Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review of Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension

Book Review of Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension
Sponsored by Enchanted

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Book blurbs and covers
Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension
Can you see the story breathing?

What happens if after the winter solstice, the days keep getting shorter?

And shorter?

Until there is an eternal night?

What happens as the darkness grows?

And the creatures of dusk take control of the Mountain?

And the quest for the third Book is the only hope?

The Mountain is in its death throes as the Nazir send their wraiths to finish what the dusk-rats and grale had begun. Soon there will be no daylight to protect the Maelir and Faemir, and with each twilight there are fewer places to hide. Will the Mountain finally collapse under its own instability or will Atreu and Verlinden’s descent find the words of salvation in the Lost Book of Ascension?

Zenith – The First Book of Ascension
Can you see the story breathing?

A mountain so great it takes a year to travel from base to summit

A sun so powerful it drives you into madness if you look at it

An ascent so vital it determines the fate of the world
A summit so precious it holds the key to the divine

The world of the great Mountain is unstable. Giant pillars erupt from the surface and yawning chasms form unpredictably underfoot. Since the Maelir first stood on its slopes in the distant past, they have sought to still its anger and control its power. Each year, twin brothers are chosen to make a perilous journey to the summit. If they survive they will be witness to Zenith, and the secrets will be revealed to them.

When Atreu and Teyth embark on their Ascent, their Talismans lead them onto conflicting paths that will ultimately set brother against brother. And this time the Ascent itself is in peril as unknown forces that have long craved the power of Zenith will stop at nothing to make it their own even if it means destroying the very thing that sustains all life the Mountain itself.

Equinox – The Second Book of Ascension

Can you see the story breathing?

The Keep

The most beautiful city on the great Mountain
The pinnacle of Maelir culture
The home of the Inner Sanctum
The place where secrets hide

The fate of the Mountain hangs in balance at the time of Equinox, and even the Keep can no longer remain untouched. The Maelir are desperate to defend it, the Faemir to demolish it, the windriders to claim it. But unknown to them all, a dark force has already emerged from the chaos to seize power.

As Atreu and Verlinden strive to decipher the power of the Talisman that has defined Atreu’s Ascent, Teyth and Valkyra are locked in a desperate battle that neither of them can win. At a time when darkness and light are in perfect equilibrium, when Maelir and Faemir must find a way to break the deadlock and avoid annihilation, the world’s fate lies in the Book of Ascension.

Author Bio

Dirk Strasser  Biographical Note

Dirk Strasser has written over 30 books for major publishers in Australia and is an Active Member of the SFWA. He has won multiple Australian Publisher Association Awards, a Ditmar for Best Professional Achievement, and has been short-listed for the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards a number of times. His short story, “The Doppelgänger Effect”, appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology, Dreaming Down Under. His acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Ascension – including Zenith and Equinox – was originally published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and by Heyne Verlag in Germany and has been re-published by the Macmillan Momentum imprint, this time including the “lost” third book. His fiction has been translated into a number of languages. His short stories include “The Jesus Particle“ in Cosmos magazine, “Stories of the Sand” in Realms of Fantasy, and “The Vigilant” in Fantasy magazine.  His most recent sale was “The Mandelbrot Bet” to the 2014 Tor anthology Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi. He founded the Aurealis Awards and has co-published and co-edited Aurealis magazine for over 20 years.


Twitter: @DirkStrasser

Buy the books!

Book Excerpts
The wind hit him like a wave of raw fear. Before him stood a pale man with shredded clothes flailing wildly behind him. The left side of his face had been clawed away. ‘Help me,’ the man cried in a voice that no human lungs could produce.
As the man reached out for him with knotted fingers, the shrieking filled Atreu’s head and he froze, unable to move even the smallest muscle. He felt himself being pulled back into the cabin, and before he knew it, he was lying on the floorboards and Verlinden had closed and bolted the cabin door again.
‘Did you see him?’ cried Atreu.
‘You’re still trying to tell me Riell was out there?’
‘No, the man with half a face.’
‘I saw nothing, Atreu. There was no one there.’
Atreu started trembling uncontrollably.
Verlinden led him back to the bunk and pulled the blanket over them.
Atreu immediately felt the pain in his head ease. ‘You didn’t see anyone, Verlinden?’
‘Then I am going mad.’
‘You can’t be if you think you are – hold on to that.’
Slowly, Atreu’s tremors subsided. ‘I’m sorry, Verlinden. How could I have endangered you like that?’
‘Don’t concern yourself, Atreu. Let’s just see if we can survive this.’
Atreu fought the painful shriek still keening inside his head. He closed his eyes and felt Verlinden pulling him closer so that her face touched his. He reached up to stroke her other cheek. With a shock he realised it had the pits and troughs of a furrowed field. He screamed and jumped back to see he had been embracing the half-faced man. He scrambled to the bunk on the other side of the cabin and felt someone jump on top of him with a blanket, pinning him to the bunk.
‘Atreu, stay calm. Just stay under the blanket.’ Verlinden’s voice cut through the maddening shriek.
Atreu’s breaths gradually eased. ‘Did you see him?’
‘No, there is no one here but the two of us.’
‘Can I see your face?’
‘Please, Atreu, I don’t want to lose you.’
Atreu tried to shake her off, but couldn’t. ‘I need to see your face.’
‘All right, Atreu. I have a blanket over me as well, so I’ll have to lift it off.
Let’s do this quickly.’
Atreu felt the weight shift from him, and he raised a corner of his blanket.
Verlinden’s eyes were wild and her expression grim, but it was her. As the shriek inside him started to grow again he pulled the blanket back over his head.
‘Verlinden, please keep talking to me. It helps,’ he said, taking comfort from the weight of her body on his.
There was no response.
‘Verlinden, did you hear me?’
Nothing – except she seemed to shift subtly.
‘Please …’ his plea trailed away as a chill shuddered through him.
When Verlinden finally spoke, he lost consciousness before she finished the last word.
‘Atreu, there’s someone on top of me.’


This is still a very difficult series to read.  It is, at times, difficult to understand and at other times shows great truths.  I read it and find myself wondering if I like it or not, which is a strange way to read a least for me. 

I recommend reading these books for yourself.  I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.  It is well written and really makes you think for yourself.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Book Review of Muffin Man

Book Review of Muffin Man
Sponsored by Virtual Author Book Tour

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Publisher: Analytical Media, Inc. (October 1, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1480078062
Category: Political Thriller
Tour Dates: March, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook368 pages
The President’s wife has a premonition, setting in motion a transatlantic story of love, sex and betrayal.
Set against a backdrop of drug dealing, covert political manipulation and murder the Muffin Man is an authentic and atmospheric tale from the 1970s. Based on real events, the story begins with a premonition that leads to the formation of a secretive political organisation. The plot unfolds in twists and turns through the ordinary lives of innocents who are sucked into an accelerating and dangerous vortex of drug dealing, assassination and murder.
A former high-flying US Army Colonel, his alienated daughter, an accidental drug dealer, his beautiful but manipulative girlfriend and a corrupt police inspector all become sucked into the secretive organisation, initiating a succession of assassinations. Rewards lead to arrogance and an early death, or do they?
The “Muffin Man” motion picture is under development by Analytical Media.  The scripting is now complete so expect further announcements soon.
Praise for Muffin Man:

“The Muffin Man is an authentic and atmospheric tale from the 1970s, mostly set in the UK and the east coast of the USA. The tale begins with a premonition that leads to the formation of a secretive political organisation, but the story unfolds in twists and turns through the ordinary lives of innocents who are sucked into an accelerating and dangerous vortex of drug dealing, assassination and murder that leads up to the present day.  Solid writing and interesting plot. Good characters, dialogue and pacing. Worth a read.”-James A. Anderson, Author of DEADLINE, and The Scorpion
“I really liked the era the book was set in and enjoyed discovering the personalities behind various characters. My favourite was the inspector.”-Amazon Reviewer

