Tag Archive: fav-author



So Bright the Stars (Shadow of Mars Book 2)So Bright the Stars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yay! Another well-done sci-fi/Mars book! I would have loved to read this as a teen but love just as much as a septuagenarian. This is the second book in this series. The main character is now on Mars and is trying to fit in with the society that is already there.

Cidney Swanson has researched well to keep the story believable. Without making the story drab. She digs deep into her characters to bring them to life. As I am reading/listening to text-to-speech I find Ms. Swanson has me questioning ‘would I have done that? thought that?’ and the answers are sometimes obvious to the reader but not so much the main character, Penney. Other times the reader is in as much dark as Penney is.

I can’t wait for book three! Meanwhile, I hope you all get a chance to read the first series of Mars, Saving Mars which is more for the young adult, and then this series for adults as the character is an adult. But I see nothing that should keep a younger person from reading anything by Cidney. Enjoy!

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The ForetellingThe Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun mythological story to read before bed. I always love an Alice Hoffman tale. I wonder if this could be made into a movie like Practical Magic? A tribe of women living their truth in their own time. And HORSES. Yep! All the fun things a fem could want to read about.

I may have to read this again sometime when escape isn’t my only intent. Or even if it is. I could jump into this world again. Maybe take it slower and absorb it more.

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So Dark the Sky (Shadow of Mars Book 1)So Dark the Sky by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! Where were books like this 60 years ago when I was forced to read about adult male astronauts goggling over the Barbie Doll robots or aliens? I love Cidney Swanson’s writing and story-telling are excellent. And what a relief to read about an adult female who is accomplished in her own right, who loves and cares for her grandmother, and who needs to choose between her life long dream and continuing taking care of the woman who raised her.

It isn’t a spoiler to know she gets to travel in space. ‘Shadow of Mars’ is the series title and ‘So Dark The Sky’ book one. YAY!

As I always have to mention on a Swanson review, I loved her Saving Mars series for young adults. This new series is more adult but I know I would have loved it in seventh grade. How wonderful it must be for young women now to be able to enjoy science fiction and see people who are like themselves. A woman astronaut is a possibility now.

I want to write so much here because I loved this book so much. But I don’t want to take away from the readers’ experiences. I know I will read this again soon as I can’t think of a better way to get ready for book 2!

Enjoy, PLEASE!
Thank you, Cidney for writing a book for girl me! And I’d love more from Grandma’s point of view since I’m closer to her age.

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The Space Between (Outlander, #7.5)The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That was fun. But so far from as long as I wanted. I don’t like short stories. I love a chance to get to know characters deeply. And though we met a couple of these earlier I wanted a lot more to their story. Even the newish ones I wanted to know deeper than given here.

Remember the Comte de Saint-Germain and Maitre Raymond? They’re back. I could do without the Comte. Maybe he is redeemable. But Raymond has some surprises.

Jamie’s nephew Michael, and his stepdaughter Joanie (Laoghaire’s daughter) appeared in this story also.

Either way, I would love to see a lot more of their life stories.

The most important concept, to me, was the possibility of time-travel into the future. Please bring this into a Gabaldon-size novel.

I want MORE!

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Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought that book 7, Echo In The Bone, was my favorite of the Outlander books. Nope. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood wins. It was fantastic!

Regardless of the time the characters land in they all grow and help us learn the rules of Gabaldon’s Time Travel.

What can I tell you that won’t spoil it for you?

As usual, there is a lot of research evident in the reading and as one supposes, there are instances of poetic license, which Diana Gabaldon admits that she has it framed on her wall.

The most exciting part of the book is as Breanna talks about Doctor Who in a chapter called, Thank You For The Fish. (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Now I really wish I had a TARDIS so I could play in all three universes.

And I wish I could move on to book 9 but my Audible credits don’t come until the middle of the month. A quick note about why I read by Audible most often now. Actual reading is impossible for my eyes. It seems a tracking issue. So I use a lot of Kindle Text-to-Speech. Though TTS works well for most books when there are other languages involved I want to hear the words pronounced correctly. Davina Porter is able to range the language barriers and character ages and sexes with apparent ease. I love listening to her.

If you get the chance, the books are as good if not better than the shows, and the Audible versions are the best of all the worlds. Enjoy!

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Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oops! I nearly forgot to review this one. I just moved into the next read (a library book).

I really wish I would have read this before the series on television. I liked the rhythm of the story better. I like the viewpoints presented here as Clair’s rather than Bree. It is different not having the information that comes with the daughter making the voyage back in time and back to America.

I think we got into Roger’s head a little more, too. It doesn’t take away from the show. It is actually interesting the take the directors and actors took the storyline without losing the story.

No spoilers here. Just glad I read (listened to the Audible) it and can’t wait to get into the next one!

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A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance (Thief in Time Book 5)A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspirational! Who doesn’t enjoy a good time-travel book? This one addresses the subject of the musical Hamilton. What fun! And now I have to go find the books about him and the sheet music to play with, and learn to sing the tunes like I did with Phantom and Les Miz.

But the book isn’t all about the musical. It covered a lot about the history and character of the man, statesman, politician, Alexander Hamilton. And the fictitious twins of this century and their coming of age issues.

I always enjoy books by Cidney Swanson. I always have to say that her Saving Mars series is my favorite but all her work is so fantastic it is only that I have to be the old grown-up with left-over space-travel dreams that I gravitate to those books. But Time-Travel is fun, and educational and inspires me so much! Enjoy! I did!

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The Spellslinger (A Fistful of Daggers #4)The Spellslinger by S.M. Reine

Sara Reine has done it again. I love that we get to visit our favorite characters over and over in an ever-renewing timeline. Once again we visit the Reno-Tahoe area which for me, makes for one more character to enjoy.

Through the characters, Ms. Reine asks questions that remind me of why I loved Sci-fi for all my life. With deities, angels, and demons, subjects like philosophy, religion, and why things happen the way they do, and how it applies to our norms, all this comes up in the course of the story and makes the reader think. That is my favorite kind of writing. It isn’t preachy, it doesn’t even set up any rule to follow. These are questions the characters present as they chase down the next plot twist.

Ms. Reine writes so well and keeps the reader involved. I almost always finish her books quickly as I don’t want to stop reading until the end.

As always, I suggest a person go back to the beginning, Six Moon Summer and read the gazillion other books, they are all terrific. I can’t wait to read the next book! What will she come up with next?

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How to Write a Novel: Advice and Tips from a Full-Time NovelistHow to Write a Novel: Advice and Tips from a Full-Time Novelist by Simon Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was quite informative and not only ways to help write a novel more efficiently, but also great hints on how to use yWriter better.

It is fun to hear Simon Hayes’s voice. After reading a lot of his Hal Spacejock stories and enjoying them to the max, it is fun to hear the rhythm of how he speaks matches the cadence of his fiction.

I have written quite a few novels myself, mostly for NaNoWriMo (17?) so I highly recommend Simon’s methods to write. I am learning some things from this book, that I wish I could have had in my writing wheelhouse all along. It is a very helpful book.

I plan to buy the Kindle and perhaps paper version too so I can refer back to the books often. I highly recommend this book!

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The Second Coming: A Mythpunk Urban Fantasy Novel (The Ascension Series Book 8)The Second Coming: A Mythpunk Urban Fantasy Novel by SM Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! I love Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner! But this is the best book about them yet! Since they had entered the deity, I had supposed we wouldn’t get the same action-packed story that they used to give us. So wrong! I wish I hadn’t been so sleepy both nights (hot, miserable days can do that to you, and then even once you fall asleep you can’t stay there! Ugh!) I would have finished this one in one night! (Okay, need to put the exclamation point away!.)

Once again, Sara Reine puts the story in the Reno-Tahoe area and so I’m engrossed knowing about where she is describing and how it looks now (or at least the last time I visited last year) and how her goddesses/gods have changed it with each reincarnation of the world. This time into the future.

Though I loved seeing Elise become a human avatar, giving birth, nursing, and attempting motherhood, as I have gone through most of what was described, four times, some might not find that aspect of the book appealing. But stick with it, let it be your reason not to go through it, or learn Elise’s lessons ahead of time (better than Dr. Spock or even Dr. Sears), or see what a woman goes through. Even this goddess found that an arduous path and she’d been through all kinds of pain and suffering. Giving birth is not for sissies! Nursing can be challenging! Mastitis is real and can cause severe illness and hurts like hell! And try all that while being the target for assassination and kidnapping! <—sorry, I can’t help myself. Think of the exclamation point like Elise’s Infernal Sword of emotion!

I love that Ms. Reine included some flashbacks. I’ve read every one of Sara’s books and feel in touch with all the characters, even so, I have my favorites. Elise is one, as is Rylie, and Dana MacIntyre (hope I spelled that right). I thought I knew all Elise had been through, but I’ve forgotten a lot!

It is always hard when writing a review because some of the things I want to say would be spoilers. But there will be friends from the past. There, that did the trick!

Sadly, I have to find something else to read now. Let that be enough for you to know I highly recommend the entire collection of Sara Reine! If you can’t afford it, see if you can get your library to carry the books. Especially those in Reno! Starting with Six Moon Summer and enjoy the rest of her world beyond!

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