Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Til Death Do Us Part,” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3

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From the Author

Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times than he cares to remember. He’s been everything from a simple farm boy to a rowdy roughneck, a singing star to a convict and finally a husband and father whose goals consisted of building a home and raising a family… which he did.
Now, with a chance for a second music career, he knows the sand in his hourglass is running thin. His anchor in life and true love, Darlina, stands at his side, determined to help make the dream a reality. But, his aging body is sabotaging every effort and the only thing that keeps him going is sheer willpower and the love he has for Darlina.
When faced with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Luke draws on every resource to continue to function and contribute to their home and to society.
This is a story of inspiration, endurance, and most of all, undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them.
Will fate allow Luke to sing his last song?

Amazon.com

Amazon.com Purchase Link (the Amazon Embed block is not working on any of my book review posts. I’m not sure if it is an Amazon thing or a WordPress issue).

My Recommendation

I don’t know about you, but I prefer a true love story to a fictional one. That is exactly what you will find with Flowers & Stone, The Convict & the Rose, Home At Last, and now the last book, ‘Till Death Do Us Part, by author Jan Sikes. I reviewed the first three books HERE.

Luke and Darlina’s (Rick & Jan’s) love story continues by chronicling the last decade of their life together and, just from the title, you know where the story is headed. Luke’s health continues to fail, but being the man he is, he lets nothing stand in his way. He’s determined to leave a rich legacy of country music for Darlina and his two girls. He finds himself inspired to write music and to once again perform, but this time, he brings Darlina along with him. The two work together, singing and writing the music they both love.

I realized how many hardships the two endured to be together, and through thick and thin, they remained soul mates. Their love was the glue that held them together. My biggest takeaway was how Luke grabbed hold of each day as a new beginning. As a couple, they dreamed big and followed those dreams by remaining true to themselves. This is a truly inspirational love story. Truth be told, I cried my eyes out at the end. It’s an emotional read!

Are you looking for a series that leaves you breathless? Look no further, because Rick & Jan Sikes’ story is unforgettable. I loved this series and I know you will love it too!

Learn More About this Author: Jan Sikes

Author, Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story. Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done. Wrong! The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain. I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and a grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

About Rick Sikes

Rick & Jan Sikes Music CD’s

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com

Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3

Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Flowers & Stone,” “The Convict & the Rose,” and “Home, At Last” by Jan Sikes, @JanSikes3

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From the Author

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story. 1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to—the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician, believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

My Recommendation

I found “Flowers and Stone” as a free book offer in August and downloaded the Kindle. I started reading and couldn’t stop. I had to read book two and three! I was totally immersed in this story of true love. This review covers the first three books about the life of Rick & Jan Sikes.


The story begins in the 1970s when nineteen-year-old Darlina Flowers leaves home to work in a factory. At night, she moonlights as a go-go dancer where she meets the dashing Luke Stone, a Texas country western musician. Luke asks Darlina to join him in a threesome, which she promptly turns down. In this book, be prepared for sex, drugs, and plenty of honky-tonk music!

Luke, fifteen years older than Darlina, is a veteran to the honky-tonk scene. Darlina loves music and go-go dancing and becomes a part of Luke’s show, the Rhythm Rebels, as she dances to draw in the crowds. Stone has plenty of talent but at this point in his life, he’s a cad, married with a wife and children. Darlina longs for romance, but Luke comes with so much baggage. Before long, this unlikely couple is drawn together and bound with a love that refuses to die, no matter the odds.

Darlina is naïve, but she takes this definition to another level. At times, I just wanted to reach out and shake her for the decisions she made. But when it comes to love, most women will go to the ends of the universe for their man. Darlina and Luke seemed destined to walk this road together.

Pinterest: Jan Sikes: Rick Sikes & the Rhythm Rebels

But, all is not as it seems. Luke’s past haunts him. Sometimes when he’s drinking, he slips in and out of strange dreams that hint at a past life during the Civil War. To make matters worse, Luke hangs out with some seedy characters who drag him into a plot that tears Darlina from his life. He knows he has to protect her, so he sends her away in the nick of time. When Luke is arrested for bank robbery, he ends up in prison with a 75 year sentence, convicted of a crime he did not commit. But, through it all, Darlina stands by, loving her man with all her might.

The Convict and The Rose: Amazon.com

From the Author

The Convict and the Rose: Award winning Biographical/Fiction sequel to Flowers and Stone.

Luke and Darlina find their love severely tested as they struggle to overcome enormous odds.
When Texas veteran musician Luke Stone, finds himself behind bars with a seventy-five-year sentence, he is filled with hate, anger, and rebelliousness. He’s lost everything that he treasures, including the woman who holds his heart.
How has it come down to this? He’s spent his entire life writing songs and making music, filling dance halls and bars from Texas to California. But, when he refuses to tell the FBI what he knows about certain bank robberies that he possesses knowledge of, they make sure he pays dearly.
Broken and alone, in a prison of her own, Darlina Flowers struggles to find a way to live without the man she loves so completely. Over the next sixteen years, Luke and Darlina each search for ways to somehow survive the fate life has hurled them into. In an effort to dull the pain of living with only half a heart, Darlina gets involved in drugs, then follows a guru and tries different relationships, but nothing fills the void.
Several years pass before Luke makes up his mind that prison will not break him. He crawls up from the bottom one tiny step at a time, determined to be and do something worthwhile and discovers artistic talents he never realized he had.
The Convict and the Rose inspires hope and shows how anyone can turn a negative dark situation into a positive one. But more importantly, the story portrays a love that goes beyond earthly confines and proves how persistence and faith come with their own sweet reward.
Join Luke and Darlina as they continue their epic journey with love as their constant North Star and freedom as the driving force.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

The Convict and the Rose is the kind of story you won’t soon forget. Luke Stone is now in prison, and Darlina Flowers struggles to make sense of her life without the man she loves. This book chronicles Luke’s life in prison and Darlina’s life without Luke.

Darlina tries to start her life over. She marries Will but never loves him the way she loved Luke. Their life together follows a rocky road to motorcycle gangs and drugs, eventually landing before the great Guru Maharaj Ji. Now a part of the loyal following of the Guru, Jan gives birth to two daughters, but Will doesn’t seem to notice; he’s too wrapped up in the cult. Finally, Darlina finds the courage to leave Will and start over once again. However, she cannot let go of Luke, no matter how she tries.

Meanwhile, Luke has his own battles to deal with in prison. After a couple of bouts of illness, Luke finds he wants Darlina to live a full and happy life, even if it’s without him. But he still can’t let Darlina go. His love carries him to his own moment of enlightenment—awareness that he can’t change his circumstances, but he could change himself. Luke is determined to show that something good can come out of his time in prison. He transforms into the man he was always destined to be.

I read through frequent tears, in awe of the hardships Darlina and Luke went through to be together.

From the Author

With empty pockets and a heart full of dreams Luke Stone leaves behind the nightmare of fifteen long years in Leavenworth prison, not giving it a backward glance.
Eyes firmly on the future, he boards a Greyhound bus bound for Texas…for freedom…for the one who holds his heart. The unjust conviction no longer matters and revenge haunts him no more. Darlina Flowers, the woman who takes his breath away, waits ahead and with her by his side, nothing can stop him, or can it?
He is headed HOME AT LAST.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

After fifteen years, Luke is finally home with his beloved Darlina in his arms. Both divorced, they can marry quickly. Now the hard work begins for them as a couple and a family. Darlina and Will’s daughters call Luke “Daddy,” and with that comes the responsibility of being a father to his step-daughters and also to his own children. This is a second change at a new life—or is it?

The couple is homeless until Luke’s mom helps them buy a trailer. Jobs are few and the family struggles to survive. It’s just them, one couple against the world. Luke has much to atone for and he struggles to connect with his children.

Luke and Darlina face many of life’s challenges head on with a courage and love not seen in many marriages. Somehow, through it all, they conquer their demons and live.

These three books were a profound read. I identified with the times and many of the situations presented in the books. Most of all, I connected with the book’s impact as a true love story told with honesty.

There is one remaining book left to read in the series. I’ll review that separately in another review.

I recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for each book!

About the Author: Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story. Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done. Wrong! The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain. I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and a grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com

Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3

Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “The Ferryman and the Sea Witch, by D. Wallace Peach, @Dwallacepeach

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

Prepare to immerse yourself in the ancient lore of the Merrow, creatures who are part mermaid and part siren with the ability to control the seas and the weather. Panmar, the Sea Witch, rules the ocean between two lands. Brid Clarion, ruled by King Thayne, is prosperous, while Haf Killick, ruled by Queen Caspia, is in utter decay.

After Panmar’s daughter dies in the nets cast from Brid Clarion, she decides no one will cross the waters between the two kingdoms except the ferryman. However, these crossings require payment as human sacrifices to the Merrow. Callum, the ferryman, has no choice but to abide by the Sea Witch’s rules, leaving him in the middle between the two countries.

When King Thane doesn’t pay with royal blood to satisfy the Sea Witch’s vengeance, hundreds of lives from Brid Clarion and Haf Killick become sacrifices to the Merrow. The king and Queen Caspia plot against each other, which sets up plenty of twists and turns that I never saw coming. Callum’s tale as another hapless victim stuck between the two realms is equally surprising.

D. Wallace Peach is one of my favorite fantasy authors. Her portrayal of the Merrow as the dark creatures of the sea is right in line with the ancient myths about mermaids and sirens. Panmar is deliciously evil and capricious, concerned only about the survival of the Merrow. The rulers of Brid Clarion and Haf Killick are just as ruthless as Panmar, which sets up a dramatic finish to the book.

I read late into the night, unwilling to leave the characters behind. This author crafts exquisitely genuine characters that draw you into the action. You feel as if you are aboard ship, next to Callum, waiting for the Sea Witch to suck you down into the deep brine! Look for the imagery in her words that reads like pure poetry.

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “The Shadows We Breathe, Vol. I,” by Sarah Brentyn, @SarahBrentyn

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

WE ARE ALL PART SHADOW

Life promises joy and sorrow. Alongside the light, there will always be traces of darkness. It is the nature of being human.

In this anthology of short fiction, we explore relationships—how they sculpt us, hurt us, help us, and reveal our deepest desires.

Eight artists, whose words paint worlds, bring you stories of heartache, loss, hope, and forgiveness. They unveil the intimacy and complexity of relationships.

Whether family, friend, or lover, connections to others can hold us up or break us down.

Within these pages, beautiful words are spun into tales threaded with darkness.

Discover the shadows we breathe.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

“The Shadows We Breathe,” is an anthology of short fiction edited by Sarah Brentyn, which includes contributions of flash fiction from eight talented writers. From the front of the book: “This compilation of stories revolves around the stories of our hopes, dreams, fears, and failures as they shape us through the darkness of our uncertainties, mistakes, and regrets.”

The author states: “The stories in this anthology stay within one theme, yet the authors provide a variety of narratives, voices, and styles. This first volume explores relationships, including encounters with lovers, family, friends, and even strangers. What those experiences mean and how they affect us are much of what this book deals with. Along with traditional bonds, the authors have included connections with memory, addiction, hope, and revenge.”

Divided into three sections, Part 1 shares stories totaling 500 words, Part 2 deals with stories of 50 words, and Part 3 gives us 10 word stories.

From page one onward, I was struck by the sincerity of each story. I identified with so many of the feelings and emotions expressed by the writers that I literally reread the book a second time. This collection was a deeply emotional read for me. I guess I have a few of my own shadows to deal with… who doesn’t?

Flash fiction deals in the brevity of words, but don’t think the messages these stories impart won’t blow you away. Prepare yourself for the shortest of tales. Given one word, the writers created original 10-word tales around the theme of relationships. Almost like haiku or senryu, these micro burst stories will leave you with emotional mind impressions long after you’ve finished reading the book.

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Ever Rest,” by Roz Morris, @Roz_Morris

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

Twenty years ago, Hugo and Ash were on top of the world. As the acclaimed rock band Ashbirds they were poised for superstardom. Then Ash went missing, lost in a mountaineering accident, and the lives of Hugo and everyone around him were changed forever. Irrepressible, infuriating, mesmerizing Ash left a hole they could never hope to fill. Two decades on, Ash’s fiancée Elza is still struggling to move on, her private grief outshone by the glare of publicity. The loss of such a rock icon is a worldwide tragedy. Hugo is now a recluse in Nepal, shunning his old life. Robert, an ambitious session player, feels himself both blessed and cursed by his brief time with Ashbirds, unable to achieve recognition in his own right. While the Ashbirds legend burns brighter than ever, Elza, Hugo and Robert are as stranded as if they were the ones lost in the ice. How far must they go to come back to life? A lyrical, page-turning novel in the tradition of Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, Ever Rest asks how we carry on after catastrophic loss. It will also strike a chord with fans of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones for its people bonded by an unforgettable time; fans of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, for music as a primal and romantic force; and Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air for the deadly and irresistible wildernesses that surround our comfortable world.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

In Ever Rest, we explore the partnership between mountain climbing and rock music, which creates an unforgettable novel. The book revolves around Ashten Geddard, the rock star whose life and death changes the futures of his girlfriend Elza, and the other two band members, Hugo and Robert, after he plunges to his death on Mt. Everest. Ash’s body rests within the mountain’s icy grip. Twenty years later, the trio still struggle to make sense of his death.

We discover how Ash and Hugo met as young boys, how they lived through their personal family traumas, and how neither one seemed to be a complete whole without the other. From the beginning, I sensed Ash needed Hugo more than Hugo needed him. Ash possessed the charisma, the glue that brings the fans in, while Hugo proves to be the musical genius behind the Ashbirds rock group.

The novel is a character study of the lives left behind after Ash’s death. The novel shares Hugo’s journey of coming to grips with his guilt over Ash’s death, and becoming the man he always wanted to be. But the novel is Elza’s story, as well as Robert’s story, too. The threads of Ash’s death weave together each character’s narrative into the present. How will they move forward?

Now, each corpse recovered from Mt. Everest propels the characters into their own personal hell, wondering if this body will be his remains. I found it interesting that even in death, Ash commanded the show.

When an investor shows up to reunite the remaining members of the Ashbirds, Hugo finds himself drawn back into the rock scene one last time. Even Elza, now an artist, is pulled into the emotional whirlwind of the Ashbirds musical aura… until they find a corpse on Mt. Everest that only Hugo can identify. What will he find?

“Ever Rest” was not my typical read, but I found the characters to be solid and intriguing personalities. The more I learned about Ash, the less I like him, but that’s typical with a larger-than-life character. This book held my attention and I couldn’t wait to read more to find out what happened next.

If you’re looking for something different, this is the book for you. The story is engaging with characters that come across as genuine people, and there’s nothing fake about them. Something I would think rare in the world of rock stars. The plot is full of twists and turns—enough to keep you reading long into the night! I received this book as a gift from the author. I enjoyed the novel so much; I had to share my thoughts.

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “A Ghost & His Gold,” by Roberta Eaton Cheadle, @bakeandwrite

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

“After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.”

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

“A Ghost and His Gold,” by Robbie Cheadle, was a pleasant surprise. The author takes us to South Africa, where Tom and Michelle Cleveland have recently purchased a house in the town of Irene. During a housewarming party and a chance encounter with a Ouija board, readers are drawn back to the era of the second Boer War where Great Britain’s army tried to regain what it lost in the first war. Somewhere along the way, the lure of gold and riches sets the stage for a ghost adventure like no other!

The Ouija board proves to be the catalyst that opens the door to the past. Michelle is the most receptive to the spirit world. When the others shrug off the temperature changes and the exploding bottles, Michelle senses the ghostly presence.

The next day, she researches the local history of the area and specifically the house they live in. Michelle makes some interesting discoveries, not only about the house but about Tom and how he lived the year before she met him. By the time Estelle (a supernatural ghost) makes her presence known, Michelle and Tom have collapsed into a paranormal hell.

Writing about ghosts can be tricky, and this author handles the paranormal aspects of the book well. Supernatural ghosts always have a past agenda to work through. They remain on the earthly plane until their personal trauma or unfinished business is resolved and they can pass into the light. Estelle, the ghost, makes Tom the target of her ire as the reader witnesses his descent into madness.

The historical aspects of the book are as well presented as the paranormal aspects. Cheadle retells the bloody horror of the Second Boer War in all its graphic detail. This history cements the different aspects of the story joining the past and the present into a cyclical supernatural event.

In the end, the story is really about family. We learn the story of the Boer farmer, Pieter, and his daughter Estelle’s tragic life. Estelle’s story is truly unforgettable. Be mindful that emotional abuse and trauma within family relationships could trigger some readers.

This book was so much more than a ghost story. It’s a complex read, dealing with many themes that mirror the present-day, including racism, rape, family issues, and much more. I struggled with my feelings throughout the book, and it felt like I had embarked on a roller coaster of emotion. However, I will not forget the characters, or what I learned about the Second Boer War or the history of Africa. I found the book to be an excellent read!

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “CrossFire: a mystery thriller novel (DI Snow series Book 3), by Jaye Marie, @jaydawes2

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From the Author

DI David Snow has another killer to catch.

A killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.

Snow is due to retire, but not before he discovers why someone killed his sergeant and now seems to be coming after him.

His efforts are hampered by the arrival of ‘Ruthless’ Ruth Winton, for she is not who she seems to be.

Snow struggles to find the truth, but is he looking in all the wrong places?

Can he outwit this killer, or will the truth cost him his life?

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

DI Snow is ready for retirement until his partner Detective Jim Harris is murdered. This single event sets into motion the department’s hunt for Jim’s killer. When Jim’s replacement, Ruth Winton, shows up, Snow takes an instant dislike to the woman. She seems competent, but there is something about her that rubs Snow the wrong way.

When more bodies start piling up with the same wounds that Jim received, Snow considers the murders are all connected. He knows time is running out to catch the killers, but he has a problem. His health has taken a turn for the worse. If he’s too ill to find the killer, who will?

Leave it to me to start a series with the third book! However, I found “CrossFire” to be a standalone book. There are references to DI David Snow’s other cases, but nothing I couldn’t follow.

The book reminds me of some of the British mysteries I watch on Amazon Prime. As the suspense built, I kept turning pages, eager to find out what happened next. The characters are interesting, with Snow taking on the characteristics of the troubled detective. I found him to be a likable guy. There is great detail paid to the backstory of the murderer, which helped to propel the story forward.

If you like psychological mysteries, this was a good read. I’m excited to read some of this author’s other mysteries. Perhaps I should start with the first book in the series!

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Eight: Rare Birds: A Biographical Fiction” by Lorinda J. Taylor, @TermiteWriter

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From the Author

First contact has taken place and the occupants of the alien ship are giant Birds. While nothing could make Capt. Robbin Nikalishin happier, the Ariana remains marooned on a moon in the Epsilon Eridani system and is running out of oxygen. The crew works furiously to learn how to communicate with the extraterrestrials (the most important element of a first contact), but not all the denizens of the Ariana are as pleased with the situation as Capt. Robbie is. Ian Glencrosse has failed in his attempt to sacrifice himself to save the mission and he remains convinced the death of everyone aboard is imminent. Meanwhile, another member of the mission devises a more ominous plan to “save” Earth from destruction by feathered monsters.

If the Phenix Mission is to make it back to Earth and set in motion that planet’s role in the wider universe, these avian extraterrestrials must be willing to come to the aid of the human aliens – or will they simply fly away and leave them to die?

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My Recommendation

“The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Eight: Rare Birds,” is the eighth book in this series of The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor.  I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, part four, “Survivor,” HERE, part five, “Phoenix Rises,” HERE, and part six, “Merlin,” HERE; and part seven, “Fifth Island in the River,” HERE.

We left off in part seven, with the crew in dire straights. The tension cranked up to a fever pitch when a section of the engine failed. I couldn’t stop reading. These characters had become real to me, and I needed to know if they would survive their ordeal.

Now, in book eight, the crew is still alive, and we meet the extraterrestrials themselves. The intelligent birds are Captain Robbie’s only hope of returning to Earth. Learning how to communicate with this new species becomes the prime focus of the book.

The author is a constructed language enthusiast (conlanger, for short). Within these pages, she’s created an alien language, symbols and all, for this new bird species, which gives the book an entirely different feel from anything I’ve ever read. It makes sense, though. If you meet aliens, you have to figure out how to communicate with them. Most scenes revolve around communication between the species. The detail is astonishing!

There are plenty of humorous moments between the birds and humans as they learn to grasp each other’s languages. Taylor skillfully bridges the differences between the species by presenting the alien characters with almost human traits, which the reader comes to love as much as their human counterparts. There are several tense moments with the right amount of tension to move the plot forward.

I’m an enormous fan of this author and her books. She excels at first contact scenarios and I know this book in the series will not disappoint. I suspect there will be a book nine and that it comes out soon, but then, I was hooked on Captain Robbie’s story long ago.

Here is another series by Lorinda J. Taylor that I’ve enjoyed:

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Termite Queen: The Speaking of the Dead, Vol. I,” by Author, @TermiteWriter

Title:  The Termite Queen: Volume 1, The Speaking of the Dead Author: Lorinda J. Taylor File Size: 998 KB Print Length: 404 Pages Publisher: Self Published by the Author Publication Date: January 2, 2014 Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC Language: English ASIN: B007RFYSWC Formats: Paperback and Kindle Goodreads Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy *I won a copy of Volume I and II of… More

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Life is Like a Mosaic,” by Sally Cronin @sgc58

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Welcome to my weekly book review. This week, I had the privilege of reading Sally Cronin’s newest release!

From the Author:

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.

An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.

In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams, and loss.

The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?

At the end of the collection, there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits, and love of food!

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Writer and blogger, (and I would add “POET” to that list), Sally Cronin, has compiled a stunning collection of syllabic and freestyle poetry in her newest book. Cronin says, “my intention was to share aspects of life and nature that we experience on a daily basis, but also can sometimes catch us by surprise.”

Through images and poetry, the author invites the reader along on a delightful journey filled with wonder and awe. Each piece begins with an image that delivers the first meaning. However, it is when you read the poetry that accompanies the photo that you discover a more meaningful interpretation from the combination of the two. Therein lies the surprise!

Nothing is mundane to this author. What looks like a bit of fishing gear washed up on a beach finds new meaning in the poem Washed Up, “where even the sea’s rejects provide us with beauty.”

Cronin explores the human condition with love, understanding, and humor. Some of my favorite verses were the rhyming prose poems that unfolded like stories sharing the author’s childhood memories growing up in Ceylon. Another favorite was called Farewell to Colourful Friends, which had me howling with laughter. All women of a certain age will completely understand.

Many thanks to the author for gifting me a pre-release copy of this book. I enjoyed the poetry so much; I had to share my thoughts with everyone.

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s Book Reviews – “Slivers: Chiseled Poetry,” @BalroopShado

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

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From the Author:

“When I stumbled upon haiku, a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules, though. The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired by them. This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired by haiku, senryu, tanka, and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.”

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“Slivers: Chiseled Poetry” is a delightful mix of haiku-inspired poetry that dances to its own tune. Balroop Singh expertly throws the syllable counts out the window and embraces a creative mix of micro and acrostic poetry. The result is the kind of poetry that stirs emotions invoked by rich imagery that touches the hearts of readers.

Singh’s poetry leans into nature, sharing the beauty of the world around her. Through her words, the magic in the world becomes clearer.

I’ll share one of the many favorites from this collection:

look beyond the rocks
to explore what lies in them—
mysterious portals 

© Balroop Singh

Included in the book are photographs with poetry reminiscent of the Japanese haiga. I found the photographic poetry to be deeply personal as the author shared her visual world through poetic art.

I was honored to receive a pre-release copy of this book from the author as a gift, which in no way affected my review. This is the perfect Sunday read!

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.