Book Review: Killing Dragons (Order of the Dolphin Book 1) by Kristie Clark

Killing Dragons (Order of the Dolphin Book 1) by Kristie Clark

A Technothriller Novel published by Delphi Imprint, LLC (05/30/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC


‘”There’s something out there, Mel, and I don’t think it cares what we call it.”‘ (Location 3088 of 5743, Kindle Edition).

Eva Paz has to show progress on her dolphin communication research before she loses her grant. Surrounded by the ocean on a tropical island, something else is lurking in the water. Legends talk about a sea dragon but Eva Paz believes in science. When this mysterious creature attacks one of her lead dolphins, Eva’s research will have to be set aside until they can figure out what’s going on and stop people and the sea life from getting hurt. Amidst the chaos in the ocean, Eva’s also dealing with the reappearance of an old flame, the creepy ex-drug lord, and the rich owner of the local large-scale operation fish farm who won’t take no for an answer.


Dolphins, Communication, Teaching, Parents, Friendship, Family, Marine Life, Swimming, Submarine, Boat, Yacht, Dolphin Communication, Marine Biology, Island, Genetics, eco-fiction

My Review:

Though Killing Dragons starts off slow, the interesting research on dolphin communication hooked me immediately. The topic felt well researched, though I know almost nothing about dolphins and dolphin communication. Eva may have described her research in technical terms but the author is able to explain what’s going on through visual details in a way that anyone could understand and enjoy. The chapters from the POV of the dolphin Taffy only add to the fascination of the technology and Eva’s research. I really enjoyed Clark’s imaginative and rich landscape of Roatan and the surrounding water life. Reading about the diving experience will make you want to try it for yourself, especially where there aren’t any sea monsters involved!

When the plot picks up speed, I had a hard time putting the book down. There were quite a few layers to the core conflict as well as some juicy subplots and hints that will be answered in book two of the series.

Each of the characters has their own rich backstory, even the dolphins have distinct personalities. The one character who isn’t in the story as much is Julian and I can’t wait to get more of his story and see more of his personality.

I didn’t care for the flashbacks that Thomas experiences. Though there is a tie-in for the flashbacks between Thomas, Eva, and another character, I didn’t feel like the payoff was worth it and this subplot thread could have been edited out.

The ending was nicely paced and quite satisfying, while still leaving some small subplot loose ends open for the second book in this series to answer.

All the interactions between Eva and Ignacio and Eva and the guy she dates had me on edge. The way that these entitled men treated her made me grind my teeth and I couldn’t wait for her to speak up. Eva is anything but a doormat and keeps getting put in the middle of sticky situations. She has to keep on her toes and carefully work herself out of these oftentimes dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. Eva is not a passive character, though sometimes her charge-ahead attitude puts her into even more dangerous situations!

If you are a fan of the Jurassic Park books by Michael Crichton and enjoy eco-fiction and/or thrillers, you will get a kick out of this novel about dolphins, fish farms, and a dangerous sea dragon.

This novel was published by Delphi Imprint, LLC on 05/30/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:


Kristie Clark’s Website

Online Retailers

Book Review: Dragon Gold (Order of the Dolphin Book 2) by Kristie Clark

Dragon Gold (Order of the Dolphin Book 2) by Kristie Clark

A Technothriller Novel published by Delphi Imprint, LLC (07/15/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC


Eva Paz is continuing to make breakthroughs in dolphin communication. She, along with the dolphins, is making great use out of the upgraded facility. The only problem is where she got the money to pay for the building and the man she took the money from is back to claim it. Julian, his megayacht, and his henchman waste no time and kidnap Eva’s mother and hold her as a ransom for the millions Eva took. The money is already spent but Eva won’t let that stop her from gathering her friends to stop her old nemesis and save her mother, the reef, and the natural order of the ocean.


Dolphins, Communication, Teaching, Parents, Friendship, Mother, Daughter, Revenge, Family, Marine Life, Swimming, Submarine, Boat, Yacht, Dolphin Communication, Marine Biology, Island, Genetics, eco-fiction

My Review:

Dragon Gold made me question what I knew about marine biology, genetics, submarines, and dolphins. The facts of the world that Clark builds are rich and persuasive. I would believe Lusca are real. Clark writes them in a more convincing way than any of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic series. The way Clark writes about dolphin communication and communication between dolphins and humans using imaging technology and playback is very exciting and kind of makes me want to work with dolphins. They are one of the smartest animals in the world after all! The opening scene depicts the practical usage of this partnership in a fresh and sensational way before being swept up in the main plot of the story.

The story was thrilling, full of action, and contained high stakes. Eva is more than capable of handling herself, but it will take a team to take down the bad guy. There is more than one moral to this story. Friends to the rescue! Though there were quite a few characters to keep track of, I felt like there was a balance to the amount of narrative time spent with the main characters, and really enjoyed the POV switching. The chapters told from the perspective of the dolphins added some fun and lightness to the heavy perils Eva and her family (and the reef at large) were facing.

Julian is the epitome of a villain and played his character perfectly. His right-hand henchman was even more vile than Julian and without much backstory, the reader can feel disgusted without any hint of pity for him. Julian, is more complex, and I really enjoyed the chapters from his POV. If at first, he had clear and virtuous reasons for creating what are ultimately sea monsters, but he quickly devolves into a madman and the perfect supervillain to hate.

The book was well-paced and a very fun read. It will appeal to readers who enjoy eco-fiction and/or thrillers. There is even some romance to round out the layers of this book.

My favorite part about this story, though, was the dolphins. They are the coolest part of the book, especially Cleo and the role she plays. She is able to follow multi-step directions and during her POV chapters, she shows her ability to think through problems. For readers who love reading horse books, they may get a kick out of the Order of the Dolphin books.

This novel was published by Delphi Imprint, LLC on 07/15/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.5

Links for more information:


Kristie Clark’s Website

Online Retailers

Book Review: The Tchaikovsky by E G Sergoyan

The Tchaikovsky by E G Sergoyan

A Mystery/Thriller Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (11/16/16)


Diane is not thrilled to be representing Dr. Moon in court again, but at least the case is interesting. Dr. Moon is accused of kidnapping a young girl. The case should be cut and dried, but according to Dr. Moon, he had to take the girl to an audition across state lines so that she could play The Tchaikovsky violin Concerto in D major in order to release her late music teacher from possession of her body. And Dr. Moon is a psychic.


Violin, Possession, Erhu, Tradition, Tchaikovsky, Obsession, Perfection, Music, Lawyers, Accusations, Psychic, Accusations, Frustration, Ghost, Spirit, Con Artist, Trial

My Review:

What a story! It didn’t take long to suck me into this story. The buildup and pacing was phenomenal and the characters were so interesting and compelling. The magical realism/unearthly/ghostly part of the story wasn’t overwhelming or unusual in its treatment.

I loved the back and forth opinions on Dr. Moon. Is he a con artist or is he the real deal? Do people believe in spirits, ghosts, and possession? What is really wrong with Jane? Though I didn’t wish for Jane to be plagued by anything, I was amused that the drugs prescribed by a ‘real’ doctor weren’t working for her and made everything worse.

Diane and Dr. Moon’s relationship was interesting and I loved their first encounter on the street. Both characters, and all the other characters in fact felt full, real and well-developed.

The ending was amazing and I loved how the author handled the subplots of the story. Everything came together so remarkably!

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 11/16/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

E.G. Sergoyan’s Website

Nano November: Halloween and other Costumed Parties

Remember all my costumes from 2015?

Zombie Waldo made an appearance with a second zombie Waldo this year for Thrill the World in Redmond, WA on Saturday the 28th! This time, with two of us – we took home second place.

We had a few zombie cocktails! Marriot had a fun cocktail with dyed sugar and skull candies, but my favorite tasting cocktail was from BJ’s – the Beetlejuice (like a Tokyo tea). Thanks to Pecado Bueno for the excellent chicken tacos we got (free) with the Thrill the World coupons. See the official video Here.

One of my dance studios had a party Friday October 27th and I went with my sister. I had on two costumes. Do you know who I am?


The final celebrations took place on Halloween! I dressed up as a lion with my sister and we visited some of our old childhood homes as trick or treaters.


As a National Novel Writing Participant, Halloween has become even more of an event for me as at the end of the night kickoff begins. I, however, was asleep by 11pm

Local Event Alert! Thrill the World Redmond Town Center, WA 10/28 at 3pm!

October 28th at the Redmond Town Center

11:00am to 3:30pm

Worldwide Simultaneous Dance of
Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ at 3:00pm

Event Schedule

11:00am Event Opens – Dance Registration Check-In, Photo booth, Zombie Makeup/Zombification Zones
12:00pm Live Music: Ricky Venture Review, Seattle’s premier variety dance band
12:45pm Adult Costume Contest Adult First Round
1:15pm More Live Music from Ricky Venture Review
1:45pm Youth Costume Contest
2:15pm More Live Music from Ricky Venture Review
2:30pm Dancer Registration Check-in Closes
2:45pm Dancers Assemble in Center Court for the Check Presentation
3:00pm “THRILL THE WORLD” World-wide Simultaneous Dance
3:10pm Zombie March, Sign Out and Certificate Pick Up


Book Review: Mildred In Disguise: With Diamonds by Toni Kief

Mildred In Disguise: With Diamonds by Toni Kief

A Contemporary Fiction Novel published through Toni Kief/Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest (03/28/17)


Mildred knew that stepping into the casino would bring up memories of her late husband’s gambling debts, but at 71-years old, she needs a job. The casino is close and hiring. Instead of working as a cashier, she is chosen to work undercover. Her career as a meter maid has only prepared her for some of what she’s in store for with this new job.


Casino, 71-Year Old, Grandma, Theft, Retirement, Undercover, Danger, Disguise, Police

My Review:

What a whirlwind! I never expected to read a book where the main character was over 70 and still running around getting into trouble! It was neat reading a book with a character you don’t normally see as the main character. Mildred is a great blend of sarcastic, witty, humorous, and get-it-done undercover detective. Her disguises are hilarious.

The story was fully fledged and the mystery was layered. Mildred got her share of bruises during her investigations, but also stepped down when the big guys were needed to catch the bad guys.

I loved the insights into a large Casino and the life of an older and semi-retired lady.

This novel was published through Toni Kief/Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest on 03/28/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:


Toni Kief’s Website

Book Review: The EvoAngel by Ellen King Rice

The EvoAngel by Ellen King Rice

A Mystery/Thriller Novel published by Undergrowth Publishing (02/16/16)


Edna is known as the mushroom lady. She mostly keeps to herself, except when the community comes to her for help. That was years ago, but Edna is still affected by a ‘cure’ she used on local cows. Can mushrooms change your DNA? Edna’s feathers may be evidence, but her daughter and granddaughter are also special. It only takes one glance for an aggressive physician to want to investigate this phenomenon and she will stop at nothing to get her answers.


Mushrooms, Science, Biology, Genetics, Fungi, Thriller, Feathers, Clinic, Murder, Evolution, DNA, University, Field Trip, Ambition, Activation, Family History, Pacific Northwest

My Review:

I liked the POV’s chosen: Theodora, Grace, Edna, etc. I loved how the main story was interwoven throughout their individual stories and the paths they took intertwining with each other’s ambitions and desires. Dr. Band’s POV was especially intriguing as she’s unlike anyone you ever want to meet. I noticed a few chapters did not maintain POV consistency (head hopping), but this did not detract from my understanding of what was going on and though I noticed, I was not bothered by it.

Just like Ready Player One is stuffed to the gills with 80’s pop culture references, EvoAngel is chocked full of science – particularly biology and fungi knowledge. At times it became overwhelming and is not necessary for the understanding of the plot and so I skimmed a bit, but if you’re looking to further your knowledge, then you’ll absolutely be thrilled to read this book.

The quotes at the chapter beginnings were interesting and applicable and I read every word (I’m prone to skipping this kind of thing). I loved every quote that Rice chose.

I thought that the kids – Dylan especially – didn’t talk or act like kids. I understand he’s supposed to be a prodigy of sorts, but at 12 years old he shouldn’t be able to fend off a menacing adult.

This novel was published by Undergrowth Publishing on 02/16/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Ellen King Rice’s Website


Book Review: The Sometimes Burglar by Winifred Morris


The Sometimes Burglarby Winifred Morris

A Romantic Comedy Novella published by Eastside Gal Publishing (12/27/16)



“Most people would never guess I’m sometimes an ethical burglar.” (Kindle Location 211).

Emma’s a research psychologist who burgles to pay back her student debt, but sometimes she mails back the sentimental items. She’s sometimes an ethical burglar. She never bungles a burglary, but she has a hard time dating because she’s the nerdy, smart woman. The one time she keeps evidence from a job, she gets caught up in something far worse than petty theft, but at least she’ll get to talk with a handsome lawyer!


Burglary, Evidence, Incriminating Evidence, Student, Psychology, Humorous, Romance, Lawyer, Laptop, Technology, Dirty Politician

My Review:

With wit and humor, Winnifred Morris has written another entertaining story. Her main character is an oxymoron: an ethical burglar. Emma is so much more than these two characteristics. She’s a bit dissociative from everyday emotions, making her a fascinating character. Emma wants to understand humanity in order to fix social problems. As a reader I want to understand Emma.

When her gay friend Merlin leaves Emma alone with a new problem to solve, she’ll thrust herself headlong into the challenge because it doesn’t occur to her that she could get in over her head. Cue sexy lawyer and Emma will get so far involved that she won’t be able to back out. I loved how it never even occurred to her that she needed help. She involved the lawyer because she could, not because she needed to.

Though this story is under 40k words, it still felt like a full novel with fleshed out characters and plot, intrigue and complexity.

I received an ARC of this story.

This novel was published by Eastside Gal Publishing on December 27th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75


Links for more information:

Winifred Morris’s website


Book Review: Alone In The Darkness by Matthew Buza


Alone In The Darkness by Matthew Buza

A Suspense/Thriller Novel published by Buza (04/13/16)


Steven owes a debt he cannot repay by himself and he only has a few hours to come up with the money. The only solution is to take it, but the person Steven decides to rob becomes entangled in his problems. Now it’s a fight to survive.


Kidnapping, Crime, Suspense, Thriller, Drugs, Violence, Poverty, Debt, Fighting, Brave, Danger, Innocence, Bartender, Robbery

My Review:

This story was short and gritty. It reminded me of Breaking Bad with its in depth details on drug production, but within the low end of society. I was shocked at some of these details – like the druggie house. I felt like I learned a lot about drugs, drug runners, drug houses, etc. The story did get weighed down at times with these details, but they were fairly fascinating.

This short novel kept me in suspense and I had mild anxiety throughout the entire story as I waited to find out how the kidnapping would resolve. Would she make it out? Would she get the help she needed in time or would she figure a way out on her own? There were just enough obstacles to keep the plot realistic and moving forward.

This novel was published by Buza on April 13th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Matthew Buza’s Website




Nano November: Hallonanoween and other Costumed Parties


IMG_0673 apttw-65_215-797x1024 IMG_0680

I love costumes! My first “Halloween” costume of 2015 was my zombie Waldo for Thrill the World Redmond, WA. Though I didn’t win any prizes, I got to practice my zombie stare/zombie grunts/zombie walk/ and perform the Thriller with a bunch of other thrillingly dressed zombies. I also helped volunteer for the event. I plan on doing it all again next year!

Paul and Rachel made up as Derick Zoolander and Mugatu for a costume party.

For the Black Cat Bash in Seattle Studio 7 Paul and I dressed as Derek Zoolander and Mugatu. No, we didn’t win any costume contests here either, but we had such a fun time! It was a fun costume to craft and I love couple’s costumes!

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The third celebration was at Liquid Lime on 10/28, where I wore this funky number!

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The fourth and fourth and final celebrations took place on Halloween! As a National Novel Writing Participant, Halloween has become even more of an event for me as at the end of the night our kickoff begins. This year, as I’m in three different regions, I went to the kickoff party for Everett/Snohomish on Halloween during the day. The Hallonanoween celebration at St. James saw the second viewing of my donuts costume for the official Seattle event.

20151031_112343 20151031_StJames_1

I also wore the costume for the Time Warp re-kickoff for North Bend/Snoqualmie on the first of November at Fall City Roadhouse. I will wear this outfit to EVERY write in I attend! Yes to getting full money’s worth out of a sub ten dollar costume!

Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy

Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy