Archive | November 2016

Jem by Michelle Abbott

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Jem by Michelle Abbott

My review follows the authors blurb found on Amazon.

Two injured, stubborn souls meet unexpectedly. Will they save each other from their demons or have they been too damaged for too long to see past the pain?

Growing up, all Jem knew was hatred and the pain from his father’s fists. Taunted by the kids at school, he was alone, until a girl with carrot coloured hair sat next to him.

She smiled.
She listened.
She cared.

She was his angel, and he knew he’d love her forever. But Jem’s father hurts him in a way he never expected by taking him away from her.

Now eighteen, scarred inside and out, Jem trusts no one and has worked hard to ensure he’ll never be helpless again. But then he runs into his angel. The only problem is she doesn’t recognize him. Jem needs her to remember him, to show him that their time together meant to her what it did to him. For once in his life he wants to have mattered to someone, to her.

Devon is attracted to the muscular, tattooed, pierced hottie standing by the pub quiz machine. That is, until he punches a guy clean across the bar for daring to touch him. She’s had her fill of violent men and intends to avoid this one at all costs.

This is a standalone, new adult contemporary romance. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Jem was difficult for me to read and review. Childhood abuse – I’ve been there, teenage abuse – I’ve been there, and abuse from a significant other – again, I’ve been there, so this was truly a hard read for me. The main characters, Jem and Devon, each had a difficult past to say the least. At one point, they were like one until Jem’s father decides they must move so that he can’t be arrested for abuse, as Devon told her parents how Jem was abused.  I think the ages of Jem and Devon should be older than they were for the time they got to know each other. Time passes and we find out that Devon had a child when she was a teenager and that her abusive boyfriend is trying to hunt her down while she hides from him. Devon moves to the very town that Jem resides and she doesn’t recognize him, yet he knows her. During a visit to a pub, Devon witnessed an attractive man with tattoos throw another man across the room simply because he had touched him. Jem knows Devon right away but she only knows him a tattooed fighter. Later on, when Devon’s ex is abusive to her after finding her, Jem saves Devon, and then they end up in each other’s arms. Devon did this willingly just like the cycle of abuse is to this very day. The narrative has a solid base, yet the characters are underdeveloped by far, and I just don’t understand why Devon would date a man like Jem, except for that very thing – the cycle of abuse pattern. This story lacks depth, development, and feeling. Emotions are only skin deep. Hence the three stars.

 

The Playground by C. S. Boyack

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The Playground by C. S. Boyack

My review follows the authors blurb found on Amazon.

“The hottest new toys of the Christmas season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power. To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home? Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software. There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced. To top it all off, he has a head start. The Playground is suitable for mature readers, due to violence and mature themes.”

Boyack outdid himself on this book! If you are a fantasy/horror/supernatural book lover, then this book is perfect for you as it’s a thriller beyond all thrillers. Using internet toys to lure children into a world of pure evil filled with drugs, theft, violence, and more, Boyack is in the top five percent with this book! I truly can see this narrative made into a screenplay for a feature film. Filled with suspense and action, Boyack delivers a punch! The ending makes one wonder if there is to be another book, or if this book is part of a series as there isn’t closure at the end. Left hanging, I rate four stars.

This entry was posted on November 17, 2016. 16 Comments

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II

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I have just finished reading The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II and my review follows the blurb on Amazon from the author.

“A second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. Every story can be read in a single session. This time there are a few tributes to the pulp era. Stories include science fiction, paranormal, and horror.”

Boyack has written a very nice collection of short stories; including sci-fi, horror, and paranormal genres. Each story was woven well and described in a vivid manner. Each story was unique, full of twists and turns, and they were short enough in length that allowed for excitement in knowing that another short was following soon.  Each stories theme was uniquely different from each other. I rate five stars!

This entry was posted on November 17, 2016. 6 Comments

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When Angels Fly

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FREE Award-winning memoir! 11/13-11/17

When Angels Fly

Life can be harrowing, but there’s always hope. 

Eli Triumphs…

By Robert Kimbrell on September 17, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

For several moments I sat at my laptop, trying to think of something that hasn’t already been said. There are many great reviews, and it is easy to see many hearts have been made tender by reading this.

First, I am so glad this story has been written down and shared. As the father of two wonderful daughters, I cannot begin to imagine the horror that took place in this mother’s life. How any man can be so evil is beyond me. Thank God for men like Matt, however.

There are a few happy moments in this story that made tears of temporary joy hint from behind my eyes: when Eli was able to drink apple juice without choking; the late-night trip mom…

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Finalist Voting McGrath House Independent Book Awards 2016

Two Days left for Votes! Thank you! #RRBC

When Angels Fly

samone-twentyonefree

Please vote in this competition for When Angels Fly, thank you so much. 

Finalist Voting McGrath House Independent Book Awards 2016

Vote for the finalists of each category on your favourite books.

Below are a list of the finalists in each category – based on the nominations received from the start of August. Congratulations to those authors who have been chosen as finalists!

Voting will remain open until 15 November 2016 and winners will be announced before 30 November 2016.

Each category will have one winner receiving a $5 Amazon Gift Card.
There will also be an overall Winner announced with a $50 Amazon Gift Card as a prize.

Link to vote

View original post

Finalist Voting McGrath House Independent Book Awards 2016

samone-twentyonefree

Please vote in this competition for When Angels Fly, thank you so much. 

Finalist Voting McGrath House Independent Book Awards 2016

Vote for the finalists of each category on your favourite books.

Below are a list of the finalists in each category – based on the nominations received from the start of August. Congratulations to those authors who have been chosen as finalists!

Voting will remain open until 15 November 2016 and winners will be announced before 30 November 2016.

Each category will have one winner receiving a $5 Amazon Gift Card.
There will also be an overall Winner announced with a $50 Amazon Gift Card as a prize.

Link to vote

 

 

 

This entry was posted on November 13, 2016. 5 Comments

FREE FREE

small-front-samadjustbluebrighterwhenangelsflyglacierfullcoverwithwordsversiontwokontikienchantedjf2015-06-sept2016

FREE Award-winning memoir! 11/13-11/17

When Angels Fly

Life can be harrowing, but there’s always hope. 

Eli Triumphs…

By Robert Kimbrell on September 17, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

For several moments I sat at my laptop, trying to think of something that hasn’t already been said. There are many great reviews, and it is easy to see many hearts have been made tender by reading this.

First, I am so glad this story has been written down and shared. As the father of two wonderful daughters, I cannot begin to imagine the horror that took place in this mother’s life. How any man can be so evil is beyond me. Thank God for men like Matt, however.

There are a few happy moments in this story that made tears of temporary joy hint from behind my eyes: when Eli was able to drink apple juice without choking; the late-night trip mom took to get watermelon her son craved; when Eli and Noah played, as much as they could, in the hospital together. But sadly these moments too quickly moved aside, and the harrowing acts by a despicable grandmother and truly evil husband and father darkened the story. But this is real. That is partially what attracted me to this book. There is a time for the raw truth, it keeps one grounded.

To me, this book was more than a succession of events. Often, I felt like I was sitting across from the mother at a diner. My mind fades to gray images as she recollects her story from years ago. She opens her heart, and I listen to her thought process in awe. The mother is amazing for hanging on for dear life, even when it surely felt the bottom had fallen away and there was nothing to believe in anymore. She was there for her son regardless of all else. If you don’t believe evil exists, you will after reading this. Above all, little Eli shows strength and heroism, and despite the bitter end, he triumphed over life.

This entry was posted on November 13, 2016. 2 Comments

Chickens Eat Pasta: Escape to Umbria

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Chickens Eat Pasta: Escape to Umbria by Clare Pedrick

I have just finished reading Chickens Eat Pasta by Clare Pedrick. My review will follow Pedrick’s book synopsis found on Amazon below.

“Not just another romance, but a story of escapism, coincidences, friendship, luck and most of all… love. 

Chickens Eat Pasta is the tale of how a young Englishwoman starts a new life after watching a video showing a chicken eating spaghetti in a mediaeval hill village in central Italy. 

“Here I was, 26 years old, alone and numb with boredom at the prospect of a future which until recently had seemed to be just what I wanted.” 

Unlike some recent bestsellers, this is not simply an account of a foreigner’s move to Italy, but a love story written from the unusual perspective of both within and outside of the story. As events unfold, the strong storyline carries with it a rich portrayal of Italian life from the inside, with a supporting cast of memorable characters. Along the way, the book explores and captures the warmth and colour of Italy, as well as some of the cultural differences – between England and Italy, but also between regional Italian lifestyles and behaviour. It is a story with a happy ending. The author and her husband are still married, with three children, who love the old house on the hill (now much restored) almost as much as she does. 

Chickens Eat Pasta is Clare’s autobiography, and ultimately a love story – with the house itself and with the man that Clare met there and went on to marry. If you yearn for a happy ending, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a story that proves anything is possible if you only try.” 

I felt drawn into this memoir from the beginning; a story rich in love, heartache, new beginnings, fun, and really every aspect of the emotional spectrum. The action of emigration from one country to Umbria, Italy, in the 1980s, and the ensuing drama of that decision, is woven into a beautiful, well written memoir. The pace is steady, and the characters are well developed. Actually, everything is quite detailed, and I wonder if the author kept journals?  Even so, leaving one’s home country, after a divorce, and moving to new country requires strength, and Pedrick shines in this aspect. Humor is added (look at the title) and love abounds. Great job Clare!

 

Insight by Deborah Raney

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I just finished reading Insight by Deborah Raney and this book is a superb read!

Olivia is trying to save her marriage, and this includes moving from Chicago to a small town in Missouri; from a town of millions to one ten thousand. The very day she arrives, tragedy hits, and her life is shattered, with her husband’s death.  Sadly, that same night, she makes the decision to have her husband’s organs donated, and for him to be removed from life support as he is brain dead.

With little money and no insurance, she must figure out what her next step is to be. Boom! She finds herself pregnant!

Chicago and her old job aren’t viable options, as she comes to find out, and so Olivia decides to find local work. She finds a job as an artist assistant, to a local artist named Reed Vincent. Reed is a talented artist who is struggling to save his eyesight and he ends up going through a second corneal transplant. Olivia helps Reed in his studio freeing up time so he can paint projects he is behind on, and make a living. The two of them begin to have a special friendship.  Until, Olivia has insight…! 

This story is extremely well-written, the flow is a moderate pace, the characters come to life easily, and the settings are well described.  Raney delivers fictional drama like a professional. Numerous areas of life are brought forward, and the angst felt by the characters are well written. I appreciate Christian fiction/romance novels and this one delivers a punch! That said, I read that Raney Day Press was involved in this book, and, as such, should be accountable for the errors found by this reviewer. I can’t proof my own books, and I have learned that ‘fresh eyes’ are a great tool. The mistakes are few and most readers wouldn’t notice if a ‘in’ was used instead of an ‘on’, and that type of thing. Regardless, I rate this book as a five star read as the novel brought out so much emotion, faith, and love.