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Books I’ve Read – Reviews


I don’t read a lot of YA—or paranormal, but this book came up in an online reading group that I belong to and the cover caught my eye—I love the cover! Then I read the book summary and was intrigued. I don’t read a lot of paranormal either, but the powers described to these three teenagers caught my attention because I have a fascination with healing powers. As well, I have personally known a couple of people who claim to have dreams that come true or just have a “knowing” about people. One time I commented that it must be cool to have that ability, and the man said he wished he didn’t have it, because it was very difficult knowing something was going to happen (usually a death) and not being able to do anything about it.

So, I was attracted to this book and once I started reading, I got lost in the story, forgetting that it was YA or considered paranormal.

The opening paragraph grabbed my attention immediately; “ Somehow I thought I would know when my life was in mortal danger. I’m not talking spidey sense or anything, just some kind of clue something bad is about to happen. I guess I got the idea from the movies. Real life, I found, is very different…..” When I read that I was hooked.

The book is YA, and author totally got the teenage thing—and since I have been around teenagers throughout the years, I appreciated the teenage insecurities, the alienation that Em felt at school, the very spiteful nasty girl named Angel, that bullied Em. I appreciated Tommy, the new boy at school who liked her, (rather than Roz) and was there for her, protective but encouraging her to stand up for herself. And I could imagine what it was like to have a best friend that the guys just fell all over, while they ignored Em even though the two girls were together. Yet Roz was special and a loyal friend. The two girls shared a strong bond and Roz’s father was the “dad” Em didn’t have. His love reached out and included Em. And I am certain that Em’s strange sister, Lauren could have a book of her own because we only saw an unflattering side of her and it was hard to decide if she was jealous, overprotective, mentally unbalanced or if she also had a deep dark secret from the past. Em’s mother had her own problems; in fact her entire family was dysfunctional in so many ways.

The author portrays the characters well. Some I really liked, others I couldn’t stand, but the plots turns and twists kept me engaged, and several times when I was certain that I knew who the murderer was, in the next minute I wasn’t so certain.

The author ended the story with a great hook. A frightening phone call: the voice of a person she thought was dead, that she believed was dead, that she wanted to be dead, saying “I’m coming home.”
—and I knew I will want to read the next book, even though this isn’t my usual genre.

A job well done Kat Stiles and I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes YA and paranormal—or people like me who will step out of the norm and just give it a try. Enjoy a great read!

This book can be bought by clicking on this Amazon.com link.

I don’t often read dystopian future genre, but I have two granddaughters who read it all the time. I loved the cover of this book and the title, and when I read the book description I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It opened my eyes to another world of writing.

I sat at my kitchen table and discussed the book with my youngest granddaughter who is 14 and her 12 year old cousin ( a boy who is very bright and mature.) They are teenagers and I am a senior, but we had a great discussion about the genre and the different books that they read, and my little gal will be borrowing grandma’s Kindle one day soon before school starts.

I still have many questions—apart from the very active and sometimes human devouring trees—what happened to all the people? Where will this storyline go next? Will Grace be more mathematically involved in the next book? Will she and Vincente find mature love by the end of the series? Because right now she could still be involved in her infatuation and he thinks he loves her—and since it seems that they are the only two people left on the planet, it’s a given that they will stick together.

This was a very interesting read—even though I am far from a young adult. The characters were well developed, and I kept wondering if we would discover that her head injury had created a dream world that she seemed to be living in.

The teenagers in my house say no. So I guess we have to read the next book in the series to find out what happens.

A good book for all ages, aimed at the YA market. I recommend it to anyone.

This book is available here on Amazon

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Make room for this new book beside Fifty Shades of Grey on your book shelf— The Manservant could be the first instalment in the FIFTY SHADES OF GAY series!
Honi suit qui mal y penseevil be to him who evil thinks! (French) This phrase come up repeatedly and I have to believe that it had more meaning to the book than simply a tattoo on a “gentleman” farmers arse!
This book came up as looking for reviews and I had a good idea of what it was about when I bought it. I am a monogamous heterosexual, but I do not judge people on their personal and private sexual practices. To me, we are all people first; we all have feelings and share every range of emotion that mankind experiences. I know people who are homeosexual, lesbian and bi sexual- their lifestyle is not what I choose, but I have no desire to “change” them. They are who they are.

I read for many reasons—entertainment, learning—a look into niches of society that I know nothing about. The Manservant gave me a glimpse into the world of modern aristocracy and the life of a man who is homosexual. (I found myself wondering if the English aristocracy really does still live with all that pomp and pretentiousness—and are a large percentage of the men in merry old England so  handsome, raunchy and“naughty”??)

The Manservant is well written, well edited, descriptive, and humorous. I chuckled more than once. I have read sexual scenes in today’s modern erotic romances that have pushed my “OMG- meter” to a far higher level than those described in this book. There are hints at bondage and some spanking scenes- a bit of shoving and male roughness while making out, but mostly it was what any human does when they engage in foreplay—touching, caressing, kissing.

BDSM has become a big seller, even though I personally do not understand today’s fascination with it. I am claustrophobic and I would freak out if I was confined and unable to get away, and I do not associate inflicting pain with arousal—I firmly believe that chocolates and dinner are more effective! But I acknowledge that different strokes work for different folks.

If you have strong feelings and beliefs about what many consider “normal”sexual preferences, be WARNED—this book will probably offend you; not because of the quality of the prose, but because of its basic contents.

I recommend The Manserant to anyone who is willing to read with an open mind and not want to crucify the authors excellent work because they have a different beflief about human sexuality.

The Manservant is available on Amazon.com

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Even if this isn’t your usual style of book—venture out of your comfort zone and hitch on for the ride.

I probably wouldn’t have given this book a second glance if I hadn’t read the book review by Paul Rerucha on Amazon.com. The image of him reading the book as he flew to Hawaii, and enjoying it so much that his wife kept asking him what was so funny as he giggled and laughed in his seat caught my attention, and I decided to read it.

Orphans, Assasins and the Existential Eggplant was a fun read—I giggled too…but it was more than that. The book was like nothing I’ve ever read before—a mixture of myth, history, fantasy, youthful dreams and reality. It was entertaining and thought provoking. Who could imagine a shriveled up eggplant as a conduit of guidance, wisdom, sarcasm and humor. I was amazed when Layla gave the priceless piece to Aaron Sloopshire in the first place.

I was glad that I went along for the ride—

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to try an unusual piece of literature!

Orphans, Assasins and the Existential Eggplant can be purchsed on Amazon

 

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Carolyn V. Hamilton brings her extensive knowledge and practical experience to the table in this short book that is filled with practical, helpful information for ALL writers. 


Power Editing for Fiction Writers is on the cloud, easily available for reference on my desktop with the click of a key. I wish I’d had this book 3 years ago when I was working with my husband on his books and when I was editing my own series of books during this past year and a half! Writing is the fun part of being an author—editing is the crucial element and often frustrating! This book will help me make future works more successful, although I will still employ the services of a professional editor. Thank you, Carolyn V. Hamilton for sharing you knowledge and expertise.

I recommend this book to everyone who needs guidance with editing.

 

 

 

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A very good read—not a formula romance, but a story that deals with complicated life issues and I like that in a book.

Mary Walker comes from a close knit family. She enters into a relationship with Robert Mackenzie, who seems like a wonderfully romantic person at first, but under the surface he is a dangerously possessive and controlling individual who sets out to cut Mary off from her friends and family, isolating her so that she has no ties with anyone but him.  This relationship is well portrayed and ends in a frightening situation that destroys Mary’s ability to trust and leaves her in a depressed state. (more…)

 

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“A Father’s Prayer” by Linda Wood Rondeau was an excellent read.  I often read to learn, as well as for enjoyment and this book satisfied both interests. I bought “A Fathers Prayer” after I read the authors bio and the summary of the book.  I wanted to see how the writer handled the challenge of being a sole care giver to an autistic child in a story.

The book delivered far more than I had expected. It is well written, the characters felt real to me, and I related to the challenges Alexis Jennings faced while loving and caring for her adopted autistic brother, Gib Jennings. I felt that the book also gave a realistic look into the world of a twelve year old child with a form of autism, and I really appreciated that.

Ethan Jacobs had problems of his own. Fame and success had only deepened his addiction to alcohol. It took learning that he had a son to make him change his life and overcome his weakness. But can he actually step in and be a father to a child whose world is not like that of other children, a child who has never met him and a child who is still reeling from the death of his adoptive parents?

This is an inspirational Christian book, but the faith and belief of both Alexis Jennings and Ethan Jacobs is not a “preach”—rather it is woven seamlessly into the fabric of both characters who are well rounded and richly portrayed.

This is a short novella—I read it in a couple of hours.  Perfect for an afternoon escape or those who like to read in one sitting.  To be honest, I would love to have read a longer format. There was a great opportunity in this story to give the characters relationship time to develop and grow and that is why I am giving this novella four stars.

Still I would recommend this book to anyone.

A Fathers Prayer can be puchased here on Amazon.com

 

 

 

The night I started this book, I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. The next day I broke my own rule about not reading during the day. I quickly did what I had to do around the house and on social media, and then I grabbed my kindle and settled into this fast paced, exciting thriller, and read until it was done.

I love Vigilante books—and Colin Bailey (“The Phoenix”) captured me immediately.  Truthfully, there are times in real life when I think the world could use groups like the Olympus Project to rid society of some of its festering sores. (and they probably do exist!)

This book had it all for me—excitement, drama, suspense, intrigue, sex, filled with great dialogue and rich description.  I really enjoyed the way very pertinent modern day social issues were woven into the plot, and the results were not sanitized. They were tragic, just as they would be in real life, and for me it added to the authenticity of the story.  I sometimes had to remind myself that this was simply great fiction!

Ted Tayler has become the latest “favorite author” on my list, and I will be reading more of his works. I immediately downloaded Conception, The Birth of Pheonix, and I know I will be looking into more of Taylers  previous books.

This book can be purchased by clicking on Amazon

 

five-stars

 

 

There were so many truths in this book about a sensitive subject that most of our North American society does not seem to know how to deal with.

It is a fact of life that each one of us will experience the loss of a loved one, and while The Widow or Widower Next Door deals openly and honestly with the experiences of losing a spouse, which as one of the comments expressed as “a loss like no other,” many of the same examples apply to people who lose a child, a parent, a grandparent or a dear friend.

The author says “our view of it (death) is so sanitized and sterile now. We don’t like to think about it much.

“In the more agarian societies of old, we witnessed birth and death of farm animals and house animals. There was a sense of normalcy about death, even though we didn’t like it…..It’s as though if we don’t think about it, we’ll never have to deal with it. That’s all very nice, but no one has yet explained to me how to avoid death

She also wrote, “ generations ago, people died in their own beds. Viewings and services were conducted in the parlor, and neighbours, friends and family came to the home. Now the dying are in a hospital or in an institutional place, far removed physically and mentally. It’s not so personal because, Lord knows we don’t want it to be personal.”

I have long been struck by society’s denial of death, in that it makes most people want to look away from people who are experiencing it—or have experienced it. People do not know what to say or how to act.

I have never forgotten what happened when our son was killed in an automobile accident thirty years ago. He had been working away from home, and all his friends lived where he worked, so we elected to have the funeral there—it was also in a community where my husband’s family members lived. My husband’s family were very supportive and comforting, but a couple of weeks later we had occasion to go to a gathering when my favorite uncle and aunt and their family lived. It was totally bizarre—Not one person mentioned our son’s death or our loss. It was as if nothing so tragic had happened, yet they all knew. I truly believe that they didn’t know how to say anything, but it shocked me. In our community, only one neighbour phoned to express condolences and the ladies from the Womens Institute sent a card signed by all the members, which was nice.

We live in a small community, and just recently we had a most compassionate and loving view of what can and should happen when a family and community member is passing. This man had fought a valiant battle with cancer, and his wife had been there with him every step of the way—loving him, caring for him, supporting him. We visited with them when he was in the hospital, and it was incredible to see his attitude, her attitude and the support they gave each other. They laughed and joked with us, and shared memories from the past. Shortly after that he came home to live out the last two weeks of his life. The house had a constant flow of friends, neighbours and family who came to be with him and support his wife. He died at home with her and one of their sons. He had helped plan his celebration of life, which was held at a next door neighbour’s ranch. It was a community event and a thing of beauty. To me it was a reminder of what we miss when we fail to honor and support the dying and their families.

But as the 25 people in this book each expressed, after the funeral is over and everyone leaves, there are so many things to deal with, and each individual’s way of dealing with grief and the everyday existence after the loss of a spouse (or a close family member or friend) is a personal process.

The author wrote “The Widow or Widower Next Door” is a collection of stories that reveal the unexpected reactions that occur. We prepare for school by attending Pre-K. We prepare to get our Driver’s License by taking driving lessons. We got to pre-marital counseling before we wed. Nothing, but nothing prepares us for the loss of a spouse. We hope this book will get people thinking and preparing, and we hope that it will help them learn how to better help a friend or a neighbor with such a loss.”

Those words are so true, and this book is a great resource for ALL people, but especially those who are experiencing the loss of a spouse. Highly recommended read!

This book is availabe on  Amazon.com

This is a great resource for mothers with a new baby, and if there are more young children in the household I believe the same techniques could be applied to them at an age appropriate level.

When I was 22 years old we had four children five and under, but I was very fortunate in that all of them were good sleepers. However I have known households where the child (or children’s) lack of schedule controlled the whole family.

This book is basically about establishing a pattern that you reinforce daily, sticking to schedules for sleep times, nap times and awake times. When this is done according to the techniques that the author mastered with her own children, the child will quickly adjust and develop a routine which will have them sleeping for longer periods. This results in a happy child and the mother who has the opportunity to get needed sleep, as well as have time to do chores, or simply relax a bit.

She suggests how you can work with a schedule that fits your lifestyle best and once it is established you will be able to adjust it according to the personality of the child and the changing needs of the mother. She includes charts that the new parent can fill in and follow—but what I took from this book is that if you take the time and consistently follow the schedule that you set up, the child will develop good sleeping habits.

O’Brien did not mention it, but I couldn’t help but think that this should be healthy for the child all through it’s life. Once the habit of “knowing” how to go to sleep is instilled, it may be that the individual would have less problems with sleep issues as they grow older, because they are already programed to be able to sleep.

This is a very good instruction manual for getting your new baby to establish healthy sleeping habits. A well rested baby is usually a happy baby–and thus so is it’s mother relaxed and rested.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com

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