Book Review: Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne (Kindle eBook)

618T-Zew5uL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_This great war of our time has indeed been terrible, and I am still struck with its horrors, waking up in the night sweating.

Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles gives us a tale told by Fintan, Bard of the Poet Goddess Kaelin.  A fleet of Bone Giants, tall, thin people with bone armor on their torsos and arms, is on its way to kill anyone in their path to find the unknown Seventh Kenning, a form of magic given to a blessed few.  People blessed with kennings are charged with defending their homes at any means against the giants who are invading their land.  Kennings include moving the earth, building and destroying walls, moving water, talking to animals, communicating by roots and stems, and taking on the voices and likenesses of others to inform the masses of what is to come.

Continue reading “Book Review: Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne (Kindle eBook)”

Book Review: Undertow (Book 1) by K.R. Conway (9780989776394)

51KVRCEM0EL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_Eila Walker is in danger.  She and her guardian, Mae, moved to Eila’s ancestral home in Cape Cod after a mystery donor purchased it for her.  Little did Eila know that this charitable act would alter her seemingly normal life forever.  After a near death experience of being pushed into the bay and almost being drowned by a Mortis, her new friends who all have secrets themselves, M.J., Ana, Raef and Kian explain about her past and her future.  The Mortis (soul-less humans surviving off the life-force of others) are trying to kill Eila, the last Lunaterra (the only thing a Mortis fears).

The plot has twists and turns with plenty of teen angst, humor and romance.  The characters are well-developed except I was hoping to find out more about the bitchy Nikki Shae and her PomPom Mustang Gang.  Maybe in the next book.

For more information about the author and her works, please visit her website at https://capecodscribe.com/.

Thank you to Ms. Conway, Wicked Whale and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book Review: The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg (9781477806104)

fifthdollFrom the author of the Paper Magician Series comes a tale about dairymaid, Matrona Vitsin, who lives a dull life in a small village that never changes.  She is betrothed to Feodor Popov, who is not attentive, nor as demonstrative as she feels a husband-to-be should be, and wants more.  In fact, the only person that she feels a kinship with is Jaska, youngest son of the Maysak family.  That kinship will help her through the next few weeks when she finds a strange room full of matryoshka dolls (Russian nesting dolls) in tradesman, Slava Barinov’s home that mysteriously look like each person in the village.  She finds that the dolls hold an evil magic which holds Matrona’s village in limbo and she is the only person who can take the spell away.

This book reads like a folk story and Ms. Holmberg draws you into a new world that intersects with the Russian revolution.  A very unique tale indeed.

Please visit Ms. Holmberg’s website at http://charlienholmberg.com for more information about the author and her works.

Thank you to Ms. Holmberg, 47North Publishing, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Virtual Book Review Tour and Giveaway: Wind’s Aria by Tessa Stockton

VBRT Wind's Aria Book Cover Banner copyWelcome to my blog!  I’m excited to present Tessa Stockton’s new book Wind’s Aria.

Book Summary:  Elected as the Songstress, Aria takes her place on the sacred platform to sing before every dawn. As long as she does so, peace and abundant life belong to her people. One morning, amidst a strange wind that brings with it a curse in its eerie howl, Aria loses her ability to make music. But the encroaching death that transpires isn’t her biggest tragedy. It’s that she adores the cause of her blunder, for he’s a magnificent winged creature who’s stolen more than her voice.

Excerpt from the Book:  

“Who are you?”

He pushed further back into the shadows as she strode closer. “Someone you need not know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

When he didn’t answer, she sighed.

“What a strange, terrible day,” she mumbled. “Well, at least tell me your name . . .”

He stood, speechless, knowing he shouldn’t be there at all—conversing with a Meleyan—especially not their musical deliverer that he was set to doom the day after tomorrow.

A peculiar grumbling interrupted her insistence, to his relief.

“Sorry.” She patted her stomach. He could see, even in the blackened night, how her face turned a deeper shade of red than her hair. “I’ve forgotten to eat. I guess I’m hungrier than I realized.”

He plucked an apple from the tree he’d nearly become a part of and held it out to her. The girl approached tentatively. She reached for the fruit but recoiled when her fingers brushed his.

“Is touching me so horrible?” he asked.

Her jaw dropped open and her delicate brow furrowed. She inclined her head. “It . . . hurt.”

“How?” he asked, for her fingers felt good to him, soothing. Warm. He wanted to try again.

“I don’t know how to explain . . .”

“Hum.” Unsatisfied with the answer, he tossed the apple to her and watched as she crunched her teeth into it.

AuthorPic Biography: 

A veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, Tessa Stockton also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and she headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today she writes romance and intrigue novels in a variety of genres. In addition to her fantasy romance, WIND’S ARIA, she’s the author of suspense/thriller, THE UNSPEAKABLE, political intrigue/romance, THE UNFORGIVABLE, and a literary short story, LOVE AND LULL, with more in the works.

You can find out more about Tessa and her other books at www.TessaStockton.com , tweet her at https://twitter.com/TessaStockton or friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tessastockton.

Chance to Win!   Tessa will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her book blast tour.  The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.  Click on the link below for more chances to WIN.

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/12/virtual-review-tour-winds-aria-by-tessa.html

My Review:  Aria’s people “looked to her for the favorable blessings of the Sacred Flower.  She was the Songstress, the chosen communicator of the Sacred One.”  Every morning she would make the trek to perform her duty for the people, but one morning she was distracted by another force which caused the sun to disappear and her people to despair.  The force was a magnificent winged creature doing the work of the ill-fated, but who was falling in love with Aria.  Will they be able to beat the forces that keep them apart?

Ms. Stockton’s fantasy is refreshing and I enjoyed the sweet romance between the characters.  This is a story that makes you want to read more to see how it ends.

Thank you to Ms. Stockton and Goddess Fish Promotions for giving me the opportunity to host and review Wind’s Aria.

Book review: Sunshine by Robin McKinley (9780142411100)

2347c307062eb5f593233375477434d414f4141This is not one of your typical vampire books. In fact, it is more about Rae “Sunshine” Seddons, a young baker, who happens to get thrown into a situation where she actually saves a vampire named Constantine by using an unlikely power of her own…sunlight. The pairing is surprising and their friendship and what the consequences mean are written in a way that is clear and interesting to the reader.

I read a lot of books and many of them don’t surprise me like this one did. That is what made this novel a joy to discover.

I want to thank my friend Annie who let me borrow this book. She truly has good taste in authors.

Book review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman (9780060836252) Audiobook

“Gods don’t grow well in America.”  Shadow was learning this first hand.  Being Mr. Wednesday’s hired minion wasn’t as cut and dried as he had thought, but where else would he go?  He was just released from prison because his wife had died in a car accident with her lover.  His new life was full of mythical Gods and magic and the story keeps getting stranger and stranger until Neil Gaiman throws in a shocker at the end.

This book was recommended by a friend and a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s books.  I agreed to listen to it because I really enjoyed Gaiman’s, The Graveyard Book.  However,  the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods was much darker and definitely for adults only.  I can honestly say that if I had not listened to the audiobook, I wouldn’t have lasted for the 50-page minimum I give to books when I decide to stop reading them.  I really liked the voices of the characters and, to me, it moved the story along even in the really odd dream sequences.   Neil Gaiman definitely has a unique imagination which can grab your attention when you least expect it.

Thank you to my friend Chris who suggested the book and thank you to Mr. Gaiman for giving me something out of the ordinary to add to my book palate.

Virtual Book Review Tour and Giveaway: Chosen by Denise Grover Swank

Welcome to my blog!  I’m excited to present Denise Grover Swank’s book Chosen.

Book Summary

Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn’t know she has.

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it’s too late.

RT Book Review: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-review/chosen-3
RT Rating 4 Stars

This first in a series opens with a punch and stays on course from start to finish. The plot is smoothly woven without extraneous details to lull you to sleep. A new voice in the urban fantasy genre, Grover Swank is definitely one to watch. Add this to your shelves.

   Excerpt from the Book

“We can trust him,” the boy repeated.

She turned to look out the windshield and hung both of her arms over the steering wheel. “Are you sure?” she asked, staring straight ahead.

“Yes.”

She rested her chin on her hands and closed her eyes. He decided she must be trying to figure out how to deal with this change of events. Personally, Will thought it was going too far on the permissive parenting scale letting a preschooler make a decision like that, but hey, it worked in his favor. He sure wasn’t going to protest.

“Okay,” she finally said, sitting up. “I need to leave town. They know we’re here so we’ve got to leave as soon as we can.”

“Who exactly are they?” Will asked. As far as he knew, he was the only one on this job. He’d be pissed if they hired someone else as backup.

“You don’t need to know that,” she said, turning at the corner. “How do you plan on helping us?”

“I can help you leave town.”

“Why would you do that?” Her eyes narrowed as she looked behind for signs of the SUV.

Will had seen the damage. The SUV wasn’t going anywhere. Where the hell had she learned a move like that?

He gave her his rugged, bad boy smirk and shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.”

“Do better than that,” she snorted.

He liked that she wasn’t easily snowed, even if it made his job more difficult.

“Let’s just say I’m hoping to get lucky, and maybe if I’m nice enough, I will.” He gave her a slow, lazy smile as he leaned against the door, crossing his arms.

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t count on it.”

“Don’t crush a man’s hopes. Just wait and see. I might grow on you.”

Raising her eyebrows, she twisted her lips into a wry smile. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Biography

Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.

