Somewhere in the South Pacific (The Todd Ingram Series Book 7) by John J Gobbell – #BookReview – #historicalthrillers

Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J Gobbell

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J GobbellInspired by the true story of John F. Kennedy’s daring naval mission at the height of World War II, this historical thriller brings the unanswered question of the past to life with fast-paced action and vivid detail.

After surviving a near suicidal mission on Mondo Mondo Island, Lieutenant Commander Todd Ingram is sent back to the States on a thirty-day leave—but the war waits for no one, and trouble is already rippling through the Pacific Theater.

Fresh from Stateside training, Lieutenant JG John Kennedy takes command of the PT 109, a torpedo boat in desperate need of repairs, for the upcoming mission to retake the Western Solomon Islands. But the war isn’t the only thing on Kennedy’s mind: he’s torn between his family’s expectations and his forbidden love for Inga Arvad, a beautiful Danish columnist who narrowly escaped Nazi occupied Germany.

When a disastrous attempt to interrupt Japanese supply lines slices Kennedy’s PT 109 in half, Ingram and his six destroyers must pick up where Kennedy left off. Can Ingram save Kennedy and his stranded men while defeating the Japanese? Ingram is prepared to fight to the end, but victory comes at a steep price behind enemy lines…

His Review:

Nineteen hundred forty-three is a major turning point in the war in the Pacific. John Gobbell writes a very interesting account of the PT boats which attacked and harassed Japanese shipping around the Solomon Islands. This narrative focuses on the cadre of officers and men who executed this part of the war. They were in wooden ships approximately 30 feet at beam and 80 feet long. With a complement of thirteen men, they had to be mostly self-sufficient.

Somewhere in the South Pacific by John J GobbellAmong these was a young Lieutenant Junior Grade named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This account of his service cast an entirely new light on President Kennedy and his actions in the South Pacific! He was a bit of a rounder and a rascal taking care of his boat and shipmates with the actions of a scrounger.

Being assigned to the PT 109 was being assigned to a boat that was dry-docked with holes in the hull and many operational issues. Thirty-plus days were required to get her sea-worthy. Lt. J.G. Kennedy replaced the boats’ three Packard 1600 engines with those pilfered in shipping crates at the naval repair docs. Nothing seemed to be nailed down where Kennedy was concerned. He took care of his craft and crew like a jealous mother-in-law took care of her daughters.

Jack Kennedy was rather irascible in the treatment of others. He finally had his tail feathers clipped when a senior officer informed him that he was headed to the brig if any further ordinance or supplies were purloined from the supply area. By this time the PT 109 was one of the best equipped of the PT boats. This served him and his crew admirably in the months to come.

The function of the PT boats was to harass and attempt to sink Japanese shipping going through the slot in the Solomon Islands. This sea corridor was a major route for the Japanese supplying their troops in the Pacific theatre and sinking Allied Ships. Many islands in this island chain had thousands of Japanese entrenched in the hills and mountains through this passage.

CE WilliamsThe author has painted John F. Kennedy as a very likable commander and a champion for his men. He was also a very tenacious practical joker. The Japanese found him a worthy foe. The book is fun to read and shows another side of our very famous 35th president. I could not put it down. 5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Book Details:

Genre: Sea Adventures Fiction, Historical Thrillers, War Fiction
Publisher: Severn River Publishing
ASIN: B09KMHG4MS
Print Length: 404 pages
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Somewhere in the South Pacific [Amazon]

 

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John J Gobbell - authorThe Author: JOHN J. GOBBELL is a former Navy Lieutenant who saw duty as a destroyer weapons officer. His ship served in the South China Sea, granting him membership in the exclusive ATonkin Gulf Yacht Club.@ As an executive recruiter, his clients include military/commercial aerospace companies giving him insight into character development under a historical thriller format. A Code For Tomorrow is the second of four stand-alone novels in the Todd Ingram series. Altogether, he has written six novels involving U.S. Navy action and is currently at work on his seventh. He and his wife Janine live in Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at john@johnjgobbell.com

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a great weekend!

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

 

(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Literature & Fiction 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.

In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

My Review:

Elsa Martinelli got sick when she was a teenager and though she survived, the family kept her at arm’s length and isolated until too late for marriage, she is overwhelmed and succumbs to the attention of the first man to notice her, the son of landowners, a Texas farmer.

Her urban family, wealthy and more worried about appearances than the love of their daughter, dumps her at the porch of the boy’s family. Rafe’s family has no alternative other than to take her in and teach her about the farm where she must learn to (gasp!) work. But they are good people, as we used to say “the salt of the earth.” Rafe does what he must with a shot-gun marriage and gives up his dreams of college.

The Four Winds by Kristin HannahThere is much to learn on the farm and the years pass, now with two children, and a tenuous marriage, but his parents come to embrace Elsa as the daughter they never had and love their grandchildren. When the drought hits and hits hard several years after the Great Depression started, the struggle to make severe changes in an effort to survive wears on all of them.

Rafe’s parents are determined to stay on their land, but Rafe is ready to head west. When their son confronts a devastating lung disease born of the Dust Bowl situation, Rafe has enough and he leaves them all in the dead of night. Elsa makes the difficult decision to head west, alone, with her two children hopefully to save her son.

But the harrowing drive alone to California is just the beginning of more years of extreme poverty, struggle, and the overwhelming competition for manual labor work with the many thousands who’ve also left their own Dust Bowl states to find a better life. It’s not.

My father’s family were among those who left for California (from Missouri) in 1938 and lumped in with the cruel denigration of “Okies” (Oklahoma). The staggering numbers of the destitute overwhelm the state and the farmers quickly take advantage of the infinite labor pool setting outrageously low levels of pay for back-breaking work sun-up to sun-down.

Emigrant camps blossom the length of every fertile valley with crops to tend including cotton, which when ready to pick is cruelly heavy with thorns as well as cotton bolls. The author paints a grim picture of the unsanitary conditions of tent and cardboard camps, lacking any potable water and tied to the “company store” where more money is deducted from paltry wages.

There are themes of love—the love given to each other in extreme situations—family, the love of a mother for her children, hopeless conditions, and those who overcome and who don’t. It’s not that hard to imagine the same can happen to anyone. The haves and have-nots and those who take advantage of the victims.

“Doom and gloom and agony on me” says the little ditty riddled throughout the old “HeeHaw” variety show. But can there be any light at the end of the tunnel?

The author does an amazing job of describing the devastation wreaked by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, the thousands of migrants that choked California’s economy, services, and infrastructure. The characters are so well fleshed you can smell them, see the cardboard in their shoes, and wonder how much longer they can live on stone soup, their ribs prominent.

In the end, this is not a totally depressive narrative but one of triumph over all the odds and ultimately the indomitable spirit of human nature.

Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B0882VNQKS
Listening Length: 15 hrs 2 mins
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Four Winds [Amazon]
 

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Kristin Hannah - authorThe Author: Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year. It was also named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week. In 2018, The Great Alone became an instant New York Times #1 bestseller and was named the Best Historical Novel of the Year by Goodreads.

The Four Winds was published in February of 2021 and immediately hit #1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Indie bookstore’s bestseller lists. Additionally, it was selected as a book club pick by the both Today Show and The Book Of the Month club.

The Nightingale is currently in production at Tri Star, with Dakota and Elle Fanning set to star. Tri Star has also optioned The Great Alone and it is in development. Firefly Lane, her novel about two best friends, was the #1 Netflix show around the world, in the week it came out. The popular tv show stars Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke and Season Two is currently being filmed.

www.kristinhannah.com

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Book hangover

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander – #BookReview – #booktour

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander

Digital Reads Media blog tour

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander, just released. 

“Does every book need a happy ending? No, but every book needs resolution.”

Book Blurb:

When an editing pen has the power not only to change stories but also to change lives.

Book editor Emily Bryant finds herself unexpectedly in the charming town of Cascata on California’s Lost Coast, holding the keys to her grandmother’s rambling Victorian mansion. While sorting through her grandmother’s things, Emily learns that she must edit old manuscripts to inherit the estate. It’s a strange request from a family member who was basically a stranger.

Emily quickly realizes that there’s something different about these manuscripts. Any changes she makes come true. At first, she embraces the gift. She has a chance to help characters find true love or chart a new course for their future. But then things go terribly wrong. Her edits have the opposite effect. The sweet and funky seaside community of Cascata is reeling from the chaos Emily has created. Everything she thought she believed about her family and her past is in jeopardy, and no amount of editing can fix the damage she’s done.

Then she finds one last manuscript. If Emily can get this edit right, maybe she’ll have a chance to create a new narrative for herself and everyone around her.

My Review:

Protagonist Emily Bryant moved to New York to finally start her new career as an editor and she’s about to pitch her first book when she is informed her grandmother died and left her The Ballad, a mansion in Cascata. How rude!

She would love to just sell the thing, but no, Emily must edit a pile of “Forsaken” manuscripts and cannot legally do anything with it until she has, but sharing the news with her father, his advice is to dump it and proceed with her new job. Her father and his extended family have been estranged since the death of her mother. She felt abandoned by them but has nagging questions she’d like answered—and her father won’t.

A stretch of the Lost Coast Highway.
A stretch of the Lost Coast Highway.

 First, the Lost Coast of California is intense and volatile and a sunny warm day can turn quickly. Except for Highway 1 (which doesn’t extend the length of the Lost Coast), the area is isolated and stretches from Humboldt to Mendocino Counties. The weather is unpredictable, but…it’s the coast. The Victorian mansion is not only tied to her grandmother’s will demands but to regulations for registered Victorians. She’ll have to go to Cascata.

A Queen Anne Victorian mansion--this one in Eureka, CA.
An example of a Queen Anne Victorian mansion–this one in Eureka, CA.

Grandma Gertrude apparently had a business as an editor working out of a room of the mansion, something that surprised Emily, who had grown up with a deep-seated love of books. It was her theory, fostered by her grandmother, that if she didn’t like an end to one of the classics she was reading as a child, she could rewrite a better one. A fun thing that took flight with her imagination and she took to rewriting conclusions often and has since.

So after the enthusiastic greeting of most of the family, she is more intrigued than ever at what might have created the rift between her grandmother and her father.

After discovering and rewriting the ending of the first “Forsaken” manuscript, she is astounded later to watch it play out in real life. She continues to wrestle with herself over the conundrum of the family that appears to be happy she’s back with the picture painted by her father.

Lost Coast Literary by Ellie AlexanderWorking on the manuscripts and discovering the power she wields, however, she is cautioned to exact careful study of the possible repercussions her pen may cause.

In the meantime, the reader is introduced to the charming atmospheric little coastal town and its inhabitants, the redwoods and palms (which really threw me as I didn’t remember palm trees around Ft Bragg and Westport where we camped for years when hubby was still diving for abalone).

Emily’s constant angst juxtaposing her New York position with that of her ability in Cascata got a bit taxing, as well as her still unanswered feelings of abandonment, but these were offset by getting to know the amazing characters, including her cousin Shay, who totally understood what was happening to Emily with her rewrites. So many authors noted, classics, books I’ve read, including the more recent The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel (Pie) Society by Anne Barrows (also a beautiful Netflix movie).

A heartfelt and thoughtful novel of family, grief, redemption, friendship, and connection.

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour. My thanks to the author and to Shalini at Digital Reads Media for the complimentary review copy and the opportunity to read and review this delightful new release. Immersive and entertaining. These are my unbiased thoughts and heartily recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Magical Realism, #Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Sweet Lemon Press LLC
ASIN: B09PKS8H5K
Print Length: 298 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Author and Digital Reads Media 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble Kobo

 

Ellie Alexander - authorThe Author: ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native, a voracious storyteller, and a lover of words and all things bookish. She believes that stories have the ability to transport and transform us. With over twenty-six published novels and counting, her goal is to tell stories that provide points of connection, escape, and understanding.

She loves inhabiting someone else’s skin through the pages of a book and is passionate about helping writers find their unique storytelling lens. As a writing teacher and coach, she guides writers in crafting the story they’ve always wanted to tell while navigating the path to publication that’s right for them.

Find out more about Ellie, her books, and writing courses by visiting her online:

Website: https://www.elliealexander.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/elliealexanderauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@elliealexanderauthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ellielovesbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elliealexanderauthor

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

Poison Pen (Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mysteries Book 1) by Sheila Lowe – #BookReview – #DomesticThrillers

Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

“IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED.”

Poison Pen by Sheila LoweThose were the words on the suicide note found near Lindsey Alexander’s body. The police say it is an apparent suicide. Case closed.

Or is it?

Ivan, Lindsey’s partner, disagrees. He hires forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose to poke around.

Motives for murder begin to pile up. Lindsey had made powerful enemies. Soon, a brutal attempt on Ivan’s life confirms Claudia’s fears.

A desperate enemy is lurking.
There is a massive target on Claudia’s back.

Claudia must join forces with intense LAPD detective Joel Jovanic to survive. They must stop the killer before the killer destroys her.

If you loved Simon McLeave’s A DI Ruth Hunter Crime Thriller series, you would most certainly love Sheila Lowe’s masterfully written forensic mystery thriller series.

His Review:

“Handwriting is similar to body language and tone of voice in that it reveals a lot of information about the writer.” Much scientific research has gone into this area of study. Handwriting can identify the writer and many of their mental characteristics. Claudia is an expert in that field. Could a suicide note supposedly written by the deceased actually have been written by another?

Poison Pen by Sheila LoweMs. Lowe identifies the study of handwriting with the acumen of an investigator or artist painting a portrait of the author by the sample. Comparing the suicide note to known examples of the victim’s handwriting can quickly expose that a crime was committed. The topic goes much deeper however. Handwriting actually exposes various idiosyncrasies hidden in the psyche of the writer.

When a crime has been committed, the perpetrator will try to alter his/her handwriting. What better way than to print in block letters rather than write a note? Not a bad plan except for one little problem.

This particular note was uncharacteristic of the deceased. Unlike DNA or other clues, handwriting does not have a national database or another repository of historical evidence to draw from. I was impressed by the author’s description of the lengths a good handwriting analyst must go to; the types of letters, flowery curlicues, or rigidity, clearly identify a particular personality.

CE WilliamsI suggest anyone with a desire to become a detective read this tome. It illuminates basic personality characteristics and styles the average person would never consider.  Kudos to the author! Engaging and entertaining. 5 stars from CE Williams 

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Women’s Crime Fiction, Mystery Series
Publisher: Write Choice Ink
ASIN: B08WQ36GFP
Print Length: 350 pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Poison Pen [Amazon] 
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Sheila Lowe - authorThe Author: Sheila Lowe writes stories of psychological suspense that put ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances. Like her fictional character Claudia Rose in the award-winning Forensic Handwriting series, Sheila is a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in court cases. She also writes the Beyond the Veil paranormal suspense series and nonfiction books about handwriting and personality.

Sign up for my newsletter here: https://claudiaroseseries.com/subscribe-to-the-newsletter/

Where to find Sheila

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sheila-lowe
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SheilaLoweBooksHandwritingExaminer
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sheilalowebooks/
Amazon Author page – https://www.amazon.com/author/sheilalowe
Goodreads Author page – https://www.goodreads.com/SheilaLowe
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/sheilalowe
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/sheila_lowe
YouTube Channel – https://bit.ly/3lfPUc7

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Have a great weekend!

Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery – #BookReview – Native American Literature

Wolf Catcher by Anne Montgomery

A Reading Ireland Month book

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars  5 stars
“Gardening is not about growing food, but about growing children.”

Book Blurb:

A reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician and discovers that black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Wolf Catcher by Anne MontgomeryIn 1939, archaeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate beadwork, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine-hundred years earlier, was a magician.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

My Review:

Boy, didn’t this one grip me quickly and keep me glued to the pages! I absolutely love reading fiction tales about the ancient history of our own beautiful United States—this one in the spectacular geographical area known as Arizona. Probably better known for searing summer desert heat, the state boasts a multitude of topographical diversity.

Chapel of the Holy Cross, Flagstaff AZ
Chapel of the Holy Cross

Flagstaff, north of Phoenix, is high desert at almost 7,000 feet, a little over eighteen miles from Ridge Ruin. When I was still riding my motorcycle, the girls and I rode to Prescott—and then a short ride to pricey but gorgeous Sedona, the artsy community not far from Flagstaff that features red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls, and inexplicably deep pine forests. Sedona (twenty-nine miles from Flagstaff) is unique and heart-poundingly stunning. While there, I’d recommend a visit to the (active Catholic) Chapel of the Holy Cross built into the red rocks that offer dramatic views.

So I was deeply and thoroughly embroiled in this imaginative novel that split the storyline in dual narratives: The current one and that of the eleventh century capturing a native people written so creatively, you’d swear it was taken from the pages of a diary.

Kate Butler is a freelancer working on an article regarding the discovery in 1939 of a tomb near Ridge Ruin where a man buried nine hundred years previously was obviously a magician and sacred member of the tribe populating the ridge. But was he of the tribe? If not, where did he come from? And here’s where it turns fascinating—enter the world of Kaya, Wolf Catcher, Deer Runner, Badger, and the white wolf, Spirit Warrior.

Wolf Catcher by Anne MontgomeryThe Arizona high desert landscape in the tenth, eleventh century was changed by the active volcanoes of the area forcing tribes to abandon their villages and seek fresh game, water, and arable conditions. Some peoples were peacefully assimilated; some not so peacefully ventured to take by force the attractive conditions offered by distant communities.

Kaya, accepted to her village as a child, is a healer, but still not wholly one of them and keeps herself separate. Her skills, however, are unquestioned having learned from her mother. I loved her character and that of the support characters of the village. Their stories, their lives, come to life and breathe their circumstances to reality in the mind. Their experience as the storyline hurtles to conclusion is gripping.

The novel melds seamlessly much of fact with fiction. I love it when I’m moved to research the veracity of places like Ridge Ruin. Although to be accurate here, the author discloses her own discoveries when she was commissioned to write a feature article about The Magician by the Arizona Highways Magazine, and I must say managed to incorporate a complex tale here combining the tribal experience possibilities into an unputdownable account that includes a crushingly plausible antagonist bent on stealing artifacts.

“Our priority was the guys with guns, not the ones with shovels.”

Loved the cliff-hanging chapter endings. Well researched, well-plotted and paced, a historical mystery that raises still more questions about the migrations and origins of peoples and artifacts found in unlikely places.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts. Trust me, you’ll love it. Totally recommended and out now! 

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Book Details:

Genre: Native American Literature, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
ASIN: B09MV1H4N3
Print Length: 382 pages
Publication Date: February 2, 2022
Source: Author inquiry

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Anne Montgomery - authorThe Author: Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, and amateur sports official. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include The Castle, The Scent of Rain, A Light in the Desert, and Wild Horses on the Salt, Montgomery taught high school journalism for 20 years and was an amateur sports official for four decades, a time during which she called baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games and served as a high school football referee and crew chief. Montgomery is a foster mom to three sons. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, musical theater, scuba diving, and playing her guitar.

Find Anne Montgomery on her website: https://annemontgomerywriter.com/

NB: Ms. Montgomery states she has “red hair and freckles” and is American of Irish descent.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Cathedral attribute: Red Rock Realty

 

Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly – #BookReview – #medicalthrillers

A Reading Ireland Month contribution 4 leaf clover

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Chasing Time by Thomas ReillyDevastated by his wife’s terminal illness, retired teacher Tony Lucas seeks to recapture a lost magical key from his youth that has the power to predict the future and use it to unravel additional mysteries that could save her. Racing against time as the disease extracts its unforgiving toll, Tony embarks on an amazing quest involving a series of unexpected plot twists, cryptic clues, and memorable characters.

Driven by a strong male lead, this heartwarming book combines realistic medical elements with a hint of fantasy to create a gripping, suspenseful narrative. Reilly spins a compelling tale of a devoted husband’s resilience and perseverance as he pursues a life-saving mission that extends from Ancient Rome to modern-day America to the olive orchards of Spain.

His Review:

A strange talisman slips through time enhancing the lives of various individuals. Is time a continuous event with no beginning or no end? Lucius Fabius Antonius thought this might be true of the first century A.D. Lucius was an olive oil merchant in the Roman empire when disease ravaged the production in Italy. He was forced to look outside the empire and found a better product in Spain.

Chasing Time by Thomas ReillyTwo thousand plus years later Anthony Lucas waits patiently for a time capsule to be opened after it is discovered in a cornerstone of the old school. He is lucky to be chosen the recipient of the unusual talisman in the small copper box.

He discovers a five inch key-like object near an Italian restaurant which is intricately carved into the figure of a two-faced man. Tony tosses the key in his backpack and proceeds home. The box he won in class had an old newspaper clipping from 1906. The article included interesting happenings in that year along with some evidence of possible shady dealings from some of New York’s more prominent citizens.

Weird events continue to happen to the eighth-grader as he progresses through life.

CE WilliamsThis entire story is a very engrossing tale of what could be. As I read the book, I was drawn into the whirlpool of potential events in the confluence of time. I was so engrossed I could not put the story down but zipped through it. Start the book and you too will be all consumed! 5 stars – CE Williams

Thomas Michael Reilly—definitely of Irish descent—and my second novel by an Irish author or book about Ireland in participation with the eighth annual Reading Ireland Month. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Medical Fiction
Publisher: World Castle Publishing LLC
ASIN:  B09DTJPPLR
Print Length: 160pages
Publication Date: September 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Chasing Time [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Thomas Reilly - authorThe Author: Thomas Reilly is a retired biotechnology scientist and executive who holds a doctoral degree in microbiology. He is the author of numerous essays and articles on science and technology. CHASING TIME, his first novel, is a gripping medical suspense story with a touch of magical realism that captures many elements of the drug research and development processes. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Linda.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Reading Ireland Month 2022

The Conversos (The Seton Chronicles Book 2) by V E H Masters – #BookReview – Renaissance Historical Fiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Conversos by V E H MastersEurope 1547. The rising tide of the Reformation threatens bloody revolution. And the terror of the Inquisition grows, even for those who have converted.

Bethia, newly married tries to find her way in Antwerp, both the city and family she now belongs to a constant source of confusion – and sometimes fear. While her brother Will, enslaved on a French galley, doubts there will ever be an end to his torment.

Divided by faith, Bethia and Will each desperately seek a place of refuge from the looming maelstrom.

But there is no safe haven… unless Will denies his beliefs and Bethia surrenders those she loves.

His Review:

Europe in the sixteenth century is in major turmoil. War and intrigue are everywhere and the primary areas of power are near seas. Antwerp is one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Europe. Conscripted oarsmen power boats across vast oceans. Their life is miserable and they are nearly starved to death. They must sleep on the benches where they man the oars and are not allowed to go anywhere to relieve themselves. The stench is overwhelming!

The Conversos by V E H MastersV.E.H. Masters has illuminated this era with a kind gentleness that is refreshing. Conversos are Jews who have become Christians and their children and grandchildren follow the faith. Martin Luther has been the catalyst for the schism in the Catholic church and whole countries are being torn asunder by the battles.

Bethia has married a citizen of Antwerp and has joined him in his new home. She is conversant in a number of languages but her first is Scottish. Her husband Mainard is a loving provider and she is moved into his parents’ house. They are very wealthy and she is swept up in a new life. Her brother Will, in the meantime, has been subscripted into service as an oarsman on a French merchant vessel.

The metamorphosis of religions is intriguing and well portrayed. Lives and fortunes are lost based upon the religion one professes. The rise of Adolf Hitler is certainly not the first European conflict affecting Jews in Europe. This tale features a similar pressure on the Jewish community and their involvement in manufacturing and trade. Someone declaring you are Jewish can result in your fortune and livelihood being taken away and your expulsion from the country.

CE WilliamsI found the fortunes of a young Scottish lass both fascinating and enlightening. Mass extermination was not the problem but expulsion from many countries and confiscation of all their worldly possessions could result in starvation. Third-generation Christians would not separate the families from their Jewish roots. The result is an eye-opening and intriguing glimpse into life during the Middle Ages. 5 stars – CE Williams

Although you could read this as a standalone, it is considered a sequel to The Castilians which we read and reviewed last year and also greatly enjoyed. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. (These are his honest opinions.)

Book Details:

Genre: Renaissance Historical Fiction, Tudor Romance, Historical Biographical Fiction
Publisher: Nydie Books
ASIN: B09LDZLMV9
Print Length: 337 pages
Publication Date: November 8, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link(s): The Conversos: Vivid and Compelling Historical Fiction [Amazon] 
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VEH Masters - authorThe Author: VEH Masters was born and grew up on a farm just outside of St. Andrews in Scotland. She’s been fascinated by the siege of St Andrews Castle ever since her history teacher took the class on a visit, which included going down the siege tunnel dug out of rock and peering into the bottle dungeon where Cardinal Beaton’s body is said to have been kept, pickled in salt, for over a year.

When she learned that the group who took the castle and held it for over 14 months, resisting the many attempts to re-take it, called themselves the Castilians, she knew even then it was the perfect title for the story.

The sequel, The Conversos, which picks up to the hour where The Castilians left off, continues the dramatic adventures of Bethia and Will. To find out more please go to her website https://vehmasters.com/ and she would be honoured if you signed up for the newsletter.

The Castilians is now available as an audiobook on Audible, narrated by the talented actor and voice artist Beverley Wright.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Castilians-Gripping-Scottish-Historical-Chronicles/dp/B09NQ8G8Q8

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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