Delighted to share the round up of my reviews for the books I have enjoyed in November in the hopes that you might find room on your groaning TBRs for a few extras before the end of the year.
First my review for the latest release by M.J. Mallon – Do What You love: Fragility Of Your Flame Poems, Photography and Flash Fiction
My review for the collection November 5th 2022
This is a delightful poetic and reflective collection of poetry, photography and flash fiction. In the company of three sisters of fate, the Morai: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the author travels back in time to showcase meaningful moments of love, family, adventure and places close to her heart.
The three mythical sisters allow for interaction and exploration behind the meaning of events, meetings and connections to nature. This makes the collection very intimate and also heart-warming as the reader is reminded of their own special moments in life.
As with other collections by Marjorie Mallon nature is a key element to the narrative with flowers and trees in particular receiving their moment in the spotlight.
Family is also given the prominence it deserves, with parents and childhood memories celebrated. The love and pride for the achievements of daughters are touched by the sorrow of an inevitable parting of ways, despite the knowledge that both have inherited strength and talent that will enable them to thrive.
This is a gentle recollection of exotic places, nature, family, memories and excitement for new adventures in the sun of Portugal. The reader is left with a sense of hope and a reminder of their own lives and moments they treasure. Recommended.
Delighted to share the news of the latest release and my advance review for the thriller by John L. DeBoer – The Girl from Belgrade. On pre-order for December 13th.
My advance review for the book November 12th 2022
Tragedy strikes for a little girl in Belgrade, Serbia in 1999 that will have repercussions on the lives of men and women twenty years later. The unscupulous take advantage of the vulnerable, and in this case, fan the hatred that has taken hold of a child to create a merciless assassin. Keen to do her master’s bidding to further their agenda, she also has her own hit list and revenge is her reason for living.
Time has passed for those who were serving in the armed forces participating in the war in Serbia. They have gone on with their lives, working, having families unaware that they have a target on their back. Until Alex’s father is assassinated and connections are made as to the reason for his death.
The story picks up speed as more characters come in to play that blur the lines of the investigation.Alex finds himself trying to figure out who and why, three women are playing fast and loose with his life and those around him.
The main characters are excellent and their roles in the plot carefully choreographed. There is suspense and action as the mystery unfolds, with reveals cleverly inserted to keep the reader on their toes. The fast paced story line is lightened with touches of humour and a developing romance between Alex and the mysterious agent whose background makes her the perfect hunter for the assassin.
I enjoyed the book very much and can recommend to readers who enjoy an action packed storyline with a great lead up to the exciting climax.
If you are looking for a wonderful short story collection to read over Christmas here is my review for the anthology Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss – by eight very talented authors.
My review for the anthology November 19th 2022
This is an intriguing collection of 10 short stories from masters of their craft. They explore the human condition beautifully, and with great insight, engaging the reader and evoking long buried moments and memories
I enjoyed all the stories but I would like to highlight one or two that I found particularly compelling.
Childhood is confusing enough but keeping secrets can weigh you down, and where do you keep them for safekeeping? What will happen if they escape and what will be the consequences? A dilemma facing a young boy in Where Secrets Go to Hide by Keith Madsen.
In “Norfolk, Virginia, 1975” by Elizabeth Gauffreau we are introduced to a young military wife and mother who has been uprooted from her home and support system. She finds herself living on the edge of poverty, debating how she can provide for the needs of her baby and create the home she dreamed of when she married. Fairy tales usually only lie between the pages of a book, but sometimes the kindness of a stranger can make all the difference.
On a more chilling note, The Coveting by Rita Baker is a tale of greed and manipulation about a woman who places her own needs before all others. I think many of us have met individuals who enjoy this game of domination in the pursuit of self interest, but this story might have you questioning the intentions of a few more people you meet going forward.
I also found it fascinating to read the author’s notes that accompany each story. Often you are left wondering what had inspired the concept and its meaning to the writer, and this added another interesting element to the collection.
I can highly recommend the anthology and all the stories for readers who enjoy well written observations on life that engage, entertain and stir the emotions. It is also a wonderful introduction to the authors and their other published works.
Another recommended book for you this week, a perfect gift for mystery and thriller readers. Genuine Deceit by Joy York.
My review for Genuine Deceit 26th November 2022
A terrific suspense novel with some unexpected twists to keep the reader turning the pages.
A mystery spanning decades begins to unravel as Reagan Asher encounters unsettling discoveries following the murder of her grandmother. To complicate matters she finds herself torn between her new protector and a boyfriend who may or may not be serious about their relationship. It is an emotional rollercoaster which is not helpful when her life and the lives of those she cares about are in danger.
The author does a great job of keeping the pace moving along and slipping in the reveals in a timely way to keep the reader glued to the story. Some of these are red herrings which result in the police and FBI are being creative with their investigations as they attempt to make the pieces of the puzzle fit.
All the characters are carefully crafted with strengths, but also the small imperfections that make them believable. Those on the dark side of the story are certainly well portrayed, and their attempts to retrieve what they consider to be theirs are chilling.
As Aiden’s and Reagan’s relationship develops, they are led into a complex and dangerous labyrinth built by a man and a woman with a secret they will go to great lengths to protect, and a criminal conspiracy from the past. There is plenty of action, romance, surprises and a great lead up to the climax of the story that both challenges Reagan’s belief in who she really is, and brings together a family separated by deceit.
I highly recommend this book to mystery and thriller lovers who love to be kept in suspense right to the end of the story.
Delighted to share my recommendation for the latest release by Sandra Cox… a western romance Geller’s Find
My review for the book November 30th 2022
As a fan of Sandra Cox’s western romances you know that you are going to be offered all the elements in a story that make for a riveting read.
The twist to her stories is that there is usually a supernatural twist that adds additional tension, mystery and intrigue. In Geller’s Find we have two worlds, 140 years apart, which collide with a bang, offering an opportunity for Luke Geller to experience the subject he teaches in person.
Throw in sassy women, a beautiful but wilful boss, a macho saloon owner with an acquiring nature, gunfights, a horse with a mind of his own and a mystery hidden beneath the earth of the ranch, and you have a great story.
The characters in Sandra Cox’s books are always memorable, and whilst not necessarily perfect human beings, they are authentic. I loved Geller’s mother, who appears in the later part of the book, who proved that feisty women still existed in the present day.
If you have already read books by this author you probably don’t need me to convince you to read Geller’s Find… but if you are new to her stories I can highly recommend you check them out.
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books… Sally