Articles

Silver Dollar by Alan Trustman

 

Betsy discovers that life can change at the flip of a coin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this story your dream?

A young Betsy, new to New York accepts a date because she is alone, on the rebound, and he has been introduced to her by her only friends in the city. Their foursome is at a Greek restaurant, where a flippant remark sends them on an impulsive whirlwind world tour, but when the plane finally lands at JFK, everything changes. And we begin our journey along the rollercoaster which is Betsy’s life, a myriad of emotions, and dashing, yet mysterious men.

An intelligent career woman, romantic, sexy, yet sometimes lonely, Betsy, despite having husbands, children, and a busy lifestyle, finds herself exposed to the same day to day tasks, worries and anguish ‘ordinary’ women do, and deals with them as best she can, undaunted, hopeful and spirited even into her 70’s. The person who said ‘Life begins at 50,’ obviously hadn’t met Betsy.

This is an irresistible story, completely absorbing, and very enjoyable to read. The reader is able to enjoy complete escapism, and at the turn of every page wonder, what will happen next, and what will the future hold.

About the Book: 

The author of The Thomas Crown Affair presents this engaging story of a small town girl’s five decade big city life and quest for loves, some intended and some not.

From her risky round the world trip on a dare first date through her chance encounters with “consultants” for the Department of State, in a life of multiple relationships, new and old, you live with​​ our ​Betsy this story of her life and loves.​

Available from Amazon in Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Dollar-Alan-Trustman/dp/1596875348/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500470155&sr=8-1&keywords=silver+dollar+by+alan+trustman

and Barnes and Noble in Hardcover https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/silver-dollar-alan-trustman/1125873563?ean=9781596875340#productInfoTabs

 

Spirit of Lost Angels (The Bone Angel Series) (Volume 1) by Liza Perrat

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Spirit of Lost Angels is a wonderful historical adventure set in eighteenth century France, and is the first book in the author’s L’Auberge des Anges series.

Victoire Charpentier is a peasant girl who, lives in Lucie-sur-Vionne, this book is her story… and also the story of an angel talisman which is handed on through the generations of the Charpentier family.

Set in the eighteenth century, we follow the adventures of this young girl who after the death of both her parents, finds herself working as a domestic servant in Paris, then she becomes a prisoner in La Salpêtrière asylum, the most notorious of mad houses. However, it is there that she finds herself romantically involved with Jeanne de Valois, and the story unfolds even further.

In this fast paced novel we watch as Victoire reinvents herself, and then discover if she will have the bravery to join the revolution and help overthrow the aristocracy.

Throughout this very interesting story, the amount of research which has gone into its writing, and the attention to detail is amazing, making it not only a fantastic story, but also a real insight into life in those times.

About the Author: Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years. When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her family for over twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist. Since completing a creative writing course twelve years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France. Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in her French historical trilogy, The Bone Angel series. The second – Wolfsangel – was published in October, 2013, and the third, Blood Rose Angel, was published in November, 2015. She is a founding member of the author collective, Triskele Books and reviews books for BookMuse. Links: Email Newsletter sign-up for FREE short story, Ill-fated Rose, that inspired The Bone Angel series: http://www.lizaperrat.moonfruit.com/sign-up Website: www.lizaperrat.com Blog: http://lizaperrat.blogspot.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Liza-Perrat-232382930192297/ Twitter: @LizaPerrat Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/triskelebooks/

About the Book: Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots. Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy? Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of an angel talisman passed down through generations. Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/2954168102?ref_=cm_cr-mr-title

and Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Lost-Angels-Liza-Perrat-ebook/dp/B0082MI2Y4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

The One of Us by John Needham

The_One_Of_Us_cover_latest_001NEW RELEASE:  The One of Us by John Needham

A compelling and fascinating story.

 

About the book: Jim and Maureen Harrison ache to have a child. Glyn and Sioned Rees want a brother or sister for their daughter Lowri. But for both couples, further pregnancy is impossible. So what to do?

The answers to both their dreams are sucking their thumbs in the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool: foundlings, twin baby boys. Glyn and Sioned adopt one, whom they bring up in Wales. Jim and Maureen adopt the other, rearing him in north Yorkshire.

And so the boys are brought up in very different social and family environments, developing markedly different personalities and aspirations. But are they entirely different? After all, they are monozygotic: identical. Does their genetic commonality confer similar character traits deep down? John Needham’s third novel explores nature/nurture theory, weaving it into an absorbing, at times exquisitely moving tale of brothers.

Readers of his previous book, Forebears, will be re-acquainted with warm-hearted, buff, call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel Yorkshire lass Helen, now taking a larger role, telling her story from an earlier time.

This gentle, compelling, sometimes poignant novel tells the boys’ stories in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to a dramatic, heart-wrenching reunion that will wring your emotions dry. 

A heart-warming tale of identical, foundling twin brothers separated as babies and adopted to be brought up in very different environments. The boy’s stories are told in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to an unusual, emotionally-searing reunion.

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My first impression of this book was, what a strange title, however, having read it, there could be no more perfect one.

How could Julie have known, way back in 1984 when she left her native Ireland to live in Liverpool that her fancying Paul, at a nightclub, the consequences of that night, and the relationship which followed would change so many people’s lives, including her own?

Glyn and Sioned love their daughter Lowri, yet they yearn for another child. Jim and Maureen are trying to come to terms with Maureen’s inability to carry a baby to term. Two couples who, for two very different reasons, decide to adopt a baby, but each of their choices leave them inextricably tied in a way they could never imagine.

Life has a way of changing just when we think we are settled, and as a result, Glyn, Sioned, Lowri and little adopted Tomos find themselves moving back to their native Wales. Whilst Jim, Maureen and their little adopted son Wayne relocate to Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

This is the story of these two boys, each having very different childhoods, achievements, plans and dreams. As they grow into men, however, it is discovered that they have one thing in common, and in the end, does anything else matter?

I found this story un-put-down-able, it has a very unusual storyline, plenty of twists and turns, and a real surprise ending.

Those of us who love this author’s very humane way of writing are, yet again, treated to another beautifully written story. At the end of the book, as an added bonus, the author has included a couple of chapters of ‘Forebears’ one of his previously published novels, which also features one of the characters in this story.

 

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About the Author: I have had a love affair with the written word all my life. An avid reader as a child, my passion for print moved up a gear when I was apprenticed into the compositor’s art in the bygone age of hot-metal letterpress, long before the advent of computers, high-tech printing and ebooks.

Much of my career continued in a parallel vein, in copywriting and as a graphic designer. Now retired from all that, I write books: issues-based and exploring the human condition. I have produced two house renovation books although not yet published them, and an autobiography, Wishing for the Better, is being published free-to-read on my website, wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com.

In fiction, my debut novel was Convergence, a story of elderly, interracial love. This was followed by Forebears, a family saga set in the east of England spanning 106 years from the early 20th century almost to the present day.

My third novel, The One of Us, about the trials and tribulations and nature/nurture theory of separated-as-babies, adopted identical twins, will be followed by a fourth that tells the story of another character in that novel.

I live and produce my words in west Wales.

Author’s Website: http://wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nature-or-nurture/

The One of Us is available to purchase from:

Autharium  http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/the-one-of-us

and in Kindle format from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Us-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00OAAUOPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412837081&sr=8-1&keywords=the+one+of+us+by+john+needham

 

When the Drum Major Died by Anjuelle Floyd

when the drum major diedA fascinating story.

When I started reading this book, the first thoughts which came into my mind were that, it’s amazing how ignorant one can be, about events which happened in your own lifetime. Being a British child at the time these events were taking place, somehow they slipped into a hole between the history I was taught at school, from ancient up to and including WWII, and the recent history which I remember as an adult.

The main character in the story Florina, is a young colored woman who has married Dr Richmond Austin, and moved to his home town Poinsettia, in the South of America. Her new in-laws are very welcoming and her new home is to be his grandparent’s house. However, she very quickly discovers that her new neighbour Agnes, who is married to the other colored doctor in the town, Macon, used to go out with Richmond, and Florina fears that the attraction is still there. However, she has her own secret, one not even her parents know… A secret which lies buried in her heart and which she can only hint at in her very poignant poetry.

This incredibly absorbing story is set at a very turbulent time for the colored people of America. The Civil Rights movement was strong, and was led by the Baptist minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr., a man who worked tirelessly for, and who played such a strong part in the ending of the legal segregation of the African-American people.

Also all the time, in the background, and twisted inextricably throughout the plot of this story is the Vietnam War which was taking thousands of lives…

However, another element of this story, which was very interesting to me, is that I never realised that there was such color snobbery within the families of colored folk, causing so much tension, prejudices, terrible rifts, and great sadness. This was so evident in this book, where at one end of the spectrum there was immense color pride and at the other the seemingly desperate need to appear white.

This book is amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. For me, it has all the essential ingredients for a good story excitement, intrigue, love triangles, lies, deceit, confessions, betrayal I could go on. However, more importantly for me, it gives a fascinating fly on the wall account of what it was really like as a colored person to live in those times, something I would never be able to experience otherwise.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd/dp/1938070011/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407946089&sr=8-1

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd-ebook/dp/B00I35FT6Y/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1407946089

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-the-drum-major-died-anjuelle-floyd/1118401259?ean=9781938070013

 

About the Author: Anjuelle Floyd is the author of “Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident”, June 15, 2007, a collection of interconnected short stories, and two novels, “The House”, October 15, 2012, and “Seasons in Purdah,” September 9, 2012.
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/
http://anjuellefloyd.com/

Anjuelle is a wife of thirty years, mother of three, abstract painter and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.
A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, she has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California.
Anjuelle received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has also received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting from 1998-2006, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004–2011 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Listen to Anjuelle’s interviews of various authors on Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters @
www.blogtalkradio.com/anjuellefloyd

Read Anjuelle’s blogs and more about her @ http://anjuellefloyd.com/blog/  and http://anjuellefloyd.com/about/

Black Harvest (The Project Book 4) by Alex Lukeman

black harvestThis book has all the components of a brilliant thriller, it is action packed and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learnt from the past, secrets buried, waiting to be discovered. Some, have been buried deeply, for a reason. They should never be found.

This is the story of what happens when one such secret is unleashed on this modern world. The plot unfortunately, is all too feasible, which is frightening really, however, everywhere we look now-a-days we see plenty of evidence of mans greed and lust for power.

Nick Carter, the main character is everything we would imagine a top agent to be, intelligent, ruthless, a trained killer, and a man able to deal with any situation. This type of job however, has its own penalties, including having to conquer the recurring demons from his past. Throughout the story, these threaten the future of a blossoming affair with one of his team mates Selena Connor, can people in jobs like theirs ever hope for love?

This is the first Alex Lukeman story I have read, but I shall certainly be looking out for more.

Black Harvest is available from Amazon in Kindle format  http://www.amazon.com/Black-Harvest-Project-Book-4-ebook/dp/B008EWZ95W/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407499479&sr=1-1&keywords=black+harvest+by+alex+lukeman 

and in Paperback here http://www.amazon.com/Black-Harvest-Project-Book-Volume/dp/1478133279/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407499479&sr=1-1 

it is also available as an audiobook from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Black-Harvest-The-Project-Book-Four-Audiobook/B00JU4R424

About the Author: Alex Lukeman writes action/adventure thrillers featuring a covert intelligence unit called the PROJECT and is the author of the award-winning Amazon best seller, The Tesla Secret. Alex is a former Marine and psychotherapist and uses his experience of the military and human nature to inform his work. He likes riding old, fast motorcycles and playing guitar, usually not at the same time. You can email him at alex@alexlukeman.com . He loves hearing from readers and promises he will get back to you.

 

 

Blue Hydrangeas: an Alzheimer’s love story by Marianne Sciucco

Product Details

Having spent a lifetime together, Sara and Jack, who run a successful bed-and-breakfast called Blue Hydrangeas refuse to acknowledge there may be a problem with Sara, until the time comes when they are forced to face the truth. When she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they are in denial, shocked, yet resolute, they have faced life together united for so long, that they are determined to continue to do so for as long as they can.

However, time takes its toll and after nine years, Jack, is not a well man himself and is finding himself under pressure from family and the medical staff to put Sara in a home, but can he?

This is a poignant love story, beautifully written. If you have ever nursed or known anyone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia this story will bring the memories flooding back. The effects on the loved ones, and family of caring for the sufferers is hard, both physically, and mentally, as they watch their loved ones memories go.

This is not a soppy romance, but rather, a true celebration of the love between two people. I have no doubt that it will make you smile, it will undoubtedly make you cry, but, this is an absolutely amazing story and I highly recommend it.

Author’s Website: http://mariannesciucco.blogspot.fr/

About the Author: I’m not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, I studied the craft of writing as an English major at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and briefly worked as a newspaper reporter in New England. To avoid poverty, I later became a nurse. In 2002, I began writing about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues. I’m a native Bostonian who loves Cape Cod but I make my home in upstate New York. When I’m not writing, I work as a campus nurse at a community college. To see what I’m up to visit MarianneSciucco.blogspot.com or find me on facebook, Twitter, and goodreads. You may also drop me a line at mariannesciucco@gmail.com.

Blue Hydrangeas is available from Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook formats http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Hydrangeas-Alzheimers-love-story-ebook/dp/B00CHU571S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406554022&sr=8-1&keywords=blue+hydrangeas

 

Lafitte’s Treasure by Joe Corso

6585687_origThis book begins way back in the past, and Governor Claiborne of Louisiana’s refusal to meet with the pirate Jean Lafitte, denouncing him as a “Hellish Banditti,” a decision which was to affect the lives of future generations of both families, and others.

For in 1813, the British had approached Jean Lafitte, asking them to join them in fighting the Americans, they had no idea of what sort of a man he was. He was a pirate, yes, but he was also a mason and lived his life by their codes of honour. Luckily, General Jackson recognised those codes and virtues also, and the rest as they say is history…

The decisions we make in life not only affect us, and the lives of those around us, but their repercussions can be felt, as ripples, far into the future. Eventually though these ripples do start to settle, and so it is, that through chance events and discoveries, the lives of two people, who had previously never met, converge.

The legacies, left to Eddie, and Julianna, bond them as they embark on their exciting and dangerous adventure. Following clues left in the past, they travel to New Orleans on their quest to discover the lost treasure, however, they are not the only ones who know about it, other’s want it too, and will do anything to procure it.

This story, for me, it has all the vital ingredients, action, adventure, murder, mystery, and romance. This author’s attention to detail has meant that he has also added a lot of fascinating history about New Orleans and the famous pirate Jean Lafitte.

Available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lafittes-Treasure-Award-Winning-Author-Corso-ebook/dp/B00LP49BLE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405929254&sr=8-1&keywords=lafittes+treasure

About the Author: I grew up in Queens, New York and I started writing late in life with the intention of helping my grandchildren pay for their college education. I found to my surprise that I could tell a good story which resulted in my completing 15 books and 9 short stories including my popular ‘ENGINE 24 FIRE STORIES’ trilogy. LAFITTE’S TREASURE has just been published and it is receiving great reviews.

‘THE STARLIGHT CLUB 5: REVENGE is completed and is presently being edited. When that book is finished I’m thinking of either writing a sequel to my western ‘THE ADVENTURES OF THE LONE JACK KID” or writing The STARLIGHT CLUB 6.

AWARDS

THE STARLIGHT CLUB won the silver in the 2012 eLit contest in the ‘TRUE CRIME’ category’. In 2013 it won HONORABLE MENTION in the Reader’s Favorite ‘HISTORICAL FICTION’ category’. In 2014 it was an IPPY award FINALIST and it was awarded the Gold Seal as a Eric Hoffer MONTAINGE MEDAL FINALIST. It also won the 2014 (NIEA) National Indie Excellence Awards FINALIST in the CRIME-FICTION CATEGORY.

THE LONE JACK KID won ‘FINALIST’ in the 2013 Readers Favorite in the ‘WESTERN’ category.

My short story ‘FIRE: BOX 598’ won the BRONZE in the 2013 Readers Favorite contest in the ‘HISTORICAL NON FICTION category’.

Go figure. If I would have known that I could write a good story. I would have started writing a half century ago.

Author’s website: http://www.corsobooks.com

 

Another Spring by John Needham

Capture_Another_Spring_blue_palerAbout the Book: An un-named black girl finds awakening of love in her barren life. A young girl samples a first kiss with a young man after having a fright at the seaside in 1924. Two couples go through the hopes and anxieties of child adoption, finding they have something in common. The angst of being an ugly duckling teenage boy in the 1950s comes good, with a surprise twist in the tail. A writer reminisces about the recent years of his past in recollections bitter-sweet.

These are stories that will tug the heart strings and sometimes make you smile. And sometimes too, perhaps, they might provoke another sort of smile: a wry one of remembrance.

 

 

A lovely collection of short stories.

This book is a collection of short stories, each possessing different themes, but all written in the style of writing that lovers of John Needham’s other books will recognise. 

John writes from experience, hindsight and observation. These stories are poignant, reflective, heartrending and celebratory, they will make you laugh, smile, think and reflect.

If you are a fan of fly on the wall stories or memoirs, you will love the way that his pen dips into the past as he captures the essence of life then, and the innocence of bygone days, in the first two of his short stories which are called Awakening and Skeggy Day Out.

Tantalisingly, Baby Blues is a taster for his next novel The One of Us. As two couples explore their thoughts and feelings whilst deciding whether they are going to adopt.

Of course everyone has fallen in love. Dream, Dream, Dream, takes its title from the famous song as one man reflects on life and love in the 50’s.

Whilst in the final story a writer shares a little of himself in Another Spring…

Even though two of the stories are modified extracts from the author’s novels Convergence and Forebears, the others are new, and I am confident in saying that fans of John’s writing will not be disappointed in this new book.

 Available in Kindle format from:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Another-Spring-heart-warming-seasonal-tales-ebook/dp/B00LN6AQJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405089596&sr=8-1&keywords=Another+spring+by+john+needham

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Spring-heart-warming-seasonal-tales-ebook/dp/B00LN6AQJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405090739&sr=8-1&keywords=another+spring+by+john+needham

Autharium http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/another-spring-story

 

 

 

 

 

Maid for the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello

 

Product Details

This is a joint review by myself and my husband.

