Book Reviews

The Crown of Rosemund by Michele Ashman Bell

BLURD

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and eliminated.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

MY REVIEW

This was a fun adventure! The idea behind this story was compelling and exciting.
But I had a really hard time getting through this book…. Especially at the beginning, there was a lot of telling rather than showing. It slowed the plot down a bit. And there was so much dialogue! I know there are readers who love dialogue; it’s just not for me.
The relationship between Jacob and Rose was really sweet and his loyalty to her was to be admired!
This book wasn’t a personal favourite for me, but I know there are others who have loved it. So maybe you’ll enjoy it too.

Book Reviews

My Top 10 Reads of 2020

I know this is a little late, but here it is: my favorite books of 2020. Because I am so indecisive, they are in no particular order and I cheated a little by counting a series as one book.

39189837. sy475

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

An absolutely charming and enthralling read! I was blown away by every splendid detail. This was a story about love, abuse, literature, friendship, and faith. 

42599600. sy475

Lost Shadow (The Neverwood Chronicles #3) by Chanda Hahn

What a crazy, intense, exciting read! I’ve been in love with series since book #1 and in this last book, all the pieces come together to create this insane conclusion. Reading this book made me want to start all over again at book #1 so I can take this journey again. 

Harry Potter Volumes 1 - 3 Box Set: J. K. Rowling: Amazon.com: Books

The Harry Potter Series #1-3 by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Witch of Edgehill Series # 3 & 4 by Melissa Erin Jackson

Pawsitively Secretive ; Pawsitively Swindled

If you haven’t read the Witch of Edgehill this series and enjoy cozy mysteries, I absolutely recommend that you do!

49338237. sy475

Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

This was the first book I’ve read by Charlie Holmberg and I must say, I was absolutely charmed.

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows; The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

I found myself being swept away by these stories. 

43521657

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This was a lovely and unique adventure! Harrow has a beautiful writing voice that is quite charming. I think it was my favourite part of the book. I found myself lost in a forest of colourful descriptions and creative similes. It was quite enjoyable to read! 

35796008

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

10874177

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

20312462

Jackaby by William Ritter

So there you have it! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Reviews

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Let’s begin with something positive, shall we? I simply adore the Phantom of the Opera. Yes, I will be the first to admit that the story is a little strange with the Phantom’s insane obsession over Christine. But the music is absolutely divine! So needless to say, I was intrigued by the promise of a book based on the famous story. 

phantom of the opera christine daae gif | Phantom of the opera, Christine  daae, Opera ghost

Firstly, I was not expecting it to involve vampires. Perhaps if I had dome some more thorough research, I would have discovered this before, but I didn’t, it came as a surprise when it was first stated. 

Second, let’s talk about our main character Rune. While I thought her twisted talent was interesting and could lead the story down various roads, I cannot say Rune was the most intelligent protagonist. Who lets themselves be blindfolded and escorted in a hearse to some off the charts club? Even if she was desperate for answers, this felt a little extreme. 

Thirdly, there was simply way too much explaining at the beginning. The first two chapters are spent with Rune in the limo and the reader primarily gets her thoughts the whole time. I felt like I was plowing through the words rather than being transported by them. 

But I’ve gone on long enough, I will leave it at this. Unfortunately, I do not recommend this book.

Goodbye for now!

the phantom of the opera phantom of the opera gif | Phantom of the opera,  Phantom, Opera ghost
Book Reviews

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

“If you knew all the answers, there’d be no need for trust, little one.”

What an absolutely charming and enthralling read! I was blown away by every splendid detail. This was a story about love, abuse, literature, friendship, and faith. 

“It is not hopeless,” he said with surety. “It is uncertain, and this is the cross God always gives us in life, uncertainty. But it is not hopeless.”

To begin, who doesn’t love C.S. Lewis? The Chronicles of Narnia have held their popularity since their publication and his theological literature is profound. So, of course, I was intrigued by the woman who influenced and fell in love with him. She was his match in every way! And she was smart and brave and faithful. Even when her first husband was unkind, she was determined to make things work. She didn’t just go off dallying with other men or entertaining fancies about Jack (C.S. Lewis); no, she was committed to fulfilling her marriage vows. Despite, this there came a point where her husband became too terrible and they divorced. Even then, Jack and Joy kept their relationship within the friend boundaries; although, Joy did develop a huge crush on him. As was mentioned before, they eventually got married and enjoyed three happy years together as husband and wife before Joy passed away. 

“God might not fix things for me, but he would be with me in whatever waited ahead, that was clear.”

Not only was the story beautiful, but the writing was stunning as well. It was decorated with velvet and filigree and I loved that! As you may know from my other reviews, I am not a fan of plain writing (simply telling the story with little artistic flourish). This was not at all like that. The author also did a lovely job setting the scene in both America and the various locations in England. In this, and the letter-writing and dialogue, it was clear that she had done her homework. Bravo!    

Lastly, this was a clean read. Sex is alluded to but is not at all blatantly described.

Altogether, I think this is one of my favourite reads of 2020. 

“We’re connected everywhere. Even before we met, we were all of us tied together with these funny little threads. I love those small hints that God brings people together and says, ‘Here you go. This one’s for you.”

 

Elephant Waving Goodbye GIF by Reactions | Gfycat

 

Book Reviews

Brave Run by Philip Arnold

You better hold onto your hats for this one because it will take you on a dangerous journey through a barren desert, a pelting hail storm, enemy territory, and much more. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I found myself very much enjoying it. We are immediately introduced to the action and the stakes at hand and while these play out, we catch glimpses of the protagonist’s background. The latter was a nice addition because it allowed me to get to know John. It was especially interesting to see how he grew up in the Tarahumara tribe and how he used this to save Angela’s life. I thought their relationship was sweet and I almost wish that they had been able to spend more time together. In fact, I would say that I wish there had been more of everything. And I mean this in a good way. Perhaps that would have slowed things down too much… But I enjoyed the story a lot and would have liked to linger in this setting a little longer. 

The writing was good. I found there was a bit more telling rather than showing, but I suppose that is merely my opinion. 

Lastly, it was a clean read. There was no profanity or explicit content. There was some violence, although I think: how can there not be in a setting like this? And besides, every gruesome detail was not vividly described. 

Overall, I would recommend this book. And I especially encourage you to support this indie author.    

 

Book Reviews

June 2020 ~ Wrap-Up

I must say this has not been the most productive month in terms of reading (or maybe in terms of anything). With strawberry season, work has been crazy and I’ve basically been on the work, eat, sleep, repeat cycle for the past three weeks. Ah well, hopefully this month will be better.  Anyway, enough of the chit chat. What did I read this month?

Pawsitively Swindled by Melissa Erin Jackson

53314339._SY475_

Shadow in the Empire of Light by Jane Routley

52758595

The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm by Daniel Mays

49150954._SX318_

I also started reading The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, but I could not bring myself to finish it. I found that it was hard to follow and I could not connect with the main character.

43575115. sy475

Book Reviews

Shadow in the Empire of Light by Jane Routley

I was quite looking forward to this one. It sounded interesting and, amusingly, had a picture of a cat on the front just like my last read: Pawsitively Swindled

However, I will be perfectly honest with you already here at the start: I was rather disappointed and could not find the motivation to finish it. I don’t want to tear this book to shreds so I will keep my observances down to a few points. 

Firstly, there was so much talk about sex. I mean maybe I should have expected it a little as the description mentions a Fertility Festival, but I didn’t think that would mean people were simply allowed to have sex with whomever they pleased. Now, just so you know, this isn’t all explained in explicit details, but from the 30% that I read, sex is frequently mentioned or observed. 

Secondly, the plot was rather weak. There seemed to be too many other things that happened or were spoked about that bogged down the driving force that the plot could have had. 

Thirdly, this was an intriguing world. I am sad it was executed the way it was.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Bye Bye Goodbye GIF by Mickey Mouse - Find & Share on GIPHY

Book Reviews

Pawsitively Swindled by Melissa Erin Jackson

A Witch of Edgehill Mystery (4 book series) Kindle EditionHere we are again with another fabulous story from the cat-loving town Edgehill. This one brought together more witches and delivered a mystery that was a tricky one for Amber and her friends to solve. And get this: Today is the release day! So make sure you head on over to Amazon and purchase this wonderful book. While you’re there, you may as well get the rest of the series too! Book #1 has less than 200 ratings! It deserves more, so please take the time to check it out. Cat Silhouette Rubber Stamp

Anyway, about the book. Amber is back and I feel like she’s so much more confident about her magic. Yes, she still has her insecurities, but she is stronger than she was at the beginning. I also found that the slight trauma she has from Kieran Penhallow’s attack was really realistic. He almost killed her! Yes, of course she would have nightmares. The relationships in this book were fabulous. I loved Kim! And Jackson did a great job making her come alive. As I read, I could see her reactions. Edgar and Amber’s relationship was really sweet, but I feel so bad for Edgar! Hopefully he gets the Kieran thing figured out soon. As always Chief Brown and Amber were fun to read about and I liked that their relationship was so clearly defined. And of course Jack… I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been crazy about him, but things were better in this book. I think the thing with him is that he doesn’t really do much in terms of the action. Maybe it’s just me, but I would like it better if he was a little more involved. Slate wall sticker: cat silhouette pattern | Etsy

The plot was interesting and I did not find myself getting bored. As always, I loved the setting. We spent some time in Edgehill, but also branched out to different places. It felt like this, along with the whole magic veins thing, gave the book a wider scope. I also, really liked that there was a “Previously” section at the beginning of the book. It was a nice refresher and allows readers to jump into the series without being totally lost. 

Lastly, the ending! What’s going to happen?!?!

Altogether, I absolutely recommend this book (and the rest of the series for that matter) and I can’t wait till the grand finale in a couple of months!!!   

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Bye Cat GIFs | Tenor

Book Reviews

May 2020 ~ Wrap-up

Last month was crazy at work so I didn’t get a chance to do too much reading, but I still got two NetGalley reads in there. Have you read any of these books? I would love to hear what you think of them.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

34499221._SY475_

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

Botanical Art Techniques by The American Society of Botanical Artists

52881599._SX318_

Terraformer by Colleen Houck

51767540._SX318_

Book Reviews

Botanical Art Techniques by The American Society of Botanical Artists

Yes, this is totally outside of the realm in which I usually review, but I saw this one on Netgalley and I couldn’t resist (Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC). For the past couple of months I have been playing around with watercolour painting and I thought it would be fun to look through this book. 

First off, I was blown away by the gorgeous examples in this book. They are absolutely stunning. I especially loved being able to see the steps that the artist took to get to the finished product. The final piece may seem nearly impossible to achieve, but by breaking it down into steps that are paired with explanations, the pieces seem more attainable. On that note, though, I would recommend this book for intermediate or advanced painters. I think it would be rather overwhelming for those who have not had time to experiment and become comfortable with their paints and brushes. 

Lastly, I would recommend getting a paperback copy of this book. While the e-book was nice, I would have much preferred flipping through real pages.