Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Four Wishes by Christine Nolfi


From Nolfi's request: Meade Williams has a successful company, an ailing father and a secret desire to find love at last. A new man in town intrigues her—but she isn’t prepared for the surprising events that will change both their lives.

Meade isn’t the only woman in town confronting hard choices. Dr. Mary Chance isn’t sure the time is right to expand her family. Birdie Kaminsky has married the man of her dreams, but yearns to grow closer to her powerful sister. And young Glade Wilson must confront the daunting truth that she’ll become a mother before finishing high school.

Welcome back to Liberty, Ohio where the heartwarming stories of love, friendship and family life unfold in unexpected ways.

I was approached by Christine Nolfi to read and review Four Wishes, her most recent work.  Since I have enjoyed her previous works( Treasure MeTree of Everlasting KnowledgeThe Dream You Make, and Second Chance Grill) and honestly was eager to travel back to Liberty I quickly agreed.  Just like the rest of her books, Four Wishes is a wonderful and beautifully written story!

Four Wishes is apart of the Liberty Series, so I am familiar with characters and honestly I enjoy seeing what new adventures they are experiencing.  I will say(and hang my head in shame) that I haven't read book 3 The  Impossible Wish yet, however not knowing the full story I was not behind as Nolfi does a great job making the series work as stand alone books and fills in the gaps needed for each book.  I didn't feel like the pace of the book was hurried, nor did it slow down.  I will warn you though that Nolfi does like to add in emotional elements, so you may need just a couple of tissues near by for those moments.

While there are characters that are misunderstood, there really isn't a villain.  It is more about life circumstances and the outcomes from it.  You learn to love even the most unlikable character(which I think you will be hard pressed to really find one) because as their story begins to unfold you find out more about their circumstances.  The characters have become like old friends that I get to visit and I do hope that Nolfi continues with the Liberty series.

Oh and before I forget, the timing of this review and post could not happen at a better time since today is Christine Nolfi's birthday!!!!  I hope you have a wonderful day made perfect for the wonderful writer that you are!!





Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Universe Doesn't Do Second Chances by Sean-Paul Thomas

From Amazon.com (image and blurb): Set in Edinburgh in early 2000 and Cyprus in the late eighties, a lonely man approaching forty and living an average life of missed opportunities and regrets especially regarding the opposite sex, dies in a plane crash. When he awakens in a subdued and bizarre subconscious state, he is granted by the powers that be a second chance to spend one final day each with the two girls in his life who made the biggest impact on his heart. Two girls from two different time eras whom our hero never had the courage nor conviction to even strike up a simple conversation with at the time of meeting them.
The Universe Doesn't Do Second Chances is a story about passion, romance, adventure, coming of age and second chances. What would you do differently if given the impossible second chance at another shot at true love? And then, at the bitter sweet end, were left to make one last and final heartbreaking decision.

Sean-Paul Thomas had asked me to review The Universe Doesn't Do Second Chances, I thought the premise was quite interesting and agreed.  It was definitely an interesting read and makes you think about if you made different choices how things could turn out.

The flow of the book was different than I was used to considering you are first introduced to the main character right before and during the plane crash.  The next you are taken to earlier in his life with one of the two girls.  It took me a little bit to adjust, but not long as I got submerged with the story.  The story line did slow when the girls showed up however these stories are important to the ending of the story.

There was one part in particular that was very hard to read.  When it comes to animals I don't care for mistreatment of them, and the description(which Thomas does a great job with) was a bit too much for me.  However I did find it important to the rest of the story line.

The ending didn't give me the closure that I prefer.  The ending did remind me of another story I read a few times in high school, which also involves choices.  As I am attempting to not give too much away and let you find out for yourself, that is all I am going to say.



Monday, July 21, 2014

The Lure of Fools by Jason King

From Barnes and Noble:
"Adventure is the lure of fools, and excitement glamour to the gullible. The siren song of the world is as music to the wanderer's feet, but that dance leads only to the soul-less grave."

So Jekaran's uncle has warned him. But that doesn't stop him from leaping at the exhilarating chance to single-handedly rescue a beautiful woman from a gang of lecherous thieves.  
But the bored farm boy quickly finds that he is no match for the group of angry street thugs, and only escapes death by bonding a magical sword that grants him the strength and skill of a master swordsman. Unfortunately, a peasant wielding such magic is forbidden and punishable by death.
Thus Jekaran finds himself a fugitive with his fate tied to that of the exotic and mysterious, Kairah; a fey woman who must deliver a dire warning to the king that, if heeded, could prevent the very extinction of humanity.

I was asked by Jason King to review The Lure of Fools.  I was intrigued by the adventure and fantasy in the blurb, so I had agreed.

I really enjoyed the book.  The story line was engaging and moved at good pace.  It does jump around from different point of views but it wasn't confusing to me.  It adds to the story and helps to build the story line.  The ending leads me to believe this is apart of a series, since it doesn't seem to be finished(which is the only issue I have with the story).

Each character brings something to the table and honestly their back stories help to explain each characters personalities.  I do think that King did a great job developing each character and how they interact with each other.  Honestly I couldn't pick out a favorite at this point in time!

Overall it is a good and fun read, which I enjoyed!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Glaze City Eyes by Preston M. Smith and Jacob McKinley

From BN.comJackson McCormack is entering his thirties and his life is not what he hoped it would be. Despite his newly acquired girlfriend Terra, his fledgling writing career and his life are in a state of constant flux. He works a dead-end job and self-medicates profusely, while utilizing every spare moment to devote to his passion for writing. Enter Julius, an elderly, sage-like, street-wandering black man. These two men strike up a unique relationship, as Jackson quickly discovers that Julius also has a penchant for words. While Jackson’s relationship with Terra and career hang by a thin thread, Julius leads him on a series of adventures that will prove to save Jackson’s life. A novel as gritty and vibrant as the city of Los Angeles; it is a story of self-destructiveness, and longing for inner peace. Take the journey alongside Jackson on his quest toward redemption.

Preston Smith had asked me to read and review Glazed City Eyes.  I had agreed as the blurb caught my attention.   I will say that this book had me thinking about several things in my own life.  It does bring up a few good points about how much technology has taken control over our lives and we need to fight to stay present in our lives.  

I will say that I do have two minds on this work.  First off I did not like the drug use in the book.  I just don't like to read or be apart of that culture.  HOWEVER I do realize that it plays an important role, because it shows how much Jackson has sank and how much he overcame at the end. It also gave him a a false sense of being in the moment.

The poetry throughout was interesting.  I didn't care much for the ones at the beginning, it was very harsh and didn't flow as nicely as the poetry I typically enjoy.  As Jackson found inner peace thepoetry became much better. Again I realize that it played an important role to the plot.

I did feel the story took a little while to develop, however I really enjoyed when Julius enters the story.  I did think it ended well and overall the thought provoking helped me to enjoy it and over look some of the parts I didn't care for.  This is the first novel that is between two categories. It is better than Fair, but not quite Excellent for me.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Curse of Hekate by Robin Burks

From B&N:  Alex Grosjean is back! The Curse of Hekate picks up where Zeus, Inc. left off. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and begs her for help. It's up to Alex to help him find the entity responsible for his fate, as well as protect the world from a fatal plague. Can Alex stop both, or is the world doomed?
After reading Zeus, Inc. Burks had asked me to review the next in the series.  I agreed since I had enjoyed a futuristic view of Greek Mythology. While it has taken me a while to read it, it was not due to the pace of the book, but more of lack of time.  I definitely enjoyed the book.

Alex is still the tough as nails detective and has all of her moxy.  She definitely is not enjoying being at the call of the Gods.  However she does want to stop the evil she is "asked" to stop.  The struggle she has with trying to have a normal life versus dealing with the Greek Gods and monsters is more apparent.  In fact it does create a great sentence which I won't divulge since it contains a spoiler, but I definitely got a chuckle out of it.

The story line continues straight from the first book.  If you read Zeus, Inc. you will be grateful that Burks didn't totally start from later on.  However I will say that The Curse Of Hekate ends very similarly...which is good to know there should be another book out, and bad because of stupid cliff hangers(the bane of my existence!!!) One thing to note is again this is not necessarily for young adults. There is some foul language, which can be deterring even to adults.  I didn't think it was too much, however it was definitely notable.

Burks has done a great job with this series and I can't wait to see when the next one will come out!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Dream You Make by Christine Nolfi

From B&N:   Each day Annie McDaniel's dream of a brighter future slips further away.
After her nephew's world is destroyed in a burst of gunfire, Annie receives temporary custody of five-year-old Dillon. Now the greenhouse she managed with her late father isn't bringing in enough money. If she doesn't get her financial house in order, a judge will allow a couple in Baltimore to adopt Dillon-and remove him from her life forever.
When Annie takes a second job at Rowe Marketing, the instant attraction she shares with Michael Rowe is a circumstance she can't risk. But should she walk away from a love sure to last a lifetime?
Fresh, heartwarming and inspiring, The Dream You Make reveals that hope always carries the promise of new beginnings.
If you haven't figured it out quite yet I am a fan of Christine Nolfi's works!  Each book I have read is so wonderfully written, that I just can't pass up when another one comes along.  So of course when I seen The Dream You Make, I wanted to read it.  I had to wait, although when a great deal came along for the ebook, I bought it to hold onto when I could.

Nolfi didn't disappoint!  The characters you will love from Michael, Annie, Dillon, and Miriam.  You laugh, you cry, and root for them.  Even at some points you are surprised by them.  You do find out the back stories slowly but this adds to the charm in the book.

I will say this is more of an adult book than a young adult book...but please do not think of it as smut.  I just feel that there are a few parts that young adults do not need to be exposed to until they are mature enough...however those parts did not deter my enjoyment to the book nor do I think the book would be better without them.  It shows a realistic view of the world.

The pace of the book was great and the plot line flowed well.  While there were chapters told through other perspectives, Nolfi did an excellent job of showing who was narrating pretty quickly to avoid confusion.

You shouldn't be surprised by the rating because of course I loved this book too!


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Goddess Letters by Vicki Matthews


From Amazon(image and blurb):
The dreams hold Selena prisoner. Without warning they carry her to bloody battles, a chat with Socrates, or the gardens of an ancient goddess who reveals the truth of women's betrayal. Then Selena is returned to her bed where it often takes days to recover.

The blessing in Selena's life is Rob. He has loved her since their college days in Chicago, yet even he isn't sure if his outspoken girlfriend is crazy, some kind of prophet, or an idiosyncratic mixture of both. But before Rob can decide, the dreams create chaos and he soon finds himself married to Becca in Chicago, while Selena lives in LA, now a popular actress. All Rob has left is an occasional exchange of letters with his lost love.

Years later, Selena and Robs lives collide when the dreams reunite them in horrifying nightmares controlled by Jacobi, who will kill to maintain the patriarchal world he helped create. But Selena has learned a staggering truth that could help women claim cultural equality, and despite Jacobi's potent threats, she considers sharing all she knows. Yet can one woman make a difference in a world on the edge?

The Goddess Letters is a tale of love and cultural crisis that celebrates heroes and unlikely visionaries. A testament to passion of all kinds, it honors those who have the courage to fight for the old, be it love, beliefs, or entire civilizations.

I was approached to read and review The Goddess Letters, the story line caught my attention so I agreed.  I found the book to be alright.  It can be controversial at points depending on your views and for me at points the story seemed to move slow.

I will say that I did like Selena's letters and dreams.  They fascinated me and kept my interest and allowed me to finish the book when it started to move slow.  The fact that they dreams were so realistic and even left marks was a great draw, especially since the dreams were real but maybe in an alternate plane.  I also enjoyed that Rob would have them as well towards the end of the book.

The overall aspect of the book is interesting with dealing with creating a balance between a matriarch and patriarch society.  The controversy is that Christianity is called out, and while I am a believer, I do not feel that reading this damages my views in anyway.  It is a work of fiction and I take it as such, just as I do other books that may be seen as heresy.

It is interesting to skim briefly over history and see some matriarchal societies that did flourish at one time.  I know from studying anthropology in school that is how most societies started out, and those that are still a hunter/gatherer society still operate.  It shows that women can be lead without becoming something or someone else.

Overall I thought the book was OK, not one of my favorites but it wasn't bad either.

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