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Book Review: Remix February 26, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 5 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews.
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Get your paperback copy of Remix or get your Kindle copy!

Description:

Ric Kealey is the charismatic lead singer of über-successful band, The Voices in my Head – and he died three years ago. Caz Tallis restores rocking horses in her London studio. When Ric turns up, shabby and alive, on Caz’s roof terrace, she is reluctantly drawn into investigating the murder that led him to fake his own death. A feel good page turner; contemporary fiction with elements of murder mystery and romance, and a satisfying ending.

My Review:

Remix by Lexi Revellian is a pleasant read filled with mystery and romance. We meet the lead female in the story, Caz, who is somewhat surprised when she finds a rock star sleeping on her property. Normally this wouldn’t be something to write about, be we soon realize that the rock star happens to be wanted for murder and fakes his own death to avoid going to prison. Caz soon finds herself in the midst of several twists as she helps Ric the rock star try to discover the truth and prove his innocence. The romance in Remix is very clean and suitable for younger audiences as there aren’t many explicit details in the book. I love the writing style of Ms. Revellian and look forward to reading more of her work.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Salina

Book Review: Erich’s Plea February 26, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your paperback copy of Erich’s Plea: Book One of The Witchcraft Wars or get your Kindle copy!

Description:

The Kingdoms of Kaynos have been at peace for nearly a thousand years. Now the ambitions of a dark sorceress armed with a new, deadly type of magic called witchcraft threaten to tear the Kingdoms to pieces.

Locked deep in the bowels of Zeaburg’s infamous, horror-filled subterranean prison the young druid Slade is haunted by a strange, recurring dream. A dream in which his beloved father, High King Erich of Vestland, pleads for Slade’s help.

Convinced of the dreams truth Slade must somehow attempt the impossible and escape the inescapable Zeaburg prison in order to find and save his father.

Gathering an unlikely assortment of allies along the way Slade must not only find a way out of Zeaburg prison but must also find a way to prevent what threatens to be the bloodiest, most brutal war in the history of all the Kingdoms of Kaynos.

Will an unimaginable alliance, an unlikely friendship and a forbidden love be enough to save the Kingdoms of Kaynos?

My Review:

Erich’s Plea is book one of The Witchcraft Wars by Tracey Alley. This fantasy novel introduces us to Slade, who has given up his right as the prince of Vestland to become a Druid. After learning of Slade, we realize that he is in prison and endures hours of torture on a daily basis. With all hope of escaping quickly slipping from Slade’s grasp, he is startled when he starts receiving a plea for help by his father, Erich. Knowing that he must somehow help his father, Slade finds himself blindly following strangers and not knowing who he can trust. In a few spots throughout the book, the details seemed to get a little thick at times which caused the pace of the story to slow down a bit. However, I really enjoyed how the characters were built and the overall storyline of this story makes for a good read. Each chapter opens up with a small picture and I found this to be wonderful. You get to see the faces of characters who are in the story and even though some looked differently then I imagined when they were described, it was nice to be able to put a face with a name. All in all this was a good read that went quickly and is suitable for most age groups. The main thing that I didn’t really like in this story was the ending. I felt as though it was suddenly cut short and I think it would have been beneficial to have a big ending rather than be cut off before the main event. The story builds and leads the reader up to this big life changing ordeal…only that event does not occur in book one. However, I suppose that is a good selling point as I will be getting book two just so I can see what happens next with Slade and the other characters involved.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: The Storyteller February 22, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your copy of The Storyteller on Kindle!!

Description:

Sarah is a Soul who is trying to guide Suzy along her path of rediscovering herself… Or is it redefining? Reinventing? Sarah thinks it might be better defined as remembering, but it’s only Suzy who is concerned about the semantics. Sarah just wishes Suz would get on with it. A rather spirited Spirit, Sarah often finds herself rolling her eyes at Suzy’s antics and the walls she has built up following the death of her husband. Sarah knows the body/mind/spirit energy who is currently housed in the human called Suzy has faced far more difficult challenges than the one she chose for this reincarnation.

Storyteller is the most common role this body/mind/spirit has chosen for its human lives and Sarah chooses to tell the story of Suzy’s spiritual awakening as it unfolds, interweaving compelling stories of past lives and how these individual energies accomplished their shifts in awareness. There are three such interwoven stories beginning in 10,000 BC in Eastern Europe where a young apprentice storyteller named Luza is thrust into her awakening by the death of her mentor/shaman and a natural catastrophe. The next story Sarah reveals takes us to 5000 BC and the American Southwest, into the life of Chu-Tze, a healer who milks snakes to aid in her treatment of children. Chu-Tze must overcome the unbearable loss of her husband and children and find a way to the ultimate forgiveness. Sarah then tells the tale of Zhumbee, a prince in East Africa at the time of Jesus. Zhumbee’s grandmother takes the prince on a journey to meet this mysterious prophet whose words he holds in his heart as he leads his city-state to its glory.

Suzy’s journey takes the reader from the lush shores of Seattle to the deepest heart of Africa where humanity is said to have made its first appearance.

My Review:

The Storyteller by Sharon Tillotson is the spiritual and thought provoking tale of Suzy on her path to self discovery. After the death of her husband, Suzy is left trying to figure out who she is and what it is that she wants from life. Her business is doing the best it has done in years, she has reconnected with her two children, and all in all things are looking like they couldn’t be better. Yet Suzy feels that something is missing, and through a series of self help seminars, she realizes what it is that she wants to do. She takes off to Africa to begin opening a foundation to help spread the message of ULove, or Universal Love.

The Storyteller jumps around in content, as the reader embarks on the journey of Sarah who is a Soul and is the guiding force in Suzy’s life. Sarah happens to be a storyteller and tells about some of her previous reincarnations throughout different chapters. There were a few spots that seemed to be sluggish and were drawn out during the retelling of Sarah’s reincarnations which were a little tiring at times. They quickly pick back up, especially in the telling of Suzy’s story and it all comes together nicely. There are several thought provoking concepts throughout the book, and don’t really follow one line of religion or the other. I found this refreshing because even though it is religious, the story doesn’t follow just one path, which really helped prove the point of Universal Love. If you want a spiritual read that will make you sit back and re-examine your own life, then The Storyteller by Sharon Tillotson is for you.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: Northwoods Deep February 15, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 5 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your copy of Northwoods Deep on Kindle!!

Description:

Deep in the north woods, two sisters become lost; one stalked by a murderous ex-husband, the other unable to rid herself of the leeches that appear mysteriously on her skin.

All are drawn to an old, dilapidated cabin.

Inside lives an old man with awful urges, accompanied by a Rottweiler possessed by something…unnatural.

But it’s what resides beneath the cabin that they should really be worried about.

My Review:

Northwoods Deep by Joel Arnold is a morbidly delicious tale that will keep you hooked and wanting more from beginning to end. In an attempt to get away from her ex-husband who focuses his time on stalking her, Carol decides it would be good for her to get away and spend some time with her sister Brenda at the same time. The sisters quickly make plans to go on a camping trip where they will enjoy some fresh air and spend some time canoeing. Little did they know that their lives would be forever changed. Family bonds will be tested and personal strength stretched to the limits as Northwoods Deep takes you down the ultimate river ride of terror. And you would have to read the book to understand my next statement but take note: If anyone ever offers you a drink with the words ‘Special’ and ‘Brew’ in the title…just say no people…just say no.

This book does contain adult material and should be read only by mature adult audiences. Also, I would love to see Northwoods Deep in print form as I would love to have a copy on my bookshelf.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Follower Love Giveaway – Winners! February 14, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Giveaways.
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I would like to thank everyone who came out and took part in my Follower Love Giveaway! You guys are all awesome!

And since I’m not feeling well and will be spending my Valentine’s Day in bed resting, I’m going to keep this short and sweet!

