Member Book Reviews – #RRBC

Welcome to RRBC Member Reviews!  We know you’ve probably shared it on Amazon (or, maybe Amazon took your review down and are refusing to put it back up for whatever reason), but we’d also love to know what you thought of the RRBC books you’ve read.

Please leave the title of your book, the author of the book and your review (along with your star-rating) down below in the comments section.  Before you leave, we’d also appreciate you clicking the share buttons on this page and sending it to all your social media platforms!  Members who have had reviews removed from Amazon will get credit if they share their reviews here.

Happy Reviewing!

Flipping Over Honest Reviews

 

1,218 thoughts on “Member Book Reviews – #RRBC”

  1. My 5-star review of Handprints by Wanda Fischer:
    Handprints is a haunting short story about an ordinary woman, who believes herself to be poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, with whom she shares a first name. Edna’s husband has her committed to a state hospital for the insane in Mattapan, Massachusetts. At the hospital, Edna becomes friends with another woman, whom she calls Anne of Green Gables. Anne has also been committed to the mental institution by her husband. The time frame is 1940 and it was quite easy for a man to have his wife declared insane, and institutionalised, at that time.

    Edna is completely abandoned by her husband and has no visitors. She is desperately lonely and seeks to befriend Anne’s three grandchildren.

    This story is beautifully written and certainly makes you think as the narrator is unreliable and you can’t distinguish the truth from her imaginings. It is not possible to determine whether Edna has been committed under false pretenses by her husband who just wants to be free of her, or whether Edna truly is mentally unbalanced.
    https://www.amazon.com/review/R1DNRH7FRQAUXY

    This is an interesting short story and definitely worth reading.

    Like

  2. Amazon has posted my review of Rox Burkey’s short story “Hot Chocolate,” dated December 29, 2021. https://www.amazon.com/review/R335RLHNJ383NV/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
    Here is the full text of my review:

    Enthusiasts of the authors’ The Enigma Series will find comfort and joy in this special holiday story featuring the familiar Petra and Jacob and their young son, John Wolfgang, JW.

    Secrets are brewing in this charming short story set in the Swiss Alps near Zurich where the family explores new adventures at Christmas time. How does the couple blend their separate traditions? What gift will JW receive? Will Petra be able to find the perfect gift for Jacob? This uplifting seasonal story reveals answers to family secrets. Buy the book and enjoy it as you sip a cup of steaming hot chocolate!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi all, hope you are having fun. I posted my 4 star review of Detours in Time by Pamela Schloesser Canepa. It begins, Author Pamela Schloesser Canepa creates the fun world of time travel that begins in 2047. Doctor Milton Braddock, Milt, and Tabitha Hansen, Pinky embark to the future in Envo to see the state of the United States. This unlikely pair, the professor and Tabitha, venture into time periods without knowing how society reached the current state. They visit different museums and archives to learn about major events.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hi Everyone–My 5-star review of “Handprints” by Wanda Fisher was finally posted today on Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3I1H8FF9YZA89/ The review is also provided below.

    “Handprints” by Wanda Adams Fischer is a haunting story told from the perspective of an unreliable narrator who claims she is the famous poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. She and her best friend, who calls herself Anne of Green Gables, take on a different persona to cope with their desperate situation of being institutionalized at the Boston State Hospital for the mentally ill.

    We follow their tragic stories after their husbands commit them to the institution in 1940 because they “were too eccentric, too peculiar, too bizarre to fit into their definition of a wife.” Isolated from the world, Edna reflects as she sees her friend being checked out by her daughter for the day to visit her family. “Every time I placed my hand on the window glass, hoping against hope that one of them, no matter which one, would put her hand against mine. That’s the most I could hope for, the closest thing to a touch I could get, if one of those girls would just put her hand flat against the window on mine.” The friendship between Edna and Anne continues until they die and their ghosts wander the grounds.

    Author Fischer has written a poignant, evocative short story that will haunt you. While reading, I would slip into believing that Edna was the actual American poet who used verse as a medium for her feminist activism. Though the women had not seemingly fit into their roles as wives in society, they found meaning in their friendship. Humorous moments in their conversations and Edna’s poetry brought shimmers of light in the darkness of their existence.

    I highly recommend “Handprints” for its heartfelt and evocative prose about two women deemed mentally unfit for society who struggle to find meaning and companionship in their isolated world.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I posted my 5 star review of Death in the Triangle by John Podlaski. It begins – Author John Podlaski‘s experiences serving in Vietnam in the 1960s are portrayed in stark realism within this historical fiction. Readers’ senses are invoked with the vivid descriptions of the war zone. I read Unhinged I knew I’d found a new author to follow. John writes powerful descriptions of people, places, and things.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I posted a 5-star review for Old Mountain Cassie by author Tonya Penrose. Old Mountain Cassie is one of the most insightful and inspirational books I have ever read. It takes place in the quaint Appalachian town of Divine. Lacey, a successful diamond buyer, left her unsatisfying job in New York. She knew something was missing in her life but didn’t know what. Her family was from the small town of Divine, and for reasons she couldn’t explain, she was drawn to move there, taking another buying position in nearby Ashville. After losing that job, she is at a loss for what kind of job would be fulfilling. Overhearing the shopkeepers taking, she learns of a mysterious woman who lives deep in the mountains and is rumored to be an enlightened sage, who possess the “key to living an amazing life.” It quickly becomes Lacey’s obsession to find Old Mountain Cassie, hoping Cassie can help her learn the secrets to a happy life, if Cassie really exists. Lacey begins to take hiking trails as often as possible hoping to run in the legendary woman.

    All the details Ms. Penrose uses to describe the town of Divine, the surrounding mountains, and her visits with Cassie are exquisitely vivid, awaking all your senses. I could mentally visualize every scene as if I were in it. Each character, both major and minor, is so carefully introduced and developed with every one of them having a unique but interconnecting role in the plot. Lacey’s best friend Serene, Aunt Gabby, Paulie the pizzeria owner, and even Cassie’s dog Lickety Split are only a few of the cast of lovable characters the author has meticulously created to move the story forward and confirm its message. Ms. Penrose’s timing is impeccable.

    I personally loved taking this journey with Lacey and Cassie.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. In SOULS, by J. Hinsman, the author combines mystery and romance to create a slow moving, yet entertaining story. The novel is written in the first person and the author does a good job of telegraphing Ann’s emotions. Overall, the storyline is predictable, but with a touch of paranormal which enhances the plot. The characters and their interactions are believable. If you enjoy a happily ever after tale, this one is probably for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi all, I love the winter festivals at RRBC. But I am reading like a fool in all my free time. Fortuenately all of the authors books I bought are delightful. I posted my 4 star review of The Liberty Bodice by Joy M Lilley. In begins – Author Joy M. Lilley pens an amazing story that combines history, war, romance, and survival struggles. The story is told from the perspective of the main character, Gloria. She grows from a youngster to an amazing woman over the course of the story. Her parents, twin brothers, and sister faced varying degrees of hardship including low wages which caused Gloria and her sister Ann to live with an aunt and uncle on their farm for years.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hi again, I finished A Secret Gift and posted my 5 star review on this awesome novel by Tonya Penrose – It begins …Author Tonya Penrose weaves a fun tale of love and romance from an anonymous yet generous benefactor to Halley Bowen. All legal. Totally vetted by her attorney. Some minor caveats that will make you smile. Her meeting with the attorney to discuss this windfall made me chuckle and wish I was Halley. I snipped this to share a bit of the story with you because it grabbed my attention and eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi all, nothing like some time off to read and post reviews. I posted my 5 star review of Handprints by Author Wanda Adams Fischer. It begins…
    Author Wanda Adams Fischer relates a tale of one of the bleakest periods in American history. A carry over from the 19th century, laws were in place in the 1940s allowing a husband to commit his wife to an asylum for speaking up, disagreeing, or having her own opinions. Even church leaders preached men were in charge and should be obeyed. This is the story how two such women Edna and Anna became best friends behind locked doors.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Good evening all. I posted my 4 star review for Crazy! Hot! And Living onthe Edge!! by Shirley Harris-Slaughter it begins … Author Shirley Harris-Slaughter is passionate about taking charge of her life as a deserving individual. Shirley discusses her real-life experiences in ways many people might relate to. The combination of a three-year abusive marriage, caring for her dying mother, multiple illnesses and too many prescription drugs drove Shirley to her day of reckoning. She battled high anxiety, panic attacks, and multiple illnesses before realizing that now was the time for her to take charge of her life.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi all and happy Christmas Eve. I posted my 5 star review for Linnea Tanner’s Dagger’s Destiny which i thoroughly enjoyed in audible. Love the winter festival as that is how I learned it was a listening experience. Outstanding. My review begins, Author Linnea Tanner and Narrator Kristin Jones mesmerized me in the first ten minutes of this story. The tale of Celtic Princess Catrin and her Roman husband Marcellus are from different lands. Their powerful fathers not only fight one another but force their star-crossed heirs to consider sacrificing their love for their kingdom. You will enjoy this amazing epic series.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Rox, for your amazing, in-depth review of the audiobook of Dagger’s Destiny. I’m so glad you enjoyed the audiobook which I enjoyed working with the narrator, Kristin James, who has a wide range of voices and inflections to bring the characters to life.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi all, I posted my 5 star review one of my winter festival purchases Open a new door by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades. I really enjoyed the format and organization of the collection of petry. it begins… (Co-author) and Author Robbie Cheadle born in Britain, living in South Africa combine efforts to bring an array of poems and images to readers. This is a lovely poetry book with the powerful words that conjure pictures in the mind of the reader. The stages of life for women are the themes which both authors provide personal insights and experiences alternating between each. The pictures which accompany the verses, were provided by Robbie’s son Henry. The combinations are irresistible.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hey everybody,

    I just completed my 3-star review of MEET ME IN MAINE by Susanne Leist on Amazon and elsewhere. Here is a copy of what I wrote:

    MEET ME IN MAINE by Susanne Leist kept me engaged throughout the story. However, at times, I found myself confused by the many characters and found myself looking back to determine who was good or bad. And then, it still wasn’t clear. Seems like all the characters were shallow, which left me to wonder more about their back story and how they came to be in certain positions. To me, most were just ‘names’ and characters I couldn’t connect with or be passionate about. So there was no emotion expressed if they died.

    The story is told from Elizabeth’s POV, and the two girls seem to be present every time the curse struck leaving me to wonder if both her and Scarlett were causing the havoc. I also came across a few typos and added/deleted words which caused me some pause; one I remember is using ‘bowel’ instead of ‘bowl’.

    I do feel the author would have a much better story if she were to ‘thicken-up’ the book some by adding more detail and character back story. It would have been interesting to learn how some of the town’s main characters (self-proclaimed experts and saviors) reacted and fought against the curse attacks over the years. I also had some questions unanswered and hope the author addresses them in the next installment of the series. MEET ME IN MAINE is still worth reading if you are a fan of suspense and the supernatural.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi everyone,

    My review of The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is now live on Amazon. This paranormal thriller grabbed me from the first page with non-stop action. The vivid, terrifying descriptions kept my heart pounding until the last page!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Hi, RRBC’ers! Recently posted a review of The One Chosen by Yvette Calleiro on Amazon. Here it is:
    This short story is a prequel to the series by this author, the Chronicles of the Diasodz. It provides background information about the love triangle that weaves through the series. This story is about two members of the triangle, although we are introduced to the third. Valerie is a young girl who has been able to transform into the special beings called the Diasodz, created by the Goddess to heal and protect humans. The story begins as Valerie starts her training in both the healing and fighting skills she will need to perform her duties. She finds she is strongly attracted to her trainer in the fighting arts, a Diasodz called Nolan. At first these feelings seem futile and she feels rejected. The third party to the love triangle, Drake, is also introduced in this story, and we see his attraction to the young Valerie, although he pushes his feelings aside. Also, we are given to suspect that Drake is not all he appears. Nolan initially tries to ignore his attraction to Valerie, but as the story progresses and he and Valerie find themselves in a life-threatening struggle with the villains of the story, the Raizyns, the attraction becomes too strong for them to ignore. By the end of the story, the two are clearly in love and committed to each other. But, with Drake a shadowy figure in the background, with unclear intentions, what will happen? This is not a genre I usually read, but I was impressed with the meticulous detail in the world-building done by the author. The writing is excellent and colorful, with lots of details about the way the Diasodz summon their powers, the treachery of the Raizyns, and how the Diasodz move between their world and that of the humans. Highly recommended.
    I gave this entertaining story 4 Stars.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Handprints, by Wanda Fischer is a well-done short story that realistically portrays the relationship of two women living in a mental institution. Both Edna and Anne are involuntarily committed by their husbands. While Anne has family contact, Edna has no one, until Anne. Whether mental health issues were actually present before her commitment is unclear, but Edna is determined to make the best of the life she had been forced into. Anne has an attitude that is clearly shown but Edna sees past it and earns her friendship. Edna’s love for poetry is evident but Dr. Sigmund just doesn’t understand. Edna isn’t stubborn, she has simply made the best of a difficult situation which is still better than her past. The two women are inseparable until Anne passes away and Edna learns, or perhaps she always knew, that love lives forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Everyone–Here’s my five-star review of “Riddle Codes” by Breakfield and Burkey. I just submitted it to Amazon.

    This fascinating short story, touching on the potential of the existence of Nazis who had fled from Germany to Argentina and then had families, as well as other topics in its short span, is well-written, well-constructed and screams for a sequel. The characters meet by chance–or do they? They keep meeting by chance–or do they? Then, when they make a bold move together, what happens next? You decide. That’s the beauty of this story. I was left wanting more, and I hope this writing duo will perhaps develop this story idea with these three characters into a longer piece. Quite enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Newspaper Chronicles by Shirley Harris-Slaughter
    Awarded 4.0 out of 5 stars.
    An insightful read.
    Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2021
    Verified Purchase
    I can understand how a good looking, clearly intelligent lady of colour would have had a difficult time during this period. Especially in a predominately male workplace. There must have been times when she thought ‘is it all worth it.’ For the protagonist it was and she found a successful career.
    There was quite a bit of tell not show.
    Thank you Shirley for an insight to how it was at this time in the workplace when you are a different colour to your fellow workers.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Hello everyone…I thought I already posted this but don’t see it. So I’m reposting. I just completed my review of HANDPRINTS by Wanda Fischer on Amazon and elsewhere. Here it is:

    In the 1940s, if a husband thought his wife was getting ugly, putting on weight, or spending too much time doing what she loved, he could call the constable and have her committed to the insane asylum for being a bad wife. That’s what happened to Anne and Edna. They met on their first night and were close friends over the next decades.

    When beginning this short story, I thought about “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and the antics of the ‘inmates’. This story is more of a summary of their existence together over the next several decades. Edna envied Anne as she was allowed to leave the campus every Sunday to have dinner with her family. Edna longed for some kind of contact with the outside world and finally gets it after she dies. BTW, a sequel might now be in order.

    The story is error-free and a quick read. Great job Wanda Fischer! This story is recommended for all ages.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi all, I am right there with John, completing my 5 stars review of HYPE by Yvette M Calleiro. It begins, In many ways Author Yvette M Calleiro takes the horrific subject of abuse into a whole new light. Cici has the world by the tail in her senior year of High School. Cheerleading, her passion, is on track with her as the co-captain of the team that is on track to compete to win in the nationals. Unlike many girls who are popular, Cici has goals for college and keeping off the sex track until after college. …

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Happy Thanksgiving Day! I reviewed HANDPRINTS by Wanda Fischer on Amazon and other websites. Here is my 4-star review:

    In the 1940s, if a husband thought his wife was getting ugly, putting on weight, or spending too much time doing what she loved, he could call the constable and have her committed to the insane asylum for being a bad wife. That’s what happened to Anne and Edna. They met on their first night and were close friends over the next decades.

    When beginning this short story, I thought about “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and the antics of the ‘inmates’. This story is more of a summary of their existence together over the next several decades. Edna envied Anne as she was allowed to leave the campus every Sunday to have dinner with her family. Edna longed for some kind of contact with the outside world and finally gets it after she dies. BTW, a sequel might now be in order.

    The story is error-free and a quick read. Great job Wanda Fischer! This story is recommended for all ages.

    Like

  23. Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I just completed a review for HYPE by Yvette Calleiro on Amazon and elsewhere. Here it is:

    I enjoyed reading HYPE by Yvette Calleiro as the first half of the story took me back to my high-school days over fifty years ago. We had cliques back then and you were either a ‘Greaser’ or a ‘Frat’. Greasers wore black leather jackets and slicked their hair back in a pompadour or waterfall style haircut (picture Fonzie on Happy Days). Frats were the era hippies, growing their hair long and wearing bright colored clothes…it was also when The Beatles were first introduced to the world. Individual groups hung out together, and everyone had a best friend.

    The second half of the book took my breath away and had me riding an emotional roller coaster. I felt anger against the rapist and empathy for CiCi. The rapist had CiCi between a rock and a hard place, his threats keeping her quiet. From that day on, her life spiraled downward. It was a secret she could not share with her boyfriend, best friend, or mother. Yet, she had to find a way to make it stop and get the rapist arrested for what he was doing to her.

    True friends will stick by you through thick and thin. They are understanding and offer support when it is needed. This story will test those friendships.

    I’ve always heard that a successful writer will draw the reader into their story and evoke an emotional response. The characters were well-developed and the story flowed relatively well – I did find some typos which I’ll share with the author. HYPE stayed with me long after I stopped reading it. Goal accomplished! Thank you, Yvette, for the ride! Highly recommend this story for all age groups.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. My review for Two Faces of Janus by Linnea Tanner.
    I awarded a five star review.
    An amazing short story, fast paced and enthralling. Makes one realise that living in those times was not much fun. With cruel punishments dished out to family members without compunction.
    A thoroughly enjoyable read that deserves the accolades afforded.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I am not sure whether the previous post went through. This is a repost.
    (I apologize for the redundancy if that’s the case.)

    I have read and reviewed The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan.

    A mix of psychological thrills and suspense

    As the title implies, the emotions of dread and distress are this manuscript’s primary themes. However, in the first half, the fear is more undercurrent. The experiences of anxiety and terror the main character, Hattie, undergo in the beginning may be mistaken as self-imposed imaginative psychological disturbance. The author skillfully applies the seemingly incomprehensible and inconsistent incidents incorporated with Hattie’s recurrent self-doubt to gradually brew the fear, drawing readers deeper into the story’s sentiments. Once Hattie’s daughter, Lilly, is kidnapped, the horrors are palpable and intensified with various heart-pumping actions until near the end.
    The plot is well planned out, the writing is applaudable, and the interactions and dialogues between characters are credible. Readers may find some holes based on actual forensic sciences. Nevertheless, the narratives are considered as well-written mysteries and thrillers. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of this genre.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. A big, HEY, to everybody. I just completed a review on Amazon for Randy Overbeck’s book, SCARLET AT CRYTAL RIVER. I gave it 5-stars. Here it is: I thoroughly enjoyed reading SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER by Randy Overbeck. The book, like the other two in the series, is engaging and hard to put down. Ghost whisperer, Darryl, is chosen by troubled spirits to help them by solving their murder and bringing justice to those responsible.

    In this final installment, Darryl and his new wife are on their honeymoon in the panhandle of Florida when he encounters the photo of a young migrant boy and girl drawn and covered on the backside of an artists’ canvas. A fortune teller warned him prior to leaving home to expect a visit from two spirits. When he touched the photo, Darryl’s gift identified the kids as the two visiting spirits who needed help.

    The author does a wonderful job at taking readers through the area while enjoying his honeymoon and while conducting his investigation to identify the children and find out what happened to them. They are shot at, crash their car, and threatened at gunpoint for their efforts. The couple and friend, Luis, continued to hit roadblocks, leaving readers to continue guessing. The last 20% of the story is fast-paced and the author does a great job to bring it all together.

    This was a smooth read with well-defined characters and plenty of mystery. It is stand-alone, like the other two books in this series, and it isn’t necessary to read the preceding books first. Great job Dr. Overbeck! Highly recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Good Morning, everyone,

    I just posted a 4 star review for A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Easton Cheade. This book is a historical fiction intertwined with a present day paranormal. Set in South Africa, it is a story within a story with events being told by characters in the present and the past in the late 1800’s during the Anglo Boer Wars in South Africa. The threads between the two eras are cleverly written.

    The amount of research and detail Ms. Cheadle put into her accounts of the 1st and 2nd Anglo Boer Wars and the effects it had on the soldiers (both sides, British and Boer), families, women, children, laborers, towns, etc. is amazing. The authenticity of the way of life in the 1880’s and 1890’s before and after the wars is gripping. I was in tears as the characters from the past recounted their stories. The passion Ms. Cheade has for portraying this dark time in South African history with accuracy and emotion is evident in every word she writes. At times the references to battles, military strategies, and officers not directly related to the characters was a bit disruptive to the flow. This was the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars.

    I highly recommend this well-written and book.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Good Morning, everyone,

    I posted a 4 star review on Amazon for A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Easton Cheade. It is a historical fiction intertwined with a present day paranormal, set in South Africa. The story is like a story within a story being told by characters in present day and in the late 1800″s during the Anglo Boer Wars.

    The amount of research and detail Ms. Cheadle put into her accounts of the 1st and 2nd Anglo Boer Wars and the effects it had on the soldiers (both sides, British and Boer), families, women, children, laborers, towns, etc. is amazing. The authenticity of the way of life in the 1880’s and 1890’s before and after the wars is gripping. I was in tears as the characters from the past recounted their stories.

    I really enjoyed this book. I also learned a lot about South African history that I was not familiar with. Ms. Cheade’s passion for accuracy in her portray of this dark time in South African history is evident in every written word. At times, the references to various battles, strategies, and military personnel not directly related to the characters became a bit disruptive to the flow.

    I highly recommend this well-written and moving book.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I have read and reviewed The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan

    A mix of psychological thrills and suspense
    As the title implies, the emotions of dread and distress are this manuscript’s primary themes. However, in the first half, the fear is more undercurrent. The experiences of anxiety and terror the main character, Hattie, undergo in the beginning may be mistaken as self-imposed imaginative psychological disturbance. The author skillfully applies the seemingly incomprehensible and inconsistent incidents incorporated with Hattie’s recurrent self-doubt to gradually brew the fear, drawing readers deeper into the story’s sentiments. Once Hattie’s daughter, Lilly, is kidnapped, the horrors are palpable and intensified with various heart-pumping actions until near the end.
    The plot is well planned out, the writing is applaudable, and the interactions and dialogues between characters are credible. Readers may find some holes based on actual forensic sciences. Nevertheless, the narratives are considered as well-written mysteries and thrillers. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of this genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I have read and reviewed The Edge of Fear by Maura Beth Brennan

    A mix of psychological thrills and suspense
    As the title implies, the emotions of dread and distress are this manuscript’s primary themes. However, in the first half, the fear is more undercurrent. The experiences of anxiety and terror the main character, Hattie, undergo in the beginning may be mistaken as self-imposed imaginative psychological disturbance. The author skillfully applies the seemingly incomprehensible and inconsistent incidents incorporated with Hattie’s recurrent self-doubt to gradually brew the fear, drawing readers deeper into the story’s sentiments. Once Hattie’s daughter, Lilly, is kidnapped, the horrors are palpable and intensified with various heart-pumping actions until near the end.
    The plot is well planned out, the writing is applaudable, and the interactions and dialogues between characters are credible. Readers may find some holes based on actual forensic sciences. Nevertheless, the narratives are considered as well-written mysteries and thrillers. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of this genre.

    Like

  31. I have read and reviewed Out of Poland by Charles Breakfield, Rox Burkey

    A brief account of brave characters
    This story is set at the dawn of World War II, as the German army invaded Poland. In short paragraphs on the initial page, without superfluous wordings, the authors precisely depicted the atmosphere’s intensity, the situation’s devastation, and the individual internal struggles. The main characters aspire to fight for the country and uphold their honors, yet the reality points them in a different direction. Amid the escape, carrying an imperative mission, they encounter their enemy’s threats, the chaotic uncertainty, and their loved ones’ death. The authors’ wordsmith skills to convey various circumstances to ignite readers’ emotions and imagination to gain a snapshot of desolating human history are impressive.
    I recommend this short manuscript to anyone seeking a brief escape and wanting to experience the bravery of humanity during wartime.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. 4.0 out of 5 stars A good read with amazing last chapters
    Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 November 2021
    Verified Purchase

    I did enjoy the book by Phil Stevens. The middle part of the story was a bit drawn out and I felt the amount of detail with food and hospital life in general a little tedious and repetitive.
    However as I reached the latter part of this unusual story I could not put it down, I was mesmerised as to what the outcome was to be.
    Some attention to grammar is required and is in process of revision as I write..
    A book worth reading especially if you enjoy surprising endings.
    Thank you Phil.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi all, I posted my Amazon review of Marie Drake’s You Can’t Fence Time. Great job Marie. My review begins…Author Marie Drake creates a second volume in the Locked Heat Series which focuses on Jordon and Kimberly as young adults. Jordon and Kimberly have recently moved to their own apartments, in the same building, as they join the grown-up world of independent choices.

    The overarching focus is a search for unreserved love and how to commit to that sort of relationship. Jordon wants to advance his career and to win Kimberly’s heart though he is unwilling to express his feelings. Kimberly’s youth twisted her view of sex and relationships which contributes a dark edge to the story.

    read the rest on Amazon or better yet grab a copy and write your opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. TWO FACES OF JANUS by Linnea Tanner – 5 stars – review posted to Amazon on 11/2/21 – A Recipient of the “Nonnie Jules SEAL OF APPROVAL!”

    Let me begin by saying that initially I was turned off by the cover of TWO FACES OF JANUS… and I designed it! (But, it was the cover the author chose for her book, so, get over it, Nonnie!)

    Now, although turned off by the cover, I had to read the book as it was an entry into the ALPHA / OMEGA 90-DAY SHORT STORY WRITING CONTEST. I’m not a huge reader of the genre in which Tanner writes, but I was instantly transported back to 7th grade English – “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art though Romeo?” Yes, the feel of this short story took me back to that time and place, and I was in awe of the amount of research the author had to have put into the penning of this read, to make me feel it as deeply as I did. The angst in which Lucius Antonius felt as the story developed, drew me in deeper with anticipation of the climactic end I knew would be coming. TWO FACES OF JANUS was carefully crafted without one error in sight and has pushed me that much closer to picking up more reads by this author. (Time be my friend).

    Kudos to you, Linnea Tanner, for giving us such a flawless read in the form of one captivating tale, and emerging as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of this year’s 90-Day contest! “This was the absolute best read to ever come out of this contest” said one judge, and I agree wholeheartedly! I recommend it highly!

    By the way, after reading the story, I now understand why the author settled on the cover and now I love it! It is perfectly suited for this tale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nonnie, for posting your review of Two Faces of Janus which I was inspired to write as a challenge to enter the 90-Day short story contest. It is quite an honor to be awarded as the grand prize winner with so many talented authors at RRBC.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Hello, again! Here is the review for REMEMBER THE FUTURE by Breakfield and Burkey that I posted on Amazon.

    What do you do if you are a powerful businessman in Zurich and your young daughter, who is deeply in love and wants to marry Andreas, a young man who has swept young Julianne off her feet? Of course, the father will look into his background. Andreas is charming and well-behaved during his chaperoned visits with Julienne. Is Andreas sincere about joining this family, or does he have a special agenda? What did his background check uncover? You’ll have all the answers after completing this story.

    REMEMBER THE FUTURE is an error-free short story that flowed well and held my interest until the end. Great job Breakfield and Burkey.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Happy Tuesday, all! I recently wrote a review on Amazon for CROSSROADS DINER #205 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa. Here it is:

    I had to read Crossroads Diner #205 twice within two weeks because when it came time to write a review, I felt like a dear caught in the headlights. After the second reading, I GOT IT!

    The subtle hints throughout the short story point out that Crossroads Diner #205 is not a normal diner that is always filled to capacity. Strangers come and go at such a regularity that the cooks and wait staff barely have time to catch their breath…iF that’s even possible. When a cowboy enters, Janie’s world is about to change.

    I enjoyed this error-free short story during my second – pay attention – reading and feel that a second follow-up story is warranted. Great job Ms. Canepa!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. MEET ME IN MAINE, by Susanne Leist, is an entertaining tale that will keep the reader’s attention. The story is told through the eyes of Elizabeth, who is fleeing an oppressive relationship. She and Scarlett, her best friend, move to Maine, where they purchase a Bed and Breakfast and immediately meet attractive, single, former military men, who are infatuated with the Inn’s new residents. Not expecting to be thrust into the center of a town whose residents have been cursed, Elizabeth and Scarlett are horrified to witness several grisly murders, one of which occurs on their first night in the new town. As the story unfolds, the murders pile up and paranormal activity becomes apparent in the plot.

    Overall, the story line is a good one. The characters could have been better developed with more detail regarding their backgrounds. I would have preferred more in-depth conversation among them. The dialogue occasionally came across as stilted, and could have been expanded to express more emotion. But, that is personal preference.

    Like

  38. If you’re looking for an uplifting short story, HOT CHOCOLATE by Breakfield and Burkey, will make you smile. This delightful Christmas tale describes a family’s affectionate relationship as they get ready for their holiday celebration. A variety of Christmas traditions take center stage, until a last minute miracle outshines them all. The characters are engaging and their emotions are apparent. Well done!

    Like

  39. Hi Everyone– I posted a 4-star for the inspirational short story, “Newspaper Chronicles,” by Shirley Harris-Slaughter on Amazon today, Oct 5, at https://www.amazon.com/review/R1F3Q4DB5UQTC9/ The full review is below:

    The quote, “It was unheard of. Michigan has always been a two-newspaper town, until it wasn’t,” from the first chapter of the “Newspaper Chronicles” by Shirley Harrison-Slaughter, hooked me to read on. It is the life journey of a Black woman, Leslie Louise Allen, whose dream of working for a major newspaper comes true in 1978. A go-getter, she begins her career at the Detroit Daily Bugle after experiencing the tragic loss of her brother in Viet Nam and a divorce from her first husband, leaving her with a toddler to raise alone. Leslie lands a job in the Promotion Department, and her future looks bright as she moves on to other positions and meets the challenges of interracial dating, subtle racism, and corporate politics.

    Author Shirley Harrison-Slaughter captures the strong voice of her protagonist, Leslie. The narrative is engaging and provides a glimpse into what it was like working at a newspaper. Leslie is a likable and inspirational character whom I can root for. She is an optimist with a keen eye on how she can advance her career and learn the skills to excel. The short story works best when the author goes into more detail in a scene, such as her interracial romance with a fellow co-worker. Some of Leslie’s experiences at the newspapers and her family background were glossed over, making me want to know more. This is a memorable story that could be enhanced in a novel that allows for a more in-depth perspective of corporate politics and subtle racism.

    “Newspaper Chronicles” is an inspirational short story that shows the bliss and let-downs of a Black woman determined to rise above the fray and stay true to herself. Highly recommended.

    Like

  40. Hi all. My review the The Hunted by awesome storyteller, Karen Black is live on Amazon. Another compellig read. My 4 star review focuses on the realistic terror. Well done, Karen.

    Like

  41. Here is my 5-star review of Cherries by John Podlaski:
    This is the first book about Vietnam I’ve read. I have a fascination with war books and have read many, mainly about the first and second World Wars. Vietnam is not a war I knew much about as it was not covered as part of my school history syllabus. My sons have both studied it at school over the past few years and the information they have shared piqued my curiosity.

    I selected this book because I wanted to read about this war from an every-day soldier, or “grunts” point of view. It is not that easy to find books that focus on how people live from day-to-day through war time periods and this is the information that I wanted to know – how did it feel to be a young man in your late teens conscripted and dropped into the bush in Vietnam to fight a guerrilla war? What did the soldiers eat? How did they dress? What did they do during rest periods? I like to be able to get under the skins of the characters and share their experience and this is what I got from this book.

    Although it is partially fictionalised, many of the events shared are from the author’s personal experience and that shines through in this book which is more of a fictionalised memoir of a grunt’s experience in Vietnam that a traditional story. That being said, this book does have a plot, it is just more subtle than for a thriller or a murder-mystery. This is a book that focuses on the horror and brutality of war, the mind-numbing terror experienced by the young men compelled to fight in the front lines, and the resultant psychological damage that it brings about. I don’t believe for one moment that it is possible to sanitise or erase the memory of friends and peers being blow to pieces or having their throats savagely cut. The plot of this book is the devastating impact of war on a soldier’s humanity and his ability to reintegrate into society and play a meaningful role going forward.

    Cherries is not a book about politics or about who was right or wrong in this war, this is a book about young men forced into situations over which they had no control and which subjected them to the worst life can offer in the form of insufficient food and sleep, wet and cold clothing, extreme heat and fatigue and the fear. Always, the crippling fear.

    If you want to know about war and how it impacts on the soldiers on the ground, read this book. It will change you.
    Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3SX0NHE2304S0

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Hello everyone! I just completed my 5-star review of HOT CHOCOLATE by Breakfield and Burkey on Amazon. Here it is:
    What a delightful short story. This family celebrated the holiday season by going on holiday and enjoying their time together celebrating in their own cultural traditions.

    I grew up in a Polish family. Christmas Eve was the busiest time of the holiday period where the family came together, opened gifts, had dinner, and then we all went to midnight mass at our Catholic Church. My father took a blessed wafer to each individual who broke off a piece and then shared the small piece with my father. It is a tradition that I’ve inherited after my father passed away.

    I enjoyed HOT CHOCOLATE and can relate its importance during the winter months and holiday season. It was always a luxury to get a cup hot cup of chocolate when we were out ice-skating on the frozen river. It was a happy family gathering.

    HOT CHOCOLATE is a quick read that you’ll enjoy. It also opens your eyes to how others celebrate the happiest time of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Good morning All,

    I posted a 5 star review on Amazon for Out of Poland.

    Author’s Charles Breakfield & Rox Burley have written an enthralling story of three brave young men who attempt to make a difference it a war that seemed to be lost before it even began. It’s 1939, and the German army begins its almost unobstructed invasion of an ill prepared Polish military. With no competing weaponry, supporting allies, and a decimated army, the proud Polish people are forced to flee the country to maintain their freedom. Fredek, the Ambassador’s son, and his fellow military friends Wolfgang and Tavius, decided that stealing an important German communication device and supplying it to the Allied Forces could have a major impact in defeating the strong hand of the Nazi forces.

    The journey is action-packed and takes us through not only the horrors of war and the prejudices they encounter, but it gives us an authentic glimpse of the grit, determination, pride, camaraderie, and patriotism of the Polish people, despite the odds against them. The cast of characters are vibrant and real. The attention to detail is flawless.

    I was immediately immersed into the story, feeling the danger and intensity of every situation. Feeling the emotions of loss, pain, love, hopelessness, and triumph. It is a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the face of insurmountable odds. A beautifully written account of a tragic event in history.

    Have a great Sunday!

    Like

  44. I read CROSSROADS DINER #205, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa. It is an entertaining short story that grabbed my interest at the outset. The characters are interesting and varied. The action takes place at at all-night diner during a snowstorm that keeps travelers coming inside. The diner is a busy place. As soon as customers finish their meals, others come through the door to take their place at the tables. Julie does her best to make each one feel comfortable and welcome, particularly a cowboy who wanders in for a steak. The unusual storyline is a winner and I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Here’s my five-star review on Amazon for Suzanne Leist’s “Meet Me in Maine.” By the way, I also loved the cover. It will appear on Amazon soon, I expect.

    Elizabeth and Scarlett think they’re dumping the big city (New York) and heading for a quiet town in Maine to open a bed and breakfast near the ocean and slow down their formerly hectic lives. Elizabeth has just broken up with her wealthy–and abusive–surgeon-boyfriend, whose controlling methods spoiled the relationship. She had to get away. Scarlett was captivated by the photos in the brochures about Blue Harbor, Maine so that’s the place they chose.

    This is a complex novel that ties everything together. One minute the reader thinks he/she has it figured out, the next minute the reader’s not sure. At least, THIS reader wasn’t. The author kept me guessing as to who would be the villains and who would turn out to be the heroes/heroines of this novel. The description of the Maine landscapes is woven into the story, whether it’s the way the beach can be intoxicating to people who are mesmerized by the sunsets or whether a big snowstorm can hypnotize people with its sheer beauty and frozen mirth.

    The author does a marvelous job of character development as well, so that surprises about who’s who are many. While Elizabeth is the book’s mainstay, in my mind, and Scarlett can be fickle and somewhat flighty, the rest of the characters drop breadcrumbs about what will happen, but not enough to give away the store.

    I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller with a surprise ending, as well as a supernatural touch. I’m sure the rest of the books in this series will have surprises in store for readers as well.

    Like

  46. My review of The Ex Chronicles by Maura Beth Brennan:
    The Ex Chronicles is a thoroughly enjoyable short story which showcases the author’s fabulous writing style and entertaining sense of humour.

    Angie has gone home to her mother, much against her will, following the disastrous ending of a recent romance. Her interactions with her overbearing but well meaning mother are extremely funny and set the tone for this story. Angie has fallen head-over-heels for a gorgeous chap and moved in with him quite quickly. She starts being harassed by a mysterious woman and quickly comes to realise that Bryce is having an affair. Angie decides to take matters into her own hands to force him to chose [her] and ends up in a difficult situation.

    You can find my review on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3E70E7S3ETMFJ

    Like

  47. Here’s my four-star review of Joy York’s “Genuine Deceit.” I posted it on Amazon but the link isn’t live yet.

    High-powered human resources executive Reagan Asher is mourning her grandmother’s death in her hometown. Her grandmother, a well-known, well-loved nurse in the small-town community, was murdered when she came upon a burglar who was in the process of searching for some unknown item in the grandmother’s bedroom. The bedroom was ransacked–but no other room in the house had been touched.

    Reagan’s best friend Mattie has sent her brother-in-law Aiden, a former Navy SEAL, to accompany Reagan while she’s at her grandmother’s house as sort of a security detail to make sure Reagan doesn’t have to face the house alone. Although Reagan has a relationship back in Chicago, she’s seriously attracted to Aiden.

    That’s not the half of this book. If it were, this would only be a run-of-the-mill romance. It’s anything but. Enter some jewelry that Reagan and her friends used to play with when they were young (“princess jewelry”), never suspecting that it could be real, potential kidnappings, an overzealous local police officer, the FBI, questions about Reagan’s father, mysterious guys from the Middle East, instincts from a former Navy SEAL, unidentified old photographs, and mix them all together. That’s what you get from this author as she weaves a novel of intrigue and deception throughout the book.

    I had a difficult time putting this book down because I became invested in the characters and how the plot was going to evolve. The author is skillful in surprising her readers with unpredictable twists in the story. I would have given it five stars except for a couple of misused words. If I could, I would give this book four-and-a-half stars. I recommend this to anyone who likes to read crime novels combined with romance.

    Like

  48. My Amazon review of Roxanne Burkey and Charles Breakfield’s The Enigma Factor is now live on Amazon as of September 27, 2021: https://www.amazon.com/review/RQFIZ1NJM20PW/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

    Authors Roxanne E. Burkey and Charles V. Breakfield have leveraged their amazing professional skills to create a techno-thriller series. The Enigma Factor, first of twelve books in the series, is my introduction to the genre. Setting the plot in motion, protagonist Jacob Michaels receives a tee shirt and free airline ticket to a Las Vegas convention. The reader has to wonder, “Is the mysterious benefactor friend or foe?” Jacob, a brilliant programmer, but inexperienced in the cat and mouse game of cyber warfare, becomes enmeshed in a variety of plot twists making it difficult to distinguish who is exploiting whom. Jacob learns, sometimes in retrospect, how digital information can be moved with or without his knowledge. At one point, he is forced to survive the complete erasure of his identity.

    Both Chinese and Russian operatives add a global aspect to the operations which include use of malicious code, a rogue computer virus, and encryption. To increase the intrigue, Grigory, one of the sleuths, owns a white tiger with a diamond-studded collar, both menacing figures in the cast of characters.

    Some typos and errors in e-book formatting were sometimes distracting. However, the authors certainly initiated me into the cyber-world of secrets and suspense, and I consider The Enigma Factor, Book 1, a worthy introduction to the genre of techno-thrillers.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. I posted a 4-star review of “Terra’s Call: Tetrasphere Book 1” by P. T.L. Perrin below on Amazon today, Sept 27th, at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1UBVFWA3JO2IN/

    A provocative quote starts the YA SciFi novel, Terra’s Call: TetraSphere – Book 1, by P.T.L. Perrin: “Do you realize where you are? A world God wakes up each morning and puts to bed each night . . . And he can destroy it as easily as make it. He can turn this vast wonder into total waste.” [Amos 5: 7-9 (The Message)]. The story begins when a Cherokee girl, Sequoia, foretells: “Prepare for the four that your prophecy speaks of. As you have guarded the prophecy, also guard the secret of their existence. The four must succeed, or Terra, your Earth, will surely die.”

    Seventeen years later, four teens learn they are Child Children with supernatural powers as a result of aliens manipulating their DNA while they were in the womb. Jewel can see auras of life forms while Storm has telekinetic powers. Fraternal twins Sky can impact others with her feelings while her brother has an extraordinary sense of smell. Aliens known as the Watchers tell the four gifted teens that when the Creator made Terra (the earth), he placed in her body the organs necessary for survival (artifact). If the earth is to survive, the four Star Children must accept the quest to repair the earth’s artifact. As storms and earthquakes unleash on the earth, the Star Children must overcome obstacles in their action-packed journey to repair Terra and thus stop the deadly forces of nature.

    Author Perrin has a smooth writing style with vivid sensory descriptions of what each character experiences. For example, Jewel describes Sky’s aura as aflame like a fireball. “Shades of indigo, purple, gold, and yellow ebb and flow around her body. Her head glows like a bonfire, made more vivid by brilliant hair. Rainbows play over her hands like miniature ribbons of an Aurora Borealis.” The story is primarily told in the first-person perspective of each of the four teens with the narrator’s name designated in each chapter header. The switch in the four narrators at times jolted me and only allowed for superficial character development. I was most engaged with Storm who has issues with anger as a result of losing his parents at a young age. I found the reference that the Earth forms a tetrahedron intriguing and would have liked more explanation on the theory.

    Overall, this is an intriguing tale that weaves mythology and religious beliefs into the SciFi concept that aliens control the fate of the world. I look forward to reading the second book in the series.

    Liked by 1 person

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