Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.
The first book today which would make romance lovers very happy is Maggie’s Montana which is the third book in the Montana Bound Series by Linda Bradley.
About the book
Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?
One of the recent reviews for the book and series on Goodreads
A trip to Montana with Judy, Harry and Walter turns into the adventure of a lifetime. Chole and John are settled in at the ranch and there’s so much to enjoy. Winston lets Maggie know that she has a place in their life if she’ll take the chance. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to move forward towards a new home and relationship? Recommend Series.
Also by Linda Bradley
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
And on : Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Linda on : Goodreads
Connect to Linda via her website: Linda Bradley Author
The next author is Mary Crowley who has two books set in Ireland that would make wonderful gifts..Her first novel A Sweet Smell of Strawberries has a recent review..
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!
One of the recent reviews on Goodreads
Great Read, I loved this book. It is a story of love and loss with twists to keep you intrigued throughout, immediately pulling you in to the characters who are very relatable and believable. I could imagine sitting in the Cove listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shoreline. I’ve never been to Donegal but I definately plan to visit after reading this book.
Also by Mary Crowley
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK
And on : Amazon US
Read more reviews and follow Mary on: Goodreads
Connect to Mary via her blog: Mary Crowley WordPress
Now time for some action and adventure courtesy of Audrey Driscoll with a recent review for Book 4 of the Herbert West Series – Hunting the Phoenix. I am sure the complete series would make a great gift for anyone.
About the book
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.
One of the recent reviews for Hunting the Phoenix.
So speaks Charles Milburn near the end, when he and Alma are contemplating writing the story of Herbert West/Francis Dexter. I can’t argue with that sentiment!
Reading this book is definitely a powerful experience. However, I think I would have enjoyed it even more and comprehended it better if I were more knowledgeable about alchemy. It’s never been a subject that interested me; I’ve always viewed it (when I thought about it at all) as a primitive footnote to the history of “real” science. But I can concede that alchemy makes an excellent “crucible” for a paranormal plot. After all, all SF writers employ futuristic fictional science in order to move their plots along; why not utilize archaic fictional science?
A noteworthy aspect of this book is the author’s skill in evocative description. She really knows how to set a scene and create a mood; furthermore characters appear, take shape, and are molded in front of your very eyes. Here are only a few examples:
From the Prologue section: “Last night I dreamed again of Provincetown in the summer of 1939, seven years ago. A silver pink sunrise off the Cape in August. The taste of peach juice on his lips, his arms holding me as he dances us out of the world. The legacies of one who was born of fire and has returned to it.”
“My thoughts dissolved into a whirl of light, colour, and sound – the strange dissonances and harmonies of the two instruments, the copper-haired child with her birdlike song, the candlelit procession from darkness to light, the Christmas tree with its suns, moons, roses and dark orbs. And in the center of it all, our enigmatic host …”
And when Alma first starts to write poetry: “I sat in my quiet, rose-scented study, scribbling in fits and starts, stalking ripples of my own emotions as the hunter stalks his prey, fishing for feelings and catching them in a net of words.” On that subject, this book contains some remarkable poetry; the author displays a fine comprehension of that literary form.
Dreams and hallucinations also play a mesmerizing role in “Hunting the Phoenix,” and the author skillfully uses flashback techniques to relate earlier events. Most loose ends from the three earlier volumes are tied up, although there are still a few things I wonder about, especially what became of the John Hocks demon, who appears near the end of v.1
I strongly recommend this book and the three previous volumes in the series, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, She Who Comes Forth.
A selection of other books by Audrey Driscoll
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
Read more reviews and follow Audrey on: Goodreads
Connect to Audrey via her website: Audrey Driscoll
And finally today the memoir by Brigid P. Gallagher that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.
About the book
Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.
In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:
- The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
- Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
- Entering a new life of SLOW
Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…
Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”
In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.
One of the recent reviews for the book
A fascinating read through all the naturopathic and alternative remedies Brigid has been involved in. Clearly a very active and intelligent person, she applied herself to learning, teaching and living the naturopathic principals. Many people will owe much to her knowledge and generosity in sharing her gifts.
Her own health problems dictated a new path and a need to slow down and take care of herself. Her new pace of life has resulted in this book on life lessons and the importance of slow. We are the happy beneficiaries. Thank you for your insights Brigid!
Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK
and at: Amazon US
Read more reviews and follow Brigid on : Goodreads
Connect to Brigid via her blog: Watching the Daisies
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. Sally.