Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an interracial/multi-cultural paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and psy/suspense author, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover. My stories are about all-conquering love and romance, and I enjoy hosting other authors as well. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, multi-shifters, vamp-like Nephilim, Vodouin Fey, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indie Books: 4-Reviews for 4 That Stuck the Landing




Indie Books: 4 Mini-Reviews of 4 That Stuck the Landing
Yes, I’m a gymnastics fan whose Grandmother taught her to do a straight cartwheel. It’s always thrilling when a gymnast nails a routine and sticks the landing. The characters in my books come to life and never leave me; that’s expected, so they’re not included here. On the other hand, when I read other authors’ books, meet their characters, and they remain vibrant and real weeks, even months later, that means the book is pretty darn good.

I read the following books (listed in no particular order) over the last few years and they stuck with me. Something about the writing, the characters, or both moved me to the point that I still remember them well. This list is not exhaustive, of course, and I’ll post more as the mood strikes. I’d suggest you take a look at these when you get a chance. They just might stick with you, too J



1.             Mark of Cain  by A.D. Seeley
History as we know it is a lie. An intricate web of half-truths and falsifications spun by the most infamous murderer in history: the immortal, Cain, son of Adam and Eve. All so the truth of him and his power can stay in the shadows, with every oblivious mortal his pawn. The Mark of Cain, a paranormal romantic suspense novel, reveals the truth. 

After murdering his brother, Abel, Cain was unjustly cursed by God. When the curse becomes too unbearable for him and he faces immortality alone, Cain puts his energy into claiming the Earth as his own. Now, after thousands of years living his life as some of history’s greatest conquerors, the ruthless first son of Adam finally has a controlling interest in the world with the strongest governments secretly answering to him. 

Tired of the bloodshed and manipulation that has brought him to this point, Cain is ready to relax. But God has sent someone to challenge his interests: a young woman named Hara, whose very life was foretold centuries ago. 

To keep God from victory, Cain sets out to woo and corrupt Hara, planning to kill her once she is no longer God’s Chosen One. At first, as she edges off the path leading toward the fulfillment of the prophecy, Cain can’t help but feel smug. However, the closer he gets to her, the more he finds that Hara’s charitable presence causes him to feel shame for the first time in his long life, and soon he finds that he no longer wishes her harm. But the prophecy is clear on this; she has to die for him to win. When it comes to her end, will he be as selfish as he has always been, or will he sacrifice himself for the love of his very long life?

In “The Mark of Cain,” Seeley spins an ingenious tale using an infamous Biblical character as a jump-off point. Cain, you know, the first murderer and ultimate bad-boy, is immortal, which makes sense because he was sent into the land of “Nod” long before God placed limitations on human life.

Well, now he’s tired of his endless life of mundity, so he’s decided to gain more power and conquer the world. History records many conquerors, but in actuality, they were simply incarnates of Cain in his quest for power and bloodshed to repay God for what he sees as an unjust fate.

In walks Hara, God’s “chosen” one, and God’s perfect chess piece. Cain becomes sidetracked, seeking to avenge himself by corrupting her. As added incentive, he knows that if he doesn’t corrupt her, he will lose his battle with God, everything he’s worked so hard to achieve throughout his immortal existence.

Be prepared to go to sleep with this story on your mind, and awake eager to read more. Suspenseful, full of lovable, real characters with life and death motives, “The Mark of Cain” will not disappoint. Love has a funny way of changing everything.
You can read my initial review of this fantastic book here.


2.             Perfection Unleashed  by Jade Kerrion
When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives--the in vitros, clones, and mutants--collapses into social upheaval. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

The alpha empath, Danyael Sabre, does not feel compelled to risk his cover of anonymity and get involved, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

Two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, the other to escape it. But destiny has a name--Zara. Assassin.

The first in this multi-award winning series, “Perfection Unleashed” gets you primed to read the rest. In this world-building masterpiece, Danyael (an angelic name, BTW) Sabre has very little memory of who or what he is.

Later, he learns that he’s an empathy with a look-alike clone considered to be the perfect man. As Danyael unfolds the mystery surrounding his origin and past, Galahad, his look-alike, is just beginning to realize that he has a life awaiting him beyond the lab in which he was created.

Book one introduces us to a tiny, yet intriguing romance set to bloom in subsequent books. Sci-Fi, fantasy, suspense, and romance lovers will enjoy this series. Amazon


3.             Michal’s Window  by Rachelle Ayala
UPDATE: July 28, 2014: Sensual content deleted. (2nd edition) 
She lost it all in one agonizing moment… 

Princess Michal is used to getting everything she wants, and she has her heart set on the young hero David. But their passionate love affair is destroyed by her father’s murderous rage. Will David's departing promises be enough? 

David the King is no longer the charming harpist she gave her heart to. The most powerful man in Israel, he falls into the arms of the beautiful Bathsheba. 

Temptation comes in the form of a dashing Philistine warrior. Michal vows to be the only woman in David’s heart, but does she know her own? 

A novel of betrayal, forbidden love, and redemption, Michal’s Window is an imaginative retelling of King David's story through the eyes of the woman who loved him first. 

NOTE: All sensual passages have been removed. If you downloaded this book before July 28, 2014, please go to Manage Your Kindle content to download the updated version or contact Amazon support. Thanks!

I included Ayala’s note because although a work of fiction, “Michal’s Window” is an account or interpretation of the actual relationship alluded to between the Biblical David and his first wife.

Like most of the Bible, the original account of David and his many wives was encapsulated within surrounding deemed much more important than the entire life of a mere woman, so the author’s bravery and ambition in writing such a challenging piece with grace and realism intrigued me before even reading it.

That in mind, “Michal’s Window” was still an eye-opener – bringing the laws and values of Biblical times and their impact on individuals to light with poignant clarity. Viewed through the eyes of a woman who lived during a time in which women had no rights and did their best to survive solely at the mercy of men, David was a man as much a prisoner of society as his wife, Michal.

A romance even my Mother would enjoy, “Michal’s Window” is one of abiding love, loyalty, and survival, coupled with the baser nature of humanity – pursuit of power, adoration, and the folley of pride. This book will keep you riveted to the story, open your eyes to the plight of every woman in the Bible, and draw you into a world where tears, laughter, and simmering anger are par for the course. Amazon


4.             Soul Meaning  by A.D. Starrling
'My name is Lucas Soul. Today, I died again. This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.'

Soul is an outcast of the immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.

One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. 

Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war?

Lucas Soul is nearly immortal. He has been graced or as he might see it, cursed, with seventeen lives. Starrling’s “Soul Meaning” is the first in the “Seventeen” series, and I read it before others were written.

“Soul Meaning” introduces us to Lucas at a critical time – he now only has one more life to live, and enemies at his heels doing everything in their power to take that one and end him forever.

As I said in my initial review of this book, I could easily see a movie or series springing from it for television or the big screen. The characters are intricate, complex, and likable, the action taut and fast-paced. 

Something for nearly everyone, if you enjoy action, sci-fi, paranormal, or urban fantasy, you will definitely love this novel. Now, I’ve gotta get my paws on the rest of the series. I believe there are three, now, all with reviews averaging more than four stars. Amazon



3 comments:

Rachelle Ayala said...

Hi Dariel, thanks so much for appreciating Michal's Window. It's probably a very unique book since it is not written like the usual Bible stories. :)

Anjanee Sooknah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dariel Raye said...

I agree. "Michal's Window" was the first book I gave a 5 star review. Writing this Bible story from a woman's POV required courage, understanding, and depth not often found these days :-)