“The novel is a complex story about the damaging effects of war on an individual and his family. One of the main characters `Ed’ has demons to wrestle with and this alienates him from his daughter `Anne’, who ends up running away and unknowingly working for her dad’s secretive organization. There are several complex relationships throughout the novel, which all gravitate around drugs, sex, politics and cross between countries over time.  My favorite character was David as he was likeable and reminded me of similar people I have met in my own life. I can only hope that their private lives are as intriguing and complex. All of the main protagonists were believable and were well developed.  The story bounced back and forth between the UK and the US and there was sufficient twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.  I particularly liked the ending and certainly didn’t guess it until the last few pages. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy political themes, complex relationships between characters and twists and turns.  I would certainly consider reading more books by this author.”-Lisa C., Amazon Reviewer

About Stephan Collina:

Stephan Collina grew up in the 1970s: a troubled time of recession, poverty, industrial disruption, political tension and terrorism. But for younger people, it was also a post-1960s wide-flared, drug-enhanced and extravagant-haired innocence.
Stephan later became a prominent businessman, acquainted with a number of high-ranking politicians. Stephen ran international technology businesses, spending a great deal of time in the USA and various European and African countries.
The Muffin Man grew from a combination of these unique experiences: his early knowledge of the sometime innocent business of drug dealing (although he never inhaled), and of the much dirtier businesses of covert political and military action, and of international business practices.
Stephan’s first novel explored the nefarious and complicated emotional and sexual relationships of a remote village in Wales, where he had spent his early years.
Stephan holds a degree in Philosophy. He is also a qualified commercial ship’s captain. He now lives quietly by the sea, and concentrates on his writing and related filmmaking activities.

Buy Muffin Man:

Follow the Tour:

So Many Precious Books  Mar 17 Giveaway & Spotlight
Room With Books Mar 18 Excerpt & Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 19 Review
Books, Books, & More Books Mar 20 Review- Postponed
Literary, etc Mar 21 Guest Post & Giveaway
Reader’s Muse Mar 24 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 25 Guest Post & Giveaway
Reader’s Muse Mar 26 Guest Post
Ordinary Girlz Book Reviews Mar 27 Review
Ordinary Girlz Book Reviews Mar 28 Guest Post
Tic Toc Mar 31 Review
Manic Mama of 2 Apr 1 Review
Cassandra M’s Place Apr 2 Review & Giveaway
So Many Precious Books Apr 15 Review
Sweeps for Bloggers  Apr 18 Review


Super creepy concept about who and what are behind world events.  The basic premise is that war is horrible and damaging to people and that some people end up irrevocably change in a not good way by what they experience in war and that this impacts their whole life, including their families.  It is also a story about redemption as some characters are able to rise above their past and become better people.  It is definitely a book to make you think.

I give this book 4 clouds and strongly recommend that everyone who has ever been impacted by war and destruction read the book.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Book Review of Her Loving Husband's Curse

Book Review of Her Loving Husband's Curse
        Sponsored by Virtual Author Book Tours

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Publisher Copperfield Press (April 25, 2012)
Series: Loving Husband, #2 (trilogy)
Category: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Some Historical
Tour Date: April, 2014
ISBN: 978-0615613680
Available in: Print & ebook,  300 Pages
And then, as if he could read her mind, he said, “We’ll be all right, Sarah. Just the two of us. I’ll never leave you ever.”
Finally, after many long and lonely years, James Wentworth’s life is falling into place. Together with his wife, Sarah, the only woman he has ever loved, he has found the meaning behind her nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials and now they are rebuilding the life they began together so long ago.
But the past is never far behind for the Wentworths. While Sarah is haunted by new visions, now about the baby she carried over three hundred years before, James is confronted with painful memories from his time with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.
Through it all, the persistent reporter Kenneth Hempel reappears, still determined to prove that the undead walk the earth. If  Hempel succeeds in his quest, James and Sarah will suffer. Will the curse of the vampire prevent James and Sarah from living their happily ever after?
Her Loving Husband’s Curse is Book Two of The Loving Husband Trilogy. Book One, Her Dear & Loving Husband, and Book Three, Her Loving Husband’s Return, are also available from Copperfield Press.
Read the Prologue below

Praise for Her Loving Husband’s Curse:
“I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy and have been looking forward to reading the second. I really didn’t want the first one to end.  So much happened in this story I was completely wrapped up in it. I found myself getting teary eyed more than once and this time not because I was happy like before but because what was happening to James and Sarah was pretty devastating.  Needless to say, I don’t want to give any more away but I will say this, I am anxiously awaiting the last book in the trilogy. I feel like I have become invested in James, Sarah, Jennifer, Olivia and the whole groups lives. I want to know what happens next and I want my happily ever after darn it!”-Kindlemom, My Healthy Obession

“Filled with research, real events and a plot that is so interesting you won’t stop reading it until you are finished once again author Meredith Allard pens a five star novel which brings to light the issues of friendship, loyalty, prejudice, hate, deceit, lies and true love. Which prevails? Read the book and decide for yourself.”- Fran Lewis, Gabina49′s Blog

“I must say I was absolutely blown away with the first two books in this amazing trilogy. It has everything I love to read about, vampires, witches, Salem, mystery, a great love story, magic, werewolves, and twists & turns like you would never see coming cause I didn’t.  It always impresses me when an author puts so much time and effort into their research and writes with accurate times, dates and the stories being told are accurate as well.   Leading into book two it wasn’t just another story about vampires, werewolves and witches. It was much more than that, yes it’s a Paranormal novel but it also tells of a story that can be very much related to today’s times, of what other cultures have to go through when their culture is not understood and people are scared of what they have heard through gossip or word of mouth, not by getting to know a person and understanding for themselves, seeing a person for who they really are not what they are.  I really did not want the story to end, I was bonding with the characters, with their situation, cheering on their love story and for the fairy tale ending, but of course it being the second book I was left with a cliffhanger that left my jaw hanging open. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the last chapter. I can’t wait for the third book to come out and hope it’s soon. This really is a must read and I know you will all enjoy it as much as I did!!!“-Natalie, Purple Jelly Bean Reviews

“First off, let me say that this book was phenomenal. It incorporates some of my favorite things: vampires, witches, and love.  Throughout the novel, there are snippets from letters James had written to his deceased wife, and mostly centered around the US government’s rounding up of Indians to be put on reservations and the “Trail of Tears.” I particularly loved this part, because it incorporated real, historical fact into this novel. Fact that sets up the remainder of the book, and facts that we were never taught in school.  The book moves pretty fast, and I couldn’t put it down. It was a testament to true love, and that love will find you wherever you are.  A very enjoyable book that everyone should read!“-Jennifer Irving, Mis-Adventures of a Twin Mommy
About Meredith Allard:

Meredith Allard has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction workshops at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Wild Mind, Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Maxwell Digest, CarbLite, Writer’s Weekly, and ViewsHound. She is the author of the Loving Husband Trilogy, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit


Meredith online at

Buy Her Loving Husband’s Curse:

Follow the Tour:

Indie Reviews Behind the Scenes March 15 Live Interview 11 am cst
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Mar 31 Spotlight & Giveaway
Cassandra M’s Place Apr 1 Review
Mina’s Bookshelf Apr 1 Guest Post
Giveaways & Glitter Apr  2 Review
TalkSupe Apr 3 Review, Interview & Giveaway
Aspired Writer Apr 9 Review
Aspired Writer Apr 9 Interview
Genuine Jenn Apr 10 Review
Peeking Between the Pages Apr 11 Review & Giveaway
From the TBR Pile Apr 14 Review
My Devotional Thoughts Apr 15 Review
My Devotional Thoughts Apr 16 Guest Post & Giveaway
Bookalicious Traveladdict Apr 18 Guest Post & Giveaway
Mom With Kindle Apr 22 Review
The News in Books Apr  23 Review
The News in Books Apr 23 Guest Post
Deal Sharing Aunt Apr  24 Review
Deal Sharing Aun tApr 28 Guest Post
Luxury Reading Apr 25 Review & Giveaway
Ashley’s Bookshelf Apr,28 Review
Melissa’s Midnight Musings Apr 30 Review
Amber Stults – Reviewer and Writer Apr 30 Review
Celestial Reviews May 2 Review
Celestial Reviews May 2 Guest Post  & Giveway


