Category: Book Reviews

Highland Retribution – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Keira Montclair's historical romance novel, Highland Retribution
Jenn reviews Keira Montclair’s historical romance novel, Highland Retribution

About the Book

Highland Retribution,  Keira Montclair, The Band of Cousins Volume 3

Adult, Historical Romance

Keira Montclair (June 17, 2018)

They stole everything from her. With his help, she’ll finally get it back. Braden Grant is haunted by the death of his friend Ronan, who took his own life. No one knows why the warrior resorted to such desperate measures, but Braden blames himself. He won’t feel settled until he’s atoned for failing to save his friend, and when he meets Cairstine Muir, he wonders if he’s finally found his chance. Held against her will by the very man who killed her family, the lass is a prisoner in her own keep. Her beauty and quiet strength call to him as much as her situation urges him to fight. Though life has taught her harsh lessons, Cairstine still has an ember of hope in her heart. She longs to escape her captors and exact vengeance on them, but nothing is more important to her than her wee son’s safety. Though she failed to save her family, she pledges she will always save him, come what may. When a strong, handsome defender steps into her life, promising to help her exact vengeance on her captors, she sees the opportunity she’s waited for…but is the possibility of a new life worth the risk to her son?

About the Author

Keira Montclair is the pen name of an author who lives in Florida with her husband. She loves to write fast-paced, emotional romance, especially with children as secondary characters in her stories. 
She has worked as a registered nurse in pediatrics and recovery room nursing. Teaching is another of her loves, as she has taught both high school mathematics and practical nursing.

Now she loves to spend her time writing, but there isn’t enough time to write everything she wants! Her Highlander Clan Grant Series is a reader favorite is a series of eight stand-alone novels. The Summerhill Series is a contemporary romance series set in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region in Western New York. Her third series, The Highland Clan, is set twenty years after the Clan Grant Series and will focus on the Grant/Ramsay descendants. Her newest series is The Soulmate Chronicles, historical romance with a touch of paranormal. 

You may contact her through her website at www.keiramontclair.com. She also has a Facebook account and a twitter account through Keira Montclair. If you send her an email through her website, she promises to respond.

Jenn’s Review

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with a romance I knew I could finish in an afternoon. Highland Retribution was on my TBR pile, and I figured I’d breeze through it during one of our family reading nights.

Highland Retribution is aahistorical romance set in 1280’s Scotland, and features Braden Grant and Caistine Muir – two young people with vastly different upbringings.

Braden has a quick and violent temper, but he’s been raised to do the right thing, to never hit those more vulnerable than himself, and to protect women and children. He’s recently lost his closet friend to apparent suicide, and the brief encounter with a beautiful young stranger seems to have had a powerful impact on him. Every instinct inside Braden drives him to seek her out and learn more about her situation – little does he know that learning about her will draw him and his cousins into danger and deeper into an on going mystery surrounding apparent child trafficking.

Cairstine is in a bad situation – the man who killed her entire clan has been holding her hostage for 6 years, their child is the shackles he uses to control her. When she encounters the handsome stranger at a wedding feast that she and her captor were not invited to, her heart begs the heavens to send him to help her. But first, she needs to make sure her son is safe, and her journey out of captivity is a rollercoaster of emotions and danger.

This is a quick read. Not the best romance I’ve read lately, but certainly a satisfying read. The characters don’t always have distinct voices, which was a disappointment – this is the third book in a series, and I would expect that at this point, the author would have sufficiently developed her characters and their voices. Aside from that, if you enjoy hunky Scotsmen, action, and mystery, snag this book for a quiet evening reading.

Jenn reviews Keira Montclair's historical romance novel, Highland Retribution
Jenn reviews Keira Montclair’s historical romance novel, Highland Retribution

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Off the Map – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

About the Book

Off the Map, Sierra Dean

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 220 Pages

Sierra Dean (October 2, 2018)

Her last job won’t be a day at the beach.

Harper Barton has one reason and one reason only to be in Colombia, and it isn’t for fun in the sun. As an expert in “acquiring” antiquities, she’s been tasked with collecting a valuable necklace from a gala. The problem? A drug kingpin wants the piece for himself, and won’t let a cat burglar get in his way.

Diego Morales is in Colombia doing research for his next book. The mild-mannered professor was expecting dusty books and boring lecture halls, not a beautiful woman sweeping him onto the dance floor and planting a kiss on him before being chased out of the building by armed guards.

Harper and Diego find themselves neck-deep in trouble when they’re kidnapped by the drug kingpin, but things go from bad to worse when they both go overboard and end up lost in the middle of the Colombian jungle. Can they stay alive long enough to get home? Can they stop fighting long enough to realize there’s more than just jungle heat simmering between them?

Off the Map is high-stakes adventure with spark, snark, and plenty of danger. 

About the Author


Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

Jenn’s Review

Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in Sierra Dean’s action romantic suspense Off the Map, complete with a snarky, dare-devil heroine and anthropology professor (albeit far less daring) hero.

Harper Barton’s career as a specialty cat burgler goes sideways as the intelligence reports for a quick grab-and-go job in Columbia turns out to be utterly wrong. In an effort to get out alive, she wrangles an unassuming man into a dance at the museum gala, plants her prize in his pocket, steals a hot kiss and attempts to make a getaway.

Diego can’t believe his luck. He’s in Columbia to study some artifacts that appear to be from a lost warrior culture, and has a speech to give at the museum gala. So far, his trip has been less than exciting, and his sister back home has pestered him for years to have an adventure. When the beautiful woman who invited him to dance kisses him so passionately that he can’t wait to see her again, he thinks he might finally accomplish his sister’s challenge.

Until the beautiful woman dashes away, with armed guards on her heels.

The pair alternate between attraction and bickering over the course of the ensuing days, trying to survive their explosive escape from captivity and certain death at the hands of Columbia’s most notorious and insane drug lord. Free of his clutches, can Harper and Diego survive the jungle to make it back to safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dean’s world-building and character development are spot-on. The tension, both sexual and plot, kept me reading long past bedtime, and her twists in the plot kept me guessing what misfortune might befall the couple right up to the end.

This was a satisfying story, but I felt it ended very abruptly. Ms. Dean does suggest that this may have a sequel, but with so little space between the couple’s reunion and the end… The only other down-side of my review of the book is that the editing was incomplete, but not so much as to make the book unreadable.

Off the Map is an adult read, steamy, without edging off into erotica. Action-packed, thrilling, and immersive, this one gets a thumbs up.

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

About the Book

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society, Desdemona Wren

Adult, NA Paranormal, 339 Pages

Publisher: Antler Doe Publishing; 1 edition (September 4, 2018)

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to the last place she ever thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone important to her has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

This title is LGBTQIA+ and features a full POC cast.

About the Author

Desdemona Wren is a novelist who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and actual plots. She’s from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says ‘brah’, ‘bruh’, ‘bro’ or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they’ve been everywhere. For more information on future books, visit her website at http://desdemonawren.com

Jenn’s Review

New Adult fiction isn’t something I generally jump at, but I made an exception for this review request, from author Desdemona Wren, because I love paranormal fiction, and wanted to try something a little different.

Marjorie’s last semester of college isn’t off to a great start when she gets partnered with sarcastic, flirtatious Patrick on their first day of Senior Seminar for their senior project. She thought she knew everyone in her major, and Patrick seems to know her, but Marjorie has no recollection of seeing this man in any of her classes.

To complicate things further, his flirtatious behavior is followed up by a hallway make-out session. Marjorie walks out of class to be confronted by Patrick and his very beautiful girlfriend kissing.

Aside from the storyline, this book was an adventure for me – an asexual protagonist in a romance, millennial voice, and a driving plotline. Ms. Wren’s storytelling feels a tad awkward at times, with scattered dialogue that didn’t seem to drive the plot and lagging character development that picks up once it’s finally established.

