Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.
The first author today is Mark Bierman with a review for his novel a thriller set in Haiti, Vanished.
About the book
Tragedy . . . heartache . . . how much more can Tyler Montgomery and John Webster take? This missions trip, the “healing” one, has only added fresh layers of pain. Construction of an orphanage in Haiti’s northwest . . . yes. But a doomed rescue operation, human traffickers, human anomalies, extreme personal danger . . . risk of death? They hadn’t signed up for those.
Turning their backs on the crisis, however, is unthinkable, it’s just not who they are.
My review for the book 28th November 2020
This book is a challenging read, not because of how it is written, but the subject matter. We tend to picture islands in the Caribbean as having sun swept sandy beaches, luxury accommodation and smiling faces of the inhabitants, happy to see tourists pouring into their paradise. However Haiti has had centuries of political, economic and social unrest and suffered devastating natural disasters. Following one such event, the earthquake in 2010 thousands of men, women and children are killed and many more thousands are left homeless. They are left reliant on assistance from the outside world, including volunteers to help them rebuild. However, as well as the suffering caused by this natural disaster, there is an underlying evil that thrives on misery and manipulates parents in dire straits, to offer up their children under the pretense of a better life.
Two Americans Tyler and his father-in-law John Webster arrive on the island following a tragedy of their own, with the loss of Joy, Tyler’s wife and John’s daughter from cancer. Hopeful that the physical labour of helping to construct an orphanage, will bring them both a measure of peace, they find themselves caught up in the violent world of the human traffickers preying on children in particular. From mines to plantations the trade in cheap slave labour is thriving and it is manned by thugs with money the motivator.
In a desperate search across the mountainous interior of the country, and forced to form alliances with those they cannot trust, and in some cases with those wishing them violence, the two men seek one child among thousands. Their story runs in parallel with heartrending accounts of others who have been caught up in the trafficking, who seek to escape, often at the expense of their lives.
The author has created strong characters across the spectrum of good vs. evil, and the story maintains its pace throughout the book. The mission Tyler and John have undertaken hurtles towards a violent climax and consequences that will need to be faced. A thought provoking thriller that serves as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a kinder world.
50% of the proceeds from Vanished go to an organization that helps victims of human trafficking.
Now something for historical romance lovers from Christine Campbell and A Mountain of Memories.
About A Mountain of Memories
A childhood trip from Edinburgh to explore Caitlin’s family’s history results in tragedy on a mountainside above the village of Kinlochleven.
As an adult she is still affected by the events that took place there, though most of her memories of that day were lost as a result of its trauma.
Over a century earlier, Caitlin’s great-great grandmother, Mhairi, watched the village of Kinlochleven being born, suffering through its birth pangs. Caitlin and Mhairi’s lives are linked by their common heritage, and as their stories become intertwined, Caitlin is drawn back to the question that has haunted her for eleven years.
What really happened on that mountainside?
A historic story folded into a contemporary story, the two linked by family, location and events.
One of the recent reviews for the book
I have just finished reading A Mountain of Memories. This definitely has to be my favourite of Christine Campbell’a books that I have read so far.It is difficult to categorise this sweeping story into a particular genre. As another reviewer said, it is part romance, part historical, part mystery/thriller with some psychology thrown in.
Right from the beginning, I was drawn into the lives of the characters, Caitlin, Matt and Lexie. And then to explore how their modern day story links in with Mhairi,100 or so years previously, and all that happens in her life is just captivating.
Both stories evoked some strong emotions in me. I felt happy when they were happy, but I also cried when they experienced tragedy and loss.
Thank you, Christine, for producing another wonderful story. Now I just have to decide what to read next.
The next author with a recent review is Richard Dee for his latest book, a sci-fi thriller, The Hitman and the Thief.
About the book
Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.
Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.
Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.
To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.
Can the hitman and the thief get the job done, more importantly, can they keep each other alive?
One of the recent reviews for the book
I really enjoyed The Hitman and the Thief. This novel has an interesting storyline which gripped me as the chapters sped by. This is a fast paced, easy read. The character of Dan and the thief Lydia are both engaging.
Dan is an ex-serviceman, now turned assassin for Fliss. His latest kill target is Kalindra, his boss’s rival.
But, who is Kalindra? And will Dan bungle it up?
Dan’s relationship with Hesta is under strain due to a certain temptation…
But, who can he trust? The revelations and twists leading up to the awesome ending – are subtle, (read carefully!) – but well done.
All in all, I would highly recommend this for readers who like mysteries, and who might enjoy the Sci fi environment of planets and ships (great world-building,) without it being too Sci fi heavy if you know what I mean.
I’m enjoying Richard Dee’s books more and more. I’d say this is my favourite to date. There is a unique aspect to his writing which I really appreciate. So, deserves the 5 stars.
A small selection of other books by Richard Dee
The final author today is Patricia Furstenberg with her novel Silent Heroes, set in Afghanistan where families, troops serving their country and service dogs, face daily dangers. A book that I can highly recommend.
About Silent Heroes
‘Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.
*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*
When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate.
The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.
The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.
Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.
Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.
From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Poignant and thought-provoking, Silent Heroes gives readers an up-close and personal look behind the scenes of war in one of Afghanistan’s deadliest provinces. The author skillfully ties together the lives and objectives of a Marine K-9 unit serving in Helmand Province and a local community trying its best to survive as the Taliban’s rampant rule kills, threatens, abuses and uses them for its own sinister purposes. The author does an amazing job weaving the ravages and ruins of war into a beautiful heartrending story that is an eye-opener. Highly recommended!
A selection of other books by Patricia Furstenberg
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some great gifts to share.. thanks Sally.