 You can find out more about Denise and her other books at www.denisegroverswank.com or email her at denisegroverswank@gmail.com

More links:

Chance to Win!   Denise will give away a FREE digital copy of her paranormal YA, Here, to one commenter at each stop and a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour.  Click on the link below for more chances to WIN

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/06/virtual-book-review-tour-chosen-by.html

My Review

It seems like Emma and her son have been running for their lives forever. But who are they running from and why do these people want to kill them? Only Jake’s ability to sense when the unknown people are getting close has kept them alive. Enter the stranger, Will, who will save them from the unknown. Or does he?

This is an intense thriller from the very beginning about a prophecy of the promised ones (The Chosen One, The Queen, The Elevated One and The Supplanter) who will meet in another time to overcome an evil that can only be imagined.

A great read! On to the next in the series.

BOOK 2
BOOK 3

Book review: A Modern Witch by Deborah Geary (9781937041038)

How many witches does it take to make a family?  Lauren finds out the hard way.  A successful realtor in Chicago with a knack for finding the right home for the right client, Lauren finds herself thrown into an online Witches Chat Room filled with crazy women who are convinced she is a witch.  Little does she know that these “crazy women” will send their best mind witch, Jamie, to scope out her powers.  Jamie on the other hand, meets Lauren’s best friend Nat and sees their future in full color.

This story is very clever and imaginative and I was excited to read about all the different kind of witches: mind witches, channeling witches, kitchen witches, etc.   The idea of having a Witches Chat Room is a hoot and Jamie’s family is delightful.  There are witches of all ages, shapes and sizes in the family which leads to mischief, fun and most importantly, love.

I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to people who are tired of reading the same old witch stories and want a new experience that will enfold them into a funny and clever way of looking at witches.

Thank you to Ms. Geary and Library Thing Member Giveaways for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Book review: A Land Beyond Ravens by Kathleen Cunningham Guler (9780966037166)

In Britain’s Dark Ages, Marcus ap Iorwerth is a master spy and swordmaster who manipulates kings, warlords and the church to keep his family and his people safe as well as saving Britain as a whole.

Claerwen, Marcus’s wife, has the sight and what she sees haunts her every day as  she  tries to decipher the dreams before it’s too late.

This is the fourth book in the Macsen’s Treasure series and my first book from Kathleen Cunningham Guler.  Though it is true I was able to pick up the book and get the gist of Marcus ap Iorwerth and Claerwen’s story, I think I would have preferred to read the series from the beginning.  This would have allowed me to get to know the characters much better and truly understand what they were going through.

With that being said, I found this to be a thoroughly researched and intriguing book about the rise of King Arthur told by the people around him.  The pronunciation guide/glossary at the beginning was also very helpful for the many Welsh names and phrases.  The book is available at Amazon.

Thank you to Kathleen Cunningham Guler, Review Direct and Bardsong Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book review: Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage (9781936564033)

Sadie felt like an outcast at school. She didn’t fit in. No one believed her when she thought her mother was still alive and had not died in a car accident. She just had this feeling… Enter her 13th birthday and her whole world transforms into magic, witches, gnomes and pure evil. You see Sadie is one of a long line of witches and her mother preferred to live as a human so never told Sadie about her transformation before she died. When Sadie is first told about her new status, she doesn’t even get a chance to learn what powers she possesses before all hell breaks loose…literally. She is transported into a war between the Witches and Magikal Beings, Hunters, Trappers and Exterminators Syndicate and the Society of Magikal Beings. Sadie is told she has a power that only she can use to stop the evil doers from winning.  But what is it?

It’s a whirlwind of magic (evil and good), running for her life and learning the secrets of this new magical world that she is now a member.

My pet peeve is to not compare a book to another. I find it unfair and try to review a book on its own merits. With that being said, I found this book to be absorbing from the start. In this day and age young adult books are very diverse and are very enlightening. This book was no exception. The characters were well thought out and the plot was very engaging. I agree that Sadie (future witchling) was a bit whiny, but she had a lot to whine about. Personally, I would have been screaming my head off at the nasty, pus-faced goblins and monsters that appeared frequently. As to the monsters and violence in the book, I recommend the book to be more suitable for early- to mid-teens.

A fast and enjoyable read!

Thank you to Ms. Savage and JournalStone for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Book Review: Of Bees and Mist: A Novel by Erick Setiawan (1416596240)

I have to admit the beginning of this book was very confusing, but as I read more, I started to understand the supernatural element of the novel. There were characters you loved such as Meridia, an only child who thought she was unloved and others you despised such as Eva the evil mother-in-law who wanted to control everyone around her.  The book was slow in the beginning, but towards the end I felt it was worth reading.

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (0545123267)

0545123267.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_A nice, poetic story about a young girl, bitten by wolves many years ago, who falls in love with a wolf/boy. Even though bitten, she does not shapeshift into a werewolf and her love needs to find out soon how she did it before he turns into a wolf forever.

This story is well written and very imaginative. A great read!