Self-Published Saturday: May 29, 2021

Once again, it’s time to feature a great self-published book. I really enjoy this feature because it helps independent authors with the monumental task of promoting their books. If you decide to read this book, please write a review and post it on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites where you talk about books. This helps authors so much. I can’t stress that enough. Your review makes a difference.

Today’s book is the first in a series that captivated me from the beginning, The Hamelin Stoop series by Robert B. Sloan. In fact, I have been known to drop everything and ignore my giant TBR list in order to read the next installment. See the review below.

BOOK REVIEW: THE EAGLE, THE CAVE, AND THE FOOTBRIDGE

Hamelin Stoop is an exciting young adult/middle grade fantasy adventure series in the vein of the Chronicles of Narnia and even Harry Potter.

In The Eagle, The Cave, and The Footbridge, Hamelin’s mother Johnnie is on the run from evil trackers, so she places him, still a little baby, on the stoop of an orphanage in a tomato box. One of the only legible words in the note she left was “Hamelin,” and since he was found on the stoop, he was named Hamelin Stoop by the orphanage staff.

Upset and frustrated, Hamelin runs away from the orphanage when he is 8 years old. That’s when strange things begin happening. He is drawn to a cave by a talking eagle, and then he begins to learn more about his parents and his true purpose. There is a related story about three princesses in another land as Sloan begins to weave this tale together.

This is a “good vs. evil” adventure series which drew me in immediately, and I am always excited to see the next book. This book has everything–talking creatures, evil overlords, distant lands, and lost princesses. So far, there are three books, and I’m anxiously awaiting the fourth. I see definite nods to C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, which is always a good thing. I would recommend this to anyone over 10 years old who enjoys fantasy, adventure, and good vs. evil stories.  As C.S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” And this is a great children’s story that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

I received a free digital copy from Booksirens. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Robert B. Sloan is President of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. He is also a former President of Baylor University. Dr. Sloan and his wife Sue have seven adult children and more than 20 young grandchildren. He is an author, communicator, educator, and leader—all hats he has worn many times for a variety of reasons. These four areas represent life experiences that have provided him and his family with many memories. It is in the experiences of life that memories are made and lives are shaped.

Robert Sloan has a passion for Christian higher education and the spiritual formation of young people for the glory of God, which can be seen in both his professional and personal life.

Dr. Sloan’s Website

FASCINATING Article by Dr. Sloan About Why He Wrote The Hamelin Stoop Series

BUY BOOK 1: THE EAGLE, THE CAVE, AND THE FOOTBRIDGE

BUY BOOK 2: THE LOST PRINCESS AND THE JEWEL OF PERILUNA

BUY BOOK 3: THE RING OF TRUTH

*If you are a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber, you can borrow all three books for free.

#Book Review – Jukebox Hero

#Book Review at the bottom of the page.

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JukeboxHero

“PRETTY IN PINK MEETS MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE” Is that a great tagline or what? Welcome to the tour for Jukebox Hero by Jason Stuart! Read on for book details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway — A signed copy of the book AND in keeping with the theme, a couple of John Hughes box sets (80’s movie classics)! Untitled_Artwork Jukebox Hero (SledgeHammer: A Rock and Roll Fable #1) Expected Publication Date: April 30th, 2021 Genre: 80s Mashup/ Superhero Fantasy Publisher: Burnt Bridge It’s Back to the ’80’s like never before! Things aren’t all rainbows and cupcakes at the corner of Elm and E streets. Molly Slater just wants to forget everything she can’t remember and play heavy metal with her best friend in the garage. And maybe get a date for prom if he’s not a skeeze. But someone in this ‘burb has been killing redheads, and Molly has the reddest hair of them all. When a night of babysitting gone wrong gets her in the crosshairs of the local gang scene, Molly discovers fabulous secrets about herself. The hunted becomes the hunter as she prowls the darkness that has crept into her sleepy town. But a far more sinister force, some thing from another world, has other plans in store for her…

Excerpt

Sister Christian” 

—Night Ranger, 1983

Three standing grandfather clocks gazed down at her that morning, ten years to the day since they found her wandering alone with no memory—not even a name.

There, at the corner of Elm and E Street, Molly Slater (the name they’d given her) gripped her Fender Stratocaster like it were a weapon forged for her hands. Her fingerless gloves whispered at the strings, ready to saw down some serious noise. Jordache jacket with the sleeves ripped off at the shoulder. Purple lipstick and double-earrings. Corvette red hair. Bette Davis Eyes. 

The garage smelled like the early morning—no other sound but her Cons slapping the dewy concrete. She kicked away shorted out gizmos and various half-finished contraptions littering the cold slab floor. Hoyt, her foster dad, fancied himself the inventor. Any day now he’d invent their way into riches untold. Any day now.

Those grandfather clocks ticked at her as she plugged into the Peavey. More of Hoyt’s tinkering, thinking he could set his machines by them. Each triggered a different chain reaction every morning. One fed the dog. Another opened the garage to the day. A third…well it never worked anyway. She stared at them, as did they her in return. They held no judgment, only the looming doom of the impending hour. 

As the garage doors groaned, opening to the dim autumn light outside, she cranked up and twist-tuned her axe. She gave it a gooseneck and sliced right in. Mötley. Halen. Bowie. Duran. Whitesnake. Saxon. Maiden! Fluidly, she moved from one riff to another. She was totally, epically zoned. 

She lived in that fifteen minutes. 

Those granddads thundered their terrible news. 

The parentals shouted. 

“Shut that racket off! You’re gonna be late, I swear to every god,” the mother said. As if there were gods. Molly just shook her head, put up the guitar and grabbed her bag. “And put on a hat on that red hair. I don’t want you getting murdered by that maniac!” 

So dramatic. Like anything that interesting could ever happen. 

She always knew it would be like this.

Available on Amazon About the Author ZomboDroid 07022021083326 Jason Stuart is from the ’80’s. He came through that cocaine-fueled fever dream and lived to tell this story. Find him on Twitter: @raiseaholler on IG @80sinsane and Facebook.com/raiseaholler. This is his 4th book. And, no, that’s not his real hair. Burnt Bridge Giveaway: Signed copy of the book plus two 80’s classic movie box sets! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#BOOK REVIEW – BONNIE READS AND WRITES

This is an 80s based mashup of Science fiction, fantasy, and thriller that will take you on an amazing ride. I loved the fact that each chapter (or episode) is entitled with the name of a rock song from the 80s. I’m a sucker for anything 80s, and this does not disappoint. Start with some 80’s high school kids, then throw in some 80’s rock, robots, superheroes, and murder, and that adds up to a mesmerizing read.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

Book Promo–Tenebrasco, the Pearl Wielders Trilogy

*Book Promo–Not a Book Review

Check below to find out about contests and a read-along throughout May. Also you can download the book for FREE below for a limited time.

mer may

I have a fun announcement for you all! 

Starting May 1st, there will be a read-along of Hannah Reed’s YA Fantasy, Tenebrasco! The read-along will last a month and each week there will be specific chapters to read. Of course, people can read at their own pace too. Starting today, you can download Tenebrasco for free until the 17th (April 15 – 17) from Amazon!

Each weekend one of the hosts will do an IG live to talk about the chapters of the book that week, themes within the book, mermaids and even interview the author. 

 

Throughout MerMay there will be competitions, prizes and a free giveaway! 

 
Anyone who joins will also receive a bonus epilogue to Tempus, the final book in the Pearl Wielders series!
 

Book Cover

Mermay Read-Along!

Tenebrasco 

Publication Date: July 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Mermaids

Mer. Magic. Adventure.

Princess April Meridia is preparing for the long awaited Peace Treaty to unite the mer and legged after centuries divided. The most powerful mera under the sea her only instruction for the evening is to look ‘pretty and harmless’.

But when peace is threatened and April’s powers start acting strangely it is time for her to take control.

Amazon

About the Author

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Hannah Reed writes YA contemporary fantasy. Her latest novel ‘Essentia’ Book 2 of the Pearl Wielder Trilogy is out now (available on Amazon).

Her first novel ‘Tenebrasco’ was published in July 2019 and is the debut novel in the Pearl Wielder Trilogy.

Hannah grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands which was never more than 10 minutes away from a beach. She is addicted to ice cream, has an unhealthy relationship with chocolate and is trying to learn to love running.

Currently, Hannah is living in Canada and is waiting patiently to see a Moose!

Hannah Reed | Instagram | Goodreads 

Hosts: @fierymermaidbooks @tabz_talks_tales @thewritingsofhannah #mermayreadalong (Instagram)

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

 
 

 

Book Review–The Best Thing You Can Steal

The Best Thing You Can Steal takes place in the magical underworld of modern London, much like Harry Potter. However, this is an adult story with a darker bend. The protagonist is Gideon Sable, a thief and con-artist, who apparently is not the actual Gideon Sable, but another thief using his identity. He is determined to pull off an elaborate heist and take down an evil collector of rare magical items, Fredric Hammer. Gideon is accompanied by his ex-girlfriend Annie Anybody, who can charm technology, the Damned, who has killed angels and wears their halos, Johnny Wild Card, who knows the truth of reality, and the Ghost, who has long haunted the streets of London. They’ve all been wronged by the collector, who has ruined many lives, and they all have their reason to want revenge. 

This is magical realism done well, as we are introduced to each member of the specially selected team, told about their story and their magical gifts, and told the reason why they want revenge on Hammer. The character development is superb. Every single member of the heist team is fascinating, and magical London is dark and intriguing. In some sense we are kept much in the dark about the narrator, which makes this even more delicious. This is a short but compelling read about magical revenge that will leave you wanting more. 

NOTE: I feel I must caution readers that although the book is 183 pages, the e-book version is priced at $19.49 on Kindle. I feel it’s way overpriced for an e-book and would probably think about spending $28.99 on the hard cover version instead. I will provide links to both below.

I received a free copy of this book from Severn House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon R. Green is a British science fiction and fantasy author. Green was born in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. He is the author of the best-selling Nightside series and many other works.

AUTHOR PAGE ON SEVERN HOUSE WEBSITE

BUY THE BEST THING YOU CAN STEAL

Amazon Kindle version

Amazon Hardcover version

Barnes and Noble Hardcover version

MY AMAZON REVIEW (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Book Review: A Diamond For Her

When Raymond Blythe first meets The gods of Baseball, he is a little boy, sitting with his father and watching a game. When he meets them again as an adult, they are playing baseball with giant trees and huge boulders as they invent the game, supervised by the Sun. This begins a magical journey, as Raymond almost simultaneously meets the love of his life, Rochelle Christy, puts together a baseball team, the Winasook Iron Horses, and builds a stadium, Rochelle stadium. The story of the beginning of the fictional Winasook Iron Horses is told in 9 innings (which I loved), and then there are some subsequent stories featuring the team and its owners, weaving in important events of the past. This book combines the history of baseball and the history of America as it is intertwined with a fictional baseball team. In the tradition of W.P. Kinsella, Mark W. Sasse brings the magic of baseball to life. This book about the fictional Iron Horses is told from the point of view of Charles “Shoeshine” Henry, who relates these stories as told to him by Raymond Blythe on his deathbed. The main characters and the team are fictional, but they come to life through the pen of Mark W. Sasse and are interwoven with real life figures from the past.

In order to understand this book, you need not necessarily know all the rules of baseball, but you do need to feel the magic behind it. I have an advantage, as I was 11 years old, growing up in Cincinnati in 1975 when The Big Red Machine won the first of two back-to-back World Series titles. I watched as Pete Rose, who began his career with average talent but almost supernatural determination, hustled to first on fly balls and slid headfirst into second. Through him, the little kids of Cincinnati learned about the rewards of hard work and the magic of determination. Before I digress into an essay about whether or not Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame (he should), let me get back to the task at hand. Mark W. Sasse has created a book that is captivating, remarkable, and full of the American spirit. Rich and carefree, Raymond Blythe is determined to accomplish his goal of creating a baseball team, no matter how crazy he might look. He is also quite mad about his future wife, Rochelle, and that combination of madly in love, determined, and crazy creates magic. The first “nine innings” that feature the creation of baseball, the stadium, Raymond’s marriage, and the team were my favorite. However, subsequent stories take us on further adventures with Raymond, Rochelle, the baseball gods, and the Winasook Iron Horses. Real life baseball heroes Satchell Paige and Jackie Robinson are also featured, along with many other real heroes of the past. 

Mark W. Sasse fittingly tips his hat to W.P. Kinsella at the end, as this book, while unique and creative, does bring to mind the late Kinsella’s enchanting novel, Shoeless Joe, which was made into the movie Field of Dreams.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksirens. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark W Sasse is a novelist and award-winning playwright and director. He vacillates on a daily basis between which genre of writing he enjoys the most. Luckily, he doesn’t have to choose! Sasse’s novels have been featured on curated sites such as Bookbub and EReaderNewsToday, and his plays have been produced in New York, Penang, Columbus, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney, Australia, among other places. His play “The Last Bastion” earned him the 2018 Greywood Arts Winter Writing Residency in Ireland. He is also a three-time winner of the Best Script Award at the Penang Short & Sweet Theatre Festival. His plays have won multiple other awards such as Best Overall Performance and Audience Choice Award. He won the Festival Director’s Award at the 2019 and 2016 festivals.

Sasse’s interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – from culture and language to history and religion, making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy a page-turning good story injected with doses of history, adventure, Asian culture, and unexpected humor. 

Currently, he teaches drama in Saudi Arabia and spends his summers writing in Jamestown, NY. 

VISIT MARK W. SASSE’S WEBSITE

BUY A DIAMOND FOR HER

Amazon Kindle Store (Kindle Unlimited Subscribers Can Borrow For Free)

Amazon Paperback

Book Depository

My Goodreads Review

My Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

The Seeing Scroll

Here is a book description and links to buy of a thrilling Middle Grade fantasy/mystery adventure. It is also available to borrow on Kindle Unlimited for free. I have updated this post to include my review at the bottom of the page.

“Stray too long where you don’t belong and the world you’re from could be forever gone.”
A children’s mystery adventure with a little bit of magic.

When police exhume the body in her grandfather’s coffin, 12-year-old Gia Lance already knows that it isn’t him. And given that her dad won’t believe her, what choice does she have but to enlist the help of her drama-king best friend? Their daring, behind the scenes search for her grandfather leads to the discovery of a secret riddle, a hidden plateau and an enchanted scroll steeped in mystery. It lures them by exposing visions – fragments of well-kept secrets.

Gia soon grapples with an eerie tale of a dungeon, an ill-fated ship, a missing child, and the legendary curse of the Seeing Scroll. But whose secrets are they? How does the scroll decide what she sees? Who can she trust? More importantly, what does it any of it have to do with her grandfather?

Time is running out. For Gia to connect the dots, she must confront the idea of her grandfather not being who she thought he was and acknowledge the possibility of him being cursed. But there are people after the scroll. Dangerous people! Clearly, they’ll do anything to ensure their secrets remain buried. Maybe even their crimes. Can Gia evade them on her quest to solve the riddle and figure out how to save her grandfather without being duped by the scroll’s delicious secrets, or will he be forever lost?

BUY ON AMAZON (OR BORROW ON KINDLE UNLIMITED)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

.T. GROBLER lives with her husband and daughter. She shares her space with two formidable Staffordshire terriers. Her dog of choice, but honestly, anything four-legged that lets her hug it surely has a kind soul. 

When she isn’t writing, she’s probably strolling with her furry friends through the local farmer’s vineyards or dawdling along the beach. She adores boat rides, watching an active slipway and the wind on her face. 

She also has a pair of African Grey parrots who love to jabber about what she said yesterday. 

Her first writing job came from a third-grade teacher – 100 lines of “I must not eat in class”.

Thank you for reading!

You can visit her at this link

REVIEW–BONNIE READS AND WRITES

This is a middle grade fantasy thriller/adventure set in South Africa that takes you right into the action from the first page. Gia knows with all her heart that her grandfather is alive. Along with her best friend Vuyo, she follows a sometimes treacherous path of clues to a mysterious scroll. The scroll may help her find her grandfather, but it comes with a high price, and dangerous people are trying to possess it. The story can get a little complicated and sad at times, but it is an intriguing tale full of magic, adventure, danger, love, and loss. The importance of family and friendship, and the sacrifice of those who love us, are underscored in this thrilling tale. I would recommend to young adults and above, as well as middle graders with parental supervision.

Book Review–Loving Modigliani (Updated: Blog Tour and Sale through Feb 17th)

Diamond Level Read

See my previous review of Loving Modigliani below. I really enjoyed this one! Loving Modigliani is on sale starting Feb 14th through February 17th on Amazon. The ebook price has been reduced to $3.99. It’s a great time to pick up your copy (Amazon Link). As you can see from my raving review below, I highly recommend you check this out. I’ve joined another blog tour to help promote this great book. The tour schedule is:

February 8 – RABT Book Tours – Kick Off
February 8 – Readers Alley – Excerpt
February 9 – The Avid Reader – Interview
February 10 – Book Review Virginia Lee – Spotlight
February 11 – Teatime and Books – Spotlight
February 12 – Silver Dagger Book Tours – Spotlight
February 12 – The Indie Express – Review
February 13 – Dina Rae’s Write Stuff – Spotlight
February 14 – Jazzy Book Reviews – Excerpt
February 15 – Lynn Romance Enthusiast – Excerpt
February 15 – Bonnie Reads and Writes – Review
February 16 – Momma Says to Read or Not to Read – Spotlight
February 17 – A Slice of Orange – Guest Post
February 18 – Quirky Book Reads – Review
February 19 – Nesie’s Place – Spotlight
February 19 – RABT Reviews – Wrap Up

REVIEW

Loving Modigliani is one of those books that is so good that I don’t feel my review will do it justice. It is so good that I stopped halfway through and bought it in print version because I only had an electronic copy. I always keep print copies of my favorite books. It is so good that I didn’t want to put it down, and I was sad when it was finished. It made me realize that if I ever write a book I need to demand this type of excellence in my own work. I even created a new Category on this blog, Diamond Level Reads, for books that are beyond special. Below is my humble attempt at a review and my bow to an accomplished author, Linda Lappin, who has woven together a remarkable piece of fiction based on real events.

It is Paris, 1920. It is also Jeanne Hébuterne’s day of death, 48 hours after her common-law husband, Amedeo Modigliani, died of meningitis. Modigliani was an early 20th Century artist of post impressionist inspired portraits and nudes who died basically destitute, but became famous years later. As the book begins, we meet Hébuterne on the street where her body lies after she fell or jumped, despondent and hugely pregnant, out of a window. We follow her spirit to a wheelbarrow rumbling through the streets of 1920’s Paris, which is described in such detail that we feel we are there. We watch along with Hébuterne’s spirit as her belongings are stolen, including her diary, a bangle, and a family portrait. We flash back with her to her life with Modigliani and her own growth as an artist. We cheer her as she struggles to move forward and begins to search the afterlife for her beloved “Modi.” 

In a separate timeline in the 1980s, an art student stumbles upon some long hidden secrets and is given a window into the life of Jeanne Hébuterne. What will she do with this information and who will try to stop her?

This is an amazing historical novel with sub-genres of fantasy, mystery, and the paranormal. It is a tribute to the art world of Paris, specifically the post-impressionist era of the early 1900s. Linda Lappin’s ability to describe the sights, sounds, and smells of 1920’s Paris transports us there immediately. Her portrayal of the art and artists of that time is meticulously researched. Her ability to create a work that seamlessly binds together history, mystery, fantasy, and the paranormal is awe-inspiring. Her characters are so real you can see them, feel them, love them, and hate them. Lappin’s description of Hébuterne’s afterlife is full of unexpected turns, pitfalls, and surprises with huge nods to the art world. The realities of Jeanne’s life with Modigliani are shown to us, from infidelity to drunkenness to abuse and neglect, but above all we are shown Jeanne’s all-consuming love for this man, so well described in this book. Lappin shares the spirit and talent of Jeanne Hébuterne in so many ways, through her art, her music, and her steadfast determination and willingness to buck the rules of society. I wish I could speak more of the last line of the book without giving out any spoilers, but it is a perfect ending, tying everything together.

My personal rules for historical novels, regardless of sub-genre, is that they must transport me to that time and place. Loving Modigliani did this instantly. They must also teach me something, and I learned so much about the 1900s Paris art scene that I am interested in exploring it further. 

Although I was given a free digital copy via Netgalley, I also bought a print copy on Amazon. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Prize-winning novelist Linda Lappin is the author of four novels: The Etruscan (Wynkin de Worde, 2004), Katherine’s Wish (Wordcraft , 2008), Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery (Pleasureboat Studio, 2013), and The Soul of Place (Travelers Tales, 2015). Signatures in Stone won the Daphne DuMaurier Award for best mystery of 2013. The Soul of Place won the gold medal in the Nautilus Awards in the Creativity category.

Buy the book on Amazon

Buy the book on Barnes and Noble

Purchase on Ibooks

Visit Linda Lappin’s Website

Visit My Goodreads Review

My Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated If You Are So Inclined)

The Ring of Truth

The Ring of Truth by Robert B. Sloan is the third book in the Hamelin Stoop Series. This is not a standalone. The books must be read in order or you will be lost when you read Book 3. Book 1 is The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge and Book 2 is The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna.

In Book 3, Hamelin has come back to the orphanage in order to return a lost princess back to her land. He has a definite idea of who this princess might be. There are a lot of delays and betrayals, and the people in his life continue to hide information from him, but Hamelin is determined to finish his mission and ultimately find his parents. 

This is a great young adult series with memorable characters that people of all ages will love. There are definite nods to Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, as well as the Bible, in this series. I continue to enjoy the adventures of these characters, especially the trio of Hamlin, Lars, and Eraina. Each of our heroes are aided by their special magical objects as they travel the Land of Gloaming on an important mission to stop the evil Chimera and his sons. They continue to receive guidance and help from SueSue and The Talking Eagle. Hamelin’s Earth friends, Bryan and Layla, also figure prominently in this story. 

I gave this five stars because of how much I love the overall series, but this one did move too slowly for about the first 25% of the book. There was too much time at the orphanage before attempting to return to the Land of Gloaming and not much happened during this time. At the orphanage, the core characters’ continual refusal to share information with each other started getting ridiculous. However, the last two thirds of this 580 page book were much more action filled. But again, even in the Land of Gloaming, there was the constant problem of people keeping secrets from each other. I feel this book would have been even better if it had been cut down to about 400 pages.

That being said, I continue to love these characters and look forward to their next adventures. There are six books planned in this series and I cannot wait until the next one.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Robert B. Sloan is president of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Sloan and his wife Sue have seven adult children and more than 20 young grandchildren. He is an author, communicator, educator, and leader—all hats he has worn many times for a variety of reasons. These four areas represent life experiences that have provided him and his family with many memories. It is in the experiences of life that memories are made and lives are shaped.

Robert Sloan has a passion for Christian higher education and the spiritual formation of young people for the glory of God, which can be seen in both his professional and personal life.

Robert B. Sloan’s Website

Buy Book 1: The Eagle, The Cave, and The Footbridge

Buy Book 2: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna

Buy Book 3: The Ring of Truth

Link to My Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Link to My Goodreads Review

The Book of Uriel

The Book of Uriel begins in World War II Poland, when a Jewish village is destroyed and its people slaughtered. A little boy, Uriel, finds himself on his own. Unable to speak, Uriel has always written stories in his golden notebook, stories of angels and demons. Taken in by Uwe, a linguist for the Nazis, Uriel sees his stories coming alive. He begins an amazing mission to find the missing Archangel Michael and strikes a bargain with the Angel of Death.

This is an intricately woven tale that shows the cruelty of the Nazis and the horrors of the holocaust while at the same time portraying the spiritual war that is being fought alongside the physical war. Hoffman weaves together historical facts, the Bible, and Jewish folklore to create a written tapestry that you won’t want to put down. Her ability to combine historical fiction with a rich spiritual world is awe-inspiring. As a Christian, I don’t know anything about Jewish folklore, but I do know the Bible. The prophet Elijah, the Archangel Michael, and more familiar Biblical characters are also part of this story. It is a fascinating read, and I definitely believe that the actual battle of good vs. evil is both physical and spiritual.

Fans of the Book Thief will love The Book of Uriel. I also see just a tiny bit of a reminder of Christian author Frank Peretti’s writing, as he too shows the spiritual world alongside the physical world in some of his books.

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited. I also received a free copy from the publishers via Reads and Reels. My review is voluntary.

BUY THE BOOK OF URIEL ON AMAZON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written three books in The Barracks of the Holocaust series, with more on the way. Her first full-length novel, The Book of Uriel, is set to be published on January 26th. If you love history and want to read some completely unique stories, follow Elyse at Project613Publishing.com. 

LINK TO MY GOODREADS REVIEW

Lottie’s Locket

It’s Lottie’s 11th birthday, but her parents have to go out of town to help her much older sister, who is having a crisis. Lottie is not thrilled about going to stay in her Aunt’s cold house on her birthday while her parents are gone, but is slightly cheered by the birthday present her mother has left behind. Inside the package is a locket, which takes Lottie on an amazing adventure to another world, Orovand. But Orovand, like Earth, has problems too, and soon Lottie’s locket is missing, a man is dead, and her chance to return home is in jeopardy.

This was a good middle grade fantasy with a murder mystery thrown in. I think the mystery was engaging and there were some twists and turns. The world-building was not interesting enough in my opinion. It appeared to be a very colorful world set up like an ancient kingdom, where the King rules all. Although I feel it was an interesting story, I was not drawn in enough to want to return to Orovand for any further adventures. There are some intriguing aspects of Orovand, but I won’t reveal them as to avoid spoilers. 

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited at the request of the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own. Fans of middle grade fantasy and mystery novels may enjoy this one.

Link to Lottie’s Locket on Amazon

Link to Maria Johnson’s Amazon Page

Link to My Goodreads Review