Rainbow Sprinkles by D.V. Stone

Rainbow Sprinkles by D.V. Stone
One Scoop or Two
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (80 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Retired and widowed Gloriana Jones is forging on with the plans she and her late husband dreamed of—bringing joy and happiness, one ice cream cone at a time, to Lake Unami. But bad weather is drowning her dream.
A trip to Upstate NY is bittersweet for Nathan James. He is excited to see his first granddaughter but without his wife he’s lonely. When his car breaks down, he heads to the only light he can see, an ice cream shop.
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What could be better than ice cream and love?

I loved the fact that Gloriana had a full, happy life before she met Nathan. She had a strong network of friends and a job that brought her a great deal of joy. This is something I always adore seeing in the romance genre, especially for characters who have painful experiences in their backstories. Knowing that she’d already rebuilt her life after a tragedy only made me more curious to see how she’d react to the idea of falling in love again.

As great as the chemistry was between Gloriana and Nathan, I was startled by how quickly their relationship moved. Both of them seemed to be cautious and sensible adults, so it came as a shock to me to see how they reacted to their first date. I would be wary of anyone who tried to get so lovey-dovey with me that fast. While I totally understand that everyone has their own comfort levels when it comes to developing intimacy with a potential new partner, it sure would have been helpful to have more character development here so I could see if this was a pattern for them or if it was something they’d normally never do.

Just like with Stracciatella Gelato: Melting Time, this tale existed happily in the grey area between the fantasy and romance genres. I once again appreciated the fact that it had such a light touch. That was the perfect way to speak to a wide variety of readers and let everyone decide for themselves who or what might have gently nudged these characters into crossing paths.

This is part of the One Scoop or Two series. It is a standalone work.

Rainbow Sprinkles was a sweet treat that I’d recommend to anyone who is in the mood for something lighthearted.

Flight of the Spark by Evelyn Puerto

Flight of the Spark by Evelyn Puerto
Publisher: Open Water Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (406 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Age Recommendation: 13+
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Alstroemeria

Duty. Desire. Destiny.

How far would you go to be safe… to be free…to be loved?

Iskra doesn’t question the rules. The rules are there to keep her safe from those who are deemed unsafe or unfair. Anyone who breaks the rules is taken, never to be heard from again. But that’s the price everyone gladly pays for peace and safety. And no one wants to live like the Riskers–barbarians who reject order and justice, and could kill or be killed at any moment.
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When a friend is taken because of Iskra, the guilt forces her to do the unthinkable: seek out the Riskers. Iskra’s quest to save her friend quickly entangles her fate with a cryptic prophecy and a young Risker named Xico, who ensnares her heart and is willing to put it all on the line to win her.

With every risk Iskra takes, the closer she gets to true freedom. But every choice carries a consequence. The choices she makes set events she never imagined into motion, and the price of her freedom could very well be her life and the life of the man she loves.

Devastatingly beautiful from start to finish, Flight of the Spark left me completely enthralled and praying to the sky-god that my predictions for the sequel would come true! I find that my heart actually feels like breaking knowing that at least for now the story is over and that I will have to wait to find out the fate of these wonderful characters.

Iskra fights with everything she has, risking it all for the truth about her society where injustices keep her questioning what is safe, and what is just there to keep her controlled. The exponential growth we experience with Iskra as she battles her way through her story grips us at our very core and pulls us along with her through order, rebellion, and through a beautiful bond she shares with her forbidden love.

Xico, the fearless, charming, and patient boy of practically a different world from Iskra, guides us along in learning that fears that have been faced can become strengths. He never gives in, and brings color to Iskra’s world of mandated gray.

I am in awe. Truly, I am emotional and delighted that I could fall so easily into a book like this again. All the nostalgia of falling for a dystopian series, gripping the edge of my seat while the turning pages grip the edge of my heart, having me question if any of us, (me and the characters), are going to make it out unscathed from the story that Evelyn Puerto has brought us.

Though Flight of the Spark was written for a teen audience, it brought with it so many important lessons that especially in today’s world would be so immeasurably important for audiences of all ages. It took me away to a different world, but saddled itself up parallel to the one we live in now, helping me find perspective in these unsure times.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to enter the world that Evelyn Puerto has so passionately created for us. Flight of the Spark will fill you with a magic you may have thought disappeared a long time ago. I can’t wait for the sequel.

The Mint Julep Murder by CC Dragon

The Mint Julep Murder by CC Dragon
Southern Belle Cozy Mysteries #1
Publisher: Totally Entwined
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (205 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Ah, sweet home Tennessee, with the Music City, Dollywood and Murder…

Annabelle ‘Belle’ Baxter returns home to her small southern town after studying catering and hotel management, to help her Gran, the only real family she has. Determined to make their preserves shop a success, Belle expands the menu and boosts business—until the pompous sheriff drops dead, poisoned, after trying one of her signature smoothies.

Easily available treatment-This is one of cheap no prescription viagra the best thing about Kamagra is that you can buy it without burning a hole in your pocket. Face mask of ripe mashed bananas help to rejuvenate skin and prevent formation of sildenafil without prescription wrinkles. Eating nuts like almond will also fulfill your professional cialis daily need of nutrients required for strong bones. The four chambered heart in human beings is a complex pumping device where purified blood from the pulmonary veins coming from the order generic levitra see now lungs is supplied to the rest of the body and blood is enough. People looking down on Belle is nothing new, but this time they’re quick to point a finger as well. Now it’s not just her high school rival or the perfect church ladies—the bumbling deputies want to pin it on her too, leaving her no choice but to find the murderer herself. If the preserves shop goes under, she and her gran are ruined.

But it’s scary how many suspects her poking around turns up—the sheriff’s jealous deputy, his pissed-off wife, the girlfriend he was about to dump his wife for, or even the handsome new deputy, Gus Haywood, whose city ways riled the stuffy sheriff. Belle can’t let this handsome stranger distract her, not when she has to clear her name and protect the town she loves, despite its people.

Well, maybe he can distract her a little…

Small towns can be quiet, but they’re not always necessarily peaceful.

There was so much care and attention put into the mystery elements of the plot. It was a great deal of fun to try to figure out who killed the sheriff, how they did it, and why they did it. I thought the number of clues was perfect, and I enjoyed the couple of red herrings the author threw in there was well to keep the audience on our toes.

One thing I would have liked to see more time spent on was the character development. Since this is the first instalment in a series, my hope is that the sequels will give the recurring characters a chance to show off sides of their personalities the audience hasn’t seen yet and grow as individuals as a result of their experiences in life. There is so much room for growth here. It makes me excited to see what comes next!

The world building was well done. Sweet Grove felt like many of the small towns I’ve lived in. It had a strong sense of community that supported every member when they needed it. This was also a place where gossip travelled at the speed of light and where having any semblance of a private life was all but impossible. I enjoyed seeing the characters navigate the benefits and drawbacks of living in a place where everyone knows their neighbors so intimately.

Everyone who enjoys small town mysteries should give The Mint Julep Murder a try.

A Winter Knight by Barbara Bettis

A Winter Knight by Barbara Bettis

Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Short (146 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

He’s running from his past; she’s running from her future. But on a snowy winter night, they find each other and the surprising gift of love.

Sir Nicholas has given up on marriage. These days he’s content to captain his friend’s troops and avoid entanglements—until one winter night when he rescues a half-frozen woman from a snowstorm. Her irrepressible spirit and kindness to others reminds him that all ladies aren’t like his former intended, who wed his brother while Nick was on crusade. But he can’t open his heart to Lady Clare. She’s bound to another, and Nick won’t forfeit his honor. Even if she were free, he has nothing to offer but love, and this lady deserves everything.
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Lady Clare’s dying grandfather has arranged her betrothal, but the arrival of the man she’s to wed sends her fleeing into a snowstorm. Injured when her horse stumbles, she’s rescued by a mysterious knight. She recovers at his run-down manor, safe at last—until her betrothed tracks her down just days before Christmas. Trapped at home with the wedding imminent, she longs for the winter knight she’s come to love.

Only a miracle can bring Clare and Nick together. But at Christmas, anything is possible.

This is just a sweet story of a love that can transform a person. It’s part of a series, but can definitely be read as a standalone (though I would like to go back and read the first book in the series. I’m assuming it’s his friend’s story).

