Recent Reviews...

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Book Review: Mountains Made of Glass by Scarlett St. Clair

Mountains Made of Glass (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Scarlett St. Clair
Genre: Adult Fiction (Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: March 7, 2023
Publisher: Bloom Books

"Could you love me?" he whispered. The question stole my breath and burned my lungs in the silence that followed.

I wanted to answer, to whisper yes into the space between us, but I was afraid.

All Gesela's life, her home village of Elk has been cursed. And it isn't a single curse—it is one after another, each to be broken by a villager, each with devastating consequences. When Elk's well goes dry, it is Gesela's turn to save her town by killing the toad that lives at the bottom. Except… the toad is not a toad at all. He is an Elven prince under a curse of his own, and upon his death, his brothers come for Gesela, seeking retribution.

As punishment, the princes banish Gesela to live with their seventh brother, the one they call the beast. Gesela expects to be the prisoner of a hideous monster, but the beast turns out to be exquisitely beautiful, and rather than lock her in a cell, he offers Gesela a deal. If she can guess his true name in seven days, she can go free.

Gesela agrees, but there is a hidden catch—she must speak his name with love in order to free him, too.

Mountains Made of Glass off the first book in the Fairy Tale Retellings series by Scarlett St. Clair. I thought this was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but as it turns out, it was kind of a mix out tales. The story and the characters were pretty well built. I liked that Gasela wasn’t this damsel in distress. It was also a bit of a naughty little story. I felt like the pacing was pretty good for a shorter story like this, except for maybe the romance it self. To me, it felt pretty rushed in the end. All in all? Pretty good. I’d be curious to see what’s next in this series

USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Scarlett St. Clair was born and raised in Oklahoma and is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation. She is the author of several books, including A TOUCH OF DARKNESS, KING OF BATTLE AND BLOOD, and WHEN STARS COME OUT. Originally self-published, Scarlett’s books ignited readers into a frenzy, and A TOUCH OF DARKNESS quickly became a TikTok-trending title.  Scarlett rocketed to the top of bestseller lists across the industry 2021, leading the prolific and popular author to sign with the Bloom Books imprint of Sourcebooks. 

Scarlett is published in more than 13 countries. With millions of copies of her books sold around the world, she is a global bestseller.

The author is a fierce advocate of inclusivity in all her creative endeavors; her books celebrate agency, sex positivity and female empowerment.

To learn more about Scarlett St. Clair and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.
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Monday, August 21, 2023

Book Review: The Watchers by A.M. Shine

The Watchers by A.M. Shine
Genre:  Adult Fiction (Horror)
Date Published: October 14, 2021
Publisher: Head of Zeus

This forest isn't charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina's is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.

Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans—and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn't reach the bunker in time.

The Watchers is the debut novel by A.M. Shine. It's a story with a great premise, but a whole lot of down time where not much happens. Once you get past the first half, things start to get more interesting. The Watchers are creepy and extremely intriguing. The more you learn about them , the more I wanted to know. The evil buggers. I want to know if the character's theory of what they are is actually what they are. I really liked the last quarter of the book. That ending leaves so much room for a sequel. And, I really do want to know what happens next. It left a pretty abrupt cliffhanger. I read to escape reality, yet I want the book to be believable at the same time. It's a fine line, and I feel like The Watchers dances along that line perfectly.

After reading this book, I found out it's going to be made into a movie directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan. I love her father's movies, so I'm pretty excited to see what she'll do with it as her directorial debut.

A. M. Shine is an author of Literary Horror from the west of Ireland. It was there that at a young age he discovered a passion for classic horror stories, and where he received his Masters in history, before ultimately sharpening his quill to pursue a life devoted to all things literary and macabre. His writing is inspired by the trinity of horror, history, and superstition, and he has tormented, toyed with, and tortured more characters than he will ever confess to.

To learn more about A. M. Shine and his books, visit his website. You can also find him on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

Book Review: More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell
Genre: Adult Non-fiction (Christian)
Date Published: January 1, 1977
Publisher: Living Books

With almost ten million copies in print, More Than a Carpenter continues to be the most powerful evangelism tool worldwide. Josh McDowell's timeless examination of the true nature of Christ and his impact on our lives is one of the best-selling Christian books ever. Written by a former skeptic of Christianity, it is a hard-hitting book for those who doubt Jesus' deity and his purpose.

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell is the perfect book for skeptics and doubters. We all have questions. I know I do. This was like a Bible study for me to do on my own. Did it answer all my questions? No. Of course not, but it put a lot of things in perspective. It’s a short read that’ll leave you thinking for a long time.

Since beginning ministry in 1961, Josh has given more than 24,000 talks to over 10 million young people in 118 countries. He is the author or coauthor of 112 books, selling over 51 million copies worldwide, including More Than a Carpenter (more than 15 million copies in print worldwide), which has been translated into over 85 languages, and The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World magazine as one of the twentieth century's top 40 books.

Josh continues to travel throughout the United States and countries around the world, helping young people and adults bolster their faith and scriptural beliefs. Josh will tell you that his family does not come before his ministry—his family is his ministry. He and his wife, Dottie, have four children and eight grandchildren.

To learn more about Josh McDowell and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, InstagramYouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Book Review: Cherish by Tracy Wolff

Cherish (Crave #6) by Tracy Wolff
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: May 30, 2023
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

The sensational conclusion to the massive #1 New York Times bestselling series…

It’s been over three months since my friends and I took down Cyrus. Three months where my biggest fear was what paper was due next... But I should have known it was too good to last. Now everything is falling apart.

The Vampire Court has no king, the Dragon Court has no heart, and the Gargoyle Court has me—a teenager in way over her head. And it’s the worst possible timing, because a threat is brewing just as the Circle is collapsing.

I have no choice but to return to the Shadow Realm and face the terrifying queen who nearly ended us…and make a deal with her to save Mekhi. But this time, I’m bringing my powerful friends with me—and Hudson. Except something is wrong with him, too. He’s keeping a secret—even from me.

All I know is that everyone’s life hangs in the balance. And it’s my fault—because I still owe the Crone a favor...and now she’s come to collect.

Cherish is the sixth and final book in the Crave series by Tracy Wolff. I had a really hard time getting into this one. I don’t know. I just felt like not a lot happened through three quarters of it. I was expecting a big finale, but it all kind of fell short for me. I still love Grace and Hudson. I like the overall conclusion enough, but I was disappointed in the draggy process of getting there. Maybe it’s just me, but I needed more significant action to carry me through to the end.

Have you read the other books in this series?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff is a lover of vampires, dragons, and all things that go bump in the night. A onetime English professor, she now devotes all her time to writing dark and romantic stories with tortured heroes and kick-butt heroines. She has written all her sixty-plus novels from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family.

To learn more about Tracy Wolff and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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