Tag Archive: female-authors



The Last Tea Bowl ThiefThe Last Tea Bowl Thief by Jonelle Patrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m sorry it took me so long to review this. I read it while deeply into NaNoWriMo, so taking the time from my own writing seemed impossible. But finally, here I am!

I love Jonelle Patrick’s writing. I always find myself drawn in by her characters and the virtual travel to Japan. I am not much into mysteries because most involve murder and finding who did the murdering. This mystery goes histories deep, and it is to find what happened to the tea bowls and the artist who made them. My way of describing this story sounds rather boring. The author makes this an adventure in two parts of Japan’s history. All the characters seem real and in the now with the reader. Best of all, in this book, there is no murder, even though in war times. Meanwhile, we learn a little about modern Japan while being taught about people’s rituals and beliefs from three different generations of Japan.

I was sad to leave the book in the end. As always, I want to know more. Don’t worry. You feel secure by the ending. Our main character, who has had to research the feudal and WWII Japans, grabs your heart as she tries to keep family and soul together.

Great job with something quite different in this genre Ms. Patrick!

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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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Spirit WarriorSpirit Warrior by Ella J. Smyth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Of the three books in this series so far, this is my favorite. I’m beginning to warm up to the characters and the story. With all there is going on in the world a nice fantasy can help give you a breather. So rather than making this review longer, I say, try the series. You might like it! By the way, I found these on Kindle Unlimited. Not a bad deal, huh?

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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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This is my second reading of the first book of this box-set Find my first review here.

This reading, I was surprised at how current this dystopian story feels. It was only a year ago that I read the first book. Yet now, this seems so scarily close. The author died in 2009, so it was before all of this. How prescient!

As I mentioned in the previous review, I didn’t know what happened after the end of the first book. The second fills in the holes of what happened with the daughter.

At the same time, I wasn’t happy with how the story goes back and forth in person and times, beginning with that second book. I think it is more noticeable when you listen to your books on text-to-speech. I think my eyes might have noticed subtle changes. But that was such a little thing that it didn’t lower my rating.

I cried at the end of the book. I felt I wanted more. I wanted to be with Lauren and everyone in the story longer. The author was excellent in how she created a religion and gave us the ways it grew. How she drew the reader in to know the main character so profoundly was amazing. Now I want to read all her books! I am a fan!!!!


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‚Äôs 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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The Island of Sea WomenThe Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Lisa See’s work. Her research is obvious and the story draws me in. And makes me want to know more about the Sea Women of the Korean island of Jeju.

This is another hot day, so I will keep this short so as to get off the heat-creating computer. Which brings me to remember my favorite aspect of the book, water, and swimming. The descriptions of the cold sea and the beauty of the underwater life cooled me off and distracted me from the other aspects of today’s life.

Jennifer Lim’s narration kept the characters individualized and interesting.

Maybe a warning is needed for the angst and sadness this book brings. It was wartime and the poverty and pain are there. But it seems truthful and helps us see how others have lived.

The research of the Sea Women draws me. And the heat imposes. I hope you get the chance to read this book.

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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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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may be my favorite of all the Outlanders. Maybe because of how I chose to read it nearly 24/7. After all, I had reached the skinny-mini underbelly of all streamings–teen or young people who look like Barbie Dolls going through the samo-samo life issues. Give me some older adults, women of all shapes and colors, real people, not Hollywood-mothers, whores, or weaklings. Not enough streaming of strong women holding up half the world. So back to reading the only way I could. Audible.

Also, I was making scrubbies and washcloths while listening. That helped me ‘hear’ better.

By constant reading, I could stay in the story better. And family members came and listened with me on occasion. So it wasn’t a lonely process.

At any rate, I loved watching the cast of the characters struggle with life and time travel issues and historical moments. I especially loved the parts about Brianna and Roger at Lallybroch recovering letters from Claire and Jamie. And though I used to find Willy obnoxious, I think I clicked with him this time. And I grew more in love with John Grey. How nice to see good, honest, quality men portrayed.

I tried to find something else to read last night as my bedtime read but couldn’t resist looking for more Outlander. Now I am listening to book 8, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.

Time to lower my reading goal as I seem stuck in tome reading. I love it! I hope you get the chance to read these. Oh, and Davina Porter does so many voices so well. I still wish for more actual actors for sometimes Bri and Claire sound the same, and all the children sound the same, and Roger, even with his sore throat, sounds like other men. Still, for one person covering so many people, Davina is fantastic!

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