Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Keepers by Sacha de Black @sacha_black #Fantasy

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Eden’s life is balanced…
…until her soul is bound to her enemy.

When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything.

As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life.

Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Eden’s mind.

Three boys.
Two murdered parents.
One deadly choice.

Buy it Here

Our Review

Keepers has been heralded as a brilliantly written debut novel, the first in a series by Sacha Black, and although not my usual choice of genre, I had read enough about it to know I would enjoy it.

The cover image and description promised plenty of action and excitement and did not disappoint. A complex plot, fascinating characters and a strong leading woman take you on a gripping journey where you find yourself alternating between fantasy and reality.

Sacha has created Trutinor, a beautifully detailed and believable world where we meet Eden East and follow her through some difficult times. There is something for everyone in this story, magic and romance, danger and betrayal, heartbreak and joy. An altogether breathtaking story with one of the best cliff hangers I have ever read,  will leave you more than ready for the next in the series!

*Thank you to the author and RBRT for my #free advance copy in return for an honest review

Biography

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

You can get Sacha’s free 17-page cheat sheet intro to creating superbad villains by visiting her website: http://www.sachablack.co.uk

You can also find her on Twitter @sacha_black
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sachablackauthor/

 

 

 

 

Our Review for The Emissary by Marcia Mearer #Romantic Mystery

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Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary.

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.
When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.
It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?
To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder…

 

Our Review

I knew this story was a spin-off from Marcia Mearer’s successful Riverbend romantic mystery series, and although I had read Marcia’s work before, I hadn’t read Finding Hunter, the book that prompted this story. However, the description and cover hooked my curiosity immediately and I knew it would be a good read. I was not to be disappointed.

Considering The Emissary is a novella, it doesn’t feel like it, as the story seems to grow as you read it and is the kind of story that could run for a long time, as I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to read more about Jake and Azrael. The chemistry between the two of them was brilliantly written and very special. Their arguments had me in stitches!

I totally recommend this wonderful story; you will fall in love with these characters as I have done…

 

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Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of 30 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order.

At age 69, Marcia wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel, and “Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love.” Nine months later, she published her second novel, “Swamp Ghosts,” set alongside the wild and scenic rivers of central Florida. Since then, she’s published, “A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2”, “Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2,” and is hard at work on “Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3.”

Marcia also has work published in five poetry anthologies published by Silver Birch Press: Silver, Green, Summer, Noir Erasure Poetry, and the May Poetry Anthology.

Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back.

Stop by Marcia’s blog The Write Stuff It’s a friendly community of writers helping writers, but readers will enjoy time spent there, as well.

 

Our Review of Summer Day by Frank Parker @fparkerswords

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Bess, a Welsh Collie sheepdog is old and ailing. Jack, her owner, has decided it is time to put her down. His young son, Henry, in trying to prevent this, causes the gun to go off injuring Jack. Believing that he is responsible for his father’s death, Henry runs away, taking Bess with him. Thus begins what could turn out to be the last day of Henry’s young life.
The setting is a hill farm on the border between England and Wales on a summer day in 1947. The story follows Henry’s increasingly desperate attempts to evade capture and the inept and amateurish efforts of family and neighbours to find him and explain that his father’s injuries are not life-threatening and that no one holds him responsible.


Each member of the family has his or her own fears and worries for the future and these influence their behaviour throughout the long sultry day as storm clouds gather. Henry’s older brother, Cecil, wants to have a bigger say in the management of the farm; like his mother, his sister Margery is preoccupied with planning her forthcoming marriage. His aunts too have problems that demand attention.
Assorted professionals have their own distorted view of the family and of Henry: the family Doctor, the district nurse, the vicar, the schoolteacher. Henry meanwhile faces an increasing number of setbacks and injuries, which lead him to make a near-fatal decision. Rescue finally comes from a surprising quarter.

https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Day-Frank-Parker-ebook/dp/B007ZBK4UI/

Our Review

Summer Day is a real slice of post-war country charm, with so many interesting characters, all busy living their lives, unaware of the drama surrounding one small boy and his dog. A boy with problems, who acts rashly on impulse and cannot cope with what he thinks is the outcome. The author drops the reader into the drama right at the beginning and you barely have time to catch your breath before the building tension takes it away again.

The author has such a lovely writing style, so detailed and descriptive and I loved the idea of giving the characters their own chapters, it kept the tension moving forward and let you become a part of their lives.

Such a beautifully sad story and one I heartily recommend. The author manages to put you inside the mind of a terrified boy, and you feel every emotion with him.

 Biography

Frank is a retired Engineer. He spent most of his working life in England where he was employed by UK based multi-national companies. He always wanted to write, but has only found the freedom to do so since retiring to Ireland in October 2006. He lives with Freda, his wife since 1963, in Stradbally, County Laois.

He has four novels published on Amazon:
Honest Hearts is about the lives of Irish migrants to North America around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. With settings that range from the Irish countryside to the Alaskan gold rush, via Brooklyn and Dawson City, Canada, this romantic tale reaches its climax in Chicago during the “Red Riots” of the summer of 1919.
Summer Day offers a contrast, with the action set during a single day and within the confines of a small rural community during the long hot summer of 1947. Feel the tension rise with the temperature and humidity as storm clouds gather. Suffer with young Henry and his dog as he tries desperately to evade his pursuers. The events of this Summer Day will change him for ever. Reading about them will change you.

You can find Frank here, and I’m sure he’d love to see you!

 

Rosie’s #Book Review Team #RBRT The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery @amontgomery8

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Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

 

 

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Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award-winning SportsCenter. She finished her on-camera broadcasting career with a two-year stint as the studio host for the NBAs Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include: The Scent of Rain, Nothing But Echoes, and A Light in the Desert. Montgomery teaches journalism at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, is a foster mom to three sons, and is an Arizona Interscholastic Association football referee and crew chief.

Our Review

It was the cover that first attracted me to this book, and the title intrigued me. I instantly thought of the welcoming smell of the rain, the way the earth responds to it after an arid and depressing time. You can almost hear it breathing a sigh of relief and the scent is unforgettable.

There is a name for this scent, the ancients called it Petrichor, from Petros = stones and Ichor = the fluid in the veins of Gods.

I didn’t know much about the organisations like the one in this book. I had heard of the Amish and their refreshingly simple, although strict way of life. I was expecting this story to be similar, an account of how people live under such restrictive practices. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This branch of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is situated in Colorado City, near a small town called Hurricane. Like the Amish, these people subject their followers to a harsh way of life too, but that is where the similarity ends, for these people haven’t abandoned any of their outdated and evil traditions.

Polygamy is considered normal practice, along with the inbreeding of bloodlines between the two main families. This causes terrible deformities, both physical and mental. Children born this way are considered a punishment from God, something to be cared for, but hidden away.

Parents are overly strict with their children, under the direction of the Prophet, their leader Eldon Higbee. As you read this story, you imagine you are reading a true account, so compelling are the characters and the situations they find themselves in.

The Scent of Rain is a brilliantly written story, with a fascinating cast of characters. A mixture of the evil, the helpless and the determined, all struggling to survive under some horrific conditions.

My favourite characters are the redeeming players in this drama. Rose Madsen, a beautiful young girl who is destined to be married to the Prophet, trying desperately to protect her handicapped sister Daisy. Brooke Neal is the newly appointed child protection Officer with her work cut out, and Adan Reyes, a teenage boy who has already escaped from one institution.

The tension gradually rises, almost becoming unbearable. Situations go from bad to worse, but among all the pain and sadness, a love story emerges as the romance between Adan and Rose blossoms and they run away together.

At this point, I was pulling my hair out, expecting all hell to break loose. It did, but you will have to read it yourself to know the ending.

I totally recommend this book with a warning, there are some nasty moments…

Thank you to the author and RBRT for my #free review copy!

 

Our Review of Will O’ the Wisp by Craig Boyack @coldhandboyack #Supernatural

 

There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it’s been targeting the Hall family for generations. Patty Hall is fifteen years old. She loves stargazing, science fiction, and all things related to space exploration. This leaves her perfectly prepared for the wrong problem.

Patty is afraid her mother will send her to a care facility if she tells her what she’s seen. If she doesn’t figure things out soon, she’s going to join her father in the Hall family cemetery plot.

Patty has to come to grips with her own physical handicap, face the wilderness, and an ancient evil all alone if she’s going to survive.
Will O’ the Wisp is suitable for young adults. It involves elements of suspense and is set in the mid-1970s.

 Our Review

I have long been a fan of Craig Boyack the brilliant writer and blogger.     Been meaning to read his book, Will o the Wisp for ages too, so what better time than Halloween?

Will o the Wisp is a very spooky story about the single-minded determination of a 15-year-old girl, Patty Hall, to rid her family of an ancient curse. Something she knew nothing about until noticing a glowing light in the woods near her home, when it seemed to attack a college student with gruesome results.

Patty is quite a character, funny and smart, despite suffering the constant bullying at school because she wears leg braces. She decides to find out more about the lights and her family’s connection to them.  A school History project gives Patty the opportunity to research the lights. What she learns and the lengths she is prepared to go to, and the risks she takes, will earn your admiration. I thought she was amazing, so brave and determined to save her family.

I loved the chapter where Patty visits an old haunted library in Washington, alone. What happens there made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I wonder if I would have been as brave at that age.

This was a hard book to review, as describing all the good stuff would have revealed spoilers, but I recommend reading Will o the Wisp, you will not be disappointed, but you will be scared…

 

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Here are a few words from Craig himself…

I’m on the verge of being an empty nester, and I like to write fiction. This blog is to share ideas with readers and writers. I have a decent body of work on Amazon, and I hope you’ll check some of them out. They are all speculative fiction, but seem to stay closest to science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy.

I have other interests that may sneak in from time to time. I like the great outdoors and all it has to offer. Morels and huckleberries are particularly fun. I once caught and released a 7-foot white sturgeon from the Snake River.

I’ve posted using categories to make everything easier. They work like this.

Writing: This is me talking about writing, asking questions, or discussing my projects.

Blogging: When I figure something out, it will go here. There might be something about my number of followers, or a new milestone. I tend to follow those people who interact in the comments.

Muse: This one gets pretty crazy. This is where I consult with my Muse, Lorelei. It involves some of the characters from my books.  There are a few characters that are unique to the blog too, like a raven named Doubt. I try to make it about writing, and there are sometimes subtle lessons included. New readers will appreciate the Entertaining Stories Primer.

Short Stories & Vignettes: Sometimes I get fully detailed scenes from my Muse. This is how my stories are born. If I have a good one, I’ll post about it. Some of them might turn into books, some won’t. I have a plan to post some micro-fiction here too. If this stuff interests you, check out the category on the sidebar.

The Idea Mill: I post about things I find online that fuel my imagination. Push feeds make this easy, and when something is particularly interesting I save it for one of these posts. These are the kind of ideas that could fuel an entire novel, or add an element to something you’re in the process of drafting. I may include some of them in my stories, I may not. Let me know if something here fuels your imagination.

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Lisa Burton Radio: This is the newest category. The main character from my first book is Lisa Burton. She’s a robot and makes regular appearances on this blog, usually under the Muse category. In early 2015 I decided to make her into the spokesmodel for this blog. There are posters, free paper dolls, and she started making guest appearances on other blogs. As her popularity grew, I decided she could interview the characters of other authors to help them promote their stories.

Uncategorized: This is where everything else goes. I might post about fishing, gathering wild morels, sourdough, or anything else that strikes me.

I try to keep my two most recent titles in the sidebar with direct purchase links. There is a slideshow with all my covers, and they are all available through my Amazon author site. That is also linked in the sidebar.

My books are all e-books. Don’t panic if you don’t have a Kindle. Amazon provides a free app for almost every electronic device in existence. I included a link at the top of my sidebar to make it easy for you.

Come on in, it’s fun here.

P.S. I am declaring this to be an award free blog. I appreciate your finding me worthy, but your comments are enough.

Craig

 

Our Review of Fractured Lives by Sue Coletta @SueColetta1 #Mystery Thriller

 

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Three couples, the perfect Maine vacation, and a fateful night that lands one of the women in mortal danger.   Couples are going missing in Sunset Cove at Long Lake, and the authorities seem more concerned with not tarnishing the reputation of their popular tourist destination. Until … while out for a spin on her wave runner, Shawnee Daniels pulls alongside a deserted canoe.    Blood stains the seat.  

 When retired SEAL Brandon “Boomer” Rayne wakes to an empty bed—his bride-to-be Daphne nowhere inside their rented cabin—he enlists the help of the only people he’s met in the state: the couple next door, Shawnee Daniels and Revere, Massachusetts Detective Levaughn Samuels.   Uncertainty bonds the two neighbors, forced together by tragedy.

Their predicament turns even deadlier when the half-nude body of a female washes ashore. No obvious signs of homicide exist. How did she die? Does her death relate to Daphne’s disappearance?   Time’s running out.  

 Can they piece together the mystery to find Boomer’s fiancé? Or will an elusive serial killer determine their fate?

https://amazon.com/Brotherhood-Protectors-Fractured-Kindle-Novella-ebook/dp/B075FFNWD9

Our Review

Lovable Shawnee Daniels and Detective Levaughn Samuels are vacationing at Sunset Cove, Long Lake, enjoying a well- earned break to relax and recharge their batteries. A popular destination with a problem about missing women, something the local authorities have been keeping quiet about, not wanting to scare off the tourists.

Normally, Shawnee and Levaughn are up to the necks in mysteries and murders and I was a little disappointed that this book might not focus on them after all, but when the wife of one of their neighbours goes missing and a body turns up in the water, I relaxed. There was no way Shawnee would leave any of this alone.

Sue Coletta has excelled herself with this latest story in the Mayhem series. Full of intrigue, mystery and chillingly descriptive horrors, but there was no definite suspect, leaving me grasping for clues. The supporting cast revealed no suitable subject either, building my frustration at not being able to figure out who was guilty.

A mysterious, mist-shrouded island seems like a good place to start looking, but what they find when they get there will blow your socks off. A totally unexpected finale, one of the best I have ever read. Your blood will run cold!

I ended up reading this book twice, for such a lot seemed innocent the first time I read it. Remember how frustrated I was about the lack of clues? Well, they were there all the time in bucket loads!

Once you know the ending, you really must read it again to fully appreciate the subtle nuances. All those seemingly ordinary happenings take on a far more sinister theme when you know the truth. This is master storytelling at its finest!

 

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Biography

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is an award-winning, multi-published author in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners In Crime” on Writestream Radio Network every third Tuesday of the month from 1 – 3 p.m. EDT/EST (see details at http://www.suecoletta.com). She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

2017 Award-winner of Feedspot’s Top 50 Crime Blogs (Murder Blog sits at #6), she shares crime tips, police jargon, the mind of serial killers, and anything and everything in between. If you search her archives, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts…crime, crime, and more crime.
For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door. Inside, like-minded folks discuss their favorite crime novels, solve mindbender and mystery puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most importantly, everyone has a lot of fun.
Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, where her house is surrounded by wildlife…bear, moose, deer, even mountain lions have been spotted. Course, Sue would love to snuggle with them, but her husband frowns on the idea.

 

 

 

 

Our Review of The Box Under The Bed by Dan Alatorre @savvystories #Horror

 

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Come along for a chilling ride on a ghost ship, experience eerie daydreams and psychotic killers, explore haunted houses, and send the deceased to their final destination.
And that’s just a quarter of the thrills.
Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of scary tales brings together the minds and pens of twenty authors, including bestseller Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), Lucy Brazier (PorterGirl), J. A. Allen, Juliet Nubel, T.A. Henry, Ann Marie Andrus, Heather Hackett, Barbara Anne Helberg, Scott Skipper, Joanne R. Larner, Christine Valentor, Adele Marie Park, Curtis Bausse, Annette Robinson, Frank Parker, Eric Daniel Clarke, and Maribel C. Pagan.

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before walking alone on the beach at night, reading a diary, or innocently watching a train from your car.
Consider yourselves warned.

https://amazon.com/Box-Under-Bed-anthology-stories-ebook/dp/B075C9D7L1/

Our Review

We really loved reading this anthology. Each story is original and well written with a unique quality of its own.

From the bonus story, The Water Castle by Dan Alatorre, to The Blind Tattoist  by Allison Maruska , there is something here for everyone.

It would be hard to pick a favourite, for we loved them all. Some were scary, some mysterious, but every single one was a darn good read.

Not exactly bed time reading, unless you want to have nightmares!

 

Author Bio

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International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages.

From Romance in Poggibonsi, to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators. To comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heart-warming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series.  His knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world.
And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time.

“That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”

Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe.

His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever.

25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on http://www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week, Writers Off Task With Friends.

Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.