Genre: Fantasy

Beyond Death by Deb McEwan

Posted August 6, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Death, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond Death by Deb McEwanBeyond Death (Afterlife, #1) by Deb McEwan
Published by Createspace on June 18th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 190
Format: ebook
four-stars

A DEAD WOMAN'S STORY
“With so many supernatural tales on the shelves it’s hard to find something genuinely original yet Beyond Death fits the description well, with author Deb McEwan bringing a distinctive new voice to this ever popular genre.” Book Viral
What really happens when we die? Twenty-something Claire Sylvester is about to find out. The morning after the best night of her life she is taken before her time.
Claire is suspended in her strange new world. She watches as the secret lives of those she loves unravels, and sadistic villains are punished on the road to their own personal hell.
All the while a higher authority ponders her ultimate fate.
More than Claire knows depends on her actions and those of the unlikely partner who accompanied her on her journey.
What will be her final destination?
Beyond Death - a supernatural thriller of love and loss, deceit and revenge, with a little romance and humour.

My take on this book:              Beyond Death by Deb McEwan is a pretty interesting read. What first caught my interest is the plot then the book cover. The plot was well-crafted and made me interested in reading the book. Since this book isn’t what I normally read and everyone who knows me and has read this blog knows that. I do know that this is bad to say but I also sometimes judge a book by its cover but not all the time. Anyways I’m giving this book a four-star rating because it did keep me entertained but it did have something keeping it from being five stars.

One of those things is how the first act seemed a bit choppy especially with introducing so many characters at first in the beginning and then not seeing them again until the middle act. She did have a lot of subplots going on and she did finish them all up which is a good thing. Ms. McEwan is a pretty good author and a bit of the book seemed like it still needed some work to truly be a good book. What I mean by that like she could have gone back to reread it and make sure that it flowed nicely with the rest of the book.

All the character in the book were very well developed and I liked them all. Even the ones that are evil because of how well developed they all are. I especially liked the transformations of Claire, Ken, and Ron. Claire because she did it the most. She died at a young age and has to go through with the fact that she isn’t alive anymore and that she needs to let go and forgive the people that she loves down on Earth. Ken also did the most as well. He was first introduced as a bad guy and then he died. He has been going through more of a tough time than Claire and Ron ever did since dying and he is hoping to redeem himself. Ron kind of did as well. The reason for that is because he is also trying to learn to let go and forgive the people that he loves down on Earth while trying to figure out if he should do a hard thing at the end of the book.

I do recommend this book to my more adult readers of this blog if they are interested in this book. Beyond Death is a good book and I am glad that the author contacted me to read it. I am also at this moment unsure if I will be reading the rest of this series.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

four-stars

About Deb McEwan

Following a career of over thirty years in the British Army, Deb and her husband moved to Cyprus to become weather refugees.

She’s written children’s books about Jason the penguin and Barry the reindeer and adult books about aliens, the afterlife, soldiers, and netball players.
The first book in the latest series ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ is set in nineteen seventies Britain. The second covers the early eighties and includes the Falklands War, service in Northern Ireland and (the former) West Germany. ‘Friends and Revenge’ is the third in the series, and takes a sinister turn of events.

‘Court Out (A Netball Girls’ Drama)’ is Deb’s latest book. Using netball as an escape from her miserable home life, Marsha Lawson is desperate to keep the past buried and to forge a brighter future. But she’s not the only one with secrets. When two players want revenge, a Tsunami of emotions is released at a tournament leaving destruction in its wake. As the wave starts spreading throughout the team, can Marsha and the others escape its deadly grasp, or will their emotional baggage pull them under, with devastating consequences for their families and team-mates? ‘Court Out’ will be published in August 2017.

Deb spends her time writing, avoiding housework and playing tour guide. She occasionally blogs about her books and (tongue in cheek) from Donut the dog’s point of view. She also tries – and mostly fails – to keep the pounds off.


Giovanni Meets A Coven by Kathy Bryson

Posted August 2, 2017 by karenbaron in Comedy, Fantasy, Guest Post, Review, Series, Short Stories / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Giovanni Meets A Coven by Kathy BrysonGiovanni Meets A Coven by Kathy Bryson
Series: The Med School #2
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Kathy Bryson Books on September 15, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Humor
Pages: 90
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Having successfully dealt with his first zombie, Giovanni is looking forward to the upcoming semester. Then the accidents start, costing Giovanni two jobs, no end of embarrassment, and multiple contusions and abrasions!

