All submissions in these formats please: .pdf , Kindle, or print copy. If in print copy, I would appreciate it if the book was autographed by the author. I am not doing books that have a deadline at this time, unless the author wants to use my review to appear on the book itself. Please send all requests to: . If sending through snail mail, email me for my home address. Thank you!

March 27, 2012

RHA Presents Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles by Karen Dales

Abandoned at birth and left to die, alone in the forest, the Angel is found by the local healer. In loving secrecy he is raised unnamed and unknown lest his strange appearance bring down the wrath of the local villagers.
He grows up, cared for by Auntie until her fearful predictions come true. Discovered in his secret grove, his life is transformed, evoking demons that demand more than he can give.
Unable to save the lives of those he loves he flees to live alone, away from those who would do him harm.
It is alone, exiled by humanity that he comes across the one who would change his life forever, to become –
The Angel of Death

My Review

Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles
Karen Dales 

A woman cries through the throes of childbirth, a woman gives birth to a son, the first one born to the couple. But something was wrong, seriously wrong, so wrong the mother refused to feed the boy much less nurture and love him. What would make a mother turn her back on a baby born from her womb. All she could cry out was, that he was from her womb, but he was not her child. What was the father to do if his wife refused to feed and nurture their son? By their beliefs, the child was to be taken to the woods and left to die to the elements. How could he do such a thing? His heart broke as he took his son, and placed him away from the village to die. 

By the mercy of the Goddess, the child's cries were heard, before the elements of the night could end his life. She knew the child was different and knew he would have to stay hidden from society forever if he was to survive and if her life was to be safe. As the boy grew, she knew he needed to learn ways to protect himself, and for that he needed a male figure in his life. The man she chose, would change the world as the boy knew, forever. The boy came to love the man, and the man came to love the boy. He taught the boy all he could before having to leave for war. 

It is speculation as to what 'the boy' soon to be named Gwyn' was. He knew what he had been told he was by the villagers that had caught glimpses of him, and from what his Auntie told him. Until one day, while out hunting, he was walking home with his kill and seen the smoke coming from the home he and his Auntie lived. The horror he came upon would forever burn in his memory. 

As the boy had to trod out on his own, he met someone in the wilderness that too would change him forever. And make him question what he thought he had always been. He thought the stranger had given him a gift, however, it may turn out to be a curse of unbelievable horror. Causing him to be unsure of his existence at all.  

I will leave my detailed review of the book there because I do not want to give away any more details and secrets of one of the best, unusual books I have read in awhile. The characters in this book were given real feelings, emotions, heartaches, and tears by the author. Karen found a way to draw the reader into the book to walk along this beautiful creature, feeling his desires, his pain, his heart wrenching life he had to live. The question is, what is he? He is pale in color. He is tall, with a long white hair and cannot walk into sunlight. Then when he meets the stranger in the forest, who attacks him, and bites him, Gwyn finds now he can no longer eat regular food, is no longer cold, can run so fast he is a blur and has super human strength. 

This story is set a time of wars, men in armor, villages of people who live in huts, and transportation was either by horse, cart or foot. 

Take the extraordinary journey with Gwyn. Learn to love him, respect him, feel and protect him. And see if you can solve the question, what is he? 

I give this book five stars ***** 

Reviewed by
Nora Chipley Barteau
Reviewers Helping Authors

About the author Karen Dales

Karen Dales was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the author
of The Chosen Chronicles. She began writing Changeling: Prelude
to the Chosen Chronicles and Angel of Death: Book One of the
Chosen Chronicles after she was inspired to create the character of
 The Angel for an on-line role playing game she was part of. It was
from that experience the birth of The Angel was formed and through
years of research Karen fleshed out The Angel and other characters
that  came to her.
Having completed York University’s Creative Writing courses years
previously, Karen began to write Changeling and Angel of Death as
one novel. It was on their completions that it was clear they were two
distinct novels of an evolving series that has come to include
Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles, which was
eleased April 8, 2011. Karen is currently writing the next
installment  - Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen.
Since the publication of both Changeling and Angel of Death
in a limited edition single volume, Karen has been an Author Guest
at, Polaris, AdAstra, FanExpo, and Word On The Street.
You can find out her future appearances by clicking here.

