Decanted Truths by Melanie Forde – a #BookReview

Decanted Truths: An Irish-American Novel by Melanie Forde5 Stars – Five stars

Title: Decanted Truths: An Irish-American Novel by Melanie Forde

Genre: Literary Fiction, British and Irish Literature

Publisher: D Street Books, a division of Mountain Lake Press

  • ISBN-10:1730785867
  • ISBN-13:978-1730785863

ASIN: B07K6VM2Q1

 Print Length: 333 pages

Publication Date: November 8, 2018

Source: Direct Author Request

Title Link: Decanted Truths

Book Blurb:

For Irish immigrant families like the Harrigans and Gavagans, struggle has been the name of the game since they arrived in Boston in the nineteenth century. For twice-orphaned Leah Gavagan, who comes of age in the Depression, the struggle is compounded by bizarre visions that disrupt her daily life — and sometimes come true. She has difficulty fitting in with her surroundings: whether the lace-curtain Dorchester apartment overseen by her judgmental Aunt Margaret or the wild Manomet bluff shared with her no-nonsense Aunt Theo and brain-damaged Uncle Liam. A death in the family disrupts the tepid life path chosen for Leah and sets her on a journey of discovery. That journey goes back to the misadventures shaping the earlier generation, eager to prove its hard-won American credentials in the Alaskan gold rush, the Spanish-American War, and The Great War. She learns of the secrets that have bound Theo and Margaret together. Ultimately, Leah learns she is not who she thought she was. Her new truth both blinds and dazzles her, much like the Waterford decanter at the center of her oldest dreams — an artifact linking three Irish-American families stumbling after the American Dream.

My Review:

Decanted Truths: An Irish-American Novel by Melanie FordeAmazing study of two Irish families as they assimilate into America early nineteenth century and specifically Leah Gavagan, deftly kept within the “family” another who struggled so greatly after the fall of the status of the Harrigans. Leah has “visions” as if her life isn’t difficult enough that sets her apart from her peers and creates some problems within her own circle–the one she thought was hers.

It is Margaret, pseudo-matriarch of the Harrigan family who, upon her death, leaves shocking personal family background that causes such an upheaval in Leah. The narrative swings back to an earlier time to young Margaret, setting the picture of the struggles, with her failures, deceits, and ultimate betrayal. Dissecting the Irish psyche in the process, the proud, staunch definition of who they are, not so much a race, but more a mind-set and characterization or designation of how they became that distinct class of people. “…forgiveness does not come easily to the Irish race.”

“Perception competes with reality in any immigrant’s assessment of life in America.”

There are a number of support characters that are alternately brought into sharp focus, accounting for the dynamic throughout the well-crafted storyline–more of a biography–such a deep but lovingly complex understanding of the people from past generations–the history of a family. Into the family, a Waterford decanter is bestowed by the boy who immigrated to America in the bowels of the ship. The decanter, zealously protected and handed down, has become a symbol for the family of their final acceptance of each other and their adopted land, as well as a symbol of the truths that are eventually exposed.

While the novel begins rather slowly, pulling all the characters into the center of attention, the author creates a literary novel of intelligence, the meaning of family, and the imprint each evokes in our lives. It is a unique gift, an unusual examination of people, and a share of the commonality in us all.

I received this ebook download from the author in hopes of an honest opinion and I appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended to any who enjoy a deep study into beautifully written literary prose.

Add to Goodreads

Melanie Forde - authorThe Author: For most of her writing career, Melanie Forde ghosted on international security issues. She published her first novel, Hillwilla, in 2014, followed by On the Hillwilla Road in 2015. Her West Virginia trilogy culminates in Reinventing Hillwilla, 2018. Twenty years in the making, her Irish-American family saga, Decanted Truths (Note: Currently available on NetGalley), was also released in 2018.

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Advertisements

Rosepoint #BookReviews – March Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - March Recap

No Fooling–It’s Already April!

My Aunt Margaret said,Struggling with technology is one of the running jokes foisted on seniors and it would appear, based on some truth. Change is not easy for us! Just beginning to get fairly capable with the “classic” format on WordPress, accidentally bumbled into the new and (ahem!!) improved “block” style format. It looks like a blank page and for the life of me could not figure out where my usual toolbar options were now located. Trying to beat a deadline for a blog tour, I was stuck, messing with blocks and no clue how to proceed.

WordPress used to have online help, those savvy sisters that would pop up in a chat box (remember that?) and ask how they could help–and they always did! Now it “flies” through the great blue sky and you’re lucky to get help in two or three days (one request for help took a week and I no longer cared). But is this rant really over? No. I’d love to know how many others using WP really use or like the new block system. Is it truly just me or did it just add additional steps to a formerly easy format? Okay, now I’m off the soapbox–temporarily, at least.

March…well, March as you know was (for me) Reading Ireland Month and I did have a good time with that (using the old, classic format, of course.)

I found some amazing books and one very eye-opening hard-core Irish slang that definitely forced my tolerance level for F-words, sexual innuendo, and dialogue that previously would have had me saying, out loud, “nanny, nanny, nanny” through the naughty parts. That book was so full of them, I’d have been hoarse and had to be content with just thinking it. Gees–but it was a good book–how does that compute? I’d read another, revving up my nanny, nanny, nanny ahead of time, now that I know what I’m in for.

Of the eleven reviews, seven were Irish authors and/or stories, as well as the interview with author Amanda Hughes (sweet lady). These included a couple of cozy mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction, as well as police procedural noted above.

 

Murder in an Irish Pub by Carlene O’Connor

One Feta in the Grave by Tina Kashian

Reinventing Hillwilla by Melanie Forde

Return to Robinswood by Jean Grainer

Treading the Uneven Road by L M Brown

Interview with author Amanda Hughes

The Secret Place by Tana French

Cocos Island Treasure by Stanley McShane

The Bones She Buried by Lisa Regan

Widow Creek by Sarah Margolis Pearce

Pinot Red or Dead by J C Eaton

2019 Goodreads Reading ChallengeI added to my challenges, but as always finding it difficult to discover book titles that don’t start with the same letters used many times before. At 53 of 200, it would appear my Goodreads Challenge is just about on target. More cozy mysteries coming up as well as literary fiction and thrillers. Working on another beta read for one of my favorite authors and trying to expand my graphics crops for Instagram, on which I’m still devoting too much time.

Anyone else doing the WP block battle? As always, please share with me your recommendations for great reads and thank you so much for taking the time to post your likes and comments. They are SOOO appreciated!

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Treading the Uneven Road by L. M. Brown – a #BookReview

It’s March and I’m participating in the Reading Ireland Month for 2019. This one is a literary fiction by author L M Brown. It is an anthology, short stories of ’80s and ’90s Ireland, Treading the Uneven Road

March!

Treading the Uneven Road by L M BrownTitle: Treading the Uneven Road by L. M. Brown

Genre: Short Stories and Anthologies, Literary Fiction

Publisher: Fomite

  • ISBN-10:194438880X
  • ISBN-13:978-1944388805

Print Length: 208 pages

Publication Date: Happy Release Day! March 15, 2019

Source: Direct author request

Title Link: Treading the Uneven Road

Book Blurb:

The stories in this collection are set 1980’s and 90’s Ireland. A by-pass around a small village has rid the residents of their once busy traffic. They feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later and the woman whose dreams are shattered because of a married lover. Treading the Uneven Road introduces us to a society that is unraveling and we cannot help feel for Brown’s characters who need to make a choice on how to carry on. Continue reading “Treading the Uneven Road by L. M. Brown – a #BookReview”

Return to Robinswood by Jean Grainger – a #BookReview

It’s March and I’m participating in the Reading Ireland Month for 2019. This one is historical fiction by popularly acclaimed author Jean Grainger. Jean is a USA Today Bestselling Author and was selected by BookBub readers in the top 19 of historical fiction books AND is the winner of the 2016 Author’s Circle Historical Novel of Excellence.

March!

Return to Robinswood by Jean GraingerTitle: Return to Robinswood: An Irish family saga. (The Robinswood Story Book 2) by Jean Grainger

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, British and Irish

Print Length: 289 pages

Publication Date: February 19, 2019

  • ISBN-10:1797471155
  • ISBN-13:978-1797471150
  • ASIN: B07NVN3G7L

Source: Direct author request

Title Link: Return to Robinswood

Book Blurb:

One Irish house, two very different families, and a war that changed everything.

Robinswood Estate, County Waterford, Ireland. 1946.

Years of neglect and abandonment have left the family seat of the Keneficks almost derelict, but the new Lord Kenefick and his charming young wife Kate, are determined to breathe life into the old house once more.

The war is over and they have survived, so now they must set about making a bright future for themselves and their family. But the shadows of the past are ever lurking, and there are many who are not willing to see the new Lady Kenefick as anything more than the housekeeper’s daughter.

Kate’s family, the Murphys, find themselves once more, inextricably entwined with both the Keneficks and Robinswood, but this time everything is different. Or at least they hope it is.

The legacy of the war cannot be erased, and the events of those fateful years will not be forgotten. Can Robinswood provide a haven for those who need it, or are the scars of the past too deep? Continue reading “Return to Robinswood by Jean Grainger – a #BookReview”

Reinventing Hillwilla by Melanie Forde – a #BookTour #BookReview #Irelandmonth

It’s March and I’m participating in the Reading Ireland Month for 2019, this beautiful literary fiction being the second. I will post a complete list of my reads for Reading Ireland on Sunday, March 10. Stay tuned!

Reinventing Hillwilla 

I am absolutely delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Reinventing Hillwilla by Melanie Forde on Sage’s Blog Tours.

Book Details: Five stars

Title: Reinventing Hillwilla: A Novel by Melanie Forde

Genre: Literary Fiction, Romance, Animals

Publisher: D Street Books, a division of Mountain Lake Press

Print Length: 339 pages

Publication Date: November 4, 2018

  • ISBN-10:1730785492
  • ISBN-13:978-1730785498

ASIN: B07K6TQC3R

Source: Publisher and Sage’s Book Tours

Title and Cover: Reinventing Hillwilla – Cover depicts farm overseer, Ralph

Book Blurb:

Life on a llama farm, set in remote “Seneca County,” West Virginia, transitions from contented to chaotic in this final novel in the Hillwilla trilogy — all under the watchful eye of canine guardian Ralph. Five years after we first met northern urban transplant Beatrice Desmond, she is finally adapting to her mountain hollow among the wary “born-heres” and is more open to the blessings in her life. She has developed a rewarding mother-daughter relationship with troubled local teenager Clara Buckhalter and is inching toward marriage with dashing, but complicated entrepreneur Tanner Fordyce. Meanwhile, Clara sets off on a productive new path, one that would have been unthinkable had Beatrice never come into her life. All of that progress is suddenly jeopardized by Clara’s scheming mother Charyce. Ultimately, the upheaval touched off by Charyce’s schemes serves as the catalyst for new beginnings for the Seneca County misfits (even Ralph).

My Review:

Reinventing Hillwilla by Melanie FordeOh, Mercy! Sucked in immediately in the prologue when you realize you are reading the POV of an English setter, beloved dog, and pack leader of the llamas (Ralph’s Pack) gracing this farm, it’s impossible not to continue reading. Then I was devastated when I realized that Ralph had passed away. NOOO…

Still, protagonist Beatrice Desmond is such a powerful, torn, and emotive character that the pages turns themselves as you become totally lost in the hollow in Seneca County, West Virginia. There is a divide in West Virginia. Between the “born-heres” and the “come-heres.” Beatrice falls in the latter and tends her animals. Clara Buckhalter, at thirteen and a product of a destructive family life, connected however remotely to Beatrice, had come to live with Beatrice temporarily. As these things sometimes evolve, temporary becomes permanent with Beatrice taking full charge of loving mother duties, something Clara had not received from her own mother. Now Clara is at Beatrice’s alma mater on a scholarship. Beatrice is thrilled and proud, but lonely.

In the meantime, Beatrice continues to wrestle with the proposal of marriage from globe-trotting Tanner Fordyce, off on yet another mission while Beatrice works out of her home office telecommuting as a translator and editor. Unfortunately, her old boss is gone and the new one isn’t working out–for Beatrice. Tanner, like Beatrice, had experienced a less than stellar childhood of Irish roots, Beatrice’s family from Boston. Tanner often harkens to the ancient Irish endearment “mo mhuirnin” (my darling) when signing off on his long distance calls.

The author weaves in the artful and knowledgeable handling of the llamas as Beatrice begins to experience strange happenings around the farm. She desperately misses Ralph, who would have alerted her to anyone on her property, but she does take security measures.

Clara’s mother is written as a despot; beyond comprehension how she could treat her daughter as she does, and creates a tension building conflict when Clara is left on the farm alone. (Beatrice has had to leave temporarily.) Clara is young, naive, and sure her own mother could not willfully scheme against her or Beatrice, although it’s difficult to imagine how she could not knowing her mother’s past deeds. The character produces a glut of protracted revulsion and sets the reader on edge, anxious to perceive how the author will produce a satisfactory remedy. In the meantime, it’s easy to get incredibly angry with Clara for not understanding Beatrice is the “real” mother here, protecting her even against her wishes.

The well-paced, well-plotted story creates that bond with characters struggling through discordance with others, the loneliness, catastrophic illness, coming of age, long-distance romance, and the struggles of survival in harsh, bitter winter conditions. The dialogue is natural and believable, the characters fleshed so well, you cheer for the little triumphs and wish Clara were close enough to slap her up long-side the head. She’s eighteen now! Get a grip! And Ralph, even I missed him. Or maybe not–didn’t we see him–once or twice?

A unique story for me! The animals are sweet. Then the plummet and anger, followed by a glimmer of hope. Emotions pulling one way, then the other. And always, always, wondering when or how is she going to get another dog? (You can’t replace a Ralph. Hubby and I also had one–a yellow lab–too smart for us but we loved him.) The author has an intelligent, articulate writing style that pops with little glimmers of Irish humor. The satisfying conclusion closes the trilogy. This is the first I’d read of the trilogy, but had no problem reading as a standalone. Sage's Blog Tours

I was given this ebook download by the author through Sage’s Blog Tours for a read and review and absolutely loved the book! It’s an amazing read–totally recommended.

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars Five stars

Melanie Forde - authorThe Author: For most of her writing career, Melanie Forde ghosted on international security issues. She published her first novel, Hillwilla, in 2014, followed by On the Hillwilla Road in 2015. Her West Virginia trilogy culminates in Reinventing Hillwilla, 2018. Twenty years in the making, her Irish-American family saga, Decanted Truths, was also released in 2018.

©2019 V Williams V Williams

The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne – a #BookReview

#Five Stars

The Second Wife by Sheryl BrowneTitle: The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Print Length: 349 pages

ASIN: B07KD6YS3R

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Second WifeSimple cover

Book Blurb:

She made her bed. You’ll lie in it.

Rebecca only wanted to help out – to be kind. Richard seemed so alone after his wife, Nicole, died, and Rebecca wanted to make sure he knew he had someone to rely on.

But now she’s in Nicole’s immaculate house. Drinking from her favourite crystal wine glass. Keeping shoes in her orderly closet. Comforting her sweet and grieving step-daughter. It feels like Rebecca is living another woman’s life.

And as she gets to know the neighbours, Rebecca hears stories that make her wonder: was free-spirited Nicole happy in this perfect life, or did she feel trapped? Did she feel, as Rebecca is beginning to, that something wasn’t quite right?

The book everyone’s talking about! If you loved The Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and The Girl Before, you’ll be totally gripped and unable to put down this twisty page-turning psychological thriller. Continue reading “The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne – a #BookReview”

Just What I Always Wanted by Nancy Roman – a #BookReview

Just What I Always Wanted by Nancy RomanTitle: Just What I Always Wanted by Nancy Roman

Genre: Literary Fiction, Humor and Satire

Publication Date: August 8, 2014

ASIN: B00MJLN2SA

Print Length: 381 pages

Source: Free offering promo from author

Title and Cover: Just What I Always WantedGreat portrait catches attention

Book Blurb:

Cynthia Breault needs a new life.
She’s not miserable. She’s bored. Bored with her safe monotonous job; bored with her cautious loneliness.
Thanks to an unexpected financial windfall, Cynthia opts for early retirement at fifty, hoping to find a new passion. Soon, she thinks she’s found it – in the form of a failing boutique abandoned by its mysterious owner. And the shop is not the only thing the proprietor has deserted. There’s a very nice husband left behind as well.
It’s perfect.
Until Cynthia meets Shannon Miller. Shannon is fourteen, a tough and defiant casualty of the foster care system. And she’s pregnant.
Irresistibly drawn to this foul-mouthed, sarcastic, but vulnerable teenager, Cynthia rediscovers long-buried memories.
Suddenly the store seems unimportant. And hoping she can explain to the new man in her life – eventually, anyway – Cynthia takes the leap.
She offers Shannon a deal. With strings attached.
If they both get what they want, does it matter that their scheme is just slightly illegal?

My Review

Back when I started my blog, with absolutely no clue what I was doing (and that is still a topic for discussion), I found the blog, Not Quite Old. I could so identify and followed Nancy Roman immediately and lo and behold she was also writing and publishing a book. (I was trying to publish my grandfather’s manuscripts at the time.) I really enjoyed her contemplative writing style and thought if I ever had the money, I’d buy her debut novel which came out in 2014. Noticing she put it on a special freebie just after the first of this year, I jumped on it. I just knew it would be good. (Also recommended to my associate reviewer and his thoughts are below.) Was I right?

Oh yeah. Continue reading “Just What I Always Wanted by Nancy Roman – a #BookReview”

Welcome to My Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2018

My Favorite Reads of 2018

So many wonderful books this year it was near to impossible to narrow down this list to my Top Ten Favorite Reads. Obviously, a heroic effort, as I can list many more than ten at 4.5 stars or better and judging from your likes and comments, were books you recognized and appreciated too! They appear in no particular order below. I am combining the two Dean Koontz’s books as they are part of the same series and came in within several months of each other. (I’m a sucker for the Jane Hawk series.)

Frosty's toyThe books wend their way over a broad range of genre’s and once again, I’ve found some amazing books in a genre that stretched the reading chops. Among my favorites are psychological thrillers, literary fiction, humorous novels, cozy mysteries, and (what you say??) doggie stories! (Well, I guess no surprise there.) These are books that feed your soul, provide food for thought or chuckles that are share-worthy. I found so many delightful little passages, I began to share them in my Quick Quotes.

Once again, I leaned heavily on NetGalley for new reads as well as accepted a number of author requests and beta reads. I signed up for the NetGalley Challenge on a platinum level (75 books) and according to my count (and my Reading Challenge page) nailed that one. I fell short on the Alphabet Challenge, however, failing to find an “X”.  Found some great new authors that I’ll want to follow as well as continue with a few of my favs which I’d rabidly follow any time they present a new offering.

Follow the link in the title to explore my full review as well as additional links from the books and the link on the cover to the purchase link at Amazon. You’ve probably read your share of these same books and I’d love to hear which ones you also loved that are included in your favorite reads list of the year.

Five Stars of Five Rating 5 starsA Dog's Way Home by W Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Way HomeLiterature & Fiction, Family Life It’s a dog story–I’ll love it. And written by acclaimed and sympathetic author of canine narratives, W Bruce Cameron, you know it will be excellent.

The Crooked StaircaseLiterature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense The Dean Koontz Jane Hawk series has it all and is very popular. I’m dialed in and looking forward to the next (and final?) installment.

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzThe Forbidden Door – See comments above for the Jane Hawk series. If you haven’t checked it out, may want to begin with book 1, but in any case, these can work as standalone gripping thrillers.

Ray vs The Meaning of Life Literature and fiction Ray vs the Meaning of life by Michael F. StewartThis is one of those annoyingly great narratives, full of laughs and outrageous situations, but one that packs quite the moral punch. A new author for me but one I’ll continue to follow!

A Pirate’s Road to Key WestA Pirate's Road to Key West by Michael ReisigAction/adventure, historical fiction The Hole in the Coral Wall Gang always does the right thing. Fast-paced non-stop action. One of my favorite authors and apparently yours too!

4.5 of five stars 4.5 stars

The Last Homecoming The Last Homecoming by Dan ChabotLiterature & Fiction, Contemporary Fiction Christmas-time story of a poignant look at a house that stayed in the hearts of the last four generations of its occupants.

Lethal in Old LaceLethal in Old Lace by Duffy BrownCozy mystery Written by one of my new favorite authors, quirky characters and Old Southern charm and locale.

Dirty Who?Mystery, thriller and suspense Dirty Who? by Jerry KennealyStep back into the crime noir genre and enjoy this Dirty Harry kind of guy as he goes about solving the crime.

The Colonel and the BeeThe Colonel and the Bee by Patrick CanningLiterature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Action & Adventure with more than a little fantasy. What a wild and wonderful ride this was! Fun, fast-paced, amazing characters. (Think Around the World in 80 Days.)

Burning Ridge Burning Ridge by Margaret MizushimaMystery, Thriller & Suspense Written by Margaret Mizushima spotlights our K-9 partners and this one is a solid, riveting tale in this successful canine series.

The Long Paw of the LawThe Long Paw of the Law by Diane KellyThriller & Suspense, Cozy, Animals, Police Procedural How can you go wrong with a canine crime-solving companion in a topical well-plotted narrative.

Which of the above did you read? Did I miss something fantastic this year that you’d love to tell me about? Do you have a suggestion (book or author) for my 2019 reads?

Happy New Year!

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a healthy, successful 2019!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Justice Gone by N. Lombardi, Jr – a #BookReview

Justice Gone by N. Lombardi JrTitle: Justice Gone by N Lombardi, Jr

Genre: #Literature & Fiction, #Crime, #Thriller

Publisher: Roundfire Books

Publication Date: To be released February 22, 2019

  • ISBN-10:1785358766
  • ISBN-13:978-1785358760

Source: Author, Publisher, and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Justice GoneJustice is Blind

Book Blurb:

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars. Continue reading “Justice Gone by N. Lombardi, Jr – a #BookReview”

The Water Tower Club by B K Mayo – a #BookReview

Title: The Water Tower Club by B K MayoThe Water Tower Club by B K Mayo

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Family Life

Publisher: Fir Valley Press

Publication Date: To be released January 15, 2019

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

274 pages

  • ISBN-10:0981588441
  • ISBN-13:978-0981588445

Title and Cover: The Water Tower Club – Cover conveys plot focus

Book Blurb:

The day after graduating from high school, Darryl Coombs fled his hometown of Grotin, Kansas, hoping to put the memories of his nightmarish childhood behind him forever. His only regret–he’d had to leave his beloved little sister, Libby, behind. Now, ten years later, Libby’s arrest on a charge of attempted murder has Darryl reluctantly returning to his childhood home. He is desperate to save his sister from prison, but first he must survive the descent into the rabbit hole of his past.

When his efforts to exonerate Libby expose a devil’s bargain so hideous as to be unthinkable, Darryl unwittingly takes action that leads to deadly consequences.

Beautifully written, artfully conceived, charged with moral complexity, this book will leave you wanting more from BK Mayo! Continue reading “The Water Tower Club by B K Mayo – a #BookReview”

Love You Gone by Rona Halsall – a #BookReview

Love You Gone by Rona HalsallTitle: Love You Gone by Rona Halsall

Genre: Psychological Thriller-Suspense, Literary Fiction

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: November 15, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

288 Pages

Book Blurb:

‘Hello? Police? My husband and our children… they’re gone.’


When Mel arrives at the holiday cottage in the Lake District, she expects to find the heating on and her husband Luke and the two children waiting for her. Maybe a bottle of wine open…

Instead, there is just a note on the side, saying they’ve gone out for a walk.

But they aren’t back several hours later, and Mel knows something is wrong. Really wrong. When a search doesn’t find them, she has to confess to the police that her marriage isn’t all that it seems.

Even if that risks her own secrets being revealed…

My Review:

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I am seldom at a loss for words. But this book…where do I even begin?

Okay, wait…

Love you Gone by Rona HalsallWe are talking about a psychological thriller that hooks you immediately, and whether or not you think you know where this is going, you’d be wrong. Oh yeah, I was burning some serious cell phone battery, because once you get started reading, it is very difficult to put down.

The thing is…it starts off with Luke’s POV and then switches to Mel’s and you’re left wondering what happened. First, she seems hopeful, excited even, then as the evening wears on emotional, wrought with anxious nerves over the lapse of time in which she’d fully expected her hubby and two children back to the holiday cottage they’d rented for a getaway and a chance to “sort” things out. Uh oh…Your first clue and maybe not a good sign? But is she really a reliable narrator?

Because. The book is divided into parts (there are always two sides to the story–right?), and it isn’t until you’re into the book that you really begin to get a glimmer that this may be a whole other scenario than the originally posed of a missing man and his kids. Off on a hike. Lost? Whoa! Maybe not and the rug has just been pulled out from under your feet.

In addition, to the change of narrators are jumps in time. Yes, you can buy that as it is a way to understand how we got to this point. And it isn’t pretty. It’s heart-wrenching. Luke is working on putting his life back together and the two kids are his. Mel is pushing her biological clock and Luke. The little girl and boy are at a very tender age. Young. Vulnerable.

Lies, misdirection, twists, changes of POV and time stamp. Little by little more secrets come out, dished in very small helpings. Support characters offer some hope, and most are sympathetic, engaging, well-developed. Luke’s parents are aging and their health is not the best. His mother, always a strong woman, is battling a debilitating disease. Cousin Ted just adds stress and tension. You want to volunteer to beat him up (or I could do it!). But then Luke; gees! is he ever going to man-up or not?

The pacing of the well-plotted narrative is swift. No commercial breaks–forget it. It’s a race to the conclusion, and it’s beginning to look like everything will work out. Maybe you can take a breath now. Or maybe not, but it does make sense, huh?

And then, WHAM! The final twist. Like a boxer, down for the count. Did NOT see that one coming! (But then I’d been playing catch up from the beginning.)

Loved the book, opened up a new premise for me, although several elements pushed some disbelief. Questionable activity and the argument for or against that one, a tough call. And I had a little problem with Luke’s mother’s attitude at the end. There were some edit misses, but really this is such a fast and furious read you tend to barrel right over those.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley after reading Shalini’s review. (Thank you, Shalini!) I really needed a good psychological thriller to get my reading excitement back on level. Totally appreciated the opportunity to read and review and can recommend for any reader looking for something off-track, fast, and thought-provoking. This is one that will resonate after the last page!

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

Rona Halsall - authorThe Author: Rona’s debut psychological thriller, Keep You Safe was released in August and her second novel, Love you Gone will be out on 15th November 2018. She lives on the Isle of Man with her husband, two dogs, and three guinea pigs and has been a bookworm since she was a child – now she’s actually creating stories of her own it feels like a dream come true.

She is an outdoorsy person and loves stomping up a mountain, walking the coastal paths and exploring the wonderful beaches on the Island while she’s plotting how to kill off her next victim.

She has three children and two step-children who are now grown up and leading varied and interesting lives, which provides plenty of ideas for new stories!

To find out more about Rona’s novels, go to http://www.facebook.com/RonaHalsallAuthor or follow @RonaHalsallAuth on Twitter.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Murder in Her Stocking by G. A. McKevett #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Murder in Her Stocking by G A McKevett

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Murder in Her Stocking by G. A. McKevett on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Murder in Her Stocking (A Granny Reid Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716264
ISBN-13: 978-1496716262
Digital ASIN: B079KTKPH2
Book Blurb

As the Moonlight Magnolia Agency revisits old memories on Christmas Eve, Granny Reid takes the reins back thirty years to the 1980s—back when she went by Stella, everyone’s hair was bigger, and sweaters were colorful disasters. But murder never went out of style . .

Christmas has arrived in sleepy McGill, Georgia, but holiday cheer can’t keep temperamental Stella Reid from swinging a rolling pin at anyone who crosses her bad side—and this season, there are plenty. First an anonymous grinch vandalizes a celebrated nativity display. Far worse, the scandalous Prissy Carr is found dead in an alley behind a tavern. With police puzzled over the murder, Stella decides to stir the local gossip pot for clues on the culprit’s identity . . .

Turns out Prissy held a prominent spot on the naughty list, and suspects pile up like presents on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, the more progress Stella makes, the more fears she must confront. With a neighbor in peril and the futures of her beloved grandchildren at risk, Stella must somehow set everything straight and bring a cunning criminal to justice before December 25th . . .

My Review

Once again, my introduction to the author and a new series entry intended as a prequel to the well-established Savannah Reid series. As such, this functions well as a standalone, although it took me a few chapters to get into the unique writing style. Very folksy; had me thinking it was not so much a cozy as literary fiction and slow southern, small town, down-home style of McGill, Georgia, at that.

Not so sure it is as much mystery as it is the story of the Reid family. Strong characterizations–Granny is bigger than life. Bless her heart, Granny Reid, is the self-proclaimed caretaker of her seven grandchildren, her grand-angels. She pours her heart and soul into these kids. They come first. And Savannah (who will grow up to be second generation sleuth), the oldest at twelve, has had to grow up very quickly due to the fact that her absentee trucking father is on the road–most of the time. Their mother occupies her bar stool–daily–and almost exclusively. The home is not a home, it’s barely a house. But Granny has enough love for all of them and it’s only later that their mother casts a jealous eye toward her mother-in-law.

The story starts with Stella Reid (better known as Granny Reid) holding her great-grandchild at a Christmas gathering. She begins musing thirty years previous to more tumultuous times and a whole other Christmas. The artfully laid out plot is heavy with clichéd sayings and little glimmers of Granny’s wisdom bestowed with love and guidance to the little ones. Heaven knows they get none from their mother, Shirley.

“Shirley had yet to learn that control wasn’t power. Love was power.”

And the storyline is peppered with colloquialisms:

“Harder than a mustard bottle gets squeezed on the Fourth of July.”

“I’d rather chew bumblebees…”

“…feel like a rubber-nosed woodpecker in a petrified forest.”

“…she clams up tighter than a bullfrog’s keister in a bucket of ice water.”

These are good God-fearing righteous folk, trying to do good in this world.

There is a murder and Granny takes on some sleuthing, along with Sheriff Gilford, though I loved that the sleuthing doesn’t control the story–the Reid family does. And they have quite the story to tell and a lot of lessons to be learned along the way. I think my favorite was “…we treat people–“”I know. I know. According to who we are, not who they are.””

It’s a sweet story told in slow, cozy style and y’all better not expect a barn-burner. It is, however, well paced, keeping the reader engaged. There are good people in the world and people trying to do good. And even the antagonists can’t be bad all the time.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Recommended as a great Christmas season entry to your TBR. This narrative will captivate cozy readers, literary fiction readers, and those who enjoy the work of women sleuths.

Add to Goodreads

Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win one of (3) Print Copy Murder in Her Stocking (A Granny Reid Mystery) by G. A. McKevett – Hardcover (U.S. Only) in this Rafflecopter giveaway  

About the Author

G. A. McKevett - authorG.A. McKevett is the author of the acclaimed Savannah Reid mystery series. Also writing under the name Sonja Massie, she has authored over 60 books ranging from cozy mysteries to historical romances, to nonfiction works on the history of Ireland. Her earthy humor and fast-paced plots delight her fans, while critics applaud her offbeat characterizations and incisive observations on human nature. Irish by ancestry, she has lived in Toronto, Ireland, and Los Angeles, but now resides in New York.

Author Links

Website: www.SonjaMassie.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GAMcKevett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gwendolynnarden.mckevett

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xQwQKz

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo Google Play   Book Depository

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

November 5 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 5 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT         

November 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 8 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 9 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 10 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW

November 10 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW,

November 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 12 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Colonel and the Bee – a #BookReview

The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick CanningTitle: The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning

Genre: Currently #4792 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Action & Adventure

Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC

Publication Date: June 1, 2018

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: The Colonel and the Bee-Love that cover

Hoo-boy is this one a douzy! This novel was so much fun I couldn’t keep it to myself and shared with the C.E., whose review will follow mine. The novel hit all my buttons: unique, intriguing, adventurous, historical, surprisingly sharp (and young) female protagonist coupled with the swash-buckling theatrics of a male co-protagonist and absolute non-stop action. First, wrap your head around a  four-story house-sized balloon, and if that doesn’t set your imagination reeling, nothing will. (Think steampunk!)

Beatrix is a barely teenaged female acrobat in a 19th-century European traveling circus held captive owing her age by an abusive ringleader. The dashing and mysterious English Colonel James Bacchus attends the same private showing where she performs and she contrives to join him in a getaway following his ellicit treatise with the wife of their exclusive estate’s host. With the Oxford Starladder (the Ox) the colonel is in pursuit of a heinous criminal as he drifts across the continent in search of a precious jewel, the Blue Star Sphinx, which value in turn has attracted the warring factions of two families. (Think Hatfields and McCoys)

With every additional description of the Ox, I badly wanted to climb aboard and explore each and every crevice, descend the spiral stars, partake of the gourmet meals presented by the colonel, and peak into the horticultural room where the fresh vegetables were grown. What a delightful imaginative fantasy–but one that seemed within grasp it was made so real. The rich nineteenth-century dialogue, $50 words, and formal English prose was a delight but I was many times grateful for the built-in dictionary of my Kindle. Continue reading “The Colonel and the Bee – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Mornings in Two Pan – B. K. Froman

#ThrowbackThursday - spring

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

This week I am highlighting B. K. Froman, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Mornings in Two Pan, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written three in this series. This novel was published by Morning West Publishing on June 29, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4.2-5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 18, 2016

mornings-two-panBook Blurb:

What if everything you know about your family is only half of the truth?

Every small town has its curiosities and conflicts. For Jiggs Woolsey, the most disturbing mystery is the identity of the buried skull he digs up on his Oregon ranch. Warned not to turn it in, he seeks answers about the five generations of his family who’ve previously worked the acres. His father and the cantankerous old-timers of the fizzled-out community of Two Pan will teach him the hard way that they’re not ready to give up their secrets yet.

My Review:

Yes, you got me! Busted!

I downloaded this free offering on BookBub (thank you!) solely based on that fascinating cover, and you’ll be glad to know that the cover perfectly describes the book without saying one word. If you loved the cover, you’ll love this folksy, down-home bit of western Americana. No really, would I lie to you?

Froman couldn’t have just created these characters–they’ve been so completely fleshed out–she must have been a fly on the wall of this family, recording some amazing bits of dialogue. Three generations (all male, two of which are widowers) living in a dusty, gritty, small town of rural eastern Oregon confront a historical family matter that was long since buried. This one grabs you from the beginning with the discovery of the skull in a creek bed on their property. And then in that slow, out west type of tale-weaving, creates the train wreck for which you are drawn like moth to flame. And, amazingly, you’ll like it. (Trust me.)

Unfortunately, Ox (Gramps) has increasing age-related health problems. He is met by his son with the startling discovery of the skull on their five generation cattle ranch that quickly has his son questioning all he’d believed about their family origins. The mystery sets off a powerful character study.

Jiggs doesn’t understand his dad and is bull-headedly trying to get to the truth. Jiggs’ son, Nap, is caught between the warring factions of father and grandfather and seems the most level-headed of the three. Unfortunately, he is too young to have sufficient experience in dealing with family issues he doesn’t understand and was never privy to. The story gradually unfolds the mystery, secondary to the relationship crisis the artifact has created.

The people who make up this little town ring true, the connections between long-time residents and philosophies compelling and telling. The writing is almost too simple, but sometimes less is more. When the conclusion comes and the revelation exposed, it’ll be one you won’t have guessed, satisfying but sorta tragic. (Well, duh, it’s a skull.)

But worth it? Oh yeah…

Take off your boots, find some shade, and enjoy this extremely well-written and emotional piece of old family literature, peppered with humor and satire. This is one of my favorite books in the 2016 Reading Challenge. A solid Five Stars

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

B. K. Froman - authorB.K. Froman is an award-winning writer, radio/TV talent, and university educator who now lives outside of Portland Oregon after spending several decades in Oklahoma. Her works continue to capture a thoughtful and sensitive look at people in small towns and as she preserves a small slice of Americana that is quickly fading. The 2013 Clackamas Literary award winner in Short Works, Froman uses wry humor and clever dialogue to remind her readers that life is—all about change.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview

The Tortilla Curtain by T C Boyle-eBook coverTitle: The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle

Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Satire, and #62 in Contemporary Fiction, Urban

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: September 1, 1996

Source: Free download BookBub

Title and Cover: The Tortilla CurtaineBook cover attracted my attention (prefer it to the paperback version below)–thought it would interest hubby–this is his review.

This book has been around more than twenty years and certainly long enough that there are more than sufficient synopses. So at this point, I must assume the literary crowd is familiar with the setting in the beautiful but fragile ecology of the Topanga Canyon of Southern California. This scenario situates two couples on a course designed to slap your senses into a new mindset. The classic style Greek pathos novel grasps the very soul of society and squeezes so tightly I came close to declaring a DNF more than once. No getting around it–this is a very difficult book. Continue reading “The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview”

Author Spotlight – Brent Jones

When author buddy Brent Jones notified me of his upcoming appearance at the Welland Library Seaway Mall Branch (Canadian side of Niagara) this Saturday, February 24, I was thrilled that he continues to drive hard for the sale of his well received and highly acclaimed sophomore novel, Fender. Author Spotlight-Brent Jones

Then he also mentioned that they interviewed him and quoted a small  blurb of the review I posted here last August. I LOVE the validation! Laura Garzon provided a detailed interview with Brent saying in part:

“Amazon.com describes author Brent Jones as a person who has always been “drawn to writing”.  He changed career paths to become a full-time writer and according to the reviews,  he “has exceeded expectation that his sophomore novel, Fender, might best the debut. This emotionally packed literary saga . . . is powerful and profane and masterfully examines the overwhelming condition of stupefying grief.” –Stanley McShane (Virginia Williams)…Cocos Island Treasure.

“We talked to him about his book and life as a writer. Here is what he had to say…”

(Catch her full interview here.) Jones divulges in the interview that he is currently working on a series of four books that he hopes to begin releasing in the next couple of months. His books and short stories to date land heavily in the literary fiction genre. The new series will feature protagonist Afton Morrison from his recent short story A Book With No Pictures, coincidentally used for my current “Quick Quote” in the widget column to the right and recently reviewed on both Amazon and Goodreads.

In the Author Page on Goodreads, Jones writes, “From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.”

I’ll continue to watch with interest this up and coming author, urge you to take another look at Fender, and I look forward to the first in his series of thrillers. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#GristMillRoad – a #BookReview

Grist Mill Road by Christopher J YatesTitle: Grist Mill Road by Christopher J Yates

Genre: Currently #188 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Crime

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: To be released January 9, 2018

Source: Picador and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Grist Mill RoadCover has an obvious tie to plot

No, you can’t shift into neutral and let your eyes drift over these pages because they caught your attention immediately. This is no simple plot and not easily told–it requires a reader to fully engage–absorb the flashbacks so you can understand what is happening (and more importantly why) in the present (which is 2008). The setting is the beautiful Swangum Mountains, trails, trees, and rocks. But a brutal act in a clearing in the forest sears forever the three kids involved. In a way, each was blinded by their own perception of the event, remember it differently, but only one lost an eye. Continue reading “#GristMillRoad – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

#AmReading - The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Dean Koontz and his book The Whispering Room. I received an ARC from the publisher, Bantam, and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 21, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as literary fiction and a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 528 pages. Even so, I see where some advanced readers flew through it in one sitting. (I’m not one of those.)

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Author:

(Amazon) Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

I might also note that Goodreads has his average rating pegged at 3.91. Remember Goodreads ratings generally run slightly lower because of their own interpretation of star ratings, which is not the same as those of Amazon. Out of 2,054,464 ratings, he’s garnered 77,801 reviews and his books have been shelved over three million times. I figure that at around 3.8%. It’s difficult even for him to get reviews, huh?!)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#CoverLove – Color Themes

#CoverLove – we do love our colorful, eye-catching book covers!

It’s the first, all-important impression of any book. It’s an instant yea or nay. Pick up and investigate further or lay down and look for something else. Unfortunately, we are a “judge the book by the cover” sort of animal. As with any artistic endeavor–we know what we like or don’t like.

We love beautiful covers, those that catch the eye, and as always, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Pick your favorite!#Cover Love - orange

Continue reading “#CoverLove – Color Themes”

#BlogTour – How I’m Spending My Afterlife by Spencer Fleury

Blog Tour - How I'm Spending My AfterlifeHappy publication day and congratulations to Spencer Fleury on his new novel How I’m Spending My Afterlife! I am excited to be the blog tour stop on your release day and happy to present my review of your edgy and gripping book, but first this simple preliminary.

Book Blurb: Alton Carver has a problem. A cocky lawyer in his mid-30s, he’s under federal investigation for embezzling and securities fraud. Instead of spending the next three to five years behind bars, he’s got a plan: stage his own death, take the money he stole and light out for Central America, leaving behind wife Nicole and daughter Clara. But when he sticks around town long enough to watch his own funeral, he makes the unpleasant discovery that the life he’s leaving behind isn’t the life he thought he had. When he overhears the way his former colleagues talk about him now that he’s “gone,” Alton is forced to reconsider his self-image as a respected and admired pillar of the legal community. Then the shock of seeing Nicole in the arms of another man leads Alton to postpone his plan to run for the border. What comes next is a slow-burn train wreck, a tale of self-deception, revenge, and bad decisions.

Continue reading “#BlogTour – How I’m Spending My Afterlife by Spencer Fleury”

#ThrowbackThursday – Author Amanda Hughes – Book Reviews

#ThrowbackThursday on It's Book Life blogRenee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. Means I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

  • This week I am highlighting another terrific, prolific author, Amanda Hughes. Ms. Hughes writes about bold women of the 18th, 19th, and (now the) 20th centuries, but they are all stand alone books and do not carry the protagonist from one to the next of the same series. She just released The Looking Glass Goddess (Bold Women of the 20th Century Series, Book 1) on April 26, 2017. I’ve read the three highlighted below from her Bold Women of the 18th Century Series and I loved them all. First one we’ll look at is…

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Author Amanda Hughes – Book Reviews”

Author Interview: Brent Jones – Contemporary Fiction

Today I am absolutely thrilled to post the second in my new series of Author Interviews. Please let me introduce Brent Jones, who recently published his sophomore release Fender, (my review here). He is running 4.7 of 5 stars on Amazon and succeeded in garnering 18 reviews of 18 ratings on Goodreads! A record in itself!

Fender by Brent Jones

His Amazon editorial reviews have been outstanding as well: “Brent is a kick-ass storyteller. . . . I have little doubt [Fender] will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who reads it.” –Dana Gore, Author of Choose Awareness

“[Fender] is as visceral as it should be. . . . There is laughter, tears, foul language, anger, more laughter and eventually, glimmers of hope . . . I can’t recommend this one enough.” –Shannon O’Sullivan, Book Reviewer (readsandreels.com)

Continue reading “Author Interview: Brent Jones – Contemporary Fiction”

Fender – a Book Review

Fender by Brent Jones

Genre: Currently #2657 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Sagas

Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, LLC

Publication Date: To be published August 21, 2017

Source: ARC submitted by author for review

Title and Cover: Fender – Cover is immensely appealing

Brent Jones has exceeded expectation that his sophomore novel, Fender, might best the debut.  This emotionally packed literary saga of Brennan Glover, a protagonist who suffers unspeakable loss, will have you grabbing for a hankie. Fender is a Beagle, but he is no ordinary dog. He manages to (albeit unintentionally) save the life of his human counterpart–his beloved man human–part of his second family. The author skillfully conveys Fender’s conversations with Brennan, who has lost his wife and daughter in the horrific accident in which Fender alone survived. Jones skillfully maneuvers Brennan’s journey through the heartbreaking process of grief from denial and anger to acceptance. (And anyone who has suffered profound loss would have no problem identifying the steps: (1) Denial, (2) Anger, (3) Bargaining, (4) Depression, and finally (5) Acceptance.) Continue reading “Fender – a Book Review”

Telemachus – a Book Review

Telemachus by Peter GrayTitle: Telemachus by Peter Gray

Genre: Currently #5269 in Best Seller’s Rank in Kindle Store for Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date:  February 2016

Telemachus – Cover – The Red Bird of Prey Becomes Obvious

Telemachus by Peter Gray presents a gripping and emotional tale using the POV from migrating birds. It quickly becomes powerful and profound in its simplicity. Continue reading “Telemachus – a Book Review”

Maggie Elizabeth Harrington-Review

Maggie Elizabeth HarringtonMaggie Elizabeth Harrington by C. J. Swykert

Genre: Currently #3071 in Best Sellers Rank for Kindle ebooks, Literature and Fiction-Historical

Publisher: Cambridge Books

Publication Date: March, 2016

Submitted by author for review

Maggie Elizabeth HarringtonMaggie Elizabeth Harrington Two Covers–One for print and one for Kindle. The Kindle cover includes a wolf in the background, but a modern-day woman.

This powerful story of thirteen year old Maggie Elizabeth Harrington was set in a copper mining town of Michigan in 1893. Maggie Elizabeth is the daughter of a miner who lives with her grandmother and her father (who against everything that Maggie Elizabeth believes in, drowns every new litter of kittens). Her mother passed in childbirth; the father barely speaks to her, the grandmother isn’t much better, and she attributes this to the death of her mother–which she considers must be her fault. Continue reading “Maggie Elizabeth Harrington-Review”