Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reviews of Semper Audacia, The Christmas Village, and Once Upon a December Nightmare

I've had my Kindle for two weeks now, and I love it even more than I thought I would. I'm totally sold on it. And, just like I'd hoped, the Kindle has allowed me to catch up on the works of some of the great writers I've met here in the blogosphere.

When I first wrote about the Kindle, I planned to start writing reviews of the books I read. But I've since discovered that I really stink at writing reviews. :D When I enjoy something, I find I don't have much to say beyond the fact that it was great and I really enjoyed it. Not exactly scintillating.

So I don't think I'll be writing regular reviews on the blog after all, but I still wanted to post about the first three stories I read on my Kindle, and give a big round of applause to the authors.

My reading list for the last few weeks included Semper Audacia by M.Pax, The Christmas Village by Melissa Goodwin, and Once Upon a December Nightmare by Cherie Reich.

 Semper Audacia is described as a "space opera," and I have to admit that I'd never read a space opera before, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. This story turned out to be an excellent introduction to the genre, and I loved being transported to an entirely different world while I was reading. Semper is a dark and haunting tale, and I was completely taken in by the protagonist Leda and her heroic "last stand" to save her world. When I finished the story, I hated to say goodbye to Leda, as she was such a strong and memorable character.

 It's hard to imagine a better story for this time of year than The Christmas Village. If you have fond memories of an old-fashioned Christmas, or just love the traditions of the holiday, this is a must read. I was totally enchanted by the village of Canterbury and, like the main character Jamie, I wished I could visit there myself. The story also provides a good reminder to be careful what you wish for, and I can imagine that young readers would really identify with Jamie as he learns some valuable lessons about life. The story is full of holiday magic, and is sure to leave its readers smiling.

 Once Upon a December Nightmare is a spooky, suspenseful story involving four young people lost in the woods on a frigid December night. In spite of the novel's short length, the characters were all very well developed, and I felt for each of them as they struggled to deal with their situation. I read the book in one sitting and did not want to put it down, which is always a sure sign of a great story. As the title suggests, this tale is indeed a nightmare, and quite scary, but it also offers touches of humor by playing with horror movie cliches. It's a fun and atmospheric mystery, with a killer ending.

Kudos to all Mary, Melissa, and Cherie for these great reads! I'm looking forward to reading more from all of them, and highly recommend their work.

It's been fun to finish my first round of Kindle stories, and I'm now moving on to Watching Willow Watts by Talli Roland. This is one I've wanted to read for a while, as I had such a good time participating in Talli's launch party back in September.

I look forward to reading many more books by fellow bloggers in the months ahead, as for me there's no better time to curl up and read than cold winter evenings. I'm so glad again to have this opportunity to discover so many great writers I may never have found otherwise. :)


  1. I don't think I have much to say when writing a review either - just the blurb, and maybe a grade or number of stars, but I can't put into words why I do or do not like a book. Plus, I'd rather only say something about the ones I liked.

    Have a good week, Julie. :)

  2. Thanks for the review, Julie. I'm glad you liked it. The next one isn't so dark. :)

  3. Well, I think you did a lovely job with these reviews.

    Thank you for the fantastic review of Once Upon a December Nightmare! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Julie, thank you so much for your lovely review of my book.

  5. @Michelle, that's exactly how I am feel too. Thanks, I hope you have a great week too! :)

    @Mary, you're welcome! And I love dark stories so no problem there for me.

    @Cherie, thanks, and you're very welcome!

    @Melissa, you're welcome, my pleasure.

  6. I believe I'm getting a Kindle for Christmas (family can't keep a secret), so I look forward to getting caught up on some of these stories too. :)

  7. You're reading more than I am. I'm midway on my second Kindle book now. Like you, I think it's so great to now read books by bloggers I know.

  8. Great reviews! I've read Mary's and Cherie's books, and you've hit it right on with them.

  9. Thank you for those reviews, Julie. I will check them out. I'm glad you like your kindle. I love mine and it is true that one reads much more diversely. I've no idea why, but maybe it's the cheap/free offers :)

  10. Excellent reviews Julie, pleased you like your Kindle, my friend has one and is over the moon with hers.


  11. @LG, I hope you love your Kindle, I'm almost certain you will. :)

    @Carol, I've been on a reading binge since I got this, which is fun but it's cut into my writing time. I really need to learn to balance things!

    @Christine, thanks!

    @Carolyn, thank you. The offers are definitely a big plus. :D

    @Yvonne, thanks! I really do love it, I'm with your friend for sure. :)

  12. My housemate wants one of those things, me I get dizzy trying to read on them but I do still read the old fashion way. :)

    Paw bump to Clancy and a big smile for you. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  13. @Jules, thanks! Smiles right back at you, and Clancy sends a paws bump as well. :)

  14. I really enjoyed your intriguing book reviews! I also think it's fun to read books by our blogger friends. I wish there was a speed reading app to help me catch up! Julie

  15. @Julie, LOL, I think I need that app too, sounds perfect. I'm glad you enjoyed the reviews, thanks! :)

  16. Great reviews, Julie! I bought The Christmas Village and am anxious to read it. I also read Watching Willow Watts and enjoyed it.

    Hope you enjoy your holiday season - and thanks for stopping by my blog today. It was quite an adventure self-publishing my two recent stories.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  17. @Ann, thank you! I think you will really enjoy the Christmas Village, it's a lovely story. I'm looking forward to reading your stories! All the best for the holiday season to you as well. :)


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