Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Enterprises, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: Cara: Some Children Keep Terrible Secrets…by Tanya R. Taylor

cara-cornelius-book-3Synopsis: In Tanya R. Taylor’s Cara, the third installment in the gripping Cornelius Saga, some children keep terrible secrets…

After being bullied on the first day at her new school, young Rosie Cullen has found a new friend in a mysterious loner named Cara. Rosie knows her only by her first name, but feels she has an obligation to be there for her in an otherwise lonely existence. Mira, Rosie’s gifted mother, allows the budding friendship for a time, but soon senses that something isn’t quite right.

Dark, disturbing secrets involving the strange little girl begin to surface and the Cullens will eventually discover that what they initially thought was a worthy deed has turned out to be an unforgettable nightmare.

“I took care of things,” Cara replied casually. “I had no choice. Besides, they deserved it.”

My thoughts: Taylor’s writing is once again razor sharp in Book 3 of The Cornelius Saga, Cara. As always, this installment can be read as stand-alone; however, I highly recommend you read all the gripping books in this phenomenal wordsmith’s series.

The characters are flawlessly designed. The atmosphere is richly crafted. The writing is taunt enough to bounce a quarter off. Taylor weaves her tale like an artesian. I thoroughly enjoyed returning to visit old friends and meeting new characters sculpted for Cara.

Still, I thought Taylor ended it a bit abruptly. I was so immersed in the prolific prose and adrenaline fused action I bounced into the wall at the ending. At first, I thought my Voyage was misbehavin’! I was tossed from my perch, on my high horse, reading the tornado that is Cara that I thought I was missing some pages.

Taylor’s writing is flawless but I wanted more. MORE!!! I believe there was so much more to Cara and her backstory I wanted to inhale it. I was miffed. I was experiencing a mini tantrum – trust me, cookie cakes, it isn’t a sight to behold. Yep, I have a little Cara in me. I am hoping this will be a nugget planted in the gifted Taylor’s brilliant mind to write more about Cara in a backstory and branch out to include a book on a relative of Cara’s. I may be tossing angel glitter in the wind here, but I am going to do it, Taylor, ya gotta return to the magic and mischief that is Cara. Cara was too incredible a book and a character to let go of. Perhaps, that is why I believe it ended rather abruptly. Cara is a must-read as a solo outing or as part of the series.

I did mist up while reading it and at the ending. When a reader finds compelling books, it is heaven on earth. When a writer finds books to aspire to, it is also heaven on earth. When Morasco finds books that hit the nail in both categories it is a homerun. Badda Bing. Badda Boom!!!

Taylor’s novels have set a supernatural paradigm in storytelling that hasn’t been met by any of her contemporaries. She is a literary nugget that shines alongside the horror legends. Taylor did it again…Ba-BAMMM!

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Enterprises, Diane Morasco Reviews

Book Review: ‘The Alpha Drive (The Alpha Drive, #1)’ by Kristen Martin

kmthe-alpha-drive-final-front-coverSynopsis: In Kristen Martin’s The Alpha Drive (The Alpha Drive, #1), it’s the year 2055 and an anarchist organization has taken control with the aim to create a world-class society. Half of humankind is unknowingly living in an alternate reality called Dormance . . . and there are no plans to wake them up.

Sixteen-year-old introvert Emery Parker is one such dormant. An academic scholar who avoids ruffling feathers at all costs, Emery finds herself being transferred to a boarding school on the outskirts of Arizona. Little does she know; a family secret has the power to change the course of the future. When she’s approached with an opportunity to free the dormants, she sees no other choice but to accept, even though failure could mean having her memory wiped clean.

But when tech-savvy Torin Porter reaches out to her from the other side, Emery begins to question everything she was told about Dormance. If her family’s secret falls into the wrong hands, the world as she knows it will be faced with irreversible consequences. Now Emery must play both sides to uncover the truth about her family’s past or risk leaving mankind to live in an unconscious reality.

My thoughts: Word on Alphabet Street is The Alpha Drive is comparable in some way for fans of The Matrix and Divergent. NOOO, HONEY! It isn’t. Kristen Martin hasn’t just smashed the proverbial glass ceiling with her stunning YA debut – she obliterated it. Thanks to the incredibly gifted Martin the genre will never be the same. Nope, it won’t. Ever. Hallelujah! In fact, Martin’s contemporaries’ may soon find themselves getting scratched on the glass the new Princess of Fantasy has shattered to bits as they struggle to catch up to this ingénue’s level of commanding storytelling. Martin has writing skills, Martin has world building skills and Martin has character designing skills. Pfft! Martin has skills. Period.

Martin’s first outing is brimming with dynamic, intriguing and pulsating characters who take the reader along for the exhilarating ride – so readers, ya better buckle up. Martin’s strength glistens radiantly with the imagined world she detailed with expertise and grace. The Alpha Drive is a breathtaking cinematic adventure.

Readers, take heed, this is an extremely difficult book to put down. I started it at night and did not go to sleep until I finished it after two the next morning. I was snuggled in with my trio of blessings – two dogs and a cat – and flipped my Voyage like the book was going to vanish from my Kindle. Hey! Ya never know.

The Alpha Drive is brimming with a sundry of twists which smoothly propel the action. It is exciting, stirring and laced beautifully. Martin’s brilliantly crafted tension keeps the pages turning. YESSS, HONEY!

The Alpha Drive is a must-read for readers of all genres because it is such a compelling read. Martin’s style is impressive and the fact that she will only get better with each book she writes is an incredible gift to readers of epic fantasy and good ol’ storytelling.

There hasn’t been a writer in this genre to leave an imprint as powerful as Martin since Rowling. Yes, cookie cakes, that Rowling. J.K. Rowling. Marie Lu came semi-close with her Legend series, but semi-close is like the color beige – it’s just there. But when a vibrant color like turquoise or aquamarine – nope, not the same color, cookie cakes, not at all – comes along, beige blends into the background and tastes as bland as tapioca. Martin is turquoise. Martin is aquamarine. However, Martin is not Rowling. Martin is Martin – Kristen Martin.

Martin’s enchanting writing created its own imprint in this inundated arena. Let’s be honest, cookie cakes, there is one Rowling, one Serling, one Lucas, one Spielberg, and now there are two Martin’s – George and Kristen.

Welcome, Kristen Martin, to your throne and your new Kingdom. And to think, this is her first novel. Her debut! WOW! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of the second installment in this ingenious and intricately plotted trilogy, The Order of Omega. I cannot wait until November 8th.

And if she heads east on a book tour – I am going to be putting out a Call to Action for smelling salts. Kristen Martin is an auto-buy, an inspiration and a friend in my head. Hey, if Wendy Williams can have them, so can this New York/ Jersey hybrid. Just sayin’!

Here’s to many, many many, more books from Kristen Martin. Embrace your moments, Kristen Martin, the best is yet to come.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Review first appeared on Blogcritics.

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review ‘Haunted Cruise: The Shakedown’ by Tanya R. Taylor

HAUNTED CRUISE COVER (jpg)Synopsis: Dellie Hayworth has landed a job with one of the largest shipbuilding companies after years of unemployment. She is sent off to sea with her marriage in shambles and seemingly beyond repair. For two weeks, she will reside in the luxury vessel, ‘The Caesar’, in anticipation of what awaits her when she returns home. However, she, nor any other member of the crew, can fathom what awaits them in the middle of the ocean.

My thoughts: Tanya R. Taylor knows how to take a nugget in her brilliant mind and make it shine like stars in a cobalt sky. Haunted Cruise: The Shakedown is delectably dark and wickedly scrumptious. This is what a thriller is supposed to evoke in readers – chills, imaginations on overload, licks of fear pulsating up and down their spines, and whispers of terror summoning to come, all the while knowing you should bolt.

Taylor delivers an ending that is as expertly crafted as the beginning. Unfortunately, far too many authors are rushing their endings and it has become the shoddy norm. If you want to be an author who delivers dreck that is your choice, but when a gem enters the scene, you learn to appreciate the gift for all it’s worth and Taylor is that gem. Taylor does not toss shoddy endings at readers to “get it done” and to hit the “publish” button. This selfless action showcases not only her impeccable writing skills, but that she truly cares about her readers.

Unequivocally, Taylor is a prolific storytelling phenomenon who not only gets your attention, but holds it. She knows how to write a story and keep it propelling forward without losing steam.

Tanya R. Taylor is the possessor of one of the most ingenious and infinite minds in the horror genre to come along since Clive Barker, Stephen King and Ruth Rendell.

Haunted Cruise: The Shakedown is disturbing, evocative, well-written, with a fast-paced twisty plot, and Dellie is a remarkable protagonist you will not soon forget – this novel is Tanya R. Taylor inheriting the crown from the legendary Ruth Rendell and doing her proud.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Review first appeared in Blogcritics.

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Wisdom Keys for LIFE by Tanya R Taylor

TRT WKFL.pngSynopsis: Unfortunately, many people live their lives trying to be someone else. What they don’t understand is that every person is a truly unique individual. In other words: You are uniquely you. If God wanted you to be just like others, He would have made robots instead of human beings. Embrace who you are as a special individual who has something to offer this world that no one else quite has. You can aspire to do good and excel as others have, but recognize also the goodness and talents within yourself. Use what you have been given to follow your own destiny and purpose in life that others can someday admire. Your purpose in life bears YOUR NAME ONLY. It is uniquely yours just as you are uniquely you.

Wisdom Keys for Life is a handy guide of more than one hundred thought-provoking nuggets to give you daily inspiration and help you through life’s most difficult moments.

My thoughts: Move over Ms. O. Slide to the side Pastor Osteen. Step back a smidge Bishop Jakes. There is a new inspirational juggernaut in the house – Tanya R. Taylor. Taylor’s Wisdom Keys for LIFE will fill your spirit with oxygen. You will feel the comfort wash over your being like waves in the ocean – refreshing, restorative and revitalizing.

Taylor’s stirring gem will center you, navigate you and transform your thoughts with every key you read. This little guide packs a POWERFUL punch. Wisdom Keys for LIFE will infuse growth into your soul.

Wisdom Keys for LIFE will stir you up, nourish you and hydrate your parched life-force. Taylor does a remarkable job of illustrating through her profound keys where our individual strengths reside – inside of us.

Wisdom Keys for LIFE is rich with rousing bits of spiritual rejuvenation. Readers can’t help but feel the fire blazing in their belly, the churning in their soul and the roar that they are enough percolating through their veins.  Taylor targets the dark places with a blast of sunshine inside this little snack bite of inspiration.

Wisdom Keys for LIFE is brimming with encouragement to guide you to excel and succeed from where you are planted…and that is a beautiful place to dwell!

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Review first appeared in Blogcritics.

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson

Breaking-a-Legend_Robinson-2Synopsis: As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.

 

Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.

My thoughts: Robinson’s prose is sumptuous. Robinson’s storytelling is unequivocally spellbinding. The way Robinson creates gut-wrenching, fall on your knees, richly constructed raw emotion is absolutely flawless.

Clare and Rory are magic, mesmerizing and memorable. Robinson sketched legendary characters who harken back to unforgettable lovers of remarkable timeless literary fiction.

Even the most stoic of readers cannot escape shedding warm tears from the beautifully crafted introduction to the Kavanagh family the proficient Robinson has created with Breaking a Legend.

 

Breaking a Legend is a masterful narration brimming with courage, excitement, hope, redemption, spice, and spectacular, heart-wrenching, gripping prose that leaves you breathless!

Sarah Robinson’s writing is liquid velvet.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

 

Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

Posted in A Writer's Life, Book Reviews, Diane Morasco Interviews, Diane Morasco's Writers on Writing, Uncategorized, Writers on Writing

Writers on Writing: Patti Benning

REV BBQ kindle coverPatti Benning has lived in Marquette Michigan for what seems like forever, and she absolutely wouldn’t trade it for the world. Benning has a loving and supportive hubby, and furry friends Sadie and Rags, who seem to be constantly underfoot, which is just fine with her. Benning was the editor of her high school newspaper and has written short stories, just for fun, ever since she can remember. When Benning’s not tapping out Cozies on her faithful, and still running, laptop, she loves working in her vegetable garden and cooking, of course. Readers often ask Benning for recipes, but unfortunately, she is one of those gals who just puts in a sprinkle of this, and a dash of that, tasting as she goes. Benning has made every dish that is described in the Darling Deli series, with varying degrees of success, and fortunately, her hubs is very patient with her cooking adventures.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

To take creative criticism to heart and learn from it. Being a writer means having so many people read your writing in all of its various stages – if I’m too sensitive, I might miss out on a learning experience, so I try to take comments in stride.

 

How has this helped you as a writer?

Well, it certainly keeps me humble. I get so excited when readers really love my story, but I learn a ton from the ones who don’t, as well as through the editing and proofreading process. When a manuscript gets bounced back to me for a revision, I don’t take it personally, I just try really hard to make it better the next time. No matter how much I write, I am still learning and evolving as a writer every day.

 

Mac or PC?

Definitely. I have just now joined in on the 21st century and created my very first Author Facebook Page! I’m pretty shy about using new technology.

 

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

I use Word and have never tried Scrivener. Word is just so user-friendly and that is just what I need.

 

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I use good old fashioned pen and paper when I take notes. I have a notebook right next to me at all times and am always writing something down to help me stay organized. I even keep one in my handbag for when I am on the go and get a crazy idea and need to jot it down.

 

Do you have any writing rituals?

I like to write when I first wake up in the morning. I feel like I am at my best at about 5am. I make myself a cup of tea and head over to my desk in the den that overlooks the back yard and get right down to it. I generally get several hours in every morning.

 

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I don’t do a huge amount of research, but when I’m working on a new book, I do like to get an outline going that I TRY to follow. I spend some time checking out new recipes though, and that’s always a ton of fun!

 

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

My den, except instead of sitting at my desk, I curl up in my lounge chair and grab my laptop and work from there. There’s just something about being warm and cozy that helps get the creative juices flowing.

 

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Out by the pool, for sure. Usually around mid-May we get it opened up for the year and I just love sitting out on my little patio with a cold glass of lemonade and a snack, feeling the sun shine down.
Visit Patti’s FB page for all the latest news.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco