Welcome to the Christmas book fair and today more great reads that make perfect gifts for book lovers.
And the first author is Mary Crowley and A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, her first novel, which is a wonderful read, set on the west coast of Ireland.
About the book
Imagine, a warm summer’s morning with the Sweet Smell of Strawberries wafting through the air, tantalising your senses….
For Sarah Connolly, this invokes beautiful memories of her son Jack. A talented athlete destined to represent Ireland in the Olympics and loved by everyone who knew him. While out training early one morning, the sixteen-year-old was killed when Desmond Shanahan lost control of his car. Jack’s death crushing Sarah, as her only child, he was the very essence of her life.
Losing a child in tragic circumstances, leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, a sense of unjust…..
Now, five years after the tragedy, Desmond’s early release from prison leaves Sarah feeling let down by the justice system and she makes sure he knows this. Even if it means losing friends in her quest to remind the close community of Kilmer Cove, of Desmond’s guilt. What Sarah fails to realise is nothing will bring back her son.
However, Sarah is not alone in her angst over Desmond’s release, and a web of lies soon becomes untangled over the events which lead to Jack Connolly’s death.
Can Sarah find it in her heart to forgive Desmond?
A Sweet Smell of Strawberries takes in a beautiful Irish setting along the coastline of Donegal and The Wild Altlantic way. A story of love, heartache and retribution which makes you realise no one is perfect!
A recent review for the book
A great read which involves violence and betrayal. The author has done an awesome job in engaging the reader really well throughout the book, feels like you were right there in the moment! The characters were interesting and loved how it was based in Donegal, Ireland because I know someone who has family there too. Can’t wait to read more of this author!
Also by Mary Crowley
The next author today is Gwen M. Plano with The Culmination: a new beginning – this is the third book in The Contract thriller series.
About the book
The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This well-written story that could be straight out of the headlines. The characters are interesting and well-developed and the plot keeps you guessing what will happen next. Conspiracy at a global scale that is more believable than ever in today’s world. I loved Margaret, a disabled former veteran in a position of power and influence. We could use a person like her in the real world! Lots of research went into this and it reads as if it’s really happening in the news. Kudos to the author for a great job!
Other books by Gwen Plano
The first author with a recent review is Miriam Hurdle for her award winning poetry collection Songs of the Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude
About Songs of Heartstrings
Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships.
The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.
The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.
A review for the collection
The subtitle of this collection is “Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” and that is a great description of these poems. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry is easy to relate to. There were so many poems that touched me and left me contemplating and reflecting on things. The book is divided into section, with the first being SONGS OF NATURE. I read this during an early spring, so the beauty of the words and the images that accompanied them had me heading outside to appreciate the joy that our beautiful world give us. SONGS OF DISSONANCE, REASON and SONGS OF PHYSICAL HEALING contain poems that show human struggles with sickness, cancer, grief, lost love and sadness. All things that we all deal with during out life. There are other sections dealing with moments of happiness and sadness, but I have to say my favourite section in this book was SONGS OF REFLECTION. I reread several of these poems many times. As I mentioned earlier, Miriam is a talented photographer and many of her photos accompany her poems. As well some of her paintings also grace the pages. This adds so much to the personal touches in this book.
Miriam wrote this poetry collection after dealing with many things in her life, some happy, some obstacles that she had to overcome. Her poetry shares those moments as well as some of what she learned as she dealt with things. Miriam also demonstrates many different forms of poetry, showing us that poetry comes in all forms. It’s not just about rhyming or repetition. Some of them could even be considered prose. One other thing that I appreciated is her open love and acknowledgment of God in her life. She thanks him for all she has received and asks for blessings when needed. This is a relatively short book, but it is chockfull of poems to make you think, reflect and be grateful.
Also by Miriam Hurdle for children
The final book today is by Adele Marie Park with the gothic supernatural Wolfe Manor
About the book
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 recent reviews for the book
I do not wish to lay out the plot of the novel as I believe that anyone interested in reading it should be attracted to its mystery and amazing atmosphere!
Adele Marie Park has done an exquisite job constructing her main character, along with building a gothic atmosphere which shall captivate the reader from page 1. The sense of anguish and claustrophobia coupled with the other characters, that are protective and secretive in the beginning, has masterfully been introduced.
The paranormal is a subject present in the story. And I loved how the author was able to describe how this phenomena/demon is negatively impacting the main character.
I adored this book and highly recommend it! Whether you usually read paranormal stories set in a gothic set or not, you will definitely enjoy it!
Also by Adele Marie Park
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…thanks Sally.