Welcome to Sue's Book Reviews
Over the years I have read many books. Some become favourites I read time and time again. Others strike me as a definite to add to my favourite list.
I decided to review some of these books in the hope that others may enjoy them as I have.
The reviews below reflect only my own thoughts on these novels.
Happy reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Great Northern Coven by Bruce Jenvey

Title: The Great Northern Coven - The Cabbottown Witch Novels
Author:         Bruce Jenvey

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Pages:          367

Genre:        Paranormal Fantasy

I looked forward to reading this book with interest as I had read the first in the series "Angela's Coven" and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so glad to say the author did not disappoint me. This book is different but equally enthralling.

JR, a bush pilot, arrives in an Alaskan community but is secretive about his past life. The Inuit Indians of the area believe the evil foretold in a prophecy has arrived and JR is the missing piece. The wise women of the tribe must use their magical abilities to defeat the evil but one more person is needed to help them gain success.

Romance, witchcraft, evil - all are combined in this enthralling novel. Sometimes you come across a book you can't put down, this is one of them. I learned many things about Alaska and Inuits but it came naturally with the story. A well written book suitable for lovers of romance, the unusual and of course witchcraft. Thank you Bruce Jenvey, I look forward to the third book of The Cabbottown Witch Novels.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Girls Succeed by J.Q. Rose

Title: Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
Author:      J.Q. Rose

Publisher: J.Q. Rose

Genre:      Women's Non-Fiction

I have to admit I've never reviewed a non-fiction ebook before but I really enjoyed this book about the success of women. 

How many of us have dreams when young which we never realize? The women in this book have all achieved their dreams and are to be applauded for their efforts. All worked hard to get to the level they desired, but some had to work harder than others when life put obstacles in their way. They're not all high flying professional women, their goals range from chef, to minister, to scientist to gold medallist.

This book is well written and very informative. If you have a dream you don't think you'll be able to attain I suggest you have a look at this book. It will certainly give you inspiration for your own goals. 

Blog:  http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Victorian Scoundrel by Stephanie Burkhart

Title: Victorian Scoundrel: Windsor Diaries Book One

Author:         Stephanie Burkhart

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

Pages:        Approx 230 pages

Genre:       Steampunk, Sensual Romance

Two grandchildren of the Queen from a steam driven England of 2010, return to the Victorian era. Edmund, son of the Prince of Wales, is the instigator and his cousin Alice, daughter of the Duke of York, follows him through the time machine to stop him getting into trouble.
Edmund is fascinated by dirigibles but Alice knows it's too early to introduce them into Victorian England. Will their interaction with their many times grandparents change their own future. What will Alice do when she finds Grayson, the man of her dreams, but knows he must remain in this time while she returns to her own?
I have a growing interest in steampunk, and having read some of Ms Burkhart's previous books I was intrigued to see what she would make of this genre. She steamrollered it! Pardon the pun. 
From the initial meeting of Alice and Grayson, the misunderstandings, the burgeoning love - all this pulls the reader deeper into the story. Edmund has his sights set on more technical things, but this doesn't make him immune to the attractions of the opposite sex. 
Alice and Edmund have a playful attitude to each other which shows they have been brought up together and know one another well. Fun and laughter follow most of their moves, even when Alice gets annoyed with her cousin. 
I wondered how the story would finish and no I'm not going to give as spoiler. I'll only say the end was unexpected, riveting and right up until the last page I had no idea how the author was going to solve the difference in time to my satisfaction. At the end of the book the only frustration I had was that I had no more pages to read, and the second book in the series hadn't been released. 
Even if you've never tried steampunk, if you enjoy a good book this is one you'll love. Well done Ms Burkhart, I look forward to reading the second book in the Windsor Diaries.
Author's page:  http://sgcardin.tripod.com/

Setara's Genie by Marva Dasef

Title: Setara's Genie

Author:         Marva Dasef

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Pages:        152 pages

Genre:        Young Adult Fantasy

Setara's Genie is a book of individual stories connected by the same characters having exciting adventures. Abu Nuwas sits in the marketplace and tells his stories to any who will pay. His biggest fan is Najda who sits enthralled while he spins the tales of Setara, her genie and their friends. 
The storyteller makes the problems Setara faces as she grows from adolescent to womanhood as like to Najda's own troubles as possible, although cloaked in fiction. He senses all is not well with the young spice seller.
Marva Dasef brings the story to life in the way I have come to expect from her novels. I found myself in the dusty marketplace living the story as Abu Nuwas' voice took me to Setara's home and further afield. I became disappointed when he stopped talking in mid crisis and excited when the story took an unexpected turn. 
Fantasy mixed with a modern style of Arabian Nights style stories bring a blend of intrigue and adventure which made me eager to continue reading. Well done Ms Dasef. I'm always eager to read your books and you haven't disappointed me yet.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Girl's Guide to Fairytales

