The End

johnny_automatic_booksIt has been a fantastic two years here at The Modest Verge Book Blog but it’s time for us to say goodbye. We’ve learned a lot and met so many wonderful people. This has truly been a terrific experience.

Jessica and I have decided to take on other projects but we will never forget all of the great authors who sent us books to review and those who gave their time by writing their Book Story. We are very grateful and will never forget your kindness.

We still have a book or two left to review. I didn’t want to go out with a goodbye. I want to go out with book reviews. We plan to post them closer to their release date in all the usual places. In fact I’ll be posting Death Before Daylight next Monday. It’s part of the Timely Death trilogy by Shannon A. Thompson. It’s fitting that Death Before Daylight is the last book I review here. Minutes Before Sunset, the first book in the trilogy was the first book an author ever sent to me. Thank you Shannon A. Thompson.

I would also like to thank Jessica for going on this book excursion with me. I probably didn’t say thank you enough. I feel like we visited every corner of the world. (Jessica, remember the zombies in the desert? Oh, and that girl we saw who stole books?) Jessica is going to concentrate on her amazing blog Jessica’s Family Genealogy. If you have genealogy questions you should contact her. It’s her passion and she’s very knowledgeable.

Goodbye

If you haven’t already, please check out all of the authors that participated in our Book Stories Series. You can find them all in the Book Stories drop down menu above. They all had very moving stories to tell. We’re very proud that we were able to bring them to you.

Finally, Jessica and I would like to thank our readers. So many of you were here from the beginning and this wouldn’t have been as much fun without you.

Thank you to everyone for the book memories,

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Background Image: Sunset by Diego_Torres

 

Cursed Once More by Amanda DeWees

Cursed Once More

by Amanda DeWees

Book Summary:

She went in search of her past… and found danger in the present.

Former seamstress Clara Blackwood seems to have found happiness at last. Having defied the Gravesend Curse, she is a blissfully married baroness and mistress of a grand estate. But now a mysterious summons shatters her contented life.

Clara grew up believing that her mother’s family had disowned them. But the grandmother Clara never knew is now entreating her to visit Thurnley Hall, the family seat in Yorkshire. The old lady is on her deathbed and anxious to disclose vital family secrets before it’s too late–for Clara’s unborn child may be cursed with a horrible fate.

Accompanied by her devoted husband, Atticus, Clara arrives at Thurnley to find intrigue brewing. Her boorish uncle, Horace Burleigh, is greedy for her wealth and desperate to protect the family’s mysteries. Superstitious fear of Atticus torments the hulking Romanian servant, Grigore, and even the soft-spoken young ward, Victor Lynch, may have secret motives for getting close to Clara and her husband.

When her grandmother dies under suspicious circumstances, Clara feels compelled to investigate. And when Atticus vanishes mysteriously, she must draw on all her strength and determination to find him before his time runs out… before her life can be cursed once more.

My Review:

Wow! Talk about a follow up.  Cursed Once More picks up where With This Curse left off and goes so much further. You have a bigger curse, a spookier setting and more danger.

Let’s start with Atticus.  He is a wonderful husband and thinks about Clara is everything he does.  He treats her as his equal and would fight to the death for her.  When he goes missing you can’t help but feel his loss. He is a force to be reckoned with.

Clara has her worries about meeting her Mother’s family. Who wouldn’t. And to add to the pressure surrounding her is the pregnancy, of which she hasn’t told Atticus.  Clara knows her Uncle is hiding much more then the loss of money in there home and when Atticus goes missing her world gets turned upside down.

This book adds a new curse.  One that not only affects Clara and Atticus, but their unborn child.  As always with Amanda’s book you are drawn into her world.  She tells the story like no other.  Victorian Gothic has a new Queen. temp-4

 

 

 

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Be sure to check out these other stories by Amanda DeWees

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Ella, The Slayer by A. W. Exley

ella-the-slayer-front-cover-for-previewElla, The Slayer

by A. W. Exley

Book Summary:

The flu pandemic of 1918 took millions of souls within a few short weeks. Except it wasn’t flu, and death gave them back.

Seventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. Vermin they’re called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella’s world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office — to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn’t expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.

Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society’s boundaries, Ella could lose everything – home, head and her heart…

My Review:

I follow the author on facebook and when I read her summary of the story before it came out I was very intrigued.  You all know by know how I feel about fairy tale retellings and Ella, the Slayer is  a take on Cinderella that you just have to read to appreciate.

Ella is also a strong capable, katana wielding woman who the town has deemed their slayer.  But this is not meant to be endearing.  You see her soul is already tainted from her first kill, of what they see as possible helpless souls, so they have tasked her with the job saving the humanity and afterlife of the other towns other inhabitants.  All of this while serving her Step Mother Elizabeth and her step sisters Louise and Charlotte.  And let’s not forget a father who has returned from the war with a brain injury that has left him helpless.

Then there is the Duke of Leithfield Seth.  He has also returned from the war to take over his families estate and to see to his people.  When he encounters Ella sparks fly and you can’t help but be drawn to this very capable man.  It is fun to watch him dodge unwanted advances from Louise and deal with the vermin problem and fall in love with Ella all at the same time.

The author does a wonderful job of drawing you into her world and keeping you there. The story smoothly takes you on a journey through the zombie outbreak in the 1920s and brings in new elements that are interesting.  The supporting characters add depth and adventure to the story.  I would absolutely put this on my must read list.

As to A. W. Exley’s question at the end, I would LOVE to see Ella’s story continued.  What happens with Elizabeth, Henry and Frank and Alice and most importantly do Seth and Ella finally get their queen for the War Office?temp-4

 

 

 

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The Strongest Ring by Laura Bradley Rede

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by Laura Bradley Rede

Book Summary:

Seventeen year old Beck doesn’t consider herself a tree-hugger. With her multi-colored dreadlocks and her combat boots, she’s more at home working at Criminal Records Music than taking a stroll in the woods. That is, until she falls for Jordan, a handsome vampire activist who remembers Earth’s past and wants to save its future. But will Jordan’s friends accept Beck’s help? Or will they decide that humans are the problem – and the solution is wiping them out? A hopeful environmental message shines at the heart of this YA short story by Writers of the Future award winner Laura Bradley Rede, author of the YA paranormal series The Darkride Chronicles.

My Review:

I picked up this short story quit a while ago, but as with many things it had gotten lost in the vast mess of books that is my kindle.  Know that I have finally read it, I wish I had done it sooner.

Beck is your typical teenager of today. Jordan, although we don’t find out his exact age is obviously quit old.  He has a special connection to this particular forest from his childhood.  Without giving to much away, it is a short story, we find out that the vampires are out in the open to the human population and they are worried about the plant.  The environmental message is strong and the flow of the story is great.

I was hoping this was part of a bigger series.  But I can’t find anything.  All in all if your looking for paranormal and quick your heading in the right direction.temp-4

 

 

 

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Golden by Melinda Michaels

golden-cover-revealGolden

by Melinda Michaels

Book Summary:

High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived /once upon a time/, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s /just right/, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:

I have been in a bit of a book slump lately.  Where I am reading the books that I want to, but it has taken me a lot longer then it normally would.  One of those I really should finish it fazes.  Then I picked up Golden and I didn’t want to put it down.  As most of you know I love fairytale retellings and reimaginings and Golden does an excellent job of taking the old “folk tale” and turning it into the modern.

Hanna has no idea who she really is.  She knows she has lost memories and that she has felt like an outsider all her life, but she doesn’t know why.  She’s a good girl with an infinity for a near death experience.  Which she finds heightens everything around her. She is persistent in her quest to find out what she is missing and in the end shows how brave she can be.

Then there is William.  The good guy, the bad guy.  Remember just because history says you are suppose to be bad, doesn’t mean you have to be. William is a great character and I was routing for him the entire story.  He knows what is going on in Hanna’s life and has the answers she is looking for, but is it best for him to tell her?

All the characters in Golden are well written.  Hanna’s supporting cast is solid and the writing grabs you from the beginning and takes you in.  The world that Melinda Michaels created is excellent and I look forward to reading the next book.temp-4

 

 

 

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original background image by Unsplash

The Curious Tale of Gabrielle by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

23561884The Curious Tale of Gabrielle

by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Book Summary:

A young Gabrielle is driven by her will to explore and see new things. She cannot stop or rest until all within her reach has been experienced and explored. Driven by an astounding will and lack of common fear, she finds herself able to face things most adults might fall before. Yet has there been a journey that has been meant specifically for her all along? Is there a path that has been created just for her to travel?

Follow Gabrielle as she ventures through the lives of many with the experience of only her own. What will happen as she discovers the lives—and tragedies—of the souls who choose her to see their story? It’s a journey through history, life, and love unlike anything that could be imagined—except perhaps by a young girl.

*I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:

Let’s start with Gabrielle herself.  She is a curiosity ridden 13 year old who is intelligent and when she should be scared shows how bold she can be.  Since her mother works late nights and her father has passed she is pretty much taking care of herself and for any thirteen year old that can be hard. When she wanders into Alexandria’s shop on her birthday her whole world changes.  Gabrielle is given a bracelet that will transporter her through the lives of the previous owners.

This is a well developed story that draws you in and the characters compliment each other well and it’s perfect for the targeted age range. Which is middle grade, young adult.

I will admit that at first I had a little trouble with the writing and some of the sentences felt like they were run-ons, but once you get into the flow it’s a really good story. This is the first in the series so be prepared for a cliffhanger at the end.  Remember I did say we were going thru the lives of the previous owners of the bracelets, so there are definitely more tales to tell. temp-4

 

 

 

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Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

We first posted Finding Cinderella in November of 2013.  It’s a great Novella Thursday and I hope you enjoy reading this again.

Finding CinderellaFinding Cinderella

By Colleen Hoover

Book Summary:

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

My Review:

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. But Daniel soon realizes that fairytales don’t exist, and unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

This is not your typical fairy tale.  Boy meets girls in janitor closet at school.  Girl doesn’t have a great reputation and is tired of boys treating her badly, so what does she do.  She has sex with a boy that she can’t even see his face and pretends with him that it is love. He calls her his Cinderella in his attempt to be romantic. She tells him she doesn’t want to know how he is because she is moving away and this is there one special moment.

Fast forward to the future and it’s a year later.  Six is back in her home town after a year of study in Italy, but things over there were not all they should have been.  She left behind the most important boy in her life, but how does she let anyone know, especially when she meets Daniel.  He is a boy just like her and who she feels an instant connection with. They seem perfect for each other in every way. But her secret could tare them apart (sorry I won’t give that little secret away).

This book was well written and I did enjoy the characters.  Six is not your typical prissy girl.  She has four brothers and isn’t afraid to get dirty. Daniel is quirky and says what he is thinking.  He has been trying to find his Cinderella ever since there encounter in the closet. While I feel the very beginning (Janitors closet, need I say more) is not how you picture meeting the love of your life, the rest of the book makes up for it. It was funny and sad and enjoyable. I for one would definitely read more books about these two characters.temp-4

 

 

 

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Original background image by Ian Bunyan at publicdomainimages.net

 

The Girl Who Went Missing by Ace Varkey

The Girl Who Went Missing 

Ace-Original-Coverby Ace Varkey

Book Summary:

When June Warner arrives in India to visit her sister Thalia, a trip to take her mind off her jilted engagement, she is greeted by the bright hot chaos of Mumbai but not her sister. She goes to the YMCA where Thalia is staying, only to find that she is not there.

Convinced that Thalia’s no-show is a sign that she is in danger, June begins a desperate search for her younger sister.

Police Commissioner Oscar D’Costa, scarred by the tragedies of his past, swears he will never again ignore his gut instinct when it comes to a missing girl. And with more and more dead foreign women being found in his precinct, he becomes convinced a conspiracy is at play.

Through the two worlds of American naiveté and Indian chaos, they must find the girl who went missing.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:

Set in the world of Mumbai, India this is a fast paced story.  June has been left by her fiance and has traveled to India per her sisters insistence.  Thalia is there doing her dissertation on the temples of India.  So when June gets there and Thalia is no where around she isn’t sure if she should panic or if Thalia has just gone off to do some work.  It quickly becomes clear that something more is wrong and with the help of Commissioner D’Costa they set out to find Thalia.

The world of Mambai is portrayed in a very real way. From the crazy traffic, to the people, to the very real world of sex trafficking.  You feel like you are there with June going thru everything. We are introduced to a variety of different characters but this doesn’t make it confusing.  The writing is very well done and for a debut  novel it’s really good.

Ace Varkey takes you on a rollercoaster ride in this thrilling new novel and I can’t wait for another novel from this new author. temp-4

 

 

 

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Nocturne for a Widow by Amanda DeWees

23556617Nocturne for a Widow

by Amanda DeWees

Book Summary:

Vivacious actress Sybil Ingram looks forward to a life of security when she leaves the theater in 1873 to marry a wealthy American. But when he dies suddenly on their wedding night, she finds herself a penniless widow. Her only legacy is Brooke House, a Gothic revival manor in the Hudson River Valley. However, the eerie mansion comes with two tenants. One is a hostile ghost. The second, and far worse, is former violinist Roderick Brooke–the most insolent, dangerous, maddeningly gorgeous man Sybil has ever met.

As she and Roderick engage in a battle of wills–and wits–she finds herself increasingly drawn to him despite her growing suspicion of a connection between him and the spirit that haunts Brooke House. But soon a greater threat arises: the mysterious queen of local society, Mrs. Lavinia Dove. For reasons that Sybil can’t imagine, Mrs. Dove is determined to have Brooke House and Roderick for herself . . . if necessary, by deadly means.

By turns mysterious and moving, sparkling and spooky, Nocturne for a Widow follows a spirited heroine through adventures in life, love, and death. From the colorful theatrical world of late-Victorian London to the American wilderness, Sybil’s travels will test her mettle–and her heart.

*This book was given to me by the Author in exchange to a fair and honest review*

My Review: 

Oh how I love Sybil Ingram.  She is a woman of strength and character.  She is stubborn, smart, and loyal.  When she comes to America it’s not all that she thought she was walking into.  Her fiance is in financial ruin and his health is not good.  When he insists they marry right away others take issue and I am not giving anything away when I tell you he dies shortly after.

Sybil decides to sets herself up at Brooke House in upstate NY where she feels she can lay some claim as there is nothing else to inherit. Once there she meets her “stepson” Roderick who has also laid claim to Brooke House.  Here is where you insert brooding, handsome man.  As the war with them takes off so does the spark of something more.  And of course lets not forget the ghost of Brooke House. Who has ideas of her own and as with any ghosts wants something done for her.

Amanda Dewees has a wonderful talent for putting together a quirky and interesting cast of characters and making them all work fabulous together. I couldn’t put  Nocturne for a Widow down and I can NOT wait for Sybil’s next adventure. Come back tomorrow for Book Stories featuring Amanda DeWees.temp-4

 

 

 

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