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Cast Iron by Peter May ~~ A Review

 

reviews, authors, writing

reviews, authors, writing

reviews, authors, writing

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5 out of 5 quills  A Review 

Flawless writing!  Some writers have simply got IT!  Peter May is one of those. 

Cast Iron is proclaimed to be the final episode in the Enzo Files. Years ago Enzo Macleod was challenged/dared to solve seven cold case murders. This one was the toughest of them all because the original evidence (which there was damn little to begin with) was flawed. Macleod must unravel what happened years before in the long dead dynamic of the victim’s family and friends.  Powerful people want to thwart this detective’s efforts at all costs and it gets very personal.

Peter in Spain

Another aspect that this reader really enjoyed was getting to know Macleod’s personal life without it intruding into the murder plot.  The subplot is masterfully accomplished.  

Let’s hope it isn’t the acclaimed finale to the Enzo Files! 
 

Did you miss my Interview with Peter May?
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In November we say hello to Rita Avaud a Najm. 
                                                                                   
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Purchase here

Review ~~ La Petite Rita by Rita Avaud a Najm

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 3 out of 5 quills   A REVIEW  La Petite Rita

Part of my job and responsibility is to give ‘new’ authors a chance at exposure, through my reviews and interviews. It is part of my mission to support other authors and offer advice. 

Vol. I & II of La Petite Rita are a good start to a charming series.  Based upon the author’s childhood memories, it revolves around a little French girl (Rita) immigrating to the United States with her parents.  Seen through Rita’s eyes, we observe Thanksgiving, first day at school, shopping, weddings, bicycles in the rain. 

The unique feature in the author’s books is the use of the French language. Simple phrases that any child could learn.  BUT, the footnote translation should be in phonetic (fa-net-ic) form as the actual phrase is already in the text of the story. This would teach the child ‘how’ to say the phrase in French. 

The covers of the books have no title, so the reader isn’t told immediately what the book is about. By the title, La Petite Rita, my first impression was that it was a children’s book written in French.  And the illustration on volume 2 really doesn’t tell the reader what it’s about. Only when they begin to read the book do they realize that it is a collection of very short stories. Missing inside is a content page with the title of each story. 

New authors should value the cover artwork and ‘title’ beyond all else. These are the first things that might inspire the reader to carry your book to the check-out counter! 

The books are charming little vignettes with a cute introduction to French.   To purchase
Don’t miss my Interview with the author in November!

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    September: Dylan Callens.  October’s author is Donna Kauffman. In NOvember we say hello to ‘Rita’ the author of the above books. 
                                                                                   
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The Hangman’s Sonnet by Reed Farrel Coleman ~ A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writingA Review     4 out of 5 quills

Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone is back!  Beleaguered and grief riddled but still standing….except, that is,  when he’s falling down drunk.  

This is a very layered plot. It’s a murder mystery for certain but layered with  the disappearance of a master reel of an album. The artist, Jester, was right up there will the Bee Jees, the Beatles and the Beach Boys. The team had just finished his best album, in the studio, when the master went missing. For forty years.  

Readers continue to fall more in love with the tiny police force of Paradise. Molly Crane, Luther ‘Suitcase’ Simpson and some new additions like Alisha. But, this time around, I found myself being a little annoyed by Jesse Stone’s eternal angst. Okay, I get it. He’s had some tough breaks, brought on mostly by himself and….Johnny Walker.  Stop repeating your mistakes and suck it up, Jesse!

In spite of my irritation, the story is good and entertaining. You won’t be disappointed!  It still astounds me, as a writer, how these wonderful authors can so successfully speak in Robert Parker’s voice.

 

On Sale: September 12th  To purchase
Did you miss my Interview with Reed Farrel Coleman?    

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 MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    In August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon. September we host Dylan Callens and Oct.’s author is Donna Kauffman. 
                                                                                   
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On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service ~~ A Review

reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing5 out of 5 quills       
A REVIEW
~~ On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service   

 

Delicious!  House parties full of the aristocracy just as war rumblings begin again in Europe.  Rhys Bowen’s series, A Royal Spyness Mystery delivers once again as Lady Georgiana is roped in by Her Majesty Queen Mary (Elizabeth’s mother) to spy on her son, the Prince of Wales and his oh-so-notorious lover, Wallis Simpson.

It seems that Darcy is always saying goodbye to our royal ‘Georgie’. Something always  thwarts our lovers and separates them.  Will they ever marry?  In this very fine tale, Georgie is off to Italy and Darcy is called  back to his mysterious job with the English government.

mysteries, best sellers, Rhys Bowen, author

It’s a good story but if the writing falls short, it diminishes the storytelling.  Rhys Bowen is a wonderful writer and one of my favorites. Her writing is crisp and her characters fully developed. The reader is fully engaged. While this is a series and I always tell my readers to begin at the beginning (for a fuller experience) all of Rhys’ stories stand on their own. 

I give this book my highest rating and recommend it to you!

To Purchase click here

Did you miss my Interview with Rhys Bowen?
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
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The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal ~~ A Review

writing, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fiction A REVIEW 
5 out of 5 quills ~~ The Paris Spy

 

A real cliff hanger! To the last page (especially the last page) MacNeal’s new book keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.  This series is a delight. Beginning when a ‘math-o-holic’ girl gets hired in Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s office as a typist. WWII is just gearing up.  With an aptitude for numbers and codes Maggie Hope quickly rises, for a woman, in the war offices.  In this latest offering, we catch up with her as she ‘wrangles’ her way into war-torn and occupied France.  Searching for her sister, she is thrown into the deep end of espionage.

The Maggie Hope Mystery series offers intrigue, twists and turns and great characters. Woven expertly through world history the reader is treated to the workings and intrigues of 10 Downing Street and M16 (the CIA of England) . This reviewer strongly urges the reader to start at the beginning with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and read the books in order.  But, of course, The Paris Spy stands very well on its own. With each book Susan MacNeal gives the reader a complete story, albeit a dangler most likely leaving the reader in a most delicious sort of suspense.
 
Available at www.amazon.com or your favorite book store.

 

 

 

Did you miss my Interview with this Author??
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?     Johan Thompson (South African author)  joined us in April.   June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
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The Tea Planter’s Daughter ~~ A Review

    A REVIEW   reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing5 out of 5 quills   The Tea Planter’s Daughter

As I said in the introduction of my Interview with this talented writer, it’s as if she hand picks each word as she writes.  Elegantly written prose, she scrapes the words down to their most beautiful meaning. She knows her characters and locations and wears them like a second skin.  Janet Macleod Trotter is a meticulous researcher so before she ever begins writing a story she researches…for months.  The result is great story-telling.

This book takes us to India and submerges us in the sights, sounds, smells, and history of the country.  Mysterious, passionate, and spiritual.
Two sisters live an idyllic life on their father’s tea plantation until tragedy strikes.  They are unceremoniously ripped from their beloved land and end up in the streets of Tyneside, England.  A rough, industrial town steeped in poverty.  The reader, fascinated by their life in south Asia, has settled in their chair expecting more of this exotic place. But, like the sisters, are ripped away, landing in the stinking, rainy streets of a town in England that doesn’t care if they survive or not.

Yes, this is a good story; I loved every minute of it. But what makes a good story?  Great writing!  Janet has such a flare, has such great instincts and weaves love, tragedy, adventure, and passion into her stories.  I highly recommended this author and this book!

Where to buy it, click here.

Click here to read my interview with this author
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?       June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.   September: Dylan Callens
                                                                                   
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A Review ~~ “Little White Lies” by Ace Adkins (Robert B. Parker)

Ace Atkins

writing, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fiction

(5 out of 5 quills)  A Review

Ace Adkins is a brilliant, best-selling author in his own right.

I love his murder mysteries set in the deep south. A South that few people are exposed to unless you and your family have been around for decades. 

What truly amazes me is how Ace can write in Robert B. Parker’s voice. 

In Little White Lies, Spenser is hired to try and recover a vulnerable woman’s money from a master-con man. Connie Kelly thought she’d found her perfect man on an online dating site. He was silver-haired and handsome, with a mysterious background working for the C.I.A. She fell so hard for M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. What she got back was zippo, nada, goose egg and her ideal man disappears. He’s slippery and a consummate liar. Qualities that Spenser truly hates. 

Characters that we fans truly love are back. Hawk, Susan Silverman, Pearl (the Dog) and Henry Cimoli at the Harbor Health Club. Robert Parker lives on through his stories and the wonderful writers who
keeps them alive.

