Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore Weekly News – where I will share recent reviews for authors in the Cafe.
Firstly some great news from Marcia Meara who has created a three book boxed set of The Emissary series for you to enjoy..
About the series and book 1
From Book 1: Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.
An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.
The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.
When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.
It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?
To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.
A five star review for Book 1 in the series to whet your appetite.
I won this book, along with the other two in The Emissary series, from an online competition. As I’ve read other books by this author, I was eager to read these. And I’m so glad I bumped this novella up my to-be-read list. It is a short but thoroughly enjoyable read, and I’ll be reading the next two as soon as I can.
The writer brings you all the emotions you could ask for in a book: humour (lots of laugh-out-loud momemts), sadness, despair, grief, determination, hope, etc.
I loved the two main characters in The Emissary, and Azrael is brilliant. The whole concept of overworked angels grabs my interest and arouses my sense of humour. All in all, a fun and intriuging read. It gets 5 stars from me.
The next author with a recent review for her latest book is Adele Marie Park – #gothic #supernatural – Wolfe Manor
About Wolfe Manor
Once she lived a normal life, a good, boring life, but a safe one…
Abandoned as a baby on the steps of Wolfe Manor, Fianna was raised with love, secure inside its walls. Now her bubble of safety is about to burst. Can she save the home and school which once cocooned her when old fears overwhelm? Facing students at the start of a new term is frightening enough without nightmares resurfacing which terrify Fianna.
She may have a degree in teaching but will this skill help her?
The return of old friends sends Fianna spiraling down the rabbit hole of her past. Wolfe Manor may call her to be what she was born to be, but can she find out in time to save it from an evil only she can defeat? Or if she fails and Wolfe Manor falls, what happens when the evil faces humanity unchallenged?
One of the early reviews for Wolfe Manor
An atmospheric story demonstrating the writing talent of Adele Marie Park. If you enjoy supernatural coming of age stories with elemental magic, witches, family secrets, gateways, portals between worlds, nightmares and dark demons this is for you.
It is an intricate read with a fair few characters and quite a complicated back story, so be prepared to invest time and attention to the narrative. There are some wonderful passages to enthrall you. I particularly loved the sections with the animals: the wolf, mouse, stag, owl, and badger. I’m a sucker for animals in books!
The authors words really shine in this latest book. I particularly enjoyed the passages devoted to art. I believe the author also paints and this is evident in how detailed and real these are.
I particularly enjoyed the humour and flurries of brilliance in this novel, as you can see in these quotes:
“Hey. Demon,” he shouted, and the chaos stopped for a second. “Yes. You know me. I remember and so do you. Leave or I’ll do what I did years ago.”
“As memory infiltrated the adult personae her emotional shield dropped. It was as it had been when she was a child and Miss Appleton chased away the darkness.”
Highly recommended. 5 stars.
The next author is Harmony Kent with a recent review for her poetry collection Slices of Soul.
About Slices of Soul
Slices of Soul is a collection of contemporary poetry from author Harmony Kent that will both delight and call for deeper reflection. ‘Phantoms’ gives a gritty account of pain that you can never catch. ‘Enough’ expresses the contentment of Zen. ‘Diamonds’ shows the beauty to be found on a drab and rainy day. While ‘The Alchemist’ shows you how a guitar can turn lead into gold. This wonderful arrangement of fifty poems takes you from the abstract of Zen to the melody of music, and will reach into your mind, your heart, and your soul.
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.
The final author today with a recent review is Audrey Driscoll for Hunting of the Phoenix: (The Herbert West Series Book 4)
About Hunting the Phoenix (The Herbert West Series Book 4)
Journalist Alma Halsey chases the story of a lifetime to Providence, Rhode Island and finds more than she expected – an old lover, Charles Milburn, and an old adversary, renegade physician Herbert West, living under the name Francis Dexter. Fire throws her into proximity with them both, rekindling romance and completing a great transformation.
More Details: Middle-aged and cynical, journalist Alma Halsey looks back on the missed chances in her life with bitterness and regret. Revisiting her home town of Arkham, she comes into possession of a letter that changes everything. So what if it’s not addressed to her, but to her old flame, librarian Charles Milburn? Suddenly she’s chasing down a big story, and maybe she’ll reconnect with Charles as well.
Giving up her New York City life, Alma moves to Providence, Rhode Island and begins tracking down another man from her past – one she’s assumed to be dead for more than 15 years – none other than renegade physician Herbert West. It seems he’s living in Providence under the name Francis Dexter, and is once more engaged in nefarious doings. Once she’s gathered enough information, Alma plans to write an expose.
Things get complicated when Alma discovers that Charles Milburn is also in Providence, working for “Dr. Dexter,” and English neurosurgeon Edward Clapham-Lee is also looking for Herbert West. Everything goes wrong when the house she is living in catches fire. Seriously injured and far from home, Alma is forced to accept the hospitality of the man she has made her quarry. In Dexter’s house she finds healing, strangeness and unexpected friendships, and realizes that her real quarry is herself.
Alone with Dexter for several days, Alma has occasion to revisit her relationship with him and discover the roots of her disaffection. Soon after Charles’s return from a business trip, the three repair to Cape Cod where they celebrate their renewed friendship, until the appearance of Edward Clapham-Lee – a man as amoral and dangerous as Dexter’s former self – demands a return to Arkham for a final reckoning.
A recent review for the Book
Mr. F. Parker Superbly written mystery with hints of the supernatural 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.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… thanks Sally.