Posted in Book Reviews

The Cost of Grief by Nicole Zoltack

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 39
Series: Darkened Nights: History book 2
Genre: Fairy tale retelling, Ya
Rating: 4 star

Synopsis:

A young girl endures the price of grief and suffering and is forever changed, not necessarily for the better.

This story is Eleonore’s version of the events in Once Upon a Darkened Night book 1: Of Cinder and Madness.

Review:

Warning: Do not read until you have read Of Cinder and Madness.

This is Eleonore’s version of Of Cinder and Madness. Only the major parts. This short story opens your eyes to what goes through Eleonore’s mind. I truly feel sorry for the poor girl. Now seeing everything in perspective it’s hard not too.

I have one more short story to read before I can move on to Of Slumber and Discord.

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Cost of Love by Nicole Zoltack

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 53
Series: Darkend Nights: History book #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:

A young baron wishes to be anywhere but at a ball until he spies a young lady who most certainly does not belong. Although they bond over their grief for lost parents, she flees, leaving behind a ruined flower.

No, this is not a retelling of Cinderella, but instead the story of her parents.

This story is a precursor to Once Upon  a Darkened Night Book 1: Of Cinder and Madness.

Review:

A story I have never read before, Cinderella’s parents love story. I have just read Of Cinder and Madness, which this tale is a prequel.

From the stories of Cinderella growing up, I have always know that her parents past away. The mother first due to an illness, then after remarrying the father passes while away on a trip. This however does not contain the death of the two parents. We get somewhat of a happy ending. For now.

I liked this story more than I did Of Cinder and Madness. It felt nice to get the love story that started it all.

Jacques father had just past away making him baron. Jacques mother makes him go to the ball the king is throwing for his wedding to his first wife. As Jacques has paid his dues to the king he goes to leave but spots a girl who is not of nobility. Gabrielle, daughter to the basket weaver, slipped into the ball. As she is about to leave she is stopped by a nobleman.

For those who love Cinderella, I recommend this short story. It is a cute way to see the start of one of the most famous fairy tales.

Posted in Book Reviews

Torn by Shereen Vedam

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 62
Standalone
Genre: fantasy, YA
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis:

Better to take the hit, than the what if…

Amity’s last attempt at magically helping someone was a disaster. So she decides to give up her spell casting ways. Then one day she meets the perfect man. But only by casting another spell, will she have a chance to meet that captivating nobleman again.

Duncan is entranced by a beauty in the woods whom he accidentally injures. However, his duty to the kingdom keeps him to busy to seek her out. His land is in trouble, dry and dying, and needs practical help. Instead, a mage has been summoned to conduct a magical blessing.

When Amity and Duncan next meet, will it be a happy reunion? Or will her magical abilities let her down again, resulting in a new disaster that destroys the land as well as her best chance at love?

Review:

This was a cute short story. If you are not one for instalove this probably isn’t for you. A small kingdom is in a horrible drought. Amity is being called upon to give a blessing over the earth in the kingdom. Only she doesn’t want to because she has sworn off magic. That is till Duncan accidentally shoots her in the arm with an arrow.

Duncan doesn’t believe in magic and thinks the blessing is a sham. He wants to ban all magic in his kingdom and banish the mage that is to do the blessing.

For a short story I did like it. The ending wasn’t all that great but still cute. At first I wasn’t invested in the story but once I sat myself down I got through all 62 pages with ease.

Posted in Book Reviews

Of Cinder and Madness by Nicole Zoltack

My edition: Kindle
Pages:144
Series: Once Upon a Darkened Night #1
Genre: Fairytale retelling, YA
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:

The stories about her have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, she is beautiful, with wavy blond hair and big, blue eyes and flawless skin, but her charming facade is a lie, a mask, a deceit.

Yes, Yes, I’m sure you think me merely jealous. I’m not. I’m the victim, and I can prove it.

You see, Eleonore deserves to be locked away. My, she even deserves to be killed!

This gripping retelling of a much-loved fairy tale will make you question all you think you know about the girl who steals away to a ball and leaves behind a slipper.

Review:

I normally tend to stay away from Cinderella retellings. I’m not a big Cinderella fan. Most the time I am reading a retelling because it is part of a series. That is what I had to do with this one. I did not expect to get a Cinderella retelling through the stepmother’s eyes.

The story goes back and forth between past and present. The stepmother tells of the time before she married Jacques leading up to the present and the present of being a widow and having to learn to deal with her new stepdaughter. She tells of her encounters of Eleonore (Cinderella).

If you like a darker fairy tale this is for you. Eleonore has a power and she uses it for harm instead of good. There is a HEA for everyone but it is not the same one we grew up knowing.

I loved seeing from the stepmother’s eyes. The guilt she felt for not treating Eleonore the same and the fear she had once her power started to grow. I loved it all.

Best part about this retelling is that even though Eleonore lost a slipper the prince didn’t go around to ever home and use the slipper to find a girl he danced with.

On to the next retelling which I think is one of my favorites, Sleeping Beauty.

 

Posted in Me being me!, Top 10

Top 10 Things I talk about and do with my fiance!

Tomorrow is my anniversary with my fiance Wy. We have been together for four years. This is the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. He gets my weird sense of humor, mostly because he’s just as weird. Last night I found out that we talk about some of the most peculiar topics. We also do things that new couples would just jaw drop.

10. Pop back pimples.

I know disgusting right. But I’m so comfortable with Wy that I will pop his back pimples. He works at a manufacturing company here in small town Kansas. It’s not a big place and the warehouse is a metal frame. In the summertime it gets hot! Wy tends to sweat like human beings do. Because of this natural phenomenon he gets back pimples bad. So I just tend to be the good fiancee that no money can buy and pop them for him.

9. My books

Whether I’m writing a story or I am reading a story, I tell Wy about it. You should have seen his face after I told him what happened in It. Wy doesn’t read. I know I know, horrible, but I can talk with him about spoilers and he doesn’t care because he won’t read the book and I can vent to him about books I hate or love.

8. Rubs my feet.

I don’t even have to ask anymore. If I put my feet in Wy’s lap even if I just do it while reading my book on the couch not meaning to, he will pick them up and start massaging away. I’m not complaining.

7. 10 points

This one is horrible messed up thing we do while driving. Our sense of humor is dark sometimes (okay most the time) which is probably why we don’t have very many friends. While driving if we see a squirrel or a jogger we joke 10 point, 20 points. Now we would never do that. But we do joke about it. Why? Because we have f#cked up minds.

6.Games

We are a gaming couple. We will play games together. Mostly zombies on Call of Duty. But when I’m sitting down reading or writing he will play one of his games. We have all of the PlayStations but the first generation, a Nintendo 64, a Nintendo 3DS, and a bunch of board games. I learned not to beat him at Monopoly. Tends to cut me off for a week.

5. War

I come from history nerds. Wy loves to talk about war and guns. So we tend to talk about the different wars and what guns they use. Don’t watch a war movie with us because we will let you know what Hollywood got wrong all the way down to what guns they are using. We also tend to talk about what a bullet does on impact and what caliber can blow someone’s arm off. Don’t judge. Like I said before, dark f#cked up minds.

4.Movies

I’m a huge movie nerd. I love movies not as much as books but still. Wy doesn’t watch as many as I do but will still challenge me to trivia games which he will lose unless it’s Forest Gump.

3. Shooting guns

Wy and I fully believe in the 2cd amendment. We own 6 guns together and are still buying two more. We will go to the shooting range and let off some stream on targets or clay pigeons.

2. Hunting

Living in the state of Kansas, we hunt. I know not all people believe in hunting but Wy and I do. I may lose some followers after admitting to this but I’m not changing my ways. This is just a way we provide meat for us to cook.

1. A hug

Once I get off work I know I can go home and expect a bear hug from Wy. No matter if it’s a good day or a bad day I can guarantee on a hug.

It’s these simple things that we share that has gotten our relationship this far. People may judge our weirdness but we will always have each other.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Persuasion by Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington

My edition:Kindle Unlimited
Pages:386
Series: Curse of the Gods #2
Genre: YA, Reverse Harem
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis:

Willa Knight: Dweller? Bad-ass? Notorious pet to five magical beings?

In Blesswood, there are rules, and someone is trying to teach her how to follow them. The only problem is Willa. Which shouldn’t be anything new, since she has been a problem since birth- something her pseudo-sister Emmy would agree on.

So it definitely shouldn’t be new… but it is.

Because things are starting to happen that have never happened before.

Things are starting to get …chaotic.

Review:

Yep should have waited a little longer to read. Oh well…

Not oh well! How could it have ended like that? Not okay.

The world building is amazing. I can’t wait for the next one. November 30 is so far away.

