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Book Review: Hope’s Shadow December 8, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Books, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your copy of Hope’s Shadow on Kindle!

Synopsis:

Esme takes it upon herself to put an end to the Purge and stop the Evening Star. But when fate puts her in the path of the Evening Star, she is forced to question the truth about the supposedly evil nature of the stars. This act may lead to her death at the hands of the Purge – or at the hands of the ones she loves.

Hope’s Shadow is set in a fascinatingly dark world, where an endless Inquisition rules with a bloody fist. The shadows that permeate this world suffocates hope in darkness, as heroes of yore return as villains of today and the weak struggle to find a way back to the light.

My Review:

Hope’s Shadow by Amberlynn O’Shea describes a dark world where people are clinging to any shreds of hope. When Esme woke up in a cemetery ten years ago without the slightest memory of her past, she is left wondering who she really is. As she travels to discover who she is, she must tread lightly as the Purge is raging everywhere. Anyone who shows a different belief or that stands out from the crowd are charged with sorcery – often being tortured and burned at the stake.

I will admit that the first part of the book was hard for me to get into. There are so many details that are being brought to light and it left me slightly confused as to where the storyline was headed. But I did feel like I was there with the main character, Esme, as she was often left confused and wondering what is going on and where things were headed. Once the plot began to unfold, I did find myself emerged in the story and the characters.

I did enjoy the setting and world that Ms. O’Shea has created. Even though the murder, betrayal and bloodshed cast an eerie feeling to the world, there is that light at the end of the road. The light that everyone clings to with dear life, hoping that they will be saved from the darkness. The reader is reminded that no matter how small, there is always hope and that you must stand up for your beliefs and doing what is right, even if it means sacrificing what means the most.

If you enjoy reading stories that tell about Love, Hope, Sun, Moon and Stars and that have beautiful book covers..then pick up a copy of Hope’s Shadows.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

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Book Review: Consumed by Love June 17, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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Description:

Consumed by Love is the story of a couple who must face one partner’s supernatural transformation. This short piece is written in the style of a classic horror story with a dark take on the addictive nature of love.

My Review:

Consumed by Love by Pavarti Devi is a wickedly twisted short story filled with perverse love and sadistic carnal desires. What’s happening to Hugo isn’t natural, yet his lust for flesh, for blood, seeps from his very core. He has always known this change would take place and with the passing of his father, an Abenaki chief, he expected it. Though he wasn’t quite prepared for what was stirring inside of him and the hunger it brought forth.

As the days passed after Hugo’s father’s death, Bree watched her husband fading away. He didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, and barely said a word. As hard as Bree tried, Hugo was spiraling down into a black hole she couldn’t help him out of. That is, until she gave him what he so desperately wanted…her flesh and her blood. How far will Bree go in order to keep her true love satisfied? A nibble here and a chunk of meat there, won’t be enough to keep the beast satiated.

Pavarti Devi was very creative in writing this aberrant and unique tale. I enjoyed the premise of the story, but felt it was a bit hurried. I realize it’s a short story but it moved along rather quickly, sometimes bouncing from one situation on to the next without any connection or segue. I also had a problem with the dialog at times. As it was hard to distinguish who was speaking, simply because of the placement and structure of the lines being exchanged between characters.

I do recommend giving this a read, for it’s very different and entertaining! There are sexual situations and violent themes not suited for younger readers.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Hazel O’Shea

Book Review: The Advice Girl June 15, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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Get your copy of The Advice Girl (The Dalara Series, Book One) on Kindle!

Description:

“Kira has been best friends with Sophia since Kindergarten. When her friend is presumed dead, Kira goes into a downward spiral of depression until she finds a hidden note.

Sophia knows there is something different about her. When a man she met on the internet comes to the house and saves her from an assassin, she knows he is her destiny.

Ethan is aware that he should not fall for Sophia, but he cannot help himself. She brings forth feelings of completion and love whenever she is around him.

After the attempt on her life, Sophia finds out that some vile members of a secret cult, who go by the name Vindicated Saints, are trying to stop her from learning about her powers. Ethan is a member of the Guild of Aurora and it is his job to protect her at any cost and help her get the training she needs so her powers can be fully hers. Will Sophia be able to come into her powers before it is too late?”

– Coffee Time Romance

My Review:

The Advice Girl is the first book written by author L.A. Shaw. Ms. Shaw weaves a tale of secret societies and supernatural powers, entwined in a centuries old battle to set things right and bring about peace to this tired and weary world. The Guild is an organization set out to find carriers of “The Light”, the pure and loving energy that each one of our souls possess, in hopes of fusing together our world with one that was ripped from us ages ago. In doing so, they will create a realm free of pain and suffering. The Vindicated Saints will never allow that to happen, for their existence is based on greed, fear, and above all, power. They have, and will, continue to hunt down the Guild’s prospective “talents”.

Sophia has always known she was different. Hell, her whole family seemed as if they came fresh out of the twilight zone, but Sophia made sure no one was aware of this. She was able to hide all of her pain away and instead, helped others with their struggles offering up a shoulder to cry on and wise advice to help them through their situations. The only one who came close to knowing the real Sophia was her roommate and life-long best friend Kira. The two were kindred spirits and at 25, had their whole lives ahead of them. Until the unthinkable happened and Sophia died. Kira was left lost and alone with a mountain of questions brought on by the unusual circumstances surrounding Sophia’s death. Now with very little to go on Kira is left to wonder, was Sophia murdered or was there a possibility her best friend was still alive? Her questions would soon be answered and her life put in horrible danger.

The storyline was interesting and most certainly had potential but it felt rushed and vaguely written. In my opinion, both the plot and the characters needed more depth and build up in order for the reader to become fully absorbed in the story. There were grammatical and structural errors that at times caused me to re-read a sentence multiple times before continuing on reading. This was not a terrible book by any means and I recommend reading this to anyone who is a fan of theological thrillers and mysteries. Aside from the aforementioned hitches, this was a pleasant read.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Hazel O’Shea

Book Review: Unsavory Delicacies June 10, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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Description:

For fans of Barry Eisler and Robert Ludlum. A three-course story collection with a side-order of revenge.

Crème Brûlée

Rogue operative, Monique Beauvais, cons a software genius into selling her a coveted technology that would allow its user to control CIA drones while they’re in flight. And she will go as far as killing him in public in order to have it.

To the Last Bite

A renowned food critic—whose scathing reviews have closed down restaurants—gets a savoury surprise.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, leads a team against one of Russia’s most powerful crime families. He discovers secrets, but not one that he was expecting to find.

Three stories with three consequences. All containing three Unsavory Delicacies.

My Review:

Unsavory Delicacies by Russell Brooks is a terse collection of three killer culinary short stories. There’s sex, exquisite dining, and a dead body or two!

Creme Brulee is the first story in the book, offering up international spies and conspiracies with a side of revenge!

In To the Last Bite, we meet Dennis Kirby, a renown food critic whose reviews means life or death in the restaurant business. His last critique subject was better than any other he’d had before,until he finds out the secret ingredient!

Lastly we have Shashlyk and Morozhenoe. In this tale, Mr. Brooks uses a character from one of his previous stories. In this, we read of spies and covert operations dealing with the Russian Mafia. What they came to find and what is actually hidden away, are two very different things!

Unsavory Delicacies was a very quick and amusing read. I do feel the author could have spent more time with each story, adding to the plot and length of the tale. I realize this is a collection of short stories, but they did seem even too short for that. Honestly, this book really wasn’t “my thing” but I’m sure there are plenty of readers who would truly enjoy this! There are violent and adult situations not suited for younger readers.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

~Hazel O’Shea

Book Review: Invisible Dawn June 6, 2011

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Get your copy of Invisible Dawn (Altered Realities) on Kindle!

Description:

To keep a promise and save his long-lost goddaughter, Madelin, computer programmer Jedd Altran sacrificed everything, including his wife and newborn son. Now, they must pass through worlds far different than their own to escape the clutches of government killers.

In a world where rare individuals have evolved, the government kidnaps specific children to study and utilize their abilities. Madelin has been imprisoned in such a facility for thirteen years and suffers from medically induced amnesia. Facing a hopeless future, haunted dreams, and an invisible past, each morning is an Invisible Dawn and life holds no meaning, until she meets Jedd. Her newly discovered godfather becomes her beacon in tumultuous seas as they strive to find answers and allies.

On the run from PASTOR Agency’s first trained shifter, an egotistical man with power hungry desires, Madelin and her godfather find their lives intertwined with a broke Cajun gambler, an ex-mercenary in search of redemption, and a rebellious Vampire.

Can they survive nature’s mysteries and humanity’s greed? Will they find salvation? Only a Darwinian victory will do, but even that may prove futile.

My Review:

Invisible Dawn by Weston Kincade is a thrilling and intricately written Sci-Fi novel. As soon as you open the book, you are thrown into the action! With every turn of the page you are brought further into a world of mysterious realms, amazing mental abilities, and an extreme government agency trying to contain it all. The main characters are riddled with personal demons, unable to escape the past but needing to forge through into the future. There is no time for regret. For stopping to look back will most likely get them killed. They have been brought together by fate and will battle whatever comes their way in order to stay together. In order to protect The Shifter.

Madelin is an extraordinary and uniquely gifted young woman. From a very young age she was sought after by an elite government agency known as PASTOR. They recognized her many talents and would stop at nothing to obtain her. With her family out-of-the-way, she is kidnapped by PASTOR and hidden away from the rest of the world. However, her godfather Jedd Altran has never given up hope of finding her. He has made saving Madelin his sole purpose, in his tragic and lonely life. With the help of two men, Daniel and Roger, Jedd is able to not only rescue is god-daughter but fulfill his role as her protector. Now with PASTOR tracking their every move and following closely behind, Madelin must search deep within herself to ignite, and harness the unbelievable powers that surge through her being.

This book is incredibly detailed, and at times it may feel like an overload of information. I do suggest reading this with limited distractions, because if your mind does happen to wander for a moment, you will feel as if you’ve missed an important piece of the story. There were some grammatical errors which, at times, took my attention away from the story, but did not take away from this being a very well written novel.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Hazel O’Shea

Book Review: The Father’s Child May 20, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Description:

John Truman, a bright, introverted, college student belongs to the New Dawn…he just doesn’t know it yet. The plans of the 300-year-old, Oxford-based, secret society revolve around him, the final piece in their puzzle. He struggles with almost everything – the girl he loves, the extroverted uber-social best friend, his estranged father, and the recurring visions that compromise his ability to interact with others. All John wants is to get through today; all they want is to rule the world.

Suspense, intrigue, mystery, and romance all woven together into one thrilling tapestry. Enter a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted. Are you ready?

My Review:

The Father’s Child by Mark Adair is a techno-thriller that is jam-packed with twists and turns. John Truman is just an average guy, or at least he seems to be. The book opens with your average college party and John is not the party type. After hiding out for as long as he can, he slowly tries making his way downstairs to blend in among friends. Only things take a wild turn and masked men decide to crash the party. Armed with serious weaponry, they demand that one of John’s close friends, George, step forward or else. Deciding to give himself up rather than see anyone hurt, George agrees and is taken by the masked men, who then leave just as quickly as they came.

Years later, John and another good friend Paul have decided to move and start over. Deciding they should go ahead with the original plans, they want to open their own company. Only John starts having weird dreams and appears to be borderline psychotic. Being able to create complicated computer programs, John sets out on a search to track George’s last steps before he was taken feeling as though he owes it to George to find the truth. Little does he know at the time, but John’s whole life has been planned out for him and he is to become part of the New Dawn.

This book took me a little while to get into it. The beginning starts off great with a lot of action and then there are several chapters where Mr. Adair is laying the ground work, setting up the story and giving the readers details that will be needed later in the story, although there are a couple of spots where there is a little action. On more than one occasion I found myself pushing this book to the side and coming back to it. Once you get through the beginning, it does pick up if you stay with it.

The Father’s Child is a book with two point of views. Each chapter alternates between John and Paul and I found this to be a little bit distracting. I would just be getting comfortable reading the story from one view only to have it abruptly switched to another. John and Paul may be best friends but they have very different personalities and therefore different ways of telling the story.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: My Perfect Wedding May 12, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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Get your copy of My Perfect Wedding (Romantic Comedy) on Kindle!!

Description:

Helen Grey is finally getting everything she wants. She’s about to have the perfect dream wedding and begin an exciting new life abroad on the sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But living the dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

After a mix-up at the airport, Helen finds herself drawn into the midst of an elaborate plot to steal an ancient statue and assassinate a local businessman. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, her wedding dress is AWOL, the statue seems to be cursed, and Helen is wanted by the police.

With the big day rapidly approaching, a roller-coaster of mishaps, misunderstandings, and disasters threatens to turn the newlyweds into nearlyweds.

Can Helen prevent an assassination, save the statue, and have the perfect wedding? Or will the day to remember turn into one she’d rather forget?

My Rating:

My Perfect Wedding by Sibel Hodge is a fun, light-hearted caper with just enough love story thrown into the mix. The story takes place in North Cyprus, away from the hustle and bustle of the ever-changing and up-to-date UK. Kalem and Helen are looking to make a new life for themselves in the beautiful countryside of the Mediterranean. With their perfect wedding only a week away, they’re ready to settle into their new home, Kalem’s new job, and an entire new way of living. The simple life! They soon realize it’s going to be anything but simple when they stumble upon plans for the elaborate heist of a centuries old artifact and the plot to kill the President himself! Instead of looking the other way, Helen and Kalem set out to do whatever it takes to keep the President , and his treasure, safe!

Sibel Hodge has created quirky, easy to love characters. Moving the story along with non-stop action and amusing twists and turns. Honestly, this isn’t a book I would typically read purely because it just isn’t “my thing”. The story unfolds very quickly without giving much background information and tends to be repetitive. Ms. Hodge uses alot of dialogue which I found a bit unorganized, but overall this didn’t take away from the appeal of the book. I think this book would be perfect for a late teen, early twenty-something reading audience. That being said, there are sexual situations in this book, but they are not graphic and are written in a sort of cheeky way. If you are looking for a quick and fun read, this will definitely do the trick!

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

~Hazel O’Shea

Book Review: The Judas Syndrome April 1, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Description:

Joel and his friends are on the verge of graduation and excited and optimistic about their futures. But when they return from a camping trip in the remote woodlands to find themselves faced with a post-apocalyptic world, their daily lives acquire burdens and terrors hitherto unexperienced.

The Judas Syndrome is an unforgettable portrait of survival against the odds. Joel, the protagonist, is an average teen whose dreams of entering college in the fall have disintegrated with the rest of the civilized world. Experiencing a barrage of sinister premonitions prior to a camping trip, Joel struggles to shrug them off as nothing more than anxiety over the newest cyber-terror, the Grimm Reaper. For months the Reaper has been inundating the airwaves with threats of mass destruction if world governments do not adhere to his plethora of ridiculous demands. Finally, he does more than just threaten.

The deed done, the Reaper’s threats now realized, Joel and his small band of friends find themselves alone in a dying world. Their families are all dead and gone, and Joel’s family home is now their stronghold. Faith and faithlessness are investigated as his ongoing visions prepare Joel for the realization that the worst is far from over. Prisoners to a darkened sky and toxic earth, the group fights to survive. Through battles staged on their hallowed ground, through loss and victory, the group meets the Pilate to their Judas, unwittingly setting in motion – the Judas Syndrome.

