It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel snarky (Sage by Jamie Foley: Blog Tour + Giveaway + Review!)

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jamie Foley’s latest book, Sage! I’m SO excited! 😀

Read on for my review, and don’t forget to scroll to the end to check out the giveaway and other tour stops! ^_^

Title: Sage
Author: Jamie Foley

  • Date read: March 19, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy / Modern-ish/Post-Apocalyptic-in-another-world? / Christian
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 386 (ebook)
  • Series: The Sentinel Trilogy, #3
  • Fave character: JET. And a certain character I cannot name because SPOILERS. But he’s awesome. 😀
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I was given a free e-copy of this book by the author (thank you!) and these opinions are entirely my own.

It’s really hard to review the final book in a trilogy without spoilers, as I’ve mentioned before; try “almost impossible” with this one! O_O My word. But I’ll do my best. It just may be slightly vague…

THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD THOUGH. I’m always nervous coming into the final book in a series, because WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO MY PRECIOUS FRIENDS? It’s the finale, and stakes are high, and is it going to live up to the previous books, and what will the ending be like? And the first two books were ALREADY so intense. O_O But Sage absolutely lived up to and surpassed all the expectations. There were HUGE things going down, and some major twists (like… meep!), but it was all gloriously epic and exciting, and still just FUN on the side, and I love the characters and IT WAS GREAT.

I’M JUST VERY HAPPY WITH THIS SERIES. It can get a little intense or weird sometimes, and occasionally all the fantasy elements can confuse me (with elements and archangels and aaall the fascinating complexity) but I think I have it down now. This is such a fun, exciting, well-written fantasy-post-apocalypse-in-another-world kind of series, and the characters are some of my FAVORITES, and I just love these boooooks! *flails around*

I can’t really say anything about the plot of this third book, especially for anyone who hasn’t read Arbiter yet. (So many huge spoilers in that, not to mention this one…) I’ll just say that it’s just as exciting and intense as the first two books, but with sweet moments and TWISTS, and character banter thrown in—because what’s the end of the world without some snark?

Speaking of snark, there is still MUCH of that, and the dialog makes me grin, and the character interactions are priceless—sheer gold, I tell you. ❤ Not to mention this book having seriously EVERYTHING, including rebellions and escapes and fights in arenas and shapeshifters and a modern-but-fantasy-but-futuristic feel, and all the awesome Aether abilities/powers (so fascinating), and all of it!

I JUST LOVE THESE CHARACTERS SO MUCH, OKAY. Again, I really can’t talk about what’s going on with them, but I love Darien, and Jet (!!), and Sorvashti, and Tera, and a certain snarky fox (so fun!), and Kohesh cracks me up (oh my goodness! XD), and there’s a CERTAIN OTHER CHARACTER I LOVE who I can’t talk about because of so many spoilers, my goodness. But if you’ve read Arbiter you mayyy have a slight idea about who he is, and I love him! 😀 His character arc is the. best. ^_^ (But Jet though. Jet is my absolute FAVE.)

I love how Darien, Jet, Sorvashti, Tera, and said-unnameable character (and Aleah, I suppose), are all coming so far and learning/growing so MUCH and just—let me hug them! ❤ And I still love Darien and Jet’s buddy-not-buddy, apprentice/mentor sort of roles, and how far they’ve come, but how they’re still the same despite it all, in their own way. THEY MAKE MY HEART HAPPY.

Speaking of characters and my heart being happy, there’s an absolutely ADORABLE romance or two or three, which, again, I cannot discuss. SO MANY SPOILERS. Gaah. But I love-love-love these couples. 😀 There is so much adorableness, it just knocks me over. I CAN’T.

There are a couple things I wasn’t sure if I’d be okay with, but… you know… I think I’m good with it? I ended up quite satisfied on pretty much every count. 😀 (I think I randomly wanted more of Thracian and he was hardly in it, but that’s okay I guess. And more of Jet’s POV, but I always do, so I’ll stop now. XD) And it’s kinda intense and might be better for older teens? (Really bad at age recommendations, here.) But honestly I have no actual complaints. I really enjoyed it!

Overall, it’s an EXCELLENT young adult fantasy series and is SO UNIQUE (like seriously, how unique can you get? I don’t even know how to classify its genres…) and I love it to bits. This author is so absurdly talented, and the characters and snark and fantasy-thriller-ness are gold. If you haven’t, I highly recommend checking out the first book, Sentinel!

(And if you’ve read Sage, please talk to me because I MUST DISCUSS SPOILERS BEFORE I BURST. Message me or leave a spoiler-tagged comment or something. XD)

Some Favorite Quotes (Do you know how hard it is to get non-spoiler quotes? VERY HARD. But these are a few…)

Step four: return to Altair and find any survivors. And try not to let Jet kill me.


“You’re not teaching her because you think the way she talks is cute.”

Jet didn’t respond. Tera glanced at him in the mirror’s reflection—he stood perfectly still.

“You can’t prove that.”

Tera laughed out loud. “So I was right!”

Jet’s shoulders slumped. “She’d kill me.”

“So we have an understanding, then.”


“Your moping is like nails on the blackboard of my soul.”

“You’re an awful little rodent, Felix Kael Tae,” Aleah snapped.


Jet breathed like a bull. “You have three seconds before I throw you out the back hatch.”


“Spicy, mild, or no spice?”

“All of the spice.” Sorvashti crossed her legs. “None of the poison.”

Jet leaned over the map. “Give her all my spice.”


“…just waltz away?”

“I was planning on walking purposefully.”


“I was so worried.”

“Naw, I’m fine. … Heard you died.”

“You look super broken up about it.”


How do you turn your stupid spear on?

About the Book

Ancient elementals awaken, fracturing a dying world to its core.

Teravyn Aetherswift returns to the land of the living, but everything seems unfamiliar… including her little brother. Zekk offers help, but can an alluring Lynx be trusted?

Sorvashti finally has everything she ever wanted, so the last thing she wants to do is run after traitors. But she won’t leave Jet’s side—unless the horrifying truth about his mother tears them apart.

Darien is sick of being used and lied to. But if he stands up for what’s right, he’ll pay the price with his life… or the lives of those he loves.

Purchase on Amazon or a signed paperback

Check out the rest of the series!

When a meteor storm knocks out the power grid, the supernaturally gifted become pawns in humanity’s struggle for survival.

The Sentinel Trilogy is an apocalyptic fantasy series that takes place on a unique world with ancient powers and elementals, but familiar human struggle.

Clean. Ages 12+


Trilogy Boxed Set: Amazon KindleSigned PaperbacksGoodreads

Sentinel (book 1): Amazon KindleSigned PaperbackGoodreads

Arbiter (book 2): Amazon KindleSigned PaperbackGoodreads

Vanguard (prequel novella, formerly released under the title Viper): Amazon KindleSigned PaperbackGoodreads

About the Author

Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She’s terrified of plot holes and red wasps.

Her husband is her manly cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin, TX and their family cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack can run free.


Giveaway Time!

Want to dive into a new world or in need of a good book? Enter to win a digital $10 Amazon gift card (3 winners) by signing up for Jamie’s newsletter via the form.

>>> Entry-Form <<<

Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, March 10th

Monday, March 12th  

Tuesday, March 13th

Wednesday, March 14th

Thursday, March 15th

Friday, March 16th

Saturday, March 17th

Monday, March 19th

Tuesday, March 20th

Wednesday, March 21st

 Thursday, March 22nd

 Friday, March 23rd

 Saturday, March 24th

Have you checked out this series yet? Because I totally recommend it! (If you can’t tell. XD)

You can read my reviews for the first two books in the series (as well as the prequel novella, Viper/Vanguard) by clicking the covers below…


Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll


Minstrel’s Call by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt: Blog Tour + Giveaway + Review!

Hello, my dear Page Dreamers!

I’m absurdly pleased to be a part of the Minstrel’s Call release blog tour. It just came out last week, and I’m here today to share my review for this book, which is the fourth and final (!!) book in Jenelle Leanne Schmidt‘s family-friendly, epic fantasy series, The Minstrel’s Song. (Hint: I ADORE THIS SERIES. ❤ )

Be sure to scroll to the end of the post for the fabulous giveaway Jenelle is hosting, and to check out the other stops on the tour!

So. My review. 😀

SALE NOTE FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS (LAST DAY): King’s Warrior and Second Son are on sale for 99 cents each, and Yorien’s Hand is on sale for $1.99, from Feb. 27 – March 6.

Title: Minstrel’s Call
Author: Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

  • Date read: March 5, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy / Christian
  • Age: Any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 552 (ebook)
  • Series: The Minstrel’s Song, #4 (previous books: King’s Warrior, Second Son (prequel), Yorien’s Hand)
  • Fave character: Kiernan Kane and Brant! ❤
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC from the author and these opinions are entirely my own.


I will be calm, I will, but… just… I have no words, okay? I’m trying to, but all my thoughts are just swirling around in my head in a kaleidescope of sweeping-fantasy-epic and happiness and character love. MY FEELS.

When I finished reading it, I made a lot of incoherent noises of happiness, and hugged my cat and my sister, and danced around, pretty much in the clouds. ^_^ And then I just wanted to curl up and hug the book (which is awkward when it’s on my laptop… *cough*), and feel HAPPY BOOKISH THOUGHTS and think about everything that happened in it, and basically be ABSURDLY PLEASED WITH LIFE. But instead I’m going to write my review so that I can tell you all how much I liked this book, and why you have to read it too! 😀

I love this series so, so much and this book was absolutely the PERFECT conclusion to it. I’ve just grown so fond and attached to this series and these characters and all of it! ❤

Firstly, excuse me while I talk about SOME OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS of all time, namely Brant and KIERNAN KANE. Just—words do not suffice to talk about these awesome characters! I LOVE THEM SO. I’ve loved following their stories through this series and—this final book!! O_O SO much goes down in this volume. SO. MUCH. Reveals and twists and hardships and epicness… And I love them all the more for it. ❤ These two characters ALONE are well worth reading this series in order to meet. 😀 As much as I love each of them on their own, their friendship-that’s-kinda-not IS MY FAVORITE THING. But Brant is the best warrior/king type of character, and Kiernan Kane is the bestest Minstrel ever and is so much more than he seems, and I can’t talk about him but JUST GO MEET HIM, OKAY.

The story itself is epic. EPIC, I TELL YOU. I was wondering, since it’s the last in a series and all, how it was going to pull this off. But I need not have worried, because it totally fulfilled my expectations. It’s a glorious sweeping epic and it was quite the adventure. I was absorbed in it, even in the slower parts, and by the end I was absolutely on the edge of my seat and SO EXTREMELY WORRIED about my precious friends and quite emotionally invested. Like. Just. THE TENSION. *collapses* This is final-book-wowness on a grand scale. Meep.

SO many things happen in this book, I don’t even know where to start! And also there are so many spoilers. O_O So… I probably can’t even say very much, because I don’t want to spoil them! (I mean, even things that are spoilers from previous books which are so much a part of this story… Reviewing the last book in a series is hard, guys. XD)

Suffice it to say that there is catastrophe and eucatastrophe, laughter and tears and soul-stirring calls to battle, cataclysmic fights and epic quests, music and light and darkness and hope and triumph. And it’s all so BEAUTIFUL. *sniffs* *hugs book* It can be fun and epic in turns (I know I keep using that word but I’m NOT EVEN SORRY), and just—words fail. It’s just the kind of fantasy I like, I suppose. ^_^ There’s even a thread of Christian allegory, in the best way possible. So well done!

I love this world, and the unique fantasy elements, like the dreamworld things and the portal prison and just EVERYTHING. So intriguing. Twissssts caught me off my guard, were fascinating, or I bounced up and down because I suspected them and YES. The quest to an arctic-like place (sooo cool!). I loved the ship!! 😀 (See gorgeous cover for details.) And oh, the prophecy THINGS! O_O Wow, wow, wow. Such reveals going on! And the Corridor, and just EVERYTHING HAPPENED. And the dragonssss, and other fantastical creatures! (The wind!) Absolutely brilliant and delightful.

Oh, and a random thing, but I LOVE the little almost-Arthurian dashes of mythology thrown around here and there in the series. 😀 And I also really enjoyed the snatches of quotes etc. at the beginning of the chapters (new in this book). They were fascinating, and showed such a depth to the history of the world of Tellurae Aquaous, like a rich tapestry we catch glimpses of. It really gave me a feel for that, and made me long to know more about all the stories hinted at!

All my character friends! I love them all and they’ve come so far and just— *HUGS THEM* They go through SO much in this book, but I loved standing with them and watching them come through it all. Kitry is an adorable new heroine, and I love continuing to follow the adventures of Kamarie and Oraeyn, Brant and Dylanna, Yole, Leila, Kiernan Kane, Jemson, Devrin, and the rest. ❤ I could talk about each at length but this is getting long and also there would be so many spoilers. XD BUT I LOVE THEM. MY HEART.

Each book in The Minstrel’s Song series is more amazing than the last. I keep thinking “the next one can’t be better than this.” But they ARE. And the writing, too, is getting even better in each new installment! Yorien’s Hand was my favorite (it was also the first one I read, since I read them out of order… Oops.) and I re-read it and loved it all over again. And as I was reading Minstrel’s Call, I was like “Eh… it probably can’t be better than Yorien’s Hand.” BUT THEN SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED AND JUST. Every book builds on the previous one and becomes so much more epic and fantastic and it’s basically a climbing stair of awesome and I LOVE IT.

I love that this book and series are family-friendly fantasy, while still being epic and thrilling, and I fully intend to read these aloud to my siblings. (And also to get a shiny paperback of this one someday because I neeeed it on my shelf.)

It’s an enormous book, but I’m glad I got to spend a little more time with these beloved characters in this beautiful and perilous world. (BUT BRANT. AND KIERNAN. KIIIIERNAN!)

It’s practically perfect and I love it, and it was intense but made me absurdly happy, and just go read this series now. (And then come tell me so that we can flail about the spoilers in this book and how amazing Minstrel’s Call was. :D)

About Minstrel’s Call

War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing…

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all…


Rafflecopter Giveaway From Jenelle:

I am giving away 1 Dragon Sword, 1 252-piece puzzle of the artwork for Minstrel’s Call, and 1 signed paperback copy of Minstrel’s Call. (Due to standard-postal shipping restrictions of blades outside the continental USA, and the lack of reliable dragons these days, I cannot offer the sword to winners outside the U.S. However, if someone outside the U.S. wins that particular item, I will send them a $35 Amazon Gift Card instead).

Enter the giveaway HERE!

Visit Jenelle Online at:

Website/Blog • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Tour Schedule

Monday, February 26

Tuesday, February 27

Wednesday, February 28

Thursday, March 1

Friday, March 2

Monday, March 5

Tuesday, March 6

Wednesday, March 7

Thursday, March 8

Friday, March 9

Have you checked out this series yet? I love it so much! ❤

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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5ERcover   Yoriens Hand - Cover Reveal Medium

5 Thoughts on Mind Writer by Mike Lynch & Lisa Godfrees

Title: Mind Writer
Authors: Mike Lynch & Lisa Godfrees

  • Date read: January 24, 2018
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Futuristic Thriller / Sci-fi / Dystopia / Christian Fiction
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2016
  • Pages: 360
  • Fave character: Clixon
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I was given a copy of this book when I met the author at a writing workshop. (Thanks, Lisa!) I voluntarily reviewed this; my opinions are my own.
  • Links: Goodreads • AmazonLisa’s Website • Mike’s Website

5 Thoughts on Mind Writer

1. I don’t usually read sci-fi, thrillers, futuristic novels, or dystopia—and this is all of those in one! So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 🙂 I do make exceptions in my usual reading genres to try different things sometimes, though, and when I was given a copy of this book and thought the premise sounded intriguing, I decided to dive in. I’m glad I did!

2. Mind Writer is a thrilling, engaging read, very well written and exciting. There are many twists and surprises, and each time the characters have a plan and it’s thwarted, they have to dash right into a new one… Governmental plots, a hired assassin, a heroine on the run with a special ability, crime bosses, and an underground Christian movement. The plot was fascinating to follow, with all its twists and turns, and all the little sub-plots and motives of the different characters! It felt like a movie. 🙂

3. The concept of people who have the ability to transfer someone’s mind/memories/soul to another body was interesting (though it seemed more fantasy-like than scientific to me, personally, which was fine). It was unique, and intriguing how that came into play in the story, particularly the memory aspect, and how the “colors” of people’s souls reflected on their level of goodness… I don’t want to spoil anything, though. 😉

4. I liked the heroine, Rinee, as well as anti-hero Clixon who has secrets of his own and something of a character arc, and other characters like Saminy with her accent and sweet family, and another unexpected ally or two… I particularly loved the parts with Rinee and Clixon—they make a great pair, and I loved their talks; they often made me smile or laugh. 🙂

5. Some of it was a bit scary for me (I just… don’t usually prefer dystopia! Just a me-thing. I know I’m in the minority. XD) and it was a bit gruesome occasionally, but otherwise as far as I remember it’s a clean read, and I believe young adults and adults alike would enjoy it. If you’re looking for a YA futuristic thriller with a Christian theme and a dash of sci-fi and dystopia, this is the book for you! ^_^

~ ~ ~

Let me know what you think, and if it sounds intriguing to you!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Ten Thoughts on Dissemble by Sarah Addison-Fox (Allegiance Series, #2)

Title: Dissemble
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: February 20, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA/NA
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 305 (ebook)
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #2
  • Fave character: Torrance (and Mick)
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author (thanks!) and voluntarily reviewed it. These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

Ten Thoughts on Dissemble

1. Well, well! That was intense! O_O I enjoyed book one (Disowned), but this sequel takes things to a totally new level. While the first one was a bit more of a quiet adventure (though still with its spots of action/peril) and I really liked that, book two has a whole other feel to it, with stakes raised, and gets more serious with lots of stuff going on. Meep! I was flipping pages there, let me tell you…

2. Dissemble is much grittier, and deals with tougher subjects. We’re also now in the thick of things, behind enemy lines in Kyraenea, with spying and intelligence agencies and double-crossing, and all that exciting stuff. XD Much action and suspense, with a thriller-like dash of agents, etc. Also, while it’s “Kingdom Adventure” in a made-up world (with no fantasy elements), it’s getting a more modern “feel” due to some more sophisticated weapons etc. because of the war, so that made an interesting upgrade.

3. CHARACTERS! I’m almost annoyed at Torrance for stealing top-favorite spot from Mick. Because I still love Mick! They’re both great (and especially fun when they interact. *grin, grin*). But Torrance, yes, is kind of fabulous eventually. *cough* I still like Celeste—she goes through a lot in this book, poor thing! (I was really surprised by liking Amaya too!) I really, really like our main characters, and I’m so attached to them and their journeys! I can’t wait to read more. I especially loved when they all interact—some great dynamics there, which were the best-written parts, in my opinion, and really leapt off the page. 🙂 BUT MICK AND TORRANCE AND EVERYBODY. MY PRECIOUS FRIENDS. *hugs them*

4. There are two EXTREMELY ADORABLE romances in this book. No names, but let’s just say that the continuing one from book one is so sweet (but just talk to each other, already, you two!), and the unexpected other one is UTTERLY PRECIOUS. Awk. There is so much cuteness going on in between the action and peril. XD

5. There were Twists. *evil cackle* Two in particular, which I sort of saw coming but really liked. And I was just really surprised at some of the characters and how they turned out, and I love it! It kept me guessing, but also turned out way better than I thought, especially one or two things I was very much on the edge of my seat about. I was nearly cheering “YESSSS!” near the end a couple times. 😀 I’m just sitting here feeling happy. ^_^ (I do need the next book though. AHEM.) Basically, the plot is exciting and keeps you on your toes!

6. Not sure how realistic it was or not, but some of the characters who’ve spent all their lives being suspicious of other people, when confronted with the Haynes family, realize “Oh, these are good people!” with such surprise, and it’s kind of precious. XD It was neat getting scenes about them and other characters back home in Etraea, while Celeste and co. were off having adventures.

7. I was so sucked in to the setting/world. It was incredibly vivid, and I saw everything so clearly as I read. What a talent! Oh, and I loved the scene on the beach! So beautiful and sweet! 🙂 (How about that AWESOME, GORGEOUS cover? I love it! ^_^) And for some reason I really loved the bits at the safe-house place hidden in the trees. 🙂


9. Content: While this is a Young Adult, Christian book, some readers might like to be aware that if it was a movie it would probably be rated PG-13 for a little mild language/drinking, some inappropriate implications, and action-thriller-type violence. Despite this, and dealing with some other darker themes, the book did have an overall uplifting sort of feel to it, and there was goodness to counteract the villains, as well as the last chapter ending on a quite hopeful note.

10. Overall, mostly, I loved it! I’ve really enjoyed both books in these series so far, and I’ve gotten incredibly fond/attached to CERTAIN PEOPLE, and just give me book three already, please and thank you. *grabby hands*

~ ~ ~

You can read my review for book one: Dissemble by clicking the cover below…

What do you think? Have you checked out this series yet?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

10 Things I Love About “The Last Motley” by DJ Edwardson

Hello, dear page dreamers! Oh boy, do I have a treat for you today!

DJ Edwardson’s fantasy novel, The Last Motley, is releasing in digital form today (paperback available too), and I’m here to tell you ALL about how you must drop everything and go read this amazing fantasy tale at once!

(And stay tuned at the end of this post for a link to the blogtour and giveaway currently going on to celebrate the release!)

But firstly, look at that stunning cover…

Title: The Last Motley
Author: DJ Edwardson

  • Date read: January 16, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy / Christian
  • Age: Any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 424 (ebook)
  • Fave character: I can’t decide; I love them all!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (thank you!). These opinions are entirely my own.
  • Links: Amazon • Goodreads • Author’s Website

Well, here’s one for the favorite books list! Absolutely delightful fantasy, one of the best I’ve read! I loved it so much! ^_^

Here are 10 (ish) things I love about The Last Motley.

1. It’s familiar and new all at once. It feels like a classic sort of fantasy tale, while at the same time being quite unique and not at all what you’d think! There are a few plot twists near the end which kept me on my toes (one of them I’m not sure about, but I sort of saw it coming and I THINK I’m okay with it) and otherwise I have no complaints at all—I loved everything about this book!

2. It reminds me a bit of Lloyd Alexander or Tolkien—high praise from me. 😉 Not in a repetitive sort of way, but in an it’s-just-that-good kind of way, with some similar flavors, such as colorful characters like Lloyd Alexander, and the real sort of “feel” of the world, like Tolkien.

3. A lot of the story and characters are not at all what you’d expect! I won’t say much about the story, lest I spoil it, other than to say that there’s a quest (huzzah!) and much adventure and excitement. 🙂 It’s a wonderful journey/quest going on, and somehow manages to feel familiar but surprising at once, like the best fantasy tales. There’s a lingering mystery to it all too, which was fascinating, and the conclusion is very exciting! O_O

4. As for the characters—well, my favorites! Roderick is a surprising hero—he’s only a simple tailor (as he’s fond of reminding people), and all he really wants is to stay with his lovely wife and little daughter, but he finds himself off on a quest… and more than he bargained for! He’s a little like Bilbo or Sam Gamgee in that way (though unique from them, of course), goodhearted and rather out of place in the wide world, just wanting his quiet home, and family—but that of course makes him the BEST of heroes, in his own simple way. I LOVED Roderick! 😀 Also, I thought it was brilliant how he noticed things about people by their clothes; he’s a TAILOR, so naturally he’s an expert on this, and it was incredible how that worked into the story in subtle ways. (And I love how he says “Oh, buttons.” I think I may adopt this. XD)

5. Then we have other characters, which I will briefly mention but try not to give too much away—because you must go meet them in the book yourself! There’s the wise old men Jareth and Kendall, an independent young woman named Portia, and of course Nagan! Not much to say about Nagan other than that he’s absolutely HILARIOUS, and his lines are some of my favorites in the book, which also makes him one of my favorites to read about! He has SO much personality. XD Then, last but not least, we have the titular Motley, Jacob, a young boy who… well… SPOILERS… but he’s absolutely the most ADORABLE thing and I love him so much! I love ALL the characters, particularly all together. GAAH. *hugs them all*

6. There was a depth and strength to the story, with themes of faith and especially of family woven throughout. Roderick has a strong faith, which was wonderful to see evident throughout the book in his simple trust and prayers. LOVED those parts. Some of the elements were rich with truth and felt deep and rather like George MacDonald or C.S. Lewis. And some of the conclusions might take you by surprise, in the best way! I loved the subtle messages and themes I got out of it! 🙂 And the last couple of paragraphs were great.

7. One of the strongest things I got out of it was the focus on family. I LOVED that. You don’t get a lot of fantasy books (or, well, books in general) focusing on family this much. Roderick and his wife, Bethany, and their little daughter, are lovely, and I love how he’s so protective of little Jacob. Their relationship is simply the best! The way Roderick thinks of Bethany all the time and what she’d do or think or say, and just wants to go home to his family, warmed my heart and made me so happy. ^_^ It’s a family book and we need more of those. ❤ And talking of family: the book is suitable reading for the entire family, which pleases me muchly. There are a few rather scary fantasy-shadow parts with the villains, so very young children might find it a little scary, but otherwise it’s totally family friendly. 🙂

8. The fantasy world of Arinn was fascinating, and I felt instantly at home there. I want to see more of it! It was a joy traveling through it with the characters—I felt so much a part of its hills and forests and rivers etc. It felt so colorful (appropriately so) and alive and just—I don’t know! It’s very homey (despite the inevitable dangers of such worlds. ;)) and I love it! Also, it made me hungry; sooo much food. I need to eat some fruit now! XD

9. The writing is another one of my favorite things about this book. It’s clever and funny by turns, and the little comparisons or twists of phrase lent it an air of whimsical, wry humor, which I absolutely adored. I often enjoy the writing in books, but this one had an extra something special. 😀 I had to pause here and there to savor some brilliant turn of phrase. I felt like I was eating a rich cake, or something!

10. Did I mention it’s funny? Because it’s funny! Not always in a laugh-out-loud way, but between some of the writing, and certain of the characters—particularly Nagan—it sparkled with humor here and there and made it that much more pleasant to read. I always particularly value books that make me laugh—and this one brought tears to my eyes too at a couple of particularly beautiful, heartfilling parts near the end! ❤ (Speaking of the end—in the last chapter there was a reference, or possibly two, which absolutely MADE MY DAY. I don’t know if others will catch them but it had me grinning insanely. XD Inside jokes are the. best.)

To conclude, I loved everything about it! This is an absolutely delightful book, in every way possible—from the story, the writing, the CHARACTERS, the humor and emotion, to the family and faith element, the world, and just an extra level of rich SOMETHING which I can’t put my finger on but characterizes this as one of my new favorite books! ^_^

This is quality fantasy, right here.

I’m eagerly awaiting more from this author, and I HIGHLY recommend The Last Motley to anybody who loves a good fantasy tale—because this certainly is one, and more.

(A Few) Favorite Quotes

from The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson

“Is it time to go already?” Jacob rubbed the sleep from his eyes with the backs of his two little fists. “What’s that sound?”

“Wolves,” Roderick said. “Now up, up, it’s time for a quick bite and we’re off.”

“We’re having wolves for breakfast?” Jacob asked.

Roderick ruffled the top of Jacob’s head. “No, sleepy, that’s wolves howling off in the distance.”


“Regrettably, I must take my leave. I swear I shall never forget you gentle folk— or your smell— but my feet are calling me home.”

“And where would that be?” Kendall asked.

Nagan hesitated, scanning the horizon in several directions as if attempting to get his bearings. “That’s an interesting question,” he said finally.


“Afraid of trees, eh? I might just have to chop one down and wear it around my neck, then,” Nagan said.


“Of course it won’t be safe. But nothing is ever truly safe. Some things are just more dangerous than others.”


“And you’ll know peace, and joy, and the shadows will never come again.”


“Wonderful!” Nagan said. “How do you spell that?”

A pair of flashing red eyes blinked into existence at the far side of the ruins, weaving in and out amongst the crumbled stone.

“I have no idea,” Roderick said. “I can’t read.”

“And I can’t spell to save my life,” Nagan said. “Which, unfortunately, is more than just a figure of speech at the moment.”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Aaah, this book! Does it intrigue you? Because it’s SO GOOD. ❤

There’s a blog tour for The Last Motley to celebrate its release, running from today through February 17, and there’s a sale and a giveaway and other fun things! So be sure to check it out! 😀

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Disowned (by Sarah Addison-Fox) – Allegiance Series, #1

Title: Disowned
Author: Sarah Addison-Fox

  • Date read: January 9, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Christian / Kingdom Adventure
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 334
  • Series: The Allegiance Series, #1
  • Fave character: Mick!
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (many thanks!). These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

What a unique, enjoyable book!

The story kept me absorbed and guessing, and it’s a nice mix of action/thrilling, and life sequences with character moments. There’s a dash of romance which was alternately cute and frustrating—just say what you mean, already, characters! (The usual. ;)) It could be raw and real and emotional and deal with war and things, but also be lighthearted and fun at other times. Quite balanced and well-written. 🙂 Anyway, I liked the story and I can’t wait to see where it goes next!

On to characters!

Mick was my favorite; I loved him! The soldier type, he has a temper and a gruff exterior at times, but he’s goodhearted and loyal, and has a wry sense of humor. His dialog was the best. 😀 It was also neat picking out his relationships with everyone around him, like his family and Celeste and Asher.

Celeste was a good heroine and I liked how the author did a great job with her outlook on things clearly showing how foreign the more “normal” world of Mick and his family was to her, since Celeste is from the country with which his homeland is at war. I loved Mick and Celeste figuring each other out after being at odds.

Mick’s family, the Haynes, were so nice. ^_^ Having an entire family as central characters was a sweet and refreshing element! I liked how they were just good people, and a tight-knit little group. We have Maggie and Ethan, the parents (who share POV switching back and forth with Mick and Celeste), who were both such homely, good people; Maggie’s so sweet and motherly, and Ethan’s a solid, strong sort of father-figure. Then there’s Joe and Sadie, the little siblings of Mick; they’re fun, though I was occasionally unsure what age they’re supposed to be. A lot of the lightheartedness comes from them. 🙂

Other characters were intriguing, particularly Mick’s friend Asher (I’d like to find out more about him), and the monks who we saw a few times, though not as much as I thought at first. Everyone was very individual and came to life on the page! 🙂

The setting was very interesting! Some might call it non-magical fantasy, but there’s nothing fantastical about it—it’s merely non-historical countries in another land. Hence the newly-named genre Kingdom Adventure, which this book definitely belongs to. 🙂 I thought it might be medieval-esque, but while it does have dashes of that (with a monastery and things), it ended up feeling almost more like a frontier western type of era, 1800s perhaps, with a smidge of more modern feel too. There are guns, horses, potbellied stoves, and a little town with shops, as well as an organized military and intelligence which felt more modern with a lot of the wording, and electricity is a new thing so there’s lightbulbs… But apparently there’s a queen and there are many references to the Crown, so the western feel doesn’t totally fit. I guess it’s like non-magical fantasy meets western meets kingdom meets almost-modern. 🙂 Anyway, the point is that it felt very unique! A few times some of the elements didn’t mesh totally for me, but on the whole it felt like its own individual land that I’ve now become familiar with. ^_^ That’s one of the fun things about Fantasy and Kingdom Adventure—the feel of the world and getting to know it. I hope to go back to this land of Etraea sometime!

Content-wise, for those who wish to know, it’s a little bit gritty at times, so I’d recommend it to slightly older teens. There’s a little bit of gruesomeness due to war, and some other references/things which might make it more PG-13, but fairly mild. And there’s a faith element which was nicely integrated, since there’s an allegorical God and so forth. I liked how faith-filled the Haynes family was. 🙂

That ending! It didn’t cliff-hanger, exactly, but it sort of… stopped rather suddenly, and there are quite a few questions left hanging, including some big changes. I keep wondering what happens next (I want the next scene!) and I’m extremely curious to find out what will happen in later books! I want to know what happens with Mick and Celeste and their stories!

Overall, I enjoyed it very much indeed! ^_^ It was just… really good, and I loved the characters! ❤ (And and and — book 2, where are you?!) I recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure story, and I’ll be watching for more books by this author! 😀

Favorite Quote

“You picked a bad time to get shot.”

Mick raised an eyebrow. “Is there a good time to get shot?”

~ ~ ~

What do you think? Sound intriguing? Don’t you just LOVE that cover? ^_^

[NOTE: Although I’m not part of it, there’s a month-long January blog tour going on for this book! You can find the links in this post.]

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Second Impressions: Short Stories Inspired By Jane Austen (Vintage Jane Austen)

I’m reviewing the short story collection Second Impressions today as part of the Vintage Jane Austen Blog Event. (All the VJA books are on a Kindle countdown deal this week, so get ’em while they’re discounted — or pick up lovely paperbacks! Find the links with my mini reviews here.)

So excited to share this sweet collection with y’all! 🙂

Title: Second Impressions: A Collection of Fiction Inspired by Jane Austen

Editor: Hannah Scheele

Authors: Hannah Scheele (Introduction), E. Kaiser Writes, Gail Bryant, Therese Peyton, Mikayla Holman, Jennifer Baxter, Hannah Jones

  • Date read: October 22, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Short stories / Retellings (Jane Austen) / Contemporary / Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Kingdom Adventure / Sci-Fi
  • Age: Anyone
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 222
  • Series: Vintage Jane Austen (this is a bonus to go with it; it’s not actually in the 1930s like the others)
  • Source: I received a free e-copy of this book for review purposes; these opinions are entirely my own.
  • Links: AmazonGoodreadsAbout the Authors

The moment I read the opening line of the first story in this collection (from “Chocolate Surprise” by E. Kaiser Writes) — “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman, in possession of any income at all, must be in want of some chocolate.” — I knew I was going to have the best time reading these stories. I was right. ^_^

From the lovely introduction right through each of these nine tales to the end of the collection, I was touched and charmed and smiling (or laughing), and overall delighting in finding these sweet gems, retelling or otherwise revisiting Jane Austen’s tales in many different colorful ways.

We have four set in modern times, two in the original time period (like a direct prequel and sequel), one in the 1950s, one non-magical fantasy, one kingdom adventure, and even a sci-fi story! Three involve Emma, two Pride and Prejudice, two Mansfield Park, and one each of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. I enjoyed them all!

Below are my mini-thoughts on each entry. Second Impressions (I love the play on titles, harking back to Pride and Prejudice’s early title “First Impressions”!) is a lovely add-on to the Vintage Jane Austen series. One thing is for sure: if you like Jane Austen’s works at all, you’re going to want to give these stories a try! 🙂

Introduction – Hannah Scheele

5 stars

Hannah collected a varied and sweet bunch of stories in the contest for this collection, designed absolutely gorgeous covers for the Vintage Jane Austen series, and wrote a delightful introduction too! This was a lovely introduction, full of heart and honesty and a touch of wit; perfect for the collection. I read it twice, before and after reading the stories. It made me happy. ^_^

Chocolate Surprise – E. Kaiser Writes

5 stars

At the beginning, I wasn’t totally sure which retelling this was, or if I’d like it, but pretty soon everything clicked and I was like “OH!” and the pieces fell together. And I loved the end! I also loved the letter, and Kingston was great. 😀 It’s set in the 1950s, and the color and detail was fabulous and so vivid. I shall allow you to discover the story it retells, yourself, but overall I really enjoyed it! 🙂

Gently Pursued, Finally Persuaded – Gail Bryant

5 stars

Aww, so sweet! 🙂 A Contemporary retelling of Persuasion, set in the 1990s, this was an unconventional love story, with a Christian theme and a thread of humor. It said this was the author’s first short story, but you would never have known it! The writing was well seasoned and full of clever or fun turns of phrases scattered throughout. The story left me with a smile. ^_^ Lovely!

The Secret of Pemberly Estate – Therese Peyton

4 stars

I wasn’t so sure about this one. It’s a direct sort of sequel to Pride and Prejudice, set in 1815. I had just re-read Pride and Prejudice, and some of the characters in this story seemed to act out of character, to me at least, and some of the plot confused me. It was, however, very original/thrilling/theatrical, like a mystery. Not my favorite, but it did have vivid imagery and was an interesting read. 🙂

Emma’s Irritation – Mikayla Holman

5 stars

Eep, I loved this one! It’s a sort of prequel, set a few years before Emma, and features a teenage Emma and her relationship with Mr. Knightley, as well as some scenes fans of Emma will find intriguing and fun. Mr. Knightley felt very Mr. Knightley ish! He was great. And I could imagine Emma herself being something like that as a teen. I loved the bantering dialog and fun! And just… really enjoyed it. 🙂

Mother’s Day – Jennifer Baxter

5 stars

Aww! ^_^ I can’t really explain this one without giving it away, somehow, but it was an extremely unique and touching twist on a Sense and Sensibility story in a modern setting. It’s very short, but every word counts, and just… I don’t know! It was subtle but just lovely. 🙂

The Mansfield – E. Kaiser Writes

5 stars

OH MY GOODNESS. This story! I never would have imagined Jane Austen in space would work as well as this did. The idea of Mansfield Park’s story taking place on a spaceship (instead of in a mansion) was genius and worked astonishingly well. The characters and dialog were great (the worldbuilding too) and the Mansfield Park story translated SO well to this new in-space setting that it was just delightful! 🙂 I don’t even read much sci-fi but this was great. XD

Elaina – Hannah Jones

5 stars

I was trying to categorize this, and I think I came up with Christian Fiction and the newly named Kingdom-Adventure genre. (There wasn’t really adventure? But hey.) This retelling of Emma set in a kingdom of knights. etc., and featuring her as a princess, was so neat! Again, it translated really well, and I thought that was great fun. 🙂 Amazing how well a little kingdom works to replace Emma’s small town!

Peace in the Orchard – E. Kaiser Writes

5 stars

Imagine Pride and Prejudice set in an idyllic, non-magical, fantasy-type kingdom where Mr. Darcy is a dragon-slaying king, and you pretty much have this one in a nutshell. XD There’s a lot of lovely description of this original, fantastic world, and it mainly focuses on the Elizabeth and Jane characters. The orchard scene at the end was my favorite. 🙂

Maid in Houston – Jennifer Baxter

4 stars

This was a Contemporary retelling of Mansfield Park, featuring a Hispanic heroine — who I quite liked — and a modern setting in Houston. It was a little strange to me, but had some lovely parts and overall it was a very good retelling of Mansfield Park, and so fluidly written and original! It’s about every-day people, and I loved that. The part at the end about love was beautiful. ^_^

~ ~ ~

The Vintage Jane Austen Blog Event

Check out the rest of the blog tour, and the giveaway!

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11


As part of this special blogging event (November 5-11), we are giving away a $25 Amazon gift Card.

Enter to win HERE.

So what do you think? Does Second Impressions sound intriguing? Which story are you most curious about?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer