Peyton Garver: Author and Reviewer of Young Adult Novels 

What better backdrop for a story about love and art, than Paris? Having lived in France and frequented Paris, Hotzon’s vivid descriptions brought back so many nostalgic memories for me. I found the eloquent narration captivating, and it was easy to get wrapped up in the raw emotions of the main character, Elise in this bittersweet love story. Hotzon’s story is eloquently narrated in a close third person mostly in the perspective of Elise. I like how the story begins with an elder Elise and takes the reader back to her days as an art student in Paris where she is transported back in time to the 19th century where she happens upon Michel, a master artist of the period. You will feel for all that was lost, even though there is a satisfying ending.  .

When Planets Fall by Abby Reed is based on three combative nations, one of which is human, that exist on the planet Scarlatti. Breaker, the hero, is a human amputee who had lost his leg in an earlier conflict with the warlike Huron. When the story commences, Breaker is an adolescent who is steadfast, persistent, and loyal to a fault. Melani, the heroine, is a conflicted character, strong, yet vulnerable at times. Although human, she doesn’t identify with the more primitive community of humans and feels as though the Elik are her people. We learn early on that, although not completely accepted by them, her allegiance is with the Elik, a technologically advanced population of humanlike species. She is disturbed and torn by her developing feelings toward Breaker, the human who helps her escape from her Huron captors and promises to help her return to the Elik. When a series of events causes tension to escalate between the three nations, can Breaker’s chance discovery, and Melani’s hidden secret, help them avoid total destruction that would surely accompany an all-out war?
Narrated in beautifully written prose, When Planets Fall is character driven and told in perspectives of the main characters through their own chapters, effectively sharing their deepest feelings. The story was predictable enough to make the story coherent and engaging. You know, the way you get when you have that, “Aha, I knew it!” moment and you’re all proud of yourself? Yet, there were still some surprises. It was a good balance and a solid, intriguing story. The ending was a bit abrupt for me, leaving me hopeful for a sequel. And, by the looks of the title, Stars Fall Circle #1, it looks as if a sequel may already be in the works. Can't wait!

Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton? Move over—make way for Abbie Roads! Ms. Roads masterfully unravels this thrilling sci-fi tale of horror in Race the Darkness. Tormented by his gift, Lathan has self-isolated from all social contact. His gift? Reliving the memories of others through his overdeveloped olfactory senses. Sensory stimuli has long been associated with memories, but Ms. Roads takes it to the next level when she immerses the reader into the psyche of criminal minds through Lathan’s abilities. By chance, or destiny, Lathan is united with Evanee and becomes her protector. When Evanee’s dreams turn to nightmares, and the nightmares become tangible, they soon realize that alone they are broken, but together they thrive. This masterpiece By Abbie Roads will surely be the next best seller in its genre.