Category Archives: Books

Suffer A Witch: To suffer or to soar? #giveaway

When I can’t sleep I read, but sometimes I am involved in books that are so captivating that I want to read the story during any free moment I find. Claudia Hall Christian is an author who writes that kind of book. Her latest release is called “Suffer A Witch” and it takes places in Salem Village circa 1692. Fans of Claudia have know about this book for awhile now and she has shared the first seven chapters for free as she has been writing.

So I love everything witches and most definitely have always been interested in the Salem Witch trials. There were more than 200 people falsely accused of practicing witchcraft and were tried in 1692 in Massachusetts. It was a time of irrational fears when people were constantly worrying about the devil infiltrating their communities. We all know what happens when we let our fears get the best of us.

Here is a quick synapsis of her new book from her website:


They call her “Em.” Em for Martha. Em for “Emogene Peres” the name she received in Boston less than a day after she’d been hanged in Salem Village in September 1692. Em and most of those hanged as Salem Witches were transformed into immortal witches only a few hours after they were deemed Salem Witches. Three hundred and twenty-two years later, they live, work, and love in modern day Boston, Massachusetts where Em runs a spiritual store called the Mystic Divine, just off the Boston Commons.

On the anniversary of the first hanging, June 10, 2014, Em learns that a young man and a team of ghost hunters have dedicated themselves to finding the crevice where the Salem Twenty’s bodies were stuffed after hanging. The problem is that Em and the rest of the Salem Twenty are making full use of those skeletons. What starts with a young man with big ideas brings the Salem Witches face to face with their demons.

I’m excited to share that Claudia Hall Christian has offered one of our readers the chance to win the book. So the idea I cam up with to get everyone in the spirit is to have you think about what you would do if you were a witch. Specifically, if you had special witchy powers, what would you do to advocate for good in the world?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Winner is eligible to win One (1) Suffer A Witch book from Claudia Hall Christian. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Must be 18 years or older.

Honeysuckle and Jasmine by Liz Grace Davis

Honeysuckle and Jasmine CoverHoneysuckle and Jasmine is a story of two girls seeking a way to become independent and make a world for themselves in spite of the obstacles throw their way. They both dealt with difficulties that many people would never have to do endure and they knew they needed to tackle both their past and their present stressors in order to succeed and make a life for themselves.

Both girls left their home countries and moved to Germany to become au pairs. Through their jobs they ended up meeting and eventually, once their walls were put down, they became the best of friends.

Senia and Miina became great friends and helped each other through many things both good and bad. They overcame trials and rose above the craziness of their lives. They tackled dealing with their pasts together. When Miina lost her job and ended up having her visa expire Senia was there for her every step of the way.

One element I loved is when Senia began pursuing her love of fashion and sewing thanks to the encouragement of her host family. I love to sew as my own hobby so this element of the story was exciting for me on a personal level.

There was a patient love story in the book but it was really not the main component of the story even though the cover of the book says something about love healing wounds. I think the love author, Liz Grace Davis, is speaking about is the love between friends, people, even strangers who come into someone’s life, see a need and help each other rise above their struggles.

The ultimate take away for me was just at how strong these two women were even after having been stabbed in the back they still manage to overcome and succeed in life.

Author snippet: Liz Grace Davis is a Namibian author. She grew up in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. She now lives with her husband in Vienna, Austria.

Indie Author Holiday Gift Guide Paperwhite Package Giveaway Event

The Best in Indie Book Gifts

Horns of the Devil by Marc Rainer

The second book in the Jeff Trask crime/legal thriller series, a series hailed for its realism by those in the law enforcement career field, Horns of the Devil is the story of the havoc wreaked upon the nation’s capital city by a drug gang turf war. As one career prosecutor wrote, “As a long-time prosecutor, I continue to be astounded by Rainer’s perfect pitch for police/prosecutor dialogue. Outstanding Read! Rainer is way ahead of his contemporaries in this genre.

Price: $2.99 (Kindle) $9.45 (Paperback) via Amazon

For: Thriller Fans

Palmetto Review Take: Nonstop legal and procedural crime novel that’s rich with detail and suspense. Take: Since I’ve been reading a lot of cheesy romantic Christmas books I think this would be a perfect one to get into for some extra excitement.


Fan: Marc Rainer

Too Quiet In Brooklyn: A Fina Fitzgibbons Mystery by Susan Russo Anderson

Twenty-two-year-old Fina Fitzgibbons stumbles upon a throttled woman in the heart of Brooklyn Heights and discovers that the dead woman’s four-year-old grandson is also missing. She begins a wild hunt for the strangler-kidnapper, Ralph. During the chase, she resists falling in love with her boyfriend, Denny, an NYPD patrol officer, steps on the toes of Detective First Grade Jane Templeton, and uncovers secrets about her own past. In the end, Ralph has a deadly surprise for Fina.

Price: $.99 (Pre-order) $3.99 (After 12/20/2013) via Smashwords

For: New Adult

Palmetto Review Take: Crime, passion, and New York City – count us in! Take: Hey this is the best of both worlds. Passion AND crime. Count me in!

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Fan Susan

Visit her via her Website and on Amazon

Tug of War by Ross Collier

An action packed, tension filled espionage thriller set in Melbourne, Australia during WW2, based on actual events between the US forces and the Australians.

Price: $2.99 (Kindle) $16.95 (Paperback) via Amazon, B&N, and iTunes

For: Fans of Thrillers and Espionage

Palmetto Review Take: A fresh plot line to enjoy as you follow the political intrigue down under in this historical look at the relations between two seemingly cozy nations as friction emerges. Take: Political intrigue and friction, no, never, haha, of course this is one I have to read just so I can then create witty banter between my husband and I.

Follow @CollierRoss

Visit Collier’s Website

Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus

For fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz — Enjoy a creepy supernatural thriller with over 100 Five Star Amazon Reviews.

Price: $2.99 (Kindle) $12.78 (Paperback) via Amazon and Audible (12/20/2013)

For: Adult Supernatural Thriller and Horror Fans

Palmetto Review Take: One of the most highly rated books we’ve reviewed, read at your own risk of being frightened half to death. Take: The photo on the cover reminds me of the little girl from the terrifing Ring movie. There was a time when I loved scary books and movies but I’ve gotten to become quite a sissy as I have aged, I’m not sure about this one although I’m excited it is rated so well.


Fan Jack Templar Monster Hunter

Visit his website Website

The Jack Templar Monster Hunter Series – Books 1-3 by Jeff Gunhus

A new series for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

Price: $.99 (Kindle) $9.79 (Paperback) via Amazon, B&N, and Audible (12/20/2013)

For: Middle Grade and YA

Palmetto Review Take: Ignite your imagination with this trio of supernatural books focused on monsters, mystery, and mythical adventure. Take: This series sounds interesting, especially since I am a huge Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fan. Maybe these are ones I can read along with my oldest son.


Fan Jack Templar Monster Hunter

Visit his website Website

Vengeance Out of the Shadows by David Peretz

In the third thriller to feature Ross Cortese, NYPD, the detective contends with both a killer targeting landlords and a Russian assassin out for retribution. Kirkus Review described it as “a seamless blending of stories and first-rate characterizations.”

Price: $4.99 (Kindle) $11.25 (Paperback) via Amazon and B&N

For: Suspense, Romance, and Thriller Fans

Palmetto Review Take: Indie Must-Read Book of Summer Winner as voted on by everyday readers. Take: Sounds like I need to find the first two in this series before I jump into this third book because if they blend together then I do not want to miss anything.

Visit NYPD Crime Novels

and Fan on Facebook

Lunch with Lucille by Annarose Ingarra-Milch

Readers can expect to be inspired and entertained as “Lunch with Lucille” whips up a delightful dish of hope and optimism, served by a fun-loving, sassy, female character who shares a message all women need to hear – you are your best asset, at any age. Voted overwhelming the Buzzworthy Book of Summer, “LwL” overflows with nourishing wisdom and humor as you are treated to simple, practical solutions to some prickly issues such as aging, confidence, self image, and achievement. This fast-paced novella is thought provoking and leaves you hungry for the next course.

Price: $4.99 (Kindle) $13.13 (Paperback) via Amazon and B&N

For: Women

Palmetto Review Take: A perfect gift for any woman in need of Inspiration. Take: So I just love the cook cover, I know I shouldn’t judge it that way but I’m a visual gal! Plus everyone needs a little hope and optimism every now and then so this sounds like just the thing.

Visit Facebook

Author Website

iTunes Podcast


Berks County Living Story


Tall, Dark, and Handsome and Other Devotionals by Christopher Hall

A collection of Christian devotionals based on one man’s life experiences. “This book makes you think! It is funny, uplifting and a down to earth view of Christianity. We all have those bad days at work that make you wonder if it is it all worth it. Chris Hall takes a bad day and redirects it to a lesson in Christ… I highly recommend this book to all my friends.” Karen Brooks-Rochelle

Price: $5.99 (Kindle) $11.57 (Paperback) via Amazon

For: Anyone interested in uplifting stories related to Christian Living

Palmetto Review Take: Deepen your walk in faith, or take your first step to finding it with this inspirational book rooted in the real world, and written for you to discover the next. Take: So I just love the cook cover, I know I shouldn’t judge it that way but I’m a visual gal! Plus everyone needs a little hope and optimism every now and then so this sounds like just the thing.

