Tag Archives: fiction

Book Review: Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone – by Darlene Foster

Amanda in Alberta, The Writing on the StoneBook: Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
Author: Darlene Foster
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Date: July 6, 2014
Genre: middle grade fiction
Pages: 98
Price: paper $9.35; Kindle $3.88
My Rating: an adventure young readers will love
 

I received a copy of Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone from the author in exchange for my honest review.

If you haven’t met Amanda before, you’ll need to know she is a twelve-year-old, adventurous, travel-loving girl who seems to find mysteries wherever she goes. This time, in Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, not even the one leaving home she still gets involved in a situation.

Amanda invited Leah, her friend from England, to vacation in Alberta, Canada. For Leah – as it was for Amanda when she visited Leah in England – so much seemed strange to what she was accustomed to at home.

Amanda’s parents are busy people but make time to take the girls to various interesting places, such as dinosaur museums, a cattle drive, and unique stores for shopping for “cowboy” attire. While they were at a rodeo, Amanda noticed a little stone drop out of a clown’s pocket, but she couldn’t get the man’s attention to tell him. When she picked up the stone she noticed unusual markings on it, so she slipped it into her own pocket. Things happen from then on to make Leah’s vacation one to remember! Cowboys argue over something, a surly bothersome man keeps following her, she is suspicious of ‘questionable’ people – and Amanda and Leah are involved in another sometimes dangerous adventure.

Darlene Foster‘s writing is suited to young readers. The Amanda series is fast-paced, action-filled, and written so that the young main characters are the real problem solvers but with adult involvement.

You can read my reviews of two books in Darlene Foster‘s Amanda series: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, and Amanda in England: The Missing Novel.

You can find Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Book Review: Amanda in England: The Missing Novel – by Darlene Foster

Amanda in England, The Missing NovelBook: Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
Author: Darlene Foster
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Date: August 9, 2012
Genre: juvenile fiction; adventure (age level 7-13, grade level 3-6)
Pages: 73
Price: paper $8.80; Kindle $3.65
My Rating: a fun read that educates while taking children on an adventure
 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Amanda in England: The Missing Novel is book three of the Amanda series by Darlene Foster. Written for middle grade readers it is a quick-paced easy read. 

Amanda is a curious adventurous twelve-year-old whose friend in England invited her to come for a visit. Having a love of travel she happily accepted Leah’s invitation.

From the time Amanda arrives things begin happening. One thing leads to another, and she finds herself involved in the mystery of a missing valuable book. Young readers will enjoy the antics and escapades of Amanda, Leah and two local kids they meet as they encounter a strange acting lady, run into trouble when two men chase them, and try to keep all the trouble they’re in from Leah’s parents. While following Amanda readers will also be learning a little about some of the sites and sights of England.

Darlene Foster has written four books in the Amanda series so far. If you want to read my review of her first book in the series, go to Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask.

You can find Amanda in England: The Missing Novel listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: Dreamlander – by K. M. Weiland

DreamlanderBook: Dreamlander
Author: K. M. Weiland
Publisher: PenForASword
Date: January 14, 2014
Genre: epic fantasy
Pages: 546
Price: Kindle under $4; paper $12.96
My Rating: a fully engaging fantastical journey

 

Have you ever been so affected by a book it sticks with you for days after you’ve read the last page? Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland had that effect on me.

Have you ever wakened from a dream that seemed so real it felt as if you were really there? The residue of it stays with you? The memory of it keeps recurring?  Have you ever wondered which is more real – where you are or where you were in your dream?

Chris Redston’s recurring dream was sure to kill him if he didn’t hurry and wake up! Who was that woman warning him to not cross the worlds? Why was she so desperately trying to convince him to not come over? What a ridiculous dream! He felt as if he were losing his mind. Then he discovered the note taped to his window, the note warning him about his dreams; but he had told no one about them!

This story grabbed my interest from its very beginning and did not, would not, let me go. It’s filled with suspense, action, drama, believable emotion of the characters, danger, hope, battles, and so much more. The main character has to deal with his dysfunctional father’s problems by day and then at night … those crazy dreams. Then things get really complicated for him when he learns he is a Gifted who holds the balance of both worlds in his hands. He is drawn into the battle between good and evil – and the reader is taken on a fantastical journey.

K.M. Weiland created a parallel world with such detail and believability the reader is challenged to consider the possibilities. To say Dreamlander is a good read is an understatement. If any reader can set aside the tangible and get hold of the visuals presented by K.M. Weiland, there is an amazing adventure waiting to be enjoyed.

Dreamlander by K. M. Weiland is a BRAG Medallion winner and was a finalist for the 2014 National Indie Excellence Award in the Writing and Publishing category.

 You can find Dreamlander listed on my Buy The Book! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: Don’t Dare a Dame (Maggie Sullivan Mysteries) – by M. Ruth Myers

Don't Dare a DameBook: Don’t Dare a Dame (Maggie Sullivan Mysteries book 3)
Author: M. Ruth Myers
Publisher: Tuesday House 
Date: November 7, 2013
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 359
Price: $13.99 paperback; Kindle under $4.00
My rating: a great sleuth novel with a smart lady PI
 
 

Don’t Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers was fun to read. This is a sleuth novel that pulled me in, involved me without my realizing it, although I was thinking about the story when I couldn’t be reading it.

This is a mystery told in the voice of private investigator, Maggie Sullivan, who has intelligence, heart, courage, and determination. She takes the reader on a delightful journey – tense at times, loaded with clues and hints and glorious details and trails and situations. And surprises. And drama.

Set in the 1930’s to 1940’s, Don’t Dare a Dame starts with Maggie saying: Two old maids who wanted to hire me had asked me to tea, so I’d treated my nails to a fresh coat of raspberry pink and put on a hat that matched and a Smith & Wesson that didn’t. This shows the reader right away that here is a woman who likes looking like a woman but who takes her job seriously and is ready to do business at any time.

Maggie finds herself investigating the decades-old disappearance of a man, unsure if she will find anything at all regarding that mystery since she suspects all clues would likely be gone by then. Through her curiosity, compassion, determination, and her skill as a private eye, she uncovers more than she first imagined could be connected. In so doing, she upsets some respected people and endangers not only herself but her clients.

Don’t Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers is a good story that keeps the reader interested. There’s some swearing but it is not over the top.

Don’t Dare a Dame is the third book in the Maggie Sullivan mysteries. If this is the genre you enjoy, judging by this volume it would be well worth your while to read the whole series.

You can find Don’t Dare a Dame listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

We have our winners of Shadows in the Stone!

We have our winners of Shadows in the Stone!

01dlmcgyver-shadows-in-the-stone-small

Tonight my husband drew two names out of the basket.  Betty and Darlene will each be receiving an email from Diane with the coupon for them to obtain their copy of Shadows in the Stone.

Congratulations, ladies!  :)

 

 

Please watch for more book reviews, interviews, and the occasional book giveaway.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

Book Giveaway tonight! Did you enter the draw?

01dlmcgyver-shadows-in-the-stone-smallDid you enter the draw for your chance to win a copy of Shadows in the Stone by Diane Lynn McGyver? You have until 6:00 PM EST tonight, February 4!

Read my review here.

Read my interview with author Diane Lynn McGyver here. Be sure to enter the draw while there.

 

Thanks for reading, and .. Creative Musings! :)

 

Book Review: Shadows in the Stone: Book 1, The Castle Keepers – by Diane Lynn McGyver

01dlmcgyver-shadows-in-the-stone-smallBook: Shadows in the Stone: Book 1, The Castle Keepers
Author: Diane Lynn McGyver
Publisher: Quarter Castle Publishing
Date: September 2012
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 368
Price: on Amazon – paper, $15.91 CDN; for Kindle $5.31
My rating: A memorable fantasy world with characters that will stay on your mind.
 

I had the privilege of reading this book, Shadows in the Stone, before its release. It had to brew in my brain awhile, as some stories do, so it has taken me a long time to write my review, for which I apologize to the author – but here it is! 

Fantasy is one of my favourite genres to read. This story took me to a different place and even yet some things have stayed with me. Diane Lynn McGyver created a whole new world, with characters the reader quickly cares about, and suspense, drama and mystery to keep the pages turning.

Having said that, I would not recommend Shadows in the Stone to young readers as some battle scenes may be disturbing, and there are very descriptive scenes of relationship intensity and some violent scenes.

The main character, Corporal Bronwyn Darrow, made up his mind to never love again after being deeply hurt by a woman he trusted. That is, until he meets the enchantress Alaura of Niamh. Bronwyn tries to keep his focus on his duty as he wants to move up in the ranks of the castle guard but he is very distracted by this troubled mysterious woman. She needs his help, though, and he cannot resist the challenge, being an honourable man. 

What nagged at me the most may not even be an issue for another reader. Bronwyn constantly runs through his emotions and thoughts regarding Alaura,  for whom he soon cares deeply. There were places I felt should be left to the reader to ‘get’ the first or second time and know from there without the constant repetition. Even so, the author built characters of dimension and heart.

There are warriors, royalty, peasants, villains, secrets, betrayal, danger, heroism, love, passion, suspense, exciting moments that are magical, and more, all leading to a satisfaction for the reader in the way events unfold. The author describes scenes and situations very well, weaving pictures in the reader’s mind. Where the author ended this story leaves the reader waiting for more. There are several unanswered questions relating to Alaura, the castle, the child Alaura cares for, and more mysteries. Fortunately, this is the first in a series, so we have more books to watch for in which we can anticipate those answers.

All in all, this is a good read fantasy lovers will find captivating and fascinating.

You can find Shadows in the Stone listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Come back for my interview with Diane Lynn McGyver, the Canadian author of Shadows in the Stone, here on January 30’14. She has two copies of her book to give away to visitors who leave a comment after the interview! Don’t miss out!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)