Tag Archives: Book review

Suitcase Girl: #bookreview

Suitcase Girl by Ty Hutchinson is set in the Golden Gate City, San Francisco. I have never been there but it’s on the list. However, no one probably wants to arrive via a shipping container like the young girl in the book known as Suitcase Girl. She was found outside of the San Francisco FBI headquarters in a suitcase, hence the nickname.

Abby Kane is an FBI agent who takes an interest in the Suitcase Girl. Abby is fairly certain that they aren’t related but she and the girl are practically identical.

Abby decides to apply to have the girl stay with her until someone can find out if she has a family or not. Will they make the girl go back to parents that leave her in a suitcase? Was she kidnapped?

The writing and the story are fine but the ending is hazy. I enjoyed the book right up until the last chapter. It was a little disappointing that I don’t know what’s going on even though I finished the book. The book had so much potential and it kind of fizzled out.

Is it because the author cannot fit all of the answers into one book? Possibly. Did the author just stop midstream so readers buy the 2nd book? Probably.

If you like a book with no definite conclusion and tons of loose ends, then you might thoroughly enjoy this book.

Who will not like this book? People who want answers and a neat, tidy ending.

The Bear: #bookreview

The Bear by Andrew Krivak is set in a forested area at the base of a mountain. The technical term would be a Subalpine forest. It sounds like a beautiful place. There aren’t any other people besides the dad and his daughter. There seems to have been an end to civilization as we know it. The dad has taken his daughter to a place where they can live off of the land.

The girl is very young – maybe between 8-10. In the beginning of the book, she lives with her father in a cabin. He teaches her everything – how to read, hunt, make bows, etc. By the middle of the book, the girl is alone.

Well, she isn’t exactly alone. The bear keeps her from starving by giving her fish. The girl isn’t an expert hunter yet. She learns quickly otherwise she will starve because the bear goes into hybernation.

There is also a puma who saves her from drowning and catches some food for her. She can hear the bear and the puma talking to her. Were they really talking or was it a hallucination? It doesn’t matter because it got her through life for a little bit longer. Would any of us make it one day in the wilderness? They make it bear-able. Pun intended.

The girl is trying to get back to the cabin but it’s too difficult during the winter. Also, she cannot cross the river yet.

If you like post-apocalyptic stories without zombies, then this could be the book for you.

If you don’t like anything about doomsday prepping, survivalists or nature, then you might not like this book. The Bear really beautifully written so it’s too bad you are missing out because you aren’t into prepping.

FYI: Andrew Krivak the author is not the same Andrew Krivak that recently had a murder conviction overturned. They are different people.

  • I received an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Beyond the Moon: #bookreview

Not only is Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor set in France and England, one of the characters travels in time from 2017 to 1916 and back at least two times. Personally, I love books about time travel. I am still waiting for a time machine to be on the market.

In 2017, Louisa has been institutionalized since the doctors at the emergency room believe that she attempted suicide by throwing herself off of the South Downs cliff. She really was just drunk and slipped but she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Her friend,Kerry, shows her a separate part of the Coldbook Hall psychiatric hospital that is closed off. It’s falling apart and set for demolition in the near future.

While wandering through the restricted part of the hospital, she finds Lieutenant Robert Lovett in a room by himself. She noticed that besides being blind, Lovett is dressed in clothing from a different era. Louisa is wearing clothes that belong to WWI nurse aide, Rose Ashby. This was probably all weird enough but then other people appear that cannot see or hear her.

Later, Lovett regains his sight but he can still see Louisa. When he tries to introduce her to his friends, they think he has lost his mind. Louisa tells him that they cannot see her and she is from the future. Lovett doesn’t take it well and distances himself from Louisa.

When Louisa falls through the floor of the restricted area, she is somehow transported to 2016. She is Rose Ashby in the flesh. In her mind, she is still Louisa. It seems that Rose and Louisa look exactly the same. Louisa gets a ride to her new post, where she is to be a nurse aide. Unfortunately, Louisa doesn’t know things like how to start a fire. She is without the luxuries of the 21st century like microwaves, light switches and indoor plumbing.

While Louisa/Rose is in 1916, she tries to find Robert but cannot find him anywhere. She doesn’t know that he has been taken prisoner by the Germans. Louisa/Rose finds a man that has studied psychic activity and hypnotizes her so that she can go back to 2017 and find information about Robert that could help find him in 1916.

If you like time travel, romance, historical fiction or characters that aren’t considered “normal” then you might like this Beyond the Moon.

If you aren’t a believer in romance or the possibility of time travel, then you might not like this book as much as I do. Also, Nazis will not appreciate it. I mean, they are Nazis – they are mostly chaotic evil. So I might read it again to spite Nazis. It’s totally worth the time and effort.

  • I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Dark Moon Falls: Ghost. #bookreview

For those readers who like supernatural romances, there is a new anthology, Dark Moon Falls, that you might be interested in reading. I received the ARC for Dark Moon Falls: Ghost by DJ Bryce in exchange for doing a review.

Although the name is a bit ominous, the town of Dark Moon Falls seems pretty charming. It’s close to a forest, which could be lovely or creepy. Many of the residents are part of the wolf pack.

There are two main characters: Ghost and Mackenzie. Ghost is a shifter – wolf and human. He has just moved to the area. Mackenzie is the single mom of a shifter son.

Her ex, Darnel, is in prison but wants to rebuild the relationship with his son. Or so he says. He was a deadbeat dad before going to prison. Zandra, the stepmom, is not much better.

The stepmom is vindictive and trashy. She is definitely holding a grudge against Mackenzie. Some members of the Wolf pack blame Mackenzie for her ex getting sent to prison. Trashy stepmom wolf shifters get angry when they cannot mate with their mate and make baby wolves. So Zandra comes up with a plot to help her mate see his son.

So Ghost and Mackenzie meet and become an item in record time. Apparently, shifters recognize their soulmate immediately. There’s no second-guessing. Ghost and Mackenzie have the shortest courtship in history besides maybe Cher or Elizabeth Taylor.

If you like supernatural romances, this set includes 15 different stories. So there should be plenty of romance to keep you warm this winter.

If you don’t believe that werewolves are worthy of love, then this set of books is not a good choice for you.

Author’s BIO:

Author DJ Bryce loves her men tall, dark, and Alpha. She can often be found relaxing with a cup of coffee, a handful of RedVines, and a dirty book, with her three dogs snoozing happily at her feet. 
She’s a lover of The Walking Dead, Romantic Comedies, and writing sexy shifters. 
For information on her new releases, promotions, and her favorite PNR reads, sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/clmyu5Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJBryceAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJBryce_Author
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/DJ-Bryce/e/B01MCXD8BE/

Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PTcw65

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2NrVjPu

Apple: https://apple.co/2CqZUuM

Nook: http://bit.ly/2rnrUgS

  • I received an ARC for this book in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Sun & Moon Academy: #bookreview

The Sun & Moon Academy is set on a college campus located inside of a mountain. The college is focused on helping supernatural beings learn about their powers. The WiFi is spotty so they should have more time to study – at least in theory.

There are several main characters. The book is told from the point of view of each of the characters at different points. Each character has to go through a major challenge that could affect many people on campus if they fail. No pressure, right?!

It’s an anthology with many authors. The authors are: Victoria Escobar, Rose Garcia, Victoria Flynn, Tish Thawer, Justine Winter, Amy Richie, Belinda Boring, EJ Fechenda and Kristie Cook.

Although there are several authors, the writing is fairly consistent. I cannot even tell any major differences in their writing style. I think if they were vastly different, it would take away something from the story.

If you are a supernatural college student, then you will love this book. If you are a supernatural villain or a vampire hunter, then you might not be a fan.

Book Info & Links:

SUN & MOON ACADEMY is now live! Don’t miss this exciting paranormal anthology. Ten paranormal tales and one page-turning supernatural academy story in this spinoff from the award-winning Havenwood Falls universe.

➜ Amazon US: http://havenwoodfalls.com/sma1-zon➜ Amazon UK:http://havenwoodfalls.com/sma1-zonuk➜ Apple Books:http://havenwoodfalls.com/sma1-ab➜ Barnes & Noble:http://havenwoodfalls.com/sma1-bn

Check out more from Havenwood Falls: http://havenwoodfalls.com/

  • I received an ARC in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Voodoo Dreams, A Novel of Marie Laveau: #Spooktober Book Review

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Most of the Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewell Parker Rhodes is set in New Orleans. Some of the book is set in what is known as the Bayou Teche are of Louisiana, which is mostly a rural waterway.

Marie Laveau was a real person. In fact, Marie Laveau had two daughters named Marie Laveau, which has made it confusing to know who the real Marie Laveau was. In the book, there are four Maries – the famous Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau plus the grandmother, mother and daughter.

In the beginning of the book, Marie doesn’t know anything about Voodoo. She’s just an innocent girl from the country near Bayou Teche. Marie travels to New Orleans with her grandmother. Her grandmother and mother were Voodoo priestesses; however, her grandmother converted to Christianity and never taught Marie about Voodoo.

Marie marries Jacque but then almost immediately leaves him for John, a Voodoo doctor. I imagine him to be like R. Kelly but with less talent. He’s a jealous, controlling, abusive person. I don’t see what attracts the women in Marie’s family to John. He doesn’t have any actual power as far as Voodoo. He makes a potion to remain ageless but he doesn’t have visions. John is insanely jealous of Marie because she is so connected to the spirit of Damballah.

If you are looking for a good fictional book about Marie Laveau then this book is a good choice. If you are planning on visiting New Orleans, Voodoo Dreams would be a good book to read before your trip. You cannot visit New Orleans without hearing about Marie Laveau.

If you are R. Kelly or someone opposed to women having power, then you might not like this book.

FYI: Ask for permission before you take pictures at a Voodoo priestesses house or place of business. Apparently, it’s frowned upon. Lesson learned.

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: #Spooktober Book Review

I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem

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I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Conde follows Tituba from her home in Barbados to Salem Village and back to Barbados. In the book and in real life, Tituba was a slave owned by Reverend Samuel Parris. She was the first person accused of witchcraft at the very beginning of the Salem Witch Trials.

She was actually married to John Indian and had one child. However, he betrayed Tituba during the witch trials by accusing her and others of being witches.

Since she confessed, she was not burned at the stake and later released from prison. Tituba stayed longer in prison than necessary because Parris refused to pay for her prison fines. History does not paint Parris in a good light. He’s cruel and greedy and that is how people will see him for eternity.

Since there is not very much information about Tituba, Conde does take some creative license in telling this story. No one is really sure where she went after her release from prison. In the book, her fines are paid for by Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo. She works for him until Puritans set his house on fire.

After the house fire, she becomes a free woman and makes the journey back to Barbados. Tituba has always been a healer. She learned from Mama Yaya, her surrogate mother and spiritual herbalist. When she returns to Barbados, Tituba continues to heal people.

This book was translated from French by Richard Philcox. It’s an excellent book in any language. I spent more money on a used edition of this book than on the last five years of my used book collection. It’s not cheap but it’s worth the money.

Some of the language is not kind to people of color. I do feel conflicted that the book is so well written but also uses derogatory terms. How do you guys feel about historical fiction that uses derogatory terms? What is acceptable and what isn’t?

If you like stories about witches or the Salem Witch Trials, you might enjoy this book. If you are a Puritan, you probably won’t like this book.

Stolen Bloodline: #Spooktober Book Review

Stolen Bloodline by L.G. Rollins is set in London, possibly in the late 1800s or early 1900s. There wasn’t a specific year listed anywhere but I didn’t get the feeling that it was set in modern times. There aren’t telephones, televisions or computers.

If I had to guess, the book takes place during the Edwardian era (1901-1919). No one talks about the King or Queen of England but they do talk about the Emperor of China. The last two Emperors of China reigned from 1875 until 1912.

Jasper Wimple is an artist and extremely charming. For the short time, I thought that Jasper was a vampire. He’s a charming artist with amazing hair but also doesn’t really have any relationships with anyone. Apparently, he’s not a vampire but it doesn’t make him less interesting.

He’s been entrusted with the safety of Ju and Mrs. Zhi by the ghost of Mr. Zhi. The ambassador of China killed Mr. Zhi many years ago. At first the ambassador just wants to end the lives of Ju and Mrs. Zhi but he believes that Jasper can help him obtain a secret formula, which could make him extremely powerful. The ambassador threatens to harm Jasper’s family if he doesn’t photograph the secret formula.

Jasper has fallen in love with Ju. It’s a no brainer. She’s beautiful, kind and a talented dancer. However, she has put him in the friend zone because he flirts with everyone.

So what is Jasper going to do? How can he protect his family and the Zhis? How can he get out of the friend zone?

If you are interested in books set in Edwardian times with a hint of Steampunk and supernatural beings, then this might be a good fit. If you don’t like Steampunk, ghosts or romance, then this might not be the right book for you.

L.G. Rollins website

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Thorfinn and the Witch’s Curse: #Spooktober Book Review

Thorfinn and the Witch’s Curse by Jay Veloso Batista is set in a Viking settlement in England as well as a realm beyond Midgard, where humans live.

Thorfinn, also known as Finn, has had an incident with a witch that cursed his family. After this event, Finn becomes a vardoger or a forerunner. This means that while he sleeps, his ghost or essence roams a different realm. Being a forerunner also means that he knows about upcoming events and secrets that he shouldn’t know. In the other realm, he is taught by Raga who becomes his familiar as a raven in the real world.

Yeru is Finn’s aunt. She is a great storyteller. I think she could be a witch or at least possess some power. Yeru can be a nag, which takes away from her likability. I can relate to her though. She’s just trying to work and raise her daughter but it’s hard sometimes.

I enjoyed all of the Viking stories. It was like having several stories within one book. If you like Vikings,ghosts and witches, then this book will be perfect for you. People who don’t believe in ghosts, Viking mythology or witches might not enjoy this book.

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  • I received the ebook from Free and Fast Reviews in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously

The Hazel Wood: #bookreview

The setting of The Hazel Wood was creepy and beautiful – part of the story was set in the city and part in a forest. I started reading this on a camping trip which might have been a mistake. It all worked out since there weren’t any nightmares for the whole trip. Alice did not have the same experience.

Alice is the granddaughter of a famous reclusive author, Althea Prosperpine. Alice’s mother, Ella, leaves The Hazel Wood and doesn’t plan to return. Alice and Ella live a vagabond life. They stay in one place until their bad luck catches up with them.

Her mother was kidnapped by the characters from the Hinterland – not the television series. The word Hinterland means “the land behind.” It is also the fictional setting of Althea’s Gothic fairy tales. So the whole situation of traveling to her grandmother’s estate called,The Hazel Wood, was like living in a nightmare. When she made it to The Hazel Wood, everything got even more weird.

There were a few fairy tale characters from Althea’s book that Alice met while in the Hinterland. I thought Twice-Killed Katherine was interesting. Ruthless and sneaky. You probably wouldn’t want her to corner you anywhere. She’s vicious. I mean, her name is Twice-Killed Katherine, she probably has issues.

The fairy tale character’s stories replayed over and over. If they could figure out how to change the story, would they be able to escape? I think Twice-Killed Katherine would look like this.

The time that Alice spent in the Hinterland and The Hazel Wood was similar to a vision quest. She travels there with her friend, Ellery, who knows the fairy tales. They get separated and Alice has to finish the journey alone. If she could figure out the secret then she could get out but it’s not that simple.

The Hazel Wood is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. I found it at a thrift store. Someone didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. Lucky for me. There is a sequel, The Night Country. It’s supposed to be released in January – just in time to spend my Christmas gift money.

If you are easily scared or creeped out, then you might not like this book. If you aren’t a fan of Wednesday Addams, Edgar Allan Poe or gothic fiction, then this is not the book for you.

I don’t think I’ve ever given a book 5 stars but I’d make an exception for The Hazel Wood.

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