Willa is just as clumsy as ever, though she doesn’t accidentally stab a God in this book. While there are more serious matters that are developing, the authors keep the flow same as in the first book. Nothing seems forced about the growing relationship between the Abcurseres and Willa.

The gods almost seem like Greek gods. They are petty and think only of themselves. I love that. It makes them seem more believable.

Rau I personally can say, go eat dirt. Stop trying to blow holes through my ship! You brought them together now stop trying to tear them apart. But what could I expect from the Chaos God.

Is it November yet?

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 265
Standalone
Genre:YA, Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 2.5- 3 stars

Synopsis:

Sixteen year old Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s bloddy body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind and then everything fades to black.

After a year of retrograde amnesia and battling personal demons, Leo’s dreams are getting worse- she’s starting to remember. More bodies are discovered and they seem to be oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

When Leo allows her friend, Henry to drag her into the haunted Lucien Mansion, misty ghosts appear, ghosts that just might lead to her mother’s murderer.

Review:

I’m not going to lie, main reason my eye fell on this book was the cover. Of course I’ve learned my lesson and read the blurb instead of just picking it up. I must say I was very intrigued.

Disclaimer: Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.

Okay maybe not everywhere, but somewhere.

We start off in a graveyard with our heroine along side one of… I don’t really know what to call him… eh his name will do. She is next to Henry. Henry is the new kid who no one really likes but Leo. (Why, I don’t know.) It’s been almost a year since Leo walked into her home finding her mother dead. She can’t remember anything, but is slowly getting scattered memory in her dreams.

What I like about the book:

It kept me hooked. I wanted to know what the hell was happening. She had a best friend who cared about her. The plot line, not going off the blurb, was good.

What I did not like about the book:

The two “heroes” I hated. Henry was a huge creeper who brought back way to many bad memories for my liking. Becket on the other hand total player. I wish Leo would have made it more clear to Henry that she doesn’t like him that way and to tell Becket it’s either her or Marcy.

I was confused most the time through the book because I wasn’t really clear on what her feelings were for the “heroes” .

In the haunted mansion, ghosts that were promised in the blurb didn’t pop up. Yeah the author wrote of misty vapor twice and weird noises but other than that no ghosts.

Through at least 50% of the book her dad is horribly shady. Even at the end I can’t understand why he did what he did. Can we talk utter confusion?

Oh and in the blurb it says bodies start adding up. No that’s a lie. Only two and that’s at the beginning. If I didn’t read the blurb my rating would be higher, but I read the blurb and was promised things that were lightly touched but wasn’t fully through the book.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

My edition: Library book
Pages:432
Stand-alone
Genre:Mystery
Rating: 3.5

Synopsis:

He loves them because they are beautiful. He kills them because he loves them.

A virtuoso killer is carving a path of death across the west, intent on killing only the most beautiful women, all in the name of love. He has claimed six victims and slipped through the FBI’s fingers, each time leaving behind a handwritten note and a bridal veil.

Special agent Brad Raines has hunted the Bride Collector from crime scene to crime scene, but each time he finds himself one step behind. Desperate for help, Raines turns to the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private home for gifted, mentally ill residents.  There he finds help in an unlikely group of four who eagerly agree to help him solve the case.

Raines is quickly drawn to a young woman named Paradise who struggles with psychosis. As they grow closer, he begins to see the world through her eyes. Together they enter the killer’s deadly game and begin to close in. But like Paradise, the Bride Collector is supremely gifted and has a distinct advantage: this is his game.

Now Paradise will be pushed beyond her limits. She will learn what it means to be beautiful and what it means to love, really love. Full of surprising wit and hair-raising twists, that will keep you riveted to the end, the Bride Collector will haunt you with a new way of looking at beauty love, and the world in which you live.

Review:

This is my first Ted Dekker book. I use to date a guy my senior year of high school who recommended Dekker, same with his mother, but I never really got around to reading Dekker till now. I have checked out several of his books but had to take them back due to me putting them off.

I finally said to hell with it. I sat down and read a book. About time right. It’s only been six years.

The Bride Collector follows Brad Raines who is the working on the case. The book starts with the fourth victim of the bride collector. Through Brad we meet Paradise who is in the Center of Wellness and Intelligence (CWI). Paradise has been at CWI since she was 17. She deals with agoraphobia, memophobia, and when she touches a dead body she can see the last memory of the deceased.

