Monthly Archives: August 2019

Review of “Arctic Dawn: The Norse Chronicles Book 2)” – Karissa Laurel

Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks.

The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction force Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Ok, I thought Midnight Burning (book 1 in The Norse Chronicles) was good. But, Karissa really stepped up her game in Arctic Dawn (book two). She had MORE battles, MORE suspense, and MORE shocking revelations. She also introduced golems to us. They are men formed entirely out of stone, clay, and rock. They were hard to defeat which made for fantastic fight scenes! 

Throughout Arctic Dawn, Karissa made me doubt everyone who’s aligned with Solina. Every word, every action was examined under my mental microscope and I loved every moment of deciphering who was friend and who was foe.

If you liked Midnight Burning, trust me, you’re going to LOVE Arctic Dawn! And I bet after you read Arctic Dawn you’ll be eager to read Molten Dusk (book three) because, like me, you just have to know what happens next. 

Oh and Karissa, I loved the flaming sword! Wicked cool weapon! 

 

Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 

 

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Book 1-3
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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Review of “Midnight Burning: The Norse Chronicles, Book 1” – Karissa Laurel

When the police notify Solina Mundy that her twin brother, Mani, is dead, she heads for Alaska. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Karissa’s modern-day take on the Norse gods and goddesses was quite fascinating. In Midnight Burning, mortals no longer believed in gods and goddesses but they haven’t vanished. In actuality,  they live among us in plain sight. This twist reminded me a bit of a television show, American Gods. In that show, gods and goddesses walked among us, battled each other, but that’s really where the similarities ended.

In Midnight Burning, Karissa wrote about a woman, Solina, who didn’t know how special she really was or extent of the power that lies within her. She was the sun. She was able to exude light from her pores and burn things to ash. She was fearless. She was ready to take on everyone and everything that stepped in her way. She was pretty badass when she wanted to be.

Admittedly, there were parts of the story that seemed to drag but when Karissa allowed Solina to shine the pages seemed to fly by.

As I read the final page, I immediately wanted to start book two, Arctic Dawn. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this book but I knew I had to remedy this quickly. Karissa left me intrigued, dying to know where Solina’s journey took her next. I had to know what became of certain characters and if Solina would allow Thorin to capture her heart.

When you read a book in a series and instantly want more, then that’s the sign of a good storyteller… a good book.

Karissa Laurel is such an author and Midnight Burning was that book.

I encourage fans of mythology to purchase this book and the rest of the series. I have a feeling the rest will be just as entertaining as this one.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Check out these books in the series! 


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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

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Review of “Dead, White, and Blue: The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series Book 2” – Amy M. Reade

Summer is getting hotter in Juniper Junction, Colorado.

There’s a firebug on the loose, the townspeople are nervous, and Lilly Carlsen, single mom to two teenagers, has even more to worry about. She’s in charge of the Independence Day celebration, her mother’s mental health is declining, and her son is getting ready to leave for college.

But things are about to get even hotter: when a bistro owner dies at the celebration and Lilly’s best friend is charged with murder, events start hitting close to home. It’s up to Lilly to help clear her friend’s name while at the same time dealing her mom’s worsening forgetfulness as well as a coming-of-age issue under her own roof.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Dead, White, and Blue was jam-packed with relatable scenarios and characters. I’ve touched on a few of them below. 

 

1.) Secretive children: The older your children become the less you are aware of what they are doing. They say they are going one place but actually end up in another. And underage drinking….. it happens everyday and children should be punished for it. I respect how Lilly handled the situation. You just can’t let things like that slide.

 

2.) Dementia: According to alz.org, it affects your memory, communication and language, ability to pay attention and focus, reasoning and judgment, and visual perception. Amy addressed all the symptoms. Plus, she gave realistic reactions and thoughts regarding Dementia. In fact, Tighe delivered the most powerful response when him and his mom, Lilly, were discussing Bev (Dementia sufferer). Below is a condensed version of that conversation.

 

Lilly regarding Bev, her mother: “She’s strong and healthy, with the exception of her mind.” 

Tighe: “That’s the worst part, don’t you think? Her body will keep living while her mind dies.”

 

I can’t fathom anyone not be affected by his words…….

 

 

3.) Wrongfully accused of a crime: The news is littered with cases of people arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. The accused swears they are innocent. Friends and family stand firm the accused couldn’t have done it. But, the police arrest them anyways. Sometimes the accused is guilty BUT everyday we discover innocent people are behind bars and guilty of nothing. In Dead, White, and Blue, Noley is accused of using cyanide to murder Cerise and Lilly vows to clear Noley’s name. Again, I can’t personally relate to this predicament but I know others can. Cases like these are always in the news, and most times the innocent don’t walk away free.

 

 

Now onto my thoughts regarding the two investigations: the arsonist and the real murderer.

Murder mystery: I figured out who the murderer was but I was only partly right on the why.

Firebug mystery: The arsonist’s identity escaped me. I knew certain people were too obvious of a choice and was pleased to see I was right about their innocence. As for who actually started the fires and why, I will say the perp’s reasoning for setting the fires was totally plausible. Actually, I’m pretty sure if I do an Internet search I’d find a news report on such a similar situation.

 

If reading a good mystery wasn’t enough for you, Amy included THREE recipes in the back of the book. I can’t wait to try Noley’s Blueberry Studmuffins. Simple ingredients. Simple directions. Sounds perfect and I bet they will taste heavenly too! 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, a wife, mother, community volunteer, and recovering attorney.

She’s also a writer. She is the author of Trudy’s Diary, A Libraries of the World Mystery (Book One: Library of Congress), The Worst Noel (Book One in the Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery series), The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross), and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey, but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.

Her days are split between writing and marketing her books, but uppermost in her mind is the adage that the best way to market a book is to write another great book.

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