@FTThum #bookreview ‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh

I needed a book to read, and this Sunday Times bestseller was compared to ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Girl on the Train’ so how could I not?

I let you go

Title:          I Let You Go
Author:          Clare Mackintosh
Publishers:     Sphere, Hachette (2014)
Format:          Paperback
Website:         www.claremackintosh.com
Pages:             371
Genre:            Psychological Thriller, Fiction

What’s it about?

Jenna Gray’s world disintegrated when she lost her son, in a hit-and-run.

It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a bid to escape the memories and pain, Jenna ran away to the Welsh coast, initially keeping her identity a secret but gradually, as she re-discovered her old passion and talent and more, her life began to turn around.

But it was not to be, as her past returned to haunt her.

In the meantime, Detective Inspector Ray Steven was assigned to solve this hit-and-run case, only to find the mother of the victim missing, and encountering the world of web-shaming directed at Jenna as he experienced the tension between his career aspiration which demanded that he closed the investigation down and his moral conscience to solve this case. And all this on top of marital problems.

So how did the two worlds converge? This psychological thriller kept me guessing and truth be told, flipping back pages to ‘work it out’.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. An entertaining gripping read by the beach. Kept me up till I got to the twist end.

P/S Clare Mackintosh’s next book ‘I See You’ is due on 28 July 2016. Check it out here.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:               4/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 9.08
  Paperback USD 6.05
Booktopia Paperback AUD 13.95
Bookdepository Paperback £7.99

 

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

Thursday’s Thoughts

Prompt for Challenge

Please remember, this is for fun and to help get that writing mojo of yours flowing. Thursday is only a part of the title, not a deadline.

Here are the following rules:

  • Word count? Who needs word counts? Maybe you’re using the prompts because you just love writing OR maybe you need help to get through those pesky roadblocks. Either way, just let your fingers write the story and when you’re done, you’re done! (Of course, if you like flash fiction, let’s put a limit of no more than, say…500.)
  • Using the prompt of the photo below, WRITE. What is the bird doing? What is he looking at? What strikes your attention about this photo? (REQUIRED)BirdImage Courtesy: Angela Kay

Crave For Me by @RebeccahChase. #BookReview

Crave for me by Rebecca Chase Image with link3 Gold Stars image

 

Crave For Me

by Rebecca Chase

Fiction: Erotica/Romance.  Says 139 Pages but my Kindle has it at 274 pages. Amazon Digital Services LLC (February 21, 2016) $2.99 or Free to Read on KindleUnlimited.

Author Biography

Rebecca Chase is an English rose with a taste for sex and romance.

Starting life as a superhero she found she liked stockings more than tights so writing erotic romance was the obvious next step. When she’s not busy going on amusing and passionate dates with sexy suitors, or whacking shuttle cocks in thrilling badminton games, she dances the night away in random clubs. Frequently she can be found enjoying the spectacle of rugby men battling with balls. Rebecca loves finding interesting story ideas in everyday life and can frequently be caught daydreaming in coffee shops, while trying to hide her writing from sneaky-eyed baristas.

Book Review

I received this book for an honest review.

Although books of the more erotic nature are not my usual cup of tea, I agree to read some books at times because I feel every author needs reviewed, even if not by me. I had the time for this one, with it being three short stories, so I agreed.

The three stories in the book, Crave For Me: three short tales of erotic romance, are Fight For Me, Work For Me, and Play For Me.

The first, Fight For Me finds two childhood friends reunited over a brother’s wedding. But more is going on inside each than the other knows. Juliet Scott has been in love with Joe Adams since she knew boys weren’t all that bad after all. He’s been gone in the Army but her desire hasn’t lessened for the bad boy she knew. What happens when the old friend who thinks of her as a baby sister comes home on leave?

This is the right one to start the book with. It is the best of the three, in my opinion. It has more depth and seems to me a lot was put into this one. There are supporting characters that are well done and there is a good plot. I would like to say this could have been a longer novella length book, but does well on its own in its current length. I don’t think the intimate scenes were overdone or to stereotypical. Except for some word play around the scenes were well done. The characters nicely developed. A good story overall.

Work For Me is about Alana, an office employee and the fix-it man, Nick. She’s older and in need, and he’s ready to fix her kitchen and maybe more. That’s what she fantasizes about. Not as good as the first story, shorter and more typical of the genre I think.

This one starts off with some phrasing that’s quite different from the first story and thus took me a while to grow accustomed to. I gave it a chance and enjoyed the parts after that, they were quite realistic, until the last half, which turns into a fantasy piece. You’ll see when you read it.

Play For Me: Teacher, Kate Benson ends up with a surprise when her elderly private piano teacher is replaced with her former high school piano teacher, Nat Chapman. The one she had to stop piano because of the feelings she had for him.

Another realism turns fantasy piece, but that’s what the genre is about. Creative in the construction of the intimate scene.

Get Crave For Me at:

amazon logo   

Visit Author Rebecca Chase at:

http://www.rebeccahchase.com/.

Connect with Rebecca Chase on:

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Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss by @NadiaLee. #BookReview

Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss Image4 Gold Stars Image

 

Taken by Her Unforgiving Billionaire Boss

by Nadia Lee

Fiction: Contemporary Romance/Sagas. 256 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 12, 2016)

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Bilingual and formerly a management consultant Nadia Lee currently shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website nadialee.net or her blog nadialee.net/blog.

Book Description

Alex Damon is the self-made billionaire who has been possessed in recovering his father’s reputation and attaining not only the wealth his father lost but surpassing it beyond imagining, all while exacting revenge on the woman he lays the blame for his father’s ruin and death.

Natalie Hall is an intelligent executive, the loyal adopted daughter of a powerful political father, and hated by her father’s wife and sister. She’s the object of more plots and secrets than she could know possible and caught in the middle of a fight she has nothing to do with. Where will his loyalties end up?

Why I Picked Up the Book

I first picked up this book for three reasons: 1) It was written by a New York Times bestselling author, 2) It was free (and still is as of this review), and 3) I wanted to see how romance and seduction was written by a woman. You see, I write romance and wanted to see if I were getting it right on a certain level. I wanted to see how the seduction parts were written.

What I ended up finding was a good story that could have been taken to a whole new level if the author had that intention. I mean new level as in this could easily have been a political thriller. However, a full blown political thriller was not her intent. I honestly could see this being a movie.

Book Review

Natalie Hall is a strong character who is not only intelligent but independent as well. Her life does not depend on her family ties. Her career has been built on her own merits. Alex Damon is more complex than one first thinks. He has some typical aspects I’ve seen in other books of this genre, but I think Ms. Lee has taken steps to give him a touch more depth than I expected. I was very pleased. I could see the truth in a lot of his motivations, thoughts, and actions from a male perspective. Nicely done.

The supporting characters are well done, for the most part. Alex’s best friend is just what a powerful corporate raider needs. Natalie’s family is dysfunctional at best, except for her father who loves her, but holds a secret that may just tear the entire family apart. Her godmother is very proud of Natalie but holds secrets of her own that end up causing problems in Natalie’s life.

Alex never suspects that his plans to ruin a family name and business would end up with his own agony and need for something he never knew he wanted. Something he never knew he needed before.

I would recommend this book for a quick escape and lovers of the alpha male with an independent woman thrown in the mix.

DID IT DELIVER

Did the book give me what I wanted when I chose it? I have to say the romance and the “scenes” as I call them are well done, descriptive without being over the top. Except for some word choices for things, I would say she nailed it. (Pun unintentional, sort of.) And I don’t mean the use of profanity, which there was very little of, almost to the point I can’t even say specifically where some may have occurred.

RATING: 4 out of 5

When determining a rating I look at the book itself and not my expectations. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. The writing was strong, as was the plot and main characters. A couple of the supporting cast were a little weak, but I saw why things were done from a writer’s view point. The ending was good and no real loose ends were left to wonder about. But I could see where another book could come about with these two as main characters. (The rating was very close to a 4.5, which surprised me since this is not my usual sub-genre to delve into.)

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get the ebook at:

amazon logo apple logo barnes & noble logo  kobo logoGoogle Play Books Image Link

Get the print options at:

http://www.nadialee.net/bookshelf/taken-by-her-unforgiving-billionaire-boss/#order-book

Visit Bestselling Author Nadia Lee at

http://www.nadialee.net.

Connect with Nadia Lee on:

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New Book Fanfare – Repent at Leisure by Stevie Turner

Thanks to Sally Cronin for the promotion today.

Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis.

Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis imagefive gold stars image

 

Bodyguard of Deception

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Historical Thriller/Suspense/Espionage. 336 Pages Print. Mount Sopris Publishing (March 20, 2016)

Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP-Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as an iconoclastic spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He also has a deep and abiding interest in military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Golden Age of Piracy, Plains Indian Wars, World War II, and the current War on Terror.

Former Colorado Governor Roy Romer said, “Blind Thrust kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down. An intriguing mystery that intertwined geology, fracking, and places in Colorado that I know well. Great fun.” Kirkus Reviews proclaimed The Coalition an “entertaining thriller” and declared that “Marquis has written a tight plot with genuine suspense.” James Patterson compared The Coalition to The Day After Tomorrow, the classic thriller by Allan Folsom; and Donald Maas, author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and two novels, compared The Coalition to the classic political assassination thriller The Day of the Jackal.

Book Review

Bodyguard of Deception is a suspenseful historical thriller by Samuel Marquis, author of two #1 selling books: The Slush Pile Brigade, which any author should read, and Blind Thrust, both of which I may just be buying shortly, when I have the cash, in order to see how to do it the right way. In Bodyguard of Deception we have the closing months of WWII in Europe and two brothers who are fighting for the same goal, but in different ways. German spy Erik von Walburg has a mission given by ‘The Desert Fox’ himself Erwin Rommel. If successful, the war will end in a way unexpected but beneficial to those involved. Erik ends up with allies in his assignment. One is his brother, U-boat Captain Wolfgang von Walburn, the prototypical Nazi ideal, the “scourge of the North Seas” and the other ally, a woman thousands of miles away without knowledge of any of the goings on of the two at odds brothers.

Samuel Marquis’ historical thriller, Bodyguard of Deception, the fourth thriller from the #1 Bestselling author, is a well-researched, intricately plotted tale of suspense, intrigue and surprises you never see coming, all beginning in May of 1944, days before D-Day. Reading about the German spy Erik von Walburg I could not help but hope for his success. With each chapter the characters become more complex with events making their former routine lives anything but ordinary, and their decisions less reflex than before. Ideals and mantras no longer rule the day. As a former history teacher and now historian/author, I was thrilled at the nods to historical figures throughout the novel. Fans of master spy teller of tales, John le Carré, and John Gardner’s Herbie Krueger series and the Secret Generations series will enjoy this first episode in what is touted as book one in a WWII Trilogy, with the next installment with a release date of January 2017.

I don’t take much time off from my own writing of novels these days, but this was well worth it. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get the next #1 Bestselling book at:

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Visit #1 Bestselling Author Samuel Marquis at http://samuelmarquisbooks.com/.

Connect with Samuel Marquis on:

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Stevie Turner interviews author Amy Reade

Hello today to Amy Reade, who writes women’s contemporary and gothic fiction. Her books have been compared to authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii.

Amy Reade   House of the Hanging Jade cover.jpg  Secrets Of Hallstead House (eBook)The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor_ebook cover

1. You grew up in the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York, but moved to southern New Jersey.  Which one feels more like home?

I would say they both feel like home. When people ask me where I’m from, I tell them I grew up in northern New York and I now live in New Jersey. We try to take our kids to visit family in New York as often as possible, and when we’re up there we all like to spend time on the St. Lawrence River. I like my kids to have some of the same experiences I had growing up in that area of the country. But that being said, they are growing up in southern New Jersey, which will always be home to them.

2.  You are a qualified lawyer.  Do you think you will ever go back to the law when your children are grown?

I can’t see myself going back to the practice of law no matter how old my kids are. I love writing too much, and I don’t think I could ever feel that way about the legal field.

3.  How long did it take you to acquire your law degree?  Were you fixed on becoming a lawyer throughout your teenage years?

I was not fixed on becoming a lawyer when I was a teenager. I really wanted to be a veterinarian. After my first few years in college, though, it became clear that I just didn’t have a passion for science and that veterinary school wasn’t for me. So after I graduated I spent the next three years in law school.

4.  When did you first realise that you wanted to write?

When I practiced law I wrote all the time, every day. The ability to write is an essential skill for a lawyer, but much of that writing is dull and uninspiring, at least in my opinion. It was several years after I stopped practicing when I first realized I wanted to write fiction. I attended a three-night writing workshop at a local library and I was hooked from the first class.

5.  You’ve set your new series of books (as yet untitled) in Edinburgh.  What is it that attracts you to Scotland?  Have you ever visited there?

There are so many things I love about Scotland- its history and lore, its legends, its customs, its rugged and majestic beauty, the people, the food, you name it. And I have visited- in fact, just last week I returned from a trip to the Highlands, where I was immersed in some of the most beautiful vistas I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing.

6.  Your three standalone books are of the women’s fiction genre with added suspense, just like mine.  Do you ever read or write out of this genre, e.g fantasy?

I read outside my genre quite often (especially biographies, cookbooks, and historical), but I must say I almost never write outside the genre. I have written a few essays and I have a book of historical fiction tucked away on my computer, but I’m not ready to work on that just yet.

7.  What is your all-time favourite book?

A tough question! I would have to say it’s Pride and Prejudice, although my favorite changes from time to time. I also love anything by Ernest Hemingway, M.C. Beaton, and James Herriot.

8.  Have you ever entered your stories into any writing competitions?

I have not. Most competitions I hear about are for short stories, and I am dreadful at writing short stories. Too long-winded, I guess! I recently wrote something to enter in a magazine contest, but I didn’t find out about the contest until the weekend before the submission was due and I just ran out of time to revise my essay.

9.  What do you find is the best way of promoting your books?

One of the best ways for me to promote books is to make personal appearances at book signings, etc. Unfortunately, that’s also the most time-consuming and expensive way to promote books. But I love to meet readers and to talk with them, so I like to schedule appearances whenever I can. The other best way, of course, is by word-of-mouth. It’s how many of my readers have been introduced to my books and the reason they’ve reached out to me on social media. I’m very grateful for anyone who passes along the word about my books.
10.  How do you find inspiration for your stories?

Inspiration comes from different places. The inspiration for my new release, House of the Hanging Jade, for example, came from a home I toured in Hawaii a few years ago. The inspiration for my first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, came from the beauty of the place where I grew up.

11. One of your books is entitled ‘The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor’.  Have you ever seen a ghost, and so wrote the book from personal experience?

I have never seen a ghost, so I didn’t write that aspect of the book from personal experience. In The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, only one person, maybe two, can actually see the ghost, so there is some question as to whether she really exists. I wanted to leave that question hanging so readers could answer it for themselves.
12.  How do you find time to write with three children, a dog and two cats to look after?

My kids and my husband are all great about leaving me alone when I’m writing. And I try to write as much as I can when the kids are at school, so if they need me for something when they’re home, I can put the work aside and help them with whatever they need. My dog is not demanding at all, so as long as I give her some attention every now and then, she’s perfectly content. And as for the cats, they pretty much ignore me unless they’re hungry.
13.  Are any of your children interested in creative writing?

They have quite a bit of writing to do for school, so most of their writing is for assignments at this point. I think the last thing they want to do at the end of a long day is sit down to do more writing.
 14.  You prefer not to be too far from a river, stream, or the sea. Why is this?

I’m a product of where I grew up, near the St. Lawrence River, the Black River, and Lake Ontario in New York State. And now I live just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. The only time I haven’t lived close to water was in law school, and I felt its absence keenly. Water is peaceful, calming, and mesmerizing, no matter what its mood, and I love the sound it makes.

15.  You love to cook.  What is the most unusual dish you have made?

I don’t know how unusual it is, but I do make a bouillabaisse with different kinds of fish and seafood. I serve it with a homemade rouille and it’s wonderful. I learned to make it in a cookery class in Ireland.

16.  I find that most wines spoil the taste of good food due to their overpowering flavour.  Do you agree?

When I’m at home I generally do not drink wine with dinner. I prefer water or milk. I like wine with cheese before dinner, and I think it does pair well with cheese. One of my favorite combinations is port and Stilton, but that’s an evening indulgence, not a before-dinner treat.

17.  Were you terrified or serene and laid back during your television interview?  Were you aware of the questions you were going to be asked?

I felt laid-back, but when I watched the interview I some signs of nervousness I didn’t feel. I knew basically the direction the questions would take, but I didn’t know the questions specifically.

18.  Did you find an increase in book sales after the interview?

To be honest, I don’t know. I don’t understand most of the metrics and analytics, as hard as I’ve tried to learn them.

19.  The playlists for your books given on your website are eclectic.  What is your favourite type of music?

It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m writing, I prefer unfamiliar classical music or instrumental music from the place where my story is set. If I’m cleaning or using the spin bike, it has to be fast-paced. If I’m driving, I actually prefer listening to the BBC.

20.  Can you play a musical instrument?

I played both the oboe and the clarinet for years, but it’s been a long time since I played either one. I also play in a handbell choir, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself proficient. And I can play exactly one Christmas carol on the piano.

Thanks Amy for agreeing to be interviewed.  If any other authors or publishers reading this would like to be interviewed, then please contact me on my website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Here’s a list of places to find Amy:

Website: www.amymreade.com

Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/readeandwrite

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amreade

Tumblr: www.amymreade.tumblr.com

 

NEW BOOK! The Land of Look Behind by @AaronBlaylock

The Land of Look Behind

by

Aaron Blaylock

“I just finished the book during my lunch break and the words that come to mind are incredible and awesome!!! I have been an avid reader of Mystery Novels for more than 40 years. I have read dozens of books from many of the great author’s including Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellery Queen etc. And I can honestly say that this book is in the same league as anything I have read from any of the greats.”-5 Star Review

“The interesting character development at the beginning made you feel like you knew them personally.” 4 Star Review

The Land of Look Behind by Aaron Blaylock

Book Description

“When Gideon, a former missionary, discovers a mysterious drawing tucked in an ancient journal he returns to Jamaica with dreams of finding a centuries old treasure.  He quickly learns there are those who would kill to keep the treasure secret. This thrilling adventure takes you deep into Jamaica’s treacherous cockpit country and back in time for a spine-tingling mystery you won’t be able to put down.”

Author Aaron BlaylockAaron Blaylock, author of The Land of Look Behind, was born and raised in Arizona. As a child he grew up in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains in the far east valley. Later he attended Mesa Verde High School in Citrus Heights, CA, where he lettered in football. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and has remained active in the scouting organization for over twenty years.

Currently he and his wife Lola live in Mesa, AZ, and are raising their four children. When not working, writing, or serving at church Aaron volunteers as a soccer and baseball coach for his children and enjoys chasing a small white ball around a golf course.

His storytelling draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

Order The Land of Look Behind on

Amazon or at Barnes & Noble

 

 

3 FOR #FREE #FRIDAYREADS!

Design on a Crime
Ginna Aiken
“Sometimes decorating can be deadly serious

Haley Farrell is taking a chance on herself. After earning her interior Desing on a Crimedesign certificate, she quits her retail job and opens a decorating business. But starting her own company may be tougher than she first thought. Just as Haley’s first assignment gets underway, she suddenly finds herself as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. What’s worse, the victim is Haley’s best friend and mentor, Marge Norwalk.

Reeling from Marge’s death, Haley soon realizes that the only way to prove her innocence is to find the real murderer. Before long, Haley is collecting clues and suspects like other designers collect paint chips and fabric samples. But will contractor Dutch Merrill and detective Lila Tsu be swayed by her investigative talents? Or will she be the one punished for this perfectly designed crime?”`-Amazon

Forbidden Mind
Karpov Kinrade
“From USA Today bestselling author Karpov Kinrade comes an award-winning series full of romance and page-turning suspense.
She reads minds. He controls minds. Together, they might get out alive.
Forbidden MindI’ve seen into the minds of killers and have crawled into the darkest mental corners of humanity, but even I wasn’t prepared for this.
I thought that when I turned 18 I would be released from my secret school of paranormal spies and free to follow my dreams and make my own life. That’s what we all thought. Until I met Drake.
Everything changed when I linked minds with the blond-haired boy strapped to that gurney. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined the dangerous truth behind my life.
And now time is running out. We must work together to save ourselves and everyone we love. Before it’s too late.
“…a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment.” ~ Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews
Winner of 2011 Forward National Literature Award”-Amazon

Samson’s Deal
Shelley Singer
“Library Journal said: “Great bar scenes, a wonderfully wry narrative, and the obvious affection between Jake and Rosie will have readers clamoring for more.”
Samson's DealMURDER, POLITICS, AND STRANGE BEDFELLOWS…
Samson’s Deal is the FIRST cozy mystery in the Jake Samson and Rosie Vicente detective series by award-winning author Shelley Singer.

“Singer has a good ear for dialogue among the witless … It’s fun to watch [Jake and Rosie] work together, and the bad guys eventually get their satisfying comeuppance, after an interesting plot twist that keeps things hopping till the very end.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

Ex-Chicago-cop Jake Samson is tired of the rat race. He’s living in laid back Oakland, California with a couple of cats and just enough savings to eat canned oysters and accept collect calls from his bemused parents, when an old friend–a progressive political science professor–calls with an enticing offer. Seems the professor’s wife was found dead in the backyard of their Berkeley home, and he wants to pay Jake ten thousand dollars (plus expenses) to figure out whodunit.

The police pick up the usual leads; jealousy, dirty politics, and an estate worth killing for. Naturally, since the professor is the dead woman’s spouse, he’s the primary suspect. Samson doesn’t like the guy much, but the case heats up—quite literally—when the professor’s office is set afire by a radical right wing activist group, of which, it turns out, the wife was a member.

With his good friend Rosie, and her justice-dispensing two-by-four, Samson follows a twisted trail that leads through the Bay Area’s bizarre cultural labyrinth, from pop meditation ashrams to neo-Nazi rallies, to the startling but all too human truth.

“A fast-paced and often frightening look at the insidious attraction of the extreme right. Even though most of those drawn to the group may be on the lower end of any IQ chart, their sense of dedication to the mistaken idea that they possess a genetic and racial superiority is enough to make them very dangerous. This Shelley Singer novel is recommended.” -Bookbrowser

“…one of the nicer guys in the private eye business, who operates in a relaxed, casual style without need for macho posturing.” -Washington Post

WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Parnell Hall’s Stanley Hastings series, Tony Dunbar’s Tubby Dubonnet series, Bill Pronzini’s “Nameless” Detective series, Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series, Susan Dunlap’s Jill Smith series, Julie Smith’s Rebecca Schwartz series … and vintage TV series like COLUMBO, THE ROCKFORD FILES, HARRY O, MAGNUM, and HAWAII FIVE-O.

Shelley Singer is the author of ten mysteries, two science fiction novels, one mainstream fiction, and many short stories.”-Amazon

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE BIRR ELIXIR,” BY AUTHOR @Sparks777

The Birr Elixir

  • Title:  The Birr Elixir, Book 1 of the Legend of the Gamesmen
  • Author: Jo Sparks
  • File Size: 1178 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Oscar Press
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2013
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D4R7PZ4
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction,

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the land of Missea – under Skullan rule

King Bactor’s son Tryst, must undertake his first epourney in order to become a man to fulfill his destiny of becoming the future King of the Skullan people and all Trumen. Since a prince’s epourney is undertaken with a best friend, Tryst leaves with three of his best friends, Baldar, Mauric, and Jason. When it is determined that Mauric is ill and cannot travel, Kellan one of the prince’s lesser companions goes in his stead. Now, the adventure begins!

In the City of San Cris, one of the Sandy Towns…

A young apprentice potion maker, named Marra, works in the potion shop of her dead mistress, under the care of Snark, her mistress’ evil brother. Marra’s training was to include, “… learning the power of herbs, the alchemy of powders and potions to heal and enhance…” (pg. 9). After the death of Mistress Britta, Marra’s training stalls under the cruel care of Snark.

Until one day, when the mysterious Drail, a legendary gamesman, comes to the shop begging Marra to make a special potion for him and his crew of men set to play against the Skullan gamers. Marra agrees to make the potion, called “The Birr Elixir,” and Drail and his team win, believing the potion is responsible for their success.

Drail returns to the shop where he witnesses Snark beating Marra, who did not believe she had brewed the elixir that helped the Truman beat the Skullan’s at the game. After taking care of Snark and knocking him out cold, Drail invites Marra to accompany him and his team so that she can make more of the Birr Elixir for them.

A new life

Marra agrees to leave the only home she has ever known to follow Drail and his men as their Brista. As she is gathering her things to leave, she spots an unconscious man on the floor of the shop. Not wanting to leave the man to Snark’s mercy, Drail decides to take the man with them.

Marra realizes that the man is under a deep spell. Along the road, she works hard gathering herbs and preparing potions to heal the young man. Finally after many days, the man awakens and says his name is Tryst…

Recommendation:

As Jo Sparks debut novel, this book has the potential to be a great story and series. I loved the richness of the characters and enjoyed the interactions between them. Many of the apt descriptions of the desert towns reminded me of the book, “Dune,” by Frank Herbert.

However, I was left with so many unanswered questions as to where the story was going that I had to go back and reread various passages to make sure that I followed the story. I felt like there was an attraction growing between Tryst and Marra, although Drail seemed to care deeply for the girl also. There are few clues in this book to shed any light on their relationship.

I would say the main attraction of the story is the “games” themselves. The “game” appears to be played in an arena with two opposing teams. In the words of the author,

“It is a wild game with few rules. Players wore leather vests to protect themselves, but in truth, the decorated material was more to mark the teams for the spectators than any real padding.” (P. 17)

At the inner circle in the arena, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. There are four leather balls that need to be dropped into a cone shaped area in order to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball contains special markings which determine the number of points each ball is worth. As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a game to the death in order to win, if necessary.

If you love the excitement of a fast paced game and the mystery and intrigue of a fantasy world, you will enjoy this book as much as I did. I do hope in the next sequel, the author will shed more light on where the story is leading. Right now, the possibilities are endless.

Jo-Sparkes

Author, Jo Sparks

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

A well-known Century City Producer once said that Jo Sparkes “…writes some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”  Not only are those words a compliment to Jo’s skills as a writer, but a true reflection of her commitment to her work as a screenwriter.

Jo Sparkes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington College, a small liberal arts college famous for its creative writing program.  Some years later, she renounced life in the corporate world to pursue her passion for writing.  Jo went on to study for two years with Robert Powell; a student of renowned writers and teachers Lew Hunter, and Richard Walter, head and heart of UCLA’s Screenwriting Program.  The culmination of those years of hard work was the short-film “The Image”, which Jo wrote and produced single-handedly.

Since then, Jo hasn’t looked back – having written seven feature film scripts.  Jo’s body of work includes scripts for Children’s live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children’s DVD, commercial work for corporate clients, as well as a being a feature writer on ReZoom.com.  As a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network; where she has been called their most popular writer, she was known for her humorous articles, player interviews, and game coverage. Jo was unofficially the first to interview Emmitt Smith when he arrived in Arizona to play for the Cardinals.

She has served as an adjunct teacher at the Film School at Scottsdale Community College and even made a video of her most beloved lecture. More recently she has teamed with a Producer and a Director on a low budget thriller. Her book for writers and artists, “Feedback  How to Give It  How to Get It” was born to help her students — and indeed, all artists.

Her original script, Frank Retrieval, won the 2012 Kay Snow award for best screenplay. Her fantasy series, The Legend of the Gamesmen, has garnered two B.R.A.G. Medallions and a 2015 silver IPPY award for Ebook Juvenile/YA Fiction.

When not diligently perfecting her craft, Jo can be found exploring her new home of Portland, Oregon, with her Husband Ian, and their dog Oscar.

To watch a trailer for the book click the link below.

Make certain to connect with (author) through her Twitter @Sparks777

And her blog at, Jo Sparks – Quill & Hound.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.2015

10 #Books for #Christmas from my #Reviews.

Looking for a last minute present for Christmas?

Want a great book?

Need a gift to put you into that FREE Shipping range?

Here are my suggestions from my reviews this year. Click the links for the reviews. Or click the book image to go to Amazon.

10 Book Ideas for Christmas

Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire FullertonLiterary Fiction, Ireland, Contemporary

#Book Review of Dancing to an Irish Reel by @cfullerton3

“You might at times want to hit Liam over the head with something, like his accordion, but then, he is a man, it’s love, and he’s young, so what else would you expect? And that is one thing that makes this book real and allows the reader to connect with it. No one is perfect in the book. “

The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeilHistorical Fiction, Adventure, Archaeology, WWII

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 “At times his encounters are humorous, deadly, and explosive.”

“He’s been referred to as the new Dan on the block of historical fiction conspiracy theories. I don’t agree. Dan McNeil handles his subject with a better hand than Brown ever has. Yeah, sure, you want to knock him across the room at times but who doesn’t want to read something that gets them on an emotional level at times? If you want a fluff read, skip this review. McNeil isn’t about fluff.”

Sex and Samosas book cover by Author Jasmine AzizMarriage, Relationships, Humor, Self Discovery

#Book Review by @RonovanWrites of Sex & Samosas by Author @JasmineAziz

“Nothing is perfect. Sex isn’t perfect like a scripted movie. Things happen, and man, I am still dying over the what I call ‘on fire’ part of the book.”

Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood by Jason E. RoyleChristian, Inspiration, and Parenting.

Jesus vs. Santa: Christmas Misunderstood by @JERoyle #Book Review by @RonovanWrites

“You’ll learn where the answer to how we handle the issue of Santa with our kids begins. A great deal of what you find in Jesus vs. Santa you can use in everyday life with not only your children, but yourself as well.”jason royle

Judas: Hero Misunderstood by @JERoyle

“The style he chose to use is contemporary in the use of language and symbolism in order for anyone today to relate and connect to the story. Unlike many other takes that are similar to what Royle has done you don’t get a preachy style. At the very end, after the story is all done and over with, you receive a look at passages from the Bible to show you what may or may not bring credence to what Royle has written.”

alesha escobarFantasy, Vampires, WWII, Magic, Wizards, Adult

#Book #Review of The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower

“Isabella George is not your typical spy. For one she’s a female spy in WWII sneaking in to German occupied France. Yes, there were female spies but not the norm in literature of this type. And for another thing, she’s a wizard. Her mission in this first book of the Gray Tower  Trilogy is to find and bring home the wizard creating a chemical weapon for the Nazis. But would it be a book worth a Trilogy if it were that simple?”

Levant Mirage by Oliver F. ChaseAction, Adventure, Terroists

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

“Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.”

Close Up on Murder by Linda TownsdinMystery, Suspense

Close Up on Murder by Linda Townsdin @ltownsdin. A #BookReview.

“Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.”

ali isaac jane doughertyIrish Mythology, Folklore, Short Story Collection

#BookWorm @RonovanWrites Review Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth @aliisaac_ & @MJDougherty33

“The stories are of love and tragedy and more. I felt while reading the stories I was reading not about people in a book, or about love between two people and what befalls them but the love of a people for their homeland and their culture and the tragedies they faced throughout the ages. Yes, it hit me where it hurt, or it felt. Got me in the heart. “

A Haiku Perspective by Annette Rochelle AbenPoetry, Haiku

New Book! A Haiku Perspective by Annette Rochelle Aben @YouAreTheExpert

“Welcome to my haiku perspective on life. It is easy to enjoy this book because haiku flows, which means it can be experienced effortlessly. Perhaps reading this book will open up some creative energy within you and if so, you will share your haiku as well. Those who live to express themselves with words, craft a world using the alphabet, are giving life to imagination and thought.”

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.com 2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “BEYOND THE COLORED LINE, STELLA – BOOK 2,” BY AUTHOR @HOUSEOFPOETRY

Stella: Beyond the Colored Line by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

  • Title:  Beyond the Colored Line – Stella, Book 2
  • Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B013PQCKK8
  • Formats: Kindle, Stella – book 1: Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Literature, Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Introducing – Stella May

In 1916, Stella May is born as the great-granddaughter of a former slave, also named Stella May. The original Stella May changed her family’s surname to May upon gaining her freedom. Stella is born of mixed ancestry which for all appearances gives her light skin, blond hair, and hazel eyes.

An amazing beauty, Stella is teased by her black classmates because they don’t believe she is black enough. She looks white and even sounds white. In comparison, her white classmates ridicule her since she is too poor to fit in with proper white society. Stella May is caught in the proverbial catch 22. She is too light to be black and too poor to be white.

Stella May’s mother, Judith was born of mixed ancestry also, which gave her the same light skin, hair, and eyes. Judith always thought of herself as a black woman when she married Stella’s father who was also black. By 1928, Stella’s father ran off in fear of being lynched for being married to a white woman. In those days, society made it clear that the races should not co-mingle.

Who is Sidney McNair?

However, even without her father around, Stella was raised with a family of aunts (from her mother’s side) who took an active part in her life. Eventually, because of the difficulties with Stella fitting in at school, her mother sent her to a private school. Stella’s uncles on her father’s side said, “…They were breaking the law – that a Negro had no business in a white school.” Aunt Sara felt different, because, after all, she said, “Stella is half white.”

By the time the Great Depression eases, Stella and her family move to segregated Chicago, where life is not much better. Aunt Sara, a school teacher, struggles to wait for the school district to pay her. Sara has made the step into white society by dating an affluent doctor and encourages Stella to do the same.  After a discussion with Aunt Sara, Stella decides to pass for white. Sidney McNair is born and enters a white society where she had the freedom to go where she chooses and to buy whatever she likes. Stella has crossed the colored line.

Many years later, Sidney is forced to come to grips with the decisions she made long ago. How those decisions affect her life, and the lives of her children and grandchildren, take the reader on a roller-coaster ride into the world of race and ethnicity in America today.

Recommendation:

Since I had not read the first book in the Stella series, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to pick up the threads of Stella’s story. Although the characters are fictional, I was drawn to them (especially Stella) because I have granddaughters of mixed ancestry and I wanted to understand the challenges they face as young women each day.

Maybe, because I felt such a personal connection, Stella’s story touched me even more deeply than I thought it would. I had no idea how difficult life was for Stella and her family, all because of the color of their skin. This was an emotional read for me.

Even more revealing, is how relevant Stella’s story is in America today. I wonder how many people, faced with the same dilemma’s that Stella dealt with, would be able to reconcile their feelings about their own ethnicity.

So, I asked my granddaughters who have black, white, and Thai ancestry. Both girls are beautiful and exotic. They have dark hair, and skin, while one granddaughter has brown eyes, the other has hazel eyes. You know what they told me? They said they were American! Somehow, I knew Stella would have approved.

Beyond the Colored Line is a story about an American family dealing with the issues of race and color in a time when those issues were considered to be conditions characterized with hardship and suffering. Stella’s story helped me to discover connections with my own family I never had before. You see, even in my own family, nothing is ever just black and white.

My Rating:

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

Author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl:

Born in 1987 on the south side of Chicago, Yecheilyah Ysrayl (“EC”) is an author and Spoken Word Artist.

Yecheilyah started writing short stories and poetry at the age of twelve. She attended Harper High School (International Language Career Academy) Robert Morris College (Computer Basics / Administration), Chicago State University (Professional and Technical Writing), and Everest College (Medical Assistance / Phlebotomy).

As an artist, Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an incorporation of spiritual critique, honesty and an authentic analysis of African American identity. She seeks to create work that promotes healthy research and investigation into the cultural identity, laws, customs and traditions of the African American for self-revolution and advancement. Furthermore, “EC” seeks to advance the promotion of truth and identity by way of Spoken Word.

“EC” currently lives in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time.

To watch a trailer for the book click the link below.

Make certain to connect with Yecheilyah through her Twitter @ahouseofpoetry

And Facebook at Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.2015

A Dream for Love by Lisa Belcastro @VineyardRomance #BookReview by @JERoyle

I want to begin by saying, I need to stop passing these great books on to Jason and read them myself! I believe this so much so I went and bought the author’s award winning Christmas novella as soon as I read this review.Ronovan

To be honest, I am typically not a Christian romance reader. But A Dream for Love by Lisa Belcastro took me by surprise. This is my first book by Belcastro and I enjoyed her wholesome approach. To some extent, at first, the story seemed like it was going to be highly predictable, but it wasn’t; it had just the right amount of “I wonder what is going to happen next” in the air to keep me guessing and A Dream For Love by Lisa Belcastroreading. An attractive story-line, foreshadowing, subtle humor, and good grammatical flow are several of the qualities which kept my attention.

Even though it is a story of relationships and romance, I still found myself taking out my pencil and underlining several thought provoking statements here and there. In chapter ten, for example, I underlined the quote “God doesn’t leave us in one place.” 

In short, if you are in the mood for an emotional love story with a Godly message, then this book is for you. Fate will bring your dreams to life in A Dream for Love.


Get the book  by clicking the book title or click HERE for her Amazon Author Page for all her selections. Including her award winning creations. Visit http://lisabelcastro.com/ and follow Lisa on Twitter



ABOUT LISA BELCASTRO

Lisa BelcastroLisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard, the ideal setting for her novels with the ocean, sandy beaches, rolling hills, and ancient cliffs. Lisa has published A Shenandoah Christmas by Lisa Belcastrofive books to date, with her  Christmas novella, A Christmas: A Novella (Winds of Change) released November 17, 2015 has already won the SELAH Award for Best Novella. Lisa’s debut novel, Shenandoah Nights, Shenandoah Nights by Lisa Belcastrowon the Christian Small Publishers Association’s Romance Book of the Year in 2014, and also won the RWA New England Chapter’s Reader’s Choice Award in 2014.

She loves time with her family and friends, running, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, chocolate, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat, Ben, who keeps her company while she creates fictional lives for the numerous characters living inside her head.

Lisa runs as an ambassador for TEAM 413 (www.team413.org), and has completed a marathon (26.2 miles) in all fifty states.



Writing, for Jason Royle, is a way to express the ongoing story of theology. With every book or article, he hopes readers get a sense of the complexity of God and the necessity of faith. Captivated by the spiritual component of life, Jason loves to read everything from the Greek classics to the Sunday comics.  Amazon Author Page.

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE MYSTERY OF THE SOLAR WIND” BY AUTHOR @LYZRUSSO

  • Title: The Mystery of the Solar Wind
  • Author: Lyz Russo
  • File Size: 1570 KB
  • Print Length: 430 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 062046593X
  • Publisher: P’kaboo Publishing (Owned by the author)
  • Publication Date: August 18, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0145T724I
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Futuristic Fiction, Mystery,

In the year 2116 the Unicate, a conglomerate formed from all the governments in the world, have stopped the wars that ravaged the earth. Peace now reigns supreme – except on the oceans, where Captain Radomiur Lascek and his band of pirates sail upon his ship, the Solar Wind. This unruly band of misfits travel the high seas, seeking out outlaws and fugitives, all the while steering clear of the Unicate and their associates.

On a routine stop in Dublin, the Gypsy chef, Federi takes a chance and hires three teenage Irish musicians, “The Donegal Troubles,” Paean, her older brother Ronan, and her younger brother, Shawn to entertain the crew. The young trio had been searching for work and a safe place to hide from their past and the Unicate, who are hunting for them in connection with a mysterious death that still haunts Paean and her brothers.

Mystery and adventure surround the Donegal’s as they sail aboard the Solar Wind. When the Unicate gained power they outlawed all knowledge and culture that dated back more than thirty years. This is the war the pirates wage against the Unicate. Using current technology and the old ways of sailing, knowledge now forbidden, Captain Lascek and the crew capture and sell enemy craft to the rebellion.

However, all is not what it seems aboard the Solar Wind. The Unicate and bounty hunters are closing in on Captain Lascek and the crew. Time is running out! The only answer must be sabotage from within!

Recommendation:

Do you love pirates? Young adult adventure and mysteries, too? How about if you throw in some gypsy magic and a romance or two? The Mystery of the Solar Wind is all that and then some.

The cast of characters is a motley crew with two things in common, their love of the sea and their hatred for the Unicate. Add in the young Donegal kids who knew nothing of living upon a sea vessel and you learn about life aboard the Solar Wind through their eyes. If you ever wondered what it was like to sail a ship, you will learn all there is to know within these pages.

I was intrigued with the in-depth personality of Paean, a real tom-boy who stuck me as a level headed teenager faced with the difficulties of living under a corrupt world government. The choices she was faced with really made me think about the way our world is today and what our future might hold for all of us. The future presented within these pages might not be too far off in our own future.

Although, for me the real stand out in the novel was Federi, the Gypsy chef, who bewitches you with his smooth talking ways and his undying loyalty to the captain and the crew. The Romany Federi carries dark secrets from his past that seem to surface at exactly the right time, moving the story along in exciting new paths.

There is a great deal of detail presented within the pages of this book. At times, I had to backtrack to make all the connections, even though I was always glad I did. Lyz Russo is a master story weaver and I was drawn into the community of pirates who seemed to be the real good guys in this futuristic world.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I have to know what happens next!

“The Mystery of the Solar Wind,” is Book 1 in the Solar Wind series. “The Assassin,” is Book 2, “Freedom Fighter,” is Book 3, and “Raider!” is Book 4, all part of the Solar Wind Series.


Author, Lyz Russo

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

About Lyz Russo:

I’m a South African writer and musician. Between running a violin studio and raising 3 beautiful children, and writing through nights, I also run a maverick indie publishing house in South Africa called, P’kaboo Publishers.  Have a look: http://pkaboonews.blogspot.co.za/

Find me on my blog: “Violin Tricks” https://violintrix.wordpress.com/

My social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyz-Russo/50736424488

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5274509.Lyz_Russo

P’kaboo Book Club (FB): https://www.facebook.com/groups/139271869584780/

The Solar Wind Fan Club (FB): https://www.facebook.com/groups/26966456822/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lyzrusso

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/lyzrusso

Links to the book “The Mystery of the Solar Wind:”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lyz-Russo/e/B00I2W7MYK

On P’kaboo: http://www.pkaboo.net/LRusso.html

Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/shop/lyz-russo/the-mystery-of-the-solar-wind/paperback/product-22440561.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/516535

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12876378-the-mystery-of-the-solar-wind

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Fort Applegate & The Battle of Wounded Knee by Brian Wu. #BookReview by @JERoyle

Brian Wu’s approach to teaching children about the immune system in his book, Fort Applegate & The Battle of Wounded Knee, was informative and effective. As Wu states in his opening “tips” section, Fort Applegate & The Battle of Wounded Kneeone of the primary goals in the writing of this book is for it to be used as a means of getting children interested in their immune system, and as a teaching tool. I found this to be true.
            Wu is certainly well qualified for the field in which he is writing about. He holds a PhD in integrative biology and disease and is an MD Candidate.  But don’t let all of that education intimidate you. Brian’s storytelling is very child friendly. 
            My eight year old daughter read the book. Afterward she asked me, “Dad, do I have T-Cells and B-Cells like that boy in the story?” A great example of the author’s intent; get children more interested in talking about their health, and get parents more involved in educating their children about their bodies.    
 
            Though the book is not very long, Brian does a fine job in touching upon the highlights of the immune system. And he does it by introducing you to Nolan, a young explorer who cuts his knee on a rock. With a little imagination, Nolan takes us to the front lines of the battle going-on inside his body. As the white blood cells attempt to rescue him, it is just the beginning of the attack of the Bacteria Gang
Editor’s Note: After reading Jason’s review, I wish I had taken this one instead of offering it to him and his family.-RH


ABOUT BRIAN WU

Brian Wu, AuthorBrian Wu graduated with a Bachelor’s Science Degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a PhD and is an MD Candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease. He is also an experienced writer and editor for a large number of prestigious web pages. Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics, and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own health conditions and daily circumstances.

Contact Brian Wu at hello @ healthstoriesforkids.com (Don’t forget to remove the spaces. All in blue is the email address.)
More info on Brian can be found at http://www.brianwwu.com.



Writing, for Jason Royle, is a way to express the ongoing story of theology. With every book or article, he hopes readers get a sense of the complexity of God and the necessity of faith. Captivated by the spiritual component of life, Jason loves to read everything from the Greek classics to the Sunday comics.  Amazon Author Page.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin #BookReview by @FTThum

Sugar and Snails

Title:                     Sugar and Snails
Author:                Anne Goodwin
Publishers:         Inspired Quill (23 July 2015)
Format:                Paperback
ISBN-10:               1908600470
ISBN-13:               978-1908600479
Website:             http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/
Twitter:                @annecdotist
Pages:                   342
Genre:                 Contemporary Fiction, LGBT
 

What’s it about?

This is a story of a woman’s journey of self-discovery.

I am introduced to Diana through the narrative of the life she’s lived, so far filled with insecurities and fears. The story begins in the present day with a confronting scene of Diana self-harming as a result of, so it seems, her partner leaving. The vivid description of her bringing a knife to her arm, after many years of abstinence, caused me to put the book down and almost not returning to it. But I did, because I wanted to know more.

What happened in Cairo? Why is it significant? What is she hiding? Why? What? How? So many more questions asked as I followed Diana Dodsworth’s life journey…from a young kid to a professor of psychology at university.

Diana’s story weaves in and out of different pasts as she held the attention of the reader, slowly and steadily divulging the story of her life.  Goodwin has written real characters, not just in Diana but with each of the significant figures in Diana’s life – flawed, conflicted. As the reader, I can empathise with each of them. What are the motivations for parental love? How is one changed by childhood events? Is an adolescent capable of deciding her future? What is the value of friendship and love in shaping a life?

As a therapist, I would have loved to get greater insights and explore Diana’s psyche as she slowly comes to the realisation that she has held herself back and living in a time bubble, and that she is indeed alright. Not that it is indeed the case, or is it? I appreciate a psychological study however may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This said, my reading experience was not compromised in any way. There is enough to maintain my attention and interest. After a somewhat slow and for me, perplexing take by Goodwin in ‘jumping’ across time and events, the second half of the book provide resolutions which showed Goodwin’s skill in weaving all the threads into a coherent tapestry.

Goodwin has created an intriguing story of a person’s life, complex and filled with the confusions of a child, the pain of existence, of irrevocable decisions and the effects on the subsequent decades of her life.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. Mesmerising, especially the second half of the book, thought-provoking and sensitively written.

If you enjoy reading real and flawed characters set in a  contemporary background with controversial issues (still!) to boot, this is the book for you (and your book club, if you belong to one).

Ratings:

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

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 4.31
  Paperback USD 12.99
Booktopia Paperback AUD 38.95
Bookdepository Paperback €15.47

– FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

florence-2

© 2015 LitWorldInterviews

 

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

  • Author: Oliver F. ChaseLevant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
  • Title: Levant Mirage
  • File Size: 3416 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pearl River Publishing Group; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015G7TWYQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Formats: Paperback & Kindle
  • Pricing: $13.99 & $3.99
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Suspense, War

I received a copy of this book for an honest review and I’m glad I did.

Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.

35 year old U.S. Army Major Adam Michaels is no James Bond, nor did he ever set out to be. What is he? He’s a man who rejects the easy path that being the heir to a shipping empire gives him in order to join the military, serve his country, and be a father. Right, no money other than what he makes as a Major in the Army. You don’t see jet flying, limousine riding, womanizing and all of that. I would trade in the 10 year old Corolla for something a little better though. Tap into the trust fund already.

Finding himself used as a scapegoat for a foreign relations nightmare, Michaels works out his days in the Pentagon pushing papers, and paying alimony, child support and the mortgage on his rising political star ex-wife’s house. You see the everyday life to some extent leading up to the changes in life the military can throw at you. You don’t control you in the Army. And there are times when that twists the guts out of Michaels.

Michaels is of a dubious parentage, with his father not being who he thought he was, but upon finding out explains a great deal. This in part leads to his choice of path in life. He wants to be his own man. He doesn’t want to be identified with a past that isn’t really what he thought it was.

But part of that past comes back in one night and changes a quiet world into a search to find the defense against a missile guidance system he created that is now in the hands of terrorists. Which terrorists? Who is the enemy? You won’t believe it. Or you will believe it but be surprised.

The believability of Levant Mirage is what makes it so freakin’ scary at times. Perhaps the guidance system isn’t real, or I hope it’s not. But I’m sure there is something like it out there. The enemy Michaels must fight against is out of this world. If he fails, billions die. If he succeeds?

Chase writes with detail and a knowledge base that gives the story realism. You are able to submerse yourself into Levant Mirage and you don’t get pulled out by oddities and unbelievable scenes. Some scenes are high energy and amped up, but still possible.

Being honest, the amount of detail is incredible at times and I could have done with a little less of the technological speak, but it doesn’t take away from the story. In truth, it adds the believability—you don’t have these leaps from action to intellect in the span of a few seconds. Okay, maybe you do but for a whole different reason, but I’m not giving those parts away. Ah, that does remind me of one scene that did cause me pause and have to reread in order to get it clear. In part, that was due to the surprise of those involved.

I enjoyed the handling of the terrorists. As you read you’ll develop ideas but never get to comfortable, you never know what is going to happen next, who is going to happen, or what the truth is until it’s almost too late. But there are clues along the way.

Recommendation

I would recommend Levant Mirage to those who like believable action thrillers. Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt and other NUMA series books come to mind, but not that fantastical or off the charts. Where Cussler takes you over the edge of believability at times, Chase keeps you here on earth and scares the life out of you with reality you can find in your neighbors living room.

Character Believability: 4Levant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

 

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About the Author

olvier-chaseOliver spent five years in a police department working narcotics and SWAT, and the next 22 in the FBI. Now he’s the author of Marsh Island, Blind Marsh, the first two installments of the Hirebomber Series. And now Levant Mirage, releasing Oct. 15, 2015.

oliverchase.net

https://oliverchase.wordpress.com

facebook.com/oilverchase

https://twitter.com/OliverFChase



About the Reviewer

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

Interview with J. Kahele Author of Violet Chain. @JanelleKahele

Who do you get when you combine 129 Five Star Ratings and 83 Four Star Ratings on Amazon and GoodReads? An author I met about a year ago and did a somewhat stock interview with that I’ve thankfully gotten away from.

I was newish to the arena of interviews and she was generous to say yes. The worst part was, I hadn’t had an opportunity to read her work. But now? It’s a year later, I’ve read and reviewed her latest. And here we are again with another, what I believe better interview. And I like to call us friends. Just don’t tell her that. I don’t want to get the raised eyebrow of “Say What?” from her.

You may have read my review of her book, Violet Chain, the book we’re discussing today. I don’t think the review does the book as much justice as I might have wished for it to. The characters have great layers to them and are not one dimensional, even the supporting cast. She just writes a great annoy character that bugged me. I hope she doesn’t read that line. Now let’s talk to J. Kahele. Author and More.

J. Kahele Author

 

Let’s start off with why did you write Violet Chain?

Believe it or not I was throwing titles around in my head and come up with this one, then decided to create a story.

After catching her fiancé cheating on her the night of their engagement party, Violet Townsend, a woman people hold in high regards in all aspects of her life, goes through a transformation of character. What do Violet Chain by J, Kaheleyou think brings out that seemingly sudden change the way it does that finds her in the arms of the books leading man?

It is out of the norm for a woman like Violet to delve into a one night stand, but as with every women, when hurt badly by a person they love, she needed an escape from the pain and hers was Chain.

The leading man, Chain Alexander, is sucked in to this wild ride of Violet’s road to recovery. Being a man myself, thank you very much, I would like to say a few things. I’ve read the reviews. Some love him, some don’t get him. Personally I think you nailed the emotional aspects of a character caught up in this situation perfectly. How do you come to write a male character role like that? What do you draw from to give him just the right male reactions? Psychic, or great observer?

Chain was not at all the character I had in my mind for original lead. I wanted more of an alpha male type, but with Violet’s character, there was no way an alpha male would have fit well, so I guess you could say that Chain kind of was a creation from the story itself.

Some people are going to buy this book for the sex, and romance angle. If people are narrow in their thinking and stick to that, I personally believe they are missing a lot of what you’re telling. Would you tell us about the psychological aspects of both the lead characters that make them just like anyone else once you take them out of their palaces and ivory towers, metaphorically speaking of course, and how they deal with love in a damaged arena? I believe readers connect with them in a great way.

I wanted real characters that everyone could identify with, the good, the bad and so I took a lot of extra time concentrating on that. I believe Violet and Chain both have very real emotions and turmoil’s and imperfections that make them very relatable.

Crazy as it may seem, I see a lot of . . . well crazy people in this book. Not so much crazy but people with quirks and foibles. You have a good supporting cast. Speaking to those quirks and the like, do you have a leaning toward or fascination with things like OCD and personality/mental issues that seems to come through in your writing?

Haha. My husband says I’m very OCD about certain things and I believe everyone has their little quirks, don’t you?

I am not falling into the trap of answering what my foibles are. Feel like I’m being cross examined here.

I have to say that you write a great annoying character in the part of Harrison, the cheating fiancé. And honestly even in the best friends of each of the leads in their certain quirks at times which doesn’t make you not like them, but as for Harrison, how much do you use your own personal experience or that of friends when being inspired to create a character like that, not so much the cheating part but his personality and actions through the remainder of the book?

Harrison was probably the easiest character to write, yes I did use personal dislikes I had for men, when writing him.

You did great, I wanted to throw him into a wall or out a door a few times, well every time. That’s how well you made me not like him.

As I was reading Violet Chain I noticed the organic style of writing. You touched on this subject when talking about CHain Alexander earlier. By organic I mean things didn’t always go where you planned. To me that often means the story, the characters themselves, have taken over the mind of the writer and begun to tell the story. Is that how you write, you start out writing, or does it take over at some point and if so, when do you give the characters their head and let them run?

I have never had control of the characters, once I have created them, they tend to go in a direction that I don’t always like and believe it or not I try to fight it, but I think when creating characters true to life, we lose control and that isn’t so bad.

I’ve read where a lot of people are hoping for a sequel. Is that the plan?

Yes. The sequel will be out in November.

You’re quite prolific in your writing and never seem to tie yourself down to one thing. What are you working on now that your fans will be excited to hear about? Because I know from the reviews that you do have fans, not just readers.

I am currently working on the final sequel of the Mine Series and a new series that I’m not revealing yet.

A question I’ve begun to ask my authors is this, what is your favorite line from the book? I think by sharing that you somewhat give us a peek into who J. Kahele is.

I wouldn’t say there is a favorite line in the book, but I do have a favorite part. It is when Chain and Violet are saying goodbye at the restaurant and Chain is begging to see her again and she kind of leaves him hanging. I love that part a lot.

And a final question. What motivates you to put words to your thoughts and begin a book? Writers have ideas, but what is your process of deciding “This is it!”?

When the thoughts follow you everywhere you go and you can’t shake them, until you write them down on paper.

 

Violet Chain by J, Kahele

To Connect with J. Kahele:

www.janellekahele.com

 

www.facebook.com/J-Kahele

J. Kahele on Google+

And to view her other books visit her Amazon Author Page.



About the Interviewer

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email me at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

#BookReview. Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight by Jo Robinson (@jorobinson176). Creativity and Friendship as Weapons of Liberation

Hi all:

I’ve been catching on some of the books I had pending, and as I’ve finally got around to reading one by our fantastic Jo Robinson, I had to share. Here it is:

Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight by Jo Robinson
Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight by Jo Robinson

Title:  Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight

Author:  Jo Robinson

 

ASIN:  B00RBRYMD6

Published:  21st December 2014

Pages:  230

Genre:  Spirituality, Personal development, genre fiction

Donna, the protagonist of this novel, has been married for over thirty years to Marco, a horrible man who has made her believe she’s unstable and unworthy of anybody’s love or attention. Their daughter, Shelley, was packed to boarding school and has avoided the family home ever since. Donna has managed to survive thanks to a huge garden (partly the land of an old farmhouse) and her renewed interest in Horticulture. Researching heritage tomatoes she stumbles upon information that makes her believe perhaps her disastrous and unhappy marriage (at least for her. Her husband seems to get all he needs from the relationship and other relationships) is not her fault. And her husband’s behaviour might not be unique either. She discovers malignant narcissistic personality disorder.

Jo Robinson creates a unique set of characters and a beautifully nuanced novel of sensations and feelings out of a story that might sound familiar (I think many people who read the novel will perceive similarities between the couple in the book and some people they know, if not in the detail, at least in the essence). Despite that familiarity, the immediacy of the story (although it is told in the third person, we see everything that happens from Donna’s point of view, live her anxieties, panic, feel her frustrations, and finally, her hopes and achievements), the elements of surprise (Donna keeps some cards under her sleeve), the sympathetic and likeable characters (except for Marco), and the overall optimism of a book that shows the positive effects of creativity (gardening in this instance) and friendship make it highly recommended.

The pace of the book changes from slow and meditative at the beginning (when, like the character, we live inside of her head, in fear of what might happen if we dare to tread outside of Donna’s house and insular life) to fast-paced and full of adventures, danger and varied characters at the end. The novel flows well and we engage and root for the main character. The ending is satisfying and the novel is a pleasurable read.

Although this is a work of fiction, it reminded me of Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens in its love for alternative ways of finding one’s calling and life-affirming creativity.

Having read the author’s blog and now one of her novels, I can’t wait to read more of her writing. I expect more fascinating topics and engrossing stories.

As a side note, I’m a psychiatrist, and narcissistic personality disorder is one of the well-described personality disorders in several psychiatric classifications. Most psychiatrists would distinguish between mental disorders and mental illnesses. Personality disorders manifest themselves as a series of traits of an individual’s personality (as such they appear from a young age, and continue to manifest themselves, in most cases, throughout the person’s life). They are considered disorders when they have a negative impact on the life of either the person, others who relate to them or often both, and in most cases are extreme manifestations of characteristics that a lot of people might share. Among other personality disorders are: borderline personality disorder, paranoid, obsessive, depressive, anxious, antisocial…Mental illnesses are mental disorders too, although those appear at a certain point in life and like other illnesses can last for a period of time and get better (with treatment in most cases, although some mental illnesses run a chronic course and it’s more difficult to be specific as to when they are “cured”. It is usually possible to recall a time before the illness became manifest). People suffering from personality disorders might present with short-lived pseudo-psychotic symptoms (delusions or hallucinations), although in the case of Marco there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of that (or at least Donna does not describe delusions or hallucinations). It is likely though that if we scored Marco using the PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist-Revised) he would score above the cut-off point for psychopathy, although this is not a specific psychiatric diagnosis.

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

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $8.99 

Kindle: $ 3.91

Thanks for reading and if you ‘ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and click!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

 

Today’s the Day by International Bestselling Author @JeanneBannon #Book #Review

Author: Jeanne BannonJeanne Bannon book cover of Today's the Day
Title: Today’s the Day
File Size: 499 KB
Print Length: 20 pages
Publisher: Solstice Shadows (September 15, 2015)
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B014TJUWXC
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Amazon: Kindle
Pre-order: .99
Genres: Paranormal, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Short Story

 

I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review. The honest review follows.

John Galloway is a man. A man deep in a world so dark that you’re not quite sure what is real and what is not.

In Today’s the Day by International Bestselling Author Jeanne Bannon, the coping life of a policeman who has nothing to live for any longer is explored in a single day. Bannon gives you everything about John Galloway’s life in the constraints of a short story while you don’t even realize it.

Thriller, suspense, and paranormal or psychological? The truth is, I don’t know exactly what you might call it, perhaps all of them. Bannon takes you inside the mind and thoughts of officer Galloway as he tries to find a missing girl on Halloween. He’s the last man on the force who should go looking for little Trisha. But he’s also the best one available to do the job.

I don’t use the word riveting often, but I might throw it out here. I have to admit this isn’t my subject matter. But Jeanne Bannon handles the theme well, a theme that actually turns out a bit differently than I thought, and gives an ending you aren’t expecting, but makes sense.

Bannon touches on the emotions of a father who has lost—badly—and does so without going over the line to go for the cheap emotional tricks. Well done.

The book is well proofed and edited making for a full immersion into the story without being jerked out by the surprise typo or snafu of wording.

Recommendation:

I would recommend this for audiences who are into the paranormal, somewhat horror genres. It’s a short story available for pre-order now, out on September 15, 2015.

Character Believability: 4Jeanne Bannon book cover of Today's the Day
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

Now go and pre-order by clicking here or the book cover images.

Jeanne-BannonJeanne Bannon: I’ve worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. I currently work as a freelance editor and writer and am represented by the Serendipity Literary Agency.

My debut novel, Invisible, is a young adult paranormal romance, published by Solstice Publishing and has been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

Currently, I’m finishing up work on a paranormal thriller titled, Dark Angel.

Click here for her website. And here for her Amazon Author Page and her other books such as Nowhere to Run.



Ron_LWIAbout the Reviwer: Ronovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2015

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