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Feather's Passion

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Ultimate Sacrifice (Merryweather Lodge, #3)

Ultimate Sacrifice - Pauline Holyoak Let me first state that I received Pauline Holyoak's books, the Merryweather Trilogy, as a gift. My review is unbiased.

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I've stepped out of my reader genre comfort zone (historical romance and non fiction). When I discovered Pauline's PARANORMAL ROMANCE books, the first thing that grabbed me were the beautiful book covers. I then reviewed the book trailers. Yes, I'm pretty fussy about what I read. The most recent book trailer for the Merryweather Lodge trilogy was one of the best produced trailers I've seen. Merryweather Lodge book trailer: http://youtu.be/T-XfFIHSSvo

Merryweather Lodge trilogy includes Ancient Revenge, Malevolent Spirit, and Ultimate Sacrifice. Now, for me to read a trilogy is rare. However, Merryweather Lodge was so highly recommended that I looked for an opportunity to read the first book; and discovered that all three books were available. And, I was lucky enough to receive them as a gift.

My first impression about the story concerned the detailed descriptions. I was in the various scenes after reading just a few lines. Pauline Holyoak puts you in the story, into the kitchen, garden, attic, basement, country side, and feeling it with all your senses. You connect with the characters immediately. And you're drawn into their intense fear, wondering how are the protagonists going to manage their escape; are they all going to survive?

And, of course, not all the good guys survive. I cried. Yes, and I was almost angry with the author. Reading the Merryweather books sent me on an emotional journey that few books achieve. While I acknowledge the possibility of paranormal beings of other dimensions, I draw the line at the malevolent ones. So when I read paragraphs describing evil spirits taking control of my favorite characters - it was almost beyond my courage to read on. But read on, I did.

You cannot put these books down. Pauline Holyoak has achieved the impossible in writing a trilogy. Each book stands on its own. However, I recommend you start with book one, Ancient Revenge and, if you have not gone hiding into your closet, get book two, Malevolent Spirit; and finally, the ultimate fear factor in book three, Ultimate Sacrifice.

You'll be on an emotional roller coaster. From experiencing the warmth of Auntie Em's old fashioned kitchen with the delicious aroma of her baking, to the sensuous sensations in your erogenous zones in the romantic scenes, to the gut wrenching fear while being nearly consumed by an evil spirit - Merryweather Lodge will remain with you long after you've read the last page of the final book.

In providing a review of books I've read, it's important to be honest about anything that I found lacking in the story. It's rare that a book has achieved perfection. However, Pauline Holyoak has done just that. In fact, she has received the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award Winner Fiction/Paranormal.

Feather Stone
http://www.featherstoneauthor.blogspot.com
Late Night With Andres - Debra Anastasia Rising-star blogger Milla Kierce knows she's arrived when she sees the swag basket in her dressing room on the night of her late-night television debut. But before she can bite into the muffin that symbolizes her success, gunfire echoes through the TV studio. She's just hidden herself (mostly in plain sight) when the door flings open. Instead of a gunman, there stands one of the world's most popular rock stars, Gage Daxson, looking for his own way out of danger.

Thrown together, they'll battle a venomous man seeking revenge and his own sexual pleasure, but they may never leave the building again. Distracted by fear, fame, and infamy, can these two somehow find their way to each other?

Equal parts horrifying and hilarious, Debra Anastasia's Late Night With Andres offers more than a few twists and turns—and, of course, enough heat to keep things interesting.


Review by Feather Stone:

Three words sum up Late Night With Andres: Sexy, Funny, Thriller

Have you ever been on one fair ground ride that made you laugh hysterically; then scream yourself hoarse when you suddenly know you're about to be killed; then shamefully blush as your errogenous zones heat up. Late Night With Andres had this effect upon me - starting with page one, paragraph one. I can't remember reading a book where my emotions were pushed and pulled to the extreme within each paragraph. And it worked beautifully. I'd read Late Night With Andres book again just for the thrills.

Such is the talent of author, Debra Anastasia. She's wacky when it counts. She's mysterious and intense. She's gifted.

The characters were well developed - and real. I immediately connected with all of them, especially the anatogonist. I would have loved to grab his balls and give them a twist and yank treatment - just for starters. The heroine, Milla, had moves only possessed by those of who are totally uninhibited. Debra cleverly paints a picture of Milla's celebration in the scene below.


When security showed her to the dressing room, she nodded gracefully and closed the door. But once she knew she was out of sight, she commenced a butt-slapping, hair-swinging dance of excitement and victory. She had no way of knowing she was being taped for the late night television show’s blooper reel. Not even a little hint. She added her pretend-I’m-a-drunk-stripper dance, complete with toe drags. Eventually, she petered out and chicken-danced over to her welcome packet the people from Late Night With Andres! had thoughtfully put on the coffee table.


Only Debra can combine an 'adult only' scene with crime drama. Add a touch of humor to that scene and you'll be hooked. The plot is clearly defined and the progress of the story is swift and clear - albeit with a twist or two.

Love surprise endings? This book is for you. Love sexy and strong characters? This book is for you. Love to laugh? This book is for you.

Late Night With Andres: Five Stars

Ashfall - Review by Feather Stone

Ashfall - Mike Mullin

Loved this book. The action and characters kept me interested and moving forward. The author's research was evident in clearly showing what would happen in a catastrophic episode of Yellowstone erupting. I had just watched a documentary on TV about Yellowstone's dark past and so this book was a timely find.

 

If there is anything negative, it's a minor point. I found the love relationship between the two main characters unnecessary.

 

Execllent book.

Video promoting the event,"Men of Omnific Smackdown" hosted by Love Between the Sheets. Promotion of romance novels.

Video for the Men of Omnific Smackdown; promotion of Omnific authors' romance novels starting September 30th.

Book trailer for The Guardian's Wildchild, by author Feather Stone

The Recruit - Monica McCarty I love historical romance. In fact, that's almost the only fictional genre that I read. My preference is non fiction. Being that Monica McCarty based this novel on historical facts, I enjoyed the story very much. Monica is gifted in clearly describing the scenes and emotions of the characters.

The reason I'm giving this novel a 4 instead of a 5/5 is that the characters felt too unreal, too invisible, too perfect. The hero, Kenneth Sutherland, appears flawless; the heroine (Mary) started out interesting, but then I lost my feelings for her. I felt the relationship between Mary and Kenneth was verging on shallow. My impression of Mary at the start the the plot was such that she would not have entered into a sexual relationship with Kenneth until much later in the plot. I had admired her tenacity and intelligence up until then.

I enjoyed the fact that this wasn't a simple romance story. There were two main characters and several minor (but interesting) characters. The author skillfully identified each character throughout so that I wasn't confused about who was who.

The plot had twists and surprises. The scenes of passion and sex were over the top and for those who love to read intense sexual liasons, you'll love this book. After a couple of pages of subsequent sexual encounters, I got bored and skipped ahead to return to the plot.

I recommend this book to readers who love historical romance, particularly in a Scottish and English setting; and for those who enjoy passionate sex scenes.
The Last Refuge - Ben Coes The Last Refuge is a political thriller from the get-go. Ben Coes has described the political climate in the USA to the Middle East so well that I was able to grasp the clandestine nature of the beast. And, truthfully, his depiction of the 'intelligence department' made me shiver. I suspect Ben's novel is painfully close to the truth on how the CIA and other security departments function.

The Last Refuge is past paced and exciting. The body count is up there and the callous nature of some of the characters was difficult to comprehend. If there is a weakness in the novel it's that I couldn't connect with the characters. I wanted the 'good guys' to win but only for the sake of preventing mass suffering of innocents.

If you like plot driven novels, espionage, and wish to experience the bitter taste on how some world federal governments might operate, you'll enjoy Ben's novel. He's an excellent writer, putting the reader into the scenes. You will experience the pain during interrogation and have doubts you'll survive. But you must. Israel is depending upon you.

I received The Last Refuge as gift in a competition. Thank you very much, Ben, for this awesome book. Feather Stone

The Qur'an

The Quran - Anonymous, Muhammad Zafrulla Khan Enlightening
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time - David Oliver Relin, Greg Mortenson I couldn't put this book down. Just when I was researching Muslim life, I picked up this book and found so much more. Anyone who is looking for a hero model, this is the book for you. Greg Mortenson is incredible. As of 2009 he had estabished 81 schools throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. This was done in spite of great risk to his life pre, during and post 9/11. His motive? To fight terroism by educating the children. The education was aimed at giving the children a future, to be able to support themselves, rather than become part of the terrorism machinery. His bravery is beyond that I could comprehend. He spent months living in poverty conditions, going without food or shelter at times. He and his wife/children did without so that the scant dollars donated was spent on building schools, buying supplies, paying teachers, etc. It is so reassuring to know there are dedicated people in the world like the Mortenson and the many people who participated by volunteering or donating to his projects.
Feather Stone
Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir - Marina Nemat I loved this book. It was a rare opportunity to learn about the life of common people of Iran. The author described her life before and after the collapse of the freedoms within Iran. Although it was a historical account, it was told in a interesting fashion and kept me interested to see how she survived the terrible changes in her young life. She is an incredibly strong person. I doubt I could have survived what she went through. She is also a wonderful story teller - an honest account of her life in Iran. Thank you
Feather Stone

Gaia's Gift

Gaia's Gift - Fran Orenstein What an excellent book! The descriptions of the scenes is vibrant. And the characters have a full range of likeable and not so likeable qualities - human. But most of all, the pain of the central character was palpable. I felt for her throughout her ordeal. Sometimes I was angry that she didn't show more resolve to "get on with" it. But her pain was at a depth that's difficult for most of us to relate to or comprehend. I kept reading and hoping she would find a way out of her hell. And yet there was also humor and warmth in the story. The plot was magical. A wonderful story.
Ancient Revenge (Merryweather Lodge #1) - Pauline Holyoak At my recent Cole's book signing I met Pauline Holyoak. What a surprise to learn that she not only lives just a few homes down the street from me, but that she is also a published author. Her first book, Merryweather Lodge, Ancient Revenge, was published in 2010. This book was awarded the 2011 Readers Favorite Award Winner.
I started reading it and could not put it down. Having finished the first book, I am excited to start on Pauline's second book, the sequel, Merryweather Lodge - Malevolent Spirit. Pauline is working on the final book to the trilogy.

Now, I have to admit that stories with vengeful witches, evil spirits and gruesome scenes are not normally my cup of tea. The movie "Carrie" thoroughly turned me off that genre. However, having met Pauline and enjoyed her upbeat personality, and saw the book had won an award, I decided to risk the nightmares. I believe that any book that is written well, regardless of the genre, must be read.

Over the next three days I was immersed into the beautiful English countryside, and its ancient myths. The scenes are so well described I became not the reader, but the companion of the main characters. I was wanting to yank them out of the horrific events and lead them to safety. Instead of being overwhelmed with horror, like I am usually in these scenes, I found myself wanting to place myself between the evil and the characters. This was as a result of the author's skill making the characters real, people I would love to know and care for. I cheered for their courage and selflessness to protect each other. Then, of course, I hoped that the romance between Emily and Jonathon would blossom, hopefully before one or both of them were killed by the evil cousin.

Pauline's talent for describing scenes is beyond beyond. Not only could I accurately visualize the details, but all my other senses were activated to the max. Humour is strategically placed throughout preventing the dark plot from becoming overly taxing. I loved the dialogue that depicted the English expressions, adding to the personalities of the characters. The plot is well executed (no pun intended) leading you deeper into the mystery and the magic. The ending? Well, you will just have to read the book!

Cat O' Nine Tails - Patricia Leever Amusing 'tail' of pirates - woman pirate. Loved it.