#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Hashes & Bashes,” BY AUTHOR P J COLANDO

hashes-bashes

  • Title:  Hashes and Bashes: Jackie & Steve Book 2
  • Author: P J Colando
  • File Size: 1337 KB
  • Print Length: 225 Pages
  •  Publisher: BookBaby
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LWV02LG
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Genre Fiction, Family Life, Humor, Literature & Fiction

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*

In the Author’s Words:

“FAITH… FAMILY… FRENZY!

Nine months after their comically abbreviated RV road trip, detailed in the award-winning book, STASHES, the Breeden family farm routines have stabilized: Jackie returned to her high school cafeteria job and their only son, Brandon, works alongside his father, Steve, in the family micro-dairy.

But then an outsider arrives, claiming to be kin, and HASHES & BASHES begin.

Steve was already perturbed with the brother he has when Carl Edwards strides onto the farm. David Breeden, who lives nearby, is not a bastard but always acted like one. Carl, a charismatic Californian, may be a bastard but doesn’t act like one…

Yet Carl rocks the entire small Midwestern farming community, including a lively cast of characters who assault Steve’s calm-against-chaos pattern in this humorous family saga:

•his spunky farmwife, Jackie, and her meddlesome church lady friends

•his immature son, Brandon, and his female pursuers

•his pastor, who attempts to foist guilt while grubbing funds

•the lure of edible and spreadable medical marijuana and easy money from natural gas fracking

Only Sparty, Steve’s dog, remains steadfast throughout the hijinks. But then…”

My Recommendation:

I’ve been looking forward to another humorous and heartwarming novel from P J Colando, and let me tell you, “Hashes and Bashes” kept me alternating between laughter and tears. Her first book was called, “Stashes,” and you can read that review by clicking here. Now, grab a seat and let me tell you about this book because you’re going to love it!

What sets P J Colando apart from many others is her ability to draw the reader into the life of her characters. As the reader, you feel like you are her protagonist’s (Jackie) girlfriend and she is sharing with you what is going on in her and Steve’s life while the two of you are drinking tea and eating scones. This makes for some great storytelling. Jackie and Steve are so real to life, you expect to run into them while running errands in town. I know I did at least.

Jackie and Steve represent the perfect Midwest farm couple, hardworking and steadfast. You sense their love for one another seep through the pages. When Carl shows up, Steve’s brother from his mother’s WWII love tryst and given up for adoption, the Breeden family welcomes him into their nest.

Carl and Steve bond through a common acknowledgment of shared genealogy. However, that leaves Steve’s brother David out in the cold. David is the brother you wish you didn’t have, while Carl is likable and real, like Steve. A Prodigal Son triangle develops with impressive results. Once you throw Brandon, Steve and Jackie’s son, into the mix, the results are hilarious.

Years ago I worked on a ranch in Montana. The descriptions of (AI) artificial insemination from Carl’s bull into Steve’s dairy cows by Brandon are not only factually accurate, but they are also hysterical. I laughed so hard, I cried.

Yet, there is more than humor found between these pages. P J Colando breathes and writes life into the pages of her novels. Love, death, friendship, family, all find their way into her stories. Add a touch of pot-laced baking to the mix, and you have a recipe for success.

The end of the book grabbed me by surprise and left me wanting more of this beautiful, and funny family!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

 5gold-star3

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Author, P J Colando

About PJ Colando:

PJ Colando was born and raised in the Midwest, yet unabashedly aspired for adventure elsewhere, following her parents’ model. She lives in southern California with her husband, whose name is not Steve or Carl, the prime male characters in the ‘Jackie and Steve’ series.

PJ is the author of three novels, with short stories, personal essays, and articles published in journals, magazines, and anthologies. She’s earned an Erma Bombeck Humor Award, Reader’s Favorite Silver Award, and Southern California Writers Conference fiction award.

PJ writes contemporary women’s fiction and has drawn praise for her singular voice, humor and satire on contentious current affairs, and insights into human life. PJ writes funny!

Join her on her Boomer humor blog on her author site: http://www.pjcolando.com and on Facebook at PJ Colando.

PJ is having a blast and you will, too.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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#Book #Review Illusions of Magic by J. B. Rivard.

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Illusions of Magic: Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago

by J. B. Rivard

Fiction: Historical/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense. 233 Pages Print. Gray Dog Press (April 17, 2016)

Author Biography

J.B. RIVARD: As a young child, J.B. Rivard began drawing by copying newspaper comics. In his teens, he drew illustrations for his high school’s award-winning yearbook. He attended the Chicagojb-rivard Academy of Fine Arts and his artworks have appeared in more than fifty juried exhibitions, earning many prizes and awards. He’s an artist-member of the Salmagundi Club of New York City. The author draws on wide experience—he served in the U.S. Navy, graduated from the University of Florida, worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, and on the engineering staff of a U.S. National Laboratory where he wrote and co-authored many technical reports. His broad background supports an array of significant publications, from short stories to song lyrics, from essays to novels.  Learn More @ http://www.illusionsofmagic.com/. (The author has a special limited time offer on his home page you need to check out.)

Book Review

Illusions of Magic: Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago by J.B. Rivard is a historical novel with the assassination attempt on then President-elect Franklin Roosevelt’s life as one aspect. NICK ZETNER is a magician who finds himself working among the criminal elements of 1933 Chicago to make money as the Depression and the film industry make the need for a magician act less desirable. Little does he realize that a romance from 20 years ago will play an important role in the dangerous mess he finds himself in or that the errant bullet that missed Roosevelt and hit the mayor of Chicago instead would bring him even more danger.

Illusions of Magic is a fast paced read. If you start it in the morning on a weekend, you’ll likely finish it in one day. The style is 1930s gangster movie with a touch of romance, and some historical reveals and glimpses into how politics and crime worked, sometimes hand in hand, in 1930s Chicago. You’ll even imagine yourself seeing images flash across a movie screen in black and white as you read the book. It helps that the author also includes an occasional illustration to let you know what certain characters look like or the atmosphere of a scene is. I really enjoyed the clothing styles and the cars.

