Tag Archive: free-from-author



SaraliSarali by Susana Gino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes I read a book and feel raw from the length of the read. Granted, this was a Kindle ARC, so I’m sure a lot of the story will improve with the reviews.

The technical problem that has probably been addressed by now, but it took me out of the story every time, the author and/or the title and page number (?) pop up often and are inserted into the tale being told. I suppose if I were strictly reading it, my eyes would skip it, but since I read via text-to-speech, it is all very jarring.

Overall, the story was interesting, though the main character seemed in her head most of the time. The erotic scenes were almost too much while sorting through her growing maturity. And though the main character, who calls herself either Sara or Sarali according to whether she was involved in a sexual pursuit or her own enlightenment.

Though the main character seeks to learn of her sexuality and help others through their experiences with her, a sort of prostitution, that wasn’t my main problem with the main character. She seeks to be with her daughter out of love, and the relationship does grow. But her daughter’s safety ought to be her chief thought. A man who has such little control of himself as to rape a young woman and force her into marriage and having the resulting child, should not be trusted with that same child to raise on his own. What could he be doing to that child? It seems to me that should have been the character’s aim, not worry about what falsehoods he may speak. It is true, Sara needed to do some growing herself, but not once in her mental ravings about how unfair it was to her, did she mention what might be happening to her daughter.

My last problem with the book is how repetitive it was. I found myself wanting to find another book to read. Still, I think in a future edit or two that would be taken care of, and the newer readings will find an interesting read. As a seeming autobiography, the story reflects the way all our brains work in circular ways coming back to the trauma and trying to overcome it all. Worth the read.

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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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Payback Royale (Payback Society Book 3)Payback Royale by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book was to come live on the 29th. (And Yay! It did!) I finished reading this book four nights ago. I hated finishing it. I always want to know what will happen after I close the book. I enjoyed the book, thoroughly! The most exciting part was about space travel and its purpose. I have to admit to nearly squealing as the main character promotes it.

I know I’m not the target audience missing the ages by five decades or so. Even so, I can remember being a young adult. I can imagine I would have loved, well, everything Miss Swanson writes. Her characters, world’s, and plots are fresh and fun. The books read themselves, okay, with the help of text-to-speech. But I don’t want to put any of them down until the last word! Payback Royale was no different. Loved it!

On the other hand… I hate the antagonist. I don’t see hope for him. Please let’s put an end to his story! Without killing our friends, please!

I can’t wait to read more by Cidney Swanson!

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The Payback Letters (Payback Society Book 2)The Payback Letters by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Gladly. I have loved every book Cidney Swanson has written. I always admit that my favorites were the Saving Mars series. But the time travels, and Ripplers and now the Paybacks have been a delight to read, also.

Cidney has characters that are believable, relatable, even when they seem to be well to do, and going to a rich-kid boarding school. BUT this brain got confused in this book. So a warning: Clair is the main character of the first book and Fiona is of this second book. What kept confusing me (or unconfusing) were that I remembered that Clair’s parents were dead and her brother had helped in significant ways. Fiona’s aunt keeps referring to her parents helping with tuition and her brother being dead. I am horrid at remembering names But relatively good at recognizing certain aspects of a story. I had to go to the book blurbs to understand where I was getting confused. If you read book one, you remember poor Fiona going with the horrid Sly. That should lead you down the trail of the story Ms. Swanson has present us.

After I understood who the star was, I think I love her more than Clair. Yeah, she gets a little gah-gah about a guy, but in the long run, I was rooting for them as much as for Fiona’s future.

Since the Payback series is separate from Ms. Swanson’s other books, you can pick them up and enjoy them now without reading everything else. That said, I hope you read the rest, eventually, as they are all fun adventures. I wish I had someone writing these kinds of books when I was a teen.

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Hell's Hinges (A Fistful of Daggers #3)Hell’s Hinges by S.M. Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this a bit ago. I was busy and couldn’t write a review yet. And it wasn’t up to post on yet. So now I can write this.

For anyone who lives in Reno, this is such a fun book! Anyone who has been reading S.M. Reine since Six Moon Summer will love this book. So many old friends come back. Well, not exactly come back. We get to go on another timeline or two and get to visit friends and situations we’ve seen before but new things are done to change things a bit. I love this idea. Let’s not stay on a linear way of life if we are fantasy or sci-fi. Let’s explore every incident and person from many angles. By the way, this doesn’t mean it is all fun. It is exciting and often scary as deities and demons are involved. I hated putting it down so I could get some sleep.

BUT by golly, I love seeing Reno from Ms. Reine’s eyes! Even though I haven’t lived there for three years I still can see the bars and the river and Idywild park. It just makes me happy to see this world.

If you get the chance please read all of Sara’s books!

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Wretched Wicked (Preternatural Affairs #9.5)Wretched Wicked by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. I always love me a Sara Reine story. This is the first I was able to finish in one night.

Sadly, it wasn’t about my favorite characters. I know a lot of the reviewer LOVE Cesar Hawke and his boss, Fritz Friederling, they are not the highest on my list. Still, it was a good story and a fast review of Fritz’s life. He hasn’t had top billing in any of these stories. So for those who need a review, or those who want to start somewhere other than Six Moon Summer, hundreds of books ago for SM Reine (or so it seems–she is so prolific!) Wretched Wicked would be a good start.

I did enjoy seeing life from Fritz’s point of view. I think I understand him a lot better. Can’t wait for more from Ms. Reine. Glad I don’t really live in her universe, but happy to meet all who do!

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The Secret of Big A (Embracing the ABC with Love)The Secret of Big A by Ofra Peled
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I read children’s books I do it with my own children in mind. Now granted, they were kids 40 years ago, so things might be different now. But with that in mind as I read this I found myself a little bored. I know. That is a surprise as this stars reading and beaches. That should have won me over, but I couldn’t see my kids liking it or wanting to read it over and over. There seems to be a lot of positive feedback on this book so it’s just me, I guess. I hope everyone else loves it.

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Tara and the Giant Queen: A Fantasy in Giant LandTara and the Giant Queen: A Fantasy in Giant Land by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you, Gita, V. Reddy for letting me read this book. As per our agreement, I am giving my honest review. Sorry it took so long to actually write this. I’ve been very busy and needed a bit of time to think about it.

This didn’t grab me. As I said above, it may be because of summer busy-ness. I just couldn’t get into the story. I found that I couldn’t relate to the main character or the giants. Yet I was constantly remembering BFG (Big Friendly Giant). I kept reading. I hoped that something would pull me in. Maybe bad timing for me to try?

I’d love for others to read this. Maybe if you aren’t reading using text-to-speech you become more part of the story? I don’t know. I will try again later sometime to see if it was just my ADD or circumstances.

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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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