Colleen’s Book Reviews

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Since our move, I’ve read a few books I’d like to share to get caught up on my reviews. I’ll post each one to Amazon, GoodReads, & BookBub.


The Rise of Gadreel is the third and final book in Vashti Q. Vega’s Fantasy Angel Series.

Using the blackest of magic, Lucifer, a.k.a. Satan figures a way out of his earthly prison by infiltrating a corrupt priesthood. As expected, it isn’t long before a terrible new evil invades the world.

Tired of the fight, Gadreel only wants to repent her past sins and find peace. She seeks God’s forgiveness, regretting her decision to fight alongside Lilith and Lucifer and the other fallen angels. She knows it’s now up to her and Dracúl to fight this new terror and to save humanity.

Along with a trio of extraordinary allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel finds the courage to defy her past and create a new future for herself and the world.

I’ve loved each book in this series, but Gadreel’s story was the most soul satisfying for me. The writing is riveting, and I read long into the night. The author weaves her magic by combining historical facts from the Dark Ages, along with a few tales from the Bible to create a story like no other.

Written from both the protagonist and antagonist views, the reader glimpses the battle between good and evil first hand—but not for the faint of heart. There were a few parts that made me squirm. Yet, in the end, I was sad to let the characters go. A must read unforgettable series!

My Recommendation:

I was thrilled to receive The Magician’s Soul: A Paranormal Romance (The Great Dagmaru Book 3) from Linda G. Hill as an advanced reader’s copy. I’ve enjoyed the entire series, and couldn’t wait to see what this third and final installment would bring.

Herman and Stephen have a wedding to plan—that is, if Herman’s recurring nightmares would go away. Her history of prophetic dreams takes the couple on a wild ride.

Herman also has to deal with her father’s alter ego, Mona Lisa, whose character definitely creeped me out. When her cousin Rudy shows up, the couple learns that she’s a succubus who vows to help Herman come to grips with her own bloodline. The only problem is, Rudy is used to taking what she wants and when she sets her sights on Stephen, the book takes off with a bang!

The author weaves in some serious magical aspects into this story that I never guessed or saw coming. Look for Herman’s dreams to connect her and Stephen in new ways. Besides the magic, the actual story is the love shared between Herman and Stephen.

Another book I couldn’t put down! This series is one of the most unusual I’ve read.

My Recommendation:

I received Diversion, Breaking the Pattern #2, as a gift from the author in a Facebook Group contest. P.D. Workman was a new author for me, and even though this is the second book in the series, I had no difficulty following the story line.

Meet Sandy, a teenage prostitute, junkie, and con-artist raised to a life of crime by her own father. Really, all Sandy wants is to be normal. As things continue to grow more dangerous for her, the young woman struggles to come to grips with her life choices.

I was impressed with the writing, and how smoothly Sandy’s tale flowed. The author had to go to great lengths to learn about life on the streets in order to make this story work like it did. The trials and tribulations of Sandy’s life kept me guessing until the end.

If you love stories with strong female protagonists who fail forward to become a better version of themselves, this story will capture your heart. Sandy was an unforgettable character. I lost hours in this book!

My Recommendation:

Since I enjoyed P.D. Workman’s writing from the crime drama above, I tried one of her cozy mysteries, called Gluten Free Murder (Auntie Clem’s Bakery Book 1).

Erin moves back to the small town of Eagle Falls to start up a gluten-free bakery in her aunt’s store after she passed away. Everything is going great until the grand opening when Angela Plaint, the owner of the rival bakery down the street, dies after eating one of Erin’s cupcakes.

Erin becomes the prime suspect in Angela’s death. To make matters worse, even Detective Terry Piper thinks she’s guilty until a series of break-ins at the bakery steer them in another direction.

Small towns are filled with gossip, and Eagle Falls is no different. Soon the rumors about treasure hunting, drug dealing, and a missing boy propel Erin into a mystery she must solve before the actual killer finds her!

