Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and the first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for the second book in his Braxton Campus Mysteries – Broken Heart Attack.
About the book
Who killed Gwendolyn Paddington?
When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies. But when one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D asks Kellan to investigate.
With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.
But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?
One of the recent reviews for the book
Although this book has elements of a cozy mystery (I.e. amateur sleuths, small town setting, quirky/eccentric characters), there is more of a contemporary mystery feel to it. In this outing of The Braxton Campus Mysteries, Kellan is recruited by Nana D. And her friend Eustacia Paddington to find out who killed Gwendolyn Paddington. I will say Kellan has more patience than I do. The Paddington family is full of spoiled, rude, greedy and secretive people who tried their best to get rid of Kellan’s interference. Throw in other snarky females (his boss Myriam, the sheriff April, and Nana D.) and it is a wonder he doesn’t hate women. Do not give up hope, his sister Eleanore and friend Maggie, are understanding and supportive and by the end of the book, even the sheriff comes around. While trying to solve the mystery, Kellan is dealing with all the changes in his personal life, things at work and running Nana D’s mayoral campaign.
This is a very character driven story with characters that are being developed more in each book. The main characters are also becoming more likeable which I am happy about. The mystery was a good one with clues being dropped throughout the book, but also several red herrings. I thought I had it all figured out, then something else was revealed to lead me in another direction. As the reveal occured, I followed along shaking my head, thinking, “of course, why didn’t I think of that.” The dialogue was crisp, snarky in many cases, and revealed so much about the characters. Emma, Kellan’s 6 year old daughter is adorable. She is sweet, mature and can also give the attitude (I think Nana D is rubbing off on her). I am looking forward to the next book in this series to find out what happens next in Kellan’s life as well as picking up on those few situations that popped up at the end of the book. If you enjoy a mystery with some cozy elements, pick up this series and delve into life at Braxton College and town.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T
Also by James J. Cudney
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M
Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney
Connect to James via his website and blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com
The next book to receive a recent review is A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin.
About A Different Kind of Angel
Inspired by real events chronicled by a journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.
Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.
This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.
At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award-winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.
One of the recent reviews for the book
A harrowing and riveting portrayal of Jewish refugee from the Russian pogroms of 1881. Klara Gelfman’s loses her father during her voyage to New York. Alone and with little English she is mugged and accused of being a prostitute she lands in Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum. In the asylum for five long years she exposed to the worse and the best of the human condition.
It is a heart-wrenching to read about the horrid, inhumane and violent treatment of the patients in Blackwell. However, it is also a testimony of the strength of the human spirit to rise, survive and find strength in one another.
Paulette Mahurin did an amazing job in capturing the history Blackwell Island. The story is richly researched, well-written, emotive, inspirational, and unforgettable. I highly recommend this book!
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GZYXNR4
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GZYXNR4
Also by Paulette Mahurin
Read all the reviews and BUY the books: https://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/
Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
Read more reviews and follow Paulette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin
And last but not least today is a recent review for the first book in the series Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee which is YA/Dark Fantasy
About Book 1 of the omnibus, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen
Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.
In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.
Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Peru Editor Young Adult Fantasy, Emphasis on the Adult January 22, 2019
‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ fits into the category of classics like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ where a strong female lead must do battle with mysterious forces in a fantastical realm. Lee’s book is a bit darker than the typical fantasy fare, and I’d put it in the category of Young Adult (although it should be mentioned that my perspective always puts the emphasis on ‘Adult’ rather than ‘Young’). As I was reading Lee’s book, I found myself thinking, “What is it that this book reminds me of?”
I think it’s a testament to the book that I had a nagging sensation of familiarity, and it took me a long time to pin it down. The uncertain familiarity meant that Lee had captured an ambiance of a certain well-known, high quality writer, but had replicated it with enough originality to create something new. I was about a quarter of the way in when I finally figured out that the storytelling reminded me of ‘American Gods,’ and after that there was a section that reminded me specifically of ‘Coraline.’ I think fans of Neil Gaiman will see his influence on Lee, and be appreciative.
Lee isn’t quite the polished storyteller that Gaiman is, but she is certainly an author to follow. I’m kind of torn about the present tense style. On the one hand, I think it’s effective, even liberating to read. But on the other hand I know the literary world is very much a creature of habit, and they often snarl with contempt at present tense and slam the cover no matter how effectively it’s used. I like that the publisher took the time to get the book a Kirkus review, but these days Kirkus doesn’t wield nearly as much clout as it used to. I wish, instead of the Kirkus review, they’d invested in a more dynamic cover.
Jean Lee is an interesting new voice, and I think ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ will be a delight to a certain category of genre readers. The writing style is dynamic and interesting, but, unfortunately, that’s the type of thing that will make it less palatable to a wider audience. Lee creates an eerie, magical ambiance, and her characters are interesting and well-developed. A small press book, ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ represents the kind of fascinating divergence from the standard media conglomerate entertainment that so many people claim they’re looking for, but so few actually endeavor to seek out. Give it a try, and leave a response, I’m curious to hear what other’s think of this book.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1949428001
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1949428001
Here is a selection of the six short story collections from Tales of the River Vine
Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6/
You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18139027.Jean_Lee
Connect to Jean via her website: https://jeanleesworld.com/
Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.