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Donna Hole RSS Feed (Oroville, CA USA)

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Ascension (Sabrina Strong Series Book 1)
Ascension (Sabrina Strong Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Simply Hot, July 10, 2015
Sabrina Strong is a 22 year old touch clairvoyant who answers an ad for an employer looking for a clairvoyant. She can tell over the phone the employer is a vampire, but this does not scare her off. Being essentially jobless and penniless, she is desperate enough to suspend disbelief that her skills could actually earn her a living. She is bitten by a werewolf as she arrives at the interview, and her potential vampire employer arrives at her rescue and sucks out most of the werewolf venom. The experience leaves her fainting into the arms of the most handsome male she could ever dream of meeting, and of course he and his minions are smitten by her sweetly tasty blood and alluring aura. She wakes in her vampire rescuer's bedroom, although he has not acted upon his desires as he needs permission from his vampire master to make her his. As the story progresses, Sabrina is consistently the target of lust from each alpha she meets (vampires, shifters, were's, but not the Fae) and each is more gorgeous and powerful than the last.

This is a simple urban fantasy, populated by all manner of paranormal creatures. Sabrina is a poor, young, innocent girl, thrust into the clutches of the billionaire vampire leader Bjorn Tremayne to solve the mystery of who murdered his life-mate by using her previously untested clairvoyant powers. She is offered a sign on bonus too large to refuse, a yearly salary bigger than she could make working part time for her sister in law's thrift store, and perks such as a car and cell phone of her very own. Plus, every hot guy in the Tremayne Towers lusting after her blood, both for eating and sex.

For me, this story was a combination of Fifty Shades and Charlain Harris' Dead And . . series. Lorelei is skilled at crafting a mystery and leaving subtle clues to point the reader to the obvious conclusion, and the development of the world and its rules was well paced and at times unique. Her characters were engaging with interesting back stories and continuing character plots. The novel stands alone, but leaves a number of unanswered questions for sequels to fill in.

While the story concept itself was interesting, and the writing style easy to read; the story was over written, sometimes repeating information (and mystery clues) as much as four times as the main character Sabrina, frequently forgot details and had to be reminded by other characters; and the step-by-step mannerisms and descriptions used a lot of unnecessary word count. There were also an extreme amount of misspelled and misused words, and prolific and inappropriate use of commas that consistently pulled me out of the story; even during the most action and sexual scenes. The ending rushed through a summation of events after the climax, leaving an unfinished vibe to the characters.

This genre is not my normal reading - I won the book in a giveaway - but I would recommend this book, and the series, to anyone who adores HOT, alpha vampires and shifters, a sexy female protagonist, and billionaire play boys.


Mahjong Journey
Mahjong Journey
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, July 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mahjong Journey (App)
Lots of fun to play.


The Dragon Chronicles (The Future Chronicles)
The Dragon Chronicles (The Future Chronicles)
by Daniel Arenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.99
20 used & new from $11.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Heroes, July 4, 2015
I have loved dragon stories since Anne McCaffrey first introduced me to The White Dragon. Dragons are such powerful, magical, intelligent creatures to me, and this anthology captured the essence that has thrilled me for years.

The stories themselves are written to appeal to a variety of tastes: humor, angst, friendship, duty, courage and commitment, and even religion and politics. I liked how the publisher arranged the stories in a theme of adolescent dragons and their riders, as with the Ten Things You should Know About Dragons and Of Sand and Starlight; moved through young adulthood with Transparancy, Sacrifice, and Time To Change; to seasoned adventurers with The Book of Safkhet and Judgement. Tasty Dragon Meat, Dragon Play, and A Diversion in Time seemed slightly out of placement due to the ages of the adventurers, but the maturity of characters (dragons and the heroes) is what defined the stories, not the actual ages. I like that Grey and The Story Master dealt more with elderly characters than with the young and seasoned, and nicely rounded out the story concepts.

Regardless of your reading preference - adolescent, young adult, adult, adventurous, funny or contemplative, science fiction, fantasy, time travel or urban fantasy - you'll find several stories within this collection to satisfy your reading needs. The stories were well written with fully developed characters and story plots, and creative world building. Even the stories that were part of or spinoffs of larger works were engaging and complete. Many of the stories appealed to me enough to want to read more from the authors, and I was glad each story included an author note about the specific story development and author bio and contacts. Many of the author notes were as intriguing and entertaining as the stories themselves.

The only complaint I have with the anthology is with the sometimes poor formatting and errors in spelling and word usage. One story consistently misspelled the dragon's name! While it is an author's job to meticulously edit their works prior to submission, ultimately the presentation of the final product rests with the publisher. That said, the errors did not impede my reading pleasure much, and the quality of stories was well done enough I would read other anthologies compiled/published by Samuel Peralta's Future Chronicles.

