Strong Foundation and Adjusting to Married Life by Marcus & Ashley Kusi

First Year of Marriage: The Newlywed's Guide to Building a Strong Foundation and Adjusting to Married LifeFirst Year of Marriage: The Newlywed’s Guide to Building a Strong Foundation and Adjusting to Married Life by Marcus Kusi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you look for a book to give you advice about marriage you will have thousands to choose from. Expand that search to the Internet and you’ll add thousands of sites. Some claim to have all the answers or to know the perfect steps towards a happy marriage. So how do you know which book, or which site, you should turn to? Which steps should you adopt? My suggestion is to read whatever appeals to you and try out the various steps with your spouse while keeping your communication lines open. There isn’t a single book or site that fits every relationship but many of them have similar suggestions. This particular book is brief and written in a way to be easily understood. It has a blog feel to it which seems to be the next great way to get a book published. I like the outline style and bullet points to help separate each part. I like the quotations by other people and the long list of questions to open up discussions with your spouse. Overall this is a decent book for those looking to marry, recently married, or even those who have hit a rough patch and have no idea how to move forward. I wouldn’t recommend only reading this one book as I feel there are a great number of books out there with valuable information. Also, if your marriage is deteriorating it may be wise to seek counseling such as couples therapy. I received an ARC through the author in exchange for an honest review.

Miles Away by C.W.J. Henderson

Miles Away (Time Crisis Saga #1)Miles Away by C.W.J. Henderson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There are aspects of this book that I enjoyed and just as much that I didn’t enjoy. The writing is good without multiple grammatical issues which is a huge plus in my book. That said, the writing didn’t help with connections and at times made me want to either skip to the next chapter or pick a different book to read. Having raised two teenagers of my own and worked with troubled teens I found the constant negativity from Miles to be over the top. This negativity began to grate on my nerves about half way through the read. Parts of the book felt well thought through, even well researched, while other parts felt as though they were lacking any solid foundation. This is especially noticeable when referencing dated aspects, with some dating issues being more obvious to me and pulling me out of the read. I have mixed feelings about the science fiction explanations for time travel and how it supposedly would work. I don’t feel this will be a huge deterrent for YA readers, however I wouldn’t recommend this to YA readers due to the language usage by Miles. I don’t believe foul language does anything to add to a book and I certainly wouldn’t want my son reading this. Overall the plot is intriguing and with some minor fixes would fit well among other YA books. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The Tengu’s Game of Go (Book 4) by Lian Hearn

The Tengu's Game of Go (Tale of the Shikanoko, #4)The Tengu’s Game of Go by Lian Hearn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before you pick up this fourth book, read the first three. Hearn does an excellent job of keeping the various plot threads woven nicely throughout the four books, bringing them through to the conclusion of the tale and fourth book. I like that there are multiple characters and not just one hero. This makes for a much more satisfying read overall. The writing continues to be solid and well edited. I feel the conclusion is satisfying, especially for the style this is written in. I like the sizes (lengths) of each book as it makes it easier to carry one with you to read as there is time, unlike trying to carry a huge thousand page novel around. I like the Japanese myth feel to the whole story. I like the majority of the characters and how they are manipulated. Overall, this is an enjoyable series with a well thought through story line. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Lord of the Darkwood (Book 3) by Lian Hearn

Lord of the Darkwood (Tale of Shikanoko, #3)Lord of the Darkwood by Lian Hearn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 3rd of 4 books that need to be read in order otherwise you’ll miss out on important pieces and generally feel like you’ve stepped into the middle of something with no reference points. The writing continues to be well done and well edited. This installment provides valuable information as the plot temporarily slows down in order to incorporate this information. This can make it seem sluggish or even a tad bit boring if your main focus is forward driven action. What is learned here sets the stage for the final book where hopefully the various plot threads weave nicely towards the completion of the tale. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (Book 2) by Lian Hearn

Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (Tale of Shikanoko, #2)Autumn Princess, Dragon Child by Lian Hearn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read the first installment before you read this one. Think of the four book series as one continuous story that happens to be separated into separate books for ease of reading, not for division of plot or for any other reason. Where the first book introduced the reader to setting and characters, the second book continues to move the pieces into place with experiences, gains, losses, and so forth. The writing remains the same, well-written with good flow and maintenance of the various plot threads. The style fits the story. It was easy to become immersed in the read, which I found to be enjoyable, intriguing, and well constructed. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Missing by Lisa Harris

Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2)Missing by Lisa Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is going to become one of my favorite investigative characters. Nikki Boyd comes across as intelligent, resourceful, wise, and determined. I love the way Harris describes her and her surroundings, making everything feel realistic and authentic. The writing is strong and well-edited with no dips across the moral avenues. It’s refreshing to read something without worrying about what the characters are going to do behind closed doors, or out in the open as some novels present them. The plot has good flow and the strings are well thought through. This is one I can easily recommend to other readers. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

What Matters Most (Texas Gold #4)What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review by Sarah: “I absolutely loved reading What Matters Most! I didn’t realize it was a numbered book at first, but that really doesn’t matter since it’s not a story line that goes from book to book to book. Each book is its own story. I don’t think they should have added Texas Gold #’s to make it seem like a series. Anyway, the story was exciting in all the right places and I really like that there’s no preaching between the covers. I really like the strong central female character and how she sticks to her morals and roots. I love that she cares for family and tries to do what is right. I like the way things work out in the end.” We received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Honor Redeemed (Keys of Promise #2) by Christine Johnson

