Roaring Liberty: The Queenstown Series – Book 4 by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 New Release in Historical Irish Fiction

 Book Blurb:

New York City, 1922

Roaring Liberty by Jean GraingerHarp Devereaux is torn. Part of her desperately wants to return to Ireland to finish what she and her family and friends started, and to witness the departure of the British forces from Ireland after eight hundred long years. But the other part finds life in America during the Roaring Twenties too exciting to trade for the sleepy streets of County Cork.

She and JohnJoe are united and determined to sample all that life after the Great War has to offer, but life Stateside is not as free and easy as Harp first imagines and soon she finds herself longing for the simplicity of her homeland.

She wants to live life on her own terms but life is never simple, on either side of the Atlantic, and there are sinister forces at work, determined to bring them all down..

My Review:

Book 4 of the Queenstown series wraps it up in classic style, managing to resolve all the issues in a fast-moving and immersive conclusion.

While I was not able to walk in Harp’s shoes, I do so enjoy all the characters, especially JohnJoe and in this entry to the series Jerry, Elliot, and Celia. Harp and JohnJoe hesitantly form a vaudeville act upon the insistence of Jerry who will act as manager and promoter, as well as Elliot (on violin) and Celia, their bookkeeper and seamstress.

Roaring Liberty by Jean GrainerAfter Rose and Matt return to Ireland, Harp feels free to live as she wants to live her life and that’s as a performer—beginning in New York where they find a lucrative level of success, particularly after Elliot pens an original that is picked as a favorite in their venues.

But there are issues back home and Jerry opens an opportunity to play in Dublin allowing Harp to see her mother again. While in Ireland, however, they discover the tentative and long-awaited peace treaty with Britain divides their country between those who are agreeable to the terms and those who are not, creating a dangerous climate and turning former friends to enemies.

Also, there is the issue of the home that Harp inherited when her “father” claimed her as his heir, bypassing his own brother who took possession of Cliff House following their hasty exodus to the states.

The well-paced narrative slowed somewhat in the middle as issues having been introduced were more carefully examined and possible remedies posited, while song lyrics were introduced (including the iconic Irish ballad “Danny Boy” (which always brings tears to my eyes) or repeated. I must say the lyrics of Elliot’s “original song” “Your Heart Will Know” is absolutely, hauntingly beautiful.

There are themes of the struggle of women in society (“Until all women were free, none were”), lifestyle, as well as the continued troubles with the British and class distinction.

I am one of the lucky few to receive an advance reader’s copy of this author’s works. I’ve enjoyed all of them, including The Harp and the Rose, Book 3, and find each delightful, atmospheric, and educational as well as engaging and entertaining. Book 4, Roaring Liberty is out now and highly recommended although you might wish to begin (if you haven’t already) with Book 1, Last Port of Call.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: British Historical Literature, Historical Irish Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction
ISBN: ‎B09QFC6LNB
ASIN: B09DBWW184
Print Length: 480 pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2022 – Just Released!
Source: Author request
Title Link: Roaring Liberty  [Amazon] 

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER – USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi.

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four…

[truncated…]

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

Read her complete bio on Amazon or visit her website at Jean Grainer.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

The Great Witch of Brittany: A Novel by Louisa Morgan – #BookReview – #historicalfantasy

The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa Morgan

Book Blurb:

Return to the world of A Secret History of Witches with the bewitching tale of Ursule Orchière and her discovery of magical abilities that will not only change the course of her life but every generation that comes after her. 

Brittany, 1762

There hasn’t been a witch born in the Orchière clan for generations. According to the elders, that line is dead, leaving the clan vulnerable to the whims of superstitious villagers and the prejudices of fearmongering bishops.

Ursule Orchière has been raised on stories of the great witches of the past. But the only magic she knows is the false spells her mother weaves over the gullible women who visit their fortune-telling caravan. Everything changes when Ursule comes of age and a spark of power flares to life. Thrilled to be chosen, she has no idea how magic will twist and shape her future.

Guided by an ancient grimoire and the whispers of her ancestors, Ursule is destined to walk the same path as the great witches of old. But first, the Orchière magical lineage must survive. And danger hovers over her, whether it’s the bloodlust of the mob or the flames of the pyre.

A tale of magic and fate, triumph and heartbreak, and the powerful bonds between mothers and daughters unfold in the late 1700s in this spellbinding novel from master storyteller, Louisa Morgan.

My Review:

I’d guess it’s difficult to find any area around the world that has not at some point furthered the supposition of witches and witchcraft as the answer to unexplained phenomena, particularly any country with a history of gypsies, many now called Travellers. People, different, are labeled and viewed with suspicion.

The Great Witch of Brittany by Louisa MorganThis novel picks up the story of Ursule Orchière in her early teen years as she supports her mother in the telling of fortunes. Witch-hunting, however, is an ever-present danger and her mother Agnes doesn’t escape the notice of the superstitious villagers, particularly of those in the church seeking higher status. The ugly dispatch of witches by burning at the stake puts another notch on his mitre.

When her mother is dragged off one night to suffer that fate, Ursule must act without the aid of those in her clan. She is forced to flee her caravan in an effort to rescue her mother, aided by a clan canine and her familiar, a raven. But it’s an experience that changes her mother forever and Ursule is not yet aware of the magic she possesses.

They are fortunate in their circumstances, finding a safe haven on a farm where Ursule gradually realizes she has been chosen out of the Orchière line to carry the secrets, the power, the incantations, and the whispered knowledge of her ancestors. She has recovered the grimoire and studies the pages intently, gradually adding to her experience of the philters and potions.

“…the cost of magic did not always match its reward.”

As Ursule and Agnes cement their position on the farm, tending animals, Ursule finds a way to subtly protect and increase productivity, sweetening crops, as Agnes tends her gardens. When Ursule feels the biological clock hammering, mother and daughter conspire on arranging a relationship with a local traveling sightless musician. The relationship yields a daughter.

The plot expands to cover the travails of three generations while preserving the fourth. The author writes with convincing authority, three times three times, slipping in the prose, mixing the languages of French, Breton, and Romani, hardships, practices, and heavily scented descriptions of the land. Overlain all, the cloud of the imminent terror of being found out.

This novel might be considered a prequel to A Secret History of Witches, released September 17, 2017, that I reviewed early last year. That audiobook got me started with this series and I discovered The Age of Witches last year as well. This might also work well as a standalone. The series spurs the imagination and conjures scenes of history both horrific and fascinating. I’m hooked and happy to recommend. Currently on pre-order.

I received uncorrected advance content collected for this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Magical Realism
Publisher: Redhook
ASIN: B096RS2G56
Print Length: 446 pages
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Louisa Morgan - authorThe Author: Louisa Morgan lives and writes and rambles with her Border Terrier on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. A musician and a yogini, she finds inspiration in the artistic environment where she makes her home. [Amazon]

Louisa Morgan is the author of A Secret History of Witches, The Witch’s Kind, and The Age of Witches. She’s looking forward to the publication of The Great Witch of Brittany in 2022!

Louisa is a yogini, a musician, a mom, and a dog lover. She lives in scenic Northern Idaho with her family and her spirit familiar, Oscar the Border Terrier. Visit her at www.louisamorgan.net. [Goodreads]

©2021 V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

 

All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends in the Road to Key West Series by Michael Reisig – #BookReview – #fictionanthologies

Rosepoint Publishing: 5 stars

Book Blurb:

All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends by Michael ReisigBest-selling author Michael Reisig has probably produced more profound, profane, and proverbial quotes than nearly any other writer in his class, and the following effort here, is really a wonderful, definitive collection of … Reisig… and his thirteen-book “Road to Key West” series. For the price of an order of french fries you can buy a ebook view of island life here — a few hours of Caribbean island-hopping insight in the form of clever quotes by the remarkable Rufus the Rastaman, as well as those from a gathering of other great authors, adventurers, and entertainers. All of which will make you nod your head with understanding or laugh out loud in pleasure, with nearly every page… As you walk along The Road To Key West…
As Rufus would say: Sometimes you’re the wind, and sometimes you’re the sails…
Cool Runnings, mon

My Review:

Yes! At last, one of my favorite authors has gathered a collection of favorite quotes finally answering requests from fans of the Road to Key West Series (and a number of others besides), including one from Stanley McShane (my grandfather).

All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends by Michael ReisigJust when you needed some humor in your life, these memorable (often touching) quotes bring a chuckle to your lips along with several LOL moments from some of your favorite characters of his popular series including Rufus, Crazy Eddie, Will, Kansas, Travis, and Cody, as well as others (including one from Paulo Coelho—I kid you not). Of his richly drawn characters, I love Rufus—always an enigmatic, engaging, and often mysterious individual armed with an appropriate saying (if not a timely prediction). But Crazy Eddie? He’s just plain lovably crazy.

“Remember, you’re not dead until someone can touch your eyeballs and they don’t flinch. Until then, you got a fighting chance.” –Crazy Eddie

“If you’re smoking after sex, you’re doing it way too fast.” –Will Bell

“Coincidence is the Grand Messenger’s way of reminding us how small the ship of life is, and that destiny sometimes has a sense of humor…” –Rufus

If you’ve never read a Michael Reisig book, whether in this series or one of his standalones, you owe it to yourself to get this little book, a great preface to his novels. It’s a wonderful collage of quotes and sayings, unforgettable moments in the novels that vicariously quench your adventurous spirit. The little pictures of the characters are endearing. Immerse yourself in the (often times philosophical) prose, his obvious love of animals, and the pure excitement of life through many heart-pounding exploits.

I was thrilled to receive a complimentary review copy of this book from Mr. Reisig that in no way influenced this review. (Visit any of my Road to Key West adventure reviews by searching this blog for Michael Reisig.)  The ebook is a bargain, but I’d suggest the print book with the graphics might make a delightful Christmas gift. A reading delight for men; a guffaw or three for women. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Fiction Anthologies, Satire Fiction, Literary Anthologies & Collections
Publisher: Clear Creek Press
ASIN: B09M99718T
Print Length: 171 pages
Publication Date: November 18, 2021
Source: Author request 

Title Link(s): All the Best Quotes by Rufus & Friends in the Road to Key West Series [Amazon]

Just released!

Michael Reisig - authorThe Author: Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 20 years. He is a former Caribbean adventurer turned newspaper editor, award-winning columnist, and best-selling novelist.

After high school and college in Florida, he relocated to the Florida Keys. He established a commercial diving business, got his pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, and adventuring.

Reisig claims he has been thrown out of more countries in the Caribbean Basin that most people ever visit, and he admits that a great many of the situations and the characters in his novels are authentic – but nothing makes a great read like experience…

He now lives in the mountains of Arkansas, where he hunts and fishes, and writes, but he still escapes to the Caribbean for an occasional adventure.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

13 ½: A Novel by Nevada Barr – #BookReview – @nevadabarr

Book Blurb:

In 1971, the state of Minnesota was rocked by the “Butcher Boy” incident, as coverage of a family brutally murdered by one of their own swept across newspapers and television screens nationwide.

13 1/2 by Nevada BarrNow, in present-day New Orleans, Polly Deschamps finds herself at yet another lonely crossroads in her life. No stranger to tragedy, Polly was a runaway at the age of fifteen, escaping a nightmarish Mississippi childhood.

Lonely, that is, until she encounters architect Marshall Marchand. Polly is immediately smitten. She finds him attractive, charming, and intelligent. Marshall, a lifelong bachelor, spends most of his time with his brother Danny. When Polly’s two young daughters from her previous marriage are likewise taken with Marshall, she marries him. However, as Polly begins to settle into her new life, she becomes uneasy about her husband’s increasing dark moods, fearing that Danny may be influencing Marshall in ways she cannot understand.

But what of the ominous prediction by a New Orleans tarot card reader, who proclaims that Polly will murder her husband? What, if any, is the Marchands’ connection to the infamous “Butcher Boy” multiple homicide? And could Marshall and his eccentric brother be keeping a dark secret from Polly, one that will shatter the happiness she has forever prayed for?

My Review:

Okay, I’m one of those caught up in the author’s name and just blindly grabbed the book written by Nevada Barr, too late to notice it was NOT part of the Anna Pigeon series. Oh, dear.

And I’m having a seriously difficult time trying to visualize that the same author who writes about Anna Pigeon and her experiences in the park service is the same beautiful lady whose author photo is shown below. I might be more inclined to believe the author might have been Dean Koontz, but come to think of it, I’ve not read a Koontz book quite so viciously, violently graphic (and with children as well?).

13 1/2 by Nevada BarrNot a book to undertake without some trigger warnings—it’s twisted, dark, and suspenseful and (perhaps just a King horror novel) difficult for me not to just DNF. This reader needed to see a meaningful conclusion, although I’d certainly predicted from the beginning the revelation. Not a big surprise at that point.

Then Polly comes along and with her two young daughters discovers a kindred spirit in Marshall, easy going, pleasant, loving, concerned. What more could a young mother need or want?

“Most had made lives they enjoyed and would only compromise for a very shiny white knight with a particularly breathtaking steed. And a very long lance…”

The setting in post-Katrina in New Orleans was interesting and lent an atmospheric touch, until Polly meets a tarot card reader who provides dark warnings that trigger her investigation. Noooo, you say… Don’t go down into the basement—or in this case—to the slum residence of the Woman in Red.

13 1/2 by Nevada BarrOh, and by the way, 13 ½ is a tat described as meaning “One judge, twelve jurors, half a chance.”

Predictable, yes, (see paragraph three above), an unusual read for me, yes, I would classify as horror. But you don’t have to take my word for it, if you are willing to take a chance. Granted, the author does have a rather poetic turn of phrase, descriptive prose, tension-building expertise. But this author also writes, as mentioned now several times, the Anna Pigeon series, including my last couple reviews Destroyer Angel and Track of the Cat, as well as several prior to those. I particularly enjoy the audiobooks narrated by Barbara Rosenblat (she’s awesome). This novel is a standalone—a good thing. However, as you’ve no doubt understood by now, I’d recommend her series.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thrillers, Murder Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher: Crossroad Press
ASIN: B07L19Y98Z
Print Length: 253 pages
Publication Date: November 30, 2018
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Nevada Barr - authorThe Author: Nevada was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.

Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers — Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.

Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bittersweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada’s experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.

The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada’s books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List — and more — will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

©V Williams V Williams

Have a great week!

Deep in the Forest: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 5) by Lynda McDaniel –#BookReview – @wordwardrobe

Book Blurb:

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielHampshire, England, 2006: I should’ve known not to visit Nigel Steadman; trouble followed him closer than his shadow. But I’d finally made it all the way to Dublin, and it seemed a shame not to hop across the Irish Sea to see my old friend. Besides, he’d always said for me to come stay with him in London.

It wasn’t till I called from Dublin that I learned he’d moved to the New Forest in the south of England. Goodbye London before I ever met you—and hello heartache. That’s where Nigel roped me into doing some undercover work checking out the Ownbey gang he was trying to trick into telling the truth. But as you can imagine, things didn’t go the way we’d planned. Gunslingers, kidnappers, and thieves highjacked my vacation and turned it into a nightmare.

So here I am in a makeshift jail, and it feels like I’ll never see Fiona and the boys again. And if the bad guys have their way, I won’t. Even when my best friend Della Kincaid flies over to help, she can’t do much. I’m in so deep, she doesn’t know where to look for me. Time to pray. ~Abit Bradshaw

You’ll love this suspenseful mystery because who hasn’t tried to do the right thing—only to have it all go all wrong?

My Review:

Each of these series entries works well as a standalone and are unique but I have to say taking Abit Bradshaw and wife Fiona to Ireland is definitely a radical departure from their usual setting in the Appalachians.

Deep in the Forest by Lynda McDanielFiona is from Ireland and this was a grand chance to visit family. A chance also for Abit to get to London to see his old friend Nigel. He is envisioning the sightseeing until he discovers that Nigel is no longer in London—he relocated to New Forest. Nigel may best be a friend from afar as it doesn’t take long before he coerces Abit into doing a little “spying” for him. He’s always got something going on that could be considered dodgy—or even more—and this one appears to involve Nigel’s “gang” as well. Also, there is another gang which may prove downright dangerous and better left alone.

Abit, who got the childhood nickname from his dad who thought him “a bit slow” has, however, become quite the independent, strong, and actually musically talented adult as well as husband and father. I get the feeling Nigel takes advantage of him and wondered again how their friendship got past the first caper.

As always, Ms McDaniel completely immerses the reader into the locality, the local population vernacular, foods, and way of life. And in this particular narrative, it’s the local colorful characters, both good and bad, that take center stage rather than the overwhelming gorgeous atmosphere of the majestic mountains back home.

The POV switches between Abit and Della, his oldest friend and mentor—the lady who bought the little country store his dad owned back in Laurel Hills, North Carolina. Della is investigating her own drama at the store when she gets the word Abit is missing. I always enjoy references to the talent with his mandolin and Bluegrass music and Abit does get to show off some talents here as well.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Bluegrass music in Book 4, Murder Ballad Blues. I have read several of this author’s works and am definitely a fan. These are engaging characters, stunning atmospherics, clean, down home stories without gore, and unique page-turning mysteries.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest thoughts. I thoroughly enjoy the author’s sense of humor and prose, and I’m always left looking forward to the next novel.

Rosepoint Publishing recommended

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Religious Mysteries, Heist Crime, Women’s Detective Fiction
Publisher: Lynda McDaniel Books
ASIN: B09HR7SMDJ
Print Length: 254 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2021
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Lynda McDaniel - authorThe Author: [Lynda McDaniel] I love writing page-turners—both fiction and nonfiction. And I love helping others to do the same, living into their dreams of writing books. I believe my success comes down to a respect for my readers and clients. I know I’m easily bored, so I work hard to engage and inspire my readers.

After all, we’re all busy these days, and I want to deliver value–whether that’s a gripping mystery filled with memorable characters or books on writing that give you the tools to write your own fiction and nonfiction. Both make me happy.

I got my start as a writer in the most unlikely place—a town of 200 people in the mountains of North Carolina. But living there changed my life in so many positive ways. Decades later, I realized that everything I value today, I was introduced to there. My Appalachian Mountain Mysteries–“A Life for a Life,” “The Roads to Damascus,” “Welcome the Little Children”–pay homage to the people of Appalachia who taught me so much. And to Mollie the Wonder Dog, who plays a role in both “The Roads to Damascus” (aka Millie) and in “Welcome the Little Children (as Millie and Mollie).

To keep up to date with Abit, Della, and the gang (and receive a free novelette that pulls back the curtain on Abit’s and Della’s lives before they met in Laurel Falls), head over to http://www.LyndaMcDanielBooks.com. No spam, no pestering, just the free novelette, a 12-part serialized preview of my upcoming Book Four (via my blog), and special offers/updates.

Over the years, I’ve written more than 1,200 articles for major magazines, hundreds of newsletters and blogs. I’m proudest of the 18 books I’ve written. My nonfiction books include “Words at Work,” which I wrote straight from my heart, a much-needed response to all the questions and concerns people have about writing today. (It won top honors from the National Best Books Awards.) I’ve also written two Amazon Bestselling Books: “How Not to Sound Stupid When You Write” and “Write Your Book Now!” (with Virginia McCullough).

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve lived all over this country—from the Midwest to the Deep South to Appalachia to the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. Whew! I finally settled in Santa Rosa, California, a place that reflects the values I learned while living in the mountains of North Carolina, all those years ago.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

YouTube attribution: Stuche51

Daughter of the Morning Star: Longmire Mysteries Book 17 by Craig Johnson – #Audiobook Review – #westerns

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig Johnson

#1 Best Seller in Westerns

Book Blurb:

When Lolo Long’s niece, Jaya, begins receiving death threats, Tribal Police Chief Long calls on Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire along with Henry Standing Bear as lethal backup. Jaya Longshot Long is the phenom of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team and is following in the steps of her older sister, who disappeared a year previously, a victim of the scourge of missing Native Woman in Indian Country. Lolo hopes that having Longmire involved might draw some public attention to the girl’s plight, but with this maneuver, she also inadvertently places the good sheriff in a one-on-one with the deadliest adversary he has ever faced in both this world and the next. 

My Review:

Well, forgive me, but I do so enjoy a Walt Longmire novel and deemed it long enough since the last I’d read and reviewed (Land of Wolves) that I could post his newest release.

This one, however, seemed a bit of a departure from his usual and I missed a few of my favorite well-developed support characters.

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig JohnsonWalt Longmire, Sheriff of (fictional) Absaroka County, Wyoming has been contacted by Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long to investigate death threats that Jaya is receiving. Jaya is a high school senior well on her way to a real basketball career track via scholarship. She’s that good and she is being recruited. The problem is that she fails to be a real leader or a team player.

An additional wrinkle is that she is following in her older sister’s footsteps, who was also threatened and then disappeared. Sure that the two are connected, Walt brings along Henry Standing Bear to provide liaison and support with the tribal community. He also takes Dog and no one will mess with Dog.

ARGH! Well, potty mouth or no, I do miss Vic Moretti (his under-sheriff), and to a lesser degree his daughter, Cady.

Okay, a couple things: In most Longmire novels, there is a lot of Native American involvement (it’s Montana after all), the Bear usually featured prominently, and the author tends to include a lot of info about reservation life as well as supernatural or mystical stories handed down through the families by the separate tribes as to their beliefs, spiritually driven. And this one no different. Fascinating this.

Also, he loves to give equal time to the (historical) stories, allowing for the POV of both sides—native and non-native. In this one, he divulges the still currently deplorable stats on acts against Native American women (and girls), noting numbers of violence or disappearances far exceed those of female averages for the same crimes off the reservation.

This book takes on disproportional story time issuing play-by-plays of the basketball games with Jaya, the obstinate athletic teen, and the struggle to remain in the play-offs leading to championships.

While most of the Longmire books could be read as standalones, there have been a few recent examples of a thread brought forward and I wonder if that is what is occurring here as there are unresolved mysteries, questions to be answered at the conclusion.

I’m a die-hard fan (loved the Netflix series!), and most especially the audiobooks as George Guidall does a bang-up job of narrating, putting himself in the shoes of Henry Standing Bear and firing off glib philosophical spikes at Longmire, holding his own beautifully (love the dialogue between the two). But this one fell just a little bit short for me this time. No bother. I’m looking forward to Book 18.

Book Details:

Genre: Western Fiction, Police Procedural Mysteries
Publisher:  Recorded Books
ASIN: B091QCLR89
Listening Length: 8 hrs 25 mins
Narrator: George Guidall
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Daughter of the Morning Star [Amazon] 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Craig Johnson - authorThe Author: Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.

George Guidall - narratorThe Narrator: George Guidall is a prolific audiobook narrator and theatre actor. As of November 2014, he had recorded over 1,270 audiobooks, which was believed to be the record at the time. Wikipedia

©2021 V Williams

V Williams

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Gamblers, Fools, and Fate On the Road to Key West by Michael Reisig – a #BookReview – #traveladventures – #TuesdayBookBlog

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig

 Rosepoint Rating: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Once again, The Hole In The Coral Wall Gang is up to their eyeballs in wild misadventure and incredible circumstance!

The hundred-year-old Coiba Penal Colony off the coast of Panama is an island swarming with convicts, inside and outside the prison walls, and yet, by the strangest of fates, this extraordinary tropical isle possesses an ancient, incredibly valuable secret that could change the world.

Kansas and Will along with their team, find themselves challenging this strange island while trying to dodge wild desperadatos, prison soldiers, and a crazed island commandant.

If that weren’t enough, there’s the South Florida mafia, who also want what the team has discovered. Then there are the two hired crazies from the bizarre “Last Resort” chasing Will and Kansas because they failed to die in a timely fashion, and didn’t pay their bill.

Startling! Clever! And very funny in places.


THIS IS ALSO A GREAT STAND ALONE READ

My Review:

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael ReisigI love it when author Michael Reisig comes out with another novel in his On the Road to Key West series! I know I’ll always get an exciting journey along with the Hole in the Coral Wall Gang to some exotic location for an unusual treasure, this time involving terraformation. And who doesn’t enjoy treasure hunting?

All the favorites are included beside Will and Kansas, the main characters. Crazy Eddie, Cody and Travis are back (I love these guys). Their offspring Tax and Jing along with Jing’s amazing hawk Cielo is included. In this narrative we are introduced to Diego Tarras and the singularly torturous Coiba Island Penitentiary off the western coast of Panama. (And btw, this was a real facility, built in 1919.)

“It was like de Garden of Eden run by the devil.”

Then the wild and fertile imagination of the author takes over and another richly drawn tale is borne of tangible components, the island prison, and the flora and fauna.

“Diego stared at him. ‘Because this is Central America, amigo, not Texas. I would be dead two days after they confirmed what I have.’”

Of course the Gang is going to want to be part of this adventure and together they plan an…extraction. In your heart, however, you know there will be the bad guys and these guys are not just bad, they are heinous bad. Atrociously bad—and seems they will stop at nothing. Sheesh!

It may be the “magic juice” that’ll keeps you reading, the amazing characters, or the outrageously descriptive jungle, but I’ve always found Reisig’s writing style to be immensely poignant, his sense of humor lively, and his obvious love of man and animals endearing.

I’ve read most of Reisig’s novels and enjoyed each and every one, including the last Gods, Guns, and Money and thought each was better than the former. The characters are richly drawn, infused with charm and wit while the dialogue is fresh and natural in the wild adventures you’ve come to expect in a Reisig novel.

As always, a delightful escapade, one that fills my head with sights and sounds, heart-pounding exploits, the intelligence of animals, and the themes of love and life. Thoroughly enjoyed and recommended. Just Released, get your copy and escape into adventure!

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Caribbean & Latin American Fiction, Sea Adventures Fiction, Travel Adventure Fiction
Publisher: Clear Creek Press

  • ASIN : B09FN8L8ZD

Print Length: 235 pages
Publication Date: September 8, 2021
Source: Author’s ARC 
Title Link: Amazon

Michael Reisig - authorThe Author: Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 20 years. He is a former Caribbean adventurer turned newspaper editor, award-winning columnist, and best-selling novelist.

After high school and college in Florida, he relocated to the Florida Keys. He established a commercial diving business, got his pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, and adventuring.

Reisig claims he has been thrown out of more countries in the Caribbean Basin that most people ever visit, and he admits that a great many of the situations and the characters in his novels are authentic – but nothing makes a great read like experience…

He now lives in the mountains of Arkansas, where he hunts and fishes, and writes, but he still escapes to the Caribbean for an occasional adventure.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

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