Recommended Books: Starter Zone by Chris Pavesic

September 10, 2018

Starter Zone

LitRPG YA Fantasy is a new genre for me. A refreshing one. Reading Starter Zone (2017), the first book in the Revelation Chronicles, took me back to my family living room where my brothers, sister, parents, and I would compete for the best score on Asteriod and later, Super Mario Brothers. Much, much later we played quest games like the one written about in Starter Zone where competing fell by the wayside and we tapped into our collective skills to beat the game. Reading about Cami and Abby’s stats, quests, and trainers took me right back into a gaming world I once loved.

Starter Zone is my first book by Pavesic. Reading a new author is an exciting gamble that I’m betting I will win. That’s the result I got with her.

The best books make you forget that you are reading. Instead, they immerse you in a world brought to life by the author’s words. Pavesic did that. She also taught me that some of my short stories in progress fall into the speculative science fiction genre. The best stories entertain and inform at the same time.

Pavesic’s story is high concept and easy to relate to. Two young sisters are orphaned in a dystopian world. Cami is 17, Abby is 7. As unlikely as it seems, the starter zone of the title is marginally safer than the outside world. Especially because of Cami’s street smarts. There are no wasted characters or words in this story. It moves, moves, moves.

My recommendation to read this book is based on the fact that I couldn’t put it down and finished it in record time.

If I say more you will not get to taste the same adventure I did, and that would be selfish of me!

Starter Zone’s is followed by Traveler’s Zone.

Check out the trailer on the new book!



As always, thank you for the time we spend together!


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This is My Genre|Book Tag

Thanks to Callum McLaughlin for his ever insightful participation in book tags. They look like so much fun and I(!) can play this time!

What is your favorite genre:

Romance! I am that excited about my genre.

Who is your favorite author from that genre?

Nora Roberts is always going to top my list because she consistently publishes characters and stories that define what I think of as great romance.  The feels I get from her books are why I keep going back. I’ve read at least forty and I am excited to read more. She also writes as J.D. Robb and I’ve read at least forty-five of those (I count the novellas). The evolving relationship between Eve and Roarke is so sigh worthy!

Nora Roberts & I (2012)

 What is it about the genre that keeps pulling me back?

Romance offers never-ending variety. There’s paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, western, sweet, urban fantasy, romantic suspense, thrillers, choose your own adventure, etc… But no matter what, there is always a love story.

What is the book that started your love for that genre?

I clearly remember reading Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume and the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal. I’m a born romantic and these stories confirmed that I found my book love home early.

Some of the links in this post are my Amazon Affiliate links, which help support this site at no additional cost to you.

If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

I usually recommend Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts, the first book in the Three Sisters Island trilogy, because the characters are so well drawn and the series is excellent overall. This was my first paranormal romance (PNR) series. I found all three books at a Friends of the Library sale and at first I thought I read the blurb wrong. Could this by a romance and a paranormal in the same book? You can have both in the same book?! My love for PNR was born that day.

I have reread this series too many times to count.

Why do I read?

I think I’m a book junkie. There are so many ways to rearrange the twenty-six letters of our English alphabet! I consider myself privileged to experience the endless variety of books and authors available to me. Losing myself in a story is one of the best feelings there is. The short answer is: I read because I love to read and I always have.

I loved that walk down memory lane!

Consider yourself tagged if you would like to be a part of this book tag, and please link your post to me so I can read your answers!

As always, thanks for reading!


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Have you Read the Shiva XIV Series by Lyra Shanti?

Lucky me, I have read most of the books in this series! Shanti a talented sci-fi/fantasy author, which is always a pleasure for a hungry reader like me. Check out the covers! Mama mia, there are some good ones.

The links on these book covers connect to my Amazon associate ID, which helps support this site without adding any cost to you.

Book 1 (2014) showed Shanti’s elegant writing style and a unique writing voice, which are great accomplishments for a debut novel. The world she built for this series is accessible, while being totally foreign to the world we live in.

The hero, Ayn, has serious tasks laid on his fourteen-year-old shoulders, like saving his people from extinction. That’s not a spoiler, there’s plenty I won’t tell you. This book is rich in originality, plot, characters, and adventure. If you can predict what happens in this book you should play lottery numbers because you are gifted.

At the end of Shiva XIV I was anxious to read the book 2, Shiva XIV: The Veil of Truth (2015). I knew there was a lot more story to tell, and I was invested in the characters.

The second book continues immediately where the first book ended. There are interesting new characters in The Veil of Truth, like Srah, who has lovely wings. I love characters with wings. There are a few of them in the series.

Shanti’s creativity spiked to the top of the charts with this book, showing us more parts of the world she built and more characters with interesting motives and twisty plots. Some of them are twisted, too.

I was so engrossed in The Veil of Truth that I didn’t realize I was close to the end and then, bam, it was over. I love to be swept away by a series like that!

Shiva XIV: The Riddle of the Gods (2016) is book 3 in the series. This book brought satisfying answers to questions I had about books one and two. There is a villain in this series, Yol Notama, who conflicted me more than any villain I can remember reading. If you’ve read the series I want to know if you went down the same topsy-turvy emotional path I did with him.

There are relationships between these characters that most authors can’t pull off, including an open-minded, naturally occurring non-traditional relationship forming that I find exciting.

Surprising love between two other characters is about to spawn a new race of beings. I didn’t say who, or what, so that’s not a spoiler, right?

I recommend reading the books as a series. They can stand on their own but there is so much more reward if you read all of them.

There are more books in the series for me to read, Yippee! These are on my TBR:


Ooh, look, there’s a box set of books 1-4!


Thank you for reading my review of the SHIVA XIV series!



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Recommended Books – The Winter King by C.L. Wilson (Book 1 of the Weathermages of Mystral Series)


C.L. Wilson will be at Coastal Magic Convention in February! Squeal! I heard about Coastal Magic Convention from her blog post back in July 2017. There wasn’t a moment of hesitation for me to check out all of the details. I looked up the tickets, which are still available, and started planning. The convention is in Daytona Beach, Florida from February 22-25. Our convention hotel is The Shores Resort and Spa. If you are going to be there, shout it out to me. I would love to see you there!


While we are on the subject of conventions, I’d love to hear about your experiences with them. Do you go to book conventions? Do you stay at the convention hotel? Do you stay for the whole convention? This is my first one, and I am excited!

Now, about The Winter King. Wilson is treasured for her detailed action scenes and elaborate world building, which we were introduced to in her Tairen Soul series. I definitely recommend the whole series and I hope you will share your thoughts with me when you read it (or if you already have). I love to compare notes.

There is a satisfying romance in The Winter King. The energy between Wynn and Kham zings through the page. You can feel their bond grow. There are scads and scores of details I’m leaving out that skillfully bring those feelings out. What fun would it be for me to spoil the discovery experience for you?

The lore of Mystral, the land where the weathermages live, is full and engaging. I loved the feeling that even as I read about new languages and customs, I could also admire Wilson’s skill in making them feel exotic and familiar at the same time.

There is a good dose of royal intrigue, similar to A Game of Thrones. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you flipping the pages.

The series continues in The Sea King (2017). I’m reading that now, and completely looking forward to talking about them at the convention. Hopefully Wilson will tease us with future books in the series.

Is there anything you would like to know about The Winter King that I didn’t talk about? Ask away!


Thanks for reading!



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Recommended Books – “A Cause for Murder” by HL Carpenter



Emma Twiggs has my vote! I recommend this cozy mystery for anyone who likes a juicy who-done-it painted with a cast of characters who are so clearly written that it’s like watching a play. There are plenty of twists and turns, frail human emotions and villains to thicken the plot. I’m looking forward to the next Emma Twiggs Cozy Mystery already!

Have you read “A Cause for Murder”? What was your favorite part?



As always, thank you for the time we spend together!



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Spiced Apple Oatmeal – Inspired by Who’s That In The Cat Pajamas by Sojourner McConnell



This chapter book charmed the socks off of me! Dolcey is so sweet, and loving! The story is relevant and moving. The illustrations are perfect for the story. I can’t wait for another Dolcey book!

While I was reading about Emily and Dolcey, I had the idea for this spiced apple oatmeal. You’ll understand why when you read this delightful chapter book.


Thrive Life Quick Oats are gluten free.

SAO jar

       Make ahead for busy mornings, camping and to give as gifts!

SAO apple canIMAG0086

That’s a family can of Fuji apples in the background!

Spiced Apple Oatmeal (1)

I’m bringing my spiced apple oatmeal to Fiesta Friday this week. It’s too good not to share! Our co-hosts this week are Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes.

Meet The Author

If you’re in Kentucky this October, you can meet Sojourner McConnell and get your copy of Who’s That In The…

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Recommended Books: They Serve Bagels In Heaven by Irene Weinberg


My rating: 5 stars.

Weinberg is a skilled author, writing about a subject that has fascinated me personally since I was a child, and professionally since my own talents smacked me in the face. In a good way. Reading her book was like sitting down for a good girlfriend chat.

The love between the couple moved me. Channeled information from Saul about his life between lives process sounded and felt accurate to me based on my experiences and on research I’ve read.

I will caution you that Weinberg will draw you in with stories about past lives, some of which were tragic. Have your tissues handy.

I was impressed by Weinberg’s advice about how to choose a true medium, and enraged when I read that one of the mediums she hired tried to control her by telling her that her husband’s soul would be in jeopardy if his widow didn’t do what they said. It doesn’t work that way. It really doesn’t.

The book ends on a positive note, and I would be happy to see another book from this lovely author.

As always, thank you for the time we spend together!


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