Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ember Falls - A Fabulous Book

***** (5 stars out of 5)

I was greatly blessed by God and the author with a complimentary copy of this book. I wanted to buy a copy of the book in hardback but I could not afford it right now. I sent a message to the author on his Facebook page. I told him that if he could send me a copy of his book I would share my review everywhere I could. I would have done the same if I had bought the book, I like it so much. He graciously sent me a copy. Not only a copy but a hardback copy. Not only a hardback copy but a signed hardback copy.

I love this series so much. I share my love of this series with everyone I can. I had the manager of my library order copies of all three of the books in this series for the library.

A wonderful book. Great. Better than the first book in the series, and the prequel. Loved it.

One of my favorite quotes in the book. Something we should all practice.
Do the next right thing.” (pg 22)

The plot of the book (and a quote) - “A resistance to unite. An impossible foe to conquer. A kingdom to win.” (pg 14)

The characters – memorable, well developed, superb. You love the “good guys” … battling, doing their duty and more, fighting the bad guys, rescuing friends and relatives, healing the sick and injured, and doing the next right thing.

...and despise the “bad guys.”
    “From behind the immovable guard, Kyle appeared, Heather's inside churned. Here he was, this handsome, charming, disarming scoundrel.”
    “What's in the past, Kyle, and what we can't forget, Princeling,” Heather said, “is our friendship destroyed, our friends murdered, and our future king betrayed.” pg 111

I did not trust Kyle or his father, but the author writes well and I was lured into a tentative hope... I won't give you any details to ruin the story. Do they follow through and redeem themselves or return to their old scroundreling ways?? You will have to read for yourself and find out.

Kyle says...
    “In Terralain, all rabbits are free, and all are equal. All kings and queens–if only they will grab it.” (pg 115)

That is nonsense. On earth there are always rich and poor. Powerful and powerless. Oppressed and Oppressor. And some take advantage of others and their belief that people can change. Even in heaven, where all humans will be equal, there will be God and his Son to honor and glorify for all our days. They are liars, or socialists, and socialism does not work... I think they are just liars and scoundrels.

Oh my, the other things that happen in this book that I wish I could tell you. Things I was not expecting. Many surprising turns of events. 

And... just so you know... this book does not end the story... and I am glad. There will be a book 3 for the series, or more... we shall have to wait and see.

Thank you S.D. Smith. Thank you so much. For the gift of this signed hardback book and for the gift of your writing in all three of your books. I enjoy them so much I want to be one of the herd.

You can get the book (in popular paperback, haughty hard cover, or electric..uh, eBook) at Amazon, of course.

Or, you can get book (in all those forms + audiobook) at S.D. Smith's he has SWORDS and NECKLACES and SHIRTS for sale and some rad combos.

I wish I had more money. I would love some Ember memorabilia. 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Flash Point - a phychological thriller and a page turner

 Description of Book from Publisher

What If the Limits of Time and Space Were Breached? 

Junior financial analyst Lena Fennan loves managing risk and making money. Yet when she gets a mysterious invitation to take a leap into the unknown, she does not hesitate. Soon a series of events takes her to the brink of destruction. But Lena refuses to give in, entranced by glimpses of a future that redefine everything.

Reese Clawson emerges from prison gripped by the slow burn of revenge. She will track everyone who hand a hand in destroying her--and take them out. First on the list is Charlie Hazard.

As time and space become jumbled, Lena and Reese are pulled into a collision course that could alter the parameters of human consciousness.

 My Review:

I gave this book ***** 5 stars.

As I stated in my first review of the books from this series, Fault Lines, this book in not in my usual wheelhouse of books I would choose for reading. I don't usually like physiological thrillers, but I give these a chance because they are by a favorite author. I liked this one more than the first one, and got interested faster, because I already knew some of the characters from the last book. That made it a lot less confusing than the last one, also.

You definitely get into the book and root for the “good guys” to win the battle over evil and the ones on the side of evil. The characters make the science in the book manageable. The characters and their stories, even the minor characters are wonderful. The good guys that is. The bad guys you just love to hate. The characters are fully developed and they could be friends of mine. You really get to know and care about each of the guys on the good side, root for them, and are concerned when evil surrounds them and tries to hurt them.

The premise of making the last living days of someone with terminal illness painless and happy are interesting and hopeful. Helping them to ascend to see the afterlife helps them not fear death. I have that already, due to my personal relationship with my Lord and Savior. I don't need to see heaven to believe it is there waiting for me. Using the dying patients own brain to render them pain free, without drugs or side effects, would be wonderful; if it was truly scientifically possible.

Using the same ascending technology to spy on companies and undermine them and control the world is definitely something I could see happening. Technology created and meant for good is often twisted and used for evil by others. It is the heart of the person using the technology and their motives that matter. The technology is not at fault, it is just a thing.

The struggle of good vs. evil is something we all face every day. Not in so dramatic a way as the characters in this book, but we do. I battle my own sin and my desire for personal gain and recognition. I try to follow God, humble myself, be kind to others and let God lift me up when and if and in what ways he sees fit. But, my flesh battles against that and sometimes wants to be mean to someone and desires retribution (instead of letting God battle for me), and my pride wants recognition for jobs I feel are well done.

I finished the book with two questions. Will there be a third book in the series? Locke seems to have made it apparent that there will be, due to the way the book ended. AND... Who or what are the monsters from the “other world?” Are they supposed to represent anything we would know? Like demons? Or are they just fantasy? They are definitely evil, that is for sure. They were creepy and scary.

The book is definitely a page turner and the characters and plot drive you to keep reading. You must see how it ends and if the good guys win out.

Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.
His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.

Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College at The University of Oxford. Visit Thomas at

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