Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Pages: 527
Source: Netgalley

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


Reading Beautiful Disaster was such a whirlwind experience. My experience and emotions was synonymous of how Travis and Abby was in their relationship – hard to focus when you have that much emotion circling inside you. I think the story stayed true to the title of the book though.

Travis was so volatile. One moment he’s your knight in shining armor and on the next moment it was like flipping a switch and you have a very aggressive, angry and immature guy. Abby had the same approach – one moment she’s mature and composed then very ill tempered and bitchy. Sometimes I could not understand their relationship and it can be very irritating yet heartfelt.

Indeed their relationship was very dysfunctional as mentioned by Abby but it the reason for me wasn’t the owning part, it was I think being too dependent with each other. Travis acted like an a-hole and Abby tolerated it until she couldn’t anymore. The relationship was very destructive.

Do you know what co-dependecy is Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breath.

I don’t know how many of you felt in the first part all gooey, cute and mushy about these two and when they became a couple all hell broke lose too. The ending, wasn’t too believable in my opinion. I can do without that, it just doesn’t fit for me in this case. The mob and Mick, that I would love to have read more. Created more drama and friction but hey I could only hope.

Even I am becoming uncertain of how I’ll rate this book (if that is a good thing, I do not know yet) I’m torn with giving this a 2 or a 4 but most of the time it’s a 3. Let me explain, there are parts of the book that I so hate Abby and Travis and everyone around them who just tolerates their sh*t – that’s a 2 but there are moments that they are soo uber cute and darn romantic and perfect for each other – here’s your 4. 3 is just the middle ground and no matter how I contemplate on the rating, I remember Abby and Travis and it goes from 2 to 4 or the other way around again.

I’ve got to say though – I do understand that there are troubled lovers out there who makes a relationship work and my heart is with you guys but Abby and Travis’ relationship is very (can’t even think of an appropriate adjective here) alarming but as I said there were highlights in the relationship part. I think the reason why I focus mainly on Abby and Travis rather than the whole story is because they drove the story end to finish and I also have to say that this book needs to be read with caution due to its nature. For rating purposes, lets use a 3 and I hope I got my point as to why it’s a 3 but to help you decide I’ve linked a couple of reviews below.


Book Review: Death’s Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Death’s Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot

Title: Death’s Dream Kingdom
Author: Jessica Penot
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | MUSA Publishing

Death’s Dream Kingdom is the story of a woman who is ordinary in every
way. She’s an average mother and wife and is happy living every day mired in the ins and outs of the mundane, until she is murdered. After her death, Cera finds herself lost in a nether land somewhere between life and death where demons, ghosts, and old gods roam the streets preying on the living. In this strange world, Cera is told that she is everything but ordinary. In death, she alone can help heal the rift between worlds and help bridge the gap between life and death. Caught somewhere between her desire to live again and the desire to find heaven, Cera fights those that would pull her into the politics of the netherworld. But the will of the Fates is stronger than Cera’s will and Cera quickly finds herself pulled into a quest that will drag her to hell and back and into the arms of an ancient demon lover. She will find that she is a child a Fate and that she alone can challenge Death himself for dominion over his kingdom.


Death’s Dream Kingdom was an exhilirating read. Death’s Dream Kingdom is a story about life today and life after death. It had entricate characters that gives more depth to the story which only makes the adventure more exciting especially with the inclusion of Greek mytholody. I have loved Greek mythology as long as I can remember and Penot’s version of it through Death’s Dream Kingdom was beautiful. I think the only think I can comment negatively about the book is that the first part has been confusing on my end but Penots use of her imagination in writing Death’s Dream Kingdom has proven to be a talent.


Check out TSBs Facebook page to have a chance to win a copy for yourself. Just fill out the form and good luck!

Official Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

I am a therapist and writer who lives in Alabama with my three corgis, children, husband, and other strange creatures. My short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies including CSM, Summer Gothic, Bound By Blood, and Outer Darkness. I have ghost story columns in theValley Planet and White Cat Magazine where I share my love for ghost stories that send shivers down your spine and keep you up at night. I also share my passion for all things ghostly and haunted at my blog, ghost stories and haunted places.

I am currently working on my next Haunted America Book for History Press, Haunted South Alabama. Follow me at my blog to learn about the ghost stories I am chasing and collecting for this fascinating addition to Haunted America. I’m also workng on the next book in my Circe series. The demon is awake and waiting for my new heroine in the swamps of Southern Alabama. Click Here to Follow My Blog!

You can contact me at


Book Review: The Rebel Princess by Anne M. Strick + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm and Enchanted Book Promotions presents The Rebel Princess by Anne M. Strick

Title: The Rebel Princess
Author: Anne M. Strick
Pages: 394
Publisher: Createspace
ISBN: 1452864977
Source: Enchanted Book Promotions

An insider’s first-ever behind-the-scenes scoop on how movies are REALLY made: gritty, grinding, tunnel-vision labor, back-stage intrigue, explosive dramas, parties, and relationships that last a night or a lifetime.

Larger-than-life characters who live life with fervor, while contending with their own inner demons and one another, all in the pressure cooker of a location shoot in the exotic world of Mexico. This romp of a story follows the making of a movie from pre-production through wrap. A hotly passionate love story and a murder elevate the stakes.


The Rebel Princess was an intriguing read. I started reading The Rebel Princess out of curiousity. The author herself had first hand knowledge about the movie industry and that made The Rebel Princess more real for me. It was juicy, exciting and very chaotic in a good way.

I must admit that I had a hard time reading for the first few pages, especially with the number of characters involved but the story was closely knitted that it was fluid. It was controversy after another and the story of each character was a good balance to the whole plot. I think the story stayed true to what is Hollywood and the movie scene behind the screen.

Another thing to add is the fact that I wasn’t expecting to read it this long (more than a week) but I think that is was mostly due to the number of characters as I indicated above and the fact that my work last week was so hectic but under different circumstances, I believe I’ll enjoy The Rebel Princess more.


She may have made the first move then. He may have. They came together with a heat she had never known. Beneath the white satin robe whose belt he untied, she stood naked; glorious. The coral tips of her full breasts were heard. He caught his breath. For a moment his eyes luxuriated in her ripeness; and then he lowered her to the thick carpet. She was ravenous for his lips, his tongue, his hands everywhere: her mouth, her breasts, her navel, the mound that was already so wet and swollen. She wanted him inside. But still – his teeth on her nipples, his fingers probing her wetness, rolling her clitoris, – he made her wait. Made her wait until, writhing, almost out of her mind, all shame gone, all fear gone, she could only beg, “Please. Now, please.” He straddled and entered her and she gasped. Something irrevocable had happened. In her most private, secret places, in her center, she was open to this man as never to anyone before. She moaned, and in mutual frenzy they moved to driving, trusting, flooding climax.

The second time was slower. Now they had all the time in the world. He ran his tongue from beneath her ear to the hollow in her throat, played with it between her breasts and beneath them. With his tongue he circled her nipples and teased down to her navel, probing in till she shuddered, tonguing down further over her flat stomach to the rich chestnut hair. With his tongue he circled and teased and probed her still-swollen lips below, sucked them, thrust his tongue into the opening still running with their juices – and brought that tongue into her mouth so that she, too, could taste the two of them mingled.


As always, all you need to do it fill out the form located in TSBs Facebook page and that’s it. Giveaway is open until the 9th.

Official Website

Anne M.Strick has spent over twenty years in the movie industry. She has worked for Universal, Warners, Paramount and EMI, as a Unit Publicist, Project Coordinator and National Publicity Director, and with such Hollywood legends as Jack Nicholson, James Earl Jones, Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Lynch, Sting and Dino De Laurentiis, among many others. She has published theater reviews, articles in Parents Magazine , Frontier and The Nation, and six books: two novels, two self-help books, one memoir (a best-seller in Italy); and a non-fiction, scholarly critique of our adversary trial system. (”remarkable”) . Born in Philadelphia, and educated at Bennington College and UCLA, she lives in Los Angeles.

Book Review: Fire On The Island by J.K. Hogan

The Solitary Bookworm and My Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Fire on the Island by J.K Hogan

Title: Fire On The Island (Vigilati, #1)
Author: J.K. Hogan
Pages: 376
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Source: My Reading Addiction Blog Tours

“She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster. She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all. Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”

All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother’s insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.

Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn’t expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.

Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible.


Fire on the Island was an amazing journey for me. The novel was a great mix of paranormal, love and humor. Humor was not the element that I was expecting but it was a great addition to the novel. Continue reading

Book Review: Maven Fairy Godmother by Charlotte Henley Babb

The Solitary Bookworm and Enchanted Book Tours presents Maven Fairy Godmother by Charlotte Henley Babb

Title: Maven Fairy Godmother
Author: Charlotte Henley Babb
Pages: 279
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
ISBN: 9781771270007
Source: Enchanted Book Tours

Broke, busted and despairing over the mess her life has turned out to be, middle-aged Maven Morrigan is offered a job as a fairy godmother, a one-time-only last chance to make something of herself and make the world a better place.

Not knowing who to trust: her boss, her slithery familiar, or her own Bump of Direction, she has to find her personal power by relying on herself, her real world failures, and her sense of the absurd, to survive in this imaginary garden with real trolls in it so that her clients get their happily ever after.

Publisher Page | Maven Fairy Godmother WebsiteMaven Fairy Godmother Facebook


Maven is a middle aged woman who is very unlucky with her life. She has no job, nothing to family, no place to stay, nothing to make her life easy. With no resources, Maven is desperate to have a job – any job. One call changes her life – and her job title? Fairy godmother. 🙂

I actually had a hard time following the story for the sole reason that it had a lot of characters involved although their stories are connected to each other – with that number of characters it can be daunting to remember them all. What I thoroughly enjoy though are the familiar story integrated in the book and how Maven works with them. She is very honest and intuitive (with the help of The Bump) and loves what she does but struggles with how Fiona wants her to do her job.

Maven Fairy Godmother is an enjoyable read it it can definitely tickle your funny bones. The ending was unexpected and my experience with reading Maven Fairy Godmother is one to remember.

Official Website | @charlottebabb | Facebook

Charlotte Babb began writing when she could hold a piece of chalk and scribble her name–although she sometimes mistook “Chocolate” for “Charlotte” on the sign at the drug store ice cream counter.

When her third-grade teacher allowed her access to the fiction room at the school library, Charlotte discovered Louisa Alcott and Robert Heinlein, an odd marriage of the minds. These two authors have had the most influence on her desire to share her point of view with the world and to explore how the world might be made better.

In the meantime, Charlotte has fallen prey to steampunk and the gears are turning…corset, bustle and magic, oh my! She brings to any project a number of experiences, including work as a technical writer, gasket inspector, cloth store associate, girl Friday, and telephone psychic.

She has studied the folk stories of many cultures and wonders what happened to ours. Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, education, bankruptcy, and widowhood? Here.

Charlotte loves Fractured Fairy Tales and writes them for your enjoyment.

Book Review: Determinant by A.M. Hargrove

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tour presents Determinant by A.M. Hargrove

Title: Determinant (The Guardians of Vesturon #3)
Author: A.M. Hargrove
Published Date: 6/30/2012
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

January St. Davis, on her own since the age of sixteen and struggling to stay in college, thinks she’s scored in a major way when she lands a paid summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One evening, after working an especially long shift, a chance encounter with a group of mysterious men alters the course of her life.

Rykerian Yarrister, a Guardian of Vesturon with unearthly powers and impossibly gorgeous looks, finds himself at odds over the human female he recently saved from certain death. When it seems he is on the verge of winning her over, she is ripped from his hands by a strange and powerful being, threatening to destroy her if his demands are not met.

