Book Review – Eco Worrier

Eco Worrier: A very funny adventure for 9-13 year olds (Marty Marsh Book 1) by [Ian Slatter, Paul Winward]

Eco Worrier by Ian Slatter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

12 year-old Marty hates politics; it’s all so very boring. And with his mother as the Prime Minister of the UK, he’s surrounded by it. Not only are politics boring, but so is living at 10 Downing Street, especially when you can’t come and go as you please. When the head of security tells Marty about a secret passage leading to the outside, Marty decides his home might not be so boring after all. Especially if he can leave. When Marty accidentally leaves a pen in the Cabinet Office (which also happens to be a listening device) he overhears some interesting plans. Now he has some decisions to make.

Eco Worrier by Author Ian Slatter is a fun and engaging story. While it is for children between the ages of 9-13 years, adults will enjoy it too. It is well written and comical. The characters are likeable and the villain is unscrupulous. I certainly recommend this book to pre-teen readers and to adults who like a clever story.

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Book Review – Yield by B.J. Tiernan

Yield by B.J. Tiernan

Yield by B.J. Tiernan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yield is the story of Marley Cover, a young woman living her teenage and adult years in Florida in the 60’s and early 70’s.

Sexually abused by a babysitter before Marley is even school-aged, the tragic event sets the stage for her promiscuous teenage years. Later, Marley marries Peter. He is handsome and good to Marley. She loves him, but she’s not in love. She’s not even sure what that feels like, until she meets Peter’s best friend, Warren. And when Peter is drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, he asks Warren to take care of his family.

Secrets abound in this wonderful story by B. J. Tiernan, and I loved every page. Had I the time, I could have easily curled up, shut out the world, and read it over a weekend. Everything about this story is captivating from the details to the characters.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about love, loss, and strength.

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Book Review – Moonshadow by Joy Lynn Goddard

Moonshadow by Joy Lynn Goddard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After learning about her grandfather’s, Albert Cowden, failing health, budding journalist, Lauren Prescott and her mother, spend the summer at the Cowden’s residence. But when Lauren arrives, her grandfather has more than just household duties planned for her at the sprawling 6000 square foot lakeside home. Albert wants Lauren to find his long-lost love, Rose Hill, an indigenous girl he fell in love with when he was in high school. Armed with nothing but Rose’s diary and the stories her grandfather has told her, Lauren has a mystery to unravel. What became of this young woman who’d once saved her grandfather’s life and then escaped the abuse she suffered at a residential school? And what other secrets lie hidden?

It has been some time that I’ve read a story that I could not put down, that made me angry, that had me utter “Wow!” at the end of chapters, and that brought tears to my eyes. Moonshadow is that story. Though a work of fiction by author, Joy Lynn Goddard, the story about the suffering, abuse, and mistreatment of indigenous peoples in Canada at residential schools is all too real.

This is a well written, fast paced novel, with characters you will love and others you will hate. It will keep you on the edge of your seat, turning the pages, as you learn the truth. I highly recommend this book.

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Book Review – Death Most Wicked by Suzi Albracht

Death Most Wicked by Suzi Albracht

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Homicide detective, Mikael Ruskov, has his hands full with two cases. First, there’s the gory murders where all that remains of the victim is a goopy mess. Then there’s the kidnapping of young girls who sadly end up dead. But as Mikael digs deeper, he soon realizes the cases are linked.

This book starts off with a creepy vibe, and I wondered if it was something I should read at night. But the further along I read, the more I got wrapped up in the story, and it turned out to have just the right amount of horror (if that makes sense). I quite enjoyed this supernatural, crime thriller. It is well written and has an interesting story line. The characters are well developed and their personalities came through in the writing. I could easily visualize (though sometimes wish I couldn’t) the scenes described in the book.

Death Most Wicked is the first book of The Devil’s Due Collection by Suzi Albracht, and the first book I’ve read from this author, but it won’t be my last. I need to know what happens next as the story continues in the next book of this series.

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Book Review – Enlightened by Billie Kowalewski

Enlightened by Billie Kowalewski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

Harmony is a soul, and like her classmates, she travels to Earth, leaving her memories of home behind. While on Earth, she and her classmates are born into humans to learn their lessons. For them, Earth is school. But Harmony has just figured out something about herself and the connection she shares with Kaleb, another student. For as long as she can remember, she and Kaleb have always found each other on Earth. If only Kaleb would discover their bond before something terrible happens.

I was immediately intrigued by the unique premise of this story. And the following quote within the first few pages caught my attention “A wise person once told me: All good things must come to an end. Respectfully, I have to disagree. All stories have a beginning, but the best stories start at an end.” The story is well-suited for young adults, and there are few spelling or grammatical errors. Chapters are short making for a quick read.

While I enjoyed the story, there were some technical issues which interrupted the flow. There were two or three chapters devoted to Harmony and Kaleb expressing their love for one another. I felt one chapter was enough to get this point across. About three-quarters through the book, the POV changed from first person told from Harmony’s perspective to first person POV told through Kaleb. The change was a bit jarring, and I had to keep reminding myself that I was in Kaleb’s head and not Harmony’s. This change was only for one chapter and reverted back to first person as told by Harmony.

Despite these issues, this was a sweet story with likeable characters and good world building. I will read the next book in the series as I need to know what happened.

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Book Review – The Himalayan by Ronald Bagliere

The Himalayan by Ronald Bagliere

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In April 2014 an avalanche on the Khumbu Icefall, a section located between Everest Base Camp and Camp 1, killed sixteen Sherpas. One of them was Da-wa, Frank Kincaid’s expedition lead guide and friend.

Over the years as an Everest Expedition operator, Frank has made some bad decisions, but this last one cost Da-wa his life. Frank has to live with the guilt, but maybe there’s something he can do to help Da-wa’s family and the others.

When Sarah Madden calls, a woman Frank fell in love with three years earlier, she suggests a fundraiser. And not only does she suggest it, she’s going to come to Nepal and organize the event. While Frank is happy for the help and thinks the fundraiser is a good idea, he also wonders if having Sarah there is such a good idea. When Sarah arrives, Frank is suddenly unsure of their relationship.

The Himalayan is the second book of the The Hearts of Nepal series by Ronald Bagliere.

As with the first book in the series, I very much enjoyed this story. It is well written and the author has a way of making you love his characters. This story made me laugh and cry. If you enjoy books with adventure, amazing detail, wonderful characters, and an emotional journey, you will enjoy this story.

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Book Review – Earthbound (Chronicles of the Maca #1)

Earthbound by Mari Collier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3 1/2 stars

Zebadiah L. MacDonald is Irish, and he’s an alien marooned on Earth in 19th Western US just before the Civil War. After a brawl in a frontier town tavern, Zeb befriends a German man named Rolfe. Together the two of them make plans to head to Texas. After all that’s where the spaceship, The Golden One, is buried and Zeb has plans to purchase the land so he can keep the spaceship a secret. But Rolfe tells Zeb that to travel to Texas will be dangerous. And before Zeb can purchase any land, he will need to make money. Rolfe offers him a job helping him trap and trade fur until they have enough money to travel.

Earthbound is the first book of Chronicles of the Maca a sci-fi western series by Mari Collier. The concept of this book is interesting. It is well written and the chapters are short, which makes for a quick pace. While I enjoyed this story, there were dialect issues that pulled me a way. I found the “twill” in Zeb’s Irish accent inaccurate therefore distracting as well as the ‘mitt’ for the German accent for the word with. This would have been better written as ‘vis’ as in “come vis me”. The rest of dialects/accents were well done. The book also fell a bit flat for me in the last few chapters, but I will admit that I had put it down for a number of weeks before resuming the story so this may be because of that.

I will definitely read the second book as I do want to know what will happen next.

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Book Review – Magnolia Tree by June V. Bourgo

Magnolia Tree by June V. Bourgo

Magnolia Tree by June V. Bourgo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sidney Grey has returned to the farmhouse where she was raised by her grandparents. She has great plans for the old place which includes major renovations as she intends to create a yoga retreat. The house holds a lot of memories for Sidney, but there are also many secrets surrounding her childhood home.

I very much enjoyed this first book of the Crossing Trilogy by June V. Bourgo. One of my favourite parts were reading the excerpts of the journals discovered during the renovations. They belonged to Sidney’s mother who disappeared from Sidney’s life when she was a baby.

The story has many unexpected twists, and it held my attention. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Book Review – Christmas Voices

Christmas Voices

Christmas Voices by John Callas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s tough growing up on a farm and even tougher growing up poor. But John Daily has faith, and he believes one day he will be rich and will be able to help those less fortunate. He even promises a better “life” to the figurines of the Christmas village his father builds every year. John works hard and attains his goals, but will he remember the promises he made or will he get lost along the way?

Christmas Voices is a fast paced and touching story. It is an easy and short read that pulls you in with a few unexpected events. If you enjoy heartwarming tales, this is a perfect story for the holidays.

While I enjoyed this novella, I think it would have had a stronger impact if it were longer as it would allow for more depth to the characters. It is also written in present tense, which while not bad, does take some getting used to.

I look forward to reading more of John Callas’ books.

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Book Review – Magister’s Bane – Call of the Elements (book 1)

Magister's Bane (Call of the Elements, #1)

Magister’s Bane by Yvette Bostic

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

AJ Johnson lacks confidence in herself and hides her disfigured appearance under a scarf. Barely surviving on her own after being fired a week earlier, AJ’s luck changes when a phone call promises new employment. After a quick and strange interview, she is hired and is to begin her new housekeeping position the following day.

When AJ arrives at her new post, she is ushered upstairs. Feeling unnerved, AJ soon realizes that she is in trouble when she is locked inside a room, and she is not alone. From here on, AJ is thrust into the world of the supernatural where vampires, mages and shifters exist. A world she never thought was real and only belonged in books. But AJ’s adventure is just beginning as she realizes she’s not just among creatures from folklore, fantasy, and fairy tales; she is one of them.

I enjoyed this fantasy story, finding it a quick and easy read. The plot and characters are interesting and likeable, and I found myself rooting for a pairing among the characters. The story is well-written and the description allows for good imagery. The only drawback for me was the ending. While I understand the story continues in the next book, the end of book was not as satisfying of an ending I would have liked.

I do recommend this story to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels with vampires, mages, and shifters, and I look forward to reading the second book of the series.

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