Did you miss my Interview with Ace Adkins?

Little White Lies Released May 2nd. Order now!
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    February’s author was Sheryl Steines.
Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in April.  May’s author will be Cheryl Hollon and in June: Mehreen Ahmed
  
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Halo-Halo Book Review Praises Song of the Yukon

A REVIEW

‘I read Trisha Sugarek’s novel Song of the Yukon, as I’m generally interested in homesteading and off-grid stories. Trisha’s novel, set in Alaska, more than satisfied my curiosity. It’s about LaVerne, a teen and budding song writer who followed the poet Robert Service’s trip into the wilds of Alaska. The inclusion of Service’s life offers a welcome layer to the story, and the references are inserted harmoniously so that they seem a natural instead of forced companion to the primary plot of LaVerne’s life: she impersonated a boy to be hired aboard a freighter who took her from Seattle to Alaska; along the way, she experiences boat rides on the Yukon, meets members of native tribes, files homestead papers and works the land.

Song of the Yukon also delights due to its structure of seamlessly weaving poetry, song lyrics and correspondence within the novel’s narrative. There was  a scene around a camp fire where LaVerne gets to know the indigenous guide, Black Eyed Joe and his mother, Edna that I particularly liked. Sugarek weaves Service’s poem into the dialogue where Edna makes an observation about Mother Earth.

Sugarek’s use of correspondence also doesn’t grate in the narrative flow. My personal experience is I’ve found the insertion of correspondence to be an interruption or a cheat in writing a story, but such isn’t the case here. Here, the correspondence makes the story more personal as well as is effective in bringing onto the page the rest of the world beyond LaVerne’s particular environment.

Last but not least, the story weaves in a love triangle, (perhaps not the first time but) a rare point of view within the genre of homesteading, off-grid Alaska and Wild West stories.  All in all, Sugarek’s multi-layered approach uplifts SONG OF THE YUKON from the crowded field of such stories.’ ~~EILEEN TABIOS, Senior Editor The Halo-Halo Book Review
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   November was best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January is Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines.
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Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 5 out of 5 quills    A Review  ~~  Rogue Lawyer

By now all John Grisham has to do is show up with another great story.  Rogue Lawyer is a whole new direction for Grisham. And I like it….a lot!  This isn’t a collection of short stories, as I first thought, and really don’t care for.  No, Rogue Lawyer is a day, week and month in the life of street lawyer, Sebastian Rudd.  Little vignettes but it doesn’t feel like it….the reader just follows this defense attorney around in a customized bulletproof van (that is his office), complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie.

He defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial—even if he has to bend the law to secure one.

He reminds me a great deal of one of Robert B. Parker’s characters. I hope very much that Sebastian Rudd drives back into town (one day soon) and continues his dangerous but valiant work defending the indefensible!

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November was best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

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From Pawns to Kings! by Eugene Brown ~~ A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 3 out of 5 quills     A Review ~~ From Pawns to Kings! by Eugene Brown & Marco Price-Bey51-jidtj-0l-_sx331_bo1204203200_

A cautionary tale for all young people who have had to grow up amidst the chaos of a dysfunctional family, quit school and run the streets.  This autobiographical narrative is about a young black man in a rush ‘to be somebody’. An alcoholic father and beat-down, defeated mother were of little use in keeping this child from a life on the streets and finally being incarcerated in the federal prison system for armed bank robberies.

Eugene Brown (the author) literally stumbled over the game of Chess (in prison) and recognized that winning at chess could translate at winning in life. The same rules apply; plan before you make a move, have several moves planned ahead of time, follow the rules, become better and better at the game of chess/life, and be able to see ‘the end game’.

eugene-brownAgainst all odds, he turned his life around and, after serving his time, went on to form a non-profit “Big Chair Chess Club” that helps get teens off the street and refocus their lives through the experience and rules of the game.

I particularly liked some of the last words in this book: “They (young people) want to be hustlers, but like myself, they had a very limited view of what makes a real hustler.  You see some people working two jobs, going to college, taking care of a family, that’s hustling man! Being a good hustler is finding a (legal) way or making a way to get what you want by using what you got…”

His story transcends the occasional grammatical errors and lack of punctuation, but it was distracting for this reviewer. For a novella, (154 pages) it is over priced.
http://www.chessmaneugenebrown.com/
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

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