Vic Connor - Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch

Friday, July 28, 2017

28. Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch by Vic Connor (2016)
The Diary of Anna the Girl Witch Series Book 1
Length: 284 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 19 July 2017
Finished: 28 July 2017
Where did it come from? From Hidden Gems Ebooks
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 July 2017
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and Vic Connor is a new author for me.

Anna Sophia Medvedeva has always known that she was different from everyone else. She has no idea how she knows this about herself, she only has the distinct impression that her feeling will come to fruition very soon. Although she doesn't know that much about her past, she still finds immense comfort in hearing the fairytale that her beloved uncle tells whenever he comes to visit. All in all, the eve of her thirteenth birthday should herald an extraordinary year to come; at least in Anna Sophia's opinion.

In the Swiss orphanage where she has spent most of her childhood, Anna has often wondered about her past. She never knew her parents, and she isn't even entirely sure of where she comes from. So much of her past still remains a mystery to her, yet Anna Sophia has always believed that there was a certain element of truth to her Uncle Misha's extraordinary story: that a shining woman had once led him to discover her somewhere in the Russian wilderness; as a newborn baby nestled among a litter of bear cubs. The story certainly seems fantastic, but Anna Sophia has always held on to the secret hope that the shining apparition was actually her mother's loving spirit, making sure that her daughter was found safe and sound.

To be perfectly honest, Anna Sophia has already begun to notice some very strange and disturbing things about herself. When she was little, Anna used to imagine what it would be like to have superpowers; but she was only playing a game to pass the time. She knows that whatever is happening to her now isn't part of any game - and she is getting scared. Suddenly, she's able to see things that shouldn't be there; she can do things that nobody else can do. So far, she has managed to keep her strange new abilities to herself, but she isn't sure how much longer she can do that - after all, she has some pretty frightening powers.

It's only when she receives a letter from her mother - someone who she will never meet - that Anna finally begins to learn some of the truth about her past. She is absolutely thrilled to have any sense of connection to her parents, and to have at least some of the information that she has craved for so long. However, just what should she do with the knowledge that she is actually an honest-to-goodness witch...and that each time she uses her new powers, she destroys a tiny piece of her soul? She doesn't quite know what to do next, but she is excited to begin uncovering the potential in her future.

As Anna continues to learn more about her secret abilities, she suspects that her affluent neighbors have a sinister agenda of their own: a plot to harm Anna and her friends. Can Anna Sophia possibly use her newfound supernatural powers to put a stop to their devious plans? Is there a way for her to fight them, without endangering her own soul? And maybe, just maybe, is her own secret tied into theirs?

First of all, let me say that I wasn't expecting my reading pace to be quite as slow as it turned out to be; although, having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was caught up in the story by the first page, and thought it was very well-developed. I certainly appreciated that the plot was as dark as it was, although there were also a surprising number of light moments as well. There were elements of fantasy interwoven with the reality of the story, and I would give this book a definite A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Book Spotlight For The Comfort of Secrets by Christine Nolfi

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. As this is her long-awaited Release Day, I'm delighted to welcome award-winning Contemporary Romance author Christine Nolfi author of The Comfort of Secrets - Book 2 of The Sweet Lake Series - to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. This is also my thirty-first Book Spotlight post ever, but I still hope that I do The Comfort of Secrets by Christine Nolfi justice.

About The Comfort of Secrets:

Cat Mendoza needs a win. After a business failure and years of dating the wrong men, she’s ready to turn things around.

First she must convince the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, that she’s taking her responsibilities seriously. As the events director of the newly restored Wayfair Inn, she has the support of her best friends, Linnie and Jada. But everyone else - including her overprotective mother and the well-meaning Sweet Lake Sirens - can’t help but chime in with advice about her plans, her apparently too-tight clothes, and her undeniable attraction to Ryan D’Angelo, the charming ad exec hired to promote the inn.

Cat knows she should keep Ryan at a distance, but she’s drawn closer by the heartbreak he tries to hide. Will uncovering his secrets derail the new life Cat hopes to achieve...or will she gain something to cherish forever?

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Meet Christine Nolfi

Award-winning author Christine Nolfi provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Her novel Treasure Me, Liberty Series Book 2, is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. The Midwest Book Review lists Second Chance Grill, Liberty Series Book 1, and the other Liberty books as "highly recommended".

Look for Sweet Lake, Book 1 of her new series, on February 28, 2017 and The Comfort of Secrets, Book 2, on July 18, 2017. Visit her at

Connect and Socialize with Christine!

May you read well and often

Book Blast For The Raid on Troy by Murray Lee Eiland Jr.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. I am delighted to welcome Murray Lee Eiland Jr., author of the young adult historical fantasy novel The Raid on Troy to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr. Eiland will be going on a Virtual Book Blast Tour with Pump up Your Book! lasting through the middle of July. This is also my thirtieth Book Blast post ever, but I still hope that I do The Raid on Troy by Murray Lee Eiland Jr. justice.

About The Raid on Troy:

The Greek raid on Troy is chronicled in the Iliad and the Odyssey. These poems are pillars of ancient literature and continue to be carefully studied. Homer, who lived in the 8th or 7th century BC, is credited as the author. The actual conflict has been dated from 1260-1180 BC or even earlier. The question is, how close is Homer’s account to real history?

In the Orfeo Saga Volume Seven there are some familiar characters from Homer. Their motivations, as well as their history, can be radically different. Memnon is a self-made man and a petty king who craves the fabled gold of Troy. His brother Menas is king of Sparta. They assemble a coalition to sack the city.

Telemon, not eager to join the expedition, is moved to act after his daughter Elena is taken. He seizes the city of Mycenae and goes to Troy. Odysees might not be as clever or brave as the man described in Homer, but he joins the expedition out of greed. He soon meets Orfeo’s son, who is in search of his first real adventure.

Orfeo is on the Trojan side, and has to face the assembled military might of Greece as well as Odysees cunning plans. The Greeks have Ajax, who they count on to defeat any foe in single combat. Can Telemon - now an old man - defeat the greatest Greek warrior and recover his daughter?

The Raid on Troy might not be any closer to real history than the ancient poems, but it does offer insights into what might form the basis of the stories.

Purchase your copy:


Meet Murray Lee Eiland Jr.

Dr Eiland is a psychiatrist by training, and has written about Near Eastern art and culture. His novels are set in the heroic past and feature fictional characters in a realistic matrix. He has a special interest in exploring how and why people lead. The books contain themes that are suitable for young adults who have an interest in history.

Connect and Socialize with Murray!

Website * Twitter * Facebook

The Raid on Troy Excerpt:

Memnon knew the ship was hitting the beach. He heard the scraping of the hull against sand and pebbles, and the angle of the deck changed as the prow rose higher. He had not seen the ship’s deck for days, nor had he been permitted to walk around on land for perhaps two years. Slaves on Theran ships were treated with about the same respect as sheep, only slaves could not even be eaten because of some Theran religious prohibition.

Galley slaves were useful, but were neither expensive nor in short supply. At age fourteen, Memnon had seen little else of the world, as he had been seized in a slaver raid as he and his brothers played on an unknown beach now well beyond remembering. He knew he was less than five years old at the time, and now he believed he was nearly fifteen, although no one had been interested in explaining the concept of birthdays to him. Memnon had learned virtually all of what he knew from other slaves in the orchards of Thera, where he had begun his working career by carrying buckets of water to the men who tended the trees and picked the fruit

He had been separated from the two older brothers seized at the same time, but recognized one of them as he was taken to his place at an oar on one of the warships the Therans used to exact tribute from various cities; Memnon had occasionally spoken with him when their different groups of oarsmen were allowed on deck. Memnon recognized that his brother burned with rage. Over time, Memnon found himself coming to understand its origin and nature. Although he could not recall much about his life before his abduction, he remembered a world with occasional comforts, and even times of celebration.

May you read well and often

Kathryn Meyer Griffith - Spooky Short Stories

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Reread. Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 103 pages 
Genre: Horror
Originally Read: 11 August 2014
Reread Finished: 6 July 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I downloaded a copy of this book for free from Amazon in August of 2014. I acquired this book again as a gift to myself in March of 2015.

So back in August of 2014 - August 2nd, to be exact - I downloaded a copy of this book for free from Amazon. Actually, I had initially read all four short stories featured in this book separately over three days in January of 2013 - and after I learned that the book itself was being offered for free back in August of 2014 - I downloaded it immediately. I read the stories again and wrote my review on August 11, 2014. Although I deleted the first copy of the book right after I read it, I had always wanted to be able to reread the book again at some point.

I got my chance to download a second copy of this book back in March of 2015 - March 4th, to be exact - and I downloaded it for free again. I reread the book over three days in July of 2017 - from July 3rd, to July 6th, 2017. I'm keeping this book to read again at some point in the very near future.

May you read well and often

Book Review Campaign For Gossamer by Joni Parker - Come Join Us!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Joni Parker will be touring the blogosphere to promote her fantasy novel Gossamer. This is Ms. Parker's third virtual book review campaign with Pump up Your Book! It will last until October 3, 2017 so come join us for all the fun!

Gossamer Book Review Campaign Information:

Meet Joni Parker

Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan. Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college. However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate.

After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy. As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree. She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.

When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job. Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion. She currently lives in Texas.

Her latest fantasy book is Gossamer - Book Three in The Chronicles of Eledon Series.

Connect and Socialize with Joni!

About Gossamer:

Lady Alexin, Eledon's Keeper of the Keys must continue to prove her powers when her grandmother, Lady Lestin and her friend, Lady Opaline of the Gossamer Elves are kidnapped by rebels and held for ransom. Alex attempts a daring rescue, only to discover that there is far more to this plot than she immediately suspected and the betrayal extends to the highest levels of the High Council of Elders. Threatened by rebel factions, suspected by Council members and under attack by deadly spiders, the young warrior has only her wits, her fighting skills and the power of the Keys to help her. But will they be enough to save them all?

Praise For The Chronicles of Eledon: Spell Breaker: Book One, 2016 Book Excellence Award Finalist:

"A crisp, clean, straight-forward story; a rich, strong plot; a mind-blowing concept on the lines of parallel worlds; a head-strong protagonist - gave me one of the most fascinating reads..." 
- Preeti posted on Preeti's Panorama and Goodreads

"I personally really enjoyed this book..."
- Teah Mist posted on Goodreads 

The Blue Witch: Book Two: "It is a story of contrasts and double standards and deceit. At the end you will want to grab the next book as soon as you can."

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For June at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out June with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Bookmooch and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder: A Short But Sweet Mystery by Duncan Whitehead
- The Best Man: A Dark Comedy by Duncan Whitehead
- Noticing Jamilla: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- Doom Comes For a Sold Soul: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- Meg and the Mystery in Williamsburg by Holly Beth Walker
- The Comfort of Secrets by Christine Nolfi

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
- The Power of Alchemy by Genevieve Crownson

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder: A Short But Sweet Mystery by Duncan Whitehead
- The Best Man: A Dark Comedy by Duncan Whitehead
- Noticing Jamilla: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- Doom Comes For a Sold Soul: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- The Comfort of Secrets by Christine Nolfi

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 6
Pages Read: 542
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was June. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Christine Nolfi - The Comfort of Secrets

Friday, June 30, 2017

26. The Comfort of Secrets by Christine Nolfi (2017)
The Sweet Lake Series Book 2
Length: 318 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Started: 16 June 2017
Finished: 30 June 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Christine Nolfi for sending me a copy of this book to read from Netgalley.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 April 2017
Why do I have it? I like contemporary romance and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Like the populations of so many other small towns across the country, the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, pride themselves on knowing everything about their neighbors' business. Sometimes they even know more about their neighbors business than their neighbors do. However, the town of Sweet Lake certainly lives up to its name - it's a close-knit, caring community that takes care of its own. Such is the case with Catalina Mendoza.

Cat Mendoza is the youngest daughter of the Mendoza family; a spirited young woman who has seen her fair share of struggles in life. She has lived in the tiny town of Sweet Lake for her entire life and can't honestly imagine herself living anywhere else. Her mother, Sylvia is a founding member of the eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens and so Cat is generally considered to be an honorary member as well. As a matter of fact, she loves the Sirens as much as the members of her own family.

After spending years following her impulsive nature both in life and in business, Cat must now convince the residents of Sweet Lake that she has learned her lesson. With the shadow of a business failure hanging over her head - as well as several failed relationships behind her - she is finally ready to turn things around. She is determined to prove to everyone that she is a capable person; able to take her responsibilities seriously. And she hopes to make her family proud of her again.

As the recently hired events director of the newly refurbished Wayfair Inn, Cat is truly feeling the pressure of being given this second chance. She certainly doesn't want to disappoint anybody, even though she knows that she has the support of her best friends Linnie and Jada. However, it seems as if everyone else - from her overprotective mother to the well-meaning Sweet Lake Sirens - are all eager to offer her advice from their various areas of 'corporate expertise'. While she sincerely appreciates their input and suggestions, Cat can't help but feel slightly overwhelmed by the Sirens' seemingly unquenchable eagerness.

Although she always tries her best to be considerate of their feelings, Cat freely admits to herself that the Sirens can occasionally try her patience. From presenting her with a calendar of hypothetical community events hosted by the Sweet Lake Sirens to offering quiet critiques of her apparently too-tight clothing, Cat is painfully aware of the number of times that she has had to bite her tongue to keep herself calm. As a matter of fact, she doesn't even want to mention some of the Sirens more outlandish ideas to their newly-contracted advertising agency. After all Miri is an old friend of hers, and she's doing Cat a favor by taking the Wayfair Inn on as a new client with her agency; so, Cat's hoping to keep the 'Sweet Lake Sirens Motivational Speaking Tour' on the back burner...way, way back on the back burner!

However, the Sirens can't help but chime in with advice about Cat's dormant love life, her unique fashion choices, and her undeniable attraction to Ryan D'Angelo - the charming advertising executive hired to promote the inn. Although her confidence is shaken by his arrival, Cat knows that she should keep Ryan at a distance. She wants to be taken seriously and needs to remain professional in all her dealings with him. Yet the closer they get to each other, the more Cat is drawn to the heartbreak that Ryan tries to hide.

Cat's heart goes out to him for all the pain he has gone through in his past, but her mind is troubled by so many unanswered questions. Could discovering Ryan's deepest secrets actually endanger everything and everyone that she holds dear? She has so many dreams that she wants to achieve in life, does she stand to lose much more than just her heart - or will she gain something to cherish forever?

I have to say that once again, Ms. Nolfi has written a wonderful book. In my opinion, the story was fast-paced and well-developed. I appreciated that while this was the second book in the series, both stories were actually easily differentiated from each other. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would definitely give it a strong A! I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often