Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Title: Waterfall (River of Time #1)

Author: Lisa T. Bergren

Publisher: David C. Cook

Format: ebook ($.7.39) Paperback ($9.99)

Length:  384 pages

Release Date: February 1, 2011

Genre: young adult historical romance, time travel

Available at: AmazonBarnes & NobleDavid C. Cook

Summary: Gabi and Lia Betarrini are used to traveling the world with their archaeologist parents. They’ve spent summers in Italy ever since they can remember, but since their father’s death, their mother has thrown herself even more into her work. Her latest discovery brings them to ancient Etruscan tombs. Even though they know it’s off-limits, the two girls sneak into one of the tombs while their mother is pre-occupied. Inside they find handprints painted on the cold stone wall, but the handprints are warm to their touch, and when both girls touch the prints at the same time they are sent careening back through time into the 14th century, where they find themselves in the middle of a medieval skirmish for territory.

The problem is they land in that time a few days apart, so they have to find each other again. With two warring families fighting over that territory, it becomes a difficult prospect. Add to that an incredibly good-looking medieval lord with a jealous fiancee’, an evil rival lord who would love nothing more than to take over their castle, some well-played strategies, and two vicious she-wolves. They’ll be lucky if they can make it back to their own time in one piece!

Review: It keeps you fully occupied from start to finish. So action-packed! It’s written in first person, so you get an in-depth view of the main character and all the challenges she goes through that help her grow into her role as the savior of Siena. The plot keeps moving, never a moment for Gabi to rest. There were a few places I would have liked more description, a few places there was more telling than showing, but then again, the story was moving at a steady pace and the extra description might have interrupted the rhythm.

Recommendation: It is a great book for any age group if you like adventure. A little romance, but nothing you wouldn’t want your eleven year old to see. Good clean fiction. Loved it! Gotta give it five quills:

Five Quills

 

This is the first of three novels in the series, plus there are two companion novellas. I’ve purchased all the others and have them waiting on my Kindle! Good stuff!

Review: The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex by Rebekah Purdy

The Fairy Godmother Files by Rebekah L. PurdyTitle: The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex

Author: Rebekah L. Purdy

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book ($2.99)

Pages: 235 pages

Release Date: March 19, 2012

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fairy Tale

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Maggie is hoping her junior year will be the best year yet, but her hopes are dashed on the very first day when the school mean girl targets her as the victim of displaced anger.

Add to that the family secret she discovers at her grandmother’s retirement party, leaving Maggie with no choice but to take over for her grandmother as the newest…fairy godmother–wings, wand, and all–and her prime directive is to make sure all her assignments get their “happy ever after”.

Easier said than done.

Her first mission turns out to be none other than her nemesis, mean girl Katrina Melville. But naturally, the indignation doesn’t stop there. Kat’s HEA includes the one guy Maggie has been crushing on since puberty hit, school hottie Connor Prince.

To top it all off, her new responsibilities require to disappear at a moment’s notice (literally) to answer every beck and call of the assigned prima donna. And Maggie’s friends don’t take very kindly to being ditched in the middle of bonding time. So much for junior year being the best yet.

Review: This was exceptionally well written. The story was engaging from the very beginning and it had everything you could want: romance, action, suspense, love triangles, evil stepmother, monsters… And of course, it sets up for a continuing story at the end. I did think it was a little strange that while her “knight”/body guard received ongoing training for his job, Maggie herself received none. Of course, that just added to the humor when her spells kept going wrong, and to the suspense when she ran into the evil Grimms–so not necessarily a bad thing.

The dialogue between the characters is so well-timed and well-written it gives a great sense of the characters and the age group. The sibling rivalry and the anger towards the father (I hated that guy) for the way he was treating Maggie and her brother were both funny and realistic. Loved the character interaction.

Recommendation: I laughed out loud throughout this whole book. So many funny lines and lots of physical comedy. Great for young adult and adult readers alike. It’s a clean read, but there are some older themes, so I wouldn’t recommend for younger than high school age. I give The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex  four quills.

four quills

Can’t wait for the rest of The Fairy Godmother Files!

Review: Shawnee’s Creek by Stephy Smith

Shawnee's Creek by Stephy Smith

Title: Shawnee’s Creek

Author: Stephy Smith

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: ebook ($1.99)

Pages: @77 pages

Release Date: August 9, 2011

Genre: Romance – Contemporary/Western

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press, Smashwords

Summary: Shawnee and Cheyenne Turner have endured their fair share of suffering, but now their lives are finally on the right track: brand new jobs they love and intriguing new men in their lives. And while Cheyenne seems to change from her previous depression almost overnight, Shawnee struggles to accept the affection of Emory Creek. Though she is magnetically drawn to him, she is apprehensive about rumors of his past and inability to commit.

Finally unable to stand the situation no longer, she leaves town and finds a new job in Colorado. But when the owner of that ranch sells out, she has no other recourse but to return to her home town and take her old job back. And Emory is there waiting for her, eager to prove that she is the only woman for him.

Review:  This book starts out really strong, involving the reader immediately in the lives of the main characters. Can’t help but want to keep reading, and there are many powerful and amazing scenes in this story. There were several places I wanted to read again and again. The frustrating part for me was the gaps left in the plot line. Stuff that helps to develop the relationship between the characters. I was so sucked in the beginning, I felt a little disappointed when it seemed I was missing out on key points.

Recommendation:  I realize it’s a novella, and so there isn’t as much room for expanding all the details, but with a story this good, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to add those in and make it into a full length novel. I want to know what I missed! For this reason, I give three quills to Shawnee’s Creek:

Three Quills

I do like Stephy Smith’s style and would happily read more of her books. The uniquely Texas ranch flavor is a great trademark!

Review: Jamais Vu by Monique O’Connor James

Jamais Vu by Monique O'Connor James

Title: Jamais Vu

Author: Monique O’Connor James

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book ($.99 at the time of this review)

Pages: 227 pages

Release Date: October 3, 2011

Genre: Paranormal

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Darby Lambert had the picture perfect life — a wealthy family, a nice car, a good education, a successful, good-looking boyfriend, a bright future. But one bullet threw her whole life, her whole existence, careening out of control.

Somewhere between death and life, Darby meets a man who sends her back to help people escape an untimely death. She sees these the deaths of these people in her dreams. One of these people is the talented musician, Kasey, who is in danger of overdosing on drugs.

The immediate connection between Darby and Kasey draws them into each other’s lives. Darby tries to convince Kasey to kick his drug habit, all the while running from demons of her own.

The author takes the reader on a journey with the main character from her “death”, through her efforts to save people who have come to hold a prominent place in her life. Unfortunately, there are forces working against her that seem to be winning.

Review: This is a tough one for me to review because it’s unlike anything I’ve read before. It is definitely a rare style of writing, and the author does it well. I love it’s unique flavor and imaginitive plot.

The writing is fantastic. The reader’s attention is captured from the very beginning, and the plot is built slowly for the first two-thirds of the book, continually adding more intricacies to the conflict. The author does a good job developing the main character throughout her traumatic recovery, eventually bringing her to a full self-awareness.

The last third of the story moves fast. So fast, that when the end comes, you might sit there for a few minutes to digest what just happened. It’s a thinker.

Recommendation: It might not be for everyone, because it is a bit of a wild ride through the main character’s stream of consciousness. From what I understand, the second book in the series brings it all together, so the questions you are left with at the end of Jamais Vu are answered in Deja Vu. If you’re not afraid to try something new and different in your reading repertoire, you are in for an amazing trip.  I give Jamais Vu a rating of four quills:

four quills