Do Rykerian and the Guardians have the ability to meet this fierce barbarian’s ultimatums, or will January suffer a horrid demise?


Determinant is the third installment in The Guardians of Vesturon series wherein we are introduced with January St. Davis. If you’ll remember, January is actually mentioned in the first book as Maddie’s room mate during college. So January is a troubled teen in the sense that her childhood was not like the usual teens experience for unknown reasons to January, her parents seems to despise her and that alone baffles her. Rykerian on the other hand is amazed by January. He seemed to be mezmerized not only with her beauty but everything about her. Rykerian eventually connect with January but because of her past – she is having a hard tinme determining her feelings.

Continuing with story of the guardians, Xanthia is wanting to control Earth and the other planets through annihilation! They actually planned to wipe out people in Earth in order for the to use its resources. Here we are introduced to Jurek. Jurek is from a different race and it seems like Jurek’s race is more powerful and harder to kill.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story to you guys so I’ll just leave you with that. I did read Survival and Resurrection, books 1 and 2 respectively, and I had a hard time getting into them. The first book gained a low rating for me because of multiple reason, you’ll understand better by reading my review but Resurrection proved to be an improvement and I did liked it which is why I continued reading Determinant (asides the fact that I am part of the tour). Determinant is book 3 in the series but it can also be a stand alone book, however I do advice that you read the first 2 books as it is connected and for me it’ll be easier to read Determinant after.

Okay so what are the changes in Determinant compared to Survival and Resurrection? For one, Determinant is not solely focused on Rayn and Maddie anymore – Determinant is written in January’s and Rykerian’s POV which is told in parts. They both share their sides and they are both amazing characters. January is very head strong but not stubborn very stubborn since she has a hard time trusting people. Rykerian is overwhelming for me due to the fact that most Versturians are known to be very greedy and protective of their true mates. Rykerian can come off as childish in some parts though. A favorite would be Jurek. I would love to know more or read more about this character.

In terms of relationship, I can say that it’s tolerable. From reading Survival and Determinate it seems that Vesturians can easily form a connection. Insta-love would be unavoidable so I can understand that but in fairness to Determinant, January didn’t reciprocate immediately to Reykerian so I wouldn’t really consider their relationship as insta-love. 🙂 January and Jurek is a great brother-sister combo. Hargrove wrote their relationship well and I really see the bonding and connection there. The affection I felt for their weird connection was amazing. So what else? oh here’s one thing I didn’t quite enjoy in Determinant. It had a lot of mushy lines and until now I still can’t take in whenever Rayn calls Maddie sunshine or whenever character profess their love for their mates! I just felt that the mushy lines were overdone. I don’t know why but every time I read that (the sunshine thing) I make a face. Asides that, I loved Determinant. I am curious as to how Hargrove will steer the story now.

** The Guardians of Vesturon Series **

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


Official Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.

Boss: Hello

A.M.: Boss, is that you?

Boss: Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?

A.M.: Er… right. Well, I’m calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.

Boss: Why ever would I want to do that?

A.M.: Because I quit!

A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.

A.M.: Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?

Hubs: Sure… Having some car trouble?

A.M.: Not at all. I don’t have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.

Hubs: WHAT?!

A.M.: It’s time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.

So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks. Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love. Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella. Her third installment, Determinant, will be released on June 30, 2012. (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)


Determinant is the third installment in the Guardian of Vesturon trilogy wherein we are introduced with January. If you’ll remember, January is actually mentioned in the first book as Maddie’s room mate during college. So January is a troubled teen in the sense that her childhood was troublesome. Her parents seems to despise her and that alone baffles her.

Rykerian on the other hand is amazed by January. He seemed to be mezmerized not only with her beauty but everything about her. Rykerian eventually connect with January but because of her past – she is having a hard tinme determining her feelings.

On the other hand Xanthia is wanting to control Earth and the other planets through annihilation! There have been a lot that happened but I appreciate

Book Review: The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

Title: The Mind Readers (Mind Readers #1)
Author: Lori Brighton
Pages: 170
Publisher: Self pub
ISBN: 0012740292

Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth …that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.


First of all, I just wanted to say that my initial reason for downloading The Mind Reader was because it was free at the time and it did have a gorgeous cover! I know, very shallow of me but my shallowness proved to be great help on this one. The Mind Readers was a fabulous read. Continue reading

Book Review: Resurrection by A.M. Hargrove

Title: Resurrection (The Guardian of Vesturon #2)
Author: A.M. Hargrove
Publisher: Self-Pub
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

“Maddie knew she was dying. Her life started to flash before her. She had visions of running down the soccer field, scoring a goal, eating her mother’s yummy, homemade, sticky cinnamon rolls, standing in her foyer listening to the police tell her father that her mother had been killed in a car accident. Each vision was disturbingly clear—as if it was happening again.”

Rayn Yarrister, the first-born son and Leader of The Guardians, has been imprisoned on Vesturon for breaking their most sacred of covenants. He is suddenly jolted by Maddie’s telepathic pleas for help, as her life hangs in the balance. Can he alert The Guardians in time to save his soulmate? Or will he face his trial alone and broken without his one true love?
In Resurrection (Book 2), The Guardians of Vesturon are facing their biggest challenges as Earth is threatened by an invading species from a distant planet intent on destroying it for its resources. The Guardians, as protectors of the universe, have been assembled to defend not only Earth, but other vulnerable worlds as well. The Yarrister family is threatened by an unknown entity intent on discrediting them. Will they uncover this plot in time to save themselves from ruin? Will The Guardians succeed in stopping the Xanthians, or will Earth be invaded and ravaged by this marauding species?


Resurrection immediately picks up from where Survival left and it’s just plain suspense and curiosity that will keep you reading and reading. Continue reading


Title: Dance in the Vampire Bund, Vol. 3
Author: Nozomu Tamaki
Pages: 208
Publisher: Seven seas
ISBN: 1934876151

After millennia in hiding, Mina Tepes, the princess of the ancient covenant and ruler of all vampires, wants change. Using the vast wealth of the Tepes line, she has paid off the entire gross national debt of Japan and in so doing, gained the authority to create a “special district” off the coast of Japan that is to become the future haven for vampires from all over the world!

Now, on the eve of the landmark press conference announcing the existence of vampires to the world, terrorists and rival factions are plotting to assassinate Mina Tepes.


The front image of the series usually gives us an idea of what the topic of the stories will be. In this case, the story will evolve around Nanimi after she was turned into a vampire and Mina’s attempt to “save” herself and the people she love with the help of some loyal friends.

Looking back in Vol. 2, Nanimi was turned into a vampire and is missing. Yuki is now helping Mina with the student council, issues resolve around them. Akira’s loyalty is also known from the last volume and that incident will determine how the story of both Akira and Mina will progress. So moving on. The chick above looks awfully familiar right? You’ll get to know who is she as you get into the story more.

The next pictures is a snippet of a characters memory about from Vol. 2

So here we are shown that Nanimi is still alive but not so well and at the second picture you can see that a new character is being introduced.

The next series of pictures shows that Mina is once again in danger from enemies that wants to annihilate  her for good but with her loyal subjects at her side the task will be harder to accomplish as it seems. Look at the last picture in the series, those band of men on the right side is a group of men who are the best of the best and is called the Elite Eight. 8 good looking experts to protect our dear Mina and accompany Akira to Mina’s safety.

Remember the new evil chick I mentioned a while ago? It seems like she goes by the name Hesterica – overly dramatic right?- and it also seems like Vera knows her and has a past with her. Ohhh cat fight!

To summarize the rest, Hysterica will be destroyed and Mina and her subjects is once again saved but we all know that it will not stop there! 🙂 Ok, this last picture I know is not for younger readers so make sure that you are alone reading it. Remember Nanimi? It looks like she is in love with her neighbor who is actually a kid (look above) but what Mina decides with Nanimi and the kid is for you guys to find out.

Dance in the Vampire Bund, Vol. 3 is as awesome as the first 2 books but I feel like there’s something lacking here. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two but Vol. 3 is really a story changer. New characters are introduced and destroyed here so I can definitely say a lot happened and Vol. 3 is not lacking in the action area but for me it’s not enough. It’s hard to compete with the first two books but I am excited on what will happen in Vol. 4 I can’t wait!

Book Review: Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tour presents Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer

Title: Dead Radiance (Valkyrie #1)
Author: T.G. Ayer
Pages: 354
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
ISBN: 1469998165
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras – Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?


You are special in your own right. I barely knew Brunhilde when she lived. But I know you. And I admire you, Bryn. Not for your incarnation. Merely for who you are as a person. Right here and right now.

Too early for a teaser but I super loved that quote so yeah. Well, I just finished Dead Radiance and I have to say that it was good. My initial reason for reading Dead Radiance is because Norse mythology is often tackled as the other branch of mythology and it seems like Ayer wrote a very creative twist to the story (in addition to being part of the tour, teeehhee).

My “relationship” with Dead Radiance was slower than I anticipated. For one, Dead Radiance started off for me and I had a difficult time following the first few chapters. The story eventually picked up and after the struggle, I actually liked how it progressed.

Another issue was Bryn in the first few chapters. She was a character who I didn’t like – we didn’t have a “love at first read” connection. She was very depressing to read and annoying to be honest but as the story unravels Bryn character matures and this is where you’ll admire and love her.

Dead Radiance actually has a romantic flow to it and it didn’t work on my end. Aidan and Bryn wasn’t radiating that love spark needed. The author should have written a believable connection or eliminated it altogether, just saying.

I love love love the descriptive details of Dead Radiance. The supporting characters didn’t disappoint either. I would have love to read more Norse related tidbits but let’s see how Ayer would play it out on the next book.

Okay moving on, asides the points I stated above – Dead Radiance was a very enjoyable read. If you’re interested in Norse mythology, this is a great book to indulge your cravings with. It is written well and I can definitely say that Ayer is a storyteller with huge potential. And did I tell you that Dead Radiance is the first of three books? I did, did I? Anyway, I can’t wait to read more and see where Ayer will lead the story.


I was cold, like the roses on Joshua’s casket, like the muddy dark-brown soil waiting to embrace the lifeless remains of the boy who was my friend.

My fingers curled around the stem of a butter-yellow rose, knuckles tight. I blinked away the liquid burn stabbing my eyelids. I had to get out. Give him the rose. Then get the hell away.

I tried to squeeze past the old woman who guarded my route to the center aisle, glaring. Her stares slithered down my neck as I passed. I shuffled by, careful not to touch her. But she huffed, her shoulders stiff and unimpressed with my rudeness. Her disapproval slid down my back.

I straightened my pencil skirt and short coat, scraped my wet hands on my hips. I knew the cool black silk wouldn’t dry my sticky palms, but I did it anyway, needing to do something with my hands other than clutch the dead flower.

The slim heels of my pumps sank deep into wet ground. I jerked them free and swallowed, my throat aching with tears.. My best friend would soon be entombed within this sodden mush, to lie beneath Craven forever. Until his flesh fell off his bones and he turned to dust.

A cool hand tapped my shoulder.

“Bryn Halbrook. ” She spat my name, each syllable harsh, and dripping venom to match the tiny emerald flecks in her hazel eyes. “You’ve got some nerve coming here.” Cherise Barnes knew she looked good, even in drab funerary garb. She stood, a bony hip jutting out, one foot forward. The Cherise pose.

The last thing I needed was a bitch-match. Not here. I straightened, pulling my jacket closer in the face of this poisonous storm. Her eyes widened as I drew to my full height. Guess Cherise forgot it wasn’t easy to intimidate a person who was a full head taller. I stared down at her.


“Perhaps you should leave.” She tapped the foot. “Now.”

“I am leaving, as soon as I pay my respects. You are holding me up.”

A streak of red colored her cheeks. She avoided my eyes, then addressed my ear. “You shouldn’t have come in the first place. You aren’t welcome here.”

She wasn’t backing off and I knew why. Cherise was The Body here in Craven. Not the body to die for, though, as most guys didn’t need to go that far to sample Cherise. Joshua had belonged to her, and she’d lost him. Lost him to me. Or so she thought.

I brushed past Cherise, had no patience for her any more. I fingered the bandage on my temple, touched the braid tied at my nape so my deep red hair wouldn’t tangle in the stitches on my scalp. The slight movement shifted my hair and the wound stung, releasing a flash of memory.

White light, blinding, sears my eyes.

Brighter now. Bright enough to hurt.

Tires squeal, harsh screams rip at my eardrums.

I swallowed a gasp, shoving the memory out of my head.

I had to get a grip.

I’d survived and he hadn’t. It didn’t matter anymore. The only person who’d supported me had died on me.

I’d known he would die. And I’d done nothing to stop it.

As I neared Joshua’s parents, they threw me weak and teary smiles, which made the dam of tears inside my own heart yearn to burst free. Even in their time of grief, they’d been so concerned about me, asking if I’d recovered enough to get out of the hospital, if I’d grieved enough, let it all out.

No one shared their concern, not last week and not today. Claws of ice scraped up and down my back. Again. More accusing stares. Too many eyes. More heads turning. Whispers. I ignored them. Concentrated on anything else but those voices. Cars passing by at the bottom of the hill. People going about their daily lives, neither knowing nor caring that a friend and a son and a brother was about to be consigned to the dead earth of Craven.

Stepping closer to the coffin I sucked in a sob; the hollow in my gut grew harder, more painful, as I stared at the shining black casket.

Roses trailed the ebony lid, droplets of color scattered across its gleaming surface by a careless yet artful hand. Eternity crept by while the box descended into the dark mouth of the grave.

The rainbow of color shivered, slim green stems entangled on the curve of the lid. One rose, bright, blood red, slid off, as the coffin moved deeper and deeper.

Ice sliced through my veins.

Piercing to the bone and to the soul.

Blank, grey afternoon skies shed occasional tears for Joshua O’Connell. The casket lurched, then continued its descent. I gave in. Better give him the rose, a little piece of me to take with him.

I choked on a breath, swallowing a wave of nausea.

Metal shrieks, grating in a lurid embrace. Deafening.

Sparks spit, ozone coats the back of my throat.

Gasoline fumes creep up my nostrils, burning, suffocating.

I stopped at the edge of the gaping wound in the earth. Something felt wrong. Inside the grave, the black box came to rest within deep grasping shadows. Darkness simmered, broken by a line of glimmering, golden light that seeped through the edges of the casket.

He still glowed and I was still helpless.

My fingers uncurled their desperate grip on the rose and it fell, tilting, to drop head first onto the coffin, twirling as it descended into the eerie depths. It hit the lid and shattered. Petals flew in all directions and everywhere yellow scraps of the dismembered flower reflected Joshua’s iridescent light.

I turned, eager to flee.

Not possible. Not in heels, which sank into the mushy soil as if the soft earth itself yearned to claim me. Not when mourners had risen from their seats and were lining up to toss soil and tributes onto the casket. I struggled for breath, my heart knocking double, triple time like an angry jackhammer abandoned in my chest.

I steered a path through the crowd. Ignored a young man in the middle row whose skin held the first yellow specks of iridescence. Who was he? Did it even matter who he was? I sighed. It wouldn’t be much longer for him anyway. I ignored the woman with the red-rimmed eyes, holding onto his arm. I didn’t want to see him patting her pale hand and giving her that watery smile.

Will she be alone, like me, when he’s gone? Who will pat her hand then?

Turning away, I kept walking. Didn’t want to look anymore. Didn’t want to see any more glowing people.

I breached the throng and paused to breathe.

To wait for my erratic heartbeat to slow down.

To forget I left my friend behind, alone in the unforgiving ground.



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I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other’s loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*