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Review: Never That Far

never that far.jpgLibby Lochewood is twelve years old in 1967 when her grampa dies of a heart attack. She is devastated at losing her best friend. Now that Grampa’s passed on, it’s just her and her father, and he is so overcome by grief that he can barely get out of bed in the morning.

The night of the funeral, though, Grampa’s spirit appears in Libby’s bedroom and tells her three important things: first, that she isn’t alone or forgotten–“The dead ain’t never that far from the living,” he says; second, that she has “the Sight”–the ability to see family members who have died; and three, that there is something special just for her in the lake. Something that could help her and her father–if she can find it. He kisses Libby on the cheek and vanishes in a soft glow of light and color.

Libby begins her search along with her friends Bobby and Martha, but it’s hard to know if they’ve found what Grampa wanted her to find since they don’t really know what it is. As Libby’s father falls deeper and deeper into depression, Libby and Grampa work together on a plan to help her father believe that their loved ones who have died are much closer than he thinks. But it will take all of Libby’s courage and her gift of Sight to convince her father and help him believe that the dead are never truly gone.

Never That Far is set in the lush, rural landscape of southern Florida and is a middle-grade novel about friendship, hope, and the power of family love.


My Review:

I want to start off by saying, I cried with this book. I feel very lucky that I had an ARC provided by Shadow Mountain.

Uniquely written, this story unfolds as you listen to the main character talk. (She has a style that takes you to another time and place.)  She has the gift of seeing those who have died, and during her journey after the loss of her grandfather she will heal her remaining family. This book is full of hope.

This book is about an amazing treasure called family.

BUY

This book releases March 6, 2018.

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Review: Shahly’s Quest

shahlyquest

Humans have taken a sacred unicorn from the forest. Shahly would do anything to rescue the stallion she loves. But she is young and inexperienced in matters outside of her herd. She will need help. She will need an ally. She will need the aid of her kind’s greatest and deadlieast enemy. But will she even survive her first encounter with one of the most powerful dragons in the world to rescue her stallion?

BUY

 

 


My Review:

Shahly’s beloved Vinton is captured by humans while she escapes. Thus begins her journey, where she will over come significant odds, makes friends with the awesome dragon Ralligor, and even learns to love a human. (Ralligor delivers some of the best lines in the book.)

There were multiple sexual and lustful themes that I think the book could have down with out. (It was the main drawback of the book for me.) One instance of the b word. Because of this, I think this book is suitable for older audiences.

Roxbury Rating: PG13  Sexual situations and  language. No on screen sex.

New Years Party

 

Featuring authors from the Clean Indie Reads group.

If you are receiving this in your email, please visit the blog to see the full listing of books.

New years book

 

The dragon’s wish to apologize. We had a slight mix up with a couple of  participating titles where the author submitting the wrong books. We have fixed the mistake.  Thank you for understanding.


Humans have taken a sacred unicorn from the forest.

Shahly would do anything to rescue the stallion she loves.

But she is young and inexperienced in matters outside the protection of the herd.

She will need help. She will need an ally. She will need the aid of her kind’s greatest and deadliest enemy. But first, she must survive her first encounter with one of the most powerful dragons in the world, unaware that he has an agenda of his own…


 

After the murders, Evelyn becomes invisible—even imperceivable. However, she can be hurt or killed. She is also different inside; a battle rages between good and evil, and the winner decides what happens to humanity. The situation seems hopeless until the two forces begin appearing in Adam’s dreams.

From The Back Cover:
Do you know who you are—really?

Evelyn is a 17-year-old high school student living in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has never been popular—always the social enigma, in spite of her stellar academic and athletic abilities. It’s not because she was ever lacking in the desire or capability for friends either. Something else is up, and the most horrific tragedy she could never imagine is what brings it all to a head.

Now she must learn to survive in a world that cannot see her or even recognize she exists, cope with the loss of her parents, and unravel the mystery as to what has happened to her. The paradox is this: she simply cannot do it alone. What would you do if one day you woke up INVISIBLE?


The lonely sea dragon,Yong, wants a bride.

Chung Jo wants her father to regain his sight.

They will strike a bargain, and Chung Jo travels to Yong’s palace beneath the sea.

Beneath the sea, Chung Jo befriends a young servant of the sea dragon, and together they help Yong discover what it is to be loved.


 

Go to part 2

Go to part 3

Go to part 4

Go to part 5

Review: Caleb and Kit

caleb and kitSynopsis:  

Twelve-year-old Caleb is shorter, frailer, and more protected than most kids his age. That’s because he has cystic fibrosis, a diagnosis meaning lungs that fill with mucus and a shortened lifespan. Caleb tries not to let his disorder define him, but it can be hard with an overprotective, prying mom and a big brother who is perfect in every way.

Then Caleb meets Kit-a vibrant, independent, and free girl who lives in a house in the woods-and his world changes instantly. Kit reads Caleb’s palm and tells him they are destined to become friends. She calls birds down from the sky, turns every day into an adventure, and never sees him as his disorder. Her magic is contagious, making Caleb question the rules and order in his life. But being Kit’s friend means embracing deception and, more and more, danger. Soon Caleb will have to decide if his friendship with Kit is really what’s best for him-or Kit.


 

My Review:

I picked up this book because the main character has Cystic Fibrosis.  My first impression was Kit seemed a bit like the girl in Bridge to Teribithia. She was imaginative, and Caleb took to imaginative play with her.  I wasn’t sure what to think of Caleb after awhile. Nor Kit. Neither were being honest, and I didn’t care for Caleb’s attitude, even though I understood it knowing even a small portion of the CF care routine.  During this time I didn’t care for the book.  But then at the end, I cried.  This is a book about family and friendship, and was a wonderful read.

I received an ARC from the publisher.

AMAZON

Barnes & Noble

Review: Ashes on the Moor

ashes on the moorSynopsis:

When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities.

Though she has no training as a teacher, she must prove herself successful before her grandfather will release her substantial inheritance to her and allow her to be reunited with her younger sister, the last remaining member of her family after a fever claimed the lives of her parents and brothers.

Evangeline’s sudden change in circumstances is complicated when her aunt—a woman who values class distinctions more than her family relationships—forbids her from acknowledging any connection to her or to her grandfather, Mr. Farr—the man who owns nearly the entire town. For the first time in her life, Evangeline is truly alone.

Heartbroken, she turns to the one person in town who has shown her kindness—an Irish brick mason, Dermot, and his son, Ronan. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot become friends, due in part to her ability to connect with Ronan, whose behavior requires special attention. The boy is uncomfortable around strangers and rarely even speaks to the other children in town. He often fixates on details other people ignore, and he adheres to specific, self-made rules that give his life order and structure; for example, Dermot’s coat must be hung on a specific peg next to the door.

Evangeline attempts to prove herself a worthy teacher and earn the respect of her hard-to-understand students. Determined to find a way to introduce them to “proper English” while still honoring their unique language and culture, she enlists the help of a local family to write down familiar stories in the Yorkshire vernacular. Because of her efforts, the students and their families warm to Evangeline and she continues to look for ways to give the children a chance to become more than factory workers in the local cotton mill.

When the town learns of her upper-class status, Evangeline must work twice as hard to win back their trust–especially Dermot’s. In the end, Evangeline and Dermot discover that, even though they come from different social spheres, together they can overcome social prejudices, make a positive difference in the lives of even the humblest people, and enjoy the strength that comes when two hearts find each other.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman’s courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.


My Review

This book was just what I needed. I love those stories that settle in and just absorb you. And Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden is exactly that.

From the first page to the last, this lovely story of love and family will enchant readers.

I quickly came to love Evangeline, Dermont, and Ronan.  Evangeline and her sister Lucy have lost their entire family. Then they are, with out much in the way of explanation or warning, separated from each other.  Already broken hearts are needlessly smashed.

The first person outside of her cold aunt and distant uncle that Evangeline meets in her new town is Dermont McCormick, and his son Ronan.  Little by little Evangeline and Dermont become friends, and Evangeline bonds with Ronan–who was so much like the brother she lost. In one endearing moment, Ronan states that they should keep her. (If you hadn’t got misty eyed yet reading this, this scene is bound to do it.)

I enjoyed on Evangeline and Dermont’s relationship built slowly over time.

I received an ARC from Shadow Mountain.

Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Shadow Mountain

Don’t miss out.  You can go to Goodreads here to add this to your reading list.

Roxbury Rating: PG

 

Christmas Party!

The Roxbury Dragons are pleased to begin the Roxbury Holiday Party.    Celebrate with us from Christmas Eve through New Years Day!

Theme: Romance

Christmas Books

Doctoral student Hannah Wagganer entertains dreams of teaching at a large university and leaving her hometown of Glen Arbor behind. That is until Jasper Morgan, the new mail carrier, arrives in town. Not only does he set Hannah’s heart a flutter, but he has an instant bond with her cat, Jingles.

Preparing for the church candlelight Christmas Eve service and running the family store, Hannah continues to bump into Jasper—and the prying eyes of the locals who suspect there’s more going on than business as usual.

Blessings and suspicions abound when an anonymous donor pays to have the church furnace repaired, and other locals suddenly find solutions to their problems. Is it coincidental, or the work of a secret angel?


The Rancher Takes A Wife – 1878 Nebraska

For schoolmarm Rachel Ambry, Christmas Eve means getting through the special program she and her pupils have put together for the townsfolk in Langdon. And even though she has vowed to not set eyes on handsome Calvin Hunsaker, it becomes inevitable when his incorrigible son needs her help. Calvin is the only person who seems to see past her ugly birthmark, yet Rachel senses that he also sees her as the spineless, helpless socialite she used to be.

Calvin Hunsaker is determined to ignore the feeling of attraction stirring inside him for the beautiful schoolmarm, even though he isn’t doing a very good job. He isn’t ready for another wife, especially one who is ill-suited for the harshness of prairie life. And besides, Rachel is trying to pick up the pieces after her brother and sister-in-law’s untimely deaths and raise their three youngsters, not bedazzle him with the same frivolous charms his first wife possessed. Better to bundle up and head out of the one-room schoolhouse the second the Christmas program ends.

But a heavy winter storm and two mischievous boys have other plans, and Rachel and Calvin’s efforts to avoid each other go awry when Calvin is stranded at Rachel’s house over the Christmas break. Will there be holiday cheer to lighten their hearts or will the winter blues descend on them once again?


Liz Bentley was one of New York’s most acclaimed models until she dropped from the public eye. She now enjoys a quiet life off the red carpet. When her best friend Jane pulls her back into the spotlight, she tries to fight the attraction she feels for Will, a charming bachelor who wants more than friendship. But Will is holding on to a secret that could turn her world upside down. As troubling events in her past resurface, Liz is forced to face them head-on. Will wants to help, but if she takes that chance she runs the risk of losing everything … again.


Fed up with a string of bad blind dates, health blogger Alyssa Wu wants to drown her sorrows in ice cream. But there’s one more evening she must endure—a fake date with her best friend Barry Chang. They must convince her family they’re in love, an act which may (or may not) be easy to pull off, thanks to the magic of some mistletoe.

This 10,000 word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout, or while you wait in line at the mall. Read it today to get into the Christmas spirit any time of the year!


Vee was too sensible to believe in love at first sight. Attractive guys and great personalities were not mutually exclusive…until she met Yangbin. Maybe it was his dimples, or his broad shoulders, or maybe it was his self-confidence. Whatever it was, Yangbin stood out to Vee like no one ever had.

She tried to brush him off. Forget about their one meeting and pretend she wouldn’t care if she never saw him again, but when he showed up working at the hotel where Vee was spending Christmas vacation, she couldn’t help but think fate had played a part.

She still didn’t want to believe in love, but life had other plans.


After his duplicitous girlfriend left, Dan Malone spent six months in a tailspin of despair and destruction: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Just when his life seems to be back on track, he meets Emily Kowalski, younger sister of his new best friend.

Emily’s the kind of girl he’d always dreamed of–sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her.

Could Dan be the man Emily’s been waiting for? How could he be when every time they get close he pulls away? And will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there?

An inspirational Christmas romance that spans every season.

Catholic Christian fiction.

Review: The Girl in the Tower

the girl in the towerSynopsis:

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

SEE AT GOODREADS

BUY ON AMAZON


My Review:

I was delighted when I was offered a copy of the this book from the publisher. I had previously read and enjoyed the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale.

Medieval Russia. Not your typical fantasy world setting, and I loved my visit to it. The details are rich, and the story ran smoothly.  Unlike the first book, the pacing of this book was swift, which is fitting as our heroine, Vasya, is swept up in an adventure.

I did have a few issues with it though as a reader, and other sensitive readers may as well. The big one was the use of adult language in a few parts. (To be blunt, it was the b word that did it for me.)  For a well built world such as this narrative, that was shocking and drew me out of the story.

Now for the good, and one of my personal favorites:  Morozko. Need I say more? I loved the frost-demon in the first book, and was glad he was back. His story is intriguing and I do feel we don’t get enough of that.  His mare barely sheds insight on it, in what is a most poignant scene between the two, when she tells him that he cannot love and be immortal. I wish for more of him, and his story. (And really hope it’s in book three. Which, dear publisher, can I also have to read early?)

Another favorite is the stallion, Solovey. His steadfast devotion really shines. (I think he’s there because Morozko can’t always be there.)

And of course, we have an excellent villain in the red sorcerer, Kachei the Deathless.

Roxbury Book Rating: PG 13  Adult language, violence with bloodshed, some nudity (nonsexual), and sexual situations.

See my review for the first book:


The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy, #1)The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This book is a little gem. The start was slow, but it really built the story up. Once Vasya was grown, the story really started moving. I wish there had been more between Vasya and Moroko. I felt I really got to know the other characters, but not so much of Moroko. I loved the personalities of the horses, and other fairy folk.
This was my first foray into Russian folklore, and it won’t be my last. This book brings that world to life, and gives it just enough of a Russian feel with out being intimidating. I’m going to re-read this one in paperback so I can smell the pages as I read it.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


 

Win 14 Fantasy Paperbacks

What better way to start the new year than with 14 shiny fantasy paperbacks on your bookshelf?

Need more encouragement? Every participant can download a #free copy of Desire by
May Freighter for their trouble!

Enter here: http://bit.ly/2zMYL1Z

#giveaway #fantasy #books #paperbacks #fantasyreads #fantasygiveaway2017 #urbanfantasy #paranormal #booksgiveaway

december giveaway

The giveaway will run from Dec 1 – 31.

This giveaway is worldwide

Price Awarded in January

Sponsored/Organized by May Freighter.

 

Fairy Tale December

 

This month the Roxbury Dragons have picked Fairy Tales for the theme. Fairy Tales are great for settling  in for around a roaring fireplace. Or with a cup of hot chocolate.

 

First up, we have this  retelling of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan.

Would you risk everything for your happily ever after?

Arya thrives under the limitless blue waters of the NeverSea while Peter soars in the clouds high above—both perfectly designed for this harsh new world.

Stolen from their families, Arya and Peter were experimented on as young kids. Pushed to their breaking points, they escaped, but at a heavy price—Peter abandoned Arya when she needed him the most.

Years later, on a routine patrol, Arya comes face to face with Peter. A chance encounter with Arya’s lost love, James, opens the door for Peter, the ousted leader of the Lost Boys, to regain Neverland—a floating settlement now controlled by the heartless witch who took them as kids.

Arya fights to protect the NeverSea while Peter only looks out for himself. Forced together once more, Arya must decide if she can trust him with so many lives at stake.

The Little Mermaid meets Peter Pan in this science fiction retelling of two beloved classics. Readers who enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles will love this epic, young adult series.


A Little Mermaid story

What if the prince never loved the little mermaid? What if the other woman actually did love the prince but feels she can’t act on her feelings because she must be a good hostess and help save the mermaid’s life?

Years of war between the Children of Air, Land, and Sea have exhausted the lives and resources of its people. Nobles and royals must spend twenty years at least serving as peace healers to those who were devastated during these conflicts. Ishana, the youngest of her sisters, remains alone in the old Fortress of Elspeem, preparing for her time to go forth and serve.

But a young mermaid, Uaso, changes everything when she rescues a drowning man and turns to Ishana for help. Though quite young, Uaso wishes to marry the man and begs Ishana for her help. Ishana finds herself conflicted for many reasons, not the least of which are her own feelings for the handsome stranger who might save her from hardship. And a bad situation becomes worse when a fae princess is murdered at the time of the mermaid’s shocking arrival and transformation.


And  two Little Red Riding Hood stories!

Author suggested rating: PG 13  Some mild gore (gutted animal), and sexual situations (Shifter Romance)

What happens when a werewolf hunter falls for her prey?

Red Locklear regularly hunts all manner of woodland prey, but her favorite kill is the beast that tore her parents apart. The werewolf. Especially the ones that think they own her forest.
When her grandmother does not come back from a foraging run, Red dons her quiver of silver arrows and heads out to find the woman who took her in after her parents were cut down by a wolf pack.
What she finds in the woods isn’t anything like the animals she hunted in the past. Instead, she finds a lone wolf looking for a human connection. Her job is to extinguish the life of these horrid creatures, but seeing the compassionate side of the fiend changes everything Red has ever believed.

Author suggested rating: PG 13 for suggested violence

Book 1 of the Red Rider saga!
A paranormal action thriller
“I’m always fascinated when I read a debut novel that captivates me from start to finish. Where a novel is so well-written that I’m in awe of the author’s writing as well as their ability to tell an amazing story. I can only hope the right person will come across The Red Rider and turn it into a movie that is sure to be a box-office hit.”Kym McNabney, Story Contributor, Childhood Regained: Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers
“Action filled novel. Journey of a teenage girl. A story of love, courage, friendship and more. The author has got it all in this book.”Jay Deb, author of The Assassin and Contrived

Little Red Riding Hood is heading back into the woods to meet the big bad wolves …
But she’s not little anymore.
Having survived a childhood attack from a savage wolf, 16-year old Helena Basque remains disfigured with triple scars across her face. Bullied and plagued by nightmares of a supernatural wolf that spoke and stood upright, Helena urges her father to teach her how to hunt and defend herself. When she loses her parents and young sister to the wolves, receiving no help from the French government or her local priest, Helena sets out on her own to avenge her family.
Armed by her friend Pierre with a repeating crossbow and other unique weapons, Helena takes a stand against the creatures, donning a red cloak like the one she was once forbidden to wear. She soon discovers a mysterious cult of werewolves with secret plans to seize control of Versailles and the entire French nation.
Isolated and determined to accept whatever fate befalls her, Helena wages a one-girl war against the monsters as a strange and unlikely hero, refusing to surrender or slow down until she destroys the beasts. Every last one of them.
Come along for the ride.
Includes a Sneak Peek of Book 2: Red Rider Revolution coming in 2017!


Original Fairy Tales

This special boxset comes with  3 titles. (The links provided beneath go to the paperback on Amazon. These are enrolled in matchbook, so once you’ve purchased the paperback you can get the ebooks for free.)

Eun Na and the  Phantom 

Evangeline

Chung Jo and the Sea Dragon


 

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If you don’t wish to subscribe, but want to keep in touch, subscribe/follow this blog.

Review: The Snow King

the snow king

 Synopsis:

THE SNOW KING is an urban fantasy romance novella, inspired by Celtic folklore, set near winter solstice.

One unexpectedly snowy day, struggling artist Gwen finds a strange man asleep in a hidden cave. Intrigued, she accidentally wakes him up, unknowingly letting loose an ancient being in the modern world.

After he loses the fight against his nemesis, Edur is subjected to a century-long sleep. When he wakes up, he must rely on Gwen’s reluctant help in order to get used to the modern lifestyle, while he works towards his goal to bring eternal winter and keep his powers throughout the year.

Gwen doesn’t need this complication in her life. Babysitting an ancient being with strange powers is not how she imagined spending her time preparing for Christmas. Even though Edur’s arrogance drives her crazy and his powers often frighten her, his child-like wonder at the world stirs her caring instincts. Edur, who has never bothered learning about humans, finds himself becoming more interested in how Gwen’s world works and uses her resources to plot the demise of his arch-enemy. Gwen is set on changing his mind.


My Review:

The Snow King by Kate Grove was an enjoyable romantic tale between the Snow King, Edur, and a struggling artist named Gwen.

This story was more like the beginning of something on a grand scale than a standalone story.  When Gwen stumbles upon Edur and  awakens him from his deep slumber, she didn’t expect that despite his icy ways (pun intended), that she would fall for him. Edur also realizes he  has a heart.  Although his primary focus is on keeping his powers so he can bring about  an eternal winter, the clues are there that he’s also falling in love. One thing I found important  to their relationship was Edur’s belief in Gwen’s art.  I look forward to following this author, and perhaps revisiting  Edur, Gwen, Oren, and Arista again. (There is that little deal that Oren made with Arista after all.)

There were some editing errors, but they didn’t distract me from enjoying the story.  This was an old fashioned style story that is worth checking out.

Roxbury Rating: PG. (Gwen and Edur live together, and there is mild violence with injury.)
Currently this book is available on Tapas.
You can follow Kate here: StarBooks and Tea