Posted in Reviews

My Review of Rogue One [MINIMAL SPOILERS]

Rating: 5/5 stars!

Rogue One chronicles the events leading up to Star Wars: A New Hope, with emphasis on the “Rebel spies” who obtained the Death Star plans that Luke and co. used to save the day.  In a mere span of forty-eight hours, who knew so much went on?  And who were these spies?  Where did they come from?  Why did they join the cause?  Rogue One answers these compelling questions and leaves me with many more. Continue reading “My Review of Rogue One [MINIMAL SPOILERS]”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: Shirley Link and the Safe Case by Ben Zackheim

I snagged this eBook on BookBub a few months ago, and only found the time to read it recently.  I found this one browsing through the Middle Grade section, and it’s one of the few mystery books that wasn’t begging to be compared to Nancy Drew.  But if we are going to compare the two, Shirley Link is like Nancy Drew’s cooler cousin.

There are at least two mysteries in this eBook – the first, which I read, is the titular mystery story.  “The Safe Case” is in a setting familiar to many readers: middle school.  In this case (no pun intended), a safe containing a large sum of money is robbed – the safe itself included – and the principal is being held accountable by the school board.  It’s up to Shirley to prove his innocence … even if it doesn’t help her academic standing.  The mystery-solving process is fast-paced and filled with age-appropriate wit and humor. Continue reading “Review: Shirley Link and the Safe Case by Ben Zackheim”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: Vastian Lore by S.C. Gregory

Reviewer’s Notes: I received an autographed paperback copy of ‘Vastian Lore’ from a giveaway run by the author.  I’m choosing to review it – all opinions expressed herein are my own. Thanks so much, Steph, for the beautiful book – I’ll treasure it always! 🙂

I’m also trying out a slightly different format for this book review, in the style of my friend Olivia’s book reviews, which you can find here.  I tend to ramble, and her style is excellently concise.

<> <> <> <>

Title: Vastian Lore

Author: S.C. Gregory

Publisher: Self-published

Publishing Date: November 2015

Rating: 4/5 Stars Continue reading “Review: Vastian Lore by S.C. Gregory”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Reviews

Review: The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey

Disclaimer: I was given a free, digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.

This is the story of a girl whose heart was stolen, and not in a good way.  The beautiful Princess Caityn is well-known throughout the Twelve Realms for her kind disposition and graceful features.  She’s loved by many, and envied by few, including some with twisted motives…. Continue reading “Review: The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: Adela’s Curse by Claire Banschbach

I read this book as part of a review exchange with the amazing Claire Banschbach, published author of two other YA fantasy novels, The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton.  She kindly reviewed my novelette, Secrets in Seaport, and the wonderful things she had to say about it immensely relieved much of the low book-esteem I’ve been suffering with since publishing it. 🙂

An original story of love, conflict, adventure, and chock-full of mythical creatures, Adela’s Curse has to be one of the cleanest YA fantasy novels I’ve read in a while.  Adela, a happy young faery, is tricked by a pair of conniving “mortals,” who bind her to them with dark sorcery and force her to use her magical powers to suit their twisted agendas.  Adela is forced to do whatever they tell her – or die.  And every faery fears death above all nasty fates!  (To borrow another science fiction franchise’s terminology, faeries typically “ascend to a higher plane of existence” when their material bodies expire, instead of dying the way people do.)  Adela is a clever faery, and finds creative ways to resist and delay her captors’ machinations, but can she find a way overcome her curse completely before it’s too late?

Claire Banschbach is true a master of world building and fantasy storytelling. There’s a certain light, airy, jovial tone to her writing that makes me (as a reader) feel like I’m being carried through the fantasy world on my own pair of faery wings. Continue reading “Review: Adela’s Curse by Claire Banschbach”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Reviews, Uncategorized

Books Every Kid (and Kid-at-Heart) Should read

I recently discovered the Top Ten Tuesday weekly tag from The Broke and the Bookish blog.  This week’s tag is “Ten Books Every X Should Read”.  As an older reader with an affinity for kids’ books, here are some books and book series (in no particular ranking order) I think every child at heart should read. 🙂 Continue reading “Books Every Kid (and Kid-at-Heart) Should read”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Reviews, Uncategorized

Review: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick



Where do I begin?  This book is amazing!  All I can say is that this book left me feeling eponymously wonderstruck.

Wonderstruck tells the intertwined stories of two different children in two separate time periods. Ben is a young boy living in Minnesota in the seventies.  He was born deaf in one ear.  His mother died recently, and stays next-door with his aunt’s family.  His partial deafness makes it difficult for his cousins to relate to him.


Ben never knew his father.  On a dark, stormy night, he finds what he believes to be a clue among his mother’s belongings, a bookmark for a New York City bookstore, signed by a man named Daniel.  Ben is determined to track down the clue’s source, and hopefully, in the process, his father.  Just as he picks up the phone to call the number on the bookmark, the house is struck by lightning, which traveled up the phone wire, and Ben is rendered completely deaf from the shock.  Ben, however, is undeterred by this new challenge, and sets out alone to New York.  There, he finds his way to the American Museum of Natural history….

Rose’s story takes place in the twenties.  Rose was born completely deaf, can’t speak, and communicates solely through writing notes.  Her father doesn’t understand her, and her mother appears to be out of the picture.  Rose is attempting to learn to communicate by more “conventional” means for deaf and mute people, but finds them to be restrictive and unnatural.  After an argument with her father, Rose runs away to New York City, in search of solace.  She finds her way to the same museum, back when some of the most captivating exhibits were being constructed…. Continue reading “Review: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick”