Book Review – Dark Genesis by A.D. Koboah

Dark GenesisThe Dark Genesis by A.D. Koboah

Synopsis:

Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.

On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.

Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanised by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity.

D.S. Williams Review:

I’m of two minds regarding this book, and even twelve hours after finishing I’m still considering my reaction to it.
A.D. Koboah’s story was written beautifully, I enjoyed the pacing, the characters and the concept. A.D. Koboah has a way with words which had me engrossed throughout the majority of the story.
Luna is an interesting and multi-faceted character, and for the most part I enjoyed the way she was written, but there were a couple of times when I found myself frustrated by her behaviour and the way she reacted to the male protagonist, Avery. While her initial reactions to Avery seemed very natural based on her background as a slave on a plantation (and a slave who had been physically abused by her masters), as time passed and Avery proved himself to be kind and caring, there were instances when I was frustrated by Luna’s decision making process and the way she refused to admit to her feelings. In some ways, I think the decision to avoid telling Avery how she felt about him was based on A.D. Koboah’s desire to take the storyline in a specific direction, rather than a realistic representation of Luna’s behaviors and that was quite frustrating.
Dark Genesis is the first of a trilogy, and at this stage, while I’m curious about the other books, I’m not inclined to race straight into reading the second book. Some of the upcoming storyline is pre-empted in the last few chapters of Dark Genesis, and to my mind, knowing what is to come has put me off reading any further.
Overall, this is a beautifully written book, but I’d suggest you read it for yourself to decide your opinion.

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D.S. Reviews: If I Can’t Have You by Patti Berg

If I Can't Have YouIf I Can’t Have You by Patti Berg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book ticked all the boxes for me, I love time travel romance and Patti Berg has written a charming story which mixes the modern world with the romantic, golden years of Hollywood by setting her story in the 1930’s where we meet Trevor Montgomery. The characters were well-written, and both the lead characters were flawed enough to make them seem realistic, and likable enough to want them to have their HEA. I loved the backstory, the way Trevor Montgomery was thrust into the modern era, and the way he and Adriana sought to resolve a mystery from the past, only to have it create ripples in their future. Thoroughly recommended, and a lovely, easy to read story.

View all my reviews

Protective Hearts receives it’s FIRST FIVE STAR REVIEW!!!!

First Review!

 

I can’t tell you how excited I am to know that Protective Hearts has received its first review – not only its first review – but it’s FIVE STARS!!

This book has been a labor of love from the very beginning, and I’ve had so much worry about it wondering about what ‘genre’ it actually fitted into – but it seems that despite my doubts – people are finding the story compelling, and enjoying the journey.

Yay!

 

A Week of Awesome Reviews for The Nememiah Chronicles

Aside

I’ve had a great week of reviews for The Nememiah Chronicles, and I was so excited about them… I had to share:

The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Quickening (Book 2)

Nememiah 2 AmazonFirst a vampire, now a werewolf…life certainly gets interesting for Charlotte as desperate circumstances force her to choose to do things she never thought possible. Far from suicidal, now she’s determined to do anything she can to live. Ah, but that’s where the bonds of love, loyalty and blood come in…

Ooh, it’s so hard not giving any spoilers in this review, given you really MUST start by reading the first book (Knowledge Revealed) before starting this one.

Demons, shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires and a warlock make appearances in this book – as Charlotte discovers that one human girl might just be able to hold her own among all these mythical creatures…

Five stars. Sorry, I’m too impatient to write a longer review – I want to start reading the next book right away.

You can see the original review on Amazon – here

The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Hurts (Book 3)

29c34-knowledgehurtsfront1-page-001This book seriously ups the stakes in this series. If you thought you were in for a rehash of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, think again. Ms Williams takes you into a true war between supernatural races, with displaced peoples, refugees, genocide and racism all forming part of the plot of this one. Not to mention family and love and relationships, decisions Charlotte must make at the tender age of 21 as she’s forced to assume leadership of an entire people.

