Reviewing Books on My Shelf

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Destiny Maker by Melissa Dugger
Published by WestBow Press
 The beginning Prologue is intriguing enough to pique the interest as to where the story is going. There are twists and turns along the way. There are points in the story where the author draws your imagination into the beautiful descriptions of the world Katie has entered as well as the ones that make you know you’d never want to go to that world of darkness. This is Book One of The Lost Souls Trilogy. I found the author’s style to be a bit like Author, Kristie Cook’s characters as far as the fantasy illustrations go for the world she takes you into on her quest to find her dad.
Katie is just a young girl in her senior year of high school. She is looking forward to her dad returning home from a year long job assignment in time for her graduation when news arrives that her dad has gone missing. He’s missing miles away from home in another country, and Katie is drawn to the fact that if she waits for others to go find him, it will be too late. She sets out on her own, and isn’t prepared for the destiny that will be asked of her.
I think I have an idea as to where the story will wind up, but so far this first book leaves you wondering and wanting to know more like:
  • How will her Destiny be fulfilled?
  • Will she perish?
  • Will she have the courage to defeat Semonic or will Katie fall to his darkness?
  • Will she let her heart take over and choose between the two men that are sworn to protect her?

There were points in the book where I had to retract to find what character’s story line I was following, but I do feel that the story flows well enough and keeps the interest. The only reason that I can’t give more stars is there were some editing errors after about half way through the book that did cause stumbling, but could be overlooked. Even with those errors though that may or may not been the fault of the author, I would recommend the book is worth the read because of the author’s style of writing that flows, and her story line. Since this is her debut novel, she can only get better.

Book One of the Trilogy is written well enough to ensure the reader will want to know the outcome of the story line.

 
(Excerpt below is taken from the book description found on the Book Look Bloggers website)
Katie is plagued with visions she can’t understand. It’s not until she enters the spirit realm to find her missing dad that the pieces start to fall into place. A reaping of souls has begun and Semonic, the ruler of Dylonia, won’t stop until every soul belongs to the darkness. Katie must decide whether her soul can accept her destiny. But only the Destiny Maker knows if she will lose her life and possibly her heart.
 
The Destiny Maker is available at the following:
Westbow Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
 
Book Cover image courtesy of Book Look Bloggers resources
 
About the Author:
Melissa Dugger has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, specializing in language arts, and is seeking her master’s degree as a reading specialist. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and four children. Destiny Maker, the first book in the Lost Souls Trilogy, is her debut novel.
 
You can find more about the author at her website: http://www.melissadugger.com/

NOTE: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

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Published by the Penguin Group

Photo credit:  Jacket Cover photo courtesy of  Penguin

 

Geraldine Brooks has done it yet again with Caleb’s Crossing, which is a fact plus fictitious based novel that recounts the settling of Martha’s Vineyards with the arrival of the English. She tells of their intertwinement with the Native Americans who were already in America and possessed the land. The story is based upon a fictional character named Bethia who recounts how the land was purchased from the Indians by her grandfather (some facts of this are true), how her missionary father proceeded to introduce the English religion to the Native Americans.

Along the way Bethia meets a young Indian whom she names Caleb. Since the times were of such Puritan ways, she could never recount her meetings with Caleb nor could she confess that she’d learned his language and was hungry to learn other languages. The times indicated that a girl was to be raised for marriage and womanly duties with no need for an education.

Not long after Bethia meets Caleb, his village of Indians meet their untimely death with Smallpox. Bethia’s father visits and prays to his English God for their healing while their medicine man prays to his Spirits for their healing. When none are healed and the whole village is wiped out, the Indian tribes that are left turn to the Missionary for guidance and learning of the English God since the Englishmen did not fall prey to Smallpox.

Eventually, even Caleb comes to the English village and is taken under Bethia’s father’s wing and educated with English, Latin and other studies. He is groomed to be one of the first Indians to attend the newly constructed Indian school at Harvard, and we follow his journey through the eyes of Bethia as she relates how both the world of the Native American and the Englishmen who’ve settled on the island intertwine.

The book takes some interesting turns of fiction and facts of life of the times in the 1600’s. Geraldine Brooks has created another interesting novel, which lends itself to an interesting story of characters as well as a learning tool about some history of our United States.

Excerpt from book: Caleb along with another Native American named Joel were admitted to Harvard in 1661, where they completed the rigorous, classics-based four-year course of study for a bachelor’s degree.

About the Author: Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issues.

In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism master’s program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.

For more information on Geraldine Brooks and where you can purchase any of her books, please visit her site at: http://geraldinebrooks.com/about orhttp://geraldinebrooks.com

 ‘CALEB’S CROSSING’ was released 4.24.12. and is available at:

  • Amazon.com
  • Barnes &amp; Noble
  • IndiesUnbound

It should also be available at your local library, but if not, please make a request.

You can browse all her books here:http://geraldinebrooks.com/the-books/

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

photo courtesy of Penguin

For those that love to read a book that keeps you intrigued detail after detail, and chapter after chapter, then “Year of Wonders’ by Geraldine Brooks is a must-read addition to any book collection. It’s a Five Star.

‘Year of Wonders’ by Geraldine Brooks takes you back to a time when medicine wasn’t so modern as in today’s world and herbs were used, but sometimes considered taboo. It is set in a small rural village on a hillside miles away from London. She tells a story that flows along through the voice of Anna Frith who was married off at the age of 15 to Sam who mined his own lead and had a team of miners. It’s a story of a time when a town is turned upside down when an unsuspecting plaque takes over killing loved ones, neighbors, children and the ensuing plight of how to deal with everyday living while coping with the stresses of finding a cure.
Anna and Sam Frith eventually had two boys before sadness set in with the loss of Sam in a mining accident. This left Anna alone to tend the animals and household. To add to Anna’s plight, the village is soon overcome with the Plague, a deadly disease that comes on swift, and death follows and it’s very contagious. The village’s townsfolk are Puritan with extremely strict beliefs, and their belief that God will heal is put to the test. The Rector, Michael Mompellion, tries to lead the people and keep their faith and trust as the town is soon shut off from other villages and/or towns. No strangers are allowed in, and those that have lived there all their life are asked to make a choice to stay so as not to spread the ‘deadly plague’ to others. Their solution of how to communicate and get the necessary supplies for the townspeople is a unique one when they find a way to use the large boundary stone at the edge of town in which they will leave money and orders for supplies.
Geraldine’s story is in some part a true story of Eyam, the “Plague Village,” tucked in the rugged mountain spine of England, a village that was actually cut off from society when the Plague landed in their small village in the 1600’s. The townspeople were confined, but some details the author has fictionalized and fictionalized in such a gut-wrenching and heartbreaking way that makes you feel as though you’re right alongside the characters experiencing what they are experiencing and feeling what they feel. It is mesmerizing in every detail.
It’s a story of how they have to learn to deal with day to day life and also the loss of so many lives. The book is an easy flowing read like listening to a story teller actually telling details of her life as if you’re right there in the moment with her. The joy, the heartache, the pains, secrets revealed, faiths tested, friendships ruined, and the life lessons learned during this bleak time is all felt through this author’s writing. The book is an excellent read and one of those that is hard to not finish in on sitting.
Even though it is a work of fiction, it is an eye opening account of how life must have been in the 1600’s even before being dredged down with the Plague and having to deal with being cut off from the outside world.
About the Author: Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issues.
In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism master’s program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.
For more information on Geraldine Brooks and where you can purchase any of her books, please visit her site at: http://geraldinebrooks.com/about orhttp://geraldinebrooks.com
Publisher: Penguin Books Note:
Her latest book ‘CALEB’S CROSSING’ is just released 4.24.12.
Copies of ‘Year of Wonders’ and her other books are available:
  • Amazon.com
  • Barnes &amp; Noble
  • IndiesUnbound
You can browse all her books here:http://geraldinebrooks.com/the-books/

 

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.

 – Andre Gide

~smiles ‘n giggles ‘n happy reading~

Peabea

 
 
 
 
 
 
Author Kristie Cook continues the fantastical journey of her Soul Savers series with the release of DEVOTION, her Third Book of the series. And, ‘Devotion’ is what Alexis is questioning along with who’s the betrayer and conspirators that want to overthrow the matriarch and become the ruler of the Amadis people.
 
Now that Tristan and Alexis are reunited, along with their son Dorian they soon find they need to be at the Amadis mansion not only for safety sake, but so that Alexis can work on refining her powers now that she’s gone through the Ang’dora. She soon realizes though that she has much to learn besides honing her powers; she must learn who can be trusted among all the many mysteries surrounding not only her birth, but the birth of her son and what his future holds. Can her son stay with the Amadis or will he too be taken over by the Daemoni, is there a reason she was unable to have a daughter plus there are whispers that a daughter was actually born but swept away and hidden at birth? These and other questions take her and Tristan yet on another journey out in the world to find the answers all the while having to fight the Daemoni who are still trying to control or kill them.
 
She must protect her son at all costs, while finding the truths. She finds that at times she questions her own abilities and even the faithfulness of her soul mate and true love.
 
A twist comes when the Amadis turn against Tristan and want him banished to be separated from Alexis forever. Will Alexis stay and protect for the good of the Amadis humanity or will she abandon and follow Tristan? These and many questions surrounding the Amadis, the Daemoni, and exactly what value is placed on the pendant Tristan gave Alexis in book one are finally answered in Devotion.
 
But, not to disappoint, Devotion, following along true to form with the great writing from this author with the mix of fantasy, an insatiable love story that defies to be quenched, and the suspense, will have you intrigued to find answers page after page.
 
Get to know the author and feel free to connect with Kristie Cook at any or all of the following sites:
 
Email: kristie@kristiecook.com
Author’s Website &amp; Blog: http://www.KristieCook.com
Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/kristiecookauth
Tumbler: http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/kristiecook
Google+: https://plus.google.com/102746226001674797330/posts
 
 
 Available Now
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kristie-Cook/e/B0046KG8R4 B&amp;N.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/kristie-cook Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kristiecookSigned paperbacks: http://www.readourwrites.com/shop/

Note: a big thank you to Author Kristie Cook for allowing me to be one of the first to read  Devotion and part of her review tour.

 
 
So, I am now having fun doing book reviews for Examiner.com as the Prospect Book Review Examiner. I’ve always loved to read, and even as a teenager you’d probably find me with my nose in a book. I’m not necessarily one to enjoy reading educational books, moreso I like fiction that takes me on an adventure out of my world for a bit.
 
Usually my genre has always been murder mysteries, with James Patterson and Dean Koonz being my top two authors. But lately, I’ve been reading some fantasy, and if you like fantasy, you’ll love the fantastical adventures that author, Kristie Cook takes you on through the character of Alexis Ames in PURPOSE (book two in her Soul Savers series novels). She’s definitely outdone herself with the amazing journey Alexis continues on now that Tristan is gone and her quest to find out if he’s alive and to get him back.

 

Alexis is left alone to raise their son after the Daemoni captured Tristan seven years ago. She struggles to work through her extreme sadness with the loss of Tristan and the love she so desperately needs, continue her writing to finish the novel that is important to the Amadis; all the while waiting for the Ang’dora that will give her the powers she needs for a battle between the good and the evil within herself and the struggle if she is to save her own soul.
She battles the Daemoni side of herself, wonders if she’s going mad and feels a failure for not giving birth to the daughter that is the future of the Amadis.
Ms. Cook’s writing and descriptive adventures of the Amadis, Daemoni and all the characters in her book seem to jump at the reader with the amazing fiction that flows through this book. It’s colorful and like you’re actually experiencing the action and pain right along with Alexis and the other characters. The battle scenes between good and evil are phenomenal. It’s so realistic that it leaves the reader anticipating how the story ends. Will Alexis find her soul mate and love of her life, will she win the battle and choose good over evil, will she find out more about her purpose and secrets that only the Amadis can tell her? Once started, it’s hard to put the book down and leaves the reader wanting to know the answers and more page after page.
About the Author:
Kristie cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at http://www.KristieCook.com.
You can find more on the series and where to find her books on the website at: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com
Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook  
Twitterhttp://twitter.com/#!/kristiecookauth
Excerpt from the author’s website about the book:
 
The Soul Savers Series
An epic fantasy tale of good versus evil, the Soul Savers Series brings everything you love about the paranormal genre with the author’s own twists and unique mythology. Follow the story of Alexis Ames as she discovers true love, learns about her heritage and what her future holds and begins to take on her life’s purpose. With a total of seven full-length novels along with companion novellas and stories, Kristie Cook plans to keep you on the edge of your seat for some time to come.
 
Hoping you enjoy her Soul Savers series as much as I have so far. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
 
 
 
 
~“To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.” ~
– Andre Gide
 
 
 
This book takes you on a fantasy trip as told through the voice of Alexis. She’s a somewhat typical teenager, going to college except she finds she’s not quite like other teenagers or not quite like other humans at all. She’s always known she has quirks that make her weird compared to others.
 
Even as a youth, she and her mom moved constantly. Her mom, Sophia, never seems to age, and Alexis, herself, heals whenever she is cut or hurt. She asks her mom continually about the reasons behind why those things are, but Sophia never seems to want to reveal things and changes the subject. It’s not until she meets an extremely handsome college classmate named Tristan that things start to seem even weirder. When Alexis finally brings him home to meet Sophia, she instantly acts as if she hates him and abruptly leaves the room.
 
The storyline develops and more and more are revealed to the reader. Alexis and her mom are exceptional people from a society known as the Amadis and Tristan was born (on purpose) by their enemy society the Daemoni as a superior warrior with genes developed to kill their enemy, and select enemy is the Amadis. Alexis’ mother reacts that way to Tristan because she knows him, has known him for generations. She also knows that he has given up his life with the Daemoni and become one of the Amadis, but she’s not sure he’s 100% changed.
 
As the story goes on, Alexis, finds that she has been promised to Tristan since birth, but as things are revealed to Alexis about herself, her mother and Tristan she’s revolted and turns away. Eventually, she comes to realize that she has ulterior strengths, and has been told that once the Ang’dora happens to her, she will change and become exactly like her mother and the rest of the Amadis. She will never age, her true powers will be full force, and in order for their society to continue, she must marry Tristan and have a daughter to carry on the line.
 
The book erupts into the war between the two cultures once Tristan and Alexis are married. The Daemoni are angry because they want Tristan back and Alexis back with him so they can defeat and be the rulers.
 
The battle rages on between the two cultures as the writer reveals more and more of who these two societies are, where they originated and how they are intertwined with Alexis, Tristan and their families.
 
This first in the series leaves you wanting more information page after page as the story develops the love between Tristen and Alexis, the mysteries surrounding Sophia and their backgrounds. It promises to not be a disappointment as the writer takes you on a fictional fantasy that boggles the mind at times.
 
This is the first in a series and promises to reveal more about Tristan, Alexis and the Amadis and Daemoni in the books to come.
 
It is a tantalizing read, hard to put down once you start the book. If you like books that take you on an adventure into fantasy-land, you’ll love this one.
 
About the Author:
Kristie cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at http://www.KristieCook.com.
 
You can find more on the series on her website at: http://www.soulsaversseries.com/
 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook
 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/kristiecookauth
 
Excerpt from the author’s website about the book:
 
The Soul Savers Series
An epic fantasy tale of good versus evil, the Soul Savers Series brings everything you love about the paranormal genre with the author’s own twists and unique mythology. Follow the story of Alexis Ames as she discovers true love, learns about her heritage and what her future holds and begins to take on her life’s purpose. With a total of seven full-length novels along with companion novellas and stories, Kristie Cook plans to keep you on the edge of your seat for some time to come.
 
http://www.soulsaversseries.com/the_series.html
Promise (1st in the series)
Purpose (2nd in the series)
Devotion (3rd in the series will be released in 2012)
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