Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review ~ "The Caller" by Juliet Marillier

The Caller by Juliet Marillier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description: Neryn has made a long journey to perfect her skills as a Caller. She has learned the wisdom of water and of earth; she has journeyed to the remote isles of the west and the forbidding mountains of the north. Now, Neryn must travel in Alban's freezing winter to seek the mysterious White Lady, Guardian of Air. For only when Neryn has been trained by all four Guardians will she be ready to play her role in toppling the tyrannical King Keldec.

But the White Lady is not what she seems. Trapped with Whisper, her fey protector, Neryn is unable to send word to her beloved Flint, who is in danger of being exposed as a double agent. When a new threat looms and the rebellion is in jeopardy, Neryn must enter Keldec's court, where one false move could see her culled. She must stand up against forces more powerful than any she has confronted before, and face losses that could break her heart.

The Caller is the thrilling conclusion to the Shadowfell trilogy.

My thoughts: This book is a wonderful end to a great series!

The Shadowfell series has captured my interest and imagination from the first book. I have looked forward to each and every installment of the trilogy. The Caller lived up to my expectations.

Neryn's quest to train from the guardians takes on new urgency as the mid-summer celebration/rebellion comes closer. She knows her training is not complete and wants to make sure that she is responsible and compassionate as she calls the fey beings to the aid of the rebellion.

I loved the word building and descriptions. Juliet Marillier has written an epic fantasy trilogy. The story is one that will remain with me for a long time and will be one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wrapping up the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon

This is a list of the goals that I made for the read-a-thon!

1.  This time I want to visit more of the other participants in the read-a-thon.  I plan on visiting and commenting on at least 15 posts.  Doesn't seem like much, but I'm not that great at visiting.  I am usually running around taking my kids from place to place. :)

2. Read a total of 7 books.!!  I have Sweet Unrest scheduled for review.  I knew this time of the year was tough for me, so I cut  back on tours.

Here are some of the books that I will for sure read, the rest will be bonus determined on my mood.  Sometimes I get in the mood to read something that suddenly appeals to me. :)

Ok - there they are.  Each of the pictures are linked to the goodreads book page.

This is what I accomplished!

1. Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle on 10/18
2. Sweet Unrest on 10/20
I also visited and commented on 5 participating blogs. :)
3. Marriage of Mercy on 10/22
4. An October Bride on 10/22
5. A is for Abstinence 10/23
6. The Brickmaker's Bride on 10/25

I was half a book short.  I made it to 50% of The Caller.  I only visited 5 blogs out of the 15 I wanted to.  

I may not have completed all of my goals, but I am pleased with the amount of reading  I was able to do.  I will be finishing The Caller within the next few days.  

Did you participate in the r-a-t?  If so, how did you do?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Blast ~ "The Match Maker" by Karey White + giveaway

Match Maker
Tour Schedule

Match Maker Book Cover

The Match Maker by Karey White (The Husband Maker #2) (Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read book #1 The Husband Maker) It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart. In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever--at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

The Match Maker releases on November 1st
Order your copy Now!

Don't miss the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader November 4th to 21st 

The Husband Maker newThe Husband Maker by Karey White Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?
Karey WhiteAuthor Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.
    $75 Book Blast Giveaway $75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/23/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book review ~ "The Brickmaker's Bride" by Judith McCoy Miller

The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love, #1)The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith McCoy Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Book Description:  Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

My thoughts: Laura and Ewan are two characters that I rooted for. They were both nice and likable. I really wanted to see them succeed and find the happiness that they both deserved. Part of the reason that I couldn't help rooting for them was because some of the people around them were not nice characters.

There were many obstacles that had to be faced and overcome for this book to have a satisfactory ending. First was Ewan's relatives. He was surrounded by selfish and superficial that were concerned only with the world as it benefited them. He turned out to be such a nice guy in spite of the many negative influences around him. I loved how he put his sister's first, wanting to give them a better life.

Laura was courted by a man that only cared about himself and appearances. He was also prejudice against Ewan and his family because they were Irish immigrants. I have read other books about the opposition to the Irish immigrating to America, in comparison the problems faced by Ewan and his family were mild.

The love story progressed at a slow rate for Laura and Ewan, but a great analogy is found at the end of the book comparing love to brick making. You would have to read the book to fully understand the significance, it was pretty profound though.

I am glad that I read this book. I will have to look up other titles by Judith McCoy Miller.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book spotlight~ "Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn's Honor" by L.R.W. Lee

Andy, now twelve, discovers more than he bargained for when his parents reveal his mom’s past and he realizes she will die when he breaks the curse unless he intervenes.

Andy returns to Oomaldee to find its citizens on edge after many have been turned into vulture-people. Against this background, Andy and his company embark upon the next quest, to retrieve the horn of a unicorn. But not long into it, a seductive voice calls to Andy, tempting him to surrender the next ingredient in exchange for a promise to preserve his mom. Will he be able to stop the transformation of Oomaldee’s citizens? Will he jeopardize his ability to end the curse to save Mom?

Praise for this book!
"Andy Smithson will take on any problem that comes his way. The scenes and dialog in this book come alive on the page. I felt Andy’s emotions and victories, and I was with him for his pain and recovery. This is an amazing adventure that I have been impatiently waiting to read since book two!" - Rena Marthaler, Rena Writes (Rena is 10) 

"Sometimes, I just let the 5 star rating speak for itself. I can add nothing more." - Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review

"A long-lasting story that is part of one of my favorite series."
- Erik Weibel, This Kid Reviews Books Blog (Erik is 13)

“I loved reading Disgrace of the Unicorn's Honor as much as I enjoyed the first two in the series. New life changing truths are revealed, Andy and friends go on high adventures, meet new characters and continue to battle evil. I was not ready for the book to end. As usual, L.R.W. Lee leaves Andy in an interesting spot and the reader longing for the story to go on. Can't wait for Book 4!” – Maggie T. Amazon Reviewer


This is a third book in a series.  I have read the first book and I thought it was wonderful.   The opening paragraph of my review of  Blast of the Dragon's Fury is below.  I loved it so much that I requested my local library purchase a copy for all children to enjoy.  I was the first to check it out!

Andy Smithson:Blast of the Dragon's Furyis a wonderful story for kids from middle grade to the tween years to read on their own. It is great for younger children who have an adult who will read it to them.

Digital copies of Blast of the Dragon's Fury are currently FREE!

Links for Book 2 ~ Venom of the Serpents Cunning

All Three books can be purchased together on Kindle and Nook. for $8.99

L. R. W. Lee writes to teach her readers principles that can transform their lives – overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and more. She also shows why responsibility, diligence and dignity are the keys to true success in life. L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband, daughter and son.

Connect with L. R. W. at: Twitter *  Website *   Facebook

Book Review ~ "A is for Abstinence" by Kelly Oram

A is for Abstinence (V is for Virgin #2)A is for Abstinence by Kelly Oram
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: New Adult Romance

Book Description:  Six-time Grammy Award-winning musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under his skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.

My thoughts: The events in this book take place four years after V is for Virgin. In order to fully comprehend this story you need to read the first book.

Kyle and Valerie are the characters in the book. They have a history that is rocky at best. Valerie started a campaign in high school promoting waiting until marriage until having sex. If someone didn't wait, they could take the A is for Abstinence pledge. Kyle was very opposed to the idea, he had a thing for Valerie and wanted the physical relationship. As a rock star, he could have any girl he wanted, so why pin his future on Valerie?

This book is told from Kyle's point of view. Four years have passed and he is not living a happy and fulfilling life. His life is shallow, his relationships lack meaning. He begins to see the logic and meaning behind Valerie's pledges and hopes that it's not too late to win her back.

This whole book revolves around Kyle's thought process of sex. The meaning of sex, the beauty of having a committed relationship before sex, etc. There are not explicit scenes in the book, but it is the theme of the book. As such, I wouldn't recommend this book to a teenager who is not struggling with this subject. It might be good for teens who feel pressured into premature sexual relationships.

I enjoyed the dialogue between characters. There is a lot of sarcastic humor. The bantering and bargaining between characters was fun to read. The book also contains mild swearing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review ~ "An October Bride" by Katie Ganshert

An October Bride (A Year of Weddings, #11)An October Bride by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley - to review
Genre: Clean Romance

Book Description: A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.
Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married---so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle.
While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications---the biggest being their true feelings for each other.
In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.

My thoughts: Cute, fun, hopeful, clean, and  love are adjectives that can be used to describe this book. I loved the story and the characters. This is unusual in a novella for me. It usually takes me a while to connect with the characters and feel invested in their story.

Emma loves her father. She would do anything for him. When she finds his bucket list and discovers his desire to walk her down the aisle, she wants nothing more than to fulfill that wish. He is battling cancer and only has a short time left to live.

Jake just happens to be at her home and volunteers to be the groom. He doesn't want her to have a life of regrets. He is a childhood friend and the object of her high school crush. She agrees to the plan with reservations, but as time progresses, the idea of marriage to Jake becomes more desirable.

The characters are friends first. There is a genuine love and respect for each other. There are many misunderstandings as well. I loved to read how they were able to come to a very happy conclusion.

This book is part of a series of novella's that are each a stand alone book. They are all clean! An October Bride is a great addition to the series and one of my favorites.

Book Review ~ "Marriage of Mercy" by Carla Kelly

Marriage of MercyMarriage of Mercy by Carla Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source; Purchased by me
Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction

Book Description: From riches to rags, Grace has had to swallow her pride and get a job as a baker. But everything changes when she's the beneficiary of a surprise inheritance.Her benefactor's deal comes with a catch: give up her life of toil and live in luxury only if she marries his illegitimate son, a prisoner of war. It's an offer she can't afford to refuse. But her husband-to-be is dying, and he begs her to take one of his men instead—to marry purely out of mercy….

A marriage of convenience with a complete stranger… Could this arrangement ever work?

My thoughts: This book is different than I thought it would be. The synopsis and title made think it would e a different story. I enjoyed the book, just wondering who wrote the synopsis and came up with the title?

Grace went from riches to rags. She was forced to leave her home after her father's death, with no family to turn to and nowhere to go. She showed her fortitude and ingenuity when she offered to work for a baker whom her father owed money.

Ten years pass, she did well with her life and made friends by her friendliness and kindness. This paid off when she received an inheritance, 30 pound a year and life in a dowager house. The only catch was that she had to take care of the illegitimate son of her benefactor. He would be released as a prisoner of war into her custody. The problem when she went to get him, he was dying. He begged her to take another prisoner in his stead.

Here is where the book differs from the book description, marriage was not a stipulation. It was straight forward, she would watch over the prisoner,she would have a place to live, and an income.

Marriage was a large part of the book. Grace felt bad that she never had the opportunity to marry. She could no longer marry a member of the gentry, and a commoner would think her too elevated to be worth marrying. Rob, the prisoner, let her know that in America, she would have a better chance of finding a husband.

I did enjoy the characters. There is far more to many of them than appears on the surface.

This book does not fit in the mold of the other Carla Kelly books I have read. I look forward to reading her books because I usually get a good, clean romance. This book does not fit into the clean category. There is detailed intimate relations between the characters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog Tour ~ "Sweet Unrest" by Lisa Maxwell + giveaway

Sweet UnrestSweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (to review)
Genre: YA Ghost Story

Book Description:  A world where souls walk free and dreams become portals to the past…

Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But even her rational mind can't explain her dark and familiar dreams of a time long ago, filled with people she shouldn't know, but does. When her family moves to New Orleans, Lucy's dreams suddenly become more intense. Reluctantly drawn into the old city's mystical undercurrent, she searches for answers about the nighttime visions that haunt her.

What Lucy finds is Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they've known each other forever. They've only just met, and she shouldn't be drawn to him, but she is. As she tries to unlock Alex's secrets, a killer strikes close to home and a century-old vendetta unspools, putting Lucy and everyone she loves in mortal danger.

My thoughts:  This book was great to read during the month of October. It has a spooky atmosphere and story line.

Lucy reluctantly moves to New Orleans with her family. Her father's work takes them to a plantation that has secrets. Her dreams are gradually unlocking the secrets and taking her down a dangerous path.  For her, the past and present collide.

Alex is a strange addition to Lucy's life. The moment she sees him, he becomes her focus. It doesn't take long for him to enter her dreams, as she sees events that occurred on the plantation 150 years ago.

This is a haunting love story. The characters are not what they seem. Lisa Maxwell does a great job at revealing the secrets a little at a time, making the story interesting. I liked the aspect of adding voodoo to the story. It's not a subject that I am very familiar with. Some of the voodoo added to spooky aspect of the story.

This book contains violence and  kissing.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:  Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest   (Flux, Fall 2014) and Heartless Things (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). She has a PhD in English, and when she's not writing books, she’s a professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

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