Many of the books I review were FREE in exchange for an honest review. I do not get paid to review them. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as ADs. They are promoting books but I do NOT get any money or goods for posting Spotlights.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Reluctant Queen : Book Two of The Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst


Kudos!  Again! It is so satisfying to find a new author(to me) who writes so well.   This, too, was a satisfying story set in a forest community surrounded by implacable enemies and defended by questionable heroes.  Queen Daleina finds herself thrust into a position she doesn’t feel she deserves and struggles to make peace with the recent violence that put her there.  A desperate need to find an heir fuels the plot.

Bayn, the wolf, and Ven the champion are, again, major components of the story.  Naelin, a new character, brings a maturity level and a different approach to a society and government focused on pomp and circumstance.

This, the second volume, was an excellent book that held my interest, forced me to read later in the evening than I wanted to and satisfactorily wrapped up the plot but clearly left the door open to a sequel.

I highly recommend.

Web Site: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

This is a romantic adventure with the emphasis on romantic.  When I read that it was about the Gravediggers, an elite team of special ops agents, I expected more adventure.  Tess, a small town girl, has a mother who steals from her, an ex-finance and works as a mortician for  Eve, a mysterious ice female dog.(using a euphemism here)

Said dog has purchased the funeral home where Tess was working and has turned it into a clandestine special ops center.   Eve is the liaison between hard men and a harder board of directors who have taken on themselves the responsibility for policing the world.

The book features a love relationship with Tess and one of the Gravediggers and has the team thwarting a terrorist plot.

Romance is not my cup of tea but this was pretty good.  Considering the author has sold way more of her books than I have sold of mine, perhaps I should try and tap my romantic side. Hmm, not likely.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox

The Librarians is a TNT TV series.  This book is based on that TV series.  The book isn't labeled as YA but I would classify it as a young adult read.  It is pretty simplistic in it's characterizations and superficial in a lot of ways.   The gist of the plot is that the Librarians are tasked with safeguarding mystical and magical books and relic.   The particular relic in this book is the original Mother Goose stories.   The Librarians and the descendants of the original Mother Goose are competing in the quest to find the powerful relic which has been divided into three volumes.  

The plot is ok in the book and it does have plenty of action.  You need to suspend all disbelief to get into the story.   It has it's moments but it does read like a TV script. 

It chronicles the adventures of the Librarians. These are not your stereotypical schoolmarm type librarians. This group of adventures are charged with gathering magical and mythical books, artifacts and treasures that may be too dangerous to be in the public domain.

This specific adventure focuses on Mother Goose tales and the dangers inherent in rhyming. There is very mild violence and lots of references to magical and mythical things.

The story line and plot are clearly meant for the younger reader.

It seems suitable for 4th or 5th graders.

web: http://www.gregcox-author.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Urban Enemies edited by Joseph Nassise

This is a book of short stories which I tend to avoid but with the inclusion of Jim Butcher and Jonathan Mayberry I had to give it a shot.  It is a compilation of back stories of villains that are featured prominently in the author’s full length books. It provides a different perspective than the hero-centric novels.

The authors included in the book are:
Kelley Armstrong
Jim Butcher
Domino Finn
Diana Pharoah Francis
Caitlin Kitteredge
Jonathan Mayberry
Seanan McGuire
Jon F. Merz
Joseph Nassise
Lilith Saintcrow
Craig Schaefer
Jeff Somers
Steven Savile
Carrie Vaughn
Sam Witt
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Steeplejack by A. J. Hartley

This book is set in a future where whites, blacks and browns live in uneasy harmony.  One pictures South Africa but this is merely my personal supposition.   Anglet Sutonga is a teenage steeplejack.  One of if not the premier steeplejack in Bar-Selhem.  The occupation is so hazardous that being an older teen makes Anglet a rarity as she has survived the hazards of her occupation.  Steeplejacks repair and build the tops of towers and chimneys.  In Anglet’s case she stumbles into a conspiracy that is killing her apprentices, peers and community.

Hartley did an excellent job creating a community that seems to combine aspects of Victorian society with a respect for the press and uneasy race relations.  Anglet was driven by ethics and morality.   She is an excellent protagonist.  

This is the first in a series. I will be reviewing Firebrand, her next book, soon.

I highly recommend it and love the strong female protagonist.  I pleased to find that Hartley, a noted male author,  has gone out of his way to feature a strong female protagonist in this new series.

Web:  http://ajhartley.net/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ode to Donuts

On this National Donuts Day I wish to pay tribute to one of my favorite things.

Ode to Donuts   

Never did I see

A more perfect food for me!

So round, so firm so fully packed,

I must admit my brain is racked,

To come up with a better snack.

So well rounded as a treat,

The zero calorie center that can’t be beat.

Life’s paths are leaved so well,

With May’s donuts that were simply swell,

With First Street Bakery’s kind souls

Who filled our bags with glazes so gold,

With Ronnie’s Hilton Head knarly treat,

With Hornburger’s cream filled oh so sweet,

With Publix’s maple glaze dream,

Only beat by YumYum’s cruller of sour cream.

My life defined by donut’s sweet road.

Three exercise bikes worn to a nub,

In an effort to keep donut’s sweet love,

from making me a happy but lardy tub.

On this day celebrate the wonder

Of this wonderful, awesome treat

This ode’s to you oh donut delight,

Your ability to turn darkness to light,

To defeat depression and stifle blight,

There is no mental state so dire

That a donut can’t un-mire.

There is no treat so sweet

That the wonderful donut cannot beat.