Book Review: Rain Saga by Riley Barton

Rain Saga

The Synopsis:

The year is 2119. Twenty years ago the world changed forever. Almost overnight, the serene, blue sphere that was once our Earth was reduced to a dark green smudge shrouded in a blanket of torrential storms. Millions died in the flash floods. Millions more succumbed to disease.

Luna McKelly’s parents were among the survivors who fled to the shielded city of New Denver in the early years of the disaster. Now 18, Luna is a gifted scientific prodigy working on a cure for the dreaded Blister Wart disease–a fungal infection that rapidly consumes its host if left un-checked. But when an expedition into the swamp goes horribly wrong, Luna soon finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew as her entire world unravels around her.

My Review:

Riley Barton is a new author to me, and possibly to many others, but I can see his writing going far in the future. Rain Saga has a very fascinating plot line and excellent characters full of excitement. His writing style brings the story to life wonderfully and I couldn’t put the book down after starting it.

The fight details were absolutely perfect, as I could see, hear, smell and even feel what was happening; however, the details for the rest of the story were kind of lost and I had trouble visualizing what was happening outside of the fighting. So it was slightly unbalanced in that area but not so much as to affect my rating.

In light of all, I fell in love with the characters and this book will be shelved with my favorites! I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and anxiously anticipate Riley’s next novel!

Book Review: A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

A Thousand Shall Fall

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis: 

“In the autumn of 1864, spirited Carrie Ann Bell is searching for her runaway sister in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Disguised as a Yankee soldier, she stumbles into a skirmish near Front Royal-and instead of her sister, she finds trouble.

Colonel Peyton Collier of the Union calvary division arrests her for impersonating an officer, but protects her from worse consequences. Soon the Southern girl finds herself drawn to the chivalrous Yankee horseman, discovering that her foe has become her ally-and more than that, someone she could love. But Carrie has promised to keep a dark secret, never suspecting that her silence might threaten the life of the gallant colonel who holds her-and her heart-captive.

My Review: 

Andrea Boeshaar is a new author to me however, I am now a fan of her works. Her writing is easy to read and understand and her characters are very well developed. A Thousand Shall Fall is a wonderful Civil War story that I will remember for quite a while. The plot is a “page-turner” indeed and the subplots are equally as engaging.

There are a few war scenes that get descriptive to a point that might make certain readers queasy however they were not too bad in my personal opinion. The only thing about this book that was not up to par was the ending, it felt rushed and repetitive concerning Peyton and Carrie and for the first time during the whole book, I began to lose interest. The author did manage to recapture my attention with a final plot twist, but it would have been nicer to end on a stronger note with Peyton and Carrie.

So over all, I rate A Thousand Shall Fall a full 5 stars out of 5 and anxiously anticipate the next book to this series.

On a side-note, I would absolutely LOVE to see a short-story novella written in the runaway sister’s POV; that would be phenomenal!

Book Review: War For the Waking World by Wayne Thomas Batson

War For the Waking World

I received this book from the author/publisher via Litfuse for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis: 

Fifteen-year-old Archer Keaton has the ability to enter and explore his dreams. He is a Dreamtreader, one of three selected from each generation. Their mission: to protect the waking world from the Nightmare Lord who dwells beyond the Slumber Gate. But as Archer’s dreams become more dangerous and threatening, so too does his waking life.
In this fast-paced conclusion to the exciting fantasy trilogy, the dream world and the waking world bleed into each other when a rift is formed between the two. People in the real world suddenly find their waking lives resemble their wildest dreams. Now it’s up to Archer and his fellow Dreamtreaders to race to reverse the rift before too much damage is done and to battle Archer’s ex-best friend, Kara, who sits on the throne of the Nightmare Lord. Kara is building an army of her own. Will Archer be strong enough to stand against her?

My Review: 

War For the Waking World is book 3 in the Dreamtreaders series and full of spritely and entertaining characters. The plot is unique and the writing style is engaging. Wayne Thomas Batson is a talented author that brings the story to life vividly and with incredible skill. I also love his name and spelling choices for the characters, it kept the story new and fresh.

I mentioned that this is book 3 and although I haven’t read the first two, I was able to follow decently well for jumping in the middle of the series. So I can confidently say that you can read this book as a stand-alone, but I wouldn’t recommend it as there were a few parts that were built up in the previous novels and therefore hard to follow.

All in all, I rate War For the Waking World 4 out of 5 stars and anticipate more of Batson’s books.

Book Review: A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

A Respectable Actress

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely me own.

The Synopsis: 

When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

My Review: 

Dorothy Love is not a new author to me and I’ve genuinely enjoyed her previous works that I’ve read, so I was quite excited when A Respectable Actress arrived. She combines romance and mystery beautifully in the this thick plot and keeps the readers engaged with her lovely characters.

Her writing style is gorgeous and easy to understand in addition to the characters being life-like and relatable. The only complaint that I have with A Respectable Actress is that the details tended to get overbearing and caused the book to lag a bit in the places that focused on insignificant objects rather than the story or characters. But these were not very often and the overall of the story flowed very well.

So in conclusion, I rate A Respectable Actress 4 out of 5 stars and encourage those who are fans of her previous novels to pick this one up; you will not be disappointed!

Book Review: Trial Run by Thomas Locke

Trial Run

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Featured Review From MaKenzie: 

I am quickly becoming a fan of Thomas Locke (also known as Davis Bunn), after reading Patmos Deception and The Emissary, i was eager to get my hands on this later masterpiece. What i love about Locke’s writings is the intricate detail that goes into them and the continual knot of plot twists that keep the story from being predictable. The only real problem i had with Trial Run was in the beginning. At first i had a really hard time getting into the story, Locke writes from the alternating perspective of three or four different people, with the beginning being so diversified i had trouble following. But once he started bringing all of the pieces together i couldn’t put it down.
Cutting-edge research requiring controversial experiments. Startling dreams delivering cryptic communication from the dreamer’s future self. Ruthless rivals determined to control mind-bending new technology. This daring psychological journey into the very nature of causation and consciousness will leave you turning the pages and grasping for solid ground-especially when it becomes clear just how much fact lies within the fiction.
Overall this book receives 5 stars from me.

NaNoWriMo, Yep, I Broke Down and Signed Up


Honestly, I still can’t believe that I just signed up for this. After all, November is chock-full of speech deadlines and tournaments, my short story for the Rooglewood Press contest needs to be finished by December, I have family, friends, and yes, even acquaintances nagging me to finish A Queen is Knighted, and then you can’t forget all of the birthdays, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas preparations, and….you get the idea. It really doesn’t seem realistic to start and finish a 50K word novel in 30 days, and I nearly passed up this opportunity because of all of the above. However, I was struck with the sudden thought that if I waited until a November appeared that wasn’t busy, then I would never do it.

NaNoWriMo is probably the best way to get motivated to write something, I learned this from the camp in April. No, I didn’t finish my novel in April, and thats okay, because I learned so much about myself and my writing style that it was successful in my opinion. I’m not going in this November with the goal of winning, yes I do aim to win, but my goal is to learn how to operate better with a deadline and to push myself to do the impossible.

I have a good idea for a novel that is something far different than I’ve ever written before and I don’t know if its one that will ever make it to stores, but it is going to be created in the month of November and it is going to be created to the best of my abilities.

So if you are a writer still contemplating on whether or not to join NaNoWriMo, just go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t achieve your goal? That’s okay. You’re not putting money in, only time. And even if you fall a few words short of your goal, look at what you still accomplished. You’re time wasn’t wasted because you still got those words written down. You can do this!

Are you a 2015 NaNoer? Is this your first year? Are you scared to death like *yours truly* or are you confident that you’ve got this in the bag? 

If you are participating and would like to be Buddies with me, look me up :-) “Ragdogs” 

Youngster Review: Beyond the Attic Door by Tracy Del Campo

Beyond the Attic Door

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

The year is 1925, and the nation is at odds as the “trial of the century” approaches. Mr. John Scopes, a schoolteacher, has been arrested for teaching evolution. Creationists and evolutionists are debating the existence of God and the authority of the Bible. Many believe religion may be doomed.

Meanwhile, eleven-year-old Lulu and her seven-year-old brother, Buddy, are visiting their grandmother in the Missouri countryside. On a dark and stormy night, they sneak into the attic workshop of their uncle, a brilliant scientist and inventor, and suddenly find themselves on a harrowing journey through time.

Join Lulu and Buddy on this incredible adventure filled with history, humor, and hair-raising excitement, as they discover the meaning of faith: Beyond the Attic Door.

My Review: 

Beyond the Attic Door is geared for middle grade children who wish to learn more about Christianity. The writing of the book will entice the young readers to engage with story and characters in a way that will keep them reading and hungry for more. There is action, science, history, and a beautiful explanation of the Christian faith that kids these days just do not get in regular books, and I was very impressed with Tracy’s well explained theology. The kids will be able to understand everything here and can actually improve their knowledge of Christianity through reading it. But aside from the learning aspect, the story itself was wonderful! The setting and characters were well thought out and the scenes that unfolded engaged even me as I flipped through the pages.

I give Beyond the Attic Door a full 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this book to kids under 12; especially those who are homeschooled and wanting to know more about Christianity.

Fabulous job Tracy!!!