Category: Book Reviews

One More Run – Review

Jenn reviews One More Run by Matthew J. Cox on Thrice Read Books review blog

About the book:

One More Run by Matthew S. Cox     Roadhouse Chronicles Book 1

Published by Curiosity Quills Press      December 4, 2016

Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

In August 2021, they tried to disprove the adage that violence doesn’t solve anything―by killing everyone.

No people, no problems.

Fifty years later, humanity has emerged from the ashes. As if nuclear war wasn’t enough, a cruel virus followed on its heels, reducing many survivors to mindless killers.

With no infrastructure left, Drivers are the only link between scattered towns. Anyone with the skill to maintain a vehicle (and the balls to hit the road) can seek riches running jobs for the Roadhouse.

Kevin longs to trade in his steering wheel for a Roadhouse of his own, no longer being the idiot ducking bullets for a handful of coins. He’s one run away from retiring when a strange woman begs him for a ride to Harrisburg. Desperation has a way of getting a man to do stupid things, and he agrees to run a package so valuable half the Wildlands will come after him.

For his whole life, all Kevin cared about was himself―and maybe his car―yet his enigmatic companion makes him wonder if there’s more to life than selling food, booze, and weapons to reckless fools.

Her past catches up to them, stranding Kevin at a fork in the road: fulfill his dream, or let it go for something he never thought he’d want―love.

About the author:

One More Run author Matthew S. Cox

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world, in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place. More recently, he has forayed into young-adult and middle-grade novels. Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humor, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Jenn’s Review:

Mad Max meets Resident Evil in this fast-paced, post-apocalyptic novel by Matthew S. Cox. 

One More Run chronicles the unplanned adventures of Kevin, one of the few bold souls remaining brave enough to act as a courier between the far-flung, terrorized and tattered settlements that make up the former United States of America. 

Kevin is this close to having the cash saved up from his dangerous runs to found his own Roadhouse and retire from driving for good. But just as things are looking like the end of his dangerous struggles, Kevin finds himself in a situation that even his jaded conscious can’t walk away from – watch a woman dragged off to slavery, or stand up and take on a job that risks everything he’s worked for.

As one run after another goes sideways and wrong, Kevin holds onto his goal: Finish with being a courier for good, and settle down with his own roadhouse.  And as situations get more and more complicated, the jaded young man finds his heart softening towards his damsel-in-distress (who is far more than she appears to be), despite lingering questions about her humanity. Together, they dodge zombies, slavers, drug dealers and more, always braced for the next blow that could end one, or both, of them.

One More Run was an engaging thriller with just enough romance in it to keep me turning the pages. Clean enough to be a YA read for an older teen, this is also engaging enough for more mature tastes – due to language and occasional sexual references, I’ve shelved this one for Sam a few years down the road. Four stars, and looking forward to diving into the sequel, Redeemed, soon.

Jenn Reviews post-apocalyptic/Sci Fi novel One More Run by Matthew S. Cox on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle or paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

The Redeemed (book 2)

We Are Mars – Review

About the Book:

We Are Mars: The Rubicon Saga – Part 1      By Cheryl Lawson

Publisher: Southernwood Technologies Inc.

Series: The Rubican Saga      Genre: SciFi Fantasy

Release Date: May 15, 2018

The year is 2128. 

For the people of Rubicon, Mars is Home – hostile and unforgiving – but still Home. When Rubicon is taken by surprise by an unexpected and deadly threat, it’s a race against time and a desperate fight to stay alive. 

Jax and Dana, Ridley and Chuck, Lenny and Maliyah all stand on opposite sides of a class divide, battling passions and tensions in equal measure. But can they work together to avert a disaster? Could the fundamental differences between them be the key to their survival, or to their destruction? 

To make matters worse, unsettling events on Earth put the entire Mars Mission at risk and Rubicon – with little choice left – declares its independence. The news of this is not welcomed by powerful politicians that devise dubious plans to shelve the settlement, once and for all. 

Mistakes are made, allegiances shift and lives hang in the balance. No one can be trusted as allies become enemies and the true nature of life on Mars is revealed – One wrong move, and it will be your last.

About the Author:

Cheryl Lawson lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, with her husband and son. Cheryl grew up in South Africa, moving to Canada in 2006 when her son was just a year old. They settled in the lower mainland of BC, before moving, in 2017, to Kamloops. After a long career as a graphic designer, photographer and artist, Cheryl began pursuing writing, full-time, in 2014. She released her first non-fiction book in 2016. When she is not writing, Cheryl continues to pursue her passion for nature through her art and photography. Cheryl is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and a member of the Kamloops Arts Council. Her non-fiction book, a manifesto of her career as a creative professional, is entitled Authentic Creativity, How to Make the Most of Your Creative Intent, Strategy & Perspective. It is penned under her married name, Cheryl Bezuidenhout. We Are Mars is Cheryl’s first fiction novel.

Brian’s Review:

 As a person who would love to be a Mars Colonist, We Are Mars, is a great starter book for Cheryl.  The book moves pretty fast, and has enough entertainment to keep me interested. There are a few questions I have about some of the things that take place, but they aren’t hard to over look for the entertainment of the story.  Again for a first novel, the writing was pretty good and I am anxiously awaiting book two. Cheryl really hits home with her descriptions of life on Mars and the struggles that would come with it. The “Red Planet” never read so good, as far as I have read.  Recommend this book for anyone who looks at the stars and wonders.

Brian reviews Cheryl Lawson's debut science fiction novel "We Are Mars" on the Thrice Read Books blog

Sam’s Review: 

We are Mars by Cheryl Lawson was okay. It bounced from person to person, but it’s still worth reading. The book is a science fiction, for those who are wondering.

Mars has been claimed by the human race for science. However, the precious water from the dry planet has been poisoned, causing an outbreak that kills many. The heroes (and heroine) learn that they are not the only humans on Mars.

We are Mars is perfect for people who don’t mind sudden changes of point of view.  It was still good, though. I liked the characters, and the plot twists, though I don’t like the cliffhanger.

Sam adds her thoughts to the review blog for Cheryl Lawson's WE ARE MARS, book 1 in the Rubicon Saga, on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy this book:

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

Beyond the Wicked Willow – Review

Sam from Thrice Read Books reviews MJ Rocissono's YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

About the book:

Beyond the Wicked Willow by M.J. Rocissono

Teen Science Fiction/Fantasy

Published by Pandosia Entertainment September 7, 2017

342 pages in print format

FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when he thinks things are looking up, well…all heck breaks loose. It happens in home-ec class just moments after the girl of his dreams, Jenny Moran, invites him to the annual town carnival. Still dazed from the unexpected invite, Frankie accidentally plasters the face of school bully, Brick McDuddy, with a giant scoop of chocolate mousse. 
Embarrassed, and fuming mad, Brick plots to deliver his painful revenge at the carnival. When Frankie, and his pals, Sam, Beef, and Bookworm show up to meet Jenny, Brick and his nasty bootlickers, Harold “The Horrible” Dunson and Billy “Scat” Pile, chase them into the eerie tent of an old Gypsy fortuneteller named Mala. Trapped with nowhere to run, Frankie makes a pact with Mala not knowing that he and his pals would be swept through her crystal ball to Medieval Italy. Now, their only hope to return home rests in Frankie’s hands. He must kill the evil Italian witch, Il Strega Diavolo, and rescue Mala’s twin sister, Tsura. But, can Frankie find the courage to face the Strega?

About the Author:

M.J. ROCISSONO is a lifelong daydreamer, an inescapable habit that earned him plenty of D’s and F’s throughout elementary and high school. After “graduating,” he spent seven years traveling around the United States, Europe, and the Balkans where he studied various cultures and customs. After moving to Vermont, where he settled with his wife and three children, he studied writing and literature at Vermont College of The Union Institute and University. His passions are family, human rights, social justice, animal welfare, and climate change. You can contact him on Twitter at @mjrocissono or by email at mjrocissono@gmail.com.

Sam’s Review:

Beyond the Wicked Willow, by M. J. Rocissono, is a teen read. It was very good, and its genre was fantasy. Filled with courage and humor, this good for those who like time travel, dragons and, more.

Frankie and his three friends, Bookworm, the nerd of the group; Beef, the glutton; and Sam, the strong tomboy who’s got a crush on Bookworm, are in a bit of pickle. Running from jerk bullies at the fair, the four buddies take shelter in the fortune teller’s tent.

Mala, the fortune teller, sends the four of them to the past to save her twin sister. Along the way, Frankie learns that he’s the Witchslayer, the one destined to kill the Strega, and his tiny army is made with seven people, counting Frankie and his buds.

I enjoyed this book because of the magic, and the hilarious scenes. I didn’t like how there were some words that I didn’t understand, but that’s okay since I don’t speak Latin. Other than that, I enjoyed. This book is fascinating to read, and easy to understand.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews M.J. Rocissono's Teen/YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats here. [affiliate link]

Beyond Circumstances – Revew

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews new release Adult Contemporary Romance by Gloria Joynt-Lang, Beyond Circumstances

About the book:

Beyond Circumstances     by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Series: Out of the Darkness     Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting     June 12, 2018

Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.

Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.

Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distance himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the Beyond Circumstances blog tour, hosted by Fiery Seas Publishing

 About the author:

Beyond Circumstances author Gloria Joynt-Lang

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.

Join Gloria on social media: Facebook     Twitter     Website

Jenn sat down for a chat with Gloria recently, to talk about her debut novel. You can read all about it here, in this edition of Between the Pages.

Jenn’s Review:

Holy wow! I had to read this book in about 3 sittings (darn you, Housework!), and had a hard time putting it down. Gloria Joynt-Lang knocked it out of the park in her debut novel, Beyond Circumstances.

When I say the characters of this book are well-developed, I mean that they could easily be the couple sitting next to you in the diner Friday evening. These aren’t “perfect” people. They are flawed, they struggle, they do their best, and they don’t always win. Even the secondary characters are developed and easy to picture (I actually spent time describing some of the characters, by giving them counterparts in our own small town).

Ms. Joynt-Lang lovingly, exquisitely crafts the inner and outer experiences of PTSD and bigotry. No subtle conflicts reside here. Nope. The reader is dropped deep into the mind of someone struggling with severe anxiety attacks and mental health problems. You walk right alongside the hero of the story as his past and present unfold and he fights to find something akin to peace.

The zinger, is in Lexie’s story. While you might think you understand what drove the heroine of this story to leave her big city life, the author waits…and waits…and waits…before she zaps you with the rest of the story.

This is the first book in a series, and I can promise that this reader will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series. An easy 5 stars.

Book review of Gloria Joynt-Lang's debut adult contemporary romance novel, Beyond Circumstances, by Jenn of the Thrice Read Books staff.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here.

Boy of Blood – Review

Boy of blood book review

About the Book:

Boy of Blood promo banner

Boy of Blood     by Megan O’Russell

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Series: Girl of Glass    Genre: YA Dystopia

Release Date: April 10, 2018

After Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

Boy of Blood by Megan O'Russell Book Review

Buy the Book:

Amazon     Barnes&Noble     Kobo     iTunes

About the Author:

Megan O'Russell - Author of Boy of Blood

Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

Megan’s Social Media:

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Blog

Megan’s also running a Rafflecopter for her new release. Click the link to enter!

Jenn’s Review:

Megan O’Russell hits another home run with Boy of Blood, book 2 in the Girl of Glass series.

This book picks up right where Girl of Glass left off – the night Nightland attacked the domes. Nola struggles with intense feelings; she’s betrayed the domes, and those she tried to help, betrayed her. The boy she loved has turned on her, and she begins to accept Jeremy’s love as she starts to heal. The blinders are off now, and every time Nola turns around, she discovers another lie, another secret, more and more blood on her hands as she starts to ask herself who the real monsters are. What’s a girl to do?

Megan’s world building in this series is amazing. She’s created vivid settings and torn them down, piece by piece. Her characters are rich, deep and (mostly) relatable – I can’t honestly say I can relate to the blood thirsty, murderous and snarky Vamper, Raina. However, even the difficult-to-understand characters have their own story that makes them understandable, even if they aren’t likeable. (What kind of dystopian/urban fantasy would it be if everyone was rainbows and sparkles?)

Boy of Blood is just as fast-paced and full of plot twists as book 1 was. And… Nah. Not gonna give away the spoilers. Though, I will say that Megan has confirmed that there are at least 2 more books coming in this series. (I say “at least” only because she revealed this was originally supposed to be a trilogy, during our interview.)

Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood are easily on par with Hunger Games and Maze Runner. Fans of dystopian fiction – this one’s for you! Paranormal and urban fantasy fans looking for a twist on the usual vampires and werewolves – check this one out.

Easily 5 out of 5 stars from this reader. (Sam’s reading this book as I write my review – keep an eye out for her vlog post, coming soon to a YouTube near you!)

Sam’s Review:

Megan O’Russell continues the Girl of Glass series with Boy of Blood, which starts up right where its predecessor left off. Nola, Raina, and all the rest star in this book yet again, and it doesn’t disappoint this reader.

Nola has been safely, well, semi-safely, returned to the domes after Nightland attacks her home. No longer trusting Kieran, she chooses to trust Jeremy with her heart. Another mistake, for while she tries to help the outsiders, she hates the drugs. And the males Outer Guards have been taking drugs like that to survive. Nola feels like she can’t stay in the domes any longer.

This was just as fun to read and enjoy as the first book, and it had some angry and tender moments. I loved how Megan brought back Raina, because she, overall, is one of my favorite characters. My second favorite, to be exact. First favorite goes to Eden from the first book. I didn’t like how Nola has lost two boys in her love life due to betrayal.

Last words:

Click here to read our review of Girl of Glass.

We also sat down with Megan and talked a bit about her new release. You can read the interview here.

Diary of a Snoopy Cat – Review

Thrice Read Books review blog post for RF Kristi's "Diary of a Snoopy Cat"

About the book:

Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi; Inca Cat Detective Series book 5

Upper Elementary/Middle Grade Mystery Fiction

Self-Published October 28, 2017 182 pages

Read the hilarious and breathtaking antics of Inca and her family of furry friends as recorded through the eyes of Inca a Siberian Kitty. Inca decides to start a Diary! A heart-pounding saga unfolds as she keeps the reader thrilled recording her detective exploits.

When Inca and family move to London from Paris, they make a whole new set of friends, including Monk, a Blue Russian cat and Terrence, a Golden Retriever who ably and bravely assists his world-famous detective owner, Solo. Inspired by the adventures of her new friends, Inca sets herself the task of becoming the world’s best cat detective and begins to keep a diary of her exploits.

When Monk arrives one evening, with news of a meeting to take place later that night, Inca is excited and can’t wait to attend. She is told of a perilous journey that must be undertaken by Solo and Terrence, who are to travel to the Himalayas, to search for the missing Raoul, a friend who had failed to return from an expedition.

The departure of Terrence means that Inca can take on her first proper job; the baffling incident of Mr. Finchley’s missing will. But does the young cat have what it takes to crack the case and save the tormented and ferocious Rottweiler – Boss? And can she do it without the help of the wily old Retriever?

About the author:

R.F. Kristi, the author of the Inca book series is a former professional of the United Nations Children’s Fund. She holds a doctorate in economic development and has travelled and lived in various countries of the globe. With a deep commitment to animal rescue efforts, Kristy has a keen interest and love for animals. She created the Inca Cat book series for younger readers up to age 8 or 12 and also animal lovers. Kristi currently resides in France. It is anticipated that the proceeds of the Inca Book Series will be donated to animal rescue efforts in developing countries.

She has always been fascinated with cats. The intelligence and allure of cats has always enchanted her and she has found them the best of companions. She often remembers reading a good detective story with her feline companions close by her side.

Sam’s Review:

Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi is a upper elementary book. Inca wants to be a world famous detective. Seems simple enough, right? I mean, as a cat, she’s agile, quick, and smart. All she needs now is a case. Luckily for her, a will goes missing and an evil man tries to claim what’s not his.

This was very fun to read and another fun and innocent break from teen reads. I love cats, so giving this book a try was a no-brainer. I enjoyed this book from start to finish because of the well defined characters, and the wonderful illustrations.

What I didn’t like about this book was how I couldn’t see the Rottweiler actually speaking. I mean, technically, none of them should have been talking, but this is a kid’s book. It’s allowed. I can imagine the rough voice, but not the growl at the end.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner and Thrice Read Books features children's book, Diary of a Snoopy Cat, by RF Kristi on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner

Buy the book:

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

Fateful Decisions – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Trevor D'Silva's Fateful Decisions

About the book:

Fateful Decisions by Trevor D’Silva

Historical Fiction     325 pages

Black Rose Writing     October 25, 2017

It’s 1915 in the heat of WWI. Two friends heading to England aboard the British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, meet and fall in love with a charismatic woman. After battling for her affection, Rachel Williams makes her decision, beginning a journey that no one can predict or soon forget. For the next thirty years, Rachel is forced to live with the choice she made, as the dominos fall around her, sequentially.

Is there a sinister force at work? Who can Rachel trust? Will Rachel ultimately regret her decision when she learns how it impacted others?

Set in America and Europe, history and fiction intertwine, commencing with the sinking of Lusitania. Historical events like The Russian Revolution, Prohibition, The Great Depression and World Wars I and II also play important roles in the lives of the characters and the decisions they make to love, betray, forgive, and reconcile.

About the author:

Trevor D’Silva has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering; M.S. degrees in Engineering Management, and Environmental Engineering; and an Associate degree in Accounting. He has lectured in mechanical engineering and environmental science subjects at various colleges. Fateful Decisions is his first novel, encompassing history and fiction from WW I to the end of WW II. He uses his free time to expand his knowledge in history and reading crime, thrillers, and mystery novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Every so often, a book slides across my desk with a concept that utterly fascinates me. Trevor D’Silva’s Fateful Decisions is one of those books. The idea of a book following one person through the inevitable consequences of decisions both large and small… That alone pulled me in. I read the sample to get a feel for the author’s writing style, and paused – but the concept, and the opening chapters’ scenes won the day.

Fateful Decisions is a debut novel, and I’m hoping that Mr. D’Silva continues to develop himself as a writer. His style in narration and dialogue is very stiff and feel almost unnaturally formal. It’s not a style I typically continue reading, but in this case, I found myself continually turning pages to find out what happened next, while developing my own feel for how the characters each sounded in dialogue.

The plot was what kept me in the book, turning the pages as I moved through the timeline. I am fascinated with the idea of cause-and-effect related to decisions, and this was the focus of the book. To that end, I think Mr. D’Silva could have slowed down some, to help the reader connect more fully with both historical events and the events in the lives of his characters. 

Thirty years is a LOT of time to cover in 300 pages, and the author did this efficiently. While it was fascinating to read the chronology of world events as seen through the eyes of various characters, at times I found myself scratching my head, questioning the plausibility of THAT many coincidences in one life (or even three lives as this story rolls along).

The book is full of plot twists and uncanny developments and spans just about every major world event between the sinking of Lusitania and the end of WWII, so be prepared for a wild ride.

While I found the author’s style stiff, I would still recommend this book to fans of early 20th century history. 

Jenn shares her thoughts on Trevor D'Silva's historical fiction novel "Fateful Decisions" on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions (also available on Kindle Unlimited as of this writing) here. [Affiliate link]

Healer – Review

About the book:

Healer by Susan Miura

YA Inspirational Fiction 

Vinspire Publishing January 31, 2018

258 pages

A young adult novel from Vinspire Publishing

Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli’s average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn’t something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji. Definitely not Kenji.

​Deep beneath Misty Morning’s tough façade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters…until Shilo prays for Tyler, and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.

Shilo can’t give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.

The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.

About the Author:

Susan loves to wander. Beaches, mountains, deserts, caves and canyons…it doesn’t matter, as long as she’s surrounded by God’s amazing creation. When wandering isn’t an option, she’s an author, travel presenter, public relations professional and photographer. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Susan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in journalism and a determination to become a reporter. From a newsroom in Berwyn, Illinois to a television station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her dream became a reality. Back in her home state, she works in public relations for a library and is a member of Willow Creek Community Church and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Susan is happily married and the mom of a daughter, son, stepdaughter, and one incredibly adorable Cleo cat.

Sam’s Review:

Filled with religion, and magic, Healer is a good book. The author is Susan Miura, so please show her some love by reading her books.

Shilo, an Italian Christian, has the Lord’s healing power. This means that she can heal anyone, so long as God wills it. The gift runs in the family, but it has to remain a secret. If anyone knows about the gift, oh boy, reporters, sick people, injured people seeking out help, etc., will not leave her or her family alone.

Susan Miura’s Healer is a true fantasy with magic and a bit of drama. Even though it’s religious, I’m okay with that because I try not to judge people on what they write and what they like. Honestly, I can’t find any dislikes about this book, so that’s that.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Susan Muira's new release, Healer, a YA Inspirational/Christian fiction novel on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

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

More Praise for Susan Miura’s Healer

Susan Miura’s thought-provoking novel, HEALER brought out longings in me I’ve had for years. How I’ve wanted to have the gift of healing during times when loved ones were suffering, but to no avail. However, Miura’s ever-present theme of “be careful what you wish for” is carefully balanced with the supreme mes- sage of what faithfulness, acceptance and love do to heal our wounds and bind up our hearts. It doesn’t take a special gift to exhibit those, but the resulting miracle is just as powerful. Beautifully rendered. – Lisa Samson, author of Women of Faith’s Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer, The Passion of Mary Margaret, and Summer of Hope.

Miura pens a unique and moving tale of a young woman’s extraordinary spiritual journey amidst all the tangles of being a teenager. Evocative in its possibilities and yet totally relatable, this is a book that will not only keep any reader turning the pages, but also stop and think “What if that happened to me?” — Allie Pleiter, award-winning author of over 25 inspirational nov- els.

Talented author Susan Miura has crafted an engaging young adult tale of the power of faith, love, family, and friends. I can’t wait to read more of what Shilo does next with her amazing gift. –A.J. Cattapan, award-winning author of Angelhood and Seven Riddles to Nowhere

Muira’s own gift of writing well crafted young adult suspense shines in this page turning story. Shilo’s strug- gle to learn what her gift means for herself and those around her parallels questions many have about their identity and purpose. This diverse, sympathetic cast deals with weighty situations in between soccer practice and normal life in a seamless, enjoyable story. – Amy Alessio, multipublished author, speaker, and librarian.

Jem of Skye – Review

Sam reviews George Wier's YA Science Fiction novel Jem of Skye on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Jem of Skye by George Wier

Book 1 in the Factions of Skye series     YA Science Fiction

Published by Flagstone Books January 18, 2018

226 pages in print

Jem is an orphan living in the floating city of Cirrus. As the dreaded Horn attack, Jem and his friends are scooped up in the adventure of a lifetime when the floating orphanage, Janus, is destroyed. Not only must Jem, Crowen, Kaetu, and a mec named Goat survive aboard a Horn capital ship, but they must find a way to save each other and all of Skye. In order to do so, Jem and his friends soon find themselves in the crosshairs of the two greatest fleets ever assembled, with a battle coming that may bring nightfall upon Earth forever. But there is hope in a well-kept secret buried beneath a mountain far below in the Land left devastated by the two-hundred year-old holocaust.

About the author:

George Wier is the author of the popular Bill Travis Mystery series, and a number of other standalone mysteries. He also writes science fiction and steampunk. 

The Bill Travis Mystery series has been hailed as a tour-de-force among modern mysteries. In this adrenaline-fueled series, George Wier throws all sorts of fantastic scenarios at his protagonist. The characters and situations are often quirky, but no less true to life, and the feel is such that the reader is present alongside Bill Travis as he struggles through one disaster after another.

In his own words: “I currently live in Austin with my lovely wife, Sallie, along with two cats and two dogs. I began writing in earnest in 1986, although I have been creatively writing far longer than that. I find that I have far more ideas than I could ever write down, and so I pick and choose only the best story ideas. I write what I, myself, like to read, and nothing more. I am always happy to talk to a reader and would dearly love to hear your comments. Please visit my website at www.georgewier.com. There you will find free short stories, anecdotes, and links to other books and writers. Thanks for reading!”

Sam’s Review:

Jem of Skye by George Wier is a science fiction book about a boy named Jem. His world is falling apart, though he doesn’t realize it. No one does. But when the dreaded Horn attack and he’s forced to take a Horn ship for his own, along with three friends, counting a mec by the name of Goat, he learns that the Horn isn’t the real enemy.

Fun filled, cute, and kind of funny, the list for the things that I liked about this book goes on. Jem and his girlfriend, Kaetu are very sweet together. Jax (the captain of a trading ship that played a HUGE role in the story) and Jem’s friend, Crowen, both can pilot a ship wonderfully.

However, it seemed like the book moved too fast for me. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Sam reviews Jem of Skye by George Wier - YA science fiction novel - on the Thrice Read Books blog.

Buy the Book: 

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

The Window – Review

Thrice Read Books & Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews The Window by Amelia Brunskill - A YA Mystery Novel

About the Book:

The Window     by Amelisa Brunskill

YA Mystery/Suspense 

Published April 3, 2018 by Delacorte Press 

343 pages

Secrets have a way of getting out. . . .

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought. 

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.

About the Author:

Amelia Brunskill writes young adult novels and short stories. She is an unintentional killer of plants and a highly intentional eater of baked goods. She works as a librarian and she lives in Chicago. 

You can visit her at www.ameliabrunskill.com or follow her on twitter @ameliab.

Sam’s Review:

Drama. Mystery. School. Identical twins. Secrets. Murder. All of that and, more star in The Window by Amelia Brunskill. I would classify this as a murder mystery/suspense. Allow me to explain why.

Jess and Anna. Anna and Jess. That’s the way it’s been for all of Jess’s blissful life as Anna’s identical twin, despite them being so different. But, that is changing. And quickly. Jess knows there’s more to Anna’s death than the world let’s on, and she’s determined to uncover every, last secret, no matter what the cost is.

This book had me hooked to the very end, and left me wanting more. And the reason why I’m not putting in any mention of humor is because there wasn’t a whole lot. The end, as I said, left me wanting more, but it was also satisfying. In other words, I loved it!

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features Amelia Brunskill's YA Mystery/Suspense novel THE WINDOW on the Thrice Read Books review blog.

Buy This Book:

Thrice Read Books has one hardback copy of this book in our shop inventory. You can find it here.

You can also purchase this book in Kindle or Hardbound editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]