Monday, June 27, 2016

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N Holmberg


Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.
During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.
From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.


I have no idea how to review this book. I rate it high because the writing is great! Charlie can write! I'm just not sure how the story affected me. It's intriguing and twisty and strange and clever and what? and oh! and sigh.

Maire has amnesia. She can only remember her name. But she has a gift of baking emotions into the foods she bakes. She loves the people who took her in and are helping but soon Maire finds herself captured and sold to a strange, groudy man. Maire tries to escape and is almost crippled from a bear trap so she can't go anywhere unless the groudy man takes her. Their relationship is strange. But her time with him is kinda cool only because she's forced to bake a human-sized gingerbread house for a witch and a living gingerbread boy, among other treats.

Maire is visited by someone from her past, which keeps her sane and motivated. The more he appears to her, the more her fragmented memories start falling into place. But who they are and their place is crazy strange and unique.

This is a story of one's journey and the cosmic effects our choices make on others and the world.

V: Physical abuse and war
L: No
S: kissing, committed relationship 


5 STARS

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Deliverance ~ The Moses Chronicles vol. 2 by H.B Moore

 Experience the life of Moses as never before, following his journey from fugitive of Egypt to prophet of God. In this exhilarating follow-up to H.B. Moore’s biblical drama The Moses Chronicles: Bondage, the account of Moses’s flight from Egypt continues. Moses’s life as he knew it is over. He has chosen to stand for his beliefs at the cost of being cast out of his royal home and family. He is free of the wickedness of Egypt, but peace is not to be found, for Moses is as much an aimless wanderer as those in the nomadic tribe he encounters in the wilderness.

Exhausted by long weeks of travel, he nevertheless jumps to action when he observes a group of young women accosted by a band of Badrayan men at a communal well. These lovely daughters of Jethro are grateful for his help, and their Midianite tribe welcomes Moses with open arms. As he learns the ways of the Midianites, his kinship with Jethro grows—as does his admiration of one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah. But when Moses suddenly receives a burning call to free the very people he has long oppressed, will he have the courage to return to the land from which he has been exiled?



Opening line:
 "Moses's bruises had long since faded from deep purple to mottled blue, and finally to a pale yellow like the sane taht stretched beneath his feet."

Another great story based on Biblical events from Heather Moore. Her characters. setting, and story are fantastic.

The story alternates between Zipporah and Moses kept me intrigued and reading and falling in love with characters I know from the Bible but don’t really know. I loved reading about

Zipporah’s life in the desert and Moses’ transition from palace life to living as a desert nomad, how they met, and fell in love. Zipporah, Moses, Jethro, were all well-developed characters that I wished I could meet. The nomadic life was rich and full with yummy sounding food. The tribal wars were intense and realistic.

Heather always done a great job in her research and she writes in a way that weaves it all into a well-paced, tense, romantic story. Her writing is so good that sometimes I forget I’m reading fiction! BUT what if in the hereafter this story is close to the truth?

V: Tribal fighting
L: No
S: kissing

Thanks to netgalley for the advanced read in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Willowkeep by Julie Daines book review

  Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Kingston upon Hull. When a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of money. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after, as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those desperate to get their hands on her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte turns to the ghost of the beheaded queen, Anne Boleyn, for help. But no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.


I LOVE THE COVER!

Opening line:
“Twelve thousand a year?”

Henry and Charlotte. What better named pair? I loved reading their story!

Charlotte Darby is destitute and caring for her handicapped sister when she becomes the heiress to Willowkeep. She’s a kind, strong, funny lady with a fierce sense of protection and loyalty to those she loves, especially her sister who is frightened of almost everyone. I immediately started rooting for her. She’s also lucky to have a wonderful steward who feels compelled to take of her and her sister.

Henry Morland is taken in by Charlotte’s honesty and lack of airs. And somehow, Susan, the little sister, is comfortable and comforted with him. Henry is THE sweetest person with his own flaws that make him lovable. But he can never be with Charlotte because he is beneath her socially. And Charlotte has vowed never to marry.

An added bonus to the story is the letters Charlotte writes to Anne Bolen. Loved it and the cover that goes along with this part of the story. Keep reading past the last chapter for more love and affection.
The characters are well-written, the story flows and the pace is consistent. I couldn’t put the book down. If you want a good regency romance with wit, bravery, love of family, and a possible ghost, this book is for you! It’s worth your time!



L: No
S: No
V: some tense moments

Thanks to netgalley for the advance read in exchange for my honest review!

5 STARS!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

 When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

First line:
"It had never been proven that Lord Blackwell had killed his wife, but then the man in question hadn't actually denied it, either."

Oh my. I loved this book more than I thought I would! Because a twist on Beauty and the Beast with a twist of steampunk? I wasn't sure. But yes. I loved it.
Lucy's cousin is ill, which is very unusual for her so Lucy takes it on herself to help her get better. She arrives at Blackmoor Manor to rude servants, rumors of ghosts and murder most foul.
Lucy is smart (she's a botanist!) and witty (she takes on the Beast, er, Earl of Blackmoor) and brave (she survives so many attacks! Seriously! How many can one girl take?). She uncovers many of the mysterious surrounding the Manor and the family and in the meantime, finds herself caring for the Earl. He, on the other hand, pulls away from anyone who might betray him or hurt him and his brother. He's very protective of those close to him and doesn't give much to the wiles of women. But somehow, Lucy draws him in with her wit and spirit and bravery.
This story is set in the Victorian era with a bit steampunk, werewolves, vampires, magic and mystery and fairy tale. It's a great, clean romantic book that I would recommend to anyone.

L: No
V: animal and human attacks, poisonings, murder, but none graphic
S: kissing


5 STARS




Thanks to netgalley for the advance read in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson REVIEW


 Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books--but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on--and they might not pick the same side.




Any book that gets me to sit still and reading-not skim-is worth a shout out.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You is funny, nerdy, witty, cute, smart, geeky, well-paced...ETC.

Beatrice, or Trixie, is a senior at a prestigious school for gifted students. She loves Dr. Who and comic books. Benedick, or Ben, grew a mustache over the summer which is fair game to Trixie and the sparring begins, and not in a positive way either. They banter throughout the whole book and its pretty funny and painful and sometimes mean.

But when Trixie's best friend starts dating Ben's best friend, the whole situation goes to a different level when the two are thrown together more often then either of them want to be. But what if one of them really doesn't hate the other? What if a chance conversation changes everything? Or a creepy clown? (haha!)

Does this story sound vaguely familiar? This story was a very clever retelling of Much Ado About Nothing and worth reading.


V: No
L: No
S: No


5 STARS!

Thanks to netgalley for the advanced read!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

BY THE STARS by Lindsay Ferguson BLOG TOUR





 

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he's loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But World War II soon cuts their time far too short, and Cal prepares to part from her – possibly for good. After he's gone, what Kate does next changes everything.

In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. With Kate's memory willing him on, Cal must put his trust in God to survive if he hopes to ever return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars is a romance that stands the test of time and the most intense obstacles.





About the author:
As a Communication graduate from the University of Utah, Lindsay Ferguson worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years before resigning to focus on raising her family. As a contributor to Deseret Digital Media, she has had lifestyle articles published by ksl.com, Deseret News, and FamilyShare.com. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel

Thursday, February 18, 2016

THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton


THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.


When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...
 
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
 
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. 
 
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. 
 
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…




I was hooked from the beginning of this book. Different chapters told from different viewpoints introduced interesting tidbits and kept the story moving along and kept me wondering who really was guilty. 
The story is about:
a little girl goes missing and a distraught mom who didn't leave her "for more than a few minutes" in the front yard. 
a man, Glen, spotted in the area, who is innocent and everything bad that happens to him is not his fault. He was framed when he got fired from the bank. He didn't download porn, someone stole his credit card and did it. He's just a hard-working guy, making a living for him and his sweet wife.
the quiet wife, Jean, supports her husband through years of interrogations and trials and reporters. But one day, you know she's going to break. 
a reporter and a detective filling out the story in their own working way. 
Who will find the killer? 

The story is innocent enough and I enjoyed reading all the backstories until more and more came out about cybersex and porn involving children. There is nothing graphic but it's still hard to read because porn is too rampant and too easy to get to. And child porn makes me ill. The second half of the story built more and more on the porn as evidence came in. 

I gave this book 3.5 stars because I started skimming after half way through the book. There was still a lot of backstory happening and a lot of detail about the detective and the reporter and their personal lives. I didn't care about them as much as I wanted to get to the end where I might finally get to learn the truth. But I really enjoyed the writing. 

I believe this is a debut book and I'd say the author has a long, productive career ahead of her! 


L: No
S: talk about porn but no details except the word "masturbate" and conversations from a cybersex chat room
V: No