Category Archives: book reviews

Books that I loved enough to actually write about!

Readers’ Realm Review

For Fiction Friday today, I’m posting a duplicate of the review from Readers’ Realm of my romance, Searching for Sara. If you would like to purchase my book, it is still on sale for 99 cents in digital format at all online retailers.

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Searching for Sara

by Nona Mae King

Review by Bethany Jean

Searching for Sara, design by Taria ReedAt the request of Christopher and Carla Lake, Sara Little heads to America. Her trust in the Lord is the only thing keeping her going, but the changes in her life don’t stop with the adjustment in location.

When she alights from the train, Sara finds a brand new and horrible surprise waiting for her.

Through the challenges of becoming a professional artist, Sara is forced to look at her life through different eyes. And through her new life and acquaintanceship with the people responsible for the changes in her life, she’s able to bring about transformation in their lives as well.

The descriptions of the art and the inspirations for it in this book show that the author is a true artist and has experienced the same feelings herself.  Nona King’s writing shows a depth of feeling and an extensive knowledge of the history of the period. I love reading about the history before and immediately after the Civil War, and I thoroughly enjoyed the history aspect of this work.

This book drew me in from the get-go. Searching for Sara is a story of poverty and humility, a story of hope from a beginning of hopelessness, and a surprising story of love. The way the author deals with grief and the aftermath of tragedy impressed me.  Having read some other books by this author, I was really looking forward to reading Searching For Sara, and Nona King did not disappoint.

~*~

Searching for Sara is available at Amazon.

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#fictionfriday | Affect of Red

About the Book

Affect-of-RedRobert Jordan and Camille Durran both find themselves victims of failed relationships. Robert is a studio manager for successful engineering firm and Camille is a young attorney in San Francisco. They both have consuming jobs that leave little time for romantic affairs.

Camille meets Robert in a bar in San Francisco. She is wearing a red evening dress and she attracts Roberts’ attention. They both quickly realize their connection is a fairy tale of love at first sight. They meet the following weekend in Reno, Nevada for lunch, and then find themselves fleeing to Costa Rica from the Russian Mafia thugs who are after Camille. They fall in love, and when they return to the US, they marry, have a child, and begin living an idyllic life in the wine country of California. But the threat of the Russian Mafia never leaves their lives.

Review by nona king

The characters in The Affect of Red are engaging, as is their plight. Their relationship, while sudden, is definitely believable, and I enjoyed the determination to keep their relationship healthy and their communication open. The majority of the storyline kept me turning pages (and kept me up until 1am to see the end). However, I did find myself skimming through some of the dialogue and low points in order to find out what was coming up next.

The one thing I wish is if there had been more details with the investigation into the Russian Mafia. Perhaps some scenes dedicated to stakeouts or something else to that effect. But, overall, I enjoyed the story as a whole – and I was extremely shocked at one particular instance (which I will not reveal here, as it is a major spoiler).

Overall, P.A. Davis has a wonderful voice and writing style, and dedicates enough to the senses to make the reader clearly visualize the setting as well as the poignancy of fear. I look forward to his next book.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. There was a bit too much dedicated to slow narrative and not enough to the actual conflict. This, of course, is my opinion. :)

Would I recommend it to others: Yes. The story and characters therein are enjoyable, and the “moral to the story” should be experienced by all.

About the author

P.A. Davis is an award winning Architect currently living in Hawaii on the island of Maui. He studied music and was a song writer and performer from 1969 to 1971. He has been a practicing architect since 1984 and has worked on projects across the U.S. and in foreign countries.

He is a new indie author but not new to writing. After holding his inaugural novel for 20 years, he has completed 2 additional novels in the last 2 years, and has one to be released in 2013.

He and Barbara have three grown daughters, three granddaughters, and a grandson.

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Falls the Shadow, by Melissa Sasina | #fictionfriday

About the Book

Falls the Shadow

Year 848, Age of Man Everything had been taken from her: her family, her home, and nearly her life. Now, two years later, Maeja is still haunted by what the Empire had done to her. And with betrayal fresh in her mind, she seeks to reclaim a treasure before it falls into enemy hands.

Seeing unjust all around them, brothers Connor and Linkyn decide to take matters into their own hands, raining down bloody justice upon all they consider evil.

The lust for treasure is what drives the pirate Ril and his accomplice Mjrn to the castle. But an unplanned attack causes them to lose their treasure while gaining a new challenge.

A twist of fate leaves these unlikely companions the only defense the Midlands have against an Empire that seeks to resurrect Loki and create another Ragnarok which could plunge all of Midgard into a darkness it isn’t prepared to face…

Review, by Nona King

Falls the Shadow was a delightful change from the contemporary pieces read thus far, especially considering my limited familiarity with the Norse mythos. Melissa weaves an engaging tale, with wonderfully faceted characters and a compelling fantastical world.

Though her descriptive passages sometimes lack a personal connection to the scene’s main character, it clearly set off her in-depth knowledge of the world, its history, and the future yet to be told. At times the quantity of short scenes left me with a feeling of disappointment, but not so much as to distract me from the story’s progression.

There were some misused words sprinkled throughout (i.e. ‘where’ instead of ‘were’, or ‘surely’ instead of ‘surly’), and some places where the narrative could have used some tightening but, again, it wasn’t enough to irritate or distract. My biggest qualm was the sometimes impersonal description, for this really limited the developing relationship between the characters and me as the reader. If she were to weave more of the character’s voice into those narrative bits… gold!

All in all, Falls the Shadow is an intriguing fantastical tale and I am eager to read the next installment.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5. I wanted to love these characters, but the impersonal narrative kept me at arms length. That is pretty much the only reason I don’t give this story a 4 or 4.5 out of 5.

Would I read it again: Yes, I do believe I would.

Would I recommend it to others: Yes. It is a fascinating mythos.

About the Author

Melissa SasinaMelissa Sasina was born in Ohio in 1982. Always a lover of fantasy and myth, Melissa began writing short stories when she was in her late years of elementary school. She began writing seriously in high school before finally completing her first set of novels, “The Priestess Trilogy”, in 2008, though they were not officially published til mid 2010.

Melissa still resides in Ohio with her husband and son, and does freelance art as more of a hobby. Her art is viewable at shiovra.deviantart.com and she can be found on Facebook!

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