Title:   A Girl's Guide to Fairytales

Author:   Laurey Buckland

Publisher:   Laurey Buckland

Genre:   Chic Lit

Four very different women who are good friends. Maddy dreams of her own company, but is afraid to take the step into the unknown. Claire's future seems bleak. Her nature borders on the obsessive compulsive and prevents her meeting any potential boyfriends. Issie is an actress, following in her mother's footsteps but can she prevent her mother interfering? Sophie and boyfriend Tom have just moved in together and their life is full of happiness.

A Girl's Guide to Fairytales follows the lives of these four women as their future unfolds. They each have their own chapters as they support each other through thick and thin, encouraging and advising when needed. The story travels through happiness, sadness, anger and despair until I felt I knew each woman as a friend.

When I first started reading I wondered if this was going to be a 'Sex and the City' type of book. The only resemblance to the famous four is the main characters are women. Other than this there are no parallels. Ms Buckland has taken her characters from real life with all their problems, heartaches and happy times. It's not only the story that grabbed me, it's the quality of the writing. I would recommend   A Girl's Guide to Fairytales to any reader of light romance. A very good read even if you don't usually read Chic Lit.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dangerous Waters by Anne Allen

Title:          Dangerous Waters
Author:        Anne Allen
Publisher: Matador
Genre:         Contemporary Romance
Jeanne’s happy teenage years are disrupted by her parents deaths in a boating accident. Her memory of the accident is lost and she flees Guernsey to live with her mother’s sister in England. Many years later she returns after the death of her grandmother, who has left her the cottage that has been in the family for generations. 
The months following her grandmother’s death bring a break up of her relationship resulting in a tragic aftermath and she flees to Guernsey to find solace and sort out her future. Fear of the past makes her wonder if she’s made the right move. A clear out of the attic reveals secrets of her grandmother’s past and gives Jeanne a new aim in life.
I’ve never been to the Channel Islands but this book made me long to see the places mentioned. The author has a good geographical knowledge of Guernsey, or she has done her research extremely well. I enjoyed the pace of the story, at times slow to match the lazy summer days, at other times racing to keep pace with the mystery and intrigue hidden below the main plot.
The romance of the story runs alongside the thrill of danger providing a nice foil to the tension created by the past. This book reminded me of romance books of a few decades ago, but with that little bit extra. Well worth the read and congratulations to Anne Allen for a well crafted novel.

Buy Link:  Dangerous Waters
Webpage: Anne Allen

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Deathly Portent by Elizabeth Bailey

Title: The Deathly Portent
Author:         Elizabeth Bailey
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre:         Historical Romance / Murder Mystery
Lord Francis Fanshawe and his new wife Ottilia suffer a breakdown to their carriage. When Ottilia hears a murder has taken place in nearby Witherley she convinces her husband they must stay and look into the case.
This is a lighthearted book, with murder lurking in the background. Ottilia is delightful and Francis is a perfect foil to his wife's unusual interest in murder most foul. They are surrounded by a mixed host of characters who range from the lady of the manor to the landladies of the two village inns who are at loggerheads with one another. Add to this the "witch" accused of being the murderer and the new vicar who is determined to save her and you have a story full of depth and richness set in the times of horse and carriage mode of travel.
A very well written book, I did not come across one typo or grammatical error - a definite bonus when reading as erros can spoil the reader's enjoyment. Well done to Ms Bailey, her editors and publisher.
This is apparently the second book of the "Lady Fan" series. I read the paperback edition and I will certainly go out and buy the first book of the series as this second one is mind grabbing. Want a good read? I recommend "The Deathly Portent".

Buy Link:  The Deathly Portent

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Green Rose by Stephanie Burkhart

Title:              The Green Rose
Author:          Stephanie Burkhart
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Pages:         130 pages
Genre:          Sensual Romance
A strong, dark wizard kidnaps two kings of Gaia so he can rule the world. The kings' heirs must recover the Green Rose to help the remaining monarchs bring order out of the chaos.
N'Gasse, Tapin, Daháka, and Ravenrock are the four countries of Gaia and their rulers made the green rose to protect the land. To describe the green rose I must borrow the author's words.
Daháka  brought pollen taken from the bees of the Tagrassé Forest. N'Gasse brought sap from the old mahogany trees. Tapin presented dust from falcon eggs. Ravenrock offered a rose. Together, they forged the indestructible green rose, a harbinger of powerful magic.
The rose was hidden in the centre of the Tagrassé Forest, looked after by three witches.
Sonia heir to Tapin, and Ivánstan heir to Daháka, set forth on the journey to recover the rose and bring it back to the two remaining monarchs. With the rose's help they hope to defeat the wizard and renew the defenses of Gaia. Their bonded companions, Hiro - Sonia's hawk and Draco - Ivánstan's dragon, are an invaluable help as the journey progresses. Gabriel, once betrothed to Sonia, betrayed his country and sided with the wizard. As they continue their quest, Gabriel tries to obtain the rose and have Sonia for himself.
Ivánstan has magic which he uses to protect them both. He discovers Sonia is unaware of her own magic and teaches her how to protect herself. As their journey takes them into danger and mystery, the two try to fight their attraction for each other. Both believe as heirs a marriage would not be possible for heirs of different kingdoms.
I thought at first this would be a "back into middle ages" type of book, but I was wrong. Magic plays a big part in this story with the help of dragons, hawks, ravens and jaguars. The attraction between the main characters start as slightly more than a passing interest and develops into an intense emotional feeling between the two. Again magic comes into play in their relationship. The Green Rose is a wonderfully imaginative book solving the problems of kingdoms and individuals in a thoroughly unique way, while keeping the reader interested from page one through to the end.
Like fantasy and magic? Then The Green Rose is a must for you.
Author's page:  Stephanie Burkhart

Monday, April 9, 2012

Scotch Broom by Marva Dasef

Title: Scotch Broom : The Witches of Galdorheim Series
Author:         Marva Dasef
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Pages:        145 pages
Genre:       Middle Grade Fantasy
Kat and Rune set out on their adventures once again this time to Scotland. The witch and warlock take different routes but their problems eventually bring them together. Kat is growing up and goes out into the world alone. A trick leaves her stranded and she has to learn who to trust and who will betray her. 
The mundanes of the world plod along unaware of magic, while and ancient Goddess lives in the Otherworld surrounded by magical creatures. Vampires, a giant, trolls and magical beasts are some of the Goddesses companions who make this third book another winner in the Witches of Galdorheim Series. 
Ms Dasef has the ability to write a series and make each book seem fresh and different from the previous one. At the end of each novel I believed I knew the characters well but Scotch Broom reveals yet another layer to the characters and world. 
I enjoyed the first two of this series and Scotch Broom drew me in so well that I read the whole book in one sitting. Ms Dasef deserves a standing ovation and I eagerly wait for the next book in the series.
Buy Link:  MuseItUp Publishing

Author's Link: Marva Dasef

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Angela's Coven

Title: Angela's Coven : The Cabbottown Witch Novels
Author:        Bruce Jenvey
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Pages:        296 pages
Genre:       Paranormal Fantasy
Reggie Sinclair, an aging rock star has mellowed with age and is now in the grip of terminal cancer. Angela, an immortal witch, part of the Cabbottown Coven. What do they have in common - they have both sold their souls to the devil and Ajax, the devil's henchman, is waiting to collect.
As soon as I saw the cover of Angela's Coven I knew I had to read it, and I was right. This is my type of book. I love novels that keep the pace going without the lulls which give the reader the chance to get bored. You won't find any lulls in this book. Witches, the devil and his underling and the good guys, both the coven and ancestors, were there to help turn Ajax from his evil ambition and kept me intrigued as I wondered what would happen next. 
I'm not sure how the author got so much into this book, but it's one of those you can't put down. Angela's Coven is not a comical book, but it has a lighthearted thread all the way through from Angela and Reggie's banter to the Devil's dealings with Ajax. Throw in explosions, spells, ethereal beings and the occasional scene that pulls at the heartstrings. Previously unknown links also pop up when least expected. All these make this a good book to read or give as a present. No heavy scenes so suitable for teenagers upwards but enjoyable by every age. 
Well done Bruce Jenvey, if the next one in the series is as good, you're on a winning streak.

Buy Link:  MuseItUp Publishing

Author's Link: Coven Witches