A Gentleman and a Rogue

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Book Review for: The Sword of Summer
(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard)
Written by: Rick Riordan
Published by: Disney/Hyperion
ISNB: 978-148476035-2

4.5 Stars

I read: the hardback

An incredible escape to another world!

Riordan pens an enthralling new adventure involving the Gods of Asgard with “The Sword of Summer.” Our hero is Magnus Chase. After retrieving the sword of Summer from the Charles River, he’s promptly killed by Surt, the fire god. Thankfully, a Valkyrie named Sam, saves him and takes him to Valhalla where he becomes one of Odin’s soldiers known as the Einherjar.

Trouble is not far behind. Sam is expelled from the Valkyrie, and Magnus must re-find the Sword of Summer. Complicating matters is Fenris Wolf who is rumored to bring about Ragnarok in 9 days. Can Magnus and his friends, Sam, Blitz, and Hearth find the sword and save the 9 worlds from Ragnarok?

Riordan’s writing style is easy to read and engages the reader. His characters are likable and endearing. Magnus is brave in the face of danger, and loyal to his friends. There are plenty of villains who bring out the humanity of Magnus and his friends. The plot is fast paced, keeping young readers turning the pages.

The best character of the book is Sumarbrander – the Sword of Summer – who has a personality all his own.

Overall, “The Sword of Summer,” is a story with great characters, great action, and great appeal. The ending is satisfying and leaves the reader wanting to find out more about Magnus and his friends.  I recommend this book for 10 years and older.  A breathtaking read that will resonate long after the reader has finished.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Camping in the California Redwoods

Today I thought I'd share some pictures with you from my vacation at Jedidiah Smith State Park.  This state park is home to Redwoods trees. It's about 3 miles outside of Crescent City, CA.  Crescent City is on the border between CA and Oregon.  It's also on the coast of California.  The climate is moderate, not to hot, not too cool.  The majority of days start off with a marine layer that burns off as day go.  The climate is perfect for the growth of Redwood Forests. 

We went ahead and pitched out tent.  We use cots to sleep on. Personally, I find cots better to sleep on than using an air mattress.  They may be a bit more bulkier to transport, but for me it's worth it.  We went in mid June this year, and it was a bit on the cooler side.  Temps were in the 50's and 60's, so we always wearing a sweatjacket and pants.  

What's camp without a campfire, right?  Here's a picture of our campfire.  Behind it is our charcoal grill.  They got a lot of use! 

Here is Joe taking his Jr. Ranger oath.  They gave him a pin that he wore everywhere he went! 

Here is selfie with me and "Boy Scout Tree."  Boy Scout Tree is a Huge Redwood.  Actually it's 2 redwoods who fused together.  It's a 3 mile hike out to the tree and 3 miles back.  It's called Boy Scout tree because it was the boy scouts who discovered the tree in the 1940's when they were doing trail maintenance. 

Here's a picture of our little campsite.  Our tent is in the background.  A huge redwood log that fell down is on the left.  What I really liked about this campground is that you were surrounded by redwoods.  It gave you a sense of privacy that we didn't have in other camps.  The bathrooms were flush tiolets and they had coin showers. The part itself was well kept up. 

Here's a picture of the lighthouse in Crescent City.  It's called Battery Point.  You can only access it during low tide.  When high tide comes in, it fills up the middle and cuts off the island from the main land. 

Here's a bunch of redwoods on the the way to Boy Scout Tree. 

I hope you enjoyed my pictures of the redwoods.  It's a good 12 hour drive so it takes us 2 days to get there.  Crescent City has a walmart, a movie theatre and plenty of places to eat if you need something.  We took several hikes when we visited, the best hike being out to Boy Scout Tree.  There is a river nearby, but since it was so cold, we didn't go in.

Enjoy this 99 cent sweet summer read: Arrow Through The Heart:  Buy it now before it leaves at the end of August.  


Summer vacation and the Fourth of July brings Ella to New Hampshire while participating in a tennis competition. Logan is an innkeeper's son who bumps into Ella and invites her for an ice cream. Attraction flares and they enjoy spending time together, but each has their own plans for their life. Then disaster strikes Ella. Can a summer attraction truly become a lasting relationship?

AMAZON BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Arrow-Through-Heart-Stephanie-Burkhart-ebook/dp/B00TJH0UT6/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1500431875&sr=8-20&keywords=stephanie+burkhart

Monday, July 17, 2017

Christmas in July: avail for 1.99 in ebook - The Faberge Secret

Enjoy some Christmas in July with this suspensefull ebook read:  The Faberge Secret!


Elise Goodwin finds herself faced with danger when she learns the Faberge egg she's bought belongs to a Russian mogul, Dimitri Romanov, but is Dimitri playing a game with Elise's heart to get his heirloom back?

Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. She travels to Boston to buy some items for her museum at Sotheby's auction. What she acquires is a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov. He goes to the auction with the intent of buying the egg only to discover that Elise is in possession of it. His dilemma? He's attracted to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes and a trusting disposition.

5 STARS, Celia Yeary, Author
You will thoroughly enjoy this fast-paced tale of danger, a mystery, and a satisfying conclusion.Elise and Dimitri make sparks fly!

Sue Perkins, Author
The Faberge Secret exceeded my expectations. Definitely worth reading more than once. It is such a good book.

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
As the love story thicken, the suspense heightens and it won't let your eyes leave the page. I recommend The Faberge Secret to all of the romance readers. Even if you have never read romance, The Faberge Secret would be a great place to start.

4 Stars, Manic Readers
"A satisifying read."

4 Stars, Night Owl Book Reviews
The Faberge Secret is a fast paced, delightful adventure with plenty of love and adventure sprinkled in for spice.
3.5 Stars, Long & Short Reviews
"All this suspense had me flying through the pages so quickly I was able to read the book in one sitting." 

Brattleboro, VT, setting for the Faberge Secret

She bit her lower lip. If she didn't take a chance now, would her life be filled with what- ifs and regrets? Yes, John had hurt her, but she was still alive. Dare she believe in romance again?
Dimitri paused next to her room, beside the door.
"If you have the time..." she began, knowing it was now or never. "And if you don't have to go back to Russia right away, I'd be honored to have you share Christmas with my family."
"I'd be happy to." His gaze was as soft as a caress. He reached out and tucked a stray tendril of hair behind her ear. Then slowly, he curved his hand around the nape of her neck and moved closer so there was no space between them.
Their lips skirted each other's, teasing, tempting... until Dimitri's mouth finally captured hers in a drugging kiss.
His lips were firm and persuasive. He smelled of soap and sandalwood. Something intense flared within her, and she fisted her hands around the lapels of his coat. Her body betrayed her desire. His erection pressed against her thigh.
All of a sudden, an all-crushing fear consumed her. He was hard for her. It was too soon, too fast. She broke the kiss and pushed him away.
"Elise--" Dimitri began.

Elise's heart jumped. She swung around and looked at the door.

It stood ajar.

"Lucy!" Elise forgot all about Dimitri's kiss and rushed inside with him right behind her.
Concern spiked within her the second she saw Lucy.

Her friend's hands and feet were tied to a chair, and a gag was in her mouth. The room
had been trashed. Their suitcases had been turned over; their clothes and books tossed haphazardly about.
Fear knotted inside Elise. She rushed to the chair and took off Lucy's gag. Dimitri untied the knots at Lucy's feet, concern for her friend evident in his eyes. Elise was thrilled that Dimitri had helped her with no hesitation or reservations.
"What happened?" Elise asked. "Who did this?"
"They were looking for the egg," Lucy said. She glanced at Dimitri, but instead of her earlier resistance to him, gratefulness filled her gaze.
Dimitri froze and glanced up, his stare drilling into Elise. "Egg? A Faberge egg?"
Elise loosened one of the ropes around Lucy's hand and looked at Dimitri, perplexed. "What do you know about Faberge eggs?"
He muttered something in Russian, finished untying the knot around Lucy's other ankle, and stood, straightening his shoulders.
"That's what I lost. What I've been looking for -- my Faberge egg."






Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review for: Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

Book Review for: Killing the Rising Sun
Written by: Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Published by: Henry Holt
ISBN: 978-1627790635
I read:  the ebook

4 Stars

Recommended for: 12 years and older, history lovers


O’Reilly and Dugard pen an engaging novel about the end of World War II in the Pacific with “Killing the Rising Sun.” The Japanese are resilient, courageous, and willing to fight to their last breath to win World War II. However, in the early months of 1945, it becomes apparent that the Japanese cannot win the war. Determined, they will defend every bit of land they possess. 

Under orders from FDR, the Americans strive to build the atomic bomb. Known as “The Manhattan Project,” this devastating weapon might be the only leverage to get Japan to agree to unconditional surrender. 

O’Reilly and Dugard’s writing style is easy to read. They relate the personal stories of not only the major players including FDR, Truman, and Douglas McArthur, but also the soldiers who fought for freedom. Historical facts, long forgotten, will surprise the reader.

The title, “Killing the Rising Sun,” is symbolic in that Japan as a country, known as the ‘rising sun’ had to be defeated in order to be reborn again as the nation it is today.

O’Reilly and Dugard deliver another fascinating read in their “killing” series. The facts will keep readers turning the pages. Engaging, engrossing, and suspenseful, this one “killing” that will resonate long after it’s finished. 

Comments: While I'm NOT a fan of O'Reilly, not in the least, I do enjoy his "Killing" series. Which "Killing" book have you read that's been your favorite so far?