Friday, March 31, 2017

The Invisible Hand: Shakespeare's Moon, Act I by James Hartley | A Book Review

The Invisible Hand: Shakespeare's Moon, Act I  by James Hartley | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

This is about Sam who time travels to medieval Scotland and meets a girl named Leana. Leana also travels to the current time to Sam's boarding school. These two become caught up in the events in Macbeth, the Shakespearean play. 

My first question while reading this book was why was it called Invisible Hand. Unfortunately, I did not find the answer. Up to now, I am still figuring out if I have missed the part where it was explained in the story. I really want to know why this story was titled as such. It has always been important to me to know how the title was fitted to the story. In a way, it somehow gives me a peek into the mind of the author.

As mentioned, the two main characters in this tale --Sam and Leana found themselves trapped in the events of the story Macbeth. I actually have not read Macbeth. I guess, it was the reason why I felt like there were events in the story that I could not connect. I felt like the story was fragmented. Maybe, if I read Macbeth and read this story again, I will be able to appreciate and identify the parallel events in this story and in the play. In short, I was a little confused. I was not able to appreciate the whole story at all. I was not able to piece together the flow of the story. Entirely my fault but I also wished that the story would have been easier to follow even if I have not read Macbeth.

What I heartily appreciated about the story though was the part where they had to find an object which was also what the witch in Macbeth was looking for. The same witch is also happens to appear in the boarding school and had installed herself as one of the few people who has authority and access to the whole school and its surroundings. Sam and Leana will have to race against her to get that object to prevent her from causing havoc both in medieval Scotland and in the present time. It was so cool for these two finding clues from the historical events and persons that lead them to the church and the cemetery. I really enjoyed this part.

One other thing I was wondering about was why Sam could travel back in time, to a period when he was not even born. The story hinted of a special ability of Sam that was passed on from his mother. I am interested to explore more on this unique characteristic of Sam. I also wonder about Leana. Is she like Sam? How can she also travel between periods?

I give this book 3/5 old books. Truthfully, I find the plot amazing. I don't think integrating any Shakespearean play into a story has been done before. It's a fresh idea. This story reminds of Sam Sotto's Love and Gravity. It also has time travel but instead of a historical genius, in here it features a classic play by no other than Mr. William Shakespeare. If time permits, I would like to reread this story. I want to fully grasp it and connect with it. I don't think I was able to appreciate what it was telling me the first time. 


I am looking forward to reading the next books. As I understand, it would still be set in the boarding school but it would feature another of Shakespeare's play. Maybe, next time I will get lucky and it would include a play that I have read before like Taming of the Shrew. And I will get to the enjoy the story to my heart's content.

One foot in front of the other and follow your nose.
- James Hartley, The Invisible Hand - 



Thank you again, Netgalley for the copy.


The Mask of Minos: Bruno's Inferno by Robert Walton | A Book Review

The Mask of Minos by Robert Watton | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm

When searching for books to review, especially if presented with a lot of titles to choose from, I usually look at titles that demand attention. Titles that come out strong and shout "read me". Of course, the type of genre I love to read would also come into play. For me, since I love mythology, thriller and women's literature, titles that jump out to me are those that have words related to the three things I mentioned. I am also interested in titles that hinted of a scandal, a conspiracy or anything mysterious. I decided to review this book because of the word Minos. Minos is a character in Greek mythology. So, after reading the blurb and liking it, I signed up for this one. I also have a penchant for reading books that are not widely read by everyone. I also love to meet obscure, not mainstream authors.

Mask of Minos is an archaeology thriller. If you love James Rollins, you will love Robert Walton also. This is about the search for an elusive mythical object that has left a trail of dead bodies. A secret society that is bound to protect its identity and aims to rule the world. The main protagonists of this story are Harry Thursday and Sara Webster. Thursday is an archaeologist who is recuperating from his previous adventure in Fatal Snow (which I have not read yet). Sara is a special agent from BAR. BAR is a special branch of the CIA which recovers stolen artifacts and treasures from the WWII. Theses two traveled from South America to Europe in search of the mask which was fabled to give an immense power to the wearer. It would be a major catastrophe if the mask falls into the wrong hands.

I think Thursday is the only protagonist in all the archaeology thrillers that I have read that I do not love. I am not sure if I like him, yet. The book hinted of his involvement in shady characters in his previous transactions. I like my heroes with integrity and stubborn will. I like those who have strong convictions and can never be swayed by anything. In the whole story, I don't think he has proven himself to be trustworthy. Or I could be prematurely judging him on this one book. But I also think that this book gave me enough information as to his personality. I guess, we'll see if he changes my mind in his next adventures.

Sara, the female protagonist is obviously so taken by Mr. Thursday. Maybe, she can give me a further insight into Mr. Thursday's personality in the next books. I still can't decide if the partnership of these two is rock-solid. I am still not able to make up my mind if these two make a very formidable duo. Their knowledge, experiences and skills relating to ancient artifacts are very impressive, I admit. I would like to hope that these two will have more adventures to share together. Hopefully, they will grow on me.

What I really liked about the story was the historical background of the artifact and about the monks. At the onset of the story, dead bodies have been dropping to keep secrets hidden. The legend of Count Bruno, a Bavarian Knight of the Templar, was also very interesting. I think the story of Count Bruno being a Templar Knight is the best part of the story. Yes, I am a sucker for anything that has to do about the Knights Templar and the mystery surrounding Christianity, Jesus Christ and other religions. In short, I like books that tackle controversial issues and taboo topics. Adding in the Hyperboreans into the mix has made it more appealing. I just hope that in the next books, the Hyperboreans will be given a face and their secret society will be aired out in the open. They really got me curious.

I give the book 3.5/5 scary masks. This book brought me to Costa Rica, Paris and to Switzerland. I was shown the inner sanctum of the vault where safety deposit boxes of the famous Swiss bank lie. This was a good thriller ride but I think the whole story did not flow seamlessly. I felt like there were a few things that were a little fuzzy. Maybe it was me not really comprehending it or I was distracted while I was reading. On the whole, it just appeared to me that there were a chunk or two that were missing or I might have missed. Or it could be just my imagination. Anyway, the ending also was good but I wished something more interesting happened to the mask. I think after all the near-death experiences Sara and Harry went through, I deemed it just appropriate that they have to at least bring home the bacon. That is just my opinion. Well, the story does not end here. This has now made me curious as to what happens next.




But reality is not truth, there is a difference between the two. What we perceive to be truth isn't always reality.
- Robert Walton, The Mask of Minos -  



Thanks again, Netgalley for the copy.

The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward | A Book Review

The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward | A Book Review iamnotabookworm

I received a good news yesterday but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I am grateful but I just wished it was more. Well, beggars can't be choosers but I have waited for this news to come for so long. It felt like forever and I was shocked and a bit sad when it came. I was dumbfounded and couldn't believe it. It was like almost but not quite. Long story short, I said yes. I took it hoping there is a reason why this is what was given to me. Hopefully, far greater things than I ever imagined will come from it. Nothing is finalized yet and maybe, if I keep praying hard for it, it will be just as I have terribly wanted. I actually wish I could have a do-over. Rewind the events that happened yesterday and I will handle the situation differently so the outcome would be exactly as I have longed for. Life...oftentimes you will have to make lemonade out of lemons not the margaritas you crave.

This book is quite similar to what I have experienced yesterday. Sorry for the outburst. I just want to take that out of my chest. I can actually fill the whole post of my ramblings. Anyway, this book is about some decisions or events that we have no control of. Events that just went out of our hands and we are watching them unfold with our eyes open, too shocked and paralyzed to do anything about it. Exactly what I lived through yesterday. This book is about women. The pains and the strength needed to withstand the pains only women experience. This is also about motherhood. The pains and joy of motherhood. Of the hardships of trying to fulfill that calling.

The Nearness of You is a story of three women --Suzette, Dorothy and Eloise. Suzette a successful heart surgeon who doesn't want to have a baby because she doesn't want to pass on the mental illness her mother had to her children. Dorothy, the surrogate mother who volunteered to carry Suzette's and Hyland's fertilized embryo. Eloise, Suzette and Hyland's daughter who was delivered by Dorothy. These three women's lives are more entangled than they thought they were. Dorothy's connection to Suzette and Eloise did not stop until she gave birth and give up the kid, it went farther and deeper than that which what this whole story is. 

Stepping into the shoes of each of the three characters, I found that each person's convictions are valid and very reasonable. Suzette's fears are not unfounded and baseless. Being a medical practitioner and a brilliant one at that, she doubtlessly knows that her fears could very likely happen. She needed to put an end to the cycle of mental illness in her family by bearing the sacrifice. Dorothy, out of her desperation and the need to escape her current life, signed up to be a surrogate mother. Little did she know that she signed up way far more than she was paid for. And Eloise, the tie that bind between the two other women that could never be severed. It was Eloise that will eventually bring healing and closure to all the unresolved business between Suzette and Dorothy. All these women and the rest of the lives involved in their circle will finally live the rest of their good lives with a better understanding of what happened and will move onward to the future with large smiles.

I really love women's literature. Stories of strong and invincible women. Strong and resilient women who follow their hearts and come out greater for the heartbreaking decisions they had to face in their lives. I too want to be inspired by these women. That maybe I could gain wisdom from their difficult experiences. I too have my own struggles, like every other person in this planet and we all could use all the help we can get. 

This story will hit you right at your core. This will turn you heart into a melting puddle. Aching and disintegrating into liquid goo. What these three women have gone through could very well happen in real life. It might be that some woman in some city or small town is living through the same scenario as we speak. Like Suzette, juggling her successful career with taking care of a kid. Attending parent-teacher conferences, recitals, soccer games or cheer leading competitions, etc. Trying with her every breath to be a mother, a wife and a surgeon, along with some other roles demanded of her. Dorothy, keeping a low profile and not draw attention to herself and her family. Making the most out of a very hard and poor past to care for the people she value most. Trying to make good of the present to pay for the shortcomings she had made in the past. And Eloise, a teenager in the threshold of great possibilities yet unable to face them because something is holding her back. Something is niggling her to do something. To find answers to questions that she's scared to ask. To find the person who brought her into the light of the world. To find that connection that keeps her restless until she has rekindled it. 

And then, there was also Jayne, the little girl Dorothy crossed path with who was far mature and stronger than her measly young age. She also had a difficult and sad life. She and Dorothy found friendship, strength and family in each other. 

I love this story. I give this 4.5/5 hearts. All these strong women are worthy of emulation. They had been through a lot and they came out of the dark holes of their past with courage and strength they thought they never had. My only wish was that there should have been more in the ending. I wished it showed how the rest of the characters were after the meeting and the revelation. I wanted to see Eloise reconnected with one of the important persons in her life. I wanted to know how it turned out knowing there's another part of her that is alive and living. 

After this story, I want to know more of Amanda Eyre Ward. I want to know what other stories she has to tell. I will have to start hunting her books. Nice meeting you Miss Ward. What a great story.



Don't be the change, be the dollar.
- Amanda Eyre Ward, The Nearness of You -  



Thanks again, Netgalley for the copy of this book.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Love's Shadow (Brothers Maledetti #2) by Nichole Van | A Book Review

Love's Shadow by Nichole Van | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm

This is one of those reviews that were due last week. Finally, I am able to slowly catch up with my overdue reviews. It was sad to not be able to do my book reviews and post on Instagram. I hope I won't get the flu ever and the laptop would not go crazy again. Well, it's still with the technician so it still to be determined. I am using the other laptop which is painstakingly slow compared to the other one. Better than no computer at all.

Love's Shadow is a very good surprise. I am so in love with the very unique story and the D' Angelo brothers. I was so caught up in the twist, the history and the landscape. Who would not fall in love with the picturesque Italy? Its name alone makes me want for mouth-watering gelato, hand-made pasta and authentic Italian pizza. 

This book felt like a cross between a Steve Berry and a Clive Cussler. Yes, two of my favorite mystery and historical fiction writers. This story just had the complete ingredients of what I so love. History, archaeology, old legends, magic, powers and a love story that promises an unhappy ending. All these elements thrown in, mix well then stir and you will surely end up engrossed and unable to let go until the end. And the best thing? I just realized that this story is part of a series so I could have a few more helpings of this delightful and talented author. This is my first of Nichole Van and I am so impressed. You know what this means? I will be hunting for her other stories because I just can't get over the pleasure of having found this story and this amazing author.

Are you the type of reader who likes to guess what the story is just by looking at the title? I am one. It's not an exact science. Often I feel disappointed to not figure out why the story is entitled as such after reading it. And what an exhilaration it is to be able to grasp and understand why the title fits the story. For this story, I had no idea why it's called Love's Shadow. I don't have any theories. But after reading it, I totally get why the author called this one as it is and I totally agree with it. I book no arguments or any comments. I think the title is very curious. Just as curious as the story is.

This is without a doubt one of the best stories I have read this 2017. Stories like this are what I would die for. The marriage of the past and current events in this story was perfect. How the past events were connected to the present time in this story was seamlessly done. I just loved it. 

No questions asked, I give this book 5/5 pairs of leather gloves. This is just perfect for me. It fits like a glove. Nice to meet you Nichole Van. Looking forward to the next stories in the series.


Why did it have to be this man? Of all the men on Planet Earth? Literally, the one person who would be utterly off limits? Figured I would fall prey to some demented god who got off on cruel ironies.
- Nichole Van, Love's Shadow -  



Thank you again, Kathy of ebooksforreview.com for the copy. 

A Ghostly Mortality (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6) by Tonya Kappes | Blog Tour | Book Review

A Ghostly Mortality

by Tonya Kappes

on Tour February 28 - March 30, 2017


Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 


A Ghostly Mortality

That ghost sure looks . . . familiar

Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.

But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a... ghost.

Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raine's sisters will have to make peace with each other first.


A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes | Blog Tour | Book Review by iamnotabookworm



I had been out of circulation for more than a week. No reviews or any bookstagram posts. This review was supposed to be due March 10th but I was unable to because I was sick and my laptop went berserk. Good thing, the blog tour is still until March 30th so this review will still make it. Again, I apologize to Tonya Kappes and PICT for not being able to post on my promised date.

Book 5 --A Ghostly Reunion, ended with a cliffhanger and a capital OMG. I was glad I also signed up for the blog tour for this book. I just couldn't wait to know what happens next and what ghostly and deadly adventures await our heroine Emma Lee. 

Did I say OMG? OMG! This is definitely the best so far of all the Tonya Kappes books, though this was only my second.  A lot of things are going on in this story but it was not at all confusing or hard to follow. The elements all worked together to make the story more engaging and suspenseful. There was no way I was able to predict what is going to happen next and who was responsible for the murder. It was so surprising and exhilarating to find that the story resolved and ended without any of my theories being right. I was happy and I enjoyed the surprise with a big "Oh" when revelation time came.  

What can't be missed in this story is the usual funny and witty banter between Emma Lee and the current in-betweener. This is one of the things I liked in the series. The comedic conversations were hard to pass up. They add character and color to the story and the whole series. I could say, this is one of the characteristics that separates Emma Lee from all the other heroines, aside from her very unusual talent for seeing and conversing with the dead.

I give this 5/5 cute white cats. True to Tonya Kappes fashion, there was a preview of what the next installment would be about. It hinted of Emma Lee's talent evolving and getting more intense. Apart from the unyielding suspense throughout, the story also took on an emotional route. It perfectly captured the emotions of losing a loved one unexpectedly and tragically. In here, it was so raw because it was Emma Lee herself who get to experience those heartbreaking and painful emotions. It hit so close to home for our heroine. I felt her dilemma between grieving and at the same time keeping it in because she has to find the cause and who caused the deed. When all was done, there was also that mixed feeling of relief that finally she has solved the murder and the restless soul would now be at peace, at the same time not wanting to let the ghost go. For the unending pain of longing and missing for that loved one to finally descend and take a place in her heart because she will never get to see that loved one again. I just can't help but get teary-eyed as well. This was very nicely done and Tonya Kappes has a good chance of making it into my favorite authors's list if this book were any basis. Bravo! I just need to read about two more books to really decide.


I guess death is just like the seasons. Winter kills things and spring brings life.
- Tonya Kappes, Ghostly  Mortality -



Review of other books by Tonya Kappes:





Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.

I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’OrĂ©al bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.

“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”

“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”

“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.

“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.

“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”

The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.

“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.

My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.

“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.

“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.

“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.

“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.

“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.

“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.

“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”

“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.

Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes. Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes. Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.



Tonya Kappes

Tonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

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Click here to view the 'A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes' Tour Participants






This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-6 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on February 27th and runs through April 2nd, 2017.


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Thank you again, Tonya Kappes and PICT for the review copy.

Of the Trees by E. M. Fitch | Blog Tour | Book Review




Title: OF THE TREES
Author: E.M. Fitch
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback,eBook
Pages: 345


Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.

Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.

It's not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.

Cassie can's shake this sickening feeling that there's more to the carnival than meets the eye.

When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.

Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren't simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.
  

Of the Trees by E. M. Fitch | Blog Tour | Book Review by iamnotabookworm



It seemed like a series of unfortunate events happened to me last week. First, I got hit with a flu and then the laptop stopped working and we had to send it to the technician for repair. Until now, it is still not done. Thankfully, I am better now after a week of being sick and feeling so tired. This post was supposed to be due last March 10th. Better late than never. Even though I was not able to post my review in time for the blog tour, I still owe the author and Month9Books a review for the copy that they have sent me. I need to maintain my integrity and commitment to helping out get new books and stories out there. Anyway, reviews don't get old, right? It will always be relevant to whoever is intending to read this book, in particular. Again, I apologize to E. M. Fitch and Month9Books for not posting this on time.

Of the Trees is a paranormal story about two teen best friends who were dazzled by an illusion. A mirage. More like disillusioned to be honest. The story started as a ghost-hunting expedition or more likely an obsession for a popular town ghost by Laney, turned into a tragedy for the whole town. 

In the Philippine culture and literature, we call the beings encountered by Laney and Cassie in the story as "lamang-lupa" or elementals. They are known to be living or part of the trees, the ground/land and nature, in general. Only a select few can see them. They say that if you have a third eye, you will likely see and encounter these beings. They are known to change their appearance or how they look to those humans that see them. In this story, the elementals first appeared as carnival workers and then later looked like handsome teen boys. The sole purpose of the changing of appearances is to get the attention of the people they want to lure into their den--Laney, Cassie and their girl friends, in this story.

Truthfully, it was not really mentioned or identified what beings were talked of here. What was certain was that they were of the trees which they can control, including the ground that we walk on, especially the forest. It was one of the things that got me frustrated about this story. Until the end, it was not clear what those beings really were except that only a select few can see them. Their origin was not even mentioned. However, Cassie, the main character here, thank God, she was smart enough, pretended to not see these beings. That decision, on her part, proved to be the only thing that saved her from being taken by them. 

I give this 2/5 leafless trees. This was just OK. I think it would have been more interesting if the story stuck to ghost-hunting. It turning into an elemental story sort of did not work for me. The author's talent did show in putting enough suspense to the story but still I was not so taken by it. If the intent was to scare, it was in a way scary but I think there were parts that did not mesh well. In some way, I felt that there was a disconnect somewhere in the story. I felt there was something that was missed out that would have made it work for me. What stood out for me were the careless and the delinquent teens. Their disregard for safety just to satisfy their raging hormones. The selfishness. Of not even thinking of the consequences of their actions. At least, there were Cassie and Ryan, but these two only highlighted more the flaws in the characters of the rest of the teens here. 



It was what made it so uncomfortable, sensing the hurt and anger and anguish in the other and being impotent to fix it.
- E. M. Fitch, Of the Trees -  




E.M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages (somewhat successfully) with her husband, Marc.



Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads



You can check out the rest of the stops on the tour.


Week One:
2/27/2017- Lisa's Loves(Books of Course)Interview
2/27/2017- Never Too Many To ReadReview
2/27/2017- Julie ReeceExcerpt

2/28/2017- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderGuest Post
2/28/2017- Book Review BeccaReview

3/1/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
3/1/2017- Omg Books and More BooksReview

3/2/2017- Always & Forever FangirlingExcerpt
3/2/2017- Bookaholic BanterReview

3/3/2017- Rockin' Book ReviewsGuest Post
3/3/2017- QuantumReview

Week Two:
3/6/2017- LILbooKloversInterview
3/6/2017- Don't Judge, ReadReview

3/7/2017- Book Lovers LifeReview

3/8/2017- Hidden Worlds BooksGuest Post
3/8/2017- Book-KeepingReview

3/9/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview
3/9/2017- StephanieCassidyBlogReview

3/10/2017- So Few BooksInterview
3/10/2017- I am not a bookworm!Review



Thank you again, E. M. Fitch and Month9Books, for the review copy.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

God of the Sun (Stella and Sol #1) by Kimberly Loth | ARC | A Book Review

God of the Sun (Stella and Sol #1) by Kimberly Loth | ARC | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm

I am subscribed to Kimberly Loth's newsletter, so every time she has a new book I get an ARC. Thank you so much, Kimberly Loth for this story.

I first knew Loth from her The Dragon Kings series. After signing for her newsletter, I got an ARC of Skye (The Dragon Kings #4) and really enjoyed the story. I have also read the fifth and the last book in the same series which is The Kings. Though I have not gotten to read the first three books in the said series, I was looking forward to more stories from the same author. Her stories are just so unique and engaging. The characters are so relatable and often represent real people in everyday lives. It is so easy to step into the shoes of her characters. This new series - God of the Sun is exactly the same. Those elements are still present but the story is very different. 

This book took me to a different world. A world that only exists in the imagination. A world where the sun always shines throughout the day until midnight. Once the clock strikes 12, darkness sets in. A place where there is a voice in your head that keeps reminding you of what you should do and sometimes stops you from doing bad things or injuring other people. Sounds like the conscience, in this story they call it The Voice (not the popular search for singing talents). Appears like an ideal place to live, right? But after midnight, The Voice shuts down and you are left on your own. Safety is not guaranteed if you are caught outside of locked doors. There's no telling what the citizens of Sol will do.

Zwaantie, the heir to the thrown in Sol is not the typical princess. I like that the last thing she wants is to be a princess. She wants to be just normal. Not to be pressured to marry and rule their kingdom. She's not ready to marry yet and to be responsible for the lives of her people. She is smart and often does not follow what The Voice says. She often argues with The Voice. I can imagine her like Merida in the movie Brave. The strong-willed and hard-headed princess.

This story is about youth, of responsibilities, of going against the grain, of not conforming to people's expectations, of doing things out of love and to save the kingdom. A lot of people can relate to Zwaantie's character. Most of us don't want to be bound by family's expectations and of the society, of only wanting to march to our own drum. On the other hand, there's Prince Leo, from Stella. A place where there's only the moon, the twinkling stars and the night. A culture exactly opposite from Sol. A strange person and place that promises things  and possibilities that Zwaantie wants dearly in life.

I was so taken by the story. I felt a kindred spirit in Zwaantie at the same time, I also felt a connection to Prince Leo. These two new characters are admirable in their own rights. They each have their own qualities that make them protagonists that you will surely root for to find what they seek and to succeed in all their endeavors. The setting alone, already had me reeled in. There is no mistaking that exciting things are about to happen. I am looking forward to the next book already. 

I give the book 4/5 suns. My only concern was it took a while for Prince Leo and Zwaantie to meet. I was dying of anticipation and excitement of when these two would finally come face to face. Almost the whole  time, the story was about Sol, Zwaantie and their kingdom. I started to wonder when will Prince Leo and the rest of Stella make an appearance. I give it to Loth to exactly know how to make her readers fall into the story helplessly. How she lured me and drew me in. How she showed a snippet of wonderful things to come and then appear like to have forgotten about that promise. Then, when you are sure to die of the waiting and anticipation, there it was. But wait, there's more. Just when things get  so exciting and dangerous, she holds off. Ugh, deadly cliffhangers that will test your strength and patience. Slowly wilting and losing sleep waiting for the next book. I hope I don't die from the exhaustion of the prolonged anticipation before the next book comes out.



I will never get tired of reading Kimberly Loth's books. I think one or two more books and she will be added to my favorite authors' list. 

Since when did honor trump everything including her own happiness?
- Kimberly Loth, God of the Sun -


Other books by Kimberly Loth :

Skye (The Dragon Kings #4)

The Kings (The Dragon Kings #5)