Title: House of Diviners (Book 1)
Author: Alesha Escobar
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Creative Alchemy, Inc.
Date of Release: March 1, 201
Format: Kindle (Lizzy Black)
Kelsey Jackson Diviner is a shaman-in-training who witnesses an attack on a fellow shaman. There’s a shadow-in-black out to get all shamans, Kelsey is no exception. Her father, a fellow shaman, is attacked while helping Kelsey with a client. Can she help save her father and potentially the world?
Escobar writes an interesting group of characters, with each one serving a purpose. In the beginning, Kelsey’s father seems overly protective, until he’s attacked and not only do you see and understand why her father was always “butting in”, but you also got to see just how much training Kelsey still needed. This caused Kelsey to draw on an inner power she didn’t know she had within her. It wasn’t magic, she had plenty of that (although not fully trained with it), it was grit and determination. She was sympathetic and empathetic, with sometimes not a clear plan to achieve her goal, but she never gave up. Kelsey does have a hard time figuring out who can and can’t be trusted. No one wants to walk around feeling suspicious all the time; this is where her strengths were sometimes her weakness. Some magical details about shamans and gods could have been explained more, but it’s possible to learn more about them in the next installment. Overall, she achieves her goal, but not her end goal. This was written in such a way there was no true, clear cliffhanger… but just enough to get you excited about the next installment.
Title: Intertwined Hearts (Caleb & Abby, Book 1)
Author: Kimi Flores
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Release: November 14, 2013
¸¸.•¨•★ Free! ★•¨•.¸¸
To let go, forgiveness is necessary.
Even if the one that needs it is yourself.
As a teacher in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California, Abby Sullivan finally feels like she has something to offer. She has a purpose, a wonderful best friend, and a supportive mother. Abby is very talented at many things, especially hiding the pain of her past. That is until her world collides with Caleb Hunter’s.
With an ever-present ache in his chest, Caleb is living life day to day, grieving the loss of his wife. As a successful writer, he’s thankful that his schedule doesn’t require him to get out much. But when his five-year-old daughter, Madison walks into Abby’s kindergarten class at the beginning of the year, everything will change.
With a little matchmaking magic from Caleb’s loving mother-in-law, things will be set into motion, love will grow, and hearts will heal as they intertwine. But when those past pains come to light, will Abby be able to forgive? And will Caleb be able to let go?
Previously published under the title, It all Started with a Lima Bean
Title: Bring Me Their Hearts (Book 1)
Author: Sara Wolf
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Folklore, Sci-Fi, YA
Date of Release: June 5, 2018
Format: Paperback (Entangled Publishing)
When asked to not only do a cover reveal but a read and review, I had to jump at the chance!
One night, a group of bandits killed Zera’s parents and almost killed her until a witch, Nightsinger, saved her life by making her heartless… literally. Being a “heartless” isn’t too much different from being a zombie, except you still look human. Now she is under the control of Nightsinger. Zera was made an offer she couldn’t refuse, bring me the heart of Crown Prince Lucien and I’ll give you your freedom… but fail, and your heart shall be crushed. Decisions, decisions!
I knew immediately I would love Zera! Who doesn’t love a sassy, smart-mouthed, strong young lady?! I appreciated her internal battle for her humanity. The relationship between Zera and Prince Lucien really worked for me. It felt like time was taken for them to get to know each other. The only issue I had with the book was the pacing… it was a bit slow for my liking, but still an enjoyable story. The cover is stunning, great storytelling, and I’m already excited for the next installment. I can’t wait!
Bryn is back for her senior year at the Institute for Excellence, also known as shape-shifting dragon school. She isn’t sure which is scarier, the life-force sucking dragons stalking campus or the fact that she’s officially betrothed to Jaxon, a guy who will never love her. Not that she could ever love him, either… That’s just ridiculous.
Senior year should be fun. Her parents are alive, she’s finally fitting in, and she’s learning how to be a Medic. But what’s with Jaxon giving her strange looks? He runs hot and cold, and he doesn’t even have the excuse of being a hybrid fire-and-ice-breathing dragon like her. One minute they’re having a great time and the next, she wants to blast a fireball at his head. The marriage contract of doom looms over them–unless this match not made in heaven kindles a flame…
Title: The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray
Author: B.A. Williamson
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: North Star Editions
Date of Release: May 15, 2018
Format: Kindle (NetGalley)
In a world that is all black, white, and gray, things can become extremely boring! No one knows how that feels better than Gwendolyn Gray! She faces a very serious problem… she doesn’t think in black and white. She is the only person her age that doesn’t think the way everyone else does, and that leaves her as an outcast. As her parents and classmates continue to fall under the influence of the gray, dull society, Gwendolyn’s vivid imagination runs wild and naturally gets her in trouble. There are two faceless men who will stop at nothing to stop Gwendolyn from changing the world as they know it, including completely wiping cities off the map. Can Gwendolyn, with the help of two friends, stop the two faceless men and save everyone from a dull, gray existence?
This was the kind of book I read as a child! It is so awesome to read about a child having such a vivid imagination! There is something about a child using their imagination to save the world that is absolutely amazing. There are so many great things about this book: a narrator who acknowledges the readers and makes you feel as though you are a part of the story, Gwendolyn realizing she isn’t just some silly girl. There is a real power in your imagination. Stirling and Sparrow are great characters! The addition of siblings Stirling and Sparrow helped create the steampunk feel this book had. The story was great and I loved the small moments when the narrator would say, “I’ll spare you the boring details…”, “Sparrow said a few words that wouldn’t be polite to repeat…”. This might be a turn off for most, but I enjoyed it. The pacing was quite quick with world-building along the way, which was spectacularly done.
What was amazing about this story was the way it challenged the way stories/fairy tales are usually told. Normally it would start with “Once upon a time…”, but instead, it challenged you with “What if…?” Here’s to Gwendolyn Gray, for showing us it’s okay to stand out in a world where you were meant to blend it, for showing us it’s okay to use your imagination, and going against the norms… because being normal is overrated.
Title: Wings of Flesh and Bones
Author: Cathrina Constantine
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Publisher: CHBB Publishing
Date of Release: April 8, 2018
Format: Kindle (Author via AXP)
This is a story I am on the fence about. I enjoy the concept with great writing, but it kind of feels incomplete. The world building wasn’t as complete as I thought it would be, given the plot. The characters were your standard YA characters, which is fine. They make you love them, get frustrated with them, and adore them. I think what made it feel incomplete for me was the lack of information about magic, and how it works. Does magic work the same in this story as it does in other stories? What’s different? I found Rogan to not really be to my liking. She was a frustrating character, as she didn’t like to follow rules or listen to advice.
The alternate views felt a little disjointed. It didn’t quite flow very well for me. There were so many elements to this story that it can be quite hard to keep up. There were a few instances I had to re-read a section because I lost track of what was happening. The story was information heavy and full of magic, which leads me to believe this was setting up book (and I do hope there is a book 2!)
Life is all work and no play…until a vintage Mustang rumbles into the lot of our family’s restoration business.
Hoping for an oil change and a trip down memory lane, Jameson Tate drives back into our lives after five long years. Even though a lot has changed, two things that haven’t — the way I burn for him and my overprotective brother’s warning that I’m off limits.
Sparks fly when he finally sees me as more than his best friend’s kid sister. Passions ignite, risks are taken, and bitter betrayals flare. Either our love will survive the secrets we keep or the promises we made will crash and burn.