Tagged: Fantasy & Magic

The Watcher of the Night Sky – Review

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Rachel Pudsey’s Watcher of the Night Sky

About the Book

The Watcher of the Night Sky, Rachel Pudsey (The Aronia Series Book 1)

Teen, Fantasy, 352 Pages

Pronoun; 2 edition (May 24, 2015)

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Fifteen-year-old Abigail Crumble was never much for talking about love and marriage and other such nonsense – no matter how often her boy obsessed best friend pestered her to do so. 

Or so she adamantly proclaimed.

Yet on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Abigail makes the biggest, most contradictory mistake of her life. She wishes on the stars for love, or even the smallest amount of attention, without knowing the full impact of such a feat.

Abigail soon finds her simple life in chaos as princes, men and mysterious creatures come to her door, each adamantly in love with her and refusing to leave her side.

Mixing fantasy, humour, and romance, The Watcher of the Night Sky begins the tale of one girl’s quest to rid herself of a curse that was definitely far more than she wished for.

Perfect for fans of fantasy romance adventure stories. Contains mild fantasy violence.

**This book is part one of a series and ends in a cliffhanger.**

About the Author

Rachel was born and raised in Scotland. A graduate of psychology, she now resides in South Korea. She has dabbled in teaching children, but after a few blessed years has succumbed to teaching English to adults in Seoul.

Rachel has been writing stories since as long as she can remember. An obsession with Point Horror books led to her first novel being written at the age of ten. Truth be told, it wasn’t very good. The following years were spent reading thrillers, romantic comedies, fantasies, occasionally playing guitar, and dabbling in songwriting, all the while continuing to write stories unworthy for print and developing her own style.

She is the author of The Aronia Series, a light, clean, adventurous YA fantasy-romance series that follows a girl through a journey into realising one must be careful what they wish for, 

You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RachelPudsey

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Add her on Goodreads 

Or find her on Facebook

Facts:

Her surname is coined after an English town, not the loveable bear.

Her favourite food is the same as Sheldon Cooper: spaghetti with hot dogs (though a good old British sausage trumps a hot dog any day). Her favourite sauce is pesto.

For years, Rachel has cited The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton as her favourite book. These days, she considers The Princess Bride by William Goldman to be at the top of the list. 

To learn more about the author’s work visit her website.

Sam’s Review

Watcher of the Night Sky is a funny modern fantasy with rather thick-in-the-head princes, one boring man, and a mysterious faelti. I’ll explain. Don’t worry. Oh! We can’t forget the Scottish farmer, nor the dwarf. Fun.

Abigail is a normal, plain girl. Nothing special, right? Wrong. She has a cursed necklace that has men falling for her left and right. Joy.  She hates them all, but she might be falling for one. Is the right path for her? 

Okay, look. I loved the characters, but there are too many of them. It’s slow, and a little bit funny, but this is not among my favorites. It’s a good idea, but people in a country far away from yours would not be showing up on your doorstep in a day.

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Rachel Pudsey’s Watcher of the Night Sky

Buy the Book

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

Remember Yesterday

**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.**

About the Book

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Pintip Dunn’s award-winning Remember Yesterday

Remember Yesterday, Pintip Dunn (Forget Tomorrow)

Teen, Science Fiction, 420 Pages

Entangled: Teen; Reprint edition (September 5, 2017)

Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries―if only she’d let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do.

But when she discovers the past isn’t what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister―even if it means aligning with the enemy she swore to defeat.

The Forget Tomorrow series is best enjoyed in order.

Reading Order:
Before Tomorrow (Prequel)
Book #1 Forget Tomorrow
Book #2 Remember Yesterday
Book #3 Seize Today

About the Author

Pintip Dunn

 Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. 

Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix del’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. 

Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.

Sam’s Review

Remember Yesterday is the sequel to Forget Tomorrow and let me tell you, it is a great as the first one. Told in Jessa’s POV, Jessa is Callie’s lil’ sis, this happens after Callie kills herself and destroys almost every hope of discovering future memory. Filled with romance, suspense, and anger, this book is hard to put down. Like, really, really hard.

Ten years after Callie killed herself to save Jessa, Jessa and Ryan are breaking into Mikey’s lab and being trouble-making teenagers. Plus, Tanner, the scientist about Jessa’s age is catching her attention. She swore never to side with the scientists. After all, they took her so she could become a friggin’ guinea pig. But all her efforts are for nothing, and her search to find a way to bring back Callie has narrowed down to one person, her thirty-one-year-old father.

I loved this book for its dystopian feel. It has a great and amazing storyline. If I had to describe the book in two words, it’d be, “beyond words.” That’s how good this book was. Jessa and Tanner make a good team, and Mikey plays the over-protective father figure rather well, but I didn’t like how it got a little confusing. Plus, a major plot twist like Callie being in a coma for ten years, and Jessa and Tanner being the ones that Callie encountered in the past, hit me like a brick wall. It was still incredible and interesting to hear from Jessa’s POV. I’m curious who will be the one telling the story in the third book.

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Pintip Dunn’s award-winning Remember Yesterday

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Hardback, and Paperback editions below:

Other Books in this Series:

Forget Tomorrow

Chroma Crossing Chronicles: Blood Moon: Part 1 – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews S. Yurvati's BLOOD MOON: CHROMA CROSSING BOOK 1. Fantasy/Paranormal/Adult fiction

About the Book

Blood Moon,  S. Yurvati, Chroma Crossing Chronicles

Adult, Fantasy Romance

Amazon Digital Services LLC

Hunky pheromone-laden-man meets pretty accident-prone female—it should have been a love story with a happy ever after ending. 
However, when the bored deities choose Candy and Thorne for an amusing game, the gods/goddesses put forth sets of circumstances that can tear the couple apart and wound them deep within their human souls. 
City girl, Candy wanted to become a successful artist and maybe someday find a man who would make her feel loved and valued, a feeling she’d never known while growing up. However, with a name like ‘Candy Cane’, males never failed to remind her with a wink and snicker, how it sounded like she was a ‘professional’. And ‘professional’ held so many connotations, none of which she had in mind regarding relationships with men. 
With her father’s sudden demise, Candy finds she’s inherited funds and a carriage house in beautiful historic Savannah. Not only can she now afford to go to SCAD, her future as an artist looks promising. Unfortunately her step-mom (and her disturbing son Todd) resides in the main house. When Candy gets her first commission for a life-sized portrait of a beautiful woman from a rather unsettling man, she soon questions what had seemed coincidental.
Candy is a modest female who has always found solace in her artwork, whereas her widowed step-mom, Cherry Ann, considers physical pleasure and money as her measures of worth. And as Candy pursues her art, Cherry Ann pursues a new lover who expands her world of sexual gratifications far beyond past parameters. Cherry Ann finds her new risqué sex life to be addictive and doesn’t recognize the danger of the man she’s invited into her life.
After surviving a couple of ‘accidents’, Candy realizes someone apparently wishes her harm. When she’s chased (by the one thing she fears most) Candy accidently, or so it seems, crosses into a new dimension, land or whatever. She finds herself in an unknown wilderness without resources, let alone a map, or GPS, plus she left her cell phone at home—again. Looking around she sees a curious terrain that is void of color, thus leaving the landscape looking like an old sepia photograph, hardly the Savannah spring day she’d left behind. 
The artist in her wants to understand how primary colors could disappear to leave a land so colorless . . . so entirely beige-ish. How could such a phenomenal occurrence come about? A land without modern conveniences—almost as though she’d stepped into a time past, yet that wasn’t quite accurate either.
As Candy literally stumbles through the wild terrain, an intriguing hunter comes upon her. His presence makes her girlie parts beg to become ill behaved, and before she knows it, her hormones are arguing with her strict moral compass.

About the Author

S. Yurvati began putting her thoughts and imaginings on paper during her childhood and continued through college years. After completing her Master of Science degree at CSUN she was hit with that proverbial wrecking ball. BAM! Reality set in—she needed to make a dependable living and put her degree to work. 
After three decades of working in the medical world, life struck her with a much bigger wrecking ball. This one was sufficiently jarring that her husband convinced her to retire and take the time to write. Admittedly, working in a science- based career left her little opportunity for the creativity of her wired left-handed brain. As soon as she agreed to return to writing he immediately took her to an electronic store and told her to “choose a laptop”. 
And that led to the beginning of Chroma Crossing: Blood Moon.
She has lived in eight different states from one end of the nation to the other, six with her husband. That doesn’t include the stint at Fort McClellan during the heat of summer without air-conditioning. That unpleasant Alabama experience was for Basic Training, as she was one of the last WACs (Women’s Army Corp) during the end of the Vietnam era. 
Now she resides in Texas with the “love-of-her-life” husband of forty-one years. She says he taught her to be young at heart and is her biggest fan in her pursuits (he’s probably doing cheerleading with pom-poms as you read this).
To say she has a love of cats is like saying squirrels love nuts (yes, the reference is intentional). The Yurvati’s share their large home with six cats, fondly referred to as the ‘herd’. You might consider that over the top and they agree, but argue the last two kittens were adopted during a weak moment. Her husband no doubt cringes when purchasing cat food and cat litter. However, the author says felines make very good book critics, always providing a high five with furry paws or commenting with purrs of encouragement.

Jenn‘s Review

When I was approached about reviewing this book, it was pitched as part romance, part fantasy, part paranormal… I should have read between the lines a little more.

After reading the book, I’m still not sure what genre to file it under, and I’m not sure I can say that I enjoyed the book. Granted, I was anticipating a romance novel – which this is most definitely not. *Spoiler alert – the heroine doesn’t meet the love interest until around page 250 of a 300 page book.*

This is a debut novel, and I’m sincerely hoping that book 2 is better written and better edited than book 1. The story rambles, with each chapter coming from the POV of a different character, to the point that it’s difficult to nail down who the main players are. Add some jarring head-hops into the extensive narrative, and you get a less-than-satisfying storyline.

With that said, I still found myself turning the page, wanting to know what happens next. Book 1 is apparently told in two parts, and ends in the middle of a scene (I’m not sure cliffhanger describes how the book ended). I will be returning to this series soon to hopefully finish book 2, or part 2 of book one. I’m not sure how this particular series works.

Another note to potential readers: this book is far from PG. Numerous, disturbing, graphic sexual scenes dot the landscape of this book. The author describes the antagonist as a masochist – he is, in fact, an extreme sadist. Rape, sodomy, and sexual torture feature in his enjoyment. For those that these type of things act as triggers, your best bet is to avoid this series.

This is an interesting story to read, though the author rambles and repeats. Narrative abounds and conversation is somewhat lacking, but suspense is plentiful, and I’m hoping that book 2 shows the author’s growth.

Thrice Read Books reviews S. Yurvati's BLOOD MOON: CHROMA CROSSING BOOK 1. Fantasy/Paranormal/Adult fiction

Buy the Book

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

Wishes In A Bottle Promo Post

**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.**

Thrice Read Books is pleased to feature Allie McCormack's WISHES IN A BOTTLE, the first in her Wishes and Dreams series.
Thrice Read Books is pleased to feature Allie McCormack’s WISHES IN A BOTTLE, the first in her Wishes and Dreams series.

About the Book

Wishes in a Bottle, Allie McCormack (Wishes & Dreams Book 1)

Adult, Paranormal/Fantasy Romance, 326 Pages

Release Date:  January 15, 2019

Long ago, Julian DiConti was caught in a powerful spell binding him to a Djinn bottle, forced to grant wishes to each owner of his bottle. Three wishes… of the right kind… could free Julian of his bonds, but after six hundred years, he is beginning to wonder if he will be trapped as a Djinn forever. 

Enter Alessandra Taylor, good Samaritan extraordinaire. She’d gladly free Julian from the spell if she could, but he isn’t allowed to tell her how, and one by one she’s driven to use the precious wishes to help others. But where will that leave Julian and the growing love between them?

Thrice Read Books is pleased to feature Allie McCormack's WISHES IN A BOTTLE, the first in her Wishes and Dreams series.

About the Author

Allie McCormack
Author Allie McCormack

 A career medical transcriptionist, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who’s recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran, Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time. 

Truck Stop is her first published novel. It’s being produced as an audiobook with an expected release around early January 2019. Her next romance novel, the first of a four-book paranormal romance series, is planned for release shortly after. 

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of storylines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

You can sign up for Allie’s monthly newsletter and find out about her other upcoming releases and current projects at her website www.alliemccormack.com.

Website: Allie McCormack’s Website 
Blog: Allie’s Blog 
Facebook: Allie on FB 
Twitter: Allie on Twitter 

Allie is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway as part of the launch for this book. You can sign up here for a chance to win a fabulous prize!

Mini book trailer for Wishes in a Bottle by Allie McCormack

Excerpt (by Permissio)

Jenn here – I just got my copy of the final version of Wishes in a Bottle on release day. I beta read this book and Loved it. Be sure to snag your copy soon. And now, a quick excerpt from the book!

“Come on, come on.”

Robert cast a nervous glance about him, hoping that no neighbors could see through the overgrown jungle that his sister-in-law had allowed to take over the yard. If this were his, he’d rip out all these stupid plants and seed it with grass for a smooth lawn. And no swings or sandboxes to muck the place up, either. He wasn’t having any more children to take his wife’s attention and keep her from taking care of her husband, who should have been her main concern. No, a brick barbecue was what he’d have, maybe a nice hot tub.

He struggled to fit the slim piece of plastic through the narrow space between the door and its jam. Everyone went on and on about how door locks could be opened with credit cards, but it sure didn’t seem to be working. Still, he was confident it wouldn’t be much longer. Alessandra was such a fool, so trusting. She didn’t even have deadbolts on her doors. Didn’t she know that a simple knob lock could be easily opened?

“Yes!”

The tongue of the latch gave, and the plastic slid forward, holding the tongue in its groove, and the handle turned under Robert’s fingers.

From the other side of the door, he heard a low rumbling. Startled, he straightened, peering through the glass window set into the door. Staring back, almost head-even with him, was the largest, blackest Great Dane he had ever seen in his life. Its great jaws were parted, the teeth frighteningly sharp and white. The snarls emerging from those open jaws were vicious.

The dog lunged, flinging its huge body against the door separating them. Robert let go of the doorknob and pushed away so hard he fell, almost cracking his skull on the cement step. He pushed the pain aside, scrambling back from the door, praying that the slender door jam would hold as the full weight of the beast hit it again, shaking the door. Robert thanked God that he hadn’t actually opened the door and that the kitchen door opened inward, not outward.

The animal ceased his lunges at the door and was standing on his hind legs, paws on the window sill, watching Robert through the glass. Slavering, menacing snarls crescendoed to loud, ferocious barking, the dog’s eyes fixed on him with murderous intent.

Robert picked himself up from the ground and ran for his car. Who would have thought that such a frivolous, irresponsible woman would keep such a dangerous animal? Robert reached his car, almost falling into the driver’s seat in his haste to reach safety, not breathing easily until the door was safely shut. His hands were shaking and he fumbled with the keys, fingers trembling as he found the right one and fit it into the ignition. He backed out of the driveway, aimed the car down the road and headed out of there in a screech of burned rubber. If he never came to this house again in his life, it would be too soon.

Back in the house, Julian dropped onto all fours and padded into the living room. Now that the intruder had been repulsed, the danger of invasion that had brought the canine’s instincts to the fore, Julian was in complete control of the animal body he had inhabited. Stopping to sniff the books on the coffee table, and drawing in Alessandra’s scent on her sofa, her easy chair, the shawl she had left draped on one corner of the bookshelf, he found he was rather enjoying the experience. It was rather cool, in fact.

He walked about the house, experiencing the long, easy strides of the Great Dane, his toenails clicking on the polished wood floors. He paused in front of the television. The morning news that had just come on when Robert had shown up was over by now, but there would be more. He curled his massive body up on the hearth rug before the fireplace, feeling a bit awkward managing the unaccustomed long limbs, but he achieved a comfortable position finally and laid his head on his outstretched paws. His doggy self heaved a sigh and prepared to snooze, even while he kept an eye on the television. This was definitely nice.

His jaws parted and his tongue lolled out as he laughed to himself, wondering what Alessandra would think if she came home to a large, black Great Dane that evening.

Buy the Book

Ragis – Review

Book 4 in the Gemeta Stone series by Donna Migliaccio is now available. Check out Jenn's review of Ragis on the Thrice Read Books review blog.

About the book:

Ragis by Donna Migliaccio     August 28, 2018

Fantasy     The Gemeta Stone Book 4

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

Kristan Gemeta is teetering on the brink of madness.

His sister Melissa has defied him. His friend Olaf has betrayed him. The Wichelord Daazna’s ghostly laughter mocks him when he’s awake and robs him of his sleep at night. Even the protective powers of his legendary Stone are turning against him.  

And now his companions, his ship, and its precious cargo have been taken, hostage. Kristan must give chase, in an unseaworthy vessel manned by an angry centaur crew. Ahead lie unfriendly waters, an ominous destination and a confrontation Kristan dreads.

In his despair, Kristan longs for the one person he has always trusted: his beloved Heather. But she’s far away, about to step into a trap that will endanger not just her command, but Kristan’s life.   

Can we say GIVEAWAY?  Yup! There’s a giveaway to celebrate this release, and you can get in on it now for a chance to win a necklace just like the one on the Gemeta Stone books. Just click here.

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours, and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher, and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Jenn’s Review

Book four in Donna Migliaccio’s Gemeta Stone series, Ragis, is quite a nail-biter. She grants no quarter to continuing readers of the series who have been hanging on the edge of a cliff for three books now, holding them in suspense in another installment of this fabulously crafted fantasy tale.

Kristan Gemeta still labors under the strain of the traumas he endured under the Wichelord Daazna. His inner pain and failing health worsen as he learns more and more of the secrets and failings of those to whom he’s entrusted his lands.

The worst of the betrayals is yet to come, as one of Kristan’s trusted governors is plotting his demise. The experience pushes Kristan over the edge, nearly costing the young king what little health and sanity he has left.

As Kristan hits rock bottom, his long-time friend and love, Heather, who’s tried hard to keep her love for her king under wraps, has a front-row seat to Kristan’s near destruction.

Ragis isn’t the last book in this series, and this reader can’t wait for book 5. Migliaccio weaves a fantastic tale, with deep, compelling characters and a world built for falling into for long reads! Epic fantasy and you can read the books out of order, but my recommendation is to start at Kinglet and read all the way through the series.

Book 4 in the Gemeta Stone series by Donna Migliaccio is now available. Check out Jenn's review of Ragis on the Thrice Read Books review blog.

Buy the Book: 

Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Kobo     FIERY SEAS BOOKSTORE

Check out Jenn’s interview with author Donna Migliaccio here.

We’ve reviewed the other books in the series:

Kinglet (book 1) 
Fiskur (book 2) 
Stoneking (book 3)

Darker Still – Review

Featured on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner: Sam reviews DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber, YA Gothic, Mystery and Suspense

About the Book:

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber

Teen/Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy

Sourcebooks Fire (original publisher) November 1, 2011

A lush gothic tale that begs for reading…I couldn’t put it down.” —New York Times bestselling author Sarah Maclean

I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen—everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable…utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting, and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked—bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. And unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

About the Author:

Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, artist and the award-winning, bestselling author of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels for adults and teens such as the Strangely Beautiful, Eterna Files and Magic Most Foul sagas. She grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories, graduating with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era from Miami University. She began her theatrical career with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and began adapting works of 19th Century literature for the stage. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in the genres of Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful series) hit Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer’s Best Award (Young Adult category) and other regional genre awards. The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess won the 2012 Prism Award (Best Fantasy). Books one and two are now available as STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL in a revised, author-preferred editions from Tor/Forge. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, hit the Kid’s/YA INDIE NEXT LIST as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association and a Scholastic Book Clubs “highly recommended” title. Leanna’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies such as Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal, “Too Fond”; a short story on Tor.com, “Charged” in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells and the Mammoth Book of Gaslight Romance. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy series THE ETERNA FILES, is now available from Tor/Forge. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been selected for multiple book club editions. Leanna is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She is proud to be a co-founder of the original Lady Jane’s Salon Reading Series in New York. Leanna was named the 2010 RWA NYC Chapter Author of the Year. A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. She loves nothing more than a good ghost story and a finely tailored corset, wandering graveyards and adventuring around New York City, where she also works as a ghost tour guide. Active on Twitter @leannarenee and Facebook.com/lrhieber, more information as well as free reads, author resources, links to her art and Etsy store and more can be found at leannareneehieber.com

Sam’s Review:

Ever wished that you could enter a painting? Ever hoped that the loved of your life had a soul that only you could set free? Natalie has all of these abilities and more in the book Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.

Natalie is mute, has ever since the trauma of losing her mom took her voice. Certain her lack of voice will chase away everyone, she finds an unexpected friend in Mrs. Smith, a widow whose interested in a painting that was made not long before the disappearance of Lord Denbury from England. And from this, Natalie finds herself unraveling a mystery far greater than she could have imagined.

Gothic, spooky, and tense, Darker Still had me into the story from the first page. Natalie is more than just a pretty face, and she earns her place as one of my lifetime heroes. I don’t think I can stress how much I loved this book, despite having a few “heated” moments.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam explores the world of DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber - YA Gothic, Paranomal, Mystery & Fantasy

Buy this Book:

 Thrice Read Books has one paperback copy of this book in very good condition, and you can buy it right here: 

Kindle more your type? Amazon has this book in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

The Cursed Girl – 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.**

Sam's Teen Reads Corner looks at Maria Vemisoglous' YA Paranormal novel, THE CURSED GIRL

About the Book

The Cursed Girl, Marie Vermisoglou

Teen/Young Adult, Fantasy, 574 Pages

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 1, 2018)

A boy. A girl. A curse. You can’t always get away.

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a witch who lived in Spain, in the year 1230. She met a boy named Jonathan who would become her whole world. Everything was normal until she was faced with challenges that will change her life forever.

As a healer, her job is to help people, but there are forces that will try to prevent that. There is a war coming and Eva and her friends must do everything they can to survive. Can they fight their way against the dark forces that are surrounding them?

Her wits and inner strength helped everyone who encircled her to survive but will she be able to survive herself?

Supernatural creatures, royal backstabbing and many more await you in this thrilling novel that will take your breath away.

About the Author

Maria Vermisoglou is a librarian who lives in Greece. She has been a booklover ever since she learned to read. Her vivid imagination helped her create the magic world of ‘The Cursed Girl. There is always a story in her head so if she doesn’t answer immediately, it just means the story took a strange turn. 
She recently won the second place of the First Annual Indie Awards as the Favourite New Female Author. 

She loves trips, books and walks with her friends. Not necessarily in that order. 
You can find more about her upcoming series at 

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Sam’s Review

Cursed Girl is an amazing historical fantasy about a witch changing the fate of humankind as we know it. Creative, fun, and humorous, filled with a sassy protagonist and danger, Cursed Girl will fill your fantasy needs. 

Eva is a healer and a witch. Running a medicine shop long before women had freedom and during the time that witches were hanged or burned at the stake, she keeps her heritage a closely guarded secret. But she must risk it all when she becomes friend with the princes of Spain, and hides them from their power-hungry uncle.

Torn between following her heart and letting herself fall in love with the heir to the throne, or following common sense for witches and denying her true feelings, witches do live hundreds of years longer than us, she wages an inner war, and an outer war at the same time. 

This book was amazing, up until the end, where it was mostly just a giant epilogue separated into chapters. There was no more excitement, and the book’s main plot, which was guarding the princes, had long since been resolved in the middle of the book. The second plot was still being resolved, but it could have easily been resolved in another book, so the for the second half of it, I was pretty bored.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner looks at Maria Vemisoglous' YA Paranormal novel, THE CURSED GIRL

Buy the Book

   This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, and paperback editions here.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

**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.**

About the Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, Jennifer Donnelly

Young Adult Fantasy 350 Pages

Disney Press (January 31, 2017)

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again. The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book before she loses herself in it forever. 

About the Author

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eleven novels – Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose – and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She is a co-author of the Fatal Throne (out in May 2018), which explores the lives of King Henry VIII’s six wives, for which she wrote the part of Anna of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife. 

Jennifer grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History. 

Jennifer’s first novel, The Tea Rose, an epic historical novel set in London and New York in the late 19th century, was called “exquisite” by Booklist, “so much fun” by the Washington Post, a “guilty pleasure” by People and was named a Top Pick by the Romantic Times. The Rose trilogy continued with The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose.

Her second novel, A Northern Light, set in the Adirondacks of 1906, against the backdrop of an infamous murder, won the Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Borders Original Voices Award, and was named a Printz Honor book. Described as “rich and true” by The New York Times, the book was named to the Best Book lists of The Times (London), The Irish Times, The Financial Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and the School Library Journal. In 2015, TIME Magazine named it one of the 100 best young adult books of all time.

Revolution was named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and was nominated for a Carnegie Medal. The audio edition was awarded an Odyssey Honor for Excellence.

In 2014, Jennifer teamed up with Disney to launch the bestselling Waterfire Saga, an epic series about six mermaids on a quest to rid the world of an ancient evil. The first book in the series, Deep Blue, was released in May, 2014; the second, Rogue Wave, launched in January 2015; the third, Dark Tide, came out in October 2015; and the fourth, Sea Spell, was released in June 2016.

In November 2015, Jennifer released the historical novel These Shallow Graves, which received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness, and was named a Junior Library Guild Selection. 

Jennifer worked with Disney again in 2017, when she released the NY Times bestselling “Lost in a Book,” an original novel set in the world of the blockbuster film, “Beauty and the Beast.” 

Jennifer lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Sam’s Review

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly is a Beauty and the Beast story, based off of Disney’s latest version of the well-loved classic. This is a great book for Disney fans.

Belle is still a captive and she has received the library, finding an enchanted book by the name of Nevermore. Poe much? She finds herself lost in the story, literally, but can she return back to the beast and her friends when she is tricked by Death herself?

I love Beauty and the Beast, I love books, and if it features magic, Love and Death, then count me in! Wagers, betrayal, and learning to see with your heart, Lost in a Book has you coming back for more.

Sam reviews BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: LOST IN A BOOK on the Thrice Read Books review blog. YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

Thrice Read Books has one hardcover copy in excellent condition. (In fact, it’s the same copy that Sam featured in her vlog). You can buy it here.

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, and MP3 CD editions. [affiliate link]

To Hold A Siren’s Heart – 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's review of adult paranormal/urban fantasy romance TO HOLD A SIREN'S HEART by Rachel Leigh Smith

About the Book

To Hold A Siren’s Heart, Rachel Leigh Smith (Redemption’s Price Book 1)

Adult,  Romance/Paranormal, 336 Pages

Rachel L. Smith (November 15, 2016)

Sleeping with the enemy is never a good idea. Neither is falling in love with her.

Siren David Michaels lives by one rule: no relationships. His kind is cursed to lives of jealousy and selfishness when it comes to relationships. Having a one-night stand with a sexy stranger sounded good at the time. The last thing he expected was to see her show up seven years later claiming his very sick little brother is the long-lost next alpha of the Boulder pride.

Megan Kincade, the only daughter of the Boulder pride alpha, hasn’t stopped dreaming about the dark-haired man she slept with in Florida. The last thing she expected was to find him claiming her little brother as his own, and learning he’s a siren. The enemy.

Taking his little brother back to his family is the only way for him to live. But if David loses him, he loses his humanity. And he also sets off a war if his symphony finds him. Then there’s the problem of falling in love with the alpha’s daughter.

When David’s symphony comes for him, he gives himself up to save Meg and Owen. The love he thinks himself incapable of is the only thing that can save him. Provided Meg can find the courage to defy her pride and save her siren’s heart.

About the Author

Rachel Leigh Smith was swept off her feet at the age of six by Magnum, P.I., then again at nine by Frank Hardy. She remembers her favorite romance novels by the hero’s name, so of course, she writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family, a half-crazed calico, a ginger tabby lion, and a menagerie of book boyfriends.

She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America.

Jenn’s Review

Shapeshifters, warring ancient pantheons, and love that transcends tradition and discrimination, all packed into a smooth, free-flowing paranormal romance? Where do I sign up?

David’s brother is dying. Rheumatoid arthritis is tearing apart his frail body, bound into human form by an unknown person for unknown reasons. When his friend Dante shows up to tell David that he’s located Owen’s birth family, the news is a mixed blessing.

Owen grounds David, helps him manage his Siren urges and keeps him from becoming the monster David knows hides inside. Owen doesn’t know anything about their secret world, though, and David’s father handed down a blood oath to protect Owen. No matter what.

Owen needs his birth family, though, if he’s to break the curse that’s killing him. And Dante’s news is the first ray of hope. The catch? The sister Dante brings is the one night stand that David can’t forget.

Meg’s life is a shadow of what she wants. Her pride blames her for her brother’s abduction and has all but shunned her. And the amazing night she had back in Florida several years ago, is the one time she felt unburdened. Too bad he was a one not.

When Owen agrees to return to the pride, he has one condition – David has to be allowed to come along. The problem? David’s kind has been at war with Owen and Meg’s kind for millennia. David’s parents fled from their symphony, not far from Owen’s pride lands, but they never told him why – only that he had to stay away from Denver at all costs. Unless Owen’s life depended on it. Can he keep the secret of what he is long enough to settle Owen and get out before he brings a war to the two people he loves most?

To Hold a Siren’s Heart had all the requisite beats in all the right places. Even though the sex was all behind closed doors (mentioned but not played out on the page), the story still packs in the heat. The fast pace had me turning the pages (just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed), but the ending? Not quite satisfying. It felt rushed and incomplete, which was a disappointment after such an awesome plot.

Compelling characters, slight cliffhanger ending, action and irresistible bonds of love make up this story. My only dislike was that ending, but the ending alone doesn’t make me rule out reading the next book in the series.

Jenn's review of adult paranormal/urban fantasy romance TO HOLD A SIREN'S HEART by Rachel Leigh Smith

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle edition.

Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2) – 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.**

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, JS Burke's Dragon Dreamer - YA Fantasy

About the Book

The Dragon Lightning, J.S. Burke (Dragon Dreamer Book 2)

Young Adult,  Science Fiction, 264 Pages

Lind Press; 2 edition (October 10, 2016)

Drakor foresees the doom of dragons. 

Drakor seems like a normal young ice dragon with a talent for making lightning swords. But he alone feels the changing heart of his island Volcano. It destroyed his beloved sire. Now he foresees their doom, but none will listen. As he seeks proof, the Volcano shakes him off into the frozen sea. Arak was mocked as a worthless dreamer until he and Scree, a fearless undersea misfit, saved the dragons. Now dragons and octopi sail north in search of mythical ice dragons. They find Drakor and a terrifying reality. When Scree enters the abyss to check his volcano, she discovers everyone is in peril. Can this crew of unlikely friends save three realms?

“Dragon Lightning” is stand-alone book II of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: science fantasy adventure with dragons, an undersea world, and unlikely friendships. “Dragon Lightning” won the Pinnacle First Place Award for Best Science Fantasy and the IAN First Place Award for Best Science Fiction. It’s also an IAN Finalist for Best Fantasy and an IAN Finalist for Best Young Adult book. This upbeat novel is for readers age 9 and older. 

About the Author

J. S. Burke is the creator of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world. Burke has worked as an author, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. The author lives in Georgia with family and rescue pets. Burke loves chocolate and so do the dragons! 

The Dragon Dreamer series grew from years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. These stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak, a young dragon, is one Burke survived. This series of young adult books is for age 9 and older. “Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book” has original, hand-drawn snowflake mandalas inspired by the Dragon Dreamer series. 

Book Awards for “Dragon Lightning” by J. S. Burke:
*PINNACLE FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FANTASY
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FICTION 
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST YOUNG ADULT

Book Awards for “The Dragon Dreamer” by J. S. Burke:
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST FIRST NOVEL
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION
*IAN Finalist for BEST CHILDREN’S Show Less

Sam’s Review

The sequel to Dragon DreamerDragon Lightning is still filled with magic and plenty of dragons. Arak and his friends have found a wounded ice dragon, a creature of legend and a creature of stubborn pride, by the name of Drakor. Drakor is like Arak, he sees what is to come. And he needs the golden dragons’ help to save his kind.

Dragon Lightning was fun, but again, it was pretty slow at times, which is a bummer, because the story is good. However, we’re getting more and more characters, and it’s becoming a bit too much for me.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, JS Burke's Dragon Dreamer - YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

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

Related post: 

The Dragon Dreamer Book 1 in the Dragon Dreamer Series