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Book Review: The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser

If you’re looking for a book that carries you along by the seat of your pants, setting you down only to land on your head, then check out The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser.

Note:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  I will always give you my honest opinion on something before linking to it.

I knew from my previous encounter with one of Neviaser’s books, You Dear, Sweet Man, to expect the unusual.  At first, however, this book seems like a fairly “normal” journey of a man and his fellow passengers after their plane crashes and they’re lost at sea.  We get just a taste of the background of each character as they’re introduced, and it’s just enough to keep the reader wondering why these particular people become a part of the story.

During their time at sea, this book reminded me a lot of Life of Pia novel that has stuck with me for many years for its stunning imagery and tone.  The Mystery of Flight 2222 pulled me in, making me wonder just how these people were going to get through their ordeal.  It was at times frightfully realistic and disturbingly uncomfortable, but I couldn’t put it down.

It’s not until the very end that the real twist–the one I’ve come to expect now from the author–comes along.  I won’t spoil it for you.  Go find out for yourself.

What I Loved:  Deep, realistic characters, fantastic imagery, and a dynamic plot.

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  At first, I wished the characters had a little bit more depth on their backgrounds as they were introduced.  By the end, I realized that this was completely intentional.  While this isn’t your standard Hollywood ending–and I admit I do like a good Happily Ever After–it was the perfect conclusion.

Rating and Recommendation:  If you like a good adventure and survival story that’ll throw you for a loop at the end, I highly recommend The Mystery of Flight 2222.

Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Book Review: A Class Entwined (A Matter of Class Book 2)

What do you love in a story?  Is it one that makes you laugh and cry?  One with both romance and adventure?  A tale that transports you to another time and place with vivid detail and excellent description?  How about a book that you can’t stop reading because you want to see how it ends, and yet you never want it to end?  A Class Entwined is all that and more.

From the Back Cover:  Trapped in a loveless marriage far from home, Bridget does what she can to fill her lonely days. She throws herself into charitable work, but her cherished daughter, Emily, is her only true source of happiness.
Meanwhile, Cormac’s own life unravels and he finds himself doing unspeakable things just to survive.
Neither of them dream they will ever meet again, but fate brings them back together in the most unexpected of ways.
Can Bridget rediscover her love for the man Cormac has become? And how will Cormac react when he learns Bridget’s secret?
A Class Entwined is the second book in Susie Murphy’s A Matter of Class series.

A Class Entwined

Note:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  I will always give you my honest opinion on something before linking to it.

In the continuation of A Class Apartauthor Susie Murphy picks up the story of Bridget and Cormac.  I absolutely adored the first in the series!  When I found out the sequel was about to be released, I literally jumped up and down and clapped my hands.  I couldn’t wait for more.

I wasn’t disappointed.  A Class Entwined picks up with the same engaging characters, captivating scenery, and heart wrenching storyline.  While I can’t say that I did any fact-checking, it’s obvious Murphy did a lot of research to make this story come alive.

Susie Murphy.jpg

What I Loved:  Everything!  Really!

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  I honestly don’t have a single complaint about A Class Entwined, except that I wish I’d written it myself.  Susie Murphy is becoming one of my favorite authors.

Rating and Recommendation:  If you love romance and historical fiction, I highly recommend both A Class Apart and A Class Entwined.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Five golden stars isolated on white background

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Blog tour schedule

Friday 1st February

The Lit Bitch

Suzy Approved

Saturday 2nd February

Ashley O’Melia

Book Reviews for U

Sunday 3rd February

Pursuing Stacie

History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday 4th February

Lisa Reads Books

Books of All Kinds

Tuesday 5th February

Coffee, Books and China Cups

Celticlady’s Reviews

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: A Husband for Christmas by Paty Jager

Do you ever stumble across a book that looks good, download it to your Kindle, and then never get around to reading it?  Just me?  Okay.  I’ll work on that.

At some point, I downloaded A Husband for Christmas by Paty Jager.  The only real reason I didn’t get around to reading it right away was that I don’t really like reading Christmas stories at any other time of the year than December. But when I found myself in a bit of a book hole just after Thanksgiving, that forgotten download was around to save the day!

a husband for christmas cover

Note:  I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  I will always give you my honest opinion on something before linking to it.

