Category: Reviews



A Crown in Time (Thief in Time Book 4)A Crown in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cidney Swanson has done it again! This was a fun time-travel to Elizabethan England from 21st century here in America. It is the perfect ‘what if?’ with a mixture of thrilling moments fighting evil and or impossible situations and sweet moments of love. Imagine you could actually meet THE Queen Elizabeth!

Ms. Swanson presents some of the questions of time-travel and puts her own spin on things. Those crazy questions brought up in the past of seeing one’s self in the past, etc.

Meanwhile, there are three young women, newlyweds with spouses from other times. So well written that I found myself fighting a sore throat when the main character complains of same. Yes, it was coincidence but I worried about hypochondria. But after being out in public I realized it was allergies to certain perfumes had irritated my throat. Hot tea took care of it. But that is scary to think you can be so drawn into the book that you ‘catch’ their disease. Good thing I’m too old to feel the pregnancy symptoms! LOL!

If you get the chance, read this series. Even better start with my favorite series Saving Mars. Cidney Swanson can pull you into her books within a sentence or two and keep you up way past sleep time as you try to find a good stopping place.

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Any Man: A NovelAny Man: A Novel by Amber Tamblyn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am still torn as to what to say about this book. I finished listening a couple of days ago. Yes, this was an Audible version. It was narrated by Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, Michael Crouch, Ben Foster, Marc Maron. Very well acted out. Kept me awake even after I closed the Kindle and crawled under the covers. For that reason, I give the trigger warnings. Rape is the topic. The only difference is it is a man that is raped. Somehow it reads the same regardless of who is the victim. So pain and torture are somewhat spelled out. It doesn’t matter the perp’s gender either.

This could easily help those in the right frame of mind. It seems a therapy of sorts for the author. I do suggest if you get the chance and feel up to it to listen to the Audible version. Meanwhile, it is read at your own discretion. I love Amber Tamblyn. I saw her on a talk show and loved what she has to say about the #MeToo movement and feminism. I’m glad that men showed their support by acting out this story.

I hope this book gets a lot of readers. I think it can help many people. Just be warned.

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Fruit of the Drunken TreeFruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Though this story takes place in the 1990’s in the times of drug lord Pablo Escobar in Bogotá, Columbia, it’s lessons are current for us here in the USA. It centers on two young girls and how they affect each other and each others’ families.

I actually finished the book a couple days ago. I needed time to think about how to review this. Besides what I said above I just couldn’t decide. If you want to know more about the book go read the reviews on GoodReads. Many just write out the story themselves. Why bother with reading it with all that information? I don’t like to include blurbs about the books I read. I figure there are plenty of those out there. My review is to tell future me what I thought and possible current events or life events and how they might have influenced my feelings. If that helps others, I am glad. So for my future self: remember when they separated babies from parents because of a need to get rid of illegal immigrants? How many of them were seeking asylum from life similar to what the characters in this book were living with? I have friends who lived through being held up by guerrillas. I don’t believe that these people are taking away our jobs. Watch how the costs of foods go up as citizens take back the farming jobs. Just saying.

Anyway, this book was well written, at times even poetic. It kept me up as I couldn’t leave the characters when it was well past time to sleep. I think everyone should read this book. Even if it doesn’t change your point of view, it could help educate on the history and peoples of South America. And if it feels factual, like a true story, know that the author did live through a lot of what the book tells about. The girls playing with injured Barbies. The dreams of the girl’s leg with sock and shoe that the main character saw on TV news minus a child’s body. These are just a couple incidences that felt too real to be fiction.

When I rate a book with five stars I know that I will remember it. It affected me deeply.

I’m so happy that NetGalley had it for me to read for review.

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Bold: Stories of Strong WomenBold: Stories of Strong Women by Sandy Ward Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book from GoodReads Giveaway. Though I knew it was an anthology of short stories I thought reading about strong women would make it worth my while. So thank you for letting me read your book.

BUT, I just don’t like short stories. Yes, the women seemed to have opinions but I didn’t see them as any stronger than others. Maybe with more story, I would have been impressed with them but, not so much. And it is worse is you read with text-to-speech as it is hard to know when the last story ended and the next story starts. I can’t tell you how many times I had to go back and figure out why it wasn’t making sense suddenly. OH! It’s a new story. I guess that is something to keep in mind when writing for the Kindle market, make sure to put a something there at the end and start the new one with a hashtag or something.

I finished this book a week or so ago but life got busy and I had to wait to write the review. I honestly can’t remember any of the stories to say more about them. Obviously, there are folks that loved these stories so go read their reviews. You may be one who loves them, too. But give me a series and depth of characters. The stories are well written, I do remember that. I like the cover!

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The Litter of the Law (Mrs. Murphy, #22)The Litter of the Law by Rita Mae Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given this book by a friend who read it on her vacation and left it with me when she visited. It took me so long as the font is rather small so I could only take it in bits and pieces. There was enough dialogue to break up the page so I could read it in tiny doses.

The book kept my interest. I did want to find out more about the farming and life of these farm people. I loved reading about the characters. I found the Native American research interesting though it added to the shame of how our founders dealt with the original inhabitants of our country.

I absolutely loved the drawings. Yay for adult books that have pictures!

What I found annoying and distracting from the story: talking animals. But I suppose that is where the ‘cozy’ comes in for this mystery.

I love Halloween but I never go to ‘haunted house’ features because I worry that real blood could be involved with no one knowing. And I hate things jumping out at me to make me scream or be startled. This book just reinforced those fears. It is what made this a gruesome mystery rather than cozy. But others of you may love it and can read it with the grain of salt that is implied. I’m glad to finally be finished and to pass it to the friends of the library.

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Still LifeStill Life by Isobel Hart
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Though I finished this book about a week ago, I just haven’t been able to say something nice about it. And though I obtained this book through NetGalley for an honest review, I can’t give it a good one. But thanks anyway.

Give me a good mindless zombie story. Don’t give me a reason to read rape and abuse scenes and blame it on a virus. Please don’t read this if you have issues with either of those. If you can get past that you might feel intrigued to see what might happen in book two. Me? Not so much.

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The Missing Girl: A Short Chapter BookThe Missing Girl: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love getting books from my favorite writers for review. It’s the best of both worlds. Getting to see their writing, getting to read new books.

Ms. Gita V. Reddy has created another fun story, mystery(?) for middle grades. I don’t want to give anything away here, but the story didn’t go the way I thought it would. But neither is it as scary as the title might imply. So go ahead and read it. It’s free right now on Amazon.

There is a bonus story in this book. If it wasn’t about a boy, I would have thought that Gita knew me in grade school. Yes, I was the talker that teachers moved around the room trying to find the person that would encourage silence in me. Nope. Didn’t happen. In fact, and I hate to admit this, even in college as a 40 something-year-old adult, even when I sat next to the teacher I found them interesting and willing to share conversation with me. Being social is a good thing and can teach you more than silence. On the other hand, as a teacher, I understand the disruption to the lesson plan. I did see that it can be useful for bringing up questions the class might have been afraid to bring up. I loved the kid of my heart in the second part of the book.

Both stories made for good reading before bed. You or your children might have fun with these, too.

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ShiftShift by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. How could I resist? I love Ms. George’s writing. The minute I open one of her books I know I am in for a fun ride. Shift is no exception. I added to my sleep deficit by spending too many hours after bedtime looking for a good place to stop reading for the night. But I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters in this story.

I finished Aqua, which I also loved, a bit ago and couldn’t wait for more. My biggest disappointment was that this book is a stand-alone. I love a long and deep series. But for those that don’t like that this will be more up your alley. Still, I won’t rate this lower than five stars as it kept me going.

I can’t wait for more!

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AquaAqua by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a surprise. And a few nights of nearly four o’clock in the morning reading. Forcing myself to pull away from the story and into sleep. That was hard to do!

The first impression that I got from the title was that this would be another mermaid book for young adults. Nope. But I won’t tell you more about it. Spoilers!

The story kept moving. It seemed not to give me a chance to push pause, even to get up and get something to eat or to go on a potty break. That’s how good Ms. George’s writing is. The book is a decent length but not so short or immature as you might think. Though there was a bit of a romance it wasn’t the angsty stuff of most young adult books. It was respectful of each other and seemed healthy.

I think others will love this book, too. It is cleverly written and far from the norm for this genre.

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The Host (The Host, #1)The Host by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been weeks since I finished ‘reading’ this book. I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. I think it is somewhere between hating it and being okay with it.

Kate Reading was the narrator. I nearly returned the Audible version. The voice seemed all wrong for the alien. And all wrong for the strong host.

The story did start to get interesting about halfway in. We finally meet the human tribe hiding from the aliens. I liked some of them. But the narrator’s voice seemed wrong for these characters, too. It amazes me that I stuck with this book in spite of how I felt listening to it every night.

The ending was a surprise for me and satisfying. I know a lot of people loved this story. The writing was good. But it didn’t do much for me.

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