Fan the author on Facebook

At The Gates of Walhalla By Justen Forge

Suspense, intrigue, and action. A page turner that makes you feel like you’re in the scenes. This novel sets itself apart with its vivid writing and top notch storytelling. Perfectly priced so you can give this to all the readers on your Christmas shopping list.

Price: $2.99 (Kindle) via Amazon, Sony, iTunes, B&N, and $21.99 (Paperback) McNally Robinson

For: Thriller & Mystery Fans

Palmetto Review Take: After a horrific series of events a hero emerges to set wrongs right in spellbinding detail. Take: Whereas before I said I loved a cover and thus would read the book, I really do not like the cover of this book because the typography is terrible. However, I am a fan of mysteries and therefore I am open to give it a try.

Visit the Author’s Website

Liberty’s Torch (Dystopia Trilogy Book 3) by Janet McNulty

Expect excitement action, and to learn the meaning of true sacrifice. All it takes is one spark to ignite Liberty’s Torch.

Price: $2.99 (Kindle) via Amazon

For: YA, Teens, Dystopian Genre Fans, Those Who Like Strong Female Characters

Palmetto Review Take: Like Hunger Games and Divergent, this dystopian drama is both entertaining and plausible. Take: Dystopian books are not my favorite but I do love reading books with strong female characters, I think this is definitely one to check out.


Fan on Facebook

Follow @JMRUL

Visit the author’s Website

Ready For A Giveaway?

One Very Lucky Reader Will Win a Kindle Paperwhite prize package complete with:
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • One copy of each book included in the holiday gift guide
To enter, just complete the options included below on the GiveawayTools form. Be sure to come back each day for additional entries, such as daily tweets! This giveaway is open to US Readers, 18+ years of age, begins Monday, December 16th and will end on Tuesday, December 31st at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

Disclosure: Prizes will be provided by Children Teaching Mama and Reader Spoils.

Some of my recent favorite Kindle books

I took my last Fall 2013 Semester final exam yesterday and so now I’m super excited about all the books I’m going to be able to read. Admittedly though I still read every night while I’m rocking Amelia to sleep. I cuddle with her and hold my iPhone up to screen through the tiny Kindle pages. It’s my 15 minutes per day of absolute peace.

Lately, the books I’ve been reading have been mostly chick-lit. Some of them have been suspenseful, some have been romantic and some have been paranormal in nature, but all of them have been entertaining and because they are Kindle books they are all affordable! These aren’t in any particular order and the authors did not ask me to post about the books or anything. I just felt like sharing some of my enjoyment with you now that I feel more relaxed. No more school until February! Sweet!

Here are some of my recent favorites:

unexpected-giftsUnexpected Gifts (Castle Mountain Lodge, #1) by Elena Aitken

This story is a highly unlikely romantical something in which two people find themselves at a lodge for Christmas, and wow they realize they knew each other from years ago and what a coincidence, right? Colin Hartford and Andi Williams realize they might just have found everything they didn’t know they were looking for when they end up needing to share a villa. Andi, depressed and hating Christmas becomes a challenge for Colin who makes it his duty to show her the magic of Christmas as an adult.

This was a very quick, entertaining read.

It is a holiday love story that did exactly what it was meant to do and that was to put a smile on your face and hope in your heart :)

wetheringthestormWethering the Storm (The Storm, #2) by Samantha Towele

To say the book is smutty is putting it mildly but I enjoyed it. I especially appreciate the way this couple communicate with each other even in their “I hate you” moments because they rise above dark times and come out so sweetly and imperfectly perfect if you know what I mean. I really loved the end like the whole last 100 pages was just so good. I cried and I smiled I just really felt for the characters which is the sign of good writing. But the book is definitely pretty ummm arousing and definitely meant for mature audiences only.

theguardianThe Girl (Guardians #1) by Lola St.Vil

So this book wasn’t rated well by everyone but I liked it so much that I also purchased the rest of the series. It’s about angels on Earth and it’s done in such a way that it isn’t overly religious which I appreciated. The story was really just very well done and original. I don’t want to give away anything, I just highly suggest downloading the first book and reading it if you like anything “other wordly” it’s geared towards young adults but I still liked it. The only thing was the lead character kept wavering between being an annoying complainer to being a stubborn tough girl who actually wanted to help herself and her friends, so… you might find parts of her inner dialogue a bit whiny.

buriedsecretsBuried Secrets by Emme Rollins

Wow! This book was crazy intense and just plain crazy all throughout. Talk about a monster story! I’ve not read anything so gory that was done in an effective way. Usually gory means it’s written poorly and only meant to be gross. This author handled the descriptions well. Even the most minimal details of finding a pair of glasses broken at the bridge before Dusty and Shane happen upon their friends dead bodies.

