Monday, March 30, 2020

“Half-Deaf Mail Order Bride
and her Heartfelt Pastor”
by Florence Linnington

Elizabeth's mother had been ill for a long time before she’d passed away, and with no money left to pay the rent, Elizabeth was now facing being thrown out onto the street. When she received the letter from the Pastor of a town called Evergreen, it was a lifeline that she desperately needed.

But will her fears and secrets destroy her chance at happiness? She had been told that the local tribes had killed her father, and true or not, she will have to overcome her prejudices regarding the town’s native population if she is to have any hope of surviving here. And then there's the woman who decides that she wants the pastor for herself and sets out to end the relationship between Joshua and Elizabeth before they even get the chance to know anything about each other.

I enjoyed this book as much as I have Ms. Linnington’s other books. The version I read did contain a number of typos, but having discussed them with the author, I have no doubt that they will have been corrected before publication day.

I always enjoy seeing the character development in Ms. Linnington's books. She always does an excellent job of portraying her character’s emotions and allowing us to watch them grow as individuals as they overcome various challenges in their lives.

Ms. Linnington’s books always seem to have a happy ending and always leave me in a wonderful mood. In a time of great stress, her books are sure to leave you smiling. Recommended.

Monday, March 23, 2020

“Fading Petals” by Nadiyah Muhaimin

Rue’s father left when she was young, and the only mother she has ever known tried to kill her when she turned 16. But Rue survived the attack and was sent to The Institute to recover. Things only get stranger from that point. Rue falls in love with a Tear Rabbit soldier, but true love is something he is forbidden from experiencing and will be punished for if it is discovered that he has honestly fallen in love, and is not just lusting for or fascinated with any woman.

This was a very well written book, though I was left uncertain if “The Institute” was a medical hospital, a mental hospital, or a combination of both. A number of the other patients that Rue meets seem to be a combination of the two. And with the doctors performing “treatments” on their patients to try and cure them, many of my questions in that regard remained unanswered.

I’m also not really certain how to classify this tale. Parts of it made me feel like I was reading some sort of fairy tale. Other parts were more of an adventure or a fantasy story. And I’m not entirely certain that I truly understood everything that was going on in this tale. And yet, I do know that I did enjoy reading it a great deal. I have never read anything like this story before. And while, as I said, I’m not exactly certain how to describe it to others, it was something that I enjoyed and would be interested in reading the sequel in order to find out how Rue’s story will end.

It may seem strange to hear me saying that I enjoyed reading a story that I’m not sure I really understood, but I truly did. I am looking forward to reading book 2 as well. Hopefully it will clear up some of my confusion, but even if not, I expect that it will still be an enjoyable read.

Monday, March 16, 2020

“The Witches of Hant Hallow:
Jonathan’s Curse" by D.F. Jones

Hant Hallow has a number of supernatural beings residing there, among them are witches who follow both the light and the dark ways, vampires, werewolves, and others. Generally, the humans are entirely unaware of the existence of these beings, but sometimes, the magical beings are more noticeable. And in the past, this has sometimes brought down the wrath of some and led to hangings of witches by those who fear them.

Jasmine is growing tired of hiding in plain sight, and begins to fall for a human when he saves her from a group of boys who were throwing stones and attacking her. Thus began a friendship that her mother, who follows the darker ways of the witches, will not tolerate. She curses Johathan, forcing him to live in a mirror universe away from all his friends and family as well as stealing the human woman that he loves from him. Jasmine begins a very long quest to help him break the curse and regain his life and hopefully to find love again.

This was an interesting story about the power of love and friendship, as well as showing the harm that can come even to oneself when you seek to control or bend others to your will. Children grow and eventually seek independence from their elders, but what happens when their elders aren’t willing to let them find their own way?

I enjoyed this book. It was a fairly quick read and I found it very entertaining. I think others will also enjoy reading it too.

Monday, March 9, 2020

"The Crossing" by Jo Wilde

When teenager Micky is sent to live with her father and grandfather in Louisiana, her whole world seems to take a strange turn. She loves living with her father (she’d hated the man who had married her mother. They would likely never find a way to get along.) But small town life as opposed to living in a big city in New York was only part of the changes she would have to deal with.

In her first week at the high school, she runs afoul of the local "mean girls" and soon discovers that she has been chosen by, is expected to become the mate of a vampire, and the beginning of the transformation to make her his has been forced upon her. Talk about a rough first week in a new school! How does one deal with learning they are becoming a vampire? And can she discover a way to stop it before it is too late?

I enjoyed reading this book. It was an interesting young adult vampire story that touched upon a number of themes that do affect teenagers today. The main character did not willingly choose to drink the vampire’s blood that was forced upon her, which is something that I could easily see happening at almost any teenage party involving drinking in the world today. And her responses were very realistic given the situation she found herself in.

I do feel that the book could have used another round with an editor/proofreader to smooth out some of the typos, but the story was still worth reading and quite enjoyable despite the errors I ran across. I was glad that I took the time to read it.

Friday, March 6, 2020

"Rise of the Champion:
The Champion Series Book One"
by Clara C Johnson

Serra, a young human woman, traveling with Finn, the Dwarven man who had found and raised her after her family had been killed, have just arrived in Adhelm. They are currently working as smugglers, though they have dreams of a better life someday.

Adhelm is a busy town, and many of those living there are elven slaves. Serra often has a difficult time staying uninvolved when she sees anyone being mistreated for any reason; her kind heart often gets both her and Finn in trouble with those in authority. But things truly get interesting when her actions lead to the freeing of a slave whom she rescued from a public flogging. And this is only the beginning of her story.

I enjoyed reading this book a great deal. The author did an excellent job of portraying those who have been so beaten down and abused to the point where they have little will to resist and little hope left for a better life. But still, some just can't help but resist the oppression of their whole species and continue to fight for freedom.

The version of the book that I read was an early Advanced Reader Copy. The story was well put together and held my interest throughout. I spoke with the author about the typos I noticed, and have no doubt that she will have them corrected before publication day.

I enjoyed reading the tale she wove and am looking forward to seeing where she takes the story in the sequel. I would recommend giving this one a try.

Monday, March 2, 2020

“The Grimm Legacy” by Addie J. King

Janie Grimm is getting ready to start law school. Her father had passed away from cancer not too long ago, but at least she had been able to tell him that she had been accepted prior to his passing. Her stepmother had agreed to pay her tuition costs, though part of that agreement included a weekly brunch together. Janie has kept her end of the deal, despite not always getting along very well with Evangeline.

But recently some very strange things have begun happening around Janie. She meets a talking frog who seems to be determined to stay near her, and then her hair began to suddenly grow as if she were Rapunzel. And those weren’t the only strange things that have started happening around her either. It was as if the fairy tales that most children grow up hearing were suddenly coming to life and congregating around her.

My daughter and I met this author at a book signing in Ohio. At the time, neither of us had yet had a chance to read any of her books, but after talking to her we wound up buying this whole series. So far I’ve only read this one, but I did greatly enjoy it. (I had a very hard time putting it down at night rather than trying to read straight through to the end of the book!)

It was a very unique twist on Grimm’s fairy tales. In this case, it focuses on a young woman who was descended from the Grimm family, and had been previously unaware of some of the problems and surprises that her heritage might wind up sending her way. After all, while the Grimm’s tales (or at least the versions mostly read to younger children these days) may have happy endings, there is much that happens in them that was not always so pleasant for the characters.

Ms. King has found a unique and enjoyable way to twist the story of the Grimm family legacy and entertain us all. I will be continuing to read more once I manage to download the next book in the series onto my kindle. Recommended.

"Fairytale: A Modern Fairytale Anthology"

This is a collection of fairytale retellings. But be warned, this is definitely not a collection of stories that is meant for a younger a...