Ghost of the Forbidden City by Sumita Mukherjee


This is a wonderful children’s adventure story set in Beijing the capital of China.

The stars are Keiko, her brother Kenzo and their pet squirrel Eji. The brother and sister are very lucky because their father Mr Kimura is a brilliant scientist and his genius has rubbed off on Kenzo.

Kenzo is naughty, and always up to mischief, however he is also very clever, and his inventions help to solve mysteries, like the one in this book.

In this adventure Miss Tyra, the history teacher has arranged to take a small group of children on an outing to Beijing. Kenzo and his Sister Keiko, their squirrel Eji, Aki (Kenzo’s best friend), and Keiko’s friends Midori and Sakura are chosen and are very excited.

They travelling around by bus, and their guide is called by Xiao. First, they visit the Forbidden City, where they have a lovely time discovering many interesting facts about the largest ancient palace in the world. Then, whilst they are in one of the Emperors chambers a scary thing happens, Miss Tyra sees a ghost!

That night Keiko starts to hear voices in the kitchen of their guest house, so she, Kenzo and Eji go to explore, but no one is there…

The next day they visit the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and they have to get on it by taking a cable car ride. However, sinister things are at foot, and Midori nearly has an accident, but she is saved by one of Kenzo’s inventions, a very handy glue gun.

The city is amazing, and the decorations and celebrations at Gong Xi Fa Cai, (Chinese New Year), are very exciting. The children even see a traditional lion dance, and the Beijing National Stadium, however the ghostly presence is still around.

Back at the guest house, the children are determined to discover where the voices are coming from, and so they wait in the dark… and then they make a discovery.

So, what do they find?

Do ghosts really exists?

Who can they hear talking, what are they saying, and what are they trying to do?

Well, all I can say is that in the end all the questions are answered, more than once Kenzo’s glue gun saves the day, and they all agree Miss Tyra is the best teacher in the world.

A wonderfully informative children’s mystery adventure, with lots of surprises and a happy ending. It is beautifully illustrated by Subhajit Das and has amazing graphics by Loo Ng Pek Mun. For more interesting stories like this one visit

I downloaded this book using my Kindle Unlimited membership and really enjoyed reading it with my grandsons.


About the Author: Sumita Mukherjee is an historian of South Asia and the British Empire.

About the Book: Keiko, Kenzo and Eji are on an outbound trip to China with their school friends and a strict teacher. They visit the Forbidden Place and discover that it is haunted. Strange things happen in the guest house and they set out to investigate. They are shocked to see an unearthly hollow face. Kenzo, being a brave heart finds a clue and decides to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Ghost of the Forbidden City is available from Amazon in Paperback:


The Amateur Authorpreneur by Sarah Jane Butterfield.

51JUi7GmvVL__AA160_An insight into Authorpreneurship.

 Whether you are writing a book or have been published a while, if you are at a loss how to manoeuvre in the social media worlds of Twitter, Facebook and Google this book has the answers.

Why use hashtags and @’s, why are they there, what purpose do they serve? Why share? Why give your books away free?

Are you considering if you should perhaps have a website or write a blog? Don’t know where to start, or which way to turn.

If you need answers to any of the above questions and many more you didn’t realise you wanted to ask, then this is the book for you!

About the Author: Author Sarah Jane Butfield was born in Ipswich and raised in rural Suffolk, UK. Sarah Jane is a wife, mother, ex-qualified nurse and now an internationally published author. Married three times with four children, three stepchildren and two playful Australian Cattle dogs she an experienced modern day mum to her ‘Brady bunch’, but she loves every minute of their convoluted lives.

Sarah Jane, the roving Florence Nightingale, fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nurse and went on to use her nursing and later teaching qualifications to take her around the world. She is now an international best-selling author of three travel memoirs set in Australia and France. In addition, she released Book 1, The Accidental Author, from her new ‘What, Why, Where, When, Who & How of Book Promotion Series’ for aspiring and debut self published authors in February 2015 with Book 2, The Amateur Authorpreneur due for release in May 2015.

Glass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure, her debut travel memoir, and the sequel Two dogs and a suitcase: Clueless in Charente, are regularly found high in the Amazon rankings. Categories include Parenting, Grief, Christian faith, Step-parenting, Travel and France. Her new release Our Frugal Summer in Charente promises to be just as entertaining.

About the Book:

The Amateur Authorpreneur is a beginners’ guide for authors who intend to develop their writing into a business, addressing the important task of book promotion and marketing. We look at laying the foundations of the authorpreneur book promotion toolkit, building a fan base on social media and much more.
You’ve written a book or you plan to – what do you need to consider?
What does it offer readers?
Why will they buy it?
Where are your readers?
When will you publish it?
Who are you?
How do you promote it!
Find out how to take the business of being an author up a gear to become an authorpreneur.
The Amateur Authorpreneur will describe, using the What, Why Where, When, Who & How template, the process of taking the first steps into combining the craft of being an author with the business of marketing your work.
Here are some beta reader comments:
“Aspiring authors will feel reassured that whatever their age or IT ability all of the skills needed to become an authorpreneur are achievable.”
A non-author beta reader said,”I have discovered skills and tips that now helps me in both my personal and professional social media interactions”
An avid reader who enjoys the work of indie authors was,”amazed at what’s involved behind the scenes.”



The Lazy Cook (Book One): Quick and Easy Meatless Meals by Susie Kelly

51TzZT8RqiL__AA160_Great, simple recipes using fresh ingredients.

Roll over Delia Smith, here comes the next food goddess.

If you’re a normal human who would love to eat good fresh food from around the world which is quick to prepare and packed with flavour, then this is the book for you!

No fussy weighing, no rigid rules just delicious meat free recipes (fish and seafood is included). There are plenty of vegan and gluten free recipes, and the author has also taken the time to put notes on the bottom of others as to how they can be adapted.

What I loved about this book is that it embrace the wonderfully friendly character of this well-known author, making you feel as if you are sitting in her kitchen and she is telling you about each dish and its origins whilst it is being prepared.

Susie Kelly’s memoir’s and travel books have given her fans many insights into her varied life in her own very entertaining way. This new book not only offers a wide range of flavoursome recipes using fresh ingredients, it is also interspersed with interesting stories as we meet the characters who, and situations which have inspired them.

This cook book I know will become one of my all-time favourites. I know this because the recipes kept calling to me to try them as I read it. Well, tonight I will try the first one and I am looking forward to having my taste buds awakened to new flavour combinations and ideas.

Can’t wait until book two….

About the Author: Born a Londoner, Susie spent most of the first 25 years of her life in Kenya. In 2014, her memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry about an abusive childhood growing up in post-war London and Kenya, was a US digital bestseller. She now lives in south-west France with her husband and assorted animals. She believes that her explosive temper is a legacy from her Irish-American grandfather, but has no idea who to blame for her incompetence as a housewife. Susie Kelly is the Patron of the 2015 Charroux International Literary Festival.

About the Book: Let’s face it, most cook books are selling a dream: mouth-watering recipes, styled to within a pea’s hair, then photographed in the kind of pristine kitchens that very few of us own. More of us have kitchens like Susie’s, veering towards the chaotic rather than clutter-free.  So settle down with the bestselling travel author in the kitchen of her French farmhouse and enjoy this no-fuss, no-nonsense collection of wholesome, fail-safe, quick and simple meat-free recipes.

Susie makes no claims to being a cooking queen. She admits that over the years she has made every cookery mistake possible, including pouring hot oil back into a plastic bottle and watching the bottle melt and flood most of the kitchen. Then there was the great icing sugar misunderstanding….  but in The Lazy Cook she has put together an irresistible collection of the tasty, comfort-food recipes that are enjoyed by her family and friends, spattered with generous blobs of anecdote and humour.

One of those rare cookery books that won’t be left on the shelf, but will mature with well-thumbed age as its pages become patterned with stains of food, wine, cream, butter and all things delicious.


Available from Ammzon in Kindle format

and Paperback


Gethsemane: An Epic Poem about Us by R. Douglas Jacobs

51ptUTx50lL__UY250_Firstly, I have to say that it is the audiobook version I reviewed and it provides an experience like no other.

Unusually it is an epic poem, and as soon as I put it on I found myself absorbed in the author/narrator’s voice, it was relaxing and yet, I found myself listening intently to it. R. Douglas Jacobs, narration is set against a wonderful original piece of baroque music, which was written by the gifted composer Mark Moya.

Accompanying the narration, there are a cast of actors James MacEwen (The Gent), Dominique Vance (Celeste), Kahi Taufa’asau (Lucifer), Sigmund Kramer (The Lord), Michael David Little (Azazel), Micah Delhauer (Michael), Lucho Franco (Young Man of Brawn), Sedamar Fitzgerald (The Nude Maiden) and sound effect, which make this audiobook a unique piece of work.

This is the story of Lucifer’s fall from grace, and his journey from there, hell, mankind’s embracing of his ways, and also redemption. Woven into it is some very thought provoking writing, as I started to read this, I mentally decided it would be suitable for a religious group or suchlike, however, by the time I had finished I had definitely changed my mind. It is full of very powerful writing, and I have to warn potential listeners that the content is sexually explicit at times and would not be suitable the young or for those easily offended.

However, despite the previous statement it is to be admired for its sheer powerfulness, the author has, in this most unusual of works created a total living work of art. With beautiful music, talented actors and stunning sound effects, it is something to behold.


About the Author: R. Douglas Jacobs, the person, still remains an enigma, whereas, R. Douglas Jacobs, the poet, has developed a clear and distinctive voice as a storyteller four years after he first entered the literary forum as an author with the debut of his sonnet anthology, The Rhymes of Love and Reason. That book was met with little publicity and less fanfare due to the fact that he was virtually anonymous and had no reputation to uphold among critics and consumers, alike. This initial endeavor of his, however, would turn out to serve as a primer for his new, ambitious book, Gethsemane, a sweeping epic poem that transcends the boundaries of literature through its rare prowess and ingenuity. This undertaking presented major challenges over a two and a half year span that often consumed his psyche and pushed him to the brink of reasoning. On one occasion, the anxiety of confronting the climatic nuance of the second act caused him to frantically ride his road bike into the cold darkness of a coastal boardwalk on a late, Thanksgiving Eve in 2010. His relationships became impaired by neglect and he experienced considerable weight loss. Yet, he persevered and entrusted his faith to lead his imagination in ways it had never been led before. Gethsemane was not only a metaphorical escape, but was an asylum for him to exercise his demons, and the end result is as poignant as it is profound. If R. Douglas Jacobs, the poet, were to speak on behalf of R. Douglas Jacobs, the person, he would argue that the person in him will always be misunderstood for the simple, yet sincere, fact that his heart has never known how to discriminate.

Author’s Website:

Gethsemane is available:

From Amazon in Kindle format

in Paperback

as an Audiobook

and from Audible

Desolation Row (Austin Starr Mysteries Book 1) by Kay Kendall

This story is set at the 1960’s during the Vietnam War, at the time when Richard Nixon became president and the hippy, ‘peace and love’ scene was in full swing.

Newly married Austin Starr, and her husband David, have fled Texas. David is a draft resistor and they are living, with others who are like minded in Canada.

Settling down in a strange country, so different from her home is hard enough for Austin, however she is determined to be a good wife and supportive of her husband. Then, suddenly her life is turned upside down when she makes a discovery which leads to her husband being accused of murder.

Frustrated, she is determined to discover the truth, in what the police feel is an open and shut case. With a flair for investigating that even the CIA have noticed, Austin decides that she must uncover the truth herself about who murdered fellow draft resistor, Reginald a Senator’s son.

This is a heart-warming tale of one woman’s determination to clear her husband’s name. Passionately determined, the resolutely unflinching Austin delves into dark corners and discovers deeply buried secrets, which open cans of worms, and put her very life in danger.

I found this an engaging story and a brilliant mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, set in a very controversial period of modern history. 

Author’s website:

This book is available from Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook formats

For The Love of a Poet by Marilyn Z. Tomlins

For the love of a poet









A Russian love story.

About the book: ‘I have been obsessed with this man for years. My parents say I have a crush on him. I have been telling them it is not a crush. It is reverence. Reverence not only for the man but so too for his talent: his poetry. If anyone asks me whether I have a wish, I will say, if only I can meet the poet Beretzkoy.’ These are the wistful words of Tanya Brodovskaya. Her wish comes true, although the poet is a married man and the father of two sons, and soon a heady, passionate love affair begins. In a small, dilapidated dacha in a village south of Moscow, played out against a grim backcloth of Stalin’s demonic rule of Russia, Tanya and her dissident poet live their love to the full, stealing precious and wonderful time, finding happiness in each other’s arms although he continues to live with his wife and sons. But black clouds gather. The Man of Steel’s policies threaten the couple’s idyll. Their love will survive; they know it will. But will they?

About the author: Marilyn lives and writes in Paris. She writes whatever takes her fancy: spoof news, book reviews, posts for her website, gossip about showbiz stars and royalty, short stories, poetry – and books. She also reports 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 and then over the next two years she wrote her true-crime book DIE IN PARIS. Next, setting murder aside, she wrote the novel BELLA … A FRENCH LIFE, an emotive love story set in Paris and the beautiful Normandy coastal region of France. Russia, a passion of hers, she has planned For the Love of a Poet for at least ten years.


Gerald Lombard, is on a mission, he is searching for Tanya Brodovskaya, he knows how to recognise her, and so he goes to Red Square, after all, he’s been told, she is always there ‘on any Wednesday.’ Then he sees her, just as she had been described to him, and she agrees to tell her story, and so the biography begins…
This is the story of the love between an older man, and a naive young girl whom he met, in 1931, when she worked at the offices of Pravda in Moscow.

Tanya Brodovskaya, had been infatuated with the poet Boris Petrovich Beretzkoy, for a long time, however, on that day, when he took her hands in his, their lives were about to change forever.

As they say, love is blind, and when one is in such a state, nothing else matters, barriers such as age and marital status are overcome in the bat of an eyelid. Thus began their love affair, one in which Boris shaped her life, and she accepted the restrictions, making sacrifices, and giving up on dreams, freely, as only a woman who is in love will do.

It is Russia, Lenin has just died, and Stalin has taken over the reins of this enormous, harsh country. It is a country which is in a state of political unrest and turmoil, its people living in fear for their lives never knowing when they are going to be dragged away and interrogated, or deported to Siberia, some never to return…

Life for the Russian people is hard. The country is suffering from terrible famine, and pandemics ravage the country’s population, who are already weak and living in terrible conditions.

As you read this book, you realise that not only are you following the lives of these two lovers, but you are also being given an insight into this turbulent period in Russian history.

The book I believe, is based on two real people, although the names have been changed. Through meticulous research, the author has written a very thought provoking and fascinating story, which lovers of modern history will enjoy.

I am informed by the author that a French translation is available.

Available from Amazon worldwide in Paperback

and Kindle format

Engine 24: Fire Stories 3 by Joe Corso

Wonderful compulsive reading.











About the book: The final book in the Engine 24 Fire Stories trilogy focuses on the more turbulent times that firefighters had to endure in New York City during the years 1963 to 1975.
In this book, the era of Kennedy’s assassination, race riots, and looting are related through the eyes of a NYC firefighter. Joe Corso describes where he was and what the reactions of the firemen and officers were the day that President Kennedy was killed.
The author describes what it felt like to be detailed to La Casa Grande – “The Big House.”
Engine 82 was one of the busiest fire companies in the world during the race riots of the 60s. It was located in the Fort Apache section of the Bronx – and the tenseness of always having to be on guard in a hostile environment in which those men had to work is shared in gritty detail.
Corso writes of how one good firefighter lost and then regained his nerve; he writes of fires long forgotten and how, over the last 50 years, our moral codes have changed, especially pertaining to one fire that happened many years ago on Bedford Street in the West Village.

About Joe Corso: I grew up in Queens,New York and my motivation to write came from my wish to help my grandchildren pay for their college education. So far I’ve completed 13 novels and a number of short stories including my popular ‘ENGINE 24 FIRE STORIES’ trilogy and I’ve just finished the 5th installment in the ‘TIME PORTAL’ series.
I’m just completed ‘LAFITTE’S TREASURE’ and then I plan to revisit ‘THE STARLIGHT CLUB 5 which I shelved about a year ago, When that book is finished I will write a sequel to my western ‘THE ADVENTURES OF THE LONE JACK KID’, titled ‘THE RETURN OF THE LONE JACK KID’.
THE STARLIGHT CLUB won the silver in the 2012 eLit contest in the ‘TRUE CRIME’ category’. In 2013 the book won HONORABLE MENTION in the ‘HISTORICAL 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.


I have loved reading the previous Engine 24 Fire Stories series of books and couldn’t wait to start this one. The author Joe Corso is a retired New York fire fighter and his memories of the different incidents he has attended over the years as part of the Engine 24 crew are compulsive reading.

As Joe tells his stories, he sets the scene beautifully, taking the reader with him through memory lane deep into blazing buildings and dangerous situations. In this book, we stand alongside him as he watches the looting and race riots of yester years, and discovers some of the mysterious and secret places, which exists below New York City. Through one of the stories we are reminded how much morals have changed in current years and, wait by the phone with him, years later, as with bated breath, he hears the fate of his old company in 9/11.

Reading these books you quickly discover that to be a fire fighter, you not only have to be incredibly brave, you also have to have absolute faith in your comrades and know you can trust fellow crew members literally with your life. These men form deep bonds of friendships, which often last a lifetime and become a family, close, and supportive of each other.

Telling a good story is an art, and to be able to write that story as well is a real gift, the author Joe Corso definitely talented beyond words.

Available from: Amazon in Kindle format


Build your Team by Scott Burton

Excellent advice with a real business opportunity at the end – written by Scott Burton of ACT PM Consulting Services.











About the book: This trilogy series is to show you the value of creating solid processes to build a strong “TEAM” and the importance of managing what “YOU” have. This will result in the ability to “LEVERAGE” opportunities that can easily be obtained to make visions and dreams become a reality.
The significance of “AWARENESS”. Awareness is about understanding as well as accepting the current environment and yourself for what it is. Once this point is reached you will then have the ability to assess and leverage situations, challenges and or opportunities with confidence.
Build your Team is Volume One of this trilogy series is to support Personal Growth.

About Scott Burton: organization objectives for over 22 years. Assessing organizations at entry level positions and moving up to management/leadership roles to understand the dynamics of the organization. Allowed me to work alongside others to present opportunities and implement solutions to alleviate gaps in processes, create system tools to build universal communication, and develop customer service to satisfy internal and external customers. Having spent the last eight years researching and implementing various tools and techniques to build teams, universal communication and leaders. I found that everything that we do has a process behind it. My series of books for personal growth are based on three basic process principles that will increase your results towards success(health,relationships,wealth)to reach the level of success you envision for yourself.
To learn more about ACT PM Consulting Services go to: ( “Supporting others to Support you”

Review by Susan Keefe

When running a business, whether you are a small cog in a giant wheel or have your own business of whatever size, if there are two or more people, then you have a team.
There is no business without customers, and customer satisfaction is essential to a successful business. Your team are the people who make that happen, this is not about sales figures or pie charts it is more fundamentally important than that, it is about the backbone to a successful business, its team.
The author has vast experience in team building, self-improvement, leadership, communications and time management.
This book is about you, and your team members.  Because, everyone is different, life moulds us all, and our experiences, as we travel its path, mean we are continually evolving. A person’s attitudes to their workplace, the way they feel about their job situation, and their value, affects them, and in consequence will affect the performance of their team. In this book, you will learn how to listen to other people and develop a team who are confident working within their capabilities, have complete honesty and trust in their fellow members and who will then have the confidence to take responsibility for their actions as part of that team.
Near the end, the author offers you the chance to take an honest look at yourself and what you have, or wish to achieve, using himself as an example. He then goes on to offer you a very real business opportunity. 
Having been employed, and self employed for many years, I found this book very interesting and whether you have years of team building ahead of you, or are just starting out, I would definitely recommend it.
Build your Team is available from:
the author’s website ACT PM Consulting Services


Horse Country – A World of Horses by Christine Meunier


A wonderful insight into the horse world.

Product Details

About Christine Meunier: Christine Meunier considers herself introduced to the wonderful world of horses at the late age of 13 when her parents agreed to lease a horse for her. She started experiencing horses via books from a young age and continues to do so, but recognises that horses cannot be learnt solely from books. She has been studying horses from age 16, starting with the Certificate II in Horse Studies and is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Equine Science via distance education. She has worked at numerous Thoroughbred Studs in North East Victoria before following her passion for breeding horses over to the Irish National Stud in Kildare. She then gained experience in a couple of Melbourne based horse riding schools, instructing at a basicv level before heading off overseas again, this time to South Africa to spend hours in the saddle of endurance and trail horses on the Wild Coast. Particularly passionate about the world of breeding horses, she teaches equine studies focused on breeding, at TAFE.

About the book: Follow Lise and Wes as they work their way around North East Victoria, Australia in the seasonal world of breeding thoroughbreds. Horse Country follows the seasons of the Thoroughbred industry and what the day to day of working on a stud could look like.

Review by Susan Keefe

A few hours away, Maddie and Melanie are working hard in their parent’s metropolitan riding school, teaching others about horse riding and care of the horse. From the nervous first time rider, to the child who wants to run fast and jump high, the young women shape lessons to suit the individual.

Have you ever wanted to work with horses, know more about them, or own one? Well, reading this book will inspire you!

Set in Australia, it follows the lives and experiences of four people. Wes and Lise, who have a passion for breeding Thoroughbreds, and twins Maddie and Melanie who give lessons at their parents riding school.

Although written as a story, this book contains a wealth of knowledge about horses, their breeding, the stallions, and mare and foal management, as well as an interesting insight into the work involved and life behind the scenes at a riding school.

As the individual stories progress we follow some of their adventures abroad as they visit Ireland, and the U.K., proving that there are many opportunities’ available all over the world for working with horses.

Having worked at an Arabian stud in the UK I can certainly say that this book gives a wonderful, true insight into what a life working with horses is really like. Anyone who loves horses would enjoy reading this, and I can imagine it being invaluable to a young person looking to choose working with horses as a career.   

From cover to cover an interesting and informative book which anyone with the slightest interest in horses would enjoy reading.


Available from Amazon in Paperback here

and Kindle format here

The Little Book of Muses by Khaled Talib

The Little Book of Muses

Author:  Khaled Talib

Product Details

Publisher: Newsline Communications


Genre: Muses

Kindle, 169 pages

About Khaled Talib: Khaled Talib is a former journalist turned PR pro, and the author of the upcoming thriller novel, Smokescreen. He lives in Singapore.

The Book: Are you romantically in love with words, a writer or an aspiring author seeking inspiration? The Little Book of Muses is a collection of more than 160 personal phrases by author Khaled Talib.

The Little Book of Muses is a quirky, clever and inspiring read to influence musings, daily writings and enriching one’s work. A good-feel guide to enhance one’s savoir faire, and make a writer passionate and motivated about their craft.

Some of the phrases will tickle your funny bone while others offer nuggets of wisdom condensed into a few lines.


Review by Susan Keefe

This delightful book is a collection of the authors muses written for writers and aspiring authors.

Within its pages, there are phrases, which will appeal to everyone, some witty, some inspirational and others thought provoking. As I wandered through I discovered that some immediately installed themselves in my memory for the future, whilst others, I know are lying in wait for my next visit when my mind is in a different mood.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this lovely book, from the entertaining science fiction based Foreword, to the end, and know I will enjoy dipping into it for many years to come.


Available at amazon on Kindle here