Colleen’s Book Reviews

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

I’m still playing catch-up with book reviews. These are a few of the books I’ve been reading the last couple of months. I’m sure you will find something that will catch your fancy!

“Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries,” by Sally Cronin

Short story and poetry anthologies are all the rage now, and Sally Cronin’s “Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” does not disappoint. This eclectic mix takes the reader through a gambit of feelings that revolve around the themes of love, loss, humor, revenge, and life’s second chances.

A few of these tales brought tears to my eyes, such as “Long Lost Love,” which tells the story of Tom and Elaine, a pregnancy, and a visit from beyond the grave. However, the poetry is as exceptional as the short stories. The butterfly cinquain, “Ritual of Mehndi,” shares a glimpse into the traditional wedding custom of painting symbols in henna on the bride’s hands.

This author is known for an empathetic approach to her writing. She writes what she senses, sharing the ups and downs of her characters with love and compassion. A true storyteller, Sally Cronin’s stories will leave you wanting more feel-good moments.

Amazon Author Page

“Voices (in the Trash),” by Frank Prem

Amazon.com

Frank Prem lends his photographic talent to this picture poetry book by featuring photographs from the trash and treasure markets from around Australia. The author asks us, “What if these items could talk?”

What follows is a unique poetic perspective as he listens to the plaintive voices in the trash. He pens his poetry accordingly. All objects are worthy of a voice, in his eyes.

This was a lovely and creative endeavor. If you’re looking for something different to read and inspire, this is the book for you.

Amazon Author Page

“Endangered Spells,” Book 5 of 7, Witches Academy, by S. R. Mallery

“Endangered Spells,” leads the reader into a world of contemporary witchcraft with an unexpected link back in history to the Salem Witch Trials. Gillian is a young witch who denies her powers because of something that happened in her past.

When her best friend, Rebecca suddenly disappears, Gillian knows something terrible has occurred. The police aren’t working fast enough, and Gillian realizes that she may well have to use witchcraft to solve this heinous crime.

The mystery spirals out of control when two more of Gillian’s journalist friends are murdered. The young witch takes matters into her own hands and uncovers some deep secrets related to her past.

Meanwhile, one of the detectives on the case realizes that he is in love with Gillian. Witches and humans don’t usually mix, but nothing is as it seems in this fast-paced mystery.

This was a fun read. Gillian’s family pet, a cockatoo, steals the show! There’s something here for everyone: love, romance, humor, and murder. The perfect combination for a cozy mystery!

Amazon Author Page

“Delilah Astral Investigator Infinity Series: Episode 2, The Boy Who Would Be King,” by Deborah A. Bowman

Delilah Sanchez, her amazing cat, Mollie, and the 1774 American Colonial Lord Bartholomew Darnesworth Wharton, III, (Bartie) are back for another time travel adventure. This time, the threesome travel back to the year, 1502, the day before Prince Arthur Tudor’s death.

No one understands how or why they were chosen to intervene in the events unfolding before them. All they know is that this one change can ripple through time changing the present. After a series of Astral projections, Bartie and Delilah fear that the war they are witnessing would evolve into World War III in their reality. They believe they are the guardians, entrusted with saving their world. How do you save the past and the future at the same time?

Bartie is forced to make some hard choices. But now, he carries the guilt from those decisions. He’s fallen hard for Delilah. How does he tell her the truth of what really happened?

The author combines YA fantasy, history, and a bit of romance to create an exciting time travel novel. This is the second book in the series, and to maintain the character background I would start with the first novel, “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series.”

This fast-paced adventure will keep you up long into the night!

Amazon Author Page

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Tea, Anyone? (A Brooke & Abby Cozy Mystery Book 1),” BY AUTHOR, S. R. Mallery, @SarahMallery1

The magical world of Sarah (S. R.) Mallery’s books

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

How do two modern, quirky, twenty-something gals solve murders in a small, cozy USA town?

Easy. With a little time travel, some humor, and a lot of hard work. When the skeptical Brooke first meets the psychic Abby, she’s not impressed. But with the help of her comfort cat, her middle-aged roomie, her childhood friend, and a hunky detective hinting at a sweet romance, Brooke not only accepts that Abby has real gifts, it’s clear that these five people and one cat make up a crack team. 

Got tea, anyone? In 1773, the Boston Tea Party sure did. Find out why going back in time helps break the case!
#Cozy mystery, #Time travel, #Paranormal, #Murder, #Cats #US History, #Humor

MY RECOMMENDATION

“Tea Anyone?” is a time-travel cozy mystery filled with unique (yet true to life) characters. Pay special attention to the names of the members of the Pride and Joy Gym. I got quite a few laughs out of the author’s creativity. There’s even a bit of romance blooming. And of course, before you know it, there’s a dead body.

Brooke has problems with authority. When she doesn’t pass the police exam, the chief places her in a researching position. Brooke’s new neighbor Abby, is a flower child, a hippie throwback from the 1960s who possesses the ability to time travel. Somehow the two women form a reluctant friendship. With the help of a few friends and Brooke’s cat, Junie, the group assists the police in solving a string of murders that reach back into time.

One of Mallery’s writing gifts is her love for history. Historical details abound, adding to the realistic feel in this mystery. The plot is sound and well thought out, and the characters are the kind of people who could be your neighbors.

The romance developing between Brooke and Tony only makes me want to read more. Where is their relationship going? This is the first book in the series and I can’t wait to see what Brooke and Abby get into next.

As an added bonus, this book is only $.99, the perfect weekend read!

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

A USA TODAY Best Selling author and two-time READERS’ FAVORITE GOLD MEDAL winner, S. R. Mallery–as her fans say–“brings history to life.” 

They say I’m as eclectic as my characters. I’ve been a singer, a composer, a calligrapher, a quilt artist, and an ESL/Reading teacher. But it is the world of writing historical fiction where I feel I’ve come “home.” It’s where I’ve received various awards and in addition, get to do my second love: Research.

When people talk about the news of the day, or when I listen to music, my overactive imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past, which helps me conjure up scenes between characters I’ve yet to meet. 

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT S. R. MALLERY’S BOOKS:

Unexpected Gifts: “This is a book to be savored, as there is much information, as well as a captivating story about one family greatly affected by the events of their times. A thought-provoking read indeed!” — Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite 

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads
This is a fascinating collection of anecdotes and historical snippets focusing on the timely art of sewing. – Emily-Jane Hills Orford for READER’s FAVORITE

“Mallery is an extremely talented writer. Her style lures the reader; you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression.” — Blogger 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, Top Amazon reviewer

Genteel Secrets “is a beautiful story which transports the reader in time. True to life historical fiction at its best, it’s so much more than romance.” – Riley, Top Amazon reviewer

Trouble in Glamour Town “is very historically accurate, portraying the real workings of the Hollywood sleaze, dishonesty and corruption happening at that time. S.R. Mallery is a gifted author who drew me into the story from the first word and kept me reading until the very last page… ” – Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

Ellie & The War On Powder Creek
“This is one of those rare western romances that are historically accurate. From the way the characters talk to their dress and their way of life, the author has given a very accurate account of how the west was back in the late 1800s. The narrative was reflective of that time; the descriptions took me to the places and the characters and had me experiencing the hardships and tension along with them … 
The author’s writing style is the magic behind this amazing novel. S.R. Mallery did a great job at keeping the story alive, keeping the momentum going and making sure that the reader didn’t lose interest at any point. I loved this book”
—– Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite *****

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG/WEBSITE: https:///www.srmallery.blog

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/SarahMallery1

FACEBOOK PAGES: 
Personal page: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.mallery.3
Fan Page: http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

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 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 – “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! ❤


Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Genteel Secrets,” By Author, S. R. Mallery

book-review-background

  • Title:  Genteel Secrets
  • Author: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size: 4027 KB
  • Print Length: 118 Pages
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MTU6KNE
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Romance, Victorian, Military

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In the Author’s Words:

“What do a well-bred Southern Belle and a Northern working class Pinkerton detective have in common? Espionage . . . And romance. At the start of the U.S. Civil War, while young men begin dying on American battlefields and slavery is headed toward its end, behind the scenes, female undercover work and Pinkerton intelligence are alive and well. But in the end, can this unlikely Romeo and Juliet couple’s love survive, or will they be just another casualty of war?”

My Recommendation:

Anytime S. R. Mallery releases a new book is a great day for the enthusiasts who follow her historical romances. So, you can imagine my excitement when she released, Genteel Secrets, a Civil War romance with a unique twist – Alan Pinkerton, who served as head of the Union Intelligence Service, and who created the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Set in 1861 in Washington, D.C., we are introduced to James Neely, an Irish immigrant who has worked his way out of the slums to become a doctor. In a chance encounter in a city park, he meets Hannah Mayfield, an educated woman from the Confederate South. In addition to their irresistible attraction, is a mutual admiration in the way they both express the politics of the day. Most Southern women do not engage in such things, and James is clearly smitten.

A series of life events interrupts their blossoming love affair. James finds his calling by joining the Pinkerton’s, where he is thrust into the middle of an investigation into that of a notorious spy ring, running out in the open within the capital. Little does he know, the elusive Hannah, has been blackmailed into taking part in the political intrigue by members of her own family. The challenge is whether their love can stand the test of time and win out in the end.

However, this story is bigger than James and Hannah’s love affair. It is also a political commentary on America’s Civil War and the treatment of slaves. It is about loyalty and friendship and the choices people made to keep true to their personal freedom and beliefs.

At the beginning of each chapter, the author inserted quotations that shared the political climate of the times. I enjoyed these passages because it added a sense of credibility to the story. I’ve added this book to my “Me-Time,” category because I loved it so much. I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened next. The ending was unexpected and restored my faith in humanity.

If you like fast-paced historical drama, this is one book you will not want to miss. I loved it!

My Rating:

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

Author, Sarah Mallery

About Sarah Mallery:

S.R. Mallery, Gold Medalist winner of the 2016 READER’S FAVORITE Book Awards for Anthologies, 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

Sarah loves to hear from fans and readers. You can find her here:

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/

This book would make a great Christmas gift! Thanks for stopping by. ❤

Silver’s Book Reviews – Author, Sarah Mallery

One of the most fulfilling gifts of being a book reviewer is getting introduced to authors you would not have known about if you were just looking for books on an Amazon search. I met Sarah Mallery by chance on Twitter and have forever been glad of our encounter. Sarah is an amazing author and has entertained me for countless hours with her writing.

I interviewed Sarah on Lit World Interviews and you can read that interview here. In addition, on that same site, I reviewed her book, “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads.” Please click here to read that review.

Author, Sarah Mallery

Today, I would like to quickly review two more of Sarah Mallery’s books, “Tales to Count On,” and “Unexpected Gifts.” Both of these books were gifted to me by the author. My aim here is to give an authentic review of her books and to introduce you to the author and her works.

Tales to Count On

Do you ever find yourself short on time? If so, “Tales to Count On,” was written especially for you – the person on the go. In fact, the stories start out as microfiction that continues to grow in length with each story in the collection; thus explaining the play on words with the title. There is something here for everyone.

This is Sarah Mallery’s second published collection of short stories. Each tale is told with a unique twist that will draw you into the web of tales she skillfully weaves. Some of the stories will surprise you and others will easily bring you to tears. From the account of a woman working at a women’s shelter to the yarn about a room in a mansion that contains secrets from World War II, you will embark on a strange and wonderful journey throughout history.

One of my personal favorites was called, “The Kitchen.” A bit of a neat freak myself, I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the woman cleaning the most used room in the house. Just remember, nothing is as it seems with Sarah Mallery telling the tales. Just when you think you have it figured out, Sarah will show you otherwise.

I rated “Tales to Count On,” as 4.5 out 5 stars. This is an excellent choice for late night readers who want something to read quickly. I was entertained from start to finish.

You can find this book on the following links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Unexpected Gifts

Do you believe that history repeats itself within families? If so, “Unexpected Gifts,” will lead you on a journey through the past and into the future of a bewildered college student named Sonia, who is trying to make heads or tails out of her chaotic existence. Sonia’s life spirals between her studies and her rock musician boyfriend colliding with an impact that rocks her to her core. She finally realizes that decisions need to be made in order for her to gain control of the addictions plaguing her.

Turning to her mother, Sonia is introduced to the family’s best kept secrets, journals written by her ancestors. Sonia learns that her family was prominently involved in the women’s suffrage movement, the sinking of the Titanic, the rise of the assembly line, the building of the Empire State Building and the Great Depression.

World Wars, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam figure heavily in the stories, too. As Sonia embarks on a journey back into time learning about the people who came before her, she learns of her parent’s involvement in the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the cultural revolution of the Sixties. These lessons from the past prove to be the medicine that helps Sonia find her way in the world today.

Unexpected Gifts 004

Sarah Mallery weaves her magic for writing short stories with a historical flare into the plot of this novel, making it seem like a lesson in life one could live by. I was completely wrapped up in the characters who touched me deeply with the realities of their own life struggles. I also found I was emotionally connected to many of the true life events depicted in the book of which occurred during my journey into adulthood. You could say, through Sarah’s writing, I received some ‘unexpected gifts’ of realization of my own.

I rated “Unexpected Gifts,” as 5 out of 5 stars. “Unexpected Gifts,” is the rare kind of book that encourages you to look at your own family heritage to find the answers to your own problems. Long after the completion of the book, I missed the characters and the impact their stories made on me. This one really touched me deeply.

You can find this book on the following links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Sarah Mallery’s Links:

Website/Blog: www.srmallery.com

Twitter: @SarahMallery1

FB: http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107388739382996104658/posts

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067421.S_R_Mallery

Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)

http://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1


Silver always enjoys a good book! How about you?

Thanks for stopping by to learn about Sarah Mallery and her books. I appreciate you all!

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