The Curse (Roxanne Fosch, #0.5) by Jina S. Bazzar #BookReview @Jina_Bazzar

Cover: The Curse
(Roxanne Fosch, #0.5)
by Jina S. Bazzar

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Yoncey Fosch, the leader of the Unseelie Dhiultadh clan would give anything to save his brother from a mysterious plague. Anything, including his leadership mantle and a favor to his deadliest enemy, Queen Titania’s consort.

But his actions will have far reaching consequences, and Fosch realizes he is not only unwilling to pay the price, but will defy anyone who calls him on it.

 

Genre(s): Kindle Short Reads > 90 minutes (44-64 pages)
> Teen & Young Adult
> Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Literature & Fiction
Series: Roxanne Fosch, #0.5
Length: 61 pages
Release date: 2018-04-15

 

Teaser


“Completion of the bargain … perhaps an offspring would be a fitting price.” Oberon mused, and Fosch’s stomach contents curdled. “A Dhiultadh, one strong enough to power the binding stones and still live to tell. It makes me wonder, what an offspring of yours and a Seelie would create.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Yoncey Fosch who wants to save his brother and other clan members from a plague – whatever it may cost him.

With “The Curse”, Jina S. Bazzar presents us with the prequel to “Heir of Ashes”, introducing the Roxanne Fosch series. This prequel is a sound basis for the series, telling the story of how Roxanne Fosch came to be. The story is nicely elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  good flow. Jina S. Bazzar introduces each character with care, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – as an invisible and curious bystander. I could easily envision the characters and locations – with an amazing colour intensity. I had a great time reading “The Curse”. I am looking forward to continuing the story.

This is for you if you like (urban) fantasy, likeable characters, surprises, and good storytelling.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (mostly mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some mentions)

 

About the author

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the Middle East.

Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again, but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Jina_Bazzar
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17738345.Jina_S_Bazzar
Amazon:  Jina S. Bassar
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwYeWO


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 Curse”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Curse” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Link:  10 Statements – Jina S. Bazzar

 

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The Lost Sentinel (Silent Sea Chronicles, #1) by Suzanne Rogerson #BookReview @rogersonsm

Cover: The Lost Sentinel
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #1)
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 magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in “The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles”.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
> Epic
Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles, #1
Length: 363 pages
Release date: 2017-06-16

 

Teaser


A few moments later, Rike rose and re-joined them. He frowned at Garrick before offering Tei an exasperated look. ‘The Sentinel taught us all life is important to the magic, and in turn to our own survival. The Kalayan people have forgotten this delicate balance and now everyone suffers.’ He sighed and shook his head as he looked over at the bodies of his fellow Kalayans. ‘I don’t respect these men for the choices they’ve made, but they do deserve a chance to give back to the magic. I’ve summoned the Spirit Guides to help them. Now we need to go before those Masked Riders decide to regroup.’ He looked pointedly at his protector.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Tei whose life takes a turn after an old friend of her father’s warns them to leave their life behind.

With “The Lost Sentinel”, 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 plot lines are relevant, even if I admittedly had a ranking for them i.e. one that I could not get too warm with. 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 Rike and to Brogan, highly appreciating their integrety. I will presumably get closer to Tei in the second instalment, when she has gained a little more maturity. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Lost Sentinel”. It is a very enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, 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 :mrgreen:  –  😳  (some kisses and mentions)

 

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 an 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/bwY6Ov


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 Lost Sentinel”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Lost Sentinel” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

 

Hidden Colours by Nillu Nasser #BookReview @nillunasser

Cover: Hidden Colours
by Nillu Nasser

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When Yusuf fled Syria, he lost everything. Now the circus, with its middle-eastern flair, is the only home he knows. When the lights go on, the refugees dazzle their audience, but off-stage tensions flare.

Ellie is passionate about the circus and drawn to its broken people. Even so, if she wants to keep her job at the newspaper, she must head up a campaign against it.

One night, in the midst of a show, two young circus boys come to blows. With the circus at risk of closure, Ellie must convince her readers that we can have compassion for those we fear, or Yusuf will be forced to uproot again.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Sagas
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Sagas
Books
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga
Series: n.a.
Length: 315 pages
Release date: 2018-12-03

 

Teaser


Could she hear herself, the way she had prioritised things over human lives? Ellie wanted to blurt out in disgust, but she held back. It wouldn’t do to poke her boss in the eye so soon after her latest fiasco. Instead, she said merely, “The circus has become part of Berlin.” How could any good come of the immigrants feeling unwelcome?

