Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Last Letter Review

A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive

For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…

Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?

My Review

I was delighted to have had a chance to review another novel by Kathleen Shoop. She did not disappoint one bit with The Last Letter. It was something new and refreshing for me. I was ready for something set in the past. The things that the characters in the book were exposed to we are no longer exposed to those things. It was interesting to read what would have had to be done in order to survive. For instance buffalo chips, although the smell I'm sure was horrendous it most likely was nothing compared to the odor of the humans going days without being able to bathe.

I instantly connected with Jeanie. Being a woman of divorce and successfully remarried I felt for Jeanie during her times of frustrations with her husband Frank. It's hard to put 100% trust in a person. But his laziness wasn't helping hold his place in her heart. Her children on the other hand were easier for her to find patience with. Jeanie tried all she could to keep her family together but nothing is more certain than death and taxes. Her losses were catastrophic. She had multiple pregnancies that terminated early, lost a son in a winter storm, a daughter to starvation and her husband to a lonely woman. Her children seemed to be what kept her going and to be honest if I lived in her time it would be the only thing to keep me going also.

This was a great book! It was an easy read and it kept me enticed. Prairie life is both intense and intriguing. If you love history and drama you will find this book very interesting. It had my emotions going every which way and I loved every bit of it. 

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About the Author
A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen's debut novel, The Last Letter was garnered multiple awards in 2011.  Her second novel, After the Fog (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Recently, Kathleen has released the her first romance novella, Home Again (Book One). Book Two, a novel-length work in the Endless Love series called Return to Love, will be released in May, 2014. Books Two and Three in the historical fiction series that started with The Last Letter are nearly complete and should be released by fall, 2014.

Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


THREE Lucky Winners will each receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard,
courtesy of author of The Last Letter, Kathleen Shoop
Ending on Sunday 3rd August at 11.59pm EST
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Guardian of Shadows Review

A Guardian of Shadows (The Revenant Wyrd Saga #4) 

The thrilling sequel to The Well of Wyrding. In the enchanted lands of the Great Realms, Angelica, Jovian, and Joya are searching for their kidnapped sister, Amber. Their quest has led them through many dangers and many excitements, but nothing has prepared them for what’s about to come.

The wyr are alive, the Two who were never supposed to exist. They are destined to control the wyrd and fate of all mankind. Their very existence is destroying the world tree, on whose roots the fate of man is etched, and causing the Well of Wyrding, which sustains the world tree, to dissolve. Now Angelica and Jovian are hunted by the Norns, those three sisters of fate who guard the world tree and live at its roots, observing and preserving fate, who believe Angelica and Jovian are the wyr.

Angelica, Joya, and Jovian are on a race to escape the Norns as well as find their sister Amber, but with no clue where she could be, they turn their attention toward home, deep in the Holy Realm. The problem? Between them and their destination is the accursed land of eternal night: the Shadow Realm. Rumored to be filled with nightmarish creatures, forsaken to its shadowy depths, the Shadow Realm promises death to any from the Holy Realm who dare enter.

My review

After traveling for so long the Lafaye siblings have gathered infinite information about themselves and their family. Joya has found her calling as a realm gaurdian while her siblings Jovian and Angelica learn how to conjure their wyrd. Everyone has to battle the Norn who seem to be obsessed with the wry. Grace and her friends lose control of their bodies to the Norn but regain control eventually. Maeven learns he has the ability to change form. And  Amber is still missing but I am positive Mr. Simmons will not disappoint when it comes to explaining what has happened to her.

I am still intrigued by this saga. I haven't been able to put them down once I start. I am satisfied with the amount of information given in each book. It seems the action is a distraction from the fact that the siblings still haven't found Amber. I for one think that is a great trade off! If you love action and adventure.  If you're a mmo rpg gamer and/or love magic this is the saga for you. There are many races to keep your imagination flowing. You will truly enjoy these books.

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About the Author
Travis has been writing since he was 14.  He began writing a book called "The Calling of the Two" and while writing that on and off he started uncovering another idea.

"Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?" He always knew there was a "before" and as he started wondering about it he got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as he discovered the names for his characters a whole story about them emerged.
Travis started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and he is very happy he did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica's story has been one wild ride for him.  He has also written the Infernal Design series.

He lives in a small town at the base of the Adirondack Mountains and hoofing around my neck of the woods gives him a ton of inspiration for his novels.   He loves research, and speculating on different ideas and theories.

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Also available in The Revenant Wyrd Saga

(Books #5 due July 2014, #6 due August 2014)

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Giftcard
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 27th July at 11.59pm EST 

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