Thursday 30 April 2020


Title: The Chosen
Series: Sector C
Author: Nina Soden
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Books
Set in a futuristic dystopian where society is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes, selection students are sheltered and raised in a deceptively utopian world. Strict rules are imposed to control population growth, education, and even personal interactions with other members of the Sector, all in the name of safety. When ‘A’ comes of age, she like all youth throughout Sector C and her selection classmates aren’t sent out into the world to find jobs, make money and lead happy carefree lives. They are forced to endure the rigorous physical and mental testing of Selection Week before choosing their destiny or being forced into a fate far worse. Those that make it out alive are announced as sector residence, given a position within the society, and allotted all the privileges of their chosen “culture.” However, when your only choices are vampirism, lycanthropy, breeder, blood donor, or banishment to the Wastelands, what choice do you really have? Suspenseful, intense, passionate, and awash in paranormal delights, Sector C captures the enchantment and mysteries of the supernatural world and the power of friendship.


Title: The Hunted
Series: Sector C
Author: Nina Soden
Genre: Urban Fantasy

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Books
In the future, most of the world is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes. Sector residents are offered the freedom to live as they desire provided they stay and abide by the laws handed down. After being jolted awake by the blaring screech of the sector alarm, Zelina is dragged from her bed, gagged, and tied to a chair. Confronted with the brutal murder of one of her former classmates, she realizes that all eyes are on her as the primary suspect. Whether she was involved or not doesn’t matter. In the eyes of most sector residents, and most Council Members, Zelina is already a pariah—feared for the powers she will certainly come to possess. For she is the first human known to have both vampire and lycanthrope blood flowing through her veins. Zelina will find herself on a gripping adventure that will take her beyond the borders she’s known all her life in an attempt to save those she loves—and herself from becoming The Hunted.


Title: The Bridge
Series: Sector C
Author: Nina Soden
Genre: Urban Fantasy

BLURB supplied by Silver Dagger Books
Change is happening all around Zelina and with it a prophesy is revealed. Is Zelina the key to unlocking a new way of existing on earth? What will she do when she discovers the true monsters of Sector C – the darkness that feeds off of the fear and the unknowing. Will she be able to suspend her own disbelief about what is possible and secure a new future? With the help of Merick, a motley crew of defectors, and a host of unexpected allies, Zelina bridges space and time in an attempt to bring forth a new future for all sentient beings. Join Zelina, Merick, and the others as they discover the power of the prophesy and their parts in setting their stagnant world free.


I have always been creative, be it art, theatre, film – anything but singing – you don’t want to hear that! I earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Military Science from EMU where I spent most of my time either on stage, rappelling down buildings, or working one of three jobs. After college, I moved to Los Angeles, like so many other want-to-be actors, in pursuit of my dreams. I worked to pay the bills… but my love was acting and I was actually somewhat successful, mostly in commercials and independent films and I had a great time doing it.

In 2008, after some major life changes, I self-published her first book PRIVATE WORDS UNSPOKEN, a compilation of poetry. Since then, my dreams have gotten bigger and I would like to think my storytelling ability has gotten better. I have done everything from secretarial work to business development to being the Director of a private preschool. I have fired an M16, jumped out of a C130, and given birth – TWICE - but I always return to my art.
Though I’ll forever be a Michigan girl at heart, I now live in the South with my husband and two beautiful children. If I’m not working on my latest story, you can find me lounging with a good book, playing with my kids, or indulging in my unhealthy addiction to Starbucks coffee.



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Wednesday 29 April 2020


If you like suspenseful sci-fi which explores the faults of technology, then you won’t want to miss the fourth book in the Black Band Anthology series.

