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Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley

I wasn’t sure how this book would go since it’s the 5th in a series, but I quickly found myself enjoying Kat’s lemon cake along with the rest of the characters (in a manner of speaking).
One of my favourite aspects of this book was the detail. Jennifer Ashley was very thorough with all of her historical details (as far as I could tell). While some might find all of the cooking instructions boring, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them and the way Kat prepared her suppers.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Kat, but by the end, I realized that I appreciated her contentedness, kindness, and determination. She loved her job and the people around her and it was lovely to read about. Daniel was a real sweetheart! Kat and Daniel each had their own mystery to solve and as they went about doing this, their paths frequently crossed. I really, really hope she and Daniel can find a happy ending together.

The mystery was well executed as well. The evidence was all on the page, but like Kat, I had to figure it out. I definitely did not put all the pieces together and enjoyed that the ending took me by surprise. Honestly, I came to a point where I suspected almost all of Lady Covington’s family and staff.

I am excited to read more books in this series and I expectantly await the next installment.

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Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT’S OVER! Books never make me cry, they don’t have that kind of effect on me. But my eyes definitely got a little misty over this one…. 

In this book, everything finally comes together. Questions are answered and good ultimately triumphs over evil. Yet, it was not all sunshine and roses. There were some heart-wrenching parts that simply tore me to pieces. Fred…Lupin…Tonks… I can’t even. I feel like this had to happen, though. This was war and couldn’t come without its losses. 

“He can run faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo.”

Harry’s decision at the end felt right too. After all of his character growth, he finally came to this moment and made the right choice. I’ve definitely been frustrated with him on many occasions, but I think he wouldn’t have become that wizard without those struggles. 

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

I really loved Mrs. Weasley’s moment of triumph. I was cheering her on like crazy! 

A few things that I didn’t care for in this book…. The pacing was a bit slow in some parts – something  I’ve never really noticed in this series before. It was especially so during those weeks that they weren’t sure what to do next. I understand that Rowling wanted to finish everything at the end of what would’ve been their seventh year at Hogwarts, but it was frustrating that they didn’t take action for so long. I was also surprised that Harry didn’t seem shocked after he saw Snape’s memories. That was a big deal but instead, he obsessed over his own death. Also in this book, I found multiple editing errors. 

Ah, but what to say in closing? I was rather skeptical when I started this series. Yet, I was dragged in – hook, line, and sinker. Rowling has created a wonderful masterpiece that isn’t just about a boy who could do magic. It’s about loyalty, friendship, courage, endurance. It’s about the conquering of good over evil. Yes, the world-building is fantastic, yes, the characters are wonderful, but I think that these values inspire the reader and cause them to walk away feeling stronger. I think that is the true magic of the Harry Potter series.  

“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”

P.S. That last scene “nineteen years later” is so sweet. 

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

This has got to be one of the biggest books I’ve ever read. It was mammoth size! (Over 200,000 words) So where to begin… 

“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”

I was thrilled to join Harry, Ron, and Hermione once again. I’ve been reading a bit about what makes the Harry Potter series so compelling and a lot of people name the characters as a key component. I have to say that I agree with them. The golden trio was, as always, absolutely charming. From Ron’s reaction at discovering that he was a prefect, to Hermione’s Christmas gift of homework planners, to Harry’s dedication to the DA, I was spellbound. And I know you will all agree when I say that Umbridge was absolutely horrible. Rowling did a really good job of portraying this and making me want to just reach inside the story and ring of Umbridge’s neck. I have to admit, though, that this one was a hard one to read in terms of Harry’s ever-shifting moods. He was angry a lot of the time and now I know why, but it was a little frustrating to read. I really wanted to tell him to just calm down and take a chill pill.  We’ll see what he’s like in the next book. 

“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

The plot of the Order of the Phoenix was interesting as well in that I felt it didn’t have a crystal clear end goal. With the others, usually there was something that the characters were working towards throughout the entire book (i.e the finding the Philosopher’s stone, discovering the location of the chamber of secrets, surviving the Triwizard tournament). Rowling still made it work, though, and did an excellent job of keeping things rolling and engaging the attention of her readers. Lastly, I was very much intrigued by Snape’s memory. Up till now, Harry has thought of his father as a great and noble hero, but in this book, he discovered that his father wasn’t all that. I think especially in this book we see Harry step away from the naivety of a child. 

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I’m looking forward to book 6. Although things are becoming sooo intense, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it…..

Uncategorized

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

This was another fantastic Harry Potter read! If I hadn’t watched the movie (I know, I know! Don’t throw your book at me!), I wouldn’t have guessed the outcome. Rowling was very clever with giving hints that were subtle, yet kept me on my toes. 

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Best Crookshanks Gif GIFs | Gfycat

For the new characters… Honestly, who doesn’t love Lupin and well, Black too. They’re both like the cool uncles. After all of the hype of Sirius being a hardened criminal, by the end, I loved him and was so sad that his name wasn’t cleared. I wanted Harry to finally have a father figure. And who wouldn’t want a teacher like Lupin? So far, he’s the very best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Another new character was Crookshanks. I was never quite sure what to think of him! Sometimes I was annoyed, but sometimes I suspected that he was onto something. I hope we get to see more of him in the following books. Also, Professor Trelawney was an interesting character. She was humorous in a ridiculous sort of way, but I have a niggling feeling that perhaps her predictions aren’t as far fetched as they might seem.  

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Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s friendship was, of course, classic. They had a bit of tension throughout this book which was hard to read. I kept yelling at Ron and Hermione to just make up, but with a little extra time, it was all good in the end.  

I’m really not sure what else to say. It’s all been said a hundred times over already. I’ve already started listening to book #4 and I can’t wait to see where this adventure will lead to next!    

“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.”

weasley family in egypt | Weasley family, Ginny weasley, Weasley

Book Reviews

Belvedor and the Four Corners by Ashleigh Bello

Blurb

The Hunger Games meets Red Queen and Throne of Glass in this action-packed Epic Fantasy Adventure series.

On a quest for freedom from a tyrant king, follow Arianna Belvedor as she unearths the enchantment buried beneath her dark world and learns how to wield magic alongside her swords. She will either win or die; whichever her fate, freedom is certain.


Arianna Belvedor has only ever dreamed of winning her freedom from the Four Corners—a cold and cruel city where all the children of the world are kept, each with an opportunity to earn their citizenship upon their eighteenth year. Just months away from her ultimate battle, she is certain that her notable skills as a warrior-slave (having been trained by Master Solomon Bell, a formidable mentor in Warrior’s District) will give her an edge during the annual Free Falls Festivals: Free for the slaves who earn their citizenship. Falls for the ones who die.

Alas, Arianna’s talent with a sword cannot outmaneuver the burning curiosities of her heart, leading her to reveal a shocking yet spectacular secret about King Devlindor and his long-standing reign as High King of Olleb-Yelfra.

The world as she knows it is a lie, its true spellbinding history exploited and suppressed under centuries of deceitful acts.

Her world turned upside down with new, unfathomable knowledge, Arianna must make a choice that could change her life forever—ignore the truth and continue following the path laid out for her since birth or break free from her chains and carve her own… if she can survive.

Immerse yourself in this addictive fantasy world as Arianna is thrust on a thrilling journey to uncover magic and more than earn her rights to freedom.

Belvedor and the Four Corners is a recipient of the 2017 Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award.

Review

This book has a lot of potential! I found that the world was unique and interesting, it had some suspenseful action scenes, and the friendship between Arianna and Lessa was sweet. Unfortunately, though, this was not a book for me. Some points of the storyline were a little awkward like how four slaves from different districts just happened to meet as they escaped. There was also a lot of dialogue. I know that some people really enjoy this, but I prefer a balance between dialogue and colourful prose.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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.    

 

my writing

Super Exciting Cover Reveal!!!

After many months of writing and editing and more editing, I finally have something solid to show you guys! And I am absolutely thrilled. I have had this idea for a long time, but like most of my stories, it needed a lot of polishing to make it shine. This was hard to do while in school, but bit by bit, I pieced it together. I also cannot neglect to mention the help of my amazing beta readers. They called out my plot holes and my embarrassing grammar mistakes and helped me bring my novel up to performance level.

So without further ado, I am pleased to announce BEAUTIFUL BEAST!!!

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My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and is now a prisoner in her own palace. As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate and the sorceress’s victory draw nearer. But Kalista refuses to be defeated so easily and uses her own magic to push against the bindings. Yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As their paths intertwine, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse. If they fail, Kalista will fall asleep and will never again wake.

*****

There it is folks! What do you think? Interested? If you are, add it your Goodreads to-read lists or even better… I’m looking for readers to review my book. If you’re interested in receiving an ARC just fill out this FORM or write me a note through my Contact Page.

And as alwayss, feel free to simply comment. I’d love to know what you think.

Tata for now | Winnie the pooh friends, Tigger and pooh, Winnie ...

 

Book Reviews

Goldheart by Kenley Davidson

I have read Adari Chronicles book #1 and #5 (Traitor’s Masque and Shadow and Thorn) and I loved them. Davidson is a talented writer who always adds her own unique twist to a fairytale.

Goldheart was no different. It followed the story of Elaine who had been kidnapped in the previous book. She was a sweet character who had been terribly traumatized and this allowed for much character development. She started out frightened and timid, but as the story went along, she became stronger and more defiant. 50227172. sy475 Her daring act at the end definitely warranted applause. However, I did find that her weakness made it difficult to feel drawn to her. I wanted more moments of strength. As for the other characters, I loved Blaise! Honestly, I really wish they had ended up together. They seemed to match and complement each other so well. I also found it hard to be drawn to Will. I mean, to be honest, he didn’t do a whole a lot. He just wasn’t overly compelling.    

I don’t want to go into too much more detail in case I bore you because it is much of the same. While it was an interesting twist, it did not steal my attention and drag me into the Andari world like the other books did. However, I am currently reading Pirouette and am quite enjoying it. 

 

 

Book Reviews

Lost Shadow Chanda Hahn

Thats All Folks GIF - Find & Share on GIPHYAaah and that was the great finale! 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. 

As always, I loved the characters and with the stakes so high, they were constantly being thrown into dangerous situations and sacrificing themselves to save the others. Hahn did a fantastic job keeping things going while not making me feel overwhelmed. And wow! Just wow! The way she took elements from the original story and twisted them to create her own unique take on the fairytale was impressive. 

A few notes on the ending… I felt like their time in Hollow Dome could have been drawn out. It was this fantastic, chilling setting that seemed like it could have been developed a little more. That being said, I did read through it all pretty fast, so it may just be me. On the other hand, I loved how Hahn took some time at the end to just calm things down. It wasn’t ok, we win. The End. No, she explained what happened and gave an indication about the future too. Except, hold on. Jeremy! I am not sure what to think of that! I don’t think Wendy and Peter can take anymore. Maybe Hahn just left it open because she felt like it…? 

Lastly, this was also a really sweet clean read. 

I highly recommend this series. And if my gushing isn’t enough to convince you, it only has 71 reviews on Goodreads! It deserves more! A review doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences. Definitely consider it. 😉 

Neverwood Chronicles | Chanda Hahn

 

P.S. Did anyone get this reference?!?! I laughed so hard when I read it!    

“I signed up for a three hour cruise on the tour ship called the Minnow and-” 

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