Monday, December 2, 2019

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2019

According to Goodreads, I read 64 books this year, but that's not completely accurate. There were a few books I read a few chapters but didn't finish for one reason or another. When you're living with multiple chronic health issues, life is too short to spend time on books that you don't fall in love with after the first few chapters. I have SO many books in my TBR pile, and I have so many stories I want to write myself, I've stopped feeling badly about not finishing a book.

That being said, I have found some gems this year! It was difficult to narrow down my top 10, but as usual, the way a book made me feel is at least as important to me as whether it was well-written and engaging. All of these were both!

Book Dragon has to pose with many books on my Kindle now, since I no longer have the extra funds to purchase all the paperbacks I'd like to have, so most of my reads are ebooks these days. There's nothing like a realio, trulio book you can hold in your hands and hug when you especially love the story!

So, here are my top ten reads for 2019, beginning with #10 (and an honorable mention):

11. (Honorable Mention) is The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Since I read mostly indie-published fiction now (most by members of the groups Flinch Free Fiction, The Fellowship of Fantasy, and Catholic Teen Books), and wish to support that community, I rarely rank big trad-published books here, but this one was such a powerful story, I had to mention it! This broken young character has so much grit, and her situation is so heart-rending, you'll be rooting for her every page of the story. Set in England during the early days of World War 2. I've been reading it out loud to my 8 year old granddaughter, and it's hard not to try to read it with a British accent....

10. The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch by T. M. Gaouette
The situation of these foster children really tugged at the heartstrings of this former foster parent and is an unforgettable story!

9. One Leaf Too Many by Julie B. Cosgrove
I haven't read many mysteries, but this cozy mystery (a standalone first in a series, but you'll want to continue it...) combines genealogy, humor, fun friendships, and danger in a great story!

8. Blossom on the Thorn by Loretta Livingstone
Though this is the 3rd in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. It's a beautiful and meticulously researched historical novel set in 12th century England. The series has time-travel elements, but this one is an earlier story of some of the beloved characters and will tug at your heart!

7. Elfling by Corinna Turner
I have to say that Ms. Turner is one of my new favorite authors! I read several of her books this year, and though I really like her dinosaur dystopian stories, this one touched my heart a bit more. Plus it's a pseudo-medieval fantasy England, which are always my favorite settings. Similar to the MC in The War That Saved My Life is a young scrappy girl living hand-to-mouth on the streets, and her character arc alone makes this book worth reading!

6. 3 Things to Forget by Cynthia T. Toney
I have really enjoyed the entire Bird Face YA contemporary series. The MC is so human, so lovable, and grows so much, it makes me want to cheer! This book could work as a standalone. It's set mostly in Alaska and has strong themes of family and loving our neighbor.

5. Sand and Storm by Stella Dorthwany
Even though this magical fantasy sort of wraps up with a not-quite-cliffhanger ending (which irritate me quite a lot), the writing is so stellar, I had to include it in the top 10. It's Indiana Jones meets Dune with nonstop action of the nail-biting kind, not one but two love triangles, and a very cool magic system that makes you FEEL the sand between your fingers. The cover is gorgeous but doesn't really hint at all the action, so I was pleasantly surprised! Don't miss this if you love fantasy!

4. I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner
I am pleased to be able to show the new cover of this amazingly powerful novel! I rarely read dystopian because it seems so depressingly possible, but this one grabbed me by throat and would NOT let me look away from a sometimes horrifying look at a possible future. It challenged my faith (in the best way) and made me think (also in the best way). Since my review, the book is supposed to have edited out some of the language, and I'm anxious to buy a paperback of this new edition so I can update Book Dragon's review. Younger and sensitive readers need to be cautioned that there are disturbing scenes of torture (a martyrdom) but they will challenge you to ask yourself, "Could I hold firm in my confession of Christ in that situation?"

3. The King's Trial by M. L. Farb
This book came highly recommended, and I was NOT in any disappointed! It's a Christian fantasy with so many quotable lines, I had to buy the paperback (and promptly loaned it out to keep the recommendations going). It's hard to believe it's the author's debut novel, it's SO well-written with great world-building and characters who grow on their journeys. The best part about it is the faith elements, which are integral to the story and gently encourage and admonish the reader.

