Category Archives: Book Reviews

Earth 101: Time to Run

Earth 101: Time to Run by Emae Church introduces us to Jayne’s eerie world, where high school girls are disappearing and mysterious boys with unnatural features seemed to be all around. Jayne is the only one who remembers the missing girls, and it’s starting to make her feel like she’s going crazy. One boy in particular forms a powerful bond with her—Aithen is alluring and kind to Jayne when the rest of their school is suspicious of her research into the missing girls. With a strange man named Erek lurking around the girls and mutterings of possible supernatural creatures, all signs point to one dark answer: alien abduction.

The world is in peril, and the characters in Earth 101: Time to Run need to save it. Jayne herself holds the fate of the universe in her hands. Through her compassion for her missing friends and desperation to protect her family, Jayne connects the dots and becomes closer to Aithen as he shares the secrets of his home planet, Korudaz. He moves through time and sees the future where Jayne’s life is in danger. Rather than allow those pieces to fall into place, they decide to rewrite history and save the world.

I loved the pacing of this story. Every moment was a surprising twist, full of exciting action. The characters were nuanced and complex as they navigated the supernatural aspects of the story. I really enjoyed seeing the connections that Jayne made with others as she strives toward protecting the people she loves and saving her friends from being permanently deleted.

While I found the alien world fascinating, I was a little confused by all the terms that we are introduced to. There were many worlds, objects, and people to keep track of at once as the alien universe is first brought into our story. However, by the end of the book these ideas became easier to follow and made the story very intriguing and created an immersive experience. I liked how creative the approach to space was within this book.

Earth 101: Time to Run by Emae Church is a fast-paced, high intensity science fiction story that brings a new approach to stories of alien invasion. With our heroine Jayne and her intense focus, we’re able to travel through time and watch as she encounters daring feats. This is a story full of passion, action, and romance that you won’t want to miss.

Pages: 412 | ISBN: 1916300375

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Eastover Treasures

Eastover Treasures by [Dawn Brotherton]

Eastover Treasures is written by award winning author Dawn Brotherton. The story follows Aury and her fellow quilters, as she tries to solve a series of clues for a treasure hunt that was devised in the 1860s. Eastover Treasures combines a mystery novel with a slight hint of romance, and is an interesting read.

This intriguing cozy mystery novel is set in the same geographical area, over two time periods. Geographically, Eastover Treasures is set on a piece of land and buildings in Florida. The first time period is the 1860’s. The land and buildings make up a large plantation. The time period is stated at the top of the chapter, but this is also supported by rich detail such as clothing descriptions, technology (or lack of) and the dialogue and speech of the characters. Subsequent chapters transition into the past as the characters read diary entries written in the 1860s. The present-day time setting is indicated by the land usage – a motel and discarded house, descriptions of nearby towns and available technology (electricity, internet, speech). The two time periods are linked in numerous ways: quilts found in both the house and quilts the women are making, remnants of buildings that existed in the 1860s and present day relatives of the family that lived on the plantation in the 1860s.

There are many fascinating characters that color this spellbinding story –  both present day characters and characters in the 1860s. Characters in the 1860s include Mary and her children, Frederick, Thomas, Noah, Sarah. The reader gains some insight into Mary’s feelings and motivations through her inner monologue. However, large parts of her life remain a mystery until the end of the novel. All of the children and their actions feature in subsequent diary entries. In the present day, Aury and Scott are the main characters of the novel. Both are well developed an authentic. Aury, an avid quilter, is an accountant by trade, whom has had her interest piqued in the estate by a mysterious treasure hunt she and her friends found reference to in a diary. Scott, owner of the estate develops an interest in both the treasure hunt and Aury herself. As the novel progresses their friendship develops and grows naturally.

Eastover Treasures is an interesting and worthwhile read. The geographical setting is well described and draws the reader into the enthralling story immediately. The characters are authentic, relatable and even heartwarming, and the relationship between Aury and Scott becomes a sub plot within the novel that was engrossing in itself. This is an mesmerizing historical mystery story that was a delight to read.

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B094D54C8R

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Secrets of Broken Pottery: Seeing the Great Potter

Secrets of Broken Pottery: Seeing the Great Potter - Being Seen by Him by [Heidi McKendrick]

Secrets of Broken Pottery is an amazing book to read especially if you are familiar with the bible. The author uses different biblical figures, sharing their stories as written in the bible, but explains a different side that many bible readers may not be familiar with. Secrets of Broken Pottery is interesting to read because the author gives you a different perspective of things. The bible has many stories that bring spiritual healing and life lessons for believers. Reading this book makes you realize that there is a lot to be unpacked in the bible. Most of the stories are interesting to read and excite even young kids when they are introduced to bible studies.

In this book author Heidi McKendrick goes the extra mile and explains more than the basics that are taught in bible study. She selected a couple of biblical figures, broke down their characters and wrote about the impact they have. I enjoyed reading this book because Heidi McKendrick makes reading the bible look fun and thrilling. A story you have read more than once appears new when it is told by the author.

One of my favorite things about Heidi McKendrick’s writing is how she compares the stories in the bible to real life situations. You never know that you have gone through experiences biblical figures went through until you read Secrets of Broken Pottery. Stories from David, Joseph, Dinah and even Tamar occur in real life more often than anyone would imagine. Heidi McKendrick skillfully narrates these stories and gets one to reflect on their life and how their relationship with God is.

Secrets of Broken Pottery is a great book for any Christian looking to improve their relationship with God. In the book, Heidi McKendrick writes of different ways people connect with the almighty. Spirituality is intimate for some people and the author acknowledges that every individual’s relationship with God is different from the next person. Heidi McKendrick uses a warm language and knows how to engage with her readers through her narration.

I appreciate the author for referring to God as the great potter throughout the book. This makes the reader feel safe and at peace, knowing that the God they believe in is the greatest of all. Heidi’s language aside, I also appreciate her for the bible scriptures she shares through the chapters. Every chapter in the book spoke to me on a different level. The last chapters were however my favorite as they made me examine myself as a mortal who believes in God, and my purpose on earth.

Pages: 520 | ASIN: B0943TH8VC

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Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy Series

Larougo: Book Two of The Uluru Legacy by [Anna J Walner]

Larougo (The Uluru Legacy Series Book Two) by Anna J Walner is a suspenseful paranormal adult fiction book that continues the story of Amelia and Roan from Garkain, Book One of the series. After learning that Amelia is pregnant with triplets, she and Roan travel back to Australia from the United States for their joining ceremony. But there are many surprises waiting for them when they return home. The couple learns that they are expected to take on the role of leaders of a new Colony, combining the Colony of vampires currently led by Amelia’s grandfather with Roan’s pack of were-dingos. And Amelia’s mix of vampire and lycanthrope bloodlines mean that they don’t know quite what to expect during her pregnancy. With a group of hunters bent on exterminating all of them, will anyone survive?

Author Anna J Walner has created a unique story within a packed paranormal genre that will feel familiar but still creates its own imaginative world. I liked the setting of Australia for this paranormal series, and the unique aspect of were-dingos instead of the typical wolves, couple this with a deep level of intrigue baked into the story right from the beginning and you get what fans loved in book one, but taken to a new level. How Roan and Amelia navigate pack politics is riveting and will appeal to any reader who loves the drama that goes with intertwining desires among strong characters.

While I enjoyed the story line and the characters, I felt that there were a lot of descriptions in the book; there’s a scene about making online purchases and unpacking boxes, but once we’re pass this the pace of the novel really picks up.

Amelia is still an impassioned character with strong feeling about things and her reaction to the events around her elevates the melodrama whenever she’s in the scene to ensure things are always interesting. With a twist later on that really challenges her love, and who she loves more, readers are in for an emotional-rollercoaster.

Larougo is a thrilling paranormal romance novel that continues the riveting story from book one. If you have not read book one, Garkain, I highly suggest you do as the second book presses forward without summary. This is an emotionally charged shifter romance story that will leave you wanting more.

Pages: 227 | ASIN:  B093LPV47C

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Discovering Twins: no secret is safe forever

Discovering Twins: no secret is safe forever by [Stella ter Hart]

Discovering Twins by Stella ter Hart is a memoir, a biography and a short fictional stories all-in-one. It blurs the line between memory and imagination, and that’s what sets it apart. It takes us through the life of ter Hart’s family. With more than 20 short stories exploring different characters and their lives, Discovering Twins is a magnificent debut by Stella ter Hart. It talks about the life of a Jewish family under an oppressive regime; it celebrates life and explores motherhood, childhood, and families in fascinating ways.

The book explores various themes and has something to interest everyone. It talks about the small celebrations of life, taking us through incidents like childbirth, the discomforts and joys of pregnancies, a girl becoming a woman and the fear of the unknown that strikes when you menstruate for the first time. It later talks about Stella’s ageing mother, who suffers from mental illness in the later stages of life. It truly represents life and its various color and shades.

Divided into unconnected short stories about several people in no particular order, one would expect the book to be rather chaotic. However, the author surprises us by making the book feel coherent and rather beautifully connected from one story to another. The stories themselves do not follow the standard format of a story with an introduction, climax or ending. Instead, they narrate instances, some monumental, some mundane, but each brilliantly described. It feels like a window into Stella’s family that we peak into from time to time.

The book also gives us rare insight into the Holocaust and its horrors. How sometimes, parents were even forced to choose between their children. It talks about how her mother and their generation were forced to lie because the truth could get them killed. Stella brings out the horrors of war and genocide without letting the story become a book about the Holocaust, but rather how the scars have a ripple effect.

Discovering Twins is a must-read for anyone looking to get an intriguing and insightful look into the life and struggles of Jews during times of war contrasted with the warm, happy, bright life of ter Hart’s family.

Pages: 256 | ASIN: B094F8WYDT

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One Hundred Fart Poems

One Hundred Fart Poems by [RickthePoetWarrior]

One Hundred Fart Poems is an unexpected amusement. Even though Rickthepoetwarrior certainly has more juvenile humor at times, which can be refreshing, this is truly the pinnacle. Simply a book full of fart poems and jokes. Not hidden criticism, no hidden commentary on the hypocrisy of the world of different socioeconomic situations, just breaking wind.

One of my particular favorites is the fart quotes poem which must be experienced in full. I also found the clever plays on words humorous as always such as the use of fArt which implies art can be made of such awkward situations as are described in the book. I also, as a lover of libraries, quite enjoyed the Ripping Out a Page from History poem.

This collection of fart poems is ridiculous but refreshingly so. Readers are sure to be cackling maniacally even while being embarrassed at their own juvenile laughter. But perhaps that is what makes this book so different from Rickthepoetwarrior’s other works is that it is simply pure joy with no hidden message that might remind the reader of what is exasperating about the world. I highly recommend reading this in conjunction with one of his more profound works as a braincleanser.

Pages: 124 | ASIN: B08WTH39D8

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The Journey of Life

The Journey of Life by [Teklemariam Birbirsa]

Mistre is one of those characters you can’t stop thinking about. She is living a life of the most challenging kind. She is a mother, but she is unable to be present for her children. Despite the choices she has made and the mistakes that have shaped her, Mistre manages to live her life for others. Her sights are set on helping those who cannot help themselves. Now, however, Mistre is on the run, and her life will never be the same–as her life changes, so do those of her children. If it is possible for a woman to triumph over what appears to be the depths of despair, Mistre is the woman to do it.

The Journey of Life, by Teklemariam Birbirsa, details all the turbulence and trauma of Mistre’s life. Beginning with an unplanned pregnancy that could be the beginning of the end for her, Mistre relies on her friends’ kind hearts and guidance. She has a purpose in life, and nothing will stop her–even some of the most devastating roadblocks a person can endure.

Birbirsa does a wonderful job of incorporating truths into this work of historical fiction. The timing and the settings truly bring the characters and their challenges to life. From governmental overreach to the Red Terror of Ethiopia, the author covers some truly heinous subject matter. Readers who look for bits of historical accuracy in their dramas will appreciate the efforts to which Birbirsa has gone to add details to Mistre’s story.

Time seems to pass quickly for the characters. I could feel myself zooming through Mistre’s life and found myself wondering, at some points, who was talking. Mistre’s life is full, offers many more chances for side stories, and could stand to be drawn out into even more detailed chapters. Overall, the book seemed short, and I was begging for more by the end.

The Journey of Life, by Teklemariam Birbirsa is a riveting and emotionally charged novel. Mistre is a truly involved character with many chances for a more well-developed storyline. There is an underlying current of fear surrounding the main characters that deserves even more exploration. I look forward to seeing more from Birbirsa in the future and would love to see an offshoot of Mistre’s life exploring the lives of her children.

Pages: 148 | ASIN: B08ZJRBPXG

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The Professional Voiceover Handbook

The Professional Voiceover Handbook (Voiceover training 1) by [Peter Baker]

The Professional Voiceover Handbook by Peter Baker is a professional’s how-to, that for once, fully delivers. Author Peter Baker provides everything you will need to embark on a journey into voiceover as a new career.

There’s no holding back with Baker. He wants you to succeed and to join the ranks alongside him as a professional voiceover artist. That he loves his work and the field itself is incredibly obvious as you read through this book. He provides clear and simple instructions without making it seem as though he’s talking down to a beginner who knows nothing. He doesn’t just mention different types of jobs one can do in voiceover, he actually goes through several in great detail. For example, there’s a respectable chunk of text describing everything you might want to know about how to record audiobooks, even specifically addressing authors who might want to attempt to record their own books themselves. He’s not narrowing down his audience or excluding anyone; he’s written this guide as an open invitation for anyone to try out voiceover, not just those already dabbling in the field. Baker details every last piece of equipment you’ll need, as well as sharing those that he considers the best or most effective. He talks about the pros and cons of getting an exclusive agent versus going it alone as a freelance artist. He also discusses the best software programs to use, even going so far as to outline exactly what settings to use for different types of jobs. And best of all, he shares an extensive list of websites where a beginning (and honestly even a seasoned) voiceover artist can find trustworthy, paying gigs.

There’s so much valuable, practical information in these pages that I almost felt encouraged to pull out my own microphone and try to record a few practice scripts, just to see how I’d do. I love that you can feel the passion this man has for the work. Other books of this nature that I’ve read always seem to hold back just enough to where you might feel inspired to try but still not know exactly what to do. You won’t need a anything else to get started, and it’s not just the act of voiceover that he discusses. Baker even addresses the more business-related side of the work, answering questions you might have about client communications, how to handle payments and invoicing, even at times providing actual templates for emails that you can copy and use to get started right away.

This was a very easy-to-read book, written in a casual, friendly manner, and there’s no difficult technical jargon to slog through–as even the most technical parts he’s written are easily understood. I highly recommend Professional Voiceover Handbook to anyone interested in a career in voiceover or even anyone who’s just looking into it as a possible hobby or side hustle. Baker’s handbook and his invaluable tips and templates will let you hit the ground running.

Pages: 233 | ASIN:  B093QPD7LM

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