Welcome to the first of the Cafe Updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.
At the end of the post I will share any offers that the authors on the shelves have on their books. If you can let me know a week in advance that would be great so I can include in one of the updates.
On with the recent reviews…..
The first author with a review to share is Marjorie Mallon for The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.
On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.
Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.
Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.
With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?
A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This is a wonderful YA fantasy read. It’s very different from others I’ve read and I say this in the most positive manner. One way or is unique is through the use of original short poetry at the beginning of each chapter providing a clue to the chapter content. It is very well done. I do love originality.
The whole work has a magical feel about it which draws the reader in with a yearning to learn more about all of the characters and their plight.
My favourite characters are, Esme… The girl trapped in the mirror, and Shadow, the black cat. These two characters alone were enough to keep me rooted.
Meanwhile, on the serious side of things, there are so many issues going on in this work in addition to that of dealing with a dysfunctional family. One’s familiarity will be tested and emotions may arise. That aside, when you add magic, a black cat, and a
Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9
And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/
The next author with a recent review is Mary Adler for her wartime mystery Shadowed by Death… An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2. A young Polish freedom fighter is in danger and Oliver Wright must try to protect her..
About Shadowed by Death
San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision.
Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger.
When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.
Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.
A recent review for the book on Goodreads
I’m trying to expand my reading preferences, and I found Shadowed by Death (An Oliver Wright World War II Mystery #2) by M. A. Adler. I’m usually not any kind of historical fiction reader, but I liked the blurb. Read on for my thoughts!
What I liked:
World War II novels are sometimes difficult reads, especially when the story deals with horrific events like the Warsaw ghetto. M. A. Adler did an excellent job of working the events into the story and using it to explain Sophia’s motivations. Sophia and Oliver are great characters, but my favorites are Harley and Blue! I also appreciated the research work into the blind eye turned by the world to Russia’s atrocities.
What I didn’t like:
There wasn’t much to dislike about the book. If I had to pick something, there were a couple of slow spots. Other than that, no complaints from me
Shadowed by Death was an enjoyable read despite the background subject matter. Good characters, intriguing plot, plenty of twists and turns, and a satisfying conclusion kept me involved and interested. If you like historical mysteries, read this one!
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F2V369K
Also by Mary Adler
Buy both books from Mary’s author page US: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Adler/e/B00JAM3VVE/
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Adler/e/B00JAM3VVE/
Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7829648.M_A_Adler
Connect to Mary via her website: https://maryadlerwrites.com/
The next author today with a recent review for Tempted by Mr. Wrong is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar.
About the book
How can something so wrong, feel so right?
Falling for her step-brother is a mistake T.J. doesn’t want to repeat, but one look into those sapphire blue eyes and she’s ready to give Jason whatever he wants.
Tammy-Jo Hawthorne’s marriage was floundering, but she never expected her husband to make her the laughing stock of Magnolia.
And she definitely didn’t expect to trip over him in their front yard after he’d been murdered.
Jason McIntyre was forced out of his home and the love of his life by the man who’d haunted his nightmares for ten long years.
Now Jason’s back–and he wants revenge.
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, women’s fiction.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Tempted by Mr Wrong is another exciting book by Jacquie Biggar. Tammy Joe’s marriage to her father’s partner is in trouble and she ends up walking home from the local country club when he has her car towed away. Who should come to her rescue but her step brother, Jason, who broke off their relationship and disappeared ten years ago. Unbeknownst to TJ, Jason’s actions were at the instance of her over-protective father, against whom Jason has borne a grudge ever since.
Jason picks up TJ walking home in the rain and gives her a lift home from the country club. He happens to still be in the vicinity when she trips over her dead husband in the back yard.
Naturally, as the humiliated wife, TJ is the prime suspect in her husband’s murder and Jason becomes involved to help her out and keep her safe. The attraction that the two shared is still disturbingly real and it creates confusion for both of them, especially as Jason’s presence in Magnolia is not as innocent as he has made out to his mother and step sister. He is living a lie.
Jason soon starts to discover that things are not entirely as they seem with his step father, who he has hated consistently for years, and his mother, who is suffering from dementia.
There is a bit more sex in this book than in previous books by this author that I have read, but it works and is tastefully written. The book has a dual focus with one being the rediscovery by TJ and Jason of their strong feelings towards each other and the other being the murder of TJ’s husband and her father’s business involvement with him.
This book is a fast past murder mystery with an intense romantic sub-story which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072V2G8H2
A selection of other books by Jacquie Biggar
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG
And at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG/
Read more reviews and follow Jacquie Biggar on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445812.Jacquie_Biggar
Connect to Jacquie via her website: http://jacqbiggar.com
The Prince’s Man which is Book One in The Five Kingdoms Series by Deborah Jay is on offer at 99p/99c from today until 16th of September.
About The Prince’s Man
Think ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’
Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.
And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.
Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.
They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.
For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.
Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN is a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.
A recent review for The Prince’s Man on Goodreads
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading ‘The Prince’s Man’, but the reality blew me away. The story is a grown up fantasy reminiscent of Robin Hobb’s Farseer series [which I also happen to love]. You’ll find Machiavellian politics, intrigue, loyalty, a hint of love, and a cast of characters you can relate to. Yes, they have their flaws, but don’t we all?
To my mind, watching the characters change and grow is at least half the fun. The other half is getting to know the world in which those characters live. In all types of speculative fiction, the world is as much of a ‘character’ as the characters themselves. Think how important the planet Arrakis is to the story of Dune.
As readers we want to step out of our everyday lives and get lost in another world. And the author does not disappoint. The otherness of The Prince’s Man is evident right from the start, but there are no boring info. dumps. We learn about the world in the same way we learn about the human characters, by watching the story unfold, a bit at a time.
And finally, I’d like to say something about the plot. It. Is. Not. Predictable. To me, that’s one of the book’s greatest strengths. I like to be surprised, and nothing puts me off more than ‘the same old same old’. In The Prince’s Man, the author kept me guessing right to the end.
I’m looking forward to reading the next book of the series, and I highly recommend this one to anyone who likes a story with real meat on its bones
Read all the reviews and buy the book 99c until 16th September: https://www.amazon.com/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20
and Amazon UK 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Princes-Man-Five-Kingdoms-Book-ebook/dp/B00I9N2Q20
A selection of other books by Deborah Jay
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY
Read more reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay
Connect with Deborah via her website: http://deborahjayauthor.com
Thank you for dropping in today, please do not forget to let me know if one of the books on in the Cafe and Bookstore is on offer, and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm.