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

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Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book:

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


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

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

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

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

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

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY RATING:

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author:

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

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

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

Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: karendowdall.com

Facebook: The Writer’s Loft

Twitter: @karendowdall

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series,” by Author, @Bowmanauthor

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

A Paranormal Fantasy & Time-Travel/Astral Projection Novel for “tweens”/teens/YA/Adults!

Delilah (“Dee”), a modern teenager, saves the life of Bartholomew (“Bartie”), a Colonial American from 1774, unknowingly bringing him to the 21st century. Dee’s vivid dreams are really astral projections that she can’t control. Together with Dee’s intuitive cat, Mollie, the Astral Investigation Team returns to the past to aid the boy and the shopkeeper, who are caught in a time warp of death and betrayal.

This is but the first episode of their adventures. They will be able to travel back in time and to the future, never knowing where or when they’ll be going or how to help doomed souls. If they don’t stop the repetitive vicious cycles, these damaged, bitter entities will be reborn to destroy society as we know it. As the series begins, there is much they have to learn about each other and the astral plane. Can history be rewritten, even after the fact?

Can the future be changed to prevent the predicted apocalypse? Not all souls can be saved, and some do not wish it. Join these Astral Investigators on their sojourns to different realities and other planes of existence.

  Amazon.com

Title: Episode One – The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah – Astral Investigator Infinity Series

Amazon Author Page: Deborah Bowman

Publication Date: February 21, 2015

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Time Travel, Fantasy, Children’s Ebooks, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Scary Stories, YA fiction

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Delilah, Astral Investigator: Infinity Series revolves around a young woman named Deliah who is afflicted with asthma, her angora cat named Molly, and a young man, Bartholomew, who steps from the pages of America history. The three combine their efforts and end up changing history.

The story revolves around a shopkeeper and a boy and an event that profoundly affects Delilah. Each night, when she falls asleep, she dreams of this fateful event, reliving the incident in excruciating detail.

However, One night Delilah’s dream changes, and she witnesses a different dream/occurrence where Bartholomew is about to be murdered. She reaches through time to pull him into her dream where she saves him. Once Bartholomew adjusts to this time continium, the unusual man from the past becomes her friend.

I enjoyed the story and how this author’s interpretation of time travel allowed a ripple effect to change past events. The storyline delves into the topics of lucid dreaming and astral projection, which really add a paranormal glint to solving the mystery.

The characters were engaging and relatable. I found Bartholomew’s dilemmas in coping with the modern world to be well thought out and at times humorous. This author has a penchant for realism, so some of the dialogue is written in English dialect which I thought added to the story.

I do hope the author continues the series because the time travel cornerstone of the story is intriguing. There are so many possibilities!

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, Deborah Bowman (Stevens)

About the Author:

Deborah Bowman has been sharing her stories and poems her entire life–her first poem published in a 4-H magazine at just 12 years old. She loves just about all genres of fiction and collects classical literature. Deborah’s recent selections are close to her heart. She has a passion and a crusade for the headline-driven factual and historical material which she weaves into novels and novellas.

New Release: Annie’s Story, Blessed With A Gift B01N9NRYMU
Historical Fiction based on fact via a past-life hypnotic regression. Annie was born dwarfed with a slow mind in 1630 Colonial America in a secreted Scottish village of the Massachusetts Bay Colony near Puritanical Salem. She is also whimsical, loving, and blessed with the gift of healing from the Spiritual Universe. In a time of suspicion and fear of demonology and witchcraft, many children with birth defects and their mothers were banished or put to death. This is a coming of age story which reveals parallels to our modern society in the abuse, ridicule, bullying, and labeling of individuals with special needs. History does repeat itself!

B00TVULOQY, DELILAH, ASTRAL INVESTIGATOR, INFINITY SERIES: EPISODE ONE, THE BOY AND THE SHOPKEEPER. A very modern teenager, Delilah (“Dee”) and a Colonial American from 1774, Bartholomew (“Bartie”) team up with Dee’s rambunctious and intuitive cat, Molly, to go back in time or journey to the future to save lost souls on the astral plane. Their mission is to save the world! Age appropriate for “tweens”, teens, YA, and adults as well, especially if you love the paranormal and believe in alternate planes of reality.

LIVING IN A SHADOW, B00AP68CUO, a full-length novel intended for mature readers deals with abuse and date-rape drugs. She presents the real-life facts that anyone can be a victim of these brutal attacks. “What do you do and how do you cope when you can’t remember what has been done to you? The side effects of these drugs can damage your physical and mental health or even cause death!”

The Denny Ryder Paranormal Crime Series (STROKE OF FEAR! B00CFWYAX4/STROKE OF MIDNIGHT! B00F8Z2KAK/STROKE OF SILENCE! B00JH78VOE) are quick-read novellas for the busy adult and age-appropriate for tweens/teens/YA. There is an epidemic in this country of missing children. “It’s important for children to know that danger lurks everywhere. If they can recognize a predator’s persuasion, they at least have a chance to run away, hide, or cry for help. Unfortunately, not all abductions can be prevented, but for every child that is saved, one less family is spared the heartbreak that can never be comforted.”

Deborah has a 20+-year history as well as formal education in writing, editing, proofreading, and publishing. She believes strongly in helping first-time and seasoned writers alike create quality books and eBooks at clasidconsultantspublishing.com. She does free reviews and critiques. “Books are timeless; readers are forever.”

Deborah has various upcoming projects but is always happy to hear from you and connect on social media.

How to Connect with the Author:

blog: http://www.bowmanauthor.com

website: http://www.clasidconsultantspublishing.com

Twitter: @bowmanauthor

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bowmanbooks

Goodreads

LinkedIn: Deborah Bowman Stevens

Tumblr: Really Very Miracle

Amazon Author’s Page: Deborah A. Bowman

Amazon Reviewer’s Page: Deborah Bowman, author

email: livinginashadow@outlook.com

Thanks for stopping by to read about “Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper: Delilah, Astral Investigator Infinity Series” It’s an awesome read!
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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Quantum Wanderlust,” by Authors,  Staci Troilo,‎ Michele Jones,‎ Joan Hall,‎ E.J. Lane,‎ Mae Clair,‎ P.C. Zick,‎ Teri Polen,‎ Irene Aprile,‎ Harmony Kent,‎ & C.S. Boyack 

book reviews

Title: Quantum Wanderlust

Amazon Author Pages:  Staci Troilo  (Author),‎ Michele Jones  (Author),‎ Joan Hall  (Author),‎ E.J. Lane (Author),‎ Mae Clair  (Author),‎ P.C. Zick  (Author),‎ Teri Polen  (Author),‎ Irene Aprile  (Author),‎ Harmony Kent  (Author),‎ C.S. Boyack  (Author)

Publication Date: September 16, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Time Travel, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

What if you had all the time in the world?

Thirteen authors answer that question with short stories about time travel. Go back in time to right a wrong, forward to see the future. No jump is too large, no method unfeasible, no lesson beyond learning.

• Visit the past to learn a family secret.
• See the formation of a future dictatorship.
• Assume responsibility for weaving the fabric of time.
• Travel back in time to WWII.
• Use a family heirloom to solve problems.
• Wear an inheritance to visit ancestors.
• Leave a dystopian future for the hope of something better.
• Make history come true in an unexpected way.
• Fight evil fairies to protect a chosen angel.
• Live with the childhood memory of visitors until the day they arrive.
• Seek medical help for a memory issue and get way more than bargained for.
• Discover that with great power comes great responsibility.
• Uncover the secrets of a pharaoh’s tomb and curse.

Do the characters observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline? Read these stories to learn how far they go, how they get there, and what happens when they return.

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I love genre anthologies, especially when they are by a bunch of talented authors like you will find listed below. But the thing is with book compilations, you won’t always love every single story in the group. You know what, that’s okay. This book gave me everything I was looking for.

Quantum Wanderlust is a FREE book that gave me the opportunity to meet a few authors I didn’t know and enjoy their writing. What more could you ask for?

Today, I’m going to concentrate on some of the authors I didn’t know to give you a taste of what you will find in this collection.

The first short story in the collection is called, “Family Tree,” by Mae Clair. This was my first introduction to her writing. I loved the pacing of the story and never knew what was going to happen next – and I couldn’t guess! If you love time travel and fantasy, this story will deliver.

Another story I enjoyed was called, “Fabric of Time,” by Michele Jones. Once again, this had a time travel/fantasy edge to it with an ending I never saw coming. Great plot and intrigue.

The story titled, “To getting What We Deserve,” by Teri Polen blew me away! I loved the creativity of this story. This one put me right into the thick of things. Let’s just say that the karmic ending was spectacular!

There are plenty more stories in this collection to read and enjoy – thirteen of them to be exact. Personally, I was thrilled to have the chance to sample some new author’s writing. I didn’t connect with all of the stories but like I said, this is a satisfactory compilation which gave me a quite a few hours of reading pleasure. Grab the book and see for yourself! ❤

MY RATING:

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

4 star rating

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

More about the authors:

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more. Click the links below.

Good morning friendsThanks for stopping by to meet all these new authors. I had a great time reading this collection and it’s FREE!

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The White Lady,” by Author, Beth Trissel

  • Title:  The White Lady (Ladies in Time #2)
  • Amazon Author Page: Beth Trissel
  • File Size: 3139 KB
  • Print Length: 110 Pages
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
  • Publication Date: November 10, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B075XBTY1J
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Romance, Time-Travel, Literature & Fiction, Fantasy, Genre Fiction

    The White Lady

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

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard, Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It’s just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.

Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap.

Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Meet Ignus Burke, independently wealthy wizard and time-traveler extraordinaire who specializes in rescuing lost souls. Along with his two cohorts, Avery Dunham and Stan Guthrie, these fast friends have traveled beyond the veil of magic more times then they can count.

Currently, Ignus is fascinated with the portrait of the White Lady which hangs in the parlor of his Victorian home in historic Staunton, Virginia. There is something about the picture that has piqued his curiosity to the extent of a dangerous obsession.

The White Lady is a portrait of a pale brunette beauty dressed in filmy white. Her age and the time frame of when the painting was completed is shrouded in mystery. So, one day, when Ignus announces to his friends that “The White Lady needs my help,” his declaration is met with skepticism from his friends. Avery is concerned that Ignus has taken his obsession too far. She knows something is off about the whole ordeal. It’s not just womanly intuition either because even Stan has noticed how preoccupied Ignus is with the painting.

The Victorian mansion that is owned by Ignus’ family seems to hold the key to finding out more about the portrait. Ignus can pick up on the energy from the past which swirls about the house and the antiques that were left behind by the previous occupants. To make matters worse, Ignus’ father, who disappeared years ago is somehow connected to the otherworldly allure the White Lady holds over Ignus. And yet, there’s much more family history to unravel and discover.

The adventure begins when the trio scatters caution to the wind by traveling back in time to when the trouble first started with the White Lady.

Fans of Doctor Who will love this adult paranormal time-traveling adventure. Beth Trissel is the master of paranormal fantasy by creating characters you can’t help but love as they are thrust into situations that only the gifted can solve. There’s something for everyone – ghosts, an ancient evil, and even the beginnings of a young romance that blossoms between the pages of the story.

The author shared some exciting facts about the White Lady tradition from her research. Beth Trissel said,

“It (the story) was inspired by the ghostly white lady or white woman lore I’m familiar with in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains, and farther afield. After researching, I discovered this lore is widespread in American and the UK and dates back centuries. It’s a paranormal ‘thing.'”

I loved this book because it was so unusual and creative. It was a fun read that moved as quickly as the spectral magic that danced on each page. I couldn’t help thinking what a fun Christmas gift this book would make as the setting in the novel takes place just days before the holiday begins. The
White Lady is the perfect book to curl up with under a mound of blankets on a snowy afternoon. Enjoy! ❤

MY RATING:

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



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

How to Contact this Author:

You can find Beth on her blog at https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com and on her author website at BethTrissel.com.

Twitter @BethTrissel

Facebook  Author Beth Trissel. I met Beth on Facebook. She shares the most breathtaking photos of her gardens and the fantastic Shenandoah Valley where she makes her home. If you really want to know an author, look at the images they share. ❤

Hugs for stopping by!