Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: January 2010

Tales From the Treasure Trove, Volume I, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology. “Jaded” {reincarnation romance} by Barbara Raffin (Dame Jade), “Sex with the Man in the Moon” {romantic suspense} by Christine DeSmet (Dame Moonstone), “The Ruby Kiss” {contemporary vampire romance} by Jaye Roycraft (Dame Ruby), “The Amethyst Angel” {traditional romance} by Karen Wiesner (Dame Amethyst), “Peridot Moon” {futuristic romance} by Julie Skerven (Dame Peridot), “Emerald” {contemporary fiction} by Debbie Fritter (Dame Emerald), “Diamond Magee” {contemporary romance} by Sherry Derr-Wille (Dame Diamond), “The Topaz Locket” {paranormal romance} by Carrie S. Masek (Dame Topaz), “The Best Kind of Opals” {western romance} by Alice Blue (Dame Opal), “Bloodstone Cure” {paranormal romance} by Cassie Walder (Dame Bloodstone), “Garnet’s Light” {romantic suspense} by Liz Hunter (Dame Garnet), “The Turquoise Mask” {paranormal romance} by Jane Toombs (Dame Turquoise).

I have to admit this review has been a challenge for me to write.  Most anthologies that I read have some kind of reoccurring theme that keeps the author’s story type similar, such as all ‘It happened at Midnight’ or ‘One Dance’ but this collection’s theme is gemstones, which gave the authors free reign to write whatever the wanted, and they did. I personally have a love/hate relationship with short story collections.  I love them because I get a chance to read new authors without the time investment of a full novel, nothing is worse than getting to the middle of a book and realizing that you dislike it. However,  I hate anthologies because when you find a great story with great characters, your time with them is over way too soon. Also, sometimes I don’t like the stories.

This book has something for everyone, and I mean everyone. The collection includes a western, paranormal futuristic, reincarnation, contemporary traditional, and others.  Obviously I can’t write a review of all the stories because it would make this posting huge so I have just mentioned a few.

The first story, Jaded, is set in contemporary times with ghost that appears to the heroine. This was a story that I would have liked to see longer, the minor characters staying at the boarding house were entertaining and I would have liked to see more of them.  It was a good story but felt a little rushed, it could have been longer and better developed.

The Best Kinds of Opal is a western with three brothers who travel from back East to the West in pursuit of opals for their parent’s jewelry shop.  Upon arriving to the western city they engage in a fist fight with some locals, who they then become buddies with.  (There is no understanding men.) The buddies convince them to go fishing with them and the buddies bring along their sisters and cousins, who all happen to have the word ‘Opal’ in their name.  The brothers start to suspect they have been set up by their parents but by this time they don’t really care because they have started to like the girls. The buddies were funny and I giggled several times while reading the story.

The Amethyst Angel, is a bit of a heart-jerker.  The heroine is a doctor who works at a hospital that specializes in children who have terminal diseases.  You get to know one of the small boys who is a patient there and see they way he impacts the doctor’s life for the better before he loses his battle with cancer.

It was a good read with a good glimpse of a bunch of different authors. It was interesting to read how each of the authors was able to incorporate a gemstone in each of the stories.  I have to admit I giggled when I read the name of the girls as being Opal as I was expecting an Opal mine with the story being set in the wild west.  Just be aware that most of the stories rate as a 5 is graphic detail. This review is also posted on Classic Romance Revival.

ISBN:1-59374-373-4

Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press

Released: March 2005

Page Length:366

Type: eBook

Rating: 5

[amazon-product]1593743726[/amazon-product]

Those of you returning to my site will notice the new amazing Logo banner at the top of my website.  It was created by an incredible photographer located in the Phoenix area, Erika Snow.  She specializes in children and families.  One thing I love is she never uses the same background for her photos.  She is very concerned about textures in the photos, and she does an amazing job making you look good. (Always a HUGE priority for me.)

In addition to creating the logo header, she recently took some family photos of my husband and I, including the head shot of me found on the “Contact Me” page of this website.  Check her out!

This is a review for Classic Romance Revival, The Phoenix Rebellion by Gail Delaney.  The Areth have come to be humanity’s salvation, or so we are told.  Providing medical advances and curing most diseases, the Areth have helped humankind but at what cost? Retired Colonel Nick Tanner doesn’t care, retreating to his cabin he just wants to be left alone.  Then Caitlin Montgomery, the woman he has never forgotten, shows up on his door with the earth shattering news that the son he was told died 25 years ago was alive and being held captive by the Areth.  Now Nick is not going to let anything stand in the way of rescuing his son, even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart.

Years ago Caitlin choose to believe the Areth’s philosophy regarding relationships and ended her relationship with Nick. Now she is aware of the truth and is working with an underground group called The Phoenix Rebellion to rescue those being held against their will.  Caitlin agrees to ruin her career to help atone for her poor decision to leave Nick years ago, despite the personal pain she feels in being in Nick’s company again, she is going to use everything in her power to help Nick get his son back.

When I first started reading this story I kept doing a mental comparison to the TV series “V”.  A group of beings that look like us have come down to be our salvation and it is only after they have taken control of the world peacefully that some individuals start to realize that we have lost all control of our lives.  The Areth have not shared their advanced technology with us, just medical care and their ships are circling above our world, keeping us from leaving or contacting any of the other life forms we now know exist.  I have to admit I struggled to get into the story at the beginning, the story starts with Caitlin going to Nick’s house to inform him that his son is alive.  The Prologue explains about the Areth coming but I was still confused until mid-way through the story.

That being said, once I was into the story I was really sucked in.  The plight of the small group working to save others from the horrible experiments being performed by the Areth was touching.  What sets us apart from others is our humanity, that inner spark that allows us to fight against insurmountable odds, believing that the rescue of even one soul is worth the sacrifice.

The novel is written from the view-point of several different characters. After the initial meeting between Caitlin and Nick, the novel switches to the view-point of Michael, Nick’s son who is captive. The story continues switching from several of the characters to explain things to the reader, without all the repetitive dialogue that can occur when an author has a lot of back story to cover. As the climax built, I couldn’t put the book down.  A resolution was reached but the story was left WIDE open for further books.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series The Phoenix Rebellion Book II: Outcasts when it is released in February 2010.

Rating: 5

Yard Work Spring 2008 008I have decided to continue with my Thursday posting of books, author spotlights, etc. but I am now going to add a Monday posting entitled Monday’s Musings where I will post on whatever I feel like. This week I have been thinking about favorite places to read.  A couple of years ago my husband gave me a hammock for Mother’s Day (no, I am not a mother but I have him convinced that I deserve a gift every Mother’s Day because of the labor I will someday go through).  My favorite place to read is in the sun, on the hammock, with a soft pillow and a cool soda beside me.  My other favorite place is snuggled under the covers in my bed with my kitty curled up next to me.

My husband will tell you that I read everywhere: the futon, the kitchen table while eating lunch, the car (but not while driving), and obviously the yard.  I am the oldest of five children and while I was growing up we had numerous cousins and neighbors live with us.  I spent the first seventeen years of my sister Jocee’s life sharing a room with her.  Needless to say it was hard, at times, to find a place to read without being bothered by someone, so growing up one of my favorite places to read was in the bathroom.  I would lock myself in there for hours at a time because I knew I wouldn’t be bothered while I was in there. Of course, once Jocee realized what I was up to in there she took great pleasure on pounding on the door until I got out, not because she wanted to use it but because I was hiding in there. (You know how siblings are, I did my fair share of pestering her in retaliation.)

Where do you like to read?

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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