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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Silver’s #Book Reviews – “The Hunter’s Moon,” by Beth Trissel

  • Title:  The Hunter’s Moon, Book One of the “Secret Warrior Series”
  • Author: Beth Trissel
  • File Size: 420 KB
  • Print Length: 133 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
  • Publication Date: December 14, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017OCROM8
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery

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

Running for Their Lives!

Sixteen-year-old Morgan Daniel and her younger brother Jimmy are forced into hiding as members in a witness protection program while concealing themselves from a gang called the Panteras. Witnesses to a gang-style murder Morgan and Jimmy attempt to live under the radar with the help of their aunt.

When the Panteras hunt them down once again, Morgan and Jimmy flee with Morgan driving her decrepit vehicle into the mountains of Virginia. Following the detailed instructions their aunt has given them in the event they are forced to run once again, their escape route leads them into unknown territory.

Desperate to survive and protect Jimmy, Morgan feels an overpowering urge to pull off the road at a specific gap in the forest even though the Panteras are in hot pursuit. Morgan crashes her ancient vehicle as the Panteras give chase with assault rifles at the ready. With no time to lose, the kids run from their burning vehicle and hide in the woods.

Morgan Meets her True Destiny

Suddenly a black wolf emerges from the trees. Soon, another wolf appears. Morgan and Jimmy hear the sounds of fighting deep in the woods. Finally, all is silent.

When a young Native American man named Jackson appears, Morgan and Jimmy are plunged into solving the mystery surrounding an ancient prophecy that Morgan finds she is bound to. Her destiny is clear. On her seventeenth birthday, Morgan is forced to come to grips with her ancient blood curse as a she-werewolf!

Recommendation:

If you love fantasy and paranormal activity this book has it all. Mysterious ghostly beings, shape-shifters, witchcraft, ancient Native American creatures, including aliens from other planets all coalesce around a story steeped in age-old American history and primeval folklore. I was in fantasy reading heaven!

I am a huge fan of stories about werewolves and this was by far one of the best written and most interesting young adult tales I have read. The writing was sharp and clear with descriptions that you could see and feel.

Be prepared to slip into another world as you are introduced to the Warrior Clan of the Wapicoli, a group of Native American shape-shifters who live under the control of an old warrior and mystical being called Okema. It is then that Morgan learns the Wapicoli have a special connection to wolves. I especially loved the blending of Native American lore and mythology which was liberally sprinkled throughout the novel giving the story a distinct link to the past.

I enjoyed all of the characters and could envision Morgan grappling with the reality of her blood heritage. The little brother Jimmy is a fascinating study of a young boy. Jimmy is in many ways gifted in all the things that Morgan is not. At times, I wondered if he was taking care of his sister instead of the other way around. Morgan is the typical teenage girl who is forced to accept her destiny. I loved the banter between the siblings.

All in all, this was a page-turner I did not want to end. Beth Trissel weaves her love of history, paranormal activity, and YA fantasy into a storyline that will haunt your thoughts every full moon. From what I could tell, I found a bit of the author between these pages as she shares her knowledge of gardening and her love for animals which she skillfully wove between the pages of this book.

For Beth Trissel, The Hunter’s Moon is the first in her series of YA paranormal suspense thrillers under the subtitle of the “Secret Warrior Series.” The next in the series is called, “Curse of the Moon,” which has a publication date of May 4, 2016. The book is available for pre-order now. It’s not quick enough for me!

Sorry, I have to run! These pre-order copies run out fast! There’s no time to lose!

My Rating:

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


Meet Beth Trissel:

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, YA fantasy romance, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

From the Author:

“The Secret Warrior Series was inspired by my love of history, fantasy, and fascination with the mountain people and Native Americans.  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by mountains veiled in mist and mystery lends itself well to creating the characters and setting for The Hunter’s Moon, and the stories that will follow as the series unfolds. Some of the characters and creatures are based on lore I’ve learned over the years. Others appeared to me, as characters have a way of doing.  A great deal of research and intuition went into writing The Hunter’s Moon. I hope you will enjoy it and the stories yet to come. Next in the series, Curse of the Moon.”

Her blog is the happening place at https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/ or her author website at BethTrissel.com

You can find Beth through her Twitter @BethTrissel or on Facebook at Author Beth Trissel.

Thanks for stopping by,