Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a Happy 2021!

We’re praying for health, peace, and happiness for all of you. May the Lord bless you and guide you in the new year. May he lift up those who are struggling.

A special prayer for those who are ill, including in my own family, with COVID and other illnesses. Praying for healing.

I’m blessed to be spending time with my family this weekend. I’ll be back blogging on January 3rd.

Christian Book Giveaway

I will be reviewing She Walked Before Us by Jill Eileen Smith on January 10, 2021. I am also giving one copy away in a random drawing.

She Walked Before Us: Grace, Courage, and Strength from 12 Women of the Old Testament takes a look at the lives of 12 women from the Bible and shows us how we can learn from their experiences. The 12 women include Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail, Bathsheba, and more.

In order to sign up for the giveaway, please add a comment below. The winner will be randomly selected. Entries will close January 9th. Please check back on January 10th for my review and the announcement of the winner. Any questions, please contact me at bonniereadsandwrites@gmail.com

Countess Jacqueline

Countess Jacqueline by Gail Meath is a historical romance based upon the life of the real Countess Jacqueline of Holland, who ruled the counties of Holland, Zeeland, and Hainut in the Low Countries (Netherlands) from 1417 to 1433. The book opens with Jacqueline as a young girl whose father is already trying to arrange her marriage to secure his kingdom. Fiercely independent and an excellent horsewoman and archer, she resists marriage as long as she can. After the death of her father, politics come into play as another heir demands her title and her lands. Jacqueline fights for her lands and her people, making mistakes along the way, and possibly finding the love of her life.

This is a very well written novel by Gail Meath, who weaves together a captivating story by combining both real and fictional characters to create a spellbinding saga. The true story of Jacqueline’s life, battles, and marriages, and her love of and dedication to her people is amazing, and Meath expertly adds perfectly placed characters and storylines. She brings the Countess, the politics, and the way of life in that era alive on the page, and her meticulous research of the period is obvious. Fans of historical fiction and romance will enjoy this book. 

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where members can read it for free.

Link to the book on Amazon

Link to Gail Meath’s Website

Link to my Amazon review (“Helpful” votes appreciated if you are so inclined)

Book Blitz: Heir of Lies

HierofLiesBlitz copy

Heir of Lies, the exciting first installment in the best selling Black Dawn series by Mallory McCartney is FREE! From now until December 29th (Midnight PST) Heir of Lies will be free to download on Amazon!! 

Don’t miss out. Download your copy today!

heiroflies_huge-1Heir of Lies (Black Dawn #1)

Release Date: April 20th, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy/ New Adult Fantasy

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”

Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.

Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?
But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.

Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.

Goodreads

Download Here!

About the Author

updated headshot

Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

*This is a Book Blitz, not a review.

Juche Series: Books 1 and 2

WEEKEND SPOTLIGHT

Great Books Available on Kindle Unlimited: Juche: Books 1 and 2

Our Spotlight falls on two Dystopian Gems from an Indie author, The Juche Series by Adria Carmichael, Books 1 and 2. The Author is working on three more. These books are available to borrow and read on Kindle Unlimited at no additional charge to KU members. For those wanting to purchase them, the digital copies are also going on sale on Amazon worldwide from tomorrow, December 28th, to January 1st. During this time, Book 1, The Demon of Yodok, will be free, and Book 2, the Sufferings of the Strayed, will be just .99

These books are not standalone and both of them end in cliffhangers, so they need to be read in order and as a continuing series. They will be followed by book 3 on February 28, 2021. Books 4 and 5 and will follow later. You will find this series very addictive! See my 5-star reviews below:

Areum lives with her parents and her twin sister Nari in the Kingdom of Choson in the Year 83. This kingdom is ruled by the Great General, who is the wise, omniscient, and immortal leader of their free and fair nation, the most successful nation in all the world. Areum is immersed in preparing for gymnastics tryouts for the Great General’s National Olympic Team. She is greatly devoted to her god, The Great General, and refuses to think about the fact that her father has disappeared and her twin sister is ailing. Then the day comes that changes her life for good.

This is a great combination of both dystopian and historical fiction, as it is really 1994 and the Kingdom of Choson is, of course, North Korea, and the Great General is their leader at the time, Kim Il Sung. This is not just about an evil Communist dictatorship, although much is exposed. It is about the great resentment Areum feels towards her parents and sister and the fact that she doesn’t feel a part of her own family. Her resentment is shocking at times and is so well described. The descriptions of the horrible treatment of the citizens of the “Kingdom of Choson” and the way that evil actions are described as good things is heartbreaking. The story is riveting from start to finish. This is a great debut novel from Adria Carmichael. My review of the second book in the series is below.

I received a free copy of this book, but also picked one up on Kindle Unlimited. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

In this second book of the Juche series, the circumstances of Areum and her family in the Great Kingdom of Choson have changed, but her resentment of her parents and sister lives on. She is also clinging almost desperately to her beliefs, although reality does not seem to match what she has been taught. As Areum and her family become part of “The Strayed,” they undergo extreme circumstances and witness horrific acts. Areum is still very naive and selfish, but she grows stronger and begins to use her talents to survive.

