Colleen’s Book Reviews: “Sugar and Snails,” by Anne Goodwin, @Annecdotist

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails describes Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

Diana, a shy and reserved middle-aged professor, enters into a relationship with the recently divorced Simon. This relationship causes her to rethink her past and her future in ways she never imagined. She realizes things can’t go on the way they are. If she wants a normal life with Simon, she must resolve the guilt she carries from her childhood.

This midlife crisis propels the woman on a journey of self-discovery. At fifteen, Diana and her parents made a decision that changed her life forever. Now, she has to deal with the reality of that mysterious trip to Cairo all those long years ago.

Diana’s past remained a secret, and not even her closest friends knew the truth. To make matters worse, this guilt eventually cripples her as an individual. She is reclusive and painfully shy.

By the time her secret is revealed, I found myself speechless, as I’d never fully guessed the true nature of her mystery. But this story isn’t about the mystery so much as it is about Diana and how she deals with the past so that can move on with her future. In the end, Simon didn’t matter. But Diana’s relationship with Simon was the mechanism that forced her to come to grips with the past.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Anne Goodwin, but it won’t be the last. I stayed up late into the night enthralled by the writing, and with Diana’s character. This is an unusual coming of age tale, even though the protagonist is middle-aged. Some themes in this book deal with sexuality, self-harm, and identity. This is a must-read for anyone who ever felt different as a child or misunderstood!

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Jailbird’s Jackpot (Faith, Family, Frenzy! Book 4),” BY AUTHOR, P J Colando

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book:

REVENGE REWARD REDEMPTION

Parolee Amy Breeden held herself together during nearly two thousand days of incarceration with a single-minded focus: to destroy the dude who did her in. 

Within hours of her release, Amy hits the lotto mega-million jackpot.“ Living well is the best revenge,” her parole officer advises, but Amy is hellbent on revenge.

A former Chicago crime boss, an estranged brother, a substitute mom, a zany house painter, a pre-imprisonment pal – and the handsome parole officer – complicate Amy’s quest for empowerment. When Amy’s longtime nemesis invades her haven, her ire ignites. She becomes more determined than ever to avenge herself.

The aging crime boss enjoins her mission. Victory is finalized when she’s able to buy her mortal enemy’s thriving bar in a fire sale… and becomes the Boss. But is that enough? Will revenge result in satisfaction? Will her personal redemption require more than revenge and the monetary reward to live well?

Amazon.com

INTERNATIONAL BOOK LINK

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Steve and Jacquie are the perfect Midwest farm couple. You sense their love for one another with each turn of the page. In Book One, called “Stashes,” Jackie and Steve Breeden, your average hard-working, dairy farming, salt of the earth type folks who live on a rural farm in Michigan. Their son Brandon and his wife, Amy, hatch a scheme to expand the Breeden’s micro dairy business by growing and selling marijuana edibles with hilarious results. 

Book Two is called, “Hashes & Bashes.” When Carl, who is Steve’s brother from his mother’s WWII love tryst who had been given up for adoption, suddenly arrives on the scene, the Breeden family welcomes him into their nest. The author introduces many new characters in this book, and you’ll laugh and cry at the same time.

By book three, “The Winner’s Circle,” you wonder what could happen next. How about throwing some lotto winnings into the mix? Jacquie’s friend, Bonnie, has fallen in love with Steve’s brother, Carl. When Bonnie hits it big with a lotto win, their relationship is changed in ways they never imagined. And that’s just the beginning! The four friends embark on a journey of discovery which leads them to some startling revelations about each other and how they view themselves.

Now, we arrive at book four, “The Jailbird’s Jackpot,” which gives a voice to Amy Breeden after she’s released from prison for embezzling funds from the local bank.

And what a story Amy has to tell. I felt like she got more blame than she probably deserved, but her early release from prison sets up the story unexpectedly. Guess who also strikes it big in the lottery? You got it… the parolee ends up stinking rich!

Amy finds herself with more money than she knows what to do with… Add in a crazy friend, an unstable brother, and a drill sergeant parole officer, along with a host of other memorable characters, and you’ve got the setting for a story that you won’t be able to put down! I never saw the ending coming!

There’s plenty of unexpected twists and turns as Amy learns how to deal with her newfound wealth. Yet, this story reminds me of the hero’s journey as Amy learns more about herself as she deals with unexpected circumstances. If you love powerful women characters, Amy Breeden just might teach you a thing or two!

Many thanks to the author for providing me with a pre-release copy of the book. I’ve read and enjoyed the entire “Faith, Family, Frenzy” Series by PJ Colando. Find my book reviews for the other books below:

Silver’s Book Reviews – “STASHES,” BY P J COLANDO

Title:  Stashes – What Ever Happened to Earn? Author: P. J. Colando File Size: 1011 KB Print Length: 350 pages Page Numbers Source ISBN: Publisher: Bookbaby, 1 edition Publication Date: June 19, 2014 Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Language: English ASIN: B00LIAZBKK Formats: Paperback and Kindle Goodreads Genres: Women’s Fiction, Humor, Contemporary Fiction *The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for… More

Colleen’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Hashes & Bashes,” BY Author, P J COLANDO

Title:  Hashes and Bashes: Jackie & Steve Book 2 Author: P J Colando File Size: 1337 KB Print Length: 225 Pages Publisher: BookBaby Publication Date: September 13, 2016 Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC Language: English ASIN: B01LWV02LG Formats: Paperback and Kindle Goodreads Genres: Genre Fiction, Family Life, Humor, Literature & Fiction *I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book* “FAITH… FAMILY… FRENZY! Nine… More

Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “The Winner’s Circle (Faith! Family! Frenzy!)” by Author, P. J. Colando

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS: FAITH… FAMILY… FRENZY! Life in rural small town can dull the senses. A trio of gal pals–mired in middle age, Middle America, and other people’s problems–long to escape. When Bonnie wins the Boffo Lotto, her circle of friends urge her to lawyer up, invest, and sequester herself.  But secrets are inconceivable… More

About the Author:

I was born and raised in the Midwest, yet unabashedly aspired for adventure elsewhere, following my parents’ model.

I live in southern California, where seasons seldom matter, where any promise can be conjured and fulfilled. I write while my husband watches TV sports, which are always in season = often.

I wrote a series titled Faith, Family, Frenzy! about the small town & rural Midwest. I know the characters and settings very well and my fertile imagination creates the plots. None of the escapades I create have happened to anyone anywhere, not even me. 

Perhaps my series is a form of memoir…

I write humor and satire with a literary bent. Besides the four novels, I’ve published two short story anthologies and have a third in mind… I’m available to speak to your group or book club. I’m eager to engage with other writers and readers of my books.

I am having a blast!

PJ Colando Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author

Blog: https://www.pjcolando.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PJ-Colando-224896484261076/

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Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “Living in a Shadow” by Author, Deborah A. Bowman, @Bowmanauthor

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS

Title: Living in a Shadow

Amazon Author Page: Deborah A. Bowman

Formats: Kindle

Genres: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Goodreads

In the Author’s Words

LIVING IN A SHADOW is a must-read fictional drama with a powerful message for women of all ages, any man who has ever loved a woman, and any partner, regardless of gender, who has ever loved a victim, especially the unheard, unknown, uncomforted victims.

Sometimes the dreams we want most out of life are mere illusions, shadows in the mist. Fantasy and Desire: Is it Love or Lust? Truth, Reality, and Perception: Is it Fact or Fiction? Not that it matters. But, of course, you must have the ability to make these choices.

It’s not the book, any book, but what you personally take away from the book, embracing the experiences as if they were your own to enable you to select the best choices for your life course.

But what do you do, how do you cope, when choices are taken away from you? These are the shadows in all of our lives.

Author, Deborah Bowman

MY RECOMMENDATION

Living in a Shadow is the story of Marcy and Rich, told from the perspectives of the two characters as they chronicle the collapse of their marriage. The writing is riveting. It draws the reader into their personal world by sharing their thoughts and feelings.

The author chose to switch between Marcy and Rich’s mindset, which gave a certain intimacy to the novel, which kept me keyed into the story. At times, I felt as if I was eavesdropping, the dialogue was so realistic.

Love, relationships, trust, and misunderstandings are many of the themes. I especially enjoyed the aspects of the illusionary shadow mentioned in the title and how that theme flowed through the novel.

Everyone has a dark side. I believe Bowman successfully tapped into the shadow archetype revealing the part of the personality called the “Self,” showing all, and more in her characters. You know what I mean… that part that we don’t like about ourselves and the things we subconsciously deny as we project those things on to others? Bowman bares it all! These characters are so real; I felt like I knew them.

This was a hard book to put down, and I found myself propelled through a whirlwind of emotions.

Be prepared because the ending was unexpected. I never saw it coming!

MY RATING:

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

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Deborah A. Bowman (bowmanauthor): Author of 8 books; Writer/Editor/Designer/Publishing Agent/Ghostwriter

My first poem was published when I was 12 years old in a 4-H Magazine, and I was hooked!

I read everything I could get my hands on and wrote continuously … everything for everyone.

My career allowed me to write in different voices, media, and genre. It was gratifying to create the right product for the right audience; hopefully, on-time and in-budget:

  • Educated at the U.S. Department of Army Graduate School, I became the youngest and first female Authorization Publications Officer for DOD. I take great pride in supporting our Armed Forces with clear, accurate instructional manuals and reports, many of which are still in use today, and creating full-color newspaper/public affairs media.
  • I wrote a monthly column for the “Medical News” as an Advanced Certified Psychological Hypnotherapist (A.C.P.H.) and was featured in the “Washington Post Newspaper Parenting Magazine” for my work with ADHD teens. Hypnotherapy certification started out as a hobby for me to cope with pain and to learn relaxation, but my desire to help others has always pushed me in new, exciting directions.
  • At an early age (late-30s) I spent two years in a wheelchair, working as a Fiction Reader for Erie Literary Agency. I learned invaluable tools to assist other authors produce their best works. I embraced the challenge!
  • I have had numerous poems and lyrics/songs published as a musician (reeds, guitar, piano, Celtic harp, singer). Runner-up songwriter award for the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest, 2nd year after inception. Winner of The Editor’s Choice Award in poetry, 1998. Poem dedicated and copyrighted to www. lupus.org for their use, gratis, in 2014. An article and photo written, gratis, and used by The Buttery mansion/restaurant on the history of the location in Lewes, Delaware, 2015. Other awards with DOD, award-winning authors, which I have represented or ghostwritten for, are too numerous to mention.
  • As an editor/formatter for eBookstand.com (rated no. 3 on Oprah Winfrey’s print-on-demand list), I e-published two of my own books: A novel and a short-story Anthology. I had finally returned to my roots. I currently have 8 books of my own published.

Now, I’m very happy and pleased to wear two hats:

  • The Writer/Editor/Ghostwriter who polishes all genre/all media of written and designed products to the highest quality at affordable prices by “continuously reading everything for everyone”. I read for myself with my clients in mind to offer cutting-edge trends in editing and proofreading. One should never proofread their own work.
  • The fiction writer/reader (aren’t all writers, readers?) writing, doing book reviews, editorial reviews, encouraging, mentoring, coaching, and public speaking on tricks-of-the-trade in publishing; book readings and signings; launching books for other authors whom I have ghostwritten for; and a strong advocate for SLE Lupus, speaking and writing on remaining active, accepted, and recognized for yourself, not defined by a disability or handicap.

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


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

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

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

Amazon.com

Title: Just an Odd Job Girl

Amazon Author Page: Sally Cronin

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

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

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY RATING:

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

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System
Author, Sally Cronin

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

How to Connect with the Author:

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

TWITTER@sgc58

FACEBOOKSally Cronin

I couldn’t put this book down!
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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Tales from the Realm of the Green Elf,” by Author, Wendy Anne Darling

book review logo

Title: Tales from the Realm of the Green Elf

Amazon Author Page: Wendy Anne Darling

Publication Date: August 25, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Anthologies, Magical Realism, Anthologies and Literature Collections

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

Magic Takes Many Forms!

Wendy Anne Darling’s latest anthology includes a large number of brand-new, never-seen-before poetry and stories that have never appeared in print until now.

The author enjoys writing fresh takes on traditional ideas and following her heart where her creativity leads. For instance; what WOULD happen to Wendy and the Lost Boys if something horrible happened to Peter Pan? How DOES one unpopular and very plain boy find a way to make a place for himself in his world? Does poetry rhyme? Sometimes, and sometimes NOT, but it always flows and dances to its own unique rhythm.

Finding a balance between life and magic can be a challenge, but Ms. Darling’s prose attempts to prove that life and magic are one and the same thing.

Spend a happy few hours discovering if she succeeded. 🙂

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Tales From the Realm of the Green Elf is Wendy Anne Darling’s first published poetry and short story collection. In this inviting anthology, she shares her poetry and short stories written as if each selection erupted from her heart, surrounding the reader with the magic of her words.

I find anthologies and poetry collections to be some of the most satisfying reads, and this book falls into that category. Between these pages, you will encounter a unicorn with a sense of humor, experience a new sequel to Peter Pan, and read an enchanting story of a teen who learns how to make a friend out of an enemy. And, this is just a small amount of the magic that explodes from this tome.

This is the kind of book you will want to curl up with on an autumn afternoon, as you relish the last rays of the summer sun. In fact, I read this book one evening, not even realizing the passage of time. The captivating prose and poetry will cast a spell over you.

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

 

Wendy 1.18.17 take 2

Author, Wendy Anne Darling

About the Author:

Once upon a time in soggy, wet England…

Long before Wendy Anne Darling started writing poetry (age 9), and even before she began reading everything she could lay her pudgy, little hands on (age 6); she picked up a pencil and started drawing.

Stick figures made way for portraits, fashion designs, and oil paintings (using all the left-over colors from paint-by-numbers kits), and Wendy decided she was going to be an artist.

The desire to write stories came to the forefront, thanks to the encouragement of her family and her English teacher; Miss Buss, but still Wendy stuck to her plans and got a degree in Graphic Design. Her first ever job was drawing advertisements for drive-in movie screens with a company called Cine Media in South Africa. She later had a fabulous time working in graphic design for Out Front Colorado; Denver’s most well-loved, gay newspaper.

She also loved to read aloud, and became a narrator and audiobook producer for Amazon Audible and currently has 15 audiobooks in her portfolio.

If it involved creativity, Wendy was into it.

While her number 1 goal now is to write fantasy and sci-fi fiction, she could never let go of her love for drawing. Trying to decide what she was going to be when she ‘grew up;’ which she never succeeded in doing, Wendy, sensibly, came to the conclusion that she was simply going to do ALL OF IT.

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How to Connect with the Author:

Author Blog – Wendy Anne Darling.com

Sisters of the Fey Blog

Twitter: @AuthorWDarling

Facebook Author Page: Author Wendy Anne Darling

LinkedIn: Wendy Anne Darling

Pinterest: Wendy Anne Darling

Amazon Author Pages

Amazon.com Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OG3B91G

Amazon.co.uk Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00OG3B91G

Woot Thanks for stopping by to meet Wendy and to hear about her new book, Tales from the Realm of the Green Elf. ❤

 

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The House on Candlewick Lane,” by Author, Amy M. Reade

    • Title: The House on Candlewick Lane, A Malice Novel
    • Amazon Author Page: Amy M. Reade
    • File Size: 1272 KB
    • Print Length: 263 Pages
    • Publisher: Lyrical Underground
    • Publication Date: February 7, 2017
    • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN:  B01FBZXR3K
    • ISBN-10: 1516100174
    • ISBN-13: 978-1516100170
    • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
    • Goodreads
    • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Kidnapping, Gothic Mystery

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.

Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact, he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

One morning, Greer Dobbins gets the kind of phone call that every parent dreads. Her five-year-old daughter, Ellie, didn’t show up in class after riding the bus to school. In a panic, Greer pieces together the evidence she finds in her house that her ex-husband Neill, has kidnapped the child and fled back to their homeland of Scotland.

Her passport is missing, but between the police and Federal authorities, she manages to catch a flight to Edinburgh, with the hopes of recovering her child. On the plane, Greer meets a man named James, who shares her love for art history. She tells him everything, and they exchange numbers with the hope they will meet again in a professional capacity.

Greer is from Scotland, so she has plenty of support from her mother, sister, Sylvie, and her sister’s boyfriend. Scotland Yard is involved in the search for Ellie and little by little, Greer reveals a terrible past while married to her ex-husband. Neill’s gambling addiction is what ended their marriage, and once back in Scotland, Greer discovers that this is the reason he has kidnapped their daughter. The story builds on the tension until the end, spinning a satisfactory gothic tale.

I loved the rich descriptions of Edinburgh. You definitely feel like you are walking the streets next to Greer, searching for Ellie. You can feel the rain and the cold, and a couple times, I swear I could smell the scents of the local cuisine.

Greer’s character is flawed, although I suspect this was caused by the abuse she suffered at the hand of her ex-husband. At times she seems almost clinical, lacking in emotions. Much of her pain is internalized, and she portrays the damsel in distress perfectly. It is through the love of James that Greer finally tries to reconcile her past.

As in most gothic novels, the actual house on Candlewick Lane is creepy and filled with dark passages and rooms. You feel the evil emanate from the structure and from the people who live there. Numerous times I cringed at the abuse Greer was forced to endure. The ending was a total surprise and one I didn’t see coming.

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate:  4.5 out of 5 Fairies

4.5 fairies


Author, Amy M. Reade

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade writes women’s contemporary and gothic fiction. Her books have been compared to authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s standalone novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Most recently, she has been working on The Malice series, set in the United Kingdom.

A former attorney, Amy found that writing was her true calling. She loves cooking, reading, and travel. You can visit her website, http://www.amymreade.com, where, in addition to information about her books and appearances, you will find a contact form, suggested playlists to go along with her novels, and notes and recommendations on wines.

Author contacts:

Please visit my blog here

I am on Facebook here

I am on Twitter here

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Silver’s #Book Reviews – “Mountain Miracles,” BY AUTHOR P. C. Zick

  • Title:  Mountain Miracles
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JMJDZ06
  • ISBN-10: 1536850705
  • ISBN-13: 9781536850703
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Native American Romance

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

In the author’s words:

When Sissy Jones moves to the Smoky Mountains, she’s determined to follow her dream of owning a business by opening a coffee shop, right next door to a new paper starting up at the same time. The handsome publisher, David Bellwood, and Sissy discover an irresistible attraction to one another, but first, they must deal with mothers who aren’t always as they seem. After her mother has a stroke, Sissy must take care of her, and David must find out the truth behind his Cherokee mother’s disappearance when he was five. When Sissy tries to help David, he views her assistance as interference as he fights for his legacy. As both of them seek the comfort of family they’ve never known, they struggle to forgive, allowing the attraction to turn into something more.

My Recommendation:

When you first meet Sissy Jones you find her at a crossroads in her life. Starting over is never easy. The Smoky Mountains beckon and so does a new career. She opens a coffee shop in the small town of Murphy where Sissy meets David Bellwood, a new business owner himself. David begins a small newspaper in town, hoping to be near his boyhood cabin, where the memories of his mother haunt him.

Both David and Sissy are smitten with each other and friendship blossoms into love. Each character has issues with a parent. Sissy has a controlling mother and David has a father who is hiding a deep secret from him. As their family lives spiral out of control they find solace in each other’s arms.

This is my favorite kind of romance – You know, the kind where there is a mystery involved. David was told his mother died when he was young. Hungry for the truth, he hires a private investigator who finds the truth. Sissy tries to help but seems to make matters worse. Can their love survive?

I enjoyed this story as much as all of P. C. Zick’s novels. Somehow, she writes characters that seem to sneak their way into my heart. I always enjoy when there is a life lesson intertwined into a romance novel, and Mountain Miracles doesn’t disappoint.

This sweet story is filled with the feelings and desires of a first true love relationship. Add some family drama and mystery and you have a recipe for a story that reminds you of your own first love.

This is the perfect novel for a Sunday afternoon or for a vacation. Short, sweet, and oh, so good!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick

And Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PCZick

Thanks for stopping by,

You’re going to love this book! ❤

Silver’s Book Reviews – “Tears in the Sun,” by J. A. Owenby

Tears in the Sun

  • Title:  Tears in the Sun, A Short Story
  • Author: J. A. Owenby
  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 16 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: J. A. Owenby
  • Publication Date: December 25, 2013
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HBZOKY4
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Drama, Teen & Young Adult, Parenting & Relationships

*The author gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review which follows*

From the Author, J. A. Owenby:

“A Short Story – Lacey, a senior in high school, has never heard of borderline personality disorder yet she lives with it every day. As she begins realizing her family isn’t as normal as she thought, she searches for help and answers. Those answers turn her world upside down, and she is left with making life changing decisions for not only herself but her mentally ill mother who she loves more than anything.”

Recommendation:

This is an entertaining short read that really takes your breath away. Mental Illness can be debilitating to a family’s structure and Lacey’s family is no exception. I won’t kid you, there are some scenes in this story that will affect you deeply.

I found the characters to be well thought out and totally realistic. I felt great empathy with Lacey as a teenager trying to cope with her mother’s religious obsessions which she forced on everyone, near and far, all symptoms of a deepening mental illness burgeoning out of control.

The one salvation for Lacey was Patsy, her mother’s lover who had bought the house with her mother years ago. Their relationship hints at a deep friendship and emotional alliance against the shame and humiliation forced upon them from the ravages of the mother’s mental illness.

All books start somewhere and J. A. Owenby shared with me that she wrote this short story in 2011. She worked with an editor from Writer’s Digest and decided to put it on Amazon a few years later. Jen said that after her short story was published she had many people reach out and ask for a full novel, that she finally wrote it.

Her novel will be released later this year and called, “The Truth She Knew.” The book will include Lacey, Mama, and Patsy from the short story, and additional characters. Jen adds that she addresses issues in the novel including mental illness, mental/physical abuse, and religious manipulation. Lacy falls in love for the first time in the novel and is able to summon all her strength to make some very difficult decisions.

As of the date of this review, Jen was not sure of a publication date for the novel. I understand it is in the hands of her editor. However, I am sure if you connect with her on her blog or social media you will be able to follow the novel’s progress.

This is one you won’t want to miss!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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J.A. Owenby

About J. A. Owenby:

J. A. (Jen) Owenby lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats.

She’s a published author of six short stories and is beginning her first full-length novel. J.A. doesn’t mess around when it comes to working with a professional team in order to present her best writing.

She also runs her own business and helps people find jobs they love as a professional resume writer.

She is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and pop tarts. Her downtime consists of a beautiful summer evening, snuggling with her hubby outside underneath the stars. If it’s winter, listening to the rain and watching NFL football.

You can follow the events of her upcoming novel on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby, and on Twitter at J A Owenby, Author at https://twitter.com/JAOwenby. Look for J. A. Owenby on her blog at Jen’s Thoughts https://jenowenby.wordpress.com/.

Thanks for stopping by,

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

  • Title:  The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb (Book 1)
  • Author: Effrosyni Moschoudi
  • File Size: 2152 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher:   Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: July 2nd, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LGNYEPC
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romance

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

What’s it all about?

This story begins in Brighton, England in 1937. Destitute and seeking a new start, Laura, and her mother leave London to find a new home where Laura’s sickly mother can recover from the ills of living in the city. Once there, life blossoms for the lovely Laura. Soon after her arrival, she meets Christian, a stagehand at the West Pier Theater. Laura falls in love with him and their life seems destined to be a happy one. However, Christian realizes that Laura has ambitions that might not include him.

Almost true to the form of a rag to riches tale, Laura embarks on a promising singing career after being discovered while cleaning up after her shift in the nearby coffee shop. Ecstatic with her new career, Laura realizes she wants the good things in life. A rich aristocrat, Charles Willard pursues Laura with the intent to make her his own. Laura’s singing ambitions create problems for Laura and Christian as Laura realizes the horrible truth that Willard has an unhealthy obsession for her.

Suddenly, it is 1987, where twenty-year-old Sofia from Athens, Greece spends the summer with her grandparents in Corfu, Greece. Her vacation is at an idyllic location near the sea with a loving family that cherishes her. In an act of defiance against her strict father, Sofia takes a job at the local boat rental shop located on the pier near the beach. One day a captivatingly handsome Englishman named Danny who is vacationing from Brighton, England appears on the beach.

Quick as a flash, Danny steals Sofia’s heart with his laughter and winning ways. Sofia cannot resist his charms and falls in love with him, all the while worrying that her family will report her activities to her strict father. Danny’s vacation comes to an end and he heads home to Brighton leaving Sofia in her beloved Corfu.

Corfu, Greece

In the midst of trying to balance her feelings for Danny and her family obligations, Sofia begins to have dreams of a strange lady in black who walks the West Pier in Brighton, of which she has never seen except for pictures in a magazine that Danny showed her. The woman resembles Sofia and somehow the woman’s pain becomes part of Sofia, deepening a haunting and mysterious connection between the two women.

And the mystery thickens…

At the heart of the two intertwining love stories are the piers – one in Brighton, and the other in Corfu. Sofia and Laura are connected through the haunting dreams even though they are separated by fifty years. Unfortunately, this is part one of the series and it does not give many answers to the questions that I was left with at the end of this book. Not that this is a bad thing.

Nevertheless, the descriptions painted by the words of Ms. Moschoudi transported me easily between the two times and locations. I loved how easy it was for me to find myself at both locations; on the Brighton pier and relaxing on the beach in Corfu. The characters were easy to connect with and I yearned for their love stories to become complete. I can’t wait to continue the series to find out what happens next!

My Recommendation:

I do highly recommend this book with the understanding that the story will continue to unfold in the subsequent volumes. There is a bewitching quality to the stories you will not forget. The second book is: “The Flow,” and the third book in the series is: “The Storm,” to be published in December 2015.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4.5
Reader Enrichment: 4.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.5

About Effrosyni Moschoudi:

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

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

Make certain to connect with Effrosyni through her Twitter @FrostieMoss

And Facebook at Author Effrosyni Moschoudi

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Thanks for popping in to meet Effrosyni! I’ll see you all again!