April 30, 2022

Review: The Refuge by John A. Heldt

Product Description:
Months after stealing two time machines, the Lanes, a modern family of seven, make a stand against the unhinged software mogul who wants them back. They travel to 1941 Oahu to eliminate the billionaire's mercenary, an assassin who has chased them through time.

While son Jordan, a former intelligence officer, stalks his unknowing foe in the streets of Honolulu, his parents, younger siblings, and pregnant wife settle in the village of Laie, where love, friendship, and opportunity await. All seek refuge from the perils of time travel.

Hit man Silas Bain has his own agenda. He hopes to alter the events of December 7, 1941, and indirectly save a brilliant German physicist, his employer's grandfather, from certain death. He has prepared for every contingency, except the charms of a beautiful heiress.

Filled with romance, suspense, and intrigue, THE REFUGE takes readers on a thrilling and memorable ride through the colorful, magical, and dangerous world of pre-Pearl Harbor Hawaii.

My Thoughts:
The Refuge is the 4th book in the Time Box Series which follows the Lane family through time as they flee from the ruthless killer pursing them. Reading the first 3 books in the series is a must. Not only for the story continuation but for the enjoyment of a great series. 

Each book in the series is similar in how everything unfolds but they each have a unique historical event, new characters to love and different actions that cause the family to travel through time again. The Lane family are cherished characters and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

My Recommendation:
As usual I recommend this series to anyone who loves time travel, romance and historical fiction. 

Review: Witch's Gamble by Mark Rosendorf

Product Description:
It's been nearly two hundred years since Isis, Zack, and The Witches of Vegas saved New Salem from the Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Now, Isis is a vampire and the most powerful witch in the world. Zack is also a vampire, and the president of New Salem. They thought the threat was long behind them. But Valeria escaped into the past where she set history on a horrific path.

Now, everything has changed around Isis. New Salem is destroyed, Valeria is queen of Earth, and no one has heard of Zack. To save reality, Isis must travel through time, reliving events from a history she barely recognizes, and find a way to set reality back on course. Not that she has any idea how to do that, or how to avoid the all-powerful Valeria in the process.

Isis will face challenges she can't possibly overcome, yet she must, or every single life from the past, present, and future is doomed.

My Thoughts:
Witch's Gamble is book 3 in the Witches of Vegas YA series and you would definitely want to read the first 2 so you know who all the characters are and why they are in their current situation. I was a bit surprised that the book opened with 200 years passing since book 2 but it weaves into the story perfectly once the action gets going. Isis has a troubling task ahead of her and even with the experiences she's gained over the years it's still difficult for her to overcome and outwit Valeria. Being able to travel through time you'd think it would be easy to defeat her but there are plenty of challenges that keep Isis wondering if she'll ever be able to save her loved ones and the world. 

My Recommendation:
YA is sometimes too over the top for me to love a book or series but The Witches of Vegas perfectly captures the teen voice making the series an enjoyable break from reality. I recommend this series to anyone who loves YA with a light paranormal twist. 

January 16, 2022

Review: Sea Spray by John A. Heldt

Product Description:
Months after stealing two time machines from a madman who wants them back, the Lanes, a family of seven, seek peace and safety in 1927, the latest stop on a journey through time. For a while, each succeeds.

Parents Mark and Mary find housing in affluent East Hampton, New York, where a gracious elderly couple offers use of their mansion. Son Jordan and his new wife, Jessie, plan a family. Siblings Laura, Jeremy, and Ashley pursue fun and adventure. All form strong friendships with the Prices, a mysterious mirror-image family that lives next door.

Billionaire Robert Devereaux could not care less. Reeling from the theft of his million-dollar devices, he sends a hit man to the past to retrieve his property and rid the world of his former business partner and his troublesome clan.

Randy Taylor, who programs the machines, is determined to stop him. He tries to undermine his boss and save the Lanes, even as he tries to help his mother beat a deadly illness. He pines for the day he can join his fugitive friends and rekindle a promising relationship with Laura Lane.

Filled with romance, humor, and heartbreak, SEA SPRAY follows a modern family on the adventure of a lifetime as they navigate their way through the exciting and often dangerous world of Lindbergh, Gershwin, and Fitzgerald. 

My Thoughts:
Sea Spray is book #3 in the Time Box series. As usual, this book is well researched as are all of the books in Heldt's many time travel series.  You get a small peek into real historical events with a unique storyline starring a family from 2022.  In Sea Spray the Lane's have traveled to the roaring 20's. 

On the run, the family tries to blend in with the locals and become close friends with their affluent neighbors. Romance meets adventure with a dash of intrigue, you get sucked in pretty quickly. Surprises pop up at every twist and turn of the plot which kept me reading long past my bedtime. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this book to anyone who loves romantic time travel and if you haven't read the first two, don't skip them. Sea Spray is fantastic but The Fair is extraordinary and you won't want to miss any of the action.  

January 13, 2022

Books I've Read in 2022

  1. The Refuge by John A Heldt
  1. Mystery of the Drowned Driver by Shanna Swendson
  1. Witch Is Where The Lights Went Out by Adele Abbott
  1. Witch's Gamble by Mark Rosendorf
  1. Crown City by John A. Heldt
  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  2. The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman
  1. A Killer's Wife by Victor Methos
  1. Hazardous Goods by John A. Mackie
  1. The Fountain by John A. Heldt 
  1. Witch Is Where Fairies Wing It by Adele Abbott
  1. Case of the Vanishing Visitor by Shanna Swendson
  2. Witch is Where Roses Bloom Early by Adele Abbott

  1. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  2. Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
  3. The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins
  4. If You Tell by Gregg Olsen
  1. The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson
  2. Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
  3. Billy Summers by Stephen King
  4. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. The Maid by Nita Prose
  6. Dream Girl by Laura Lippman
  7. Count The Ways by Joyce Maynard
  8. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
  1. And Then She Vanished by Nick Jones
  2. The Shadows of London by Nick Jones
  3. The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz
  4. The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart
  5. The Observer Effect by Nick Jones
  1. Stop Stuffing Your Face by Jason Newman
  2. Everyone Ends Up Poor! by Curtis Ray
  3. Stolen Thoughts by Tim Tigler
  4. The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn
  5. Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  6. The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
  7. Rabbits by Terry Miles
  8. The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer
  9. The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben
  10. This Golden State by Marie Weisenberg
  1. Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson
  2. The Birthday Party by Wendy Dranfield
  3. Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy
  4. The Passengers by John Marrs (re-read)
  5. Catfish Calling by Mike Baron
  6. The Whispers by Heidi Perks
  1. Coached in the Act by Victoria Laurie
  2. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  3. The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird
  4. Faithless in Death by JD Robb
  5. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
  6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  7. I'd Like To Play Alone Please by Tom Segura
  1. Watchers by Dean Koonts
  2. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  1. The Terminal List by Jack Carr
  2. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  3. Getaway by Zoje Stage
  4. The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
  5. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
  6. Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
  7. The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
  1. Armageddon by Craig Alanson
  2. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  3. Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González
  4. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  5. Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle
  1. The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) by Terri-Lynne DeFino
  2. Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor
  3. The Price of Time by Tim Tigner
  4. Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins
  5. Violeta by Isabel Allende
  6. Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
  7. Life of the Party by Bert Kreisher
  1. James Patterson by James Patterson
  2. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. Fairy Tale by Stephen King
  4. Impact Winter by Travis Beacham
  5. The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
  6. Valkyrie by Craig Alanson
  1. A Gift of Time by Jerry Merritt
  2. The Boys From Biloxi by John Grisham
  3. The Measure by Nikki Erlick
  4. The Quantum Chain by Nick Jones
  5. The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch
  6. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  7. Paradox Bound by Peter Clines
  8. Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander

Total: 87
    Here's what I've read in previous years:

    Top 5 Books I've Read in 2022

    1. And Then She Vanished by Nick Jones
    2. The Maid by Nita Prose
    3. Billy Summers by Stephen King
    4. Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
    5. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

    Books I Didn't Finish in 2022

    Below will be any books I started and didn't finish and the reason why. 
    1. Homefront by Craig Alanson
      • I love this series but this "drama special" was to distracting jumping from character to character with different voices. I bailed after listening to 30 minutes. 
    2. The Push by Ashley Audrain
      • The book was so slow I just couldn't keep listening. I ended up skipping a few chapters and found an interesting event but still didn't keep me engaged so I bailed. 
    3. The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage
      • I didn't read the description of this one so I wasn't aware it was a western and it just didn't capture my attention.
    4. The Push by Ashley Audrain
      • The book started out so slow. Nothing was happening even with the switches between the different time periods so I quickly gave up on this one. 
    5. The Last Watch by J.S. Dewes
      • I couldn't engage with the story even though it seemed like a great premise.