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 Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Amaretto Amber by Traci Andrighetti

SPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]ynopsis: Private investigator Franki Amato has just turned thirty, and she feels anything but festive. For starters, she can’t have cake because she’s given up sweets, and one of her teeth is torturing her. To add insult to birthday injury, she has to investigate a surreal strip club homicide—with her sixtyish ex-stripper landlady. Then her Sicilian grandma crashes the New Orleans non-party and insists that she steal a lemon to land a husband. Unfortunately for Franki, the man she has in mind has his mind somewhere else, and their relationship seems to have soured. Adding to her troubles, she has to figure out what a missing amber pendant and a mysterious amaretto bottle have to do with the murder, not to mention why she’s being followed. When a second dancer goes down and a third is threatened, Franki turns to a weird witch to crack the case and cancel a curse before someone blows out her candles for good.

 

My thoughts: Look out world, our enchanting, uproarious leading lady is celebrating the big three-o! Yes, our gal, Franki Amato has entered her third decade and she is not feeling celebratory at all. Again, look out world…and readers.

 

Andrighetti’s Franki Amato series gets crisper, smarter and wittier with each installment. Her storytelling skills are superior, her characters are so vivaciously sketched they jump off the page, her dialogue is authentically carved, her setting is accurately designed, and the way she delivers a mystery is brilliantly sculpted.

Andrighetti’s third outing cements her firmly as the newest heir to the comedy mystery throne. In fact, not since 2002, when Laura Levine released This Pen for Hire, has there been a mystery scribe who impeccably fuses the flawless mix of comedy, mystery and prose like Andrighetti.

Amaretto Amber deftly glides along without losing its sidesplitting momentum as it reaches its action-filled, ingeniously crafted and unforeseen climax.

 

Amaretto Amber is deliciously addicting, wickedly exciting, skillfully well-written, and her best Franki Amato outing to date.

 

Amaretto Amber authenticates Andrighetti is one of the best mystery writers of all-time.
 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.