BOOK REVIEW: Shifters: A Samantha Reece Mystery Book 1 by Jaime Johnesee

Sometimes all we want is a well-written book that makes us laugh and cringe all at one time, and Jaime Johnesee is a pro at delivering! Yesterday I sat down to enjoy Shifters, and enjoy it I did. I didn’t put my Kindle down (well, the Kindle app on my phone, that is) until I’d finished the entire book. I’m betting you’ll do the same- and the book is a steal at 99 cents!


Description: When a serial killer begins leaving remains of victims in hotel bathtubs all over town FBI Agent Samantha Reece makes it her business to stop him.

This detective’s got an ace up her sleeve in the form of her ability to shift into the guise of a were panther. As she tracks down the cold-hearted murderer she also has to contend with an anti-shifter group determined to destroy her.

Not to mention the black jaguar who turned her decides to come sauntering back into her life.

Review: Sometimes you read the first page of a book and you’re hooked. You just know it’s going to be amazing. When a book starts off with a dark joke about meat soup, and an evidence retrieval team uses a ladle to collect pieces of bodies, well, this book was right up my alley.

Samantha Reece is an amazing character, a woman who’s overcome so much pain and adversity to rise up like a phoenix from the ashes. Er, so to speak. From crooning descriptions of her very sexy car, to veiled references to the infamous Dead Parrot sketch from Monty Python, this book kept me thoroughly entertained.

If you enjoy a strong female character and a bit of dark humor (okay, a lot of dark humor!) check out this first installment today. I highly recommend it, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Amazon CA

About The Author: Jaime Johnesee lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. She spent fourteen years as a zookeeper before shifting her focus to writing full time. Known for her bestselling horror comedy series, Bob the Zombie, she is also currently coauthoring the paranormal horror series, Revelations, for Devil Dog Press as well as her Samantha Reece series.

Find out more on her website!


1 Comment

Filed under Writing

BOOK REVIEW:The Complete Judas Chronicles: Books One Through Seven by Aiden James

I recently had the pleasure to read the Judas Chronicles, all seven books, from beginning to end, and I was eager to share my review with you!


Description: “Out-freaking-standing-excellent!” ~ Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews

***All SEVEN bestselling novels detailing the immortal Judas Iscariot’s perilous adventures as William Barrow, in search of the blood coins paid to him long ago for betraying Jesus Christ.

This collection contains the following supernatural thrillers:

1) Immortal Plague
2) Immortal Reign
3) Immortal Destiny
4) Immortal Dragon
5) Immortal Tyranny
6) Immortal Pyramid
7) Immortal Victory

Acclaim for the novels of Aiden James:

“The intense writing style of Aiden James kept my eyes glued to the story and the pages seemed to fly by at warp speed. …Twists, turns, and surprises pop up at random times to keep the reader off balance. It all blends together to create one of the best stories I have read all year.”
–Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews for “The Devil’s Paradise”

“Aiden James has written a deeply psychological, gripping tale that keeps the readers hooked from page one.”
–Bookfinds review for “The Forgotten Eden”

“Aiden James writing style flows very easily and I found that “Cades Cove” snowballed into a very gripping tale. Clearly the strengths in the piece were as the spirit’s interaction became prevalent with the family… The Indian lore and ceremonies and the flashbacks to Allie Mae’s (earthly) demise were very powerful. I think those aspects separated the work from what we’ve seen before in horror and ghost tales.”
–Evelyn Klebert, author of “A Ghost of a Chance” and “Dragonflies”

“Aiden James has a keen eye for detail and an uncanny knack for scaring the hell out of me. We are watching a master at work. “The Raven Mocker” is a nearly perfect thriller. Ghost stories don’t get any better than this.”
–J.R. Rain, Bestselling author of the “Vampire for Hire” series

“As with the previous titles I have read by this author, I found the author’s writing style to be silky smooth and the main plot line to be extremely creative. The fertile imagination of Aiden James definitely knows what today’s readers want to see in their stories.”
–Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews for “The Vampires’ Last Lover”

Review: I have previously read several of the Judas Chronicles, but somewhere along the way I lost track. When I saw this offer, I couldn’t pass it up, and I immediately began reading. Starting over from the beginning was like reconnecting with old friends, and learning more about their lives while I wasn’t around.

Judas Iscariot- one of the most hated figures in history. In this series, we see Judas struggling for redemption, working to reclaim all 30 of the silver shekels he was paid for betraying Jesus Christ. What happens when Judas starts his path towards redemption, hoping for forgiveness? Why, you fall in love with him as a character, of course.

In this incarnation he is merely William Barrow, a man with a wife dying slowly in a nursing home and and aging son who works as a college professor. He’s already recovered more than 2/3 of his blood coins, and with Alistair, his son, at his side, he steadily works to retrieve the others.

Add Roderick Cooley, a Druid immortal with pale skin and kaleidoscope eyes, Amy Golden Eagle, and a host of other characters you’ll be drawn to learn more, and sad to finish the series. Crossing paths with other names from the history books such as Ghengis Khan, Dracul (aka Vlad the Impaler), and Jack the Ripper, you’ll find it hard to set the book down.

High action, high speed, and with a massive ability to tug on your heart strings, you won’t regret anything about reading this series- except for finishing it.

Where to Buy: 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

About the Author: Aiden James is the bestselling author of Cades Cove, The Judas Chronicles, and the Nick Caine Adventures (with J.R. Rain). Aiden resides in Tennessee with his wife, Fiona, and their two sons, Christopher and Tyler.

**Aiden and Fiona are the authors of the brand new dystopian thriller, “TOXICITY”–available now for Kindle and in paperback.

Or connect on Facebook!

Aiden James, Paranormal Author

Manor House Books

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

BOOK REVIEW: Toxicity by A.J. Fraser


Description: In the tradition of The Stand, The Man in the High Castle, and The Road, comes an epic story of struggle against tyranny in a future America….

The year is 2141. Islam controls the entire civilized world, including all that exists of the former United States. Climate change has made fresh drinking water a scarce, and valuable, commodity. Islamic states that once controlled the oil now control the largest fresh water deposit in the world, the American Great Lakes.

Washington D.C. and New York City are mere memories of the old world, as a new regime of Caliphs has ruled the eastern half of the country for the past century. The barren ‘no man’s land’ east of the Mississippi River is but an encroaching desert, and the realm of the Great Lakes—known as Al-hayat Miyaah—dictates life for the rest of the realm.

Jihadic allegiance and the Lakes’ bounty decide a person’s worth, where clean, drinkable water is far more precious than gold… and more valuable than the lives of infidels.

Aligned with a much smaller Muslim nation in Kentucky, the Caliphate seeks to steadily eradicate the less privileged southern states, collectively known as the Southern Lowlands. Forever viewed as the scourge of the new America, or Amreeka, the Fourth Caliph of the Bashir dynasty, Abdul-Muttalib Bashir, moves to cut off the Mississippi River’s flow to the south, as part of the Caliphate’s Centennial Celebration. The enormous dam at Cairo, Illinois was created for this very purpose. The perpetual hardships facing townships in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama now worsens dramatically.

In this hostile environment, Joaquin Martinez and six others risk certain death, as fugitives crossing state lines to reclaim loved ones stolen from Hernando, Mississippi, and sold into slavery in Detroit. At the same time, survivalist Malcolm Foster and his daughter Renee begin a journey to Kentucky with other survivalists hoping to strike a blow to the Muslim empire. Lastly, in the heart of Al-hayat Miyaah, the youngest son of the Caliph, Abdul-Bari, sets out on a quest to determine the truth about infidels… their worthiness of scorn and indiscriminate death.

Much is at stake for them all, as a crossing of paths determines who inevitably is destined to win… and who must lose everything.

****Disclaimer: The book is not a religious condemnation, although it supports none of them. The story is about the wickedness of human nature—a treatise, if you will, about mankind’s desire to subjugate others—especially when bad men are in control of that power.

Review: I had the pleasure of reading the book Toxicity by A.J. Fraser and I was truly blown away. In the style of Stephen King’s The Stand, this book begins with different groups of characters who intertwine along their journeys.

Honestly, trying to think what to say about this book, the first thing that comes to mind is, “I don’t know what to say, it’s just so freaking good!” which is how I described it to a friend on the phone this morning. The characters are so richly developed you find yourself cheering them on, crying with them, picturing them as people you know and care about in real life. I really identified with several of them, and there were certain scenes where my heart literally ached for them.

This is a tale of love, of survival, of determination, of an uprising. This is a tale of people who may have little in common, but are united in their goal. Working for their families, working to save each other, working to save the former United States.

And while religion plays a big part of this book, as it must to do the story justice, it is not at all a religious novel.

If you like a good, long novel you can sink your teeth into, a highly recommend you download a copy of Toxicity. You won’t regret it.

About the Author: A. J. Fraser is the writing team of Aiden James and Fiona Fraser. Aiden is the author of more than thirty books, including the bestselling Cades Cove Series and Judas Chronicles. Fiona was the silent voice in such early Aiden James novels as “The Forgotten Eden”, “The Devil’s Paradise”, and “Cades Cove: The Curse of Allie Mae”. “Toxicity is their first full joint endeavor, and they look forward to more collaborative books in the coming years.

Kindle US

Paperback US

Kindle UK

Paperback UK

Kindle CA

Paperback CA

And don’t forget to check out these connect links to learn more about the authors!

Connect on Facebook!

Connect on Goodreads!

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

Bad Wish is LIVE on Amazon!

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve written something new, but I’m finally back in the saddle! A new short story is now available, Bad Wish. It’s the first in a new short series, The Wish series, all about people making terrible wishes with unintended consequences.

Bad Wish

Description: Julie Adamson’s life was a mess. Everything that could go wrong had done so. She was 30, suddenly single, and out of a job. If only things were different…

But wishes can have unexpected consequences. Julie’s world turns upside down overnight, and she comes to regret wishing things were different. Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for…

Grab your copy here for 99 cents, and don’t forget to share with your friends so they can enjoy it as well.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

The Depression Battle

For those who follow me on Facebook, it’s no secret I suffer from depression. Actually, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in my teens, and it’s been a war. Not a skirmish, but a full-on battle.. I’ve been unmedicated since I was 19, which yes, I’m aware is probably not the wisest of moves, but I have my reasons. The first is that for most of my adult years I’ve been uninsured. Paying for a prescription out of pocket is just not happening. The second? I love writing, always have. It’s my passion, the one thing I do for me, because I need to. No, I have to. And while medicated I can’t write a grocery list, let alone a blog post, journal entry, or a book. So I choose my passion over the mind-numbing effects of medication.

That doesn’t make me braver than those who medicate. Hell, maybe it just makes me stupid. Whatever the case may be, it’s the choice I’ve made, and I’ve stuck to it even when I know there are times I’m dumb for doing so.

Like now. I’ve been suffering a severe bout of depression for several years now. Yes, years. There are brief reprieves, even weeks where I feel okay, but it’s always temporary, like my depression is lulling me into a state of complacency. It only got worse after the birth of my son 7.5 months ago, as thought postpartum depression combined with the bipolar to deliver a hurricane of pain.

So how do I combat it? First I put on songs that make me feel understood- my favorite being Nickelback’s “Lullaby.” That song speaks to me on a deep level. Another way is writing, now that I’m finally able to do so again. Honestly, until I finally picked it back up again a few weeks ago, I feared my writing days were behind me. The third is keeping a journal. A journal where I can put all the things I can’t bring myself to verbalize.

I actually want to share some of my latest entry here, for those who suffer. I don’t know if it’ll help you in any way, but after I wrote it I felt it. I went back and reread it several times, and it brought me a small measure of peace. I hope it might do the same for you.

The struggle with depression lives on. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever conquer it. Or if it’s even meant to be conquered. 

I’ve always battled depression, negative self image, etc. Feelings of inferiority and deep-rooted insecurities. Like I’m not good enough, and never will be. I can laugh, sing, put on a happy face, even feel happy for awhile, then night falls and I’m battling my inner demons. 

How do you fight your own mind? How do you overcome it? I don’t want medication. That only masks the symptoms and fixes nothing. I’ve tried therapy in the past with poor results. 

Maybe it’s a battle never won. Maybe the point is just to end in a draw, no side the clear victor. Maybe it’s only about getting out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other, day after day. I suppose that counts as winning, just showing up to the battle. 

I don’t know if any of this helps anyone, but if you’re reading this and suffering, know you’re not alone. And keep showing up to the battle.



Filed under Writing

Our Adventures in Egg Dyeing

Two months ago I started homeschooling my daughter, and Pinterest became my go-to for fun activities to help her learn. An egg dyeing experiment with shaving cream and food coloring popped up in my feed, and we decided to give it a try!

First step first- dye your eggs a base color! I used yellow, so they were a nice, pale color. They were even paler than the egg carton itself, as I had no vinegar to add to the food coloring and water. Want a bright color? Add vinegar to the dye. Paler? Emit the vinegar.

The next day we prepared to have a blast! Step one- line a cooking tray with shaving cream. I picked up a cheap can at the dollar store. No need to invest a lot of money for something you’ll use so much of and wash away! We spread ours on a cookie sheet.


Next add drops of food coloring across the dye- I let Hope do it herself after the first batch. She enjoyed dropping it and watching it roll down the shaving cream.


Next use a thin tool (we used the end of a paint brush) to swirl your colors. Careful not to mix them too much!


Now the fun begins- roll your egg through the shaving cream to pick up those colors!


Once you’ve rolled 2-3 eggs, depending on how big your tray is, your colors will be too swirled together to use. Rinse, re-line with cream, and add more color! Don’t forget to swirl them lightly with your thin tool before rolling more eggs!


Set your goopy eggs on a surface they won’t stain- we used a cheap plastic plate. They need to sit for a half hour before you remove the shaving cream and excess dye. We watched a favored kids’ program on TV while we waited. When the show ended, it was time for the big reveal!


You can wipe them clean with a paper towel if you prefer, although I found this to be too much wasted paper. After the first two eggs I switched to rinsing them under the kitchen faucet- it didn’t remove the color, but got the shaving cream and excess dye off the eggs with no problems.

Ta-da! Done, and they came out beautiful!




All in all, I think they came out fabulous! I’d definitely do this again, with only one change- disposable gloves! We both had messy, tie-dyed hands when we were finished, but it was totally worth it for the bonding experience and the fun.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

The Face of Depression

Depression has a face, ever changing, ever surprising. It’s not just the homeless woman, the beaten child, the unemployed man. It’s the face of your favorite actor or your favorite sports star. It’s the face of your next door neighbor or your best friend. It could be your husband or wife, your son or daughter, your mom or dad. Depression is an equal opportunity evil, and it can strike at anyone, anytime.

When I was 14, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I struggled with depression sprinkled with insane periods of manic moments, rapid cycling. I could spend my morning crying, then spend my night painting the living room- something I did, as a matter of fact. And even as part of me knew it wasn’t ‘okay’, it seemed fine at the time.

I’ve been off medication for years now, and the manic episodes are more rare. But the depression still leaps up and grabs me by the throat at the oddest times. Not what I call situational depression, where I’m depressed because of financial troubles or the death of someone beloved. No, I mean the moments where I want to cry because I spill my coffee or can’t find a matching sock.

There’s nothing more tragic to me than the depression that hits me for no reason. When the baby is crying and won’t settle down, when he won’t nap and I desperately need to, when the laundry backs up and the dishes are dirty and I need to go to the store and I… just… can’t. That is my personal Hell.

I hear a lot of comments made with that tone that says they just don’t understand. “You just need to make time to do it,” or “you just need to take a break.” Life doesn’t give you breaks, and motherhood gives you even less opportunities than that, especially when you’re a nursing mother. His life is tied to mine, and that means I don’t take breaks. I get excited when he sleeps long enough to allow me to take a shower at this point.

But bravery? Bravery is putting one foot in front of the other, getting up each day, and doing it, no matter how hard it is, no matter how exhausting, no matter how many times it seems it would be so much better to spend the day in bed crying. No, dying is easy- living is hard. And giving up is not an option.

If you know someone dealing with depression, the best thing you can do for them is just to LISTEN. Not judge, not offer advice, not try to ‘fix it.’ Just listen. It’s the kindest thing you can do is offer a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Because even though you may not understand how they could possibly be depressed (they have it so easy, they don’t know how hard my life is) maybe, just maybe, you don’t know as much as you think you do about their story. And then, when you need it, they’ll be here to listen to you.

Remember, everyone has their own battles to fight, and their own personal demons. No matter how great their life looks on the outside, you never know how hard it might be inside.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

Book Review: TuDawgs by Eden Connor

Eden Connor, the author of this spicy read, posted the description of this book on Facebook, and it intrigued me. I wanted to know more, and I definitely wanted a copy of this hook in my hot little hands. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop! Here’s the cover, the description that hooked me, and my review, as well as info on where to find this stunningly talented author!




Welcome to TuDawgs. Our county fair booth is now serving one very bad girl, sautéed in scandal and peppered with regrets. We grill her with relentless cops and reporters, top her with a choice, all-beef carnival worker, and slather on the heart-stopping hook-ups. Then we add a generous dollop of old flames and make the stakes mile-high. What’s that? You want a cotton-candy ending for your bad girl? That’ll cost her extra. Don’t say I spilled the secret ingredient, but the carnie’s running a rigged game.


I saw the book description posted on Facebook, and it hooked me from the start. Then I read the author’s note at the beginning, and it was all downhill from there. The next thing I knew, I’d finished the entire story in one sitting, and it was after 2 a.m.

Melody ‘Niecy’ Anderson has had it rough. Outed by the press as the mistress of the lieutenant governor, a nasty scandal brews and reporters camp out on her doorstep. Her uncle, Tulane, pays her legal fees, and asks only one thing in return: that she work at his hot dog stand at the carnival.

Humiliated, she feels she has no choice, but the last thing she wants is to be further exposed to the public eye. And yet, on her first day, she meets Carnie. He’s beyond gorgeous, and just the type of bad boy she vowed to avoid in the future. Yet in spite of all her promises to herself, she starts up a whirlwind romance with some of the hottest, steamiest scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. The carnival is only in town for a week, after all, and who’s to know?

There are plot twists I never saw coming, along with some standard twists that make the story an engaging read from beginning to end. TuDawgs is a stellar story, and I certainly hope the author will be writing more stories in this series. I definitely will be downloading if she does! Highly recommended read- 5 stars.


Where to find Eden Connor:


Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Why I Write…

What career are you in? I’d bet for most of you, someone has asked you why you chose that path. A doctor? “What made you choose to save lives?” A teacher? “What made you choose to teach elementary school?” And the list goes on…

I’ve been writing for more than 3 years now. True, that’s not an extremely long time, but it’s a huge deal for me, as this is, literally, my dream come to life. I’ve done blog hops, guest posts, interviews, and I’ve answered a lot of questions since publishing my first book, Love Bite, in February 2012. I’ve been asked what made me write that particular book, how I write, where my ideas come from…

And yet, it dawns on me no one has ever asked me WHY I write. No one has ever asked me why I’m an author, or what my goal is. Maybe it seems to obvious… but I don’t write for money or fame. That’s not my ultimate goal. It’s not to see my name on the NY Times bestseller list someday, although that would be amazing, of course. It’s not even just because I have to write, because I’m compelled to, because I can’t do anything else.

I have a lovely dream in my head. Someday, hopefully, there will be money. Trust me… there’s precious little of that now! *winks* My husband and I are big supporters of the military. My husband was in the Army, we have friends in the Army, Navy, National Guard, etc. We have people that matter to us who serve.

And we know those who’ve come home on medical discharge. We know someone who suffers from PTSD. And we know how very hard it is to keep them from falling through the cracks… and how many each year do so.

We also are HUGE animal lovers… and I won’t bother answering how many we, personally, have that we take care of!

My dream combines those elements. I have to hope that, someday down the road, there will be money, and we can afford to make a dream come true. In my head is a vision of a no-kill ranch, a place where people can come to find the animal that fits their household. It would be staffed entirely by veterans, those who’ve served our country and come stateside only to have nowhere to go. Staff would live on the property, earn a wage, and have a roof over their head, food in their bellies, and a job to do that would, hopefully, soothe their souls, their spirits.

THAT is why I write. Because, someday, if I’m very lucky, I will have the money to give back, the money to make that dream a reality. I write because I must, because I can’t see myself ever doing anything else, but also because I hope to do something that matters for those who’ve served.

That… that is why I write…


Filed under Writing

Survival Paranoia is FREE through 6/29!

If you haven’t had a chance to grab the second installment in the Survival series, now’s your chance! Survival Paranoia is free through 6/29 on Amazon! 



No one believed 17-year-old Lorna Stanton when she warned them the zombie apocalypse would come. Zombies weren’t real, they told her, and they locked her away. But now she’s right, and they’re gone. It’s a fight for survival, and Lorna and her boyfriend, Jeff, have been training for this for years. 

The world as she knew it is a thing of the past, but Lorna’s prepared. Now all she’s learned, all she taught herself, is put to the test. In a bid for survival, it’s not only the undead who are a danger… and trusting the wrong person could be the last choice she’ll ever make.

While this is, indeed, the second book in the series, the beautiful thing is, the series does NOT have to be read in order. Each installment features a different main character, and each will pick up at the beginning of the apocalypse. So grab your copy today, and make sure you share with your zombie-loving friends as well! 

1 Comment

Filed under Writing