An Island Mystery – The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West @karilynnwest


An island, a mystery, and the beautiful and intriguing cover of The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West drew me in. I had to know what the story was.

Cover design by Ebook Launch

The Secrets of IslayneGoodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA


Ronan is an iluminator. That’s all he desires in his life. He’s no slacker, though his boss at the book store may have another opinion. He’s a diligent student, loves the training, pouring his heart and soul into his studies. He has his apprenticeship, graduating near the top of his class, until…

Luminators are endowed with the power to see and restore memories. The rich used to dominate the luminators, until hard times forced them to sell some of their land. The power comes from the land itself. Now, even families and second class citizens, a common islander, like Ronan, may have the power. The rich think it’s wrong. Sound familiar to present day circumstances? The rich and empowered want it all to themselves.

Cassie is a long time friend, along with Eli. She’s bold, daring, maybe a bit headstrong, (lol, very understated description of her) a daredevil. Eli’s family was wealthy. Somewhat of a surprise that he is friends with Ronan and his snooty parents hates it. They felt only the wealthy should have the power. The same goes for Cassie. She is not a luminator, but her father is.

Eli and Ronan met at the Academy. Cassie met them there, when they befriended her. She needs to think twice about her playful suggestions of entertainment, which can be dangerous and foolhardy.

They believed all they did was good, but everything can be misused and abused. Power can be a seductive thing and abuse of power can be easy to fall victim to for some of our characters. Some danger is hidden and some is in your face.

Some things had a ring of familiarity and I had to see if check I’d read it before. Once I got into the book, it didn’t take long to realize that I hadn’t. I have read thousands of books, so maybe that’s why some things rang familiar.

When everything Ronan has strived for is at risk, when his friends memories are on the line, I wonder if Ronan will do the right thing. What do you think? Well….I’m not telling. Find out for yourself by reading the book.

The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West is filled with fabulous characters and I loved each and every one of them, even the bad ones. It was great watching the gang grow and rise to the occasion. The world on the Island of Islayne was filled with action, intrigue and danger that I would definitely recommend.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars


A powerful island. A dangerous mystery. An impossible choice.

For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane.

kari . As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.


Kari Lynn WestKari Lynn West writes contemporary YA fantasy—normally while drinking far too much coffee. She likes to create character-driven stories that are set in the real world with a twist, weaving fantastical elements into everyday life. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters

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Giveaway & Reviews for Waterfall & Waterproof by Amber Garr


WaterfallAdd me to Goodreads

Cover:  Emma Michaels


The premise for Waterfall and Waterproof reads like nonfiction and perhaps contains a warning. People have fought over water rights since they began claiming land as their own and the fights continue into present day. This series is a thought provoking look at a future that we could be living.

Zach and Vivienne live in a government run complex. When the facility is attacked, the big question is, will they stay or will they go.

“Why anyone thought the idiots in Washington could manage this disaster is beyond me.”

Zach’s comment has a ring of truth to it, don’t you think?

Pollution and terrorism make Vivienne’s decision for her.

Vivenne and Zach’s sexual banter had me chuckling, even though they are only “just friends”.

Does Vivienne’s desire to be a sword wielding, ass kicking ninja type come true?

As their world falls down around them and the country becomes a military state, it is the same old story, the rich survive and the poor are…well, it is not good. Who can you trust in such desperate times?

I loved Waterfall from the beginning to the end. It grabbed me early and I held on for the ride of sadness. loss, fear, terror, confusion and the struggle to survive in a world gone crazy.

The cliffhanger had me reaching for Book II, Waterproof. I think it will do the same to you.

I received Waterfall by Amber Garr in return for an honest review.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 stars

Book & Author details:
Waterfall & Waterproof by Amber Garr
(The Water Crisis Chonicles, #1)
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
Synopsis book 1 – Waterfall:

The water is gone. The wars have begun.

Clean water is a luxury most can no longer afford. Climate change, industrial sabotage, and greed have turned country against country as each one tries to provide for its citizens. Terrorist groups target desalinization plants and frustrated governments hunt those who work against them. Rationing, sequestering, and patrolling have become routine at a time when there are too many people and not enough resources.

While the world around them disintegrates into chaos, Zach and Vivienne hope that their life in a government-run complex will retain some semblance of normalcy. But when attacks on their water supplies bring war to their sheltered community, they must accept their new fate. Stay and fight or flee and endure—it’s a difficult decision with lasting consequences.

Will they choose what’s safe? Or will they choose to survive?

Waterproof(1)Add me to Goodreads

Cover:  Emma Michaels and Amber Garr


Waterproof kicks off with action that had me racing through the pages.

Anyone who bucked the system was considered a deserter and dealt with “appropriately.”

Pollution, population overcrowding, terrorists destroying the desalinization plants, greed, nuclear holocaust, disease, martial law, the draft – once in, never out – who will survive?

The groups dynamic changes as the characters come and go, whether by choice or death. I do wonder who will be left standing.

The horror is unbelievably grotesque. The mad scientists are on the loose.

This is one of those stories that will give you food for thought. In an apocalypse, who will survive? Is it the haves or have nots? Is it the strongest or the smartest? Is the sacrifice of the many for the survival of the few the rule of thumb? How do people twist their minds into thinking heinous acts are acceptable? Will there be any humanity left on the planet?

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Science fiction meets horror and it ain’t pretty.

The writing was so detailed I could see it, feel it, and it gave me shivers. The characters are well developed and become more complex as they grow and learn to survive and love in a new world.

I am very curious to see where this ends, to find out how many of their makeshift family will survive.

I do love a happy ever after, but we will have to wait and see. Waterproof has no cliffhanger, but it does make me eager to read the next book in the series, Watermarked.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 stars

Synopsis book 2 – Waterproof:

Dying of thirst is the new reality.

Five years after the last drop of clean water disappeared, global societies collapsed and nuclear war shattered all hope of recovery. In a place now only a skeleton of its former self, survivors fight to avoid capture by the government. Forced to work in factories that produce the only drinking water available, those who go in, never come out.

Zach and Vivienne have lived as deserters since they were teenagers. Fighting amongst their own and scrounging for the necessities of life, they’ve learned to rely on each other in every way. Yet when tragedy strikes and the true objectives of the government facility are revealed, their world is ripped apart. A fate once thought to hold their demise may be the sole answer to their survival. Who can they trust? Who can they believe?

In this life, it pays to be waterproof.

Disclaimer: Waterproof is a new adult dystopian with sex, violence, and language that may not be suitable for a younger audience.


AmberAmber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of the bestselling novels The Syrenka Series, the award-winning Water Crisis Chronicles, The Leila Marx Novels, and the Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. Find out more at
Author links:  Website Twitter  /  Facebook  /  Goodreads
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  • Ebooks of Waterfall and Waterproof (INTL)
 Waterfall Waterproof(1)~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Giveaway & Review ~ The Christmas Dragon/Strings by Ruthanne Reid


fundinmental would like to welcome Ruthanne and The Christmas Dragon and Strings.

I am a dragon lover, so this was a must have for me.

What is your favorite shifter?

Cover_ChristmasDragon photo goodreads-badge-add-38px11_zps1ae6e47f.jpg


The box jumped. Between the cover and the first sentence, I knew this is a story I wanted to read. The writing was humorous from the opening line and I started laughing when I read about the rusty wand. Magic and a snow white dragon, what’s not to love?

This is a short story that left me wanting to know more.

Katie had left her family because she wanted a normal life, without magic. She is Merlin’s niece. She wondered who could have left the dragon on her doorstep – she can’t keep it and doesn’t want it. It’s cute, but she was getting rid of it. She can bring it by my house, at least that was my first thought, until I found out it had been stolen and whoever had it would be in serious trouble.

A wonderfully cute, light read that goes on to tell us how and why she has the snow white dragon, whose name is Starling. What other color would a Christmas dragon be?

Grey, a Fey, was unwilling to help her, but we will learn more about him in Strings.

A wizard, a Lin, an Unseelie, a baby dragon, vampires, elves, magic…I can hardly wait to learn more.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars


*The Christmas Dragon*

All Katie Lin wants is to get away from her family: from the magic, from the mayhem, and from the never-ending war.

Unfortunately, someone has other ideas, and sends her a box. A box that jumps.

The tiny fire hazard inside may just force her back to Wales – and right into the path of a dragon war, the Crow King, and at least one reluctant elf prince. Sometimes, running away just doesn’t work as planned.


*I chose this excerpt because of the first sentence. A smile jumped onto my face.*

The Christmas Dragon

The box jumped.

Boxes are not supposed to jump. It’s a law somewhere, I think. Maybe Guyana. Apparently not in New Hampshire, because the box kept jumping.

I sat in my idling car, puffs of exhaust rising in my rear-view mirror, and stared at the uncoordinated box-dance. It was wrapped in the loveliest paper, too, which was a shame, because bouncing on my boot-scraper had roughened all the corners and torn one edge. The bow was big and purple and covered in small green somethings. I wasn’t close enough to make them out.

I didn’t want to be close enough to make them out.

If I didn’t do something soon, the neighbors would notice. The box probably hadn’t been jumping all morning, or there’d be a crowd. Or maybe it was already on YouTube. I didn’t know.

So much for a safe, boring life among the Ever-Dying. New Hampshire, you have failed me.

I turned off the car. Time to go see what invaded my (mostly) magic-free space.

Cover_Strings photo goodreads-badge-add-38px11_zps1ae6e47f.jpg


This is Grey’s story.

The Seelie feel they are the ones meant to rule everyone, including the humans.

Music is his magic. He is a prince, but left home to weave a magical spell of music around the humans and share the love.

Now he is called on to save them from the Slivers. He is determined to save the humans, no matter the consequences. But, who can he trust? He lives in a magical world where your enemy could be your friend and savior.

Among the Mythos, science fantasy and twenty thousand years of Earth’s history, Grey is an unwilling hero, but a hero just the same.

My only complaint is the story goes on and for how long, I do not know.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  3 Stars



Need help? You probably shouldn’t ask Grey.

A runaway Unseelie prince, Grey feeds on love –  a commodity he conjures via music and magic in late-night Manhattan. It’s a sweet gig, if lonely, and Grey is almost sure the dire warnings he was given about New York in December won’t come true.

Then a monster from his childhood attacks in the middle of the night, and everything changes.

He survived, but he’s marked, and more monsters are coming for him and everyone who survived. Grey has no plans to be a hero but fate doesn’t care what he wants. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you aren’t the one pulling the strings.


AuthorPhoto_The_Christmas_DragonStringsIndie author Ruthanne Reid writes about elves, aliens, vampires, and space-travel with equal abandon. She is the author of the series Among the Mythos, and believes good stories should be shared. Subscribe to her free email newsletter for free books and more at You can connect with her on Twitter (, Facebook (, or Tumblr (, where she looks at too many kittens and Avengers blogs.

Ruthanne’s love of magic, urban environments, and deep space birthed a strange world with undercurrents of faith, magic, villainy, and heroism (along with swords and lasers, on occasion). Among the Mythos showcases aliens with all-too-human feelings, entire societies on the decline due to greed and fear, protagonists who might actually be the bad guys (or vice-versa), and endings every bit as messy as the world that creates them.

Ruthanne knows from experience that endings are messy. No matter how exotic the setting, how many limbs the characters have or what (if any) genders, the problems and questions addressed by a good story are very real, and that’s why they have power. If she has a theme, it is this: keep fighting, and keep pushing toward hope, because the struggle is worth the finish-line.

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Buy Links for The Christmas Dragon

Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo  /  GooglePlay  /  iTunes  /  Scribd  /  Oyster  /  Flipkart  /  Txtr   /  Smashwords

Paperback  /  IndieBound  /  Bookfinder  /  Powell’s 

Buy Links for Strings

Kindle  /  Nook Kobo  /  Google Play  /  iTunes  /  Scribd  /  Oyster  /  Flipkart  /  Txtr  /  Smashwords

Paperback  /  IndieBound Bookfinder  /  Powell’s


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