Friday, 21 April 2017

Book Review of Giselda The Witch by J S Rumble



Book Title: Giselda The Witch
Genre: Children's Chapter Book
Pages: 61
Author: J.S. Rumble
Date Published: 30 March 2017

Synopsis:

Giselda discovers that she will not be attending the same school as her friends; instead she will be going to Wigmore’s school for witches. Due to an unfortunate mistake she arrives a bit earlier than even she expected but soon settles in and makes a new friend through the fence.

Things are going well until some girls find out how she arrived at school and start to tease her about it. To prove that she is just as good at magic as everybody else Giselda agrees to travel up the mountain and steal from the dragon that lives there.

Review:


Giselda The WitchGiselda The Witch by J.S. Rumble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a sweet children's book aimed at children aged 4-10 years old. I loved it!

Giselda is a wonderful character and I really liked her. She is an eight year-old girl who finds out that she will not be attending the local school with her friends as she is a witch. Not realising water and witches don't mix, Giselda finds herself travelling to the school in a most unconventional way. When her classmates find out how she arrived at the school, she is teased badly. In order to prove she is good at magic, she accepts a dare.

As I said above, this book is a sweet children's book with an adventure included. It is ideal for children with short attention spans. It tackles topics such as friendship, bullying/teasing and teamwork. The school is not your typical witch/wizard school, nor is it like Hogwarts. Wigmore teaches their students to be bad (not evil) and play tricks on others. I liked meeting the other characters too. Tom is a young wizard who befriends Giselda through the fence that separates the two sections (girls and boys are taught separately). Beatrice and Emma are Giselda's nemeses and tease her unmercifully until danger in the form of a dragon makes them band together to solve a dangerous situation.

J.S. Rumble has written an entertaining chapter book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her writing style, which is not particularly fast paced though easy enough for children to follow whether reading on their own, or being read to by their parents. The flow is wonderful too. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this chapter book to young children aged 4-10, and to adults looking for a chapter book to keep their little ones entertained. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:

Sorry, there is no information available on this author as this is her debut story and, as such, I cannot find anything about her.


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Monday, 17 April 2017

Book Review of Bad War (A Military Paranormal Romance) by Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston



Book Title: Bad War
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 397
Author: Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston
Date Published: 10 July 2016

Synopsis:

Zebadiah

Vietnam has taken my friends and almost my life.

Some days, I wish that I had died on that battlefield with them, at least they won’t have to deal with the humiliation I’m about to face when I get sent home.

What’s Mary going to say about her wounded husband?

How am I going to give her the life I promised her now?

She deserves better...


Mary

All I wanted was a chance to see him again, to spend another night of passion with him.

That day is finally here!

The day that I’ve most looked forward to, but also the day that I’ve most dreaded.

Now he’s coming home, I’ll do everything in my power to make him the happiest man on the planet… for as long as I can… whatever it takes.


Author's Note: This beautiful paranormal romance is not your usual military romance! The story contains mature language and themes, intended for adults only.

Review:


Bad WarBad War by Summer Cooper & Stephen Kingston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an intriguing romance story. I did enjoy the story but with some reservations.

Zebadiah Rasnake is a really intriguing character. I really liked him a lot. He is a soldier fighting in the Vietnam war, but after being injured he is sent home to rest and recuperate. Waiting to take care of him is his wife Mary and baby Joshua.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a favourable review.

I started to read this story and was quickly pulled in. It is told mostly from Zebadiah's POV, although there are some scenes from Mary's POV, as well as another character called Cherokee Joe, who also has a part to play in this tale.

I felt deeply for Zebadiah as he dealt with his injuries. However, as I began to delve deeper into this story, I found myself thinking that this story is not your typical paranormal romance. It's more of a supernatural one. There are no shifters, but there are two people who love each other so much that even death can't keep them apart (think ghosts). I don't want to give too much away because there are several twists to keep things interesting. However, I did find some of the dialogue a little stilted and forced at times; it didn't seem to flow naturally. Having said that, I found myself turning the pages in eagerness to see what would happen next. The story took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. The ending was not totally unexpected, but I was a little dissatisfied with it even though it concluded neatly. My first thought after reading the book was: Is that it? In some ways this book, although entertaining, just didn't float my boat. I am sure other readers may not have the same reaction and will enjoy this book more than I did.

