BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review of "Holding On To Heaven" by Keta Diablo & A Giveaway

Publisher: Keta Diablo
Release Date: April 15th 2011
Buying Links: Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Book Blurb (from author): 

When the blazing fires of revolt ravage the countryside, Lauren and Sage McCain are trapped amid the flames of destiny. The Civil War has crumbled a Nation, and the Dakota Sioux uprising has turned southern Minnesota into a violent battlefield. Holding on to Heaven is a story of love between two men and a woman, love between siblings, and love that crosses all boundaries and forges all cultures.


Then she closed her eyes. Why did she have to remember every muscular curve, the broad shoulders and lean hips? His very presence exuded power and danger. And wild heat.

The memory of pewter eyes loomed and the knot of tension in her stomach tightened. She couldn't afford to know what lay beyond that predatory look or what wicked thoughts lingered in his mind. She didn't doubt most of the man's thoughts ran along the lines of sinful pleasures. Bedazzled by his mere presence, she willed her trembling hands to still and opened her eyes and ears to the conversation behind her. 
My Thoughts:

I had a hard time writing this review. I didn't love the book but I did enjoy it, especially the latter half. There are some technical issues: the proofreading missed a lot - wrong word usage, missing quotation marks in dialogue so that it wasn't always obvious where the dialogue began or ended, etc. (ETA: I should mention that I had the PDF converted for my Kindle so some of the problems could stem from the formatting. I compared a fewitems to the PDF but not all of them.) I thought the love between Lauren and Creed happened awfully fast; we saw the attraction between them but the love between them seemed to happen very quickly, they really had very little time together before parting ways. When they finally reunite, their love is even stronger, despite the lack of communication between them in the interim. One thing that bothered me, and this I think is more of a personal thing, was the use of the word "darkie" to describe the slaves. It is, I believe, a correct term for that time period, but it bothered my 21st century sensibilities. 

Despite all that, I did enjoy the story. All of the characters are likable, though I was less fond of Creed (I found him obnoxious) and despite the relatively short length (the PDF was 149 pages including the cover), Diablo develops the characters and we see them change, especially Lauren. I would have liked a little more development to Creed, he made less sense to me; he was a hard, bitter, caustic man, with no real explanation why. Sage and Wanapaya are wonderful characters and make a good couple; their love story was very sweet. At times the book reminded me of a soap opera: cross cultural love, kidnapped children, brothers who love the same woman, war, etc but it all fits and works together. 

The story does not have a traditional happy ending, but a traditional HEA would not have fit. There's a HFN, Happy For Now, which perfectly fits the story. The epilogue leaves open the possibility of a sequel. "Holding On To Heaven" is imperfect but I enjoyed it.

I received a PDF from the author for review.
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Keta  sent the following images along so that you all can print out and make your own trading card for "Holding On To Heaven". 

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Keta has also kindly offered to give away an e-copy of one of her other books. The winner can choose between Sojourn With A Stranger, a paranormal historical or Where The Rain Is Made, a paranormal shifter.

To enter, comment below using rafflecopter. It's open internationally.


  1. A very open and honest review Bea! Some very good points made and I enjoyed reading your take on it and getting a feel for the story. Sad that it doesn't have a HEA ending, but like you said, it wouldn't have worked. :)

  2. I have to say Ancient Egypt. Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. Hi Bea,

    Thanks so much for reading and reviewing Holding On To Heaven. Much appreciated.

    Good luck everyone in the contest.

  4. Hi Bea,

    You made some really good points in the review, especially the need for the author to get their work as polished as they can, or else readers and reviewers alike are going to complain. I liked that you still gave the story a chance despite this though- very fair of you. :)

    As for the use of the word 'Darkie', I would hope that readers are bright enough to work out that it was accepted usage at the time of the story, and the author's use is for authenticity, and does not condone the term, or the prejudice behind it. You found the term, distasteful, and so should anyone now, but it is that distaste that helps remind us that racism is still alive, and tiptoeing around the issue by using PC terms to gloss over the horrendous truths of the past isn't the best way to fight this form of oppression. That's my opinion, anyone is free to disagree, of course...

  5. I have to say victorian england. has always peeked my interest

  6. I`d say during the Tudor era

  7. I would like to live in the time period of King Arthur and Camelot. Please enter me in contest.

  8. Regency England. I'd love the courting, the clothing, all of it! Thanks for the review and a great giveaway!

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  9. hmmmm I think I would like to live in the time of shakespere. What an amazing person. I would love to pick his brain.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!