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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Book Review – A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked and the Music Died

A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died (Mersey Murder Mysteries, #1)

A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died by Brian L. Porter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Detective Sergeant Izzie Drake have been called to a scene where construction work uncovered skeletal remains. Finding out the remains are at least 30 years old, the detectives at the Merseyside Police Headquarters have a mystery to solve. But where do the detectives begin?

This is a great murder mystery story that will keep you guessing until the end. The story is engaging and well-paced. It takes the reader on a journey back to the 1960’s in Liverpool, England where up and coming rock and roll bands strive to make it big. And then to the 1990’s where detectives from the Merseyside Police try and solve a 30-year-old murder and the disappearance of a young woman.

I recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries, and even if you don’t, give it a try. It’s an intriguing read.

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Book Review – Between Two Minds: Awakening

Between Two Minds: Awakening

Between Two Minds: Awakening by D.C. Wright-Hammer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A paraplegic from birth, Ryan Carter is about to undergo a radical procedure called a mind migration. Not only will Ryan finally have the life he could only dream of before, he will do it in a brand-new body. After the procedure and several weeks rehabilitating, Ryan starts to believe that there is more to the strange dreams he is having. And it feels to him as though someone else is living inside his head. Is it just his memories getting used to living in a new brain or was the migration more than he bargained for?

I enjoyed reading Between Two Minds: Awakening, the debut novel by Author D. C. Wright-Hammer. The story, the first of a series, is unique and well-written. The chapters flip back and forth between Ryan and his “alter ego”, and I liked how the end of a chapter would begin the next. It is interesting and has good imagery, and I found the main character, Ryan, likeable. The story is well-paced, but it is not fast, which I don’t mind. With everything and everybody always in a rush, it’s nice to sit back and relax with a good book.

I did find that while the end of the story was good, it seemed a bit rushed. I recommend this book to those who like to read sci-fi stories set in the future. I look forward to the next book in the series.

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Book Review – Reckless Emotions

Reckless Emotions

Reckless Emotions by R L Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eighteen-year-old Macy Chandler has lots of plans, one of which is attending college in the fall and continuing her 3-year relationship with Brian. But that all changes when Brian breaks up with her after accepting a scholarship at a college in another state. And to make matters worse, he is leaving for Italy for the summer. Macy is heartbroken. To help take her mind off of her problems, she gets a summer job working as a waitress at high end restaurant. Macy meets Dillon, a young man with a rough past. She can’t help be intrigued by him and if it helps to keep her mind off Brian, a new relationship might be what she needs. Unfortunately, Dillon is not what she expected. And by the time she realizes he has been lying to her, it’s too late. Macy is in trouble, but who will save her now?

Reckless Emotion is a fast-paced story and easy read. It is well-written with few grammatical errors. It’s a great read for any young adult.

While the story held my attention, I did find Macy’s character to be a little bit unbelievable as she was almost too naive. It’s not until near the end of the book that she finally realizes she actually needs to do something if she wants to save her life, despite having plenty of opportunities earlier on.

This YA novel is perfect for a quick and easy read that is sure to make you turn the pages.

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Book Review – The Darkest Eyes

The Darkest Eyes

The Darkest Eyes by Mick Brady

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Haunted by little grey men for most of her life, Will Roan sees them not only in her dreams but even when she seems wide awake. Will has always felt a little different and she just can’t seem to “find herself” no matter what she does or tries. She is even unlucky in love, never able to find one, and she can’t hang on to friendships or make connections. But when she travels through a portal to another world, her life suddenly has meaning, and she learns why those little grey men have been hunting her.

The Darkest Eyes is Mick Brady’s debut novel and for a first book, it is well done. I enjoyed reading this novel and the story kept me intrigued. There were places in the book where I could feel the anxiety of the characters and the descriptions made it easy to visualize. The story is well-written with few errors either grammatically or technically.

This is a fairly lengthy book compared to most these days with just over 600 pages. If I have to be critical about anything, perhaps some paring down. Though I can’t recall thinking at any time that anything was unnecessary.

If you like adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, with a little touch of romance, this is a book you’ll want to read.

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Book Review – Sea Cliff by Mary Deal

Sea Cliff

Sea Cliff by Mary Deal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sea Cliff is the story of child abuse survivor Rachel Connor. Rachel is also an author working on a new book. The story she is writing revolves around a female character who shares many of Rachel’s history including abuse and emotional scars. Without having had a personal experience with men and relationships, her male character is based on a man she regularly sees at the park where she like to spend her time writing. The problem is, this man, Matthew, has noticed Rachel, and she feels as though he is hitting on her. Something Rachel is not comfortable with.

As the weeks and months go by, Rachel and Matthew become more than just acquaintances, but can their relationship withstand Rachel’s past? Will Rachel’s novel become the success she hopes for and will it help heal her scars?

Sea Cliff is a well written and touching story with some interesting turns, and I wasn’t always sure where the story was going.

I do have to say I couldn’t get stuck into this book as I have with other stories by this author. It is a good story and the pace was fine, but there were times where it didn’t hold my attention. And yet other times I wanted to find out what happened next.

In any case, if you do like a nice story with a happy ending this is a good read.

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