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review 2020-06-16 16:39
Review ~ Decent read
Where We First Began - Rebecca Elise

Book source ~ Review copy. My review is voluntary and honest.


Aubrey Harrison is a student at Texas A&M. The night of Chilifest she leaves the party to head home and swerves to avoid hitting a deer. Ok, side note here from Auntie Carol: never swerve to avoid hitting an animal unless you have plenty of clear space to do so AND you are not traveling at a high rate of speed. Because of this very reason - she runs off the road and flips her truck, ending up in the hospital and in a coma. Seriously. Hit the deer instead. You’re less likely to be hurt. Ok, back to the review.


Aubrey wakes up in San Antonio in 1836. Yep. 1836. She is still Aubrey Harrison, but not the Aubrey these people know. I have no idea what happened to the 1836 Aubrey. Maybe they really are one and the same? Time travel is so confusing. So, now 2018 Aubrey is in 1836 and that would be bad enough, but she finds out that the Battle of the Alamo is only a few weeks away. And we all know what happened then. Should Aubrey try to change the future? Can she even do that? She could probably change a small detail here and there, but a battle so monumental? Dilemma!


This is a fascinating concept, but I found a good portion of the beginning to be too slow for my tastes. It takes a while to build up speed, but when it does it was well worth the wait. Aubrey does a good job of straddling two time periods and not going bonkers. Then there’s Tapley, who looks so much like Lee, a classmate back in 2018. I’m not going to give away anything about this story because you’ll want to discover it for yourself. If you like time travel love stories then this is one you won’t want to miss.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/06/where-we-first-began.html
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review 2020-05-12 22:23
Review ~ Awesome!
Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped - Annette Marie

Book source ~ Kindle Unlimited


Robin Page is a demon contractor, but she and her demon, Zylas, have an unusual deal. He protects her and she makes him baked goods. Necessity threw them together, but now they work in tandem to find a way to send Zylas home to his world. Every step they advance though they are knocked back by those who seek power any way they can get it. The closer they get to the answers they need the more dangerous it becomes for them. They need allies and they need them fast. It’s a good thing Robin belongs to the Crow & Hammer guild. Because she and Zylas are going to need her guild mates and their skills before this thing is done.


I love this series and it only gets better with each book. Robin and Zylas are a great team and as their relationship deepens it’s been fun watching Robin squirm regarding her attraction to a demon. Mmmm...taboo love is the best kind to watch when it forms.


Like the books in its sister series (Guild Codex: Spellbound), this fast-paced action-filled adventure is full of great dialogue, humor, magic, mystery, danger, and awesome characters. And a hot demon. Because Zylas is nommy. Mmmm mmmm mmmmmm.


Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/05/hunting-fiends-for-ill-equipped.html
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review 2020-04-29 18:17
Review ~ Entertaining!
The Winter of Our Distemper - Victor M. Catano

Book source ~ Review copy. My review is voluntary and honest.


Gabriel, Sheila, and wonder dog Orson are in Florida contemplating a nice stress-free vacation when Sheila suddenly gets an urgent call for help. And by call, I don’t mean by conventional means. Sheila is a witch and she hears the call in her head. So, they haul ass for Maine where danger awaits. And Sheila’s aunt. Who may or may not be dangerous.


Wait…has it really been nearly 4 years since I read book 1, Tail and Trouble?! Because it doesn’t feel like it. I opened this book up and dove right in, no refresher needed. Oh, how I love Gabriel, Sheila and Orson. Especially Orson. Who doesn’t love a smartass “talking” dog?! There’s two new characters added here, Sheila’s wacky aunt Mona and Mona’s old lover, Rett. I hope we see more of these two because I think they have more to share with us.


If you like great characters, humor, danger, magic, freaky villains, and a talking dog (I mentioned Orson, right?) then don’t hesitate to pick up this book. While you’re at it, you might want to snag book 1, too! It’s not needed to follow this tale, but why would you want to miss out on their 1st adventure? Again, talking dog. And magic. Go now!

Source: bit.ly/2YfjaaY
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review 2020-04-27 14:49
The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour~ Harrow Lake
Harrow Lake - Kat Ellis

Book source ~ Tour


Meet Lola Nox. She is the daughter of famous filmmaker Nolan Nox. Her mother, Lorelei, played the lead character in Nolan’s most celebrated horror film, Nightjar. Set in Harrow Lake, Indiana, the birthplace of Lorelei, but she took off when Lola was five so she doesn’t really remember her. Nearly as long as she can remember it’s just been her and Nolan. And Larry, Nolan’s right-hand man. When Nolan is near fatally attacked in their New York City apartment, Larry ships Lola off to her grandmother in Harrow Lake. A grandmother she has no knowledge of. The moment Lola gets there strange things begin happening and Lola needs to figure things out before she goes crazy. Or ends up dead.


Okay. This is one weird and disturbing tale of a 17-yr-old girl with a strange family set up. Told entirely from Lola’s POV it’s not always clear what the hell is going on in this creepy town. She’s never been to her mother’s birthplace so she doesn’t know anyone, not even her grandmother. Odd things keep happening, the town is disturbingly obsessed with the slasher movie that put it on the map, and women disappear from it with no explanation. On top of all that, there are signs that the town will once again slide into a sinkhole like it did before but was rebuilt. And the cherry on top? There’s a scary story about a guy named Mr. Jitters who turned cannibal when he was caught in the first sinkhole and he’s still around after nearly 100 years. Creepy much? The story is twisty and turny and has a great ending, but I feel the execution is lacking. At times, the story just stops then jumps ahead without any transition. Maybe that’s just the style of this author, but it feels incomplete to me. However, don’t let that stop you from reading this tale straight out of your nightmares.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/04/twr-ultimate-tour-harrow-lake.html
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review 2020-04-12 19:21
Fate or Coincidence - a COVID Read
The Fish That Climbed A Tree - Kevin Ansbro

Cometh the hour, cometh the book! Just when we had lapsed into the nightmarish ‘social isolation’ that has attended the COVID-19 pandemic, I happened upon this novel through the vagaries of Twitter and the #WritingCommunity. Perhaps, in keeping with the book, it might almost have been fated to rescue me from a state of pervasive gloom and offer a literary balm to a bruised psyche. Indeed, Kevin Ansbro’s tale of love and devotion, in a variety of forms, is teeming with the ‘feel good factor’, but also succeeds in realizing the author’s self-confessed penchant for “handcuffing humour and tragedy to the same radiator”. It is hard to pidgeon-hole this book neatly into a single genre. Thrilling - certainly, philosophical at times, but it is also brimming with pathos, humour, suspense and love rather than romance, juxtaposed with far darker strands of human life and even the hereafter.


To revel in what man (and woman) is capable of, is to wonder at a fathomless capacity for altruistic good and yet also recognize a breathtaking instinct for selfishness and even unalloyed evil. In “The Fish that Climbed a Tree” the author deftly traverses that continuum in a cleverly conceived plot that draws upon the experience of an impressive range of characters, whose respective journeys are influenced by an active (or in some cases very redundant) moral compass.


The heroically named Ulysses Drummond, vicar of St Cuthbert’s, Hackney, and Iraq war veteran, was of a good family and with his diminutive wife Florence had made a very positive contribution to their community. They were also proud parents of Henry, aged 10, when the couple were brutally murdered in front of their young boy. By contrast, the murderers - Ukranian gangster, Yuri Voloshyn and Rwandan war criminal, Pascall Makuza, are on a very different trajectory towards judgement day. Still, whether by fate, or a series of coincidences, the Drummonds will be dogged by that fateful day, as Henry passes into adulthood and a date with destiny foretold in the book’s prologue.


Along the way, through boarding school and into his life in London, Henry’s timid, shy naivety ensures he is bullied and beaten, nurtured and comforted, encouraged and feted, but it is the relationships that he forms and the decisions he must live by, which intrigue the reader. That and the heady blend of supporting characters, so well drawn, as to remind me of Dickens, long before the author’s nod to “A Christmas Carol” in the final chapter.


While I accept that, at times, Ansbro's extravagant use of language, with a liberal sprinkling of adjectives, similes and metaphors may not be to every taste, for me such flourishes added to the charm of this book. The underground train’s “doors closed with a matron’s shush…”, simply an example of well-crafted writing. Indeed, the style (except for the repeated use of “Omigod”) felt part of some glorious former era, which of course may say as much about my reading preferences.


However, in a happy coincidence, my review also now chimes with #IndieApril and pays tribute to an often neglected well of writing talent. Moreover, I am grateful to Kevin Ansbro for a tremendous diversion in these troubled times and do not hesitate in loading this novel onto my ‘favourites’ shelf. I hope that when I return to it in future, I shall recall the contrasting real-life circumstances surrounding this first reading.

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