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 review is for Marcia Meara and her paranormal fantasy and the third book in a series The Emissary 3: Love Hurts
About the book
The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.
Azrael’s emissary program was growing daily, but it still met with stubborn opposition from many on the Council of Angels. Dodger’s request to be allowed to experience what falling in love was all about didn’t help matters, but Azrael thought the boy was onto something. He agreed emissaries who’d shared a loving relationship during their mortal lives would have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations, thus enhancing the skills needed to do their jobs.
With that in mind, Azrael gave Dodger one chance to search for true love. He then laid down a daunting set of stringent rules and guidelines that could not be broken under any circumstances lest dire happenings occur. But while the angel sincerely hoped Dodger would find a way to make this endeavor work, he feared an avalanche of unintended consequences could be in store for his youngest emissary.
Sometimes even angels hate to be right.
Will Azrael ever tire of popping up behind Jake just to see his first emissary fall out of his chair in shock? Will sharp-eyed motel owners ever notice a big red-and-white semi mysteriously appearing and disappearing from their parking lots overnight? And will Dodger be able to track down the mystery girl who caught his eye two weeks earlier to see if she’s really The One?
To find the answers to these and other angelic or emissarial questions, come along on one last adventure with Jake, Dodger, and that ginormous, glowy-eyed archangel, Azrael. They’re waiting for you!
One of the recent reviews for the book
I really wondered how Meara was going to wrap up this series. At the end of book 2, Dodger receives permission from the Archangel Azrael to experience a loving relationship with a girl. But I just couldn’t imagine how it would work between a human and an immortal emissary of the angels. Well, silly me for being skeptical. The author pulls it off beautifully, though not at all how I expected. I was a teary mess.
This is a wonderful series with characters that I completely empathized with. They’re supremely human, emotional, and kind-hearted. Even scary old Azrael is enjoyable as he loosens up a little. Though there are problems to be overcome in the story, the main conflict centers on the challenge I posed above. The ending is brave, believable, and emotionally stunning.
The writing is tight, and the editing is flawless. The books in the Emissary series aren’t long, so they make for quick satisfying reads. I’d definitely recommend starting at the beginning of the series. A wonderful trilogy for readers who enjoy feel-good stories.
A selection of books by Marcia Meara
The next author today is Elizabeth Merry with a review for her collection of short stories – We All Die in the End: Scenes from a Small Town.
About the collection
This is a diverse collection of interlinked stories set in a small, seaside town in Ireland. Some of them verge on the macabre; others deal with abusive relationships and many of them are grim. But there is humour here too – although it is dark humour:
“SADIE said nothing. She trimmed the fat off the kidneys and the liver, her fingers curling away from the soft, red slither and she held her breath against the faint smell of blood.”
“So, I watched Lydia and waited for some bloody nuisance of a child to come screeching after her but no child came. Well, that didn’t make any sense but then Lydia stopped and I saw her speak to the doll. Oho, ARTHUR, I said to myself and I threw down the cigarette. Oho, I said, what’s this? What have we here?”
“ANDY felt the unhappiness grow in his chest again. It was heavy and he fought against it. No, he said to himself. No. He held his arms up and out in front of him and made soft, crooning, engine noises.”
“ROSEMARY always made Dominic wait outside the door until she was in the bed. He could feel the slackness in her thighs and arms; he didn’t have to look at it as well. ‘Come in,’ she called when she was ready. Dominic bounced into the room half-undressed and dropped his shoes. ‘Wait now,’ he said, and brought in a bottle of red wine and two glasses.”
This is just a flavour of the great characters who people this small town, where everyone knows their neighbours, and everyone else!
One of the recent reviews for the book:
I’ve followed Elizabeth Merry’s blog for most of the last year, and when she published a collection of short stories, I wanted to check them out. We All Die In the End provides scenes from a small town, focusing on a core group of characters who are related, friends, or enemies… and as we jump from scene to scene, we learn a little more about them.
Written in a calm, easy tone, the characters are interesting and memorable. A few have quite the strong personality and demonstrate their British and Irish roots. I enjoyed the commentary on life, as each story tells us something about different relationships in our lives… different experiences we all have, from cleaning the house to affairs and from surprise pregnancies to love and loss. It reminds me of the stories or movies where you get tidbits about people’s lives and have to figure out how it all fits together.
Merry has a wonderful voice and easily shares several great tales that are relatable and personal. I like seeing how writers take their craft from blogs to books and back again. The cover is adorable, and that wave is ready to splash down on all the characters. Some don’t know it’s coming; others are simply trying their best, as we all do, to make it through the day. In the end, as Merry poignantly points out, aren’t we all headed for the same destiny?
The next author is Jessica Norrie with a recent review for contemporary novel set in a community of parents and children The Magic Carpet.
About the book
Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?
A recent review for the book
This is a wonderfully written, important book. When I read the first few paragraphs of a review on a book blog I happened onto, (thinking at first glance by the cover and title that it was going to be a lighthearted book, intended for young children) I thought-wow! I really like the way this author writes! I left the blog and immediately bought the eBook. And I did not want to stop reading, although I had to, for things like sleep, work, etc. Throughout, with the different vignettes set in the lives of families of various cultures, I felt warmed sometimes, and then very sad sometimes, and educated in things I didn’t realize, and in the end, I finished feeling with a hopeful heart. I think many people would benefit from reading this book.
Also by Jessica Norrie in English and German
The final author today is Judy Penz Sheluk with a recent review for her new book..Where There’s A Will: A Glass Dolphin Mystery
About the book
Emily Garland is getting married and looking for the perfect forever home. When the old, and some say haunted, Hadley house comes up for sale, she’s convinced it’s “the one.” The house is also perfect for reality TV star Miles Pemberton and his new series, House Haunters. Emily will fight for her dream home, but Pemberton’s pockets are deeper than Emily’s, and he’ll stretch the rules to get what he wants.
While Pemberton racks up enemies all around Lount’s Landing, Arabella Carpenter, Emily’s partner at the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, has been hired to appraise the contents of the estate, along with her ex-husband, Levon. Could the feuding beneficiaries decide there’s a conflict of interest? Could Pemberton?
Things get even more complicated when Arabella and Levon discover another will hidden inside the house, and with it, a decades-old secret. Can the property stay on the market? And if so, who will make the winning offer: Emily or Miles Pemberton?
One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads
Arabella Carpenter and business partner Emily Garland find themselves in a world of legal entanglements in this newest addition to the Glass Dolphin series, Where There’s a Will. Arabella is hired to do an appraisal of a vintage photograph for the executrix of an estate that includes the old Hadley house, rumored to be haunted. On the plus side, Arabella’s also hired to work on the appraisal of the contents with her ex-husband Levon Larroquette, for whom she still carries a torch. On the negative side, she didn’t realize Emily Garland and her fiancé had put a bid on the Hadley house, recently added to the selling market.
A bidding war ensues between Emily and fiancé Luke and Miles Pemberton of television fame in the show Pemberton on Property, whose production company wants the house for a new television series. Pemberton has huge financial backing but is a bully with many enemies. And the bidding war begins.
What follows are wills—more than one?—real estate hanky-panky, secret drawers in old antiques, oodles of legal issues, and gossip by the online newspaper, Outside the Landing, adding fuel to the rumor market.
Expect the unexpected with lots of twists and turns. But you’ll also find the usual cast of interesting classic characters from small town of Lount’s Landing and the familiar feel of The Hanged Man’s Noose for cocktails and the Sunrise Café for breakfast. Where There’s a Will is a perfect addition to the Glass Dolphin mysteries.
A selection of other books by Judy Penz Sheluk
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some gifts to share..thanks Sally.