#New Release: Angel on Her Shoulder by Dan Alatorre @savvystories # Fantasy/sciencefiction

 

We are re posting  our review for Dan Alatorre’s brilliant new book, Angel on her shoulder, because it has come to our attention that all of our subsequent posts on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Goodreads for this book, did not, for some obscure reason, arrive.

Which means there was a mistake somewhere, but it is hard to believe that we made the same mistake in all three places.

This is being addressed as I speak, and we whole heartedly apologise to Dan for the errors…

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A series of unexplainable tragedies surround a family and their young daughter as they seek to determine whether they are possessed, paranoid or collectively going insane. Meanwhile, forgotten clues from the father’s past may indicate forces are at work in ways more ominous than any of them could have imagined.

 

 

 

Our Review:

I chose to read and review this supernatural thriller with a twist by Dan Alatorre because I am a great fan of his work. The last book I read, ‘Poggibonsi’ nearly had me splitting my sides, I laughed so much. There is always such a strong human element to his writing, which adds to the magic.

From the brilliant opening chapter, I knew this book would be good. The unusual chapter arrangement threw me at first, but I soon realised how well it gradually ramped up the tension.

Parts of the story were traumatic, enforcing the deep and dark theme of this book, despite being about a happy family unit. The main characters, Doug, Mallory and their daughter Sophie are portrayed so well, you feel you have known them all for years, and makes what happens to them all the more terrifying and exciting to read.

The supernatural element was handled well, really down to earth stuff that will raise the hair on the back of your neck time and again.

Near the end of the book was another shocking chapter, and then the unbelievably terrifying footage of being caught in a storm. So well depicted, I felt soaked to the skin and scared to death as the lightning rent the air.

Not many books have me cheering at the end, but this one did, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good thriller!

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About the Author:

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 heartwarming 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.

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Do you insist on Real, or settle for Fake?

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On those frequent occasions when my brain takes a hike and I am looking around my office for inspiration, I often find myself studying the items on my desk.

One of these is an artificial bonsai tree, although you have to look carefully to realise this. It is a white pine, brought from a specialist company called Bloom. They make the most amazing silk flowers and the occasional artificial tree, and the minute I saw it, I knew I had to treat myself.  It is stunningly life-like and beautifully made.

You wouldn’t think that a dyed in the wool bonsai enthusiast would give such a thing house room, but it appealed to me simply because it cannot die. It will always remain perfect no matter the weather, never lose it‘s leaves in the autumn, and I love it.

 

bonsai-2.JPGI cannot help but see the differences between this tree and the real ones just outside my window, and not just the obvious differences, like the time of the year. The makers have done their best, but the bark is just a little too smooth. There are no cracks or crevices in the bark for all the tiny spiders to live in, a necessary part of any healthy tree, for they control other nastier insects.

There is no living collection of mosses and lichen around the base of the trunk either, something all of my other trees have, and although this artificial tree keeps me company all through the year, when all the others are sleeping, their leaves just a memory, it cannot change my feelings for my babies.

The ones that are so old and have pride of place in my yard, and the ones that are still finding their way to maturity. Then there are the ones I grew from seed that may not ever amount to much in my lifetime, for it takes years to become an established bonsai. These are special to me, even if they don’t look quite right yet.

 

DSCF1043.JPGI think that growing anything, whether in a pot or in your garden, is a lot like writing. Until you know what you are doing, what you produce will be just a shadow of what it could be. And like a garden, your words need tender loving care too. Prune too hard, or badly, and there are a million ways to ruin what is fragile at best and the results will be disappointing…

Paradise Lost…

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I have been obsessed with Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ for most of my adult life. Reading it, I must admit is a bit of a stretch, seeing as it is a poem and antiquated to boot. But the premise is what drew me to it, as I have long been convinced that all this devil stuff is mostly propaganda.

It has to be, don’t you think? After all, the devil was supposed to be an angel once. A very special angel if you ask me, for I don’t suppose they give the title ‘Bringer of Light’ to just any old angel.

In ‘Paradise Lost’ Satan describes his exile from heaven and his regrets in such a way that you do end up feeling sorry for him. At least I did and might be what gave me the inspiration for my first book, The Ninth Life and the slightly sinister voice that plagues Kate Devereau. I invented (I think) an entity that is supposed to advise and control us humans, mostly in devious and sometimes cruel ways. But as you read along you get to wonder if that is what he is really doing, as it seems his primary mission is to torment us and make us lose our way. We have always called it the ‘Cosmic Joker’ in our house, something to blame for all those infuriatingly unexplainable and annoying incidents that drive us all batty!
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I don’t feel as though I am in control of anything, even at my age.  But are we ever really in control of our lives? With so many rules and influencers, I suspect we are just pawns in one fantastic board game. There is something else going on, of that I am convinced, for we are allowed too many glimpses of it at work.

Our world is a beautiful place, a veritable paradise, but unless you leave the bubble that you live in, you will never see just how beautiful it is…

Hope this find everyone well, and I will see you next week…

 

The Dying of the Light…

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The Dying of the Light

Part One

The trick is to avoid all the things she knows she cannot do anymore, but this is easier to do than keeping her hands out of the biscuit tin.

She is becoming an expert at ignoring the elephant in the room. She sees him, watching her with that wise knowing look in his eyes, but if she doesn’t acknowledge him or admit his presence to anyone, she can go on pretending that everything is fine.

Pretend that the painful, spiteful remarks don’t slice her soul to the bone, making her want to curl up and die in a corner, or scream louder than the pain, in an effort to keep her temper from overwhelming and drowning her.

Somehow, she maintains a humorous attitude, something she has carefully cultivated. Smiling at her tormentors, even laughing at their cruel jokes and the things they say. She has learned that to show the damage they do only increases their enjoyment at her distress.

She knows they are waiting for her to die, to be finally rid of her and the elephant in the room, the constant reminder that they too will grow old.

She must ignore them, for she cannot find the will or the strength to walk away from them. One of these days she hopes she will manage to summon some vestige of effort, before her time runs out. She dreams of spending her last days in peace and tranquillity, far from all the hatred and cruelty and the critical gaze of the large grey animal in the corner of the room…

Rosie’s #BookReviewTeam #RBRT Dragonfly Wishes by Penny Harmon @PennyH_Author #Romance #Woman’s Fiction

#RBRT Review Team

 

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Callie Daniels had it all – a handsome and loyal husband – a sweet and loving son. When death comes knocking at the door twice and they are both taken from her, Callie is suddenly struggling to find a reason to continue with her own life.
During an accidental overdose, she discovers that maybe her son is not lost to her forever when she sees a vision and her journey to understand what happens after death takes top priority.

In the middle of Callie’s quest to deal with her grief, she uncovers a secret that she just can’t ignore. These secrets lead her on a journey to understanding more about life than she ever expected to know.

 

Our Review

I knew that Penny Harmon writes romance novels, but Dragonfly Wishes didn’t read like a romance at all in the beginning. The sad opening chapter set the tone for the book, at least that was my initial impression.

Callie’s world is in ruins, her husband and child gone.

What are you supposed to do at times like these?

How do you pick up the pieces of your life and carry on?

Although I haven’t lost anyone through illness or accident, I can only imagine how painful it must be, to be constantly reminded of all the things that have been taken away.

This book could have been all doom and gloom, but surprisingly, it wasn’t.

The arrival of a dragonfly and other mysterious incidents brings a radical change to Callie’s thinking. What  starts out as one small flight of fancy, or was it something more? leads Callie on an endearing journey. The story of loss and bereavement quickly grows into a journey of discovery as Callie tries to get her life back on track.

Far from being a sad story, this book has it all, adventure, detective work, a bucket list and romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this well thought out, uplifting story, although it just missed out on five stars. I hate to spoil what should have been a faultless review, but this story would benefit from a professional final edit as some of the spelling errors and typos were annoying.

 

Biography

While I have been writing since I can remember, it wasn’t until 2006, after my kids were grown, that I decided to take my writing seriously. I have written for newspapers and magazines, and I have had several short stories published. In January of 2016, I finished my first novella Complicated Inheritance and am now working on a romance to come out in March of 2016 which is the first of a series.

I get asked the question of “Why romance?” a lot. The answer is easy. Most romance novels have a Happy Ever After (HEA) and who doesn’t like a HEA? I can remember being ten and eleven years old and stealing my mother’s romance novels to read. Of course, back then, they weren’t as steamy as today’s romance novels. Whether you read contemporary romance or historical romance, the one thing you will find is they have a great plot and they leave you with a good feeling inside when you’re done.

I started writing romance stories when I was young…unfortunately, I never chose to do anything with them until now. Of course, the majority of my writing was lost in moves, but the ideas are still there.

I live in the U.S…Maine to be exact. You will find the majority of my books have a Maine setting!

I love to hear feedback from readers and you can email me at pennyharmonauthor@gmail.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!!!

 

 About the Author

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Penny Harmon began writing at an early age and developed a great love of words over the years. After her children were grown, she took her writing more seriously and has published in both newspapers and magazines. In January of 2016, her first novella, Complicated Inheritance, was published and she is the author of the Rocky Isle Romance Series.

Penny lives in Maine with her other-half, Dan, two grandchildren, and three cats. She enjoys spending time with all nine of her grandchildren and enjoys working on DIY projects, especially those that involve making something new out of something that should have been thrown away.

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

A Writer’s Bucket List

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Like an ancient building, parts of me are wearing away, falling down or missing. My joints ache unbearably, and my head doesn’t work the way it used to. The eyesight is appalling and the memory almost non-existant.

I have been ignoring the signs for a while now, adopting the attitude of just ignore it, and it will go away… but try as I might, I cannot deny that I am getting old. Too old for so many things these days, but nothing I will ever admit to, not yet. If I want to do something, I will, even if it costs me later, as I can’t believe that my time is beginning to run out.

Already, certain members of my family are treating me like an ancient relic, constantly reminding me that ‘I have to be careful at my age…’  And that going up ladders or even walking into town on my own is just not on. In case something happens…

I catch them looking at me and know what they are thinking. I know I forget things and I’m not as steady on my feet these days, but seriously, I think I am fitter than most of them, even if it does take me longer to do things.

Secretly though, I quite like the slower pace, and the ready excuse (should I decide to use it) for not doing so much. In fact, I don’t remember saying no to so many things before, and I quite like it.

But before anything else gives up the ghost, I thought I would give some thought to some of the things I haven’t yet achieved. Not a proper bucket list, you understand, as riding a wild horse along the edge of the sea, or getting really close to Niagara Falls and getting soaked to the skin, is beyond even my dreams, this is purely connected to my writing and blogging endeavours.

My Writing Bucket List

Book trailers    Should do more of these, and/or improve the ones already done

Paperback copies of our books   Some of the covers/editing could be better?

My own blog tour   Could do another one?

Character Interviews   Could do more of these too

Guest posts   Always need more of these

Box set of my crime thriller series

Our own newsletter    A work-in-progress

A well-known author endorsement    Wishful thinking?

Write a best seller   More wishful thinking

Start a writing team    A work-in-progress

 

My memory lets me down again, as I’m sure there are more things I want to do, but you get the picture. And another thing… Anita is just two years younger than me, but not suffering from old age at all! Well, nothing she will admit to, anyway…

Oh well, I’m off to do some work on current WIP, that’s if I can remember where I was up to!

Help Needed!

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I have long suspected that some, if not all of the work we produce could be better, for despite polishing each book until our arms drop off, and employing beta readers along the way, sales are not improving.

Another reason that prompted this post is that I am struggling with a memoir/travelogue of a holiday we took over 40 years ago.

It is called Lazy Days, a light-hearted and often funny account of our first family holiday on the Norfolk Broads. We were two adults, four kids and two dogs, a young family who had never done anything like this before. We didn’t get to do it again, which was a shame, but none of us will ever forget that exciting time.

Lazy Days is very like the very popular ‘Narrow’ books by Marie Browne of life on a narrow boat.

We all remember this holiday as one very special time, so I have finally transcribed the skipper’s logbook that we kept back then. Having never written a memoir before, I need some help to make sure it is good enough to publish.

What we need, I have discovered, is to be part of a critique group or Team. Sacha Black calls it a ‘street team’, a small army of readers dedicated to making a book the best it can be.  This group once formed would benefit everyone in the group, sharing the editing, beta reading or whatever is needed.

If anyone would be interested in being a part of such a team or has any better suggestions, please get in touch, either in the comments or via the contact page.

 

Lazy Days…

This travelogue is the true story of our family’s first proper holiday back in the Seventies. Looking back, I wonder what made us think it was a good idea, but despite all the things that could have gone wrong, we had a fantastic time. I was the Skipper most of the time, and for some reason decided to record our adventures in a small notebook. We were young and without husbands, Anita was a widow, and I was glad to be rid of mine. (and that is another story) Money was precious and scarce back then, but all the saving and sacrifice turned out to be worth every single memory we all cherish.

 This notebook has been kept safe, despite numerous house moves and family disasters, as a symbol of our courage and determination. It could so easily have been one of the stupidest things we had ever done, but even after 40 years, we have such good memories of that time.

Over the years, I often thought of making it into a proper book, but along with everything else in our often-complicated family life, it was something I never got around to. Until just recently, when I was looking for some old photographs, found the now fragile notebook and knew it was time.

It wasn’t as easy as I imagined it would be either, for my logbook writing skills leave a lot to be desired, but there was just enough information entered on those pages to get me started.