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 book today is a thriller that is definitely a page turner from beginning to end that I can personally recommend. Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1) by Suzanne Burke
About the book
Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly, journey.
Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.His team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads. Their nightmares are stripping them to the bone. Finally, a break in the case hands them a suspect!
Sheila Harrington appears to have confessed to the horrific murders. Sheila Harrington also looks set to become the wife of The Governor of New York, Damon Henderson; the man strongly favored to become the next President of The United States of America.
Nothing has prepared them for this. Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from an incomprehensible and shattering truth. Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?
Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?
My review for the book September 14th 2020
A page turner with plenty of action and mystery.
Having enjoyed The Reckoning Squad, I was looking forward to this book which is part one of the Unintended Consequences series. Aptly named, as whilst a heinous act produced fully intended consequences, other people were drawn into the aftermath unintentionally with devastating effect.
There are some dark and dangerous characters moving between events four years prior to the present day task force looking into a serial killer. Knowing who to trust is challenging and putting your faith in certain people is fatal.
In this day and age, with history books and the worldwide Internet feeding us conspiracy theories on a regular basis, it is not that far fetched to imagine that some governments might go to extreme measures to obtain their endgame. Or may have already! With those in power susceptible to temptation and desire for power, who knows how far they will go to achieve their ambitions?
Suzanne Burke writes very well and you are fed pieces of information about the players and the game in hand throughout the book. Some of the prime suspects are visible, but others are in the shadows, or masquerading as being on the side of right and justice. You might have your suspicions about who they might be, but are kept guessing until the end of the book.
The final chapters wrap up some of the loose ends, but leaves sufficient to encourage the reader to get into book two as soon as possible. I am looking forward to doing just that.
I can recommend to anyone who enjoys a fast paced thriller with well drawn characters and plenty of suspense.
Also by Suzanne Burke
The next book is a collection of poetry from Natalie Ducey – The Heart’s Lullaby
About the collection
The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.
We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?
Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.
To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.
But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.
A recent review for the collection
A lovely collection of poetry principally about love, love lost and the heartbreak of being no longer loved. There is also a wonderful poem about time, plus poems about particular topics related to the puzzles that Natalie Ducey also creates. “Still Me,” is a touching poem about Alzheimer’s. And there are poems about those who serve in the military.
It is a personal, and touching poetry collection about the ups and downs and fragility of life andl love that you can easily return to again, perhaps gaining more on each visit.
I enjoyed all the collection but my personal favourites are:
A Father’s Love,
A Mother’s Love
To My Sister,
and The Heart’s Lullaby.
Also by Natalie Ducey
The next author with a recent review is for bestselling crime author Sue Coletta and Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs
About the book
For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.
Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims. The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.
A recent review for the book
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2020
I find True Crime books, like Pretty Evil New England by Sue Coletta, hard to rate. Research is vital, but also, the way the book is written can make it easier or harder. Since the murders took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s, I can see why research materials would be lean. Time, fires, and many other things can contribute to that.
I love to hear the characters speak in their own words, and Sue Coletta gave them voices. I love looking into their minds, even though I know I will never understand them. Bad upbringing, nature/nurture…no excuses…whether they are sociopaths, psychopaths, or just plain evil, playing with their victims, it doesn’t matter. A choice is a choice.
Five women: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E Nason and Sarah Jane Robinson are five people you would never want to be friends with or related to them. They were responsible for more than one hundred deaths.
Males hunt, females gather, and that is how they choose their victims too.
We get the lowdown on the serial killers with their own words, interviews, court transcripts, newspapers, libraries, historical societies…Sue shared glimpses into these five women’s lives. I love learning where they came from, their childhood, their family, marriages, children, friends…
Even when they confess, there is doubt if they are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Myself, I doubt it. I think they revel in the attention they receive.
Sue Coletta has included some medical and other related trivia from the times. I love when an author does this. For example, Mercury was a common medical treatment, but when Abraham Lincoln used it and found out for himself how harmful it is, he stopped its use.
Not all questions will be answered, but isn’t that why we read? We want to figure things out for ourselves.
A selection of books by Sue Coletta
Another book that I can recommend is Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell..
About the book
James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.
James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.
The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.
The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.
A recent review for the book
Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell is a paranormal fiction with a fresh take on the genre. It begins with a road trip across different centuries, where characters – James and Sam – are determined to live the eternal life (after death) to the fullest. It isn’t often that people feel free enough to live the life they want. Society has too many constraints. Plus, there’s no travel machine yet… So, John W. Howell is inviting us to experience something we can only fantasize about.
The novel is an odyssey of two broken or, let’s say, lost souls. An odyssey in any historical event, where you can meet anyone, from Wyatt Earp to Lucifer. A trip into the dark corner of your soul. A journey with unique and individual lessons.
One of the things I admired about John W. Howell was that he can harken back to a golden age of mystery and historical facts, and still keep this work relevant and exciting to contemporary times. I loved the supernatural elements, which were woven seamlessly into the text and dialogues.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the character development of James as he continued to figure out his place and purpose on that Eternal Journey. I felt that Sam brought out many new sides to James’ personality, which were fun to see and explore.
I would highly recommend Eternal Road: The final stop by John W. Howell as an accomplished work of historical paranormal fiction with a theological aspect that fans of the genre won’t want to miss out on.
Other books by John Howell
The next author with a trilogy of thrillers is Iain Kelly and a recent review for A Justified State: (The State Trilogy Book 1)
About the book
A Justified State opens with a bang and sets the story off to a great start. Danny is a detective assigned to solve the murder of a city consul on New Years Eve.
We follow Danny and a mercenary, Gabriella, on opposite sides of the law trying to unravel a conspiracy that will rock the political landscape forever.
Iain Kelly does a tremendous job at setting the tone and building the world around Danny and Gabriella. The concepts and ideas feel original and it sucks you into their world and political landscape. The characters are well developed and contrasted with each having something different to add.
A very enjoyable read and a writing style I could get behind (which I don’t say likely) which compelled me to keep reading.
A recent review for the book
Iain Kelly’s debut novel is a cracking thriller that begins with the assassination of a politician & never lets up until the dramatic conclusion.
Set in an unnamed State in the near future the author creates a totally believable time & place. Unlike some authors Kelly aviods pretentious descriptions of his fictional society & just gets on with the story. The characters & the world they inhabit are perfectly drawn & A Justified State works equally well as a crime story, an action adventure & a dystopian science fiction novel.
The sequel, A State of Denial, is something I will definitely be reading.
The other books in the trilogy and a short story collection by Iain Kelly
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some gifts to share.. thanks Sally.