Monday, December 31, 2018

"Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Cat Magic"
by Lydia Sherrer

This is a novella in the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus series featuring Sir Edgar Allan Kipling.” He is the magical feline companion of Lily Singer, a human wizard who is employed as a library Archivist.

This tale was told from Sir Kipling’s point of view (or Kip, as he is often called). He takes his responsibilities of protecting his human and her belongings very seriously. When Lily has left for a few days on a trip where she cannot bring Kip along with her, he finds himself in the midst of a small adventure protecting the Library from a few evil beings determined to steal something from the magical portion of the Library. Clearly they didn’t realize that while the wizard may be gone, Sir Edward Allan Kipling is more than capable of protecting things in her absence.

I really enjoyed this story. While it is not the first book in the series, as a standalone novella it does a very good job of introducing us to the characters in the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus series. It does not matter if this is the first book in the series that you have read or not. This book makes for a good introduction point for readers who are new to the series.

It was a fun adventure tale told from the cat’s perspective and very easily explains many of the reasons behind many of their feline behaviors as well as this particular cat’s thought processes and his magical abilities. I thought it was a very enjoyable book and am looking forward to reading more of the books in this series. I believe others will enjoy reading it too.

Monday, December 24, 2018

"Batgirl at Super Hero High" by Lisa Yee

Barbara Gorden, the daughter of Commissioner Gorden has secretly longed to attend Super Hero High with her best friend Supergirl. The problem is, though Barbara is extremely smart and capable, she doesn’t possess any super powers. How can she be a superhero without any sort of special abilities?

But when Supergirl is named the “Hero of the Month” she makes it known that she couldn’t have done it without the help of Batgirl. It was then that Barbara realizes that while she has no powers of her own, she creates all sorts of tech that can help her do the job that she longs to do. She could be a hero and attend Super Hero High herself. But there is one more problem that she would have to overcome before that can happen. Her father. He knows how dangerous being a crime fighter is and doesn’t want to allow his daughter to be constantly in the line of fire. Can she find a way to change his mind and convince him that being a superhero is what she is truly meant to do?

I realize that this book is meant for much younger readers than I am, but it is still an enjoyable story with a very inspiring message for younger readers. It does have a few fun moments that I think are directed at older folks who happen to be reading it with their kids. If you have ever seen any of the Batman TV show episodes from the 1960’s, you’ll enjoy the subtle references to the show. Those references are not so overwhelming as to confuse younger readers who may not have ever seen them, but are merely something that amused me when they popped up in the text.

I have read a couple of the Super Hero High Books so far, and I think that many will appreciate them, especially younger girls who are looking for something inspiring to read as well as those who enjoy comic book stories, They are quick, easy to read chapter books that I believe many will enjoy. Recommended.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"Parallax Book Three:
Silent Crossings" by Marina Landry

Since the death of her husband several years earlier, Rebeka Patin has been working to aid the resistance fighters in secret; her name known to the UPG and the rebels only as Bluray. Under this identity, she has successfully managed to help a great number of people without anyone realizing who the seemingly empty-headed young party planner to the rich and powerful truly was.

But all of her hard work to protect both her identity and that of her family members becomes almost certainly undone when she stumbles upon something she wasn’t meant to be in the middle of, and finds herself accidentally injured and taken along with a man who is desperately wanted by the UPG as he escapes to Earth on his own mission to aid the rebels.

Beka needs to find a way to get back to the station without suspicion being put upon her and she needs to do it quickly. But when she and Jon manage to get lost in the woods while trying to hide from the UPG officers seeking them, can they find their way to a friendly town that has a doctor who is able to treat Beka’s injuries without getting caught and before they starve to death?

I very much enjoyed reading this book, just as I have the previous two in the series. The story that Ms. Landry has woven is quite captivating and has held my interest completely. This time around she did not leave us with a cliffhanger for an ending, but instead has given us a very interesting preview to tease us with for her next book. This has been a very entertaining science fiction series so far and I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

Monday, December 17, 2018

"Miss Kane's Christmas"
by Caroline Mickelson

Carol Claus, the daughter of Santa, is about to follow a tradition among her family where the children of Santa Claus spend some time away from the North Pole living and working among normal humans. She has taken a position as an au pair for a family of three to help out while the children are on winter break and their father must work. Ben is writing a book about why it is a bad thing to perpetuate the myth of Santa among children during their younger years and part of Carol’s mission is to change his mind and help him to once again find the joy and love of the holiday again.

This was a very sweet little tale that evokes all the joy the holiday can bring while showing a hint of the sadness and disappointment among children and adults who deny themselves and others the enjoyment that we all deserve to experience during the holiday season. I greatly enjoyed this one and believe that others will as well. Recommended.

Monday, December 10, 2018

"Trudy, Madly, Deeply" by Wendy Delaney

Charmaine has been helping her uncle out by working part time in his Cafe and making deliveries for him as needed, but has been looking for and trying to find a better job of her own. She hasn’t been having much luck as far too many people in the small town she lives in can’t seem to see her as anything but a part time waitress at Duke’s and haven’t been willing to give her much of a chance to become something more than that.

At least they haven’t until the Prosecutor convinces her Deputy Prosecutor to interview Char on the spot while she sat in on the interview with them. After proving herself to him and explaining the wide variety of skills and experience she possessed, Char is hired on a thirty day trial basis.

This was the first book of the Working Stiffs mystery series. As a murder mystery, it was a bit more lighthearted than a number of others I have read in the past, but for me that only added to my enjoyment. (It is a cozy mystery after all.) Char has a tendency to try too hard at her job and sometimes seems to overstep her authority. It sometimes leads her to jump to conclusions and put her in positions where she could find herself in trouble, but she can’t seem to help herself. She is not a detective or a police officer, yet she seems determined to prove herself to her new employers by solving the question of who is causing some questionable deaths at the hospital even before there is officially a case!

I enjoyed reading this book. It was very well written and well edited. The characters make you truly feel for them and hope that everything will work out well for them. If you like cozy mysteries, give this one a chance. Recommended.

Monday, December 3, 2018

"Parallax Book Two: Turning Points"
by Marina Landry

Tomas Quaid is a soldier in the United People’s Guard. He has spent the past year stationed on the space colony and is now heading to his next assignment on the planet Earth where he and his team will be surveying a tract of land and improving prison security. But he also has a secret, one that if discovered by the other soldiers in the UPG will surely get him killed.

When the new commander of the prison arrives, he has brought his daughter with him to play hostess and entertain the officers at dinners. It is a role she is accustomed to filling, even if it is not one that she particularly enjoys. She does like to take walks by herself in the evenings, though her father does not like her walking around unaccompanied. After witnessing something unusual and potentially compromising to his secret agenda, Lidia begins requesting Quaid as her escort on her walks, much to his annoyance.

This was the second book in the Parallax series, and I found it to be just as enjoyable as the first book. There are some interesting twists that take place as Quaid and Lidia begin to get to know more about each other and build a slow friendship. But can they ever actually trust each other completely? Will it ever really be safe enough for them to be completely open and honest with each other?

Ms. Landry has done an excellent job telling a story about two people on opposite sides of warring nations who are trying to learn to trust not only each other, but also themselves. This book held my interest all the way through and left me wanting to know what will happen next. The world she created in book one of the series is expanded on in this book. My only complaint about it is that it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, leaving me to wait impatiently for the chance to read the next book in the series. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for it as I really do want to know what happens next.

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Wonder Woman at Super Hero High"
by Lisa Yee

Wonder Woman has been dreaming about the chance to attend Super Hero High like so many other teenagers who have super powers do. After successfully convincing her mother to let her go, she discovers that being in high school with other super-powered teens isn’t always as easy or as fun as she had always assumed it would be. Her roommate, Harley Quinn has her mind set on creating her own media sensation by posting videos of the other students. While some of those videos do enhance the reputations of those featured, they are more often likely to feature them making mistakes and publicly embarrassing themselves.

It also doesn’t help that someone clearly doesn’t want Wonder Woman to stick around. “Wondy” as she comes to be called by the other students, keeps finding anonymous notes left for her. While not outright threats, they do make it clear that someone wants her out of the school. Between worrying over who it is that dislikes her so much as to try to scare her off and trying to fit in with the other students, Wondy has her work cut out for her.

This was a fun story meant for younger readers as well as those starting to read Young Adult novels. All of the expected DC comics characters, both those who will later become evil-doers as well as those who will one day be known as the greatest of superheroes are represented in this book. I found it to be very entertaining and quite amusing. I might not have been the target audience for this book, but I enjoyed this unique look at the comic book characters that I grew up reading about when I was young. I believe those who have also enjoyed reading those same comics as I did will also enjoy it.

Friday, November 23, 2018

"The Abused Bride
and her Impulsive Rancher"
by Florence Linnington

Ellen had spent years married to Toby. He had seemed absolutely wonderful when they first married, but her life with him steadily became a nightmare. On the night she fled from him, he robbed her family’s bank leaving them with nothing. And since he was the one who had sold her parents the insurance policy on the bank, was it any real surprise to learn that he was in reality a scam artist and a thief? With nothing left but her family, including two younger siblings and both parents who needed assistance, what was Ellen to do?

In order to gain a divorce from her criminal husband, who has fled to parts unknown, Ellen must place an advertisement in the newspaper for 90 days announcing her desire for a divorce and giving Toby the opportunity to refuse it. Given that he is wanted by the law, it is unlikely that he will respond to her advertisement and that after the 90 days have passed her divorce will automatically be granted, but what will Ellen and her family do to survive in the meantime? As a woman her options are limited, and the only solution that seems to hold any promise is to become a mail-order bride.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Ellen comes across as very realistic and you can see the challenges she faces in trying to not only survive and support her family, but in trusting any man or even her own judgement ever again. After all, Toby had seemed the most wonderful of men when they first met and started courting, but her life with him had quickly turned into a nightmare. If she had been so wrong about him, what are the chances that Axel, the man who answered her mail-order bride ad, is truly any different? Can she really trust him? Can she once again learn to trust herself? And when his secrets come out (for everyone including Ellen has secrets) will she be saved or hurt even more than she was with Toby?

I think this is one of the best mail-order bride books that I have read thus far. I loved the story, the characters, and the twists that pop up in this tale. If you enjoy reading mail-order bride stories, I strongly recommend reading this one.

Monday, November 19, 2018

“Making Rumours:
The Inside Story of the Classic
Fleetwood Mac Album”
by Ken Caillat with Steven Stiefel

This was the story of how the hit record “Rumours” came to be as well as the inside scoop on everything that went on during the time that the record was being recorded. As one might expect, given that this took place in the 1970s, there was more than a little sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll taking place in this book. In fact, doing one or another type of drug seemed to be an almost daily habit for the band members as well as those doing the recording for them. But then, this was the 1970s and such things were fairly common, especially in many bands back then.

The book was interesting and I did enjoy learning much that I didn’t know about both the band and the recording process, but at times things seemed to drag on a bit. Much of what happened in this biography felt very repetitive, and I often found myself setting it down to take a break from reading things that were very similar to something I had read not long before. This is not to say that the book was boring, but parts of it just didn’t hold my interest so much as other parts of the band’s story.

If you are a fan of either the album or Fleetwood Mac, I would recommend giving this book a chance. If you are not interested in them or their music, then chances are this book just won’t be your cup of tea.

Monday, November 12, 2018

"Cinders & Fangs:
A Shifter Retelling of Cinderella:
The Joining Book 1" by J. Conrad

When Elin was young, her mother was taken from her by a large beast that walked upright like a man. Elin was protected by a wolf who took both Elin and her injured father into a wolf den and nursed them back to health. However whenever he spoke of the incident, he claimed there was no such beast. He kept saying that Elin’s mother had been taken by highwaymen and was likely dead.

When she was a teenager, Elin’s father married a woman by the name of Gwyneth who had two daughters of her own. It wasn’t long before Elin realized that Gwyneth had an evil visage that her father never saw. At the wedding, Elin met a woman she had never previously seen who claimed to be her grandmother. It was hard to trust a stranger who wouldn’t tell her much, but Eiriana also seemed the only person who understood Elin’s dislike of the woman her father was marrying. There seemed to be much more going on than anyone was telling her. But what were they hiding from her and why?

I thought this was an interesting retelling of the Cinderella story. It contained all of the expected parts of the story but with a few very unique twists. I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the sequel. The book could have benefitted from another round of editing before publication as it did have a number of typos. Overall though, I am glad I read it. I think that those who enjoy twists on familiar fairy tales will enjoy reading this book as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

"Once Upon a [Stolen] Time"
by Samreen Ahsan

Myra Farrow has always been fascinated by castles and the royalty who lived in them. She has visited every castle she could and always felt as if she had been born in the wrong time. She clearly should have lived in a time when the nobility still built and lived in castles. There was just one castle that she had never been able to gain access to, and she desperately longed to visit there and learn it’s secrets.

Then she met Steve Bernard. Steve owned a 3D gaming and animation company, and after calling in some favors from some rather powerful friends had been given permission to film the game he was creating at Hue Castle; the one castle that Myra so desperately longed to see but had never been allowed inside. And to make things even more tempting, he wanted Myra to play the part of the main character in his film/animation sequences inside the castle. There was just one problem… Hue Castle was supposedly cursed. Nothing would live or grow there, and no pictures ever taken inside of the castle ever seemed to turn out. Things only got stranger for them from there.

I found this to be a really interesting book with a fascinating plot. I loved the twists that take place in the story that manages to pull the reader even further in the longer they read. I do feel that the book could have used another round of editing to catch some of the stray typos I ran across, but the story was well enough written that I didn’t want to put it down. My biggest complaint was that the book ends on a cliffhanger. Now I need to wait for book two so that I can find out what will happen next! (And believe me, I do want to know where the tale is going from here so I will be watching and waiting for the sequel.)

Monday, November 5, 2018

"House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer

Grown in a lab and harvested from the womb of a cow used to house and birth the fetus, Matt was cloned from El Patron. He was kept separate from the rest of the household during his younger years and raised by one of the household servants. All his life he was aware that the woman caring for him was not his mother, but he wasn’t really aware what that meant for him or why he wasn’t kept with any sort of family. He had been alone for a number of years before meeting any other children. And when he did finally meet them, things didn’t go nearly as well as he hoped.

Being a clone of the head of the household, Matt was considered property instead of a person in his own right. By many, he was treated as something less than human, though the only obvious difference between himself and anyone else was a tattoo on the bottom of his foot declaring that he was the property of the estate. Upon that realization, he was often treated by the staff as if he were no more than livestock, unless the man he was cloned from was to be around. At those times he was often treated with the respect that any human being was naturally given.

This was a book that my daughter’s English class was assigned to read and she asked me to read it as well. I found it quite an interesting book that was clearly meant to make the reader think about what makes one human. It was definitely meant to make the reader think about a lot of things they might not have considered before. I’m glad that I took the opportunity to read this book. It was one that really makes the reader think about a lot of things they might not have considered before. I would recommend giving this one a chance.

Monday, October 29, 2018

"Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel"
by A.W. Jantha

Part one of this book was a book version of the movie “Hocus Pocus” that was released 25 years ago. It was an accurate version of the movie that plays on the Disney Channel during the Halloween season. For those who have seen the movie, it is a fun written version of a movie we have seen multiple times over the years and have always enjoyed watching.

Part two of the book is an all new sequel to the story of the how the Sanderson sisters returned to try and claim their revenge on the town that hanged them 300 years previously. In this part of the story, the main characters are the children of the characters we were familiar with in the first tale. At this point in the story, Poppy Dennison, her best friend Travis, Isabella Richards, and Katie Taylor are students in the same Salem High School where their parents had grown up and fought to defeat the Sanderson sisters on that Halloween night 25 years previously. Their parents often chose not to participate in many of the Halloween celebrations as they knew what could happen should the Sanderson sisters once again find a way to return.

Not truly believing the stories told to them could have actually happened, is it really all that surprising that their children would be the ones to manage to accidentally help the Sanderson sisters to return to seek their revenge on those who had wronged them so many years previously? Or that it would be up to the children of those who had once defeated them to find a way to beat them, rescue their parents, and once again send the witches back to Hell, because if they can’t then the Evil Witches will have succeeded in taking over Salem and who knows what other evil plans they will get up to?

I couldn’t resist picking up a copy of this book to read. With this year being the 25th anniversary of the movie Hocus Pocus, I have been seeing the movie played repeatedly Halloween Season. The first part of the book is simply put, a written version of the movie, with all the expected silliness found therein. And while that silliness does continue on into part two with the new story, it is also quite entertaining. The running gags from the movie are continued, as I expected they would be.

Those who enjoyed the movie (as I did), will likely enjoy this book. It is lighthearted and as fun to read as the original story was. Generally, I found the book entertaining and a fun lighthearted read that I believe most folks will also enjoy. I think my favorite part of the story was the at the tail end of the story. In an effort not to give away too much here, I enjoyed learning some of how things came into being as well as the potential set up for another sequel to someday be written. If one ever is, I would likely be willing to read it just as I did this one.

Monday, October 22, 2018

"Eternal Diet" by Wendy Wilson

Gwen J’sarajen has always had a problem with her weight. No matter what she did to try and slim down, nothing ever seemed to work. She also had a fascination with vampires. They were always so slender and beautiful. If only she could be like one of them, effortlessly slender and beautiful forever.

After a great deal of research into the matter, Gwen came to the conclusion that vampires had to exist, and she was fairly certain that she could find one as she sets out to convince him to help her rather than kill her. After all, there were enough myths and legends about them, and even the most ancient of legends always had some sort of basis in reality didn’t they?

I was entranced by the story told in this book. It was very different from most of the other vampire stories that I have read in the past. I just wish that the editing of the book had been as well done. I ran across a great number of typos in this book that left me very frustrated while reading. Some were spelling errors, others grammatical errors, and some were simple inconsistencies and formatting problems.

Often the author had multiple characters speaking without separating the different speakers into new paragraphs. This sometimes confuses the reader as to who is supposed to be speaking and to whom. One of the other problems I found was that sometimes the city was they were in was referred to as NO and other times it was spelled out as New Orleans. I realize that it’s just a minor thing, but the first time it I ran across it, I had to pause and wonder why the character was yelling NO at someone.

I wish posted reviews allowed for separate ratings for story/plot vs. the writing within the book. If they did, I would rate the story/plot of this one as a 4, but with all the typos and errors I would rate the writing as a 2. I do hope that at some point the author will have the chance to go back through and edit this book again, as doing so would greatly improve the reader’s enjoyment of jt. And I do hope that she will someday publish more books (either with these characters or new ones) as she did have a very fascinating story to tell. But if she does, I would advise hiring an editor to help her with cleaning up the majority of the errors before publication.

Monday, October 15, 2018

"Soul Shade (Soul Stones Book 2)"
by T.L. Branson

With her father dead and his soul stone destroyed, Maya is now the Queen of a realm in turmoil. She is struggling to try and bring it under control without becoming the despotic ruler that her father had become during his reign. But with all the troubles she is facing, nothing is quite that simple. Not only are there many problems that must be solved and dealt with, but some of the countries that were conquered during her during her father’s reign are now determined to reclaim their independence.

In addition to these problems, the elves have chosen now to attack and are seeking to wipe out all humans. War on several fronts seems to have become unavoidable. On top of this is a quest to find more of the long hidden soul stones as well as needing to stop a soulfiend who is attacking innocent people across the countryside, leaving their bodies alive but without a soul inhabiting them. Those found in such a state cannot be healed. Without a soul their bodies will eventually die.

This was an interesting book that continues the story that was begun in “Soul Render.” I enjoyed the story the author has been telling, but I really wish this book had gone through another round of editing and proofreading. There were a good number of typos and other errors contained within that I believe would have been caught with another read through by a good editor/proofreader. Even though it was a good story, fixing some of the errors I saw would have made it even better.

Edited to add: I have since spoken with the author who assures me that the problems I noticed in the version I read for him have been corrected before publication. Given this fact, I have raised my star rating from a 3 to a 4 as the majority of the problems I noted should now no longer be an issue for future readers of this book.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

"The Seeker's Stone #1 DNA in the Deep:
Science Adventures for Kids!"
by Kelly Epperson

Emily & John are being dropped off at what appears to be a somewhat run-down science camp where they will spend the next 3 weeks. Neither of them seems initially too happy about the idea, especially after getting their first view of the place. But as their dad points out to them, Emily does have her cell phone and can call home if once they have had a chance to spend a little time there they still wish to return home. It isn’t too long after their father leaves that the two kids discover that there is much more to this summer camp than initially meets the eye.

This is a fun little story meant for children who are ready for short chapter books. It is well written and a quite entertaining adventure story that does a very good job of teaching about DNA and how it works without feeling like it is trying to teach a lesson. I believe it will capture a younger reader’s attention and interest quite quickly and will hold it throughout the story. It was well written and well edited as well as being something that I think younger readers will enjoy.

This book is clearly meant to be the first book in a series of adventurous learning books. I think most children will enjoy not only this book, but the rest of this series as well (once they have been published). While I will admit to being older than the intended audience for this series, I still enjoyed it enough to read it entirely in one sitting. I recommend giving this one a chance. I think younger readers will really enjoy this book.

Monday, October 8, 2018

"Soul Render (Soul Stones Book 1)"
by T.L. Branson

Will Sumner and his two brothers are attempting to sneak into the King’s castle. They have hated the king for years and are now out for revenge for the wrongs committed against their family. They seek to steal the soul stone from the king to use against him. Will manages to find the stone and though he is not certain how, it seems to have bonded with him. The power of the stone is now his, though he must learn how to master that power on his own.

Like Will, his younger brother John is captured, though their other brother Robert manages to avoid detection and escape. Will and John are taken to the capital where after being questioned, they are publicly executed… at least that is what seems to happen. By managing to use the soul stone’s power, Will’s soul finds its way into someone else’s body, thereby saving his life. His brother, however, was not so lucky. Now Will must escape from the capital and find a way to evade the king and his guards while also finding a way to learn about his new powers.

This was an enjoyable fantasy novel and held my attention throughout a story that had a number of interesting subplots going on. I did run across a some typos in the book, but not too many overall, and they didn’t truly distract from the story being told. I found this to be an interesting tale and am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I believe that others will enjoy it as well.

Monday, October 1, 2018

"Rescued From the Tower" by Kate Carteret

Rowena has lived all of her life as the daughter of Lord Edward and Lady Eleanor Lockhart. Neither of her parents have ever taken much interest in their daughter and her only friend seems to be her maid Violet. With a good deal more freedom in than most young ladies her age, she enjoys spending much of her day taking long. solitary walks. Usually she never runs into anyone or anything of interest, until one day she takes a different path where she finds a small hidden cottage behind an overgrown hedgerow.

Lord Elliot Spencer is the son of Duke Bartholomew of Darrington. While Elliot is young, fit, and has impeccable manners, his father is older, vastly overweight, and seemingly has neither good manners nor regular bathing habits. The duke considers his son to be less of a man than himself and is constantly telling him so. And as Elliot seems determined not to take a wife until he finds a woman he can love, the Duke has decided to take a new wife himself in the hopes of getting himself a new heir to replace his only son.

Elliot often visits a small cottage he has found hidden in the woods a good distance from his home. It is here that he first meets a young woman that he has never seen in the area before. They seem to share an enjoyment of long walks and each possess curious minds. They quickly become friends and agree to meet again at the small hidden cabin in a few days. However that evening Rowena is told by her parents that she will be marrying the older Duke of Darrington whether she wishes to or not.

I greatly enjoyed reading this book. I felt the characters were well described and easily visualized. There were some things about the behavior of Lord and Lady Lockhart that had me wondering how they could behave as they did, but those things were explained before the end of the book in a manner that made complete sense in this story. I do wish, however, that the book had gone through another round or two of editing and proofreading as I ran across a number of typos and other grammatical errors. I did enjoy the story, but would have enjoyed it much more had it contained fewer errors.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

"The Unwanted Bride
and her Desolate Suitor"
by Florence Linnington

13 year old MJ has a crush on Jasper Chapman. He however, doesn’t seem to know that she exists, which at this point in their lives is understandable as he is 10 years older than she is. As a grown man, he rarely runs into her and barely knows her name. Shortly after accidently discovering that Jasper doesn’t seem to consider her attractive, a heartbroken MJ and her family move to a farm in the town of Concord.

10 years later, following the death of her grandfather and learning that he had signed a document that gives ownership of the farm to someone else, MJ and her grandmother make arrangements to return to Pathways. They will be staying with a farmer by the name of Michael Samson, who will be marrying MJ and providing the two women with a home once again. He is a good deal older than she is, but not having any other options, what else can they do?

Before this happens, MJ again meets Jasper. She is no longer a child, and he is quickly infatuated with her. But being an honorable man, how can he even consider trying to win a woman who is promised to someone else? And why is it that she seems to dislike him so when they haven’t even run into each other in the past decade?

The most recent book in the Seeing Ranch series, this book is as entertaining as it’s predecessors. I would have liked to see it run through one more round of editing, to try and catch a few more of the typos I ran across, but the story itself was one I greatly enjoyed. It wasn’t your typical mail order bride story, but I found that to be part of the appeal of this book. I enjoyed the twist of seeing MJ as a girl who is infatuated with Jasper and then seeing their roles reversed when she is an grown woman who does not appear to like him, let alone still have any sort of feelings for him. I enjoyed this book just as much as I have the previous books in this series. I think others will as well. I would recommend reading it if you enjoy mail order bride tales.

Monday, September 24, 2018

"Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother has been missing for several weeks. No one seems to know where she is or what happened to her. To make matters worse, the police have decided that there isn’t enough evidence of foul play and thus are ending their investigation. They seem to believe that Michelle Benoit has left of her own free will and there is nothing that needs to be done about it. Scarlet feels otherwise, but before she can go down to the station to try and get the case reopened, things in her daily life explode with other problems. Her father has returned after a long absence and Scarlet learns that he had been held in Paris and tortured by the same men who have kidnapped her grandmother.

Elsewhere in the world, Cinder is making her escape from prison before she can be handed over to the Lunar Queen for execution. In the process, she is joined by a Captain Carswell Thorne. His attitude on life is quite different than Cinder’s and he doesn’t seem to realize who she is, but being a gentleman, he seems to almost feel a need to help her. He also has a ship that they can use to escape once they have made it out of their prison cells.

Like the first book in this series, I enjoyed this one. There were a few small typos, but the intertwining stories of Scarlet, Cinder, Captain Thorne, and the others who join them along the way were something I enjoyed reading. In this book we learned more about Cinder and her history, as well as about those who helped to hide her and why. I look forward to reading the next book in this series to find out what will happen next.

Monday, September 17, 2018

"Catwoman: Soulstealer" by Sarah J. Maas

Selina Kyle and her younger sister Maggie live in the slums of Gotham City. Their mother has been a mostly absent part of their lives, and the few times she is around she is usually drunk or on drugs and often with a new lowlife boyfriend who is supplying those drugs. Maggie suffers from cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disorder that is slowly killing her. As a member of the street gang known as the Leopards, Selina fights in underground fighting rings to earn the money needed to pay for medical tests, medications, food, and rent money to keep them both going. At least, it does until the night their mother is arrested and a woman from social services arrives with two police officers to take the girls into custody and place them in foster care.

The foster homes are usually overcrowded group homes, infested with bugs, and won’t be able to provide Maggie with the care she needs to try and survive having cystic fibrosis. The care she needs is expensive and unlikely to be provided even if she were lucky enough to wind up in one of the better foster homes. The girls both know that this is essentially a death sentence for Maggie, but what can they do to escape it?

When Selina is arrested for assaulting the police officers who came to take them away, she learns that at nearly 18 and with two previous strikes against her, she won’t be going to a juvenile detention center. She’ll be sent to prison instead. When a woman offers her an alternative, one that will see Maggie placed in better care and will erase Selina’s criminal record, she realizes that she really has no other option. For her sister’s sake, and understanding that she likely won’t see Maggie ever again, Selina accepts Talia al Ghul’s offer.

I have long been a fan of the DC comics Catwoman character and have seen numerous origin stories describing how she started out and how she became one of the more recognized of Batman’s foes. Those seeking a book that follows the traditional DC comic book origin story for her probably won’t appreciate this one. While all the expected characters appear in the book, Catwoman’s origin story as told here is rather different than what one would expect, and it is certainly different than what is told in the various comic book versions.

Personally, I loved it. This book kept me so entranced that if there were any typos, I never noticed them. (Any book that can keep me that interested in just reading & not watching for errors is a rare thing these days.) Parts of this story even had me tearing up and wanting to cry. I am very glad that I picked it up. I will definitely be reading the other books that are out about the DC comic book characters and hoping they are just as amazing as this one. I strongly recommend reading it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles Book 1"
by Marissa Meyer

Cinder works as a mechanic out of a small booth in the market, usually with the assistance of the family’s android Iko. Her stepmother and legal guardian Adri has two daughters that she favors and spoils, excluding Cinder from virtually anything and everything that she can, believing Cinder to be the cause of all her troubles.

Besides being an exceptional mechanic, Cinder is a cyborg. She hates this fact as it seems to be source of all the hardships in her life. Most people don’t seem to even think of cyborgs as people. Shortly after she is hired to fix Prince Kai’s non-functioning android, Cinder’s younger sister Peony comes down the the plague that has been tormenting the empire. There is no known cure for this fatal disease, and upon learning that Peony has been diagnosed with it, Adri volunteers Cinder to be a test subject for the doctor searching for a cure. Thus far, none of the cyborgs used as test subjects have survived, so Cinder expects this to be her ending as well.

This was a very unique retelling of the Cinderella story. I enjoyed it well enough that I only put the book down to sleep at night. Virtually everything in this story is completely unique, from the setting to the fact that the main character is a cyborg. It was well written, well edited, and very fun to read. If you like unique twists on familiar fairy tales, try this one. I know I really enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

"Lake Emerald Chronicles:
The First Summer" by Melissa Adams

Trigger Warning: This book containers a rape and a lot of sexual activity. It is definitely not a book for younger readers.

Clary is getting ready to leave for summer camp at Lake Emerald and is looking forward to spending the summer with her best friends Brie and Hazel. All three girls are very excited to be spending the summer away from their parents. The girls are all 16 years old this summer and Clary has “filled out” over the school year and is hoping that the counselor she has had a crush on for the past several summers will finally notice her.

This is a reverse harem book involving Clary and several other men. It could have used another round of editing as there were a number of typos and other errors within. It did improve in the second half of the book, and I noticed far fewer errors once the sex scenes became more prevalent.

I have to admit that I didn’t really like this book. I don’t have an issue with the reverse harem aspect and wouldn’t have had much of an issue with the large amount of sex going on in the story. But as the mother of a teenage daughter, what I had a problem with included the truth or dare game with underage campers drinking alcohol during the game with the adult counselors. In most places, providing alcohol to minors should have gotten them fired, if not worse.

I also had a very serious problem with the 16 year old main character and the 20 year old counselors she becomes more than mildly involved with. With her being underage, that sort of thing is considered statutory rape. It doesn’t matter if she is a willing participant or even if she is the one instigating things. The 20 year old men, who are supposed to be the responsible parties here, should be pushing her away for at least another 2 years. Being only 16, she is still a minor. What is happening in this book between her and the men in question is still illegal. And as they have made the decision to not hide their relationships, someone working in the camp should have put a stop to things. Yet not even the slightest warning was ever given to anyone involved.

The things going on at this camp were noticed by other responsible adults at the camp, yet not one of them ever does anything to stop it. Instead they almost seem to be encouraging it. I’m sorry, but this book hits on some issues that truly disturb me. Because of this, I’m afraid that I just cannot recommend it.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

"Spectrum" by Samantha Mina

Scarlet was born in the small nation of Conflagria. The people living there are mages, born with powers and named by “the system” to match the color of their powers. Scarlet was expected to be the most powerful of red mages, but when she went to begin her training, she was told that there was no one who could teach her to use her magic, Because of this, she was declared one of the useless and would receive no training whatsoever. Eventually she was banished from her homeland while still a child and deported to the nation of Nuria.

Alone and penniless in Nuria, Scarlet must find a way to survive. Nuria is unlike anything she has ever known in Conflagria. Here, the people do not have magic. Instead they have very advanced technology. Scarlet spends her first days eating out of dumpsters, and spending large amounts of time in libraries, seeking to learn all she can about her new home.

I greatly enjoyed reading this book. The author has successfully created a very unique world where both magic and science exist separately. In a purely reasonable way, we are able to understand why and how each of these nations are limited to only one or the other but do not even attempt to use both. Watching Scarlet, a girl from the mage nation learning about technology and life in Nuria where she must hide the fact that she was born a Conflagrian mage, was well worth the short time it took me to read this book.

There were a few problems with typos here & there, but the story itself was well told and hard to put down at night. I’m glad I picked this one up recently and am looking forward to finding out what will happen in book 2 in this series. I would definitely recommend giving this book a chance.

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Millard Fillmore,
Master of Steam: Episodes 1-4"
by Robert E. Vardeman

Millard Fillmore had been President of the United States when the White House was destroyed in an explosion. Having survived, he has been blamed for the deaths of those caught in the explosion and is being hunted down by a man seeking revenge as Millard tries to find the one being who can prove his innocence.

This book was different than the books I have previously reviewed in that rather than being written as one continuous story, it reads as if it were an old television serial. (If any of you are familiar with an old show called the “Perils of Pauline,” that’s what the manner in which this story is told brings to my mind.) I quite enjoyed the style, complete with brief advertisements as if this was printed in a magazine. The ads as well as the story episodes were all very entertaining and fun to read.

The steampunk nature of the book worked very well with this style of storytelling. And after the 4th adventure the author has thrown in a bonus story that was just as much fun to read as the 4 episodes of the Millard Fillmore portion of the book. I would recommend this one as I found it to be a fun break from a lot of my usual reading material. I will have to look for more books in this series at some point. As I said, it was fun to read and I can only assume that if there are more of them that they will also be just as entertaining.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

"Someone to Watch Over Me"
by Sky Sommers

Victor wasn’t a good or kind man. He was a controlling and abusive boyfriend. He’d behaved this way with all of the girls he had been involved with in the past and hadn’t changed when he was dating Grace. When he lost his temper this last time, he went beyond his usual behavior and she began to fear for her life. But due to a fatal car crash, Victor was the one who lost his life instead of Grace. It was also the beginning of his chance to atone for his past by becoming a guardian angel.

Gabriel was a guardian angel who had been saving lives for almost 900 years. In the multitude of known dimensions, he and Victor are only two of those tasked with saving lives and keeping the balance between good & evil from tipping too far in the wrong direction. What makes it difficult is that on many of those worlds, they cannot openly display their abilities or even tell their charges who or what they truly are, let alone why they have arrived in the nick of time to save them from almost certain disaster.

This was a fascinating book. I loved the interplay between the guardian angels and their charges. Watching one trying to solve the mystery of who was trying to kill the girl he was tasked with protecting and why she was being targeted very definitely held my interest. And another angel needing to turn his charge into a “princess charming” in an attempt to bring her and the love of her life together had me quite amused watching his attempts to convince her to change her usually poor behavior.

The author is from the U.K., so I had to occasionally remind myself that their spellings are often slightly different than what I am used to seeing here in the U.S., and I did catch a few typos in the book. But overall I greatly enjoyed reading it. It kept me entertained throughout the story.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

"Her Broken Song" by Florence Linnington

Zeline LeBlanc is an opera singer with the Bourbon Street Opera House in New Orleans. Having just been given a leading role, she goes out to celebrate and winds up drinking a little too much that night and is late once again for rehearsal the next morning. Unfortunately for her, this is the last straw for the opera’s director and he fires her on the spot. Having spent most of her life training for the opera, she has no idea what to do now that she is no longer employed there. She decides to go and visit her aunt in the town of Pathways in Wyoming Territory.

Wyoming is very different than anything Zeline has seen before. The land is much more wild and open than where she has lived, and there seem to be far fewer women living there than men. It doesn’t take long before she decides she wishes to remain in Pathways, if she can find a means of supporting herself as she can’t expect her aunt to take her in forever. She will either need to find a job or a husband if she wishes to stay.

I liked this story better than many of the mail-order bride stories I have read. This one has an interesting twist and some complications that Zeline will have to overcome that I have not seen in many others of this type of story before. While it does tend to follow the same basic storyline that most mail-order bride books follow, it is the additional twists and turns in this one that truly make it a fascinating read.

I did run across a few errors originally reading this book, though after speaking to the author about them, she assures me that she has gone back and corrected them before publication. This was an excellent story and one I would gladly recommend for anyone to read.


Monday, August 13, 2018

"Rebecca Steele: Chasing a Dream"
by Joanne Patterson

While on a trip to Miami, Becky and her friend Emily wind up watching an air show where they briefly meet several handsome men with the show that they would have loved to have the time to get to know better. However they are on their way back to their hometown and doubt they will ever see them again. When they returned home, not expecting to ever see the men again, they learned that the air show was scheduled to perform in Nashville the next day.

The pilot that Becky had briefly met in Miami was not at the air show she & Emily watched the next day, but she met another man who invites her to visit him at another performance in another town. Once there, Becky meets Johnny Monroe, the handsome pilot who had caught her eye in Miami. It’s not long before they begin seeing each other regularly, with Becky travelling whenever she can to meet him at other air show performances.

I found this book to be extremely well written and well edited. However during the first half of the story I became annoyed with the main character as she seemed to have not much self esteem, choosing to follow Johnny around the country so that she could stay with him in his hotel rooms, and then feeling hurt when he didn’t call to invite her to visit him. (She was clearly not the only woman he had waiting for him around the country, and in my opinion he appeared to simply be using her for sex. But then she was also clearly also doing the same with him.)

Choices made by the both Becky & Johnny had me questioning why I was reading this after a while, but it turned out that I was glad I did continue reading all the way to the end. Becky seems to have found herself and became a much more interesting character during the second half of the book. There was a twist at the end that wound up turning my opinion of the book completely around. It made the story worth reading to me. Would I read another book about what happens in Becky’s future? With the way this book ended, yes I would.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"Wolf Trek" by Maria J Estrada

This is an entertaining novella that I finished reading in one sitting. It is set in a post-apocalyptic future where there is great danger in the world. Resources are scarce and hard to find. In what towns that still exist, people must trade for items rather than purchase them with cash. Life may be harsh in this future, but there is still love and ready assistance. But the biggest danger comes from what appear to be werewolves. Those who have succumbed to this disease must be killed and their bodies burned as they cannot be cured.

Summer Hunter is someone who hunts down those who are infected to keep others safe. He travels with his 2 sons, Saad and Jak. They are happy together, though life is not easy for them. But there is something unusual about Saad’s younger brother Jak. Lately he has been very quick to anger and almost too violent when something angers him. He hasn’t been bitten or infected, so what is happening to him?

This was primarily the story of Saad and how he must deal with everything happening around him. It was a very short tale, but very interesting. I would have liked to know more about what will happen to all of them in the future, but I suppose I will need to wait for another book to be released about them. This book could have used another round of editing, but most of the errors I ran across were minor. I enjoyed reading this story and will be keeping my eyes open to see if the author decides to continue these characters tale in the future.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

"Brink" by Cameron Coral

Ida Sarek is a soldier in the war against the Heavies, an alien force that has invaded and has been trying to destroy the existing population. She will be finishing her time serving as a soldier soon and returning to civilian life. During her time with the military, she has been working as a medic helping to save whatever lives she can. But she has a secret, one she has kept hidden even from her fellow soldiers. Ida is more than just a medic, she is a healer who has the ability to often bring someone back from the brink of death.

Once she is again a civilian, Ida finds herself living in the town of Spark City. It is a small, relatively isolated town that has suffered from the ravages of the war. Trade with other towns is nearly non-existent, and jobs are few and far between. Living among the human population are numerous types of hybrids that were created from various human/animal DNA combinations. Ida has tried keeping mostly to herself, but that is becoming increasingly difficult as she can’t find work and a young neighbor girl seems determined to get to know her.

It becomes impossible to stay hidden once the corrupt town mayor, who is dying, discovers her secret and sends people looking for her. Knowing she has the power to heal him and save his life, he is determined will have her help whether she wishes to give it or not.

This was an interesting dystopian, post-apocalyptic novel. I enjoyed reading this author’s view of a possible future for humanity. We get a peek at how even though many things are different, people are still relatively unchanged in their attitudes towards others. It was a good book and I’m glad I took the time to read it.



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Nate (The Chaos Chasers, book 1)"
by C.M. Marin

For the first time in a very long while, Camryn has returned to the home where she grew up and lived with her parents. It has been quite a few years since she was last here, but it has just been too painful to return after her parents had been killed in a car crash. Now, it is finally time for her to face these ghosts. A year ago her fiancé was killed in a plane crash and she needs time away from her apartment in L.A. to finally say good bye to her lost loved ones.

Shortly after arriving in town, Camryn meets a man named Nate. The two share a strong attraction, though Camryn isn’t yet ready to yield her heart again. Nate is afraid to tell her that he is the president of a Motorcycle Club, as most of the women he meets who aren’t part of the club tend to avoid him after they discover his association to the Club.

There is also another problem that Nate notices as he grows closers to Camryn; a rival club’s members seem to be following her around. What is it they want from her? And can Nate, who has been falling for her, keep her safe?

This is very definitely not a book for younger readers as there is a great deal of rather descriptive sex throughout the book. This is not normally the type of book I would seek out, but as I got into the story I found myself being drawn into the tale & wanting to see where it was going. I found myself needing to read through to the end to see what happened to the main characters. I do wish that the book had gone through another round of editing though, as parts of the book could have used it. Overall though, I did enjoy reading it.

"Mystery of the Secret Queen" by Mark Miller

Olena has been Queen of he Eastern Sky for a year and is getting quite tired of the constant lessons she must learn to become an effective Queen. While she understands the reasons that the other Queens need her to complete her training, she is still only a 7 year old girl who misses her older sister and wants to have some fun. Spending most of her time in lessons is anything but fun.

When Isis, Queen of the Southern Valley is called back to her kingdom to deal with a crisis, Olena at first enjoys a little freedom from her lessons, but soon becomes bored as with no one her age in the castle she finds herself needing to keep herself entertained. When going through her things, she runs across a ring given to her by the blue rainbow princess. She didn’t understand the purpose of the ring when it was given to her, but now she tries it on for the first time.... and finds herself pulled into what seems to be a room inside of the ring.

Inside the ring, Olena meets 3 people who seem to be bronze statues that come to life to speak with her. While she is within the ring, one of it’s inhabitants takes her place in the outside world. But what is their purpose? It seems that Olena is to get the chance to have an adventure of her own.

Having read the first two books in this series, I enjoyed this one. The young Queen has a very large responsibility for a 7 year old girl, and the author does a good job of showing her as a young girl both trying to live up to her responsibilities, while still bemoaning the loss of her freedom to simply be a child and have fun. When she gets the chance to have her own adventure, she grabs it without thinking through the consequences of that action, just as any child tired of a seemingly endless number of lessons and responsibilities might do.

In this book we get the chance to learn more about the world Mr. Miller has created as well as those who inhabit it. I found it very entertaining. It held my interest and kept me wanting to read more about the characters he introduced me to in this book. I’m not certain if he plans on adding another book to this series in the future, but I believe that if he does that I would likely enjoy continuing to read about these characters and this world. Recommended

Friday, July 27, 2018

"Wish: Aladdin Retold" by Demelza Carlton

Maram, one of the daughters of the Sultan is is returning home from a trip to another kingdom where she had been acting as her father’s envoy and ambassador. Her mother had been one of the Sultan’s wives, but had been condemned as a traitor for falling in love with a man other than her husband. Maram is not just one of the Sultan’s daughters, but as the daughter of a traitor she has been raised to be a courtesan, trained in the ways of pleasing men.

Aladdin is what is commonly known as a “street rat” or someone who has nothing and is out seeking work every day, often not finding enough work to keep himself and his mother fed. Years before, his father had been a successful merchant, though he had died before he had been able to have his son apprenticed anywhere. Without a husband and his income, Aladdin’s mother had been forced to sell anything of value over the years to keep the two of them fed. Unlike most, Aladdin is somewhat educated and always honest and true to his word. He meets the princess by accident on one of her trips to a bathhouse, and is quickly as enamored of her as she is of him. But her status places her entirely out of his reach.

This was a fun retelling of the Aladdin story. It has all of the expected parts of the tale: a genie, a magic lamp, a princess, a Sultan, and his advisors. I enjoyed the description in this book of how Aladdin comes into possession of the magic lamp and the genie. One aspect of this retelling that I wasn’t familiar with was the explanation of how the genie came to be. I also enjoyed the fact that Maram isn’t your typical pampered princess. She was an ambassador for her father and quite successful in negotiating treaties and trade deals for the kingdom.

I enjoyed the twists in a story that many of us are quite familiar with. This is not a simple story of a young man finding a magic lamp that makes all his wishes come true. There is so much more to the tale. I found this book highly entertaining and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys twisted fairy tales.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"Cleopatra the Egyptian Queen"
by The History Hour

This was a short book that gives us a lot of information on the life of a woman known to history as a great beauty. Cleopatra was more than just a beautiful and powerful woman. She was also a highly intelligent woman who spoke multiple languages. She was ambitious and observant of those around her. And yes, she was a woman who knew how to use all of her assets to get what she desired.

I learned a great deal about Cleopatra that I hadn’t known before reading this book. It was well written and the further I got into reading about her life, the more interested I became in learning more about her. If you’re interested in learning more about Cleopatra, her life, and her family, give this book a chance. It’s a quick read with a lot of information that is presented in a way that will keep you reading until the end without leaving you feeling overwhelmed or like you are reading a school textbook.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

"Hero Society: Dawn" by Jessica Florence

A man who does not age and cannot die loses the love of his life. He wishes he could join her in death, but he promised her that he would continue on as there is a reason he remains alive and his wounds heal themselves. He has not yet completed his purpose for existing, and so he must remain without her. Suffering from the loss of his love, Draco withdraws from contact with almost all others. He just can’t bear to have his heart broken further.

Rose and her brother Phillip are two very special people. As they grew into adulthood, they each developed special abilities. Phillip sees visions of possible futures and Rose is an empath. The two of them seek to bring together others like themselves to create a force to do good for humanity. The world needs heroes. Can they find and bring them together in time?

I found this story fascinating. Superhero stories have long entertained me, and this one was no exception. While the characters may have superpowers, they also have flaws just like everyone else. They must deal with their faults and are not all-powerful. They may be special, but they also as quite human.

I did catch a few typos in this book, but only a very few. The story was so much fun to read that I am looking forward to picking up book two in the series. One thing the reader should be aware of is that there are a few instances of fairly descriptive sex in this book, so parts of it may not be quite appropriate for younger readers.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

"Margaritas, Mayhem, and Murder"
by Mary Cunningham

In the middle of the night, Andi Anna Jones is woken by a phone call from her former step-mother. She’s calling from the Cancun police department where she’s been locked in a jail cell and accused of killing a former Las Vegas performer on a cruise ship.

Being the only family member who is available to travel, Andi Anna must go to Cancun to find out what really happened and to bring her step-mother home. This is one time that being a travel agent definitely comes in handy.

I really enjoyed reading this novella. It held my interest and I honestly couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it. This book was very well written and well-edited. I would highly recommend reading this fun little mystery. It’s a quick read and very entertaining. I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading the next one in the series whenever it becomes available.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"Little Bear and his Chair"
by Claressa Swenson

Little Bear has a favorite Chair that he doesn’t want to share with anyone. But how do his friends react when he won’t let them sit in his favorite chair?

This was a very sweet little story that helps to show children who don’t like to share their belongings what can happen when they refuse to share with others. After all, playing with other children often means needing to be willing to share with them.

I believe this story will help to encourage young children to learn to be kind to each other. It very clearly shows how they can have more fun when they share their favorite things with each other than they will if they won’t share.

Monday, July 16, 2018

"Quinn's Faith" by Diane Garner

Quinn and Ajax have had difficult lives. Quinn nearly died in a car accident one winter, but was saved from drowning in a car she couldn’t escape from by the Angel Michael. Ajax grew up with his father in another town. His father was involved in criminal activities and trying to raise his son to follow in his footsteps. But Ajax does not want to be a criminal or to hurt others, and so he does what he can to escape the life his father had planned for him. It won’t be easy, but he is determined to stay out of that lifestyle.

Quinn and Ajax knew each other as small children, but hadn’t seen each other for many years. Now that he is back in town they have a chance to get to know each other once again. There is just one rather large problem.... A demon is after Ajax’ soul, and now is tormenting Quinn as well. Can they be Saved? Free Will prevents the Angel Michael from actively interfering in what they choose to do, though he does what he can to help. The outcome of this battle between Heaven and Hell for their souls depends on a choice Quinn must make. Is she strong enough to save them both from Hell?

While the story itself was interesting, I had a number of problems with this book. The first half had a few typos, but not too many and the editing wasn’t bad, but the farther I got into the book, the more typos and other errors I started to run into. There were portions of the book where some text had been moved and appeared elsewhere in the book where it clearly didn’t belong. It made parts of the story more than a little confusing and difficult to understand what was supposed to be happening.

Quite often I also ran into spots where either spaces were left out (causing words to run into each other) or where extra spaces were added in where they didn’t belong (causing breaks in the middle of words.) I saw far more typos in the second half of the book than in the beginning. It was as if the editor quit partway through the book. It’s too bad, as I was enjoying the story and more than a little interested in seeing how it would end. I did finish the book, but it would have been much easier to read and far more enjoyable for me had the author done a better job with the editing. I do hope that she will hire someone who can spend some time and fix the problems I ran into in this book so that others may enjoy it without all the problems I encountered. As I said above, the story itself was interesting but the book needs some work before it can be truly enjoyable.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

"Incursion: A novel of the O.C.L.D."
by Aaron Rosenberg

Special Agents R.C. Hayes and Danika “Nick” Frome have been sent to Pablo, Montana to work on a case in involving a number of deaths on the Reservation lands. Three men have been killed so far, each one shot though the throat with hand-made arrows. All three bodies were found in the same area of the woods, and the only footprints found nearby are too long and thin to be human.

Things get more interesting when they come across an illegal logging operation near the site of the deaths. The facts they have found so far just aren’t adding up. Something unusual is definitely happening here. Can the two FBI agents solve this case before more are killed in the woods?

I enjoyed this story. I got to learn a little about the supernatural creatures and the local Native American tribesmen involved in this tale. The story that the author told kept me quite interested in finding out what was happening and why. It was a very enjoyable paranormal thriller that I think most people will enjoy as well. I would recommend giving it a try.

Friday, July 6, 2018

"Net Impact" by Donald J. Bingle

Through a MMORPG, the world’s safety is threatened by various groups. A cyber terrorist has stolen the plans to a secret stealth spy drone and is selling them illegally through an online virtual reality game. But the group who stole them has been discovered and is being stalked by a foreign government who wants those plans for themselves and will stop at nothing to gain them.

Dick Thornby is a spy. It is his job to retrieve those plans and return them to the Subsidiary, whatever the cost. His orders are to make sure there were no copies made and that everything was recovered. But with additional complications, the mission he thought he’d finished became a much more difficult and time consuming project... One that might cost him his marriage and the family to whom he can’t explain his real job.

I greatly enjoyed reading this book. I don’t often read many thrillers, but after meeting the author and acquiring this one the at the Origins Gaming Convention, I gave it a chance and very much enjoyed reading it. The difficult task Dick has to accomplish only becomes more difficult through the plot twists he runs into all the way through to the end of the book. I felt it was well worth the time to read it and am planning on picking up the next book in the series to read soon. It was well written and drew me right in, keeping my attention all the way to the end of the book. I think anyone who enjoys thrillers will definitely enjoy reading this one. I strongly recommend giving it a chance.

Monday, July 2, 2018

"Alphabeast Soup" by Andy Hopp

This is a beautifully illustrated book that I found quite amusing. I picked up a copy at the Origins Gaming Fair recently and have very much enjoyed reading it. The tale is about a king who has horrible stomach pain that nothing seems able to fix. When he offers his throne to whomever can relieve him of the pain, his court wizard goes to great lengths to gather the ingredients for Alphabeast Soup, something that should magically cure he king of his pain.

I greatly enjoyed the poem format that the book appears to be written in and the illustrations that the book contains to go along with the story greatly enhance the tale told. I would definitely recommend this one. I found it quite humorous & entertaining. I’m very glad I picked up a copy and would highly recommend it to anyone who would like a quick laugh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Her Fearless Love: Seeing Ranch Series" by Florence Linnington

Bonnie Potter has just arrived in the small town of Whiteridge to meet Steven Huebner, the man she has come to marry. She left Baltimore after the death of her father forced her to quit school and left her without an income or a place to live. She spent some time working as a seamstress, but with no reason to remain in Baltimore, she decided to become a mail-order bride and find a husband instead.

Meeting Steve had been like a dream come true. He was kind, handsome, and a hard working miner. He promised to build her a bigger house than the cabin he currently occupied on a better piece of land as soon as he can afford to do so. His promises fill Bonnie’s heart with even warmer feelings for him, though she honestly doesn’t care if they ever come to pass. She is simply happy with the man she has come to marry. She needs no more than what they already have together.

Then something horrible happens and Steve finds the dead body of one of his neighbors. At first there are no suspects, but a bullet from a rare type of pistol is found near the body. A gun that the only person who can be found owning one turns out to be Steve. And with a very recent verbal argument between the murdered man and Steve being very fresh in people’s minds, he is arrested as the only likely suspect.

Bonnie cannot believe her fiancĂ© could possibly be the one to have killed the other man, and sets out to do whatever she can to prove his innocence so they can be married. She doesn’t have long to try and discover the real murderer though, and if she can’t Steve will likely be hanged for the crime. But can she help to solve the mystery before Steve’s trial without there being any real clues or other likely suspects? And what will become of them both if she can’t?

Like her other books in this series, I truly enjoyed this story. The plot and character development were truly captivating. I loved the tale Ms. Linnington wove around the characters. My only complaint is that I wish the book had gone through another round of editing before it was published as there were more typos and other errors in this book than I am used to seeing in her stories. Another round of editing might have cleared up a number of the ones that interrupted my enjoyment of the book. But as I said earlier, the story is truly enjoyable and I am very glad to have had the chance to read it. Even with the errors, I would still recommend reading this book as well as the rest of the series. In my opinion they are well worth reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A brief message for my readers

My apologies to my readers. I have been suffering from some recent health issues that have forced me away from working on my reviews and from being able to post recently. Please rest assured that this is temporary and my reviews will return as soon as I am able to once again have something ready for posting. I hope that all of you can remain patient for me for just a little while longer. I am currently reading a new book and hope to start having reviews ready and posted again soon. I have also picked up a number of other new books to post reviews about, so please don't doubt my intention to get this site back up an running as soon as I am able to do so.

Thank you all for your support and patience. It is very greatly appreciated.

Mom Kat

Saturday, May 12, 2018

"Witch on First" by Juliette Harper

Having survived their fight with a Creavit witch, Jinx and Tory thought things would settle down for while. Boy were they wrong. Their Aos si mentor/teacher seems to be missing important things happening around her and not sensing things that she should be noticing. A mysterious chess set been delivered to their coffee shop as an anonymous gift. It is a beautiful set that no one seems to want to touch, yet in the mornings the pieces have been rearranged in a different pattern than when the shop closed the night before.

A dead body is found on the bench outside their shop one morning, The dead man was a familiar face around town and It seems that he was killed in a manner meant to imitate a mountain lion’s attach. His death did not happen outside the shop, but was positioned there with a dagger pinning a note to his chest. It appears that someone is trying to send them a message, though who or exactly why remains to be seen.

This was book 4 in the Jinx Hamilton series. Like the previous books, I enjoyed reading this one a great deal. My copy was from the 6 book box set, though the book is also available individually. Ms. Harper writes a fascinating tale involving mystery, magic, and all sorts of mayhem. It was a lot of fun to read, and the emotions displayed by the characters felt very realistic. Like the other books in the series, I have enjoyed reading this one and am looking forward to continuing on with this series. It is definitely becoming one of my favorite fantasy/mystery series thus far.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

"The Goblin Cinderella" by Lidiya Foxglove

Ellara was the only daughter of a well-to do High Elven merchant and a Goblin noblewoman. Her mother had died while Ellara was still young and her father had married an elven woman with two daughters of her own. Not too long after that, he died of a heart attack.

Ellara became a hated and abused servant in her own home until the day when a former business partner of her father’s arrives. He tells her of a secret inheritance that her stepmother was unaware of and promises to take her away from the harsh life she has endured since her father’s passing. Just before he is supposed to return to steal her away, Ellara is given a chance to go to the elven prince’s ball. Unable to refuse a chance to show up her stepsisters, she does chose to go. Her life afterwards will never again be the same.

I loved reading this story. I have always enjoyed “twisted fairy tales” and this one was excellently written and a very fun and unique twist on the classic Cinderella story. There is one thing to be aware of however, this is not a story meant for younger readers. The book is described as a fairy tale with heat, and it definitely provides the heat. It is not the first book in this series, however each book can be read as a standalone story without the reader feeling lost. I would definitely recommend this one if you like twists on familiar fairy tales and don’t mind them having a steamy side. I know I really enjoyed this one and will be looking for the rest of the series to read as well.

"The Bride Ship" by Regina Scott

Allegra Banks Howard has escaped from Boston Society with her daughter Gillian. What had once seemed to have been a privileged life had...