity and poetry of the book.

Much is made of the human ability to change and grow, and the possibilities of absolution. The setting of the story greatly encourages that idea. The sea, unchanging in its potential for change at any moment, the poetry of the words, do much to encourage the possibilities of redemption, of an answer to the question of what makes a ‘good man’ and whether an evil man can change, can become ‘good’.

Overall, except for the hiccup described, the book is beautifully done. Hurley’s descriptions of the land, the sea, and the people are charming. The story harkens back to the days of Homer, and the sailing of the great and unknown seas. I could nearly smell the sea and hear the waves. I wanted very much to walk the streets of Ocracoke and gaze out upon the Atlantic, to horizons unknown and unseen.

Recommended.

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