Along with Paradise, a group of characters help Brad try to solve the case and catch the bad guy. One problem. The killer is just like the group at CWI. He seems to be toying with Brad.

The story line hooked me from the start. My big issue with this book was most of the characters. I didn’t really like anyone but Brad. I hated reading Quinton and Paradise. Paradise the most. Being in her head was hard work to read through. Another issue is that I predicted two of the brides before I really got into the book.

  • Plot stars: 4 stars. I predicted what was going to happen early on in the book.
  • Character stars: 3 stars. While they were written well, I didn’t like more than half.
    • Main Cast 1 star
    • Supportive cast: 2 Star
  • Writing: 4 stars

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

My edition: Library book
Pages: 430
Series: Robert Langdon #1
Genre:Mystery
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Lagdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist-he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an acient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati… the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy- the Catholic Church.

Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican’s holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very hear of Vativan City. With the countdown underway, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long forgotten Illuminati lair… a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

An explosive international thriller, Angels & Demons careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.

Review:

Unfortunately I am one of those who happened to have seen the movie before reading the book. I know… such a tragedy.

Any dick moving on.

Growing up in a Catholic home, I knew the Vatican ran the church and I thought innocent of the world. As I got older I did discover that no matter what, we all have a dark history. The church included. If you think about it, American history started off with religious persecution.

I don’t know much of the history behind the church in Rome due to I never really got into it. Now after reading this book I want to look up the history. To see what is true and what is all made up for the story’s intent.

I was hooked in the story. Wy tended to get a little annoyed with me because I keep telling him how the movie got this or that wrong and how the book explains so much better. Funny how after reading the book everything that didn’t really make sense in the movie makes sense now. I do own The da Vinci Code. I didn’t want to read it just yet because I have to read the books in order. I am weird like that I guess.  So I went to the local library and snatched this up.

Even though I am suppose to be reading and finishing Dracula I couldn’t help but pick this up. The writing was amazing. I loved it. The story flowed wonderfully. Even though I knew how it was going to end, the movie changed so much that the story seemed almost new to me.

Langdon and Vittoria’s relationship seemed deeper. Camerlango’s character depth was amazing. I wish they would have kept much of his dialogue the same in the movie. Hello you casted Ian McGregor.  The Hassassin was a character I still don’t know how I feel about him. Even though there was an array of characters the story never lost it’s pace.

The only reason I am not giving this a 5 stars is due to the fact it took me two weeks to finish.

And to end with words we all have uttered before, so much better than the movie.

Posted in Book Reviews

Horror Stories:51 Sleepless Nights: Thriller short story collection about Demons, Undead, Paranormal, Psychopaths, Ghosts, Aliens, and Mystery by Tobias Wade

My edition: Kindle (Received for an honest review)
Pages:358
Collection of Short stories
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Rating: 3 star

Synopsis:

Horror/Thriller stories collection
A diverse collection of short horror stories including the grizzly confessions of a serial killer, parallel dimensions, becoming trapped in a virtual world, and encountering ancient aliens buried beneath the Earth’s crust. Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad experiments and paranormal-no matter what makes your heart race, you’re guaranteed to face your fear with these terrifying tales.

Review:

I received this copy for an honest review from the author.

Normally I wait till October to read horror/thriller, but I am a mood reader and my mood has been in a horror mood. This came at the perfect time. I am just getting over a horrible book slump that has lasted 3 months. (July has been the worst.) Coming out of this slump I have been in the mood for horror.

While I was reading Dracula, there were times I need a break from Stoker so I would pick this up and read about one or two stories.

“Don’t let him steal my child”, “Unborn Doll”, and “Virtual Terror” are right up my alley. I love stories like these. I did laugh at some of the titles because they weren’t what I would expect such as “I met the Devil on Tinder, and I swiped Right”.

One thing I didn’t like were some of the political marks. I know some people, okay a lot of people, don’t like our president but at least be respectful. After reading those remarks it put a bit of a bad taste in my mouth which I tried to get rid of to finish the book.  I don’t want to rate the whole book due to a couple remarks.

Some of the stories were weird. I didn’t get scared by any of the stories. Some were a bit bland. I did like the psychology that went along with a few stories such as the “Unborn Doll”. I love stories like that. A story that I wanted a little more background on would be “Breaking and Entering for Dummies” which left me with more questions than ever.

As of right now this hit a spot with me. What that spot is I don’t know but it helped me get out of my book funk along with a few other books.