Bride Tree by J.P. Robinson

Bride Tree (Secrets of Versailles Book 2) by [Robinson, JP]

Bride Tree “Secrets of Versailles” Book II by J.P. Robinson is an epic tale of Queen Marie-Antoinette during 1789, when France is reeling from a civil war between its social classes.

This is the second book in the “Secrets of Versailles” series by J.P. Robinson. The first was Twice Born. You can read my review of Twice Born here.

Bride Tree is a story filled with French history, action, romance, betrayal, suspense, and allegory. Characters stretch across the social classes. Some I hated, some I loved, and some I had mixed feelings for. I identified with some of the characters, found it hard to understand others, and pitied others. I cheered for some of the characters. I laughed and cried. To me, that is the mark of a great story — it grabbed my emotions and touched my heart. The characters of Bride Tree will forever remain dear to my heart.

I also love the cover of this book. I find it beautiful and eye-catching.

I highly recommend Bride Tree to adults who love to read historical stories, especially epic accounts. I recommend Bride Tree to adults who like to be emotionally gripped by a book and who enjoy a book that keeps you turning pages — a book you just can’t put down.

This book may also be appropriate for some young adults, but, a word of caution: this book contains some graphic violence and some sexual scenes and innuendo.

 

The Sorcerer’s Bane by C.S. Wachter

The Sorcerer’s Bane by C. S. Wachter, a debut novel by a debut writer. I have to say that this is one of the few fantasy books I have read since reading the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis and the Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien. I loved the Narnia series, but didn’t really enjoy much of the Lord of the Rings, except for a some of the characters. You see, as a reader, I need an interesting plot that keeps things moving, but more importantly to me are the characters — being able to sympathize or empathize with them, feeling their feelings. I need to care about and identify with the characters, and I need to want to cheer them on and need to know how things will turn out for them.

I was introduced to the fantasy genre later in life — in other words, I was already out of my twenties, and I have always been an avid reader of any genre of story that includes some romance as part of the main story line, so fantasy has never really been my go-to read.

However, I have come to have an appreciation for and understanding of good fantasy books, especially Christian Fantasy books because they have a true good versus evil story line that points to the true hope for a happy ending.

Well, imagine my surprise, when I read The Sorcerer’s Bane and found myself quickly entrenched in the worst kind of evil — the enslavement and abuse of a child. Yet, the child grabbed my attention from the start, and held my attention fast so that I was unable to put the book down, even when it made me cringe and flinch, and it disgusted me sometimes.

So, what was it that kept me reading as I fought past these feelings? It was the characters — the boy who had an incredible resolve for one so young, the teacher who desired to teach the boy more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic, the kind young lady who ministered to the boy’s injuries. Even some of the characters that were part of the evil the boy dealt with held my attention because I had a glimmer of something more than the evil they presented that made me hope they may change.

C. S. Wachter has a way of weaving a tale that drags her character through hell but that always exhibits a glimmer of hope and light for something better to come. Even at the end, the knowledge and hope of more to come whets my appetite for the next book in the series of “The Seven Words” by C. S. Wachter.

So, if you love a good tale of good versus evil, I recommend The Sorcerer’s Bane to you, but only if you are a young adult or adult, as some of the violence and situations in the book may be too upsetting to children.

If you have enjoyed my book review for The Sorcerer’s Bane by C. S. Wachter, be sure to stop by tomorrow for a special blog post, where you can read my interview with new author, C. S. Wachter.

Fear is Louder than Words by Linda S. Glaz

Fear Is Louder Than Words: Her stalker taught her fear. Her suspicions taught her terror. by [Glaz, Linda S.]

Fear is Louder than Words by suspense novelist, Linda S. Glaz kept me turning pages until my eyes refused to stay open one more second. Rochelle Cassidy, a radio talk show host, who wants to do what she can to make the world a better place soon ends up constantly looking over her shoulder as her celebrity status draws attention from an angry listener who wants her dead.

Then Ed McGrath, a star hockey player who is content living the all-star, playboy athlete life until he rescues Rochelle in a parking garage after she is attacked.

Rochelle also gets involved with a maniacal doctor when she interviews him and others from his clinic in the interest of doing a piece on the doctor’s clinic on her radio show. He appears to be a perfect doctor helping couples achieve their dream children, but something keeps niggling at Rochelle’s mind. Then when something tragic happens to one of the mothers and another shares her tale of terror to Rochelle, her suspicions reach an all-time high.

I really enjoyed this novel by Ms. Glaz. The pages are filled with suspense, intrigue, and romance. There aren’t as many characters in the line-up as there are in Ms. Glaz’s novel, Blow Out the Candles and Say Goodbye, so I found it much easier to keep everyone straight and to follow the entire story line. I look forward to more books from Linda S. Glaz in the future.

White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

White Chocolate Moments by [Wick, Lori]

This is the third Lori Wick book I have now read, and of the three, I have to say this is my least favorite. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, but I did struggle with some of it.

Arcineh Bryant is the main character and in the first couple of chapters, some of the things that happen are written so quickly and with little detail that it jolted me a bit. Arcineh’s grandfather is a main character in the book as well, and his character frustrated me quite a bit. He seemed to contradict himself quite a bit.

However, as I reached the final third of the book, I began to understand some of the characters better, and cared for them more. I would say the last third of the book was the best part.

Lori writes complex characters. However, I sometimes think they are too odd and it takes a while to understand why they are the way they are.

I will continue to read books by Lori Wick, but my favorite so far, remains Sophie’s Heart. Those characters never seemed odd to me. They seemed realistic based on their circumstances, and I know different people react differently to their circumstances. I guess I just don’t know anyone who reacted to circumstances the way some of the characters in her other books did, which made them seem odd to me.

If you’ve read any of the three Lori Wick books I posted about between my post last Monday and today’s post, did you find any of the characters odd? If so, in what way?

Double Book Review

When I was talking books with a friend, she mentioned some of her favorites are written by Lori Wick, and when I said I’d never read any of Lori Wick’s books, my friend said, “Oh, you have to.” Then she loaned her copy of Pretense by Lori Wick to me.

It didn’t take me long to get hooked on the story. It follows the life of a family of a military husband, his stay-at-home wife, and their two daughters who are about eight and ten years old at the beginning of the book.

As the two daughters, Mackenzie and Delancey, grow, they have to face many changes and challenges. Throughout these changes and challenges, they rely heavily on each other. Like anyone else, they make some bad choices that have lasting effects upon them and cause them to struggle with trusting people.

Lori Wick did a great job of creating characters that I cared about, sympathized with, and cheered for. Sometimes I also was frustrated with them and found one of them a bit odd. The story definitely kept me turning pages and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

 

Sophie's Heart by [Wick, Lori]

As soon as I returned Pretense to my friend, she handed me Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick, and I have to say that I LOVE this book!

In this book, Lori Wick created such endearing characters that I fell in love with them immediately. I couldn’t stop reading because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen to these characters.

This story made me laugh and it made me cry, and those are always the books that capture my heart.

My friend loaned one more Lori Wick book to me recently, at the suggestion of her daughter, as it’s one of her favorites, and you can read about that one here on my blog next Monday. So my friend has made me a Lori Wick fan, but at this point, I can honestly say that, so far, Sophie’s Heart is my favorite Lori Wick book. We’ll see if that changes as I read more of her stories.

Have you ever read any books by Lori Wick? If so, which one is your favorite?

Tea and Books

I do not know if this poem style has a name. Yes, it includes some rhymes, but not in the usual places and not in any sort of scheme. I simply wrote this, freewriting, telling of a couple of things I love. I hope you enjoy it.

Tea and Books
by Kelly F. Barr

Nothing is more relaxing than snuggling in a chair
With a cup of tea and a good book.
Oh the taste of loose-leaf teas in so many flavors
Or convenient tea bags of Oolong, Chamomile, or my favorite–Chai!
And, oh so many books to choose from!

Have you ever taken a look between the pages of a book?
So many wonderful things to find including things that will grow your mind.
Nonfiction choices are informative, inspirational, and educational.
Fiction choices offer adventure, excitement, romance and more.
Fiction can even keep you on the edge of your seat.

Fiction brings you danger, intrigue, suspense, and love.
Fictional characters are heroes, villains, children, youth, and adults
That capture your heart despite their faults.
Characters face trials, disappointments and failures;
They learn and grow and change before the last page.

A good book draws you into the story and makes you fall in love
With places, a time period, or one or more characters.
A good book becomes a close friend and breaks your heart when it ends.
The story or the characters, or both, will linger in your mind and heart;
At least until you pick up the next book to start.

Twiceborn by JP Robinson

Twiceborn by JP Robinson is the first book in the “Secrets of Versailles” trilogy. It was released on September 5, 2017 and is available on Amazon.com.

Twiceborn is filled with history, explosive action, evil, good, romance, and politics (of historical France).

A woman gives birth to twins, Antoine and Hugo, fathered by two different men. Throughout their lives, there is rivalry between them but when they fall in love with the same woman, their rivalry reaches the breaking point.

As in all lives, the lives of Antoine and Hugo intertwine with the lives of other characters in the book and the rivalry between them leads to struggles for others who know, love and trust them. Some of the characters find that their trust in either of these men is misplaced.

JP Robinson has created strong characters who captured my interest from the beginning of the first page, and he weaves a tale that kept me turning pages, sometimes well into the night, until the very end. There were many times that I was on the edge of my seat; times where I gasped in surprise and shock; and times I cried for the characters I loved, and sometimes I rejoiced with them. The characters in Twiceborn will live in my memory for a long time.

Twiceborn is rich in scriptural allegory as well and I recognized familiar Bible stories woven throughout. Twiceborn is an epic drama of love, redemption and the power of God.

I look forward to seeing what JP Robinson has in store for me in Book 2 of the “Secrets of Versailles” series.