Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyOphelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

A modern-day fairy tale set in a mysterious museum that is perfect for readers of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett.

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes I think I should give up all other genres and just read middle-grade fiction. This book reinforced that thought process. I love it when you can become absorbed in a magical fantasy to the point where all of your stresses and worries fade into the background.

I liked the interactions between the characters in this book, especially Ophelia and the boy, and the interesting descriptions of the relationship between Ophelia and her sister. These characters reminded me somewhat of those in C.S. Lewis’ novels. The abundant feeling of hope and friendship in this story made it one that I shall not soon forget.

One of the things that I particularly found appealing about this book was the way the characters discovered things. I thought the writing in these sections of the book was very original and did not follow the paths I had seen taken before. Items are important in this type of novel and in keeping with that idea, it was refreshing to see that the kids in this book had to use some intellect in order to solve their problems and find what they were looking for.

Children of all ages would enjoy this story. Long enough to keep an older child entertained, yet this book could be read in chapters to a younger child as well.

Overall, I was impressed and am happy to recommend it.

This review is based on a digital ARC, provided by Netgalley and the publisher for the express purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

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Blogger(s) of the week

Garden 106

One of my very favourite people on this planet is the blogger of the week this time. I love her and her other half so much that it is hard to put into words. But I’m going to try anyway. Have you ever met one of those people who just makes you smile when you think about them? Meet Katie Sullivan and her minion…er…Druid “D.”

Why do I adore Katie? There are too many reasons to count. I love that she makes us all laugh, that she is a talented writer and a great mum. I also think she makes talking to yourself an art form. In fact, I believe she has perfected it.

If you haven’t visited with her and D yet, go say hello to them over at:

http://dadialogues.wordpress.com/

 

You know I wouldn’t steer you wrong. If I ever do though, I have a whole list of people you can blame to absolve me of any wrongdoing, starting with Charles.

February Giveaway Donation Request!

A contest that could use some more donations, AUTHORS!!! PAY Attention! Peez!

Legends of Windemere

 

A change of plans with the giveaway, which effects my fellow authors if they wish:

Danielle Taylor showed me that getting other authors to donate free books as prizes along with their Twitter and Facebook info will help spread the word.  It will also help other authors get something out of this event.

If you’re interested, please send me the following either in the comments or by email some time today:

  1. Title of the book that you wish to donate as a prize.  Please include format.
  2. Facebook Author Page.
  3. Twitter Site.

The contest will go until February 28th and you’ll be contacted about who the winner of your book is along with an email address.  Thank you to anyone who wishes to be a part of this event and I apologize for the short notice since the contest starts tomorrow.

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Upon A Winter’s Night by Karen Harper

Upon A Winter's NightUpon A Winter’s Night by Karen Harper

A cold night’s silent majesty hides a BITTER secret…

Though she is deeply loved by her parents, the fact that Lydia Brand is adopted has always made her different from her close-knit Amish community. But as Christmas approaches and she begins to search for answers about her biological parents, more questions surface.

Soon it seems that the deaths of two women in her small town may not be coincidences, after all. And her pursuit of the truth has left her only with hints of a dark secret—and threats from an unseen adversary.

While she does her best to stave off advances from her parents’ preferred suitor, Lydia discovers that her heart truly belongs to the man who’s been there all along: her friend Josh Yoder. It’s only with his help that Lydia can ensure that the stillness of a winter’s night means peace…and not danger.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For being a not outright religious type, I really tend to enjoy the Amish novels. There is a simplistic beauty in the setting of this novel, with rich family traditions and old-fashioned values at the core of the book.

I enjoyed that this was not just the expected love story, but a novel filled with mystery and suspenseful moments. There were quite a few unexpected plot twists and turns, so it kept my attention and kept me reading, waiting to uncover the big secret at the end.

This book is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone quite easily. I liked that the flow was steady. This was a great book to curl up next to the fireplace with on a cold evening. The religion in this book is not the in-your-face type, and I appreciated that.

The story was pretty easy to digest and the events were mostly believable, so if you don’t want to have to suspend belief for every little thing that happens in a book, this might be a good one to choose.

Main characters that can make you feel what they are feeling have always impressed me, and this is the case with this book. You feel the tension, the fear and the love while reading this and want the best outcome for the characters.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable book with a lot to recommend it.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided by Netgalley.

The Dawning by Judy Griffith Gill

The Dawning The Dawning by Judy Griffith Gill

This review is posted as  part of the Retro Reads Program through Open Road Media.

Find out more about the fun program here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/100449-retro-reads—romance
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a difficult book for me to judge. In the beginning I found myself a little confused by who everyone was, especially the various organisations of people. The book has a relatively slow start. There are a few interesting happenings early on, but the events are not fleshed out until you are well into the story.

Because of the heavy back story revolving around the lives of the two main characters, there were times when I wondered whether this was a standalone book or if I had accidentally happened into the middle of a story.

I liked that romance was not the main focus of this book. I thought the character’s determination to succeed and make a life for themselves as the focal point of the story was more important than strictly exploring the nature of their relationship.

There were some unexpected surprises along the way, a few mysteries that unraveled slowly and carefully and a plot that never wavered from the point of the story. The author used a lot of vibrant descriptions and kept the intensity of the character’s goals moving progressively.

The original book was released in 2012 so it still fit pretty well with today’s world and that never became an issue. I think fans of the genre will appreciate both the technical and emotional aspects of this Dystopian tale.

Overall, this was an interesting book that was outside my normal comfort zone but kept me entertained and made me think. I enjoyed some aspects more than others.

This review is based on a digital ARC provided by the publisher as part of the Retro Reads Program. All opinions are my own.

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Siren’s Secret by Debbie Herbert

Siren's Secret

Give this talented author some love, this is her debut novel and it is a beauty! If you have a moment to tweet or FB, or reblog, all efforts are appreciated:)

Siren’s Secret by Debbie Herbert

In Debbie Herbert’s debut novel, there are two secrets, each one with a deadly consequence….

Shelly Connors’s worlds—on land and in the sea—are turned upside down when an evening swim turns into a nightmare. On a sweltering night deep in the bayou, the mystical mermaid witnesses a horrifying act. With a monstrous killer now hot on her trail, her life and the lives of her kin are in jeopardy.

Terrified of becoming the next victim, Shelly has no choice but to turn to Sheriff Tillman Angier. Tillman has had his intense gray eyes on the sultry honey-haired beauty for a while. The feelings are mutual …and impossible to ignore. But he’s determined to solve the murders, and he knows Shelly’s hiding something. Can she trust him with her deepest secret?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I will admit, I had certain reservations about this book. I did not see how one could combine serious subjects with mermaids and fantasy. The autism angle of this book intrigued me as I am raising two autistic children, but I couldn’t see how anyone could take that seriously when mermaids were involved. I am pleased to report though, that Debbie Herbert has managed to make it all work, and make it entertaining in the process.

If you are the type who likes your romance steamy and your villains to have a background, this may just be the book for you. I loved that the villain was not senselessly violent. You learn more about the character as the book unfolds and get a real feeling for why he makes the choices he makes and what made him who he is.

I enjoyed the various relationships in this book, both between the main character and her love interest and her family members. The differences in personalities of the characters created a nice dynamic that kept the story flowing and held my attention.

There is quite a bit of mystery in this story and no major plot downturns, so it never slowed down or got boring. I also appreciated that the author made her autistic character believable and showed him in such a light that he seemed both capable and important to the overall plot.

This book is part murder mystery, part romance and part paranormal, but struck a balance where all three aspects had a chance to shine. Overall, I enjoyed this and look forward to further works from this author.

This review is based off of a digital ARC from the author, in exchange for an honest and impartial review. All opinions are my own.

About the author:

Debbie Herbert writes paranormal romance novels reflecting her belief that love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment. She’s always been fascinated by magic, romance and gothic stories.
Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team. Unlike the mermaid characters in Siren’s Secret, she loves cats and has two spoiled feline companions. When not working on her upcoming book, Siren’s Treasure, Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and motorcycle riding with her husband.
A past Maggie finalist in both Young Adult & Paranormal Romance, she’s a member of the Georgia Romance Writers of America. Debbie has a degree in English (Berry College, GA) and a master’s in Library Studies (University of Alabama).–from goodreads

Find out more at:

 

COVER REVEAL! Grave Possession by Angel

Its a beautiful cover!

Wyndy Dee

COVER REVEAL! Grave Possession by Angel Lawson

 Wraith GP Cover image
Grave Possession is the final book in the Wraith Series.
Summary:

Strong.

Loyal.

Independent.

These aren’t the words Jane expected to use to describe herself, but in the years since she first began seeing ghosts things have changed. A lot. Jane has spent the last two years losing one person after the other. Both dead and alive. But this year things will be different. She’s entering her freshman year of art school, rooming with her best friend Ava and has a new boyfriend. Oh, and she’s no longer afraid that she’s Shadow Bound with a direct connection to ghosts. In fact, she’s learned to use her abilities for her benefit.

Jane soon discovers she can’t walk away from her past. The wounds from her battle with Charlotte are deep and no matter what she tells herself, the break up with Connor weighs…

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The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

The Orphan ChoirThe Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the beginning I had a few reservations about this book. I wasn’t sure how long the author could use the noisy neighbour as the focal point of the story and it seemed as though things weren’t moving along as quick as I would expect. I am pleased to report that there was in fact a good reason she focused on this part of the story and that soon after there was a turning point in the story that not only made it worth the time to read, but surprised me in the process.

I enjoyed this book. Sophie Hannah has a way of drawing the reader into the world of her characters with her unexpected and witty dialogue. I liked the realism of her character’s speech and her ability to make things seem as though they were happening in the same room with me. ( Julian will agree with me when I say it is refreshing to see a book set in Cambridge that isn’t crap.)

Admittedly, I have a thing for creepy novels and stuff that goes bump in the night, but because of this I find it hard to enjoy a lot of books in this category. it seems authors usually go for a set model of how everything is going to go in this type of novel and that bugs me. This author took some risks by breaking away from the expected and I thought that worked in her favour.

The ending of this novel was not the least bit predictable and I appreciated that. Try as I might to figure out exactly what was going to happen, I wasn’t able to until the final page.

If you enjoy suspenseful novels with a heavy dose of psychological terror, this will be a book you want to check out.

This review is based on a digital ARC from netgalley and provided by the publisher.

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