Reviews Coming Soon

I love christmas, if only because people give me books. Or money or vouchers to buy books. So you may expect reviews soon of some or all of these…

“Mythos – The Greek Myths Retold” by Stephen Fry

“The QI Book of the Dead – Lives of the Justly Famous & the Undeservedly Obscure”, by John Lloyd (CBE) & John Mitchinson

“Now We Are Dead”, by Stuart MacBride

“The 45% Hangover, by Stuart MacBride

“Lutapolii” by Virginnia De Parte

“Scavengers” by Sheryl [Surname to come]

A lovely mix!

“Crimson Curse”, released Feb 7

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The Crimson Curse
A Romance / Fantasy by Melissa J. Crispin

 

Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.

 

Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena.
When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask. An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.

 

Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?

 

~~~oOo~~~

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.
From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.

 

LINKS:
Ms Crispin’s site
~~~oOo~~~

 

EXCERPT:

Calliope returned her attention to Bastian, grasping his shoulder with a gentle hand and giving him a small shake. When he didn’t stir, she considered how she could clean the wound without undressing him as he slept. She had never taken off a man’s clothing before, and she hardly wanted her first time to be when he wasn’t even aware of her actions. But, no other options seemed available. She started at the bottom button of his shirt, working her way up with trembling fingers, and spreading the fabric apart when the last of the buttons slipped free.

 

Her eyes roamed his upper body. While she was supposed to be assessing the extent of his injuries, she couldn’t deny the flash of heat that blasted through her at the sight of his bare skin.

 

She dipped a washcloth in the basin that Mrs. Widdleworth left on the night table, wringing out the excess water. As she dabbed at the gash near his naval, his vulnerability in that moment struck her in a way she had not expected. After their first encounter, she would have predicted his ego to get in the way, choosing to bleed to death in the cold rather than accept anything from her.

 

Although he suffered a serious injury, his daughter seemed to remain his utmost concern. Could his earlier ill-temper have been an unusual display? A behavior born out of fear for his daughter’s safety?

 

Maybe she had been wrong about him.

 

She pressed her lips together, allowing the notion to sink in as she dropped the bloody fabric off to the side, and proceeded to stitch the wound with shaky fingers. When the task was complete, she picked up a fresh cloth to use as a dressing. Relief washed over her as she inspected the area before covering it up. The slice in his flesh went deep, but not nearly as deep as she initially feared. She positioned the bandage and fixed it in place, her gaze catching a thin trail of hair that started under the center of his chest, following the way it continued lower down his body, and even further yet where it dipped beneath his trousers.

 

“It’s been a long time since a woman has laid her hands on me,” Bastian said, his voice rough.

 

Calliope jumped, heat infusing her cheeks. “My apologies if this offends. Marcus doesn’t fare well with blood. I had to care for your injury myself.” Her eyes met his, and to her surprise, no anger seemed to stir there.

 

“I was only teasing.” He swallowed hard, appearing to bite back the immense discomfort he had to be feeling. “Thank you.”

 

She inclined her head. “You’re welcome.”

 

I shouldn’t have been so terse with you earlier. Yareena is my life, and when I couldn’t find her, well…” He reached for his face, pressing the heel of his hand against his jaw. “I lost my sense for a short while. I apologize.”

 

Reviewing Love Under the Harvest Moon

harvest-moon-cover-revealThis anthology of five stories has something for any romance reader. The six authors have each “met the brief”, so to speak, in their own unique way, and have brought to the collection tales reflecting the season and the age.

As a former teacher (but not in the US) two stories felt nicely familiar: Claire Davon’s Opposite Directions, and Laura Lamoreaux’s & T.L. French’s A Harvest Homecoming. Nice, moving to teach at a new school and finding oh, so much more!

Nemma Wollenfang’s Amidst the Strawberry Fields (a Young Adult Romance) I thoroughly enjoyed – its nod to gypsy heritage and old harvest customs are comfortable and easily slot into my own personal interest.

T.E. Hodden’s Autumn Leaves is an incredibly credible tale of acceptance and that facet of love we call kindness, towards a transgender young woman.

Patricia Crisafulli’s Moon Dance tells of a woman, struggling as a solo parent and daughter of her ill mother, who finds herself drawn to dance in the street with the man who comes to fix the roof, then fixes more.

The collection has something for everyone, and this would make a wonderful gift

Available from Roane Publishing, and other outlets listed

Roane Black on White

No wonder it’s a marked down price!

Spotted Led Zeppelin – You Shook Me at a knock-off LedZepp cock-up
price, and being a lover of Stairway To Heaven,
grabbed it!

When reading the book, I found my “editor-mind” taking over. There are So Many c**k-ups in the text it is a very poor production. *

Then of course, I looked properly at the cover…
“4 DVD BOOK SET COLLECTORS LIMITED EDITION”
and at the foot, “UNOFFICIAL AND UNAUHORISED”
S. O. Dear, me…

Okay, I bought it for the DVDs. But the errors, that a good proof-reader should have found and fixed, Really bugged me. In one section, whole paragraphs (even a part-paragraph) had been repeated. Couldn’t help m’self. I grabbed a pencil and marked up the initial paragraphs…LedZepp 1st sections
…then the repeated paragraphs…
LedZepp 2nd sections
… and all the other, minor proofing slips, which I won’t show here.

What a disappointment for Led Zeppelin fans! But then, many won’t mind as the content contains a host of information which I’d not known. So, you get what you pay for, I guess.

* Publication data:
Author? not mentioned – content possibly lifted from other sources?
© Hurricane International Ltd
First Published by FHE Ltd – but – Date?
Photography? Courtesy of Pictorial Press, Wikimedia Commons, and Getty Images – unless indicated otherwise
ISBN: 978-0-9939170-1

Recommendation? Good if you only want a “potted” summary and the DVDs, and can live with the errors.

 

 

Top Two Sources of “Hearts Of Valor” Authors’ Inspiration –

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Hearts of Valor — Authors’ Top Two Sources of Inspiration:
Having had the pleasure of editing three of the stories included in this anthology. I asked every author “What are your top two sources of inspiration?” Here are their responses… 

London SAINT JAMES:
I did pull some of my hero’s stoic traits from a real life hero.
Music!

Jean YOUNG:
Danny Walker (played by Josh Hartnett) in Pearl Harbor and …
the New Hampshire man who helped us in that frigid evening (see above story).

S.L. HUGHSON:
Things people say
Personal hopes and expectations for a better/different world

T. E. HODDEN:
 Museums! You can not beat a curiosity found in the corner of a museum to fire your inspiration.
Magazines, especially those about subjects you would not normally read about. They cheap, and often surprising.

Philip LISAGOR:
I have always been inspired by the hardships of the family members left behind while mom or dad are deployed into a combat zone. They continue to live their lives with their loved one thousands of miles of away. They deserve a medal for this service.
I am also inspired by the teaching of the prophet Amos who teaches us that the sins of murder, adultery and idolatry can be forgive, but the sine of ignoring the needs of the poor can never be brushed away. Truly wonderful advice for us to have today.

Terri ROCHENSKI:
Everyday conversations I experience or hear.
People ‘watching’ and wondering what their story is.

So, there you are – an insight to each writer in this great anthology of tales of valor in the romance world.
Look for the Hearts Of Valour Blog Tour Page here (Having trouble setting it to reveal itself, ratzit!)

Athene’s Prophecy, by Ian J MILLER

The first section of Athene’s Prophecy MILLER_E.J-Athene's Prophecy
will appeal greatly to those interested
in the discussion of philosophies
of the ancient Greeks, or in the military
strategies of the ancient Roman armies.

Athene’s Prophecy, delivered to young Gaius, sets the plot for all three books of the trilogy. Gaius is sent for training and education to prepare him for a military position. Eventually he sees the mechanical toy Athene had foreseen, and determines to find a practical development for it. He is challenged to think and analyse, and military gaming develops his preparedness for the expected position–which he finally gains.

The pace really picks up, and Gaius proves he is more than capable of a leading military role, while coming up against more of Athene’s predictions. I found I was fully engaged in the tale, and wish I’d been able to instantly pick up at book 2 as books two and three will be veering off into science fiction and the futuristic worlds–with aliens taking Gaius with them. A more intriguing mix of historic and science fiction I cannot imagine.

This is Book 1 of the trilogy Gaius Claudius Scaevola

Buy Link  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GYL4HGW

Dear Philomena, by M S Spencer

Dagne, an advice columnist intent on writing a novel.
A former lover who can be a louse. ACover of Dear Philomena parent with a dodgy background. A hero figure who promises romance. A white pickup too often on the scene. Three cousins who are really brothers. The full gamut of emotion from rage to ecstasy.

These components fit in Spencer’s romance cum crime novel in which the action is as well written as any crime or thriller. The descriptive passages of the environment on Chincoteague Island enable the reader to easily visualise a place they may never visit.

The closeness of the community allows the characters to know each other’s lives and family histories, and thus the picture of the motive for crime becomes clearer. Some characters are amusing: Alex, owning many small businesses named after himself, who sees all; Starlyn, desperate to keep her wandering husband on a leash; Bert, snooping to check the neighbourhood, as all elderly citizens feel they should; and more. Others are…worrying, to say the least: jealous, inadequate, confrontational, suspicious, lecherous–not atypical of a small town community.

There are worse traits to emerge from under the veneer of polite, or romantic, interactions. Spencer reveals them all as Dagne tries to write her novel as well as continuing her advice column, while unknowingly being involved in a murder investigation–and nearly a victim. The closure is convincing, and this has been one of the very few romance novels I have enjoyed

Publisher: I Heart Publishing

Published (Print): October 2015
1st ed’n E-book published July 2011
2nd Edition E-book published October 2015 with ISBN: 978-1517770464

M S SPENCER’S BLOG

Author's blog link
Authors blog
Amazon book store link
Click to buy here
CreatSpace link
Click to buy here
Smashwords link
Click to buy here
All Romance link
Click to buy here

Peers Inc, author Robin CHASE

How people and platforms are inventing the collaborative economy and reinventingCHASE-R_Peers Inc capitalism.

{Expletive of admiration here!}

I wish so much I’d got my hands on such a book as this while still studying then lecturing in IT–Information Systems, and Business Information Systems. If Peers Inc isn’t a practical text for devising a programme of study for tertiary IT students, then I’ll eat my hat.

Given the clear and fascinating details of Chase’s experiences, the technical background, and her theories for peer use of excess capacity linked with entrepreneurial platforms for data searching, and bringing it all together for a practical audience of users, I could create a three year study programme for entrepreneurial studies for application programmers.

Chase’s divulging of her Zipcar technology platform development lay a strong case for the model she proposes for information sharing across open source platforms, and fleshes out the theory with cases of other peers inc developments of similar applications in an easily readable and understandable text.

For any general reader of business personae experiences, this will be a great read. Those who have in the past enjoyed reading of the climb to success of Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Buck Rodgers (IBM), Morita (Sony) et al… will find this equally fascinating. Maybe more so in this technological environment in which most of us are in one way or another entangled.

But Chase’s text is different–she tells us precisely what she developed, why it works, and how we can all do it: become an Internet-based entrepreneur. Her theories apply to corporations, government bodies (national and local level), hackers (sorry, coders), and users alike. It is a recipe for success.

Kudos to Ms Chase.

Publisher: Headline Publishing Group, UK, for
Hatchett_NZ_logo

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4722-2530-6

Find your local NZ distributor here
Find your local NZ distributor here

Honeyville by Daisy WAUGH

Honeyville Cover

Publisher:Harper Collins UK, 2014

For Pete’s sake – all I have to do for a review is read the book. That’s what I do.
But Daisy Waugh’s clever intertwining snippets of history among her fiction had me in a non-fiction fanaticism – reading parallel research of the actual events and characters and following the interplay between fact and her fiction with fascination.
Of course I fully read the book before hitting the Internet – and then I read it again. And again. Four times in all, so fascinated was I both by the plot, and Waugh’s craft of building an historical event into a fictional tale. Her inclusion of historical realia (‘The Nice People of Trinidad’ as written by Max Eastman and published in The Masses, July 1914) hits home the significance of the events in the period in which the novel is set.
She brings together a seemingly disparate group of people (Dora the hooker, Max Eastman the journalist, Inez the näive librarian and Xavier her homosexual brother, and Laurence the double-dealing mercenary) and lets us follow their social and sexual interplay as they deal with the famed Ludlow massacre in Colorado.
It is against this factual background that Waugh’s characters play out their parts; Dora (herself in near slavery to the madam, Phoebe) meets and makes an unlikely but lasting friendship with Inez, who bursts with often short-lived enthusiasm for schemes to “improve” someone’s lot in life – Dora’s, the mother of a young union clerk, the miners and Unionists. Her schemes bubble to nothing, her mind is a-bulge with fantasised versions of reality, she is both duplicitous and gullible. Her enthusiasm sweeps her into romance, misadventure, foolishness – and all the while Dora, her brother, and her potential mentor try to keep up with Inez’s version of reality.
Twenty-odd years later, these three meet again in California, with the chance to finally deliver to Max Inez’s final letter, the content of which Dora and Xavier have for years believed they knew. In a delightfully crafted twist, the letter reveals more information than any need to know.
This, my first encounter with WAUGH’s work, most certainly will not be my last. A diamond among the dross of historical fiction.
. . . . . . . . .
 (For those of you not yet familiar with US history of late 1800-early 1900s–some background:
Trade Unions were unwelcome in industry – any industry – which used back-breaking, soul-breaking labour to produce wealth for the investor. Workers in many industries – including the coal mining of Colorado – were so near to being enslaved by their employers as to never mind the difference. Housed meanly, forced to pay for provisions from the company stores at inflated prices, no schooling, medical treatment available at exorbitant prices only while the miner of the family was fit enough to mine, and if not all thrown out without redress.
The socialism movement aim was to create trade unions, as the only channel through which employment conditions and wages were to be negotiated, setting minimum wage and safety conditions among other factors. Leading figureheads travelled America, speaking in industry towns to encourage the workers to strike until better conditions were achieved and or trade unionism was permitted. Popular among the workers, these speakers were regarded by the companies as sedition in the making, and the companies brought in not only “scab” workers to continue production but also armed private armies (detective or security agencies, or simply eager firearms handlers) to both protect the scabs from the strikers but to also make pre-emptive attacks on the strikers’ rough camps to force them back onto near-slavery.)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
      
    • ISBN: 9780007543861
    • ISBN 10: 0007543867
    • Imprint: Harper Collins
    • On Sale: 20/11/2014
    • Format: Audiobook
    • Pages: 689
    • List Prices:
    • PaperBack £7.99; from HarperCollins, and from Amazon 
    • eBook £3.99 from Harper Collins
    • AudioBook £13.99; from your usual AudioBook outlets

 

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Thank you – Lynne.