#BookReview : Esme's Gift (Esme Series #2) by Elizabeth Foster @e_foster3 @OdysseyBooks

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Esme’s Gift (Esme Series #2) by Elizabeth Foster
Publication Date: November 30th 2019
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
Pages: 266
Stars: ★★★★★

In the enchanted world of Aeolia, fifteen-year-old Esme Silver is faced with her hardest task yet. She must master her unruly Gift – the power to observe the past – and uncover the secrets she needs to save her mother, Ariane.

In between attending school in the beguiling canal city of Esperance, Esme and her friends – old and new – travel far and wide across Aeolia, gathering the ingredients for a potent magical elixir.

Their journey takes them to volcanic isles, sunken ruins and snowy eyries, spectacular places fraught with danger, where they must confront their deepest fears and find hope in the darkest of places. Esme’s Gift, the second instalment in the Esme trilogy, is an enthralling fantasy adventure for readers 12 years and over.

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Elizabeth Foster. ***

Previous Book in Series:

Esme’s Gift was fantastic middle grade fantasy, set in the parallel magical world and revolved around Esme’s efforts in saving her mother. It was about resilience, righteousness, good vs evil, friendship, greed of power, and using gift wisely.

I loved this book more than first one. Writing was better, fabulous, gripping and as magical as its setting. Book was written in third person narrative from Esme’s perspective. It felt so good to read Esme and her adventure in Aeolia once again.

Book started with Esme returning back to her home in Picton Island to let her dad know about her mom and convince him to come with her to Aeolia. But that didn’t turn out well, he didn’t believe a word she said and forced her to run off to Aeolia once again. She wanted to be beside her mother who needed her more. Meanwhile she joined school at Aeolia, made new friends, met mysterious boy and found a lot about Aeolian history and myth.

Through her history project she found out important thing related to her mother. She knew what could save her and rouse her from her comma, a magical elixir. But its recipe was incomplete and ingredients were rare and illegal. For that she needed to master her gift first and travel far and dangerous places to get ingredients.

It was interesting to find out if Esme will succeed in helping her mother or get in trouble once again, what will happen to her and her mother if she failed and if her father will try to believe her and come to Aeolia.

Esme was great throughout the book. Her enthusiasm, optimism and curiosity was infectious. She dug deep to get all the answers, to find out the truth with her history project and her mother’s condition. She was developed character, kind, and compassionate with conscience mind. She knew how to fight unfairness and voice her opinion whenever necessary. What I like about her most was she wasn’t week, or reckless or grumpy teenage. She cared for her friends, helped them when needed and understood the gravity of danger.

Both Daniel and Lillian were amazing friends. They never retreated or hesitated from danger or left Esme alone. Their gift were amazing. This time Lillian’s gift surfaced and she could sing song-spell well. One time it did went wrong and it was fun to read.

New characters Vince, Meera and Seth were interesting and so were their gifts. Seth was mysterious one. I had my doubts like Esme but I couldn’t be sure. I couldn’t guess who he was and what he did in the book.

What I loved most about the book was world and adventure. There was hell lot of things in this world. Aeolia and its history was well described. Its origin, some history, and people of Aeolia was covered in first book but here there was a small part of it that helped to get the idea as there was 2 years gap between this and first book. I loved the history part and stories of ghosts.

Most of the people in this picturesque world had gift- fire breather and fire repellent, Songstress (like sirens), enchanters, healing, muting (I love that one, I wish I could mute people), Ice animation, and water walker, creating portals through painting, passing though solid objects… you name it. Esme’s gift was rare and fascinating. She could time travel in history by touch of water. I liked the concept behind it which was well explained. I usually don’t like time travel but in here with a touch of magic and gift, it sounded good and interesting. Adventure was exciting and dangerous. There were dragons and all sort of creatures, oracle and her cruel truth, annoying ghost, and deadly curse.

I loved Esme’s experience in school of Aeolia, ongoing political campaign and the part when Esme interacted with dragon. I liked the way author represented horrors human can create and its consequences through political scheming, abusive parents, madness of scientist, greed for power and misuse of gifts.

Mystery was well written. I couldn’t guess how Esme will save her mother or find ingredients and what was to come next. Climax was uncertain and nail biting. I was holding my breath in that scene at hospital after the climax. End was great. I still wanted to know the result of political campaign. But I’m sure it will be revealed in next book. There might be a love story or love triangle in next book, I hope not love triangle.

Overall, it was fun and wonderful fantasy with lots of adventure and magical gifts, interesting characters and broad world. I definitely recommend this book to all middle grade readers and fantasy lovers, but read it in order.

Book Links: Goodreads
Affiliate Link: Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Book Depository

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What do you think about the book?
Have you read this books or any book by the same author?
Are you going to add it to TBR?
Which is your favorite book that was set in parallel world?


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#BlogTour #Excerpt : A Reason to Grieve by Mick Williams @rararesources

Hello readers! I’m happy to share a snippet from A Reason to Grieve by Mick Williams as part of blog tour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Check out more about this romcom in this post.

A Reason to Grieve by Mick Williams
Publication Date: 2016
Standalone First Book in a series
Genre: romantic comedy


Tom and Emma drift through life, both burdened with a heavy sense of grief. Both have suffered devastating loss and have closed themselves off to the possibility of happiness. Then, at a funeral, their eyes meet and they feel something neither expected.

Supported by their quirky friends and a ‘right to the point’ pensioner, will they overcome their fears and find the solution to the pain within each other, or will they give up and go their separate ways?

In turns funny and sad, A Reason to Grieve is a romantic tale about two people fighting their feelings, about love and loss. And about funerals.


I’ve always had total respect for the generations before mine, something that might be missing these days. Some of these folks fought wars to preserve our freedom and lived tough lives with no internet or mobile phones. Lives that gave them a better perspective of life’s trials. I’ve always listening closely to any advice my elders might give, and that ethic led to one the favourite characters I’ve written, a pensioner named Doris.

Some scenes from A Reason to Grieve take part in a salon owned by Emma, one of the main characters. This scene is a moment where Vicki, Emma’s co-worker, is discussing commitment with Doris – and gets advice she could never have imagined…

“So, we had the big conversation last night. I finally asked him how we were doing.”

Emma listened as Vicki discussed her evening with her client, a seventy-nine year old mild mannered lady named Doris. Doris turned up every four weeks for a blue rinse. She was the salon’s favorite client.

“And how did it go, honey?” drooled Doris through a set of loose-fitting dentures. “What did he say?”

“He said we were fine. Everything was fine.”

Doris let out a deep sigh. “Oh dear, did he actually say the word fine?”

“Why? What’s up with that?”

“Oh Vicki,” said Doris, “I’m so sorry.”

Vicki stepped away from the chair with scissors raised as Doris collapsed into a coughing fit. “Doris, are you okay? And sorry? Sorry for what?”

“I’m okay, dear. Don’t you read Cosmopolitan? You should read Cosmopolitan. All modern women read Cosmopolitan, it’s full of useful stuff. And you’ve seen my gray hair but, trust me, just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean the fire’s gone out down below. Anyway, fine is a word we use when we’re either annoyed or we want to be non-committal.”

“I’m not following,” said Vicki with a shake of the head. “And I really don’t want to picture your fires, Doris.”

Emma stepped closer as Jen, the other stylist, sandwiched the old lady in on the other side.

“Vic, the word fine doesn’t mean anything,” said Emma. “If things are going well, they’d be good. If they were going really well, they’d be great, maybe even amazing. If things were incredible, you’d get what you’re waiting for. But fine? Fine means nothing. Fine has no value or measurement. He’s still not committing.”

“How many years is it now?” asked Jen.

Vicki blinked. “Nine. We’ve been together for nine years. Adam’s my high school sweetheart, the only man I’ve ever loved, and I give him everything. So why won’t he set a date?”

“You kids,” said Doris. “You give those boys everything too soon and they get to a point where it’s all too easy for them. They get it handed to them on a plate. Bill and I had an understanding, and it kept him on his toes.”

When Doris said ‘understanding’, her eyebrows lifted and raised her tight curls an inch.

“He’s long gone now, as you know. Anyway, Bill had chores to do and, until they were done, he’d have to cut his way through armor to get to me. Even after that, I wouldn’t give it up easily. Almost fifty years of marriage, and he still passed away with a smile on his face.”

“So how did that work?” asked Vicki. “If Bill didn’t do his chores, what happened?”

“Well, he went to bed and faced the wall, didn’t he?” said Doris with a smile.

“And if he did everything right?”

“Oh, honey, I rocked his world! That’s why our marriage lasted fifty years.”

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reason-Grieve-Mick-Williams/dp/1536957216/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Reason-Grieve-Mick-Williams/dp/1536957216/

Author Bio:

Mick Williams moved from Stoke-On-Trent, England to Kentucky, USA. Then, after almost a decade, he moved back.

In between reading, writing and listening to good music he still watches proper football and, for his sins, follows his local team Port Vale. He does also still cheer for the Indianapolis Colts.

He was adopted by two cats, Crash and Thud, and resides with his patient wife in Staffordshire.

Social Media Links – www.mickwilliamsauthor.com and mickwilliamsauthor on Facebook​  

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book?
Have you read this book already or any book by the same author?
Are you going to add it to TBR?


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#BlogTour #Excerpt : The Die of Death (The Great Devil War series #2) by Kenneth B. Andersen @K_B_Andersen @RRBookTours1 #TheGreatDevilWar #YAFantasy #YAReads #YABooks #RRBookTours


Welcome to the first leg of the multi-book tour for The Great Devil War series by Kenneth B. Andersen! This month is all about the second installment in the series, The Die of Death, and I’m excited to share an excerpt from the book, and a chance to win a digital copy of your own!

The Die of Death Cover - Book 2

The Die of Death (The Great Devil War #2)

Publication Date: October 5th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Philip’s adventures as the Devil’s apprentice have changed him—in a good way. Although he misses his friends in Hell, he has made new friends in life. But when the future of the underworld is threatened once again, Philip’s help is needed. Death’s Die has been stolen and immortality is spreading across the globe. Philip throws himself into the search—and discovers a horrible truth about his own life along the way. The Die of Death is volume 2 in The Great Devil War-series.

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“Why did you bring me back?” Philip asked. “And why was it so difficult?” Mortimer’s laughter stopped abruptly. “Two questions with the same answer,” Death said, setting his coffee mug down. His hand shook faintly, Philip noticed. “Because the reason that you were able to stay alive as long as you did is the very reason that I’ve brought you here.” He sighed heavily and closed his eyes. Closed them for so long that Philip almost thought he’d fallen asleep. Then he opened his eyes again, slowly, and the gray eyes looked mournfully at Philip. “My die was stolen.” “Your die?” Philip repeated, surprised, and automatically gazed at Mortimer’s chest, where the hundred-sided die should have hung from a silver necklace. One of the two great dice. Death’s die. The one that gave newborns their life-years. But there was no necklace. No die. “When?” “About two weeks ago. At first, I thought I’d misplaced it, that I’d put it somewhere. I searched the entire house before I realized.” “Realized what?” Satina asked. “That the front door was ajar. Someone had been here. Someone had been here and had stolen my die while I slept.” “Do you have any idea who it might be?” Mortimer shook his head. “I have no clue. But it must be someone who knows me well. Knows my habits. I sleep just once a year, you see. On April thirty-first, when spring has arrived, Vita’s working overtime, and everything is in bloom. That’s when I get my deep sleep. You remember Vita, right Philip?” Philip nodded. He remembered Vita very well. She was Mortimer’s sister. Philip had met her the last time he was in Hell. She was the one who brought him back to life. She was life. Then it hit him, exactly what Mortimer had said, and he counted the months on his knuckles. January, February, March, April. No, there weren’t 31 days in April. And another thing… “You said the die was stolen two weeks ago,” he said. “But half a year has passed since April?” “For you, yes,” Death replied. “But time is different down here, remember.” “Oh yeah,” Philip said, a little irritated for not figuring that out himself. Hadn’t he just determined there was no such thing as April 31st? Of course, time was different down here. Everything was different down here. “This is a calamity!” The old man stood and began to pace the floor, shaking his head in despair. “Without my die, every child born in the world will be immortal. The consequences will be horrific for those poor people, who won’t have death to look forward to.” “Death isn’t exactly something people look forward to, is it?” objected Philip cautiously. Mortimer paused, staring at him. “Yes, it is,” he said in a voice verging on a snarl. “They just don’t know it.” “I don’t understand.” “And Lucifer said you were such a bright boy. But then again, he is the Father of Lies,” Death muttered. He moved to the window and looked out at the evening darkness as it sank swiftly across the bleak countryside. “Many people would say the same thing, Philip. That death is something terrible, a necessary evil best avoided.” “Well… isn’t it?” “No!” shouted Mortimer, startling both Philip and Satina. His old eyes sparkled. “I’m humanity’s greatest fear because there’s no greater fear than that of death. But that’s not the way it should be! The truth is, people don’t realize just how much they should appreciate me. Death isn’t an unfortunate consequence of life; on the contrary, Death is what makes life worth living. Men and women value only that which they might lose. Don’t you see? Without death, life is uninteresting and utterly meaningless.” Philip didn’t entirely understand what Mortimer was saying. And yet… maybe he did. “It’s like what Lucifer said. Without evil there is no good. You can’t have one without the other. And the same goes for life and death?” “Exactly!” Mortimer thrust out his arms. “Without death, the joy of life is killed by life itself! And that’s not even the worst of it. How would the world look in just fifty years? Think about all those poor wretches who’ve been seriously injured, but whose heart continues to beat. Victims of traffic accidents, of earthquakes, fires, floods. Terrible, terrible! The world would be populated by living corpses who wish for nothing more than the peace that comes with death, but their wishes would never be fulfilled. Can you imagine that?” Satina said nothing, but Philip had to swallow twice. Yes, he could imagine it. He could see it all too clearly, and he could feel the nausea burbling in his gut at the frightening scenario Death described. “When you roll your die,” Philip said, “what happens exactly?” “That’s a huge question,” Death said, gazing deeply into his eyes. “Can your mind handle the answer?” “Try me.” “When the die is cast, the sand begins to run.” Philip glanced at Satina, who shook her head to show she didn’t understand either. “What do you mean?” Mortimer stepped slowly toward him. Shadows covered his face like a black spiderweb. His eyes were concealed in darkness. “Are you afraid, Philip?” he asked. His voice was dry as the fire crackling in the woodstove. “Are you afraid of death?” Philip’s first impulse was to nod. Because he was afraid of Death, afraid of this odd, ancient man who’d been around since the origins of life, who had seen civilizations rise and fall, who had seen so many ghastly things that it had snuffed out the light in his eyes. But he surprised himself by shaking his head. “No. I’m not afraid. I’m already dead.” Mortimer seemed to consider this response carefully. Then his mouth twisted into a wry smile. “Come along,” he said. “I will show you something no human being has ever seen.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author



… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily. During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing. In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction. My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development. A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned. I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement. About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice. Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Click the link below for a chance to win a digital copy of The Die of Death!

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Keep a look out for next month’s tour for The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War #3)! The blog tour will run from February 24th to the 29th. Don’t miss it!

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Blog Tour Schedule:

January 27th

Books Teacup & Review (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/
Turning the Pages (Review) https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/

January 28th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/
Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

January 29th

Books to Get Lost In (Spotlight) https://bookstogetlostin.blogspot.com
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) http://www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 30th

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 31st

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com
Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com
Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and post?
Have you read this book already or any book in this series?
Are you going to add it to TBR?


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#MonthlyWrapUp : December 2019

Hello readers! Last month of the year and I read many books. It’s a different thing most of them were short books but anyway it’s all about finishing that Goodreads challenge and even surpassing it, isn ‘t it? I finished mine in first two weeks of the month. I checked many boxes of Popsugar challenge. I bought Wimpy Kid series for Christmas and I’m sure by reading that series I’m going to finish 2020AtoZ challenge that I didn’t finish this year.

So here is the summery of what I read and reviewed in December-

Total Books read 11
6 Paperback (2 Received from authors + 4 won in giveaways)
5 E copies (2 NetGalley + 3 Author requests)
Reviews: 10 (1 book read last month)
Total Pages: 2674

Last month I read but reviewed in December-

Moon Deeds (Star Children Saga #1) by Palmer Pickering — [Review] 3/5

Books I read and reviewed in Nov-

The Age of Akra (Starchild #1) by Vacen Taylor — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • It was fantastic first book in the Starschild series. It was middle grade fantasy that revolved around Mai’s journey that turned into thrilling and dangerous adventure.
  • It was about hope, friendship, bravery, and kindness.
  • I liked the chosen one and good vs evil arc in this book. Author turned this arc into extraordinary by including prophecy, elemental magic, giant serpent and spiders, dark magic, underworld monsters, and brave young characters.
  • What I loved most was world-building. I enjoyed reading about 8 elemental magic and seven nations, each nation was skilled in particular element, various powers of particular elemental magic, rift between nations, and how things were changing because of dark magic and rising of being from underworld.
  • Overall, it was total fun, coming of age middle grade fantasy filled with action and magic. I highly recommend this to middle grade readers.

The City of Souls (Starchild #2) by Vacen Taylor — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • This was adventurous second book in Starchild series that takes children- Akra, Mai, Long and Sahib- to the City of soulbankers, regulator of life and death and their adventure in this city of souls.
  • It was about beginning of the war against evil forces, irresolute mind, self-doubt, manipulation, love of sister, friendship and understanding and controlling the elemental powers and skills.
  • The world was brilliant. This time we are introduced to one of the city of soulbankers, their lush green forests, their characteristics, way of living, and how they use their elemental magic. I loved that chamber of souls and how they collect and preserve each souls until they were given new life.
  • Climax was tense and uncertain. End was tragic yet the hope in these kids kept them going ahead on their journey.
  • Overall, it was gripping and unique middle grade book with magical world and developed characters. I surely recommend this book to young readers.

The Healing Stone (Starchild #3) by Vacen Taylor — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • This was a thrilling third installment in Starchild series and was much better than previous books. This follows Akra, Mai and Kalin’s journey towards Algus, City of Ice and their adventure in this cold nation.
  • It was about friendship, situation testing their skill and patience, hope and faith in prophecy.
  • The characters, plot and world was getting better in this book. The world was interesting. Along with the Algus, people of ice and their way of living, rules and laws, creatures of ice and dangers in the icy Mountains, there was interesting legend about the healing stone and how the world of elemental magic developed and 8 nations were created each possessing one elemental skill, how prophecy came into existence and why people believed in it.
  • Each chapters were exciting to read, revealed more about the world and characters. Their journey from city to icy mountains where lay the healing stone was filled with adventure and danger.
  • Overall, it was gripping, fun, dangerous and adventurous journey of four kids in the world of elemental magic and prophecy that played important part. I recommend this book to all middle grade lovers.

Fire and the Falcon (Starchild #4) by Vacen Taylor — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • It was most adventurous in this fantasy series that took children to land of fire where they found many answers.
  • It was about evils of magic, slavery, fight for justice and freedom, bravery and friendship.
  • This time along with characters I got to know more about fireruler’s city and their steam inventions. They also used rifles which was called ‘refell’ here. This hot and dry nation was different from other nation. It was advanced in machineries, costly, people were diverse.
  • Many things happened in this book that made story exciting. Akra found his answers, he found the real use of Silvershade and its importance in prophecy. Oh and there were some surprising revelations in the middle and end of the book .
  • Overall, it was fantastic middle grade fantasy filled with action, adventure and lot of magic. I recommend you catch up with this fantastic series before final book is released.

The Doubt Factor by Renée Paule — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • This was non-fiction, self-help book in which author encourages to seek the truth by implanting the doubt on the age-old beliefs, mindsets, habits, authority, rights and prejudice, human nature, and even on the food, making you question everything and ponder over the true meaning of life.
  • All topics were insightful and motivational. They had so many things one can discuss over again and again and find something enlightening every time.
  • In a nutshell, author talked about inner happiness, clearing the confusion by clearing the doubts, change of heart, self-reflection, strengthening the mind and will, seeking wisdom, a true authority on ourselves by being selfless and removing evil, negative thoughts, and doing right and good thing in life, be a kindred spirit and bring change in our life and so in society. It’s these things we are going to take with us after death not worldly possessions.
  • Overall, it was inspirational, motivational and very insightful collection of essays. I highly recommend this book if you’re into self-help books.

Love to Prove You Wrong (Old Pine Cove, #2) by Sophie-Leigh Robbins — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • It was lovely and cozy romcom, a dazzling love story of Addy. It was hate to love and character falling in love with celebrity arc.
  • It was about second chance, denial of love and misjudgment.
  • Setting was the same as first book and like first book, it was charming. Loved Old Pine Cove in spring and town activities in this season.
  • It was great to see both Justin and Addy’s feelings develop. They were perfect with each other. Their dates were awesome. Paparazzi, drama, and jealousy added spice in the story.
  • Overall, it was light, sweet and fun read with lovely characters and town. I highly recommend this book.

I Have (Had) Enough by Jeff Jacobson — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • This was memoir, a collection of author’s reflection on life, memories lived as a friend, husband and majorly as a father.
  • It was about life experiences, friendship, fatherhood, faith, hope, and love.
  • Book was written in 6 parts. dedicated to Jeff’s family and loved ones and toJesus.
  • All parts showed Jeff’s struggle as parents, journey of life from friendship, marriage, birth of all his children, childhood and teenage years and how they turned into adults bursting Jeff with pride, love, and joy, how he revere Jesus for all he got in life keeping the faith alive.
  • It was insightful collection of essays that inspired and motivated me to cherish the time I have, record all the wonderful moments I’m having with my daughter and at the same time be strong for the tough time and the time when they grow up to live their own life with the faith and trust in God.
  • Overall, it was thoughtful ocean of love and life of Jeff, I loved to read. I definitely recommend this book.

Veiled By Desire (Laith, #2) by Candace Robinson — [Review] Stars: 5/5

  • Veiled By Desire was another bittersweet tale in Laith series. It’s a story of two fierce and strong female protagonists, Tavarra and Rhona.
  • It was about heart’s desire, desire and love gone wrong because of betrayal, a dream turned to nightmare by selfishness, magical abilities, love and family taken away by sinister leader, curse and legends, fighting fears, unlikely friendship and strength of love.
  • The setting and the world was the best part. Tavarra’s curse was interesting.
  • Climax was tragic, sad, and action packed. End was good but tragedy made it so sad.
  • Overall, it was engaging, thrilling and atmospheric dark fantasy with amazing world and characters.

Hands Up by Stephen Clark — [Review] Stars: 4.5/5

  • It was thought provoking adult fiction that revolved around three characters tied by tragedy.
  • It was about Police brutality, injustice, racism, loss and grief, depression, betrayal and guilt.
  • Told in multiple perspective that showed their character’s life and view point perfectly, how death of teenage black boy, Tyrell, affected them and changed their life. We see the story from perpetrator, estranged father who saw it chance to return back with his family, and family’s emotions and hardship.
  • This was character driven story packed with emotions and many serious, thought-provoking, and controversial topics.
  • Romance was weakest point. I think characters forgave too easily. Both points seemed implausible .
  • Overall, it was powerful, compelling and gripping fiction that dealt with controversial topics commendably. I definitely recommend this book for those who love to read thought provoking book.

I also read- (but will be reviewing in Jan)

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Both were good. Review will be up in Jan during the blog tour for these books.


You can check all blitz/promos/spotlights HERE.

Author Interview:

Varsha Ravi, author of The Heartless


The Sunshine Blogger Award

My most favorite book this month:

All of them were good but the best was 3rd book in Starchild Series and Veiled by desire.

Let’s discuss!

How was you month in reading? What did you read in December? Have you read any of these books? Are you going add any to your TBR? Which book(s) was your favorite this month?


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#BookReview: Veiled By Desire (Laith #2) by Candace Robinson @literarydust

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Veiled By Desire (Laith #2) by Candace Robinson
Publication Date: November 19th 2019
Publisher: The Parliament House
Genre: Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Pages: 254
Stars: ★★★★★

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In Laith, when the moons are high, Tavarra is allowed to walk the land as a human for one day, losing her seahorse-like tail. But should she remain out of the water, a curse will overtake her, turning her into a beast with sharp fangs and long claws. A beast that, on some nights, takes the shape of a rampaging, uncontrollable monster.

Rhona, along with her village, are under a sinister leader’s control. Their leader has taken Rhona from the boy she loves, stripped away her abilities and, under the threat of killing everyone she loves, forces her on a dangerous task to retrieve a dark prism that will increase his already massive powers.

When Tavarra and Rhona cross paths, they discover they need each other. Rhona knows how to help the cursed sea creature, while Tavarra knows where to find the dark prism. They embark on a mission that could help them break Tavarra’s spell and save Rhona’s family and village. But with an untamable beast inside Tavarra, nothing is certain…

*** Note: I received e-copy this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author. ***

Previous Book in the series I read:

Other Books i read by the same author:

Veiled By Desire was another bittersweet tale in Laith series. It’s a story of two fierce and strong female protagonists, Tavarra and Rhona. It was about heart’s desire, desire and love gone wrong because of betrayal, a dream turned to nightmare by selfishness, magical abilities, love and family taken away by sinister leader, curse and legends, fighting fears, unlikely friendship and strength of love. It packs so many things in 250 pages.


Tavarra was my most favorite character in the book. She was both beauty and the beast. She was fierce, strong and deadly. I could feel her emotions from the very beginning. She had to go through a lot in the book. Her friendship with Eza was like rose among thorns. I loved the way she developed in the book. How she got over betrayal and let the sunshine enter in the darkness of her soul and heart. Even after all that happened she learned to trust humans.

Rhona was great in this book. I loved her fierce and stubborn nature, her friendship with Perin and her love for her mother and Quilan. Her emotions were raw and touching. I could feel her anger at Perin for hiding many things, her frustration for not fighting Belen before it was too late, for Quilan’s cold treatment. She was developed character and loved the way she supported Tavarra.

I loved side characters too. Eza was second best character. This bat gave light and refreshing touch to this dark fantasy. She was stubborn creature, a best friend and cutest little thing. Perin was amazing. I loved his relationship with Rhona and Tavarra. I didn’t know if I liked him or not at first but he grew on me eventually. Quilan and his cousin were also amazing.

[What I liked]

It doesn’t follow the first book. This took place ages after story of siblings ended. It was more like a spinoff, we hear a brief tale of first book and you can read it as standalone.

Writing was brilliant. I said last time, Clouded by Envy was best book by Candace but she proved me wrong. This was even better than that. This has raised my expectation for third book even more. Candace is wonderful storyteller. The world, cast and characters, plot, emotions, adventure- everything was brilliant and perfectly balanced.

The story was third person narrative told alternatively from Tavarra and Rhona’s perspective. It started with Tavarra roaming the land of Laith after ill-fated curse with a terrible guilt and self-loath. She was turned into beast for not returning to sea after a day. The only thing that kept her going and maybe living was her best friend, Eza (a bat who looked like fairy with fangs and black wings), and a hope to find stone of desire that could remove the curse.

At the same time in another village of Laith, Rhona was living under control of sinister leader who took away her childhood, her love (Quilan whom she met 10 years ago), her magical abilities, and now threatened to take her mother and destroy whole village unless she set on journey with her best friend, Perin, and retrieve dark prism.

I was curious to see how Rhona and Tavarra’s path will cross and how they were going to help each other. The story was about, how Rhona will find the dark prism, if she can save her mother and if Tavarra can find the stone of desire and remove the curse and what they both will encounter in this journey, will they get what they thought was lost.

The setting and the world was the best part. Tavarra’s curse was interesting.  How she turned from mermaid to human and then beast was best part of the story. The way she turned into werewolf like beast but not just at full moon or every night but most nights. It was mesmerizing to see her change and strength. Rhona and Quilan’s abilities were unique too. Magic of prisms, crimson forest and dangers lurking in the forest, legend of Stone of Desire and humans’ arrival in Laith, bat, fairies and other creatures of Laith was wonderfully narrated.

Climax was tragic, sad and at the same time action packed. It brought tears to my eyes. End was good but tragedy made it so sad, I could feel Tavarra’s emotions. It was great and the same time I so want to change the ending and the tragic part.

Overall, it was engaging, thrilling and atmospheric dark fantasy with amazing world and characters.

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Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book by the same author? Which your most favorite dark fantasy?


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