Posted in Book Reviews

The Broken Darkness

By Theresa Braun

4 Stars

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

This book is a compilation of short horror/paranormal stories. It is not my typical go to. I do like a good short story though, even collections of them, because sometimes they are just what you need in between heavy reads. These were easy reads, though I did find some of them harder to get through then others. I don’t think it is a negative to the book or the author, and more just not my preference. I did read one of the stories already listed in the book several years ago, and I enjoyed that one very much (Dead Over Heels).

Of the new to me stories in the collections, two of them stand out as my favorites. I really enjoyed The Celestial Assignment and Dying for An Invitation. I liked The Celestial Assignment because it gave a dark, harrowed look at how we humans are a lesson for new guardian angels. That the angels themselves might have been horrible people but then when they die, they are given people to guard that is supposed to teach them something. I liked how this story really came full circle with some of the characters in it. I still think about it. I liked Dying for An Invitation because it took a new take on lore we already typically know regarding Transylvania and Vampires, and follows the craziness of family and learning maybe they really weren’t so crazy when it is too late to change your fate.

The stories are too short to really give a description over each one. If you enjoy quick reads and horror at that, this is a good book to pick up. If you are okay with stories not having a happy ending, this is also a good book for you, because I don’t remember any LOL.

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The Memory Stones

The Memory Stones by Lewis Pennington

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is my first review in a year and a half! It has been a struggle to really read or get into anything with all that has happened in the world these last two years, but if there was a book to bring me back from it all, it just had to be this one!

The Memory Stones is a fantastic blend of historical fiction and fantasy. It follows Mase Winslow through an adventure of scandal, finding himself, love, and being the change he wanted to see in the world. Mase was the son of a local plantation owner in South Carolina. His best friend was named Spoons, a slave on the plantation. Now, I know what you are thinking. Today’s times are not the time to write a book involving slaves, and that was my fear reading the book, I wont lie….how would this be handled. I will give you this little spoiler, during Mase’s time in the “current” “present-day” time he spent in New York and South Carolina, he learns that the plantation he grew up on, was actually one of the stops on the underground railroad and that his father had very progressive beliefs compared to everyone else during the Civil War era time he lived in. Mase uses this knowledge, and the things he learns about the future, to take back with him when he makes it back in time to his own era.

I will let you be the judge of the content of the story, but it is a highly recommended read. I am anxiously awaiting the second book, because boy did that ending get me! The book is wonderfully written, with care being put into each character, each scene, and each chapter. Each character was well developed and had their own personal growth through the story that you got to enjoy along with them. I will tell you this though, normally, if an animal dies, I automatically knock a book back an entire star, because my poor animal loving heart just cannot take it. And while I was upset, when I really looked at the scene where a horse does die, there really isn’t any other way for that scene to have played out but for the horse to have died. So this is why, I left that star intact. I would never want such a heroic creature to suffer, and there was no way to write it back to health and life and keep the integrity of the story.

I really hope you decide to pick this book up and read it. It captures your attention from the very beginning, I am just sad that life got in the way and it took me so long to finish. I would think about it constantly because wherever I left off each time, was always in the most exciting of places. I can’t wait for the opportunity to continue reading Mase’s story.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Rating: 5 stars

Every since I had my son, I have been in a book rut. I cannot seem to get into anything, or focus enough to read. My book club recently listed The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris as one of the April reads. I am so happy that I picked it up.

I have had this book occupying space on my shelf for the last several years. In fact, this book has recently been re-covered! The cover shown though, is my book. (Old right?!). This book has a lot of humor in it, and is exactly what I needed in this world we are living in today.

Anna Trent had a horrible accident at a run of the mill chocolate factory and ends up in a little chocolate shop in Paris through her former French Teacher knowing the owner. You will have to read the book to find out the inbetweens! Anyways, The French Teacher, Claire, is very ill and re-meets Anna while she is also in the hospital. The story goes back and forth between Anna’s new life in Paris, and Claire’s life in Paris when she met the chocolate shop owner, Thierry. Anna has some unique experiences, but watching her new life unfold, you find yourself really rooting for her to succeed!

This book had my LOL-ing, my heart swell, my heart break…I cried, I got angry, but it came full circle and even though my heart broke, I was really satisfied. I cannot wait to read other books by Colgan, and my book club has added several to our reading list!!

The writing style is easy and fluid. It does not feel like the author is trying to confuse the reader with extra pretty language. It feels as if your best friend is telling you a story of something that happened to them.

10/10 Recommend!

Posted in Book Reviews

One Good Knight


One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey, Narrated by Gabra Zackman

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5 

Narrator Rating: 5


One Good Knight is a retelling loosely following the Greek myth of Andromeda. Where Greek Lore indicates Andromeda to be beautiful, One Good Knight indicates she is “lesser” than most females and more homely than beautiful. One Good Knight is also loosely based from St. George and the Dragon, however, it is really in name only as this does not end in an entire town going through religious conversion.

In One Good Knight, Andromeda (Andi) is very book smart and she starts to notice some magical irregularities in her research for the Queen. During this time, the Queen had her consort conjure a dragon to wreck havoc on the villages. Andi is tasked to find out how to “rid” the kingdom of the dragon and discovers meaningful sacrifice would do so. A lottery is set up for virginal women, and each week a new name is drawn. After a while, the reader discovers prior to the cast, that this lottery is not by chance, but whenever a family displeases the Queen or speaks out against the Queen, their daughter is “selected” in the lottery and sent to die. During one such lottery, Princess Andi’s name is drawn and she is sent to be sacrificed, and so the adventure begins.

I really enjoyed the twists and turns this particular story had. As a reader, it is often times easy to get bored when books do as you expect. One Good Knight keeps readers entranced. Without giving away spoilers, the ending has been one of the best I have enjoyed. Much like in The Fairy Godmother, the Tradition had a mind of it’s own, only in One Good Knight I really enjoyed the way the Tradition worked for the characters.  I feel Andi was well written. She is portrayed as a confused, homely, child not to be taken seriously for most of time leading up to her being sacrificed. Queen Cassiopia is one to be despised. She is heartless and offers up her daughter happily to be killed.

The reason the actual rating is 4.5 stars is mainly because it was soooo slow to start out. Once the excitement of Princess Andi being sacrificed to the dragon occurs, things really start to speed up.

I really can’t say there is a particular character I didn’t like, aside from the villains of course, but I even enjoyed them. I thought each character in the book gave the book it’s personality it took on. Oh but the twists!!! It would be too many spoilers to explain the twists, and I want any potential reader to be as shocked as I was when I first came to the twists.

I am really glad I started this series, and I look forward to more Virgin chasing unicorns, fairy godmothers, and all of the other Traditional tales yet to be discovered.

Posted in Book Reviews

Adam Exitus


 Adam Exitus by Nicholas Abdilla

Goodreads rating: 5 stars

Actual rating 4.5 stars

I was given a copy of this book from Old Mate Media in exchange for my honest review. 

I want to start with my negative first…the beginning was too slow and too confusing for me. I almost didn’t keep going. Give it a few chapters and things pick up. 

This story is about a man named Adam who wakes up face first in the mud one day in a cave far away from home. There is a beautiful woman in the cave with him but she doesn’t talk. He makes a promise to get them both free one day. After a few failed trips to find a way out, Adam almost resigns himself to stop trying. That’s when everything changes. 

I fear giving more detail about the synopsis will give away the whole book. It has twists and turns and I never knew how to feel. One minute I felt one way and then one action would change EVERYTHING. I can’t wait for people to read this book. It is such a breath of fresh air in the science fiction world!!! 

I look forward to reading more by this author! 

Get your copy: 



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The Fairy Godmother


The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey, narrated by Gabra Zackman

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Narrator Rating: 5 stars


A member of my book club talked about this series in a recent book club meeting. I decided to give the series a try. I really enjoyed the narrator. She made the story entertaining to listen to.

The Five Hundred Kingdoms series follows various individuals who discover what fairy tale the “Tradition” wants them to follow. In The Fairy Godmother, Elena was supposed to become Cinderella, however, after some unfortunate turns, she becomes the apprentice of the Fairy Godmother and eventually becomes the Fairy Godmother herself. During one of her Godmother tasks, she turns a prince into a donkey. This prince is supposed to learn about how he treated the Godmother, who had been disguised as an old beggar on the side of the road, is typical of how he treats all of those individuals of similar status. The Prince eventually learns that he was not living the life of a future good king, and begins to change.

I will not go into further detail, as the book is worth the read. I found that there were never really any slow parts to the story. The narrator kept me enamored the whole time. By the end of the story, I was ready to buy the rest of the series to keep going. This start to the Five Hundred Kingdoms series is well worth the read. I do not have anything really negative about the story. I disliked all the characters that you want to dislike. I look forward to learning about the other characters the Tradition has its sights on. My favorite part of the book are the unicorns who get their sights on virgins and follow them around becoming obsessed, protecting them, and doing the virgin’s bidding. The Fairy Godmother is very unique and well worth the read.

Posted in Book Reviews

Dark Harvest


Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars


I have had this book on my To Read list for a very long time. Since my book club’s theme for October was something spooky/Halloween, I decided to go with this book.

The writing style was different for my tastes and it took a little while to get into, but once I got adjusted, I did like the story. The reason I gave the actual rating 3.5 stars is because the narration of the overall story (it jumps back and forth from first person to third person) and also because it seems a lot of information had been left out (I will get to this later).

