Sue Leonhardt

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Sue Leonhardt

  • Shrouded Secrets: Shrouded Secrets Chronicles (Volume 1) on Aug. 23, 2011
    (no rating)
    Shrouded Secrets is Joel T. McGrath's debut novel, a story that will immerse the reader in a world where an alternate reality can be accessed through hidden portals, but only if you are an Eruditian, or at least half Eruditian, like David and Danielle James. In many ways they are just like other teenagers living in San Diego, but they've inherited the legacy of their deceased father, one of the greatest Galinea, warriors of Eruditus who wield unearthly powers to fight against the evil "Shroud". We first meet David and Danielle as typical teenagers dealing with the break-up of their family. Their step-father has left their mother; the family faces financial struggles; David is constantly bullied and Danielle falls a little too easily under the influence of the wrong peers. To relieve some of the family's stress, their grandfather invites the two teenagers to New Hampshire during the summer break and there they meet Appollos, a Galinea posing as Paul, their grandfather's paperboy. Their friendship with Paul introduces David to the existence of a world that isn't exactly as it seems. David's dreams take on a deeper reality and then one day while he and his sister get lost in the woods, they come across a railroad stationhouse strangely situated in the middle of nowhere. This house holds the key to connecting David and Danielle's world, Earth, with Eruditus, in the form of a mysterious kaleidoscope that David finds there, but they have yet to discover its use. When David and Danielle return to San Diego for the school year, they have a new sense of themselves. Unaware of the powers of the kaleidoscope, David and Danielle still have issues to address. Both grow and become empowered when up against their adversaries in high school, always by taking the higher moral ground in confrontations. We can relate to David and Danielle on a very down-to-earth level. McGrath's story renews the struggle between good and evil. One might have thought this theme had been thoroughly routed in classic best-selling series such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, but Shrouded Secrets makes a strong bid at keeping company with these epics. I believe this book would appeal to fans of science fiction.
  • In Leah's Wake on Aug. 25, 2011

    I received this book "In Leah's Wake" by Terri Giuliano Long, through a free download from Smashwords.At first I thought I would not be able to relate to this book, as I am married with no children, but I was presently surprised. Feeling the pressures that go along with being a teenager, and being pushed by her father to be the best high school soccer player around, Leah Tyler decides to choose her own path. She starts dating a high school drop out who smokes weed, does coke, and parties. She falls in love with him. She quits hanging out with her old friends, stops putting soccer as a top priority and rebels. Leah's family is falling apart. Her parents aren't as happy as they used to be and Leah's younger sister is trying to bridge the widening gap between Leah and her parents. Leah's dad try's to help Leah but only ends up pushing her farther away. I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would recommend it to those who like reading family dramas. It does a good job at capturing a family in distress with a teenager that feels the need to rebel. The family dynamics were interesting and there was truth to the story. It is a good example of how relationships are tested and ultimately how hard they can be to maintain. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the stupid decisions that I used to make that seemed right at the time.
  • In Leah's Wake on Aug. 25, 2011

    I received this book "In Leah's Wake" by Terri Giuliano Long, through a free download from Smashwords.At first I thought I would not be able to relate to this book, as I am married with no children, but I was presently surprised. Feeling the pressures that go along with being a teenager, and being pushed by her father to be the best high school soccer player around, Leah Tyler decides to choose her own path. She starts dating a high school drop out who smokes weed, does coke, and parties. She falls in love with him. She quits hanging out with her old friends, stops putting soccer as a top priority and rebels. Leah's family is falling apart. Her parents aren't as happy as they used to be and Leah's younger sister is trying to bridge the widening gap between Leah and her parents. Leah's dad try's to help Leah but only ends up pushing her farther away. I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would recommend it to those who like reading family dramas. It does a good job at capturing a family in distress with a teenager that feels the need to rebel. The family dynamics were interesting and there was truth to the story. It is a good example of how relationships are tested and ultimately how hard they can be to maintain. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the stupid decisions that I used to make that seemed right at the time.
  • In Leah's Wake on Aug. 25, 2011

    I received this book "In Leah's Wake" by Terri Giuliano Long, through a free download from Smashwords.At first I thought I would not be able to relate to this book, as I am married with no children, but I was presently surprised. Feeling the pressures that go along with being a teenager, and being pushed by her father to be the best high school soccer player around, Leah Tyler decides to choose her own path. She starts dating a high school drop out who smokes weed, does coke, and parties. She falls in love with him. She quits hanging out with her old friends, stops putting soccer as a top priority and rebels. Leah's family is falling apart. Her parents aren't as happy as they used to be and Leah's younger sister is trying to bridge the widening gap between Leah and her parents. Leah's dad try's to help Leah but only ends up pushing her farther away. I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would recommend it to those who like reading family dramas. It does a good job at capturing a family in distress with a teenager that feels the need to rebel. The family dynamics were interesting and there was truth to the story. It is a good example of how relationships are tested and ultimately how hard they can be to maintain. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the stupid decisions that I used to make that seemed right at the time.
  • Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave on Sep. 11, 2011

    Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave,by Sibel Hodge is an amazing book that must be read. It is the story of Elena who is kidnapped and trafficked to work in the sex business. I read this book in one sitting, as was totally caught up in the story.Written in the first person, in the form of a diary similar in style to the Diary of Anne Frank, it takes the reader right into the mindset of Elena. The reader shares her distress, her worries, her pain, and her fears. I felt the pain and anguish she was left to endure.Everyone needs to take a moment and read this book, and realize how lucky we are to have the life we have.It gives us a greater appreciation for what is really important in our life.A definate 5 Star rating. Sibel Hodge is an amazing writer.Thank you so much for allowing me to read your book.(
  • King Of Paine on Sep. 29, 2011

    "King of Paine" by Larry Kahn was an amazing read.I received Kindle version free from the author through Goodreads ebooks giveaway.Larry Kahn produced an amazing whodunit novel,that will keep the reader turning the pages until the end.I read the book in one sitting.King of Paine offers fully-developed characters who struggle with a range of intriguing end-of-life issues while everything they care about is at stake. It is true that readers who liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will enjoy this novel. Frank Paine is not your typical FBI agent. He's an ex-Hollywood stud with a kinky past. When a ruthless stalker uses Frank's indiscretions to involve him in an erotic cat-and-mouse death match, his investigation points toward a missing biochemist. His hunt for her secret haven takes one tragic turn after another, until he finds himself facing an impossible dilemma. Someone will die as a result of his decisions, and it may be his soulmate. Or him. This was a thought-provoking suspense novel...and deserves a definate 5 Star rating.If you enjoy reading mystery, suspense thrillers... this is the book for you. Thank you Larry for allowing me to read your novel.
  • Caraliza on Oct. 07, 2011

    I received the free download of this book, "Caraliza" by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick through smashwords.Author Joel Kirkpatrick pulls us in emotionally from the very first pages of this sad tale of a teenaged Dutch girl sold into servitude and near starvation in an early 20th century New York slum, and the young man who is doomed to save her from her oppressor, and at any cost. Their story spans almost an entire century, full of rich, well-developed characters and paranormal twists that will keep you guessing until the complete mosaic of their life together is revealed in the very last pages. A story that is sad, chilling, and uplifting.
  • Deadly Stillwater on Nov. 06, 2011

    I received this free ebook "Deadly Stillwater", through Goodreads Giveaway through the author,Roger Stelljes. He delivers an action packed, thriller that is the second book in the McRyan Mystery Series. Mac McRyan, a fourth-generation cop, is faced with a complicated daytime kidnapping, a media storm surrounding the case, and political scrutiny. It is a case of betrayal and revenge that will ultimately strike at the soul of the St. Paul Police Department. From the searing streets of St. Paul to the icy shores of Lake Superior to the murky waters of the St. Croix River, "Deadly Stillwater" is a non-stop rush you won't be able to put down until its last thrilling minute.This book was well written and kept me glued to the chair.A definately enjoyable read
  • Lawman on Nov. 07, 2011

    I received "Lawman" by Virginia Llorca through the Goodreads ebook giveaway.Can two hearts make time for each other, with their busy lives, and make it work? This is a fast paced fun read about a young widow and a Government "operative". He tries to keep the needed secrecy of his job from interfering with his hoped for relationship with a willful young widow. Lily Scofeldt is a 24 year old widow with two preschool children living in Iowa,and agent Tim Sa Raia is also divorced with a 13 year old daughter living in Chicago.These people never seem to get out of bed. Lots of quickies.I laughed when Tim left her house one time and said" Thank you sincerely for the hospitality".This book is light entertainment. Easy read but it shows the deeper side of what it takes to commit to a relationship, second time around.
  • The Silent Treatment on March 25, 2012

    I received a free download of "The Silent Treatment" by Melanie Surani through Smashwords.This was an amazing book to read. Kat Shergill doesn't expect to find a piece of forgotten movie history during a bout of retail therapy. After watching the coil of film found tucked inside her purchase, she's shocked to witness the brutal murder of a famous 1920's star by a fellow actor. 80-year-old mystery aside, someone will stop at nothing to get the film away from her and silence what she's discovered. The characters were very believable, and their actions were strong.I will definately look for more novels written by this author. If you enjoy reading mystery suspense thrillers...this book is for you.
  • The Silent Treatment on March 25, 2012

    I received a free download of "The Silent Treatment" by Melanie Surani through Smashwords.This was an amazing book to read. Kat Shergill doesn't expect to find a piece of forgotten movie history during a bout of retail therapy. After watching the coil of film found tucked inside her purchase, she's shocked to witness the brutal murder of a famous 1920's star by a fellow actor. 80-year-old mystery aside, someone will stop at nothing to get the film away from her and silence what she's discovered. The characters were very believable, and their actions were strong.I will definately look for more novels written by this author. If you enjoy reading mystery suspense thrillers...this book is for you.
  • Dark Before Dawn on Jan. 26, 2014

    I received a free download of "Dark Before Dawn" by Stacy Juba in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this YA paranormal thriller, geared mostly for the teenage group but also would be enjoyed by any adult. Dawn Christian, sixteen had moved from Boston, to Covington, Maine, and now was starting her junior year at a new high school. But Dawn suffered from premonitions, and her mom wanted her to just forget about her "feelings", and get on with her life and try to make friends. But she didn't fit in...she was different. Dawn's father died when she was in first grade, and her mom had remarried, Jeff, an editor at the Gazette, and now she had a stepbrother, Ken who was seventeen years old. Eventually Dawn met two other girls at school, one who was totally devoted to her mentor/psychic, Serina, and one in training. Dawn is drawn into their group and hidden meetings. Sewrina had tried to turn them against their families. But two people in the same school, both had been in accidents, best friends and both killed. Dawn had to decide what path she was going to take, a choice to continue developing her talent or go up against her only two friends. The short chapter format briskly moves the story along. The story is well developed and the characters are human. A very enjoyable read.