The Deliverer: a book review

the-delivererDescription: 

A lost songkeeper must lead her people to a long awaited deliverer.

Eager to serve the One, a young songkeeper travels to the dark and foreign nation of Hazor, but her confusing, rough edged companion has lost his Restorer gifts. As danger rises against them both, she loses her freedom, her memories, and her hope. Now even the very music of her soul is threatened.

In our world, Susan Mitchell no longer feels at home in the carpool lane. Burdened by the unhealed scars from her trips through the portal, she fights to suppress her worry about her son, who remains out of contact in Lyric. But when a mysterious message hints Jake is in danger, she and her husband are swept away – to the place they least expect.

Clan rebellions. Lost Restorers. Has the One turned away, or will the face of the Deliverer bring light to the darkness?

My Review:

We return to Hazor in the opening scenes of The Deliverer! The story opens up on a mildly funny note and a new birth, but things quickly take a dark turn when Kieran’s secret comes out – he’s no longer the Restorer. But the King of Hazor didn’t know that, and now the price of that omission will be high.

Susan and Mark have jumped back through the portal to find their son Jake, who has not been heard from in some time. The portal, however, does not take them to Lyric, and the pair find themselves in a mess of trouble.

There was a lot more Biblical allegory in this book than in the previous ones, with the coming of the Deliverer – their Jesus figure. The ending was …wow. There are so many things I would like to say about the ending, but most of them are considered  major spoilers, so my lips are zipped. I’ll just say that the ending, while feeling nearly perfect,  still leaves a few thin threads dangling. I really would like to see how things turned out in the end for Nico and the Rhusicans, as well as the Kalareans. Hinck left the door open for possible future stories, which I do hope to someday see. *Pretty please, Mrs. Hinck?*

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: Main Character’s romance is clean and sweet. One kiss. However there is a time when Lynette is a prisoner of the evil priestess and finds that most of the young priestesses are used like prostitutes and they planned to do the same to her. Nothing is described in great detail.
Language: clean
Drinking/drugs: evil priestess uses a regimen of drugs to erase Lynette’s memory and make her compliant. She also goes through withdrawal.
Blood/ violence: One birth, along with some fighting and various injuries.

Amazon Kindle Link:The Deliverer (The Sword of Lyric Book 4)
Amazon Paperback Link:The Deliverer (The Sword of Lyric, Book 4)

Author Website – check out deleted scenes from all 4 of  The Sword of Lyric series!
Author Facebook Page

Happy Reading y’all!

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The Black Friday Book Sale!

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Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2016 and am thankful for.

  • Defy, by Tricia Mingerink

  • Heart of Ice, by K.M. Shea

  • The Lady and the Lionheart, by Joanne Bischof

  • Samara’s Peril, by Jaye L. Knight

  • Prelude for a Lord, by Camille Elliot


I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked “Sold Out” but if you click them open, you’ll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Thanksgiving free book promo!

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! Where did the year go? I feel like we still ought to be back in May somewhere.

As a special gift for my readers, I will be putting Shadowsong up on Amazon for FREE Black Friday through Cyber Monday!shadowsong-award-cover

I will be ever so appreciative if you would grab a copy. And please, tell your friends too!

Click here for the Amazon link:Shadowsong

Let’s see how high we can get her in the Amazon rankings!

And before we go, let us all take a moment to thank the Lord for a wonderful year and count our many blessings.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Basket of fruits and vegetables

The Review Pileup

Okay, I have been falling ridiculously far behind on reviews lately so I’m just going to a bit of catching up and mash a handful of shorter ones together in one big post. I won’t be doing extensive ratings on these ones either, just a short notation of anything I find concerning.

Enjoy!

The Lost Files of the M.B.R.C. by K.M. Shea

Morgan is back and at it again!

In this series of short stories from the M.B.R.C., time is steadily passing as we see snippets of Morgan’s life through the next few years as she and her world grow and change. From proposals and marriages, to wild birthdays and a Kraken who isn’t quite what she imagined!

This, sadly, is the end of the M.B.R.C. series, and I shall greatly miss it. The story is complete but still leaves you wanting more just for the sake of it. That, my friends, is the sign of a good author.

I totally recommend all the M.B.R.C. books to anyone who is looking for a light read and a good laugh. I just hope they come out in paperback one of these days so I can add them to more than just my digital shelves!

Amazon Kindle Link:The Lost Files of the Magical Beings’ Rehabilitation Center: a MBRC Anthology

Puss in Boots by K.M. Shea

I never liked the original fairytale (it was a bit strange) and doubted I would care much for this one. Why did I ever doubt the queen of fairytale retellings?

Puss is such a CAT! All arrogant, and manipulative, and proper but with a heart of gold beneath. He’s so much fun because he can get away with things a normal person can’t – and he knows it!

Gabrielle first appears as the incredibly beautiful peasant girl who wants more to life – but that’s where the stereotype ends. She can’t stand the boys’ attentions, hates her beauty and does everything she can to make herself look bad, and she has attitude by the cartful! She is no damsel in distress and sets out to prove herself and find adventure – without the help of any prince!

This one is best read right after the Wild Swans, as the main characters and the ending of the story do overlap.

Heat Advisory: An abundance of magical mayhem!

Amazon Kindle Link:Puss in Boots (Timeless Fairy Tales Book 6)

Ocean Lost by Sarah Wagstaff

This book started out rough, though it did improve around the halfway point or so. The dialogue was stilted at times and none of the adults acted normally. Seriously, when a kid is near death no adult with half a brain would just let a friend take him home instead of loading him into an ambulance and taking him straight to a hospital.

And ***SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT*** I don’t understand why Walter could so easily tell Sienna and her family his secret but refused to tell his adoptive parents, even though he seemed very close to them. It would have probably saved him a lot of trouble and lies if he had. Why is it that kids in fiction are always willing to tell everyone but family their secrets? In my opinion family should be the first to know.

Amazon Kindle Link: Ocean Lost (Night Awakening Book 1)

Special Forces 01 – Honour Raconteur

SF 01 was a fun, easy read with lots of witty dialogue and some great fight scenes. The main characters were fun, though the hero didn’t feel totally realistic. Whatever happened, he just seemed to roll with the punches. A guy who’s spent so much time in combat, especially from such a young age, surely would have had more mental/emotional issues. One of his subordinates did, but the subject was barely touched on. I was a bit disappointed with that.

Even though the setting was on a distant planet, the place was for all purposes identical to modern day earth. Honestly, the author should have just said that that’s where they were.

I know this review does sound a pretty critical, but I really did enjoy this book. It was a sweet, fun fish-out-of-water tale with some good chuckles thrown in.

Heat Advisory: two or three mild bad words.

Amazon Kindle Link:Special Forces 01

 Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors

Nyssa was raised as a cat burglar. She left that life behind and started fresh, only to have it come hunting her down. After she refuses the offer of a man who wants her to get back in the business, she is framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Her only hope is to do exactly what he wanted her to do – break into the abandoned mansion of Professor Dalhart.

Nyssa Glass is a short read. quick in pace and full of fun twists. Admittedly, I did the the big plot twist in the very end nearly from the beginning, but it didn’t matter because I was having so much fun getting there.

Heat Advisory: two or three uses of d***

Amazon Kindle Link: Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors

The Lion and the Ladybug by Jill Penrod

What do you do when you have no one to turn to?

What few people might have helped Leo, he has managed to burn all bridges with. The only one still willing to help him is Meg Kenton, but he doesn’t trust her anymore.

It pains Meg to se her former best friend through childhood as such a mess. She tries to help him, but can she reach him or will he drag her down into the darkness?

Lion and Ladybug is a pretty heavy read dealing with a lot of tough subjects, but the prevailing theme is hopelessness. Leo has been through so much horror, he doesn’t believe he can be redeemed, he sees no way out so he just lets everything crumble around him. This is a well told story about relationships, the power of love, and not giving up on people.

Heat Advisory: The main character does hang out with the wrong crowd and the things they do are mentioned vaguely. it is mentioned several times that two characters are sleeping together. Some Smoking. Alcohol addiction and abuse are major themes, but all are tastefully dealt with and minimal details given.

Amazon Kindle Link:The Lion and the Ladybug (Terry’s Garden Book 2)

The Shattered Vigil: a book review

the-shattered-vigilDescription:

Victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they’ve been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. Jorgen, the member of the Vigil assigned to Frayel, has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms’ ability to defend themselves.

Just when the Vigil thought they had quenched the menace from their enemy in Collum, a new threat emerges: assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it’s too late. The orders of the church and the rulers of the kingdoms, fearing the loss of the Vigil’s members altogether, have decided to take them into protective custody to safeguard their gift. On Pellin’s orders, the Vigil scatters, leaving Willet to be taken prisoner by the church in Bunard.

In the midst of this, Willet learns of the murder of an obscure nobleman’s daughter by one of the unseen assassins. Now he must escape his imprisonment and brave the wrath of the church to find the killer in order to turn back this latest threat to the northern continent.

My Review:

Bunard is still reeling from the horror of Bas-solas. Fear and paranoia rule the streets. A few believe the danger is past, but Willet and Pellin fear this is only the beginning. No one knows who or what is behind the evils of the Darkwater, nor do they have any idea how to stop it.

When a murderer that they cannot see attacks, the chuch decides the only solution is to take Willet and the rest of the Vigil into custody, the Vigil along the urchins they have chosen to bring with them as holders for the gift should anything hapen to a member of the Vigil, make a run for it. Fearing the problems within his mind and that the Darkwater may be recieving information through him, they leave Willet behind to the church’s custody.

But Willet is never one to sit still for long, and when a murder occurs with the markings of one of the same assasins that attacked him before, Willet breaks free and begins to hunt for answers, but he may already be too late to stop what the Darkwater has planned.

I felt bad for Willet in this book. He’s been through so much, but the blows just keep on coming. As he learns more about his gift, the challenges and suffering only get worse, and his mental stability comes and goes. Even his relationship with his beloved fiance is threatened.

We get to see a lot more of the Vigil and the urchins this time around. I hope to see a lot more of Fenn and Mark in the next book. I am eager to see where their stories go, and I really want to see more of Jeb and Lytling. They are such an adorable pair.

The religious beliefs in this book are – confusing. For being a christian book, there doesn’t seem to be that much faith, and something about the belief system doesn’t quite sit right with me. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think some of it is the fact that no matter how strong a character’s faith seems to be, it is useless against the Darkwater. I don’t belive that evil like that can or should be able to smother faith so completely.

The Shattered Vigil is every bit as wild a ride as the first book in the series. Once again, it may not be the best choice for the younger readers.

**I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way required to leave a good review. I promise this review is my genuine opinion of the book.**

My Rating: Four Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: clean. Some mild kissing and flirting. One minor character gets raped off-page. No details are given.
Language: clean
Drinking/drugs: some main characters do drink some alcohol, but no drunkenness. Villains did use a drug to knock a character out.
Violence/blood: This book is slightly tamer than its predecessor, but not by much. There are a good number of fights, chases, injuries, and murders/murder investigations.
Other: this book – like its predecessor – touches on the subjects of mental illness and the supernatural. Many characters also have the ability to get inside another’s head and mess with them.

Amazon Kindle Link:The Shattered Vigil (The Darkwater Saga Book 2)
Amazon Paperback Link:The Shattered Vigil (The Darkwater Saga)

Author Website
Author Facebook Page

Happy Reading y’all!

Upcoming Indie releases!

Hey, y’all! This month and next we have several exciting new releases coming out in the indie market. Aren’t they just lovely? I’m sorry about the picture resolution, but I was having a difficult time finding better quality images.

Click on any cover to take you straight to Amazon for more details.

Four Winds by Lisa T. Bergren

Releases Nov 30!

Zara Ruiz has never been so happy to have failed at something in her life—trying to return to her own time. In Javier de la Ventura’s arms, she knows that 1840 is where she belongs…where she’s found true love and family. But then the ranch is viciously attacked, and she and Javier’s little brother are kidnapped and she finds herself at the mercy of the FOUR WINDS, no longer certain where her journey might end.

Intermission by Serena Chase

Releases Nov 12!

We are starlight on snow. The reflection of something already beautiful—absorbed, reflected, and remade into something . . . more.
And this kiss . . .
This kiss is everything I’ve needed to say . . . and longed to hear.

Sixteen-year-old Faith Prescott eagerly awaits the day she will exchange her small Iowa hometown for the bright lights of Broadway, but her success-driven parents want her to pursue a more practical career, labeling “artsy” people—including their daughter—as foolish dreamers worthy of little more than disdain.

When Faith meets nineteen-year-old Noah Spencer she discovers someone who understands her musical theatre dreams . . . because he shares them.

Faith’s mother despises everything about Noah—his age, his upbringing . . . even his religious beliefs—and she grasps at every opportunity to belittle his plans to study theatre and pursue a stage career. When those criticisms shift further toward hostility, resulting in unjust suspicions and baseless accusations, an increasingly fearful stage is set for Faith at home, where severe restrictions and harsh penalties are put in place to remove Noah Spencer from her life.

But Faith has never connected with anyone like she has with Noah, and no matter how tight a stranglehold her mother enforces to keep them apart, Faith will not give him up. Behind the curtain, Faith’s love for Noah continues to grow . . . as does her determination to hold on to her dreams—and him—no matter how high the cost.

Most Glorious Land by Jill Penrod

Releases Nov 24!

Taken from his home in his youth, Nikolai is now a guard protecting the royal mistresses in the Most Glorious Land of Long. When invaders from his homeland kidnap the girls—and everyone else in the summer palace—he begins a journey to get help for those missing and find the truth behind the invasion.

He manages to rescue two of his charges, and with the help of a woman from his past who despises him, he works to restore the girls to safety and aid those missing, but secrets from his past, as well as secrets within the House of Long itself, threaten the entire Glorious Land. Can one tired, broken guard, even with TrueGod at his side, restore the kidnapped souls? And where does his allegiance truly lie? Nikolai must answer these questions and more as he takes a trip into a painful past and faces people and places he thought gone from his life forever.
Take another journey to the Land of Balia in this installment of the Tales of Balia, Christian fantasy and romance.

Follow the Firefly by Jill Penrod

Releases Dec 22!

Finn Jansen isn’t broken. Yes, he lost his mother. Yes, his dad and brother had their issues. Yet none of it was about Finn, and he hates that everyone sees him as broken. But Piper Johnson, a girl he barely knows, suspects there’s more to Finn. Unfortunately, Finn is her sister’s best friend, and her sister is jealous, so Piper has to watch Finn from afar through middle and high school, rarely able to participate in his life. Worse, she’s smart and moves ahead in school, so she can’t participate in anyone’s life. Loneliness becomes the only sure thing in her world.

But Finn Jansen is indeed broken, and God wants to fix him, which means events fall into place that stretch Finn to his breaking point and beyond. He finds himself a foster child living next door to his best friend, but even the blessings there can’t quiet the voice inside that tells him he’s a monster, that his family’s hardships are his fault and he will never be worthy of love.

Piper is the only one who can bring Finn around, and he’s the only one who can see her true value and cure her desperate loneliness. Through a series of painful events, God pushes them together toward a situation where each must put him or herself aside and look out for someone else.

Follow the Firefly is book three in the Terry’s Garden series, stories about a love that touches generations and the garden where God heals broken hearts. Christian fiction for teens and the young at heart.

A Shock of Night: a book review

 shock-of-nightDescription:

The Darkwater Claims All Who Enter It.
All But One.

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded, Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, is called to investigate. As he begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to his task, but the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers, and his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, as though he can divine their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all–a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a dangerous conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his inability to remember how he escaped the Darkwater Forest–and what happened to him inside it.

My Review: 

When the King’s Reeve is sought out to investigate a strange double murder, he gets a lot more than he bargained for! Now, with only a touch, anyone’s mind is opened to him to read. Only time will tell whether this gift is a blessing or a curse, as the strain the gift places on him threatens to tear his already broken mind apart.

His use of his powers quickly garners him unwanted attention and lands him under the scrutiny of the Vigil, a mysterious group with powers the same as his. They won’t trust him for fear of the darkness locked within his mind, left there courtesy of the mysterious and evil Darkwater forest. Ten years ago he came out the only survivor of a military unit that was forced into the forest. Though anyone who goes into the Darkwater usually succumbs to murderous insanity within the week, Willet hasn’t and no one knows why. As far as mst of the Vigil are concerned, he is a ticking time bomb that could go off in their faces at any moment, but he may be the only one who can unravel their Eldest’s murder and figure out the mystery behind the recent happenings in the Darkwater.

Carr weaves a strong tale with a myriad of twists and turns along the way. I never saw the answers coming, and I love that. It’s frustrating with some books when I can solve the mystery within the first handful of chapters, but A Shock of Night threw me nothing but curveballs.

The dark world he has created is gritty and real, from the streets of the poor quarter to the highest places of the castle. I really wasn’t sure of the religious beliefs in the book, though. they were a bit vague and confusing.

The characters are all fully fleshed out and unique. It can’t be easy to write a main character with mental problems and still make him easy to like and relatable, but Carr does it beautifully. The romance was a bit weak, but i’m hopeful it will shape up later in the series.

This book will hold your attention from beginning to end, but due to some of the content I would not recomend this book as the best choice for anyone under their mid-teens.

For a taste of this series, check out the free prequel novella, By Divine Right, here on Amazon.

Short Review of Divine Right:

This prequel is nearly essential to read before diving into the full-length Darkwater novels. It explains a lot of things that were only hinted at in the other books, showing the story of how he became the King’s Reeve as well as the beginning of Gael and Willet’s relationship.

It was much more difficult for me to get into this book than it was to get into A Shock of Night. The world and its characters can be a bit confusing at first and difficult to relate to, but stick with it, it’ll be worth it.

My Rating of A Shock of Night: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: Clean. Only a few kisses. There is mention of prostitution in the city and Willet had to rescue a girl from a man who was selling her.
Language: Clean. There is one word, kreppa, that is used as a bad word in this fantasy world.
Drinking/drugs: A main character was drugged at one point to make them cooperate. Several main characters do sip ale or wine, and Pellin plied more than one person with alcohol to get information
Violence/blood: There’s plenty of it. A Shock of Night is a dark tale, and Willet is a murder investigator. There are several crime scenes and bodies to examine, along with a wide variety of wounds gained, large and small. The book isn’t graphic, but nor does the author gloss over anything. There a quite a few battles, skirmishes, beatings, killing, and one torture scene.
Other: Mental illness is a big theme in this book. The main character battles dissociative disorder and, I suspect, PTSD as well. There is also a touch of supernatural warfare involved.

Amazon Kindle Link: The Shock of Night (The Darkwater Saga Book 1)
Amazon Paperback Link:The Shock of Night (The Darkwater Saga)

Author Website
Author Facebook Page

Happy Reading y’all!

Farewell to the M.B.R.C.: a book review

  Description:

Morgan thought the most difficult decision of her life was deciding to become an official employee of the MBRC. But now, a senior in high school, she’s realizing it only gets worse.

With a certain Goblin mob boss urging her to stay within commuting distance of Chicago, and a flirtatious Pooka pushing her to study overseas, Morgan has a hard enough time trying to sort through her college choices the way it is. Planning out her future is made even more difficult when terrorist threats are issued by an anti-human, anti-rehabilitation, magical organization. Does Morgan want to continue working at the MBRC when it puts her life in danger?

My Review: 

As any of you who regularly come to my blog regularly probably already know, I am totally in love with K.M. Shea’s hilariously fun fantasy novels. This series is one of her best.I love the way she turned so many fantasy tropes right on their head! It’s been so long since I read book one of the M.B.R.C. series, I really need to read it again so I can get around to reviewing it too one of these days. But book 2 is definitely better than 1!

Morgan is such an awesome main character! I adore her sense and her snark. The way she handled the main villain had me in stitches through most of the scenes.

I intensely disliked Devin in book 1. I know that a lot of readers really love him but all of his flirting and constant pranking coupled with mild possessiveness are exactly the things I dislike in a guy. But in this book he – somewhat – redeemed himself. He does have his good moments here and there. So now he wavers between okay/funny and irritating.

The characters are a quirky mix and you never know where the plot is going.  Between death threats, ridiculous misunderstandings, and the horror of a busted coffee machine, there’s never a dull moment. Pick this one up. You won’t regret it.

My Rating: Five Flames

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Heat Advisory:

Romance: lots of flirting.
Language: smart-a** was used once.
Drinking/Drugs: clean
Blood/violence:  several fight and chase scenes are littered throughout the book, but it’s pretty bloodless.
Other: a bit of magic.

Amazon Kindle Link: Farewell to the Magical Beings’ Rehabilitation Center? (The MBRC Book 2)

Author Website: K.M. Shea
Author Facebook Page: K.M. Shea Facebook