In January 2011 Karen won the Siren Books Awards for “Angel of Death”
for Best Horror 2010 and Best Overall 2010.

In September 2011 “Shadow of Death” won the Sizzling Hot Book of the Month

“Shadow of Death” was runner up to the Sizzling Hot Book of 2011.

Karen loves hearing  from you. If you have a question or comment
please feel free to email it to her at

You can also follow her on Twitter on Facebook,
and join her Facebook Fan  Page
Other Works by Author Karen Dales In the The Chosen Chronicles

March 22, 2012

Nukekubi by Stephen B. Pearl


From ancient times nukekubi have haunted the land of Japan. Living as men by day, these beasts slip their heads free of their flesh at night and go in search of human prey. These hapless souls are driven into a terrified madness that results in their death.

     Ray McAndrues, a modern-day wizard, must neutralise a nukekubi that is feasting on the people of Toronto. He is aided by Cathy, a sorceress of numerous charms, and Toshiro and Kunio, two, Japanese, martial artists who have made hunting nukekubi their lives' work.

     As the quest plays out, questions arise. Who is hunting who? How can you slay the beast that stalks the night without slaying the man who walks the day? What is the strange, millennia-old connection that binds Ray to the beast, and will it help or hinder the quest?
 About the author:

Gandalf taught me how to be a spirit wrapped in flesh. Aragorn taught me how to be a man. Frodo taught me of perseverance, and Samwise of loyalty. Along the way I learned of the power of the written word, the gift it could give by slipping past our defenses to show us the best and the worst in ourselves. So who is Stephen B. Pearl? He is a lifeguard, husband, mystic, science enthusiast, home handyman, backyard mechanic, and writer. Like most of us the face he wears changes with the company and the season. His three cats know him as pride alpha, I like to think so, though servant might be more accurate. Who am I kidding? My wife runs the pride; I just try and stay out of her way. At any rate, I am a man of middle years who lives in a house in Ontario, Canada with three cats, a wife and a sincere hope that you will enjoy my book.
My Review:


Stephen B. Pearl

What is a Nukeubi? I guess in order to understand the story, you need to know what it is.
By day, Nukekubi appear to be normal human beings. By night, however, their heads detach at the neck smoothly from their bodies and fly about independently in search of human prey. These heads attack by screaming (to increase their victims' fright), then closing in and biting.

While the head is detached, the body of a Nukekubi becomes inanimate. In some legends, this serves as one of the creature's few weaknesses; if a Nukekubi's head cannot locate and reattach to its body by sunrise, the creature dies. Legends often tell of would-be victims foiling the creatures by destroying or hiding their bodies while the heads are elsewhere.

By day, Nukekubi often try to blend into human society. They sometimes live in groups, impersonating normal human families. The only way to tell a Nukekubi from a normal human being is a line of red symbols around the base of the neck where the head detaches. Even this small detail is easily concealed beneath clothing or jewelry.

With that said, author Stephen B. Pearl has brought a folklore into an reality to Ray McAndrues, who most people when they look at him, see nothing special or out of the ordinary. Little is known but Ray can sense certain energies and perform magic. He has probably used his special talents before, but not in life threatening situations, but for sport or maybe just in goofing around with the girl who has his eye, Cathy, who herself is a mystic.

There is what the papers are saying, a drug that is taking lives on the city streets, and it's called Terror. It appears to cause the person to die a horrendous death. Ray, happens to witness a friend die to 'Terror's' effects.

Ray then realizes this is no drug that is taking lives, but what is called a Nukekubu or a Japanese goblin. And it is killing and feasting on people he cares for. He feels deep down he is the only one that will be able to conquer it, and extinguish it forever.

Ray has help come over from Japan who are willing to help him in his endeavor. Ray is grateful he does not have to do this alone.

Take a journey of magic and 'terror' with Ray, Cathy, Kama, Kunio and Toshiro. When you are done, you will look at what is considered 'folklore' in a different way. The next time you are told something is a folklore, make sure you think twice.

I was absolutely spellbound by this book and I applaud the imagination and creativity the author put in this book. I look forward to reading more by him.

I give this book five stars *****

Reviewed by
Nora Chipley Barteau
Reviewers Helping Authors
Other Works by Stephen Pearl

March 4, 2012

RHA Presents Radiance Love After Death by Debra Jayne East

My Review

Debra Jayne East

After twenty years of marriage, Marena never imagined she would find herself alone. She thought her marriage was forever, not taken out of her grasp by a cheating husband. She pushed herself into her work, getting so exhausted that she didn't have to think about the pain of it all. She had picked up a pizza and knew her son Brian would be home. It was raining, lightening lit up the sky and the power was flickering off and on down the street as she drove home. She saw what looked like a boy walking in the rain and she had every intention of stopping and calling someone to see if he needed a ride. That was before her car stalled out, and her life changed forever. All she could do was feel herself floating, looking down on what had happened. Until a tremendous bright lit figured came into her vision........

And there dear reader, I will leave you to find out what the author has in store for not just the characters, but for you as well. You will be taken on a journey that is not of this world as we know it.  A love story so astounding and beautiful, it takes your breath away. I found myself mystified by the story that was unfolding in front of me. I was on the edge of my seat until the very last page, and am hoping for another book to follow up with this one.  I fell in love with the characters, I fell in love with David. Who is David? Read the book and find out! If things were as possible as they seem in Love After Death, we would all have hope to hold onto no matter what life brought our way.
Thank you Debra East for your talent, imagination, and passion that is clearly seen in the pages of this wonderful book. 

I recommend this book pretty much for all ages. Sexual undertones are there, but I did not see any bad words, or sexual scenes. It was well written for teenagers and adults.

I give this wonderful book five stars *****
Reviewed by
Nora Chipley Barteau
Reviewers Helping Authors

A Little Peek Into the Essence of the Book by the Author: 

Angels have always been around in the Bible; from guarding the entrance in Eden, to heralding the birth of Jesus, from wrestling with Jacob, to co-horting with the daughters of men. Say, what? You heard me.

Angels decided that women were beautiful and decided to be with them. You know…that way. Okay, so what happened next? Women bore the off spring of that union called the nephilim. I'm not making this up, by the way, read Genesis 6 verse 4. So, everyone knows that angels have special powers, right? They can fly, they are amazingly strong, they can appear anywhere at will, they can take on other forms; they can strike terror in the hearts of men on mere sight. Pretty impressive, right? But what if they could fall in love? We're not talking about lust here. That ended with less than happy results.

In "Radiance Love after Death," I gave angels a new beginning. What if this time...they could get it right? I got to explore all those questions in writing my first paranormal romance, to be released soon by XOXO Publishing. It all started with finding a crooked heart-shaped stone. That part of the story is true. It was such a catalyst in turning my life around; I thought I would share it with others.
Someone else found a heart-shaped stone, when she was at the end of her rope and wanted to die. I would like to take you on a journey with Marena Jacobs, who while on her way home from work one night, has a near death experience that alters her life. Wait when you hear what happens next!

About the Author and Her Thoughts:

What inspired to write the book:

Being a dreamer, I always wanted to be more than the ordinary. I wanted to imagine worlds where anything could happen, especially romantic fairy tales.

Growing up, Barbara Cartland and Grace Livingston Hill were authors I devoured as soon as I could get hold of their books! I remember one day at a yard sale, I bought a box of over 35 Barbara Cartland books. I think I read nonstop for a month! They created magic for me. When you are a young impressionable girl, I think it’s important to form positive ideals of love.

When you read my novel Radiance:Love after Death, published by XOXO Publishing, you will see how these authors influenced my writing. In all their books, there was never any graphic sexual content, yet you were thrilled beyond imagination at the expressions of love. There needs to be some mystery in the romance department! When everything is spelled out in minute detail it gets old after awhile. I don’t know about you, but imagination is sexy to me!
Even as I read all those books way back then, I wanted to be a writer. I was forming stories in my mind and writing them down from time to time. I saved every notebook I had, and over the course of several years, I had over sixteen of them.

