Welcome to the second of the Cafe updates this week with recent reviews for books on the shelves.
The first author celebrating a new review is Victoria Zigler for her book The Witchlet: Book One The Magical Chapters Trilogy.
In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is?
This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy. The titles in the series are as follows:
2. The Pineapple Loving Dragon
3. A Magical Storm
A recent review for the book on Goodreads
The Witchlet is a lovely story about a nine year old girl, Paige, who is a witch. Paige is an obliging girl who is happy to assist other people in need but she has a quick temper and bears a lot of unjustified guilt due to an unfortunate accident, when she was only three years old, when her uncontrolled magic powers resulted in her cousin being injured and permanently disfigured. Paige’s aunt has never forgiven her and when she comes to visit, Paige’s mother hides all indications that she is a witch.
Paige is frustrated and the reasons are threefold: 1. her father was not able to cope with the idea of her being a witch and left her and her mother to manage on their own, 2. people do not have faith in her abilities initially due to her age and she is tired of being treated like a child, although she is one and her powers don’t change that fact, and 3. her guilt and her aunt’s attitude towards her which are things she has been unable to change.
In this book, Paige performs an act of magic which saves the life of a three year old girl, a feat for which the girl’s grandmother is extremely grateful. When Paige’s aunt comes to visit after this piece of magic, certain disclosures and events are put in motion which will change life for Paige. Will these changes result in positive changes to Paige’s life? You’ll have to read the book to find out
Read the reviews and buy the book in all formats including audio: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witchlet-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00AM54R3E
The other two books in the Trilogy and a selection of other books by Victoria Zigler
You can download all the other print and audio books from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6
and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6
Victoria has a great many reviews on Goodreads and I suggest that you head there first to read: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5852247.Victoria_Zigler
Connect to Victoria via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/
The next review is for Fiona Tarr and her latest book released in early October Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)
About the Book
A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.
This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.
Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.
As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.
Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over
In keeping with the first book in The Priestess Chronicles, Relic Seeker has Ariela thrown into a new time and place to uncover her mission. She left with friends, but arrives alone, something that bothers her friends just as much when they discover her absence. Ariela is a servant on the Senator’s estate while the other two find themselves suspected gods, or at least the answer to prayers, in a nearby Goth village. This separation allows our heroes to tackle the problem from both ends as they struggle to figure out who or what they were sent to stop.
This is another adventure where Ariela and her friends must adapt while seeking clues to show why the angel brought them to this place. The Romans and Goths have a tentative alliance built on the need for mercenary troops and a willingness to accept Roman coin. An insidious rumor, whether true or false, is enough to undermine the peace as magic and rational beliefs clash.
Toss in the emperor’s half-mad son, powerful relics from lost cultures, and a villain with a mission cutting a little too close to the heart of our heroes, and this book offers a more nuanced conflict. The view of the Romans, possibly a reflection of when they land, supports this additional complexity. Hints indicate it is the rule of Constantine who became a Christian rather than keeping to the Roman gods.
The separation of main characters allows us to discover the good in Romans and Goths alike, and learn something about both cultures. Our heroes make friends among the villagers and Roman staff who influence the course of their mission as well as expanding the characters we, as readers, come to care about.
The omniscient, rolling point of view (POV) had a few small hiccups where information is withheld to create what I consider false tension, but for the most part, the POV worked well and I never lost track of who held center stage. It allows the reader to follow both sides of a complex situation without a lot of explanation required as it would be if non-POV characters had to reveal what they’ve been doing off screen.
The spare, straightforward writing style, plus a lighter hand with the less appealing aspects of both Roman and Goth life, makes this novel a solid, fun read. It managed to draw my sympathies and endear me to characters new and old as they faced challenges to touch their hearts and minds. Relic Seeker raises interesting questions about the lines where cultures and people meet while exploring human struggles.
I enjoyed the story and spending time with familiar characters along with new ones. The series could easily have fallen into a pattern. Instead, it draws on the characters’ histories, along with changing times, to offer a brand new conflict and challenge our band of time-traveling heroes. It’ll be interesting to see how this is accomplished in the next book.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKYF8QM
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKYF8QM
Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB
Also by Fiona Tarr
Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2
Read more reviews and follow Fiona on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423164.Fiona_Tarr
Connect to Fiona via her website : http://atime2write.com.au
The final author with a recent review is Barbara Silkstone for the fourth book in the Cold Cream Murders Series – Sun Scream.
About the book
A series of peculiar and highly suspicious accidents threaten the life of the Loud Mouth of the South. Can Olive and Lizzy find the predator before their friend becomes the victim at her own Murder Mystery Party? Help the Cold Cream gals solve the mystery of the corpse and the canapés. Mirth and murder in Book 4 of the Cold Cream Murders.
COLD CREAM MURDERS – series
When Olive Peroni put out her family therapy sign, she never thought her top client would be the retired head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s nonna dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, Olive grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.
But when the quiet little community on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Jamie Toast, Loud Mouth of the South, wants to have a Murder Mystery Party for an open house where all their friends dress up in roaring twenties attire. Jamie isn’t really a likeable character, but Olive and Lizzy have befriended her. The week before her party, mysterious accidents start happening to Jamie, which could have all been life threatening. All evidence seems to point to her husband, Chip Toast.
In the meantime, Sophia Napoli, an Italian film star, is considering backing and endorsing Nonna’s Cold Cream. One of her conditions is that Olive and Lizzy have to stop their crime busting antics, they would have to leave that up to the local police. Their involvement wouldn’t reflect well on Sophia. Olive agrees, but is torn. Being a psychologist, one of the things she does for the police is profile the people Kal brings in for questioning. She won’t let that go and figures she could do it on the sly.
Grams, Lizzy’s grandmother, is a spunky old coot who assigns herself, with her large brass candlestick, as Jamie’s bodyguard. She is also convinced that Chip is guilty of setting up the traps to kill Jamie. The night of the Murder Mystery Party Lizzy and Olive are assigned their roles to play. Everyone is having a good time and the game goes as planned with Jamie and her death scene. Then one of the party goers falls from one of the balconies and dies. Another mystery needs to be solved. This woman could have been mistaken for Jamie from behind. Was this another attempt on Jamie’s life?
Kal, Olive, and Lizzy scramble to clear Chip Toast and find the real person behind Jamie’s life-threatening attacks. And solve the real murder at the party. Was the woman pushed or did she jump to her death? Nothing can be found to link her to any of the party attendees. Olive invited her and her guest to the party. All possible leads are dead ends. Join Kal, Olive and Lizzy as they try to solve an unsolvable mystery…
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VG7VVRJ
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07VG7VVRJ
Other books in the series.
A small selection of other books by Barbara Silkstone
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-Silkstone/e/B0047L8A8W
Read more reviews and follow Barbara on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/576735.Barbara_Silkstone
Connect to Barbara via her website: https://secondactcafe.com/
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm..thanks Sally