3 More Book Reviews

I’m deep into NaNoWriMo, writing furiously between ongoing parental health stuff. I had to abandon my first draft of a trilogy over a year ago, and can’t even remember some of the characters’ names!  Ugh and Lol. I’m not stopping to look them up. They’re just getting new names that I’ll have to reconcile later. What a mess. But so fun to be writing.

I’ve also been gobbling down books, and it’s about time to share three more reviews!  Here goes:

The Prince’s Man

by Deborah Jay

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and skillfully-written fantasy novel. I was particularly taken with the tight narrative, not a wasted scene or conversation, every word counting as the story unfolded. This contributed to a quick pace and complimented the well-considered plot that comes together with a satisfying ending. Though the first in a series, The Prince’s Man can also be read as a stand-alone.

All that good stuff, and then there’s more… the characters are fabulous, deeply flawed and sympathetic at the same time. The relationship between Rustam and Risada takes center stage. There are hints of a romantic attraction but the reader is saved from moon eyes and heaving chests by a very real tension based on past experiences, current loyalties, and objectives. Despite being allies, there’s a lot of loathing going on here. I love that.

Elves, trolls, and were-cats throw the story into the classic fantasy genre and are integral to the plot and underlying theme of the book. The political machinations are realistic enough to be recognizable today. Prejudices, bigotry, genocide, and beliefs in cultural superiority are alive and well in Jay’s world-building. The characters are forced to revisit their worldviews, but just like in real life, they will only open their eyes so wide. And Jay doesn’t hold back on the brutality.

I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series and seeing what happens to the two main characters as well as a host of others who intrigued me no end. Recommended for anyone who loves a good fantasy.

***

My Maine

by Bette Stevens

This collection of haiku takes about an hour to read, but I recommend a slower savoring of this literary treat. Arranged by season, each poem is an exquisite snapshot of life in Maine — its landscapes, wildlife, people, pastimes, heritage, and communities. They stand alone, but the book’s real beauty is how, when strung together, they create a poetic photo album that captures the heart of the state. A lovely read that I highly recommend.

***

Skating on Thin Ice

by Jacquie Biggar

Injured hockey star Mac Wanowski and his physiotherapist Samantha Walters are stuck together in a secluded mountain cabin. Persistent storms keep them snowbound, but that’s a problem because someone is trying to kill Mac. With the thriller plot as a backdrop, Mac and Sam navigate their attraction to each other, swinging back and forth between escalating passion and fury. The end is full of action and some surprises. Pacing is excellent and the characters are well-defined. Skating on Thin Ice is classic romance with the addition of an exciting subplot. Highly recommended for romance readers.

Happy Reading!

 

 

125 thoughts on “3 More Book Reviews

  1. acflory says:

    I’ve read The Prince’s Man and thoroughly enjoyed it. The other two are going on my TBR list. Great reviews, Diana and full speed ahead with Nano!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the My Maine. Though haven’t read other two in this list. Definitely adding them for Next month read.
    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad to hear you’re still on board the NaNoWriMo train. I’ve read My Maine and enjoyed it a great deal. (I still need to write my review of it!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Teri Polen says:

    Awesome reviews, Diana! Sounds like you’re making progress with NaNo. Me – not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have great NaNo days and terrible NaNo days, Teri. Either 2500 words or squat. *Sigh* It’s been one of those years. I’m glad you enjoyed the reviews. I’m sooo far behind in sharing them, but trying. 🙂 Good luck with your writing goal! Get to it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reviews, Diana! I’ve been struggling to get much reading done, with nano and all, but these have potential 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Julie. I wouldn’t be reading as much as I am if I wasn’t still on the road a bit with my parents stuff. The phone is still reading to me in the car. 🙂 What a discovery that was! And Nano does get in the way… of everything! Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Are you a romance kind of person? This selection indicates a solid maybe… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not at all, HRR. But I’m willing to give them a try if I have a relationship with the author. And I try to review from the perspective of a romance reader. I don’t think it would be a fair review otherwise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve read a couple books at authors’ requests that I don’t really enjoy – not necessarily because they’re bad, but because the book might just not be up my alley at all. I don’t like to trash indie books, so those which I don’t like just don’t get a review from me… so I’ve stopped looking in genres I don’t enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can relate. Thus, I mostly read what I know I’ll enjoy. Plus reading fantasy makes me a better fantasy writer in the long run. But branching out has been fun too when I land on something unexpected that I really enjoy. (BTW, right now I’m reading The Diabolic by Kincaid. Wow, can’t put it down.)

