dwcoverSo I just finished reading Darlington Woods by Mike Dellosso. While it’s not his debut novel, it’s the first one that I’ve read by him on the suggestion of a friend, and I’m glad that I did read it. This is definitely an edge of your seat thriller that will keep you wanting to find out what happens next. While I found the ending to be a bit anti-climactic, it was still a definitely well-written novel and I can’t wait to read more of his books.

Darlington Woods follows Rob Shields as he heads to Mayfield, Maryland a few months after the deaths of his family. He had just inherited a house from his great-aunt and figured that he would check it out before trying to get on with his life. Once he arrives in Mayfield, it seems that the townsfolk are a bit wary and curious of him as he explores the house and the small town, ending up at Mary Jane’s diner to get something to eat. Afterward, strange events start to unfold with the appearance of Wax Man along with dreams that seem to be real. Something is drawing him into the woods to search out a small town called Darlington, which seems to be frozen in time along with more townspeople that are even more wary than those in Mayfield, most likely due to the fact that they’re haunted by beings called darklings that can easily mimic a woman’s scream and only come out at night.

What happens next can only be found out by reading the book, but it is definitely worth the read and I definitely recommend it to all of my friends!

“The Heir War” by Jill Williamson is the second part of her new epic fantasy series. In part one, we’re introduced to a variety of characters, including Wilek, Trevn, Mielle, and Charlon. In this second installment, we continue the events of Darkness Reigns as Wilek and Kal travel to Magonia in search of a rune translation while Trevn and Mielle try to keep their relationship under the radar while investigating events at the palace.

While in Magonia, Wilek and Kal end up splitting up and Wilek is kidnapped by Charlon, a Magonian mantic, for reasons that are explained later on. Kal continues his search for a rune translation while trying to survive in the harsh country in the midst of the Five Woes. Meanwhile, Trevn at the palace learns of a plot to rid Armania of the Armanites in favor of their religion of Rob and in his search to find out who’s responsible, he hears of a Prophet who will be able to help.

Without spoiling too much of this amazing story, let me be the first to say that it is definitely an edge of your seat thrill ride that will keep you wanting more. I would definitely recommend this book and author to all of my friends!

I received an advance copy of the novel from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  In this debut young adult steampunk novel by Evangeline Denmark, we meet Grey Haward, a tall strong girl who tries her hardest to to not stand out by working in her grandfather’s hardware shop. Doing her best to follow all of the rules set before her, she can’t help but wonder if she needs to take the potion that the Chemists dictate that everyone take since both her father and grandfather don’t require it.

Then everything changes one night when her best friend, Whit, is caught trying to protect her and she witnesses his punishment. What follows is an exciting story as she Grey discovers secrets and new locations that she didn’t even know exist as she works toward freeing Whit and ending the Chemists rule.

Since Evangeline Denmark is the daughter of one of my favorite authors, Donita K Paul, I expected much from her and I can’t say that I was disappointed. I enjoyed every minute of this book and I can’t wait to read more from her! I thought that the style was very gripping and engaging and I didn’t want it to end. Here’s to hoping the next book comes out sooner rather than later.

I received a free copy of this book through http://booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

_225_350_Book.1770.coverIn “The Golden Braid” by Melanie Dickerson, we’re introduced Rapunzel, who longs to learn to read even though it’s not allowed for women in medieval times. She’s also constantly on the move since her mother refuses to let her get close to any man since, according to her mother, they cannot be trusted. When they finally end up moving to a large city, Rapunzel hopes and dreams that she’ll finally be able to learn to read, and it appears that her dream will come true when Sir Gerek comes into the picture after Rapunzel rescues him from danger.

Will Rapunzel finally achieve her dream to learn to read or is this just a ploy by another man who her mother believes cannot be trusted? This book is full of surprises and it’s a nice change from the traditional damsel-in-distress tale that most of us are familiar with. Melanie Dickerson has yet again given us readers a welcome new view to a traditional fairy tale and I look forward to see what else she has to bring in the future.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

51tKn4ZErlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_In Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson, we’re introduced to the Kingdom of Armania as well as Rosar Echad and his family. Unlike other monarchies, the eldest is not entitled to the throne and the princes Janek and Wilek are waiting to see who their father will declare as Heir, while Trevn couldn’t care less. While Armania experiences disaster after disaster that many believe are the result of the gods being displeased, we’re introduced to the other four realms as well, who have their own problems and gods.

All of the characters are very well-written and the story itself just pulls you into it. There’s a wide variety of characters from those who are supposed to be likable (Mielle, Trevn) to those who are completely distasteful (Janek). While the premise of this first book is kind of dark, it does leave you a glimmer of hope that things will end up okay in the later parts of the story.

Overall, I found this book to be very well-written and while I’m a relative newcomer to Jill Williamson’s books, I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read the rest of this story. I thought that it was a edge-of-your-seat page turner and since the only time I really had to read was while I was on the bus heading to work, I was disappointed each time I had to turn off my tablet and stop reading. I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends and I look forward to reading more from Jill Williamson!

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy for free in exchange for an honest review.

 “Hiding Places” by Erin Healy tells the story of 11-year-old Kate Whitby and her family at the Harrison Lodge in Evergreen, Colorado. While the book has a slow start, it’s almost necessary considering just how many characters and story lines need to be fleshed out. On the one hand, there’s Kate and her family at the lodge, while on the other hand, there’s Charlie and the Fox in Denver after a robbery gone wrong.

Even with the slow start, the book was still an awesome read and it finally got to the point where I just couldn’t put it down. Kate is a likable and naive character who longs for her family to spend more time and attention with her instead of what their usual activities are. Charlie is a homeless man who you can’t help but feel sympathy for him, especially when he’s blamed for things and forced to go on the run, leaving people who he cares about behind. Things finally converge at the Harrison Lodge and it’s all the family can do to prevent things from completely falling apart as they realize just who is important in their lives.

Murder, suspense, a bit of espionage; this book almost has it all. The book picked up quickly as things started to converge on Evergreen and it became an edge-of-your seat thriller as you wonder just what will happen next. I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends and I hope that all of you will give it an opportunity.

I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

_225_350_Book.1573.coverMelanie Dickerson’s “Fairy Tale Romance Collection” comprises of 5 separate novels, which are all basically a retelling of popular fairy tales, including Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.  The five books in this collection are “The Healer’s Apprentice” (Sleeping Beauty), “The Merchant’s Daughter” (Beauty & the Beast), “The Fairest Beauty” (Snow White), “The Captive Maiden” (Cinderella), and “The Princess Spy” (The Princess and the Frog).  One thing that was interesting in the books that I had read is that you see some of the same characters and places in some of the later novels, bringing a sense of continuity to the collection.

In “The Healer’s Apprentice,” we meet Rose who had just been appointed as a healer’s apprentice in Hagenheim Castle, where she eventually has to tend to the wounds of a future duke under her protector’s watchful gaze.

In “The Merchant’s Daughter,” we meet Annabel, who’s stuck as an indentured servant to a man who’s rumored to be beastly and terrifying.  Will she be able to get through to the real man inside, or will she be stuck in a terrible bind?

In “The Fairest Beauty,” we meet Sophie, who is desperate to escape from her step-mother’s jealousy and is eventually rescued by a young man named Gabe who is from Hagenheim Castle (first seen in “The Healer’s Apprentice”). What happens next in this novel is a gripping tale that will keep you reading until the very end.

In “The Captive Maiden,” we meet Gisela, who is wanting to attend the ball that the boy she has daydreamed about for years is throwing.  When she is able to attend, only the reader will find out what surprises she’s in for.

In “The Princess Spy,” we meet Margaretha, who is a romantic and searching for the man who’s destined to be her one true love.  Will she find what she’s looking for, or will things go drastically bad for all involved?

While I wasn’t able to get through all five novels (only finished the first couple of them), I do plan on finishing out this collection as soon as I’m able and I would definitely recommend this author to my friends based on how much I enjoyed the books that I have finished.  Girls (and possibly some boys) of all ages would enjoy reading this collection since, while based on popular fairy tales, it puts things in a different spin and seems like a brand-new story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”