Giveaway #1 Winner

Congrats to…..Judy Cox for winning a hardback copy of Playing the Game by Barbara Taylor Bradford!

Giveaway #2

Congrats to…..Debbie for winning both the ‘Do What You Love’ handmade book mark and the Eco Inspirations Book mark.

Emails have been sent to the winners. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prizes or other winners will be selected. Thanks to everyone who took part!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~Jaidis

Follower Love Giveaway February 7, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Giveaways.
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It’s time for the Follower Love Giveaway Hop!

To show our followers some love, over 200 book blogs are coming together and giving away some awesome giveaways! I’d like to send a special thanks to Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer who organized this blog hop!

The Follower Love Giveaway Hop runs from Tuesday, February 8th till midnight Sunday, February 13th. Winners will be announced on each blog on Valentine’s Day.

I have 2 great giveaways here on Juniper Grove! There will be 2 winners! (Open to US and CAN only please)

Giveaway #1

A hardback copy of Playing the Game by Barbara Taylor Bradford!

Want to know what I thought of Playing the Game? You can read my review here.

Here is a synopsis of Playing the Game:

Annette Remmington, a London art consultant and private dealer, is at the top of her game. She is considered a rising star in the international world of art, and has a roster of wealthy clients who trust her judgment and her business acumen. Her success reaches new heights when a rare and long lost Rembrandt finds its way into her hands, which she restores and sells for top dollar. Called the auction of the year, Annette becomes the most talked about art dealer in the world.

Annette is married to her mentor and personal champion, the much older Marius Remmington. For twenty years, Marius has groomed her into the international art star that she has become, not to mention saving her from a dark and gritty past. She is his pride and joy, and as her best advisor, it’s with great care that he hand picks only the best journalist possible to do a profile on his beloved wife in a popular London Sunday newspaper. Jack Chalmers is a bit of a celebrity himself, becoming one of the top journalists of his time. Marius believes only he will be able to capture the true brilliance of his lovely wife. But Marius never intends to put his marriage in jeopardy. How could he have known that the connection between Jack and Annette would ignite so many secrets? And how could he know that Jack would uncover a scandal that could ultimately destroy them all?

Giveaway #2

The winner of the second giveaway will receive 2 bookmarks!

Above is an adorable “Do What You Love” handmade bookmark…perfect for holding your place in your favorite books!

And because so many of us are looking forward to spring after being hit so hard with snow this winter, I thought it would be a good time to giveaway this Eco Inspirations bookmark that reads “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” This bookmark is part of the “Read a book * Plant some seeds * Grow your world” movement. The blue butterfly featured on this bookmark has been embedded with seeds so you simply remove the butterfly, plant it where ever desired, and watch as wildflowers grow!

Now that you know what prizes are up for grabs, you may be wondering how to enter to win. I have made it as simple as possible.

Mandatory Entry: You must be an email follower of this blog to enter. You can find the email subscription form in the right sidebar. Once you have confirmed your email, simply leave me a comment letting me know you want entered. That’s it!

Optional Entry: Follow Juniper Grove via Networked Blogs to get an additional entry for this giveaway.

Winners will be selected using random.org and I will announce the winners here on Juniper Grove on Valentine’s Day. The first name selected will win Playing the Game and the second name will win the bookmarks. I will send an email to the winners and they have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

Don’t miss out on some great giveaways! Be sure to stop by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for the complete list of participating blogs!

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: Lost Voices February 6, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 5 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Pre-Order your copy of Lost Voices now!!

Description:

Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce possesses an extraordinary singing talent, which makes her important to the tribe—she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?

The first book in a trilogy, Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

My Review:

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter was everything I was hoping it would be when I first read the synopsis and so much more. Naturally being drawn to the sea, I was excited to have the chance to read about Luce, a lonely fourteen year old girl, who is having a difficult time in life after the death of her parents. Sent to live with an abusive and drunk uncle, Luce has to endure things that no person, especially a child, should have to. Luce’s story takes a drastic turn when she finds herself as a mermaid. With so many questions that need answered, Luce struggles to find a balance between her new life as a mermaid and the human life she left behind. I really enjoyed the unique twist Ms. Porter uses to explain how exactly it is that mermaids are created. Lost Voices ended more abruptly then I would have liked, even though Lost Voices is book one in a trilogy. Regardless, Ms. Porter’s writing is filled with such raw emotions and beautiful imagery that I was instantly hooked!

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: The Crown Conspiracy February 4, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 5 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your paperback copy of The Crown Conspiracy: The Riyria Revelations or get your Kindle copy!!

Description:

THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.

There is no ancient evil to defeat, no orphan destined for greatness, just two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in a plot to murder the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out…and so begins this epic tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

My Review:

The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan was one wild ride from start to finish. Filled with action, betrayal and mystery, I was either on the edge of my seat with anticipation or laughing at the quirky comedy. The relationship between two of the main characters, Royce and Hadrian, was a pleasure to read. Not only does it have all the elements of a great friendship where in the heat of the moment, battling to save their lives, they still take time out to poke fun at each other…but it has trust and loyalty as well. If Mr. Sullivan can pack this much excitement and adventure into just the first book, I can’t wait to see what he has come up for the rest of the series! I can quickly see this book series working its way up my ‘Favorite Book Series’ list! Keep up the great work Mr. Sullivan!

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: Secrets in the Shadows February 3, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 4 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Get your paperback copy of Secrets In The Shadows: Leroy’s Sins, Book One or get the Kindle Edition!!

Description:

When long-held secrets come to light in the small town of Leroy, Indiana, death and destruction aren’t far behind. Can the residents overcome their pasts, enabling them to rebuild and face the future, or will the secrets lurking in the shadows rise up to swallow them whole?

Gallery owner Charity Vaughn had a closet full of secrets. Hiding underneath her polished exterior was a terrified girl with a past. When the life she’d tried so hard to make disappear is revealed, Charity won’t be the only one to feel the repercussions.

Lauren Grant didn’t expect her inner demon to rear its ugly head, threatening to destroy everything she had worked so hard to build, but that is exactly what happened. She never expected her secrets to be revealed for all the world to see, but they were. Now the single mother has to try and put the pieces of her life back together. Hopefully she won’t die trying.

Charlie Clark moved back to his hometown to repay an old debt, still looking for that elusive ‘something’ his heart was calling for. He never expected to find that ‘something’ in Leroy, the town he had left years before because of the heartache and memories. Now that hope for the future is being threatened. Will Charlie be able to stop the threat in time, or will he lose everything again?

Come to Leroy, Indiana, and find out who survives…and who doesn’t.

My Review:

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in reading stories about sexy supernatural beings, fairytale endings and demonic monsters, that we push aside the reality that you don’t have to have supernatural abilities to be a real life monster. The monsters I am referring are like those found in the book one of the Leroy’s Sins series, Secrets in the Shadows by T. L. Haddix. These monsters can be your best friend, your next door neighbor, the guy who always smiles and says hello as you pass each other on the street, or even your closest family member. Living a seemingly normal life by day but lurking in the shadows at night, they leave a trail of emotional destruction where ever they go. In Secrets in the Shadows, such is true for cousins Margie and Lauren, as we follow their shared story and learn why sometimes people have to do the unthinkable just to be able to survive. T. L. Haddix covers some real life issues such as rape and abuse and how hard emotionally it is to overcome such terrible struggles, especially when there are unanswered questions preventing the healing process. The first couple of chapters are a little slow-moving, but it quickly found its pace and moves along and keeps the reader intrigued and wanting to know what happens next! One thing that I particularly liked, was that T. L. Haddix doesn’t sugarcoat these issues and have the stereotypical fairytale ending, where everyone goes skipping off happily into the sunset. The reader feels the raw emotions and struggles that they character is facing and not everyone is lucky enough to make it out alive. I can’t wait to see what happens in book two of the Leroy’s Sins series, Under the Moon’s Shadows.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis