Review: The Barrowfields 

Synopsis:

A richly textured coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, home and family, recalling classics by Thomas Wolfe and William Styron, by a powerful new voice in fiction
Just before Henry Aster’s birth, his father—outsized literary ambition and pregnant wife in tow—reluctantly returns to the small Appalachian town in which he was raised and installs his young family in an immense house of iron and glass perched high on the side of a mountain. There, Henry grows up under the writing desk of this fiercely brilliant man. But when tragedy tips his father toward a fearsome unraveling, what was once a young son’s reverence is poisoned and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again. 
Mythic in its sweep and mesmeric in its prose, The Barrowfields is a breathtaking debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis takes readers on a journey of discovering truths and facing our demons. A family that was once happy soon turned into anything but happy. A son couldn’t wait to be free from his life at home. Taking off, her thought he could escape what haunts him. But he soon learns that no matter how far he goes, it would never leave him. This caused him to return home. Love, conflict, and family are three important themes corporates into this novel. I found it heartbreaking and dark. 

The Barrowfields is a tragedy that won’t be forgotten far after it’s been read. It felt like Phillip Lewis took me straight into the minds and hearts of both the father and son featured inside this tale. Quite mesmerizing. Broken and sad are the emotions caused by every page. The story begins well…then slows down some. Luckily, it moved back up to speed. Henry is a character readers everywhere can easily relate to and understand. Phillip Lewis masterfully crafted a heartfelt novel whose pages tore at my heart. Overall, I recommend this coming of age tale to all. 

Review: Wild Ideas

Synopsis:

Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out takes you on an intimate journey through the seven stages of the creative process. All along the way, counselor, artist, and writer Cathy Wild interweaves her own deeply personal story as well as provocative insights gleaned from her many years in private practice. Discover your authentic voice while exploring timeless themes that compel creative expression—curiosity and imagination, mystery and mourning, chaos and clarity, suffering and gratitude and many more. 

A feast for the heart, mind, and soul, Wild Ideas is designed for both artists and non-artists alike who are drawn to their inner world of thought and feeling. Whether you are already a working artist, struggling to become one — and especially if you want to feel more alive and engaged—this wise and thought-provoking book has the power to revitalize your thinking and renew your spirit of adventure. 

Wild Ideas can help you build a resilient foundation for engaging creative challenges in your life and work: 1) You will understand how to make the journey from inspiration to realization of a vision. 2) You will find clarity and comfort while learning to navigate the daunting emotional challenges that frequently block creators. 3) You will reclaim what is richest and most authentic about your own life. 4) You will feel inspired to replace apprehension about your creative capabilities with self-knowledge, trust, and a passionate spirit of adventure. 5) You will feel deeply supported as you unlock the mysteries of your own creative power! 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Wild Ideas by Cathy Wild is a great guide for building creativity. The writer has a lot to offer inside her book. A wonderful emotional yet inspiring journey to follow. Taking ones thoughts and placing them in a way that proves positive. I can’t see how anyone reading this book won’t be changed. It certainly drove me deeper into my life and changed how I felt. I read this book that led me out of my norm and it personally challenged myself. It is well-written and organized in a way that makes flipping through the pages easy. Wild Ideas is a self-help book that anyone and any age could read. Overall, I recommend it. 

Review: Never Trust A Pirate


Synopsis
The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate
is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Never Trust A Pirate by Valerie Bowman is a scandalous read. An English rogue who has a twin brother that’s a spy. But little does the spy know his twin, Cade, also works for the government. Cade goes about life feeling like a black sheep due to his mother. However, his life gets shaken when a so called lady’s maid, Danielle, walks into his life. She’s not what she seems. A spy plus more. She’s sent to spy on Cade because he leaves the English government suspicious of his absences. No one knows what his plans are or how long he plans to stay home. Danielle’s life has never been easy. Her mother is thrown in jail, and now, her mother’s health isn’t good. Danielle works as a spy in order to take care of her mother.  But now, danger is rising…both physical and emotional. Love might just hit both Cade and the mysterious lady, Danielle. I loved the humor and the brewing romance. The scenes were engaging and hot. Danielle is taught never to trust a pirate but then again, Cade isn’t a pirate. The suspense and heat is powerfully displayed on every page. I found Never Trust A Pirate very entertaining and well worth reading. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: The Bad Luck Bride




Synopsis:

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! Could her run of bad luck finally be at an end? It’s highly doubtful in this writer’s humble opinion. —Midnight Cryer
No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse…especially once she realizes that Lord Pembrooke makes her want to believe she’s not a bad luck bride anymore…
Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper. The beguiling lady has no business laying claim to his heart. But as a mission of revenge turns into fiery passion, Alexander wants nothing more than to break Claire’s curse…and lead them both to their hearts’ desire.
“The Bad Luck Bride is a stroke of good luck for readers—the intricate plot, arresting characters,and rich emotional resonance will leave you swooning.”—New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries


The Bad
Luck Bride is the first in a new Regency romance series from Janna MacGregor!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor is a fascinating historical. Immediately readers are drawn deep into the tale. It lured me further by pure curiosity. The suspense of one charcater’s plan…and what will actually come of it got me excited. The Bad Luck Bride is about one man getting back at another by using his enemy’s fiancé. But little will both the bride and husband to be know that real love will play into the equation. I found it hilarious, enticing, and ful, of drama. Th action was never disappointing. Janna MacGregor has a flare for writinga romance that beckons and captivates readers whole. My heart was with the charcaters as their troubles unfolded. Society has a way of drawing the characters out…and pulling them closer than they thought they would ever be. Revenge is not to be toyed with…emotions ran strong within the book. I was highly entertained. Both Alexander and Claire are characters that readers like myself will always remember. Overall, I highly recommend this well-written plot to all. 

Review: The Dangerous Billionaire 




Synopsis:

Money doesn’t always change the man in this new standalone romance from Jackie Ashenden.
Navy SEAL Sullivan “Van” Tate has been called home to reluctantly inherit an empire and finds himself facing the most difficult mission of all: love.
“Sinfully sexy.”–Opal Carew on Mine to Take
Nothing about Sullivan “Van” Tate is what it seems. A Navy SEAL raised among the New York City elite, Van prefers heart-pounding action over a Wall Street corner office. But when his adoptive father dies and his business rivals move in to overtake his empire, Van must suit up to save the company and protect the one woman most forbidden to him…and the object of Van’s most dangerous desires.
Chloe Tate is as ambitious as she is gorgeous. With a newfound independence, Chloe is no longer a prisoner on her father’s ranch. But everything changes when losing her father may also mean losing her life. Even with her survival on the line, Chloe can’t deny the burning attraction she feels the moment she locks eyes with Van, her rich, rough and ready, foster brother and the new head of her father’s company. Tall, dark, and muscled, he’s the one man who she has no business being with. But how can she resist a Navy Seal Warrior when he’ll do anything to protect her?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Dangerous Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden was brilliant. A family torn apart by a dead father’s secrets. A man who couldn’t have kids adopted and accepted four children to raise as his own. His heirs. The father is a rich man who made his money from oil. After his death he wrote a will. Stating that his eldest adoptiveson, Van Tate, is the sole heir of both the Tate oil company and the ranch. But there lies the problem…the ranch was to go to the youngest. Chloe Tate was told by her father that’s she would inherit the ranch. However, he’s dead now, and he left behind more problems than promises kept. 

Chloe is called out to New York by Tate. She soon learns that he has inherited everything…including the family ranch. Chloe is frustrated at how Tate makes her feel. Tate, too, has deep feelings for his adoptive sister, Chloe. They both try to push the feelings away. But neither succeed and now, the stakes are high as well as the danger. Secrets…Chloe and Tate both find out her real parentage. Shock isn’t the only emotional released after the news. The emotional journey from beginning to end was intense. Powerfully written and engaging in every way possible. Tate soon becomes exactly as the title suggests, The Dangerous Billionaire. Jackie Ashenden has thoroughly impressed me with her applause male heroes and stubborn heroine. The plot twists were unexpected but very good. Enticing, hot, and sweet. I loved reading this contemporary romance novel. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Cake Spell Disaster




Synopsis:

Mistmoor Point has a new dirty word… poison! 

Welcome to Mistmoor Point… 

A small town on a small island where magic is standard practice and witches rule. 

Felicity Redfern has a lot of jobs. 

Baker, girlfriend, novice witch… and… worst of all, private investigator. 

When the mayor’s anniversary party goes wrong, disaster happened! 
1. Half the town is sick. 

2. The mayor’s in a coma. 

3. The most disastrous part… One person’s dead. 
And someone will take the blame. 

Felicity’s mother and her supernatural bakery. 

Is this a case of magic accidentally gone wrong, or is something more sinister at bay? 

Felicity’s counting on her boyfriend, master warlock and sheriff of Mistmoor Point, Lincoln Maxwell, to help her solve the crime.

But … Lincoln thinks he already knows who the culprit is—Felicity’s mother! 

With no one on her side, Felicity has no choice but to use her novice witchy powers to investigate on her own. 

But the job proves too big for one witch alone… or one amateur witch to be exact! 

When her own life gets threatened, there’s only one friend Felicity can turn to for help… 

Her mother’s familiar, a fuzzy feline named Sunny. 
But can they fix this mess before someone else gets killed? 

What if Felicity’s mother really is to blame? 

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW … 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cake Spell Disaster by Zoe Arden is phenomenal. Imagine ring the best baker on your side of town and landing a huge bake job, only to fall sick as well as everyone else. One person dies…others severely ill. Felicity doesn’t believe that her mother ‘accidentally’ added the wrong ingredients to her bake goods. Plus, Felicity’s brother is acting strange and a threat is left in the form of a note on her car. The who done it vibeis set perfectly. Two cats are involved. One is a spy for the enemy and the other is a detective for his owners. However, it takes for a deep investigation and for Felicity to get hurt before the final clues are set. From there things get out of hand…literary. I enjoyed reading this paranormal novella. It was sweet, hilarious and dangerous. The mystery of the Cake Spell Disaster kept me intrigued from the beginning to end. I loved the characters. Both the good and bad characters were brilliant. Each added to the story.  Overall, I highly recommend Zoe Arden’s novella, Cake Spell Disaster, to readers everywhere. 

Author Interview with Shirley Rose Webb



ULM: What was like writing this memoir?
It was fun but extremely painful and at the same time very therapeutic.
ULM: How would you describe My Sister, My Daighter, and Me using only three words?

Crazy, fun, ridiculous.

 

ULM: Which scene from your memoir would say was the best time shared among the three of you, ladies?

Our cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, It was crazy fun from the beginning to the end. We all laughed and laughed until we could laugh no more.

 

ULM: How did finishing the memoir feel?

It was a comforting feeling of letting go, leaving some anger and pain behind as well as finding some closure after five years of suffering.
ULM: What advice would you give to others who went through similar situations? 

Seek the assistance of a professional therapist to help you take one step at a time. Keep a sense of humor, a positive attitude with friends and family and, most of all, laugh all you can!
ULM: Did you ever think your memoir would be published by a publisher?

I always knew I had a great story to tell.
ULM: Are their any other future writing projects that you can share with us, readers?

A future writing project will be about a troubled teenager living with the HIV virus.

ULM: What would you say to someone who is struggling?

Don’t give up. Stay strong and positive and follow your dreams.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your memoir online?

inkwaterbooks.com/shirleyrosewebb 

Review: Simplify Your Life from Inside Out




Synopsis:

Simplify Your Life from the INSIDE OUT: The 7 Keys to Finding Inner Peace

“I just wish things could be simpler!” If that has been your lament, and if you still haven’t found anything that really helps…or lasts…you are not alone.
As the world gets busier and faster, your life can easily become more complicated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In Simplify Your Life from THE INSIDE OUT: The 7 Keys to Finding Inner Peace, you will find the practical and effective advice that you’ve been seeking:
✔ How to rediscover the peaceful way to live.
✔ How to recognize and overcome the barriers to a life of simplicity.
✔ The 7 Keys that will guide you in your journey and help you stay on your path.

A Unified Plan to Address Your Problems At Their Core

Most approaches to simplifying your life focus on the tangible and visible ‘stuff’ in your life, which although important, is just not enough.
The real issues lie beneath the surface: In the false beliefs and assumptions you hold about the way life works. What you’re looking for are real solutions to your real problems, not band aids.
Discover the Way to Inner Peace – Solutions Found In Life, Not In the Textbook
Have you tried following the advice of ‘experts’ in the field, but it seemed distant and disconnected from your reality? In this book you will:
✔ Read real stories about real people…just like you.
✔ Learn how each problem was faced… and solved.
✔ Discover simple rules to apply in your daily life that work.
Unlock the Doors and Overcome the Barriers That Stand Between You and the Life of Simplicity That You Want.
Author Mark Wayne Smith shares with you the powerful, life changing lessons he learned when confronted with his own personal moment of awakening and found a way to a simpler life. The essence of that life is this:
Living in simplicity and peace is your natural state; it’s how you were created to live.
You don’t have to learn or master anything new: you only need to unlearn the years of complexity that the world has taught you, one layer at a time.
A New Look At Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Addiction with Promising Results
Based on the real-life experiences of the author, a recovering alcoholic himself, this book offers invaluable help to those in recovery.
The lessons of the 7 Keys will work for everyone, but if you or your loved one are in recovery, these lessons will provide invaluable help in building better relationships.

A Book That You Should Read At Least Once In Your Lifetime

· Written in simple and straightforward language.
· Real life examples of how each key has been applied, and the results achieved.
· Practical ‘first steps to take’ for each key to help you get started today.
· A Christian perspective to everyday problems, found in the Scriptures.
· A clear plan for you to return to the simple and peaceful life you once enjoyed.
As you learn the lessons of the 7 Keys and follow the steps in the plan, you will discover a whole new way of living your life by discarding old beliefs and questioning the rules that never really were true.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Simplify Your Life from Inside Out by Mark Wayne Smith is a great tool. A must have for all. This book was wonderfully woven in a way that walks readers through different situations. It’s like getting a sneak peak into what’s really going on in spcertain circumstances as well as how to see the whole picture. It’s hard when the reader is the one in those situations but when reading the stories, it gives a clear idea. Like not being able to see and then suddenly, wham, lights are on…Simplify Your Life makes understanding easy. I felt myself connecting to both the writer and the stories he has cleverly written for me. Real world issues defined with real world situations. I loved that about this book the most. Step-by-step readers can become closer to facing their problems and overcoming them. Finding that balance that takes all the weight off one’s shoulders. Overall, I enjoyed reading the 7 keys and following the writer inside this book. I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Knight Takes Pawn (Happy Release Day!)

Synopsis:

Jagger rules everything. The cities from the elite districts, to the slums, and everything in between are his domain in one of three sovereigns on the planet Jaru. The only law is Jagger Law which can change at any moment. One wrong look or word can get a body part chopped off or have you killed.
Since the beginning of the war, which was almost over three decades ago, the air has had been stale and musty, still smelling of burnt metal. All resources needed to survive are severely limited, causing many Jaruians to pillage one another just to get a single meal for the day.
There are some who wish to end Jagger’s power and they’ve started to infiltrate his organization. Money, amongst other things, are just a farce that Jagger uses to dangle in front of his subjects to keep the population in line and distracted. Those who want to see the end of Jagger’s reign want to take control over the depleting natural resources in order to save the planet and the Jaruian species.
Natalie gets caught up in Jagger’s twisted game of power and control when she’s taken from her sovereign. Against her will, like all women who are caught, Natalie is thrown into the Jaruian sex trade. With her new, unwanted job responsibilities, Natalie takes a stand, willing to die fighting for her life rather than be used. When an opportunity presents itself, is Natalie willing to do whatever it takes to free herself or remain only a pawn?

WARNING: This series contains sensitive material. Reader discretion is advised. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Knight Takes Pawn by Martha Sweeney is her 5th novel. I have read everything published by this talented woman. Unlike her previous fictional worlds, Knight Takes Pawn heads in a new genre direction. This one is a psychological thriller. All previous books were contemporary romance. I can honestly say, that Martha Sweeney has a knack for writing the best reads. Whether they are short or full-length novels.  Instantly, I was intrigued wondering how this writer was going to do with her new direction. But I was amazed once again. She totally blew me out of this world and deeeply into her new one. Thrilling, engaging, and dark. Knight Takes Pawn is a must read for all. 

Inside this latest book, Knight Takes Pawn, Martha Sweeney take us, readers to a new place. Themes like slavery, cruelty, and trust are incorporated throughout the piece. Trust is greatly lacking due to the spies. Martha Sweeney has created a world that no one can trust someone else. If trust is placed in the wrong person…everything is lost. Gone forever. Death hangs in the air. The suspense of what is to come on every page will leave readers on the edge of their seats. Absolutely, a compelling yet frightening read. One woman is tired of what happens to her and fights back. I love the daring, and boldness of the characters. Evil versus good. I was addicted from beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend Knight Takes Pawn to readers worldwide. 

Review: Jorie and the Magic Stones




Synopsis:

When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn’t imagine the adventures she would have with dragons — good and bad — and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie — for that is what she prefers to be called — finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. 

Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog — stones of enormous power — and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly. 

Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day? Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A. H. Richardson is a children’s fantasy full of magic. Adventure, friendship, and danger can be found within the these pages. I was immediately drawn into the tale. A. H. Richardson has a way with leading readers further into her world of fiction. As an adult, I was fascinated with the journey. Dragons, magic, and tons of action to keep me entertained all night long. The charcaters are three-dimensional. It’s easy to relate to them and get lost within the scenes. Traveling a magical land, completing a challenge, and finding oneself is a lot of fun. Rich, engaging, and well-told. Jorie is a brave girl who journeys far to help find three stones and return them. Along the way, things happen. Danger is close by and the suspense was phenomenal. I can this book being loved by both adults and children alike. The story elements are appealing to all ages. Overall, I highly recommend Jorie and the Magic Stones to readers worldwide. 

Review: Electric Souk



Synopsis:

Ireland’s gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn’s life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait? Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist. But where do his loyalties lie? Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. She has to ask, whom can she trust? Can she trust her instincts? Humanity blisters in this haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Electric Souk by Rose McGinty is by far an interesting read. It instantly takes readers on an epic journey. A young woman leaves her homeland for work in another country. A country full of war, distrust, and danger. The stakes are high. Never knowing who to trust, Aisling Finn puts her life in the hands of those around her. Spies, secret police, and work fill her days. At first, the novel shows Aisling following people as they live a fast life full of drinking and good times. But fear hangs deeply in the air. I never knew what to expect next. Rose McGinty writes a superb novel. Suspense, intrigue, and the mysterious lure of what may come. Electric Souk is definitely an electrifying tale. Resistance, destruction, and secrets on every page. The intensity builds. The charcaters are written in a way that visually tugs readers further into the book. Loyalties and deception are major the,es surrounding these interesting charcaters. Overall, I highly recommend reading Electric Souk to all. 

Review: Pillowtalk 




Synopsis:

In this heartfelt romance from the author of the All About Love series, two people who thought they’d given up on passion turn to each other for emotional support—and maybe something a little more physical.

 

Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t sure if she’s ready to move on.

 

Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae is a beautifully told romance. A young woman deeply in love with a man ends up losing him…he was a man who didn’t believe in marriage yet even until the end he didn’t want to let go of Kennedy. He loved her. She loved him so much. A year after losing her first love, readers follow her back to a small-town. The small-town her love was from…to spread his ashes. From loss to sorrow, then to love and happiness…I was instantly impressed with Cassie Mae’s writing. Her charcaters carried a heavy burden, a load that weighed them down from moving forward. Kennedy would hold the silver canister filled with her love’s ashes. She proved to be a strong character. Aaron was strong too. He felt like he wasn’t a good man and that he didn’t deserve love. Then, Kennedy comes and instantly something about her fills him with joy. But first they both need to let go, and love again. Pillowtalk is a heartfelt, sweet, and sexy tale. I couldn’t stop reading it. The plot was engaging and the characters were believable. Their pain was easy to relate to as well as understand. I can see this novel being a big screen picture. Beware, readers will cry just as much as they laugh when following Cassie Mae’s latest story. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Nothing Like a Duke

Synopsis:

A Georgette Heyer-esque tale of high society in the glittering Regency
Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about Flora, but his plans are thwarted when she suddenly arrives.
Their attraction flares, but their romance becomes complicated when the sinister Anthony Durand shows up and threatens Flora. Every bone in Robert’s body says to save her…but he’ll have to learn that some damsels in distress can save themselves if he truly wants to win her heart. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford is a hilarious yet romantic historical read. I loved the main characters. Their arguements were amusing. The sparks that flew between was fun to follow as the clever plot unfolded. Fast-paced, exciting, and one that will keep readers constantly on their toes. I didn’t know what to expect next. From a woman trying for a Duke’s attention when his heart is set on another to…a cheater found at the card table. Then, more danger is soon discovered. The unique part about Jane Ashford’s latest title, was how intelligent and stubborn her heroine was in wanting to save herself. The restrain of any man to hold back as he watched the danger unfold to a woman he loves…was amazing. Suspenseful but good. I cant imagine any man being able to ho,d back because he knows how important it was to the woman for her to ‘save herself’. Sacrifice, determination, and a love to light up my night. This was definitely a fascinating story. A real page turner. Addictive plot lines and charming characters. Overall, I highly recommend Nothing Like a Duke to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Idea of You

Synopsis

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…
Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse is a powerfully written novel. A novel that all women can relate to easily. Love, relationships, and family are just a few of the themes presented inside this tale. From the beginning, I felt saddened by the main charcater’s life. She gave up her one and only child. A child that kept her wondering for forty-years, if she had a good life or not. The  Idea of You was indeed a perfect title. It perfectly worked for this read.  This same woman felt like a loner. Always single at events that couples would be attending. My heart reached out to Lucy. But then, the unexpected happens and she meets Jonah. He’s a great man. Their love is true and it made me smile to watch them as they worked out their issues and are just as happy as when they wedded.  However, a secret comes out and before readers know it, Lucy’s and Jonah’s world has been flopped upside down and inside out…then, Jonah’s daughter has a secret to tell. I felt that this tale was very believable. I can see this situation happening to anyone. Jonah’s struggles as a father and husband were tested. I loved the end results that Amanda Prowse created. So much sorrow and then some healing and laughter. Lucy went through a lot more than giving up her only child, she also miscarried. I can only imagine her hurt…overall, I highly recommend The Idea of You to readers everywhere. Emotionally deep and satisfying to read. 

Review: Some Small Magic

Synopsis:

She whispers, “I’m supposed to take you home.”
“Not yet,” Abel says. “Please, just not yet.”
All Abel wants is a little bit of magic in his life. Enough money so his mom doesn’t cry at night. Healing for his broken body. And maybe a few answers about his past.
When Abel discovers letters to him from the dad he believed dead, he wonders if magic has come to the hills of Mattingly, Virginia, after all. But not everything is as it seems.
With a lot of questions and a little bit of hope, Abel decides to run away to find the truth. But danger follows him from the moment he jumps his first boxcar, forcing Abel to rely upon his simpleminded friend Willie—a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most—and a beautiful young woman who was already on the train. 
From Appalachia to the Tennessee wilds and through the Carolina mountains, the name of a single small town beckons: Fairhope. That is where Abel believes his magic lays. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is that the magic that will one day lead him home? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey is a heart breaking read. I wanted to cry and hug the characters. I felt the need to help, sympathize, and care. The entire read was an emotionally deep story. One that takes readers into its core and never lets go. Captivating, well-written, and stunning. Each character had an issue that pulled at my heart. I would love to see this book on the big screens everywhere. 

Billy Coffey has a talent for providing a fictional world that drags readers instantly inside and change everything they feel. A mother who is single and ones what she cans for her and her son.  A son who has a condition that makes readers like myself connect immediately with him. Then there’s others with other conditions that are just as sad. Some Some Magic is about a boy looking for the magic he believes exists. It’s up to readers to find out if he finds it or not. Once I picked up this book and read it, there was no returning from the tragic tale. Brilliantly woven for readers’ entertainment…Some Small Magic is a must read for all. I highly recommend it. 

Review: Best of Luck 

Synopsis:

Amber has only ever wanted one thing in life. To be a star. When that dream has finally come true, an old friend ends up getting in the way and friendships may end up jeopardizing everything. Now in a time when privacy is a thing of her past, where paparazzi follow her every move, she’ll need to decide what’s more important to her, because it’s more than just her career on the line. 
Tom has struggled for years with his feelings towards Amber, his best friend’s little sister. The woman has been driving him crazy since… well, forever. Now that she’s on every TV set, every movie poster in the country, it’s even harder to avoid looking into those sexy blue eyes and not remembering her passion. Especially when she’ll be spending the next few months back in Denver filming her latest movie. This time, Tom may not be able to hold back the sparks that fly between them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Best of Luck by Jill Sanders is another sensational hit by this talented writer. It’s no wonder her books are stunning. The romance brewing inside this latest novel was heartfelt. I fell deeply in love with the plot. Fast, engaging, and hilarious. A bit of suspense and danger but mostly a sweet entertaining read from beginning to end. 

Jill Sanders has once again, written a superb contemporary romance. I love her writing style. The words are written in a way that entices readers like myself further into the plot. Love…is powerful. Imagine holding onto a love thatnever really gotto begin and then that person comes back…the old feelings come back hitting harder than before. Especially, for Tom. He’s had a thing for Amber for a long time. Her career has made it impossible for Tom to forget how much he likes her…and then when she came back…it was a breaking point. Tom wasn’t going to do nothing…he was going to show Amber. But not all is well in Amber’s world. Threats are happening and Tom isn’t letting it slide. He’s going to do all he can to protect her. Best of Luck is  a romance that shows dreams can come true. Amber made her dream career work but now she doubts it. I felt like that characters were real and their issues were easily believable. This tale was enjoyable to read. Overall, I highly recommend it to all.

Review:  More than a Slave



Synopsis:

Alexander Anderson has a reputation that would strike fear into the heart of the devil himself. And now, Aria Starbird is his property.

Aria has spent only a few months as a lowly slave, but already her happy childhood memories were starting to fade under the weight of her brutal existence.

When she is sold to Lord Anderson at an auction, she cannot help but be afraid. Lord Anderson is known for his cruelty. He is fiendish and handsome and as wicked as he is wealthy.

However, as she gets to know her new master, she realizes there is more to him than meets the eye. Over time, she is able to penetrate his tough exterior, and begins to understand the struggle of a man who believes love is a weakness, but whose heart is now yearning for something unknown.

As the two let down their walls and discover each other’s truths, will Aria be able to tame Alexander’s inner-beast?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

More than a Slave by Anaelle Gadeyne is the darkest yet most intensifying read ever. The Hunger Games has nothing compared to this book. This was dark, horrifying, and emotional. So many issues brought up in a clever way. I was intrigued and chilled at the same time. Aria is a young woman who sacrificed herself as a slave to help her parents. They were barely living and no food, no money, and their home would be lost forever. But the moment Aria is a slave her life changes forever. Aria won’t experience happiness for a long time. Seven months of torture by a cruel man. Then she suffers cruel punishment from in public. But her bravery and strength surprises a lord watching it all. Alexander has been know to be feared by all. He kills without mercy. However, seeing Aria…he admires and likes what he sees in her. Fiery, bold, and strong. Not to mention beautiful. Aria sees Alexander Anderson and likes him too. But knowing he’s a monster has her slightly off…soon, fate will bring them both together and each one will change the other’s life around completely. More than a Slave brings up the cruelty shown to human beings. How those who are rich treat those who are below them as well as how and what slaves endured. I was amazed by the emotional force that hit me while reading this novel. I felt sad, angry, and happy. Eventually good does win…Anaelle Gadeyne has a talent for showing readers the ugliness of what occurs in life as well as the beauty of it. Overall, I highly recommend More than a Slave to readers worldwide. 

Meet, Poet, June Marie Davis…


 



ULM: What inspired you to write Reflections of a Soul?

 

 JMD: I was told that I couldn’t and that I wouldn’t amount to much by a close relative. So I did it, I wrote a book.

 

ULM: How long have you been writing poems?

 

JMD: Since I was a teenager, 12 or 13 years old.

 

ULM: Which of your poems inside Reflections of a Soul was your favorite?


JMD: They all have a special sentiment to me, but if I had to choose I would say there are two that are my favorite. “I AM”, which is the last poem in the book is an empowering poem about being who you are, being proud and accepting of that.  

 

“Daddy’s Little Girl” is the first poem to open the book and I chose that poem because it was something that I never experienced as a child. My mom did an amazing job raising my brother and I as a single parent, but the not knowing what my father was like was always a curiosity to me.

 

ULM: Are there more poems you have written besides the ones inside your latest book?

 

JMD: I do have more poems, and I try to write often. Writing is cathartic for me, most times I just write down what or how I’m feeling and I wont go back to it for days or weeks later.

 

ULM: How would you describe your writing using only three words?

 

JMD: Simple, Contemplative and Flawed. 

 

ULM: Do you have more works coming out soon? If so, can you share with us, readers, what those will be and when they’ll be published?

 

JMD: I have some works in progress. I’m working on a children’s book and another book, but I’m not quite sure of its format just yet. I am hoping by the end of the year to have one or both books published.

 

ULM: Have you published other volumes of poetry?

JMD: My first poem was published when I was 16 years old in a book with varies poets, but Reflections is my first book.

 

ULM: What advice would you give to other poets?

JMD: I would say to never give up on yourself and never let any one person keep you from your destiny. If you want to write, write. Your words are worthy of being read.

 

ULM: Where can readers find your work online?

 

JMD: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Inkwater Books

 

 

Review: The Ebb Tide


Synopsis:

A Heartwarming Tale of Courage and Love from Amish Fiction’s #1 Author

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her. 

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish. 

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie’s realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is a sweet Christian tale. A young Amish woman has had a heart for traveling the world in which God created. Her family wishes to see her baptized as an Amaish soon, but they start realizing it may not be what is good for their daughter. Sallie has a good Amish man back home who cares about her…yet her heart is constantly drifting back to Kevin. His family is Mennonite, not Amish. Sallie never once gives up trying to be a good Amish woman. She tries her best. But her heart is being pulled into another direction. Kevin and exploring the world. Beverly Lewis’s novel is heartfelt. The words carry a deep meaning and captivate me as I went through them. I felt sad and then happy for Sallie. Despite what our families want for us, we have to go find what it is that we want. Happiness is by falling our hearts. A deep and beautifully told story. The Ebb Tide is one that I recommend to readers worldwide. It’s relates to everything we all go through…each day. Finding ourselves. 

Review: The Roanoke Girls 




Synopsis

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel is a coming of age story that will captivate readers worldwide. The whole story was an eye opener of how the real world can be so cruel to the innocent. A family with the most dark secrets that will eventually come to light at the end…two elderly family members that should have been the ones that others could rely on…were the real monsters. The scenes made my skin crawl. The horror of what those Roanoke girls went through…was devastating. I can actually see this story being a realistic one. One of the Roanoke girls will make it out alive but the darkness will still continue to surround her. Leaving behind the family was the best thing Lane Roanoke could have done. Her mother and cousin have suffered greatly. One monster is arrested and the other goes free. Not enough evidence to arrest him, too. Sad what can happen in a family and how fast it crumbles. Amy Engel’s writing was great. Her characters felt real. The truth of what happened will stay with me forever…a haunting kind of read. Overall, I recommend The Roanoke Girls to all. 

Author Interview with Paul Allen Dage


 
 

 
 

ULM: What led you to creating the main character, Eddy Trout?

During the summer of 2005 I experienced a harmonic convergence of life-changing events. I’d just retired from teaching high school English and, after a long hiatus, I wanted to resume writing fiction. So I journeyed to Canon Beach, Oregon, and attended a week-long Dangerous Writing workshop, taught by Tom Spanbauer, a well-known writer who lives in Portland. Tom’s teaching and my introduction to Dangerous Writing reignited my writing passions. A year later I found myself divorced, and I’d met the love of my life, Debra, a beautiful person and artist. These events changed me, opened my eyes to see the world a bit differently, and they inspired a story idea about a man’s mid-life renewal. Eddy is the character I chose to tell that story. He’s fallen out of love and he’s down on his luck, but soon enough events conspire to make his simple life very difficult, and over the course of three novels those events forge a brand new Eddy.  

 

ULM: Did you always want to write a book?

Heck no! I grew up very poor, and we didn’t have access to many books. I remember reading a cheap set of Encyclopedia Britannica and the occasional National Geographic magazine that my grandparents had lying about their home. And I certainly was not a stellar English student in grade or high school. Straight out of high school I majored in Forestry, and my Comp I prof took notice of a story I’d written about tracking down a wounded deer. That I could string a bunch of mostly fragments and run-ons into a somewhat coherent story, and that warm feeling I got when my prof uttered a bit of praise—those revelations planted a fruitful seed in my little, non-literary brain. Wanting to see some of the world, I quit school and joined the Army. One dark, rainy night while on guard duty in Vietnam I decided I wanted to teach social studies, so after I got out of the Army I got a teaching degree in Social Science/Language Arts. I ended up teaching high school English, and teaching writing and literature began to nourish the feeling that, maybe, someday I could write a story myself. Largely self-taught, I began writing short stories in the basement of my home. A few were published. It wasn’t long before I set to work on my first novel, Perimeters, a story about an American soldier who falls in love with a Vietnamese woman. It’s unpublished, but I hope to change that someday. That seed my Comp I prof planted has, so far, grown into four novels.

 

ULM: How would you describe your writing?

I aim for the gritty and existential, with spare use of adjectives and adverbs. I like well-paced, noirish plots and characters with flaws. I’m a student of Dangerous Writing and a disciple of Tom Spanbauer’s. DW basically means going to a painful place in your past, dredging those images and feelings up from the past and casting them into stories, often in a first-person voice. For me, it’s therapeutic, cathartic. In the Eddy Trout Novels, Eddy is my first-person voice, and there’s a hell of a lot of his past to dredge up and deal with before he can find the new heart he seeks.

 

ULM: Was it difficult or easy to write Trout Run?

Easy, in the sense it’s a continuation of the Trout Kill story line, the first novel of the Eddy Trout Series. From the beginning, I had a narrative arc in mind that covered three novels: #1, Eddy kills his old heart; #2, Eddy runs after a new heart; and, #3, Eddy finds love and a new heart. The arc narrates Eddy’s transformation from ashes to resurrection. I don’t write from a pre-conceived outline, but rather by feeling my way along from scene to scene, taking notes and editing as I go, and trusting that this rather messy process will keep the story immediate and fresh.

And difficult, too, in the sense that TR took 4 years to complete. But the main difficulty for me was figuring out how to build a bridge between novels #1 and #3. I was challenged to find the right balance between keeping the plot moving forward in a hopefully interesting way, and with bringing in just the right amount of backstory from novel #1 to provide the reader with the necessary context. And then there’s the “meta-fiction” aspect, a novel within a novel, using a book Eddy’s father wrote to help Eddy understand and come to grips with his unknown past. 

 

ULM: How many novels do you have planned for the Eddy Trout Series?

Three. Trout Kill was published in 2013, and I was very pleased with the reviews. Trout Run is just out, and so far the reviews are very positive, too. I’m currently working on the third, and last, novel, Trout Love.

 

ULM: What other books have you written, if any?

 I’ve written a couple unpublished Vietnam novellas and, as I mentioned, the full-length novel Perimeters. After completing the Eddy Trout Series I’ll probably get to work on another Vietnam novel.

  

ULM: Besides writing an entertaining series, what other hobbies can you share with us, readers?

I build stuff. Right now I’m converting an above-garage storage area into a guest room. I’ve been playing poker with the same guys for over 35 years; they’re very slow learners and keep giving me their hard-earned quarters. My wife and I love attending music festivals, and our favorite thus far is The Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. What a hoot! I fish. I walk. I read. I cook. I’m teaching a memoir-writing class this summer.

 

ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?

Swill good coffee. Find a mentor. Read books and join or start a book group. Build your passion however you can and nourish it. Write every day, all the while knowing you can’t. Attend workshops. Keep your day job. I’m basically a self-taught writer, and that’s worked for me mostly because I’m a fierce, ruthless self-editor and not afraid to hit the delete key a million times.

  

ULM: When will the third novel to the Eddy Trout Series be released?

I hope to complete Trout Love in about two years … but my wife might think this a bit optimistic.

   

ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?

Printed and Kindle versions of Trout Kill and Trout Run are available at my author’s website at pauldage.com and through Amazon. Trout Kill is also available through the online bookstore at Outskirts Press, and Trout Run through the online bookstore at Inkwater Press. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Archbishop 




Synopsis:

The Archbishop by Monk Tihon is a famous book in Russia. Written before the Bolshevik revolution, it came under the steamroller of the communist censorship along with other extraordinary books of Orthodoxy.

The Archbishop is a book that provokes, a literary work, o novella, not a treaty of ecclesiology, continuing to be a cry against the ecclesiastical conformity. At the beginning of the 20th century, the author, Hieromonk Tihon, is unsatisfied with the lukewarm general atmosphere that rules inside the Church. He devises an ideal shepherd in the person of the main character of the book – the Archbishop – who tries to bring the apostolic spirit among priests and believers. 

Although the book is somehow meant to be a spiritual deployment program, it is read as an interesting, realistic, maybe too honest sometimes, chronicle of the ecclesial life. The characters are vivid, honest, uninvented. Nothing stops us from believing that this ‘Archbishop’ existed for real and that, maybe, he himself wrote this book.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Archbishop by Monk Tohin is a great read. I highly recommend it to all. Inside, reader will find a journey full of emotions that we all go through in our lives. The characters play an important part that show readers what is really happening and what we can do. A priest finds himself with nothing but trouble when he takes pity on a young couple. His burdens keep adding to the point that he loses his way…until he meets another priest. One that by looks would seem to act much above the poorer priest. Yet, Monk Tihon surprises me when the exact opposite happened. I was just as surprised as the  poorer priest. Sympathy was instantly felt for the priest with all the troubles. His heart laced with fear, anger, and sadness. The Archbishop is engaging, compelling, and brilliantly written. A spiritual guidance that was raw, honest, interesting. I found it captivating. Readers can easily relate to the charcaters and their troubles. Overall, I highly recommend this literary title to all. 

