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The Girl Who Drank the Moon – A Goodreads Review

The Girl Who Drank the MoonThe Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The people in the Protectorate think that the baby they sacrifice to the Witch of the Woods each year will keep them safe from the dangers of the volcano and the swamp, but that’s not the case. For years, they’ve been lied to; however, when the Xan, a good witch, rescues a baby she names Luna, things change.
I don’t want to tell you too much of the plot, but the all characters are well drawn and fascinating. There’s a baby dragon, a swamp beast, a renegade sister, a courageous carpenter, a scheming bureaucrat, a nagging mom, and a mad woman, as well as good and bad witches, and a lot of dysfunctional families that need to be reunited.
My favorite part of this story about love and magic is that good shines through. It’s a story where hope wins over sorrow and right is stronger than wrong. The longer I listened to this tale, the better I felt. When I got to the end, I was grinning ear-to-ear and planning to start the story again. If life has you down, this could be a great fictional fix for you.

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The Thief Taker- A Goodreads Review

The Thief Taker (The Thief Taker #1)The Thief Taker by C.S. Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the middle of London, during the plague, Charlie Tuesday investigates a ritual murder, only to be framed as both a witch and a killer. He escapes, but then he is forced to find the real slayer to clear his name, and well, live. Of course, the killing is part of a web of mysteries and conspiracies and everything is more intense because of the sickness and the chaos it causes. Oh, yeah, there is also this key that Charlie wears around his neck. It is his only clue to a mother who abandoned him and it is somehow connected to the witchcraft and the strange doings in the city.
There’s also a romance of sorts. For me, it didn’t quite work. I wasn’t fond of the woman he fell for. Yet, I kept reading because I was rooting for Charlie and I had to see how all the mysteries came together.
If you like historical whodunnits, this is a read for you.

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Passages-A Goodread Review

PassagesPassages by Laurel Wanrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite thing about Passages is the world building, which is complex and deeply thought out. It’s a world a reader could immerse herself in. There is so much depth and so many possibilities that I’m guessing Laurel could write many, many tales about the world.
Yet, like all good science fiction, the cool-strange becomes comprehensible as the characters experience the world. This story starts out with Quinn on the run with his grandmother. He’s lost his memory, so as he discovers cross jumping and goad as well as love, we as readers get to learn along with him. Quinn’s returning memories give clues to a conspiracy, a psychic force that suspends aging and an army of cyborg agents. In between there’s a love story. Two strong, but vulnerable people work out their differences and succeed in finding acceptance in each other.

If you like worlds that are as fascinating as Faberge eggs, this is a story you’re sure to enjoy.

The Haunting of Sam Cabot- A Goodreads Review

The Haunting of Sam CabotThe Haunting of Sam Cabot by Mark Edward Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Haunting of Sam Cabot: A Novel
This is a cautionary tale. When you’re a less-than-stable main character and you’re driving through the country and you see a huge, but lovely fixer-upper in the middle of nowhere that is for sale, don’t stop. When there’s a creepy old caretaker who gives you a tour and everything from the overgrown lawn to the monster of a heating system gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t offer to buy the place. Don’t move in. Nightmares, anxiety, murders, and ghostly visitations are sure to follow.
However, if you’re a reader and you like the shivers that run up the back of her neck as you turn the page, this is worth your time.
I’d like to tell you more, but I’ve been warned to never tell what’s in the well. Yes, there is a bad-smelling, boarded-up well that, sure enough, the main character opens. It’s almost certain, any number of innocent geeks are going to get dragged in, chewed up and spit out, but I’m not telling.
Then the story gets even more scary. It reads like a Stephen King or Peter Straub thriller. My one complaint might be that the ending wasn’t the payoff I’d hoped for. Yet, for the twists and chills in the middle I recommend this read.

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Forgotten God: Remembering Our Crucial Need for the Holy Spirit -A Goodreads Review

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy SpiritForgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan

Forgotten God: Remembering Our Crucial Need for the Holy Spirit
Francis Chan challenges readers to evaluate their relationship with God and to consider what it means to trust him. It’s thought-provoking, deeply moving and more than a little convicting. Francis backs up his points with scripture, so readers can test his words. My takeaway is God is with us and he wants to help, especially in those impossible and yet daily situations—expect trouble and know that it’s natural and we’re not alone in it.
If you want to turn your Christianity into an adventure, this is the read for you.

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The Sick House- A Goodreads Review

The Sick House (The Ulrich Files #1)The Sick House by Ambrose Ibsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Sick House
This is an old fashioned haunted house tale with secrets, murders, spirits and underground tunnels. The main character, Harlan Ulrich, an aging private investigator, cares more about coffee beans than people, yet I liked him. He is flawed and quirky and just plain interesting. Needing to pay his rent, he accepts a missing person job. He’s to locate kindly Dr. Siegfried Klein, who disappeared after making a house call in the ghost town of Moonville. Well, neither the doctor nor the ghost town are quite what they seem and Ulrich is determined to get to the bottom of the mysteries despite how over-the-top spooky everything is. Ulrich was probably as scared as I would be the first time he peeked into the old place. Birds were crashing into the windows; the rain was rattling the roof and Ulrich was all alone with only the glow of his cellphone to light his path. Then something grabbed him. As a reader, my heart stopped, but you know, I kept reading. I’m going to look for the next book in the series.

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The Star-Touched Queen-A Goodreads Review

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Star-Touched Queen
This story starts with a princess born under an unhappy horoscope. It’s a beautiful written fairytale with lush prose and vivid images about star-crossed lovers. The story drew me in. I was right with Princess Mayavati as she tried to figure out her new circumstances and right beside her when she journeyed to find her lost love and managed to find herself. If you like fantasies with fantastic world building that are laced with sweet romance and dreamlike events, you’d probably enjoy this tale. I did.

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Providence: Hannah’s Journey- A Goodreads Review

Have you ever wanted to find out more about a biblical character? Ever wonder what happened after they were mentioned in scripture? For instance–what are some of the details of Ruth and Boaz’s marriage? What ever happened to Rahab? Or who was the slave girl that led Naaman, the Aramean army commander, who was also a leper, to Elisha the prophet? Barbara M. Britton’s Providence: Hannah’s Journey fills in the details

Surprisingly, Hannah’s life is exciting. She hooks up with a handsome hero from Judah named Gilead and the two of them get into all kinds of hot water.

I really liked that although the tale was fiction, the characters acted the way I believe a Jewish person with integrity would have in one of the stories from scripture. Although they were tempted, they took the high road. They were characters I could cheer for.

If you’re looking for a piece of feel-good fiction, a story that uplifts your spirit, give this story a shot.

The Eaton-A Goodreads Review

Wow, what could be better than an old-fashioned Monster-in-the-House story? I bought this when it was a daily deal on Audible and once I started listening, I couldn’t stop.

Sam Spicer, his soon-to-be fiancée and a group of interesting friends are partying in his newly purchased railroad depot. He wants to make it into a bar. Anyway, they find a secret staircase that leads to an elevator that leads to an amazing underground hotel. Once they take the elevator down, they’re trapped, and, of course, they aren’t alone. The former guests’ corpses and whatever killed them is there, too.

I loved the all research into the turn-of-the-century technology as well as the reason for all the death–the thing stalking Sam and company. It was unique. I don’t want to give details because that might spoil future readers’ fun.

Also, another high point for me was the narrator.  He made all the characters come to life.

I’m going to look for other stories by John K. Addis.

Faulty Bones- A Goodreads Review

This wasn’t my typical read. What I know about gambling is close to nothing, yet I didn’t feel out of my depth. The author kept cluing me in, and the hero and heroine’s first and subsequent encounters compelled me to find out what would happen next. Mike is a down-and-out gambler living in his car and hoping he can set things right with his next poker game. He meets Amy in a New Orleans casino and she scams him out of $200. Then when he meets her again and she has no memory of him. Why? Because against his will or understanding, Mike is tumbling back and forth in time.

I love a good mystery, and if magic’s involved, it’s even better, but what pulled me into this story most was Amy. She’s spunky and certain no matter how bad her circumstances are that she can save others. When she looks at Mike, she sees a guy worth jumping into crazy-hot-water for. That said, Amy gets into trouble everywhere as she tries to understand and care for others: from a creepy Russian mobster, to a homeless panhandler, to a grieving wannabe-terrorist, to Mike himself. She’s a misunderstood and sometimes too-funny force of good, which from her point of view works. It worked for me, too. She’s the wild, off-the-wall friend many of us probably remember fondly. Her comments and world view inspired laughter and then reflection.

 
Mystery, romance and humor flowed together in this story like butter and salt on State Fair sweet corn. In my humble opinion, Faulty Bones is definitely worth reading.