Tag Archive: strong-fem



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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Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)Planetfall by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darn cliffhangers! I cannot wait until the library can get book two onto my Kindle Fire! That is the only reason I rated it four stars.

If you are a sci-fi fan like me, especially the kind that include space travel or new planets, you’ll love it, too. One of my friends recommended this to me and she is not wrong, this is my kind of book!

Ren is the main character. She has some personal issues but tries to stay professional. We aren’t sure what causes her to be the way she is. But we like her and follow her life on this planet. Other characters aren’t nearly as developed but don’t need to be. There are a couple of them that are not as nice or are too pushy but, hey, in any group of people there are going to be individuals who are not as accessible.

The science used in this book was fascinating. It all seems not only plausible but necessary if we are ever to explore other worlds.

What isn’t often explored in sci-fi are mental issues and how that could affect all on a new planet. And mental issues may not be there at the beginning when being processed towards being an astronaut but that doesn’t mean that issues won’t come about later to trigger individuals.

I love how issues like anxiety and depression and even hoarding are brought up. As we all know, the patient is the one that has to ask for help for help to be most effective. I seem to be making this sound clinical, it isn’t. It is exciting and kept me up reading far longer than I should. The excitement of a new planet and flora and fauna never seen before kept my interest until nearly sunrise a couple of nights.

I highly recommend this book. And as I said, I can’t wait for the next book to become available.

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The Royal Cleaner: Books 1-3The Royal Cleaner: Books 1-3 by L.C. Mawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this was fun. And different. It is because of the differences that I give it 5 instead of 4 stars.

This was an ARC that I begged to get to review. It didn’t let me down. I don’t know the author so I have nothing forcing the high rating. I liked it. A lot. In fact, I want to read it again. When you read using mostly text-to-speech it is easy to get lost. Luckily, the book was so well written that I wasn’t lost for long. Still, it wasn’t repetitive. Never boring.

There is a lot of magic. Some I wish I knew, including a dream visit situation I don’t want to ruin with spoilers. As if witch and demon relationship isn’t hard enough they are lesbian. Oh, wait, reverse that.

The romance isn’t overdone or overly codependent. What a relief! And though the main characters were fantasy beings their problems seemed human and real.

I loved Coraline but Mina and her daughter grabbed my heart.

Oh, for those that see the title and think it is about house-cleaning. Think Scandal from ABC Thursday line-up. Only not Washington D.C. The kingdom of magic. Kerry Washington would have fainted at the stuff these ladies had to deal with.

If you get the chance read this three in one book. I love reading all straight in a row like that.

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Deception (Southern Comfort #3)Deception by Lisa Clark O’Neill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book three of the Southern Comfort series. But it isn’t the same people continuing a story but other secondary characters who were in the past books telling their story to continue in time.

There is a bit more romance and it leans on NA rather than YA. The crime was harder to take, too. Still, overall, I liked the story.

If you like crime and suspense stories this series is for you. I have to admit that since I read before sleep, this wasn’t for me. No, I couldn’t just back away and go to sleep. The fears came with me. I couldn’t seem to find a stopping place where I thought the characters would be safe without me.

The writer was excellent in how she kept the reader in the book. Even so, I doubt I will read the rest of the series. Let me know if you do and how you like them.

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The Payback SocietyThe Payback Society by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Cidney Swanson pulled me in and delivered a good story, one I didn’t like to put down for the night. Cidney knows how to write stories that are believable. The characters and plot are always well developed.

As a young adult, I think I would have loved this even more. The romance is not the most important aspect of the story. Of course, it is there. They are teens. But this story goes deeper. One guy thinks everyone should worship him. When our main character refuses all hell breaks out and payback is required. The reader will feel the need and satisfaction of said payback.

I want to say more but I’m afraid I will end up slipping serious spoilers.

If you get the chance pick up any of Cidney Swanson’s work and you will be on adventures you cannot believe. Of course, my favorite still remains the Saving Mars series. All others are fun, too.

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The Unicorn GirlThe Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is NOT McCaffrey’s Unicorn Girl which is taking me forever to read. It is not on another planet or sci-fi interplanetary travel. In fact, it is set in a past of no cars. Horses provide the travel.

Though it is set in the past in a land I have never heard of, the author doesn’t let it feel antiquated. She often uses modern colloquialisms that don’t feel out of place even in the ancient world.

I was sad when the book ended. That doesn’t happen often. Young People will love this, I think. The main character is strong and knows what she doesn’t want. She isn’t sure what she wants but that is part of growing up.

Maybe that is all I need to say here. Except–I might want to read this again someday and look at why it works so well for M.L. LeGette.

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Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary CollectionMary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was in fifth grade, I was a library regular. I would check out the limit of ten books at a time. Mary Poppins was a series I got into and read all of them. I never had seen Julie Andrews version. We weren’t allowed to go to movies in my family. Maybe that’s the reason I am so into movies now?

Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations, still don’t care for them. I got irritated with Michael getting so much attention. I felt that this read through, too.

Something that I noticed that I don’t remember my childhood thoughts on. How prideful Mary Poppins was, and how grumpy/bossy she was. But now that it’s been a couple days since I finished this quartet of books I think I’m glad she was that way. She didn’t feel she needed to tell the family when she’d be leaving. She rarely admitted to the kids about her friends or her habits with them. It was like she had her own life apart from the wards of her job. I think she shows women and girls that they don’t have to tell everything and they can be independent.

Since I read these four books in a row using text-to-speech, I didn’t notice where one book ended and another began–except when she left and said she wasn’t coming back–but then she came back.

I don’t remember finding the adventures tedious as a child. But as an adult, I see they are far too similar and I lost interest sometimes.

Particular to this version, the Audible available as whispersynch to this book was just for the first book. Most folks would probably read on without a problem. I need the text-to-speech to take over and it was hard to make my Fire understand that. The good news was that I called Amazon and they made it all good. I had loved the Audible narration. I just didn’t have the money to get the rest of the books at that time. They let me remove it and then my text-to-speech with the British voice that always sounds like Julie Andrews got me through the rest of the books.

Now I feel ready to watch the new Mary Poppins movie.

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The Alien Within: Book 2 of The Alien ChroniclesThe Alien Within: Book 2 of The Alien Chronicles by Robin Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I like this book better than the first one. There was a little more sanity and well thought out decisions made. Of course, there was a little teen angst but it seemed the major characters thought with true love and caring for the object of the love.

The author chose to go into the heads of the major characters to give the reader insight into their souls. I think I would have loved this book as a teen. I liked it a lot as an adult.

The ending came far too soon but at the appropriate time. I can’t wait to read the next book! I’d love to see the author take us to the cloud to meet the other aliens that were still in their own form and see how this Alien turned human affects their thoughts and ways of living.

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A Weapon of Magical Destruction (Agents of A.S.S.E.T. #1)A Weapon of Magical Destruction by Katie Salidas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a GoodReads Giveaway. Thank you!

I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this book. It wasn’t another teen angst story wrapped in Sci-fi. It was an actual adult in the working world dealing with a sudden onslaught of magic. (Smile) The writing was good but it was unsettling with the vampires, etc. Even so, towards the end, I seemed to care what was happening regardless of the vampires.

Book 2 is on my Kindle Wishlist on Amazon. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

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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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