Paula Haskell


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Smashwords book reviews by Paula Haskell

  • The Striga Chronicles - Reborn on July 25, 2013

    R2R LoP: The Striga Chronicles – Reborn I received a free copy, through LoP, in exchange for a review. Elizabeth comes from a privileged life, during the 18th century, in England. She has a housemother that she bickers with as if her own mother, a caring brother, but a somewhat distant father. None of this matters, since a plague has entered into their lives and are killing people throughout the country and slowly takes her family. Or so she thought... She has been reborn, into a new family and should not remember her human memories or ties, but on the night of her wedding, she relates all that has happened to her, to her trusted friend and sister and this is where we learn about what Striga is and how she became part of them 'Just then my bedroom door swung open behind me and I could hear Elfleda's voice calling me. I walked to the door turning to look over the room and the crumpled Maggie lying on the floor and it all felt foreign to me. The room that had once held me safely at night, that had protected me for so many years, that was the only place I felt the most happy was no longer my home. I again heard Elfleda's voice calling my name through the door and I turned to walk through happy to finally be going home.' I really enjoyed the flow of this book, switching from the present day, to the main characters past life. It was an interesting way to introduce you to the world of Striga and what they are all about. I am really looking forward to reading what happens next, in the saga.
  • Steel, Magick and Faith: Book 1 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles on Dec. 02, 2013
    (no rating)
    R2R (LoP) : Steel, Magick and Faith: Book 1 of the Remus Rothwyn Chronicles I received a free copy, through LoP, in exchange for a review. The Fey creatures have lived a harmonious life, but then the introduction of humans threaten to destroy their way of life. Humans are quickly evolving and starting to encroach upon their lands. There was once a treaty, to pay homage and respect to the Fey kind, but that is slowly being forgotten, upsetting the natural flow of life. Not only do you have this aspect of life, there are also humans that are born with a magically side, called Touched and they are looked down upon, by their fellow humans; anything relating to magick and the Fey are not something that they want to be apart of their daily life and some are killed. One incident is sparking an almost all out war, between the local dwarves and humans of the area. Remus, the woodcutter and philosopher, feels that it is his duty to stop this, knowing that nothing good will ever come if a war breaks out. Elaina, a Toucher and one of his only friend feels that it is utmost importance that they try to stop this as well. This begins the story. 'Every piece of information or gossip he had managed to collect from travelers or from old lore had been inscribed. For millennia, mankind had spread across Glenryth, surrounded by the unexplainable wild. Why was so much unresearched? It was known that there were others, sorcerous forces at work beyond men, different species of Fey such as dwarves, elves and various beasts, had been identified. But no one pried. It was probably common sense. Remus had, however, heard of men and women who tried to explore the outside world beyond roads and pilgrim paths...Mostly they met bad ends.' Great introduction, to a new world, with separate societies of people, living side by side and how easily conflict arises. Remus is an interesting character, with not a lot of background information and his relationship with Elaina is strange but works. Can't wait to read the next one!
  • The Shard of Palrinah: Book 2 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles on Dec. 02, 2013

    R2R (LoP) : The Shard of Palrinah (Book 2 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles) I received a free copy of this book, through LoP, in exchange for a review. After settling back home, after their first adventure, Remus and Elaina start back into their “normal” way of life. But, both start to feel the bug, the need to wander and find their next adventure. So, after a time, they both decide to go back to the town Yondern and see what they can find there. Unfortunately, the conflicts between the Steelwielders and Paragonites are starting to come to a head and war may be on the brink. They both have factions out, searching for something. And Remus, Elaina and the bard Perfidian are there to figure out what it is and why both parties are looking for it. 'Now it seems that there was no option but to kill the humans that had ventured to this mountainous realm, and take their artifact, to see if it could be used for the good of the Fey. Most likely it would be destroyed, to prevent any human faction from gaining power or prominence with it. Elves disdained using any human invention or magick, although the time of humans bearing the ability to create artefacts was long gone, and even during that time, only very few artefacts were created, and at great cost.' Second installment as entertaining as the first one! The characters are being developed more and you start to see where this series could be going. The new introduction of Margharel and the interaction between the Elves and the one lone dwarf is perfect. Highly recommend and cannot wait for the next one!
  • New Beginnings (The Ivory Series, book 2) on Dec. 02, 2013

    R2R (LoP) : New Beginnings (Ivory #2) I received a free copy of this book, through LoP, in exchange for a review. Vaughan has a very difficult decision to make, but one that he has thought long and hard about. He wants to be changed back, back to being human. He was changed, against his will 66 years prior to become one of the walking dead, a vampire. But now, he has the love of his life and he wants to be the human she deserves. His plan is to find The Creator and ask to be changed back; to give up his immortality. But, with a request as big as this one, the price is not cheap and Vaughan's story quickly takes a different turn than expected. “What if you don't come back?” she looked up and her cheeks were streaked with tears, her eyes red rimmed and her lips quivering. I pulled her to me and let her lose control. Bloody tears were starting to well in my eyes and I blinked them away. “I will come back, I promise.” We both knew this was an empty promise and it hurt me to say it. There was no guarantee of my return, no guarantee of my request being granted. I was delving into the unknown and I was asking Nicola to wait for me, something I knew was incredibly selfish.' Great twist of events! Very easy to commiserate with Vaughan's character and know why he's making the decisions he does. It was a very simple story, but it got straight to the point, not too much added details needed. Interesting to see what will happen now.
  • Moon's Flower: A tale of Hidden Kingdom on Dec. 08, 2013

    R2R: LoP: Moon's Flower: A Tale of Hidden Kingdom I received a free copy, through LoP, in exchange for a review. Danika regals the young fairies with tales, well you could call the fairy tales. One night, they gather for their monthly tale, the Man in the Moon. All the fairies begin to protest this story, since really, who cares about the Man in the Moon. But, this is not your average story; it is the story of the fairy that falls in love with him and the consequences that come because of this forbidden love. It is a story that is very near and dear to Danika's heart. 'But she had to do it. She couldn't explain it. From the moment the flower had bloomed for her, it was like a part of her soul had entwined with it. Her heart ached. Literally hurt in her chest, each beat was a throb that bled anew with the thought of never seeing the flower again. And yes the flower was pretty, and rare, but it was more than that. She didn't know why, or how, she simply knew that it was.' Another great story, from Marie Hall. I was elated with the ending, since it put everything to rights. Great characters and wonderful flow! Must say that I am a fan of her work; serious, with a playful edge. Can't wait for more!
  • Carnelian on Jan. 30, 2014

    R2R (LoP) Carnelian (The Chalcedony Chronicles) I received a free copy, through LoP, in exchange for a review. Past, present, future. Seth is all of these, all in one person. He's been pushed forward, in time, to find someone, someone that will help his past country from further war and destruction. He cannot remember from where he came from or time, just that he needs to find someone. Mari is just starting college and has been looking forward to this time, to be by herself and away from her loving family. The first day there, she has an interesting introduction to this mysterious guy, who just happens to fall into her lap, literally. After that, everything takes on a new course, one that will test her mind, knowledge, faith and a discovery that would boggle most people. 'I went back to Seth's room and lay down on the bed. The facts were confusing. Who were the Sangre brothers? Why was Seth searching for me? How did he heal so quickly? Was he even human? I sat up at the last thought. I wasn't really a believer in all the fantasy books I read; they were just entertaining, but now my mind was racing. Seth didn't exist beyond the past three years, and he could heal miraculously. I got up and went to his open computer. It was already turned on, and I decided to borrow it. While I waited for Seth, I could make my own list of possibilities.' My first 5 star book for the year! While parts of the story were a little childish, it was overall a wonderful story, with not just one plot line to follow. It really gave a lot more that I thought it would and it has left me wanting to know what is going to happen! Time travel, new friends, puzzles, it's got everything!
  • Reading The Dead: Fidelis In Aeternum on March 27, 2014

    Reading The Dead: Fidelius in Aeternum (The Sarah Milton Chronicles, #2) I received a free copy, through LoP, in exchange for a review. Now on to the next, or so Sarah Milton thought. She never really thought she would be revisiting the “Fancy Dress Killer” Harry Sands, since he was convicted and locked away. But now, copycat killings are starting to surface, leaving Sarah and Anna, her ghost partner in crime, trying to figure out are they truly just copycat killings or is there something more to it, something otherwordly? This investigation along with another one, where her former partner and mentor is being accused of murdering a woman, (another police officer) has Sarah right on the edge of sanity. A lot of surprises and old memories are going to be brought to the surface and hopefully Sarah and Anna can get to the bottom of the mystery, before more dead bodies show up. 'Sands wrapped his weapon in both hands, before looping it around the police officer's slender throat. He lifted her head by her windpipe, savoring her distressed gagging as she struggled for oxygen. Her body twisted and flopped under him as she attempted to free her hands and escape, but she couldn't move. Her attacker pinned her to the ground. Sands pulled her leash tighter, relishing the feeling of her life fading under his hands. “Don't fight it, officer,” he breathed into her ear as he tugged her head further off the ground. “Death is the natural conclusion to everything. Give into it. Welcome its dark embrace as you would a lover.” GREAT second book! I was so hooked, from the very beginning. Loved the pace of the story line and also all of the flashbacks. It explained what had happened between Sands' and Sarah's characters and how everything comes full circle. Highly recommend!
  • Immagica on May 23, 2014

    Immagica I received a free copy, through LoP, in exchange for a review. Birthdays are hard enough, but when it's both your birthday and that of your brother & your family is a little left of center, then it's a whole different experience. Rosaline & her brother Elliot are at a turning point in their lives, not just because it is their birthdays, but they both uncover a deeply, hidden family secret. A secret so huge, that they cannot believe that it true. There is a whole other world, that they are destined to save. When they get transported to this place, they get separated and Rosaline's agenda is to find her brother, not meet the creatures of this universe and help them restore it to it's glory. But, along the way, she starts to understand why she is here and what she needs to do, in order to save Immagica and everything in it. 'Brynn sighed. “Never mind about that now. You may want to find your brother, but your dad is right, you're here for another reason. That amulet goes to the firstborn child on the day they turn fifteen. Immagica is your responsibility. You have magic in your blood, whether you like it or not.” I got this book, since I thought this would be a fun book to read with my seven year old daughter. Boy was I right on. Adventure, mythical creatures, the ultimate journey is held in this book. My daughter was so excited by it, that I was reading her a few chapters at night, not the one I was planning on. It was well written and obviously had a great story line. Thank you for such a fun experience!