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review 2018-04-19 19:52
New Release Review – The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

 

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

It seems books with an Egypt locale have been dropping into my reading list and The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold is the latest one. I feel I am right there with Alex as she begins her descent…

 

Secrets surround the Lost Pharaoh’s tomb and she is determined to protect it.

 

What she found was so much more than she expected and she felt that Matthew Connor, her Indiana Jones, would be the perfect person to have at her side.

 

Matthew hops on a plane out of Alaska, swings by Toronto, Canada, to pick up his posse, and it’s off to Egypt and another treasure hunting adventure.

 

I am glad to be back with Matthew, Robyn, who works as the curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Cal who is a world class photographer.

 

We will have some sexual tension and a bit of goo goo eye romance. I’m not sure what’s what and I don’t think they do either, so it should be interesting. Matthew is a bit of a dufus. Can’t see what’s right in front of him. Oh well, I think we will have plenty of time, even if it’s in future books, for him to wake up.

 

Underground…oh man…I can handle larger spaces for a short period of time with easy exits, but being lowered into a welllike hole, a cavein, rolling down the river with tons of earth your sky, entombed snakes (yep, we have to have snakes)…They are hanging on, tamping down their fear. Could I? NOPE!!!!

 

When they went to the airport, I thought, hmmm…something has got to happen…and it did.

 

The twists and turns, action and adventure, mystery and suspense, kept me on my toes. I thought this would happen, then it didn’t. I thought that would happen, then it didn’t. Carolyn Arnold does a good job of leading me down a familiar path, then jerking the rug out from under me. Think it’s over, oh no, not by a long shot.

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of City of Gold by Carolyn Arnold.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/new-release-review-the-secret-of-the-lost-pharaoh-by-carolyn-arnold-carolyn_arnold
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review 2018-04-19 16:46
The Faraday Files Book #3: The Heartreader's Secret
The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre
The Timeseer's Gambit (The Faraday Files Book 2) - Kate McIntyre
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre

Outstanding yet again! The Faraday Files is one of my most favorite series! The 1900s alternate steampunk London (Darrington City) and the diverse cast of characters found a place in my heart in Kate Mcintyre's debut, The Deathsniffer's Assistant, and I've been watching the characters struggle and cry, laugh and grow, sacrifice and persevere ever since. 


The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre 

 

But before I get into my review of Kate's newest release, book three, The Heartreader's Secret, I'd like to give you a brief overview of the first two books.

 

In the first book, The Deathsniffer's Assistant, we're introduced to the very eccentric and hard-hearted Olivia Faraday, a Deathsniffer (someone who hunts murderers) and her overly sensitive assistant, Christopher Buckley, a WordWeaver (transcribes thoughts directly to page).

Chris and his sister, Rosemary recently lost both of their parents in the Floating Castle accident and Chris has had to take on the responsibility of not only raising Rosemary but trying to keep her safe and out of the hands of the enemy that want to harness her unique and very strong gifts. Chris and Rosemary have been living on the savings that their wealthy parents left them but the money is starting to run out so Chris has to find a job to support them. He's never had to work before so he has absolutely no experience doing anything and Olivia Faraday, who's in need of an assistant to help with her investigations, is the only employer willing to take him on. So there begins the start of an unexpected but fond and spirited comradeship...

 

The Timeseer's Gambit (The Faraday Files Book 2) - Kate McIntyre 


In book two, The Timeseer's Gambit, Olivia and Chris have their hands full hunting for someone using bound elementals to kill young priests and trying to find evidence to save Dr. Francis Livingstone who's been falsely accused and is now standing trial for the thousands of deaths caused by the falling of the Floating Castle. In his personal life Chris is struggling with his sexual identity and the mixed feelings he has for both Rachel Albany and his childhood friend, Will.

 


The Heartreader's Secret - Kate McIntyre 


Then we come to Kate's newest masterpiece, The Heartreader's Secret. Chris's attraction to both Rachel and Will come to a roaring head in this book. We get an in-depth view of how conflicted Chris is with his sexual identity. He really struggles with reconciling his real feelings with his need to conform to society's expectations. On top of that, Emilia, a very brilliant engineer, poc and girlfriend to one of Chris and Olivia's good friends, Maris, has gone missing. Maris, a police officer, is absolutely devastated and she's convinced that something bad has happened to Emilia. On Maris's request, Chris and Olivia travel to the last place Emilia was working which happens to be Olivia's childhood home, Miller's farm. They've traveled under the guise of investigating the suicide of one the stable hands so as not to alert potential suspects that they're on their trail. As Chris and Olivia search for clues to Emilia's dissapearance, we also get a front row seat to the discord between Olivia and her mother and we learn the real reason why Olivia has given up her family legacy to be a Deathsniffer.

So that's a little background on the series thus far. It'a a spectacular series and each book just gets better and better! If you like mysteries with a dash of steampunk, then you should really give this series a try. I guarantee Darrington City and its diverse and eccentric inhabitants will reel you in like they did me!

*I received this ARC from the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

 

AMAZON

 

 GOODREADS 

 

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review 2018-04-18 13:40
Surprise baby.
A Secret Consequence for the Viscount - Sophia James

Viscount Bromley is believed dead, until he turns up, scarred and battered and with no memory of some events, including falling in love with Lady Eleanor.  There's also a child from this relationship that is supposedly from a Scottish lord Eleanor married (fake scottish lord she never married but it a good camoflague).  She wants the relationship again but she wants it to be real.  Meanwhile people keep trying to kill him, his former life in England left him with a few enemies, not least of which was his uncle who has assumed his title and fortune.

 

This one wraps up the stories of the four owners of Vitium et Virtus and how their lives have moved on, I'm backtracking to A Pregnant Courtesan for the Rake to finish out the quartet.

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review 2018-04-18 06:56
The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books) - Randy Alcorn

 

I think this is a great resource to examine one's attitude toward money and things in general. With the world being so materialistic, it is a great reminder about what is really important. At the end of our lives, will we really say "I am so glad that I had the latest gadgets" or "I made a difference in the world by trying to keep up with the latest fashions"? The focus was to be more like John Wesley, whom Mr. Alcorn quotes "Money never stays with me. It would burn me if it did. I throw it out of my hands as soon as possible, lest it should find its way into my heart." It is not that money in and of itself is bad, but how it is used, and as Christians we will one day have to give an account with everything the Lord entrusted us with-- not only our talents and lives but also our money. Did we spend more of it on ourselves (outside of necessary living expenses) than on feeding the hungry, or trying to educate the impoverished, etc? I don't see the major theme as using money now to buy goods in heaven (although Jesus did talk about "laying up treasures in heaven" by what we do and give in our earthly life), but since Jesus himself did talk about this, Mr. Alcorn addresses it as well. I think that since Jesus addressed this, I don't find Randy Alcorn's addressing it objectionable. Even though, truly, everyone should give for purely altruistic reasons and cheerfully, I guess there are some that need a little extra encouragement and motivation.

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review 2018-04-18 02:50
A would-be Indiana Jones-esque adventure in Egypt
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

Noted thrill-seeker, adventurer and archaeologist in the Indiana Jones mold, Matt Connor, is contacted by a former colleague with a more-than-tempting offer: she's pretty sure that she's on the trail of a fascination of Matt's -- the Emerald Tablets -- and would he like to help look for them? Matt jumps at the chance and persuades Dr. Alexandria Leonard to let him bring his two friends along -- they've come along on many of his previous escapades and will be a helpful addition to this one, too.

 

He just has to convince them to come. Following the three of them being compelled to find the lost City of Gold, they've plunged themselves into their very tame careers and personal lives and away from excitement. Matt convinces them to come along (or the book would've been much shorter), and they head to Egypt a couple of days later. Keeping things very secret from just about everyone, of course, because these Emerald Tablets have great power -- we're not told anything about this power, just that no one wants it to fall into the wrong hands. When people first started talking about them in those terms, I rolled my eyes, until I realized that this was a world in which that was a thing -- tablets have power, the Ark of the Covenant probably took out a bunch of Nazis and Bobby probably found an ancient tiki that carried a curse. Once I figured out that was the kind of book I was reading, things made a little more sense. We are told almost nothing else about the Tablets, but from the way everyone acts about them (at least everyone that believes in them), you can tell they're a pretty big deal.

 

Once they arrive, things start to good poorly for the expedition -- and not in small ways, but they struggle through it all (mostly). The Tablets are not easily found -- if they even exist, that is. But there's plenty of other archeological finds to focus on -- and some real dangers. Like, say, snakes. Arnold does a great job depicting how snakes can really creep a person out -- even a person safely reading about them on their Kindle thousands of miles away from a single asp. Although at a certain point, they just disappear -- like Hamlin's Pied Piper sauntered through Egypt and every asp left with him. It was a bit disconcerting once they stopped being a concern -- especially in the last chapters where they really could've been a looming presence -- after being everywhere for a while.

This was a fun little adventure story, nothing too intense, nothing too serious, just a nice little diversion (which is good thing). But it could've been better, too.

 

Early on, when the characters are getting to know each other and get comfortable in Egypt, I really had some trouble with the conversation. Matt's friend and photographer (ugh, don't get me started on the drama surrounding bringing along a photographer), Cal, can serve a great role for the reader. Cal's only a hobbiest when it comes to this stuff from hanging out with his friend -- so he can ask a lot of questions that Arnold can use to plug the reader into the world. It's a thankless task that characters in books and TV shows have to play letting the "stars" show off their expertise. That's all well and good, but man, Cal asked some pretty dumb questions -- and what's worse, characters in and around the field of archaeology were way too impressed with others answering simple questions -- questions I could've answered. That was hard to swallow, but easy to get past.

 

But was really hard to get past -- if only because she kept throwing it in your face -- was the unsubtle emotional stories. Alex's other friend, Robyn, is clearly the love of his life -- and vice versa. But they broke up years ago, while neither has let go. And one or the other of them (and occasionally, Cal) is thinking about this every few pages, without doing anything about it. And when another romance is kindled in Egypt, the melodrama gets hard to swallow -- seriously, in an early draft of Twilight, Stephanie Meyer would've cut this kind of stuff for being "too high school." Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, Arnold can do subtle emotions, this didn't seem to be the same author who wrote Remnants -- and that's a shame.

 

The pacing of this was disappointing -- we got too much set-up, far too much time establishing the various storylines in Egypt, and then we rushed through the conclusion. I think the heart of the adventure took the last 20 percent of the book! It needed to be longer just to give it the necessary dramatic weight -- and to make the last challenges these characters faced seem more difficult and fraught than a run down to Tim Horton's for donuts and coffee.

 

The mystery component (for lack of a better word), was far too easy to figure out -- but it wasn't framed as a whodunit, so that's not a slight on Arnold. But it does make you wonder about the powers of observation displayed by Matt, Cal, Alex and the rest. But the villainous characters did their overall job, keeping things moving and providing a way for Matt and the rest to have the adventure the book they needed.

 

I've given a lot of space here to my relatively minor complaints -- but it takes a bit of space to express them. I did have a good time reading the book. Matt's a fun character -- ditto for Cal. I enjoyed the chemistry between the central characters and could've easily read another hundred pages or more with them and not really noticed or minded. As long as the high school stuff was downplayed -- when that wasn't a focus, I wanted more time with all the characters.

 

This is the second in a series, but would be a find jumping-on point. I do recommend this for people looking for a light adventure, and can see myself coming back for another go-round with these characters -- I know Arnold can do better than this (and this wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as it could've been).

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hibbert & Stiles Publishing in exchange for this post. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/04/17/the-secret-of-the-lost-pharaoh-by-carolyn-arnold-a-would-be-indiana-jones-esque-adventure-in-egypt
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