Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2014 Reading Challenges

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 4 books toward her goal of 100 books.
Showing posts with label Book Review: YA Fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Review: YA Fantasy. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sleeping Beauty and The Beast by Melissa Lemon- Combined Review

Sleeping Beauty & the Beast by Lemon_COVER ONLYSleeping Beauty and the Beast

Author: Melissa Lemon

Publisher: self

Published: June 20, 2014

ISBN13: 978-1499788808

Paperback/ a combinedKindle: 300 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Summary

Trapped in a cursed sleep, the only experiences Princess Eglantine has are the ones in her dreams. There she meets Prince Henry of Fallund, a neighboring kingdom on the brink of war. Meanwhile, Prince Henry's brother Duncan discovers a vicious beast imprisoned for murder. Captivated by her, he works to free her from both the prison bars she's locked behind and the ones surrounding her heart and mind. Sleeping Beauty and the Beast reinvents and seamlessly intertwines the classic fairy tales Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.

I'm so excited to be doing a combined review with my friend and fellow blogger, Mindy Holt. We blog and podcast together at LDS Women's Book Review.

Sheila's Review

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast...two fairy tales woven into one. I absolutely love a well written twisted fairy tale and Melissa Lemon has always done a great job of doing this in the past. I loved Cinder and Ella and also Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem. Sleeping Beauty and the Beast shows again why Melissa has this fairy tale "telling" down to a science. She takes old stories and makes them into a different story. Once familiar characters are now brand new. 
I loved how Sleeping Beauty was written. We hear her tell her own story, even though she's asleep and she can move about in her dreams. This is how she meets Prince Henry. At first he is the only one that can see Princess Eglantine as she floats around in her ethereal form. They become close as they learn to talk, listen and support each other through their trials. 
The Beast part of this fairy tale is unique in that "The Beast" is a woman, not a man. Prince Henry's brother, Duncan, becomes intrigued and obsessed with the wild woman accused of murder. Being different from his brother and how he views the royal life, Duncan goes out of his way to free this agonized woman both physically and mentally. This part of the story truly touched me as Duncan never gave up on this woman that others were so ready to put to death. 

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast will challenge the old telling of these tales. You will find yourself quickly enveloped in the lives of all four characters. The ending will leave you happy and fulfilled. This clean read is suitable for any tween, teen and adult reader who loves a fairy tale with a perfect ending.

Mindy's Review

I have been a fan of Melissa's for a long time.  Her books are fabulous.  Her most recent retelling was Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem, which I loved.  I loved this unique retelling combination of Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.  Melissa did a fantastic job with this story.  The characters are intriguing and the story is very enjoyable.  I loved how beauty was only seen by Prince Henry and I really loved how the beast was tamed.  Henry was the only one that could see Eglantine, and that made for some funny and then some uncomfortable scenes for Henry, but the best part was, he didn't care.  Many thought he was losing his mind, including his twin brother Duncan.  Duncan ended up being one of my favorite characters.  His willingness to see the beast in a different way, was very enduring.  

The story switched from Eglantine's point of view while she "slept", to the beast's, which was mostly Duncan visiting her and trying to figure out how to help her.  The fact that the beast was a woman, was a very cool twist.  I especially enjoyed the ending and how it all wrapped up.  

4 out of 5 stars.  If you like fairytales and retellings, you will love this story.  The ending is so satisfying, it will leave you with smiling.  

Author/Book Links

Online Bio

Meet Author Melissa Lemon
Melissa is the author of two other fairy tale retellings: Cinder and Ella and Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem. She is also the author of a sweet romance called Blue Sky. Writing is just one of her passions. She also loves music, reading, baking and exercising. She is wife to a patient man, mother to three spunky girls, and warden to a tolerant cat named Matilda.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway for, The Grimm Chronicles: Volume 2, by Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine

Tour Schedule

Product Details

  • Title:  The Grimm Chronicles: Volume 2
  • Authors: Ken Brosky and Isabella Fontaine
  • File Size: 1072 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1481897810
  • Publisher: Brew City Press; First edition (February 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BGIL4U0
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm changed everything.

With the help of a little magic, fairy tales were made real, manifesting all over the world. Charming princes. Gold-hunting dwarfs. Terrible step-mothers. Heroic animals.

Then, slowly, they began to change. Everyone—from Prince Charming to the old miller—grew more evil. Corrupted. A hero was chosen to stop them, hunting them down one by one and destroying them with the help of a magic pen and a special rabbit assistant.

For 200 years, the hero’s magic pen has been passed on from generation to generation. The newest hero is Alice Goodenough, an 18-year-old junior from Washington High School. While her friends spent their summer working and having fun, Alice found herself doing battle with creatures most human beings don’t even realize exist. A giant snake. A blood-sucking prince. A terrifying half-man, half-hedgehog. Dastardly dwarfs intent on mind-controlling everyone who uses a cell phone.

Now, senior year has begun. With it comes a new challenge at school, where bullies have grown bolder and classes more challenging. As if that’s not enough, Alice must face off against a collection of Corrupted who all share a terrible secret, one that might awaken a creature capable of doing untold damage. To uncover the secret, Alice will have to face off against a man-eating lizard, a bloodthirsty sea captain, and a mysterious wizard who can see into the future …

This book contains:

Episode four: The Orphanage of Doom
Episode five: Blood and Thunder
Episode six: The Order of the Golden Dragon

Bonus material:
The Lost Journal of Eugene Washington
Assorted fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm
A Legacy of Red

My Review:
I loved this second volume of The Grimm Chronicles. With the background story already established, the story seemed to flow even better than in the first volume. The mystery that Alice and Briar set out to solve makes for a lot of action and excitement. I especially loved how the authors brought in the story from Alice in Wonderland, even though it is not a Grimm story. It all seemed very fitting for the Alice in this novel. 

Again, I feel that this series is written for for older teens and adults. I've had to tell several people that this is NOT a book for children just because they read the title and think fairy tales are for kids. 

I love the characters, I love the story lines, and I love Briar Rabbit. If you like the darker Grimm Fairy tales, you will love The Grimm Chronicles. I suggest that you read Volume 1 before reading volume 2 or you may be a little confused. I'm kind of anal about reading books/series in the right order. Enjoy reading the excerpt, and make sure you enter the giveaway for your chance to win an e-copy of this book.

I turned back to the room Alex had slipped into, feeling myself lift off the ground as I became distracted, forgetting about thinking about my feet on the floor. I grabbed the frame of the doorway before I could float back down the hall, then regained my bearings and walked inside.
It was the living room. The one with the old dark drapes and the old couch. There was a bearskin run sitting on the floor in front of the couch—I hadn’t noticed it before but now I found myself stepping sideways to put space between myself and the bear’s terrifying head, frozen in a look of absolute hunger.
The boy was hiding behind the couch, peering around the edge and watching me walk over. In the delicate silence, I could hear the sound of my feet on the hardwood floor, muffled by my socks.
My socks. Last night, I’d taken off my socks before going to sleep. Tonight, I was wearing socks. Whatever ghostly creature I was, I was probably wearing exactly what I wore to bed.
Which meant the ghost standing before Alex was wearing an old teddy bear t-shirt and Hunger Games pajama bottoms. Oy. Some savior.
Thankfully, he didn’t look too disappointed. He was crouched over, his fingers clutching the couch so tightly his little knuckles had turned white. Above us, the ceiling creaked. A door opened, then slammed shut.
“She’ll come back down,” he said in a low voice. “I can’t fight back. I’m so tired. I think they put something in the porridge.”
Carbs, I thought. They loaded it with carbohydrates so the kids got a quick sugar rush. Then the rush wears off and they crash and go to bed. They start it all over again the next day. No protein or fat in their diets would make them groggy and unable to gain much strength to fight back.
Thank you, health class.
“Are you a ghost?”
I shook my head. I tried to talk again, but my voice was silent.
“Here,” he said, reaching into the pocket of his overalls. He pulled out a small chunk of coal. “Can you grab this?”
I could try. I reached out, but nothing happened.
Think about grabbing it, Alice!
I reached out again, imagining my invisible hand grabbing the coal. It floated in mid-air; the boy smiled.
I moved the coal to the floor, writing a simple message:
What’s in the basement?
The boy nodded, understanding. “They have us digging for something. Well, they have us and something else digging for something. Some of us sew clothes, too, and the mistresses sell the clothes for money to keep buying more coal. Some of us have to keep the furnaces going. It’s really hot.”
“Why?” I wrote.
The boy shrugged. “Because the creature likes it hot.” He swallowed, taking a shaky breath. “The younger one is named Marleen.”
Marleen! Of course. It made sense: Marleen was the daughter in “The Juniper Tree.”
The sound of heavy shoes pounding on the stairs caused us both to flinch. I dropped the coal. The boy quickly used his hand to wipe away the words, putting the lump of coal back in his pocket.
“Will you save us?” he asked.
I nodded.
“Are you going to do it wearing pajamas?”
I smiled and shook my head.
A look of relief spread across his little face. “The creature …” he started to say, but then his big doe eyes glanced over the couch and a look of terror spread across his face. A pair of long, slender hands reached over and grabbed him by his overalls, pulling him over the couch.
“Come along now, my little darling,” said the sweet-sounding Marleen, tucking him under her arm as if he was a football. I tried to follow and felt my feet lift off the ground. I reached out, trying to grab Alex’s hand. But I was floating now, unable to control myself.
“Let go!” Alex shouted, pounding on her back.
Marleen laughed. “Such a strong little boy! Why, two extra hours shoveling coal will be a walk in the park! And if you collapse, all the better! I’m starving and I haven’t had a good leg of child in years.”
The boy screamed louder. I was falling behind, trailing them in the dim hallway.
“Oh, hush,” said Marleen. “I would never, never do such a thing to you. You remind me too much of my dear brother. It was all my fault, you know. I killed him. From that moment on, it was only a matter of time before Death returned to claim him.” She stifled a sob, reaching for the heavy door near the kitchen. “Oh my dear, dear brother. The guilt tears at me so. I fear it will consume me if we don’t find him again!”
I planted my invisible feet on the carpet and stepped quickly, losing my footing again and again. By the time I reached the door to the basement, it was already shut.
And locked.
“But I’m a ghost,” I said in a mute voice. I thought about moving through the door, closing my eyes as I drifted closer. When I opened them again, I found myself in a dark staircase leading down.
Behind me, the door was still shut.
From farther below came the unmistakable sound of Alex’s cries. I willed my feet to touch the steps and take them two at a time, down one landing and then another, where the wooden steps gave way to stones and the wooden walls of the staircase turned to rock. There was no basement, only another winding staircase leading deeper. The air cooled. The noxious scent of burning coal entered my nostrils.
Alex screamed again. I fought to catch up, tripping on the stone steps in the near-darkness. The only sources of light were three small lanterns hanging from the stone walls, and as I passed the last one I found myself surrounded by darkness, carefully plotting my footsteps on the wet stone floor as my invisible fingers followed the rocky wall. I turned right and suddenly, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
I gasped. It was a cavern. A massive cavern with massive iron furnaces on either side with long exhaust pipes crawling up the walls and disappearing into the rocky ceiling. Children lurched from massive piles of black stuff over to the furnaces with heavy shovels full of coal. With every fresh load of coal, the fires inside each furnace belched in satisfaction. The wet rock walls glistened in the firelight.
More kids sat at tables spread out near the entrance to the tunnel, hunched over stacks of jeans, sewing as furiously as their little fingers would allow. Boys, girls, all of them incredibly young, all of them dirty and disheveled and tired-looking. Their eyes blinked furiously in the hot, dry air. On every pair of jeans was a gold “B.”
“Faster now!” said the older Corrupted woman with the gray hair. She was walking between the rows of tables. “Jeans mean money. And money means coal.”
But for what? I thought. Was it to build the furnaces? How long had it taken to build each one? Why were there so few farther down the cavern?
Five of the boys farther down the cavern, tossing another load of coal into the hot furnaces, and the entire cavern brightened.
There, on the other end of the cavern: a lizard. A massive lizard the size of a truck, clawing madly at the walls, tearing away chunks of rock.
I gasped.
The lizard turned, causing the kids to drop their shovels and run back toward the tables. The lizard had bright brown and black spots, like someone had splattered it with paint. It had a fat tail and a wide, spade-shaped head. Its long red tongue jutted out, tasting the air. One of its black eyelids blinked. More shovels full of coal fed the furnaces along the walls and in the brief moment when the fires grew brighter, I could see the creature’s pupil plain as day. A terrible realization crept over me.
It could see me.

The Grimm Chronicles Volume 1

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.


“5 stars!” ~ Bookies Book Blog

"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre." ~ My Cozie Corner

"All in all the books were excellent." ~ LilyElement

"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories." ~ Mom With a Kindle

5 stars (out of 5) ~ I Am, Indeed

“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland. “ ~ Bookfetish

“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.” ~ Jesse Kimmel-Freeman


About the Authors
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also teaches English at Madison College. This is his first Young Adult series.

Isabella Fontaine owns a farm in Wisconsin and enjoys reading weird books like House of Leaves. This is her first Young Adult series.

Tour Giveaway
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles Volume 2
Ends 4/11/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 4, 2013

Blog Tour Review of, The Dark Eagles First Flight, by David R. Smith

The Dark Eagles:First Flight 
by David R. Smith

Product Details

  • Title: The Dark Eagles:First Flight 
  • Author: David R. Smith
  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Brigham Distributing; First Edition edition (May 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615571328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615571324

 Book Description:

“The book was wonderfully written. It is a book for all ages and gender. Boys may like that it is from a young man's point of view with all the adventure. I enjoyed the character development and the friendships formed from the adversity they faced.”
The Book Rack, Arcadia, CA

The Dark Eagles:First Flight
A Tale of Adventure and Freedom

Kief loves exploring the rugged mountains on his horse, Natch, with his
best friend Tarc.  But when he receives a mysterious map on his birthday,
left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief is thrown into an
adventure beyond even his imagination.

Leaving home to pursue his childhood dream of attending the merchant
academy on the coast, extraordinary events unfold propelling Kief, along
with his friends and his map, toward the same perilous destiny.

My Review:
The beginning of the story is a little slow, but many pieces are being set in place. Once the main character, Kief, leaves to attend academy, then things start moving quickly. Kief's country is attacked and the adventure begins. Kief is a strong young male character that exhibits strength, courage and standing up for what he believes in. I couldn't help but think what a good example this character is for young people today. The other supporting characters, all of Kief's friends that happen to be males and females, compliment him, and help in this quest to free his country from the occupying enemy, The Gars. They are great characters, flawed in their own ways, but all very relatable to teens. They had good friendly, relationships, so the dialogue was often fun as they teased each other amidst the great challenge they were facing.

I'm so excited to let my kids, 10 and 14 read this book. The only warning I'll give, is that there is some violence, of people being beaten up and at the climax when people are killed. None of it is gratuitous, or too graphic, but as this is about a war,  it goes along well with the amazing ending of this book. You will be holding your breath as the youth undergo a grand scheme to battle the enemy. The books ends with a shocking, but happy, announcement that leads into book two. 

This book will be a great read for tweens and teens that like books about adventure, friendship and going after your dreams.David R. Smith has written a book that will keep you on the edge and leave you wanting more. 

  Purchase The Dark Eagles Take Flight here at Amazon.

 “Author David R. Smith does a fine job with his dialogue, which flows smoothly and wittily throughout. His interactions between characters are genuine, and the portrayals of his young female characters in particular are refreshing.”
The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT

About the Author: David R. Smith
David was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and spent most of his childhood on
a farm in Heber City, located in the Wasatch Mountains. He loved exploring
the mountains on his horse looking for adventures to follow. Growing up,
he wanted to be a movie director and used his own Super 8 camera to make
silent movies with his friends and brothers and sister. Instead he earned
a Bachelors in Engineering at the University of Utah. While there, he met
the love of his life, Jenelle, and they were blessed with three amazing
sons: Josh, Tate, and Porter. David later earned his Masters in Business
Administration from Northwestern University and pursued a path in the
corporate world. But his creative side continued to tug at him for years
until finally through the encouragement of his wife and boys, he realized
that it’s never too late to follow your dream. So David set off to write
an epic adventure of a boy and his horse and created a story of freedom,
adventure, love, courage and sacrifice. When he's not writing, David
enjoys outdoor activities with his family, and especially loves surfing
with his three boys in Southern California where he resides.

Visit the website:

Blog Tour Schedule for The Dark Eagles: First Flight 


Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...