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text 2017-04-17 07:01
Cover Reveal - Breathless

 

 


BLURB:

 

A brush with death brings Leah closer to the ghosts she longs to find and throws her into the arms of the troubled scuba instructor who saves her.

Dale, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, is haunted by his own restless spirits. He's on a hunt for forgiveness, and the Caribbean Sea is his hunting ground.

The peace they search for lies in the bond they never suspected they shared.



EXCERPT:

 

He breathes with me, using his pace to slow mine. It feels like too much. The stillness. Our breath as one. His touch against my face and unyielding gaze locked onto mine. I want to escape up to safety, but he won’t let me.

All I can do is trust him.

 

 

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BIO:

 

They say write what you know, so Jessica Bayliss did. Her story, BREATHLESS, was inspired by her own experience running out of air on a scuba dive—except without all the steamy romance and eerie paranormal happenings. Alas, real life. Obviously, she survived. Her genre-bending fiction holds a little something for everyone. A lover of ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers—a touch of the mysterious always finds a home in Jessica’s work. Romance with a dash of supernatural. Horror with a bit of humor. You get the gist. Jessica also writes across age groups and is a firm believer in the motto: there is a new reader born every day, whether young or not-so-young



Look for her upcoming releases: TEN PAST CLOSING, a YA contemporary thriller (Sky Pony Press, Spring 2018), and BROKEN CHORDS, a YA horror novella (Leap Books, October 2017). You can find her story “Care of the Undead Dog” in ZOMBIE CHUNKS, which came out earlier this year. Read about all of Jessica’s books and stories here.



Connect with Jessica online:

 

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Instagram

 

 

 

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I’m seventy feet below the Caribbean Sea, and I’m out of air.

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY INFO:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Link to rafflecopter giveaway: http://bit.ly/2nXMBcp

 

 

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review 2016-11-01 03:18
Fright Before Christmas: 13 Tales of Holiday Horrors - Ty Drago,Jessica Bayliss,Judith Graves

I found this collection a good read as well as a good scare. Some you thought about even after reading the last page. The stories are short but give all the information that is needed. From looking for Bigfoot or a video game who brings an evil Santa, or a bad boy getting a visit from Krampus. Also a boy getting coal in his stocking that was a better gift then some got. Also a music teacher brings a spirit into existence,  to a haunted house and a boy. Then an ancestor who caused a not so enjoyable Christmas Eve tradition and more. As I said a lot of short stories but really good and I recommend.

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review 2016-06-25 08:00
A Taste Of Death And Honey
A Taste of Death and Honey - Sharon Bayliss

A Taste of Death and Honey is the third book following the Vandergraffs in the December people series, which I've been following from the start. I've also seen its transformation of a rather mundane story in the first book, Destruction, to much more action in the last two books. One thing remains the same, it still feels rather slow, even with everything that is happening. For me, this is not a problem at all and I like the change from the things I usually read.

 

Samantha, who has now lost her parents and her dearest friend, is looking for the murderer of the latter and ends up back in Housten, where she will, unintentionally put a lot of people in mortal danger. Not so good, for a spring witch now, is she...

 

I spent the whole first part of the book trying to remember an Imogene, but I figured later that I probably wasn't supposed to remember her. This in the beginning caused some troubles as I couldn't really concentrate on what was going on, with them constantly mentioning Imogene. After things were cleared, this was no longer a problem though and it actually made for a rather fast read, also because I was curious to find how these things work.

 

What I liked to see, I'll try to explain it spoiler free, was that more than in the other books, you get to see that since they are winter witches, they actually are dark witches, and would be considered 'bad'. Not stereotypically in all their actions but in some of the decisions they make. One striking example (though not one of the more subtle ones) is when Evangeline tells Amanda she's been waiting for someone to try her new killing curse on, and this doesn't result in the reprimand that I would find very normal in this situation.

 

I did have some concerns with the magic system though. With the witches divided into the different seasons, now it was possible for them to perform certain spells that were not for their season. I don't remember completely how this worked in the earlier books, but why make the division if they still can do it all?

 

The good news is: at the end Sharon Bayliss announces that there will be a fourth book (and luckily, because it ends with quite the twist!). The bad news is that we'll have to wait for more than a year still to get it!

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2015-12-24 15:06
A good step-up from the first in the series
The Dead Gods: Flint & Steel, Fire & Shadow 2 - Rob Bayliss
I read The Sun Shard - the first in this series - back in November, and purchased the second volume as soon as I spotted it for sale. The Dead Gods is a self-contained work, and enough of the back story is given that it makes sense on its own, but clearly it will appeal more to those who have read #1.

The Sun Shard introduced us to one facet of the world, focusing on the conflict around a particular region. The Dead Gods now expands our horizons to the wider context. We learn more - a lot more - about the major national players who had fuelled that battle, and the particular agendas which drive them. We also find out about some of the lesser factions, and their hope to leverage the confusion of war to their own benefit.

The book tells its story through multiple different perspectives, but manages not to get lost in confusion as it does so. This device reinforces the sense of a patchwork world, divided by cataclysm where it could potentially be united.

In the first book, the focus was predominantly on physical weapons, and the skill and dexterity with which they are wielded. Magical tools were present as a background element in the fight - nice if you could get them, but not a disaster if you couldn't. Now, they have become essential. The two ways of waging war need each other's support. The basis for supernatural power is being slowly revealed in hints and clues, and there is an inescapable conclusion that it is all highly dubious, whether wielded by what we think of as the bad guys or the good.

I was particularly pleased that we learn more about the Flint Folk and their culture. Like everybody, they have internal divisions and feuds, but they have definitely emerged as the most likeable of the factions. They represent the persistence of something which has been lost in our world - a hominid species close enough to us for easy communication, but different enough to provide perspective and challenge.

This volume has successfully addressed the technical proof-reading problems which affected the first. Also, women are given a more central position in the flow of events. The various cultures cannot be described as equal-opportunity, and a woman's chief access to power is still through her sexuality. However, female voices and influence are starting to be heard at the higher levels of society.

The story is clearly in full stride now, with the various key figures moving into place towards a showdown. The Dead Gods is a worthy successor to The Sun Shard, and I will certainly be looking out for the third part as and when it appears - hopefully next year.
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review 2015-11-03 16:31
A first glimpse into an innovative and unusual world
The Sun Shard (Flint and Steel, Fire and Shadow. Book 1) - Rob Bayliss

Sun Shard, by Rob Bayliss, is a fantasy novel set in a world with a level of technology roughly like that of the English Civil War. There are hand to hand edged weapons, alongside moderately reliable muskets. But there are also giant beasts reminiscent of those which our Stone Age ancestors had to confront. There is also a magical component, important to the storyline but practiced only by a handful of people. The links between magic, religion and spirituality are teasingly opened up as the book proceeds, but remain ambiguous for later books to develop.

 

Sun Shard is only part one in the series, but happily it is self contained as a book, and achieves closure on the central crisis raised. In its course, we are introduced to the major people-groups, beginning with a rather feudal rural group and moving progressively onto larger and more urbanised scales.

 

We mainly follow the actions of one of these rural individuals. He starts the book as a skilled but unimportant scout, and through both force of circumstance and personal choice becomes increasingly crucial to events. In the process, he comes to reevaluate the nature of the conflict he is caught up in, and begins to appreciate the real enemies. I am sure that this process will continue in subsequent books.

 

The world is very male dominated. There is only one female character who is important to the plot, and other women are either idealised, or reduced to sex objects for the soldiers and leaders. It's a difficult world to live in for both men and women, unless a person can find the right niche and the right group of companions.

 

The plot drives along in a brisk way. There are battles on land and sea, in which intelligent use of technology and resources is as important as pure force. But alongside that, the slowly opening insights into the deeper moral struggle provide a parallel plot alongside the fighting which adds considerably to the interest of the book. There are a number of points where parallel actions are going on in different locations, but any possible confusion is avoided by clear exposition.

 

On a technical level there are some typos which distract from the reading, especially around the use of apostrophes. Also, some of the longer sentences could do with more use of commas to help navigate through them. All of these could be caught with another editing sweep through the text, and some people will not mind the slips as they race through the pages.

 

In short, an interesting and involving world, with a coherent inner logic and increasing insights into a deeper moral and spiritual plane. The book ends with a short teaser for the next book in the series.

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