Welcome to the cafe weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.
The first author with a recent review is Mae Clair for End of Day (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2)
About the book
Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?
As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.
One of the recent reviews for End of Day
End of Day is the second book in the Hode’s Hill series. I read them a little out of turn, but I can honestly say doing so did not in any way diminish the story of each.
End of Day pretty much picks up where the first book left off. I was happy to see a character that I thought had a lot of moxie re-appear in the second book. I’m referring to the artist Dante DeLuca, a pain in the side of the Hode family. His dad worked at a lab owned by the Hodes and died there. He is no fan of the prominent Hode family.
Through tradition, Jillian Clay and her sister were responsible for watching and tending after the grave of their ancestor, Gabriel Vane. Vane was the first buried in the ancient cemetery instead of the traditional dog sacrifice, so it fell to him to take the watchdog role to ward off evil spirits.
Jillian’s sister watched the brutal murder of her husband and has not spoken in the last three years. The men who killed him are still at large. When Gabriel’s remains are stolen, decedents of those buried in the cemetery begin having accidents.
I have described only the tip of the mysteries and intrigues that are going on in Hodes Hill. The author does a great job at building suspense by flashing back to the 1700s and then returning to the present day. The reader comes to understand that actions taken back then have consequences now. Mae Clair has also created a cast of characters that are interesting and unique to the story.
The story is compelling, the characters well developed, and a very satisfying ending. I would recommend The End of Day to those who like these elements and excellent writing in their reading.
A selection of other books by Mae Clair
The next review is for John L. DeBoer for the thriller Deep Cover.
About the book
As his 40th birthday nears, former Navy SEAL Adam Taylor faces a desk job in the paramilitary security firm he works for – a sedentary executive position devoid of the exciting missions he’d craved during his entire professional life. So he joins the U.S. Marshals Service, hoping to get selected for the elite Special Operations Group of the Service. Soon thereafter, he finds himself involved in a hunt for Russian spies.
Espionage agents trained to pose as Americans in a secret base near Irkutsk, Russia have been inserted into the United States. Their mission: gather information concerning the political and social views of their neighbors and manipulate them to affect U.S. elections in disinformation campaigns. When this program is discovered by serendipity, the FBI, U.S.Marshals Service, and the NSA combine forces to weed out the spies as the 2018 midterm elections approach.
Adam and a cast of characters take the reader on an action-packed, suspenseful journey in which Russian agents scramble to keep ahead of the hunters by eliminating those who can expose the spymasters.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Deep cover by John Deboer is an intelligent and frightening book about Russian sleeper cells in the U.S. These individuals planted by foreign governments live as neighbors, colleagues, teachers, and friends. They collect data about political and social perspectives from their neighbors in order to influence United States’ elections. This book is timely, suspenseful, and packed with action and intrigue. Well written and memorable. I highly recommend Deep Cover for those who like reading spy thrillers. A fantastic 5 star read!
A selection of other books by John L. DeBoer
The next author today with a recent review is Terry Tyler for The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery
About the book
In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.
A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.
What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.
Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.
Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…
The Visitor is Terry Tyler’s twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel.
A recent review for the book
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
2024: The apocalypse is here and people are dying from bat fever – a plague from which no one survives. That should be bad enough, but in an isolated town called Hincham, people are being murdered. In the eyes of those remaining (for the time being), the killer could be any one of them in the small, but rapidly diminishing community … or maybe not.
For me, what made this story so interesting, was that there were no police to be called, no clues to send off to the labs, and none of the usual tools the world has for solving murders. “The Visitor,” who also has another name we do not know, is part of the group being murdered, (by different methods), and there wasn’t one person safe from suspicion.
“The Visitor” who narrates throughout the book, is most chilling, especially as the character is not the typical sociopath. Who is it? Who could it be? And Why? Such an important question.
The entire mystery comes together in a very clever way. The author understands and captures the mindset of flawed human beings from many angles. The thought process of the killer … and the others, is quite fascinating indeed.
And yes, in these troubling times, this story is even more terrifying.
The final review is for author and poet Bette A. Stevens and her coming of age novel Dog Bone Soup: A Boomer’s Journey
About the book
Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.
One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup
DOG BONE SOUP: A Boomer’s Journey by Bette Stevens is about a dysfunctional family trying to survive in the 50’s and 60’s. The father, a self-appointed “King of the castle” is an abusive drunk, the mother tries her best to keep the family clothed and fed, Shawn and Willie are the oldest two boys who along with their two sisters do whatever it takes to etch out a living. They are also a proud bunch, refusing food donations from the Church or handouts.
The story is told from Shawn’s POV, he is bullied and teased all through school because they are poor and their father is a known drunk. The ramshackle home they live in has no running water, cooking and heating the home also requires firewood. Shawn learned early in life how to fish, chop wood, and bring in water from the stream for washing and cooking. He also witnessed his father striking and beating their mother but was too afraid to get involved. To escape the wrath, the kids would run off and seek out new adventures to entertain themselves. Shawn is a hard worker who takes on odd jobs to help put food on the table. The title of this book is the name of a soup the family eats for days on end (boiled dog bones, onions, carrots and potatoes).
During his senior year in high school, Shawn finally stands up to his father and the school bullies for the first time. His mother gets a divorce and the family is finally free of the abusive father and husband who only sat around drank beer, and watched TV after work. That is, of course, if he wasn’t in the local bar getting drunk.
Shawn wants to make a life for himself and pursues joining the military…this is just as the war in Vietnam is beginning. His uncle tries to talk him out of it because of the horrors he’ll witness, confidentially sharing why his father drinks – to forget about the horrors of war that he fought in.
It’s a tale of a mother’s love & sacrifice and the coming of age story of a young boy in a small town. The story flowed well but I did encounter typos and missing words throughout the book. If you think you have it bad, you should read this story to see how those who do have it bad are able to cope, dream, and hope for a better life.
Books by Bette A. Stevens
Thanks for visiting today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.