I normally wait until the end of the month to share my book reviews, but these wouldn’t wait! Enjoy!
Hang onto your hat with this one, folks! This story, written in dual timelines is hands-down one of the best books of the year so far! I struggled at the beginning to keep all the characters from each timeline straight, but as the authors so effectively established each one, it became easy. I love all the characters. Even the tertiary characters are bigger than life. The relationship between Aiden and his Gran (Julia) is so special, not just because she raised him. They share something deeper than just family blood. They share gifts passed down through their lineage. But their banter is endearing. I almost laughed out loud when she drugged him with her special herbal tea. The strong female characters in this story are unique and capable. Greer may be my favorite. Not only is she a talented writer and editor, but she’s also got flaws that make her believable. And that could be said about each character in this story. Aiden is a non-believer in anything related to the spirit realm. So it was fun watching things unfold to challenge him at every turn. From seances in the late 1800s to modern-day seances, this story encompasses it all. Some so-called spiritualists were no more than good magicians, while others truly possessed the gift of mediumship. Since I am a true believer in supernatural gifts, I found all of this believable. I cannot fail to mention Aiden’s faithful dog, Levi. He is as much a character in the story as the humans and is entirely devoted to his master. So, I loved it when he saved the day. If you love deeply intertwined family stories mixed with paranormal occurrences and a tantalizing mystery, you are going to enjoy this story from these two authors. I’ve been a fan of both of their writings for many years, but the two of them co-authoring this book have taken storytelling to an entirely new level. This is the must-read book of 2022!
I enjoyed this book so much. The author speaks my language. Elidor is an empath. She’s struggled throughout her entire life with how to manage that gift and not let it overwhelm her. She’s also an archaeologist and a good one. She’s traveled the world participating in digs. But this one, in New Mexico, changes her life. Bordering the Mescalero Indian Reservation, she and her partner, Cam make a discovery that will affect the future of the Mescalero Indians and their way of life. What to do? She’s developed a close kinship with a Mescalero elder, Juanita, who is teaching her how to manage her gift as an empath. Then Cam falls off the mountain and dies. Now Elidor is the only one who knows the location of the burial site and the massive accumulation of wealth it holds. She makes a choice that puts her life in danger. Greed can cause men to do unspeakable things. I cheered for Elidor when she made the decision to return home to Joshua, which is a fictitious town patterned after Jerome, Arizona. If you’ve never visited this place, put it on your bucket list, and don’t miss the kaleidoscope store. The author did a fabulous job of describing it. But I digress. I loved Elidor’s family and the hippie community that is bonded together in this quaint town. And while she knew it was always a possibility, she’d not prepared to cross paths with her one true love, Julien, whom she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He is an accomplished journalist turned author and has also traveled the world. Will they be able to renew their relationship? Will Elidor give up her secret? So many questions! You’ll have to read the book to find the answers. While this is book 3 in a series, is it a complete standalone You do not have to read the others before this one. If you are a fan of complex characters and a compelling storyline, you are going to love this book. I highly recommend it!
The cover for this story is the first thing that drew me. It’s gorgeous! I’ll Be Right Back is a short read that portrays a weak man’s obsession with a woman and the ultimate betrayal. Maura Beth Brennan has a distinctive writing style that pulls the reader into the story. She sets the scene, then follows through with the psychological aspects of both characters. Money isn’t everything, and love is truly blind. A short but good read!
A sheriff with amber eyes and lean hard muscles, a spunky southern girl, and a small Montana town makes the perfect combination for an intriguing story. Oh, but wait! Let’s add in the fact that the hunky sheriff is a shapeshifter who is determined to keep his inner wolf a secret. But when the people he loves are threatened by a powerful evil force, he has no choice. This story kept me involved from the beginning to the end. While I felt it was predictable as far as the romance part, it is a super entertaining read, and a great way to escape into another world for a while. This author does a great job of creating the characters. I could visualize them all and had a few favorites I immediately related to. Rose, Quinn, Jesse, and Adam, although tertiary characters, all play a big part in the unfolding of the story. If you are looking for a different kind of small-town romance story, there is no doubt you will enjoy this one. It’s a great escape!
I read some AMAZING books in August, aside from the ones I’ve already posted through Lone Star Literary Blogging and NetGalley. I’m excited to share these additional reviews with you!
This story gripped me from page one. A Necromancer is summoned by the King of Verdane. His beloved wife is dying in childbirth. Barus, with a severely crippled, bent, and gnarled body, is the Necromancer. He overhears the queen begging the king to save the life of the child and let her go. But in his grief, the king cannot make that choice, so both mother and child die. But Barus has already fallen in love with the beautiful child, and in the midst of the chaos surrounding the queen’s death, he steals the baby’s lifeless body, takes her to his thatched hut, and through the use of his knowledge and abilities, returns the child’s life. Never was a little girl loved more than Aster. Barus teaches her the healing art, and she grows into a beautiful and happy young woman who can communicate with dragons. So, when the king eventually comes to claim his only heir, things begin a slippery and deadly downhill slide.
Stephen Spielberg once gave writing advice to authors, telling them to put their characters up a tree and throw rocks at them. This author, D. Wallace Peach, did that in spades in this story. The unimaginable torture and hardships Aster went through were enough to have me biting my fingernails and holding my breath.
Captured and placed in a cage to freeze to death overnight, it appears all is lost. That is until young Jareh decides to disobey his powerful father and help her escape. The journey that one single action took them on was long, cold, and treacherous.
I won’t spoil the story by giving away too much. I’ll just say I was mesmerized as it all unfolded, leaving me gasping for breath more than once.
If you are a fan of epic fantasy that includes herbal healing, magic, dragons, corruption, and greed, you are sure to love this book! I highly recommend it!
This YA Dystopian book gripped me from the beginning to the end. As a young boy, Asher Solomon has to run with his two sisters to escape being taken by The Colony soldiers. At first, he is sure it’s only a drill. After all, their father has insisted they be prepared for the one unavoidable time it would be real. And that time arrives at the start of the story. But when Asher’s sister is injured while escaping, he’s forced to leave them in a cave, promising to return for them.
The world-building in this story is phenomenal. The author did a fabulous job of creating believable characters in nail-biting situations of survival. Oh, and they are all teenagers.
The Colony has figured out a way to harvest highly sought-after, desirable genes from children in order to create a perfect society of beautiful people free of all disease. Of course, that kind of perfection comes at a price. The price of human life.
Children, referred to as outliers, are ripped from their families and taken to harvesting centers. Asher joins a group of teenagers, Insurgents, whose mission is to rescue these children. While Asher and his group may be young, they are wise and capable way beyond their years. There are a lot of characters in this story, but besides Asher, I loved Noah, Brynn, and Paige. They are the backbone and strength of the Insurgents.
But there are secrets. And when they are revealed, change everything Asher ever believed about his parents and his life, and have the potential to destroy everyone he loves. This story concludes with somewhat of a happy ending mixed with a cliffhanger. I could see this entire story unfold as a movie and would be thrilled for the author if it were to be developed as a major film. If you are a fan of gripping dystopian stories where survival is tenuous, you will love this book.
This is a book that is so real, you can imagine Vanessa and Royce Keller being your next-door neighbors. Royce Keller is an esteemed doctor. Vanessa spends her time helping raise money for charities. Then there are three children, all teenagers.
Somewhere along the way to building a busy, successful medical career as Chief of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Keller lost touch with his wife and children. That is until tragedy strikes.
When his teenage daughter, Hope, is brought into the emergency room, a victim of a motorcycle accident, he doesn’t recognize her. He goes against all medical protocol by treating her and then, in a frantic attempt to save her waning life, gives a blood transfusion directly from his vein to hers. After all, she is his daughter, and their blood should be a match. The result is Hope’s death. The reason—severe trauma wounds and a blood mismatch. The first of many secrets is revealed. Hope is not his child.
And that’s just where the story starts.
The family undergoes such an emotional rollercoaster from the first page of this book until the end. It is a character-driven story, and those are my favorites. While, at times, I wanted to shake both Royce and Vanessa, what they went through on their journey to redemption is relatable and believable. The two remaining children were often stronger than their parents as layer after layer of trust had to be rebuilt.
And did you know it is possible for twins to have different fathers? I didn’t until I read this book. It is called heteropaternal superfecundation.
This is family drama at its best. If you are a fan of deep psychological wounds, healing, and acceptance, you will enjoy this story as much as I did! I highly recommend it!
I received this book as a gift and found it to be a refreshingly light read. Several things appealed to me, such as the small town setting where everyone knows everyone, a single dad raising a little girl, who is also a paramedic and dashingly handsome, and a big city lawyer who has given up on love and God. Faith is woven throughout the story, but it’s done in a tasteful way so that it doesn’t come across as preachy. One of my favorite characters in the story is Rebecca, a precocious little girl who adores her father. While the plot and storyline are predictable, I enjoyed the light-hearted read, and it left me feeling hopeful. I am a sucker for a happy ending. Especially one where all the characters come out winners. This author writes from the heart, and that is obvious in this story. If you love Christian-based clean, and wholesome romances, you’ll enjoy this book.
I am SO excited to share my blog space with C.S. Boyack today! He has a brand new release, the final book in the epic high-seas fantasy trilogy. I have read both the Voyage of The Lanternfish and the HMS Lanternfish and highly recommend them! I am currently knee-deep into the Wreck of The Lanternfish and again, highly recommend this entire series! I also recommend you start with book 1, then devour the entire series! Think of it as binge-watching a riveting Netflix series. 🙂 Seriously, these three books would make a fabulous Netflix series. Maybe someday!
Thank you for letting me borrow your space today, Jan. I have a new book out called Wreck of theLanternfish. This is the concluding volume of the Lanternfish Trilogy. Unlike my other series, this one almost has to be read in order.
Today, I want to talk about one of the more popular characters in the books. Serang has evolved into a co-main character. She was raised in a monastery system by monks who taught her to read and write, and also fight like a Kung Fu master.
She found herself in charge of a disgraced army of warriors from the country of Giapon. In the last volume, they were inserted into the war between Hollish and Prelonia with the sole mission of finding the mysterious Fulminites and destroying them if possible.
The Fulminites are no pushovers, their members make up the Black Assassins as well as the exploding monks. They are the real power behind the Hollish throne and the driving force behind the war.
Serang’s warriors are mistrusted by both sides, including the one they’re supporting. They’re so different than anything this continent has seen. From their Eastern features and dress, to their way of fighting and warfare. This part of the world has never seen anything like them.
To fulfill her captain’s orders, Serang will have to cross the wilderness and avoid anyone who might mistrust or betray them. She’s also going to have to face the ghosts of her own past, of the purging of the temple system that made her an outlaw in the first place.
Perform your morning meditations and stretches. Sharpen up your guandao, and join Serang as she hunts the Fulminites in ‘Wreck of the Lanternfish.’
James Cuttler created a peaceful spot for he and his wife to settle down. Far from the war that ravages their homeland, far from the reputation he earned as the notorious pirate Captain Bloodwater, and far from responsibility.
A royal Prelonian houseguest is a constant reminder of what’s at stake half a world away, of the friends he put ashore to fight the war. He lives in a dream world that’s temporary, at best. It’s only a matter of time before his guest is identified and the black assassins come for her.
He mortgages his precious vineyard to pay for repairs to his ship. If nothing else, Lanternfish will be one of the most powerful ships in the war, if he’s not already too late.
James will have to merge the skills of commander and con man into something new to make this work. He’ll need to avoid those on his own side who would hang him for piracy.
Serang is half a world away, leading her army of mercenary swordsmen toward the Fulminites. Mistrusted by both sides of the war, she appears as a third combatant on the battlefield. She may eliminate the mysterious order, only to succumb to the demons of her own tragic past.
Strap on your swords and hoist the colors one more time as the thrilling Lanternfish Trilogy comes to an end.
I am thrilled to welcome my friend and fellow author, Yvette Calleiro, to my blog today. She has a brand new YA book out that deals with some pretty tough social issues. But I’ll let her tell you about it.
On Writing a Foreword
I first wrote Hype about ten years ago. It was the second book I had ever written, and it needed major revising (not that I knew it at the time). I tried to get it traditionally published and was not successful, but one publisher did provide me with a few suggestions on ways to improve the story. Hype took a spot on the forgotten shelf for the next decade as I wrote my Diasodz series. Ignored but not forgotten. I knew Cici’s story had to be shared, but I wanted to make sure it was well-received when I gave it to the world.
When I finally decided to revise the story, I felt it was missing an introduction of sorts. When the reader first meets Cici, she has quite an intense personality. She’s quite sure of herself and doesn’t hold anything back. Her voice is strong with a splash of attitude (maybe more than a splash). Some readers may be turned off by such a strong character, and I didn’t want a reader to put the book down before they got to know the real her.
Nowadays, readers want the action to happen on page one, but this story builds up to horrors a bit more slowly. So, a foreword made sense to me. I chose to introduce Cici as a grown adult through an introductory letter. Here it is:
Time is constantly progressing. It stops for no one. It doesn’t slow for one to further enjoy a moment, nor does it quicken to allow one to forget a difficult time. It treks along on its own constant path, oblivious to our requests.
As with time, our lives are always moving forward. And with time comes experiences that forever shape the people who we are. Every moment, every minute, and every second carries with it a choice that affects which path we will follow. It molds the person we become.
People do not stand before you now without being a collection of their past experiences and the choices they made as a result of those moments. To truly understand someone, you must open yourself up to understand the particles of time that have formed a person’s soul.
It is with these words I find the courage to share with you my story. I am whole today, but there was a time when I was broken. To truly understand, you must understand my story from the girl I once was before my path was forever changed.
Do not ridicule my innocence. Do not mock my naivety. Try not to judge me, like I judged others. Allow my voice to integrate into your mind without prejudice so you can truly hear my story. Then maybe you will understand.
Cecilia M. Gonzalez
My hope is that this will allow the readers to accept Cici as she is in her teen years, flaws and all. The voice in this letter does not match the voice in chapter one. Cici is living a great life when the story opens. As her life falls apart, her voice will change because tragedy changes all parts of a person, including her voice.
This is my first book with a foreword. My other works do not have one. I’m not sure I’d write one again, but for this story, it doesn’t feel complete without it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on using a foreword to introduce a story. Do you appreciate them or do you tend to skip right over them?
To follow along with the rest of the Hype tour, please visit the author’s blog. Thanks for supporting Yvette M Calleiro and her work!
Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.