I am among the masses as they limp and drag toward some foreign place they are afraid to imagine. Even in the dimness of the nearly moonless night the exhaustion, the sickness, the fear is everywhere in their swollen faces. The weaker among them, the very old and the very sick, the very young and the very frail, are driven in wagons steered by ill-tempered soldiers. The riders are not better off than the walkers, their sore, screaming bodies bumped and jostled by the wobbly wheels over the unsteady forest terrain. No one notices as a few drop like discarded rags from the wagon to the ground.

“Here!” I cry. “Let me help you. I will find water for you to drink.”

But they pass me without looking. They see nothing, hear nothing. They walk. That is all they are. Walk. That is their name. Walk. Or “Move!” That is what the soldiers scream in their faces. They struggle under the weight of the few bags they carry and stumble under the musket butts slapped into their backs. And still they do not see me.

I wave my hands in the air and yell to make myself heard over the thumping of thousands of feet.

“Here!” I cry. “Who needs something to eat?”

I push myself into the center of the mass. Men in turbans and tunics, women with their long black hair pulled from their faces as they clutch their toddlers—all focus their eyes on a horizon too far away. One old man, unsteady under the weight of the pack he carries, stumbles over some rocks and he falls. The soldiers beat him with their muskets—their futile attempt to make him stand. The man tries to push himself up but cannot, so the soldiers try the whip instead. The old man prostrates himself on the ground, arms out, face away. He has accepted that this is how he will die.

“Step around him!” the soldiers bark. And they do step around him, their eyes straight ahead. They do not see the old man any more than they see me. To acknowledge the fallen elder would force them to admit that his fate is their fate and they will all die here among unknown land and foreign trees. The old man does not stir. He does not lift his head or seem to breathe. And the people pass him by. When they stop to make their encampment for the night, the old man does not arrive.

I throw my hands into the air again, my frustration boiling the blood in my brain. “Let me help you! Why will you not listen to me?”

“Because they cannot see you.”

I have seen the man before—his blue tunic, his white turban, his solemn bearing—and he has seen me. He is an elder, his hair silver, his face a ridged map of everything he has seen, every thought he has had, every prayer he has said. There is wisdom behind his wary glance and oh so tired eyes.

“That’s ridiculous,” I say. “I am standing here among them.”

The old man shakes his head. “You are the Kalona Ayeliski. They cannot see you.”

“The what?”

“The Kalona Ayeliski. They cannot see the Raven Mocker.”

I watch the walkers, hundreds of them, their heads bowed under the weight of losing their possessions, their land, their ancestors, everything they had in this world and beyond, and I realize the man is right. They do not see me. They have never seen me.

“What is a Raven Mocker?” I ask.

“An evil spirit. All the Raven Mocker cares for is prolonging its own life force, and it feeds from others to do it. It tortures the dying and hastens their deaths so it can consume their hearts. The Raven Mocker receives one year of life for every year its victim would have lived.”

“I am no Raven Mocker. I mean harm to no one.”


I turn away, watching the families reuniting after the long day’s walk, children crying for their mothers, husbands searching for their wives. They are setting up their campsites, eating the meager gruel and drinking the few drops of water given them. I cannot meet the man’s eyes.

“Not for a long time,” I say. When the man’s stare bores through me, pricking me somewhere I cannot name, I shrug. “I do not hasten death in anyone,” I say. “Not anymore.”

“We shall see,” he says.


Such a great second book in a trilogy, but sad…  Oh how I cried.  I cannot wait to read book 3 because if anyone deserves a happy ending it is these three.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.