“Only for hippies and liberals.” Marina fixed Ellie with a hard-eyed stare. Her pupils glinted like flint. “Don’t forget the disgruntled and the fearful, the lost and the angry. They drive our readership. We’re a newspaper, not an encyclopaedia. You know how it works.”

Ellie was starting to. Her mood hung about her like a gloomy cloud.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to a variety of complex characters and topical situations; it is a work of fiction, yet it hits close to home.

With “Hidden Colours”, Nillu Nasser has created a remarkable, well-elaborated story with interesting characters. It was easy to get into the story; the author guides you through the Berlin setting while subtly taking you closer to the characters and their lives. Yusuf and Ellie are very complex, likeable; the other characters are of sufficient depth – according to their relevance. Nillu Nasser created a remarkable story that offers food for thought on current day topics like xenophobia, racism, the lack of integrity, etc. The story proceeds at a steady pace, carefully portraying the main persons and their feelings; it comprises some interesting turns, and has a great flow. “Hidden Colours” is intense, thought-provoking, and unforgettable.

This is a book for you if you like stories with a meaning, carefully elaborated plots with memorable characters, as well as food for thought.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered violence, fatalities)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some kisses, a mild scene without detail)

 

About the author

Nillu Nasser is a writer of literary fiction novels. She also blogs, writes short fiction and poetry.

Nillu’s short story ‘Painted Truths and Prayer Beads’ was published in May 2016 in Mosaics 2: A Collection of Independent Women. Another short story ‘The Tombstone Man and the Coming of the Tigress’ was published in June 2016 in UnCommon Origins, an anthology of short fiction. In 2017, ‘Tombstone Man’ reappeared in UnCommonly Good.

Nillu has a BA in English and German Literature and an MA in European Politics. After graduating she worked in national and regional politics, but eventually reverted to her first love.

She lives in London with her husband, three children, one angelic and one demonic cat, though she secretly yearns for a dog. If you fly into Gatwick and look hard enough, you will see her furiously scribbling in her garden office, where she is working on her next story.

To find out more about Nillu and get the juice on her latest books, read her blog or sign up for her newsletter at www.nillunasser.com.

Connect with the Author:

Amazon:  Nillu Nasser

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 “Hidden Colours”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Hidden Colours” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  All the Tomorrows

10 Statements – Nillu Nasser

 

Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire (Longbourn, #8) by Margaret Lynette Sharp #BookReview @MargaretLynett1

Cover: Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire
(JAFF; Longbourn, #8)
by Margaret Lynette Sharp

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When expectant mother Anne King (née de Bourgh) and her husband David came to stay at the home of fellow newly-weds Georgiana Hodges (née Darcy) and her husband Edward, events take an unexpected turn. Will the ensuing crisis be enough to precipitate an about-face on the part of Lady Catherine de Bourgh?

Genre(s): Fan Fiction
Kindle eBooks
> Kindle Short Reads > 30 minutes (12-21 pages) > Romance
> Romance > Historical Romance > Regency
> Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Single Authors
Series: Longbourn, #8
Length: 21 pages
Release date: 2017-10-03

 

Teaser


“I see nothing foolish in having Georgiana’s image painted in oils, shortly after her marriage,” Darcy replied.

Elizabeth gave a genuine smile.

“I did not expect you to sport with me, Darcy. No doubt, you must be aware of the substance of my words.”


My Opinion

As this book is a work of fan fiction, it takes you back to the places and characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice”.

With “Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire”, Margaret Lynette Sharp has created another nice piece of fan fiction. If you have read Pride and Prejudice” or even watched the remarkable TV mini series (1980), you recognize the world of Elizabeth Darcy, née Bennet. The From Longbourn to Pemberley series is centred on Elizabeth, whose warmth and intelligence also made Pride and Prejudice” special. Her husband, Fitzwilliam Darcy, develops nicely – a tendency the readers could assume at the end of Pride and Prejudice”. It is a short read, taking you back to Longbourn and Pemberley to further extend your Pride and Prejudice and/or Longbourn/Pemberley experiences. Lady Catherine de Bourgh is her usual traditional self, as we know her from our previous encounters be it in the book or in the already mentioned mini series. True to the title, there are some nice turns. Margaret Lynette Sharp again took up the hard challenge of writing fan fiction on a classic by Jane Austen, aptly enhancing the story without changing the characters’ ways. If you loved Pride and Prejudice, you will appreciate the additional stories this courageous author has to offer.

This is a book for you if you like Pride and Prejudice”, fan fiction, classic reads, and classic reads’ aptly written fan fiction.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Hopeful, nostalgic
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent, no swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (none)

 

About the author

My name is Margaret Lynette Sharp, and I’m the wife of the creator of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, Ronald Sharp B.E.M. I’m proud to say that I’ve won two literary awards – one each at the 2014 and 2015 Short Story Writing Competition held as part of the Hurstville (in suburban Sydney, Australia) Discovery Festival of Community Arts.
These stories have been published in prizewinners’ anthologies, ‘Write Out Loud’ and ‘The Art of Writing’.

My first venture into Jane Austen fan fiction resulted in the best-selling ‘Longbourn Revisited’.
Next came the well-reviewed title, ‘An Encounter at Longbourn’, followed by ‘A Party at Longbourn’, ‘And from Longbourn, A Wedding Comes,’ and ‘Much Ado at Longbourn’. Recently, these five stories were combined, forming the novel-length ‘From Longbourn, With Love’. To date, I have forty published eBooks, and some of these are also available as paperbacks.

I grew up in an inner city suburb of Sydney, moving to a pleasant, tree-filled outer suburb at the age of ten. Ron and I currently live in this same house, a small Federation brick and tile home.

I’m thankful that we live near a river that has a large, netted swimming baths. I love to swim, and I’ve been a member of the local swimming club for well over thirty years. Our little white rescue dog, Chicki, comes with me and waits patiently while I enjoy the water. Afterwards comes her reward – a walk beside the river, and a chance to play on a little, sandy beach. Who knows what doggy friends she’ll find there…

Connect with the author:

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 “Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire”? Or – if you did not yet read “Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Lucky Star by Holly Curtis #BookReview @1HollyCurtis

Cover: Lucky Star
by Holly Curtis

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

 

Genre(s): Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction
> Urban Life
Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction
> Coming of Age
> Urban
Series: n.a.
Length: 193 pages
Release date: 2018-04-25

 

Teaser


She nods very slowly, like it’s all a big joke. ‘Nice place. Very classy. What’s it like inside?’

‘Oh, we never go inside,’ I reply, thinking it sounds really cool to say we never go inside the community centre.

She tilts her head back and laughs. ‘Wow! So you just use the community centre to hang about outside it!’

Realising how clumpish my comment must seem I laugh with her. …


My Opinion

This story introduces you to Ben Somerset, his friends, and their teenage lives in the 1980s.

With “Lucky Star”, Holly Curtis transports us back into the 1980s to meet ‘Somers’, ‘Harts’, ‘Jord’, and further acquaintances. The story is told by a realistic teenager of that time, a nice journey into the past; especially readers who were teenagers in the 1980s will consider this book a nice reminder. As the story proceeds, Ben gains complexity, the other characters are of sufficient depth, according to their relevance. The book comprises interesting turns and has a good flow. Holly Curtis provides us with Ben’s view of his world, lets the readers get close(r) to him. I was drawn into the story after a few chapters – when I gained a basic knowledge of Ben. I could then easily envision the characters and locations. I had a good time reading “Lucky Star”. It is a quite enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like coming of age stories with some likeable characters.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three to four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (a little slapping)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (mild kissing)

 

About the author

Holly’s first book is a comedy called “Celluloid” and has been hailed as ‘the best book ever about a film lover who tries to prevent his local, independent cinema from being closed and turned into flats by a psychotic gangster property developer.’

Holly’s favourite story is A Christmas Carol and loves movies from the 30s-50s.

Holly was born and raised in the UK and will probably perish there.

Connect with the Author:

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14002240.Holly_Curtis
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/1HollyCurtis
Amazon:  Holly Curtis
Amazon:  books2read.com/u/3G9Xen


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 “Lucky Star”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Lucky Star” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