Title: Sentient Judgement
Author: Channing Whitaker
Genre: General Fiction, SciFi & Fantasy
Publisher: Books Go Social
Release Date: 28th April 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
In a world where automation runs society, Marion Sato spends her days as a judgment aid, tasked with making the manual choices deemed too difficult or complicated for computer algorithms. It seems like a dream come true – until things go horribly wrong.
When a freak accident leaves a young child in mortal danger, Marion knows she has to act fast to save his life. But the automated world surrounding her seems to stand in her way at every turn. 
As time begins to run out and the weaknesses of a tech-reliant civilization become clear, will Marion be able to overcome the endless hurdles of a rigid autonomous society? Or will technology fail her as a child’s life hangs in the balance…


Having read and really enjoying another title by this author, I do my best to keep an eye out for new titles being released. As soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued as to who the woman was. If I saw this cover in a book store I would certainly pick it up from a shelf to learn more about it. Upon reading the blurb I knew I really wanted to read it as I find the futuristic, dystopian genre fascinating.

There is a smartly dressed mysterious man, Carson, he is in a nostalgic mood, having taken his shoes off so he can feel the grass on his feet and between his toes. Carson is sitting on a bench looking around pondering how things have changed around him whilst enjoying time watching his son playing in a nearby sandpit. Unfortunately, something goes wrong with a nearby robotic lawnmower and a stone ends up hitting Carson knocking him on conscious.

In the meantime, Marion is getting out of bed and getting ready to begin working from home, like she does each day. Marion literally gets out of bed and presses a few buttons which triggers the bed to move and fold up into the wall. Then the kitchen module unfolds itself so Marion can make her breakfast. Marion is soon sat in front in front of her screen ready for work. Marion works for the Sentient Judgement Service, which really simply means she makes decisions for the automated robotic features that are now all over the world in everyday life. Marion literally “problem solves” and is the “common sense” that a machine can never replace. It is a refuse truck that asks Marion to make some judgements and she sees a baby in one of the refuse boxes.

That is the basis of this short story/novella. I found this book a bit of a slow burner, however I really wanted to know where the story was going so stuck with it and when the pace picked up, I did enjoy it more. It ended up being a rather thought-provoking book. There is the question of whether this society is better now a lot of it is automatic and computer led. Which on the face of it sounds like a good idea. The high specification apartments where your kitchen or bedroom can be stored away seem amazing and space saving which has to be a good thing, doesn’t it? Then you have Marion having to deal with a computer that doesn’t understand her request, so much so she has to physically go check on the problem incident she sees.
This book leaves you with so many questions, is it something as natural as a birthmark Marion notices when she changes Carson’s son’s nappy, but if that’s the case why does it look so similar to the logo for Carson’s business empire? Also why is it so important to Carson for Marion to sign a secrecy document? I know what I think but would be interested if it’s the same as the Author intended the reader to think. I would also be interested in knowing what other readers think too. It’s a shame this is a short book as I would have loved to explore the world and society living within it much more.

Summing up, definitely recommend reading this one! I also recommend another of Channing’s short stories which I read and loved called Existence Augmented.


Title: The Remnant
Author: Channing Whitaker
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: 21st May 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
In this suspense-filled, neo-monster, horror novelette, a writer named Gene Winfield discovers an ominous, handwritten book among the belongings of his late, adventurer aunt. As Gene reads, he becomes captivated with the volume’s account of a savage, unearthly creature. In spite of the book’s warning, with his writing career failing, Gene can’t resist the inspiration. Near the roaring fire in his aunt’s otherwise cold, empty manor, Gene begins a story of his own, but will he unleash more than his imagination…


Title: Existence Augmented

Author: Channing Whitaker
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Release Date: 28th May 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Existence Augmented is a dystopian, sci-fi novelette and psychological thriller. The world outside is cold, hostile, and virtually lifeless. Human existence depends on sophisticated, technological living compounds. The people who don’t have them, once driven to theft and murder, are believed to be long since dead. Alden, a genius of physical and computer engineering, spends his time tending his hydroponics garden, maintaining and improving the complex systems critical to survival, and, in turn, continually refining the pleasant life he’s created with his wife, Laurel. On a day like any other, everything is following Alden’s plans until the power begins to fail…



Title: The Peddler

Author: Channing Whitaker
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: 22nd October 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
When Andrew bought a carved figure from The Peddler, he thought he was doing the old man a favor. When three violent criminals came to give his shop a shakedown, he realized it was the other way around. In this fantasy, horror novelette, a luscious, green park stands as a beacon of thriving life in the midst of a fledgling city where criminals run rampant. The police are either helpless, ignorant, or criminals themselves.


Tuesday 28 April 2020


Title: The Best Mistake
Author: Cookie O'Gorman
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Sports
Release Date: 23rd September 2020

BLURB supplied by Xpresso Book Tours
Honor Tierney just wants one night with the playboy.
One hot, steamy, meaningless hookup, and then she’ll happily go back to reading her favorite books, studying to be an accountant and writing for the campus-paper-nobody-reads. Too bad she ends up in the wrong bed, with the wrong brother…who gives her the hottest night of her life.
Archer O’Brien just wants to play ball.
Well that, and for his brothers to stop acting out, so he won’t have to worry 24/7. As the oldest O’Brien and team captain, it’s his duty to make sure they don’t drink too much, party too much, or get in too much trouble. But when she walks into his bedroom—mistaking him for his brother—life throws him a curveball.
She’s determined to guard her heart. He’s not giving up.
And when Honor gets assigned to cover the Wolves baseball team, it’s game on.
This new adult sports romance features one hot (and hilarious) case of mistaken identity and a sexy set of brothers guaranteed to make you swoon.
Sometimes, the best mistakes are worth making.


"Good," he repeated and took a step toward me.  I took one back, matching him step for step, until I felt my shoulders rest against cool metal.  "You think I look good?"

I nodded.  "You know you do."
If I was being honest, Archer looked more than good in that suit.  He was every woman's dream personified.  Or maybe that was just me.
"Now, I feel underdressed," I said.
His hand came up to my cheek.  "No, you look perfect."
I raised my brows, trying to keep it light even though all I could think of were his fingers running along my skin.  "You probably didn't even notice what I'm wearing."
Without looking away, Archer said, "Dark blue sweater, red t-shirt that says, 'All I do is read, read, read, no matter what,' jeans that fit you like a glove, red sneakers."
My jaw dropped.
"I notice you, Honor."
"You do?"
He nodded, his eyes dropping to my lips.  "How could I not?"
If I wasn't already melting, that turned me into a puddle, my heart stuttering behind my ribs.  He could've asked me anything right then, and I think I would've said yes.  Without any forethought, I leaned up onto my tiptoes and pressed my lips to his.
     Like Archer had said: How could I not?

Cookie O'Gorman writes YA & NA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her novels ADORKABLE, NINJA GIRL, The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder, and The Good Girl's Guide to Being Bad are out now!  She is also the author of NA sports romance, The Best Mistake.




Monday 27 April 2020


Title: Q
Author: Christina Dalcher 
Publisher: HQ
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery & Thrillers
Release Date: 30th April 2020

BLURB from Goodreads 
The future of every child is determined by one standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and they attend a top tier school with a golden future ahead of them. Score low, and they are sent to a federally run boarding school with limited prospects for future employment. The purpose? Education costs are cut, teachers focus on the best students, and parents are happy.

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state's elite schools. When her nine-year old daughter fails her next monthly test, her Q score drops to a disastrously low level and she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal school hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena knows intimately the dangers of failure in their tiered educational system, but as a mother who just lost her child, all Elena wants is to be near her daughter again. And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.


After reading Vox and loving it!  I was on the look-out for more titles by this amazing author. As soon as I heard Christina Dalcher had another book coming soon I was trying to find out more about it. To be honest the first thing I learnt about Q was that it was being released by Berkley Publishing (not in the UK!) under the title Master Class. I read the blurb and knew immediately I had to read it. Then I discovered information about the UK version which is called Q, and to be totally honest I think the UK title Q fits the book better without giving any clues away to what it may contain. After having read the book I would say the title Master Class is a more revealing clue as to what is in the book. Having said that I love both covers that I have seen for this book and think they both fit perfectly. Though if I had to choose a favourite it would have to be the UK one even though I guess some would say it is less revealing. The by-line on the UK version “Only The Perfect Will Survive” is a fantastic clue as to what is to come in the latter part of the book. Another difference I have noticed is that Master Class has Sci-Fi & Fantasy genres listed and Q (the UK) which also has Sci-Fi & Fantasy genres listed but also Mystery and Thrillers which I totally agree with and would also add “Futuristic” to list.

Now to the book…. Wow I want to say sooooo much about this book, but at the same time I am very determined not to give away too much and spoil it for other readers. How can I express to you how much I loved this book without giving away spoilers? I honestly think that sometimes its harder to review a book you loved than one you weren’t as keen on.

The society in this book is made up of “those that have” and “those that have not” though your place in society is decided by your very own Q score. Every single person has their own Q score. A Q score can be tested for and given to an unborn baby. This Q score is constantly checked and updated whether it may go up or down. The Q score is the deciding factor on what school you go to, which has a knock-on effect of what social circles you move in, where you live, as well as what job you do.

The main family this book focuses on is the Fairchild family which consists of Malcolm Fairchild, a high ranking, government official, his wife is Elena Fairchild who is a teacher at a high-class school. They have two children, the naturally bright, studious, and confident 16 year old, Anne, and their younger, more anxious, 9 year old Frederica, though everyone but her father calls her Freddie. Elena’s parents and grandmother do not agree with the current system and Malcolm knows this which is why they don’t get along and it is a rarity for him to visit when Elena takes their daughters Anne and Freddie.

The school system is on three colour, silver, green and yellow coded levels. The highest ranking being Silver schools, the middle ranging Green schools and the Yellow state schools. Elena is a teacher who has a great Q score so works at a Silver school. Anne Fairchild is the “perfect” student who seems to thrive on the continual tests to reassess her Q score. Anne is in what you would call the popular crowd (not like her parents when they were her age) and all the popular crowd go on about are of course the newest Q scores, and who has lost so many points they have lost their place at the Davenport Silver School and will be going to the nearby by Sanger Green School. Q scores can go up as well as down and Elena lives in hope that Freddie’s anxiety of tests etc will improve and she will move up from Sanger Green School and join sister Anne at Davenport Silver School. It is normal to be moved one school down but it soon becomes apparent things are changing for the worse, it seems the tests are also becoming harder too.

Elena actually ponders within the book how people can get used to all sorts of systems when they are forced upon them. One example of this is Elena’s neighbour being 100% in favour of the Q scores and the colour coded schools the whole time her daughter is getting on the silver bus to the high Q score silver school. However, the shock of her daughter being sent off to a state boarding school, her silver status rapidly downgraded to yellow infuriates her mother and the once staunch supporter of the Q system now has increasing doubts and becomes instantly more verbal about the bad points of the system.

When her husband Malcolm refuses to do anything about the fact their very own youngest daughter who suffers from anxiety is to be sent to one of these state schools it is up to Elena to try and hatch a plan to reunite with her daughter. Elena thinks if she can get demoted to a state school, and by forging Malcolm’s signature makes sure it is to the same school their daughter has been sent to it will be of comfort to Freddie and somehow force Malcolm into actually doing something about the situation. It really is a difficult decision for Elena to make as she loves both her daughters. To help Freddie, it means abandoning Anne. Malcolm has always favoured Anne and even prior to Freddie being downgraded to yellow card/state school status he blatantly ignored her. He bestows attention on Anne whilst brushing off Freddie like she is just some irritant to be put up with.

