Daystar – The Days Are Numbered by Anne Hamilton

My Review

download-2I’ve never been a huge fan of the fantasy genre. Why? I really don’t know. I read Jeanette O’Hagan’s ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ which was published in ‘Glimpses of Light – Anthology and was absolutely delighted. Then I read Ms O’Hagan’s ‘Heart of the Mountain’ … Wow! I loved it. I had seen Anne Hamilton’s ‘Daystar’ earlier on and had put it on my ‘to read’ bookshelf on Goodreads, thinking maybe one day I’ll have time. Well, once this delightful book turned up on my doorstep, with a beautiful card inside from Anne Hamilton, I just had to read it, didn’t I?

I think I am becoming addicted to fantasy … we’ll have to see. I’ve read ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ and also Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I haven’t read any previous books written by Ms Hamilton, so my mind was fresh, and I didn’t have others to compare it to. Perhaps that’s a good thing as I enjoyed this book, for itself, immensely.

‘Daystar – The Days Are Numbered’ is a gorgeous story, in some ways similar to C. S. Lewis’ ‘Narnia’. In fact, ‘Narnia’ was mentioned within the pages. Fern, who is obviously from the same dimension as myself, is awkward and unhappy in her life, ever since her mother left her step-father, Nick. Fern’s greatest desire is to be invisible. At the blow of a whistle, Fern is transported to another dimension where the race for good to overcome evil isn’t too dissimilar to that of Fern’s world.

I really liked the characters’ names and personalities. Talking animals always intrigue me. The fact that the seven heroes of this story were children, was delightfully encouraging considering the age group the book is aimed at. I loved the quaintly illustrated capital letters at the beginning of each chapter, and their relevance to the musical notes, which were explained further into the book. It took me a wee while to immerse myself in the book, due to the small print, however, Ms Hamilton kindly sent me a PDF copy, and then it was difficult to put down my smartphone.

The subtle injection of humour was delightful, and the entire theme held my interest until the end. The only slight quibble I had was that I felt there were an awful lot of ‘big’ words for a middle-grade reader to grasp. Overall I found Daystar to be beautifully written, with just the right amount of wit and humour, adventure, and intrigue.

With the use of musical score, numbers and days, the plot gradually fused together like a well-designed jig-saw puzzle. I would love to read a sequel to Daystar and see what Ms Ashe, Golliath, Hector, and Fern will face next … and what dimension will it take place in?

I would like to thank Anne Hamilton for providing a free copy of Daystar in return for an honest review.

Originally posted at 

https://josephineannegriffiths.blogspot.com.au/

November 2016

A Review of Imogen’s Chance by Paula Vince

My Review

download“A regretful past, a hopeful future.”

Imogen Browne desperately wants things to be okay in her world, but also that of others. An unfortunate accident of fifteen years ago has left in its wake, far too many consequences for friends and loved ones.

All of the characters in this beautiful story are believable and sincere. They pretty much react the way I would expect myself to react under similar circumstances.

‘People who are told they are going to die, always tell the truth.’

Paula tackles more than one important and sensitive issue within this book, and she does it flawlessly. She includes lots of different emotions, conflict, romance, and more than adequate suspense to keep you intrigued until the end. Paula’s characters are skilfully developed and rounded. She uses the technique of ‘showing rather than telling’ very well.

Paula’s talent addresses the topic of Christian healing, both spiritual and physical in such a way that it is easy to comprehend. The themes of repentance, forgiveness, and healing flowed superbly throughout. The story of Imogen and Asher is not over the top, or too preachy. All Biblical references are accurate and appropriately used. Also, our human inability to recognise some of the most important gifts that God has bestowed upon us, and misinterpret them as flaws, was approached with wisdom.

I fell in love with Imogen from the beginning. Every time I thought I had it all sorted in my mind, there was another surprise, another revelation. Imogen’s secret is so enormous that it holds the keys to many sub-plots within the book.

‘With every step they took, she was stomping over the painful, regretful memories, and replacing them with something new and wonderfully special.’

These elements of suspense and surprise are what was required to keep me turning the pages, and bring this book to a delightful finish.

This was the second time that I read ‘Imogen’s Chance’. I enjoyed this read even more than the first. I didn’t think that would be possible.

‘A rock solid base of truth gripped onto by unwavering faith, made the building blocks for an unshakeable reality.’  ~ Paula Vince

Imogen’s Chance is a delightful book, which would be enjoyed by everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike. Another of Paula’s books that I would highly recommend is Best Forgotten  My review will follow soon.

Originally posted at

https://josephineannegriffiths.blogspot.com.au/

October 2016

A Review of Critical Condition, An Escape to the Country #4 by Nicki Edwards

My Review

critical-condition-by-nicki-edwards“Liam O’Connor wants a wife. Problem is, the type of woman he’s looking for doesn’t exist.”

I absolutely love “Critical Condition”!

Having read Intensive Care, the first book in this series, then reading The Peppercorn Project, a standalone novel, I was pleasantly surprised to realise that Critical Condition could also be read as a standalone, even though it is the fourth and final book in this lovely series. I am currently reading the second book Emergency Response, which I shall follow up with the third treasure, Life Support.

The way Ms Edwards’ books flow, make it possible to read them out of order, which is lucky for me as I am always doing things in the wrong order. With beautifully constructed descriptions, one can imagine being right there in the orchard.  Ms Edwards gradually introduces the characters from her previous books, until eventually, we have a wonderful picture of who’s who, and where they fit in the scheme things.

As soon as I read the first page, I was drawn in. This sweet and engaging story begins at the orchard of Lexton Downs, through the eyes of Liam and Kate who are attending an engagement party, which turns out to be a surprise wedding, “under the banner of blue skies and glorious autumn sunshine”.  It was, a gorgeous day, and the bride, Liam’s little sister looked absolutely stunning. Liam was pleased to see Emily happily married, but inside his own heart, he yearned to find that elusive one, that perfect woman, that angel he could spend the rest of his life with. “But, if Liam was honest, the green-eyed monster was attacking him”.

Then along comes Poppy, a seemingly confident young woman with the world at her feet. Originally fleeing life in Australia, and building a new one in New York, she was now living the dream. Or was she? How well did she really know that handsome boyfriend of hers? Was everything as it seemed?

Her father’s untimely death makes a return trip to Australia necessary. A trip which will bring with it many surprises, but an equal amount of angst as she tries to come to terms with her past life, and even her current one. Behind Poppy’s mask of high self-esteem and devil may care attitude, is an extremely troubled young girl.

Both Liam and Poppy are searching for something … someone … maybe.

Poppy is far from Liam’s idea of perfect. Or is she?

She has enough baggage to fill up every bag carousel at an international airport!

But maybe some things are just meant to be. Will they be able to smooth over any rough edges, and form a lifelong partnership? Both of their lives, but especially Poppy’s are complicated.

Nicki Edwards has such a beautiful, natural writing style. You are able to visualise people and their surroundings so well, that it’s almost as if you were there. I would go as far as to say ‘you are a part of the story’.  The characters have become like family.

If you love good, clean romance, with oodles of suspense, just the right amount of conflict, and of course a beautiful, happy ending, then this is the book for you.

Thank you, Nicki Edwards, for nailing it again. You are the queen of rural, medical romance.

Pre-release copy kindly provided by Pan Macmillan Australia/Momentum Books through NetGallery, in return for an honest review.

Originally posted at

https://josephineannegriffiths.blogspot.com.au/

September 2016

Intensive Care by Nicki Edwards

My Review

intensive-careEscaping to the country was meant to be easy …

Superficially it looks like busy intensive care nurse, Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a career she adores and an elegant inner city apartment that many would envy her for. But appearances can be deceiving. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected.

Local café owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another.

Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?

****************************************************************

I’ll just bet you have so many questions, but there will be no answers until you read this fabulous book.

Nicki Edwards captures the whole rural romance genre in her own unique way. The visionary within this story is just awesome. I picture myself right there, in the moment; with the rolling hills, mountains covered in snow and the general serenity of the countryside. The romantic theme was exquisitely expressed, provoking one’s emotions. A good clean read, suitable for all ages.

Why Blog?

So why blog? Why not simply keep a private journal?

You may have discovered a little of me on my “About Me” page, or you might have been curious and thought “I’ll get straight over to that blog.” Either way, that’s okay, because there is so much more to tell. I am passionate about many people and things, but on top of my list would be God, family (including church family), other friends, reading, writing, music, the occasional coffee with a piece of chocolate, and last but by no means least, my beautiful tea box, containing more than adequate variety and supply of my favourites.

Now you might say “Wow, that’s a big ‘top of the list’ list!” Certainly it is, but if I told you about everything on my list, trust me we would be here all day. I want to write on my blog about all things important to me and my life. I wish to share my journey with you; and if along the way I am able to inspire and motivate just a wee bit, then my blog will be a success.

I also have an ulterior motive for creating this blog, and that is to hopefully make some landmark posts which I could turn into a book at a later stage. I am still figuring out how that may all eventually fit together, but I’m up for the challenge (I hope).

Although my birth name is Josephine Anne, my family, and closest friends know me as Jo’Anne (I think you can probably see why). This explains why I connect my two names with a hyphen; the two names have always been as one.

Now you may ask “Why did you choose to call the blog ‘Just Jo’Anne’?”

Simply put, this blog is to be about being myself, being the person God created me to be. At present, I am passionate about being one of God’s children. Now if that worries you at all, then probably you are on the wrong blog site. If not, join with me as we travel this path called life, and hopefully we would learn more about each other and become life-long friends.

I do have a naughty (but clean) sense of humour, and so I like to reflect on some funny things at times. I like to tackle everyday life in my own crazy way, but with God’s arms always encircling me. Without Him, my life would be meaningless. It hasn’t always been that way for me. Oh yes, He’s always been there, but I haven’t always paid attention. I have been so busy trying to ‘make life work’ that I forgot that He is in control. I had to go through some hardships and wrestle with my own mental health before I could see what He was showing me. I also had to learn to ‘be quiet and still’ because while I was running around trying to figure things out for myself, I couldn’t hear God whispering to me. That’s right, He never shouts; He is a kind, loving and gentle God, and so we must be the same way otherwise we will miss out on all of His grace.

Cheerio until next time.

Jo’Anne

Originally posted on http://www.Just-JoAnne.com

May 28th 2015