Book Review: A Thanksgiving Tribute – Ancestors In New World America by Gayle Michelle Fowler

Author: Gayle Michelle Fowler
Release Date: 9th September 2020
Genre:  Holiday Story, Historical
Series
Format: E-book 
Pages: 103 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Through a granddaughter’s narrative, peek into the phenomenal triumphs that led to a “Gratitude Celebration,” a Thanksgiving tradition.
The story centers on William Brewster, ancestor to many, father of the pilgrims and the nation, who perseveres through dividing issues of his era.

Living in an oppressive state that deems him an outlaw, he must hide before indenturing himself to servitude. Knowing the suffering endured by the tiny fraction who lived to tell of the horrific sacrifices it took to survive in the New World, he shepherded his family onto the Mayflower to voyage to undeveloped lands on a foreign continent to make a new home.

This short exposé connects the holiday feast to both of the first victorious American settlements Jamestown and Plymouth, covering Queen Mary and King James; notable sea captains during the pirate era: Newport, Smith, and Argall; First Nations Indians: the Powhatans, the Wampanoag and their chiefs, Powhatan and Massasoit, as well as crucial pilgrim allies Pocahontas, Namontack, and Squanto. Historical pictures provide visual accompaniment to an epic that passes on these early ancestor’s spirit of survival, hope, and actions for an amicable future.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Thanksgiving Tribute by Gayle Michelle Fowler is a beautiful holiday story about one of the most famous holidays in America – Thanksgiving. But even though the book is primarily about the American tradition and the history behind it – the sacrifices and the bravery of the ancestors, it also shows the relevance of the tradition in other countries, such as India.

Hailing from a country and religion where being grateful is one of the ways of life, I was able to relate to the book a lot, on many levels. I enjoyed it as well as got to learn a lot from it. The main theme of knowing and respecting one’s roots strung at the strings in my heart and I felt emotionally satisfied reading this beautiful book.

I’d definitely recommend it to all readers, especially considering that it is a short and sweet read and also the fact that with Diwali and Halloween approaching, the holiday season is just around the corner!

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Book Review: The Great American Jew Novel by Michael Kornbluth

Author: Michael Kornbluth
Release Date: 
Genre: Family Life, Humour
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 110 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:

The Great American Jew Novel is a religious based, midlife crisis, reinvention tale, about a 9-year old daughter who becomes her Stay At Home Comedian Dad’s Talent Agent, to ensure he doesn’t give up on making money off his special brand of funny, in his pursuit to make his Do It All Dad Year come true. Along the way, Do it All Dad develops life altering friendships with female members of the Jewy Manhattan Book Club, a Jewish Super Angel, a new age Kosher butcher from Crown Heights and his younger plant based cheese wiz inventor brother, to form the Do It All Dad Hero Kosher Cheesesteak Food Truck, which proves Do It All Dad, isn’t the last self-loving Jewish New Yorker after all.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Great American Jew Novel by Michael Kornbluth is a heart-warming tale of exploring relationships of a father and daughter, who’s plight is also explored in trying to help her Daddy who is seemingly different from the rest and of friendships that get tested and of finding one’s self.

This is my second book by the author and I loved reading his familiar style of writing which has the quality of touching your heart without being too overdramatic and then smoothing out the potentially heavy emotions with undertones of quality humour. The characterisation was good and I loved reading about even the secondary characters. The overall concept was brilliant and enjoyed reading this book a lot.

Would definitely recommend it to everyone, no matter the genre preference. It is about relationships so I am sure most of the readers will be able to relate to this engaging book.

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Book Review: Controlling My Kids With Comedy, A Love Story by Michael Kornbluth

Author: Michael Kornbluth
Release Date: 13th June 2019
Genre: Satire, Humour
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 137 pages
Publisher: Stand Up Staffer
Blurb:

Controlling My Kids With Comedy, A Love Story, is a collection of essays and poems about an unplanned father of three falling for fatherhood and working from home as host of the Do It All Dad Year Podcast to score laughs with his shadow banned jokes from Twitter. Teaching us how controlling our kids through comedy, can make our kids great again. His fuss free children are living proof of it.

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Controlling My Kids With Comedy, A Love Story by Michael Kornbluth is an endearing compilation of various forms of literature that were presented with an impressive sense of humour.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would and ended up totally loving every bit of it! It is a short book which proved to be a very smooth read with brilliant writing accented with terrific comedy and endearing characters. The story told in pieces was excellent and had a really good sense of pacing and comic timing. I am really looking forward to reading author Kornbluth’s next book (which is already resting on my Kindle.)

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who likes to read quality humour.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: The Trail Of The Beast (The Deschembine #2) by Matt Spencer

Author: Matt Spencer
Release Date: 13th May 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Deschembine Trilogy (Book #2)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 362 pages
Publisher: Back Roads Carnival Books 
Blurb:

Five years ago, Rob and Sally fled Brattleboro, Vermont. Now married, they are hiding out in a Florida backwater, hunted by both sides of the ancient, otherworldly feud between the refugees of the realm of Deschemb. Meanwhile, Sheldon follows a series of disturbing visions back to Brattleboro. Jesse and Zane’s search for the High Natural lands them at the center of a web of secrets and poison magic in New Orleans.
Within the lands, ancient forces rise towards consciousness, threatening to reshape the world on a cataclysmic scale.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Trail Of The Beast by Matt Spencer is the second instalment in the Deschembine trilogy. It is the sequel to The Night And The Land.

This book surpassed my expectations on so many levels! I was not expecting the conflicts to go so completely out of control on such level (in an obviously good way.) I was expecting to see more of the inter-personal and relationship conflicts, but this book has so much more to offer than just that. The characterisation was a really good development too and the new characters as well as the old ones, especially the old ones, were a treat to read about. I guess it won’t be wrong to say that I enjoyed this book even more than the last one! And I love it when this happens in a series.

The book picks up 5 years after the events of the first book and we get a good glimpse into those years, albeit from a distance which felt perfect to me. The larger conflict was the heart of this book and the author did not fail, whatsoever, to execute it well. And on top of that, there were the brilliant gory action scenes which completely knocked me off! Wow, I really, really enjoyed this book.

This book, in fact, the series (so far), would be great for anyone who’d like to explore a new author or a new urban fantasy series (that leans a bit on the dystopian side.)

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: Mainely Power (A Goff Langdon Mainely Mystery #1) by Matt Cost

Author: Matt Cost
Release Date: 18 September 2020
Genre: Cosy Mystery
Series: Goff Langdon Mainely Mystery: Book #1
Format: E-book 
Pages: 304 pages
Publisher: Encircle Publications
Blurb:
Was Harold Dumphy killed to cover up something at the nuclear power plant he was the head of security at?

This is what the widow asks Goff Langdon, private detective, to find out.

Langdon is a laid back, slacker detective, happy with his work, friends, and way of life in the town of Brunswick, Maine. To compliment his income in small town Maine’s scarce private detective market, Langdon also owns and operates a mystery bookstore named after his trusted companion, Coffee Dog.

Does Langdon stand a chance against corrupt cops, crooked politicians, greedy millionaires, radical environmentalists, and a deadly assassin named Shakespeare?

With the help of Bart, the bear of a cop, Jimmy 4 by Four the hippie lawyer, the immigrants Jewell and Richam, and his desire and employee, Chabal—he sets out to do just that. And then he is framed for not one, but two murders, and events become very complicated.

Follow Langdon and his band of friends as they attempt to untangle the web of intrigue and return Brunswick to ‘the way life should be.’

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mainely Power by Matt Cost is a very laid-back personal investigator mystery that takes the readers on a ride that starts slow but build up as it progresses.

I love reading cosy mysteries because they are a lot better than hard-boiled detective series in a way that they have everything a mystery buff looked for in a book without the unnecessary and many times indulgent (only for the author) details. And this book proved me right yet again! Cosies are far better and also, PIs are much more interesting to read about than a DI.

Anyway, my thought on the matter aside, this book proved to be one hell of a ride! It started slowly introducing the laid-back main character who is a PI but also has a mystery bookstore. And then he gets tangled in a case that sets him, his dear friends and the readers along with them on a very slippery course. What follows is an array of twists and turns that turns the life of Goff, the main character, upside down.

The book gets interesting by the page and really picks up the pace after the halfway point (in the middle of the 2nd act) until the end, gradually getting faster and faster with each and every chapter which translated into the story turning into an un-put-down-able read. The characterization was brilliant and I loved not only the main character but also the secondary characters. The writing was good and the narration had a very nice flow.

Overall I really enjoyed the book, especially considering the fact that this one is my first book by the author, and I would definitely recommend it to all mystery buffs, especially who love reading cosy mysteries.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: Marilia, the Warlord (Chrysathamere Trilogy #1) by Morgan Cole

Author: Morgan Cole 
Release Date: March 2020
Genre: YA Fantays, Coming Of Age
Series: The Chrysthamere Trilogy: Book #1
Format: E-book 
Pages: 482 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:

Formerly published under the title “Marilia, the Bastard.”
Born the bastard daughter of a painted lady, Marilia was told she would live out her days within the walls of her mother’s brothel, a companion for the rich men of Tyrace. But after a terrible betrayal, Marilia’s world turns upside down. With the help of her twin brother, Annuweth, she flees the only home she’s ever known in search of the one man who can offer her a chance at a better life–the Emperor of Navessea’s greatest general, a friend of her deceased father.

What follows is a journey spanning years, from the streets of the desert city of Tyracium to the splendor of the emperor’s keep and the wind-swept, wild island of Svartennos. Along the way, Marilia discovers, for the first time, the gift she has for strategy and warfare—a world that is forbidden to girls like her

When the empire is threatened by a foreign invasion, the defense of Navessea is left in the hands of a cruel and arrogant general no match for the empire’s enemy. With the fate of her new home and her family hanging in the balance, Marilia swears to use all her courage and cunning to do whatever she can to help repel the invasion—if she can convince anyone to follow her.

The struggle that follows will test her to her core and lead her back to the past she thought she had escaped. Facing treachery within her own ranks as well as a devious enemy commander, Marilia will need all the help she can get, even if it means doing something her brother may never forgive—making a deal with the man who murdered her father.

Inspired by The Song of Achilles and Ender’s Game, Marilia, the Warlord is a blend of the epic and the personal, a story of romance, envy, the rivalry between brother and sister, and one woman’s painful discovery that her childhood dreams weren’t quite what she imagined.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Marilia: The Warlord by Morgan Cole is the 1st book in the series The Chrysthamere Trilogy and also my first book by author Morgan Cole (pen name.)

The first thing I’d like to mention about this amazing book is that it is full of life, willpower and strength! This book really got me out of my self-pitying reverie (related to some medical issues) and made me feel like myself again. And I am sure it was all possible only because of the main character, Marilia. She is just so full of life, courageous and willing to do anything in order to achieve her goals. Her relationship with her twin brother was not only portrayed well but felt very realistic as the author showed not only the good but also the bad that is an inevitable part of every relationship.

The secondary characters were all good too. But what I liked most after the characterisation was the world-building – it was brilliant! The writing is really good and presents the plot in a really good way, having a great flow to it which made this book an easy read.

If you are a fantasy lover than you must read this book! I highly recommend it to all YA and fantasy lovers.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky #3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: 9th September 2020
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, LGBTQ
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #3)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 400 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb:
As the epic trilogy hurtles toward its conclusion, the fight for the future isn’t over yet. It could lead to a new beginning, or it might spell the end for the last vestiges of humankind. The generation ship Forever has left earth behind, but a piece of the old civilization lives on in the Inthworld—a virtual realm that retains memories of earth’s technological wonders and vices. A being named Lilith leads the uprising, and if she succeeds in setting its inhabitants free, they could destroy Forever.

But during the generation ship’s decades-long voyage, humanity has evolved. Liminals with the ability to connect with the world mind and the Inthworld provide a glimmer of hope. They’ll have to face not only Lilith’s minions, but also the mistrust of their own kind and persecution from a new government as homotypicals continue to fear what they can’t understand. The invasion must be stopped, the Inthworld must be healed, and the people of Forever must let go of their past and embrace what they’re meant to become.

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Shoreless Sea by J. Scott Coatsworth is the 3rd book in the series Liminal Sky and my third book by author J. Scott Coatsworth.

Wow! What a smashing ending to a brilliant series! If I have to sum up this series in a single sentence, I would say that all the time I put into reading this series was well worth it and I am really happy that I read it. For some reason (and a valid one too) I am a little sceptical when I am offered a series to review because more often than not, authors tend to either completely blow it, or fail to keep up with the one best book in the series. Both of which are pretty irritating and sad, to be honest. But I am so, so happy that this series did not turn out to be one of those: the story grew steadily, and the characterisation along with it, as the series progressed further with each book ending in a way that made perfect sense.

I loved this book because it answered all the questions and tied pretty much all loose ends making it a perfect end to such an epic journey. And thankfully, it lived up to my expectations from it based on its prequels as a reader, so I was left very satisfied. The most amazing part is, I could see the improvement and growth, which is only natural, in the entire series, and this book turned out to be the best one. I loved the plot, the action and the politics involved were well structured and executed.

I loved how the author made use of subtle and well-placed indirect metaphors and juxtaposition to get the bigger point across; we, humans, are indeed scared of things and concepts we do not understand or fail to understand for some reason and therefore are very quick to form an opinion against that concept or thing forgetting, very conveniently, that we are, in the end, beings of evolution and thus will have to accept the changes that we as a species and the overall nature has to undergo or experience.

I’d definitely recommend not only this book but the entire series to all sci-fi and fantasy lovers. And if you’re looking for a new series to explore, I highly recommend Liminal Sky series as this series begins on a great note and ends at an even better note. Go for it, it is well worth the time and money!

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: Meatballs & Microphones: A True Story About Small Kitchens and Big Dreams by Gregory Patrick Travers

Author: Gregory Patrick Travers
Release Date: 3rd June 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 183 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Being a cook and a rapper is hard work. Thankfully there are drugs to make it better.
They say out of all the aspiring rappers trying to make it, only 1% will ever find mainstream success. Gregory Patrick Travers pens a fiction-like memoir of the ups and downs of Vancouver rapper, joBlow. One of the 99% who didn’t. Set in the years 2010 to 2014, not only does the book give you a behind-the-scenes look at the world of underground hip hop and the politics of the chain restaurant industry, but it places you in the timeline of notable Canadian milestones like the 2011 Stanley Cup riots, the Occupy Movement, and the 2010 Olympics.
Meatballs & Microphones is a raw look into how one man’s chase for fame led to the destruction of every personal relationship he ever held dear. From bad band breakups to his struggle with addiction, to being homeless in order to pay for his tour expenses, this book lifts the veil of glamour surrounding fame and focuses on the hardships and downfalls that come with it.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Meatballs & Microphones by Gregory Patrick Travers is a touching and extremely relatable tale of someone who did not make it big in the music industry and, therefore, is a very realistic dig at the other side of the coin towards which a lot of people tend to turn a blind eye. This book is very much an eye-opener for anyone who either wants to enter the hip-hop music scene/industry or want to know how things really are behind the scenes.

I loved the writing of the author as it successfully delivered the context in a very relevant way and managed to pull at my heartstrings at the same time. I felt strongly for the author and was enraged in the last third fo the book, though thankfully, I was relieved by the ending as it turned out to be okay, if not great, for the author.

I’d definitely recommend this book to all the non-fic readers, but I’d also urge the fiction readers to check out this book as it reads really well (almost like a fiction novel) and tells a great story.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: An Indelible Day by Cairo Marques

Author: Cairo Marques
Release Date: 23 July 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 25 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
The story accompanies a single day of John C., a man of about thirty. In this short passage of time he has three dialogues with three different people. These dialogues, certainly, have shaped his day and, likely, will exist within him eternally.

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

An Indelible Day by Cairo Marques is a very unique and fresh take on the various facades we put on for different parts we play in our life. What makes this story even more interesting is that this book tells the story of the main character through a single day.

The writing was good for the most part and the characterisation was good (it had depth and layers) and the story, overall, was very interesting. Given that this book takes less than half an hour to read (a lot less actually,) it would be perfect for anyone looking for a quick engaging read.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: The Night and the Land (The Deschembine Trilogy Book 1) by Matt Spencer

Author: Matt Spencer
Release Date: 13th May 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Deschembine Trilogy (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 362 pages
Publisher: Back Roads Carnival Books 
Blurb:
Among the local hippies and squatters of Brattleboro, Vermont, Sally Wildfire is on the run, hiding from her cruel, relentless family. She finds unexpected love with Rob, a bristly young man freshly awoken to alien sensations and ancestral memories of a long-forgotten realm…setting them both on a collision course with a brutal rite of passage, as the Wildfire family leaves a trail of mangled corpses on the road to Brattleboro. 

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Night and the Land by Matt Spencer is a brilliant urban fantasy read that hooked me right from the beginning and left me wanting for more in the end! It is a perfect start to a trilogy and I am definitely looking forward to reading the next 2 books in this series.

The best thing about this book, for me, was the world-building. The author has woven an intricate universe that merges seamlessly with ours and leaves you wondering about the story having some truth to it. It is the best kind of fantasy when it makes you question your reality and for me, that is where this book wins!

Other than that, the characterisation was good enough, the narration was superb and the plot was simply out of the world. I loved every bit of it, though I am holding back one start cause I have a feeling the sequel might be better as it will be developing the world and characterisation further (or at least I hope so.)

I’d definitely recommend it to all fantasy readers. It is worth all the time!

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: SUPERBU Homecoming: The emotional story of a family and their dog by Debarshi Kanjilal

Author: Debarshi Kanjilal
Release Date: 15th August 2020
Genre: Contemporary
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 117 pages
Publisher:
Blurb:
You cried with Hachiko. You got spooked and then laughed it off with Scooby Doo. And you fell in love with John Grogan’s incorrigible Marley. But you have yet to meet a dog quite like Super Bu ♥. After years of arguments on the matter, the Bera family has finally decided to bring home a dog.✓ Ajay has wanted a dog since he was a child. He has fantasized about every version of his future life around them.
✓ His brother, Arun, would love to get a dog as much but doesn’t mind not having to clean up after one.
✓ Ajit, their father, also wants to get a dog. He just wants to feel the love of a dog again, like he used to when he was a child.
✓ Barnali, Ajit’s wife, loathes the idea of having a dog in the house. She spent her childhood praying for only one thing, that she shouldn’t get married into a family that has dogs. And until now, she got her wish. But now, Ajay has finally worn out his mother’s resilience and the Beras are bringing home a dog. Will this be the homecoming that the dog or the family had anticipated?
Read now and find out.

P.S. This is not a children’s book or a fairy tale. This novella is not all about fun, or that fuzzy feeling you get from stories about dogs. It is a dramatic story of a family who brought home a dog. If you are looking for a book that’ll keep you continuously smiling through the antics of an adorable puppy, this is perhaps not the book for you.
So, now that you know what not to expect, let’s talk about what you can expect from this book. Have you or someone you know ever felt like something is missing in your life and getting a dog could help you fill a void? Did you, or an acquaintance of yours, end up actually getting that dog? Did you and your dog figure out how to navigate through life together? This is the story of that dog, or a dog like that one. But more importantly, this is the story of that version of you, or that acquaintance of yours, who decided to act and bring home that dog, or of people like you who went through similar experiences in life.
★ If you have ever felt like you needed to be loved a little more than you are, I hope that this story tells you exactly how to find that love.
★ Some early readers said, “This is a book about poop, the pooper, and the poop cleaners, but it is about much more.”
★ A significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go toward funding the Buzoland project. The Buzoland project is a personal endeavor of the author of this book to create a home, not a shelter, for stray and abandoned dogs in India. The goal is to give these homeless dogs the same love and care that one would give a purebred dog.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Superbu: Homecoming by Debarshi Kanjilal is a beautiful book about the journey of the main characters as new dog-parents. It not only had a lot to offer to those who’ve gone through similar experiences but also for those who want to have a pet or wish they had one and plan for it someday.

The writing in the book is good which was, of course, why I rated this book so highly. The story had a very nice flow and I am looking forward to reading more books by the author in the future.

Being a cat-mom of over 8 house-cats and another 10 outside-cats, I was able to relate to this book a lot. It managed to tug on my heartstrings and, therefore, I’d definitely recommend it to everyone.

You can also read this review on 

Also check out author Debarshi Lal’s other posts on TRB:

Book Review: The Rising Tide (Liminal Sky #2) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: 16th October 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, LGBTQ
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #2)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 388 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb:
Earth is dead. Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever: a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide. Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Rising Tide by J. Scott Coatsworth is the 2nd book in the series Liminal Sky and my second book by the author. In one sentence, I loved it!

This book picks up 5 years after where the first book ended and carries on from there. There is no Earth now and so this book is set in a humungous space-ship which sustains life. I loved the new settings. The world-building was impressive and I enjoyed imagining the life in this one-of-a-kind world throughout the book. Though the best thing about the book is the utopian dream that the villain nurtures. I loved it because whenever in a book, especially in sci-fi-fantasy books, the concept of a seemingly utopian dream is introduced, it invariably leads to the exploration of a lot of interesting as well as important themes. And that is exactly what happened in this book. Therefore, it won’t be wrong if I’d say that I actually liked this one better than the first book!

Even though this book is a part of a series, you can read it as a stand-alone novel (at least, in my opinion,) because even though the events are carried forward, most of the book is based in a new world than the last one and except for a couple of main characters, the rest of the characters are mostly new – and that is kind of the whole point of this story, so you can definitely read it as a stand-alone. Anyway, reading the entire series is definitely recommended.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: Twins Of Shadow by Abby Arthur

Author: Abby Arthur 
Release Date: 1st January 2020
Genre: High Fantasy, Novella
Series:
Format: E-book
Pages: 104
Publisher:
Blurb:
A crown prince and his twin brother are secretly skilled assassins…
…killing for a cause they both despise.
A crown prince and his twin brother are secretly skilled assassins…
…killing for a cause they both despise.

Bound to a dragon by a powerful spell, Tarrek and Albree are sent on their deadliest mission yet: Overcome an archangel, capture an innocent snake whisperer and smuggle him across foreign soil, alive. If they fail to comply with the spell’s demand, it will drive them to insanity. Yet a deadlier force commands their attention when an ice-wielding slave trader freezes several civilians in a local village, ensnaring Albree’s love interest in the process. Will the twins choose to complete their near-suicide mission or fight insanity to save innocent lives?

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Twins Of Shadow by Abby Arthur is a fantasy novella about assassin twins. I was sold on the idea of the book as soon as saw the cover and read the sub-title as I am a big lover of assassins and the idea of twin brothers being that totally made me want to read it. And thankfully the book turned out to be good!

I appreciate the fact that it was a novella, which Is pretty rare for the genre where you get only these elaborate series. So you can get a taste fo the author’s writing in a comparatively short piece of work which was damn quick to read. Though obviously, it came with another set of problems – the world-building and the characterisation weren’t able to develop as well as they would have done in a full-length novel (there’s obviously a reason why fantasy books tend to be so long.) So it won’t be wrong to say that I really wished that the author would have explored the world further and given us some more character development making it a lengthier book, but well it is what it is.

Still, for a debut work, the book is pretty good, the writing decent, the characters were not overly relatable but I liked them enough to be happy to follow them on their journey and the plot was really good. So, given the length of the book, I’d definitely recommend it to all fantasy lovers.

Audiobook Review: Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Author: Heather Morris 
Narrated by: Richard Armitage 
Release Date: 11th January 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 8 hours
Publisher: Bolinda/Bonnier Audio
Blurb:
A tale based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her. 

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is the real-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who was imprisoned in the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp during the holocaust. Although the story is mainly about how he met his wife, Gita, and fell in love with her, the details and the insights of the concentration camp were horrifying and agonisingly insightful. The horrors of the camp were told from a very neutral perspective and therefore gave the readers a chance to feel things on their own without clouding their judgement. And for me, that was the best part of the book.

The romantic part was not particularly appealing to me, but the rest of the story was pretty good. I really thought that the character of Gita wasn’t done enough justice in the book, especially considering how the book was actually written for her. Male ended up dominating the story far more and it felt like his tale alone.

Though I did like the epilogue by Lale and Gita’s son as it lent an air of eery realism tot he book. I’d definitely recommend it to all historical fiction lovers and to all holocaust enthusiasts.

“𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒖𝒑 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒅𝒂𝒚.”

H𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑴𝒐𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒔

Book Review: The Conviction: Enacting Vigilante Justice by John Mathews

Author: John Mathews
Release Date: 25th January 2015
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 72 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
Blurb:
Two criminals are responsible for an innocent man getting sentenced to life for murder. An inept defense attorney and a crooked prosecutor are the other players in this case of egregious American corruption. 
The four of them have been lured into a trap in an abandoned warehouse. Someone wants vengeance. This is a story of vigilante justice for the wrongfully convicted. Marked doors lead to four locked rooms, one where each of them will have to pay a price for what they have done. What will they be required to do in order to survive? 
This riveting crime thriller puts the American justice system in public view and will keep you guessing until the very last scene. A dark masked figure watches…waits…and wants revenge.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Conviction: Enacting Vigilante Justice by John Mathews is a surprisingly amazing read! I usually don’t expect much from a novella unless of course it is written by authors like Stephen King, but this book turned out to be an absolute delight.

This novella is jam-packed with high tension scenes, mind-boggling manipulative games, fast-paced action and clever twists and turns – all this in just 72 pages! And for me that itself was the best part. This book was an intense yet quick read and kept me on the edge the entire time.

This book was able to accomplish what a lot of lengthy mystery and thriller novels fail to achieve and so I would definitely recommend this book to all thriller lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads & Amazon

Book Review: The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth 
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, LGBTQ
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 284 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
Blurb:
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth is a dynamic beginning to a new sci-fi fantasy series Liminal Sky that turned out to be equal parts entertaining and equal parts adventure. I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and was blown away by the fantastic world the author has created. This proved to be an unputdownable book with great pacing and tension. I am really looking forward to reading the next part of this amazing series.

Along with the main story, I also enjoyed the side plots just as much. The characters were really likeable, the story was good, the narration felt good and made the book a fast read and the flow of the story was amazing! I’d recommend this book to all sci-fi lovers, especially to those who like reading about LGBTQ side-themes.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: First Gear (Sadie Hawkins Mystery #1) by Patricia C. Lee

Author: Patricia C. Lee 
Release Date: 4th August 2020
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Detective Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 374 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
Recently divorced, petite and feisty Texan, Sadie Hawkins, struggles to get her newly established logistics business off the ground. When the opportunity to haul antiquities, including a mummy, drops into her lap, she jumps at the chance, despite the tight timeline. But when her cargo gets stolen and a fresh corpse mysteriously replaces the mummy, Sadie is arrested for theft and suspicion of murder.

Out on recognizance thanks to her lawyer ex-husband, and not willing to watch her business sink farther in debt while the police search for clues, Sadie yanks up her Dan Post boots and does some investigative work on her own. Stymied by her lack of success, she reluctantly enlists a few members with specific skills from Streetsmart, an organization made up of rehabilitated young adult offenders and managed by her best friend Tanya.

While trying to maintain her business from going under and making sure Tanya never learns of her collaboration with Streetsmart, Sadie endeavors to uncover the truth, the whole time wondering if this crime is some form of retribution to an event in her past. However, when she is framed for the real thief’s murder, it appears not even her accomplices in Streetsmart will be able to save her now.

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First Gear by Patricia C. Lee is a start to a new detective fiction series that revolves around the female protagonist, Sadie Hawkins.

I’m generally not a huge fan of detective fiction genre, but I like a good detective mystery and given that this was the first book in the series, I had no inhibitions to dive right in. The story was good, the characterisation was okay – the characters were likeable, though not overly relatable, the narration was decent and the ending was good.

The best thing about this book was that it was a surprisingly quick read, which says a lot about the writing style of the author.

Knowing that first book in any series is generally meant to set things up for the next books, I’m willing to cut this one some slack and recommend it to mystery lovers, especially those who like reading detective fiction.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Big Book of Teeny Tiny Stories by Skyler Hammond

Author: Skyler Hammond
Release Date: 3rd June 2020
Genre: Short Story Collection,
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 175
Publisher: 
Blurb: 
Skyler Hammond presents his illustrated collection of the much loved Teeny Tiny series. This book contains over 15 international artists and more than 175 pages of Teeny Tiny Stories, each with their own unique piece of art. In a busy world, sometimes the best way to satisfy our narrative needs is with bite sized chronicles containing whole worlds of their own.

From 11 to 88 years old, and aspiring creatives to those who have illustrated for New York Times bestsellers, this book is filled with international artists of every style. All tell Teeny Tiny Stories in their own way. Inside these covers you will find a big wide world of bite sized fictions, every one of them accompanied by artwork. From drama to fantasy, and romance to sci-fi, this illustrated collection tells tales of love, space, robots and humankind. It is, simply put, a Big Book of Teeny Tiny Stories.

Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If I have to describe this book in two words the I’d say that is – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!

OMG, I was not expecting that! I receive so many books for reviewing that somewhere along the line I know kind-of what to expect from a certain book, and therefore I like to keep my expectations in check so as not to get disappointed later. But my, what a BOMB this book turned out to be!

This book is full of very short tales, some were even tiny lyrical tales, and each and every single one of them was GOOD. I mean they packed a punch! I enjoyed each and every one of them and re-read most of them a couple of times just to savour them completely.

I am a sucker for beautiful illustrations and the ones in this book are so good that you’d want to cut them out (or print them in colour – if you’re reading the e-book version) and paste them on your bedroom walls. Some of the graphics were so cool that it made the stories all the better!

This book is like a tasty treat and even though it might not entirely be appropriate for kids, I’d still urge to get it as you can always skip a story or two while reading it to them. Though, I’m sure you’d first want to enjoy this amazing piece fo art yourself as it is a treat not only for the mind but also for the eyes. I recommend this amazing short story collection to everyone.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Shimmering: Dark Descent by A. K. Crook

Author: A. K. Crook
Release Date: 4th July 2020
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Visionary Fiction
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 104
Publisher: 
Blurb: A visionary fantasy about a young woman who stumbles upon the world of her creators, only to discover she holds the key that will open the doorway to return home… and set the forces of evil free.
In the city of Saint Anthony, there is a realm of existence unknown to most mortals. Far below this urban landscape, in the cavernous bowels of the Underworld, Sinda journeys to discover fantastical lands, strange cultures — and herself. 
When she is snatched from her homeland and thrust into the civilized world of humans, she comes face-to-face with the hardest quest she has ever encountered – find her way home or follow her heart. 

Is the choice even hers?

The clock is counting down for Sinda, but time is not her only adversary — Nefarious beings seek her for their own devious designs, the Elders want to exploit her in a power play over their rivals and the godlike Solari’i hold her fate in their hands. 

With each turn she takes, Sinda draws closer to her destiny — and the salvation of the entire Underworld.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Shimmering: Dark Descent by A. K. Crook is a very refreshing take on the urban fantasy genre with elements of high fantasy, amazing supernatural beings, underlined by visionary and psychological themes and a sub-plot of romance, lightly touching on the LGBTQ subject – this book has everything a book lover can ask for and more!

Wow, I was not expecting this book to be this awesome! I loved the cover and was intrigued by the blurb as it promised a lot, but I am always sceptical whenever the blurb is extremely promising because many times authors overstate while working on the blurbs and it is very disappointing to then read a book and find out it was nowhere close. But this book was one of those rare cases where it delivered what was promised! And even some more, which made it a pleasant surprise for me.

I love reading urban fantasies as I like the concept of our world co-existing with another one and this book was a real treat as it had good characterisation, sensible theories that were not unrealistically far-fetched, awesome beings and creatures and their insatiable lust for power and related motives. This book was full of conflicts and I enjoyed reading it a LOT!

To top it all of, the book was written well and the concepts were executed conscientiously making the prose flow smoothly. And I would definitely recommend this book, the author’s debut, to all fantasy lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard

Author: Ravina Hilliard
Release Date: 22nd May 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 170
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications
Blurb: Serena Aisling has made it to the top as a high-powered executive all on her own merit. No thanks to her millionaire father who’d abandoned her at birth to be raised single-handedly by her mother. She has come a long way, so she’ll be damned if she allows him to have a hand in her career by dangling the CEO position of the Mäkelä Group in her face.

When Serena’s company coincidentally assigns her to spearhead a revolutionizing project run by the same corporation, she ends up working alongside the innovator himself—tech guru, Matias Mäkelä. The savvy, self-made millionaire is moody, ill-tempered, arrogant, and a giant thorn in her side, yet she can’t deny that he’s irresistibly handsome and stunningly
delicious.
A malicious traitor very close to Matias is divulging company secrets, and they must work together to uncover and shut them down before it’s too late.
When Serena uncovers the culprit, fearing Matias will not believe her, she keeps the discovery to herself and acts on her own, landing herself in hot waters with Matias. Waters so hot and flaming that she ends up tangled in his sheets, intoxicated with a desire that threatens to engulf her in an uncontrollable fireball of ecstatic delights.
As untold discoveries, secrets, and schemes unravel, Serena and Matias find themselves on a wild and unending tide of colliding together before being ripped apart again.
Will their feelings for each other be enough to survive the diabolical intrigue that threatens their very lives? Or will they crash and burn?

Book Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Billionaire’s Secret by Ravina Hillard is a contemporary romance thriller with good action, nice plot and some decent steamy bits.

Lately, I’ve been exploring the romance genre a bit, aside from my usual gothic dark reads and the contrast is refreshing to me as a reader as well as a writer. This book had good writing and that was the main reason I was drawn to it. The plot is a bit full of cliches and common tropes of the genre, but as I always say, when done well, even the common tropes become interesting.

I liked the cast of characters in this book. I rooted for both, Serena as well as Matias, and was glad that I read this book. I’d definitely recommend it to romance readers and to those people who like to read lighter thrillers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Audiobook Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Author: by Louise Candlish
NarratorKatharine McEwanJonathan CowleyJayne EntwistleAndrew FallaisePaul FoxBillie JD PorterMoira Quirk
Release Date: 11th June 2019
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 24 hrs and 32 minutes
Publisher: Penguine Audio 
Blurb:
From the internationally bestselling author of Our House, a new addictive novel of domestic suspense that dives into the world of suburban neighborhood drama and asks, “Could your neighbor make you angry enough to kill?”

Lowland Way is the epitome of the suburban dream. Every house and yard is carefully maintained for maximum curb appeal, and everyone knows one another and gets along. One homeowner, Sissy Watkins, runs a successful B and B from her house. Two brothers and their families live next door to each other. It’s the picture-perfect neighborhood.
When Darren Booth and his girlfriend, Jodie, move in across from Sissy, it doesn’t take long for them to begin making trouble. They’re loud, rude, messy, and don’t play by the community rules. They blast music at all hours and have started an unsightly renovation on their house. Before long, guests don’t want to stay at Sissy’s B and B, and everyone is fed up with the new neighbors.
An all-out war is brewing on Lowland Way. When a person is killed, accusations start flying. Someone is dead, and everyone has something to hide….

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was a legit BOMB
that…
is…
until…
the…. 
………. END!

I mean WTF happened there???

I had to read the last 3-4 chapters THRICE to be sure that I listened to it correctly and didn’t actually miss out a chapter or two!!!

The book just ended abruptly! The saddest part is that is was such a delicious and sensational story right until the last third of the book and then god knows what happened!

I am so effing disappointed!! 😦

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Author: Riley Sager 
Release Date: 3rd July 2018
Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Books 
Blurb:
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she—or anyone—saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings—massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price. 

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is my 2nd book by Riley Sager. I can imagine why my big expectations weren’t met by this book – because I read the 3rd book by him before this one and now reading a previous work feels like reading a weaker book so I only ended up liking this book. It was a great read though, entertaining for sure and fast-paced. I enjoyed the entire bit about camping as I’ve never been to a camp so it was a welcome side-plot.

I think I am only disappointed with the ending – I was hoping for a scandalous reveal or bomb-shell climax (which I was blind-sided by in Lock Every Door.) That was what was missing in this book. The entire thing about the asylum was really, really good and by that point, I was sure that the author is going to pull out something big in the end, but sadly it was an okay-ish ending. I’m sure a lot of people will love the ending as it was good from a thriller book’s perspective, but I guess in my case the author penned the 3rd book so well the 2nd one seems a bit bland in front of it. So I am not sure now if I should read Final Girls, their first book. Though I am sure as hell going to be reading the next one by Sager as I’m sure it is going to be good!

If you haven’t read anything by Riley Sager yet, then follow the chronological order of the books. That way you can enjoy the building momentum in each book and will be blown away by their awesomeness individually rather than comparing their best work to the previous ones.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Audiobook Review: Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Author: Stephen Chbosky
NarratorChristine Lakin
Release Date: 1st October 2019
Genre: Supernatural, Horror, Thriller, Dark Fiction
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 24 hrs and 32 minutes
Publisher: Hachette Audio 
Blurb:
Imagine… Leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.

Imagine… Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you.
Imagine… Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened.
Imagine… Something that will change everything… And having to save everyone you love.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I started out reading this book with this big paperback copy that I had received as one of the books on my birthday. But as I started reading and progressed, I realised it was straining my back to hold this book up and read (I had spine surgery in Feb 2020 due to spine degeneration.) I tried to read it while laying down, but it simply didn’t work as is the case with bulky physical books, so I had to abandon the book reluctantly… that is, until I got my hands on the audiobook! And then what a fun ride it was! Although it was a long, long book – 24 hours and 35 minutes, it was a real treat!

This book is super amazing, for the most part. It had everything I generally crave in a good dark supernatural thriller. The characterisation was brilliant, as was obviously expected from Mr Stephen Chbosky, whose first book I absolutely fell in love with – The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. 
The story was great, the concept although seen before felt fresh and unique and the plot well thought out. This book was everything I had expected and a lot more.

The twists were good, but I did see the main one coming. I think the author’s pacing lacked there and therefore he revealed the twist a couple of pages before it should have been revealed. There was a fair bit of wandering but it was mostly good so I enjoyed reading it.

The only thing I didn’t like was the whole Jesus angle. I mean, it seriously came out of nowhere. Or maybe not, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it. I mean what the hell was that even about – Eve voluntarily staying in hell to keep the devil in check?! That was way too cringe-worthy and too spiritual for my taste. Apart from that, there was only the issue of repetition where I was going insane and wanted to shout at the author to move on already! I mean how many times do we need a reminder about David and the baseball glove smell. 

BUT, the narration, guys! IT WAS SPECTACULAR!! The narrator’s dramatic reading made me jump out of my skin when the first couple of times she said CHRIS….TO….PppppHER….. HZZZZZZZZZZ… I mean it was totally insane! And then there was the part where she cried like a baby… that was way too creepy than anything I’ve ever heard! Hats off to Christine Lakin. 

THIS IS HOW YOU NARRATE AN AUDIOBOOK!!!

Overall, I’d say that I’d recommend the audiobook over all the other formats and that is only because of Christine Lakin’s narration.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Audiobook Review: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Narrator: Will Patton, Danny Burstein and Steven Weber
Release Date: 21st April 2020
Genre: Short Stories, Horror, Thriller, Dark Fiction
Series:
Format: Audiobook
Length: 15 hrs and 12 minutes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio 
Blurb:
If it Bleeds is a collection of four new novellas —Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleeds— each pulling readers into intriguing and frightening places.

A collection of four uniquely wonderful long stories, including a stand-alone sequel to The Outsider.
News people have a saying: ‘If it bleeds, it leads’. And a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.
Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog – and on her own need to be more assertive – when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realizes there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene. So begins ‘If It Bleeds’ , a stand-alone sequel to The Outsider featuring the incomparable Holly on her first solo case.
Dancing alongside are three more long stories – ‘Mr Harrigan’s Phone’, ‘The Life of Chuck’ and ‘Rat’.
The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King is a brilliant read!

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: The Sweeny Sisters by Lian Dolan

Author: Lian Dolan 
Release Date: 28th April 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family & Relationships
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 304
Publisher: William Morrow 
Blurb:
Angels…
Death Stalkers…
ReaAn accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart.

Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister. 
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Sweeny Sisters by Lian Dolan is a spectacular contemporary read which has a lot to offer to its readers. It is funny, heart-warming, emotional at times and conveys the strength of a bond of sisters in such a beautiful way that it is hard not to like this book.

Although this book was fiction, it did a pretty good job of convincing me otherwise. The characters felt so real and full of life and the story was so fresh and good that I wanted to believe it all to be true. And that is the best way an author can indulge a reader! The book was well-written and I loved the cover image of the book. The concept was good and the story-line very engaging.

I loved every bit of it and would recommend it to all contemporary fiction reads and anyone who likes reading about family and relationships in general.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and NetGalley

Book Review: Earth Angel: : Hell Hath No Fury When an Angel Gets Mad By Chris H. Stevenson

Author: Chris H. Stevenson 
Release Date: 23rd April 2020
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Supernatural
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 229
Publisher: Aisling Books 
Blurb:
Angels…
Death Stalkers…
Real or imagined…
Twenty-one-year-old Daryl Victoria and her fiancé, Dean Fowler, a rookie detective who has been working on a serial killer case that involves the murder of five high school girls, are parked in their car for some frolicking when a carjacking goes wrong. Both are gunned down.

Daryl takes a bullet in the face, and as a result of the damage, needs a corneal transplant. Dean has been shot through the lungs. They’ve been ordered to quit work, heal, and recoup. Dean suffers a nervous breakdown as the murders increase and he is powerless to help, coupled with his guilt of having placed his bride-to-be, Daryl, in harm’s way in a seedy little lovers’ lane.
Daryl finds out that her transplanted eye is causing what she thinks are hallucinations. She begins to see what she believes are glowing angelic escorts and rancid death stalkers who are following persons of the general populace. When these supernatural beings get too close, the person they’re following dies within a short period of time. She discovers there’s a mysterious formula to the manner and timing of the deaths. 
Daryl discovers that the donor for her new cornea was a 14-year-old gifted medium with some heavy duty clairvoyant powers. Only sparse information can be gleaned from the young girl’s mother since the daughter has died in her own mysterious way.Daryl’s good eye sees the normal world. The donor eye sees a totally different realm with its own rules. With the help of Daryl’s best friend, Abbey, they embark on a mission to use the gift and try and save lives. But Daryl has a better plan—she can stop the serial killer by using her, gift, brains and looks. All it will take is an ingenious trap. First, she has to find out how the killer is gaining access into the homes. Then she has to use herself as bait and stop this madman at any cost. WARNING: Contains cussing and adult situations

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Earth Angel by Chris H. Stevenson is an engaging supernatural mystery novel complete with an interesting concept and a well-written plot.

I liked reading this book more than I was expecting as I am not a huge fan of angels trope used in thriller stories, but this book was done well. The characters were good, though a couple of times I did think I wasn’t too invested in them, though in the end, I liked them just enough to see the book through. What appealed most to me was the concept itself and, thankfully, the book ended on a good note.

There are a couple of twists and turns sprinkled throughout he story and an emotional angle too that septs things exciting so over all it was a decent read.

I’d recommend it to all the mystery lovers who don’t mind the presence of supernatural element.

You can also read this review on Amazon

Book Review: Billionaire Boss, Undercover Affair by Kyra Radcliff

Author: Kyra Radcliff
Release Date: 17th March 2020
Genre: Romantic-thriller
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 178
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd.
Blurb: Susan Johansen is efficient, ambitious and cool-headed in a crisis, which is exactly why her boss, Charles Dunlap, needs her. As the successful owner of one of the richest old money industrialist conglomerates in the world, he is under pressure of a different kind when his daughter Alicia becomes involved with internet entrepreneur Miles Middleton. 

With an ego as big as his bank balance, Miles has a reputation for a string of affairs and Charles doesn’t want his daughter anywhere near him. And so he enlists Susan, as a Trojan Horse, burying her deep within Miles’ business interests in the hope that she can sabotage his relationship with Alicia.

It isn’t long before the plan seems to be working and Miles is missing lunches, dinners and other dates with Alicia in favour of making money and sealing deals. But it’s when he takes Susan away on a business trip and tries to seduce her that she sees him for what he really is. But now that she is close to her goal, Susan suddenly has a crisis of confidence? Is she really still working for Charles or is she now pursuing her own agenda with Miles?

As he continues to get under her skin with his continuous attempts at seduction, Susan finds that she is more conflicted than ever. And the closer she gets to completing the assignment, the greater the chances are that Miles will discover her secret.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Billionaire Boss, Undercover Affair by Kyra Radcliff was a heady romantic-thriller that successfully delivered what it promises – good romance and decent thrills.

The story had a lot of cliches, but overall the book was entertaining and purely for that, I liked it as I had been busy reading so many intense reads that I needed a breather and a break from my normal choice of dark fiction books. I was looking for something light and good and this book was exactly it.

I didn’t exactly fall in love with the character tees, but I ended up liking Susan, the female lead, who drove the story well and made the book worth reading. The writing was good and the plot very interesting.

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Book Review: How Languages Saved Me: A Polish Story of Survival by Tadeusz Haska and Stefanie Nauman

Author: Tadeusz Haska
Release Date: 24th September 2019
Genre: Memoir
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 148
Publisher: Koehler Books
Blurb: “When I was arrested my whole world crumbled. I knew that leaders of political parties had been arrested, and never heard from again. My only chance at survival was to find a way to escape from the jail.”
Orphaned in Poland at the age of thirteen, Tadeusz “Tad” Haska survived World War II on the run, narrowly evading the Nazis every step of the way. After the war, he daringly escaped jail by the Soviet Secret Police, fled to Sweden and launched an elaborate plan to smuggle his wife in a coffin on an all-male naval ship. Discover how Tad’s knowledge of nine languages helped him survive in the face of unspeakable adversity.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How Languages Saved Me: A Polish Story Of Survival by Tadeusza Haska and Stefanie Nauman is a gut-wrenching memoir depicting how the knowledge of different languages helped Mr Tadeusz Haska, survive the aftermath of his prison time during WWII.

This book is written by his granddaughter and has been written exceptionally well. This book is a devastating insight into life in the post-WWII era and the problems faced by Mr Tad. Though I did relish reading about how he used his wits and education of various languages to get him out of situations that could have very well meant death.

This is a very good memoir and I’d recommend it to all readers who take an interest in history and memoirs.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Tech by Mark Ravine

Author: Mark Ravine
Release Date: 3rd February 2020
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Futuristic
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 463 
Publisher: Dawn Hill Publications Ltd.
Blurb: Alexandra has just taken charge of her new team, a motley crew of screw-ups at the Arizona Field Office, the latest in a series of forgettable assignments. With a history of rebelling against authority and blunt speaking, she vows to change her ways and make this assignment work. 

Within minutes of her taking charge, she is drawn into a bank robbery case. She leads her new team to catch the robbers but discovers that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. The very next day three girls go missing. Before they could be trafficked out of the country, she races against time to rescue them. Soon, she begins to realize that all the cases coming her way are mysteriously connected. As she unravels the threads of a massive conspiracy, she discovers that a secret organization with immense power and authority is behind these horrific crimes. Forces within the FBI thwart her every move to discover the truth. Helping her navigate this maze is the shadowy Michael Patterson. But can she trust him? Can she trust anyone? Soon, witnesses disappear, suspects are killed, with her life and the lives of her team in lethal danger. Will she come out of this alive? Will she uncover and expose this cabal? As time starts running out, Alexandra Cassidy has to evade indictment and defy death in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Tech by Mark Ravine is a surprisingly good crime which kept me hooked with the several cases the main characters solved throughout the book.

This book was really engaging and had a lot of action, drama and situations going on that it was hard to put it down! This is my first book by the author, and seeing that there are a lot of detective fiction novels, I was a bit sceptical about it when I started reading the book but in no time the plot hooked me and then I was in for good.

The book is well-written, nicely structured and has good characterisation. I loved the female lead, Alexandra, and rooted for her in all the situations, right till the end. The secondary characters were good too and the elements of futuristic technology kept things very interesting.

I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy detective mysteries and crime thrillers and won’t mind the presence of unbelievable futuristic technologies.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Dream Chasers (Screamcatcher # 2) by Christy J. Breedlove

Author: Christy J. Breedlove
Release Date: 24th March 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: Screamcatcher
Format: E-book
Pages: 240
Publisher: Melange Books, Fire & Ice
Blurb: Seventeen year-old Jory Pike knows a thing or two about Indian lore from her half-blood Chippewa ancestry. She can trap, hunt and fish with the best of them. She has a team of three other teens friends called The Badlands Paranormal Society. Instead of bagging groceries or playing on I-pods, they think they can excel at banishing evil spirits. They hope to cleanse houses and earn fat paychecks for their services.
Dream catchers aren’t just the chic hoops tourists buy at novelty shops–they work. And sometimes they clog up with nightmares until they collapse under their own evil weight, imploding and sending the dreamer into an alternate world.

Dream catchers aren’t just the chic hoops tourists buy at novelty shops–they work. And sometimes they clog up with nightmares until they collapse under their own evil weight, imploding and sending the dreamer into an alternate world. Jory uses her worst nightmare to enter the dream catcher world. She’s pulled her teammates in deliberately. Everything goes right on schedule but they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Now Jory and her friends are there, trapped between the people who have confessed their sins to the Great Spirit and are seeking a way out, and the monsters and evil spirits, which are happy to keep them trapped in the web world forever. They were once considered Seekers in the dream world. Now they’ve become vigilantes and call themselves Pathfinders. Is it spiritual enlightenment they after? Or have they now become fatally reckless?

Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Dream Chasers by Christy J. Breedlove is the second book in the Screamcatcher series. I haven’t read the first book though I had the opportunity to interview the author and I was really intrigued by the idea then.

I really appreciated the fact that enough information was given in this book related tot he first book that I did not feel like I was lost or didn’t;t know about somethings. But that makes me wonder that had I read the first part would this information be too much for me. Anyhow, for me, it served well and I ended up enjoying the book more than I had expected.

The concept was unique and had layers of complexity that are expected from a good fantasy novel. The writing was good and smooth and made reading this book a pleasant experience. I liked the characterisation but only enough as I wasn’t able to relate to the main characters too much.

All in all, it made for an entertaining read and I’d recommend it to young-adult fantasy lovers.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon