Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Book Review: Mystery Date by Amber Nadine

Title: Mystery Date

Author: Amber Nadine

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Recommended Age: Adult

Rayn Parrington is a twenty-two year old script distribution company owner living in New York City. When her boyfriend Adam Lanes leaves her suddenly, her best friend Oliver (Ollie) Haggard talks her into joining a dating site. When she finds Adam is also on the dating site she decides to pose as Taylor Jones in hopes of winning back his affection. What Rayn doesn’t know is that she’s not the only one pretending to be someone else online. Adam isn’t really Adam.

This book was great! It was such a cute story that then turned into a total thriller. The ending was nothing like I was expecting while reading it. I was waiting for the Happily Ever After and then serious plot twist! Though the ending makes the rest of the tidbits of information throughout all come together and make SO MUCH MORE SENSE!!! Read this book it will mess with your brain!

4 out of 5

Amber Nadine is a singer/songwriter from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. She has written two YA Novella's 'Number 17' and 'Origami Hearts and Purple Buttons; two historical short fiction stories, 'Titanic: The Tragedy of the Sea' and Pompeii: A Fiery Explosion; and a self-help guide, 'U Can Beat This: A Self-Help Guide for those struggling with Anorexia Nervosa and their family members. This is Amber's first novel.

*Review originally posted January 31, 2018 on

May you always find adventure.
- Jaiden

Book Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Title: Queen of Hearts

Author: Colleen Oakes

Series: Queen of Hearts Saga

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Recommended Age: Young Adult

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Only queens with hearts can bleed.

This is not the story of the Wonderland we know. Alice has not fallen down a rabbit hole. There is no all-knowing cat with a taunting smile. This is a Wonderland where beneath each smile lies a secret, each tart comes with a demand, and only prisoners tell the truth.

Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head.

Evil is brewing in Wonderland and maybe, most frighteningly, in Dinah herself.

This is not a story of happily ever after.

This is the story of the Queen of Hearts.

This was a very good spin off/retelling of Alice in Wonderland though there is no Alice in it. This is all about the Queen of Hearts and her beginnings. I love Alice in Wonderland so I am always down for reading spin offs and this was a good one. I liked the character development though Dinah got a little whiny sometimes. I think that was the point though. Oakes wanted to show how much of a spoiled little girl Dinah was. I loved the ending and I cannot wait to see where the story goes. This is the first book in a trilogy.

4 out of 5

Colleen Oakes is the bestselling author of books for both teens and adults, including The Black Coats, Queen of Hearts Series, and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling or immersing herself in nerdy pop culture.

She currently at work on her third YA fairytale series, a YA thriller and a fantasy collaboration.

*Review originally posted January 24, 2018 on

May you always find adventure.
- Jaiden

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

Title: The Disappearances

Author: Emily Bain Murphy

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery

Recommended Age: Young Adult

Release Date: July 4, 2017

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home--and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together--scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream--vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible--and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone's secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

When reading the synopsis, I thought it was people that were disappearing but it wasn't. This book made me grateful for the things I have in my life. I truly enjoyed reading this book and I feel like I am a better person for reading it. I think it made me value the simple things in life. I also like that it is set in WWII times. It also has fun literary references in it. The poetry in it is incredible some of which Murphy wrote and some she didn't.

5 out of 5

Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut home.

Murphy is the author of THE DISAPPEARANCES and SPLINTERS OF SCARLET (2020), both young adult historical fantasies published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella.

Murphy currently lives in St. Louis with her family and is at work on her third novel.

*Review originally posted January 31, 2018 on

May you always find adventure.
- Jaiden

Book Review: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

Title: Tempests and Slaughter

Author: Tamora Pierce

Series: The Numair Chronicles

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: Young Adult

Release Date: INSERT DATE

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

This was a great book and I am very excited for the next one to continue the story. This book is a story of a life so its kinda slow rolling though there are always interesting things happening. I loved all the imagery and the explanations that made the book and characters all feel real to me. I felt most the time that I didn't know what was going to happen in the book which was fun because it felt like I was along for the ride that is this part of Arram, Ozorne, and Varice's life. I love all the character in this book so much. It was great! It was cute and a fun read even though there was some rough topics in it.

4 out of 5

Though I would love to join groups, I'm going to turn them all down. I just don't have the time to take part, so please don't be offended if I don't join your group or accept an invitation. I'm not snooty--I'm just up to my eyeballs in work and appearances!

Also, don't be alarmed by the number of books I've read. When I get bored, I go through the different lists and rediscover books I've read in the past. It's a very evil way to use up time when I should be doing other things. Obviously, I've read a lot of books in 54 years!

I was born in South Connellsville, PA. My mother wanted to name me "Tamara" but the nurse who filled out my birth certificate misspelled it as "Tamora". When I was 8 my family moved to California, where we lived for 6 years on both sides of the San Francisco peninsula.

I started writing stories in 6th grade. My interest in fantasy and science fiction began when I was introduced to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J. R. R. Tolkien and so I started to write the kind of books that I was reading. After my parents divorced, my mother took my sisters and me back to Pennsylvania in 1969. There I went to Albert Gallatin Senior High for 2 years and Uniontown Area Senior High School for my senior year.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, I wrote the book that became The Song of the Lioness fantasy quartet. I sold some articles and 2 short stories and wrote reviews for a martial arts movie magazine. At last the first book of the quartet, Alanna: The First Adventure was published by Atheneum Books in 1983.

Tim Liebe, who became my Spouse-Creature, and I lived in New York City with assorted cats and two parakeets from 1982 - 2006. In 2006 we moved to Syracuse, New York, where we live now with assorted cats, a number of squirrels, birds, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and woodchucks visiting our very small yard. As of 2011, I have 27 novels in print, one short story collection, one comic book arc ("White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion") co-written with Tim, and a short story anthology co-editing credit. There's more to come, including a companion book to the Tortall `verse. So stay tuned!

*Review originally posted January 24, 2018 on

May you always find adventure.
- Jaiden

Book Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Title: Hounded

Author: Kevin Hearne

Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: Adult

Release Date: March 3, 2011

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

This book is so funny. I love the use of multiple religions and sarcasm. Hearne definitely did his research when it came to religions and realms. I love these book and cannot wait to read the rest. I read this at work and was literally laughing out loud while getting weird looks from my coworkers. The vampire and werewolf element along with the love of dogs sold me on this first book. The ending made me have to keep reading. This is a quick read and so clever.

4 out of 5 

Kevin is the NYT bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, as well as The Seven Kennings, an epic fantasy trilogy, and the Tales of Pell, a humorous fantasy series co-authored with Delilah S. Dawson. INK & SIGIL, a new urban fantasy series set in the Iron Druid universe, will be out in 2020.

*Review originally posted January 17, 2018 on

May you always find adventure.
- Jaiden