My Reviews

As I've mentioned before, I am an avid reader, so I thought I'd share with you books that I have read along with my thoughts on them.  I cannot possibly go back and link all of the reviews that I've written in the past, but I will definitely do so from here on out.  If you like my review, simply click on the title, and it will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase it. :-)


Raven's Peak
by Lincoln Cole

I'm really glad that I voted for this book when it was going through the Kindle Scout process.  I was drawn into the story from the very beginning.  The first scene reminded me a little of Dan Brown, and I love Dan Brown's works.  This novel has a great story line that keeps you engaged and curious.  The scenes are vividly described, which I love because I need to see everything in my mind's eye.  

All of the characters are very well-developed.  Abigail, Haatim, and Arthur are so real on the pages.  I felt as if I was right there with them (though I'm really happy that I wasn't because I would have passed out over and over again...lol!).  

The plot twists were subtly interwoven into the story, and I love where the book ended.  I am definitely looking forward to reading book two! :-)

Into Autumn
by Larry Landgraf

This story is about all hell breaking loose after the stock market crashes and everyone going crazy.  I don't read apocalyptic stories, but this one kept my attention for the entire book.  I have to say that I really enjoyed learning more about living off the grid and how hard it is. lol! I hope the world never comes to this because I will be one of those who have no clue how to survive.

I really enjoyed the characters that the author created.  Each of them was unique in his/her personality and added to the story.  I especially loved that the characters struggled with some of their actions (I struggled with their actions as well).  I know that an author has done a good job when he/she can bring out an emotion from me, and I felt several emotions during this story: shock, disgust, anger, and sadness.

The story is not a fast read, and it's very detailed.  I like that because I really don't know much about any of the chores and tasks that these characters did, so it helped me to visualize and enjoy the scenes.  There are places that are repetitive and probably could have been minimized.  At the same time, their lifestyles were very simplistic and there was a lot of repetitiveness to their tasks.  You also got to see the characters grow closer through these tasks.  

I also had an issue with something that happens between two of the characters at the end (don't want to give anything away). I know it was a setup for the next book, but it just came out of nowhere, and I didn't feel like it fit the male character's personality.  I guess I will just have to wait to see what comes of it in book two.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I cannot begin to imagine having to live under the circumstances that these characters had to endure.  If you like survival or apocalyptic stories, then I think you will really enjoy this book.

No Fairy Tale: The Reality of a Girl Who Wasn't a Princess and Her Poetry
by D.L. Finn

This book was broken into three sections.  I'm going to start with the last section of this book. I LOVED the poetry! Maybe because a lot of it focused on the ocean or nature and I love those topics, I found the poetry beautiful and easy to appreciate.  I loved the imagery that the author used and the emotion/passion that she emits through her words. If this book had only been poetry, I would have given it five stars.

The first half of the book was difficult for me. I was excited about it because I loved the idea of a fairy tale that wasn't so fairy tale-ish.  The problem for me was that I couldn't lose myself in the story because it didn't read like a story (to me). I felt as it if was a retelling of a story instead of the story itself; there was more tell than show.  That being said, that is just my preference in styles.  

When the author finished her "story," she switched to first person, and I could really connect to that part of the book.  I finally felt that there was a voice, and I think that is what I felt was missing at the beginning.  This author has been through more trauma than anyone should have to experience in any lifetime, and I applaud her courage to share her story. I do believe it's a book worth reading, especially for the beautiful poetry at the end.


She Sees in Her Sleep
by A.M. Manay

Oh, how I loved diving back into November's world! This is a set of three short stories that add even more depth (as if there wasn't enough already!) to the lives of the vampires, faeries, and werewolves of November Snow's world.  I loved each story completely.  If you haven't read She Dies at the End and She Lights Up the Dark, I would definitely recommend reading those first.  It just makes these short stories even more powerful because you understand who the characters are better if you've read those novels first.  I can't wait for the next November Snow book! Great series! :-)

Eclipse Lake
by Mae Clair

I absolutely loved this book! This author really knows how to make you feel the emotions of each character. And her suspense scenes...wow! She knows how to SHOW the scene instead of explain the scenes, and because I want to lose myself in the story, authors who write like this grab me hook, line, and sinker.

Her characters are very realistic and stay true to their personalities throughout the whole book.  The plot masterfully weaves several characters from different backgrounds together and embeds them all in the outcome of this story.  I didn't see the climax coming, and that, in and of itself, proves to me just how well this was written because I'm quite good at figuring out the plot of stories.

I do believe I just found another favorite author. I will be looking into everything she writes.

The Heart's Journey Home
by Natalie Ducey

I don't read a lot of poetry, not because I don't like it but because it requires reflection and deep thought.  Usually, I just like to lose myself in a story; I don't want to think too much.  That being said, these poems are great.  There is a great sense of loss in many of them, and the pain oozes out of the pages.  But there is also a sense of hope and survival as well.  There are poems that we can all related to and others that we hope never to experience, though time will most likely make our paths cross with those topics eventually.  If you've never read a book of poems before, this is a great one to start with.  And if you are a lover of poems, this one will sit nicely with your collection. :-)

Souls: A Novel
by Jennifer Hinsman

I enjoyed this mystery/romance novel.  If I could give half stars, I'd give this 3.5.  The characters were so likable, and the author did a great job of keeping the "bad guy" concealed until she was ready to expose him. I loved how the main character, Ann, had such a connection with her sister that she was able to have "visits" from her. The story line was great: Ann loses twin sister and parents around the same time, twin sister was murdered, and Ann sets out to find her murderer.

Ann's character was very well-written, and I loved her relationship with her dog. Ed was the best, though I will admit I was suspicious of him throughout the whole novel. Lol! Tyler was just perfect, and his mother's reaction to the situation was fantastic!

The only thing that kept me from giving it a four-star or a five-star review was the fact that the book needs to go through one more editing. Maybe it already has, and I just got an early edition of it.  There were punctuation marks missing and a few omitted words.  It didn't deter me from reading the story because I really enjoyed the story line and the characters, but at times, it slowed me down. That being said, I definitely think it's a story worth enjoying! :-)

Novy's Son: The Selfish Genius
by Karen Ingalls

This is definitely NOT my typical read. I tend to read fantasy/paranormal, but I've been trying new genres, and I'm glad that I read this one.  This novel is a fictional story about the real life of the author's father. The entire time that I was reading it I kept thinking that Murray had to have sat with the author and shared his story or maybe he had recorded it down somehow.  That was how real and personal it felt.  It was written so magnificently well that I felt that the main character and I were sitting down and drinking (me with tea and him with alcohol).

I went through so many different emotions toward the main character.  At first, I felt sorry for him.  Growing up in the '20s was rough, and he always seemed left out of his real family. Luckily, he had an aunt and uncle who loved him and knew how to express it; it just wasn't enough for him.  My heart ached each time that he lost someone he loved.

But then, I felt myself hardening my heart toward him.  He made bad choice after bad choice after bad choice.  I found myself angry with his parents for enabling him so much.  And above all, I felt sorry for his children.  Sadly, there were too many families in very similar situations during those times. 

I can only imagine how difficult it was for the author to share this story, and I commend her for doing so.  The raw emotions are felt throughout the novel.  The "if only's" are whispered between the pages.  The harsh realities of life that are shared in this story would make any reader pause and examine his/her own life and evaluate it.  

I would say that this was not an easy read.  The words are simple enough, but the topics explored require the reader to face some difficult truths that surround us.  Still, I would definitely recommend this to others. :-)

Paper in the Wind
by Olivia Mason-Charles

This story made me cry.  It was both heart-wrenching and heart-warming.  What I loved about the story is that it was a father's point of view.  It was raw and emotional, and it had a conversational feel to it.  I also loved that it did not paint the mother as a horrible person.  Her actions were horrific, but the author showed that not all people are capable of handling situations the way others would. It showed the realities of autism for many parents, but it also showed the strides of success that can be reached.

I wish this story had been longer.  It ended too quickly for me.  As I said, it was as if the father was sitting with me and sharing his story.  I definitely became immersed in the story (to the point of crying several times), but I feel like the author could really turn this into a full-length novel.  I would have loved to see a few scenes from the daughter's perspective or maybe have read more of the conversations that took place between the dads.  I would have enjoyed more details in the scenes where Jonathan and Alexa interact.  The story is beautiful, and I just wanted to be thrown deeper into their world.

Every reader should read this.  It's a book that starts with tragedy but ends with compassion and love through perseverance and acceptance. :-)

Milele Safari: An Eternal Journey
by Jan Hawke

I don't know that I've ever read a book quite like this, and I probably would not have picked it up had it not been recommended to me. I saw the book trailer for it which intrigued me even more.  As I have many young readers who read my reviews, I want to mention that this book is for a mature audience.  What I mean by that is that the topics are heavy and traumatic at times.  It is not a book that I could read quickly or with distractions.

The story follows several different characters, although all of them in some way tie into the main character, Sophie.  Each character is so beautifully unique in his/her dreams, desires, and traumas.  The author does such a brilliant job in sharing the various stories through the characters' perspectives.  There are parts that even take on the viewpoint of a couple of the predators (animals).  

I can't really pick any one character as most riveting.  This was a heart-wrenching read for me at times because my heart broke for the amount of loss that took place.  David's characters floored me.  To see his story and to know that so many "Davids" exist saddens me.  I have a newfound respect for UN workers and those who volunteer in war torn countries.  They have an unending capacity for empathy and love. Wow.

With all of the heaviness, there is also light and beauty.  The descriptions of Africa were stunning.  I am a magnet for mosquitoes, so I'm not sure if I will ever go there, but after reading this book, I definitely would love to see it firsthand.  

This book is beautifully written and has a story definitely worth reading.  Just be prepared for a roller coaster ride of awe and wonder on the highs and heartache and sadness on the lows.  But when the ride is over, you will know that it was worth it all. :-)

The Untethered Soul
by Micheal A. Singer

I cannot say enough good things about this book.  It was recommended to me years ago by a couple of people, but I put off reading it.  I was in a very negative place in my head back then, and I don't know if I would have been as receptive to the message (even though that is when I needed the message the most). I decided to read it now, and it almost feels as if the energies of the Universe knew that I was ready to embark on this journey of inner peace. 

This is not a book that you fly through.  Rather, it is a book that needs your full attention.  It is not difficult to read at all, but its message is one in which you will find that you need time to reflect upon and truly take note of its lessons.  I am already noticing a change in my mindset and in how I react to the world around me and within me.  My mind is quieter because I am more aware of the Self who resides within me.

I recommend this book to everyone but especially to those of you who deal with negative thoughts, stress, fear, anxiety, or noise in your head.  This book will help you find the peace that we all deserve to have within us. :-)

Finding Gina
by Lizzie Chantree

This was a great, lighthearted read, and I really enjoyed it.  Each of the characters were believable and likable, even self-centered Rachel. lol! The descriptions of the scenery were so serene that I wished for a meadow like that within driving distance of my home.  The pace of the book was perfect, and I loved Gina and Lewis' miscommunication and Gina's desire to bop him upside the head. lol! I would have enjoyed reading more about the grandmother and the father and what happened between them, but that's just my overactive, nosy imagination. The story wasn't about them, so it makes sense that we were only given what was included.  All in all, this is a story that anyone can read and walk away from with a happy feeling inside. :-)

Fauna Park Tales: An African Adventure
by Maretha Botha

This was about a dog named Flame who was dealt tragedy as a pup and ends up finding himself as a newcomer to a farm in Africa.  The story is told from the point of view of the animals on the farm, mostly from a bird named Hope who sees everything that happens.  It is very much a children's story, though there is a death scene toward the beginning. It isn't graphic but it is there, and it's a great opportunity to discuss death with younger children. The writing reminds me very much of folklore, and I think children would enjoy it.  It's a great story about how one "person" can inspire others to come together and help one another, which is a great lesson for all kids. :-)


Love's Child
by Lizzie Chantree

I really enjoyed this story.  You've got a group of do-gooders who just want to live their lives and make the lives of others better, and you've got the selfishly wealthy who don't care whose lives they ruin so long as their wants are fulfilled.  And then you have those that fall somewhere in the middle who get tangled in the web that the others weave.  There's a sense of mystery as well as suspense in this novel, and it keeps you wanting to see how these two worlds will collide and who will end up unscathed, if anyone.  The message at the end is a powerful one, and I loved that the author ended with it. :-)

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood series) - adult novel
by J.R. Ward

Oh, how I love the brotherhood and their females! Sigh...  I absolutely loved this book.  Mary and Rhage's story was just perfect through their imperfections and their ways of handling them.  I also loved the continuation of Layla having difficulty with her circumstances.  Now that things have changed for her, it will be interesting to see if she finally comes forth with the truth.  I also am really enjoying Assail's journey and the choices that he is making.  V is another one who has me intrigued now that his mother has gone AWOL.  This series never disappoints me, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book! :-)

Scarlet
by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet was another great read.  I loved how the author spun her version of Little Red Riding Hood into this series.  The author did a great job of moving between parallel plots.  Cinder kept searching for the woman who made her, while Scarlet kept searching for her grandmother.  Poor Kai! I feel so bad for him.  He really is stuck between a rock and a hard place, but I don't know that I would have made his decision.  Then again, I guess it needed to happen to light a fire under Cinder's butt. lol! I am really looking forward to reading Cress and seeing how that fairy tale interweaves into the two already told. :-)

Luck of the Irish - adult novel
by Liz Gavin

You know those sayings, "Listen to your mother" and "Listen to your gut." Well, those two thoughts popped into my head while reading this. lol! The story starts off by grabbing my interest with a very sexy scene a little bit into the novel, so I had a pretty good feeling that I would enjoy the book. ;-)

This book was interesting to me because it didn't follow the typical pattern of novels.  You know, girl falls in love, girl gets in trouble, guy comes to the rescue, they live happily ever after.  Nope, this one started that way, and I thought that the author was just going to finish it there, but there was still a whole lot of book left to read.  So, I kept reading and was treated to watching these two fall in love and help one another deal with their pasts.

