Songs of Sadness, Songs of Love by Larry Andrews left me with mixed feelings. 

Ryan Graves is the main character and very likeable.  He was struck with an illness when he was a child that left him disabled - his right arm just quit growing.  So as he got older,  he had this short arm that he was always trying to hide and very self conscious of,  sometimes it was too much self consciousness. 

When he enters into middle school,  he is surrounded by new people and he is very aware that his arm may be a hindrance.  This is where the story starts,  and takes us through Ryan's first days as he transforms to his new surroundings,  disturbing teachers,  and a new love interest.  This is where it gets a little hairy for me.  The story jumps around a bit going from Ryan's home life to school to a band that he becomes the lead singer in.  Then we are introduced to Haley Foster,  Ryan's new love interest,  who actually likes him in return.  Haley is a shy girl and seems very confused.  One minute she really likes Ryan,  the next she is brushing him off like she would never want to speak to him again.  The relationship just bounces around a bit with no real detail or transgression at all.  It's there,  then it's not.  We are left wondering why she runs so hot and cold.  There was no chance to see it develop or flourish,  which being a romance novel,  this would have been the thing to see.

Ryan becomes a hit in school when his band plays during an assembly,  and this is where he meets Brooke Kennedy and his future wife.  Still again,  there was no real detailed development of this relationship,  no real connection to these two as a couple.  They dated,  were married,  and then they were off to college where both became teachers.

After college,  the story goes more in depth on Ryan's accomplishments and his intelligence,  and this is where I found the most detail in the story.  When Brooke becomes sick,  I found myself saying,  "Okay,  we're going to a different twist and maybe it will be good,"  but again it fell short of detail and connection.  Ryan is no longer concerned with his arm like he was in middle and high school,  he becomes an accomplished PHD Scholar,  and his marriage falls apart only to be introduced to another love interest,  with no real easing into the relationship.

For me,  a romance novel should introduce a couple or prospective couple and we should be able to watch their relationship grow and feel something for the couple.  I didn't find this with Songs of Sadness,  Songs of Love,  and though this may not have been my cup of tea,  it could very well have been yours.  To me it was okay,  and I give it *** (3) Stars.  ~BK Walker

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The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder was gripping and brilliant. 

Melissa Marn was a scientist working for the SCM.  Shifters posed a threat to the military and it was her duty to test the captured shifters to find out how they worked.  Melissa and Bruce put in many man hours,  testing shifters and cloning soldiers at the demands of the new General Raul.

When they bring in children that seem more human than not,  the stress builds.  Melissa takes one night to just forget - about work,  demands on her,  who she is.  After a mug of beer and meeting a new fellow,  she allows herself a night of pleasure,  only to find out he's a shifter.  It was unacceptable and the very thing she was helping to destroy.  How could this happen?

Weeks later she finds herself pregnant.  Determined to keep it hidden,  she plans for adoption after being unable to abort,  her love growing for what was inside of her.

Meanwhile,  Brenden,  the shifter and father to Melissa's baby keeps a close watch on her.  It had been his plan all along to help save his species.  The Shifters already knew they could create a hybrid,  by mating with a human.  The Hybrids were more human-like and better able to save them,  giving them a chance at survival.

When Melissa has the twins and takes them to an orphanage,  Brenden and the other shifters plan to not chance the safety of the shifter babies to human hands and the war begins,  blood is shed.

Blackwelder did such a magnificent job with The Shifters of 2040.  I could only imagine how hard it may have been to write this story,  as it was actually the first in the series but written second to the first introduction of The Hunters of 2060.

I did get a better understanding of The Hunters and the entire story was moving.  I found myself mad at Melissa,  loving Melissa,  and I absolutely loved Brenden and Keenan.  Keenan is one of the cloned soldiers,  and technically #13.  What they never expected after successfully cloning was that the clones might have free will.  Even though they were brainwashed to hate,  capture or kill shifters,  Keenan finds his own way,  even falling in love with Diamond,  a shifter.

Colonel Raul,  well I just wanted to strangle him myself.  He was completely driven by hate and it so clouded his mind.

All in all,  this title was well written,  the characters were likeable,  or hateable,  and it was a pleasure to see how Ami's grown in her writing since The Hunters of 2060.

I give this title ***** (5) Stars and I cannot wait for The Hybrids of 2050.  ~BK Walker

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Venice Vampyr was a magnificent,  fast paced read.  I absolutely love Tina Folsom's writing style.

Isabella was a widow having her husband to a drowning the year before.  As her gondilier is driving her home one night,  she is shocked to hear the canal waters trying to claim yet another life.

When she sees a man sinking to his death,  she wastes no time jumping into the cold murky waters to save him.  Searching the dark water,  relief floods her when she is able to grab the man,  and with the help of her gondilier,  having tied a rope to her,  they both get pulled to the surface. 

Hoping to keep the torment of lonliness from another,  she takes this strange man home to nurse him back to health.  She undresses him and bathes him to warm him from his near death experience.  What she never expected was how his nakedness moved things inside of her that even her late husband wasn't able to move.

As this stranger awakes,  he swears he's in heaven as this beautiful woman standing before him must be an angel.  Isabella assures him he is not in heaven,  but saved from death.  His vampire instincts kick in and he can't help but to sense her desire for him.  Feeling his own need arise,  he is disappointed when she sends him on his way.

When he learns that Isabella lied to him,  and she is in fact the one that saved him,  he is determined more than ever to have her.  Sneaking back into her bed chamber,  she is forced to give in to her carnal desires as Raphael di Santori pleasures her like she's never been pleasured before.

Now worried about her good reputation in the Venice Society,  she's even more devastated when her late husband's cousin abruptly enters the room,  catching her with Raphael and accuses her of being a whore.  The ring he bears does not go unnoticed by Raphael - he is a guardian and one who hunts and kills vampires.  Set on saving Isabella from being shunned,  Raphael marries her.

Isabella will in time figure out her new husband's secret,  but will she be able to accept him for what he is,  or deny the love that she's developed?

Folsom did such a fantastic job with Venice Vampyr.  The characters were easy to connect with and the plot was suspenseful and thrilling all in one.  I believe Tina Folsom may be one of my author picks of the year for 2011.  I can't wait to start Gabriel's Mate.

I give this title ***** (5) Stars.

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Gabriel's Mate is Book 3 in the Scanguards Series and was even better than Venice Vampyr.  The more books I read by Tina Folsom,  the more I want.

All Gabriel ever wanted was to be accepted and loved by a woman.  When his wife screamed in horror the night of their wedding,  deeming Gabriel as a monster,  she did more to him than leave a scar on his face after slicing him with a knife.

Now,  centuries later,  Gabriel is second in command with the Scanguards - security for hire.  When his boss,  Samson,  calls upon him to secure a newly turned vampire so he can take his human wife to safety,  Gabriel gets more than he bargained for.

Maya is the most beautiful woman he's ever laid eyes on.  Gabriel finds an unexplainable,  instant attraction to her.  When they realize somethings going wrong with the turning process,  the pain of his own turning surfaces in a vivid memory and Gabriel feels the need to protect Maya,  no matter what it might cost him.

In search of the rogue vampire that did this to Maya,  we see both character grow in self,  and in each other.  I absolutely loved Gabriel - so gentle and full of compassion despite his position and power in the house.  He has so much to offer to the one that would only allow it.

Maya's spunk was the perfect mix in this relationship.  I loved how she had to learn to trust and yet maintain her own independence.

Zane is the one that I hope we see broken down a bit,  not literally but emotionally.  I really just want to know his story,  which I think could be a book in itself.

Yvette was kick-ass!  She's one you would want as a friend and have fighting on your side.

Then there's Thomas - who wouldn't love Thomas?  Everyone loves Thomas and he's a great mentor to teach new vampires the ropes.

I know I don't usually divulge on individual characters,  but I just loved all of them.  Though this was the third book in the series,  this book could very well stand alone.  I don't make it a habit to read out of order,  but I don't feel I missed too much by reading ahead.

I love Folsom's writing and it always has the perfect mix of sex and suspense.  So be forewarned *grinning*.

I give Gabriel's Mate ***** (5) Stars.  Fantastic read!

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The People's Will by Eric Berbig is a Historical Suspense,  and my first endeavor into historical anything.  As my first experience in Historical Fiction,  I must say that I enjoyed it a lot.Set in Russia,  I did have a bit of a time trying to pronounce a lot of the names,  but the plot of the story was great.

Revolutionists,  better known as Nihilists,  are trying to take back the people's rights.  The Tsar through the years has taken away privleges such as education,  how they live and many other rights.

As these Revolutionists attempt to prove a point,  the story starts out with murder.  Nikolai,  Irina,  Alexei,  Fyodor and Mikhail are the main group members following Zhelyabov's group called "The People's Will".   As they try to show the Tsar that they won't stand for all the rules and limited rights granted to the people,  they have planned their plight well.  Following Deputy Finance Minister Golovnin's every move,  they find him at a theater and drop a bomb of dynamite into his carriage,  killing him instantly.  Fleeing to safety,  they celebrate their victory.

Yuri Vladimirovich Pavlov is a detective in the St. Petersburg Police Department.  Out of 'professional curiosity' he enters the crime scene of Golovnin's demise and takes charge as those on scene are so distraught.  This is one person Zhelyabov didn't expect.  Now called officially by the Okhrana,  a secret service type of organization,  Yuri investigates into the murder of the Minister,  obtaining as much information about these Revolutionists as possible.

As "The People's Will" group plot their biggest retaliation,  the closer Yuri gets to solving this crime and finding those behind it.  The group members start to question their actions until Fyodor is arrested and every known revolutionist is ordered to be detained for questioning.  When Fyodor is released and returns beaten,  they know that they have to complete what they started,  to take out the Tsar himself.

This is when the action picks up,  and the scene drawn out kept me on the edge of my seat.  Berbig did a fantastic job with detail,  and I couldn't help but wonder how far Zhelyabov would go to obtain his goal,  which ultimately was power he was seeking.

With their attempt to take out Tsar Alexander II,  they all flee for safety.  When Mikhail's carriage breaks down,  he becomes surrounded by soldiers led by Yuri.  As Yuri attempts to sway his thinking,  telling him he was nothing more than a puppet,  Mikhail refuses to go down without a fight.

Will the rest get away?  That is yet to be determined,  and I anxiously wait for more. 

Berbig's "The People's Will" was a great introduction into this genre.  I was a little disappointed in the ending,  but only because I wanted to know more.   There were some parts that lagged,  and it may just be that I was more ready to see what the revolutionists were up to rather than learn the why's of it,  but when the action was there,  it was there full force.  I enjoyed this title and if you like historical suspense,  you will like The People's Will.

I give The People's Will **** (4) Stars,  BK Walker.

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Well first I must say that this title had a great plot.  The characters were likeable as well and I fell in love with Eli. 

Holly was interviewing for a job at a hotel as an assistant.  She never thought she would get the job,  but when Sam told her she was hired she was ecstatic.  This job meant extra money to pay bills and maybe get ahead a little.

When she meets Eli,  the son of the owners of the Hotel,  she couldn't believe how gorgeous he was.  She was sure he would never go for her though,  thinking she wasn't his type at all.  Eli surprises her when asks her out on a date. 

Sam,  one of the 6 friends within the company tells Holly that she needs to play hard to get.  Holly does as she is told and only drives Eli crazy and he now wants her more than ever.

In the background we have Natalie.  Natalie is the daughter of the owners,  and the child left behind.  She hates her brother,  hates her parents for babying her brother and wants the freedom and the money Eli has access to.  Her story ties into the theme and brings the knowledge of wrong doings.

What Holly doesn't know is that Eli,  Mark,  Brian,  Jake,  Paul and Sam are part of another business on the side.  The business of Murder.  Holly only sees what's on the surface,  Sam and Paul sneaking away during the day for sex,  Jake, Brian and Mark always with Eli,  but she only assumes it's business.  That is until someone else asks Holly out and the plot thickens.

Holly does date Eli,  falls in love,  while Eli has never been in love and can't understand what she is doing to him,  and hiding behind the scene affairs.  Is Eli in love for the first time?  And will he change his ways for the woman he loves?

Like I said this title has a fantastic plot.  What I didn't like was how whiny Holly could be at times.  She actually drove me nuts to the point that I just wanted to reach into the pages and slap her.  Eli was a fun character.  Having never dated a woman for more than 2 days,  it was fun to watch him realize he could possibly love this woman.

I loved Sam's feistiness,  she was a great asset to this book.  We are actually introduced into two romances,  when we meet Eli's sister Natalie,  who plots to destroy them all.  Natalie and Wess,  the man for hire,  fall in love and will do anything to protect and be with the other. 

What I didn't like,  and I usually don't let this bother me but,  halfway through the book character names started to change.  Not only once but a few times.   Natalie became Nichole and one other name.  Mark was even a Mike and then a Matt at one point.  I was getting into the book and then when the character names changed,  I found myself having to go back to see if I missed something.  When you change a main character name like that,  it really drags the story down.

So with that being said,  I loved the plot and the character themselves,  but I have to give Criminal Company ***1/2 (3.5) Stars.  With a little editing and critiquing,  this could very well be a 5 star novel. ~BK Walker

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A Blood Moon
Bitten Twice

Alejandro was a great king before he died. In life, he had been Alexander the Great. In death, he was just as large. He held two lives, one public and one private.  In public, he was Lex Macedo, the Billionaire of Macedo Inc. a web-hosting giant. Privately, he had too many aliases to count, most of them some sort of derivation of Alexander. He never used a family name as this was a luxury he could ill afford. Alexander was the young King of Macedonia and skilled in the art of war and military strategies. Now, in death, he is a 2000 year old vampire who owes a debt to Satan's daughter Catalina for her pulling him from the underworld. And Jacqui who owes a debt to Alex for him saving her from being wed to the demon Xander. To pay his debt back to Catalina, he must remove the amulet from around her neck, an amulet that allowed her to stay in a human form in order to enjoy life with her human mate Carlos. She has no use for the amulet now because her beloved Carlos was murdered in an alley way, and she could not save him from being killed.
Take the journey with Alex, Jack, and Lina to hell and back. You will be mesmerized by the writings of Bitten Twice. You will be transported into a world of love, passion, sex, murder and lots more! Enjoy Bitten Twice's wonderful imagination and creativity in A Blood Moon. You will not be able to put the book down, in anticipation of what the next page, next chapter holds. I have enjoyed the book so much, I am going to look into other reads from Bitten Twice.
I would highly recommend A Blood Moon and I give it Five Stars. *****

5/5 Stars

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Reviewed by Nora Chipley Barteau from A Paranormal Lover's POV

The Price
Leon Newton

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this play. I feel it is a great piece of work and I think everyone should read it, if not just for a refresher course. As a christian, I know it is not going to be that civilized in hell but it drives a good lesson home. We see and understand that people in all walks of life have a destination at the end of their life, and it can only be one of two places, heaven or hell. No matter how much money a person has, it cannot prolong your life if it is your time to go, nor can it allow a person to put in a 'reservation' to heaven. I enjoyed the people who shared their story in hell, from all walks of life. There was the millionaire at one end of the spectrum, to athletics, entertainers, regular people and even a deacon in the church. In just a short time, it gives the reader an inside view at the various people and their tales of why they are in hell and have 'paid the price' to be there. I feel the writer gave satan a civilized personality in order for people to understand the character in this play. Because we know by reading the Bible and the teachings in the Sunday school classes, that satan is an evil being with no compassion for human life or their souls and definately would not give God and Jesus credit or recognition of any kind. The Price is an easy read and can be understood by the old and the young.

I recommend this play or book and give it five stars.
5/5 Stars
Reviewed by
Nora Barteau

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The Price by Leon Newton was my first play write and I wasn't sure what to expect.  I must say though that I truly enjoyed this read.

It starts off by telling you about the characters and the sin they committed,  giving you details such as age,  and scene.

A millionaire is cast to hell after his death.  Standing before Satan he demands that the "paperwork" be checked as there must be some sort of mistake that he is in Hell.  Not only is he in Hell,  but it's so hot and he asks Satan to turn on the air conditioning.

The millionaire does not believe in Heaven or Hell,  God or Satan.  He does not understand why he is here and during the play we see the characters try to convince him of his sins and that he is paying the price for them.  He believes he is a good man though,  and just because he is rich shouldn't condemn him to Hell.

Satan laughs when the millionaire continues to ask for air conditioning and paperwork to be checked.  He tries to tell him that there are only two choices on Earth,  God or Satan. 

The millionaire continually states he doesn't believe in God or Satan,  but only in himself.  As new arrivals take their turn in telling of their sins and why they are in Hell,  the millionaire thinks its a bunch of craziness and that they have sinned and are paying the price,  but isn't convinced that his own greed and arrogance was enough to land him in the flaming pits of Hell.

Annie keeps quoting scripture,  Billy cries he was never told about Jesus,  and the Athlete is ready to kick the millionaire's butt for his arrogance.  When Satan has had enough,  he casts them all to burn and the play ends.

I found myself amused and seeing the message as well.  The Price was a fast paced read,  enlightening the fact that we should live right and by God and not for ourselves.  We should give to others freely,  and not only when we are searching for praise.

Price did a fantastic job and I would love to see this in an actual play.  I think it would be fun to watch and even my 11 year old son enjoyed it.


I give The Price ***** (5) Stars,  BK Walker.

I enjoyed the trailer for this as well and have included it below :).

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Completely Whole by Paulette Harper was fast paced and an easy read.  I think this title would be perfect for a new Christian,  or someone that needs a better understanding of bible scripture.  If you feel like something is missing from your life,  then you will enjoy this book.

From the first page Harper talks about how you can make yourself Completely Whole,  living by the Word.  From relationships,  to your way of thinking,  to changing the way you look at life,  Harper did a great job explaining how you can apply scripture to daily living.  She even goes as far as to break down the scripture for a better understanding of what it means and how to make it work for you.

The only thing I didn't care for was she used the King James Version of the Bible a lot,  which I never understood.  She does have some scripture from the Amplified version and these are a little easier to grasp.  I use the New International Version which talks in today's dialogue,  and used it to look up the scripture she used to better understand the verse.

My favorite quote that I took away - "No one can do you like God can do you."

All in all,  this was a great book for self exploration,  and for a better understanding on what they mean when they say,  "Live by the Word."

Paulette Harper is an Ordained Minister,  and she does public motivational speaking.  Her goal is to help women across the board,  and I would love to hear her.  I think she would be a lot of fun and a true inspiration.

A sought after speaker, certified life coach, minister and author. As an inspirational and motivational speaker, Paulette’s desire is to motive women to reach their God given potential through conferences, workshops and seminars. Combining enthusiasm with an energetic speaking style, audiences describe Paulette’s presentation as inspiriting, enriching and encouraging. She is committed to speaking a message that is always uplifting and edifying.

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