Mermaid Seas: Discovery

by John Irvin

A commentary by John Irvin


“From the look on her angelic face, it was a message of warning.” –Mermaid Seas: Discovery

As promised, I’m going to take this first Friday for my blog review and talk about one of my own works. Mermaid Seas: Discovery is the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy. Right now it is only found through Kindle, but there are plans for an in-print version soon.

Cameron Weatherall recently joined the Confederate States Army and is shipped to Ft. McRree near Pensacola, Florida. His heart isn’t in the war, he longs for something else. It’s as if he were born for another world.

When he sees the mermaid and understands her frantic message, it’s up to him to save the ship.

Upon arrival at the Fort, the soldier in gray is on a mission to figure out if he’d only been daydreaming or if mermaid mythology is reality.

mermaid seas discovery

Will the two befriend each other? Will Cameron make it out of the oncoming battle alive? What is the life-changing decision that the mermaid offers and he must make? Can two people from two totally different worlds fall in love and be happy? Click this link to go check it out: Mermaid Seas Discovery.

As a side note, I am required to inform you that my links provided are affiliate links to the said products. Hey, I’ve got to pay the bills somehow. I hope this is understandable!

Relentless by Robin Parrish

Published by Bethany House Publisers

A review by John Irvin


“Collin Boyd stepped off the Metro bus on his way to work, and across the street he saw himself strolling down the sidewalk.” –Relentless by Robin Parrish

The first installation to a spine-tingling, hair-raising, nerve-gripping trilogy, Relentless is what I would call a sci-fi thriller. Grant Borrows is Shifted. What does that mean? It means, in the tic between heartbeats, his entire identity is altered.

He no longer looks like himself, talks like himself. Even more, the changes are deeper than skin-level. He now has powers and abilities that might get the better of him.

Next thing Grant knows, he’s whisked into a global conspiracy based on an ancient prophecy seven thousand years old. Both friend and foe locate him, trying to pull him in every direction.

What everyone—including Grant—doesn’t realize: you don’t want to push him over the line. Bad things happen. I mean, really bad things.


Let me say, I grabbed this book off the shelf several years ago just out of sheer chance it seems. Next thing I knew, I was yanked into a shattering world right along with Grant Burrows. I can safely say, I always ended up sitting on the edge of my sit whenever I read this book—all the way to the end.

            The emotional experience took me to the heights of awe and the valleys of depression—in a good way. If a book doesn’t make you cry or laugh at least once, it’s not a good book. This one had me gripping the cover and flipping the pages.

            If you enjoy a fiction even Ted Dekker praised—if you love hero’s journeys complete with conspiracies, sword-wielding assassins, prophecies of doom, people with mental powers of all varieties, click this link to go buy: Relentless by Robin Parrish.

As a side note, I am required to inform you that my links provided are affiliate links to the said products. Hey, I’ve got to pay the bills somehow. I hope this is understandable!

DemonWars First Heroes Saga of the First King By R.A. Salvatore

Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

A review by John Irvin


“He looked at Bransen for a long, long time, then barely believed his own words as he said, ‘Get out of Pryd.’”—The Highwayman, First Heroes

            This specific volume actually includes the first two books of a tetrology set in R.A. Salvatore’s land of Corona: The Highwayman and The Ancient. Starting off as a despised cripple who slaves for a group of priests, the Highwayman discovers magical stones that aide him in straightening his body, giving him superhuman abilities.

            Battle for the lands are two opposing religions, various monsters like goblins and powries who love human flesh, and a subtle hope that maybe tyranny would be vanquished.

            With his new powers and a sword at his side, the Highwayman is on a quest. Is it for justice or vengeance? He must look inside himself to discover his true reasons and his purpose in the world.

demonwars saga of the first king

During his travels, Bransen Garibond—the Highwayman—is tricked to take a journey across the Gulf of Corona to a vile land called Vanguard. Will he survive?

            I enjoyed these first two installments in the Saga of the First King and would recommend them to any high fantasy readers. I felt like I was taken along on an adventure, being gifted with tours of these new realms. The hero also jumped out at me. The fact that he did not start off as some invulnerable, unflawed character was refreshing. Then to have him discover the powers and go on to use them for good was impressive.

            The writing is deep, but not slow as some older works are. If you’ve ever seen Princess Bride and know how amazing that film is, you will definitely enjoy this book—it’s even deeper than ROUSs and a swordsman out for vengeance against a six-fingered man. Click this link to go buy: DEMONWARS: SAGA OF THE FIRST KING.

As a side note, I am required to inform you that my links provided are affiliate links to the said products. Hey, I’ve got to pay the bills somehow. I hope this is understandable!

Magic Bites (A Kate Daniels Novel) by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites

Ace Books

A review by John Irvin


“I gave him my best cryptic smile. He did not fall down to his feet, kiss my shoes, and promise me the world. I must be getting rusty.” –Kate Daniels

Kate Daniels—mercenary, assassin, paranormal agent, to name a few vocations—has a few rusty and jagged edges. Living in Atlanta, Georgia in a world where Magic and Tech battle for control over the Earth will do that to a person. But, even with her tough-girl outer persona, Kate has an inner sense of humor that pops out without notice. The authors developed a strong, saber-wielding heroine for this series.

Like any outstanding paranormal fantasy should, the story begins with a vampire giving Kate Daniels a mission to uncover the mystery behind the murder of a knight-diviner, Greg Feldman—her former-Guardian.

Her quest of vengeance puts her in the middle of an all-encompassing war between the Pack—a ring of hundreds of shape-shifters led by one called the Beast Lord—and the Masters of the Dead, the mind-navigators of the vampires, otherwise known as necromancers.

Going head-on with the Beast Lord, Curran, Kate Daniels finds in him an unlikely ally and, possibly, an unlikely romance. Though their words seem to portray an acidic contempt for each other, there is this smoldering heat underlying their actions.

The story—though fantastic—is believable and the characters seem to jump off the page and act out their scenes right there in the room with the reader. Instilling them with their own back stories that are only uncovered over the course of the plot, giving them obvious emotional baggage, Ilona Andrews did a superb job in creating living beings.

If you are into dark fantasy like me, maybe even have a thing for strong female characters, then this will easily become one of your all-time favourite series! Click this link to go buy: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews.

As a side note, I am required to inform you that my links provided are affiliate links to the said products. Hey, I’ve got to pay the bills somehow. I hope this is understandable!

The Struggle is Real and Now My Plans

            Have you ever had a dream career? Has life seemed to throw every single obstacle you could think and then some at you? Almost as if the Universe doesn’t want you to achieve this wonderful dream.

            Well, you’re not the only one. There is literally a world out there of over 7 and a half billion people—I think it is safe to say, at least 99% of those people have dreams they’d love to see come true.

            Thing is, I also think it safe to say, only maybe 45% of those individuals actually try doing something about it.

            But then life gets in the way. They doubt, they feel like the struggle is just too hard. One after the other give up, settling for a life or a career that is “okay” or worse “something they hate” but what can you do, right?

            If this is you, my friend? Please, by all that is good and true in this world, get back up. Ever watch the old Disney cartoon, Bambi? About the deer whose father was the “Great Prince”? Remember when Bambi was older and he got hurt from a dog attack and the forest was burning all around him thanks to some hunter’s accident? Remember what the Great Prince kept saying to him? “Get up, Bambi! You must get up! Get up!”

            Remember this line, my friend, when Life beats you down over and over again. You must always get up, never give up. I don’t care if you can’t run anymore, I don’t care if you can’t even walk. Crawl. Whatever you do, don’t lie there wallowing in self-pity.

            Believe me, I know how easy that is! I’m going to be personal with you, one dreamer to the other. I struggle with depression every day, I’ve struggled with it all my life. I go through these phases where I feel like the world is against me and I wonder why? I’ve tried to be good to everyone, tried to show each person in my life that I love them. But I make mistakes and I feel like I’m this horrible, rotten person who doesn’t deserve “the good life.”

            But then, one of those friends or family members does or says something that reminds me, I am loved.

            There is still good in this world.

            You can be the greatest version of yourself!

            There is a way to beat those depressing, life-sucking thoughts. Don’t believe them for one. For two, spend more time with people who love you and want the best for you. Three, realise, yes, you make mistakes. You’re human. You’re allowed to make mistakes, so long as you learn from them. Call them lessons from now on. Whenever you “fail” at something, or something bad happens to you, whether caused by another person or something else, call it a lesson. Learn from these lessons and eventually, you will be who you were meant to be.

            When chasing that dream career, whenever life throws a wrench in the works or an obstacle for you to stumble over, pause—rest, you need rest—ask what you can learn from this. Every issue can be solved, every problem fixed, all it takes is the desire to learn and figure it out.

            That’s part of chasing your dream, a love of exploration. We don’t know everything, but that’s what life is about. It’s one big school! It’s about what we pick up or leave behind on this great big journey.

            Don’t give up, my friend, get up, learn from the lesson, and fight harder. It will get tougher. You feel like all your life consists of is the struggle. You will get tired. But keep going. I know that sounds so cliché, but it is so true! Five years from now, you will want to write yourself at this time, thanking yourself for not giving up.

            I felt like my first post for this new blog of mine should focus on encouraging my readers. I may not know you yet, but I love you already. I hope I have inspired you in some way. Enjoy this day, grab a cup of coffee or tea, whatever is your choice beverage. Go outside and enjoy the beautiful day. Or if it is raining where you’re at, stay inside and read a good book. Or, if you’re like me, try dancing in the rain—not too long, you have to stay healthy and extended periods in the rain can make one vulnerable to the common cold sadly.

Whatever you decide, take your mind off of the worries and anxieties for a moment, give yourself something good. Your body, soul, and mind need this in order to prepare for the hard work ahead.

            Yes, it’ll be hard. Nothing great is ever easy. That’s the thrill of it all. When everything starts seeming impossible, that’s when you know you are on the right path!

I’ve been reading books on blogging and how people love reviews. The ideas have collided and formed a plan for my website/blog.

            Of course, as you can see on this website, I’m an author of my own books and even have a library on the taskbar above. I hope you have been able to read some of my books and enjoyed them. I hope that’s why you’ve returned to my lowly little website.

            But as a fiction writer—and as stated in the previous blog—I enjoy reading. I’d say I’m in the top 100 of the world’s most-avid book lovers. Having reached about a tenth the 4,000 volume personal library I plan for, I think that can attest to I am a professed bibliophile.

            That being said, thanks to the aide of the blogging books I’ve been reading, I will henceforth turn my blog into a book review!

            I hope you are as excited as I am!

            I love books and I believe being a blogger I should focus on my passion. Otherwise I’m falling short of my purpose in life. I’m not only disappointing the Universe, but more importantly, I’m disappointing you. If we don’t share our passions in this life, then we’ve wasted it.

            So, this being said, I’ve already been pre-writing reviews for books I’ve already read. I will make this first promise, that any books I write reviews for, I will require myself to have already experienced them.

            Also, that being said, everyone has their own tastes when it comes to the various arts. So not all my reviews may be on your favourite genres—then again, they might, which would mean you and I are kindred spirits.

            But, I do want to include everybody, at least in the fiction realm. But there are plenty of genres in that domain in the first place.

            Now, this will become one of my sources of income. Basically, the links I’ll be providing in each review will be affiliate links. For those who don’t know what affiliate links are, let me explain.

            Most businesses today have affiliate programs, it helps with advertising. People like me sign up for their program and we write reviews on certain products for them. For this work, they share a small percentage with us if the product is bought through the links we provide.

            We are required by law to inform you of our usage of affiliate links. I will be giving that little alert at the end of each blog from now on. Now, yes, you could be like one of those people out there—they do exist—and simply open another tab after reading my review to buy the product. This way I get no percentage of the sale. You could do this. Not sure why, but you could.

            All right, I hope this article is clear and understandable. Short version: I am now a book review blogger! It’s official.

If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, click here. You will also get a free pdf copy of my short story Dark Moon: Son of Paradise, exclusive to those who sign up. I promise not to spam your email too. I hate spam. So I’ll only send the newsletter out two or three times a week—but I will be writing a blog review every single day!

I look forward to sharing my passions and reviews with you!