Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to the Indie Book Review Fest! Included are my September reviews of 4 great books by fellow authors, as well as the most recent and best reviews of my own books. I promise a feast for the reader’s soul with a variety of genres, including adventure, mystery/thriller, fantasy/scifi, metaphysical/spiritual, paranormal and non-fiction/history.

Without further ado…

RAHALA: An Ascension Odyssey by Jason Sullivan

Category: fantasy/scifi, dystopian, spiritual/metaphysical

FREE at this time on Smashwords!

Cover for 'Rahala: An Ascension Odyssey' Review by: Lada Ray on Sep. 16, 2012 : star star star star star
Fascinating, Visionary and Creative – Highly Recommended!

While visiting the ancient rocks in northern Arizona, friends Marcia, Steve and Harvey encounter a striking inter-dimensional phenomenon, and meet a friendly alien who shows them the future destruction of the Earth by vicious extraterrestrials called Perathons.

What ensues is a highly imaginative, philosophical and visionary story of a quest by three very different humans to save the planet. Although the book features various aliens, it is as much about saving the planet from them, as it is about saving it from ourselves, particularly from those humans who succumb to greed, aggression and other vices. It is also about saving OURSELVES, our souls, our hearts, all that is pure and good; it is about remembering who we are and what’s important.

The imagery is both profound and creative. The author takes his protagonists back in time: to ancient France and medieval Ireland, where the reader is asked to reconnect with the pure nature of our planet, and to the dismal distant future, where we see what would become of us and the Earth, if heroic action is not taken to prevent this time-line from becoming a gruesome reality.

I loved the spiritual/metaphysical element in the story, reminiscent of the Earth’s wisdom from the Native American and ancient European traditions, as well as what we call today the “New Thought.” At times, Rahala also reminded me of the famous book, The Celestine Prophecy.

Jason Sullivan’s book packs a lot of information in a relatively short space. It is easy and pleasant to read, includes some humor, yet it gets you thinking about the important truths we often forget or brush aside. I highly recommend this enjoyable, imaginative and spiritual read to anyone!

Category: fantasy/scifi, YA, dystopian, spiritual/metaphysical 

Available on Amazon US  UK  and other countries

Smashwords – FREE!

Coming to B&N, Kobo, Sony, Apple any day now!

Catharsis can also be purchased at Lada Ray Book Store (PDF)

Catharsis was released on September 13, 2012. I intend to keep it free for the time being on Smashwords, and possibly on B&N, Kobo, Sony and Apple. It is only $.99 on Kindle. Below are excerpts from the best reviews it received so far.

Review by: Mary Ellis on Sep. 30, 2012 : star star star star star
CATHARSIS immediately drew me in!
I’ve just finished a really intriguing short story written by Lada Ray: Catharsis, Legend of the Lemurians, is Book 1 of the new Earth Keepers Series. It is a metaphysical/dystopian short, which is also the companion and prequel to the upcoming YA fantasy/thriller novel, THE EARTH SHIFTER.

Catharsis is only 11K words, or about 30 pages in length, but it delivers quite an impact. The characters, back story, setting—all work together to create the aura of fairytale magic, along with important lessons to be learned. I found myself rooting for the Uglies, especially the protagonist Morf, as they try to save the planet, and as they have to make the hardest choice of their uneasy lives.

This first book of a very promising new series, is a relatively quick and easy read. Heart warming message about remembrance, and what it means to be a genuine human being. In these times, when we focus on all the bad news around us, it’s easy to forget this precious lesson. A truly great and inspiring read, recommended for all age groups but especially for young people… it will give them hope and a brighter outlook for the future! Highly recommend, I am eagerly awaiting the next installment, which will feature the Lemurians’ and Atlanteans’ life on Earth. 5 Stars for this elegant work.

Review by: Inspirational Fiction/IF Mystery Sep. 30, 2012 : star star star star
Great writing, plotting and pacing but the short story just ended, leaving me scratching my head. A great morality lesson for young adults, especially in this age of bullies, still I wish the author had fleshed out the events on Earth.

Lada says: This is a series of shorts, therefore, the events on Earth for both the Lemurians and Atlanteans are coming up in the next 3 books – to be released in the first part of 2013. Stay tuned!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
.
Review by: J.J.Collins  Format: Kindle Edition
.
I read all the author’s previous books and loved them all. “Catharsis – Legend of the Lemurians”, the author’s first book of the Earth Keepers Chronicles. The author has an exceptional talent to blend amazing creative writing, brilliant imagination and current topical issues in her writing. Catharsis has everything, science, astrology, mythology, biblical prophecy, and current affairs, all intertwined in a magical tour de force. You can tell the author puts a little bit of her soul into everything she writes, this pays off exceptionally well, as the reader will always find it difficult to remove oneself from the journey presented.
..
This prequel transcends all age groups, every character has a significance and every page a twist. It contains strong values, fosters loyalty and respect, and provides for the type of leadership qualities that we all seek, but rarely find in our own modern day world.
..
The promise for the future and the sense of the unknown for the main characters is as relevant, and as important to the main characters, as it is to any reader of this wonderful piece.

Review by: Madeline Walsh on Sep. 17, 2012 : star star star star star

A Beautiful Tale of Paradise Lost and Paradise Found! What does it mean to be ugly, Truly ugly from the inside-out? We are about to find out as Author, Lada Ray, takes us on a timeless adventure from a distant galaxy far away and long ago. Lessons “forgotten” tend to repeat themselves throughout history until we ultimately learn from them. “Catharsis” is a timely tale that warns us about how our collective future may unfold if we don’t wake up!

Review by: KatesReads on Sep. 15, 2012 : star star star star
This is a great short story and intro into The Earth Keepers Chronicles. It is very imaginative and well plotted. Even in such a short story Lada Ray packs a powerful message.

Review by: Jason Sullivan on Sep. 15, 2012 : star star star star star
Do you believe in the Atlanteans or, the even more obscured by time and history, Lemurians? Could they have come from another planet? ‘Catharsis, Legend of the Lemurians’ is a fascinating allegorical tale by the talented author, Lada Ray. This allegorical story contains important truths, which are especially relevant today. Read ‘Catharsis, Legend of the Lemurians’! It will get you thinking about collective karma, where we might have come from, and what the future could hold if we do not learn to care for each other and to share the resources of planet Earth.

Review by: ReviewerRachel on Sep. 14, 2012 : star star star star
Catharsis! This book may be only 27 pages, but it wowed me! I’m usually not drawn to short stories at all, I just stay so disconnected. The book gave off a pleasant sense of whimsy, at the same time, it underlined crucial lessons about understanding/bullying/stereotypes/societal norms. I just all-around adored it! It was just so different from everything else I’ve ever read. I loved the background stories, the lessons it expressed. Several of them closely mirrored my favorite Bible stories. It didn’t leave me empty like other short stories, it filled me up completely. I absolutely recommend this book to people looking for a satisfying read.

..

SECRETS of GHOSTS by Mardi Orlando

Category: YA, fantasy, paranormal, metaphysical, history
Available on Amazon and B&N.
..
Secrets of Ghosts: forgotten Orphans An Abandoned Church Too Many Secrets
5.0 out of 5 stars
Absorbing Journey with Mystery, Magic and Heart, September 21, 2012
Review by: Lada Ray Format: Kindle Edition
..
Brought together by their mysterious and powerful gifts, seven teenagers have been stranded between worlds. Their mission is simple: uncover the hidden past, free the ghosted children stuck for a hundred years in an abandoned church, defeat the shadow…and try to survive the experience.
.
The problem is, while the ghosted children are fruitlessly trying to remember their past in order to move to the light, the seven teenagers who are tasked with saving them, desperately want to forget theirs. However, without releasing their own demons, the teens won’t be able to help the ghosts, moreover, they won’t be able to save themselves.
.
The book alternates between the past – devastating times of World War I & II – and the present. The tragic stories of the ghosted children, of the local town and of the seven teenagers are woven together into one absorbing, haunting tale. I found myself deeply engrossed in this book, trying to find out what happens next. The war time newspaper clippings provided the local perspective of the events of War World II, particular to the British and Western point of view.
.
I especially want to commend the author for her wonderful descriptions of the teens’ rare metaphysical gifts, from telepathy and clairvoyance to working with crystals and empathy. This is the subject that is very dear to my heart and I find that the author understands and feels what she is writing about on a very profound level – true, and fascinating to read about.
.
The main characters are interesting to read about, especially Daffodil, Jake and Santu. Besides, you can’t help but feel sorry for the ghosts and root for their salvation. There is profound humanity in how the author paints the ghosts’ touching protectiveness of each other and their ghosted animals. There are valuable lessons to be learned from this book. A great read – highly recommended!

..

GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure) by Lada Ray

Category: action/adventure, historic mystery, spy thriller, romance, paranormal

Currently available on Amazon US  UK and other countries.
Coming in October to Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, Sony , Apple
Can also be purchased from Lada Ray Book Store (PDF)
..
Ebook cover
..
..
Paperback cover
..
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very Nice Read, Adventures Abound!, September 18, 2012
Review by Jasper Snieder Format: Kindle Edition
..
Highly anticipated follow up adventure by novelist Lada Ray, Gold Train certainly delivers with dramatic thrills and spills. The action follows journalist Jade Snow as the sexy super sleuth goes international and unravels a potential conspiracy that may destroy the world. Truth, justice and the American way… superman can take lessons from this this reporter! Easily 5 stars all the way, highly recommend for all you politicos out there.
..
..
Category: non-fiction, history, biography
Available Paperback: Amazon US  UK
Ebook: Amazon US  UK
..
James Madison - The Father of the Constitution (1751 - 1836)
..
5.0 out of 5 stars
Inspiring Read About the Proudest Moment of American History September 30, 2012 Review by Lada Ray Format: Paperback
..
With profound knowledge and great style, J.J. Collins sets out to explore the creation of the American Constitution and the birth of the American Republic, as well as the people behind these events. This is not a very long book, but it packs a wallop of information, at the same time managing to convey the feel, texture and attitudes of that era.
..
We get to meet not only James Madison himself, but also the other greats of American history: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, among others. The author takes us to the historic 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia where we witness first-hand the process of creation of the Constitution. The uncharted territory that was the American Constitution made it difficult to reconcile all the varying opinions and interests in order to arrive at one document, which would unite the whole country. James Madison and others were heavily influenced by the philosophy of the European Era of Enlightenment. In turn, the American Constitution would later become the symbol of freedom and the fight against tyranny in Europe and elsewhere.
..
Ironically, some of the most shameful moments of American history were also enshrined in the Constitution, including the justification of slavery and the fact that each slave was considered only 3/5 of a white man, as well as the creation of the Electoral College – the US Presidential Election’s unfair and archaic indirect voting system, which still persists today.
..
The book proceeds to describe the era of the British/French war, the French revolutionary wars starting at the end of the 18th century, a struggle for the USA to remain neutral to European conflicts, and the ever deepening bitter political divisions between Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans – the former revolutionary buddies. We follow James Madison’s life and career, from the post of the Secretary of State to being elected the fourth President of the United States, and later, to his death.
..
It was the era of great statesmen, not mere politicians, the kind of people we only wish we could see in the White House today. Their intellect, knowledge, erudition and profound concern for their country and fellow man – moderated with reason and wisdom – led them to create the foundation on which America functioned successfully for many years. They passionately debated the issues of individual’s rights, state vs. federal power, unjust enrichment, monopoly, separation of legislative and executive powers, establishment of a National Bank, and equitable taxation. They developed laws, which at that time in history resulted in the most advanced society on Earth. The creation of the American Constitution signified the US history’s proudest moment.
..
However, these men were also the children of their time: they held slaves and made constant efforts to forcefully convert the Native Americans into the white man’s way of life.
..
This book is especially timely today. As we slowly drift away from the principles that once made this country great in so many ways, it serves as an important reminder of things the Americans have conveniently forgotten. A highly recommended read for American history buffs and novices alike!
..
..
Category: action/adventure, psychological mystery/thriller, women sleuths, paranormal
Available: Amazon US  UK  and other countries
Coming in October to B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, Sony, Apple
Can also be purchased from Lada Ray Book Store (PDF)
..
Stepford USA (Accidental Spy US Adventure)
..
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling until the very end, September 30, 2012
Review by Mardi  Format: Kindle Edition
..
Jade Snow is an investigative journalist who has braved the hardships of such places as Afghanistan. When a `white knight’ leaps to save her, she quickly falls in love and gets pregnant. But this new development is about to change Jade forever. When her husband insists on moving her to the safety and isolation of Stepford, Jade characteristically finds a story to investigate.
..
But Jade is being watched… and the mysterious web begins to be woven – a clever simile made through Jade’s new involvement with the knitting club of Stepford. On discovering a horrific crime that has happened many years ago, Jade smells a rat: There are too many suspicious angles. Adding the fact that the victim is still alive but unable to converse, intrigue and mystique build.
..
This is a very enjoyable book with terrific characters and a clever storyline that conjurs truths from the imbedded lies and deceit of the higher echelons of Stepford. In a whirlwind of well crafted storytelling we experience Jade’s paranormal psychic visions and even venture into a virtual reality laboratory to discover that all is not as it seems.
..
This novel makes clever observations on morality, class and perception with wonderful twists and turns that will surprise and intrigue.
..
A purposeful puzzle, compelling until the very end. Looking forward to reading Lada Ray’s other novels.
..
Wil K rated it 5 out of 5 stars A Goodreads review October 1, 2012
Enjoyable Read that Makes You Think
..
If I had to compare it to other books, I’d say that Stepford USA reminded me of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, but lighter and easier to read. The book boasts a great balance of character development, action, mystery, beautiful setting, as well as a modicum of paranormal and romance. It is an enjoyable read, which will make you pause and think about things we take for granted and things we overlook, about what is important and what is not.
..
……

The Templar Agenda by John Paul Davis

Category: historical mystery/thriller
Available on Amazon US  UK and other counties
..
The Templar Agenda

5.0 out of 5 stars
Global Conspiracy, History, Murder – and the Knights Templar! September 17, 2012 Review by Lada Ray 
..
 

When several, seemingly unrelated, high-profile murders shake up the world’s financial and political system, Swiss Guard Mikael (Mike) Frei is sent to St. Gallen to act as temporary bodyguard for Gabrielle Leoni, daughter of the murdered banker and great-niece of the Camerlengo. After the discovery of a 14th century diary left behind by Gabrielle’s father, which provides a dramatic insight into the cause of recent deaths, Mike and Gabrielle are forced to embark on a dangerous mission across Europe and the Atlantic: Mike, to ensure Gabrielle’s safety, and Gabrielle, to uncover the truth of her father’s death. Both are drawn into the global conspiracy that may endanger their lives, and in doing so they must attempt to uncover the identity of the murderers before they strike again.

The Templar Agenda is written by a historian, therefore many lush historical details about the ancient Order of the Templars and the Catholic Church are sprinkled throughout the narrative, which, being the lover of history, I personally enjoyed.

The story is well plotted and possesses an intoxicating mix of intrigue, ambiguity and seamless fusion of fact and fiction to keep the reader addicted to the next page. In addition to action, romantic tension and mystery, the reader is asked to consider certain serious questions: Are secret societies the force of good or evil? What are the consequences of actions that are deemed necessary by few, and how do these actions impact many?

The Templar Agenda is a rich, engaging, thrill-filled story, which will appeal to the lovers of history and the historical thriller genre.

..