I am a 1st grade teacher who is in the process of writing my own first novel. I love to read and to leave my reviews here on my blog. Along with this, I am also a reviewer for Fresh Fiction. That has left me very little time for my own blog but I am hoping I can change that for the second half of this year. I hope you enjoy my blog and some of the reviews on the novels that I have read. Feel free to suggest a book that you think I might like. I enjoy mysteries and suspense the best but if the story line is interesting then I'll read just about anything.
If you have a child in middle school or you teach the grades 6-9 you might want to check out this weeks review. Serafina and the Black Cloak is a beautiful written suspense for young adults. Written by Robert Beatty, this novel is based at the Biltmore House in Asheville North Carolina! I love how Beatty took a little of history and made a fictional story out of it. What a great way to get our young students excited about part of our state’s history. Even though this story is more fiction than anything, Beatty describes the rooms at the Biltmore and the family that lives there, Mr. and Mrs. George Vanderbilt.
Serafina was raised in the basement of the Biltmore with her father. No on knew she was there and she only came out at night when all the other living souls were asleep. One terrifying night she comes across a man in a black cloak. She watches as children start to disappear in his presents. But whom can she tell? No one is supposed to know she exists. Then she meets Braeden Vanderbilt, Mr. Vanderbilt’s nephew. They have a new friendship that grows even with all the dangers that are going on. Serafina in drawn to the forest that her father has warner her to stay out of. There are great evils out there that are not safe for a young girl.
As Serafina tries to help find out who the man in the black cloak is and what is happening to those who are missing, can she keep herself and Braeden safe? This is a must to read. Whether in middle school or an adult, you will not be disappointed in this novel. The best thing I hear about this one is… Beatty is writing a second one making this a series!
Want to learn more about Serafina’s adventures at the Biltmore? Please check out the website for more information and to watch a trailer to the book.
This year’s most suspenseful, exciting, and heart stop novel yet is on the New York’s Times Bestseller and there are many reasons to see why! The Girl On The Train written by Paula Hawkins is a novel about not believing what you are seeing and has you thinking about just how well you know people. After reading this novel about Rachel, a girl who travels the London’s railway on the local train daily, until one day her life is changed forever by what she saw, I believed it is genius with the way it ended.
Rachel is divorced, and has other battles that she finds herself facing daily as she rides the train in London every morning and afternoon. She sees the same faces in the homes as she travels by. The makes up stories about them to pass the time. One is of a couple she sees and has named them, Jason and Jess. But what she sees one day will not only change the life their life but hers and that of many others. As she goes to the police they half listen to her. She seems to have issues herself. Then by the end she is not sure if the things in her life she knows are true are really true. What has been made up and what is really fact.
The Girl On The Train is one of those novels that will have you on an emotional roller coaster all the way through to the very end of the book. It is a thriller that is full of suspense and one that you will want to read.
Beecher is back in Brad Meltzer’s latest novel, The President’s Shadow. It follows behind The Inner Circle and The Fifth Assassin from this amazing writer who is also a #1 bestselling author! A thrilling storyline that feeds you some history like the others but adds a little mystery to what might have happened with all of those involved. With characters like Beecher who you instantly for in love with, you find yourself at the edge of your seat wishing him the best.
Beecher White is a member of the Culper Ring and now the President needs their help. When body parts turn up buried on the White House grounds, The President looks to Beecher, who dislikes and does not trust him, to help find out who is involved. First is finding out how they got past all the security and cameras. With the rest of the characters from the first two novels, Beecher will not work alone. But can they find answers before it is too late? And just who will be the hero in the end?
If you pick this novel up without reading the first two you will be okay because it will be easy to catch who is who and what has happened so far. However, I recommend you read the other two as well if you haven’t yet because Brad Meltzer is just that great! The President’s Shadow will have you waiting for the next Beecher novel impatiently.
I love to read novels from local authors especially when the setting is here in North Carolina because each one has a different message and shows the colorful personalities of our state. This review is from Peggy Payne’s Cobalt Blue. A beautifully written novel about an artist who has a kundalini experience that at first took her off guard. This is a novel like none I have ever read before.
The main character, Andie has been asked to paint a portrait of a local senator and as if life could not be any more confusing she starts to experience sexual feelings regardless of where she is at and what she is doing. Her shocking impulses takes her on adventures, as I would call them, and she finds herself in situations that she would not normally be in. This novel has some spiritual enlightening for Andie as well as her erotic fanticies.
If you haven’t read Cobalt Blue by Peggy Payne, you must!
Today I just finished reading a wonderful short story by Carrie Jane Knowles, a local author here in North Carolina. This is not the first book of hers I have read and I love her style of writing. In Ashoan’s Rug, Knowles took an object, a rug, and showed how it meant so much to the many lives it touched through the years. How many times have we walked through flea markets or antique shops and have seen something that might have been hand made and thought “what is the story behind this?”
Ashoan is asked by her mother to weave a rug for herself. Her mother had dreamed up the design that she should add to her rug. This was going to be the story of her future and the troubles that she will bear. Ashoan was born with a red birthmark that covered half of one side of her face. Her mother knew that any man that married her would not truly love her and her sweet, kind heart. This magic rug that was inspired from Ashoan’s mother’s dreams traveled from home to home meaning something different to each person who owned it. Many prayed on it and it wore the tears and burdens of those that felt its magic.
I highly recommend that you pick up Ashoan’s Rug as you will not be disappointed in this delightful short story. It will be one to cherish for years!
So for this week I want to pay contribute to cozy mysteries. I love them the most when it comes to my favorites. Some are a little corky, fun, and serious when they need to be. This week’s theme are mysteries on the sweet side. Syrup, cookies, and chocolate, what else could one want? All from Fresh Fiction with each link to follow. Enjoy!
My first one here is Cookies and Screams. And I thought making cookies were murder free.
Maple MayhemCookies and Screams is another one that I enjoyed. This is also so a sweet mystery but this time in a town known for its maple syrup. It is left up to Dani to find out who is vandalizing the local syrup production.
Michelle has to protect her reputation and that of her chocolates when another shop owner is found dead… with a box of Michelle’s homemade chocolates! Was she poison? Death is LikeaBox of Chocolates is one great cozy mystery.
I am trying to get back to posting my weekly reviews. I have been so busy reviewing for Fresh Fiction that I have not done the stack for my blog that are beside my bed. So I’ll share the one’s from Fresh Fiction for the next few weeks.
I’ll start with four from Fresh Fiction that I reviewed last year and the first one is by an author I love. Deadly Forecast is the review of one of my favorite cozy mystery writers Victoria Laurie. Please read my review from this link and let me know what you might think.
Now this next review is on a collection of stories from some of the greatest mystery writer ever in my opinion. Faceoff has such writers as Joseph Finder and R. L. Stine! You might not want to read this book at night. 🙂
So this last book that I will share the review with you is not a mystery but a heartwarming story about a mother and daughter that each fine love where they are not looking for it. Butternut Summer is such a sweet wholesome story.