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!

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

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 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Through the Nethergate,” BY AUTHOR, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, @bakeandwrite

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th-century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

After the death of her parents, Margaret moves to Bungay, England to live with her grandfather. Once there, she realizes she can see the spirits of the dead. Even more terrifying, Margaret sees the spirits of how they looked at the moment of their death. If that’s not creepy enough, hang on… this story takes a dark turn. Soon, Margaret realizes she must figure out how to free these lost souls from the ultimate evil.

Some of the ghosts are evil and some are good, while others seem to be stuck between the worlds in a sort of limbo. Margaret’s gift of sight acts as a catalyst for some and the ghosts begin to incarnate and interact with our world. All of this activity alerts the big guy below and he fantasizes about Margaret’s abilities and what her power could do for him.

Cheadle builds her story off of the legend of Black Shuck, the Devil Dog of Bungay who in 1577 terrorized the parishioners of the local church by killing two people kneeling in prayer after bursting through the church doors amid a flash of lightning. In the book, the dog resurfaces as the evil Hugh Bigod, the vilest of spirits who commands the other spirits who chose not to go into the light when they died.

What makes this story stand out from other YA horror novels is how the author weaves the historical accounts of real-life murderers into her plot. Some of these accounts, while interesting, bogged down some of the pacing in the novel. Yet, it didn’t stop me from reading into the wee hours to find out what happened next.

Additionally, I found the story to be heavily influenced by the Christian concepts of heaven, hell, and the devil. These aspects didn’t affect my personal view, except that I don’t think a belief in spirits belongs to any specific religion.

I found the political elements in the story to be the most compelling. There are some valid points made between the rise of fascism/nationalism and the spread of evil in our current world cultures skillfully woven into the story. The author intertwined many other current events into the storyline including “fake news,” mass shootings, and the war in Syria, all as part of the machinations of Lucifer.

This book had plenty of terrifying moments to hold a reader’s attention. I thought the story concept was solid and the author’s approach to history enriched the storytelling. If you love YA fiction, you’ll enjoy this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle-grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre; and Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades

Robbie Cheadle, aka Roberta Eaton Cheadle Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: Robbie Cheadle: Books, Poems, Reviews

TWITTER: Robbie Cheadle @bakeandwrite

FACEBOOK: Robbie Cheadle

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Sekhmet Bed: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (The She-King Book 1),” BY AUTHOR, Libbie Hawker, @LibHawker

Featuring Your Next Read!

About this Book

Is Ahmose’s divine gift a blessing or a curse?

The second daughter of the Pharaoh, Ahmose has always dreamed of a quiet life as a priestess, serving Egypt’s gods, ministering to the people of the Two Lands. But when the Pharaoh dies without an heir, she is given instead as Great Royal Wife to the new king – a soldier of common birth. For Ahmose is god-chosen, gifted with the ability to read dreams, and it is her connection to the gods which ensures the new Pharaoh his right to rule.

Ahmose’s elder sister Mutnofret has been raised to expect the privileged station of Great Royal Wife; her rage at being displaced cannot be soothed. As Ahmose fights the currents of Egypt’s politics and Mutnofret’s vengeful anger, her youth and inexperience carry her beyond her depth and into the realm of sacrilege. 

To right her wrongs and save Egypt from the gods’ wrath, Ahmose must face her most visceral fear: bearing an heir. But the gods of Egypt are exacting, and even her sacrifice may not be enough to restore the Two Lands to safety.

The Sekhmet Bed is the first volume of Libbie Hawker’s series The She-King, a family saga of the Thutmosides, one of ancient Egypt’s most fascinating royal families. Don’t miss Book 2: The Crook and Flail

Note: This ebook edition contains a preview chapter of Libbie Hawker’s new ancient Egyptian series, The Book of Coming Forth by Day.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

I first stumbled across this author with the book, “Take Off Your Pants,” a book about how to outline your novel. The writing was succinct and I’ve been using the author’s suggestions. You can read my review of that book HERE.

However, Hawker is a historian, and she loves historical details which lead us to “The Sekhmet Bed,” which is set in ancient Egypt. This is the story of Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s mother. Although, on the author’s own admission, the tale is fictional. Nevertheless, the characters are unforgettable.

The book begins with our young protagonist, Ahmose, ‘chose of the gods’ who is the second daughter of the pharaoh. Her sole desire is to become a temple priestess.

However, after her father’s death, she realizes that her dream will never be fulfilled. Instead, her mother informs her she is to be the Great Royal Wife to Tuthmose, bypassing her older sister, Mutnofret.

