Thursday, September 23, 2021

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Normally I wouldn't pick up a non-fiction book about a doctor treating infectious disease but this was assigned for book club, so I gave it a try. 

And I found Dr. Farmer's work fascinating. Helping the poor and underprivileged were his calling and he carried it out with gusto. I learned tons about a topic I knew nothing about, and can now understand and sympathize with. 

Do note, that as the book was written by a journalist, it reads more like a fact text book than an emotionally engaging read. 

The narrator was excellent. 

Best wishes for Dr. Farmer's legacy to live on. 


In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Tracy Kidder’s magnificent account shows how one person can make a difference in solving global health problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems, and disease. Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes people’s minds through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.”

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Courting Eliza

I give it 2.5 stars. 

I honestly debated whether to review or not because I don't like to leave negative reviews. After reading others reviews, I decided mine is in keeping what others have said. 

This is a clean and wholesome romance regency style. If that's what you're looking for, you'll be happy with the story. It is on the whole, a lovely little story, though some scenes could use more emotional depth. 

Here's where I was challenged in regards to finishing the book, which I did, because I nearly stopped reading multiple times. There are too many good books in the world to spend time on a book that's not suited to your taste. 

There were typos/errors on every page, ranging from one to five per page! I know, because I marked every single one of them. I ultimately finished the book just to see if the trend carried to the last page, not because of the story. This isn't why authors want to a reader to finish a book, to see how poor a job they did. 

I did check Amazon for an updated version. There isn't one. 

I suspect that in the author's haste to get the book out quickly, she forwent having it properly edited or at the least proofread. This was a mistake. 

As the book has been out for two years and multiple reviews for this book mentioned the errors, I can only assume the author has neither the inclination nor the time to correct the manuscript. Sad. 

I'm unlikely to read another book by this author due to these issues. 

Eliza is in love with her best friends’ brother...

But can William see her as more than a friend?

Eliza takes her future into her own hands. It is time Eliza finds someone to love her, even if she has to give up her longing for William.

William returns home from his studies and he’s intrigued by this new Eliza, his sister’s best friend.

When Eliza disappears to her aunts, William takes action. Can William capture her heart?

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Runaway King

The moment we finished listening to The False Prince, my teenage son loaded up The Runaway King because he coulnd't wait to hear what happened next. 

Once again, Ms. Nielsen does a brilliant job of painting Sage into corner after corner as you wonder how in the world is he getting out of this position alive? A total page turner. 

Masterfully told, this sequel is equal to the first in the series. I have great expectations for the third installment. 


A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the thrilling sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster The False Prince!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Series takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!And don't miss the highly anticipated fourth book in the series, The Captive Kingdom, coming October 2020!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The False Prince

Ms Nielsen is a masteful storyteller. 

Every book I read of hers leaves me in awe of her creativity and professionalism. 

I enjoyed the twists and turns of the novel and the characters' progression so much that I immediately started the second book. 

This story is good for all ages. 


In a discontented kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.And don't miss the highly anticipated fourth book in the series, The Captive Kingdom, coming October 2020!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Falling for the Diva is Here!!!

 I'm so excited for you to read Giuseppe and Fiona's story! 

He gave up the role of a lifetime when he walked away from her. Her greatest performance is concealing her secret. They’re cast as the ill-fated lovers in Carmen, but the real drama is offstage.


For three years, Giuseppe has carried the guilt and shame of running away from the woman he loves. Soon he’ll be holding her in his arms—onstage. Fiona’s reaction will tell him if they could have a second act, or if she’s cast him as the villain and found a new leading man. He’ll have to win her forgiveness and her love if there’s any hope of a happily-ever-after.

Since Giuseppe left her heartbroken, Fiona has lived a lie. Falling in love with him and dying by his hand at every performance are easier than dropping her act and having her life torn apart again. But revealing the truth could bring them both the greatest joy life can offer. They were young and innocent when they fell in love, but Fiona is older and wiser. She must protect her heart and those she loves. She can do this, right?

Giuseppe and Fiona will have to overcome their past to build a future together or their love will die when the final curtain falls.

Falling for the Diva is the third book in the Opera Dynasty contemporary, clean and wholesome romance series. If you like second chance romance, a conflicted hero who wants to do the right thing, and a heroine who sticks to her guns, then you’ll love this novel by award-winning author Lisa Swinton

Pick up your copy of Falling for the Diva today!

Opera Dynasty Romance Series:
Fallen Angel
Falling Down Under
Falling for the Diva

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Branches of Love

Miss Britton weaves wonderful regency tales that will have you swooning as much as the heroines.

Delightful in every way, the box set is a gem and will have you craving more of her wonderful writing. Each story comes with beloved characters with obstacles to overcome before they come together. 

Miss Britton, please continue your high standard of writing and I'll keep reading. 


Three Love Stories Set in the Romantic Regency Era. 

A Convenient Arrangement, An Inconvenient Marriage, and a Second Chance at Love.

The Social Tutor:
Christine Devon's social graces are lacking and her entrance in society depends upon her improvement. Thomas Gilbert's finances are in ruin and the only way to save his dream is to find investors for his stables. Together, they can solve both their problems, as long as they don't fall in love.

The Gentleman Physician: 
Five years ago, Julia Devon said goodbye to the man who held her heart, though she had to break his in the process. When Nathaniel Hastings, a physician in Bath, meets her again, will past regrets keep them apart or will a second chance at love heal them both?

His Bluestocking Bride: 
Marcus Calvert must wed in order to inherit his estate, but he's vowed to never risk his heart in a love match again. Ellen Bringhurst has resigned herself to spinsterhood until her match-making friends contrive to reintroduce Ellen to the man she has secretly loved since childhood. Marcus and Ellen wed, though this marriage of convenience is not what either of them wished for. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Writing Romance is Not About Sex… or is it?: How Far is too Far in Clean Romance?

 Ms. Spencer has a new book out that's nonfiction. I think the title tells you quite a bit about the content. 

This is a fun, energetic, and light discussion of the topic of sex in romance. Included are some heavy themes that are used in romantic tropes: religious preferences, accidentally crossing boundaries, pregnancy, nonconsenual sex, etc. 

She uses examples from contemporary authors to illustrate her points of how sex is represented in romance even when the couples aren't having it. Reading the snippets from these books is half the fun and will pique your interest about the story itself. What happens to these characters? What came before to bring them to this point? 

Also that authors have a responsibility regarding their characters in relation to sex and the message it sends to the reader. 

This book is great for both readers and authors. 

PS You might find a snippet or two from my books in there. 


How much sex is too much sex?

•How many kissing scenes are allowed in a clean romance novel?
•What is the difference between Clean & Wholesome, Sweet Romance, and Steamy Romance?
•Where does an author draw the line?
•More importantly, where does the reader draw the line?
•How can I position my book to fit clean romance market trends? and more...

Sex is not dirty. But sex doesn’t need to happen on the pages of a book in order for the book to sell.

Writing Romance is Not About Sex… or is it? How to Write Clean Romance will help you understand how…

•Heat level is often the first thing readers take into consideration when choosing a book. Especially in a romance novel, but in all novels really.
•Heat level can be used to position your book according to market trends and expectations.
•It’s up to us as authors to use our cover design and back copy to make it clear to the reader what our heat level is before they even open the book.
•Sex can be used (or strategically not used) as a literary element.
•Authors have a valuable platform that can be used influence society.
•Definitions and acceptance levels do and have changed and will continue to change.