Discussion Challenge: Favorite Standalones

Awhile back on a friend's blog Readers in Wonderland, Bec had a post up about 5 favorite standalones and that got me wanting to list a few of my favorite standalones as well!


Heartless by Marissa Meyer--I really enjoyed this one! I've always loved fairy tale retellings or "origin" stories! This one about how the Queen of Hearts came to be the villain that she is in the literary classic Alice in Wonderland. It was quite entertaining and a little heart-wrenching!

Old Magic by Marianne Curley--of course I have to mention this one! This one was a favorite of mine as a teen! I re-read it half a dozen times or so! It was just sooo good! Magic, time travel, romance! What more could a paranormal craving teen ask for?

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson--I love Vicki's books so when I heard she had a thriller coming out in 2015 I was most excited! It was really good! At least in my opinion! It had the right amount of creepy! I can't remember if I guessed the whodunit or not, but it was definitely a chilling read!

Nocturne by Syrie James--I have so much love for this book! I can't quite remember how I stumbled upon it. Probably from another blogger but sadly I can't remember who. They might have retired by now. But this one was a standalone that pulled at all my heartstrings! It's a vampire romance with a flair of Beauty and the Beast, at least I always thought so! I mean the rose on the cover pretty much gives that impression too!

Fateful by Claudia Gray--three words: werewolves and Titanic! Because yes, that's exactly what this story is about! Plus add in some romance and you have the makings of a truly unique kind of read! Though, as I look at it, I can't make sense of this cover! Is she really standing in the Atlantic?! She's not the werewolf FYI! Lol! The UK cover was a bit better in my opinion. She's actually standing on the Titanic, though her dress may be over the top.

And this is where I will cut myself off! I may refer back to standalones for a TTT post one day! So you'll likely see these 5 again because they are truly among my favorites!! Do you have any favorite standalones? Ones that you so readily enjoyed and would've loved for there to be MORE but yet at the same time, like that it's a standalone?

BLOG TOUR: ARC Review--Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor +Contest


For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends...and a (maybe) boyfriend. She’s a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was so thrilled to have gotten an early copy of Janet B. Taylor’s Sparks of Light! I read Into the Dim towards the end of 2015, so you can imagine my wait for this one was painful! LOL! Things picked up shortly after where we left Hope and gang. Naturally, my brain couldn’t quite remember a lot of what happened, but as I am wont to do, I just dive in and hope for the best! Luckily, Janet incorporates enough of a recap of all the pertinent details that my memory loss wasn’t much of an issue. I’d kill for Hope’s gift of memory though!!

Things are tense as Hope frets over Brandon being back in his mother’s graces, but truly he’s spying on her for Hope’s team. Celia, Bran’s mother, is still fervently searching for the Nonius Stone which can basically allow for easy time traveling with no restrictions, as currently there are some. Mainly needing to travel back in time to an already visited place. So naturally, Hope, Collum, Phoebe and Doug are trying to get to it first.

This time around the journey back in time is to visit a scientist who’s working on an enhancement that can allow for easier time traveling, so not quite the power of the Nonius Stone but kinda close. Hope and the group are being sent back to destroy it and to keep Telsa, the scientist, from creating another. But when they learn that Celia is already there, they know they will have to act fast.

Doug is able to join the group this time as well, when he wasn’t able to before for medical reasons, now he’s taking the chance because it’s really the trip of a lifetime. Naturally though, things won’t be as easy as they planned. For things seem to have gone wrong from the moment they arrive, in the middle of chaos! And it’s not long before Hope and Doug are kidnapped by a madman and put into a hospital where the crazed doctor is prone to experimenting on his patients! It was quite terrifying in some ways. I think I kind of remember learning some about how these institutions that are meant to “heal” people really make them worse, if not outright killing them.

Bran is still in the picture this time around as well, which was a fear of mine when I learned he was back on his mother’s team, however feeble it was. But Bran does make the occasional appearance, every time he can sneak away and have time with Hope! There are a few scenes that are totally swoonworthy too! And I still can’t decide if we have a possible love triangle here or not with Bran, Hope, and Collum! True, Hope and Bran are definitely a couple…it seems. But I can’t help but feel like we’re seeing moments with Collum! I really, really hope I’m just reading too much into it! With all the love triangles going on these days, one can never be sure. But I still hold out for the best and that I am just over-thinking things!

I can only imagine the amount of research Janet must do for this series! It totally boggles my mind! There’s so much history and detail that she’s had to research, not just with the significant historical events, but down to the nit and gritty details like fashion, travel, accommodations…there’s just so much you don’t really think of when it comes to visiting a scene from the past! And it seriously blows my mind!

There was definitely a lot of suspense in this one! As I mentioned before, Hope is put into an asylum of sorts for a good portion of the book. And it really amps up the tension because not only is she and Doug trapped in this place, separated, but there’s still the time limit hanging over their heads, that if they aren’t at their portal at the precise day and time…there’s no returning home! My heart was racing for other reasons too while Hope was in this place! It’s definitely not a safe place for any young woman to be!

The ending was quite shocking! Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, Janet will blow your mind away, again! I felt like I suspected one thing of happening, but I could just be working off other emotions really. But the other thing? Totally surprising!! I’m not sure how long this series will run, hopefully for awhile! There’s no direct course for where our characters might be going, so that was kind of a nice surprise. No killer cliffhangers, yet still knowing that there are things left unsettled. There’s just got to be more adventures ahead! Even if it’s only one! I honestly don’t know at this point!

If you’re looking for a good time-traveling series, I definitely recommend this one! It’s definitely a more historical kind of read, but there’s still that journey of adventure to be had with each trip back in time. Of course there’s also the danger and suspense when dealing with their enemies and the time limit they have to be back in time. And of course, there’s a sparkling of romance and a great deal of friendship. Yes, I’d say Sparks of Light, and the series to date, has a great deal of everything in it!


Overall Rating 4.95/5 stars—just a wee bit off because of my memory lapse! But that’s really more my own issues. Took some great notes for this one though so you can bet that next time there will be no room for error on my part!


Sparks of Light releases August 1, 2017


About the author:

The 2013 winner of the coveted #PitchWars, Janet B Taylor, has four years' experience writing web content for a major television network fan site (CBS) that garners over a hundred thousand hits a day. Janet travels extensively to those places where her novels are set, often roaming around at night to commune with the famous historical figures about which she loves to write. She is a member of several writing organizations, including the SCBWI and the Historical Novel Society, and lives in a tiny town in Arkansas with her family. 


Tour Schedule:
Week One:
7/24/2017- a GREAT readReview
7/25/2017- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
7/26/2017- YA and WineGuest Post
7/27/2017- Ex LibrisReview
7/28/2017- Once Upon A TwilightInterview

Week Two:
7/31/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandInterview
8/1/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
8/3/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
8/4/2017- The Bucket ListReview