Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Creator Class by K.M. Breakey

Still having trouble with links and pictures. Grrr. But I am looking at the Mediterranean Sea right now, and that makes everything okay.

Rating: 5

Synopsis: Decades have elapsed since The Creators inflicted their vision on the planet. The population menace is tamed, resources are plentiful, and climate concerns abate. A sustainable world order has been achieved.

But the rigid restrictions of P-Class torment Shawn Lowe. Movements are tracked, conversations scrutinized, conformity enforced. It’s wrong. The Laws of Earthism are wrong. When a treasonous outburst cements Shawn’s fate, an unexpected communication from Creator Class sparks changes he could never have imagined.

A new life. A new family. Boundless opportunity. Destiny, it seems, has been rewritten. But an evil nemesis emerges, and a lust for vengeance points Shawn down a treacherous path. 

Creator Class is the first book in The Creator Class Series.

My Review:

It is no easy feat to find a book that is completely awesome from cover to cover. In fact, I would say that it is quite difficult. What is easy? Falling completely for Creator Class, which is one of those books. I just finished reading the novel, and now I am writing this review looking out at the bright blue of the Mediterranean and the Sicilian skyline. And everything about that is awesome.

Creator Class is action-packed, interesting, intense, and unique. The way that all of the ideas are explained, even though they may be the 1984-kind of horrifying, make them believable. In fact, if you told me that this novel is not fiction, but an actual glimpse of the future, I would not have that much trouble believing you.

Another thing that I enjoyed was the point of view. So many books are told in the first person. Although that is not a bad thing, it is refreshing to read in the third person omniscient. Not only does one get a grasp of the characters, but the narrating voice uses a sense of foreshadowing within their descriptions.

Normally when I read novels, the main characters become annoying  while the supporting characters are the ones I fall in love with. As I read Creator Class, I enjoyed ALL of the characters, even the ones that completely suck as people. They were developed all so well, that it is hard to not. Even the psychopathic ones are such great characters that have so many layers to them.

The storyline that the novel has is interesting throughout, and keeps you flipping the pages, wanting more. Even now, that I have finished the novel, I still want more. There are so many ways that the story can be expanded, and I am definitely excited to see what will happen next.

With lines that makes a quote need like me drool, killer characters, and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat (at least metaphorically), I highly recommend reading Creator Class, for you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review of Easy "A" (Magic School USA Book #1) by Charlie Fey

I am currently in Firenze, Italia (Yeah, yeah, Florence) bringing you a review for this lovely book. Since I am posting on my iPod, my usual format is not able to be completely followed, and I can't update my review archive just yet, so I apologize for that. 

I would chat more but my shower has a light in it that changes colors. And that is awesome. 

It's the little things in life. Like this awesome novel I will now finally talk about:


The Magic School USA series blends the supernatural action of Harry Potter with the outrageous fun of Animal House, all to bring you a story that is out of this realm WILD!

Richard "Vegas" Beltran is an underachiever. That's bad for any student, but it's especially bad when you go to a wizardry school. Black Magic is something to be taken very seriously, but Vegas has been caught smoking "eye of newt" in the boys' bathroom, and all of his bubbling cauldrons contain ice and alcohol...

The principal, Professor Diaz, is ready to drop Vegas into a slower-paced magic class. But Vegas would rather die, Houdini-style, in a botched escape act than have to suffer through "remedial magic."

After all, Vegas only came to Absolution Academy, school for the "Paranormal Sciences," to learn a spell that would bring his girlfriend, Katherine, back from the DEAD.

Unfortunately, now that his tuition's been paid, he finds that resurrecting the dead is an act of Godslaughter--a forbidden form of magic--and at Absolution Academy, an illegal activity. 
But "illegal" is a funny word... one among many that Vegas doesn't seem to know the meaning of...

**Easy A** 

Vegas is determined to find the spell he needs to bring his beloved back from the DEAD. His teachers warn him that it's a criminal act. Haters are motivators, and Vegas is sure he'll be able to do what even his teachers CAN'T. 

He strikes up a deal with creepy professor Allen Allens. If Vegas survives one night of "detention" in Dr. Allens torture chamber, Allen Allens will give Vegas a spell book that contains the spell he needs. 

...The forbidden Resurrection spell... 

And if Vegas doesn't pass the evil Doctor's death trap for teenagers? He can choose between being Allens' gorgeous young sex slave or face the cold grip of DEATH. 

...Death is the better deal. 

It's all or nothing for Richard Beltran and if he dies at least he'll never have to eat that sh*tty school cafeteria food ever again...


My Review:

Magic School U.S.A is highly entertaining, highly addictive, and will definitely leave the reader wanting more. 

It has been some time since I read a novel that made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions. But I highlighted every brilliantly comedic line in this novel, and at least half of the pages have some green sentences. The characters are all well-developed, adding their own unique personalities that adds to the story as a whole.

The humor is definitely one of the best parts of the novel, and will appeal to teenagers and adults alike. Certain parts are very parody, and will do a great job in brightening your mood (which is slightly ironic, giving the nature of some of the characters.) 

Fey has a great voice throughout the novel, and uses it well. From the beginning line of "Drop dead, motherfucker!", I was sure that this would be a novel I can enjoy, and I was right. Throughout reading, Magic School U.S.A will have you completely consumed with the characters, plot, and witty dialogue.

I want to thank Fay for reminding me that fart jokes are still hilarious, as well as for writing a truly wonderful comedy. It definitely made my long plane ride more enjoyable, and I think that is something magical.

I will eagerly await book two, hoping to see more of Seth, and am excited for the laughs that are sure to come.

To fans of magic, sorcerers, magicians, those who have a bit of an immature sense of humor, and those who have any sense of humor at all, I would recommend giving Magic School U.S.A a try.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I just wanted to say that, as of tomorrow, I will be leaving for Italy for 15 days of touring, then staying with family members until July 18th.

Because of this, I might take a little bit longer to reply/post reviews.

However, please still feel free to contact me, comment, send review requests, as I will still have Internet access at least once a day, and will have some downtime. 

I just wanted to make sure that, in case I don't reply immediately to anyone, you will know exactly why.

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful summer, and are able to do lots of writing and reading!

Let me know if you are traveling anywhere, we can exchange pictures!

Now, I have to go pack because I always wait until the last minute...I know, it is a bad habit, I advise against it...

Until next time,

Review: Enigma Black by Sara Furlong Burr

Rating: 5

Synopsis: When she was just seventeen, the course of Celaine Stevens' life was permanently altered with the murders of her father, mother, and brother in one of a series of mysterious and violent explosions occurring across the country. Struggling with picking up the pieces, she's haunted by the memory of that day and her promise of retribution against those responsible for her misery. But just as she seems to be getting her life back on track, an encounter with a mysterious stranger promises her the vengeance she desires, ultimately turning the former target into the assassin.

However, as she soon learns, all choices come with consequences. And the consequence of her choice threatens to destroy the very fabric of her being.

My Review: 

From the very beginning of the novel, Enigma Black will have you captivated, at the edge of your seat, desperately and continuously reading the pages until you reach the end. The story is well-written, action-packed, and heart-wrenching, and I couldn't have asked for more.

Not many times do you see characters this well-developed. Celaine is the kind of character that the reader can connect to. That you might think wow, that sounds like something I would say, which allows you to connect to the story even more. Even the characters that I didn't like were written so well, I almost did like them. The Man in Black is the psychopathic monster (and a brilliant antagonist) yet I find myself highlighting some of the quotes in his section, because they were so brilliant.

I always enjoy a story that really takes you into that world, and Enigma Black delivers. Between the separate parts, and starting Celaine's narrative when she was seventeen before going deep into her story, along with the use of the occasional third-person point of view, I didn't just feel like I was reading the story, I felt that I was living it. And that is really something amazing.

With an incredible, yet believable, plot, nonstop action, witty dialogue, and connections that you will make as you continue to read, Enigma Black is a story you will fall in love with. I highly recommend, and am eagerly looking forward to the next installment.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Author Interview: Gary Caruso

Recently, I was able to interview Gary Caruso, author of Our Souls to Keep, which I recently reviewed here! and I am infinitely excited to be able to share the interview, as well as more information on Our Souls to Keep.

After seventeen-year-old Wake Reynolds agrees to sacrifice his soul to protect his suicidal mother from the fiery tortures of Hell, Satan strips him of his humanity and forces him to become a demonic collector of souls. With no memory of his human existence, Wake spends years in loyal service—but something within him is changing. His stolen human emotions are beginning to return.

As Wake struggles to keep his new sensations hidden, Satan orders him to corrupt the soul of a pregnant girl, Annemarie. Beautiful, gentle Annemarie. From the moment Wake sees her, she brings lightness to his blackened heart, dampening his loneliness, fueling his passion. If he chooses to defy Satan and spare the lives of Annemarie and her unborn child, his mother’s soul will writhe in Hell’s deepest pit for eternity. Annemarie or his mother? It’s a choice no one should have to make.

JW: Describe Our Souls to Keep in less than 50 words.
GC: Our Souls to Keep is the action-packed, heart-wrenching journey of Wake, a demon soul collector, who seeks redemption for the horrible acts he committed in the past. When he meets Annemarie, his heart opens to love as he searches for belonging within the humanity he once surrendered.   

JW: How did the idea for Our Souls to Keep come to you?
GC: I fear this isn’t a very interesting answer, but I was walking through my neighborhood and it just appeared into my head. I had just finished a major revision of a different story and needed another project to work on. The brain is very interesting. If you tell it what you want, it will work on it while you’re doing other things. Once my brain had an idea, it jumped into my mind like a slice of bread popping from a toaster. The concept was pretty raw and shapeless. It took time to mold it into something exciting, but it was an excellent starting point.   

JW: When you wrote the novel, would you say you initially planned it out, or just wrote to see where you would go?
GC: I have to know a story’s direction. I never write anything until I can see the ending my head. Once I have that, I usually jot down random, unconnected ideas for scenes that may fit. Then I write a rough outline. But the key to good storytelling is having the flexibility to change directions at any point in the process. When I started Our Souls to Keep, I had a strong mental image of what would happen on the last pages. Even without knowing the characters, the emotions were powerful. The challenges were to develop characters who wouldn’t wilt under the weight of the emotion and to sketch a plot that gave these characters a strong voice to tell their story. With an outline as a guide, I began moving forward, but almost daily, Wake would do something that surprised me as if he had a better idea of the story than me. Or sometimes I’d laugh when one of the characters said something unexpected and funny. I know that sounds slightly insane, but I can say confidently that I know that Wake and Annemarie aren’t real. When I gave them creative freedom, the plot often changed for the better, but the ending stayed the same throughout.

JW: Have you always had an interest in angels and demons?
GC: Not really. I needed to place Wake and Annemarie in the middle of someone else’s conflict. The battle between Heaven and Hell was perfect because they fight like a dysfunctional family. Except in this case, the fate of humanity is at stake.  

JW: Did you decide that Wake would be the voice to tell this story from the beginning? How was writing from his point of view?
GC: I originally wrote the first three chapters of Our Souls to Keep in a 3rd person-past point of view because I thought it would be best to know Wake and Annemarie equally. But Wake is a complex character. He is truly the driving force of the story and his circumstance is extraordinary. He opens his soul to any reader who is willing to look beyond his actions to know who he is. Unfortunately, as personal and immediate that 1st person can be, there’s much we don’t know about Annemarie. Clearly she doesn’t reveal everything on her mind, and what we do know about her is filtered through Wake. I’m not sure any male is equipped to fully understand the intelligence and motivations of the female mind.

JW: If you can have an actual conversation with any of your characters from Our Souls to Keep, who would it be? What would you ask them?
GC: I’ve already had many conversations with all my characters. They’re actually fun to talk to. But, given the opportunity, I would like to spend more time with Annemarie. She’s gracious and supportive, even in difficult situations. Her head must be filled with a ton of things she doesn’t say. Within an intense, life-threatening situation, she falls for Wake. She is deeply protective of her child, and is open and trusting with her affection for Wake. I would ask her, “What is the quality in Wake you are most attracted to?”

JW: Which character had been the hardest to write? The easiest?
GC: The hardest character to write was definitely Wake. His experiences aren’t mine and his courage is at a level that most of us can only hope to achieve. But the hardest to write was the depth of his love. Wake isn’t a classically written romantic male character, but what woman wouldn’t want to be with a man who is as passionate and unselfish as Wake? There is no limit to what Wake would do for the people he loves. It was hard to represent the true depth of his powerful emotions.

I didn’t think any of the characters were easy to write, but Satan was the most fun. He has the ability to alter himself to manipulate others to serve his own purpose. That means I was able to create him any way I wanted. In the Our Souls to Keep world, he’s evil, but not just because it’s what he does. It was fun to explore his motivations for evil. Of course, we never really know how he feels about anything because everything has the potential to be a lie. Attempting to know Satan is like trying to trap running water in your hands.

JW: What can we expect to see from Wake in the future?
GC: Currently, I’m putting the final touches on a YA murder mystery series called The Dark Side of Truth which is scheduled for release in September, 2013. I’ve started making random notes for Souls on Fire, the sequel to Our Souls to Keep. Souls on Fire has a target release of Spring, 2014. Unfortunately for Wake, his circumstance will be more complex and the stakes will be higher. I’m out-of-my-shoes excited to write it! I can’t wait!

JW: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
GC: I was driving home from work, stuck in traffic. My mind was wandering because I had an urge to do something different with my spare time. Then it just popped into my head, “Why not write?” It was really a radical thought. I watch football, but it doesn’t mean I can run onto the field and play pro football. I read books, and I was considering being a professional writer. It was a leap of faith. I had no writing experience—none! But I decided it would an adventure. That was three years ago. It took me a year to write and edit my first novel, Benjamin Drake and the Stones of Oberon. It was a fun story with lively characters, but I was a terrible writer. Thankfully, I enjoy writing more than I ever thought I would, so I was able to stick with it through the ugly times. I pushed that novel aside, burying it deep in some unknown place so no one would ever find it. I worked very hard to improve as quickly as possible so I could share my work without being too embarrassed. Now, I can’t imagine my life without writing.

JW: What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
GC: During the day, I teach 8th grade science. I love teaching kids. That takes a lot of my time, but I enjoy developing positive relationships and helping students reach their potential. As much as I love writing and teaching, my favorite time is being with my family. It really doesn’t matter what we do. I’m always happiest when I’m with them.

JW: What are you currently reading?
GC: I’m about halfway through Graceling, halfway through The Night Circus, and half way through Dirty Blood. I’m so busy, but I’m motivated to finish them because I’m very excited to read Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to The Daughter of Smoke and Bones as well as Stephen King’s Under the Dome and Joyland, and Dan Brown’s Inferno. Sadly, most of my time is spent writing, reading and critiquing student work from my creative writing club at school, and critiquing works in progress from other writers. When I’m writing a new novel, I like to start a new book. Not just because novels are a wonderful way to escape the pressures of normal life, but also because they spark my creativity. Thankfully I’ll have time to read this summer.

JW: Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
  1. Know that it’s hard to be a good writer. It requires many, many hours alone at your computer, so make sure you love doing it—a lot. Otherwise, writing will feel like work.
  2. Write as much as you can, even when you feel uninspired. You may not always like what ends up on your screen, but sometimes you’ll get ideas you never expected. Just let your mind roam.
  3. Learn from your mistakes so that you don’t spend too much time correcting the same ones over and over. You’ll improve at a faster rate.
  4. Don’t take shortcuts at the expense of producing the best quality work. That means edit, edit, edit.
  5. Be very open to advice, but remember that the person responsible for your work is you.
  6. I believe the only way to right well, is to accept that you’ll write poorly when you start. Once you understand that, you’ll allow yourself to get better.
  7. Treat yourself and your work with respect or no one else will.
  8. Write uncomfortably. I hear people suggest that you should write what you know. Good advice for beginning writers. But I believe growth happens faster, the farther you are out of your comfort zone. That’s why good actors take on a variety of roles. It pushes the edge of their creative potential. The same thing is true for writers.

Gary Caruso lives in northern Virginia with his wife Jill, but their favorite place is in Ohio with their three beautiful grandchildren. Although Gary is exhilarated when he sits down to write, teaching middle school science is his first love. He’s passionate about empowering students to make thoughtful decisions and positive choices in life. Gary enjoys reading, especially fiction that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy. He never imagined becoming a writer until an ordinary car ride on a spring day jolted an unlikely thought into his head. Gary’s early experience writing is a reminder that no matter how intimidating the challenge, action and determination are the foundations for fulfilling any dream. Gary has an insatiable love for writing, a blessing he’s excited to share with his readers.

It was definitely a lot of fun to conduct the interview, and I highly recommend reading Our Souls to Keep, because I absolutely loved it!

Our Souls to Keep on Goodreads (definitely add to your to-read shelf), Amazon, and Barnes and Noble 

Also, be sure to like Gary on Facebook: and check out his website at