If you find your life in turmoil, grab a cozy mystery to pass the time and to forget your woes. This book is FREE, and I found the mystery to be a good read as it remained true to its genre.

To be honest, I preferred the crime drama to the cozy mystery, but you be the judge.

My Recommendation:

This book explores the actual experiences of two friends through letters as they scrutinize the mysteries of ancient Britain’s (Albion) medieval churches. Sue Vincent and Stuart France are the co-authors.

Don and Wen are characters in The Initiate (Triad of Albion Book 1), the first of nine books that tell the full story of what became a true spiritual journey. This book stands alone as a practical guide of how to listen for and to interpret the voice of the living land and its history from a unique perspective.

I enjoyed the relationship between Don and Wen written in the epistolary format. These letters are an intimate glimpse into their friendship and their love for British history. They seek to understand the sacred sites by understanding their purpose.

Ancient symbols are powerful reminders of the ancients who came before us. What better way to seek wisdom than through the churches built during Anglo-Saxon times? The remnants of the Vikings, depicted through Odin’s thunderbolts, the images of the horse and the white horse are only a few of the symbols discussed. It is apparent that Christianity and Paganism crossed many paths.

Through their travels, the two friends open themselves to all that is magical, questioning and seeking wisdom. In their discussions of time, death, and rebirth I found solace. At times, their research led them to more questions which could only be resolved through further esoteric discussions which let to another road trip!

I found the book filled with information, sometimes more than I could digest in one sitting. But it is their knowledge that kept drawing me back to reread sections more than once. I look forward to the second book in Don and Wen’s spiritual quest.


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

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance – The Great Dagmaru Book 1 “ by Author, Linda G. Hill

  • Title: The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance The Great Dagmaru Book 1
  • Amazon Author Page
  • File Size: 698 KB
  • Print Length: 258 Pages
  • Publisher: LG Hill
  • Publication Date: June 27, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0721ZH2KN
  • ISBN-10: 0994891229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0994891228
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0994891229
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Genre Fiction, Gothic, Paranormal Romance

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


“When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love. Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins? Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.”


A demon incubus passed from generation to generation and handed down from father to son is the creative genius of Canadian author, Linda G. Hill. In, The Magician’s Curse, those infected with the scourge have one sole purpose in life – to seduce women and create offspring. Stephen Dagmar inherits this bane of his existence which ties his family to their servants, the Currys’ involving some creepy relationships in the true gothic sense of the genre.

Yet, as the author states, “Things don’t always go as planned.” Enter, Herman Anderson, an almost eighteen-year-old ready to break free from the restraints of a broken family. Her mother is dysfunctional with some kind of strange malady, and her father is gone most of the time. Yet, determined to strike out on her own, Herman leaves behind her eleven-year-old brother to fend for himself with the promise that she will send for him when she is situated at the job she accepted at a far from home horse farm.

While on the train heading to the new job, Herman engages in a conversation with the captivating magician, Stephen Dagmar. There is an immediate attraction between the two, and the story takes off, sweeping the reader off your feet in much the same fashion. Before you know it, Herman is under Stephen’s spell and agrees to become his magician’s assistant.

I found this reaction hard to believe at first until I realized there was more at play here. Much in the same way that Dracula held power over the ladies, Stephen Dagmar commands the physical attraction of men and women alike. Herman is no exception, and for one so young and inexperienced in the ways of men, she falls for Stephen immediately. Stephen senses something special in Herman and is clearly smitten himself.

Immediately, Herman enters the fairy tale world of Dagmaru, the magician, where money is no object. Stephen spends lavishly on the teen, and as they get to know one another, their physical attraction grows. Finally, in desperation, Stephen explains that until Herman is eighteen, they will not consummate their relationship. There is a dark thread of sexual tension that runs through the book from beginning to end that at times gave me the shivers.

Deep down I suspected that I knew where the story was headed, but for the life of me I couldn’t predict the twists and turns the novel produced. The writing was crisp and clear as it propelled me on toward the explosive ending. In fact, the suspense kept me turning pages long into the night. Even so, by the end of book one, I was haunted by more questions than answers. I look forward to the second book in the series with the hope that these issues will be solved.

The Magician’s Curse is a deliciously eerie tale unlike any I’ve read so far. Be prepared to be seduced by the supernatural potential of the series. I loved it and can’t wait to find out what happens next!

I’ve added this book to my Me Time category for gothic romance because I enjoyed it so much.


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

Author, Linda G. Hill

About the Author

“Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.

A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.”

❤ Connect with Linda G. Hill ❤

Blog: – Life in Process

FaceBook page:

Find me on Twitter:


And I’m finally on Instagram!

Stop by and chat:

Thanks for stopping by to meet Linda. I’m not kidding you’ve got to read this book!! ❤

Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Somewhere My Lady,” by Author, Beth Trissel

  • Title: Somewhere My Lady, Book 1 in the Lady of Time Series
  • Amazon Author: Beth Trissel
  • File Size:  2109 KB
  • Print Length:  162 Pages
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
  • Publication Date: July 12, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B071VTNC7V
  • Formats: Paperback and Pre-release Price:
  • Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Time Travel, Romance, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Paranormal Romance

    *I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author for review purposes*



“Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from a handsome young man who then vanishes into the mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th-century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.”


Close your eyes and pretend it’s June 2017. You are standing in front of Harrison Hall, an eighteenth-century brick mansion on the James River, in Virginia. Are you there? Good. Now, meet Lorna Randolph, a young woman who has recently graduated from high school and who is about to embark on an incredible adventure, even though she doesn’t know it. Lorna has taken a job at the historic Harrison Hall, and her life will never be the same.

An early arrival has brought her to the front door of the stately mansion where the vaguely familiar strains of a song draw her into the building. The minute she touches the door knob a zap of energy jolts through her. A couple, totally in character from the period slowly dances to the haunting melody Lorna heard from outside. In the dark interior, men and women suddenly appear as if an eighteenth-century painting had sprung to life. Slowly the figures dance for Lorna. When they turn sideways, Lorna realizes she can partially see through their forms!

One young man catches Lorna’s attention, and something about him holds her spellbound. When he asks her to dance she accepts. After a few pirouettes around the grand hall, the man hands her a note and tells her, “I’ve been waiting for you…”

Do you have goosebumps yet? Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself. There is an exciting mystery to be solved about this young man and Lorna. Their romance from long ago was cut short far too soon and when the past and present collide the truth about their relationship will surprise you.

I was introduced to Beth Trissel’s writing through her young adult fantasy series, Secret Warrior: The Hunter’s Moon, book 1. (Click on the link to read my review of book 1). I will be reviewing Curse of the Moon, book 2; and The Panther Moon, book 3, in future reviews, so stay tuned.

This was a quick read I couldn’t put down. I finished the story in two nights of reading. Beth Trissel creates characters that are believable even though they find themselves in mystical realities. The touches of history appealed to me and drew me into the setting of the book. The descriptions are delicious and make you feel like you are standing in the middle of Harrison Hall fully dressed in the garb of the period.

Somewhere My Lady releases in July 2017 and would be a great novel to take on a vacation where you could read while relaxing on the beach or at the pool. Top it off with a tropical cocktail, and you have the makings of a beautiful day. I’ve added this book to my Me Time category for paranormal romances because I found the writing and the storytelling to be superb.

for Paranormal Romance


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

Author, Beth Trissel

About the Author

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to historical romance, I also write time travel, paranormal, YA/NA fantasy romance, and nonfiction.

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

More about ghostly time travel romance novel – Somewhere My Love: (Renamed to Somewhere My Lady)

Here’s where you can find Beth

Blog: One Writer’s Way:

Facebook: Author Beth Trissel:

Twitter: @Beth Trissel:

Pinterest: Beth Trissel:

All of Beth’s Books to date:

Thanks for stopping by to meet Beth! Gotta go… so many books, so little time.

Silver’s Book Reviews – “The Lady of the Pier – The Storm,” BY Effrosyni Moschoudi

  • Title:  The Lady of the Pier – The Storm
  • Author: Effrosyni Moschoudi
  • File Size: 2050 KB
  • Print Length: 302 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: December 11, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B018O5OTHW
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery, Historical Fiction

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


“When Sofia falls in love, a mourning spirit begins to haunt her… The Storm is the concluding part of the trilogy where the two stories of Sofia and Laura merge into one and redemption seems finally possible…

Sofia does her best to get over Danny, but The Lady won’t leave her in peace. The spirit guides her to meet more people who knew Laura and now begins to haunt Danny as well. What will happen when he wears Christian’s scarf? And who is the third person being haunted, and why?

Laura is relieved to hear about Christian’s narrow escape from Dunkirk, despite his serious injury. Things at home are as harrowing as ever, but she holds on to a glimmer of hope. When he discovers an old secret, Christian returns to Brighton. Will the old sweethearts find happiness at last or will Charles never allow it?”

My Recommendation:

“The Lady of the Pier – The Storm,” is the third installment in the exciting and mysterious paranormal romance called the Lady of the Pier Trilogy. To read my review of the first book, The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb, click here. To read my review of the second book, The Lady of the Pier – The Flow, click here.

The Lady of the Pier trilogy leads you on a supernatural trip between two time periods. The story fluctuates between Laura and Christian in Brighton in 1940 and Sofia and Danny in Brighton in 1988.

At the heart of the two intertwining love stories are the piers – one in Brighton, and the other in Corfu, Greece. Sofia and Laura are connected through haunting dreams even though they are separated by fifty years.

I absolutely loved the way these two stories twisted together supported by an enigmatic thread of paranormal activity that let the reader know there is more going on here than meets the eye. It appeared to me that both Sofia and Laura must learn about love the hard way, through their own choices. I was not far off in this assumption.

For me, the Brighton Pier was the symbolic element that acted as the bridge between both eras and both women. In the second book, I felt the tightening of the plot drawing both women along on a path to a destiny that must intersect in the last novel. In the first novel, there were two piers, one in Corfu and one in Brighton. In the second part of the series the two piers have merged into just one, the Brighton Pier where the stories of both women are were unfolding.

By the time I reached the last book, The Storm, I was dying to understand the mystery of the Lady of the Pier which linked these two couples together between the two intertwining stories. The writing stage had been skillfully set by Effrosyni Moschoudi and I was not disappointed in the revelations. The mystery had deepened to such an extreme I could not put this third book down. I literally finished the book in two nights!

In the final book, time and space merge in a reincarnation of the two time periods and the two couples. By the end of the book, I had stumbled upon the solution to the paranormal connection between the two couples. I was surprised by the depth and clarity of the characters and how neatly the story fit together. Some of the admissions from the characters caught me totally by surprise!

Once again, as with the previous two novels, the characters found a place in my heart. I was emotionally vested in the story. I literally shed tears at the explosive ending! In fact, I was sad to leave these characters behind. I finally understood them and learned that true love has no boundaries.

Of the three books in the Lady of the Pier series, I found The Storm to be the most satisfying. If you love a story that weaves supernatural events into a romantic storyline you will be thrilled with The Lady of the Pier, books one – three. This is one series I will read again and again when I want to be reminded of the power of everlasting love.

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

About Effrosyni Moschoudi:

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies, and ants. Today, she writes novels with Greek lovers in mind. Her idea of a perfect day involves her three favorite things: books, movies, and the beach. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix, but her mind forever drifts to her beloved island of Corfu.

Effrosyni’s #1 Amazon bestseller, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, features an adorable Corfiot lady inspired by her grandmother. In her award-winning novel, The Ebb, she records several real memories from 1980s Corfu.

Effrosyni is a proud member of the writer’s groups, eNovel Authors at Work, ASMSG, and the Fantasy & SciFi Network.

**Visit her website for free excerpts, book trailers, a guide to Corfu, and to discover many other writers who set their books in Greece:

**Visit her food blog for delicious Greek recipes:

**Sign up for her newsletter to be notified first about her special offers (very sparse emails):

**Like her on Facebook:

**Follow her on Twitter:

**Find her on Goodreads:

To watch a trailer for The Lady of the Pier – The Storm click the link below.

Thanks so much for stopping by and meeting Effrosyni Moschoudi. I will see you all again.

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Silver’s Book Reviews – “The Lady of the Pier, Book 2: The Flow” by Effrosyni Moschoudi

  • Title:  The Lady of the Pier – The Flow
  • Author: Effrosyni Moschoudi
  • File Size: 2732 KB
  • Print Length: 378 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: June 16, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama, Paranormal, Historical Romance

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

This is the second book in The Lady of the Pier Series. Please click here to read my review of the first book, “The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb.”

Brighton 1938

The story resumes in Brighton in 1938 with Laura and Christian reunited in their love for each other. Meanwhile, Laura’s mother, Ruth bitterly fumes that Laura has left the wealthy Charles Willard behind to embrace Christian. Ruth’s dreams of seeing her daughter married to a nobleman disintegrate before her eyes. Ruth’s ripe indignation drives a wedge between her and Laura that seems to fester and grow like a sickness.

As the summer wears into autumn, Ruth’s health begins to take a turn for the worse. Persistent bouts of Bronchitis wrack her weak chest prompting a visit to the local doctor. Tests are run and unbeknownst to Laura or Ruth, the doctor breaks protocols and informs Lord Charles Willard of Ruth’s dire condition.

This was just the opportunity that Charles was looking for. He knows that he can get Laura back into his scheming arms by taking care of her mother… for a price that will cost Laura everything she holds dear.

Athens, December 1987

Sofia finds herself preparing to travel to Brighton to study art and design leaving the confines of her family far behind in Greece. Her heartbroken from losing Danny, she vows to move on with her life.

After her arrival in Brighton, Sofia does eventually meets up with Danny just as he promised long ago on the shores of the azure seas in Corfu. However, he leaves her feeling stunned as he seems to be on again and off again in his relationship with her. Dumbfounded by Danny’s reactions Sofia strives for a new life, one without Danny.

A chance meeting brings a new man into Sofia’s life which sets into motion a new set of dreams featuring the red-haired woman of her past dreams in Corfu, who the locals call the Lady of the Pier in Brighton. These paranormal dreams begin to take on a life of their own and blossom into full-fledged visions that occur during the day leaving Sofia confused and wrapped up within the confines of the mystery, unclear in what direction to turn.

Just as Laura struggles to find true love, so does Sofia, each in their own separate time warp; somehow bridged by the haunting apparition of the Lady of the Pier.


I absolutely love the way these two stories twine together supported by an enigmatic thread of paranormal activity that lets the reader know there is more going on here than meets the eye. It appears to me that both Sofia and Laura must learn about love the hard way, through their own choices.

I think the Brighton Pier is the symbolic element that acts as the bridge between both eras and both women. In the second book, I felt the tightening of the plot drawing both women along on a path to a destiny that must intersect in the last novel.

In the first novel, there were two piers, one in Corfu and one in Brighton. In the second part of the series the two piers have merged into just one, the Brighton Pier where the stories of both women are now unfolding.

Once again, just as with her first novel, the descriptions painted by the words of Ms. Moschoudi transported me easily between the two time periods in Brighton. The characters are even more endearing in this volume. The memories of your own first loves and losses will create a shared empathy of bridging the gap into adulthood just as both of these young women are experiencing.

Even though I was once again left with many questions regarding the haunting images of the Lady of the Pier and how Sofia and Laura figure in, I do highly recommend this book. I know the story will continue to unfold in the last volume. I sense there is a final reckoning waiting to reveal itself in “The Storm,” the final book of the trilogy to be published in December 2015. I can’t wait to continue the series to find out what happens next!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 4.5
Reader Enrichment: 4.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.5

About Effrosyni Moschoudi:

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she often sat alone in her granny’s garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies, and ants. Through adolescence, she wrote dark poetry that suited her melancholic, romantic nature. She’s passionate about books and movies and simply couldn’t live without them. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix. Effrosyni is a proud member of the writer’s group, ENovel Authors at Work.

To watch a trailer for the book click the link below.

Make certain to connect with Effrosyni through her Twitter @FrostieMoss

And Facebook at Author Effrosyni Moschoudi

Read a book write a review


“If Only” Welcome Norma Budden

I would like to introduce you to Norma Budden, the author of the exciting new book called, “If Only.”  I recently had the pleasure of reading her new book and reviewing it.



Title: “If Only”

Author: Norma Budden



Published: February 14th 2015 by Smashwords Edition

Pages: 204 pages

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Demi and David first meet in high school, where they fell in love at a young age. In no time, Demi is pregnant and decides to hide the truth from David about their child, because she does not want to influence his decision to go to college to become a private investigator. Instead, Demi takes it upon herself to have the child and give her up for adoption. This decision comes at a price to Demi’s psyche. Years later, she begins to have visions of her daughter, and feels an unexplainable need to find her child now, at any cost.

Compromising matters further, Demi is married to another man and has two children with him. Searching for her daughter has brought no leads from the current investigators, so Demi turns to the only man she knows will help her find their daughter – David, her lost love from long ago, who is now a successful private investigator.

Demi finally tells David about their daughter. David is also married to someone else with two children of his own. Breaking the news to their spouses creates a story of intrigue and suspense with more twists and turns along the way.

Sharing in the story, is the child herself, Renee who feels she cannot connect with her parents, and never has. Always the outsider, Renee wonders as an only child, if she was adopted. Before long, Renee starts having dreams and experiences an uncontrollable urge to meet a strange man – her father, David.

As events unravel, Demi and David tumble through a maze of second chances, reconciliations, and realize many losses along the way. Eventually they find the love of a real family.


Image credit: Norma Budden

I felt great empathy for Demi and David, as they longed for the child they never knew. It was important that each character felt the pull of Renee, the missing link to their family unit, and the author was able to convey that message to the reader. I was drawn to the paranormal aspect of the dreams that Demi, David and Renee shared. I felt like there was an unforeseen force willing them all to find each other to complete their family.

“If Only,” tugs at your heart, and I found myself rooting for them all to find each other and become the family they were meant to be. Even though some of the events were predictable, and much time was spent inside the heads of the characters; I found myself caught up in the over powering human desire of ‘belonging’ that the author conveyed in her telling of the story.

This was an uplifting story of change and growth between two adults who felt the need to atone for decisions made as young adults. Our past always follows us, and Norma Budden leads her readers on a journey of love and acceptance one will not soon forget.

Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 3/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $9.99 US
Kindle: $2.99 US


This excerpt is from Norma’s Amazon author page where you can learn more about her and other books she has written:

“Norma Budden currently makes her home in Arctic Canada where she has lived for more than two decades. Administration Manager by day and writer/mother/grandmother by night, Norma knows what it’s like to be busy and appreciates moments of solitude, perhaps, more than the average person.

Though Norma’s first serious attempts at writing involved poetry and song, she later went on to write non-fiction titles. However, over recent years, her truest passion seems to be in writing stories to appeal to readers’ emotions, with a touch of mystery and romance built into the stories.

Some of Norma’s greatest passions in life are reading, writing, traveling and taking photos. She enjoys spending time with friends and spending time in the great outdoors.

You can learn more about what is happening in her world by visiting

Thanks for visiting me today.  I was happy to share Norma’s wonderful book with all of you,

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