August is ‘Historical Fiction’ month at Sammi Loves Books!

Historical Fiction MonthFollowing the fun and success of July’s ‘Indie Only’ month at Sammi Loves Books, I thought I would do the whole thing again – with a different theme, of course!

So, for the whole of August I am planning on only reading and reviewing historical fiction on Sammi Loves Books.

If you have any recommendations, I am all ears…comment below or contact me via the form on the ‘contact me’ page.

I welcome suggestions that includes but is not limited to short works of fiction published on blogs and websites.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sammi x


Please note:  Depending on the number of suggestions received it may not be possible to follow up every recommendation.


Book Review: The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

This is the first book in The Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen.

Life for Gemma has been very lonely for nearly the entirety of her eighteen years.  Incapable of feeling any emotions, she had no friends and made no connections with people.  Even her grandparents who raised her, after her parents had died in a car crash when she was very small, are distant and cold towards her.

However, for some unknown reason, things have started to change.  Slowly her emotions are awakening.  When a new boy, Alex, starts school, things start getting strange.  Whenever he is near, Gemma’s skin buzzes with electricity.  She can’t explain it but from the way Alex behaves around her, he can’t stand to be anywhere near her.

When the nightmare Gemma has been having for the past couple of months begins to creep into her waking life, she thinks she is going mad.  However, she soon begins to learn the truth of her life, and of what is going on all around her.

I found The Fallen Star to be an enjoyable read on the whole, although I thought there were little patches which felt a little repetitive.  However, that couldn’t prevent me from wanting to find out what happened to Gemma.

The world that the author has created has depth and complexity; layers and threads are slowly revealed to the reader at the exact point when they need to know about them.  The story isn’t bogged down with excessive information and detail, helping it to flow nicely.

It was certainly well worth a read :-)

Book Review: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

A deadly virus that makes people turn into zombies has broken out, and spread very quickly throughout the world.  When the government-run quarantine where Remy King, 19, is attacked by zombies, she goes off in search of her younger brother, Max, who is in a different part of the complex.  However, when she learns that he has already been evacuated, but no-one knows where to, Remy knows that she cannot rest until she finds him again.

This is the first story I have read to feature the apocalypse or zombies…and I loved it!  There is action and drama from start to finish.  Remy is single-minded in her determination to get to her brother, and nothing or no-one be they human or zombie will get in her way.  The places that we visit as she makes her journey to find her brother are interesting and varied.

All the characters and their personalities were believable; their interaction together was so life-like.  The detail and descriptions provided showed us everything Remy could see, when she could see it.

As the story progressed, twists and turns in the plot kept me wondering just how things were going to turn out.  I couldn’t imagine a more perfect ending to a story.

Hollowland was simply another story I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and found it very hard to put it down for any great length of time.  I am certain that I will return to read this again.

Highly recommended.

I downloaded Hollowland for free from Smashwords.

Short Story Review: Virtually Scared to Death by Gillian Larkin

Virtually Scared to Death is the first book in the Julia Blake cozy Mysteries by Gillian Larkin.

Julia Blake runs her own cleaning business in Leeds.  When one of her clients and friend, a video game designer named Mark Castle, dies in what appears to be mysterious circumstances, at least to her, she decides to investigate.  However, it’s not all plain sailing.

On the whole, I enjoyed this quick read.  I thought the play on words for the story’s title was very clever and amusing.  The story flowed nicely, as did the dialogue, and there was enough description provided by the author to bring the story to life without slowing the pace of the narrative.  The characters were believable and engaging, especially Julia Blake.  I would definitely consider reading more in this series.

All in all, Virtually Scared to Death is an easy-going, light read, one that I couldn’t put down until I had finished it.  I highly recommend this to those who are fans of cosy mysteries.

I downloaded this short story for free from Smashwords.

Indie Only Update

Trust that as soon as I decide to set myself a reading challenge that is supposed to last the entire month, a million and one things crop up!

Now, the majority of these ‘things’ are my own fault, and based around my own writing (if your interested to learn exactly what these things are, check out my writing blog here.   Hint: it might have something to do with my series, The Andromache Jones Mysteries).

Rest assured that I have only been reading Indie authored / published stories this month, and hopefully over the next few days or so, I will begin to get my reviews posted here.

I am still aiming to have at least eight reviews in total for ‘Indie Only’ month and I have currently got four reads under my belt.  It’s not outstanding, but it is in line with my usual reading pace.

If you have any recommendations for Indie Only month, please comment below or use the form on the ‘Contact Me’ page.


Book Review: Assassin (The Lady Grace Mysteries) by Grace Cavendish

Lady Grace Cavendish is a Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabath I.  At the St. Valentine’s Ball Lady Grace must choose from one of the three suitors that the Queen has picked for her.  However, when one of them ends up dead and another suspected of the murder, Lady Grace decides to investigate.

To help her in her search for the truth, her two trusted friends, Masou, a member of the Queen’s dancing troupe and Ellie, a laundrymaid, do all they can to assist her enquiries.

During the course of the story we are given a glimpse into the life of those who lived and worked at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, as well as a brief look at London at the time.

The story is told through the diary entries in Lady Grace’s ‘daybooke’.

This series, written by Patricia Finney writing as Grace Cavendish, is a great introduction to the Elizabethan world, and one readers of all ages would enjoy.  The historical detail is accurate and the story enjoyable.  At the end of the book there was a glossary of terms used in the story which not only was useful, but also very interesting.

A thoroughly enjoyable quick read.

Why ‘Indie Only’ month?

The main reason behind ‘Indie Only’ month is that I wanted to set myself a different type of reading challenge, and this was the first idea that manifested.

And I must say, I am really looking forward to it.  I don’t know how many stories I will get through, or how many reviews I will get posted but that’s the fun of the challenge.  I aim to do as many as my time allows.

I still haven’t decided on a set list for the month, although I have a few ideas of where to begin…

Don’t Forget: There is still time to post any recommendations or suggestions that you may have.  I am happy to include any short works of fiction (less that 5,000 words, total) posted on blogs or websites, including serials, as well as published works.  Comment below or via the form on the contact page…

Have a great weekend!