Special Notice! Affiliate links may be used below. I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa only $49.99!
HALLOWEEN WRITING PROMPTS
by W.J. Scott
The facts… 13 Spooky Writing Prompts to ignite your imagination. Bats and cats, owls and howls, trick-or-treat, hosts and ghosts. Kids, have fun this Halloween by creating spooky stories to scare your family and friends. (blurb from Amazon)
My thoughts… Just as the title suggests, this book contains writing prompts geared towards all things spooky. The ideas are creative, fun, and challenging, and would serve as a wonderful activity for children and even those young at heart. Personally, I think this would be an awesome activity for the whole family to do together. A paperback copy, in the format the author uses, is perfect.
Overall, this book is truly fantastic. I love the creativity and thoughts that went into it and feel everyone should pick up a copy for the littles in their family.
FAIRY WRITING PROMPTS
by W.J. Scott
The facts… 31 Fairy Writing Prompts to ignite your imagination. Have fun creating fairy stories to share with your family and friends. (blurb from Amazon)
My thoughts… This is another fantastic writing prompts book from Author W.J. Scott (the second in her Aspiring Authors Series). This time, the writing prompts revolve around fairies and magic. This book is equally as wonderful as the first book, with fun and challenging ideas. More entertainment for the whole family to enjoy together.
Just as with the first book of the series, I highly recommend picking up a copy for the littles in your family.
by Sydney Scrogham
The facts… Abuse survivor Ariel Harte doesn’t need anyone, especially not her engaged ex-boyfriend Ryan Tracey. Ariel built her walls high in the human realm, but as a Guardian in the magical world of Agalrae, she has more problems than she can handle alone.
One day a dark, magical force infects her and her companion animal. The only way Ariel can find to cure the infection is through a mind link purification ritual. This connection is only possible between two close people, and Ryan is the one who knows Ariel best.
If Ariel wants to survive with her companion animal, she’s going to have to do something she swore she’d never do again – be vulnerable enough with Ryan to let him into her mind. As the infection worsens, Ariel and Ryan decide to risk everything, including their lives. (blurb from Amazon)
My thoughts… In ARIEL you are taken to a new world, a rather interesting one. The whole concept behind this story is unique. The story line is intriguing, the characters are relatable but extraordinary with strong personalities, and the writing is decent. You get suspense, fantasy, humor and even a little romance all wrapped up in this book. The author does an amazing job of painting a picture of the world she has created. You feel like you’re there. Overall, great book!
by Aaron Brinker
The facts… Chaun Hutchins was like any normal 32-year-old. He had a wife, a degree, a full-time job, a comfortable home, and a baby on the way. An accident turned his world upside down, but not before he uttered words for which he can never make amends. Haunted by his past, and events that neither he nor his family can explain, Chaun must find answers to his dark troubles, before his past destroys his future. (blurb from Amazon)
My thoughts… SECOND CHANCES is well-written, with a nice flow. The reader is immediately pulled into the tragedy of the story, eager to see what will happen next. You watch Chaun develop throughout the story and you can’t help but feel what he feels, with heartache, laughter, family, love. This is truly a beautiful and captivating story. A must read.
SLIVERS OF LIFE
by Beem Weeks
SLIVERS OF LIFE is a collection of short stories. This book is absolutely full of emotions, from humor to heartbreaking to inspiring. You are moved through every story, with every turned page. Each short story takes you on an unforgettable journey, where you can’t deny the multitude of emotions that you feel.
We see stories of neighbors, family, religion, racism. There is this incredible mixture of powerful messages, stories that truly have a clever way of making the reader think. There were moments in this book that I was so gripped by the story that I didn’t realize I had tears in my eyes. It was hard to put the book down. And, if my time had allowed, I would have easily read this book within a day or two. It was that good!
This isn’t the first book that I’ve read authored by Beem Weeks, and it won’t be the last. Much like the first, SLIVERS OF LIFE is well-written, gripping and inspiring. And because of all of this and more, I can easily give SLIVERS OF LIFE 5 stars.
THE HEART’S JOURNEY HOME
by Natalie Ducey
THE HEART’S JOURNEY HOME is a collection of poems about grief, hardships and self-discoveries. The book states that it contains “poetry of the soul.” I absolutely agree with this statement.
Not only is the writing spot on, but the author’s style of poetry is unique. These poems of love and heartache are filled with inspiring words that are full of emotion and speak volumes for the human heart.
Throughout this book, the poems touch on love, family and relationships. Topics anyone can relate to. You experience the words, feel the emotions and know the pain. From page one, I was hooked. No hesitation, 5 stars.
by Christine Feldman
In ENCORE, we meet Jane, who has had her share of hardships and heartache. She’s trying to start over, trying to find herself again. Along Jane’s journey, we meet a few other delightful characters. All playing a big role in Jane’s life.
In one word, I would say this book is incredible. It’s full of emotion – romance, humor, fear, hope, faith… I was hooked from page one. I quickly fell in love with the characters, anxious to see what was next. I felt myself experiencing the same emotions as Jane, which made the character and story that much more realistic.
This isn’t the first book of Christine’s I have read, and it certainly won’t be the last. (She’s always had a fan in me!) The writing is error-free, the story flows, and the characters are relatable. You will hate when you turn that last page.
Hands down, 5 stars for ENCORE.
by Cassi A. Williams
KISMET is about Eliza and the unexpected run in with her high school crush, Jasper. The story progresses as we get to see a second chance at love. Along with these two main characters, we also get to meet their rowdy group of friends. We experience romance, humor and hope… all wrapped up in this fast-paced debut book.