Now, the younger Ahmose becomes locked in a competition with her older sister, who Tuthmose chooses as the royal concubine. This sets up the tension that flows through the rest of the novel.

Because of her age, Ahmose is unprepared to be queen. Tuthmose recognizes that Ahmose is just a child, and he turns to Mutnofret to produce his heirs.

Eventually, as Ahmose grows into a woman, she realizes the only way she can hold on to her power as the queen is to produce the next pharaoh.

Hawker does a deep character dive into Ahmose’s psyche. We watch her grow from a child into a woman. Yet, for someone so devoted to her religious beliefs, she struggles to keep herself in line. Like a teenager, her irrational thoughts and behavior keep her in constant trouble.

What I found most striking was how easy it became for Ahmose to commit ruthless acts to betray those she loved to fulfill her own ambitions. The family suffers because of her choices.

This novel is full of sibling rivalry and political intrigue sprinkled with the right amount of romance to keep the reader guessing all the way through. I couldn’t put this book down. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

“The Sekhmet Bed” is the first volume of Libbie Hawker’s series the She-King, a family saga of the Thutmosides, one of ancient Egypt’s most fascinating royal families. Book 2: The Crook and Flail, Book 3: Sovereign of Stars, Book 4: The Bull of Min.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, but has previously lived in Seattle; Bellingham, WA; Tacoma, WA; and Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Although the majority of her books are self-published, she also partners with Lake Union Publishing on select titles.

She has held a broad and bizarre range of “day jobs” while pursuing a career as a novelist. Included among these are zoo keeper, show dog handler, bookseller, and yarn dyer. 

Libbie’s writerly influences are varied, and include Hilary Mantel, Vladimir Nabokov, Annie Dillard, Michael Ondaatje, George R. R. Martin, songwriter Neko Case, and mixed-media storyteller Chris Onstad, among others.

Amazon Author Page: Libbie Hawker

How to Connect with the Author

Blog: Olivia Hawker/Libby Hawker: Hawkerbooks.com

Facebook Page: Libbie Hawker & L. M. Ironside

Twitter: @LibHawker

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

COLLEEN’S 2019 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Captain’s Witch,” BY AUTHOR, Karen DeMers Dowdall, @karendowdall

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Colleens-2019-Book-Reviews-1.png

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book:

Lost in the Annals of Time: A Story of Love and War 


The Captain’s Witch is a hauntingly beautiful story of love that transcends time. Sara Windsor Knightly, born into a family with generations of witches, inherits Windsor Manor, a colonial era manor built in 1680.

She had no idea that the Manor is haunted by Jacobite ghosts, and a ghost named Christian Windsor. He is a gentleman farmer who is also a Captain in the British Brigade in the year 1690 in Colonial Connecticut during King William’s war with the French and the Abenaki Indians.

To complicate matters, the White Oak Tree on the property of Windsor Manor, is haunted by the ghost of Alice Windsor Hall. The White Oak Tree was once a sapling on the grave of Alice Windsor Hall, one of Sara’s distant relatives who was falsely accused of witchcraft in 1690.

Alice has haunted the White Oak for more than 300 years and she has plans of her own that sets everything in motion. Alice spins a spell that sends Sara and Christian to the year 1690 to save her little girl, Clara, from the hands of Reverend Baron Warwick, a Puritan Zealot who has diabolical plans for the child.

Alice promises to return Sara and Christian back home as soon as Clara is safe from harm. Alice’s promise sends Christian back to war and certain death. A brokenhearted Sara is sent back to the present day to Windsor Manor. Sara is, quite by accident, sent once more back in time to revisit a very different Christian, who has no memory of Sara, putting her in great danger of being accused of witchcraft.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION:

“The Captain’s Witch” begins in the present, introducing us to Sara Windsor Knightly, an ancestral Wiccan who inherits the family manor. After she moves in, she discovers that Jacobite ghosts haunt the residence. One, in particular, the ghost of Captain Christian Windsor seems fated to connect with Sara.

On the property stands a towering White Oak tree, originally planted on the grave of Alice Windsor Hall, Sara’s distant relative. Alice, falsely accused of witchcraft, suffered a brutal death at the hands of Reverend Baron Warwick, a Puritan Zealot who has plans for Sara’s daughter, Clara.

Now, after 300 years, Alice’s spirit returns from the otherworld on a mission to rewrite history and save her daughter. She enlists the help of Sara and Christian who travel back and forth in time trying to correct the errors of the past.

Can Christian and Sara’s love survive through the ages, or will fate deal them a cruel hand?

For me, this book came across as more of a mystery than a romance. There is chemistry between the characters, but it was not overdone.

I enjoyed the witchy aspects of the novel, especially the history behind Alice Windsor Hall. I had to pay close attention to the time travel aspects to understand when the characters moved through different periods. Yet, this was a fun entertaining read.

MY RATING:

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:

Karen Demers Dowdall PhD, MSN, BSN, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and spent her elementary-grade school years in the small farming community of Salmon Brook, settled in 1680 by a stalwart group of Europeans. She grew up exploring its lush and dark forest preserve, swimming in Salmon Brook with a plethora of the unexplained, exploring Rock Fall Caves, and ice-skating on a “haunted” pond in winter. 

Karen has traveled abroad and lived in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Living overseas opened to her, a vista of cultures, historical vistas, and led her to believe that all cultures have storytellers that reveal all their hopes and dreams through vivid fantasy fictions, poetry, short stories, and dramatic written presentations throughout their culture history. 

Karen has always written poems and short stories, and now has three novels that represent fantasy, coming of age, and a dark mystery. Her next novel is a Wiccan time-slip fiction with a love story set in the present and 1692 – the age of the witch trials. “A Whisper in the Wind”. It will be published in 2018.

Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: karendowdall.com

Facebook: The Writer’s Loft

Twitter: @karendowdall

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

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

122517_2210_ColleensBoo1.png

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

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“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.” 

MY RECOMMENDATION:

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! ❤

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

122517_2210_ColleensBoo3.png

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

010218_1832_FairiesMyth1.jpg

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 clasidconsultantspublishing.com. 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.

icon-2486501_1920

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

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

The Literary Diva's Library 1640x859

Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.

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

071617_1926_ColleensBoo1.png

    • 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

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

 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.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

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.

MY RATING:

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?”

❤ CONNECT WITH P.S. BARTLETT ❤

Author Blog: https://psbartlett.me/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

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

071617_1926_ColleensBoo5.pngThanks for stopping by. ❤

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Fireflies” by Author P. S. Bartlett, @PSBartlett

  • Title: Fireflies
  • Amazon Author Page: P. S. Bartlett
  • File Size: 789 KB
  • Print Length:  324 Pages
  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Publication Date: September 2, 2015
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B014UAKSIE
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Irish, Historical Fiction, Literature & Fiction

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Dr. Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah have seven bright and expressive children. However, one of them is very unique; he’s been followed since birth by lost souls.
However peculiar Ennis Whelan has been for the first six years of his life, not until the day he found the bird did the degree of his strangeness become so tangible.
Ennis claimed it flew away.

His sister Teagan was about to bury it.

Teagan becomes increasingly suspicious of his odd behavior, but their mother dismisses her claims; that is until he starts healing people.

When he also reveals the gift of sight, he questions his father about visions of his past, including his voyage to America in 1844. Owen prayed he’d never have to share those tragic memories, but he will share them when he realizes he has no choice. Ennis’ life depends on it.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I purchased this book last summer where it sat in my Kindle unread for months until I caught up with my to be read pile. After reading the first chapter, I was hooked on the Whelan family.

The story begins in Pennsylvania in the late 1880’s. The Whelan’s are Irish immigrants raising their family of seven children in what appears to be a typical setting for that era. The older children have come of age and are ready to leave the family nest.

Everything within this family seems normal until you meet six year old, Ennis, who the author, P. S. Bartlett, must have created and written with divine guidance. You immediately sense the child has an otherworldly quality about him. It is when the boy finds an injured bird and heals it that you begin to understand that something marvelous is waiting for you inside this book.

Ennis’ oldest sister, Teagan, is the next to receive his healing energy when she cuts herself with a knife while washing dishes. With her life teetering on edge, Ennis heals her too. From then on, I realized the boy was a crystal star child, highly sensitive and psychic, with a primary life purpose.

As the story unfolds, Ennis and Teagan find themselves caught up in the reality of his gifts. They explain to their parents how Ennis has been employing his healing skills. The parents consult with the local pastor and come to the understanding that these miracles are truly heaven sent.

The parents have their own stories unfolding through flashbacks of their previous lives in Ireland and their journey to their new home in America. Be prepared to go on an emotional rollercoaster as their narratives unfold leading the reader to an explosive and startling ending.

I will hold the image of fireflies dancing around a small boy in my heart for a long time.

If you believe in the power of love this book will restore your belief in miracles. I loved this story and am sorry I waited so long to read it. I have read many of P. S. Bartlett’s books, and this one really captured my heart. I’ve added “Fireflies” to my Me-Time paranormal fantasy category. This is one of those books whose message will stay with you!

MY RATING:

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. 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?”

Here’s where you can find P. S. Bartlett:

Author Blog: https://psbartlett.me/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

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

Amazon: Fireflies 

 

 

Until the next time!


COLLEEN’s Book Reviews – “The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story,” By Author, Teagan Geneviene

  • Title:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story
  • Author: Teagan Geneviene
  • File Size: 507 KB
  • Print Length: 95 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: November 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MRRC0B2
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Amateur Sleuths


“The Three Things Serial Story was a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode.

It quickly became a 1920s Mystery with armature sleuth, Pip, telling the story. Pip is determined to be a modern woman, a flapper.

Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with an oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed.

While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride! Many readers asked me to provide the serial as a book, and that’s what I’ve done with this novella. So, sit back and enjoy the Three Things Serial.”

Are you ready to step back into the 1920’s to join Paisley Idelle Peabody, in solving a mystery? Hurry up and dig your best suit out of the attic and grab your sequined flapper dress because you are in for a fun time. It’s the real cat’s meow!

This was my first time reading a Teagan Geneviene serial novella. What a unique and novel idea! What I enjoyed most was the randomness of the words chosen at the beginning of each chapter. This required some writing skill because she had to structure each chapter in such a way as to use the selected words from her readers. And, the author had no idea how the story was going to evolve. I found some insight into the writing of the story on her blog, Teagan’s Books. Here’s what she had to say:

“Everything about this story was determined by the random “things” readers sent.  Absolutely nothing was pre-planned.  First came the narrator, Pip, aka Paisley Idelle Peabody.  I imagined the voice of Lucille Ball as Pip, telling a story of her youth.  Then came the 1920s setting, inspired by an oscillating fan. Next, the “things” brought characters, particularly Andy who came back for another serial. Eventually, a thing gave me the Florida setting.  I think you get the idea of how this worked.

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures.  In this story, a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped.  Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos, and other “things.”  Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Cà d’Zan.”

The tale unfolds quickly, much like the old black and white movies from the period. You get right into the story and meet the characters, who are likable and believable as they comfortably fit into the Roaring Twenties time frame with their language and mannerisms. There is a mystery to be solved, and I liked the way the story evolved. There were even some surprises along the way.

At first, I read a couple chapters a night. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I finished the book off. I had to find out what became of the little old white-haired lady!

This was a fun and engaging trip back into the flapper era, and I loved it!


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

Author, Teagan Geneviene

About Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to contributions from viewers. Major influences include Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

To watch a trailer for the book, click the link below:

You can find Teagan on Twitter @teagangeneviene, Facebook at Teagan Geneviene, and her blog, Teagan’s Books.

happy-holidays

 

 

 

Are you looking for a fun Christmas present for that special someone? Hint – Hint! ❤

Colleen’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Yellow Hair,” by Andrew Joyce

book-review-background

  • Title:  Yellow Hair
  • Author: Andrew Joyce
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 498 Pages
  • Publisher: William Birch & Assoc.
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B01LXOXHBI
  • ISBN-10: 0998119318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998119311
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Biographical

120316_2014_BOOKREVIEWB1.jpg

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


“Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader–and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people, and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.”

Yellow Hair is an action-packed epic saga sharing the life story of a man coming to grips with his destiny. From the first page of this book, the reader is thrust inside the life journey of Jacob Ariesen, a young man whose family was looking for a better way of life in California. Leaving Massachusetts behind, and heading west on the Oregon Trail, the Arisen’s meet up with a wagon train headed to California in the mid-1800’s and set out toward gold country.

Most of the travelers were Eastern businesspeople, and they weren’t prepared to face the hardships on the trail. Careless errors of judgment by the pioneers results in the deaths of many family members. The people were greenhorns and had no clear idea what they had gotten themselves into. Throw in a crippling bout of cholera, and you have a clear picture of the tribulations suffered by the brave folks who traveled West looking for a better way of life. In the blink of an eye, Jacob’s entire family is wiped out, and he becomes the sole survivor.

With the dead and dying all around him, Jacob Ariesen becomes infected with cholera, and his days are numbered. Help is at hand, when a prophetic Native American woman, named Suni, finds her destiny with the fair-haired Jacob. Suni nurses him back to health, and she calls him, “Yellow Hair.” With no family of his own, Yellow Hair embraces the Dakota tribe who adopts him. He learns to speak the native languages of the Great Plains Indians and lives his life as a member of the Dakota tribe.

Jacob Ariesen, a.k.a. Yellow Hair takes his place in history framed by the U.S. government’s policy of placing the Dakota Sioux Indian tribes onto reservations after breaking treaty after treaty with the native peoples. The rest of the story belongs to Yellow Hair, told from his point of view.

I felt both sides (Native American and Whites) were portrayed as accurately as history could allow. The difference is in perspective, when you the reader, have the chance to witnesses the historical events through the eyes of a white man who considers himself to be an Indian.

I thought the author, Andrew Joyce, was entirely fair in his depiction of all the events. I never felt one side was glorified over another. The historical facts are woven in between the author’s interpretation of the events making history come alive.

History has a way of repeating itself, and I was quite moved with the parallels between the novel, and real life events unfolding at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I must admit I shed a few tears at the brutality of humanity on both sides of the spectrum.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish and could not put it down. And, as the author reminds us, “This is history,” which means many of these happenings are hard to swallow from a humanitarian point of view.

This is one of my favorite books from my expanding library of Andrew Joyce novels. If you love historical fiction set in the American West, you will love Yellow Hair.


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

5gold-star3

120316_2014_BOOKREVIEWB5.jpg

Author, Andrew Joyce

About Andrew Joyce:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

You can find Andrew on Twitter @HuckFinn76 and on Facebook at Andrew Joyce (Yellowhair1850) and you can connect with Andrew on his author blog at andrewjoyce.wordpress.com

winter-is-coming

 

 

 

READ MORE BOOKS!

Silver’s #BOOK REVIEWS -“Resolution,” BY AUTHOR, Andrew Joyce

  • Title:  Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure
  • Author: Andrew Joyce
  • File Size: 724 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: William Birch & Assoc.
  • Publication Date: April 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01E83YVJA
  • ISBN-10: 0692670904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692670903
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical Fiction, Biographical

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*


“It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year. By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure. Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.” When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next. On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite. It is into this world that Huck and Molly race. They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.”


I first met, Molly Lee McMasters in Andrew Joyce’s book entitled Molly Lee, the second volume in his Tom Sawyer-Huckleberry Finn adventure series. I fell in love with her character and style. Click HERE to read my review.

I was excited when Resolution came out and as usual, the author did not disappoint! Molly and Huck are so believable, I expected them to walk off the pages and shake my hand.

Resolution is the third book in the series and in my humble opinion, my favorite. Do you remember reading Call of the Wild, by Jack London when you were a kid? I must have read that book at least ten times. I enjoy a book where an animal becomes an entire piece of the narrative.

Let’s put it this way… A new star was born from the pages of this novel and his name is “Bright,” a Husky, and the lead sled dog. The personality of the dog shines throughout the novel. Huck and Bright share a special bond. This story would not have been the same without Bright leading the path back to civilization.

However, you can’t help but love the characters of Molly and Huck. They are the true heroes we think of staring in American westerns. Both characters are propelled through life by the morality and code of the old west. When they give their word, they mean it and they don’t abandon their friends, no matter who they may be.

One of my favorite things about Andrew Joyce’s writing is his use of rich descriptions. Through his accounts, I was transported back in time to 1896 Alaska. The gold rush had barely begun and trappers abandoned their traps for the lure of easy money. The visuals of the wilderness, the weather, and the people Huck and Molly met along the way were stunning.

Here is an example of a description that took my breath away:

“…It had stopped snowing by the time twilight crept over the mountain. In gloaming’s grayness, one of the prominences of snow moved slightly. Without warning, as a volcano, it erupted and the man sat upright, throwing off his blanket of snowfall…”

When I read a novel, I want to close my eyes and imagine myself in that setting. Andrew Joyce’s skills in storytelling lead the reader on an amazing adventure where all of your senses come into play. In fact, I have one of those reading hangovers. You know, when the writing touches you and you miss the characters and the story…

Thank goodness, Yellow Hair, another Andrew Joyce historical western is soon to be published. To peak your curiosity, I want to share the author’s note about the new book:

“Every death, murder, battle and outrage that I write about in this book actually took place—from the first to the last. The historical figures that play a role in my story were real people and I used their real names. I conjured up my protagonist only to weave together the various events conveyed in this fact-based tale of fiction.

This is American history.

Andrew Joyce”

Stay tuned! You are going to love Resolution!


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

Author, Andrew Joyce

About Andrew Joyce:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

You can find Andrew on his blog, called Andrew Joyce.wordpress.com, on Twitter @huckfinn76, and on Facebook at Andrew Joyce

Danny the Dog, part-time writer

Don’t forget to follow Andrew’s sidekick, Danny the Dog on Facebook, too. (He wants his share of the attention because he helps do the writing… :D)