Book Review: The Guinevere Trilogy by Cheryl Carpinello

Title: GUINEVERE TRILOGY
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Silver Quill Publishing
Pages: 371
Genre: Middle Grade / Teen / Young YA


GUINEVERE: ON THE EVE OF LEGEND

Princess Guinevere dreaded her upcoming thirteenth birthday. It signaled the beginning of her official role as the Lady of her father’s castle.
No more adventures in the forest with Cedwyn. No more explorations outside the castle walls. No more excitement. No more danger. No more fun.
Cedwyn—her companion for as long as she remembered—viewed her circumstances differently.
A Medieval coming-of-age story relevant today.


GUINEVERE: AT THE DAWN OF LEGEND

Ancient Stones. Mystical Stones. Autumnal Equinox.
Down upon a wide plain the yellow orb shines strong.
Racing side by side, the two laughingly ride.
A mist descends. The laughing stops.
A dangerous Medieval tale of two friends. Of a loyalty not often seen.

GUINEVERE: THE LEGEND

Fiercely loyal, Cedwyn always rushes to Guinevere’s defense. Stubborn to a fault. Always there for her. A future Knight? His one and only hope. A hero? Not what Cedwyn strove for, but it sought him.

Guinevere rarely thinks with her head. Just the opposite. Thinking with one’s heart: a recipe for trouble. And trouble finds Guinevere, all too often. Stubborn, she refuses to abandon those depending upon her. Even when ordered by her father, the king.

And so these two—both on the edge of Legend—barrel forth in this deadly dangerous and riveting Arthurian adventure.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/30jhehD

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The characters in this coming of age story are ones that most people are familiar with but this is about Guinevere before she marries Arthur and after Arthur became king.

In Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, it is obvious that she is stubborn and doesn’t listen to authority. Everyone knows this and it’s mostly tolerated but her father and Merlyn keep warning her that she’s going to have to grow up because she will be queen one day. On her thirteenth birthday, she finds out that she’ll be queen sooner rather than later because her father has promised her hand to King Arthur. I can understand why she is upset when they tell her this, but it was the custom back then so she shouldn’t have been too surprised.

Book one is mostly a fun read, and Guinevere even gets to meet a unicorn! I liked the relationship that Guinevere has with Cedwyn. It’s a close relationship that continues throughout the books.

After the first book is a short story titled Guardian of a Princess about Seren Brenin, Arthur’s warhorse who became Guinevere’s horse and guardian after he was injured in a battle. The injury is described in enough detail that I cringed and cried, and I wonder about younger middle grade readers reading it.

In Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, she is 15 but not married because they are at war. She and Cedwyn continue to make questionable decisions and end up putting several children in danger and possibly causing the deaths of some monks. This book has a lot of action and although Guinevere and Cedwyn want things to stay the same, they are realizing that war has changed their lives forever.

The last book, Guinevere: The Legend, is as much about Cedwyn as it is about Guinevere. He’s such a brave young man and takes watching over the children very seriously. It’s full of action, children living in horrible conditions, and has a touch of magic. The trilogy has a good ending but, of course, it’s just the beginning of Arthur and Guinevere’s story.

At the end of the second and third books is more about places and things that were mentioned in the books. It’s obvious that the author did a lot of research and some of that is shared. I learned quite a bit and young readers will enjoy the information as much as I did, I’m sure. There is also a helpful glossary at the end of each book.

At the end of the trilogy, King Arthur’s legend is shared. This I knew but it goes well with the trilogy and it’s worth sharing with those who may not be as familiar with King Arthur. This is definitely a trilogy worth reading for young adults or even old adults like me.

About the Author

Cheryl Carpinello taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. When not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with family, and traveling.

Cheryl’s books:

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend (1)

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend (2)

Guinevere: The Legend (3)

Guinevere Trilogy ebook only

The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table)

Sons of the Sphinx

Tutankhamen Speaks

Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales 1

Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales 2

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: https://www.cherylcarpinello.com

Blog: carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ccarpinello

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.carpinello1

PRAISE

Reader’s Favorite 5-Star: A Gripping Tale.

Guinevere: The Legend is the concluding entry in the Guinevere trilogy by Cheryl Carpinello, a compelling Arthurian tale with strong characters and a story that explores the themes of friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of a society rocked by a crisis. The little children have been kidnapped, and Cedwyn is with them. Guinevere has made a vow to rescue Cedwyn and she leaves home without telling her father, an act that fills her with guilt. But she doesn’t know her bravery might put Cedwyn in harm’s way. She is just fifteen. And eleven-year-old Cedwyn trusts her absolutely, considering her as his queen. He is certain that she’s coming for him and the children. Can she save them from the renegades who hold the children captive? Traveling across the dark waters to the land beyond, Gaul, is perilous. In spite of the grim tales she’s heard from the old wizard Merlyn, will she continue?


This is a beautifully written story with fascinating characters, set in medieval England, and featuring characters of legend like the legendary King Arthur and Merlyn. In this novel, the author deftly develops a tale of adventure that revolves around Guinevere as a young girl and her loyalty to those she loves. The reader encounters her at the very start of the story, poised and on the go, determined to save her friend. Cedwyn is a richly developed young character as well and I enjoyed the way the author develops his friendship and devotion to the protagonist. The writing is filled with strong imagery, including elements of the setting like the rugged landscapes. The author’s unique ability to unveil the strong emotions of the characters and to keep the story realistic is a great addition to the strengths of the novel. The medieval era is reflected in the unique style of conversation and in the beliefs of the characters. Guinevere: The Legend is a gripping tale that keeps the reader turning the pages until the very last one…Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite

Excerpt

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

Chapter 1

Hunting

Guinevere stared into the shadows along the edge of the forest. She could hear Cedwyn shifting from foot to foot beside her, unable to stand still. She sighed, the bow of sturdy pine in her hand growing heavier like her heart. Her thirteenth Birth Day was in a few days, but she wasn’t excited. Birth Days were supposed to be fun, but not this year. Not for her, not for a princess.

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Reclaimed Kingdom by Dana Claire

The Reclaimed Kingdom by Dana Claire

Publisher:  Chamberlain Publishing House (February 14, 2021)
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy/Romance
ISBN: 978-1792361357
Available in Print and ebook, 310 pages

The Legend is true. The Fear is real.

Under the cruel ministrations of its Queen, the Kingdom of D’Land is in peril. With King Harrison away in foreign lands and neighboring Kingdoms unwilling to intervene, there is no one to protect the people from poverty, harsh punishment, and unreasonable rules of law – except for the Band of Brothers. Struggling with the death of her mother and the legendary Syphon powers she inherited, seventeen year old Dru wants nothing more than to escape her old life and join the motley crew of ruffians, pilfering from the rich to feed the poor and pay their taxes.

She’s able to do just that disguised as a lad, and even when her nature is discovered, nothing changes – except for the way her friend Hawkin treats her. But Dru’s new world is overturned when she and the Brothers seize the treasures of a Prince who threatens to reveal her identity. Together, Dru and her chosen family must find a way to reclaim her destiny and bring balance to the Kingdom. If not, there may be no hope left for anyone.

Amazon
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sal

The fabulous first book in a series about a young girl reclaiming her birthright and a long-forgotten secret. ‘The Reclaimed Kingdom,’ by Dana Claire has everything you could possibly want from a thrilling YA story: adventure, romance, legendary fights and evil queens.

The main character, Dru, has a few secrets up her sleeve, one of the biggest being that she is a Syphon. Or, a person with the supernatural ability to syphon off of other people’s emotions and moods. This is a power that has been passed down to her genetically and that Dru has been instructed to keep hidden lest it be used against her.

In the beginning of the book, Dru has fallen in with the Band of Brothers, a group of rowdy but ultimately kind men who, in the tradition of Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor. The gang live in the fictional realm of D’Land, where an evil queen named Ebbigal rules over everyone with an iron fist. Dru hates Ebbigal for reasons that become clear as the story progresses, and those reasons are far closer to home than any of the evil queen’s other subjects can claim.

Dru is fun, plucky and clever enough to banter with the best of them, including the young, dashing Prince Edward (affectionately known as ‘Dodge’). Their dialogue made for some of my favorite parts in the book and really added to the atmosphere of the story. The atmosphere was perfectly done! The setting was fictional, but a take on Medieval life and one that was done beautifully. I don’t think I’ve ever read a modern book with such an accurate Medieval setting.

Dana Claire has really set up something special with this series and I can’t wait to see how it is going to play out in the next books!

Praise for The Reclaimed Kingdom

“Ms. Claire has such a talent for imaginative magic systems. The Syphon in this series has abilities I have not encountered before. The ability to take emotions and how she deals with them are quite intriguing. In this story, Dru makes an interesting heroine with her contrasts of her life as a brigand and thief with her previous life. She is very much a Robin Hood character without falling into the tired tropes that can come with that. The male main characters are so different. Hawkin is intense and unrefined. Dodge is softer and somewhat of a dreamer. They are both fiercely loyal and capable. The progression of their relationships with each other and Dru has made this a fabulous and compelling story.”- Aizlynne, Goodreads

“Well Dana Claire did it again. Another captivating book in her new series that kept me up later than I should because I didn’t want to stop reading. I would tell myself “just one more chapter” before I knew it, I read 3 or 4 more. Dana Claire has a way of bringing her characters to life and the action and suspense adds to the magnetic pull of not wanting to put the book down. Hoping I won’t have to wait too long for the second book of “The Syphon Series” and looking forward to the second book in “The Blood-Light Trilogy”.
I truly enjoy reading these books and submersing myself into the action pack plots with the spice of romance. Thank you Dana Claire for both of your terrific series. Thank you for introducing these characters to me and allowing me to follow their adventures and lives.”-D, Berry, Amazon

“This was such a great book! Dana Claire did a wonderful job developing the characters in this story. The backstory paints such a great visual of the time period and the land where Dru and her Band of Brothers are living. You root for Dru right from the beginning and I looked forward to every twist along the way. I couldn’t wait to finish it. So far, Dana Claire’s books are knocking it out of the park for me…2 for 2!”- Craig Andrews, Amazon

About the Author


Author, Dana Claire, believes that a good story is made through strong character development. When readers become attached to the characters’ emotional state and are invested in their objectives, the readers are there for the long haul backing the characters and their emotions. How cool is it to read a book and think about the characters long after you’ve read the last page? She believes that the beauty of reading is that one can live a hundred lives within the stories of books.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a vampire, slay a dragon, or use a time machine, there’s a book for that.

Website: https://danaclairebooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danaclaire143
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanaClaireBooks/

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Book Review: To Capture the Wind by Deirdra Eden

The Watchers
To Capture the Wind
BOOK #4 Aug 7, 2020


Dark secrets about Azrael’s life and death are revealed which prompts Auriella to break off their engagement and leave Azrael alone on an island of massacred Watcher kin.

In order to prove his loyalty, Azrael sets out to retrieve stolen Starfire from the Legion before they destroy the human race and create their own dark kingdom. Poisoned and stripped of his powers Azrael has no choice but to accept the help of an old enemy with questionable motives. His haunting past and old wounds resurface when he discovers a book of Watcher genealogy listing not only his family, but Aura’s linage along with her three sisters of power, including his dark and beautiful former fiancée.

A few remaining good Watchers must face the fallen Watchers of old along with the Demon God, Moloch, to reclaim Starfire. Azrael must choose his side and prove his loyalty once and for all.


Find your copy on Amazon.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This book is told from Azrael’s point of view rather than Aura’s, and it was nice to see things from a different perspective. Azrael breaks Aura’s heart when he tells her about his past. After she leaves, he realizes that he must reclaim Starfire, and he can only do it with Alamar’s help. But how can he trust Alamar?

The first half of To Capture the Wind is good, and I learned a lot more about Azrael’s past, a little more about Alamar, and some interesting things about their lineage. For example, Aura has three sisters, but she won’t be happy to hear that they’re her sisters.

The second half of To Capture the Wind is great, and I was unable to put it down. When Azrael and Alamar run into Aura, even though she hasn’t forgiven Azrael, she realizes that they have to work together to reclaim Starfire. I felt that Aura has finally matured and is ready to handle whatever is thrown her away.

I was happy to see Cassi the pixie back. The interaction between her and Baby is hilarious! They’re a great way to lighten the mood when things get intense.

I definitely recommend To Capture the Wind, as well as the rest of the Watchers series. Book 5 is next!

About the Author

Deirdra Eden has spent the last decade captivating audiences of all ages with her Amazon Bestselling novels and fairy tales. Her specialty is paranormal theology that delves into documented historical phenomenon and natural disasters of biblical proportions that entices indulgence of a fine line between fact and fantasy.

Deirdra enjoys jousting in arenas, sword fighting and archery, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures with her family.

Connect with Deirdra and The Watchers

A Story Book World (Deirdra’s Blog) The Watchers Official Website Amazon

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Book Review: Flood and Fire by Deirdra Eden

Flood and Fire (Book #3 of The Watchers Series) by Deirdra Eden
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About the Book

Auriella joins the ranks of the Immortals, but Azrael has vanished in the depths of war.

She is forced to choose between love or loyalty when the druids charge her with finding Alamar, an unruly Watcher who can control the seas. Though witty and charming, Alamar and his blood thirsty friends can’t be trusted.

Now, it’s a race against time to find Azrael before he is killed, and Alamar before he is recruited by the Shadow Legion.

Available on Amazon.

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The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Traditional Apocrypha, the Pearl of Great Price and the Kabbalah. The Watchers are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad.

 

Deirdra Eden’s, The Watcher’s Series, is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

My Review

I chose to read book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read the first three books in The Watchers Series, Knight of Light and Hidden Fire, Flood and Fire. I had written a review of Flood and Fire in 2017, and the author contacted me because she had made some changes and offered to send me a copy to read the updated one.

Auriella has been asleep for 50 years while her body recovers from death. When she awakens, Azreal, the love of her life, is not there. She eventually finds out that Azreal thought that she would choose not to return to Earth as an Immortal so he left to fight against Erebus and the Shadow Legion. Since being with Azreal is the only reason Auriella chose to be an Immortal, she is devastated. Her main goal is to find him but first she has to learn to control her fire powers.

After training for a short time, Auriella is sent on her first mission and then she plans on finding Azreal. Her mission is to find Alamar, whose power is water. If Erebus gets a hold of him first, and he joins the Shadow Legion, all hope could be lost.

I like the character of Auriella. She is a little impulsive at times but she knows what she wants and she’s determined to get it. Alamar is a complex character who has a good soul even though he’s a pirate. The love/hate relationship between the two of them makes an interesting read, but poor Auriella doesn’t know what to make of it.

She did it! The changes that she made were perfect. Now I have three more books that I have to fit in my schedule because I can’t wait to read them!

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About The Author

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Deirdra Eden has spent the last decade captivating audiences of all ages with her Amazon Bestselling novels and fairy tales. Her specialty is paranormal theology that delves into documented historical phenomenon and natural disasters of biblical proportions that entices indulgence of a fine line between fact and fantasy.

Deirdra enjoys jousting in arenas, sword fighting and archery, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures with her family.

 
Connect with Deirdra and The Watchers

Book Review: The Frights of Fiji by Sunayna Prasad

A world of magic and adventure awaits for 12-year-old Alyssa McCarthy. A sorcerer kidnaps her to an enchanted island, filled with magical creatures and technology, but also danger. It is up to Alyssa to defeat the peril and overcome the warlock.

My Review

I chose to review this book after requesting a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Alyssa McCarthy was an orphan living with her uncle and cousin. She was suddenly introduced to the world of magic. Although she didn’t believe in magic to begin with, she seemed to just take it in stride. I found it odd that she told adults about the things she’d seen and expected them to believe her. Most children her age know that adults wouldn’t believe in such “nonsense.”

After Alyssa leaves home, her adventure and the magic involved is all creative but a little over the top. I don’t think middle grade or young adult readers would go for it. The story does have a good ending, however.

About the Author

Sunayna Prasad has been writing stories for over several years, starting at the age of six. Now twenty-four, she is done with college and will pursue a career in art and design as well as continue to write for children. Aside from that, Sunayna also likes to cook, watch movies, and draw. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her family.

Website http://www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com/

Audiobook Review: Primrose’s Curse by Kiara Shankar & Vinay Shankar

Narrator: Laura Welsh

Length: 1 hour and 28 minutes

Publisher: Vinay Shankar SP

Released: Apr. 21, 2019

Genre: Children’s; Fantasy

Synopsis

Primrose Fernetise, a beautiful, audacious 12-year-old girl, and a group of woodland animals with divine mystical abilities set out on an adventurous mission to Hellevue, a murky island on the dreary part of Mystopical. Their daring mission involves vanquishing the evil sorceress Queen Evelyn Velecrona and breaking the curse she has cast on humanity.

How do the woodland animals and Primrose plan and embark on their brave voyage to defeat the wicked sorceress?

Will the bunch of lovable woodland animals and an innocent 12-year-old girl really succeed in bringing down the dreadful Queen Evelyn? Also, will they be able to bring back peace, well-being, and happiness to humanity?

To find out more about this epic fairy tale, please do consider listening to this entire audiobook.

Available on Audible

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Primrose’s father is sick so she decides to go deep into the forest to find a healing plant. What she finds are magical woodland animals and an exciting adventure. If she and the animals are successful, they won’t just heal Primrose’s father but all of humanity!

Primrose’s Curse is for middle-grade readers. Based on the books I’ve read for middle-grade readers, I’d recommend this one to girls who are just beginning to start middle-grade books.

The narrator has a great voice for this book. She also has a good pace and timing.

About the Authors

KIARA SHANKAR is a young talented author from San Francisco, California, USA. Apart from writing books, she loves reading, artwork, writing poems, playing with her friends, and listening to her favorite Bollywood music.

Kiara’s poem “A Deadly Star” was published in the national level writing contest book “A Celebration of Poets” (Fall 2018 Edition – published by Creative Communication, Utah, USA).

VINAY SHANKAR is Kiara’s dad, a software professional, who found himself inspired by his daughter’s idea of writing fictional fairy tale books and decided to co-write books with her. This collaborative effort of the family is helping to bring great ideas to life!

Viki Publishing * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest * Instagram

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About the Narrator

Laura Welsh is a Voice Actor currently living in Sunny California. She divides her time between the Studio and maintaining her Succulent Garden, equally passionate about both! Her professional career has spanned from TV and radio commercials, video games, cartoons, and Youtube channels, and of course narrating audiobooks. Delighting in her work, she hopes to be able to bring joy and pleasure in the projects she assists with for many many years to come.

Instagram * Facebook * Twitter * Website

Audiobook Review: Oshun Rising by Jennifer Alsever

 

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Author: Jennifer Alsever

Narrator: Moira Todd

Series: Trinity Forest Series, Book 2

Publisher: Sawatch Publishing

Released: May 30, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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OSHUN has everything a young pop star could ever want—fame, fortune, and beauty to spare. But there’s something dark inside of her, rising like the tide, fighting to be heard. Something that terrifies her. Because once she lets it out, she knows there’s no going back.

EMBER is drowning. Fighting for consciousness, struggling to make sense of the strange dreams she’s been having—prophecies of murder, deception, and blackmail. But once she begins to untangle them, she realizes that they might not be dreams at all…and if she doesn’t find a way to stop what she’s seeing, more people will die.

MADDIE is barely staying afloat. How can she be expected to care about school when her best friend Ember is still missing, presumed dead? So when Ember’s brother calls and tells her about his theory about a pop star who may be involved in Ember’s disappearance, she rallies him to take a road trip to check it out.

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A teenager still lives inside author Jennifer Alsever. She spent two decades as a professional journalist, contributing to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, Inc Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, before letting her imagination run wild in 2016. The result is Ember’s story told in the three-book Trinity Forest Series, her first published fiction work.
When not absorbed in writing, Alsever enjoys a good hike, doing some yoga, hanging with her boys, some moguls on skis, a rigorous mountain bike ride or indulging in the simple pleasures of life. Her favorites: untouched snow, frozen chocolate chips, savasina on a yoga mat and yes, bowls of pan fried brussels sprouts. Jennifer is working on her upcoming novel, Psychic Monkeys, to be released in 2019.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

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Narrator Bio

Moira Todd is a Washington, DC-based actor. She originally hails from Mt. Hood, Oregon where the trees are always green, the mountain is always pointy, and the weather is usually rainy. It was there that she learned the secret arts of alpine skiing and whistling at the same time as you hum. While neither has proved useful in her theatre career, she remains hopeful. These days she spends most of her free time swimming, baking bread, and watching whale documentaries.

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I received these audiobooks as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jennifer Alsever. The gifting of these audiobooks did not affect my opinion of them.

I listened to Ember Burning, the first book in the Trinity Forest series and was glad I had Oshun Rising to listen to right after it because I had to find out what was going to happen! 

Ember is no longer supposed to exist. She’s been “reborn” as the pop star Oshun. But her rebirth was rushed, she didn’t want it, and mistakes were made. So Ember still exists somewhere deep down in Oshun and occasionally, Ember gets a glimpse of what is going on. 

Ember’s brother Jared has never given up on finding her. When he calls Ember’s best friend Maddie she’s concerned about his obsession with finding Ember after three years have passed. She decides a road trip might be what he needs and they end up going to one of Oshun’s concerts. Poor Maddie is trying to help Jared and she realizes that she loves him, but she’s afraid she’s going to lose Jared along with Ember.

Jennifer Alsever does a great job at expressing Maddie’s thoughts and feelings as well as her confusion when trying to deal with Jared and Oshun. The narrator, Moira Todd, also does well and has good timing and a good singing voice as Oshun/Ember.

Oshun Rising has a little bit of everything: paranormal, fantasy, horror, romance, drama, and humor. I can’t wait until I have the time to listen to the third book in the series. Oshun Rising stops at a good place but the world is still at risk!

 

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Ember Burning by Jennifer Alsever

 

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Author: Jennifer Alsever

Narrator: Moira Todd

Series: Trinity Forest Series, Book 1

Publisher: Sawatch Publishing

Released: Sep. 7, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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Author Jennifer Alsever delivers an addictive story ideal for fans of The Uglies, We Were Liars, and Before I Fall about a teen grieving over her parent’s tragic death who becomes entangled with a mysterious forest teeming with urban legends of strange disappearances and witchcraft.

Ember Trouve used to be alive, driven to become a musician and on a path to college. That was before her parents died. One day, after venturing into the fabled Trinity Forest, she goes missing. Now, Ember must confront the truth behind her parents’ death – or lose herself to the forest forever.

In this fresh and compelling novel, Jennifer Alsever creates a paranormal world of loss, mystery, love, and survival as Ember searches for escape – and a path back to herself. Ember Burning is the first installment of the three-book Trinity Forest series.

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A teenager still lives inside author Jennifer Alsever. She spent two decades as a professional journalist, contributing to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, Inc Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, before letting her imagination run wild in 2016. The result is Ember’s story told in the three-book Trinity Forest Series, her first published fiction work.
When not absorbed in writing, Alsever enjoys a good hike, doing some yoga, hanging with her boys, some moguls on skis, a rigorous mountain bike ride or indulging in the simple pleasures of life. Her favorites: untouched snow, frozen chocolate chips, savasina on a yoga mat and yes, bowls of pan fried brussels sprouts. Jennifer is working on her upcoming novel, Psychic Monkeys, to be released in 2019.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

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Narrator Bio

Moira Todd is a Washington, DC-based actor. She originally hales from Mt. Hood, Oregon where the trees are always green, the mountain is always pointy, and the weather is usually rainy. It was there that she learned the secret arts of alpine skiing and whistling at the same time as you hum. While neither has proved useful in her theatre career, she remains hopeful. These days she spends most of her free time swimming, baking bread, and watching whale documentaries.

FacebookInstagram

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I received these audiobooks as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jennifer Alsever. The gifting of these audiobooks did not affect my opinion of them.

Ember is a teenager whose parents died in a car accident. She was also in the accident but not only survived it, she blames herself for it. She was once a good student but she doesn’t care any more. She’s alienated her best friend and has even started popping pills.

And then Ember goes to Trinity Forest. It’s a place that the people from her town stay away from because so many people have disappeared there. She meets some people who seem nice, live in an amazing house, and want her to stay. It seems too good to be true…and it is. When she wants to leave, she finds out that she’s not allowed to and the gate that she entered to get onto the property no longer exists.

Jennifer Alsever does a good job making the reader feel what Ember is going through. There were times I thought she was being immature but then I remembered she’s just in high school. She’s young! The narrator, Moira Todd, also does well portraying Ember and has good timing and a good singing voice.

Ember Burning is a scary young adult book with a touch of romance and several damaged characters. It could actually end with book one but I’m glad there are more books in the series. In fact, I’m getting ready to listen to the next book and look forward to seeing what is going to happen.

 

 

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Book Review: Flood and Fire by Deirdra Eden

Flood and Fire (Book #3 of The Watchers Series) by Deirdra Eden
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About the Book

Auriella joins the ranks of the Immortals, but Azrael has vanished in the depths of war.

She is forced to choose between love or loyalty when the druids charge her with finding Alamar, an unruly Watcher who can control the seas. Though witty and charming, Alamar and his blood thirsty friends can’t be trusted.

Now, it’s a race against time to find Azrael before he is killed, and Alamar before he is recruited by the Shadow Legion.

Available on Amazon.

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The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Traditional Apocrypha, the Pearl of Great Price and the Kabbalah. The Watchers are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad.

 

Deirdra Eden’s, The Watcher’s Series, is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

 

My Review

I chose to read book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read the first two books in The Watchers Series, Knight of Light and Hidden Fire, and was excited to read Flood and Fire.

Auriella has been asleep for 50 years while her body recovers from death. When she awakens, Azreal, the love of her life, is not there. She eventually finds out that Azreal thought that she would choose not to return to Earth as an Immortal so he left to fight against Erebus and the Shadow Legion. Since being with Azreal is the only reason Auriella chose to be an Immortal, she is devastated. Her main goal is to find him but first she has to learn to control her fire powers.

After training for a short time, Auriella is sent on her first mission and then she plans on finding Azreal. Her mission is to find Alamar, whose power is water. If Erebus gets a hold of him first, and he joins the Shadow Legion, all hope could be lost.

I like the character of Auriella. She is a little impulsive at times but she knows what she wants and she’s determined to get it. Alamar is a complex character who has a good soul even though he’s a pirate. The love/hate relationship between the two of them makes an interesting read, but poor Auriella doesn’t know what to make of it.

I was disappointed in the end of Flood and Fire. No spoilers here so I’ll just say that there was a character who completely and suddenly changed and it just felt wrong. I’ll continue to read the Watchers Series, though, of course. I love reading about Auriella and look forward to the next book.

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About The Author

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Deirdra Eden has spent the last decade captivating audiences of all ages with her Amazon Bestselling novels and fairy tales. Her specialty is paranormal theology that delves into documented historical phenomenon and natural disasters of biblical proportions that entices indulgence of a fine line between fact and fantasy.

Deirdra enjoys jousting in arenas, sword fighting and archery, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures with her family.

 
Connect with Deirdra and The Watchers

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Kaitlin’s Tale by Christine Amsden

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Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary with the Hunters Guild. Yet they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered.

When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin’s past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.

*Companion to the Cassie Scot Series

Buy Link

Ebook:  Amazon

Print Release: July 15, 2016

Audiobook Release: TBA

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book from the author for an honest review.

I read the Cassie Scot series by Christine Amsden and was sorry to see it end, so I was thrilled when I learned that she was writing about Cassie’s two best friends. I read Madison’s Song, which was good, but I liked Kaitlin and her story with Jason so I couldn’t wait to read Kaitlin’s Tale. I have grown fond of the characters and the town of Eagle Rock and I was happy to see that Cassie and her husband had a small role in this book. 

Kaitlin has been with Jason, the father of her baby and a vampire, for about a year. She has finally realized that she’s not going to get the fairy tale family that she had dreamed of. Jason is no longer himself and she needs to get her son away from him. She doesn’t really have anywhere safe to go that’s close so she ends up going from one bad situation to another. When Matthew Blair shows up, she wants to trust him to take her home but she knows that he hurt Cassie and she doesn’t believe that he can be trusted.

I like Christine Amsden’s characters because they are always complex. Kaitlin has always felt like she didn’t deserve a good man and has some deep, dark secrets. Matthew can read minds so Kaitlin is afraid that he’ll learn her secrets and when he finds out that she is resistant to his magic, he’s scared of her because he can’t wipe her memories. What a couple of messed up people who might just be right for each other!

Kaitlin’s Tale is full of vampires, magic, suspense, and love. It does stand on its own but I enjoyed it even more since I’d read the Cassie Scot series. I definitely recommend all of Christine Amsden’s books, especially if you like series like I do. 

 

 

The Cassie Scot Series

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot #1)

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)

Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

Madison’s Song (a Cassie Scot Companion)

 

About the Author

2016-05-15_2034Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a freelance editor, mom, and foster mom.

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