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: “Matilda Windsor is Coming Home,” @Annecdotist

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

“Matilda Windsor is Coming Home,” by Anne Goodwin

“In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect. A brother and sister separated for fifty years and the idealistic young social worker who tries to reunite them. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart? Told with compassion and humour, Anne Goodwin’s third novel is a poignant, compelling and brilliantly authentic portrayal of asylum life, with a quirky protagonist you won’t easily forget. Published by Inspired Quill.”

Amazon.com

“Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home” is a poignant reminder of what life was like in a mental asylum in the UK when the policy shifted from institutionalization toward the assimilation of patients back into community living. Even more interesting is the character of Matty Osborne. The story crosses, weaves, and intersects in the lives of Matty, her brother, Henry, and Janice, Matty’s social worker.

Not sure about accepting the position, Janice accepts after meeting with Matty in the Institution. The intention of the medical staff is to move the patients to a more suitable living environment. The older lady intrigues her, and Janice wants to help find Matty’s family. There are some interesting connections between Matty and Janice, who was adopted as a baby.

Henry, the brother, still lives in the family home. He’s in a relationship with a married woman, yet remains obsessed with why Matty left all those long years before. He stays in the home because he hopes one day, his beloved sister will return.

But it is Matty that steals your heart. She narrates some of the story hinting at some of the horrifying details of rape and incest by her step-father. The cruelness of the man doesn’t end there, and Matty finds herself institutionalized. Trauma does strange things to a person, and Matty retreats into a delusional world. Matty spends fifty years in the asylum. Her story chilled me to the bone.

In the asylum, Matty still believes World War II is carrying on. She assumes she is a fine lady attended by many servants. In reality, these are her nurses and medical personnel. Interestingly, she supposes the rest of the patients are people she is helping by providing shelter to those homeless from the war.

The story is fascinating and horrifying, at the same time. Anne Goodwin uses her years as a clinical psychologist to weave realistic characters and situations you will not easily forget. Her attention to detail makes her writing shine. I can’t imagine anyone reading this book and not being moved by the characters. They draw you in and won’t let you go!

I doubt Matty will come out of her protective shell enough to assimilate back into society. But like they say, time will tell. If the title of the book is a sign, there is hope for Matty. The rest of the story will reveal itself in the sequel. I can’t wait to find out if my intuition is correct!

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Colleen’s Book Reviews

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’m still playing catch-up with book reviews. These are a few of the books I’ve been reading the last couple of months. I’m sure you will find something that will catch your fancy!

“Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries,” by Sally Cronin

Short story and poetry anthologies are all the rage now, and Sally Cronin’s “Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” does not disappoint. This eclectic mix takes the reader through a gambit of feelings that revolve around the themes of love, loss, humor, revenge, and life’s second chances.

A few of these tales brought tears to my eyes, such as “Long Lost Love,” which tells the story of Tom and Elaine, a pregnancy, and a visit from beyond the grave. However, the poetry is as exceptional as the short stories. The butterfly cinquain, “Ritual of Mehndi,” shares a glimpse into the traditional wedding custom of painting symbols in henna on the bride’s hands.

This author is known for an empathetic approach to her writing. She writes what she senses, sharing the ups and downs of her characters with love and compassion. A true storyteller, Sally Cronin’s stories will leave you wanting more feel-good moments.

Amazon Author Page

“Voices (in the Trash),” by Frank Prem

Amazon.com

Frank Prem lends his photographic talent to this picture poetry book by featuring photographs from the trash and treasure markets from around Australia. The author asks us, “What if these items could talk?”

What follows is a unique poetic perspective as he listens to the plaintive voices in the trash. He pens his poetry accordingly. All objects are worthy of a voice, in his eyes.

This was a lovely and creative endeavor. If you’re looking for something different to read and inspire, this is the book for you.

Amazon Author Page

“Endangered Spells,” Book 5 of 7, Witches Academy, by S. R. Mallery

“Endangered Spells,” leads the reader into a world of contemporary witchcraft with an unexpected link back in history to the Salem Witch Trials. Gillian is a young witch who denies her powers because of something that happened in her past.

When her best friend, Rebecca suddenly disappears, Gillian knows something terrible has occurred. The police aren’t working fast enough, and Gillian realizes that she may well have to use witchcraft to solve this heinous crime.

The mystery spirals out of control when two more of Gillian’s journalist friends are murdered. The young witch takes matters into her own hands and uncovers some deep secrets related to her past.

Meanwhile, one of the detectives on the case realizes that he is in love with Gillian. Witches and humans don’t usually mix, but nothing is as it seems in this fast-paced mystery.

This was a fun read. Gillian’s family pet, a cockatoo, steals the show! There’s something here for everyone: love, romance, humor, and murder. The perfect combination for a cozy mystery!

Amazon Author Page

“Delilah Astral Investigator Infinity Series: Episode 2, The Boy Who Would Be King,” by Deborah A. Bowman

Delilah Sanchez, her amazing cat, Mollie, and the 1774 American Colonial Lord Bartholomew Darnesworth Wharton, III, (Bartie) are back for another time travel adventure. This time, the threesome travel back to the year, 1502, the day before Prince Arthur Tudor’s death.

No one understands how or why they were chosen to intervene in the events unfolding before them. All they know is that this one change can ripple through time changing the present. After a series of Astral projections, Bartie and Delilah fear that the war they are witnessing would evolve into World War III in their reality. They believe they are the guardians, entrusted with saving their world. How do you save the past and the future at the same time?

Bartie is forced to make some hard choices. But now, he carries the guilt from those decisions. He’s fallen hard for Delilah. How does he tell her the truth of what really happened?

The author combines YA fantasy, history, and a bit of romance to create an exciting time travel novel. This is the second book in the series, and to maintain the character background I would start with the first novel, “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series.”

This fast-paced adventure will keep you up long into the night!

Amazon Author Page

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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.

“At Heaven’s Gate,” #FlashFiction

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt for December 10, 2020: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen. The situation can be fortuitous, funny, or disappointing. Go where the prompt leads! Respond by December 15, 2020.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

December 14th began like any other Monday. However, in the early hours before dawn, he watched the green flashes of Geminids meteors whiz by in the early dawn sky.

A few hours later, he watched the blackness creep across the land as a total eclipse of the sun descended, leaving South America under a cloak of darkness.

Surely these auspicious astronomical events foreshadowed a significant event.

The angel named Beau glanced out over the cosmos. He smiled. A total eclipse of the Sun had officially confirmed Joe Biden as the President of the United States—a dream come true.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

I felt compelled to write this piece as prompted by this article and the Carrot Ranch prompt: Donald Trump’s Presidency Will End On The Day Of A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Marriage Unarranged,” BY AUTHOR, Ritu Bhathal, @RituBhathal

Featuring a Special RELEASE DAY Review!

About this Book

‘Chickpea Curry’ Lit — Chick Lit with and Indian twist!

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

Amazon.com

Click this LINK to view this exciting NEW RELEASE by Ritu Bhathal

MY RECOMMENDATION

Aashi is getting married! She envisions herself dressed in different bridal outfits, and she feels like a princess… until she turns up at Ravi’s house. The door is answered by Nishi, a drop-dead gorgeous co-worker of Ravi who leaves abruptly with Aashi’s arrival.

Aashi is a lovely young woman, the kind any man would be thrilled to marry. She’s a bit naïve, but still gives Ravi, the man of her dreams, the benefit of the doubt… until she discovers the empty condom box. His betrayal is a stab to her heart. She’s got nothing left except to explain to her parents and family the depth of Ravi’s betrayal.

Aashi battles the humiliation of a broken engagement by embarking on a new adventure to India accompanied by her brothers and best friend, Kiran. When the mysterious Arjun shows up, Aashi discovers a certain attraction that just won’t go away. Where will their relationship lead?

“Marriage Unarranged,” is a Hindi love story like no other. I found myself emersed in the culture of India, learning new Punjabi names for friends and family, including religious and cultural traditions. Did I forget to mention the food? How about the clothes? I was swept away by it all!

However, this book isn’t only about a young woman’s passage into adulthood. The author broaches many cultural taboos: broken engagements, children born out of wedlock, and homosexuality, all explored with kindness and acceptance.

Aashi’s parents (Harjit, her mother and Mohinder-ji, her father) only want what is best for their children. Are they equipped to go against cultural norms, all for the love of their family?

“Marriage Unarranged,” played out in my mind like a movie on the big screen. I smelled the incense, prayed at the Gurdwara with Aashi, caught the sparkle from the bangle bracelets for sale in the market; and I fell in love with the characters. I can’t wait to find out where the author takes us next!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author. This book is available today. Grab your copy now!

