Tag Archives: book review

Abridged Book Review: A Warrior’s Passion by Margaret Moore

I’m always a sucker for great historical fiction, but I’m the first to admit that these kind of covers often make me wonder just what I’m getting into when I blindly grab something off the shelf. A Warrior’s Passion by Margaret Moore was not a disappointment. The characters likable (except for the ones who were terrible and weren’t supposed to be likable), and the setting was fascinating. I always love traveling back in time, and the author did a great job of sending me there!


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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Abridged Book Review: Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

I know, another Nora Roberts. What can I say? They’re good! Midnight Bayou has magic, history, murder, and romance, all in a fantastic New Orleans setting. It’s yet another page turner from Roberts, and I was happy to have picked it up!


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, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Abridged Book Review: Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb

If you follow any of my book reviews, you know that I end up reading a lot of Nora Roberts. So, I figured that reading something under her pseudonym of J.D. Robb would also suit my fancy. I have to say this was a bit different, though.

While I completely understood that Immortal in Death was a different genre, I wasn’t expecting it to be so raw. The ‘seedy underbelly’ of a city in the future, the odd scenes of nudity, sex, and gore, and the rampant drug use just didn’t catch me. I love sci-fi, and I’m often wondering what things will be like in the future. They very well may be just like this, but Immortal in Death was trying so hard to be edgy that I barely ground through to the end. I won’t be reading any further into this series.


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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Abridged Book Review: Beguiled by Susan Spencer Paul

Historical fiction is always fun. There’s something great about romance that doesn’t involve cell phones or social media! In Beguiled, the characters have an even harder time communicating since the main female character Lillian can’t even speak. This was a great tale of an arranged marriage (with some intrigue, action, and mystery thrown in). The author did a great job of showing the depths of the two characters and building the tension between the two of them. It was very enjoyable!


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, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Abridged Book Review: Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell

I’ll be honest. I picked up Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell at a yard sale this summer. Yard sales are some of my favorite ways to find books, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed this time! It’s an engaging read with excellent character development and a thoroughly built setting. Was it a good idea for me to read a book about a murdered writer when I was home alone at night? Probably not, but I just locked the windows and kept reading!

Though this is the second in the series, it served perfectly well as a standalone novel. Even better, it made me want to read more! Luckily, I picked up a few other books at that same yard sale!


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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Abridged Book Review: Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Wow! If you want to find yourself completely transported to a new place and into other people’s lives, then I can’t recommend Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice enough. I was absolutely gripped by this book, and I can’t even say that I minded reading a wintery book in summer! Pilcher manages to create so much atmosphere with the little details in life, executed perfectly so that you barely know it’s happening. I’ll definitely be grabbing her other books to try out as well.


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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Abridged Book Review: Homeport by Nora Roberts

If you want to know a lot about art restoration or art theft, then I highly recommend Homeport by Nora Roberts! The characters are well-developed, revealing not only their own internal arc but all the family history that turned them into what they are. The story is surprisingly fast paced considering many of the scenes take place in a museum. 4 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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Book Review: The Akashic Records Made Easy by Sandra Anne Taylor

Once I’d spent some time with The Akashic Tarot and had gotten to know it pretty well, I decided I wanted to dive a little bit further into this idea of Akashic Records. To sum it up (in its absolute, most basic form) it’s the idea that not only have we lived multiple lives, but we can access those records and change them to help resolve our current issues. Since Sandra Anna Taylor was one of the authors of the card deck I was using, I picked up her book The Akashic Records Made Easy.

From the Back Cover:

A clear and simple guide to the incredible philosophy of the Akashic Records and the ways in which they can improve and transform our lives.

The Akashic Records are a spiritual library full of information about the world and everything in it – every person and event, past and present. Accessing the Records can help us to heal the past, get through present life challenges, release blocks and answer questions about our future.

Internationally renowned spiritual teacher Sandra Anne Taylor brings an introductory guide to this fascinating philosophy and teaches the reader:

– what the Akashic Records contain and how to access them
– how to travel the eternal timeline to investigate the past, present and potential future
– how past lives are influencing us today and what we can do to rewrite those records
– how we can use the Akashic Records to find our purpose, expand our talents and find greater success and joy in this life
– how to program future events within the records of this life and in lifetimes to come

What I Loved: I thought the idea of the Akashic Records was really interesting, and Taylor sounds like she’s done her research. She’s incorporated a lot of scientific and physics-based information into these chapters, showing that it’s a real possibility. The book includes information about the Akashic Records, how to access them, and even how to change them. Taylor also writes about real-life experiences that she and her clients have had with this process. There are multiple meditative exercises as well.

What I Didn’t Love: I really wanted to absolutely adore this book. I’ve done a few past-life guided meditations, and I found them to be amazing. It seems that it’s just not as effective in this format. There are meditations included in the book, but if you’d have to memorize the steps to really get the experience of it. I do see that there is a matching course offered by Hay House, but I’m not currently ready to shell out the money for it. I feel like there was a lot of potential here, but it just fell flat in book form. (And trust me, I absolutely HATE to say that. I always want a book to be the best way to get information!)

Rating and Review: While The Akashic Records Made Easy is informative and a decent introduction to the idea, I’ll be hard pressed to go back and read it again. There are some other guided meditations on YouTube, and perhaps after I try some of those I’ll be more inspired to dive into this with a little more depth. To be fair to the author, it can’t be easy to make other people understand such a big concept! 3.5 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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

Check out the tarot journal newly available from The Lost Manuscript Publishing Co.!

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Book Review: Rebellion by Nora Roberts

Do you ever get those advertisements in your social media feed along the lines of: If you love Outlander, you’ll love This Book! Rebellion would definitely fit in that category.

I have a huge pile of books that I have yet to read, and so I have a very specialized system when it comes time to pick out a new one: I close my eyes and grab something. This time, it was Rebellion. Historical fiction is always a fun genre for me, so I dove right in. And English man and a Scottish woman in 1745. The term Sassenach. Some other plot points that I can’t give away because it’d ruin the book completely. Oh, yes.

There are definitely some similarities, enough to make me go look up the publication years. Rebellion was written in 1988, which I figured was way before Outlander. Um, no. Outlander was first published in 1991. I wasn’t aware of it until sometime in the mid-2000’s, so that was a bit of a surprise to me. Granted, there’s not time travel in Rebellion, and any story that takes place at this time and location could easily have a lot of the same parallels, but I thought it was interesting nevertheless.

Now, on to the good stuff!

What I Loved: I mean, it’s Nora Roberts. You know it’s going to be pretty good. I’ve read plenty of her stuff (enough that I almost didn’t bother with an official review except that I just had to talk about the Outlander thing), and I’m never disappointed. The characters are deep, the settings are beautiful, and the story moves along with just the right combination of inner dialogue and action. It’s

What I Didn’t Love as Much: If there’s one thing Roberts does drive me crazy with it’s repeated words. We all do it sometimes, but and sometimes it can’t be helped. In this case, it was ‘pressed.’ That’s a pretty basic word, and one that might not be avoidable, but when it’s used once or twice a page for several pages in the same chapter it’s a bit much. I think a decent editor could have switched a few of those out.

Rating and Review: If you like historical fiction, and you love Outlander, then Rebellion belongs at the top of your TBR pile! 🙂 Seriously, though, it’s a pretty good book. 4 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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Book Review: A Class Coveted by Susie Murphy

You know that feeling when you read an amazing book that completely transports you to another time and place, and then you find out there’s going to be a sequel? And then you read the sequel and find out it’s just as amazing as the first? And then that happens all over again? And then again?

It’s a wonderful feeling, and it keeps happening every time I pick up the latest book in Susie Murphy’s A Matter of Class series! The most recent release is book 4, A Class Coveted, and it’s no less enticing than the first three.

The series follows the love story of Bridget and Cormac, two halves of the same soul who must constantly find ways to be together even as the world and society constantly try to tear them apart. Murphy creates such deep, involved characters that you feel as though you know them personally, and you struggle right alongside them as they deal with building their future in a new country while still grappling with their past.

From the back cover:

Their choices have shackled her dreams…

It’s 1836, and Bridget and Cormac have arrived, full of hope, to the city of Boston with their growing family. However, as they adjust to domestic life together for the first time, they face anti-Irish sentiment from the local Americans, as well as a threat to their happiness from a much closer source.

Cormac undertakes the challenging search for his missing sister, Bronagh. He is determined to do all he can to put the broken pieces of his family back together, but the appalling truth he uncovers will shake him to his core.

Meanwhile, as Emily grows up in this new country, she realises how her parents’ past actions will affect her entire future and she begins to covet that which is no longer within her reach. When she receives an unexpected proposition, will she be able to resist its temptation, despite the untrustworthy nature of the person behind it?

Often in my book reviews, I break it down into what I love and what I’m not so crazy about. The thing is, there’s really only one category here! I love it all! This entire series is historical romance at its best. It’s Outlander without the time travel, except that I’m absolutely traveling back in time while I read it. I can honestly say I squeal with delight every time I find out there’s another installment coming, and Susie has already announced that there will be a fifth book! The series is also being released as audiobooks, which is really exciting!

I highly recommend A Class Coveted to anyone who enjoys living in the past for a while and getting caught up in a sweeping romance that will stand the test of time.

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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 Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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