About Me

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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Photo provided by Carrigan Richards
When authors ask me to post reviews on books that are sequels I am sometimes a little leery about agreeing to do one.

Like movies, sometimes book sequels can be a bit of a letdown. A story that started out strong can wane in potency with each new book added to the series.

So far, Carrigan Richards has kept the momentum going in her Elemental Enchanters series with her second book Under the Burning Stars. In fact, I was pleased to find the conflict for the main character much less angsty than in the first book, making this sequel, in my opinion, stronger.

Ava Hannigan seems to finally be settling into her life as an Enchanter. Even better she has the boy she loves, Peter, by her side ready to join her world and become an Enchanter too. But troubling dreams are haunting Ava about her mother's death. Dreams where Ava can feel and understand what her mother's murderer was thinking at the moment they killed her. As Ava tries to piece together what happened the day her mother was killed, she makes an unsettling discovery about her mom's past. It seems there are some dark secrets hidden in her family's past that could make Ava vulnerable to becoming a dark Enchanter, intent on destroying humans or Ephemerals, instead of protecting them.

The plot of the story was very well done. The conflict and tension kept me turning the pages of this novel to figure out who the mysterious Havok is that the Cimmerians referred to at the end of the last book, Under a Blood Red Moon. I found the copy on this novel to be cleaner than it was with the last book. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy set in a contemporary setting. This is the best time of year to read about such things as witches and enchanters. If I had a book rating system on my blog I would give Under the Burning Stars, 3.5 out of 5 stars. The only thing that keeps me from giving it 4 is the fact, that while the copy was much cleaner, there were a few places where awkward sentences or inconsistencies in character dialogue pulled me briefly out of the story. For story and plot structure I found little to fault. I also found the characters to be more likable this time around too. Though, I did get a little frustrated with Peter at times and began to almost hope Ava would lose interest in him in favor of Gabriel. I foresee a triangle possibly forming there. I won't say more, as I don't want to give too much away. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, it is available in print and as an ebook on Amazon.

Photo provided courtesy of Carrigan Richards

Check out other books by Carrigan Richards which include the first in her Elemental Enchanters series, Under a Blood Red Moon, as well as her standalone novel, Pieces of Me. Also, newly released just today is her short story, When Darkness Fell, about Savina and Colden before the war between Enchanters began. For more about Carrigan Richards and her books you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her blog at www.carriganrichards.com.

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