Reader's Den is Hibernating

Reader's Den is currently in hibernation. Since I now only write book reviews for publications and other review websites, I will no longer be updating this site. However, there are 45+ reviews here and some great guest posts/interviews, so I'll keep this site alive for as long as I can just to keep the content online. Thanks for visiting! If you want to know what I'm currently up to, you can find me at my personal blog or at Editorial Assistance.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Heart of a Hero by Billi Tiner

From July 30th through July 31st, you can download Heart of a Hero to your Kindle, PC, or Mac for free. I can't host a giveaway, but at least author Billi Tiner is hosting a free promotion over at Amazon. ^_^

I hope you enjoy the review!


When the story begins, Lady and her brother Red are just two Irish Setter puppies eager to be as brave and heroic a hunter dog as their mother. Though World War II is happening, it's just a war that Lady only vaguely knows about because her master's son went away to join. However, that all changes when a young man named Carl comes by and asks her master if he can work with him for a couple of days.

The moment Lady and Carl meet, they become best friends. Lady comes to love him so much that when her master gives Lady to Carl, she is as excited as Carl is. During the time they spend together, Lady learns basic commands and shows her colors as a hero by rescuing a little boy.

Unfortunately, the war she only vaguely knew about becomes a recurring factor in her life, first starting with Carl's departure. Heart of a Hero is much like a bildungsroman that focuses on all the major moments in Lady's life where her heroic and brave nature shines most. We see what her life is like as a puppy, a hunting dog in training, a member of the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon, a war veteran, and a pet for a little girl.

The book is a simple one, both in writing style and in terms of the plot. However, considering that this book is aimed at kids, the simplicity only complements the story and makes it both a great tale for adults and kids alike. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Author Interview: Denesha Sheree

Has your muse always know what genre you would eventually be published in?


Do you read your sub-genre consistently or do you prefer another one?

I read a little of everything.

If you weren’t writing, what would your fantasy occupation be?

Since I hold a degree in Linguistic Studies, I would love to be a Dean of a Liberal Arts College.

Do you live near, or have you ever visited, the locations you used as settings in your works?

Yes, In fact one of the Novellas that I am outlining now, will take place in Brazil, which is one of my favorite places.

Do you put any stock in reviews or is reader feedback more important to you?

A little of both. Sometimes, readers of other genres will provide feedback because they really don’t usually read in your genre, so they may not be able to get into the groove of your writing style.

Where do you write? Home, office, local Starbucks?

Everywhere, because sometimes the story won’t let me rest, so anything I can write on to keep it going, I will.

You have just been granted a magical lamp. A genie pops out and asks you, “What are your three wishes?”

First wish- To build a Novella Dynasty, Second Wish- For my writings to be known all over the world. Third wish and most importantly- A Cure for every disease!

Are you a full time writer or do you have other obligations?

I have other obligations so it is hard to be on the hustle continuously, I am a realist so I work a regular 8 to 5 job, because at the end of the day, everyone has to eat.

If you won the lottery and one of the stipulations was that you had to give away half the winnings, what would you do with that half?

I would use it to jump start a non- profit organization that would benefit the youth and the rest would go to the building of my Novella Dynasty.

Bubble baths or long hot steamy showers?

Bubble Baths

Beach or mountains?


Chocolate, vanilla or swirl cones?

Swirl cones

Four wheel drives or sports cars?


    Tell us about The Yellow Clutch Society, how you came up with the concept and where we can find your books, upcoming appearances, and upcoming projects.

It was crazy because this story just came to me. I mean, I had a general idea of what I wanted the story line to be, and then it took on a tone of its own. I had to go to a super dark and mysterious place in order to toy with my readers mind. It worked because I had a reader tell me that there was one part that messed her head up, which was what I was looking to do. I had so many different reactions to this story, like some found it sexy, mysterious, suspenseful and believe it or not spooky.
You can order “The Yellow Clutch Society” in paperback (limited) at

You can also order it on kindle at Amazon or nook/Barnes& Noble. There also book trailers to this Novella.
My next project will be a tale of two Novellas that will include Damon’s Die-nasty/Mirror’s Mirror. Now this will be followed by a Novella called “Ring Burial”. Author Stephanie Norris and I, will also be working on a Novella called “Wife Swap,” so I am excited about that.

Latitudes - A Story of Coming Home by Anthony Caplan

*Giveaway Bonus*
If you enjoy the review below and would like to win a digital copy of the book, here are the terms and details about entering into the giveaway:

1.) It's international, and the winner will receive a digital copy of Latitudes. Up to three people can win a copy.

2.) You must leave a comment by July 26, 2012 on some aspect of the review. Something like 'enter me in the drawing' won't count.

3.) Add your e-mail address at the end of your comment so, if you are selected, Anthony can contact you.
Latitudes is a story about life - specifically, Will's life from youth until adulthood. Simply put, it's a bildungsroman. Apart from the prologue, which begins in California in 2009, the story is mostly in chronological order. 1966 is the actual starting point. Will is a child, probably no older than five. His sister Marina is the new baby, and his sister Jeanette is yet to be born, let alone conceived. The moment you start reading, it's easy to tell that there won't be a solid plot with steps leading up to a certain conclusion, though the plot does thicken when the intense divorce battles come into play.

When I imagine the way this story is told, I think about a large family scrapbook broken up into years and places the family have lived since 1966. I imagine someone pointing at a picture in the section titled "Caracas, Venezuela - 1966" and asking what was currently happening with the family when that picture was taken.

The explanation for that picture encompasses one chapter. Then, in the next chapter, the reader points to another picture and another until they've looked through the entire scrapbook. What happened in New York State, 1967? What about Margarita Island, 1968 or Long Island, 1970? Every question is answered until, by the end, we know enough separate but interconnected stories about Will and those around him to feel as though we've known Will our whole life.

Though Latitudes is mainly focused on how Will copes with moving around often and dealing with his parent's dysfunctional, abusive marriage, there's also a subtle layer of story underneath about society and history.

I liked Latitudes writing style, though I initially didn't like a couple of the metaphors and similes. All in all, I find it an enjoyable book, and I recommend it to anyone who loves tales about growing up and coping with divorce.  
Anthony Caplan, author of Latitudes - A Story of Coming Home
Find Anthony Caplan
Latitudes is available at 
Barnes & Noble:

Connect with Anthony Caplan at:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Author Interview: Stephanie Norris

Has your muse always known what genre you would eventually be published in?

Yes, for the most part I always knew I wanted to write romance and drama. I plan on writing Christian romance as well.

Do you read your sub genre consistently or do you prefer another one?

I love reading different genres. When I was young, I loved horror books, but as I grew into adulthood I love reading more suspenseful thrillers, street literature, and romance. I do have some stories up there so I'll try them out to see what they're made of.

If you weren’t writing what would your fantasy occupation be?

A director; as you can see, I have a passion for bringing stories to life, so if I didn’t get it out by writing it, I would definitely try being a director of a movie or play.

Do you live near or have you ever visited the locations you used as settings in your works?

Yes, I lived in Memphis, Tennessee briefly back around 2006 in Orange Mound, which just so happens to be the area my main characters are from. On the other hand, I haven’t lived in Chicago before. All of the information I have there is strictly imagination and research.

Do you put any stock in reviews or is reader feedback more important to you?

Reader feedback is definitely more important to me because you’re getting it straight from the source or audience you sell to.  Although there is nothing wrong with seeking out reviews from a professional standpoint (that is also important), getting the actual reader's perspective is most important.

Where do you write? Home, office, local Starbucks?

I write at home.  It is the most comfortable and relaxing environment, but if it's crunch time and I'm on a certain deadline I can write with my beautician doing my hair lol.  When the story rains, it pours and there’s no stopping it.

Are you a full time writer or do you have other obligations.

 I am not a full time writer right now. I work day times as a medical office clerk in an office building.

You have just been granted a magical lamp. A genie pops out and asks you, "What are your three wishes?"

I would have to say one wish would be to read the bible in its entirety and understand its every meaning. My second wish would be to be successful.  My third wish would be to live a long, happy life with my family and friends. 

If you won the lottery and one of the stipulations was that you had to give away half the winnings, what would you do with that half?

I would probably find ways to spread it around to people in low income housing situations, to help them better there situation.

 Bubble baths or long hot steamy showers?

