Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Voyage of the Lanternfish” by Author, @Virgilante, C. S. Boyack


An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Title: Voyage of the Lanternfish

Amazon Author Page: C. S. Boyack

Publication Date: 12/31/2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Sea Stories, Fantasy, Historical, Speculative Fiction



Speculative Fiction author, C. S. Boyack has entertained me with his novels for some time. He first hooked me with one of his earlier books, Panama, which is another recommended read!

This author has a no-frills style of writing which always draws me into the story and characters. Once you start reading you better plan on staying up late! I know I did.

The plot of the “Voyage of the Lanternfish,” wraps around James Cuttler, a man whose fiancé is being held captive by a political foe. Mistaken for his father, James has no choice but to acquiesce to the Lord’s demands to begin a war between the kingdoms.

James and his best friend, Dan set out to fulfill their promise. In no time, a cast of characters appears that propel the story forward in ways you will never see coming. There’s Fala, an abused woman; Mal, a Voodoo mage of sorts; and Serang, a magical ninja with two pets you won’t want to miss. And, that’s just the start!

For all the exciting pirate adventures and fantasy found between these pages, it is the characters that truly shine. This author delves deep into their personalities and you really get a sense for who they are.

In addition, the book introduces some of the most unforgettable monsters I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. For me, these creatures ensured the success of the tale. In particular, Mal’s rudimentary supernatural beings develop a language which will delight the reader. I’m still laughing! I can’t get those little critters out of mind – they’re that brilliant!

If you love sword fights, bloody battles at sea, mortars, guns, and plenty of magic you are in for a rare treat. The “Voyage of the Lanternfish” is all that and so much more. Are you ready to be dazzled?


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

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System
Author, C. S. Boyack

About the Author

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction. 

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet. 

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride. 


How to Connect with the Author


My Novels  






Amazon Author Page US


 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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Colleen’s 2018 Book Reviews – “The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Four: Survivor: A Biographical Fiction,” by Author, Lorinda J. Taylor

book reviews

Title: The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Four: Survivor: A Biographical Fiction

Amazon Author Page: Lorinda J. Taylor

Publication Date: January 21, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Biographical, Science Fiction



“Capt. Nikalishin has recovered from the Darter Disaster, received command of his own Mars ship, and married the woman of his dreams, yet his struggles with loneliness, misunderstandings, and dissatisfaction continue in spite of his many friends’ efforts to help him.

His wife proves to be hard-hearted and manipulative, while the revelations that come with the loss of his mother do nothing to improve his mental state, and the persecutions of his vindictive commanding officer exacerbate his problems. His health declines and he takes increasing refuge in alcohol.

He knows nothing about the existence of the new interstellar program as government officials wait for him to prove himself still capable of commanding a starship.

Will Robbin Nikalishin’s “core of character” save him, or is his life really at an end?”


Survivor is the fourth book in 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.

Captain Robbin Nikalishin’s world has imploded around him leaving him to deal with the consequences of his many bad decisions. He embarks upon the search for the meaning of life that will set him free.

Robbie’s relationship with his wife has deteriorated to the point of no return. Problems with women have always plagued him. Most of these feelings stem from his inability to understand his mother and the choices she made long ago when he was a boy. This shortcoming has stunted his emotional growth acting as the catalyst that throws him into a deep depression, coloring his decision-making capabilities.

In a downward spiral, Robbie plunges into the depths of self-loathing. He turns to alcohol, seeking sanctuary from the personal revelations that haunt his psyche. Reckless, he pushes his luck and almost ends his career.

Yet, behind the scenes, his friends are working to help him regain his confidence. It is through their guidance and love that Captain Nikalshin finds the man he once was.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. The author has created an in-depth character study of the protagonist, Captain Robbie with stunning results. Seldom in fiction do you get to know the deepest secrets of a man and why he makes the choices he does.

With that said, be prepared, because Survivor is long, maybe a bit too long. I have followed this series since its inception and always felt a motherly connection to the captain. Nevertheless, there were a few episodes where he devolved into a sniveling mess where I wanted to slap him or give him a firm talking to!

Somehow, I always find my way to back to falling for Robbie Nikalishin’s naivete and charm. You simply can’t be mad at the character for long, which demonstrates the writing talent of the author.

I’m looking forward to the fifth book. I hope the captain finds everything he’s been searching for.


Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 Fairies

4 star rating

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System


Lorinda J. Taylor

About the Author, Lorinda J. Taylor

I’m a retired librarian who worked in academic libraries as a cataloger, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO.  Besides my MLS, I have a BA and an MA in English, and some work toward a Ph.D.  As a child, I was always making up imaginary worlds, but I didn’t start writing fantasy until I read “Lord of the Rings” in 1969 and discovered that even serious scholars like J.R.R. Tolkien can continue to create such worlds far into their adult lives. I never was successful in getting published in those early days, however, and then family considerations forced me to take a hiatus from writing from 1983 until 2000. Since then, I’ve written a novella and several novels, and have begun to self-publish since I doubt that I can live long enough to go the old-fashioned route!

My interests include almost anything literary, scientific, or speculative — science fiction and fantasy, mythology, language (I write conlangs for my books), poetry, cosmology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, entomology, ornithology …

Philosophically, I call myself a spiritual humanist.

Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Tolkien (of course), Evangeline Walton, and many poets such as Robert Graves and Dylan Thomas.


How to Connect with the Author:

Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at
(You can find free chapters on her website of Volume I of the Termite Queen).

Twitter – Lorinda J. Taylor @TermiteWriter

Facebook – Lorinda J. Taylor (Termite Writer)

Google+ – Lorinda J Taylor


IMG_D40523AA3102-1Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda Taylor. If you love science fiction you will adore this series. ❤

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Annie’s Story, Blessed with a Gift,” by Author, Deborah A. Bowman, @bowmanauthor


Title: Annie’s Story, Blessed with a Gift

Amazon Author Page: Deborah A. Bowman

Publication Date: January 2, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Historical Fiction, Scottish, Metaphysical, Metaphysical & Visionary



“Annie’s Story, Blessed With A Gift” is based on life in Colonial Massachusetts from 1630 to 1648. Annie’s message is timeless and her shining spirit reveals that “History Does Repeat Itself” with the treatment, abuse, labeling, and bullying of women, children, and individuals with special needs. In Annie’s lifetime, babies born with birth defects and their mothers were banished or put to death—their names cleansed from all church and legal records. Yet, have perceptions changed all that much? Have they changed enough? The answer is a resounding, “No!”

Annie came to me in an age regression that somehow slipped into a past-life regression by an Instructor of The National Guild of Hypnotists. Instead of returning to my childhood—WHAM! like hitting a brick wall—I was in someone else’s body, crushed in a pitch black hole, surrounded by wood and earth. This is how I met Annie; or rather I should say, I became Annie.

The Colonists laughed at Annie’s dwarfed appearance and sluggish way of talking. My conscious mind of the 21st century, however, realized that Annie was mentally slow, stunted in growth, and lacking in social and emotional development. I also knew she was innocent and childlike as well as an incredible telepathic savant, blessed with a gift from the Spiritual Universe.

Hence, began a quest that has spanned years. I made amazing discoveries about a time in American history that many generations have tried to eradicate or conceal as was done with the Witch Hysteria of 1692-93, nearly half-a-century “after” Annie lived. This story of love and faith, coupled with the inequality of different people—now called “special” people—begs to be told. “Annie’s Story” is about an unusual child growing up in Colonial America, who is “Blessed With A Gift.” 


Annie’s Story: Blessed with a Gift is historical fiction based on fact written after the author’s experience with a past-life regression. If that statement doesn’t intrigue you (my jaw literally dropped) then wait until you read the Foreword in the book. I read it twice and then read it once more because I was enthralled with the possibilities of what I would find between these pages.

From the first page, Annie’s story will touch your heart. When I read the circumstances behind the wee baby’s birth, I knew this was going to be an extraordinary saga, one that I wouldn’t soon forget.

It’s the year 1630, in what is known as Lynn, Massachusetts, a settlement near the Puritans in Salem. Born premature, Annie struggles to survive after her parents have succumbed to a deadly virus. When her parent’s bodies are discovered, they find the baby lying near them wrapped in the MacLean plaid. The clan leader escapes with the baby and delivers her into her Granny’s arms.

Granny, Mistress Blackbain, had combined the Catholicism of the MacKinnon clan with her own pagan rituals to create a spiritualism that held the power of the goddess and the spirit of God all rolled up into one. Her herbal remedies had been handed down from generation to generation of women in her family. Granny possessed the gift of healing and nothing would stop her from saving the last survivor of her family.

Annie, Granny’s wee fairy-sprite survives by the miraculous intervention of Hannah, the priest’s house woman who shares the mysterious and intimate details of her true identity with Granny as she suckles the premature Annie, along with her own baby, Jane.

Hannah’s story is shocking but Granny recognizes the truth in her explanation. Granny, Annie, Father Ian, Hannah, and Jane form a tightknit family unit sworn to keep the truth from all who might inquire about Jane’s parentage. The girls are raised as sisters and flourish under Granny’s care.

There are many magical moments shared between the children, Iris the goat, and Granny as Annie and Jane continue to grow. The author writes some of the most endearing magic in these passages. All I could think about was the love that blossomed within this family. It filled me with joy.

Annie is a gift from the goddess herself, endowed with the ability to heal much like her own granny. She possesses the rare metaphysical ability to communicate with other beings and realms that mere mortals don’t even acknowledge. There also exists a kindness in the child that you inherently know is filled with compassion and goodness for all. Yet, Annie lacks the ability to read and comprehend words. She misses the mark on cues and social situations. My heart ached for the tiny girl.

When illness strikes the Algonquin tribe, Granny nurses the daughter of the tribe back to health. This baby will grow to become a powerful shaman for the tribe. The lives of these characters are now destined to intertwine for eternity.

There are many lessons and themes in this novel. Much of American history is steeped in the horrors of religious persecution and the oppression of those who do not share the same beliefs. Annie’s story is no different. She is persecuted for being different. Her kindness and compassion and many gifts were all she had to give. None of that seemed to matter; she was still scorned and misunderstood.

I won’t lie. The more I read, the more emotionally vested I became in the story. The reality of the novel is that the author knows in another life she was Annie. As a Pagan Buddhist, those realities are not lost on me.

If you are looking for a story that you won’t be able to forget, read Annie’s story and experience the mystical realism of a life lived and shielded by the divine. There are plans for a sequel to this story. I can’t wait! ❤


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


*I follow the Amazon Rating System*


The author, Deborah A. Bowman, with her vision of Annie

About the Author:

Deborah Bowman has been sharing her stories and poems her whole life–her first poem published in a 4-H magazine at just 12 years old. She loves just about all genres of fiction and collects classical literature. Deborah’s recent selections are close to her heart. She has a passion and a crusade for the headline-driven factual and historical material which she weaves into novels and novellas.

New Release: Annie’s Story, Blessed With A Gift B01N9NRYMU
Historical Fiction based on fact via a past-life hypnotic regression. Annie was born dwarfed with a slow mind in 1630 Colonial America in a secreted Scottish village of the Massachusetts Bay Colony near Puritanical Salem. She is also whimsical, loving, and blessed with the gift of healing from the Spiritual Universe. In a time of suspicion and fear of demonology and witchcraft, many children with birth defects and their mothers were banished or put to death. This is a coming of age story which reveals parallels to our modern society in the abuse, ridicule, bullying, and labeling of individuals with special needs. History does repeat itself!

B00TVULOQY, DELILAH, ASTRAL INVESTIGATOR, INFINITY SERIES: EPISODE ONE, THE BOY AND THE SHOPKEEPER. A very modern teenager, Delilah (“Dee”) and a Colonial American from 1774, Bartholomew (“Bartie”) team up with Dee’s rambunctious and intuitive cat, Molly, to go back in time or journey to the future to save lost souls on the astral plane. Their mission is to save the world! Age appropriate for “tweens”, teens, YA, and adults as well, especially if you love the paranormal and believe in alternate planes of reality.

LIVING IN A SHADOW, B00AP68CUO, a full-length novel intended for mature readers deals with abuse and date-rape drugs. She presents the real-life facts that anyone can be a victim of these brutal attacks. “What do you do and how do you cope when you can’t remember what has been done to you? The side effects of these drugs can damage your physical and mental health or even cause death!”

The Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series (STROKE OF FEAR! B00CFWYAX4/STROKE OF MIDNIGHT! B00F8Z2KAK/STROKE OF SILENCE! B00JH78VOE) are quick-read novellas for the busy adult and age-appropriate for tweens/teens/YA. There is an epidemic in this country of missing children. “It’s important for children to know that danger lurks everywhere. If they can recognize a predator’s persuasion, they at least have a chance to run away, hide, or cry for help. Unfortunately, not all abductions can be prevented, but for every child that is saved, one less family is spared the heartbreak that can never be comforted.”

Deborah has a 20+-year history as well as formal education in writing, editing, proofreading, and publishing. She believes strongly in helping first-time and seasoned writers alike create quality books and eBooks at She does free reviews and critiques. “Books are timeless; readers are forever.”

Deborah has various upcoming projects but is always happy to hear from you and connect on social media.


How to Connect with the Author:



Twitter: @bowmanauthor



LinkedIn: Deborah Bowman Stevens

Tumblr: Really Very Miracle

Amazon Author’s Page: Deborah A. Bowman

Amazon Reviewer’s Page: Deborah Bowman, author


Witchey ReadsThanks for stopping by to hear about this excellent historical drama. You will love Annie! I did. ❤

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The White Lady,” by Author, Beth Trissel

  • Title:  The White Lady (Ladies in Time #2)
  • Amazon Author Page: Beth Trissel
  • File Size: 3139 KB
  • Print Length: 110 Pages
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
  • Publication Date: November 10, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B075XBTY1J
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Romance, Time-Travel, Literature & Fiction, Fantasy, Genre Fiction

    The White Lady

    *I was given a pre-publication copy of this book by the author for review purposes*


Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard, Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It’s just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.

Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap.

Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.


Meet Ignus Burke, independently wealthy wizard and time-traveler extraordinaire who specializes in rescuing lost souls. Along with his two cohorts, Avery Dunham and Stan Guthrie, these fast friends have traveled beyond the veil of magic more times then they can count.

Currently, Ignus is fascinated with the portrait of the White Lady which hangs in the parlor of his Victorian home in historic Staunton, Virginia. There is something about the picture that has piqued his curiosity to the extent of a dangerous obsession.

The White Lady is a portrait of a pale brunette beauty dressed in filmy white. Her age and the time frame of when the painting was completed is shrouded in mystery. So, one day, when Ignus announces to his friends that “The White Lady needs my help,” his declaration is met with skepticism from his friends. Avery is concerned that Ignus has taken his obsession too far. She knows something is off about the whole ordeal. It’s not just womanly intuition either because even Stan has noticed how preoccupied Ignus is with the painting.

The Victorian mansion that is owned by Ignus’ family seems to hold the key to finding out more about the portrait. Ignus can pick up on the energy from the past which swirls about the house and the antiques that were left behind by the previous occupants. To make matters worse, Ignus’ father, who disappeared years ago is somehow connected to the otherworldly allure the White Lady holds over Ignus. And yet, there’s much more family history to unravel and discover.

The adventure begins when the trio scatters caution to the wind by traveling back in time to when the trouble first started with the White Lady.

Fans of Doctor Who will love this adult paranormal time-traveling adventure. Beth Trissel is the master of paranormal fantasy by creating characters you can’t help but love as they are thrust into situations that only the gifted can solve. There’s something for everyone – ghosts, an ancient evil, and even the beginnings of a young romance that blossoms between the pages of the story.

The author shared some exciting facts about the White Lady tradition from her research. Beth Trissel said,

“It (the story) was inspired by the ghostly white lady or white woman lore I’m familiar with in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains, and farther afield. After researching, I discovered this lore is widespread in American and the UK and dates back centuries. It’s a paranormal ‘thing.'”

I loved this book because it was so unusual and creative. It was a fun read that moved as quickly as the spectral magic that danced on each page. I couldn’t help thinking what a fun Christmas gift this book would make as the setting in the novel takes place just days before the holiday begins. The
White Lady is the perfect book to curl up with under a mound of blankets on a snowy afternoon. Enjoy! ❤


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

Author, Beth Trissel

About the Author

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my people and furbabies. A big gardener, I grow herbs and heirloom flowers and use them in my stories. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the Scots-Irish are at the heart of my inspiration. My English/Scots-Irish ancestors were among the earliest settlers in America.

I write historical romance set in the colonial frontier (The Native American Warrior Series), AND the American Revolution (The Traitor’s Legacy Series), colonial American Christmas romance (A Warrior for Christmas) Georgian England romance (Into the Lion’s Heart, the time and place of Poldark).

Some of my historicals have ghosts and paranormal in them. I also write Young Adult shapeshifter, fantasy romance (The Secret Warrior Series), and paranormal time travel, time slip romance to the Scottish Highlands, the American Revolution, the Civil War, WW1.. (My Somewhere in Time and Ladies in Time Series.)

My nonfiction titles feature herbs, gardening, and country life. Click to visit Beth’s Amazon Page to view all her books.


Red Bird’s Song
Through the Fire
Kira, Daughter of the Moon
The Bearwalker’s Daughter
The Lady and the Warrior (short)

Somewhere My Love
Somewhere My Lass (Scottish)
Somewhere in the Highlands (Scottish)
Somewhere the Bells Ring (Ghostly Christmas)

Somewhere My Lady
The White Lady (coming soon)

Enemy of the King (The American Revolution and a ghost)
Traitor’s Legacy (The American Revolution)
Traitor’s Curse (Ghostly historical)

(THE SECRET WARRIOR SERIES): (YA Wolf shapeshifter fantasy romance series)
The Hunter’s Moon
Curse of the Moon
The Panther Moon
A Warrior for Christmas (holiday historical)
Into the Lion’s Heart (Georgian England and the French Revolution)

Plants For A Medieval Herb Garden in the British Isles (Herbal)
Shenandoah Watercolors (Gardening and Country Life)

2008 Golden Heart® Finalist
2008 Winner Preditor’s & Editor’s Readers Poll
Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009
2012 Double Epic Award Finalist
2013 Book of the Month at Long and Short
2016 Winner April Creme de la Cover
2016 Winner Book of the Month at Long and Short YA

How to Contact this Author:

You can find Beth on her blog at and on her author website at

Twitter @BethTrissel

Facebook  Author Beth Trissel. I met Beth on Facebook. She shares the most breathtaking photos of her gardens and the fantastic Shenandoah Valley where she makes her home. If you really want to know an author, look at the images they share. ❤

Hugs for stopping by!

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Hope from the Ocean,” by P. S. Bartlett


    • Title: Hope from the Ocean
    • Author: P. S. Bartlett
    • File Size: 769 KB
    • Print Length: 290 Pages
    • Publisher: Self-published by Author
    • Publication Date: September 2, 2015
    • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B014UFFQD6
    • ISBN-10: 1517182557
    • ISBN-13: 978-1517182557
    • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
    • Goodreads
    • Genres: Literature and Fiction, Historical, Genre Fiction


 When Owen Whelan revealed his secret, he was set free from a haunting past and an uncertain future for his son, Ennis. However, in order to know the true depths of his heart, first, we must follow him all the way back to a dirt road on a chilly and bitter spring dawn in Ireland. Behind the locked doors of his memories and hidden beneath shame, hunger and eventually escape, we learn the true meaning of the proverb, “There’s hope from the ocean but none from the grave.” Owen’s journey will teach him that sometimes you have to cross that ocean not only to survive but to finally find love, life and become the man worthy of your own admiration and respect. 

There are turning points in life you cannot come back from but if you’re brave enough, you can begin again.


I read Hope from the Ocean as a sequel to Fireflies. Click here to read my review of Fireflies.

For me, the book supplied much of the background information on Owen Whelan’s life in Ireland before coming to America. This is where the reader gets close and personal to the trials and tribulations that eventually form the man.

After the death of their parents, Dillon, and Patrick (Owen) wait for the only relative who will take in two orphans – Uncle Dan. Uncle Dan and Aunt Noreen absorb the boys into their already large family. The boys struggle to fit into the family. Dillon seems to be the most adaptable and in no time has found his place working with horses in the stable.

Patrick never fits in and eventually, he runs away on a ship bound for America. Much of the details of this voyage are shared in Fireflies. However, one thing is clear. When Patrick meets Rachel Whelan on the ship his life is changed forever. It is here that an unbreakable bond between mother and son is transformed.

I loved this story because it is a character study in detail of a man coming into his own after a difficult past. Owen grows from his experiences and eventually finds Sarah, the love of his life. Much like a life coming full circle, Hope from the Ocean allows the reader a peek into the life of a man with a dark secret that he must come to grips with in order to save the life of his beloved son, Ennis.

There are not as many paranormal aspects to the telling of this tale as compared with the first book, Fireflies, but I still found this to be a lovely read which transported me into another time and era. The themes of family, acceptance, class, and stature, will resonate in today’s modern world.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate:   4.5 out of 5 fairies

 4.5 fairies

Author, P. S. Bartlett

About the Author:

Award winning author, P.S. Bartlett, was born on Valentine’s Day many moons ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill.

Her first novel, “Fireflies,” was published with GMTA Publishing in 2013 and the prequel to “Fireflies,” entitled “Hope From the Ocean,” was published in March of 2014. She loves history and historical fiction. She gets her history fix via movies, television and of course, books although she enjoys reading almost every genre.

Her motto is: “I’m taking a fantastic voyage. Won’t you join me?”


Author Blog:



071617_1926_ColleensBoo5.pngThanks for stopping by. ❤

Colleen’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Hashes & Bashes,” BY Author, P J COLANDO

  • Title:  Hashes and Bashes: Jackie & Steve Book 2
  • Author: P J Colando
  • File Size: 1337 KB
  • Print Length: 225 Pages
  • Publisher: BookBaby
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LWV02LG
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Genre Fiction, Family Life, Humor, Literature & Fiction

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*


Nine months after their comically abbreviated RV road trip, detailed in the award-winning book, STASHES, the Breeden family farm routines have stabilized: Jackie returned to her high school cafeteria job and their only son, Brandon, works alongside his father, Steve, in the family micro-dairy.

But then an outsider arrives, claiming to be kin, and HASHES & BASHES begin.

Steve was already perturbed with the brother he has when Carl Edwards strides onto the farm. David Breeden, who lives nearby, is not a bastard but always acted like one. Carl, a charismatic Californian, may be a bastard but doesn’t act like one…

Yet Carl rocks the entire small Midwestern farming community, including a lively cast of characters who assault Steve’s calm-against-chaos pattern in this humorous family saga:

•his spunky farmwife, Jackie, and her meddlesome church lady friends

•his immature son, Brandon, and his female pursuers

•his pastor, who attempts to foist guilt while grubbing funds

•the lure of edible and spreadable medical marijuana and easy money from natural gas fracking

Only Sparty, Steve’s dog, remains steadfast throughout the hijinks. But then…”

I’ve been looking forward to another humorous and heartwarming novel from P J Colando, and let me tell you, “Hashes and Bashes” kept me alternating between laughter and tears. Her first book was called, “Stashes,” and you can read that review by clicking here. Now, grab a seat and let me tell you about this book because you’re going to love it!

What sets P J Colando apart from many others is her ability to draw the reader into the life of her characters. As the reader, you feel like you are her protagonist’s (Jackie) girlfriend and she is sharing with you what is going on in her and Steve’s life while the two of you are drinking tea and eating scones. This makes for some great storytelling. Jackie and Steve are so real to life, you expect to run into them while running errands in town. I know I did at least.

Jackie and Steve represent the perfect Midwest farm couple, hardworking and steadfast. You sense their love for one another seep through the pages. When Carl shows up, Steve’s brother from his mother’s WWII love tryst and given up for adoption, the Breeden family welcomes him into their nest.

Carl and Steve bond through a common acknowledgment of shared genealogy. However, that leaves Steve’s brother David out in the cold. David is the brother you wish you didn’t have, while Carl is likable and real, like Steve. A Prodigal Son triangle develops with impressive results. Once you throw Brandon, Steve and Jackie’s son, into the mix, the results are hilarious.

Years ago I worked on a ranch in Montana. The descriptions of (AI) artificial insemination from Carl’s bull into Steve’s dairy cows by Brandon are not only factually accurate, but they are also hysterical. I laughed so hard, I cried.

Yet, there is more than humor found between these pages. P J Colando breathes and writes life into the pages of her novels. Love, death, friendship, family, all find their way into her stories. Add a touch of pot-laced baking to the mix, and you have a recipe for success.

The end of the book grabbed me by surprise and left me wanting more of this beautiful, and funny family!

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

Author, P J Colando

About PJ Colando:

PJ Colando was born and raised in the Midwest, yet unabashedly aspired for adventure elsewhere, following her parents’ model. She lives in southern California with her husband, whose name is not Steve or Carl, the prime male characters in the ‘Jackie and Steve’ series.

PJ is the author of three novels, with short stories, personal essays, and articles published in journals, magazines, and anthologies. She’s earned an Erma Bombeck Humor Award, Reader’s Favorite Silver Award, and Southern California Writers Conference fiction award.

PJ writes contemporary women’s fiction and has drawn praise for her singular voice, humor and satire on contentious current affairs, and insights into human life. PJ writes funny!

Join her on her Boomer humor blog on her author site: and on Facebook at PJ Colando.

PJ is having a blast and you will, too.

I hope P J writes another book about the Breeden family. Once you read this so will you! ❤