Book Review -The Tox Files

If you have never read any of author Ronie Kendig’s books, then you are in for a real treat. She has coined the phrase Rapid-Fire Fiction and it sure is. Kendig writes military action and international intrigue stories and if you pick up one of her titles, then you better plan to clear your schedule because you won’t be able to stop until you reach the end.

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Tox Files is the newest series from this talented author and I believe it is her best yet! So far, the prequel novella The Warrior’s Seal (which is available for free on Kindle) and the first full length novel of this series Conspiracy of Silence have been released with the second title A Crown of Souls set for an October 2017 release.

Although you needn’t read the prequel in order to understand the plot of Conspiracy of Silence, I would recommend that you do so, because it introduces you to the main players and gives some background details which will only enhance your understanding throughout the series. Continue reading “Book Review -The Tox Files”

Book Review -A School for Unusual Girls

A School for Unusual Girls is the first in Kathleen Baldwin’s new YA series called Stranje House.
SUMMARY
A School for Unusual Girls is set in 1814, while Napoleon is exiled to the island of Elba. Georgiana Fitzwilliam is the youngest child and only daughter in her family. After one of her scientific experiments goes awry and burns down her father’s stables, her exasperated parents enroll her at Stranje House and wipe their hands of her care. Despite the tense relationships Georgie has with her parents she would rather return home or run away than to stay at this mysterious school for girls. The dark rumors which swirl around the school and the scenes she witnesses upon her introduction to the staff and students convince her that Stranje house is a dangerous place to remain.

Continue reading “Book Review -A School for Unusual Girls”

Book Review -Counted With the Stars

SUMMARY

When privileged Egyptian Kiya is sold into slavery by her own father, it is to save the rest of her family including her crippled brother. She finds herself in the household of a family friend, but the shame of serving in a home she once frequented as a guest and the vengeful behavior of her master’s wife leaves her feeling humiliated and hopeless. During her time of service she meets fellow slave Shira, a Hebrew, who makes a great sacrifice on Kiya’s behalf winning her loyalty and friendship. Through Shira, she also meets Eben, Shira’s brother who seems to despise her, but she also begins to learn of the rumors of a Deliverer spreading through the Hebrew households. Things go from bad to worse for Kiya, as her former fiance deserts her and all of the Egyptians are terrorized by strange plagues. Kiya wrestles with her lack of faith in her own gods and her terror of the Hebrew God, while also being strangely drawn to both the enslaved people and the one they call Yahweh. Eventually, in order to save her mother and brother, she casts her lot in with this strange people and flees Egypt. Continue reading “Book Review -Counted With the Stars”

Book Review -Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning is the rewrite of a debut book originally published in 2010 by Ronie Kendig. It received good reviews at the time, but from what I can tell, it is garnering even better reviews since it has been rewritten.

This is not the first novel of Kendig’s which I have read and just like her other books, it is a wild ride which keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The story follows Shiloh Blake who finds herself caught up in an international intrigue after a hit squad attacks her underwater archaeology group. She then goes on the run and the hunt to determine why they were attacked and who is behind it, while also trying to stay alive and determining who she can trust, including undercover CIA agent Reece Jaxon.

Although, in the beginning Shiloh seems like your average twenty-something, as the book progresses you find she has a pretty specific skill set, which adds mystery to her backstory. Continue reading “Book Review -Dead Reckoning”

Book Review -The Lady and the Lionheart

SUMMARY

When Charlie Lionheart burst into the hospital with a sick baby, nurse Ella Beckley is immediately drawn into the plight of this mysterious young man and his sick but precious charge. His presence instigates immediate changes in her safe, ordered life and lures her into the unfamiliar life of the circus.

Charlie is quickly drawn to the sweet but curious Ella, but the secrets he harbors make him hesitant to expose her to his life. As they jointly care for baby Holland, they each find their perceptions challenged and must find the love and courage to reveal their traumatic pasts.

REVIEW

The Lady and the Lionheart was probably my favorite read in the past year and will go on my list of all time favorite books. Continue reading “Book Review -The Lady and the Lionheart”

Book Review -Princesses Behaving Badly

Thanks to fairy tales and Disney many little American girls grow up wanting to be a princess. We are shown this idealized, fantasy version of a woman who has everything she wants, is pursued by the man of her dreams and has nothing better to do than wear pretty dresses and sit around looking beautiful.

When I heard about the book Princesses Behaving Badly I knew I had to read it. I stumbled upon the PBS series Million Dollar Princesses, hosted by none other that Lady Cora Crawley of Downton Abbey herself. I enjoyed the look into the lives of American heiresses who wed into European nobility and when the book was referenced  I immediately put it on my Amazon wish list.

Princesses Behaving Badly is a collection of stories written about women throughout history (including those of legend) and how their positions of wealth, title and power impacted their lives. The book covers the lives of thirty women dedicating an average of about five pages per person. It is further organized by categories such as Warriors, Schemers, Floozies. It does not give a comprehensive study on each woman, but merely a general “wikipedia style” summary of each life.

I found this to be an easy read, a book I could pick up at random times when I had a couple of minutes to spare. Continue reading “Book Review -Princesses Behaving Badly”

Book Review -In the Light of the Garden

When Charity Baxter’s grandfather dies, she inherits his estate on a small island in Florida, but she loses the one person who loved her unconditionally. Charity moves in to the massive mansion on the coast which holds her best memories but also one which traumatized her and has haunted her for years. Soon, this self-described socially awkward potter finds herself developing a friendship with her equally troubled and grieving neighbor and sharing her home with a runaway teen and her great-uncle whose secrets just may answer some questions about the memories which continue to torment her. Add-in the friendly island residents whose requests for unique pottery pieces with her grandfather’s special ingredient draw Charity out of her shell and into a mystery, a couple of visits from her narcissistic mother and Charity’s own love-hate relationship with the magical weeping willow tree in her backyard and you have one compelling and unique story. Continue reading “Book Review -In the Light of the Garden”

Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Authors

Today I’m linking up for the first time with The Broke and the Bookish to share my Ten Underrated/ Hidden Gem Authors. The prompt was actually for underrated books, but I tweaked it slightly just because.

  1. Sibella Giorello -I’m addicted to her Raleigh Harmon mystery series about a slightly prickly female forensic geologist with trust and family issues. The first book of the series The Stones Cry Out, is free for Kindle readers.
  2. Brandy Vallance -fell in love with her debut historical romance release in 2014 and had to wait (impatiently, I might add) two years until her next. She tells unique stories.
  3. Joyce DiPastena Medieval stories are my favorite and she certainly knows how to transport a reader to the Middle Ages.
  4. Amanda DeWees -writes what I would call gothic-lite historical suspense with a slight hint of the paranormal and great heroes.
  5. Amy Leigh Simpson -a fairly new voice in the romantic suspense genre, but one that keeps me on the edge of my seat and swooning at the same time.
  6. Nichole Van -love, love, love her light and airy time-travel romances with endearing, quirky characters.
  7. Becky Doughty discovered her this past year and have devoured almost all of her contemporary YA and women’s fiction novels about flawed, imperfect, yet brave women. Her first YA story All the Way to Heaven which has the feel of Under the Tuscan Sun, is free for Kindle readers.
  8. Heather Burch -another contemporary fiction author whose stories I have consumed. She writes broken characters so well and then redeems them in a believable way. One Lavender Ribbon is available for free Kindle download for Amazon Prime members.
  9. Chana Keefer -adore her Night with a Rock Star books. She takes a potentially cliche story and gives it surprising depth.
  10. Catherine West – another amazing women’s fiction author whose stories center around family and redemption.
  11. Mary Jane Hathaway -I have enjoyed both the Cane River Valley series (with the same setting as Steel Magnolias) and her Jane Austen Takes the South series as well as her stand-alone novels. She also writes historical fiction under the name Virginia Carmichael. Pepper in the Gumbo, her first book in the Cane River Series is currently free for Kindle.
  12. Julianne Donaldson -author of Blackmoore and Edenbrooke. The first is very Bronte-esque and the second is lighter, yet equally engaging, but more in the style of Jane Austen. I’ve been anxiously waiting for a new release for a couple of years now and continually revisiting these two excellent stories.

Okay, I know the prompt was only for ten, but math has never been my forte. Plus, I’ve never been very good at limiting myself. Who would you say is an underrated author?

 

 

Book Review -Newton and Polly

I have been a fan of Jody Hedlund’s historical romances since her debut release back in 2010. But she particularly excels in this genre when she writes about or is inspired by actual historical figures. From her very first novel which was inspired by John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, to her faithful historical renderings based on American missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, founding father John Adams and wife Abigail, to her more recent depiction of Martin Luther and his bride Katharina, she never fails to paint a vivid and well researched picture of their lives. And now, with her recent release Newton and Polly she continues her streak of excellence.

SUMMARY

Newton and Polly introduces us to a young John Newton, just as he himself is introduced to Polly Catlett, the woman who becomes the love of his life and who is also instrumental in his eventual salvation and transformation. For those who are unfamiliar with John Newton, he is the author of many hymns, including the famous Amazing Grace, as well as being an important figure in the fight to abolish slavery in Britain. Newton lived his younger years in rebellion to his father and in defiance of most authority and found himself involved in some despicable things, including the slave trade. Continue reading “Book Review -Newton and Polly”

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

As an avid reader I have an exorbitantly large TBR pile of books which have already been released that I plan to read. I think this list is now in the hundreds, but I don’t let that stop me from also having a list of as yet unreleased books which I desperately want to add to that pile.

Here is my partial list for 2017:

The Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden -This debut book by a new author has a contemporary story that sounds interesting. Plus, I love the cover. Continue reading “Most Anticipated Books of 2017”