#Review “The King of FU” by Benjamin Davis

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5/5 Stars!

Coming-of-age stories are generally personal experiences and observations told through the eyes of one character. They can be heartfelt, emotional and even insightful, but still, it’s one person’s journey.

The King of FU is all those things, and more.

The narrator has a natural curiosity and endless questions, but he also has explanations.

Don’t expect those explanations to be delivered with childlike, wide-eyed curiosity and innocence though.

They’re irreverent, sarcastic, profane… and spot on!

Separated by a generation in age, the author’s childhood journey and musings were relatable to my own. We didn’t have the advent of technology, but upgrading televisions from black and white to color was a huge deal.

Covering topics from sibling rivalry to family pets, extended family, and parochial school, this read is too cute and humorous.

Sections about the opposite sex, masturbation, and porn are jaw-dropping and hilarious.

The King’s recollections of friendships and suicide made me stop and think… and not necessarily about the past.

But my favorite part is the King’s descriptions and relationships with his parents-the Computer Science Major and the Insurance Underwriter. Their names will change, as he changes, but it’s when the Computer Science Major, who has morphed into the Homeopathic Doctor, becomes MOTHER, I cheered. Great scene! *Waves goodbye to the Big Red-Headed Mutant!*

The King isn’t as out of step with life as he believes and appears to have a better grasp on life than some adults.

Which is the cusp of the problem—the King doesn’t understand the big deal about being an adult when most spend so much time behaving badly.

The King of FU is unique because it is not written in a traditional book format. It’s also not poetry, prose, rhythmic or metered. And while certain words may wear quotation marks, exclamation points, and question marks for emphasis, this read is punctuation light. I can remember three periods offhand and one of those is at the end of the book.

However, the lack of punctuation doesn’t hinder or confuse. The author’s delivery enhances the story and I don’t believe it would have the same impact if written in a regular book format.

From dead squirrels to childhood mishaps, to learning to drive, this short read can be enjoyed by all readers, regardless of preferred genre, because if you look past the horns and fur, you just may see a bit of yourself.

Enjoy!

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The King of FU is a magically realistic poetic memoir about growing up in America in the nineties on the cusp of the age of the internet. It is a voyage that navigates through family tribalism, supervisors, white-gloved Sheriffs, bullies, sex, suicide, dead prisoners, drugs, porn, middle school, and Jesus; all in search of answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: what is the point of adults? This artistic masterpiece comes from the mind of author Benjamin Davis with illustrations by Russian artist Nikita Klimov.

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#Review “Consuming Fire” by Catherine Fearns

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4/5 Stars!

When the opening scene includes spontaneous human combustion, you know you’re in for a wild ride.

And that’s exactly what Consuming Fire is.

As law enforcement and first responders (shadowed by bureaucrats) investigate first the burning of animals… and then humans, DI Darren Swift can’t ignore his gut feeling there’s something else in play and contacts former Calvinist nun, Helen Hope.

Scarred by his cultish, religious upbringing, Darren is still surprised at the peace and comfort he finds in Helen’s presence, and the willingness with which he believes in the supernatural and occult implications connected to his investigation.

Unfortunately, he can’t share his supernatural theory with his team, lest they think him insane, or with fiancé, Matt, who believes in nothing connected to religion.

Consuming Fire weaves the biblical and mythological story of Adramalech, servant of Satan, who plotted to raise himself above Satan… and God into the mysterious deaths by fire at the center of the story.

Is he real or mythology? Is he the god of fire, demanding those who serve him to sacrifice all to fire?

If he isn’t real why does someone appear to be trying to bring about his prophecy? Where are those voices on the phone coming from?

Darren’s job is hindered by his life crisis—does he want to continue in law enforcement, and crisis of conscious—is he rushing into marriage?

Helen Hope, still teaching, is re-discovering life and the things she missed the last ten years she spent behind the doors of the convent.

She also has thoughts—okay, lots of thoughts—about Mikko, but alas, our favorite death metal musician doesn’t appear in this story.

There is more character development of Darren’s team—Collette, Dave, and Baz, and maybe… just maybe, Cantor (Darren’s boss) isn’t the witchy bureaucrat she seems to be.

After finishing this read, I sat for nearly an hour thinking about all I’d read.

Wow. Just… wow. Mind blown.

Detailed and well-written, Consuming Fire may make you consider the possibilities of the supernatural and occult, regardless of which side of the theological line you fall on, but it will definitely scare the hell out of you.

But you won’t stop reading.

Don’t expect this read to end in justice with a neatly tied bow. There is frustration and sadness as someone won’t make it to book 3, but you will… in search of the reason behind the Lumina 2 fire, and the ritual Justine performs.

There has to be a logical explanation, right?

Get ready for book 3 and download this smart read today.

Enjoy!

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Consuming Fire coverWhat Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen…

Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.

A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.

Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?

Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.

In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s reality….

Purchase Link  

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 G I V E A W A Y

Win a signed copy of Consuming Fire, Consuming Fire stationery, and a cuddly peacock!

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E N T E R

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#Review “HWY 550 (Rock Point Book 3)” by Freya Barker

Title: HWY 550
Author: Freya Barker
Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: February 17th, 2019
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

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4.5/5 Stars!

It’s been a while since I got lost in a good MC (motorcycle club) read and HWY 550 proved itself to be a good choice.

A rash of violent robberies leads FBI agent Luna Roosberg to team up with MC president Ouray. It’s her case, and a gun used in one of the robberies belongs to Ouray. They’re not unacquainted with each other and their contempt… and attraction to each other is hard to hide.

These two flawed characters blend like oil and vinegar at first, but soon find out they’re more alike than they care to admit.

Ouray was a stray who grew up in the club. As its president, he’s moved the club away from illegal activities and into legitimate businesses, which is why finding out his gun was involved in one of the robberies isn’t sitting too well with him.

After suffering a violent attack in college, the diminutive Luna is closed off and tightly wound. Her existence is restless and her job the only thing which keeps her grounded.

Ouray and Luna are a great pairing, and it’s been a few books since I felt true chemistry between a couple and not something forced and formulaic.

I like my heroes and heroines smart, confident, and human, meaning, no one is right or in control all the time and you have to know when to let go.

These two got it right. They have passion not just for each other, but for their jobs and those closest to them.

I bumped heads with Luna a few times—I felt she was trying too hard. But I believe she did too, and a shifting mindset worked in her favor and won me over.

Good character development and plot keep the story moving forward without info dumps or loose ends. Suspense, multiple suspects and plot twists you don’t see coming make this a page-turner, but Sorrynotsorry about Rowtag, Britney deserved worse, welcome Jack, and everyone needs a Momma in their lives.

Familiar faces from the On Call series blend into HWY 550 and lend a few laughs and stellar support.

I definitely recommend this read.

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Special Agent Luna Roosberg lives and breathes her job. Who needs a personal life when work is so rewarding?
When a new case sends her to investigate a local motorcycle club, covering as the president’s new flavor of the week, the lines between professional and personal quickly start to blur.
Although the Arrow’s Edge MC stays mostly on the right side of the law since Ouray took the gavel, the appearance of the feds at their gate can still rattle his cage.
When a string of robberies points squarely in Ouray’s direction, he’s forced to cooperate and put the blonde, prim and proper half-pint on the back of his bike.
With pressure mounting both in—and outside—the club, Ouray no longer knows who he can trust, except the woman who is shaking up his life—and stirring his blood.

 

 

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#Review “Healing His Medic (The Protectors #1)” by Nana Prah

Title: Healing His Medic

Series: The Protectors #1

Author: Nana Prah

Genre: Adult, Military Suspense Romance

Published: September 19, 2018

Page Count: 200 Pages

Published by: Love Africa Press

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5/5 Stars!

I read the last twenty-five pages of Healing His Medic with a smile on my face. And, that was after reading the rest of the book nodding my head and pumping my fist in the air.

Comfort Djan is the heroine I’ve been waiting for.

Heartbreaking loss has left her scarred and with deep-seated fears that make night-time the enemy, but as a former army reservist, and a medical doctor, Comfort is cool, calm, and committed.

Until she encounters Commander Akin Solarin.

From humble beginnings, Akin’s commitment to his job and his love for the sea come before everything, until he meets Comfort.

When Comfort and Akin are forced to work together, the gruff military man takes quiet pride in her strength but knows it masks pain he wishes he could release her from.

While Comfort Djan sees herself as nothing special and struggles with survivor’s guilt, others can’t help but see her intelligence and confidence in her abilities. There are those who immediately discount and underestimate her… and yes, objectify her, but she takes it all in stride, undeterred from her job. She’s not snippy, sassy, or whiny, but angering her is not something anyone should do.

Although Akin positions himself as Comfort’s protector, he soon comes to realize she doesn’t need saving, she needs forgiveness… from herself. Determined to protect her from the dangers of his job and the merciless pirates of the sea, no one saw the danger closest to them.

I loved everything about Healing His Medic. Two people with high emotional walls, see in each other what they hide from the world. The growing relationship between Comfort and Akin isn’t a battle of the sexes or even of wills… they’re each their own worst enemy battling with self, afraid to believe they can have it all.

The story weaves its way to a great ending full of compromise and partnership all for love.

I’ve read several books by this author over the last few years and enjoyed their African settings and cultural flare, but this one is different (and my favorite)—she’s gone to the next level with the slow build and suspense. This is another of those reads I volunteered to review an ARC… and purchased the book before I reached the end.

You should download it too!

Enjoy!

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Doctor Comfort Djan is looking for salvation after a tragic accident, which takes her to deprived regions where her skills heal the helpless. Until Fate thrusts her as a medic on board a West African military coastal protection ship. Proving herself to the male-only crew is nothing compared to being near one intense naval officer who has her feeling something other than her survivor’s guilt.

Commander Akin Solarin wants nothing more than to do his job, especially when his medic’s temporary replacement turns out to be a disconcerting woman who pushes all his buttons. He runs a tight ship, and doesn’t need captivating and efficient yet aloof Comfort around to keep his heart-rate in semi-permanent overdrive.

Neither can deny the attraction between them, but navigating uncharted personal waters may be the least of their problems when confronted with bold pirate attacks and other vicious unknown dangers onboard the frigate. And when Comfort’s life gets on the line, Akin knows he will do anything to save his medic and heal her battered heart in the process.

 

 

 

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#Review “Whisper to Me” by Sherrie Lowe

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3/5 Stars

Interesting premise.

A wife secures a promise from her husband to never remarry in the event of her death. He agrees just to calm her fears and move away from the morbid subject.

Then she dies.

He remarries.

And Ghost-wife doesn’t like it one bit.

Theo Stanyer doesn’t believe in ghosts, but his new wife, Sheena, is insistent the spirit of his first wife, Tish, is terrorizing her.

Could it be true?

My first thought was how selfish of Tish to want her marriage to extend past till death do us part, instead of wanting her husband to be happy… even if it meant remarrying. But it’s hard to work up any sympathy for wife #2–the slovenly Sheena, when her crude, vindictive character and determination to keep her hooks in Theo are revealed.

Theo’s a decent man who lost the love of his life then dedicated a decade to raising his two children alone. Now they’re finding their own paths in life, he wants to move on from mourning and be happy again.

Not bloody likely when he’s caught between two mean wives, one alive… and the other not so much.

Unique characterizations of both wives–while they’re polar opposites, Tish and Sheena still have much in common, and I found myself only caring about Tish through the memories of Theo and their children, and I never cared about Sheena at all.

Twenty-year-old Saskia still lives at home, has nothing but contempt for her new stepmother, and shows it every chance she gets. Twenty-three-year-old Ross lives with his girlfriend and seldom comes around. Theo feels the loss of his once-close relationship with his children but he’s hopeful Sheena and his children with eventually get along. At first.

The story takes a wild arc as Saskia’s life and journey to love plays out. The back and forth between her story-line and what is happening inside the Stanyer home was a disconnect for me and much of the time it felt like two different stories that only gelled when Theo was in the scene. Even the seance (sans Theo) felt pointless because it only serves to bring the young people together and doesn’t tell us anything new about Tish.

There appears to be a resolution concerning Sheena and happiness in Theo’s future, but will Tish allow it?

As a supernatural read, Whisper to Me is spot on! I was caught up in the malevolent anger of Tish, and the fear, stubbornness and scheming of Sheena. My heart broke for Theo’s frustration and self-doubt. And the bedroom scene where he loses it? Go, Theo!

But weaving Saskia’s love story through the read watered down the main story-line, slowed the pace, stalled the suspense… and didn’t work for me. Her story is a good one, but her extremes from being totally in love to I hate Sheena were exhausting and added nothing to this story. There was a battle of wills in play and I would liked to have seen more of that battle–Tish vs.  Sheena–instead of Saskia and Richie trying to hook up their besties.

The ending is abrupt and resolves little, which means I have to wait for the next book to see if Tish is still behaving badly, and I’m just not sure if I’m invested enough to continue.

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A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK     |     Amazon US    |     Smashwords

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#Review “Into the Light” Darcia Helle

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5/5 Stars!

Thoroughly enjoyed this supernatural tale! This is my first time reading this author, but it won’t be my last!

Maxwell Paddington sucks at life. He’s teased and bullied as a kid, passed over for promotions several times as an adult, and his wife, Rachel, wants a divorce.

Then he’s murdered outside Chili’s.

Max is incredulous he’s now a ghost. Who wouldn’t be?

Convinced Rachel had him killed because he bought an expensive set of golf clubs, Max can’t prove it because no one can see or hear him until he encounters private investigator Joe Cavelli in Chili’s parking lot.

When a forgotten secret from Joe’s childhood is revealed, this unlikely duo forms a reluctant partnership to find out who killed Max and why.

Into the Light is appropriately titled and not just for the bright light at the end of life—even though Max’s grandpa and a host of familiar… and not so familiar deceased people all try to coax Max into the light—but because of the enlightenment both men receive as Joe interviews people from Max’s life.

Alive and dead, both men, so entrenched in their own convictions about people and life, come to realize living life in a vacuum isn’t living at all. Focusing on life will make you miss the moments that make up life.

Moments like: when Max meets a homeless man he once helped; when Joe meets Max’s parents; when Max is confronted by his deceased favorite aunt, and when Joe talks to Rachel. (Warning: Have tissues close by!)

Stellar writing makes this read a page-turner not so much to find out whodunit, but who said it, because whether it’s a snarky moment or emotions running high, the banter between Joe and Max is perfect. The men see a little of themselves in each other. Max takes it to heart, but Joe is a lot more stubborn… and heartbroken.

When the killer and his motive are revealed, Max isn’t as happy as he should be… because he still has unfinished business.

Into the Light is also one of those books that will linger long after it’s finished. It will lead you to consider if you’re consumed with the shoulda-coulda-wouldas of life or enjoying what you have with a heart of gratitude.

With its relatable characters and satisfying ending, I give Into the Light my highest recommendation. Download this one today!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

Max Paddington refuses to go into the light until he finds his killer. This presents a dilemma, since Max is even less competent as a spirit than he was as a live person. No one sees or hears him and he can’t manage to get anywhere or do anything on his own.

Joe Cavelli is a private investigator, living an ordinary life. Then one day he walks across a parking lot, gets yelled at by a ghost, and his life only gets stranger from there.

Max and Joe team up to find Max’s killer. In the process, they form an unlikely friendship and change each other’s lives in ways they never expected.

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Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: July 14th 2011
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 146364020X (ISBN13: 9781463640200)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible

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#Review “The Forgotten Children” by Isabella Muir

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4/5 Stars!

Forgotten Children deals with the loss of children on several levels through varying circumstances.

Little more than a child herself, Emily Carpenter gives birth at sixteen and is forced to give her son up for adoption.

Consumed with grief and feeling betrayed by her parents, Emily runs away and begins a new life on her own, and consequentially, the Carpenters lose their daughter.

Though she moves on, Emily never forgot about her child. I would go as far to say that even though she becomes a successful author of children’s books, Emily suffers from recurring depression for nearly twenty years.

Another devastating loss sets Emily on the path to search for the son she was forced to give up.

Best friend Geraldine (Gee) has been friend, family and support network to Emily for twenty years and continues to have her back…and tell her things Emily may not want to hear. Gee’s past is no less painful and tragic as Emily’s, but that doesn’t stop her from always helping Emily to make peace with the past and move forward… something Gee, herself will never do.

During her search to find peace and her son Emily meets Walter and Patrick, two very different young men battling demons from the past of their own and she could be the link to their unanswered question, and a young widow and her son provide a much-needed emotional grounding for the distracted author.

But Emily’s biggest obstacle is her mother, Florence Carpenter. After two awkward visits, Emily knows her mother has the information she needs to find her son. But anger and bitter hatred of her mother and her religious fanaticism have festered inside Emily for two decades and I didn’t see her reconciling with her mother anytime in this life. However, when Florence explains why she insisted Emily give her son up, Emily realizes she’s been wrong about a lot of things. Nice plot twist.

Her hope for finding the child she named Thomas is snatched away when Emily learns he could be anywhere on the planet because of an unspoken practice Britain used to empty its orphanages. She accepts that Thomas is lost to her but channels her heartbreak into helping others find lost family… which goes full circle and opens up possibilities for Emily’s search to continue.

Loss, forgiveness, and acceptance are well-handled themes throughout the story. Some people are forgiven and accepted, others not so much. But Mark, Emily’s boyfriend deserved better than what he got. I felt Emily was selfish and cold to simply walk away. Another loss compounded Emily’s already fragile mind and would eventually propel her forward, but Mark lost something too and Emily pushed his feelings aside all too easily and that half-assed letter she later wrote was too little, too late. And did she even mail it?

Engrossing and emotional read. It was hard enough reading how the loss of a child affected each character, but learning of a country’s horrid, heartless disposal of children entrusted into its care for economic reasons, and the abuse and suffering those children endured was heartbreaking. It’s not an easy read, but it is a compelling one and I do recommend it.

Enjoy!

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A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest periods

Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt that threatens to consume her.  For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born.  But now, in the summer of 1987, she decides to begin the search for her son.

Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness.  But it is when she decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons.

Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.

Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her own sad experiences.  Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.

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The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.

At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is painful.  Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and governments, who should have known better.

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Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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