Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore has been offering authors FREE book promotion for the last five years. With the various promotions each week and average of 25 authors are featured with their new releases, recent reviews, extracts and special promotions such as the Christmas Book Fair. Additionally there is an opportunity to participate in the Meet the Author and Posts from Your Archives…In the last twelve months there have been over 500 promotions shared on the blog and across my social media network of just over 46,000 connections.
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.
Please read the post at the following link to find out more about what I need from you: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves 2021 – #Free book promotion
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 130 plus authors in the bookstore and on average 15 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.
Once you are an author in the bookstore you can take advantage of the Cafe and Bookstore Update which goes out on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as specials such as Meet the Authors, Share an Extract and the Christmas Book Fair.
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 six 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 no promotional posts for the last six months either for reviews or new releases.
I love promoting other authors and I am very happy to do so as a FREE service but it does take considerable time during the week to compile and promote posts with several authors and their books. It makes a difference when authors participate in the process. Also it works best when authors in the Cafe share other author’s updates from time to time. If you feel that you don’t have the time to participate in your own promotions either new books or reviews, then perhaps this promotion is not for you.
I also ask authors to individually respond to comments from readers of their promotions including in the weekly updates, as it does encourage both engagement and sales.
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 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.
SMORGASBORD CAFE AND BOOKSTORE
A recent review for A Haiku Perspective 2016
I am a fan of Ms Aben’s lovely haikus and other poetry. She is one of the most uplifting people I know and her writing makes me feel happy and able to face the world which isn’t always a happy place. I think this is a real gift. I often have a peep into one of the poet’s books when I feel in need of some happy dust. A few examples of her work from this book are as follows:
Nice moments are grand
Giving us distraction
And Great Memories”
Sometimes life hugs you
Just when you least expect it
A whisper of hope”
From Born to Bless
“You’ll be the rainbow
The moment your remember
You always were”
One of the recent reviews for Bounty Hunter
This may be my favorite installment of this series to date. Between this one and the two previous books I’m feeling like the series is maturing as a whole. The first book “Soul Taker” did a good job of introducing us to the author’s vision of this world, while “Sundance” and “Demon Tracker” started fleshing that world and its characters out more and more. In “Bounty Hunter” we dive more deeply into this series and get a new perspective from one of the actual members of the Council of Twelve.
This time we start out seeing things from the perspective of Centriel who having seen how the world’s of his fellow Archangels have changed, and wondering if he will ever find such happiness. Then he meets Simin a Demon Hunter and soon both their worlds’ are turned upside down, and we are soon drawn deeper into the manipulations of Hell and it’s many minions.
Finally, I want to say I loved the interactions with Simin and Zei, our heroine from the last book. I also enjoy how well the author integrates characters and dangers from the previous installments series, like the fact that Sundance is still trying to deal with problems from her time as a prisoner in Hell.
In short, this latest book like it really fit nicely into the world we’ve been introduced to, while at the same time expanding it at the same time. A really great read. Can’t wait for the next volume.
One of the recent reviews for Blackbirch – The Beginning
This is slightly out of my usual genre preferences. And I’ve read it in 3 days. I admit I’m not even sure what genre it is. Paranormal/thriller with fantasy elements, maybe? So, take the 5-star rating with a grain of salt because it’s mostly based on how it dragged me inside but I can’t comment on genre specifics.
Either way, I was easily gripped by the story. The dream sequences were quite livid and nailed their purpose, and the ending raises just the right questions to make me interested in how it may play out next – to the point I’ll likely return to the story sooner or later.
In Jessica Bakkers’ Guns of Perdition, Book 1 in The Armageddon Showdown (2020), female bounty hunter Grace Dyer and her oversized dire wolf (not really a dire wolf but with those characteristics) Kava are tracking a ruthless killer who murdered Grace’s parents when she was only eleven. Now, she’s grown up, trained herself to be one of the best bounty hunters of demons and monsters in the Old West, and she wants revenge. She funds her search for this personal demon by capturing the worst of the magical monsters, those that often look benign but are as bad as they come. In one small town, hunting a fanged demon that looks like a beautiful saloon girl, Grace gets unexpected help from a seventeen-year-old bar cleaner, Jessie. He saves her life and she allows him to tag along as she pursues her trade despite that he is not brave, not gun-savvy, and doesn’t even own a hat to keep the sun off. Why? He confesses he has nowhere else to go. Grace, Kava, and Jessie become a fighting unit, each with their own strengths but all with one goal: justice for the murders of Grace’s parents.
Though at its most basic, Guns of Pardition is a paranormal story, it includes plenty of popular western elements–guns, bounty hunters, saloons, whores, owlhoots, and the natural justice that tamed the West. Grace is strong, clever, and tenacious. She doesn’t back off and has a few tricks up her sleeve that few bounty hunters or lawbreakers can match. Recommended for those who love wolf stories, Westerns, and original paranormal.
A recent review for Warning Signs
This psychological thriller is told from three points of view: a serial killer, the young woman who loves him, and the detective investigating the serial murders of several teenagers.
Eugene Munroe is a creepy guy, and there were times during the read where the real world disappeared and I was completely absorbed in his strange and fascinating thought processes. Angie is overly needy and desperate for love, and Eugene’s attentions have her ignoring the warning signs that something is wrong. Van Ray is the cop on the case who compromises the law in more ways than one.
The plot starts with a lot of tension that kept me glued to the pages. A significant twist at the halfway point changes the nature of the story, shifting it away from imminent danger into the psychology of the characters. The pace slows slightly as the book works toward a conclusion, but it wraps up the various threads nicely. The writing seemed well researched, particularly related to the serial killer.
I encountered a problem with formatting on my kindle (it may just be my kindle). There were no breaks or indents distinguishing paragraphs. This made the read more difficult for me, but otherwise, I recommend it to fans of thrillers, crime novels, and psychological dramas.
One of the recent reviews for The Heartstone
As with her previous books, what you get in this latest – The Heart Stone – from the pen of Judith Barrow, is consummate storytelling. Other reviewers have detailed the riveting story. I’m reviewing the writing, which in my view is exceptional.
Once again we are privy to the internal and external life of a brilliant central character. Jessie is as courageous as she is challenged. The rawness of her fears and struggles in the face of the horrors of war and its aftermath, are acutely observed. It is her resilience that shines, moving the story as well as Jessie herself, through the big-picture drama and the everyday, as the story unfolds. It’s perfectly paced, cleverly structured and an absolute joy.
What I particularly appreciate about Judith Barrow’s novels is her attention to detail. There is a breadth of history in this book. It’s almost panoramic in places; it’s also deeply personal: the horror of war encapsulated in the experience of one man. A man Jessie loves. But love, not least in a time of war, is never easy for women. And life on the home front during both world wars presented women with a myriad challenges, with choices which were sometimes no choice at all.
The Heart Stone is an unflinching, very real portrayal of people – families – at war. Above all it is a love story to the women who survived WW1. And those who didn’t. Highly recommended. Not enough stars.
*+Johnnie Bernhard buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Johnnie: Goodreads – Website: Johnnie Bernhard Author – Facebook: Author Johnnie Bernhard – Twitter: @JABarnhard – LinkedIn: Johnnie Bernhard
One of the recent reviews Sisters of the Undertow
Sisters of the Undertow by Johnnie Bernhard is a well-written, thought-provoking book about two sisters – Kimberly caught in the undertow of self-absorption and isolation and Kathy caught in the undertow of a premature birth with hearing aids, thick glasses and a low IQ. Those of us with siblings relate to Kimberly and Kathy as they move through their own undertows and respond to the undertows of their sibling. They both need saviors – Kathy chooses Jesus and Kimberly chooses books. Kathy spreads love and joy while Kimberly rejects it. The sisters begin life sharing the same bed, loving each other. The book ends with one of the sisters in bed hoping the other will come home. This is a must-read page-turner for those with siblings. In the end don’t we all wish our siblings will come home?
One of the recent reviews for Marriage Unarranged
I started reading ” Marriage Unarranged” at the beginning of my journey through cancer treatment and at first could not get into it. Ashi so got on my nerves in her breaking up and and going through the motions. It was so bad I had to stop reading it. I guess, her emotional state was too close to mine which I had probably totally ignored.
A couple of months later between chemotherapy and radiotherapy it crossed my path again and I gave it another go. This time, I simply could not put it down and spent a couple of nights reading it.
What I love about the book is it’s vibrant characters which are lovable with edges. They keep a brilliant balance of conflict and harmony. You can see that they were created with much love but in a realistic fashion. I also love that many difficult topics (not only for the Indian community) are touched with tenderness, clarity and a huge amount of kindness. Too often today this isn’t the case and taboos are rather judged and dismissed than looked upon from different angles and with an attitude of wanting to understand rather than judge. That really impressed me.
I believe, “Marriage Unarranged” gives you a deep insight into the life of today’s Indian Community and it left me wanting more.
Besides all that, it is simply a beautiful love story that you can let yourself immerse in and go travelling in your mind. I am so looking forward to more books from Ritu Bathal.
Thanks Ritu, for having given me a break in a very difficult time!
One of the recent reviews for the book
I have a difficult time reading about cruelty of any kind toward children or animals, so I knew going in parts of this book would be a challenge for me. It’s a horrific reality that human trafficking exists in this day and age and is quite common in some areas. So common that when a young girl is abducted by slave traders in Haiti, very little effort goes into trying to find her. Tyler, grieving the death of his wife, and his father-in-law, John, are shocked at the lack of response and vow to find the girl and return her to her mother no matter what. With two Americans in an unfamiliar country taking on such an incredibly dangerous task it won’t be an easy quest. Who can they trust? Where do they even start?
I’d be lying if I said this is an easy read – it’s absolutely not. Tyler’s and John’s journey is filled with obstacles and dead ends, harsh truths, unsavory characters, and violence. Even when their own lives are in danger, neither is willing to abandon their search for this child. The subplots are just as compelling and tragic. Although it portrays very real atrocities that occur far too often, this story is also full of hope and inspiration. There is still good in the world and people who are willing to go to battle against evil.
A recent review for The Seal’s Temptation
Maggie Holt is a DEA agent who needs rest after a traumatic event, Frank Stein was a member of SEAL Team Five and a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy, Retired. There are several other fellow SEALs that are with them. Add into the mix a most interesting character, Amanda Rhinehold, SAC, with her unique style of leadership and this is off to a surprising beginning.
Toss in a group called the Renegade Resolvers, a fundamentalist right wing group hell bent on complete evil and the plot thickens. The setting for this novel takes place mostly at the ranch that Chief Frank Stein owns…
Agent Maggie has had terrible experiences as the result of being held captive and needs to have rest and relaxation to heal herself. It appears that the ranch Frank Stein owns will enable her to get rid of some demons. Loved the stallion, Orenda, and also think Frank, the Chief, is indeed a horse whisperer.
Lots more in this one and the author has managed to describe the brotherhood perfectly that exists between members of a SEAL team…HOOYAH for that.. The topic of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is handled well and the reader feels Maggie’s pain in healing.
The addition of romance offers the reader some respite from the action throughout the novel… When that love buy strikes, it strikes fast…oh, my goodness.. Perfect ending for this outstanding novel…
Excellent character development (including strong female characters), plot well written and the setting on the ranch will make the reader long for a ride on a horse.
Most highly recommended. h a smile. A pleasure to read by an author who is a master at her craft!
A recent review for High Days and Holidays
A great read about the origins and quirks of the things and events which we know and love in Britain, as well as those which you didn’t know so much about! Definitely worth a read.
One of the recent reviews for Her Irish Boyfriend
Sean Donovan (Thief for Hire) doesn’t disappointment in Her Irish Boyfriend. His intellect, cunning instincts, and strength are what it takes to capture this ring of criminals and one ruthless Irish Boyfriend.
Gemma Trask, recently retired from New Scotland Yard, knows there’s something suspicious going on with Danny her boyfriend. He’s keeping his distance from Gemma which leads her to believe even more that he’s up to no good. She seeks help from her friend Donovan to uncover what criminal entanglements she believes Danny might be involved with. It all starts with a cell phone that leads them to multiple crimes. Soon Beth McLean (Donovan’s wife) and Constable Jimmy Flanagan (who analyzes behaviors) join the two in the hunt. The chase is on and involves multiple crimes and criminals. It’s a race to the very end in the pursuit of Danny.
There are so many twists and turns and action packed scenes where Donovan takes more than one tumble but comes out on top. What I always enjoy about the books in the series are the many lands and seas they take me across and in this story I especially liked the fight scenes and string of criminals caught along the way in the search for Her Irish Boyfriend.
A recent review for Voyage of the Lanternfish
I really enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful adventure of pirates on the high seas, along the lines of the famous Treasure Island, but filled with marvelous creatures and unusual beings and people, in the manner of The Hobbit, and incorporating a splash of the science fiction innovation found in the Harry Potter series of books (which I loved). I enjoyed Voyage of the Laternfish more than either Treasure Island or The Hobbit because it also contained some humour and there is nothing like a bit of well written humour for great reading pleasure.
My favourite character was … the root monsters. They were the most fascinating creatures ever reduced to the written word by an amazing imagination. Of them all, Trubba (Trouble) was my favourite and I enjoyed reading about their antics and the theatrical performances they put on to entertain the crew.
When Dan and James are kidnapped, along with Dan’s sister and James’ fiance, Bonnie, this tale of adventure begins. The kidnapper incarcerates Bonnie in his castle to ensure that Dan and James fulfill their promises to help him invoke a war with a rival country. The kidnapper, however, vastly underestimates the determination and abilities of the pair and they escape, hell bent on starting the war on their own terms in order to rescue Bonnie.
Dan and James head towards a sea port, collecting other desperate and outcast people along the way. Their kindness towards others turns out to be a great benefit to them when Mal, an elderly cannibal from a large island in the South Seas who has been forced into slavery, and Fala, a young woman with no home and no protectors, become part of their team. At the seaport, the group meets the captain of a band of pirates looking for adventure and they decide to all work together to become the outstanding pirate crew of a small ship. Before long, the pirates have acquired themselves a much larger and more impressive ship and are gadding about the oceans having lots of adventures.
I thought the ideas and themes in this book were very clever and that it was well written and entertaining fantasy read.
A recent review for Maggie’s Way
A very realistic look at life from Maggie’s point of view.Life is messy,full of surprises, an entertaining sometimes all at once.Very easy read and I found myself wanting to keep reading.
A recent review for The Sum of Our Sorrows on Goodreads
A recent review for Empty Chairs
My review for The Godmother December 18th 2020
The Godmother is a modern twist on a much loved fairy story that has been immortalised in children’s books and in various interpretations in movies.
Cathy Cade brings the story up to date with current day technology which offers an opportunity to expand the adventure to include far flung places, a fiesty Godmother who sticks her nose into foreign intrigue, online communication and dating apps for Prince Charming to browse.
The author takes care to keep the fundamental elements of the original story as far as the characters are concerned, but gives them an upgrade in certain departments. There is also a very cute dog which is a very nice touch.
A lovely short story with some humour and twists to the plot that makes it a pleasure to read.
One of the reviews for Rose and Laurie
I liked the way the book intriguingly explores the different characters in the book from early on to the amazing climax.
One of the recent reviews forThe little ice cream shop by the sea
Lizzie Chantree writes lovely romance novels and her latest is no exception. Her strengths lie in creating wonderful characters, beguiling settings and simple but effective story lines.
The main protagonist Genie has a lot of relatable qualities, such as her hardworking ethos, her strong sense of duty, and sadness at her family leaving to pursue a new life and business without her. Genie’s insecurities about her looks and the behaviour of her neglectful friends and family flame her vulnerabilities. Her uncertainties grow, making her fear that the people she loves will leave her, and this anxiety spills over into her private life.
Nevertheless, her confidence begins to grow as the novel unfolds. It’s a nice change to see a curvy girl feeling happy and sexy in her own body. It is also interesting to see Genie develop a friendship with an older woman, Ada – a grandmother like figure. That’s a nice touch, as is the references to older people and grandparents in general in this story.
As for the hot guys well they had me drooling… Bailey, Cal, Toby, all of which brightened my days, which is always good, as did Genie’s wrestling with her growing attraction towards Cal and to a lesser extent Toby.
The revelations about Cal and Ada and her family are interesting too.
There are lovely touches of humour throughout.
And being that I am partial to the seaside and ice cream, (well food in general – yes I do love my grub,) this is pretty perfect. You can almost taste the ice cream, the writing is that flavoursome good! My recommendation: Get a copy!
A recent view for the The Ghost and his Gold
A Ghost and His Gold combines the paranormal with intense violent battle scenes from 1899-1902; it features three ghosts not only haunting a house and its occupants in present-day South Africa but who are themselves haunted by events in their past lives; it’s a story about seeking forgiveness and ultimately finding redemption.
Furthermore, the book explores not only the horror of war, concentration camps, scorched earth policy but also date rape, rape, violence against women. Can any ever be forgiven? Can anyone carrying out these acts ever find peace within themselves and acceptance by loved ones again?
Initially, A Ghost and his Gold appears to be a normal paranormal ghost story as Michelle and Tom, both working in the finance sector although she is also a part-time writer, move into their new home. The new townhouse is situated on the site of an old Boer homestead. Michelle immediately senses and sees a presence in the house, one that makes itself known to them and their friends during a party using an Ouija board. Tom, a hard-nosed realist, is sceptical that the man named Pieter was there or even existed.
From the close-third person narrative in 2019, the novel switches to 1900 and Pieter is in his house with the family as he is woken by banging on the door with a warning that the ‘khakis’ (British soldiers) are on the way.
It is in the midst of the Second Anglo Boer War and the events focus on Pieter, his strong-willed wife, their daughter Estelle and other children. Estelle is treated with contempt by her mother, a woman who later rejects her.
As another ghost called Robert makes itself known to Michelle, she discovers his journal written whilst he was a British soldier during the war. The first-person perspective of the journal is especially powerful, personal and direct. During the siege of Mafeking, Robert befriends a young man called Richard and he takes him under his wing.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s research of the period is impressive. Yet she does not fall into the trap of using all her knowledge with a flood of information, rather skilfully incorporates detail where necessary; be it of the furniture or buildings of the era, the form of travel, clothes and she is particularly adept at writing battles scenes, the weapons used, their tragic consequences. I felt as if I was in the midst of the carnage, feeling the horrors experienced by Robert, Pieter and the others.
One of the recent reviews for Follow Your Dog
I purchased Ann’s book after losing my guide dog to cancer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has loved a dog, experienced grief in losing one. Guide Dog or Family Pet. I can honestly say that you will find something here that will sound like a personal experience you have witnessed. The first day I picked this book up to read, I couldn’t put it down. This would truly be one of the best books you could gift yourself with. It spoke gently to my heart.
One of the recent reviews for Design Nature For A Colorful Home
Design Nature For A Colorful Home is the latest non-fiction book written by Valentina Cirasola. I previously read several of the author’s other books and found them all to be a wonderful escape into the world of colors, home decor, interior design, international beauty, and immense imagination.
Cirasola is a gifted artisan, and she makes design seem easy. In this brilliant book, she shares various images of nature, then replicates the color palette you could apply to your home to bring the outside in. From bedrooms to kitchens and bathrooms to living rooms, every place in your home has a few dedicated pages that will jumpstart your brand of creativity. I have to admit, she inspired me to really think about the colors I choose and how they relate to my life in the future.
Some of the combinations she’s shared were familiar to me, but mostly it was a fresh look at how dark and light related to one another. I often attempt to duplicate what I see in a picture but rarely understand why. Now, through the author’s words and creativity, I am tempted to try different colors and connections to moments and situations in my life. I’d never realized how much of what surrounds us is part of our day on a grander scale. And Cirasola keenly points out how the choices we make are sometimes influenced by nature and the world of outdoors. Why not make that your initial source of ideas?
Every possible color is addressed in this book. Some sections delve into varying hues and shades, but this is really about applying a scene from nature and matching it to your personality, your house’s structural style, and the way you interact with your belongings and home, et al. Cirasola is a mastermind at pulling so many things together, designers should offer this book to clients as a place to begin when thinking about their future homes.
I’ll definitely be turning to it when I next need to renovate or change the color of a room in my current or future home. I highly recommend you do too. And to top it off, she’s such a warm and generous person, and the connections with food and clothing make everything synchronize together even more beautifully.
One of the recent reviews for End of Day
End of Day is the second book in the Hode’s Hill series. I read them a little out of turn, but I can honestly say doing so did not in any way diminish the story of each.
End of Day pretty much picks up where the first book left off. I was happy to see a character that I thought had a lot of moxie re-appear in the second book. I’m referring to the artist Dante DeLuca, a pain in the side of the Hode family. His dad worked at a lab owned by the Hodes and died there. He is no fan of the prominent Hode family.
Through tradition, Jillian Clay and her sister were responsible for watching and tending after the grave of their ancestor, Gabriel Vane. Vane was the first buried in the ancient cemetery instead of the traditional dog sacrifice, so it fell to him to take the watchdog role to ward off evil spirits.
Jillian’s sister watched the brutal murder of her husband and has not spoken in the last three years. The men who killed him are still at large. When Gabriel’s remains are stolen, decedents of those buried in the cemetery begin having accidents.
I have described only the tip of the mysteries and intrigues that are going on in Hodes Hill. The author does a great job at building suspense by flashing back to the 1700s and then returning to the present day. The reader comes to understand that actions taken back then have consequences now. Mae Clair has also created a cast of characters that are interesting and unique to the story.
The story is compelling, the characters well developed, and a very satisfying ending. I would recommend The End of Day to those who like these elements and excellent writing in their reading.
One of the reviews for Tally; An Intuitive Life
When a young poet stumbles into the life of a Greenwich Village recluse, she meets a bearded old man living in a garret. Surrounded by manuscripts in which he has attempted to comprehend the meaning of life, PJ has entered a time of failing eyesight, physical frailty, and economic uncertainty. Quiet and observant, the young poet Erin, or “Eyes” as PJ soon calls her, begins to help him put his life in order.
“No one is ever conscious of what he is doing or why he is doing it,” PJ said, “even a person who is aware of everything he is doing and after pondering it, can perceive the reason or motivation for it.”
The above is just one of many sentences I underlined last February while I was doing a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center for the Arts. Anyone who makes her or his life in the arts risks winding up like PJ, which is to say not wealthy, except in matters of the spirit.
“PJ’s long bony fingers swept over drifting stacks of books, papers, paintings, typewriter ribbons, photographs and found objets, all jumbled together, everything melting into some other form…’Dali would have had an idea of the melodramatic squalor in which I live,'” PJ told her.
PJ’s intellect and humor makes him an utterly fascinating subject. Some of his musings are brilliant; others, wildly off-the-wall. Genuinely curious, Erin plays along, but occasionally she says, Hey, wait a minute. Her doubts often mirrored questions that came up for me.
As Erin pitches in and begins to go through boxes of PJs manuscripts, she learns about his intuitive approach to life, thus the subtitle. Several chapters develop his idea of the “perceptive intellect.” In others, PJ talks about one of his personas, The Professor of Love.
The book exposes the layers and contradictions.
I’ve reread this book twice since I purchased it, underlining or drawing new smiley faces. If you have ever had an elderly packrat-of-a-relative whose care fell to you, then you will surely love this book and understand the pull-and-tug that confronted Erin on almost every visit to PJ’s garret. It’s not a book you can race through, but one that will make you think a lot about how anyone assembles the flotsam of life into a coherent story.
Lest you think PJ was some kind of eccentric and amusing kook, a chapter near the end will prove you wrong. The book also made me wonder how any of us could explain the principles and assumptions by which we’ve lived our lives. I’m not sure I could do what PJ managed to do, and what Mary Clark has so lovingly presented in this biography/memoir.
A recent review for Walking on Eggshells
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 March 2021
Walking Over Eggshells is one of those books that keeps on surprising from start to finish. Several times I found myself thinking, ‘Well nothing could possibly top that!’ and each time, something did. This is a remarkable true story ; a sweeping tale of cycles of extreme poverty and unimaginable wealth in locations spanning different countries and cultures. From Benghazi to Botswana the pace never lets up and the book is peppered with shocks and tragedies. The author lightens the narrative with remarkable humour and I was left with admiration for someone who could experience the hardships and ordeals that she did and yet come through it all with an objective viewpoint and a smile on her face.
Walking Over Eggshells will make you want to weep, rage and cheer. It’s one of those gems that deserves to be read. Give it a go and be prepared for a bumpy, emotional, ultimately satisfying ride.
A recent review for Pretty Evil
Fascinating and interesting read! For those who are interested in serial killers, this book is for you!
Meticulously researched and well put together, this book is going to take you down the poisoned path of murder, and reveals the story in-depth along the way! This is one that you do NOT want to miss!
One of the recent reviews for Plunge
The author, Liesbet, and her husband Mark, have chosen a life of travel and discovery over a settled and secure life. This is Liesbet’s account of the consequences of their choices, the inner and outer adventures they had, as well as the inner and outer challenges they faced.
Anyone who has made similar sacrifices to live the life they’ve chosen will relate to this narrative, half travelog and half diary, as this couple’s dream of cruising becomes their daily lives, with everything daily life entails; wonderful encounters with nature in pristine settings, human encounters both helpful and difficult, mechanical failures, business and financial struggles, and, the thread running through it all, the love Liesbet and Mark have for each other in spite of their very real differences, and the relationship challenges they face living together 24/7.
As one reviewer has done, it’s always easy to find fault with someone who bears their soul as much as Ms. Collaert has in this book. Self-doubt is never flattering and takes courage to admit publicly, though we all carry our fair share. For me, the author’s sharing of her most intimate feelings and the dynamics of their relationship is equally, if not more compelling than their experiences cruising the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.
This is not just an adventure book, this is a book about what it really takes to live an adventurous life.
G G Collins buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow G G Collins:Goodreads – Blog: Reluctant Medium at Large WordPress – Blog 2: Parallel Universe at Large WordPress – Twitter: @WriterGGCollins N.A April 2021
I was so excited to see G G Collins add another story to the Rachel Blackstone series. It is apparent this author does her homework. I love the way she explains the nine prophecies of the Hopi regarding the end times of life on earth as we know it. Her descriptions of Bandelier National Park took me back to my first visit. It is indeed breathtaking. I stepped into one of the kivas too and felt the energy and tried to imagine what it must have been like to live in those times. Quoting Rachel, “you can feel the magic.” Rachel also is beginning to accept her new identity as a medium, although reluctant . I also liked the way this author compared our current corona virus to the day of the festival parade. My favorite part of the book was the description of how each principle character spent what could have been the last day of life, telling each other how they felt about each other, expressing love and friendship.
I have already told many friends a new Rachel Blackstone book is available. I have already read it twice! Exciting, tension filled and a must read for fans of paranormal activity. Great job.
My recent review for Gwen Slade
Author, Sandra Cox knows her craft. I have read several of her novels and all of them have been well-written and edited, and because of her attention to detail, all have been extremely engaging reading experiences. She is a highly talented writer who is in top form in this, her newest offering, Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter.
Gwen Slade is smart. And she’s tough. She can fight, and she knows her way around the barrel of a shotgun. She also has the responsibility of taking care of her younger brother. So to put food on the table, and hopefully one day provide a better life for her family, she puts her skills to work as a bounty hunter. Not an easy task, to say the least, especially for a female living in the west in the late 1800’s. But her ability to take down the bad guy and collect the bounty has gained her the respect few have in her profession.
Gwen has always worked alone, and she prefers it that way. And then in walks Jordie Kidd. A charismatic outlaw with a twinkle in his eye who helps save her family from harm. And although his charms are not completely lost on Gwen, she has no time for that kind of thing. But she doesn’t turn him in, instead letting him go as a gesture for saving her family. And besides, she is gearing up to take down a ruthless gang with a huge bounty on their heads. A bounty large enough to let her and her family finally cash in on the life they’ve always dreamed of.
As Gwen sets out on what she hopes will be her final bounty hunt, she finds herself forced into a questionable partnership. A partnership that she doesn’t want to be in, but turns out to be one she can’t live without.
All I kept thinking throughout this story was what a great movie it would be. It’s a captivating storyline with richly developed characters whose interaction with one another helps draw you into their world. If you are a fan of Western-Romance stories that feature a strong female lead, then you are going to love this book. If you’ve never read a book in this genre, give this one a try. I guarantee you will be a fan by the time you get to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Truly a 5 STAR read.
A recent review for Someone Close to Home
This is a book I will remember for a long time to come. It resonated with me, and while it is heart breaking, it also had some beautiful moments. Not an easy subject but one the author handled so well. I shall be checking out her other books for sure.
One of the recent reviews for Life Is Like a Bowl of Cherries
Valentina‘s review Mar 16, 2021 it was amazing
This is an entertaining book written in the format of short stories that portray ordinary people, very interesting people, observed in real-life situations overcoming all their challenges in a positive way. Author Sally Cronin with her empathetic voice makes people’s dreams and passion come alive. There are poems and pictures scattered throughout.
The stories are vignettes of people’s lives that make this book a great reading and leave the readers feeling good about the world and people.
A a recent review for Academic Curveball
When I started reading this book, I didn’t know what to expect as this is the first book by this author that I came across. And was I in for a surprise!
It has turned out to be a delightful book about the academic community, the twists and complexities therein, the sports associated with the educational institution, donors and donations and of course, the convoluted personalities of all the individuals involved both students and teachers.
When Kellan Ayrwick travels to Braxton Pennsylvania for his father’s retirement party as the President of Braxton College, Kellan stumbles into all kinds of elaborate, tricky and knotty problems.
During the course of the retirement party, he comes across a murder of a professor in the Communications department ! This is being investigated by his former classmate Connor Hawkins who now is the Security Director for the college. Soon another murder, this time of the assistant to the President of the college!
How Kellan helps solve the murders with the help of a lot of people that includes students and teachers while accepting a two week assignment to teach in the place of the murdered professor forms the content of this delightful thriller.
The story runs smooth, the characters are adorable particularly that of nana D. In fact, I have decided to emulate her.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. Will look for other books by this author.
One of the recent reviews for Shadows
‘Shadows’ by Anita Dawes reflects on the shadows of life, some of which stay behind us while others inspire to drive away sadness and despair. The themes are universal and symbolize love, darkness, light, time, goodness and dreams. Most of the poems are short and focused. I like the clarity of style and thoughts.
‘Color me Red’ brilliantly describes the moods and yearnings of the poet; ‘Broken’ touches upon those moments of disillusionment and desperation when we need an affectionate touch to reassure ourselves and ‘Nine Gates’ is a little ambiguous but I guess the gates refer to our journey of life, with a message of caution at each step.
Wrong Mouse would make you smile. This collection is a nice assortment of challenges that life throws at us and how we handle them.
A recent review for Deep Cover
Deep cover by John Deboer is an intelligent and frightening book about Russian sleeper cells in the U.S. These individuals planted by foreign governments live as neighbors, colleagues, teachers, and friends. They collect data about political and social perspectives from their neighbors in order to influence United States’ elections. This book is timely, suspenseful, and packed with action and intrigue. Well written and memorable. I highly recommend Deep Cover for those who like reading spy thrillers. A fantastic 5 star read!
An extract from a recent review for Survive
Survive is a fantastic book that reaches out to the reader on many levels. Undoubtedly, given its moniker, it is a book about survival. But this survival is as much about overcoming the stark, cold, corporate power of Galactographic and their star Ballantyne Alysom (or Bal as he’s known), as it is about surmounting the flora and fauna on the strange planet the explorers are stranded on.
From the beginning, Bal is a character reflecting the traits of so many celebrities, those worshipped stars whose egos arrive in the room before they do. Wrapped up in a cocoon of fixers, agents and close protection, and encasing their entourages and workers in iron-clad contracts, forcing them to forsake any rights on intellectual property they may have. These people are well known to any reader, and this makes Bal, as the central antagonist immediately relatable. When the characters interact with Bal, you can feel it, awe at first, as they realize they’re in the presence of their idol, but once in his orbit, they’re pulled in, get too close to their star, and soon they begin to burn. Repulsion overtakes awe, and Bal sends out flares of hate in return. Incendiary and captivating, these scenes had me rivetted, unable to pull away, even when watching a film, I couldn’t stop from flicking back to my Kindle.
Mr Dee writes with a fluid capability weaving a story of intricacy, complexity and sheer drama. As the book unfolds, the reader knows from the outset, the voyage to Certus 2-12 to witness two planets merging to become one is going to be fraught with conflict and bitter personality clashes. For Davis, the cameraman and his sound editor wife Anisia, working with Bal was never going to be an easy ride…Little did they know, just how bumpy that ride was to be.
One of the recent reviews for Roadside
Great YA story that includes strong family relationships and great friends. A fabulous storyline without all of the harsh language. Romance not unbridled lust. Well done Angie.
A recent review for Hunting the Phoenix
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 February 2021
I had not got very far into this book before I realised that I was reading something worthy of the highest praise I could possibly lavish upon it. A mere five stars would not be enough for this superbly written novel.
A cynical and middle aged journalist is on the trail of a man who claims to be able to perform medical miracles. He must, she believes, be a fraud, preying on wealthy women in order to secure for himself their inheritance. She makes it her mission to prove this theory.
So far, so straight forward. It’s the twists and turns of plot and sub-plot that follow that make this book so hard to put down. That, and the sheer literary genius of the writing. From the description of a classical music concert and the effect of the music upon the listener, to beautifully realised erotic episodes, the writer demonstrates a mastery of her craft that makes me wonder why her books are not up there with the prize winners.
She also manages two first person narrators with distinctly different voices, some poetry (did I mention that the principle narrator is a professional writer?) and a number of letters that introduce further characters with well differentiated voices.
The book is set in New England in 1938 & ‘9 but covers the period between the twentieth century’s two world wars. This makes it, first and foremost, a piece of historical fiction and it succeeds on that level because the period is so well depicted. The preoccupations of middle class academics of the time are featured, though not in an overbearing manner. Some of these issues, like eugenics and fascism, should have been put to bed by the second of those wars yet they have resurfaced in the twenty first century. Perhaps they never fully went away.
But there is also an element of what I can only describe as magical realism, which reminds me of the best of Conan Doyle. The magic does not go as far as ‘His Dark Materials’, the Harry Potter books, or the comic book super-heroes so beloved of Hollywood. But it is enough to pique the interest of readers who like a mystery that hints at elements of the supernatural.
I was not aware until the end that this is the fourth in a series. There is enough back story included to ensure the book can be read without prior knowledge of the preceding three episodes. For anyone who has read those this will surely make a satisfying finale. But that is not all. We are introduced towards the end to a character who will, apparently, feature in another novel set in the time of the Cuban missile crisis. I can’t wait to read it.
One of the recent reviews for The Heart’s Lullaby
A lovely collection of poetry principally about love, love lost and the heartbreak of being no longer loved. There is also a wonderful poem about time, plus poems about particular topics related to the puzzles that Natalie Ducey also creates. “Still Me,” is a touching poem about Alzheimer’s. And there are poems about those who serve in the military.
It is a personal, and touching poetry collection about the ups and downs and fragility of life andl love that you can easily return to again, perhaps gaining more on each visit.
I enjoyed all the collection but my personal favourites are:
A Father’s Love,
A Mother’s Love
To My Sister,
and The Heart’s Lullaby.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This fine book of Edmondson’s tells anew of the culture clash between white American settlers and the Native Americans who occupied the land for millennia prior to white settlement. But it’s not a re-warmed version of “white might wins;” instead, the author lives within the mind and heart of Tenaya, chief of the Ahwahneechee Indians, settled in the California mountains. His foil here is, for the most part, one James D. Savage, who has lived among the various tribal groups long enough to understand their languages and ways, but who is given to trading and cattle raising.
Whites begin to encroach on Ahwahneechee territory, and war ensues – the Maricopa Indian War of 1850-51. Edmondson follows the tracks of this conflict, never leaving Tenaya’s emotional side. He alternates a skilled and passionate prosaic view of Tenaya’s loyalty to his people, his sly ways with Savage and other whites, with superbly written poetic paeans to Tenaya and his tribe. As such,the book has the feel of George Keithley’s poetic opus, “The Donner Party.” “Great Spirit of Yosemite” will no doubt add value to this canon of the white push westward, and the inevitable ceding of Native American homelands to them. It’s a powerful closeup of both sides of this particular conflict and should be read and appreciated widely.
A review for Brilliant Disguise – Book One Charlie McClung Mysteries
This book starts off with a bang and keeps going strong! Mary Anne does such a great job creating a mystery and paying attention to detail! So glad I was introduced to her books!
One of the recent reviews for The Outlands
I couldn’t put this book down. If you like sci-fi, dystopian fiction, you must read this one. The twists and turns don’t stop. My only complaint is that it ended too soon!! Looking forward to the next book in this series.
One of the recent reviews for Defined by Others
Anne a 47 year-old woman’s husband has just left her for a man. After learning that a long lost friend of hers from her hometown in Florida has died and left her an inheritance Anne takes off to Florida to receive her inheritance and you know just go home for a little while, while she deals with a divorce.
Anne’s inheritance is not quite what she was expecting. No the inheritance was just a laptop and a video explaining about the inheritance. Anne’s friend Amanda has invited her to continue playing her little online game messing with other people’s lives.
The way I saw it was that after learning about Anne’s husband leaving her for a man played a big role in Amanda’s decision to invite Anne to play her game. I think that Amanda thought that playing this little online game would be sort of like a coping mechanism or some sort of therapy for Anne. Not that I agree with it but I do get the why behind it well sort of.
Anne reunites with another of her friends from high school, Connie who is herself dealing with divorce. Anne invites Connie to stay with her in her mother’s home. Anne invites Connie to play the game with her. Connie accepts.
I did make one connection with Anne and that is her connection with a word. I don’t have the same connection with a word as Anne does but I do love words. I love to read so therefore I love words. I remember telling a friend once that if I see a word I will read it. (There is a longer version of this story but I won’t bore you will the details now.)
What drew me to read Defined by Others was the author M.C.V. Egan and her writing. I am always up for reading one of her books actually I believe I have read all of her books now well with the exception of the revised edition of The Bridge of Deaths. I would recommend all of her books even if you don’t read that genre. So if you have not read one of M.C.V. Egan’s books what are you waiting for? Head on over to your favorite place to purchase books and start clicking.
One of the recent reviews for A Fiery End
I’m a big fan of the Peter Hatherall and Fiona Williams books, so I was very pleased to see this new addition to the series. Even though the story focuses more on Fiona, it was great to be reacquainted with all the characters in this roller-coaster ride of a mystery. The storyline begins with the two DIs coming across a burning camper van on a dark road and from there on, both the mystery and the suspects escalate. The plot involves deliberate and not so deliberate red herrings. It also involves vice rings, computer puzzles and apps. There are too many victims and loads of culprits but the puzzle is such that Fiona and her partner cannot fathom who is behind the sinister crimes until close to the explosive end of the book. What a page turner this turned out to be. I could barely put it down. This is also the closest Fiona has come to real romance, which in itself made it special. Well done, Diana Febry. A Fiery End was a terrific read and I hope Fiona and Peter will be back before too long.
A recent review for Dolphin’s Cave
Coral has always wanted to go to Hawaii, ever since her parents died there when she was only a kid. A recurring dream has visited her every night since—she rides a dolphin to an underwater cave. Only there will she find the answers she seeks about her parents’ death. But she always wakes up before she discovers what really happened.
Shortly before her sixteenth birthday, she’s thrilled to learn her aunt and some friends are taking her to Hawaii for Christmas. Coral loves the ocean, and she doesn’t get to see it very often, living as she does in a desert near Reno, Nevada.
But once they arrive in Hawaii, disquieting events steal some of her joy. Her aunt has met a new guy—nothing wrong with that—but this one seems to be nothing but a weasel. When Coral’s aunt nearly gets run over in the street, he merely stands there and watches. And everywhere they go, people seem to be taking their picture. Not just catching them in group photos, but specifically shooting photos of them, as if they were celebrities or something.
But then matters turn dangerous. Her aunt is hospitalized, the result of a near-fatal car crash. Coral can’t afford to ignore all the strange things going on anymore, or some of them may never make it home…
Dolphin’s Cave is a YA coming-of-age story that should appeal to fans of teen adventures, especially ones who love dolphins.
One of the recent reviews for Bubba Tails
Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye is a delightful story for all ages, told from the perspective of King Campbell, an older and more experienced Seeing Eye dog (trained to guide the blind). King Campbell appears at night to the puppies at the Seeing Eye School, and their mothers, and tells them stories about how he came to be selected for the school, his training process and meeting his forever mother. His stories help to allay some of the puppies own concerns and anxieties about the future when they undergo their training to be Seeing Dogs and eventually become companions to a blind person.
This is a most insightful book about how Seeing Dogs are selected, including the qualities they need to have to do this job, as well as the training process they go through before they are matched with a blind person. I say matched because that is exactly what happens, the person is paired with a suitable canine companion. I thought this was very interesting as I had never really thought about how close the relationship between a blind human and their Seeing Dog is prior to reading this book.
The second part of the story when Campbell meets his new forever owner was the most meaningful for me. It was a wonderful experience for me to learn about how the Seeing Dog and their new owner must adapt to working together. The Seeing Dog needs to learn to read their human owner’s body language and respond to subtle signals. The human must also learn to trust their dog and this is quite a difficult thing to do. I can understand that putting your faith in a dog, no matter how much you love it, must initially be difficult when you are unable to see and protect yourself. I loved reading about how this amazing trust developed between Campbell and his owner.
This is a book that everyone can read and enjoy for the story and also appreciate for its detailed insight into the relationship between Seeing Dogs and their owners, and also the world at large.
A recent review for The Vintage Egg
This is the first book by A.C. Flory I have read and I will definitely be reading more. Originality and uniqueness rate highly on my rating list for a book, and these six science fiction stories certainly meet that criteria. The stories are all well written and easy to read, which makes this book a great choice for most readers.
All of the stories assume a futurist world after an undisclosed event or series of events which turn Earth into a hot and arid desert. The surviving people of the world are forced to live in underground cities. Food sources have changed and meat is scarce and expensive. The population, forced to live this unnatural life, are kept entertained with digital games which are so realistic they are almost life experiences. There is, however, a limit on gaming time to prevent people from starving to death while playing. These are indications of how the unnatural lifestyle is impacting on people.
The Vintage Egg and The Egg Run are interlinked stories, with the former presenting the beginning and the later the ending, of one story idea. Both stories are complete and can be enjoyed as standalone reads. This is the tale of an elderly man’s dream of finding a way of exploring the ruined Earth above ground through the restoration of a vintage machine he acquires. He involves and interests his young grandson in his project and it becomes something they do together. The Egg Run depicts stage 2 of the project through the eyes of the grandson.
The Gamer and Brehak are another pair of stories, each told from a different characters point of view. This story is fascinating as it explores the lack of reality and truth presented in digital worlds and how both of the participants in this ‘life like’ game are totally deceived by the other’s digital avatar and how this lack of truth impacts on their lives.
The To-Do-List is an interesting peak into the differences between older and younger people when it comes to adapting to fast changing technologies. It is an entertaining, but frighteningly realistic, look, at the older generations determination to hold on to the past and they world they knew when they were younger, versus the younger generations easy ability to adapt to change.
The Christmas Roast was truly horrifying for me. The concepts explored in this short story about a world where food is short and improvisations have become the normal, was quite overwhelming for someone like me who has always bought milk in a bottle [does it really come from a cow?] and meat neatly packaged with few reminder that it was one a living, breathing creature.
A great book of short stories and one I have unhesitatingly given a 5-star rating.
A recent review for Little Tea
T. Bakken Friends Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2021
I knew in the first pages of Little Tea that Fullerton’s storytelling would transport me. Her descriptive passages about the humidity and verdant landscape are palpable. I knew I would feel at home in the female company of the three friends reunion on the lake. Fullerton weaves their past and present and deep understanding of one another together beautifully. What I didn’t know was that this story – of friendships, and first loves, and reliving the triumphs and tragedies of the past – would carry profound lessons on what it means to be happy, balanced, and open minded. Fullerton is a skilled linguist and philosopher – wrapped up in a fantastic storyteller. Little Tea is a gift I’m so glad I opened!
One of the recent reviews for Silent Heroes
Poignant and thought-provoking, Silent Heroes gives readers an up-close and personal look behind the scenes of war in one of Afghanistan’s deadliest provinces. The author skillfully ties together the lives and objectives of a Marine K-9 unit serving in Helmand Province and a local community trying its best to survive as the Taliban’s rampant rule kills, threatens, abuses and uses them for its own sinister purposes. The author does an amazing job weaving the ravages and ruins of war into a beautiful heartrending story that is an eye-opener. Highly recommended!
One of the recent reviews for the book
Watching the Daisies is a very personal account of how the author, Brigid Gallagher, brings herself, her work and all the rest of her busy life under control to the point where she is able to more fully appreciate the day and the hour – the ‘now’ of her existence.
Her elegant, straight-forward prose carries the reader through a mostly happy existence from her early life in rural Scotland to her varied professional work in Edinburgh and eventually to her more restful and more centred life in the Ireland that her mother and father left seeking opportunities in Scotland.
Readers who are unfamiliar, as I was, with the less traditional (at least for the British Isles and Ireland) approaches to spiritual and physical well-being will find much to gain from Watching the Daisies. Brigid not only explores many of them but becomes a practising professional with a flair for leadership, innovation and success.
Although plagued by a chronic and sometimes debilitating illness, this is a happy book written by a happy person who at all times is able to take as much or more control of her life than many of us in order to come to a most satisfactory peace with herself.
As inspiring as the story Brigid Gallagher has to tell are the life lessons that she draws from each chapter of her life. Any reader will benefit greatly from reading this busy yet peaceful, analytic yet satisfyingly holistic memoir.
Author Elizabeth Gauffreau resurrects the forgotten childhood fantasy of running away to join the circus with a twist in her novel, Telling Sonny.
Set in America’s idyllic early 20th century, a time of outwardly polite courtesies and thoughtfulness, Telling Sonny follows a young girl’s tragic fall from respectability to a life of white-knuckled survival among society’s counter-culture of traveling vaudeville entertainers.
Young Faby Gauthier, fresh out of high school wonders what’s to become of her life when the annual vaudeville show comes to her home town of Enosburg, Vermont.
Despite the drab setting in the Enosburg’s Opera House, Faby, accompanied by her sister and best friend, Josephine, is captivated by that year’s cavalcade of acts especially a song and dance number done by ‘America’s Favorite Hoofer,’ a tall, lanky fella known by his stage name, Slim White.
One of the reviews of Dead of Winter – The Journey 1
Dead of Winter is the first part of a monthly series. Emlyn is a young girl who lives in an oppressive society that has taken away women’s rights. She is gifted, being able to see ghosts, and her father has found a way to educate her, but she has learned to be careful who she trusts. I was immediately invested in her well-being and found myself upset with this fictional culture. Puritans came to mind, along with the dark ages with the drab colors, lack of education for most females, and swift punishments for any infractions. I loved her relationship with her teacher and instantly disliked her brother-in-law. This is a great beginning, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
A recent review for The Last Pilgrim
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience though did become confused at times as to the relationships of people. I wonder if there was much inbreeding or if some of the religious rules were in effect against kinsmen marrying.
The frequent deaths especially of the women in childbirth was heart wrenching. The constant work for the good wives was unimaginable as compared to today’s times. We live such a cooshy life nowadays. With perinatal death and or maternal death grounds for malpractice.
The thoroughness of the research and attention to details was admirable. I could imagine myself in the house, garden or fields while I read this book. I would highly recommend this book as both an enthralling look into our past as well as emotional journey through the eyes of a wonderful woman’s life.
Thank you Noelle, for your fantastic journey you allowed us to accompany you on. It will stay with me for a very long time.
A recent review for Impending Disaster in Spanish (I have translated into English as well)
Una historia corta pero emocionante. Un grupo de tres amigos ha sufrido un severo accidente de aviación que los deja heridos en plena montaña, pero pronto se darán cuenta de que ese desastre no es nada frente al que se avecina: se ha formado una laguna en lo alto de la montaña que está a punto de colapsar. Si no llegan a tiempo para avisar al pueblo asentado a las faldas, una enorme ola de agua, rocas y lodo se cobrará las vidas de todos en el lugar.
A short but exciting story. A group of three friends have suffered a severe aviation accident that leaves them injured in the middle of the mountain, but they will soon realize that this disaster is nothing compared to the one that lies ahead. A lagoon has formed at the top of the mountain that is about to collapse. If they do not arrive in time to notify the people living on the slopes, a huge wave of water, rocks and mud will claim the lives of everyone.
A recemt review for the book
My review for Sharp As A Serpent’s Tooth April 17th 2021
These stories are written with the voice of the deep south of America of another age, where revival tents popped up on the edge of town, and folks filled the space with their passion and zeal. Nothing seems to be taboo as the congregation is inflamed by the words and the actions of the self-acclaimed saviour, whose power over snakes is used to demonstrate the righteousness of their words.
But what lies beneath the rousing and theatrical performances is not for the faint-hearted, and in particular the young girls whose stories we discover through the pages of this collection.
The scene is set with the first story, Eva, and it is a powerful reminder that the term preacher does not always bring with it benevolence and being a child of fanatics comes with a heavy price.
We follow other young women as they challenge the stereotyping of the time and culture to make their own way and to protect themselves from the intent of others. Particularly those who are held up as being moral guardians of the community or whose charm is irresistible. Sometimes loving support is at hand, but more often there is only their own inner strength to rely on.
The stories are absorbing and sometimes shocking but they are also inspirational and celebrate the triumph of friendship, motherhood, courage and love.
I recommend the stories to not only lovers of authentic Southern fiction but also readers who champion those who stand their ground and overcome adversity.
One of the recent reviews for The Goblin Trilogy
This series sucks you straight in from the first page and I simply couldn’t put my kindle down – I think it took me two weeks to read all three books and I don’t get much time for reading right now! The characters capture you from the start and I loved the idea of the Goblin anarcho-communist society preserving the old ways underground while the humans blunder about above but hope coming in the form of the dance which connects all life and so human to goblin as well.
I like the rawness and realism of the dystopic retro-future it is set in – the writer doesn’t pull any punches regarding the ‘medieval mindset’ of many of the humans and the ‘primal mindset’ of the goblins and this makes some scenes uncomfortable (think maybe the darker bits of Margaret Weiss or Mercedes Lackey or more recently R A Salvatore has ventured down that road) but I love that – I hate it when fantasy writing paints everything with a golden sheen of utopic perfection and ignores the awkward truths and moral grey areas that exist in any society.
There are strong and lovable characters here and they exist in context within a very real world, I had my heart in my mouth a few times but there was nothing that made me want to put the books down and I do have a fair few triggers so hopefully that gives you a flavour without any spoilers. Other reviewers have said it’s not a children’s series -but I think that’s obvious from the cover! (Which is beautiful, I love the artwork almost as much as the books!) My only down-point was that I wanted the story to go on after the last book so I hope there will be more goblin tales in the pipe line!
One of the recent reviews for Trillium
Set in Canada, this well written book is a multi-generational saga. The great descriptive writing and character development make the passing of time seamless. Very compelling plot that keeps you wanting more.
A recent review for Eternal Road
I really enjoyed Eternal Road. This is the kind of mashup that makes independent fiction shine. There are religious aspects, romantic moments, some thriller, a bit of time travel, and more. Books like this help our literary minds expand beyond the borders of distinct genres. Aside from that, it’s a darned good story. Give it a chance and you’ll see what I mentioned.
One of the early reviews for Shattered Lives
Former detective Jo Naylor is on the run and finds a whole lot of trouble in paradise when she saves a young girl from the clutches of a predator. She becomes a temporary guardian to the orphaned girl and a special bond between the two is easily formed. When another girl is taken her mother pleads to Jo for help- who can’t say no despite the limitations she faces. Jo enlists the help of a PI who like her isn’t a woman to be underestimated. Together they uncover a crime ring that runs deeper than either could anticipate and puts both of them in danger.
Jo’s take no prisoners attitude, relentless pursuit of justice, and fearless fight against the men she encounters is an action-packed adventure. The author’s snappy writing and spot-on pacing makes this mystery a perfect page-turner.
A recent review for the collection
Miriam Hurdle’s collection of poetry is a song about life. She writes from her heart, uses images we all understand, and positions photographs throughout. This is a book to savor, to read one section at a sitting, to return to a particular poem over and over again, to simply enjoy. The book drew me to Miriam’s blog, which is as lovely as the book. If you like poetry, this one will warm your heart. Highly recommend.
One of the recent reviews for When I Rise
The book is extremely easy to read as each story is short. Reading the stories is time well spent as each one presents a different moral or truth to consider. This book is one that can be read over and over. Keep it within easy reach and open it up any time you need a lift to your spirit.
A recent review for One Month, 20 Days and a Wake Up
The story is very compelling. Mr. Jackson’s description of his tour in Viet Nam portrayed in vivid detail made me feel as if I was there in the moment. The story has high suspense and the imagary is powerful. I never heard about PJs and I wouldn’t know of their contribution without this book.
A recent review for Playing in the Rain
This was a very enjoyable read. It started out shrouded in mystery and worked like an onion. Revealing itself slowly but keeping me intrigued the whole way. The plot is surely unique and engrossing at the same time. I don’t want to give too much away about the story. Part of the joy was being submerged in this world and figuring out the questions along with the character. I very much enjoyed this book. It’s a quick fun sci fi like read for anyone looking for a few hours of enjoyment 🥳
A recent review for The Prince’s Man
I read this book as part of a different boxed set but it’s going to be added separately to the other two in its series as soon as I get them. It deserves it! The male protagonist is cocky but not always as sure as he likes to seem. The female protagonist is an arrogant, know-it-all with her own agenda. And then they’re thrown together in a desperate mission to save the kingdom & the lives of the people they care about. I won’t give lots of spoilers (or why read the book) but there are elves, trolls, dungeons, & a nasty little torture chamber complete with an egomaniac who loves to inflict pain. You’ve GOT to read this book! Loved it!
A recent review for The Red Dress August 20th 2020
The following is a portion of a review from Gerardo Corripio, who listened to the recorded version from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled. (NLS) It was posted on an email list for NLS users.
This is one of those novels that’s a light read, but also has lots of little life tidbits that get you to think. The moral that comes to mind after reading the novel is something to the effect of “closing cycles”. It’s very realistically done, and I was able to readily identify with the characters, their situations and dynamics needed to cope. Forgiveness and its rewards are also a moral of the novel. How liberating it can be, not only for the ones affected, but for the families involved!
A recent review for My Name is Danny
Danny was a real dog and writer. He was a frequent contributor to several blogs and detailed his life and the challenges of putting up with his owner, author Andrew Joyce. If you like dogs, you will love this book. Danny tells it like it is. He does not hold back on any subject and frequently delves into the philosophical side by tackling matters that plague us all.
His subjects range from Andrew’s choice of women to locating the next meal. It is interesting to note that Danny and Andrew had been together for over thirteen years, and it appears that Danny tried his best to train Andrew. The reader can witness in the book that very little training stuck.
This book is filled with delightful stories of Danny and Andrew’s relationship and is an entertaining read.
One of the recent reviews for State of Denial
This is another great instalment of the State trilogy after being hooked by the first book. It picks up from where it left off and is not just a filler to lead into book 3.
Kelly impressed me again with his style and excellent world-building. The characters continued to develop and they all found themselves in their unique situations, adding to the overall story.
This is a great sci-fi thriller with political elements.
A recent review for The Story That Had no Beginning
This book is an interesting and complex story about twins, Tom and Alice Collins, who enter the foster care system at a young age and are raised separately. The book starts with Alicia Collinson, aka Alice Collins, and her sophisticated boyfriend hosting two friends for a dinner party. Unknow to the dinner participants, the ghost of her brother Tom, known as Bobby Brown among his peer group, is also in attendance. It is obvious from the start that Alicia is a woman of good financial circumstances who mingles with the elite of London’s society. It also becomes evident quite early on, that Tom’s life has followed a very divergent path and he was a member of the mafia-styled criminal class.
The book follows the paths of the twins and how they come to end up in their different circumstances and lifestyles. Alicia is a well-know and talented photographer who owns her own home in London and has plenty of money. Tom has money, albeit ill gotten, but he dies the death of a criminal.
Tom is a conflicting character as he is a man involved in high class prostitution and other shady and illegal dealings. Despite being a seasoned criminal, his narration of the story reveals a different side to his character. One that questions the life he lived and celebrates the good fortune and success achieved by his sister.
Alice or Alicia has the great good luck to become the protegee of a wealthy single woman with no children who effectively adopts her and sets her on the road to success in her chosen field of photography. Unknown to the naïve Alicia, her benefactor isn’t everything she appears to be and some of the people she socialises with are infamous for their continuous promiscuous behaviour with the same, or the opposite, sex. In a contrast to her brother, Tom, who is in the centre of the debaucherous lifestyles led by the wealthy upper classes of London, Alicia hovers around the edges, not realising what is right in front of her.
The author has an in-depth knowledge of the illicit behaviour of the British upper class and paints a detailed picture of how greed, selfishness and a complete disregard for the values and ethics of society lead to the downfall of people.
This book will make you question what success is all about and whether it leads to contentment as the stories of the many characters unfold. This is thought provoking tale as despite the huge difference in the siblings financial and social positions, both of them end up with money but neither of them have good reliable partners or simply and happy lives.
One of the recent reviews for The Places we Haunt
An excellent collection–I highly recommend it!
One of the recent reviews for Slices of Soul
I have a growing interest in poetry and play around with various poetic forms. When I came across Kent’s book, I was intrigued by the cover and the suggestion that the writer might focus on life’s mysteries. I purchased the book and didn’t stop reading it until I finished it. It is a beautiful account of soul-inspiration. Sometimes desperate, sometimes exalting, always raw and perfect. I loved the collection and highly recommend it.
One of the early reviews for The Ender
As the other installments in this series, I loved very much.I couldn’t wait till this one came, so I could finish the story and I wasn’t disappointed. Laney went through a journey here with decisions. The writing, plot and structure was on point and it kept me going , even do I took my time because I didn’t want it to end.This book along with the other two will draw you from the beginning.I highly recommend this series.
One of the recent reviews for Fallen Princeborn Chosen on Goodreads
Fallen Princeborn: Chosen was fantastic dark fantasy that revolved around Charlotte and Liam’s growing relationship and trust in each other, their battle with Lady Orna and her minions who somehow has returned with vengeance and blood lust, and Liam’s family who are bigger trouble than Lady Orna. It was about good vs evil, dysfunctional family, betrayal, trust, love, letting go of past, and finding strength in love.
Villians were interesting, not just Lady Orna but Liam’s family as well. I was still puzzled how Lady Orna came back so fast from pit and acquired new kind of power that was deadly. Her incompletes were creepy but even creepier was Liam’s family. This family was full of crazies.
World was well written. It was interesting to read more history of land and water, its people and their powers. Aether created all the magical beings in this world but worst were princeborns and we know more of their crimes in this book. Stellaqui were interesting creatures. I enjoyed reading about them and their old high sage. Celenstines were most powerful of all. By meeting them readers could see what was those magical rings that Lady Orna wore and now other princeborns were wearing.
Overall, Fallen Princeborn: Chosen was intriguing, fast paced and well written adult fantasy with punchy prose, rich world and non-stop action.
One of the recent reviews for The Dead at Heart
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2021
The Dead at Heart by Suzanne Leist is the third installment of this cleverly crafted supernatural series. Fans of the author are acquainted with her parallel universes in which mortals and nocturnal creatures live side by side in a fragile existence. In this episode, the vampire stronghold of Oasis finds itself under attack by mysterious forces. Sheriff Sam sets out in pursuit of the werewolf team that kidnapped the lady of the estate. He asks Shana for assistance as her beloved William is suspected of complicity. She accompanies him on a hair-raising chase from the swamps of Florida to the historic city of Quebec. Shana’s loyalty to William is compromised yet she has no choice to continue the pursuit with Linda’s safety at risk.
The plot thickens as the Watchers, represented by Samantha and the Archangels, intercede with the intent of ending a potential conspiracy among a contingency of rogue vampires. Shana realizes that William may be condemned by the Watchers, yet dares not hamper the search as Linda’s fiance Gregg has joined forces with Sheriff Sam. They soon learn that an autoimmune virus has infected the outlaws and caused their insurgency. Proclaimed as the Dead by their fellow vampires, Shana fears the worst. Can she help rescue Linda from the damned and save William in the process?
This is a Gothic suspense/thriller that remains true to the vampire mythology while exploring fresh storylines and plot twists guaranteed to keep readers enthralled throughout. For vampire genre enthusiasts and romantic horror fans alike, The Dead at Heart by Suzanne Leist is one you won’t want to miss.
One of the recent reviews for The Sincerest form of poetry on Goodreads
Geoff Le Pard is one of my favorite contemporary poets. His acerbic wit makes me laugh, and there are no out-of-bounds topics in his repertoire of verses. Some of his poetry is raw, exposing the trials and tribulations related to the everyday grind of being human. Many of his poems explore the irony of our daily circumstances with an emphasis on humor—always ready to make you smile, or possibly blush!
Le Pard has a style all his own, and he writes a form of ‘found poetry’ with inspiration from many of my favorite British poets: Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Rudyard Kipling, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, Dylan Thomas, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, W.B. Yeats, and many others. Le Pard uses the first line of the actual poem as they wrote it, continuing on with his own poetic genius.
The second half of the book the author explores the sonnet, with poems comprising fourteen lines with an iambic rhyming scheme. This is where he truly shines. They say all poets have a favorite form they like to write and clearly; the sonnet speaks to this author.
He shares in the Genesis section of the book:
“In 2007, I was taken with the urge to write poetry. From where that emerged, I will have to leave to psychologists, though some have noticed my father’s death (he wrote delightful poetry) occurred some eighteen months before I found the courage to commit myself to the ether. I found, almost immediately that, unlike prose, poetry is a more intense and challenging medium to embrace. It needs, above all else, a depth of inspiration that a short story or even a novel does not demand. It has been my joy and challenge to find and hold on to such inspiration.” ~ By Geoff Le Pard, The Sincerest From of Poetry
I read this book in two nights, sometimes shaking the bed in quiet laughter to not disturb my sleeping spouse. This was a delightful read and the perfect gift for the poetry lover in your family. Many thanks to the author for gifting me an advance reader’s copy.
A recent review for My Gentle War
This memoir focuses primarily on the years 1939 through 1941 when the author was 9-11 years old, a child living in Wales with her younger brothers during WWII. The children were sent to Wales to escape the more dangerous areas around London.
This isn’t a harsh story. It’s a recounting of life from the perspective of a child and is, therefore, full of fun and imagination and resilience. There are “ear-wigging” glimpses into the adult world, news of the war, and letters from the author’s dad who was serving in France. The sad and confusing realities of war surely intrude on daily life, but the focus is on friends and relatives, memorable gatherings and events. There are new trousers, dance performances, and games of truth or dare!
Lennick’s writing is witty and conversational, and she includes a handful of poems commemorating particular memories. Perhaps my favorite part of the book was the brief jump ahead at the end to the conclusion of the war. The feeling of joy is palpable in the pages.
One of the recent reviews for A slice of Lemon short stories
A brilliant and beautiful collection of short stories for adults. Jude Lennon has put together a real treat for those who like a quick pick me up book to read. My favourite was Civilised Outrage as that short story is set in Amsterdam by the Anne Frank museum. Amaterdam is one of my most favourite places I have visited.
K. Lewis Adair buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow K. Lewis Adair: Goodreads – Website/reviews: K. Lewis Adair – Twitter: @KLewisAdair – Facebook: Windmills Soul Journey – Pinterest: K. Lewis Adair
One of the recent reviews for the book
Drew A real page turner…wants you wanting more Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 February 2021
Well, that was a different read…and for good reasons. Was a real page turner and has left me thinking about what happens to our love when we pass, what might draw us to our partners and how we may sacrifice everything for love. This book has a lot of characters to engage with that at first seem distant from each other. However, the concept of connections pervades and the main character, Ginny, starts a voyage of discovery to link these connections and discover why she might have been left a house. What she finds is so much more…with more to come I suspect. It’s about friends, loves and tragedy. Set in three parts, the changes in time are marked on the chapter titles to help you keep on track with the fast-paced movements. I was interested in the use of historical information to drive the plot and engage with the characters. And I even found out some new things.
All in all, I’d recommend this book to anyone that wants to delve into a story and the subjects of who we meet, befriend and fall in love with during our lives. The Windmill is not a linear read in any sense, this makes it interesting and different for that. Twists and turns and clues, easy to miss if you skim through, help us the reader and the characters discover some of the answers.
A well-constructed book of substance, some moving sections with depth that will make you think and want more after you’ve finished.
I have rarely picked up a non-fiction book that drew me in like Marian’s account of her life growing up as a Mennonite. Her sensory-rich writing style, lyrical and almost musical in quality, delighted me as her scenes unfolded. I did not recall the scent of linoleum until she described it and brought back my own memories of days gone by. Linoleum! Her words disappeared in the sheer experience of what she described. I wrote many of them down in order to savor them a little longer before reading on.
The strong will that caused so many problems with one member of her family, and her longing to be who she was within the confines of plain versus fancy, reminded me of my own journey into Christianity. I thrilled at her mother’s healing, identified with her desperate search to escape the basement, understood her stubborn fight against parental tyranny, and wanted to be invited to her family’s table for the meals she made me smell and taste with her wonderful descriptions.
Marian’s honest and beautiful memoir is one I’ll revisit, one that will stick with me as an unforgettable experience. If it were possible to rate as high as ten stars, this would be the book at the top. I loved it.
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
One of the recent reviews for Where Irises Never Grow
I’ve read a handful of books from Paulette, and have loved every one of them, but with Where Irises Never Grow she’s topped herself. I enjoy taking a journey with writers, and not just within their stories but with them as a writer, from the first book to the last one, each writer gets better in their craft, and Where Irises Never Grow is proof positive of this assumption. If I could give another star to this latest book I would. This isn’t to say the authors previous books were not good, because that would be a falsity, I’m referring to an incredible writers growth into something more. Paulette has a way of weaving tragedy into depths of character development, using history through a modern lens to reflect the tyranny and hope that exists within human hearts. An excellent piece of literature, you need to follow this author.
One of the recent reviews for Lockdown Innit
Author Marjorie Mallon’s keen sense of observation came to play in the way the poems were penned. Different emotions like fear, anger, longing, desire, humor were evoked while reading them.
The words also showed how people behaved during these tough times. It is the truth that some have still not learned after losing so many lives across the world. Many in the book were hard-hitting, some were humorous, and the best ones were, where the spoke of her love for her daughters through her words. Hope sailed through in them.
Then the author sneaked in a wispy one longing to be like the cat, dreaming peacefully of normal times. A perfect way to end the book.
One of the recent reviews for Secrets of the Galapagos
I read this book during lockdown, over the winter and it was honestly such a beautiful adventure. It served as a bit of an escape which I thoroughly appreciated. The book is full of action, intrigue and romance. Romance has never really been a selling point for me when it comes to novels, movies or really any storytelling medium, but Sharon does it well. I highly recommend this book, if you are going on vacation to anywhere but the Galapagos. I also highly recommend this book if its a dark and dreary winter, and you need to envision yourself somewhere else. The book is set somewhere wonderful and the mystery keeps you engaged for the long-haul.
My review for Apple Blossom 25th February 2021
Receiving the diagnosis of cancer is everyone’s fear. Jaye Marie shares her journey through this frightening experience from the first examination and her treatments at Queen Alexander hospital in Portsmouth with honesty and courage. A journal such as this is so important, not just as a way to document the experiences of those living through this devastating illness, but for those who might be at the start of that journey. Half the battle is the fear associated with the diagnosis, and at times the lack of information available as the medical professionals are understandably reluctant to commit themselves to a definitive prognosis. Whilst it is frightening, being informed is a key factor in getting through the treatment and remaining positive about the future. Jaye Marie does an excellent job and whilst the book is a short read it is filled with heartfelt inspiration.
One of the recent reviews for The Light
I could read a book about the 11-year-old Rabbit navel-gazing and be entertained. I’m in love with this character and as long as he’s in the story, I’m satisfied. Once again, Rabbit is using his gift of “sight” to solve murders and heal old wounds. In this book, one of the Brown Mountain lights is different from the rest. It’s full of sadness, and Rabbit wants to find out why.
This story has less violence and minimal danger compare to the previous books in the series, and though Rabbit solves the mystery, the more dire consequences unfold on their own. In this read, the focus has shifted somewhat to Rabbit’s expanding “family” as he spreads around his good will and makes connections with other good people. There’s a sweetness to this story and to these characters, and that’s not a bad thing.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Rabbit’s journey and happily recommend Meara’s Wake Robin Ridge series to fans of paranormal fiction, addictive characters, and expert writing. I will miss this little guy. A solid five-star read