Is it just bad luck or is the curse of the zombie out to get him? And which of the voodoo queens suddenly surrounding him can he trust to help out?

Surprise, not everyone is what they seem to be.

Giovanni Meets a Coven by Kathy Bryson is a wonderful read. Giovanni is a med student with numerous jobs. He is so busy, he doesn’t have a place to live and he has a big dog. Studying has become the easiest part of his life that is when he can find the time. However, living in a morgue isn’t the greatest way to save money.

I like Giovanni, he loves coffee. He’s from New Jersey going to med school in Atlanta. He seems to be handling the cultural shock fairly well. He is stronger than he seems. He has a good heart and sense of humor. I would most definitely be his friend.

Gio has made many friends in Atlanta. However, I like the sassy, bossy and intimidating Astral. She isn’t perfect. She’s got some jealousy and anger issues. But hey, who doesn’t? She knows what she wants and she is working towards it, even though she thinks she is entitled. I believe that she can handle whatever is thrown at her, preferably with a little help from her friends.

I enjoyed the story. I was caught off guard by the ending, which only makes the story better. It was fast paced, with no poor pitiful me from Giovanni. Oh yes, the floor buffer incident made me laugh out loud. I was laughing about it for hours. My husband must have thought that I had lost my mind. That will haunt Gio for a long time.

My rating is 4 stars, and I plan to fit the first book Giovanni Goes to Med School into my TBR list. If you are looking for a clean story with a touch of paranormal this is one for you.

**Where to find Giovanni Meets a Coven**

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

four-stars

About Kathy Bryson

Kathy Bryson is the award-winning author of a series of leprechaun romances as well as the adventures of a hapless med student. She has degrees in both advertising and literature as well 20+ years in business that came in handy for exposing leprechauns. For, the zombie stuff, she shamelessly exploit her coworkers. A recent transplant to Texas, she also runs a college writing center and caters to the whims of spoiled cats.


Arctic Dawn by Karissa Laurel

Posted May 25, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Mythology, Norse Mythology, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Arctic Dawn by Karissa LaurelArctic Dawn by Karissa Laurel
Series: The Norse Chronicles #2
Series Rating: five-stars
on July 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 276
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks.
The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction forces Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.

My take on this book:              Arctic Dawn by Karissa Laurel is another great book. I was so glad to see the email from Ms. Laurel about reviewing this book as I wanted to know what Solina Mundy, Thorin, Val, Baldur, and Skyla were up to especially after the end of the first book. I also couldn’t wait to see what Helena had up her sleeves for Solina and the others.

The main character of this book is, of course, Solina Mundy. Solina is the one that we see the story through. It’s pretty amazing to see the way she sees the world especially now that she is thrust into learning the Norse legends are real. The book takes us to with where we find Solina is in hiding and trying to find her friend. Solina is still mostly the same girl from the first book but she is now wary of anyone that could turn her into Helena so that the second Ragnorak can start. What I like about Solina is that she is still the same but also being cautious and want to stay alive more so now than anything. I also like that she is aware of what she can do and she tries to make sure that everyone that knows about the Gods walking among them. She can take care of herself if needed and that she can be trusted to help in battle. What I dislike about Solina is that she sometimes does things without really thinking it all the way through. I know that is something that some people make quick decisions in real life but those decisions don’t have anything to do with getting captured by the person that wants to kill you to start another Ragnorak. What I also dislike about Solina is that she is letting something that happened in the past sway her away from Thorin.

The antagonist of the book is someone that no one would suspect. Well besides Helena. She had a pretty small role in this book. Helena is preparing for the war. What I like about Helena is that she is still has a lot of cards that haven’t been revealed to us yet and it’s pretty amazing that even after all these years that she hasn’t let anything slip. She is tight-lipped when speaking to the other gods, not allowing them to know about her plans for when she finds the new reincarnations of the Sun Goddess and the Moon God. What I dislike about Helena is that she is trying to recreate Ragnorak thinking it will be better if she is controlling it. Another thing that I dislike about Helena is that she is still trying to hurt Baldor and even more this time around. Especially when it comes to the reincarnations of his beloved soulmate.

Arctic Dawn by Karissa Laurel is an amazing book and a wonderful read. I will certainly recommend this book and the first book to anyone. This book actually has two plot twists in it. Or at least I would like to think of them as plot twists since I certainly didn’t see them coming. I am giving this book a five-star rating and I can’t wait to read the next book of this wonderful series.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

five-stars

About Karissa Laurel

Karissa Laurel has tried her hand at many things — cooking/catering, law, art — but writing makes her the happiest.

When she’s feeling brave, she’s on the slopes or riding off-road motorcycles with her guys. When she’s less adventuresome, she’s on the couch with her nose buried in a book.

She lives in North Carolina with her kid, husband, occasional in-law, and a hairy husky named Bonnie.


Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse

Posted May 12, 2017 by karenbaron in Fairies, Fantasy, Guest Post, Magic, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Vampires, Werewolves / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Once Lost Lords by Stephan MorseOnce Lost Lords by Stephan Morse
Series: Royal Scales #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Stephan Morse on July 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Format: ebook
four-stars

Humanity hasn’t been alone for almost two thousand years. Elves, wolves, vampires, all joined together with mankind to eradicate the ‘darker’ races and maintained a tentative peace until modern times. Society adapted, everyone has rules that help keep the peace in this modern era. Yet, absolute genocide is impossible when talking about creatures beyond the pale. Some hid, some buried, other were re-purposed.
Some, like Jay Fields, pass for human with a little bit extra. His abilities didn’t belong to one of the major races, but any information was buried along with the long dead boogie men. All Jay cared about was those closest to him and a job that let him hit people. He used to be a bouncer at a bar, a part-time enforcer for a loan shark, and even a fight club champion. That was four years ago, before betrayal by someone close sent him packing.
Now he’s back and trying to recover a life he left behind. Questions of origin aren’t his only problems. His ex-girlfriend is a vampire. His part-time boss doesn’t think he’s up to snuff anymore. There’s a missing elf who might have some answers, and Jay’s best friend is caught up in something dangerous…

The story begins with the return of Jay Fields, although he uses other names to make finding him harder. Jay has been traveling around for the last 4 years and lots of things at home have changed and some have stayed the same.

Jay likes to hit people, he is like an enforcer. Basically, he does what he knows best to make a living. Jay is also a collector and he is pretty possessive when it comes to his treasures, really all things that he considers his. Jay is human with a few added abilities, due to a vampire bite when he was young or is he? Jay uses his ability to track down people who owe his boss Julianne money, he gets the money, something of value or he may teach them a lesson. Jay also rents an apartment from Julianne and works as a bouncer at her bar.

Throughout the book, we learn more and more about Jay’s actual origin. However, Jay can’t remember and the clues lead him to things that don’t make sense and yet seem familiar. Jay is tough and can hold his own against vampires, wolves, fairies and humans. We meet the people of his life. They are a strange group of individuals. There are lots of secrets that seem like only Jay doesn’t know.

Jay’s ex-girlfriend is Kahina, she is a vampire who hasn’t finished the transformation yet. She loves purple and apparently still loves Jay. She seems kind of pushy, yet she is there when he needs her.

Then there is Julianne, she is my favorite. She is tiny and still human. She runs the bar with no nonsense and a smart mouth. Julianne comes from the wolf pack, she just hasn’t transformed into a wolf. Her grandfather is the head of the pack and tolerates her bar and bookie business. Julianne cares about Jay, more than he realizes. She protects him and calls an intervention to help him. I love the way she and her brother banter back and forth. Julianne is one tough cookie.

What I like about the story is the way the author portrays the characters. There are the four main races who eradicated all the other races for peace and yet there are still the prejudice and fight for power, the secrets about the races eradicated and lost history. It proves that no matter what race you are, it’s what is inside you and how you treat your friends and family that matter.

My rating for this book is 4 stars. If you like to read fantasy, with a modern urban flair, I recommend this book, Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse. This is the first book in what looks to be an exciting series, The Royal Scales. The second book in the series is also available so you won’t have to wait to continue with the story, Lady’s First Knight.

**Where to find Once Lost Lords **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

four-stars

About Stephan Morse

Stephan Morse was born the year 1983 in San Diego. The next fifteen years were spent slowly escaping California and surviving a public education system. Thus far he’s made it to the Seattle (WA) region with little desire to go farther. When not trying to shove words together into sentences Stephan spends time reading, catching up on sleep, and otherwise living a mundane life.


Kings or Pawns by J. J. Sherwood

Posted April 15, 2017 by karenbaron in Elves, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kings or Pawns by J. J. SherwoodKings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood
Series: Steps of Power: The Kings #1
Series Rating: three-stars
Published by Silver Helm on July 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 383
Format: ebook
three-stars

Aersadore: a world of magic and intrigue, elves and demons, dragons and gods. Millennia of magic, war, and legends have shaped a complex past and an unstable future. Now the shift in power ripples outward yet again, promising intrigue, action, and adventure for those swept up in the conflict. And even more so for those who dare to shape it.

8,994 P.E. The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and The Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem becomes the king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and daring, Hairem is determined to undo the council's power, but quickly finds his loyal council members brutally murdered by an assassin loosed within the city.

As corruption and death threaten to tear the city apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel's eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

Kings or Pawns. Kings or Pawns? This was much like reading a Tolkien book. There are lots of characters, lots of subplots, an extremely bad guy (or is he?), the good guys, who aren’t so white hat good, as each has their own agenda. Yes, there is drama, mystery, romance and lots of intrigue.

My favorite character is Jikun. Jikun is from Darival, the northern part of the kingdom.  He wields the magic of ice and water. Jikun is General of Sevrigel’s army. He is extremely knowledgeable of strategy and battlefield tactics, all things that make a good general. However, what I liked the most is that he is honest about not abiding by their regime, his use of prostitutes (against the law), and for the most part his opinion of the council and citizens of Elvorium which he doesn’t mind voicing in front of them. Jikun would like to return to Darival, but he is honor bound to finish the war with Saebellus. He is strong and yet he has flaws. He is loyal to the few friends that he has. What Jikun’s role in the next book will be, I don’t know. Hopefully, he will be back.

I think my least favorite character is Nilanis. He is the head of the counsel and he controls the ports. He is a widow with grown children. He dotes on his daughter, Ilsevel. While he seems to be a good father to her, you don’t really hear much about his other children. Nilanis has much wealth and way too much power. He spends way too much money and makes sure everyone knows how wealthy he is. Nilanis has no morals that I could see. He does whatever has to be done to maintain his wealth and way of life, at the cost of anything and apparently everyone.

I enjoyed the story. The settings were fabulous, I could completely see the cities, forests, and lands all clearly as I was reading. As with a Tolkien book it sort of drags on with so many details. I have to say I knew something was off about two-thirds of the way through but the ending was “Wow!” I didn’t see that specifically happening. The title of the book says more than you would think about the story. Are they Kings or Pawns? Is there power being a king or are just the counsel’s pawn?

Even though I enjoyed the book, my mind wandered at times. Therefore my rating will be 3 stars. It took me quite a while to complete it, but I am glad that I did. There is a second book available Heroes and Thieves. Make sure you check this series out, especially if you like Tolkien.

**Where to find Kings or Pawns **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

three-stars

About J.J. Sherwood

On a cold winter night, wind howling into the desert sky, one ordinary hospital gave witness to a historic event. JJ Sherwood was born at 2:30 a.m. on December 31st, just barely managing to squeeze in to supplant New Year’s Eve. JJ has always had a flair for the dramatics.

Sherwood began writing in the womb after a harrowing incident in which Mother Sherwood swallowed a pen—and thus, destiny was born. JJ’s first work was completed by the age of 5: a riveting tale of a duck attempting to climb into an apartment during the pouring rain. Unfortunately this book is not in print, but it served as the first spark that spurred on a lifetime of creativity.

Much of JJ’s childhood was spent tearing through the woods, playing out fantasy worlds, and tying Barbie to the roof so that the Power Rangers might rescue her. Middle and high school carried on this roleplaying, while college encompassed creating and refining over 250 characters in the world of Aersadore.