Review: Long Time Gone





Synopsis
Connealy Combines Western Action and Charming Historical Romance
The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.
With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?


Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy is the second book to the first one I read in this new series. Mary Connealy has a way of creating three-dimensional characters that pull readers like me inside their world. Fast-paced, exciting, and completely dangerous. An air of mystery is on every page. The characters are an interesting group. A family experiencing threats, a sibling injured, and a doctor’s assistant who lures a brother like a moth to a flame…

Mary Connealy’s, Long Time Gone, is a suspenseful yet mysterious read. The action keeps readers moving constantly. I was always on my toes wondering what was going to happen next. A family is facing threats of losing their family ranch. One member of theirs is already injured and might be on the mend…which leaves some time to figuring out what’s really happening and why. But as with the previous novel, Mary Connealy leaves more questions than answers. The suspense is great. Some answers are answered but there’s more that has yet to be answered. This will entice readers like me to look out for the next book in this series. Clean, romantic, and full of adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this stunning plot. Overall, I would recommend it to all. 

Review: My Sister, My Daughter, and Me

My Sister, My Daughter, and Me



Synopsis:

Three crazy, fun-loving Hispanic women (Tres Señoritas Locas) who had big dreams of making a better life for themselves. The first, with her irrepressible sense of humor, struggled mightily with some very wise and very foolish choices along the way. The second, with her beauty and charm, showed great promise, but kept falling over and over for the wrong men. The third, loving and kind, painstakingly reinvented herself after a cheating husband threw her out. And one of the three, through freakish circumstances, met with a heartrending death.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

My Sister, My Daughter, and Me by Shirley Rose Webb is a funny, yet entertaining memoir of a woman, her sister, and her daughter. Each of these women were crazy, fun-loving, and Hispanic. Their adventures together are told inside and it was enjoyable to follow along. Vibrant, engaging, and heartfelt. I loved how close these women were to one another. Their love for each other was strong. Each woman had a different journey but the same goal. A better life for themselves. Hurt, betrayed, and determined. Shirley Rose Webb is an inspiration to all. She was brave in sharing her story with readers everywhere. It wasn’t easy. Emotions like laughter, sadness, pain, as well as anger swept over me as I continued to follow the tale. Heartbreaking to read but one that will always linger close to the heart. Losing a loved one is difficult. Overall, I highly recommend, My Sister, My Daughter, and Me to all.

Review: A Minger’s Tale

A Minger's Tale




Synopsis: 

If only he knew where God lived, he would urinate in his letterbox! Growing up is a difficult time in the life of Ribban Bookmark, this book traces his journey down a Minger Highway, signposted with humour and littered with roadkill oneliners.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

A Minger’s Tale, by R. B. N. Bookmark, is a wonderfully told memoir. Bookmark’s journey is one that intrigues and lures readers like myself further into the book. It is easy to relate to as the tale is about the writer’s ups and downs in life. Life can be awful, but some of us have more downs than ups. His struggles tugged at my heart. Following as R. B. N. Bookmark made mistakes, took what life gave him, and how he survived it all, made me really connect with the writer. Funny, inspiring, and truly an entertaining read. A Minger’s Tale is indeed the perfect title for this book. Once I opened it, I couldn’t stop reading. The raw openness of this writer has sucked me in whole. Overall, I highly recommend his book to all.

Review: Love’s Dark Door 

Synopsis:

Charlotte is going through the normal difficulties that follow graduation from college: finding a life of her own and a place to work. It is complicated even more when her parents tell her they are going to get a divorce. The divorce makes Charlotte feel depressed, and it seems as though no one can help her at all… until she meets Lane.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Love’s Dark Door by Julia Bailey is a contemporary romance that is easy to relate to as well as understand. The character’s situation is one that can happen to anyone. Coming home from college, Charlotte finds her parents fighting. They are getting a divorce. That puts pressure on Charlotte. She thoughtby coming home, she could fix their situation. But she soon realizes that she can’t. She soon applies for an interview…and her dad just barely gives her the time of day. Then, upon the interview she reacted in a way that most people wouldn’t for fear of losing a job. But considering the stress she was under it felt right. From there Charlotte gets more than she thought she would. Love’s Dark Door is complicated, messy, and emotional. The ending felt a little cut off…like it was too short or neededa bit more before ending…other than that the book was great. Charlotte goes through a rollercoaster ride as her life changes from negative to positive to negative again. 

Review: Written in Love

Written in Love

Synopsis:

When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?

Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.

Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.

In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them could pen.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

Written in Love, by Kathleen Fuller, is a sweet yet heartfelt story. The characters are easy to relate to, and the plot is engaging. Kathleen Fuller is a talented writer. She clearly knows how to enchant her readers like myself into her books. Having read previous books by her, I still can’t decide which one is my favorite. I would have to choose them all.

Written in Love is about two young Amish people who write to one another. Pen pals who soon fall in love…But as with life, there are things they both hide from each other. Jalcon Chupp hides his past and Phoebe isn’t very truthful to Jalcon when she wrote him. Soon, their secrets are out and fate intervenes. Both will have to rely on their faith for guidance and strength. I loved following along. These characters felt real. Their problems were easy to understand. Overall, I highly recommend Written in Love, by Kathleen Fuller, to all.

Review: Dark Ties




Synopsis:

Two years after being attacked by a psychotic fan, Ken Simmons has finally released a new novel. It’s the biggest commercial success of his career and Ken should be ecstatic. But happiness is hard to come by with the killer he created haunting his dreams.

Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, Sheriff Allen James is investigating a series of murders. 

Murders seemingly detailed by Ken’s book.

When Allen seeks Ken’s help, they discover that Ken’s book may be more than just a simple crime novel, and Ken’s connection to the killer more than just fantasy.

Ken knows better than anyone how dangerous this killer is and is not eager to get involved. However, the burden of knowledge means Ken can’t quite commit himself to the sidelines, and he finds himself reluctantly agreeing to help Allen bring him to justice.

But when the killer discovers Ken and his new bestseller, all bets are off. Ken must decide whether to run…or face a monster he once thought only existed in his mind. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Imagine being a writer who writes bone chilling thrillers with a crazy murder. A murderer that is hard to catch, if caught at all. That’s where this story takes readers. Ken Simmons writes a book.  A killer who haunts him all the time. The local authorities are having trouble with the crimes and ask Ken to help. Ken knows that the killer is one he doesn’t want to play with…yet, he knows more than the police and can help them. As the plot explodes the scenes get more intense. People are dying…and Ken feels awful. He thinks giving up writing would be best for all…or would that only give the killer a satisfaction of winning?

Dark Ties is a superb thriller. Dark, engaging, and fast-paced. I loved it. Mark Dane did a brilliant job in create the perfect read. I was both horrified yet entertained. I felt chills going down my spine yet I couldn’t stop reading…murder and fiction combo was perfect. It leaves readers with a spooky feeling of what if something like that actually happens. This book has the effect to leave many with a nightmare. Some will die…but catching the murderer is key. Overall, I would highly recommend this novel to all. Mark Dane is a talented writer, and I can’t wait to read what he comes up with next.

Review: It’s Not about Me 



Synopsis:

Christopher M. Milo is a Nationally Renowned Concert Pianist, Professional Motivational Speaker and creator of the “13 Messages from Milo”. He has been fully trained in Life Skills and Resiliency. He has spoken to over 100,000 students on topics of Leadership, Anti Bullying, Suicide Solutions, Teen Pregnancy, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cutting and many other forms of Self Harm. He embraces students who battle Developmental Disabilities, Autism, Cancer and Diabetes. Christopher continues to have ongoing relationships with local state hospitals and children’s services with partnerships at many Educational Service Centers within the State of Ohio. 

During a recent Leadership Conference with over 300 students in attendance, a teenager asked Christopher, “Why do you work with younger students?” to which he replied “one day you may be balancing my checkbook when I am unable to see clearly, or you might be carrying my groceries when I lose the strength to do it myself. One day you might be the one making decisions for my community, or the country I fight for. If I can make even a small positive impact on our youth today, I will continue dedicating my life doing just that!” 

Educators have often asked why students are so eager to listen to someone like Christopher. With his unique program, students quickly and clearly see that Christopher is someone who cares and understands what they are going through. He uses real life scenarios to drive the messages into the hearts and minds of people. He continues to bring out the truth by telling the truth. “13 Messages from Milo” creates a noninvasive environment that is welcoming to youth where walls come down and relationships are made. A small idea in a small group becomes a life changing opportunity for an entire student body, a home or place of work.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

It’s Not about Me by Christopher M. Milo is one of the best reads yet. It is a nonfiction book that provides step-by-step guides to being happy in life. Lessons that can teach us about life. Scenarios are found on the pages. These are great. It allows readers to read, understand, and relate to the situations. There are also important tips inside by the writer to help readers. Christopher M. Milo’s book gives back to readers. It has deep Thought provoking sessions as well as reflective exercises to help us, readers, think, relate, and search within ourselves. I loved how there was an open connection from the writer to myself and how he guided through every page. It was like having a mentor hold my hand through each stage. Overall, It’s Not about Me is one of the most inspiring books that I have come across and highly recommend to all. 

Review: Marry Me (A Wedding Romance Duet)




Synopsis:

What could be more romantic than a wedding… unless you’re stuck in a fake relationship with a hot man you don’t like. Warm up after a long winter with two fun, romantic wedding romances available together for a limited time.

Hired Bride by Noelle Adams – For years, Deanna’s eccentric grandmother has been trying to marry her off to a rich man, and she’s finally managed to do it. Sexy, obnoxious Mitchell Graves needs a wife to finalize a business deal, and he thinks she’ll be easy enough to manage as a wife. He couldn’t be more wrong.

The Wedding Season by Samantha Chase – To get through the six weddings she has to attend this summer, Tricia plans to pretend her best friend, Sean, is her boyfriend. But then Sean sends his brother, Ryan, in his place. Now Tricia has to go to all these weddings with her best friend’s brother, who is stirring up feelings she never expected. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Marry Me: A Wedding Romance Duet by both Noelle Adams and Samantha Chase is a collection of two stories. Tales that hold readers like myself in captivity. Romance whether the characters want it or not comes knocking down their lives and changing them forever…

Hired Bride by Noelle Adams is full of sweet, addictive, and hot scenes. Deanna is a young woman taking care of her family. A family that comprises of her two younger sisters and one eccentric grandmother. Deanna always does what her grandmother wants for her. She knows she should say no but the look in her grandmother’s eyes makes her go soft. She loves her grandmother. Thinking she wouldn’t have to go to a ball…her grandmother reinforces her to go get ready…little did she know her life would dramatically change with the meeting of one new man. A sexy rich man…in fact. Life just got more complicated and messy by the minute. Then there’s the sexy hot man, Mitchell, who needs a contract to go through…for his mother. Yet, the one woman who can make the deal go through has the hots for him. However, he doesn’t want her…and afraid he’ll lose the deal…he makes up a story of being engaged to a stranger. That stranger just happens to be Deanna…can a fake romance turn real within their time together or will one of them get hurt? Overall, I loved reading this story by Noelle Adams. It was a first time for me to read her work. I was instantly hooked with her charcaters and stunning plot. I recommend her tale to readers everywhere. 

The Wedding Season by Samantha Chase is a hilarious yet emotional tug of war. Tricia is a woman who gets the pity looks from others due to her still being single. So when her best friend, Sean, calls her with a plan…they make it a date. Yet, something goes terribly wrong…Sean is seriously injured. That ends up brining his older brother, Ryan, and his best friend, Tricia, closer together than they have ever been. Staying in the same house waiting for news on Sean’s health has put both Ryan and Tricia at odds. Emotions start playing at their hearts and it’s not long before things get more complicated and messy. Ryan has noticed how beautiful Tricia has become…and something about their situation makes him more protective of her. Then, his injured brother has him promising to go to six weddings with Tricia…and that’s when things begin to get hot, sticky, and complex…can there be a happy ending or will both have their hearts broken? Overall, Samantha Chase has once more entertained me with her writing. Real feelings, three-dimensional characters, and a sexy plot that had me falling in love. I highly recommend this tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Other La Boheme




Synopsis:

The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts the lives and loves of four friends who pursue opera singers’ careers in present-day New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional pursuits. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera.

The novel begins with arias and a duet sung by Henry and Stephanie in the Café Momus. Jennifer and John come in, and they congratulate each other on their new roles. Immediately, though, the thoughts of the current state of their personal lives cool their enthusiasm. 

As the story unfolds, Jennifer discovers that her fiancé, Richard, an investment banker and a fiction writer, is having an affair with another woman. Stephanie struggles to find a steady love, while perturbed by a strained relationship with her father, a billionaire hedge fund manager, who abandoned her late mother. Henry faces a pressure from his family to renounce his bohemian life for a more respectful career as he meets his new love, Christine, a poet. John receives a summons for divorce from the lawyer of his wife Michelle, a painter. 

Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while true to their pledge they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Other La Boheme by Yorker Keith is stunning tale of four friends whose lives are falling apart as they prepare for their opera performance. An opera performance that may change their careers forever. I loved how Yorker Keith brought the opera life and the lives of the singers in a three-dimensional way. They popped from the pages. Their troubles felt real and the story continued to captivate as their struggles grew. Each friend pledged to support one another and so they do…but life can be difficult to manage as well as maintain a certain professional appearance in the singing careers. Relationships, family, and friends are major themes of this book. I found it captivating. The writing was easy to follow along and engaging. The characters each faced a different issue and their bond as friends helps. A very realtic novel that everyone can relate to. Overall, The Other La Boheme is a must read for those who love music, opera, and art. 

Review: Madame President 



Synopsis:

The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future.
Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Madame President by Helene Cooper is an inspiring read. Women everywhere will be awed at the work done by one woman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She has gone beyond any other woman of her time in a country that mistreated women as objects. Here, I got to follow the brave and clever woman as she rose from just a mother to a president of a nation. Going to prison, suffering like every other woman has done…,yet she managed to rise dispite the hardships that fell upon her. I was amazed. She kept on going even when it might have meant the end for her. Writer, Helene Cooper, has brought Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s life alive on these pages for All to see. Just when I thought I have seen, heard, and know it all…this book brought out more than just a woman struggling to rise among men of her country. It’s a story of survival, courage, determination as well as breaking barriers. Overall, I recommend this nonfiction piece on one of the most compelling stories of a woman to readers everywhere.

Review: Losing the Light




Synopsis:

A smart, obsessive debut novel about a young woman studying abroad who becomes caught up in a seductive French world—and a complex web of love and lust.

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.

As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.

But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop is an interesting tale that takes readers to France. Here, I met a variety of characters. Their personalities are different as night and day. Two girls with troubles of their own, soon become friends. Not too long afterwards they meet two others. One is a guy and a cousin to the new girl that they meet. Life appears fun, fast, and exciting at first. Then, things happen…by the time it ends, everything will have changed forever. 

Andrea Dunlop created a suspense yet engaging tale. Young women exploring the world and taking each day as it comes and goes. Adulthood is both a fascinating and terrible thing. Losing the Light is full of adventure, romance, and mystery. The charcaters are unforgettable. Their sorrows, joys, and troubles can be felt with every page. I was intrigued from beginning to end. Friends who are opposites, a rich and mysterious man, and a journey of travel and fun ahead. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. The words spoke to me and dragged me along with the characters. I recommend Losing the Light to all. 

Review: Grace and the Preacher




Synopsis:

At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

 

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.  

 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Grace and the Preacher by Kim Sawyer is a wonderful story about forgiveness. I was hooked. The story told of a man running from his past life that soon caught up with him. An offer as a preacher for a new town gave him a chance to leave and start new. But soon, the past came tumbling down his present life. A young woman writes to the new preacher. She soon grew attached to the man in the letters. Once he comes to her town, secrets come out and betrayal will take over…it will be up to both characters to face their situations and decide the results. 

Kim Sawyer’s writing is superb. The emotional attachment happens quickly. Each character faces real life issues that helped me relate easily to them. I could understand what they went through and why. Clean, intriguing, and well-written. Grace and the Preacher is a satisfying Christian historical tale. Love, sacrifice, and redemption can be found inside…I loved it. This is definitely a book that I recommend to all. 

Author Interview with Michael Scott Curnes






COPING WITH ASH by Michael Scott Curnes

Inkwater Press, January 26, 2017

(Reviewed and given 5 stars by Danielle Urban)

Author Interview

 

ULM: What would you like readers to take from reading your book, Coping with Ash

MSC: Loss and grief are universal human elements but how we cope with these is uniquely individualized. There isn’t a handbook for this. This story is meant to be a gift from the narrator (the deceased) to the survivors he leaves behind and a guide to helping them cope with the loss of their lover, brother, son and friend, who was a gay man they loved, named Ashton Taylor. This story is a reminder to not take a day, a person, or moment for granted. Our breathing days are finite and our chances to love and be loved are brief.
 

ULM: The emotional journey of your book was powerful. What did it feel like as your wrote it?

MSC: This story is personal for me and so I wrote it to be personal for the reader. There were many moments when I would write a passage through tears as I put myself in that vulnerable place of someone suffering from loss and abandonment and unspeakable loneliness. Every other page asks the question: how would I cope with this if I were the one left behind?

 

ULM: Coping with Ash is written through the dead character’s point of view. Why did you choose Ashton’s point of view versus his lover’s?

MSC: The overly detailed plan to distribute the cremated remains (cremains) of the deceased is a plot the deceased put into motion. In other words, he started it. It just made sense to me that he should be the one to tell the story he started, posthumously. The deceased was a novelist—a storyteller, in fact had his third novel set to be published and then he died in the middle of his morning shave, unexpectedly. He believed he understood how the news of his death would be received and his cremains managed by those around him so I made him the narrator so that he could witness the execution of his instructions.
ULM: I noticed your book held a racial and LGBT theme. What was your purpose for inserting these into your novel?
MSC: For me, the novel’s main characters just happen to be Native American and gay. I didn’t construct this to be thematic or to make any particular statement. I suppose I could say I made a point of using these characteristics as a reminder that Native Americans and gay men have life experiences and stories to tell and that they love, they mourn and they figure out how to overcome unfathomable loss—just like everyone else. My previous novels, Val and For the Love of Mother also both featured central characters that were gay. Is this because I am a gay writer or that I have a duty to increase the number of gay characters in modern, published literature? Sure.  

 

ULM: How would you describe your writing using only three words?

MSC: Intentional. Personal. Exploratory.

 

ULM: What other books have you written besides Coping with Ash?

MSC: ​Val, 1996 Brownell and Carroll Publishers

For the Love of Mother, 2011 Inkwater Press

My writing also appears in two published anthologies:

Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place, 2008

Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast, 2011

 

ULM: Any future works that you can share with us, readers?

MSC: I always have a novel or two percolating. Stay tuned.

 

ULM: Where can readers find You and your work online?

MSC: ​www.copingwithash.com 

​www.Amazon.com

Review: Trout Run



Synopsis:

Eddy Trout, part-time bartender, and pot-grower had a troubled heart. In this, the second novel of the Eddy Trout Series, Eddy has left his wife and buried his father in a gone-to-seed garden, and now he’s running hard toward what he hopes is a new, brighter tomorrow. His sister, Em, has disappeared, and he’s got to find and “save” her. She turns up where they both swore they’d never return—Oak Creek, the small Oregon logging town of their childhood, where dark memories threaten … and may possibly free them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Trout Run by Paul Allen Dage is a fascinating read. Dark, emotional, and haunting. This second novel in the Eddy Trout Series was engaging, suspenseful, and well-developed. I found the main character, Eddy Trout, as a man with many flaws. His past haunts him. His present seems to drag onward in a way that readers, like myself can feel he’s not happy with…a lot of interesting moments happen inside this book. Eddy Trout drifts further away from his wife. A good woman he doesn’t love anymore. Then, there’s his sister, whom he loves very much. She goes missing and Eddy is determined to find her. Last, Eddy finds himself in trouble. He went and did something deadly…like dumping his father in a garden. Anger, loss, grief and determination can be found on every page. The character’s journey is definitely like that of a rollercoaster. One never knows what to expect next. Paul Allen Dage’s writing is superb. His words have a way of dragging me deeper into Eddy’s life. The further I went, the more I found an explosive destiny ahead. The ending leaves my mind wondering what will come after this. Overall, I recommend this stunning piece to readers everywhere.

Review: Reflections of a Soul



Synopsis:

Inspired by the journey of life, June Marie Davis has developed an anthology that has captured the essence of her soul by discovering the power of words. Words have flowed ever so freely from a mind to create the divine art form of poetry. In this collection, you will feel the sentiments of a young woman’s soul. The experiences of growing within a world of urban decay and life’s situations have built this young poet’s persona. Living in the midst of confusion and reality created this young woman’s inner discovery of life, love, soul and heartache. These are thoughtfully captured by this writer’s irony, as is the journey in developing self-pride by embracing the beauty and richness of her Latin/Boricua (Puerto Rican) and Afro-American heritages. Her surroundings and experiences made her find a channel of self-expression to record her life, thus far, in a simple yet powerful way. The way that only poetry can provide! “Through My Mothers Eyes” captures the value of lessons learned. Emotions are expressed through a young woman’s void and are heartfelt in “Daddy’s Little Girl.” “Mi Hombre Latino” rages of fury and the passion of love. “Snapshots” depicts the irony of physical and mental reflection. This short collection will allow you to smile, cry, think or reminisce as you become wrapped in emotions on a journey to discover a young woman’s life and Reflections of a Soul.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Reflections of a Soul by June Marie Davis is a beautifully told collection of poetry. Each poem has an issue that lies with most of us. One that can utterly break us apart or bind us together. I got to travel through the writer’s journey as every piece took hold of my heart and captured my attention. Immediately, I was drawn into the book like a moth to a flame. The words echoed in my heart. The pain, struggles, and other emotions held me like a prisoner. June Marie Davis brought up topics like racism, growing up without a father, and love. I was thoroughly impressed. I felt each word as though it were my own thoughts and feelings. Sadness, anger, betrayal, hatred, and others can be felt as readers move through the collection. Reflections of a Soul by June Marie Davis was pleasant to read. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide.

Sick Week…

I have been lying in bed sick for the past week. I’m hoping I get better this week. 

Since, I won’t be posting reviews until, I’m better. I want to hear from all of you, what stories, novels, and poems you have read that you recommend to others.

Are you ready for that challenge? Okay, get ready, set, go!

Who wrote them? What did you like about them? How would you rate them out of 5-stars being the best?

Review: An Amish Home



Synopsis:

A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. All of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the d located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So, when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiancé, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is re-ignited.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Home is a collection of novellas written by the following writers: Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kathleen Fuller. I loved how the stories brought themes of love, hope, and faith. Each piece was beautifully told. Captured my heart and soul as the characters and plots felt so real.

The first tale, A Cup Half Full, shows that perfection is overrated. We can dream of everything being perfect or may have the perfect life until tragedy knocks us down…just like that of Sarah Lantz. Her life was on the route of perfection when disaster strikes. She’s left unable to walk. Sarah goes through a lot of emotions and soon finds her way back to healing.

The second story, Home Sweet Home, is one that really wowed me. Especially, today, when we have so many things that occupy our time. When those things are gone, we turn to our hurtful emotions. Relationships break easily…yet somehow, the couple in this story manage. Not well at first, but soon, their eyes are opened and their situation changes to a positive one. Life can go on and love can last forever.

The third tale, Building Faith, is a sweet romance. Ambition and rekindled love. What was once broken, can maybe now be mended. But first, both will have to risk their hearts and minds to it. Faith guides these characters as their broken relationship goes through healing and discovery. Love doesn’t fade away after all. I also enjoyed the unconventional setting of a woman breaking out in a man’s line of work and succeeding at it.

Last but not least, the fourth novella, A Flicker of Hope, is just that. When all goes wrong, one couple will find memories that send their love back on track. Marriage is hard. Not all marriages work. But when a tragedy strikes and destroys a couples’ home, traces of what they shared in life is remembered. This story was the most inspiring one of all. When we’re young choices are made and then as we age…those choices can tear us apart or keep what we started…

Overall, An Amish Home is about couples building a home and future together. Whether they are just starting out or rebuilding what they had. I fell in love instantly with each of the characters. Their personalities are easy to like as well as their emotions easy to understand. Heartwarming reads all bundled into one brilliant book. I highly recommend this to all.

Review: The Legacy Family (Father, Son, and Holy Coach)




Synopsis:

You’ve seen it, heard the stories, and maybe it has happened in your family–the dissension, fighting, greed, and legal actions when an inheritance is up for grabs. You’re thinking, “That won’t happen in our family.” Think again! It has been statistically proven that 70 percent of wealth is lost each time it transitions to the next generation and is completely gone when the third generation passes. Two primary factors are loss of trust and breakdown in communications. Working with families of all sizes and levels of wealth, but especially with high net-worth families, for almost twenty-five years, we learned the only way to overcome this deterioration is through a holistic, combined, and integrated financial and personal coaching program that builds a cohesive team of all living generations.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Legacy Family: Father, Son, and Holy Coach by Kip Kolson is a great read. His book is a nonfiction guide that can help save many families from financial situations. Wealth is passed on to generation to generation. However, the family’s wealth can be lost within this process. Kip Kolson provides this read to help others prevent that loss from happening. He has the experience as banker, real estate developer, financial advisor and as a personal coach to back up his writing. The Legacy: Father, Son, and Holy Coach addresses wealth for families and family businesses. It’s also good for young and older couples. Learning how to manage many, life, and the estate is not easy. But reading this book helped me. It was like having a mentor, who walked me through each step with examples and tools along the way. Overall, I highly recommend this writer’s book to readers worldwide. It’s definitely a must have for all. 

Review: You Are A Queen


Synopsis:

What do you want out of life? What type of person do you want to be known as? What goals are you actively pursuing? At this moment in your life no matter where you are, I urge you to allow discipline to outweigh desire.When considering sex and relationship it is time to put each in the right perspective as both have their importance and respective placement. Perception is everything, yet for many the problem is that they tend to “put the cart before the horse.” Predominantly most people place sex ahead of marriage, relationship before intimacy, and desire tends to precede the caution of rational self-discipline. The greater truth here is that without self-discipline, no matter what you want in life, success will be impossible. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

You Are A Queen by Derrick J. Little is an inspiring read for all women. It’s a deep Thought provoking book. It asks questions that make the reader really question about what they’re doing with their life. It motivates women to be better. To be strong no matter what. Derrick J. Little’ nonfiction guide also teaches women to love themselves. I found positive change in this title. Life isn’t easy, but we can learn from it. Inside I was pulled in…to look thoroughly at myself. Where I am at now, where I wanted to be, and how were my appearances, actions and words taking me. Explored my conscience, feelings, and actions as a woman. Derrick J. Little also has some exercises that readers can go through after reading certain parts. I thought this book was great. Getting to know oneself better. A coaching to review my behavior and myself and see where I was heading and whether that was the direction I wanted to go. Overall, I recommend You Are A Queen to readers everywhere.

Review: Coping with Ash

 

 

Synopsis:

Ashton Taylor was a hypochondriac—justifiably so—with multiple and sometimes self-diagnosed issues that turned him into a bit of a misfortune teller. Always knowing he would die young-ish, and anticipating what would otherwise have been an unorganized and messy affair for others, he had thoughtfully left behind a step-by-step post-mortem plan. Choreographing circumstances and conveyors, Ash had arranged for his cremains to be distributed to the places he cherished in this world, by the people who meant the most to him—especially his patient and tolerant partner of the past twenty years, Rich Dreadfulwater.

Rich, who is known by his family as Limping Rabbit, on account of a childhood tumble from a moving pickup truck, is a Seattle-based Native American defense lawyer suddenly grappling with grief, his caseload, and the task of divvying up the four pounds of his ash-rendered boyfriend into nineteen pre-labeled black plastic 35mm film canisters.
Struggling with everything he’s lost, he finds himself coping with a whole lot more than his partner’s ashes. In honoring the final wishes of the man he never imagined he could live without, the mourning lawyer embarks on a quest to find his Inner Indian … and the destiny that has always been his birthright to seize.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Coping with Ash by Michael Scott Curnes is a sad and emotional read. It instantly wrapped its way into my heart. Tears felt like spilling. Losing a loved one is never easy. Coping with Ash is a story told by the dead character. His death left his lover in a terrible state. A lover who wasn’t ready to let go. Ashton Taylor died with a wish to be cremated. He wanted his ashes spread out to his favorite places. His lover, Rich Dreadfulwater, is a successful lawyer with Indian roots. Rich was not prepared for the loss of Ashton. In fact, he completely fell apart the day Ashton went in to be cremated. Heart breaking, devastating, and realistic. The journey of one trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. The stages of loss, grief, and anger felt so real. I don’t believe anyone reading this book will not feel saddened by it. I enjoyed reading this novel. Michael Scott Curnes has a talent for sucking readers into his characters’ lives. Overall, I highly recommend Coping with Ash to all.

Review: An Uncommon Protector

Synopsis:
Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.
The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.
When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.
Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.
But when cattle start dying and Laurel’s life is threatened, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedom—he needs her love and care too.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray is a stunning tale. One that will captivate readers from the start. It hooked me. I love a good romance tale and this one proved to be just what I was looking for…

A young woman lost her family and needs help to protect her property. One woman can’t do it all. She’s strong, pretty, and caring too. The man she hires to help her…proves worthy of her chance on him. 

Thomas is man whose life was not good. He meets one determined woman to help him, if he helps her with some work. She pays his debt for an exchange of work on her property. Thomas thinks he can just do the work and then leave Laurel. But then his plan goes to hell…

Danger occurs. Animals are dying…and threats are coming in…Laurel is in a bad spot. Thomas knows there’s no way he can leave her now…he stays to help fight for her. However, doing so…will ruin his second plan. To stay distant from her…but love comes knocking his world apart, as well as Laurel’s. 

An Uncommon Protector is by far a sweet, clean, and addictive read. I love Shelley Shepard Gray’s writing. Her characters felt so real…and their story wrapped itself deeper into my soul…overall, I highly recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Evil Rises




Synopsis:

THE MAKING OF A MONSTER

Warp speed action. Gripping story. Compelling read.

From China’s ancient spiritual center, the rogue monk Chin arises to redefine Shaolin Kung Fu as a battle plan for his lust for criminal power. Cruelty, murder, and torture are this monk’s hallmarks.

How did Chin become like this? More importantly, as he builds his global criminal syndicate, will no one stop this errant true believer? Can anyone stop Chin and his criminal army? Do they even have the guts to try?

Just like classic literary villains like Tony Soprano or Keyser Söze, Chin gladly spills rivers of blood to force the world’s underbelly to kowtow to his plans.

With cold, unblinking precision, author Wesley Robert Lowe takes you all the way inside this icy criminal empire. Unleashed is the perfect introduction to the psychopathic cosmos of Shaolin Darkness. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Evil Rises by Wesley Robert Lowe is a thrilling read. Every page is full of action, choices, and danger. The suspense was in full force. An epic journey of one man determined to become a monk like the one he met. But once a good man…is now an evil one. I enjoyed watching this particular character go from one end of a spectrum to another. Quite interesting…to watch as it all unfolded. 

Wesley Robert Lowe’s writing is great. I was easily entertained and hooked. The character’s life was becoming a sad one until he left it for another ….then it spiraled out even far worse than it started…and whether it will change for the better or not is for readers to dig in and read. I recommend this dark, violent, and engaging novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Thought Readers 




Synopsis:

A new series about mind readers from USA Today bestselling author… 

Everyone thinks I’m a genius. 

Everyone is wrong. 

Sure, I finished Harvard at eighteen and now make crazy money at a hedge fund. But that’s not because I’m unusually smart or hard-working. 

It’s because I cheat. 

You see, I have a unique ability. I can go outside time into my own personal version of reality—the place I call “the Quiet”—where I can explore my surroundings while the rest of the world stands still. 

I thought I was the only one who could do this—until I met her. 

My name is Darren, and this is how I became entangled with all the Russians and learned that I’m a Reader. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Thought Readers by Dima Zales is an outstanding first novel to a new series. For those who love fantasy, sci-fi, and a puzzling plot, than this is definitely the book for you.

I haven’t read any other novels by the talented writer, Dima Zales, however, I am going to after reading this book. His writing is fascinating. I was taken straight into the main character’s story. Told from his point of view. He has a unique ability and doesn’t know the  reasons why or how. I found that prickling my curiosity and glad it did. There was plenty of action, mystery, and craziness to keep me hooked. I didn’t know what to expect…and when another person liked the protagonist popped up on scene…I was instantly pulled in further. The Thought Readers is quite intriguing. I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: Rayna 




Synopsis:

Rayna escaped the bordello as a teenager. She meets a Buddhist monk that helps her to learn that life is worth living again. She learns different languages and several studies of martial arts. Rayna also has a secret. Without warning, time will stop moving. Only Rayna is allowed to move in this frozen world. She can not control it, but uses it to her advantage to seek revenge on those that have hurt her.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Rayna by R. K. Marts is a wonderful YA fantasy. One that instantly draws out an emotional attachment to the protagonist. I felt her sadness, anger, and frustrations. Then, the knowledge about her birth mom only led my curiosity out further. 

Rayna is a young girl who spent her entire life in an orphanage. The kids teased her because of her pretty looks. She has never known her mother. Soon, she’s adopted and and that’s where the plot takes a knife to one’s heart. Dark, frightening, and sad. Rayna will experience things girls herage never should have to go through…yet it still happens. From there she escapes and friends a monk. A man who defended her. I wanted to hug the monk. After that the plot spirals readers further on a journey of revenge, discovery, and a mission for truth. 

R. K. Marts’ book was easy to read. Following along, was simple. Danger, violence, sex, arejust a few themes inside this tale. I would recommend this YA read to those eighteen or older due to the adult content. Beside that, the story was powerfully told and engaging to read. I recommend Rayna to readers worldwide. 

Review: A Thousand Letters





Synopsis:

Sometimes your life is split by a single decision. 
I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them. 
But now he’s back.
I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid. 
Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance. 
One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.
*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Wow! Staci Hart knows how to write well. Her story immediately dragged me deeper into the lives of her characters. A Thousand Letters is about an engaging tale of loss, love, and new beginnings. Deeply emotional…readers beware you will cry and fall in love. 

A love so strong that it literally digs into your soul and doesn’t release you until the ending. Epic. I found myself feeling the raw but bold desire radiating off the two main characters. Their sparks are electrifying. Zapping me each time they were near each other. 

Death can do a lot. Elliot has her reasons and so did Wade. But what tears them apart can also bind them. Family life is complex that is can take a toll on who the characters become and how they live their lives. The book almost had a Dear John kind of vibe but more spectacular. Heartfelt, realistic, and a romance that I couldn’t ignore. My heart tore and stretched throughout the piece. Overall, A Thousand Letters is a must read for all. 

Review:  A Time to Die

Synopsis:

It takes a bad man to hunt evil…

If the assassin known only as Victor once had a moral compass, it is long since buried, along with his many victims. Yet some men are so evil even Victor accepts they must die for reasons other than just money.

One such is Milan Rados, a former commander in the Serbian army who has escaped trial at The Hague to become a formidable criminal power. Tracking down and killing this brutal man will win Victor a reprieve for his own recent crimes on British soil.

But Victor isn’t the only one who wants Rados dead. Ana, whose family was butchered on the tyrant’s orders, will do anything to see Rados’ blood spilled on the snow of Eastern Europe. Now Victor has an unlikely ally – but an army stands between them and justice.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Time to Die by Tom Wood is a heart racing thriller. Dark, edgy, and realistic. This book captures the life threatening situations like the Bourne Series. But unlike the popular Bourne Series death happens to both good and bad people. There is no hero. Just a story of one assassin chasing another killer. 

Tom Wood’s writing is enticing to read. Every page kept me engaged. Suspense of what will come and when…kept me turning the pages faster. Intrigue took over and had me sucked into the novel. His main character, Victor is the protagonist. He’s not a hero by any means, just has a job to do. That job is the tougher than it appears. Danger hangs in the air like a thick cloud hovering over Victor. Death has come…and time is running out. Someone will die while the other lives. A Time to Die is exactly as it sounds. Timing is everything. Especially in Victor’s line of work and the world he lives within…overall, I highly recommend this title to all. 

Review: Truly Madly Guilty



Synopsis:

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty is a suspenseful read. Edgy, dark, and gripping. It grabbed me and took me on a journey. The characters’ lives seemed pretty normal until one event that changed everything. Emotions leak out everywhere. The intrigue is so intense that once the wave comes…the relief wasn’t as spectacular. I felt something missing. However, there was humor written inside…and it was good. I haven’t read any of Liane Moriarty’s previous books, so I can’t compare to her normal standards of writing. This book moves slowly, then builds, only to come crashing upon everything readers think might happen. Curiosity is a killer. Overall, Truly Madly Guilty was great. 

Review: Ransomed Jewels


Synopsis

With her husband’s dying words, “My marchioness has it,” the Marchioness of Huntingdon is thrown into a nightmare of intrigue and danger. But even those who are holding her brother ransom can’t force her to do the impossible—hand over a necklace she doesn’t have.
Major Samuel Bennett believes the newly widowed Lady Claire Huntingdon is a traitor. He intends to get the necklace he’s convinced she has, before sending her to the gallows. But when he meets the captivating widow, he discovers that nothing is as it seems.

Claire knows she can’t trust anyone, but she isn’t given a choice when Major Bennett arrives, demanding she give him the necklace. And it isn’t until she’s forced to put her life in his hands that she realizes it isn’t only her life she’s in danger of losing—but her heart as well. 
Rating: 5-stars

Review

Ransomed Jewels by Laura London is a fascinating romantic suspense. Here, a woman is thought to have a necklace due to her husband’s dying words. Yet in truth she doesn’t. But it won’t matter u til her brother is in danger. She has to give the necklace or else something bad happens…

But then the plot gets more interesting…

Major Samuel Bennett believes Lady Claire Huntington is terrible. But upon, meeting her, he can’t shake his gut feelings that something else is going on…and then there’s the attraction to her.

Lady Claire has but no choice. Major Samuel will have to be trusted. But to what extent lies within Lady Claire’s  hands or shall I say heart? 

Ransomed Jewels is by far the most puzzling yet stunning read. I was immediately drawn into the story. A plot that moved so quickly. Bold, fierce, and sexy. I loved it. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.