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


479 thoughts on “Member Book Reviews – #RRBC”

  1. Review for The Love Lock by Eichin Chang-Lim

    Remember your first love? For most of us, it’s unforgettable, but life often takes us into many other relationships. Sometimes, though, that first love leaves an indelible imprint on our hearts that just can’t be forgotten! In The Love Lock, Dylan and Violet experience just that. Life can take us down paths we never dreamed of, and despite their once in a lifetime love, Dylan and Violet are separated by unforeseeable events. The issues that they deal with are timely themes that many readers can easily relate to. Eichin Chang-Lim brings her characters to life by giving them very human qualities. They are, at times, weak and vulnerable, but in the end love reigns. This love story is deep, has unexpected shocking twists and turns, and underscores the undeniable power that faith plays in our lives. The Love Lock was hard to put down once I started reading it. If you are looking for a predictable, shallow romance novel, with lots of erotica, this book may not appeal to you, but I easily recommend this well-written book of love and longing!


  2. Hi, I have read and reviewed Lillie, A Motherless Child by Lynn Hobbs at Amazon. Here is my 4 star review:
    Lillie, A Motherless Child by Lynn Hobbs is the story of author’s mother but it is written in first person, as if Lillie is narrating it. She was seven years old when she took care of her siblings – a four year old sister and a two-year-old brother who could have drowned in the pond, had Lillie not pulled him out. Nobody came to check them out as their mother was always busy cooking or cleaning but they felt loved! When Martha, Lillie’s mother died, the children didn’t even understand what death meant. They had a loving father but he had work. Lillie’s older sibling was called to help.

    Life was not easy for them but with each other’s help, they grew up into responsible and strong individuals. Lillie focuses on her own life in most of the book and talks endearingly about her father and her younger sister Bernice. Many details are sketchy at a number of places like what was the relationship of Lynn and Rhonda with their father Roy after Lillie divorced her first husband, why they moved to Jefferson, Texas and then to live on Caddo Lake. The changes in her life are mentioned without any emotion. The style of writing is quite detached, as it seems Lynn has put them together and couldn’t get involved in the emotional aspect of those situations.


  3. Here is my 5-star review of Strange Hwy: Short Stories by Beem Weeks:

    Strange Hwy: Short Stories is, as its title suggests, is a collection of intriguing short stories written about those defining moments in the lives of humans when occurrences and situations have unexpected and momentous impacts on individuals and their families. The author has written with deep insight into such occurrences and his accurateness in defining the possible fallout is quite frightening. The reader is pulled right under the skin of each specific character and experiences their fear, pain and suffering.

    My three favourite stories were as follows:
    Alterations: This is a story about a young teenage girl, Madeline, who declares, right up front in the story, that she was indirectly responsible for the death of her father. Madeline comes from a middle class American family and her father works at the near by ship yard, overseeing the building of the ships to the specifications set by the US government. Her mother is conservative and also quite naive and these qualities, together with Madeline’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure, create a terrible situation for the family. A Russian family move in next door and appear to be a father and his daughter. The father plays beautiful music on the piano and Madeline’s mother is keen for her to befriend the daughter in the hope that her father will undertake teaching Madeline. Madeline does befriend the daughter, a woman of the world, with disastrous consequences.

    Wordless: I particularly liked this story because of its overarching quality of hopefulness. Jamie Lynn is a bright young girl who is a high achiever at school and in life generally. As a result, she is bullied at school by other girls who feel threatened by her success, but this doesn’t get her down. Jamie Lynn has decided on what she wants from life and worked out the path to achieve her ambitions. She also wants to help her father who is illiterate. Jamie Lynn undertakes to teach her father how to read and sets about this task with great fortitude and determination.

    Looking for Lucy: This was my favourite story in the collection. I really enjoyed its paranormal element and the fact that it is also, ultimately, a story of overcoming problems in life and achieving happiness and success. Vrable is the son of a wealthy land-owning farmer who is a bit dull and set in his ways. His mother, a bit of a fun loving woman, strays and has an affair which leads to her moving out of the family home and moving to the city. Vrable goes with her and only sees his father periodically. Vrable is lonely and ends up befriending the granddaughter, Lucy, of their elderly neighbour. Lucy’s parents are both gone, we never found out how or where, and she is being brought up by her grandmother who is sick at the time Vrable meets her. Vrable’s friendship with Lucy gives him a new perspective on life and results in a change in the state of affairs that has befallen his family.

    Amazon review link:


  4. I have left the following 5* review of Reclusive Writer and Reader of Bandra essays by Fiza Pathan on Amazon US & UK:

    The best book I have read in a long time

    Born in 1989, Fiza Pathan was an unwanted child. Her Muslim father had wanted a boy and broke up the family because of her birth. This cruel start had a huge influence on the way she grew up and developed in her single mother’s Catholic world.

    These essays give a personal insight into her life journey until the age of twenty-nine, as she contemplates her first three decades on this earth. Her honesty and insightful commentary make for a fascinating read. The words are beautifully crafted, and the pages of my Kindle almost turned themselves.

    Fiza’s story is full of books, books and more books. So much so that people come to call her a ‘book phoenix’. This obsession began at three years old when her godfather started buying her comics. Her fascination with these, even before she could read and write, gave her respite from the outside world and was the start of a life of introversion.

    As the essays progress, they take us to the libraries and bookshops that influenced Fiza’s development. These range from the school and college libraries to the many bookshops around Mumbai where she spent much of her time reading and delving into a huge variety of genres. The descriptions of these places of peace and shelter are enchanting, and you feel you are there with her.

    This journey through books is intertwined with insights into the emotions and turmoil that Fiza experiences. Even as she adds studying, teaching and writing to her repertoire, there is a desire to learn and achieve much more. Her quest for knowledge is immense.

    It is only in the last essay we discover her dreams for the future as she approaches her thirtieth birthday. I had to check myself sometimes as I felt she was older than her physical years, having achieved so much in such a short time.

    Fiza Pathan is already an accomplished author, having written twelve books. She has a great future ahead of her and I look forward to reading more of her work.

    If you want to find out about this amazing woman’s life and experiences, then this is the ideal read for you. It comes with my highest commendation as it is the best book I have read in a long time.


    1. Robert sir ! Thank you so much for choosing ‘The Reclusive Writer & Reader of Bandra’ to read & review. Your heartfelt review made my Sunday memorable. Your blessings, support & encouragement made my day. Thank you so much from the very core of my bookish heart. I am honored & humbled with the lines ‘The best book I have read in a long time’. Happy writing, publishing, reading & reviewing to you ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “BOUND” by Forrest Stepnowski


    When you write poetry, there is a rhythm that must flow from the words – they don’t have to rhyme, but, they must bear perfectly placed punctuation in every place required OR, the reader is lost on the message attempting to be delivered. Properly placed punctuation is not needed anywhere as much as it is in Poetry.

    Deeply personal from the author’s point of view, poetry is meant to evoke feelings of some sort – whether the writing is about the seasons or even the sexual encounters they’ve had. Poets have a duty to deliver words that will cling to us long after we’ve read the last page of their book, but, those words must be strung together in strong tempo, or, again, the reader is left in a pile of confusion.

    Will we all grasp the meaning and purpose of a Poet’s words? Probably not, but if done well, the ‘need’ to read on speaks to that Poet having done their job.

    BOUND ‘is’ poetry – I got it, even in the highly-charged erotic form it’s packaged in.

    BOUND has a very specific audience and not all will appreciate the author’s candor or expressions of love for the partner or partners he chose to write about; but he, like any other author is allowed the same freedom to express his creativity however he chooses.

    BOUND’s erotic and very strongly-worded descriptive acts, raised my brows while at the same time, held me captive until the next word was clearly in my sight. At times I felt the urge to cover my eyes, feeling like a spectator who had happened upon two naked lovers on a beach, but when I tried to turn away, there was this surge of something which I cannot put my finger on, that forced me to stand there and keep watching.

    BOUND left me feeling…something.

    The author did his job of holding me and I wanted to see this all the way to the end. But, because poetry is my first love, I’m forced to admit that it dropped me several times {hard} throughout the read due to a lack of much-needed punctuation, the extreme repetition of certain words and phrases (embrace/embraced, continue, looking into your eyes, caress, tremble/trembling, etc.) and the dearth of a proper edit and proofread.

    It is my hope that this Poet will take the time to deliver to this fellow Poet this same read, in a much cleaner pair of pants and a nicer jacket to boot. I say this because even with the many hiccups found within this read, I saw the potential of all that it could be.

    I want to give BOUND 3 stars because of its potential, but I’m giving it 2 for what it is at present.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi. I just reviewed Mind-Shaft by S. Burke: 5 stars
    This collection of six short stories focuses on the dark side of speculative fiction from paranormal romance and revenge to good old horror. Each of the stories is unique with a well-developed plot and engaging characters. My favorite was A Place So Cold which had me on the edge of my seat even though I could predict the ending. Other stories were less predictable with fun twists. Definitely bloody, evil, and entertaining. There are a few formatting particularities in kindle, but they don’t impact the reading so I’m going with 5 stars.


  7. The Family History Fun Factor by Marsha Fox is a wonderful presentation of ideas, how-to’s, and examples for putting together a history of the family. I took notes and wrote page numbers for future reference. Thank you, Marsha. I have already started incorporating your ideas.


  8. My 5-star review of Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle is live on Amazon. Each poem touched my heart deeply. I highly recommend this book even for those who rarely read poetry. I look forward to reading more of your work, Miriam.


  9. I read and reviewed Figs, Vines, and Roses by Joy M. Lilley. I love historical fiction and the story did not disappoint me. Izzy Merryweather, her brother, and parents are of the upper-middle-class in England during the 1880s and into the 20th century. Izzy falls in love with Terrence from an impoverished family. She gives birth out of wedlock, becomes a teacher, raises her daughter, and cares for her parents. The last years of Izzy’s life are not well told, and the story ends abruptly. The book needs editing for a smoother and more enjoyable read.


    1. Thanks you so much for reading my very first novel Karen.I take on board what you have said.I have just left you a five star review for ‘When I rise.’I so enjoyed it.It should appear here soon.


      1. Joy, I appreciate your understanding of my review and as you say, “taking on board what you have said.”
        And, thank you for your 5-star review of “When I Rise.”


  10. Finally, I’m back to reviewing again!

    Here’s my 3-star review of “CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!”

    Review entitled: “SCATTERED NUGGETS”

    With a title like CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!! I’m not sure what I expected to find between the covers of this little book. I must say I did find some bits of useful information here and there, although the majority of it was common knowledge to me as a Health & Fitness Professional. The writing was quite scattered and the author strayed from the topic at hand a few too many times, which left me wondering, “Ok, what are we talking about now?” Although these experiences were personal experiences the author lived through, for this type of informational book, the writing should have been less conversational and a tad more professional; there’s also an over-use of exclamation points which I, too, made the mistake of using in my first non-fiction book. When written in the manner suggested above, readers would feel more confident in the information being delivered.

    I enjoyed the Summary, the Appendix, the sources, and establishments the author credited. If I lived in her hometown, I’d definitely seek out these entities. Given a thorough and more professional edit, this book could be an awesome tool for those suffering from various illnesses and ailments. It’s clear the author did her research, which she’s good at because I read her first book.

    CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!! needs to be presented as a clear path to a destination many of us suffering from health issues, need to get to. Properly edited, this book would be a bedside home-remedy-type reference guide, which many would greatly benefit from.

    I give it 3-stars because it could definitely use an overhaul – and with the right overhaul, it would easily garner my 5-stars. Although scattered about, there are nuggets to be gleaned from this little read.


  11. Hello ! Read & reviewed Teagan Riordain Geneviene ma’am’s book ‘Speak Flapper – Slang of the 1920s’. I reviewed the book on & (verified purchase). Both the reviews are live on Amazon. I gave the book a 5 star review. Here is the review:

    I really enjoyed this book. Author Teagan Geneviene book ‘Speak Flapper’ is entertaining, informative & a good introductory book to the words & talk of America in the 1920’s. I loved all the ‘Jazz Age’ words in the book. The book was really enjoyable & a fast read. I loved the history notes & 1920’s trivia mentioned in the book, they gave me a lot of perspective about USA in that decade of the 20th century. I loved the reference to James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ & many other trivia that made me realize the origins of so many words related to the Jazz era. I also realized that I unknowingly use so many Flapper words & phrases which all originated during this era. Some of these words are Baloney, Big Cheese, Clam, Crashing Party, Get it, All wet, Old fruit, Mrs. Grundy, Jalopy, Hitch, Killjoy & so many other words. All this is penned beautifully by talented author Teagan Geneviene. This book certainly gets 5 stars from me. Kudos to her on a job well done ! I look forward to reading more fiction & non-fiction books by her in the near future.

    Happy reading & reviewing to everyone at RRBC this week ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 – Fiza Pathan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan ma’am, thank you so much for the beautiful review of my book ‘Scenes of a Reclusive Writer & Reader of Mumbai’. Thank you for your constant love & support. Love you forever ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan


  12. Hello ! Read & reviewed Wendy Scott ma’am’s short story ‘Visitors’. I reviewed the short story on & (verified purchase). Both the reviews are live on Amazon. I gave the short story a 5 star review. Here is the review:

    I loved this story. I love to read well written short stories & I can happily say that ‘Visitors’ by accomplished award winning author W.J.Scott is one of the best short stories I’ve read this year 2020. The story is about two boys on a visit to their mother’s sister in a strange place, where not all is what it seems. I loved Marley the dog character’s role in this story, he’s just too adorable. W.J.Scott has a great way of narrating a story, creating a haunting atmosphere & developing beautiful characters that stick with you long after the story is over. I highly recommend this short story to all readers. Kudos to the author on a job well done !

    Happy reading & reviewing to all at RRBC ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 – Fiza Pathan

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I reviewed Zombie Dawn, a short story about the beginning of a zombie apocalypse, by Rhani D’Chae. Although I am not generally a fan of horror, this gory, well-written tale kept me turning pages. Zombie fans should love it!


  14. Hello ! I read & reviewed Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko ma’am’s book ‘Pregnant Future’. I reviewed the book on & (verified purchase). Both the reviews are live on Amazon.

    Happy reading & reviewing to everyone at RRBC in the month of February ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 – Fiza Pathan


  15. I am pleased to share a 4-star review of the “The Alternative” by Suzanne Burke which I posted as L D Tanner on Amazon:

    This is a thought-provoking anthology of nine short stories of various lengths that ties how past events and decisions people make determine their fates. So that the reader understands the theme tying the short stories together, the author explains these are stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.” Characters fall from grace or rise above their unfortunate circumstances. Some of the characters have fought in modern wars such as Afghanistan. Others commit horrific crimes and seem to escape justice only to find themselves doomed in the jaws of revenge. Each of the tales is unique and written from various points of view. In common, these are dark and thought-provoking stories that elicit strong emotions.

    Author Burke effectively uses dialogue to convey the mood and motivations of the characters. The stories often switch between the past and current day so the reader understands what circumstances have impacted the character and his or her decision on the pathway each takes. The overall craftsmanship of the short stories evolves from the beginning of the book to the end. Earlier short stories had a handful of editorial issues such as punctuation that I did not observe in the later short stories. The last two short stories–“Big Brother” and “Hidden by Shadows”–resonated most with me and had twists that I did not expect.

    “The Alternative” is recommended for readers who enjoy reading thought-provoking short stories about how people react differently from unfortunate events or circumstances.


  16. I posted a 5-star review of “Jewel” by Jan Sikes on Amazon. Here is my review:
    This short story is well-written and holds the reader’s interest and attention throughout. The main character, Jewel, grabs at your heartstrings from the opening page until the end. I found myself wanting more when I reached the end of the story. Bravo!


  17. I read and reviewed Jewel by Jan Sikes, giving it 4 stars. I submitted the review to Amazon, and it will hopefully go live soon.

    Bittersweet heartwarming story

    The stage is set with the opening paragraph, a rickety shack that affords little shelter from the elements, a mom who once lived a very different life, a father whose life spiraled following an accident, and a little sister on the verge of starvation. With little to hope for, Jewel does her best to help her mother fight hopelessness. What her mother does next, out of love for her girls, seems to lead to a predictable outcome – one that could lead to a different but equally hard life for Jewel, when things take an unexpected turn. Well-developed characters, realistic colloquial dialogue and an intriguing plot. A great read.


    1. Hi, PTL! I’m perplexed by your review of Jan Sikes’ “Jewel”. Most of the review consisted of a summary of the plot – which is a disservice to the author. Why would I bother to read Jewel now that I have your plot summary? Only in the last sentence do you speak to the quality of what was written, and based on your written glowing review, I cannot find a reason why you judged the book to merit 4-stars instead of 5-stars. Perhaps you can clarify so Jan can better understand your review. In her blog post on this site last week, Nonnie Jules made some strong points about writing reviews. I don’t consider myself an ace reviewer so I found the video ( that she referenced in the post to be quite helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. My Amazon review of Mark Bierman’s Vanished.
    This story kicks off the action on page one and doesn’t let up. In fact, when I was about ¾ of the way through, I needed to sit back, take a deep breath, and work the tension out of my shoulders. Bierman’s ability to write non-stop, intense, dangerous action is noteworthy. And though in many ways, I’d characterize the story as plot-driven, there’s some deep emotion when it’s called for.

    And the story isn’t a picnic. Though the author maintains that it’s fictional, he also states that it centers on a very real and tragic situation – child slavery. Tyler and John are two likable Americans who team up with an anti-hero in Haiti. The story follows their attempt to rescue a Haitian’s young child from a mine worked by kidnapped children. The difficulty of this plan is skillfully complicated by cultural barriers, corruption, poverty, and, of course, the ruthless adults who treat children like disposable tools – use them until they break and then throw them away.

    Even though the book is plot-driven, I felt connected to Tyler and John. It was hard not to feel for them and root for them when things weren’t going well (which was the whole book). In a way, they are ordinary men who, as things got worse and worse, had to keep remaking decisions about what they’re willing to sacrifice, including their lives. They give it their all and it was very heroic. I’d read more about the characters and will read more of this author. Recommended for anyone who loves an intense action-packed adventure/thriller.


  19. Hi! I’ve read and submitted a review on Amazon for Ace Carroway and the Great War by Guy Worthey.

    Spunky and Brilliant – I will be reading the series

    The author of this delightful adventure reminded me again why I love books in this genre. Sixteen year old Ace Carroway lies about her age to enlist as a fighter pilot in WWI, where she earns her nickname by outwitting and outfighting enemy aircraft. When she’s shot down behind enemy lines and imprisoned with five seasoned fellow prisoners, she brilliantly plans their escape while ruining the enemy’s plot to win the war. A keen mind, excellent training, a courageous heart and a teen’s sense of being invincible combine in Ace as superpowers. Wonderfully entertaining. I’m eager to read the next book in the series.


  20. I’ve read and reviewed Vanished! by Mark Bierman. Gave it 5 stars and submitted it to Amazon today, so it may not be live yet. Here’s the review:

    I could not put this book down. The missions trip to Haiti to build an orphanage was supposed to be healing for Tyler Montgomery and John Webster, who both lost someone they loved. When a child is abducted, they’re drawn into a search that leads them to the unthinkable underbelly of human trafficking and extreme personal danger. I could not put this nail-biting book down. This excellent story has plenty of plot twists, hair-raising close-calls, and gave me a growing sense of outrage that this evil practice is going on today. Mark Bierman nails it. Great read!


  21. Hi, I have read and reviewed Summer of ’77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza by Robert Fear. Here is my review, live at Amazon:
    Summer of ’77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza by Robert Fear is an interesting account of his adventures and experiences at the young age of 21, when I was expected to study and complete my post graduation. His supportive parents, reckless nature and carefree attitude combined with the determination to accept challenges helped him enjoy a long work cum vacation at the island that he had visited earlier with his friends.

    Whenever we go to a fantastic place to spend a few days away from work, we may return with lovely memories and a yearning to go again. Probably this was the motivation that made Fred throw away a promising career and a steady girl friend to go again to Es Cana, Ibiza a beautiful Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is his honest and straightforward style of disclosing all that makes this book fascinating. Some anecdotes are quite humorous; girl friends come and go but life was not all that easy. This is a light-hearted read that reveals a lot about people and their escapades. It inspires you to enjoy life.
    – Balroop Singh

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Just read and reviewed on Amazon, the wonderful story, “One Dyke Cozy,” by Rhani D’Chae. I absolutely loved this story and gave it an enthusiastic five stars. If you haven’t read it, grab a copy and settle in for a satisfying and emotional read! Kudos to Rhani D’Chae for a beautiful story.


  23. I have read and posted an Amazon review for CONTRACT by John Howell and Gwen Plano. The book had a very engaging plot with well-crafted characters. This presented a good collaboration from these two writers who had somewhat different styles. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I purchased Karen Ingall’s new book, When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees. Here is my review:
    When I Rise is a collection of short stories about some of life’s major issues, including forgiveness. At the end of each story, Ingalls lists a truth, names a tree, and explains its symbolism. The willow tree, for example, represents love, friendship, and peace. The stories are unique and stayed with me long after I read them. This is one of the most creative books I’ve ever read–thoughtful, insightful, and well written. I highly recommend When I Rise.


  25. I uploaded my 5-star review of “…And The Music Played” by Nonnie Jules on
    5.0 out of 5 stars Music To My Ears
    Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020
    This is a thoroughly enjoyable read and is beautifully written. I waited a long time for this sequel to the romance between Gianni and Christine I enjoyed through their love poems to each other in the first collaborative book “If Only There Was Music” by Jules and Jordan. Their story has intrigue, romance and lots of excitement! I highly recommend this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I read and reviewed The Love that Dare Not Speak by Fiza Pathan
    The subject of each story is about sexual preferences including lesbianism, transgender, bisexuality, homosexuality to name a few. For many people, these subjects are taboo or sinful. Other people are trying to understand and accept. There is some repetition of the subject in the twenty-one chapters; most of the stories take place in India; and the author incorporates political, religious, or cultural aspects to each story. In a couple of stories, they read as if the author had to fill in more words or pages. Therefore, those stories did not keep my attention.
    I admire the fact that Ms. Pathan brought attention to the subject of sexual preferences.


    1. Hi Karen ma’am ! Thank you for the awesome review of my book ‘The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name’. Love you to the bookstore & back ! Looking forward to reading more of your books in the near future ! Lots of love ❤ ❤ ❤ – Fiza


  27. I have read and reviewed “The Merest Loss” by Steven Neil.
    I love historical and historical fiction books and The Merest Loss is now in one of my favorite books for its genre. It is based on Harriet Howard who rose to the top of British and French societies. The story begins with her only child searching for his biological father. There are many characters, events, and time periods yet the author moves the reader throughout the book without ever being confused or lost. An excellent read and I look forward to reading more by Mr. Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. My review of Exclusive Pedigree
    This was interesting to read about a man who had an amazing life. He was born and raised into the Exclusive Brethren from which he broke away as an adult. I learned a lot about the beliefs and practices of such a religious organization. The author became involved with and worked for Billy Graham’s organization where his responsibilities were described and how much time he was away from his family. These two areas of the book were enlightening, but the second half involved too much detail and written like a daily diary entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Here is a link to my review of Tears of Fire by Gordon Bickerstaff.

    Let me see. Here is a book replete with castles, dungeons, two serial killers, a kidnapping, and a tough-minded female investigator named Zoe Tampsin. And that’s not all. There is also her Lambeth Group partner Gavin Shawlens as well as agents and malefactors from the United States and North Korea.
    Together these are the ingredients for a fast-moving, epic thriller bursting with non-stop action and international intrigue. The author, Gordon Bickerstaff has deftly fashioned a story replete with well-developed and believable characters—including a surprise member of the U.K.’s Royal Family.
    Gavin and Zoe find themselves separated in their pursuit of the two serial killers, who happen to be two sisters out for revenge against those who killed their parents. I won’t divulge any more of the plot, but suffice it to say, the trail leading to the two lethal ladies is fraught with peril and lots of jiggery-pockery. And while much of the story takes place in Scotland, there is no dearth of international scoundrels in the story.
    Tears of Fire is the sixth book in Gordon Bickerstaff’s well-written Lambeth Group Thriller series. It’s a page-turner!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Hi ! Read & reviewed Sarah Angleton ma’am’s book ‘Gentleman Of Misfortune’. I reviewed the book on & (verified purchase). Both reviews are live on Amazon. I gave the book a 5 star review. Here is the review:

    ‘Gentleman of Misfortune’ by author Sarah Angleton is the story of a swindler who is out to make his money on Egyptian mummies. He encounters many people on his way including a woman who has captured his heart. Does he manage to swindle the world or is there something odd about these mummies with their individual scrolls that need to be analyzed ? This & more you will find out in this novel ‘Gentleman of Misfortune’. The book was a historical novel & that’s why I chose to read it since I am a qualified history teacher & lover of things in the realm of history. I admire the author’s dedication to detail & her unique writing style. I loved the historical personalities & institutions she has incorporated here in her novel ‘Gentleman of Misfortune’. The book is dramatic, full of surprises & the tale of one man’s quest through the world of cheats, cheaters & cheating hearts. The depth of insight into each character in the novel by talented author Sarah Angleton was not lost on me. My favorite parts in the novel was when the protagonist encounters the Freemasons & when he meets up with an old love & her family during his travels. The book has a wonderful climax which is not to be missed. I never thought the book would end in such a manner which only proves the fact that Angleton writes in a style that qualifies her to stand out as a true professional of her craft. I enjoyed every minute of the book from the moment of the gambling scene at the beginning of this story till the last personal notes of the author to the reader interested in the historical details that went in the making of the story. Angleton writes her novels with the precision of a true historian & adds so much of color to the story that makes for a very pleasant read. I look forward to reading more of her books especially on historical topics in the near future. If you want to read a fresh & fascinating page turner of a novel based on Egyptian mummies then go for it, pick up your copy of Sarah Angleton’s book today. Pick up her book & get a fresh perspective on what could be the reality of the many mummies the protagonist had to deal with in this story. Go for it, buy the book!

    Happy reading & reviewing to all at RRBC this week ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan


  31. Here is my Five-Star Amazon review of When Can I Stop Running, by John Podlaski.
    Pulling duty at an L.P. (Listening Post) in the Vietnamese jungle was not for the faint-hearted. Next to a night patrol, it was one of the most dangerous experiences soldiers faced in Vietnam. Essentially, you are hundreds of meters outside the perimeter of your firebase and your job is to watch and listen for the enemy who may be attempting to infiltrate that perimeter.
    That’s the situation that two Detroit teenagers (John Kowalski and Louis Gladwell—aka “Polack” and “L.G.”) serving with the 1st Battalion Wolfhounds of the 25th Infantry Division find themselves in one night in the Iron Triangle. It is 1970—the height of the war and the two men settle into in a thick clump of brush backed by two trees. With them are their poncho liners, grenades, M-16 rifles, claymore mines, extra ammunition, and a PRC-25 radio. There is also palpable fear.
    Anybody who has ever been in combat in a jungle knows about fear—especially at night when every sound, every movement, every sensation is magnified. The damp, decaying jungle floor, the sound of insects, impenetrable blackness, the feeling that someone, somewhere is watching you. There were no night-vision devices in Vietnam—at least not ones for grunts. All they had were their senses and often over-active imaginations to help them pinpoint and see the well-concealed V.C. at night.
    During the night, the two men relive their lives via flashbacks. When they aren’t doing that, they are searching the dense jungle in front of them for V.C. who may be inching their way toward them or toward the firebase behind them. Needless to say, it is a long, sleepless, gut-wrenching night that those who have been in combat will immediately identify with.
    The author, John Podlaski, knows of what he writes in this harrowing, page-turner. He lived it as a member of the Wolfhounds of the 25th Division as well as the 101st Airborne Division. As with many soldiers who served in Vietnam, he didn’t escape the war without his share of memories which he has used to create this well-written tale of a night in an L.P.
    For his service, Podlaski was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, a Bronze Star, two Air Medals, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and other campaign medals.
    The title of the book is absolutely right on: When Can I Stop Running? It’s a question many veterans ask themselves after surviving a tour of duty in a combat zone. The answer is one to which each veteran alone must find the answer. As a veteran of the U.S. Army myself, I suspect it’s a question many of us will ask ourselves the rest of our lives.


  32. My review of When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees by Karen Ingalls

    This collection of 12 short stories uses a single poem and the symbolism of 12 specific trees as the underlying foundation of morals and themes. The trees don’t appear in the actual stories, but each one is referenced by the author at the end of its tale with a statement about its significance. I enjoyed the stories, particularly Two Sisters, a tale about enduring love between two sisters; and The Piano, a well-told story from the point of view of an Alzheimer’s patient.

    The storytelling is primarily from an omniscient point of view and moves rapidly through events and years in a simple straightforward style. As a reader, I didn’t get to know the characters deeply but was carried along by most narratives to a satisfying conclusion. An afternoon’s read recommended for those who enjoy short stories with strong moral messages about love and family.


    1. Thank you for reading and reviewing my book “When I Rise”. Two Sisters was the first story I wrote a few years ago but did not publish it. I have often wondered what does the Alzheimer’s patient experience. My grandmother was a pianist and had this disease when she was in her 90s.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Greetings! I’ve reviewed Karen Ingalls’s “When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Trees.” The Amazon review is here:

    The review is pasted here. Best regards,

    This collection of twelve tales samples the human condition. Although some of the stories read like fairy tales, they’re not sappy happy endings. If the endings are happy, they are happy in a wise way. Mostly, though, they are stories that show the arc of a human life – and mortality is an inevitability.

    Ingalls has a unique voice as a writer, eschewing style for unadorned substance. The considerable power of her prose comes from the measured pace, as she reveals the positive and negative twists in her tales on the way to the satisfying end. Each story is followed by a bit of advice and a symbolic reference to a breed of tree. Very clever.

    I recommend this book to all adults (though keep tissues handy).


    1. Guy, thank you for your kind review. I appreciated your sentence “If the endings are happy, they are happy in a wise way.” From that statement alone, I know you understood the essence of the short stories.


  34. Here is my 4-star review of Mountain Justice by Karen Black

    Mountain Justice is an intense and short read about a woman who is the victim of horrific physical and mental abuse by her husband. Anne is six months pregnant when her savage and mentally unstable husband beats her nearly to death because he thought she looked at another man with interest. Annie is discovered, beaten and bleeding, by her old school friend, veterinarian, Rob, who also helps her care for her horse, Czar. Due to his early intervention, Annie lives, although she loses her baby, and returns to live on the farm, which is actually hers. Her husband, George, is sent to prison for five years.

    During this five year period, Annie continues her life on the farm while George nurses his hatred for her from afar. He blames her for his imprisonment and vows to punish her. At the end of the five years, George is released from prison and at the same time, Annie’s horse starts behaving in a strange and unsettled way.

    This story is short so there isn’t a lot of character development, but Annie did come across as a strong woman with an inherent survival streak and quick reactions. Rob is sensitive and his attachment to both Annie and her horse allow him to tune in to out of place events and circumstance, thereby, saving Annie’s life early in the story and working out his help is needed later in the story.

    George only features as a sullen and savage personality and it is distressing and awful to read about him, knowing that there are men out there like him who treat their womenfolk so badly.

    An insightful short story which will keep you turning the pages.

    Link to my review on Amazon:

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Hi ! Read & reviewed Shirley Harris-Slaughter ma’am’s book ‘Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge’. I gave the book a 4 star review. I reviewed the book on & (verified purchase). The reviews are live on Amazon. Here is the review:

    I was first attracted to this book because of the interesting title, ‘Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge’. I really wanted to know what the book was all about & so purchased it at the beginning of this new year 2020. I was happy I chose this little book to read. The author has been through a really tough time where her health is concerned & I can easily relate with her because even I am an ailing person. As I read the book, the secret behind the title started to unfold dramatically. Author Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s writing style is impeccable. Her struggles with health issues can resonate with most of us who have always suffered because of our ill-health. The author sincerely hopes that through this little book, everyone can get a better understanding about their ailments. I hope also that everyone picks up this book to get a unique viewpoint about health & diet choices in general. I look forward to reading more books penned by author Shirley Harris-Slaughter in the near future.

    Happy reading & reviewing to all RRBC members this weekend ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 – Fiza Pathan

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I have also read and reviewed Think Murder by Cassidy Salem:
    Think Murder is a lukewarm murder mystery that opens with a promise of delivering but drifts into harmless chitchat and office gossip soon after. Adina is shocked to find the dead body of her friend who was sipping wine with her just a few minutes ago and the investigation begins but its pace is so slow that it couldn’t hold my attention.
    I wonder how I could finish it! I was put off by unnecessary description; lack of focus and weak plot. Twice I abandoned it to read another book. It is just an average book with some stark flaws. The style of writing doesn’t suit the murder mystery, as it oscillates between romance and slow unveiling of secrets. Parallel themes bump into each other, if you like romance dominating investigations, then this book is for you.
    My review is live at


  37. Hi, here is my review of ‘Scenes of a Reclusive Writer & Reader of Mumbai’: Essays by Fiza Pathan
    Scenes of a Reclusive Writer & Reader of Mumbai: Essays by Fiza Pathan is an elaboration of her earlier book (The Reclusive Writer & Reader of Bandra) but in this memoir, she opens up and pours her heart out and shares the emotional journey of a younger Fiza, who felt abandoned, alone and neglected; even her mother was too busy to provide an arm rest when her tears erupted and were soaked by the tables of her favorite library. She crawled into the cocoon of books that she built for herself and gave the right only to her readers to meet her. She could never emerge from her hurts and a thread of regret runs through the book; a constant reminder that she was an unwanted girl child. She blames herself for a relationship that was destined to break and fails to see beyond that.

    Autobiographical by nature, this book also brings out the trauma of a girl who yearned for love, who wanted friends, who was never heard and found solace in comics and books. “Dracula was her favorite” character in high school…no wonder her peers called her “a weirdo.” Circumstances steeled her into a confident individual, a voracious reader and a resilient writer who takes pride in her surname though she had rejected the apologies of her repentant “brute father.” Even when she was told by Mother Bernarda to forgive her father and she tried, emotional hurts got embedded in her psyche and still fester. She could never learn self-love.

    More than half of this memoir talks about the books she has read and why you should also read them. She makes an interesting commentary on those books; sometimes linking them with her own life and offers a fine advice in each essay.
    She shares the impact that various writers and books of religious leaders had on her when she was growing up. There are subtle observations about politics, people and public apathy toward human beings.

    Probably she was too young when she burnt her spiritual diary or the negativity that she harbors, uncountable books that she has read didn’t uplift her soul from the mundane to see the divine plan of the Almighty. A person who could foresee the hypocritical aspect of religion while attending a teacher’s training college, who is deeply moved by Dr. Ambedkar’s fight against a caste hierarchical structure, who is so widely read and could pen poignant stories about ‘The Love that Dare not Speak its Name’ seems cynical.
    “Humans are boring; books are much better,” says twenty nine year old Fiza. To this observation, I would say: books are written by humans. Wait till time turns the tide, till destiny intervenes and you meet the defining moment of your life. I would wait till you write another book entitled “How My Life Turned Around.”
    My review is live at

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Balroop ma’am for the review ! I am looking forward to reading more books penned by you this year 2020. Thank you for the constant support & encouragement. Love you to the bookstore & back ! ❤ 😀 ❤


  38. My 5-star review of Timeless Echoes by Balroop Singh:
    I started reading this collection of poetry by Ms Singh without reading the blurb and I soon picked up the subtle undertones of wistfulness and almost melancholy that run through these poems, linking them all with this common theme. This did make sense to me as the book is called Timeless Echoes. After I had finished the book, I looked up the blurb and knew that the emotions I had sensed were indeed a vital part of the book as the poems are intended to reverberate with the reader in the manner of the echoes of past loves, yearnings and regrets.

    This is not to say that the poems are sad or depressing as there are many delightfully uplifting ideas that support the fact that who we are is a factor of the events and circumstances of our lives. The echoes of past joys, pains, trails, failures and successes are woven through the fabric of our souls.

    “The dew on my dreams is still fresh

    Sunbeams add a sparkle” is one of these inspirational lines from a poem called Echoes Of Life.

    Some of the poems dwell on a love lost in the past:

    “I know I made a wrong choice

    Intoxicated by the wine of youth” from Silent Echo are lines from such a poem.

    The poem reflects on life’s fleetingness and impermanence:

    “Echoing within her … nothing is permanent from Captive.

    There are reminiscences of love lost or unworthy:

    “Dark despotic attitude…

    Arguments I could never win” from Sardonic Shadows

    I enjoyed these deep and meaningful freestyle poems and recommend this book to lovers of poetry and life.
    Here is the link to Amazon:

    Liked by 1 person

  39. My review of Red Eyes in the Darkness, by D.L.Finn has been accepted by Amazon. It is an entertaining tale about the classic battle of good versus evil in modern times. An easy to read short story that will keep your attention, it is well thought out and has a satisfying ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. My five star review of Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters by D. Wallace Peach:
    This children’s picture book by D. Wallace Peach contains everything such a book should: marvelous and colourful pictures, an easy to read and interesting rhyming verse story and a happy ending.

    Ana is a grumpy child, nothing in her life suits her and she is disgruntled with her lovely village, comfortable home, doting parents and friends. She wants to get away from it all and travel into space to find a place to live that is as gloomy as she is. Her father indulges her and helps her build a spaceship to the stars. Ana sets off in search of her utopia and finds a dark and gloomy planet inhabited by monsters. Ana is afraid, but when she sees their marvelous scowls she decides they can be friends. Surprise, surprise, the monsters take one look at Ana’s grumpy face and they think she is the monster and run away. What will Ana do now?

    This is a delightful book for children and very relevant in today’s society where we have a tendency to spoil our children and make them ungrateful. The message is there but it is couched in an entertaining and fun story which younger children will enjoy.
    Link to Amazon review:


  41. I posted a review of Fiza Pathon’s Scenes of a Reclusive Writer & Reader of Mumbai on Amazon (should be live soon). Great book! Here’s my review:

    5 stars

    Part book review, part memoir, this is the story of a young woman who has dealt all her life with rejection, beginning with that of her father who abandoned her because she was not a boy. It is also a love letter of sorts to the books she has turned to for solace all her life, to the places where she has discovered them, and though there is a strong theme of rejecting the company of others, also the people who have shared so much love with her through the years.

    I really enjoyed this book. The author is writing from a cultural perspective that is not my own, but her essays are so human and personal and honest that they easily transcend such barriers. It should be read with your TBR list handy, as you will likely add many titles to it. And I will end my review like the author ends most of her essays. If you are the kind of person who enjoys getting lost in the library stacks or in the backs of bookstores, or if you’ve ever thought it would be easier to have a relationship with books than with people, or if you have ever found yourself profoundly affected by what you have read, then this book is for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah ma’am thank you so much for the 5 star review ! I am truly honored that you liked my book. I am looking forward to ‘Smoke Rose To Heaven’. Happy writing, reading & reviewing to you ! Lots of love ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan

      Liked by 2 people

  42. Hello again ! Read & reviewed D.L.Finn ma’am’s short story ‘Bigfoot’. I reviewed the short on & (verified purchase). Both the reviews are live on Amazon. I gave it a 5 star review. Here is the review:

    This was a thought provoking short story about a subject that has puzzled people for the longest time – Bigfoot. Is Bigfoot real? Is it a concoction of the imagination? Is there something more to Big Foot than what we have seen so far through the decades? All this & more is answered in the form of a fictional short story by talented author D.L.Finn. I liked the short story & I am sure you will too. Grab a copy of ‘Bigfoot’ on your Kindle & find out about D.L.Finn’s take on this creature that has fueled the imaginations of many a man & woman over the generations.

    Happy reading & reviewing once again to everyone at RRBC ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Hi ! Read & reviewed Jan Sikes ma’am’s book ‘The Convict & the Rose’. I reviewed the book on & (verified purchase). Both the reviews are live on Amazon. I gave it a 5 star review. Here is the review:

    I just loved this book. Award winning author Jan Sikes absolutely excels herself in ‘The Convict & the Rose’ which is the sequel to ‘Flowers & Stone’. The true to life tale of Luke Stone in Leavenworth prison remembering his love Darlina Flowers just touched my heart & made me love him. This book is about trying to cope without your soul mate being close to you. It’s about wandering, self-sacrifice, patience & eternal love. The poems penned by Luke Stone in this book are so beautiful that it made me very tearful & sentimental all at once. They high-light the genuine love shared between him & Darlina Flowers which is just nothing else but true eternal love. I loved the story of Darlina going through many highs & lows in life & yet remembering the love of her life pining for her in prison. I can go on typing about why I love this book & never get done. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves biographies told in the narrative prose style. I recommend this book to readers who want to be uplifted & who have to learn the virtue of patience. I recommend this book to all lovers of excellent writing & who basically like to read good prose. The book is easy to understand, well edited & has a lot of twists & turns from drugs to Harley bikes to country music to cult following to prison life to music etc., to chew upon & remember long after the tale is told. Don’t miss the opportunity to read this book. If you haven’t read the first book in this series which is ‘Flowers & Stone’, I recommend you read that before you pick up this one. Trust me, you will be hooked to this series in no time at all. Support author Jan Sikes & read this book. I am now just dying to get my hands on the next book in the series. Kudos to Jan Sikes on a job well done. And now I’ve got a crush on Luke Stone. Get your copy of this excellent book today ! Happy reading to all !

    Happy reading & reviewing to all at RRBC ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, Fiza! I am literally in tears after reading your review of “The Convict and The Rose!” To know that I touched your heart with the story makes all the hard work, sacrifice and expense worthwhile! And Luke Stone is an easy man to have a crush on. 🙂 Thank you, sincerely!


      1. Jan ma’am, you are a FANTASTIC writer & ‘The Convict & the Rose’ many a time brought tears to my eyes & a throb in my throat. God bless you ma’am & God bless the love you share with Rick/Luke sir ! Always keep smiling ! 😀 – Fiza Pathan


  44. I have read and reviewed “The Ex Chronicles” by Maura Beth Brennan. Here’s my review: This is a super short story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The situation the narrator, Angie, finds herself caught in – a love triangle – is believable. Although it is a heartbreaking event, the author managed to make it humorous. When Angie suspects that her perfect man is cheating and is determined to catch him, she does. But, when the confrontation doesn’t turn out like the scenario she’s played out in her head, she is left humiliated with nothing to do but return home with her tail tucked between her legs, so to speak. This is a short but enjoyable read. I gave it four stars.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I recently finished reading When Can I stop Running by John Podlaski. Follow the incredible story of two Detroit teenagers as they spend a haunting night in a listening post outside their new firebase. All around them were the enemy and they had no idea if they would make it through the night.

    John has created a very realistic plot and characters. I kept turning the pages, wanting to find out if they survived the night. Flashbacks to their earlier lives enhances the realism and makes you feel as if you’re there with them. Only someone who has lived through this type of event can apply the realism needed to convey what the teenagers experienced. This is the first novel of John’s that I’ve read and it won’t be the last!

    Liked by 2 people

  46. I just completed a review of Think Murder by Cassidy Salem on Amazon – giving it 4 stars:

    The book description pretty much sums up the story except for the finite details which the author introduces in each new chapter. When starting the book, I first felt like I was reading a Stephanie Plum story as the main character, Adina stumbles across information that might help solve the murder. I did find the relationship between Adina and the investigating detective to be much too cozy for a murder investigation but their shared information eventually solves the case.

    I continued to second-guess who the murderer was, initially, hanging my hat on the boyfriend and then later on Bruce, the new helper at the dog shelter. However, when guessing at the motive, I found myself way in left field.

    I especially enjoyed the interfacing between Adina and her co-workers at the Think Tank; their gossiping, jealousies, and meanness are typical of most office environments that I had experienced. And a big plus for her boss who was quite supportive and compassionate during her ordeal – they are far and few in between.

    Overall, the story kept my interest throughout – compliments to the author for including so many twists and turns. I’d recommend Think Murder by Cassidy Salem to anyone looking for an afternoon of ‘who done it’ entertainment.


  47. Hello ! Read & reviewed Karen Ingalls ma’am’s book ‘Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’. I gave the book a 5 star review. I reviewed the book on & (verified purchase). Both the reviews are live on Amazon. Here is the review:

    ‘Davida’ by accomplished memoir writer Karen Ingalls is a pleasure to read & a book to cherish. It is a tender story about two real people, a famous sculptor & his mistress & the eternal love they shared. The story chronicles in a prose form their life together which is written beautifully by Karen Ingalls. I loved the book. It brings out a lot of sentimentality as we recollect with the author the love between Davida & Gus. The book is a wonderful biography which all memoir lovers should read. Those readers to reside in the USA should also read the book to see the heritage of Gus’ art in their own country. The memoir ‘Davida’ is crafted well, with excellent extra information for further research & a lot of goodness which is a singular quality that makes ‘Davida’ an enchanting read. I highly recommend this memoir to everyone who likes well written biographies. It’s a quick read & well edited which makes it a perfect read on a week day. I hope to read more books by author Karen Ingalls in the near future. Kudos to her on a job well done ! Happy reading to all !

    Happy reading & reviewing to all at RRBC this weekend ! 😀 😀 😀 – Fiza Pathan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Fiza for your review of my book “Davida”. It was my favorite book to write because it is a personal story about my great-grandparents and their only son who suffered being called a bastard. I loved that you found “…a book to cherish”. That brought tears to my eyes.


      1. Karen ma’am ! It was a pleasure to read ‘Davida’. I am now looking forward to your novel ‘Novy’s Son’. Looking forward to reading more books published by you in the near future. Love you loads ! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ – Fiza Pathan


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