Friday, August 28, 2015

Sword Of Deaths By Christopher Mannino

Sword of Deaths
         The Death laughed. He waved his scythe and the world behind her vanished. Two immense eyes rose behind him, surrounded by leathery skin. She heard the beating of wings.
“You are weak,” said the Death. “You’re nothing at all, Suzie. Just a girl.”  He laughed again.
“Leave me alone,” shouted Suzie. She walked forward but stopped as a sharp, shooting pain coursed through her.
“So weak, so worthless.”
“Go away!  Leave me alone!”
The man, the strange eyes, and the entire world shattered, splitting into fragments of glass. Shards flew toward her, burrowing beneath skin. So much pain.
She looked down. The glass was gone. Markings covered each hand. The marks crawled upwards, moving onto Suzie’s neck—strangling her.
Something clawed at her throat, pulling her down, ripping her apart. She gasped for air.
She exploded into a burst of light.


Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death.  Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.

Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?

Sword of Deaths

SWORD OF DEATHS, the second novel in the critically acclaimed YA Fantasy trilogy "The Scythe Wielder's Secret," is now available from MuseItUp Publishing in both ebook and paperback formats. In SWORD OF DEATHS, Mannino delves deeper into the world and characters introduced in the first novel. The novel is told from three rotating points-of-view, and for the first time, the conflict with Dragons is fully realized. The style becomes darker, and for more epic, as the series moves towards a momentous climax in the final book DAUGHTER OF DEATHS.

(Praise for SCHOOL OF DEATHS: The Scythe Wielder's Secret Book One)

"Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!" - Reader's Favorite

"With a well-developed setting, strong characters, a fairly fast moving plot, and snappy dialogue, this novel should keep readers engaged from the beginning to the end. Five Stars." - BookBreeze Magazine 

"Let's start with one simple statement: Wow!  This book, the characters and the world created by Mannino is absolutely spectacular."  -Kay, GoodReads Review

"This book's world is brilliant, and the author's creativity is more than amazing and the way he conveyed his imagination was just stunning."  -OnlineBookClub


Christopher Mannino
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet.  He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland.  In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups.  He spends his summers writing and singing.  Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University.  His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.  

Mannino is currently completing The Scythe Wielder's Secret series and is working on several adult novels.

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Review Of The Contaminants

The Contaminants

About the Book

Title: The Contaminants (New Dakota Series, Volume 1) | Author: Devin K. Smyth | Publication Date: June 9, 2015 | Publisher: Firedrake Books, LLC (2nd Edition) | Pages: 230 | Recommended Ages: 12+

Amazon * Smashwords * Goodreads

Summary: When the American government's attempt to "purify" Earth causes a worldwide nuclear holocaust, teen friends Jessil and Soraj are among the few to escape the planet. Orbiting in a cruiser designed to help regenerate Earth's ecosystem, they assist Soraj's father, who leads the process to salvage a location for the cruiser's safe return. But when a mysterious distress signalarrives from Earth, Jessil is desperate to discover who sent it. She and Soraj join the reconnaissanceteam that descends to the planet, a world very different from the one they knew. In such a strange land, can their search-and-rescue effort succeed? And if it does, will it mean failure for Earth's recovery?

My Review:  I loved this book. This story is told from the POV of two teen characters Soraj and Jessil. Soraj, Jessil and her two brothers meet all kinds of strange creatures on their journey to find Jessel's father. Some are friendly, other are dangerous. But the real danger comes when Soraj's father wants to kill them. "There can be no contaminants if humanity is to resurrect itself," Soraj's father says before getting ready to kill his own son. Danger. Adventure. A must read.

More Buzz About the Book

"The Contaminants, a work of dystopian fantasy for teens from Devin K. Smyth (the pen name of Kevin Speth), serves as the first volume of his New Dakota series. Composed of two believable first-person narratives and based around two father-child relationships, this is a novel that prizes emotions as much as it does technology." ~ Rebecca, Foreward Reviews
"The Contaminants by Devin K. Smyth is a story of survival, friendship, loyalty, and hope set in the aftermath of planetary devastation. I loved this book... I didn't want to put the book down. I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. This is a great start to what I hope will be a continuing series." ~ Ubiquitous Bubba, Amazon
"This story had me sucked in fromthe very beginning, and I had trouble putting it down. The science was thorough and awesome. The characters were portrayed at different ages and through different stages of their journey with skill and a perfect arc. " ~ Amie M., Amazon
"An exciting trek to a post-nuclear Earth! Tightly composed and never off tangent in its delivery, "The Contaminants" by Devin K. Smyth packs many punches" ~ Future Boy, Amazon
"There's enough drama and tension here to keep you riveted. Smyth's concept of a world intentionally destroyed in order to "improve" on it is fresh and provocative. The characters are well developed and engaging. I'm eager toread the next story in this chapter, and find out more about this new yet familiar world." ~ Nikki B., Amazon

About the Author: Devin K. Smyth

Devin K. Smyth is the pen name of Kevin Speth, a part-time novelist and full-time marketing copywriter in the field of children’s entertainment. He resides in southern Wisconsin with his girlfriend and their herd of cats. The Contaminants is Devin K. Smyth’s first novel and is the first in the “New Dakota” series.

Firedrake Books | Goodreads

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Review Of Diego's Dragon Book Two: Dragons Of The Dark Rift

Dragons of the Rift

About the Book

Title: Diego's Dragon, Book 2: Dragons of the Dark Rift | Author: Kevin Gerard | Publication Date: April 6, 2015 | Publisher: Crying Cougar Press | Pages: 214 | Recommended Ages: 10+

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords * Goodreads

Summary: A Prophecy, an Ancient Calendar, and a Battle for Earth’s Survival The turning of the 26,000 year cycle is approaching. The fifth sun promises a time of peace for all creatures. Magnifico, Estrella, and the Sol Dragones eagerly await the new age. Vipero hopes to alter the ancientprophecy. He orders the Dragons of the Dark Rift to find and eliminate the Sol Dragones. If they succeed, nothing will stop him from destroying Diego’s world and claiming ownership of Sol, a star with unlimited spiritual power. Diego and Racquel travel with their dragons to the Dark Rift, the entrance to the magical realm known as the Xibalba. Together with the Sol Dragones, they battle Vipero’s immense army in a fight to save or shift the Mayan prediction. The fate of earth depends on victory or defeat, and Diego is the key. His choice – to betray Magnifico or stay true to the Sol Dragones – will determine the outcome of the conflict.  

My Review:  Intriguing. Adventure. Danger. These are just a few words to describe this wonderful story. Great fun characters. Diego fights along side the dragons. Vipero, an evil dragon, wants Diego for his guide. If you love to read about dragons, this is the book to read.

The Buzz About the Series

"Diego’s Dragon: Spirits of the Sun is a gripping, intrigue-filled adventure featuring a young Hispanic boy as the main protagonist, a beautiful statue that transforms into a realdragon, and a cast of secondary characters who all play a role in helping Diego fulfill his destiny as the Guide who delivers his ancestors into the spirit world. Tweens and teens will enjoy this magical and mystical journey..." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"Kevin, you are an amazing writer. You have inspired me to make a book of my own. It is about a kid who can jump through space and time just by jumping. The next few paragraphs are what I have so far from the book. Please read them and give me feedback." ~ Your #1 fan - Ryan
"Another fun little book by Kevin Gerard in the Diego's Dragon series... My daughter (who is in the 4th grade, but reads at the middle school level) read this book right after she read the first in this series 'Diego's Dragon: Spirits of the Sun. She can't wait for the next one to come out." ~ Tjasinto, Amazon, 5 Stars
"I love your fantasy fiction books so much!" ~ Tanner - Palm Desert Charter School

About the Author: Kevin Gerard

Kevin GerardKevin Gerard lives in San Diego, California, with two feline friends, Jesse the WonderCat and Little Man. When not writing or teaching statistics at Cal State San Marcos, he enjoys walking the grounds at the San Diego Zoo, hitting the waves at Cardiff State Beach, and hanging with his brother, nieces and nephews at the local Pizza Port. He also enjoys playing Halo on the internet; look for him in the rocket games as one of the characters from Diego’s Dragon or Conor and the Crossworlds.  

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads

Monday, August 3, 2015

My Review Of The Ifs Return

The Ifs Return  

About the Book

Title: The Ifs Return | Author: J.D. Pooker | Illustrator: Frank Walls | Publication Date: May 17, 2015 | Publisher: Little Devil Books | Pages: 131 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Summary: “Gage escaped.” These are the worst words Broden could hear from his big brother Landon—just one day after they battled alongside Slade’s Ifs and his army of forest beasts. Sure, the brothers had learned to work together to fight and capture the evil If Gage. But, now, Sladehas informed them that Gage has escaped! Fear and distrust have entered the boys’ world. Why should they help Slade if he can’t keep control ofhis prisoners? Will they be able to fight against a familiar foe? Plus, Landon has more news... “Gage has magic.” What kind of magic? Will he use it against them? As the boys are drawn into yet more adventure with the Ifs, they find out just how powerful, and dangerous, Gage’s magic can be.  

My Review: I loved this book and I enjoyed reading again about Broden and Landon adventure. Great fun characters. I like the brotherly relationship between Landon and Broden. As they go on this adventure to capture Gage again, the brothers seem to grow closer, wanting to protect each other. The boys face danger as they fight Gage and save the world.

The Buzz About Book 1

Check out the Book Review Blitz for the first book in the series, The Ifs for over 30 reviews of the book! Here is some of the buzz:
Angela Burkhead: “The Ifs is a tale of brotherhood, loyalty, and knightly valor astwo human brothers fight in a great battle to save the Ifs from their rival tribes. But which tribe is in the right? Borrowing from such beloved stories as The Borrowers, Pooker adds a unique twist in creating a group of ‘little people’ who are seemingly self sufficient and militarized...”
Vincent N. (Goodreads): “Kind of reminded me of the movie “Epic” or Disney’s “Rescuers Down Under.” There is some action and the storyline itself, and with that I mean what’s actually happening, stirs the imagination.”
1977 Books: “A good and exciting read for a middle school age child. I like the message this story projected, brothers no matter what!”
Jane Ritz: ” “The Ifs” is a fabulous mystery for children 3-5th grade. It reminds me of “Where the wild Things Are” in a good and strange kind of way.”
SOS-Supply: “This book has it all – fighting, plotting, sibling rivalry, weird experiences, adventure, mystery and battles. In short, everything that appeals to middle school readers. The plot rolls along at a good pace and hooks you in from the very start, with believable characters that are easily related to – we all know a Landon and a Broden, right..? A must-have for any child’s library with real-life lessons built in.”

About the Author: J.D. Pooker

J.D. PookerJ.D. POOKER lives in wonderful Wyoming with her husband and two sons, along with a black lab named Ryder and a sweet kitty named Alia. J.D. likes to spend time with her family and go camping, fishing, and snowmobiling. Her sons, Landon and Broden, were the inspiration for The Ifs and The Ifs Return. The brothers enjoy camping, fishing, and snowmobiling with their parents. They also enjoy wrestling, playing with their Wii, their toy guns and bows and arrows, and their pets. J.D. can’t wait until her boys get older. She is sure they will have many fabulous adventures.