Review: All that Makes Life Bright

all that makes life bright cover

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her new husband, Calvin, is completely supportive and says she must be a literary woman. Harriet’s sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but Harriet is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed–being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman’s life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband’s heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.

Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.

Can their love endure, especially after -I do-? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?


My Review

I’m one of those readers out there that knew very little about Harriet Beecher Stowe.  I knew she was an early American author, but that was it.  So I began this book with no expectations, other than I expect good things from author Josi S. Kilpack.

This book is one of Shadow Mountain’s A Proper Romance, and I was delighted to be allowed to receive an ARC.

One of the things I enjoyed about this fictional account of Harriet’s early married life as that she was very real. All those feelings of inadequacy, of being overwhelmed with domestic duties, of being a wife, of motherhood–all those are real.  As well as the very real need to write, and to create.

When Harriet marries widower Calvin Stowe, she embarks on a new chapter in her life. Both of them have to find the intricate balance on this path of life.   And Harriet could not have made the difference she did had her role been different, and this book does a wonderful job on showing the wisdom God has in who he calls to the task.

As a side note, at the end of the book, Ms. Kilpack shares info on what parts were real, and which were fictionalized.

 

ericablinky2kari_read2iwelcomecommentsblinkie1_otto-1

 

Advertisements

Review: Dongeng by Anna Tan

 

dongeng
click to buy on Amazon

Exiled. Powerless. The world he grew up in is changing—he feels it, feels the devastation being wrought. But what can he do so far away from home?

 

Lost. Afraid. She’s being enlisted to help save Alam Dongeng—a magical world she knows little about. How can she tell stories she doesn’t even know?

Worried. Confused. He’s long forgotten his grandfather’s stories—it’s familiar, but he’s never really believed in them. Why should he start now?
~
Dongeng tells the story of Sara and Helmi’s awakening to magic in their own country. There’s a war to protect Alam Dongeng, helmed by the Orang Bunian and Garuda. But are the ranks of Hantu really their enemies? They may very well be fighting the wrong battle.

A sequel to Coexist, Dongeng draws you into a whole new realm of fairy tales.

Roxbury Books Rating: PG


My Review:

This was my  first look at Maylasian fairytales, so  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I appreciated the descriptions, although I did wish a few times for a glossary.

Over all, I enjoyed the story. I liked Sara and Helmi, and their relationship. I liked Helmi’s parents. I liked how Sara linked the fairy lands of the West with those of Asia.

Some parts of the were confusing, especially when it was filling in the backstory.  By the end I could piece things together. I feel like the wrong characters were center stage to what could have been a stronger story about Abdul Mansoor and Aria.

I am a fan of blending cultures. After all, we share a beautiful world. Different families come together and create new families, blending together what was, what is, and what will be.

I definitely would love to learn more about Maylasia, and her stories.

Thank you, Anna Tan, for this wonderful story.

 

ericaglitter1sm

readfantasya1

 

Review: The Yard Sale by Shirley Jamiel

the yard sale

Synopsis: It was late fall and the family decided to have a yard sale to make some extra spending money. Little did they know their most valued treasure would be stolen. Who took 5 year old Cindi and how does the family pull together to solve her mysterious disappearance?

Roxbury Book Rating: R   Contains reference to a sexual crime against a minor.

 

 

 


My Review:

This is an inspirational story about family and faith.

It is written in third person omniscient, and that might throw off some modern readers. We never fully get into the characters heads as the narrator shares their thoughts and what is going on. There’s bits of info dumping, but the info is pertinent, and it is easy to follow when the POV shifts.

There are multiple mentions of faith, God, and prayer.

Possible Spoiler Alerts below.

I really liked the character Cindi. She’s a smart 5 year old, and her quick thinking really saves her. There’s one scene in which the kidnapper stops at cheap motel for the night. While the reader is aware what the evil man is up to in the bathroom, and what his intentions are for the child, it never goes into detail. Due to the nature of the crime I would rate the book  R.

Despite the nastiness of the scene, this is one of the scenes that Cindi starts to really shine. When the evil man joins her in the room, he’s not aware that she has hidden herself under the bed, and that the shape in the bed is her doll.  One of my favorite scenes though is when she drops a pack of  allergy pills into his drink and is able to escape.

At the time of my writing this, there are a few typos and format issues with the book. But these are minor and should not interrupt the flow of the story.

