Finding Freedom Zion Series by Brittany Nicole Lewis

Review by Paula Ricketts:

This book took me a little by surprise. I’ve not read a lot about cults, but I’ve seen a few TV shows and movies about them. This book definitely opened up to me the way some cults operate, and also how many people are truly brainwashed.
This was the story of a young girl who grew up in such a cult. All along she felt like things were not as they should be, and she didn’t want to continue in this lifestyle. Katie had a twin brother and a loving mother and father. The community they lived in, “Zion,” only had 200 people in it. In this community, couples were chosen by the Elders to become husband and wife. Most of the people in Zion were born there, and the process for outsiders to join was a lengthy one.
Katie found herself interested in one of the young boys of the community, David, about the time she turned 14. He seemed to feel an interest in Katie as well. They became friendly, and finally, Katie made a decision to leave Zion. She told David about it, and he told her he would go with her so they could be together. Katie’s brother wanted to be baptized in the society, but Katie did not. Her mother kept asking her when she was going to do it, but she kept saying she just wasn’t ready. She went to her parents and told them that she was going to leave Zion and David was going to go with her. Her parents decided to go, but her brother Michael refused. David told his parents and they supported them in their decision but felt they could not. So a friend of Katie’s dad told them he would help them and they could stay at his farm with him until they could find jobs and somewhere to live. Katie and David were married, with Katie’s father signing for her since she was only 17.
Eventually, they were told of an organization that had facilities in three locations throughout the United States for people from places such as Zion. This organization helped with job placement and medical care for up to 18 months. They also had a program that would help these people to accept who they were and to understand the things they had come from. The family decided to do this; David and Katie to one in New Hampshire and Katie’s parents to Florida.
Upon arriving at the new place in New Hampshire, Katie learns quite unexpectedly that she is pregnant. After the initial shock wears off, David and Katie are excited about their new little one that is coming. They make friends at the facility and receive medical care and counseling. David is given job training and placement and things are looking up. They are able to stay until the baby comes, but through friends, they have made they find a place for them to live when they leave and David is able to find a better job.
Katie always felt she needed to find her freedom, and in the end, she does just that.
I was given this book to read in exchange for an honest review. I was very surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. One of my criteria for a good book (this is just my opinion) is if I can put myself in the book as the character. I feel the emotions as if they were happening to me. This book did that for me. Another criterion is that I get a good cry out of it. That also happened in this book for me. These are my honest opinions. I would like to read more from this author, and possibly more of this series. Since this book is the Zion Series Book 1, I feel there will be more.

UnGraceful Cat – UnSeries Book 1 by B. A. Gabrielle

Young Amelia Fafnir struggles to fit in her family and win her mother’s approval and love.  However, she is in constant competition with her sister, Carissa.

She stumbles across a major discovery in the home economics room and is transported into a world she never knew existed.  A reality where Spirits exist and are trapped to roam forever.  While they are here they try to prevent other humans from suffering from their same fate by establishing contracts or a pact and fulfilling one wish.

Amelia is introduced to Ethel, a spirit that bonds with her for one such request but in the crazy realm of the Underworld, they become friends.  Like a puzzle, Amelia receives bits and pieces that eventually fall into place, revealing that her Spirit friends have an evil enemy, the Dark Fairies and they are after Amelia, but the Spirits also have darker secrets too.

Which side will win her over?

B. A. Gabrielle has created a unique fantasy realm that takes you on an adventure where you never know who you can trust and who are truly your friends.  This was a fun and quick read and kept my attention.  Sometimes in the paranormal world of reading, you often find yourself reading the same scenarios, just with different names and places.  I love that this was a different type of world that I was privileged to visit.  I give a 4 – star and looking forward to reading more from this skilled author.

Ashes To Ashes, The Scribing of Ishitar Volume II by Carrie F. Shepherd

Ashes to Ashes, The Scribing of Ishitar, Volume II by Carrie F. Shepherd is a colorful twist and consequence of a rebellion by angels and demons, an act that caused them to be banished from heaven in Book One of this series.

The story includes a wide variety of fantasy characters in addition to angels and demons along with typical mortal humans. Without reading the first book in this series it will take a little bit of focus and patience to decipher good from evil or maybe a pinch of both!

Kingdoms are fought over by the Gods in the heavens and as usual, lesser creatures are always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A story of greed, deceit, and revenge amongst the supernatural ranks, all with the desire for more everything, more power, and forbidden love will birth a war. Species will attempt to outdo other species and the battles will become a matter of survival.

Friendships between races weaken to the breaking point as love affairs are ripped into pieces.  Death and destruction plague all as a young man leads his people to battle and just at the onslaught of defeat, surprising aid comes from unexpected origins.

Betrayal and trust, melt and mix to the point where the only thing reliable is one’s own survival.  Forget prayers to a higher power, the Gods are the deliverers and the worst of all evil.

This author keeps you hooked with all the twists and turns and shocking events.  However, I do recommend that you read the first book in the series as this is not a stand alone.  I believe I would have enjoyed the first part of the story much more if I had read book One first instead of attempting to develop and decipher the characters on my own.

I do recommend this book for the paranormal and fantasy lovers out there!  This story will have a little taste of everything that you crave, therefore giving this tale a BIG 4 Stars!

Troubling Times and New Ideas

With all the drama and violence our society has been plagued with in the last year, ideas for a new story have been haunting my dreams at night and distracting me while I am awake.  The Earth and the Powers that be come into play when all former traditions in history are thrown to the curb and we as humans lose control.  Where all the damage we have caused is wiped clean from the slate, erased as if it never happened.

The technologies and the tools we created and used to wreak havoc on Earth and ourselves are demolished and we are left with nothing but what the Earth naturally provides us to survive.

They will walk among us, bringing the punishment we more than deserve, and we will have no choice but to face the consequences of our own actions.

We will have to decide, whether or not to accept our fates and use it to better ourselves, or fight it and perish.

Teenage romance blossoms through Lost Legends

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Rylie, a typical teenager distraught about her parents divorce and rebellious against their decision to protect her from the evil of the process, is forced to attend a summer camp.

Shy and timid, she hides in the pages of her journal where she feels protected in a cocoon away from the mean girls who care more about fashion and bullying.

 

Safe that it is until she is attacked in the woods by an enstranged wild animal and her memory lost of the attack or how she made it back to the camp safely.

Meeting Seth a boy supposedly from the other camp that is forbidden, Rylie soon learns that she only has three months to keep from changing into the evil creature that has changed her life forever.

After the death of her father, will her love for Seth and for being human be enough reason for her to fight the change? Or will she sacrifice herself to save the campers and the boy she loves?

S. M. Reine creates a unique love story that blossoms from the horrific truth of an ancient legend. She keeps you on the edge of your seat and glued to what the characters will do next.

Its hard to find a story that captivates me long enough to finish reading it in a couple of days. I love this first novel in the Seasons of the Moon series and l am looking forward to reading the next chapter in Rylie’s story.