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Reading is “comfort food” to me, Diana, and you’ve had lots of reason/need for the comfort. These three books that you review all sound like terrific stories in their genre, and the kind that give exciting comfort with suspense, romance (no moon eyes allowed though) 🙂 and fantasy. Thank you for the excellent recommendations. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo – I couldn’t attempt it this year, and give you high kudos for doing so. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like you’ve been doing some happy reading indeed! 🙂 So fun for you to have the time. And kind of you to do these reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kioratash says:

    Well done. Family things can be so hard, I wish you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This year has been out of my control with emergencies and the needs of others. But now there are finally a few days each week where I can sit and write, and that feels blissful. Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the reviews. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jan Sikes says:

    Lol, Diana! I am the same in that I returned to a story I started over a year ago. And I’ve stopped stressing about the word count. At this point, I am behind on what it takes to reach the 50,000 words and that’s okay. I’m writing and enjoying telling the story and that’s more important to me than word count. 🙂 Great reviews!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Jan. Yeah. Word counts are only so important. It’s the writing and the story that counts. That said, mine is the most disorganized thing I’ve ever worked on. Ugh. But it will eventually take shape and every character will have only one name! Lol. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You are amazing. I hope you get time to sleep and breathe occasionally, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I go to bed at 8:00. Asleep by 8:01. And that’s the honest truth. Lol. Reading has been a godsend this year and posting reviews is easy work when there are so many good books out there. Thanks for the visit, Chelsea. I hope to do some more terrible poetry after surviving the holidays. 😀 Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved reading these reviews and how lovely to see a familiar name (Bette Stevens!), perhaps next year I’ll join you and start that novel that’s percolating away, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. kevin cooper says:

    Thanks for sharing these great reviews, Diana. I’m especially glad you shared about Bette’s book… It’s on my TBR list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great reviews, Diana:) I’ve read two.of theses and have the 3rd on my TBR list. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for taking time to share your reads. Poetry is always enticing, of course. 🙂 Best of luck with NaNo, and characters’ names…have fun with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi, Diana. What a great collection of reviews! It’s a winning combination for variety. I’ve seen Bette’s book and even though I’m not a poetry person, I’m completely intrigued. Growing up in the deep south, I always thought there was something magical about that state at the other end of the country.
    The fantasy sounds classically cool. And, though I haven’t read this particular one, I know Jacquie’s work is exceptional. The thriller backdrop makes the romance more apealing for me.
    Congratulations all around. TGIF hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like sharing reviews of very different reads at one time – something for everyone. 🙂 Even if you don’t normally enjoy poetry, Bette’s book is lovely. And a quick read. All three of these are 5-star on the enjoyment scale. 🙂 Thanks for the visit, my friend. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great reviews, Diana! I loved My Maine. I could look at that cover all day. I’ll be sure and check out the others. By the way, thank you for your kind review of A Mother for His Twins. I really appreciate it. I’m sorry to hear about your parents, Diana. I know how difficult that is. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks so much for taking time from your hectic schedule to shout-out for “My Main” and for the awesome support you provide for us indies. You’re one amazing gal! Thoughts and prayers continue to go with you in all your endeavors, dear Diana. ❤ Hugs! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. dgkaye says:

    Fabulous reviews Diana for all 3 books! You go girl with a million things on your plate! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Steven Baird says:

    Thanks for the great reviews, Diana. Good luck… well, with everything. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Three great reviews Diana… I have just finished Skating on Thin Ice and enjoyed… hugsx

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I’m so glad you’re back at the typewriter Diana. Thanks for the wonderful reviews. The Haiku book is especially enticing! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Good luck with renaming your characters, Diana. Thanks for sharing the new reviews. Congrats to the authors!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. jenanita01 says:

    That’s the beauty of Nano, it lights a fire that you cannot put out!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Deborah Jay says:

    Great to see your lovely reviews shared here, and thanks for including The Prince’s Man.
    I know where you are with the parental issues, I’ve been through this with both of my parents over the last 5 years. Now, finally, I no longer have that pressure, which brings with it a different kind of pressure – trying to clear the house of their many, many years of hoarding. They lived to 98 and 99, so no regrets, but it feels very strange not thinking about what they might need help with next!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for the kind comment, Deborah. I just brought my mom home from the hospital today from our most recent emergency. It’s non-stop. Fortunately they moved to senior housing near me, which means we did a lot of downsizing already. And I’m so pleased to share my review of your book. It was a great 5-star read. Almost time for me to pick up the next in the series!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you for the lovely review, Diana- a wonderful surprise! Best of luck with NaNo, can’t wait to read the new books!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jacquie. I’m not as nearly prolific as you are, but I’m trying. It’s nice to be writing again after a year of almost nothing. I’m sorry it took so long to share this review – I’m SO behind! Happy Writing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:
    A fabulous review by D. Wallace Peach for Skating on Thin Ice! Thank you, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Ah, Diana – I’ve dealt with the name thing by only having two characters and often only refer to them as ‘he and she’ and ‘her and him’ – like real life marriage, though in mine I’ve been called other things!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha. I’m sure everything you’ve been called is sweet and flattering. 🙂 Some of my characters have 3 names now, Eric. I usually keep a spreadsheet, but ended up abandoning that somewhere along the way. *Sigh* I’ll be doing some backtracking when this draft is done before starting on rewrites. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sweet and flattering – not quite! Ah spreadsheets, I gave them up when I stopped being an ‘active’ scientist – they used to rule my life! Good luck with NaNoWriMo – I’ve only done it once – back in 2015 I thrashed out 74,000 words of ‘His & Her’ dialogue which I’m still culling to about 30,000 for ‘Sam & Erin’s story. You too have a great weekend, Diana – my best to you and yours.

        Liked by 2 people

  29. balroop2013 says:

    Now that’s like a really busy writer, I love your dedication to writing Diana. This must be a nice change to look away for a while.
    Nice reviews dear friend. Hope NaNo is treating you well.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. V.M.Sang says:

    How do you find the time to do Nano and write reviews? I’m struggling to find time just for Nano, although I must do another blog post to schedule for a week on Tuesday!
    Must go now as I’m behind and want to write at least 2,000 words today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I write a review the day I finish a book, VM. Otherwise my brain goes blank, and I’d have to reread it to have a coherent thought! And… my Nano goal is only 20k, not 50k, which I knew I couldn’t handle with ailing parents. I’m also closing comments on my reblogs. I work the system. Ha ha. I hope you have a great writing weekend. Every word down is a word done. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Thêa says:

    I must say I admire you. Having time and energy to do all what you do. And you do it so well! Have you got more hours a day than I have? Or are there more hours a day in the US?
    Just kidding.
    I sometimes don’t remember from one day to the next what I wrote for NaNo, The Eliza story. Read the last paragraph I wrote yesterday to kind of catch up and keep on writing from that spot. The last four or five sentences made absolutely no sense to me. Did I really write that??? It wasn’t even logic nor suited the story! Or do I have a ghost-writer here?
    Oh, my God! I must be a ghost!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha ha. You sound like me. I have to read back a little too. Not only to remind myself where I was, but to get a touch of momentum. No more hours here than where you are, Thea. And my goal is only 20k words, so I’m not under the same pressure as other writers trying for 50k. It’s all fun, isn’t it? Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thêa says:

        It’s fun! And even though I have the pressure of reaching the 50 000, and don’t have the pressure it has to be to the story. Right now I’m writing on some kind of synopsis over the entire story. From when Jaycee is wakening up in the dark cold city, via The Mechanical Man, the Part Two, and now what I have written so far about Eliza Elderberry, and what is happening to her. This Eliza part seems to be more satiric, but is supposed to more be humorous as well.
        Happy writing, you too! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Good reviews of these, Diana. I’ve read Deborah’s and Bette’s and a few of Jacquie’s but not this one. I need to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. These are very nice reviews, Diana. I also enjoyed Bette’s poetry book and Skating on thin ice by Jacquie Biggar. I haven’t got to Deborah’s books yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. joylennick says:

    You have a worthy, tenacious side, Diana….Valuable in a writer! Eldest son (clever, but too tremulous by half..) has just joined a writing group called “Shut up and Write”…He’s a listener, so perhaps it should be called, “Get on with it and write…” You’re doing a grand job. x

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha ha. That’s awesome that your son joined a group. I was a member for 5 years and the accountability was a great motivator. Gotta start somewhere, write…right?! Thanks for the visit, Joy. And Happy Weekend. 🙂

      Like

  35. It sounds like life is keeping you busy and engaged Diana. I’m sorry about your mom, but glad you still have time for writing and reading! Hugs and stuff…

    Liked by 1 person

  36. foodinbooks says:

    You have a lot on your plate right now to make sure and do something that you enjoy as well!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, your first paragraph had me laughing … heck, let’s not waste time on looking up names, create new ones! Way to go!😀 See which ones work best later. You sound thrilled to be writing – so happy for you!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share these great reviews. I love how you cross the genres with such a varied selection. Something for everyone!

    Happy Writing, my friend! 😀

    Liked by 5 people

    • Some characters actually have more than two names now, Annika. Lol. This book has been progressing so haltingly that my spreadsheets were long ago abandoned. It’s the most disorganized thing I’ve ever written. But I’m nearing the end and it’s coming together. It will just need lots of rewriting before it shows it’s face. And I’m glad you enjoyed the reviews. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  38. You’ve got this! Keep up the great work ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Theresa. I find that I’m plowing through 2-3 books a week. I get the reviews done quickly for A and GR, but posting… I’m so far behind. A good problem to have, I guess. Thanks for stopping by to take a peek. 🙂 Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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