Again, I was riveted as this part-dystopian, part-historical fiction saga continues. Adria Carmichael paints a vivid picture of a society filled with fear, and leaders who look on those in their charge as less than nothing. Through it all runs the concept of Juche, a North Korean version of communism/totalitarianism as invented by Kim Il Sung. Carmichael takes us to a society that tells its people how great it is while they starve and murder them. Her idea to present North Korea as the setting of a dystopian novel is a good one, because it really is a dystopian society right here on Earth. Any fans of dystopian or historical fiction will be captivated by this novel.

I received a free copy of this book, but also picked one up on Kindle Unlimited. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Juche Part 3, The Weeping Masses, will be available on Amazon on February 28, 2021. Preorder below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adria Carmichael is a writer of dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or bingeing a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

Link to Book 1 on Amazon:

Link to Book 2 on Amazon:

Preorder Book 3 on Amazon:

White Christmas

White Christmas

I’m just standing on my porch in Tennessee because it’s very cold and I still have on my pajamas, but I wanted to share the snow! I’ll try and get some better pictures later.

Merry Christmas!

EDIT: My husband went out into the yard and took some MUCH better pictures.

Harold and Hermann exploring

The Top 7 Books I Read in 2020

Here are my favorite books of this year. Everyone else is doing a Top 5 or a Top 10. I’m doing a Top 7, mostly because I couldn’t narrow it down to five. Although I have them numbered, those numbers could change on any given day and I just couldn’t leave any of them out. These are all books I read in 2020. Since I’ve been doing reviews for the Historical Novel Society, I’ve found some great historical fiction. I also found an Indie book that I really loved. Below is a list of my favorites with their Amazon links and Amazon book descriptions. Three of them were read for the February issue of Historical Novels Review, so I can’t post my reviews for them until they are published in the magazine. Look for my reviews of those three books in February.

7. Set the Stars Alight

This is riveting dual timeline historical fiction. My Review

6. Doing Time

Jodi Taylor is probably my favorite author. She writes the Chronicles of St. Mary’s, a popular time travel series, and Doing Time is the first in a new spinoff series, The Time Police. My Review

5. The Milk Wagon

This is a great book from an Indie author who wrote a fantastic 80’s thriller, mostly revolving around a group of high school boys. This book has not gotten the attention it deserves and is a hidden gem, in my opinion. My review

4. The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

I can’t post my review for this title until it is published in Historical Novels Review magazine. For a book description on Amazon, click on the cover.

3. The Edge of Belonging

This is a moving story about adoption and family.

My Review

2. Things We Didn’t Say

I cannot post my review until February, but I will say this is an epistolary historical novel, done solely in letters and written communication. You can check out a description on Amazon by clicking on the cover.

  1. No Ordinary Thing

Again I cannot post my review until February, but this is a Middle Grade Time Travel Fantasy revolving around a snow globe! Click on the cover for the Amazon link and description.

A Regency Christmas Anthology

A Regency Christmas Anthology by Susan Payne is a collection of three Regency romances. 

In A Regency Christmas Story, Penelope is struggling to pay her brother’s gambling debts to Lord Leighton. Will she offer up anything in order to pay?

In The Best Christmas Present, The Earl of Williamsburg is looking for a wife. But a debutante’s mother is catching his interest, and possibly his heart.

In Sugar Plum Christmas, Micheline works for a bakery which caters to the aristocracy when she catches the eye of Lord Hedley. Can he win her heart by discovering her past?

These Regency Christmas romances did not meet my expectations for Christmas stories. A Christmas story must transport you to the Christmas season, no matter what time of year it might be. Here I am right in the middle of the actual Christmas season and I found these stories to have only passing references to Christmas. The book cover is also very generic. It feels as if these were already existing stories that were thrown together at the last minute.

I also found the main male protagonists to be lacking character. They had no problem with taking mistresses on the side and their treatment of women was abhorrent. I found Sugar Plum Christmas to be the best of the three, but only because it describes the confections Micheline is baking so well. Sugar Plum Christmas also had the best Christmas atmosphere, although it was still not enough.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Link to the Book on Amazon

Link to Susan Payne’s Amazon page

Link to my Goodreads Review

The Godmother

The Godmother by Cathy Cade is a new and modern version of Cinderella, complete with computers and webcams. After her father’s death, Cindy lives with her stepmother and stepsisters, the Uglies, in her father’s house, which now belongs to her stepmother, Baroness Malegra. Cindy lives in the basement with her dog Buttons and does their bidding, whatever it may be. But Aunt Phemie, her wonderful Godmother, has decided to visit, and change is on the horizon. Told from multiple points of view, including Cindy’s dog Buttons and her Godmother Aunt Phemie, this is a humorous new take on an old tale.

Another delightful story by the talented Cathy Cade, who brings new life and fun to this classic fairy tale. You will laugh at the high jinks of Aunt Phemie and Buttons, and frown at the very nasty stepmother.

I received a free copy of this book from the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Link to Buy The Godmother on Amazon

Link to Cathy Cade’s Website

Link to My Amazon Review (“Like” if you are so inclined)

A Year Before Christmas

This is a delightful Christmas Story Poem by Cathy Cade. It is a new take on “A Night Before Christmas,” complete with Santa, Reindeer, and ….Engineering? You will enjoy this lively poem and its colorful, captivating illustrations. It is clever, saucy, and fun.

Buy A Year Before Christmas on Amazon

Cathy Cade’s blog and bio