Siobhan’s Secret (Raven and Hummingbird, #1) by Nikki Broadwell #BookReview @nikkibroadwell

Siobhan’s Secret
(Raven and Hummingbird, #1)
by Nikki Broadwell

The author sent me an ARC of this book (Mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four-dot-five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Kat’s life is a disaster. Her mother is dead and her stepfather has kicked her out of the one home she’s always counted on, leaving her nothing but the Celtic knot locket Siobhan gave her on her eighteenth birthday. Unable to focus enough to hold down a job she ends up at the women’s shelter where she sees the truth of what life can dish out.

And on top of all that she is positive that her mother did not die from natural causes. But without a dime to her name she has no way to prove it.

In the shelter she meets Cerridwen, an older woman who seems kind enough. But when this same woman appears in Kat’s dream as the goddess of the underworld and keeper of the magical cauldron of inspiration, Kat is more than a little disturbed. Just a dream she tells herself the next morning, dismissing her uneasiness.

In the meantime a strange man seems to be stalking her, his torn jeans and filthy Grateful Dead T-shirt indicating that he’s a drug addict who she wants nothing to do with. And why are there enormous dark birds everywhere she looks? She’s never seen a raven in the city.

As life shifts around her Kat discovers a world she didn’t know existed, her grasp on reality disappearing as she struggles to understand what is happening.

 

Genre(s): > Mythology & Folk Tales (Kindle Store)
> Fairy Tale Fantasy (Kindle Store)
> Mythology & Folk Tales (Books)
Series: Raven and Hummingbird, #1
Length: 302 pages
Release date: 2019-04-15

 

Teaser


The scream woke her, Kat’s heart beating fast in her chest. She was in bed and wearing her nightgown, her hair dry. She tried to pull it all aside, to tell herself it was only a dream, but it didn’t feel that way. Her body felt different, her limbs loose and relaxed.

She dressed hurriedly and went to the kitchen, wanting to tell Airmid about the dream before she forgot.

“Now tell me their names again?” Airmid asked, following Kat into the living room.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 20-year-old Kat, still shocked by her mother’s unexpected death and – just kicked out by her stepfather.

With “Siobhan’s Secret”, Nikki Broadwell presents us with the intriguing story of a young and desperate woman. Kat is broken, staying at a woman’s shelter, without means; some of her new acquaintances appear in her dreams – has she gone mad? The story is skilfully elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Nikki Broadwell introduces each character with care, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to Kat, being her invisible ally. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “Siobhan’s Secret”. It is a very enjoyable read; I am looking forward to reading more. My partiality for the combination of reality and mythology began when reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The House Between the Worlds”, therefore I enjoy well-written stories like this one.

This is for you if you enjoy (urban) fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their ventures, mythology, surprises, and good storytelling.

This is a book to read again. Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (mentions, only)
Sexual content 😳  (kisses and mentions; not too detailed yet passionate activities)

 

About the author

Writing has become my life, and when I am not at my computer I feel like something is amiss! I’ve always been a writer, but only began seriously in 2002, when I decided to write about my parents’ life and my father’s time in POW camps during WW2. In between this very emotional undertaking I began a fantasy–my ‘fun’ escape writing. Three books later put me on the fantasy train, lusting after all things magic and mystical! I am now up to seventeen novels and counting. And the one featuring my father’s diaries has finally been released, the story revolving around two made-up characters who bear no resemblance to my parents. Funny how that happens. You can find it on the ‘In the press’ page!
I write what the goddess (muse) tells me to write, my characters taking hold of the plot and running with it. At times I feel I am only here to tap the keys. If the story does not move forward freely I figure something is not quite right and have to either put it away for a bit or go back to the place where ‘I” took over.

When I’m not at my computer you can find me somewhere over the rainbow…or on a trail in the woods or desert, hiking with my dog and my husband of over thirty years.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://www.nikkibroadwellauthor.com/
Blog:  https://niksblog-authorinprogress.blogspot.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nikkibroadwell
Amazon:  Nikki Broadwell
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/31rqxv


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Siobhan’s Secret”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Siobhan’s Secret” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Sentinel’s Alliance (Silent Sea Chronicles, #3) by Suzanne Rogerson #BookReview @rogersonsm

Cover: The Sentinel’s Alliance
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #3)
by Suzanne Rogerson

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (Mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Can new alliances save the islands of the Silent Sea from the murderers stalking their shores?

As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.

Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.

Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?

The Sentinel’s Alliance is the final book in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.

 

Genre(s): > Sword & Sorcery Fantasy eBooks
> Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Books)
> Epic Fantasy (Kindle Store)
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles, #3
Length: 369 pages
Release date: 2019-07-06

 

Teaser


‘The island is crying out for help,’ Tei said.

‘How can I trust you?’

‘The commander trsuts me.’ Tei’s emotions bubbled up. ‘I didn’t sail hundreds of miles and suffer awful seasickness to be insulted by an old spirit who doesn’t know what help looks like when he sees it.’


My Opinion

This book re-introduces you to Tei and Callisa, the Sentinel, in need of forming an alliance to stop the invaders.

With “The Sentinel’s Alliance”, Suzanne Rogerson presents us with several interwoven plot lines, covering Tei, Brogan, Callisa, Farrell, Kelbrin, and more. All plotlines are relevant; show how all mature, grow stronger with their tasks. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Suzanne Rogerson introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Tei, Brogan, and some wonderful allies, highly appreciating their integrity. As I assumed after reading the first book, I got closer to Tei in the second instalment because she has gained a little more maturity; this third instalment turned her into a friend. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Sentinel’s Alliance”. It is a very enjoyable read; a more than worthy completion of the ‘Silent Sea Chronicles’ trilogy.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling ventures, integrity, surprises, and great storytelling.

This is a book/series to read again. Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content 😳  (some kisses and mentions; not too detailed activities)

 

About the author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel-writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with ice cream and a book.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rogersonsm
Amazon:  Suzanne Rogerson
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/38E9Qw


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “The Sentinel’s Alliance”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Sentinel’s Alliance” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Review:  The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

Review:  The Sentinel’s Reign by Suzanne Rogerson

 

The Sentinel’s Reign (Silent Sea Chronicles, #2) by Suzanne Rogerson #BookReview @rogersonsm

Cover: The Sentinel’s Reign
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #2)
by Suzanne Rogerson

The author sent me an ARC of this book (Mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

The Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war.

With the new Sentinel initiated and the magic restored on Kalaya, life is flourishing for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of peace.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly is uncertain as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

After an attempt on his life, Farrell is more determined than ever to build a home for his people on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them from war.

As trouble brews within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

The Sentinel’s Reign is a heroic fantasy. If you like character-driven adventures then you will love The Sentinel’s Reign.

This is the second book in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and follows on from The Lost Sentinel.

 

Genre(s): > Sword & Sorcery Fantasy eBooks
> in Sword & Sorcery Fantasy
> in Epic Fantasy (Kindle Store)
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles, #2
Length: 353 pages
Release date: 2018-06-29

 

Teaser


Tei walked away, feeling the weight of Hafender’s suffering follow her. She hardly knew these men, but the injustice of their sentencing ate at her as she tried to carry on with her day. She wanted to reach out to Callisa, but the Sentinel was silent, their link as cold and dead as it had been before they met. Sometimes Tei wondered if it would have been better if it had stayed that way.


My Opinion

This book re-introduces you to Tei and Callisa, the Sentinel, fighting against Rathnor and his plans.

With “The Sentinel’s Reign”, Suzanne Rogerson presents us with several interwoven plot lines, one covering Tei and her companions, another getting closer to Brogan, and a third one is on Farrell. All plotlines are relevant, the one I did not get warm within the first book has become very interesting. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Suzanne Rogerson introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Tei, Brogan, and some wonderful allies, highly appreciating their integrity. As I assumed after reading the first book, I got closer to Tei in the second instalment because she has gained a little more maturity. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Sentinel’s Reign”. It is a very enjoyable read; I am looking forward to reading the upcoming third instalment.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling ventures, integrity, surprises, and great storytelling.

This is a book/series to read again. Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content 😳  (some kisses and mentions; not too detailed activities)

 

About the author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel-writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with ice cream and a book.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rogersonsm
Amazon:  Suzanne Rogerson
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/m2P5Yk


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “The Sentinel’s Reign”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Sentinel’s Reign” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Review:  The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

 

Under Stone (The Ambeth Chronicles, #4) by Helen Jones #BookReview @AuthorHelenJ

Cover: Under Stone
(The Ambeth Chronicles, #4)
by Helen Jones

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

‘Help will come to you, Alma, you will not be alone.’

Accepting her new powers hasn’t been easy for Alma. Nor has finding out the truth about her father. And she’s still not sure about the prophecy, or about going back to Ambeth. But the Dark are gathering, Denoris on her trail. Deryck hasn’t forgotten about her either…

Events past and present converge on a small Welsh town as Alma, and the Dark, choose their path. Who will reach the Cup first?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
> Teen & Young Adult
Books
> Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Series: The Ambeth Chronicles, #4
Length: 260 pages
Release date: 2017-12-21

Teaser


…She almost had it, could feel the shape of the Castle mound, almost like a dome, mirroring the curving blue sky above. And inside it, deep under stone, there was something. A glimmering, a cool energy that shone steady like a star, surrounded by a tangle of Dark and Light, just like she’d seen the night before…


My Opinion

This book finds Alma in Wales with new powers and still no desire of returning to Ambeth.

With “Under Stone”, Helen Jones continues the wonderful Ambeth Chronicles. It is an enjoyable and compelling read, focussing not only on finding the Cup – in Ambeth as well as in Alma’s world; there is a lot going on among the Dark. Helen Jones paints a clear picture of Alma’s and the other characters’ mind sets while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Alma and her story – an invisible friend and ally. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues; more characters are introduced with more detail, nicely enhancing the plot. The story is nicely woven and has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I love how some secrets are solved and new mysteries come up, it is a fine balance. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, believable and often very likeable characters.

The fourth book in The Ambeth Chronicles series; the last chapters let me expect a promising fifth book. A book I definitely need to read.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: (decent)
Violence 😳 (some violence and mention thereof)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳 (some mentions)

About the author

Helen Jones loves to write. That’s all there is to it. Born in the UK, she lived in Canada and Australia before returning to England several years ago. The thought of finding magic in ordinary places is one that inspires her; when she was a child she did find a strange valley and hear a scream – the incident stayed with her and was the starting point of the Ambeth Chronicles.

Helen has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, runs her own blog at http://www.journeytoambeth.com and has contributed guest posts to others, including the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists site. Ambeth is not the only world she plans to visit in her books, but it’s where she is now.

When she’s not writing, she likes to walk, paint and study karate (when housework and family life permit!) She’s now working on several other novels unrelated to Ambeth, enjoying the chance to explore other fantasy worlds.

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Helen Jones
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bQxV0D

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Under Stone”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Under Stone” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Voyage of the Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack #RBRT #BookReview @Virgilante

Cover: Voyage of the Lanternfish
by C. S. Boyack

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Sea Stories
> Historical Fantasy
Books
> Historical Fantasy
Series: n.a.
Length: 394 pages
Release date: 2018-12-31

 

Teaser


James continued. “My mission is to bring Hollish to its knees. We do that with her shipping first. Cut them off from food and other imports. We’ll take them going both directions. As soon as our guns are ready, we’ll go hunting.”

“You’ve met your officers, but there are more you haven’t met. I brought a crew of monsters aboard with me. You may have heard them last night. They’re small and can do things you cannot. Right now, they’re getting rid of rats. They will man the crow’s nest so you don’t have to. They’re also damned handy in a fight. I expect each of you to treat them with respect.” He turned to the deck behind him. “Boss, step forward.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to a man with a mission – to rescue his fiancée.

With “Voyage of the Lanternfish”, C. S. Boyack presents us with an entertaining and sometimes pretty funny historical fantasy story. The story is skillfully elaborated and has a great flow. Ernest Hemingway once stated “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” C. S. Boyack shows this masterly with this story – he created living people (and some amazing creatures) instead of mere characters; even if the monsters are not human – they all have a personality. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to James, Dan, and their mission. The protagonists’ personalities are complex, the others of sufficient depth according to their relevance. Protagonists who grow with their tasks during their mission will take you on an unforgettable journey. I could easily envision the characters and locations. Indeed, C. S. Boyack has done it again: I had a wonderful time reading “Voyage of the Lanternfish”; it is a highly entertaining read.

This is for you if you like great story-telling, ‘historical’ fantasy stories, interesting personalities to cheer on, as well as thought-provoking, and fun moments.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (occasional strong violence and gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Virgilante
Amazon:  C. S. Boyack
Buy link:  books2read.com/u/bxYeOq


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Voyage of the Lanternfish”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Voyage of the Lanternfish” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1


10 Statements – C. S. Boyack

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Review:  The Cock of the South

Review:  The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack

3 Quotes – C.S. Boyack

Review:  The Playground

Review: The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II

Review:  The Hat by C.S. Boyack

Review:  The Yak Guy Project

 

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