When Elena arrives at her new job at a state school that doesn’t even have a name just a number, #46 she is in for an even bigger shock than the one she had on the journey there, though at least she has made a friend in Ruby Jo, and the quieter older woman also on the bus with them destined for school #46. It’s not long until Elena realises there is more to her new teacher friends than she at first thought, luckily for her as she is drawn deeper and deeper into to the darkness and evilness her husband and his colleagues are creating and think of as being totally acceptable.
In an attempt to save her own daughter, and get the word out about what is really happening in the state schools Elena has to agree to be a test subject for another measure those in charge are wanting to introduce. She soon learns that those in charge including her husband are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect the future they envision no matter who gets hurt in the process. 

This is a 'dystopian' tale that could quite well happen in the near future. I had drawn comparisons with the Nazis system and Hitler’s plans before they were referenced by Elena’s parents and grandmother, though I do read quite a lot of both fiction and non-fiction about that era of history. I thought the way Oma Maria reveals the old uniform of her days in the Hitler’s Youth Girls group. Oma Maria encourages Elena to question the very Q system that Elena had helped Malcolm to create. Elena can see that the system is going to far, becoming too harsh and when her grandmother Oma Maria compares the state schools to Nazis concentration camps, she really doesn’t want to believe things have really gotten so bad.

I adored the story about the frog and how it was recited in front of Malcolm when he insists on accompanying his wife and children on a visit to Elena’s parents and grandmother (last visit for Freddie). Oma Maria asks if they know the story of the frog…
If you put the frog in a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out.” She silences Malcolm with a hand and smiles. “If, on the other hand, you put the frog in a pot of cold water and turn up the heat one degree at a time, well, before long you’ll have a boiled frog. And he’ll never know what’s coming.” Then, taking my father’s hand in her own, she says, “Our parents saw the frog boil in Germany. One degree at a time.” The way Oma Maria recites it as the wise woman who has seen and borne witness to the system that Malcolm is deeply involved with creating. I found it sad to read her family almost not believing Oma Maria when she tells her stories. They think she is making them up, or changing them as she goes along because of her age but this elderly woman is wise and has a lot that needs to be heard and acted upon as we discover as the book progresses. In fact, it turns out that some of Oma Maria’s family were actually involved in some of the nasty experiments that the Nazis inflicted in the concentration camps.

My favourite character, if I had to choose only one was Oma Maria, her love for her family and shame about the past are really well conveyed throughout the book. She is determined the horrid experiments she had heard about in the past would not happen to her great granddaughter Freddie, or anyone else if she had anything to do with it.

The character I enjoyed hating was of course Malcolm, though there were others I could add to this category too, such as Madeleine Sinclair and Petra Peller. Malcolm is a despicable, ignorant, hateful, selfish idiot who cannot see his wife Elena and youngest daughter Freddie. I wonder does he really see his eldest daughter Anne, or does he just see her Q score?

I have to mention the byline from the book cover again as it really is a case of “Only The Perfect Will Survive” in this book. It’s not “survival of the fittest” as it is in some sci-fi books more of only those with great Q scores in their ancestry, their current family and siblings and those who can maintain that Q score will survive and have a “life” as opposed to those with lower scores in their ancestry, siblings and themselves being unable to keep up with the ever higher expectations who will just “exist”. This author really has done her research and this book is so much more than a fictional story, especially when you look around at the way the leaders of the world are leading, sometimes dragging us along. The society and its system has been really well thought out and explained in detail as the story unfolds.
My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were Amazing! I can't express how much this book has made me feel and think! Like Vox, it is a book that will stay with me for a long time after finishing reading it! Probably due to the kind of books I read I had picked up on the subtleties of what the Q numbers were based on and where this book was going long before it was at first clearly hinted at and then revealed. I readily admit to being in tears throughout the last chapters but it was the ending that had to be, though I think a sad one. I will most certainly be on the lookout for any other books by Christina Dalcher she has the ability to tie history, current probabilities and future possibilities all into one fantastic story. I have already purchased and added another couple of books to my "must read" list as Christina recommends them.

To sum up I thought this book was an amazing read and I highly recommend reading it. Honestly the way the world is progressing at the moment it may not be as far fetched as you may at first think. Definitely thought provoking and made me eager to know what is coming next from this brilliant author.