Tag Archive: author-recommended



Lonesome Paladin (A Fistful of Daggers #1)Lonesome Paladin by S.M. Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Though Cèsar and Lincoln are not my favorite characters, this book had me a Reno. I love it when Sara Reine centers her stories in my old haunts. Once I am immersed in the town, I care about what happens there. Who knew there were so many demons, vampires, were-creatures, fae in Reno? I’ve thought I’ve seen a glimmer here and there, but I figured it was a figment of my imagination–or was it?

I started this book around 9 PM last night and couldn’t stop reading until finished a little after midnight. It was a wild ride! While I told you my non-favorite characters, I was excited to know we would get to see Ophelia, Cèsar’s sister. And I enjoyed getting to know Sophie Keyes.

I always enjoy Ms. Reine’s books. That’s why I’m always happy to receive a request to read and review them. Thanks for the opportunity! And I love the side topic Sara was able to present in this book to make an educational moment or two.

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A Sword in Time (Thief in Time Series Book 3)A Sword in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love this series. Nearly as much as I did Saving Mars. Let’s see, space travel, living on another planet, or Time Travel to ancient Greece? Space Travel. But this runs a close second.

Cidney Swanson writes the way I wish I did. She grabs your attention and won’t let go until the book is finished and then leaves you wishing for more.

Maybe it is from too many nights awake reading this that I got this latest fibro attack? Maybe worth it?

At any rate, this is a must read series! I think you will like it! I can’t wait for more!!!

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StumbleStumble by Susana Sparrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was quite fun. The young female protagonist goes to visit relatives in Europe. There are language problems for her except for those who do speak English. But the adventure begins when she goes to the cave surrounded by mythology.

I don’t want to give anything away but magic happens. Lots of magic. Some quite dangerous. Remember language issues and trying to remain a good house guest for her relatives. Oh, then add a romance that is quite impossible on so many levels. Yep, now you have a story. I quite enjoyed it and hope everyone gets a chance to read it.

Yeah, I know. I don’t usually like romance. But this one has so many problems most don’t have. And this protagonist is strong and stands for her feminist ideals in spite of all the magic. This kept it interesting for me. I hope it is for you, too.

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Waiting for a Miracle: Historical NovelWaiting for a Miracle: Historical Novel by Helen (Wininger) Livnat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this a few days ago. I hate it when I finish before I am ready to sleep. I start the next book and forget to get back to the last book to review. But this one needs a review!

There cannot be enough books about the Holocaust. We need to look at it from every angle to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This book presented another point of view. It is from paternal journals handed down from the time of the first world war. The great-granddaughter is conveying the story. All the way to her own life.

All in all, it is well told. It doesn’t quite fit into my goal of reading books by strong women with strong women as main characters as Helen (Wininger) Livnat only tells her story at the end and it feels she left much of her own life out to give her forefathers the say of what happened in those horrid times. And that’s fine with me. She includes what is happening to the females at that time as best she can. The stories are coming from journals of the men so she’s telling what she inherited. None of it is fiction. We’ve read the histories, we can see the truth. We need to take warning.

It is always hard to give a rating to someone else’s life. So in that, I’m sticking with the five-star rating. There were errors, grammatical mostly–near the end, a ‘there’ that should have either been ‘they’re’ or ‘their’ (I can’t remember which now) is one example. In fact, the ending could use an editor’s eyes. But it didn’t take away from the truth and horror of the story or the warnings. And I think that there may have been some translation problems in that I think Russian was the first language. But I’m guessing.

Like I said, it is the story that is the important issue here. I think everyone should read this. It is enjoyable watching the families and the sons adjust and still love no matter what the outside world is doing. It is amazing what we can do when we do it for love.

Yes, there are a lot of tears. Even near the beginning. So have your Kleenex handy. But there are big joyous moments as well. Life and love bring us generations of stories and struggles. Well worth the read. But I’m repeating myself. I just want people to pick this up when they can and take it into their souls.

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Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story: Children's Books - Picture Books for Kids - Story Books for Children - Beginner Book for Children - Age 3-7Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story: Children’s Books – Picture Books for Kids – Story Books for Children – Beginner Book for Children – Age 3-7 by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We live in the desert outback of Oregon. When you picture Oregon, you probably see green trees and oceans. This is mostly sagebrush and sky. I love it. There is room to breathe and did I mention sky? Many of us don’t have grassy lawns, between critters and the amount of water it would take to keep it green, it seems silly to attempt. So instead my family and I have dedicated to saving bees and inviting hummingbirds into our yard. I think because of the heavy snows of the winter we have a lot more vegetation than usual. More butterflies. And just yesterday I saw a Mourning Cloak. I realized I hadn’t seen one of those for decades.

And then this little sweet book comes into my life. How adorable the grasshopper and caterpillar are! I love how the author explains why the caterpillar needs to eat so much and about the pupa stage. The pages are colorful with butterfly backgrounds and the Rangoli designs on each page above the main characters. Those are inspiring me to try my hand at drawing them.

This book is great for the early reader but great fun for a read aloud and learning about everything from caterpillars to India and lots of art to play with. All while learning to read. I would have had a ball reading this with my kids back in the day.

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Cast in Godfire (The Mage Craft Series Book 5)Cast in Godfire by S.M. Reine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author.

As my star rating shows. I liked this book. But of all the series and subseries in the S.M. Reine world this Mage Craft subseries about Marion and Seth’s strange love for each other and angels and gods and demons and hell hounds… oh my!

Look, don’t get me wrong. I love Ms. Reine’s writing and how she keeps things moving. And at least by this book, I am not needing a cast of characters chart to remember who everyone is. But still, once all our favorites are unidentifiable as angels and faceless gods. And the reader is left knowing the story is not over, just not a cliff hanger.

If you ever get the chance to read these series(es) by Sara Reine you will find yourself in worlds you know and yet, don’t know. Often stories take place in places like Reno or other real cities. Landmarks keep you anchored yet the manning of said city is not by people you know or would want to know in some cases. That keeps the story alive and real for a fantasy.

As I always recommend, start with the Six Moon Summer where you meet characters that stay with you through all the books. They don’t do a lot in some books but prove invaluable in others. It is always fun to meet them again and again. Like old friends. And maybe you will like this series far better than I did. I hope so. Sara Reine is quite prolific and keeps her readers wanting more!

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Cast in Balefire (Mage Craft, #4)Cast in Balefire by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so sorry that it took me so long first to read the book and then to review it. Life. That’s all I can account for.

Marion is still an amnesiac. I have to admit that this has gotten boring to me. Now that the world has changed so it makes it even harder to understand who is who and what position are they at now. Ms. Reine’s universe has gotten quite complicated and there really needs to be a glossary in the back or front of the book to look up the characters and where they are now.

The strange affliction has Marion married while in love with someone/something else. I just find myself confused and somewhat bored. I’m giving this 3.5 stars rounding up to 4 as I do enjoy seeing the old gang of wolves, etc. But this new world is just not as fun for me. Thanks for letting me read this book. I look forward to a satisfying end to this part of the story (…fire books).

Still, I think everyone could love SM Reine’s stories starting with the Six Moon Summer. This author is so prolific that one could read forever and not catch up. A clinker or two is just fine as it moves the reader to the next book in the series(s). (How does one pluralize more than one series?) Still, Enjoy!

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The Nature of DenialThe Nature of Denial by Madelyn March

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this ebook for an honest review.

Oh. My. Goodness! For me, this was an amazing book! To some, those who have never experienced mental illness in their birth families or within themselves, it might seem extreme. But if you have been blessed not to have depression or bipolar issues in your personal life if you were lucky enough to never have had post-partum depression, please read this book. Madelyn March, the author, climbs in deep and dirty to let the reader experience the confusion of being a child in an unhealthy family, and dives deeper as that grown child now has a child of her own. If Ms. March hasn’t experienced all this herself, she has done an enormous amount of research, speaking with those who have been through it.

This was a longer than the usual ebook, 250 pages. I loved the length as it gave me a chance to get to know all the characters. They were all well developed. The main character, Anna, brings you through her life to the moment of her breakdown and her struggles to come back to life. Other characters get their chance to show their own points of view which helps the reads see how these things happen in real life.

But this book doesn’t get bogged down in peoples’ heads. Life continues happening. Beauty still exists. Nature refuses to be upstaged by the minds of humans. I loved that aspect of this book. I got to travel to Michigan, hike in the woods, see the great lake, Superior. Never been there. Not sure I could handle the cold. But traveling by book never makes my fibromyalgia flare up. 🙂

Now that I know all these characters so deeply, I hate to let this group go. Though it was a nice ending with all threads tied up and hope for the future established, I want more. I want to see what happens next. I think that is a sign of a great book. And for those who might want to try it, it is free on Kindle Unlimited, only $2.99 for Kindle (I think it is well worth that) and there is a giveaway going right now on GoodReads. Oh, and the title is perfect! Try it!

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The Twelfth Child (Serendipity #1)The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Twelfth Child (Serendipity #1)The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes, you’re between books. Too close to sleeping to put on a headset and listen to the whispersynched Kindle book or the text-to-speech on the older Kindle while reading on the self-lit Kindle app on the tablet. The main issue is that it is difficult to sleep with the headset on, blaring into your ears. At the same time, having the reading lamp on will make you stay awake for sure. So, you pick out a book by an author you know will be easy enough to follow on Kindle app alone. Bette Lee Crosby holds out that kind of hope for me. I have read other books by her and followed with or without the audio help. She writes plainly yet elegantly. She writes compelling stories that draw you in.

And so it was I started this book a couple nights ago. And yes, it drew me in, without keeping me awake all night. I was able to read a couple chapters and drift off comfortably. Then the next day I pulled in the text-to-speech and read until I was finished. And, as usual, I was not disappointed in her writing.

Ms. Crosby can make you believe you are there, in the past as the story is set up with the mother of twins. The daughter (one-half of the twins) becomes the twelfth child of her misogynistic, chauvinistic father. His only hope of having the wished-for son, is the other twin. This man married and was left by or widowed by so many women (what reasonable woman would stay near that man?) and he had lost his sons to death and their mothers’ flights. But at last, he has a son. But this poor kid wants nothing to do with the rugged farm life. Instead, that annoying girl child could have done anything that boy did and then some.

Anyway… That girl had enough gumption to span a few storylines and her entire life, including the afterlife and the court drama included. Wow! What? No, the court isn’t in the afterlife. It is the contemporary here and now, not choosing where to go at the Pearly Gates. But her spirit sticks around to make sure it all turns out okay.

Quite a few times I was surprised that the story didn’t end. I would look at the percentages and find I had lots more to read. I’d wonder where we could go from there. But Bette Lee Crosby wasn’t about to let it go until the story was finished. I was so happy with how it ended. Nope. You won’t get any spoilers here!

I look forward to reading more by Ms. Crosby!

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Paradox LoveParadox Love by Dorothy Gravelle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so sorry to report I have finished reading “Paradox Love” by Dorothy Gravelle. What an amazing story! It is filled with twists and turns so very unexpected. The characters are believable and lovable. Just as fun as Where the Deer Dwell but totally different. As well written as her first, just the lack of “Clan of the Cave Bear” or the time travel sci-fi genres.

Instead, I found myself saying, Ms. Gravelle, you’ve given Richard Bach a run for his money! Think “One” or “Bridge Across Forever”. Add into this soul-mate mix “Lassie Come Home” and a box of Kleenex and you get a bit of the idea. Rather than the angsty YA romance typical these days, there was a strong couple who lived their own truths.

Now, I need to tell you that this is a first book in a series. But notice the star rating I gave. No cliffhanger! Yay! You can tell there is more to the story but you aren’t left worrying about the people. You just know there is more you want to know. I can’t wait to read the next book!

By the way, this Kindle ebook is free with Kindle Unlimited. There is also a Giveaway on GoodReads FirstReads. If you want to read the tree copy.

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