Review- Love the Witch, Hate the Craft by Nora Lee

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4/5 Stars

This is a cute story, I really enjoyed it! This is a story about acceptance, how we must accept who we are in order to truly be happy. Rowan has become a reluctant witch. She is very powerful, and has become afraid of her magical abilities. Rowan does the only thing she can think of, run away. She soon finds that running from her problems isn’t going to solve anything when she is called home to help save the Elder Tree.

With the help of young witch, who is also quite powerful, Rowan begins to slowly realize things about herself. She has the help of her grandmother and friends to help on her journey of self discovery and love.

This is a charming tale that will keep you interested and wanting to read more. The story is fast paced and moves along swiftly. The characters are entertaining, and enjoyable.

My only concern is this story is labled as a mystery, there was no mystery so this will be misleading for some readers. There were a few things that might have been more developed such as why Rowan’s parents, the leaders of the coven, were traveling so much and why they didn’t come back home to check on things. The idea was touched upon but could have been further developed. I’m also curious why there was not a second in command that could have helped run the coven. Perhaps, these will be answer in subsequent books?

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and am curious to know what will happen next. I’m looking forward to reading other books in this series.

I received a copy of this manuscript from the publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review- The Secrets of Blood and Bone by Rebecca Alexander

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3/5 Stars

This is the second book in Jackdaw Hammond series. It has an interesting concept and I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had read the first book. There were things happening in this book that I didn’t fully understand such as terminology; the author never explained what a “borrowed timer” was, she assumed everyone had read the the first book. As I said, had I read the first book I probably would have enjoyed it more.

There are three stories that are somehow interconnected. First we have Jack and Sadie. They are moving into a house that previously owned by a witch. The house is very rundown and would probably be better to bulldoze. These women have supernatural abilities they are trying to deal and come to terms with. Unfortunately, someone is out to get them and they don’t play fair.

Felix has left to find out more about “blood magic.” He is visiting vampire dens in New Orleans with hopes of getting some answers for Jack and Sadie.

Then there is Edward Kelly, his story takes place in 16th century Venice. Edward is a known occultist/alchemist. He is in Venice to investigate werewolf-like rituals. His trip has barely begin and he is in danger. This story attempts to shed light on the modern day story of Jack and Sadie.

Overall, I thought this was an interesting plot; however, it raised more questions than answers for me. I like the characters of Jack and Sadie, I just don’t feel they were fully developed. Again, this may be due to not having read the first book in the series. A brief character outline at the beginning of the book would have been helpful, or integrating the information in the story would have worked as well.

I enjoyed this enough that I’m curious to see what happens next, I think I will read the first book before I do.

I received a copy of this manuscript from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review – Murder on the Last Frontier by Cathy Pegau

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4/5 Stars

This is a wonderful book from author Cathy Pegau, and the first in a new series. This book follows Charlotte Brody, as she sets out to visit Alaska, the “Last Frontier.” For the time, it was frowned upon for a young single woman to travel alone, let alone all the way to Alaska. At least Charlotte has her brother.

Charlotte hasn’t been in town for long when a murder quickly grabs her attention. It’s with this murder, Charlotte realizes how rough things are in the frontiers of Alaska. Locals don’t seem to think it worthy to investigate murder since it was a prostitute who died. The investigative reoporter in Charlotte won’t let things rest.  While investigating, she finds more than she bargained for.

I enjoyed this story and the characters. I particularly enjoyed the setting, I thought the author did a great job of describing life in Alaska during the early 1920’s. I found the murderer to a bit obvious, but I enjoyed the journey to the big reveal. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this manuscript from Kensigton Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review – The Time Chamber by Daria Song

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5/5 Stars

This is a story told through visual images by artist Daria Song. The story follows the nighttime journey of a fariy through a magical world.

The artist intended this to be interactive, enabling the reader to color the images on the page.  The drawings are beautiful and magical!

This link will take you to samples of the drawings in the book:

The Time Garden Chapter One

The artist also has a prequel to this book available titled The Time Garden, I’m anxious to get this book as well. I enjoy the drawings and being able to color them in myself. A relaxing way to spend the evening.

More Info and Artist Bio

 

I received a complementary copy of this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Review of Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio

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4/5 Stars

This is a fun, quirky, often mysterious book intended for middle graders. The story will quickly draws in the readers attention and will have them wanting to continue reading. I know I sure did!

Warren the 13th, is a young boy who is set to inherit the Warren the hotel when he turns 18. Unfortunately, Warren’s uncle Rupert, has quickly run the hotel into the ground due to his laziness. Warren learned from his father a hard work ethic and does his best to maintain what he can.

When a mysterious guest arrives one day, this leads to more and more unexpected events. There is a rumor of an “All Seeing Eye” being hidden somewhere within the hotel or grounds. There is so much speculation as to what this “All Seeing Eye” is, no has a clue. Warren is determined to find this before someone else does. With the help of some unlikely people, Warren sets out to find the All Seeing Eye before someone else does.

This book is filled with rich, vibrant characters that bring the story to life. There are wonderful illustrations to help give a sense of what the characters are seeing and feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I’m looking forward to reading the next in series.

I was provided a copy of this manuscript from Quirk Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Updated Review – Nirvana by J.R. Stweart

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4/5 Stars

I liked this book! It quickly grabbed my attention and kept me reading until I finished the book. This is about one woman’s quest to determine what is and isn’t real in a world heavily based in virtual reality.

Earth is unrecognizable in the year 2086, it’s a barren wasteland. There is life before and after, “The Extinction”. Bees no longer exist. Corporations such as Hexagon, rule the world. Hexagon has created a virtual world called Nirvana, a virtual world people can escape in – that is if they can afford it.

Larissa works for Hexagon as a an operator of Nirvana, along with her fiance Andrew, who is a programmer. Andrew is worried about something and suddenly disappears. Larissa is distraught over his death, in an attempt to feel connected to Andrew she visits Nirvana. Andrew comes to her and asks for her help to expose a secret about Hexagon. Hexagon stops at nothing to try to keep the secret hidden. In a virtual world where nothing is as it seems, Larissa must figure out who and what she can trust.

This is a thought provoking story that will quickly grab your attention and keep you reading. This will have you questioning the advantages/disadvantages, as well as the benefits of virtual reality. There is a lot of action that keeps the story moving along at a fast pace. I enjoyed the characters. I found I was questioning whether or not certain characters were trustworthy or not, right along with Larissa. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep things interesting.

There is something for everyone in this story, science fiction, fantansy, romance and suspense. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this three-part series.

(This is an updated review for a book that has been heavily revised.)

I received and advanced reader’s copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review – The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

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3/5 Stars

This is one of those books I have mixed feelings over. There are plot elements I enjoyed, but for there were certain elements I didn’t.

Lucy works at an antique shop selling rare books, sometimes with questionable methods to reach her goals. Lucy’s boyfriend, James discovers her secret, ruining their relationship. To Lucy’s surprise, James’ grandmother, Helen, wants to hire Lucy for a literary and antiquing trip in England. If anyone understands Lucy’s predicament, it’s Helen; she holds secrets of her own. Lucy learns from Helen’s wisdom, sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward.

The author has created a well written book. The story has a nice flow that keeps the story moving along, albeit slowly in areas.

I found the story concept to be interesting, however I think it fell flat in certain areas. To me, it took awhile for the story to get going, and the blurb didn’t seem to match events of the book. The main character of Lucy, was flat and boring, rather uninteresting. By the end of the book, there was some growth of character but no enough to make her really interesting. The ending was a bit ambiguous, perhaps the author wanted the reader to draw their own conclusions?

Overall, this was a nice book to pass the time.

I recieved an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.