Saturday, December 31, 2016

Moxie's Decision (Princess Moxie #2) by Hank Quense | A Book Review

Moxie's Decision (Princess Moxie #2) by Hank Quense Book Review

This is book two of Princess Moxie. If you can remember, Princess Moxie is a fat, simple-looking and mean princess until she met the three apprentices of the Knights of the Round Table.

In Moxie's Decision, Princess Moxie set out to join the Heroes Guild to train and make something of herself. If she wants to take over as Queen of their land once her father, King Smedley, passed away, she has to learn a skill and know the ins and outs of managing a kingdom. So, again it fell to the three knights to escort Moxie to the Heroes Guild and help her get in.

By now, my feelings have softened a little towards Moxie. I don't hate her anymore and I actually approve of her trying to learn something and improve herself so she would be fit to run their kingdom when the time comes. And to her credit, she tried her hardest. And like in most cases, when you try your darnedest, you get rewarded. Moxie proved to everyone in this book that she can be anything she sets her heart on. She can be good at something. I admire her strong willpower and boldness for seeing through her every plan. And in the end, she got what she sought.

This is not as hilarious as the first book but I still enjoyed it. I was rooting for Moxie to succeed in her endeavors. I wanted her to find her place amongst an all-men dominated era. And she did!

I give this book 3.5/5 soccer balls. This book has been an adventure you wouldn't want to miss. All the soccer games played in honor of keeping the peace and defending the land against the Saxons; Gwen's naughty cheerleading team; Merlin's own adventures and three ever-reliable knights who have become Moxie's three dedicated friends. Princess Moxie's adventures and misadventures ended well and she can now brag about her experiences. She has ventured out into the real world of knights and brigands and survived. She became thin and strong, kinder and wiser.

Thank you again, Hank Quense, for the copy.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Two of Clubs (War and Suits #1) by J.A. Armitage | ARC | A Book Review

Two of Clubs by J.A. Armitage ARC Book Review

This is my first J.A. Armitage read. I have never read any of her works before. Two of Clubs is the first of the War and Suits series. This book will welcome the New Year with a big bang! So, before we all get busy with the preparations for the incoming year 2017, let me say 'May we all have a prosperous and better year ahead. May it be a year of more opportunities and greater things. Happy 2017!

Two of Clubs is the story of Rose. The youngest of eleven royal children of the House of Club. A princess who enjoyed playing with swords than going to balls or dances. She'd rather be a warrior and fight than be the one to be rescued.

I love the idea where this story came from. A world where the characters of a whole deck of cards are alive, walking and talking. Yes, this story will entertain you with the colorful characters from the four royal houses such as the Clubs, the Hearts, the Spades, and the Diamonds. Each clan has each own characteristics, peculiarities and may even have powers. Isn't this book amazing? I applaud the author for cleverly giving the common set of playing cards life and putting them into a truly interesting story. Yes, a similar thing has been done before -Alice in Wonderland, right? But what makes this book different is that all 52 characters have a chance of making an appearance here. All four royal houses and families are part of this story which makes it all the more fun and chaotic. 

I love Rose's character. Oftentimes, being young is sort of a disadvantage or a handicap. There are things that require a certain age for one to be able to do. For Rose, being the Two of Clubs, there are things that she wants to be but is not allowed to. And worse, being a girl has prevented her from being a warrior, her heart's greatest desire. Yes, she'd rather be a warrior than do princessy things. I can relate to Rose. I think each one of us has gone through at least once in our life when we were told that we can't be this or that because we are too young or because of gender. Admiringly, Rose doesn't easily give up. She's resourceful and has found a way to be nearer to her dream. And because she never gave up, when the opportunity came for her to step up and be a hero, she readily jumped on it, literally and figuratively. 

I undoubtedly delighted in this story. I look forward to the misadventures of Rose and her quest to being a real warrior. I think I can take a lesson or two from Rose. Just because she was limited or was told that she can't be a warrior, that ended everything for her. No! She decided that is all she wants and she will work on it. I guess, her youth strengthened her tenacity and it has paid off. Being young is sort of a power also. When you are young, the possibilities are endless. I think all of us once thought that we can rule the world and we can do anything. Do you ever wonder why the world is obsessed with wanting to stay young? I am sure you have heard of the mythical 'fountain of youth. Youth, in some way, equals strength and vast opportunities to prove oneself. Combined that with an unwavering belief and you might just get what you want. There is power in believing. Rose strongly believed that she can be a warrior, much better than her brothers if allowed. 

I give the book 5/5 Ace of Clubs. I was taken to a grand world of my imagination. Yes, I did wonder once what would it be like if the numbers on a deck of cards were people and given personalities. Well, this is it. J. A. Armitage has successfully created that world and gave each card a unique personality and character which suited each one perfectly. This is a brilliant start of a very promising series. I can't wait for the next book. Welcome everyone to Vanatus!

One other thing I love about  the  story is  that Rose  is out to  prove everyone, including her family and the whole Vanatus  wrong. I like stories  of  underdogs or  the  unassuming  breaking  the  rules  and  coming  out as the champion or the unexpected hero. This story reminds us that we should  not  underestimate anyone,  whether  because  of  youth or inexperience  or  innocence  or gender. Anyone has the potential to surprise and be great if given the chance. Especially if the person works hard enough and puts his  whole  heart to it. 

 ...sometimes we do unforgivable things in the heat of the situation.
- J. A. Armitage, Two of Clubs - 

Release Date: January 1, 2017

Thank you again, J.A. Armitage, for the ARC.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Miss Match (No Match for Love #1) by Lindzee Armstrong | A Book Review

Miss Match (No Match for Love #1) by Lindzee Armstrong Book Review

Miss Match is the first book in the No Match for Love series. This story is a continuation of Brooke and Luke's story from Meet Your Match. In this story, they are now grown up and are both hard at work on each of their careers. Luke is now the CEO of their business which has grown really big. Sadly, his Dad has passed away and he has to deal with his grief while managing the company. Brooke, on the other hand, is now a matchmaker at Toujour. She has landed her dream job. These two are still best of friends. Will they stay that way?

This book showed how people react when they are faced with difficult choices and when they are thrown out of their comfort zones. In this story, both Luke and Brooke are faced with challenges in their work lives while at the same time they have to deal with their personal issues. Finally, Luke has to man up and declare his real feelings once again. Brooke has to face the truth about her relationship and pending marriage. Does she really want to spend the rest of his life with Antonio whom she doesn't really know, as much as she knew Luke?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Both Luke and Brooke had to step up and come up with a great idea to save both of their jobs. And because of the desperate state of their working life, they are also forced to re-examine their friendship and what they mean to each other. Thank goodness, these two have come to their senses and acknowledged what their hearts have been telling them for the longest time. Yes, this is a happy-ever-after story and it was exactly what I hoped for, for the pair. I wanted to shake Brooke so hard so she will she see what was in front of her the whole time. Good thing, she came to her senses before it was too late. I have been rooting for them since Meet Your Match. Ah, finally! What a relief!

I give the book 5/5 hearts. This match has been years-in-the-making. I can rest easy now that these two have finally found their places and their hearts. I was right about my hunch that Brooke should end up with the guy meant for her and not someone she barely knew. All is well and this too ended well. Now, I'm off to a good sleep.

He loves you the way sugar loves to cause tooth decay.
- Lindzee Armstrong, Miss Match - 

Other books by in the series:

Meet Your Match (No Match for Love #0.5)

Not Your Match (No Match for Love #2) 

Mix N' Match (No Match for Love #3)

Mistletoe Match (No Match for Love #4 ) by Lindzee Armstrong | A Book Review

Mistletoe Match (No Match for Love # ) by Lindzee Armstrong Book Review

I have read a few books of Lindzee Armstrong this year. I first read her Twisters and Textbooks which was part of an anthology. It was the first time I met her and I enjoyed the story. Then, I came upon one of her free books on Amazon. Later, I got signed on to her newsletter and have gotten about two more books. I also joined her Facebook group and I have been getting updates and ARCs for her new releases. I have been enjoying her works and they were so far to my liking as they were all feel-good reads. Her books could easily become hit romantic comedies or romance films if some movie executive decides to bring them to the big screen.

I think I have mentioned in my previous review that the best thing I liked about Lindzee Armstrong's stories is they are all clean romances. Her stories focus on the development of the characters and their love stories. Her titles really fit each story. At first glance, they may not seem obvious but the titles stress a significant event in the plot that starts the whole story or is the turning point in the life of the heroine. And I also like the fact that her stories are all about women. She writes about heroines and I definitely love stories that empower women.

Mistletoe Match may seem just a story fit for Christmas reading but it is not. The mistletoe may play a part in the storyline but it is not all. The story talks about family, a little on motherhood, a single parent and of course love, in quite a few different forms. Another thing I like about the story are the cute kids. I always love having smart and witty kid characters in stories. They make it more alive and fun. I like looking into kids' perspectives. Their thoughts and intentions are always pure. Their innocence can teach us a lot of lessons. They remind us of a lot of small and simple things that we adults often forget and tend to complicate. 

I give this book 4/5 mistletoes. I adored this story. The way how Michelle and Austin met was very funny and could easily happen to anyone. I also felt the awkwardness and the surprise Michelle felt when she realized who Austin was and how it would affect her convictions and the things that she fights for. This story tackled a lot of current and relevant issues like animal cruelty, family, divorce, single parenthood and how children deal with all the changes that are brought about by their parents' decisions. How kids are oftentimes forced to grow up beyond their age to keep up with the changes within the family and the dynamics between their parents. This book mirrors the stark reality and state of a few households in the world today. This book is a true example of an inspirational romance.

Thank you again, Lindzee Armstrong, for the review copy.

Other stories by Lindzee Armstrong:
Meet Your Match (No Match for Love #0.5)
Strike a Match (No Match for Love)

The Kings (The Dragon Kings #5) by Kimberly Loth | ARC | A Book Review

The Kings (Dragon Kings #5) by Kimberly Loth ARC Book Review

The Kings is the last book of The Dragon Kings series by Kimberly Loth. This is only my second book of the series. I have the three first books but haven't been able to read them yet. 

After reading the book, I was actually sad that the series has ended. I will just have to make sure to read the rest of the books to remedy my separation anxiety. 

The book ended well though I think it ended prematurely. I don't want the series to end yet. I want more adventures for our heroes. I wanted the series to last longer. I wanted another book but probably that's because I have skipped the first three books. Maybe, I will feel better once I have read the whole series. I just felt that I have not really gotten to know the characters really well. But then again, it's on me. All in all, the heroes and heroines in the story had done what they were destined to do and in the process, they have grown to know each other and their individual selves more. They have stepped up to the roles that were entrusted to them, both by destiny, by choice and out of necessity to save their race. In terms of character development, the series has done amazingly based on the two books I have read.

The Kings is a good book to end the series. I will probably appreciate it more once I have completely savored all the five books. I sort of skipped the appetizers and a few main courses and have gone on to desserts so I felt that the banquet was not enough. Again, it was all my undoing. 

For now, I give the book 4/5 crowns. I still enjoyed it but I loved Skye's story more than this one. Maybe, after reading the first three books, I will be able to piece the whole tapestry and appreciate the weight and significance of the ending.

Each king has a different role to play. The leader, the coward, and the betrayed. But they could just as easily become the tyrant, the brave, and the betrayer.
- Kimberly Loth, The Kings - 

Release Date: December 31, 2016

Thank you again, Kimberly Loth, for the ARC.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Secrets on Sapphire (Brookston Housewives #2) by S. Cole | ARC | A Book Review

Secrets on Sapphire (Brookston Housewives #2) by S. Cole ARC A Book Review

Secrets on Sapphire is the second book in the Brookston Housewives series. I have not read the first book -Sin in Suburbia but this book is comprehensive enough to pass for a stand alone. Though it is recommended by the author to read the first book.

Secrets of Sapphire. Who is Sapphire? That was the first thing that came to my mind.  And like me, once you have read the book, you will understand what Sapphire is or whatever that word stands for.

This book felt like that reality show about the housewives of New York or LA. Not that I watched those shows. I am only familiar because of the teasers. All those housewives claiming to be BFF's but won't hesitate to stab the other in the back because the other one was green with envy. These women are friends but it seemed that some of them obviously have secrets. Really, really dark and deadly secrets. 

Unexpectedly, I was hooked with the story. It was intriguing and the way it was written, it made me curious as to who these women are. Who was one with the secrets? Who are genuine? Who is hiding behind a facade and who is wearing a mask? This is a mystery and suspense story which was a surprise to me, in a good way. I liked how the author put together the chapters so as not to make the story predictable. A predictable story is the worst thing about a mystery or suspense. It did not allow me to come up with my own hypothesis and theories about some of the women. I just let myself be led into each scene and let it played out. My anticipation was built up as each page turned and I couldn't wait for the reveal of each characters true color and motive. I was tempted to just blast through the pages to find out what these housewives were really about. 

I give the story 5/5 sapphire gems because of the surprise factor and intrigue. This story was not what I have expected. I thought this was just a story about gossiping housewives and thankfully, it was more than that. So, this felt like housewives of New York in a Criminal Minds episode. I just can't help but make the comparison. 

Oh, and there is a third book. The ending was a little abrupt for me. I was like -that was it? It ended not the way I would have wanted. I wanted more but it was done strategically that will make sure the readers will pick up book three. I, for one can't wait for it. In the mean time, I will have to read book one. I will have to see if it will intrigue me as much as this book did.

I think S. Cole is a promising mystery author that I would like to include in my favorite authors' list. But that is still to be determined. I will have to read two or three more of her books to decide. Congratz! S. Cole. This was smartly-done.

Thank you so much, S. Cole for the ARC.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Strike a Match (No Match for Love #5) by Lindzee Armstrong | ARC | A Book Review

Strike a Match (No Match for Love # ) by Lindzee Armstrong Book Review

Strike a Match is part of the No Match for Love series. No Match for Love follows the matchmakers and the clients of a matchmaking company Toujour. I have read four books of the series. I have read and reviewed Meet Your Match. The two other books are Mistletoe Match and Miss Match. Though these books are part of a series, they are also stand alone novels which can be read on their own.

What I like about Lindzee Armstrong's books are that they are all clean romances. Though, I had my share of reading smutty stories, I still enjoy books which focus more on the development of the characters. I am sorry to say that there are just smutty stories are just that, not a lot of weight on the story but more on the steamy scenes.  At first, they are entertaining but the next time, they lose their appeal because it was going nowhere or there was no plot at all. I would prefer stories with substance. 

Strike a Match is the story of Kate and Taylor. Kate is a nurse and Taylor is a fire-fighter. They first met in a tragedy which was a turning point in Kate's sad and suffocating marriage life.

I admired Kate's character. I think she was portrayed honestly enough. If I were her, I would likely feel the same way about her husband. After what she'd been through, I don't think it was bad for her to feel that way. I think it would be so hypocrite of her to feel otherwise. I am glad that she was not portrayed a martyr though she had played that role quite awhile. She may just have called it kindness at that time. It was too much kindness and understanding on her part that she lost a part of herself.

Taylor, on the other hand was someone shown as being too helpful to the point that he was being abused. He was indeed helping the wrong people and he was none the wiser until it was pointed out to him. I think it was a misguided concept of helping the needy because the needy person is not really needy at all but a  parasite who was leeching all the kindness he can get from Taylor. I just didn't like the idea that even if he knew it, he still kept helping the person. I don't think helping was in anyway beneficial to that person. It was encouraging him to be irresponsible and selfish.

I am glad that in the end the characters have resolved their issues. They have come to terms with whatever they need to confront -demons and skeletons in the closet and all. It was a good story. It has shown that sometimes helping means allowing a person to grow his/her backbone. Not to spoon-feed. To allow the person to grow on her own and take his/her initiative. That being happy for the change in circumstances or an end of a suffering, even if it was brought about by a sad event, is not a thing to be guilty of. Not all people know what you were going through so you can't expect them to understand how you feel. I think, as long as you are happy and you are not hurting anyone, it is okay. There is no reason to feel bad about being happy or to not deserve it.

I give the book 4/5 fire trucks. This story has reflected real situations in life. The story is not unique but it has explored a different aspect of loss and helping someone. It makes me think about helping the next person in need. I may have to ask myself if the person genuinely needs help or was he/she just taking advantage of my good and generous nature? I know a few people who will only remember that we are friends when they need something from me. It reminded of an edited version of a quote -What are friends for? Using each other. Yes, unfortunately, there are those that only use friendship as an excuse to benefit from someone. But I am not jaded, I have enough real and dependable friends who have always been there for me, whether I am happy or broke. The same as I am always there for them.

She needs someone who's going to be there for her, no matter what. Not someone with a misguided hero complex who's always rushing off to someone else's aid.
- Lindzee Armstrong, Strike a Match - 

Thank you again, Lindzee Armstrong for the ARC.

Other books by Lindzee Armstrong:

Meet Your Match (No Match for Love #0.5)

Miss Match (No Match for Love #1)

Not Your Match (No Match for Love #2) 

Mix N' Match (No Match for Love #3)

Mistletoe Match (No Match for Love #4)

Rune Master (Rune Series #2) by Amelia Wilson | ARC | A Book Review

Rune Master (Rune Series #2) by Amelia Wilson | ARC | A Book Review

Merry Christmas everyone! How was your Christmas? We had a simple celebration at home. We had baked pork spare ribs, spaghetti, macaroni salad , fried chicken with gravy, cassava cake, chocolate cake and sparkling wine. This year my parents spent Christmas at my brother's house. We went to visit on the 25th to exchange gifts. It was a quiet and low-key celebration compared to the previous Christmases. Quiet because there were very minimal fireworks and firecrackers. Probably, because our president - Mr. Duterte, has publicly expressed his dislike for firecrackers and planned to ban it. We could use less noise and fright caused by those things, not to mention less injuries. Our neighbors compensated by renting a videoke machine and the singing started as early as 4 PM. A little quiet but not too quiet. So, that was it for me. Hope you had a good Christmas with family and friends.

The book I am reviewing today is Rune Master. This is the second book in the Rune Series. Amelia Wilson, the author, generously sent me again an ARC and I gladly reviewed it since I enjoyed the first book. Not that I would refuse if an author would ask me to review her book.

Rune Master picked up right where Rune Sword left off. I have included a link for the review of Rune Sword below. You may check it. This is a paranormal Viking romance story, specifically-vampires.

I liked this story because of the rare combination of vampire and Viking mythology. I have not come across this kind of story before so this really interested me. It gave a fresh spin on the whole vampire story. As I mentioned in my review of the first book, I thought that Twilight has ruined all vampire stories for me but thankfully, there are enough people with great imagination in the world to come up with various fascinating and awesome stories involving vampires that still pique my interest. This series is one of them. 

The story explored more how the vampire and Viking story came together. It gave me more insight into the Norse mythology and the other Gods and deities. It is a sort-of a good introduction for me to some characters and aspects of the Viking culture. I learned new things here which is what every reader wants every time we read a new story. 

This seemed like an HEA (happy ever after) story and it may seem that the series have ended but I would like to think and hope that there is still a next story. Nika Graves and Erik Thorvald did not have enough adventures and dangerous encounters with the evil vampires, tricksters, and rogue Norse Gods, yet. I think they still have a lot more experiences to go through together and their relationship too has to be tested more. I do admit, in this story, their relationship has gone through enough of their trust issues. 

I give the book 4/5 rune stones. In this story, Nika's character has grown and I love how it was done and how the story evolved. Since I am not so familiar with the Norse mythology, I did not have any expectations set for this book except for it to surprise me. I did not have any pre-conceived idea of how I wanted the story to go but it did surprise me and I liked how the story unraveled. I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next chapters of Nika and Erik's live and love stories.

If I have to measure my worth by the value of those around me, I'm not much of a man, am I?
- Amelia Wilson, Rune Master -

Thank you again, Amelia Wilson for the ARC.

Rune Sword (Rune Series #1)

Rune Hunter (Rune Series #3)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nelumbo Nucifera by Cristina Slough | Cover Reveal

Nelumbo Nucifera by Cristina Slough Cover Reveal
Nelumbo Nucifera
Cristina Slough

Publication date: January 24th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller

On the surface, Gaby Parker has it all; however, behind closed doors, is a woman who lives in constant fear of the man who was supposed to love her: her husband, Kyle. Beaten, desperate, and broken, Gaby realizes the only way to escape from her violent husband is to kill herself — on paper. Gaby is dead, and Riley Locklin is born, residing in the tranquil coastal town of Chesswick Bay Montauk where she hopes to start over and meets a man who shows her bruises aren’t kisses.
Meanwhile, back home, Kyle is doing everything in his power to prove Gaby isn’t dead.
But…police find her burnt-out car and remains?
Kyle isn’t buying it; he knows she’s still alive. He launches his own full investigation to find his wife — and he’ll stop at nothing to claim her back. A female Detective assigned to his wife’s case doesn’t like him very much after discovering a domestic violence report – scorned by the history of her mother’s domestic abuse, she’s determined to send Kyle down for his wife’s murder.
And then he finds her. Will Gaby finally take a stand?

Author Bio:
Novelist, movie addict, and animal lover, Cristina Slough is the author of:
Nelumbo Nucifera and Till Death Us Do Part.
Cristina has always been a bookworm, rarely seen without a pen and paper in her hand, she loves delving into a literacy fictional world of her own.
Although Cristina loves pink and fluffy, her writing isn’t. She loves to focus on  raw  human emotion  and  gritty story lines; she’s very fond of messing with her readers' heads by weaving twists into her books.
Cristina is married to Adam, who runs a successful business; together they share their Bedfordshire home with their son, and several spoiled pets. As a family, they love to travel frequently, the United States being a firm favorite.


Friday, December 16, 2016

A Country Christmas (A Timeless Regency Collection) by Various Authors | A Book Review

A Country Christmas (A Timeless Regency Collection) by Various Authors Book Review

Just ten more days to go before Christmas. Weeeee! Are you excited? What are your plans for the holidays? How do you wish to spend it? 

This book is about spending Christmas. There are three stories which are all really good ones. My favorite would be the second one by Carla Kelly --The Christmas Angle. Here are the stories included in this country Christmas collection.

Saints and Sinners by Josi Kilpack
The Christmas Angle by Carla Kelly
The Perfect Christmas by Jennifer Moore

These three stories are all sweet and warm which make me want to fall in love this Christmas and all Christmases to come. The stories promise a cheerful and more meaningful holidays if they are spent with loved ones. 

I enjoyed The Christmas Angle best because it was a story made more interesting by its characters. I love Master Six. I wish I had his photographic memory, too. Can I wish that this Christmas? If I had a photographic memory, I think it would make things easier for me. I do have a sharp memory but it would be a very impressive ability if it would allow me to read a book in just minutes instead of hours or days. I think, I would have no problem going through my TBR pile. Aside from that, it would also allow me to try to do something else like pursuing a different career which would pave the way for me to really fulfill my passions. Oh, how amazing that would be? Another thing why I find this story very engaging was how arithmetic was shown that it could be a fun and easy subject to learn if taught by a very creative and talented teacher. If I were to teach Math, I wish I could make it appear as enjoyable and as easy as playing pickup sticks.

The other two stories have their own lessons to give also. The Saints and Sinners story proclaims that the best foundation for a good relationship or marriage is friendship. Yes, I know, everyone seems to already know this. It's not new but it is still good not to forget that some of the best and successful marriages are based on friendships. The Perfect Christmas tells us that the spirit of the holiday season is not in the trappings, decorations, the expensive food and the new clothes but the warm, generous and loving company we spend it with. The food may be simple but the love of the family and close friends will make us full.

I give the book 4/5 beautiful Christmas trees. Hope we may all remember the real reason for the season -the season of giving and forgiving. Merry Christmas!

...the worthy poor.
...what constituted the unworthy poor. 
The poor are poor, and worth has nothing to do with it. They have hopes and dreams, too. I know they do, because I am one of them.
- Carla Kelly, The Christmas Angle - 

Thank you again, Kathy of, for the copy.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

6th Grade Revengers: Cat Crimes and Wannabes by Steven Whibley | Book Review

6th Grade Revengers: Cat Crimes and Wannabes by Steven Whibley Book Review

I am no stranger to children's books or stories for much younger people. I am in my thirties but I still enjoy reading stories that appeal to the child in me. The story I am reviewing today is a middle grade series.

6th Grade Revengers: Cat Crimes and Wannabes is the first of the series. This involves two 6th graders, obviously. Jared and his partner revenger, Marcus, who happens also to be his best friend. Jared, is a spy-wannabe. He wanted to attend a spy camp and has to come up with the money. He came up with the idea that he will help people who wanted their problems to go away --like a bully or an annoying boyfriend. So, together with Marcus, he set up a website where people can hire the services of the revengers anonymously. Their first assignment was to get rid of a cat that terrorized a street in their neighborhood.

This was a fun read. Jared and Marcus' intentions were very noble and a very creative way to raise money on their own without resorting to anything illegal, immoral or cheating anyone. Instead of Jared asking for money from his parents to fund a hobby, he opted to find his own way. I wish all 6th graders are like these two. I think their first job was to be considered a success after numerous tries and their persistence was just admirable. Their second project, which was Gunner, turned out to be better than what they have wanted. Their plan did not work out the way it was intended but it was ridiculously amusing and a chance of a lifetime Gunner has been waiting for. I could say, these two had a future of making this business venture work. Not to mention, they are actually really good in helping people solve their problems. That purpose alone was bound to make these two successful and worthy of imitation.

Granting that this was a book written for a younger audience, I was glad that I still find this amusing and entertaining. It wasn't written in a way that an adult won't find the story boring or less stimulating. It was a really good adventure and I was rooting for the boys to get rid of the cat. This felt like a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew kind of book except, the cases the boys handled were not as complicated and criminally-inclined. The cases for the Revengers were trivial and more commonplace yet required a lot of cunning, creativity, and persistence in getting them resolved. 

I give the book 4/5 evil cats. This book screamed creativity and persistence. I guess those two traits are what most people forget when we become adults. Some of us become too carried away by the business of adulting that we sometimes had to set aside our creative side and become too preoccupied to even stop and smell the roses. Persistence, for most of us adults had turned into obsessions. The obsession to excel, to succeed, to get rich and so on. We are too obsessed of getting what we want that we don't care if we hurt people on our way to the top. This two boys will help remind us that we can still do what we most to achieve, at the same time help people, earn praise or money to enable us to further reach our goals.

Thank you again, Kathy of, for the copy.

To Move the World (Power of the Matchmaker #10) by Regina Sirois | A Book Review

To Move the World (Power of the Matchmaker) by Regina Sirois Book Review

E pur si muove. This is Italian for --And yet it moves. This is a quote from the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei. The sentence above plays a very important role in To Move the World by Regina Sirois.

The story is set in the year of 1939, on the brink of the 2nd World War. The heroine, Eve Brannon, is torn between her love for the gentle and quiet farm hand Alan, and the sweet, generous and rich Jonathon Doran. Whom will she choose?

I was so caught up in the delicious language of this prose. Very alluring and sweet. I wanted to devour and get drunk in it. This book contains the most melodious lines and words I have ever encountered. They were so tantalizing and mesmerizing. If it were a buffet, I would have been a glutton who never wanted to leave the table.

The story was simple enough but what made it interesting was the skillful weaving of the words. They were done beautifully that the story was made to appear more than it was. It ceased to become just simply a story between two men in love with the same girl or a love triangle but rather a colorful and amusing tapestry of Eve's life and courtship with the backdrop of an impending war.

To Move the World is a story which tackled the confusion and fear associated with loving a person who is so familiar and comfortable to the possibility of falling in love with another, who was supposedly just a friend who happens to be always there when Eve was in dire need. Of the choice between breaking someone's heart or get your heart broken by the possibility of rejection. It also mirrored the hard life of toil in a sheep farm. The heartbreak of losing one's livelihood and the promise of a better future.

I give the book 4/5 gray dresses. The gray dress represented the choice Eve has made. A choice she was willing to risk even if it will mean her heart will get broken. The gray dress also means that the heart moves. It continues to beat even if it changes its rhythm --beating in symphony to a new sound, instead of the song that it was so familiar and used to.

Our hearts move just like the Earth--circling, circling. It is as hard to change their orbit as it is to move the world.
- Regina Sirois, To Move the World - 

Thank you again, Kathy of, for the copy.

Reach For You by Pat Esden | Cover Reveal

Reach For You by Pat Esden Cover Reveal

Reach for You
Pat Esden

(The Dark Heart #3)

Published by: Kensington
Publication date: June 27th, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Her passion is her greatest weakness.
His legacy is his prison.
To reunite, both must fight the demons within.
A world of deception and danger separates Annie Fremont from her mother—and from Chase, the enigmatic groundskeeper with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared.
Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful ally and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . .
Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart—to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn. For all of their lives depend on it.

Previous books in the series:
25810168 28109696

Author Bio:
PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Black Bead (Black Bead Chronicles #1) by JD Lakey | Blog Tour and Giveaway | Book Review

Welcome to Black Bead Blog Tour. This is a book review. This is the first book of the Black Bead Chronicles by JD Lakey

On a savage, outlying planet an enclave of psionically-trained humans have built a utopian, matriarchal society that lives in harmony with all life. Leaving behind the polluted and corrupt world in which they lived, they colonized a new home far from the eyes of the galactic empire. Shielded from the rest of the galaxy by the dangerous beasts that inhabit their lush, forested world, the village lives a simple life under their Home Dome. But their goal was more than just to live in peace – they wanted to create the perfect human who could bring peace to the galaxy. Rather than merely cloning themselves, they began to manipulate genes in order to create a race of mutants with enhanced telepathic powers.

Under the direction of the ruling witch coven, each child of the Windfall Dome is tested at a young age to assess their abilities – a test which can plot the course for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, Cheobawn – the daughter of the ruling First Mother to the dome – is marked with the Black Bead on her Choosing Day, a symbol of bad luck and shame. It seems the child the mothers had placed so much hope in would not be the future ruler they had hoped for. Yet there is something powerful about her that the elders don’t understand.

Finally of age, Cheobawn is chosen to join a pack to act as the psychic Ear on a foraging mission outside the dome. She knows this is her chance to prove herself. But something sinister stalks them and each member of the pack must draw on their unique strengths and a lifetime of training if they want to survive to see another day.

In her visionary new series The Black Bead Chronicles, author J.D. Lakey invites you to journey along with Cheobawn, Megan, Tam, Connor, and Alain as they use their wits and their Luck to unravel the mysteries of the deceptively bucolic life beneath the dome in this coming of age metaphysical science fiction adventure.

This is one of those books that will melt your heart. If you love rooting for the underdogs like I am, this book will definitely delight you. What is more fascinating is the pint-size heroine. Unsure of herself. An outcast. Sounds like a disaster-in-the-making, right? But this story will remind you to not underestimate a person just because she is young, small, innocent, and inexperienced. There is a famous Filipino idiomatic expression which says, "maliit man ay nakakapuwing din". This is roughly translated as, a mote can blind you, too (from The heroine in this story, Cheobawn, accomplished a physical and mental feat on her first try. This six-year old, who was tagged unlucky, lead the group out to explore and brought them back safe and whole by just relying on her instincts and supposedly useless gift. She is akin to a product with a factory defect that did not pass the quality inspection. She had proven that whatever people labeled her was not true. She refused to accept her fate and broke through it. She has broken the belief that she is doomed and nothing but bad luck.

This motley group of four kids plus one, ages 6-10, had proven that together they can make things happen. They can defy expectations and rise above them. This book didn't feel like a sci-fiction adventure story to me. It felt more like an all-oxygen-consuming adventure trip which involves a lot or running and hiding. Add in an interesting array of unique and deadly creatures. A ragtag, novice, and very young crew with genetically-enhanced abilities out on their first foray into the real world of wonder and danger. In a way, this felt like Hansel and Gretel picking wild berries and being lost in the woods. Only, instead of just two, there were five of them. They almost got eaten, not just once, but more than a couple of times. And instead of leaving breadcrumbs to find their way back, Cheobawn had the map clearly printed in her head. This was an even more satisfying read than the classic Hansel and Gretel.

I wanted to hold Cheobawn's hands and hug her. I wanted to protect her. I wanted her to know that she is amazing and will gladly join her and the rest of the group in their foraging. Where to next? I can't wait for the next book in the series. I can't wait to know what other adventures await our motley crew. I want to find out what else will our heroines and heroes need to accomplish to make a mark and impact in their coven. 

I give this book 4/5 black beads. These five little kids have the hearts of brave warriors and explorers. I won't mind tagging along and feel safe with them. This group also knows fun. It was an amazing adventure. I have my pack and gear ready for the next one. Just tell me when. I am all set.

I knew it was too good to be true. There is always a barb hidden in the happiness of the world. It sinks into one's heart and when it gets torn out it leaves a gaping and bloody hole.
- JD Lakey, Black Bead - 

J. D. Lakey was born and raised on the high plains of Montana under an endless sky and as far as from civilization as anyone in the twentieth century could get. There she explored the finer nuances of silence and the endless possibilities of the imagination. The stories were always there, The shifting of fortunes finally granted her the time to gather all the stories and give them flesh.

An avid reader of science fiction and comics, she currently lives in San Diego, California where she divides her time between writing, commuting on the I-5, and spending time with her delightful grandchildren.

Thank you, The Book Nymph and JD Lakey, for the review copy.