Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Wise Woman's Journal

The Wise Woman's Journal 
  • Print Length: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Build Your Own Reality (August 31, 2014)   
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N7EM7HU

This little book was very interesting. I picked it up for a quick look at it being that it is available in kindle unlimited for free. I was more curious than anything. I read a lot of pagan books. This one pleasantly surprised me.

In the beginning it has an explanation of different pagan practices, and how rituals are performed. There are basic correspondences that you use for making incense, oils and candle magick. It tells you how to dedicate yourself to a deity and ask them to help you, how to set up an altar to spend time with them, recipes for basic incense & oils that can be used in all rituals. How to bless any space and make it ready for spiritual use. Then after all that, you get a month's worth of journaling prompts and meditation. If you are looking to incorporate your pagan beliefs into each and everyday, this will be helpful for you. If you are just starting out, this will save you a lot of research. Thumbs up.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


by Samantha Holt
  • Print Length: 87 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited    
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

For years the Vikings had raided their lands and killed her people. Now the enemy lay in her bed…

Rescuing a Viking pirate from the ocean after his ship wrecked on the shores of Pictland was bound to bring Ilisa trouble. After all, she knew well of the savagery of the Vikings—she had experienced it first-hand. But her heart would not allow her to abandon someone in need. Unfortunately, nursing him back to health rouses a part of her she didn’t know existed and soon she’s the one in need.

Alrek’s well aware of his own need when he awakens in this beautiful Pict’s home. With his plans to venture to new lands on hold, he resolves to thank Ilisa for her help in any way he can—but not in the way he longs to the most. He must prove not all Vikings are the same. But his own savage past threatens to destroy any progress he makes and her people soon make it clear he will never be accepted.

Can they bridge the gap between two cultures or will their differences—and the dangers they bring—forever keep them apart?

Content warning: Contains some adult scenes.

A novella length story: approximately 30000 words.

Alrek - He caught my attention in the beginning of the book, but quickly lost his hold on me. His character was two dimensional, and didn't really grab at my heart. I could see the potential there, but the author needs to improve on character development. Maybe, show more, and tell less? Let the character prove his worth through actions instead of dialogue. It is a short book, but seems to be that he had very little on his mind, only the desire for sex.

He went to rescue his damsel in distress without the ax, sword and dagger that typical Vikings would not have left a doorway without carrying, especially if they felt in danger. 

Ilisa - In the beginning I thought she would have a spirited personality, but she too was a bit flat. Typical character, nothing substantial about her. 

Plot - The plot had many holes in it. It felt forced almost, instead of unfolding naturally. I could easily predict what would happen next, and it felt like the author was following a typical outline to write this novel. I would like to have seen more action in it, and had the characters lives a little more tangled in other things, instead of just each other. This would make them more believable and real. 

There were times that the characters spoke in the correct era that the book was intended, but other times they spoke with modern word usage. Very little romance, and not memorable. I probably won't read another book by this author. The effort was there, but it fell short to impress me. Full of cliches.

The ending - okay. He kissed her nose. LOL 

Historical - no.
Romantic - no.
Erotica - possibly. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Valiant Heart

The Valiant Heart
by Kathleen Kirkwood  
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Publisher: ByDand Publishing (May 12, 2013)   
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CRQ99I4

A beautiful heiress and pawn of the king . . .

Dispossessed of her lands by the marauding Norsemen, Brienne Beaumanior is brought from cloister by royal decree and offered as a bride to her enemy.

A golden warrior of the North . . .

Sent to escort his father’s promised bride to the Barony of Valsemé, Rurik Atlison finds himself entranced by the dark-haired beauty and his passions set aflame.

Love unexpected, bringing peril to all . . .

Tormented by their desires, Rurik and Brienne resist giving into their yearnings and endangering their people.

But destiny will not be denied. Their love will burn brightly through all the ages to come as Norse and Frank meld into a new people — the Normans.

Lyting - What a cutie. His character is very likable and honorable. I adored him from the get go.

Aleth - Everyone needs a best friend like her. So sweet, and clever.

Rurik - My heart ached for him the whole time. A memorable Viking. Valiant. Passionate.

Brienne - Poor thing went through hell, but stupidly she brought on a lot of it herself. 


Waite's mother heavy with child, from beginning to end of book?The time that span was enough to grow several women's bellies, a war and a lot of other things. The prediction of twins during the Viking age? Handheld mirrors to gaze at yourself while you comb your hair? These weren't even around during the time of Henry VIII! 

84% into the book, I am furiously angry, and almost unable to keep reading!! How much more can this strained relationship take? Having Brienne continue to doubt her husband because he is of Norse decent was so annoying! Just the same as the "necessity" to convert Pagans into Christians. I understand it is historically based, but this book goes into some really strange supernatural ritual experiences that are inaccurate to real life, and it truly blurs the lines of history. 

Katla was a deranged woman, and brought much conflict to the book, but come on. Some things are so far fetched that reality isn't even an option here. 

Having Brienne come face to face with things she "thinks" her husband is doing behind her back, then turning and running away makes the vein in the middle of my forehead want to explode! This book actually caused me stress! What kind of woman catches her husband in something, then turns and runs? Any normal, hot blooded woman would get pissed off enough to confront the guy. Seriously. 

So then, I skim through a bunch of unnecessary details, scanning the dialogue, only to find Brienne again goes through several other obstacles keeping her from Rurik. And the cliff jump, WTF? It left my blood boiling.

Way too much in this one book. The author completely strips away Rurik's heart, throws it on the ground, and stomps on it. What's the deal? How much pain and sorrow can be inflicted on a man before he dies from a broken heart? 

Even for Brienne, it's like she lived a whole lifetime in a year and a half. I think I even sprouted three grey hairs a midst her struggles! My emotions are like a roller coaster, but more annoyed than anything. I feel if the book ended half way through, it would have been spectacular. I truly believe that the author didn't want to let her own characters go, so she wrote and wrote until she couldn't anymore. 

For me, too long. I only read to the end because I HAD to know what happened. Then there was an epilogue. OMG! 

I enjoyed the book all the way to the middle, then after that I felt the author should have had one more struggle and a happy ending. For me, there is way too much conflict on these pages. Perhaps the author could eliminate some of her ideas next time instead of cramming them all in one book? When you find yourself skimming for dialogue, you've grown bored. 

The author can write very well, so I hope she reads this and takes my review with a grain of salt, and takes my advice with her future books because I truly think she has it in her to knock the socks of her readers. Just because you have a lot of cool stuff to put into the book doesn't mean that it all belongs there. Even with the happy ending, it didn't heal my heart from all the turmoil that it went through reading the book. I felt let down, and I am now unable to sleep.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Bride Gift

The Bride Gift
by Sarah Hegger
  • File Size: 3289 KB    
  • Print Length: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing (May 12, 2014)  
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

1153, in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.

Determined to control her own destiny, wilful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword.

This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.

Against a backdrop of vengeance, war, and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything. 

Helena's character wasn't my favorite heroine. Although the author is an outstanding writer, Helena was a childish nag. Her actions proved very annoying for her age and the times that the story took place in. Everything that she did was out of her own selfishness, and she cared not for anyone else's feelings until after her tantrums took place. She was a spoiled little rich girl. When she throws Guy's belongings amok, it made me want to climb inside the book and shake her to her senses. It was only toward the end of the book that I gained any respect for her at all, and even then it wasn't as much as I would have liked to have had.

Guy on the other hand, his character was superb. He was good looking, charming and witty and he wielded a sword as if born with it in his hand. What more can a reader ask for? He was honorable and always did what was best for everyone around him regardless of the circumstances. The author gave him but one flaw, that he wasn't articulate in his speaking. But if you ask me, that made him all the more appealing. A real hearth throb of a guy. He had mystery.

Rosalind was a clever character who took up a few pages of the book. I enjoyed her part, and thought that she was just what Helena needed to bring her back down to earth. If it hadn't been for Rosalind, Helena would have been so far fetched that I may have had to stop reading in the middle of the book. I also liked the way Rosalind brought conflict and emotion between Helena and Guy. A little jealousy never hurt anyone. 

Bridget, oh what can I say about her? Loved her. She was reliable and steadfast. She was the fly on the wall, and the one to put all the puzzle pieces together aiding Guy when he needed it most. She was nobody's fool.

The plots were well thought out and beautifully written. There weren't any wholes that I could see, and the twists and turns were not always predictable. 

The one thing that frustrated me a little was that the hours in the day seemed to fly by, and at times I couldn't pinpoint whether it was time to wake up or go to sleep for the characters. It didn't flow as nicely as it could have. 

The ending was satisfying, but rushed. The author writes a year span of events into the last chapter as to not leave anything out. I haven't read a book with this approach before. It was certainly different. Not bad, just different. 

All in all, a great, easy read. The author, in my opinion, is talented. I would read another of her books anytime. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Vikings Forbidden Love-Slave

The Vikings Forbidden Love-Slave 
by Michelle Willingham
Print Length: 50 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases (July 15, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.  
Language: English

I wasn't ready to sleep last night, and wanted something to read that was short and sweet, so I picked up this 50 page kindle book. It was worth the small price, and I actually enjoyed it. 

"You're terrified I'll force myself upon you. And worse, that you'll enjoy it."

Aisling Ó Brannon should hate the Vikings who raided her village…especially after she's captured as a gift for King Magnus by warrior Tharand Hardrata. But while her head says one thing, her body says quite another. Her attraction to the fierce and forbidding warrior cannot be ignored…even though she's intended for another man's bed.

As they near Magnus's domain, Tharand's restraint is tested beyond endurance. He can't stop himself from arousing her, bringing her to the peak of pleasure while trying to honor his promise. Soon he must choose: please his king…or keep his captive love-slave for himself.

Aisling's character was a knife wielding woman warrior! I am always thrilled to find characters like her because they have spunk and a zest for life. She is certainly more likable than a woman who easily submits to the demands of a man. Her submission was on her terms, not anyone else's. For that, she quickly gained my respect and admiration.  

Tharand's character was a man of few words. He was honorable, yet rough around the edges, and different than one might imagine a viking. He is the marrying kind. Although I wouldn't call him totally timid when it comes to women, he was quite cautious. He had massive skills when it come to pleasing a woman, but he didn't seem to have much luck catching their eye. Most feared him, and would run from him when he came into the room. I am happy Aisling didn't. :) He seemed deserving of a happy ending.

The plot was perfect for this short story. It propelled forward nicely, and kept me guessing what would happen next. 

There are some scenes that I thought weren't so plausible though, but again, it is a short story and meant to deliver a quick romantic jounce. The ending was satisfying, and left me wanting to know more.

I read the book in under two hours. If you like quick stories, with little fluff & history, this is a good weekend read. Michelle is a talented author.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Viking for the Viscountess

A Viking for the Viscountess 
by Michelle Willingham
Series: A Most Peculiar Season
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Michelle Willingham (November 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990634515

First I would like to say great job on the cover, it is beautiful. :)

Juliana Arthur, the Viscountess Hawthorne, has been thrown out of her husband’s estate and her marriage declared invalid. With a small son to care for, she desperately needs a strong hero to rescue them from poverty and suffering.

A Viking wasn’t quite what she had in mind.

Arik Thorgrim is caught between worlds. After dying from a battle wound, he expects to find the glory of Valhalla where he can dwell among the gods. Instead, he’s brought forward a thousand years in time, to a beautiful woman who tempts him beyond reason.

Juliana doesn't know what to do with this sinfully handsome Viking warrior who brings weapons into a ballroom and refuses to be tamed. But beneath his barbaric ways is a man of honor, a man who vows to face down her enemies and fight for her son’s future. But as Arik wages a battle against her heart, Juliana is afraid of loving a man whose time has already run out…

Juliana Arthur was a lovely character. She was emotionally strong, loyal and loving. I liked her well. 

Arik Thorgrim was very much the image that one gets in their mind when they think of a Viking. I enjoyed his character just as much, and really liked that he settled in easily as a father figure for Juliana's son. It brought a warmth in my heart. I also liked that the author shows us his curiosity in this strange new world, and has him interacting with his surroundings. It adds a bit of innocence to him which makes him that much more appealing.

As far as the plot goes, it is pretty good. It is enough to keep the reader interested, although I felt that some scenes really dragged on, and some of their thoughts were repeated over and over again. 

Also I would like to note that some of the sex scenes could have been better with less telling and more showing. I think the author was trying to build up anticipation, but it didn't deliver. 

The beginning of the book quickly pulled me, and this is a very important thing for me when I am picking out a book to read. If my attention is not gripped straight away, I do not buy the book. 

Toward the middle of the book I was certainly waiting for something to come along and pick up the pace, and was really relieved when it did! Some of the scenarios were predictable, but not all of them, which I give a thumbs up to. I also raise a wine glass to the fact that Arik stayed loyal to his Gods without a need to convert to Christianity. 

I thought it was a clever twist toward the end of the book, and was quite happy with it. 

I will look for other writings by this author, however, will not be purchasing any of the ones that she published with Harlequin just for the simple fact that I can't get past her using single apostrophes when using dialogue between characters. It seems unnatural, and I can't understand why entire books are written that way. It is a shame really, because the story-lines sound interesting. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Temperate Warrior (The Warrior Sagas Book 1)

The Temperate Warrior (The Warrior Sagas Book 1) 
by Renee Vincent
Series: The Warrior Sagas
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press (January 29, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622371208

The Warrior Sagas, Book One He was her champion. She was his weakness. Together, they loved with wild abandon. Gustaf Ræliksen lives by the blade of his sword. After avenging his father’s murder and reuniting with his family, he wants nothing more than to settle down and have sons of his own. Only one woman will do—a fiery redhead he saved from the spoils of war. No longer forced to warm the beds of the men who’ve taken everything from her, Æsa has nothing to offer the noble warrior but her heart. When someone with a deep score to settle seeks revenge upon her, Gustaf’s world is torn asunder. He has but one vow—saving the woman he loves from the ignorant fool who dared to best the temperate warrior.

Gustaf is the brother of  Dægan in book 1 of Renee's Emerald Isle Trilogy. Being that I fell hopelessly in love with Dægan in that series, I had to read this book so that I could also get to know his brother Gustaf. I was glad that I did. They have quite different personalities, yet they are both strong, witty vikings who have a lusty hold on the readers imagination. 

Gustaf isn't as tactical in battle scenes as Dægan, but he made up for it in other areas, especially in the bed. He wasn't so poetic with his words, and more rough around the edges than Dægan, but he loved Æsa deeply and this brought realism to his character. 

Æsa wasn't always as fierce and fiery as I would have liked her to be, but given her background in the story, I can see how she would become submissive without much thought. I liked that she was alluring and seductive, and didn't have much trouble expressing her sexuality with Gustaf. I think that this dynamic between the two of them made for a wonderful story, and did pull at my heart strings a couple of times. Her character improves a great deal toward the middle of the book, as her insecurities started to fall to the wayside. It was less annoying to have her more secure with herself. At first it seemed like she would submit to a kitten if it meowed at her. 

I truly enjoyed Halldora, an older woman in the book who makes her entry in the middle of the story. She was a healer, a seer and a witch. Being that she could read the peoples' thoughts around her, it made for a few laughs. 

Gustaf's men were not as memorable as they could have been, but Oyven was quite enjoyable. I think that the author introduces enough characters in these books that if she chose to, would not run out of books to write for many months to come. She could easily create books with these others as heroes and heroines. I was delighted when Dægan's friends: Tait and Nevan came back into the story. I would even encourage the author to write a series based on each of them, as they were quite favorable. :)

The plots were adequate enough, even though predictable. They did keep me interested and moving forward through the pages. 


I think that it would have been an inspirational ending to have had Æsa give birth on the shoreline where Dægan had taken his last breaths, and Gustaf to have named his son after his brother that he so admired. In fact, as she was in labor on the ship, I totally thought that was going to happen, and it propelled me forward in anticipation. I even got tears in my eyes at the idea of it. Having Tait and Nevan at her side reliving the death of their dear friend; Dægan , yet rejoicing in the moment of his nephew's birth. It would have grabbed my heart and squeezed it with a precious warmth offering the possibility that his name would also be followed by his spirit in a reincarnated state. 

Since that didn't happen, I felt a little bit let down by the true ending. It was a happy ending, but not as emotional as I longed for. And again, being that I am a Pagan, having a viking warrior convert to a Christian in the end made me feel uneasy. Even more so that he was basically forced to convert as to get what he needed and wanted.  

Renee is a talented writer, and even when prowling other viking books to read, none grab my attention as much as hers. I think I would always pick her writing over another's just because she created Dægan.