Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “Til Death Do Us Part,” by Jan Sikes @JanSikes3

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times than he cares to remember. He’s been everything from a simple farm boy to a rowdy roughneck, a singing star to a convict and finally a husband and father whose goals consisted of building a home and raising a family… which he did.
Now, with a chance for a second music career, he knows the sand in his hourglass is running thin. His anchor in life and true love, Darlina, stands at his side, determined to help make the dream a reality. But, his aging body is sabotaging every effort and the only thing that keeps him going is sheer willpower and the love he has for Darlina.
When faced with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Luke draws on every resource to continue to function and contribute to their home and to society.
This is a story of inspiration, endurance, and most of all, undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them.
Will fate allow Luke to sing his last song?

Amazon.com

Amazon.com Purchase Link (the Amazon Embed block is not working on any of my book review posts. I’m not sure if it is an Amazon thing or a WordPress issue).

My Recommendation

I don’t know about you, but I prefer a true love story to a fictional one. That is exactly what you will find with Flowers & Stone, The Convict & the Rose, Home At Last, and now the last book, ‘Till Death Do Us Part, by author Jan Sikes. I reviewed the first three books HERE.

Luke and Darlina’s (Rick & Jan’s) love story continues by chronicling the last decade of their life together and, just from the title, you know where the story is headed. Luke’s health continues to fail, but being the man he is, he lets nothing stand in his way. He’s determined to leave a rich legacy of country music for Darlina and his two girls. He finds himself inspired to write music and to once again perform, but this time, he brings Darlina along with him. The two work together, singing and writing the music they both love.

I realized how many hardships the two endured to be together, and through thick and thin, they remained soul mates. Their love was the glue that held them together. My biggest takeaway was how Luke grabbed hold of each day as a new beginning. As a couple, they dreamed big and followed those dreams by remaining true to themselves. This is a truly inspirational love story. Truth be told, I cried my eyes out at the end. It’s an emotional read!

Are you looking for a series that leaves you breathless? Look no further, because Rick & Jan Sikes’ story is unforgettable. I loved this series and I know you will love it too!

Learn More About this Author: Jan Sikes

Author, Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story. Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done. Wrong! The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain. I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and a grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

About Rick Sikes

Rick & Jan Sikes Music CD’s

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com

Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3

Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

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Books You’ll Want to Read!

It’s been a stressful few months and I could not keep up with my book reviews. Normally, I dedicate an entire post to each book, but that isn’t possible right now. Instead, I’ve grabbed the highlights and shared what made these books a good read. Book reviews will resume after my cross-country move.

Let’s get caught up!

First up is “The Infinity Pool,” by Jessica Norrie.

The reader finds themselves on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean on one of those self-help holiday package deals that offers yoga and other activities at the aptly named Serendipity Resort. This is a place to find your inner Zen, mingle with the locals, and even confront a few of your own personal challenges. Be prepared for a book filled with interesting characters. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

The camp leader is Adrian, a middle-aged ladies’ man, whose gift is helping other people restore and re-energize. Because of this, he is popular with the female guests, many who come back year after year to take his courses. Interestingly, through much of the book he is absent, so the reader learns about him through the other character’s observations.

By the time Adrian re-emerges, he is physically and emotionally changed and nothing like the man he once was. The contrast between the old and new Adrian and the personal reactions from the other guests are a true study in human nature.

Norrie skillfully weaves a psychological mystery filled with self-absorbed characters and situations. I highly recommend this one as it kept me reading long into the night. These characters have great depth!

The next book is “Bowled, but Not Out, An Entertaining Family Drama,” by Ruchira Khanna. I received this book as a gift from the author.

I enjoy reading books about other cultures, and the author’s witty reference to Cricket in the title also caught my attention. Not only is the author Indian, but she is also English, giving the book an exotic flair. To be fair, I had to look up some Cricket references, but that only made my understanding of the characters more enjoyable.

Meet Saru, a young woman encouraged by her father’s example to compare her life challenges to the game of cricket. When Saru meets Sumeet, she instantly falls in love with him. In a few months, the two are married and Saru moves to her husband’s home where his mother also lives. And that is where life gets interesting.

Saru’s mother-in-law controls all of her son’s decisions. Sumeet is a momma’s boy, refusing to cross his mother’s wishes even if it causes pain to his wife. The mother-in-law makes Saru’s life unbearable. After the birth of their daughter, Saru makes the tough decision to take her child, Simrn, and leave her husband.

The cultural ramifications of this decision also affect Saru’s family. In defiance of tradition, Saru’s parents wholeheartedly support her decision to leave, even when she moves to New York to create a better life for her daughter.

Saru is a strong and independent woman. Everything she sets out to do, she accomplishes. The story comes full circle, when her daughter, Simrn, gets married. Will her father show up to the wedding?

This was a fascinating glimpse into the family dynamics of Indian culture and to what extent the family unit plays in shaping personality and life choices. This book was a cultural delight that will have you cheering for all the strong women in your life. A must read!

The light romance called “Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series Book 1),” by Linda Bradley, is next.

Maggie Abernathy has her Michigan summer all planned out. After a bout with breast cancer, all she wants to do is to recuperate and rejuvenate. Her life as a second-grade teacher was especially difficult this year. To add to Maggie’s problems, she is also learning to navigate life alone after her recent divorce.

When seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John, Maggie’s dull life takes an unexpected turn for the better.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. The story was predictable, but somehow, comforting. The romance that buds between John and Maggie is even more sweet because of Chloe.

Chloe’s character clearly steals the show. The child possesses a certain wisdom that women much older than her often wish for. The only child in what had to be a difficult home, Chloe steals Maggie’s heart.

Written in the first-person, I immediately connected with Maggie’s character. There is a lot going on, and Maggie discovers she must learn to overcome some of her own issues before she can truly find herself. So true to life!

The only downside was that the book ends on a cliff-hanger, and you have to purchase the next book to continue her story. I understand it’s a series, but the author hints at a happy ending for Maggie and John. As is true in most romantic fiction there are always some difficulties in a relationship. It would have been nicer for this book to end on a high note. Still, I would recommend this book because of the interesting characters. I’m debating on whether to go further in the series.

That’s all for now.

Read a book and remember to leave a review. Authors always appreciate reviews!


COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Running Haunted,” BY AUTHOR, Effrosyni Moschoudi , @FrostieMoss

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Kelly ran a marathon… and wound up running a house. With a ghost in it.

Kelly Mellios is a stunning, athletic woman, who has learned—the hard way—to value herself. Having just finished her first marathon in the alluring Greek town of Nafplio, she bumps into Alex, a gorgeous widower with three underage children, who is desperately looking for a housekeeper.

The timing seems perfect, seeing that Kelly aches to start a new life, and Nafplio seems like the ideal place to settle down. She accepts the position on the spot, but little does she know that Alex’s house has an extra inhabitant that not even the family knows about…

The house is haunted by Alex’s late wife, who has unfinished business to tend to. By using the family pet, a quirky pug named Charlie, the ghost is able to communicate with Kelly and asks her for help. She claims she wants to ensure her loved ones are happy before she departs, but offers very little information about her plans.

Kelly freaks out at first, but gradually finds herself itching to help. It is evident there’s room for improvement in this family… Plus, her growing attraction towards Alex is overpowering…

Will Kelly do the ghost’s bidding? How will it affect her? And just how strange is this pug?

Amazon.com

#1 New Release in Greek & Roman Literature

MY RECOMMENDATION

I read this book while in lockdown during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic. It was just the thing to take my mind off the worries of the world. This author has created a heartwarming family friendly romance with a paranormal twist that you will remember long after finishing the book!

After a chance encounter, Kelly takes the housekeeping job offered by Alex. At first, Kelly does not understand what she has taken on in the management of a house, three boys, and a pug with a mind of his own, including the boy’s busy father.

Traumatized by the death of their mother, each of the boys tries to deal with their loss. Alex is suffering, as well. More than anything, this family needs to heal and move on, but circumstances haven’t allowed them to move forward.

Kelly exhibits exceptional strength of character and empathy in her assessment of what this family needs. She begins by cooking healthy food, increasing their play time and exercise, and she takes the time to listen to the boys and their problems.

One morning, shortly after Kelly’s arrival, the bewitching smell of candy floss beckons to her from inside Alex’s bedroom closet. She finds a pile of women’s clothes belonging to his late wife. But it is the colorful scarf on the top of the pile that grabs her attention.

Kelly realizes the scent isn’t real. Instead, she knows it’s the result of a special gift she inherited from her late grandmother. Kelly can communicate with the spirits of the dead. And today, she senses that by not letting go of his wife, Alex holds back her spirit from total deliverance. At least to Kelly, that’s what the smell suggests. Alex keeps his dead wife’s spirit contained within the house.

Meanwhile, Charlie the Pug has warmed up to Kelly. But it’s when the dog alerts her to issues with the boys, she begins to take notice.

One morning, Kelly finds the scarf laying on her bed, where Charlie had slept the night before. Could the dog have brought the scarf to her? Kelly knows something is happening in this house when Charlie brings her a string of pearls belonging to the boy’s mother. Could the Pug receive messages from beyond the grave? Was Alex’s dead wife trying to contact Kelly?

Set in the historical town of Nafplio, Greece, Effrosyni Moschoudi writes about the beloved places that bring personality to her characters. “Running Haunted” will leave you believing in the power of love.

This book is listed on Amazon with an introductory price of $.99! Grab it now before the price increases.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

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 books for the romantic at heart. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens, but her mind forever drifts to her beloved island of Corfu.

Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. The Ebb, her romance set in Corfu that’s inspired from her summers there as a youngster, is an ABNA Q-Finalist.

Effrosyni’s novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times, and are available in kindle and paperback format.

Go here to grab FREE PDF books by this author: http://effrosyniwrites.com/free-stuff/

Check out Effrosyni’s FREE travel guide to Nafplio: http://effrosyniwrites.com/2018/01/18/nafplio-a-town-steeped-in-greek-history/

Visit her website for free excerpts, book trailers, her travel guide to Corfu, yummy Greek recipes, and to join her email list for her news and special offers: http://www.effrosyniwrites.com

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: https://effrosyniwrites.com/

TWITTER: @FrostieMoss

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/efrosini.moschoudi

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Eventide,” BY AUTHOR, Mae Clair, @MaeClair1

Featuring Your Next Read!

About this Book

The darkness is coming . . .

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?

Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

The third book in Mae Claire’s Hode’s Hill dual timeline Series is called “Eventide.” Wowser! Like the two previous books, this third novel delivers a wallop of a suspenseful tale which wraps up the series in ways I never anticipated! I’m blown away by the writing, the plot, and the ending!

Madison (Maddy) from the second book, has now fully recovered from her ordeal following the violent murder of her husband. She’s ready to get out on her own, and she purchases a house on the outskirts of town. Meanwhile, Jillian, Maddy’s sister, doesn’t think this is the right move for her, causing friction between them.

Once Maddy moves in, she quickly realizes that the Stewart house is haunted. She discovers three gravestones in the family burial plot behind the house. From the dates on the stones, Maddie realizes Sylvia Steward and her son, Nathaniel, both died on the same day. The third grave contain’s Sylvia’s husband, Darrin, who died years before them. What kind of tragedy could have caused a mother and her son to perish on the same day? Just wait… it gets creepier!

Not long after moving in, Maddy encounters a paranormal entity (or two) lurking inside the house who helps her learn about a second Steward son, named Tristan. Whatever caused his death remains a secret waiting to unravel.

Adding to her problems, Maddy realizes her boyfriend, Roth, is not what she expected. His anger issues and possessiveness are only part of the issue.

One day, Maddy finds her tires slashed. Her dead husband hung around with some unsavory characters. Could someone from her past be trying to scare her?

The future meets the past in the second timeline, which puts the reader in the year, 1878. We’re introduced to Hollande Moore, an unmarried woman past her prime, who is obliged to take a live-in position as a companion to Sylvia Steward by order of her brother.

Living in the Steward Mansion becomes unbearable when Hollande discovers Sylvia enjoys inflicting misery upon everyone. Nathaniel, Sylvia’s son, runs the family business. He is a disagreeable man with the same negative attitude as his mother.

Hollande doesn’t know how she will cope with the family until she meets Tristan, the second son who is the exact opposite of his brother. He runs the family business from another location and only comes home in the evening, regaling his mother and Hollande with tales of his adventures. Hollande notices how Sylvia adores Tristan, unlike her other son, Nathaniel.

Eventually, Hollande discovers Nathaniel to be a pleasant man away from the company of his mother. Before she knows it, Hollande and Nathaniel have fallen in love. Suddenly jealous with rage, Sylvia’s madness promises to upend the family.

When the past and the present collide in a trifecta of paranormal occurrences, Maddy stumbles upon an unfathomable evil in the house’s basement. Terrified, she calls in her sister’s boyfriend, Dante, to help her rid the house of the evil within. Together, Dante and the two sisters battle the unknown for the soul of Hode’s Hill. Who will survive?

By Mae Clair

This is one of the most outstanding paranormal series I’ve read. Mae Clair is a master at writing suspense, on a par with Dean Koontz and even Stephen King. In true nail-biter fashion, I couldn’t tear myself away from several of the action scenes, reading late into the night.

Clair doesn’t describe much gore in her novels, which I found appealing. Instead, she strings you along, building the tension until you think you’ll explode from your own impatience to find out what happens next! If you enjoy reading “paranormal-weird” this is the author for you.

I also enjoyed how the character’s personalities flowed throughout the three novels, lending a continuity to the tale of this strange place called Hode’s Hill. I thought I would have a favorite book, but I can honestly say, I loved all three. I’m sad the series is complete.

If you love paranormal fiction filled with a touch of history, romance, and the right amount of things that go bump in the night, you will love the Hode’s Hill series! Just make sure to only read with the light on!

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections. 

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats. 

Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: MaeClair.com

TWITTER: @MaeClair1

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

Featuring a Special RELEASE DAY Review!

About this Book

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

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

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

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

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

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

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

Amazon.com

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

MY RECOMMENDATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ritu Bhathal Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: ritubhathal.com

TWITTER: @RituBhathal

FACEBOOK: Ritu Bhathal ~ Author, Poet, Storyteller

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Kira, Daughter of the Moon” by Author, @BethTrissel

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.

Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay–and anyone else from getting too close. Now that he’s back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft. And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.

This is a new release of a previously published edition.
Kira, Daughter of the Moon is the sequel to Through the Fire.

Amazon.com

Title: Kira, Daughter of the Moon

Amazon Author Page: Beth Trissel

Publication Date: September 22, 2015

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Romance, Historical

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Author, Beth Trissel, is a master at writing unforgettable historical romance. I’ve read many of her novels and she often integrates the mystical elements of Native American lore found in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where she resides. This “mysticism” never fails to draw me into the story, and this book is no different.

After seven years of living with the Shawnee Indians, Logan McCutcheon returns to Virginia, where he finds Kira McClure has grown into a beautiful young woman.

Kira and Logan grew up together, and she always held out hope that he would return to her one day. Now that he’s back, there is a problem. Kira spends most of her time fighting off all the willing suitors that plot to take her away from him.

One of the settlers, Josiah Campbell, causes trouble when he realizes that Logan and Kira plan to marry. He attempts to hunt the young woman down to make her his own. Kira employs a few of her many gifts, managing to save herself, while Josiah and his crew brand her as a witch.

Logan appears to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell as the accusations of witchcraft intensify around the girl.

But, Josiah Campbell isn’t finished with his evil deeds. He accuses Logan of theft ensuring that his reputation amongst the settlers is also damaged.

But, as they say, never underestimate the power of a woman. Kira has a few tricks up her sleeve, and surprisingly, so does Logan. I couldn’t put this book down. Great romance, suspense, and magic – all of my favorite things.

I enjoyed this novel and all the twists and turns which led me to a satisfying end. I was surprised to learn that this was the sequel to the book, “Through the Fire,” as I thought this novel stood well on its own.

If you love fast-paced historical romance with a touch of the paranormal, you will love this book. Just make sure to read with a light on.

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

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my people and furbabies. An avid gardener, I grow herbs and heirloom flowers and use them in my stories.

The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the Scots-Irish are at the heart of my inspiration. My English/Scots-Irish ancestors were among the earliest settlers in America and the valley. I write historical romance set in the colonial frontier (The Native American Warrior Series), and the American Revolution (The Traitor’s Legacy Series).

Some of my historicals include ghosts and other paranormal elements. I also write Young Adult shapeshifter/ fantasy romance (The Secret Warrior Series), and New Adult time travel/time slip romance, Somewhere in Time, and my latest ongoing series, Ladies in Time. I also write single titles and nonfiction.

FICTION TITLES:

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

(SOMEWHERE IN TIME SERIES)
Somewhere My Love
Somewhere My Lass (Scottish)
Somewhere in the Highlands (Scottish)
Somewhere the Bells Ring (Ghostly Christmas)

(LADIES IN TIME SERIES)
Somewhere My Lady
The White Lady (coming soon)

(THE TRAITOR’S LEGACY SERIES)
Enemy of the King (The American Revolution and a ghost)
Traitor’s Legacy (The American Revolution)
Traitor’s Curse (Ghostly historical)

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

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

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

How to Connect with the Author:

You can find Beth on her blog at https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com.

Twitter: @BethTrissel

Facebook: Author Beth Trissel

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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/

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How to Connect with the Author:

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

TWITTER@sgc58

FACEBOOKSally Cronin

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Bearwalker’s Daughter,” Book One, Native American Warrior Series, by Author, Beth Trissel

book review logo

Title: The Bearwalker’s Daughter, Book One in the Native American Warrior Series, 2nd Edition

Amazon Author Page: Beth Trissel

Publication Date: December 27, 2013

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Romance, Westerns, New Adult & College

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Autumn 1784: Karin McNeal hasn’t grasped who she really is or her fierce birthright. A tragic secret from the past haunts the young Scots-Irish woman longing to learn more of her mother’s death and the mysterious father no one will name. The elusive voices she hears in the wind hint at the dramatic changes soon to unfold in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies.

Jack McCray, the wounded stranger who staggers through the door on the eve of her twentieth birthday and anniversary of her mother’s death, holds the key to unlock the past. Will Karin let this handsome frontiersman lead her to the truth and into his arms, or seek the shelter of her fiercely possessive kinsmen? Is it only her imagination or does someone, or something, wait beyond the brooding ridges—for her?”

(A revised version of romance novel Daughter of the Wind)

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I’ve been a fan of Beth Trissel’s books for several years. I haven’t read a single book of her’s that I haven’t enjoyed. In fact, this book fell off my (magical) radar until this summer when I saw her advertise it on social media. What a great find to add to my Kindle library.

Book one, “The Bearwalker’s Daughter,” is a historical romance filled with lots of great Native American lore, early American history, magic, and even some sizzling sex!

There’s a mystery that swirls around the birth of Karin McNeal, and when in 1784, Jack McCray finds the bonny lass, he’s bewitched by her unusual beauty. Karin is haunted by voices on the wind who seem to be calling out to her. She can’t figure out what the voices mean or why she has been chosen to hear them. The only thing she knows for certain is that her mother died shortly after her birth, and no one will tell her who her father is.

Of course, Jack knows her birthright, having been sent by Karin’s father, Shequenor, who belongs to the bear clan, a division of the Shawnee tribe, to bring his daughter home to him. However, Karin isn’t aware of that fact, and even if she were, she is so drawn to Jack that nothing could tear her from his arms. Not even the family that raised her.

Jack is part of that family too, but tragically he was taken as a child by the Shawnee tribe, to be raised as Shequenor’s brother. That put him fighting on the wrong side of the war for American Independence. As a result, he is shunned by his step-father and half-brother.

The family discord sets the story in motion as Karin and Jack declare their love for each other. Now, Jack must deal with his emotions and love for Karin as he tries to figure out how to honor her father’s wishes. If they both survive it will be a miracle!

The magical aspects of this tale are what drew me deeper into the story. I love Native American lore, and knowing this author like I do, I knew there would be some spectacular paranormal activity, and there was!

This is not only Karin and Jack’s love story, it is also the love story of Karin’s parents, finally coming full circle. This is a fabulous read that kept me enthralled for hours.

I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series, “Through the Fire, book two” in the Native American Warrior Series.

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

Beth Tissel

Author, Beth Trissel

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

FICTION TITLES:

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

(SOMEWHERE IN TIME SERIES)
Somewhere My Love
Somewhere My Lass (Scottish)
Somewhere in the Highlands (Scottish)
Somewhere the Bells Ring (Ghostly Christmas)

(LADIES IN TIME SERIES)
Somewhere My Lady
The White Lady (coming soon)

(THE TRAITOR’S LEGACY SERIES)
Enemy of the King (The American Revolution and a ghost)
Traitor’s Legacy (The American Revolution)
Traitor’s Curse (Ghostly historical)

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

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

AUTHOR AWARDS:
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

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How to Connect with this Author:

You can find Beth on her blog at https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com.

Twitter: @BethTrissel

Facebook: Author Beth Trissel

IMG_59CBDE2E6D77-1Thanks for stopping by to meet Beth Trissel. If you haven’t read any of her novels, you might want to check them out! ❤ 

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)

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Magician’s Blood: A Paranormal Romance (The Great Dagmaru Book 2),” by Author, Linda G. Hill

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Title: The Magician’s Blood: A Paranormal Romance (The Great Dagmaru, Book 2)

Amazon Author Page: Linda G. Hill

Publication Date: August 10, 2018, AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER NOW

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Demons & Devils, Magical Realism, Mystery & Suspense

Goodreads

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Amazon.com LINK

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Award-winning author Linda G. Hill brings you the second book in her modern-day Gothic romance series.

Herman Anderson is in love. Thrilled to travel across Canada with her boyfriend as his assistant onstage, she returns to her hometown—the first stop on the Great Dagmaru magic tour. Anticipating a reunion with her brother, instead, she finds her family has moved without a trace.

Stephen Dagmar’s career as a stage magician is taking off. With Herman by his side, his only concern is her father’s dislike for him. But as Herman’s father makes a prediction and resolves to come between them, Stephen’s family curse returns to haunt him.

Darkness descends as the reality of the Dagmar’s incubus bloodline surfaces for the first time in over a generation. Can Herman and Stephen’s relationship survive this new trial? Will Herman survive at all?

A sinful tale of beauty and romance, love and determination, The Magician’s Blood will chill you and leave you breathless for more.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

The Magician’s Blood is the second novel in The Great Dagmaru Series. I’ve read and reviewed the first book, The Magician’s Curse, HERE.

Let me begin by saying that I could not put this book down! Much like the curse that holds Stephen Dagmar under its control, I tore into this book, reading into the wee hours until finally, the book finally released me from its hold! Be prepared, because Canadian author, Linda G. Hill, has created a paranormal romance like no other.

So, let me tell you what this book possession stuff was all about! At the beginning of The Magician’s Blood, the author reminds us that a demon incubus passed from generation to generation and handed down from father to son, has one sole purpose in life – to seduce women and create offspring. Stephen Dagmar has inherited this curse from his father, which ties his family to their servants, the Currys’ involving some creepy relationships in the true gothic sense of the genre.

Fulfilling the demands of the incubus that runs hot through his blood, Stephen has impregnated his servant, Nina, even though his true love is Herman Anderson. Through all of this drama, it is Herman and Stephen’s love story that propels the action forward.

Meanwhile, Stephen has Nina tucked away in the care of his parents awaiting the birth of his first child. Per the curse, the girl must remain a servant to the Dagmar family. Once she gives birth, a hysterectomy must be performed to ensure Nina’s link to the curse is broken.

Many of the characters from the first book return, presenting a more in-depth look into Stephen’s relationship with Margaret, his manager, and the women who once belonged to Stephen’s coven. Herman’s father plays a critical role in this tale leaving some tantalizing clues as to the magical powers that Herman could very well have inherited from him.

Talk about a double edged sword… It is also revealed that Stephen’s ability to perform magic is a byproduct of the curse. Yikes! Now, the question remains, if they find a cure for the curse, will Stephen retain his magical abilities?

This book does contain explicit sexual encounters. Stephen is a cambion, the offspring of an incubus which drives his sexuality into uncontrollable violent urges. Sex magic erupts at almost every twist and turn.

Yet, for all the love that Stephen and Herman share, the reader can’t help but pick up on the darkness that ripples through these pages. The suspense builds up to a breaking point, leaving the reader breathless. The ending was unexpected and explosive!

My advice? Read book one and get to know the characters. Then, grab a copy of this book before the August 10th release date! The author is offering a special pre-order price on The Magician’s Blood. It’s $2.99 now, but it’ll be going up to $4.99 on August 10th.

I received an ARC of this book from the author. (Actually, I begged asked for a copy because I enjoyed the first book so much).

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, 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.”

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How to Connect with Linda G. Hill

Blog: Lindaghill.com – Life in Process

FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/lindaghill.fiction

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaGHill

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

And I’m finally on Instagram!

Stop by and chat:  https://www.instagram.com/linda.g.hill/

I curse you Sorry… I got carried away. Thanks for stopping by to meet Linda G. Hill. ❤

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Trouble in Glamour Town,” by Author, S. R. Mallery

  • Title: Trouble in Glamour Town
  • Amazon Author Page: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size:  2185 KB
  • Print Length:  202 Pages
  • Publisher: Self Published by Author
  • Publication Date: November 12, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B077D7T2KC
  • ISBN-10: 1979566070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1979566070
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Historical, Fiction

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“Hollywood, 1926. Where actors’ and actresses’ dreams can come true. But do they? While silent screen movie stars reign supreme, a film producer is gunned down in cold blood. Enter Rosie, a pretty bit-player, Eddie, her current beau, and Beatrice, her bitter stage-mother. As real celebrities of the time, such as Clara Bow, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, and Rudolph Valentino float in and out, a chase to find the killer exposes the true underbelly of Los Angeles––with all its corruption.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Welcome to Los Angeles, California. The year is 1926, and the reader finds themselves smack dab in the midst of the Roaring Twenties. Prohibition is in full swing, and there is more booze sloshing around in the speakeasies than you can imagine. Are you there with me? Step back in time and be prepared to read what it was like back in the good ole’ days when Model T’s were king, and Flappers filled the streets.

On the set at Medford Studios, a cold-blooded murderer has just gunned down Mr. Harris, the “big-shot” Producer. Rosie Paige, an actress in the making and Eddie, her boyfriend, an assistant to Lon Chaney, are on the set when the murder occurs. Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would be involved in a real-life murder investigation. Besides, Rosie and Eddie have dreams they would like to fulfill if Beatrice, Rosie’s mother will let them.

The first officer to show up to the investigation is Detective Frank Lozano, who is fighting an alcohol-induced hangover from the night before. Lozano is a washed-up cop having lost his family to his drinking habit. Between the Mafia, bootleggers, and corrupt police officers, Lozano stands out as a decent guy who swears he will solve the murder. I liked his character. All of his faults made his journey all the more worthwhile.

Like many of the silent movies from the period, Trouble in Glamour Town leads the reader into the dazzling world of movies and movie stars, where behind the scenes, everything is not as lovely as it appears. Hollywood, where money-hungry producers are seducing young female wanna-be actresses for sexual favors, where dirty cops are on the take, and drunken parties hide the dreams and desires of many a young woman. Intertwined with this murder mystery is a novel rich with the lessons of the past that still scream to us from our current headlines today.

As with all of S. R. Mallery’s novels, the details and the historical facts that make the story come to life in your mind are enchanting. I heard the sound of the Model-T and experienced Clara Bow’s wild party first hand. As the mystery unravels, the murderer pops from the pages, a total surprise at the end.

This book was a fun read that I read in a couple of nights. If you love murder, mystery, and mayhem dive into pages of Trouble in Glamour Town. At $.99 this book is a steal!

Won’t you join me? I’m off to enjoy a cocktail called the Bee’s Knees. During Prohibition, this drink found its fame by calming the jagged edges of illegal booze. Made with gin, honey, lemon and orange juice it’s a crowd pleaser. Hey, these period pieces are fun! ❤

Image Credit: PlatingsandPairings.com

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

five fairies


Author, S. R. Mallery

About the Author

S.R. Mallery, Gold Medalist winner of the 2016 READERS’ FAVORITE Book Awards for Anthologies and 2017 READERS’ FAVORITE Gold medalist for Historical Fiction Personage, has been labeled nothing short of ‘eclectic.’ She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher. As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day or listen to music, Sarah’s imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

What readers are saying about S. R. Mallery’s books:

“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.” ~ Thomas Baker Thomas on Unexpected Gifts.

“Honestly, I haven’t read a book this unique in quite some time.” ~ John H. Byk on Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

“Mallery is an extremely talented writer. Her style lures the reader; you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression.” ~ Melinda Hines on Tales to Count On.

The Dolan Girls “was so enjoyable. At times rollicking, at times poignant, but always authentic, well researched and a beautifully told story. Highest recommendation. Five stars.” – B. Nelson

How to Connect with the Author

Find Sarah on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1abYVyP
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahMallery1
Visit her on http://srmallery.wordpress.com/home/
Follow Sarah and other award-winning authors on http://enovelauthorsatwork.com
Catch Sarah’s history/vintage clothing/old flicks Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers! ❤