Amber McCallister

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Amber McCallister's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Amber McCallister

  • The Man Painter on April 05, 2013

    My heart is bursting at the seams and my mind is empty now that I have just finished reading the last page of The Man Painter. I was completely blown away by the life-altering transformation that we see Holly and Theo go through day by day. They slowly shed the filthy skin of selfishness and replace it with the selfless depth of love that they have for each other. This is a story of true and pure love at its finest, and it is an extraordinary end to an amazingly beautiful and captivating series. I can’t say enough good things about this series! It is definitely something that I myself truly needed to read. My heart has been heavy for years with the strain of the shame, guilt, and worthlessness that this world clothes us in from the day that we are born. My heart has longed for the pure, selfless, and intense love that Theo has for Holly. Just to know that even if it can exist in this magnificent work of fiction brings such joy and hope to my heart. For all stories must first come from an idea and all good and pure ideas are given to us from our Creator and the true Lover of our souls. My heart has been destroyed and remade by two perfect pieces of fiction in just the past few months alone: The Little Seer by Laura K Cowan and The Man Painter by Melissa Turner Lee. I can only hope that more good things are on their way and not just for me. As we continue on with the enthralling journey of Holly and Theo, we learn some very important lessons about how to build and destroy relationships that we can all benefit from. The most important lesson is to not keep secrets from each other. Regardless if they are life-altering issues or just simple little problems, secrets will destroy your relationship faster than anything else. You can’t truly surrender yourself to the other person or enjoy each other to the fullest extent possible if you are constantly worrying about them finding out your secret. That’s no way to live or to treat each other. Honesty is truly the best policy as your life, your heart, and your mind will thank you for it. I can’t recommend this series enough, but I must be sure to note that The Man Painter contains some adult situations that are only appropriate for older teens. However, this doesn’t deter whatsoever from the merit of this series. In fact, I believe with all my heart that it only adds to it. All aspects of this captivating relationship are very necessary in bringing about the desired message which is - Life is immensely fulfilling and joyous when lived as intended.
  • The Man Painter on April 05, 2013

    My heart is bursting at the seams and my mind is empty now that I have just finished reading the last page of The Man Painter. I was completely blown away by the life-altering transformation that we see Holly and Theo go through day by day. They slowly shed the filthy skin of selfishness and replace it with the selfless depth of love that they have for each other. This is a story of true and pure love at its finest, and it is an extraordinary end to an amazingly beautiful and captivating series. I can’t say enough good things about this series! It is definitely something that I myself truly needed to read. My heart has been heavy for years with the strain of the shame, guilt, and worthlessness that this world clothes us in from the day that we are born. My heart has longed for the pure, selfless, and intense love that Theo has for Holly. Just to know that even if it can exist in this magnificent work of fiction brings such joy and hope to my heart. For all stories must first come from an idea and all good and pure ideas are given to us from our Creator and the true Lover of our souls. My heart has been destroyed and remade by two perfect pieces of fiction in just the past few months alone: The Little Seer by Laura K Cowan and The Man Painter by Melissa Turner Lee. I can only hope that more good things are on their way and not just for me. As we continue on with the enthralling journey of Holly and Theo, we learn some very important lessons about how to build and destroy relationships that we can all benefit from. The most important lesson is to not keep secrets from each other. Regardless if they are life-altering issues or just simple little problems, secrets will destroy your relationship faster than anything else. You can’t truly surrender yourself to the other person or enjoy each other to the fullest extent possible if you are constantly worrying about them finding out your secret. That’s no way to live or to treat each other. Honesty is truly the best policy as your life, your heart, and your mind will thank you for it. I can’t recommend this series enough, but I must be sure to note that The Man Painter contains some adult situations that are only appropriate for older teens. However, this doesn’t deter whatsoever from the merit of this series. In fact, I believe with all my heart that it only adds to it. All aspects of this captivating relationship are very necessary in bringing about the desired message which is - Life is immensely fulfilling and joyous when lived as intended.
  • Winter Fae on June 25, 2013

    Winter Fae is an exhilarating and intriguing start to a breath-taking story that expertly and beautifully weaves the streampunk and fantasy genres into a unified story of love, magic, and the boundless power of the human spirit. Through Winter Fae we are given a powerful and heart-breaking glimpse into the background of this story, and the foundation that is laid before you is one that you will not soon forget. The characters are as beautiful and delicate as magic and yet very humanly familiar. They will touch your heart and leave a beautiful mark after they are gone from the stage of Winter Fae. However, those that depart from the main stage are never really forgotten. They live in the ones that go after them. Winter Fae set a very high bar for the rest of this story, and I was so pleased to see Amored Hearts meet and far exceed that bar for the continuation of this exquisitely masterful and deeply touching story. I am so excited to see what’s next for us!
  • Armored Hearts on July 05, 2013

    Armored Hearts by Melissa Turner Lee & Pauline Creeden is a brilliantly measured and perfectly blended mix of romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. I was swept away into a world across the ocean and dazzled by the amazing story that played out before my eyes. My hunger for an original storyline, imaginative twists and turns, and an edge-of-your-seat page turner was far exceeded in this beautiful masterpiece. The characters that I discovered within the pages of Armored Hearts are fun and thought-provoking. They truly captured my heart, and I was torn when the story ended. The main characters of this outstanding work of art are Gareth and Jessamine. While we come to know Gareth very well, we get to know Jessamine at the same time that Gareth does. It's so fun to see her through his eyes as she turns his world upside down. If that isn't enough to shake up his world, Gareth discovers a piece of his past that will never leave him the same again. The wonderful and mesmerizing themes that run through Armored Hearts will leave you contemplating them long after you have finished reading. This is a very uplifting yet challenging story. Your heart will soar above the clouds as battles are won and love is found, and your heart will plummet to its lowest depths when the journey is found to be just beginning and dangers lurk in hidden corners. If that isn't enough to pique your curiosity to read Armored Hearts, then you don't know what you are missing. Armored Hearts is a creative marvel that will leave you in awe as to the artful and precise brush strokes with which these artists have used to birth this spellbinding tale. I can't wait until I can join in on the next part of this amazing journey. I recommend this book to all readers who want something that will challenge their thinking, broaden their minds, and touch their hearts.
  • The Clockwork Dragon on Nov. 16, 2013

    The Clockwork Dragon takes us on an imaginative and probing look into the darker regions of the soul where we hide those parts of ourselves that we don’t like to admit are there much less deal with. This collection of allegorical tales shines a bright spotlight on the dark and destructive behaviors that we keep deeply hidden from prying eyes and allows us to see the importance of handing them over to the One who can help us be rid of them forever. No matter who we are or where we are in life, we are not immune from falling into the trap of sin. It is only through the grace and love of our Creator that we can be delivered from the pitfalls of sins in order to try and live life with His peace, love, and joy. The beautiful and unforgettable imagery will have you reliving each journey over and over. Their messages will burrow their way into your heart where they will become a helpful reminder in times of trouble or doubt. I drank deeply of the heart and passion that were used to write these stunning tales of heartache and joy. On one hand I was sad that they were so short, but on the other hand, they were no less impactful or touching as a longer story would have been. They were perfect. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading, but I was pleasantly surprised at what I discovered along the way. Each tale was a short but poignant example of how easy it is to allow our life and our heart to be plagued by thoughts and behaviors that will ultimately lead to our destruction. Thankfully, the despair was replaced with a hope and love that was given merely by asking for it. There is no complex process when it comes to asking for forgiveness. The only requirement is that we ask with sincerity and call upon the name of Jesus. It is only by the saving grace of the shed blood of Jesus Christ do we even have the hope of forgiveness. Don’t hesitate to ever call upon the love and grace that is Jesus. There is an unspeakable power in His name that will send the enemy running every time. Pauline Creeden, Lynn Donovan, and J.L. Mbewe continue to amaze and surprise me with each new dimension that I discover of their incredible talent. They each have such a strong yet quiet voice that both soars and whispers when needed. I very much enjoyed this collection, and I am eager to read more from these amazing authors.
  • Scapemaker on Dec. 17, 2013

    Scapemaker is a beautifully compelling and wonderfully intricate story of discovering an unknown heritage and fighting to honor it with your whole heart. This is an adventure that will inspire and delight daydreamers and readers of fantasy alike. Come and escape down the rabbit hole as we enter a whole new world filled with surprises around every corner and untold dangers along the way. Do you have the courage and heart to forge this trail? Matthew who is just like every other guy except for the fact that he isn’t. He doesn’t know that he is different until it’s too late and his world is turned upside down. He loses his father the same day that he learns who he really is. With such an immediate disadvantage, he must play catch up and seek help from unlikely people in order to achieve his goal of saving his father. He uncovers precious truths and finds true friendship and more along this harsh yet rewarding journey. I was immediately taken in by Matthew’s honesty and passion in his fight to uncover the lies and mysteries surrounding the disappearance of his father. He knows he can’t do this on his own, so he seeks out help from a rag tag group of students that prove to be invaluable in helping him accomplish this insanely difficult task that he has taken upon himself. He pulls no punches with them, and doesn’t hold back with his true thoughts and intentions. Time and again his actions while good get him in trouble and his friends are always there to get him out if they can. The bonds of friendship that are forged prove true and lasting, and he becomes a better version of himself as a result. The world that is Scapemaker is amazing and captivating. There is no end to its beauty and its dangers. While it houses breathless beauty and intrigue, it also hides countless untold dangers. One cannot take anything for granted when in Scapemaker. Always keep your eyes and your mind open for what you miss may come back to haunt you. Steve Cypert has proven to be quite an intriguing creator of this highly entertaining tale. You won’t be sorry that you chose to read this story. In fact, you will devour it whole and then ask for more. It is sure to fuel and broaden your imagination as it entices your senses. You will get lost in this stunning new world as you get to know fun and passionate characters along the way.
  • Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) on Dec. 22, 2013

    Rumors is a raw and honest journey of learning how to deal with and overcome the grief of losing a loved one. Not only does this precious soul have to deal with unbearable grief, but she has heaped irrepressible guilt on top of it. This has resulted in a life lacking in its former freedom, joy, and hope that is slowly making her die from the inside out. This is a story that will break your heart and show you the importance or reaching out to those around us in need of comfort and a listening ear. Allie Collins is trying to go through the motions of making it through her senior year of high school with the burden of having her heart torn out at the death of her precious cousin. The void in her soul at this terrible loss has turned her into the shell of her former self. She has lost her ambition and her dreams are only fading memories. She doubts her heart, and she pushes her feelings so far away from her that she no longer knows how to feel anything more than soul-searing loss and guilt. Just as she finds someone she can open up to and begin to feel as if healing is within reach, she is dealt a devastating blow. I greatly admire Allie’s inner strength and will to live. Even though her doubts stifle her ability to love and her will to live a full and meaningful life, she still presses on and refuses to give up. She presses ever on to find a way to numb the pain and the ache that is ever present in her heart. In spite of her self-imposed punishment, Allie’s strength of character is unfailing in keeping her from completely succumbing to despair. She strives to find peace and a balance to her life because she knows she can’t live with this darkness. While hope seems elusive, she pushes ever forward to find a way to live and survive. While I was frustrated with the people in Allie’s life not making more of an effort to reach out and make a difference in her life, I have to resign myself to that fact that we are all human. No one truly knew the depth of her suffering save one, and he did all he could to reach out and help show her how to start healing her broken heart. This touching story should serve as a wake-up call to us to look beyond ourselves and to reach out to those who are hurting in silence. Erica Kiefer writes with such depth of heart and amazing talent that you will find that your will lose your heart along the way. You will find her words will flow from the pages and seep into the inner most recesses of your heart. They will touch you even when you think that nothing else can for you cannot stop the gentle force that the truth has.
  • The Key on Jan. 07, 2014

    The Key is a riveting and breath-taking journey of an ordinary young girl who turns out to be anything but ordinary. Her story is one of bitter betrayal, profound love, and fierce determination. It is not one to be ignored or taken light, so heed this warning. Now, enter this story at the risk of your own heart, but don’t let that make you shy away from the adventure and passion that awaits you. Rema could be considered as just another peasant girl. She was raised by her aunt and uncle into the simple life of a horse merchant. While she has always loved her family, she still longs for travel and adventure before settling down. Her wild heart hasn’t been tamed like the horses her uncle trains. It longs to ride free unrestrained by the shackles of everyday life. However, her dreams like her freedom are about to be dashed onto the jagged edge of a cold and heartless mountain known as the Crowned Prince. She risks her life and her heart as she is unwittingly made a pawn in the shift of allegiance in her kingdom. Does Rema have the courage to walk the unseen line that is set before her, or will she falter and fall into despair at seeing all that she has lost? After recently finishing a fantastic medieval trilogy, I was afraid I would not find another of equal or greater brilliance. I will freely admit that I was very wrong. This tale is absolutely wonderful. It claimed my attention immediately and never let it go. The stunning landscape, the vibrant characters, and the bone-chilling yet intriguing plot created a dream world that I was able to truly love and appreciate. Once this story started, there was not stopping it. It raced forward at record speed and never let up. Even the ending has you on pins and needles waiting to see what happens. You don’t often come across an ending that leaves you with multiple emotions choking in your throat at the same time. That takes a lot of heart and soul from a very talented author to pull that off. Rema is a beautiful character who is independent, devoted, and loving. To her family, she is the ideal niece who loves her uncle and aunt with all her heart and would go as far as resigning herself to an arrangement marriage to make them happy. She is wiling to push aside her dreams of traveling the countryside and keeping her freedom to remain true and faithful which speaks volumes about her character. I ached to watch what she was forced to go through at the hands of the Crowned Prince, but my heart soared at the love and kindness that his brother Darmik showered her with. No matter what trials and hardships you face, always remember that there is always something worth fighting for, something worth living for, and something worth dying for. While Rema had no idea of the nightmare that her life would become, she refused to give up, lay down, and let it take her without a fight. While darkness tried its best to destroy her, Darmick was the hope, the love, and the light in her life that fueled her decision to not give in. He became her foundation stone, and she in turn brought his heart back to life. What lay before them was engulfed in shadow and uncertainty, but Rema pressed forward knowing with everything in her that things would get better either by her own hand or with help from another. Responsibility and privilege were two notions that echoed throughout this story. The current King and Crowned Prince were ruthless and cruel. They lived only for their own pleasure and personal gain. They ignored their responsibility to take care of their people while indulging in what they saw as their privilege. As with any leader, the people under them need to be confident that the decisions made will be to their benefit and not their detriment. People will follow a good leader as long as they continue to make wise decisions, but they will overthrow a dictator whose only concern is making his life easier and his stores richer. In stark contrast Prince Darmick wanted nothing more than to see his people fed, happy, and prosperous. He cared little for the life of luxury and indulgence that he saw his father and brother partake in. They repulsed him, and yet he was forced time and again to protect them at any cost. He longed for a simple life with simple pleasures that included Rema and a family. He wanted to see his father and brother change into better people, but he also knew that was a dream that would not come true. I am in awe of this amazing story! It is filled with wondrous beauty and ravishing love that is pitted against depraved cruelty and dark deception. There is action, adventure, mystery, romance, and lots of drama. What is there not to love?! Jennifer Anne Davis is a fantastic writer who has such a captivating ability to draw you into what seems like a stunning fairy tale before unleashing the unyielding evil that tries every way possible to destroy the hope and love that begin to grow. Hold onto your seat for what feels to be the beginning of a heart wrenching and action packed tour de force that you will not want to miss out on!
  • Thorns of Betrayal on Feb. 19, 2014

    Thorns of Betrayal is a very real and raw view into how guilt and pain can profoundly affect a person’s life. At the same time, we are given a beautiful example of how God’s love and forgiveness can help us to lay our fears and guilt at His feet. We are not made to handle the guilt that we place upon ourselves or the pain that we take on. Those burdens are best left at the Creator’s feet where they belong. Life is short enough as it is. Please don’t continue to fill it with things that will only serve to slowly destroy you and squeeze out the joy in your heart. Just imagine the blessings that you could be missing out on because there is no room left in your heart for the good gifts that God wants to give you. Rose has made some bad choices in her life, and she has been taken advantage of as a result of those choices. She lives an empty, pain filled life, and she regrettably pushes away any good that dares show its face. Her terror of rejection holds a vicious grip on her heart to the point where she isolates herself in order to not experience any further loss or grief. Her life begins to quickly unravel after Zeke appears and literally saves her life. His light and love fills and thaws her heart, and prepares her for some very wonderful yet unexpected events that are to come. Will Rose end up pushing Zeke away when things get too complicated and painful for her, or will she allow herself to be completely vulnerable to him in order to bravely take hold of her heart’s deepest desires? This was a perfect continuation of The Wishing Well Curse. This time, we are learning all about Rose who Zeke has been lead to by God. Zeke knows she is the woman who he is destined to be with, but he must learn that his timing is not God’s timing. Rose is such an innocent soul that has been preyed upon and taken advantage of. She is haunted by her mistakes, and unknown to her God is working to renew and remake her life. Her struggles with letting go and trusting Zeke match those of any couple which is what makes it so real for me. The transformation of her life is a stunning yet painful journey of opening and healing old wounds, daring to believe the hope God places before her, and accepting the unconditional love freely offered to her. This story felt like it delved even deeper into Rose’s story then The Wishing Will Curse delved into Zeke’s story. I was pulled into this wonderful journey of loss and regret that was miraculously turned on its head to become one of hope and love. Once this story takes hold, it will not let you go. There is a quiet power and encompassing peace that seems to beat within the heart of this story. You cannot read this and walk away thinking and feeling the same. There is a clear challenge issued, and only you can decide to step up and reap a marvelous reward or run away and continue in your misery. Lynn Donovan has proven to me yet again that her talent truly knows no bounds. I feel that her writing has taken on a life of its own. This time around it is much more intimate which makes it more potent in its ability to deeply touch your heart. This is a story that serves as both a warning and a blessing to those who walk around weary of the strength it takes to wake up each day and pretend to live a good life. You must choose to continue to pretend or be challenged enough to start living a real life. I pray you choose to start living a real life that is true to both you and God. Don’t miss out on the mind-blowing blessing that could just be around the corner.