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review 2015-12-19 19:47
The Christmas Train by Rexanne Becnel
The Christmas Train - Rexanne Becnel

Full review on my blog.

4.5 Stars

The Christmas Train is the story of Anna and Eva. Anna is a sweet little 10-year-old girl who lives with Nana Rose, her grandmother. After the inevitably sad death of Nana Rose, her mother decides she can’t take care of Anna and sends her to live with her dad in Iowa; a man Anna has never met. It is on her journey on “the Christmas train” that Anna meets Miss Eva, an older woman who thinks she’s on a train to her villa in Germany in pre-World War II. Having had such a close relationship with her grandmother, Anna sees a little of her grandmother in Miss Eva and so we follow them as their lives become intertwined in a friendship that will melt your heart and give you all the feels.

This is a feel good story, with lovable characters and a warm positive message. It’s impossible not to fall for Anna. She’s this adorable 10 year old that thinks and behaves like a grown up. Miss Eva, even though she’s the grown up that acts like a lost 10 year old, you can’t not fall for her in her time of need. As a family member of someone who is struggling with senile dementia, it was impossible not to feel compassion for Miss Eva.

My favorite character is Nana Rose. You gotta love Nana Rose! Find out what I loved about her in the full review on my blog.

If you’re looking for a short and cozy Christmas story to read curled up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and candy canes, this is the book for you. If you are traveling during this Christmas season and you need reading material, this is the book for you and your journey. It will warm your heart, make your trip more cozy but most importantly it will make you want to be aware of the people travelling with you. Who knows, maybe you will meet your “Anna” or your “Miss Eva” on your Christmas bus, plane or train. If you do, you will be blessed.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
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review 2015-11-28 16:53
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose
The Witch of Painted Sorrows - M.J. Rose

Full review on my blog.

I chose to read this book because of the author, the book cover, the title and the description. It was an all in one for me.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the story of Sandrine Salomé, a woman who decides to escape her unhappy marriage in New York to find shelter at her grandmother’s house in Paris. Her grandmother is a famous Parisian courtesan, who has accumulated innumerable treasures in her house. When Sandrine arrives, she finds herself homeless, as her grandmother had moved out of the house in hopes of turning it into a museum. Her grandmother doesn’t want Sandrine near the house. There is something about the house, Sandrine can’t let go of it, she manages to inhabit the house and along with Julien Duplessi, the architect in charge of the museum project, she embarks in a life changing journey of discovery, not only of the dark mysteries of her family’s past hidden inside the house but also a journey that will lead her to discover her passion for art and her own sensuality.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a delight for the senses. The setting is described in such a way that it is impossible not to feel like you are right there, inside that house, exploring the hidden room, mixing the pigments, creating the paintings, walking through the Parisian streets, or living the bohemian life in Paris in 1890.

And the provocative romance, it is impossible not to feel seduced by it. It is I must say a book for adults. I wouldn’t recommend it for YA nor the advanced YA readers. Not that kids today aren’t reading about sex, but I wouldn’t want to give kids the idea that adultery is enchanting. The sensual content in this book is more likely to be enjoyed by adults.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a story that gets sexier and darker with every page you read. Reading it feels like touching velvet. It is a bewitching story. I couldn’t put this book down. I was so into the story that when I finished it, it left me hungry for more. I wanted to keep reading; I wanted to stay in that magical world for a while longer. And this abrupt ending is the main reason it didn’t get 5 stars in my rating.

Nevertheless, this book confirmed that I am a fan of MJ Rose. I can’t wait to read more of her work. If you’re looking for a book with an exquisite blend of history, romance, eroticism, magic, witchcraft, paranormal, mystery, and art, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that will make you travel back in time to the bohemian life of the Belle Époque in Paris, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a hypnotic story filled with passion, mystique and drama, this is the book for you.


Full review and other musings of mine on my blog.

 

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/read-reviewed-74-the-witch-of-painted-sorrows-by-m-j-rose
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review 2015-10-31 18:14
Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
Within These Walls - Ania Ahlborn

Full review on my blog.

Within These Walls is the recollection of “unusual” events that took place in two different time periods in a house located in 101 Montlake Road in Pier Pointe, Washington. The house is owned by Jeffrey Halcomb, a cult leader on death row for the death of 10 of his followers back in 1983. Halcomb has decided to give crime writer Lucas Graham exclusive interviews because he wants Graham to write his side of the story. But there is one catch: Lucas (Lou) must move into his house on Pier Pointe.

Lou is not going through a high point in his life, his wife is having an affair and his writing career desperately needs a comeback. He naively figures he’s got nothing to lose, takes the deal and moves into the infamous house with his 12 year old daughter, Virginia. The house welcomes its new inhabitants and without losing time finds the way to reveal to them the secrets she’s kept within her walls.

Aside from Lou and Virginia’s story line, we also read about Audra Snow, a congressman’s daughter who lived with Halcomb back in 1983, and was a victim of the mass murder that took place inside the house.

I couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up all night reading it and finished it at 5:30 AM. I really enjoyed how the story slowly pulled me in. It was creepy scary from the get go, and it got creepier as I kept reading. The author does a good job in blending the two storylines; the jumps between the different time periods are well executed and you never feel lost. The secrets are revealed not all at once but in a very addictive rhythm that keeps you turning the pages.

I don’t usually like to do comparisons but if I had to describe this book in that way, I would say that this book is pop culture’s Age of Aquarius meets The Sixth Sense (did you just hear “I see dead people” in your mind?). It has everything you can expect in an adult frightening read: mass murder, cults, orgies, ghosts, mystery, horror, thrills, love, grief, etc.

If you’re in the mood for a fast paced mix of paranormal, horror, mystery, suspense and psychological thrills all in one, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book to add to you Halloween TBR, this is the book for you. I’m looking forward to reading more of Ania Ahlborn‘s creepy horrific work.

Full review and other musings on my blog.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links.
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/read-reviewed-71-within-these-walls-by-ania-ahlborn
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review 2015-10-17 18:51
Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green
Spy of Richmond - Jocelyn Green

Full review on my blog.

Spy of Richmond is Jocelyn Green’s fourth and final book in her Heroines Behind the Lines Series. Even though this book is the conclusion to a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. It is a well-rounded and complete story that keeps you turning pages until the end.

Spy of Richmond is a wonderful piece of historical Christian fiction. Once again, the book’s synopsis gives the reader absolutely no clue that this book has religious messages. Having read it, I can say that yes, there are Scripture references throughout the book, especially towards the end (too many for my taste), but you are already too invested in the story that you need to keep on reading in order to know the conclusion of this voyage back to life in the Richmond of the 1860s.

Spy of Richmond is a story that has a wide array of characters that are all relevant to the story; each person plays an important role. There are three main story lines, headed by Sophie, Bella and Harrison, which are fabulously intertwined to create an entertaining narrative.

For more about the characters check the full review on my blog.

Spy of Richmond is a well-researched book about the Civil War. It is not a stereotypical story about slaves being abused and forced to work or about Southern belles who live their lives oblivious to the racial issues happening. This is a fantastic story about people who regardless of their social status, the color of their skin or if they came from the North or South, work together to fight for what they believe is the right thing to do. It was very interesting to read about the brave risks taken especially by women in a time where they were thought of as decorative, weak and brainless figures of society.

My favorite part was the History behind the Story section, where the author describes what parts of the story were fictional and what parts were based on real historical events of the time. There’s also a list of select books that can serve as resources for those interested in doing more research on the historical facts portrayed in the book.

If you’re looking for a book that will help you learn things about the Civil War they didn’t teach you in school (or you didn’t pay enough attention to), this is the book for you. If you’re into historical Christian fiction, this is definitely your cup of Joe. Book clubs should consider adding this one to their reading lists. The discussion guide included touches a wide array of subjects, not only historical or religious, that could lead to interesting analyses and conversations.

If you’re looking for a story about survival while doing the right thing, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a captivating story that takes you back to the real difficult events that led brave men and women in the US to freedom, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that will make you think about what freedom means to you, this is the book for you.

Full review on my blog.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/read-reviewed-69-spy-of-richmond-by-jocelyn-green
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review 2015-10-10 22:49
Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn
Things Half in Shadow - Alan Finn
Full review on my blog

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn (pen name for Tod Ritter, American writer, editor and journalist) is a book whose description and cover powerfully and mysteriously attracted me. The subject of mediums, ghosts, and murder in the post-Civil War era had me at hello. The cover is a great cover for this story. Having read the book (twice now), I can without a doubt say that the cover encompasses what the book is all about.

Things Half in Shadow takes place in the 1860’s in Philadelphia. It is the story of Mr. Edward Clark, a young man who after the war made a life as a journalist, reporting on the city’s crimes in the largest newspaper in town. His life seemed perfect; he had a good job and is in love and engaged, until one day an assignment to uncover the fake mediums in towns alters his until then peaceful and perfect existence.

On his first day of the assignment he is acquainted with Lucy Collins, a fake medium. By twist of fate, Edward and Lucy end up being the main suspects in the murder of Leonora Grimes Pastor, one of the real mediums in town.

Edward and Lucy did not commit the murder, so they decide to team up and take it into their own hands to clean their names and reputation. And so we read about the adventures they go through in order to unveil the real killer and uncovering at the same times secrets from their past.

The writing is good. The author did a good job describing the setting and surroundings. It is impossible not to picture in your mind the places, sounds, smells, fashions, customs and people described in the book. The book is written in such a way that you get immediately transported into Postbellum Philadelphia. The first person narration is very good and the fact that you get a foreword and a postscript rounds the story perfectly and gives the reader a sense of closure.

Things Half in Shadow was a book I couldn’t put down the first time I read it, and when I had to, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I re-read it in one sitting. It is a great blend of mystery, suspense, crime, historical fiction, magic, action, secret societies, friendship and romance all in one. I didn’t give it 5 stars for the sole reason that it lacked the life changing quality I look for in a 5 starred book. And for some reason beyond me, I felt a bit exhausted during the fighting scene both times I read the book. But it is an absolutely entertaining 4.5 starred book to read.

If you are a fan of unpredictable page turning mysteries that unravel slowly and keep you putting the clues together until the end, this is the book for you. If you are a fan of the Clue board game [hello kids of the 80s! ;) ] this is the book for you. October is the month for dark mysterious reads; I highly recommend adding this book in your October or Fall TBR lists. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed to check it out.

I’m looking forward to read the sequel to Things Half in Shadow. I can’t wait to travel back in time to Philadelphia and see what other adventures Edward and Lucy got to live (and I also want to find out more about the future Ms. Clark, when/if you read the book you’ll know what I mean).

Full review on my blog
 
 
 
 
DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links.
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/read-reviewed-68-things-half-in-shadow-by-alan-finn
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