And then all hell breaks loose again! I felt so bad for Kiera because she just couldn't get a break! The author did an amazing job with creating very solid characters who stayed true from beginning to end.  And again, when I thought it was over, more happens! I am not upset by it.  Actually, it was nice to be able to read about the events that happened after the part where most authors end it and let the reader assume the rest.

The romance had just the right amount.  The sex scenes were tasteful but still delicious.  The action and suspense was wonderfully describe.  The characters were fantastic!  I usually don't read romance novels, but I'm glad I took a chance on this one.  It was well worth it! :-)

Assaie's Gift
by D.E.Howard

I love books that involve gods and goddesses, and this one was a sweet one. I loved how the story took us back in time to the era of the gods and showed us why the present day characters were given their "gifts."  The characters were easy to know and love.  And then, of course, just when everything is going so perfectly, something has to happen to change things up. Lol! 

I'm not usually one to read books that are stand alones, but this one was a good one.  The author did a great job in giving the characters their own personalities and in making you feel as if you were there with them.  The plot was solid and complete.  The ending was perfect!  If you love gods and goddesses and you enjoy love stories, you will definitely want to read this book! :-)


Crazy! Hot! And Living on the Edge!
by Shirley Harris-Slaughter

As far as I'm concerned, this is an absolute must read for everyone! Healthy or sick, it doesn't matter.  There is information in this book that everyone can benefit from.

I can relate to this author on so many levels.  I have not had the hardships in my life that she has had, and I am in awe of how strong she is to have not only overcome them but stand tall and proud in her success over them.  I do, however, relate to the struggles of dealing with an "illness" that Western doctors do not know how to treat.  I was diagnosed years ago with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS, now known as Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disesase).  

For years, I had doctors tell me that I was depressed, that I needed to exercise more, that I needed to take pills to feel better.  None of them could find anything wrong with me.  And then, I was lucky enough to find a doctor who was relentless in looking for the CAUSE instead of covering up the symptoms.  She found that I had traces of antibodies for Lyme disease and that I had the Epstein Bar virus antibodies as well (I also have a low heart rate, low blood pressure, and practically no metabolism).  After more tests, she finally diagnosed me with CFS, except back then, CFS wasn't recognized as a 'real thing' by doctors.  Lucky for me, my doctor believed it was real and looked for ways to help me deal with it.

Still, she was more of a Western doctor, so she prescribed me a medicine to raise my metabolism.  It did, and I felt normal again.  But then it stopped working, and I developed a side effect of anxiety (one of the many possible side effects of that medicine).  So, I stopped the medicine, my fatigue came back and the anxiety didn't go away.  That was when I started looking into holistic remedies with my sister's help (she's completely into holistic everything).

I found an applied kinesiologist (not sure if I spelled that correctly) who has been a godsend.  She had me eliminate all breads/pastas/wheat and all sugar from my diet, and I feel so much better.  She has identified an adrenal fatigue in me and is working to reset my system.  I have also found a holistic neurologist who is working on reducing my anxiety through neurofeedback.    I am not taking any prescription medicine, though I do supplement my diet with herbs and minerals that I am not getting through my food but are essential to my healing.

I shared these doctors with my Western med doctor, and she was super excited for me.  She also took down all of the information to research it. That's what I love about her. Although she studied the Western medicine way, she is open to Eastern medicine ways.  Her focus is on healing me in any way possible, and isn't that what should be motivating all doctors? Instead, I find that most doctors want to push pills instead of heal the patient.

I am finally starting to see positive results, but it's been a long struggle. I've had to change my diet to mostly organic and non-GMO foods, and I've had to eliminate breads/pasta/wheat and sugar (except for the occasional indulgence). I've had to change the way I exercise. I've had to make time for appointments.  In other words, I've had to make a complete life change, but I regret none of it because I am starting to get control over my life again.  So, it's been worth it.

I applaud this author for having the courage to share her story so that others can open their eyes and realize that there ARE solutions out there.  They may need to look outside of the societal norm, but we were not put on this earth to suffer through life.  We are meant to enjoy the time we have here.  I hope this book finds its way into everyone's hands, especially those who are sick and tired and not finding the help that they need.

Treachery & Triumph (The Genesis Saga: Book Two)
by John Fioravanti

I read Passion & Struggle a while ago, and I liked it but I wasn't sure if I'd get around to reading book two (this book).  I'm glad I did.  I didn't realize that I had missed these characters.  This book is a continuation of book one, and there are still plenty of issues between the Churchers and the new democracy.  The Rogue are in full terrorist mode, which was a little disturbing to read since so much of that is happening in our real world. (I enjoy reading fantasy to escape reality, so it threw me off just a tad bit - but those are my own issues. lol!)

The author has done an amazing job creating SO many different characters and giving them all their unique, consistent personalities.  His descriptions make it easy for you to visualize the scenery and the action taking place.  I loved the action scenes as much as I enjoyed the negotiation scenes.  I even got teary-eyed in certain parts, which just shows that the author did a great job in allowing me to lose myself in the story.

If you love sci-fi, you will love these books, but definitely start with book one (Passion & Struggle). Otherwise, you will miss out on the depth of the characters and their issues.

by Marissa Meyer

It was hard for me to get into this book at first.  It's the first book I've read with cyborgs in them, and I guess I needed to get used to the terminology or something.  Once I got into it, I enjoyed it. I loved the various twists that the author put on the Cinderella story, and I enjoyed the concept of the Lunar people.  Cinder and Iko were such great characters to read.  It was predictable once all of the characters were revealed, but I enjoyed the story enough to want to read the next one. 

Sugarcoatin' is for Candy & Pacifying is for Kids!: "Yes! I Said It!"
by Nonnie Jules

This book is a collection of some of the author's best blogs and advice.  She speaks honestly and from the heart, and her advice is right on the money every time.  This is a book that I would recommend to everyone because it's filled with suggestions to make your life and the world a better place.  It's easy to read and everyone will be able to relate to it.  I agree very much with this author's advice.  I only wish more people would adopt her mindset; our world would be a much kinder place if they did.  I definitely recommend this book to everyone.  :-)

A Perilous Thirst
by Rhani D'Chae

This was so different than anything I've ever read. Yes, I've read vampire stories. Yes, I've read short stories. I don't think I've ever read a story where the character was speaking to me, where I was his "interest." It was really cool. And as is always my complaint with short stories, it was too short!!! I would love to see the whole journey drawn out! It was frustrating to me that it ended so quickly, but those are my issues. The story is fantastic, and I definitely recommend it. 

She Lights up the Dark (November Snow, Book 2)
by A.M. Manay

This book was just as awesome as the first book (She Dies at the End)! November has new challenges in front of her now, but she is smarter than she was before.  She also has more patience with herself and more faith in those she cares about.  Still, she is, for the most part, alone and has to find a way to save everyone from Luka's destructive plans.  I loved how this book allowed us to see all of the characters that we fell in love with in book one through November's visions.  I love the new characters who were added and hope we see more of them in book 3.  I even loved the loss of some of my favorites (no spoilers).  Some things just have to happen; I understand that. Not everything is as it seemed in book one (which completely thrills me since I love when authors throw upsetting twists into stories...lol!). As with book one, this one ends in a crazy cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to read book three!  This series is so much fun, and I'm recommending it to everyone and anyone who enjoys reading paranormal/fantasy! You will fall in love with these books! :-)

She Dies at the End (November Snow, Book 1)
by A.M. Manay

I absolutely LOVE this book! There's vampires and fairies and werewolves! Oh my! ;-) I was drawn into the story from the very beginning.  November is a girl who can see the future, and she has already seen herself being buried.  And then she meets the people who bury her, so she knows her fate is sealed! But the story - the journey - is awesome!  The characters are so well-created! Each one is distinct and so easy to love or hate (or both...lol)! November's character is so much fun! She's sarcastic and doesn't think much of herself or her life, but she grows stronger as the book progresses to the point where she is incredibly brave and strong (though not always intentionally). ;-)  The story ends in a cliffhanger, and I am a HUGE fan of cliffhangers.  I knew something was up, but I had no idea that this twist was coming.  Luka (the "bad" guy of this story) was brilliant with his little deception.  If you like paranormal/fantasy, you definitely have to read this book!

Interludes: A Collection of Short Erotic Fiction (adult novel)
by Harmony Kent

When I first started reading Interludes, I wasn't too happy.  The stories were too short for me.  Just when I was starting to get into the characters, the story ended.  That's not to say that they weren't well-written; I have just come to learn that I am more of a novel-length type of reader.

As I continued to read the book, I began to get over the short length (maybe because the short stories also started getting longer).  I loved that each story was completely different than any other story in the book.  The author did a great job in creating unique characters with varying circumstances.  And the sex scenes were just perfect for each story.

I'm not sure if I could pick a favorite, but I think the longer the story was, the more I fell in love with it.  In fact, there are a few stories that I think she could probably turn into full length novels if she ever felt like it. All in all, if you are looking for hot, steamy short stories to get your imagination in hyper-drive, you will definitely enjoy this book. :-)

Into Dark Waters
by Rebecca Reilly

This books was AWESOME!!! The author got me, and that rarely happens.  Usually, I can figure out the bad guy quickly, but this book was so brilliantly written that I had to keep second guessing my theories.  The characters were colorful, and each one was distinctly unique.  I can honestly say that I felt a connection to all of the characters (even the bad ones), which is so rare. The hints that the author throws in to lead you to the "bad guy" was so subtle, but they are there.  This is not the type of book that I usually read, but I am SO happy that I took a chance on it.  I will be recommending it to everyone I know. :-)

Get Out or Die
by Kim Cox

This was another great Lana Malloy story.  My only complaint is that it was too short.  The writing was great.  The plot was fantastic.  The characters were all interesting.  My heart broke for Adam.  I just wanted MORE.  

Lana is just so likable.  I love how we get to really feel as if she is a friend of ours.  She is genuine and has every day issues and thoughts/emotions like the rest of us.  She just happens to also be able to see and speak with the dead.  lol! I will definitely read the rest of the book in this series.  

Eternal Service
by Regina Morris

Eternal Service was a great book. Unfortunately, I had to read it in spurts so I lost some of the momentum that usually pulls me into a book. The characters were likable and well-developed. This is the first book in a series so there was a lot of set up for future books. I love that the main character is a female, and I love that she is strong and determined and doesn't need a man to take care of her. The ending was a little predictable, but maybe that's because I read so much that I've gotten pretty good at predicting endings. Still, it was the ending that I was hoping for, so I'm happy. :-)

Redemption's Warrior
by Jennifer Morse and William Mortimer

The story line was good.  Christopher takes a trip to Mexico to get some work done on his car for his 18th birthday and ends up in a Mexican prison.  The story follows his journey in coming to terms with what happened to him and then finding a way to escape.

The character description is great.  It was easy for me to visualize who each of them were and what their personalities were like.  I especially loved the connection to spirit animals.  The description of the scenery was fantastic as well.  The authors did an amazing job with description.

The issue for me is that I just couldn't feel a part of the story.  I wasn't drawn in to losing myself within the plot.  I wanted to, but I couldn't.  I can't quite put my finger on why I couldn't.  Maybe the whole stuck-in-a-prison-on-an-island just isn't my thing.


A Dream Come True
by Kim Cox

Oh, how I wished that this was more than just a short story! I was able to feel for the main character quite intensely for such a short story.  I wanted to know much more than was given to me.  I could easily see this being turned into a full length novel.  I wanted to watch her fall in love and have her heart broken.  I wanted to experience her moving on and finding love again only to lose it again.  And I wanted to see her struggle with accepting her second chance moment.  Obviously, there is a book two, and maybe book two visits all of this (I haven't read it yet), but this story was a really great teaser.  It's a quick read but a sweet love story about second chances. :-)

Better! Self-Help for the Rest of Us
by Terry Lancaster

I really, really liked this book.  I enjoy reading self-help books because it always helps me to refocus on making myself a better me, and this book did not disappoint. What I love most about this book is how down to earth it is! The author is a guy who has plenty of self-admitted flaws, and he owns them proudly because he knows that he is good even flawed, BUT he can be a better him with minor adjustments.  I love that! So many self-help books focus on what is wrong with you and how if you do all of these complicated steps, you can fix yourself.  This book pretty much says that you are okay as you are, but there is a slightly better you waiting around the corner if you want to focus on doing just one thing differently.

This book gives realistic, small step advice in real world terms for the average person.  He uses humor to lower your resistance to new ideas.  He shares his own real life examples of struggles and set backs and successes.  He uses analogies/comparisons that make sense.  His advice is for the everyday, busy person who can't fit an extra hour of anything into their already crammed day.  And I LOVE that he puts the lessons to be learned in BOLD face, separated from the rest of the text.  I'm tempted to take pictures of those phrases and use them as my screen saver. :-D

And probably best of all, he has a web site completely dedicated to helping each of us become a better person.  To me, this is a must read for everyone.  It's quick and easy to understand, and you will come away wanting to focus on just one part of your that you want to make better. And we can all work on something. ;-)

Triangulating Bliss 
by Janelle Jalbert

What a fantastic book! It's a book about how seven people from different walks of life have their lives permanently changed because of the love and acceptance of two people who believe in love and second chances.  What makes it even more interesting is that one of those people is no longer living.  Phil passed away, and yet when these characters reach a crossing roads in their lives, they are transported to another realm where Phil helps them reflect on his/her life journey in hopes of helping them make the right choices when they return back to their lives.

This is not a book filled with action.  This is a book of journeys toward self-improvement and self-acceptance.  The Phil-isms (advice on life) are beautiful and so perfect because they fit into each and every one of our lives.  I found myself pausing after a Phil-ism and thinking, "Hmmm, that's interesting." And then I'd reflect upon my own life and how to apply that Phil-ism to my own journey.

The characters are so distinct and very well-written.  Even the minor characters are unique and important.  The characters are realistic, and they all have flaws, which is something that I really loved.  We are all perfectly imperfect, and that is what makes us beautiful.

I loved the ending of the story because it was very realistic and stayed true to the journey of life.  I look forward to reading the future books of this series (now that I know that it will become a series of sorts). :-)


Stroke of Midnight: A Midnight Breed Novella (1001 Dark Nights) (adult novel)
by Lara Adrian

Another amazing novel by Lara Adrian.  I fell in  love with Jehan almost immediately, and I loved Sera's independent, fiery attitude with him. lol! I loved seeing Archer's name again and only hope that these two entities start having more play time in future books.

My only complaint was that it was way too short of a story! Yes, I know that it is just a novella, but I wanted MORE!!! Not that the story was lacking because the plot flowed perfectly, but I was left wanting more interactions, more friction between them, more making-up, more everything! lol!

The next breed book cannot come fast enough for me! :-)


Jessica: The Autobiography of an Infant
by Jeffrey Von Glahn

It was hard to rate this book because it is SO not what I usually read.  It isn't paranormal and it isn't action-packed, and those are usually what pulls me in and makes me give it a 5* rating, but this book still had me totally enthralled in its pages and its story.  So, let's just say it's a 4.5 stars. :-)

This is the true story of Dr. Jeffrey Von Glahn and his patient, Jessica, as he tries to help her figure out what is wrong with her.  There are so many things I loved about this book.  I loved the author's raw sincerity in his telling of their journey.  He did not glorify scenes or abstain from sharing his fears and insecurities about Jessica's progress (or lack thereof at times).

I was captivated with Jessica's journey and how difficult it must have been for her to live for so long with such emptiness within her.  I admire her strength and persistence to not give up in finding out why she wasn't whole.  I am in awe with the memories that she is able to pull from the recesses of her mind and what we can all learn from her experiences.  I am saddened for not only what Jessica went through but for all of those babies who went through (and still go through) that kind of treatment from mothers who do not understand how to be loving and nurturing to their children.

As I was reading this, I found myself thinking back to my childhood and how I was raised and how those events influenced who I am today.  I thought back to when my son was born and questioned if I've ever given him a reason to feel unloved (thankfully, the answer I found was no - I am always telling him and showing him how special he is).  I now look at my students and wonder if some of them behave the way they do because they are desperately seeking approval and acceptance, and I am sure that, for some of them, that is the case.

This is a book that I feel should be read by SO many different groups of people: current mothers, mothers-to-be, OBGYNs, nurses, teachers, fathers, fathers-to-be, caretakers of any kind, etc. I almost feel like it should be required reading for many of those groups. It is true that most of us cannot remember the memories of our birth or of our first few years, but that does not mean that our psyche does not hold on to those experiences.  It does not mean that our psyche did not share our strengths and weaknesses from those moments.  We owe it to our children and to future generations to make sure that when babies are brought into this world, they feel wanted and needed and loved and special.

I am so happy that this author and that "Jessica" were willing to share their journey with the rest of us.  I only hope that their journey can positively impact babies from here on forward. :-)


Blood Kiss: Black Dagger Legacy (adult novel)
by JR Ward

I love my Black Dagger men, even the ones from the new generation.  I especially love that the originals are in the novel as well.  I love that the training camp is back in action and that the story lines include a blend of old and new.

I'm so happy that Marissa was given the spot light. She had always felt like a side character, even when she was given her own story.  I love that she is learning to come to terms with her past and that she is finally taking aggressive charge of her life.

I absolutely love Paradise and cannot wait to see more of her.  And I love Craeg! It was so fun to watch him try so hard to resist the bonding when he was a goner from the getgo. lol! There is so much more story to tell for these two, and I'm excited to watch it unfold in the upcoming novels.

The other brothers are there as well as well as their mates.  The scenes with V and with Lassiter were fantastic.  There is one brother that is starting to have issues of his own, and I'm sure those will become more prevalent in the upcoming books.  And that movie night scene...just priceless! 

I have always been a fan of the BDB, and the Legacy series is a fantastic addition to the series. LOVE it!!! :-)

The Digestive Awareness Diet
by Dr. John K. Pollard

My sister lent me this book to read.  I'm not really a nonfiction reader, but this one definitely held my attention.  I found it very interesting to learn each step of the digestive process and the purpose for each step. It has definitely changed my way of eating.  I love that it is written in a layman's terms. It doesn't have any restrictions from food; its purpose is simply to teach people HOW to eat the foods that they are eating.  I truly would recommend this book to everyone that I know.


Passion & Struggle: The Genesis Saga Book 1
by John Fioravanti


Let me start off by saying that I don't usually read futuristic, sci-fi books. I LOVE Star Wars but I'm not a Star Trek kind of gal, so I tend to stay away from this genre. That being said, this was a book that I wanted to read, and I liked it. I didn't love it, but I did like it.

The characters fell a little flat for me at the beginning, but they grew on me with time. I really liked Marie and Annie. They were fun to read. I loved the corrupt Pious and Payne (plus the play on their names is brilliant). lol! I think one of my favorite parts of this book was the twist that had the religious people being the corrupt and destructive ones while the non-religious were living by higher morals and standards. I especially loved the Earthers. I think I was most attracted to them because of my love for the paranormal. I enjoyed picturing what they looked like in my head.

This book is part of a series so book one ends in a "to be continued" way, which is perfectly fine by me since I love cliff-hangers. Did I love the story line enough to read book 2? I'm not sure. I'm definitely curious about what the Churchers will try to do next and how the people on Genesis will react to the Earthers who come to Genesis. So, yeah, maybe I'll read it.

Like I said at the beginning, I'm not a big sci-fi reader, so take my review lightly. If you enjoy sci-fi and political thrillers, I think that you would definitely enjoy this book. :-)

The Shadows (adult novel)
by JR Ward

Damn you, JR Ward! You made me cry in the gym...AGAIN! I tried to cover it by pretending that I was wiping my sweaty face with my towel, but my red-rimmed eyes were too riddled with distraught to fake it. What an AMAZING story!!! This is definitely five brilliant stars!

I'm in love with this series! Really, truly in love. The BDB family is just beautiful! I love that they are not perfect. They screw up and have to deal with the consequences. I love that the story interweaves several different characters' stories flawlessly. And I LOVE that not everyone has a happy ending. (I know...I'm twisted.) The thing is that the whole fairy tale happily-ever-after thing isn't realistic. Life is messy, and I love stories that are realistic in that way. I could not have asked for a more beautiful way for Trez and Selena's relationship to happen. And iAm...sigh...it's about time! lol!

I'm SO looking forward to Paradise's story. I want to see what's happening with Rhage, and will he be able to come to terms with it? I am curious about whether someone, maybe Phury, is going to go up to the Chosen "garden" and release those who may still be trapped (don't want to give away anything). And Layla....ugh, my heart hurts for her. I want more of her and Xcor.

Suffice it to say, this book was fantastic, and I cannot wait to read the next one! :-)
 



Bound to Darkness (adult novel)
by Lara Adrian

I'm in love with all of the Midnight Breed books, and this one was no different. I loved that the original cast was reunited for a mission. I love that the plot is slowly interwoven into the story line of the characters' relationships. Carys is a bad ass, and she doesn't even realize it for most of the novel. I'm looking forward to seeing her new role in the Order in the upcoming books.

So, why did I give it three stars? Well, it felt too fast. I wanted more interaction between the characters. The ending was great, except that through the whole book, Rune kept saying he had this horrible secret (outside of the obvious one) and that he didn't want to bond because he didn't want her to see that part of him. But when they finally do bond, there is no mention of her acknowledging the horror of his secret. If the author was going to spend so much time building up this "secret," then Carys should have at least acknowledged it and shown that she accepts all of Rune, even the hideous parts. It didn't happen which left me disappointed.

That being said, I am looking forward to the next one. I want more Atlantean interactions and more of my Breed, so I will definitely keep reading them. :-)
 


The Reunion (adult novel)
by A.A. Pencil

I can't remember the last time I had so much fun reading a murder mystery. This is definitely NOT a young adult novel because there is a LOT of killing.  I know this is going to sound twisted (I've been told I have a warped mind at times), but I found myself enjoying how some of these characters died because of their own misgivings. And the ending...brilliant!  I was totally sold on the story line. (No, I am NOT giving away the ending!) And then I find out at the end that it's actually a series!  Why do I not have have more time to read???  If you love twisted minds and horror, you will LOVE this book! :-D



I really enjoyed this paranormal short story. The characters were fun and easy to like. I loved the interactions between Lana and Tony, and Lucy was just hilarious. I really hope she reappears later in the series. I love plot twists, and the motives for all of the suspects were brilliant! I don't usually read short stories, but this one made me enjoy the characters enough to want to read the rest of the series.


by Shirley Harris Slaughter

I'm not big into historical reads, but it was interesting to learn about this small town and the people who came together to bring faith and camaraderie to the African-American community during a time when segregation was still taking place. The author provides factual accounts of its history while also bringing in the personal touch of stories from various people who lived through those times. She does a wonderful job of honoring those who fought to bring religion and education to an area that was being neglected. If you enjoy historical reads, you may enjoy this book. :-)



by Peter Martin

The main character, Donna, gets brutally attacked and doesn't know how to move on with her life. It's always such a difficult thing for an author to handle the physical and emotional description of an attack of this nature, but this author does an incredibly respectful job of doing so. Fortunately,I have never had to experience the horror of an attack of this nature, but I would think that Donna portrays what many women who have been attacked like this would experience after the fact.

I enjoyed this story. There was a lot of realism that could be seen in his characters. They weren't perfect, and they all had their own flaws. I was very frustrated with her counselors and their inabilities to truly understand the help that Donna needed, and don't even get me start on her parents!

I loved Evan's character. I also loved Theresa's character, especially because the author brought in the lesson that we should be grateful for what we have, even if it's not perfect, because there is someone out there who has it worse off. And yes, I felt the heartache around Theresa's character. The author did a wonderful job in letting the reader fall in love with her in such a short time.

I saw the ending coming, but I read so much that very few endings shock me. It was a great ending, though I hate how it will affect each of the characters left. (Sorry for not being more specific, but I hate people who spoil a story's ending.)

This is definitely a good book to read! :-)


by Marcha Fox

I am not a big sci-fi reader, but this book caught my eye, so I took a chance on it. The characters' voices were well-created. The descriptions were very detailed, which I guess is extremely important in a sci-fi book. Every ship, every device, and the living conditions were described so well that even someone like me, who has no background in reading sci-fi, could visualize it without feeling lost.

As a movie, this book would drive me crazy because everything takes places over a few days, but as a book, it was fun to read because it kept switching back and forth between the characters. Without giving too much away, Creena gets separated from her family, and her father and brother are trying to find her and rescue her. It's a race against distance and time, and it was cleverly written to keep you intrigued.

The worlds were great! The crazy plants and the other species were imaginative and fun to daydream about. The antagonist is wickedly sinister, and just enough was given to keep you wanting to figure out what he is planning. I also love how the Universe and its energies are portrayed.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sci-fi as well as anyone who has a great imagination. :-)


by Karl J.Morgan

I actually really enjoyed this book. I'm not a big fan of time travel, but this one kept me entertained and wasn't too far-fetched (well, maybe a little far-fetched, but aren't all time travel books?). ;-)

Zeke is the main character and can see the possible future. He always tries to do the right thing, but it doesn't always put him in the best situations. A woman from the future comes to his time and tells him about his vital role in saving the world. Events take place that put his life and the lives of those he loves in danger over and over again.

I enjoyed the voice of Zeke. He was genuine and easy to connect with. He's that all around good guy who just always end up having a bad day and making the best of it.

The pace of the book was great. I never felt bored and always looked forward to what was next going to happen to him. I would definitely recommend this book to other people. :-) 


by Kate Sparks

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and I honestly really liked it. :-)

Rowan and Aren are both wonderfully created characters. The author switches between their two points of view, using first person voice for each of them. Sometimes this can get confusing with some authors, but their voices and personalities are so distinct that it is perfectly clear who is speaking, even without the name labeling as part of the chapter title.

I love both of these characters. Rowan is a believer in fairy tales and magic and is fascinated by it while everyone else in her community abhors it and warns of its danger. Aren is the eptiome of the danger in which Rowan has always been warned about. They are thrust together by circumstances and cannot seem to stop themselves from helping each other, despite the dangers that it presents for both of them.

Each of them are going through their own type of personal journey, and the author shares that journey beautifully through bits and pieces, making it impossible not to sympathize with each of them. And I love how the author throws curve balls of information here and there but then doesn't elaborate. I really, really love that! It's such a tease and lets my own imagination keep creating different scenarios of where she might be going with that tidbit of information. :-)

The world she has created is also magestic and beautiful. I love the dragon and cannot wait to see more of her in the future books (because there just has to be more of her). I love the merfolk and know we will see them again. I even hate to love Severn (lol) and cannot wait to see more of his story. And I truly hope that Rowan will be able to confront her own family when she learns the entire truth of who she is (because I just know that there must be more twists and turns in the next two books).

This book was great, and I am definitely intrigued. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series! :-)


by Jan Harman

I enjoyed this book. I love how I was only given snippets of information so that I could ponder on what was really taking place. I'm not a big fan of giving away what happens in the story, but I do want to share my opinion on some of the characters and the plot.

I love the heavy responsibility that is being shoved down Olivia's throat, and I have a feeling that I am going to enjoy watching her growth in book two of this series. I'm not a big fan of her aunt, and a part of me is hoping that she is really one of the bad people in disguise (lol). Actually, the only adults I did like are Shade and Shadow's parents and Hattie.

There were times in the story where I was completely enthralled in the moment, but there were several times where I had to stop and reread because the scene seemed to jump too quickly for me. I had a hard time visualizing the introduction of many of the action scenes because they just seemed to happen all of a sudden. I guess I wanted to be eased into it a little more or to have had more description. I don't know.

There were some grammar/spelling issues at some points (mostly toward the end), but they didn't take away from the enjoyment of reading the story.

I really liked Olivia's character. I liked her frailty and her confusion. I liked the fact that she had panic attacks and had difficulty coping. It was a genuine reaction to what she went through. I also love the fact that we found out why those things really were taking place toward the end of the story.

Trent...I don't see the connection between him and Olivia. Honestly, he always seemed like such a jerk to me. I can't understand why Olivia would have given him any time from the getgo. I don't feel chemistry at all between them, so I'm hoping that she either ditches him soon, or the author revs up the chemistry because I don't see any reason for them to be together, unless he's the one manipulating her. Not likely, but if he is, I still need to see something "more" happening.

Shade and Shadow... I love them both! I actually like Shadow more than Shade, especially toward the end of book one. And I have a feeling that Olivia, although she won't admit it, will start feeling the same way.

I have lots of ideas rolling around in my head about why Olivia was breached so easily (or rather, why she keeps joining so easily with others), but I'll wait until I read book two to see if I'm right. And I will definitely read book two. It's a great story, and I am curious about how everything will get resolved. :-)


by Nicholas Rossis

What an absolutely wonderful children's story about the beauty of sharing a genuine smile! What I really enjoyed from an adult's point of view is how people tend to be so self-centered that they are focused on their own agendas instead of genuinely listening to the needs of others. It's a great way to speak to kids about authentic listening and how important it is to be in the moment when someone is speaking to you.

For the child, this book teaches how valuable a smile is and how sharing a smile with others makes everyone happy. It teaches them that smiles should be real and genuinely felt. It shows how love brings happiness to all involved. And the Ode to a Runaway Smile at the end was fantastic!

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has children of any age. :-)


by Suzy Turner

I enjoyed this book for several reasons. Josiah is just too cute. I would have loved to have been given his perspective when he disappeared. I would have enjoyed his frustration with losing his memory and getting tidbits of his life with Emelia. I enjoyed the concept of the tattoos growing on each of the Watchers and how each tattoo was uniquely related to his/her ability while still being similar to everyone else's. I loved Declan and Saleena and hope we see more of them in the series. And I love the two main characters. I love how different they are while still caring deeply for each other.

This book is very suitable for the tween years. There is no foul language, no sexual innuendos, no gore, and no innappropiate topics. It was a little too innocent for my tastes (hehe). ;-) That being said, it was a great story. It held my interest throughout the entire book. I would have enjoyed MORE in several scenes throughout the story, but it was just enough to keep me enjoying the story.

I loved Eleanor and her punishment, and I love that her whole story wasn't revealed in book one. I'm a huge fan of books that are a part of a series because they keep you guessing about things yet to come. Eleanor is one of those characters that intrigue me. I want to know more about her. I also want to know what role Scott is going to play in all of this. I doubt he's just a "friend" who's going to be left on the island. Hmmm...

I loved getting a preview of the next book at the end. It definitely makes me want to find out how her dream connects to the state of the train's passengers. Smart move. ;-)


by Airicka Phoenix

When I first chose this book to read, I thought it had a paranormal element to it. With its absolutely amazing cover and with the blurb mentioning something about her being set on fire, I really thought it would. It didn't. By the time I realized that there would be nothing paranormal in it, it no longer mattered; I was already hooked on the story.

I really liked Sophie's character and her internal dialogue. I loved Spencer's attitude and die-hard devotion. I felt bad for how messed up Spencer's life had been. I loved the chemistry that they had together. For the most part, they acted like real teenagers would act.

Actually, all of the characters were created really well. That being said, there were some holes left in some subplots at the end (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). I would have loved to see Spencer's mom come to terms with the truth. I would have loved for Spencer's sister to get what was coming to her (hehe...).

The flow of the book was good, and I really loved how the suspense slowly built.I LOVED the "bad guy" (not giving any spoilers). I knew it almost from the beginning that he was most likely the bad guy.I tend to be really good at figuring those things out. Still, the author ALMOST tricked me. ;-) The author did a great job of trying to throw the suspicion onto several other characters, and that was great! It was shocking to me to what extent the torture took; I didn't expect it to go so crazy when the rest of the story was pretty YA-mild.

I don't usually read books that don't have a paranormal/fantasy feel to them, but I am really glad that I read this one. I will definitely be recommending it to my YA readers! :-)


by Matthew Dexter

As a Language Arts teacher, I love the imagery and figurative language that bleeds through the pages of this novel, but I was also horrified by the pictures painted throughout the scenes in the story. As a reader, this is not the typical type of book that I enjoy reading. I read this book because I was asked to read it and provide an honest review, but I prefer to read paranormal stuff (you know, the stories that don't dive into the harsh realities of the world...lol).

I found myself disturbed at the levels of drug use taking place on one campus and at the idea that a teacher would not only look the other way but also get involved. I'm not saying it's unrealistic; it's just a little too over the top for me. I kept thinking that if it were that all-consuming, the school would have been shut down eons ago. That being said, I know that drugs are as readily available at prep schools as at public schools because those students actually have the money to buy the drugs. I had a hard time getting into the characters because I kept fighting against their actions in my head and because there wasn't enough dialogue to hold on to (compared to the type of stories I usually read).
All in all, the writing was great but the storyline was not something that I enjoyed learning more about. I'll stick to my paranormal fantasies, thank you very much.


by Loren Weaver

I liked this book. It reminded me a lot of another series that I read, but it's not as graphic (which isn't a bad thing). The story is told in first person, and I love that the first person is a badass female! Her best friend, Trey, is great! I can't help but love him. I enjoyed the storyline - sorceress in hiding has to make herself known to keep her best friend (who just happens to be a werewolf) from being killed. I'm a HUGE fan of paranormal characters and their interactions with the other various kinds of paranormals in the world. This book definitely has all of that. I also love books that are part of a series, and this one leaves enough loose ends to want me to know what is going to happen. :-)

It took me a little bit to get a feel for the main character. She was too happy-go-lucky for me at the beginning, but when she embraced her true self and her thought patterns changed, I was really able to get into it. I'm okay with it taking a bit since I know that the story sometimes needs a bit to develop. Trey was great from the beginning, but I'm dying to know more of his backstory as well. I love her FPD team and definitely will read more to learn about their stories because I have no doubt that each of them have a story. :-)


by JR Ward

I have seen some disappointed fans' reviews, but I have to say that I LOVE this book as much as the others. I love how the author has several different storylines going on at one time. I love how some storylines are resolved by the end of the book and how others leave you hanging so that you want to read the next book that comes. For me, that's the fun of a series of novels versus a stand alone book.

I loved Beth and Wrath. Wrath seemed to have so much more emotion in this book (and I don't mean crying). His anger, his frustration, his joy, his fears...every emotion could be felt through the pages. I love how much he honored Beth through his words and his actions. I love how the author brought in her human side and his humane side. And I LOVE the decisions that he made throughout the book to do what was right, decisions that not only brought him peace but also brought him what was his all along. (sorry, no spoilers from me)

I loved the little snippets we got of Z, but I wish we would have had a little bit more of the shellans. Beth's situation and Layla's situation were very different because of their makeups, but I felt sorry for Layla because no one every wanted to visit her. It will be interesting to see where JR Ward goes with Layla's storyline.

I am starting to like Xcor much more now, but I feel that he's lost his purpose for being introduced, so I'm hoping there is a lot more to him than we have been shown. Assail/Sola...I know that there is so much more that is coming. I like the realistic way that their relationship went. It would not have been believable any other way, but I do expect to see much more of them in the future. I really like Trez and Selena, and I can't wait to see where their story takes us. I loved the flashbacks to Wrath's parents. I love the change-up in the language. I loved the adoration between them, and I LOVED seeing a king who struggled and had to fight to make things right.

There were so many great scenes in this novel. I bawled like a baby a few times (it's a little embarrassing when you're running on the elliptical at the gym and have to pretend you are wiping sweat off of your face to hide the tears of happiness streaming down your cheeks, but the Brotherhood is so worth it). I cannot wait to read the next one, though I'm sure the wait will be long. Either way, I know it will be worth it! :-)


by Beverly Hoffman

What a beautifully written story! This book is not my normal reading material. I'm a crazily addicted fan of paranormal and YA books, but I took a chance on this one and am SO glad that I did. This story is about a woman who wants to help her barren sister-in-law have a baby of her own. It's seems like such a noble gift, but there are so many dimensions of struggle with such a decision. This book delves deep into the meaning of family, love, religion, and grace.

I hate giving away stories, so I won't be sharing any spoilers. I will say that the author does an amazing job weaving through many very sensitive issues. Her subplots add depth to her characters and to underlying issues that exist within every community. Her characters are perfect in their flawed lives, and you can't help but feel deeply for each one of them. There were several moments where I had to dab away tears at the gym with my towel, pretending I was wiping away sweat. lol!

The writing is masterfully artistic. If you love imagery, then you will love the way this author paints her scenes. If you love food, prepare to hear your stomach growl as you read these pages. lol!

I think what I loved most was the authentic struggles and the way each character had to come to terms with the decisions made. You may think that the story is predictable, but nothing about this situation is easy, and the path is not a straightaway road. This story will take you on a journey that every woman can relate to in one way or another. I'm so happy that I took a chance with this story! :-)


by Lanie Jordan

I am really enjoying this series. Although it is not a fast-moving, page-by-page action packed book, it is still an absolutely great book to add to your shelves. I actually liked the fact that the author took her time with her characters to make them realistic and that the storyline moves along at a human pace. ;-)

The author's characters are so well-created. I love Jade's character. She has me cracking up (a lot). Her inner voice (which tends to be not-so-inner) is so filled with sarcasm that I can't help but love it. Jade mirrors a real teen - she is no where near perfect. She has major attitude, insecurities, inner strength, and a desire to want what's right in the world. I also love Linc's character. He, too, is perfectly flawed. It's nice to read about a relationship that isn't all swoony eyes and save-the-damsel. They fight, they avoid each other, they have issues with expressing themselves, and yet they are there for one another, stand up for each other, and care deeply for each other. I also love that sex or sexual feelings have not been focused on in this series. It makes this series a good, wholesome type of book for the teen who isn't really focusing on that in their life. I also enjoy Tasha for her steadfast friendship and Rachel for her great depiction of a bully. I'm dying to learn the story behind Bryan's hatred (because there just HAS to be more to it than what we've been given so far). ;-)

There are a few action scenes, but this book is mostly about Jade coming to terms with who/what she is. Most book 2s in a series drag, but this one was really enjoyable. Jade is dealing with some serious DNA-issues, and it's a lot to digest and sort through. I love how the author slowly revealed some of the "side-effects" of Jade's DNA. I can't wait to see how she continues to evolve and where it will take her.


by MJ Webb

This book is book three of the Jake West series and it is AMAZING! I would highly recommend that the reader read books one and two before reading this one to fully enjoy the epic battle that takes place in his book. This book was one nail-biting moment after another, and I loved every minute of it.

I loved how the author successfully switched scenes from one battle to another, allowing us to see what was happening on different fronts of the war without losing the urgent pace needed for any of the battles. I love how the characters faced their challenges despite their fears. I absolutely LOVE the twists that came in this book and the new characters that were added (no spoilers...sorry, I hate spoilers). And I loved, loved, LOVED the dragons! I usually do not read about dragons, but I'll admit I had a tear or two in certain (undescribed) moments. ;-)

This book was the best paced of the three, but maybe that was because the reader is already invested in the story and knows the characters as if they were his/her friends/enemies. The development of the storylines was brilliant. I love that this was a difficult battle and it was not won/lost easily. The characters had to fight hard and there were difficult losses to deal with.

I LOVED the ending of the story and how (and who) finally rid the world of the evil one. And I really like that although the author definitely brought closure to the series, there is an opportunity to write more stories of Jake's adventures. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves epic battles or fantasy. You will thoroughly enjoy this series.

Note to parents: This book is about a highly descriptive violent battle. I would not recommend this book to the preteens or younger. There is practically no profanity (I think "ass" was said once. lol!). There is no sexual scenes, but the violence is VERY detailed.

Affliction (adult novel)
by Laurell K Hamilton

Have you ever read a book that you cannot put down because you absolutely have to know what is going to happen, and yet, at the same time, you want to read it ever so slowly because you never want the story to end??? Well, Laurell K Hamilton has done it again. I am in absolute awe with how well LKH can draw in the reader. She knows her characters so well - their strengths, their passions, their insecurities, and their flaws. None of them are perfect, but all of them are loveable just the way they are. She has the ability to make you feel fear, frustration, passion, anger, desperation, love, and grief with the words that flow on her pages.

I love Anita on so many different levels. I love the changes that she has gone through in the 20+ books. I love the growth that she has experienced, and I love how she is finally accepting that her reality is good for her. Other people don't have to understand it or even accept it. Her reality brings her happiness, and happiness is what it's all about. I love that Micah is no longer "perfect" because perfect doesn't exist. And I love, love, love that Edward was in this story. Even he has grown for the better. ;-) I love that Anita's necromancy was brought back into the story again. I even love that she has a new animal to call (though I gotta say it hurt real bad with how she developed that new animal...I don't want to give anything away).

I also LOVE how the book ended because it comforts me to know that there will definitely be more Anita eventually.

I know there are a lot of readers who have become disenchanted (or even disgusted) with the direction the Anita books have taken. I'm not one of them. Sure, there are sometimes disturbing moments (things that may be out of my personal comfort zone), but that's one of the things I love about these books. If I wanted to stay in my comfort zone, I'd stick to realistic fiction (and maybe even young adult realistic fiction). I love that she is on the edge (or well over the edge in some cases) with her novels. I am open enough to accept that this is a make-believe world where things will be taken to the extreme. In order to lose yourself in these stories, you have to be able to understand this and embrace it. :-)

NOTE TO READER: If you've never read an Anita Blake book, do yourself the biggest favor and start with book one (Guilty Pleasure). This book can be read as a stand alone since it truly is a complete story, but you cannot possibly appreciate the men in this book without knowing their history with Anita. Also, Anita Blake books are not for kids or even young adults. The content is for the mature (and experienced) mind.



Here are a few books that I have read in the past that I really enjoyed.  (And yes, I really love reading books in a series.)

- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

- The Percy Jackson series
- The Maze Runner series
- The Hunger Games series
- The House of Night series
- The Unwind series
- The Divergent series
- The Mortal Instruments series
- The Goddess Summoning series
- The Black Dagger Brotherhood series (adult)
- The Midnight Breed series (adult)
- The Anita Blake series (adult)
- The Merry Gentry series (adult)

2 comments:

  1. Yvette,
    Thanks for your quite generous words about Luck of the Irish. Hope you don't mind it but I've reblogged it to my blog. I linked to yours though. :)

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    Replies
    1. Of course I don't mind! I really enjoyed reading it! :-)

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