The Movement of Rings

The Movement of Rings
A Novella
Sequel to The Movement of Crowns
(Historical Fantasy, Love Story)

25 Favorite Books pick on Tell Tale Book Reviews, 2013
Five Gold Stars
“As I said about its predecessor, Rings is a joy to read. The story is always inspiring, especially to young women… 5/5–wonderful!”  ~Kelly Smith Reviews
“With fully developed characters, a bit of sass and spirit, faith woven within, and turmoil mixed throughout, The Movement of Rings is an outstanding sequel.” ~Savurbks

What lies deeper than fear?

The Mundayne empire has prospered under the rule of King Aud, a ruthless man of war. Naona, a spirited imperial servant who holds Aud’s favor, enjoys pulling pranks on her peers around the king’s estate. But the time for laughter spoils when the citizens of Munda begin to oppose the taxes that pay for Aud’s wars.

After meeting the princess of Diachona, Naona must choose between remaining loyal to her king and becoming another nation’s ally. With the rise of unrest in Munda, how can Naona’s heart survive intact: intact enough, even, for a chance at love with a foreign man?

Find The Movement of Rings at your Amazon store, in print and for Kindle.

Also available at Barnes & Noble (in print and for Nook), and as an ebook at Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

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Don’t miss the final book in the series, The Movement of Kings, or get the entire series in one volume.

 

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“If I was smart, I would pick up my hat and gloves and never return here. But we’re going to solve this.” She held on to that. “We are going to solve this murder.”

Set on accomplishing something independent of his father’s help, Hamish DeLuca goes to Boston, where his cousin is opening a posh nightclub. Regina “Reggie” Van Buren is also in search of independence, away from the society life she grew up in. But she and Hamish never expected they’d be joining forces to solve a mystery in Murder at the Flamingo by author Rachel McMillan.

After the way I enjoyed all of the Herringford and Watts mysteries by this author, there was no question I’d be reading this novel. McMillan has a distinct way of personifying a city, and 1937 Boston comes to life here, the social climate pulsing between different classes. Plus, I dig a hero (or heroine) who wears glasses!

Even with the title, though, murder isn’t a part of the plot until more than halfway through the story. While I do appreciate the character development along the way, I found much of the read to be slow, and my interest lagged until about the last third of the novel. Also, due to a “feelings back and forth between two men” kind of love triangle setup I tend not to care for, the end of the book was a downer for me.

Now, I feel I should mention to fellow ChristFic lovers that this isn’t a “come to Jesus” kind of story. Still, 1) this is a new series, and you can’t judge an entire faith arc by one book (or by one “book” or season of any person’s life, in real life); 2) I’ve already seen this author’s finesse with faith before, even without quoting scriptures and such; and 3) there are themes in this novel that should indeed be important to people of faith, if you can recognize and appreciate them.

All things considered, I’m looking forward to next year’s release of the second Van Buren and DeLuca mystery.

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You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch by Paula Moldenhauer

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch by Paula Moldenhauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Every year, Rick dresses up like the Grinch and delivers rhymes to promote the town of Christmas, Florida. But the town postmaster, Edie, isn’t moved by Rick’s charms. Perhaps he’ll need to be a bit more insistent in his pursuit of Edie in You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch by author Paula Moldenhauer.

Since I either skimmed or skipped reading the blurb before picking up this book, I didn’t realize it’s a romance involving an older couple. A bonus! I enjoy stories about people finding new love later in life, along with some of the perks and practical complications they may have on their hands.

This novella is heavy on its faith theme. Though I especially like how a supporting character owns it in one scene (out of the mouth of babes!), I think a “less is more” approach would’ve been a good fit for this book. It seems the story, perhaps inadvertently, gives the impression that the level of God’s goodness is based on how much a person gets what they want.

Also, the characters’ feelings seem rushed after a certain point. I think tension can be all the more meaningful when characters wrestle with that middle area, when they don’t go to extremes of “I love you” or “I’m done with you” too suddenly.

Still, this quick read should be right down the alley of plenty of Christmassy ChristFic romance fans.

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You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch is Book One in the Tinseled Tidings series.

 

 

Design for Dying by Renee Patrick

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Design for Dying by Renee Patrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

The 1937 silver screen is sparkling, and though Lillian Frost hasn’t made it as an actress, she’s okay with working in a Los Angeles department store. But then her salesgirl job ties her to the case of a murdered Hollywood hopeful in Design for Dying by authors Renee Patrick.

Yes. I said “authors,” there. I was delighted to see that Renee Patrick is the pseudonym of a husband-and-wife author duo. How fun is that?

And this historical mystery novel is rather fun too, but not silly fun. Lillian has a mild, dry humor to her, and though she hasn’t yet found her ideal place in life, she’s got a good head on her shoulders. There’s a crisp smartness to the story’s style, and it’s entertaining without trivializing the murder or the seamy side of Hollywood glamour.

I’ll admit it’s borderline material for my quasi-conservative tastes, partly due to the moderate amount of language I wouldn’t use. But the novel does hold to a level of tact, and it helps that Lillian isn’t a starry-eyed chickadee zooming recklessly down Sunset Boulevard’s fast lane.

While this is a Lillian Frost & Edith Head novel, it’s told from Lillian’s perspective. So I would’ve liked if she ultimately played a stronger role in the solving of the case, instead of more or less being along for the ride when the rubber finally meets the road.

Still, the story’s nod to Lillian’s mother’s legacy is touching. And in all, as the novel has left me in the mood to once again watch the 1937 version of A Star is Born, I think it’s done its job.

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Design for Dying is the first Lillian Frost & Edith Head novel.

 

Red Boots by Kate Willis

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Red Boots by Kate Willis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Maybe another time, Maggie.”

*Inward sigh.*

An old shopkeeper has a chance to bring joy to a young heart in Red Boots by author Kate Willis.

Get ready for a small helping of good old-fashioned Christmas warmth and cheer! There’s a touch of whimsy to this short story, with a pair of boots “listening to the voices” of the shop’s shoppers and “the cash register’s song” filling the atmosphere.

Sure, it can be easy for a pleasant tale as quick as this one to be all holiday schmaltz. But the ingredients of a little regret and a dash of sacrifice make this dessert more than a Christmas popcorn ball.

If you enjoy stories that can give you a Gift of the Magi kind of feeling, check out this little number.