Book Review: ‘Christmas Miracle on Christmas Day’ by R.M. Gauthier

This short book is a very fitting end to Gauthier’s ‘Christmas Miracle’ romantic novella series.

It is an enjoyable and heartwarming story that draws together the loose threads of the story of Jack and Charlotte, although not without Jack still managing to endanger their relationship even as everything appears to be pointing toward a happy future together. 

In keeping with the rest of the series, the overall tone is lighthearted and positive.

It is easily read in under an hour, so it fits well into the reading schedule of busy people. 

Book Review: ‘Not Your Abuelita’s Folktales’ by Maria J Estrada

This book contains four unique young adult short stories that are full of the colours and textures of Southwestern America.  

These are very entertaining and interesting stories, populated by a variety of diverse characters who all face various challenges common to youth, from issues of cultural acceptance to boys manipulating girls to get what they want. The challenges faced by the characters are often complicated by differences of culture or understanding that set them apart from those around them. 

All four stories have quite thought-provoking elements that pique the reader’s curiosity and invite them to engage in the story at a deeper level. By making the reader intimately familiar with each main characters’ thoughts and responses, the author cleverly immerses the reader in each story and leads them to feel as though they are watching over the characters’ shoulders as a silent eyewitness to the events that unfold. 

Magical realism and paranormal elements create additional layers of mystery and intrigue within each narrative. Because some of the protagonists are not human, the stories are highly original and their outcomes are not predictable. 

This is a most enjoyable and diverting book with a fresh perspective on YA literature. 

New Release: ‘The Sorceress’ Vengeance: The Dragon’s Heir Trilogy Book 2′ by JB RIchards

‘The Sorceress’ Vengeance’ is the second in The Dragon’s Heir Trilogy fantasy series by JB Richards. The stories of Kirin, Tyriel and the Fabiosa sisters are continued from ‘The Curse of the Dragon Stone’, the first exciting novella in the trilogy. 

As a terrorist threat looms in the distance, Ejaenin falls victim to a deadly curse. Her sister-witches are scrambling to find a cure, but time is running out.

Kirin and Tyriel strive to help the Fabiosa Sisters with their plight, even as they try to convince The Wolf that they share a common legacy.

Meanwhile, the Sorceress, Zorella, schemes to destroy the Fabiosa Clan in a terrible plot that will allow her to seize control over the entire Realm and take vengeance on the man who spurned her and her child!

Book 1 of the trilogy is ‘The Curse of the Dragon Stone’. Read the review or find your copy here!

Find your copy of ‘The Sorceress’ Vengeance: The Dragon’s Heir Trilogy Book 2′ here.

Book Review: ‘The Chronicles of Aveline’ by Ken Fry

There is no doubt that many of the things done throughout history in the name of God and religion served only to dishonour and shame both. This truth is highlighted throughout this book, as it is in any study of the period in which the story is set. 

’The Chronicles of Aveline’ is a medieval drama set during the 12th century in the decade leading up to the Third Crusade. 

From the thrill of adventure and the rush of first love to crushing loss and thrilling adventure, Aveline discovers the depth and extent of her own strength and resilience. Hers is a story of courage and commitment, and of the powerful motivation that comes from an intensely personal pursuit of justice.  

The story is well crafted, making use of suspense and anticipation to heighten the reader’s engagement in the story as the tale progresses, and maintaining an emotional involvement in Aveline’s inner life as well as her physical fate. The writing is vivid and sensory, bringing the characters and settings to life in a most enjoyable manner. 

The story comes to a natural conclusion, but leaves questions unanswered and destinies unfulfilled, suggesting that there is much more of Aveline’s yet story to come. I certainly hope that turns out to be the case. 

’The Chronicles of Aveline’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here

Book Review: ‘Yardley: An Unconventional Love Story’ by Lucretia Stanhope

Part of Stanhope’s ‘Elemental Witch Trials’ series, this novella tells the back story of Yardley, a minor but mysterious character in the other books. 

It is interesting to gain insight into the nature and qualities of a character who has hovered on the periphery of the story so far, and to see how the connection between Yardley and Sebastian was first established. I was surprised by the appearance of one of the other minor characters from the series in this book, as it was a connection I had not expected.

Testament to the author’s creativity and talent is the fact that even after reading multiple novels in this series, I can still be completely surprised by a cleverly crafted connection or plot twist. 

This was an enjoyable read, easily finished in under two hours. 

‘Yardley’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn. 

Find your copy here

New Release: ‘What The Gods Allow’ by J.S. Frankel

Jesse Frankel and his books are no strangers on this blog. Ether and The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce both won Golden Squirrel awards last year, and a variety of Jesse’s books have received Gold Acorn reviews.

In fact, I’ve never read a J.S. Frankel book that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

That’s why I am so excited about this new release. Written for a Young Adult audience, it’s a blend of paranormal, urban fantasy and horror.

This promises to be another fantastic read from this outstanding author.

Medusa, the Gorgon, is free—temporarily. Penned up in Tartarus, the gods—Zeus and Hera—show her mercy. Medusa is given two weeks in which to track down their wayward daughter, Eris. Transformed into a beautiful young woman, Medusa is given only one warning: not to use her powers of transforming those to stone. 

She agrees and adopts the name Meddy Gorgonne. In a stroke of chance, she finds lodgings with the Goldstein’s, Sam and Trudy, and tries to figure out how modern Portland works. Cars, showers, television—all are mysteries to her at first, although she adapts.

Meddy is somewhat naïve about life and especially about love, as she slowly falls for Sam, a teen who is suffering from Usher’s Syndrome, a disease that will blind and deafen him in time. What is more troubling to Meddy is that her powers of turning people to stone have returned, and she is at a loss as to why. 

With the police slowly closing in and time running out on how to get Eris to return to Olympus, Meddy discovers that sometimes old is new, and that time-worn traditions can surmount modernity.

But will they be enough for her to stay with Sam, or will she be forced to return to Tartarus for eternity?

***

Find your copy of ‘What The Gods Allow’ at Amazon or Devine Destinies.

Book Review: ‘The Interspecies Poker Tournament’ by Claire Buss

’The Interspecies Poker Tournament’ is a prequel to The Rose Thief’, Claire Buss’ first novel to feature Ned, Jenni, and the rest of the Thief Catcher gang.

It is a wonderfully quirky fantasy story, full of rich and diverse characters that all have their own priorities and vested interests in catching the murderer.

It’s written with humour and warmth that infuse the story with a genuine feel-good tone, despite the multiple deaths, general trickery and deliberate obfuscation by some, and the presence of some rather sinister characters. 

This novella-length book can easily be read in a couple of hours, and would best suit a YA-and-older audience. I found it to be a great diversion on a quiet afternoon, and thoroughly enjoyed the story. 

’The Interspecies Poker Tournament’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here