I love how the story incorporated timely
Environmental elements like the chemicals involved in fracking. The description of the sustainable cabin was amazing I want to visit this imaginary place so badly.

The story was tragic and devastating but also informative and eye opening. The kind of story to put questions in your head and make you wonder.

midnightbrunchMidnight Brunch at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta

This is the second in the Casa Dracula series and I loved it oh so much better than the first.

Even during the one slow point when Milagro was meandering aimlessly in life thinking she needed to be cured and not wanting anyone to touch her I still loved the way this story was shaping up.

Oswald and Milagro are such the oddly perfect couple. Although they are also the safe couple for those who root for her to hook up with Ian.

Edna made a much more pleasant appearance in this book as well. I grew to be quite find of her and I continued to be quite find of Gabriel.

One character I never understood and very much disliked was Thomas Cook, even if he did have hot chocolate breath.

In short I’m psyched for the next in the series and am sure I’ll be just as entertained. I love when I can slip into a good book and lose myself for a wee bit.

Cursed of the Cursed Magic Series

cursedA few nights ago I finished the book Cursed by Casey Odell.

It took me about 200 pages in before I really started to like this book and then I couldn’t stop reading.

I love the idea of elves. We meet the magic elves after centaurs rampage Claire’s village. Claire’s Mom tells her to run into the Forbidden Woods and that she will be protected in there. Claire then loses her Mother and has no idea where she is or where her Mom went and if her Mom is even alive.

It turns out that an elf, Farron, sees magical glowing markings on her arm while he is running through the forest and so he is able to save her from the centaurs and bring her to his kingdom.

Claire and Farron have such an intense relationship. They are both so snarky and brooding and always battling with each other and themselves that it’s almost mind numbing at times. Although I do like their banter. Their reaction to each other is frustrating and comical at the same time. You know right off the bat that even though they act like they hate each other it is all just laced with attraction and sexual tension.

The other elf who is in charge of protecting Claire during their journeys is Aeron. Aeron is a quite the enjoyable chap. He is so full of himself that it’s amusing. I wonder what happened to him towards the end of the story but I imagine he will return in the 2nd of the series. It’s probably that Farron was able to somehow track Claire because of the markings on her arm.

The General, Bren, infuriated me and it bothered me how clueless Claire was to him. He is just a coward through and through. Claire seems like she could be such a strong female role and so when she was reduced to the hand of this lying scheming punk it really made me angry. She should have known better.

I’ll definitely download the next book in the “Cursed Magic Series.”

The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson

the-fallen-starI wish I could give half stars because I would have given The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson this 3.5 stars but I can’t give it more than three.

Other people have been saying this story is way too much like Twilight. Seeing as how there is little to no love story or romance in the book I would have to say that’s not true. Although there are several awkward teen moments but still not enough to be Twilight comparable. (I did love Twilight so don’t get me wrong).

There was far too much of this book that was almost identical to Harry Potter. It’s like when you go in the grocery store and by the bagged cereal Os because you know they taste like Cheerios but they will never really be Cheerios and you missing the fun activity on the back of the box.

The first 100 pages there were so many Harry Potter rip-offs that I almost stopped reading. Thankfully the last 100 pages made up for the blatant similarities. Bad guy with a scar, memories taken, death walkers and a kid who has to live with their evil relatives who try to hide everything and lie all the time.

I did enjoy the star concept, that was original and I appreciate that plot in the story. I also like the small vampire element and the Vegas trip. I could have done without the death walkers they are way to similar to the death eaters in Harry Potter.

If there could have been some other supernatural villain this book would have probably gotten a 4.5 but since a lot if the concepts weren’t original I really can’t do more than 3 stars. With all that being said I will read the next book in the series and hopefully it will be improved.

The book is free on the Kindle as of right now.

The Rush by Rachel Higginson

therushUltimately, I gave this novel 4 out of 5 stars. I wavered between three and four because there were several typos and grammatical errors in the Kindle version which really irritated me. (Although I shouldn’t talk because I am the queen of such errors myself.)

This story got really good towards the end. I’ll admit it took me some time to get into it. There was so much needless foreshadowing. The book says is part of a Siren series, we knew from the beginning so this constant oh woe is me routine about her curse really didn’t need to be so irritating. However, I whipped through the last 100 pages when more came out about Nix and his role in all the drama.

I really like the Ryder character, brilliantly done. Although I think there should probably be more of a back story on his family. How could his uncle and dad be affected by Ivy but he not be affected? Also it seemed really insane to me when Kenna broke up with Ryder. The way that bit of detail played out just didn’t seem right at all.

Regardless, I give this 4 stars and I will read the next in the series. Gotta see what happens with ‘Red’ and Ryder.

Check out Rachel Higginson’s Author Page >>