We quickly move through the story with this unique group of characters. One of my favorite parts of KISMET is this uniqueness, both in names and personalities. The story, itself, is a good one, full of love and passion. Although, as a preacher’s daughter, I found myself often blushing with the adult language and scenes. (Definitely not for the kiddos!)
There were some wording issues throughout the book, in grammar and usage, but nothing that greatly interfered with the story. I give it 4 stars.
IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC
by Nonnie Jules & Giani Jordan
IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC is a poetry book about forbidden love. We get to see two authors, with different styles of writing. We see the story through both sets of eyes, which only adds to the captivating feel.
Personally, I’ve always been fond of poetry. And this book has made its way to the top of my list. It’s full of emotion that continues to the very last page. It’s so well-written, even with the two very different authors. It’s truly an amazing collection of poems, full of love and passion, emotions that many of us can relate to. And the title – IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC – it’s definitely easy to find the “song” in the words. Both the authors are that good and their words go that well together.
IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC is more than worthy of a 5 stars rating. It’s a must for anyone’s TBR list!
RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology
by Various RRBC Authors
RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL is a collection of poems and stories that cover a variety of topics. The writings come from the members of Rave Reviews Book Club.
This book holds something for everyone — hope, inspiration, family, love, humor, etc. The styles of writing is just as diversified as the genres. There are also different levels of experience in the writing, which also adds to the uniqueness you’ll find in this Anthology.
Overall, this is an awesome book. The diversity, alone, makes it worth reading.RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL is a book that I will turn to again and again. Definitely 5 stars.
PLAYING CUPID (Heavenly Bites Novella #3)
by Christine Feldman
This third novella in Christine’s wonderful Heavenly Bites Series centers on Aimee Beasley, the granddaughter of the meddling matchmaker –Gram—that we’ve grown to love in the previous novellas. In a change of roles, Aimee is determined to set Gram up with the uncle of their downstairs neighbor. However, the neighbor—Doyle—isn’t keen on the idea. Doyle is not only reluctant to setting up his uncle, but he isn’t fond of having much to do with Aimee either. This obstacle only makes Aimee work harder, with that goal of matchmaking in mind.
PLAYING CUPID is a delightful, quick read that will make you smile, laugh and have ‘aww’ moments. The author does a splendid job of painting the story, allowing you to watch it unfold, page after page.
Aimee has such a quirky spirit and Doyle starts off as the total opposite. We get to watch him come out of his shell, all thanks to Aimee and her relentlessness. Gram is such a sweet, yet amusing grandma. I loved seeing the table turned, especially after Gram’s many matchmaking attempts with the girls of the Heavenly Bites Series.
Overall, PLAYING CUPID is definitely a 5 stars read. It’s a well-written story that contains both romance and humor, with lovable and entertaining characters. You can’t go wrong with Heavenly Bites!
There is one definite drawback about PLAYING CUPID. It’s the LAST novella of this series and I am so sad to say good-bye to the lovable and witty characters.
LOVE LESSONS (HEAVENLY BITES NOVELLA #2)
by Christine Feldman
LOVE LESSONS is about Nadia Normandy, who is very self-assured and not afraid to speak her mind. She is also very knowledgeable in the laws of dating. Coaxed by Mrs. Beasley, the town match-maker, Nadia is going to help accountant Benji Garner find a lady. What begins as a challenge turns into something neither could have expected.
LOVE LESSONS is such a delightful read! The story pulls you in from the very beginning. And once you finish, you are anxious for the next story.
We get to continue on a journey with one of the characters from the first novella of this series—Nadia, with her adorable quirkiness. She’s not afraid to be herself OR express herself. Which is the total opposite of Benji. When we first meet him, he comes off as shy and reserved. Together they bring a very witty and interesting combination to the story.
LOVE LESSONS will make your heart melt, but you’ll also find yourself smiling or even laughing out loud with the humor throughout this awesome little story. A fabulous read that is more than worthy of 5 stars!
WHERE BLUEBIRDS FLY
by Wendy Storer
WHERE BLUEBIRDS FLY is about thirteen year old Ruby, who’s life gets flipped upside down when she is sent to live in a residential school for girls with emotional problems. Not only does she dislike being at the school and away from home and her baby sister, but she feels like an outcast around these new people that she is forced to live with. There are few things that make her happy now. One is her bag of rocks that reminds her of happier times with Nanna. The other is writing letters to her sister, Lucy. These are her only escapes. And despite how horrible life seems to young Ruby, things are about to change even more.
Like Wendy’s other book—BRING ME SUNSHINE (which I loved!!)—this book focuses a great deal on family and strengthening those special bonds. And although this is a very moving and inspiring story, the author throws in some twists that will make you anxious for the conclusion. (It was a rather quick read for me because of how much I enjoyed it.)
Even though Ruby is barely a teenager, she has such a strong personality. As the reader, you feel for her and wish for something good to happen. The other characters are equally dynamic and the relationships that build will truly touch your heart, especially Ruby’s love for her sister (very evident in the letters) and her Nanna.
WHERE BLUEBIRDS FLY is a fabulous book!! It’s heart-warming and emotional from beginning to end. And it just so happens to make several references to “Wizard of Oz,” which is an awesome bonus! This is one of those books that you will read quickly, just because of how wonderful it is. The story line, the characters, the writing…all elements for a 5 star book.
LOST IN STARLIGHT
by Sherry Soule
LOST IN STARLIGHT is about high school reporter, Sloane Masterson. She may have confidence issues, but she’s a girl that’s not afraid to go against the crowd. The subject of her next story is Hayden Lancaster, the hot new guy in school, aka her crush. There’s a deep connection between these two total opposites. What starts off as a story on hacking, turns into something out of this world! Sloane has more questions than answers and things just seem to get more complicated.
This made for such a great read! Page after page, you are anxious to see what happens next. The story, mixing romance with sci-fi with action, will completely captivate you. The author’s writing will put you in the story. Reading from the viewpoint of the heroine, Sloane, you can’t help but feel what she feels as the story unravels.
We see a variety of characters, most with spunky, fun-loving personalities. They all add different elements to the story. And they all have a fascination with all things horror, which I loved!! (Because, as you know, I’m one of those weirdos that loves horror!) Of course, the main characters, Sloane and Hayden, are the ones you fall in love with, the ones you root for until the end. The immediate connection between these two, and then the chemistry that builds, will pull at your heartstrings. To be young and have such strong feelings so quickly….*sigh*
It ends with a cliffhanger and, yep you guessed it…you are left anxious for the next read! (Which, by the way, isn’t for another 6+ months! *double sigh*)
LOST IN STARLIGHT has everything that makes a novel a fantastic read—a tough heroine and a braniac hottie; a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat story; romance with surprising twists; and an ending that will make you long for volume 2. It is every bit worthy of 5 stars and highly recommended.
THE YOUNGER MAN
by Dermot Davis
THE YOUNGER MAN is about Frances, who is approaching 40 and has already had two failed marriages. She has decided to no longer participate in the dating scene, allowing no chance for romance. Despite her plans, Frances encounters a young man, 14 years younger. What evolves between the two, leaves Frances with a difficult choice of whether or not to give love a chance.
THE YOUNGER MAN is a delightful story about learning to love again and opening yourself up to the unknown. We journey with Frances, seeing the story unfold from her view, as she struggles internally with emotion and reason. Although the story came to an abrupt ending (for me anyway), the author left it open to many possibilities. As readers, we get to imagine what’s in store for Frances. (Although, I’m hoping for a sequel!)
The characters each have a unique personality. Frances is witty and rather critical of relationships, always tending to over think things. Martin is sweet and awkward at times, but always honest. The other characters are equally intriguing and just as realistic as Frances and Martin, with a sometimes-too-honest mother and a very hostile daughter. The variety of personalities make for quite an interesting story.
With brilliant writing skills, the reader is entranced from page one. A comical romance that I believe many, especially women, could appreciate and even relate to. THE YOUNGER MAN, both compelling and heart-warming, is definitely worthy of 5 stars.
GENTLEMEN PREFER MISCHIEF
by Emily Greenwood
In GENTLEMEN PREFER MISCHIEF, we find the prim and proper Lily Teagarden. Because of crazy rumors due to strange noises and lights, she is forced to approach her neighbor, Viscount Roxham—aka Hal. Hal is nothing but trouble, having broken Lily’s heart years before as a teenager. Despite their differences, she is desperate to put an end to those crazy rumors. However, the investigation turns into something that neither could’ve expected.
This is such a wonderful read! Emily’s style of writing cannot be beat. You are immediately pulled into this historical romance, anxious to watch the story unfold. The characters each have a unique and dynamic personality. They will completely sweep you away and even melt your heart, at times. We’re able to see the view from both the main characters, which makes it more real, more personal. Lily is a strong and determined woman, one that we could only strive to be. Hal is adorable, with his sneaky, yet charming ways. The chemistry between the two is…WOW! And their witty banner is rather amusing, providing this novel with a nice touch of humor.
I loved Emily’s first book of the REGENCY MISCHIEF SERIES and I believe I enjoyed this one just as much, if not more. I am anxious to read the next book, which I’m sure will be equally worthy of 5 stars.
by Beem Weeks
JAZZ BABY is set back in the summer of 1925 in Mississippi. We read about Emily Ann Teegarten and her life as it is flipped upside down with one horrific incident after another. Forced to live with her aunt, Emily begins plotting her escape, with nothing but a dream to sing jazz in New York City. She hopes that the speakeasies of New Orleans are short stepping stones to her dream in the Big Apple. BUT Emily is introduced to more than she could’ve imagined.
We read from the eyes of young Emily Ann and you can’t help but feel like you’re walking beside her. Emily experiences things that will completely shock you, but her reaction and maturity will often make you forget she is barely a teenager. These shocking moments may even anger you because they seem so realistic. This is true for the entire book. Emily’s journey, the characters, the dialogue…everything seems real, as if the story were unfolding right before you. The characters we are introduced to are colorful and unique, making the book that much better.
JAZZ BABY is filled with suspense, action, drama and even humor. The author’s writing skills truly shine in this debut novel, making it very worthy of 5 stars. You are hooked from page one and on the edge of your seat through each little suspenseful twist.heir diversity, he dreams of God. He shares his dreams, but never expected the reaction he receives.
This is an adorable children’s book, filled with hope. We get to see the God of many faiths and religions through the eyes of a child. The author focuses on the importance of prayer and unity when it comes to difference of opinion on religion.
SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS
by Nonnie Jules
This book includes some posts from the author’s blog, which you will discover is the best of the best. It is filled with wonderful insights and inspirations, topics that will truly touch your heart and make you think. The author’s passion spills out onto every page. There were two topics she spoke often of that I found to be the most thought-provoking. The first being children and how much we, as adults, can impact their lives and their futures. The second is support and how important it is to show support willingly and often to others.
This is a remarkable little book. Every chapter begins with a quote and continues into a realm of wisdom. With an easy-flow and smooth writing, this book is one very deserving of 5 stars. Whereas it’s easy to often read a book and be done with it, this is one that can be read again and again and should be.
BONNIE’S STORY: A BLONDE’S GUIDE TO MATHEMATICS
by Janis Hill
As you can tell from the title, this is about Bonnie, whom others stereotype as a typical, not-too-smart blonde. In actuality, she is the daughter of two very intellectual parents—each having their PhDs—so some of the smarts rubbed off on her. She proves this point when meeting a wandering math genius, Rogan. Rogan is the leader of a group of some extraordinary ‘nerds’—called Maths that Stays. Because of this quirky group, Bonnie is introduced to a new world. Agreeing to join the group, however, turns out to be more than she bargained for.
This is such a wonderful read! The relationship between Bonnie and Rogan will make you smile. The pair couldn’t be more different in personalities, yet they find out how much they have in common as their fondness of one another grows. The other ‘nerds’ of the group, although some play bigger roles than others, are a delight, bringing a little spunkiness to the story line.
The story is told through the eyes of Bonnie and is told on a very personal level, giving the reader a true sense of being there. The story line flows nicely and, at times, puts you on the edge of your seat. Throughout the book, small twists will make you wonder how it will end. This is one that’s rather difficult to predict, which makes you like it all the more.
by J.A. Schneider
EMBRYO is an amazing book, absolutely wonderful! It revolves around Jill Raney, an intern at a well-known hospital. This hospital, famous for its fertility and genetic engineering, becomes the sight of tragedy. After two pregnant women die and other pregnancy complications arise, Jill questions her superiors–including the handsome resident David–however, they insist that there is no common link between the victims. Alone, Jill starts an investigation, but she exposes more than she ever could have anticipated.
This medical thriller will pull you in immediately, with a captivating opening that can easily be visualized due to the author’s superb writing skills, which you see throughout this book. You walk along with Jill during her suspenseful investigation, anxious to see what will happen next.
Jill is a fascinating character, strong and independent and determined. Along with her you have a variety of other characters, each with their own unique personality traits. The relationship that develops between Jill and David provides just the right amount of romance, without taking away from the mystery and thrill of the story.
Without a doubt, I would highly recommend this book. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and you won’t be able to let go until you make it to the very end.
by J.A. Schneider
EMBRYO 2 is the continuation of the wonderful story we read in EMBRYO. We follow along with the hospital intern and resident, Jill and David. After a few days rest to recover from the turmoil caused by a crazy doctor, the two are back at work. Now being treated like celebrities, they are being fussed over by both fellow doctors and patients. Things are hectic as they attempt to find some normalcy. To further complicate things, a victim enters the hospital bearing a cryptic message, the first of many. Evidence points to a killer that is targeting the hospital’s latest heroes. Jill and David must work together, along side the investigators, in hopes of uncovering the secret villain.
Another superb book by the author. (I am now a devoted fan!) The same dynamic characters, only with more suspense and more twists that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The author’s word usage, much like in the first book, puts the reader in the hospital–seeing what the characters see, feeling what they feel. Throughout this book, we get to see those same wonderful relationships–between Jill and David, between the interns, between the doctors and interns. There’s an underlying emphasis on those friendships we see. They protect each other, support each other. This adds a nice element, that goes beyond suspense and mystery. This book, the series for that matter, is deserving of more than 5 stars. The author has created this place and these characters, that you can’t help but fall in love with. At the end of each book, you are anxious to see what happens next. I was thrilled to see that EMBRYO 3 is in the works. It will definitely be on my must-read.
THE SECRETS OF MONTEBELLIS
by Cheryl Colwell
THE SECRETS OF MONTEBELLIS is about Lisa Richards, who is the Guardian of Fire Mountain—a mine that used to contain precious fire opals. She is up against many people, some who are trying to steal the mountain from her family and some trying to keep her from reviving the small town of her ancestors. She could be risking a lot, including her marriage and even her life. Along the way, she meets Steven Taylor, who immediately notices there’s more to Lisa than she lets on. He may be the one to discover her secrets that she has been hiding from everyone else. It could either destroy her or help her.
This is a wonderful book, definitely deserving of 5 stars! There are so many good qualities about THE SECRETS OF MONTEBELLIS. From beginning to end, it keeps you guessing and in complete suspense. Add in a mixture of mystery, drama, and romance and you have the perfect book to escape in. The characters are dynamic and I immediately fell in love with them. Lisa is such a strong woman with so much against her, but she never gives up and is fortunate to have her family and friends there with full support. That being another nice touch—family and friends being very important throughout the book.
And, in all honesty, I don’t know how much research went into this novel. Or how much of it was based on truth. Regardless, I found myself fascinated in the history of Lisa’s family and the mine. It seemed so realistic and I think the history made the story that much more appealing.
THE APPLETON HOUSE
by Nicole Castro
This novella is about Ashe, who won the bid to remodel the bathroom of the Appleton House. Ashe is the type of guy that always gets what he wants, including women, especially women. He’s arrogant and even refers to himself as a jerk. This new remodeling gig is a dream job, complete with room and board. He has the pleasure of meeting his employer’s two attractive daughters. One of which that is still in high school, but that doesn’t stop her from attempting to seduce Ashe. The second daughter, Perry, is older and has caught the attention of the new guest. To his surprise, she is engaged but he quickly realizes that her fiance may not be the man she really wants or needs. Ashe, in his usual egotistical manner, thinks he’s the man to satisfy her womanly needs. Only Perry turns out to be more, and mean more, than he anticipated. He is left with a tough decision regarding this engaged beauty, to act on feelings or not.
I adored this book! It’s a quick, enjoyable read. The story line flows and the characters are dynamic. I especially like the chemistry between Ashe and Perry. Ashe comes off as an arrogant typical male, but we get to see his softer side too, which is heartwarming. Perry is a spunky, honest, and caring young lady that also melts your heart. Put the two together and you have quite the match. This story is full of passion that will leave you wanting more. I would definitely give THE APPLETON HOUSE 5 stars. It’s deserving in every way!
SEVERED – SLEEPY HOLLOW
by Dax Varley
In SEVERED, Dax Varley takes on the story many of us know and creates an interesting concept. Set back around the time of The Revolutionary War, the legend of the Headless Horseman is known throughout this small town. The main character is Katrina, the daughter of the wealthiest man in the Hollow. It’s no surprise that she is sought after by many men, none of which are worthy enough to receive the same sentiment.
When the schoolmaster is found dead, and headless, the townspeople panic because the Horseman has struck again. The new schoolmaster comes into town, catching the eye of young Katrina. When the Horseman marks Ichabod, Katrina wants nothing more than to save him, even if it means fleeing her home.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has always been one of my favorite tales. Dax did a wonderful job of creating a new dimension to the story, allowing us to see it from a young heroine’s viewpoint. Severed is full of mystery and twists and suspense. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering and guessing what could possibly happen next. The characters are wonderful. Katrina is such a strong woman. She is independent and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. This is a rare delight for the time period. Ichabod is an amusing character, being nontraditional in and out of the classroom—another nice rarity. The two of them together are a delight. They have an immediate connection and the bond that is created pulls at your heartstrings, adding a pleasant element of romance to this suspenseful tale. Overall, I would say this is a great book that anyone young or young at heart would enjoy.
THE POWER OF TWO
by Lori J. Sawicki
THE POWER OF TWO is about a sixth grader, Jamie. She decides to try something new to break out of the cool girl, Sadie’s routine. Her plan backfires and she is kicked out of the ‘cool group.’ To her relief, she befriends Pru Wheeler, the smallest sixth grader. They connect almost immediately and form a tight friendship. The two decide to start a lacrosse team, that’s open to all students, not just those from Sadie’s clique. When things seem to be going great, tragedy strikes and Jamie is forced to make some tough decisions.
This book is wonderful! Everything about it makes it worth reading. The story line flows; the characters are strong and unique. It shows the importance of friendship and family. There’s heartache and drama, as well as courage and strength. I literally cried with it, which says a lot coming from me. It touches on some serious issues that a lot of younger people are being forced to deal with. It’s appropriate for anyone, young or young at heart.
IT HAPPENED UNDER THE MISTLETOE
by Valerie Bowman
IT HAPPENED UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a wonderful holiday novella. We are introduced to two main characters, Oliver Townsende and Cerian Blake. Both of which are having difficulty fighting off the opposite sex. Oliver recently inherited a dukedom, so ladies are after him for the title and the money that comes with it. While Cerian has an interfering mother, that is bound and determined to find her a proper mate. Neither of them are interested in these suitors, so they devise a plan. They fake a courtship to keep their suitors at bay. Only the arrangement turns out to be more than either one bargained for.
I enjoyed this novella very much! From page one, I was glued; I couldn’t put my kindle down. There’s humor and passion and romance. It just lifts your spirit! Perfect for the holiday season. The characters are easy to fall in love with. They are charming and quick-witted. You find yourself rooting for them. The story line is superb, leaving you wanting more. This is a pleasurable read I would recommend to anyone.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
by Jennifer Wenn
A FAMILY AFFAIR is about Lady Francesca Darling, who has the chance to be reacquainted with a past love, Devlin, the one from when she was a mere five years old. They meet again at her debutante ball and she finds that her feelings are stronger than ever. To her surprise, the feelings are mutual. Only they both have different ideas for a happy marriage.
This is a wonderful novel. The characters have unique & realistic personalities. Francesca is strong and independent and works hard to make things happen. She has a lot of devotion and love to offer, coming from such a large family. Devlin is more of a stubborn character, coming from a harsh childhood, and seems to think he knows what’s best. Despite their differences in opinion, they have an amazing connection, that is heartfelt. The story has passion and romance and even drama and humor. It’s an enticing read, one that I couldn’t put down.
ONCE UPON A ROAD TRIP
by Angela N. Blount
ONCE UPON A ROAD TRIP is the story of Angeli. Recently graduated from high school, she is unsure of her next step, so decides to embark upon a road trip. During her two-month trip, she stays with friends she connected with online. She goes on quite an adventure, meeting interesting characters along the way. Through obstacles and mixed emotions, as well as creating fond memories, Angeli returns home with quite the realization.
This is an excellent memoir. To travel to so many new places and completely alone is amazing. She has such strength and such drive! I felt like I traveled the journey with Angeli. You feel what she feels, see what she sees. And every step, every stop, is enjoyable. And as you meet and learn about the characters, you can’t help but fall in love with some.
This book has so many good qualities. There’s humor and drama. It’s inspirational and heartwarming. One of my favorite elements was Angeli’s faith, which plays a major role in this memoir. This book has a lot to offer and would be a wonderful read for anyone.
THE COLORS OF FRIENDSHIP
by K.R. Raye
THE COLORS OF FRIENDSHIP revolves around three friends as they adventure through college. Melody is quite the romantic, waiting for her prince charming. Imani is all about her education, succeeding, and landing that dream job. Lance’s priorities are football and his girls–Melody and Imani.
Melody meets her potential prince and things move quickly in their relationship, making things difficult between her and her friends. Only everyone doesn’t see what happens behind closed doors. Things aren’t always as wonderful as they appear or as we like to imagine they are.
Imani, always focusing on school, finds there may be more to life and more to a particular friendship. But is she willing to risk it or will her mind rule over her heart?
Lance may have one-night stands on a regular basis, but he’s definitely faithful when it comes to protecting his favorite ladies. When the time comes, and lives are on the line, will he make it in time?
I thoroughly enjoyed THE COLORS OF FRIENDSHIP. Its well-written with very realistic, strong characters. The story line, with both suspense and romance, keeps you intrigued and you’re left wanting more in the end. It touches on some very sensitive issues that we see in real life, especially in the college environment. We are often blinded by new love and Melody is definitely blinded and can’t see the seriousness behind what is an abusive relationship. Then you have Imani, who fights back any urge to make more of a good friendship. I believe most people can relate to that scenario. And Lance is the friend we can all hope for. Loyal, honest, and always there. The friendship the three share is heart-warming and one worth reading about.
by Jim Yackel
DEAD RINGER is about Jesse Same. We follow along with him on a unique journey in Chittenango, the very birthplace of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He is known in his hometown as the Elvis impersonator. More importantly, he is a Christian and has a son who takes after him. Unfortunately, many of the townspeople, including the boy’s mother and stepfather, don’t have the same beliefs. Jesse has been gifted with prophetic dreams and visions and this amazing trait plays a major role throughout the book. These dreams and visions may lead to the end of the world as we know it.
I was immediately pulled into this book. Its frightening, but inspirational with an element of realism. Jesse, and even his son, exhibit such strength, such faith. The relationship between the father and son will melt your heart. My favorite part about this book is the role and importance of Christ. Its not your typical Christian fiction. There’s mystery and suspense and even a dose of action and romance. Its a book that simply won’t disappoint.
DON’T LOCK ME AWAY
by Bethany Brook
DON’T LOCK ME AWAY is about Louisa, who was born into a privileged English family in the early 1900’s. We get to see her grow up in a family where Christian beliefs are of most importance, and when rules are not followed then discipline is a must. It’s quite evident that, in this time, social class barriers do exist and are enforced.
Those class barriers are the reason Louisa’s world is turned upside down. She falls in love with the gardener’s son, Edward. They plan to run away to Australia where they can happily live together. When their secret is discovered, Louisa finds herself locked away in St.Mary’s, a home for morally endangered women. She is treated horribly and there seems to be no hope of escaping. For when she does attempt to escape, she is sent to St. Christina’s, which is rumored to be much worse. All she can do is hope for a miracle, and one day pray she is reunited with her one true love.
DON’T LOCK ME AWAY is a wonderful book. It is very well-written and has a nice element of both suspense and drama. Its obvious the author did a great deal of research. The characters, the dialog, and even the experiences in the penitentiaries were all quite realistic. I had a difficult time putting the book down, eager to see what would happen next. The relationship between Louisa and Edward was heartwarming. They have a deep passion and love for one another and they won’t let anything get in the way of them being together. Definitely a great read!
CHAIN OF EVIDENCE
by DB Corey
CHAIN OF EVIDENCE is about Detective Moby Truax. The detective has a lot of things against him……he is nearing the age of retirement, losing his skills of photographic memory, and possibly headed to a desk job. His most reason case may just put him over the edge. There’s a Cyanide Killer, nicknamed CK, that is murdering the women of his town. Every murder, every clue leads to a dead end. Because of the seriousness of the case (and the before mentioned dead ends), Truax is unwillingly forced to partner with FBI Special Agent Frances Vecchio, who is distractingly good-looking and seems to have her own agenda. Truax is alone in believing there’s a possible copycat. Regardless, Truax follows the chain of evidence no one else sees, leading him to an unexpected conclusion.
CHAIN OF EVIDENCE, I believe, is the first crime thriller I have read. And to be honest, I was thoroughly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was quite the page-turner. The story has a nice element of suspense, leaving the reader anxious to see what happens next. You jump right into the story, trying to help Truax solve the case. And just when you think you have it figured out, the author creates another twist. Another notable element of this book is that the characters have unique personalities. Truax is a determined man, facing what feels like personal extinction. Then you have the young and attractive Vecchio, who, at the snap of a finger, gets exactly what she wants and when she wants it. This is especially true when referring to Captain Atkins, who you would never guess is a married man. This book is realistic, suspenseful, and very entertaining……everything a good thriller needs. I could even see it as an addictive TV series one day. All in all, CHAIN OF EVIDENCE is a fantastic book that I would highly recommend.
BRING ME SUNSHINE
by Wendy Storer
BRING ME SUNSHINE is about Daisy, who has a forgetful father and an imaginative little brother. Although she’s only fifteen years old and already dealing with life as a teenager, Daisy is forced to sometimes act as the adult of her family. Not only does she take care of her brother Sam, but she has to clean up after her father. And not just dirty dishes. Because of his forgetfulness, we see him forget to pick Sam up from school and leave the tub’s water running til it practically floods the bathroom. Everything in Daisy’s life seems to be going downhill. Her dad’s condition seems to be getting worse, putting more responsibilities on her plate. She even had to give up her passion of drumming, despite how talented she was. When things begin to spiral out of control, hope enters in the shape of an old friend, Dylan. He has bigger and better plans and intends to take Daisy right along with him.
This book is quite refreshing. It steers away from what has become normalcy in today’s fiction and focuses more on family dynamics. Daisy’s character is one that will warm the heart of any reader. She has an unconditional love for her family and does everything in her power to keep that family together. Her relationship with Sam is absolutely precious, something that’s often rare to see. She goes above and beyond to ensure that he has a happy and secure home life. She is the perfect big sister. Another notable factor is that the author incorporates music into every chapter, which I found most appealing. The journey you go on with Daisy, with both her family and with Dylan, is enjoyable. You’ll find yourself waiting for that beacon of hope, waiting for the good to come. Overall BRING ME SUNSHINE is, without a doubt, a pleasurable read!
by Sherry Soule
SHATTERED SILENCE is Book 2 of the Spellbound Series. Much like the first book, it pulls you in from the first page. It’s a book you simply can’t put down.
We get to continue on a journey with 16 year old Shiloh Trudell. She has always had the gift of Sight, especially when dealing with creepy little shadows, but only recently does she discover her true abilities in magick. She has to focus on improving those skills to take on what has become inevitable. The day is quickly approaching for her to fight the demon–the demon who has a hit list for the town’s teenagers. All of this seems to revolve around Fallen Oak’s haunted house, Craven Manor, which has recently reopened to undergo renovations. Not only is she dealing with the normal tribulations of being an outcast teenager, and now the added addition of demon hunting, but Shiloh has also been drawn to Trent Donovan, the heir of Craven Manor. In her heart, she knows she’s not the only one hiding a dark secret.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series by Sherry. She does an amazing job of making the story come to life; I felt like I walked beside Shiloh in her journey, rooting for her every step of the way. The connection she has with Trent is indescribable. It pulls at your heartstrings. They have this remarkable chemistry, this pure passion for each other. You find yourself falling in love with these wonderful characters. I love that we get to see Shiloh continue to grow and strengthen in her abilities and in her confidence. She matures through the book, realizing what’s truly important. Without a doubt, I highly recommend this book……well, the whole series for that matter.
by Sherry Soule
BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN is Book 1 of the Spellbound Series. We travel along the journey of teenager Shiloh Trudell. Not only does she live in the supposedly haunted town of Fallen Oaks, where teens randomly vanish as if they were on a hit list, but, as she gets closer to her sixteenth birthday, more and more weird things start to happen. Shiloh has always been slightly different than her friends because of her gift of sight, but her talents seem to go deeper than the simplicity of seeing shadows and ghosts. After accepting a summer job at Fallen Oaks’ very own haunted house, Craven Manor, Shiloh encounters more problems than anticipated. Just moved back to town and into the Manor is Trent Donovan, the town’s heartthrob, charming rebellion. Despite her efforts, Shiloh connects with him on a new level. Now, she has to deal with the powers she has suddenly discovered she has, as well as protect Trent and whoever else might be next on the supernatural hit list.
I absolutely loved this book–everything about it! Both the story line and the characters are believable. Its written so well and the words just flow; its like your right there the whole time. More so, with the wonderful use of imagery, it’s easy to visualize that journey as you walk it. Along with the other characters, we get to see Shiloh grow, becoming stronger and more sure of herself and her capabilities. I often found myself smiling at the undeniable chemistry (and cuteness) between her and Trent. The book keeps the reader guessing, keeping you unsure of what will happen next and when another spirit will appear. My interest was piqued from page one and I found it very hard to put my kindle down. A drawback……I’m devastated that the book is over because I am anxious to see what happens next.
OUT OF THE BOX: AWAKENING
by Jennifer Theriot
Here we read about Olivia Peterson. She’s living her life, as a mother and as a wife. Everything is as good as it can be. Her kids all have their own life, her husband has a great job. Can’t get any better…………so she thinks. Then, her husband gets a job transfer. Olivia has to pick up her life in Texas and move to the big city of Chicago. She’s thrown into a new life and a new home, where, until her and her husband find a place of their own, she is forced to live with a man she doesn’t know. Of course, her husband’s widowed friend is very welcoming and hospitable. But it’s a big change and Olivia does not easily accept adjustments in her life. However, she soon learns that everything she thought she knew about herself and her life will change, whether she likes it or not.
I really enjoyed this book. I love the characters! It’s easy to fall in love with them. Each one adds a special element to the story. And the story, itself, is compelling. There’s romance, comedy, and drama. The unconditional love in this book is something we can all hope for. My favorite part is that the meaning of family is taken to a new level. It goes outside bloodlines. Families are best when there’s a mixture of personalities and that is exactly what we find in this book. A big, eccentric, extended family.
by Kenechi Udogu
AVERSION is Book One of the Mentalist Series. It is about high school student Gemma Green. She is an Averter, which means she connects with certain people and has the ability to help change their minds so something bad doesn’t happen. Her father has trained her well for her first Aversion. And it seems to go as planned. That is until her Aversion target tries to befriend her. She has spent her whole life keeping to herself, purposely not making friends because of how often Averters must move. Only after that first Aversion her life gets flipped upside down, as she discovers the truth she has been shielded from.
This is such a great read! The creativity that went into this book, the characters, and the story line is amazing. I was hooked from the first page. It’s imaginative, intriguing, and masterful. And I cannot wait to read the next book!
A LITTLE NIGHT MISCHIEF
by Emily Greenwood
In A LITTLE NIGHT MISCHIEF, Felicity Wilcox wants nothing more than to regain ownership of the Tethering estate. But the charming James Collington has won the ownership in a game of chance. He needs the estate to fix a wrong and Felicity wants to fulfill a promise she made to her dying mother. Their journey through the book is both heartwarming and comical (I literally laughed out loud).
All in all everything about this book makes it a great read. The undeniable chemistry between Felicity and James, secret pasts, sudden interest in Felicity’s love life……all wonderful elements that make this book come to life.
by Jennifer Gibson
COMPASS is the second book of a series. It’s both well-written and intriguing. As if being a female teenager isn’t enough, Jessie has to struggle as being hearing impaired. You get to walk with her on a very personal journey, of school and relationships, of discovering her strength and herself. I found myself glued to my kindle, as I read page after page of this truly amazing account of her life. The story is inspirational and would be very eye-opening for any teenager………for that matter, any adult! I will definitely recommend this book to others. I’ll also be looking into the other two books of this trilogy.
by Taylor L. Stimac
This is the author’s novel debut and its pretty awesome, in my opinion. I would highly recommend it to anyone. From beginning to end, I was hooked! The characters and the storyline are completely captivating, making it near impossible to put down. This book has everything a reader could ask for……family and relationships mixed with a little bit of suspense and drama.
You can’t help but fall in love with the characters. The main character, Tegan, is so real, so easy to relate to. First date, first kiss, first love. Monumental stepping stones, especially to a sixteen year old girl. What could have been the perfect life, gets flipped upside down by a mystery man. You’re pulled right along with Tegan, trying to figure out exactly what’s going on and trying to make the right decisions along the way. The fact that God is throughout this book makes it that much better.
The only drawback is I wanted more. I’m anxious to see what happens next!
SO OVER MY HEAD
by Jenny B. Jones
SO OVER MY HEAD, the final installment to Jenny B. Jones’s Charmed Life Series. What a great way to finish it! You’re back in the life of Bella Kirkwood, who is, yet again, struggling with life and relationships and another crime. This time she discovers a dead body and is determined, despite many obstacles, to discover the truth. More suspense, more ‘accidents’, and more hilarity. Another 5 star for Jenny!
This 3-book series would be a great addition to anyone’s library. It’s captivating in every way imaginable. The characters are interesting and witty; the stories are suspenseful and they immediately suck you in; and the conclusion is everything you could hope for. Thrilling, happy, and God is present every step of the way.
by Krista McGee
FIRST DATE is a Christian young adult book that has all the elements–humor, love, friendship, family, and lots of drama–that make a good read. It’s about Addy Davidson who is smart, athletic, and not so much into guys. Well, she is selected from her school to be on a reality TV show where the President’s son will select a date for his senior prom. The other ladies of the show, as well as the host, try their hardest to ensure that Addy does not make it to that prom. She doesn’t have class like them, nor does she have the necessary charisma for being in front of the camera. It’s one thing after another. Addy’s only defense is her faith in God.
I’M SO SURE
by Jenny B. Jones
I’M SO SURE is about Bella and her adjustments to a new home, new siblings, new school, new friends, and all around a new lifestyle. She has the pleasure of being followed by reporters, due to her stepfather’s love of wrestling. It makes for an entertaining read. Along with her ex-boyfriend coming back in the picture and another crime Bella and Luke must work on together to solve. A great book! I can’t wait to read the next and final book of the series.
SO NOT HAPPENING
by Jennie B. Jones
This is from the Charmed Life Series. It’s the story of Bella Kirkwood, who has lived a rather luxurious life in New York. After her divorced mom falls in love with a factory worker, they move to Oklahoma to live with him and his two bratty sons. Bella has some work cut out for her. Nothing seems to go right and she’s definitely not fitting in with the country folks. Agreeing to take on an article for the school’s newspaper, she winds up with a bigger story than she bargained for.
There’s a spark of romance, drama, and suspense all wrapped up in this great novel. Another recommendation! My favorite part is how much Jenny includes God in her work. It just adds extra depth to the story, more meaning. I love it! She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
THERE YOU’LL FIND ME
by Jenny B. Jones
This is the second book I have read of hers and it takes one of the side characters from the first one, and you walk with her on her own journey. In Ireland, of all places. That’s my favorite part of this book. All the wonderful things about Ireland, Abbeyglen to be specific. I plan to go there one day, especially now after reading this! To be honest, I could talk quite a bit about this story but I certainly don’t want to ruin it. In short, it’s about Finley, an eighteen year old who tragically lost her older brother and is using his travel journal to find herself. Boy, does she struggle! She struggles with the people that care about her, she struggles with herself, and she struggles with God.
I loved it from beginning to end. THERE YOU’LL FIND ME is one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. It’s full of romance and drama and, in my opinion, a little suspense.
TRUTH OR DATE
by Susan Hatler
In TRUTH OR DATE, Gina Hall is done with men who won’t commit. Ten years waiting for her ex to propose wasted her time. When her friend Kristen starts a game of Truth or Dare, she dares Gina to go on a date with Ethan, who’s apparently total marriage material.
Meanwhile, Gina is having to plan the going away party for the office playboy, Chris. During a visit to his office about his preferences for the party, she initiates the Truth or Dare game. On his turn, he dares her to attend his new work’s welcome party. Her time with him is surprisingly fun, too much fun. She realizes she needs to steer clear of him and focus on Ethan because she does not want to repeat her past mistakes.