Romantic, funny, happy, sad, a myriad of emotions all rolled into one book, well, that is what you get when you’re in love – right?

When a case of mistaken identity throws two strong minded people together it’s a recipe for what? The love story of the century! Abby is strong minded and sexual but not one to be walked over. Dominic is extremely rich, very powerful and used to getting is own way, either by charm or utilising his immense wealth. Infatuated, Dominic has certainly met a challenge in the sensible Abby, but in spite of herself – she’s smitten with him too, and when she gets the opportunity to travel with him on a business trip to China she takes it – but on his terms.

This book starts off as a romance, however, soon it is steaming headlong at a great pace, very hot and sexy, but don’t be fooled people, the romantic/sexy scenes are the backdrop to a really good story.

We loved it! My husband says ‘Shades of Grey’ I say ‘Maid in Manhattan,’ either way it was a definite hit. However, you’ll have to read it yourself to decide.

Available from Amazon:

on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Maid-Billionaire-Book-Legacy-Collection-ebook/dp/B004XJ4NI4/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_d_1

in Paperback format http://www.amazon.com/Maid-Billionaire-Cardello-Legacy-Collection/dp/1466398167/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

and as an Audiobook http://www.amazon.com/Maid-Billionaire-Book-Legacy-Collection/dp/B00DJAOQA8/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

 

 

Through These Doors – The Manoir at Bout L’Abbé by Diane Condon-Boutier

A fascinating story.

MANOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: If these old walls could talk, would you listen? When a house has a story to tell, historical events to relate and lives to share, it should be given a voice; especially when the house is French and possesses a certain “je ne sais quoi”.
“Through These Doors: the Manoir at Bout L’Abbé” tells of the German occupation of Normandy during WWII and the scars left on their unwilling French hosts. A fragile coexistence between the factions struggling for control of Normandy is born, while internal conflicts between certain German officers and their Nazi leaders complicate the impossible relationship between a young French girl and the soldier she finds herself drawn to.
It also speaks of Debra, the American woman who convinces her French husband to buy the manor house in the 1980’s. She finds herself listening to whispers of previous occupants and being accused of insanity because of it. Still, the house will not be silent and Debra submits to its dubious support as her stormy relationship unfolds.

About Diane Condon-Boutier: Diane Condon-Boutier was born in Bay City, Michigan, in 1961. Youngest daughter of a junk food factory shipping manager and a librarian, her favorite activity to this day, is reading a book while eating potato chips. Earning a B.A. from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, in French language studies, history and culture left Diane with a penchant for long walks on sunny beaches and crazy rollercoaster rides in theme parks animated by very large mice.Thus, it is not surprising that an internship to France aiming to perfect the art of French slang resulted in an undying love for the country itself and all things French. Diane calls Normandy her home today. She lives in the countryside outside the lovely port city of Dieppe, where she revels in a daily dose of history and the unique culture the French take for granted.She shares a creaky old house with a few too many spiders and two cats, sometimes harboring one or the other of her adult daughters: Rebecca and Abigail. Their home, named “Le Clos du Hérisson” or in English: “Hedgehog Close” is available for rental under a B&B basis. These rooms are mostly spider free.Diane is also the author of a well followed travel website: www.france-vacations-made-easy.com, as well as several short stories, one of which was published in the Goodreads anthology “Ménage à Twenty”.Her début historical novel: “Through These Doors, the Manoir at Bout L’Abbé” tells of lives spent in her part of Normandy, from contemporary times back through the pages of history to the Middle Ages. It is the first in a series.

 

Those of us, who love old houses, will admit to standing in them, and wondering what tales the house could tell – if only it were possible.

This story, unusually, does just that, and the property in question is the Manoir at Bout L’Abbe in Normandy, France. A majestic building like this, set in its own grounds, would have many tales to tell, for such an imposing building, in times gone by, would need regular maintenance, staff to look after its grounds and animals, indeed, such a property would have supported, at one time, many workers.

The story begins in 1987, when young American, Debra, moves into the house with her French husband Phillippe. The house welcomes the happy newlyweds and in time children, however, over the years, things change with unforeseeable consequences…

However, a house of this age can look back a lot further than that, and earlier in the 20th Century, it had been occupied by German troops in WW2. In a fly on the wall way, the house gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into life in wartime France and through the lives of the Fournier family, we have a chance to perhaps understand a little of the emotional strains of war on the French.

