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April on Novelspot

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bookcover: 
An Average Curse
Author: 
Rue
Series: 
The Chronicles of Hawthorn, Book 1
Publisher: 
Sittin' On A Goldmine Productions LLC
Genre: 
Action-Adventure: 
Fiction: 
Rating: 
9
ISBN/ASIN: 

9780997311891

Sales Url: 
Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon (when available)
Review: 

Most of our magical stories tend to have their roots going back to the great Black Forest that now resides in Germany, or the Misty Isles of the United Kingdom and even some from the Icy Scandinavia of Northern Europe to the Southern Isles of Greece and Italy. There is however in this book, a new land largely ignored or rarely studied enough to include the ingenious people outside of colonial history and imposed languages. I introduce to you, the Maori people. Long unknown by English speaking people in terms of their indigenous cultures. In this story you will find many of the standard magic and myths among the mist. From there An Average Curse, Book 1 of The Chronicles of Hawthorn

A child, the ninth daughter of the ninth daughter is brought up in the prophesy of being the one who would heal the riff between their two great nations on the small Island that is cut off from the rest of the world by a mist. The Riff is great enough that one says these nations are not brought together, will foretell and cause the end off all. This is a great deal to put on the shoulders of a young girl who from birth has been unable to show even the skills of the most simple spells. As if her magic was totally mute. But is it? As things move along and the time comes for her to pass magic test to advance in her learning, things are not all what they seem.

Fantasy has been growing to include ingenious people and their language to give more authentic texture to the stories an the root of all magic which is in the people, the land, and the sacred names by the people who have long live in its mist. The only reason I have given it less than ten, is some more editing is needed to correct some typos and sentence structures.

Nancy Louise
April 8, 2016

bookcover: 
Best of My Love
Author: 
Susan Mallery
Series: 
Fools Gold #20
Publisher: 
Harlequin
Rating: 
6
ISBN/ASIN: 

9780373789191

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Harlequin
Review: 

Best of my love by Susan Mallery is number 20 in the Fools Gold series, so readers should have a pretty good idea what they're going to get when they open the book. Here's the premise: Susan has lost at love, and is looking for a man she can trust.

The story begins in Aidan's point of view, as he is sitting in a cafe with a hang-over, recuperating from a bad experience with the opposite sex. He had already decided to handle his life by not getting into a relationship with a local woman, and to keep his sexual adventures to tourists. His history now is a bunch of one-night-stands with tourists. But his strategy had backfired when confronted by a tourist who had come back wanting more—and he couldn't even recall her name. He decides to resolve the problem by eliminating relationships with women, all-together. He doesn't want to be in a relationship, but also, he does not want to be "that guy."

Shelby is a local baker. The town is on the verge of a festival; and the festivals provide a key market for Shelby's cookies. Like Aidan, Shelby is living with unhappy baggage. Her mother died of cancer the year before. Her father had beaten her mother and her. She'd grown to adulthood unable to pick men who would commit. So now, after conferring with a friend, she decides that she is going to try testing male waters by having a friendship with a man. The man she picks is Aidan. So they have their (first of many) talk, and she floats the idea that they could learn to be friends. She could learn from him not to be afraid, and he could learn to see a woman as more than a booty call. He accepts the deal.

The rest of the story is the development of that friendship.

I am sure that for those who have kept up with the Fools Gold series, they are familiar with the landscape, and the characters. As a newcomer, I can't say if this is like visiting old friends, or if the series has worn thin. Being new to the series, I found it entertaining enough. It was obvious when there were snapshots of characters from other books called back to show off a pregnancy or other development—the retrospective tour of Fools Gold (the town and characters) for series fans.

I think what annoys me most about so many books is that there's some stupid decision that a character could have, should have and if possessing a single grain of sense, would have avoided. There was none of that stupidity here, so that is good. And I also enjoyed Charlie, the bichon frise. I am a sucker for a dog character. Best of my love is not written badly, and is a good representative example of the genre. Shelby and Aidan encounter some atypical events, confrontations, social games, and not to mention an intervention. They are both good sports and resilient of spirit. There were no serious complications. I'd even be willing to read the next book if only to see what is going to happen next-which is saying a lot when you look at the stack of books I'm supposed to be reading.

bookcover: 
Author: 
Jill Marie Landis
Series: 
Tiki Goddess Mystery Series
Publisher: 
Belle Books
Rating: 
9
ISBN/ASIN: 

:978-1-61194-131-9

Description of Sales Url: 
Now available from Amazon
Review: 

Here it is the end of winter, and we're caught up in a cold snap. My heat is turned up, and I'm walking around the house in furry slippers and two layers of clothes with a mug of hot coffee in hand—but I feel like I've just gotten back from Hawaii, a good trick considering I've never been.

My warm and cozy suntanned glow arises thanks to Jill Marie Landis, and her Tiki Goddess series. I just reluctantly put down Two to Mango with the same let down as when arriving home after a sunny vacation in the tropics, though I've never encountered a group of vacation friends quite as eccentric and extraordinary as the Hula Maidens who further the cause of justice by competing in the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition. If the Keystone Cops had been elderly ladies in grass skirts, they'd be Hula Maidens.

Two to Mango is a cozy mystery, which centers around an elderly hula troupe directed by Kiki Godwin. The hula-challenged troupe can barely get gigs at all, and their dim booking prospects are even dimmer after an accidental nipple exposure at the Happy Days Long Term Care Center. The motley collection is just part of the cast of suspects after an unpleasant neighbor's body is found in the bar's luau pit.

Lured by the maidens, Em Johnson relocated from the mainland to help her uncle Louie Marshall manage his Tiki Goddess bar on Kauai. Em is something of an amateur investigator whom Detective Roland Sharpe has reined in before; but now he asks for her help. He has his hands full with the investigation, and also, hopefully full of Em as well.

Don't come in to this book expecting depth or angst or page-turning sex. No dark and brooding, deeply flawed historical romance heroes in want of saving here. This is a fun read, a contemporary cozy chock-full of nuts, authentic Hawaiian lingo and lively characters like Uncle Louie's parrot Dave Letterman, who taste tests all of Uncle Louie's drink concoctions; Jackie Loo Tong, one of the hula competitors; Lillian owner of the rogue exposed nipple; Marilyn Lockhart, former Hula Maiden turned gold-digger, I mean, romantic interest for Uncle Louie. Fans of Stephanie Plum will enjoy this series, a colorful, entertaining, light and playful read.


Movement Publishing is a university editing and publishing class production. We are looking for poetry, flash fiction, and short stories with a journey theme. You will retain all rights; we only need first publication permission to be included. movementpub@gmail.com

CaSondra Poulsen

bookcover: 
Author: 
John Gaiserich
Publisher: 
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: 
Fiction: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

978-1517528638

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

The Prelapsarians paints a portrait of a devastating future. The eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano sets into motion a series of events that reduces mankind to a primitive and violent existence. These types of books work best if the journey from here to there is a plausible one. The author has to sell us on the new reality. I'm happy to say that that's precisely what John Gaiserish did.

I usually start reviews talking about characters, but I'm going to break that tradition and instead talk about the setting. Set in the south of Russia, the world is rich. It's alive. It's described in fantastic detail, with all the information you need not only to bring the world to life, but also to place events in historical context. This isn't easy to do, particularly to someone like me, who usually focuses on characters and action. However, the descriptions of places and events captivated me, bringing every vista into sharp relief.

The narrative follows a group of men who were soldiers of fortune before the disaster. When the super-volcano blew, they happened to be in Russia and had no way of getting back. They were well suited to survival in their new situation, and spent the early years learning how to survive even better. The book takes place many years after the eruption, in a world where powerful Oligarchs rule through force of arms, while smaller groups, like the main characters, try to eek out a meager existence in the ever-growing shadow of those more powerful, better armed, and better provisioned.

Many of the conversations between characters talk about religion, philosophy, and morality, though The Prelapsarians doesn't come off as preachy, nor does it try to get you to pick sides. But seeing how personal beliefs change (or sometimes don't change) is one of the more interesting takeaways from this book. These conversations gave me not only deeper insight into the characters themselves, but also insight into the real the world as well.

If you like rich, detailed dystopian fiction The Prelapsarians is a good choice. However, if you're put off by extreme graphic violence, or extreme profanity, this book will take you well out of your comfort zone.

bookcover: 
Author: 
Chris Nye
Publisher: 
Moody Publishers
Genre: 
Non-fiction_: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

ASIN: B017CHSK3M

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Moody Publishers
Review: 

Series:
Author: Chris Nye
Genre(s) / Subgenre(s): Religious
Published By: Moody Publishers
Format(s):Kindle Edition ISBN(s):ASIN: B017CHSK3M
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Rating:  8
Reviewed By: Nancy Louise
© April 28, 2016

Distant God:Why he feels far away … and what can we do about it.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ca-9GndUL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200...

While the season of Lent is over and Easter has begun, there is no reason to skip this book. For those of us who follow the Christian way of life, being close to God is paramount to Spiritual well being. But lets be honest, there are many reasons God might feel far away. Some people have stopped attending Church because of the distance, or still attend but find the whole thing less than useless. What is wrong with us?This book explores the many reasons we can feel this way and what to do about it.

First off, there is hope. Second, faith and actions should not depend on just our emotional sense of God’s nearness. Author Chris Nye gives some wonderful examples. Starting off with The Longing to be Near and ending with The Promise. Along the way you will learn the many ways to gauge your travels with God and also how you can overcome or make a turnabout in your life long relations with our Creator.

Regardless of where you are in your walk, or the time of year, this book I found to be very helpful in my own walk. I learned to gauge where I am not just by my emotions (which can be misleading) and also how to handle the sometimes Religious high one can get after say a retreat and then the dumps which can happened when we get back to daily life and all its bumps and knock outs that can happened even to the most saintly of lives.

I recommend this book to all who wish to stay on the path of righteousness and to also grow more in their walk in this bumpy ride we call life.

Nancy Louise
March 28, 2016

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