Honor Redeemed (Keys of Promise #2)Honor Redeemed by Christine Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As with Johnson’s first book in this series, the book starts out with plenty of promise. The main characters have a general fleshing out without going through too many layers. This gives places a bit of distance between the characters and the reader and makes it difficult to fully connect. Keeping the entire read light works for some readers but not others. The writing is clean and well-edited with no surprises in the form of low morals or extensive preaching. I like how the first book ties into the second although I’m not sure if reading the first book is a requirement or simply a recommendation. In any case, I feel the majority of Christian Fiction readers will enjoy this book. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Sea Rose Lane (Hope Harbor #2)Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a gentle slow moving story with an abundance of repeating retrospective thought. At times it was interesting while several times through the read I just wanted to skip several pages. This is an excellent choice for those looking for a calm summer read, keeping the blood pressure from spiking, while escaping from any sort of excitement. While the writing is excellent, the story and constant reminders of what the primary characters are thinking take away from the enjoyment. That’s not to say this is a terrible book. There are readers who can’t get enough of this type of read, and for them I highly recommend this book. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

To Follow Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

To Follow Her Heart (The Southold Chronicles #3)To Follow Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would recommend reading the first two installments prior to this one so you get the whole picture and why these characters make the choices they did, and why those choices held so much weight. That said, it is entirely possible to read this one without reading the first two and still having an enjoyable read. DeMarino’s writing style is elegant and flows nicely throughout the book. For me, it feels authentic and well researched. I like the way everything comes together towards the end, leaving a satisfying feeling. Overall this is a very good read, entertaining and enlightening without anything too thick or over the top. I received an ARC through Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn

The Emperor of the Eight Islands (Tale of Shikanoko, #1)The Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As with many first installments of a multiple book series, this one starts out a little sluggish but quickly reaches a decent pace. I found the various plot threads intriguing while feeling well researched. I have only a minor knowledge of Japanese folklore so I’m far from qualified to speak on that aspect. That said, I enjoyed the way it was presented and how it makes sense for the novel. The world-building is nicely done and the foundation for what drives the main characters is in place. The read is easy enough for all readers although I don’t feel this is aimed at younger readers. Overall this is an entertaining enjoyable read that reminds me of how old tales were once told. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Back to School Back to Books Giveaway

Not everyone is excited about getting back to school and hitting the books. Sometimes it can be difficult to find things to get excited about. Who doesn’t get excited about a chance to win $250 with such ease? It’s just a few clicks! Good luck!

Back to Books

Back to the Books $250 Cash Giveaway

August 17th to 27th

An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!

We’re giving away $250 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $250 Amazon.com Gift Code!

Sponsor List
I Am A Reader
Here We Go Again…Ready?
Hall Ways Blog
Kindle and Me
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Bound 4 Escape
Every Free Chance Books
Laurie Here – Cont Fiction and More
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Heather Boyd, Historical Romance Author
The Page Unbound
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Lori’s Reading Corner
Rice & Rocks, by Sandra L. Richards
Simple Wyrdings
D.S. Venetta
Author Dorothy Dreyer
Diana’s Book Reviews
MK McClintock
Books & Benches
Kasey Cocoa <— That’s me!
Heather @ Townsend House
Glistering Bs Blog
Paisley Piranha YA Book Blog
Cool Cat Mysteries
Bella Street Time Travel Romance
Bonnie Blythe Faith Based Romance
The Candid Cover
Talia Jager
Lise McClendon – Author
Laurie Here – Cont Fiction and More
FLYLēF

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash (alternately the winner can choose a $250 Amazon.com Gift Code)

Ends 9/7/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Just click —> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Maestro by R.A. Salvatore

Maestro (Homecoming #2; The Legend of Drizzt #29)Maestro by R.A. Salvatore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For fans of Drizzt, there’s no need to read on, just pick up the book and enjoy. Salvatore has perfected the tales of Drizzt and this one is just as entertaining and enjoying to read. My only complaint is the addition of the relationships on a sexual level. To me it just seems so pointless and takes away a great deal from the overall quality and enjoyment of this installment. To say anything else is to give away plot and give spoilers. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion, although my love for fantasy may have influenced my enjoyment of this read.

The Prelapsarians by John Gaiserich

The PrelapsariansThe Prelapsarians by John Gaiserich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a brutal read, in a good way. Nothing is held back and everything is shared, sometimes in almost painful to read detail. It took me a while to get through this book. Not because it was difficult to read or poorly written, for it is neither of those. Life gets in the way and sometimes other bookworms steal your reads! My son (23) loves dystopian, post-apocalyptic, survivalist type novels. When I set down the book in the living room, and ended up leaving it rest there while I handled life for a few days, he picked it up and kept it until he read it in full. From what I read, it was an intense story with gripping passages and situations, hard-core and no holds barred. When he returned it he said it was one of the best books he’s read in a long time; high praise coming from him. A man of few words, he simply said it was very detailed with a few gruesome parts, difficult to put down. So why not five stars? While the book is well-written and an excellent read, I feel it goes a bit too far with the depressing, brutal, violence and can be a bit overwhelming with the wealth of information. I may go as far as giving it 4.5 stars but in my opinion it’s not a 5-star read. I received an ARC through Smith Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Servalius Window by Claudia White

Servalius WindowServalius Window by Claudia White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a beautiful read bound by a beautifully crafted cover. While it may seem to be a quick read, White does a great job of pulling in the reader and taking them on a great ride. The writing is solid and enjoyable. I enjoyed reading this one, even though I found out later it was the third in a series. I didn’t feel lost or like I was missing out on important information although I would recommend reading all three books. Each part of the book, while clearly separate, are well linked without losing any of the flow. Young and old readers can enjoy this book equally, and that in itself is quite a feat. My son (11) also enjoyed reading this book and sharing moments with me. It’s a special moment when you can curl up with your child and share a book you both enjoyed reading. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.