Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “A Parting in the Sky” The Forgotten Child Trilogy, Book 3” by Author, Mark W. Sasse, @sassevn

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS

In part three of The Forgotten Child Trilogy, Bee takes her biggest gamble yet with Francis Frick, whisking him to the beginning of it all on the forlorn battlefield of waning World War I. When her plan puts Frick in grave danger, she decides to do whatever is necessary to bring Ash back to earth. 

In the explosive conclusion to The Forgotten Child Trilogy, loyalties are tested and secrets are revealed. From Scotland to Africa to Manhattan to the edge of the earth, the enigmatic beings from beyond have a decision to make. Will they continue to influence the world in surprising ways, or will they be released through the parting in the sky. 

Title: A Parting in the Sky, The Forgotten Child Trilogy, Book 3

Amazon Author Page: Mark W. Sasse

Publication Date: March 20, 2019, **This book releases today**

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Magical Realism, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION

The final book in The Forgotten Child series, “A Parting in the Sky,” wraps up this saga with everything I had hoped for and even more. This unusual series blends magical realism into a high octane adventure. I guarantee you’ve never read a similar series. I know I haven’t!

The characters from the first two books, including Bee and Ash have returned. I think I’ve finally identified Bee as a mischevious child-like angelic soul. Because of her past interference and her use of Francis Frick to find the forgotten children, Bee is banished from her position as a watcher by Zette.

Zette’s character intrigued me. She comes across as a senior angelic soul who in the past saved Ash at great cost to herself. She has great power and Ash isn’t afraid to do battle with her to fix past wrongs.

Ash receives a promotion and he takes over Bee’s position. In the past, he always saved Bee from her mistakes. Now, Ash is determined to complete the mission Bee couldn’t complete in finding the last forgotten child.

There’s plenty of action and suspense as Francis and Hatty attempt to save the people most important to them. Secrets are revealed and everything comes together in the final scenes. What an inspiring read. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions with the final revelations. Make sure you have tissues ready!

I’ve been a fan of Mark Sasse’s fiction for a few years now. The Forgotten Child Trilogy has captured my imagination and my heart. Just make sure to read this series in order so that you understand who the characters are and how they are all connected. Here’s my review of book one, “A Man Too Old, for a Place Too Far.” Here’s my review of book two, “The African Connection.” I received a copy of this book from the author and chose to read and review.

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

Mark W Sasse is a novelist and award-winning playwright and director. He vacillates on a daily basis between which genre of writing he enjoys the most. Luckily, he doesn’t have to choose! Sasse’s novels have been featured on curated sites such as Bookbub and Noisetrade, and his plays have been produced in New York, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney, Australia. His play “The Last Bastion” earned him the 2018 Greywood Arts Winter Writing Residency in Ireland. He is also a three-time winner of the Best Script Award at the Penang Short & Sweet Theatre Festival. His plays have won multiple other awards such as Best Overall Performance and Audience Choice Award. He won the Festival Director’s Award at the 2016 festival.
 

Sasse’s interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – from culture and language – from history and religion, making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy a page-turning good story injected with doses of history, adventure, Asian culture, and unexpected humor.
 

After being an adamant standalone novel advocate, he’s changed his tune and is working on the epic Forgotten Child Trilogy. Book one, A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR, released in December 2017, and the following two books will continue the story in 2018 and 2019. He finally found the story that required more than one book, and he’s thrilled with it. It a crazy mix of magical realism, history, and time travel, wrapped alongside the requisite human stories.
 

As for his plays, he’s fond of both the short play (10 minutes or less) and full-length formats. From 2011-2017 he wrote for and directed the drama ensemble The RLT Players, a passionate group of dramatic storytellers who specialize in the short play format. In September 2016, his experimental theatre piece “How to Build a Dictator” was featured as part of Penangpac’s Black Box Experiments series. His goal is to have it go into full production somewhere in the world. Any takers?
He currently teaches drama in Saudi Arabia.


 HOW DID HE FINALLY GET HIMSELF WRITING?
 

Sasse remembers writing his first play when he was about thirteen. It was about Queen Esther and the only person he ever showed that play to was his mother. In college, he wrote lots of poetry, even love poetry for a certain girl. But once he graduated, his writing confidence was shattered, so he gave it up for the next twenty years. He doesn’t recommend doing that! He went to China to teach English in 1992 and eventually moved to Vietnam to do the same in 1994, shortly after the U.S. lifted the embargo against their former enemy. He lived in the exotic Vietnamese culture with his family for nearly ten years.

After many life-changing experiences, Sasse’s new-found taste for history sent him back to school to pick-up a second Master’s degree, this one in Humanities. This led to a shift from teaching English to history as he moved to Malaysia in 2006. Little did he know, however, that all of this was building up to another major shift which would get him back to writing.

On a whim in 2007, he embarked on a collaborative project with a group of students to write and produce a play, resulting in the original stage play “Monkey Love Potion.” It was such a fun and rewarding experience that he decided to try it again the following year. Before he knew it, he was hooked, and that was the beginning of his love affair with live theatre. After writing and successfully producing four original full-length scripts, he finally got the nerve to try his hand once again at a hidden desire which had defeated him many times over the years – novel writing.
 

In the summer of 2011, he embarked on the journey of writing his first novel. His greatest worry was reaching the magical 50,000-word mark, so he could officially call himself a novelist. When the story, “Beauty Rising,” clocked in at over 60,000 words, he was shocked and happy. But not content. He didn’t know what to do with the novel, and he convinced himself that it would sit idle until he wrote a second novel. He hated hearing the words “one-hit wonder” echo in his head. So in the summer of 2012, he wrote “The Recluse Storyteller.”

Feeling a little more confident, he decided to focus on exposing his work to the public in order to receive some feedback. In December 2012, he independently published “Beauty Rising.” When the first review from an online book reviewer was posted, and it was over-the-top positive, he was flying high, and if he never wrote another word in his life, he would have been content. But that contentment was not to be. He was now hopelessly hooked on both playwriting and novel writing, and he hasn’t looked back since.

He has published five novels with six already finished and ready for publication in 2017. Number seven will be his first sequel and will be available sometime in 2018. He is grateful to all the readers who have joined him on this journey of creativity.
 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

Sasse loves to cook everything from pizza to Thai. He’s coached softball or baseball for the past ten years, and he’s been a much too loyal fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates since he was nine years old—another item he’s hopelessly hooked on. He enjoys traveling, visiting historical sites, and sitting by the beach or other scenic spot with a laptop, an idea, and a lot of time. He has a lovely wife and three wonderful children and one really cool son-in-law – he’s Korean, keeping with the Asian theme of his life. He has an active blog (www.mwsasse.com) where he frequently writes about history, writing, culture, and life. He loves to hear from readers, so he hopes you’ll stop by his site and say “hello.”
 

The Complete List of Published Works by Mark W Sasse
NOVELS
The African Connection (The Forgotten Child Book 2) (2018)
A Man too Old for a Place too Far (The Forgotten Child Book 1) (2017)
Which Half David: A Modern-day King David Story (2016)
A Love Story for a Nation (2015)
The Reach of the Banyan Tree (2014)
The Recluse Storyteller (2013)
Beauty Rising (2012)

PLAYS
The Folly of Progress (2017)
The Last Bastion (2017)
How to Build a Dictator (2016)
The Secrets of the Magic Pool (2016)
Grandparents’ War (2013)
Romans on the Couch (2011)
 

SHORT STORIES
The Hundred Pitch At-Bat (2017)
Christmas in the Trenches, 1914 (2016)
If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story (2014)

How to Connect with the Author

Facebook: Author Mark W. Sasse 

Blog:  MW Sasse.com

Twitter: @sassevn

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Just an Odd Job Girl,” by Author, Sally Cronin, @sgc58

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

Amazon.com

Title: Just an Odd Job Girl

Amazon Author Page: Sally Cronin

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

When fifty-year-old Imogene Smythe (Baxter) is replaced by another woman (a fast-tracker), the reality of her divorce to Peter sends her life into a tailspin. For the last twenty years or so, this middle-aged woman has dedicated her life to raising her family.

After the divorce, Imogene’s left with too much time on her hands. After all, how many cartons of ice cream can one woman wallow in? Don’t answer that question!

An industrious sort, the divorcee decides to get a job, even though her resume shows she hasn’t worked in years. She visits a temp agency and proceeds to fill out her resume which sends the reader on a hilarious romp into Imogene’s past employment history. I’m a night reader and a few times I laughed so hard I woke up my husband!

At the office, Andrew, a placement agent, is charmed by Imogene’s pleasant personality as she details the jobs, locations, her bosses, and many of the customers she took care of. This journey into her past causes her self-worth to skyrocket and her confidence blooms. Not only does Imogene find herself, but she also finds true happiness.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. The author is a consummate storyteller and her writing skills are evident. The premise was brilliant and from start, to finish, the story is told with enough pathos and humor to make Imogene a role model for all middle-aged women who find themselves starting over from scratch.

I did receive this story as a gift. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share my thoughts.

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
Author, Sally Cronin

About the Author:

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics, and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70 kilos. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course, come back for more.

REVIEWS are so very important for an author and I am very grateful for the feedback that my books receive. If you have purchased or been gifted one of my books I would love to hear what you think about it. I do have some areas that you can help me with so that I can develop as a writer and it is in this post:

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

TWITTER@sgc58

FACEBOOKSally Cronin

I couldn’t put this book down!
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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Voyage of the Lanternfish” by Author, @Virgilante, C. S. Boyack

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS

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.

  Amazon.com

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

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION

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?

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
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. 

~Craig~

How to Connect with the Author

Blog 

My Novels  

Twitter 

Goodreads 

Facebook 

Pinterest 

BookBub

Amazon Author Page US

ONE OF MY FAVORITE NEW READS! #RECOMMENDED
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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series Book 2)” by Author, @VashtiQV

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

Amazon.com

Title:  Son of the Serpent (Fantasy Angels Series Book 2)

Amazon Author Page: Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Publication Date: November 9, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Occult

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

The second book in the Fantasy Angel Series, “Son of the Serpent” begins where the first book left off. The abandoned son of Lilith and Satan, Dracul, awakens in a forest, not far from the cave where he was left to die.

Dracul’s name gives the reader a hint as to how he must survive – by draining the blood of animals for sustenance. Being all alone, the young man craves love and attention. He sets off in search of his mother, trying to understand how she could abandon her child.

This novel is written in the first-person, the chapters fluctuating between Dracul’s viewpoint and that of his mother, Lilith. At first, I thought this perspective was limited, but on further reflection, I realized the author’s motivation.

Most Bible tales are not told in the first person. Instead, they are retellings of past events, written by someone who was not present when the incidents occurred. However, this author chose to tell her story from the perspective of Dracul and his mother. In this way, the reader has the opportunity to understand the (perceived) character’s feelings and motivations, as if they were walking alongside them. I found this attitude to be refreshing.

The reader also takes a deep dive into the psyche of a creature conceived by two demon parents. Initially, Dracul is drawn toward the light instead of the dark, setting up great tension in his quest for justice. His pain accelerates and eventually, the man becomes obsessed with vengeance.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this tale is all love and light. The story is dark as pitch even as it skillfully weaves in characters and events from the Bible. I thought the ending was spectacular!

Some of the characters from the first book appear in the second book, tying the storyline together. My advice: read book one first. In fact, you can check out my review of “The Fall of Lilith,” HERE. I highly recommend both books!

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
Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega

About the Author:

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

How to Connect with the Author:

BLOGThe Writer Next Door

TWITTERhttp://twitter.com/VashtiQV

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGEhttp://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

GOOGLE+https://plus.google.com/+VashtiQVega

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/vashtiq/

This was a Bloody GOOD read!
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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Emerging from Shadows,” by Author, Balroop Singh

December is Poetry Book Review Month

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

From darkness into light, from despair onto the wider ways of hope… life oscillates between sunshine and shadows. Emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies dormant, which can be gently inspired by self-talk. Each poem in this book banks on the hope of emerging stronger, saner, positive and resilient. Each poem in this book would talk to you, revealing layers of enclosed emotions. Each poem would divulge a secret path that could lead you into the world of poise and serenity.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

Amazon.com

Title: Emerging from Shadows: Poetry by Balroop Singh

Amazon Author Page: Balroop Singh

Publication Date: July 21, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Poetry, Teen & Young Adult, Literature, Literature & Fiction

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

“Emerging from Shadows,” is filled with the prose of a woman who has broken free from the shackles of life. The majority of her writings are uplifting and positive illustrating the power of positive thinking.

Free verse poems do not follow the rules. They have no rhyme or rhythm but are still considered to be an artistic expression. Several of the author’s poems meet these criteria. Nevertheless, the messages are strong and true leading the reader to experience the world through her eyes.

The themes that circulate throughout this compilation are that of self-worth, healing, and letting go of the past. Several passages read like personal affirmations filled with hope to lead the reader from the darkness into the light. 

MY RATING:

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

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System
Author & Poet, Balroop Singh

About the Author:

Balroop Singh, is an educationalist, a poet, and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will!

The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’

She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls.

She lives in San Ramon California. You can visit her blog at http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Emotional-Shadows-151387075057971/

Twitter: Balroop Singh @BalroopShado

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “What’s in a Name, Volume Two,” by Author, Sally Cronin

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.

Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son. 

Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.

In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.

Title: What’s in a Name, Volume Two, Stories of Life & Romance

Amazon Author Page: Sally Cronin

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories & Anthologies, Romance

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I read and reviewed What’s in a Name, Volume One HERE. This second volume continues where the first book left off. The first story begins with “Kenneth,” and the rest of the stories flow through to “Zoe.” The author includes a bonus story at the end called, “The Village Square.”

Prepare to be transported into the lives of the many personalities, Sally Cronin creates, inspired by a first name only. Each person’s name has a different tale to tell or life to lead, all carefully constructed to draw the reader into their experiences. Linking the stories together are the themes of romance and family. Need I say more?

I’m a great fan of short stories and find them some of the most satisfying bedtime reading there is. But, this book offered more than that. Sally Cronin writes in such a way that she evokes a range of emotions from the reader.

On numerous occasions, I couldn’t help but cheer or cry for several of the characters. The writing touched my heart.

Many of the stories are filled with plenty of sudden developments that will leave you guessing. Some, I couldn’t even attempt to guess the ending, which I found to be a special gift to the reader. Each story is character driven, and the author skillfully reels you in until a satisfying end is reached.

My favorite story was called, Queenie, who after the death of her husband, finds her way forward by taking on a project that matters most to her – her granddaughter’s happiness. Queenie’s granddaughter, Penny, is a psychiatrist and unmarried. 

Nana (Queenie) decides that she must help her find a husband before she is called to her husband’s side in the great beyond. Of course, there are plenty of shenanigans that take place, but the underlying truths that unfold touched me deeply. This is the author’s style – she allows you to feel her stories.

The “What’s in a Name,” two book series, has proved to be one of my most favorite short story compilations. I’ll reread these stories, and greet them like long lost friends. Believe me; there’s something here for everyone!

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
Sally Cronin – Author & Blogging Community Organizer

About the Author:

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics, and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70 kilos. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course, come back for more.

REVIEWS are so very important for an author and I am very grateful for the feedback that my books receive. If you have purchased or been gifted one of my books I would love to hear what you think about it. I do have some areas that you can help me with so that I can develop as a writer and it is in this post:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/how-can-we-encourage-more-readers-to-leave-reviews-for-our-books/

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

social media tree-200795_640

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

TWITTER@sgc58

FACEBOOKSally Cronin

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.

The Literary Diva's Library

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.

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Don’t forget to join us in the #ABRSC, Author Blogger Rainbow Support Club on Facebook. See you there! ❤

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Lady’s Slipper,” by Author, Deborah Swift

book review logo

Title: The Lady’s Slipper (Westmorland, Book One)

Amazon Author Page: Deborah Swift

Publication Date: August 20, 2016

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Literature & Fiction, British & Irish, Sagas, Historical Romance

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

A sweeping historical novel of orchids, obsession, and murder 

England 1660
When artist Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the lady’s-slipper, growing in a nearby wood, she is captivated by its beauty. It is the last surviving specimen and she wants to preserve it for future generations. There is only one problem – it is growing on the land of Richard Wheeler, a newly-converted Quaker, who will not allow her to touch it.
Fearing for the flower’s fragility, she steals the orchid, little dreaming that this seemingly simple act will set off an unstoppable chain of events – a web of intrigue that will lead to murder and exile, and change her comfortable life forever.
‘Compelling and intriguing, this is a well-told story full of wonderful prose and surprising events. It’s a vivid addition to the genre’. –RT BookReviews
“It is a genuinely engrossing story, with characters you can get interested in.” –The Mum website

MY RECOMMENDATION:

As a gardening enthusiast, I was drawn to this book because of the rare orchid. The book blurb literally drew me in.

The time period centers on the Quaker Revolution in Great Britain, a time period I was not familiar with. The orchid becomes the catalyst that moves the story forward in strange and unusual ways.

Alice Ibbetson, an artist who paints flowers and plants, is still grieving from the death of her little sister. Her neighbor, Richard Wheeler, a newly converted Quaker, shares the existence of the rare lady’s slipper orchid with Alice. The plant was long thought to have been extinct in England.

Alice pleads with Richard to let her dig up the orchid in order to protect it. Richard refuses, and Alice takes matters into her own hands and steals the flower hoping to save it, with the idea that she could grow more.

Richard is outraged and bound and determined to prove that she took the flower. Fearing for her life, Alice enlists the help of an overbearing lord who desires the flower as a cure for a disease he’s suffered from his entire life.

Trusting no one, Alice plots a way to preserve the plant, but thoughts of war are sweeping the land. Soon, Alice and Richard find themselves immersed in the conflict. They are sucked in by the trickery of the greedy lord, while Alice’s maid works her intentions on Alice’s husband and wealth.

There was sex in the book, so be prepared for the author’s portrayal of the raw realities of life during this time period which underscores the people’s affinity for believing the worst in people. This also illustrates the power their religion held over them. The story reads like a tragedy, although karma brings the story to a satisfying close.

I found “The Lady’s Slipper” to be entertaining and a real page-turner. If you love Historical Romance filled with intrigue, this is one book you will enjoy.

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

61N8-wvGZdL._US230_Author, Deborah Swift

About the Author:

Thanks for visiting my author page! As you read this I’ll probably be writing from my tall stone house which was once a school and built in 1902. This is a house that is “new” in English terms, as many of our local villages date back to the 1630’s or even earlier.

I write historical fiction, a genre I love. I loved the Victorian classics such as Jane Eyre, Little Women, Lorna Doone, and Wuthering Heights. As I child I loved to read and when I had read my own library books, I used to borrow my mother’s library copies of Anya Seton and Daphne du Maurier. I have loved reading historical novels ever since; though I’m a bookaholic and I read widely – contemporary and classic fiction as well as historicals.

In the past, I used to work as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, so I enjoy the research aspect of creating historical fiction, something I loved doing as a scenographer. Each book takes about six months of research before I am ready to begin writing. More details of my research and writing process can be found on my website. I like to write about extraordinary characters set against the background of real historical events.

I live in North Lancashire on the edge of the Lake District, an area made famous by the Romantic Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.

I took an MA in Creative Writing in 2007 and now teach classes and courses in writing, and offer editorial advice from my home.

The Lady’s Slipper (shortlisted for the Impress Prize)
The Gilded Lily
A Divided Inheritance
Past Encounters

The Pepys Trilogy:
Pleasing Mr Pepys
A Plague on Mr Pepys
Entertaining Mr Pepys

The Highway Trilogy for Young Adults:
Shadow on the Highway
Spirit of the Highway
Lady of the Highway

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How to Connect with the Author:

Blog:  deborahswift.com
Twitter:  @swiftstory

have a good week Thanks for stopping by to meet Deborah Swift. See you next week. ❤

 

follow me on bookbub 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 – “What’s in a Name, Volume I,” by Author, Sally Cronin

book reviews

Title: What’s in a Name ~ Colorful Tales, Volume I

Amazon Author Page: Sally Cronin

Publication Date: February 2, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Short Stories & Anthologies, Literature & Fiction, Single Authors, Short Stories

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet. There are classical names such as Adam, David, and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives. Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I love short story collections. There is something about the brevity of words that appeals to my senses, especially when there is a theme that we all can relate to. Think about it. We all have a name, but many of us have no idea why our parents chose that name or the possible stories behind that name.

Sally Cronin tackles this naming issue. In What’s in a Name, each chapter is titled by the name of its main character, leading the reader on a journey of discovery. Every name has a tale to tell, and under the brilliant creativity of this author, each name takes on a personality of its own.

My favorite story was that of “Diana,” a kind woman who choose a husband that proved to be a scoundrel in every sense of the word. With a little help from her family, Diana reaches into her heart and finds the courage to stand up to her husband’s abuse. The pacing of this story is marvelous and carries the reader to a satisfying end.

This compilation of stories covers a wide range of genres. There is something here for everyone. I read these stories a few at a time, savoring the emotions the stories evoked within me. This was my first read by this author, and I look forward to more of her writing. I was thrilled to find that the second volume of What’s in a Name ~ Tales of Life & Romance had already been written. Needless to say, I’ve already purchased my copy.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of What’s in a Name, Volume I as a gift from the author.

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:

71vvOP1It2L._US230_

Author, Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics, and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

REVIEWS are so very important for an author and I am very grateful for the feedback that my books receive. If you have purchased or been gifted one of my books I would love to hear what you think about it. I do have some areas that you can help me with so that I can develop as a writer and it is in this post:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/how-can-we-encourage-more-readers-to-leave-reviews-for-our-books/

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

icon-2486501_1920

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

TWITTER: @sgc58

FACEBOOK: Sally Cronin

bedtime readingThanks for stopping by to meet Sally and to hear about her book, What’s in a Name. This book is fabulous bedtime reading! ❤

follow me on bookbub If you have your book posted on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro)

The Literary Divas Library facebook

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.

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Don’t forget to join us in the #ABRSC, Author Blogger Rainbow Support Club on Facebook. See you there! ❤

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Devil’s Lake, (Bittersweet Hollow, Book 1),” by Author, Aaron Paul Lazar

book reviews

Title: Devil’s Lake (Bittersweet Hollow, Book 1)

Amazon Author Page: Aaron Paul Lazar

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Audible – unabridged

FREE Kindle & FREE Audible

Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family’s Vermont horse farm—only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother’s cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm.

The man Boone has become frightens her to near paralysis, but she’s too traumatized and physically devastated to put up a fight. Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a twelve-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can—try to help her heal.

He summons the town doctor and Portia’s parents and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again. Through her family’s love and Boone’s gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way.

But one thing threatens her fragile hopes for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he’d kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her…waiting to make a deadly move.”
NOTE: This book contains explicit sexual content. For adults only!

Bittersweet Hollow (Romantic Suspense Series)

Book 1: Devil’s Lake
Book 2: Devil’s Creek
Book 3: Devil’s Spring

MY RECOMMENDATION:

This isn’t my favorite genre, and I really recoiled when I read the book blurb. However, I had promised the author that I would read and review this book which I won in a Facebook contest.

Guess what? I couldn’t put the book down! I won’t lie, it was difficult reading about Portia’s kidnapping and the psychological terror she withstood at the hands of a madman.

However, Lazar balances the horror and suspense in such a way that I didn’t cringe at every page turn. He chooses his descriptions carefully as if he had Portia’s feelings in mind as he wrote.

The introduction of Boone, her childhood friend, softens the harsh edges of the story. Immediately, you can feel the connection between the two characters even though Portia is nowhere near ready to become involved in a relationship.

Portia’s sister Grace, who has her own problems and issues to deal with, displays an inner strength and fortitude in the face of danger that I found admirable. The two sisters are direct opposites who play off each other’s personalities all the way to the explosive ending.

If you’re in the mood for something different, Devil’s Lake will deliver in the mystery and suspense department. The story is creative and I couldn’t predict what would happen next. But beware. There is explicit sexual content. I didn’t find anything offensive so don’t let that put you off.

I’m interested in the rest of the series as I would like to see where this author’s creativity takes the characters and the continuing story.

The Kindle book and the Audible version are listed as FREE. For a few hours of great entertainment, you can’t go wrong.

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

719ePvpZMDL._UX250_

Author, Aaron Paul Lazar

About the Author:

Aaron Paul Lazar is obsessed with writing. He’s completed twenty-seven books to date and has earned twenty literary book awards. He writes mysteries, suspense, love stories, and more. You’ll usually find him writing his heart out in the early hours of the day – preferably in the dark, quiet hours when no one else is awake in his bustling household. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com to sign up for a free book and to learn about future deals.

GET YOUR FREE COPY OF DEVIL’S LAKE AT WWW.LAZARBOOKS.COM!

READ MORE: 

Aaron Paul Lazar wasn’t always a mystery writer. It wasn’t until eight members of his family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. “When my father died, I lost it. I needed an outlet, and writing provided the kind of solace I couldn’t find elsewhere.”

Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ, a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like Lazar’s father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a “Renaissance man caught in the 21st century.” There are twelve books to date in this series.

The creation of the series lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he now lives, breathes, and dreams about his characters, and has written eleven LeGarde mysteries in addition to four other series.

One day while rototilling his gardens, Lazar unearthed a green cat’s eye marble, which prompted the paranormal mystery series featuring Sam Moore, retired country doctor and passionate gardener. The green marble, a powerful talisman, connects all three of the books in the series, whisking Sam back in time to uncover his brother’s dreadful fate fifty years earlier. (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BILLY MOORE, TERROR COMES KNOCKING, and FOR KEEPS)

Lazar’s books feature breathless chase scenes, nasty villains, and taut suspense, but are also intensely human stories, replete with kids, dogs, horses, food, romance, and humor. The author calls them, “country mysteries,” although reviewers have dubbed them “literary mysteries.”

“It seems as though every image ever impressed upon my brain finds its way into my work. Whether it’s the light dancing through stained-glass windows in a Parisian chapel, curly slate-green lichen covering a boulder at the edge of a pond in Maine, or hoarfrost dangling from a cherry tree branch in mid-winter, these images burrow into my memory cells. In time they bubble back, persistently itching until they are poured out on the page.”

In 2009, Kodak laid him off after 28 years of service, and during the year he had off (before he landed in his job with KB America) he had time to explore and reconnect with his environment. Little did he know that several trips to the Adirondack Mountains would reawaken his passion for that part of the country. A new romantic mystery series was started entitled Tall Pines Mysteries: FOR THE BIRDS, ESSENTIALLY YOURS, SANCTUARY, and BETRAYAL.

In between all the novels, Lazar published three short writing guides based on his many years of writing advice blogs, entitled WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1-3. These are available in eBook and audiobook formats.

In his twenty-first book, Lazar has jumped genre. THE SEACREST: a love story, now the winner of many literary awards, is poised to capture hearts across the globe. Book 1 in the Paines Creek Beach novels (set on Cape Cod), this also launched a series and is followed by THE SEACROFT and THE SEADOG.

When the news was filled with stories about the girls captured for ten years by that monster in Cleveland (you know who he was…), Lazar was compelled to write a book to honor the women involved. Thus was born the Bittersweet Hollow romantic suspense series, featuring award-winning DEVIL’S LAKE, DEVIL’S CREEK, and DEVIL’S SPRING.

The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, daughter Allison, two little grandsons, two dogs, and four cats. With a total of six grandkids now, he finds grandfathering to be one of the most precious and important times of life and spends as much time as possible with Julian, Gordon, Isabella, Christopher, Luke, and Joey.

Lazar has been featured in many magazines and newspapers and has given dozens of radio interviews over the years.

Summary of series:

LEGARDE MYSTERIES (country mysteries set in the Finger Lakes)

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES (mysteries with time travel and a ghost)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES (sensual women’s mysteries set in the Adirondacks)

PAINES CREEK BEACH SERIES (love stories by the sea)

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW SERIES (romantic suspense involving kidnapping)

LEGARDE MYSTERIES
1. DOUBLE FORTÉ
2. UPSTAGED
3. MAZURKA
4. FIRESONG
5. TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON
6. DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU
7. THE LIAR’S GALLERY
8. SPIRIT ME AWAY
9. UNDER THE ICE
10. LADY BLUES
11. VOODOO SUMMER
12. MURDER ON THE BREWSTER FLATS
THE LEGARDE MYSTERIES OMNIBUS

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BILLY MOORE (formerly Healey’s Cave)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING
FOR KEEPS

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS
ESSENTIALLY YOURS
SANCTUARY
BETRAYAL
TALL PINES BOOK SET

PAINES CREEK BEACH, love stories
THE SEACREST
THE SEACROFT
THE SEADOG

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW, romantic suspense
DEVIL’S LAKE
DEVIL’S CREEK
DEVIL’S SPRING

WRITING GUIDES
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 1
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 2
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 3

AWARDS:

Devil’s Lake
• 2015 Finalist Readers’ Favorites Awards
• 2015 Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards

The Seacrest
• 2015 Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards
• 2014 Best Beach Book Festival WINNER, Romance category
• 2013 ForeWord Book Awards, Romance, FINALIST

The Seadog
• 2016 Best Indie Book Awards, Romance, WINNER

Double Forté
• 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, Mystery, FINALIST

Tremolo: cry of the loon –
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction
• 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary
• 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place Mystery
• 2008 Yolanda Renée’s Top Ten Books
• 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads

For the Birds
• 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery
• 2012 Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top 10 Reads

Essentially Yours
• 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

The Disappearance of Billy Moore (formerly titled Healey’s Cave)
• 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
• 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
• 2011 Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice
• 2011 Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (not Nobel!) Prize for Literature
• 2011 Finalists for Global EBook Awards

Terror Comes Knocking
• 2013 Global Ebook Awards, Paranormal – Bronze

For Keeps
• 2013 Semi Finalist in Kindle Book Review Book Awards, Mystery Category

Spirit Me Away
• 2014 AuthorsdB book cover contest, Silver medal.

Under the Ice
• 2015 AuthorsdB “Bronze” Cover Award

 

icon-2486501_1920

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: lazarbooks.com, murderby4.blogspot.comaaronlazar.blogspot.com

Contact him at author@lazarbooks.com.

TWITTER: @aplazar

FACEBOOK: Aaron Paul Lazar

Smashing good timeThanks for stopping by to meet Aaron Paul Lazar. Check out Devil’s Lake. It’s a great read!

The Literary Divas Library facebook

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.

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Don’t forget to join us in the #ABRSC, Author Blogger Rainbow Support Club on Facebook. See you there! ❤

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The African Connection,” by Author, Mark W. Sasse

book reviews

Title: The African Connection, The Forgotten Child Trilogy, Book 2

Amazon Author Page: Mark W. Sasse

Publication Date: July 6, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Magical Realism, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Fantasy

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Fruit, Faeries, & Fascist Dictators. The Adventure Continues.

“In part two of The Forgotten Child Trilogy, enigmatic beings from the realm beyond—Bee & Ash—team up once again with old Manhattan businessman Francis Frick. Joined by a mysterious new recruit, Frick must fight to bring Ulrich to justice and continue searching for the truth about the forgotten child.

A child has been saved, but with international master criminal Heinrich Ulrich still on the lam, no one is content—not Bee, not Ash, and most certainly not Francis Frick. As the FBI closes in on Frick’s dealings, Bee decides to recruit young Hatty Parker to help Frick exact revenge on Ulrich and search for another child to save. But when Bee’s actions begin to worry the realm beyond, her old nemesis returns to earth to thwart her plans and pit her against her beloved companion Ash, leaving Frick and his new side-kick to play dangerous time-travel games with a genocidal maniac.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I’ve been a fan of Mark Sasse’s fiction for a few years now. The Forgotten Child Trilogy has captured my imagination and my heart. Just make sure to read this series in order so that you understand who the characters are. Here’s my review of book one, “A Man Too Old, for a Place Too Far.”

Bee and Ash are back! Bee still comes across as a mischevious child-like angelic creature while Ash remains the adult, always saving Bee from her mistakes. In this second book,  the author adds more depth to these characters, expanding the mystery of who they actually are. I sense them to be some other type of godly creature, there to help right the wrongs of man.

Yet, in this book, Bee and Ash display distinctly human characteristics such as pain, sorrow, and guilt. This emotional thread weaves through the other characters in the story. There were a few eye-opening revelations that left me wanting more. Some secrets are revealed while others leave you asking more questions.

And, if that doesn’t increase the intrigue enough for the reader, Sasse adds to the mix by revealing tiny details of the connection between Frances Frick and Heinrich Ulrich. There is still more of this story to be told and I look forward to the exciting conclusion.

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the author.

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

Mark Sasse

Author, Mark W. Sasse

About the Author:

Mark W Sasse is a novelist and award-winning playwright and director. He vacillates on a daily basis between which genre of writing he enjoys the most. Luckily, he doesn’t have to choose! Sasse’s novels have been featured on curated sites such as Bookbub and Noisetrade, and his plays have been produced in New York, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney, Australia. His play “The Last Bastion” earned him the 2018 Greywood Arts Winter Writing Residency in Ireland. He is also a three-time winner of the Best Script Award at the Penang Short & Sweet Theatre Festival. His plays have won multiple other awards such as Best Overall Performance and Audience Choice Award. He won the Festival Director’s Award at the 2016 festival.

Sasse’s interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – from culture and language – from history and religion, making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy a page-turning good story injected with doses of history, adventure, Asian culture, and unexpected humor.

After being an adamant standalone novel advocate, he’s changed his tune and is working on the epic Forgotten Child Trilogy. Book one, A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR, released in December 2017, and the following two books will continue the story in 2018 and 2019. He finally found the story that required more than one book, and he’s thrilled with it. It a crazy mix of magical realism, history, and time travel, wrapped alongside the requisite human stories.

As for his plays, he’s fond of both the short play (10 minutes or less) and full-length formats. From 2011-2017 he wrote for and directed the drama ensemble The RLT Players, a passionate group of dramatic storytellers who specialize in the short play format. In September 2016, his experimental theatre piece “How to Build a Dictator” was featured as part of Penangpac’s Black Box Experiments series. His goal is to have it go into full production somewhere in the world. Any takers?

He currently teaches drama in Saudi Arabia.

HOW DID HE FINALLY GET HIMSELF WRITING?

Sasse remembers writing his first play when he was about thirteen. It was about Queen Esther and the only person he ever showed that play to was his mother. In college, he wrote lots of poetry, even love poetry for a certain girl. But once he graduated, his writing confidence was shattered, so he gave it up for the next twenty years. He doesn’t recommend doing that! He went to China to teach English in 1992 and eventually moved to Vietnam to do the same in 1994, shortly after the U.S. lifted the embargo against their former enemy. He lived in the exotic Vietnamese culture with his family for nearly ten years. After many life-changing experiences, Sasse’s new-found taste for history sent him back to school to pick-up a second Master’s degree, this one in Humanities. This led to a shift from teaching English to history as he moved to Malaysia in 2006. Little did he know, however, that all of this was building up to another major shift which would get him back to writing.

On a whim in 2007, he embarked on a collaborative project with a group of students to write and produce a play, resulting in the original stage play “Monkey Love Potion.” It was such a fun and rewarding experience that he decided to try it again the following year. Before he knew it, he was hooked, and that was the beginning of his love affair with live theatre. After writing and successfully producing four original full-length scripts, he finally got the nerve to try his hand once again at a hidden desire which had defeated him many times over the years – novel writing.

In the summer of 2011, he embarked on the journey of writing his first novel. His greatest worry was reaching the magical 50,000-word mark, so he could officially call himself a novelist. When the story, “Beauty Rising,” clocked in at over 60,000 words, he was shocked and happy. But not content. He didn’t know what to do with the novel, and he convinced himself that it would sit idle until he wrote a second novel. He hated hearing the words “one-hit wonder” echo in his head. So in the summer of 2012, he wrote “The Recluse Storyteller.”

Feeling a little more confident, he decided to focus on exposing his work to the public in order to receive some feedback. In December 2012, he independently published “Beauty Rising.” When the first review from an online book reviewer was posted, and it was over-the-top positive, he was flying high, and if he never wrote another word in his life, he would have been content. But that contentment was not to be. He was now hopelessly hooked on both playwriting and novel writing, and he hasn’t looked back since.

He has published five novels with six already finished and ready for publication in 2017. Number seven will be his first sequel and will be available sometime in 2018. He is grateful to all the readers who have joined him on this journey of creativity.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

Sasse loves to cook everything from pizza to Thai. He’s coached softball or baseball for the past ten years, and he’s been a much too loyal fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates since he was nine years old—another item he’s hopelessly hooked on. He enjoys traveling, visiting historical sites, and sitting by the beach or other scenic spot with a laptop, an idea, and a lot of time. He has a lovely wife and three wonderful children and one really cool son-in-law – he’s Korean, keeping with the Asian theme of his life. He has an active blog (www.mwsasse.com) where he frequently writes about history, writing, culture, and life. He loves to hear from readers, so he hopes you’ll stop by his site and say “hello.”

The Complete List of Published Works by Mark W Sasse

NOVELS
The African Connection (The Forgotten Child Book 2) (2018)
A Man too Old for a Place too Far (The Forgotten Child Book 1) (2017)
Which Half David: A Modern-day King David Story (2016)
A Love Story for a Nation (2015)
The Reach of the Banyan Tree (2014)
The Recluse Storyteller (2013)
Beauty Rising (2012)

PLAYS
The Folly of Progress (2017)
The Last Bastion (2017)
How to Build a Dictator (2016)
The Secrets of the Magic Pool (2016)
Grandparents’ War (2013)
Romans on the Couch (2011)

SHORT STORIES
The Hundred Pitch At-Bat (2017)
Christmas in the Trenches, 1914 (2016)
If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story (2014)

 

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How to Connect with the Author

Facebook at Author Mark W. Sasse 

blog at MW Sasse.com

 

Easy RiderThanks for stopping by to meet Mark Sasse. If you love magical realism, you will want to read The Lost Child Trilogy!

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