Review: Sea Knowledge by Scott E. McDowell

Sea Knowledge

By: Scott E. McDowell

180 Print Length Pages

★★★★

In honor of the approaching warmer weather, my mind couldn’t help but wander to the vacation state of mind. To temporarily appease my need for some Vitamin Sea, I entered into the world of Sea Knowledge by Scott E. McDowell. As an Ocean Physicist with a Ph.D., Mr. McDowell has substantial knowledge of the sea and marine concepts.

Broken down into chapters and sub-categories, Sea Knowledge is insightful for fully engaging study, as well as a quick reference guide for less-commonly known facts. What I enjoyed most about my sea-study experience was that the book felt nothing like a textbook, which I would say could easily become a bore for most readers. While reading, there were numerous occasions that I would find a fascinating fact that I was previously unaware of and had to share with those around me.

My son has always had a fascination with the ocean, specifically sharks, so there were several topics that he enjoyed hearing about as well, specifically Chapters 15 and 16, which focus on Great white Sharks. (He’s already requested that he gets to read the full book now that I’m finished!)

Due to the author’s experience as a licensed Captain and fisherman, McDowell has life experiences that I could listen to all day. Though I’ve always enjoyed visiting the sea, up until reading Sea Knowledge, I had never expanded my interest much further than the beautiful sights. Now that my knowledge is expanded beyond what I could imagine, I’m more interested in distinguishing between wind waves and swell waves.

One of my pet peeves while reading is always focusing on the editing quality of the writing. I’m pleased that Sea Knowledge has proof of professional and quality editing. I’m honored to share my rating of 4 stars with my fellow readers and would recommend Sea Knowledge. If you have an interest in marine life and enjoy reading about myth-busting facts that are exposed, this is a read you don’t want to miss out on.

Sea Knowledge can be found on Amazon here:
https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Knowledge-Fascinating-Topics-Explanations/dp/099095658X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Sea+knowledge+Scott+McDowell&qid=1617154401&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Review: Illustrated Tales for the Easily Entertained by Wayne Tatum

Illustrated Tales for the Easily Entertained

By: Wayne Tatum

225 pages (paperback edition)

★★★★

If you have previously peered at my reviews, you’ve likely read my impression of Quarantina by Wayne Tatum. I’m thrilled to share that Mr. Tatum has another novel, Illustrated Tales for the Easily Entertained, and it’s one you can’t miss out on!

Illustrated Tales for the Easily Entertained is exactly what the title insinuates, and it was a perfect fit for me. Composed of twelve short stories, the comedic quality shines through impeccably with a taste of occasional crude humor that will leave your need for a laugh satisfied. It was difficult for me to choose a favorite from the set of twelve, but Humpy the Couch was one that I’m still thinking about!

Something that I find continuously impressive about Mr. Tatum’s writing is that he possesses the ability to paint perfect scenery, even in the short stories. I was able to easily picture each character in my mind, even practically hearing their voices and accents. In Humpy the Couch, for instance, there are a few characters who speak in a notable Brooklyn-sounding accent and the dialogue is so accurately represented that I felt as though I could hear it clearly in my head.

As with Quarantina, Illustrated Tales for the Easily Entertained was edited to perfection, showing that the author takes careful consideration into how his work is showcased. I loved reading that Mr. Tatum’s stories are based on his teenage experiences, which goes to show even in more depth how detail-oriented his mind is and how bright his imagination shines.

I’m aware that several of my reviews seem to represent a shining reading experience, but I’m always dedicated to providing the most helpful feedback to authors/publishers. With that being said, my recommendation for everyone to read Illustrated Tales for the Easily Entertained is genuine and I promise you won’t regret the experience. I’m happily sharing my rating of 4 out of 4 stars! If you’re in need of a good laugh (aren’t we all?) this is a set of tales that will satisfy that craving!

Wayne Tatum’s novels can be found on Amazon here:
https://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Tatum/e/B08NWJHBPV?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1616203539&sr=8-2

Review: Tracing Time by Shelly Snow Pordea

Tracing Time

By: Shelly Snow Pordea

300 Pages

Tracing Time is the first book in a three-part series written by Shelly Snow Pordea and published in December 2016. In Tracing Time, readers are introduced to the main character, Anna. Anna is a married mother of two small children and has devoted her life to helping her husband achieve his career goals of glacier studies. Traveling to remote locations, she often feels alone and longs for the day to return to live near her family, though she couldn’t bear leaving her husband.

Anna’s life is changed completely when she’s met with the devastating news that her husband, David, has disappeared and is presumed dead after an accident near the glaciers he’s been working with. Unable to believe that as the truth, Anna sets out to find out the rest of the story, however, nothing could prepare her for the onslaught of information that she is soon surrounded by. Discovering that the glacier studies were a cover-up for something far more dangerous was scary enough, but finding out that her husband may be lost somewhere after a time-traveling experiment gone wrong, Anna is beside herself with overwhelming grief and confusion. Is Anna willing to potentially risk everything in hopes of trying to find her husband alive, or will she accept that he may be gone forever and try to move on?

This story has a little bit of everything and I am here for it! I loved the romance aspect of the novel and thought the relationships that were depicted were dreamily represented while maintaining the realistic aspects that are necessary for a believable story. The Sci-Fi aspect of the story was expertly presented and the information given about the specifics and calculations for time-travel were exponentially stunning.

Anna’s character was one that I thoroughly felt like I got an opportunity to get to know while reading Tracing Time. Her personality was presented in a way that made me immediately like her, as well as being able to feel her grief. I was impressed with the author’s writing quality and can tell that the novel was expertly edited for accuracy.

I’ve only read the first book so far, but I can easily say that the Tracing Time series is one I could definitely dive into and get lost in. I’m so pleased to share my rating of 4 out of 4 stars with my fellow readers and would highly recommend everyone who enjoys romance, Sci-Fi, and a bit of suspense to take a dive into the Tracing Time series.

Nowwww.. if you’ll excuse me.. I’m heading to download book two, Chasing Shadows.

You can find the series here:

Review: Go Tell the Rascals by T.F. Hammill

Rebecca Stone Go tell the Rascals - The adventures of Rebecca Stone and her Ghostly Aunt Nancy ebook by T.F.Hammill

Go Tell the Rascals

By: T.F. Hammill

72 pages

★★★

Go Tell the Rascals is a fictional novel written by T.F. Hammill. At 72 pages, this one was a quick read that I enjoyed being able to digest in one sitting. The main character in the story is Rebecca Stone, often called Becky. Becky has a gift, of sorts, and has been using it to help find stuff for years. Because of her gift and talent for finding the missing things and people, Becky is summoned for the task of finding out what happened after a massacre involving a local motorcycle club.

With some help from the visits of her deceased Aunt Nancy, Becky starts to unravel the truth little by little and discovers that there was much more to the story than everyone was led to believe. She’s able to see into the past and see events as they happened, part of her ability that allows her to find those missing.

I loved Becky’s character while reading. I found her to be very down-to-earth and with a comical personality that makes her even that much more likable. Since finishing the story, I’ve learned that there is another novel featuring Becky that elaborates on her abilities more, which is something I had hoped for while reading, so I’m excitedly awaiting my turn at that one for a chance to get to know her better. I also found the language used for the story to be very fitting for the scene and characters, as everything felt truly authentic.

While reading, I noted a few grammatical errors I found along the way, though they were minuscule enough to not interrupt my reading experience. I’m looking forward to reading more about Rebecca Stone and her unusual abilities in the next novel by T.F. Hammill and would recommend everyone take a ride through her experiences too! Because of the grammar errors, I’m forcing myself to rate this one 3 stars, though it’s difficult for me because I enjoyed the characters and premise so much. Highly recommend this one to fellow readers who have craving for adventure!

You can find this one on Kobo here:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rebecca-stone-go-tell-the-rascals

Review: Illegal by E.M. Duesel

Illegal

By: E.M. Duesel

278 print edition pages

★★★★

E.M Duesel has done it again, folks.

Illegal is a modern-day fictional novel written by E.M. Duesel and published by Aignos Publishing in 2018. The main character in the story is introduced as 12-year-old Rush Pena, a young boy who witnesses horrible acts of violence after being caught attempting to shoplift. Having barely escaped with his life, Rush reports what he witnessed to the authorities and speaks at trial to have those responsible put away for their actions. The brutality and cultural hatred doesn’t stop there, though, as the Pena family bands together with friends to do their part in putting an end to human trafficking and cultural violence. Rush and his family are then marked as targets because of his part in sending the criminals away for their responsibility for the murders he witnessed.

Illegal is the second novel I have had the opportunity to read from E.M. Duesel and I am still surprised by her ability to capture authentic emotions from me while reading. Her stories are told in a way that not only brings awareness to real-life issues that are often overlooked but also brings about this feeling that I need to contribute to the movements. Human trafficking is a serious issue in our country, as well as others, and those responsible for taking innocent victims away from their families for a financial profit are becoming more brave and brazen as time goes on. Though told from a fictional standpoint, these characters in Illegal are interacting in ways that are based on real events that happen every day in our country. Young girls are being sold, families have broken apart, and people of certain ethnicities and races are being discriminated against.

Though Rush is the main character in the story, several secondary characters take center-stage when it comes to their ability to pull a crowd. Janie, Rush’s girlfriend, shows courage beyond her years while she works undercover and sacrifices her own safety to reach young girls that have been taken and are being sold to the highest bidder. Rush’s siblings join the force with strength and determination to save those who cannot save themselves.

Like with the first novel I read by Duesel, Illegal was clearly professionally edited to leave no spelling or grammatical errors. The story read well with character depth presented in a way that captures readers and gives them a chance to feel as though they actually know these members of the story. The taste of injustice and desire to do something is high with this story, as the author presents a well-developed scene for readers to see what really happens to innocent children who are taken and sold.

I’m honored to have had the opportunity to read for E.M. Duesel on yet another novel that I know will stick with me. Illegal contains explicit language and graphics and scenes of sexual violence that may not be appropriate for all readers, so a reader’s discretion is necessary here. I’m pleased to share my rating of 4 out of 4 stars with readers and would recommend it to any reader who has interested in the societal effects that come with injustices.

Check it out here:

Review: American Ripper: The Enigma of America’s Serial Killer Cop by Patrick Kendrick

American Ripper: The Enigma of America’s Serial Killer Cop

By: Patrick Kendrick

578 Kindle edition pages

★★★★

American Ripper: The Enigma of America’s Serial Killer Cop is a true crime novel written by Patrick Kendrick. At nearly 600 Kindle edition pages, this story is one that was clearly written with diligence in mind. The decade stemming from the late 1960s to early/mid-1970s is one with a significant focus on crime and murder, despite the decade being thought of as peaceful.

The focus of the story is on convicted serial killer Gerard John Schaefer. With diligent research from his early life to the time of the misers and his conviction, Schaefer’s mental mindset is dutifully examined, as well as his complete and total disregard for human life. Though any true crime fanatic would already know the fate of the aforementioned murderer, I especially appreciated the author’s approach with keeping the facts of the story straight and leaving out his personal opinion until the very end of the book. I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching Schaefer after hearing of him mentioned on a true-crime podcast that I followed a few years back, but I was more impressed than I was anticipating by the amount of research that has gone into ensuring only the most adequate and relevant information was released by the author to keep the story straight for the readers benefit.

I should also mention that this is not a recommended read for the faint of heart. American Ripper includes detailed explanations of the attacks inflicted by Schaefer as well as the deviant actions that he shared in his own writing. (Adamantly denied by Schaefer, though found within his possessions and detailing specifics to the deceased remains.) This is a deep read and one that will not leave your mind easily after reaching the ending. The family members and friends of these victims did not see the end of the trial and then simply move on with their lives. They’ve had to live with the loss and missing loved ones and no amount of justice can return what they have lost. In keeping everything factual and in line with the presented facts of the case, I also appreciated the court proceedings that were included in the story as a way of knowing the specifics of the case without having to refer back to them myself. The trial proceedings are listed with specific questions and answers by all parties as they occurred with relation to the case. The author has personally communicated with countless parties who were involved with the case, including family members of victims and suspected victims.

I typically try to refrain from reading the author’s bio pages before I finish their stories in order to keep my reviews as unbiased as possible and I’m especially pleased that I stuck with that through the end of this one. Because of the author’s dedication to getting this story out to the public, he endured haunting harassment by the killer, which, that statement alone rattles me to my core. I cannot fathom the dedication it must take to continue with a story that not only could keep you up at night with the visual and emotional turmoils but to also deal with a convicted serial killer’s ongoing threats.

As a fan of true crime documentation, I feel honored to have had the opportunity to see an inside look at what I consider more of the behind-the-scenes view of the world of Gerard Schaefer and the victims impacted by his choices. American Ripper: The Enigma of America’s Serial Killer Cop is not for the weak, though highly recommended by me and easily rated 4 out of 4 stars. It’s difficult for me, even as an experienced reviewer, to feel that I’m giving justice to the dedication and writing quality presented by Patrick Kendrick and his years of devotion to such a horrendous account. I know there’s no adequate way recommendation for this story that can touch the surface, but I will say that this is a story that reads best when told by someone who has spoken to countless first-hand witnesses to the experience- insert Kendrick.

Review: The Reclaimed Kingdom by Dana Claire

The Reclaimed Kingdom

By: Dana Claire

245 Pages

Anticipated publishing date: February 14, 2021

★★★★

The Reclaimed Kingdom is a fantasy novel written by Dana Claire and the first in The Syphon Series. Published in February 2021, the story features a seventeen-year-old Dru as the main character. Having escaped from her royal position in the kingdom of D’Land after the death of her mother and the horrific ruling enforced by her stepmother, Dru’s escape is met by The Band of Brothers who take her in as one of their own. In a Robinhood type of scenario, they vow to only steal from the rich to provide for the poor in times where the evil queen has pilfered any sense of common decency from the villagers in their kingdom, as well as the surrounding others.


The main character is easily one of the most memorable that I have encountered in a fantasy novel. Her strength and determination are far more superior than I could have imagined, and her intelligence is far more advanced than her age would imply. With consistent acts of selflessness, Dru dedicates herself to helping others, partly in thanks to her powers as a Syphon. With the kingdom’s future in jeopardy due to her stepmother’s cruel ways of ruling, Dru finds herself returning to the kingdom of D’Land in an effort to put the palace back in order and reclaim what is rightfully hers.


In addition to the non-stop action that is inevitable with a novel of this story, I’m a huge fan of the way the author ties in some romantical aspects that drew me in even more as a reader. Dru’s character is mature enough to know when it’s time for work and when it’s time for play, and her ability to shelter her emotions leaves her with the ability to strive for greatness.


I’m overly joyed to recommend this novel to any reader who enjoys fantasy novels, specifically those with bold main characters who emit determination in every aspect of their decisions. As this is the first in a series, I’m now anxiously awaiting the continuation in the second installment. Cliff-hanger endings usually leave me too anxious, but with The Reclaimed Kingdom, the ending was expertly well-written and closed in a way that left me yearning for more of the saga. I’m so pleased to share my rating of 4 out of 4 stars and am boldly recommending this one to all my readers. Even if you aren’t generally a fan of fantasy, you won’t know what you’re missing out on until you give Dru a chance to win you over.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky with exceptional reads over the last few weeks, but this one takes the cake for top read to pull me so deeply from the first chapter. The editing was also on-point, clearly professionally done. I felt like the author did a fantastic job with sharing a concise story without injecting unnecessary additions and providing just enough action where needed to not be overpowering for mentally draining.

Check it out here:

Review: Kind Heart by Kristi Sher

Kind Heart

By: Kristi Sher

31 pages

★★★★

Kind Heart is a great story for parents or teachers who are trying to teach their children about kindness and what it takes to be kind to others. With several different scenarios present that can help incorporate kind acts into the hearts of children, readers, or listeners, of this story will be able to justify acts of kindness and replicate the behavior on their own. The compassion shown by the kids in the story is enhanced by thoughtful comments by the Kind Heart character that guides them through making the right decisions. With different lessons what what is perceived as kindness, children will benefit from learning about the effects of kindness and how they can make others feel. Appreciation goes far, and with acts of kindness, children can learn the benefits early on. This would be a great book to have in a pre-school or daycare center that will help children learn how to share, take care of one another, and simple gestures that can help them show kindness. The story is very age-appropriate for readers in the 3-8 range, though I feel that the younger groups will be the ones to need the justification most.

I was impressed from reading the author’s bio page based on her dedication and determination to create a place for parents to benefit from teaching their children qualities that will benefit them in their future. I’m pleased to share my rating of 4 out of 4 stars with readers and will recommend it to all parents and teachers who are looking to instill positive as proactive behavior in their children.

Kind Heart is a must read, check it out here:

Review: The Last Lumenian by S.G. Blaise

The Last Lumenian

S. G. Blaise

326 Kindle edition pages

★★★★

The Last Lumenian is a coming-of-age fantasy story featuring a strong female lead. As her debut novel, S.G. Blaise expands a riveting tale that is action-packed and full of emotion. I read the most rent edition, published in October 2020 at 326 Kindle edition pages and I can say without a doubt that I was captivated fully from the first page.

The main character in the story is Lilla, daughter of the king of Uhna, one of the seven galaxies in the story, and she is determined to undermine the rules set by her father. As she’s grown into adulthood, she’s even joined in with the rebel group to fight for the refugee’s freedom. Having lost her mother at a young age, Lilla suffers from bouts of paralyzing anxiety that seem to hit her at some of the worst possible times. Along with her struggle to help others and try to rebel against the harsh rulings of her father, Lilla is dealing with hasty Archgods in the Era War. She’s always been taught to repress her magic, but will she face her destiny and fight back to save the galaxy, or will she fall victim to the Archgod of Chaos and Destruction?

I want to get my complaint out of the way before I jump into complete flattery- just trust me.. I didn’t want this one to end! I had issues with the main character multiple times throughout the story, though her character seemed to grow significantly towards the end. Despite her sufferings from the debilitating anxiety that she’s bravely maneuvering through, I felt like her communication skills lacked tremendously, specifically in speaking with her father. She’s nineteen in the story, but there were times when I felt like she was being portrayed much younger, likely twelve-ish, and then there would be mention of romantic occurrences that would snap my mind back to her accurate age. I would have liked for her character to have resembled a rebellious yet mature nature earlier on so that I would have had more of an opportunity to think of her as entering adulthood.

Having said my complaint, I cannot stress enough how impressed I was with the author’s ability to keep this story straight and written with solid professionalism. I’ve never considering myself a huge fan of fantasy or sci-fi novels, mainly due to my attention being lost in all the technical terms, however, The Last Lumenian was written with distinct clarity. I mean, there are seven galaxies intertwined in these pages and I never felt like I was lost in the events. The scene transitions were cleverly depicted, along with personalities that were all distinct from one another.

I kept an eye on my reading percentage through my Kindle once I got towards the end and have to say that I was disappointed with the ending… not because it didn’t pan out the way I had hoped, but because I was just not finished with Lilla yet! I’m hopeful that S.G. Blaise has plans, if not already started, to continue with the galaxy of Uhna and share more with us readers who haven’t had enough. I’m happy to recommend The Last Lumenian to any reader who enjoys fantasy novels and am pleased to share my rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Even if you think maybe fantasy isn’t your favorite genre, this one is worth a shot just to experience exceptional written quality that plays out like a movie- it has a little bit of everything including family drama, budding romance, magic, and revenge. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to read the debut novel by S.G. Blaise and look forward to a sequel. *That’s right S.G., I’m basically demanding one now. 🙂

Check it out and grab your copy here:

Review: Quarantina by Wayne Tatum

Quarantina

Wayne Tatum

93 pages

★★★★

Quarantina is a fictional satire novel written by Wayne Tatum and published by Donnalink Publications in September 2020. After a viral pandemic sweeps in from China, Americans are forced to shelter in place and take precautions to avoid falling ill to the wide-spread sickness. The Kovid family chooses to spend their time together, despite a strange illness that begins to infect one after another after an incident with an old karaoke machine. With the focus of family in the forefront, they heed the challenges at full-force and what follows is a comical collection of family banter and togetherness, as well as a few tender moments of sincerity.

In a time where the world has been taken so seriously, I found this story to be a breath of fresh air that allowed some humor in a place where many struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was one scene in particular that filled my desire for a good laugh when the Kovid family experiences difficulties communicating their family name in a hospital setting and not being taken seriously. Although written as a piece of fiction, the relatable situations from the quarantine period and seemingly pause in life were felt whole-heartedly by me.

My sole complaint with the story, though not enough to even begin to lower my rating, was a significant time spent dictating television productions that the family watched. Though I could certainly see how they applied in respect to the story, there were moments where I felt that they carried on a bit longer than necessary and could have been reduced as to not take away from the appreciation of the story.

If you’re like me and your sanity could certainly benefit from taking a step back from the negative and mentally draining current worldwide pandemic situation, this is a read you cannot miss out on. With a humorous and relatable tale that spares no one, Quarantina is a story that can be read over and over and still be enjoyable. Due to the developmental stages that follow along with the real-life current events, the stages experienced within the story give off a nostalgic feeling of my own experiences. Four stars from me here- you don’t want to miss out on this one. Read it now, then read it again when life returns to “normal” ….if we ever see such a thing….

Pick up your own copy here!

http://www.DonnaInk.com