Instead of a one dimensional crime drama we have the inclusion of a romance with mystery attached to it from the main character, Nick Zetner’s, past. All things are connected in the book, which you don’t realize at first and might only notice after the fact. But everything from the discovery of an old bicycle bell to the assassination of the mayor of Chicago has significance. At first the book seems like a lot lighter fare but turns into something with more layers to it than expected.

I was expecting a little more to do with magic, because of the title, but you won’t find it in this book. Perhaps a sequel could have Zetner again delving into the underworld of Chicago and using magic to trick his way out of bad situations. But you don’t miss the magic here once into the story. I only mention it now so you don’t go into the book expecting to find tricks galore.

I recommend this book for history lovers or old movie buffs who want that nostalgic feeling in an enjoyable and fast paced format.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Illusions of Magic @:

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Visit Author and Artist J. B. Rivard @: http://illusionsofmagic.com/

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I. Williams #BookReview

  • Title:  I. WilliamsI. Williams: A Psychological Thriller (The Twins Book 3) by [R.G. Miller]
  • Author: R.G. Miller
  • File Size: 1056KB
  • Print Length: 201
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1514105799
  • Publisher: R.G. Miller
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MYW1KME
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

It has been a long while since Detective Isis Williams’ last confrontation with Stacey McHill, one-half of the serial killer twins. Williams has failed to apprehend the teenaged serial killer and is now faced with embarrassment among her colleagues and severe depression.

While Williams and Toni are assigned to desk duty by their new captain, babies are being snatched in broad daylight throughout New York City and replaced with lifelike dolls. Detective Williams has succumbed to paranoia and to top it off, her great-niece is abducted. Can she save herself, as well as her niece? Well, you’ll just have to pick up the conclusion to The Twins trilogy to find out.

I. Williams was tightly written, fast paced and very intriguing. The ending is both a twist but at the same time inevitable. The storyline is intense, dark and I couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, do so before picking up this one. This way, you’ll have a feel of why Williams’ emotions are running amok in I. Williams. After reading all three of this series, I have to say the third is my favorite.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story,” BY AUTHOR @TEAGANGENEVIENE

three-things-serial

  • Title:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story
  • Author: Teagan Geneviene
  • File Size: 507 KB
  • Print Length: 95 Pages
  • Publication Date: November 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MRRC0B2
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Amateur Sleuths

In the Author’s Words:

“The Three Things Serial Story was a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode.

It quickly became a 1920s Mystery with armature sleuth, Pip, telling the story. Pip is determined to be a modern woman, a flapper.

Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with an oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed.

While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride! Many readers asked me to provide the serial as a book, and that’s what I’ve done with this novella. So, sit back and enjoy the Three Things Serial.”

My Recommendation:

Are you ready to step back into the 1920’s to join Paisley Idelle Peabody, in solving a mystery? Hurry up and dig your best suit out of the attic and grab your sequined flapper dress because you are in for a fun time. It’s the real cat’s meow!

This was my first time reading a Teagan Geneviene serial novella. What a unique and novel idea! What I enjoyed most was the randomness of the words chosen at the beginning of each chapter. This required some writing skill because she had to structure each chapter in such a way as to use the selected words provided by her readers. And, the author had no idea how the story was going to evolve. I found some insight into the writing of the story on her blog, Teagan’s Books. Here’s what she had to say:

“Everything about this story was determined by the random “things” readers sent.  Absolutely nothing was pre-planned.  First came the narrator, Pip, aka Paisley Idelle Peabody.  I imagined the voice of Lucille Ball as Pip, telling a story of her youth.  Then came the 1920s setting, inspired by an oscillating fan. Next, the “things” brought characters, particularly Andy who came back for another serial. Eventually, a thing gave me the Florida setting.  I think you get the idea of how this worked.

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures.  In this story, a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped.  Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos, and other “things.”  Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Cà d’Zan.”

The tale unfolds quickly, much like the old black and white movies from the period. You get right into the story and meet the characters, who are likable and believable as they comfortably fit into the Roaring Twenties time frame with their language and mannerisms. There is a mystery to be solved, and I liked the way the story evolved. There were even some surprises along the way.

At first, I read a couple chapters a night. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I finished the book off. I had to find out what became of the little old white-haired lady!

This was a fun and engaging trip back into the flapper era, and I loved it!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4-5-stars

 

 

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Author, Teagan Geneviene

About Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to contributions from viewers. Major influences include Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

To watch a trailer for the book, click the link below:

You can find Teagan on Twitter @teagangeneviene, Facebook at Teagan Geneviene, and her blog, Teagan’s Books.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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Interview With K.T. Munson @ktmunson

I had the pleasure of interviewing author K.T. Munson. The first book of hers I read was Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved. I also have her latest, Unfathomable Chance, in my hands. Thank you, K.T., for allowing me to interview you!

What do you like to read in your free time?

I actually like to review indie authors and small press houses books in my free time…the little free time I have. I’ve had some real gems come across my kindle and they inspire me to work harder and become a better author. Plus I get to help out fellow indie authors, so that is always a bonus.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

This is a tough question for me because I never really paid attention to anyone and just sort of did my own thing. So instead I’ll take some creative liberties here. The most helpful thing I can think of is when my mother showed me that we have an ancestor who is a published poet. I told my mum I was going to be published one day too. Her encouragement and support has always gotten me through the rough patches. She is my #1 fan and I’ll continue writing and publishing if she is the only one who reads it. The most destructive thing was relying on technology. I lost chapters and chapters of a book in college. It broke my spirit to write for a long time because I felt like I lost a part of me when my USB stick died. Don’t rely on technology; always have backups of all your work!

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I like to paint, make jewelry, and grow plants. I honestly have a ton of hobbies some of which never took, like knitting. I like to keep myself busy year round since I live in Alaska with everything from camping to hunting on top of the inside hobbies. Don’t even get me started on TV, movies, video games, and D&D.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I have to edit my books from printed copies. Everything else I just go with what I feel like. The moment my book writing becomes structured and rigid the moment it stops being fun.

What is your writing space like?

Anywhere I like. Honestly I take my books with me and work on them when I’m flying for work, sitting at home on my computer, or typing ideas into my phone. My work space is wherever I am but most of it is in my computer room. It is an old pine desk my parents bought when I was 5. The darn thing is falling apart but I just can’t bring myself to replace it. Under it is the group of my works, all broken into little accordion folders that contain editing, beta reader notes, original concept notes, and even sketches.

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us a funny story about them?

I have two cats: Emma and Lizzie. They are both named for Jane Austen characters (Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet). Emma is more my cat than Lizzie. As to a funny story I have tons, but my favorite is when I brought Emma home from her first vet visit, and she of course howled the entire way over and misbehaved the entire time (constantly trying to slink away) but honestly she got a thermometer shoved up her butt so I could sympathize with her distress. When I brought her home and parked in the garage I let her out of the cat carrier so that she could wander back into the house. Instead she hides under the car and wails because she doesn’t recognize the garage as home. I can’t get her out of there and after trying to push her out with broom, I abandon her and go and stand in the hallway and wait. Twenty minutes of constant wailing and she finally walked into the hallway. She immediately recognizes it as home and stops. She gives a look that says ‘You’re a jerk and I’m not an idiot’ and proceeds to go upstairs and eat some food. Needless to say I don’t let her out in the garage anymore.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I try to edit or write every day. I constantly have at least 2 books I’m working on at the same time. Usually a main book and what I like to call my relief books, which is usually a romance of some sort.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Everywhere. Cliché I know but seriously, everywhere. Usually the main concept comes to me in a dream. I’m a lucid dreamer most times and I get some doozies that are like living books or movies in my head which I remember 90% of when I wake up. 1001 Islands was Chapter 1 and Unfathomable Chance was Chapter 4. Sometimes it is a single image I am working towards or a concept. For North & South it was both, the image of a girl alone in the desert wandering towards certain dangers and the idea that every decision we make affects another person, like the butterfly effect.

What do you hate most about the writing process?

*Groan* Editing. I don’t mind rewriting but editing is killer. Thank goodness for editors.

What do you think makes a good story?

Originality with a color of the familiar. I like to bring whole new worlds alive and I think creating a world that people lose themselves in is a good story. Right up there with characters that are relatable or believable.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Gosh everything. Lawyer, doctor, inventor, and an accountant to name a few. Little did I know that I could do all those things…in my books. I have researched the strangest things, let me tell you.

What is your favorite book that you didn’t write?

The entire A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Firestorm #BookReview

  • Title: FirestormFirestorm (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 2) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 314
  • Publication Date: June 11, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres:
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Although I believe this series can be read out of order, I’m glad I read the first before getting to Firestorm. I managed to learn the nature of the characters so I could even appreciate their growths even more. The second book in the Sword of Light series picks up where it left off in Stormweilder while giving us just enough of a glimpse to its predecessor for those that decide not to read in order.

We’re reacquainted with old friends, while some of them, including Eric’s mentor, Alastair, meets a terrible fate. Our protagonist, Eric, has learned a great deal of his magic and task. He’s now more able and willing to fight without hesitation. During the journey of magic in search of Light, Eric and his team is met with darkness as they battle their own demons, as well as each other.

There were quite a few misplaced punctuation, or absent of, which tended to distract me as I read. The dialogue was engaging, for the most part, though at times it slipped and didn’t provide the correct language for the time. The scenes were painted so well, I felt I was a part of the story.

Firestorm starts off slowly, but soon the action very rarely lets you go. For those who enjoy twists and turns, this book will not leave you disappointed. There is a cliffhanger at the end, which will make you want to pick up the third and final book of the Sword of Light trilogy just to figure out what happens next. If you enjoy demons, gods, magic and dragons all rolled in one, then I highly recommend you pick up this series.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

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#Book #Review of Counterpart by @HSchussman.

Counterpart by H. Schussman4_stars_goldI’ve reviewed H. Schussman’s work here before. It  was El Tiburon and I gave it 4 stars. You can even read the interview I did with her by clicking here.That was her second book. Now I’ve read her first novel which you can get on Smashwords in any format you like.

Her first book is Counterpart. In this outing we get to meet Schussman’s characters CIA Agent/Travel Agent SEAN MCGEE and Doctor JANET “SPORT” WARRICK. The book starts off with Sport picking up a friend at work in a jewelry store when a robbery takes place. She foils one of the bad guys who doesn’t see her at first. Then the owner shoves a box into her hands and tells her to get it to Sean McGee. A chase ensues by the main bad guy but Sport gets away. I’m not spoiling it for you. If she were caught there wouldn’t be much of a story, now would there?

The story itself is very good. Great pace, if I had started this book during the morning after breakfast I would likely have finished it before bed. There are details about Sacramento that hint at first hand experience. Also other travel experiences that are obviously pulled from the author’s own extensive travel life. Trust me, she knows about the Americas, north, south, and central.

Once Sean and Sport meet up it is one thrill ride after another with CIA agents, FBI agents, Secret Service, and more. Even the California Highway Patrol gets involved. And don’t get me started on the Club Med moments.

My favorite character is Sport. She comes by the name for good reasons, which are revealed in the book, so I won’t tell you here. She isn’t a short girl to mess around with, even though Sean really wants to. Both find there is an unexpected attraction that neither really knows what to do with, what with a CIA agents life style and a young doctor’s not being all that great for starting a relationship. The question is, do both survive the whole thing to make it to a relationship at all?

Fast paced, guns, chases, assassinations, bad guys, Russian doubles, political look-a-likes. This one has it all. Oh, and there is even some kissing involved. I had to mention it for the tough guys reading this. We can’t even get a good shoot ’em up book without kissing thrown in. (Just kidding. I wrote a romance.)

This one is good for all types of readers. Enjoy it. It’s only $1.99 at Smashwords right now. I will say that there are some editing moments that were missed, but they don’t take away from the reading experience. (I edit books so I pick them up.) Get the book, then check out El Tiburon on Amazon.

Click the images to go and check out the books. And follow her on twitter @HSchussman for her latest happenings.

Counterpart by H. SchussmanEl Tiburon by H. Schussman

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@FTThum #BookReview ‘Grind’ by Edward Vukovic

When approached by Vukovic for an honest review, I could not refuse as I am an avid coffee drinker. The book cover is enticing, and in itself, pip my curiosity. Coffee grind reading…?

grind-coverTitle:          Grind
Author:        Edward Vukovic
Publishers:     CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 2, 2016)
Format:          Kindle, Paperback
Website:         www.edwardvukovic.com
Pages:             398
Genre:           Fiction – Contemporary

What’s it about?

The story is a microcosm of the world at large, bound by the aromatic substance, coffee.  This is an entirely enjoyable and intelligent book, weaving multi-faceted characters through each other’s lives culminating in a powerful resolution.

We have Ziva, a young migrant woman, intelligent and trapped in a world of poverty. Infused with a talent for coffee-grind reading, she lives by her heightened ‘instinctive’ sense.

There is Simon, an angry direction-less man feeling victimised by life and its injustices; the only valuable thing in his life that which he thought could not be taken from him – his special coffee.

And Isaac, pub owner and a man atoning for his sins as he only knows how – the daily overcoming of the temptation of a former vice.

What of Michel, a homeless man by choice, oddly noble man avoiding his past and seeking in his own way to make amends.

Danielle, the young girl with a mentally ill father, bound by circumstances yet still hopeful for a better world.

Masterfully crafted by Vukovic, their lives intersect and will be forever changed, each character finding redemption.

I cannot help but associate the title ‘Grind’ with a different meaning, the grind that is life for the characters, each with a burden to bear. Will it lighten, I wonder…?

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. ‘Grind’ draws the reader into the lives of its characters, reminding us that we all have our privates selves, that it is a priilege to be let into that private world.  We are the same – doing the best we can in our world – no matter the texture of our story; and interconnected – our actions have impact on others .

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3.5/5
Overall enjoyment:               4.5/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 2.95
  Hardback USD 18.95

~ FlorenceT

 

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2017 LitWorldInterviews

Stevie Turner’s Review of ‘Holiday’, by Joanna Warrington

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Worldwide Amazon purchase link:  http://bookShow.me/B01MXYJJ3V

Here’s the book’s description on Amazon:

Lyn wakes on her 50th birthday with no man, no close friends and middle age staring her in the face. Determined to change her sad trajectory Lyn books a surprise trip for herself and her three children through the American Southwest and Yellowstone. Before they even get on the plane, the trip hits a major snag. The children have invited Lyn’s estranged partner to join them. Now, the two adults and three children have to keep up appearances and pretend to be a happy—if somewhat demented—family on their trip. Along the way, amid the mountain vistas, secrets will be revealed and a hurtful betrayal confronted in this sweet, funny family saga. In addition to laugh-out-loud adventures with the rambunctious family, author of ‘Every Family Has One’ Joanna Warrington writes of the extreme culture shock that comes from visiting America from England. Things like gas pumps immediately throw our heroes for a loop, but they valiantly rise to the occasion. Warrington, who has previous experience in travel writing, makes the Southwest spring to life! This book will appeal to fans of travel writer Bill Bryson as well as fans of British TV sit-com ‘Outnumbered.’

My Review:

Five stars

Lyn is British and a 50 year old single parent of 3 children, Mel, Brett, and Felicity.  Lyn had divorced her husband Ray 11 years previously, as his penchant for birds of the feathered kind had been more important than spending time with his family.  Ray had also had issues with Felicity’s parentage after Lyn had admitted an affair. 

Lyn books a holiday to the USA for herself and her children, but finds her ex-husband at the airport, as her children had secretly arranged for their dad to go too.  Lyn is angry at not being told about Ray accompanying them, but grudgingly allows him to tag along. 

I learned a lot about the bird world, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas by reading this book.  At times I felt as though I was reading from a travel guide, but I enjoyed the overall story and the characters were well developed.  The book held my interest, and I wanted to see how it ended.  There was much humour in the book, and I recommend it for fans of women’s fiction, true-to-life family situations, and comedy.  I shall be reading more books by this author.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Genteel Secrets,” BY AUTHOR @SARAHMALLERY1

genteel-secrets

  • Title:  Genteel Secrets
  • Author: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size: 4027 KB
  • Print Length: 118 Pages
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MTU6KNE
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Romance, Victorian, Military

In the Author’s Words:

“What do a well-bred Southern Belle and a Northern working class Pinkerton detective have in common? Espionage . . . And romance. At the start of the U.S. Civil War, while young men begin dying on American battlefields and slavery is headed toward its end, behind the scenes, female undercover work and Pinkerton intelligence are alive and well. But in the end, can this unlikely Romeo and Juliet couple’s love survive, or will they be just another casualty of war?”

My Recommendation:

Anytime S. R. Mallery releases a new book is a great day for the enthusiasts who follow her historical romances. So, you can imagine my excitement when she released, Genteel Secrets, a Civil War romance with a unique twist – Alan Pinkerton, who served as head of the Union Intelligence Service, and who created the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Set in 1861 in Washington, D.C., we are introduced to James Neely, an Irish immigrant who has worked his way out of the slums to become a doctor. In a chance encounter in a city park, he meets Hannah Mayfield, an educated woman from the Confederate South. In addition to their irresistible attraction, is a mutual admiration in the way they both express the politics of the day. Most Southern women do not engage in such things, and James is clearly smitten.

A series of life events interrupts their blossoming love affair. James finds his calling by joining the Pinkerton’s, where he is thrust into the middle of an investigation into that of a notorious spy ring, running out in the open within the capital. Little does he know, the elusive Hannah, has been blackmailed into taking part in the political intrigue by members of her own family. The challenge is whether their love can stand the test of time and win out in the end.

However, this story is bigger than James and Hannah’s love affair. It is also a political commentary on America’s Civil War and the treatment of slaves. It is about loyalty and friendship and the choices people made to hold close their personal freedom and beliefs.

At the beginning of each chapter, the author inserted quotations that shared the political climate of the times. I enjoyed these passages because it added a sense of credibility to the story. I’ve added this book to my “Me-Time,” category because I loved it so much. I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened next. The ending was unexpected and restored my faith in humanity.

If you like fast-paced historical drama, this is one book you will not want to miss. I loved it!
me-time

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

 

 

 

sarah-mallery

Author, Sarah Mallery

About Sarah Mallery:

S.R. Mallery, Gold Medalist winner of the 2016 READER’S FAVORITE Book Awards for Anthologies, has been labeled nothing short of ‘eclectic.’ She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher. As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day or listen to music, Sarah’s imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

What readers are saying about S. R. Mallery’s books:

“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.” ~ Thomas Baker Thomas on Unexpected Gifts.

“Honestly, I haven’t read a book this unique in quite some time.” ~ John H. Byk on Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

“Mallery is an extremely talented writer. Her style lures the reader; you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression.” ~ Melinda Hines on Tales to Count On.

The Dolan Girls “was so enjoyable. At times rollicking, at times poignant, but always authentic, well researched and a beautifully told story. Highest recommendation. Five stars.” – B. Nelson

Sarah loves to hear from fans and readers.
Find Sarah on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1abYVyP
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahMallery1
Visit her on http://srmallery.wordpress.com/home/
Follow Sarah and other award-winning authors on http://enovelauthorsatwork.com
Catch Sarah’s history/vintage clothing/old flicks Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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Stormwielder #BookReview

  • Title: StormwielderStormwielder (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 1) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 321
  • PublicatioCopy a Postn Date: December 1, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

This is the first book of the Sword of Light Trilogy. Eric is a young man with powers that is capable of wielding mass destruction. He doesn’t know how to control it, so he spends much of his time in exile from anything and anyone that he knows. That is until Alastair, a mysterious old man, who seems to know more about Eric that even Eric does. After Eric unintentionally destroys a town, he and Alastair set out to escape from Eric’s enemies. Through his guilt of destroying people’s lives, Eric has to fight for his own while learning to control his powers. During the times you think it can’t get any worse on their journey, you find that you’re wrong.

I enjoyed reading Stormwielder. When I started, I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was very well written. As soon as the story opens with death and destruction, it rarely lets you go as Eric and Alastair and our other heroes fight to survive their enemies. The characters were all likable and sympathetic…including Gabriel who stops at nothing to get revenge on Eric. The scenes also painted a pretty picture, however, at times it was a little too descriptive.

The main issue was a lot of grammatical, spelling and punctuation problems. It was hard to overlook those, however, after finishing the story I’m eager to find what’s next in store for these characters I’ve learned to love in Firestorm. Beginning the series with Stormwielder is a great way to get to know the characters before continuing their journey on through the next chapter of their stories.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

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Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia #BookReview @elleboca

  • Title: Gypsies, Tramps and WeeiaGypsies, Tramps and Weeia (The Weeia Marshals Book 1) by [Boca, Elle]
  • Author: Elle Boca
  • File Size: 4094KB
  • Print Length: 262
  • Publisher: Poyeen Publishing
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Sworn to protect the secrets of their race, marshals are trained to police Weeia hiding among humans. After completing her advanced marshal training, Danni is blown away by her new plum assignment to Paris. But, all is not well in the City of Lights; the offices are a shambles, her boss is apathetic, and her predecessors died under mysterious circumstances; it’s almost like somebody doesn’t want the law there. Despite that she risks her life in the seedy underworld of gypsies and tramps to search for a missing Weeia man.

My Review:

Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia started out with the examination of a young Weeia girl, Danni, who needs to pass in order to become the next level marshal. Weeia is creatures who appear like humans at first glance, but should they gather in a crowd, they’d stand out too much from distinctive features. They possess special powers for the purpose of protecting both humans and Weeia.

When the story opens, we find that Danni’s family  makes it hard to build a name for herself. Aside from a couple of faithful friends, Danni is basically paying for the sins of her family. She wants nothing more than to prove that she’s worth a second glance. She finds that chance in her first assignment: Paris.

Having never been to Paris before, I felt as though I was right there. The idea of having the first assignment in Paris can make anyone walk in an excited daze. However, Danni’s excitement is short-lived when she arrives at a dirty apartment, her boss doesn’t care to meet her and she’s stuck trying to orient herself in a new, strange place. But that won’t last for too long–soon, she will be swept up in an adventure of a lifetime.

The plot was well thought-out, characters three-dimensional. I truly enjoyed this fantasy story because it was different than most that I’ve read. There were a few problems in the editing but still didn’t keep me from becoming immersed in this wonderful tale of Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Elle Boca
Elle is the author of the Weeia urban fantasy series about superhumans. The Unelmoija series is set in Miami. In the Garden of Weeia, a novella, is set in Portland, Maine, and her newest Marshals Series is set in Paris, France. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading.

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Yellow Hair,” BY AUTHOR @HUCKFINN76

  • Title:  Yellow Hair
  • Author: Andrew Joyce
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 498 Pages
  • Publisher: William Birch & Assoc.
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B01LXOXHBI
  • ISBN-10: 0998119318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998119311
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Biographical

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*


“Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader–and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people, and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.”

Yellow Hair is an action-packed epic saga telling the life story of a man coming to grips with his destiny. From the first page of this book, the reader is thrust inside the life journey of Jacob Ariesen, a young man whose family was looking for a better way of life in California. Leaving Massachusetts behind, and heading west on the Oregon Trail, the Arisen’s meet up with a wagon train headed to California in the mid-1800’s and set out toward gold country.

Most of the travelers were Eastern businesspeople, and they weren’t prepared to face the hardships on the trail. Careless errors of judgment by the pioneers results in the deaths of many family members. The people were greenhorns and had no clear idea what they had gotten themselves into. Throw in a crippling bout of cholera, and you have a clear picture of the tribulations suffered by the brave folks who traveled West looking for a better way of life. In the blink of an eye, Jacob’s entire family is wiped out, and he becomes the sole survivor.

With the dead and dying all around him, Jacob Ariesen becomes infected with cholera, and his days are numbered. Help is at hand, when a prophetic Native American woman, named Suni, finds her destiny with the fair-haired Jacob. Suni nurses him back to health, and she calls him, “Yellow Hair.” With no family of his own, Yellow Hair embraces the Dakota tribe who adopts him. He learns to speak the native languages of the Great Plains Indians and lives his life as a member of the Dakota tribe.

Jacob Ariesen, a.k.a. Yellow Hair takes his place in history framed by the U.S. government’s policy of placing the Dakota Sioux Indian tribes onto reservations after breaking treaty after treaty with the native peoples. The rest of the story belongs to Yellow Hair, told from his point of view.

I felt both sides (Native American and Whites) were portrayed as accurately as history could allow. The difference is in perspective, when you the reader, has the chance to witnesses the historical events through the eyes of a white man who considers himself to be an Indian.

I thought the author, Andrew Joyce, was entirely fair in his depiction of all the events. I never felt one side was glorified over another. The historical facts are woven in between the author’s interpretation of the events making history come alive.

History has a way of repeating itself, and I was quite moved with the parallels between the novel, and real life events unfolding at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I must admit I shed a few tears at the brutality of humanity on both sides of the spectrum.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish and could not put it down. And, as the author reminds us, “This is history,” which means many of these happenings are hard to swallow from a humanitarian point of view.

This is one of my favorite books from my expanding library of Andrew Joyce novels. If you love historical fiction set in the American West, you will love Yellow Hair.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

Author, Andrew Joyce

About Andrew Joyce:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

You can find Andrew on Twitter @HuckFinn76 and on Facebook at Andrew Joyce (Yellowhair1850)

You can also connect with Andrew on his author blog at andrewjoyce.wordpress.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

2016-11-17-11-25-08

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Murder on the Strike of Five #BookReview

  • Title:  Murder on the Strike of Five
  • Author: MP Peacock
  • Print Length: 324
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Crime

Synopsis:

Moscow, Russia, February 1917. As the tinder-box of Revolution ignites, Inspector Vladimir Lesnoy gets a vital lead in an investigation he has been working on for years – the case of a brutal serial killer. Aboard the Trans-Siberian Express, Lesnoy is intrigued by his fellow passengers who all seem to have secrets to hide. While the train rumbles through the cold, bleak Siberian landscape, tensions start to simmer and romance blossoms. When murder strikes, all the first-class passengers come under suspicion and it soon becomes clear that each one of them had the motive to kill, as well as the means and the opportunity. A classic whodunnit set in a time of social upheaval, which will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie.

My Review:

The serial murders are told mainly as a back story, through various letters over the course of several years, as well as brief scenes with Inspector Lesnoy hunting for his killer. The Potato Sack Killer had been striking throughout Russia for at least ten years, leaving Lesnoy and his people perplexed.

During the aging years, we walk through time, learning about Sophia’s friendship and devotion to Countess Tatiana. When Sophia and Tatiana’s father realizes that the countess is in danger, the young girls are sent away to board the train out of Moscow. However, their troubles don’t end there. A murder is committed aboard the train and each of the first-class passengers has the means and opportunity, as well as a motive.

I found that the plot moved steadily and was intriguing. The storytelling was tightly written, ending quite well. It really does give you an Agatha Christie feel. The characters were very well-developed, their conversations interesting. The narrative painted a beautiful picture to make it seem as though you were being swept away in the story. I could almost hear the locomotion in my mind’s eye. My favorite narrative scene was the beginning of chapter fifteen where we get the first sense of the train moving along the Siberian landscape.

If you are a fan of dark crime and enjoy Agatha Christie, I highly recommend that you add Murder on the Strike of Five to your reading queue.

Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Stevie Turner’s Review of ‘Watching the Daisies’, by Brigid P. Gallagher.

watching-the-daisies

4****

http://bookShow.me/B01N3M9VJ0

Brigid P. Gallagher’s memoir ‘Watching the Daisies’ is not only an armchair traveller’s dream, it is also a mine of information for anybody suffering from symptoms of fibromyalgia; fatigue, aches and pains, and irritable bowel problems in particular.  Brigid is also fortunate enough to have a kind of sixth sense and can tell if people are ill or healthy by the colours of auras around them.  She is also an expert on natural medicines and horticulture.

I enjoyed reading about Brigid’s solo travelling adventures abroad (she is a very intrepid, brave lady by the way), though did wonder if too many unfamiliar foodstuffs were causing the irritable bowel symptoms! This book shows the reader how to be pro-active in coping with fibromyalgia and also how acceptance of your condition goes some way to finding inner peace.

I’m about the same age as Brigid, and also enjoyed the descriptions of various concerts she attended, especially of Tom Jones and in particular Thin Lizzy, one of my all-time favourite rock bands.

Good health to you Bridgid, and thank you for writing such a delightful memoir, although IMHO I would have preferred a few less exclamation marks. 

#BOOK #REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Rapture in the City,” BY AUTHOR @CHANNELINGLOVE

  • Title:  Rapture in the City (Sequel to Catching Feathers in the Wind)
  • Author: Diane Hall
  • File Size: 1025 KB
  • Print Length: 231 Pages
  • Publisher: http://www.dianehallauthor.com
  • Publication Date: August 18, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0145J0U8S
  • ISBN-10:  0955973392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955973390
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Magical Realism, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Angels & Spirit Guides

    *I voluntarily reviewed an Author’s Copy of this book*


“This sequel to Catching Feathers in the Wind begins when Stephen, Jayna and the other non-physical members of their soul group assemble on a distant star, fully awakened and aware of their connection with each other as a soul group consciousness. A large meeting is called, in which they are charged with returning to Earth in various forms, in order to trigger the inhabitants of the Earth into a spontaneous co-creation of Utopia. It seems straightforward enough, until they begin to encounter strange, invisible electromagnetic fields, stubborn twin flames who refuse to re-unite and carry out their joint mission, and a mysterious figure who holds all of their dreams by a thread… Who is the enigmatic leader of the Utopian Resistance Movement, and what does he really want? Will Heaven on Earth ever be allowed to birth itself, and will Natalie ever allow herself to be united with the one man she should never, ever want…”

Diane Hall has written this fantastic novel as a sequel to “Catching Feathers in the Wind,” which I reviewed some time ago. You can find that review here. I loved the first novel and was excited to see what the author had up her sleeve for the sequel.

When “The One,” gathers the soul group consciousness together, their hearts swell with the brightness of a flame. God has a mission for these entities, and the intent is to institute “The Divine Plan,” by returning the ‘All’ back into a state of harmonious and unified consciousness, or a Heaven on Earth.

A negative vibrational field covers the earth preventing God’s love from penetrating the hearts of mankind. The light-workers have been busy, though, and the loving energy surrounds the earth, seeking a path to touch humanity. As you can imagine, angels coming back to earth causes major chaos, sometimes with hilarious consequences and sometimes not so much as their antics mimic real life.

The thing I like best about Diane Hall’s writing is her intuitive way of portraying humanity. Her characters always come across as real, not contrived. She reprises the roles of Stephen and Jayna, from the first novel to work their magic and love behind the scenes once again back on earth. Two other couples figure prominently in the book. Their journey to finding true love is entertaining and engaging.

I also enjoyed the author’s use of incarnated fairy-folk in her story. This was a concept I have been dabbling with myself, so I was intrigued, to say the least.

The theme of the novel is love and the evolution of love on the wheel of life. There is one holdout, one person who resists the love fest by blocking all thought transference between himself and outside sources. The question is if we have heaven on earth, do we then give up our freedom of choice? Does humanity desire to live in a constant state of harmony between all sentient beings?

All I can say is that I am a fan of Diane Hall’s eternity. If you enjoy love stories with a twist of magic, you are going to love this book.


Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

4_stars_gold

Author, Diane Hall

About Diane Hall:

Diane Hall is an author and channel who writes novels, non-fiction, magazine features, comedy scripts, and songs about love, spirituality, and the joyful challenges of communication between dimensions.

She is inspired by her guides and the angelic realm to create books that touch the heart with memories of Heaven. She is also a drama postgraduate with a passion for Shakespeare and Rumi, and a desire to bring a sense of fun to the genre of spiritual fiction. She is a singer/songwriter, a meditation and intuitive development teacher, and a recovering chocoholic.

As a freelance writer, she has contributed to a number of new thought publications and websites, including Soul & Spirit and Kindred Spirit magazines.

“My dream is to create a life-changing body of work  –  literary, musical and lyrical  –  that reaches many hearts and minds and brings peace, awakenings, love, learning, joy and ultimately, a Heaven on Earth.”

You can find Diane Hall through Twitter @Channellinglove and Facebook at Diane Hall, and on her author blog, dianehallauthor.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com
2016-11-17-11-25-08

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#Bookreview The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart. A warm and uplifting rom com by Anna Bell. Smiles and #romance

Hi all:

Sorry, I might be more or less absent for a few weeks but I’m planning on making some changes to my personal blog and I have a book being launched between Christmas and New Year (fingers crossed)  so I’ll be running around (at least virtually).

I thought I’d leave you a light romantic comedy I read recently, just in case you needed something different over the holiday season. And Merry Xmas!

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart
The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell

Description

A hilarious new romantic comedy for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Jane Costello from Anna Bell, the bestselling author of Don’t Tell the Groom.

Abi’s barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible. When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they’re a perfect match?

But there’s just one problem – or rather, ten. Abi’s not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she’s absolutely terrified of heights – not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town . . .

Completing the list is going to need all Abi’s courage – and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store . . .

My review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Bonnier Publishing for offering me a free ARC copy of this novel that I voluntarily have decided to review.

The plot of this novel fits perfectly in the category of chick lit or romantic comedy, and I could almost watch the movie in my mind’s eye as I read it. Abi , Bridget Jones’s spiritual sister, is suddenly dropped by her boyfriend of almost a year, Joseph (“the one”) and she’s desperate. She comes across his bucket list by pure chance and, clutching at straws, thinks that if she were to achieve all the items on the list (more or less) and share the pictures on Facebook, he would realise what a mistake he’d made and go back to her. Abi (and as we learn as we read, Joseph also) is not very adventurous. In fact, she’s worried about everything and scared of almost everything (especially heights). Her friend Sian, a fun character and a great contrast with Abi, doesn’t really like Joseph much, and her attitude to love is so different to Abi’s that she decides to lie to her and everybody else, and tells them that the list is her way to try and get over her break-up. On hearing that, everybody offers to help her. And, indeed, she needs all the help she can get.

The book becomes naturally organised around Abi’s adventures in trying to fulfil her bucket list, which go from pathetic to funny, passing from embarrassing. Apart from the events surrounding the ten items in the list, she’s also getting in trouble at work, at first through her own doing, and later bizarre things start to happen and she suspects that there might be foul play.

The novel is written in the first person from Abi’s point of view, and although she’s not the most insightful or reliable narrator, to begin with, and her weakness and her obsession with Joseph might make the reader cringe, eventually she does discover herself as a separate person and one capable of much more than she gives herself credit for. She is surrounded by a likeable supporting cast (and a few not so likeable when not openly bitchy) and through them, readers can appreciate that she is perhaps not the best at judging how she comes across to others. The author is also adept at giving us enough clues to allow us to make our own minds up rather than accept Abi’s biased conclusions, not an easy thing to do when the events are shown from a single perspective.

The writing is fluid and easy to read and although readers of the genre will probably guess what’s going to happen pretty much from the word go, the fine details are enjoyable, and there is a touch of intrigue to keep us interested beyond the pure romance. And for those who love romance, although we see Joseph mostly from Abi’s starry-eyed perspective and he is hardly a real person, Ben, who is almost too perfect to be true (other than by the tiny detail of having a girlfriend) is somebody easy to like and one to root for. And my bet is that you’ll like Aby by the end of the story and you’ll be wondering about the psychological benefits of bucket lists for yourself. I particularly appreciated the final words by the author who acknowledged there was a personal basis behind the seed of the novel.

In sum, a light and easy to read the novel, satisfying if you’re looking for an amusing and sweet read, with no erotica, and no shocking surprises. Great for those moments when you don’t want to test your brain and want a read that will leave you with a smile.

the-bucket-list-to-mend-audio

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1785760378/

https://www.amazon.com/Bucket-List-Mend-Broken-Heart-ebook/dp/B0196P0S5G/

https://www.amazon.com/Bucket-List-Mend-Broken-Heart/dp/B01IRUATFK/

Thanks to the publishers, to NetGalley and to Anna Bell for her book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, CLICK and of course to keep reading and to have a great holiday season!

Unfathomable Chance #BookReview @KTMunson

  • Title:  Unfathomable ChanceUnfathomable Chance by [Munson, K.T.]
  • Author: KT Munson
  • Print Length: 194
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

The first KT Munson story I read was Zendar, A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved, so when she gave me the opportunity to read another of her work, I graciously accepted. This time, it was a Young Adult fantasy, Unfathomable Chance. It opens with a young Diana exploring a church in England with her mother and twin brothers. The child somehow gets swept into a world not of her own. When she reenters the real world, Diana is confounded by what happened to her, but as she and her family leaves, she begins to forget.

On Diana’s 23rd birthday, she realizes that a bracelet had clasped to her wrist, and soon she finds out that it contains the heart of the Cosmos. As she meets unusual aliens, befriends a talking cat and searches for a way to get rid of the bracelet, Diana tries to figure out why the Cosmo chose her.

Unfathomable Chance takes off from the moment it opens and holds my attention throughout. After meeting the talking cat, whose name was Kal Zed, I knew that he’d be my favorite character in the story. But that isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the rest I met along the way. Each person and alien in the story held their own.

The dialogue was amusing, the chase was fun, and most of the scenes were painted quite well. My only wish for this story would be more talk about the scenery so I could step further into the story like I did with Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand.

Unfathomable Chance has it all: mystery, romance, comedy. Although I do enjoy Zendar a little more, I enjoyed reading every bit of this story. As always, I look forward to reading more books by KT Munson.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

K.T. MunsonK.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

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Stevie Turner’s Review of ‘P.S, I Forgive You’, by D. G Kaye.

I am a fan of biographies and autobiographies, and I must say I really enjoyed D.G Kaye’s P.S I Forgive You.

d-g-kayed-g-kaye-photo

http://bookShow.me/B01LWOYPRP

D.G Kaye and her siblings had the misfortune to be raised by a narcissistic and emotionally neglectful mother, who’d had exactly the same upbringing herself and so possibly considered her behaviour to be normal, knowing no other kind.  This type of upbringing leaves mental scars on the recipients, which Ms Kaye suffered from for years until she was old enough to learn some insight into her mother’s behaviour. 

I have a cousin, who is one of 4 children who were all unwanted ‘accidents’.  My aunt not only suffered from post-natal depression, but she was also emotionally neglectful, just like the author’s mother.  One child grew up exactly like her mother, one was cowed and never left home, and the other two went as far away from their mother as they could.  Therefore I understand completely why Ms Kaye distanced herself in her mother’s later years, as it was the only way she could achieve peace of mind. 

We grow in wisdom as we age, and with this insight comes forgiveness.  Ms Kaye can obviously never forget her troubled childhood, but I applaud her for finding the inner peace which my cousins were never able to do.  An inspirational memoir, which was shorter than I’d hoped, but still a five star read!

#Book Review On Top Of The World by David Lamb.

On Top Of The World Book Cover Image4_stars_goldOn Top Of The World: (Until The Bell Chimes)

by David Lamb

Fiction: Humor/Satire. 250 Pages Print. Woolly Mammoth Books (October 20, 2016)

Author Biography

David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance to make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).

Book Description

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.  They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.  Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.  Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance. Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje?

Book Review

I was looking for a Christmas book to read and this one fell into my lap. While reading On Top Of The World I thought of real life people that seemed to fit the characters. I see Sean “P Diddy” Combs as Scrooje and Marley is Biggie Smalls. At least that’s my take on it. However, you can look at several members of hip hop royalty these days and the shoe would fit. This isn’t the usual spin you have for A Christmas Carol. You don’t have the same types of things happening when spirits visit Scrooje that you see in a lot of retellings. There isn’t a modernization of the spirit trips. I liked that about the story and was pleased with the surprises. I also liked the real life situations of the visits the spirits take Scrooje on. You get to see where Scrooje comes from and what shapes the person he is before he becomes the king of the world.

I like the character of Belle as an upper class more privileged student who takes the very much poor class Scrooje in hand and brings out the best in him and then becomes a high powered attorney. She looks out for Scrooje and Marley even while both are ruining their real lives while living the Hip Hop high life.

I think anyone can read this and enjoy it. You don’t have to enjoy any type of music to like the story as music doesn’t play a part like you might think. If you want a good what if look at what real life people could turn into this is a good book to pick up. I read the book in one sitting without a problem. It goes very fast.

This is categorized under Humor and Satire but I don’t see an over abundance of humor in the story, but you have to give books a category on Amazon so I suppose this was the best way to go.

As some of you know, I’m a writer myself and have little time to give to reading these days. Having such a quick and enjoyable read was a nice surprise.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

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