Storms over Babylon – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, we’re back to Ashley and Alexander in the Time for Alexander series. I swear I become more and more obsessed with this series with every book I read. Please hurry up and let me read the next three!

I chose to stay up on my flight to Brisbane to read this one instead of sleeping. To put this into context, I normally go to bed about 9pm and my flight took off at 9.30pm. To say I was dead tired when we arrived in Brisbane a couple of hours later is an understatement.

But I did smash out like 90% of the book in that couple of hours on the plane. And man was it good! I actually checked how long I had left to finish the book because I didn’t want to have to stop to get off the plane. Luckily, I finished the book with 5 minutes of my flight to spare.

If you’re familiar with the previous books (not just my reviews of them) then you might remember that Plexis was told all his questions about Ashley would be answered on his death bed. Well, Ashley is faced with the knowledge of when he’s meant to die alongside Alexander being adamant, he doesn’t want her to save him.

Well in this book we get to discover how Plexis dies, along with Alexander a few months later. Knowing that there’s a fantasy element to this story and just loving Ashley’s relationships with Alexander and Plexis and that this is only the 4th of (currently) 7 books, I was left wondering when this book would end.

Well, spoiler alert! (not really) It ends When Alexander dies, and his kingdom begins to crumble with Ashley and her family fleeing the violence. As soon as I was finished, I was like “NOOOO!!!! I want more!” So rest assured, once the 5th book comes on tour I’ll be jumping for a spot to give you more deets!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow
(yes you read that right!) I will be reviewing The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath. Continue to read
further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.


Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Giveaway - Win a $10 Amazon gift certificate (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide
entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The
winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and
will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days
then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants
aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry
is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with
the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway
organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will
delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of
the prize.

Son of the Moon – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of One?. I found it difficult at times as an Aussie but still enjoyed it, but time to get back to a series I’m really enjoying, the Time for Alexander series!

Writing Style

The first thing I want to say is that it seems Jennifer has either gotten over those overly direct sentences, or she got a new editor for this book that managed to get rid of almost all of those annoying, jarring sentences. YAY!

That left me being able to focus more on the story rather than feeling like I was thrown out of it because of a string of short sentences that just felt weird to read.

Overall, I feel like there’s a maturity to Jennifer’s writing that hasn’t quite been there with the first two books. And I’m loving it. It feels like the story is more cohesive and purposeful rather than a string of great ideas and plot points strung together.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the first two books. It means that I found this book much easier to engage with which meant I could enjoy it much easier and quicker.

Initial Thoughts

I’m struggling to remember what exactly happened at the start, but I remember that I was a little on edge wondering if Ashley and Alexander would find their son. Given there are 7 books in the series I wasn’t sure if this quest was meant to span all those books or whether there’d be more to their story if they found him.

After a harsh climb up a mountain pass, they were met by an old man who welcomed them but seemed to be delaying and delaying them seeing their sun. Which of course made me wonder if their son was even still there or had yet again been stolen away from them.

What they discovered was certainly not what they, or me, were expecting which brought about another question. What were they going to do now?

And that’s what drove the rest of the books story.

Final Thoughts

As usual, I finished this book dying for the next book. Which makes me think, if anyone wants to know what they should ever gift me (in case you were wondering), get me this series with matching covers in paperback. Coz this is a series I will come back to again in the future (I can already tell) which mean’s I want it in my burgeoning library for proud display.

I’ve mentioned already that I really engaged with this book better than the first book. I loved the battles, I loved that Ashley sacrificed for love and I love that she’s willing to ask for what she really wants. A full life with Alexander where they can live in peace without the people from the future killing them and erasing them from history.

This really brought me back to the start of the first book which made me wonder if this was a clue as to what was happening then. Maybe, maybe not. I’ll have to wait to find out.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Probably the Best Kiss in the World by Pernille Hughes. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Giveaway - $10 Amazon gift certificate and mug (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

A Conversation with a Cat – Stephen Spotte

Welcome back everyone, I hope you’ve been enjoying all the posts that have been coming out recently. Today’s review is another one from BookGlow, and I feel like I started off strong with the Autobiography of Satan and I’ve reached a point where I really struggled.

I went into this book thinking I’d be reading about some fantasy style version of the world where we can talk to cats. So, I was quite disappointed when it turns out that you just have to be high and drunk.

We started off the story hearing about how the main guy went
fishing and ended up needing to get his gall bladder removed once he got home.
And how from that he was high on pain killers and spent quite a bit of time
drinking. Until he was outside one night and his cat suddenly starts talking to
him.

Then the next challenge I faced while reading this was that
I didn’t find the story engaging. The style of the writing was bad enough for
me. But then the fact that there were very few paragraph breaks and there were
only 8 chapters meant I didn’t have any natural spots to stop.

And what made it even worse for me was the fact that there
were multiple times where one sentence spanned 1-2 pages. How does this even
happen?!

I will allow that I had my Kindle zoomed in slightly, so I
didn’t have to wear my glasses while I read. But I didn’t have it zoomed in
THAT much! I even showed a friend who agreed the sentences were way too long.

And then at the end of the story, after spending pretty much
the whole book focussed on Cleopatra, we all of a sudden are finding out about
the cat’s life before he was adopted by the guy he’s been talking to.

As much as I wanted to oy this, because the idea sounded really cool, I really felt there is a lot of improvements that need to be made. Firstly, by having an editor go through it thoroughly. Those sentences, paragraphs and chapters need to be shorter. Hopefully that will help create some natural breaks and give it the improvements it deserves.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Saturday I will be reviewing The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke.

The Autobiography of Satan – William A. Glasser

Welcome back and a Happy New Year everyone, this is the first book I am reviewing from a new source, and in the new year and I can definitely say I chose an interesting book to start off with!

This book is about “Satan”, his life story and how he’s really not the bad guy he’s made out to be. Given that I’m not really religious and since I read another book last yr by Charlie Ludlow who challenged our religious thinking, I was interested to see what this one would deliver.

This story is written in the style of Satan dictating his life to Wag, his author, so it really does feel like Satan is talking directly to you. With the occasional debate between Wag and Satan at the end of some chapters. We start off right back before “humans” had evolved, before the first cave paintings became a thing and before language was really starting to develop. We are right back to when Neanderthals are just starting to create tools from shaping rocks by banging them against each other.

We then proceed through various points in time throughout history and even have some pretty well known historical figures referenced (eg. Atilla the Hun) at various points in time. Throughout each of these encounters Satan was telling us about how he was trying to enlighten the human race and that if we looked closely we would see he was telling the truth. He discusses the various times in history when things were swinging his way and certain powerful people became afraid and so cracked down on the people with fear of damnation. As much as some of the stuff Satan talks about seems farfetched, there were quite a few parts that I really agreed with. I’m not really religious so I didn’t have the feeling that I was betraying my faith, or having to try and unlearn something that was completely ingrained in who I was. So for some people I can see this as being a difficult read. But if you take it as a fun way to see history and human nature in a different way then you will enjoy this.

The ending felt like rather than Satan telling us his history, he was trying to entertain Wag to the point were some comments from Wag even made it into the main text. At this point in time we crossed over from a different view of history to really questioning the universe. A new concept of how the world was created, aliens etc were all brought into it. And to be honest. Some of it felt like it could even be possible.

Does that mean I’ve reached the enlightenment that Satan is wanting us to achieve? Does that mean I’m open to new concepts? Or does it just mean I’m gullible to a good story? I don’t know. But I had fun contemplating these concepts and what it’d mean for us human’s if there was any truth to any of it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I will be reviewing A Greek Affair by Linn B. Halton.

The Merest Loss – Steven Neil

Welcome back to another week and another book tour! This week's book had me a little stumped as I thought there'd be more direct political espionage happening throughout the book. Yet it felt more like a biography of a political mistresses life.

At the start of parts 1 and 2 the book is written from Tom's point of view about a young man named Martin coming to meet with him about solving an old family mystery. At this stage I was thinking we'd be reading about the espionage as Martin discovers more about his family mystery. However I was quickly proven wrong in the second chapter when we swapped to Harriet's life when she was still a child. The biggest thing that annoyed me about this change was that it was then written in 3rd person. So even though we still find out what people are thinking, or feeling; it felt awkward to me swapping between these writing styles throughout the book.

Once I got a couple chapters in I adjusted to the 3rd person style and found it easy to read and quite enjoyable as we read about Harriet's various adventures and exploits. We learnt about her acting career, the move into the political world, working to make herself independent financially. And I can only imagine how hard that would have been, especially as she needed to have a guardian in order to do so.

As I was reading about Harriet's life I was trying to figure out the answer to Martin's family mystery. I was also conscious of how Steven wrote Harriet's story to leave the options open so it wasn't easy to decide. But there were a few clues that I missed that would have given me the answer I was looking for if I had have been paying attention that were then explained in the 3rd part of the book.

When I did reach that critical part of the book I was left feeling a little bit silly for not having picked up on the clues because in hindsight there were kinda obvious. Once I got over feeling silly at myself I then started wondering what could be left to tell? Was the story turning into more of a biography than a mystery? Would Harriet finally find happiness that she's been longing for all this time?

Right up until the end of the story Harriet fights for what she wants and needs from life and that is such a true reflection of real life. In real life we all (at least I THINK we all go through this...) struggle to balance work, family life, social life, sleep, hobbies and the gym. Personally, I know I really struggle with this and it often feels like I'm on one of those merry go round things at high speed just waiting to be thrown off. So for Harriet to mostly make it through everything she had pushing on her and everything she was trying to juggle is amazing. Kudos to her!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks review, and I look forward to seeing you next week for "Daisy" by Karen Botha on another Book Tour. Continue reading further down to find out about the author.

Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100016617465298

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevenneil12

Author Page: https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

Don't forget to check out the other review's on Chasing Ghosts and you can see who's writing reviews below:

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine World’s – Columbkill Noonan

Welcome back all, I hope you've continued to enjoy my posts. I'd like to take a moment to say a special thankyou to all my readers! Knowing that you're out there reading my thoughts on the books I read is pretty special, especially since you're taking time out of your (probably, because who isn't these days?) busy lives.

Jumping into Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds. This is the second book in a series about two detectives that get taken into the various lands of the gods. I know the first book is set in Egypt because the title is "Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab". However they also tell us throughout this book that Anubis kidnapped them and had them working in the Egyptian afterlife to solve his case. We join the two detectives when they are leaving Egypt and on their way to Asgard. One of the Viking god realms, and this particular one houses Valhalla.

Now the first thing I found kind of annoying about this book is that it's written in third person. For most people this is probably nothing. But personally, I find it irritating when books are written in third person because they shift who's opinion you're reading without giving you any indication of it. I also find that you don't get to understand the individuals motives, thoughts, emotions etc when it's written in third person compared to first person. But if you don't mind or quite like the third person writing style, then you won't have a problem with this.

Another thing that irked me was that it felt like facts would get conflicting info throughout the book. For example, very early on in the book I could have sworn they said Barnabas was a mouse, and Bindi was also a mouse when they met. Yet later in the book they are saying that both had only mouse heads while the rest of their bodies were still human. I could have just mis-read it or not remembered it correctly.

Also, I'm not claiming to be a viking expert. But from my knowledge of viking mythology there is some conflicting info in this book. I understand that there are going to be aspects that are not historically accurate, because otherwise how can you write an interesting novel? But little things like Loki being married, only half of the dead warriors going to Valhalla, dwarves and elves etc are all thing's I'd never heard of before when I've read about the vikings. As I said, I'm no expert but when I compare those kinds of conflicts with other authors that have written about ancient times and gods. I've felt like they have put a lot more thought behind their writing, and you can tell that they've researched it. And I didn't get that feeling with this one. This one felt like they've watched one episode of Vikings and thought "hey that's cool, I could write a book on those gods!"

Now for people who enjoy reading to just escape from reality for a bit, who doesn't mind the writing style and isn't too hung up on facts. I honestly think you'd enjoy this. There's a good amount of action, intrigue, mystery and a touch of romance to keep you interested. I just personally felt it wasn't quite the style of writing that really grabbed my attention and kept it.

I'm also conscious of the fact that I started this book after reading like 8 books in two weeks. Where two of those books had me hooked the whole way. Kind of like if you were to watch a marathon of Game of Thrones and then try and watch something like Big Bang Theory afterwards. They are so different in so many ways. And because of how complex and intense Game of Thrones is, it's hard to tear your mind away from that to go into something a bit more fun and carefree.

I wouldn't mind reading the other books because the banter between Barnabas and Wilfred was very amusing. It's just they probably wont be at the top of my pile and it might take me a while to get to the point where I want to read them. But as I said, I think that's got to do more with me and what I like rather than the book itself.

I think this series could make a great present to a teenager or young adult who enjoys reading. The writing style throws me back to memories of reading the Twilight, Tamora Pierce and Richelle Mead series. All of which are massive hits with the younger readers.

I hope you've enjoyed this review. I strive to be honest but at the same time don't like people who publicly diss something that's not their style. When I come across books like that for me I try to explain why I felt like that and who it might be better suited for. That way I'm hoping you can make informed choices about anything you might want to read or recommend based on my opinions. If you are interested in this book you can find the links below, and keep in mind that this is the second book in the series.

Anyway, that's me done for another week! Next week is the final instalment of Behind the Door "The Brilliant Game" by Adriana Gavazzoni. Are you as excited to find out who the killer is as I am? Well you will have to tune in next week to see if we can find out!

BUT WAIT! We have more! Starting off with the author's bio:

Columbkill Noonan lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where she teaches yoga and Anatomy and Physiology.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her first novel, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” by Crooked Cat Books, was released in 2017, and her latest work, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”, is set to be released in September 2018.

In her spare time, Columbkill enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, aerial yoga, and riding her rescue horse, Mittens. To learn more about Columbkill please feel free to visit her website (www.columbkill.weebly.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan) or on Twitter (@ColumbkillNoon1).

Giveaway to win a signed copy of Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494130/?

The Sheik’s Son – Nicola Italia

Welcome back, I've been looking forward to writing this review pretty much since I first started reading this book because it combines two things that I really love. History and books. Not only is it a book steeped with history, but it's also filled with iconic individuals from history writing about their thoughts and experiences and then discussing these in salons.

This book is set in Paris in 1788, less than a year before the French Revolution began in earnest. As soon as I saw the date I started scrambling back through my memories of high school history when I studied the French Revolution to remember when it began, how it broke out and how quickly it impacted the French high classes. Thinking back on these memories I found myself eager to jump in and find out what exactly this book could be about, especially since the title suggests there's an Arabian prince involved.

I quickly discovered that this book was going to be a typical romance novel, however it would be set in a specific time in history which would also impact what would happen throughout the book. Sophie, our main character, is a young Parisian woman who is educated more than most women in that time who's grandmother has been trying to marry off for the past few years. However Sophie doesn't want another Parisian dandy man. She wants an intelligent man who isn't afraid of the fact that she is educated and he needs to be able to challenge her intellectually. Which in that time is difficult to find.

While Sophie is resisting marriage due to the difficulty of finding someone that will complement and challenge her, she is introduced to Madame Necker and her salon. Madame Necker is a well known French woman who ran one of the most celebrated salon's in French history; if you Google her you can find her fairly easily. By taking part in this salon Sophie is constantly thrust into the same space as Sebastian, our other main character who we also hear from throughout the book. While pushing Sebastian away Sophie is also trying to educate herself about any topic that comes up in the salon's that she doesn't know much about.

Sophie's drive to educate herself further really struck a chord with me as I tend to do the same thing. Maybe not to the same degree as Sophie does, however I also found that just like in Sophie's case there are many people today that will criticise and judge those that seek to further educate themselves. I don't know if people do this out of fear of being left behind or being made redundant by someone who likes to educate themselves. And I certainly hope people can rise above these thoughts, because in France's case it ended in a Revolution that changed the country forever and I'd hate to think that it could take similar radical changes to allow people to grow and develop.

Due to Sophie educating herself she goes from writing radical pamphlets about women's rights to revolutionary pieces that criticise the French monarchy and it's upper classes. This results in a power hungry inspector going after Sophie to gain confidential information to blackmail other people. Later in the book we discover that not only is he blackmailing his way into a position of power, but he also murdered his wife and last lover due to her cheating on him. I don't know about you but I can't believe he managed to murder 2 people and dispose of their bodies alone without being discovered. Especially because he works for the French law enforcement!

While the inspector is going after Sophie she pretty much forces Sebastian to marry her to give herself more protection against the inspector. Sophie thought just because he worked for the English Ambassador that it'd give her more safety from him. What I don't understand is that Sebastian knew how much danger Sophie was in and so married her to protect her. Yet waited until the inspector tried to kill them both to suggest moving to Arabia? And for all their friends and family to leave France? Like really, if you think a country is about to break out into an all out Revolution wouldn't you want to get the hell out of these ASAP to avoid the bloodbath and ensure you don't accidentally get caught up in it? That really irked me and took a little bit of joy out of the overall story because I spent so much time fixating on why they didn't just move to Arabia. But it certainly didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the read.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you again next week when I review "Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman" by Wareeze Woodson. I will come back to the next book in the series in the future, so keep an eye out for that one!