Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Review 35: Remember to Forget

Remember to Forget (Revised and Expanded). Ashley Royer. 2016. [April] Publisher Blink. Pages 304 [Source: Netgalley]

First sentence:

When I was younger, I loved when it rained.  I liked running outside and jumping in the puddles and splashing through the streets.

From Amazon:

In Remember to Forget from Watty Award-winning author Ashley Royer, Levi has refused to speak since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Delia, and can't seem to come out of his depression and hindering self-doubt. Desperate to make some positive change in Levi’s life, his mother sends him to live with his father in Maine. Though the idea of moving from Australia to America seems completely daunting, Levi passively accepts his fate, but once he lands faces personal struggles and self-doubt at the same time he and his dad battle through resentment and misunderstanding. And then, while at therapy, Levi meets Delilah, a girl who eerily reminds him of someone he lost.

My thoughts:

Let me start this by saying how emotionally powerful this story truly is at least it was for me, granted I am not sure if it was the writing or the pregnancy hormones that are ride rough shod over my system, I personally am going to give the credit to the author as that is where I truly believe it belongs.  As with other reviewers I did not start off liking the main character Levi however, within a few chapters I was finding myself more and more intrigued by him and his reasoning for becoming totally silent.  The growth of Levi from the beginning of the book until the end is amazing and believable.  I cried several, yes several times during the course of this book.  Any author regardless of age that is able to bring me to tears is remarkable.  The story of loss and growth and mourning were so believable.  The descriptions were well written and I had no problem envisioning what she was trying to convey.  I do not give out 10/10 very often but, this novel deserves nothing less than that!

The good:  The character development, the pacing, the story, basically everything.

The bad:  Nothing I truly find nothing to complain about.

Rating 10/10

Recommendation: Absolutely, if you like a good tear jerker and emotional ride then look no further and pick up this book!

*I received a digital review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore 4/26/2016


This is my first foray into First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros – Anotonia Barclay and her Scottish Claymore.  Thank you to Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea for hosting this.

Chapter 1
The Fraternal Plague

Scotland 1586

It is a fact understood only by those females similarly afflicted, that the bad influence exerted by multiple brothers upon an only sister proves as timeless as the wind and as pernicious as the plague.  And while those brother harbor fairly fond feelings for their sister, they unanimously agree that she’ll never truly be one of them, given the unfortunate nature of her forty-sixth chromosome.

So what do you think?  I love the time period and location.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mailbox Monday April 24th 2016

This is my first Mailbox Monday post!  I had a good haul this week between paperbacks and ebooks.

Opportunity Knocks  by Alison Sweeney (ARC)

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (ARC)


Secrets of the Tudor Court by D L Bogdan (Purchased)

Netgalley finds:




What did you get this week??

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review 34: The Angelic Gene

The Angelic Gene. Steve Goodwin. 2013. [December] Software Development Pty Ltd. Pages 347. [Source: Own]

First sentence:  

Rain drenched, in the middle of the night, a handsome solitary man in his mid-thirties burst through the weary large oak doors of the bleak St. Thomas Hospital cradling an unconscious pregnant woman in his arms.

From Amazon:

An orphan girl unsure of who she is or why a man wants her dead carries a secret. She will experience humanity.

Are you ready?

Join Sophia in a heart thumping adventure across England set in the 1870’s, exploring faith, doubt, love and fear. A story, quoted by the editor as “really something special”, you’ll continue to contemplate long after the journey unfolds.

My thoughts:

Steve Goodwin has done it again.  This is another great novel in the Elijah Hael universe, only instead of in modern times this is set in Victorian England during the time of Jack the Ripper.  This was a roller coaster ride from start to finish I loved every minute of my journey with Sophia.  This book while the third installment conceivably could be read first so has to have background on Sophia before meeting her in The Last Judgment. 

The good:  The story is engrossing and compelling.  Character development was superb and believable.  The ending was great and tied up the loose ends nicely!

The bad:  The book ended and another one is not on the horizon.



Recommendation:  Christians, lovers of sci-fi, historical fiction lovers, pretty much anyone in my opinion

Friday, April 15, 2016

Review 33: Luxor: The Book of Past Lives

Luxor: Book of Past Lives. Julie Bettendorf. 2015. [April] Outskirtspress. Pages 322. [Source: Bostick]

First sentence: The large white ibis floated languidly on the smooth surface of the Nile, its feathers silhouetted brilliantly by the morning sun.

From Goodreads:  Set against the rich tapestry of ancient Egypt, Luxor: Book of Past Lives is the story of Nebamun and Iramen, two brothers who are embalmers in Egypt during the era of the boy king, Tutankhamun. It is their duty to prepare the many bodies of the dead who land on their embalming table for a journey into the afterlife. Paralleling this ancient tale is the story of two different brothers, Abdul and Karim, who make their living by robbing the ancient tombs of Egypt in the late 1800's, when the theft and sale of artifacts was at its peak. Woven throughout the novel are the mysterious intersections of the brothers' lives, though separated by thousands of years. Luxor: Book of Past Lives is a masterful blend of fiction and historical detail, each chapter offering a window into the past, with details gleaned from countless historical accounts. It is a riveting tale of violence and greed, riches and poverty, and good and evil in the time of the pharaohs and beyond.

My thoughts: This book captured me from the first page.  I enjoyed the back and forth between ancient Egypt and the height of the antiquities trade with the Europeans.  I have always been intrigued and interested in the ancient world; this was a unique look at how the regular guy spent his life.  The inside look at the embalming process was an added bonus, as this was something that I was not overly familiar with.  Another equally nice aspect of the dual story-telling was how the author would weave in what was happening in the past with what was going on in ‘present’.  Following two sets of brothers was also a unique twist.  I would be highly excited and happy if there was another offering by this author.  There were times towards the end where the pace seemed rushed and others where it was slower, however, that did not detract from my enjoyment of the story in the slightest.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation:  Those that enjoy stories told in Ancient Egypt will find enjoyment in this book.

*I received a paperback review copy for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review 32: The Hog's Back Mystery

The Hog’s Back Mystery. Freeman Willis Croft. 1933/2015. [July] Poisoned Pen Press. Pages 328. [Source:Publisher]

First sentence:  “Ursula!  I am glad to see you!”

Goodreads.com:  Dr James Earle and his wife live in comfortable seclusion near the Hog’s Back, a ridge in the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey countryside. When Dr Earle disappears from his cottage, Inspector French is called in to investigate. At first he suspects a simple domestic intrigue – and begins to uncover a web of romantic entanglements beneath the couple’s peaceful rural life.
The case soon takes a more complex turn. Other people vanish mysteriously, one of Dr Earle’s house guests among them. What is the explanation for the disappearances? If the missing people have been murdered, what can be the motive? This fiendishly complicated puzzle is one that only Inspector French can solve.
Freeman Wills Crofts was a master of the intricately and ingeniously plotted detective novel, and The Hog’s Back Mystery shows him at the height of his powers.

My thoughts:  This wasn’t my first foray into the world of British mysteries; I have been a long time fan of the great Agatha Christie.  This book had good points and bad points for me.  It was told from the perspective of the Scotland Yard inspector working the case.  There was very minimal action it was definitely written to be a brain buster to see if you could work out what had happened BEFORE the last two chapters of the book where they spell it all out for you.  It was definitely a book to take you back to a much, much simpler time which I appreciated.  I would have to say that the best aspect of this book was the complete lack of forensic options due to the time period, I loved the fact that it was all brain power on the part of the inspector.

Rating 8/10

Recommendation: If you like a lot of action in your books than this is not the book for you.  If you are looking for a more intellectual read where you look for the clues than, yes you should give this book a whirl.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Review 31: Path of the Horseman

Path of the Horseman. Amy Braun. 2015. [Marchh] CreateSpace. 344. [Source:BookReviewBuzz]

First sentence:  “I couldn’t believe how long it took for them to see me.”

Amazon Book Blurb: The Four Horseman are trapped in the world they desolated. Their only purpose now is to exist amongst the ruins. All of that changes with a small group of survivors... The seal was broken, and Hell was unleashed. Pestilence, Famine, War, and Death rode over the earth, creating a super-virus that turned humans into bloodthirsty monsters, opening a path for demons, decimating nearly all natural life, causing chaos and death throughout the world. Now that their duties have been preformed, the Four Horsemen have disbanded, reduced to human bodies and trapped in the world they destroyed. No longer the Horseman Pestilence, Avery wanders through the waste he created, slaying any undead monsters and demons that cross his path. But when Avery comes across a group of survivors looking for a safe haven, his priorities begin to change. Not that the demons are going to let him stand in the way of their plans. Avery ended the world once, and he refuses to see the demons end it again. But to protect the last of the living, he must seek the help of his brothers, all of whom are content with sitting back and watching the world burn…

My thoughts:  I have long been interested in demons, vampires, zombies, and of course the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  I managed to find a well written, entertaining, keep me up all night novel that had all of those components in it!  From the first page to the last I was totally wrapped up in the storyline.  The characters were believable and written in a way that I cared about what happened to them.  I was actually rather happy that the bad guys were bad and the good guys were good it is sometimes tiring when you have to try to figure out if someone is really bad or really good.  This was fairly cut and dry, from the start a fact that I appreciated immensely.  I am hoping that maybe we will get to see more of this story although as of now it is a standalone novel.  The pacing was excellent it never stayed in one place to long, the tone was right for the setting and purpose. 

Rating 8.5/10

Recommendation:  If the apocalypse, vampires, zombies, and demons interest you then check this book out! 

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*