Summer Cooper and Stephen Kingston have co-written an intriguing romance. Their writing style is relatively fast paced, and the flow of the story is okay. However, I feel they need to work on their dialogue a little more to make it flow more naturally.

Due to scenes of an explicit sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to young readers. However, I recommend this book if you love reading contemporary or supernatural/paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



Summer Cooper. Discover the wild girl in you.

Besides her love of chocolate, dogs and music… reading and writing is Summer’s number one route to escape from crazy friends, family and the in-laws!

She found her own happily ever after with a martial arts fighter who also happens to be an adorable IT geek! Now, she loves to write about hot alpha males that come with a pretty face and covered in tough-as-nails muscle... who are secretly looking for their true soul mate (shhh…)!

Receive 10 free books and 1 free audio book today by signing up to her exclusive reader club (to get the latest news about ARCs, new releases, and discounted and free books!).

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Book Review of Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2) by Thomas Dellenbusch & translated by Richard Urmston



Book Title: Chase: The Hunt for a King
Genre: Crime Thriller
Pages: 116
Author: Thomas Dellenbusch
Date Published: 27 February 2017

Synopsis:

Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Theatre-Of-The-Mind-Stories.


Scotland on the brink of independence: the government is planning its own Scottish monarchy. But when a member of the close-knit planning group reveals the identity of the candidate for the throne, suddenly people appear who want to prevent this royal ascension at all costs - including murder. When CHASE is called in to assist, Jérome and Chen Lu travel to Glasgow. Together with the Scotsman James Campbell, they hunt for his father’s murderer. A secretive wax seal leads them into a maze of ancient legends and lost manuscripts. Can they solve the mystery and save the king - or will old ruins become their grave?

Review:


Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2)Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase by Thomas Dellenbusch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in an exciting new crime thriller series which has been translated from German into English. I really enjoyed it!

Enrique "Rique" Allmers is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot when I first met him in Hunt for a Mute Poetess. He runs a security firm called CHASE, which investigates mostly business related espionage and crimes. When his team is called in to investigate a potential murder in Scotland, he sends Jérome and Chen Lu. However, danger is not far behind and as the two delve deeper into the suspicious death, secrets are revealed that could shake the foundations of the United Kingdom.

When I heard that this book was available, I quickly downloaded a copy and began reading it as soon as I could. Set in Scotland this time, this book takes the reader on a thrilling adventure of danger, suspense and mystery. It is mostly told through Chen Lu's and Jérome's point of view (although some scenes are through other characters' eyes as well), it is a pulse pounding ride, with chases, gun fights and several twists that keep a reader hooked. There are several interesting characters in this story too. James Campbell is the oldest son of Ronald Campbell and brother to Peter, and is Jérome's friend from his Legionnaire days. However, he finds himself embroiled in a secret that has been kept by his family for centuries, and which could affect the monarchy of Scotland at a time when there is huge political upheaval from a referendum that could split the UK apart.

As the story unfolded, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I really enjoyed it, but also found myself thinking that this story was not as strong as it could have been. The author has incorporated a medieval legend in with his story and has woven it in such a way that it sounds entirely plausible, which I liked. However, I was a little confused at the actions of one of the characters. This character was in a position of authority but acted like a greedy thug and bully. What he hoped to achieve with his tactics didn't make sense to me. Maybe I'm being too critical of this character, as he was no evil villain but a man controlled by fear and greed. Personally, I think I would have liked a stronger villain than Peacock to love to hate. Nevertheless, having said that, he certainly made me dislike him a lot.