And the ending…oh, my. No, I don’t give spoilers, but I admit I had no idea where this book would end and when it did…well, I need to read the next one, don’t I? As do you, because I won’t tell you what happens.

 

You can see the original Amazon Review – here


 

Season of the Raven – by Denise Domning

I  recently had the pleasure of being asked to read and review Denise Domning’s new book ‘Season of the Raven’, the first book in her Season of the Crown Mystery Series.

My first introduction to Denise’s writing was through her series ‘The Graistan Chronicles’, a medieval romance series which I thoroughly enjoyed .
 
Season of the Raven is set in the same time period, beginning at Michaelmas in the Year 1194.   Whilst this first book solves one murder, Denise has used the book to set-up a continuing backstory which I imagine will continue through the series.  To say more at this stage, would reveal too much for the new reader, suffice to say there is much to look forward to in this new series.
 
Season of the Raven introduces us to Sir Faucon de Ramis, a former Crusader who travels to the tiny village of Blacklea.  He is to meet his Uncle, Bishop William of Hereford and is surprised to discover another relative, Lord Rannulf Graiston is also in attendance.  Both Bishop William and Lord Graistan are characters from ‘The Graistan Chronicles’ and Denise has neatly tied this new series to the old with the appearance of much-loved characters from the past.
 
Sir Faucon discovers he has been named as the Keeper of the Pleas for the area surround Blacklea, which will provide him with an income, whilst allowing him to build a life of his own.  It also lumbers him with an overbearing and bossy monk, Brother Edmund as his clerk.
 
From here the story moves quickly, as Sir Faucon finds himself called to the village of Priors Holston, where the local miller has been found dead.  Initially it would appear the death of the alcoholic man was accidental, but as we soon find, there is much more to this death than meets the eye.  As the story progresses, Sir Faucon finds himself wading into unknown waters, coming to terms with his new job, whilst trying to deal with his annoying, interfering and officious clerk.  
 
Denise has written a wonderful story, She has a mastery of medieval times and brings the history to vivid life.  Her creative prose is wonderful and brings the medieval period to the readers lap.
 
The characters are well-rounded, and as the relationship between Sir Faucon and Brother Edmund continues, we get a better understanding of each man and their reasons for what they do whilst investigating the residents of Priors Holston.  I particularly enjoyed the evolution and it will be interesting to see how it pans out in future books.
 
I would highly recommend this book to lovers of books set in the medieval period, but equally, it is a great mystery for those who enjoy a solid murder with all the follow-up detective work required.  This book was particularly entertaining in this regard, introducing us to a second monk, Brother Colin who is the Priory Herbalist and integral to discovering that the death was murder and not accidental.  In a modern world where technology is so important in homicide cases, to read about using very basic methods of deduction was both interesting and well-written.  I very much hope Brother Colin will make appearances in future books.
 
‘Season of the Raven’ is currently available to purchase from Amazon – click on the book cover above to go and purchase it.
 
About the Author:
 
 
Denise Domning is the award-winning, best-selling author of eleven historical novels and the co-author with Monica Sarli of one gritty, hard-bitten memoir of addiction and recovery. Of the two genres she frankly prefers the rats, grime and fleas of the Twelfth Century over the ghettos and drug use of modern Kansas City. For Denise, writing means using words as her time machine and painting an accurate portrait of a past. Open any of her novels, whether Twelfth, Thirteenth, Sixteenth or Nineteenth Century, and step into a bygone era. As one reviewer put it “…you live the life and the language, smell the odors of unwashed humanity, and hear the sucking sounds as your flimsy shoes slog through mud and muck.” Now doesn’t that sound romantic?
Denise and her husband Ed live on a farm in Cornville (yes, Cornville), Arizona, where they plant veggies, milk cows and have an Easter egg hunt every day.

Redeeming Qualities… or Why a Character Can be Utterly Useless…

I’ve been reading a book this week – which is not, in itself, an unusual occurrence.  I’m a voracious book lover and read between three to five books a week.

What is different and completely out of the ordinary, is my reaction to the book.  I loathed it.

I’m pretty much open to every genre and read  a wide variety of authors.  I try to finish every book I read, giving it the best possible chance of gaining my attention.  Because I tend to leave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I do my level best to get to ‘The End’.

With the particular book in question, I made it to ‘The End’, but spent the second half of the book questioning why I was bothering.  There are other books in this author’s series, but I will never attempt reading them because of the experience I had reading the first one.



The problem?  I hated the main character.  In fact, I didn’t just hate her.  I loathed her.  Abhorred her.  Hoped she would get killed before the book finished.  I’m not willing to name the author, or the name of the book – mainly because this is only my opinion, but the main character in this particular book was so incredibly self-centered, she defied belief.  I couldn’t find one likable feature in the shallow portrayal created by the author.  

Creating a character that readers will invest in isn’t easy, but the author in this situation made a shallow facsimile.  We all have both good and bad aspects of our personalities – that’s what makes us human.  No person on the planet is all good, nor is anyone completely and utterly evil.  The most-sainted among us will have done something naughty at some stage in their life.  You may be the equivalent of Mother Teresa, but at some stage you must have told a little white lie, stolen a peek at someone’s homework or nicked an extra chocolate from the fridge when nobody was looking.  

Equally, the most evil person on the planet must have some redeeming feature, such as loving his mother, or patting a puppy once-upon-a-time, or dropping ten cents in a donation box.

In the book I was reading, I think the author was going for a Legally Blonde/Reece Witherspoon kind of character.  Unfortunately, she failed miserably.  The main character was completely self-centered, considering only her own situation.  She was stupid to the point of needing to be committed for her mistakes.  She didn’t care how she hurt other people, only that she ‘got to the truth’ in the case of her boyfriend who was accused of a crime that she was convinced he didn’t commit.  Never mind that said boyfriend turned out to be married, and whilst not a murderer, was most certainly an embezzler and a cheat.  Forget about the fact that he up and left without a word to her, or that he had many, many annoying and irritating habits which she didn’t like.  Other than a cursory examination of her emotions, she was determined to find and rescue him.  Stepping all over other people while she was at it.  

Add to this her obsession with fashion, her self-obsession and a willingness to auto-dump anyone and anything if it didn’t fit in with her plans and you have a heroine in a book who would be lucky if Mother Teresa could like her.  I certainly didn’t.

Balancing a character’s personality isn’t easy.  When writing, its all too easy to have a picture in your head of who the character is going to be, what their motivation is and how they’re going to get there.  But please, please, please! Remember that your idiot blonde can’t be a complete moron in every aspect of her life.  Remember your axe-murderer must have a reason he’s turned out the way he has.  Remember your pious goody-two-shoes must have moments of temptation placed in his path.  Otherwise, you’ve created a character whom readers can’t relate to and won’t care about.

What you’ve actually created in those sorry circumstances, is a caricature whom readers will abhor.  And unless they’re pig-headed like me, they’ll be closing the book before they’re anywhere near ‘The End’.  


Outstanding review on Amazon.co.uk!!!

 

Just discovered an awesome 5 star review on Amazon’s UK website for ‘Knowledge Revealed’ and had to share:
 
“Right, let’s get one thing straight before I start this review – Twilight was not the first documentation of vampires who consume animal blood or have ‘special abilities’.
 
Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ has the power of telepathy and shape changing. In Dark Shadows (1966), Barnabus Collins can drink animal blood. These are just two examples which considerably pre-date ‘modern’ vampire tales, so let’s keep an open mind and stop drawing comparisons (unlike one of the other reviewers). Got it? Good.
 
‘Knowledge Revealed’ is beautifully written from start to finish, with vivid descriptions which come alive in the mind of the reader. The plot is well thought out, flowing smoothly throughout the story with the right amounts of tension in all the correct places.
 
The characters are very believable – D.S. Williams has taken the time to construct viable back-stories for each one, further enhancing their personality and appeal. Charlotte (the MC) has a particularly harrowing and unexpected past which explains her actions and reactions throughout the story as she is slowly bought out of her shell by those around her.
 
‘Knowledge Revealed’ is a fantastic read, ending on a huge cliffhanger – I’ve purchased the 2nd book and can’t wait for it to arrive!”
 
Thank you so much – D.S. xxxx

 

BookwormBridgette’s World: REVIEW/GIVEAWAY

Received an absolutely awesome five shield review from Bookworm Bridgette – and you can have a chance to win one of five ebook copies of The Nememiah Chronicles – Knowledge Revealed!

BookwormBridgette’s World: REVIEW/GIVEAWAY: The Nememiah Chronicles: Knowledg…

 

If you can’t find anything nice to say…

For any author, a review of their precious book is something they desperately want.  It’s the bread and butter for an author – giving an indication of how well their written work has been received and also providing the impetus for others to purchase their work.  A well-written and positive book review is an excellent way for readers to discover new authors and choose to purchase their work.
 
As an author who seeks Book Reviews, I also write them, for books I’ve read myself.  I think its only fair that if I’m seeking people’s opinion of my work, I should take the time to give other writer’s some feedback on their efforts.
 
My involvement in a local Writer’s Group has given me plenty of practice in the art of ‘constructive criticism’.  Telling an author ‘they suck’ is not constructive. Finding the positives in their work and providing feedback as to where a story failed, or where it could benefit from further editing is an important part in learning to be a writer.  I myself suffer from an overuse of adverbs, which my writing group regularly points out in my pieces.  I’ve also been known to be an over-achiever in the use of specific words – ‘but’, ‘that’ and ‘just’ – to name only a few.
 
Which leads to my point.  I’ve just finished a book which I downloaded from an independent author and I have to say, honestly, it was one of the hardest books I’ve ever attempted to review. 
 
Why?  I hear you asking.
 
Because while it was an interesting book, with a new idea I hadn’t seen used before and the premise was excellent…
 
…it suffered from a lack of editing and spelling checks.  Not only that, but the author chose to have her characters from the north east of America, speak with a fairly specific ‘twang’ to their voices, but failed in the continuity department.
 
And that just frustrated the heck out of me. 
 
I wanted to like this book.  It was an exciting and interesting concept, but it was a failure to launch from my viewpoint because of the abysmal spelling mistakes, the lack of continuity and the failure by the author to give her characters a consistent voice.
 
The strongest story line in the world will not draw readers in, if they are continually taken out of world being created by ridiculous spelling errors, or have to stop and read back, over and over again because of continuity problems, or a lack of cohesiveness in the characters.  (Another book comes to mind, which I read recently, in which a character started with one name, it switched halfway through the book, then reverted to the original name.  I kid you not.  That author deserved a smack on the hand!)  But I digress.
 
My point to fellow authors is this – check your work.
 
Check it, double check it and triple check it.  Join your local writer’s group and allow them to read your work.  You’ll be amazed by what they pick up, things you just don’t see yourself because you’re at the coal face, so to speak.  You know what your words mean – but it doesn’t mean other people will ‘see’ the same vision. Ask someone (a friend, a fellow writer; heck, PAY someone if you have to) to read through your work for spelling errors.  Use spell-check, over and over again.  Buy a dictionary.  Whatever you do, make sure you’re pride and joy is the absolute best it can be, before you publish.  You’ve spent months, maybe years writing your book – don’t throw all that hard work away by rushing through the publishing process and letting those mistakes get out to those you want to impress most – THE READERS!
 
You may wonder what sort of rating I gave this particular book – and I’ll tell you.  I gave it three stars and constructive criticism, pointing out the positives in her story-telling process and explaining what things didn’t work for me.  I’m not one of those people who throws out a one star review and just says the story stinks.  I think the actual effort which goes into writing a book, a WHOLE book, is worth a minimum of two stars and I take my hat off to everyone who can manage it.  
 
But be warned – if you write a book and don’t edit, and edit carefully and put it out there effectively half-done – be prepared for a three star maximum review from me.  Be proud of what you’ve done and make sure it is absolutely the best you can make it before you launch it into the world.