This book is currently available at B&N,  Apple, and Kobo.

 

 

 

 

Kbooks Blog Party

Special Note: All links may not be functional until August 18.

kcondragon1_authors_hosted1

Welcome to the First Annual K-Book Party.

This is your first stop on the Blog-hop.

The K stands for Korea! It’s what is in our Seoul. (Ok, bad pun. But if you smiled it was worth it.)

Each of our attending authors has something in common. We love something about South Korea. For some of it is the music. For some it is the often gut wrenching TV dramas. For others it is the food. Or maybe it’s everything.

We’ve asked each participant to share what drew them into writing Kpop or Kdrama inspired fiction. Please visit their individual stops for special contests.


Roxbury Authors 

kcondragon2_kdramabook1JennieRATED
Jennie is a panelist at Kcon.   Sign up for mailing list to enter our $110 gift card raffle!
kcondragon2_kdramabook1PGRATED_erica
Free books when you join  my mailing list. Learn more by vising my webpage.

Our Special Guests at the Roxbury

kcondragon2_kdramabook1PGRATED_mitta
Mitta’s books are free. Get them on Smashwords
kcondragon2_kdramabook1PGRATED_devonandcornwall
Kdrama Bloggers and authors of K-Love (A Korean Drama Series Book 1)
kcondragon2_sarahg
Sarah is raffling copies of her book! And some aweseome Kpop Swag! Visit her on facebook.

kcondragon2_VictoriaSmith

Note on the Ratings.

I’ve based them on movies.

Roxbury Ratings are in some instances based on reading the entire book, and in the case of the R ratings, are based on information provided by the author. Readers are encouraged to check the samples provided by Amazon/retailers before buying.

PG – Mild. Suitable for most audiences.

R- Restricted. Contains material not suitable for younger readers. This includes explicit content.


Enter Jennie and Erica’s raffle here.

Raffle is now Closed. Winners have been notified.

$110 iTunes or Amazon gift card to get your favorite Kpop tunes.

Signed paperbacks of the Kpop Romance Series by Jennie Bennett

Readers choice of two ebooks by Erica Laurie

And don’t forget to join Jennie’s mailing list.  (Joining will give you access to the raffle AND bonus entries for the grand prize of the $110 gift card!) Click here to subscribe. Then click on the raffle.

 

 

Disclaimer: This raffle is brought to you by The Roxbury Dragons.  Our Kbooks party is not a part of Kcon, or associated with it.

Book Review: K-Love (A Korean Drama Series, Book 1)

KloveChase has been set up. She finds herself on a blind date with a Korean hottie, and all because her mom obsessively loves Korean romance dramas. It turns out that Daniel Bak is actually really dreamy, but things take a turn for the worse when Chase happens upon stolen research on her university professor’s laptop. It throws her into the arms of wealthy corporate heir Hyun Tae, who also happens to be Daniel’s best friend.

Caught between both men, and hunted down by a vengeful CEO, Chase must rely on Hyun Tae’s protection. But when the drama settles, where will her heart land?

BUY

 

 


My Review:

I loved this book. I loved Chase’s mother, Chase, Hyun Tae,  Daniel, and Jooh Suh.  Each character fit in nicely.

There were a few things to note: the authors are human. There are a few errors (omissions and typos.)  I mention this only so that readers that have trouble turning off their internal proof-reading app, they are aware, so that hopefully the little hiccups won’t distract too much from an otherwise fun story.

The other issue would be there’s Korean phrases written out so readers could attempt to pronounce it, but no translation was given. This does not distract too much from the story though. (But moving forward I would hope a glossary is added.)

Overall, this was an excellent book. If you like Korean dramas, you’ll enjoy this. If you like adventure and romance together, you’ll like this. However unlikely a romance is between an American college student, and a Korean chaebol (rich heir to a big company), or celebrity is, this is still fun. After all, aren’t books supposed to give us a break from daily life and allow us to dream?

Chase’s mother asks Korean student, Kim Hyun Tae if he’d go on a blind date with her daugher, Chase. He says no, but his best friend Daniel says yes. And so begins the simple love triangle present in many Kdramas.

Chase meets Hyun Tae first, and this should have been a hint to me that he was the actual male lead. (I couldn’t decide at first if it was Hyun Tae or Daniel, because of which one accepted the blind date.) He’s polite, she’s a klutz.

Daniel asks her out on the blind date via a text, while she’s in heading to her first class–gym. There she meets Daniel. (Kdrama watchers, you can probably guess how that goes.) Daniel recognizes her, but doesn’t introduce himself yet. This boy has a secret to keep, and he plans to keep it.

Of course, love never runs smooth. We have spies, and a company take down in the works, all while Chase, Hyun Tae, and Daniel have to navigate love.

Grab your copy, and let me know what you think. 🙂

You can visit Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall at their blog.

Kbook Blog Party August 18-25th

kcondragon1_authors_hosted1

Save the date for our first annual Korean-drama book party!

This year we are timing it to celebrate #Kcon.

So, put in your favorite Kpop tunes, and come prepared to win some fabulous prizes, and find some books.

 

Disclaimer: Roxbury Dragons is not associated with Kcon. Some of the authors and books featured write for a mature audience. Reader discretion is advised.  Prizes are offered by individual authors, and delivery of said prizes are the sole responsibility of the author.

Review: Lies Jane Austen Told Me

liesjaneaustentoldme

Synopsis as seen on GoodReads:

Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she’s been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she’s good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake’s younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can’t understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake’s arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn’t until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas’s biological niece.

Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it’s time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it’s time for him to love her back.


My Review:

I enjoyed this book. The story was entertaining. The ending was adorable.
I did find some of Emma’s inner dialogue a bit redundant. It made it harder to see her growth, which for me was the downside of the book.
Overall an entertaining read, that I would recommend.

This book is schedule for release November 7, 2017, from Shadow Mountain Publishing.

Fantasy Boxset

fireandfantasyboxset
Pre-order on Amazon

Mystical Lands. Epic Adventure. Enchanting Characters.

FIRE & FANTASY will have your imagination soaring as you charge headfirst into this enchanting collection of 20+ brand new and existing fantasy reads packed with daring quests, bewitching legends, and dark magic!

Embark on sweeping adventures alongside fiery dragons, mystical mermaids, enchanted faeries, warring witches, demons, elves, and sword-wielding heroes as they face forces of evil and fight for the fate of their worlds!

With over a million words of original Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, and Sword and Sorcery Fantasy from more than twenty bestselling and award winning authors, prepare to lose yourself in the high-stakes fates of lovers, heroes, and villains.

UNLEASH THE MAGIC IN FIRE & FANTASY and enter the worlds of the most creative fantasy authors when you PreOrder Today!

Including exclusive material from the following authors:
Award-Winning author CK Dawn
USA Today bestselling author Alicia Rades
Michelle Lynn and Michelle Bryan
Award-Winning authors Yelena Casale & Tina Moss
Kindle Scout Winner Cassandra Sky West
Kris Austen Radcliffe
Award- Winning author Jessica Cage
Sharon Rose Mayes
Award-Winning author Wendy Knight
D.N. Leo
Kassandra Lynn
Steve Turnbull
Award-Winning author Charlene A. Wilson
Eileen Enwright Hodgetts
Award-Winning author Meg Xuemei X
Jason Paul Rice
Joss Dey
Axelle Chandler
JC Kang
Samuel Stokes
Frost Kay
USA Today bestselling authors JA Culican & Felicia Starr


My Notes:

I’m only familiar with JC Kang’s works, so I made sure to grab a copy of this boxset for myself.  (For 99 cents you can’t beat the price, and I’ll be able to check out some other talent.)  His fantasy worlds are richly developed, and totally worth checking out.

You can visit his Amazon author page here.

jckang

 

#Kcon Event

Are you excited for the Kcon Kpop and Hallyu extravaganza? (Click here for the schedule.) From what I’m hearing, it’s going to be spectacular. There’s discussion panels, games, concerts, and more!

Author Jennie Bennett is going to be at the fan-fiction panel, so we are going to celebrate all things #Hallyu with some some delightful reads.

And because this is a book website, I’m going to feature books!

Jennie is the author of four Kpop Romances.

 

She’s also one of the bloggers behind Dramas with a Side of Kimchi. (It’s up for an Assa!아싸! Award. You can learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/assaawards/)

I also have a selection of fairy tale fantasies.

 

 

And Mitta has a selection of sweet contemporary romances, that are free.

 

You may also be interested in our other Asian romances by Liwen Ho, and  Ines Bautista-Yao.

 

And don’t forget to enter our giveaway!