The characters are well drawn for such a short work (less than 150 pages and, if I had had the time I could have easily read it in one sitting). My favorite character, besides Nicholas and Clare, is Tom… what a wonderful character. I would love to see him get his own story..maybe a coming of age tale?

And, what can I say about Nicholas and Clare.. I fell in love with them both. I loved how the title aptly describes not only the season, but also Nicholas himself. His heart was certainly frozen due to being hurt previously.

If you are looking for a sweet romantic tale of two people finding each other, give this one a shot. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of this author’s works.

Hex Life by Various Authors

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery by Various Authors, edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering

Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

These are tales of wickedness… stories of evil and cunning, written by today’s women you should fear. Includes tales from Kelley Armstong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon, writing in their own bestselling universes.

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery will take the classic tropes of tales of witchcraft and infuse them with fresh, feminist perspective and present-day concerns–even if they’re set in the past. These witches might be monstrous, or they might be heroes, depending on their own definitions. Even the kind hostess with the candy cottage thought of herself as the hero of her own story. After all, a woman’s gotta eat.

Bring out your dread.

We’re fed the idea of the wicked witch, all dressed in black, her haggard face glaring evilly back at you, from a very young age. But what if all witches weren’t evil? What if they did what they did for a good reason? Of course, not all witches are altruistic, but what if some of them were? That’s where Hex Life comes into play. Within the collection, you’ll find all kinds of witches with all kinds of motives. Are you brave enough to take a chance?

Witches have been a favorite subject of mine for a long time. Despite the Wicked Witch of the West and all of the evil witches Disney has given us over the years, I was still drawn to them. So, when I stumbled across this anthology, I knew it was something I needed to read. I’m happy I did because it did not disappoint me in any way. The witches in Hex Life are as varied and unique as the authors writing them.

An Invitation to a Burning by Kat Howard. You go into this thinking one thing and discover it’s quite something else. An excellent way to kick off the anthology.

Widow’s Walk by Angela Slatter. This was probably my favorite of the group because it focuses around three older women, all witches, and the community they live in. It’s sort of like what would happen if Sleeping Beauty’s fairy godmothers grew to be old and bitter, but still cared for the innocent.

Black Magic Momma by Kelley Armstrong. I love her Women of the Otherworld series and getting a bit of Eve’s origin story was a nice surprise.

The Night Nurse by Sarah Langan. This was one heck of a creepy story, but I loved it. As an overwhelmed mother, I could relate to it on a personal level. However, the ending was a bit of a surprise.

The Memory of Trees by Mary SanGiovanni. An odd and, for me, a confusing, story about nature battling back against technology.

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The Deer Wife by Jennifer McMahaon. The only romantic story in the bunch, very sweet and different from your usual fare. There is a heart-stopping moment near the end that nearly made me cry, too.

The Dancer by Kristen Dearborn. I love a story with supernatural powers. I think this was less witchy and more Firestarter, but one of the best stories in the collection in my opinion. I really felt for the young girl in this as her family was creepy and abusive.

Bless Your Heart by Hillary Monahan. Nothing makes me happier than a good revenge story. Especially when the revenge is so well deserved. Bonus points for mom going to such great lengths to defend her son who is being buillied for no other reason than because he’s gay. A bit of a warning though because this one gets rather gross rather fast.

The Debt by Ania Ahlborn. This was an odd, yet intriguing story. It was very fairy tale-like in its structure, but dark and foreboding as well. The end caught me off guard, to be honest.

Toil & Trouble by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Madaug Kenyon. This one started strong and lost me about halfway through. I generally enjoy the Dark-Hunters books so I’m not sure what went wrong with this story. I’ll blame it on me though.

Last Stop on Route Nine by Tananarive Due. This wavered between alternate universes and ghost story but was wholly frightening as well. The heavy overtones of racism only added to the oppressive and scary atmosphere. One of the best in the collection.

Where Relics Go to Dream and Die by Rachel Autumn Deering. I finished this story and was left utterly confused. I’m not sure what really happened in the end, but still somehow enjoyed it. Weird, I know, but that happens to me sometimes.

This Skin by Amber Benson. What a creepy, frightening story! It’s tough being a teenager, but it has to be even tougher to be one who’s homicidal. Really enjoyed this one a lot, despite the creep factor.

Haint Me Too by Chesya Burke. Historical fiction is a huge draw for me, so finding a witchy story sed during the times of sharecroppers intrigued me. It also enraged me because of the way Shae and her family are treated by the white people in the story.

The Nekrolog by Helen Marshall. I went back and forth on this story. It was long and interesting, but I also got confused a time or two. There are a couple of point-of-view and time period changes that threw me off. But overall, it was a decent story.

Gold Among the Black by Alma Katsu. I’m a sucker for a poor waif living in a castle as staff kind of story. Every girl deserves her prince (or princess), right? Jesper was the best part of the story and I’m glad that Greta got what she deserved in the end.

How to Become a Witch-Queen by Theodora Goss. Tied with Widow’s Walk for the number one position, honestly. A unique and fun spin on Snow White that left me smiling at the end. There were so many little things about this story that made me happy. It was the perfect story to end the collection with because it left me feeling good.

Overall, the authors came together to create an exciting and varied collection of stories. They hit many time periods and genres that there’s sure to be something for everyone in this anthology. While there were a few names that drew me to this collection – Kelley Armstrong and Sherrilyn Kenyon for example – I also discovered many new-to-me authors that I’m excited to explore.

Unusual Confusion by Ada Almond

Unusual Confusion by Ada Almond
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (116 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

“I was an outsider all my life. The only people in this world that wanted me were my family. But I had a way of escaping that world. I had my own world.”
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Lexi Miller never had any friends. She was the type of girl who would always get bullied, sit in a corner by herself at break, never put her hand up in class. She kept quiet, to not make the situation worse. She was a freak, and with psychic powers too. At age 5 she discovered a weird secret about herself – she could teleport to her very own dimension, which she used as a coping mechanism. But as it usually happens in story beginnings like these, someone comes along and saves the lonely main character. The “hero” in this book is the new girl Melodine Saunders. Lexi is confused about her feelings, the butterflies in her stomach fluttering stronger every time the girls meet. Gradually, she starts working things out and everything is finally going as planned. Until one day, unusual things – more unusual than normal, that is – start happening. Lexi shrugs them off, but you can’t put things off forever…

Sometimes the quiet kids are the most interesting ones of them all.

Lexi was a well-developed and sympathetic character. One of the things I liked the most about her was how realistically her voice was written. She acted and sounded exactly like a young teen her age should act and sound. That isn’t an easy thing to accomplish by any means! Ms. Almond put a lot of effort into this subtle but important part of writing this genre, and her hard work was appreciated by this reader.

I would have preferred to see more time spent developing the sections of the plot that talked about Lexi’s ability to transport to her own dimension. It was nothing like what I expected it to be. As fascinated as I was by the explanation for how this worked and why it wasn’t part of the science fiction genre like I originally assumed, it sure would have been nice to have more information here.

The subplot of this story about bullying was handled sensitively. Some of the best scenes in it involved how the adults in Lexi’s life reacted to hearing about the way she was mistreated by certain classmates. Their responses were as compassionate as they were realistic. I also enjoyed reading about how Lexi herself coped with all of the teasing. That’s a difficult thing for any kid to go through, and her coping mechanisms were good ones.

Unusual Confusion should be read by any preteen or teen who feels lonely or misunderstood.

Running out of Time: The Disease by Elisabeth Martin

Running out of Time: The Disease by Elisabeth Martin
Publisher: Jopoto Publishing
Genre: Time Travel, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Short Story (54 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

“After a global pandemic and the loss of those closest to me, i used a time machine to try and save the world before we run out of time. There’s a problem. One wrong move can cause a ripple effect and harm rather than help.” James

James didn’t want to see his partner die like this.

That is viagra uk shop why; these kinds of medicines available in the market. The hormone start to achieve its target and the bully. viagra generic discount Many people have the misconception that both these branches of science is more or less the same because both deal with human emotions and feelings. generic viagra tadalafil But, generic viagra online if men buy Gel Capsules, they can get rid of excessive nightfall. But, when a mysterious disease comes and wipes out over half the human race, including his long-term partner, he knows what he must do. When he travels back in time though, James realizes that the actions he does do affect the future. But, will he be able to understand and work through all this?

It’s a race against time, against the actions he does, and when James realizes who the real patient zero is, he knew for a fact that the future would be determined by whatever move he’d make next.

Will James figure out how to eliminate the threat in a humane way? And will the actions he does really change the future for the better?

With his time machine he built as a hobbyist project years ago, James has the power to travel through time, but what he doesn’t realize, is that sometimes, when the past changes, the future can get a whole hell of a lot worse as well.

This is the first in a series of time-travel books and has the exciting and scary premise of trying to survive a global pandemic. A man, James, figures out a way to go back in time when he sees so many people around him dying. Humanity is in serious trouble. He must go back and find patient zero but then kill her. If anything with his plan goes wrong, the consequences are unthinkable.

When James goes after the unfortunate young lady at the root of this, people do not know his real motive and go after him. James can feel time breathing down his neck. His adventures into the past are interesting, and the people he recruits are important to his end goal. It’s a short story, but we get to know some of the characters enough to worry for them and their future. This story is painted with inventive details that push the plot forward. The world building is well done, and the moral questions brought up will have one thinking. Even if James succeeds in his task, will the future really change for the better? That is another sticky question.

This quick read was entertaining and worth a look for fans of time-travel stories.

Dream Job? by Linda Palmer

Dream Job? by Linda Palmer
Psy Squad #8
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (105 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

RJ Banks, 20, is psychic. Her gifts are her dreams, which are riddled with cryptic hints about the location of the world’s most wanted criminals. This isn’t an accident. RJ, who believes that dreams are just our brains working through recent half thoughts, images, and impressions, deliberately immerses herself in details about these real-life villains in hopes her psychic brain will give her answers the World Security League needs.

Her methods actually work, the reason she was able to help WSL agents find a dangerous cult leader on the run. Now she is trying to find a high-profile politician from Georgia who is also a murderer. Up until now, her dreams have come in threes with a trio of hints in each. While the dreams generally change in locale, theme, and intensity, the hints in each are the same…sort of. A river in one could be an ocean or pond in another. RJ keeps a dream journal to help her figure out the common denominators, in this example water. But the challenge doesn’t end there. Is her assigned villain in a swimming pool? In a bathtub? Or watering his lawn?
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The work is challenging, but she loves it…until she dreams about herself in a plane that crashes. Although tempted to blow off the dream, she fears it has something to do with plane tickets she just bought so she can fly to Florida for her parents’ anniversary. Nate, her supervisor suggests driving might be smarter. He also recommends that she hire a bodyguard to go with her and even gives her a name: Wyck Hardy. Wyck isn’t a full-time professional, but does have experience in personal protection. In spite of the fact that he thinks psychics are psycho, RJ hires him. Maybe this trip with be an eye opener for him. Or will it be an eye opener for her?

Love doesn’t always show up when you expect it to. For that matter, neither do mysteries!

There was some fabulous chemistry between RJ and Wyck that played out in a beautifully slow fashion. Their banter was on point and they seemed just aware enough of the sparks flying between them for me to wonder when one of them might finally act on it. I appreciated the fact that things moved so slowly between them, too. That was perfect for their personalities even though I was eager to see if they make as good of a match for each other as I thought they might.

I would have liked to see more attention paid to the mystery elements of the storyline. They were an important part of why RJ’s road trip unfolded the way that it did, and things felt a little unbalanced to me when it came to how much time was spent on this when compared to the paranormal and romantic plots.

The dialogue was smooth and felt natural to me. Each time I read the passages that included a lot of conversations between RJ and the various folks in her life, it felt like I was listening to two people talk instead. These sections couldn’t have been written better. They were a joy to experience.

This novella is the eighth in a series, and it works well as a standalone piece. I’d only read one of the previous installments and had no problem catching up with what had happened since then.

Dream Job? should be read by fans of the romance, paranormal, and mystery genres alike.

Root Brew Float by Sydney Winward

Root Brew Float by Sydney Winward
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (66 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

EverJosephine Brevil has lived hundreds of years haunted by the horrors she experienced during the Salem Witch Trials. She takes great care to hide her powers, though serving a Root Brew Float laced with a magic potion now and again never hurt anybody. The Order sends her to Massachusetts to deal with a paranormal threat, and she meets the young and handsome widower, Clarence Watts. However, being with him comes with a choice. How can she choose between the man she loves and the magic she holds dear?

Everyone needs a little romance sometimes.
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What fun dialogue this book had! Josephine had been around for hundreds of years, and yet she spoke just like any modern person would. I appreciated the fact that she kept such a close eye on current language trends during her visits to Earth. It made her feel relatable, especially when she was speaking to humans who didn’t realize she was a witch.

There were several plot threads that were left dangling by the final scene. While I totally understand why some them would be saved for future reference in possible upcoming sequels, having so many of them mentioned but not resolved in any way was a little frustrating for me as a reader. It would have been helpful if even one of them was brought to its natural conclusion.

The banter between Josephine and Clarence was truly delightful. I can’t say they liked each other very much the first time they met, but I did sense that they were pretty intrigued with each other. They had much more in common than either one realized in the beginning, including painful pasts and uncanny abilities to ignore social conventions on purpose in order to see what would happen next. Not only did this provide plenty of opportunities for them to get sucked into amusing conversations together, it also made me wonder when their mutual dislike of each other might evolve into love.

This is the third installment in a series. It can be read as a standalone work.

I’d recommend Root Brew Float to anyone who is in the market for something lighthearted.

The Ghost of Jamie McVay by R.G. Ziemer

The Ghost of Jamie McVay by R.G. Ziemer
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Middle Grade, Suspense/Mystery, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (240 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Brian Krueger has a lot of problems: The death of his grandfather and his father’s alcoholism have led to hard times and a move to a new town, where his nearest neighbor is a pyromaniac and a bully. Brian runs to escape his troubles, but it’s on the gravel jogging path that he encounters the ghost of Jamie McVay.

Also, they often send a pop-up box to you while you’re online that appears to be an Internet Dating Master in no time! The movie industry constantly churns out comedies as they are accepted by the FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.order viagra online can be purchased in the online pharmacies and you can order a complete stock of them for a month or two. This may cause canada cialis levitra various problems to these organs. Or being stuck miles from civilisation buy cialis australia or behind enemy lines with dysfunctional vital communication equipment. This leads to a reduction in the inflammation that causes myelin sheath breakdown in the spine and neural paths. purchasing viagra australia Brian and his new friend, Sharon, investigate the ghost’s origins. Clue by clue, secrets are revealed as the teens discover the truth behind Jamie McVay’s quest for redemption. Along the way they must deal with teen issues such as school, sports, friends and rivals. Brian also struggles to reconcile with his father, while facing dangerous Pete the Pyro..

Can Brian and Sharon prevent catastrophe on Halloween night? Will the ghost of Jamie McVay find peace for his unquiet soul?

Sometimes local legends are true.

The details of Jamie McVey’s life and death were so vividly written that I actually googled him to see if this was based on a true story. It honestly felt like something ripped from the headlines of a small town newspaper. While it turned out to be fictional after all, this didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for figuring out what really happened to this ghost one bit. I was so interested in learning his secrets that I couldn’t stop reading.

I enjoyed finding all of the parallels that the author drew between Brian’s life in the present and Jamie’s life in the past. They had far more in common than I would have guessed, and many of their similarities were things that took some time to uncover. It was rewarding to see all of this slowly come together as Brian adjusted to life in his new community and began to explore the mystery of what really happened to Jamie.

The romantic subplot was handled beautifully. It definitely wasn’t something I was expecting to find in this tale, but I was pleased with how much time it was given to develop while all of the other storylines were going on as well. The characters involved in it had plenty of opportunities to slowly transition their friendship into a romantic connection. Given everything else that was happening in their lives, this was the perfect decision. I must also say that I really liked the idea of them being a couple! The fact that they were so well suited for each other as far as their personalities and interests go only made the idea of them falling in love even more appealing.

The Ghost of Jamie McVay is something I’d recommend just as earnestly to adult readers as I would to the middle grade audience it was originally intended for.