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Some Words about Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal

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Some Words about Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal
Review by JD DeHart

In this first book of a larger series, author J. Kyle McNeal takes us into a world that he has clearly described and unearthed in detail, treating on themes of choosing destiny and making grand life choices in the context of an inventive universe.  McNeal's ability to take us into this fictional world is a hallmark of quality fantasy and science fiction.  The author has to make the landscape vivid enough to be seen and sensed in words, and McNeal accomplishes this.

Readers who are acquainted with the genre will enjoy Birthrights, and readers who are not as versed in this type of fiction should give this book a chance.  The book is told from two perspectives, includes an action-filled narrative, and gives us characters who are easy to follow.  McNeal has arranged this volume (it is not a slim book) clearly and writes descriptively.

There is a legendary sense here that I enjoy encountering in fantasy.  An enjoyable…

A Blurb on The Scarlet Rose, Vol. 1 by Patricia Lyfoung

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A Blurb on The Scarlet Rose, Vol. 1 by Patricia Lyfoung Review by JD DeHart
This may the first time I have used the word "swashbuckling" without being ironic, but this is a swashbuckling adventure story.  The art here is beautifully done and the story is sweeping.  Luckily, this is just volume one, with another volume to come soon in the spring.  
There is a lovely dichotomy of light and dark in these panels, and it creates a sense of adventure and mystery.  We are given a female protagonist and a historical setting that make this read a unique standout.
There is action packed into these panels along with an engaging story, high recommended for readers young and old, and a worthy addition to the classroom and library bookshelf.  The Scarlet Rose, Volume 1 will be released in the United States on September 5, 2017. 

A Blurb on Draekora by Lynette Noni

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A Blurb on Draekora by Lynette Noni
Review by JD DeHart

A fanciful novel, this book kept me engaged throughout the reading and establishes a fascinating world.  Lynette Noni has spared no sense of the imagination in creating a fantasy tale for readers to slip into.

While this book is aimed at young adults, I also believe mature readers would enjoy it.  The author manages to pour much into these pages, and I found the fantasy world here to be inviting.  The book is part of the larger Medoran Chronicles, but Noni guides the reader through the ins and outs she has created.  This is a literary fantasy to get lost in.


A Blurb on The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

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A Blurb on The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
Review by JD DeHart


I will admit this was my first experience reading Kate Moretti's work.  After reading this book, I do not think it will be the last.  Moretti takes what could be just another mystery book on the shelf and creatively arranges elements that make for an original flavor.

Notably here, Moretti skillfully uses multiple narrators to let her twists and turns unfold and, adding an element of the mystical and foreboding, sets her tale against the backdrop of a strange natural event.  The words in this story cut to the bone and Moretti knows how to drive the narrative.

This was an enjoyable mystery and thriller.

Review of Person Suit, Edited by Kristi King-Morgan

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Review of Person Suit, Edited by Kristi King-Morgan Review by JD DeHart
A mix of prose and poetry, it is hard not to find something enjoyable and evocative in the book, Person Suit.  Krist King-Morgan serves as the editor here, and the book treats on a variety of hard-hitting issues, from abuse to mental illness.  Kudos to the many authors who contributed and shared pieces of honest, real life with us readers.
Strong and well-written works appear in each section, with notable examples that stood out to me by Dianne Lowe-Breakfield (in particular, the poem, "I Saw Me"), as well as the works by John Logos.  I would also note E.R. by Belkiss Slama as a sharp and clearly written entry.
Person Suit can be purchased on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Person-Suit-Anthology-Mental-Illness/dp/1514261405/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503244048&sr=1-1&keywords=person+suit and has been published by Dreaming Big Publications.

Review of Hot Potato by Derrick Paulson

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Review of Hot Potato by Derrick Paulson
Review by JD DeHart

In the tradition of Douglas Adams comes a science fiction novel that simply refuses to take itself too seriously, a welcome diversion.  The real feature of Hot Potato is Paulson's humor in each chapter and line, while the author simultaneously shows us his ability to tell a good story.  The finished product is witty, wild, adventuresome, and filled with characters from science fiction and fantasy lore.

A professor of English, Paulson shows off his writing abilities in the book with gusto and energy.  And I don't use the word gusto that much.  Recommended for readers of the science fiction genre, both old and new, as well as readers who are just looking for a good time in prose.  Where else are you going to read phrases like, "Son of a synapse slug" and encounter potato creatures from space than in a book like this?

Read more about Derrick Paulson and other authors at publisher Red Dashboard's website: ht…

Review of Prelude to a Quest by Sherlynn A. Muckelroy

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Review of Prelude to a Quest by Sherlynn A. Muckelroy
Review by JD DeHart

I always enjoy a well-written science fiction story and Sherlynn A. Muckelroy’s Prelude to a Quest is a fine example of the genre.  This book acts as a prequel to Muckelroy’s multi-volume series, A Quest of the Ages.

Muckelroy effectively sets the stage for her science fiction adventure from the beginning, writing in clear and clean prose to does not become bogged down in the hard science of her subject.  There is appropriate reference here to meet the expectations of the genre, but the narrative is the clear focus.

The book recounts a space journey with some well-placed surprises and turns, and Muckelroy describes the strange new features encountered on the journey in a way that paints the images for the reader.  The relationships among the characters is clearly formed as the book progresses, and the characters are relatable.

Muckelroy seems to have a clear vision for this universe.  The story is told from th…

Three Questions with Author Joanne Harris

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I asked author Joanne Harris three questions about writing and reading.  This is what she said...

1.  What advice would you offer young readers?

Read omnivorously and widely, in as many areas as you can. Enjoy your reading: but try to challenge yourself occasionally, too.

2.  What advice would you offer young writers?

The same: no-one can write well without reading - and reading a lot....


3.  What are you reading and writing now?

I'm writing a follow-up to GOSPEL OF LOKI, out in 2018, and a novella based on one of the Child Ballads (no. 113), so I'm researching by reading lots of books on fishing and folklore. For fun I'm reading a proof of the new Lee Child, THE MIDNIGHT LINE.

Find out more about Joanne Harris at www.joanne-harris.co.uk, on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Harris/e/B000APFVNQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1503239285&sr=8-2-ent, and on Twitter @Joannechocolat

A Blurb on If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle-Aged Men

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Laugh out loud, tears in my eyes funny.  Very clear read!  I recommend this book for any pet owner and any reader looking for a good laugh.  Those readers who have experience with dogs can relate, and even the cat people can sympathize.
A belly-laugh of a book, and I am already thinking of people I can gift it to when it is released.  I am preordering right now.

Some Words about The Other Side of Having by Mick Mally

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Some Words about The Other Side of Having by Mick Mally Review by JD DeHart
The poems contained in this collection demonstrate Mick Malley's talent with words.  Very often, the poet speaks from a first person perspective and recounts joys and sorrows.  As a lover of verse, I was excited and pleased to discover a voice I had never read before.

The poems ring of real life, honesty, and emotion, as poems should.  I also appreciated the way this book paired simple images with verses.  My favorite entry, although there are many others here, was Images Surround Me.  Beautiful, mystical words.