Endless by Amanda Gray

endlessEndless

By Amanda Gray

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Publisher: Month9books

Amazon pre-order

Summary:

Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock — and the Order — Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life — and beyond death.

My Review:

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Amanda Gray has everything.  A touching romance, soul mates, reincarnation, the formidable “bad guy”, and time travel. Endless is well written and draws you in.  You feel connected to the characters and their stories.

Jenny has suffered the tragedy of losing her mother.  He father and her don’t really talk and when she touches people she has the ability to see past lives. Some of the kids at school deem her a freak, but she has one true friend in Tiffany.

Ben is the new guy, moody and mysterious.  His past has been hard and all he wants to do is protect his mother.  When he and Jenny find the music box his first thoughts are of its value.

Then there is the man from Jenny’s dreams.  The man she painted over and over again in the shadows of her pictures.  Nikolai.  Nikolai and Jenny share a past life that ended very tragically and he has come threw time to be with her, but there are rules and he is breaking them.

I enjoyed Endless.  The story moved well and I was caught up in it.  The movement between the different times was seamless and flowed nicely.  I am hoping the story continues as we are left with a few unanswered questions, but not enough to ruin the book.  Just enough to keep you hoping for more

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Sammy The Shark

SAMMY THE SHARKSammy the Shark

By:  Bobby Bishop (Author) Doktor WhoBerry (Illustrator)

Kindle

Summary:

Sammy is a shark looking for some friends. The problem is, his looks scare the other sea creatures.  This short story will motivate and inspire your kids to be active about the things they want to achieve in life. They will also learn to never give-up. Your kids will enjoy full color illustrations of Sammy the Shark and all of the sea creatures he meets.

Review: 

This is a wonderful children’s story.  The pictures are bright and colorful.  The story itself is creatively written to teach children that you can’t judge a person based on the way they look.  Sammy the shark is a nice shark just looking to make some friends.  But Sammy looks mean and everyone is scared of him. When illegal fisherman come into the protected sanctuary that Sammy and the other sea creatures live in it’s up to Sammy to save the day.

Viola’s Review:  Sammy started out mean, but he wasn’t really mean, he was a nice shark.  In the end everyone liked him. I liked this book.

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Novella Thursday: Just a Little Crush by Tracie Puckett

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By Tracie Puckett

Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

 

 

Summary:

When a class assignment requires seventeen-year-old Julie to shadow someone on the in their future career choice, she’s overwhelmed by the decisions she’ll have to make. After all, she has no clue what she wants from life post-graduation. So when her Uncle Charlie, Oakland’s Chief of Police, suggests Julie fulfill her twenty hours of required job shadowing at the local police department, she’s thrilled at his solution. Thinking she’ll spend her days filing paperwork behind a desk, she finds herself quickly agreeing to his proposition. But Julie’s expectations are quickly turned upside down when she meets Luke, the young and handsome (albeit somewhat stubborn) officer she’s assigned to shadow on patrol.

With every hour she logs with Luke at the wheel, her feelings stir deeper, and Julie can’t help but wonder if what she’s feeling has developed into more than just a little crush.

My Review:  

Julie has been threw some tragedies in her life recently and as a way to try and pull her around, her Uncle sets her up to go on patrol with a young officer in his precinct.  The story was well written with a few logistical issues.  Is an underage girl really going to be allowed to go on police patrol with a young officer?  You be the judge. The story grabbed my attention which is always a good thing. It is a short story, so it didn’t take me long to finish, and that is when I got a little upset.  It abruptly ends. No warning, no winding down, it just stops.

Now sometimes that is not a bad thing, but this is a short story and there are other books after this one, so my question is, if book two picks up right where book one left off (which it appears to have done) why not just combine all of them make a novel and sell it accordingly.  Am I really going to pay the….

 

The ending was kind of like that. 🙂

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Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

imagesSpellbound (Hex Hall #3)

By Rachel Hawkins

Amazon

Barnes and Nobel

Indiebound

Summary:

Sophie Mercer wakes up on the ground in a forest seventeen days after she left Thorne Abbey.  Since her powers were bound the Itineris didn’t know what to do with her.  She still doesn’t have her powers and her friends and father are nowhere to be found.  She finds her mother right where Cal said she would be.  However when her father and Cal show up the reunion doesn’t last long.  She gets magically teleported back to Hex Hall against her will where the Casnoff’s are creating a demon army made up of students.  If all of that weren’t bad enough she has to deal with former mean girl Elodie’s ghost jumping into her body to get revenge on her ex.  All of that pales in comparison to what she and her friends will have to do to set things right.

My Review:

This book is a nice solid end to Sophie’s story.  It wraps things up nicely.  I didn’t have a clue how Rachel Hawkins was going to get everyone back to Hex Hall.  It’s the Hex Hall series so the action has to take place at Hex Hall.  It was kind of genius and scary.  I’m not telling.  You’ll have to read the book.

What I’ve always liked about Sophie is that she thinks for herself and is fairly fearless.  She really needs both of those things in the final book.  I say final because it’s Sophie’s final book.  The Hex Hall series continues with School Spirits.  The new book features Izzy Brannick; Sophie’s cousin.

I liked that everything was turned on its side.  In the first twenty pages we find out that the Casnoff’s have been telling stories.  The Brannick’s are not the vast demon hunting organization that Sophie had been told they were.  In fact there are only three Brannick’s left.

I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that Sophie does get her powers back.  She also realizes that they need a large amount of demon glass to fight the demon army.  Sophie and the gang go to extreme lengths to obtain the demon glass.  Even the grand finale fight at the end was heart wrenching.  Cal makes a decision that I’m still wondering about.  I wonder about the reason and it isn’t made completely clear, at least to me.  Sophie is left with choices of her own after everything is said and done.  I can only hope that the choices that Sophie made lead to more Hex Hall books, staring Sophie and Archer, in the future.

PicsArt_1375992687897PG-13  It’s the final book so there’s bound to be bloodshed.

Don’t miss our other reviews of books in the Hex Hall series.

HexHall

Demon glass

Peace Maker By Lindsay Buroker

FlashGoldPeaceMakerCoverWeb

FlashGoldPeaceMakerCoverWebPeace Maker (Flash Gold #3)

By Lindsay Buroker

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Summary:

Kali McAlister is working hard to make her dream of having her very own airship a reality.  She’s spending every free moment in a cave above town.  When a gambler tracks her into the woods and girls start to be murdered by a mystical bear it appears Kali’s plans are on hold.  The gambler turns out to be a Pinkerton after Cedar and the murderer turns out to be very much human.  Kali and Cedar are on another adventure and there are more air pirates.

My Review:

I love these stories.  I should probably stop reviewing them but I want to tell people about them.  They’re fun and you can get lost in them.  This one was deep and it was still fun.  Lindsay Buroker is a gifted storyteller.

In Peace Maker we discover painful parts of Kali and Cedar’s pasts.  We find that these painful pasts directly impact who the characters are.  One of my favorite scenes in the novella is when Kali decides which name she’s going to use to introduce herself to the medicine man.  It shows her courage and proves she’s overcoming her past.

Kali displays her genius over and over again by coming up with clever solutions to her problems.  She doesn’t sit down and admit defeat when she’s captured by the pirates.  She doesn’t wait to see if Cedar will rescue her.  She works out the problem and finds a solution.  She needs to get out of the shackles so she works out a way to get herself unbolted from the floor.  She needs a weapon so she makes one.  Kali is what a role model should be.

We also get our first look at Crudgel.  The characters had been talking about him for so long that I was beginning to envision him as the grim reaper.  He’s evil sure but he was wearing white.  He’s a bad, bad man and I hate him.  We also finally get a clearer picture of the lengths Crudgel went to in his quest to keep Cedar at bay.

Poor emotionally beaten Cedar finally tells Kali the whole story about what Crudgel is capable of.  It’s the reason he’s kept his distance from Kali but it isn’t enough to throw Crudgel off Kali’s scent.  Everyone else wants Kali’s knowledge of Flash Gold but Crudgel wants her so he can use her to hurt Cedar.  He’d probably take the knowledge of Flash Gold too though.  I did mention he’s evil.

This novella is full of the action and adventure that defines the Flash Gold series.  Lindsay Buroker tweeted that she’s working on a fourth one.  I can’t wait.  In the mean time I’m going to read her other books.

PicsArt_1375992730999PG-13  The pirate ship is hell in the sky.  Oh and Cedar is still taking heads with his fancy sword.

Don’t miss our other reviews of the Flash Gold series.

flash gold

Hunted

Tomorrow’s Sun by Becky Melbys

tomorrowssun

Tomorrow’s Sun

By: Becky Melby

Kindle

Christian Books

Barnes and Noble

Amazon’s summary:

Emily Foster won’t allow herself to move on until she earns enough money to make restitution for the accident that stole a young girl’s dreams. Flipping houses sounds like the fast track to her goal, but when her first project turns out to be a stop on the Underground Railroad, Emily finds herself drawn to, but at odds with, the contractor she hires. Jake Braden needs to focus on gaining guardianship of his late sister’s twins, but the story of lost love uncovered in Emily’s house sets the stage for what might become his own lost love.

My Review: 

What a well written and powerful book.  I was immediately taken into Emily’s world, and the world of Hannah and Liam.  At every turn you are with Emily as she struggles to be at peace with her past and push towards her future.  Then there is Jake, whose love for his niece and nephew pulls you.  My heart breaks for these children and I literally want to go thru the book to strangle Ben.

The house’s connection to the underground rail is wonderfully written.  The flash backs to Hannah and Liam’s journey take you back in time. I wanted to know as much about them and the people they helped along the way as Emily did.

I highly recommend this book.  It is just a wonderfully uplifting story and is definitely one I will read again.

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Cinderella is Evil by Jamie Campbell

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Cinderella is Evil

Cinderella is Evil

by Jamie Campbell

Book  summary:

History is told from one person’s perspective. Sometimes they don’t get it right.

Ugly Stepsister Anna has wrongly been accused of being mean and evil. Now it is time she got the opportunity to tell her side of the story.

With Cinderella so perfect and wonderful, it is no wonder Anna feels ugly in comparison. Dealing with bullies, a grumpy mother and the death of her step-father, Anna is at her wits end.

When the Prince’s ball approaches, Anna is told she must find a husband to save the family fortune. Attending with her sisters, the sulky Prince Charming only has eyes for Cinderella.

With the burden of being the only one to unite her step-sister with the Prince, will Anna act as cupid? Or will she protect Cinderella from the arrogant Charming?

A charming twist to the story of Cinderella, told completely from the point of view of the Ugly Step-Sister.

My Review:

What an interesting take on a classic fairy tale.  This is Cinderella’s tale told from Anastasia’s point of view.  As with life it’s a different story when someone else tells it, from Cinderella doing the cleaning to keep her mind off of her father to her dress arriving in tatters and not being ruined by her step mother.

I love how much Anastasia hates the Prince and thinks he is arrogant. It was a quick read and I recommend it for anyone who likes fairy tales. Overall one of the best short stories I have read.temp-4

 

 

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GA_round

 

 

 

If you liked this review you might also like:

The-Ugly-Stepsister-Strikes-BackThe Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

 

 

 

The Frog PrinceThe Frog Prince a Novel

 

 

 

41A1onvRDUL._SL500_AA300_Sleeping Beauty a Novel

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

Demon glassDemon Glass

By Rachel Hawkins

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes and Nobel

Summary:

Now that Sophie Mercer knows where her magic comes from she decides that she doesn’t want it anymore.  She would rather risk her life and go through the removal than risk hurting someone else.  Her father convinces her to stay with him in England and learn about who and what she is.  If she still feels the same at the end of summer he’ll support her decision.  So Sophie, Jenna and Cal head to England.  When she gets to her father’s estate she meets two other demons.  They were not born like Sophie.  They were made but they don’t remember who did it.  Everything is complicated when Archer Cross shows up and saves Sophie’s life.  Sophie has to untangle the lies and learns that things are never what they appear to be.

*Read the review for Hex Hall*

My Review:

I said in my review for Hex Hall that I binged on this series.  I had to read them all together.  I had to know what happened.  I needed to know if she was going to go through with the removal.  Not everyone survives the process.  I needed to know what Archer Cross was doing.  Was he really working for The Eye?  We get answers in this one.

We meet Sophie’s father at last.  He was everything I could have hoped for and more.  I had desperately hoped that he would be a bookish fuddy-duddy and he was.  Who else would be leading the council?  We also meet Nick and Daisy the demons that just turned up one day.  They were made but they don’t remember anything about it.

One night when Nick and Daisy take Sophie and Jenna out to a club in London The Eye attacks.  They think it’s a random attack until Archer Cross saves Sophie’s life and tells her that they attacked the club because they found out she was there.  As if things weren’t complicated enough between Sophie and Archer he asks her to meet him so they can talk.  When she doesn’t show up he has no choice but to crash her birthday party but wait it can’t be that easy.  One of her presents explodes and she finds out that someone close is responsible.  Everyone thinks it Archer.  Everyone except Sophie.

I enjoy how Rachel Hawkins tells the story of this series.  There isn’t any useless information.  My eyes didn’t wonder down the page ahead of where they should have been.  I couldn’t look away.  My review of Spellbound, the final Hex Hall book will post on September 23rd.  I can’t recommend this series enough.  Happy reading.

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PG-13  Let’s just say that Archer takes Sophie to all the best demon pits.

Hunted by Lindsay Buroker

Hunted

HuntedHunted (The Flash Gold Chronicles #2)

By Lindsay Buroker

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Summary:

Kali’s former beau Sebastian turns up with an offer.  He’s digging for gold and wants her help.  She turns him down but Cedar has other ideas.  Sebastian’s claim is near another claim.  Cedar has been searching for Cudgel and the claim near Sebastian’s has been the first good lead he’s had.  He isn’t about to let it get away.  He poses as Kali’s current beau and they head out to Sebastian’s claim to spy.  It can’t be that easy though.  They are pursued by an unknown engineering wizard and Sebastian has some surprises of his own.  There is also the problem of Kali and Cedar’s deepening connection.

*Read our review of Flash Gold #1 in The Flash Gold Chronicles*

My Review:

I love these stories.  There is no point in hiding it.  I love that Lindsay Buroker can fit a complete adventure in to such a short story.  The setting of this story is a little different.  They move from Moose Hollow to Dawson.  (Kali still has gangsters after her Flash Gold.)  They trade the frozen Yukon for a spring Yukon but there is still plenty of running and an SAB; a self- automated bicycle.

Kali and Cedar are simple characters on the surface but once you look closely you can see they are quite complex in a real way.  There are not layers for the sake of layers.  Kali and Cedar are complex in ways that matter.  They are both damaged in different ways but they manage to appreciate each other.  They complement each other which is important when you’re tracking down people who did something bad enough to have a bounty put on them.

This adventure takes place in the wild Yukon much like the last one did.  While on the steam bicycle they find they are on the run from a mysterious woman that doesn’t want to turn Kali over to gangsters but instead wants her dead.  Kali has a hard time being truly afraid due to the fact that the woman is an even more gifted engineer than Kali.  Kali is dazzled by the mystery woman’s toys.  Of course Kali wouldn’t be in danger out in the open if Cedar hadn’t suggested that taking Sebastian (Kali’s former beau) up on his offer to work on his claim was a good way to spy on a neighboring claim.  Cedar is convinced that Wild John will lead him to Cudgel.

It sounds like a good plan until they finally get there and Sebastian turns out to be the same jerk he had always been.  Poor Kali, but the good thing in all of this is that she finds out what kind of stuff Cedar is made of (it’s really good stuff).  He even shares his real name with her and why he’s hunting Cudgel.  Yes, the mess they are in during this story is Cedars fault but Kali always finds a way out of a mess.  It is always a creative way too.  Oh and she finds a way to save Cedar and herself from dying at the hands of the mystery woman after they are chased by mechanical cicada’s and lured into a trap.  I love this series.

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PG   Cedar is a sword toting bounty hunter.

The Frog Prince a novel

The Frog PrinceThe Frog Prince

By Elle Lothlorien

Amazon

Paperback

If you like this check out our review of Sleeping Beauty a novel also by Elle Lothlorien

Amazon’s summary:

It was his pheromones that did it. With one sniff, sex researcher Leigh Fromm recognizes that any offspring she might have with the mysterious stranger would have a better-than-average chance of surviving any number of impending pandemics. But when Leigh finds out that the handsome “someone” at her great aunt’s wake is Prince Roman Habsburg von Lorraine of Austria, she suddenly doubts her instincts–not that she was intending to sleep with the guy. The royal house of Habsburg was once completely inbred, insanity and impotency among the highlights of their genetic pedigree. (The extreme “bulldog underbite” that plagued them wasn’t called the Habsburg Jaw for nothing.) It doesn’t matter that his family hasn’t sat on a throne (other than the ones in their Toilette) since 1918, or that Austria is now a parliamentary democracy. Their lives couldn’t be more different: Roman is routinely mobbed by paparazzi in Europe. Leigh is regularly mocked for having the social skills of a potted plant. Even if she suddenly developed grace, charm and a pedigree that would withstand the scrutiny of the press and his family, what exactly is she supposed to do with this would-have-been king of Austria who is in self-imposed exile in Denver, Colorado?

A handsome prince, gut-busting laughs, love, dirty ballroom dancing, pathetic commoners, sex factoids, Vienna palaces, cursing in German, random hilarity, little to no frogs. See why tens of thousands of readers have fallen in love with this Amazon bestseller! Because someday your prince will come…sort of.

My Review: 

Leigh is a woman I would love to know.   She was a very well written character.   She was extremely intelligent yet socially inept. I laughed out loud as I read the thoughts that filtered thru her head and her internal debate at whether or not the words that were about to come out of her mouth were “creepy”.  She is a beautiful woman who doesn’t really know how beautiful she is and isn’t full of herself.  Her nervousness at silence and having to fill the void with speech leads to some hilarious moments.

Roman is possibly every woman’s dream.  He is intelligent, successful, handsome, a true gentleman, and let’s not forget an almost royal prince. He likes Leigh quirks and understands her.  Even when his world is turned upside down he remains true to himself.  Thru everything he goes thru you no he loves Leigh.

There was not a character in this book that I didn’t like from her body guard Jason, to Roman’s mother.  I was leery about touch feely Mikhail right from the start, Menon was a lovely woman thru and thru, and who could forget Kat, Leigh’s best friend. I even liked Princess Isabella by the end.

This book sucks you in from the start and never lets you go. I read it in less than a day.  If you want a great romantic comedy then this is absolutely the right book!

PicsArt_1375992730999PG-13 (only because of Leigh’s career and some of the things that come out of her mouth)