Review Roundup: Rising From The Ashes

It’s time for another review roundup. Today, I’m reviewing three books that have themes dealing with redemption. This is a theme I enjoy a great deal, having risen from the ashes myself a few times.

Let’s get started.

The Devil and Preston Black

by Jason Jack Miller

The Devil and Preston Black

Preston Black is an orphan who knew neither of his parents growing up. At 27, he’s in a rock band, desperately wants to be famous, but feels like he’s on a path to destruction. Nothing ever pans out for Preston. It all ends in a pile of ashes and regret.

On the same day he meets a strange but beautiful woman, Preston discovers a song his father might have recorded. Equally obsessed with the song and the woman, Preston embarks on a quest of self discovery. Little does he know he’s playing for keeps. One object of his desire could be his salvation. The other could destroy him forever. Can Preston can redeem himself and advance his musical career or will the devil win?

I loved Preston Black’s voice. Mr. Miller did a fine job of making me want to find out what happened to him. The novel itself reminded me a lot of the song “To Beat the Devil.” But not the way Johnny Cash sang it. Instead, this novel plays out like Kris Kristofferson’s original, stripped down, rough, and beautiful. I could hear the music, smell the absinthe, and feel Preston’s frustration.

Purchase Info:


(At this time this post was published, this novel was FREE. It won’t be that way for long, though.)


The Monarch

by Shannon Esposito

The Monarch

Anne Serafini has a knack for being in bad places at bad times. After surviving a brutal attack, she lands on Anna Marie Island in Florida. Amidst the calming waters of the ocean and the friendly locals, Anne begins to heal. But she finds that fate is not finished with her. A serial killer is loose on the island.

This novel has a semi-supernatural element. Anne Serafini is last in a long line of woman blessed with psychic gifts. All died by the age of twenty-eight, and Anne is only a few weeks away from her twenty-eigth birthday. Will Anne make it? Or can she stop the killer?

Anne is an easy character to like. She’s survived a huge trauma and is running from fate. But it finds her anyway. She proves herself to be resourceful and smart and shows she can overcome adversity. The secondary characters, especially Sam, were finely drawn and believable.

The setting was just heavenly. It was obviously a place with which the author is familiar.

Purchase Info:


Barnes & Noble

In Heaven’s Shadow

by Matthew Bryan


This is an urban fantasy fans of Supernatural might enjoy.

Hell has a new boss, and she’s meaner and uglier than the original one. Hell’s new ruler plans to storm Heaven using the souls of the damned as foot soldiers.

M’Kai, a demon who never really got into the job, decides to risk his life to stop her. He joins forces with a band of exiled angels designated to protect mankind. This novel is full of great fight scenes, scary monsters, and tough as nails warriors. It’s a very exciting story.

M’Kai’s bravery and selflessness are heartwarming and thought provoking. Aside from M’Kai, the novel is full of lovable characters. The world building is interesting and unique.

In Heaven’s Shadow is first in a series, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the story unfold.

Purchase info:


Barnes & Noble

That’s it for today. I hope you’ll take the time to check out one ore more of these great books.

Still looking for something interesting to read? Check out JoAnn Bassett’s post about the popularity of Spam (the canned meat) in Hawaii, complete with a couple of recipes.

Looking for something more creepy? Read Stacy Green’s post about emotional vampires. 


The first book in my Peri Jean Mace Ghost Thriller series is FREE right now. Click here to download it from a retailer.

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