Friday, December 9, 2016

Devotions for Christmas

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms 

About - Christmas is full of hubbub that it is easy to lose the reason we celebrate with all the rush. Yet, from the ugly Christmas sweaters to the expectations of the new year, reminders of why we celebrate the season is all around us.Covering from December 1st to 31st, this devotions cleverly takes usual Christmas events and symbols to remind us of the reason for the season and deepen your relationship with God as we await for the birth of Jesus.

Publisher - Zondervan

Personal Opinion - This short devotional dedicated to the season of Christmas was a poignant read. Each day had a theme related to our usual experiences with Christmas, such as special meals, shopping, and ugly sweaters, and relating them back to the message and events of Jesus and his birth. While each read for the day was only a couple pages long, the message in them was short, sweet, to the point, and full of meaning. The book is so focused on its message there isn't even an attribution as to who the author is, focusing on the book itself and not who wrote it. If you are looking for a something to read that focuses back on Christmas, this one might be a good one to take a look at. Not only will it lead you up to Christmas Day, but to the end of December and a new beginning.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook, Publisher,

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through BookLook.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm 

Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Isle of Stars

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Cat and Ann are about to be married. At least, they were engaged but the author never wrote the wedding, which has Kaylie Keaton, a Dreamtreader, upset. While wishing she could read more of their adventure, Kaylie suddenly finds herself aboard the Robert Bruce, with no idea how she got there or how to get home. The good news is, the wedding is not far away. The bad news, they are currently chasing a mad pirate who is in search of the Isle of Stars, an island filled with glowing gems said to be the last corner of Eden untouched by man. Not only is Kaylie now involved in a story she loves, but it might just cost her life as the danger mounts.

Author - Wayne Thomas Batson

Publisher - Spear Head Books

Age Group - 13 and up
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Fights and skirmishes ensure between the pirates but no gory details. A man it tortured but the there are only screams. Kaylie is willing to risk her life to help her friends and save others. Forgiveness and willing to change is also a theme.

Personal Opinion - We returned to the Robert Bruce. Yay! This was short read but fun to see another enlightening adventure with these pirates on the high season. One interesting part was that is wasn't completely just a Isle Chronicles story but also a Dreamtreaders (another novel series by Batson) story too. In fact, the story was short enough and had both these characters in them that the book could be considered a 0.5 story in both books' series. Most of the story was from the view point of Kaylie, a  Dreamtreader, who somehow ended up with the crew on board their ship. It made for an interesting reading experience and the reader got to see characters from both series and a few quick walk-ons from other books (I didn't identify them all but I enjoy when authors write those cameos). While this was fun, I could see a couple negatives (experienced one of them) form this. One, I didn't get to see as much of Ann and Cat or their perspectives and thoughts as much as I wanted to (but the book ended making me think that there might possibly be another full length story someday so here's hoping [I know, the author finally writes another pirate story and, after finishing it, I'm asking for another. I guess I can't be satisfied]). Second, if the reader hadn't read the Dreamtreaders series before this, they might not appreciate it as much (maybe even lost). Still, it was a fun little adventure with an interesting and deep lesson inside it. Anyone who has read the The Isle Chronicles will want to read this and anyone who has read the Isle Chronicles and Dreamtreaders will really enjoy it.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

Other Reviews for this Author

The Berinfell Prophesies - Review
The Dark Sea Annals: Sword in the Stars and The Errant King - Review
Dreamtreaders: Search for the Shadow Key and War for the Waking World - Review
The Isle Chronicles: Isle of Swords - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Space Kitties 2

"Searching the Cosmos"
(Picture Copied from Amazon)
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - The cats are off again into space with Hearth Books newest anthology, Space Kitties 2. In this collection, cats fight aliens, fly spaceships, and save their world from various dangers. A puuurrrfect lazy read for the beach (or curled up on the couch in a blanket once the snow hits) for cat and space readers.

Editor - E. Kaiser Writes

Authors - A.J. Bakke, Lesa McKee, H.L. Burke, Faith Blum, Rachel Ann Michael Harris (That's me!), Jamie Mortensen,

Publisher - Hearth Books

Age Group - All Ages

Personal Opinion - This was a charming read. Some had me smiling, some in an adventure, and some just enjoying cats in space. I think this anthology is almost better than last year's (no, I'm not being biased), not to say last years wasn't good, but I engaged with this year's stories better. Some of my favorites is the Operation Space Cats book 2 story and the one that is reminiscent of Star Trek and the beautiful poem at the beginning. If you want a simple, quick read or just to get a full story in short snippets of time, this is fun, charming, and full of various types of cats.

Buy - Amazon

Interview - Here is an interview I had with the author Lesa McKee who wrote Operation Space Cats. 

Disclaimer - I am the author of Star Hopper Engineer, published in this anthology, and such this review is based upon the other stories not mine.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
Chew on a good book today!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Books Released in June and July

Hey Bookworms,

So, June and July past without much from me. Not even on update or what books were releasing. Sorry about that. Life just got away. Anyways, I'm working on getting some reviews up and I thought, since I didn't see any books releasing in August that I was excited about (that I know of, at least) I would share the ones the released in June and July that I missed announcing. Enjoy.

The Marked Girl

What got my interest for this book was the cover at first. But the story has kept me interested. I like books where characters from our world travels to a new one but this book does it in reverse, people from another world travel to ours. And, of course, it is fantasy so I will probably check it out.

Release Date: June 7

Dragons: Defenders of Berk Vol. 2: Snowmageddon

It the Dragon graphic novel series. I don't even need to know what it is about. I have just been enjoying the series and the continued, new adventures of Hiccup, Toothless, and the other Vikings. I already have this book on pre-order so I just have to wait for the release date and read it.

Release Date: June 21

The Enemy Above

Last by not least. Michael P. Spradlin is a great author and I've checked out his new books after reading his Youngest Templar series a few years back. I was really excited to hear about this book, a WWII novel. He is a great writer and this looks like its going to be a great adventure so it is another one I will have to get when it releases.

Release Date: June 28th

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

You probably already heard about this book, might have even attended a midnight release but wanted to share. Reading this now and am enjoying it. I will have to post a review once I've finished. It picks up where the last book left off, nineteen years later. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you might be interested to know also that the script for Fantastic Beasts will also be available to buy and read after the movie comes out. According to J.K. Rowling's website, more Wizarding World stuff will be published from now into 2019. Check out the post titled Exciting New Publishing to come from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World.

Note: Keep in mind this is a script book which means it will be written differently than a novel.

Release Date: July 31st

Some great stuff. What about you? Any of these also look interesting? Making note of a book you are interested in? Share and everyone else know about a new possible good read.
Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

King's Folly

"Their Battle for the Throne has just Begun.
But Will it Matter if the World They Rule
Collapses into the Sea?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - The world is falling apart; cliffs fall into the sea, a town is swallowed by water, a thriving city sinks into the ground. The king believes more human sacrifices will save them. His son, Wilek, believes other wise. But this is just the beginning. The five kingdoms are raging with their own problems, beliefs, and wars. Yet, they might soon all face a devastating disaster if something doesn't change.

Author - Jill Williamson

Publisher - Bethany House

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Sex, at least for the first third, was mentioned every few pages whether is was about concubines, teasing about being with a female (this was done by the males), being (or fear of) taken advantage of, or who was with who, it was everywhere. There is also a scene at the beginning were a man is sacrificed to a god and also a short history of past sacrifices. Magic with the use of contacting spirits and doing rituals. Now, none of what has been listed so far is suggested in anyway as a good thing to the reader. The characters, in their own opinions on certain items, don't see the issue but it is clear to the reader. A lot of the characters do want to do right, love others, and fight to help someone in need, all while doing something listed above. They are real people struggling in this world on a journey to the truth.

Personal Opinion - If I had to choose one word to describe King's Folly, it would be intense. At least, that is how I felt. There are numerous characters of all different personalities (some are more likeable than others) and the darkness in the world is very much the same as the trials and dangers of our world. The story, while having a very Biblical feel to the story, almost a retelling from on of its books, and the situations the characters face, I couldn't help but make comparisons to our current world and times. Themes also of sexuality and its use were very prevalent in the story and made me think of how people see and use it today. How much sex was focused on really bothered me. Yes, I will give that it isn't supposed to be a positive thing the characters are doing even though they don't know that yet, but I found it stressful and irritating to be running into it so much. It felt over emphasized when the human sacrificing or other issues could have been discussed too to see the peoples' sinfulness that is leading to the destruction of their world. It has a part in the story and the message it is sending but I had a hard time dealing with it. It got to the point that I would see whose point of view I was heading for and would dread it, wanting instead to jump to a character I was more interested in instead.

Actually, that was some of the redeeming qualities I found in the book, the characters I liked so much that I couldn't wait to get back to them and their interactions and struggles. I personally loved the characters Mielle, Trevn, Onika and her cat, Kal, and Grayson. I know I'm forgetting some because their were so many in this highly developed world. Strangely enough, while the plethora of characters expanded the story and brought it to life, there were also times I didn't like it because there were too many points of view and also made the book seem long and more drawn out than it need to. This had two affects on me. One was the too many characters, over whelming aspect, and the second was a world believable and come to life, breathing into it something not always caught in stories.

If I had one more thing that I didn't like (yet worked in an interesting, almost teaching way) was that I had no idea who was supposed to represent God in this story for over half the book because their were so many different gods the characters followed. Being a Christian book, I thought it would be clear and I would get this right away. In the end, while I still wished I had known sooner, I think it taught something interesting in my not pinning it down so fast. In life, we get distracted by so many things, our wants and desires, and the various voices of the world, that we lose track of God and not always sure where to turn. Also, someone who isn't Christian, might think He sounds so much like all the other religions that it is just another in the pot. It made me think on how others might see the world and see God and religion.

In short, this book deals with some dark and serious matters yet the characters are understandable, relatable, and connectable where the reader wants them to change or become better or their circumstances to become better in a world that is terrifyingly like our own. It is a book that makes you think, especially when you start linking it to our world. It was a book which I had a hard time liking it but would recommend to anyone who like high fantasy and loves these types of stories. I also apologize for my novel length review but a book this size and this much depth requires more.

Video - This is a song inspired by the book and is beautiful.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook, Publisher,

Other Reviews for this Author -

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Bethany House Bloggers.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
Chew on a good book today!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Space Kitties 2 Release and Author Interview

Hey Bookworms,

Last year a charming anthology released called Space Kitties, telling tails of cats in space, flying around in ships about the stars, daring adventures, and aliens.

Now, the second anthology, Space Kitties 2, has released!


Light-hearted tales of feline adventure from across the
cosmos, by a collection of authors from across the country.
Seven far thinking spec-fic authors band together for a
second collection of fun, unique and suspenseful stories
about kitties in space. What could be more purrific?

Enjoy this selection of literary entries as kitties take to
the stars amid the galaxies of your imagination...
(Copied from Amazon)

I've already read most of the stories in the anthology and they are sweet. A fun book to read. As part of the release's blog tour (I'm one of the stops), author interviews are spread across the blogsphere. Today, you get to meet Lesa McKee, author of Operation Space Cats. I'm excited to host Lesa because I read book 1, The Rescue Mission, in the first anthology and it was one of my favorites from the bunch. In book 2, The Missing Spaceship, we get to see her gang again as they go on a new adventure.

Now, without further ado, let me introduce Lesa McKee!


Lesa McKee grew up at her Grandmother's knee, listening to the French folk-tales her animated Grandma Ida shared. A love of stories was born and her imagination took off!

She’s now living her dream as a Christian Indie writer of feel-good fiction, including a short story series of far-out space cats, titled 'Operation Space Cats'. These purrific feline adventures are filled with faith, friendship & fun!

What is the synopsis of your Space Kitties tale?

Flying furballs! Cavias’s collar has went missing!

Tebbs is on the case. As he gets further into the search, secrets start to get unearthed, and Tebbs digs his paws in deeper. Just what line of work is Cavias into? And why is his own sister, Kibby being so mysterious?

The answers will lead Tebbs and his team on a return trip to Candar for another feline adventure that’s out of this world!

What inspired you to write it?

Book one, lol. This is book two of my Operation Space Cat series. When I finished book one, I knew these lovable space cat character’s weren’t finished yet. They were just warming up!:)

How long did it take you to write?

Let’s see. That seems like so long ago. I’m guessing around a month, not including the rewrites.

Was there any music you liked to listen to while you wrote?

Nope. No muse & no music. I work alone. Nice and quiet. Well ... except for those yowling, er, lovable space cats. :)

What was your reaction when you found out your story had been selected for the anthology?

I usually give my proper answer of ‘pleasantly surprised’, but actually It was more like a toss the confetti Woo-hoo! kind of moment.

Are you a plotter or a punster?

I’m a combination of both, really. Making me a plantser. I do lean toward pantsing quite often (I completely freestyled book one of OPSC) though with a series (the rest of the books, anyway) I have to include some planning, add foreshadowing, and make sure everything ties together. I love writing series (see below, I have another one planned), but it’s definitely more work.

What elements does your ideal story contain?

I write feel-good fiction-- faith with a helping of fun mixed in. Most everything I write tends to have that blend. That said, I could see myself branching out in the future.

Has there been an author or non-author person who has influenced your writing more than anyone else?

My grandma, Ida Portell. She wasn’t a writer, but she was an awesome storyteller. Every child in their life should have one. :) I grew up listening to her tell me French folk tales in her animated way, and my imagination took off!

Have you written any other books?

Yes. Book one of Operation Space Cats (Operation Space Cats, The Rescue Mission) which is published in Space Kitties 1. I’m also going to be releasing it on my own with beautiful full color illustrations soon. The plan is this August or September.

I’ve also written a couple of other short stories since OPSC, 1. Sky, a survival fantasy, and Blood-prints, a wolf fairytale. (Sounds gruesome, I know. And me not liking the sight of blood, lol).

What other stories are you planning in the future?

Book three in the series (Operation Space Cats, The Time Tunnels) is almost finished and ready for critique, revisions, and editing, and book four (Operation Space Cats, The Starlight Diamond) is my next project.

I also have a Christian historical romance novella series in the works, and an Island adventure, but that will take time as I’m busy with my space cats right now.

Thanks so much, Lesa, for that interview. I look forward to more Space Cats adventures.
Space Kitties 2 is available from Amazon now! Plus, the publisher is also featuring a GIVEAWAY. If you comment on any of the blog tour posts, your name will be added to a drawing for an ebook copy of Space Kitties 2. So please comment and congratulate Lesa and the other authors!
Speaking of the other authors, check out the list of hosting blogs for this week. Tomorrow, you can check out MY interview. Yup, I'm one of the authors in Space Kitties! Talk about exciting and nerve racking. Now the reviewer gets to be reviews (and have author interviews). I hope it is the beginning of a long writing career.
Schedule:June 4 - Facebook party 1:00 - 6:00P.M. Central Time
~ Tour kickoff and cover reveal at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
~ Interview with E Kaiser at The Splendor Falls
June 5 - Interview with Jamie Mortensen at Lesa McKee
June 6 - Interview with Lesa McKee at Bookworm Reading
~ FB giveaway winner announced
June 7 - Interview with Rachel Harris at Faith Blum
June 8 - Interview with Faith Blum at Rachel Rossano's Words
June 9 - Interview with H.L. Burke at Jessica Greyson
June 10 - Interview with Aletha Bakke at H.L. Burke, Author
June 11 - blog giveaway winner announced and tour wrap-up at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
And be sure to check out the Submissions information for the next Space Kitties anthology, #3. Maybe it will one of your starts to a writing career and you will get interviewed next year. I'll be entering again.
Be sure to chew on a good book today...
maybe the Space Kitties 2!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection: The Little Mermaid

"Is Grass Truly Greener than Ocean Blue?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Pearl has always dreamed going to see the people on land, even if that means leaving behind the merman, Keel, who wishes to marry her. But, when he decides to give her what she's always wanted, it is a dream come true and ignores the warnings of the dangers of land. When she get there, will it be everything she ever dreamed or will the warning of her loved ones prove true?

Author - Jenni James

Publisher - StoneHouse Ink

Age Group - 14 and up
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Pearl and Keel lie to their families. Pearl is a bit gullible which get her and Keel in trouble once. Some fighting. Pearl and Keel are willing to make sacrifices to save each other. The both learn the truth about the world, changing their perspectives and being open to more then they originally thought.

Personal Opinion - This retelling of The Little Mermaid had a lot of the hallmarks of the original tale with a few twists. And isn't that just a beautiful cover? Keel, the leading merman, is a real prince in shinning... ah... scales, while Pearl's curiosity tends to get the better of them. While Pearl is curious and determined to live her dream of visiting land, there was one moment in the story I thought she was kinda dumb but don't want to go into details because of spoilers. Mostly, this story is well told and well built but I did have a couple of things that I wish had been different. This book had a lot of kissing and cuddling and it seemed over kill. It also took long time for them to get on land, like half the book. The people were presented as cruel and the reader doesn't get to know what the people are saying (because Pearl and Keel can't understand their language and vice versa) which can be good but it makes me wonder what was said and if there was a miss communication that blew out of proportion. I wish there had been more on land time and mix of people and maybe a point of view of someone who knew what was going on that the merfolk didn't. For a lot of the book, the world is full of terrible people who only look out for themselves. But, at the end, there was some hope when one character showed kindness. This was close to the end with very little time to get to know that character and have hope that there is some good. I like Jenni Jame's writing, this being the third book of hers I've read, and I will read more but this one is not my favorite and could have been better.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

Other Reviews for this Author - Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection: Beauty and the Beast - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
Chew on a good book today!