Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

Common DescentFrom Goodreads: Eighteen-year old Jaycie Lerner’s telekinesis is finally in check – too bad levitating a picnic table is now a workout. Not to mention her previously dormant telepathy is back and raging out of control. As she struggles to manage her frightening power, the Dey-Vah announce they will soon reveal the supernatural world to the human race. To make matters worse, people start dropping dead all over northern Alabama. Then, a mysterious new enemy emerges. Jaycie must elicit the help of the world’s only master vampire slayer and an assassin who converses with the voices in her head. Strengthening the Core is the only way to protect mankind from the coming vampire army, and that’s not even their most dangerous threat. Jaycie and her family face their darkest hour when an innocent young girl serves as a pawn to form a deadly Alliance. The perfect vampire, Lilith Bradshaw, becomes an eye-opening example of how far the Alliance will go to serve their own destructive ends. The world around Jaycie plummets into darkness, and betrayals from the past threaten to undo them all.


Jaycie Lerner’s story continues in this third installment of the Darwin’s Children series, an action packed ride for those in love with all things paranormal. As is Larry’s nature, this novel indeed picks up where the Unnatural Law left us, and we thrust deep into the storyline from the very first page.

As is true in all things, once one aspect of Jaycie’s life within the Core seems fixed, all hell breaks loose elsewhere. Such is the case time and time again as Jaycie, her beau Matt, Haylee, and the entire cast of characters complete or smooth over an aspect within the novel. I almost feel bad for them; while there is some downtime, much of the novel itself is action related as Jaycie attempts to figure out the truth behind her enemies and the growing vampire army intent on destroying everything she holds dear. And yet, these constant events keep the novel hopping with its fast paced nature, easily gluing readers to the pages as it all unfolds.

Jaycie and Haylee continued to grow on me throughout this novel, and at this point, I really do love them. As their budding relationships blossom as well, there are some swoonworthy scenes that steal the show, as it were. And as the threats around Jaycie and Haylee abound, I couldn’t help but begin to really fret for their safety, especially at the end, where Larry again throws readers one hell of a cliffhanger. I’m looking forward to the fourth installment already! Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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12551396From Goodreads: Madison is an ex-con artist who has now lived by the rules for eight years following the tragic death of her fiancé. She has made a new life for herself in Chicago despite the challenges of honest work. Her world flips upside-down once again when she runs into her best friend that she left behind in a desperate attempt to escape the dangerous lifestyle they were leading, only to find out he is in deeper than she could have ever imagined. They are forced to team up with the hope to shield one another while still dealing with the abrupt separation that left them both secretly heartbroken. When not only her way of life, but also the life of her dearest friend is threatened by an old associate, will it be enough for her to continue as a law abiding citizen, or will she be forced back into the line of work that claimed the love of her life?


Madison is now straight-lace, using a pseudonym to work security for a private treasury after the death of her fiancé, Morgan, and her long stint in jail.  She’s content in life, contemplating dating again—Bradley, a single father has caught her eye, and vice versa.  But, the planet has something different in store for Madison, and she soon finds herself face-to-face with her estranged friend, Skyler, a man she used to call her best friend.  Of course, things take a turn for the worse, and Madison finds herself once again living on the other side of the law, aiding Skyler as she learns the truth about the accident that claimed her fiancé so long ago.

Told in both the present and past, Madison and Skyler’s relationship is fleshed out in such a way that it’s impossible not to fall in love with them.  They’re great characters, and they truly love one another, though it takes them far too long to realize it. Caught up in a web of deceit, both must find a way to break free from the underbelly of crime and the lord that dictates their every move, and the tale is fast-paced and highly interesting, if not completely plausible.  I really enjoyed this story, but some aspects left me scratching my head—one such is the amount of time it takes for a car to sink in a large body of water.  It’s far faster than one would think, and so there is a scene that left me a little unbelieving, but that’s few and far between in terms of the integrity of the story. It’s one of love, and I truly enjoyed it.

However, there are a number of glaring editing errors in the Kindle version I read, enough to make the read a little haggard and less enjoyable had it flowed seamlessly together.  But to be fair, this novel was queried for review nearly two years ago, so it is possible a newer edition with a more thorough editing is already available.  I do hope so—and if not, it’s an easy enough fix should Smith choose to do so.  That being said, the version I read contained a very compelling story, but the typos did take away from some of my personal the enjoyment overall.  Three stars.

3 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

From Goodreads: In search of Kayla and on the run, Kiera and her friends make a race against time across the Cumbria Mountains. With the vampires predicting their every move, the trust amongst Kiera and her friends starts to fade.

From the desolate monastery set high between the mountains to the mysterious lake and the caves beneath the fountain, Kiera must discover the connection between the vampires and her mother, Isidor and Kayla, and resolve her inner feelings for Potter and Luke.

Kiera herself has started to change and this frightens her. So turning to her friends for help, she realises that it is only her mother who can provide the truth. But Kiera has other questions that she needs to have answered. Why did Isidor murder an innocent girl? Who is the person that Murphy has been meeting in secret? But above all, why have they put their lives and trust in the hands of a serial killer?


I don’t know how it is possible to write a series and have each new book always be better than the last, but that is exactly what O’Rourke is doing with his Kiera Hudson novels.  These novels, Vampire Shift, Vampire Wake, and now Vampire Hunt, have been an extremely riveting rollercoaster ride, each novel taking the reader further into the story and creating more action and suspense.  It seems so unfeasible to be able to create such mind-blowing texts, yet O’Rourke obviously possesses the gift of storytelling, and this dark vampire novel cranks up the action tenfold as Kiera and her friends run for their lives.  Vampire Hunt picks up right where the second novel, Vampire Wake, left off, jumping directly into the action, with cars and helicopters blowing up, vampires taking on vampyrus and, overall, trust being shaken among Kiera and her friends.

This novel deals more intently with a love triangle than the previous novels did, and something that I absolutely love about O’Rourke is that he keeps his novels clean.  While Kiera harbors feelings for both Luke and Potter, none of the scenes are racy or inappropriate, which is rare to find in both YA and adult novels in this day and age.  I really enjoyed O’Rourke’s portrayal of this love triangle and, though I do hate to say it, I am starting to lean a little more towards Potter, whereas in the previous novels, I haven’t even given him a second thought!  The fact that O’Rourke has been able to cause me to swing sides is a testament to his sheer writing abilities, and I am stunned.

I especially enjoyed watching Kiera begin her shift and, though we don’t have all the answers yet, O’Rourke has set the scene for a pretty intense plotline in the near future.  The ending of this novel left me breathless, and I am extremely excited to read the next installment–I’ve now read the first three books in the series for a second time, and my thoughts remain the same: 5 amazing stars!!  So if you haven’t yet begun this series, I highly suggest you do.  It’s an amazing tale and you really won’t be disappointed.  Five stars!!

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review and have read it twice.


Vampire Shift, book one in the series, is FREE on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo at the time of this post, so do make sure you scoop it up and join the world of Kiera Hudson.

Check out O’Rourke’s other novels (they are indeed all amazing):

Kiera Hudson Series 1

Vampire Shift (#1)

Vampire Wake (#2)

Vampire Hunt (#3)

Vampire Breed (#4)

Wolf House (#4.5)

Vampire Hollows (#5)

Kiera Hudson Series 2

Dead Flesh (#1)

Dead Night: Potter’s Secrets (#1.5)

Dead Angels (#2)

Dead Statues (#3)

Dead Seth (#4)

Dead Wolf (#5)

Dead Water (#6)

Dead Push  (#7)

Dead Lost (#8)

Dead End (#9)–Coming Soon

Kiera Hudson Series 3

Lethal Infected (1)–Coming Soon

Jack Seth Novellas

Hollow Pit (#1)

Vampire Shift Graphic Novels

Vampire Shift Volume 1

Black Hill Farm Series

Black Hill Farm (#1)

Black Hill Farm Andy’s Diary (#2)

Return to Black Hill Farm (#3)–Coming Soon

Doorways Series

Doorways (#1)

The League of Doorways (#2)

The Queen of the Doorways (#3)–Coming Soon

Samantha Carter Series

Vampire Seeker (#1)

(Formerly known as Cowgirls and Vampires)

The Moon Trilogy

Moonlight (#1)

Moonbeam (#2)

Moonshine (3)–Coming Soon

Sidney Hart Series

Witch (#1)

Yellow (#2)

Raven (#3)–Coming Soon

Unscathed Series(?)


Stilts Series

Stilts (#1)

Eat Me Series

Eat Me (#1)–Coming Soon

Pick Series

Pick (#1)–Coming Soon

Flashes Series

Flashes (#1)–Coming 2013

Tim O'Rourke Covers

et cetera
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