Magic In The Storm – Meredith Bond, Author

July 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Magic in the Storm – Review by Martha A. Cheves – Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Jack took a few steps back while he was thinking and leaned himself against the wall. “Hmmm. That’s a tricky one, ain’t it? Never heard o’anythin’ like that happenin’, not that I know a lot of Vallen, mind ye.” He thought for a moment, then said, “I’ve always thought the power came from within. There must be somethin’ changin’ within ye. What is it, inside of ye, that’s changin’?” Morgan shook his head, thinking hard. “I don’t know.” “Well, when ye figure that one out, then you’ll know where the power’s comin’ from.” What was changing within him? Morgan stood back and began to think about this. So many things had changed within him recently. It could be his self-confidence, it could be Adriana, it could be his determination not to wait for his destiny to come to him, but to go and seek it out on his own, it could be so many different things.

Morgan Vallentyn is a Vallen. Most people compare them to and even mistaken them for witches but their powers are real and true with each having a different specialty. Morgan was born the 7th child of the 7th generation Vallen. His mother Lady Vallentyne should have been happy but when she discovered that Morgan was a male child what would have been a strong mother’s love turned to hate. No Vallen leader had ever been a male and had it not been for her husband, Morgan’s father, she would have killed the child just after birth. Instead, Morgan was banished to the forest where his mother cast a spell that would imprison him for life.

Adriana Hayden was an orphan who had been entrusted into the care of a distant relative, Lord Devaux. Devaux had one desire in life and that was to climb the ladder of Parliament. To do this he needed influential people and money. He found both in Lady Vallentyne. Her oldest child and son, Jonathan, the sixth Viscount Vallentyne would be the perfect husband for Adriana. Jonathan wanted nothing more than to run the Estate but his mother had higher expectations for her son. He was to enter politics and with he and Devaux combining their minds and skills, Jonathan would be quite successful. She would see to this marriage even if it meant using her powers and with her being the highest priestess within the clan, no one could refuse her. So she thought.

The last thing Adriana wanted was to marry, especially without love. Her heart’s desire was to paint. Nothing mattered more to her than her paintings. Unfortunately, Devaux knew of this love and used it to blackmail her into agreeing to marry Jonathan. While visiting the Vallentyne Estate, Adriana had ventured into the woods that acted as Morgan’s prison. Not knowing the history of his being an outcast, she made the mistake of mentioning him to Lady Vallentyne. This brought more injustice to be inflicted on Morgan by his mother.

Morgan is nearing his 21st birthday and knows that he must reach his full capacity of powers before that day or lose all powers. Through his experimenting he finds his powers have increased but has no idea why. All Vallen are born with their powers which are revealed at an early age. His powers growing as he nears his birthday is unheard of. Something is different and something is causing this to happen. But he’s running out of time and has no idea as to how he will find his full potential, especially while being encased within the forest. He must find a way to break his mother’s spell and escape.

Magic In The Storm was an edge of the seat read. I kept hoping that Morgan’s mother would change and give in to him allowing him to find his own strength and powers. When he finally made it out of the forest I knew she would see that he was truly the 7th of the 7th generation and accept him even though he was a male, not a female. Did she? I’ll never tell. I will say that a lot happens as his powers increase but does he ever become more powerful than his mother? If so, does she help him in his endeavor? I’ll only tell you that Magic In The Storm was a very enjoyable book.

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Whispering Cypress – B. J. Robinson, Author

July 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm (Uncategorized)

Whispering Cypress – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

“Breaking news, just in. A young woman was found beaten near Whispering Cypress Campground early this morning. She’s listed in critical condition in Pines Lake Hospital. Details are pending notification of the family, but we’ll have more at noon.” Hackett’s mouth fell wide open, and he dropped the spatula he used to flip the pancakes. “I think I just lost my appetite.” Spring gasped. “Oh no, you don’t think it was Logan, do you? She wouldn’t have committed suicide would she?” Before he could answer, she rasped, “Near Whispering Cypress Campground. That’s all we need for new business.” “That’s all I need is for it to be her.” His eyes met hers and his face was chalk white. “I don’t think she would’ve killed herself, though she was afraid to tell her daddy and the father of the baby.” She ran her palm over her heart. “This can’t be happening. Of all things. Not now. Not this.” Her mind spun and froze on a point. “What about the baby? Do you think it’s dead?”

After ten years away from the place and the person she loves most in the world, Spring Showers has returned to Whispering Cypress Campground as its new owner. A decade earlier she had left the love of her life Hackett Woods without even saying goodbye. She had left the campgrounds the two had spent many days loving each other and enjoying the beauty created by God. But he had left her first while trying to fit in with his friends. After a night of drinking and a morning hangover, Hackett discovered his friends weren’t what he really wanted. It was Spring, not them.