My Review:

There must be a balance between books and their endings. Some must end happily and others are destined to go the darker route, such as The Judas Syndrome by Michael Poeltl. We are introduced to your average teenagers that are carefree and optimistic about their futures. In an attempt to put off summer jobs and escape the gloom brought on by threats of the apocalypse, the group of teens gather for a camping weekend. Upon returning home, the teens are forced to discover that the threats came true and the world has fallen victim to nuclear attack. It is clear to see who the main teenagers are as they are forced to grow up and plan for their survival. Joel is deemed the leader of the group although he never saw himself as the leading type. Other main characters are Connor, Sara, Eric and Jake. Most of the other teens in the group stay as secondary characters. I am certain that the secondary group will have their time to shine in the second book to this series. There is a lot of drug use throughout the book and at first I figured it was just kids being kids. I expected drug use to be the furthest thing from the kids minds while they are trying to survive so I was surprised that not only was it an important part, but the leading cause of Joel’s insanity spree. The reader should expect that beginning with the title, this book will have to end on a sad note in order for a more positive message to shine through. Friendships and inner turmoils are put to the test…the Judas test. I am curious to see where the survivors lead in the second installment. There was mild adult language, heavy drug use, and somewhat bloody descriptions, so this book is better suited for an adult audience.

My Rating:

Book Review: Blood Sisters March 23, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your copy of Blood Sisters on Kindle!

Description:

Starla had always imagined that becoming a vampire would make her popular, glamorous and wealthy. But after she and her best friend, Jordan, become undead, Starla realizes one thing: a vampire’s life sucks. Since there’s no turning back, she tries to make the best of her situation, but it isn’t easy. Especially not after her friend abandons her to serve the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Or when she gets on the bad side of a gang of vampires who’ve taken over the zoo. Or when she meets a really cute boy and ends up falling in love, only to find out that there’s a major problem…she’s a vampire, and he’s a vampire killer.

My Review:

We have all thought about it at one point or another. What exactly would it be like to be a vampire? Humans are curious by nature and so it is only natural to imagine what all the different possibilities would be like. The same thing goes for one of the main characters in Blood Sisters by Michelle Scott. Starla dreams of becoming a vampire, and not just any vampire, but the sexy, rich, and glamorous kind. She wants to feel powerful and wanted, the envy of her classmates. It’s at this point that she talks her best friend Jordan into becoming vampires together. But as the saying goes, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Starla soon realizes that being a vampire is not the life she had imagined. She is constantly struggling within herself and with the concept of drinking human blood, especially after Jordan leaves her in hopes of being saved by the oldest known vampire. Blood Sisters is about the strength of friendship and the courage to stand up for what you believe in. This book is a relatively quick read and is a good young adult novel.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: The Betrayal March 4, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Description:

Two brothers hunt the supernatural so we don’t have to. Eighteen year old Zachariah McCannon was forced to grow up fast. His parents left him to raise is younger brother, Matthew. No easy task. Matt has powers and because of that Zack stays on his toes to keep him safe. When a demon ask Matt a question, “How far will you go to save your brother,” Zack replies, “As far as I have to.” Now evil is after them and if they’re not careful, neither will be able to escape!

My Review:

The Betrayal by Sheila Hendrix is the first book in The Dark Circle Saga. It introduces us to brothers Zach and Matt who have had to rely on each other since they were young boys when their parents left them. Zach, being the oldest, saw to it that nobody could ever take his brother away from him and so they travel from place to place. Normally this would just be a sad story, but throw in the fact that younger brother Matt has visions, and the story becomes more interesting. Along their travels, Zach and Matt fend off repeated attempts from supernatural beings who want Matt for his powers. One such being is Alayna, an evil demon who has been trying to steal Matt’s powers since he was an infant. The bond between Zach and Matt was written with emotion and I found it quite believable at times. The only thing I would have like to see in The Betrayal, was a little more back story leading up to where the brothers are in the present time. We get the basic gist of their story so it was a smooth read, but I think a little more of their past would make the tale more believable. Maybe we will get more of that background information in book two of the series. All in all it was a quick read, I read it in one sitting, and I look forward to reading more of Zach and Matt in future books.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis