Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #YA #Fantasy The Curse Of Time by @Marjorie_Mallon

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading The Curse Of Time by Marjorie Mallon

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My Review:

 The Curse of Time is a young adult fantasy novel set in Cambridge, England.

 This book has a complex mix of themes running through it, and at times my head did spin as I tried to keep up. Amelina is a likeable character. She receives enchanted gifts and dreams about an elusive cottage. Her parents can’t offer her the support she needs, and instead, she turns to Esme, a friend who lives in the mirror.

 As a qualified crystal therapist, I liked the inclusion of crystals throughout the story.

 ‘Our clasped hands shook with fear. I waited, afraid to witness the effect the Black Obsidian would have on my friends and me next. Our eyes met, and we strengthened our hold, clasping our hands tighter. The blackness of the moment grew. A flowing ribbon of dark, velvety light encircled our hands and bound our palms together sealing our bond.’

 There is also a strong personal development theme running through the book which I enjoyed.

 As with all coming-of-age stories, Amelina grows as the story unfold. Learning who to trust, and how to use her gifts.

 I reviewed The Curse of Time as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team #RBRT

Book description

Two years have passed since Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, on that fateful day her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, fifteen year old Amelina pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

About the author

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews.

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

M.J. Mallon

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Rosie’s Review Team #RBRT Novella Tempted By Mr Wrong by @JacqBiggar #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Tempted By Mr Wrong by Jacquie Biggar

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Title: Tempted by Mr. Wrong

Author: Jacqui Biggar

Category: Romantic Suspense

My Rating: 4 Star

My Review:

We are introduced to Tammy-Jo as she wanders down the rain soaked street in broken heels after being humiliated by her husband at the Country Club. Immediately we get the impression of a strong woman who, despite her predicament, is still sassy.

Jason arrives on the scene like a knight in shining armour (or rather, a cute chap in a Mustang) and we begin to learn there’s a history between the two. Pulled together by their parent’s relationship, TJ and Jason are step-siblings, but ten years ago their teenage hormones got the better of them, and they explored a relationship. It was Jason who suddenly walked away without explanation and TJ is still hurting.

Married to Tim, a power-hungry man, TJ has tried to suppress her feelings for Jason but having him back in her life is quite a jolt.

Jason’s return is not as innocent as it seems. He wants to visit his mother who is dealing with dementia, but he also still loves TJ. Seeing her again stirs up all the old feelings. Unfortunately, there’s also the small fact that he is there to investigate TJ’s father with the intention of sending him to jail.

Within the first few pages, we uncover the simmering passion that TJ and Jason still have for one another all while falling over the dead body of TJ’s husband on the front lawn.

Who killed Tim? Is TJ involved? What secrets is her father keeping?

I liked this book. It was well written, and I could connect easily to the characters. If I’m honest, I don’t think it was long enough. It didn’t go deeply into the criminal activities or the investigation around the death of TJ’s husband, and I would have loved to find out more about the dark dealings. There were secondary characters whose stories didn’t get their full potential due to the short length. However, this means there’s scope for a spin-off.

It’s a sweet romance where the hero and heroine play tug of war with their feelings, but it’s wrapped up nicely at the end. There is also a sensitive side plot about dementia, and this is tastefully done. It’s a hugely distressing disease, and the author handles it well.

All in all, Tempted by Mr. Wrong was a good read.

Book description

How can something so wrong, feel so right?

Falling for her step-brother is a mistake T.J. doesn’t want to repeat, but one look into those sapphire blue eyes and she’s ready to give him whatever he wants.

Tammy-Jo Hawthorne’s marriage was floundering, but she never expected her husband to make her the laughing stock of Magnolia.

And she definitely didn’t expect to trip over him in their front yard after he’d been murdered.
Jason McIntyre was forced out of his home and the love of his life by the man who’d haunted his nightmares for ten long years.

Now Jason’s back–and he wants revenge.

About the author

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.
She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart.

Jacquie Biggar

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Revengers by @dvgtweets #Horror #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Revengers by David Valdes Greenwood

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Title: Revengers
Author: David Valdes Greenwood
Category: Horror
My Rating: 4 Star
My Review:
As a lover of supernatural and horror stories, I was drawn to this book by the mention of Salem and the Furies – or lone Fury in this case. Exacting revenge was the purpose of the Furies, and in Revengers it falls to three teenagers to carry out an ancient act of vengeance.
Ama, Mark, and Justin have never met, and yet they have each been touched by death and are hounded by grief. By witnessing the murders of their loved ones,they have been left broken and alone. Ama was sent to an all-girls’ school because her aunt couldn’t handle her, Mark dropped out of Harvard because he couldn’t cope with his heartache, and Justin has jumped from bedsit to squat over the years, never settling, never living.
The three main characters are so different and yet they share a common bond. I loved their diversity and how their friendship developed in the face of such horror. Ama is feisty and cold but learns to open her heart and let down her walls. Mark is smart and excitable but loyal to his new found friends. Justin is broken but allows himself to feel alive for the first time in years. They are an unlikely threesome, and yet the dynamics work well.
After witnessing the deaths of their loved ones, the three main characters are plagued with nightmares where they relive the event over and over. However, there is an addition to their usual dreams when the Fury, Rebecca, invades their minds and leaves them a trail to follow; a journal, the letter R, the word Salem. All three independently decide to investigate what it all means and eventually meet outside Salem’s Witch Museum. They are whisked away by the tour guide, Betty, for a speedy low down on the rules of the game. Revenge the death of their loved ones by killing the people responsible.
The story unfolds as the three teens take on the challenge, but it’s not as simple, or as straight forward, as Betty made it out to be.
The story is perfectly paced but picks up towards the end as a series of unexpected twists keep you hooked. Told in the third person, the book switches between all the characters point of view, changing angles but never losing its momentum. The horror aspect isn’t too gory and so would appeal to the more squeamishreader. Although the characters are teenagers, this book could be thoroughly enjoyed by teens and adults alike.
An enjoyable read.
My thanks to the author/publisher for an ARC copy of Revengers which I reviewed as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.
Book Blurb:
How far would you go to make things right? Ama, Mark, and Justin are about to find out.

All three have each witnessed a murder that went unpunished, and they’ve lived broken lives ever since. In recent months, their dreams have been haunted by someone who understands their pain: a Fury who survived the witch hunts of Old Salem. Three days before Halloween, she enters their dreams and summons them to be Revengers, just as she has done for a new trio of teens every year for centuries. If they abide by her seemingly simple set of rules, she promises supernatural protection while they avenge their losses.

One catch: exacting revenge means becoming killers themselves. And they don’t have much time to wrestle with the moral dilemma, as the Fury’s protection will end on the Day of the Dead. When they agree—setting in motion three bloody acts of vengeance—things begin to spiral out of control and they come to understand they are pawns in ancient game. As the Fury toys with them, they race against the clock, hoping to live more than just a few more days
About the author

David Valdes Greenwood is the author of Revengers, The Rhinestone Sisterhood, Homo Domesticus and A Little Fruitcake. As an award-winning playwright, his work has been staged coast to coast and in the UK. A former freelance journalist, Valdes Greenwood is best known for his Boston Globe columns. Currently, he details life as a parent as a Huffington Post blogger.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Devil’s Lieutenant by @ShervinJamali #Supernatural #Thriller

Today’s Team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali

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Title: The Devil’s Lieutenant
Author: Shervin Jamali
Category: Supernatural Thriller
My Rating: 4 Star
My Review:
I enjoyed this novella. Although it’s written using short, snappy sentences the flow works incredibly well and substantiates the distracted, grief-stricken pain of the main character, Michael.
Lucifer is using Michael’s anguish to drive his own agenda which is to capture souls from some of the world’s most despicable criminals. Michael is so desperate to help his fallen family to find the peace they deserve that he carries out a host of murders in cold blood. It was interesting to see how Michael’s character begins to enjoy these acts, almost justifying their death because of the evil acts they have carried out.
I can’t talk about the ending without giving away any spoilers, so I’ll simply say that the novella is neatly rounded off but leaves enough of a teaser to make you want more.
At just 86 pages I easily devoured The Devil’s Lieutenant in one sitting and look forward to reading more from this author.
Book Description

In the blink of an eye, Michael loses his family. As his life spirals out of control with grief, he is presented with the possibility that the souls of his family might be trapped in Hell. 
Thus begins an unimaginable and nightmarish journey to rescue his family from the depths of Hell, with the Devil as the puppet master pulling his strings.

 About the author
Shervin Jamali
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until recently that it just seemed to click. I’ve had stories locked away, but suddenly, and unexpectedly, they now need to get out. I completed the first draft of “The Devil’s Lieutenant” in just two months, and that was as a result of writing when I had the opportunity to do so. My 8-5 job and family still came first. I look forward to the day when I can be a full time writer who can take my children to school, pick them up and chauffeur them to various activities, with a healthy dose of writing in between. I believe that day might be right around the corner.

Also, my favorite punctuation mark is the semi-colon; it’s often used incorrectly, but it’s always winking at you!

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Cursed Love Blues by @katexwickens ancient Goddess #Fantasy

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens

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Title: Cursed Love Blues
Author: Kate Wickens
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
My Review:
Cursed Love Blues has it all; gods and goddesses, lots of sex, music, and even vampires! The author doesn’t hold back with her descriptive prose, and this novel is, therefore, far from a clean read.
Ate is a disgraced goddess who is cursed to walk the earth in human form. Known as the goddess of infatuation and recklessness she finds numerous ways to pass the centuries. She comes across a young couple, Hako, and Sue, who are part of a band. The music element in the book is well written and beautifully crafted, weaving itself into most scenes. Ate becomes their manager, and the story unfolds as they embark on a road trip.
As we learn more about Ate in the present day, the author then switches between time periods, so we learn more about Ate’s previous encounters over the many years she has spent as a goddess in a human body. There are links to the past lives of those she meets, and this opens up to the twists and turns of the story arc.
I found this review quite difficult to write. Cursed Love Blues is well written. However, I didn’t bond with the characters at all and struggled to read it, opting for short bursts. Having said that, I did like the god, Hermes, as his humour was well portrayed. He enters the story by hijacking human bodies so he can interact with Ate and the other characters. There is a beautifully written scene where Hermes dances with Ate but hops from body to body as the dance progresses.
The author has delivered an interesting read which shows us how a god and goddess might view human life with frailties of body and mind, but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me.
I received a copy of Cursed Love Blues from the author via Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team, in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb:
A disgraced goddess, scorned by the gods and condemned by an ancient curse to wander the earth in human form. But Atë is nobody’s victim. Indomitable, mischievous and ravishing, she is determined to enjoy all the sensual pleasures of the body and this world, even if they do come with a price.
She isn’t known as the goddess of infatuation and recklessness for nothing. Drifting across centuries and continents, through the countless lives of mesmerised kings, geniuses and fools, she is haunted by a secret ache for a human soul she has loved and lost over different lifetimes. When a young blues singer mysteriously disappears during a Mexican fiesta, Atë realises the key to freeing herself from her curse might finally be within her grasp.
Embark on a wild road trip that takes you into a twilight world of disgruntled angels, unreliable gods, desperate lovers, vengeful priests and friendly goats.
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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT The Bridge Of The Golden Wood by @KarlBeckstrand Kids #BusinessBook

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading The Bridge Of The Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand

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Book Title: The Bridge of the Golden Wood
Author: Karl Beckstrand
Category: Children’s Fiction
 
My Rating: 4 Star
 
My Review:
 
The Bridge of the Golden Wood is a delightful tale about a young Chinese boy who helps some hungry fish but learns a valuable life lesson along the way. According to the blurb, this illustrated folktale teaches the reader how to spot opportunities to help others and make money. After the story, there are money-making activities included, together with a valuable resource section.
 
The illustrations are beautiful, and the words are in a dyslexic font making this book accessible to a wide audience.
 
It’s aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 18 and has a business/non-fiction element to the story. However, I’m not sure my three teenagers would read it, even though two of them are studying business, and my young nephew would not grasp the business element, but I’m sure he would enjoy the story. The author is a bestselling and award-winning author of 18 multicultural books, so I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing.
 
I loved the inspirational message of the picture book and enjoyed reading it.
 
I received a copy of The Bridge of the Golden Wood from the author as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.
 
Book Description
 
A child with a knack for solving problems helps some hungry fish and finds a treasure.
 
Illustrated folktale teaches how to spot opportunities to help others and make money. Comes with ideas for businesses; money-making activities; and online resources on finding customers, managing money, and moving up in an organization (for ages 5 and up). Young children will be captivated by the story; older ones will want to apply the things they learn.
 
Teach someone to fish: a how-to book on careers, small business, and learning how to serve/earn money. Soon available in hard and soft cover—Asian characters, Chinese boy, red panda, 26-page picture book, 530 words in dyslexic font by Karl Beckstrand.
About the author
Karl Beckstrand
Karl Beckstrand is the award-winning and bestselling author of 18 multicultural titles and more than 50 e-books (reviews by Kirkus, The Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, ForeWord Reviews). Beckstrand earned a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a certificate from Film A. Academy. Once a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley, Beckstrand’s early work was produced by two publishers (the first died the day they were to print his book!). Since 2004 he has guided Premio Publishing & Gozo Books.

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