Book Review – Prophecy of Three (Starseed Trilogy #1)

Where do I begin?!

I discovered this book through a random social media encounter – it was a Twitter discussion about self-published/indie authors – where I met the author, Ashley McLeo. Do yourself a favor – read this book!

I’m going to try to keep this brief because I could go on about this book for awhile. Let’s start with something “technical” – the Bechdel Test. For those who don’t know, the Bechdel Test came about as a result of a 1985 comic strip created by Alison Bechdel. Originally intended as a way to “rate” movies, the Bechdel test has three basic goals – (1) There must be at least two female characters, (2) Both female characters must have names, and (3) They must have a conversation that is about something OTHER than a man. This book EXPLODES those three criteria. The book focuses on three women who don’t know they are sisters (triplets, to be exact) and their mother and her two sisters. Along with these six characters, there are other women who play significant roles in the story as well. In the course of the story, you learn their names and their personal histories. Their conversations involve the family history, the reasons that the triplets were sent to live with adoptive families (with their magic bound since they were born witches), learning to use their now un-bound powers, and the fact that these three just might be a set of sisters spoken of in a prophecy millennia before.

The characters can be strong or vulnerable, confident or frustrated, focused or confused. In other words, they are real and relatable. None of them is perfect or completely flawed but you are rooting for them every step of the way. You cheer as they become more able to control their various powers, you are genuinely worried for them when a loved one is in serious danger . . . and when Lily has to make a heart-wrenching decision regarding someone who helped to raise her? I literally held my breath!

If you like believable, strong, multi-dimensional female characters and a well-written plot, read this book! Warning – there is a mountain of a cliffhanger at the end!

Book Review – Arrowood

I found this book because of a blind date. More specifically, it’s a program our local library put together for the month of February in 2019 – “Blind Date With a Book”. A variety of titles were put in solid colored gift bags with each color signifying the genre of the book it held. The bag was taped shut and a synopsis of the title – with all clues as to title or character names removed – was attached to the outside of the bag. They even went so far as to put the bar code number on the outside of the bag so the librarian didn’t even have to peek inside the bag. 

In short – I loved this book! When I went to post my status on Goodreads I was thrilled to discover that this is only the first in a series. I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes so I was definitely intrigued by author Mick Finlay’s premise: where would London’s poor and destitute, unable to afford the likes of Sherlock Holmes, turn for help? Finlay’s answer is William Arrowood and his friend Norman Barnett. Not only does Arrowood take on cases for those who could never afford Holmes, he never even attempts to hide the fact that he despises the renowned detective.

Told entirely from Barnett’s perspective, this one kept me guessing right up until the action-packed ending. Arrowood and Barnett are flawed, frustrating, lovable . . . there was a never a moment that I wasn’t rooting for them and never a moment that I doubted how passionate they were about doing the right thing. Surrounding these two partners are a rich cast of characters – Arrowood’s sister Ettie, the young boy Neddy who works for the twosome, Police Inspector Petleigh and more – who bring depth to the story as well as helping the reader to understand more of the Arrowood’s character. 

I picked this book blindly, drawn to it because of my love for the Holmes stories. I wasn’t sure what to think of a book whose protagonist despises this well-known character. Turns out I love Arrowood’s work just as much!

From My Bookshelf – Souls of Three (The Starseed Trilogy Book #2)

This one is a day late because I didn’t post on Christmas.   But here it is!

As the second book of The Starseed Trilogy opens, the triplets – Lily, Evelyn, and Sara – are taking a break from their “magical training”. Lily has traveled back to Oregon to spend some time with those who raised her while Evelyn returns to New York City and her job with her adopted dad’s company. When Lily returns to Fern Cottage, she is told that Evelyn’s work will be keeping her in New York City longer than was originally planned – an important new client to get settled in. To REALLY complicate matters, Evelyn falls for this new client, a charming man by the name of Roman Simons. Does she really want to leave him and return to Fern Cottage? Would he understand if she told him who she really was? And then he invites her on a weekend getaway in some remote luxury home.

Meanwhile, Lily, who is more than a little frustrated that Evelyn hasn’t yet returned, discovers that Sara and Evelyn have been talking on the phone during Evelyn’s prolonged absence. And when Lily finds out that Evelyn is enjoying a weekend getaway with the new man in her life? Things can’t help but get more tense between two sisters who have had difficulty getting along from the start.

But the handsome, charming Roman Simons is not all that he appears to be and Evelyn quickly finds herself in a nightmarish situation that she, with her fledgling magic skills, cannot handle alone. She doesn’t know if her sisters even know she is in trouble, much less if they can do anything to help.

Back in Fern Cottage, the family discovers a traitor in their midst. A lifelong friend sends a letter to the Brigit, the triplets’ mother, admitting that she was behind the chaos in Alexandria that resulted in Lily losing a family member. But this person isn’t confessing anything because she doesn’t feel the least bit guilty. She openly admits that she has had a hand in helping to abduct Evelyn. The family immediately takes action, seeking to rescue Evelyn and deal once and for all with the vampires Amon and Empusa.

But new powers arise in the girls and new pieces of the prophecy fall into place. The bond between the sisters grows stronger and they learn that their own power increases when they lean on one another.

This captivating sequel moves the story forward with new plot twists and new faces while continuing to beautifully develop the characters and relationships I most loved from the first book. Some enemies are vanquished, others escape, and a traitor has yet to be dealt with. And it all leaves you waiting to see what happens in the final installment! Will the magic skills of the three sisters be enough to defeat Dimia and the Fata? The fate of the human race hangs in the balance.

Special Edition! From My Bookshelf

I got the incredible opportunity to be an Advanced Reader for Tosca Lee’s upcoming book, “The Line Between” – WOW!!! If you are already a Tosca fan, you won’t be disappointed.  If you’ve never read any of her work, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!  I just finished the book today and put out an early review on Goodreads so I thought I’d share the link here.  The book comes out January 29, 2019, but you can pre-order your copy on Amazon right now.

Click HERE to read my review.

From My Bookshelf – The Prophecy of Three (The Starseed Trilogy Book 1)

I discovered this book through a random social media encounter – it was a Twitter discussion about self-published/indie authors – where I met the author. Do yourself a favor – read this book!

I’m going to try to keep this brief because I could go on about this book for awhile. Let’s start with something “technical” – the Bechdel Test. For those who don’t know, the Bechdel Test came about as a result of a 1985 comic strip created by Alison Bechdel. Originally intended as a way to “rate” movies, the Bechdel test has three basic goals – (1) There must be at least two female characters, (2) Both female characters must have names, and (3) They must have a conversation that is about something OTHER than a man. This book EXPLODES those three criteria. The book focuses on three women who don’t know they are sisters (triplets, to be exact) and their mother and her two sisters. Along with these six characters, there are other women who play significant roles in the story as well. In the course of the story, you learn their names and their personal histories. Their conversations involve the family history, the reasons that the triplets were sent to live with adoptive families (with their magic bound since they were born witches), learning to use their now un-bound powers, and the fact that these three just might be a set of sisters spoken of in a prophecy millennia before.

The characters can be strong or vulnerable, confident or frustrated, focused or confused. In other words, they are real and relatable. None of them is perfect or completely flawed but you are rooting for them every step of the way. You cheer as they become more able to control their various powers, you are genuinely worried for them when a loved one is in serious dangers . . . and when Lily has to make a heart-wrenching decision regarding someone who helped to raise her? I literally held my breath!

If you like believable, strong, multi-dimensional female characters and a well-written plot, read this book! Warning – there is a mountain of a cliffhanger at the end!

From My Bookshelf – “Behold the Harvest Moon”

Intriguing. That’s the only word to describe this book.

It starts quickly – intrigued by a sign that says “Old Things and New Adventures”, young Brenden Badt ventures into an unusual store. As he moves through the space, almost always in what seems to be a straight line, his surroundings change. And it isn’t long before young Brenden finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime, called from our world into another for a greater purpose.

There is little dialogue in the book. Usually, that would bug me. But the author does a fantastic job of telling the story through Brenden’s thoughts and experiences. Without ever meeting Brenden’s dad, I know he is a heartbroken man after the death of his wife. And I know that, in the midst of their grief, Brenden and his dad love each other and are trying to move through the sorrow for themselves and for one another.

You watch Brenden grow, learn, accept strange surroundings, begin to believe in himself with more conviction than he’s ever possessed before . . . this one captivated me and I am so looking forward to reading the sequel!

From My Bookshelf – Be Careful What You Joust For

While much of the book contained what one might expect from this particular genre, there were pleasant surprises throughout my reading.

The head of the Hornbolt Family, Duke Garrion Hornbolt, is a devout man of faith. So often in novels such as this, the nobility is at odds with matters of faith, often seeing the church as a threat to their power. Not so, Duke Garrion. Had circumstances in his childhood been different, he would have been able to pursue his dream of becoming a priest. But the death of his oldest brother and the traditions of his people changed all that.

Isolda, Garrion’s wife, is not a typical damsel in distress by any means! With secret business ventures of her own – and a secret identity to go along with it! – she is portrayed as a strong woman who can still be plagued by fear and doubt. In other words, she comes across as very real!

The children of House Hornbolt – Marcus, Oriana, Selina, Terric, and Nesta – are all unique crafted and the relationships between the siblings are unique (and consistently portrayed throughout the story, I might add.) Oriana and Terric get the most attention from the authors with their respective stories focusing on Oriana’s prospects for a husband and Terric’s desire to avoid the priesthood at all costs. In the end, it is Terric’s assumptions that put the lives of his entire family at risk.

A significant twist in the plot and horribly wrong assumptions leave the reader eager for the second book as soon as the first is finished. I have truly found a new “must-read” in the Pentavia series!