The author has brilliantly described the beauty of the French countryside and its wonderful buildings. Through her historical research and attention to detail, she has produced a very interesting and totally absorbing book. Whether you are interested in France, the war, history, or just want to read a good story, I can thoroughly recommend this book.

Available from Amazon.co.uk in Paperback http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbbe/dp/1478255560/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbb%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B008ND8742/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392891520&sr=1-1&keywords=Through+these+doors

Amazon.com in Kindle format  http://www.amazon.com/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbb%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B008ND8742/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392827065&sr=1-1&keywords=Through+These+Doors

and Amazon.fr in Paperback http://www.amazon.fr/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbbe/dp/1478255560/ref=sr_1_2?s=english-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392891656&sr=1-2&keywords=through+these+doors

 

 

 

My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

Great fun to read.

About the book: Jack Laskin is an ordinary man. More than ordinary according to some. Running the family hardware store and a life that would bore a snail, nothing exciting ever seems to happen to him.

Then, at his mother’s urging, he tries on a pair of his late grandfather’s old pants and everything changes — most importantly his emerging love life. It’s not long before his mother and her meddling friends get involved.

When an old friend of his grandfather’s tells Jack he has something she wants, his new-found life takes another turn. Having no idea what he is supposed to have, Jack looks to his girlfriend, Connie, and her brother, Robert, for help.

In the end, the answers will all be found in his ‘Grandfather’s Pants’.

About Tegon Maus: I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an out right lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. If I can make people think “it could happen,” even for a moment, then I have them and nothing makes me happier. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

Review by Susan Keefe:

Jack Laskin is just an ordinary man; he has a girlfriend, looks after his mother and runs the family hardware store. When, one day his mother gives him a pair of his grandfather’s pants, he doesn’t really want them, but she insists they’ll be perfect for him.

Being a good son, Jack dutifully wears them, then he discovers things change, suddenly those around him treat him differently, it’s almost as if he’s become someone else…

As the magic continues, he discovers family secrets beyond belief, and when a ghosts from the past come wriggling out of the woodwork, he find himself committed to solving a mystery which spans generations.

This story is fantastic! It is totally different to anything I have read before. As the storyline unfolds, it is sexy, humorous and very entertaining – absolutely brilliant!

Available from:

Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/My-Grandfathers-Pants-Tegon-Maus-ebook/dp/B00HZH5A7O/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_tnr_3

and Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/400468

Brianna’s Story: Married to an Arab (Women In Chains) by Aabra

A salient warning to young women,

Brianna's Story: Married to an Arab (Women In Chains)

About the book: Brianna Phillips thought she’d never find another man to take the place of her high school sweetheart after he was killed in Iraq.  That was before she met a very handsome and somewhat mysterious man named Khaleel who, like Brianna, is an engineering student at Columbia University.  Before graduation, however, Brianna’s life is turned upside down when she becomes pregnant with Khaleel’s baby and is suddenly whisked away to a tiny village in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter. Completely separated from everything she has ever known, Brianna quickly discovers that Khaleel is no longer the man she fell in love with.  That man has been replaced by a domineering stranger who wants to control everything, especially Brianna.  This revelation is followed by other shocks as Brianna tries to adjust to a world that has suddenly turned into an endless nightmare of abuse, suppression, threats, and isolation. Pregnant and cut off from the outside world, Brianna can focus on only three things now: her own safety, the safety of her unborn child, and, most of all, how to escape from a prison built on hatred.

                                                                                        ——–

The modern world has evolved in such a way that all nations intermingle and travel worldwide is common. Every country has a potpourri of cultures and we can all learn a lot from the opportunities we have to integrate.

However, the fact that they are living in a different country does not necessarily mean that a person forsakes their roots.

Who we fall in love with is dictated by the heart and the author, after previously suffering heartbreak, finally, at Columbia University, falls in love with a handsome and mysterious Saudi Arabian.

Then, before graduation, she finds herself pregnant with his child and the nightmare begins…

Suddenly she finds herself in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia; the man she thought she knew has gone; instead, now in his homeland she meets the real Khaleel.

A real life horror story, brutally honest and offering a real insight into what a mixed marriage may actually means.

This story as it evolves should serve as a salient warning to young girls throughout the world to take care.

Available from: Amazon.com in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Briannas-Story-Married-Women-Chains-ebook/dp/B00H30AXYS/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

and Amazon.co.uk in Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Briannas-Story-Married-Women-Chains-ebook/dp/B00H30AXYS/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Author’s website:  http://www.aabra.us

 

 

Bella…A French Life by Marilyn Z. Tomlins

A wonderful story.

About the book:

An Evocative French Love Story.

Men leave, says Bella.

There is Jean-Louis – French, a successful Paris lawyer and wealthy, elegant and a good-looker, but arrogant, selfish and scornful of ‘losers’.
And he is married and the father of two daughters.
Colin – English, a writer, cultured, kind and protective – steps into Bella’s life, but in his own words, “I always run. I always have to be elsewhere, in some other place.”
Will Jean-Louis leave his wife? Will Colin stop running? Bella, alone this winter at her guest house on the beautiful Normandy coast of France, recalls words once said – pray that your loneliness will spur you into finding something to live for, something great enough to die for – and she hopes that this ‘something’ will be either Jean-Louis or Colin.

 

Romantic, intelligent and truly evocative of the sights, sounds and tastes of rural Normandy; Bella…A French Life will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

 

About Marilyn Z. Tomlins:

Marilyn lives and writes in Paris. She writes whatever takes her fancy: spoof news, book reviews, posts for her blog, gossip about showbiz stars, short stories, books, poetry. She also reports on crime. She was born in British Colonial Africa and is a British national. Eight years ago she became interested in the Second World War French serial killer, Dr Marcel Petiot and she researched him for two years. Over the next two tears she wrote DIE IN PARIS and, then, for the following two, rewrote it and then edited the rewrites.

 

Set in Normandy, France this is a love story, which was born in the tragedy of war.  When Bella’s parents fell in love, it was against all the rules, however, rules, as they say, are there to be broken, and in the face of adversity, their love endured.

If you live, or have lived in a small rural community, you will know that although they are tight knit and very supportive, these communities forget nothing, events are retold through generations even after many years have past.

Bella’s story is one of tragedy, acceptance, love and longing, and of two very different men Jean-Louis, the charismatic Frenchman and Colin, a thoughtful English writer.

The author has written a wonderful story, which is beautifully descriptive and held my attention until the very end.

Available from amazon in Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/Bella-French-Life-Marilyn-Tomlins/dp/0992670039/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1389116282&sr=8-1

and in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Bella-French-Life-Marilyn-Tomlins-ebook/dp/B00GN5E29Q/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1389116282

The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield by Tegon Maus

What a brilliant story!

TegonMaus_F_cover_[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Gift:
Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man’s understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess… It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope. I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man’s soul. I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again – all in an effort to save the life of his child. I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear. I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.
About Tegon Maus: Dearheart, my wife of forty three years and I live in Cherry Valley, a little town of 8,200 in Southern California. In that time, I’ve built a successful remodeling /contracting business. But that’s just my day job… everyone that writes, everyone who tells you how to write, all say the same thing… Write about what you know and what I know is me.
Well, at least the me I see when I write… a protagonist frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place but manages to work things out at the last minute after all.
Like most of us when pushed into a corner it only brings out the best in us and we become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. If I have a signature style for creating a character then this is it.

 

Review by Susan Keefe:

When Tucker Littlefield enters the tavern, its story time and his audience have come from near and far. The room falls silent as he begins the tale of how he first met Enon Tutelo, and the adventure, which followed. 

 They say, that sometimes an incident can change a person’s path in life forever, and Tucker’s attendance at a very special birthday party; and the events which followed, changed him forever. For Tucker is given a life changing gift, then a mission which takes him on a journey to other lands, far, far away from the Kingdom of Irkland,  where he meets strange people, and unimaginable creatures.

Magical, is the first word, which came to my mind when I finished this story.  Right from the very first page, I found myself totally captivated by Tucker’s storytelling of this is a wonderful adventure.

Tucker Littlefield is an amazing character, when reading it I immediately thought of John Carpenter’s fisherman storyteller at the beginning of ‘The Fog’ film, where the children gather round as the scene is set…  as, when reading it, I felt as if I too was actually there, sitting in the tavern, listening.

I cannot praise this book enough; it truly deserves to become a classic, the stuff of legends. As far as I am concerned, it has a fantastic storyline, the author has created some wonderful characters and I believe it would make a brilliant film!

I hope we shall be seeing more Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield in the future.

Available:

and in Kindle format here: http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Chronicles-Tucker-Littlefield-ebook/dp/B009P4CACS/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382779156&sr=1-1&keywords=the+chronicles+of+tucker+littlefield

 

 

Starlet’s Web by Carla J. Hanna

 Author: Carla J. Hanna

Book Title: Starlet’s Web

Starlet's Web: The Starlet Series


Genre: Young adult, teen love and romance, inspirational romance, religious romance


Brief bio: Carla J. Hanna is the author of the STARLET SERIES young adult romance. A former housewife of Santa Monica, marketing communications executive, and graduate of Colorado State University with a Master of Arts, she lives in Colorado with her family.

Can a teen actress and a Tim Tebow stand up to Hollywood’s web of lies?  A fast read with plot twists.

Review by Susan Keefe

As soon as I started reading this book I realised it would appeal immensely to many girls in their teens and twenties.

Set in Hollywood it has all the glitz of a Jackie Collins novel but with a young adult storyline.

Marie Michael’s is a child star emerging into adulthood amidst the cutthroat cynical film industry, under the guidance of her very famous actor mother. A woman who has herself had to make hard choices and decisions in order to become successful, and make her career flourish in the spider’s web of Hollywood. 

The story begins with Marie learning from her handsome heartthrob star boyfriend Evan that she has to accept the studio’s decision for them to endure a public break-up, for the sake of her career. Devastated, immediately we discover her vulnerability as she turns to her lifelong friend Manuel for comfort.

A child star and still a teenager, she has great support on set from her mother both emotionally and spiritually, fantastic prospects, and a great team behind her. However, Marie’s love lies elsewhere, away from Hollywood, forbidden and secret, safe in a world so different from her own.

Weaved into the pages of this exciting novel are glimpses of the show business world. We are treated to peeps on set, and an insight into what life is really like in Hollywood behind the glamorous facade, the strict training schedules, fitness and food routines and dedication it takes to be a star.

The story follows Marie as she discovers how to handle the emotional and physical demand of her acting career, the Hollywood scene, and the attentions of her handsome heartthrob co-stars who are used to adoration wherever they go. This is a false world, where emotions are for show, and the actors spend their whole life acting out their part, portraying the image, which is expected of them by their fans.

Starting as a sizzling romantic Hollywood novel, full of heartthrobs and glitz, this enthralling story evolves in a surprising way, when Marie makes a startling discovery, the repercussions of which are unforeseen. With the love and support of those around her, she evaluates her life, and through her strong sense of family and her faith in God, finds the ability to face the future, and go forward with her life.

This is a very appealing young adult novel with a great storyline, strong characters and a good plot; I look forward to reading the other books in this series.

Website:www.carlajhanna.com

Available from:

Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Starlets-Web-Starlet-Carla-Hanna/dp/1480231827/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375612352&sr=1-1&keywords=starlet%27s+web

Amazon on Kindle  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A0XPODU/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0T55HW8P8T2N0A2Q428H&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

Barnes & Noble in Paperback  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starlets-web-carla-hanna/1113772703?ean=9781480231825

Barnes & Noble as a Nook Book  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starlets-web-carla-j-hanna/1113781685?ean=2940015845815

Kobo eBooks http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Starlets-Web-The-Starlet-Series/book-dD6_XhgbbUqWwtPh580Zlg/page1.html?s=_Si1GK4_8E6SOF6RhJPuEw&r=2

Apple’s iBookstore https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/starlets-web-starlet-series/id584928549?mt=11

Tattered Cover Bookstore http://www.tatteredcover.com/book/9781480231825

Starlet’s Run | book two | available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobobooks, and Apple’s iBookstore

Kaleidoscope Summer: Samantha’s Story (Book One of the Serenity Cove Series) by Rita Garcia

Kaleidoscope Summer

A captivating story.

Serenity Cove is a small town where everyone knows each other, the same families have lived there for generations and skeletons are settled nicely into cupboards.

Therefore, when Samantha and her hearing dog Goldie arrive spectacularly in town, she soon becomes the centre of attention, especially when people discover her identity.

Samantha, who became deaf at 15 years of age, is a beautiful, capable, independent woman and soon romance is in the air as she captures the heart of police chief Logan Delatorre. She makes some good friends, especially Logan’s sister Mandy, however, in towns like this, there are always unusual characters and mischief-makers.

We follow her on her rollercoaster journey of discovery, sharing her emotions as she discovers her roots and, with her faith in God, comes to terms with her discoveries.

Anybody who has lived in a small village or community can immediately emphasise with Serenity Cove, its very real characters and the life this book portrays.

A lovely story, which captivated me from page one and kept me guessing throughout with its twists and turns.

 

Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Kaleidoscope-Summer-Samanthas-Rita-Garcia/dp/148104317X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368780685&sr=8-1&keywords=Kaleidoscope+Summer%3A+Samantha%27s+Story

 

Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Kaleidoscope-Summer-Samanthas-Story-ebook/dp/B00A9N9QX0/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1368780685&sr=8-1&keywords=Kaleidoscope+Summer%3A+Samantha%27s+Story

 

Barnes & Noble Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kaleidoscope-summer-rita-garcia/1113853921?ean=9781481043175