How to get into the bookstore
The first step is to have an individual promotion for your latest book which will also feature your other books and some examples of reviews.
I have just updated the post for 2019 that shows you how to get your books on the shelves of the bookstore.
Promotions for books in the bookstore.
After that your featured book and another six of your other titles will be displayed in the bookstore with your main selling link (usually your Amazon author page) and your website or blog and now Goodreads link, to ensure that there is access to as many reviews as possible. I will also share an extract from one of your most recent reviews. Please note that it would be difficult to keep the shelves maintained if all an author’s books were displayed. So authors with more than seven will have a note attached to their entry asking readers to head over to Amazon or the website to see all books.
Offers and FREE Books
If you will be running an offer on your books at a discounted price or FREE for a period of time, please let me know and I will try to put you into the nearest Cafe Update. @email@example.com
Once you are an author in the bookstore you can take advantage of the Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update which goes out on Monday and Fridays as well as specials such as the Spring showcase and the Summer Sale for discounted books and Free offers.
I have made a slight adjustment to the timescales for reviews as with so many authors now in the bookstore, it is likely that several weeks might lapse between featuring everyone. So I will be looking at reviews on Amazon UK and US and also Goodreads within the last three months. To keep the numbers of authors in the Cafe and Bookstore to a level that I can promote regularly, I will be moving entries into a standby file if there has been not promotional posts for the last six months either for reviews or new releases.
I am keen to work with authors who are proactive and let me know when they have a new book or review and also share any updates that they are included in with their own networks.
Also it encourages readers to buy books if the author responds individually to their comments.
My aim is to increase your sales by sharing your books with my readers across the blog and social media. It really is very helpful if you are featured, if you share across your own networks for yourself and for the other authors who are in the post.
I aim to feature an author every four to six weeks and will check listings, it does help if you let me know if you have had a recent review. Bear in mind that it is a review is a selling tool, so select a review that you feel best reflects the key elements of your book. Which is what I will do when picking a review to use.
I look forward to promoting your books and working with you to get you sales. Get in touch please.
N.B – Please let me know if you have released your book with a new cover so that I can change in the bookstore. thanks
If you would like to be featured in the bookstore for the first time then please take a look at this post.
SALLY’S CAFE AND BOOKSTORE
One of the recent reviews for Shadowed by Death
From the start Shadowed By Death grabbed my attention. Having read the first book I was familiar with Oliver Wright. The situation he faces in this book is a bit different from that of the that book. Shadowed by Death deals with a very interesting and barely known part of California history which makes the intrigue more dynamic. Once I got started it was difficult to put the book down. The chapters are short which really kept me moving thinking, “I can read just one more then turn out the light.” But I kept thinking that until the night was half gone and the book finished.
I found that I cared about most of the characters in the story, in particular the females. On the other hand, from first appearance in the story the ‘villain” made me quite uneasy
Really liked the book and am waiting anxiously for number three.
A.J. Alexander, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Alexander/e/B07KVQCHVZ
New author A.J. Alexander excites us with her debut novella Soul Taker. Kate is an angel of death, taking the soul into the afterlife. After a job that went bad Kate wants to call it quits. Her request is granted in that she is now a Guardian angel and will learn under the tutelage of the great charming, and alluring Archangel Raphael. While Kate is being trained to be a Guardian demons attack kidnapping Kate. She has something they want. After her rescue by the Council of Twelve, we learn Kate does not have something hell and Lucifer want she IS what they want. You have to read the rest of the book to find out why.
Soul Taker is nicely written. Alexander pulls you into her world that is warm and welcoming. The characters are well written. Kate is written with a large innocence and vulnerability, yet it is also her strength as well. Lucifer is luxurious and I love him and Kate’s banter. This book is to be a series and it’s a nice beginning. Alexander is on my radar and will be interested in what else this series brings.
One of the recent reviews for Chicken Shift on Goodreads
Made me giggle. A whole poetry book, crammed with verses about chickens crossing roads!
Loved this one:
A chicken crossed the road, as happens now and then
Philosophers and passersby
Did their bit and wondered why
But the farmer wondered how it escaped the pen.
**Laura M. Baird, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-M.-Baird/e/B0745JY9CF
A recent review for Sights on Her
This was a really great Shifter story. First of all, it avoided the “magical hunk/hottie” troupe. The main Male protagonist, Brennon, 🤤🤤🤤, is a Native and a hawk shifter. He and his friend, Max, a wolf shifter (not a werewolf) , are sent on a mission to find out what experiments a mad scientist is up to. They find a lab and within it, a beautiful African American woman is being held against her will. From the moment Mikki’s eyes meet Brennon’s, he knows that he can’t live without her. She feels the same way but can’t figure out why🤔🤔🤔… The attraction is there but that’s not the only thing the story has to offer.
Featuring a strong plot within a short story, we followed a strong woman as she journeyed to find out exactly what happened to her at that lab, with love of her life at her side. Brennon and Mikki’s romance moves quickly, fueled by her newfound senses and his heavily bridled (he doesn’t want to scare her) passion. If you’ve read the first book, In His Sights, then they’ll be some delightful ‘closure’ elements that you’ll be sure to enjoy. An overall good read, I loved that science ruled so much of it and not magic. The only draw backs for this book are that there is ‘language’ through out (but not gratuitously so) and 3 love scenes. If you just enjoy romance and not love scenes, (like us), the author was kind enough to place them all towards end so they are easily skippable without missing key parts of the story.
***Rachele Baker, DVM, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Rachele-Baker-DVM/e/B00AN9TKLS – Goodreads: Rachele on Goodreads
One of the recent reviews for Keep Your Dog Healthy
New dog owner? This book, written by a veterinarian, will help you get off to a good start quickly. Does not cover much about dog training, but most dog training books don’t cover feeding, shots, and other parts of dog care. So if this is your first dog, you probably need two books, one about care, and one about training.
**Judith Barrow – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6
Blog: judithbarrowblog.com/ – Goodreads: Judith on Goodreads
Please visit Amazon or Judith Barrow’s blog to view all her books.
A recent review for A Hundred Tiny Threads
This book was promoted on Facebook and it is a testament to the power of this platform that I purchased this book. It is the first Judith Barrow book that I have read and will certainly look out for others.
I enjoy reading period dramas from any era. This one set between 1911 and 1923 is interesting in terms of the civil uprising in Ireland. The two main Irish characters, Conal and Honora were very charismatic and feisty. Friends of the main character Winifred they introduced her to a life she was unfamiliar with. From a sheltered background, she blossomed and became a stronger woman. However, fate changed her path and led her towards a very unsavory character – Bill Howarth.
This is a real page turner once it gets going. The characters are well developed and the storyline interesting throughout.
One of the recent reviews for Pariahs
Julia Benally has built a magical and mysterious world where danger lurks around every corner, under every stairwell and behind every tree. Your heart will race as you read about Vijeren, the young and brave hero, and his epic journey of self discovery…and self preservation. Impressively vast in scope, creative, fast-paced, heartwarming and fun, PARIAHS will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and biting your nails until the end.
An early review for the collection
Roads: A Journey With Verses is a beautiful book of mainly freestyle poetry written by Smitha Vishwanath and Vandana Bhasin. I have read and enjoyed a lot of poetry on Smitha’s blog in the past, but this was my first introduction to Vandana’s poetry.
I thought this was a wonderful combination of work by two talented poets and I enjoyed the different styles of writing by the two contributors. Smitha writes delicately beautiful poems in which her messages are subtly shrouded as if within a loving cocoon of words. Vandana’s writing is more strident and forthright, but I enjoyed her style equally and her strong messages for women’s rights moved me greatly.
This book is divided into sections as follows: Courage, Wisdom, Serenity; Love, Strength, Compassion and Joy, Hope, Gratitude. Each section is divided into subsections setting out an arrange of delightful poems in each subcategory. Each subsection is introduced with a short introductory verse which conveys its meaning for the poets and each poem is introduced with a paragraph setting out the the meaning and purpose of the specific poem to the writer. I really enjoyed reading about the inspiration and
*Ritu Bhathal, Buy:https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020
One of the recent reviews for Poetic Rituals –
This a wonderful collection of poems. They will make you smile, chuckle, sigh, coo, squeal and squeak! My overall favourite is ‘Whispers’ – very clever! I hope there will be more from this talented lady!
****Jacquie Biggar, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jacquie-Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG
Website: http://jacqbiggar.com – Goodreads: Jacquie Biggar at Goodreads
Please visit Jacquie’s Amazon page of website to view all her books.
An extract from one of the recent reviews for Tempted by Mr. Wrong
Tempted by Mr. Wrong, a novel published in 2017 by Jacquie Biggar, is the first romantic suspense book I’ve read in a very long time. I previously read another novel in a different genre by this author but wanted to sample something at opposite end of the spectrum [of a normal read for me] this week. I love suspense but the romance stuff is fairly new to me. In the end, it was quite a winner. Let’s dive into the review…
Tammy-Jo, better known as TJ, has a bad track record with men. She had a bit of an illicit affair with a stepbrother, Jason, in her late teens (parents had only just married) but her father chased him away, causing a family drama that wouldn’t end for years. TJ married another guy to help out her father, as they went into business together… but what type of business was it exactly? We don’t know in the beginning, yet something seems foul as the husband ends up dead. We know it’s bad when TJ looks guilty and someone attacks her to collect missing evidence. As Jason helps protect his stepsister, almost ruin his own career, and stops her father from interfering again, he realizes he still loves her. But how does she feel about the man who hurt her all those years ago?
From the get go, readers know this isn’t just a sappy love story; no offense intended to readers who want that… I only mean… this has a whole lot more going on. Murder. Stalking. Revenge. Power struggles. All the typical suspense and mystery elements which kept me highly intrigued. TJ is a complex woman. At first, she seemed spoiled, but as you got to know her, she was heartbroken. Her father is controlling. Her stepmother is developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Her husband was a jerk. Jason is all she has left, and it’s been a decade since she saw him. Right there… the hook to want her to win. I fell, and I think most readers will too. She’s multifaceted and grows on you quickly.
Deborah A. Bowman, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Bowman/e/B00MDD6QMS
Please visit Deborah’s Amazon page or her blog to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for Deliah, Astral Investigator
Delilah, Astral Investigator: Infinity Series revolves around a young woman named Deliah who is afflicted with asthma, her angora cat named Molly, and a young man, Bartholomew, who steps from the pages of America history. The three combine their efforts and end up changing history.
The story revolves around a shopkeeper and a boy and an event that profoundly affects Delilah. Each night, when she falls asleep, she dreams of this fateful event, reliving the incident in excruciating detail.
However, One night Delilah’s dream changes, and she witnesses a different dream/occurrence where Bartholomew is about to be murdered. She reaches through time to pull him into her dream where she saves him. Once Bartholomew adjusts to this time continuum, the unusual man from the past becomes her friend.
I enjoyed the story and how this author’s interpretation of time travel allowed a ripple effect to change past events. The storyline delves into the topics of lucid dreaming and astral projection, which really add a paranormal glint to solving the mystery.
The characters were engaging and relatable. I found Bartholomew’s dilemmas in coping with the modern world to be well thought out and at times humorous. This author has a penchant for realism, so some of the dialogue is written in an English dialect which I thought added to the story.
I do hope the author continues the series because the time travel cornerstone of the story is intriguing. There are so many possibilities!
MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars
*Please visit Amazon to view all of Craig’s books.
One of the recent reviews for The Hat on Goodreads
In this short read, Boyack has teamed up Lizzie, a young woman with two part-time jobs, and a talking hat that she stole/inherited from her grandmother’s estate. Yes, you heard that right—a talking hat. At first, she’s rather suspicious and freaked out by the hat, but when a friend’s newborn is stolen as part of a larger baby-napping ring, Lizzie and the hat set out to rescue the infants.What ensues is pretty entertaining. The banter between Lizzie and the hat is exceptionally witty, particularly as the hat navigates advances in technology (it’s been in a box for a long time). The duo reminded me of wise-cracking detective team with snappy dialog and lots of attitude on both sides.
This book can be polished off in a couple of hours and is well worth the time. Highly recommended.
A recent review for Maggie’s Way
Lovely story of a women who after 26 years of marriage feels her life slipping away. The story tells her relationship with her pesky 7 year old neighbor and how Maggie finds herself, her own way in life and realizes she can find happiness. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Maybe a 7 year can make her see a happy life is there and nothing is always perfect. You can find it. Story is slow in some areas and often you find out what occurred to the characters after you learn the outcome of it all. Interesting way to lay out the story line.
A recent review for On The Edge of a Raindrop
Flash fiction is a curious beast to tame but Sarah Brentyn feels beyond comfortable making 6 lines leave you thinking, “What the hell happened?” Much like “Hinting at Shadows”, this collection would be something I would recommend to anyone who is facing writer’s block. Try to imagine micro stories so intense that they would make an amazing prompt for a long story or even a novel, that’s what she does so well and so consistently.
I will admit that some pieces hover near the waters of poetry, but Brentyn often pulls the reign to bring it back into the realm of prose. Page after page of inspiration await anyone who picks either of her collections and she proves once again that impact and word count are not correlated.
****Christine Campbell, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2
One of the recent reviews for A Mountain of Memories
A lovely story of past and present mingled creatively. I was on the edge of my seat as the story unwound. It was interesting and like nothing I have read before. Once I started reading, I had a hard time putting it down. A wonderful story!
To discover all the books please go to Amazon or the website.
An extract from a recent review for Murder by the Books
The mother-daughter duo known as HL Carpenter created a character in Fae Childers who can go the distance. Murder by the Books is well-paced and will hold your interest to the end.
I have a long-standing background in researching financial scams and con-artists, so the topic was a perfect one to entertain me on a cold and dreary Saturday.
Fae Childers is so horrified by the suggestion that she has embezzled from the accounting firm she leaves without defending her decades-long career with the firm.
The fact that her boyfriend has sided with the owners causes her to stay in seclusion in her apartment in Tampa. Wallowing in self-pity, she’s intrigued when a letter arrives informing her of an inheritance from a grandmother she had no idea existed.
The lawyer she encounters in Seafoam appears to be thoughtful, compassionate and handsome. Why is Fae drawn in so by his passionate green eyes? Could Ret Karaffa be at the center of the murders and break-ins that suddenly seem to happen with an unnerving regularity around all the people her grandmother came in contact with while living along the coast in Seafoam?
You’ll learn to love to hate the annoying local reporter, Pat Jablonski. Will she show up dead in the surf too? The real mystery is whether or not the killer believes that Fae has inherited her grandmother’s abilities to see things most of us will never experience. Will he or she recognize the piercing headaches as the same ones Fae’s grandmother had before she solved the mysterious puzzles the inhabitants of Seafoam had with unnerving regularity?
**Lizzie Chantree, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lizzie-Chantree/e/B00FF99DHC
One of the recent reviews for If You Love Me I’m Yours
For me, IF YOU LOVE ME I AM YOURS Is one book you should not leave at home when packing for your holiday. I took it on mine, and wiled away some lovely ‘me’ time engrossed in it as I relaxed in the sun.
This is a romantic comedy with a story that doesn’t just rely on getting the laughs but has a gripping core that keeps you turning the pages.
Yes, there are many times which make you laugh out loud and that aspect adds to the enjoyment of the unravelling of Maud’s life – her hurt at her parent’s attitude to the person she wants to be, and how she strives for their approval.
Her friendships – woven as all friendships are, with deep loyalty, the feeling that someone has got your back, and that wonderful asset of having people who love and who understand you. And yes, troublesome times when halo’s slip and forgiveness is the only way forward. Dot is one of these. To describe her I wouldn’t know where to start, but this except of just one of Lizzie’s wonderfully crafted and funny descriptions gives you an insight into Dot:
‘Dot wanted to stamp her feet then throw herself on the floor in a tantrum, but her shoes had towering heels with fake sharks’ teeth protruding from every angle and she was worried she could do herself some serious damage, so she tried to grab her emotions and squelch them back down again before they erupted in fury.’
And Daisy – Explicit about her sexual activity and bossy in a good way – she it is who sets Maud off on the path her life should take.
And we become entangled in Maud’s love life – no easy, falling in love and blissful journey for Maud. Her innocence is appealing, and yet, a barrier and leads her to trust the wrong people. You so want her to find happiness and to stick up for herself – does she? I highly recommend that you read IF YOU LOVE ME I’M YOURS – the journey to find out, is funny, witty, moving and gives you an entertaining read.
My rating – A brilliant read and well worthy of five stars.
****Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads
One of the recent reviews for While the Bombs Fell
An interesting compilation of memories of a young girl during wartime in Britain. The author relays her mother, Elsie’s memoirs of what transpired in her day-to-day life growing up during WWll.
We see life through the eyes of Elsie who didn’t know what was going on around her with the war because of her young age. All she knew was she was cold and hungry and loved to have some sweets at Christmas time. She remembers the fun she had with her siblings and curling up in bed together on cold nights to keep warm. She remembers helping her mother make Christmas pudding and receiving a beautiful doll as a Christmas present.
Elsie lived on a farm with cows and chickens and other animals around. She was fortunate to have eggs and milk daily. Others were not as fortunate. She didn’t realize the hardships caused by war but she and her family adjusted and were resilient. Her father was a farmer who delivered milk daily while her mother kept the home clean and children fed and cared for even if they had very little to eat at times.
This story displays the tenacity, strength, courage and resourcefulness of this generation of people, known as the greatest generation of all times. We, today, could not do what these amazing people did to survive. We are too spoiled and cosseted in our ways and life styles. We can’t imagine a time where war came to our doorstep. Thank God for that.
A lovely story for young adults to read in order to learn about life during the toughest of times. The collection of recipes at the end of the book is a nice touch to further display what these truly courageous and resilient people had to use daily to survive.
A recent review for The Heartstone Chronicles
This mystical story is bound to capture your heart. Abigale Forester is only fourteen years old, recently orphaned, and has been sent to live with her Aunt Magnolia Forester, a woman she has never met, and is now her legal Guardian. Abigale was born with mystical gifts, inherited from her mother, along with a few hundred acres of swamp land that has been handed down for generations in her family.
This is no ordinary swamp. It is a place where mystical things happens, another realm, that is critical for the safety of mankind. Abigale has no idea what this has to do with her, but she will soon find out. In the meantime, a corrupt, greedy, and wealthy man as plans of his own to destroy the swamp and possibly Abigale and her aunt, as a form of revenge.
Danger is everywhere for Abigale as she tries to adjust to her new life. When the truth about the swamp legacy is revealed to her, Abigale is forced to make a decision about the swamp legacy and her choice is a dangerous one.
I highly recommend this mystical mystery that is so well written, by author Colleen M. Chesebro, that the story itself almost leaps off of the pages, right into your reality. It is that good. FIVE STARS
*Ann Chiappetta, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Chiappetta/e/B06Y1H47FS
One of the recent reviews for Words of Life
Family vacations carefully recorded in journal entries, conversations and encounters with strangers on a beach or in a van, mythical stories of wolves and Greek legends, thefts perpetrated by shore birds on beaches, a dishonest neighbor, watchers, witnesses, a voyeur, and lurking dark dogs who appear initially as a sniff, or a nose. By the end of the collection the entire black dog has transformed into a threatening beast-
these are among Ann Chiappetta’s themes in her 3rd book, Words of Life, a collection of poems and essays.
The reader does not travel far into the text to begin to make discoveries about the intention of the author.
In the “Introduction,” she states,
“The purpose of this volume… (is to) reflect
the beauty in nature, the complexities of the
As we reach the conclusion of this collection, we see the author as a voyeuristic listener, in her own words:
“I’ve often tried to figure out why I’m chosen to
be the designated listener. Two possibilities
are: 1. When someone notices I’m blind,
they figure, what the heck, she’ll never
see me again, and if she does, she won’t
recognize me anyway. 2. I’m eavesdropping
on conversations, being an opportunist in
disguise to feed a voyeuristic curiosity.”
Each piece assembled for this collection has the mark of the keen eye and sensitive ear of a person who listens, takes notes, contemplates, and responds to the run-of-the-mill situations and ordinary, everyday and commonplace conversation, observation, or experience. She moves easily between moments of joy, pride, awe, irritation, anger, fear, and even her struggles with recurring depression and the ways she battles through them. Always, there is a sense of place; specific locations such as Long Island Shore, California, Old Sturbridge, Aruba, the Bay, a hospital – each a marker left behind on her journey – Words of Life.
Visit Amazon or Billy Ray’s blog to view all his books.
Billy Ray Chitwood is an author who has a discernable style that you could love, or if insecure you could hate. You see it takes a degree of self-confidence to appreciate Billy Ray’s engaging brand of prose fully. He serves up a cast of characters who resemble folks you know. He then tells a whole bunch about how they feel and what makes them tick. On top of that, he places the characters into a plausible situation that is akin to mayhem and dares them to solve their problems.
While the reader is working through all this complexity, Billy Ray serves up some drinks at a plush country club or restaurant and seems to enjoy the company of those around him. Now I’m not saying Billy Ray does this, but his characters give the reader the impression that Billy Ray is right there with them having the time of his life.
If you want a mystery that will keep you engaged, entertained, and near the edge of your seat at times, pick up The Pickett Factor and have a good time.
Please visit Amazon or Mae’s website to view all her books.
A recent review for Cusp of Night on Goodreads
Wonderfully spooky. What I liked most about this story and Mae Claire’s writing is her compassion for monsters. Atmospheric, well-paced and peopled with defined personalities.
***Lucinda E. Clarke, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914
Please visit Amazon or Lucinda’s website to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for Amie: Savage Safari
Is this book 5 already? For some reason I struggle to click with books in series but I have to say I can make an exception for Lucinda Clarke’s Amie series. I think I have enjoyed these books largely because the author has a way of painting pictures with her words that is in a class of its own. A bit different to the last one I read but here I found intrigue and suspense in abundance and I thoroughly enjoyed my latest visit to Africa courtesy of Ms. Clarke. Excellent structure, clear, captivating plot and very much a page turner. Pick this one up it stands alone but I would recommend you read all the Amie series, you won’t be disappointed. Great read.
A recent reviews for Racked
Denise H Gripping. Gritty. Emotional. August 7, 2019
This is such a great series! Every time I pick up one of Coletta’s books, the rest of the world disappears as I delve into the pages of the new thriller. It is impossible not to be swept up in the mystery and track the clues right alongside Niko and Sage. This read is another emotional powerhouse for both Sage and Niko as they fight one of a parent’s greatest fears…a missing child. While Niko, Frankie, and team are deeply involved in a new murder in the county, Sage is pulled into the mystery of children going missing in the area. When Noah, their son, is given the same toy the other missing children received before their disappearances strong emotions and irrational behaviors take over and she dives in headfirst to find the abductor and bring them to justice. Will Sage and Niko be able to piece all the clues together before time runs out and another child disappears? And what if that child is Noah?
Alongside Sage and Niko, we also get more of the fabulous Frankie (Niko’s second in command) and her sassy behavior and snarky remarks. She has absolutely no filter and says the first thing that pops in her mind and most of her comments are hilarious (and ill-timed but that is what makes them funnier). She also has her own side drama continuing in this story and I am extremely curious as to what will happen when Niko discovers her secret. I really want to know! I am on pins and needles every time a re-telling scene comes up and connects to the present happenings that could possibly expose her. The suspense on this is a killer.
RACKED is full of intense moments, intriguing characters, gripping scenes, emotional turmoil, and a strong storyline that will keep you glued to the pages. I laughed, held my breath, and might have even shed a tear while reading this breathtaking thriller. This book is a wonderful addition to the series and I cannot wait to see what is in store next for Sage and Niko.
Sally Cronin, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6
Please visit Amazon or the blog to view reviews and all the books.
A recent review for Tales from the Irish Garden
Tales from the Irish Garden is the third book I’ve read by Sally Cronin. There is a connection with this book to one of her earlier ones (that I haven’t read yet) but the author does an excellent job at covering what happened in the first publication so that you you’re not missing out on anything critical to the story. After enjoying this magical fantasy novella, I’ll be sure to check out the original Tales from the Garden in the future. Let’s chat more about this story…
There is an entire world beneath a beautiful magnolia tree where our characters have lived for a very long time. Unfortunately, the tree will be chopped down and the land will be re-purposed by its new owners. What will Queen Filigree and her fellow creatures do without a home? She and her many wonderful friends (and perhaps a few not so friendly) take us through the seasons on their journey to find a new home and re-build their lives. Among the travels are romance, friendship, and hilarity. We meet fantastic characters such as the Storyteller, royal pigeons, Jacamo the pigeon master, butterflies, the Dapper Man, the donkey, foxes, piglet, mice, and so many more.
Toss in various holidays and seemingly normal events for humans, and you’ll have have a grandiose (in a good way) tale about a new romance for the queen, a marriage, and a surprise. Each mini-story adds up to the larger world of all those who live in the magic land. What they experience might feel like a metaphor for what us humans go through in life. The imagery is beautiful, and the settings are stunning. I felt like I was in the fountain or traveling through the gardens… whether I was a tiny mouse, a bird in flight, or a furry animal gallivanting around. There is levity too, so the entire piece is well-balanced. It’s the kind of writing that easily reads itself– simple yet descriptive, immersive, and crafty. If you enjoy fantasies and the charming world of our animal, insect, and fairy friends, then you will love this one;
One of the recent reviews Father Figure
Father Figure is an intriguing story of two women’s journeys, at two different points in time, towards self acceptance and redemption.
Amalia grew up in the small town of Brant, Mississippi, the abused daughter of a jealous and spiteful mother, who suffers from diabetes, and a weak and insipid father, who turns a blind eye to his wife’s physical and verbal abuse of his daughter. Despite her father’s faults, Amalia is devoted to her father. Her love for her father does not prevent her from seeking to create a better life for herself away from Brant and she accepts a sports scholarship to Woodlands College. Amalia’s sheltered and dysfunctional home life does not equip her for life at a university full of young men and women. She becomes romantically involved with Carter, her brother’s rather childish and selfish best friend, and simultaneously meet a middle aged, but attractive, professor who she develops a huge crush on. Amalia’s naivety set her up to make poor romantic choices and other decisions that change the course of her life.
Brianna is the lonely and slightly indulged teenage daughter of a single fairly successful career woman living in New York City. She has grown up without a father figure and has an obsession with finding out more about the mystery man who fathered her. Her mother refuses to engage with her on the subject, saying it is part of her painful past. Brianna knows virtually nothing about her mother’s family and this increases her frustration at her mother’s refusal to tell her about her roots. Brianna is also confused about her sexuality and is locked in an internal struggle to discover whether she is attracted to men or whether her attraction for her best friend, Shanelle, is the real thing. In order to give herself some space, away from her over-protective mother, Brianne decides to apply to Woodlands College, which is out of state and the same college Shanelle has decided to attend.
Brianna’s decision to attend Woodland’s sets in motion a sequence of events that unravel the mysteries of the past and cause the separate timelines of Amalia and her to cross with unforeseen consequences.
I thoroughly enjoyed this family drama.
Anita Dawes, buy https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Dawes/e/B0034NUE10/
A recent review for Lazy Days.
This truly was a getaway holiday. The family left a busy part of London for the peace and slow pace of life on the Norfolk Broads. It was also an adventure as they had not handled a boat before. Two sisters, four children and two dogs had to adapt to life in the confines of a boat. Fortunately the weather was good and the sun and fresh air come across in this warm story. There were plenty of places to visit along the way and the family enjoyed everything from the beach at Great Yarmouth to the castle at Norwich. If you have been on boating holidays or are contemplating one do read this book. Lots of us will know the experience of planning a holiday, then worrying if everyone will enjoy it, trying to please all ages etc. The two sisters were’t sure if all the children had enjoyed themselves, but it turned out that they talked about it for weeks after and years later enjoyed reading this book and recapturing memories.
Please go to Amazon or Richard’s website to view all his books.
One of the recent reviews for Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe
This is a fresh take on the cosy mystery café genre and it really worked.
The space setting and mining/Scooper-driving details added an interesting backdrop and an overall claustrophobic, dangerous feel behind the pleasant surface.
Well, mostly pleasant surface anyway. Within just a few days of opening their Oort Cloud Café Andi and Cy are already up to their eyeballs in overeager volunteers, mafia-esque henchmen, break-ins and bodily harm. Not to mention the inconvenient whereabouts of the previous owner!
The plot unfolds nicely and at a good pace, and whilst there are plenty of suspects and motives it remains easy to follow what’s going on. I instantly loved Andi and Cy (who wouldn’t), but also found the side-characters interesting and well fleshed-out. I’ve seen this described as ‘Agatha Raisin in space’ and agree for the most part, except that I never really took to Agatha the way I did to Andi here.
Richard’s light, witty tone lifts the story, and the elements of romance and thriller that he slips in alongside the main mystery plot mean that there is a little something for everyone. I would definitely recommend this book to cosy mystery fans looking for something new!
A recent review for Mackenzie’s Distraction
The story starts with a phone call that Mackenzie receives about her mother’s tragic accident. Her mother struggles to survive. Mackenzie discovers some family secrets and learns things about herself.
Mackenzie had bad relationships in the past. That’s when the man of her dreams appears but she is not ready for him. She struggles in her search for love while feeling she is not good enough.
It is interesting to follow Mackenzie in her need to be loved and understood. Will she be able to let go of her past and move on to a brighter future? If you like New Adult Romance you will enjoy this book.
*Audrey Driscoll, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC
Blog: http://audreydriscoll.com Goodreads: Audrey on Goodreads
To view all of Audrey’s books please visit her Amazon page.
A recent review for Islands of the Gulf Volume 2 The Treasure
This book’s genre could be described in more than one way. First of all, it is what I would call a literary paranormal work – literary because it is first and foremost a study of superbly delineated characters who could easily exist in the real world, and paranormal because many occurrences are outside the bounds of reality, giving it elements of science fiction/fantasy. But it could also be classified as gay fiction, since the plot centers around the poignant, tempestuous, and ultimately tragic love affair between Francis Dexter/Herbert West and the artist Julian Vernon.
As always with this author’s books, it is beautifully written, with descriptive passages that are a joy to read. Some of the paranormal passages are particularly memorable. I might cite Dexter’s gripping hallucination involving Richard Bellgarde’s death, the episode with the Tarot reading, and also Dexter’s contact with the shaman/medicine woman. And of course, the events at the end, in Chapter 15, which reminded me of Ursula K. LeGuin’s ”A Wizard of Earthsea,” where Ged pursues his evil self across the sea, only to merge that entity into his own being.
Driscoll has a secret talent – she knows how to structure her stories so there is always more to be told. Thus, the end of “The Treasure” takes us back to the end of “The Friendship of Mortals,” and in v.1 of “Islands of the Gulf” we know that the love affair between Francis and Julian took place, but we don’t know the details of it. And if you read the summaries of the sequels, you find out that they also fill in details that were only hinted at in the earlier books. I suspect Driscoll could keep these stories going for a long time to come, and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned! Strongly recommended (but read the earlier volumes first)
One of the recent reviews for The Heart’s Lullaby
M. Smith Heartfelt Emotion February 1, 2019
This is the second book of this author’s that I have read. Just like with the first book, I fell in love with the poetry. She has such a beautiful way of writing. There’s so much emotion that goes into her words. Your heart will be touched as you explore the pages of love and pain. Tears will fall. Your own memories may even fade in. Even better, this is a book you can read again and again. It’s that good.
**Dorinda Duclos, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Dorinda-Duclos/e/B00LE97O5K
Please visit Amazon of Dorinda’s Blog to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for Short & not always Sweet
Duclos offers a generous selection of over 60 short stories, pieces of poetic prose, and flash fiction in a compilation that kept me enthralled for an entire afternoon. The writing is lovely, evocative, and in many cases emotional. Some pieces are lyrical and heartfelt reflections with themes centered on nature, serenity, and empowerment. Others are dark forays into ghostly hauntings and the realms of murder and revenge. Some of my favorites are Patience, Dusk, Wilted, and I Am. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon or to savor over a week, one page at a time.
To view all of Jack Eason’s book please visit his Amazon Page or his blog
One of the recent reviews for Turning Point August 10th 2019 by Richard Dee
A roller coaster of a book. Jack Eason takes some well-known legends and weaves a fascinating sci-fi story around them. We have alien races; some good, some bad. The story is about their battle for control of our planet, along with that of the humans who get caught up in the fight. Sides need to be chosen; allegiances made. The action is plausible and relentless, spanning the globe and leaving you desperately turning the pages to see what happens next. Yet, through it all, there is enough detail to show that a lot of research has been done, neither has character development been sacrificed for the sake of action. It all fits together perfectly, the ending is superb and brings this excellent tale to a perfect conclusion.
**Diana J. Febry, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/
One of the recent reviews for The Paper Boy
It is impossible to forget your first murder scene. More so if you believe the case in question hadn’t been resolved correctly. When a recent stabbing appears to have a connection to these events it is time for DCI Hatherall to finally explore the overlooked leads in a case that almost ruined his career. He can see things no one else can, avenues left unexplored that are now able to be reopened, but will his desire to prove he was right back then endanger the case, or had justice turned a blind eye all those years ago?
I do so love it when a plot comes together, and in Diana J Febry’s The Paper Boy, it certainly does. Pete Hatherall is back in this engaging murder mystery, not only tackling murder, but sensitive issues. I loved watching the plot unfold as Fiona and Peter delve deeper into the mystery, uncovering links that, if not for Peter’s past, would have gone undetected. This isn’t the first book I have read by this talented novelist, I love how the murder investigation and character development progress, and appreciated the attention to detail. There are parts of this novel that remind me of a combination of Morse, Midsomer Murders, and Lewis. This is a book you can really lose yourself in, and you can’t help but guess how the escalating situation will conclude.
*Christoph Fischer – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ
Please visit Amazon or Christoph’s blog to view all his books
A recent review for Ludwika
Once again, Fischer shows such talent for bringing history to life, with this based-on-fact novel about the survival of a young Polish woman during WW2. Taking the small details he could find, the author weaves them into a story by adding fictional characters, delivering a page-turning experience that showcases his style and skill.
From a peaceful life on a Polish farm, to near slave labour in far-off Germany, we follow the trials and tribulations that beset our young heroine during the long years of that war. And to round it off, we also get to find out what really happened to her, later in life.
This combination works so well, giving us completely believable characters, authentic locations, and set around the cataclysmic events that rocked Europe from 1939, until well after the end of hostilities. Recommended unreservedly, this is a book for everyone to read.
One of the recent reviews for Campbell’s Rambles
Certain books come to you at just the right time. I have been meaning to read Patty Fletcher’s memoir entitled Campbell’s Rambles for quite some time, but life events have prevented me from doing so. I regret not reading the book sooner. This book is one of my favorite reads this year. Campbell’s Rambles is a story of the beautiful love that exists between a dog handler and her first guide dog. But, more than that, the book reaffirms that life is a gift, that though many hardships exist, love always manages to find a way into your heart.
I was so touched by Patty’s gradual realization that the relationship between a handler and their dog is based upon mutual love and trust. Her first meeting with Campbell made me both laugh and cry. I love sloppy dog kisses, too, and could totally relate to the moment she realized that she and Campbell belonged together. A particularly favorite scene for me occurs at a time when Patty is threatened and Campbell illustrates his unfailing loyalty to her. Campbell’s Rambles affirms something I have known for some time: that animals love those who show them love in return and will defend those for whom they care with every fiber of their being.
Perhaps the best aspect of Patty’s book is the growth she experiences through the gentle caring and steadfast support of Mr. Drew Gibbon, her instructor at The Seeing Eye. I loved certain scenes where Patty learns to accept the kind offers of assistance from others. One of my favorite scenes occurs in a creamery. I will not provide spoilers. I will just say that a simple act of kindness means so very much. I related most to her feelings of self-doubt as it is a problem that has always plagued me as well. Campbell’s Rambles is a candid and fast-paced memoir that I simply could not put down. Acquiring a seeing eye dog is a momentous decision, and I enjoyed learning about Patty’s experiences and the enriching rewards Campbell has brought into her life. I also loved learning of the independence Patty has found through her time with Campbell.
The book has given me a desire to consider the possibility of training to acquire a guide dog more seriously. At the very least, it has given me insight into the joys (and challenges) that await when life-changing decisions are made. As my favorite person in the book says, “Take a chance. You have a 50 percent chance of being right”.
Campbell’s Rambles is thoroughly recommended. I urge anyone who is considering acquiring a guide dog or who would like to learn more about the process and the experiences of one particular handler to give the book a chance. A prospective sequel entitled The Raw Truth was mentioned in the Afterword of Campbell’s Rambles. I hope that one day it will be written. I will definitely read it. Happy reading to you all.
Please visit Amazon or Darlene’s blog to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for Amanda in New Mexico
Amanda and her sixth-grade class are on an educational field trip from their hometown of Calgary, Canada to visit, explore and document their experiences in New Mexico, USA. As the class tours Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding area, their trip is interrupted by ghosts present and past. In “Amanda in New Mexico—Ghost in the Wind,” Foster has written a contemporary fiction story through which middle grade students will not only learn about the region’s geography, architecture, and artifacts—they’ll learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Students and teachers are sure to want to follow Amanda through further adventures in this well-written series.
**Claire Fullerton, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4
One of the recent reviews for Mourning Dove
MOURNING DOVE by Claire Fullerton is a compelling and thought-provoking story of family, culture and the true meaning of home. Set in the 1970s in Memphis, Tennessee, young sister and brother, Millie and Finley, struggle to fit in to the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing. Thrust into their new home in the South when their mother divorces their father and leaves him behind in Minnesota, they soon learn that all is not as it seems and in Memphis’ elite society, appearances are everything. Finley appears to adapt more easily than Millie, but there may be more to Finley’s charming and easy-going nature than meets the eye. Millie relies on her close relationship with Finley to keep her grounded in her new world. The writing is beautiful and the multi-layered story kept me engaged from beginning to end. The descriptions of Memphis during this age were so vivid, I felt like I had taken a trip back in time to this colorful city, not just to the homes of the wealthy socialites, but also to the seedy bars where the music scene was beginning to flourish. There are parts of the story that are hard to read, but there are also moments where the strength of the emotional bonds between the members of this dysfunctional family is portrayed with understanding and compassion. I enjoyed this moving book and highly recommend it.
Patricia Furstenberg, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Furstenberg/e/B018QGC570
One of the recent reviews for Joyful Trouble on Goodreads
I jumped aboard a fast paced, fun story and travelled back to my childhood. The Great Dane, Joyful Trouble, didn’t need a ticket and neither did I, but I packed plenty of imagination. Like Ana and Tommy, I sat beside my grandfather and listened to the ‘dog–faring tale’. I snuggled into my armchair: luxuriated in the heart-warming story, packed up my troubles and followed ‘the special dog’ called Joyful Trouble. I was placed in the ‘middle of the action’ with the ‘very clever dog’.
*Brigid P. Gallagher, BUY: https://www.amazon.in/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD
One of the recent reviews for the book
Watching the Daisies is a memoir with a difference. It commences in the seventies then follows Brigid’s journey of discovery into alternative medicine and a philosophy of life she had developed. When reading this book, I felt the calm and soothing effect if the author’s voice and loved the wisdom she has learned throughout her life.
Before reading this book, I was unfamiliar with the range of therapies and now feel as if I have been introduced to a new wisdom of complementary medicine that enhances wellbeing. There is information about reflexology, aromatherapy, crystal healing. Colour healing radionics, spiritual healing, meditation, geopathic stress, space clearing, counselling, Feng Shui and more. I enjoyed learning how the author had used the therapies with patients and in her own life. New therapies and ancient wisdom are combined in the memoir.
The memoir examines how one can use the energy from the ebb and flow of life to move forwards and cope with life. Brigid is a natural medicine pioneer and demonstrates how we can use alternative and traditional medicine, but the key is to ask questions about one’s health and explore options for healing.
Serenity and kindness dominate the narrative voice thus making me feel as if I was in the safe hands of the author. This was a great book to soothe the soul at the end of the day. Brigid demonstrates ‘the healing journey may be slow, but there are nuggets of gold on every corner.’ The book did make me slow down and reflect and I now understand the title.
A review for Dancing with the Sandman
The story starts and ends in west Texas as Billie Jo revisits the small town she grew up in, a town left behind years ago when progress, in the form of a new highway, raced ahead. It’s a place that holds memories so tangible they feel like ghosts rising out of the sand, and they create the substance of the story.
Garvin calls the book a fictional journey, but it reads like a memoir. If you were a kid in the 60’s, this book will feel something like a trip into childhood, a time before helicopter parents and iphones, a time when kids had to create their own fun while learning the painful lessons of life.
Though the book takes place in Texas, there is so much about Billie Jo’s experiences that felt familiar to me, a child of rural Connecticut. In a way, the qualities that make up a childhood – the way adults are perceived, the family quirks, sibling teasing, unexpected kindnesses and losses, how kids think and fill their leisure time – seemed universal. This is a thoroughly relatable book.
And told as a “look back at the ghosts of the past,” the book has a nostalgic aura that lingered beyond the last page, calling forth my own ghosts and eliciting memories that I’d forgotten. Dancing with the Sandman is a lovely, poignant, rich read for all ages, but especially for those who enjoy memoirs and those who were children in the 60’s.
**Teagan Geneviene – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
A recent review for Brother Love
Geneviene started this novelette as a serial on her blog and for several reasons I was unable to follow along. I was pleased to see the story published so I could finish it to the end. It was well worth staying up past my bedtime.
The story takes place in rural Mississippi and reflects the sensibilities of the US South. It’s a place full of superstition and religion, talking magpies, charlatans and outcasts. The traveling revival-show is particularly well done. Characters are intriguing, and the main character Birdie is fully realized and believable. The reader figures out what’s going on only as Birdie does, and there is lots of magic and mystery wrapping up the end.
The author states at the beginning that the story includes word-prompts contributed by her blog audience, and it was fun to see how she wove them seamlessly into the story. Recommend for fantasy readers who love magic.
An recent review for Becoming Someone
Whispering Stories Book Blog This is a book that speaks volumes and is well worth reading 6 March 2019
I had the pleasure of reviewing Anne’s first book Sugar and Snails back in 2016 and loved every minute of it, so when I saw that Anne had written another book and the synopsis took my fancy, I was already hooked and eager to start reading.
Becoming Someone is a short story collection featuring forty-two different stories that all share a common theme, identity. Throughout the book I found myself thinking about the issues of identity more deeply than I have ever before. It is a special ability to crack such a great punch with so few words. Although the stories share a theme they are also unique too and very compelling and poignant.
I particularly liked the stories ‘Madonna and Child’, ‘A place of safety’, and ‘Reflecting Queenie’. These three stories really spoke to me.
Madonna and Child is the story of a teenage mum’s daily routine, her trying to be a grown-up when she is still a child, her feelings towards having no help from others and also wanting to prove she can go it alone. The story also skillfully lets you know she is in denial about her child too.
A Place of Safety tells the story of a young woman in a desperate situation, one she wants to get out of and with help arriving she needs to learn to trust people.
Reflecting Queenie begins in a courtroom with someone being found guilty. We are then taken back on a journey over the years and the situation with the narrators little sister as she tries to work out where it all went wrong for her sister and how she turned into the woman she did.
This is a book that speaks volumes and is well worth reading. Some of the stories are just a page long, others a couple of pages. It is a book that you can dip into now and again and one you don’t have to read in any particular order.
Coraline Grace, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Coraline-Grace/e/B00EGGEPXW/
One of the recent reviews for Pixie And The Green Book Mystery
Caroline Grace’s “Pixie and the Green Box Mystery,” with illustrations by Encarna Dorado, is great. It is wonderfully clever. While designed for children, who I am sure will be thrilled with the book, I enjoyed every page despite being 83 years old. The book is so good that it will be hard for kids to put it down. By combining fairy tale characters from different books and having them act in unusual ways, the book will cause kids to think about items they thought they understood, and this is good.
Pixie, an almost nine-year-old second grader, loved reading books, and loved going to the library with her mom and bringing home a pile of them. She especially liked fairy tales.
One day while at the library she was reading a green book that strangely told about Princess Cinderella walking in the woods when she came across a White Rabbit in a panic. “Oh my whiskers, I’m late,” the rabbit gasped.
Someone tapped her on the shoulder. She said she was Cindi. “How dare she!” Cindi snapped her foot. “They do not belong in that book.” Then, before Pixie’s eyes, the strange girl jumped into the book to set matters straight.
Children will be intrigued to learn what the bad librarian is doing and how Pixie tries to get the fairy tale characters in the right books.
Besides the very clever nine-chapter story, this book has three pages that define words “you may not know,” five activities children can do, and a recipe for a delicious Apple Log.
***S.A. Harris, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/S.-A.-Harris/e/B07MYMTNWN
One of the recent reviews for the book
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably before you pick up this chilling little ghost story from debut author S.A. Harris, because you won’t be moving again for a really long time! ‘Haverscroft’ is that rarest of things: a genuinely gripping page-turner that’s so beautifully written you’ll be simultaneously torn between poring over a particularly gorgeous paragraph and racing ever faster towards the story’s frantic end. Well-drawn characters and a fine eye for sensory detail make this a novel you’ll want to return to the moment you’ve finished it. Bound to become a classic of the genre, ‘Haverscroft’ would sit comfortably alongside Susan Hill’s ‘The Woman in Black‘ and Sarah Waters’ ‘The Little Stranger’. Highly, highly recommended.
A recent review for The Magician’s Curse
Robbie Cheadle An intriguing read May 13, 2019
Herman has a most unusual name which has been a burden to her all her school life. Why on earth would her parents saddle her with a boy’s name? As this interesting book, filled with magic and mystery progresses, Herman finds out that it is not only her name that is unusual about her, or her parents choice that is unusual about them.
Herman’s mother has been very ill for a long time and her father is never there to offer any support to his family. Herman assumed the role of mother to her younger brother, Chad, when she was very young and now she is breaking free to establish a life for herself. She plans to bring her brother to live with her once she is settled and earning an income. On the train to her new job, Herman meets a riveting young man who introduces himself as Stephen. Much to Herman’s surprise, Stephen professes to be as taken with her as she is with him, so when he asks her to work for him as his assistant she doesn’t put up much of a fight. Fortunately for Herman, Stephen, who is a magician, is genuine in his offer for her to become his assistant and she quickly discovers that there is more to his magic than meets the eye. In fact, Herman soon comes to realise that the household staff and Stephen’s entire lifestyle is fairly unorthodox.
The attraction between Herman and Stephen is incredibly strong but Herman can sense there is something not quite right with their relationship and this causes her to hold back from committing herself completely to him. What is Stephen’s secret and will Herman be able to accept it when she eventually discovers what it is? I did like the fact that the character of Stephen illustrated respect for Herman and gave her the opportunity to make her own choice about his unusual situation.
This book is for adults and, although not graphic, it does contain descriptions of sex and suggestions of sexual freedoms. The romantic aspect of this book is the overriding genre with the supernatural element playing a lessor role.
One of the reviews for the book
This is a book about a blind girl without being a book about a blind girl….which is exactly the point. The main character, Abby, doesn’t trumpet her disability around the world as if it were her defining characteristic. She doesn’t have a sense of entitlement. The reader is never tempted to pity her, even for a moment. She is a driven, bright, gregarious yet measured girl who just happens to be blind.
Through her experiences we are exposed to a world that depends on the other senses, we find new ways to connect to the world around us. Mrs. Hill paints Abby’s thrill ride with her companion dog (Curly Connor) and best friend (Baggy Brichaz) in such a manner that the reader leaves the book better equipped to understand visual impairments without hitting them over the head with it. It took me a while to realize this because at first I was just writing this review on the merits of good vs. bad Young Adult fiction (and it is good, trust me). The feather in the cap of this book is that it stands as a great story that actually teaches you something, leaves you pondering your own disabilities vs. those of others.
I am a middle school reading teacher and I review and teach a lot of YA fiction. What separates the wheat from the chaff for me is well-developed characters that show humanness and overcome in spite of failures. You get the feeling that each of the characters in this book could very well survive on their own but the adventure is exponentially heightened because of the relationships they garner with each other. Mrs. Hill does a brilliant job of showing weaknesses, strengths and diversity as just a starting point to the basics of character interaction. By the end of this book, I felt like Abby, Baggy and Curly were my next-door neighbors and I still find myself looking out my window, waiting for the Cloud Scooper to swing by….
Please visit Amazon or Lyn’s website to view all her books.
A recent review for The Mighty Chieftain
All thru this series, a Guardian has fought to stay ahead of the evil that is trying to kill them and steal the prophecies.This last book is about the fight to end Balor’s attempt to end them. They get help to end his reign. Then ten years later, they read the prophecies to the public. There are surprised in this nook and lots of pain. Please read
One of the recent reviews for The Contract
L.D. Tanner Unique, Fast-Pace Thriller with Paranormal Reflections of Life’s Journey July 22, 2019
“The Contract Between Heaven and Earth” by John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano is a unique paranormal thriller with a strong element of romance. The story immediately hooked me in the first chapter when celestial soul mates are sent to earth to help prevent a catastrophic event on earth. Their souls are incarnated into their hosts: an abused wife who has been almost choked to death and a Navy Seal who has mortal wounds. Memories from their past lives are erased and replaced with memories of Brad and Sarah, who are both on the brink of death. Brad and Sarah recover from their wounds and begin a new life. Sarah leaves her husband, who has dubious connections to terrorists. Brad finds a new career in civilian life as a writer. Brad is approached by a CIA agent to gather information about Sarah and the activities with her former husband. However, when they meet, they inexplicably fall in love with each other. As their love grows, Brad is torn that he is withholding the truth about his connections with the CIA. Their lives are thrown into a whirlwind when an attempt in made on their lives. The action accelerates as the conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States is revealed, but they don’t know who to trust. The climax ends in a twist, tying back to the original mission of the celestial soul mates.
Authors Howell and Plano have taut writing styles that moves quickly from scene to scene, but the romance is heartfelt. The characters are engaging, and I cared about what happened to them. The authors are able to blend suspense, romance, and paranormal elements to make this a riveting thriller mixed with reflections about what each person learns on his/her life’s journey.
One of the early reviews for A Box of Memories
Full of short stories inspired by memories or the related events of the author’s life, A Box Full of Memories is an entertaining read that is a pleasure to read. Some of the characters are found in more than one story, each of whom the author bought to life from the way he described them.
Although some of the descriptions were a little overdone, I still found myself immersed in the stories. There was only one story I couldn’t get into, but it did not stop me reading the rest.
Of all the stories, Wasps! was my favourite, as it geared towards the types of stories I enjoy reading.
*Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, Buy : http://www.amazon.com/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15S
Please visit Amazon or Deanie’s website to view all her books.
A recent review for My Life at Sweetbriar on Goodreads
Life is tough, sometimes. But, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne proves to readers in My Life at Sweetbrier, that if they persevere, anything is possible. The author encourages children to set goals and reach for their dreams, as one day they may even beat the odds, like she did. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, doctors were convinced that Deanie would never be able to walk. Deanie’s Daddy refused to accept their opinion and shortly after, made the decision that changed Deanie’s life, for good. He thought that learning to ride would help Deanie’s legs get stronger so she could walk. Her determined father helped Deanie not only to learn how to ride and to walk, but to also follow her dream of becoming a champion horseback rider. Ultimately, it’s Deanie’s fighter spirit that makes her a winner.
The writing style is a little repetitive, but from a child’s perspective the language is aimed accurately, and it flows well. The fact that the author is very honest and speaks to the reader like a friend, adds to the story’s charm. I actually appreciated all the equine terminology, since I know nothing about horse riding. The old black and white photos capturing moments of Deanie’s life, help the reader immerse into Sweetbrier, too.
I was moved by this inspirational true story. My motto is also, ‘Never give up,’ and now, I’m certain, it’s definitely the right attitude to have in life. Children will be motivated to try their best, definitely recommending it!
A recent review for the collection
A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book!
Karen Ingalls, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY
One of the recent reviews for Outshine
As a writer, I have immense respect for fellow writers who share their personal journeys and challenges with the sole intent to help ease the burdens of others. In Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, Author Karen Ingalls not only shares her very personal journey of diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer, she does so with an enlightened, grateful heart. This is an incredibly personal read and one that offers guided hope and encourages discussion and advocacy for women’s health.
Our lives are shaped by our experiences; every encounter, every moment holds the capacity to change us. Our resiliency to endure and overcome, in large part, correlates with our faith and the unconditional love of family and friends.
Ingalls doesn’t profess to be an expert on this topic; the value of this book lies in the authentic approach in which she shares her personal journey. Our ability to celebrate all that we are, and embrace life in all its splendour is a powerful message resonating throughout this poignant memoir. Ingalls eloquently shares her journey back to wellness and her words are an offering of solace and hope for those who are battling cancer and to their dear loved ones standing beside them. A powerful and highly recommended read.
A recent review for One Month, 20 Days and a Wake Up.
Bill hodges Excellent February 11, 2019
A great book about a very small group of people in the Air Force whose track record is stratospherically impressive if people knew about it . As an Air Force retiree myself , I have visited the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base a few times . The last time I was there it was with my great-nephew who I had custody of due to family issues . He was nine years old and really loved seeing all the exhibits . There was a gentleman who came to give a lecture /demonstration he had the Air Force ABU uniform , and the distinctive PJ beret. When I explained to Anthony James ( AJ) just what the significance that very simple piece of headgear represent to all of us in the Air Force. Needless to say he was impressed .
There is a section of the museum devoted to the Air Force para rescue force . We did spend a lot of time there , and maybe I have generated a new recruit in a few years . I also explained to him that the selection process is extremely discriminating and they take only the best of the best of the very best . (oh yeah school is important) . That’s sort of put him off a little bit , but time will tell. As far as Vietnam is concerned , I joined in 73 , even had base elections in Southeast Asia , but things had shut down by the time I finished basic training . It is hard to believe that that conflict is so far in the past now , but if nothing else illustrates just how much faith we in the military have in a system that squandered so much priceless wealth as our very best and brightest were fed into that mess . For all of you served in Vietnam you have my highest respect and admiration and a heartfelt thank you and God bless you all for holding the line .
Sandra J. Jackson, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY
A recent review for Playing in the rain
Sandra Jackson’s first novel in The Escape series Playing in the Rain starts you right into the action and never lets up. It doesn’t make the mistake of most thrillers. Jackson keeps things fast-paced, but she always takes the time to highlight the characters’ emotions and make you care about them. The internal thoughts and flashbacks were the highlight of the novel, as was the mystery. Our main character is kidnapped and placed in a mysterious facility, forced to plot a daring escape. Great twists and meaningful characters make this a must for any fans of The Island or Maze Runner out there!
A recent review for The Prince’ Protege
In Deborah Jay’s third in the Five Kingdoms series, The Prince’s Protege (2019), the kingdom has barely recovered from a failed coup two years ago. Much has been fixed but attitudes and a sense of security are not among them. When the young King Martin’s trusted advisor, his Uncle Hal, must take time away from royal duties to tend to a new son, Martin is left alone to make decisions. He feels ready, assured, and of course, that is when much goes wrong. His spiritual advisor is poisoned. Then his Uncle Hal is killed and his new son kidnapped. Marten himself is almost killed–twice–and he begins to feel the pressure of so many challenges on his one set of shoulders. When he struggles to set up his own intelligence network, he finds there are devious undercurrents that threaten to bring down his monarchy and destroy his kingdom. With the help of a beautiful spy, Betha, a woman Marten wants to love–except for her closet-full of difficult issues such as her dabbling in the outlawed magic–he begins to unearth the roots of the problems and how to solve them.
Marten is an interesting character, one I found myself wanting more time with no matter how intriguing the other parts of the plot. We are privy to his internal whines and complaints–about responsibilities, demands on his time, lack of confidantes, and so much more–but he performs his duties admirably, as though born to the position. At the heart of this story is his growth as both a man and a ruler. Jay does an enviable job of paying vigilant attention to all details in this fantasy world, allowing us to feel comfortable drawing our own conclusions in what is a complicated political mystery. As with the previous books in the series, the characters are deftly drawn, the world building exceptional, and the plot intricate. This is a satisfying conclusion to the Five Kingdoms story.
My Review for Mahoney August 3rd 2019
This makes Mahoney a must read for all whose roots lie in this small island republic with only a population of 4.5 million today. The first chapters are chilling as we read of the devastating famine, and the treatment by the British, of the already impoverished Irish in those years. But it does lay the foundation for the story that follows, and demonstrates the courage, perseverance and creativity required to start a new life from scratch.
A new life of opportunity was promised in a land that was still in its infancy. Getting there in a Coffin Ship was hazardous. Setting foot in the new land was almost as tough as the one left behind, especially if you were Irish. But you cannot keep a good man down, and Devin Mahoney, descended from the High Kings of Ireland, is such a man. He has to navigate the prejudice and poverty just for the privilege of taking the lowest paid and most back-breaking work, building the new nation’s infrastructure that is about to be torn apart by civil war. We relive those desperate years through Devin’s letters home to his wife as he continues to fight against injustice.
In part two of Mahoney, we meet Dillon who carries the same determination and drive to succeed as his father. The vastness of America beckons and over the following years, Dillon explores the west and experiences the life of a cowboy and gunslingers, before heading to California in search of his fortune.
In part three, the next generation of Mahoneys is in the hands of David. Having been raised with plenty, he finds it hard to relate to his heritage, preferring to immerse himself in the pre-crash high life in New York. But all good things come to an end, and that is when the Mahoney blood within his veins is needed to bring him redemption and new path in life.
The book was riveting from start to finish, painstakingly researched, with wonderfully developed characters that are fascinating to walk beside. There is sorrow and anger at the deprivation, but deep respect for those who are forced to leave their homes to find sanctuary, and a safe place to bring up their families. Not just from Europe but those suffering from prejudice and deprivation in the deep south of America. There is plenty of adventure as well as interesting secondary characters, both good and evil, to keep your attention.
I highly recommend that you read the book and for just a few minutes, imagine your own family history, and how your ancestors overcame their struggles to enable you to enjoy all that you have today.
One of the recent reviews for P.S. I Forgive You
My month of memoirs continues with an autobiography by D. G. Kaye — ‘P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy.’ Although not quite a series, this is the second book by the author as she explores the impact of a narcissistic mother on her daily life. I read this before bed last night, and all I can say is that some people are dealt a very unfair hand in life. That said, it’s amazing to see how wonderful Kaye is handling all that she went through in the last ~50 years. What a great (but painful) read!
Imagine growing up with a mother who seems to intentionally cause pain for her children. The oldest of four, Kaye spent years letting the woman treat her horribly. In this introspective and emotional autobiography, we learn how and why she tolerated it. The memoir kicks off by letting readers know that the author’s mother has passed away, and this is the story of how she handled the decision whether to be there when the woman crossed over. Sick for many years, touch and go at times, it seems like every possible painful opportunity was taken to cause trouble for this family. It was heartbreaking not just because of what they went through but because you really want this to turn out to be a positive story.
In some ways, it does turn out that way… in death, you are often released from the troubles of the past. Not quickly. Not immediately. Not entirely. Kaye suffers to this day because of the trauma she went through. Emotional pain can be far worse and impacting that physical pain. Seeing how the author connects with her siblings and her aunt helps provide a sense of love and hope for her future. Kaye has a phenomenal way of sharing her past with readers… we feel as if we are there, but one thing is for sure — we were not. That… is fantastic writing.
There is a cathartic honesty in her writing style as well as how she processes the events of her life. On the outskirts, it might seem simple: (A) She’s your mother, you should stay and respect her, or (B) She’s been evil and nasty, you need to run away and forget her. Nope… Kaye fully provides the wide spectrum of all the scenarios that ran through her head, some positive and some not-so-positive. How do you make such a decision? Only a strong person can thoroughly see through the minutia to determine what’s best for both the victim and the victimizer (I might’ve made that work up).
If I could reach through a book to hug someone, this would be the prime one for it to happen. I’ve felt these emotions tons of times before when an author creates a character who suffers… but when a real-life woman shares the truth and the pain she’s gone through, it’s a whole different ball game. If you have a high threshold for reading about someone’s emotional suffering, I suggest you take this book on… it might give you the perspective you need to help others.
*Daniel Kemp, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daniel-Kemp/e/B075XRTBRP/
One of the recent reviews for Once I was a soldier on Goodreads
Beautiful story! We get to see Melissa’s story after she inherits her money.
And then there is her uncaring attitude towards the elderly servants of the house.
Then comes the threats. Which follow her no matter which country she goes too.
And naturally there is a mystery man in an organisation willing to help her.
The mystery was perfect and very enjoyable!
One of the early reviews for Fallout on Goodreads
The Title Says it All; There’s Fallout!
I’ve been in sci-fi mode recently, and Fallout caught my attention. I’ve enjoyed other works by this author and was eager to give this story a try.
This story reminded me of a space-version of The Casual Vacancy—political power is up for grabs and everyone is keeping secrets. The duplicity is multi-layered and deliciously dark. Every time I thought someone had hit rock bottom, I was surprised to find another twist.
Exxon 1 is part futuristic, part dystopian, and all fascinating. The author created a world of advanced technology, tragic consequences, and complex subterfuge that kept me wondering until the very end.
If you like dark, dangerous, and a little bit demented, this is the novel for you.
Lynda Lambert, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC
Website and blog: http://www.lyndalambert.com/
A review for Walking by Inner Vision.
One of the recent reviews for Stolen
I’ve been around a while and read my fair share of Fantasies, but it’s rare to find an artist who so capably commands her medium as does Jean Lee.
Her evil characters transcend malevolence, while her good characters are flawed enough to be their worthy opponents. I’ve never witnessed such a clash of forces and such mayhem as battled in the climax. I was literally exhausted when I finished it.
It’s good to know there are many books remaining in Jean Lee’s arsenal. We’ll be enjoying her brilliance for years to come.
Joy Lennick, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/
One of the reviews for The Moon is Wearing a Tutu
March 9, 2019
This book comprises of a number of unusual poems that certainly force you to think deeply by Joy Lennick and a few poems, limericks and humorous one-liner jokes by Eric Lennick. There are also two, clever 50-word short stories by Jean Wilson.While the entire book was entertaining to read, I really enjoyed some of Joy’s wickedly humorous poems. She uses her words like little knives to cut into the body of a matter and expose its beating heart in a manner that is humorous but sharply to the point. The one that I related to the most was Think Outside the Box:
“I think out of the box
and why not?
(Are you wary your copybook you’ll blot?!)
I’m fed up with sheep
who seem half asleep
individuals they certainly are not.
To say “aab” not “baa”
For a change why not try it today!
The fox you could fox –
confusing his “box,”
just say “aab” and get clean away.”
One of the recent reviews for LIfe in a Conversation
Small snippets of stories that range from emotional to hysterical to pure silliness.
Remembering First Love is a charming faith based romance novel. Carina Rivera is 20 year-old single Cuban woman of faith living in southern Florida. She could be described as wayward, but contrite. On the day of her beloved older sister’s wedding Carina vows to return to God and correct her path. Due to some poor decisions within her control and some unfortunate incidents out of her control, Carina struggles with feeling of self-worth. Will she be able to repair her besmirched reputation? Will a handsome man’s inappropriate intentions sway Carina or will the pull of God’s love be enough to rescue her?
Jeanine Lunsford has written a truly inspiring novel. Carina is relatable in her imperfection. She falls for her supervisor and quickly finds herself in a compromised situation. It doesn’t take long for Carina to discover Aaron’s violent tendencies or his penchant for young attractive women. The story deals with her feelings of guilt balanced with mercy from above. The book also considers the long lasting consequences of child abuse. Although the dialogue feels forced at times, the transformation Carina makes is motivating. Christian readers will relate to the struggles of a modern day woman trying to retain chastity until marriage. Remembering First Love is a steamy novel that pushes the envelope. The drama will leave you breathless and aching for more!
**Paulette Mahurin, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
One of the recent reviews for Irma’s Endgame
I’ve come to love the way that Miss Mahurin tackles real subjects in her novel. I first became a fan of this author after reading her historical fiction so when I saw that she had a murder mystery available, I was quick to scoop that up since it’s one of my favorite genres. She did not disappoint.
Irma is stunned that her old college friend, a renowned heart surgeon, has been accused of murder. She vows to get to the bottom of the mystery because she knows that he can’t be the one responsible.
I loved how well-written both Irma and Peter were. They were complex with their own flaws and strengths. Especially Irma. For all her confidence as a lawyer, she still had moments where she struggled to believe in herself, especially when it came to helping Peter.
The medical world introduced in the story is very real, and a fantastic foundation for the story.
One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads
For lovers of fantasy with supernatural characters, in surprising settings.
A fantastic encounter with a strong character, teenager Amelina, a character that draws you into the story. She is courageous and resourceful and proves herself able to see past the obvious to find answers and solutions to the problems those dear to her heart are suddenly facing. And does this in a supernatural way.
I enjoyed the poetry that opens each chapter.
Young adults who enjoy fantasy stories with superna
**Sharon Marchisello, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/
Blog : https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/
One of the reviews for Live Well, Grow Wealth
Sometimes it can be hard for me to read books due too much going on with content, but Marchisello’s book was a really easy read for me. I can’t do complicated when it comes to books. She was really relate-able, because I didn’t grow up as a math centric person, and I also came from what would be considered a middle-class family. As a 27-year-old, her advice made me think about my life, and what I could be doing differently (therefore better!) with my money. She also changed the way I think about money. I don’t think a lot of people grow up to consider things like a big picture, or what’s going in and out. It kind of gave made better sense of what’s going on around me. A good perspective shift.
A recent review for Lazy Days.
This truly was a getaway holiday. The family left a busy part of London for the peace and slow pace of life on the Norfolk Broads. It was also an adventure as they had not handled a boat before. Two sisters, four children and two dogs had to adapt to life in the confines of a boat. Fortunately the weather was good and the sun and fresh air come across in this warm story. There were plenty of places to visit along the way and the family enjoyed everything from the beach at Great Yarmouth to the castle at Norwich. If you have been on boating holidays or are contemplating one do read this book. Lots of us will know the experience of planning a holiday, then worrying if everyone will enjoy it, trying to please all ages etc. The two sisters were’t sure if all the children had enjoyed themselves, but it turned out that they talked about it for weeks after and years later enjoyed reading this book and recapturing memories.
Please visit Don’s Amazon page or his blog to view all his books.
A recent review for Let Me Be Frank
A young runaway has been given a new chance at life by Fat Sam, owner of the restaurant and bar where Frank and Jonesey often play music. Fat Sam has his own unfortunate and problematic past and he pours energy and resources into helping other homeless and people who have fallen on hard times to re-establish their lives. When the girl is found murdered, the police believe it is just a random attack but Sam does not believe this. He is convinced that the murder is deliberate and is linked to the girl’s lineage as the granddaughter of one of New Orleans “mafia” families. Sam’s own troubles are linked to New Orleans and he is familiar with the history of the waring “mafia” families. Sam hires Frank and Jonesey to investigate the case and try to discover who the murderers are and why this murder took place.
This story is fine to read on a stand alone basis although there are a few link backs to the first book in the series. More details are revealed in respect of Frank’s own past and his former entanglement with the mafia who murdered his wife. His relationship with his new girlfriend also changes and becomes more interesting.
This is not an easy case and the stakes are high for both Fat Sam and Frank who must sacrifice their anonymity with the mob and put themselves in the line of fire. Frank and Sam also face adversity from all directions, including the murdered girl’s family, the New Orlean’s police and the girl’s employers over the period when she made her way from New Orlean’s to Jacksonville.
An exciting and fast paced book which I would highly recommend to readers of thrillers and detective stories.
One of the recent reviews for Wings of Prey
This book reunites the readers with Emelynn Taylor; together with Sam, she needs to find the truth about a plane crash – at all cost.
With “Wings of Prey”, J. P. McLean has once again created a thrilling combination of mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, and a touch of romance with steamy situations. It is a very compelling read centred on Emelynn, drawing you close to her. J. P. McLean paints a clear picture of the main characters’ mindsets while the story evolves. In this sixth even more thrilling story, I was again very close to Em – again an invisible friend and ally; trying to find the truth with her. Emelynn is complex, the other characters are also skillfully elaborated and of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and virtues. The story is a very nicely woven combination of several genres, has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I had a great time reading “Wings of Prey”. Reading the final book in a series can be sad; in this series, it was extremely hard to let go – it is never easy to say goodbye to persons you became close to. I am going to miss this remarkable series and its protagonists.
This is a book for you if you like excellent story-telling, mysteries or paranormal romance with a very urban touch and believable characters, some strewn in steamy situations, and some violent events. The stunning sixth and last book in The Gift Legacy series!
Highly recommended! A series to read again
Please visit Marcia’s Amazon page to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for The Emissary on Goodreads
A delightful little book. The writing is clear and to the point with excellent dialogue that pulls you into the story. The characters are real and you care about them. I love the idea of a sort of angel, or angel’s helper, who drives a semi. Very clever. There is enough action to keep the story moving along. I’m pleased there are more books in the series.
A recent review for The Adventures of Little Miss HISTORY volume 1
Do you love history? Do you think that it is both possible and desirable to teach history to young children? If so, grab this compilation of three Little Miss History adventures and foster a love of history in your kids at an early age!
This volume demonstrates conclusively that teaching and learning history can be, and should be great fun. The stories shed light on both well-known and little-known nuggets of American history in a uniquely accessible way. They ignite the sense of historical discovery, sparking new questions, and promoting lively discussions.
Most highly recommended!
One of the recent reviews for Survival of the Fittest
Xhosa is a heroine of her times as she leads her people and attempts to understand the world around her. Through meticulous research, author Jacqui Murray illuminates the gritty details of the lives and world of Homo Erectus as the People trek through Africa and beyond to search for more hospitable surroundings. With wisdom, courage and the ability to learn new ideas, Xhosa is a fierce and memorable character capable of leading the People to their new home. I am eagerly awaiting the second book of this three-book series!
Jessica Norrie, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jessica-Norrie/e/B01CEUZF26
One of the reviews for The Magic Carpet
East London residents, from three generations and different backgrounds, help their children retell a traditional story in an original way. But this isn’t the cosy novel you might expect, as it deals with issues including racism, isolation, depression, FGM and domestic violence, described through interlocking first-hand accounts. In the end though, the book paints a positive, heart-warming novel of hope and the good that can be achieved through kindness, understanding and creativity. It is a lovely novel and will resonate with all parents and teachers. Recommended.
Please visit Amazon or Olga’s blog to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for Deadly Quotes
This is Book 3 in the captivating Mary Miller series where Mary gets involved with fellow doctor and pathologist Leah Deakin to solve the mysterious new serial killings case of Deadly Quotes.The author Nunez-Miret uses her expert knowledge as a real life psychiatrist to bring to life in her investigative characters and pulls it off perfectly – like watching a real-life crime drama.
We are engrossed in this tale of murder where the suspect is already in jail. This is an intriguing start to the story which progresses with the discoveries of some new dead bodies and only quotes left behind on the corpses’ computers, taken from a book written by a serial killer still in jail. The investigation keeps us glued to wanting to know the facts as much as the investigators do and keeps us wondering if the killer in jail is responsible for these killings or could it possibly be a copycat killer.
I’m not about to give out spoilers here, but if you love a good mystery with well written investigative story, you will love this book as well as the others in this series. These Mary Miller mysteries are all standalone reads, so don’t feel like you have to have read the others, although well worth the reads, to keep up with the mysteries.
Denise O’Hagan, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Mini-Style-Guide-Introduction-Presentation-ebook/dp/B07HHKWYGW
One of the recent reviews for the Mini Style Guide
If you are looking for a clear and concise style manual that will refresh you on the trickier aspects of the English language, clear up any confusion you have over the muddier points of grammar once and for all, help you to stylistically present your manuscripts in the most professional manner, and offer you options on where and how to publish your finished pieces, don’t hesitate to add Denise O’Hagan’s Mini Style Guide to your writer’s reference shelf!
Written by a seasoned publishing industry professional, Denise offers an easy-to-read, practical and inspiring alternative to weighty tomes like the Chicago Manual of Style!
The Mini Style Guide is a welcome resource for independent and self-published writers who need editorial advice before they publish their work.
****Marina Osipova, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW
One of the recent reviews for How Dare the Birds Sing
How Dare the Birds Sing – indeed, how dare they? The extent to which man can be cruel to his fellow man never ceases to amaze me, as does the distance people will go to survive in the face of unspeakable cruelty. As a teenager, Lyuba and her best friend Natasha meet two student pilots. Stepan is Russian while Günter is German, studying in the Soviet school. It’s 1933 and Germany and the Soviet Union are on good terms, after all. Long story short, Günter has to return to Germany and everyone who has known him is under a cloud of potential espionage. Stepan, by then a Hero of the Soviet Union, has a privileged status. Turning his back on Natasha, he forces Lyuba into marriage, in significant part to protect Lyuba and her mother.
Then Germany and the Soviet Union have a falling-out and war comes. Lyuba, her mother and adopted daughter are on their way to join Stepan when the Germans attack. Lyuba is spared by a fluke. From there, the war takes charge of her life. Brief instances of happiness punctuate major periods of horrible danger, misery and even virtual torture.
Still the birds sing.
When the war finally ends and Lyuba is free to return home, her first objective is to find Natasha. Suffice it to say that Natasha’s war wasn’t Lyuba’s, and when Lyuba leaves the town where Natasha had lived, she sets out with Natasha’s daughter. Arriving in her home town, she finds her home still untouched and with several years’ accumulation of mail. Stepan’s letters are a cruel punctuation to her own journey, but she has the little girl, who finally calls Lyuba ‘Mama.’
Fifteen years later … you’ll have to read it to find out what happens then and has happened in the interim. It’s a compelling read, although it’s emotionally difficult. A fabulous book, overall.
*Judy Penz Sheluk, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04
Please visit Amazon or Judy’s blog to view all her books
A recent review for Past and Present
As it happens, I read book one (audio!), but long enough ago I was gratified to find that any references to the past were adequate to the instant plot, making each a standalone. In this tale, our intrepid heroine Calamity sells her house and buys another, and then starts a new business. Sudden deja vu to Judy Garland’s “I have a barn; let’s put on a show!” as various characters are swept in to lend their talents to a new investigative service. But then the first case comes along and serious hard work and research are highlighted with flashes of psi concepts and tarot reading which seem to guide the discoveries. The characters are largely likable with hiss-worthy villains to keep it balanced and I enjoyed the journey and look forward to the next case (hinted at but not a cliffhanger).
A recent review for the collection on Goodreads
Sometimes it is good to sit down and read some short stories. So much can be said in a few carefully chosen words. Which is the case in this delightful collection of stories and poems. Stories about a first and forever love, stolen flowers, forgotten chillies, frozen landscapes and a miscarriage of justice evoke a wide range of emotions. My favourite story is the Loss of A Patriarch, depicting a family saying goodbye to a much-loved family member told in such a heartwarming manner it is sure to produce tears. For a first time author, this is a wonderful collection showing a range of writing skills.
Please visit Amazon to view all of Jemima’s books.
A recent review for Perihelix
I enjoyed it! It’s an action packed story filled with some odd characters! I found both Big Pete and Lars interesting and I want to know more about their mysterious past!
C. A. Phipps, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/C-A-Phipps/e/B07D96GWWZ/
Website: http://caphipps.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18056267.C_A_Phipps
One of the recent reviews for Charming the Chef.
Charming the Chef is another wonderful book in the Celebrity Corgi series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters. Lyra St. Claire is a celebrity chef who has her own television show, A Lesson with Lyra and she has her own restaurant, La Joliesse in LA. She also has a cute corgi named Cinnamon.
Sexy Kaden Hunter studied with Lyra for three years when they were in culinary school together and dreaming about their future restaurants. They have not really talked since Lyra left Portland for LA until she ends up stopping in to eat at his restaurant in Portland before she returns to LA.
This book was so full of interesting characters, a cute corgi and a mystery to solve too. I also liked that one of the characters from the first book in the series had a small part in this story too. Great suspense to keep you reading although I do wonder what happened after the story ended. I received an advance copy of this book and I willingly chose to write an honest review.
A recent review for Desolation Bluff
Desolation Bluff was a pleasure to read. Blind writer, Oliver, who writes under the pen name of Fidel Amore, is a workaholic who has his newlywed wife, Vanessa looking after Oliver’s administrative and public relations side of his novels. Oliver’s best friend – Ray, impersonates Oliver by doing all the physical PR work, showing up to book signings, etc, pretending to be Oliver, allowing Oliver his freedom to write without having to go anywhere to promote his work. What could possibly go wrong?
Blind at birth, Oliver is unaware of the shenanigans going on between his wife and his best friend until the plot thickens and Ray accidentally backs into Oliver on the driveway and knocks him down. One of the side effects from this was Oliver’s vision was miraculously restored – and this is when the story really heats up.
Oliver makes a decision to keep his newly restored sight a secret when he realizes that his wife and Ray have become much ‘closer’ than he was aware of. And so the games begin! – Somebody is murdered, and then another somebody is murdered, and Oliver realizes that he may be next in line!
This book was a thoroughly enjoyable read with interesting characters and great plot twist to keep me hooked all the way through to a most satisfying ending! #Recommended.
*J. E. Pinto, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0101KE0N6
A recent review for the book
Realistic, Heartwarming, down to earth. Those are only three of the many words that come to mind when I think of describing this amazing book. The author shows her understanding of what life is like for the types of persons their characters are based on.
By using her own personal background thus writing what she knows, Jo E. Pinto paints a colorful picture of the Crew and their lives. No predictable outcomes, or contrived plots are to be found in this fast-moving, suspenseful, heartwarming, and sometimes humorous book. I read this book on Audible, and found the narration gave each character a life of its very own, which only increased my reading pleasure.
I recommend this book for anyone Tween-aged and up. Furthermore, I feel families would do well to turn off the TV gather together read and discuss this book.
If you’re a high-school teacher or work with children in some way this book is a must.
I’d love to see the author do a follow-up book of some type. Maybe write about Rick and has newly opened café, sprinkling it throughout with a combo of reality-based adventures and recipes.
This book is most definitely going on my favorite reads of 2019.
Not read this book. What are you waiting for?
Gwen Plano, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-M.-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04/
One of the recent reviews for The Contract
The Contract is a perfect example of everything I love about Indie books. Mainstream publishers tend to ignore books that are unique, challenging, and cross-genre. Indie authors now have a way to write their passions and be courageous enough to not follow “mainstream’ rules – they publish independently! That said, The Contract is everything you love in a bestseller: suspense, mystery, romance, intriguing concepts. I love the blend of spiritualism/military ops/romance. A winning combination! I found the dialogue a bit stilted at times, which is the only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5. Bravo to Howell and Plano!
A recent review for The Gemini Connection
The Gemini Connection is a most intriguing book which weaves the human emotions of frustration, anger, jealousy, resentment, self depreciation and love like colourful threads through the greater fabric of an exciting and unique science fiction novel.
The book features twins who live in a futuristic dystopian world where the inhabitants of the planet have exhausted many of its resources and what remains is being decimated by unknown and untreatable diseases. Scientists and other clever and inventive people, who are able to contribute towards findings solutions for the salvation of a society that is in the process of failing, are held up as heroes and are the recipients of accolades for their societal contributions as well as better food and lifestyles. The twins parents fall into this category and, at the beginning of the story, spend all their time and energy on saving their people and planet. This complete change in their focus from their family and two sons to the quest for glory in the guise of saving their planet changes life significantly for Simon and Evan. The backstory of their evolution into scientists, obsessed with their work, and the related increasing disdain for ordinary people who are not able to contribute towards saving the planet in the same way due to different talents and aspirations, is an important theme of the story and sets the scene for the unfortunate events that come to pass in the book.
Simon has a brilliant mind and is following in the footsteps of his illustrious parents. Evan is not as intellectual and demonstrates more physical and sporty gifts. This makes Simon the child of their parents dreams and Evan the disappointing child they cannot relate to or understand. This attitude by their parents results in Evan becoming a young man who lacks confidence and belief in himself and who feels inferior to his cleverer brother. Despite this unfortunate home environment, Simon and Evan are very close and share a unique bond that enables them to both “feel” the other’s presence and emotional state. When Simon disappears soon after discovering a sordid and dark secret by one of his mentors in his job, Evan feels responsible and sets off on a path of emotional self destruction. However, Evan has a talent of his own which enables him to access the minds of other people and help them sort out their chaotic thoughts. This talent gives him to tools track down and help save his brother but it also serves as the gateway to his own possible destruction. Will Evan be able to detect their joint enemies and stop their evil plans in time to save his brother and return him home? I enjoyed this book’s fresh take on a science fiction story.
Christa Polkinhorn, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Christa-Polkinhorn/e/B003LA7T8W
One of the reviews for Fire in the Vineyard
A wonderful story about a family of wine producers and merchants. The story comes with interesting characters and complicated family relationships. When things start to go wrong in the vineyard, everybody is a suspect, including family members. The author makes clever use of dialogue as things heat up and suspicions turn nasty. The vivid descriptions of the California wine producing landscape make you want to visit this part of America. Woven into the narrative is the complicated process of producing a bottle of wine. A great read for those who love a glass of wine and even for those who don’t
One of the recent reviews for Devil in the Wind
Devil in the Wind is not an ordinary collection of poems as this book tell the story of the awful fires that ravaged parts of Australia in February 2009, destroying homes, livestock, forests and people. Each poems gives a different and unique insight into the effect of the fires on different people in different roles in society, including the firefighters, as well as description of how they reacted to the fires, with fighting spirit, brazenness, prayer or despair.
I live in a country that is also plagued by raging fires from time to time and I have felt the fear of being undecided as to whether to fight or flee. If you make the wrong decision you can needlessly loose everything or you can end up dead, along with your family. Frank Prem has captured the turbulent emotions, confusion and conflict that people experience during times of crisis. He also captures the spirit of survival and the ability of people to rally and recover.
A few of the stanza’s that captured my imagination in this book are as follows:
“a young fella went up
to the hamper
crawled right inside it
buried himself in the clothes
and wouldn’t come out
took two and a half hours
to get him to speak”
From ever again
“the sound I heard
was like ten or twelve jumbo jets
down at the airport
all screaming their guts out
at the same time”
From evidence to the commission of enquiry: overview
I would recommend this book to both lovers of poetry and people who are interested in historical events. Frank Prem’s poetry is powerful, but easy to read and understand. A most enjoyable book.
A recent review for Memoir of a Mad Woman
Wow! Such a powerful story, deeply rounded characters and a plot sewn up beautifully at the end in this short novelette. The subject matter is disturbing and I found myself skimming over the torturous parts because this is normally a genre I try to stay away from because of the disturbing abuse. But I felt compelled to read this because Vashti Quiroz-Vega is one of my favorite writers to read.
The mood is dark, and poor damaged Emma definitely was born into a world of hard knocks. Emma orphaned as a young child, ends up in an orphanage where people do bad things to children. She endures bullying, abuse to the max, yet something within her gives her the courage to soldier on until that one spark of madness brings out the revenge in her – the just desserts deliciously deserved for all those who inflicted pain on her.
It’s not very often we find ourselves rooting for evil, but when you’ve glimpsed into the life of this poor, neglected and abused little girl, you too will find yourself screaming for justice as each horrific event done onto her becomes a spectator event. Emma’s eventual unleashing becomes the only way to end the never-ending madness of her world. A most chilling read that kept me reading till the end in one sitting. #Recommended.
One of the recent reviews for A Very Special House
Part ghost story, part psychological puzzle, and totally terrific, A Very Special House will no doubt haunt your memory for a long time to come. The evocation of the atmosphere of both Maui and the special “honey house” that resides there is superb. Unusual and striking are the author’s mentions of various beloved smells: of flowers, rain, wood, new paper, new pencils, food, and more.
As a fellow writer, I have to say that this novella features some of the best and most realistic dialogue I’ve ever read. Throughout the book, the reader is borne along on alternating waves of memory and wishing, of what was and what was longed for. The surprise ending is deeply gratifying. Don’t miss this compact masterpiece.
One of the recent reviews for Trudy’s Diary
Trudy’s Diary: A libraries of the World Mystery is another great mystery offered by Amy M. Reade.
After moving to Washington D.C., Daisy Carruthers hopes life will settle down. She was involved in a murder investigation prior to moving and hopes to find peace and quiet. She’s exhausted. She finds she didn’t get what she wished for when she becomes embroiled in two more murders. Her boss, who was married to one of the victims, and her best friend, who was the last person to see the other victim, soon become persons of interest.
Daisy comes into possession of a very old diary and a dated dime novel and soon starts to see similar stories in these that might relate to the current crimes. Between her boss, her best friend and a woman she works with, things become complicated.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the twists and turns Ms. Reade used to further the story. I highly recommend this book to people who love a good mystery and great character development.
One of the recent reviews for Myrtle’s Game on Goodreads
A beautifully illustrated picture book with a wonderful message, that continues the journey of Myrtle the Purple Turtle. The first book talked about what it was like to be different and how to ‘love the shell you’re in’. This book continues that theme of difference and belonging – it is about other’s perceptions of what we can do just because of the way we look or who they think we are. It is about not being defined by those prejudices and about being who you are and excelling at it. This is a great book to read with a child to prepare them for their first visit to nursery school or their first group situation where they are trying to find their place. Many children have been in the position of standing on the side-lines, wanting to play but not being accepted, until they find the friends who truly support them and want the best for them. This story is about friendship, supporting one another and showing that we should never let what others’ think stop us from doing what we love. A lovely story that will really appeal to children and would make a great gift
One of the recent reviews for Paperclip
Walter Rhein (author of The Reader of Acheron and The Literate Thief) two great dystopian novels in their own right, now provides Paperclip, co-authored with Don Woll. This, too, is a disturbing look at a dystopian future world. Two children, Carlie and Mickey, realize that they are not like other kids. No, they seem to be well aware of things, of events . . . things that no child — maybe no adult — should ever be aware of. It’s a nicely constructed story that hooked me right from the start. It’s a real political thriller, with elements of the paranormal and psychological mixed in to heighten the tension. This novel involves Nazis, and conspiracies at all levels of government, straight up the ladder to the highest levels of government power, and it’s quite chilling in the world Rhein and Woll have created. From what I understand, this novel is based on some real, horrific experiments conducted at one time in the name of medicine, science and insight into human nature and the human mind.
The government is controlled by a “shadow government” that turned its back on other atrocities in its pursuit to build a new weapon of unbelievable power. It’s based on something called Operation Paperclip, which took place prior to World War I, in which certain scientists were also subjecting test “victims” — human guinea pigs — to doses of LSD. This is a scary, thoughtful, and well-paced novel with engaging characters whom we root for, and others who we’d like to see subjected to their own experiments. It’s a different sort of political and psychological thriller, and if you like a good dystopian novel, something original and unique from so many others, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and give it a read. It will shock and disturb you, and perhaps leave you awake at night, thinking of the terrible consequences that could result from some such covert operations, and secret experiments that would make Doctors Frankenstein, Jekyll, Moreau, and the real-life Mengele cringe in horror.
We first meet Charles Brandon as a twenty-one year old, newly appointed to the King’s Spears. His father, who was Henry Tudor’s standard bearer, died during the Battle of Bosworth, and Brandon had been brought up at the court of Henry Vll. He became good friends with the young Prince Harry, who was later crowned Henry VIII, teaching him to joust and was one of his favoured group of courtiers.
Always finding himself lacking funds, Brandon incurred huge debts from borrowing money, primarily from Thomas Wolsey and afterwards Thomas Cromwell. His first marriage was a means to an end—Lady Margaret Mortimer had wealth and much land.
I knew next to nothing about Charles Brandon, really only that he married Mary Tudor. It was interesting to follow his story and the research was obviously detailed. Brandon worked his way up the ranks until he became Duke of Suffolk. He and Mary took a huge risk by getting married before asking Henry’s consent, especially after Brandon had been warned not to unleash his charm upon Mary. Henry had someone in mind for his sister for political reasons. Incurring his wrath was a dangerous thing and could be classed as treason. As it was, Henry made his displeasure felt by excluding them from court and keeping his distance for a while.
Mary’s unwavering and public support of Queen Catherine of Aragon caused friction between Brandon and the Boleyn family, whose fortunes were on the rise, not to mention Henry’s new chief advisor, Thomas Cromwell. Brandon had to keep in mind his responsibilities to his family as well as loyalty to Henry when it became obvious Ann Boleyn would be the next queen.
The story centres around Brandon and I enjoyed the way Tony Riches incorporates details of life at court with all its intrigue and danger into the narrative. Brandon is a well fleshed out character who managed to navigate his way through the unpredictability of court politics. He led a full life and was lucky enough to marry twice for love.
I chose to read and review Brandon – Tudor Knight for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.
***Jane Risdon, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP