Blog

Review: Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold

ollie oxleyTwelve-year-old Ollie Oxley is moving-again. His mom is starting another new job, this time at the Bingham Theater in Granite City, California. Moving all the time means Ollie has struggled in the making friends department, but he quickly connects with a boy named Teddy. To Ollie’s surprise, though, his first friend in town is a little more . . . unique than those he’s made in the past. Teddy is a ghost.

Befriending someone who lived during the famous California Gold Rush sure does make things interesting for Ollie. But when the school bully, Aubrey, targets Ollie and it looks like the Bingham Theater might close, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Can Teddy and Ollie work together to take down Aubrey, save his mom’s job, and solve a mystery years in the making?


My Review:

I loved this book. For one thing, I could relate to how Ollie must feel about moving. Ollie’s unhappiness is straining his family relationships. Quickly upon moving, Ollie has a run in with the class bully, and a friendly boy name Teddy.

When Ollie’s mom’s new job is threatened with closing, Teddy tells Ollie about his father’s hidden gold. The trouble is, Teddy doesn’t remember where his house is, nor his last name. So Ollie and Teddy go on a hunt for the golden treasure, and end up repairing another treasure–Ollie’s family.

This is a must read book. It’s middle grade, but I do feel that it’s a good book about family.  If you like heartwarming tales of adventure and family, this is for you. All the pieces fit together nicely.

This book releases June 18, 2019.

I received an ARC from the publisher.

Advertisements

Review: The Winter of the Witch

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.


My Review:

The Winter of the Witch is the third book in the series, The Bear and the Nightingale. I have enjoyed the series, although there were a few things I could do with out. (For sensitive readers, such as myself, there are several instances of the word b—h,  and in this particular book, mostly in reference to a dog with nursing puppies.)

You can read my reviews for The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower here..

Again, I enjoyed this book. I enjoy the way author Katherine Arden writes, the way she weaves her words. But there were a few things I didn’t care for.

The story picks up where The Girl in the Tower left off.  A growing mob wants Vasya dead, endangering Vasya’s sister Olga and her family. So Vasya faces the peril head on, and goes into Midnight. Meanwhile, Russia  is on the brink of war, the bear is again lose, and Morozko is trapped.

The ending was satisfying.

Sensitive Reader warning: Some language, nudity, and some sensuality.  (the b word, Vasya gets naked a few times, such as  a scene were she is drying her clothes, and there’s a mostly fade to black sex scene in the bathhouse.)

 

I initially received an ARC from the publisher, and went on to buy a copy.


 

New Release: Reality Show Romance (My Korean Crush Series Book 4) by Shannon Kent

‘Til the end of the show do us part

Letty McDonnell—a hug first and ask questions later kind of gal—stumbles into an unexpected scandal with her favorite K-pop star when she spots him at the airport. Is it bad timing or a blessing in disguise? The international publicity leads to a job offer from the reality show Marry My Stalker, where the two pretend to be man and wife as they complete a variety of crazy couple missions.

Wacky challenges, jealous fangirls, and a language barrier can’t slow Letty down. Especially when she has handsome translator, Ben Park, whispering in her ear. He steers her away from cultural faux pas and offers behind-the-scenes encouragement as she maneuvers the unfamiliar public arena. But is he sincerely interested or just doing his job? The affectionate words her fake husband says for the cameras are always repeated by Ben’s caring voice, and Letty begins to wonder if a romance without spotlights or red carpets is the real path to true love.


My Review:

This book was a lot of fun.  This book starts after Flower Boy Tour Guide, where we first met our leading lady, Letty.

We start off at the airport, where a classic K-drama scene unfolds. Letty literally bumps into her favorite star and becomes an overnight gossip sensation. Not to miss out on the free publicity, the Kpop singers  agency launches a web show, Marry My Stalker. Because Letty doesn’t speak Korean, she gets her own charming translator, Ben.

From the array of  reality brides, to the camera crew, the Kpop stars themselves, and to Letty’s developing relationships with her co-stars and translator, this story will keep you turning (digital)  pages.

A delightful modern day fairy tale.

Only  $0.99 today, January 23, 2019.

New Release: Ragnarok Unwound

Prophecies don’t untangle themselves.

Just ask Ikepela Ives, whose estranged mother left her with the power to unravel the binding threads of fate. Stuck with immortal power in a mortal body, Ives has turned her back on the duty she never wanted. But it turns out she can’t run from her fate forever, not now that Ragnarok has been set in motion and the god at the center of that tangled mess has gone missing. With a ragtag group of companions—including a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself—Ives embarks on her first official mission as Fate Cipher—to save the world from doomsday.

Nothing she can’t handle. Right?



 

New Release: Runaway Pop-Star by Jennie Bennett

 

Jackie Bartell has always loved Take5’s Jax, but the pop star has been missing for over a year. When playing a gig with her ska band near the Santa Monica Pier, she spots Jax listening at the back of the room. Dropping her trumpet, she runs after him. As much as she tries to catch up, she can’t match his speed and soon he crosses the busy highway, begging her not to follow.
Several months later, Jackie walks into a local music shop to apply for a job and finds herself face to face with Jax once more. This time, she manages to keep her cool, and Jax doesn’t seem to recognize her with a new haircut and color.
With her passion for music and a kind heart, she nails the interview and her biggest dream comes true—getting to spend every day with her favorite pop-star. She only wants his friendship, but Jax’s flirtations grow stronger as time passes, and Jackie can’t resist his charm.
Everything would be fairy-tale perfect, except for the lie she keeps of Jax’s identity. With their relationship growing stronger every day, Jackie must decide between honesty and love.


My Review:

Once again, Jennie Bennett delivers a cute romantic comedy.   The  story had flawed characters that grow during the tale. A few times I had to shake my head at Jackie’s antics, or at the conclusions she came to. But Jax was equally flawed. This makes them real. And it’s each other that brings about the best in each other, and it makes you really root for them.If you like sweet young adult romances, I recommend this book. It will have you smiling and laughing all the way to the end.


Temporarily  on sale for 99 cents! Grab your copy today!

Review: Loving Lieutenant Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden

 

Orphaned as a child, Arabella Hampton was the unwanted and unloved charge of a cruel aunt and neglectful uncle. The only light in her young life was the kindness of the Jonquil family, and she clung to the childish dream of someday living with them at Lampton Park. Now, years later, that opportunity is presented to Arabella in a most unexpected way: she is to be the lady’s companion to the dowager countess. As she takes up residence at the estate, the young woman soon finds that life at the Park is far more complicated than she imagined. The lines of her position are blurred, and she is neither family nor servant. So when the countess plans a grand house party, Arabella is content to hide in the shadows. But one gentleman sees her there.

Lieutenant Linus Lancaster has retired from the navy and is not looking for love, especially when he finds himself entangled in his sisters’ scheme to trap him into finding a wife at a house party at Lampton Park. Yet amid the festivities, he’s impossibly drawn to the dowager’s quiet companion, Arabella. Their regard for each other is undeniable, but they are haunted by their pasts. Can the two find a way to bridge their worlds?


 

My Review:

I can’t recommend this book enough! Even if you haven’t read any of the Jonquil or Lancaster books, this is a must read book. 

It adds depth to the Jonquil family, and to the Lancaster family. I adored Arabella and truly understood her and Linus, especially Linus’s feelings on the loss of his brother. I really hope there’s more to Artemis and Charlie’s story soon.

Bits and pieces of the story fall into place as we share the experience with Arabella and Linus. Both are broken souls who find solace, love, and family together.  We see them through each others eyes, and the Dowager will play a key  role is helping them realize that love is worth the risk.

I adored each of the characters.

I received an ARC from the publisher. (Thank you!)

Review: Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

 

My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I’m losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven t had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can’t clearly see.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he’s furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the Find a Comic Star contest. He s also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell’s not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws awesome pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?

McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn’t share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint’s comic book named Squint.

Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges, who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

 


My Review:

What can I say with out giving things away? This is a heart warming story about a 13 year old boy with a serious vision problem. He loses more than football when his vision changes, and it’s a classmate named McKell and her brother Danny that help him see, really see, the world around him. This is a story that will have you smiling, crying, and laughing.

I received an ARC from the publisher and voluntarily leave this review.

Review: The Roses of Feldstone

Standing before Feldstone Manor, site of so many happy memories, Rose Davenport feels nothing but dread. Her family’s annual visit to the stately home was once brightened by her friendship with the earl’s youngest son, William, but everything changed the day his elder brother was disinherited and William became heir to his father’s earldom. From that moment, William made it clear he has no interest in continuing an acquaintance with Rose. Heartbroken, she sets out to prove that she will simply not be ignored—or outdone—by the arrogant future lord of the manor.

When his elder brother marries for love, William’s entire life changes in an instant. He does not have the same option to marry whom he chooses, and he must let go of the feelings he has harbored for his dear friend, Rose. He steels himself against her annual visits, determined to keep his feelings for her a secret. But when he makes the hasty promise to marry within six months, he never dreams that his actions will lead Rose to impulsively undertake the same challenge


 

My Review:

The beautiful cover caught my eye.   With this story, I struggled to connect and like Rose. She seemed to misread everything in her dealings with William.  The romance between the two felt forced to a few touches and kisses, and seemed out of place for a (clean) Regency romance. These two desperately needed to sit down and talk with out the snark.

Rose does have a huge heart though, and that kept me reading. I wanted a happy ending for her and William. And this book delivered that.

I received an ARC.