I think I won a copy of The Dragon Chronicles in a giveaway at one of the author blog sites, but all the authors earned the five star rating. I highly recommend this anthology to anyone of any age who enjoys dragon stories, adventurous heroes, and brave new worlds.


New Realm Vol. 02 No 04
New Realm Vol. 02 No 04
Price: $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting characters and worlds, June 26, 2015
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An awesome compilation. The stories were well written and engaging, the subject matter of each plot concept unique. An enjoyable read.


Squirrel of Magic: Short stories
Squirrel of Magic: Short stories
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Squirrley Magic fun, May 4, 2015
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Author Olga Godim has done something rare in the genre of short stories: she has written a series of stand alone adventures, all involving Vancouver’s city-protector witch Darya and her unique familiar Beatrice the squirrel, yet strung them together with novel like potential. The opening story was well chosen to show off the intrinsic quirkiness of Darya and introduce the story of how Beatrice became her familiar.

The first story also set up the contemporary world of Vancouver, Canada as a living character with a story plot of its own. What I liked most about the setting in all the stories is that Darya and Beatrice interact with the city in such an overt manner. Naturally there are forms of magic and magical creatures that ordinary people cannot detect, but the story plots are careful to blend both worlds in a completely believable reality. The line up of the stories was well thought out, creating increasing tension and drama, exactly as a well plotted novel would achieve; forcing Darla to become more creative with her skills and increasing the stakes to both her rescued victims, and her own moral character.

Darya is obviously a good witch. She is talented, confident, has good moral character, a usually accepting disposition (non-judgmental), a quirky sense of humor, and she loves being a witch. She is neither ordinary (as a witch or human), nor does she stand out. She is comfortable with her solitary life, but is adequately sociable, and sometimes her values as a witch and woman conflict with her sense of moral justice. I loved the author’s use of the cozy mystery writing style, yet Darla herself has a subtle agelessness to her persona. Beatrice is just plain adorable; animated, snarkish, endearlingly loyal to Darya.

I was given this ebook collection for free in exchange for an honest review. It appealed to me as a short story reader, and also as a series book reader. Each stand alone story was thoroughly entertaining, good for a quick read as a break between daily tasks, or as a sit down, lazy afternoon relaxation. I give the collection, and the author, a well deserved 5 star rating.


Rock Bottom
Rock Bottom
Price: $3.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Lyrically romantic, April 18, 2015
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This review is from: Rock Bottom (Kindle Edition)
Sweet. Jet, a has-been rock star, is attempting a comeback using a reality dating program to garner publicity for the second time. He has little hope of success in finding his soul mate on the show after the miserable failure of the first season, but this season hold a refreshing surprise in the the last minute assignment of music journalist Billie Prescott. Billie isn't there to win the heart of the man who topped her teenage lust-have list, and one look at the way Jet drools over the six members of the Bimbo Brigade erases all temptations for a rebound fling.

Until she hears him playing some new music, and remembers what a great star he could be with the right encouragement. Distracted from his commitment to finding true love on camera for his waning fans, Jet and Billie develop a heated passion for each other between interviews. Their relationship heats and cools to the beat of lies, misconceptions, and emotional distrust, and it seems a happily ever after will succumb to the discord.

Beautifully written, poetic love scenes, catty arguments, and vivid, descriptive settings on the Malibu beach. If you love the intense drama of reality TV, and the angst of forbidden love, you'll surely enjoy this contemporary romance; and perhaps find a new playlist to enjoy. Author Cate Masters certainly knows how to strum the lovers heart strings.


The Rogue King (The Rogue King Saga) (Volume 1)
The Rogue King (The Rogue King Saga) (Volume 1)
by Aldrea Alien
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
18 used & new from $7.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique but under-developed, March 17, 2015
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wavered between a 3 and 4 star rating for this novel. Author Aldrea Alien has obvious skill as a story teller, and has built a unique world and alien creatures. The story concept is intriguing, I liked the idea of humans landing on an alien planet and using their superior technology and time travel skills as barter to create a unique breed on the world. The mix of species was also a major draw, so many differing races all living together, with such a wide variety of deities that actually interact with the culture. The story is fast paced, had easily followed time line, shows character and moral growth in the very young protagonist throughout his maturity and adventures, a complex religious and political society, and the violence/sexual content was acceptable for all ages of reader.
The things that made this novel a 3 for my reading tastes likely won't matter much to most sci-fi/fantasy readers today. There were many aspects of the story that felt undeveloped and left too many unanswered questions: for instance why the humans were stuck on the planet and why they created Koral; why were the nomads/desert people cut off from the rest of the planet's kingdoms; what purpose did the Rogue's serve in the scheme of religious and planet wide politics; why the All Mother wanted Koral/Vengence to father a child; is Lasil also a creation of the humans.
The story felt rushed with the author narrating all the relevant facts that led Koral to becoming a sacrifice to the God Lorric, growing a reputation as a savage Rogue, and then becoming the King by killing one Rogue. Nothing in his actions shows him as a strong politician, or more savage killer than any of the other Rogues. In the final quarter of the novel, when Veng finally meets the love interest, the author finally allows Veng and the young Lasil to form and emotional bond with the reader through a deep, well done dual third person perspective. Perhaps the toughest aspect of the story for me was the way the author "humanized" the characters by refering to them as "people" "man" "woman" and only occasionally using their unique description in the narrative.
Overall, this was an intriguing story with a unique world and characters. A more emotive POV, slower pace, and deeper exploration of the many plot concepts would have made this a satisfying read for me. The author has a gift for creative creatures and alien societies.


