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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

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Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure (Gertrude and Toby – 1) by Shari Tharp

Gertrude the goat and her best friend Toby the tortoise are adventurers. No sitting around on the boring farm for them! They love to explore, and every Friday they sneak off the farm for some extra fun. One Friday, Gertrude and Toby decide to visit the local candy store in town. They discover yummy goodies and treats, but soon find that the treats are not free!? Uh oh! The market owner grabs Toby. He demands money for the candy that Gertrude and Toby have taken by mistake. Gertrude must find a way to save her friend and get back home before Farmer Sam returns.

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My Review

5 stars

Gertrude the goat and her best friend Toby are always looking for a new adventure. They especially love Fridays because that is when Farmer Sam went shopping in town. One day, when they see Ryan, Farmer Sam’s son eating goodies and treats they decide that next Friday they are going to sneak into town to get some treats themselves. Along the way they meet a girl in a red cap, a frog princess, an old lady with shiny red apples, and a boy going to sell his cow.

Gertrude and Toby find the store with goodies and load up a bag. Unfortunately they didn’t know that they had to pay for the goodies. Toby is held at the store until Gertrude can find some way to pay for the goodies. Thankfully they meet a bunch of great people that are willing to help.

This is a great story with wonderful illustrations. Gertrude and Toby are not normal farm animals. They love their adventures and the get a big one. They do have consequences for their actions but I loved how Gertrude was will to do anything to help save Toby. I loved how the people they met along the way were willing to help Gertrude and Toby out.

This is a wonderful kid’s story and is the first in a series. I can’t wait to see what happens in the other books.

To purchase Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

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I received Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure for free from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review.

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Subversive

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Subversive (The Warrior – 3) by Rebecca Royce

Rachel Clancy has been through a lot. With a mission to fight vampires, while losing two boyfriends—one to a vampire and one because of his daddy issues—she is in charge of a secret revolution that could change Genesis, her home, forever. Her confidence is shot, her hands are shaking, and she hasn’t felt a real emotion, except for anger, in a long time.

But Rachel should never be counted out. She sees things others can’t, even if her ideas are considered downright traitorous. The life destined for Rachel is to lead in the world, filled with vampires and werewolves instead of romance and flowers—always forced to fight to stay alive and vanquish any threat to her friends and family. But no matter how many times she’s won, the evil that has stalked her never forgets her name….

Life is a continuous battle that never ends….

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My Review

5 stars

Rachel is still hurting from Chad’s death and Jason leaving for his pack. But now that Genesis is above ground she is going to have to put those feeling aside and fight to keep everyone safe. Although things look bleak, she still keeps fighting the secret revolution. But this is starting to weigh heavily on Rachel. How can one person be so important but feel like they are the only one fighting? But then a nasty twist just ratchets up the excitement.

Just when you think that it couldn’t get any worse, surprise! Rachel is starting to get burned out fighting, especially when it seems everyone is against her and she can trust no one. Then things change and turn everything on end.

I can’t get enough of this series. Just when you think you have it figured out you realize that there is way more happening. I can’t help but feel for Rachel. For her I hope there is an end in sight. But as a reader, I can’t wait to see what happens and don’t want this series to end.

To purchase Subversive make sure to check out Amazon, Goodreads and Rebecca Royce’s website.

I received Subversive for free from Candid Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

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Escape to Redemption

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Escape to Redemption by Peter Parr

Josie only had the gun to frighten Curtis Rook, but his son disturbed her. One startled reflex and now he’s dead. Josie flees to Poland leaving her boyfriend Snaz to take the rap. A reformed criminal offers her refuge from the police and the chance to begin a new life, but she cannot hide from her guilt. As the stakes rise, Josie begins to realise that only her own forgiveness can set her free. Fast-paced and original, Peter M. Parr’s contemporary take on Crime and Punishment challenges traditional ideas about guilt and redemption, and the meaning of forgiveness.

Peter Parr

Peter M. Parr works part-time as a civil servant, which gives him time to indulge his passion for writing. He facilitates workshops to encourage people to reflect on what truly matters. He lives in Hastings, East Sussex, overlooking the sea. He is a Quaker and student of ‘A Course in Miracles’.

Website

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My Review

5 stars

Josie is a spoiled brat and learns something about her mother. She decides to teach Rook a lesson but when she threatens him with a gun she accidentally shoots and kills him and injures his son. Fearing the consequences, Josie runs away to Poland and plans to let her “boyfriend”, Snaz take the fall. Snaz quickly figures out that Josie is going to let him be blamed for the murders and plans on getting arrested just to blame her. But Josie can’t live with the guilt of what she has done and the thought that Snaz will be blamed.

I admit that I couldn’t stand Josie. She was such a brat and the plan to threaten Rook, what in the heck was she thinking? But I will say that as we follow along with Josie she does impress me. There is a lot of thought on her part and she does become a better person. Snaz on the other hand, he thinks because he is lower in the social scale he deserves to take the blame for the death. But as you read on, he just gets worse and worse.

I enjoyed this story, it does make you think. If you were in Josie’s position what would you do? How would you react? And how would it change you? The book is well written and had me thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it. This is one book that I recommend people check out.

To purchase Escape to Redemption make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Escape to Redemption for free from Virtual Author Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

      Josie felt shy to ask for a glass of water, so the sour taste of the vinegar-drenched herrings lingered in her mouth. The others spoke in English, trying to include her in the conversation, but their efforts only made her feel more left out. She hadn’t heard of the writers they talked about, never mind read their books.

If anything, Kogut sounded the most enthusiastic: ‘We create our own experience,’ he declared to nods from Helena. ‘What you think, you become.’ Their hostess agreed with everything he said, interrupting only when she didn’t understand the meaning of a word. Ola also appeared to be a convert, coming up with clever answers when Kogut turned devil’s advocate to challenge her in jest.

Josie found herself warming to Roman more than to the women. He said very little and she assumed all their new-age talk must be above his head too. But when the conversation turned to people dying in Malawi because they had no clean water, he chimed in as animated as the rest. Josie could only nod: they all knew far more about it than she did.

She finished her herrings before any of the others, and the next course – steaming-hot sauerkraut with wild mushrooms – too. No doubt they considered her ignorant. She didn’t understand why Kogut had brought her here, unless he took pleasure in showing her up.

Her mind kept returning to what he’d said outside. We are Spirit. What did he mean? She stared at him, the dancing flame of the candle between them, and she felt a growing urge to confront him. We’re all Spirit? Well if he really believed that, why did he live in a mansion and have people to cook and clean for him, and Adam to drive his Merc? Or perhaps he’d set up the whole evening, but why would he? Not to get her into bed with him, surely, when he could have chosen a hundred more obvious ways.

Josie waited for a break in the conversation, but she couldn’t get a word in while Ola offered her solutions to the world’s problems. She spoke like a proper little oracle, like the world’s leaders simply had to follow her suggestions and everything would be sorted. Josie couldn’t help but smile when Ola spilled some greasy cabbage from her fork onto her plush velvet dress.

 

When Roman brought the carp from the kitchen and set a plate in front of her, Josie recalled the live fish in the bath at Pete’s family’s flat: the ripples it made in the water, the languid movement of its fins. Pete and his family would be having their meal too, an empty space at the table where a week ago she’d sat.

Josie had hoped Pete might change her and show her another way to live. She’d allowed herself to get close to him because a part of her did want to change. Instead she’d ended up hurting him twice now. She’d been kidding herself, to imagine a relationship with someone so different could ever have worked.

Helena borrowed her daughter’s plate to cut the meaty fish into small, bite-size chunks for her. The emeralds in Ola’s earrings looked real. Weren’t they wasted, on a girl who couldn’t see?

‘You are not eating,’ observed Kogut.

‘I’m not hungry,’ Josie said. ‘I’ve had enough.’

‘You’ve been very quiet, Josephine.’ Ola spoke to her for the first time since they’d sat at the table. ‘Tell us about yourself.’

The invitation jolted Josie. ‘Like what?’

‘Do you study?’

‘No. I went to drama school, but I left it after a year.’

‘So do you work?’ Ola pressed.

‘I do some modelling.’

‘Oh, really? What kind?’

‘Magazines. Fashion magazines.’

‘What colour is your hair?’

‘Blonde.’

‘Oh, but it’s much darker than yours is, Ola,’ said the girl’s mother, returning her plate. ‘Bardzo ostry—’

‘Vivid,’ Roman translated.

‘Almost halfway towards red.’

Josie realised, if she did stay in Poland, she’d have to dye her hair to avoid being recognised. Maybe black would suit her.

‘… Josephine is very beautiful.’ Helena interrupted her thoughts. ‘Don’t you think so, Arkadiusz?’

Kogut took a long moment to reply, until Josie looked at him. ‘Yes, she is. Very.’

Ola struggled to capture an obstinate piece of fish on her fork. ‘But of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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Driven

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Driven (Warriors – 2) by Rebecca Royce

My name is Rachel Clancy. Forty-six years ago, life as humanity understood it ended. Armageddon. Well, that’s what we call it, anyway. What other term works as well to describe the day the Vampires and Werewolves slaughtered nearly all of humanity?

When Rachel Clancy turned sixteen, she inadvertently changed the lives of everyone around her. Now, six months later she has to figure out how to live with what has happened.

Sent back into the wilderness—this time with a new love—she will find herself face-to-face with two people she never thought to see again: the boy she thought she loved and the man who wanted to destroy her since birth. If Rachel can learn what drives her forward, there may be a chance for everyone to start again. If she fails, all is lost.

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My Review

5 stars

It is 6 months after Jason left Rachel and she is still hurting. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her heart and finds that she is attracted to Chad. But her vampire senses can tell that the vampires are tunneling into their compound. The decision is made to send Rachel and Chad to another facility, Liberty to call for help. On their way, both are captured by vampire loving humans. While waiting to be sacrificed, Rachel notices three werewolves with them and realizes that one is Jason. But there is no time to hash out their differences when she also realizes that there are warriors from Liberty and learns that the compound fell six months prior. The group escapes but get back to the compound and find that vampires and werewolves are inside and there is a huge loss of human lives.

I really enjoyed reading Initiation but Driven blows it out of the water. There is a great story with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Rachel has come a long way since we first met her in Initiation but she still blames herself for the loss of any life. I admit that I was pissed at Jason but when you hear his side you can kind of sort of understand.

If you like apocalyptic/dystopia stories with vampires and werewolves this is the series for you. I am super excited to see what happens next in Subversive.

To purchase Driven make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Rebecca Royce’s website. I have heard that she is in the process of changing publishers at the time of this review. If you don’t see the book available now, make sure to check back.

I received Driven for free from Candid Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

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Stealing the Light

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Stealing the Light (Dies Irae – 1) by Lisa Hofmann

The age of magic is over, and the hunt for the Unnaturals is on.

Two young people with the Curse grow up amid the chaos of a changing world. Catherine learns to survive on theft and manipulation. When she steals from the wrong man, she has to learn several lessons the hard way, but she will employ every last one of them to plan her revenge. On the other side of the forest, the secret community of the Cine take in a refugee boy from the Sudlands. Lorcan’s magical Abilities surpass all others, but the lad’s father brings tragedy upon the safe haven.

Murder and betrayal shape the lives of both Catherine and Lorcan as they become adults, but while one of the two sets about stealing the light, the other plunges headlong into the darkness.

Lisa Hofmann

Lisa Hofmann was born in Siegen, Germany, in 1975. She attended schools in Germany and in Ireland. After graduating, she worked for a large international wholesale company and as an interpreter for two years before she attended the University of Siegen.

During her time at university, she translated books and other writings for her professors of Educational Didactics and Anglistics, discovering her talent for handling words. She began writing medieval fantasy fiction in her late thirties while working as a teacher.

She still lives near her birthplace today with her husband, three children and a houseful of pets. She writes predominantly in English.

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My Review

5 Stars

This world has a touch of magic which is usually enough to mix potions and such. But two children are going to change everything. Catherine comes from a broken home and is more wild child than little girl. But she has the ability to see different times and to be over looked. She survives by stealing until she is caught. Then there is Lorcan, he is powerful but it’s how he uses his power that can save or destroy everything.

Between the beautiful cover and the blurb, I couldn’t wait to see how this book played out. After seeing how Catherine’s has grown up you can’t help but hope that things work out for her. It I hard watching Catherine as she steals to survive. Then she is caught things go from bad to worse and she is going to get her revenge.

This story is about the abuses we received in life and how it can shape us. It is beautifully written and draws you in. It was hard to put the book down and I ended up reading late into the morning. It was completely worth the loss of sleep. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. This is one book that I strongly recommend.

To purchase Stealing the Light make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Lisa Hofmann’s website.

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I received Stealing the Light for free from both Sage’s Blog Tours and a physical copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt – Prologue

A wispy, insubstantial thing was she, rawboned and filthy. Here one minute and gone the next, Catherine was a clever little weasel dodging the owl in that one mere moment of silence when darkest night surrendered to the first hope of dawn. Off she went, raggedy and on her bare feet, toward the forest and the hillside upon which the old castle ruins stood.

There was nothing like a good downpour to wash the grime off a child, the girl’s mother thought.

Maebh slouched in the doorway, wrapping a tattered shawl around her shoulders against the cool morning air. She watched her daughter disappear in the thicket between ropes of rain and the lower branches of old beech trees and elderberry bushes. Pretty was different, to Maebh’s mind, but that might change if Catherine ever got enough to eat when she was older and able to contribute to their household.

It was a shame the rain wouldn’t rinse away what was beneath the dirt. Catherine would never be good or even easy to handle. No amount of water could cleanse the polluted blood in her veins. She was a burden to them and always would be, and she was smart enough to know it.

“Damn that brat! Close the bloody door,” her father muttered.

Caleb had given Maebh several other children besides, but none of them had survived infancy, and now, there was only Catherine.

Turning over on the lumpy straw mattress in the corner by the hearth, he yawned and languidly scratched his backside. Then, he pulled their coarse blanket about him more snugly and went back to sleep. Getting up would have been pointless. He had nowhere to be. No one had died in their nameless little village over the last days, so there were no graves to be dug today.

Maebh was sure he’d deal with Catherine later and give her a good whacking when she came home if he was still sober then, and if Catherine actually did come home. One of these days she wouldn’t, the still-young woman was certain. Times were tough, and evil bred danger in these woods.

She shuddered and closed the door, and Catherine ran.

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Not Quite so Stories

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Not Quite so Stories by David S. Atkinson

The traditional explanation for myth (including such works as the relatively modern Just so Stories by Rudyard Kiping) is an attempt by humans to explain and demystify the world. That’s crap. We may be able to come to terms with small pieces, but existence as a whole is beyond our grasp. Life is absurd, ultimately beyond our comprehension. The best we can do is to proceed on with our lives in the face of that. The stories in this collection proceed from this idea, examining how the different characters manage (and/or fail) to do this.

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My Review

5 stars

Not Quite so Stories is a collection of short stories from David Atkinson. This is a collection of 23 stories that range from simple and quick to a little longer and more bizarre. My two favorite stories are A Brief Account of the Great Toilet Paper War of 2012 and Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey!

The Great Toilet Paper War could be a variation of the classic battle of leaving the toilet seat up or down. I could see me and my other half doing this to each other. The funniest part for me what unwinding the toilet paper and placing a line of glue along the paper as it is rerolled onto the roll. Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Is about a lady that has an unusual car problem. I could see myself in this place with people thinking I’m insane as I try to get help with my car.

If you like short stories or just need a quick read I recommend checking out this collection. There are stories for everyone.

To purchase Not Quite so Stories make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and David Atkinson’s website.

I received Not Quite so Stories for free from Sami at Roger Charlie in exchange for an honest review.

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The Devil and My Daughter

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The Devil and My Daughter

By Josh Hancock

Genre: Supernatural thriller, Horror, Mystery

1944: In the heavy pillars of smoke that rise from the crematoriums at Auschwitz, Nazi soldiers hope to catch a glimpse of Moloch, the pagan god of child sacrifice, to whom the Third Reich owes so much of its vile success…

1977: A teenage boy writes a heavy metal song about an ancient evil spirit, unaware that the grisly lyrics will unleash a terrifying figurehead from the bowels of history…

1987: College students and best friends Debra and Charlene are determined to make a demonic possession movie more frightening than The Omen and more gruesome than The Exorcist. But when they hire a rock band to pen the film’s “satanic soundtrack,” the young filmmakers are confronted with a supernatural entity determined to plunge Charlene into a world of impossible terror and human sacrifice…an entity with the burning-coal eyes of a demon and the razor-sharp horns of a bull…

Written as a collection of essays, news articles, interviews, scripts, and film scholarship, The Devil and My Daughter tells a horrific story of the occult, Satanic possession, and ritual murder.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Author Bio

Josh Hancock is a teacher and author. His first novel, The Girls of October, was selected as one of the top ten horror novels of 2015 by Horror Novel Reviews and garnered enthusiastic reviews from Rue Morgue Magazine,Horrorcabin.comGorestruly.comNightmarish Conjurings, and We Are Indie Horror. His second novel, entitled The Devil and My Daughter, was inspired by several cult horror films, including Amando de Ossorio’s underground classic, Demon Witch Child.

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My Review

5 stars

We start The Devil and My Daughter with a forward written by John Tanner. He tells us about his father being a police officer and an event that showed him there were angels and if there are angels there are demons too. Josh goes on to say how his brother was involved in a shooting on the force and eventually was affected by a demon called Moloch. From this point we are taken on a journey through newspaper articles, a letter from school, scripts, and other documents.

I really liked this story. The blurb about the book caught my attention and how the different parts were given had my curiosity peaked. I will admit that as I was reading the different articles I would wonder what this had to do with the whole story but the further along you read the more the pieces start falling into place.

If you are looking for a great story about demon possession look no further. This would be a great addition to any horror fans shelves.

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I received The Devil and My Daughter for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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