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham, UK, in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origins. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother.

The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry.

Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which recently was awarded second place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.

Ritu Bhathal Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: ritubhathal.com

TWITTER: @RituBhathal

FACEBOOK: Ritu Bhathal ~ Author, Poet, Storyteller

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COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Red Eyes in the Darkness, A Short Story” BY AUTHOR, D. L. Finn, @dlfinnauthor

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Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book:

What happens when you’re living the good life after retirement and your world suddenly turns upside down? Will and Cass Henderson learn the truth after a family member is murdered, but no one believes them because they’re the prime suspects. The Hendersons have a red-eyed killer in the family, and they’re next on its kill list.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Longer short stories seem to be all the rage now on Amazon. However, the shortness of the story did not detract from the storytelling.

This is my first D. L. Finn story, and I know it won’t be my last. There’s enough suspense and supernatural activity in this book to keep a reader glued to the edge of their seat all the way through to the end.

The story opens with Cass and Will fighting off an intruder in their home. That night, they learn the truth about who murdered Cass’ sister.

Initially accused of her murder, the two were eventually released from custody. But that doesn’t repair the destroyed relationships with family and friends. They struggle to come to grips with the smear campaign propagated against them.

The couple takes their newfound information to the police. The murderer is well known, and the sheriff scoffs at the truth, refusing to believe the couple.

Just when it seems all hope has expired and their own death’s imminent, a white feather magically appears to land in Cass’ lap. Has an angel come to their rescue?

“Red Eyes in the Darkness,” is a fast-paced quick read that gives the reader a glimpse of the delicate balance between the good and evil between this world and the next. The book is also priced right at only $.99!

MY RATING:

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*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.

She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed.

Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

Amazon Author Page: D. L. Finn

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: Author, D. L. Finn

Twitter: @dlfinnauthor

Facebook: d.l.finn.writer

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join authors D.G. KayeSally Cronin, and Colleen Chesebro in our writer’s group on FacebookThe Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from all the independent authors you love.

COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Vine Witch,” BY AUTHOR, Luanne G. Smith, @writersmith1

Featuring Your New Weekend Read!

This is a redo post for the 10/4/19 book review created with my previous “broken” theme. The sharing buttons were missing. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Colleen Chesebro

About “The Vine Witch”

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.


For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.


Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

Prime members enjoyed two FREE pre-release Kindle books for the month of September, and “The Vine Witch,” was my first pick. This title releases on October 1, 2019, and is the first book in a two-book series.

I love fantasy and witches, so naturally; I had to read this book. Let me begin by saying that this was a debut novel, the likes I’ve never read before. Bravo to the author for creating such highly entertaining characters with an unpredictable plot!

“The Vine Witch” begins somewhere in France in the middle of a dark swamp. After reading a few pages, I realized that the main character was a frog. Not just any frog, but one that had endured an evil curse.

With great fortitude of spirit, Elena Boureanu eventually breaks the spell that cursed her. Now, seven years later, she emerges in a weakened state. Without her magical abilities, she’s left defenseless.

Elena finds her way back to Château Renard and the vineyard that has been her home since birth. If she can get back to Grand-Mère, she knows the older witch will help her figure out who placed the curse on her.

Upon her arrival, Elena sees that Château Renard is in disarray. Even worse, the home she was to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger who doesn’t believe in witchcraft.

Obsessed by revenge, Elena won’t rest until she can thwart the evil powers that threaten her, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Excellent characters and dialogue kept the story moving forward until the shocking twist at the end. I thought the world-building was brilliant. Part of my intrigue was that the witches insured the success of the wine as they managed the vineyards. Not only that, other people in the community accepted the witches’ spell use instead of prosecuting them for practicing magic. What a novel concept in fantasy.

There’s plenty of magic and evil to keep the reader engaged. The themes of love, betrayal, and revenge figure prominently – the perfect ingredients for a fantasy novel. I couldn’t put this one down.

Even stranger, after finishing this book, I discovered a strange compulsion for wine. Just remember to read and drink responsibly.

MY RATING

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*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a historical fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in The Vine Witch series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.


Luanne is represented by The Stringer Literary Agency.

Author bio: luannegsmith.com
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How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: luannesmith.com

Goodreads

Twitter: @writersmith1

Instagram

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If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join authors D.G. KayeSally Cronin, and Colleen Chesebro in our writer’s group on FacebookThe Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from all the independent authors you love.

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COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Vine Witch,” BY AUTHOR, Luanne G. Smith, @writersmith1

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Featuring Your New Weekend Read!

About “The Vine Witch”

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.


For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.


Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

Prime members enjoyed two FREE pre-release Kindle books for the month of September, and “The Vine Witch,” was my first pick. This title releases on October 1, 2019, and is the first book in a two book series.

I love fantasy and witches, so naturally; I had to read this book. Let me begin by saying that this was a debut novel, the likes I’ve never read before. Bravo to the author for creating such highly entertaining characters with an unpredictable plot!

“The Vine Witch,” begins somewhere in France in the middle of a dark swamp. After reading a few pages, I realized that the main character was a frog. Not just any frog, but one that had endured an evil curse.

With great fortitude of spirit, Elena Boureanu eventually breaks the spell that cursed her. Now, seven years later, she emerges in a weakened state. Without her magical abilities she’s left defenseless.

Elena finds her way back to Château Renard and the vineyard that has been her home since birth. If she can get back to Grand-Mère, she knows the older witch will help her figure out who placed the curse on her.

Upon her arrival, Elena sees that Château Renard is in disarray. Even worse, the home she was to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger who doesn’t believe in witchcraft.

Obsessed by revenge, Elena won’t rest until she can thwart the evil powers that threaten her, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Excellent characters and dialogue kept the story moving forward until the shocking twist at the end. I thought the world-building was brilliant. Part of my intrigue was that the witches insured the success of the wine as they managed the vineyards. Not only that, other people in the community accepted the witches’ spell use instead of prosecuting them for practicing magic. What a novel concept in fantasy.

There’s plenty of magic and evil to keep the reader engaged. The themes of love, betrayal, and revenge figure prominently – the perfect ingredients for a fantasy novel. I couldn’t put this one down.

Even stranger, after finishing this book, I discovered a strange compulsion for wine. Just remember to read and drink responsibly.

MY RATING

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5-fairies.png

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a historical fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in The Vine Witch series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.


Luanne is represented by The Stringer Literary Agency.

Author bio: luannegsmith.com
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How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: luannesmith.com

 Goodreads

Twitter: @writersmith1

Instagram

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Living in a Shadow” by Author, Deborah A. Bowman, @Bowmanauthor

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS

Title: Living in a Shadow

Amazon Author Page: Deborah A. Bowman

Formats: Kindle

Genres: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Goodreads

In the Author’s Words

LIVING IN A SHADOW is a must-read fictional drama with a powerful message for women of all ages, any man who has ever loved a woman, and any partner, regardless of gender, who has ever loved a victim, especially the unheard, unknown, uncomforted victims.

Sometimes the dreams we want most out of life are mere illusions, shadows in the mist. Fantasy and Desire: Is it Love or Lust? Truth, Reality, and Perception: Is it Fact or Fiction? Not that it matters. But, of course, you must have the ability to make these choices.

It’s not the book, any book, but what you personally take away from the book, embracing the experiences as if they were your own to enable you to select the best choices for your life course.

But what do you do, how do you cope, when choices are taken away from you? These are the shadows in all of our lives.

Author, Deborah Bowman

MY RECOMMENDATION

Living in a Shadow is the story of Marcy and Rich, told from the perspectives of the two characters as they chronicle the collapse of their marriage. The writing is riveting. It draws the reader into their personal world by sharing their thoughts and feelings.

The author chose to switch between Marcy and Rich’s mindset, which gave a certain intimacy to the novel, which kept me keyed into the story. At times, I felt as if I was eavesdropping, the dialogue was so realistic.

Love, relationships, trust, and misunderstandings are many of the themes. I especially enjoyed the aspects of the illusionary shadow mentioned in the title and how that theme flowed through the novel.

Everyone has a dark side. I believe Bowman successfully tapped into the shadow archetype revealing the part of the personality called the “Self,” showing all, and more in her characters. You know what I mean… that part that we don’t like about ourselves and the things we subconsciously deny as we project those things on to others? Bowman bares it all! These characters are so real; I felt like I knew them.

This was a hard book to put down, and I found myself propelled through a whirlwind of emotions.

Be prepared because the ending was unexpected. I never saw it coming!

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 
5
Reader Engagement: 
5
Reader Enrichment: 
5
Reader Enjoyment: 
5
Overall Rate: 
5 out of 5 Faeries

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Deborah A. Bowman (bowmanauthor): Author of 8 books; Writer/Editor/Designer/Publishing Agent/Ghostwriter

My first poem was published when I was 12 years old in a 4-H Magazine, and I was hooked!

I read everything I could get my hands on and wrote continuously … everything for everyone.

My career allowed me to write in different voices, media, and genre. It was gratifying to create the right product for the right audience; hopefully, on-time and in-budget:

  • Educated at the U.S. Department of Army Graduate School, I became the youngest and first female Authorization Publications Officer for DOD. I take great pride in supporting our Armed Forces with clear, accurate instructional manuals and reports, many of which are still in use today, and creating full-color newspaper/public affairs media.
  • I wrote a monthly column for the “Medical News” as an Advanced Certified Psychological Hypnotherapist (A.C.P.H.) and was featured in the “Washington Post Newspaper Parenting Magazine” for my work with ADHD teens. Hypnotherapy certification started out as a hobby for me to cope with pain and to learn relaxation, but my desire to help others has always pushed me in new, exciting directions.
  • At an early age (late-30s) I spent two years in a wheelchair, working as a Fiction Reader for Erie Literary Agency. I learned invaluable tools to assist other authors produce their best works. I embraced the challenge!
  • I have had numerous poems and lyrics/songs published as a musician (reeds, guitar, piano, Celtic harp, singer). Runner-up songwriter award for the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest, 2nd year after inception. Winner of The Editor’s Choice Award in poetry, 1998. Poem dedicated and copyrighted to www. lupus.org for their use, gratis, in 2014. An article and photo written, gratis, and used by The Buttery mansion/restaurant on the history of the location in Lewes, Delaware, 2015. Other awards with DOD, award-winning authors, which I have represented or ghostwritten for, are too numerous to mention.
  • As an editor/formatter for eBookstand.com (rated no. 3 on Oprah Winfrey’s print-on-demand list), I e-published two of my own books: A novel and a short-story Anthology. I had finally returned to my roots. I currently have 8 books of my own published.

Now, I’m very happy and pleased to wear two hats:

  • The Writer/Editor/Ghostwriter who polishes all genre/all media of written and designed products to the highest quality at affordable prices by “continuously reading everything for everyone”. I read for myself with my clients in mind to offer cutting-edge trends in editing and proofreading. One should never proofread their own work.
  • The fiction writer/reader (aren’t all writers, readers?) writing, doing book reviews, editorial reviews, encouraging, mentoring, coaching, and public speaking on tricks-of-the-trade in publishing; book readings and signings; launching books for other authors whom I have ghostwritten for; and a strong advocate for SLE Lupus, speaking and writing on remaining active, accepted, and recognized for yourself, not defined by a disability or handicap.

How to Connect with the Author

blog: http://www.bowmanauthor.com

website: http://www.clasidconsultantspublishing.com

Twitter: @bowmanauthor

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bowmanbooks

Goodreads

LinkedIn: Deborah Bowman Stevens

Tumblr: Really Very Miracle

Amazon Author’s Page: Deborah A. Bowman

Amazon Reviewer’s Page: Deborah Bowman, author

email: livinginashadow@outlook.com


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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “The Silence of the Stones,” by Author, Rebecca Bryn, @RebeccaBryn1

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS

Alana determines to escape her past and opportunity beckons when she’s left a run-down cottage in a West Wales’ village by an aunt she didn’t know existed, but her past is catching up on her, and someone is out to get her. Strange runes painted on her door and carved onto ancient stones in a stone circle, hint at a dark undercurrent of tragedy and intrigue, and she is caught up in the village’s conspiracy of silence over a thirty-year-old crime.


An eccentric old woman who casts runes, an ambitious young female investigative journalist, a two-year-old girl, a good-looking male busker, and an ex-lover make unlikely bedfellows but combine to send Alana on a voyage of self-discovery that blows her world apart. Can she discover the truth hidden in the stones in time to save those she loves?


Set in the fabulous Welsh countryside, the story takes you on a journey of injustice, revenge, lies and madness, rune-casting, murder, arson, splashing paint about, and general mayhem.

Title: The Silence of the Stones

Amazon Author Page: Rebecca Bryn

Publication Date: July 29, 2014

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION

“The Silence of the Stones” is a gripping tale full of mysteries, lies, and revenge. Imagine how it would feel to discover that you have a long lost aunt you knew nothing about. Even worse, a private investigator tracks you down after she passes away, and you learn that she has left you her cottage and all the rest of her worldly goods.

That’s what happens to Alana, a twenty-something artist whose hidden family secrets unravel before her eyes. Her parents are unhappy, and Alana is forced to come to grips with her past, even though she fights it every step of the way. Just remember, nothing is as it seems. If you think you have it figured out, read on because the truth will surprise you.

Her aunt’s cottage in Wales seems as good a place as any to start over. Once there, Alana feels a connection to the aunt she never knew. Many years ago, Alana’s cousin disappeared along with another child from the village. Their disappearance is still unsolved. But here in her aunt’s home, the answers begin to take shape.

Alana finds a series of unusual Runes carved into the rocks up on the hillside. If only they could whisper their secrets to her. When similar strange markings show up on the doors of the villager’s homes, the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place. Add in the deaths of a few of the neighbors, and the story explodes with tension and suspense.

This novel drew me in from the first page until the very last. I literally could not put this book down. The characters were engaging and believable, and so were the different mysteries that swirled around Alana. There are plenty of twists and turns, and I couldn’t foresee any of them. That’s what I call excellent writing.

I also loved the paranormal elements and symbolism in this story. The Runes are an ancient alphabet used by Germanic countries in antiquity which is still used in divination today. The novel was liberally sprinkled with their wisdom which became the catalyst to move the story forward. Brilliant!

Rebecca Bryn is a new author for me. I will definitely read more of her novels. Now, if I can only figure out how to raise funds to visit Wales!

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 
5
Reader Engagement: 
5
Reader Enrichment: 
5
Reader Enjoyment: 
5
Overall Rate: 
5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author Rebecca Bryn

Rebecca lives near Britain’s smallest city, St Davids, in the far west of Wales with her rescue dog, rescue husband, and twenty very sheepish sheep. Surrounded by stunning coastal and moorland scenery, she also loves to paint.

She inherited her love of stories from her grandfather, who told stories with his hands: stories with colourful characters and unexpected endings. Her fascination with what makes people who they are, and the belief that life is many shades of grey, informs her writing. A Native American Indian proverb reads, ‘Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.’ Rebecca has based her life on this tenet: it is certainly core to her writing. ‘We may not condone what a person does, but sometimes we can understand and maybe come to forgive.’

All her books have been awarded Readers’ Favorite 5-star reviews and previews of her books can be read at https://rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/free-previews/

The Silence of the Stones, set in mystical West Wales, is woven around injustice, perjury and revenge and delves into the damaged psyche. It was inspired by the release from prison of Angela Canning and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Touching the Wire, a story of the women of the holocaust, was awarded ‘Best Historical Thriller of 2015′ by Christoph Fischer, a respected histfic author, and was also awarded a Readers’ Favourite 5-star review.

Where Hope Dares, is a chilling story of the fight of good over evil, courage and unbreakable love, and is set in a future our present is unerringly shaping. It was voted into the ‘Read Freely Top 50 Indie Books of 2015′ and also gained a Readers’ Favourite 5-star review. 

On Different Shores, Part One of ‘For Their Country’s Good’ is set in the 1840s and is inspired by the true story of the ‘black sheep’ of her family and the lives of convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land. 
Part Two, Beneath Strange Stars
Part Three, On Common Ground

The Dandelion Clock, enters the world of a young man and his horse sent to fight in Egypt and Palestine in the Great War and the girl waiting at home, unsure whether the man she loves is alive or dead. Again, it is inspired by family history and chronicles the war from the viewpoint of the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars and the Queen’s Own Worcester Yeomanry, brigades with which her grandfather fought, and the lives of those waiting at home in England. ‘Totally compelling and unmissable’ was one reviewers opinion. 

Interviews with Rebecca, giving an insight into her life and work can be seen at http://www.authoryellehughes.com/?page_id=6169
and https://goo.gle/lbgBXK and yet another at
https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/welsh-wednesdays-interview-with-rebecca-bryn/

Do read some of Rebecca’s reviews on thee book purchase pages and read the samples in the ‘look inside’. ‘I’ve been blown away and humbled by the comments my reviewers have made, so thank you all for your fabulous words: they mean so much.’ – Rebecca Bryn

How to Connect with the Author

Blog: https://rebeccabrynblog.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @RebeccaBryn1

Mysteries are my speciality!
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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

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