After three babies and a career, I forgot about them of course. Then something happened that changed the path of my life. My husband of 18 years asked for a divorce. I became depressed after the breakup of my marriage and I was at the end of my rope. One day I was walking and for some odd reason I reached down into the grass and pulled out a crooked heart-shaped stone. It seemed to remind me that even though my heart was broken, it was still a heart and someday I could love again. That stone saved my life. It also inspired me to weave it into a paranormal romance story.

Now, I just want someone to pinch me! Never, ever, give up on your dreams! I mailed my manuscript off and three months later after a few rejections and even turning down a couple of publishers, the wonderful people at XOXO Publishing believed along with me and said yes!

Radiance:Love after Death, is about second chances and never giving up on love. It’s edgy and different in a way that readers of romance will appreciate. I do not like predictable stories! Marena Jacobs is not your typical kind of heroine. She’s overweight, divorced and a workaholic. After a near fatal accident, she realizes something happened to her during those seconds of time that she passed from life to death. She was never alone like she thought she was. Someone was watching over her all along. I hope my story of finding the heart-stone will inspire women everywhere. You will believe that true love never dies.  Maybe, we all need to find a heart-stone sometime during our lives! I hope you all find yours.
About Author

Debra Jayne East was born the oldest of six girls in Martinsville, Virginia. For as long as she could remember, she loved to keep journals, write poetry and short stories. She researched her family tree and suddenly she knew why. Her distant relative, Violet Florence Martin was an Irish author, born in 1862, who co-wrote a series of novels with Cousin Edith Somerville under the pen name of Martin Ross in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Learning about her heritage encouraged her to follow her dreams. After she encountered a near-death experience during a routine surgery she realized her time had come to follow her heart and realize her calling to write. Her first novel, Radiance:Love after Death was released by XOXO Publishing in June of this year.

Debra lives in North Carolina close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoys photography, volunteering and spending time with her family. Currently, she is nearly finished with a second book in her Radiance series and also working on a science fiction novel.

Ms. East loves to set her stories in the rural areas surrounding her home. The idea came to her for her first book when after a long depression from her broken marriage, she found a crooked heart-shaped stone in the grass near by. It reminded her that even though hearts get broken and scarred from pain that they are still capable of love. Finding the stone renewed her will to go on, and she realized it had a message for anyone recovering from heart break. She passes that message on in Marena Jacobs, her gutsy endearing heroine in Radiance:Love after Death. She hopes her readers will take to heart the wonderful message of a crooked heart-shaped stone that saved a life and wrote a book.

March 1, 2012

RHA Presents Written In Stone by Viviane Brentanos

 Dumped five days before her wedding,

Cassandra Hall decides not to waste the honeymoon.  She sets off to London. What was supposed to be her dream week turns into a nightmare time of introspect, self-doubt. Then she meets James, literally falling at his feet in an attempt to save his Afghan hound from colliding head on with the traffic.

James is witty, charming, too good-looking and also--not available. Despite this, Cassie is captivated by him. What follows is a week of fun, companionship and a bonding that Cassie has never experienced.
James, sensing Cassie’s unhappiness, goes out of his way to make up for her jerk of a fiancé’s rejection.  He is drawn to her vulnerability--something he finds disturbing, threatening to shatter all he thought he knew about himself.  Cassie, he senses, is falling in love with him. He ought to back away but cannot. Cassie bravely makes her true feelings known and when he rejects her, he knows he has broken her heart. He is left confused, guilty because....James has a secret.
(Please read excerpt after About Author)
My Review

Written In Stone
Viviane  Brentanos

First of all, my favorite line in the whole book was when James said to Cassie "I am going to love you my Snow White". That one statement sent my blood to boiling over, and believe me, it didn't help any that I had no 'other' here with me. 