That said, however, the author took the time to give each character a unique voice in the book, and to some degree, I would attribute some of the awkward narratives to the protagonist’s personality, more than the author’s writing skill (Marjorie has some deep-seated issues – she’s not glamorous by any means). Hooray for a deeply flawed heroine that isn’t swooning over every cute guy she meets!

This is definitely not a young adult read and is geared towards the New Adult level. With an asexual heroine, the book is free of any graphic sexual content, however, the language is rough enough that I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under 16. Millennial fans of paranormal and diverse books – this one is for you.

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

Motivation Manifesto

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s Motivation Manifesto

About the Book

Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard

Adult, Personal Development, 256 Pages

Publisher: Hay House Inc.; First Edition edition (October 28, 2014)

“The Motivation Manifesto is a poetic and powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. It’s a triumphant work that transcends the title, lifting the reader from mere motivation into a soaringly purposeful and meaningful life. I love this book.” — Paulo Coelho

The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power. World-renowned high-performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear.

The march to Personal Freedom, Burchard argues, can be won only by declaring our intent and independence, stepping into our personal power, and battling through self-doubt and the distractions of the day until full victory is won. Recalling the revolutionist voices of the past that chose freedom over tyranny, Burchard—at times poetic yet always fierce—motivates us to free ourselves from fear and take back our lives once and for all.

About the Author

 
BRENDON BURCHARD is one of the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers in the world. He is a global Top 100 Most-Followed Public Figure on Facebook, and he’s often referred to as “one of the most successful online trainers in history” (Oprah.com). A #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 USA Today bestselling author, his books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket. He is the star and executive producer of the #1 self-help show on YouTube, and his podcast, The Charged Life, debuted at #1 on iTunes. Over 50,000,000 people watched his videos in the last 12 months, more than 30,000,000 see his posts every week across the web, and 1,000,000-plus students have completed his online courses or video series. SUCCESS Magazine named Brendon as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement, along with Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Joel Osteen, Arianna Huffington, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Oz, Wayne Dyer, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Learn more at Brendon.com

Jenn’s Review

I’m a personal development junkie (for those who don’t already know this). I stumbled upon Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto while looking for something else on his website. At the time, I was mired in overwhelm, health issues, and depression, and as I was already somewhat familiar with Brendon’s work, I jumped on what appeared to be a lovely volume of literature.

I was not disappointed.

This is a slender volume, for sure, coming in at under 250 pages. Contents aside, the time and care Mr. Burchard put into designing the book is clear – this could easily be an heirloom work of philosophical rhetoric from centuries ago.

The content is what sets this book apart, though. Borrowing from the great philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, Burchard stylizes and lays out a challenge to 21st Century dwellers to live more fully, open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, and raise our standards.

If you would prefer not to take a hard look at how you’re currently living your life, to be challenged to hold yourself accountable for your words, behavior, and impact on the world, this is not the book for you. If you are not ready to flip your life upside down and change how you think and how you live, this book is not for you.

If, however, you’re looking for motivation to improve your life, start with this volume. If you want to find those elements that seem to be missing from your life, depriving you of a life fully lived – this is your book.

Slender though it is, The Motivation Manifesto is not a book to be rushed through. Take your time. Ponder each section and every declaration. Do the exercises in the accompanying workbook (free to download). Share a copy or two with someone you love.

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover and Audio CD formats here:

Dark Goddess

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard's YA Paranormal Fiction novel, DARK GODDESS - OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction, Authors of Color, Paranormal Romance
Jenn reviews Amalie Howard’s YA Paranormal Fiction novel, Dark Goddess

About the Book


Dark Goddess, by Elaine Pofeldt 

Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, 381 Pages Sky Pony February 13, 2018

After an epic struggle that unseated the Azura Lord of Death and placed Serjana Caelum’s best friend, Kyle, on his throne, the Mortal Realm is peaceful and the balance between good and evil—which Sera is sworn to protect—has been restored.

But signs of a new threat to the world of men quickly begin to appear: A scourge of demons descends on the Mortal Realm, and Sera is beside herself trying to locate their source. She sends word to the gods for help, and their answer comes in the form of Kira, the living incarnation of Kali, goddess of destruction.

Stunning and dangerous, Kira plans to protect the heavens at all cost, even if it means destroying the entire Mortal Realm. Soon Sera and Kyle find themselves fighting not just the demon plague, but Kira and her twin. But when an even more sinister threat arises—putting not just the human world but all planes of existence in jeopardy—they must all learn to work together or lose everything they sacrificed so much to save.

About the Author

Biography

AMALIE HOWARD is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s INDIE NEXT selection. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 bestseller in gothic fiction, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national IPPY silver medalist and Children’s Moonbeam Award winner. She is also the co-author of the #1 bestseller in Regency Romance, My Rogue, My Ruin, in the Lords of Essex historical romance series. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.

Jenn’s Review

Sera and Kyle are back for more adventures in Xibalba in the second installment of the Alpha Goddess series by Amalie Howard, Dark Goddess.

The teens narrowly averted the Kali Yuga in Alpha Goddess, but if they thought it was over, they’ll have to think again. More demons are escaping the hell realms, regardless of how many Kyle sends back through the portals. The ruling gods and protectors of the mortal realm trust neither Sera nor Kyle, citing their separate parentage and exploits from the first half of the story. Dev has vanished back to Illysia, leaving Sera in the hands of some very zealous warrior goddesses, and without critical information that Kyle and Sera could sure use to get the demon problems under control.

To further complicate things, the situation has awoken two goddesses that are bent on resetting the balance, Kali and Durga. And Kyle is crushing on both of them. Because, you know, getting involved with volatile, destroyer goddesses that have a reputation for ignoring the rules is always a good idea when the human race is on the line. (Or so Sera points out.)

The clock is ticking and time for humanity is getting short. Can Sera and Kyle solve the riddle of the demon invasion, without help from the council, before Kali’s deadline arrives?

This is another young adult, OwnVoices novel from an incredible author. Not your run of the mill Greek mythology, Ms. Howard pulls in all the colors, smells, and culture that surrounds Hindu beliefs and weaves them into a vibrant, diverse urban fantasy.

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard's YA Paranormal Fiction novel, DARK GODDESS - OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction, Authors of Color, Paranormal Romance

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard’s YA Paranormal Fiction novel, Dark Goddess

Sam’s Review

Sera is now torn between the man who is her soulmate and the demon lord she’s known for a long time. And apparently the apocalypse isn’t over yet. Now she must go against the people who only want to protect her from the danger she herself is expected to face.

This book is just as good as the other one. Filled with suspense, romance, and magic, Dark Goddess is a thrilling sequel. But like the previous story, it was cliche in a couple of places.

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Hardcover editions. [affiliate link]

Alpha Goddess

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard's YA Paranormal Fiction novel, ALPHA GODDESS - ownvoices, diverse books, paranormal, Hindu mythology
Jenn reviews Amalie Howard’s YA Paranormal Fiction novel, Alpha Goddess

About the Book


Alpha Goddess, by Elaine Pofeldt 

Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, 381 Pages

Sky Pony March 18, 2014

In Seraphine Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence—Illysia (the Light Realm), Earth (the Mortal Realm), and Xibalba (the Dark Realm). Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azraiel, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azraiel before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.

Retellings of classic fairy tales and Greek myths are becoming staples in the YA and adult fiction genres, and now Amalie Howard, author of the popular Bloodspell, brings the myth of Rama and Sita’s love story to an exciting new level. Howard’s stunningly fresh voice and imaginative characters promise to make Alpha Goddess an exciting addition to the young adult fiction world. Aimed at readers ages 13 to 17, both girls and boys will relate to Sera’s and Kyle’s realistic teen persona and dilemmas while learning more about a famous Hindu myth.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

About the Author

Biography

AMALIE HOWARD is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, School Library Journal, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s INDIE NEXT selection. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 bestseller in gothic fiction, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national IPPY silver medalist and Children’s Moonbeam Award winner. She is also the co-author of the #1 bestseller in Regency Romance, My Rogue, My Ruin, in the Lords of Essex historical romance series. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.