From the Cover:

Shayla Halsey wanted to be home for Christmas, but never imagined her travels would include spending the night in a brooding stranger’s cabin. Snowballing events cause her to look inside herself and recognize maybe it wasn’t being home she wanted as much as it was to have a home.

Mace Walker has his life in order and doesn’t want it disrupted again. Yet, when he discovers a woman stranded in the snow, he has to help her—despite her overbearing and reckless fiancé. In a matter of days, Shayla turns his life upside down and forces him to decide if he should leave town or face the consequences.

What I Loved:  A Husband for Christmas is a novella, so it’s a nice quick read.  It’s the final in a series, but it stand well enough on its own that I didn’t feel I was missing out by not having read the rest of the books.

The characters, if a bit stereotypical, have very distinct personalities.  It’s easy to distinguish between them, something I always appreciate in a book.

When it comes to descriptions and scenery, I definitely felt as though I was transported to Oregon in 1904.  To make it even better, this was sprinkled in throughout the story so that it was never overwhelming or boring.

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  Honestly, there isn’t much!  As mentioned above, a few of the characters were stereotypical, but that’s something that’s difficult to develop further in a shorter book.

Rating and Recommendation:

This is a great book for anyone who enjoys historical romance.  The Christmas element was there, but not so much that you couldn’t read it any time of the year.  It’s a sweet book with a happy ending (yay!) that I highly recommend.

Five golden stars isolated on white background

Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

 

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Book Review: Bridge of the Gods by C.J. Rose

Hey, everyone!  I hope your new year is going great!  As usual, I’ve been using this time to get some things back on track, and I’ve dropped the ball on my blog over the last several months.  So, to kick things off, let’s get back to book reviews!

Bridge of the Gods: A Generation Son Chronicle (Generation Chronicles Book 1) by [Rose, C.J.]

Note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  I will always give you my honest opinion on something before linking to it.

I recently finished Bridge of the Gods by C.J. Rose.  This book was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.  Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

Move over Percy Jackson; Luthor McAlester is here. Bridge of the Gods, the first book in the Generation Chronicles series, follows Luthor McAlester, a teenage boy living in San Diego, California. His father, dying when he was a child, left him to become man of the house, to care for his mother and younger sister. On his 18th birthday he discovers a power that has been held dormant until now; unsure what to do with it in the absence of his father’s guidance. His best friend Gwen, who claims to be oblivious, knows more than she is telling. With just the help of his best friend, can Luthor figure out how to use his power and help the Gods like they ask? Or will the lack of guidance from his father prove to be more than Luthor can handle?

What I Loved:  I’m always up for a coming-of-age story that holds some magic in it.  My favorite books are those that take real-world people and inject something different and extraordinary in their lives.  The idea of a boy who finds out he’s descended from the gods definitely fits that bill.

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  Unfortunately, I really didn’t enjoy this book much at all.  While the author definitely strove to jump into the action, I wish we could have had more of an established normal before things started.  And on the other side of that, even though the main character was seeing a change in his life right away, I was pretty bored by most of the book.  There was a lot of waiting, thinking about things, and reading.

Much of the wording seemed too stiff and formal for teens, and yet at other times it was far too lax.  I would’ve liked to see more consistency with this, though that’s not one of the main issues.

Bridge of the Gods really needs more editing.  Quotations around dialog were misused, there were missing words, and the tense wasn’t consistent throughout the story.  This makes it very difficult to get absorbed into the story.

This book is very similar to Percy Jackson.  While I understand that popular books often inspire authors, I felt it was a little too similar on some aspects.  I also feel that this book would be a lot more enjoyable if I had all this mythology memorized.  It was too hard to keep track of the characters, and even though some of the mythology was inserted here and there to help with the backstory, it was difficult to follow.

Rating:  Guys, I seriously don’t like to leave a bad review for anyone.  It breaks my heart as a fellow author, and I feel bad, but I just didn’t enjoy this book at all.  I had to force myself to read it to the end, because I didn’t feel it was fair to write a review without doing so.  It could be something incredible with a lot of development, but it’s just not there for me right now.

Golden star

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Interested in having your book reviewed?  Contact me.  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list for news and more!

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Book Review: Always Darkest by Jess and Keith Flaherty

What’s better than winning a book giveaway?  Maybe finding out that it’s a paperback (because I’m just an old-fashioned girl, after all)?  Or that it’s signed?  Or that it’s just really, really good.  Always Darkest was all of that and more.

From the Back Cover:  

Everybody loves a hero.
Everybody loves an antihero with a heart of gold.
Nobody loves a demon.
Nobody but Mal Sinclair, though she doesn’t know it.
Ben was just looking for a vacation from hell, but wound up finding his life’s purpose instead.
Always Darkest, Book I of The Arbitratus Trilogy, draws you into a world of angels and demons walking among us, a world where good and evil are not absolutes. An ancient prophesy sets the stage, but the players will decide the outcome.
And the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Always Darkest

What I Loved:  While I can’t say that I’m usually into the demons-and-angels genre, I really got sucked in by this book.  The premise was highly intriguing, especially as I started to get about a quarter of the way in.

One of the main characters is a demon, but he’s a surprisingly likable demon.  He’s easy to relate to, and I found myself rooting for him early on.  (What does it say about me that I’m on a demon’s side?)  But that was the case with several of the characters.  They had distinct personalities that made them memorable and delightful.

Interestingly enough, the book is written from an omniscient point of view.  This isn’t something I’ve come across very often, and I think it takes a lot of talent to pull it off successfully without making it seem like the author had just forgotten what POV he or she was using.  But the Flahertys really make it work.  It not only helps the depth of the book unfold, but also seems incredibly relevant considering the subject matter.  (Is God, in his omniscience, witnessing all of this?)

The descriptions are just wonderful!  I truly felt like I was in the story, whether I was meeting a character or exploring a new place.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“She had once been almost forbiddingly beautiful, but whatever she had been doing had corrupted her exterior and she was beginning to resemble her true nature; her former rich colors fading to grey, her teeth sharpening, her skin starting to crepe and sag.  She had all the warmth of a pit viper and made no secret of her contempt for demons.  The unblinking way she stared at him made Ben certain she was fantasizing about turning him inside out and leaving him hanging from a tree at midnight.”

“She spent some of her early years around New Englad, was born in Boston, but she had no memory of real time here, save for a vague sense she would like the smell of a Christmas tree in the house, and she might want to try her painfully underdeveloped artsy side by paining with her dad when the leaves changed.”  (Honestly, this is just a small part of about two pages that made me feel as though I was completely immersed in autumn.  Crisp air, sweatshirts, and hot coffee.  I loved it.)

“Life, after all, was cruel, and no one had ever promised him the afterlife wouldn’t be.”

I also have to say that any book that makes several mentions of Star Trek and mentions one of my favorite dishes to make that nobody has ever heard of (cassoulet) gets several points in my book.

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  Right at first, it’s a little difficult to keep track of the characters because there are so many demons, fallen angels, and other various roles.  Fortunately, this clears itself up after the first couple of chapters.

Also, I think this book might make a little more sense to me if I knew more about the Bible, but that’s all on me.

Most of all, I just hated that it had to end.  I’m ready for the next one!

Rating and Recommendation:  5 stars

If you like intrigue, romance, ancient history brought to life, fantastical creatures, great dialogue, battle scenes, and the way you feel in the pit of your stomach when the seasons change, then you’ll love Always Darkest.

If you don’t like any of that, then you must be dead.

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside Detective.  Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Be sure to check out the monthly giveaway!

Interested in having your book reviewed?  Contact me.  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list for news and more!

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  I will always give you my honest opinion about an item when linking to it.

 

 

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Book Review: A Class Apart by Susie Murphy

Romance, drama, suspense, and beautiful scenery reign supreme in A Class Apart by Susie Murphy.  I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

a class apart

From the Cover:  It’s 1828, and Ireland is in turmoil as Irish tenants protest against their upper-class English landlords.
Nineteen-year-old Bridget Muldowney is thrilled to return to the estate in Carlow she’ll inherit when she comes of age. But since she left for Dublin seven years earlier, the tomboy has become a refined young lady, engaged to be married to a dashing English gentleman.
Cormac McGovern, now a stable hand on the estate, has missed his childhood friend. He and Bridget had once been thick as thieves, running wild around the countryside together.
When Bridget and Cormac meet again their friendship begins to rekindle, but it’s different now that they are adults. Bridget’s overbearing mother, determined to enforce the employer-servant boundaries, conspires with Bridget’s fiancé to keep the pair apart.
With the odds stacked against them, can Bridget and Cormac’s childhood attachment blossom into something more?

What I Loved:  A Class Apart is a breathtaking piece of historical fiction that made me turn the pages so fast I thought my fingers might catch on fire.  The descriptions completely transported me.  The characters were clear, believable, and relatable.  There is genuinely something happening in every chapter, so this isn’t a tale of ladies sitting in the parlor and gossiping over tea.  The story encompasses the real truths that the people in Ireland had to face in their time, weaving a heartrending tale that’s impossible not to read.

I usually make notes as I read a book when I know I’m going to review it, but I didn’t want to put this book down long enough to do so.  There’s so much more I wish I could say about it, because A Class Apart deserves heaps of praise.  It’s a true testament to the fact that indie authors can and do take pride in creating literary art.

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  Nothing!  That it ended, maybe?  I want more!  Since this is noted as the first book in a series, I can’t wait for the next volume!

Rating and Recommendation:  If you love to see a place and time in history come to life, if you love romance, glorious prose, and a read that will keep you on your couch well past the time you should have gotten up to make dinner, then A Class Apart is for you.  I wish I could award more, but I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Be sure to check out the monthly giveaway!

Interested in having your book reviewed?  Contact me.  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list for news and more!

Once A Wanderer Cover - ebook

 

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Book Review – The Troubled Youth by Anthony Miner

When two people are forced to confront their past and their future all at once, how can they possibly handle it?  That’s what you’ll discover in The Troubled Youth by Anthony Miner.

From the Cover:  Jackson and Samantha live modestly in a small apartment in Upstate New York when tragedy strikes Jackson’s family back in his hometown of Lake Joy, Massachusetts. Now the couple, along with their two cats, pack up their lives to take care of the family he left behind years ago.
The Troubled Youth is a novel about the two of the most drastic parts of life; heartache and love. For Jackson, it follows his journey back to a place he long forgot with the added pressure of grieving over the loss of a loved one. And for Samantha, the story shows growth and pain of adjusting to a new life. As a couple, they will struggle and mature. But the more they seem to learn from each other, the more their past mistakes will come back to push them away.
Regular everyday life rarely offers a clear cut good and evil. There is just opinions mixed with choices. Read the story of this fiction and follow a realistic story of a young couple that make plenty of mistakes along their path to understanding the losses of loved ones and finding a life they never expected.

What I Loved:  There is a very real love between the two main characters that’s palpable throughout the book.  Despite all the problems they’re facing, it’s obvious just how much they care about each other and that their love is the central core of their entire being.

The Troubled Youth deals with the very real problems of adulthood.  While Jackson’s family tragedy is (hopefully) much more than most of us would ever have to deal with, it asks the questions:  What would we do if we had to make the toughest decisions in life?  Where do we draw the line when it comes to our loved ones?  Is there a line?

This book has a very distinct feel and tone to it that makes it incredibly real.  While the characters could have been sitting in any old kitchen, I immediately envisioned them as being in the house I grew up in.  That might not have been what the author intended, but it worked very well at keeping this a relatable story.

What I Didn’t Love So Much:  While the flashbacks do a great job of revealing the character’s backgrounds, they tend to jump out and take the forefront of the story.  For example:

At the very beginning, when Jackson is getting some horrible news, we take a big side step into the other times the main character has cried in front of his fiancé.  It feels like such an awkward thing to do at that moment, especially when the author begins talking about the montage at the Hall of Presidents at Disney World.  He mentions a speech by President George W. Bush right after 9/11, and I immediately opened a new tab to look it up.  I had completely forgotten about this particular moment, and it was quite moving just as the main character had promised.  I’m not sure, though, that this was the right place to bring it up.  It makes this whole section very jumbled.

Also, this book could have been better edited.  There were quite a few awkward sentences, as well as some incomplete sentences, missing words, or misplaced commas.  Sometimes the wrong tense is used.  Some of this is more acceptable than it might be in a different piece due to the casual tone of the book, but I still found it distracting.

Rating and Recommendation:  While there were some editing issues, I think overall this is a really great story.  I don’t typically go for real-life dramas, but I’m happy that I read it.  There’s something different about it, and it truly made me feel as though I was going back home and having to deal with all the consequences that come along with that.  I give The Troubled Youth 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a cathartic and emotional read.

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Interested in having your book reviewed?  Contact me.  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list for news and giveaways!

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