I want to tell you firstly, you cannot predict in which direction this book will take you, no matter how many books you have in your library or how many romance books you've read, there are parts in that will totally make your jaw drop, and say, "no way"! It has so many things going on emotion wise, it's and I know this is 'atypical' like a roller coaster ride! I was happy, then I was shocked, a few times I wanted to cry and some times I wanted to yell.  I don't get to read and review romance novels real often not because I don't like the genre, but because I have no 'other' in my life and frankly sometimes they can pull on the heart strings. And believe me, Written In Stone just about pulled mine out completely! I felt so exhausted by the time I was done reading it, and yet I felt a large fluttering in my heart and stomach, and that feeling stayed with me all day. It made my day a melancholy day, and brought bad feelings of old, and even made me miss a few people in my life.

Viviane Brentanos, I give you a round of applause for the imagination and the heart you put into this book. You put the reader so very deep into the book, you make them feel the joy, the pain, and the tears they feel. You put twists and turns in this book that I never saw coming and I can usually predict how they are going to turn out or who is going to do what. But you had me holding my breath right up until the end.

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you want to experience all of the things I have written here. And needless to say, you will not  regret it!!

I without bow without hesitation and give Written In Stone five stars *****

Reviewed by
Nora Chipley Barteau
Reviewers Helping Authors

About the Author Viviane Brentanos

 I was born in Reading UK in 1958. My father is English and my mother is French although there is a strong vein of Spanish on my maternal grandmother's side. I was educated at various schools before completing Sixth Form College at St Peter's Huntingdon. I somehow managed to collect A levels in English, French and History and I subsequently won a place at Sheffield University where I decided to read Classical Civilization. Once there, however, I decided that I had had enough of the academic life; I found the student mentality rather false and having been brought up in student circles, rather boring.
Much to my mother's horror, I gave up my studies and went to London to begin a course as a Canine Beautician. In 1984, my first husband and I parted ways amicably and I decided to visit the Ionian island of Corfu to celebrate my new freedom. It proved to be a life-changing decision. I still remember to this day, sitting in a café-bar, overlooking the crystal clear azure sea and saying to my friend. "I never want to leave here". And here, I still am. I am now married again, to a Greek, Alexander {not the Great}, and I have two teenage children, 2 dogs and 4 cats and I absolutely love the life-style here. I would recommend it to anyone.

In 2005,I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer - for the SECOND time in 5 years. It is when you are faced with your own mortality that one begins to put one's life into perspective. Thankfully, God was yet again on my side and I am now in full remission. But I decided that there was more to me than being a mother {although, I hasten to add, it is a worthy assignment.} I decided to finally get my head down and do what I'd always promised myself; I was going to finish a novel. I have been writing romance since my early teens, mostly for my own satisfaction and for my friends but now I really want to work at it. Writing has become my passion. I have always been a "Romantic", often accused of not living in the real world but who wants to do that? I like to call my work Romance with a quirky, humorous Brit twist and I am always striving to make my characters real, characters we can all relate to.

I still fly back to the UK at least twice a year - especially if Darren Hayes {my other passion} is performing but I have to say that my heart is now in Greece. I suppose with so much Mediterranean blood flowing through my veins, I didn't stand a chance against this magical Island. The imaginary island of Kuros, featured in my new release Dreamweek has been inspired by my beloved Corfu and I hope it will inspire you all to visit..

Excerpt from Written In Stone 

 Watercolour grey light filtered through the gap in the partially drawn curtains, collecting pinpricks of dust in its shadowy fingers. Despite the warmth of the room, Cassie shivered. So much for the promised Indian summer. Served her right for believing the Channel Four weather girl. Perhaps if Annika—or whatever her name was—spent more time on studying the met office predictions than on her daily wardrobe, she might occasionally get it right.  Cassie sniffed. Not that the weather mattered. She wasn’t going anywhere—except perhaps home. Staying in London was a stupid idea.
Glancing at her watch, she winced. Ten a.m.? She’d slept through breakfast and dinner. Her grumbling stomach was proof. For the first time in days, a dreamless slumber had left her strangely calm. She was done reliving that nightmare of a week. Swallowing against a parched throat, she rubbed at gritty eyes. Knees folded under her butt, she shuffled across the bed and reached for the phone. “Okay Martin,” she punched down to reception, “let’s see if this hotel is worth the price you paid. Hello… I would like some coffee sent up, please. Java, naturally and some fresh croissants—French. Yes now! Thank you.” She fell back against the mountain of pillows and giggled. Well Martin did say she had to learn to be more assertive.

Hands folded, her arms behind her head, she stared up at the nymphs and cupids frolicking in Arcadia. Someone’s idea of tasteful art? She wanted to vomit. “Well, Cass.” She wriggled her nose. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so what are you going to do about it?”
Perched on her left shoulder, Miss Self-Doubt whispered gleefully in her ear. “Nothing, you pathetic, weak creature! As always.”
She was right, of course. All Cassie’s life she’d been a doormat, first bending to her mother’s will and then, although he’d been more subtle, to Martin’s.

A faint tapping inside her skull made her sit up.
Miss Kick-Ass shoved Self-Doubt off her perch. “Oh pur-lease!” she hissed. “Get off your cross, you poor excuse of a woman. Take control. You’re young, bright. Tell the world to go and screw itself.”
Cassie chortled. She liked this new inner voice of reason. Swinging her legs round, she jumped to her feet. “You are so right.”

She wandered over to the dressing table mirror, feet buried in thick cream carpet. Dragging her fingers through turbulent tresses, she frowned. “Oh well, that’s a hundred quid’s worth of extortionist stylist down the drain.”  But then she doubted even ten cans of hairspray could have saved her coiffure from the ravages of her mad flight across the rain-battered park. She couldn’t help a glimmer of mean satisfaction from sparking. If her mother could see her now, she’d reach for her happy pills.
A too pale face jumped out at her, making her draw in her breath. Dark smudges betrayed the days of fitful sleep and endless tears. “Damn you, Martin!” Reaching out, she stroked the cheek of this stranger staring back at her. A sigh clawed its way to the back of her throat.  Clenching her fists, Cassie swallowed it away, banishing it, she hoped forever, along with the fresh wave of loneliness lapping at her heart. “I can do this,” she whispered. “I know I can.”

She dressed with meticulous care, as she laid out outfit after outfit on top of the bed. Most she discarded into a crumpled heap, throwing them back into her suitcase. She didn’t have to dress to please Martin any more. Adrenalin kicked in as she reveled in her newfound freedom. Grabbing her much beloved and missed worn and scuffed jeans, she held them against her chest, glad she’d sneaked them in when Martin’s back was turned. He abhorred her in trousers of any shape or size. Well there was no more Martin, and as she wriggled her legs into the skinny jeans, she began to wonder if it was such a bad thing after all. Pulling the ecru polo neck over her head, she decided not. At least she got to wear her worn and cracked tan boots—flat boots.

Next, hair. She gathered her unruly mane back off her face and tamed it into a sleek French plait. It was a look Martin hated. He was more of a catwalk siren man. “Mmm,” Cassie twisted and turned. “Very ‘Town and Country.’”  Reaching for her make-up bag, her hand hovered over the expensive array of beauty products. Mouth twisted into a rebellious pout, she tipped the entire contents into the wastepaper bin. Some chambermaid was about to have her day made. “I am no one’s mannequin,” she whispered.

The mirror challenged her. A salon perfect eyebrow arched. “Are you sure about this?”
“Okay so I am not a total masochist.” Rummaging in the basket, she retrieved the mascara.
Five minutes later, she studied her reflection, satisfied. A confident, poised young woman met her stare head on. Cassandra Hall had neither room nor need of men in her life. Placing her fingers against the doppelganger image, she smiled. “Me, myself and I. That’s how it’s going to be.”
The internal phone rang out, and she jumped back into uncertain reality.

“I am so sorry to disturb you, but there is a Mr. McIntyre in reception who wishes to speak to you.”
Cassie froze. Was Martin up to his old tricks again? She wouldn’t put it past him to send someone to check up on her. He treated her like a child. “I don’t know any Mr. McIntyre,” she snapped.
“One moment please.”

She strained to hear the muffled conversation.
“Yes, sir…certainly, sir…Hello? I am sorry, madam, but Mr. McIntyre is most insistent. He wishes me to tell you Madonna is anxious to thank you for saving her life.”
Cassie’s fingers tightened around the receiver, her knuckles white against the oyster pink of her French manicured nails. How had he found her?