Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

I have a treat for you today. If you like vampires (real ones, not the sparkly type) and like reading fantasy adventures, then you’ll want to check out my review of Blood Skies by Steven Montano. Then be sure to pick up your FREE copy today. That’s right, I said FREE!

Click on the image below to read my full review:

Blood Skies by Steven Montano (Made with Real Vampires)

I am excited to announce my very first five-star review for my novel Devil’s Nightmare today. This review really made my day. Have a gander and if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, be sure to click on one of the links below. Enjoy! 

Wow! My heart’s still beating out of my chest! – January 13, 2013
By Donna L. Sadd

I really enjoyed reading Devil’s Nightmare. I was hooked at the prologue; then it’s fast pace proceeded to yank me through one heck of a scary thrill ride! This is a difficult review to write without spoilers, but what I can say is that the characters are fleshed out well, description and dialog paint the story vividly, and the mystery takes twists and turns that kept this reader guessing. I’m not a horror fiction fan; however, I’m a fan of Mr. Pruneda’s work and this occult thriller seriously kept my heart pounding every step of the way. I could easily see Devil’s Nightmare being made into a film and I recommend that you read it . . . with the lights on of course!

 

Devils NightmareDevil’s Nightmare is available in several formats. Just click on the image of your favorite eBook retailer below and claim your copy today. 

And remember to Pursue your dreams… and never look back!

Available now in several formats:

 

In December I finished reading A Warrior’s Tale, the first of several novels in The Imago Chronicles fantasy series by the talented Lorna Suzuki. To read my full review of A Warrior’s Tale click on the cover image below:

A Warrior's Tale (Imago Chronicles: Book 1 by Lorna Suzuki

I recently read The Impenetrable Spy by Spencer Brokaw. Click on the cover image below to read my review of this young author’s first book.

Book Review: The Impenetrable Spy

I was very pleased to find another five-star review for my novel Pursuit of a Dream today as I was checking some stats. I’ve posted the review below for you. Enjoy! I know I did. 🙂

A Winning Family Saga! – September 4, 2012
By Donna L. Sadd (Kempner, Texas)

I truly enjoyed “Pursuit of a Dream” by Robert Pruneda. The story centers on The Lockharts, John, a widowed father and his two young sons Jared and Caleb. Early on, John loses his long-held job and the security of his family turns upside-down. Much of the story is reflective of current American family strife and I believe that this will resonate with readers.

It becomes an ongoing juggling act for John to provide for his boys versus spending quality time with them. Thankfully, he’s got his loving mother, father, sister, brother- in-law, cousins and a new love to help lighten the load. The boys’ grandfather builds a go cart track on his ranch and the rest, as they say, is history. Caleb, the youngest son is bitten by speed and winning, well winning really, only winning. This single-mindedness of the main character drives the story forward. You will get frustrated with his many impatient impulses and root for him in his victories.

I liked Caleb as a boy, but was troubled by his self-centered nature as he grew older. This is when Mr. Pruneda smartly begins to focus a light on Caleb’s best friend and foil Brian. Brian has had it real hard; yet he always manages to persevere with patience. Brian then catches a break through Jared, of all people, who backs him in racing and we begin to see that patient perseverance pay off.

It’s been rightly mentioned in other reviews that this story is a wholesome saga of familial love, complete with the ups, downs, ins and outs of life. What hasn’t been mentioned is how the book’s focus around wildly-popular NASCAR could be a terrific catalyst in getting a young fan, but reluctant reader, excited about books.

I cannot wait to see what lies around the next lap for the characters in this fine story and discover who will cross the finish line realizing a dream come true!

Pursuit of a Dream is available in several formats. Just click on the image of your favorite eBook retailer below and grab a copy. 

Pursue your dreams… and never look back!

Available to purchase in several formats:

I woke up today to a very nice review for my novel Pursuit of a Dream. This review is very in-depth and was the perfect way to start my day. Please click on the cover image and race on over to Wyatt McIntyre’s site to read this review… and then buy the book. 🙂

Over the past few days I was pleased to receive notice of two five-star reviews for my first novel Pursuit of a Dream. This always puts a big grin on my face. What author doesn’t like seeing those five stars? So, I thought I would create a quick blog post to share these excellent reviews with you…

A Satisfying Well-Written Story of Hope – July 19, 2012
By Eden Baylee (Canada)

Car racing is not my thing, and I cannot remember the last time I read a story that was touted as `wholesome.’ In the age of zombies, horror, and thrillers vying for attention, Pursuit of a Dream seems out of favor with the current trend … but, and this is a HUGE BUT, what isn’t out of favor is excellent writing and storytelling, and this is what Mr. Pruneda provides.

The theme is universal – a young boy is tested at an early age. How he chooses to rise to the occasion will determine the outcome of his life pursuit.

I view this story as a parable for anyone who has ever had a dream. Though dreams come true, what is the cost and is it worth it? These are questions each of us wrestles with daily, and Mr. Pruneda does it with eloquence in his book.

Family, Love and Faith – July 17, 2012
By Dannie Hill (Thailand/ Houston)

PURSUIT OF A DREAM (Victory Lane) by Robert Pruneda is a story of a family and it takes you through the tragic death a mother and wife. All the while a father wrestles with providing for his two sons while finding what is more important: work or family.

I thoroughly enjoyed going along with John Lockhardt and his two sons, Jared and Caleb, as they all come to terms with growing up and learning the importance of family. This is a heartfelt tale.

If you enjoy a wonderful story that takes you through, highs, lows, faith and inspiration then you will find great pleasure in Pursuit of a Dream.

I am a car racing fan and really enjoyed the details and lifelong hard work it takes to become a top race driver. It commitment.

Pursuit of a Dream is a great wholesome story and I highly recommend it!

Pursuit of a Dream is currently on sale for only $1.76 (on Amazon-US, Nook and Smashwords)! That’s way less than a gallon of gas, so why not race on over to your favorite e-store and download your copy today?

Pursue your dreams… and never look back!

Available to purchase in several formats:

I just finished reading Billy Purgatory: I Am the Devil Bird by Jesse James Freeman and absolutely loved it! To read my full review click on the image below:

Book Review: Billy Purgatory = Bad-Ass Entertainment

Carolyn Arnold dares to “break the rules” in Eleven. A thrilling ride!

Eleven is an FBI thriller that has great character development, a unique writing style that dares to “break the rules”, and an excellent overall story.

Character Development

I think this is where I enjoyed Eleven the most. The characters in Eleven were very well-written. They each had their own unique personalities and it is evident that Carolyn Arnold put a lot of time and care into developing them. They were created in a way that didn’t overwhelm you with a lengthy back story or flashbacks, but instead you get to know a little more about them as the story progresses. It’s kind of like in real life. The longer you spend with someone, the more you get to know them. Arnold did a very good job in executing this.

When I read a book it’s also important for me to get to know the characters enough to where I really care about the fate of each character for me to really enjoy the story. If I don’t care about the characters, you’ve lost me in the story. In Eleven I really cared about the characters. In fact I found myself feeling sorry for one of them and there was even one character that I really disliked; but after getting to know him better, I found I understood why he acted the way he did. Again, this is attributed to Carolyn Arnold’s excellent character development.

The Writing Style

Carolyn Arnold “breaks the rules” when it comes to her writing style in Eleven. It starts off with the reader following the story from the main character’s perspective. Later, however, as the story begins to unfold and we begin to reach the climax of the story, Arnold suddenly shifts perspectives to tell the story in a different way, but also continues to use the first-person perspective of the main character.

I enjoyed following the FBI team’s investigation from the main character’s perspective and seeing how he reacted to certain situations. When the writing started switching perspectives from first to third and back to first, it was initially slightly distracting. I wasn’t certain if this was going to work well at first, because I had never read a novel that switched perspectives. I am pleased to say that it did indeed work very well. This was a very unique writing style that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Overall Story

I love thrillers and therefore can be very picky with the end result of the roller-coaster ride that is expected from them. Arnold did a very good job of keeping me guessing during the investigation in Eleven. Just when you think the team is on the right track, something throws them off. I had my suspicions of who the killer was (I was wrong of course!), but I was pleasantly surprised when the killer was finally revealed.

If you like thrillers, you’ll enjoy Carolyn Arnold’s Eleven.

Excellent story! I look forward to reading the Madison Knight series.

Carolyn Arnold is the author of several novels in the mystery, thriller and suspense genres. TIES THAT BIND, the first in a police procedural mystery series surrounding Detective Madison Knight, was her debut novel and published May 2011.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in the rural town of Picton, Ontario. While her passion for writing dates back to her teen years, it wasn’t until 2008 that she completed her first novel. She lives with her husband and her two beagles in Southwestern Ontario

Where to connect with Carolyn online:

Amazon Author Page
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Email

Carolyn Arnold’s Books:

A note to my guests: You can read my interview with Carolyn Arnold by CLICKING HERE. Be sure to visit Carolyn’s web site by clicking here, and if you haven’t done so already, you can get your copy of Eleven here.

 

A Review From a Sci-Fi Newbie’s Perspective

Gabriel's RedemptionMy normal reading usually consists of fantasy, horror, and thrillers, but I decided to try out the SciFi genre with Gabriel’s Redemption. After reading the first chapter I immediately grew interested in the story, while a bit confused at first with some of the technology, such as “neuretics” and “Mindseye”. However, as I continued to read further, it all started making sense, which actually made for some interesting reading. I loved the technology presented in Gabriel’s Redemption. Umstead does an excellent job of creating believable technology that isn’t too far-fetched.

There’s a lot of back story in Gabriel’s Redemption, but while some have noted that it was too slow-paced, I’m the type of reader that enjoys some good back story. I think Steve Umstead did a good job of giving me just enough back story without resulting in information overload. If you are the type who expects action from the first page all the way through the end, a little patience goes a long way. Umstead definitely rewards that patience with some great action and a satisfying ending! I finished reading Gabriel’s Redemption with a smile on my face.

My only complaint (which is a very minor one) is that I wish I could have learned a little more about the title character Evan Gabriel, but since this is part of a trilogy, I believe Umstead gave me just enough information to keep me interested. In a way, this is a positive note because I cared enough about Evan Gabriel to want to get to know him more in the story. The last pages of Gabriel’s Redemption leads me to believe I’ll be getting just that in the coming books.

I’m certainly looking forward to continuing this Sci-Fi adventure with Gabriel’s Return and Gabriel’s Revenge. All three books are also now available in one complete edition titled Gabriel’s Journey.

This series is highly recommended for all Sci-Fi fans and those just trying out the genre for the first time. You won’t be disappointed.

Gabriel’s Redemption is available for all major e-reader platforms, and now in print:


About the Author:

Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.

Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. Gabriel’s Redemption was his debut novel, published in February of 2011; Gabriel’s Return, the second in the trilogy, launched in August; the finale, Gabriel’s Revenge, book 3, hit the virtual shelves in December.