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About Theodocia McLean

Author and Owner of Books In Sync and Cold Coffee Press.

Sarai (A Sarah Somers Series Book 1) by Lilya Myers

Lurking in the shadows, another set of eyes had been quietly and intently observing, listening with calm fascination. In place of revulsion was pleasure. In place of horror was gratification. The switch had been flipped to evil.

Then, evil slithered furtively into the darkness.

Rising from the dust in the ancient city of Cairo and crossing oceans, a serial killer becomes the impetus that will forever change lives beyond the women he’s brutally torturing and murdering. The Mutilator is cold, calculating, and ambitious. He begins to choose his victims in a way that connects them to a child named Sarai, who was killed in a plane crash decades before. With each killing, a generation of well-kept secrets in the lives of people on two continents will begin to emerge.

This is a novel of power, ambition, jealousy, and revenge. Walking in those mindsets is a psychopathic killer, a master at feeding on the shortfalls of others, and who has eluded capture for decades. It is a story rich with a kaleidoscope of history and culture where the past brings meaning to the present.

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Estranged Lands by Jax E. Garson

Seventeen murders brought Agent Jessica Langlow back to Europa. Europa was her least favorite colony in the solar system.

The moon’s mining workforce had been infused with criminals and indebted poor. Its Upper and Underground City was a corrupt and greedy institution that allowed all kinds of vices like gambling, prostitution, drugs and alcohol. But Europa has something more unique than its supplies of water, mercury and silver; five hundred meters of ice cover a vast ocean of animals.

Jessica had investigated the Upper City before, removing a corrupt entity known as the Circle. But there are old members still about the city complex, which adds another twist to the crimes. They appear to be involved with the permission of Earth.

The Council oversees the operation but there is no love between them and the workers. The murders of the poor don’t bother the Council but the loss of the CATR controls over the cargo shipments draws concern. As she investigates the murders, she learns that Europa had changed.

The Droners and Ropers are even more isolated from each other. Security officers were individually tending to their duties without coordination with each other.

The indebted workers were prospering and yet output was increasing. And a casino had been built and thriving. But Agent Langlow quickly discovered that she wasn’t the first person sent to Europa.

Special operatives were sent to secure cargo labeled as “future weapons.”

Another sinister plot has shaken Europa’s mystery and too many secrets obstruct her ability to carry out her mission.

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Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid

Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid

Little Worlds Of Magic helps children understand the struggles of moving and leaving their friends behind.

Main character Mason lives in a loving military family where travel is part of life. His parents are wise to encourage him to make new friends in hopes that his imaginary friends will no longer be needed.

As a grandparent who moved around a lot as a child, this book not only brought back memories but will make a great Christmas gift for my 7 year grand-daughter who reading well above her age.

Author Mary T. Kincaid has a wonderful imagination and her love for children shines through.

This is the second book that I have read by Mary T Kincaid. I give this book five stars. I believe that a child as young as seven (who can read) and perhaps as old as twelve will enjoy this easy to read book. One hundred and fourth six easy to read pages with beautiful black and white illustrations by Doriano Strologo.

Theodocia McLean endorses Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid. I purchase and reviewed this book from a print book. This review was completed on November 11, 2016.

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Mortimer: Chapter Book For Early Readers by Mary T. Kincaid

Mortimer: Chapter Book For Early Readers by Mary T. Kincaid

As a Grandmother I can highly recommend Mortimer for ages 4 and up.

Mortimer is a mole who is curious about the world him from birth. Even though he tends to break all the rules, his world becomes far more than a hole in the ground. He tests his parent’s patience and his boundaries to learn and try new things. In doing so he makes friends and overcomes fear.

There are 39 pages with eleven short chapters. The chapters are titled, The Beginning, Ignorance, Curiosity, Big Paws, Mission, New Plan, To The surface, Despair, The Invention, Sharing and Dancing. There are eleven cute hand drawn illustrations.

Interesting story with good dialog to keep any young child, boy or girl interested.

A great bedtime read.

Cold Coffee Press/Cafe endorses Mortimer: Chapter Book For Early Readers by Mary Kincaid. A new children’s book titled ‘Little Words Of Magic’ is promised to be released this year. We reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on May 13, 2016.

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Provoked by Angela Ford

Basia Lis felt she had no choice. It was him or her. Her husband, Darek, planned to kill her. She watched him drink the poisoned coffee, and then fall from the cliff. No body. Darek’s death was reported as another tragedy of the Tatras.

As an officer of the law, Lieutenant Lis knows right from wrong. Abused, humiliated, and threatened, left her no choice. His death haunts her.
She swore she’d never love again.

A one night stand goes wrong when Riley turns out to be the lead detective of a case of a missing woman. The same woman Basia is searching for.

Detective Riley Briggs opens doors he’d wished he’d left closed. He’s fallen in love with the woman he may have to arrest. The case unfolds one murder after another, leading back to Basia.

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Author Mary T Kincaid

Mary-T.-KincaidI’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now. Let’s read.

I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.

I live with my husband and two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma.

Featured Selection: Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid

Little-Worlds-of-Magic-by-Mary-T.-KincaidThe story about making new friends in a new town.

Mason Garcia struggles to find new interests and make friends away from his surfing and his beloved ocean. In a town with no surfing he finds a spooky park just down the block from his new house. Is it haunted?
Can everyone see the Punwees?

He sees them through his bedroom window. They open a door in a walnut on the tree and stand on the branch of a tree. Spend time in the world of little people. Imagine that there are little people all around your house, yard, and school. Mason is sent to counseling because no one else sees the little people, and his parents think he is having trouble adjusting to the move. Is it always better to talk to someone about what is going on in your life?

Can Mason find someone to play video games with beside the little people who are very competitive?

Everyone serious about something knows what it is like when they meet people who are not as serious as they are.

Practice your reading with this adventure. A good story to read in chapters. This fantasy will expand your vocabulary and introduce you to Mason’s world.

About The Author I’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now.

Let’s read. I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.

I live with two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma. I’m a widow.

Book Review: Little Worlds Of Magic helps children understand the struggles of moving and leaving their friends behind.

Main character Mason lives in a loving military family where travel is part of life. His parents are wise to encourage him to make new friends in hopes that his imaginary friends will no longer be needed.

As a grandparent who moved around a lot as a child, this book not only brought back memories but will make a great Christmas gift for my 7 year grand-daughter who reading well above her age.

Author Mary T. Kincaid has a wonderful imagination and her love for children shines through.

This is the second book that I have read by Mary T Kincaid. I give this book five stars. I believe that a child as young as seven (who can read) and perhaps as old as twelve will enjoy this easy to read book. One hundred and fourth six easy to read pages with beautiful black and white illustrations by Doriano Strologo.

Theodocia McLean endorses Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid. I purchase and reviewed this book from a print book. This review was completed on November 11, 2016.

Genre: Children’s Books, Fiction

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Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall

Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall

Post-apocalyptic thrillers like ‘Hibernaculum’ are science fiction or horror that has evolved from a global catastrophe.

Author Kim McDougall uses her descriptive writing skills along with a vivid imagination to draw her readers into a new world order within a self-contained ecosystem under a Dome. The problem is, humans have never been content to stay in one place or be told they can’t explore outside their own known existence. In one respect life under the Dome is no different from villages, town and cities throughout history where stories are passed down from generation to generation. However, the stories from under the Dome have morphed into legends that bring out thrill seekers.

As with any boundaries; cracks, leaks, holes, tunnels and even lines can be stretched when there is great financial reward. Cross is an exceptional coyote within the Safari business because he promises the ultimate “Wild” adventure to enthusiasts like Alex and Mindy.

I am so careful not to spoil the story, when I include a quote to show the authors style. Here is the quote that I selected.

“Soon the trees thinned. They stood in a vast desert of crumbled stone. Humidity blew in from the South, bringing scents of growing things.

“What’s that stench?” asked Mindy. “Smells like rot.”

Alex unbuttoned his shirt collar and wiped his face with a clean hankie.

“That must be the Santa Ana.” He thumbed through several screens on a Touch, looking for the entry. “Here it is. Santa Ana: a hot wind that emerges from the sun- baked Great Basin between the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains and pours into California.” He stumbled over an old tire, buried in the dirt. “Are we near California?”

“We’re in the Wild,” said Cross. “It’s all the same.”

“I bet it’s the Santa Ana. Look there are the mountains.” He pointed to a mound in the distance with the sun setting behind. A herd of sure-footed grazers clambered over the craggy mound, their awkward bodies silhouetted against the fading sky.

“Look!” Mindy gasped. “Beasts! Are they dangerous?”

“Only if you’re made of grass,” said Cross.

They stopped to watch the sun set. Arms linked, Mindy put her head on Alex’s shoulder.”

This seems tame enough, right? Allow Cross to take you along with Alex and Mindy into the Wild. Somethings you encounter along the way might seem predictable given your intelligence, but I assure you that somethings are unforeseen and unimaginable.

As a bonus the author includes two more short stories titled Luminari: For the Vampire that has everything and Barbegazi: When the White Death calls, who will answer?

I personally endorse Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall as a sci-fi thriller. Kim is a diverse author with seven available published books found on Amazon.  I purchased and reviewed from a Kindle on March 17, 2016.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic

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The Naturalists: A Historic Novel by C. G. Haberman

The Naturalists: A Historic Novel
(The Hayman Saga) (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman

Where is Nebraska? The measure lies in locating Chicago and Denver, then calculating the midpoint between the two. There exists land called the Rainwater Basin. To find the remains of the best basins requires a calling, the calling to understand the startling dependency of life. In the heart of the United States the last of the Hayman lineage, Chance Hayman, experiences the nibbling erosion and decimation of this North American keystone. The Naturalist begins in the 1820s with a minister full of desire to serve his God. Reverend Abner Hayman is not the normal German Reformed minister. His ministerial sincerity and verve excites his Pennsylvania congregation. As with many successful men he will gain fame and follow a path fraught with temptation, deception, and loss. His path across the rapidly expanding nation leads him to Illinois. There he loses a son to a calling of his own. John Hayman does not scorn the country know as the Great American Desert. Abner Hayman’s son finds a land that fills his spiritual yearning, a land of grass and marshes that is unyielding, but teems with life and promise. It is this young man, the naturalist, who finds love of life, land, and women who is the taproot for the future Hayman families who fight to save the rainwater basins from extinction.

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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The Naturalists A Historic Novel of the Hayman Family:
Volume 2 by C. G. Haberman

Gripped by a spiritual call, John Hayman found the land of his dreams. The land tested him, but he learned to live with it and survived to foster a land ethic. In the second volume of The Naturalists, the new era of John’s three sons unfolds and they are as diverse as the land. The youngest, Henry, focuses on what his father dreamed about: a peaceful land covered with grass and marshes. As more people settle the area, Henry faces changing land use that gives little thought to the effects. His life is not without personal heartaches and devastating emotional discoveries. Over the first half of the 20th century, he and his youngest son, Jacob, follow the path recorded in journals that have become the focus for future Hayman naturalists. A deep family unrest threatens to forever change the Haymans and the land on which they thrive. Out of this turmoil, Jacob emerges to face the trying task of altering the path that threatens the Rainwater Basin and his family. Will Jacob’s son inherit a tranquil path to the 21st Century?

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C. G. Haberman


Lake of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C G Haberman

Two teenage boys on a deer hunt in northwest Iowa watch as a trophy buck flees before either can release an arrow. Something in the crumbling cellar frightened the animal. Curious to know what disturbed the deer they open the shelter door and hell erupts. The sudden failure of an outstanding student, his fiancée’s new job opportunities, and a personnel action weigh on CJ Hand. His daughter calls with news of his former wife. A disturbing past leads him back to Lincoln, Nebraska to confront demons. At semester’s end on an icy and snowy morning, his life would change once again. Dr. Trisha Baker becomes the hunter with the intent to destroy a predator. The revenge is for her friends and herself, and to erase the painful memory of losing her fiancé.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: ‘Lake Of Lies’ is just one of four, hard to put down, CJ Hand Mystery Novels written by C. G.Haberman.

Main character CJ Hand uses his love for, comfort of and the serenity of the back roads from Iowa to South Dakota to capture its breathtaking beauty through his camera photo lens which illustrates lessons that he shares with his ecology and botany students.

Intuitive moments and detailed memories have become part of his life since working for the Department of Justice. While forcing himself to move forward, CJ’s past is never far behind. The news hits him hard when the parole board releases Tom Vaughn and he knows someone must warn Tom’s wife Donette to stay alert.

A call from his daughter Meaghan stirs some of the personal demons that haunt him. A trip down memory lane brings him back to the lake where he and his wife Marnie had spent countless, glorious hours together. He sits and stares out across the lake to the shoreline where the shadows still hold remnants of ice and watches as several boys cast their fishing lines into the cold water with hopes of catching a catfish. The ring of his cell phone brings him back to the present.

His life with his fiancée Dee, his many influential friends and co-workers find their world mostly centered on the Mill Creek State University and the surrounding communities. CJ reluctantly confides in psychologist Dr. Adriane Peterson. Like all psychologists she asks a lot of questions, like “You said there were other students, especially female nontraditional students with sudden grade drops, correct?” He nodded. “The question is: why the focus on Tammy Day?”

Two boys brave the frigid temperature at the southern edge of an abandoned farmstead in hopes to “get the biggest damn buck you ever did see.” Hiding in silence they hold their bows taught with arrows when the approaching deer notice something and their heightened awareness and instincts cause them to bolt. Understandably upset the boys strike out on a new hunt for the source of the hunting debacle and what they discover makes them gag.

It is more than Dr. Trisha Baker who works at Mill Creek State University in the Psychology Center can stand. She sets out to seek revenge for her fiancé, friends and most importantly to “destroy a predator”.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel’ by C. G. Haberman. Each book in this crime, fiction, mystery series stand alone. I also have the privilege of reading and reviewing ‘Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1)’. Dead Man’s Run and Mill Creek Malice are a couple more novels in the CJ Hand series.

I encourage you to read these four CJ Hand Novels sold in both print and e-book. Enjoy the written mastery of author C. G Haberman. I purchased ‘Lake Of Lies’ in Kindle and this review was completed on February 25, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman


Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by Mr. C. G. Haberman

The pall of death hangs over two distinctly different valleys separated by eighteen-hundred miles. One a modest, unknown channel drained by a small cool-water stream and the other a magnificent gorge carved by a roaring river that separates two states. Unknown to a man, tormented by loss and intensifying anger, both valleys hold his fate. A bloody mist suddenly fills a truck cab. It is not the shot but the seconds after that begins change for criminal investigator CJ Hand. Beset with his recent loss and pent-up anger he takes leave from a tangled bureaucratic mess. Trying to find self-worth he agrees to help friends by probing the accidental drowning of a friend’s son. The image of an uncomplicated investigation is quickly shattered. CJ encounters a maze of deadly circles surrounding the death. He begins unwinding hidden tentacles of political power and personal greed gripping Elm Creek valley. Affecting his personal life are two intellectual and intuitive women who help him come to grips with what he has been running from, or toward, for a decade. DEADLY CIRCLES is a fast-paced novel exposing the ugly underbelly of insidious criminal activity.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel is a fast moving fiction crime mystery that enchants the reader with breath taking descriptive beauty with possible environmental struggles within the Great Plains of the USA.

The main character, CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota. As a criminal investigator CJ Hand takes the reader on a vivid pictorial trip down the winding rural roads of Nebraska into the small towns where life and love among other things thrive with a cast of over 40 characters. The dialog flows very smooth and this reviewer can visualize this book series becoming an excellent made for TV series.

Enjoy the descriptive beauty of the landscapes and relate with the rural folks going about their daily lives. Just keep in mind that nothing is perfect and even here there festers a quiet under tone of mystery, personal and political greed, crime and an unexplained death.

Haberman weaves a tale that keeps the reader turning the pages with descriptive artistry like in this quote: “A breeze whispered through the pine and cedar trees as he entered the small acreage. Colored lichens dotted gravestones and the stately old trees. He moved from grave to grave reading the inscriptions. Several large round, prairie-hay bales rested in the warm autumnal sunshine in the east half of the cemetery, devoid of headstones. CJ squatted down, grasped a handful of loose hay, examined the dried vegetation, and rolled it between his palms. The earthy, redolent grass brought a melancholy rush. The death of a friend’s son brought him here and a tragic farm accident united him with the woman he loved. He stood in the earthly solitude, stillness within him. A wind gust interrupted the moment. An important task lay ahead.”

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) and you can follow this book up with Mill Creek Malice (Volume 2) as the series continues to unfold under the mastery of author C. G. Haberman. I purchased ‘Deadly Circles’ in Kindle and this review was completed on December 5, 2014.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Nebraska Pine Ridge: Dead Man’s Run Novel Setting

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Dead Man’s Run by C. G. Haberman


Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3) by C. G. Haberman

For CJ Hand, the corral bathed in the morning sunlight is a false sign of the day to come. Minutes after starting his run up Deadman Road, a dense fog shrouds the canyon. In the heavy, gray mist a hushed purr from the road bend behind him forces CJ to take cover in the stand of ponderosa pine and cottonwoods. He waits for the danger to pass. An hour later he stares at a dead man, blood covering the understory of brown pine needles and yellowing cottonwood leaves. The second death lay in front of CJ. The mountain lion is the focus of the first death, but the local County Sheriff realizes something other a mountain lion lurks in Dead Man’s Canyon. CJ Hand and Tom Thies join the county sheriff, investigating the deaths. A Black Hills mining geologist who traveled to the Nebraska Pine Ridge is the key. The first dead man might be the answer. What they find hints at far-reaching impacts for the area and the United States.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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The 100th Meridian Murders (A CJ Hand Novel Book 5) by C. G. Haberman


The 100th Meridian Murders (A CJ Hand Novel Book 5) by C. G. Haberman

After proving his reputation as the top sharpshooter in the world, Ivan Talcott settles in China. Here, he plans to achieve his goal of becoming a multimillionaire by the age of forty. Suddenly, and without warning, he’s told to leave China, and never return. Undaunted, he will aim for his goal in the USA.

While on a hunting trip Nebraska, the sharpshooter agrees to proposal that will fulfill his goal. The hunt becomes his final challenge before he begins a new life. The result of his grisly kills uncovers dark secrets long hidden in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

CJ Hand returns to Lincoln, Nebraska after surviving a brutal attack that left him a battered man. His wife, Dee, encourages him to complete a doctoral degree and form the Great Plains Consulting firm. This new challenge, they hope, will lead him away from a turbulent path to a stable life.

His company gets the boost it needs when he signs a contract for work along the 100th meridian. The study leads him to the deadly path he left years before. The discoveries, while using drones, leads his field and office crew into a threatening, dark world. The people he admires, and to whom he owes his success, return to help. They again face the evil they once thought erased.

The peaceful, rural prairie holds secrets that turns violent. The deadly hunt begins, spilling blood across the western United States.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: For those of us following criminal investigator CJ Hand, this is what we have been waiting for, and you won’t be disappointed with ‘The 100th Meridian Murders: Volume Five by C. G. Haberman.

Realistic characters, descriptive writing that transport you to the Mid-West, USA, and a well-constructed mystery will keep you engaged all the way to the end of the 60th chapter.

Let me begin by telling you that character Ivan Talcott has studied people well for years and blends into each crowd with ease. He is a business man by degree with a life goal of “building an empire of wealth without government interference”. His professional skills as the top sharpshooter in the world help him secure funds to offshore accounts and keep him on track to become a millionaire by age forty. Called back to the US from China, he accepts a proposal.

Investigator CJ Hand who now suffers from PTSD after recovering from being beaten nearly to death and left to die three years ago returns to Lincoln, Nebraska. His wife Dee stands by his side and encourages him to completes his doctoral degree. He is challenged by his entrepreneurial spirit to form his own consulting firm. One of his first consulting contracts leads him into familiar territory that he thought he had left behind when a man in Keya Paha County finds a human skeleton.

An environment activist group that stumbles into the 100th meridian study wants to know who or what group sponsored the study?

Like any good mystery, it is the readers job to relate to one or more of the characters. Join CJ Hand as crime comes in a secretive fury like the tornadoes that thunder across the Great Plains of the US.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The 100th Meridian Murders’ by C. G. Haberman. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 7, 2017.

I encourage you to read: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1), Mill Creek Malice: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 2), Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3), Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) and The 100th Meridian Murders: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 5) by C. G. Haberman

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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Mill Creek Malice by C. G. Haberman


Mill Creek Malice: C. G. Haberman (Volume 2) by C. G. Haberman

The animal stench triggers Dawn’s gag reflex. The constant grinding of stone on stone irritably attacks her frayed nerves, and abruptly stops. Odd scratching sounds echo in her half-conscious state. She pulls herself into a sitting position and stares at a cage door. She gasps at the thing peering into her eyes.

A year before CJ Hand arrives as the new instructor at Loess Hills Community College the former professor inexplicably disappears. With the case going cold local law enforcement officers seek help. Investigators run into problems with the strange case involving native plants, and seek CJ’s expertise.

CJ is thrust into a world of pharmaceutical collusion when he finds the rare plant in question, but he also discovers an old ammunition box. When he opens it a nightmare begins. A geocache note inside written in a riddle, places him in the grip of matching wits with a killer. Key to the investigation, and the game, are–a small reptilian creature and the rare plant.

The new General Education Dean adds to CJ’s mental and physical anguish, suggesting the violation of his teaching contract. The summer class begins in two weeks and CJ has a choice to make: stop his part in the investigation or resign from his contract.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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Author C. G. Haberman

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author C. G. Haberman

C. G. Haberman was born and raised in south-central Nebraska. For ten years he taught the biological sciences in two Nebraska high schools. He left education to take a position with the Nebraska environmental agency and over the next ten years moved through the ranks. His positions took him throughout Nebraska while working on surface and groundwater quality issues, wetlands, and a uranium mining proposal.

After Nebraska, C. G. worked in Washington and South Dakota, expanding his environmental work into the areas of enforcement, air quality and hazardous and solid waste. Before retiring he returned to teach for ten more years as a community college instructor and as an adjunct at a liberal arts college in Hastings, Nebraska. Using his education and experience, he involved students by presenting real-life issues through Problem-Based Learning and hands-on field experiences.

What makes you proud to be a writer from Nebraska? I am proud to be a writer from Nebraska because so little is known about this diverse State. My goal is to show, through words, the diversity that exists in Nebraska and the surrounding Great Plains States.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? A friend asked a similar question. The first time was in the seventh grade and the teacher, Mrs. Johnson, encouraged the class to write. My writing for the class involved mysteries. Writing was hit and miss with most of it professional publications except for the environmental reader series for children.

Writing started to take shape after I went back to teaching. It was the time of my wife’s health problems that I began, mostly to occupy my mind during her difficult recovery.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? During the time of my wife’s health dilemmas our daughter inspired me to bring the novel I had written out of my computer to share with the public. That novel became my first: Deadly Circles. Positive, as well as a few negative, comments about the novels drive me to write more and better.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My environment—literally and figuratively—was the force behind the first novel. I had been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Because of the unique situations where I worked and lived and “battled” I can show and entertain the reader from a “been there, done that” perspective.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I derive titles as I outline novels in my head. Once the novel is firmed up in a detailed outline I might change, but that has occurred only once with the fourth in the CJ Hand series: Lake of Lies.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write fiction: crime, mystery, and historic. All focus on the Great Plains environment.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The moment that inspired me to write Deadly Circles came after a difficult time in my environmental career. On a secluded drive across rural, eastern South Dakota I wondered about the happenstance. During that drive CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The writing process experience most rewarding is the unfurling of the words as the book develops. An example is the historical novel, The Naturalists, where the character Abner Hayman took the reins and became a major actor, something I had not planned. As I read and researched this book I learned an immense amount about our country (positive and negative) from the mid-1800s to 1899.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The most rewarding experience was the positive feedback about the dialogue and settings.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? The positive piece of advice is write about what you love and read, read, read all kinds of books. One of the most intriguing I read was a philosophy book entitled: PLATO and a PLATYPUS Walk into a Bar Understanding Philosophy through Jokes 2007 Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein http://www.hnabooks.com

Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Robert B. Parker followed by Cather, Sandoz, Steinbeck, Michener, Craig Johnson, Tony Hillerman, and C. J. Box

Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.

Q: What do you do when I get writer’s block? A: Read. Relax. Listen to Music.

Q: Is Nebraska as flat as the media says? A: No, as long as you get off I-80. The Sandhills are rolling dunes with grass and cattle and wetlands. The Republican Valley holds some real surprises. The Niobrara and the Pine Ridge are gorgeous and wild. The Loess Hills of Iowa are wonderful in the fall.

Q: Why the Republican Valley for your first novel? A: It was where I took college students of all ages to learn and talk water and water war, look at geologic faults, plus it is Cather land.

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The 100th Meridian Murders (A CJ Hand Novel Book 5) by C. G. Haberman

After proving his reputation as the top sharpshooter in the world, Ivan Talcott settles in China. Here, he plans to achieve his goal of becoming a multimillionaire by the age of forty. Suddenly, and without warning, he’s told to leave China, and never return. Undaunted, he will aim for his goal in the USA.

While on a hunting trip Nebraska, the sharpshooter agrees to proposal that will fulfill his goal. The hunt becomes his final challenge before he begins a new life. The result of his grisly kills uncovers dark secrets long hidden in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

CJ Hand returns to Lincoln, Nebraska after surviving a brutal attack that left him a battered man. His wife, Dee, encourages him to complete a doctoral degree and form the Great Plains Consulting firm. This new challenge, they hope, will lead him away from a turbulent path to a stable life.

His company gets the boost it needs when he signs a contract for work along the 100th meridian. The study leads him to the deadly path he left years before. The discoveries, while using drones, leads his field and office crew into a threatening, dark world. The people he admires, and to whom he owes his success, return to help. They again face the evil they once thought erased.

The peaceful, rural prairie holds secrets that turns violent. The deadly hunt begins, spilling blood across the western United States.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: For those of us following criminal investigator CJ Hand, this is what we have been waiting for, and you won’t be disappointed with ‘The 100th Meridian Murders: Volume Five by C. G. Haberman.

Realistic characters, descriptive writing that transport you to the Mid-West, USA, and a well-constructed mystery will keep you engaged all the way to the end of the 60th chapter.

Let me begin by telling you that character Ivan Talcott has studied people well for years and blends into each crowd with ease. He is a business man by degree with a life goal of “building an empire of wealth without government interference”. His professional skills as the top sharpshooter in the world help him secure funds to offshore accounts and keep him on track to become a millionaire by age forty. Called back to the US from China, he accepts a proposal.

Investigator CJ Hand who now suffers from PTSD after recovering from being beaten nearly to death and left to die three years ago returns to Lincoln, Nebraska. His wife Dee stands by his side and encourages him to completes his doctoral degree. He is challenged by his entrepreneurial spirit to form his own consulting firm. One of his first consulting contracts leads him into familiar territory that he thought he had left behind when a man in Keya Paha County finds a human skeleton.

An environment activist group that stumbles into the 100th meridian study wants to know who or what group sponsored the study?

Like any good mystery, it is the readers job to relate to one or more of the characters. Join CJ Hand as crime comes in a secretive fury like the tornadoes that thunder across the Great Plains of the US.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The 100th Meridian Murders’ by C. G. Haberman. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 7, 2017.

I encourage you to read: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1), Mill Creek Malice: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 2), Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3), Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) and The 100th Meridian Murders: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 5) by C. G. Haberman

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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Lake of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C G Haberman

Two teenage boys on a deer hunt in northwest Iowa watch as a trophy buck flees before either can release an arrow. Something in the crumbling cellar frightened the animal. Curious to know what disturbed the deer they open the shelter door and hell erupts. The sudden failure of an outstanding student, his fiancée’s new job opportunities, and a personnel action weigh on CJ Hand. His daughter calls with news of his former wife. A disturbing past leads him back to Lincoln, Nebraska to confront demons. At semester’s end on an icy and snowy morning, his life would change once again. Dr. Trisha Baker becomes the hunter with the intent to destroy a predator. The revenge is for her friends and herself, and to erase the painful memory of losing her fiancé.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: ‘Lake Of Lies’ is just one of four, hard to put down, CJ Hand Mystery Novels written by C. G.Haberman.

Main character CJ Hand uses his love for, comfort of and the serenity of the back roads from Iowa to South Dakota to capture its breathtaking beauty through his camera photo lens which illustrates lessons that he shares with his ecology and botany students.

Intuitive moments and detailed memories have become part of his life since working for the Department of Justice. While forcing himself to move forward, CJ’s past is never far behind. The news hits him hard when the parole board releases Tom Vaughn and he knows someone must warn Tom’s wife Donette to stay alert.

A call from his daughter Meaghan stirs some of the personal demons that haunt him. A trip down memory lane brings him back to the lake where he and his wife Marnie had spent countless, glorious hours together. He sits and stares out across the lake to the shoreline where the shadows still hold remnants of ice and watches as several boys cast their fishing lines into the cold water with hopes of catching a catfish. The ring of his cell phone brings him back to the present.

His life with his fiancée Dee, his many influential friends and co-workers find their world mostly centered on the Mill Creek State University and the surrounding communities. CJ reluctantly confides in psychologist Dr. Adriane Peterson. Like all psychologists she asks a lot of questions, like “You said there were other students, especially female nontraditional students with sudden grade drops, correct?” He nodded. “The question is: why the focus on Tammy Day?”

Two boys brave the frigid temperature at the southern edge of an abandoned farmstead in hopes to “get the biggest damn buck you ever did see.” Hiding in silence they hold their bows taught with arrows when the approaching deer notice something and their heightened awareness and instincts cause them to bolt. Understandably upset the boys strike out on a new hunt for the source of the hunting debacle and what they discover makes them gag.

It is more than Dr. Trisha Baker who works at Mill Creek State University in the Psychology Center can stand. She sets out to seek revenge for her fiancé, friends and most importantly to “destroy a predator”.

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel’ by C. G. Haberman. Each book in this crime, fiction, mystery series stand alone. I also have the privilege of reading and reviewing ‘Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1)’. Dead Man’s Run and Mill Creek Malice are a couple more novels in the CJ Hand series.

I encourage you to read these four CJ Hand Novels sold in both print and e-book. Enjoy the written mastery of author C. G Haberman. I purchased ‘Lake Of Lies’ in Kindle and this review was completed on February 25, 2015.

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Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3) by C. G. Haberman

For CJ Hand, the corral bathed in the morning sunlight is a false sign of the day to come. Minutes after starting his run up Deadman Road, a dense fog shrouds the canyon. In the heavy, gray mist a hushed purr from the road bend behind him forces CJ to take cover in the stand of ponderosa pine and cottonwoods. He waits for the danger to pass. An hour later he stares at a dead man, blood covering the understory of brown pine needles and yellowing cottonwood leaves. The second death lay in front of CJ. The mountain lion is the focus of the first death, but the local County Sheriff realizes something other a mountain lion lurks in Dead Man’s Canyon. CJ Hand and Tom Thies join the county sheriff, investigating the deaths. A Black Hills mining geologist who traveled to the Nebraska Pine Ridge is the key. The first dead man might be the answer. What they find hints at far-reaching impacts for the area and the United States.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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Mill Creek Malice: C. G. Haberman (Volume 2) by C. G. Haberman

The animal stench triggers Dawn’s gag reflex. The constant grinding of stone on stone irritably attacks her frayed nerves, and abruptly stops. Odd scratching sounds echo in her half-conscious state. She pulls herself into a sitting position and stares at a cage door. She gasps at the thing peering into her eyes.

A year before CJ Hand arrives as the new instructor at Loess Hills Community College the former professor inexplicably disappears. With the case going cold local law enforcement officers seek help. Investigators run into problems with the strange case involving native plants, and seek CJ’s expertise.

CJ is thrust into a world of pharmaceutical collusion when he finds the rare plant in question, but he also discovers an old ammunition box. When he opens it a nightmare begins. A geocache note inside written in a riddle, places him in the grip of matching wits with a killer. Key to the investigation, and the game, are–a small reptilian creature and the rare plant.

The new General Education Dean adds to CJ’s mental and physical anguish, suggesting the violation of his teaching contract. The summer class begins in two weeks and CJ has a choice to make: stop his part in the investigation or resign from his contract.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

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Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by Mr. C. G. Haberman

The pall of death hangs over two distinctly different valleys separated by eighteen-hundred miles. One a modest, unknown channel drained by a small cool-water stream and the other a magnificent gorge carved by a roaring river that separates two states. Unknown to a man, tormented by loss and intensifying anger, both valleys hold his fate. A bloody mist suddenly fills a truck cab. It is not the shot but the seconds after that begins change for criminal investigator CJ Hand. Beset with his recent loss and pent-up anger he takes leave from a tangled bureaucratic mess. Trying to find self-worth he agrees to help friends by probing the accidental drowning of a friend’s son. The image of an uncomplicated investigation is quickly shattered. CJ encounters a maze of deadly circles surrounding the death. He begins unwinding hidden tentacles of political power and personal greed gripping Elm Creek valley. Affecting his personal life are two intellectual and intuitive women who help him come to grips with what he has been running from, or toward, for a decade. DEADLY CIRCLES is a fast-paced novel exposing the ugly underbelly of insidious criminal activity.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel is a fast moving fiction crime mystery that enchants the reader with breath taking descriptive beauty with possible environmental struggles within the Great Plains of the USA.

The main character, CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota. As a criminal investigator CJ Hand takes the reader on a vivid pictorial trip down the winding rural roads of Nebraska into the small towns where life and love among other things thrive with a cast of over 40 characters. The dialog flows very smooth and this reviewer can visualize this book series becoming an excellent made for TV series.

Enjoy the descriptive beauty of the landscapes and relate with the rural folks going about their daily lives. Just keep in mind that nothing is perfect and even here there festers a quiet under tone of mystery, personal and political greed, crime and an unexplained death.

Haberman weaves a tale that keeps the reader turning the pages with descriptive artistry like in this quote: “A breeze whispered through the pine and cedar trees as he entered the small acreage. Colored lichens dotted gravestones and the stately old trees. He moved from grave to grave reading the inscriptions. Several large round, prairie-hay bales rested in the warm autumnal sunshine in the east half of the cemetery, devoid of headstones. CJ squatted down, grasped a handful of loose hay, examined the dried vegetation, and rolled it between his palms. The earthy, redolent grass brought a melancholy rush. The death of a friend’s son brought him here and a tragic farm accident united him with the woman he loved. He stood in the earthly solitude, stillness within him. A wind gust interrupted the moment. An important task lay ahead.”

I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) and you can follow this book up with Mill Creek Malice (Volume 2) as the series continues to unfold under the mastery of author C. G. Haberman. I purchased ‘Deadly Circles’ in Kindle and this review was completed on December 5, 2014.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Spies & Politics, Assassinations, Crime Fiction

Nebraska Pine Ridge: Dead Man’s Run Novel Setting

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The Naturalists: A Historic Novel
(The Hayman Saga) (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman

Where is Nebraska? The measure lies in locating Chicago and Denver, then calculating the midpoint between the two. There exists land called the Rainwater Basin. To find the remains of the best basins requires a calling, the calling to understand the startling dependency of life. In the heart of the United States the last of the Hayman lineage, Chance Hayman, experiences the nibbling erosion and decimation of this North American keystone. The Naturalist begins in the 1820s with a minister full of desire to serve his God. Reverend Abner Hayman is not the normal German Reformed minister. His ministerial sincerity and verve excites his Pennsylvania congregation. As with many successful men he will gain fame and follow a path fraught with temptation, deception, and loss. His path across the rapidly expanding nation leads him to Illinois. There he loses a son to a calling of his own. John Hayman does not scorn the country know as the Great American Desert. Abner Hayman’s son finds a land that fills his spiritual yearning, a land of grass and marshes that is unyielding, but teems with life and promise. It is this young man, the naturalist, who finds love of life, land, and women who is the taproot for the future Hayman families who fight to save the rainwater basins from extinction.

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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The Naturalists A Historic Novel of the Hayman Family:
Volume 2 by C. G. Haberman

Gripped by a spiritual call, John Hayman found the land of his dreams. The land tested him, but he learned to live with it and survived to foster a land ethic. In the second volume of The Naturalists, the new era of John’s three sons unfolds and they are as diverse as the land. The youngest, Henry, focuses on what his father dreamed about: a peaceful land covered with grass and marshes. As more people settle the area, Henry faces changing land use that gives little thought to the effects. His life is not without personal heartaches and devastating emotional discoveries. Over the first half of the 20th century, he and his youngest son, Jacob, follow the path recorded in journals that have become the focus for future Hayman naturalists. A deep family unrest threatens to forever change the Haymans and the land on which they thrive. Out of this turmoil, Jacob emerges to face the trying task of altering the path that threatens the Rainwater Basin and his family. Will Jacob’s son inherit a tranquil path to the 21st Century?

Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History

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The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King

The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King

The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King gives a new meaning to the word “revenge”.

What atrocities lay inside walls of federal prisons and what does it matter to the general population on the outside?

When death row inmate and serial killer Beatrice Belladonna Harlow is tortured and buried alive a short time before her scheduled execution, her spirit travels to the bedroom of her adoptive daughter Lola Marie. The bright yellow light of adoptive mother wakes Lola Marie from sleep. With the precision of her mother’s voodoo priestess spirit, Lola can’t stop the physical metamorphosis as Beatrice enters her body and becomes one with her.

Lola Marie’s Mexican beauty is over ridden by her American/Haitian adopted mother who had rescued her from an abusive orphanage when she was eight. Was this her punishment for ignoring her mother after she was convicted as a black widow serial killer?

Well-developed characters in this paranormal thriller will keep you turning the page as Beatrice possesses her daughter’s body and turns her life upside down with bloody thirsty revengeful energy of Voodoo magic.

Forced to participate in the horrors of Beatrice’s revenge, her legacy while not sealed in blood was sealed by adoption.

Sequel to Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, this standalone paranormal thriller is dedicated to the countless victims of human trafficking past and present.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King. Well researched Mary uses her education and over twenty years of law enforcement experience in the writing process. In addition to this book, please read Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, Fool Me Once, Fool Me Once: Final Resolution and No Pot, No Window. This review was completed on November 15, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Author Mary Burton King Website Links:
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Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web by Mary Burton King

Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web by Mary Burton King

I set the bar high when reading this book because the Author Mary Burton King is a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent with over twenty years of law enforcement experience.

‘Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web’ is spell binding. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that I would care to know anything about a Haitian Vodou (old term voodoo) Priestess. Nor did I know that I could become interested in Vodou Priestess’ herbs (grown all around the world), magic potions, blessings and curses.

Believe me when I say that no matter how you feel about this subject or this Vodou Priestess you will come to admire her level of intelligence (just like the black widow spider). You will begin to see the world from her perspective and no matter what her crimes you will be forced to think about human dignity.

Personally I can’t wait for the sequel to be released.

Theodocia McLean endorses Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web by Mary Burton King. I reviewed this book on July 31, 2014.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime

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Author Mary Burton King Website Links:
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The Golden Hour by Kim McDougall

The-Golden-Hour-by-Kim-McDougallThis is not a romance. This is not the story of boy meets girl, boy wins girl. The Golden Hour goes beyond erotica and romance. Instead, it is an exploration of how sex defines us, particularly in those first years of sexual burgeoning when it is intoxicating and empowering. Sarah’s life has been defined by the men in it. Now she must learn to define herself or forever live in the past. The Golden Hour is a story of the greatest love of all.

Malek and Sarah have a passionate and destructive relationship. When fate and stubborn pride separates them for good, they promise to meet twenty years later in that exact hour at their favorite restaurant in Nice. At age 42, Sarah waits at the little cafe for her first love to appear in the falling afternoon light. Will Malek be the same mysterious man he was? Will he still want her? Will he even come? Her imagination is overwhelming as she remembers their dark and fiery past, and dreads the secret she must finally reveal.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

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Author Kim McDougall

Kim-Chatel-Kim-McDougall.jpg2Kim McDougall is an author, fiber artist and photographer with a BA in English Literature from Concordia University.

As co-founder of Castelane Inc, Kim has produced 400+ book trailer videos.

Kim writes for children under her married name, Kim Chatel. She has 6 children’s books in print, including the EPPIE Award-Winning, Rainbow Sheep.

Writing as Kim McDougall, her fiction crosses boundaries, from fantasy and romance into the literary. She draws from mythology, history and current events to build unique worlds and people them with characters she would love to know better. Sometimes, the bad guy steals the show.

Visit http://www.kimmcdougall.com to meet Kim’s unique characters. Beware. Some of them bite.

Featured Selection: Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall

Hibernaculum-by-Kim-McDougallSafari business is booming. Inside the Dome, people feast, create, laze. Most are content in the self-contained ecosystem.

The builders of the Dome are long dead. Their great-great-grandchildren keep telling of the Wild alive, but stories have rotted to mystery, then to legend.

A few discontents walk the perimeter of the Dome gazing into the horizon. They know the wheat fields, forests and mountains are fake. They all know.

The false vista is a comfort except to those who burn to know what truly lies beyond. Those find tiny holes, gaps in waste control and ventilation. Their defection endangers everyone and the Grand Duke vows to plug the holes with the bodies of deserters.

Still the Wild calls.

Includes 2 bonus tales: Luminari and Barbegazi.

Book Review: Post-apocalyptic thrillers like ‘Hibernaculum’ are science fiction or horror that has evolved from a global catastrophe.

Author Kim McDougall uses her descriptive writing skills along with a vivid imagination to draw her readers into a new world order within a self-contained ecosystem under a Dome. The problem is, humans have never been content to stay in one place or be told they can’t explore outside their own known existence. In one respect life under the Dome is no different from villages, town and cities throughout history where stories are passed down from generation to generation. However, the stories from under the Dome have morphed into legends that bring out thrill seekers.

As with any boundaries; cracks, leaks, holes, tunnels and even lines can be stretched when there is great financial reward. Cross is an exceptional coyote within the Safari business because he promises the ultimate “Wild” adventure to enthusiasts like Alex and Mindy.

I am so careful not to spoil the story, when I include a quote to show the authors style. Here is the quote that I selected.

“Soon the trees thinned. They stood in a vast desert of crumbled stone. Humidity blew in from the South, bringing scents of growing things.

“What’s that stench?” asked Mindy. “Smells like rot.”

Alex unbuttoned his shirt collar and wiped his face with a clean hankie.

“That must be the Santa Ana.” He thumbed through several screens on a Touch, looking for the entry. “Here it is. Santa Ana: a hot wind that emerges from the sun- baked Great Basin between the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains and pours into California.” He stumbled over an old tire, buried in the dirt. “Are we near California?”

“We’re in the Wild,” said Cross. “It’s all the same.”

“I bet it’s the Santa Ana. Look there are the mountains.” He pointed to a mound in the distance with the sun setting behind. A herd of sure-footed grazers clambered over the craggy mound, their awkward bodies silhouetted against the fading sky.

“Look!” Mindy gasped. “Beasts! Are they dangerous?”

“Only if you’re made of grass,” said Cross.

They stopped to watch the sun set. Arms linked, Mindy put her head on Alex’s shoulder.”

This seems tame enough, right? Allow Cross to take you along with Alex and Mindy into the Wild. Somethings you encounter along the way might seem predictable given your intelligence, but I assure you that somethings are unforeseen and unimaginable.

As a bonus the author includes two more short stories titled Luminari: For the Vampire that has everything and Barbegazi: When the White Death calls, who will answer?

Theodocia McLean endorses Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall as a sci-fi thriller. Kim is a diverse author with seven available published books found on Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on March 17, 2016.

Genre: Short Story Collection, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Sci-Fi Thriller

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Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain

Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain

‘Dobyns Chronicles’ starts out with a picture of an Indian Territory Map which I especially enjoyed looking at. This story gives the reader a true taste of what life was like in the 1890’s. The setting is in Chickasaw Territory, North East Texas and in Eastern Oklahoma.

Turning the page from this map to chapter one, line one, the reader is struck with “OLD AGE IS hell, but it’s something all of us have to go through” and shortly thereafter another line that reads “You never know what road life will lead you down. Pa told me when I was a little boy, “You just have to take a deep seat and hang on for the ride.” He sure told the truth.”

Vivid story telling with beautiful old lines like “the heavens opened up and let loose with one of those toad soakers” draws the reader into the time period. Truer than life characters that pull at the reader’s heart strings as their lives show the harshness and simplicity of times gone by. Shirley McLain’s characters like Charley have a strong sense of family, friends, community and faith which carries him from youth to being the matriarch of a large family leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Life in the 1890’s is based on survival off the land and animals like the pigs that provided food such as “crackling corn bread out of the fried cracklings”. This story will remind the reader what travel was like in horse draw wagons that took days to complete 85 miles. Days gone by with the children had three sets of clothes, work/pay clothes, school/street clothes and our Sunday best. Old time remedies like mudpacks to keep the mosquitoes off and the use of Indian herbal medicine. A time when death was only an arm’s length away due the circumstances of the times. A story of a young boy who is forced to become a man, a time when wages were $20.00 a month and a time where horses, buggies, trains, trolleys and carpetbags were of importance. Your will read great conversations, family letters and experience home, heart, love and a home birth produces a son that makes one man’s world complete.

Story telling is an art form and Shirley McLain is an artist. If you have any sense of history and/or had grandparents or someone older tell you stories than this book will make your heart skip a beat and your mind to go in places where it hasn’t been in while. This amazing family chronicle brought back memories for me growing up with an older generation that kept me spell bound by their stories. I have often thought as a society we have lost the art of storytelling. Shirley McLain has brought encouragement back to my soul. She did her historical research and has family stories of her own no doubt cleverly woven into this story.

Theodocia McLean endorses Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain as an inspiring historical fiction that will send chills up and down your spine, keep you glued to the pages and remind you of an era gone by that must not be forgotten. Review date September 2014.

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Author Mary Burton King

Mary-KingMary Burton King is a retired Navy officer and a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent who possesses over twenty years of law enforcement experience. Ms. King holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University (1986), and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Mississippi (1982).

She is the author of her memoir, ‘No Pot, No Window’, as well as the detective murder mysteries, ‘Fool Me Once and Fool Me Once, Final Resolution’. Her latest novel, a thriller entitled ‘Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web’, was released in March 2014.

Ms. King resides in Pataskala, Ohio, and is currently writing her second thriller novel, ‘The Dark Entity’. She anticipates publication early 2015.

Featured Selection: The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King

The-Dark-Entity-by-Mary-Burton-KingOn a cold winter’s night at a federal prison in East Texas, sixty-one year old Beatrice Belladonna Harlow, a sociopath, voodoo priestess, and convicted black widow serial killer on death row, is brutality murdered in her cell by two prison guards and her body secretly buried in the prison’s cemetery.
Beatrice’s murder initiated an eerie and dark chain of events. In life she was a voodoo priestess; therefore, she will live forever—that is her bestowed legacy. Yes, this voodoo priestess will indeed live forever, but not in her fleshy, earthly body, but as a spirit, an entity. Beatrice’s legacy is dependent upon one thing: another living human being, a host. Immediately upon death, her entity must enter the body of her chosen host. Thereafter, that unfortunate soul no longer has control of his thoughts or actions. And if that isn’t bad enough, a shocking physical metamorphosis takes place.
Years earlier, while sitting on death row, awaiting her execution, Beatrice used her time wisely. She had nothing but time; therefore, she spent countless hours planning every detail of her afterlife. She chose as her host her estranged, thankless, thirty-three-year-old adopted daughter, Lola Marie.
Thus, the night Beatrice was killed, Lola Marie was awakened from a deep sleep by a very bright yellow light floating over her bed. This bright yellow light was her mother’s spirit. In utter horror and unable to prevent what happened next, she watched that bizarre, bright yellow light enter her body. At first Lola Marie thought she was dreaming, but that was not the case. Her mother’s dark entity had just entered and taken control of her mind and soul. She was now possessed.
In the blink of an eye, Lola Marie unwillingly became her deceased mother’s evil puppet and is forced to perform bloody, vengeful, heinous acts for her, even murder. To ensure her daughter’s compliance, Beatrice uses an extremely painful but unique control mechanism, a tattoo. Lola Marie quickly finds herself trapped in her dead mother’s evil web with little hope of escape. Against all odds, can she find a way to free herself from her dead mother’s voodoo clutches? And if so, at what cost to her?
With a plot full of unexpected twists and turns, this high-energy, action-packed paranormal thriller will undoubtedly leave the reader spellbound and craving for more!

Book Review: The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King gives a new meaning to the word “revenge”.

What atrocities lay inside walls of federal prisons and what does it matter to the general population on the outside?

When death row inmate and serial killer Beatrice Belladonna Harlow is tortured and buried alive a short time before her scheduled execution, her spirit travels to the bedroom of her adoptive daughter Lola Marie. The bright yellow light of adoptive mother wakes Lola Marie from sleep. With the precision of her mother’s voodoo priestess spirit, Lola can’t stop the physical metamorphosis as Beatrice enters her body and becomes one with her.

Lola Marie’s Mexican beauty is over ridden by her American/Haitian adopted mother who had rescued her from an abusive orphanage when she was eight. Was this her punishment for ignoring her mother after she was convicted as a black widow serial killer?

Well-developed characters in this paranormal thriller will keep you turning the page as Beatrice possesses her daughter’s body and turns her life upside down with bloody thirsty revengeful energy of Voodoo magic.

Forced to participate in the horrors of Beatrice’s revenge, her legacy while not sealed in blood was sealed by adoption.

Sequel to Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, this standalone paranormal thriller is dedicated to the countless victims of human trafficking past and present.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King. Well researched Mary uses her education and over twenty years of law enforcement experience in the writing process. In addition to this book, please read Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, Fool Me Once, Fool Me Once: Final Resolution and No Pot, No Window. This review was completed on November 15, 2015.

Genre: Paranormal (Supernatural)

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Hypno-Scripts: Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal

Hypno-Scripts: Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal

Retired Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Mary Deal helps the reader understand the power on one’s subconscious. Quote: “A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of mind-self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book explains their similarities and defines each condition and accessibility. “If curious enough to at least pursue this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky You! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.”

Section One-Hypnosis speaks to the issues of unintentional Childhood Training-My Early Practices, using Inductions and Scripts and Terminology that the lay person needs to know. Quote: “Hypnosis: A technique to still the conscious mind activity of the analytical left brain. To protect us, the conscious mind, the left brain, censures all we receive, know, or transmit. Truth is cloaked in order that we may not be hurt by that which we do not understand or are not ready to comprehend or accept. Our conscious mind protects us from ourselves until we are ready to learn. It is the conscious mind we make quiet in order to access hypnosis.”

About half way through the book I learned something that I could put into immediate practice to lower my stress. I share with you an important quote from Dr. Andrew W. Weil, American medical doctor, teacher and best-selling author on holistic health says on an internet post: “People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to the count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen into your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short shallow gasps of air”.

This book deals with many topics. I found the Through The Gate: Problem Solving, Allergy Control, Tinnitus Reassignment, Immediate Stress Reduction and The Attic Trunk-Finding Your Gifts most enlightening.

Quotes of Interest from Section Two-Meditation:

“Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing.” by Dr. Joshua Kai, ND

“Mediation cannot be induced manually. It is the ability of the inner mind or soul when conditioned and trained correctly, and when conditions that prevent us from seeing our true nature are removed.”

It is my impression that whether you believe in Hypnosis or Meditation this book will show you ways to reduce stress and become more aware of your surroundings. Keep this Kindle reference book handy, learn from it and develop your own Hypno-Scripts.

I leave you with this thought from Mary, “Life may not be that joyous, but believing that it is moves you quickly to it becoming that way.”

Theodocia McLean endorses For Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation – by Mary Deal for her educated guidance with Hypno-Scripts and her concise writing ability that brings the subject into the readers grasp for self-help. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on August 1, 2015.

Author Mary Deal Amazon Author’s Page
Kindle Purchase Link

Author Mary Deal’s Current Published Books (in order of importance)
Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation
River Bones
The Howling Cliffs
Down to the Needle
The Ka
Legacy of the Tropics
Off Center in the Attic – Over the Top Stories
Write It Right – Tips for Authors – The Big Book
Write It Right – Tips for Authors, Vol. II
Write it Right – Tips for Authors, Vol. I

Author’s Websites:
http://www.writeanygenre.com
http://www.marydealfineart.com
http://www.islandimagegallery.com

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Author Shirley McLain

Shirley-McLainCalifornia-born Oklahoma raised, author Shirley McLain is a retired RN, enjoying her retirement in Sapulpa, Oklahoma writing poetry, short stories, and novels. She has seen much, not only in her travels but in her survey of the human heart as a nurse, and she comes to this historical fiction novel DOBYNS CHRONICLES with a sound sense of appreciation of the terrain of Texas and Oklahoma, the durability of the pioneer men and women about whom she writes, and a special appreciation for Native American history.

Shirley has a strong love of family both past and present. She is married to a wonderful man who spoils her and she loves it. She has two grown children, six grandchildren and twin great-grand sons. Her wish is to pass on this love of family and the land to her family, as it was passed down to her from her mother.

Shirley also has a fur family of four dogs and three cats. Andy is a Cocker, Angel a teacup poodle, Booker is a Yorkie, and Gus is a Pug/Shih Tzu She says it’s like living with a house full of three year olds. Two of the cats have been bottle raised and all three are short haired “whatever’s.” There’s never a dull or lonely moment. Someone is always into something.

Featured Selection: Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain

Dobyns-Chronicles-by-Shirley-McLainDobyns Chronicles is a captivating celebration of the life of Charlie Dobyns. His life began in northeast Texas near Bonham, on the Red River. His Cherokee mother and cowboy father strove to survive on their river valley ranch. Tragedy ended this way of life for Charlie in 1888. Follow him through Chickasaw Territory and on to McAlester in eastern Oklahoma.

This is a story of a changing way of life and adaptations made to survive. Charlie’s strong passion for life and dignity equipped him for survival as he raised his siblings with, likeability and dignity. It’s a story of loss, misfortune, hard times and heartbreak, but also love, determination, kindness, joy and spirituality.

Follow Charlie’s life through the adventures that shaped the man he became, and that of his family for generations.

Book Review: ‘Dobyns Chronicles’ starts out with a picture of an Indian Territory Map which I especially enjoyed looking at. This story gives the reader a true taste of what life was like in the 1890’s. The setting is in Chickasaw Territory, North East Texas and in Eastern Oklahoma.

Turning the page from this map to chapter one, line one, the reader is struck with “OLD AGE IS hell, but it’s something all of us have to go through” and shortly thereafter another line that reads “You never know what road life will lead you down. Pa told me when I was a little boy, “You just have to take a deep seat and hang on for the ride.” He sure told the truth.”

Vivid story telling with beautiful old lines like “the heavens opened up and let loose with one of those toad soakers” draws the reader into the time period. Truer than life characters that pull at the reader’s heart strings as their lives show the harshness and simplicity of times gone by. Shirley McLain’s characters like Charley have a strong sense of family, friends, community and faith which carries him from youth to being the matriarch of a large family leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Life in the 1890’s is based on survival off the land and animals like the pigs that provided food such as “crackling corn bread out of the fried cracklings”. This story will remind the reader what travel was like in horse draw wagons that took days to complete 85 miles. Days gone by with the children had three sets of clothes, work/pay clothes, school/street clothes and our Sunday best. Old time remedies like mudpacks to keep the mosquitoes off and the use of Indian herbal medicine. A time when death was only an arm’s length away due the circumstances of the times. A story of a young boy who is forced to become a man, a time when wages were $20.00 a month and a time where horses, buggies, trains, trolleys and carpetbags were of importance. Your will read great conversations, family letters and experience home, heart, love and a home birth produces a son that makes one man’s world complete.

Story telling is an art form and Shirley McLain is an artist. If you have any sense of history and/or had grandparents or someone older tell you stories than this book will make your heart skip a beat and your mind to go in places where it hasn’t been in while. This amazing family chronicle brought back memories for me growing up with an older generation that kept me spell bound by their stories. I have often thought as a society we have lost the art of storytelling. Shirley McLain has brought encouragement back to my soul. She did her historical research and has family stories of her own no doubt cleverly woven into this story.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man’ – by Shirley McLain as an inspiring historical fiction that will send chills up and down your spine, keep you glued to the pages and remind you of an era gone by that must not be forgotten. Review date September 2014.

Amazon Author’s Page

Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird

Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird

If your furry friend could journal, what adventure would be told?

In this charming story, a standard French Poodle named Digby begins his narrative by describing his homeland in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, southern Africa. He reminisces in a nostalgic way about his birth and early life with his mom and being part of a litter of five.

With both human and animal characters in this adventure the reader needs to be aware of doggy language usually kept private between furry friends. It is fun to mentally log the use of the dog’s conversation about human hands (paws) human man (two paws) and boys (young pups), etc. For an example I quote Digby. “Later that day I was sitting down at the bottom of the garden in front of the gate wishing it to open; I knew the young pups would not be back to clean the fish’s home for quite some time.”

A story for all ages as curiosity leads Digby beyond the gate. This adventure lends to new friends, danger, survival and heroism as these canines must work together with two young boys (pups) to rescue a kidnapped girl.

Author E. D. Bird uses the knowledge and love of furry friends to write this fast paced, hard to put down adventure that will warm the hearts of all animal lovers with an ending that will surprise you in keeping with the nature of Digby. I look forward to reading more adventures from Digby’s Diary in the future.

Theodocia McLean endorses Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird as an animal tale that gives a dog’s perspective of the world on the other side of the gate. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 18, 2015.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Contemporary

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Facebook Links:
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Author Mary Deal

12-03-10-9-HEADSHOT-RESIZEDMary Deal, a native of Walnut Grove in California’s Sacramento River Delta, now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was Founder and past President of Kauai Writer’s Roundtable. She is also an artist, photographer and former editor of a print magazine and newspaper columnist.

She is the author of six suspense novels: “The Tropics,” an adventure/suspense trilogy, “The Ka,” a paranormal Egyptian suspense, “River Bones,” a thriller that takes place in her childhood hometown area, “Down to the Needle,” a thriller, taking place along the West coast, “Legacy of the Tropics,” a re-write and expansion of The Tropics, and “The Howling Cliffs, a Sara Mason Mystery” and 1st sequel to the award winning River Bones. She has also published “Off Center in the Attic,” a collection of over-the-top short stories and flash fiction pieces. The eBooks, “Write it Right – Tips for Authors, Vol. I and Vol. II are nonfiction references for writers. “Write It Right – Tips for Authors – The Big Book” (a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards) brings both of the Write It Write eBooks together in paperback.

“River Bones” was a winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition and a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Books Awards. Her short story, “The Last This I Do” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Her mega-web site, www.WriteAnyGenre.com , is a valuable resource for writers. It covers topics from all creative writing to business writing, including interviews, writing samples and examples. Portions also cover other aspects of creativity, like artwork for books covers.

Featured Selection: Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal

The human mind is capable of miracles and people are finally opening to that fact. Or maybe they aren’t miracles at all. They only seem that way because for so long powers of the human mind have been denied.

Do you wish you had the power to become all that you can be? Discover your potential through unleashing the power of your mind. All good intentioned programming works best when you reach a deeper state of mind. The secret is in accessing those states through easy life-changing techniques presented here, in thoroughly explained examples.

A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of the mind – self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book will show their similarities, and define each condition and accessibility. If curious enough to at least peruse this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky you! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.

Many have tried to focus to learn either self-hypnosis or meditation and failed. Applied concentration and knowing what to expect once entranced may be what was missing. The instructions in this book are meant for those wishing to learn and use the techniques of self-hypnosis and/or meditation for self-improvement. Easy yet powerful scripts are provided to produce desired changes. You can change your life now!

Book Review: Retired Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Mary Deal helps the reader understand the power on one’s subconscious. Quote: “A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of mind-self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book explains their similarities and defines each condition and accessibility. “If curious enough to at least pursue this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky You! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.”

Section One-Hypnosis speaks to the issues of unintentional Childhood Training-My Early Practices, using Inductions and Scripts and Terminology that the lay person needs to know. Quote: “Hypnosis: A technique to still the conscious mind activity of the analytical left brain. To protect us, the conscious mind, the left brain, censures all we receive, know, or transmit. Truth is cloaked in order that we may not be hurt by that which we do not understand or are not ready to comprehend or accept. Our conscious mind protects us from ourselves until we are ready to learn. It is the conscious mind we make quiet in order to access hypnosis.”

About half way through the book I learned something that I could put into immediate practice to lower my stress. I share with you an important quote from Dr. Andrew W. Weil, American medical doctor, teacher and best-selling author on holistic health says on an internet post: “People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to the count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen into your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short shallow gasps of air”.

This book deals with many topics. I found the Through The Gate: Problem Solving, Allergy Control, Tinnitus Reassignment, Immediate Stress Reduction and The Attic Trunk-Finding Your Gifts most enlightening.

Quotes of Interest from Section Two-Meditation:

“Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing.” by Dr. Joshua Kai, ND

“Mediation cannot be induced manually. It is the ability of the inner mind or soul when conditioned and trained correctly, and when conditions that prevent us from seeing our true nature are removed.”

It is my impression that whether you believe in Hypnosis or Meditation this book will show you ways to reduce stress and become more aware of your surroundings. Keep this Kindle reference book handy, learn from it and develop your own Hypno-Scripts.

I leave you with this thought from Mary, “Life may not be that joyous, but believing that it is moves you quickly to it becoming that way.”

Theodocia McLean ndorses For Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal for her educated guidance with Hypno-Scripts and her concise writing ability that brings the subject into the readers grasp for self-help. I purchased this book through Kindle. This review was completed on August 1, 2015.

Amazon Author’s Page

Author E. D. Bird

E. D. BirdQuote: “I was born in Scotland during 1955 and married in 1975. My parents immigrated to Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia as it was then) in 1957 and I have lived here ever since. I have two adult sons, the eldest of whom lives in New Zealand while the youngest, who has provided me with two grandsons, resides in England. I was divorced during 1987, but remarried the same person on the 20th anniversary of our original wedding date and we remain together living happily in Bulawayo with our two rescue dogs.

I am an animal lover and have over the years had a variety of pets including horses, dogs and cats, but I have to admit that dogs are definitely my favourites and at one stage had eight different breeds in my household.

I worked for a firm of attorneys for thirteen years and during the final three of those I studied law by correspondence, but was forced to give up my lessons after my divorce when I returned to my parents and joined the family business, a gold mining enterprise. Having been brought up in a rural mining environment and having been primarily involved in mining almost my entire adult life I have a sound base for the fictional events I have created in my books.

My favourite pastime is writing, but I am also an avid reader.”

Featured Selection: Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird

A delightful adventure set in the African bushveld of Zimbabwe.

The tale revolves around a gang of clever animals and two very brave young boys who make a daring rescue. The reader journeys through a series of exciting exploits before the experience ends with a twist in the tail.

The story is told by Digby, a standard French Poodle, using his very own style of writing.

Book Review: If your furry friend could journal, what adventure would be told?

In this charming story, a standard French Poodle named Digby begins his narrative by describing his homeland in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, southern Africa. He reminisces in a nostalgic way about his birth and early life with his mom and being part of a litter of five.

With both human and animal characters in this adventure the reader needs to be aware of doggy language usually kept private between furry friends. It is fun to mentally log the use of the dog’s conversation about human hands (paws) human man (two paws) and boys (young pups), etc. For an example I quote Digby. “Later that day I was sitting down at the bottom of the garden in front of the gate wishing it to open; I knew the young pups would not be back to clean the fish’s home for quite some time.”

A story for all ages as curiosity leads Digby beyond the gate. This adventure lends to new friends, danger, survival and heroism as these canines must work together with two young boys (pups) to rescue a kidnapped girl.

Author E. D. Bird uses the knowledge and love of furry friends to write this fast paced, hard to put down adventure that will warm the hearts of all animal lovers with an ending that will surprise you in keeping with the nature of Digby. I look forward to reading more adventures from Digby’s Diary in the future.

Theodocia McLean endorses Digby’s Diary by E. D. Bird as an animal tale that gives a dog’s perspective of the world on the other side of the gate. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 18, 2015.

Genre: Action & Adventure

Amazon Author’s Page

The Killing Depths by Martin Roy Hill

A killer lurks beneath the waves of the western Pacific Ocean.

The USS Encinitas, the first attack submarine crewed by both men and women, stalks the Crescent Moon, a renegade Iranian sub armed with nuclear-tipped missiles.

But another predator hides aboard the American sub, a murderer who has already left a trail of dead women behind on shore.

While the crew of the Encinitas plays a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the Crescent Moon, NCIS investigator Linus Schag must discover the killer’s identity before his – or her – blood lust leads to the submarine’s total destruction.

“a non-stop thrilling adventure.” (Mallory Hearts Review)

Amazon

The Touch Of A Shadow by Cheri Vause

Just as Esther Charlemagne has discovered happiness with her partner and now husband, Aiden ‘Mac’ McManus, a grisly killer from a murder case which the couple worked five years earlier, in 1959, returns to threaten her.

For their own protection, the FBI flies Esther and Mac, together with others involved in the case to a remote safe house and Esther is forced to face what happened on that fateful day, five years ago.

Although it’s the last thing she wants to do, she finds herself recalling every detail of the case, as the US Attorney deposes each witness and, knowing that the murderer has unlimited resources and has vowed to kill his beloved Esther, Mac decides leave his wife in the safe hands of the FBI and to find the killer before he has a chance to reach her.

Amazon

Moragh, Holly’s Ghost – by Maggie Tideswell

Moragh, Holly’s Ghost – by Maggie Tideswell

A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, a custody battle that cannot be won and a haunting – could love blossom? Set in the beautiful wine lands of the southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Ghosts, Romance, Audible Books, Paranormal

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Dark Moon – by Maggie Tideswell

Dark Moon – by Maggie Tideswell

A spellbinding novel of love, murder, and the supernatural.

Chance meetings can have far-reaching effects. Loved ones may not be who they seem. The line between comprehension and confusion is thin ~ particularly when one’s thoughts are being manipulated by another.

In Dark Moon, the eternal triangle takes an innovative twist into the occult as dark magic fights against those who serve the Light.

The prize? A woman’s soul.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Occult, Audible Audio Books, Romance

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You’re Wrong: A Passionate Paranormal Romance (Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 3) by Maggie Tideswell

You’re Wrong: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 3) by Maggie Tideswell

Assumptions are invariably incorrect. Yet, people will stick with what they believe. Just as Rubi believed herself to be married for six years, until it was proven that she’d never been married at all. Finding herself a free agent again after years of waiting for her elusive husband, Rubi needed a man.

Upset by the echoes of her sordid past, Nathan walked into her life at precisely the right moment. Handsome, hot, and gay, he could only be a temporary distraction, or so she assumed. But what she didn’t take into account was that Nathan might have other plans for her. Even so, she wanted the real thing—a relationship, stability, and love—and Nathan couldn’t give that to her. Or so she assumed.

To prove her wrong about him, he abducted her and took her to the place where they first met, at Dane and Eloise’s wedding the week before. Back at the lodge, they find themselves in the same haunted room. Between the ghosts and Rubi’s insistence that he is gay, would Nathan succeed in changing her perception of him?

To add to her doubts, there’s also the matter of a certain secret he’s not ready to share.

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

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He’s Married: A Passionate Paranormal Romance (Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 2) by Maggie Tideswell

He’s Married: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 2) by Maggie Tideswell

Eloise had the wedding of her dreams—all arranged and finalized within a month.

Now that the wedding night was upon her, her fears reared their ugly heads. Dane, her new husband was really a stranger to her. In hindsight, Eloise realized she shouldn’t have insisted they wait for their wedding night to have sex. It wasn’t that she was inordinately traditional, only that Dane should have been given a choice in the matter.

Because Eloise had a secret.

Dane and Eloise left for the beautiful Maldives on a two week honeymoon. In this idyllic setting, life threw her a curve ball.

Because Dane had a secret, too.

She would have put up with a number of things, but this particular secret could shatter her belief in fairytale weddings.

How was she supposed to deal with another wife?

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Erotica

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Runaway Couple: A Passionate Paranormal Romance (Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

Runaway Couple: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

It is said that the maid of honor and the best man are the most likely to have sex on a wedding night. Add a love-hate relationship and throw a couple of ghosts into the mix, and you have the runaway couple.

Eloise chose a Gothic themed wedding for her and Dane, complete with remote setting, flickering candles, flaming torches and shadows, all geared toward scaring the guests. The stormy weather and swirling mists were a bonus.

But the person most scared is the maid of honor, the bride’s elder sister, Piper. She didn’t do creep. Added to that, she’s been lumped together with Marcus, the best man and the bane of Piper’s teenage life. He was a prankster of renown when they were growing up. As the boy-next-door, he singled Piper out for the best he could come up with. She didn’t trust him then, and she certainly didn’t trust him now.

As the runaway couple, will they follow the traditional path? Or will Piper’s dislike and mistrust of Marcus win out?

Set in South Africa, the Runaway Couple is the first book in a set of steamy romances about bridesmaids, weddings and honeymoons that will appeal to the young and the young at heart alike.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Paranormal

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A Convenient Marriage: A Paranormal Romance (The Moragh Saga Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

A Convenient Marriage: A Paranormal Romance
(The Moragh Saga Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, and a haunting—can love blossom? Set in the beautiful winelands of the Southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepts Joshua’s offer of marriage—in response to an advert placed in the newspaper by Holly’s ‘helpful’ friends. They meet for the first time on the steps of the chapel where they are to be married.

Holly has to solve a thirty-year-old mystery before the ghost that is haunting her will be at peace. Over and above everything that is taking place, Holly and Joshua do battle with her ex-husband over their two children, as well as Joshua’s fiancée who is not the least bit happy about his marriage to another woman and gets up to all sorts to show her displeasure.

Risky as the marriage between strangers is—is it possible for Holly and Joshua to fall in love?

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Horror

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Author Maggie Tideswell

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Maggie Tideswell

Maggie Tideswell is a South African author with a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, even the birds and the bees are doing it. Ghosts just can’t seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can’t be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.

Maggie just can’t do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time. The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them. That might change soon.

Cold Coffee Press Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from South Africa? I’m a South African author – and believe me, there are many of us! To the world, South Africa is a unique and exotic place to visit and I like to bring a bit of the beauty of my country and the diversity of the population to the world in my books. I write from a South African perspective in that my stories are set in my home country, which gives me a unique voice readers have commented positively on.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? The love of books. As a young child I was fascinated by the idea that someone sat down and wrote so many words to tell a story. >From early on I was always thinking up stories of my own, but it was only when I was in my 40s (2002) that I thought to actually write then down. I still love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper, the solidity of it.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. I grew up protestant and at the age of 16 shocked the family when I wanted to become a Nun. I did convert to Catholicism after I left school and later became interested in the Craft and Paganism, which plays a large part in my writing.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I started writing in 2002. I remember the day well. I was working in catering on a weekend and, because there was nothing for me to do, I started typing a scene on work’s computer. I rushed home after my shift and wrote another scene. I gave it the title of An Absolute Bargain, which grew into Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. I suppose from the beginning I had an eye on becoming a published author, but I didn’t know how to go about getting published. It wasn’t until 2011, after writing 7 more full novels that my dream became a reality. I actually published my 2nd novel, Dark Moon, first.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Holding my first published book in my hands. It was a profound moment complete with tears, racing heart and sweaty palms.

How many published books do you have? 9 of which 3 are out of print

Please list the titles of all your books:

Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series
1) Runaway Couple
2) He’s Married
3) You’re Wrong
2 more books to come in this series

Moragh’s Ghost Saga
1) A Convenient Marriage
2 more books to come in this series

Roxanne’s Ghost Saga
1) Goodbye, My Love
2) PS: I Love You – out 23 October

Moragh, Holly’s Ghost I self-published under the title A Convenient Marriage when the contract ended and the rights reverted back to me, so I’m not promoting Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. Dark Moon’s rights also reverted to me when the contract ended and is now a duology titled JJ: book 1- True Colors and book 2 – Unleashed. I am self-publishing then next year March and May. I have the covers ready if you’d like to add them to the website in a Soon to be Released section? Oh, and Silent Night, a fantasy novella set at Christmas time – it doesn’t have a Christmas theme. I withdrew this book because I want to work on it. I want to work it into full-length book.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal (ghost) romance. I always specify that hauntings play a large part in my stories as opposed to what people normally expect paranormal to mean – vampires, zombies, creatures with tentacles and many rows of teeth. Ghosts create a fear of what cannot be seen – and let’s face it, everyone likes to be scared. Doors creaking open, sounds there are no explanation for, these are the stuff of true goose bumps. I am fascinated by ghosts, why some people rest in peace after death and others not. I’ve made a study of the different types of hauntings. Sometimes there is no way of interacting with a ghost as their appearance is more like a recording of a past event that merely plays over and over again in a specific place. The ghost in A Convenient Marriage is mostly this kind. Poltergeists – noisy ghosts – throws things around, slams doors and can interact with the living – the ghost in Roxanne’s Ghost Saga.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? My advice is two-fold: write every day and Never give up. Writing is a craft that has to be practiced to be perfected. By writing every day, be it a blog post, an article or work on your WIP, you practice your own individual writing style to become good at it. And the second part, if we had to go weak in the knees under criticism, not books will ever be written. Always bear in mind what you write won’t appeal to everyone, but for every story there IS an audience. Therefore, never give up your dream – it is achievable.

Who is your favorite author and why? I enjoy Barbara Erskine’s books, because she writes similar stories to mine – set in the present but going back in time.

Goodbye, My Love (Roxanne’s Ghost Saga Book 1)
by Maggie Tideswell

A love that cannot be denied ~ and a love that cannot be. Who will win? It’s only a matter of time.

Jessica James needs a new job and her only prospect as a nanny is with a remotely located veterinarian who only wants a “mature” candidate. But youthful Jess has faced tougher challenges, and she is determined to show the very handsome yet rude widower that she is the perfect choice to care for his autistic 4-year-old daughter, no matter how much he scowls.

Dr. Ben Arnold is still grieving, and not only about the recent death of his beautiful wife. He is still coping with the knowledge his profound love for her was unreciprocated. The demands of working and taking care of Amber, his autistic young daughter, have Ben overwhelmed and the last thing he needs is an insanely strong physical reaction to a nanny who is the first to seem to connect with his beloved delicate daughter – and the last he thinks he can handle in his life.

Jess is an unseasonal storm to suddenly sweep through Ben’s life, and may be the balm he needs. While strange occurrences all around them defy answers and explanations, the unexpected arrival of Ben’s late wife’s sisters, including her identical twin, on the one-year anniversary of her death does nothing to help dispel the intense and instant desire between Jess and Ben – and Jess’ glimpses of a life long past only adds to the surreal sense of the estate called Weltevreden.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell starts with a poem titled Goodbye My Love by Demis Roussos.

Chapter one opens with main character (heroine) Jessica James standing outside a spooky deserted house on Friday the 13th with lightening flashing in the distance. She was there to meet Amber who lives in her own autistic world and consider becoming her next caretaker.

With strong characters and twenty eight well written chapters the reader is engaged when an elderly woman comes to the door. Jumping ahead to chapter eight Jessica (Jess) was nearly killed when a huge chandelier crashed to the floor just missing her. What else would this old house scare up and why?

Here is a brief example of Maggie’s writing style. “The blue light of daybreak was just beginning to lift the gloom in the room, yet Jess was already bathed and dressed, her face shining without makeup. She had to finger comb her hair again, leaving it fluffy and wild, framing her face. When she pulled the drapes aside, she was greeted by a breathtaking sight. The mountains, a deep, crisp blue in the early light, looked almost close enough to touch.

But she was exhausted. If that was what Friday the thirteenth was like, she would avoid the next one by spending the day in bed with a book and her phone switched off. Yet she knew there had to be a perfectly logical explanation for everything that happened, and she was going to find it before she left this strange house. If she didn’t, she would be wondering about it forever.”

If you enjoy romance, time Travel, paranormal and ghosts, like me you will find it a suspenseful and satisfying read. Maggie is a well-established paranormal romance writer with the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series, Moragh’s Ghost Saga (series) and the Roxanne’s Ghost Saga (series).

I invite you to open the door and keep turning the page. I leave you with this quote titled Friday, 13 November by Soraya: “To my candle burning bright Protect my secret here tonight None shall listen, none shall see Just the candle flame and me”.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse and encourage you to enjoy Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 2, 2017.

Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Paranormal, Ghosts

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A Convenient Marriage: A Paranormal Romance
(The Moragh Saga Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, and a haunting—can love blossom? Set in the beautiful winelands of the Southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepts Joshua’s offer of marriage—in response to an advert placed in the newspaper by Holly’s ‘helpful’ friends. They meet for the first time on the steps of the chapel where they are to be married.

Holly has to solve a thirty-year-old mystery before the ghost that is haunting her will be at peace. Over and above everything that is taking place, Holly and Joshua do battle with her ex-husband over their two children, as well as Joshua’s fiancée who is not the least bit happy about his marriage to another woman and gets up to all sorts to show her displeasure.

Risky as the marriage between strangers is—is it possible for Holly and Joshua to fall in love?

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Horror

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Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series
Runaway Couple
He’s Married
You’re Wrong
2 more books to come in this series

Runaway Couple: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

It is said that the maid of honor and the best man are the most likely to have sex on a wedding night. Add a love-hate relationship and throw a couple of ghosts into the mix, and you have the runaway couple.

Eloise chose a Gothic themed wedding for her and Dane, complete with remote setting, flickering candles, flaming torches and shadows, all geared toward scaring the guests. The stormy weather and swirling mists were a bonus.

But the person most scared is the maid of honor, the bride’s elder sister, Piper. She didn’t do creep. Added to that, she’s been lumped together with Marcus, the best man and the bane of Piper’s teenage life. He was a prankster of renown when they were growing up. As the boy-next-door, he singled Piper out for the best he could come up with. She didn’t trust him then, and she certainly didn’t trust him now.

As the runaway couple, will they follow the traditional path? Or will Piper’s dislike and mistrust of Marcus win out?

Set in South Africa, the Runaway Couple is the first book in a set of steamy romances about bridesmaids, weddings and honeymoons that will appeal to the young and the young at heart alike.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Paranormal

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He’s Married: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 2) by Maggie Tideswell

Eloise had the wedding of her dreams—all arranged and finalized within a month.

Now that the wedding night was upon her, her fears reared their ugly heads. Dane, her new husband was really a stranger to her. In hindsight, Eloise realized she shouldn’t have insisted they wait for their wedding night to have sex. It wasn’t that she was inordinately traditional, only that Dane should have been given a choice in the matter.

Because Eloise had a secret.

Dane and Eloise left for the beautiful Maldives on a two week honeymoon. In this idyllic setting, life threw her a curve ball.

Because Dane had a secret, too.

She would have put up with a number of things, but this particular secret could shatter her belief in fairytale weddings.

How was she supposed to deal with another wife?

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Erotica, Paranormal

Amazon Customer Reviews
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You’re Wrong: A Passionate Paranormal Romance
(Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Book 3) by Maggie Tideswell

Assumptions are invariably incorrect. Yet, people will stick with what they believe. Just as Rubi believed herself to be married for six years, until it was proven that she’d never been married at all. Finding herself a free agent again after years of waiting for her elusive husband, Rubi needed a man.

Upset by the echoes of her sordid past, Nathan walked into her life at precisely the right moment. Handsome, hot, and gay, he could only be a temporary distraction, or so she assumed. But what she didn’t take into account was that Nathan might have other plans for her. Even so, she wanted the real thing—a relationship, stability, and love—and Nathan couldn’t give that to her. Or so she assumed.

To prove her wrong about him, he abducted her and took her to the place where they first met, at Dane and Eloise’s wedding the week before. Back at the lodge, they find themselves in the same haunted room. Between the ghosts and Rubi’s insistence that he is gay, would Nathan succeed in changing her perception of him?

To add to her doubts, there’s also the matter of a certain secret he’s not ready to share.

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Dark Moon – by Maggie Tideswell

A spellbinding novel of love, murder, and the supernatural.

Chance meetings can have far-reaching effects. Loved ones may not be who they seem. The line between comprehension and confusion is thin ~ particularly when one’s thoughts are being manipulated by another.

In Dark Moon, the eternal triangle takes an innovative twist into the occult as dark magic fights against those who serve the Light.

The prize? A woman’s soul.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Occult, Audible Audio Books, Romance

 

 Amazon Customer Reviews
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Moragh, Holly’s Ghost – by Maggie Tideswell

A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, a custody battle that cannot be won and a haunting – could love blossom? Set in the beautiful wine lands of the southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Ghosts, Romance, Audible Books, Paranormal

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Kindle
Audiobook – Unabridged

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Goodbye, My Love (Roxanne’s Ghost Saga Book 1) by Maggie Tideswell

Goodbye, My Love (Roxanne’s Ghost Saga Book 1)
by Maggie Tideswell

A love that cannot be denied ~ and a love that cannot be. Who will win? It’s only a matter of time.

Jessica James needs a new job and her only prospect as a nanny is with a remotely located veterinarian who only wants a “mature” candidate. But youthful Jess has faced tougher challenges, and she is determined to show the very handsome yet rude widower that she is the perfect choice to care for his autistic 4-year-old daughter, no matter how much he scowls.

Dr. Ben Arnold is still grieving, and not only about the recent death of his beautiful wife. He is still coping with the knowledge his profound love for her was unreciprocated. The demands of working and taking care of Amber, his autistic young daughter, have Ben overwhelmed and the last thing he needs is an insanely strong physical reaction to a nanny who is the first to seem to connect with his beloved delicate daughter – and the last he thinks he can handle in his life.

Jess is an unseasonal storm to suddenly sweep through Ben’s life, and may be the balm he needs. While strange occurrences all around them defy answers and explanations, the unexpected arrival of Ben’s late wife’s sisters, including her identical twin, on the one-year anniversary of her death does nothing to help dispel the intense and instant desire between Jess and Ben – and Jess’ glimpses of a life long past only adds to the surreal sense of the estate called Weltevreden.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell starts with a poem titled Goodbye My Love by Demis Roussos.

Chapter one opens with main character (heroine) Jessica James standing outside a spooky deserted house on Friday the 13th with lightening flashing in the distance. She was there to meet Amber who lives in her own autistic world and consider becoming her next caretaker.

With strong characters and twenty eight well written chapters the reader is engaged when an elderly woman comes to the door. Jumping ahead to chapter eight Jessica (Jess) was nearly killed when a huge chandelier crashed to the floor just missing her. What else would this old house scare up and why?

Here is a brief example of Maggie’s writing style. “The blue light of daybreak was just beginning to lift the gloom in the room, yet Jess was already bathed and dressed, her face shining without makeup. She had to finger comb her hair again, leaving it fluffy and wild, framing her face. When she pulled the drapes aside, she was greeted by a breathtaking sight. The mountains, a deep, crisp blue in the early light, looked almost close enough to touch.

But she was exhausted. If that was what Friday the thirteenth was like, she would avoid the next one by spending the day in bed with a book and her phone switched off. Yet she knew there had to be a perfectly logical explanation for everything that happened, and she was going to find it before she left this strange house. If she didn’t, she would be wondering about it forever.”

If you enjoy romance, time Travel, paranormal and ghosts, like me you will find it a suspenseful and satisfying read. Maggie is a well-established paranormal romance writer with the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series, Moragh’s Ghost Saga (series) and the Roxanne’s Ghost Saga (series).

I invite you to open the door and keep turning the page. I leave you with this quote titled Friday, 13 November by Soraya: “To my candle burning bright Protect my secret here tonight None shall listen, none shall see Just the candle flame and me”.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse and encourage you to enjoy Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 2, 2017.

Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Paranormal, Ghosts

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Kindle

*************************

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Something True by M.D. Wiselka

Something-True-by-M.D.-WiselkaWhen fifty-eight-year-old Mark Etson learns he has an inoperable brain tumor, he struggles to find a way to tell his beloved wife of forty years that he must soon leave her. But before he can share the bad news, she tells him she is leaving him for another man. Mark selflessly gives her the divorce she demands. Wanting to reconnect with his siblings, from whom he has been long estranged, Mark travels to London for the Christmas holiday, but too much time has passed. After a few days, he realizes that his dream of reconciliation with his family is just that–a dream. Unwilling to return home to Toronto, Mark moves on to Paris, where he intends to spend the last few days of his life seeing a city he had once planned to visit with a dear friend.

Twenty-six-year-old Ashley Wilkes came to Paris eight years before with a friend, intent on making a life for himself far from the family who disowned him. He soon learned, however, the high cost of living in a foreign capitol. With no friend except the one he came with, Ashley was forced to make a life for himself the only way he could. Knowing that he can’t go on this way forever, or even for much longer, Ashley plans his escape. When a chance encounter with a Canadian businessman offers him a means of making some quick cash, he jumps at the chance. It’s only when he starts to care about Mark that things get complicated.

Publisher’s Note: Something True is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Gay & Lesbian

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Author M. D. Wiselka

M.-D.-WiselkaWriting under the nom de plume M. D. Wiselka, Melinda Wiselka is the oldest of four daughters and one of the numerous descendants of a Polish family who immigrated from Wisła, Poland in 1913 to farm in Big Horn, Wyoming.

Melinda has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia over the last decade, visiting, among other places, Warsaw, Poland, the setting of her debut novel, a gay historical romance titled Beautiful to Behold, the first book in the Dark Brethren Series, released in November 2013.

Her second book, a gay paranormal romance titled Darkness Falls, the second book in the Dark Brethren Series, will be released in 2014.

Featured Selection: Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M. D. Wiselka

Beautiful-to-Behold-The-Dark-Brethren-Series-Book-1Star-crossed lovers struggle to survive the German invasion of Poland at the opening of the Second World War.
Since childhood, twenty-four-year-old Owen Linet has been plagued by bad dreams, or rather the same bad dream, of a man called Hector, who claims to be dead. Hector possesses a strange black cloak on which is stitched a series of golden symbols—“Words” that Hector, their “bearer”, claims have miraculous powers when spoken. Hector gifts a Word to Owen—one that he claims can not only take life, but also restore it.

Twenty-two-year-old Polish partisan, Jacek Tarasek, is ordered to follow a suspicious foreigner, a British artist named Owen Linet, who closely resembles a man from Jacek’s past—someone Jacek would just as soon forget. Jacek’s worst fears are soon realized when he learns that Owen is not only his avowed enemy, but something infinitely worse—a devil in human form, with the power to take life with a mere word. When Jacek can’t bring himself to destroy the man with whom he is falling deeply in love, he is forced to confront his flawed understanding of good and evil.

Publisher’s Note: Beautiful to Behold is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Book Review: The author of ‘Beautiful to Behold’ writes under the nom de plume (pen name) M. D. Wiselka. This 728 page book takes place at the beginning of WWII, just as Poland is first invaded and is the first in a series.

Instead of a Table of Contents the author has chosen to use Sections (parts) with titles. Each section has title, location, with a date and occasionally the actual time and sometimes the season of the year. This book is actually a mixture of genres including fiction, historical reference, war, gay romance with some paranormal undertones.

Each section follows a well-defined narrative format with easy-to-follow conversations. There are many unique complex characters like British artist Owen Linet who has been tormented by bad dreams. The author’s extensive travel throughout Europe and research into descendants from Poland who later immigrated to the US in 1913 has greatly influenced the setting and story line.

This avid reader would not have typically picked up this book to read, but interestingly I found that the story line held my attention. Although this book comes with an adult content warning due to gay (male-male) romance and adult language I did not find it crude or offensive. The sex is intense, but not overly explicit and the romance is touching and realistic. The author tells a story and within this story weaves a romance.

Like with all my reviews I am careful not to spoil the read. However, I always quote one or two portions from the book that catches my attention in hopes to give the potential reader a sense of this author’s writing style. Early on in the book this line from a main character caught my attention. “Sooner or later, your past catches up with you. His was sitting three rows back from him in a darkened theater, sipping soda noisily through a paper-straw.”

Descriptive excerpt quote from the book: “Owen turned to look out the rain streaked window. Mother was still standing alone beneath the metal awning, her shawl drawn tightly about her hunched shoulders, a brave, if false, smile on her face, which made Owen if not quite regret his decision to go with Dad, once more question the wisdom of it. But she would have Ned and Lily to keep her company, and he could come home any time it pleased him, if he found Warsaw didn’t suit him, if his mother needed him. He lifted a hand to wave to her as the aero plane began to slowly taxi down the runway. Her face was a smear of warm light in the dreary rain, soon gone as the aero plane sped away. Dad looked at him. Owen smiled sympathetically. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

A thought on war excerpt from the book: “Jacek had never considered their odds in the light of dry statistics. Had someone told him that the German army was five times the size of the Polish army, that it had twenty times the number of planes, tanks and guns, he would have said, without hesitation, “but we will still win.” He would have said it with conviction, because he believed wars were not won with planes or tanks or guns, but with spirit. Our cause is a noble one. We are in the right. God is on our side, and with God’s help, we will triumph against the Germans, just as we did against the Russians twenty years ago. The keystone of his faith—the justness of his cause. We can’t lose, because we’re the good guys, and the good guys never lose.”

A taste of supernatural excerpt from the book: “Most bearers went the whole of their long existence without once attempting to merge themselves with another, mortal or brethren—and for good reason. Only the most skillful of bearers could do it without leaving some taint of himself in the spirit with which he merged, and, in turn, taking some part of that spirit’s nature as his own. Owen wouldn’t have ventured to attempt it, if he hadn’t had a good deal of practice. It was one “trick of the trade” that Hector, for reasons of his own, had invested a great deal of time in teaching to Owen.”

A snippet of romance excerpt from the book: Jacek let Owen guide him to the bed. He nestled against Owen’s chest, savoring the warmth of his naked body. His drooping eyelids sank shut, quite unwillingly, as he laid his head on Owen’s shoulder. This was something new, something unknown to him. His fantasy Owen, and all the other nameless lovers he’d taken in the darkness of his flat, had never wanted to be with him afterward. They had fled like evil spirits at the words of his prayer. Leave me, devils. I cast you out. I reject you and all your evil promises. “Feels so strange,” he murmured.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka for the author’s ability to tell the story with detail and human reflection. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on June 9, 2015.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Historical/Gay & Lesbian

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Darkness Falls (The Dark Brethren Series Book 2) by M.D. Wiselka

Darkness-Falls-The-Dark-Brethren-Series-Book-2One hundred and fifty years have passed since his crossing, but the bearer, a man once known as Owen Adler, has yet to find a way of restoring himself to the life he lost and the man he loved. When his great lord and master, Seker, offers him his freedom in exchange for his aid in punishing a disobedient servant, Owen, believing he has nothing to lose and everything to gain, seizes the opportunity.

An Elder bearer called Melek, exiled a century before for an act of treachery, will soon return to his exalted place in Master Seker’s court. Before he does, Master Seker wishes Melek to be humbled before his brethren lords for his sin. To this end, Owen, assuming Melek’s guise, appears before the lords of the Hour a humble penitent. In the ninety days remaining him before his return to court, Owen, in Melek’s guise, vows to prove himself worthy of his office or return voluntarily to exile for another century.

To secure his freedom, Owen must survive the ninety days in Melek’s guise without being exposed a fraud. No easy task, now he can count, among his many enemies, the offended Lord Melek, a ruthless and vindictive monster who’ll stop at nothing to punish Owen and the ones he loves.

But the greatest danger of all may be Owen himself. To outwit the devilish fiend that would take his life, he must become a devil himself. Even if he succeeds in at last wresting his freedom from his cunning master, will Owen ever again be the man he was when last he held his beloved Jacek in his arms?

Publisher’s Note: Darkness Falls is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Gay & Lesbian

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Author’s Page

Beautiful To Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka

Beautiful-to-Behold-The-Dark-Brethren-Series-Book-1Star-crossed lovers struggle to survive the German invasion of Poland at the opening of the Second World War.

Since childhood, twenty-four-year-old Owen Linet has been plagued by bad dreams, or rather the same bad dream, of a man called Hector, who claims to be dead. Hector possesses a strange black cloak on which is stitched a series of golden symbols—“Words” that Hector, their “bearer”, claims have miraculous powers when spoken. Hector gifts a Word to Owen—one that he claims can not only take life, but also restore it.

Twenty-two-year-old Polish partisan, Jacek Tarasek, is ordered to follow a suspicious foreigner, a British artist named Owen Linet, who closely resembles a man from Jacek’s past—someone Jacek would just as soon forget. Jacek’s worst fears are soon realized when he learns that Owen is not only his avowed enemy, but something infinitely worse—a devil in human form, with the power to take life with a mere word. When Jacek can’t bring himself to destroy the man with whom he is falling deeply in love, he is forced to confront his flawed understanding of good and evil.

Publisher’s Note: Beautiful to Behold is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.

Book Review

The author of ‘Beautiful to Behold’ writes under the nom de plume (pen name) M.D. Wiselka. This 728 page book takes place at the beginning of WWII, just as Poland is first invaded and is the first in a series.

Instead of a Table of Contents the author has chosen to use Sections (parts) with titles. Each section has title, location, with a date and occasionally the actual time and sometimes the season of the year. This book is actually a mixture of genres including fiction, historical reference, war, gay romance with some paranormal undertones.

Each section follows a well-defined narrative format with easy-to-follow conversations. There are many unique complex characters like British artist Owen Linet who has been tormented by bad dreams. The author’s extensive travel throughout Europe and research into descendants from Poland who later immigrated to the US in 1913 has greatly influenced the setting and story line.

This avid reader would not have typically picked up this book to read, but interestingly I found that the story line held my attention. Although this book comes with an adult content warning due to gay (male-male) romance and adult language I did not find it crude or offensive. The sex is intense, but not overly explicit and the romance is touching and realistic. The author tells a story and within this story weaves a romance.

Like with all my reviews I am careful not to spoil the read. However, I always quote one or two portions from the book that catches my attention in hopes to give the potential reader a sense of this author’s writing style. Early on in the book this line from a main character caught my attention. “Sooner or later, your past catches up with you. His was sitting three rows back from him in a darkened theater, sipping soda noisily through a paper-straw.”

Descriptive excerpt quote from the book: “Owen turned to look out the rain streaked window. Mother was still standing alone beneath the metal awning, her shawl drawn tightly about her hunched shoulders, a brave, if false, smile on her face, which made Owen if not quite regret his decision to go with Dad, once more question the wisdom of it. But she would have Ned and Lily to keep her company, and he could come home any time it pleased him, if he found Warsaw didn’t suit him, if his mother needed him. He lifted a hand to wave to her as the aero plane began to slowly taxi down the runway. Her face was a smear of warm light in the dreary rain, soon gone as the aero plane sped away. Dad looked at him. Owen smiled sympathetically. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

A thought on war excerpt from the book: “Jacek had never considered their odds in the light of dry statistics. Had someone told him that the German army was five times the size of the Polish army, that it had twenty times the number of planes, tanks and guns, he would have said, without hesitation, “but we will still win.” He would have said it with conviction, because he believed wars were not won with planes or tanks or guns, but with spirit. Our cause is a noble one. We are in the right. God is on our side, and with God’s help, we will triumph against the Germans, just as we did against the Russians twenty years ago. The keystone of his faith—the justness of his cause. We can’t lose, because we’re the good guys, and the good guys never lose.”

A taste of supernatural excerpt from the book: “Most bearers went the whole of their long existence without once attempting to merge themselves with another, mortal or brethren—and for good reason. Only the most skillful of bearers could do it without leaving some taint of himself in the spirit with which he merged, and, in turn, taking some part of that spirit’s nature as his own. Owen wouldn’t have ventured to attempt it, if he hadn’t had a good deal of practice. It was one “trick of the trade” that Hector, for reasons of his own, had invested a great deal of time in teaching to Owen.”

A snippet of romance excerpt from the book: Jacek let Owen guide him to the bed. He nestled against Owen’s chest, savoring the warmth of his naked body. His drooping eyelids sank shut, quite unwillingly, as he laid his head on Owen’s shoulder. This was something new, something unknown to him. His fantasy Owen, and all the other nameless lovers he’d taken in the darkness of his flat, had never wanted to be with him afterward. They had fled like evil spirits at the words of his prayer. Leave me, devils. I cast you out. I reject you and all your evil promises. “Feels so strange,” he murmured.”

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Beautiful to Behold’ (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka for the author’s ability to tell the story with detail and human reflection. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on June 9, 2015.

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance/Historical/Gay & Lesbian

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Author’s Page

On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.

“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted  the  antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Theodocia McLean endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 29, 2015.

Genre:  Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths

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Purchase Through The Author

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Cold Coffee Press

Author Ernesto Patino

Ning-PhotoErnesto Patino grew up in El Paso where he graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso. He received a Bachelor of Music degree and taught school for a couple of years before joining the FBI as a Special Agent. His career spanned 23 years, most of which were spent in South Florida.

Currently lives in Southern Arizona where he divides his time between writing and working as a private investigator. His hobbies include playing the Flamenco guitar and ballroom dancing. When he is not working on a case or writing a book, you can usually find him at a local dance studio, practicing his steps.

Author of four novels, In the Shadow Of A Stranger, Web Of Secrets, The Last Of The Good Guys and most recent, One Last Dance. “I believe that my purpose as a storyteller is simply to write a good novel that people will remember long after they’ve read the last page”. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization (ITW).

Featured Selection: One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino

One-Last-Dance-by-Ernesto-PatinoMarco Anissi comes out of a comma, days after his car slams into a light pole—the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancé, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him.

Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand. If it had happened on a different date, in a different place he would have missed it entirely.

With the help of Susan’s mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter’s heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan’s spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can’t just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think—a complete stranger wanting to meet her?

He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship. Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he’s falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.

Book Review: A powerful story told by a master story teller. One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino is a love story that will draw you in and hold on to you until the last word leaves you yearning for more.

Do you believe in coincidence?

Marco Anissi is confronted with this question when he wakes up from a comma after a car accident. This is not just any accident. He hit the same light pole ten years ago that killed his beloved Susan.

Deeply believing that Susan is spiritually reaching out to him, Marco goes to get advice from Professor Rangan about arranging a meeting with the recipient who received Susan’s heart. What he hears from the Professor will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You will have to read the entire conversation, but at the end of their visit he told Marco that “Susan’s spirit will detect your presence.”

Marco learns with Susan’s Mother’s help that Julia Tinsley is the lady that received Susan’s heart. Marco travels from Miami Florida to Tucson Arizona in hopes of meeting her to see if he can get closer to Susan. Following the professor’s warning to take things slow because the recipient might not be very receptive to his needs, he signs up for dance lessons with her as his instructor. I quote what Marco writes in his journal.

“I met Julia for the first time today. Though she was not as I imagined her, I immediately felt a strong connection. Susan’s presence was palpable as Julia agreed to be my teacher despite the fact she only takes advanced students. I won’t build up my hopes just yet. Though it’ll be hard not to, considering that we’ll probably spend a lot of time together in the days and weeks to come. Meanwhile, I’ve got to find some kind of job, something with flexible hours that will allow me to see Julia as often as possible. I don’t want to drive a cab again unless I have no other choice. It would be great if I could work in a restaurant. It might even be fun. Tomorrow I’ll check out a few places, preferably close to my apartment and the Sonoran Ballroom Academy.”

How does Marco reach out to Julia as his instructor in a non-threatening way?

Should he tell Julia about Susan’s heart that is beating inside her?

Should he tell her about the second car accident and his belief that Susan’s Spirit has sent him to meet her?

With Marco’s feelings for Julia growing, he is confronted with the biggest dilemma ever. Should he tell Julia what he has just learned?

Can he risk this fragile friendship that might develop into something more and bring him even closer to Susan?

With well-developed characters and a story that will tug at your heart, One Last Dance is an unpredictable romance with uncommon circumstances. Ernesto Patino writes this love story from his heart and I especially enjoy love stories written by a man. With forty-four chapters, journal entries and letters this is a fiction that will leave a mark on your soul. You will close the final chapter wondering about the afterlife and the imprint of a donated organ on the recipient and beyond.

Theodocia McLean endorses One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino. This author has also published ‘In The Shadow Of A Stranger’, ‘Web Of Secrets’ and ‘The Last Of The Good Guys’ on Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on June 25, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Amazon Author’s Page

One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino

One-Last-Dance-by-Ernesto-PatinoMarco Anissi comes out of a comma, days after his car slams into a light pole—the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancé, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him.

Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand. If it had happened on a different date, in a different place he would have missed it entirely.

With the help of Susan’s mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter’s heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan’s spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can’t just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think—a complete stranger wanting to meet her?

He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship. Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he’s falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.

Book Review

A powerful story told by a master story teller. One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino is a love story that will draw you in and hold on to you until the last word leaves you yearning for more.

Do you believe in coincidence?

Marco Anissi is confronted with this question when he wakes up from a comma after a car accident. This is not just any accident. He hit the same light pole ten years ago that killed his beloved Susan.

Deeply believing that Susan is spiritually reaching out to him, Marco goes to get advice from Professor Rangan about arranging a meeting with the recipient who received Susan’s heart. What he hears from the Professor will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You will have to read the entire conversation, but at the end of their visit he told Marco that “Susan’s spirit will detect your presence.”

Marco learns with Susan’s Mother’s help that Julia Tinsley is the lady that received Susan’s heart. Marco travels from Miami Florida to Tucson Arizona in hopes of meeting her to see if he can get closer to Susan. Following the professor’s warning to take things slow because the recipient might not be very receptive to his needs, he signs up for dance lessons with her as his instructor. I quote what Marco writes in his journal.

“I met Julia for the first time today. Though she was not as I imagined her, I immediately felt a strong connection. Susan’s presence was palpable as Julia agreed to be my teacher despite the fact she only takes advanced students. I won’t build up my hopes just yet. Though it’ll be hard not to, considering that we’ll probably spend a lot of time together in the days and weeks to come. Meanwhile, I’ve got to find some kind of job, something with flexible hours that will allow me to see Julia as often as possible. I don’t want to drive a cab again unless I have no other choice. It would be great if I could work in a restaurant. It might even be fun. Tomorrow I’ll check out a few places, preferably close to my apartment and the Sonoran Ballroom Academy.”

How does Marco reach out to Julia as his instructor in a non-threatening way?

Should he tell Julia about Susan’s heart that is beating inside her?

Should he tell her about the second car accident and his belief that Susan’s Spirit has sent him to meet her?

With Marco’s feelings for Julia growing, he is confronted with the biggest dilemma ever. Should he tell Julia what he has just learned?

Can he risk this fragile friendship that might develop into something more and bring him even closer to Susan?

With well-developed characters and a story that will tug at your heart, One Last Dance is an unpredictable romance with uncommon circumstances. Ernesto Patino writes this love story from his heart and I especially enjoy love stories written by a man. With forty-four chapters, journal entries and letters this is a fiction that will leave a mark on your soul. You will close the final chapter wondering about the afterlife and the imprint of a donated organ on the recipient and beyond.

Theodocia McLean endorses One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino. This author has also published ‘In The Shadow Of A Stranger’, ‘Web Of Secrets’ and ‘The Last Of The Good Guys’ on Amazon. We reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on June 25, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

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Author’s Page

Author Cindy Davis

Cindy-DavisCindy Davis is originally from the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. In 1989, she and her family moved to the four season state of New Hampshire, amid the mountains, lakes and year-round views. She’s always enjoyed writing—even began her first novel at the age of 9. The book took place in Egypt and was titled “The Pyramid”. The experts say “Write what you know” and that’s probably why she never finished the story—until then, she’d never been further from home than Rhode Island!

When her second husband, Bob, encouraged her to go back to school, she enrolled in a Journalism & Short Story course. It’s been a whirlwind since then. She wrote her first novel Final Masquerade–republished as Take the Money and Run, and never looked back. Now, after 14 novels and a number of non-fictions, she’s still going strong. Cindy’s just completed the sixth in her Angie Deacon mystery series set in upstate NH—Stone Cold Sober will be out before Christmas.

In 1998 she began freelance editing. That endeavor has spiraled into a full time business. She works mostly with fiction, but a lot of non-fiction also. She recently edited a memoir of a retired mafia don and, at the same time, a memoir of a retired dominatrix. Talk about diversion! She’s edited for a number of publishing houses, but the freelance is her favorite because she can pick and choose the most interesting and unique stories to work on with the author.

July 1, Cindy took two life-altering trips. One to Italy where she soaked up the rays and the ambiance. Will a new book be forthcoming? Of course. The second lift-changing situation: she packed up and moved to Florida to soak up more rays and hike with her miniature Dachshund Montana.

Featured Selection: On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

On-The-Hook-Smith-and-Westen-Mysteries-by-Cindy-DavisA Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it’s not. It’s gone, but it can’t be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen’s total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is…well, it’s a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world’s most valuable paintings.

Book Review: Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.

“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted the antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Theodocia McLean endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 29, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

A small town detective agreed to mentor a local newspaper reporter who wished to enhance his sleuthing hobby. In the process of improving his observational skills, the reporter scrutinized various citizens torso and behavior. As his facial recognition abilities increased, he grew more aware of subtle similarities and differences.

The reporter soon became intrigued with an exceptional physical likeness between two young women. Each portray different cultures, and appear nothing alike in manner of dress, or in their separate lifestyles. The reporter, convinced they must be twins, maintained a constant vigil on his suspects.

He befriended one of these ladies to learn more about her. All attempts at justifying to himself she was a twin, proved futile. Subtle comments among her friends and family, confirmed she had only one sibling, an older brother.
These facts led our sleuth-hound reporter, to believe these two women were one in the same person.

Turning his attention from the proper lady, with her strict religious upbringing; to the one of questionable moral values. His observations only invited confusion and generated unanswered questions. Each time his suspicions exposed another clue, a positive clarification negated the probability.

Their timetables overlapped, and one person cannot possibly be in two places at the same time. Or can they?
Certain his assumptions are correct, our reporter continued his quest to learn the truth.

Log Line: How can she be in two places at the same time?

Tag Line: Never take anyone at face value.

Genre: Fiction, Cozy, Mystery & Detective, Historical

************************

Book Review: If you enjoy mystery, detective fiction with a little history thrown in, ‘A Secret In Ash Brooke’ should be your next read.

The small town setting depicts both the advantages and disadvantages of communities where people know each other intimately.

I especially liked the small mill town setting where men went off to war and some returned. Where women left the security of their homes (changing women’s roles forever) to help in the war efforts and hold their communities together.

Sometimes it takes another perspective to not only notice but unravel secrets that loom large but that are dismissed by ordinary life. Dutch Rhudy’s characters are well suited for the mystery that unfolds in Ash Brooke.

Theodocia McLean endorses A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy. This review was completed in July 2014.

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Roaring Falls Website
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The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker by John J. Zelenski

The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker by John J. Zelenski

On furlough from his World War ll Civilian Public Service Unit in the fall of 1945, a war weary Ezekiel Walker returns to his family farm in Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania. Everything about him, the world and his beloved town of Walker’s Vale, which had been founded by his grandfather Noah Walker 90 years ago had changed.

The town was dwindling despite his parents’ devotion to their community and the small church that they shepherd. Soon it became evident to Ezekiel that the changes surrounding this small community of Walker’s Vale weren’t just material orientated, or caused by the residual effects of the war. The changes were far more troubling and sinister than anything he had ever encountered.

Unexplained supernatural events were unfolding that were drawing him into a battle unlike a human battle known to man. Ezekiel accounts in his journal “Aware of my own thoughts, I concluded that I was caught somewhere between reality and the fantastic—between light and dark, but not a part of either. I suddenly recalled the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and remembered how he defeated Satan by quoting the Father’s Word.”

The growing conflict that confronts Ezekiel tests his core beliefs and shapes the depth of his faith after a man named Mr. Simon Tremblestone arrives in town.

I (Theodocia McLean) personally endorse ‘The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker’ by John J .Zelenski as a depictive fictional supernatural account of spiritual warfare. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on March 3, 2015.

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Supernatural

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John J. Zelenski’s Website
John J. Zelenski’s Blog
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Walker’s Vale by John J. Zelenski

James Cooper moved his family to Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was the just opposite. As this small town’s eerie history is revealed and repeated, it’s clear the devil is in the details and he’s waiting for the Cooper’s young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family’s safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Supernatural

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Dutch Rhudy

Dutch-2015Dutch Rhudy; referred to by his peers as the master of Mystery, Mayhem and Madness; resides in a quaint, east Tennessee post war cottage. Any similarity to serenity, abruptly ends right here. For this mysterious Author of Mischief is about to enter his study. Or should I say, make an attempt at entry.

With a quick two-step, hop-scotching around and over the wildlife feeding pans strewn along the pathway, his feet manage to find a surviving clear landing spot at the study door. He reaches for the doorknob, gives it a sharp push, then stands in the doorway carefully eyeing a profusion of every trinket imaginable, gathered to study and perhaps use as a cue for a scene in a novel; this Pandemonium Plus setting leaves not a square inch of surface or floor area.

Born in the mid-1940s; Rhudy actively interacted with his older relatives from the pre-1900s era. Each had a story to tell about the good old days, their pioneer ancestors, the many antics they pulled as children; including more serious matters, about crime escalating over the years and how they confronted these issues. Each family gathering added more unique stories of mirth and suspense which have found their way into Rhudy’s mental archives.

As a young man, Rhudy worked evenings as a disc-jockey and script writer. Once available for full-time work, he assisted a small advertising firm and worked as a ghost writer for a columnist. Through this association more work followed; with a request to ghost write several novels for teens and young adults, his career was under way and consumed over a decade before he took a break from writing.

Rhudy is getting on up in years; the nest now deserted, peace and quiet has returned to the Rhudy household. Retirement affords him the time to release under the Roaring Falls series, many colorful stories spanning over 150 years. Included within each story are glimpses into the history of his hometown, its activities and bring to life the many crimes from past to present.

Often called “That Mysterious Mystery Solving Mayor of Roaring Falls,” Rhudy claims he solves no crimes; he allows the unraveling of each mystery be conducted by the world-renowned Rumbleigh Investigations. There is much more about Roaring Falls than appears on the surface; if there is a secret to discover; a scandal, a sinister character, a hidden romance, or clue for solving a crime; some character will invariably let it slip out.

Featured Selection: A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

Volume 1

A-Secret-In-Ash-Brooke-–-by-Dutch-RhudyA small town detective agreed to mentor a local newspaper reporter, who wished to enhance his sleuthing hobby. In the process of improving his observational skills, the reporter scrutinized various citizens torso and behavior. As his facial recognition abilities increased, he grew more aware of subtle similarities and differences.

The reporter soon became intrigued with an exceptional physical likeness between two young women. Each portray different cultures, and appear nothing alike in manner of dress, or in their separate lifestyles. The reporter, convinced they must be twins, maintained a constant vigil on his suspects.

He befriended one of these ladies to learn more about her. All attempts at justifying to himself she was a twin, proved futile. Subtle comments among her friends and family, confirmed she had only one sibling, an older brother.

These facts led our sleuth-hound reporter, to believe these two women were one in the same person.

Turning his attention from the proper lady, with her strict religious upbringing; to the one of questionable moral values. His observations only invited confusion, and generated unanswered questions. Each time his suspicions exposed another clue, a positive clarification negated the probability.

Their timetables overlapped, and one person cannot possibly be in two places at the same time. Or can they? Certain his assumptions are correct, our reporter continued his quest to learn the truth.

Log Line: How can she be in two places at the same time?

Tag Line: Never take anyone at face value.

Book Review: If you enjoy mystery, detective fiction with a little history thrown in, ‘A Secret In Ash Brooke’ should be your next read.

The small town setting depicts both the advantages and disadvantages of communities where people know each other intimately.

I especially liked the small mill town setting where men went off to war and some returned. Where women left the security of their homes (changing women’s roles forever) to help in the war efforts and hold their communities together.

Sometimes it takes another perspective to not only notice but unravel secrets that loom large but that are dismissed by ordinary life. Dutch Rhudy’s characters are well suited for the mystery that unfolds in Ash Brooke.

Theodocia McLean endorses A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy which is a great Cozy, Mystery & Detective, Historical Fiction. Reviewed date July 1, 2014.

Amazon Author’s Page

Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell

Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell

For all you John Cannon followers ‘Our Justice’ (trilogy book three in the series) is finally here.

To refresh your memory, ‘My GRL’ is book one in the series. Like a lot of business men who tolls in an office setting day in and day out John J. Cannon takes a leave of absence from his firm, buys a boat and names her “My GRL”. Life was looking up until he wakes up in the hospital and finds out that he was found unconscious beside the woman who sold him the boat. If you have read this book you know where the story goes, if not, you need to read book one to see how the purchase of this boat brings John into the dangerous world of terrorism, counter-terrorism and politics that will either bring out the best or the worst in him.

Book Two of this thriller trilogy is titled ‘His Revenge’ for a reason, but revenge my not be what John imagines. In fact, he unwittingly becomes an accomplice in a plan to attack the credibility of the US President and topple the worldwide oil industry. How will John get out of this without becoming a traitor to his country and endangering thousands of lives?

‘Our Justice’ is here, and now you must find out if justice is as sweet as revenge. Let me start with a quote from Chapter three to catch you up and whet your appetite.

The two agents explain something about being called off the case. Ned asks them what they’re doing here, and they tell him they’re sorry for the way things turned out. We all shake hands, and they go away.

Ned suggests we go to dinner, and we do. We have a little discussion about the agents, and I think Ned feels it is good riddance. Ned and I finish dinner, and he drops me off at my house again. He wonders if he should come inside to check the house before he leaves. I offer to buy him a beer if he’s so inclined. He smiles, “You know, a nice cold beer might be just the thing to top this day. Also, I’m going to have an officer come over here tonight.”

I don’t say anything about the officer and just nod. We get out of the SUV and start up the driveway. I’m not sure if I see something at the corner of the house or not. “Ned, take a look at the corner of the house to the right.”

He whispers, “Yeah, someone’s there. Get down.”

As I move to the ground, flashes come from the dark corner. Ned grunts like someone just hit him in the stomach, and then falls to the ground and rolls over close to me. “Take my gun and start shooting.” He reaches out, and I can see his gun and also a lot of blood.

I take the gun from his sticky hand and fire toward the corner of the house. A dull moan tells me that I’ve likely hit something other than the building. I get up and hold Ned’s gun out in front of me, as I’ve seen the police do on TV. After a quick move to my left, I run toward the corner of the house, only closer to the bushes in the front. I don’t want to be a big target while I make my approach toward the gunman. When I reach the corner, I make out an arm with a gun in the hand. Though the arm is outstretched on the ground, it could be a trap, so I step on the wrist. When I do, the hand opens, and the gun makes no sound when it slips to the ground. With the muzzle of Ned’s gun at the person’s head, I say a line I’ve heard before, “One move and you are a dead man.”

Upon looking closer, I can say that my line was a little redundant. I haven’t seen too many dead men in my life, but this guy looks dead to me. Still wary, I pick up the guy’s gun and sprint back to Ned. When I get there, Ned is still on the ground. “Ned, can you hear me?”

“Call 911. I need to get to a hospital.” “Should I drive you?”

“No. No offense, but we both need to stay alive.”

I dial 911 and speak to the dispatcher. I tell them where we are and that the chief has been shot. The dispatcher sounds upset and lets me know that EMS and a car are on the way. “Please, stay on the line, Mr. Cannon. I need you to give me some idea of Chief Tranes’ condition.”

I assure the dispatcher that I don’t intend to hang up. I sit on the driveway and look Ned over. He seems to be bleeding a little less, which I take as a good sign. “Ned, the dispatcher wants to know about your condition.”

“Uh, tell her I’ve been better, but it’s not too serious.” He pauses. “And, John, try to make it believable. The dispatcher is my wife, Geneen.”

“Oh my God. I had no idea.”

“Tell her.”

“Mrs. Tranes? I just spoke to your husband, and he told me to tell you that he’s been better, but it’s not serious.”

“I heard him, Mr. Cannon. Please, don’t let Ned die. He is the love of my life, and although he’s one tough son of a bitch, this is just the kind of nightmare I’ve had for years. Please, promise me you won’t let him die.”

I invite everyone to read on to get the answers that both you and John Cannon need. This action, mystery, suspense thriller rivals that of Jack Bower (lead protagonist of the Fox television series 24) and will leave you waiting for John W. Howell’s next book titled ‘The Circumstances of Childhood’ scheduled to be released mid-year 2017.

Theodocia McLean endorses Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 24, 2016.

Genre:  Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Author John J. Zelenski

John J. ZelenskiJohn J. Zelenski is an award-winning author who has appeared on television, radio, and has been featured in numerous print articles as well as receiving high-profile reviews from the popular community.

Having been inspired, in part, to write his first novel Walker’s Vale, by his own paranormal experiences as a child, John has developed a keen understanding of the supernatural.

His second novel and prequel to Walker’s Vale – The Journal of Ezekiel Walker – continues with the saga of Walker’s Vale, with a future third installment presently in the works.

Walker’s Vale, the film will be released through Allegentsia Productions with filming scheduled to begin sometime in 2015.

John, along with his wife and two children, love to watch the seasons change in beautiful Northeast Pennsylvania.

Featured Selection: Walker’s Vale by John J. Zelenski

James Cooper moved his family to Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was the just opposite. As this small town’s eerie history is revealed and repeated, it’s clear the devil is in the details and he’s waiting for the Cooper’s young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family’s safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Supernatural

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