2. Heart of the Curiosity by H. L. Burke
It's no secret that H. L. Burke is one of my favorite authors, and for me, this was her best book this year. This wonderful steampunk is part magic, part mystery, and part coming-of-age while dealing with serious subjects in a very effective way. The characters wormed their way into my heart, and the magical setting in an old, mysterious theatre was a feast for the senses. As in most of Ms. Burke's stories, there is some romance going on, too!

1. King of Malorn by Annie Douglass Lima
Since the Annals of Alasia are my new favorite fantasy series, I was thrilled when Ms. Lima released the long-awaited fifth book, which picks up a few years after Prince of Malorn and has all my favorite characters! At first I was puzzled over her choice to tell the two kings' stories from other characters' points of view, but it was very effective, and I eagerly burned through the pages, kind of surprised when it ended, I was SO immersed! Even though it's 554 pages long, it does NOT feel long at all. There is so much going on, but Ms. Lima masterfully orchestrates all the pieces of the story and brings them together by the end for a satisfying conclusion.

I hope you will try some of these books and love them as much as I do! Happy reading!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: An imaginative fantasy full of magic and emotion

The Book Dragon has finished H. L. Burke's Ice and Fate duology (Book 1 is Daughter of Sun, Bride of Ice, and Book 2 is Prince of Stars, Son of Fate) and gives them both five claws!
My review: These are not two separate stories but an entire story told in two parts, so neither stands alone. I give the overall story 4.5 stars. At first I had trouble connecting with the MC Arynne, who is a princess, sister of the King of Solea, a land on the side of the world where the sun always shines. The other MC Kajik at first came across as full of himself, so I didn't much like him either. But I kept reading because the world building was so interesting, and both characters grew on me by the end of the second book. Kajik is from the side of the world where the sun never shines, and it was fun to see how the author delved into the differences between the two lands, making them feel real in every way.

There are several antagonists and minor characters who are well-drawn and add to the emotional depth of this story. Even though it's not my favorite of Burke's stories, it is memorable and well worth the read. Recommended to anyone who likes fantasy romance. I would rate it PG-13 for a couple scenes of sensuality, a few scenes of violence, and unrelenting bullying by an unreasonably harsh parent.

Here are better images of the very appropriate covers:

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Likable Christian Fantasy

The Book Dragon has read Exiles, the fourth book in the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight, and gives it four claws!
My review: 4 stars for this fourth installment in a likable Christian fantasy series. Though there are some special moments, it wasn't my favorite of the Ilyon Chronicles. It felt more like a transition, with less tension than I was expecting, other than a few scenes of peril involving Prince Daniel, Anne and her family, and Jace.

What was really good in this book, without giving away spoilers, was Prince Daniel's faith growth under pressure, the love between Anne and her family and Trask and his father, and Jace learning more about his ryrik heritage in an unlikely place. The treetop city of the cretes was very interesting, too.

The reason I felt this book was mostly a transition was because the previous book had such a powerful redemption story (my favorite of the series so far), and if the heart-stopping ending of Exiles is any indication, I'm expecting book 5 to be full of danger and tremendous obstacles for the heroes to overcome with the rise of the new villain.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Excellent Epic Christian Fantasy Debut

The Book Dragon has finished reading The King's Trial by M. L. Farb and gives it a roaring five claws!
My 5 star review: I've got to say that this is one of the best books I've read with wonderful characters who grow on their journeys, stellar writing, fantastic world-building, and a twisty, nail-biting plot. The only thing less than positive I have to say is that the ending isn't really an ending, which frustrates me no matter which book I'm reading. So, just a caution that everything won't be wrapped up at the end. At least it's not a cliffhanger!

Many quotable lines, but I plan to buy the paperback so I can better mark them. (I want a copy anyway because the cover art is so gorgeous!) This is the only one I managed to highlight in my Kindle:

"Prejudice is a powerful mask for fear."

The faith elements in this book are integral to the story and gently encourage and admonish the reader, which I love in Christian fantasy! Highly recommended!

Here's a better image of that gorgeous cover:

Monday, August 19, 2019

Know someone who needs hope & encouragement?

A few days ago, I gave a paperback of this book to a friend newly diagnosed with cancer. She told me she read it in one sitting and it greatly encouraged her. Since I hadn't read it in months, I also read it in one sitting, and found, to my surprise, it WAS encouraging! So I checked its page on Amazon and realized, to my chagrin, I had never lowered the price permanently to 99 cents, as I had planned to long ago.

I've fixed my error now, and Battling the Beast is now permanently 99 cents. If you know a new cancer patient who is desperately seeking hope and encouragement, that IS the reason I wrote this book, and I am happy to gift them a copy if they can't afford the dollar!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Dune meets Indiana Jones & Romancing the Stone & Dragons!

The Book Dragon has read Sand and Storm by Stella Dorthwany and gives it a resounding 5 claws!
My review: I wasn't sure what to expect from this book by the cover and title, especially since I haven't finished several other choices from a fantasy book club I've been reading this year and wasn't expecting to like this one. But wow, pow, kaZOW, this one grabbed me by the throat and kept ratcheting up the suspense, action, danger, and yes, romance, until the very end. It would make a GREAT movie! Every single character is memorable, even the minor ones. The setting is so well-drawn, I could FEEL the heat of the desert, SMELL the storms, HEAR the explosions, TASTE the grit. So well done! But beyond that, the magic systems were understandable without getting into tedious details, as unfortunately can happen in a fantasy. The plot was not predictable, but also was believable with extremely high stakes. And I didn't even mind the multiple love triangles, because the author made the relationships SO MUCH FUN and didn't slow down the action while the romantic tangles were happening! I'm still puzzling over how Ms. Dorthwany was able to cram so much stuff into a relatively short fantasy novel, have it make complete sense, have me fall in love with several of the characters, AND tie it all up neatly, since I pretty much hate cliffhanger endings. In short, it can only be her special brand of magic! Bravo!

Here's a better image of the pretty cover, though it only tells a tiny part of the story:

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rejoice with me! I finished my WIP!

There were so many days in the last (almost) two years I thought I'd never type those words again, but I finally did on Dolan's Bride, the first of five planned books in a new series set in my fictional world of Levathia entitled Mercy's Children.

I only thought life was hard while fighting cancer (twice). But being forced to leave the life we'd built for 24 years in a small town to move to a huge metroplex and start over at our age, along with deteriorating health (the price of surviving cancer twice), and relearning newlywed tightwad techniques, since the only job hubby could find pays half his previous salary, and I'm too sick to work have challenged us WAY beyond our comfort zones. (Hmm, sorry about that extremely long sentence!)

We've learned valuable lessons from our trials and grown closer to the Lord, but we both still feel battered, two years later. We had zero traffic in our small town, but here we've had to learn to drive in crazy freeway traffic, which is quite frazzling to our old people nerves.

Despite feeling battered and frazzled most of the time, I kept slogging on, pretty much desperate to finish this story. It was scary when my characters wouldn't talk to me for days or weeks at a time. Some days I wrote one page or a couple paragraphs. After thirty years of writing for publication, I thought my fountain was completely drying up.

I don't submit manuscripts to book publishers or agents any more. They're looking for writers with "platforms" and past sales numbers that prove they can make money for them. That's even more important than making sure the story is actually worth publishing.

I want to self-publish Dolan's Bride for the readers who have been patiently waiting to read it, but I no longer have the funds to make it as close to perfect as possible. (I spent over $1,000 on each of the books in the previous series and will never make that money back: content editor, copy editor, formatter, cover designer, and map maker, not to mention the narrator for Mercy's Prince.) Thankfully I have a wonderful critique partner and several eager beta readers, one of whom says he is good at spotting typos and grammar errors, so I'll try to polish it as best I can.

I'll also have to format it myself, so sadly it won't be as "pretty" as the He Who Finds Mercy series. I am trying to create a decent cover, too, using the limited free tools at I hope my readers understand! Here are two ideas, using old paintings in the public domain:

And here's a teaser (still working on an actual blurb):

Even though fifteen-year-old King Dolan d'Alden has an heir in his three-year-old brother, his Regency Council is pressuring him to marry. Lady Nelwina Gowen wants to be Dolan's queen so badly, she's willing to use any means to attain her goal. Any means.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

New Book in my Favorite Fantasy Series!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Take a look at this brand-new fantasy adventure story with a hint of romance by author Annie Douglass Lima. 
You can download a copy of the ebook for free between July 9th and 11th!

Book Description:
    Life as the king’s younger sister should be exciting.
   Not for Princess Kalendria. She’s sick of the dissent and of constantly having her family undermined by those who think they could rule Malorn better than King Korram.
   Hoping to lighten the mood in the palace, Kalendria plans a ball to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. It doesn’t hurt that their handsome Alasian ally King Jaymin has promised to attend, and she’s been waiting for him to notice her for as long as she can remember.
   But unfriendly forces have their own party plans. When Kalendria, Korram, and Jaymin barely survive an assassination attempt, their only recourse is to flee into the wilderness. Tracked by unknown assassins, they must figure out whom they can trust and who is behind the plot. Can Kalendria help her brother reclaim his throne – oh, and catch Jaymin’s attention while she’s at it – before they are all killed and war destroys both kingdoms?

Click here to download your copy of King of Malorn on Amazon now! 

Click here to see King of Malorn on Goodreads.

Series Information:

King of Malorn is book 5 in the Annals of Alasia. But don't worry if you haven't read the others; it will still make sense on its own. 

Each of the first four books can stand on its own as well. They each deal with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn. 

Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life. 
In the Enemy’s Service features a girl as the protagonist and tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded. 
Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion. 
The Nameless Soldier shows how a young Alasian soldier lives through the Invasion but then has to survive and make a name for himself in enemy-occupied Alasia. 

In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap. 

I also have a short ebook of “interviews” that I conducted with the characters in the other three books. Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is not available on Amazon, but I send a free copy to anyone who signs up for my mailing list (to receive updates when I release new books or occasionally offer them for free).

Author Biography:

Annie Douglass Lima considers herself fortunate to have traveled in twenty different countries and lived in four of them. A fifth-grade teacher in her “other” life, she loves reading to her students and sparking their imaginations. Her books include science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and Bible verse coloring and activity books. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Annie can often be found sipping spiced chai or pomegranate green tea in exotic locations, some of which exist in this world.

Author Contact Info:


Amazon Author Page:

Monday, July 8, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Action-packed installment of my favorite fantasy series!

The Book Dragon has read King of Malorn by Annie Douglass Lima and gives it a rip-roaring five claws!
My 5 star review: Having read all the previous books in the Annals of Alasia series, I was so excited to learn this book was finally going to be released, I asked for an advance copy. At first I was surprised the story was told through the eyes of minor characters, but it actually worked well to see Korram and Jaymin from other points of view. Princess Kalendria's character arc works wonderfully well, and Erik (Jaymin's bodyguard) now feels more real (and human) and so sympathetic! There is so much going on, but the reader never feels "lost." The pacing is fantastic, along with the suspense, two things tricky to keep going in a book of this length. But the story is SO good, this reader never once felt anything was dragging or superfluous, and I honestly could have read more. There is a satisfying ending, but I see a couple threads where the author has left herself room to write more about this wonderful fantasy world and its heroic and villainous characters. This has definitely become my favorite fantasy series! NOTE: It is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series, but you will enjoy it even more if you read the others first, because you'll see all the characters from the previous books come together here, so it feels like a beautiful tapestry of lives woven together.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Brand New Steampunk Full of Heart!

The Book Dragon has just finished reading Heart of the Curiosity, H. L. Burke's brand new YA fantasy steampunk, and gives it five claws!
My review: Having read several of Ms. Burke's novels and especially liked her steampunk series, I was excited to read her latest, which is set in the world of theatre using an interesting concept of magical "knacks." The MC is Leodora, or Leo, who has had a rough upbringing in a traveling circus where unspeakable things happened to her. This causes her to run away with her younger sister Muse, not only to protect her but to help her reach her dream of being a dancer. At The Curiosity, an old family theatre with dark secrets of its own, they meet a fellow teen named Paxton who has a mechanical arm and a kind heart. Leo and Muse find a home and a family, and all is well for four years. But conflict is the heart of fiction, so of course, things don't stay safe. Someone else wants to uncover the secrets at the Heart of the Curiosity, and destruction and death ensue.

This wonderful story is part magic, part mystery, and part coming-of-age while dealing with serious subjects in a very effective way. The details are so much fun to read, from the smells and tastes of the local "coffee shop" to the adorable snail circus and the chilling, sometimes dangerous secret passages in the old theatre. Recommended for older teens and up, since there is a murder, two self-defense killings, mild swearing, and the effects of rape, but all are dealt with in a sensitive way.

More about Heart of the Curiosity (and a better pic of the intriguing cover):

The secret lies with the Heart.

Born with a magical knack for manipulating emotions, Leodora's only dream is to ensure her talented little sister dances on the biggest, brightest stage in the Republic: The Curiosity, a grand old theater of tradition and innovation. After escaping a cruel carnival, Leo secures her sister a place in the Curiosity’s chorus line, and herself a job as a professional audience member, swaying the crowd's mood with her magic. The girls have a home for the first time in their lives.

Then a tragic accident darkens the theater. A greedy businessman begins blackmailing Leo, and financial woes threaten to close the show forever. The Curiosity's sole hope lies in a mythical power source hidden beneath the maze-like passages and trapdoors of the theater—the Heart. And Leo’s only friend Paxton, nephew of the theater's stagemistress, is the key to finding it.

While Leo and Paxton hunt for the Heart, the blackmailer’s threats loom larger. Mysterious figures, cryptic clues, and deadly traps hinder the search at every turn. If the friends cannot recover the Heart in time, Leo and her sister will be cast out of the only home they’ve ever known, and the final curtain will fall on The Curiosity.

Enter a world reminiscent of The Greatest Showman, with a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes and National Treasure, in this new Steampunk Fantasy from H. L. Burke.

Where to find the book:

About the author (if you haven't read any of her books, you NEED to!)
Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Social Media Links:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Witty alternate history fantasy

The Book Dragon has read Kyle Robert Shultz's Horseman, the first book in the Crockett and Crane series, and gives it 5 claws!

My review: 4.5 stars for a quirky, witty, and fun alternate history of the US, where magic and monsters are real. The setting is the Wild (very wild) West, and the main character is a part-time centaur on the cover who sells potions like an old-time traveling snake-oil peddler. I didn't like him at first, but kept reading because the story was so unusual. All the characters are memorable and easy to visualize, and my favorite is Julio. I don't want to give away any of the surprises, because that's the fun part of reading this book, but if you like quirky characters with witty banter, this book is for you! WARNING: This is the first in a series, so not a stand-alone. I personally get aggravated when a story doesn't have at least some kind of ending, but I know other readers enjoy reading "serials."

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Suspenseful and poignant sci fi sequel

The Book Dragon has read Nadia's Tears, Book 2 of Devya's Children by Julie C. Gilbert and gives it 5 claws!
My review: "This book continues the suspenseful story of Gifted children genetically enhanced by scientists who claim to have the motive of doing good in the world by these children. The head scientist, Dr. Devya, seems heartless to me and I definitely don't like the way he treats these children more as property than as individual human beings.

"One of the children, Nadia, has gone into a coma, and Jillian, who has escaped Devya's lab to live with her adopted family again, is enlisted to return to the lab(!) and help revive Nadia, if possible. In a parallel story that merges with Nadia's tale by the end, Jillian's babysitter Danielle is drawn into danger while trying to help a friend.

"Again, I'm glad the author chose to tell the story through journal entries, as it helps blunt the terror (but not the suspense) of children in grave peril, which would make it hard for this grandma to read. Since the reader is learning the story as the psychiatrist would learn it, it also makes the reader think about the story in a different way, imagining the psychological effect all of this would have upon the children.

"I recommend this story to anyone who likes to read thought-provoking and sometime mind-bending science fiction about important moral issues. I am anxious to continue the story of these remarkable children, and I only wish I could give each of them a hug. They all could use a lot of them!"

My favorite quote from the book, which really resonated with me as a cancer survivor affected at times by survivor guilt: "Living is the harder road, but it is by far the better one. Never be ashamed to survive."

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A heartwarming story set on Sage Valley Ranch

The Book Dragon has read Bree Livingston's Inspired by the Creative Cowboy, Book 5 in the Sage Valley Ranch series and gives it 5 claws!
My review: "There wasn't as much action in this final installment of the Sage Valley Ranch series (compared with the other two I read), but on the strength of the two main characters, I'm giving it 4.5 stars. Summer's personality is like her name, yet she has many layers of depth and conflict and makes me want to give her a hug! Julian is not your typical artist, and has such a good heart, I was really rooting for him!

"Having all these books set in the same location is a great idea. It makes the locale and some of the people familiar, and makes this reader wish there was a real Sage Valley Ranch so she could visit!"

My favorite quote from the book (when Julian first meets Nanna, Summer's grandmother): "She had that Texas-grandma feel. The one where you knew you were safe and loved and never an inconvenience."

Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A super sweet Texas romance!

The Book Dragon has read Charmed by the Daring Cowboy, Book 4 in the Sage Valley Ranch series, by Melanie D. Snitker and gives it five big claws!
My 5 star review: After being introduced to Sage Valley Ranch in book 3, I downloaded #4 in the series (also works as a stand-alone), since I've loved everything I've read by Ms. Snitker, and this one does not disappoint! The story is sweeter and a little tamer than #3 (no bull riding), but the main character Alyssa is a landscaper and good with plants, so it demands a different story. Ms. Snitker is masterful in creating her realistic and totally sympathetic characters. I feel as if I've made new friends in the struggling young widowed Alyssa, her precious son Noah, and Dare the knight-in-shining-armor cowboy, who the reader can't help but love and root for! If you love clean romance with all the feels, you MUST read this book! Then, you'll want to read more of the stories set at Sage Valley Ranch, as well as all the others by Ms. Snitker.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A nail-biting survival story featuring dinosaurs!

The Book Dragon has read Corinna Turner's DRIVE! (first in the unSPARKed series) and gives it a roaring 5 claws!
My 5 star review: Wow! What an exciting story! Wish this had been around when I was younger, but I've never outgrown my interest in dinosaurs, so it was worth waiting for!

Widower with two teens remarries, and they travel together to bring home the new wife and stepmother. Simple plot, you say? Not when the family lives on a farm surrounded by electric fences to keep out the new top-of-the-food-chain predators in this amazingly detailed future United States. This is short and a quick read (and so suspenseful you won't be able to put it down). Thankfully, it's not the end, though this story can stand alone.

I can't wait for the next installment in the unSPARKed series! (The electric fences protecting cities and farms are so important, they are capitalized as SPARK.) Recommended for anyone who loves dinosaurs and adventure/survival stories!

(This book and others by the prolific author are featured on the Catholic Teen Books site.)

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Exciting Christian mystery!

The Book Dragon has read Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove and gives it 5 claws!
My review: 4.5 stars for a Christian mystery with more than one heart-stopping event! Great characters, realistic setting and situation, and lots of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing and anxious for fictional characters who feel more like new friends!

I first met Jessica, Bailey, and Shannon in book one of this series, One Leaf Too Many, but this one can stand alone. book one focused on Bailey and her genealogy search, and book two begins when blond, blue-eyed (and adopted) Jessica gets a DNA test and discovers a complete surprise--she is half Cherokee! I don't want to inadvertently give away spoilers, but the way this story becomes a murder mystery is compelling and suspenseful! I can't wait for book three, which should belong to Shannon.

Recommended for all readers of Christian mystery, and if you aren't into genealogy before you read this book, you'll want to explore your own family's secrets.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A fun and heartwarming Texas romance

The Book Dragon has finished Tamie Dearen's Wrangled by the Watchful Cowboy, Book 3 in the Sage Valley Ranch clean romance series, and gives it 5 claws!
My review: "I don't read many straight romance novels, but I'd read several by Ms. Dearen and loved them, so when I saw she had a Texas romance (with bull riding, even), I had to give it a try. I'm SO glad I did! The characters are so real I wanted to hug them (well, all except Jessica's ex-boyfriend Parker). The details put the reader on the ranch, and one can even smell the coffee and taste Nanna's breakfast tacos! There is drama and comedy in equal measure in this delightful read, and it makes me want to read the rest in the Sage Valley Ranch series, all clean romance by five different authors. This standalone book 3 is guaranteed for all readers of clean romance. Whether or not you're a Texan, you'll cheer for Jess and Cord and all the loveable characters in this installment."