Now she’s back, just as God had planned it. They would be given a second chance to make up for their lost years and to unite in their love for each other. Or would they? Someone is trying to, if not run her off, at least persuade Spring to stay away from Hackett. Could it be Logan who claims to be pregnant with Hackett’s baby? Or is it Barrett, a friend of Springs who has come down for a visit and hopes to talk her into returning to the city with him? When she refuses to leave he does become an enemy out for revenge. Or could it be someone that wants the camp for themself?

I will give a hint and say that things always work out the way God has planned them, even if it takes a few years to happen. He always has a reason for events and happenings, even though we may not understand or even know his reasons. What we may see as a tragedy happens for a reason known only to Him. But in the end, it always comes together and we find understanding and comfort in His superior ways. This all made sense to me as I read Whispering Cypress. As I followed each event/tragedy as it unfolded, at first I didn’t understand why God would allow some of them to happen, then the reason came and it all made sense. Good people have bad times but instead of making them weaker, if they believe in God, it will make them stronger in their beliefs and bring them more joy than they could ever imagine money or good times bringing. Whispering Cypress is a very warming story of true faith. I love it.

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Amongst My Enemies – William F. Brown, Author

July 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Amongst My Enemies – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds

Four months ago, their B-17 took off into a clear, Italian sky for the long leg north to Berlin. They hit their marks and dropped their bombs, but before they could make the big turn west, the German flank guns found them. A B-17 is a tough bird and Lieutenant Jensen, their pilot, fought hard to keep it in the air as they lumbered north and east, out of control. The smoke and flames got worse and worse inside, until the plan went into a steep dive. Mike and Eddie clawed their way to a side door and bailed out, but they were the only ones who made it. They came down in a muddy wheat field somewhere in East Prussia. Long columns of refugees choked the roads heading west, desperate to stay ahead of the Russians. Discarded furniture, mattresses, pianos, steamer trunks, and suitcases lay strewn along the roadside. He and Eddie found some civilian clothes and it was easy for them to blend in – not that it mattered. Two days later, they were stopped by a German Military Police roadblock, and the joke was on them. The Germans weren’t looking for American airmen. They were looking for strong backs to dig tank traps and clear rubble. Instead of a POW camp or being thrown against the closest wall and shot as spies, they were dragooned into a forced labor battalion headed north to Konigsberg.

It’s 1945 and the world is at war. Michael Randall and Eddie Hodge were Americans who found themselves in a world of trouble as they and their fellow prisoners were huddled together in an old truck bed trying to keep from freezing. Michael knew it was just a matter of time before their German watchdog Stolz would demand they leave the truck to start the day’s work. As Michael looked at Eddie he knew it would just be a matter of time before his life would be ended one way or another. He would either die due to the gangrene that had started eating away at his feet and legs or be shot by Stolz for not carrying his load of the work. Eddie’s solution was for Michael to find a way to put him out of his misery, which with a heavy heart, he did. Now he had to live with his guilt and his promise to not let those responsible get away with what they had done. This promise became the heart of Michael’s existence. He would make them pay and pay dearly.

Amongst My Enemies takes you on a tour of the world as Michael is put into a position that provides for his rescue from his capturers just before their vessel is attacked in Swedish waters. Before dying Eddie had also made Michael promise to visit his father and sister in South Carolina to explain to them what really happened and why. But his real promise came into place when a Charleston newspaper stated that Admiral Eric Bruckner was coming to New York. That simply wasn’t possible. Admiral Bruckner was the one who put Michael in a life boat before taking his U-boat back out into deep waters. He was also on board the U-boat when it was attacked and sunk. Proving this became Michael’s beginning of self-recovery and keeping his promise to Eddie. He just didn’t know what trouble he was about to step into.

Michael’s travels take him back to the coast of Sweden as he and a small group search for the sunken U-boat expose the imposter. This will bring the Russians in as they try to destroy the find preventing the world from knowing about their infiltration into other countries defense systems. It will bring in the Germans who had stripped the U-boat and loaded it with gold, jewels and art work that had been collected throughout the war. Will Michael be strong and smart enough to succeed? Will the Germans recover the loot inside the boat? Or will the Russians blow it all to keep their ruse running?

I’m not a fan of war stories and seriously thought about having my friend who sometimes helps me read this book and do the review. Glad I didn’t. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. It held my attention to the very end. Great book!

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