Vanessa’s Book Recommendations

This is a list of my favorite books. On the left you will find fiction, and on the right you will find nonfiction. If you’ve read any of these let me know what your favorite ones were.

This is also a working list. It will grow with every book I read. Keep checking back here or follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading right now.

The Beyonders Series – Brandon MullAtomic Habits – James Clear
Dragonwatch – Brandon MullRaving Fans – Ken Blanchard
The Fablehaven Series – Brandon MullThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
Foresender Fury – Adrian MurphyThe Four Hour Work Week (2nd Edition) – Timothy Ferris (First edition has too much swearing.
Mark of the Raven – Morgan L. BusseName, Place, Animal, Thing – Lux Narayan
Darkskull Hall – Lisa CassidyMiracle Morning – Hal Elrod
the Last Housekeeper – Kari ShueyBook of Joy – Diahli Lama and Desmund Tutu
Traitor’s Masque: A Retelling of Cinderella (The Andari Chronicles Book 1) – Kenley DavidsonCreativity Inc – Ed Catmull
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) – Sarah J. MaasCrush Your Kryptonite – Nate Hambrick
The Aeronauts Windlass – Jim ButcherThe Detourist – Matthew Emmorey
The Mackay Mysteries (Historical Fiction) – Carol AmerosiPublished – Chandler Bolt
Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling
The False Prince series – Jennifer A. Nielsen
Mark of the Thief series – Jennifer A. Nielsen
Issaura’s Claws – Katherine D. Weibold

Book Review: Balance

A runaway princess. Time-twisting magic. What she doesn’t want? A knight to the rescue.

This month’s book review is on a new fantasy romance called “Balance” by Inghild Okland. This book is Inghlid’s debut novel, an accomplishment in itself, and something fun I found out in her bio is that she is a soil scientist. Coming from a farming family, I found that particular bit of info neat.

In the book, Inghild does a great job building her world of a sprawling desert with the occasional oasis. I also feel that she gave her main character, Vildi, a fun personality. This book was clean in violence, language, and sexuality, and where it’s written in first person, I found it hard to put down.

However, I also came across some things that bothered me about this book. The first is that the pace is quite slow, and the first three chapters were the character living the same day over again (think the movie “Groundhog”). It took a very long time for me to understand the purpose of Vildi’s “Do-Agains,” which pulled me out of the story several times.

Another thing that slowed things down in this book is that most conversations took place over a meal. Now, I get that this happens in real life, but it is one of the most boring ways to deliver dialog, and my editors were quick to point it out in my own books. Instead, I feel the author could have made a more engaging book by having greater amounts of the conversation happen while the character was actually in motion.

Despite the faults of this book, I found myself reading it well into the night and intrigued as the romance between Vildi and her prince grew. It was well-formatted, and I saw no significant issues with the text itself (typos, etc.). However, I would only give this book four stars for the above problems.

This book may not be action-packed (I’m looking at you, Garret), but if you are looking for a sweet, clean romance book for you or your daughter to read, I would highly recommend it.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the newest book review, and if you pick up this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Until next time!


P.S. Don’t forget to check out my social channels on Thursday for the cover reveal of “The Comstock Chronicles, Book 2, The Raider’s Curse.” 


The second installment of the Comstock Chronicles is off to the editor and will be back in my hands come late March. Concepts for the cover are coming in and I hope to be able to share with you the new cover soon! This book is scheduled to be released in June of 2022.

Book Review – The Kingdom of Lies

I had the pleasure of connecting with author, Megan Lynn Rose, back in December of 2021, who asked if I would read and review her book. I was elated to help a fellow fantasy author, especially with her debute novel.

When I read a book, I break it down into four categories. First is the overall story structure. Second is strong language. Third is violence, and finally, sexual content.

My overall impressions were this was a well-written book. The cover was beautiful, and I love the hint of magic from the main character. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes to read fantasy romance with that ever-endearing love triangle, but here is my breakdown. 

(NOTE* If you’re looking for a book for your child, please read it first to make sure you are ok with the level of morality.)

Here is how I rated this book. (The scale is 1 being least and 10 being greatest)

  • Story structure: 8.5
  • Language: 2
  • Violence: 2
  • Sexual Content: 3

The story was a great emotional read. I binge-read half of it in one night when I needed to forget about frozen water pipes bursting in our barn. A few things that threw me off were that several elements were from the modern era and not the typical medieval framework we see in princess novels. References to Lake Michigan and Chicago also threw me off a few times because I wasn’t sure if we were talking about the land of the United States or if we were still in the fantasy land. However, the drive behind the characters’ actions was easy to follow. It helped the reader get behind them as they fought for what they wanted.

The language was fairly mild. There were a few instances of swear words, but minimal.

The violence was likewise mild. Things are kept light in this regard.

The sexual content got a higher rating because of the references to sex between the main characters. This relates to an act in the past, but we don’t get much description. As well as an act the main character wants to do in the future but only with her husband. In my opinion, this gets to be too big of an issue of discussion towards the end. But the resolution of the book is well done.

My overall rating of this book is four stars, and I look forward to reading book 2 when it becomes available.