(Review) The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived

Publisher and Publication Date: Disney Hyperion. 2013.
Genre: Fiction. Fantasy. Paranormal.
Pages: Kindle edition. 336 pages.
Source: Free e book copy from NetGalley. They offered the book free to me without a request.
Audience: This book is for a young adult audience, but can be read with interest by adults. Also, people who want to read something out of their ordinary (like me). People who enjoy reading paranormal stories.
Rating: Good.


This was actually the first book sent to me when I joined NetGalley. I didn’t request the book and it sat on the virtual shelf for a while. I decided to clean up the unread books on the NetGalley shelf. The Archived is definitely a book out of my norm.

This is the first book in a series titled The Archived #1. Other books in this series:
The Unbound #2. The Returned will be the third book.

The first point about this book is it’s strange. Strange for me period, because I don’t read this type of book. It’s also strange, because isn’t that one of the things needed in a paranormal book is a strange atmosphere?

Mackenzie Bishop is a mid teenage girl. She has parents. Her mom is a bit eccentric. Her dad is in the background. Mackenzie’s younger brother died recently. She had a Da that died a few years ago. Mackenzie will often reflect back on her Da, because he gave her insight and advice. She has one friend. When the story begins they have moved to a new place, the Coronado. It’s an old building. It was a hotel and then became an apartment building. Her mother has a plan to open a coffee shop in the building. So it’s a home for them plus a business.
The Archived is a place of records for people. A whole life data collection on people. Librarians work in the Archive. A History is a person who has died but not moved on. The Narrows is a buffer between our reality and the next. Mackenzie is a Keeper. She locates a History and takes them to the correct door. There is a few other important facts, but if you can understand and keep up with the above terminology you will be further along in understanding than I was at first.
Mackenzie also sees visions-events that happened in the past.
Add to this already interesting mix-a murder mystery.

My Thoughts:
What I like about the story is it kept my attention with imagination and action. Further, I wanted to know what her vision meant earlier in the story? I wanted to know more about what happened to her brother? Who is Da? So, I had several “things” that needed answers.
Another important point is I wondered who are the bad and who are the good? In every story there are those kinds of people. In some stories there are surprises, not in this story. I can’t say I was totally off by who were the bad ones.
I know that I think logically, but why don’t these people (History) want to move on? Why do they want to hang out in a narrow hallway? However, this is apart of the storyline.
Mackenzie is a sympathetic character. She’s a loner. She is not really involved in anything other than the “task” as a Keeper. She is grieving the deaths of Da and her brother. She and her parents don’t connect. She’s alone in her thoughts all of the time. She is a contemplative person. She’s basically kind and wants to do the right thing.
Later in the book Mackenzie is praying. What? Who is she praying to? Nothing alludes to any religious belief but she’s praying. I’m not sure why this was added to the story at all. It felt like something pulled out of a rabbit and just for show.

Am I glad I read The Archived? It’s good to read something out of my ordinary interest in books. It’s like using a different part of my brain. So yes.


(Review) The Curious History of Medicines in Psychiatry by Wallace B. Mendelson MD

The Curious History of Medicines in Psychiatry

Publisher and Publication Date: Pythagoras Press. January 18, 2020.
Genre: Nonfiction. Psychiatry. Medicine.
Pages: 118.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from the author, I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers interested in  psychopharmacology.
Rating: Very good.

Amazon link
The Kindle is free with Kindle Unlimited  

22 illustrations

Dr. Mendelson’s website 
The Curious History of Medicines in Psychiatry is an explanation of how medications were developed for patients. At first they were by chance discoveries. After World War II, medications were created by changing the molecular chemical structure.
This is a carefully written book for people who want a better understanding of the history of medications given to people who have a mental health disorder.
The time period is post World War II with a focus of the 1950s to the 1990s.
There is an addendum giving sub stories on people and events briefly given previously in the book.
Included is a medical glossary.

My Thoughts:
This is the third book I’ve read and reviewed written by Dr. Mendelson. The other two books are Understanding Antidepressants and Understanding Medicines for Anxiety.

What I love about all his books.
•They are brief and to the point, which helps because the topics can become heavy with subject matter that goes over my head.
•Interesting information is added to the medical content that is about culture and society, or a short bio of a historical person.

What I love about The Curious History of Medicines in Psychiatry.
•I had several aha moments. For example, Lithium was originally used to treat gout. Later it was used to treat bipolar disorder. Chloroform was used during one of Queen Victoria’s labors (8th child). Acceptance followed.
•An interesting story about LSD.
•Scientists continued working towards discoveries even though they were told to cease. I’m so glad they persevered.


(Review) A King Under Siege: Book One of the Plantagenet Legacy by Mercedes Rochelle

King Under Siege_Blog Tour Poster71fqEqppA5L

Publisher and Publication Date: Sergeant Press. January 5, 2019.
Genre: Historical fiction, British history, medieval, Richard II, biographical.
Pages: 310.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from the author, but was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of medieval, British history, kings of England, and historical fiction.
Rating: Excellent.

The Plantagenet Legacy (Book 1)

Landing page for the book tour: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Amazon link 
Available in paperback, audio, and Kindle. The Kindle unlimited is 0.

2019 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Further links of interest:
Britannica-Richard II
Medieval Chronicles-Richard II-be careful with the clickbait
Archives.history-Richard II
The Freelance History Writer-Anne of Bohemia
The Freelance History Writer-Isabella of Valois

03_Mercedes Rochelle Author
About the Author:

Born and raised in St. Louis MO, Mercedes Rochelle graduated with a degree in English literature from the University of Missouri. Mercedes learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.
Goodreads page for Mercedes Rochelle. In addition, webpage, Facebook, 

Richard II found himself under siege not once, but twice in his minority. Crowned king at age ten, he was only fourteen when the Peasants’ Revolt terrorized London. But he proved himself every bit the Plantagenet successor, facing Wat Tyler and the rebels when all seemed lost. Alas, his triumph was short-lived, and for the next ten years he struggled to assert himself against his uncles and increasingly hostile nobles. Just like in the days of his great-grandfather Edward II, vengeful magnates strove to separate him from his friends and advisors, and even threatened to depose him if he refused to do their bidding. The Lords Appellant, as they came to be known, purged the royal household with the help of the Merciless Parliament. They murdered his closest allies, leaving the King alone and defenseless. He would never forget his humiliation at the hands of his subjects. Richard’s inability to protect his adherents would haunt him for the rest of his life, and he vowed that next time, retribution would be his.

“This story is rich in historical detail. It has so obviously been meticulously researched. I cannot but commend Rochelle for this exceptional work of scholarship. A King Under Siege: Book One of The Plantagenet Legacy is one of those books that once started is impossible to put down. This book is filled with non-stop action. There are enough plots and conspiracies to satisfy any lover of historical fiction. This is storytelling at its very best.” Mary Anne Yarde from Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots Blog


Richard II (1367-1400)

My Thoughts:
When the book begins Richard II is a teenage boy. He was not yet the age when he was able to reign without the regency council. He’d come to the throne at age 10. In A King Under Siege, I was shown Richard’s feelings of inadequacy because of his age. He has a loneliness and a yearning for someone to understand and be loyal to him. His reign showed me the difficulties of trying to please his subjects, both the common and wealthy classes. Richard’s early success during the Peasant’s Revolt was short lived, he later suffered a deep humiliation, and he wanted to show himself a strong and capable leader. I was shown his role as king but also Richard’s character. The person he was. He was a complex character.
A King Under Siege is a compelling read because of Richard II’s climactic early years of reign.
The story is strong in dialogue-conversations between the various nobility. For example: Robert de Vere, Michael de la Pole, Thomas Mowbray, Henry of Bolingbroke, and John of Gaunt. Each of these men have strong stories that reflect their own aggressive ambitions.
At times while reading A King Under Siege, I imagined a game of chess. It’s a game of strategy. The players in this true historical period were each a strategist. They looked for weakness and opportunities to gain power over the opponent.
I saw Richard’s feelings from the first about his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke. These glimpses will lead to a change in monarchy later. I imagined a curtain drawn back to reveal just a brief glimpse of the future. Richard does have something to be envious about, and this makes me anxious to read book two!

Giveaway: This blog doesn’t host giveaways. At the end of this review is a link for the giveaway. 
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 paperback copies of A King Under Siege! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules:
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on March 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


(Review) Promised by Leah Garriott

Promised Blog Tour GraphicPromised by Leah Garriot 2020

Publisher and Publication Date: Shadow Mountain. February 18, 2020.
Genre: Regency romance, historical romance, inspirational fiction.
Pages: 368.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy (advanced reader copy) from the publisher, I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers who love the Regency romance stories.
Rating: Excellent.

For more information at publisher: Promised

Available in Paperback, audiobook, Kindle.

To read an additional review: Austenprose: A Jane Austen Blog.

About the author: 
Though she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She’s resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. Leah is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret. You can visit Leah at leahgarriott.com.
Facebook. Page at Goodreads.
Leah Garriott author head shot

Advanced Praise:
“Promising Regency-set debut. Vivid period details and the hero’s grand romantic efforts will please fans of historical romance.” — Publishers Weekly
“I loved this story. The strongest thing about it was something I have been searching for ages: one point of view. I loved that this story was only told through the eyes of Margaret.” — For Where Your Treasure Is
“This book is a must read for any Jane Austen fan. It hits all of the right notes from Pride & Prejudice with enough new spin to make it its own special book.” — Melissa (Goodreads)

Promised with Booklist quote

Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart…
Warwickshire, England, 1812
Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious match-making party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake, Mr. Northam.
There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match–to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage–to Lord Williams.
Under no conditions will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.

My Thoughts:
The story begins with an enticing dialogue reminding me of a business meeting, but it’s people meeting with the prospect of marriage. This is the first strong point I found about the book: dialogue. Whether it is father and daughter, sister and brother, or flirtatious words between a young man and woman. Several times while reading the book I laughed aloud. It reminded me a bit of classic movies when actors spar back and forth with witty dialogue. I just love this!
I love how the characters emotions are felt…..by me. Especially the main character Margaret. She is a character that I admire. She’s beautiful but doesn’t take that part of her as the number one most important of traits in a person. She is a person of character. She’s been deeply hurt in the past. She begins to analyze how she should best arrange the next chapter of her life. Throughout the book even though she shows emotion like sadness or shock, this doesn’t stop her from examining the situation and people. It was a sad experience she’d endured but she learned from it.
There are two young men who are related. I wondered what are they up to? What kind of people are they really? I loved the unfolding in the story of what they were up to.
How predictable is too predictable? I began to ask myself this question after reading about a 1/4 of the book. I’d hoped there would be something to snag that predictableness and continue to hold my attraction and attention. I’m pleased to say yes! Bravo!

(Review) Get Out Of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen

Get Out Of Your Head

Publisher and Publication Date: WaterBrook. January 28, 2020.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Anxiety. Toxic thought patterns.
Pages: 256.
Source: Self purchase.
Audience: Christian readers. People who want to change/repair/replace toxic thinking.
Rating: Excellent. Bravo!

Amazon link

Further links for Jennie Allen:
Website/You’ll have to sign up for the newsletter but there are freebies.
IF: Gathering 

The YouTube video is long but interesting.

Jennie Allen’s bio and list of books at Goodreads.

“Learning to capture our thoughts matters. Because how we think shapes how we live.” Page 5.

Jennie Allen believes the greatest spiritual battle we have takes place in our minds. This book is about understanding the seriousness of the battle, the origins, the reasons, and what can be done to change. Freedom is possible.
This book is not an alternative to not taking medication for anxiety or depression. This book is a tool. A huge help.

My Thoughts:
I’d only read a few pages of this book, and began texting several friends and family members telling them, “you have to read this book!”

This is a powerful book. It’s a book that is strong in teaching, but very strong in application. Throughout the book I took notes, underlined, and starred portions of it.
The profound words that I often tell myself (from the book) is “I have a choice.”
“I have a choice” of what to think about. I am not a victim. I am not a passive person letting any thought that drifts in my head build a nest.

The book is divided into three sections: “All The Thoughts”, “Taking Down The Enemies Of Our Minds”, “Thinking As Jesus Thinks.”

Chapter two is about the “lies we believe.” All lies will reflect one of the three lies given. For example: the thought, “I am not good enough.” This lie reflects, “I’m worthless.”
In this chapter, Allen goes on to share a story about her experience with spiritual warfare. This began after a speaking event in Little Rock, Arkansas. For a long time, Allen didn’t want to believe she was under spiritual attack from the enemy. It came as a shock.

Page 52 is an illustration of a map of sorts. This is homework: write down the toxic thought and dissect it. The goal is to be proactive and active about the thought now and when it comes back. We are to “look for patterns and common themes.” For example: Do I criticize myself? Am I angry?

Chapter six. Allen is blunt, she is training us to “fight.” Not only will we take the toxic thought “captive”, but the thought will be replaced with God’s Word.

Chapter nine talks about distraction. Distraction is one of the three d’s that the enemy uses against us. This last statement I’d read somewhere else. But, I’ll go ahead and fill you in on the other two because I think about these three d words often. Discouragement and deception. These three d words the enemy uses against us to keep us focused on other things-toxic thought things. Allen brings up the word distraction, because it “keeps us from seeking help.”

Allen moves on to talk about “group-therapy” and “community” in chapter nine. I’m not onboard with sitting in a group of strangers and talking about myself. If it is a small group, a couple of people, I’m okay. I’ve noticed in a large group, even as many as six, there is going to be at least one person who is too chatty. The chatty ones prevent the quieter ones from speaking. Even the best of group leaders have problems with this scenario. Further, we all have different personalities. We all have different ways of communicating and learning.

Over-all this is a fantastic book! It’s a book you read cover to cover, then concentrate on for the applications, and hold on to for reference.