Review: Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

When was the last time you finished a book and immediately sat down and wrote out a list of people who MUST read this book? When I finished this, that’s exactly what I did. The first, my kids, then my homeschool co-op teens, then some moms of those teens, then a few scattered friends who I know would get a kick out of this. And then I pretty much went on IG and FB and shouted it from the rooftops there. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!!! Thought provoking and exciting and I can’t wait for everyone to read this.

When I first got Pacifica, I almost skipped the author’s note and went right to the story. I’m so glad I didn’t. The author’s note is where the magic begins. It’s where the background story comes from. It’s the first time your heart is squeezed. And it’s definitely not the last.

When you read dystopians, part of you thinks, “This could never happen. We won’t let it happen.” But when I was reading this book, I kept thinking, “Crap. This could totally happen. And that would be horrific.” Basically climate change and the affects it has on our planet. But that’s not the hardest part of this story. The people, and what’s happening right under their noses, that’s the hardest part. They thought the government knew what was best for them and they just went along with it. But when the story is uncovered, they realize it’s far from anything they’ve ever heard of.

I think the best part of this book was the friendships. I was cheering everyone on. Marin, who was a pirate’s daughter and Ross, the president’s son, set out to rescue Ross’ friend, Adam, the vice president’s son, and it is non stop action. Like stomach twisting action. I couldn’t stop reading, for fear of something happening and I miss it. 🙂 Silly, I know, but I was so invested in these characters, I wouldn’t stop until they found their way back to safety. Now there is a little bit of love brewing on the high seas, but can you blame them? People who’ve gone through traumatic experiences tend to react that way. But it’s teen friendly, so no worries.

I have never read a Kristen Simmons book, but if they’re anything like this one, she’s found a new fan and I’ve found a new autobuy author. This story is now added to my ever growing “You need to read these YA books!” list. And all those people who are on my list above, better act surprised when they all get copies for Christmas.


Buy Pacifica


Review: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

They were shadow and light. Death in two forms. Together, they killed ten, twenty, forty men before the sun rose.

This is a debut novel?! No freaking way. That blows my mind. For those who like the kick a$$ heroines, this is a book for you. The epicness of Rome and all it’s death and beauty will keep you turning those pages. I couldn’t put it down.

Attia’s entire world was detroyed and was taken into slavery and given to the Champion of Rome, a gladiator named Xanthus. Now that sounds brutal, and it is, but there is way more to their stories, that you’ll have to read yourself. These two slaves want more than the life they have now, but they need to be patient and find the right moment to take control of their destinies.

“Rome has taken everything from me-my family, my home, my freedom. I won’t let it have Xanthus.”

Of course, in the midst of battles that surround them, they realize that they can be of use to each other. They learn each other’s secrets, which then makes them form a bond that will help forge a rebellion right under the Roman’s noses, all the while bringing the legend of Spartacus to life. I was cheering in my seat, when that was brought to light.

Xanthus was the kind of man who asked rather than took, who begged the gods to forgive his sins with whispered breath. He was the man who’d fallen to his knees before her, who had help her close until the night was over, who would give anything to keep her whole.

Of course there’s romance, but that is so secondary. It fits the story perfectly without being forced. Slow burn, in fact. I wasn’t expecting it, if I’m being honest, so it was a pleasant surprise. These two just want to get by to they get their revenge on those who’ve taken their world away. But they realize they’re better together and start to plan.

But then the world turns upside down. And I’m not even exaggerating. Hence the reason I need book two immediately. But I gotta wait til next year!! AHH!!!

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Add Fire and Ash to your Goodreads shelf

Review: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

01ab1 ~Everyone deserves light~

This book…

If you read Tiffany’s The Bourbon Thief, then you’ll recognize a few names and places in this one, but it’s not connected. This story is in a whole other world. The Night Mark has a bit of an Diana Gabaldon feel with a Tiffany twist. Twist is definitely what this does to my heart and soul.

Because the synopsis doesn’t say too much, I won’t say much either. What I will say is that Tiffany Reisz has jumped up another notch in my eyes. This story was pure magic. She creates a world like no other.

I realize time travel isn’t possible, but what if it was? If you were hurting so much would you make the choice to leave this world behind? I was so brokenhearted hearing about Faye’s suffering. There’s been one thing after another with her. I’m surprised she’s still standing. When she discovers a way to be happy, but it’s not in this life, she’s willing to do anything in order to find it and keep it.

This book is about love. This book is about pain. This book is about letting the light in and praying that it heals the soul. If you’re in the mood for an epic romance that will have you twisting in your seat as you read, then I think this book will make you happy. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. And don’t read any spoilers. 🙂 In fact, I think this book will be in my Top 10 of 2017. It was that magical and beautiful.

“You know a man by his heart. You know a lighthouse by its beacon.”


Buy The Night Mark HERE

Review: Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

01-a The most critical, defining battles we wage in life, we wage alone.

It has taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts on this book. I’m still reeling. Let me start out by saying that this isn’t the final book in the Fever series, but the final one in the Mac/Barrons story line. So savor it and read it slowly. Trust me.

When we left Feverborn, we left screaming. Mac opened herself up to the Sinsar Dubh and we weren’t sure how, or if, she would be able to get out. In Feversong, Mac must take back control and destroy the book, find the Song of Making to also destroy these black holes that seem to be slowly eating up our world, and do all this without getting lost inside herself again. It is an ongoing battle that only she can do. She must forget about her past actions and focus on the future with a clear head.

In the midst of Mac’s issues we have Dani and her quest to find a balance between Jada and Dani. She is there to help destroy the book, of course, but the five year she spent alone in the silvers has changed her, and not for the better. On the outside Dani is hard and uncaring, but if you chip away her layers, you see that she is soft and just wants love. She will fight to the death for it. Watching her grow into herself was beautiful, devastatingly so. I can’t remember watching a character go through so much and come out stronger for it. I am looking forward to see what happens to her. She has had enough heartache to choke on and I know she deserves a happily ever after.

“I love you more eternal than pi.”

As I said this is the final book about Mac and Barrons. Their story comes full circle and it’s crazy when I look back at when they first met. She was so sad and naive, but by the end she knew who she was and was stronger for it. They had their battles but, through it all, their love was the stuff faerie tales. Truly.

“Fire to his ice.
Frost to my flame.

I spent the final 25% of this book with tears in my eyes. Some scenes had them flowing nonstop, while others had me chocking to hold them in. This book was an epic edition to this series. A full range of emotions. You won’t leave untouched. She makes us work for this ending. Grab a comfy blanket, perhaps a box of tissues and leave the world behind as you escape into the world of the fae. You can thank me later.


Buy Feversong HERE

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Illustrated Edition


Even in this age of ebooks, even with my dedication to my Kindle, there’s a place for real, actual books. And this is one of those places.

Simply beautiful.  That’s the only way to describe this newish addition to the Harry Potter family.  I say newish because this first one came out last year with the second volume available now.

Some people will say that an illustrated version of these timeless stories messes it up by putting another person’s visions in our heads.  I disagree. Because chances are, if you are buying these hardcover books for yourself or for a loved one, you’ve already read the original stories multiple times.  And you’ve seen the movies. So for me, these books are just another take on a much loved story.  And they absolutely do justice to the originals.

So grab these amazing books.  They make great gifts. And it’s okay to gift yourself from time to time!


Buy It Now:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Review: From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

sand This book. Epic, emotional, real, powerful, romantic and moving. Writing a review has me in tears all over again. This book is gonna blow you guys out of the water. It’s been ages since I’ve been fully engulfed in a world that is so real and painful and yet my heart held on to hope. Gah! Buy this beautiful story and read it with a box of tissues, and maybe even a stress ball. 🙂

I admit I know very little of world history. What snippets I can recall I get from tv or movies. I know what happened in 1943, but yet I only know a little bit. This story opened up a whole new aspect, of this time, that left me speechless and devastated. The last time I read a book of this magnitude was The Bronze Horseman. This book was just as epic. This book transported me to a time in which I cringe when I think of it. The atrocities that happened. The heartache that happened. The overwhelming evil that creeped in and touched everything. My heart hurts with this knowledge.

But with all the pain comes love. Love that held tight and wouldn’t let go. Love so powerful it made me heart race and caused my breath to stop.

Eva and Angelo’s relationship over the years was an all consuming love. No matter what happened, or what situation they found themselves in, in the end it was all about love. If they were terrified, all they had to do was think about each other and they would find a way through it.

“My faith is being drowned by my fear for you.”

I found myself on the edge of my seat quite often. As you can see from my updates, this book knocked me for a loop.


Oh my gosh. My simple words can’t portray how much this book has left an imprint on me. I think about it almost daily, since I’ve read it. My heart weeps at the loss of a generation but at the same time at the courageousness of the people. And the love. The unyielding love. Read this book.


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Review: The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa


I love historical fiction, especially World War II era stories.  I’ve read many, ranging from exceptionally good to just so-so to absolutely dreadful.  But I’ve learned from each one of them, a bit of something from history that I was unaware of.  And isn’t that, after all, the point of historical fiction?

Young Hannah’s family isn’t particularly concerned in the year 1939.  Her German family is well to do, after all.  They move in all the best circles and want for nothing.  But things quickly begin to change in Berlin as the Nazis quickly move in and begin to take over.  They find themselves being shunned by those who once welcomed them.  Their possessions no longer belong to them.  And they no longer feel safe.  All because they’re Jewish.

So when her father discovers a possible escape route, he jumps on it.  After much struggle, the family finds themselves aboard the St. Louis, bound for Cuba.  The country has promised safe haven to those escaping Hitler’s Germany.  As the family pulls away from the shores of their homeland, they begin to relax a bit and hope for a happy future.  But things take an unfortunate turn when Cuba suddenly refuses to admit them.  An entire ship full of passengers is stuck in limbo as they await word of their fate.

This is an outstanding debut novel.  It’s clear that the author put much thought and research into this story.  We hear the story from two generations, that of young Hannah and that of her great niece, Anna.  As Anna discovers her past, she helps us to fill in the gaps as well.  An excellent story for fans of historical fiction!


Buy It Now:  The German Girl