Monday, August 30, 2021

"When The Goddess Wakes"
by Howard Andrew Jones

The Altenerai have been fighting a war for some time. First against the Naor, many of whom have now sworn Allegiance after their leader was defeated by the altenerai. But they have also been fighting many of their own after having been betrayed by the queen who has convinced  many that they must reassemble the magical hearthstones into a destroyed statue of a goddess. This goddess will then restore the realms to a kind of paradise, returning those whose lives had been lost to their loved ones. 

Because of this belief, the queen had stolen most of the hearthstones and abandoned many of her people in her quest to restore the goddess. However, those left behind believe that the goddess is actually going to destroy the realms and all within, and thus must stop the queen and her followers before it is too late for everyone. For if the queen succeeds, is there any way they can actually manage to stop an all powerful goddess?


This was the 3rd book in the Ring-Sworn Trilogy, and I found it to be a powerful ending to the series.  It was filled with action, heroics, sacrifice, and surprises throughout. I enjoyed this book a great deal, and honestly, I didn't see the path the ending took coming. But as it happened, it made perfect sense and I was almost surprised that the possibility hadn't even occurred to me. 


I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy series as well as anyone who has read the first two books in this series. I very much enjoyed reading it.


Monday, August 23, 2021

"Bitten and Smitten" by Michelle Rowen

Sarah Dearly woke up to her blind date trying to bury her in a cemetery, claiming he was a vampire & that he'd bitten and turned her into a vampire (without her consent) as well. Assuming he was crazy and running away from him, she bumps into some men that she thinks will rescue her, but turn out to be vampire hunters who intend to kill her just as soon as they've finished killing her date.  Fleeing from them, she winds up being rescued by a centuries-old vampire who had been about to kill himself.


This was an interesting take on the traditional vampire legends in which it appears that instead of vampire hunters being the good guys in the story, they are the villians who are out to murder innocent people who just happen to drink blood.


I enjoyed this unusual vampire tale about Sara learning what being a vampire really means and what she needs to know in order to survive in her new existence both with other vampires and vampire hunters. I'd recommend giving this one a try if you're looking for something a little different or unexpected. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading  book 2 in this series.


Monday, August 16, 2021

"The Blue Dolphin" by Kathryn Gauci

Nefeli and her daughter live on one of the greek islands. Life has been difficult since the start of the war and the death of her husband, but they have been getting by. One night after a very bad storm, while walking along the shore, she came across an unconscious german soldier who had been washed ashore after the ship he was on was sunk by the andartes (greek resistance fighters). He was gravely wounded and would surely die without help. Yet, if the other villagers were to find him, they would kill him and likely anyone who aided him. But still, Nefeli couldn't just leave him to die.


I will be the first to admit that this story was not what I expected when reading a WWII novel. This was not a tale focused on combat or spycraft, but instead it was about how the war affected those living through it.  It was the backdrop for the story of Nefeli and what happens when she attempts to save an enemy soldier's life. She is aware of the risk she takes, but cannot bear to see more unnecessary death.


This was a story I greatly enjoyed. It did not try to hide the difficulties faced during the war, nor did it glorify the actions of one side or the other. This was a personal story of one woman, a man who was considered an enemy soldier, and what can happen when kindness is shown to someone who is helpless and injured. It is a story of life versus death, as well as the story of greek culture during a time that is quite different from what many of us know today.


I would definitely recommend this book. Anyone who enjoys WWII stories, tales of greek life during the war, or historical fiction. It is very definitely worth reading and one that you won't want to put down.


Monday, August 9, 2021

"Fries and Alibis" by Trixie Silvertale

When a strange older gentleman knocks on Mitzy Moon's apartment door one morning to deliver an envelope containing a large amount of cash and notice of her inheritance from a previously unknown grandmother, to say that Mitzy was shocked would have been an understatement. Of course, being accused of murdering a man she'd never met, who just happened to be her grandfather, shortly after arriving in town was an even bigger surprise. Just as big of a surprise was meeting the ghost of her deceased grandmother who lives in the bookstore Mitzy had just inherited.


This was the first book in the Mitzy Moon series, and was a wonderful beginning to this series and the vibrant and fascinating characters of Pin Harbor. Watching Mitzy navigate her way through clearing not only her name, but her father's as well was a great introduction into the personalities of these townsfolk. I had previously read some of the later books in this series and am very glad that I went back to see how it all began. (And if you’re wondering, I will be reading the rest of the books in this series.) I greatly enjoyed reading this book and believe that anyone enjoying cozy paranormal mysteries will enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, August 2, 2021

"Forgotten Faces" by Florence Linnington

Sarah Smith has come to the small town of Stillwater as a mail order bride to marry the pastor, Stephen Tyler. Each is surprised that the other is young & attractive, as they both expected far less in a mail order spouse and neither had seen a picture of the other.


As expected in this type of story, each of them has secrets about their pasts that will likely cause problems as the plot unfolds. In Sarah's case, the issue is that she is unable to recognize the faces of anyone she meets, no matter how long or short of a time she has known them. She has been using other small tricks to keep that fact hidden as she believes that it means there is something fundamentally wrong with her that would make no one want her around.


Like Ms. Linnington’s other mail order bride tales, I greatly enjoyed reading this one. We get to see Sarah grow from a scared and unsure young woman into a stronger and braver version of herself than even she thought she could ever become. And as always, seeing the journey of how she gets there and who she would become is what I felt was the best part of the story.


I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mail order bride romances as well books that allow the characters to grow and to overcome unexpected hardships and other challenges.

"Unforgiven" by Bridget E. Baker

Twins Judica & Chancery's mother is dead. Judica was originally their mother's heir until recently when their mother had chan...