This is a lovely uplifting book about a troubled girl and a troublesome horse who find love and trust in each other. The ranch s...morePerfect read for teens
This is a lovely uplifting book about a troubled girl and a troublesome horse who find love and trust in each other. The ranch setting is appealing and provides a great contrast for the dark, internal and external conflicts which drive the story.
In ‘A Horse Called Trouble’, Ms Volnek explores the sensitive issues in childhood and adolescence of ‘the haves’ and ‘have nots’, of friendships and jealousies, of rejection and bullying, and shows us a strong central character who fights on, and grows, in spite of the odds. We are drawn into the story from the start, and held there, feeling we are participants in 13-year-old Tara’s life. How we love Tara and Trouble.
Beautifully written, evoking a gamut of emotions, ‘A Horse Called Trouble’ is a lesson for bullies and encouragement for those who are treated unfairly. But more than this, the book is a gripping adventure to be loved and passed on from generation to generation. ‘A Horse Called Trouble’ is up there with the classics. I loved it.
For one who has never climbed a mountain and can’t cope with heights, Snow White’s Slide was a great adventure. So believable, my heart was in my mout...moreFor one who has never climbed a mountain and can’t cope with heights, Snow White’s Slide was a great adventure. So believable, my heart was in my mouth at the dizzying heights and narrow ledges. I sensed the danger in Nature and in the climbers.
Karo, a control freak, needs a holiday, so her employees arrange for her to go on an adventure trek led by Martin, a cheeky devil. Karo is a courageous woman but she thinks her guide is a sleaze. I, the reader, saw his nicer side. He has baggage from his fractured childhood, which he keeps to himself, and shows compassion and cares about his clients, even though he is prone to play tricks on them. And then there is Hans, jealous, determined and deeply troubled, a dangerous man who leads us into the terrifying climax.
I like the side story too, concerning Kara’s brother and her assistant, Jenny. Their blossoming romance adds a tender contrast to the high adventure.
Ms Parzefall pulls us inside the drama and keeps us there, a travelling companion to the trekkers, enthralled by the challenges and eager to book our next ticket for Adventure Trek 2. (less)
For history lovers and those particularly interested in the prohibition era and the developing criminal culture of the time, The Sugar House is a well...moreFor history lovers and those particularly interested in the prohibition era and the developing criminal culture of the time, The Sugar House is a well researched history of Detroit in the early 20th century. The settings are clearly visible and the characters well defined and contrasted, especially Marya and Cappie. The author captures all of the unique voices.
We follow Joe, a likeable young Polish boy growing up in America from the age of eight, and are drawn into his home and the daily life of his family. We taste their food, pray with them, laugh and cry with them. We care about them. Children like Joe had to grow up fast in the Polish section of Detroit, but there were moments at the beginning when I thought the language and concepts relating to the eight-year old boy were too advanced for such a young age. I had to remind myself he wasn’t fourteen. A few descriptions, e.g the baseball game and the drive with the doctor to look at famous houses, were too long and slowed the pace of the story, as did some back-story when inserted into the action.
However, as Joe developed, the novel flowed beautifully and the fascinating drama in the story drew me right in and held my undivided attention. I gained a real sense of Joe’s goals and his motivation. The Sugar House helps us understand, without condoning, why a youth can be lured to the wrong path.
Ms Scheffler has created a believable family whose tragedy impacts on the reader. While transporting us back in time to a most entertaining episode in American history, Ms Scheffler makes us think. Would we have coped as Joe did, or would we be more like Marya? I guess, unless you read The Sugar House you will never know.
Can you imagine losing your memory? What about losing your memory when you are linked to sorcerers and dragons but you have no idea how, why, where o...more Can you imagine losing your memory? What about losing your memory when you are linked to sorcerers and dragons but you have no idea how, why, where or when? And, everyone knows all about you but are loathe to tell you because that knowledge could destroy you?
What if you discover you are known and feared as the Deathbringer? This is where Caleath, the alien from Ramport 6 finds himself? Compassionate Caleath, aware of an evil lurking within, but has no idea what it can do or how to control it. As Tag Seawell, he has reinvented himself. He is a seaman, in love with the lovely goatherd Naomi who is expecting his child. However, the unborn child is in danger from creatures from Tag Seawell’s past who are determined that Death will take it.
This is an emotional, action packed novel. We are drawn into Tag’s world and suffer with him through the many battles and encounters he faces. At the same time, we enjoy his relationships with characters from his past that are keen to help him regain his memory for their sake as well as his; all the while knowing the revelations must come slowly, without their interference.
Rosalie Skinner’s wonderful dragons, and dread lords alive and dead, and the magical characters of witches, sorcerers and apprentices , lords, princes and princess, whales, dolphins and pirates, fill her fascinating fantasy world as we sail from port to port In Search of Memory.
To me, Rosalie Skinner is the master world builder, second to none, and the work is beautifully written. You will relish your escape into this fantasy world and fall in love with Caleath, Naomi, Melody, Nazarre and even the dread lord Tallowbrand. Once you enter the Chronicles of Caleath, you will want to stay there with these beloved friends. Fortunately there is one more book to come in this series and six that await your pleasure, if you haven’t already found them. # (less)
This is a fast paced novel trapping the reader in a full-on experience of the power and intensity that dark magic has, especially on the immortal Cale...moreThis is a fast paced novel trapping the reader in a full-on experience of the power and intensity that dark magic has, especially on the immortal Caleath as he battles with forces of evil.
In his mission to rescue the Kentorian princess, Corrine, and to save the planet Allorn from invaders, Caleath is thrust back into the deadly game. Caleath becomes`Tag' in order to hide his identity. When exposed, he suffers great physical pain from his enemies, but his impossible struggle to contain the vengeful warrior, Wrath, within himself, ignites a bloodlust he abhors and threatens to destroy his last feeble grip on innocence and compassion.
Ms Skinner's beautiful writing and vivid imagination delivers an amazing other-world filled with such memorable characters as Merkatt, the dragon Queen; Tallowbrand, the ghost archmarge; and the dreaded dark lord, Cassius, who wears a cloak that absorbs light and power. We also welcome back Caleath's loyal friends, among them Penwryt the wizard; Gwilt; Raul; Etham; Jenna, the young witch bethrothed to Spider with the mismatched eyes; and Joel a young wizard. Ms Skinner skilfully uses violent Nature as the atmospheric backdrop to the violence in this story, so that Nature is almost a character in itself.
Strap yourself in for another exhilarating, fabulous adventure in a fantasy world like no other, teeming with vibrant life. You'll keep coming back for more of this series The Chronicles of Caleath. (less)
Strays of Rio is an action packed thriller in which homeless children are targets of a private death squa...more Scarred, Scared, Stalked. A Social Statement.
Strays of Rio is an action packed thriller in which homeless children are targets of a private death squad, and their protector is at risk from an unknown stalker.
Scarred by her own abusive childhood, bookstore owner Lisa Kerry shelters a group of homeless children in fashionable Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, from the private death squad hunting them down. Acting on her vow to protect the street urchins and rid the city of the killers, Lisa is drawn into the terrifying world of drug lords and corrupt officialdom, and she takes us with her.
Lisa is a tortured young woman who resembles Lisbet Salandar, but with a softer side. She finds her purpose in life, but the purpose could destroy her body and soul at the very moment she is discovering love for the first time, awakened in her by a handsome, persistent American. Her determination to avenge the street kids threatens to compromise her integrity and her chance for happiness.
As we ride through the streets of Rio, frozen in fear with Lisa, the author, Edith Parzefall, makes us question our own values. Faced with the terrifying plight of street urchins, how far would we go for a principle? Would we turn a blind eye or, like Lisa, become vigilantes risking our own morals and safety and those of the one man who loves us, in our quest for retribution? With moments of incredible warmth as well as edge-of-the-seat horror, Strays of Rio is a novel of striking contrasts: wealth and poverty; the powerful and powerless; the honest and corrupt; hunter and hunted, but what is most shocking is that these opposing forces can be switched on and off in the same person good or bad. This is a violent book right from the beginning and it is unnervingly real.
If you’ve never visited Rio de Janeiro, just open the pages of Edith Parzefall’s novel, Strays of Rio. She transports you there and immediately you become part of the exotic scene. From the police on the beaches to the capuchin monkeys in the bars, to the affluent houses within view of the hillside favelas (shanty towns), the setting absorbs you. Drug lords rule the favelas, but these impoverished communities are so dangerous one drug lord insists his young brother must live on the street in a gang with other urchins, for his own safety. The characters have real personalities, real concerns and real agendas and the grubby little thieves have a way of getting under your skin. That's what endeared the street kids to me.
Strays of Rio is a most worthwhile book, timely and topical, especially since the city is being cleaned up in time for the Olympics of 2016. This story needs to be heard if street children everywhere are to be valued, protected and cared for. I highly recommend it. (less)
The mystery of who killed Liz Tremaine’s mother and the animosity of the controlling boyfriend are ever...moreFlash Harry is a Dramatic International Exposé.
The mystery of who killed Liz Tremaine’s mother and the animosity of the controlling boyfriend are ever present concerns while Liz sets about finding her father, Harry, whom she hasn’t seen for seventeen years. Her search takes her from Australia, and Sydney’s fashionable suburbs, to Thailand and the seedy side of Bangkok. In a Bangkok night club, Liz meets her father’s ex business partner who is less than helpful; he sends his thugs to follow and intimidate her. The call girls who like ‘Flash Harry’ are more forth coming with information, but they haven’t seen him for two years. Shocked by the revelations about her father's business and his associates, but refusing to heed the many warnings to leave Bangkok, Liz becomes caught in a web of international pornography and trafficking. The bad guys are determined to be rid of her at any cost.
Liz teams up with Coby Archer, the Australian policeman tracking down Harry for his own reasons. He is helpful and attentive, a much nicer person to be around than her boyfriend back home, and Coby protects her whether she wants him to or not, but he is risking his own life to do so.
The author, Carole Sutton, is a wonderful story teller. She is a master of suspense and has a knack of drawing the reader inside the setting and holding him there. I’m sure the author must have visited the location because the details of the streets, the people’s expressions and the climate have a realism that comes only from first hand experience. That’s why I believed everything Liz saw and suffered and I endured the boat chase, spray and all, as if I were on it, too. Behind-the-scenes Bangkok seems very real and scary.
Clever phrases and unexpected turns enrich the writing in this exposé which keeps us guessing until the end. From the chilling prologue and tragic first chapter through to the brutally satisfying end, I found Flash Harry to be gripping, entertaining, enlightening and a thoroughly satisfying read. Highly recommended.
‘This dark, edgy novel forces us to confront human nature in the raw…with eyes wide open.’
Wind Over Troubled Waters, the first book in a futuristic f...more‘This dark, edgy novel forces us to confront human nature in the raw…with eyes wide open.’
Wind Over Troubled Waters, the first book in a futuristic fantasy series, is a dark, edgy novel, driven by flawed and tortured people struggling to survive in their battered and ruined communities. At its heart, seventeen-year old Cerridwen casts a shining light. She is the hope for humanity.
The story hooks us in the opening scene when Cerridwen flees with her mother from a devastating mudslide in the dead of night. She draws us into her primitive future - a future where derelict buildings and abandoned cars planted with wild herbs are the only evidence of an advanced civilization before the great flood destroyed it.
Cerridwen, named after the goddess of healing, sets out from Red Roof on a quest to find the wise old woman of Hailing who will guide her towards fulfilling her destiny. It is her mother’s dying wish that Cerridwen (Wen) make her country, Britland, a better place for everyone through the power of a moonstone ring.
Even at this young age, it is clear Wen is a gifted healer. She sees and interprets auras of those around her and has visions of the Britland of a bygone era. She comes to rely on a mysterious traveller, named Trevly, who has exceptionally well-developed senses and the ability to calm the wildest beast. Together they make the dangerous trek through Corn World to Hailing. Along the way, Wen brings hope and healing to the needy, in spite of the abuses they subject her to.
Cerridwen’s story runs parallel to Sasha’s, a manipulative, materialistic woman whose nature and purpose are in stark contrast to Wen’s. Sasha travels from the opposite direction, with her two ‘knights’, Boris, a rough brute, and Aron, the man who rescued her from a cruel ‘husk band’ in Pens Dance. Sasha delights in pitting the two men against each other while they travel through Corn World in search of a better future for her, but she becomes separated from them with dire consequences.
The contrast in the lives and nature of the two women is a striking reminder that most people seek a better life for themselves and their friends, but very few of us seek to improve the life of strangers.
In this violent age, where misconceptions lead men to torture the innocent, people still attempt to create order out of chaos. When men put aside rivalries for the love of a woman and communities overcome bias and anger to show mercy, we see the signs of human decency and dignity.
Wind Over Troubled Waters is the powerful creation of co-authors Edith Parzefall and Francene Stanley. They place before us an honest portrait of human nature at its best and worst. Every character and incident moves the story forward, forcing us to confront humanity in the raw…with eyes wide open. # Wendy Laharnar, author of The Unhewn Stone.
In Glancing Through the Glimmer, author Pat McDermott turns Irish history on its head and draws us in...moreI placed this review first on Amazon US & UK.
In Glancing Through the Glimmer, author Pat McDermott turns Irish history on its head and draws us into a fantasy so real we never want to leave. This novel is full of wonderful characters we want to spend time with. Enchanted, we roam Dublin’s fair city, dance with ancient fairies veiled in glimmer, and wander the magical labyrinths within the hills of Howth and beneath a royal castle.
On entering this magical world with American teen, Janet Gleason, granddaughter of the American Ambassador, and her friend Matti, we meet handsome Liam Boru – the prince who might have been – and Finvarra, King of the Fairies who depends on…no…demands royal patronage. Then there is the memorable Nora, with the power to charm and deceive, who turns up at the right and wrong times, and the lovely Princess Talty, Crown Princess of Ms McDermott’s mythical Ireland.
Janet dreads meeting the royal family and having to dance with the prince because she can’t dance, and Prince Liam doesn’t want to escort another American upstart to this year’s Royal Ball. So, it is fortunate that young love blossoms between the pair when both are still unaware of each other’s true identity.
However, mischief, cunning and selfishness born of need are traits attributed to the desperate fairies. They are dangerous to unwary humans. Janet and Liam find themselves separated and adrift in their own frightening adventures.
Written from the heart, Ms McDermott’s hauntingly lovely story will enthral both young and adult readers. I love Glancing Through The Glimmer. It feels personal.
So, when you step inside these pages, heed my simple warning, ‘Beware bewitching music on the misty hills above the Irish sea.’
I first placed this review on Amazon USA and UK. This Paranormal, Historical, Western Romance has something to hold every reader, most of all suspense....moreI first placed this review on Amazon USA and UK. This Paranormal, Historical, Western Romance has something to hold every reader, most of all suspense.
From the title, GARNET GALE GETS HER MAN, one might gain the impression this is a western comedy, and at times there are humorous moments, but this is an ambitious work engaging all of the reader's emotions as we traverse the country from Lost Mast, a seafaring town in New England to Silver Hat on the goldfields in search of love and trust.
The principals, Abigail Hawthorne, Randolph Blessing and Captain Nathaniel Blaine form an intriguing romantic triangle but not in the usual way. Each one pulls away from the others for their own painful reasons and yet they are tied together by an overpowering need for love.
Randolph wants no woman since his fiancé left him, but he is drawn to Abigail, whom he later marries and `deserts'. Abigail still clings to Nathaniel, the man who cast her aside, unable to let go even though he is now a ghost, and Nathaniel craves the peace Abigail denies him. At the centre is Gale's former best friend, sweet gentle Philippa, widow of Nathaniel and cousin of Randolph. Although she doesn't appear in many scenes her presence weighs heavily on the novel.
In one prideful moment, Abigail (Gale) turns away from the act of forgiveness when she discovers her garnet necklace does not deserve the sentimental value she affords it and thus sets in motion the retaliation of the mischievous, belligerent ghost of the sea captain.
A wonderfully created voodoo scene in the forest, early in the novel brings to mind images from The Crucible.
Love, betrayal, rejection, forgiveness, trust and revenge are strong, destructive motivators. Nan Arnold skilfully weaves them all, in and around her characters to confound and propel them forward until they find their inner truth.
The reader's emotions are torn between the three tragic figures and change from pity to loathing and back to sympathy, according to their changing attitudes and behaviour, which we understand without necessarily condoning.
A satisfying read which held my interest and allowed me to experience the difficult life in 19th century America while hoping for a resolution to seemingly impossible problems; restoring Gale's self worth and happiness and the release of Nathaniel to the afterlife.
Nan D Arnold shows through her characters that without forgiveness, love cannot flourish. Forgiveness restores order out of chaos. (less)
From the dramatic opening scene in The Blighted Troth, Ms Patzer draws us into the early 18th century with the skill of a classic artist and keeps us...moreFrom the dramatic opening scene in The Blighted Troth, Ms Patzer draws us into the early 18th century with the skill of a classic artist and keeps us there, hooked on history.
In 1702, beautiful Emilie Basseaux and Robert Lanzille, the miller, are in love and about to marry, but their selfish, egotistical overload, Seigneur Richard Tonnacour, decides otherwise. Fearing the lord will kill Robert and seize Emilie for himself, the lovers are forced to leave their cosy community of Pointe-du-Lac, New France, to take refuge in monasteries in Quebec. Here, they are meant to wait for help to arrive from a trusted bishop. However, powerful people in the landed gentry and the Church ensure this sanctuary and help are denied them. The lovers are separated, both to face their own dangerous future while seeking the means to be reunited. In this age of power and intrigue, it is not surprising that, by their trust and innocence, Emilie and Robert exacerbate their plight.
Historically, we experience the early 1700s; its agricultural life dominated by the nobility and influenced by the Church. We are swept up in the riots brought on by famine, and suffer the horrors of the plague with its victims in homes, in the streets and in the hospitals.
Ms Patzer’s knowledge of the setting and her well-researched era enrich the story. She takes us into taverns, monasteries, manor houses and ordinary homes and compels us to explore the themes of Cowardice and Honour; Trust and Betrayal; Faith, Love and Loss, at all levels of society.
Characters the innocent lovers encounter are, like themselves, tainted by circumstance: some tragic, some sinful, some wicked but all in need of love and forgiveness. Issues they face still have relevance today.
The quote in the front of the book, by Charlotte Bronte, begins “Forgiveness is the mightiest sword…” The Blighted Troth made me question this. Should there be degrees of forgiveness, or is Forgiveness the essence of itself? When you read this beautifully written literary novel, you can be the judge.