Blood Secrets by Morgan Busse

MY REVIEW:

I will freely admit that I am well past the age of those who usually enjoy Steampunk novels. I would generally agree when it comes to most of them but there have been a few that caught my fancy and the Skyworld books by Morgan L. Busse would rank at the top.

Both Secrets in the Mist and Blood Secrets set the perfect fantasy world complete with islands in the sky, sky pirates, zippers, the turned (or what we would consider zombies), a deadly mist that threatens all mankind, and the rich elite who are concerned only for themselves.

Blood Secrets begins where Secrets in the Mist Ends. Cass has been rescued by Theo and in the process they have discovered an interesting fact that might just save the world from the deadly mist that seems to be encroaching with more speed than ever before. Determined to defy the elite to find an antidote to the effects of the mist, Theo and Cass set out on yet another adventure in a desperate race against time and numerous obstacles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this imaginative tale that painted a fictional world to rival the best classic stories. To be honest, there were a few aspects of the story that came just a little too close for comfort to the situations our modern world is facing. Nevertheless, the plot is intriguing and the characters are well formed and likeable. I would definitely not mind another visit to Sky World.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Book: Blood Secrets

Author: Morgan L. Busse

Genre: YA Steampunk Fantasy

Release date: August 9, 2022

Click here to get your copy!

Not everyone wants to see the world saved . . .

Time is running out. Cities are being engulfed in the Mist and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Theo believes he has found a way to stop mankind from Turning, but he doesn’t know how to alter Cass’s unique blood into a cure. Or if it can even be done.

Meanwhile, Cass struggles with the idea that she is possibly the savior of the world—a world she is not sure is worth saving.

From the Winchester manse to the steel city of Decadenn, there is something more chasing Cass than the House of Lords or the masked man who can walk in the Mist. Soon she must decide if she will use her blood to save mankind or let those who only care about themselves perish.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, The Soul Chronicles, and The Ravenwood Saga. She is a three-time Christy Award finalist and winner of both the INSPY and the Carol Award for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

MORE FROM MORGAN:

A lot of stories involve the hero saving the world. But is that realistic if you consider what the hero has been through? What if saving the world means saving the villain? Or that bully who made the hero’s life terrible back in high school? Or the person who lied and it cost the hero his or her job, home, or even their first love?

When I started writing Blood Secrets, it hit me (and therefore Cass as I was writing her story), that if she saved her world—all the people who were forced to live on mountaintops, airships, and sky islands because of the deadly Mist that covered everything else—she would be saving the people who saw her as lesser than. The people who forced everyone else off the mountains to die in the Mist, including her parents. The same people who would never think of saving someone like her.

As I wrote her story, I felt Cass’s resentment and anger towards the “echelons”—those at the top of society and literally the world. She was fine with saving others like her. But the thought of saving the people who ordered the purges that killed so many made her feel sick. In her mind, they didn’t deserve her sacrifice.

Honestly, I had never thought about it before. The hero saves the world. It’s what a hero does. But this was the first time I really thought about what that meant, and who it meant saving. It made me look at myself. Would I be willing to save everyone? Even those who have hurt me? Who have cost me so much in my life? Ugh. That’s a hard thought.

People love heroes, and sometimes even want to be one themselves. But the reality is being a hero is really hard. It’s not just saving the world; it’s saving those who live in the world. The good and the bad. Those deserving and those not so much. That’s what a real hero does.

I won’t share what decision Cass made because that is part of her story. But I am glad I was able to write her story because it made me think more about how I would react in her situation. And about God, who ultimately gave all to save a world that did not want Him.

BLOG STOPS:

 

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 7

deb’s Book Review, September 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 9

Daysong Reflections, September 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 11

Rebecca Tews, September 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 12

Simple Harvest Reads, September 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Morgan is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon and signed book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/21361/blood-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard

MY REVIEW:

Critical Alliance is yet another book that has kept me awake into the wee hours this summer. I think I will read just one more chapter and somehow find myself at the end with only a few hours until daylight. It’s a good thing I don’t have to clock in to a job!

This book is one that might not appeal to those with no interest in modern technology, especially cybersecurity but the future is here and the threat of cybercrime is a very real possibility. The heroine is from a prominent family in the tech industry but has been estranged from them since an illegal hacking incident as a teen. Her skills have increased over the years and she has a position as a university professor. When contacted by a friend from her past with the warning that her life as well as her family’s business is in danger, she returns home to try to help. From that point on, Mackenzie Hanson encounters one dangerous incident after another as she races to prevent a major catastrophe. Diplomatic Security Services special agent Alex Knight, back home after a mission that went wrong, is unwittingly drawn into the case as he attempts to help Mackenzie find the mastermind behind the threat and hopefully manage to keep her alive while doing so.

Although Critical Alliance begins somewhat slowly, it builds to an explosive climax with plenty of action, danger, unexpected twists and a few surprises along the way. Of course readers can expect a romance to develop between Mackenzie and Alex but might grow a bit frustrated at the secrets they keep and their lack of trust in each other. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as evidenced by my late hours reading it. If you are at all interested in cybersecurity, this book is for you.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

She’s seeking answers. He’s seeking respite.
The past is seeking both of them.

Mackenzie Hanson’s special set of skills opened the door to a successful career as a professor of cybersecurity at a Michigan university, allowing her to put her criminal past behind her. But when a long-ago partner in crime delivers a cryptic message about her father’s tech company being under cyberattack, she heads for Montana to secure exposed assets, close security breaches, and protect her father’s company.

Diplomatic Security Services special agent Alex Knight is back home in Montana to decompress from a mission gone wrong. But even as he’s trying to relax, he’s drawn into another mystery, complete with suspicious deaths, lethal threats, and whispers of espionage that all have one thing in common–a beautiful cybersecurity expert with a dark past.

When the situation turns deadly, Alex and Mackenzie will have to work together to find the answers they need–before someone silences Mackenzie for good.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over 1 million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.elizabethgoddard.com.

All That It Takes by Nicole Deese

MY REVIEW:

All That It Takes is one of those novels that a reader can savor. The plot develops slowly and touches on multiple tough subjects. Its characters are perfectly flawed, each with wonderful attributes alongside their less admirable traits. I loved that about them. Most of us can easily relate.

How often does one read a novel about a young woman with a disability? It seems that most heroines are slim, beautiful, and well nigh perfect. Val not only has a disability but is also not at her best socially and her insecurities try to rule her life. She is stronger than she thinks and has more to offer others than she can even imagine. Miles has great expectations for his ministry, probably for all the wrong reasons and has a few things to learn about serving God. Miles and Val make a powerful team but each of them has some growing to do in their faith.

With both humorous and deadly serious parts, All That It Takes was a perfectly satisfying read that left me wanting more. I look forward to future books by this amazing author.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she’d planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend’s brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers’ mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val’s community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord.

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he’s also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects–not the least of which is pursuing Val–without stopping to consider the future.

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nicole Deese’s (www.nicoledeese.com) eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award-winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and INSPY Awards. Both of these books are from her bestselling Love in Lenox series. When she’s not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.

 

Inventions of the Heart by Mary Connealy

MY REVIEW:

Once again Mary Connealy has written an exciting yet endearing tale set in the west. Book one of The Lumber Baron’s Daughters series, The Element of Love was the first of a trilogy featuring the Stiles sisters who were forced to leave their beloved home to escape unwanted marriages arranged by their wicked stepfather. Their exciting escape set the pace for the rest of the series and left a lot to live up to. In my opinion, book two of the series Inventions of the Heart continues the standards set by the first.

In book one, most readers will suspect that there is an attraction between Zane the rancher and sister Michelle. Their story takes precedence in Inventions of the Heart as she continues to hide out from her stepfather at Two Harts Ranch. As expected, even more action, danger, and romance are in store along with glimpses into the lives of Michelle’s sisters and other characters introduced in the first book. A few surprises are in store as well as events that most readers expect.

Needless to say, Inventions of the Heart was a fun and satisfying read and I look forward to reading the final installment soon.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Her heart seeks safety. But will trouble find her even here?

After her sister’s marriage, Michelle Stiles is left hiding at Two Harts Ranch with the handsome but stubborn Zane Hart. She’s managed to stay one step ahead of her stepfather and his devious plans, but if he finds her, she will no longer be safe.

Zane has problems of his own. Having discovered a gold mine on his property, he must figure out how to harvest it without kicking off a gold rush. Michelle, educated and trained to run her father’s business, wants to manage all aspects of the mine, but Zane thinks for a person so smart she can have some misguided ideas. Running the mining operation will be a dangerous job, and he can’t risk putting her in harm’s way.

But danger finds Michelle anyway when she’s suddenly attacked. If they go to the sheriff, they’ll reveal her location, but if they do nothing . . . their troubles have only just begun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Connealy (www.maryconnealy.com) writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than one and a half million books. She is the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.