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings, sad that it had ended but happy at the way it concluded. I am not sure if I would call this a movie-length story though, as it felt too short. Having said that though, the amount of descriptive writing made me picture this book in my mind's eye with ease and it played out like a movie in my head.

Thomas Dellenbusch has written an intriguing crime thriller. I love his fast paced writing style, which had me turning the pages, and the flow was a lot smoother than the first book. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.

Although there are no explicit scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to some violence and some mention of torture. However, I highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers/mystery/suspense genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



Thomas Dellenbusch was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1964, and still lives there. The former police detective and advertising copywriter has been actively writing for more than twenty years on a wide variety of topics. Although the lion’s share of his assignments originate from the advertising industry, he has also put his talents to use producing speeches for government officials, poetry for individuals, screenplays, rulebooks, newspaper articles, sketches and much more. In short, any subject that can be communicated in a stimulating manner. Since 2013, he has specialized in the production of movie-length-stories—written both by himself and seven other authors via the publishing company he founded expressly for that purpose.

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Cover Reveal: Box of Hearts by Nikki Ashton @NikkerAsh @BarnardLaura



*  *  * COVER REVEAL *  *  * 



Check out this beautiful cover from Nikki Ashton.  Box of Hearts is being released 28th April.







Synopsis

Millie is unlucky in love and when her long term relationship ends like a soap opera story line, she takes drastic action. She applies for an overseas job as home school teacher on an American family Ranch and finds herself instantly attracted to Jesse-her boss. As for Jesse, well he doesn’t need her getting in his business and constantly reminding him that he neglects his daughter.

In Jesse Connor’s eyes his life would be simple if it consisted of three things. His ranch, his cattle and his horses. But it doesn’t- for one, there’s his young daughter, Adeline, who is fighting for his love and attention because he’s the only parent she has. Then there is Millie Braithwaite-that damn beautiful English woman.

Millie & Jesse are two broken souls who are both fighting against the inevitable, because they both know that this time their hearts could be shattered beyond repair.

Box of Hearts is the first book in the Connor Ranch series and tells the story of second chance love and the joy and sorrow it can bring.


Add it to your Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34735732-box-of-hearts?from_search=true




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Book Review of Arabelle: And The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1) by Julia Stilchen



Book Title: Arabelle & The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1)
Genre: Children's Chapter Book
Pages: 58
Author: Julia Stilchen
Date Published: 27 March 2017

Synopsis:

Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series

Venture off into the magical land of Wistaria where there are mages, elves, fairies, mermaids, magical creatures, and more!

Arabelle is looking forward to obtaining her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. When the day finally arrives, her best friend Yunika goes missing. Will Arabelle be able to find her bff and still make it to the Starfall Ceremony in time to catch her first falling star?

Arabelle is the youngest of all mages. She doesn’t let that stop her from trying her best. Even if it means confronting dragons, traveling throughout the twists and turns in the land of Wistaria, and taking on any challenge she encounters. Seeking to improve her skills, she teams up with her besties on a fun filled magical adventure.

Set in a fantasy setting filled with magical adventures, each story encourages imagination while lightly addressing topics of universal themes: self-esteem, self-acceptance, teamwork, friendship, and problem solving skills.

Review:


Arabelle: And The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1)Arabelle: And The Star Crystal by Julia Stilchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series. I absolutely loved it!

Arabelle is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She is a young mage who is determined to catch her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. Unfortunately, her best friend, Yunika (who happens to be a human shape-shifting unicorn), has gone missing shortly before the event is due to begin, so with the help of her other friends, Kitsy (a furry - a human but with animal ears and tail) and Pip (a talking parakeet), Arabelle finds herself on a rescue mission. Can she find her friend in time, or will she lose the chance to catch her first star?

This is a fantastic children's chapter book, full of action, adventure and danger. It is told through the eyes of Arabelle. The story is the perfect length for young readers who have a short attention span. It is entertaining, but also educational. The story teaches the reader about friendship, teamwork, building confidence, solving problems by thinking things through and achieving dreams through hard work and perseverance.

Each character in the book has different strengths and weaknesses, and they complement each other as they face difficult challenges. I must admit that I'm not sure I would like to meet up with the Lullaweeds from this tale, they look like pretty flowers but are plant-like creatures. Once they get their leaf like arms around you, it's hard to escape. *Shudder*

Julia Stilchen has written a fantastic chapter book that is full of imaginative description which allows the reader to picture the scenes with ease. Her characters are lifelike and likable, and her writing style is easy for children to follow and understand. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

This series of books are aimed at children aged 6-10. Depending on a child's reading ability, this book would be easy for a child to read either with the help of a parent or on their own. It would also make a wonderful bedtime story for younger children if read by a parent. However, I think that adults would also enjoy this story just as much as I did. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:




Prior to the winter solstice, in the year of the fire dragon, (minutes before the stroke of midnight), Julia was born within the human realm, in a far away kingdom surrounded by the cactus-laden desert of Arizona.

She learned to harness her daydreaming skills, practicing the craft of writing to transmute imaginary worlds into prose. She is a member of magical guilds like SCBWI, CBI Clubhouse, and YARWA.

She passionately embarks storytelling quests with an enchanted wand pen at hand. Along her journey she enjoys befriending like-minded beings. (Some of which are mermaids, pirates, and aliens! Hee-hee) She loves spending time with her family, exploring nature, and traveling.

Her favorite genres are: fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. She loves writing and illustrating children’s books: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction categories.

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Monday, 3 April 2017

Book Review of Turn Tables (Reel Romance Book 2) by Stacey Rourke @RourkeWrites



Book Title: Turn Tables (Reel Romance Book 2)
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Pages: 324
Author: Stacey Rourke
Date Published: 14 March 2017

Synopsis:

Between private jets, designer labels, and lavish resorts, Tandy Owens should be having the time of her life. Her celebrity author best friend is getting married and all of Hollywood’s elite have turned out for the event. Unfortunately, Tandy’s mood is far from celebratory.

For over a year her heart has been torn between two men: Matthew Cruz, the brilliant, well-educated entrepreneur who makes her feel like a queen, and Mateo, his womanizing musician alter ego, who is known for collecting platinum records, and the panties of his sexual conquests. Matthew assures her that Mateo’s antics are all a show. Even so, with her being the only one to witness his softer side, Tandy begins to wonder which persona is truly the act.

In the sizzling heat of Miami, Tandy reaches the breaking point with their secretive romance, and finds herself asking if a hidden love is truly worth fighting for?

Review:


Turn TablesTurn Tables by Stacey Rourke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Reel Romance series and is a fantastic contemporary romantic comedy. I loved it!

Tandy Owens is a fantastic character and I really liked her when I first met her in the first book, Adapted for Film. She is the flamboyant friend of Aubrey Evans. Now working as Matthew/Mateo Cruz's manager, and his secret lover, Tandy finds herself questioning whether her love is strong enough to survive the demands of his career.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author with no expectation of a positive review.

I was eager to start reading this book as I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of the series. It is told through the eyes of Tandy, though I would have liked to have a little of Matthew's POV too. This is because, although he was introduced in book one as Mateo, I wanted to see behind his cheesy Mateo persona and understand the man (Matthew) that Tandy had fallen in love with. Most of this story seemed to focus on Tandy and her angst about her relationship, as well as the wedding of Aubrey and Kole, rather than focusing on the relationship between her and Matthew itself. They had very little interaction for most of the story, which saddened me. Don't get me wrong, I loved the buildup to the wedding and all the comical goings on with a mysterious teddy bear mascot, but I just didn't have the same enthusiasm for this tale like I had for the first one. I must admit that there are some interesting characters that pop up, like the teddy bear mascot and a goth chick called Willa, who has a habit of popping up when things get sticky/awkward, but I felt that the story focused on the wrong things.

The story is peppered with the sarcastic humour and wit that I have come to love from this author, and has several twists that kept things interesting. The secret identity of the mascot was revealed and I must admit that I was surprised when I found out who it was. However, after thinking about it, I shouldn't have been. I reached the end of the story with mixed feelings; sad that it had finished, but happy at the conclusion.

Stacey Rourke has written a fantastically comedic contemporary romance. I love her characters, who are extremely lifelike and feel like friends. I also love her writing style, which is fast paced, and the story flows wonderfully. I am a huge fan of this author. The wit and charm she brings to her books makes them a joy to read. I am looking forward to reading more of her books, whether they be YA like her Gryphon Series, Dark Fantasy like her Legend Series or Contemporary Romance such as this one, or any other genre she attempts in the future.

Although this is not really a YA story as such, I highly recommend this book to teens aged 15+ and adults who love light-hearted contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:




RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers' Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

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Friday, 31 March 2017

Book Review of Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) by Marissa Meyer



Book Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytales
Pages: 404
Author: Marissa Meyer
Date Published: 5 January 2012


Synopsis:

A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

Review:


Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. I have been wanting to read this book for some time. I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner because I loved it!

Cinder Lihn is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She has a strong will and determination to succeed, even though her stepmother treats her as a slave. Cinder has lived with the Lihn's since being eleven years old, when her adopted father brought her to New Beijing. Now sixteen, she finds herself working as a mechanic in the market to make ends meet. When Prince Kai visits her market stall with a malfunctioning robot, her life is thrown into turmoil and it will never be the same ever again.

This is a fantastic retelling of the classic fairytale, Cinderella, and is set in the future where a terrible disease called letumosis is ravaging the world for which there is no cure, and cyborgs are seen as abominations. It's a story that completely hooked me from the first page and took me on a huge emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. This book is full of action, adventure, heartbreak, romance, mystery and danger and is told through the eyes of both Cinder and Prince Kai for the most part, but a few other characters have a say too.

I loved meeting the various characters, even Cinder's stepmother, Adri, and her stepsisters', Pearl and Peony. Adri, I feel, blamed Cinder for the death of her husband, even though he died of letumosis. This bred resentment and she took this out on Cinder.
I also fell in love with Prince Kai. He's another wonderful character. He is only eighteen, but he has a good head on his shoulders, even if he acts like a jerk at times. However, there is a lot of responsibility on his shoulders too, so I suppose one could forgive him for it.
Adri may be horrible, but there is one character that is downright scary. She is called Queen Levana and is the ruler of Lunars, who are descendants of an Earthen moon colony which was established several centuries before. However, I found her thaumaturges to be even more dangerous and scary.
There is one character that I really enjoyed meeting, her name is Iko and she is a housekeeping droid in the Lihn household. She is almost human in personality and is Cinder's friend and companion.

As I said above, I found myself completely captivated by this story. I raced through this book at a rate of knots and completed it in one day. It's not exactly a small book either. I normally have a huge love/hate relationship to cliffhangers, so I was actually glad that I had the second one ready and waiting on my bookshelf, because when I reached the end I found myself eager to find out what happens next.

Marissa Meyer has written a fantastic retelling of a classic fairytale. I love her world building, which is extremely believable and scarily realistic. Her characters are well developed, though I would have loved to get to know Peony better, and her writing style is incredibly fast paced, though it didn't feel rushed. The flow was wonderful too. This author has found another fan and I have added her to my favourite authors list. I am now looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

As this is a YA novel, I highly recommend this book to young readers. However, depending on reading age, I feel this book would suit readers aged 11 upwards even though its recommended for 9-12 year olds. I also highly recommend this book to adults who love reading fairytale retelling's or books in the YA genre. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



Marissa Meyer is a fangirl at heart, with a closet full of costumes, a Harry Potter wand on her desk, and a Tuxedo Mask doll hanging from her rear view mirror. Han and Leia are still her OTP. She may or may not be a cyborg.

Marissa writes books for teens, including the NYT bestselling series: The Lunar Chronicles.

Follow her blog or sign up for her newsletter at http://www.marissameyer.com.

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