Hedge Witch (The Cloven Land Trilogy Book 1)
Hedge Witch (The Cloven Land Trilogy Book 1)
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A beach-read type fantasy, March 7, 2015
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This was an entertaining book for an afternoon read. The characters were interesting, the witches very feminine and men/dragonlords handsome, courageous, sensitive. Much of the story is taken up with developing the three worlds and giving history of the current crisis, so this is a likely must read before diving into the sequel. The witches are talented but frequently their interventions go astray as they are on the run for their lives, and on a mission to save both the Humans and world of An from the ancient necromancer. Consistent and fast paced action completes an exciting, quick read.


Cronix
Cronix
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic experiment, February 24, 2015
This review is from: Cronix (Kindle Edition)
As far as original story concept goes, this is one of the best I've read in a while from a new author.

The world of the Cronix is pre-apocalyptic and leads the reader thru the crisis of the world and into the post apocalyptic norm. It has been a long time since I've been able to use the term “epic” in its true sense of the word. The story opens with Luis Oriente as The Hunter, living as a hermit in the woods outside London – 600 years after the revolutionary technology made permanent death obsolete. Humans signed up by the millions to be “chipped” – a process that allowed their conscious mind to be uploaded into a computer transfer system – and participate in mass suicide/homicide to move “airside” during an event called Exodus. Once airside, the extracted minds are allowed to enjoy the “after world” of any number of visions of heaven, or be sent back to earth as Eternals in carefully engineered avatar bodies.

Hider takes the reader on an adventure through the woods that uses the changed environment and futuristic landmarks (places of noteworthy mass death), to describe the aftereffects of the Exodus, and some of the denizens, mainly scolds and Cronix, that now inhabit the Earth, and describes the life of the indigenous humans, those that have not been chipped and have raised their children naturally. After Oriente is caught for unlicensed regeneration, another layer of the story begins as Oriente tells of his origins as the Missing Link, and how all the uploads began. During this tale, the apocalypse happens, and the next segment of his journey occurs, and the reader witnesses the downfall of all the systems that made concepts of God and literal death abstract thoughts.

I enjoyed all the philosophy and religious discussions these highly intelligent characters perform, all meant to engage the reader intellectually on a deep, emotional level. There is love, controversy, beauty (aesthetic and esoteric), heroics and humor that entertains the ironic nature of humanity; all mixed together in a compelling story that had me searching my own views of the origin of human conscientiousness. The most awesome aspect of this story was that there is no specific antagonist (unless you count the Cronix that have no minds and are nothing but killing/breeding entities); no single villain to blame everything that goes wrong onto. There are many people that have adjusted to the new world, some who are working towards its betterment or at least consistent upkeep, and a few who have taken advantage of its short falls (a criminal element), but mostly there are the Sapiens that are neither good nor evil.

Luis Oriente is the main perspective character, but there are a variety of perspectives as the story moves along. Whether you support the theory of creation or evolution, whether you are atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or follow some other form of higher being, I think this story will appeal intellectually and spiritually to all.

The only complaint I have with this novel is in the editing – or lack of. Had the story concept not been so well developed and compelling, I would have put it down within the first couple chapters. The author’s ability to tell a superior story kept me turning pages, despite the technical errors that consistently pulled me out of the well developed and intriguing world. I give Cronix a 4 star rating, but would gladly up it to a 7 star if Mr Hider were to hire an editor and upgrade the quality of the reading. I am looking forward to reading more from this debut author.


Last of the Bad Boys
Last of the Bad Boys
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot and sexy, January 5, 2015
Steamy and sexual, Huxley lives up to his promises to do "nothing you don't want. I loved his very masculine mannerisms, sex appeal, the enjoyment he expertly performed his craft. He was a well drawn flawed hero, a perfect match for Zoe's vulnerable strength. As a reader, I lived a few fantasies through their relationship.

The story entwined between the prolific sex was simple but believable, and the author trickled in the backstory with the right amount of pacing and intensity.

I devoured this novel in just a few hours, and would recommend it to any woman looking for a an afternoon of fantastical desire, lusty fulfilment, and a couple that reaffirms the hope of eternal love.


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