Book Review: Kingdom of Sand and Stars: Book 1

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Gosh guys, it has been ages since I have been here. I did get the odd notification here and there about comments on various posts. My bad for not responding. A global crisis has a way of zapping away your…well, everything.

This post isn’t going to be about why I haven’t been around and what I have been up to. I will save that for another day.

One thing I have been doing is READING! I have had my nose stuck in precious books on a regular basis. The most recent being a new novel by one of my faves, Candace Osmond. I’m on her ARC (advanced reading copy) team, so I get first crack at her newest creations.

The latest is another time travel romance, this time taking place in ancient Egypt.

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Book Blurb:

Young archaeologist, Andie Godfrey must conquer her addiction and accept the opportunity to uncover the Egyptian cave where her father and boyfriend were last seen two years ago. But, the pain of the past is hard to forget when you’re thrown at its feet.

Using her father’s secret research, Andie pieces together a clandestine conspiracy, centuries old, that will shatter the world’s idea of ancient Egypt. But before she can solve her father’s cryptic puzzle, Andie’s betrayed by the leader of the expedition, and finds herself left for dead at the bottom of a pit where she accidentally activates a portal carved in stone.

Unsure whether she’s dead or thrown back in the midst of time, Andie discovers an advanced civilization unlike anything she’s ever known and is soon faced with a ruler among Gods; a man from her own past who once ruled her heart.

I finished off this book in two days. I devoured it every chance I got, including my little bit of free time at work. I even pushed through a rotten headache reading this. Usually when I have a headache or migraine, reading is a hardcore no-go. But I couldn’t put it down. It’s like a cross between ‘Outlander’ and ‘The Mummy’. I am a sucker for time travel romance, and romance in general if I am being honest.

Candace is a history buff when it comes to ancient Egypt, and her passion for it shows. While I love history, Egypt hasn’t been on the top of my list for interesting topics. However Candace’s words not only had me wanting to learn more, I also felt as if I was immersed in her setting. At times I found myself hitting up Google. Not because I didn’t understand a topic or anything. But because I was curious as to what characters were based from mythology and what came from the depths of her active and creative imagination.

Andie is a bad ass, strong willed woman who slowly becomes an alcoholic after her father and love of her life were killed in an ancient cave. A few years later she learned that not everything is what it seems. She’s transported to an ancient time that is much different then of the one she learned. And to a place where Gods and other creatures exist. While facing her own demons, she’s trying to save the man she loves from his brother. Luckily she has help of her father, Anubis, God of the underworld and Shadow, a lizard like creature who has taken to Andie.

This book was everything and more that I expected from Candace. If you’ve read other reviews of mine, you know I am a huge fan. And I feel like, even though I have loved all her books so far, that this is her best one yet. The plot flowed, the characters were believable and she took me on a journey I didn’t expect to go on.

This story is has a little bit of everything: adventure, mystery,  betrayal, romance, the supernatural, time travel and a piece of jewelry that is much more then it seems.

Book Review: The Guilded Stone

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My 2020 has been going well so far. So well in fact that I slightly forgot about my blog. Well, not forgot about it, but I haven’t had much time for it.

One of those reasons is because I have had my nose stuck in a book half the time, which is how I wanted my year to go! 🙂 Between my new book club (a post on that later) and my massive TBR pile, I have been enjoying catching up on some good reads.

One of my faves so far of the year, is a book I was SO EXCITED to finally get my hands on. I was lucky to get an ARC of ‘The Guilded Stone’, by Candace Osmond, which is book five in the Dark Tides series.

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What good is a happily ever after if it’s all ripped away by the hands of a devilish siren?

When Dianna’s children go missing, she and Henry are left with no choice but to do something they swore they’d never do again…travel back to the 1700s. But with their children’s lives in the hands of an unpredictable siren, they must make a hasty decision; trust that the sea creature will return their kids…or find a way to go back in time and risk never coming home again.

They soon realize they’ll have to travel further than they’ve ever gone; beyond our world to the mythical realm of Faerie to save their children. A task easier said than done. The rumored entrance lays across the ocean. They needed a ship.
And a crew…

In hopes of saving the family they started in the future, Dianna and Henry must search for the family they left behind in the past and travel across the sea to an unknown world. But four years is a long time and things aren’t quite as they left them.

Can they sail across the sea and uncover the entrance to Faerie before it’s too late? Or will they find themselves broken hearted and lost in time with nowhere to go?

I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this book! If you have read my past book reviews, then you know I am in love with this time travel series, that has a pirate with a dark past, a strong and sometimes stubborn woman, a band of ragtag people who are fiercely loyal, magick, witches, sirens and more.

After the huge cliffhanger of book four, I started reading this as soon as I hand my ARC (advanced reading copy).

One thing I love about this series is that Candace’s writing is consistent,  it flows and there is always something happening. We are always on our toes with adventure, mystery, or some other plot that is a foot. If I didn’t know better, I’d say these novels are written as if she sat down, wrote an epic tale, and then decided to break it up into smaller novels. I always know what I am getting into when I read something by Candace. She is an excellent story teller and writer.

The story starts off with Dianna getting a threat of sorts from a siren. Return to the past, or have her children taken away from her. Instead of telling Henry, she tries to deal with things on her own, not wanting to worry him. And I think in her own way, she thought the siren would give up eventually. That is, until one day her children are missing.

Dianna and Henry are heartbroken, and must return to the past to find their babies. But things don’t go so well for them. Dianna ends up in the past, alone. Henry is nowhere to be found, she can’t find the kids and so she sets out to find her friends.

The reunion is bittersweet. Finn and Dianna prove that, no matter what, a true friendship can survive distance, secrets and the bad times. While Finn is thrilled to have her back, the same can’t be said for the others.

During the book, more secrets are revealed, a relationship put to the test, heartbreak and also in true Candace form, another cliffhanger. But that’s okay because there’s going to be a book six. 😉

I could ramble on and tell so many spoilers, but I think you should grab the book yourself and dive into this book! It’s now available wherever books are sold. Here are a couple of links:

Amazon

kobo

 

Another Spin Around The Sun

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2019

My feelings about 2019 summed up perfectly.

I think most of us can agree 2019 was for the pits.

Mr. C needed major surgery (and we are still waiting on biopsy results);  my mother is in hospital while waiting for a nursing home (and rapidly declining while she is there), several other loved ones got bad news, my depression was bad and my anxiety started getting out of control. Between hospital visits and the like, I became exhausted and I stopped taking care of myself.

If you are reading this and can take just one thing away, please let it be this: self care is important. I learned this the hard way.

But 2019 had light spots along the way. We learned who our true friends were, D&D nights are the best way to spend time with friends, and our Greyhound is still coming out of her shell, even becoming a cuddle bug. We must be doing something right.

Thanks to a doctor I spoke to when getting a med refill, she referred me to mental health, and now I am doing a program called ICAN, which is helping me gain control of my anxiety. It’s forced me to take care of myself, and I am starting to feel like my old self again, a little at a time. (My couch is amazing. He’s helped me more then he could ever know).

The end of 2019 has had me gaining control and getting organized. While I have said before I don’t do resolutions for the new year, I do plan to continue my progress for 2020. Staying more positive, continuing to work on my anxiety, and getting back to the things I love. I have started a book club and have made a plan to get organized in the new year. Change and progress doesn’t happen overnight. But I am feeling pretty good about the new year.

Hello 2020, I look forward to meeting you.

Book Review: Wicked Magic

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Earlier this month I read an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Wicked Magic (A touch of Darkness, book 1) , written by Candace Osmond and Rebecca Hamilton.

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Every Wicked Born must accept whatever fate the Sorting Ceremony grants them…

Being the Daughter of a Light High Priestess means Lydia Laveau has one fate: the life of a light witch. But when her ceremony chooses her for the Dark Faction—something deemed impossible—her world crashes down around her.

Soon, Lydia finds herself wrapped up in a clandestine whirlwind of blackmail, illegal magic, and betrayal. She has one goal: keep her head down, get through her five year pledge at the school for dark witches, and return to the human world she calls home.

But when she meets Anson Abernathy, a drop dead gorgeous third year Wicked Born accused of murder, she finds herself drawn to him…and all the danger that comes with their attraction.

Can Lydia survive her five-year pledge without unraveling centuries of tradition? Or will her own secrets unlock answers that threaten her very existence

I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this novel. Being a fan of witches, magick, books like Harry Potter, I knew I would love this book from the start. It did not let me down! It was so good, that when I finished the roller coaster ride I would have lit a cigarette if I smoked. 😉

Lydia is certain of her life and its path. Turn eighteen, have her sorting ceremony, attend Arcane Academy and then get back to the human world and be a reporter with her best friend. But her life and her plans make a drastic turn when she is sorted into the Dark Faction, instead of the Light.

She is thrown into a world where she can’t trust anyone, aside from the small few who befriend her. But even when it comes to them she can’t know who to fully trust. Her fellow students dislike her, as she’s not ‘one of them’. On top of that she falls for Anson, who allegedly murdered another student, and the Dark Dean is pressuring her into an event she wants nothing to do with. Lydia is trying to find her place, get through her five years, but it’s hard when she’s being black mailed over a secret she can’t risk getting out.

Wicked Magic flows so well, is full of twists and surprises, and kept me wanting more. I needed to know the answers: who could Lydia trust, what was Anson really capable of and what are the Dark Dean’s real motives.

I can’t wait for book two, and to see what fate has in store for Lydia.

 

 

Hello, it’s me again…

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Well, I can’t remember the last time I was here. I think at the time I was having a hard go of things.

To be honest, my 2019 haven’t been so hot. And from what I hear from people I talk to, it has been the same for many people. If you are one of those people, I feel for ya. If not, well I am glad at least someone has been having some good luck.

I have put myself and my health on the back burner. Over the last couple of months, my hubby has been dealing with some health issues. Life has become a series of hospital stays, doctor appointments, praying to God and the universe, on top of daily life.

My anxiety went through the roof. But I am happy to say that part is improving, thanks to a doc who referred me to mental health as well as a program called ICAN.

I have a much more positive outlook for 2020 🙂 I plan to get back to my book reviews (one coming soon!), starting a book club and getting organized in my daily and writing life. I have already started the declutter by removing an obscene amount of people from my Facebook.

If you have stuck around, I thank you 🙂 More fun and positive posts coming soon and in the new year!

The World Sucks Sometimes

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I’m having a hard time, folks.

Usually when I come on here, I talk about my favorite things: A book review, a comic con trip or something writing related. This is my little place to chat about things I love.

But today I need to talk about something else. I have all these emotions and I don’t know what to do with them.

My faith in humanity is waning.

I used to think if I ever won the lotto, I would quit my job, buy a cozy cabin in the country and work on my writing. It was a nice happy thought. A place by the water, where I would have the best view of my private paradise.

But now when I think about that it’s my idea of escaping the outside world. Every time I turn on the news, I see something awful. Facebook is full of horrible stories. A dog (Galgo) found hung up in an empty building, the orangutan shot over 70 times (I HATE animal abuse). I see stories of children being murdered, the environment going to shit and increased violence and racism.

It all makes me sick. And it feels like it is all I ever see and hear.  It really gets to a person after awhile. Maybe I am the only one who feels like this, but I am sick of this shit. I don’t understand how people can do so much nasty shit. Who has the sick mind to string up a dog? How can someone hate another just because their skin tones don’t match? And how can a grown ass person think it is ok to beat a senior citizen?

I don’t mean to be a Negative Nelly here. I really don’t. I’m just trying to make sense of things and sort out my emotions. I am cursed with the fact I am far too empathetic. Well, on days like today it feels like a curse.

I guess all I can do is share the good news stories, and put as much good out in the world as I can.

 

For The Writer Who Loves-or Needs!- to be Organized

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I don’t know about you, but as a writer I have everything EVERYWHERE. Random pieces of paper fill my desk, purse, and even pockets. When I have an idea and can’t get to a notebook I grab whatever I can.

I also have all my notes scattered. A variety of notebooks have ideas, blog posts, things to do etc…I can’t keep everything in one spot.

For the last little while, planners have become an addiction for some people. There are all sorts of templates, print outs, and even Youtube videos about how to make your planners functional and pretty.

I have looked at all sorts of planners but I haven’t found one for writers. And on the rare time I do, they are lacking something. I wanted a set/planner that covered all the basics of writing life.

I gave up on finding such a thing until yesterday. My friend announced her most recent secret project, and it makes my little writing heart happy.

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The Writer’s Complete Planner All sorts of pages for the writer who needs to get orgainzed!

Sherry started a new Etsy shop called Writers Corner Shop, and is selling the planner pages she has created.

The pages cover many of the basics, from story boarding, blog posts, goal list, self publishing tracker as well as traditional planner must haves like a calendar and bonus: beautiful divider pages with inspirational quotes. The kit contains 35 different pages to help you sort out your writing life.

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The pages are beautiful!

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You have your choice of grey scale or colored pages. You can print these off without it being an ink guzzler! 

The full set, which is available as an instant download, is just $12! If you’re interested in grabbing these up for yourself or checking out the store, you can check out The Writer’s Corner shop and see what’s what!

Book Review: Greyhound of the Baskervilles

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Greyhound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle with some new bits by John Gaspard

My husband knows how much of a crazy dog lady I am. Sometimes while he is working away, he sends me random surprises. So finding this book in my mailbox one afternoon made my day. I just finished reading it and writing a review for a newsletter for a greyhound group I’m in, so I thought I would share here.

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This is new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
It’s the same story. Mostly. That is, it contains the same characters, the same action, and much of the same dialogue.
What’s different?
Well, it’s a little shorter, a little leaner, a little less verbose in some sections.
But the chief difference is that it’s now narrated by a dog. A greyhound, in fact, named Septimus.
In this new edition, he tells his story of how he became “The Greyhound of the Baskervilles.”

Legend has it that the Baskerville family are cursed to be murdered by a demonic hound that lives upon the moor. So when Henry Baskerville is the next heir set to move into the family home in Devonshire, there are worries that his life is in danger. Holmes sends Watson and Septimus to go with Henry, and start an investigation into the truth behind the hell hound.

.I was very pleased to discover that the book is in the point of veiw of Septimus, the greyhound that Sherlock rescued. Septimus takes his job seriously, as he knows he plays an important role in helping his master solve crimes.

The creepy atmosphere is perfect for this mystery. The moor, the fog and curious neighbors all combine well for this tale.

I highly recommend this book for any bookworm who loves dogs, especially greyhounds. I love the classics but I find sometimes they can be a bit verbose, so I enjoyed this leaner version. I was chuckling in the first few pages at Septimus. Like any dog, he worries he will starve to death one day (even though he is very well fed) and he can be stubborn (who wants to walk in the rain?!)

Does Septimus help save the day? Does the hell hound exist and who really wants the Baskervilles dead? You will just have to get a copy and find out yourself. 😉

I found this cartoon by Richard Skipworth, which I found very fitting. 😉

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Book Review: Reigning Magicks by Candace Osmond and J.J. King

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An Irish witch from the past. A Romani sorcerer from the future. And a bond of love that stretches across the threads of time.

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Ashlynn is an Irish princess, set to sit on her father’s throne and rule her people. The only problem is: an arranged marriage she wants nothing to do with. She wants the clans to unite, but not by marrying because of duty. She seeks the seer, in hopes of finding another solution to her problem.  But it just creates a new one: thanks to a spell gone wrong, Ashlynn is thrust over three hundred years into the future. Not only does she have to adjust to this new world, she needs to figure out why the spell went wrong and how she can get back to her own people.

Cian is a Roma prince, set to marry in just two weeks.  He is set on this duty to unite the clans, that is until Ashlynn comes along. She is unlike his fiance Serena, who is a vile woman set  on the power their marriage will give her. Cian makes it his mission to help Ashlynn but in the process her falls in love with her.

Did the spell really go wrong, or was it destiny? How can Ashlynn get back to her own time and how can Cian get out of a marriage without causing a war between the clans?

Reigning Magicks is currently in the Rite to Reign box set, which I have just started reading. In the near future it will be available as a stand alone novel!

I am really impressed with this book. Co-authoring isn’t easy, but these two make it look seamless! I forgot that two creative women wrote this book as I was reading. The style and flow of the writing was consistent throughout the story. Each character voice stayed true. Their hard work has really paid off. This is book one in their A Witch In Time series and I am really excited for book two!

 

Something For Fans of Candace Osmond

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Last year I read and reviewed the Dark Tides series by Candace Osmond. I fell in love with these books. I found myself lost in the world of pirates, time travel, magick and adventure. These best selling books are for any fantasy lover, especially fans of Outlander and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Candace has something special for her fans, as well as those who have yet to discover this series. She has put together a collection that contains all four books (The Devil’s Heart, The Blackened Soul, The Pirate Queen, The Siren’s Call) PLUS a brand new short story!!!

The short story features Benjimin Cook, the pirate once living on a cursed pirate ship with his brother. The story gives insight to his thoughts as well as whets the appetite for more. I have a feeling the new short story and the future book five will connect. I think I figured out one connection but won’t say here: you will just have to read the series and short story yourself!

If you want to nab this collection, head  over here to grab yours!

If you want to check out my reviews on this series, you can find them here:

The Devil’s Heart

The Pirate Queen

The Blackened Soul

The Siren’s Call

I will be sure to update you on any future Dark Tides news!