Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Friday, May 11, 2012

available now at amazon.com

I must apologize to Mr. Gavin.  I received this book back in February to review.  I read the book, wrote the review and somehow forgot to post it.  

Now, for the story
synopsis  (Amazon)

The Darkening Dream is the chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts - Sarah Engelmann's life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.
With the help of Alex, a Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex's elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah's own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah's continuing visions reveal?
No less than Gabriel's Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be herself.

Received from author for honest review.

This is a very dark story.  A bit too dark and frightening for my tastes, but very well written.  The vampires of Andy Gavin's stories aren't cute, funny, handsome, or happy.  No Barnabas Collins or Twilight characters here- these vampires are dark, brooding and more like Stoker's vampire.  A blood sucking unapologetic abomination.

The story takes place in Salem, Ma...A city that invokes images of witches and witch hunts.  Well, no witches now. It's the year 1913.  I love the locale of this story.  I live in New England and find I wish to revisit Salem each time I read a book that takes place there.  This story is no exception.

There is a strong religious undertone to this story.  All religions, Judaism, Christianity, Greek Orthodox and Ancient Egyptian...a  multitude of themes very skillfully weaved together.

Two characters stand out in this novel.  Sarah and Alex.  Of course, they come from different religious/cultural upbringing.  Sarah is Jewish and Alex is a Greek Orthodox.

I think this book was a bit too gruesome for me...I'm not a fan of vampires, especially Stoker's kind, but I appreciate the talent and writing style of Mr. Gavin and his attention to detail.

I give this book 4 stars.

now, about the author

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes.

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

(obtained from Amazon website)


received from author for honest review

product description (Amazon)
Join Prince Alorin and his bride-to-be Princess Bellany on their journey to vanquish evil from the three kingdoms of the continent of Aedaria. To do so, they need the Orbs of Power that give their human hosts incredible powers, but they need to find them first. During the Sealing War of years past, the orbs were created to help defeat the demons and devils that threatened to take over the lands and conquer all of the kingdoms. After the war the orbs were scattered throughout the continent, and only a few remain guarded.

With an amusing cast of supporting characters and plenty of villains to battle, Orbs of Power will take you on an exhilirating journey full of romance, politics, and adventure. Along the way you will encounter heroes and sorcery, devils and demons, and fantastical creatures such as centaurs and merfolk. Follow these two unlikely young heroes as they learn to harness their newfound powers while discovering each other on their path to becoming king and queen together and trying to save humankind.

A wonderful fast paced fantasy. Starts with a bang and the adventures just keep coming! This story is full of all sorts of magical/mythical creatures. Dragons, devils, banshee's, merfolk, centaurs...did I mention DRAGONS? I love dragons-even when they are villains. This book is not short on villains.

Of course, the good guys, Alorin and his Princess Tyana are amazing characters. He is a handsome young prince betrothed to a woman for the sole purpose of keeping peace and making a stronger kingdom. Tyana is the daughter of a more powerful ruler from a neighboring kingdom. No Disney princess here- she is described as plain looking, opinionated and very strong willed. She is also intelligent, loyal and extremely likable. Alorin is also a lovable character, he's not afraid to admit to his weaknesses.

Alorin discovers he's a SYNCH HOST. A host to the power of one of the mystical Orbs. The magic and mystery just gets deeper after this discovery.

This story is full of everything you can imagine. It has romance, battles, magic, evil and DRAGONS!!!

I loved it and I think you will if you like fantasy, kingdoms, and/or magical creatures, or just if you like a fun story. It's a wild ride!

addendum: I noticed from Amazon's description, the Princess's name is now Bellany.  I received an ARC of this book from the author.  There may be some minor changes, such as names, from the version I received. 
about Rob

Rob RodenParker is an information technology professional, a part-time author and publisher, and a full-time husband and father of two awesome kids. He loves creating new worlds and crazy characters and hopes that you will enjoy reading all about them

for more information about Rob and his books check out his website at

Orbs of Power is available at http://amazon.com/

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I would like to introduce everyone to a fabulous new series written by Alecia Stone.  

about the book


One Planet. 

Two Worlds. 

Population: Human ... 7 billion. 
Others ... unknown. 

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died. 

Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home. 

He belongs with the others.


published by Centrinian Publishing

available May 2012

"El" per Wikipedia, El is  "a Semitic word for "God" "

Epic is defined by dictionary.com at "heroic", "majestic", "impressively great"

I think epic is an amazingly overused word, however, EPIC perfectly describes The Talisman of El.  

If you haven't figured it out from the title, The Talisman of El centers around an amulet of the Creator.  Got it yet?  This book is not preachy or biblical, just tells a fantastic story about a young 14 year old boy named Charlie Blake.  Charlie fulfills the heroic, impressively great part of the definition. He is a geeky sort of kid who never seems to fit in anywhere. Not someone you would immediately expect to be a hero.

We find out his story after he and his friends embark upon a journey to Eden.  Yup, as in Garden of..  it's a real place watched over by angels, both good and bad.  Why both?  Because we have free will, therefore we need both good and bad.

You have to read this story.  It defies explanation.  With each turn of the page, the story gets better and better.  The characters are highly likable.  Even the angels are quirky and funny, especially Ash.  You are going to love him!

The writing is first rate.  The author leaves the reader wanting more  more  more of this story.  Luckily, this is the first of a trilogy.  We will find out what happens to Charlie and his buddies.

I loved this book and think anyone who likes a good story will also love this story.  The author has been able to create situations which evoke every emotion you can think of, I found myself laughing in parts, sad in others.  

5 stars! 

about the author

About Alecia Stone
Being a fan of fantasy fiction, Alecia Stone's novel was inspired by her love for paranormal mysteries. She loves to write for it is a means of escaping her reality if only for a moment. Talisman Of El is her first book. She lives in the England, UK with her family.

Talisman Of El website: http://www.talismanofel.com

and now for a GIVEAWAY....


Monday, May 7, 2012


about the book:
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance. On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears


This was an odd book.  Very different.  I've recently discovered the steampunk genre.  Some books are great and some are terrible.  This is one of the better books.  I loved the characters.  Lena was a fascinating enigma.  We are immediately shown how different she is.  Called a 'goblin' by her grandmother, and called a 'peculiar' by others.  She is an immediately likeable young woman.  She sets her mind to something and follows through.  

The main male protagonist is Jimson Quiggley.  A young man Lena meets on a train and later works with.  He is a true gentleman.  A great character to complement Lena.  Mr. Beasley is the steampunk king of the book. Creating all sorts of inventions. He is also a physician.  We are initially unsure if he is good or bad. I laughed out loud at the two missionary women.  

I enjoyed reading this book.  I liked the writing style of the author.  She did a great job of keeping the story suspenseful and interesting.  I felt the writing flowed very well.  

I hope the author writes more books like this one.  I loved the goblin/peculiar element to the characters.