Definitely long hot steamy showers :)

Beach or mountains?

Most definitely beaches.

Chocolate, vanilla or swirl cones?

Swirl cones:)

Four wheel drives or sports cars?

Four wheel drives.

Check out the current contest to win a copy of part II of Trouble In Paradise “Vengeful Intentions”

Trouble In Paradise

Victoria is thankful for a lot of things- Joshua, the love of her life, a career change that starts a new chapter, and a condo in the suburbs of Chicago Illinois. Her jaw drops when she opens the garage and finds a brand new Cadillac wrapped in a huge bow. She is ecstatic and ready for the next steps towards her future. This is Victoria’s fresh beginning.

When Victoria and Joshua start their journey things take a turn for the worse. Victoria finds out that her nemesis and Joshua’s ex, Danielle Shumaker has flown to Chicago to try to get Joshua back. Victoria is determined to win this fight, when she finds out Joshua has secrets of his own. Distraught, confused, and mad as hell she falls into the arms of another. When emotions run high and desire digs deep Victoria finds herself caught up in Trouble.

~Love Is A Drug Ink~ Amazon Prime Member’s read for free! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Edge of a Dream by Lee Fishman

*Giveaway Bonus*

The giveaway is closed. The winner of the eBook copy of Edge of a Dream is Ciprian Hriscu. 

Enjoy the review!


Rija never wanted to come to America, but when her husband Josef finds a way to get her, her mother, and their daughter out of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows coming along is better than staying behind. Unfortunately, Josef ditches them in less than a year, forcing Rija to figure things out in a country she still has much to learn about.

Edge of a Dream officially begins two years after Josef's disappearance.

Though Rija doesn't want to become a cleaning lady, her rent is too far behind for her to be too picky about where she works. Plus, she has a six-year-old daughter and a mother to provide for. Fowler hires her as an independent contractor on the spot. As long as she avoids him in any private area where he can easily get his hands on her, the job is a great way for her to start her new life - a life where she can get by without Josef and the welfare checks.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Josef and Sergei are working a shady job for a man named Nick. Nick gets the twelve-thousand, they get a cut. The first part of the mission, collecting 12k from the Japanese businessman, goes well. Things don't get really bad until Sergei and Josef split apart and Sergei makes the unfortunate mistake of leaving the money with Josef.

All Josef had to do was hold the money for an hour. Instead, he sees a pretty girl at a second-rate casino, takes out five-thousand from Nick's money in order to impress her, and then loses that money almost instantly.

This is when my hatred for Josef shot through the roof and my tolerance hit the bottom. Sure, readers should pretty much detest him the moment they learn he's the type of scum who takes his family to America and ditches them without a word. That bothered me, but not as much as his carelessness. Seriously, why couldn't he have waited until after Nick gave him his cut to chase a pretty girl? Why put his and Sergei's lives in danger for something so very stupid? Even if he was feeling confident, that was a move that reminded me of that scene from Pulp Fiction when Vincent leaves his gun on the kitchen table and gets shot with his own gun as a result.

Stupidity on that scale seems earned. From that point onward, I felt like any terrible thing that happened to Josef was earned. I wanted to feel sorry for Josef. As the story went on, there are a series of flashbacks that explained all the bad experiences Josef (and Rija) lived through in Sarajevo - the war, the death of his mother, sending his beloved sisters off to a place he wouldn't be able to see them...

I understand that not all characters can be careful or intelligent. I understand that characters, like people, are varied. Regardless, I just couldn't grasp Josef's thinking process.

Josef was my main problem with the story. I really liked Rija's point of view. Through the tribulations she faces, we readers get a great view of what it's like for an immigrant to live and cope in America. I felt like I learned a lot about the war in Bosnia, a war I never gave much thought to beforehand, and I enjoyed the important role love and willpower played in the plot. Rija, her mother, and her daughter go through a lot, but they never stop trying or supporting one another.

Up until Josef takes revenge on Rija for changing the locks on him, the story doesn't feel like it has much of a plot. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Edge of a Dream excels as a Slice of Life tale, a story generally dedicated to what it's like being an immigrant in America and trying to cope. Plus, the sentences flow easily, and the book itself is an interesting read.

Author Lee Fishman
Find Lee Fishman

Friday, July 6, 2012

Black Earth: Dark Masquerade by David N. Alderman

Survival is a struggle, so much so that luck and fast thinking plays a higher role in who will make it out alive than preparation. Nathan Pierce, Macayle, members of Absolute's Rebellion, and Pearl, Nathan's girlfriend, know this for a fact. They've been hanging low in the previously deserted Westgate Mall Plaza for a little over a week. Though they've taken many measures to protect themselves from the demons, the president, and everyone else out to murder them - and there are many groups who would do anything to see Nathan and Pearl dead - that doesn't mean they can expect to safely live in the Mall for long. 

Unfortunately, when danger finally does come, it comes in doubles.

When a mysterious man tells Nathan that there are people in a town 15 miles away who know where Daisy, his sister, will be executed, Nathan is instantly determined to go to that town. However, just as Nathan is starting to create a plan, he learns that the strange sounds many people in the mall have complained about are coming from the Legion (demonic aliens) vessel that landed oddly in the Best Buy next to where everyone is staying. Unlike other vessels, its landing didn't create a massive crater or wipe out square blocks. The tip is protruding from the ground, the rest hidden underneath.

The first time Nathan looked at it alone, nothing happened. It's not until he, Macayle, and Pearl venture to the mysterious vessel together that all hell breaks loose. It turns out Pearl is a key for the special vessels that haven't instantly erupted. The moment she gets near them, the vessel opens and allows new, creepier aliens entry into the world. First emerges a female with black rock material coating her body. She's wearing an elaborate mask, the mask that is gracing the cover of Dark Masquerade, and she's able to cause destruction just by speaking. Unfortunately, there are many more masked females. To make matters worse, as though things weren't bad enough, an alien larger than the Best Buy also emerges.

Nathan, Macalay, and Pearl go back to the Westgate Mall Plaza in the hopes that they can at least help some of the people there, but most of the occupants were already murdered - not by the hands of an alien, but by the hands of a trigger happy, delirous man with a gun.

At this point, the three of them can do nothing but search for the town where people who know about Daisy are supposedly staying.

Just like in the previous two books, there is much more to the adventure than what Nathan is going through, though much of his tribulations effect and are tied to the other conflicts. We also get to see the story from the point of views of Heather, Sin, President Amanda Stone, Daisy, Mr. Silver, Ericka Shane, and Jasper. 

President Amanda Stone is hiding in a underground bunker. With members of Absolute and Daisy's Defiance determined to see her dead, that's her best plan of action. She's the only leader with power still on her mind. While others are shaken up by Legion's attacks, she's deadset on conquering and rising beyond the title of President of the United States. She has the dark advisor, the Man of Shadows, on her side promising her power. She needs him for more than that, though. His touch heals her. He is her drug.

And what happens if you keep turning to a powerful drug? After a while, you lose yourself to it.

Sin, meanwhile, is staying in the Village Grove Apartments complex. Sin has the barcode enforced by President Amanda Stone and the Falling Star Directives - laws that ban all religious items, force people to taint their bodies with the barcodes as a means of currency, and sentence opposers to death - but she can't stay in the Sanctuary where all of the government's followers live. A lot of her actions in the previous book have put her on the President's hit list.

With a baby in her womb, the assassin that killed her mother after her life, and a mysterious, powerful man named Ryn deadset on making her his princess/slave, she has plenty of things to worry about. Sex is her greatest weapon and also her greatest weakness. No one knows this better than Ryn, and he will use that against her to make her his.

Halfway across the world, Heather and Griffin, two Wedges, are out to find the blade capable of killing immortals. Without the blade, Earth and other worlds will most definitely be destroyed. Griffin just learned that he is Wedge royalty and has rare, serendipitous powers. Joseph Warren is the Vector agent in charge of their mission. In fact, they are all aboard a Vector ship, their destination the Land of Seven Moons in the Bermuda Triangle.

Unfortunately, the land's monks and leader have no intention of giving them the blade. They're not open to getting involved in any way, and they're willing to take violent measures to make that clear.

Like the monks, Mr. Silver also doesn't care about the pain and suffering everyone is going through. Sure, a quarter of his ships have already left earth and taken people to Anaisha, an untarnished planet where everyone's memories of earth will be erased, but he isn't doing it out of kindness. After all, Mr. Silver is an egomaniac who sees Anaisha as his opportunity to become the god of a new world.

As much as Mr. Silver wishes to go to Anaisha, he know he still has too much work to do at SilverTech Industries to leave just yet. Beside worrying about the messes his losses from previous books may bring him - Hush, the woman he made his slave, his daughter, the time traveling device, and all of the research connected to the device - he also has to handle Tamasine and the assassin Tamasine sent as revenge for when Mr. Silver killed Inken, Tamasine's sister.

Mr. Silver really isn't that concerned, though. Power is his only concern. Just a little more time, a little more research, and his scientists will discover how to go about becoming immortal. Than he really can rule Anaisha as a god.

As expected from a book in the Black Earth series, there is a lot going on. However, there aren't as many events as the previous books, and it's easier to grasp all the different storylines and how they intermingle. Two things came to mind the instant I started Dark Masquerade:

First, the story is very well-written. Everything flows well. I never once found myself unable to read a section due to bad writing.

Second, this would make an awesome comic book series. Seriously. If someone made this into a comic, I would be very excited. I'm smelling a great Indiegogo campaign.

Those two things stuck in my mind throughout the book.

What I liked most about this book, as well as David's other books, is how all the characters and organizations have shades of grey. No one is completely good or bad, black and white, and the uncertainty makes for an intriguing read. If you, like me, love learning about other creatures, worlds, powers, and items, this book will definitely pull you in.

Once again, David doesn't disappoint. I've loved every one of the books in the Black Earth series, in spite of the sometimes overwhelming amount of stuff to keep up with. I know that as soon as the last book comes out, I'll be all over it.

The first two books in the series
Find David N. Alderman

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reborn by J.K. Miller II

When Jason is awakened by a mysterious  woman, he has little to no time to talk about everything he has forgotten - which, by the way, is everything. He doesn't remember his name or what he looks like. Though the woman who frantically woke him up seems to know much about him, he knows nothing about her at all. All he can figure out, as evidenced by the dead bodies on the ground, is that she's much more powerful than she appears. 

He quickly learns that he's fortunate to have her by his side. Things are much more chaotic outside than they were inside the small house. There are armed men everywhere, as well as many dead bodies. 

With the lady's (his mother) help, Jason makes it out of the village alive. Unfortunately, the only thing that Jason learns before his mom gets trapped is that he was 'reborn,' she woke him up too early because of the attack and that messed with his memories and abilities, and he needs to travel to The Hills to meet with his dad. 

Of course, getting to The Hills won't be easy, not with Kyoko and her soldiers hot on his tail. After all, he's the reason why they destroyed the small town. He's one of the Kahnan, a special group of people chosen by the spirits. 

Then, when Jason finally meets up with his dad, he learns that he has a lot more to worry about than his lost memories. Lady Cristilia, also known as the queen Lady Glovya, is against Jason. She's the reason why Kyoko and her men are after him. Cristilia is also after the Prime, a series of items connected to restoring balance to the natural world. To make matters more complicating, Jason also needs to improve his abilities as the Kahnan and locate the other Kahnans. 

The moment I started reading Reborn, I knew that, as long as J.K. Miller's writing style remained the same throughout, Reborn would be a great read. Fortunately, his style remained the same. 

Miller is a descriptive writer. When you take into account that Reborn is a fantasy with its own concepts, languages, settings, and customs, it only makes sense that the book is 400+ pages. His sentences vary in length, which sometimes give the paragraphs a very rhythmic feel. Nothing makes me happier than a story with rhythm. Reborn is action-heavy. Sometimes, Miller's descriptiveness has the effect of slowing battles down, so it is a double edged sword. 

Only two things in particular bothered me. The names seemed random. There are really simple names like Harold and Jason and exotic names like Sariya and Cristilia. Kyoko's name really stands out, since it seems Japanese. I was also never entirely sure about Reborn's time period or overall setting. Does the story take place in an alternate America? Or is it in another world altogether? I'm assuming it's in an another world, but what's the name of said world? 

Overall, I enjoyed Reborn. If you're looking for an adventuristic, action-packed fantasy with touches of romance, this is the book for you.