Time for some more book reviews, with related coffee recommendations. Click on the blue links for full reviews on Gather, and fill your coffee cup with an appropriate drink. Just remember, the stars are for flavor, not ratings.
Starting with two scary novels, both intriguingly shaded with hints of faith:
The Keepers, by Monique O’Connor James, is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, where a young Catholic woman is seeking a new beginning after the death of her mother. Good and evil battle for her soul, guilt and forgiveness for her mind, and paranormal temptations loom. It's a fascinating tale, sometimes slow, sometimes intense, to be read with a 5-star bold dark brew of coffee in hand.
Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum, by Stephen Prosapio is set in the outskirts of Chicago where a TV station is filming a ghost-hunting special with rival teams--Xavier Paranormal Investigators, led by a mysterious young man with curious powers and secrets in his past, and the somewhat less honest Demon Hunters. A nicely balanced tale with scares, gentle scenes, mystery, history and resolution, this is one to enjoy with a 3-star smooth cup of joe.
The Dragons of Chiril, by Donita K. Paul, is aimed at younger readers but similarly blends fantasy and faith, raising interesting questions about how and why we believe. The faith is a little more overt in this one, but the story carries it well. To be enjoyed with a 2-star lively cup of coffee.
Moving on to a paranormal tale with a very different background:
Lost Voices, by Sarah Porter, starts with an unlikely premise and turns into a really intriguing novel, tackling tough questions from such a different angle that every thought is new. Abused girls turn into siren mermaids luring sailors to their deaths, but who's guilty and who innocent when the wounded take revenge? Drink a 4-star elegant complex coffee while reading this one.
And from mermaids to horses:
The Trouble with Being a Horse, by Emily Edwards, is another childrens novel tackling forgiveness and the trials of miscommunication. Young Olivia feels constantly misunderstood and wishes she was a horse, but some wishes are dangerous. Nicely detailed, well-imagined, and a really fun read to be enjoyed with a 2-star lively cup of coffee. Plus author Emily Edwards will be visiting my blog tomorrow, so don't forget to come back and read her post!
I hadn't realized I'd been reading so many paranormal books. Anyway, here's one to take you down to earth:
Forgiving Jesse, by Sara Dean, tells the story of a rebellious teen who feels himself betrayed by everyone, but perhaps the person he most has to forgive is himself, and perhaps that's the hardest thing to do. A nicely told story, the author channels her teen protagonist very effectively. Drink a 5-star dark cup of coffee and enjoy this novel's intensity as Jesse finds his way.
One for the younger kids:
Philip and the Angel, by John Paulits, is a delightful children's novel with great dialog, great kids, cats and dogs... and what more could you ask. A nice adventure, with a pleasing lesson to be learned. Parents and grandparents will enjoy a 1-star light crisp coffee while reading with the kids.
And finally two short books for the grown-ups:
Sneaky Shenanigans, by Violetta Antcliff, is a fun Irish romance to enjoy over your morning coffee--1-star, light and crisp. Very sneaky. Very sweet.
Intoxication, by Tim Kizer, isn't quite so sweet, centering as it does round three short mysteries filled with murder, secrets and lies. You'll need a bold dark 5-star coffee to read with this.
Hmmm. Lots of books there. But some were short. I don't really read that fast, not even when loaded with caffeine!