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.


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.

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.

eBook Review: Clambake Murder by Summer Prescott


SPCBMSynopsis: Clambake Caterer Becca Rogers is back from her Caribbean vacation ready to plunge headlong into the busy season. With back to back weddings and more beachfront clambakes than she can handle, Becca has no idea of the heart-pounding thrills and chills she’s about to experience, and how grateful she’ll be to be rescued by her hero-in-residence, the handsome and shy Detective Lance Reynolds.

My thoughts: It is evident with this second outing Summer Prescott is a talent to watch. Clambake Murder is an entertaining blend of courage, fun, homicide, mystery, quirkiness, and tenderness nestled in a novella.

Clambake Murder showcases the wide range Prescott has as a storyteller. With Clambake Murder it is clear Prescott found both her confidence and footing to deliver to readers the goods by digging deeper with character, plot and setting. She blew the first book in the series out of the water and I LOVED that one. Kudos to Prescott for writing in panoramic view as opposed to a simple snapshot on an old Fuji.


I have no doubt that the talented Prescott’s storytelling skills are akin to fine wine – she will only get better with age…as in with each book she writes.


Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

eBook Review: New England Clam Murder by Summer Prescott


Synopsis: Divorced caterer Becca Rogers feels more than a little bit out of her league when she roams the ballrooms of the rich and shameless, serving the finest seafood in the region. Finding herself smack dab in the middle of a very mysterious set of circumstances when her ex-husband’s new socialite wife is murdered, Becca’s normal existence gets turned upside down as she learns that nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted.


My thoughts: New England Clam Murder is addictive, entertaining, lively, and just plain ole’ fun! I could not put New England Clam Murder down. In fact, I scoffed this little snack bite read in a snap…and went for seconds…as in the second installment of this delightful series. Yes, there are editing flaws. Yes, the scene breaks aren’t tightly constructed, but that doesn’t hinder the enjoyable time readers will have getting to know Becca.


Prescott’s Rocky Cove series has a promising start and is definitely worth expanding beyond a two book tease. The characters are charming. The New England setting is accurately depicted. The plot is firm. Prescott should be applauded for not scribbling flimsy red-herrings as frivolous filler to create an unpalatable whodunit, which sadly, seems to be the norm with drivel disguised as mysteries of late.

New England Clam Murder is a short story that leaves readers wishing it was a full-length volume; however, despite the truncated word count, New England Clam Murder is worth investing your priceless reading time with.

New England Clam Murder is a must for mystery enthusiasts wanting to be amused.


Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

eBook Review: Invitation to Murder by Beth Prentice

InvitationtoMurder (2)Synopsis: When Alexandra Anderson is invited to a work place reunion at the television station where she formerly worked, she’s excited to catch up with old friends. And the theme of the reunion is a Murder Mystery Party, so that should be fun, right? Wrong! Alexandra’s first horror is coming face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend and his brand new, gorgeous wife. Second, the party happens to coincide with one of the worst storms of the season, knocking out utility lines and cell service. And when her less-than-beloved ex-boss becomes the Murder Party’s fake victim, Alexandra and her “team” are tasked with solving the fake murder before anyone else. The only bright spot? The sexy cameraman on Alex’s team with the sparkling blue eyes and soft, full lips.


But what starts out as a game becomes all too real when Alexandra stumbles upon the actual dead body of her ex’s new wife. Did someone take the game too seriously? Is there a real murderer among the party-goers? Can following the clues to a fake murder help Alex solve a real one? Trapped by the storm, with “players” disappearing and time running out, Alex finds herself in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse… where not everyone will make it out alive!


My thoughts: *double whistle* Beth Prentice has crafted an extremely addictive, edge-of-your-seat, splendidly layered, suspense-filled page-turner with the brilliantly written Invitation to Murder.

Wow! Invitation to Murder is a mystery aficionado’s buttercream-frosting-cherries-on-top decadent treat kinda read. Prentice is unequivocally a prose bombshell. Which makes this a must read for summer on the beach, on the shore, on a boat, at the cabin, on the lake, on your patio, on the lawn, on your couch, on a recliner, in bed, on a plane, train or bus…you get my drift.


Prentice’s storytelling skills are smokin’ hot! As the mystery unfolds, readers will wonder what on earth is going to happen next with Alex, as they feverishly flip pages. Please note, “whilst” in the process of devouring Alex’s adventure, readers may even forget to exhale as they experience the tightly woven mystery Prentice has proficiently designed unfold.


The secondary players are as three-dimensionally sketched as the protagonist and that is a mark of not only a noteworthy writer, but a remarkable reader who delivers the goods she likes to receive in her reading excursions.

Prentice’s Invitation to Murder is an invitation to one of the most delectable mystery jaunts you will encounter in your life! Pssst- remember to breathe!


Visit Prentice’s website.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco


Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

eBook Review: Grilled and Seasoned with Murder by J R Pearson

JPJRB1Synopsis: Josie Rizzo has a lot on her plate. (Double bacon cheeseburger not included).

She and her furry companion, Petey, set out to start fresh in the food loving town of Greenville. Josie is excited to introduce the readers of her food blog to the town’s delicious creations.

But when a young woman is murdered at a local burger joint, Josie must sacrifice all she has planned to accomplish to prevent a person from her past from being wrongly accused of the woman’s death.

And things start to heat up when the killer sets his sights on Josie.

Will she be able to enjoy Greenville’s belly-rubbing cuisines and begin a new chapter in her life?

Or will the killer cut Josie’s dreams short and make sure that basket of onion rings are her last?


My thoughts: Despite the slight editing blemishes my eyes discovered, but my mind promptly revised, J R Pearson is the breakout cozy mystery debut star of 2016!

Pearson’s Josie Rizzo Cozy Mystery – with a culinary twist – radiantly captures the essence of a smart, sparkling, stylish contemporary cozy mystery.

Pearson’s Grilled and Seasoned with Murder is sassy, scrumptious and savvy. Pearson effortlessly delivers the goods and keeps readers salivating for more.

Amateur sleuth Josie Rizzo is a stellar standout and Pearson simply ignites with her energizing cozy debut. Warning: Petey  will steal your heart!

Pearson’s storytelling is flawless. Pearson breathes new life into a genre that is excessively saturated, exceedingly cooked and desperately decayed with the same old drivel.

Many seasoned scribes in both the cozy genre and the culinary cozy subgenre need to follow Pearson’s lead and shake up the game or turn in their chocolate chips.

Pearson is undeniably a star on the rise and is reviving the cozy and culinary categories, not to mention, setting a blaze under the complacent buttery buttocks who churn out the same ole’ same ole’ recycled slop.

Pearson is Good Readin’ for the Cozy Readers Soul!DM JRQ

Visit J R Pearson’s website.

Click here to read J R’s Writers on Writing interview.


Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco