N. B. December 1st 2019 – time is short until Christmas Day, and to make sure that I promote all the existing authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore, I won’t be featuring new authors and their books until the New Year.
If you are already on the shelves and have a new book then of course I will fit you in…
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.
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.
Please note: Please forgive me if I don’t publish your own book launch posts. With 150 plus authors in the bookstore and on average 10 promotions a week it helps me if the various promotional formats are used. Also readers who visit the promotions regularly know there way around the post as well, especially when it comes to buying the 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. @firstname.lastname@example.org
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 and check out what I will need for to make your promotion as effective as possible.
SALLY’S CAFE AND BOOKSTORE
One of the recent reviews for Shadowed by Death
After reading the first book of this series, I decided to read the second book to find out what happened to the protagonists of the first book. This second book did not disappoint.
I remembered Oliver from the first story and his dog Harley. For Oliver, the war was over but for the Jewish Poles who escaped the war to find refuge in the United States of America, the war was still raging.
Sophia Nirenska, a Polish refugee and one of the underground advocates was very outspoken about the evils perpetrated by Russia and Hitler’s Germany. Her advocacy put her life in danger. Oliver agreed to protect her. Sophia, however, would always want to do things her way and that put her and Oliver in danger.
In the end, they found out who was the mole amongst them, the one thwarting their plans and causing the deaths of a good number of the underground fighters.
This is a great second world war story. Very interesting and well written. I enjoyed reading it.
***A.J. Alexander, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Alexander/e/B07KVQCHVZ
One of the early reviews for the book for Sundance
Having read the first of this series “Soul Taker” I knew we were being introduced to new worlds and adventures and looked forward to the next installment. And I can safely say this second book in the series did not let me down. If anything I felt it really helped things take off even more.
Where in “Soul Taker” we were introduced to an existing angel who gets promoted from Soul Taker to Guardian, this time we see the beginnings of a angel’s rise. Born to parents who made a deal with God for a child, if even for only a short seven years, we watch young Cara grow not only in the mortal world, but in the next one as well. In Heaven she is given the name Sundance, and begins to learn her strengths and grow in skills to the point of being welcomed into another rank of Angels a “Warrior”, one of the first in a very long time.
But for all her skills and abilities, which have impressed even the Archangels, she still has much to learn. Her first assignment will take her back to Earth where she will experience not only pain, but love with a mortal. Is such a thing allowed?
You’ll have to read to find out the answers to that. But there is much more awaiting both the reader and Sundance. For her powers and skills have been noticed not only by higher authorities, but ones below as well. And soon she finds herself the focal point in a dastardly plot from the netherworld.
The author has done a brilliant job with this book in many respects, including uniting both her first and second books with a brief, but satisfying meeting between our former Soul Taker, and this new Warrior Angel. I very much look forward to more of this series which is just beginning.
**Anne. R. Allen, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-R-Allen/e/B005R2SBI4 – Website/blog: http://annerallen.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5304269.Anne_R_Allen
One of the recent reviews for Googling Old Boyfriends on Goodreads
****Laura M. Baird, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-M.-Baird/e/B0745JY9CF
Website: https://www.laurambairdauthor.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17049270.Laura_M_Baird
A recent review for Rory’s Christmas Angel
The last thing State Trooper Rory Sanders expects to find at an accident is a beautiful woman who stirs his soul. He hasn’t thought much about romance in the two years since his wife passed away but there’s something about Frankie he can’t ignore. When she invites him and his daughter to her family farm, they share an electric kiss. With his daughter nudging him forward, he takes the plunge. Is this love? He’s not sure but what he does know is that for the first time in a long time, his heart beats for another. This Christmas, he knows what he wants. Will Frankie’s Christmas wish be the same?Rory’s Christmas Angel is a touching holiday romance about letting go of the past and embracing all that life has to offer. Both Frankie and Rory have been through heartbreak and this is partly what draws them closer. While the attraction is immediate, the build-up is nice and slow. We get to yearn with the characters as they get up enough courage to make the first step. There are some tearful moments which makes me love this romance yet there are humorous scenes too. The day-to-day life on a farm is accurately portrayed, right down to the birthing. Well done. The ending is so heartfelt, it feels like a Hallmark movie.
If you’re looking for a romance with children and a close-knit extended family, you’ll want to read Rory’s Christmas Angel. Highly recommend!
****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
I loved it… A page-turner that keeps you hooked. The story line has lots of twists and turns and you feel yourself moved on so many different levels. As the book unfolds it gives you moments of tenderness and love, hatred and spite all blended together with conflict, prejudice, guilt, grief and a desperate longing for change. Judith describes the period so well, with some very graphic, cruel and harrowing episodes, enabling you to empathise with each character in turn. I particularly like the fact that the story held together to the last page.
One of the recent reviews for Pariahs
“Pariahs” (Ilings, Book 1) is not for every reader. But in my opinion, this madcap adventure, fantasy, horror story has the makings of a cult classic. There are people in this world who will absolutely love it. Perhaps you are one of them. Of course, there are probably others who will hate it, and still others will stumble away from it dazed, wondering what just happened to them. But no one will read this book and walk away without a powerful emotional reaction to it.In “Pariahs,” Julia Benally has created an insanely complex world with fourteen sentient races (seven big ones and seven little ones) and an insanely complex system of magic, and she has created an insanely complex plot that races along at about a hundred miles per hour. Almost nothing in the world of Ila bears the remotest resemblance to anything on earth. Sentient beings might have tails or scales or poison fangs or hair up to their knees or some combination of the above, but they all call themselves human beings. And then in the middle of all of it is one pretty little six-year-old girl in a cream-colored dress with short, puffy sleeves.
By the time I was a couple of chapters into “Pariahs,” I thought the whole book was meant to be a joke — a comedy. After a few more chapters, I realized that it was not a joke, but I wasn’t sure what it was. A few more chapters in, and I was totally bewildered. Then I found the glossary (Hooray!), which explained a lot and helped me understand what was going on. Don’t wait as long as I did to find the glossary. By the time I got to the last chapter, I didn’t want it to end.
The plot is extremely complex and travels at breakneck speed. There’s a new nightmarish horror around almost every corner, with monster bosses that just keep coming back. But in the middle of the horror and danger, the little “family” of Vijeren, N’Nar, Sibare, little Miranel, and Zhin are able to find courage in the face of danger, faith to keep on striving, love for their family, hope for their future, and even joy in the almost spiritual ties that bind them together.
Altogether, “Pariahs” was a unique and most remarkable work.
One of the recent reviews for the collection
This book of poems by two talented poets promises to take the reader on a journey and delivers and epic trip. The journey in question is that of life, and the book is split into sections that cover many of the big themes we all face on that journey: courage, wisdom, love, strength, joy. Both women contribute to each theme, offering a delightful contrast of views, imagery and tone. Smitha’s poems are intimate, emotional, drawing on a strength from within, while Vandana’s poems are open, assertive and sometimes confrontational.
The journey begins with ‘courage’ and it proves to be a positive and uplifting start. Smitha writes about daring to learn, fly, fail, even if the journey to success is not smooth. Vandana rails against rules and victimisation and demands that we drop the masks we wear. There is a nice rhythm to the collection. It moves inwards towards ‘wisdom’, ‘serenity’, ‘love’ and ‘joy’, then looks outwards to the world with ‘strength’, ‘compassion’ and ‘hope’. There are quiet moments and demands to be heard. There is sadness and joy, despair and self-assurance. And each poem is accompanied by a personal piece giving context to the verse.
Some of my favourite poems by Smitha are: ‘The Night is my Refuge’, a soothing poem about the restorative power of the night; ‘Treasure the Little Pleasures’, an evocative poem about the importance of small things; ‘Hush Daddy! Don’t Fear’, a moving poem about caring for an ageing parent; ‘Tender Moments’, a quiet loving poem in which a mother watches her children sleep; and ‘The Little Corner Room’ about a haven in her grandmother’s house.
Favourites by Vandana include: ‘Today’, an encouragement not to put things off to a vague tomorrow; ‘It’s all in the state of mind’ captures that dissatisfaction of wanting something other than what we have; and ‘Wings of Freedom’, a soaring poem about hopes and dreams.
The book ends, appropriately, with ‘gratitude’. Smitha’s ‘Promise of a new day’ is a beautiful meditation on things to be thankful for, while Vandana’s ‘Moments of Gratitude’ has the rhythm of a prayer. This book is an uplifting, enjoyable and emotional journey with two very engaging guides.
One of the recent reviews for Poetic Rituals –
I received this book as a gift earlier in the year. It had been a while since I read poetry but this was a good opportunity to get back into it. If someone is able to chart the journey of their life through poetry, then this author does a fantastic job of it. While I won’t give too much away, Ritu gives us more then a peek into her life, from humble beginnings to the challenges of being a wife and motherhood. There’s love, passion mixed in with questioning our heritage and background. There is something for everyone to attach themselves too. Highly recommend!!
*****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.
A recent review for the boxset
I enjoyed reading the four delightful stories in this set. There was romance, a bit of mystery, and even a dash of the paranormal in the end.
“Hold ‘Em” was about gambling on love. It started with a gamble, and it got really complicated from there. Matthew needed a fiancé to placate his dying grandmother, but he didn’t plan on falling in love. After all, his fake fiancé was engaged. Can it get more complicated?
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was about secrets and second chances. Sophia and Tony love each other, but they let pride get in the way. Sophia felt she had something to prove. Tony had secrets he felt he must keep. Did Sophia really have to leave love and home to prove herself? Were Tony’s secrets really so dire that they had to be hidden? You must read this sweet, heartwarming story and judge for yourself.
“My Girl” is about deceptions and misunderstandings. Why did Trish leave Aaron, and now, why is she back with her family? There is a story, and there are secrets. Someone is playing games, and none of them are good. Will Aaron and Trish have a second chance? If you like your romance with secrets and a dash of mystery, you might enjoy this story.
In A Magical Christmas, a little girl is lost, and an angel, or perhaps a ghost, comes to the rescue. Is this possible? If you believe in guardian angels, this story will touch your heart.
***** Mike Biles, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Biles/e/B07W928W23 Blog: http://bitaboutbritain.com/blog-2/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19553725.Mike_Biles
A recent review for the book
I took my time reading this one because I loved the way the author wove the facts into a highly enjoyable narrative. What amazed me was how the author could start at pre-historic times and carry the reader forward to present day in such a brief book, yet cover the essentials and connect the complicated factors behind so much of that history.
The touches of a Bill Bryson wit was just enough to amuse me while I pondered the reality of “One Damned War After Another” It was a book I looked forward to returning to each night.
I’m keeping this one on my kindle so I can refer to the amazing Timeline included at the end of the book.
***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 Living in a Shadow
Living in a Shadow is the story of Marcy and Rich, told from the perspectives of the two characters as they chronicle the collapse of their marriage. The writing is riveting. It draws the reader into their personal world by sharing their thoughts and feelings.
The author chose to switch between Marcy and Rich’s mindset, which gave a certain intimacy to the novel, which kept me keyed into the story. At times, I felt as if I was eavesdropping, the dialogue was so realistic.
Love, relationships, trust, and misunderstandings are many of the themes. I especially enjoyed the aspects of the illusionary shadow mentioned in the title and how that theme flowed through the novel.
Everyone has a dark side. I believe Bowman successfully tapped into the shadow archetype revealing the part of the personality called the “Self,” showing all, and more in her characters. You know what I mean… that part that we don’t like about ourselves and the things we subconsciously deny as we project those things on to others? Bowman bares it all! These characters are so real; I felt like I knew them.
This was a hard book to put down, and I found myself propelled through a whirlwind of emotions.
Be prepared because the ending was unexpected. I never saw it coming!
*Please visit Amazon to view all of Craig’s books.
One of the recent reviews for Sarang
Readers were first introduced to Serang in Boyack’s VOYAGE OF THE LANTERNFISH. I was immediately taken with her obvious strength and her hidden vulnerabilities. It was clear to me that she’d suffered in her past.
SERANG puts an end to my questions and reveals her backstory.
Readers who are looking for the light-hearted banter and hilarious antics of Lanternfish’s root monsters will not find it here. This is a serious tale covering serious topics. But Boyack handled them brilliantly. I felt her pain, her despair. I reveled in her determination and her strength. I feared for her life and celebrated her triumphs.
You can’t ask for more than that.
This is an excellent companion piece to the Lanternfish franchise. One I highly recommend.
A recent review for Maggie’s Montana
A trip to Montana with Judy, Harry and Walter turns into the adventure of a lifetime. Chole and John are settled in at the ranch and there’s so much to enjoy. Winston lets Maggie know that she has a place in their life if she’ll take the chance. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to move forward towards a new home and relationship? Recommend Series.
**Sarah Brentyn, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987
Blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14880017.Sarah_Brentyn
A recent review for Hinting at Shadows
I love flash fiction—and not because it is quick or easy to read. Much like syllabic poetry, I’ve found this abbreviated fiction form is rich in meaning. In fact, the brevity of words deepens the message.
Between the pages of this book, you will find a collection of flash fiction that delves deep into the human condition exploring perceptions, reactions, thoughts, and emotions.
The author split the book into four parts: Mindscapes, Connections, Lifelines, and Microbursts, which are stories under fifty words, including a few modified Haiku.
I found there was a certain edge or shadow that meandered through the pages conveying a wide range of emotions in my soul. We all have a place of darkness inside us, and Brentyn excels at finding and revealing even the darkest of human truths in her writing. She bares it all!
I’ve read this book many times, especially when I need to reconnect to some of my own dark truths. It was no surprise that one of my favorite sections were the Microbursts. In only six words, a story is born.
“Her voice was music and madness.”
Brentyn, Sarah. Hinting at Shadows (p. 92). Kindle Edition.
Brentyn is a master storyteller of the macabre and the mundane as she weaves her stories into feelings that will make you embrace your own darkness… if you dare!
****Christine Campbell, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2
One of the recent reviews for A Mountain of Memories
Lina M Past and present mingle beautifully together in an interesting story. June 7, 2019
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!
***Lizzie Chantree, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lizzie-Chantree/e/B00FF99DHC
Website: https://lizziechantree.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree
One of the recent reviews for If You Love Me I’m Yours
I really enjoy the writing style of this author, brilliant eclectic characters, an amazing story and some wonderful twists kept me entertained from the start to finish!
Loved how the characters of Maud and Dot came together to support and encourage each other to reach their potential. Their friendship was heartwarming and inspiring.
I really enjoyed the humour, the characters were quirky and interesting. Some moments of sadness, particularly with how Maud was made to feel by her parents and Nate’s difficult past, but these issues were dealt with in a sensitive way that added to the overall story.
A well written, interwoven story which captured my imagination and I would highly recommend this gorgeous book to my friends, I loved immersing myself in Maud and Dot’s artistic world, and I look forward to reading more by this fantastic author
One of the recent reviews for Through the Nethergate
Margaret moves in with her grandfather after the tragic deaths of her parents. Her new home is a centuries-old English inn, and shortly after her arrival, ghosts from the near and far past begin appearing—some dark and evil, others light yet stuck between worlds. Things start going a little mad when Margaret’s presence causes the ghosts to incarnate, able to act on the modern world. In short order, Lucifer takes notice.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the macabre history of real-life maniacal murderers, primarily those who killed when there were no laws protecting peasants from the powerful. Though the author qualifies her tale as fiction, she points out that many of her characters are based on true people, and her research shines. These are some twisted people. The cast of evil-doers isn’t limited to medieval England but goes back to Nero and Caligula as well as forward through the Nazi regime of WWII.
Another interesting aspect of the book is the way technology is identified as a vehicle for evil. Hell looks like an office building full of cubicles. Cheadle ties in current events including the war in Syria, mass shootings, xenophobia, economic disenfranchisement, and “fake news” – all the work of the devil. Grounded in the old testament, faith has a hand in the story too.
I enjoyed the story though the plot got a little wild with lots of characters and simultaneous action. Margaret ends up sharing the lead in the story with several other POV characters including the incarnates. Her character is the most 3-dimensional though I was intrigued by several secondary characters. I’d recommend this book to YA readers who enjoy horror and a quick pace.
A recent review for The Heartstone Chronicles on Goodreads
The Heart Stone Chronicles by Colleen M. Chesebro begins with a novel titled The Swamp Fairy. After reading another book by the author–about myths, magic, and fairies–I wanted to read a full-length story. It looks like this might be a new series, which is exciting because I really enjoyed this debut, even though I’m not a regular reader in the fantasy genre.
Abigale grew up in Chicago and always knew she had a connection to animals. As she grows up, she learns she can speak to them in her mind, and often, she has other new talents developing. Unfortunately, her mother passes away before they can have a legitimate conversation about the magic in their family. Abigale’s father, who is addicted to alcohol and drugs, has disappeared. He is unable to take care of his daughter, so a neighbor and close family friend steps in. Luckily, Abigale’s mother left behind a detailed estate plan: Abigale will move to Florida to live with her father’s sister, and she must never sell the land that her family has owned for centuries. Once Abigale moves, she bonds with her aunt, develops new friends, and makes a few enemies because she won’t approve the sale of the land to a neighbor. What’s going on in this small town?
Chesebro has a fluid and easily readable style and tone to her writing. Though fantasy, it’s not extensive. We know there is a world of fairies and magic. We witness moments of inexplicable situations. We love when the evil characters get their comeuppance with the assistance of a bit o’ magic. But the core of the story is a young girl coming into her own after her parents die/disappear, learning to make new friends, and figuring out how to stop someone from hurting her. Young adults would definitely enjoy this book, but as an adult guy, I also found it pretty solid. It offers a lot of the same vibes I enjoy in a cozy mystery but adds an element of magic and hope for the future. Abigale is a lovely heroine, and she behaves very well for a teenager… then again, not all are wild and rambunctious as we often see in YA stories. I like the variation in this tale.
I do hope this becomes a series, as I’d love to explore what happens with Abigale’s potential new love interest, her relationship with the fairies on her land, and the potential re-appearance of her father. I suspect there is a story there too… kudos for developing a new fan, Ms. Chesebro. Thanks for this excellent story.
One of the recent reviews for Red
For the most part, I am a fiction reader. On occasion, I pick up a non-fiction book when the subject matter or theme is of interest. Red – A Voyage Into Colors by Valentina Cirasola was a book that crossed my path earlier this year when I stumbled upon the author’s design website and personal blog. Being a person who generally leans toward blacks, grays, and whites, I thought maybe I should learn a little more about the color wheel.
Although this book is entitled Red, it is not merely about this one color. The author shares the history and background of all the colors on the spectrum, teaching us the differences between hues and shades, tones and variations. The book is only ~125 page and contains dozens of photos of colors and their uses in various designs, homes, and picturesque settings. It’s easy to digest, well-written, and has an amazing personal touch. Valentina has quite a fun personality.
Some of the content I recall learning in school. Other I’ve picked up throughout my life. Seeing it all together again in one book is a comprehensive way to learn about our lives. For instance, I remembered why red was a warm color, and blue a cool one, but I didn’t know how it affected my life or made me feel. It was great to dive back into these ideas and facts, and seeing how these colors play in my life today was helpful. I actually (without knowing it) designed my living room to use all the appropriate matching color patterns and schemes. My bedroom might need some work though!
What a great way to make us ponder the things we often spend too little time thinking about… I pick clothes based on what fits. What if I went out in search specifically for clothes with color combinations that work for me? I plan to re-read this book again in small chunks. Too much at once can get lost because you want to process the advice and imagery. Next time I need to make a color decision, I’ll definitely come back to this one to focus on the important questions.
I recommend this one for every type of reader because it has a little bit of everything when it comes to choosing what makes us happy versus what might be the first thing we see in our closet or drawer, on the computer or phone screen, or on the rack of shelf at the store.
Please visit Amazon or Mae’s website to view all her books.
An advance review from Harmony Kent
I have read all of Mae Clair’s Hodes Hill books, and this one is by far my favourite. I loved the mix of the supernatural with typical ghosts spiced up with a deadly and terrifying ghoul.
All in all, this is a great series that works well both to read as a run on and for each book to stand alone, although you get more by seeing the character progression throughout the series if you read them in order. Having read of Madison, the main character, in previous books and seeing her struggle through the eyes of others, it is nice to see her getting a book to herself, and what a strong heroine she turns out to be.
The plot runs both in the past (1800s) and in the present day and gives you plenty of mystery, suspense, and twists in both timelines. While I sussed out that something was up with the historical brothers early on, I completely failed to work out what it was, so kudos to the author for that bit of cunning.
I highly recommend this book and will be reading more from this writer. A solid five star read.
Please visit Amazon or Lucinda’s website to view all her books.
An extract from one of the recent reviews for A Year in the Life of Leah Brand
A Year in the Life of Leah Brand is a tightly written and tense psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the very first chapter and carries you along, at breakneck speed to the unexpected and surprising conclusion. I’ve read a few of Lucinda E. Clarke’s books and one thing I’ve marveled at is her ability to chop and change genres at will – the sign of an excellent author and Clarke definitely is that. I have little doubt that the beautifully drawn and slightly neurotic character of Leah will resonate with many readers. I found myself continually second-guessing the author’s directions with the story and that is always the sign of a superb author, one who can drag the reader into “red-herring” situations and then throw them off balance with a subtle change in tack. The writing is no-nonsense and to the point, from the perspective of the main character. As a reader we are able to understand, empathise, and ride along with Leah’s swirling emotions as she is totally sure she is not crazy – but what other explanation could there be for all the weird goings-on? I liked the fact that Clarke left the door marginally ajar for a possible sequel to the tale. There is another whole path she could take this story down, if she so desired and I for one, totally hope she does. An exciting, gripping psychological thriller that twists and turns and keeps you riveted to the story, I can highly recommend this read.
A recent reviews for Racked
A stuffed Christmas moose might be cute but also DEADLY!!!
Captivating, gripping, riveting…..Racked is a plot within a subplot. This emotional and psychological thriller is full of mystery, horror, suspense and fast paced.
Who is kidnapping young boys? Why are they being kidnapped? What is the relationship between the kidnapping and the stuffed Christmas moose.
Sheriff Niko Quintana and his wife, Sage, live in the isolated, wooded area of New Hampshire. Their young son, Noah and two fur babies, Rugger and Colt make up their small knit family.
A dead body, kidnapped young boys, dysfunctional families, abused families…. all blend together for an intense, scary, intimidating read.
The author gets inside the well written characters heads, presenting their inner workings to the readers to be able to understand the characters.
Supernatural elements abound. A Highly Recommended Read!!
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 Life’s Rich Tapestry
In her latest excellent mixed-media book, Life’s Rich Tapestry (2019), Sally Cronin delivers a wide and varied collection of writing styles and themes, all with the goal of enriching the tapestry of the reader’s life. She covers nature, humanity, faeries, remembering, pets, and more in varied writing styles including Haiku, Tanka, Etheree, Cinquain, 99 word fiction, short stories, speculative fiction, and others.
Each style comes with its own challenges–as those who write in them know–but Cronin moves through them with equal ease and mastery. The challenges of writing micro fiction (like Haikus and 99 word fiction) require a story–be it fact or fiction–told quickly in bitesize chunks that no one can skip over or get bored with. Here are a few examples:
Stop and smell the roses
As recommended I stopped to smell the roses
precious time well spent.
Waiting for Spring
Waiting for magical buds to appear
when the tempest has passed and sun returns to warm.
And, although khaki and merits
are returned to their boxes,
the memories remain
etched upon their hearts
their minds and dreams,
A Dog’s Life
They take no heed of the passing of time,
nor do they see into the future.
There are crucial priorities
that have to be considered.
Walks, sleep, play and their food.
But, above all else
they worship you,
Sally’s longer fiction shows the artistry she can unveil when she digs deeper into topics and themes. More than a twitter novel, different than a poem, Cronin took this challenge and delivered admirably. Here’s one of my favorites.
The Junkyard Dog
Charlie was a junkyard dog and had the scars to prove it. He was head of security of this fenced off mass of scrap metal, dotted with mounds of old tyres he called home, and he took his job very seriously.
What a beautiful experience it was reading this book.
***Mary Crowley, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Crowley/e/B07H7TCFVB Blog/Website: https://marycrowleyauthor.wordpress.com/home/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18246222.Mary_Crowley
One of the reviews for A Sweet Smell of Strawberries
Great Read, I loved this book. It is a story of love and loss with twists to keep you intrigued throughout, immediately pulling you in to the characters who are very relatable and believable. I could imagine sitting in the Cove listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shoreline. I’ve never been to Donegal but I definately plan to visit after reading this book.
One of the recent reviews for Haunted House Ghost
This is my first Braxton Campus mystery. It was a delight discovering these characters—and there are many. When you join a series in progress, it’s easy to get lost, but not with the Braxton series. The author did an excellent job of establishing who was who, as well as explaining the relationships that connected all the people in this fabulous fictional setting.
College professor and amateur sleuth, Kellan, moves into an old house only to discover it may be haunted by ghosts of the past. Set during Halloween, this cozy relies on past connections, family histories, plenty of secrets, and a cast of suspects that keeps the reader guessing. Toss in a fifty-year old skeleton, an eccentric psychic, plus Halloween happenings, and you can’t go wrong.
Kellan’s family is a delight—especially Nana D who is fond of calling him “brilliant one.” His developing romance with town sheriff, April, adds a nice hint of romance to the layers of mystery. Grab your scorecard, tally up the suspects, and take your best guess. If you like cozies, you’re sure to enjoy this charmer!
**Anita Dawes, buy https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Dawes/e/B0034NUE10/
A recent review for Let it Go
Right from the start of this story you know you’re off on an interesting journey with a colourful family. The tale is told from the daughter, Mary’s, point of view. She has an older sister called Sally who she doesn’t think too much of because of her promiscuous behaviour. A drunken gambler for a father and a mother with a temper. One day, after the father has gone on a bender and been missing for a few days he comes home having won a guest house in a card game and just like that a whole new life beckons for the family.
Mary loves the new life in Cornwall where she gets to live with her beloved Nan in a caravan at the end of the garden. The village offers her new freedoms and her first fledging attempts at romance but of course nothing is going to run that smoothly. Sally is soon up to her old tricks which brings trouble for the family and Mary finds a diary the alarming contents of which start to take over her life.
I did enjoy this read which sets off at a cracking pace. The characters are well rounded and interesting and the family dynamic worked well. The pace slowed a little in the second half but there was plenty of interest going on in the story and as added intrigue, throughout the whole book, there hangs that little shred of doubt about how the guest house was won in the first place.
Please go to Amazon or Richard’s website to view all his books.
One of the recent reviews for Andorra Pett and Her Sister on Goodreads
Andorra Pett – space station café owner, scooper pilot and sometimes super sleuth – returns for another adventure. Andorra finds herself on Earth to sort out her ex, Trevor’s affairs following his grisly murder at the hands of a mobster on Mars.
Intending this to only be a brief stay to finalise affairs before returning to the space station orbiting Saturn and the comfort of partner Derek. Unfortunately, as ever, trouble manages to find her in the form of her estranged sister Tia. When she is arrested for smuggling through importers and money laundering she calls the only person she can for help – younger sister Andorra.
Suspecting from the start that something is amiss, not least Tia lacking the sense to pull off such a crime, Andorra cannot help but be drawn in to solve the mystery and see that justice is served. Smugglers, corrupt police and a chance run in with Clive – an old face from her first ever mystery – make for high jinks aplenty. He is found running what he claims to be an official Oort Cloud Café tribute bar complete with sleazy Andorra lookalike waitresses and slanderous tales of fictitious romances assuming Andorra will never hear of it way back in space.
Once again Richard Dee has delivered a wonderfully funny murder mystery with a cast of characters new and old to entertain readers. The mystery becomes farcical as it twists and turns to a conclusion. Andorra sees herself in her share of trouble and tight spots all in the pursuit of clearing Tia’s name. This third instalment of the Andorra Pett series is a wonderful addition and only makes me long for book four in 2020 that much more.
****Karen Demers Dowdall, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-DeMers-Dowdall/e/B00JO0Q4AM – Blog: https://karendowdall.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7394355.K_D_Dowdall
A recent review for The Captain’s Witch December 5th by Colleen M. Chesebro
On the property stands a towering White Oak tree, originally planted on the grave of Alice Windsor Hall, Sara’s distant relative. Alice, falsely accused of witchcraft, suffered a brutal death at the hands of Reverend Baron Warwick, a Puritan Zealot who has plans for Sara’s daughter, Clara.
Now, after 300 years, Alice’s spirit returns from the otherworld on a mission to rewrite history and save her daughter. She enlists the help of Sara and Christian who travel back and forth in time trying to correct the errors of the past.
Can Christian and Sara’s love survive through the ages, or will fate deal them a cruel hand?
For me, this book came across as more of a mystery than a romance. There is chemistry between the characters, but it was not overdone.
I enjoyed the witchy aspects of the novel, especially the history behind Alice Windsor Hall. I had to pay close attention to the time travel aspects to understand when the characters moved through different periods. Yet, this was a fun entertaining read.
One of the recent reviews for Space Dust
Oh what a beautiful book for children from 3 to 11, and if you want to know my honest opinion, I loved it too and read it out loud to my husband who mmm mmm’d (that’s good!).
Eloise de Sousa has a way with words. When I started reading I had a little lump in my throat but soon I was excited on the adventure with Big Ox and Little One, whose Mummy had left without even a goodbye! The theme of space is so relevant as our youngsters learn more about the Universe. The story gathers pace with Little One looking for his Mummy on the adventure that Big Ox has taken him on in a canoe with his “absolute favourite spoon”. They travel passed planets and Eloise has incorporated some real life information about Venus and Saturn, and “Neptune’s glassy cloud” in a subtle way.
Beautiful flow, rhyme and rhythm, as mentioned by other reviewers. Repetition is just right. Imagination is second to none – “sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup, Or spring onion beams for them to perform their daring loop-dee-loops” … can you just see it?
I love how sensitive Little One is when he tells Big Ox he is “very sorry if I sound like I don’t care”; but then sees how down Big Ox is by his remark. Little One quickly wants to get Big Ox back to his happy self by suggesting they continue their travels where he may see his Mummy.
Very sensitively written. I love how the story calms down towards the end as sleep overtakes Little One but we know that there are more adventures with Big Ox and Little One to follow.
The illustrations are brave and bold and love that they are by the author herself.
I’m so pleased that I have bought a few of these books for the young people in my family as well as close friends. I’m sure they – and their parents – will enjoy.
Well done Eloise de Sousa!
***Angie Dokos, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY
Blog: https://angiedokos.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14905574.Angie_Dokos
A recent review for Mackenzie’s Distraction
I loved it!
Mackenzie’s Distraction had it all!
Rivoting plot, awesome characters, family secrets, struggles, and romance. Very enjoyable, a great read.
****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 Hunting the Phoenix
So speaks Charles Milburn near the end, when he and Alma are contemplating writing the story of Herbert West/Francis Dexter. I can’t argue with that sentiment!
Reading this book is definitely a powerful experience. However, I think I would have enjoyed it even more and comprehended it better if I were more knowledgeable about alchemy. It’s never been a subject that interested me; I’ve always viewed it (when I thought about it at all) as a primitive footnote to the history of “real” science. But I can concede that alchemy makes an excellent “crucible” for a paranormal plot. After all, all SF writers employ futuristic fictional science in order to move their plots along; why not utilize archaic fictional science?
A noteworthy aspect of this book is the author’s skill in evocative description. She really knows how to set a scene and create a mood; furthermore characters appear, take shape, and are molded in front of your very eyes. Here are only a few examples:
From the Prologue section: “Last night I dreamed again of Provincetown in the summer of 1939, seven years ago. A silver pink sunrise off the Cape in August. The taste of peach juice on his lips, his arms holding me as he dances us out of the world. The legacies of one who was born of fire and has returned to it.”
“My thoughts dissolved into a whirl of light, colour, and sound – the strange dissonances and harmonies of the two instruments, the copper-haired child with her birdlike song, the candlelit procession from darkness to light, the Christmas tree with its suns, moons, roses and dark orbs. And in the center of it all, our enigmatic host …”
And when Alma first starts to write poetry: “I sat in my quiet, rose-scented study, scribbling in fits and starts, stalking ripples of my own emotions as the hunter stalks his prey, fishing for feelings and catching them in a net of words.” On that subject, this book contains some remarkable poetry; the author displays a fine comprehension of that literary form.
Dreams and hallucinations also play a mesmerizing role in “Hunting the Phoenix,” and the author skillfully uses flashback techniques to relate earlier events. Most loose ends from the three earlier volumes are tied up, although there are still a few things I wonder about, especially what became of the John Hocks demon, who appears near the end of v.1
I strongly recommend this book and the three previous volumes in the series, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, She Who Comes Forth.
***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
Short & Not Always Sweet is an unexpected treat of a book which is a bit liking dipping into a box of delicious chocolates. It comprises of a variety of stories, some a couple of hundred words and others a couple of pages, all of which are different and interesting.
The author touches on numerous different aspects of life and human experience and delves deeply into emotions and feelings which she expresses in words that stay with you and make you think. A few examples of these descriptions are as follows;
“I remembered your eyes, those deep, brooding greys, the ones that sparkled, even though no light touches them.” from Those Eyes.
Some of the stories cut deeply into the worst of human nature:
“When the red roses arrived at her desk on Valentine’s Day, she purposely pricked her finger, watching the blood ooze. She licked the red liquid, savoring the flavor.” from Desperate Obligations.
“How hideous, she thought, that they should bring a child to my death. Here she was, about to meet her demise, in a way not even suited for a pig.”
There are others that describe the best that nature has to offer us:
“She awakens me with the soft colours of the dawn. Pastel shades that paint the skies, then fade away, giving life to a more vibrant palette.” from The Cry of the Mourning Dove.
Others illustrate the best of human nature:
”Thank you for showing such compassion. We dropped our young one into the water when we saw you in the field. We have heard so much negativity, we wanted to test it for ourselves.”
**Jack Eason, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/ Blog: ttps://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/ – Goodread: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4026249.Jack_Eason
To view all of Jack Eason’s book please visit his Amazon Page or his blog
One of the recent reviews for 1066
R J DOCKETTA well researched and very entertaining glimpse on a pivotal moment in history. 7 September 2019
Jack Eason has woven a short but compelling tale around the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings, the end of the Saxon times in England. It’s a story of ordinary folk, as well as the rulers of the land, and how the decisions they made shaped the times. Full of well-researched detail, the vivid picture he paints puts you in the centre of the action. Recommended reading for anyone interested in the events of 1066
***Diana J. Febry, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/
One of the recent reviews for The Paper Boy
When it comes to murder mysteries this book fits the bill for me. I love nothing but to relax with a good mystery. What i call – sunshine TV style novels. The story is easy and refreshing to follow without losing the intrigue along the journey.
I found myself trying to solve the puzzle of a -who dunnit.
Great detective story involving two cases one of which was shoddily managed 20 yrs ago and a recent murder case which ties the two together.
This well researched and steadily paced story was a great read . DCI Peter Hatherall is engaging and a genius and i recommend this book for fans of murder mystery
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 Holland
This book was quite a bit of fun. Foster combines a middle-grade fiction plot with a colorful tour of Holland, including its famous sites, snippets of history, and its wonderful flowers and food. I had the great fortune of visiting my grandparents in Holland when I was Amanda’s age, and her experiences in the book mirror my memories in great detail. It was a blast to traipse along beside Amanda and enjoy the country once again.
The main plot focuses on the recovery of a lost puppy, but secondary plots weave through the story, and all come together nicely at the end. There’s a bit of mystery and some danger to keep the tension up. There are also some very moving scenes when Amanda visits Anne Frank’s home and a war memorial dedicated to the Canadians who helped liberate Holland during WWII. A lovely book for young readers and absolutely perfect for readers who plan to travel the world.
****Claire Fullerton, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4
One of the recent reviews for Mourning Dove on Goodreads
Alcoholism is not a choice, it is a disease. However, in this poignant novel it becomes a curse.Posey and her brother Finley are taken with their mother from the north, in Minnesota to Tennessee. A completely different world. A beautiful demonstration of life in the south, as tradition and the southern style transforms them. This is a touching story of the difficult growing up and transformation of a family , the finding of themselves and forgiveness of the past. Fabulous writing style, design of plot and the ease of reading. The characters are most!y sympathetic, barring some exception and they leave the reader hungry for more. A reader I intend to follow, congratulations! A highly recommended and MUST READ!
One of the recent reviews for Silent Heroes
Silent Heroes will prompt you to pause and think several times. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing, long-term struggles these people have endured under the Taliban and how lucky many of us are to live our lives as we want. You will feel both pride and sadness as you read about the Marines and the experiences of their teams. But you will also feel joy and hope about the sacrifices that are made for us each day. Silent Heroes is an incredible novel that I highly recommend. Regardless of your usual preferred genre, this is an excellent read that is realistic, full of well-developed characters, and will stay in your heart and mind long after finishing.
***Brigid P. Gallagher, BUY: https://www.amazon.in/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD
Blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher
One of the recent reviews for the book
A fascinating read through all the naturopathic and alternative remedies Brigid has been involved in. Clearly a very active and intelligent person, she applied herself to learning, teaching and living the naturopathic principals. Many people will owe much to her knowledge and generosity in sharing her gifts.
Her own health problems dictated a new path and a need to slow down and take care of herself. Her new pace of life has resulted in this book on life lessons and the importance of slow. We are the happy beneficiaries. Thank you for your insights Brigid!
**Elizabeth Gauffreau, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Gauffreau/e/B07NTZFVSF/ Website: http://lizgauffreau.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18740495.Elizabeth_Gauffreau
One of the recent reviews for Telling Sonny
While I was reading “Telling Sonny” I felt like a time traveler. The year is 1925 and Faby is a sheltered young woman who has recently graduated from high school. She has lived her entire life in a small town in Vermont, surrounded by her protective family: a younger sister, a French-Canadian grandmother and her parents. Her world is small but full of love. Then she meets Slim White, a dancer with a traveling vaudeville show. He’s older and much more worldly than she is. Soon Faby takes a journey with Slim, and ends up far from home and everything she knows and holds dear.
“Telling Sonny” takes the reader on the road to vaudeville theaters in towns and cities throughout the northeast and in the south. Along the way we discover an America that is now long gone. Elizabeth Gauffreau describes the journey in rich detail. We get to know Faby very well, and as we travel with her we experience her joys and sorrows.
I was completely immersed in Faby’s story and was sad when I finished the book. As a reader, this is the best compliment I can give to an author!
A recent review for A Ghost in the Kitchen
The author’s excellent talent for storytelling and kept me enthralled with the characters in this novel. She has a knack for vivid description that it makes it seem like all things are possible — like you are there with her characters experiencing their adventures. The 1920s setting came to life.
I enjoyed Pip and Andy’s friendship. It reminded me of Agatha Christie’s “Tommy and Tuppence” series.
This is a culinary mystery, so food is prominent, because of the “ingredients” provided by the author’s blog readers. She let those random things (ingredients) drive the plot of the story, writing it spontaneously as the ingredients were provided. It was a “recipe” for a fun book.
A review for Quarter Acre Block
Anita DawesHistory remembered and relived…
I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.
She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.
I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.
I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.
This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...
An recent review for Underneath
After reading the blurb, I was immediately excited by this book, as I could see some similarities to John Fowles’ novel The Collector – a book I love.
As a result, I really liked reading Underneath. It was incredibly easy to keep reading – I was definitely hooked.
Each part of the book – I believe it’s split into 6 parts – begins with a mini prologue which is set after the imprisonment has taken place. After each of these, the book returns to the current narrative, where Steve and Liesel are still happy and in love. I thought these sections were especially good and intriguing, because I was keen to learn how Steve unravels from an ordinary man into a crazed kidnapper.
I say ‘an ordinary man’ as, for most of the book, Steve is just that. There’s nothing sinister about him at all, really. Although there are some flashbacks to Steve’s childhood, in which he is bullied by his older sisters, I was not convinced his childhood was damaging to the point of causing extreme psychological issues and violent tendencies which would bubble to the surface later in his life. Personally, I wish these flashbacks had contained stronger evidence of a troubled childhood development such as, for example, Steve regularly lashing out in anger as a child, struggling to accept being told ‘No’, or showing a fascination for murder or kidnapping stories in the news. I think these sorts of things would have provided a more solid basis for the motivation behind Steve’s future plan to imprison his girlfriend. As it is, Steve’s decision comes completely out of the blue, which is arguably less creepy than a premeditated attack.
This plan is also carried out quite late in the book; I was more than halfway through before any kidnapping began. This might be something for you to bear in mind if you prefer fast-paced thrillers, as Underneath is much more of a “slow burner”. Whilst I might have enjoyed a quicker pace, in the long run, I didn’t really mind because I thought it gave plenty of time to characterise and develop Steve and Liesel well.
Having said that, I did prefer the imprisonment scenes somewhat more than the build-up to the imprisonment. The last third or so of the book was especially engrossing. There are some great twists and, following the kidnapping, Steve gradually becomes more enraged and unhinged. The ending was also dramatic and satisfying; due to his psychological state, Steve begins to hallucinate people from both his past and present – whether dead or alive – and that was fascinating to see from his perspective.
As I have mentioned, there are a few things I wish had been done slightly differently. Nevertheless, I still really liked reading Underneath and, after reading a review e-book copy, I’d love to support Anne Goodwin by picking up a paperback copy myself as well.
****S.A. Harris, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/S.-A.-Harris/e/B07MYMTNWN
Website: https://www.saharrisauthor.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1375010.S_A_Harris
One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads
17 November 2019
Haverscroft is probably my perfect Halloween read. I’m not a huge fan of traditional horror stories, and rarely read ghostly tales; this contemporary telling of the age-old haunted house tale is superbly done and I enjoyed every single spine-tingling page.
The story opens as Kate, her husband Mark and their nine-year-old twins are moving into Haverscroft House. It’s clear from the narrative that the move has been pushed through by Mark; he’s taken control of the situation and organised their departure from her London home. Kate’s voice is shaky and unsure and it soon becomes clear that she’s been very ill recently, and that there’s some kind of incident in their past that isn’t being spoken about. Kate feels that in order to keep her family together, she has to agree to the upheaval.
Haverscroft House is old, and dirty and full of unexpected surprises; most of them are unwelcome and feel threatening and quite frightening. As doors lock, or open, and floorboards creak for no reason, and the cold seeps into the house; the atmosphere within the story becomes more tense
As Mark continues to work from London for most of the week, it is Kate and the children who experience the fear and sheer terror, but Kate is never sure if she should tell Mark just how difficult they are finding things. He may not believe her, he may think that she’s becoming ill again.
Can the reader believe Kate though? She doesn’t appear to be the most reliable of narrators, and this just adds to the tension in the story; I was second-guessing all the way through.
Atmospheric, creative and often disturbing; Haverscroft is a splendid read. I enjoyed it tremendously and would recommend it highly
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.
****Donna W. Hill, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Donna-W.-Hill/e/B00CNTTUK2
Website: https://donnawhill.com/about-the-author/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126655.Donna_W_Hill
One of the recent reviews for the book
This is a fun and feisty book. It definitely captured my imagination and left me hoping for a sequel. Give it a chance and you will be rewarded with an,imaginative journey unlike any other fantasy novel.
One of the recent reviews for Circumstances of Childhood
I truly enjoyed this novel and I hope John W. Howell keeps writing for a very long time. One thing that really impresses me is the care he takes in his writing…his dialogue skills and the way he creates believable but awesome characters (in this case – Greg and Keith Petros). This book hit all the marks for what I love a great story: fast-paced, surprising twists, characters I could root for, characters to hate/despise/feel pity/willing to save, and of course an ending that had me snapping my Kindle shut and thinking – noooo way, I’d like to read more..! If you want a good book that keeps you glued to the page, read this one or better all of the books by this author!
Three last words: exceptional, suspenseful and smart! Go, grab it!
One of the early reviews for Shattered Figurine
by MJ LaBeffA story of revenge October 29, 2019
Shattered Figure by Allen Hudson hooked me within the first few pages. Detective Jo Naylor’s plight with her father immediately intrigued me. The scenes move quickly and I enjoyed the chase for three criminals’ intent on inflicting pain and suffering on the detective for the crimes of her father.
The story is written in omniscient present tense which was new for me. After settling into the story I became accustomed to the author’s voice. If you’re looking for a suspense story written in a fresh, new way- add Shattered Figurine to your reading list.
***Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, Buy : http://www.amazon.com/Deanie-Humphrys-Dunne/e/B003FFS15S – Website: www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com. – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3309880.Deanie_Humphrys_Dunne
Please visit Amazon or Deanie’s website to view all her books.
A recent review for A Tractor Named Wilbur
solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards!
A recent review for the collection
I was gifted Miriam’s book during a particularly tough season of life, with my tiny baby in the NICU. Slowly reading through Miriam’s poetry brought peace and calmness to my heart. Her wisdom, faith, hope and inspiration comes through in each poem.
Given the season of life I was in, I found myself going back to the poem “ Beautiful Tiny Baby” over and over. Knowing the wonderful woman of faith that Miriam’s beautiful tiny baby has grown into not only brought me an amazing comfort that I am grateful for, but also reminded me that Miriam’s faith and hope is intimately woven into her – inspiring me to do the same for mine each day.
No matter what season of life you are in, this is a book you can read over and over again, and find wisdom, hope and inspiration.
One of the recent reviews for Outshine
Outshine’ by Karen Ingalls is a memoir of strength, faith & resilience in the face of Cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 2 Ovarian Cancer & this book is about how she tackled the cancer or as Ingalls puts it ‘the big C word’. This is a memoir penned by a strong woman who did not buckle down in the face of ‘the big C word’. I admire her husband Jim who was a great support to her during this situation. I don’t think I would ever be as brave as Ingalls if I ever was detected with a fatal disease. Kudos to her for her perseverance & faith in the Almighty. Ingalls’ book is tender, inspirational & full of wonderful soul stirring quotes at the end of every chapter that can make your day brighter. She shows herself to be a woman of spirit & a woman who has taken the cancer she was a victim too as a life lesson or a test sent to her by the Almighty to make her a better human being. Kudos to her on that point. This book is interactive with a set of excellent questions at the end of the book which can be used for discussion purposes at any book club or any place where books about Cancer survival are discussed. I highly recommend this book to anyone & everyone who needs a bit of sunshine in their lives. I also highly recommend this book to Cancer patients, survivors & care givers. I hope to read more books by Ingalls in the near future, especially her novels which she wished to write after her chemotherapy was over. Do support this book & happy reading to you
A recent review for What Did I do?
Like how the story was put together and how Ken was able to finely heal from the child abuse. Thanks for telling your story.
**Sandra J. Jackson, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY
Website: www.sandrajjackson.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson
A recent review for Catching Butterflies on Goodreads
Let me start by saying I did not read the first book in this series and jumped right in to the second book. April and Beth are two sisters who have just escaped their captors and are trying to find their way back to civilization. They have very little memories and struggle to fight through the haze. With only the contents of their backpacks to aid them, they brave the unfamiliar woods.
They know they’ve been vaccinated against a strange virus, but they have no idea what has happened to their family or the rest of the world in the meantime.
Held captive at a facility in the woods called C.E.C.I.L, they were subjected to mind control drugs and brainwashing. Now they must try to find their parents and see if anything has survived the deadly outbreak. April has the strange sensation that they’re still being watched and hunted. April knows they need to leave the trails and look for help, but Beth is still caught in the mind control and refuses to leave the dangerous looping trails.
There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the first half of this book, but it did fill you in on the events of the first book, so I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything by starting with book two.
Both girls have special abilities, which you will learn in the story, no spoilers here. All the children from the facility with special abilities have a hidden butterfly tattoo on the back of their necks. Hence the title, catching Butterflies. 🦋 The second half was redeeming and filled in a lot of questions and just enough information to keep you guessing for another book.
I enjoyed this one, as did my 11 year old, and I’d read the third book to fill in more of the puzzle of the strange outbreak and how the world has changed in the aftermath. I liked most of the characters and the narrator made it easy to tell who was speaking with alternating voices which I appreciated!
I would recommend this book to my fellow, sci-fi, post apocalyptic, adventure lovers.
****Deborah Jay, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Jay/e/B00E4X3UHY
Website: http://deborahjayauthor.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay
A recent review for The Prince’s Man
D. W. Peach Wonderfully written September 24, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and skillfully-written fantasy novel. I was particularly taken with the tight narrative, not a wasted scene or conversation, every word counting as the story unfolded. This contributed to a quick pace and complimented the well-considered plot that comes together with a satisfying ending. Though the first in a series, The Prince’s Man can also be read as a stand-alone.
All that good stuff, and then there’s more… the characters are fabulous, deeply flawed and sympathetic at the same time. The relationship between Rustam and Risada takes center stage. There are hints of a romantic attraction but the reader is saved from moon eyes and heaving chests by a very real tension based on past experiences, current loyalties, and objectives. Despite being allies, there’s a lot of loathing going on here. I love that.
Elves, trolls, and were-cats throw the story into the classic fantasy genre and are integral to the plot and underlying theme of the book. The political machinations are realistic enough to be recognizable today. Prejudices, bigotry, genocide, and beliefs in cultural superiority are alive and well in her world-building. The characters are forced to revisit their worldviews, but just like in real life, they will only open their eyes so wide. And Jay doesn’t hold back on the brutality.
I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series and seeing what happens to the two main characters as well as a host of others who intrigued me no end. Recommended for anyone who loves a good fantasy.
Abbie Johnson Taylor, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Dress-Abbie-Taylor-ebook/dp/B07VJK8S82 Blog: https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/801698.Abbie_Johnson_Taylor
One of the recent reviews for My Ideal Partner
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Accolades are due Ms. Johnson Taylor. I must say that it is not just for caregivers, it is a love story, a story of inspiration and determination, and a story that will make you want to read more books by this author. I, personally, am glad that Abbie does not hold anything back.
One of the recent reviews for Mahoney
Jjspina A Memorable Historical Novel that Will Become A Classic One Day! November 27, 2019
An historical novel with epic proportions that chronicles the lives of three generations of Mahoneys. Part 1 begins with Devin Mahoney and his struggles to survive living in Ireland during a famine and how he travels from his homeland to America to begin a new life of prosperity in the Land of Milk and Honey. The author delves into the historical background of the time and how the Irish had to deal with bias and bigotry when they arrived in their new home.
Part 2 takes the reader through the colorful life of Dillon Mahoney as he travels across the West and has encounters with outlaws, an Indian and nearly loses his life. Being a man of courage and convictions he strives to do all he can to correct what he feels need to be corrected by stopping the outlaws from doing any more harm to others.
Part 3 comes full circle with the next generation of Mahoneys, David. He is a troubled soul and spoiled by his father who wanted to give him all he could to make the way easier for him. David must find his way on his own.
This story touched my soul and made me think of my grandparents who came to this country and struggled to make their way by working hard and sacrificing for their children. An unforgettable novel that is a must read. Even my husband who doesn’t talk about many books has not stopped talking about this one. He has even told his friends about it. They are now reading it too.
I have read a few other books by this talented author and enjoyed them all but this book, in my opinion, is his best to date. It’s a memorable historical novel that will stay with me for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a classic and one day we see it up on the big screen. Kudos to Andrew Joyce for creating such a wonderful story.
One of the recent reviews for Twenty Years After “I Do”
November 16, 2019
The author married a man who is twenty years her senior. At the time of their marriage, she did reflect on what could or would happen in the future as the relentless march of time took its toll, but she loved Gordon so much that she decided to grab the happiness and job life was offering her.
I found this book particularly interesting because my mother is ten years older than my father. My mother has always been “young” for her age and my father a bit “older” for his. They are now 80 and 70, respectively, and it has been interesting to watch the changes to their relationship and lifestyle. Ten years is half of twenty years, so such a big age gap does seem rather overwhelming to me and I was curious as to how the couple managed their life together now that they were both older. It turns out that they manage very well indeed, and I found this memoir uplifting and even inspiring.
The author addresses all sorts of aspects of married life, many of which are relevant in any marriage, regardless of the age of the spouses. I learned a lot from her thoughts and ideas, in particular, the idea of counting to ten before speaking in rage and never saying anything deliberately spiteful or hurtful. I have heard this message before, but never understood it quite like this. I am going to take this lesson learned forward in my life especially in my relationship with my one son, who is so like me we often fight like cat and dog.
The information covered in this book about living with a senior and travelling with a senior is useful to anyone who spends time and travels with parents so it is all very relevant and useful. I is also interesting to note how the author manages medications and illness with her senior husband.
This is a great book with numerous important messages that can be enjoyed and appreciated by people of all age groups looking to gain the best from life and relationships.
*Iain Kelly, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Iain-Kelly/e/B07K327PC2/ – Website: https://iainkellywriting.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16234941.Iain_Kelly
One of the recent reviews for State of Denial
A very well done book two. State of Denial picks up a few years after A Justified State and is set in the same near future world. It introduces a new character, Maxine Aubert, to the familiar cast. Max is a journalist who becomes drawn into the impossible rebellion against the all powerful State. Our favorite character, Danny, is now living in the wilderness, having escaped the all controlling city after the events of Book One. He is forced back to the city and once there becomes entangled once again in city politics, the election and the machinations of an ex-spy he once thought of as a friend.
This is an easy series to get drawn into. Well written, the plot flows effortlessly through it like the river though the city. Danny is a well developed character and Max’s introduction is a joyful contribution to the story of intrigue and the makings of a civil war. The futuristic elements of the setting are cleverly thought through and easy to imagine. The concept of a government state doing everything in its power to keep control of its citizens is a frightful yet realistic theme.
A gripping sci fi that is a little bit horrifying and a lot entertaining.
****Daniel Kemp, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daniel-Kemp/e/B075XRTBRP/
One of the recent reviews for What Happened in Vienna Jack on Goodreads
If you like the novels of Graham Greene and Len Deighton, then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this very engrossing read, by Daniel Kemp. Set in the 1970s, this thriller is very atmospheric of the times and I really enjoyed the plot (no spoilers here folks) which involved historic secrets the establishment didn’t want revealed.
Mr Kemp has obviously studied the period and also the events leading up to the Second World War extensively and upon finishing the novel, I had to wonder whether the events he portrays, could in fact have happened.
I will certainly be reading more of Mr Kemp’s novels.
An early review for Creative Solutions for the Modern Writer.
While not necessary, you really should read Ms. Kent’s dystopian novel, Fallout first. It’s not required, but it would help you understand when she outlines her method of preparing to write a story. (BTW, I did read and enjoy, ‘Fallout.’)
While I am a 15% planner/85% ‘pantser’ writer, I’ve seen a lot of methods of setting up a novel outline. Ms. Kent gives the reader several different approaches for those who ‘think differently’ than others do. In high school and college, I took several various chemistry courses, but still had a problem understanding the Periodic Table of Elements. In my fifth chemistry course, an instructor said something that opened my eyes, and suddenly the chart made perfect sense.
In a ‘how-to’ book to plan a novel, I never thought I read about ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,’ a month-long topic in one of my psychology courses being used to explain plot development. Interesting concept!
At the end of this story, Ms. Kent lists many useful tools and how to get them. If you are a beginning author, those tools alone are worth the money for the book.
While I’ll never be a ‘planner,’ I will put some of these concepts to use. I’ve always started with a premise, a basic idea of where I was going, and an ending. All I had to do, then was to use my premise and work my way to my conclusion. It’s worked for me. Harmony’s information will influence my next novel. Thank you!
Lynda Lambert, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC
Website and blog: http://www.lyndalambert.com/
One of the early reviews for Star Signs
Ruth writes beautifully and describes so naturally many themes from the delights of Greece, past memories, present life through grappling with changes, the kindness of strangers and the love of family, friends and romantic love. I found this book refreshing, thought provoking and a delight to read. Thank you. Look forward to the next!
***Jean Lee, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6
Website: https://jeanleesworld.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18139027.Jean_Lee
One of the recent reviews for NIght’s Tooth
In the Mississippi River Valley, during the latter part of the nineteenth century, bounty hunter Sumac seeks shadowy bandit, Night’s Tooth. However, though gifted with magical powers, Sumac isn’t the only one tracking the mysterious outlaw, and he’ll need to keep his wits about him if he aims to get the better of Sheriff Jenson and the golden boys…
A mix of classic western and fantasy, Jean Lee’s novella is set on the edges of her Princeborn universe (see Fallen Princeborn: Stolen). Her use of language is delightful, with an unusual writing style that’s as clever as it is original. The characters are an interesting lot, too, (like the Sherriff with the squirrel-tails moustache). Drop them all into an atmospheric Clint Eastwood-type setting, and there’s plenty of action to keep the reader guessing what’s coming next.
Unlike Fallen, this one isn’t aimed at Young Adult readers, but if you like cowboy stories with a dollop of the weird and strange, this’ll be right up your old west Main Street.
One of the recent reviews for LIfe in a Flash
This generous collection of flash fiction is full of quirky humor. Le Pard has a way of exaggerating recognizable human interactions and bringing to light their inherent nonsense in a fresh and delightful way. I kept opening my Kindle during the night to read one or two more.But humor isn’t the only offering on the book’s pages. Sprinkled among the laughs are some poignant stories that strum the heartstrings, and some social commentary that points to the human condition and the current struggles faced by many. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy flash fiction and a clever and imaginative take on life.
I received an advance reader copy from the author for this review, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her memoir. I was immediately drawn in by the prologue that tells how Marian as a young school teacher was called before the bishops, and of course I just had to skip forward to read the rest of that story near the end of the book. Only then was I ready to go back and start at the beginning. For those of us plain or fancy, Mennonite or not, there’s lots to love in this memoir–how one woman looks back on her life with compassion and even forgiveness for those who have wronged her, how she grows to accept her past and move into a new future, with drawings by her husband plus family photos, a glossary of her parents’ made-up sayings (like “hickamoriah”–isn’t that a great word for whatever you don’t have a name for?) a few recipes, and some questions for discussion.
**Paulette Mahurin, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/
Blogsite: https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
One of the recent reviews for Irma’s Endgame
I enjoyed the complexity of the characters in this work. They feel like real people, dealing with real problems. Which is a difficult feat to pull off for any author, dealing with stark realism. The story of a doctor accused of manslaughter is intriguing in and of itself but giving the lawyer a personal investment in him is the essence of drama and kept me turning the pages. An excellent work.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Her house is haunted by a girl who lives in the mirror, her dad returned from a strange disappearance oddly aged, and inanimate objects can talk to her and control her. Her cat is capable of disappearing, a talent shared by her dark, handsome, and creepy crush, Ryder. Her family is cursed. Amelina is not a happy teenager.
Each chapter is a puzzle piece that leads the reader deeper into Amelina’s experience. The first third of the book is primarily exposition – filling the reader in through dreams, memories, visions, and the mutterings of the girl in the mirror. The odd things that happen to Amelina reminded me of the adventures of Alice in Wonderland, the connection and significance of each puzzle piece not yet clear. The line from the book, “Nothing is crazy. Everything is possible” sums it up.
For a while, the story shift and focuses on Amelina and Ryder, a budding romance riddled with teenage angst and hinting at a darker side to the handsome teen. It’s not until near the end of the book that Amelina’s goal —to rid her family of its curse— takes over, accompanied by the means to accomplish her wish.
I liked the character of Amelina and was sympathetic to her plight. She’s stuck in that teenage place of caring for one’s parents while also thinking they’re annoying. The use of crystals was intriguing and included the real-life power and wisdom that crystals are thought to possess. The read is full of teenage-life details, and I recommend it for YA readers.
***Sharon Marchisello, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/ Blog https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4297807.Sharon_Marchisello
One of the reviews for Going Home on Goodreads
Michelle DePalma is going home. When she arrives at her mom’s house, she finds her mother’s caregiver in a pool of blood. Her mom, the only other person in the house, is the main suspect. A convenient suspect too, since she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember what happened. So it’s up to Michelle to find out the truth. She sets off on a quest to find out who the real killer is, but this unexpectedly takes her on a journey back to her own past—a past that holds secrets and trauma—which she now has to face again.
Her mother, meanwhile, is much worse than she anticipated. This book is a statement of how vulnerable people become when their memory starts to fail. It’s a story about dementia, how it impacts both patient and family, how taking care of a loved one can be a struggle, and how bit by bit, you lose the person you knew, as they slowly fade away. The confusion, the paranoia, and the physical decline—it’s all there.
The mystery had some nice twists and was compelling. The ending, although unexpected, felt a little abrupt to me.
One of the recent reviews for Silent Payback
I read this book in two sittings when I should have been doing other things. Another chapter…. okay another chapter. Eh, just one more. That’s how my day went, and suddenly I was at the end of the story. In reflecting on the read, one thing I noticed is that the pace is flawless, unrelenting in the way it pulled me through the pages. Not every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, but there is barely a wasted word, so I was never bored. I was intrigued.
The main character David, a police investigator, is the focus of the story, but multiple POVs (first and third person) gave me glimpses into other characters. That included the people surrounding him in his personal life… and the soon-to-be victims of a serial killer. And both (all) perspectives were valid since there are two – almost equally important – storylines running through the novel.
For one, there’s a killer on the loose. He has an interesting twist to his personality, which occasionally had me second-guessing his identity. The peeks into the lives of the ordinary people who ended up being victims intensifies the wrongness of the murders.
The second plot-line follows David’s struggle with a secret, and he has a significant choice facing him in the near future (no spoilers here). The author handles this topic with grace, and the human story is a nice counterpoint to the descriptions of senseless murder. I enjoyed both as well as the way they were woven together. In general, characterizations are well-done. These are believable people, and the ones we get to know are flawed with imperfect lives, trying to make them work with what they have. Sounds familiar.
The short Prologue is a bit clunky, and there are a few editing glitches, but I recommend getting past those for the well-crafted drama beneath. In Chapter One, the story settles in and is well worth it. An enjoyable read for those who like murder mysteries, thrillers, and a human story.
One of the recent reviews for Extra Innings
A creative story of time travel that was gripping with its ever-changing twists and turns in the storyline. Joe McLean is a lonely soul whose only joy in life is cheering for his beloved baseball team. Strange things happen when Joe purchases a stadium seat as a memento as his baseball team’s stadium is set to be demolished. What Joe doesn’t know is that this seat is a passageway to travel in time.
This was a fascinating premise that kept me riveted to find out how Joe will change his life each time he traveled in time. Would he be able to put things in order in his life, regain Beth, his ex-wife’s love again, find a way to keep his parents alive longer, help his brother become financially secure, and get his business in order? Can we ever turn back time and correct our mistakes?
I highly recommend this book if you want answers to these questions and love time travel plots. This was an enjoyable read! The author did a commendable joy of keeping each log of time travel straight.
One of the recent reviews for Wings of Prey
Emelynn discovers something from the past that has her doubting everything she knows about her family. As she delves into the past, the buried secrets could pit her against the ruling body of the flyers and her own boyfriend. But she has always had her own moral compass and feels she needs to act accordingly. Knowing she could lose everything makes her every decision critical even though she knows the chances of her success are slim.
This book six in the series. Although it can be read as a stand alone but I recommend that you begin at the start of the series. It is a great paranormal book and a great series. The characters are interesting and well known to the those of us who have read the series. They are interesting, full of strengths, weaknesses, talents and flaws, all of which draw you into the story. The storyline is well written full of suspense, emotional drama, dangerous situation, action, romance and heat. The great writing keeps you interested in the story until the end. It is a great series worth reading if you love paranormal action and romance.
Please visit Marcia’s Amazon page to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews That Darkest Place
The third book of the Riverbend series focuses primarily on Painter brothers, Jackson and Forrest, though youngest brother Hunter, is still a strong presence in his unique and quiet way. I fell in love with his character in book two.
At the end of Finding Hunter, Jackson was behaving horribly—lashing out at those around him, physically and verbally abusive. He ended up in a car accident believed to be the result of drunk driving. In That Darkest Place, the truth of what really took place and why is quickly revealed. Once brought to light, Jackson’s long road to recovery begins.
Once again, Meara tackles some weighty issues, but the most powerful theme is the unshakable bond of family, specifically brothers. Forrest and Hunter are not about to let Jackson muddle through on his own. Presenting a united front, they eventually have Jackson back to functioning almost normally again. Along the way there are physical and emotional hurdles to overcome, but there are also heartwarming and humorous moments to offset the weightier scenes.
A recent review for FDR on Goodreads
The Little Miss History series is incredible! The author’s newest release, Little Miss History goes to Hyde Park, home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is another spectacular learning book in this series; this book takes the reader on a tour of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s house and his personal and political life. This series is always interesting, has vivid illustrations, and is written in a way that children, and adults, will love. Kudos to Barbara Ann Mojica!
****Shehanne Moore, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shehanne-Moore/e/B00CMBK7BW
Blog: https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7029905.Shehanne_Moore
One of the recent reviews for O’Roarke’s Destiny
Raindancer 54 A wonderful Cornish romp to lose yourself in 2 October 2019
Destiny Rhodes is everything a woman of her time isn’t supposed to be. She’s independent, no man’s fool, no man’s silly plaything and is certainly a match for anyone who attempts to stand in her way. She may have fallen on hard times, she may be in quite a pickle actually, but no way will she ever take the easy way out. And no way will anyone dictate to her – especially not Divers O’Roarke, however attractive he might be. She’s got the measure of him – but does he have the measure of her?
O’Roarke’s Destiny is a well written romp of a historical romance that breaks all the rules. In typical Shehanne Moore style, the heroine lands herself in life threatening, dangerous, awkward and, at times, hilarious situations – largely of her own making. How will she make it out of this one? You have to keep reading to find out.
Set against the backdrop of a rugged Cornish landscape, with a cast of characters and plot to keep you entertained for hours, this is a novel to dive into, wrap yourself up in and not emerge until you’ve finished.
****Jacqui Murray, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ
Website: https://worddreams.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray
What a way to start a sequel! We pick up right where the first book leaves off, and the author is thorough and detailed with providing the necessary information a new reader might need in order to understand what is happening.
Give me a strong, brave, and compassionate female protagonist any day of the week, and I’m your reader. Author Jacqui Murray does not disappoint. Xhosa, our heroine, is determined to lead her tribe to safety in this prehistoric world. She is up against competition within her own tribe as well as from other tribes. Murray has clearly done her research. We learn interesting details and information about medicinal uses for plants, relationships, language, survival, and it is written with credibility, drama, intrigue, and passion.
The story follows several perspectives of well-rounded characters so that we see the quest from a few angles, and we soon become entrenched in their individual goals and motivations. The setting and descriptions are richly detailed, and the writing is consistently strong.
I highly recommend “The Quest for Home” to anyone who enjoys prehistoric adventures and stories led by compelling characters.
****Jessica Norrie, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jessica-Norrie/e/B01CEUZF26
Website: https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3270629.Jessica_Norrie
One of the recent reviews for The Magic Carpet
Amazon CustomerLively and endearing 25 October 2019
I so enjoyed this book! The interwoven voices and experiences of 5 families, all coming from different parts of the world, living in the same street, but in isolation, hardly knowing one another at the beginning of the novel and who slowly come to form a community through the Magic Carpet, a school project involving pupils and their families, brought me back to East London when I spent the last 18 years of my career. Each character, including children who have their own voices, is well drawn and developed. The writing, fluid and lively, deceivingly simple, brought me at the centre of scenes, and gave me a sense of intimacy with characters. Some of the unexplained parts of their past added a halo of mystery and pulled me closer to them. I wanted to remain in the street and continue being with each of them, their new lives enriched by their neighbours. Loved the last page with the local Pied Piper (the ice-cream man). A good way to part.
Please visit Amazon or Olga’s blog to view all her books.
One of the recent reviews for Escaping Psychiatry – Beginnings on Goodreads
When I review books and want to focus my review on the author’s particular qualities, I tend to find myself looking for a single word that best sums up the experience I had. Sometimes the word might be ‘thrilling’, sometimes ‘clever’, sometimes ‘imaginative’, and yes, sometimes ‘dull’. I wasn’t long into the pages of Escaping Psychiatry: Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret when my mind was assailed by the word ‘subtle’.
Olga is a master (or, in these PC times, should that be ‘mistress’?) of the art of subtlety. Her well-written prose sails along at its own quiet pace, but here and there, almost unnoticed, she sows little hints, tiny nuances, like occasional minute breadcrumbs along the way, that will ultimately become significant in the overall spectrum of the story.
In the early pages, during what seems like a normal conversation, Núñez Miret doles out enough information to keep us interested but stealthily, without quite knowing why, the reader finds himself wondering if Paul’s innocuous proposition to Mary is quite as straightforward as it seems.
Mary is being asked to go to Paul’s Law firm and make a psychological assessment of a new client, a writer who, during a sudden fracas, accidentally killed a stalker who had been harassing him for months. She meets Paul’s boss and other colleagues, and eventually the client, but while Núñez Miret records the events in a straightforward manner, she subtly underpins her writing with an aura of doubt that has the reader again wondering if there is something more to all of this than meets the eye.
I really enjoyed this story. It is well told, filled with real characters, but what impressed me most is the author’s restraint when it comes to psychiatric insights. I learnt from her bio that Núñez Miret is a highly qualified academic who has, herself, practiced psychiatry for a number of years. She could have been forgiven, therefore, for padding her story with complex and impressive psychobabble. But instead, and again there springs to mind that word ‘subtle’, the lead character, Mary, uses her insights to ask a simple question of the client. And that was it! It was as if a bomb had suddenly exploded in courthouse’s antechamber.
This is an engaging story, very well written. I would have perhaps liked it to have been a little bit longer but longer books may well be in the pipeline. I have no hesitation is recommending this books to those who enjoy cozy 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
Reading about style is about the last thing an aspiring writer would want to read about. But for the serious writer, reading and studying style guides are essential to the craft. This style guide was clearly and succinctly written with plenty of examples to make the medicine go down easily! I recommend this book for both the new writer and the seasoned veteran.
****Marina Osipova, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Romance-Novel-Love-War-ebook/dp/B0794VPFRW – Website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4701687.Marina_Osipova
One of the recent reviews for – Order number 227: From Stalin with Love
“Order 227: From Stalin with Love” is the most recent entry in a series of books about World War II, written by Marina Osipova. I certainly enjoyed this one as much as her previous book “A Cruel Roman: A Novel of Love and War.”
The Stalin book consists of two separate, but related stories, about humanity, respect and love for people, regardless of their hope or nation, as well as the way in which people deal with wartime atrocities.
It is helpful for the reader to understand that, under Stalin, many people were arrested on weak charges and imprisoned and executed with no trial.
But it must also be remembered that not everyone involved in Stalin’s war effort necessarily agreed with his policies, and were not heartless, but that they had to do what they had to do in order for themselves to remain alive.
The first of this book’s two stories deals with a commanding officer, who tried to treat those destined to die under his charge with respect and compassion. It also deals with the regret and sorrow he bore in not being able to spare their lives.
The book’s second story deals with a woman who risked her own life in protecting Soviet soldiers and sheltering a German soldier from capture and certain execution. But who came to her home, and what’s happened there? Why did she did this? You will get answers to this questions as soon as you starting to read …
Thank you very much Marina for your excellent righting and I am looing forward to reading your future books with eager anticipation.
***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
It’s been just over a year since Callie inherited the Marketville house from her father. She is ready to give up the house but decides to stay in Marketville and open up her own business with a few of her new friends. Thus Past and Present Investigations is born, and this is not your average P.I. firm. They quickly get their first client, a lady who wants to know what happened to her Grandmother. You will not believe how the past connects the present.
After finishing book one I could not wait to read this book. This book did not disappoint. It was just as good as the first one with plenty of twists and turns to take you on a wonderful mysterious ride. The characters are real with quirky personalities. I love how the group of women come together and use each person’s strength to solve the mystery. The plot is well developed and the story moves along at a quick pace. This story is full of suspense and humor. I can not wait to read the next book in the series.
I listened to the audio version of this book the narrator Claira Jordyn does a wonderful job with her voice acting. Even with the story being told from Callie’s POV Jordyn does a great job voicing each character. She helps bring the story to life.
***Annika Perry, Buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annika-Perry/e/B0789NNWFX
Blog https://annikaperry.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry
One of the early reviews for Oskar’s Quest
I received an ARC of this delightful book from the author. In this beautifully illustrated children’s book, author Annika Perry captures the importance of caring for others, overcoming fears and making new friends. Young children are sure to relate as a fearful Oskar steps out of his comfort zone and embarks on a perilous journey in an effort to save a beautiful songbird and return happiness to an island where he’s been stranded during a fierce storm. I loved the author’s generous use of onomatopoeia to paint memorable word pictures for little readers and listeners. PLIP-PLOP, FLASH, BANG—the story’s excitement builds. Delightful! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author
Please visit Amazon to view all of Jemima’s books.
A recent review for Princelings of the East Book 1 on Goodreads
D.A. McGrath rated it Four Stars
Something is wrong in the East. Unexplained power outages have cursing the land, and they are getting worse. The King isn’t happy, especially when his birthday extravaganza is ruined.
Princelings George and Fred know that it is only a matter of time before the superstitious King starts to blame their ‘experiments’ for the power problems, so they decide to set out of the castle they call home to investigate the strange goings on for themselves. Only they’ve never left the East before, and don’t really know what to expect.
The Princelings of the East is an easy read at 162 pages, set in a world that’s a bit like ours but mostly not. I enjoyed getting to know George and Fred and the people they meet on their journey, and I also liked the imaginative world that they occupy (imagine living in a world where power is generated using strawberry juice!). If I have any grumbles about this book it would be that I would have enjoyed getting under the skin of the main characters a bit more.
Overall, a fun read that I would highly recommend.
***Toni Pike, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y
Website www.tonipike.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14736589.Toni_Pike
My review for Desolation Bluff July 30th 2019
Life is challenging enough for those with a sight impairment, when trust of those around you is essential. Oliver Cameron feels blessed to have a highly successful writing career, loyal housekeeper, a wonderfully supportive wife and best friend and back from honeymoon, he couldn’t be happier.
As we become involved in the story, and are party to events that Oliver is not aware of, it is easy to become angry on his behalf as the depths of betrayal are exposed. How will he deal with the revelations that unfold? Seeking revenge requires careful planning but people will go to great lengths to protect their secrets. For some of those who are looking out for Oliver’s best interests, this can be dangerous. Especially when an unexpected ally turns up on the scene who might be less likely to be intimidated.
The characters are well drawn and the plot moves along at a good pace. It is easy to take sides as the story develops and the climax leaves you on the edge of your seat…. and Desolation Bluff.
***J. E. Pinto, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0101KE0N6
A recent review for Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car
I read most of this book when I couldn’t sleep last night, And the rest of it with my morning cup of coffee. I love the way she mixes humor with compassion and gives us a glimpse into the world of blind parenthood. Although this is a central theme in the book, there is so much more to it. One can learn lessons of empathy, living each moment to the fullest, solving problems creatively, looking beyond the surface, and The beauty of looking at the world through a child’s imagination. The love between daughter and mom shines through so brightly in this book. Makes me want to meet them!
***Gwen Plano, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-M.-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04/
One of the recent reviews for The Choice
September 13, 2019
This is a sequel jumps in where the first book ended. Someone attempted to assassinate the US President at an Air Force Base in northern California. The central characters, Brad Channing and Sarah O’Brien, from the first book died saving the President. The AF Base Commander, General Taylor, wants to know what happened and why former Navy Seal, Brad Channing, became involved and saved the President. He calls upon the Navy Seal Commander at Annapolis, Admiral Parker, to help solve the mystery. When Adm. Parker arrives at the AF Base, he meets Donna Tucker who had been Sarah O’Brien’s Best-Friend and asks for Parker’s help in finding out what happened to Sarah and Brad. Gen Taylor and Adm. Parker agree to let Donna help because Donna knows where Sarah kept all her journals about the assassination team.
Taylor and Parker are formulating their plan of action when nefarious forces begin killing senior Cabinet officials, starting with the Secretary of Defense who is killed shortly after returning to WASH DC after visiting Taylor and Parker.
Spooks and spies come out of the woodwork, literally bugs hid everywhere. Parker calls in a favor from Seal members across the country, who recover Sarah’s journals’ out from under the feet of the CIA. Her journals make it clear a shadowy character known as the Lion is trying to bring down the US government and other heads of state to reorganize the world in the Lion’s new order. People on and around the AF Base are being killed by remote controlled bombs but Taylor and Parker can’t find the connection that ties it all together.
The powers that be, whether in the Lion’s control or not, are wondering what happened at the AF base and why all the attacks continue at the base, putting even more pressure on Taylor and Parker to make sense of whose is attacking the President and the US government.
In the midst of this turmoil loves blossoms between Parker and Donna and Taylor’s old flame, Julie Underwood, is asked to present an expose on live TV.
Taylor and Parker have based the hopes that once the skullduggery is exposed on TV by Julie, the scheme will fall apart. The press and media assemble at the AF base to listen to Julie’s presentation when a shot is fired.
Did the Lion succeed in his plot or will love conquer all?
This is a fast-paced story with adventure and intrigue in the middle of a love story. It’s an easy read, well-edited and no typos. I enjoyed this book enough to order the first book.
A recent review for The Gemini Connection
This is one of the best sci-fi stories I’ve read in a long, long time. What I loved about it the most was the dynamics in the relationships between, Evan and Max, Syd and Evan, Simon and Max, and of course, the Gemini connection between, Evan and Simon. The intensity of these relationships alone is enough to keep the reader intrigued page after page in this brilliantly penned masterpiece.
**Christa Polkinhorn, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Christa-Polkinhorn/e/B003LA7T8W
One of the recent reviews for The Italian Sister
Not only is this a fascinating family drama, the combination of wine and mystery is absolutely perfect. From California to Tuscany, this book is a page turner! Even if you are a true wine expert, you’ll learn so much more about Italian wines. Christa Polkinhorn’s descriptions of the Tuscany landscape will make you want to go to Italy tomorrow!
One of the recent reviews for The New Asylum
Frank catches the essence of life in a few words, he has the gift of enabling you to see it all.
Because my wife is a nurse, I approached The New Asylum eagerly. I wondered what Franks vivid descriptions would make of psychiatry, a field he knows so well. For a lot of people, it’s a difficult subject and one that I thought might be difficult to capture with empathy.
I needn’t have had any doubts about the content. I was not disappointed in the way Frank describes it. Living with a nurse (of any discipline), you get to hear all sorts of stories about life on and off the wards.
While there is great sadness in the job, there is also humour and hope. The humour is necessary, without it, survival would be impossible for staff faced with the day to day travails of caring for the patients. These poems have it all, poignant, sympathetic and non-judgemental, they are infused with ‘nursiness’, that mixture of no-nonsense and kindness that’s the hallmark of the professional.
And it bought back memories, in fact, the whole collection is stuffed with perfectly observed vignettes of nursing and asylum life; the patients, the staff and the reality of the job. It’s impossible to single one out, they all contain nuggets.
My favourite two are The Smell of Stockings and Not a lot Anymore, In the first, Frank describes nursing shoes perfectly, my wife used to keep hers outside on the window ledge (for obvious reasons). In the other, an old hand sums up the categories of mental illness.
The poems are grouped into sections and take the reader on a journey through the asylum through the eyes of a student and a nurse. There are also observations and stories of life, seen from all sides. And they show that, in the midst of despair, there is hope. There are a cadre of carers, who even if they can’t cure, can make things better.
I recommend The New Asylum, it’s a sensitive handling of a subject that, for so long, has been ignored.
A recent review for The Fall of Lilith
Vashti Quiroz-Vega paints a fascinatingly dark picture of the dawn of creation in The Fall of Lilith! As angels rebel against God following Lilith, humanity falls into their crosshairs. Quiroz-Vega’s look at a time before humanity was incredibly intriguing, filled with depth and action that kept me flipping for more! Check this one out if you love angels or fantasy with a darker twist!
****Amy Reade, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade
One of the recent reviews for Trudy’s Diary
Trudy’s Diary, the first in a new mystery series by Amy Reade, had me from page one. Daisy Carruthers is working to recreate her life when finds herself trying to solve two murders …or is it more? The narrative of present-day Daisy alternates with nineteenth-century Trudy after she starts reading Trudy’s diary, and it kept me reading late into the night. The plot, full of twists and turns, and the memorable characters made for a fascinating read. I love mysteries and loved this one! I highly recommend it.
***Cynthia Reyes, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Reyes/e/B00F1HTQQ6
Blog: https://cynthiasreyes.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7072186.Cynthia_Reyes
One of the recent reviews for Twigs in My Hair
Cynthia Reyes has published another excellent memoir, “Twigs in my Hair”, accompanied by lovely photographs from Hamlin Grange. The chapters are well-written, straight from her heart, the vivid descriptions leaving me with the feeling that I was there, too, seeing all through her words. Although I knew I would love this book based on her earlier memoirs, ” A Good Home” and “And Honest House”, I found myself particularly moved by her latest work, as she takes her readers through her early days and gardens in Jamaica, her first real teacher and mentor, Mr. Smith, to all the various gardeners she has come to know, learn from and share with over the years. Beginning with her accounting of her elderly mentor Mr. Smith, it became apparent that one’s relationships with others need to be tended just like our gardens, each person being different, with different needs.
Lives are gardens, blossoming and fruiting if carefully tended. Love of gardening and love of life, even in the face of physical adversity in the form of a serious accident, are the ties that bind this work to the heart of not only any gardener, but to anyone with an interest in life.
***Jane Risdon, Buy: Amazon UK Blog:https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon
One of the recent reviews for Undercover Crime Shorts
A fantastic collection of short stories by Jane Risdon who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Each story twist and turns and just when you think you h