Review (Emotional Rant) ~ Outlander

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The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Goodreads * Amazon

My 4.5 Star Review

Just. WOW. I don’t even know where to start with this review…So many thoughts. So many feelings. Emotional overload…

I am really late starting this series, but the fact that this series has lasted this long and has so many fans, speaks for itself. Where do I fall among these fans. Hmm. I’m still not sure. I just honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. It’s horribly amazing really.

I’m going to do things backwards here and start with the negatives. First, I didn’t think the writing was wonderful – grammatically speaking. Two, sometimes I got confused. But, she means for you to be confused and slowly reveals the answers. This just tends to drive me crazy while I’m confused. Third, Claire got on my nerves so bad at times that I wanted to reach in and slap her. Seriously. She drove me crazy! Fourth, I think the horrible scenes outshine the good ones. Now I don’t mean horribly written. I’m talking ***SPOILERISH*** grit, gore, evil, unspeakable horrible vivid rape and murder. Stuff so horrible I wanted to vomit. I still feel sick.

That leads me to what is good, though. Diana is one heck of a storyteller. I just don’t even have words for how amazing. I was bored the first couple of chapters, but then I found myself so engulfed in this story that God help the man that tried to pry my kindle out of my hands. The scenes were so very gripping and dramatic. My pulse was constantly racing, heart constantly pounding. I wonder how many calories I burned off just reading this book. Jamie completely stole my heart. Diana made me fall for him so completely that I am hating her for what she put him through. It’s fear, and hope, and outrage, and hope, and hate and anger and hatred, and then a little more hope. I’m just still drowning in it all. I honestly can’t say that I’ll pick up the next book. I don’t know if I can handle it. Just. UGH!!!!

The good just wasn’t enough to make me forget. To help me cope.

Warnings: If anything disturbs you, I’ll go ahead and say don’t read this book because it’s probably in here.

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S0, for those of you Outlander lovers out there. I’d love to hear your thoughts here. I feel like I’m drowning in it. I feel like I need to pick up a fluffy and shallow romance, and I usually don’t go for those kind of books.

Happy Reading,

Alison

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Review ~ Arivaca: Guardians of the Light

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Title: ARIVACA: Guardians of the Light

Author: John Poulsen

Publication Date: Dec. 13, 2014

Genre: YA/NA Sci-fi/Thriller/Adventure/Romance

Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.

Given superhuman powers, Jesse is suddenly thrust into a strange and perilous world of supernal treasures, killers and demons—battling the dark forces who desperately seek the sacred artifact. Thinking he’s on a one man mission, Jesse is shocked to learn that Cedar Lane, a girl who seriously despises him, may have spiritual gifts essential for keeping the relic safe. Without her help, he’s in jeopardy of losing not just the relic, but his life.

As Jesse unravels this secretive and dangerous world he learns the ups and downs of young love, and both the reward and peril of following his divine call.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ***3 Star*** Review

When first meeting Jesse, I felt sorry for him. I even wondered if it would be possible for him to have a big turn around in the story. But then I learned Jesse had a different side to him that didn’t quite fit with the stoner bad boy stuff. I’m not even sure that a person exists out in the real world like him, so it threw me off a little. Then couple that with the fact that the beginning of the story seemed to drag and the conversations seemed a little unnatural, and I just wasn’t feeling this story in the beginning. Oh, and the minor characters all fell flat.
But, I did slowly start seeing more depth to Jesse, and a slow change began happening in him. That seemed realistic. The book slowly started gaining appeal.
After 30% in it finally grabbed my attention. A good romance began to slowly build along with sexual tension. Exciting and dangerous adventures began taking place. There were some gruesome and violent situations that I think would appeal to male readers.
The ending is slightly cliffhangerish. You get the end of a storyline, but are still left hanging in many ways.

Summation and final thoughts ~ It took a while for this book to grab my attention, but ultimately it did and I would read the next book. I enjoyed the slow change in Jesse’s character and the slow romance building. However, I found it strange to be enjoying some sexual tension in a book about saving God’s relics. I didn’t feel like there was enough significance placed on the actual items Jesse was meant to protect. Ultimately it felt like you could have swapped out God’s relics for anything and made very little changes to the story and it would have still made sense. That might have been because I would have expected a stronger presence from God and/or a heart change in Jesse towards God, but those were nonissues in this story.
*I received a copy via NetGalley and Folded Corners in exchange for an honest review.*

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

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My ****4.5**** Star Review

Every now and then I like to take on a book for review that I’m not sure will interest me. I don’t like limiting myself to the books that I “typically” read. For me, I tend to like some romance in my books. This book is far from that category. I can’t say that it is completely without any romantic elements, though.

I decided to give this book a try as a read-aloud to two of my kids, ages 7 and 10. I had to lighten a little of the language, but there wasn’t much there. I think I used the word “heck” a whole lot in place of “hell,” but I’d definitely recommend this for early teens. My 10 yr old son absolutely LOVED it! He has requested me to get the rest of the series. We even did some research into the history behind the Yukon Gold Rush, and read the poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” as a result of the book. It was a great educational experience for the three of us!

While I loved the educational side of the book, I’d be lying if I said that was what drew us in. It was the suspenseful adventure! We were right along side of Kitty and experienced everything she did. It was exhilarating! We loved guessing the outcomes and answers to the mysteries. Sometimes we were right, or one of us anyways. Other times all of us were left with our jaws dropping, shouting, “NO WAY!!!” It was an adventure for us! We’re looking forward to the next great experience with Kitty Hawk!

*I received a free copy via Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.*

You can currently pick up the next 3 books in the series!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts – The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini – the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik – the gentle giant; Inigo – the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen – the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

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My *****5 Star***** Review

I was barely into the book and laughing hysterically. I read this as part of a book club I’m in. This is one of the books I put into the figurative hat we draw our pick from. I was looking at someone’s “Top 10 Must Read Books List” and saw this on there. I had no idea that this was another book to movie. One of my friends in the book club is in love with the movie. I’ve only seen it in bits and pieces, but wasn’t overly impressed. It’s been a while, though, so I wanted to see it again and from start to finish. Of course, when I realized it was a book, I wanted to read the book before doing so. As I mentioned before I was barely into the book and laughing hysterically. If you’re one for satire, then this book is for you! I kept marking tons of quotes to share with my friends that had me rolling! Here’s just one of the many scenes that had me cracking up ~

“Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?”
He couldn’t believe it. “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were-”
“I don’t understand that first one yet,” Buttercup interrupted.

Yes, Buttercup is a ditz, and Westley doesn’t mind telling her so, which just adds to the hilarity. I actually look forward to reading this to my kids later. There’s all sorts of adventure mixed in that will appeal to boys, too. There are sword fights, poisonings, and torture, but they are shared in a manner that can be downright comical. Some parts will upset you a little and have you thinking that all things don’t work out fairly. However, that’s the author’s point in the story – that life just isn’t always fair. What a great message!

Spoiler Alert!!! ~ The best part of the whole story for me, though, came after I finished reading the whole story. I started to do a little online research and discovered that despite Goldman saying that this is an abridged version, he actually wrote the whole thing, and his little personal comments are all just a part of the story! He made them all up! I was completely suckered!!!! I thought it was genius!

Recommendations ~ I recommend this to everyone! I’m looking forward to watching the movie now after having read the book. I imagine I’ll appreciate it a whole lot more. Since Goldman wrote his own screenplay, I hope not to be disappointed!

About the Author ~ William Goldman

William Goldman
Goldman grew up in a Jewish family in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and obtained a BA degree at Oberlin College in 1952 and an MA degree at Columbia University in 1956.His brother was the late James Goldman, author and playwright.

William Goldman had published five novels and had three plays produced on Broadway before he began to write screenplays. Several of his novels he later used as the foundation for his screenplays. In the 1980s he wrote a series of memoirs looking at his professional life on Broadway and in Hollywood (in one of these he famously remarked that “Nobody knows anything”). He then returned to writing novels. He then adapted his novel The Princess Bride to the screen, which marked his re-entry into screenwriting.
Goldman has won two Academy Awards: an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay for All the President’s Men. He has also won two Edgar Awards, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Motion Picture Screenplay: for Harper in 1967, and for Magic (adapted from his own 1976 novel) in 1979.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Kraken King (Part 1)

Kraken King Part 1

Title: The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (Iron Seas #4.1)


Author: Meljean Brook


Date Published: April 15, 2014


Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW: InterMix


Genre: Sci-Fi/Steampunk, Romance, Fantasy, Adventure

Blurb

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

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My ****4 Star****Review

First let me describe how this book is laid out. This is actually just the first part of an 8 part novel, which will later be released as one complete novel if I’m understanding correctly. I didn’t realize when I first received the book for review that it would be so short and incomplete, so this threw me off at the end. I don’t want you to pick this up not realizing what you’re getting. To be more thorough in this explanation, The Kraken King in it’s entirety, is the 4th book in the Iron Seas series. I haven’t previously read the first 3 books in the series, so I can say it works as a stand alone. I couldn’t comment on how it relates to the previous 3 novels.

Okay, so first let me say that I really thought the steampunk fantasy world was quite intriguing. This was such a unique story. It blended aspects of our past with what could only be considered futuristic ideas. I thought the descriptions were wonderful, and I could easily picture the events in my head.

As far as the characters went, I would have to say that I didn’t agree with their judgment calls on a lot of things. There were times that some of the characters were rude, selfish and immature. However, I was still so greatly intrigued. Plus there were some very admirable qualities, such as the way the Kraken King took care of the people in his area and was self-sacrificing.

Unfortunately this was so short that I don’t have a whole lot to say on it. While I found it quite interesting and unique, I don’t think I would pay $1.99 for this little book – or more accurately what would amount to a few chapters. That would be $16 after spending that on all 8 parts. I’m curious to see what the price will be when the book is complete.

I’ll have to go with 4 low stars. I think if I had a complete story then I would probably rate it 4 strong stars, but that remains to be seen. Who would I recommend this to? Steampunk/Romance fans that don’t mind gritty, naughty characters!

Warnings: some strong language, sexual banter
*I received a copy via NetGalley and InterMix in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Meljean Brook

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Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing–and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.

Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormeljeanbrook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meljean
Website: http://meljeanbrook.com/

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blitz ~ Net Riders (Virtual Life Adventures)

Net Riders Cover

adventure/science fiction novel for middle graders.

Synopsis: When Zane and Megan crack the Secnet, they stumble across Project Net Rider. It’s an awesome Cyber Warfare program with a virtual netbike to infiltrate any computer in the new global network. But the software is dangerous—and in the wrong hands—capable of unlimited destruction. So when the notorious Haxta steals a copy, the entire world is threatened. And the two hackers have to risk everything to stop him.

iTunes | GoodReads | Amazon | Kindle

Giorgio Marino

Giorgio Marino has degrees in Engineering and Business and has worked in Technical, Sales and Marketing roles all over Australia. He has travelled extensively around the world to research his novels, and now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two young children. His main interests are reading, writing, movies, illustrating, web design, travel and of course, exploring playgrounds. He writes full time and when not running after children, is working on a new novel. Net Riders is his first published book.

Website | Amazon | GoodReads

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blast ~ Deadly Eyes by Michael Meyer

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Deadly Eyes
by Michael Meyer
Romantic Suspense
Categories: Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Pacific Books
Release Date: March 8, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Length: 314 pages

Available At: Amazon * B&N * Smashwords * Sony

Description

James Cuffy, better known as Cuff, is living in paradise with his girlfriend, on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix, where the sky is as blue as Cuff’s eyes, the ocean as pretty as Rosie’s cheeks, where the gentle lapping of the waves is a lullaby, and the swaying of the palm trees is a dance. The sandy beaches are as white as sugar, and the horizon is a world away. St. Croix indeed is paradise, the perfect place for living, laughing, and loving.

But the sandy beaches and the turquoise sea can provide no cover from the deadly eyes of the unknown stalker pursuing Cuff. Murder leads to murder as he attempts to untangle the terrible web in which he has suddenly become entangled.

The twists and turns are relentless, the roads of the fast action leading in all directions, but time is running out, and Cuff, his faithful Rosie at his side, knows it.

Book Trailer

Excerpt

These were not naked eyes, for the distance between these eyes and the beach bar at Cathy’s Fancy was too great for the naked eye to discern who was who. No, these eyes had planned meticulously. The eyes were glued to a pair of terribly expensive and unbelievably powerful Swarovski Optik binoculars. The balcony on which they now worked, taking in the scene before them, was the perfect place to see but not be seen. The powerful binoculars saw to that.

The distance, the palm trees, and the rays of the sun all helped. The position had been hand picked, after careful consideration. Every angle had been considered, and, one by one, they had all been discarded for one reason or another until this very spot, the perfect place to observe while not being observed, had been selected.

Yes, the eyes had seen it all. The eyes had seen precisely what they had hoped to see. They were like a master puppeteer. They planned, controlled, and observed, but from a safe distance. They did not miss a trick.

The eyes. The deadly eyes of St. Croix.

About the Author

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I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the island of St. Croix, where DEADLY EYES is set. I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.

I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as DEADLY EYES was born.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats.

Connect with Mike Myers
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife/app_191387770912394
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/674626.Mike_Meyer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/temmike/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Meyer/e/B005E7M8CW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Happy Reading,

Alison