The Temple of Indra’s Jewel by Rachel Stapleton – Review and Giveaway (ENDED)

The Temple of Indra's JewelSophia Marcil awakens from a snorkeling accident in the Lerins Islands to find herself in the chambers-and the body-of a nineteenth-century princess. In a confused state and with no idea of her whereabouts, Sophia embarks on a desperate quest for answers, hoping she can find her way back to her fiance, Nick, and her true identity.

After she finds a diary in an antique desk, Sophia follows a clue that leads her to a questionable alchemist, who relays the history and magic of the mysterious amethyst she inherited from her great-grandmother-the only possession that made the leap through time with her and perhaps the only thing that can prevent her from becoming a pawn in a murderous plot for the throne.

Using her inheritance, Sophia races through time to the twenty-first century to solve the mystery of her family’s past. But once she is there, she unearths a dire warning about a curse that clings to her heirloom, leading her down a dangerous path involving two men from different times and ultimately puts her life at risk.

In this tale of obsession, greed and passion, a woman on a journey through time struggles to regain a family heirloom and control its magic, hoping to break the curse before it breaks her.

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Guest Post from Author Chrys Fey

30secondsbefore_w-11122_750Title: 30 Seconds Before

Prequel to 30 Seconds

Genre: Mainstream Thriller

Page Count: 60 (novella)

BLURB:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?

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Audiobook Review – Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
The Austen Project #4
Eligible (The Austen Project #4) A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Genre: Romance, Fiction
My Rating: **** (4 stars)

First of all, I have to say that I love Pride and Prejudice. It’s my favorite Jane Austen novel, and Liz Bennet my favorite Austen heroine. I was a little nervous that a modern retelling of the story, complete with modern language, would be a disappointment. The author has done a wonderful job, though, of keeping the dialog as modern as possible while giving the narration a more classic feel. The story itself provides the same type of contrast, as it is easy at times to forget that this is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, yet at other times it feels so familiar that you know just what will come next.

Cassandra Campbell as narrator does a good job of differentiating the Bennet girls’ voices, and is pleasant to listen to. Pleasant that is except when she’s doing Mrs. Bennet’s voice, but I think that is to be expected. 🙂

While some of the situations that the girls find themselves in do seem over-the-top, I enjoyed the story, and Ms. Campbell’s performance of it.

 

NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review – Finding Fraser by KC Dyer

Finding Fraser by KC Dyer
Finding FraserSometimes searching for true love can be a little…Outlandish.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?

Genre: Romance, Chick-lit
My Rating: *** (3 stars)

This was a fun read, even for someone who has never read any of the Outlander series. (Gasp! I know – they are on my TBR pile!) I think nearly everyone knows the basic concept behind the novels, so it wasn’t hard to figure out what Emma was referring to when she did talk about Diana Gabaldon’s books.

The book alternates between chapters telling us the story, and blog posts that Emma writes as she goes along. The blog posts are short and sweet, and sometimes provide a little insight into things that have not yet been fully disclosed in the story.

I did feel that the heroine was a bit naive for 29. I often wanted to yell into the book at her, and to point out how blind she was being, or how ridiculous some of her choices were. Even so, Emma is a likable character, and I couldn’t help but root for her and wish her success in her quest to find love.

I have to add that I love books about other books, and books that even just mention other books. Books mentioned within other books have given me some great reading recommendations, and because of them, I’ve read things I would never have picked up otherwise. The Outlander series has definitely jumped higher up my ever-growing list after reading this story!

 

NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review – The Mine by John A. Heldt

The Mine by John A. Heldt

The Mine (Northwest Passage #1)Description from Goodreads:

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

Northwest Passage #1

Genre: Fantasy / Time Travel / Historical Fiction
Rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)

The Mine is a story about a young man’s accidental journey from the year 2000 into the past, just prior to WW2. Joel Smith and his friend Alan take a detour during a road trip, and discover an abandoned mine. A determined Joel decides to investigate, leaving his friend, and his timeline, behind him. Arriving in 1941, he eventually befriends a young man named Tom, and joins Tom’s circle of friends and family.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Joel near the beginning of the book, when he first arrived in the past. He seemed to take almost everything in stride, with no strong emotion struggle, and no real refusal to believe what was happening. I had a hard time accepting that, but it could be because I don’t think that it is how I would have reacted in his situation! 🙂

The author did a great job of making you feel that you were there in pre-war 1941, however. As I was introduced to Tom and his friends, I became more and more invested in Joel’s situation, and in his developing romance. I felt that he did mature somewhat as the story went on, and he realized what harm his advanced knowledge of the war and of Tom’s future could wreak. As close as he had grown to his new comrades, he really struggled with the decision to stay or go once the opportunity to return to his own time finally arose.

All in all, I enjoyed this story. While it may have been a little slow to start, it developed into a sweet story of friendship and true love. Fans of time-travel romance should like this one, and the next 4 books in this series!

**Disclaimer – I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

About the Author:
John A. HeldtJohn A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

Connect with John online:
Blog: http://johnheldt.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnaheldt
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/John-A.-Heldt/e/B007A23EQS
Indie View: http://www.theindieview.com/indie-authors/john-a-heldt/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5754231.John_A_Heldt
Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a1002681160/John-A-Heldt/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnheldt

Review – Wishing Cross Station by February Grace

Wishing Cross Station by February Grace
Wishing Cross Station

Genre: Fantasy / Romance
My Rating: *** (3 of 5 stars)

***NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

Library page Keigan Wainwright is sent to pick up a donation of books for his school’s collection, and gets a little more than he bargained for. Among the books is a hand-bound leather volume that the donor asks him to hold onto until he can learn more about it. What he discovers about the book is hard to believe, but with it tucked safely in his backpack, Keigan finds himself at Wishing Cross Station in the middle of the night waiting for a train to take him back in time.

What follows is a story of star-crossed lovers, Keigan from 2015, and Marigold from 1880. By reading the book that turns out to be a station master’s journal, Keigan learns that if he tries to return to his time with Marigold in tow, she will die on the train. If he stays, he may just disappear.

At only 153 pages, it is a quick read, but I found myself completely drawn into the past as I read it. The book is described as a bittersweet love story, and that’s exactly what you will get. If that’s something you would enjoy, then definitely give Wishing Cross Station a try.

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