Jenn’s Review

Amalie Howard’s ALPHA GODDESS is a YA OwnVoices paranormal novel with some elements of romance. Like many paranormal stories, the author draws from ancient legend and myths to create her world. Unlike the overdone Greek and Roman myths, though, Ms. Howard draws from her Indian heritage and features the colorful, rich tapestry that is Hindu mythology.

Serjana has been struggling with increasingly vivid, violent nightmares since she turned 16. Her parents are making her crazy with being over-protective and overly inquisitive about her dreams, her waking experiences, and her lack of a love life. Her unusual looks don’t help her already awkward social life. And just to complicate things, her best friend, Kyle, seems to be getting involved with drugs, a gang, or both, and she’s got a crush on the cute guy next door, whom her bestie HATES.

Sera has been the only person in Kyle’s life he could trust, besides his foster Mom, Carla. His mother died trying to kill him when he was 5, and the secret he’s carrying is slowly strangling him. Sera doesn’t believe in the metaphysical, the paranormal, or immortality. Kyle sure wishes he could convince her, though. Then he could trust her with his secret, the fate he’d trade his soul to avoid.

When Sera and Kyle each learn their true identities, though, their common ground could spell the end of humanity. Sera is one of many incarnations of the goddess Lakshmi, forever bound in love to the cute guy next door, Devendra, an incarnation of her forever mate, Vishnu. Kyle? He’s just the son of one of the seven lords of Xibalba, the hell realm.

Destiny marches forward, dragging the teens into a battle that will decide the fate of the mortal realm, Xibalba, and Illysia, the realm of gods and immortals.

This is the first book in a series, filled with colorful legends, deeply developed characters, and plot twists (plus a healthy dose of humor, just for good measure). Be sure to pick it up and have a read!

Jenn reviews Amalie Howard's YA Paranormal Fiction novel, ALPHA GODDESS - ownvoices, diverse books, paranormal, Hindu mythology
Jenn reviews Amalie Howard’s YA Paranormal Fiction novel, Alpha Goddess

Sam’s Review

What if the Hindu myths were real? What if they walked among us, and held our fates in their hands? In Alpha Goddess, Sera, a normal girl, suffers a fate far more than what she’d ever wanted. She is the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, a deity so powerful she is rumored to control all planes of existence, even the demon realm. This, clearly, causes some big issues to occur.

I loved this book because it had an interesting storyline. The characters were well developed, and the conflict was incredible. A very interesting way to learn a little about the Hindu myths, and truly a gift to book lovers anywhere.

However, as with every book, there were some negative things to say about this book. One is there were several cliches. Like the, “teen girl can’t understand why her” cliche. Other than that, it was still very good.

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and Hardcover and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Awakening to Life: Your Sacred Guide to Consciously Creating a Life of Purpose, Magic, and Miracles

Jenn reviews Patricia Young's AWAKENING TO LIFE - Nonfiction, Personal Development, Self-Help
Jenn reviews Patricia Young’s Awakening to Life

About the book:

Awakening to Life:: Your Sacred Guide to Consciously Creating a Life of Purpose, Magic, and Miracles by Patricia Young
Inspired Living Publishing, LLC.
May 29, 2018

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER & #1 BESTSELLER in Mid-Life Management
Inside Awakening to Life: Your Sacred Guide to Consciously Creating a Life of Purpose, Magic, and Miracles are the permission, validation, and action steps you need to break free of what’s been holding you back. With honesty, grace, and compassion, Transformational Life Coach Patricia Young will teach you how to wholeheartedly embrace the possibilities of a truly authentic, inspired life-a life created by you, for you, in total alignment with your deepest core.

We all have a core of divine power within us, just waiting to be awakened. When we fully connect to this part of ourselves-to our desires, our intuition, and our greater purpose for being-a truly magical evolution begins to occur. We discover that we can work miracles in our own lives, and in the world, simply by being who we are.

If you are feeling lost, stuck, or disempowered; if you are no longer satisfied living by others’ rules; if your heart is longing to shine its light and illuminate the path of your passion, you are in the right place. In your hands, you hold the key to becoming everything you already are, and more.

Jenn’s Review:

Feeling stuck in life, paralyzed by fear and indecision? Do you feel trapped in a dead end job that’s slowly sucking the life out of you? Start with Patricia Young’s, Awakening to Life.

Young breaks down how she got herself unstuck, found herself and her passions, and moved in the direction of her dreams, and shares the process she uses with her coaching clients into nine simple steps that comprise the chapters of this book.

Covering such topics as dreams, feeling trapped, fear, passions, and goals, readers can follow the steps to find their own self again and break free of living to the expectations of others. The author provides journal prompts and worksheets for moving through the steps, as well.

Patricia Young’s writing is deeply personal and vulnerable as she shares her own journey as it relates to the steps she outlines.

Regardless of your circumstances, ability level, or past, Awakening to Life can walk you through the process of breaking free, finding healing and purpose, and living an authentic life.

Jenn reviews Patricia Young's AWAKENING TO LIFE - Nonfiction, Personal Development, Self-Help
Jenn reviews Patricia Young’s AWAKENING TO LIFE – Nonfiction, Personal Development, Self-Help

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Shark Bait

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Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's contemporary romantic suspense novel, SHARK BAIT
Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller’s contemporary romantic suspense novel, Shark Bait

About the Book

Shark Bait, Nancy E. Miller 

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 308 Pages

Gypsy Willow Press (May 18, 2017)

Mental health counselor Kate Ainsworth received the call from Det. Rayder summoning her to the beach. Never did she guess that the trip involved a client’s head washed up on shore. Murder and mayhem ensue with Kate in the crosshairs. Ben Rayder is set to protect the woman he loves and track down the murderer, hoping it is her pesky ex-husband just so he can arrest the rich bum. Can he convince her to give love a second chance after devastating betrayal? But first, he must protect her from becoming shark bait.

About the Author

Nancy E Miller

 Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Jenn’s Review

I’ve read Nancy E. Miller’s two other suspense/romance novels, and by far, Shark Bait was my absolute favorite and falls firmly in the Romantic Suspense category.

Kate Ainsworth is a mental health counselor. She mostly enjoys her job, though her boss is a chronic headache. Unfortunately for Kate, one of her clients has washed up on the beach. In pieces. With two dead sharks. Enter Det. Ben Rayder, who is in the unfortunate position of having to call Kate to identify her client’s remains.

The situation grows more and more complicated as Ben and Kate reconnect and the danger to Kate becomes increasingly apparent. The pair has a history that didn’t end well, and Kate’s ex-husband is on the prowl to seemingly get himself back into her good graces. Can Ben keep her safe when more than her heart is on the line?

As I mentioned, this book falls squarely in the romantic suspense category, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I read the entire book in two sittings and had to rearrange my calendar just so that I could sit and enjoy this fast-paced adventure.

Ms. Miller’s characters are well developed and multi-faceted. It was difficult to hit the end of this book because I really wanted to continue following their journey. Her world-building in this novel was superb. I think only one or two moments gave me pause enough to pull me out of the story for more than a moment. Plot twists were mostly surprises, though one or two were visible from a long way off.

Considering the plot of the book, I also give props to Ms. Miller for her deft handling of what could be very disturbing and graphic moments in the story. She’s handled potential triggers with a deft hand and dialed down the “gross”.

In short, if you only read one of Miller’s novels this year, start here. By far the best indie-published romantic suspense I’ve read in a long time.

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's contemporary romantic suspense novel, SHARK BAIT
Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller’s contemporary romantic suspense novel, Shark Bait

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here:

Lifetime Conversation Guide

Jenn reviews James K. Von Fleet's LIFETIME CONVERSATION GUIDE - Nonfiction, Personal Development, Interpersonal Relationships.
Jenn reviews James K. Von Fleet’s Lifetime Conversation Guide – Nonfiction, Personal Development, Interpersonal Relationships.

About the book:

Lifetime Conversation Guide by James K. Van Fleet

Prentice Hall Direct; 1st Edition edition

September 1, 1984

Whether at home or at work, you spend a lot of your waking hours conversing with other people. You try to influence their behavior by advising, ordering, and persuading–but all too often, you fail to get through to them. Here are scores of “conversation power” techniques you can use to control the behavior of others in virtually any family, business, or social situation. Without ever raising your voice, you can get anyone to do what you want, the way you want–and do it gladly.Once you learn these simple methods of verbal persuasion, you’ll wield an almost magical power over everyone–and win the respect, support, and friendship of everyone you meet!

Jenn’s Review:

This one floated into our store inventory, and I was curious as a business owner and an aspiring mentor/coach. Having finished the book, I have mixed feelings.

Mr. Van Fleet lays out numerous healthy conversation habits, such as how to actively listen, how to ask leading questions, how to relate well to your spouse and children. That said, half of the book could probably be cut in editing – he constantly reiterates what he just said, and continually tries to sell the reader on the benefits of what he’s about to teach you.

I also found the book dated (it was published in 1984), and frequently condescending towards women. However, if you are willing to put on your hip-waders and muck through the irrelevant and chauvenism, you’ll discover a wealth of solid advice on marketing, networking, and general conversation.

Jenn reviews James K. Von Fleet's LIFETIME CONVERSATION GUIDE - Nonfiction, Personal Development, Interpersonal Relationships.
Jenn reviews James K. Von Fleet’s Lifetime Conversation Guide – Nonfiction, Personal Development, Interpersonal Relationships.

Buy the book:

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business – Review

Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt's THE ONE-MILLION DOLLAR, ONE-PERSON BUSINESS on the Thrice Read Books Blog. Nonfiction, Business Books, Business Development
Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt’s The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on the Thrice Read Books Blog.

About the Book

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business: Make Great Money. Work the Way You Like. Have the Life You Want.,  Elaine Pofeldt 

Adult, Small Business

Lorena Jones Books (January 2, 2018)

The indispensable guide to earning a six-figure take-home income on your own terms, from Forbes.com contributing writer Elaine Pofeldt.

The rise of one-million-dollar, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want. In The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business, Elaine Pofeldt outlines the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who’ve done it. She explains how to identify, launch, grow, and reinvent the business, showing how a single individual can generate $1 million in revenue–something only larger small companies have done in the past. Both inspirational and practical, this book will appeal to all who seek a great worklife and a great lifestyle.

About the Author

Biography

Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist who specializes in small business, entrepreneurship and careers. She is the author of “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business,” a look at how entrepreneurs are hitting seven-figure revenue in businesses where they are the only employees (Random House, Jan. 2, 2018). Her work has appeared in FORTUNE, Money, CNBC, Inc., Forbes, Crain’s New York Business and many other business publications and she is a contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit. 

As a senior editor at FORTUNE Small Business, where she worked for eight years, Elaine was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for her features and ran the magazine’s annual business plan completion. During her time at FSB, she ran the magazine’s website, fsb.com, for four years, building its traffic to two to five million page views a month. 

Elaine graduated from Yale University with a BA in English. She lives in in New Jersey with her husband and their four children and in her free time enjoys taekwondo, yoga and running.

Jenn’s Review

As the owner of not one, but two online businesses, I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to bootstrap to success. The Million Dollar One-Person Business proves that running lean all the way to huge profits is possible.

Through case-studies and in-depth analysis, the author dissects what makes some lean start ups succeed while others fizzle out.

This is one of my top five recommended reads for someone considering starting their on business. Running a business, especially a bootstrapped start up, is hard work, and the author doesn’t sugar coat this aspect of entrepreneurship.

I came away from this reading with more ideas for our own businesses and how to group them with little to no borrowing.

If you’re tired of the grind and want an honest look at lean start ups, start with this book. I’ll be coming back to this book and it’s various worksheets frequently.

Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt's THE ONE-MILLION DOLLAR, ONE-PERSON BUSINESS on the Thrice Read Books Blog. Nonfiction, Business Books, Business Development
Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt’s The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on the Thrice Read Books Blog.

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and Hardcover editions. [affiliate link]