This story is about a little midwestern town in which every year on Halloween, all boys 16 to 18 must compete in the Run. At the start of this Run a scarecrow with a jack-o-lantern head is brought to life and stuffed with candy. The object of the Run is to be the first boy to bust open this creature, releasing all the candy. For the sake of spoilers, I will not give away any other information.

The idea was interesting, but I feel like a lot was missing. For instance, the story briefly talks about the Harvester’s Guild, who is in charge of the run. The story mentions, again briefly, that no one can leave the town unless they are drafted for war or the creature wins the Run. The story does go into why, or how this all started. I think knowing this information would definitely have made it better overall.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Book Of Lost Things


The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Narrated by Steven Crossely

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Narrator Rating: 5 stars


When I first started to read this book, I found I couldn’t get into it; so I went off and got the audiobook in hopes that maybe I could listen to it better. I was right. It still took a little time to get into the book as a whole, but I ended up really enjoying it.

It took me a while to determine if this is a retelling, and I have decided that yes, it definitely is a retelling. In this story the reader will enjoy interactions with the Woodsman and the Wolves (Red Riding Hood), Snow White and the Dwarves (but we won’t talk about Comrade Number 7, the traitor), Sleeping Beauty, Roland (The Song of Roland), and The Crooked Man (Rumpelstiltskin… I have to say, I was most excited when this connection occurred).

David is a child when his mother dies. His father soon remarries and a half brother comes along. This causes a lot of unrest for David, and he starts seeing shadows of The Crooked Man around the house, which scares David. Eventually, David starts hearing his mom call for him to save her. He enters into a special passageway which brings him into another land, where he meets the Woodsman. From there, David goes on an epic adventure and goes from an angry, selfish, afraid, child to a strong, understanding, and confident young man.

There were parts of this book that really did feel like it took forever. And to be honest, for an 11 hour book, it felt like ages to get through. With that being said, I am glad I read this and recommend it to anyone. It is a bit dark. There is a lot of blood, and gore…but let’s face it, all the best fairy tales are 😉


Spoiler ahead!! I loved this scene:

“I came back,” said David.

“Most people do,” said the Woodsman.

“Come on, we’ve been waiting for you,” said the Woodsman.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Bitches of Everafter


Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Narrator Rating: 3 stars


I found this book on kindle randomly. I decided I would listen to the audiobook version because lately, I have a hard time reading any books because of work and school.

I want to start off with the Narrator. Erin Fossa is just okay for me. I found the voices to be kind of off and sometimes couldn’t tell who was talking. I also felt like some sentences were forced and it felt like the chapters suddenly ended, but the narrator’s voice inflection made it feel as if there was more to come.

The story does end on a cliffhanger. I repeat. The story does end on a cliffhanger. I would like to continue the story eventually. I feel that there were some characterizations that needed to be further developed.

So what is this story about? Basically, Snow White, Belle, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Aurora are all sentenced by Red Riding Hood (who is Judge) to this boarding house for various crimes they have committed. Then, Snow White figures out she is Snow White, and slowly the other girls figure out who they are. It turns out, that some other person has brought various characters of fairy tales from fairyland to a town called Everafter. Judge Red Hood is set out to permanently lock up these “Bitches” in order to keep, what you eventually learn is a curse, from being broken. Each character, except Snow White really, has some weird twisted storyline. I hate that Rapunzel is called Punzie and Aurora is called Aura. I think the behaviors of the princesses were also super far fetched to the point where the story was not believable at points, even for a fairytale. I think the book ended in an interesting twist, but it does not look like the other books are yet released? This book came out in 2014. So I will need to do some digging eventually 🙂

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The Iron King

the iron king

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Narrator Rating: 4 stars

My Goodreads group selected The Iron King for our April read. A little side note on the Iron King- George RR Martin has stated this series inspired his Game of Thrones.

The Iron King is based on Philip the Fair, King of France. It is medieval historical fiction. I love Medieval history, so it was very exciting. My issues with the story: there are soooooo many characters that I had a hard time keeping who was in (in my defense someone who read the literal book had the same problem), there was too much constantly going on, and there wasn’t enough treachery/double cross/excitement for me. The story was TOO factual. Never thought I would say that. I was hoping that the author would take the history lesson and give it a fun spin to it, since it is supposed to be fiction. And though he did give it life, it wasn’t a very good life. Not to me anyways. I found myself constantly checking how much time I had left.

I thought the narrator was good. Some of his voices for characters cracked me up. I have not had experience with the narrator Peter Joyce. I may give him another shot if he narrates books outside of this series.

All in all, this has just been an okay read for me. Part 2 was the best section of the whole book. The rest was just slow.