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review 2018-04-19 21:31
Marshall Islands Legends and Stories by Daniel Kelin
Marshall Islands Legends and Stories - Daniel A. Kelin

It’s hard to rate books of folklore; it seems odd to judge another culture’s traditional stories on my standards for literature or entertainment. But I can only rate from my own perspective, which is affected by factors out of the author’s control. One, I’ve read several books of folklore lately, and may have begun to tire of it a bit; I can say this is neither the best nor the worst such book I’ve recently encountered. Perhaps I imbibed too many somewhat similar, very short stories in too little time, and my interest has waned. Two, I had this through Interlibrary Loan on a tight schedule, which left me feeling obligated to pick it up at times I would otherwise have chosen something else.

That said, this is a perfectly readable collection of folklore that made sense to me as a foreign reader. Which makes sense, because the stories were told to a foreign (Hawai’i-based) author/dramaturge who collected them. The book is sized to fit in with textbooks, and has ultra-wide margins in which definitions and pronunciations are sometimes included. But with large font and illustrations, it is still a quick read. It includes brief biographical sketches (and sometimes photographs) of the storytellers, but to me these were too brief: the barest of bare-bones, without room to for the storytellers’ personalities or life experiences to come alive. 

Overall, there’s nothing here that would make me hesitate to recommend the book to those who enjoy folklore. But I prefer books from which I can learn more directly about what people’s lives are like.

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review 2018-04-19 17:52
This isn't a love story...but it is a story about love...
Crocus - Amy Lane

First off...if you haven't read 'Bonfires' you need to scoot off and do that because reading this book without that one is like going to a movie and not having popcorn...you can do it, but it's going to feel like something's missing and honestly, it's just not going to be as much fun.

 

Ok, so you've been warned this is one of those times when book #2 needs to follow book #1.  In the first book we got to meet Deputy Aaron George and Principal Larkin (a,k.a. Larx)  and see them do their adorable mating dance and cheer for them as they figured out how to make their lives mesh...kids and all.

 

So here we are after the events of 'Bonfires' and Larx and Aaron are together...well, there's Larx and Aaron and their combined family of 5 kids (Larx has 2 and Aaron has 3) and then we have some strays...see, Larx and Aaron are both nurturers in their own right and they're men with big hearts and a lot of love. So as we lovingly say at my house they take in strays and I'm not talking about four-legged furry ones, either...although I'm pretty sure they take in those as well. I'm talking about kids who got the short end of the stick in the life lottery...kids who's parents weren't bright enough or unselfish enough to get what being a parent really means...kids who just need someone to love and believe in them so that they can show the world what an awesome person they really are.

 

'Crocus' is still Larx and Aaron's story but it's a busy one and you can't have the jobs that these men have and the number of people depending on you that these men have and not have a busy life...it's neither possible nor realistic. 

 

You can't have a big family and not have chaos and confusion...I know  I came from a big family and whether it's the family you're given like mine was or the one that you've created like Aaron and Larx's the results are pretty predictable and this family that we get see here is just filled with love.

 

'Crocus' is about two men who are in love but like many of us they don't live in a bubble and much of what happens in their world intersects with their private life whether they want it to or not and luckily for these men love is something that the more you open up your heart and share the more you seem to have and 'Crocus' shows that in so many ways.

 

Larx and Aaron are already living together in a house that's packed tight not just with love but with kids...they've got Christiana, Kelsey and Kellen living with them and then there's Dozer...Larx's (read Aaron's) big blonde retriever dog. So do they really need a pregnant Olivia knocking on their door followed by Elton (Wombat Willie) and Jamie and his brother Berto...of course not but sometimes life gives to us that which we can handle and not necessarily only what we want.

 

I have to admit I loved this. I'm not bothered by big, noisy family type stories for me it's the familiar and having lived away from mine for a few years now for me stories like this are becoming comfort food and I'm not sure that anyone does this recipe better than Ms Lane. 

 

For me 'Crocus' was about family and love. It's set in a small town and sure there's more going on in this small town than the usual but let's face it if there wasn't a little extra imagination added to this...well, we'd all be bored silly. Yeah, I've lived in small towns for most of my life and really there's only so much of neighbor 'A' sleeping with neighbor 'C' while neighbor 'B' gets quietly sloshed every night that one can take before 'neighbor 'D' falls asleep from the sheer boredom and repetition of it.

 

While Larx and Aaron both seemed to frequently have the same objective...one that, while it seemed simple enough, was often a task of monumental proportions for them to accomplish and that was simply getting some time together...alone as couple...trust me when I say while it may not have happened often when it did these two men know how to take full advantage of their time together and it as worth the wait.

 

We've got a world of opportunities here for what can happen next in this series and while I'm on board for pretty much anything even different MCs for the next story. I'm still hoping that no matter what we'll always get more Aaron and Larx because truthfully I'm not even close to having had my fill of these two men. I'm so enjoying having a series with 'mature' men as the MC's, men who love and have messy, busy, crazy at times overwhelming and larger than but still real lives that we get to be a part of.

 

From start to finish for me it never felt like the happiness that Aaron and Larx had found was at risk it was more about the reader getting to see what as individuals we already know...if you are lucky enough to get an HEA in life, then keeping it means a lot of hard work and effort, keeping it takes a lot of effort and hard work, you have to hang on to it with everything you've got...but and I'm sure that Aaron and Larx would agree with me when I say...it's worth it, so very worth it.

 

This one definitely gets 5 big, shiny, messy, happy family stars from me as I try to patiently wait for what comes next.

 

*************************

An ARC of 'Crocus' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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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, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

 

AMAZON

 

 GOODREADS 

 

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text 2018-04-19 14:40
MbD: It's Here!!

 

Sooo ... are we still on for a buddy read, um, exercise in crime solving?

 

And it's even in a damned fine condition, given its age ... there's the odd cuff, and the pages are yellowed, as was to be expected (and for once I wouldn't want them any other way -- this is a "historic" crime file after all!), but other than that, not a splot or a scratch or a tear ...

 

 

 

 

... and almost the best part is, the seal over the solution part is unbroken!  Woohoo!

 

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text 2018-04-19 14:03
Valentine on Sale Today for 99¢
Valentine - Michelle Hughes
 

 
You think you know what love is, even if you've fought against feeling that emotion your entire life. Valentine was my life altering moment. Have you ever wanted something desperately, but knew to have it would destroy everything you were? Lust is a powerful motivator. His passions were dark, and they called to a primitive part of my soul I didn’t know I possessed. He didn’t make love, instead he wanted a woman willing to be claimed, owned, giving her heart, mind, and soul. At least that’s how I saw him. The truth was I didn’t know him at all. I watched him play at a local BDSM club and everything I thought I knew about life changed irrevocably.

Who I was, what he was, none of it mattered. Our eyes met, and it was like the world stopped spinning and for that one moment we were suspended in time. I couldn’t catch my breath and he couldn’t look away. The feeling was so powerful that when my feet would move again, I ran. You think you know what love is. What if everything you thought you knew was a lie? Surrender is a powerful word. Escaping the reality of who you are and giving in to the fantasy? That’s even more terrifying. What would you do?

“Valentine is a full-length standalone novel. No cheating, alpha hero, virgin heroine, billionaire, with elements of romantic suspense. This new romance by Kindle Scout Winner, Michelle Hughes, is a seduction of the mind and will take you on one wild ride.”
 
 

Source: amzn.to/2vnXM6u
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