Tag Archive | Death

A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZD is for Death

 

The Name of Death

Joshua Robertson

Drada Koehn is a fearless, formidable fighter ensnared in a presaged war against the northern humans. When the Speaker foretells their victory upon discovery of the name of death, she sets out to unravel the mysterious prophecy. Now, bound by duty and honor, Drada faces untold horrors with her companions, searching for what may never be found. In a story of unexpected twists, she soon finds that her resolve to see the quest done will be the fortune or doom of her people.

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The Name of Death: Review

33636392I enjoyed this short story from Joshua Robertson.

It was a well-written and entertaining read.
The characters were fairly well fleshed out for such a short tale.

A good introduction to the authors writing and to the world in his novels, which I look forward to reading.
Joshua Robertson:

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in fantasy, and a writer for Fantasy-Faction. Robertson is also a Licensed Master Social Worker, who received his degree from Wichita State University. He has worked with children and families for the past fifteen years in a variety of unique venues: a residential behavior school, a psychiatric treatment facility, and the child welfare system. He has functioned as a supervisor, an educator, a behavior specialist, and a therapist during his career. Mr. Robertson has presented trainings for hundreds of professionals and military personnel on topics that include child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, strengthening the parent and child relationships, and the neurobiological impact of trauma.

You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin’s and Christopher Paolini’s dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers.

He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins.

 

Where Death Is a Hunter

Christopher Stookey

Hannah Fâtier is a thirty-two-year-old physician fresh out of residency training. She’s just started her first job as an anesthesiologist at Deaconess Hospital in San Francisco, she’s bought a new home, and she’s engaged to be married.

In short, life is good for Hannah–until, one morning at work, tragedy strikes. A patient under her care dies unexpectedly during a routine operation. An investigation into the case reveals the cause of death to be a basic medical error committed by Hannah. Wracked with guilt, Hannah falls into a malaise of depression and self-reproach. Yet the more she ponders her alleged “error,” the more she realizes that something about the way her patient died doesn’t add up. Digging deeper into the records of the case, Hannah discovers a number of puzzling inconsistencies. She begins to suspect that someone has framed her for a medical mistake she never made. But who would do such a thing and why? And, more importantly, if there was no medical error, then why did her patient really die that morning on the operating table?

Where Death Is a Hunter is a medical mystery dealing with hospital death, betrayal, one doctor’s self-doubt, and the search for redemption.

AmazonB&N

Where Death Is a Hunter: Review

26206927An exciting, well-written, fast-paced book that is a mix of medical drama, legal drama, and mystery.

It kept my attention from cover to cover, and with a multitude of suspects it was impossible to identify the offender before the climax.

The author is a doctor and his medical background shows in the stories realistic feel. He focuses on what’s important and doesn’t get bogged down with irrelevant details and jargon, which makes this book easy to read and understand.

Hannah is such a great character, that she slightly overshadows the supporting cast, who weren’t quite as fleshed out but still believable
Christopher Stookey:

For my day job, I’m an emergency physician, but I’ve been a book lover and avid reader all my life, ever since I discovered the Hardy Boy mystery books when I was 7-years-old.

I started writing stories of my own in my teens, embarrassingly bad tales of teenage angst and pimpled juvenile idealism. My medical career took me temporarily away from writing. However, over the past five years, I’ve returned to my earlier passion, and I’ve written two novels, both medical mystery/thrillers: Terminal Care and Where Death Is a Hunter. The novels are published by the small, Massachusetts-based press, Silver Leaf Books.

I’ve also written a memoir about my father who, at age 83, suffered a devastating stroke that left him conscious yet paralyzed, unable to talk and communicate. Do Go Gentle is the story of my family’s anguished decision to stop further hospital treatment and bring my father home to die with dignity.

I love the outdoors, and I enjoy surfing and mountain biking. In addition, I am a hopeless animal lover (animals make frequent appearances in my books). I live in Laguna Beach, California with my wife and two shelter mutts, Kobi and Joshi.

 

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
B is for Blood
C is for Creepy

Books I Read in May ’17
Books I read in November 2015

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Books I Read in January ’17

fbbannerChild of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves #1)

by Andy Peloquin

33412715An edge of your seat, fast-moving and unforgettable read from Andy Peloquin.

I was drawn in the moment I started reading and my attention was held right up to the last word!

I spent ten years with Ilanna, shared her hopes and fears, and her triumphs and failures. I felt the aches and pains, the cuts and broken bones, and sat with her friends as she healed. I watched her grow from a scared, lonely little girl, called Viola, through months of torture, as Seven, and years of training, as Ilanna the apprentice, into a strong and determined journeyman.

The details and descriptions of Praamis, and the believable characters, each with their own personalities and troubles, made this book come to life. I didn’t just read a story… I lived it!

Andy Peloquin is an amazing writer and story-teller!

I loved the book and am eager to read the next book in the series.

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

***

If Wishes Were Horses… (The Neil Marshall Mysteries Book 1)

by Tim Hemlin

30361439An exciting and suspenseful murder mystery which held my attention from start to finish.

Neil Marshall is a multi-dimensional character, friendly, loyal, and easy to like.
The rest of the cast are also well fleshed out with their own quirks and personalities.

The many twists and turns kept me guessing who killed Jason, but I didn’t have a clue until it was revealed.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Neil Marshall is a graduate student in the University of Houston’s creative writing program and a promising young poet.

However, facing a financially and emotionally draining divorce has him worried about more than paying tuition. So, to make ends meet, Neil moonlights as a chef for a high-society caterer.

Just when Neil’s life seems bleakest, his oldest friend, racehorse breeder Jason Keys, is murdered. And Neil becomes the prime suspect.

To avenge his friend, clear his name, and rescue a missing championship thoroughbred, Neil infiltrates the dark underworld of horse theft and illegal breeding.

Neil’s friends — his attractive writing teacher, his cooking colleagues, and a freckle-faced teenage horsewoman — offer their support. But their cheers quickly turn to gasps when Neil becomes the hunted.

***

The Darkness (Regina #2)

by D.M. Singh

31016234Book 2 picked up where the first book left off and The Darkness was as well-written, and just as hard to put down as The Monster Inside.

Regina and her friends were back. The witches, elves, and vampires were back. The quest to save Jay from the Darkness began.

I journeyed with Regina, (and enjoyed every minute of it,) as she struggled with her inner demons and those who wanted to either destroy her or use her for their own ends.

The unexpected twist at the end, once again, leaves me wanting to read the next book now!

The world is on the edge of a secret war! A battle rages between those who fight on the side of right and those who crave the darkness. Without their saviour (Regina), the resistance is in tatters. Regina has no idea if she can save Jay from the Darkness, but she has to try. Now she must battle the unknown demons of this place as well as the ones within. The future is uncertain, but Regina knows she must stop Helena before she destroys more lives. She will pay for what she has done! She has crossed a line for the ones that she loves and this time there may be no way back.

***

Dead Normal

by D M Singh

32801248I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

***

Joanna’s Journey

by Karen J. Mossman

28510893A well-written love story that follows Joanna through the pitfalls of falling for two completely different men, neither of whom is right for her!

Joanna is well-fleshed out and is mostly likeable. However, she is human and has her flaws, she can be selfish and I found myself frustrated with her at times. She refuses to listen to any advice and doesn’t always learn from her mistakes.

The ups and downs of Joanna’s life and relationships kept me turning the pages and I would love to know what happened next.

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs head long into another, and then another. Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

***

The Oracle (Enchena #2)

by K.S. Marsden

33667296The second book starts out with a new ‘leading lady’, but it’s not long before she meets up with Samantha and other characters from book 1.

The story is well-written with plenty of twists to keep me hooked.

In my review for The Lost Soul I said:
“The detailed descriptions allowed me to visualise the landscape, the scenes, and the characters.”
The same applies to this book.

I enjoyed revisiting Enchena, and am looking forward to further visits. The book ended well, without a cliffhanger but definitely leaving room to continue the story.

After a brief respite, the Gardyn rebels have returned to fight the tyranny of King Hrafn and Prince David. Samantha, Jillis and Tobias will have to find their place in the new vision of Enchena; but first, they have to risk everything to make it real. New allies will rise, as the past plays a huge part in the future; and an Oracle must be brought, to guide them all.

***

Spellbound

by L.A. Starkey, Chess Desalls, Kelly Hall, Tricia Copeland & Melanie Rodriguez

30322766I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories in this collection. Although the stories were short they all told the whole story and left me satisfied.

Each one invited me into a different world and I enjoyed my visit to each one.

Five complete never before seen YA novellas to help you find a quick getaway this summer!!

Part of Your World by L.A. Starkey – When two worlds collide at the edge of the sea in a measure of desperation, a prince will bow before a commoner and a lost soul will finally be found. Part of Your World – Where love is waiting just beyond the edge of what you can see.

Glistens by Chess Desalls – Marian Spritz won’t gain guardian fairy status if she fails her summer school project. But when she hears a call for help—a song felt only by Glistens—she must choose between not letting her schoolwork and teammates suffer and protecting a ward who faces grave danger.

Tethered by Kelly Hall – Life had been simple for vampire Jayden Blackwell until he met the runaway Emmaline Grey. One taste of her blood revealed that not only is she a fledgling vampire on the cusp of her transition, but she’s also his bondmate and the granddaughter of his family’s biggest enemy. Will family feuding keep them apart or is it Jayden who compromised Emma’s survival?

Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland – Working as lifeguard at a camp for the blind seems like the perfect escape for Nina. But a few perceptive kids can hear her thoughts. Can embracing her truth help her heal and reveal possibilities she never imagined?

Feathers and Fireflies by Melanie Rodriguez – Seventeen year old Rory of Vanora Village dreams of capturing the sacred summer solstice ritual of the animal shapeshifters with her trusty charcoal and parchment. But with only legends and tales to guide her, she cannot even convince her childhood friend, Lucas, that the ritual is real. On the night Rory follows the fireflies, she gets far more than she bargained for.

These fun beach reads have never been published before and were written specifically for this anthology. Hope you enjoy the adventure!!

Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies by Dario Cannizzaro

oflifedeathbanner

 Title: Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies
Author: Dario Cannizzaro
Genre: Literary Short Story Collection

 
41gutawb6glMisnomer on purpose, this amazing debut rocks nine short and amusing stories that talk about life, death (as the title suggests), love, loneliness, art, sex, drugs, culture, religion but also – much less than you would expect – aliens, zombies and much more.

Ordinary characters facing extraordinary situations, dry humor, philosophical musing dressed as whimsical, offhand commentary; those are the key elements for this incredible authorial debut.

The collection comprehends three previously published stories (“The Galway Review”, “Two Thousand Words” and “Chantwood Magazine”); five new unpublished pieces; and for the first time in English, the best-selling story “Impurità”, which was Selected Work in iBooks Italy 2012.

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Giveaway:

Enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback copy of Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies

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The Author:

71zg3kltzdl-_ux250_DARIO CANNIZZARO was born in the sun-eaten Naples, Italy in 1982. He moved to Ireland in 2011, and has called it home ever since. He started writing short stories at seven, which are shamefully lost forever, but has never stopped writing since. His works have been published in Italian and English in Literary Magazines such as The Galway Review, Two Thousand Words and Chantwood Magazine.

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Books I Read In April 2016

The Exiled (The Exiled, #1)

by Scott Borgman

Never a dull moment in this book! There’s always something happening.
Once you start reading, it’s virtually impossible to put down.

The book is beautifully written. The storyline, the conflict between good and evil, is well thought out and has a sense of uncertainty and tension.

All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.

An incredible story with a stunning ending. I can’t wait to read book 2.

 

 

David doesn’t believe in angels. He doesn’t believe in the devil. What better place for the key to Lucifer’s prison to hide than in someone who doesn’t believe in any of that?

When Lucifer discovers where the key to his prison is located, he sets out to claim it. The only thing standing in his way: the Exiled. For ages, they’ve fought to keep Lucifer and those who stand beside him contained within the prison. It’s a war between angels and fallen angels. Between Exiled and Imprisoned. Between brothers and sisters. And the Exiled are losing.

By a stroke of luck (or is it Fate?), Celeste and David cross paths, and the ongoing struggle to contain Lucifer takes a new turn as David discovers the world he has always known is not what it seems, that angels don’t wear halos, and his lack of belief doesn’t matter. Lucifer wants the key to his prison – and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Celeste may be Exiled, but she’s still an angel… still sworn to protect humanity – and that includes David. Protecting him from her Imprisoned brothers and sisters isn’t her only problem, though. She’s attracted to David like a moth to a flame, but angel Law strictly forbids any kind of intimate relationships with humans. Not even a single kiss is allowed. She knows why it’s forbidden, but that’s just a rumor…

‘The Exiled’ is the first book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Continuation (The Exiled, #2)

by Scott Borgman

Book 2 picks up some years after the end of book 1, with David and Celeste’s daughter, Kaly, learning about her heritage the hard way.
God, Lucifer and the old gods are all back along with the addition of vampires and werewolves.
The combination of the different myths and beliefs was handled brilliantly and well explained.

Once again the story grabbed me on page one and didn’t let go until the end of book three!

In my review of book one, I said “All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.”
This is still true in book two, and the new characters, especially Kaly and Cody developed and grew through the book.

This was an exceptional read, and I couldn’t help but dig straight into book three

 

They thought it was over. They thought they had won. But you can’t keep a determined devil down, and Lucifer’s got something new up his demonic-looking armor. He’s devious and calculating. He knows the rules – and this time, he’s going to use them in his favor.

As the story speeds ahead through the years, Lucifer’s plans begin to unfold. With the help of a shadowy ally, he manipulates the rules on a fateful night – the very night David and Celeste sit down to tell their daughter who she really is.

For 23 years, Kaly thought she was just a normal human being like everyone else. But when she becomes the target in Lucifer’s newest attempt to escape his prison, the veil is lifted once more as she learns through frightful experience that her parents have secrets – and she’s one of them.

They’re out there… dark creatures of myth and legend that have been portrayed in movies and written about in books. But the monsters are real. They’re coming for her. And this time, the angels are powerless to help. Lucifer’s plan is flawless. His freedom from the prison is assured. No human will keep him from escaping this time.

It’s going to take more than bullets to keep Lucifer contained… more than human determination, unexpected love, angelic defiance, or help from an old acquaintance with her own agenda. It’s going to take something this world has never seen before.

‘The Exiled: Continuation’ is the second book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Infinity (The Exiled, #3)

by Scott Borgman

In book three we see a more ‘human’ side to Lucifer, as former enemies join forces to defeat their common enemy.
This book is set five years later than book two, but for me it was as though I’d never left and I was immediately captured by the story.

There aren’t many books that make me cry, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed few tears during the ending of this story.

The trilogy as a whole is a roller coaster ride of emotions, as good battles evil and not everything is as black and white as it seems.
The three books were well written and rather than simply reading a story, you are drawn in and experience the action alongside the characters.
Although God and Lucifer, and heaven and hell, appear in these novels, they aren’t ‘religious’ books and aren’t at all preachy.

 

Scott Borgman is an amazing storyteller and the The Exiled Trilogy is an awesome read!

 

The angels have waited, knowing something is coming on the horizon. Something dark. But they don’t know what. They don’t know when. They only know it’s coming. For five years, Kaly and Cody have waited as well. And in those five years, neither has aged a day. Such was the gift that was given to them.

He’s plotted, planned, and studied each of his foes for ages. He knows their weaknesses. When he unleashes his fury upon them all, no one is prepared. Humans, angels, old gods… no one is safe. Chaos ensues and the death toll begins to rise.

As the angels fight to defend Heaven and the old gods battle for Olympus, Kaly makes a dangerous decision and ventures into Lucifer’s prison, while Cody travels to Olympus in a desperate hope to find a way to stop an unstoppable foe. And while they seek answers – humanity faces the Apocalypse on Earth.

The veil will be torn away. Enemies will become allies to fight a common foe. You’ll walk with uncle and niece into the darkest depths of humanity to discover how low we can sink… and how high we’re capable of soaring. You’ll fly with angels, stand with the old gods, and fight beside humanity in its most desperate hour.

The game draws to a close. Humans, angels, and olds gods face a foe that has planned everything so meticulously, there can only be one outcome: a stunning conclusion to The Exiled Trilogy that will last for Infinity.

‘The Exiled: Infinity’ is the third book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Hellbounce (The ARC Chronicles, #1)

by Matthew W. Harrill

An amazing story!

Join the ‘forgettable’ Madden and psychotherapist Eva Ross, helped along the way by Janus and the ARC, as they race against time to save mankind and stop the Apocalypse.

This well-paced and action-packed book grabs your attention and holds it to the last page and beyond. It’s a great story with a well thought out plot. The graphically detailed descriptions don’t just let you visualise the scene, they draw you in and make you a part of it. I loved being a part of this adventure.
The interesting and dimensional characters were strong, believable and easy to love… or hate.

I am very interested to see where the story takes me in the second book, Hellborne (less)

 

As a psychologist in a prison hospital, Eva Ross had always dealt with her share of sinners. The corrupt, the insane, their minds were all hers to unlock. But when those around her, those she trusted with her life start to exhibit the same characteristics, she is forced to turn to a stranger, a man whose name she is incapable of even remembering, for sanctuary.

Follow Eva as she crosses continents to unlock the answers, and her eventual destiny.

Hellbounce. Demons don’t always hide in the dark.

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Hellborne (The ARC Chronicles, #2)

by Matthew W. Harrill

Picking up where Hellbounce left off, the author delivers another amazing book in the trilogy.

As Madden and Eva marry and prepare for impending parenthood, all hell breaks loose…
this time, the demons are after the baby, and they’re not the only ones!

It’s hard to review Hellborne without revealing anything of the story, there is so much packed into the book. The characters are well fleshed out, and the vivid descriptions, once again, drew me in and kept a tight hold of me, right up to the end, and what an ending!

I need to read Hellbeast, NOW!

 

Heavily pregnant, Eva Scott finds herself challenged from all sides. Her husband Madden is not the man he was. Her mind is overburdened with the dreadful visions witnessed mere months before. Her new-found allies the ARC Council are prepared to turn against her unless she meets their demands. Above all, Eva feels she is being led on a path by a powerful, faceless forces, almost within touching distance, always in the shadows.
Join Eva as she battles against time to uncover the answers and seeks to find a safe haven to deliver her baby.

HELLBORNE: FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT

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The Dead Game

by Susanne Leist

Take a small coastal town, throw in some humans, human vampires, good vampires and evil vampires, mix them up so you’re not sure who’s who. Add some dark shadows, deadly creatures and an old, creepy haunted house, with steps and doors that appear and disappear.
Combine it all with murder, mystery, intrigue and a dash of romance… and you have The Dead Game

The vivid descriptions in this fast-paced, action-packed book, stick you right in the centre of the action alongside Linda, Todd and their friends. There are plenty of surprise along the way. Just as you think you have it figured out and all is well, the author throws in another twist.

The main characters, are for the most part, well-fleshed out, but disappointingly, some of the dialogue was stilted and unnatural.

 

The Dead Game takes place in a coastal town with sparkling blue waters. But are its waters truly harmless? Or is evil lurking beneath its soothing waves, ready to ensnare unsuspecting victims into its dark and murky depths?
Life changes in the remote town…as darkness falls on the picturesque streets, the ominous sounds of chanting linger on the whispering winds. It all begins with the mysterious invitation to a party at End House. It is not at all what they had expected. They find themselves trapped in a deserted house where they must flee for their lives through revolving rooms and a trick basement. Not knowing if their stalkers are shape-shifters or human, they must uncover the one controlling the game and everyone else in town.

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The Guicai Talisman

by A.M. Griffin

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but most of us do, and I did with this book.
The cover of The Guicai Talisman reminds me of a comic book, which it certainly isn’t and I’m glad I read it!

I enjoyed visiting the world created within its pages. A vividly described world inhabited by many paranormal creatures including witches, vampires and demons.
Babylonia (Baby) Delilah Jones works as a private investigator in the Undercity. She is determined to prove herself despite (or maybe because of) her half-human, half-paranormal status.
Baby is well developed, as is the cast of supporting characters.

I received an eCopy of The Guicai Talisman from Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

 

What does a woman have to do to prove she belongs in the Undercity? Sure, I’m unclassed and only half paranormal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t solve cases. Since the established PI’s won’t acknowledge my right to a territory, I’m taking jobs from whoever will hire me, doing what I do best…proving myself to be a bad-ass problem solver. Which is how I find myself breaking into Zaid’s house, looking for a talisman my witch client says the very powerful vampire stole.

Now, I can make flowers grow, hear the wind’s whispers and talk to animals, but I don’t have the gift of seeing the future. If I did, I’d have known not to take this case. Because no matter the outcome, nothing good can come from messing with the Guicai Talisman, or it’s far too gorgeous guardian.

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Annalise’s Up and Down Day

by Denise L. Jenne

A wonderful little book for younger children, that takes them through the ups and downs of a day in Annalise’s life.

I could easily imagine a series of books exploring different ‘opposites’.
The writing was easy enough for young readers and the story short enough to keep them engaged.
(My grandson, aged 6, had no problem reading it)

The pictures didn’t really appeal to me (or him), though!

I received an ecopy of Annalise’s Up and Down Day from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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This is the story of one day in the life of three-year-old Annalise. It follows her, through her daily activities, adventures and misadventures on one summer day, as she explores the meaning of “up” and “down” in her world.

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After Dad: Novel

by Ralph Cohen

A peculiar, but strangely compelling book, made up of a series of interlinked short stories.

The stories take us through the lives of four family members – a wife, two daughters and a son -following the death of their father ( & husband).

Margot and Jenny’s stories are written in the first person, as is the wife’s. Oddly though, Toby’s story is written in the third person. The chapter about the funeral director, also written in the third person, seemed out of place.

The children all have emotional and moving stories in the years following their father’s death, which at times made uncomfortable reading.

Although I felt involved with the girls stories, I didn’t have the same connection with Ruth or Toby!

 

“He was always there for me,” Jenny Kovacek says in the opening of the novel After Dad, and indeed, her father is such a charismatic force in the family that despite his untimely passing, he continues to have a dynamic impact on his survivors. Set mostly in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s, Ralph Cohen’s debut novel tells the stories of the man’s three children and widow as they cope with their loss. Though missing, the father is never far from their minds, and during critical moments in their lives, he seems to reach out in various ways, from simple memories of touch and voice to artifacts left behind to a sense of his ongoing existence. How each of the family members responds to his lingering presence leads to results that are by turn comic, tragic and transformative. Two of the book’s chapters appeared previously in literary magazines, The Connecticut Review and REAL.

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Bed of Thornes

by Angel L. Woodz

 

Veronica Thorne is nearing her 30th birthday. An established painter who is quite comfortable financially, owning an art gallery in Dallas, TX. She has never questioned who she is and what she wants in life, until now. Veronica has an addiction, one that she is losing all control of.

Adrian, younger and open-minded, becomes a part of her mysterious world of secrets. Each of them swirling in unknown desire-filled paths, not knowing where their lives will lead from this. One afraid, the other wanting to embrace the beauty of what they consider darkness.

Cohen, Ralph