Profile photo of Theodocia McLean

About Theodocia McLean

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

Kidnap The Pope by Jack Duarte

In late July 1943, World War II is in full throttle when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is overthrown. His close friend and long-time admirer, Adolf Hitler, is convinced that Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII are behind the coup and determines to do something about it.

Even though he is himself a catholic, and his physical and mental state are deteriorating, Hitler revives an earlier plot, Operation Pontiff. The plan calls for the Wehrmacht to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.

He selects one of his top Generals, supreme SS Commander of Italy General Karl Wolff to put the plan into effect. Wolff feigns support for the plan but secretly takes actions to postpone its beginning. Other top German officials in Italy become involved along with some high officials of the Vatican itself.

A lone Catholic priest from New Orleans who studied at the Gregorian University and now works for the Vatican becomes a key figure in thwarting the plot’s implementation.

Germany occupies Rome and events and actions become fast and furious as certain factors play out to the novel’s conclusion.

Book Review

If you enjoy reading World War II history, ‘Kidnap The Pope’ by Jack DuArte needs to be in your library. Great writing with intense research has allowed the author to present in an easy to read journal format a scenario that depicts Adolf Hitler’s attempt to invade the Vatican and capture Pope Pius XII. This book is written to the best of the author’s ability from both German and Vatican points of view. The author says, “History is a most sacred gift and should not be distorted in any manner.”

‘Kidnap The Pope’ is book six in Jack DuArte’s World War II series. Although a series, each book stands alone. In this book there are eighteen easy to follow chapters set up in a diary/journal format. The time frame ranges from March 10, 1938 through Sunday, April 30, 1945.

Historical characters include heroes, heroines and adversaries from America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Vatican in particular. At the end of the book, the author offers a detailed list of the characters with their title, location, dates, ages and historical significance.

Each chapter starts with date, location and often the character or characters of importance. For example: August 23, 1939, Cabinet Room, West Wing, The White House, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia “All right, Mr. President.”

There are so many examples of the author’s style and content that I would love to share with you. The author’s research has allowed him to share letters, memos, wire cables, and other documents that detail historic thoughts and conversations of historical importance. One example is on Friday, September 4, 1939 at the Polish-German border “a Franco-British meeting determined that no major ground or air operations would be undertaken against Germany. Great Britain did indeed send bombers over Germany to drop propaganda leaflets and make reconnaissance of the areas, but no direct contact with the Germany military was ordered.

Adolf Hitler had reached out to Mussolini when he originally planned the assault for August 26, but cancelled the attack when the Italian dictator told him that Italy was not prepared to go to war at that time. Mussolini later assured the German leader of his political backing and the order to attack was rescheduled for September 1st.

Adolf Hitler knew he was taking a big chance when Germany attacked Poland. Many of his generals were not in favor of the move and asked for more time to get the Wehrmacht better equipped for battle. On several occasions prior to the beginning of hostilities, France had insisted that the Poles not mobilize and that factor helped the Germans easily overrun the poorly equipped nation.

The Second World War had officially begun with the appeasement governments of both Britain and France afraid to take more than token steps to prevent Hitler from seizing additional territory. The United States was quick to condemn Germany’s action but President Roosevelt was determined to keep his country out of the conflict.

The world settled back to see what came next to the world stage and in what form.”

Another great example is on Sunday, December 7, 1941 in The President’s Private Study, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia. “Mr. President, the Japanese have attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor a few minutes ago. Our first reports indicate hundreds of Japanese fighter-bombers. We already know there is significant damage on Battleship Row. Admiral Stark at the Navy Department is trying to determine the consequences of the attack. All I can tell you is that it is bad, really bad…”

Enjoy reading for the first time or refreshing your memory with historical events like President Roosevelt’s famous speech made on December 8, 1941. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler, many world leaders, dignitaries, and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Theodocia McLean endorses Kidnap The Pope by Jack DuArte as a historical fictional that is illuminated with history and facts that the world will not soon forget. Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse. Theodocia McLean purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on February 13, 2016.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

The Resistance by Jack Duarte

The French Resistance is determined to safeguard the masterpieces of the Louvre Museum. With the help of Britain’s SOE, a plan is developed to insure these great paintings’ safety. Nazi Reichsmarschall Herman Goring is actively seeking the paintings to send to Germany.

The rapid fire action starts in Great Britain and moves to France where a fierce showdown with the Vichy Milice proves pivotal to the fascinating story.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link

Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Malta by Jack Duarte

For centuries, the Island of Malta has stood as one of the most sought after places by any nation wishing to control access to the Mediterranean Sea. Its strategic location just off the coast of North Africa allows it control of the sea lanes vital to any passage, either east or west. In early 1942, the Axis powers step up their efforts to secure Malta and thus allow supply efforts to its armies in North Africa.

The Luftwaffe begins a horrendous bombing effort that sees the tiny island bombed incessantly, both day and night. The island’s defenders are short on water, food and practically every other necessary means of survival. After a few weeks, the Germans and their Italian allies have almost complete control over the skies of Malta and the Mediterranean.

The British Admiralty develops a desperate plan to resupply Malta’s depleted air forces with a number of the new Spitfire Mark VI b’s, Britain’s finest fighter. The first Spitfires fly off a British carrier and succeed in reaching their destination only to be bombed into destruction within days. Additional missions involving the United States Navy bring more Spitfires to Malta and slowly the balance of power begins to turn.

This fragile stability is the result of honored British fliers who somehow beat the odds and deliver a series of defeats to the Germans and Italians. Malta is the personal story of a number of these heroes and a glimpse into horrific conditions they faced on a daily basis. Lack of food, water, petrol and ammunition make their jobs even more difficult. The ‘Malta Dog’ is also around to make their plight even more miserable. Malta will keep you glued to its pages from beginning to end. You will identify with British King George VI who awarded the Island of Malta, the George Cross—Great Britain’s highest civilian honor during wartime. The lives and loves of some of these heroic airmen are chronicled within the pages of Malta.

The novel is the much awaited sequel to DuArte’s best-selling Spitfire that chronicled the epic Battle of Britain at the start of World War II.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Singapore by Jack Duarte

In 1941, the Far East’s great island fortress of Singapore is the key impediment to the Empire of Japan’s plans for domination of the Western Pacific.

The Japanese Imperial Staff makes several important decisions and directs the formation of a special unit to meticulously plan for the invasion of Malaya and the subsequent siege of the fortress of Singapore. Colonel Manasobe Tsuji is assigned as the Staff Officer in Charge of Operations for the 25th Army and sets out to chart and plan the operational aspects of Japanese military forces for the campaign.

Within the bastion of Singapore, the British are content to wait behind their fortress’s huge guns, secure in the knowledge that their island is practically impenetrable. Royal Navy Lieutenant William Elliott is an assigned to the SOE’s secretive Oriental Mission. He has been in Singapore for eight months and has fallen in love with a Malaysian woman, a doctor in Singapore’s General Hospital.

Commander Elliott is temporarily assigned to Brigadier Ivan Simson, one of the few people on the island who realize the extent of the island’s weaknesses. As international events begin to bracket Singapore’s fate in the destiny of world events, Lieutenant Elliott is thrust into a series of movements throughout South East Asia as he tries to alter Singapore’s ultimate fate. When his beloved Pai Lin also gets caught up in the calamity of Singapore’s tragic fate, Elliott must choose between his love for her and duty to his country.

Singapore accurately follows the events of this incredible historical event in its sublime majesty, from beginning to end, at a time when world power and western civilization were both at stake.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link

Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

The White Mouse by Jack Duarte

The White Mouse was the name given by the Gestapo to Nancy Wake Fiocca, an Australian woman setting up escape networks from France during WWII. After fleeing to England, The White Mouse joins the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and returns to occupied France around the time of the Normandy invasion in 1944.

Through sheer determination and with the help of other SOE operatives, she manages to bring together a number of Maquis units in the Auvergne Region to harass and delay German reinforcements attempting to reach Nazi coastal defences.

Aided by an American Army captain on loan to the SOE, the White Mouse finally arranges the escape of a number of Maquis prisoners during a pitched battle. The White Mouse reunited US Army Captain Brian Russell with his French Resistance love that was brought to life in Jack DuArte’s first novel, the best-selling The Resistance.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Jack DuArte

Jack Duarte-FixedJack DuArte is a native of New Orleans with a varied career in writing. DuArte attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans and worked for the Times-Picayune as a teenager. After attending the University of Kentucky and later graduating from the University of Evansville, DuArte served as an Air Force officer in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star for his efforts. He returned to New Orleans in 1971 and went into the wine business. He also authored a weekly column called Gastronomy for the Times-Picayune for a number of years and later hosted a radio talk show for WWL.

DuArte later enjoyed a full career in the wine business where he owned several Napa Valley wineries. DuArte always enjoyed a long time love affair for the thoroughbred horse industry and returned to Kentucky in 2001. He is an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds.

Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse.

Featured Selection: Kidnap The Pope: World War II Series Book 6 by Jack DuArte

Kidnap-The-Pope-World-War-II-Series-Book-6-by-Jack-DuArteIn late July 1943, World War II is in full throttle when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is overthrown. His close friend and long-time admirer, Adolf Hitler, is convinced that Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII are behind the coup and determines to do something about it.

Even though he is himself a catholic, and his physical and mental state are deteriorating, Hitler revives an earlier plot, Operation Pontiff. The plan calls for the Wehrmacht to invade the Vatican and kidnap the Pope.
He selects one of his top Generals, supreme SS Commander of Italy General Karl Wolff to put the plan into effect. Wolff feigns support for the plan but secretly takes actions to postpone its beginning.

Other top German officials in Italy become involved along with some high officials of the Vatican itself.

A lone Catholic priest from New Orleans who studied at the Gregorian University and now works for the Vatican becomes a key figure in thwarting the plot’s implementation.

Germany occupies Rome and events and actions become fast and furious as certain factors play out to the novel’s conclusion.

Book Review: If you enjoy reading World War II history, ‘Kidnap The Pope’ by Jack DuArte needs to be in your library. Great writing with intense research has allowed the author to present in an easy to read journal format a scenario that depicts Adolf Hitler’s attempt to invade the Vatican and capture Pope Pius XII. This book is written to the best of the author’s ability from both German and Vatican points of view. The author says, “History is a most sacred gift and should not be distorted in any manner.”

‘Kidnap The Pope’ is book six in Jack DuArte’s World War II series. Although a series, each book stands alone. In this book there are eighteen easy to follow chapters set up in a diary/journal format. The time frame ranges from March 10, 1938 through Sunday, April 30, 1945.

Historical characters include heroes, heroines and adversaries from America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Vatican in particular. At the end of the book, the author offers a detailed list of the characters with their title, location, dates, ages and historical significance.

Each chapter starts with date, location and often the character or characters of importance. For example: August 23, 1939, Cabinet Room, West Wing, The White House, 1800 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia “All right, Mr. President.”

There are so many examples of the author’s style and content that I would love to share with you. The author’s research has allowed him to share letters, memos, wire cables, and other documents that detail historic thoughts and conversations of historical importance. One example is on Friday, September 4, 1939 at the Polish-German border “a Franco-British meeting determined that no major ground or air operations would be undertaken against Germany. Great Britain did indeed send bombers over Germany to drop propaganda leaflets and make reconnaissance of the areas, but no direct contact with the Germany military was ordered.

Adolf Hitler had reached out to Mussolini when he originally planned the assault for August 26, but cancelled the attack when the Italian dictator told him that Italy was not prepared to go to war at that time. Mussolini later assured the German leader of his political backing and the order to attack was rescheduled for September 1st.

Adolf Hitler knew he was taking a big chance when Germany attacked Poland. Many of his generals were not in favor of the move and asked for more time to get the Wehrmacht better equipped for battle. On several occasions prior to the beginning of hostilities, France had insisted that the Poles not mobilize and that factor helped the Germans easily overrun the poorly equipped nation.

The Second World War had officially begun with the appeasement governments of both Britain and France afraid to take more than token steps to prevent Hitler from seizing additional territory. The United States was quick to condemn Germany’s action but President Roosevelt was determined to keep his country out of the conflict.

The world settled back to see what came next to the world stage and in what form.”

Another great example is on Sunday, December 7, 1941 in The President’s Private Study, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, District of Columbia. “Mr. President, the Japanese have attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor a few minutes ago. Our first reports indicate hundreds of Japanese fighter-bombers. We already know there is significant damage on Battleship Row. Admiral Stark at the Navy Department is trying to determine the consequences of the attack. All I can tell you is that it is bad, really bad…”

Enjoy reading for the first time or refreshing your memory with historical events like President Roosevelt’s famous speech made on December 8, 1941. “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler, many world leaders, dignitaries, and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Theodocia McLean endorses Kidnap The Pope by Jack DuArte as a historical fictional that is illuminated with history and facts that the world will not soon forget. Jack DuArte’s list of best-selling World War II novels include Kidnap The Pope, Malta, Singapore, Spitfire, The Resistance, and The White Mouse. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on February 13, 2016.

Get into the mind and thoughts of Hitler and even into the secret world of the Vatican.

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Spitfire by Jack Duate

Spitfire is the third installment of Jack DuArte’s World War II Series. The setting is Great Britain in 1940, immediately before and during the epic Battle of Britain. Fighting a superior number of Luftwaffe bombers and fighters, the valiant Royal Air Force wages a desperate air battle to save their country from certain defeat.

Flight Lieutenant Anthony Nelson and his younger brother, Fletcher, are pilots of 54 Squadron Spitfires, the great British fighter plane that is Britain’s only hope for survival. Through a suspenseful series of events, both find they are in love with the same woman. A hair-raising set of circumstances brings Spitfire to a spellbinding conclusion that will keep the reader glued to the final pages.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link

Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Susan Whitfield

Susan WhitfieldAward-winning multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is a native of North Carolina, where she sets all of her novels. She is the author of The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country. Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband. Their two sons live nearby with their families.

Susan’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Her books are available in print and eBook formats. Susan is currently researching a medieval ancestor for an historical mystery. Learn more at www.susanwhitfieldonline.com

About The Cover Design: Jason Penland is an avid self-taught photographer, with a focus on nature and landscapes. The product of generations of mountain folks, Jason’s love of his western North Carolina home is evident in his beautiful work. He expresses a love of his heritage through playing banjo, dobro and guitar, and passes that love on to his two young sons. He also specializes in portraits, wedding photography, bridals, and family-oriented settings.

Featured Selection: Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Sprig-of-Bloom-by-Susan-WhitfieldSprig of Broom is a coming-of-age novel about Geoffrey Plantagenet, a count, who at the age of 15 marries King Henry’s daughter, Empress Matilda, and fathers the dynasty of Plantagenet kings. The story begins with the count on his journey to Rouen in Normandy to become a Knight of the Bath. From Rouen, he and the king’s entourage travel to LeMans where Geoffrey is wed to Matilda. And the loathing begins . . . Sir Geoffrey Plantagenet has much to learn, and over the course of his life’s journey he develops a better understanding of himself, fathers a long line of kings, endures adversaries—especially his own wife—and boldly faces the world of chaos around him. Written by a lineal descendant of Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knighted, invested 1127 during the reign of Henry I, Knighthood of the Bath.

Book Review: Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.

The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Theodocia McLean endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 23, 2015.

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

OK, women, here it is!

Finally, a gut honest personal journal written by a man that hits the pages of Signs of (a) Life with both serious and laugh-out-loud stories.

To begin with, Liam speaks of issues that we can all relate to as we stand in front of a mirror and are surprised to see the older, graying image of someone we barely recognize staring back.

Liam states this right off the bat, “Warning: this book contains within it accounts of real conversations which may therefore occasionally include naughty words and rude phrases. I’ve even made up some words of my own. That’s the real world for you.”

Within the 502 pages and 61 topics this author presents his half century of life experiences in a relaxed, well thought out format that lets the readers empathize with him. His stories involve experiences not just a man, but as a boy. Very few men will bare their souls to share experiences of awkwardness while moving from childhood into manhood. Liam shares some of his experiences while attending a single-sex school for boys. He shares his discovery of girls, cars and various medical issues.

Some of the most interesting stories involve his experiences as a police officer in England. The most touching are his stories about the birth of his children. Liam dedicates this book to his children.

I invite you to come laugh and cry with Liam Samolis as we wait to see what happens in his next fifty years of living.

I leave you with this quote from Liam. “Like the vast majority of men; I feel. I enjoy (which, by the way, seems to be an ‘allowed’ emotion), I grieve, I feel sad, I feel hurt. I screw up. At times I am emotionally vulnerable. And there is nothing – to my mind – remotely un-masculine about any of that; feeling is part of living – an integral part. In fact for me, feeling is THE essential part of living. Feeling can never be wrong in principle (because it simply happens without conscious intention) – and neither can displaying or being honest about our emotions. Being overtaken by emotions in a situation where action is necessary could, of course, be problematic, but feeling and showing our feelings is essential in the long term for our personal health. I wonder how much happier many men could be if their emotions were not effectively under lock and key? Hey – that almost rhymes.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis as the honest account of a man living his life with all the human emotions that men typically try to avoid speaking about. This review was completed on October 18, 2015.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link
Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

 

Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlene the Star makes new friends in this exciting adventure. She hopes to win a special award for jumpers. She must learn important things if she wants to reach her goal.

Does she succeed? How does Hattie react when she sees the headline in “The Gazette?”

Why is Cherish so afraid?

Your child will be fascinated with the amusing adventures of Charlene and her friends. Children will be entertained and learn important life lessons.
Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is Deanie’s fifth book. It’s the third in her series of Charlene the Star books. Her other books include her award winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, as well as, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes. All of Deanie’s books encourage children to persevere and strive to do their best.
Deanie is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature. She enjoys music, singing, spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. Deanie is also an avid fan of baseball and equestrian events.
Holly’s passion for Art began at an early age under the guidance of renowned artist, Ray Quigley. She earned a Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She devotes her talents to equestrian and family portraits, as well as children’s book illustrations. Holly has beautifully illustrated all of Deanie’s books.

Amazon

Author Bernadette Y. Connor

Bernadette-Y.-ConnorBernadette Y. Connor is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born at home in a one-room apartment in North Philadelphia; the fourth of five children. To help her family financially, she sang rhythm and blues in many of the local nightclubs until she graduated from Dobbins Vocational Area High School in 1969 and was hired as a secretary by Sun Oil Company.

Her first love was music, but she found herself writing poetry in Junior High School. Some of her earliest writings were published in SCLC monthly magazine. Both singing and writing had to take a back burner to caring for her family, but midnight often found her doodling. A divorced mother of three, Bernadette saw that all of her children graduated from college.

She found her niche’ at AT&T as a communications technician. With the merger came a lay-off and she saw as an opportunity to begin a new career, but that was put on hold by a series of medical problems and finally the devastation of the brutal murder of her eldest son on Christmas Eve of 1991. Her zest for life, travel and adventure were nearly extinguished. However, Bernadette’s thoughts slowly returned to writing.

The literary fire was stoked by reacquainting herself with her earlier poems, and Bernadette embarked on yet another adventure. She wrote a simple love story called ‘Finally’ that opened the gate to an avalanche of works which include 13 novels and 12 screenplays.

Bernadette’s published debut novel, ‘Damaged’, the first psychological thriller ever written and published by an African American garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004”. Publishers Weekly dubbed her the “genre-crossing writer” and she loves the distinction. Agent, Mondella Jones, labeled her “a master storyteller.”

Featured Selection: He’s Mine! by Bernadette Y. Connor

Hes-Mine-by-Bernadette-Y.-ConnorWhat’s a girl to do when she moves to a new town and falls in love with the most desired man in town?

What’s a girl to do when that man belongs to all in his family and social circle?

What’s a girl to do when their infatuation with him is unhealthy to the point of being dangerous?

What’s a girl to do when one of them threatens her and she doesn’t know which one it is?

What’s a girl to do when that person declares, “He’s Mine!”?

“Dream come true turns nightmare!”

“A romantic, gritty and disturbing fatal attraction.”

Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, Miles Alexander is admired by his friends and colleagues, loved and adored by every woman in town, including his family. He is an attorney from a wealthy family, and an incurable romantic who has dated every attractive woman in town. Miles’s world is comfortable and carefree until Patrice Mays whisks past him in the lobby of his office building and his appreciation of a beautiful woman eclipsed. With just the two of them on the elevator, Miles inspects her from head-to-toe and cannot believe his eyes, she is perfection.

Patrice Mays is new in town and Miles is the first person to penetrate her determination to be on time for her first day at Tymes, McNeil and Lowell Law Offices. The gorgeous floral arrangement and warm welcome note Miles had delivered impresses her. The recollection of his handsome, well dressed physique made her smile. However, Patrice is focused on her career, Miles is focused on Patrice.

Miles makes his infatuation with Patrice well known immediately, and the information is not well received by all. Patrice is confronted at the end of her second day by an irate Miles romantic reject and receives a mind-boggling note in her inter-office mail that simply says, “He’s Mine!”

Book Review: ‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor is a romance that begins as a chance meeting in an elevator, turns into an adventurous pursuit, infatuation, intrigue, romance, jealousy, stalking and attempted murder. All the elements that keep the reader tuning the page and creates caution in the minds of single hearts looking for love.

Two main characters from different backgrounds bring their own history and unique circumstances to the story. Miles Alexander is an attorney from a wealthy family. He is tall, dark, handsome and carefree with a giant Doberman named Roman. His good looks, money and carefree lifestyle makes him a target for women who want the best and are willing to go to any length to accomplish their quest. Patrice Mays is the new woman in town, focused on her career and is about to find herself in the cross-hairs. I quote a passage that stands out in my memory: “Patrice stood in the doorway watching Miles and Roman disappear into the night, and she was surprised by the number of people still sitting on their steps. Patrice would soon learn that this was a ritual of summer in the inner city.”

I especially like to read passages that give insight into how different two people can be when a friendship begins. I quote: “He especially loved the way she ate the barbeque with her fingers and licked them afterwards. Patrice had not gone to any trouble trying to impress the great Miles Alexander. Miles had never eaten a piece of meat with his fingers until he was in college, and to date had never licked his fingers. His mother would have had a massive coronary if she had witnessed him doing any of it.”

Romance that begins as a fine fragile line between two people. I quote: “In silence, Patrice dissected and analyzed her anger. When the particles settled, there was only one answer. Patrice Mays was more physically attracted to Miles Alexander than she had ever been to any man in her life and it had made her horribly uncomfortable. Truthfully, she had no idea whether she was acting rational or not. Her hormones were blitzing her brain cells.”

Secondary characters who may or may not have a reason to come between Miles and Patrice. Attraction is one thing, but when mixed with some mental illness things often change without warning. Chaos can affect a wide circle of people and the criminal justice system can’t always protect the innocent.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor as a romance with a fatal attraction mystery entwined. We admire the author’s inner strength and ability to raise three children alone and inspire them to graduate from college. Our heart acknowledges her struggles through her own medical issues and the brutal murder of her eldest son in 1991. Her early writing began in the wee hours of the morning when her children were sleeping and resurfaced later when she wrote and published her debut novel, ‘Damaged!’ in 1998. This book garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004” for the first psychological thriller published by an African American Woman. From here she went on to publish Inherited in 2005, PEARL AND ANGELA in 2009, SASHA’S New Beginning in 2011, THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS in 2012 and He’ s Mine! on September 15, 2014. This review was completed on May 10th, 2015.

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

Grandma’s Tales by Cheryl Carpinello

Two delightful stories you will enjoy reading out loud with your toddler, your preschooler, your beginning reader.

Wild Creatures in My Neighborhood and What If I Went to the Circus are crafted with repeating phrases that will allow children to feel as if they are actually reading the story!

Wild Creatures in My Neighborhood explores the wildlife all around us, even in our own backyards.

What If I Went to the Circus shares the decision-making process with the youngest listener as a small boy decides who or what will be a good playmate.

Amazon

Thieves in Sabimn (TMB inc. Book 1) by Jax E. Garson

TMB Inc. is a corporate power that protects the human race from Abuths and other dangers in the galaxy. With adults incapacitated by a disease, the company uses teenagers and even younger to serve as soldiers to fight for them.

After the loss of his son and then his wife, Tawrett finds himself returning to the planet where he declared his nuptials. He has been given an important mission to retrieve an object that could steer the war in favor of the human race. But after a battle with Abuths and unforeseen events, their starship is whisked across space and crashes on Sabimn.

The human population of Sabimn are terrorized by a race called Coerallins. The Coerallins use organic technology for weapons and machinery, as well as to enslave the humans. Their leaders attempt to coax Tawrett and his soldiers to help defeat their foe by destroying the Eye Ruby. Tawrett is reluctant, not willing to get involved with their dispute. But the mysteries of Sabimn keep growing as he discovers the secret to his brother’s death and much more.

Not sure if his colleagues survived and his ability to complete the mission, Tawrett must make a decision to help the human race or discard their hopes. Surrounded by friends and enemies, he is unsure who to trust, and Sabimn’s magical properties force the past memories to surface and haunt him.

Will he return to their old ways, or continue acting on the company’s desires.

Amazon

Sasha’s New Beginning by Bernadette Y. Connor

SASHAS-New-Beginning-–-by-Bernadette-Y.-ConnorOn the surface, Sasha and Terrence Bain are the American dream. She is beautiful, intelligent, graceful, a wonderful homemaker and mother of three incredibly witty children. He is a successful banker and illegitimate son of a long line of successful bankers. Financially, they want for nothing.

All Sasha wants is to make Terrence happy. All Terrence wants is to make Terrence happy too. Their life together is both wonderful and challenging. Sasha’s torment at not being able to be the woman who makes Terrence’s eyes light up each time he walks in the door is obvious. His unfaithfulness is also obvious, and Terrence has lived a charmed life with his dedicated wife and adoring children.

Sasha’s life takes on a new glow when she receives lavender orchids from a secret admirer. When an unexpected tragedy strikes the Bain family, Sasha’s joy withers like the petals on her beloved orchids, and she wonders if her secret admirer had been Terrence all along.

Sasha’s journey through love, betrayal, loss, and rebirth is an all too familiar one with an ending that will take your breath away.

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Amazon
Author’s Page

He’s Mine by Bernadette Y. Connor

Hes-Mine-by-Bernadette-Y.-ConnorWhat’s a girl to do when she moves to a new town and falls in love with the most desired man in town?

What’s a girl to do when that man belongs to all in his family and social circle?

What’s a girl to do when their infatuation with him is unhealthy to the point of being dangerous?

What’s a girl to do when one of them threatens her and she doesn’t know which one it is?

What’s a girl to do when that person declares, “He’s Mine!”?

“Dream come true turns nightmare!”

“A romantic, gritty and disturbing fatal attraction.”

Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, Miles Alexander is admired by his friends and colleagues, loved and adored by every woman in town, including his family. He is an attorney from a wealthy family, and an incurable romantic who has dated every attractive woman in town. Miles’s world is comfortable and carefree until Patrice Mays whisks past him in the lobby of his office building and his appreciation of a beautiful woman eclipsed. With just the two of them on the elevator, Miles inspects her from head-to-toe and cannot believe his eyes, she is perfection.

Patrice Mays is new in town and Miles is the first person to penetrate her determination to be on time for her first day at Tymes, McNeil and Lowell Law Offices. The gorgeous floral arrangement and warm welcome note Miles had delivered impresses her. The recollection of his handsome, well dressed physique made her smile. However, Patrice is focused on her career, Miles is focused on Patrice.
Miles makes his infatuation with Patrice well known immediately, and the information is not well received by all. Patrice is confronted at the end of her second day by an irate Miles romantic reject and receives a mind-boggling note in her inter-office mail that simply says, “He’s Mine!”

Book Review

‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor is a romance that begins as a chance meeting in an elevator, turns into an adventurous pursuit, infatuation, intrigue, romance, jealousy, stalking and attempted murder. All the elements that keep the reader tuning the page and creates caution in the minds of single hearts looking for love.

Two main characters from different backgrounds bring their own history and unique circumstances to the story. Miles Alexander is an attorney from a wealthy family. He is tall, dark, handsome and carefree with a giant Doberman named Roman. His good looks, money and carefree lifestyle makes him a target for women who want the best and are willing to go to any length to accomplish their quest. Patrice Mays is the new woman in town, focused on her career and is about to find herself in the cross-hairs. I quote a passage that stands out in my memory: “Patrice stood in the doorway watching Miles and Roman disappear into the night, and she was surprised by the number of people still sitting on their steps. Patrice would soon learn that this was a ritual of summer in the inner city.”

I especially like to read passages that give insight into how different two people can be when a friendship begins. I quote: “He especially loved the way she ate the barbeque with her fingers and licked them afterwards. Patrice had not gone to any trouble trying to impress the great Miles Alexander. Miles had never eaten a piece of meat with his fingers until he was in college, and to date had never licked his fingers. His mother would have had a massive coronary if she had witnessed him doing any of it.”

Romance that begins as a fine fragile line between two people. I quote: “In silence, Patrice dissected and analyzed her anger. When the particles settled, there was only one answer. Patrice Mays was more physically attracted to Miles Alexander than she had ever been to any man in her life and it had made her horribly uncomfortable. Truthfully, she had no idea whether she was acting rational or not. Her hormones were blitzing her brain cells.”

Secondary characters who may or may not have a reason to come between Miles and Patrice. Attraction is one thing, but when mixed with some mental illness things often change without warning. Chaos can affect a wide circle of people and the criminal justice system can’t always protect the innocent.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor as a romance with a fatal attraction mystery entwined. We admire the author’s inner strength and ability to raise three children alone and inspire them to graduate from college. Our heart acknowledges her struggles through her own medical issues and the brutal murder of her eldest son in 1991.

Her early writing began in the wee hours of the morning when her children were sleeping and resurfaced later when she wrote and published her debut novel, ‘Damaged!’ in 1998. This book garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004” for the first psychological thriller published by an African American Woman. From here she went on to publish Inherited in 2005, PEARL AND ANGELA in 2009, SASHA’S New Beginning in 2011, THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS in 2012 and He’ s Mine! on September 15, 2014.

I purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. The review was completed on May 10th, 2015.

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Amazon
Author’s Page

LITTLUNS and the book of darkness (Mom’s Choice Awards Recipient) by Mark Glamack

Imagine innocence of Light, the meek and good among us being unexpectedly consumed into a void of darkness. Imagine a world gone wrong as darkness overwhelms the Light – offering little hope in a world gone wrong.

Imagine circumstances beyond your control from which your life will inexplicably never ever be the same. Imagine anyone being stripped of their identity with no past, present, or future while wandering misplaced with a tortured disability and terrifying existence, within an empty space of nothingness.

What could you do – where would you go – how might you survive?

Can there be any hope in hopelessness?

Imagine being in such a dark place and how you might find ANY truth, peace, love, hope, joy, enlightenment, and your heart’s desire in the face of such adversity?

First and foremost, Never, Ever Give Up… Beyond that can only be found in Littluns. Secret to the rest of the world is the protected, self contained, pure and peaceful valley of Hollow Hills.

The outside world below holds little interest to Littluns. It’s not that they don’t know about such things and what goes on out there; they know very well about the chaos and discord and the importance of remaining removed from such things. However, once every year or two, the Town Council selects five of its citizens to journey down Powder Mountain into the outside world. It’s a scavenger hunt. The only rules are that anything they bring back must not belong to anyone.

No one ever worries about the rules because every Littlun is taught, from a very young age, that stealing is wrong and no Littlun would ever consider such an act – it just wouldn t be Littlun.

Now, it should be noted that this is not just any outing. It is very dangerous and requires much skill and knowledge. The journey down the mountain is treacherous. No one looks forward to being selected, but each accepts the responsibility in the knowledge that they are fulfilling a community obligation. This is one of those days for a scavenger hunt. …and nothing will ever be the same.

LITTLUNS: and the book of darkness is an epic animated, fantasy, mythological adventure, and journey into a volatile unknown that will stir the reader’s every emotion while presenting real-life examples that everyone can relate to.

It is a story of extreme good and innocence in a world of chaos from the resulting seductive effects of evil. It clearly defines the differences and becomes the family friendly alternative.

If readers are looking for a different reading experience that will keep them on the edge of their seat, and then touch their heart, they’ll find it in LITTLUNS: and the book of darkness.

Amazon

Inherited by Bernadette Y. Connor

Inherited-by-Bernadette-Y.-ConnorDerrick Dawes is a cafe au lait Adonis who lives comfortably and enjoys bachelorhood.

When Derrick receives a call informing him that his wife has left the hospital it begins as an obvious mistaken identity that turns into a nightmare.

His security and peace of mind are shattered by the reality that there are newborn twins with his name listed as father. DNA will free him, if the babies are not his, in three months without the mother’s DNA contribution.

If he signs anything, he is acknowledging paternity. If he leaves the hospital without them, he will be charged with abandonment.

Derrick Dawes as Daddy is a comedy of errors until he meets their nurse and angers an old girlfriend who makes his life a living hell. Through it all, Derrick searches for the mother of the twins.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Amazon
Author’s Page

Charlie The Horse by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlie dreamed of becoming a famous racehorse like his Dad, Charles the Great.

Will he have the talent to succeed when he leaves for training at Sweetbrier Racing Stable?

What will he do if he’s tired and doesn’t feeling like running?

How will Charlie react when he faces challenges on the race track?

Charlie tells this story just for you. Your child will delight in reading about Charlie as a baby horse with a big dream.

All of Deanie’s books convey positive messages for children. Charlie the Horse emphasizes working hard and setting goals.

Amazon

Sapphire: A Paranormal Romance by Bryan W. Alpaspa

A Guffawing Dog Publishing Release

Latest novel from author, Bryan W. Alaspa

Approximately 100k words in length

——————–

Jimmy Parker is a typical high school student. Unpopular with the girls and picked on by the boys, he’s just trying to survive long enough to escape the tiny Pennsylvanian town of Knorr. With Jimmy and his friend, George, heading to the school dance, they expect nothing but the usual ritual humiliation from their peers. But when a girl in a brilliant blue dress enters their lives at the side of a lonely old bridge…everything changes.

Her name is Sapphire, and she is the most alluring girl that Jimmy has ever met. Yet, there is something strange about her; something different. Why has he never seen her at school? Why does she only want to meet up near the bridge? And why does everybody keep warning Jimmy to stay away from her?

Before long, Jimmy is plunged into a decades-old mystery. The town of Knorr has many secrets; some held by powerful men. Men that would do anything to keep them from getting out. Something dark happened one night in Knorr, and now Jimmy is a part of it whether he likes it or not.

And Sapphire holds the key to understanding it all.

Jimmy discovers that his bond with the mysterious girl creates a unique power between them. A power that bridges time, space, and even dimensions. It is the one thing that could save them both.

Because sometimes the most powerful force on Earth is love.

Amazon

Dark Tidings: Ancient Magic Meets the Internet Book 1 by Ken Magee

What happens when ancient magic meets the internet? One thing is certain, modern life will never be the same again.

A thousand years ago, a young thief, Tung, and a disgraced wizard, Madrick, are thrust together in an executioner’s dungeon. In the darkness, Madrick reveals an incredible secret about a legendary spell.

The great spell helps them escape their prison cell… and eventually their century.

Catapulted into the present day, their lives collide with Michael, a computer hacker who plans to destroy the world’s largest bank. But sinister people are tracking their every move and they will stop at nothing to steal their spell.

Funny and frightening, Dark Tidings is book one of the spellbinding ‘ancient magic meets the Internet’ trilogy.

Rabiah: The Gift (Volume 1) by Lisa Lagaly

Rabiah is a simple Clan girl.

Gift-less, friendless, but talented with weapons. She fights and dresses like a boy. Defeated in battle, she prepares herself for death. It doesn’t come. Instead, she finds herself in a position she never imagined tied heart and soul to the enemy.

It is not easy being a Princess in a country where Clans-people are slaves, you’ve suddenly developed strange powers, and someone will do anything to put his own daughter on the throne, even make deals with demons.

Amazon

Author Liam Samolis

Liam-SamolisWho am I? That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, not a cry for help, by the way…

I’ll unbend a little and tell you that I’m a middle-aged man living in Canada, and as I intimated, I’m actively engaged in getting a writing career off the ground. Yes, it’s taken me this long to finally start doing something that I feel very comfortable doing, and I’m also keen about preserving some of my privacy, too.

In essence, I’m an ordinary man with an ambition to write. I very much hope that you will join me as I embark on what I hope will be a glorious adventure.

Featured Selection: Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

Signs-of-a-Life-by-Liam-SamolisMuch like his beloved – and somewhat decrepit – cars, Liam Samolis (NOT his real name; that was changed in order to protect his wife and children from ridicule on the off chance some of their friends will read his work) is hurtling towards 50 with the brakes failing.

The painful loss of his father leads Liam to look back at his life as he contemplates the legacy he is leaving his own children; resulting in a hilarious, often self-deprecating, and ALWAYS brutally, side-splittingly, honest glimpse at the path that has led him to become the man that he is.

With stories about growing up as a painfully shy child in England, going to an all-boys’ school, and what can only be described as the most uproariously hysterical bar scene EVER written, Liam also recounts his days as a police officer, the births of his children, and saying goodbye to his father.

What began as a legacy to his children will send readers into peals of raucous laughter, likely leading them to tears and other unexpected bodily functions.

If you read one book this year, Signs of (a) Life should be it – nowhere else will you be so moved by a man simply living.

Book Review: OK, women, here it is!

Finally, a gut honest personal journal written by a man that hits the pages of Signs of (a) Life with both serious and laugh-out-loud stories.

To begin with, Liam speaks of issues that we can all relate to as we stand in front of a mirror and are surprised to see the older, graying image of someone we barely recognize staring back.

Liam states this right off the bat, “Warning: this book contains within it accounts of real conversations which may therefore occasionally include naughty words and rude phrases. I’ve even made up some words of my own. That’s the real world for you.”

Within the 502 pages and 61 topics this author presents his half century of life experiences in a relaxed, well thought out format that lets the readers empathize with him. His stories involve experiences not just a man, but as a boy. Very few men will bare their souls to share experiences of awkwardness while moving from childhood into manhood. Liam shares some of his experiences while attending a single-sex school for boys. He shares his discovery of girls, cars and various medical issues.

Some of the most interesting stories involve his experiences as a police officer in England. The most touching are his stories about the birth of his children. Liam dedicates this book to his children.

I invite you to come laugh and cry with Liam Samolis as we wait to see what happens in his next fifty years of living.

I leave you with this quote from Liam. “Like the vast majority of men; I feel. I enjoy (which, by the way, seems to be an ‘allowed’ emotion), I grieve, I feel sad, I feel hurt. I screw up. At times I am emotionally vulnerable. And there is nothing – to my mind – remotely un-masculine about any of that; feeling is part of living – an integral part. In fact for me, feeling is THE essential part of living. Feeling can never be wrong in principle (because it simply happens without conscious intention) – and neither can displaying or being honest about our emotions. Being overtaken by emotions in a situation where action is necessary could, of course, be problematic, but feeling and showing our feelings is essential in the long term for our personal health. I wonder how much happier many men could be if their emotions were not effectively under lock and key? Hey – that almost rhymes.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis as the honest account of a man living his life with all the human emotions that men typically try to avoid speaking about. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 18, 2015.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor

Amazon Author’s Page

ARIA: Left Luggage by Geoff Nelder

Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia Today, Jack caught a bug at work. He catches a bus home. By the time he disembarks in the desert town of Rosamond, all the other passengers and the driver have fuzzy heads. Jack had caught an amnesia bug, and it’s infectious. Imagine the ramifications: The passengers arrive home, infecting family; some shop en route infecting everyone they meet. The bus driver receives more passengers giving them change for last week’s prices and today’s amnesia. Some passengers work at the power plant, the water treatment works, the hospital, fire station. All shut down in weeks. One man, Ryder Nape, realizes what’s going on, but can he persuade friends to barricade themselves in a secluded valley, hiding from the amnesia bug?

“Geoff Nelder inhabits Science Fiction the way other people inhabit their clothes.” — Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

“Geoff Nelder’s ARIA has the right stuff. He makes us ask the most important question in science fiction–the one about the true limits of personal responsibility.” —Brad Linaweaver

Robert J. Sawyer calls ARIA a “fascinating project.”

“ARIA has an intriguing premise, and is written in a very accessible style.” —Mike Resnick

ARIA Voted best science fiction novel of 2012

Book Review: Let me answer the first question that came to my mind when the book ‘ARIA: Left Luggage’ arrived. The word ARIA has its roots in Italian meaning air.

Science Fiction as a genre literally is in a world of its own because human beings are obsessed with how to destroy or alter all of humanity by a single threat. It is rare that we find an author who can approach this kind of fiction from a new perspective, but Geoff Nelder has a truly unique concept.

As the first chapter begins the reader is introduced to Nelder’s large cast of characters like Vlad, Jena, Dan, Abdul and Antonio. His quantity of characters almost overwhelms the reader at first, but each has a role to play in this ordeal. The variety of solid, believable interpersonal relationships like the between Ryder Nape and his fiancée Teresa are essential as the world is threatened with massive memory loss by an alien virus. ARIA begs the intriguing question that as people lose their memories what is so important to their lives they must make a note of it to read when they wake up each morning?

The year is 2015 and there is never a dull moment as the reader joins the crew of “the shuttle, Marimar, in orbit approaching the International Space Station” and follows the science at the Dryden Space Laboratories at Edwards Air Force Base in California and the NASA Goddard Labs in Maryland. Travels to London and to the Anafon Valley in North Wales. Follow the viral repercussions to the Chester Zoo in UK, Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and to Banff National Park in Canada.

The author caused this reader to ask how the world would handle such a virus if brought back to Earth from an exploratory mission, who on earth might be immune, and what secrets could NASA and WHO be keeping from us? That is what good science fiction does. It captures the readers’ imagination and takes us to places that we believe are impossible, but somewhere in the dark corners of our minds we recognize that there is a slim probability.

Theodocia McLean endorses ARIA: Left Luggage – by Geoff Nelder (volume one in the ARIA series) as a science fiction, action filled fiction that has already won the coveted Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for best science Fiction novel of 2012. Please consider purchasing and reading the whole ARIA series (available at Amazon): ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1), ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2) and ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3). I purchased and reviewed this book in a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 26, 2014.

Book Excerpt For ARIA: Left Luggage
Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link
Barnes and Noble Print Purchase Link
Nook Purchase Link

Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Geoff Nelder’s Website

Other Links:
Authors Database
Wikia
Facebook for ARIA Trilogy
Goodreads

Author Geoff Nelder’s Blog
Author Geoff Nelder’s Twitter
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Aria: Returning Left Luggage by Geoff Nelder

You must buy ARIA because it is the ONLY book with infectious amnesia. You need this book to solve the question what is the most important thing we treasure in our minds? See the fictional infectious amnesia before it happens to you!

Meet the Aliens

In Returning Left Luggage, Book Two of the ARIA Trilogy, we finally meet the aliens. Unlike most science fiction aliens, these ignore the remaining humans, or make use of them for labour. They don’t bargain on encountering the psychotic Dr Antonio Menzies, and when he discovers how to use their telepathic-controlled gadgets, odd things happen.

Meanwhile Ryder’s isolation group are in the South Pacific facing invasion problems of another kind. That, and trouble in the French Alps, along with a runaway exotic weed, makes this sequel one you’ll not want to miss.

ARIA: Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia

Without our memories, who are we?

Book Excerpt For ARIA: Returning Left Luggage
Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link
Barnes and Noble Print Purchase Link
Nook Purchase Link

Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Geoff Nelder’s Website

Other Links:
Authors Database
Wikia
Facebook for ARIA Trilogy
Goodreads

Author Geoff Nelder’s Blog
Author Geoff Nelder’s Twitter
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Geoff Nelder

Geoff-Nelder1Geoff Nelder is a freelance writer living in Chester, UK.

A former high school teacher of geography and information technology, he has had non-fiction books published on microclimates in the UK along with several articles in academic journals such as Weather, Geographical Magazine and the Times Educational Supplement. Geoff is a part-time journalist contributing humorous travel accounts to Cycling World.

He has had short stories published and won a commendation for a story in the Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition. He won first prize in the Cafe Doom short story competition in 2005. Besides his 2005 released humour novel, Escaping Reality, published by Brambling Books, he won an award for mystery thriller, Hot Air, published by a Dutch Arts Academy in 2009, and a Science Fiction block buster, ARIA: Left Luggage is published by LL-Publications. Double Dragon Publishing published Geoff’s Exit, Pursued by a Bee science fiction in 2008. An urban fantasy, Xaghra’s Revenge is in the hands of the Rebecca Pratt Literary Agency.

Geoff has worked for publisher BeWrite Books and for Adventure Books of Seattle. He has been a freelance editor of novels and short stories for several years. Geoff is the 2009 & 2012 short-fiction judge for the Whittaker Prize.

Featured Selection: ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1) by Geoff Nelder

ARIA-Left-Luggage-Volume-1-by-Geoff-NelderAlien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia Today, Jack caught a bug at work. He catches a bus home. By the time he disembarks in the desert town of Rosamond, all the other passengers and the driver have fuzzy heads. Jack had caught an amnesia bug, and it’s infectious. Imagine the ramifications: The passengers arrive home, infecting family; some shop en route infecting everyone they meet. The bus driver receives more passengers giving them change for last week’s prices and today’s amnesia. Some passengers work at the power plant, the water treatment works, the hospital, fire station. All shut down in weeks. One man, Ryder Nape, realizes what’s going on, but can he persuade friends to barricade themselves in a secluded valley, hiding from the amnesia bug?

“Geoff Nelder inhabits Science Fiction the way other people inhabit their clothes.” — Jon Courtenay Grimwood “Geoff Nelder’s ARIA has the right stuff. He makes us ask the most important question in science fiction–the one about the true limits of personal responsibility.” —Brad Linaweaver Robert J. Sawyer calls ARIA a “fascinating project.” “ARIA has an intriguing premise, and is written in a very accessible style.” —Mike Resnick

ARIA Voted best science fiction novel of 2012

Book Review: Let me answer the first question that came to my mind when the book ‘ARIA: Left Luggage’ arrived. The word ARIA has its roots in Italian meaning air.

Science Fiction as a genre literally is in a world of its own because human beings are obsessed with how to destroy or alter all of humanity by a single threat. It is rare that we find an author who can approach this kind of fiction from a new perspective, but Geoff Nelder has a truly unique concept.

As the first chapter begins the reader is introduced to Nelder’s large cast of characters like Vlad, Jena, Dan, Abdul and Antonio. His quantity of characters almost overwhelms the reader at first, but each has a role to play in this ordeal. The variety of solid, believable interpersonal relationships like the between Ryder Nape and his fiancée Teresa are essential as the world is threatened with massive memory loss by an alien virus. ARIA begs the intriguing question that as people lose their memories what is so important to their lives they must make a note of it to read when they wake up each morning?

The year is 2015 and there is never a dull moment as the reader joins the crew of “the shuttle, Marimar, in orbit approaching the International Space Station” and follows the science at the Dryden Space Laboratories at Edwards Air Force Base in California and the NASA Goddard Labs in Maryland. Travels to London and to the Anafon Valley in North Wales. Follow the viral repercussions to the Chester Zoo in UK, Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and to Banff National Park in Canada.

The author caused this reader to ask how the world would handle such a virus if brought back to Earth from an exploratory mission, who on earth might be immune, and what secrets could NASA and WHO be keeping from us? That is what good science fiction does. It captures the readers’ imagination and takes us to places that we believe are impossible, but somewhere in the dark corners of our minds we recognize that there is a slim probability.

Theodocia McLean endorses ARIA: Left Luggage – by Geoff Nelder (volume one in the ARIA series) as a science fiction, action filled fiction that has already won the coveted Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for best science Fiction novel of 2012. Please consider purchasing and reading the whole ARIA series (available at Amazon): ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1), ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2) and ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3). I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 26, 2014.

Amazon Author’s Page

The ARIA Trilogy Box Set by Geoff Nelder

How To Not Lose Friends While Marketing Books

Once the final full stop in the ARIA Trilogy was hammered home, I knew there was work to do. Yes, the critique group, the publisher’s editor, who removed many commas, and their proofreader who put most of them and more back in again, but I’m referring to promo. Many writers refuse to become involved in the marketing of their art. Others become over-anxious and ill doing so. Mine is more the laid-back variety where I spend maybe an hour a day on forums, blogs, network media while attending conventions a little, and book readings and signing a bit.

Apart from the odd appeal for votes for the P&E Readers’ poll, and in encouraging writers to submit shorts to the now-departed Escape Velocity magazine, I’ve not tried a mass email plea to all my pals and acquaintances in my email contacts. For one thing over the last 12 years or so and with the way yahoo adds to contact lists, I now have over 1300 individual email addresses. To help sort them out I was able to export them as a csv file to Excel spreadsheet. I probably should have put them directly into a word processor but hey ho. Then I found I could delete hundreds – for example all those publishers starting with the word submission, editor, competition, and no-reply! I found many emails were from companies I’ve either bought from or argued with and again I could delete all those starting with support and all those from national and local government departments. I was down to 900 – yeay. I found many of my genuine friends were listed several times mainly because they keep changing their email addresses. Why would Karen need a yahoo, hotmail, gmail, googlemail, btinternet and msn.com email addresses? It must be a nightmare for her! Then how do I know which she doesn’t use anymore? Down to 850 addresses so that’s the list of unfortunate pals who are to receive news from me about ARIA. Yes, some already knew about the first book Left Luggage but I’ve left it until the trilogy is complete before bothering everyone.

ARIA Trilogy Box Set

I took inspiration from Sam Smith’s approach. He’s a marvellous poet, author and BeWrite editor who has on occasion to inform his contacts of his poetry and other publications. His posts are a delight to read. Instead of hammering a ‘you must buy’ in the first line, he apologises for taking up your time and computer electrons and invites you to delete even before reading the rest. I like his style and told him I was doing something similar. My first foray into writing was making up jokes and skits for stage comedians – not real ones, just other pupils at school. One of my jokes was told to a Christmas play audience including a Bishop of Gloucester. He must have used it to his colleagues because I heard it on Thought for the Day on Radio 4 a few years ago. I nearly fell of the toilet! So I use the gist of that joke in my mass email to my friends in the hope they don’t immediately put my post in their spam folder. Here it is:

Dear friends, You might know my joke about a priest who on his first jittery sermon said that last night he took solace in the arms of a beautiful woman but that … he couldn’t remember who she was! This note is rather like that. Many have told me to keep them informed when the final full stop of my infectious amnesia trilogy, ARIA has been punched. Ingratiating apologies if you are not interested. Just delete this post now, hopefully not with the spam button although worse has happened to me in the cardio suite in a Liverpool hospital last month so I’ll live, again. If you are interested then all three books of the ARIA trilogy are now published as ebooks and paperbooks. Directly from the publisher or from Amazon and other online bookshops. Links are below. Publisher’s site with purchase options http://www.ll-publications.com/aria3.html Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

BOX SET ebook of The ARIA Trilogy for UK readers http://www.amazon.co.uk/ARIA-Trilogy-Box-set-ebook/dp/B00LQACNZS/ £7.20 for US readers http://www.amazon.com/ARIA-Trilogy-Box-set-ebook/dp/B00LQACNZS/ $12.35 If you occasionally stumble into facebook please consider viewing and liking http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy Coffee & doughnuts, Geoff * the beautiful woman was, of course, his mother.

Well, what do you think? No matter because they’ve gone now. I remembered that when I sent masses of emails inviting people to submit stories to Escape Velocity mag yahoo mail often hiccupped with blocks because they don’t like us sending lots of posts at once. They might be spam! Really. No one knows how many you can send at once. Yahoo won’t say. Some forum users reckon as little as 15 at a time and no more frequently than every 30 minutes. I found no trouble in sending to 22 addresses every 20 minutes or so. It took a whole day. Not doing it again! I’ve only received two complaints – one was asking if we’d met. Well, in fact we’d met at FantasyCon and swapped business cards so she was all right but in future not to send her unsolicited posts again please. Fair enough. Another was from a publisher who didn’t like people trying to sell him books he didn’t publish – haha. Luckily, I’ve received a bunch of warming emails from people on the list who say they’ve often wondered how I’ve been getting on – what’s all that about your cardio, and then tell me all their new. Wonderful. If you know of a better way of not losing your friends please let me know but all in all it worked pretty well.

Note: Sam Smith’s web page, well worth a visit is here.

ARIA: Abandoned Luggage by Geoff Nelder

In 2015, a case found in the struts of the International Space Station is brought to Earth. It releases a virus giving people amnesia. They lose their memory at the rate of a year’s worth every week. No one is immune. Infectious amnesia is unheard of. Industry breaks down as people forget where they work and how to perform their duties. People die as they forget their medication, and production ceases along with food, water supply, and energy. A few small groups realise what is happening in time and find isolated refuges. Ryder Nape takes a group to a secluded Welsh valley where safety from the virus is possible. Biologists call the virus ARIA: Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia.

In this conclusion to the trilogy, Dr. Antonio Menzies arrives on Zadok. The ARIA-3 bomb had reached there two days previously, causing havoc. Surviving Zadokians consider a mass-migration to Earth to escape the effects of ARIA-3. Antonio’s madness grows, and he makes disturbing discoveries in their laboratories.

Meanwhile, Ryder’s group is now on a Pacific island. His relationship with Jena is unstable and others have coruscating infatuations in tune with the increasingly desperate situation. When their island becomes unsustainable, and the alien-Earth hybrid weed gets out of control, where should they go?

What was the Zadokians’ real purpose with the ARIA viruses, and how does it all end?

“ARIA mingles the most optimistic calculations from the Drake Equation with a distopian outcome, creating a read that is as intriguing as it is fun.”

—Magdalena Ball, owner of Compulsive Reader

“If you like your scifi offbeat, original, and backed by science, you’re going to love ARIA.”

—Kenyon Charboneaux, editor and writing tutor at Eros & Rust

“ARIA: a smart, entertaining gem.”

—Dr. Ira Nayman, author of the Transdimensional Authority Series

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link

Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Geoff Nelder’s Website

Other Links:
Authors Database
Wikia
Facebook for ARIA Trilogy
Goodreads

Author Geoff Nelder’s Blog
Author Geoff Nelder’s Twitter
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Exit: Pursued By A Bee by Geoff Nelder

Exit, Pursued by a Bee is driven by a Southern-belle heroine-astronaut, involves a Palaeolithic mongrel called Kur, Glastonbury Festival chaos, steamy sex in space, a mean-momma loose-cannon journalist and an out-of-control general who’d fix anything by nuking it. They are all involved in the attempt to overcome time-quake calamities created when alien artifacts depart from Earth, oblivious to the chaos they leave behind.

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

Book Excerpt For Exit, Pursued By A Bee
Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link
Barnes and Noble Print Purchase Link
Nook Purchase Link

Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Geoff Nelder’s Website

Other Links:
Authors Database
Wikia
Facebook for ARIA Trilogy
Goodreads

Author Geoff Nelder’s Blog
Author Geoff Nelder’s Twitter
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Billy Battles by Ronald Yates

Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots and his improbable journeys are just starting.

The year is 1894 and Billy is aboard the S S China sailing to the inscrutable Far East. Trouble is not far behind. He has met a mysterious and possibly dangerous German Baroness. He has locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea.

Later, he is embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam. Then, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the brutal anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are only beginning.

As the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries, and an assortment of vindictive and dubious characters of both sexes. How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they present? The answers are just ahead.

Amazon

Author Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. YatesRonald E. Yates is a former award-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.

He is the author of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy the first in a series of novels. The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, published in May 2016, is the second book in the series. He is also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill. Other books include Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan, a collection of columns translated into Japanese, as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a global Economy.

Yates lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America where he covered several major stories including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia in 1975, the 1989 Tiananmen Square tragedy in Beijing, and revolutions in Nicaragua, El Salvador an Guatemala.

His work as a foreign correspondent resulted in three Pulitzer Prize nominations and several other awards, including the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; The Inter-American Press Association Award for coverage of South America; and three Edward Scott Beck Awards for international reporting.

Yates is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. He lives in Murrieta, California.

Featured Selection: The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates

Billy Battles is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

As Book 2 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy opens, Billy is far from his Kansas roots and his improbable journeys are just starting.

The year is 1894 and Billy is aboard the S S China sailing to the inscrutable Far East. Trouble is not far behind. He has met a mysterious and possibly dangerous German Baroness. He has locked horns with malevolent agents of the German government and battled ferocious Chinese and Malay pirates in the South China Sea.

Later, he is embroiled in the bloody anti-French insurgency in Indochina–which quite possibly makes him the first American combatant in a country that eventually will become Vietnam. Then, in the Philippines, he is thrust into the Spanish-American War and the brutal anti-American insurgency that follows. But Billy’s troubles are only beginning.

As the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins, he finds himself entangled with political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries, and an assortment of vindictive and dubious characters of both sexes.

How will Billy handle those people and the challenges they present? The answers are just ahead.

Book Review: The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles is the sequel to Finding Billy Battles. I jumped right into this book without reading the first in this trilogy and found it to be a compelling story based on fact and expanded by narrative fiction.

Ted Sayles who is the great-grandson of Billy Battles inherits Billy’s journals and while writing this trilogy he stays very true to the language of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. While this book opens in 1894 with William (Billy) Battles heading for the Orient aboard the SS China it covers his time in the Far East, Latin America, and Europe.

It is aboard the SS China that Billy meets German Baroness Katharina von Schreiber. She is gorgeous and regal, far out of reach of a Kansas scribbler (journalist). Since you have probably read the book’s description I wrestle with what to share with you from this amazing story and journey that Billy Battles is about to embark on. So I have decided to quote this passage to whet your appetite. I quote:

“Katharina’s cabin was a bit larger than mine was, and like mine, its walls were covered with dark mahogany panels. In addition to the two overstuffed chairs and writing table, she also had a small dining table. That is where we settled, she on one side and me on the other.

“I’m sorry, I have nothing to offer you to drink.” Then she paused, stood up, and walked to her wardrobe where she produced a tear-shaped bottle of Glenglassaugh single malt Scotch whiskey and two heavy cut crystal glasses. “Except for this.”

She returned and placed the glasses on the table in front of us. “May I?” she asked, and then uncorking the bottle, she poured two fingers in each glass. “This was my late husband’s favorite.”

I shuddered imperceptibly at that remark but pulled the glass toward me anyway. Images of Katharina pushing Baron von Schreiber over a cliff or poisoning him with arsenic-laced Wiener schnitzel flooded my mind.

I forced those macabre thoughts out of my mind by focusing on the rich amber hue of the whiskey as I uneasily swirled the glass around and around in front of me.

What was I doing? I found myself thinking. Why was I in Katharina Schreiber’s cabin about to drink expensive single malt Scotch whiskey with a woman who had just admitted she had killed, but not murdered, her husband?”

Murder, mystery, intrigue, people, places and events that were intended to divert Billy’s attention from his past soon gets him embroiled in Katharina’s past, with the German government, not to mention Chinese and Malay pirates. Later on he finds himself perhaps the first American to be involved in the Anti-French insurgency in Indochina which will later be called Vietnam and involve America. War will not end there as he is forced into the Spanish-American War while in the Philippines.

Just as life takes many unexpected turns for Billy Battles so will your desire to keep turning the pages of this book to find out what is it about Billy Battles that causes him to try to escape his past, endure his new reality and find measured peace as he heads into the twilight of his life.

I invite you to read The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles as it is a journey worth your time. Be sure to read Finding Billy Battles (book one in this trilogy) while waiting for the author to write the final book in this amazing trilogy.

Author Ronald E. Yates life experience as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America gives him the authority with which he writes. It is important to point out he won “three Pulitzer Prize nominations and several other awards, including the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; The Inter-American Press Association Award for coverage of South America; and three Edward Scott Beck Awards for international reporting. He is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. He lives in Murrieta, California.”

Theodocia McLean endorses The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates. Ronald E. Yates is the author of the Finding Billy Battles (book one in this trilogy) and The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a global Economy. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on June 17, 2016.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Action Adventure

Amazon Author’s Page

Finding Billy Battles: An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption by Ronald Yates

When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.

For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.

As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

Amazon

Finding Billy Battles by Ronald Yates

When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.

For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.

As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

Amazon

Twice Baked Murder: A Cozy Mystery (The Rita Reincarnated Cozies Book 1) by Daphne DeWitt

Rita never thought much about how she was going to die.
…turns out that might have been a problem.

Two months prior to her wedding, pie maker extraordinaire and sheriff’s daughter Rita Clarke is rudely pushed down a flight of stairs by an unseen man with a burly voice and meaty hands. And that was the last thing that ever happened to her.

Until now.

Two years after her untimely demise, Rita returns to her small town of Second Springs with a brand new body, a dusty red pickup truck, a guardian angel named Charlie, an aloof Irish setter that used to be the mayor, and a mission to solve a string of murders (including her own) before she can move on.

But things in Second Springs aren’t what they used to be. Rita’s fiancé is now engaged to her former best friend, her father has been outed as town sheriff, and his replacement is irritatingly cocky and sure that Rita is hiding something.

When a young man is murdered on Rita’s first night back, she finds a wrench at the scene of the crime; the same thing she saw before her own murder.

Now Rita must try to work through the craziness of her new life, coexist with her ex friend and fiancé, and dodge the ever encroaching eye of the new sheriff if she’s going to stand a chance of catching the person responsible and moving on.

And you thought death was the end of all the fun!

Note this book was previously released under the J.C. Kilgrave penname. They have since been re-edited and reissued.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Supernatural, Werewolves & Shifters, Vampires, Psychics

Amazon

Tutankhamen Speaks by Cheryl Carpinello

2014 EVVY Merit Award for Historical Fiction from CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.)

Long ago the old texts of ancient Egypt alluded to scrolls in which King Tut spoke to the people from beyond the tomb.

Many archeologists put this down to an incorrect translation of the ancient Egyptian texts. Others swore to the accuracy of the translation. None of that mattered because the scrolls in question could not be found. Scholars labeled it a hoax, something that never existed. It was ludicrous to imagine someone speaking from the grave. They were wrong on both accounts.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link
Barnes and Noble Purchase Link
Nook Purchase Link

The Butcher’s Bill – by Martin Roy Hill

In Iraq, a shipment of $9 billion in cash goes missing. Each effort to find it ends in death. In Southern California, a mercenary’s murder, a severed head, and a bloody hand-written message spark a massive manhunt.

The man connecting these two events is William Butcher, aka The Butcher. Those who stole the money want him dead. The cops want him for murder. Butcher’s only hope is his former NCIS colleague and closest friend, Linus Schag.

Torn between loyalties, Schag walks the thin line between doing his job or betraying his friend. Working from opposite ends, Schag and Butcher peel back the layers of conspiracy, revealing a criminal enterprise reaching into the highest levels of government.

Torn from today’s headlines, the plot of The Butcher’s Bill ranges from the California mountains to the waters of the Pacific, and will keep readers on edge until its final, explosive climax.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, International Mystery & Crime

Amazon Purchase Link
Amazon Author’s Page

Author Brian A. McLaughlin

Head-shotAuthor Brian A. McLaughlin is a native of Long Island, NY where he has spent most of his life taking advantage of its proximity to the ocean. He completed 10 years of private school before finishing his last two years and graduating from Bay Shore High School in 1971.

He and his wife Lin met there, in high school, and married in 1984 and have travelled extensively throughout the world since. He has been in Mexico for a total of years where they learned Spanish and started learning Mayan. He was seriously injured there in 1993 and died in a hospital in Cancun, at which time he experienced what is called a “near death” event. After almost 20 years of denial he came to grips with the reality of it, and has now decided that sharing his experience might help those who thirst for the truth about what happens when you die.

He has lead an interesting, varied life through some college, many different career choices, much travelling, and a “better than most” marriage. He considers himself “happy”, and even with the limitations that severe head trauma placed on him, he remains surprisingly approachable and engaging. He has embraced the peace and clarity gifted to him through his experience.

Featured Selection: A Flight Without Wings: My Experience With Heaven by Brian A. McLaughlin

A-Flight-Without-Wings-My-Experience-With-HeavenA Journey There And Back

The following story describes my journey into Heaven and subsequent return to life, all as a result of massive head trauma sustained while vacationing in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico 21 years ago, on 9/11/1993.

It will describe visions as well as deep feelings that moved me to the core of my being. It will go on to briefly give some background into facets of my life and experiences that I had before and after that “accident” that relate somehow to the understanding and clarity that this event has brought to me and how I continue to discover the benefits of passing over to the “other side” Some things are evident to anyone who reads this and some remain relative in more obscure ways.

My hope would be that my words and experience with an afterlife will comfort those people who struggle with a fear and concern, either for themselves or someone close to them that has made this journey on their own. I have kept this to myself for all these years initially out of fear of accepting it, and then out of my inability to accurately describe the sequence of events and the meaning of it all.
My best guess and my overwhelming belief is that this journey of mine represents the exact path and result of nearly everyone who has left us. I was “blessed” with a return ticket and a feeling that it is my onus to share what so few get to experience.

Book Review: Author Brian A. McLaughlin answers one age old question in this short book chronicling his experience when he died and went to heaven.

This reader is impressed by the fact that Brian isn’t a particular religious man even though his roots are Catholic with a keen interest in the Mayan culture. Like so many raised in a particular faith he longs to know the truth. When faced with truth he struggles for a deeper understanding which leads him to share the gifted insights acquired through his own journey from earthly ties to heavenly peace.

Throughout mankind’s history humans have been given insights and experiences that leave them asking “Why Me?” This book reveals the answer, but the reader has to be open to receive it.

As with all my reviews I like to quote a passage that brings understanding to the author’s writing style and mind set. I quote Author Brian A. McLaughlin in the hopes that you will read this book and pass it on to a friend, relative or stranger who wrestles with and even fears what lies beyond life here on earth. “I did have an overwhelming feeling of peace that suggested was the norm for anyone there. Same goes for the journey itself. I didn’t take the trip with anyone else but felt that this path had been travelled countless times before me and ALL the same. I could talk to someone who has lost a loved one and say with confidence that I know the path they were on, I know where they are, and I know how they are feeling right now. I realize that this may open for debate the existence of a hell, but that could be argued as existing in our lives here on earth.”

Theodocia McLean endorses A Flight Without Wings: My Experience With Heaven by Brian A. McLaughlin as a gifted journey to light the way for others. Brian accepts his gift with humility and extends its message with compassion. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on May 22, 2015.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Death, Self-Help, Non-Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Sandra Masters

From a humble beginning in Newark, New Jersey, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ at the age of fourteen, retiring from a fantastic career for a play broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra traded in the Board Rooms for the Ballrooms of the Regency period and never looked back.

Sandra wrote her first book at the age of fifteen. Romance is at best a gift and her passion is the Regency period. Admittedly, she would prefer to be the sister of a duke or an earl…perhaps even a princess? Or the other endless possibilities of a widow. Hmmm.

As a lonely only child, she used to read fairy tales and now she writes them. She admits freely she’s an unapologetic story-teller.

Her debut novel was Once Upon a Duke, which received wide acceptance. She followed with Book Two, My Divinely Decadent Duke, a marriage-of-convenience story turned inconvenient when love and sensuality entered the equation.

Her third book, THORN, SON OF A DUKE, the prequel to her fourth book, THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD is a 15,000-word teaser. She delineates Thorn’s younger days as a half-breed subject to the malice of rock throwing native boys. At the age of seventeen, his mother extracts a death-bed promise for him to sail the ocean to visit his father, the Duke of Althorn, who never knew of his existence. On the island of Barbados, it wasn’t the best of lives, but it was the only one he knew. Now, he was to face British aristocracy as the bastard son of a powerful, wealthy duke.

Book Four she lovingly calls “My Bastard” is a multi-cultural romance story of a young couple defeating all odds to have their love accepted. The gossamer thread of sensuality is woven through the tapestried story of their spicy, steamy romance. At times, the obstacles are daunting.

With Book Five in this series, ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE, she accomplished her life-long dream of publishing this story into a reality. What did it take? Cutting the too-long epic by 57,000 words was a prodigious task. She worked like a dervish, so her Raven and Samantha could see the light of a publishing day. She gave them cameo appearances in each of her books so she wouldn’t forget that they begged to earn a place in the series. Seven years later, they made their long awaited debut.

Now, she’s delighted to say that ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE, has an official release date of June 21, 2017.

For a new author, it’s been a whirlwind two years and it was nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed.

Book Six is a work-in-process and her writing takes a different path into a dark, brooding fantasy where supernatural powers assist in prolonging the adventures of The Blue-Eyed Black-Hearted Duke. What man could resist redemption from the beautiful ward of his, Miss Jaclyn? Possible release end of 2017.

Two months ago, Sandra broke her right dominant arm, so she is tested every day to manipulate fingers that used to fly across typewriter keys. Some days are good and others are not, but her grit and determination keep her going.

P.S. Sandra love bears of all sizes and shapes. However, she prefers to view the real life ones from afar.

Interview Questions?

What makes you proud to be a writer from California? California where I retired, but I’ve been a business world traveler, and do like the small town coziness where most of the people where I live know I’m a spicy romance writer. I’m just a little fish in a big comfy pond. I make it evident about the heat level (spicy/sensual/hot) so a reader will not be offended.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I started writing at thirteen and when I entered high school, I knew what I wanted to be. My high school English teacher encouraged me and of course, I fell in love with Frank Yarby’s Foxes of Harrow and that was representative of my preferred genre.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I did enter a convent in New Jersey, a result of my Catholic elementary school. I lasted three weeks. I was an only child and most likely a drama queen. From a child who had only two books and the Encyclopedia Britannia at my disposal, I now have over 863 books of all genres, but mostly Romance. I enjoy creating realistic characters, showing introspection, goals, motivation, and the hunger for something more than they have. Romance gives me the opportunity to write HAPPILY EVER AFTER endings.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I decided that before I left the planet, I wanted at least one book (of the many I’d written) published. Five years ago, I joined Romance Writers of America and the local chapter Yosemite Romance Writers. Attended webinars, seminars, presentations, conferences, networked with other authors and aspiring writers, and in 2015 I published my first book ONCE UPON A DUKE with The Wild Rose Press.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Letters from fans, e mails from other author friends, and the fact that I’ve showed my grandchildren that if you want to do something, try and try again and work hard and it will happen. For me it took decades, but worth the wait. Nothing I expected but everything I dreamed. Also, my husband who used to read mysteries wanted to help, so I convinced him to read romance. Now he’s my plotster and I do work at this 8 hours a day 6 days a week. I stop at 5:00 p.m. and we enjoy a cocktail and discuss my characters. It has enriched our marriage!!!!!

How many published books do you have? Five Books, The Duke Series with The Wild Rose Press.

Please list the titles of all your books:
Once Upon A Duke
My Divinely Decadent Duke
Thorn, Son of a Duke
The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard
One Night With A Duke
The Blue-Eyed Black-Hearted Duke (Release Date End 2017)

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write spicy, sensual, hot Regency era novels. This encompasses 1800-1820 give or take a year. This was the Georgian era in England, and it was a time of elegant madness and maybe even self-illuminating. It was the time of the romp where pleasures were pursued, sometimes granted and sometimes denied, but there was passion and sensuality in the air. It gave way to the Victorian Era in stark difference to the Regency. I’ve written mostly about the aristocracy because I like to, but also because I think in another life I was the sister of a Duke, or a wealthy widow with privileges. This is not to say that this era did not have important issues in the nation to be dealt with, such as, woman’s rights, poverty, the industrial revolution which galvanized the masses. Farm workers rushed to the city to make money and encountered disease and pestilence. Every human being has a story, I just prefer the happier, privileged ones that have problems, conflict, and eventually a happily ever after.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Two rules:
Rule Number 1: Never give up
Rule Number 2: Don’t forget Rule Number One.

Who is your favorite author and why? Judith McNaught, Mary Balogh, come to mind. Judith broke all the rules and touched your heart. Mary writes with her heart and is consistent. I know I’ve left a lot of amazing authors out, but it’s only because my arm is hurting now. I broke it four weeks ago and I’m learning to type again.

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

The Duke Series by Sandra Masters

A True Regency Romance That Will Leave You Wanting More

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

One Night With A Duke: The Duke Series Book Five by Sandra Masters

Reclusive, cold as ice, the politically powerful Raven, Duke of Ravensmere, denies love after the tragic deaths of his duchess and baby. He is bound by his vow never to allow love to enter his heart again. Samantha Winston permits him to seek refuge in her carriage in a time of need, and what started as a kiss in the name of safety, becomes something more pleasurable and not so safe after all. In spite of every caution, his interest escalates into unexpected desire.

Samantha, a young widow with a secret, irreverent and high-spirited, has constructed impenetrable walls against all men. When she and Raven meet again, strong wills clash. Political intrigues and a dreaded nemesis place his life at risk, and Samantha finds herself in a dire predicament. All the while, passion soars.

Book Review: One Night With A Duke is the fifth book The Duke series. Author Sandra Masters sums up book five her series which takes place in London 1816 by this statement: “Can Samantha’s barriers fall with more kisses? Can Raven be released from his deathbed vow?”

Chapter one opens with action “The decision to walk to the gala had been a colossal mistake. The Tenth Duke of Ravensmere ducked into the shadows. Seven against one not good odds.”

Those who follow this series already know the well-developed characters and great story telling. Whether you start with book one or book five you will travel back into a period of time where romance was divine and acts played out in the bedroom were expressions of one’s heart and soul. Let me draw you into the story with a delicious romance from chapter thirty three:

“Raven growled as she screamed his name over and over again and considered it a benediction. Then and there, he knew there would never be any other woman for him. Her every reaction became an aphrodisiac. He prepared to ascend into sublime bliss, plunged his manhood into her again and again, and before he could exercise any control, released his seed.

“Each thrust seemed to reward them with multiple orgasms. His voice roared in strong satisfaction, desperate to breathe in gulps of air. She was velvet. He was iron. The look of passion on her sweet face pleasured him. This experience didn’t disappoint. Not what he expected, and perhaps too much more. Raven felt her muscle tighten around him and contract, tighten, and then bind him yet again. She coiled around his shaft. Paradise attained. He didn’t want the moment to end. What man would?

“After a few long moments, he rolled off her and brought her close to him, their bodies naked and moist from their lovemaking. “I hope I wasn’t too heavy. Admittedly, I dealt with a few unexpected issues.” He kissed her forehead and fondled her silken hair. Raven gazed at her face when she leaned back in repose, skin kissed by the moonlight, her lips rose-colored and lust-swollen. Her hair now pooled into strands of red curls wound in laziness and reminded him of a burning forest fire as it crested. The flames of the fireplace’s glowing embers cast a color spell of reds, orange and yellow on her tresses, radiating and beckoning his fingers to romp through. He knew the touch of it would feel like silken threads. Fascinated, he stared as her finger teased away ward tendril away.”

I invite you to enjoy this book along with the entire Duke Series by romance author Sandra Masters. I am enjoying the entire series. I, Theodocia McLean endorse ‘One Night With A Duke’ as a refreshing Regency Romance set in the 1800s. At the end of this book, Author Sandra Masters will whet your appetite for book six titled The Blue-Eyed, Black-Hearted Duke. I purchased this book from Kindle on June 21, 2017 and this review was completed on June 23, 2017

Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency Romance

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard (The Duke Series Book 4) by Sandra Masters

After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned Argamak Turk horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans: on a dangerous mission to Barbados, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will he exact revenge for the foul deed?

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings. But the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her.

Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove love can pave the way to their happiness?

Book Review: The fourth book the Duke Series is set in Porticio of Beckamhouse, London, England, 1820. The book opens with a romantic interlude between Thorn Wick and Alicia Montgomery.

Travel back into a period of time when men and women behaved elegantly and letters were more than mere words, they were the expression of one’s heart and soul. Let me draw you into the story with this quote:

“Chester announced that the visitor the Marquess of Montgate, had arrived, and he’d shown the gentleman into the room. She smiled a warm greeting to him.

“Dear, dear Alicia, I’ll be the envy of every man at the ball tonight. You look ravishing in that goddess-like gown. How will I keep all the men away from you?” He bent low and kissed her extended hand.

“I will assist by exhibiting the manner of a shrew if necessary. Now, Percival, give me a proper hug. I promise not to bore you about horses, but I will keep you engaged in conversation about my schoolmistress duties. I confess I’m worn out. I wonder how our tenants are able to cope with so many children without servants.”

Percival smiled. “We aristocrats do have some advantages.”

“That may be, but I look forward to our time tonight. Thorn gave you a letter for me?”

“Yes, he did when last we met.” He grinned. “He also gave me instructions that I was to protect you from any man who would try to woo you to a balcony or some such thing. Especially I’m to keep Claven, that scoundrel, a good distance from you. Please don’t encourage the rascal. I’m too young to die in a duel.” He walked toward her. “Thorn’s much in love with you, my dear.”

“And I am with him.”

“Alas, it’s my sad fate to relinquish you. Here is his letter.” He withdrew it from his breast pocket. “Now if you will direct me to the duke and duchess, I’ll extend my greetings while you read the contents.”

“Percival, you’re a good friend of his. I thank you. I’ll be with you shortly. Just follow the conversations, and they’ll lead you to the grand drawing room. Gordon is with them. I’ll join you in a few minutes.”

He turned to leave.

“Percival,” she called out. “Thank you for this wondrous gift. I shan’t forget you.”

“It’s my pleasure, Alicia. Thorn is my dearest friend. I know how much he loves you, and I’m happy to help him attain his goals.” He winked, and left.

She ran into the library where she could read his letter in private. She carefully opened it and her heart lifted at its prose.

You must read the book to find out what this letter said and how Alicia responds.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard by Sandra Masters. One Night with a Duke, is promised for release in 2017. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on November 6, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency Romance

Amazon Reviews
Amazon Print
Kindle

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

Thorn, Son Of A Duke (Duke Series Book Three) by Sandra Masters

At the age of seventeen, Thorn Wick made a promise to his dying mother that sends him sailing from Barbados to England to meet the man who sired him, the aristocratic Duke of Althorn, who never knew of his son’s existence.

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the Duke, develops a deep affection for the Anglo Indian who protects her from advances by other men. She wants him to acknowledge his feelings for her, but he insists on ignoring the chemistry between them.

Despite the intrigue, revelations, and revenge, will their passion and love for each other conquer all?

Book Review: The third book (mini novella prequel to book four) in the Duke Series is here and Author Sandra Masters delivers another true regency romance with Thorn, Son Of A Duke.

The book opens with Thorn Wick aboard his Majesty’s Ship en route to England, 1817. “Thorn Wick leaned over the railing of the ship. A queasy sensation roiled in his stomach as he watched the swelling of the seas. He closed his eyes and hoped he’d wake up and find himself in his sunlit room in Barbados on firm ground listening to island chants.”

Enjoy regal characters and superb story telling that will keep you invested in the plot. Let me share with you a passage from the book as tension builds at ‘London Wharfside’.

“Thorn stood by the railing and scanned an old road that gave access to wharves and docks on the north bank of the River Thames. The panorama before him amazed. Busy docks men and porters hustled large cases and bales from the ships to the waiting warehousemen. Men shouted while clerks with inventory lists directed longshoremen to the appropriate buildings.

“Sir Tomas, what is that large building to the right of us? Never have I seen such a large structure.”

“That’s the East India House owned and operated by the company. I would venture to say the wealth that passes within its portals is unsurpassed in the world. They are a powerful force with which to reckon. Fortunately, your forefathers had the good sense not to invest in India and chose Barbados.”

Thorn’s eyes widened at the activity; excitement overtook him. He didn’t know where to look first.

“Do you see that black coach with the Lion crest waiting?”

“Yes. Is that my father’s?” he asked with a bit of trepidation.

As they spoke, a tall aristocratic gentleman departed the coach, his beaver top hat and greatcoat an admission of his wealth. The coach driver was armed and one footman was on the back board. The other footman walked behind the man. A gold dome-topped cane glistened in the sunlight.

“Is that my father, Sir Tomas?”

“Yes, it is. He’s come to greet you personally.” Tomas grasped Thorn’s shoulder in convivial support. “Just be yourself, Thorn. Everything will be fine.”

The gangplank was lowered, and the passengers prepared to depart. Thorn and Tomas waited for the others to precede them.

“Courage, little lion,” Tomas joked.

“I will need more than that,” Thorn replied, unable to keep his eyes off the aristocratic gentleman who waited patiently on the dock.

I now understand what my mother saw in him.

Thorn took a deep breath. “I’m ready, Sir Tomas. Let us greet the great lion.” He smiled with an inquisitive stare at the man who gave him life and wondered what future awaited him.

I invite you to follow this father and son reunion and see what lays in store for this son of a duke. Read the entire Duke Series by Sandra Masters at Amazon. Each book stands alone for your regency romance enjoyment. I, Theodocia McLean endorse Thorn, Son Of A Duke (The Duke Series Book 3) by Sandra Masters. I purchased reviewed this book from Kindle and this review was completed on March 10, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency Romance

Kindle Purchase Link

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

My Divinely Decadent Duke (The Duke Series Book Two) by Sandra Masters

Orphaned and abandoned by family, Lady Cassandra Montgomery yearns for love. Beautiful and innocent, she attracts the attention of a renowned rake, the Duke of Althorn. When her security is threatened, she offers him a proposal for an arranged marriage in exchange for his guarantee of safety for her and her ward. After her first taste of desire in his arms, she finds the sexual attraction irresistible. Finding herself in a family way, she leaves his home, unsure of his love.

The Duke is at first enraged by the brazen behavior, yet he sees Cassandra as a captivating caregiver for his mother and impossible to resist. He agrees. The arrangement becomes inconvenient because love and sex enter the equation.

Will she believe her husband truly loves her and return to his waiting arms?

Will the Duke admit his love and use his rakish skills to woo Cassandra back to his bed?

Book Review: Follow-up regency romance Once Upon A Duke with My Divinely Decadent Duke (Duke Series Book Two).

Back in London in 1822 arranged marriages of even royalty doesn’t mean the woman (seen as a possession) is secure in life or love, in fact the beautiful Lady Cassandra Montgomery yearns for love.

At the ballroom “Cassandra turned to her brother. “Brent Montgomery, Earl of Stratton. May I introduce you to his Grace, Duke of Althorn.”

Later “The Duke stared at the sun-dappled ocean from his balcony residence as the evening hour approached. The ever-present restlessness was his companion. He took deep breaths, prepared to harness his energy and put it to work for him. His beloved dog Clayo lay at his side. He knelt to pet her head. She was one of his prized possessions; there could never be a doubt of the indisputable fact. The animal gave him a lick on his hand. His gentle creature with the name of a temptress Egyptian Queen was dedicated in her affection for him.”

“The Duke decided to walk the beach again. This time he took Clayo, and his attire was indeed informal. He’d left his jacket at the villa, but was still dressed in his waistcoat appropriate to his rank. Crop in his right hand, he strode quickly. Although he would be loathed to admit it, he wanted to see if his Enchantress of the Sea would be out and about. He invited her the night before to walk along the beach, but she didn’t present herself. In his heart, he didn’t think she would tonight, but nonetheless, it didn’t hurt to ask. Clayo plodded alongside him and wagged her tail. He kept at their “stick into the ocean” game, and she promptly retrieved. They played most of the time until either he became bored or Clayo tired.

His heart leaped when he saw Cassandra. This time the outfit was a dark azure skirt with the same white balloon sleeve blouse, a light blue jacket, and a fetching azure hat with her blonde hair tucked under it. The children were with her. Alicia, wearing a white ruffled dress with many petticoats, ran barefoot and giggled. A huge white bow accented her blonde braid so the wind wouldn’t whip hair in her face. Blue eyes that matched the sky, soft creamy white skin, and a delicate frame gave the girl an impish look. It then occurred to him how much Alicia resembled Cassandra. Could it be a coincidence? Or was there more to it? Was there a secret somewhere?

More than a romance story, it is an adventure told with remarkable storytelling, easy going to face paced reading, true to time period dialog and settings along with extensive research by Author Sandra Masters engages the reader in the search for true love between Lady Cassandra Montgomery and Duke Gordon Althorn.

Relax into a deep, hot bubble bath with a glass of red wine (or drink of your choice) and relax with romance as it should be. Author Sandra Masters states it best: “Every woman should have a divinely decadent Duke in her life.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse My Divinely Decadent Duke by Sandra Masters as book two in this Regency Romance. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on February 6, 2016.

Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency Romance

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

Once Upon A Duke: The Duke Series Book One by Sandra Masters

Serena, an artist and widow, has no desire for another husband. When she meets Geoffrey Austen, attraction sizzles to a scorch. Stolen days and nights ignite forbidden passion. Geoffrey asks Serena to be his mistress, but she wants commitment, love, and marriage, not an affair with a notorious rake.

Geoffrey realizes Serena might be the one woman who can care for his tortured soul, and maybe release his demons. The magic they shared is shattered when he learns she has been forced into an engagement with another. He vows to save her even at the cost of his own life.

Will Geoffrey’s gallantry prove he truly loves Serena?

If he survives, will Serena surrender all to him?

Book Review: Bring regency romance into your life with Once Upon A Duke. Each book in the Duke Series stands alone for your reading pleasure.

Warm, realistic characters in book one bring the reader back to London 1817. Lady Serena Worthington Durand is a strong independent woman ahead of her time, but she faces demons from the past. I quote: “If Lady Serena could be granted one wish, she would ride off into the morning mist and vanish. That, of course wasn’t possible, but here in her favorite lakeside retreat, she could relax in safety.”

Legendary Duke of Sutton, Geoffrey Austen has a chance encounter with Lady Serena and I quote: “Allow me to introduce myself, Lord Geoffrey Austen, at your service.” He swept off his hat and bowed. “I am Henry Worthington’s hunting guest for the week.”

More than a romance story, it is an adventure that will make your heart pound, your emotions run wild and your spirit soar.

The combination of remarkable storytelling, easy going to face paced reading, true to time period dialog and settings along with extensive research by Author Sandra Masters engages the reader in the life and times of Lady Serena Worthington Durand.

I invite you to light a fire, pour a glass of red wine (Sandra Masters would join you in the wine, but hers would be a white fruity glass) and relax with romance as it should be. Author Sandra Masters states it best: “Every woman should have a divinely decadent Duke in her life.” I, Theodocia McLean endorse Once Upon a Duke by Sandra Masters as a true Regency Romance that will leave you wanting more. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on October 7, 2015.

Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency Romance

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Professional Blog Link
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Sandra Bolton

Sandra-BoltonSandra (Thomas) Bolton (1941) grew up in northern California’s Sacramento Valley.

Immediately after graduation she married her high school sweetheart, Tom Bolton, and left California on a Greyhound Bus bound for Memphis, Tennessee to join her husband. That was her first introduction to racial inequality, and it made an enduring impression on her life.

Sandra spent the next 25 years traveling from one coast or country to another while her husband completed a Navy career. During that time, she raised three children and completed a college education, receiving BA’s in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Science Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling.

She has maintained an abiding interest in social causes and environmental issues for as long as she can remember and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras from 1985-87. Sandra currently resides in Raton, New Mexico where she divides her time between reading, writing, hiking, gardening, photography, and gourmet cooking.

Key Witness is her second novel. Her first, A Cipher in the Sand, was published in 2011. She is currently working on a sequel to Key Witness.

Featured Selection: Key Witness by Sandra Bolton

Key-Witness-by-Sandra-BoltonHeading west for the serene deserts of New Mexico with his three-legged dog, Patch, Abe Freeman hopes to escape the memories of his girlfriend’s lost battle with cancer. He expects his cross-country journey to be healing, not life-threatening. And he definitely doesn’t plan to wind up as the main suspect when a drifter he meets along the way, Easy Jackson, gets murdered.

When Abe’s lost knife turns up at the crime scene and Easy’s key appears in Abe’s backpack, Abe finds himself hunted by the police, biker gangs, and drug dealers, all of whom are determined to get their hands on that key. Caught up in the violence, Abe becomes desperate to prove his innocence. With help from Navajo police officer Emily Etcitty, he just might survive…and his heart just might find another reason to keep on beating.

Book Review: Key Witness by Sandra Bolton is gaining mixed reviews which shows that readers are talking about this book.

A cross country trip starting in New Jersey with Patch, his three legged dog, Abe Freeman, an unassuming gentle Jewish man seeks mind and spiritual healing after he successfully assisted in his girlfriend’s death when she was dying with cancer. The trip into the desert of New Mexico goes terribly wrong when he becomes a suspect in the murder of Easy Jackson.

Unsure of his arrest, Abe struggles with these logical questions: Had they linked him to Sharon’s death, where is Patch, and what is the penalty for possession of personal use marijuana in New Mexico?

Strong characters, good dialog and descriptive writing keep readers turning the pages with a plot that involves the incendiary mix of FBI, Navajo Nation Tribal Police, Aryan Brotherhood, Mexican Mafia and Kansas City Mafia.

Author Sandra Bolton grew up in northern California’s Sacramento Valley. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she spent 25 years traveling from coast to coast and one country after another during her husband’s Navy career. She received BA’s in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Science Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling. Perhaps it is her service in the volunteer Peace Corps in Honduras from 1985-87 or her residence in Raton, New Mexico that gives her the inspiration for her descriptive writing, strong characters and complex plot.

I share with you this passage from the book. “Darkness descended on the mountains, carrying with it a sudden influx of cold. Abe shivered and cursed himself for having left his jacket in the Bronco. But the cool air provided clarity to his thoughts as he puzzled over the significance of the key. Abe’s dog ran ahead, sniffing at new intoxicating smells. Without realizing it, he and Patch had walked far from the hunter’s cabin. Deer had recently used the trail, cluttering it with their brown-bead droppings. Now, however, nothing moved in the forest. Even the small gray juncos had given up scratching the ground for seed. They perched in silent groups on pine branches, as if anticipating some unknown danger.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Key Witness by Sandra Bolton. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 5, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Ruthie L Manier

Tombstone Ghost Cowboy by Ruthie L Manier

Skylar Cummings never dreamed time travel was possible until she finds herself in a room with a gorgeous but calloused cowboy from the Wild Wild West. Researching paranormal activity in Tombstone, Arizona, Sky assumed she was witnessing a ghost, but she’d stumbled through a portal to the past.

Jesse Clarke is a nineteenth century cowboy who’s renounced love after a devastating heartbreak. Women only desire his money, so he’s better-off without them … until a mysterious woman materializes in his room.

After a string of disastrous events, Skylar creates dangerous enemies and discovers herself detained. Jesse is summoned to escort her out of town before a lynch mob develops, but an unquestionable chemistry is growing between them. Will Jesse help her attempt to return to the twenty-first century, or can he convince the feisty woman to build a new future with him?

“If you like adventure, time travel, and western romance, Tombstone Ghost Cowboy is an entertaining and enjoyable romance that will leave you wishing you could time travel to find a cowboy of your own!”

Book Review: I love the author’s passion and dedication to Tombstone, Arizona as she fell in love the Old West, Bird Cage Theater, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and Lookout Lodge just to name a few.

While on vacation to Tombstone, Arizona the author’s creative mind started to put together this ‘Tombstone Ghost Cowboy’, time travel story, romance, and westerns all in one book.

There are twenty five well written chapters with characters that will grow on you. Chapter one starts out with main character Skylar Cummings on The Bird Cage Theater Tour. With an excited tease in her mind she chants under her breath, “Ghosts, ghosts, come out, come out, where ever you are.”

If you love a relaxing, enjoyable, fun, fast paced read, I invite you to join Skylar Cummings at Tombstone and she want her chant conjures up. Is Skylar ready for the adventure that awaits her?

To whet your appetite let me quote from Chapter Four where Skylar find herself pursued by Jesse Clarke (nineteenth century cowboy) which brings adventure and even danger into the mix:

“I’m consumed by this man when what I need to be doing is concocting a plan of escape. Wait a minute … how can this ghost cowboy’s heart beat out of control? Isn’t he dead … like centuries ago?

Before I can ponder on that any longer, we hear the distinct sound of shots being fired and horse hoofs pounding toward us. We turn back to peer over our shoulders. At least three riders, perhaps more, are riding fast as though there was a fire lit to the horses’ tails. It’s difficult to tell for sure with the dust storm their kicking up, but one thing’s for certain: they don’t look friendly.

“Damn! Hold on tight!” Jesse flicks the reins hard, and I feel his muscle-bound thighs kneeing Star into action to get him to run faster. I’m freaked out, trembling in fact, and nausea is showing its ugly face. I try to look behind me to see if they’re closing in.

“Keep your head down!” Jesse hisses through gritted teeth.

I curl up, trying to make myself as small as I can. My mind is whirling, thinking of all the horrible scenarios of how this horse chase could end.

I could be shot, or perhaps taken prisoner, beaten or, worse, raped. Deadwood pops into my head, and my sickness gets worse just thinking about it.

I turn my mind away from this line of thinking and push in thoughts of how I could help if we were to get captured. I wish I had my small purse gun, but it’s not even in this century. I’d ask Jesse to give me his pistol to fire at the bandits, but I gather without asking that it’s not an option. Perhaps he could slip me his knife, and I could tuck it in my dress. The hoofs are getting closer, and they keep firing their guns. Tears fill my eyes when I realize there’s nothing I can do to help.

I search Jesse’s face for any sign that he thinks we can survive, and all I spot is steal-headed determination. It scares the living hell out of me. Jesse would never give up nor give in. He’s a stubborn-minded cowboy from the 1880’s. Just like Tombstone is the “Town Too Tough to Die,” Jesse is a cowboy too tough to die. At least I hope that’s the case. Well, I guess he’s actually already dead.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Tombstone Ghost Cowboy (A time travel series) by Ruthie L Manier. This is a delightful romance that leaves you wanting more. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on June 26, 2017

Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Westerns

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

Lover’s Curse (The Hemocil Society Book 1) by Ruthie L Manier

Will this man ‘Dark Eyes’ free Carra’s mind and break the Lover’s Curse?

He comes to her in her dreams, a force of nature like none other. The gravitational pull is unbearable, drawing her towards him like a moth to a flame. His dark eyes are fathomless, haunting her day and night. Who is this mysterious stranger, with the hungry eyes that call to her? Has he come to make her one with his soul, his Eternalmate, or as a predator she his prey, is he here to finish the kill?

Carra has had it rough for the last seven years struggling with amnesia. She often gets the hair standing up on the back of her neck sensation as though someone or something hunts her. The problem is she doesn’t know if this is a good thing or if she should be running. She fears the worst. If only she could remember…

Once she gives into her desire, which she assumes is inevitable, will there be any going back? Could this dream man have the tools to free her mind and end the Lover’s Curse, or will he be her ultimate demise?

From the Author: Lover’s Curse was my first published novel. It took me over three years to write it not counting the editing, cover and set up. I consider the book as my baby. The love Maximus and Carrabella felt for each other grew stronger with every word I wrote, and consequently I’ve had several people tell me they wish they had the same.

Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Paranormal, Witches & Wizards

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

Lover’s Salvation (The Hemocil Society Book 2) by Ruthie L Manier

A witch on the run…

After Issy’s car broke down and she was forced to walk for miles to reach the nearest town, she practically fell into the Shitkick Bar out of the sweltering, Washington heat. Moisture glistened her delicate skin, her cheeks flushed a pale pink. She heaved huge gulps of air from the A/C above her head as though starving for the coolness it would bring. She leaned against the door as it creaked shut behind her, long, slim, parted legs barely held her small frame up. Her eyelashes fluttered down upon her skin As she brushed her damp hair out of her lovely face. Issy had no idea a room full of people witnessed her every move as she clung to to the door singing out the word, “Hallelujah.”

A Va’atacos on vacation…

Marcus realized the beauty was in trouble from first glance. A woman on the run and in crucial need of blood. Her hunger filled the crowded room, weakness abundant throughout her slowed motions. Not good. If he sensed the woman’s thirst, so did everyone else in the room. Marcus gathered she didn’t possess much time before she collapsed to the floor, her mind slipping into the darkness. Without warning an overwhelming need came over him to help and protect this woman. From that moment on he vowed to defend her, no matter the cost.

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Angels, Witches & Wizards, Vampires

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

Lover’s Refuge (The Hemocil Society Book 3) by Ruthie L Manier

James the youngest of the Mantango clan needs his four brothers’ assistance and as always they’re armed and ready to defend their kin.

James fell hard for Mariah appearing before him so close he could kiss her full, sassy, lips smelling of cotton candy. Her stance is proud with the luscious body of a goddess. She’s covered from head to toe in a sheer body glove sprinkled with gold dust, darker gold in the more private areas making it hard for him to cast his eyes off her. He craved her from first sight, beautiful and feisty the perfect combination for a Va’atacos male.

Learning of her terrible past life, he has a burning desire to rescue Mariah and her daughter and won’t stop until the deed is done. He lost her once and now that she’s returned he swore he’d cross hell to fight the devil himself, before releasing her again.

Mariah didn’t reincarnate from the heavenly realm to find James in lust with the woman whose corpse she transferred into. Nor to discover that James rescued her child, Peach, only to be brutally attacked by the family responsible for her mortal death. Can she set her feelings aside long enough to reclaim a relationship with her daughter, bring the McCurry clan to justice, and rekindle the spark; she fears James might have lost for her?

From the Author: Lover’s Refuge was a fun book for me to write. Using Northern State Psychiatric Hospital was the idea of two of my co-workers. It was the perfect place for James the youngest of the Mantango brothers to go and heal, while him and his brothers set a plan to get their vengeance. It’s a historical land mark here in Sedro Woolley, Washington off of Fruit dale and Highway 20. If you ever get out this way you should go and tour the grounds and walk through the many paths, barns, and graveyard as the patients and the workers there did. It’s said to be haunted and every time I’ve went out there alone I swear someone is watching me.

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves & Shifters

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Ruthie L. Manier

Ruthie is an author of romance, paranormal, western, historical, time travel, and contemporary.

She lives in Washington State.

Loves dogs.

Her favorite past time is spending quality time with loved ones, camping, reading, writing and running.

But what really makes her heart glow is to sign her books for enthusiastic readers at farmer’s markets, street fairs, book stores and holiday craft sales.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from the state of Washington? First of all, I was born in Yakima and raised in Union Gap, Washington before moving to the other side of the mountains to Mount Vernon, Washington. I believe it’s the most beautiful state in the country and I feel it’s a privilege to live here. Also with all the street markets and farmer market’s in the state there’s lots of opportunities for artistic people like me to show their work.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Early in life writing was my best way of communication especially when I was afraid to tell my feelings, which was often. But then twenty-five years later one of my sons started having some serious issues. I worried about him night and day. He loved to write too. He kept starting wonderful stories but never finished them so I started writing again to prove to him that anybody can write a book and publish it hoping it would be enough to help him through. Well, once I started writing Lover’s Curse I remembered how much I loved playing with words and so I kept on writing! He on the other hand went to painting and he does it like a pro!!

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, my environment and upbringing played a major role in my writing and yes I used it to my advantage. My early years were tough with my parent’s separation and then my father being shot and then paralyzed from under his arms down. I lived with my mom until I was six who went a little wild for a while and it was confusing for my eldest sister Debi and I. I wrote most of my stories about Debi to her dismay. Then we were moved to my grandparents’ house where my father also lived. It was difficult leaving all our other siblings who had came along after mom and dad divorced. I wrote about them too. I ran away back to my mom when I was sixteen. Then I was married at eighteen and had my eldest child at barely nineteen. By the time, I was twenty-six I had three more. I forgot about my love for writing until the children were raised.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? It was about six or seven years ago around two thousand and ten.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? To actually finish the book and get it published and then to hear readers tell me how much they loved the story.

How many published books do you have? At this point the count is four.

Please list the titles of all your books: The Hemocil Society (series) book one – Lover’s Curse, book two – Lover’s Salvation, Book three – Lover’s Refuge. The next series is Tombstone Ghost Cowboy.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write fiction romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, western romance and contemporary. I love a good romance and I love fiction because I can dream up whatever comes to mind and make it seem real and believable.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Advice would be to stay true to yourself and your writing. To take suggestion from others like a grain of salt. Sell yourself as an author and always help others to succeed along the journey. Oops, I guess that’s more than one. Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript?

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Tombstone Ghost Cowboy by Ruthie L Manier

Who is your favorite author and why? Hmm, there are so many I don’t imagine I could ever choose just one.

Amazon Author’s Page
Professional Website
Facebook
Twitter
Google+: Ruthie L. Manier
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

Author Russell F. Moran

Russell-MoranRussell F. Moran is the author of The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time (all four books in the Time Magnet series). The Shadows of Terror and The Scent of Revenge are books one and two in the Patterns Series. Sideswiped is book one and The Reformers book two in Matt Blake Legal Thrillers.

Russ Moran has also published five nonfiction books: Justice in America: How it Works—How it Fails (Coddington Press, 2011); The APT Principle: The Business Plan That You Carry in Your Head (Coddington Press, 2012); Boating Basics: The Boattalk Book of Boating Tips (Coddington Press, 2013); If You’re Injured: A Consumer Guide to Personal Injury Law (Coddington Press, 2013); How to Create More Time (Coddington Press, 2014).

He’s a lawyer and a veteran of the United States Navy. He lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife, Lynda.

The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran

Admiral Ashley Patterson and her husband Jack have done it again. They’ve traveled through time, 200 years into the future—aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier, Ashley’s flagship.

They discover a new world, a strange new world—a post-nuclear war world—one that is both a beacon of hope, and a cry of despair.

They meet a group of people who call themselves The Keepers of Time, an organization dedicated to preserving history and culture.

But the world around them has harkened back to a primitive and savage past, one that includes human sacrifice.

Ashley knows they have to have to get back to the present to warn the government of the unspeakable horrors that await.

But finding the way back to the present is their greatest challenge, an almost insurmountable one.

“A wild time travel yarn that starts fast and doesn’t slow down until the end.”

Book Review: Book five in the Time Magnet series is finally here with another great saga. The adventure begins on June 1, 2017, the day after Memorial Day. Carrier Strike Group 2311 departs the New York Harbor at 8:45 a.m. to begin a long deployment. Things are as they should be until “everything turned dark”.

Whether you have read book one through four in this series first or you are considering this book as your introduction to the series, let me say that each book has its own plot with a conclusion. I suggest you read The Gray Ship, The Thanksgiving Gang, A Time of Fear, and The Skies of Time at some point very soon. However, please feel free to jump in and read The Keepers of Time because you won’t be disappointed.

The author’s superb writing skills will quickly draw you into the story. Forty two fast paced chapters will keep turning the pages of this novel until the end. Well-developed cast of realistic characters that you will relate to one will keep you engaged. One of my favorite things about Moran’s books is his entire cast of characters detailed in the back of the book. I admit to reading about the cast first in order to firmly get everyone in my mind. As a follower of his, I know each character is important to the plot and I don’t want to miss anything or overlook anyone.

Throughout history authors have taken us back in time and forward into the future. Those that take us into the future like Author Russell F. Moran are rare individuals who meticulously look at world history and real time world events to weave a story of unimaginable happenings. History shows that many of these fictional authors are correct in their assessments of the future. So we must pay due vigilance to these authors so that their fiction does not become the world’s reality in the future.

I invite you to read The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran and spend 15 days in an alternate universe. Meet the Keepers of Time and don’t forget to mark your calendar on April 12, 2018 as the day the world ended. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Time flies when you’re scared out of your mind.”

Theodocia McLean endorses The Keepers of Time: Book Five In The Time Magnet Series by Russell F. Moran as a science fiction, time travel story that will cause the thoughtful reader to look at the importance of current world events in a different perspective. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on March 30, 2016.

Genre: Science Fiction/Time Travel/Alternative History

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local library and bookstores.

These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.

Featured Selection: The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland

Roxanne Bland does bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, J.R. Ward, and Laurell K. Hamilton one better with The Underground–rocketing into the upper ranks of urban dark fantasy and paranormal romance by adding a touch of science fiction to the fantastic, horrific, erotic mix. Set in an alternate Seattle, Washington, Bland’s heart-pounding, deliciously sexy adventure imagines a city where communities of “exotics”–shapeshifters, witches, elves, and vampires–live among the murderous human population and are ruled over by the cruel, insatiable vampire, Kurt.

The powerful alpha male of the city’s werewolf pack, Parker Berenson, is one of the Master’s enslaved servants, and he would like nothing better than to hasten the downfall of the vampire overlord who stole his love, the beautiful mage Garrett Larkin. But in a night city already on the razor’s edge–in the midst of a spate of inexplicable bloody murders–the alpha wolf’s passionate encounter with a stunning interstellar assassin could upset the very delicate balance and ignite a war that neither exotics nor humans can survive.

Warning: Profanity, Violence, Graphic Adult Content

Review: The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland is a blend of genres which include science fiction, dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance with an adult theme which includes profanity, violence and graphic erotic content.

It is not lions and tigers and bears, but rather werewolves, vampires, witches, and shapeshifters called “Exotics” that rule the night. You will either love it or hate it depending on your ability to meld into the author’s fantasy world and find something strangely different about her cast of characters.

Set in an alternate Seattle Washington where the night hours are more than bewitching, they are truly murderous. The book opens with Parker Berenson, alpha of Seattle’s werewolf fighting to stay in human form. Like many good stories, a love has been lost and someone or something must pay. Parker has anger issues and Garrett (Powerful Witch) is his former girlfriend and perhaps the only one who can truly see “the big picture”.

I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. With ninety-one chapters in this book, I chose an excerpt from Chapter 10.

“At nine a.m. on February second, a cinquet of five witches arrived to fetch Garrett for the first of her many ritual baths. They discovered her sitting naked in a half lotus on the floor, deep in a meditative trance.

Garrett had been awake for hours. She’d had too much on her mind the night before and hadn’t slept well. At five, she’d gotten out of bed and showered. After that, she’d meditated on the silk prayer rug next to the bed, hoping she could replace at least some of her lost sleep. The last thing she needed was to be incapacitated by fatigue when she channeled Goddess.

The cinquet waited in respectful silence until Garrett came out of her trance. Her gaze settled on Paul. “Good morning, Garrett,” he spoke for the other four witches.

Rising from the prayer rug, Garrett stepped over to Paul and kissed him on both cheeks, and then did the same to the others. Pinkie pre- sented her with a pair of soft indoor moccasins. Georgia held up a white, silk-lined satin robe and helped her put it on.

Paul smiled. “Ready, my Lady?” “I’m ready.”

The elder turned and with Garrett walking behind, led the group out of the bedroom to the purification room. The room’s most prominent feature was a square, white, marble Jacuzzi large enough for two people. One side was set into a wall covered with a slab of marble that rose half- way to the ceiling. Neck-sized indentations had been scooped out along the tub’s upper edge. From there, the tub sloped to its bottom, providing back support.

The rest of the wall to which the tub was attached, as well as the room’s other three walls, was covered in dense, dark blue carpet. The floor was laid with waterproofed linoleum in the same color. A series of wall sconces provided a dim light.

I love being in here. The room always evoked in Garrett a sense of inviolate safety, a comfort she never felt outside the Temple’s walls. This must be the way a baby feels in its mother’s womb.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland as an adult dark urban fantasy that will either grab and hold your attention or turn you off depending on your appetite for violent, graphic and erotic content. I purchased this book in a Kindle format on June 7, 2017 and this review was written on June 9, 2017.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban, Science Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Ronald Fox

Ronald-Fox-AmazonActor/Author/Stuntman/Facilitator/Consultant Ronald Fox is a seasoned veteran of Film, Television, Theatre, and Live Show & Radio with a body of work that spans almost 3 decades.

In Theatre he studied the Bard’s work under Stephen Jenn, RSC – Old Vic Theatre.

In Film & TV, his global experience has afforded him the opportunity to work with world-class crew, directors, coordinators and talent.

As an Author, Mr. Fox’s wildly imaginative mind supports a prolific production of ongoing projects, spurred on by a tremendously supportive family and public.

In Public Speaking he is dynamic facilitator often sought for his ability to engage diverse audiences, deliver key insights, and create memorable takeaway moments.

Featured Selection: Confessions of a Transylvanian: A Story Of Sex, Drugs and Rocky Horror by Kevin Theis and Ronald Fox

Confessions-of-a-Transylvanian-a-story-of-Sex-Drugs-and-Rocky-Horror-by-Kevin-Theis-and-Ronald-FoxConfessions of a Transylvanian is a one-of-a-kind, backstage look at the greatest cult movie phenomenon of all time—the live Rocky Horror Picture Show—told by those who lived it.

Confessions is a moving snapshot of life in a Rocky Horror cast that captures the grit, language and teenage angst of a group of fishnet-clad performers as they explore a world where the only rule was: Don’t dream it. Be it.

So get ready to take that jump to the left and that step to the right…and do the time warp again.

Book Review: Unique story, a memoir of men, women and yes, teenagers who worked and lived backstage as well as those who sat in the audience and participated in the live Rocky Horror Picture Show, performing their roles as a shadow cast in front of the big screen as the movie played.

Many of us remember this “cult movie phenomenon” but for those of you who either don’t remember, or are too young, let me quote the description of the Ultravision Theatre:

“A few words about the Ultravision Theatre before we proceed. Remember,thiswasintheearly1980s; in the days before the mega-plexes and maxi-houses.The Ultravision was an old-school auditorium movie house, the kind the I-Max theaters are now trying, unsuccessfully, tomimic. The screens at the Ultravision were simply enormous, stretching well over a hundred feet across and over thirty feet high, surrounded on all sides by a set of lush, red curtains that encircled the entire room.

The sound system was something else, too. These speakers didn’t simply squeak out the score of the film on some tinny little low-rent system; these babies blasted you right out of your f****** seat. If you saw “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at the Ultravision (which I did, five times), you knew what a true movie-going experience was supposed to be like: The sound hit you in the chest like a sledgehammer and the screen pinned your eyes open wide, filling your entire periphery, making it feel, at times, as if Indiana Jones was kicking you’re a**.

Another distinctive feature of the Ultravision was that it was its own building. It wasn’t connected to a mall or attached to some corporate complex. This entire structure—this huge, sprawling edifice—was built to be nothing more than a place to show movies. That was it. End of story.

Imagine you’re standing in a gigantic round room, fifty feet high and 300 feet across. Just a colossal seating area, okay? As you strolled past the door, you’d find yourself in a gently curving aisle on the outer perimeter of the theater. The seats themselves stretched across the entire width of the circle with no center aisle, so the rows are forty, fifty, sixty seats across. And there are dozens of rows.

The seats were big and comfy; old fashioned movie-house seats with plush cushions that actually rocked back and forth”.

Now let’s go back in time and focus on the stories of those who worked behind the scenes and even the audience members who were drawn into the drama of the live performance aspect. The language in this book fairly depicts the times, times where sex, drugs and self-expression were part of this cult movement. I quote.

“Clearly, joining the Rocky cast involved on-the-job training. We were going to learn how to swim, but the teaching method this cast employed was to throw you in the deep end of the pool, lob an anvil at you and wish you good luck.

In defense of our friends and colleagues in New York: Doing Rocky can get to be a drag after a while.

I know it sounds like Rocky blasphemy (if there is such a thing), but the truth is that performing the same show, week after week without any variation at all, can be draining and demoralizing. This is true of live theater, rock music and dolphin acts. Doing each and every piece of Rocky choreography, by rote, each and every night leads inevitably to boredom and stagnation. You think Keith Richards likes playing “Satisfaction” at every single concert while he’s on tour? No. He f****** hates it. But he does it because that’s what the people want. And, you know, for all the money and stuff.

Fortunately, the people who perform the Rocky show on a regular basis know that atrophy can set in after constant and mindless repetition. And their solution to this malady is: Mix things up every once in a while.”

If you have ever felt left out, ostracized especially in your youth, this story will strike accord in your heart. When all is said and done, this is a coming of age memoir as a young man finds he can be part of something spectacular and cultivate lifetime friendships.

Theodocia McLean endorses Confessions of a Transylvanian: a story of Sex, Drugs and Rocky Horror by Kevin Theis and Ronald Fox. The characters are real, the stories are true and times have changed as this generation has moved on with their lives. As dramatic as this story is, it is a part of a generation’s history which this book chronicles. The authors invite you to visit “RockyConfessions.com/extras for pictures of the original Wild and Untamed Things along with a few more stories and other goodies from the Ultravision years”. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 3, 2015.

Genre: Nonfiction coming-of-age tale

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Raymond Cook

Raymond-Cook-2016As for who Raymond Cook is, well, I’m a 62 year old disabled veteran. In 1972, at the age of 18, I enlisted in the marine Corp. My plan was to retire. But fate has a way of changing our destiny. In 1974 on my way back to my base, a drunk driver hit me head-on going 80 MPH and my life was forever changed. Those were my darkest days. Eventually in 1983 I enrolled in college and took a creative writing class as an elective. At that point I had no interest at all in becoming a writer or author. In truth, how many people have taken a writing course in high school or college and believed one day they would write a book?

Little did I realize what a ‘profound Impact’ that class and my instructor, Mr. Art Wicks would have on my future. Between 1983 and 2010 I wrote my poetry and short stories, but refused to believe that one day I could set down and pen thousands of words, put a title to what would one day be considered a book. In 2003, I wrote a 5 page western romance story I simply called, “A Western Romance Story!” It was only meant to be a short story. Each year though I would add a few pages to the story because I liked the story plot and characters. In 2011 while wanting to add 10 more pages to what was now a 50 page story, ‘something happened’ and it became my first novel called, “Was It Fate Or Destiny?”

This is my 5th year writing western frontier novels.

I recently learned that Arthur William David Wicks, my college professor who taught Creative Writing to me in 1983 recently died on Nov. 10, 2013. It is a great loss to the world because he truly touched the lives of his students, me in particular. Without his guidance, encouragement and inspiration, none of my eBooks or poetry would have been written.

An author’s goal is to not just ‘Entertain a reader’ but to try to touch the reader’s emotions too. After all, that’s the entire purpose of reading a book, to enjoy what you’ve read.

Featured Selection: Sometimes Fate Can Be Very Cruel! Book # 9 by Raymond Cook

Migrating to the Colorado Territory was not without perils. From cholera, smallpox, broken wagon wheels, Indian attacks, lost children, injuries, rattlesnake bites, taking the wrong road, blizzards, starvation and even robbery could crush the dreams of a pioneer family.

Sometimes Life Can Be Very Cruel! is a 179 page story about Arnold and Bonnie Brown who with their two children, Missy, age fourteen and Autumn, five years old traveled by covered wagon from Independence, Missouri on their way to Marble, Colorado in 1897. A rancher by the name of Eddie Fields loved to prey on pioneer families by switching a sign on the main road to lead folks in covered wagons to his ranch.

After taking that wrong turn Arnold and his wife find themselves at his ranch at dusk. Arnold asks the man if they can spend the night but that was a tragic mistake. Eddie kills Arnold and his wife; before beating Missy savagely. As the killer carries Autumn towards his cabin, Missy shoots the man with her pa’s pistol but doesn’t kill him. Filled with terror; she picks up her little sister and runs for the forest before she’s shot in the arm.

After three days they’re hungry and scared to death after living on nuts and berries. Finally Missy and her sister reach a main road. A couple on their way to Marble spot the two children on a road. They’re taken to town so a home for the children can be found. The mayor and city council will hold a meeting where all interested families can plead their case as to why they would be the best family to provide the two children with a loving home.

Amazon 5 Star Comment. Another excellent book. July 25, 2015. Excellent book, I really like this author, as soon as I finish one I start another, and when they fit together it’s wonderful.

Book Review: Can you remember the emotions you had as a child when your parents made the decision to move out of town, out of-state or out of country? Now put yourself in fourteen year old Missy’s shoes and 4 year old Autumn’s as their parents load all their belongings into covered wagons leaving Independence, Missouri for Colorado Territory?

Parents always know what the children can’t comprehend. Arnold and Bonnie Brown were had apprehensions about out rooting their two daughters from the only home they had ever known. Stories about Indians, cholera, smallpox, broken down wagons, lost children and countless other dangers kept them up at night discussing the risks. After fifteen of struggling on this dry, unforgiving land with hot humid summers, Arnold and Bonnie longed for the promised land of 160 acres with fresh water, herds of deer and lush green meadows for their girls to play in.

Almost to the end of the perilous journey, it’s a thief and a murderer named Eddie who becomes the Brown’s worst nightmare. Fourteen year old Missy is forced to shoot Eddie after he kills both her parents, beats her and is intent in harming her little sister Autumn. After Missy is shot in the shoulder she grabs her sister and runs into the dense, unknown forest for protection and is forced scavenge for wild berries to keep them both from starving. Terrified of running into black bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes and maybe even grizzly, Missy holds on tight to Autumn’s hand.

Walking for days they finally come upon a road where a couple stopped their buckboard and took them into town. The mayor and town council must decide who will adopt both girls. It was decided that Carl Jackson and his wife Cheyenne would take the girls into their home, offered love, comfort and a hope of healing from what they witnessed. Missy will always be over protective of Autumn who has a better chance of accepting the loss of her parents.

Loss of a loved one at any age is difficult, but loss of both parents at a young age cause the child to lose their compass. Life marches on for Missy and Autumn, but it is also hard and challenging as you will discover when you read this book. Kids grew up faster and tougher in many ways in those days. I invite you to read ‘Sometimes Fate Can Be Very Cruel’ and see what happens to these two young girls. If you have a sibling that you are close to, you will understand the sister bond between Missy and Autumn. As you read you will see what life has in store for both girls. Can their sister bond they share ever be threatened or broken by time or even distance?

I have several of Raymond Cook’s twenty-five western family sagas. Each book stand alone and can be read out of order. . If you like western family drama that is much like ‘Little House On The Prairie’ then you will enjoy the western series of books from Author Raymond Cook.

I personally endorse Sometimes Fate Can Be Very Cruel! Book # 9 by Raymond Cook. His next book, a western romance titled ‘The Gunnison Serial Killer’ is promised to be released soon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle. This review was completed on October 4, 2016

Genre: Western

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Phyllis Hunsinger

PHYLLIS_POSED-CROPPEDPhyllis Hunsinger has a passion for education, serving as a secondary math teacher, middle school and high school principal, and retiring as school superintendent. Failing retirement, she worked as a teacher evaluator for Visiting International Faculty, as a southwest regional representative for the Colorado Department of Education, and as an educational coordinator for GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs).

Phyllis has an undergraduate degree in chemistry, with a minor in English; her Master’s degree is in math/secondary educational administration. Phyllis is the founder of the FREE Foundation (Freedom & Responsibility Education Enterprise). As a recent graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, Phyllis is committed to informing young people about the greatness of the United States and the free market economy which has been proven to provide the best avenue to success and the pursuit of happiness. Phyllis believes that math is a tool used to solve problems; and, students with a strong knowledge of basic mathematics are poised for success in a free market economy.

Phyllis lives with her husband, J.A. Hunsinger (Author of Axe Of Iron Series), in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Read an interview by the Grand Junction Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colorado titled Former Math Teacher Adds up Basics for Students. http://www.gjsentinel.com/lifestyle/articles/former-math-teacher-adds-up-basics-for-students

Featured Selection: Down and Dirty: A “how to” Math Book by Phyllis Hunsinger

Down-and-Dirty-A-how-to-Math-Book-by-Phyllis-HunsingerStudent mastery of math continues to decline as demonstrated by the increasing numbers of students requiring remediation prior to enrolling in college math classes.

College professors admit that far too many students do not know how to do basic math computations.

Math textbooks used in schools today spend an inordinate amount of time having students discover mathematical principles. The discovery approach is analogous to having the student learn to program a computer as opposed to learning how to use the computer as a tool. I believe math is a tool used to solve problems.

This is a Down and Dirty “How To” Math Book covering a review of the number systems and basic operations up to and including the fundamental tenets of algebra. There are “how to” instructions followed by examples. The glossary serves as the index, providing definitions and page links to words. There is also a listing of useful math terms and definitions not specifically covered in the text.

Parents and students alike will benefit from this “how to” approach to mastery of basic math concepts. Parents, as they help their students with math, sometimes need a review of how to perform certain operations.

Students studying for the ACT, SAT, or college entrance exams often need a review of fundamental processes. This book is designed to review “how to” do the math.

Book Review: Whether you are studying for the ACT, SAT (college entrance exams), a parent who needs to encourage your student in math comprehension or even going back to school yourself, this book needs to be in your hands.

Power packed ninety-nine pages of “how-to” instructions and examples provide a math refresher to get your synapsis firing with the logic of math.

Start with Mathematical Operations, Fractions, Ratios and Proportions. Review Decimals, Percent, Measurements and Formulas.

Move on with Statistics, Venn Diagrams, Sequences, and Inequalities. Tackle all things Algebra including Algebraic Expressions and Equations, Positive and Negative Numbers, Laws of Exponents, Monomials and Polynomials, Factoring Algebraic Expressions, Quadratic Equations, Radicals, System of Equations and Graphing.

End with informational sections including How to Identify Symbols, nine page Glossary and Useful Math Terms and Definitions.

The logic of math is the very essence and beginning for all learning. A student well-grounded in math is a student who can solve problems and expand his or her education into marketable areas where they can be sought after by the world’s employers.

Theodocia McLean endorses Down and Dirty: A “how to” Math Book by Phyllis Hunsinger as a math refresher reference guide for high school, college students and adults seeking to go back to school. This book was given to me to review in an easy to use spiral bound book format. This review was completed on September 5, 2015.

Genre: Educational, Math Reference Book, Self-Help, Non Fiction

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Nikki Broadwell

2015-Headshot-of-Nikki-BroadwellNikki Broadwell grew up an ‘army brat’, living in several states as well as Germany during her formative years. But it was her time in Virginia on a 400- acre farm that set the imaginative stage for “The Moonstone”, the first book of a fantasy trilogy entitled “Wolfmoon”.

She received a B.A. in English and Art from Sonoma State University and later studied Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Over the years Nikki has had several art related businesses, including greeting cards and painting on silk–scarves and wall-hangings–that were displayed in high end galleries.

After living in the Pacific Northwest for over 15 years, Nikki, her husband and a dog and a cat have relocated to Tucson, Arizona (close to the Catalina Mountains) where the light shines, illuminating everything.

Nikki spends a lot of walking and contemplating the beauty around her. She has two grown children and seven grandchildren. Now she writes full time and has 10 books published, 2 Kindle Gift Sets and one planned for release the first of 2016.

Featured Selection: Just Another Desert Sunset (Desert Series Book One) by Nikki Broadwell

Book One In The Paranormal Romance Desert Series.

Coyote yearns to be human but when his wish is granted he discovers that the shaman left out one tiny detail–as soon as he falls asleep he will always return to animal form.

Meeting the human female Sara further complicates Coyote’s life as he is drawn to her in a way he can’t explain. Ignoring Raven’s warnings that he should stick with his own kind, Coyote-man finds himself heading to Sara’s house at odd times, her essence impossible to ignore.

When a cruel trick of fate separates them, Coyote seeks council from a Navajo man who promises to help. Will this man trick him like the other shaman or can he be trusted? Walking the spirit trail brings answers but not to the questions he asked.

What will happen if Sara learns the truth? Will she turn away from this strange-looking man with the yellow eyes who seems like he comes from a different planet?

Book Review: “There was once a coyote who wanted to become a man, but before he could be granted his wish the shaman asked him for three things.”

Just Another Desert Sunset is a provocative paranormal romance that begs the reader to recognize the fine line between humans and animals in a mystical realm that honors Native Americans traditions and beliefs.

This face paced well written story takes place in Arizona where Author Nikki Broadwell uses the beauty of both sky and land with desert creatures that crawl, area birds fly and furry animals that hunt. Nikki weaves spell binding rituals with humans that are going about their lives unaware of the clash of cultures that exists as a fine line ready to tear the very fabric of time and space.

Well-developed characters live in a modern world that collide with a spiritual world were a coyote leaves his familiar pack in search of a way to become a human man. His deepest desire is to see, hear, feel and make love to Sarah who overwhelms his senses with her fragrances and beauty which brings confusion and longing in his spirit. Shape-shifting is not new to literature, but it is new to coyote when his warm, four footed fury body shifts into a Native American man named Istaga with yellow eyes, long braids and smooth, hairless skin.

I quote a passage where romance bridges instinct. “Coyote woke with a start, staring down at the woman curled up next to him. She looked serene and peaceful, a slight smile curling up the corners of her mouth. He wanted to stay as he was, wanted her to know him as animal as well as man, but it was too soon—too early for her to find out the truth. If she woke now he couldn’t imagine how she would react seeing a wild beast lying next to her. He thought of the night before and how he had longed to turn into his coyote form but had managed to control the urge. How he wished his visions would come to pass—that they could change together from human to animal while they mated. When he moved away she moaned in her sleep, reaching for him, but he was already loping into the underbrush, searching for their breakfast.

When Sara woke, Istaga was gone, nothing left to indicate he’d ever been there. She had a moment of panic, wondering if she’d dreamed the entire scenario, but then she felt the sand in her hair, the sore muscles in her shoulders and hips and smiled to herself. There had been no exchange of the usual endearments between them but somehow the episode felt profound and deeper than any sex she’d ever experienced. Except for the first time with Istaga, she thought to herself, chuckling. Hopefully he had only gone to relieve himself and would be back soon. The thought of him disappearing from her life again was too painful to bear.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Just Another Desert Sunset by Nikki Broadwell as a delightful paranormal romance that intertwines human and animal nature in its purest form. Nikki currently has 10 books within 4 series, two Kindle Gift sets and a new book coming out early in 2016. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on November 23, 2015.

Genre: Romance, Paranormal

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Nick Iuppa

Nick-IuppasBio Quote: “I grew up in Rochester New York; my dad was a prominent doctor there. I attended the University of Notre Dame and grew up to marry the prettiest girl in Rochester… by far. (We’re still married.)

I always wanted to work in the movies. My graduate program at Stanford got me an internship at MGM and I worked on TV specials with Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones (creator of the Road Runner). I became good friends with both of them. Later I wrote for the Wonderful World of Disney. I left Hollywood for a while and worked for Eastman Kodak as an Instructional Designer, Bank of America as manager of their TV studios, Hewlett Packard Television as manager of their creative group, and Apple computer as manager of learning technologies. When my boss at Apple went to Hollywood, she took me with her. I was back working in Hollywood again… but was still able to live in the San Francisco area.

I commuted to LA every week and used the accumulated miles to visit Europe a lot. That’s why some of my books have realistic European settings. At Paramount Pictures I designed Internet entertainment and built Hollywood-style training simulations for the military. Through all of this I was writing novels, but I could never get them published even though my friend Dr. Seuss worked with his publishers on my behalf. I found a tech publisher and sold lots of books about the technology on which I worked, but that wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

When I left Paramount I started writing novels so that I could build my own worlds. My first sci-fi novel was about a high tech simulation like the ones I worked on for the army, but this simulation had futuristic technology and was invaded by vampires. I first called it Virtual Vampires but eventually published it as Bloody Bess and the Doomsday Games.

I also wrote other horror novels inspired by Stephen King’s deep, creepy characters. Now, I work with a writing partner, John Pesqueira and even though I do all the writing, his participation in story development makes things much simpler. I love creating characters and letting them tell me where the story should go.

These days, my favorite person is Esteban Dorantes who is the driving force in our newest novel Esteban’s Quest. I tell a lot more about my writing experiences and ideas in my blogs at http://www.nickiuppawrites.com and http://www.nickiuppawrites.com

Featured Selection: The Witch Within Her by Nick Iuppa

The Witch Within Her (sequel to Taken By Witches).

SEXY, STUNNING, RELENTLESS HORROR

A possessed child is caught in a war between witches!

Spanning centuries of horror and witchcraft, the powerful sequel to Taken By Witches tells how Babcia Czarownica, the greatest of all witches, does battle with far more seductive members of her craft. She must confront a lustful priest, a predatory lover, a vengeful undead beauty, and the unspeakable evil hiding at the top of Rapunzel’s Tower… all to save her beloved grandson and his family from utter annihilation. And she must accomplish all this while sharing the body of an eight-year-old girl.

Book Review: As a fan of Nick Iuppa’s books I can say without hesitation that his latest release ‘The Witch Within’ is another great “sexy, stunning, relentless horror” that brings a ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’ feel with an adult theme.

‘The Witch Within Her’ is the sequel to ‘Taken By Witches’. Even without reading the first book the author’s writing is so good that you can jump right into the book and enjoy the well-developed characters, and complex story with twists and turns that include the old fables of Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel.

Author Nick Iuppa includes a wonderful introduction and summary that will refresh your mind and continue the story on from ‘Taken By Witches’. This is storytelling at its best as both books are centered on a tale being told by an evil warlock to an old gift store owner named Michalowski in the village of Zakopane Poland.

With eighty-three fast paced chapters, this novel is nearly impossible to put down. The evil witch Babcia is obsessed with and will use any measure to protect her beloved grandson Niko from any harm that might befall him even to the point of living inside the body of his little daughter, Joy.

If you want an adult fantasy horror witches tale, this is a must read. I always share a quote to draw you into this author’s writing style without spoiling any part of the story. So here goes.

Quote One: “Twisted branches seemed to claw at the windows of John Hunter’s Ford Crown Victoria as it struggled up the deeply rutted gravel road that led to the upper cabin at Crystal Lake. Perhaps the branches were trying to unlatch the door and catch hold of him, Hunter thought for a crazy moment, pull him out from behind the steering wheel, drag him into the marshes that stood along the sides of the road, plunge him down among the gnarled roots and hold him under till he drowned.

Christ, what’s happening to my mind? He wondered.

Quote Two: “Mother Black’s garden was not unlike other witch’s gardens hidden away in the San Fernando Valley. There may have been as many as a hundred of them at that time, planted mostly by witches who were forced to accompany their families into the California sunshine. Occasionally, a young woman of Marla Morrison’s coven succeeded in making things grow and using them to expand her knowledge of The Craft. But the real successes were the old crones who took their work seriously and limited their ambitions.

That’s how it was with Mother Black. Sally Fukes had found her deep in the mountains of Tennessee and told her all about her adventures in Hollywood and how her friend Marla had died at the hands of Witch Babcia who now inhabited the body of Niko Madonie’s daughter.

Mother Black hadn’t known much of Babcia’s long history and so she wasn’t concerned. Until now!”

I invite you to read this tale, but if you repeat it, be careful of youngsters who might be listening.

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse The Witch Within Her (sequel to Taken By Witches) by Nick Iuppa as an adult fairy tale. I purchased this book from a Kindle on May 24th and this review was written on June 1, 2017.

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Horror

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Mike Walters

Mike-WaltersMike Walters and his debut novel, The Outlaw River Wilde, sprung from an idea while watching Ancient Aliens on the History channel. He intertwines his love of Native American culture and a passion for the Pacific Northwest, primarily his birth state of Oregon. Mike sat down one day and started writing. The characters and story were revealed each and every day he wrote.

“Every session was as if I were reading something new myself for the first time. It was a blast seeing what would happen next. This is why I enjoyed writing this novel so much. ”

Mike is a Director of Marketing & Product at Auto-Graphics, Inc. based in Ontario, CA. That’s California, not Canada. A-G makes software for Libraries, primarily public. So on your visit to the library, when you sit down to search for a book this is the software that A-G makes.

“I am very fortunate to work in an industry that has a meaningful impact on society. It makes going to work each and every day enjoyable. I mean who doesn’t think we need, and who doesn’t love, libraries?”

Mike learned photography as a freshman in high school and later took the passion and used it as a photographer in the United States Air Force. He loves to ride bicycles in SoCal year around, travels abroad as much as possible, Dublin Ireland and Bradgate Park near Leicester, England are a few of his favorite spots. Mike has a passion for Micro-brews, particularly Porters and Stouts. You will frequently find him sampling, with his son Alexander, at Claremont Craft Ales, a personal favorite — or one of the many fine breweries in and around Claremont, CA. Mike released book II in his Supernatural Duology, Still Wilde in Outlaw River on June 3, 2016. He is currently at work on his own historical fiction, What’s Hidden Beneath the Ferns, which is a dark mystery. At least at this point so far. He doesn’t think it will turn into a RomCom.

Featured Selection: Still Wilde In Outlaw River (The Outlaw River Wilde Volume 2) by Mike Walters

Still-Wilde-in-Outlaw-River-The-Outlaw-River-Wilde-Volume-2-by-Mike-WaltersRescued from a desperate situation, Mitch Wilde finds the stakes raised for him, his loved ones, and his small Oregon Town of Outlaw River. Mitch’s wife Mabey is alone and on the run, fighting for her own survival. Jasper, Mitch’s cantankerous old neighbor and investigative paranormal sleuth, and best friend Jack Jenson, also return in Book Two of Mike Walters’ debut supernatural duology.

Mysteries further unfold in Still Wilde in Outlaw River as fast-paced events take the original characters into a multitude of unexpected directions. The invasion on Outlaw River from outside sources continues. Are they Alien forces looking for human subjugation or covert human entities from a parallel universe? Will Outlaw River residents unravel the mystery of the forces wreaking havoc in their small Oregon town and save themselves? Can Mabey Wilde rise to the occasion and overcome challenges she never imagined she would face? Will Mitch Wilde make the right decisions to save those closest to him?

All is revealed in the sequel to The Outlaw River Wilde, described as a novel with “Great character development, likable characters to boot, and a mystery that just yearns to be solved” (Rebecca Skane, Portsmouth Review), and “An original and impressively well written novel deftly crafted and highly entertaining by an author who will leave his readers looking eagerly toward his next effort” (James Cox, Midwest Review).

Book Review: Nine long months have passed since I read The Outlaw River Wilde (Volume One) by Mike Walters. Settling back to read Still Wilde in Outlaw River (Volume 2) it was comforting to be able to quickly immerse back into the story line.

Author Mike Walters will draw you into the story with descriptive writing, well developed characters that seem like old friends and you will turn every page with the desire to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the small Oregon Town of Outlaw River. The author’s ability to draw on the Native American culture, especially the Klamath Tribes makes the story line more credible.

It is hard to share a quote with you without spoiling the story, so I have decided to share a perspective from Mitch’s wife Mabey. I quote:

“The Rabbit Moon looked majestic as it highlighted the towering pines standing tall and firm. Mabey was hungry and emotionally shaken. Physically she felt decent but not great like she was used to. Her hands and a tender ankle were her biggest concerns at the moment. She knew resting a bit more would put her in a better state mentally. Mabey held out hope a break would also help her gain insight as to which direction to go. She hunkered down among some thick ferns in a bed of pine needles. Lying on her side, she made a pillow of her slightly swollen and sore hands. She was cold, but not shivering, and knew sleep would give her body the needed strength to recover.

Then her head reflexively raised off her hands. The noise coming down the road started as a low growl, and as it got closer, the vibrations in the earth confirmed something was coming.”

If you love fast paced drama, a good love story, humor, rough language, and a supernatural mystery that will take you out of this world, this duology is a must read. I highly recommend you read The Outlaw River Wilde first. Better yet, purchase The Outlaw River Wilde and Still Wilde in Outlaw River from Amazon and get ready for the ride of your life.

I sincerely hope that Author Mike Walters will bring us another series not far in the distant future.

Theodocia McLean endorses Still Wilde in Outlaw River (The Outlaw River Wilde-Volume 2) by Mike Walters. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on July 2, 2016.

Genre: Paranormal (Supernatural)

Amazon Author’s Page

Author Maureen L. Mills

Large-HeadshotMaureen Mills lives in Draper, Utah, and is the happily married mother of five grown children, all of whom are proud geeks, like their mom and dad.

When she’s not playing with her imaginary friends, she enjoys knitting, reading, and sewing cosplay outfits for her kids, who look a lot better in them than she does.

Along with her husband, she is in the process of creating a steampunk truck camper from scratch. She also enjoys teaching beginning fiction writing for the local school district’s continuing education program.

Maureen L. Mills, author of the romantic steampunk adventure Alchemystic series. Book one, Fires of Hell has just been published and Airs of Heaven: The Alchemystic (Book Two) is coming soon.

Here are a few stories I’ve written for fun. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Midwife Crisis
The Hungering
Fulcrum
The Old-fashioned Way

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

Featured Selection: Fires Of Hell: The Alchemystic (Book One) by Maureen L. Mills

Fires-of-Hell-The-Alchemystic-by-Maureen-L.-MillsWhen her captain is murdered and her airship suffers a series of sabotages, airship engineer and rogue pyromancer, Amelia Everley, must put aside her dislike of her new employer, Josiah, and help him save her airship and crew.

But is the destruction aimed at their mysterious government passenger, or is the captain’s killer now after Josiah?

All Amelia knows is, if Josiah can’t learn to respect her skills, she may have to resign herself to working for his rival, Edmund Fairlane.

If, that is, she can bring herself, her crew, and her ship home in one piece.

Book Review: Author Maureen L Mills brings to the table her first book in the Alchemystic series. The book opens when Amelia Everley discovers that her captain has been murdered.

Descriptive writing balanced with believable dialog in the thirty-three chapters along with well-developed characters create the desire to keep turning the page.

A murder to solve, along with the tension between Amelia and her new captain, might overshadow bringing the airship home in one piece. I always quote a portion of the book to whet your appetite, so I quote:

“I’d not sleep again, except in stolen snatches until we made Constantinople some three days hence.

Although a chill night breeze entered through the open porthole, the thin stream of air could not compete with the engine’s furnace, which roared at full capacity, radiating excess heat into the engine room. Steam seeped from copper pipes I would have to reseal at the next extended docking. The leaks were small and expected. No pipe could hold up to the flexing of the ship’s timbers for long without cracking—not when they also had to contend with the heat and damp of the steam.

But the combination created an atmosphere more like a tropical swamp than the French countryside. Even stripped down to my chemise and stays, sweat soon drenched me.

Weariness fogged my vision, slowing me down as I climbed the rungs bolted to the engine’s face to check the water level in the tank. I swiped at my eyes, no doubt streaking my face with soot, leaned closer to see the gauge more clearly, and nearly lost my grip on the rungs as the tocsin began its shrill alarm.

I slid down with my feet on either side of the ladder, not bothering with the rungs, and ran to check the control panel gauges.

Steam pressure: good. Hot air gasbag temperature: steady and in the green. Air speed: 45 miles per hour, right on target. Barometer…

Not good. Not good at all.”

You must read this book to understand where science fiction, fantasy and steam driven technology either bring this crew home or leaves them to the perils that threaten them with possibly no justice for the dead captain. Book two in the Alchemistic series titled ‘Airs of Heaven’ is coming soon.

Theodocia McLean endorses Fires Of Hell: The Alchemystic (Book One) by Maureen L. Mills. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on August 17, 2016.

Genre: Steampunk, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Amazon Author’s Page