Together for Christmas (The Vicarage Bench Series Book 6) by Mimi Barbour

Abbie Taylor has a thousand things to do before the big day, help the vicar with his needy families, organize the Christmas nativity, and spare time for a distraught baby at the orphanage who only settles when she’s near. Falling into a coma while her spirit resides inside a prickly, big-shot businessman doesn’t work for her at all… until she falls in love.

How could Marcus Chapman be so unlucky? First he’s saddled with his newly widowed mum, and the next thing he knows, he has an annoying spirit invader who’s instantly aware that he isn’t nearly as tough as he makes out. Between these two manipulating women, and the orphans Abbie forces him to visit, the poor man doesn’t stand a chance. The season is Christmas, and love is all around.

Author: Mimi Barbour

Rating: Rating: 4.50 / 5
57 reviews

The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood by Henderson Smith

What would you give up to be beautiful? I don’t mean attractive, or pretty or any other term you could conjure up to describe that thing most women seek to be or most men seek to be with. I mean staggeringly beautiful, men falling at your feet with hopeless adoration as they gaze upon you dumbfounded. That beautiful. I could become that beautiful if I chose, but only with a steep price. Would you pay the price? Does that call to your heart?

It doesn’t call to mine. Yes, when I look at the girl in the mirror, I see a young woman of average height and slight build. I see her lovely emerald green eyes and I see her coarse, orange hair poking out in all directions like some unnatural haystack. I see the forty-seven warts that line her face, which accompany one large lump and two small boils. You’d probably think that I would be more than eager to trade for the great gift of beauty because I know some, if not all of you, would call me hideous. But I don’t think of myself as ugly.

I think of myself as powerful, strong and fierce – for I have magical powers – powers that amaze and terrify me at times. And today is the most important day of my life, because today my mother will say the words over me and seal my fate. For I, Olive, am the last of the Winnowwood and this is my story.

Based on the award winning screenplay of the same name, The Ugly Princess will take you on an amazing adventure filled with twists, turns and an ending that will take your breath away because it is also a love story of the most unusual, magical kind.

“In the tradition of The Princess Bride (with somewhat less whimsy) and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Smith’s debut is a fairy tale in a new world…. The twists along this charming road make for an enchanting journey.” — Kirkus Reviews —

Author: Henderson Smith

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
209 reviews

Code of Rainbow: Soaring Flame and the Dragon-transcending Magimal (Book 1) by Weiqi Wang

Dragons have been dominating this world for thousands of years, until mankind learnt magic and wizards emerged. After centuries of wars, human and Dragons reached stalemate under the mighty power of a grant magic pact. Therefore, most people had forgot about those scarily powerful creatures, but they are actually still there! Soarame obtained magic gifts and a pair of special eyes due to unrevealed reasons. Overhearing of Druids’ treasure being stolen, Soarame started his adventure in this world of magic. The boy is not alone; he has other young wizard friends and a mysterious magimal with potential to overstep Dragons later! That said, it doesn’t make him safe; he’s destined to meet Dragons one day before he’s prepared — actually, it’s already happening!

Author: Weiqi Wang

Rating: Rating: 4.80 / 5
114 reviews

The Treemakers: Book one in the YA Dystopian Scifi Epic (The Treemakers Trilogy – 1) by Christina L. Rozelle

Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her. She can only dream of the adventure life must’ve been before their ancestors brought the apocalyptic devastation in the form of disastrous climate change.

In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for the post-apocalyptic survivors in Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign.

Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret.

With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

“Loved this book so much, from the very outset I knew this was a book for me that would immediately be all encompassing. For the few days that I was reading it I was totally invested in this dark world of terror and fear and it was all I could think about, for a long while I thought about the long suffering and selflessness of the main character Momma Joy, and how she pushed herself forward at every challenge. This dystopian setting had echoes of the misery of Orwell’s ‘1984’, it had the pace of action films such as ‘The Fifth Element’ or ‘Twelve Monkeys’, and I felt there was a little homage to ‘A town like Alice’… The Treemakers has the punch, detail, and depth of all of those combined. The realism was sublime, moments of realisation relating to Joy’s past really hit deep, made me smile, truly resonated within me, the darker moments too are just as hard-hitting, and make this book a dizzying rollercoaster of emotions.

I cannot recommend this book high enough, it is an energetic, carefully written adventure into a world that could be, a place that wouldn’t be out of step in our nightmares, and full of characters that you are willing them on to succeed with every page. An absolute triumph of a book, utterly entertaining, I wish there were more of them… and I get the feeling there will be in the future. Absolute brilliant read.”

“The Treemakers” is an impressive debut from Christina L. Rozelle. Set in a dystopian future and after a cataclysmic event, the story is centered on the symbolically named, Joy, who lives in a world that is anything but.

Joy is a central figure in the work force of “Bygonne”, which primarily consists of children. Working for a shadowy group, the children are slaves, charged with producing metallic trees in order to sustain oxygen for their world. In Bygonne, people figuratively and literally, struggle to breathe.

The children are, however, as much a commodity as the materials they produce. Devoid of caring adults, Joy becomes the mother figure, trying to sustain some humanity in a world that relinquished it some time ago. Spinning hope, love and magic through her stories, Joy attempts to make sense of a world full of dangerous secrets.

In Bygonne, however, hope, love, and magic can get you killed. So, too, can emancipation. Told from Joy’s first person narration, “The Treemakers” is part environmental-warning and bio-punk. I’d recommend this work for readers of Young Adult and dystopian narratives.

This was a compelling read and at times, I longed for more information and backstory, but I am sure all secrets will be revealed in good time. Roll on the sequel!”

Author: Christina L. Rozelle

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
250 reviews

Crenshaw Chapter Sampler by Katherine Applegate

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

Author: Katherine Applegate

Rating: Rating: 4.50 / 5
382 reviews

Galadria : Peter Huddleston & The Rites of Passage (The Galadria Fantasy Trilogy Book 1) by de Leon, Miguel Lopez

This is BOOK 1 in the GALADRIA fantasy book trilogy! The GALADRIA trilogy is about Peter Huddleston, a lonely boy who discovers that he is the heir to the throne of the amazing golden realm of GALADRIA! Armed with his trusty boomerang, an assortment of magical trinkets, and his friendly white tiger, Rune, Peter charges into dangerous and magical adventures in this action packed series! Filled with watermelon sized ladybugs, ancient oracles, enchanted weapons, water dwelling monsters, a 3000 room manor, and a troop of lovable, kooky characters, the GALADRIA series is an exciting collection you’ll cherish!

Author: de Leon, Miguel Lopez

Rating: Rating: 4.50 / 5
60 reviews

Witch Rising (Witch Song) by Amber Argyle

*A novelette*
A ship burns, sinking into the dark sea. There is only one survivor—a child hunted for the power of her song. Hidden away on an isolated island, Lilette buries her power deep, convinced it caused the deaths of those she loves.

But she can’t run from who she is. And when her secret is revealed, the only thing that can save her is her song. It’s time to rise up and become what she was always meant to be: the most powerful witch ever born.

Author: Amber Argyle

Rating: Rating: 4.50 / 5
77 reviews

Fire & Shadow: The Hand of Kali #1 (The Hand of Kali Series) by T.G. Ayer and Annetta Ribken

Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he’s telling.
Maya doesn’t believe the gods are real, doesn’t waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, goddesses, demons and hellhounds become the new normal and wielding the fire of the goddess Kali becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn’t normal to be …
The Hand of Kali.

A new Young Adult Paranormal coming of age series delving in the fantasy and magic of Hindu mythology and its plethora of gods, demons, legends & mythology.

Author: T.G. Ayer and Annetta Ribken

Rating: Rating: 4.40 / 5
67 reviews

Cry of the Wolf (Avalon Web of Magic Book 3) by Rachel Roberts and Allison Strom

Adriane and Stormbringer, the mistwolf, have quite a uniquely close and strong emotional bond of friendship. But is it strong enough to save them when Storm is lured through the portal to Aldenmor, another world much like Earth where magic still thrives? Adriane believes it is, and follows Storm to the magical world. There, Adriane faces the challenge of her life as she confronts Moonshadow, the pack leader and the entire mistwolf pack and tries to bring Storm home. The strange boy she meets, Zach, may be able to help her, but she will need Emily and Kara’s magic to survive this battle.

Author: Rachel Roberts and Allison Strom

Rating: Rating: 4.90 / 5
49 reviews