Book Review: The Big Score By Og Maciel

The Big Score By Og Maciel

A Young Adult Action/Adventure Novel published by Og Maciel (10/12/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC


Kate won’t let being new in town stop her from trying to fit in as soon as possible. She joins the local underground car emblem stealing contest to prove herself worthy but tensions are high as rivals Torres and Abby are tied with a few more emblems to go to win the race. One big score could determine the King or Queen of the emblems.


Car Emblem, High School, Competition, Stealing, Friendship, Thieves, New in Town, Skateboarding

My Review:

Maciel has a clean and efficient writing style that is easy and fun to read. This particular book proceeds immediately to the main plot and intrigue of the story. The book is on the shorter side, which didn’t leave much room for subplot development or deviation from the main plot. The core idea of this book, a contest where teens steal car emblems was fresh and interesting.

The characters are in high school and they act like they are teenagers, but the length of the story and the simple aspect of the plot, the stereotypically bad guy villain, and lessons learned make it seem like it’s intended for a younger audience. It’s as if this is a book written for middle schoolers wanting to read about kids older than themselves.

Kate is agonizingly outgoing. She is all in for excitement. She participates in a talent contest the day after she arrives in a new town. As an introvert myself, I wish I was more like Kate. To me, she seems fearless.

I love how we get the range of communication types of the teens. Kate has been taught by her software QA mother how to have an open dialogue and communication using communication techniques. While Abby is so blinded by her emotional reaction to something that happened last year that she won’t even talk to the person she’s upset with about it.

The big showdown climax was super exciting and the last chapter “Closing Time” reminded me of the way movies end with some text on the screen saying what happened to the characters after the movie ended. In general, this book, full of action and dialogue between the characters reminded me of a teenage TV drama show or PG movie that is interesting enough to watch as a teenager or adult.

If you enjoy over-the-top teen action movies or books, you will get a kick out of this fast YA read.

This novel was published by Og Maciel on 10/12/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Og Maciel’s Website

Book Review: Tailwinds Past Florence by Doug Walsh

Tailwinds Past Florence by Doug Walsh

A Time Travel Romance/Adventure Novel published by Snoke Valley Books (01/22/19)


“It was the nature of cycling to have your emotions dictate the pace.”

Kara had always wanted to travel the world by bicycle but Edward is too caught up in his work to take several years out of his career for this shared dream vacation. The day Edward loses his job is the day he will commit to cycling around the world with Kara, and not tell her why he changed his mind about the adventure of a lifetime. Little by little she will suspect something is going on with Edward as they race around the world together. Not only is Edward keeping secrets, but they keep discovering other mysterious travelers along their route.


Travel, Adventure, Marriage, Secrets, Cycling, Journey, Partners, Time Travel, Discover, Escape, Love, Mystery, Weather, Workaholic, Dream Adventure, Soul, Eternal Love

My Review:

Is it really possible to cycle around the world? What happens if you start too early in the season and are stuck cycling in the snow, mere inches from trucks and cars on the road? I was immediately hooked on the premise of this story and quickly dove into the plot of the book and the tension between Edward and Kara that was present all along. From the very beginning of the story, where Edward kept his first secret from Kara, I could tell that the tension was going to increase until all the secrets unfurled. And yet, the cute things that they did together and their easygoing nature made me root for their marriage from the get-go. What was going to happen to keep them together or to finally push them apart as a couple?

Meanwhile – they encounter various difficulties along their route, not to mention the fact that Edward keeps pushing them past their original pace, racing to a finish line only he can see. I wanted to yell at him to just come clean! He knew all along what Kara valued and yet he obstinately kept justifying his actions by telling himself that he wanted to provide for her, blindly ignoring the fact that that’s not what Kara wanted. And Kara wouldn’t talk to Edward about her misgivings, only expressing her anger when Edward blatantly changed something about their route. It’s easy to blame them both for lack of communication because it’s not always easy to talk with those you love.

At first I didn’t care to switch plots and characters from the young cycling couple to Alessio but soon realized the importance of Alessio and appreciated his perspective. He was at times both funny and rude! It was quite hilarious to read some of his scenes.

I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of the difficulties of cycling and traveling along lesser used paths and through smaller towns. The author was very adept at providing all sorts of tension, from the couple’s relationship, to the setting, to the addition of the mysterious men that kept appearing along their route.

This novel was published by Snoke Valley Books on 01/22/2019 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Doug Walsh’s Website


Book Review: Dangerous Territory: a Keltin Moore Adventure (The Adventures of Keltin Moore Book 3) by Lindsay Schopfer

Dangerous Territory: a Keltin Moore Adventure (The Adventures of Keltin Moore Book 3) by Lindsay Schopfer

A Steampunk Science Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services (06/01/19)


Keltin Moore is a beast hunter starting his own beast hunting company with two of his faithful companions: Bor’ve’tai the Loopi and Jaylocke the Weycliff Wayfarer. Their first job takes Bor’ve’tai and Jaylocke away together to hunt a smoke beast while Keltin holds down the office by himself. Not even a day later Keltin is tasked with an emergency beast hunting job and a secret assignment. Without being able to wait for his companions, he is off north to Krendaria once again.


Fighting, Hunting, Prey, Beasts, Determination, Heroics, Strategy, Politics, Discrimination, Hate, Farming, Working Together, Survival, Thoughtfulness, Injury, Escape, Stealth

My Review:

Keltin Moore’s world is much like stepping into the fictional wardrobe of Narnia with all sorts of creatures, most of them unfriendly. The Beast Hunter’s monsters are varied in form, function, and appearance. I really enjoyed the imaginative world building of the monsters themselves and the weaponry made to defeat them. The author gives the reader the perfect amount of description for both amidst the action of the hunt scenes.

Much like with the other Keltin Moore book I read, the start of the novel builds the world slowly, re-introducing the reader to Keltin and the new problem he must solve. Keltin himself has grown into an entrepreneur yet he remains humble. I really enjoyed his embarrassment and the way he would normalize himself anytime he was being described overly heroically. If I had an Uncle in a fantasy novel, I would like him to be Keltin.

This book reminded of the narrative ease of the Tarzan novels and once the main plot was revealed, I was hooked into the story and didn’t put the book down.

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services 06/01/2019 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Author Website:

Amazon Author Page:





Book Review: Second Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book Two) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Second Daughter (The Royals of Dharia, Book Two) by Susan Kaye Quinn

A Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. (06/30/14)


Does Samir have its own skyship? Aniri fears the worst but she has more pressing issues at the moment: her impending marriage. She questions her love for him. Was it only built on the adrenaline of adventure? She won’t have time to think about it because her sister, future Queen of Samir, is rumored to have been poisoned and Aniri is quick to rush to Seledri’s aid.


Fantasy, Airship, Mountains, Barbarians, War, Threats, Royalty, Duty, Romance, Duels, Intrigue, Secrets, Love, Alternate Reality, East Indian, Arranged Marriage

My Review:

The action in this book is tempered by the back and forth thoughts and feelings Aniri has for her marriage. If you have ever felt the butterflies and reservations of an engagement, you are sure to sympathize with Aniri. Or is she just being childish? It’s interesting to watch her try to push her personal troubles aside to help her sister, when those troubles follow her around everywhere she goes. She cannot escape her own fate, her own feelings, or the feelings of her soon-to-be-husband.

I really liked how the plot unfolded in Samir with Seledri’s husband, Aniri’s father, and the ever intrusive ex-courtesan. His re-introduction into this story made me roll my eyes, but he added so much more tension than Aniri could ever create just by herself.

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services Inc. on June 30th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Website


Book Review: Black Poodle Over Seven Hills by Victoria Bastedo


Black Poodle Over Seven Hills by Victoria Bastedo

A Contemporary Romance novel published by Satin Romance (10/18/2016)


Soubrette offered to transport a high-end black poodle to Seattle in exchange for a free ticket to a new life, but when the owner’s cousin shows up instead of the owner, Soubrette will have to follow up to make sure the puppy gets to the right home. The cousin, Timothy, is immediately taken with Soubrette (and the dog) and offers to show her around and help get her settled. This simple meet cute will take a turn when Soubrette’s left behind baggage arrives in Seattle and interferes with Soubrette’s new life and new relationship.


Seattle, Poodle, Romance, Friendship, New Place, Moving, Leaving Behind, Stalker, Bully, New Beginnings, Queen Anne, Tourist, New Job

My Review:

A simple, meet-cute novel full of witty dialogue set against the lovely hills of Seattle’s Queen Anne, Black Poodle Over Seven Hills was a charming fast read. Where does the titular poodle fit in? She brings Soubrette and Timothy together – not in the ‘can I pet your dog’ sense, but in quite a different manner altogether. An airport chase and mistaken identity isn’t that big of a deal for Soubrette since she is calm in the face of potential danger, but this first scene foreshadows the depths the plot will jump to after the main characters meet and grow their friendship.

Both Soubrette and Timothy were fully developed persons with interesting backstories. Never has the answer to the question “so what brings you to Seattle” been so intriguing. Soubrette is a lively and cheerful lady with spunk and wit to spare even in the face of the past that won’t stop clinging to her coattails. Seattle may offer a new start for her, but she can’t leave her past behind, it will just take a bit longer to catch up to her.

Soubrette is a great mixture of passive and active character. Even when bad things followed her around, she was able to use her strength of character to make her own way and bully her way around some fairly tight situations. She is no damsel in distress, but even she can’t win all her battles. And that’s where Timothy Marsh gets a chance to save the day. Both Timothy and soubrette are independent, but any time they are together you will just have to smile at their witty banter and camaraderie.

I received an ARC from the author.

This novel was published by Satin Romance 10/18/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 3.75


Links for more information:

On the web

SnoValley blog

Victoria Bastedo blog

Master of Machines (The Antigone’s Wrath Series Book 2) by Starla Huchton


Master of Machines (The Antigone’s Wrath Series Book 2) by Starla Huchton

A Steampunk-Adventure Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (02/16/16)


“Regrets are the realm of humanity, capitaine, not of machines.” (Kindle Location 3331).

The crew of the Antigone’s Wrath is almost all new, all with deep seated hate for the Brotherhood. All who are left are the Captain Rachel Sterling, Danton the Master at Arms, and one other sailor. To pick up this story, Rachel will need to get help from Silas Jensen again. It isn’t for her that she needs Silas, or is it?


Ship, Magic, Ship, Female Captain, Strength, Fighting, Ring, Gear Head, Lover, Danger, Killing, Technology, Secret Sect, Steampunk, Manipulation, Race, Romance

My Review:

Captain Rachel Sterling was as strong as ever in this second book, but she doesn’t always know herself. I love the way she was commanding as a leader, a true pirate, and able to use every resource available to her to get what she wanted (even wearing a corset!).

This is a steampunk story that doesn’t throw difficult language in your face or too much in the way technically/scientifically. This is a steampunk story for everybody. It truly has a story because the Antigone’s Wrath must race time to get what they want and there are plenty of obstacles in the way!

I appreciated how Huchton acknowledges the shortcomings of the culture while still staying true to the world that we’re familiar with and showing an ideal female role model and how we would like our world to be even if it is not. For example, Captain Sterling says, “The world is filled with misogyny. I find it’s more useful to appreciate and reward kindness than acknowledge and battle every insult.” (Kindle Locations 898-899).

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on February 16th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website


Book Review: The Treemakers by Christina L. Rozelle


The Treemakers by Christina L. Rozelle

A Dystopian/Sci-Fi Adventure Novel published by A Spark in the Dark Press (12/03/14)

This review brought to you by Silverbow Promotions Tour



“To be strong in the face of weakness,’ I begin. ‘This is something our sister, Abrilynne, and our brother, Miguel, taught me. To smile, though there’s pain. To laugh, though there’s sorrow. To love, no matter what. And to forgive.” (Page 206).

The Tree Factory. It sounds hopeful, but it isn’t. Inside the walls of the factory are Bygonne’s orphans and they have been forgotten by all but the evil Superiors who work the children to their death. The trees are meant to keep the dying outside world alive with fresh oxygen while inside the factory the children are dying and enslaved. One of the olders, Momma Joy, takes it upon herself to find a way to free them all. No matter where you look it’s a hard life. The world outside has suffocated under the heat and poisonous air. The world underground harbors monsters and killer beasts. The world in between is full of those who seek freedom and survival. It is there that Joy must bring her precious sisters and brothers and it is there that more hardships will be encountered.



 Factory, Orphans, Survival, Death, Exploration, Dystopian World, Polluted Air, Evil Intentions, AI, Motherliness, Help, Underground, Paradise, Fighting, Strength, Resilience, Spirit


My Review:

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this review.

The world Rozelle has created is a mix between dystopian/fantasy/futuristic/jurassic/etc. She has pulled so many intriguing elements into the world of The Treemakers that every new part of it is fascinating and alive. The Treemakers doesn’t just take place in the factory, but moves among different environments that are each unique and mesmerizing in their own way. Not only is the environment a slight twist on the familiar, but the characters and the story and the depth involved contain their own twists.

The setup was well-written and instantly pulled the reader into the otherworldly dystopian setting. But Rozelle didn’t stop there, she went further. She pushed the boundaries of the world she created and the genres the novel falls under. This book kept surprising me with the layers upon layers that unwrapped and interconnected to the end.

Though I found the romance both distracting and unnecessary, I didn’t think it inappropriate and thought it only logical in the book. It’s always mildly disturbing for young children to be flirting and reproducing, but in a dystopian future where not many reach over 30 years, it’s perfectly natural and the only way to continue the line of humanity.

This novel was published by A Spark in the Dark Press on December 3rd, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.


TL;DR Star Rating: 4.5


Links for more information:

Christina L. Rozelle’s Website

Christina L. Rozelle on Twitter


About the author:

Christina L. Rozelle

Christina L. Rozelle, author of the YA Dystopian-Scifi-Romance-Adventure, “The Treemakers,” is a mother of four currently residing in Dallas, Texas. She enjoys fiction that shines a light in the dark; has emotion, intensity, verve, depth, and truth. She writes what she’d love to read. Though her focus is currently YA speculative fiction, she dabbles in other genres as well, including adult speculative, fantasy, addiction/recovery fiction, and other general fiction. To find out more about her, as well as links to her other social media outposts, please visit her fan-site: