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

 

869 thoughts on “Member Book Reviews – #RRBC”

  1. I read and review Tequila Rose Virginity Blues by Wendy Jayne
    A pleasant read for a quick escape
    Having read Ms. Jayne’s writings before, I relished this story as much as her other precious ones. With her unique writing style, the plot is amusing, and the main characters are boisterous. The beginning may appear a bit chaotic; nevertheless, the storylines are well crafted and move along at a vigorous pace. The twist at the end ensures the readers a satisfying read and pleasant entertainment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I read and review THE VISIT by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko
    A well-defined plot!
    With a clear depiction of the setup in the first paragraph, the story moves at a good pace throughout. Though it is a micro read, it still contains a beginning, a middle, and an end. The main characters and the plot are simple but well defined. Ms. Lo-Bamijoko illuminates the essence of the text in a consummate fashion. An engaging read!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I read and review Unhinged by John Podlaski
    A well-written and enjoyable short read
    The story begins with an engaging inquiry to readers: “Isn’t it funny that when talking to others about something scary, everyone has a story of their own?” This line allures the reader instantly. On that Saturday night long ago, the main characters, two young adolescents, with zeal, accept an offer working at a drive-in theater as temporary cleaning-up crews, with a reward of a free showing of Night of the Living Dead as part of their compensation. Mr. Podlaski’s brilliant writing style pens the main characters’ various emotions, especially their fear, with an animated, severe, and yet hilarious fashion. The entire script reads like a pleasant conversation with good friends related to a fond childhood memory after a hearty meal. It’s well worth the time and highly recommended for all ages.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My review of When Can I Stop Running by John Podlaski
    I have recently learned a lot more about the war in Vietnam so when I saw this book I grabbed the opportunity to read about the experiences of a veteran. I was not disappointed. When Can I Stop Running is an account of one night in the lives of two American soldiers, Polack and L.G. in the jungle outside of the base camp.

    The pair are assigned to Listening Patrol which entails hiding in the jungle all night and acting as a human warning system for any unusual activity from the enemy. The reader quickly realises that this is not a popular duty among the men and the descriptions of the heavy and dense blackness of night in the jungle make it obvious as to why. It is awful to imagine being in such complete blackness, where you can’t see anything, and waiting and listening for the sounds of enemy soldiers all night long.

    Polack and L.G. have some unpleasant experiences during the night, including a group of enemy soldiers stopping for a meal not far from their chosen hiding spot and being attacked by apes with rocks.

    The experiences of the two soldiers is alternated with flashbacks, by Polack, to his childhood when he faced something that frightened him. These flashback’s ranged from when Polack was a young lad of eight years old attending holiday camp to an encounter with some neighbourhood witches a few years before he joined the army and was posted to Vietnam.

    The two different perspectives, those of the child and teenage Polack, who uses flight as his saving grace when faced with something scary, and Polack the young adult soldier who cannot run and has to face his fears is poignant and striking.

    I enjoyed this thought provoking book and would recommend it to people who like to read books about human drama, courage and the life of a soldier.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to post this review to Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “The Day the Lights Went Out…In Education” by Nonnie Jules gets five stars from me. This is what I would call a lengthy op-ed piece about the status of education in the days of COVID19, as well as before and beyond. As the mother of a certified teacher who taught for more than 15 years in an inner-city school, I can attest to the issues Nonnie Jules explores in this book. Her common sense approaches to solving some of the problems are forthright, responsible and accomplishable. My late mother used to say what this country lacks is “logic, responsibility and common sense.” From my perspective after having read this book, and from listening to my daughter’s experience and my mother’s advice, I’d say Nonnie Jules’s book hits that nail right on the head. Now, if only those who are IN CHARGE of education would pay attention…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Bravura” by Lisa Kirazian is an intriguing novel about exceptionally talented violinist Kate Driscoll and her almost equally talented brother Neil, whose loving mother exposes them to enchanting classical music when they’re quite young, instilling them with a desire to live and breathe this music. Their violent, nearly almost-drunk father, hates hearing Neil “bang” on the piano and is physically violent to him. The bucolic setting of their home in Somerset, England, is often disturbed by dad’s outbursts.

    Tragedy hits the family early, as their gentle mother dies, leaving Kate and Neil to concentrate on their musical studies and hide as much as they can from their father’s drunken rages. They turn to a kindly couple in their area for solace when needed.

    Meanwhile, Kate’s become a virtuoso violinist and is accepted to the Royal School of Music in 1959. Unbeknownst to her, Neil has also applied to the RSM; they head off together, even living together in the same apartment in London, while they study their respective instruments.

    The novel explores their relationships, triumphs and tragedies through music school, professional music careers, wins, losses, and so many more issues and events that happen to people reaching for success and finding challenges. Love found, love lost, tempers flare, apologies abound.

    This author has developed believable characters who make decisions that I can see college-aged people might have made during the early 1960s. At one point, Kate is involved in an abusive relationship and doesn’t seem to know how to end it. In those days, the thought of what we now know as domestic abuse was something kept behind closed doors. She also deals with the advances of a much-older professor. Drinking alcohol plays a major role in this novel, as it did during those times.

    I was distinctly impressed by the author’s selection of opera lyrics that perfectly synched with the situations at hand. For example, when Maggie, the successful soprano, calls for guidance from the moon, she sings Dvorak’s “Mesicku Na Nebi Hlubokem” (O Silver Moon) from the opera “Rusalka.”

    I admit that I’m not an avid classical music fan; however, I have been a performing musician (seems like in another life), and have faced some of the issues in performance that these characters confront. These are very real, and must be even more so when the performers are virtuosi and classically trained. But one does not have to be a music lover to enjoy this book.

    I give this 4.5 stars; the only reason for not giving it five stars is that I thought it needed a little more dialogue to explain why Maggie would forgive Neil for what he did (you’ll have to read it to find out what it is). I know I wouldn’t have!

    Now I look forward to reading the next book in this three-novel series.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Everyone,
    I posted a review today on Mirror of Our Lives on my book review blog today and sent it to Amazon Germany.

    https://patgarciabookreviews.com/2020/09/03/mirror-of-our-lives-by-joy-nwosu-lo-bamijoko-a-book-review-by-pat-garcia/

    I’ve just finished reading Mirror of our lives by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. I have to admit that writers that strengthen and motivate me as they create their stories are people that draw me into reading a book, and this author did an excellent job of weaving the life stories of the four Igbo Women who she described and of giving each of them their voice.

    The book resonated within me. I went from page to page, seeing their struggles, and hearing them talking, pushing themselves to keep on going, and to achieve. Thus, in Mirror of Our Lives, you will meet four intelligent women who climb the ladder of success and overcame great heartbreak and disappointment. They demanded respect and had the desire to be treated with dignity. They are women who show what resilience is all about.

    Mirror of Our Lives is an excellent read, and I hope it rings a bell in you also.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. OMGoodness, I think I over-bought at the recent event! Now I am over-reading (beats the over-eating I think).
    I published 3 of my reviews finally on Amazon this morning 9/3. Two Shorts and a Snort by Jan Sikes earns 5 stars. The review begins with …The title of this book made my fingers click Buy Now, and I chuckled. Reading books by Jan Sikes is always an adventure. (you can read the rest on Amazon please)
    The Ex Chronicles by Maura Beth Brennan also received 5 stars. This one begins … Author Maura Beth Brennan will make you laugh and cry in the same sentence. The tale of Angie, with her loves with twists, is not unusual. The character development of both Andie and Bryce is good. (and you guessed it the rest is on Amazon)
    Tails by WJ Scott was another 5 star creation. And she says its for children. Okay I am a child at heart. This one begins …Author WJ Scott creates a fabulous middle-grade book that will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy. As book one in the series, Tails invites readers to learn about the inhabitants of the Sacred Platea. Akule and his pack of silvertails …
    These are very different books by distinctive authors and I loved them. I gave the kids Tails too. Have a great day. I need to go back to reading. I am nearly caught (not).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, Rox! Your comment made me chuckle out loud. We all seem to have the over-buying disease. 🙂 I’m surprised my Kindle hasn’t imploded. Thank you for your kind words about “Two Shorts and a Snort!” You have a great day too!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I have finished Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s “Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community,” and, with everything that’s happening in the news these days concerning the African-American community, I urge everyone to read this book.

    The book chronicles the beginning of Our Lady of Victory Church, started in an area of Detroit where many African-Americans lived after they migrated north in search of jobs in the auto industry and to escape from the Jim Crow south. Although Black Catholics are not a large part of the Black Christian community, the people who worked hard to begin this church were devoted to this mission, despite the obstacles the Archdiocese of Detroit threw into their path. The people who established Our Lady of Victory, in conjunction with a dedicated priest (who did not come directly from the Archdiocese), came up with ways to finance the church and a school and even established a credit union for its parishioners. They even brought an order of Black nuns into the church.

    The author herself took part in this effort, which began in the late 1940s and 1950s. She profiles the people who led the development of Our Lady of Victory. She attended and graduated from the school. When she did research, she discovered that detrimental comments had been made about the African-American students–e.g., that they were “academically deficient” or had “low IQs.”

    Despite the success, the Archdiocese didn’t like what they saw. They removed the first priest and sent a diocesan priest to Our Lady of Victory. He too was successful.

    Readers need to remember that this was in the 1950s, prior to the passage of Civil Rights legislation, prior to Brown v. Board of Education. However, as the author indicates, even churches were guilty of discrimination. Discrimination was not only happening in the American south; indeed, it was happening in my home town of Boston during that same time. Black Catholics, it seems, had to deal with a double whammy.

    The Archdiocese “succeeded” in destroying Our Lady of Victory, but you will have to read this well-written chronicle to discover how they did it. I found many parallels to what the Archdiocese of Albany, New York, did to the inner-city Roman Catholic Church to which I belonged about 15 years ago. It was completely integrated, had many Black, Asian and Guyanese Catholics. We worked with the poor and homeless. The Archdiocese decided the building had real estate value, so they destroyed it by sending priests who alienated the people of color who belonged. The author brought back those memories.

    As we’re reading more and more stories like this in the New York Times, Washington Post and even our local newspapers, it’s crucial that historical chronicles such as this be brought to the forefront. I applaud this author for her work; I understand she intends to update this book, which was originally published in 2004. I will be interested in reading the updated version as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Wanda for your thorough review of the book. I am in the process of updating the book into a second edition just because updates are needed but mainly because in the process of moving from my original publisher, to amazon, contents in the book were compromised, photos were missing and to my horror I just discovered the totality of the compromise this year. The book was published in 2007, republished in 2015 and getting an overhaul as of today. You have to be careful as an Indie Author because the support is not there for you. Thank God for places like RRBC. Again, thanks Wanda.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think of you often, Shirley, as I read and experience different things. My connection to the Civil Rights movement began when I saw a “coloreds only” sign above a water fountain in the early 1950s. It led to involvement in the 1960s up through this time. Your book–updated or not–has great relevance in so many ways. I want to read your book about your brother. I’m trying to get caught up with all the books I bought at the conference! Then I will buy that one!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wanda I am a woman of color and I never cease to be amazed at the level of pain that my race has endured. It makes me so sad sometimes that this never seems to go away. I’m exhausted by it and all the hate we are seeing today. Thank God I never got to experience the humiliation of “coloreds only” signs as I was raised up North. It had its own brand of racism but it was hard to detect outright, especially if you were a child. My father had to escape out of Mississippi and start a new life in order to survive. That’s another story.

          Thank you so much Wanda, for your support of this cause.

          Like

  10. I read and reviewed “The Liberty Bodice” by Joy Lilley.”

    I have to begin this review by stating up front that I am a huge fan of historical fiction. “The Liberty Bodice” fits the bill. The author did tremendous research to weave historical facts into the story of Gloria and her family, bringing to life segments of pre-World War II that many people might not know.

    Gloria’s family is not wealthy; in fact, they live a sort of hand-to-mouth existence in northern Ireland. They move to England so that her dad can get a better job. Things go fine for a while until her mother, who makes extra money by taking in sewing, has twin boys. The family struggles again. Gloria and her sister are sent to live on a farm back in Ireland with their aunt and uncle. They keep thinking they’ll be going home soon, but it’s years before they go back to live with their parents and brothers. It seems their brothers, as they’ve grown, have gotten into trouble–one has stolen from his employer, the other has gotten a girl pregnant. To make matters worse, her dad has had an accident at his job.

    Gloria and her sister return to England to find their dad a changed man, their brothers in their respective messes, and their mother not knowing what to do.

    Enter World War II. Germany’s taking over Europe. Bombing England. Poland falls. Rumors of concentration camps and exterminations of Jewish people abound.

    What Gloria does next may surprise the reader. But this author takes you on an exceptional journey of a young woman whose resolve and strength that she obviously gained through a difficult childhood through a challenging–no, horrible–journey during one of the darkest times of the world’s history.

    The author develops believable, strong characters and brings them alive through her prose. She’s a skilled writer, and her research accentuates her writing perfectly. I disagreed with some of Gloria’s decisions, but that only made her more believable as a character.

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction. I look forward to reading more from this author.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Posted two reviews today…
    (1) Open, Shut by Nonnie Jules
    Thought-provoking Story about Beliefs and Relationships
    Open, Shut by Nonnie Jules is a poignant short story about a family who experiences the death of a loved one. Darcy Lynn’s parents were atheists and talking about faith was strictly prohibited in their home. When Darcy’s older sister, Lola was curious about Christianity and began secretly studying the Bible, she was reprimanded by her mother. When someone in the family dies, questions arise… This is a thought-provoking story about beliefs and relationships. ~Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning children’s picture book AMAZING MATILDA and other books for children and adults.

    (2) Tails by W.J. Scott
    A tale to keep readers wanting more!
    I received a paperback copy of Tails from author W/ J. Scott some time also. In this middle-grade fantasy tale, Kywah has lost his tail to a hunter, and now the hunters are back to get the rest of his pack’s tails. Since Kywah has nothing left to interest the hunters, it’s up to him to make his way through the gauntlet and find the Wise One so that he can find the Deep Magic that will save his pack.

    Tails is a high-interest story with messages that provide excellent discussion points for M/G and YA readers. Themes include facing your fears and meeting challenges that may seem impossible and putting others first. This is a wonderful adventure story that families and classrooms can enjoy together. I highly recommend Tails as a read-aloud. Readers and listeners are sure to enjoy the graphic images that accompany the story as well. Scott has conjured up a winner for Book 1 in a series that is sure to keep us wanting more. ~Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning children’s picture book AMAZING MATILDA and other books for children and adults.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I finished reading Lisa Kirazian’s THE MUSIC WE MADE SERIES,
    Book 2—APPASSIONATO. Five stars!

    Book 2—APPASSIONATO
    Book two of the series, The Music We Made, begins with Jenny Driscoll, and her father, Neil Driscoll, moving back to London from New York for her to attend graduate school at the Royal School of Music. As an aspiring, gifted female conductor and composer, Jenny strives to overcome the gender-bias preconception in the male-dominant music field. At the same time, her personal and spiritual life are under relentless trials. Again, the author demonstrates her indisputable writing and storytelling talents. The plot is tight, with no apparent holes; the characters transition from book one smoothly and sustain their unique personalities. The storyline keenly infuses and reflects the music, society, and culture unfolding from the 1990s to the modern days. Nevertheless, through Ms. Kirazian’s discreet pen, she accentuates that humanity and spirituality remain the same from the beginning of time, regardless of personal occurrences and contextual changes. Although there are some slow movements, the overall pace is good, which provides breathing moments for the intense passages. Appassionato is an engaging read and well-edited manuscript. I recommended it to anyone who enjoys love in multiple forms and triumphs as dealing with life’s various dilemmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Posted my review today on Amazon for The One Discovered, by Yvette M. Calleiro as a 4 star. A part of it is … The dynamics between the characters keeps the reader engaged. The multiple twists and turns will captivate young adults, keeping them engaged. The suspense aspects helped accentuate questions unresolved until the end, and you can read the rest on Amazon and later in the week on RoxBurkey.com

    I also posted my 4 star review on the micro-read Not Again Grandma, by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. A portion of my post … Author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko takes a common problem of aging people and wraps it into a good story for younger children. The two elements that I focused on is her faith in God and support of her grandchildren. with the rest on Amazon.

    We have some totally amazing authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am a bit behind on posting reviews. I am getting caught up this week. Just posted the 5 star review for Dennis Carriff’s Gotta Find a Home, Book 1 in the series.

    Read a portion here: The detailed journal of conversations, events, and individual specifics are heart-wrenching as the atrocities against them are revealed. This memoir of people displaced who are feared rather than helped is worthy of reading from start to end. The impact of this chronicle is significant.

    Find the rest on Amazon.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Everyone,
    I have just finished reading Mirror of Our Lives, Voices of Four Igbo Women by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. I enjoyed reading this book so much because it gave me an inside look at the pain that the women experienced and how they overcame it. I will be writing a review and submitting it to Amazon as well as placing that review on my book review blog.
    Joy caught my attention on the first page and I was engaged in the women stories.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Two new book reviews this evening. Both are books by Nonnie Jules. The first is OPEN, SHUT: A short story. Here is my 4-star review from Amazon: OPEN, SHUT: A short story by Nonnie Jules is an inspirational tale of a family experiencing hardships and life-altering changes after the oldest daughter, is killed by a drunk driver. The parents were atheists and prohibited bibles in the home. However, prior to her death, the sister studied the bible and later claimed she had angels visiting her during dreams, she also pranked her younger sister, Darcy at every opportunity. After her death, supernatural events, which mimicked her pranks, occurred periodically in Darcy’s bedroom. Messages from her sister?

    Changes occur over the next several years and readers will be surprised by the ending of the tale. Highly recommended.

    The second book is The Day the Lights went out…on Education. Here is the 4-star review on Amazon: The Day the Lights went Out…on Education by Nonnie Jules is a collection of facts, truths, and recommendations about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may affect our children’s health and education in the near future. As a parent, we should be most concerned about sending our children back to school while this virus continues to circulate and strike down unsuspecting victims. This is the first book of a five-book micro read series that examines the facts and offers possible solutions. Highly recommended.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hello all. I just posted a 4-star review on Amazon for Out of Poland by Rox and Charles. Here’s a copy:

    A wonderful prequel to the Enigma series. The German Army invades Poland in 1939 and overruns the country in two short weeks. During this time, an infamous Enigma machine was captured and copied by the Poles; the original was sent to England, the copy was entrusted to three young men who were charged with getting it to Switzerland so it could be decoded. Success could shorten the war. The route was filled with danger and any of them could be shot as spies. My only complaint was that it was too short and ended abruptly. However, it was enough to garner my interest and compel me to buy into the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi I’ve read and reviewed ‘Breathless’ by Yvette. My review is live at Amazon.
    ‘Breathless’ is a tale of arrogance and selfishness. If William could attract beautiful girls with his charming smile and deep brown eyes, Silena is no less proud of her powers. She craves for his attention, feels drawn to him and longs for his company, even if for just a few hours. She follows her heart but dithers at the crucial moment. Intoxicated by her power and guided by three deadly sins – anger, hatred and hubris, she forgets the promise she had made to her mother and curses William.
    The story underlines a beautiful message despite the shocking consequences of Silena’s selfishness. True to her style, Yvette holds your attention till the last page. Highly recommended.
    Thanks. Balroop.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I just posted the following 4 star review on Amazon for The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro.

    This was my first YA novel and I confess I have no basis for comparison. The story of Sophia and the prophesy causing her to leave Earth for another dimension in the quest to save the Diasodz shows real imagination and was well constructed. The book was a bit slow in parts but maybe for me, it was just tough to relate to the feelings of a conflicted teenage girl. That notwithstanding, I am confident that the younger audience for which this story is intended will enjoy the journey every step of the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Good day. I have two reviews to report as posted on Amazon.

    The first is The Part 1 of Nonnie Jules’s Micro-Read, The Days the Lights Went out on Education. 5 stars from me …The review begins: Author Nonnie Jules pens a 5-part Micro Read series on the global impact of COVID-19. Book one digs into the Education controversy faced by the world, with her perspective on reopening schools in the United States. Nonnie’s passion for this subject and extensive research highlights her concerns in rushing to reopen schools. She succinctly makes her case with the details provided.

    The second is my 3 star review of Robert Fear’s Fred’s Diary 1981. The review begins: Author Robert Fear opens up the pages documenting his 1981 travels to Hong Kong, Thailand, India, and Nepal. Keep in mind this is not a fictional story nor a travel guide to use in your travels, but it is interesting.
    These are the daily, detailed exploits of a young man who meets people, sees places, and records the nuances of each day. It takes discipline to register every day on a trip, but Fred’s Diary capitalizes on that effort.
    In reading the details of the 158 days of adventure, I wondered how the remote destinations, costs, and interactions might differ nearly 30 years later along the same path.

    They are live on Amazon. Happy reading all.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi, I’ve read and reviewed ‘Hydrangeas on the Lanai’ by Charles W. Jones. My review is live at Amazon.

    ‘Hydrangeas on the Lanai’ is not an easy read! It takes you through absurd alleys of mystery, fantasy and suspense, with special effects borrowed from nature to create an aura for an enigmatic story that is set around a curse on Parsons Manor. It unleashes with the arrival of Alexis whose husband has been killed under mysterious circumstances and she is suffering from depression. Nothing seems to make sense and each character seems to be weird and skewed.

    It is hard to believe that Gabe and Alexis were childhood friends, as they had miles between them – undisclosed secrets, unexpressed emotions and lying clearly shows that wedge. There are stories within stories and you have to be attentive all the time as Jones drifts into past and gets back into present without any warning. He is also cryptic and abrupt at places to keep the truth under wraps. Towards the end it turns grotesque and unbelievable but then suddenly reverts to realism. No truth could be traced till the last chapter, as he keeps the ultimate shocker for the last moment.

    Jones has used the elements of nature most effectively to build the right atmosphere – “explosion in the sky,” claps of thunder, shadows in the forest, the rustle in the plants, “the moan echoed through the house,” deep baritone vibrated the floor, “the chandelier shimmied” – are some of the expressions that shine. There are some editing issues but the theme in the book has been handled proficiently. If you like blind and dark lanes, this could be the book for you. The title is as misleading as the story.
    Thanks, Balroop.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I reviewed Joy Lo-Bamijoko’s Pregnant Future, a remarkable story of the narrator’s struggle to survive and eventually thrive. This coming-of-age tale introduced me to a life and culture very unfamiliar to me, a good thing.

    Highly recommend for those who like to read memoir and fiction: 4 stars for Pregnant Future
    My review just posted on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1SCQXL21K6V21?ref=pf_ov_at_pdctrvw_srp

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I have read and reviewed VANISHED by Mark Bierman and rated it 5 stars. My review is as follows:

    Mark Bierman introduces us to war against the most vulnerable in society, our women and children. This story takes place in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but the atrocities described also take place in our cities, our communities, our neighborhoods. All-consuming greed and power drives this vehicle of destruction. The strongest overcome the weakest.

    The pace of the book is relentless as one crisis follows another. The reader is bombarded by earthquakes, prison escapes then the disappearance of a seven-year-old girl. Child Trafficking is suspected. A search begins.

    This is not an easy book to read, especially if you’re a parent, but Mark Bierman brings this tragedy to life. With knowledge, we can affect change.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. 5-star review for
    Hieroglyph by W L Scott

    Terrific middle grade read.

    TC is my new favorite hero after the plucky teenager’s adventure in this delightful book by W. L. Scott. The flavors of New Zealand, Australia, and even Ancient Egypt come to life as TC helps her uncle Max the archaeologist investigate what appears to be Egyptian hieroglyphs, but located in Australia.

    I loved the story-within-a-story aspect of this lively little novel. My appetite is whetted, and I’d like to find out what happens with Kanefer just as much as I’d like to join TC on her next adventure.

    For parents, this is a clean and uncontroversial book, I should think. Of course it deals with true historical Egyptian religion, and TC has a nifty secret power that’s definitely beyond science. No cuss words litter its pages and TCs conflicts are realistic, such as the one where kids have little control over the situations they are thrown into. There’s a bit of romance, and it’s hilarious.

    Highly recommended!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. 4-star review for
    The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro

    A romantic fantasy, heavy on the romance

    This is young adult fantasy with a good plot (unresolved in this volume). It wasn’t clear from the blurb, but this adventure is heavy on romance. If you like teens angsting over their hormonal urges and torn loyalties, this book is absolutely for you. I thought the romance was all right, but I didn’t like the bad boy character at all, so in that sense the book turned out horribly wrong for me. Pardon the tongue-in-cheek, there. The book is well written overall and emotionally authentic and so I’d recommend it with the two caveats I mentioned: angsty romance and an unfinished tale for volume one.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. A cross between be-careful-what-you-wish-for and karma-is-a-beast, “Breathless,” by Yvette Calleiro, is an adult fairy tale that fantasy lovers will enjoy. Love and hate, good and evil, happy and sad are all woven together, with a touch of magic. The author has created an entertaining short story with exactly the right ending. Well done, Ms. Calleiro! https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RSGZCEBB26HBF/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B08BLVDHQX

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Hello everyone! I have just posted my review of “Brazos Wind” by Jan Sikes.
    Here’s the review:
    MY REVIEW. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A powerful and emotive story.

    It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a Western, and such a delight to find one of this quality to reintroduce me to the genre.

    Author Jan Sikes has a marvelous way of inviting the reader into the hearts and minds of her characters. She lays the soul of the characters bare and takes us into their pain and what could well be their salvation.

    This author’s knowledge of and love for Texas shines through in this beautifully exposed short read.

    Jack McClean’s and Savannah Logan’s characters evolve over the course of this short. The trauma of their backgrounds allows us a glimpse into the pain and suffering both have witnessed. We are given insight into the reasons for the choices they make, and it garners our understanding.

    Kudos to this talented author for using every word to further enhance a great story.

    Like

  28. Hello all. I just left my four-star review of While the Bombs fell by Robbie Cheadle on Amazon. Here it is in its entirety: While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle is a collection of memories from the authors’ mother while living in England during World War II. There is very little mention of the war or violence. Instead, the story follows Elsie’s family as they try to survive the harsh living conditions during the war. Food and fuel were rationed, and often, dinner consisted only of a few pieces of bread and milk. Kids went to sleep hungry and cold. Thankfully, the family had a garden and father sold milk to help them get by.

    As this story is told from the POV of a four-year-old, times were never boring for the kids in the family who managed to play and have fun all day long. They had a favorite swimming hole, castle ruins to explore, and a menagerie of raised animals on the farm to keep them busy.

    This a simple story. Life was difficult but Elsie had nothing else to compare with as living through these war years was all she knew.

    Like

  29. Hi all, I just posted by 5 star review for Guy Worthey’s – Ace Carroway and the Great War on Amazon.

    Author Guy Worthey Scott puts one tough girl in a plane, shooting down the enemies, and relying on her guile to get her through the challenges of war. Cecilia “Ace” Carroway is a 16-year-old who lied about her age and joined the Allies in World War I as a pilot. The excitement begins immediately with an unexpected end to an air battle. She ends up a POW when her plane is shot down. Ace’s story starts quickly with a thrilling air-battle, but she ends up a prisoner when her plane is shot down.

    The writing is delightful with its face-paced delivery. It was impossible to stop reading before the end. The scene with Ace taking her plane down in enemy territory highlighted her spunk. It was here I became a fan.

    This sample is a portion with the full write up https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R34TBWBK8TPP8T/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B077T2Y53B I will be putting it on my blog later this week. Thank you Guy for a great start to a series.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I have read and reviewed “I Wouldn’t Be Surprised: A Short Story” by D.L. Finn. My review is live at Amazon.

    This short story is packed with mystery and horror. I read it at bedtime and could see shadows creeping up my windows. They say never joke about the supernatural elements as they can hear you but Janice doesn’t seem to care! Soon she has to deal with eerie mysteries around her home and before she could find any answers, she is dumbstruck at the outcome.

    Finn has created the right aura for this riveting story. The situation keeps escalating till you have goose bumps, thinking – what next! She takes to story to a realistic conclusion. Highly recommended.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Good evening all!
    I’ve recently completed my 4 star review of The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro on Amazon and have included it below:

    I have to admit that I rarely read fantasy books but since the author is a fellow author and member of my book club I decided to give it a go.

    The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro is a tale of love, jealousy, magic, good vs. evil, and the quest of two “otherworld” brothers to bring home the prophecized savior of their race. All the attention is on Sophia, a 17-year old senior in high school, a seemingly normal teenager who thinks she loves Rafe, the boy she’s known since birth. They always hang out together, both have good grades, and Rafe is willing to follow Sophia wherever she decides to go for college just to be with her.

    Ar’ch and Angel are the otherworld brothers who arrive in town on a mission to bring Sophia home to their world. Both try hard to gain her trust and convince her to leave everything she’s ever known and return with them to Diasodz and fulfill the prophecy. The brothers do expose secrets about both Sophia & Rafe’s mother’s which appear far-fetched yet convincing. The brothers have magical superpowers that grow stronger while on Earth and freely use them to help play on Sophia’s emotions.

    The author does throw in some occasional curves throughout the story that make readers question whether or not Sophia is actually the savior. She has no special powers, yet Rafe has the ability to shield his thoughts so the brothers aren’t able to read them. Magic?

    So the stage is set. Who is actually the savior? Are the brothers successful in their quest? Will Sophia and Rafe finally end their relationship? When you finish the book, you’ll have the answers.

    I’m anxiously downloading book 2 in the series after writing this to see how the story continues. Note, I did hold back one star as I felt the middle of the book had some repetitiveness in the relationship between Sophia and Ar’ch and portions seemed to bog down. Nevertheless, if you enjoy fantasy, you’ll enjoy this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I have just read and reviewed A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes and gave it 5 stars. The author has written a riveting story that leads the reader from one crisis to another in a very believable way. Being a parent my heart aches whenever I hear of a missing child. Luckily, seven-year-old Emily is found safe and unharmed. Her fourteen-year-old sister, Jennifer, must take sole responsibility for the family so she takes on two jobs to supplement their meager income. 

    Through the economy of words, tension remains constant. I was able to see the world through Jennifer’s eyes as problems increased with the girls returning to school and as household bills accumulated. These aren’t problems that a fourteen-year-old should have to face. This is a remarkable story that I would recommend to everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Hi,
    I finished reading, JEWEL, by Jan Sikes and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote a review and gave it five stars and submitted it to Amazon Germany. However, they rejected it. I have submitted a query asking why. I have the review on my blog.
    The review is below along with its link.

    ___________________________

    I love reading Flash Fiction and Short Stories, just as much as I love reading a good novel. So, I was excited about the Short Story, Jewel. The blurb drew my interest, and that is the main reason I purchased it.

    The story did not disappoint. Jewel is all about a young woman living with her younger sister and her mother, and they have fallen on hard times.

    Reading the story, I thought of one of my favorite poems from Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Ballard of the Harp Weaver. In the Harp Weaver Poem, the Protagonist is a young boy living with his mother, and they are both starving from hunger, and this compares very well to the Protagonist in Jewel. Food is mighty scarce, and all three women are on the verge of starving.

    However, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Miracles do happen. Just as in the Harp Weaver, the Protagonist in Jewel receives an unexpected gift, which I call compassion, and it changed her life forever.

    I highly recommend this fantastic read.

    Link: https://patgarciabookreviews.com/2020/07/21/jewel-a-short-story-by-jan-sikes-reviewed-by-pat-garcia/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Patricia! Thank you SO much for this awesome review of “Jewel!” Yes, Amazon can be quite fickle, but I’ve found that when I’ve reached out, they’ve always reversed their decision and posted the review. Hopefully, that will be the case for you!

      Liked by 2 people

  34. Good evening, just received Amazon confirmation of my 4 star review Honest and Straightforward Memoir Of Exclusive Pedigree.
    Thank you Robert for having this on your list.

    Author John L. Fear, with succinct editing by his son Robert Fear, provides an insightful memoir of John’s life, which was framed by his inclusion in the Exclusive Brethren. This secretive and restrictive Christian sect shaped John’s life. The religious doctrine,… enjoy all of it on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HDWF1CY/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_dp#customerReviews

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I have posted the following 5* review of Charles W Jones new release ‘The Road to Saratin’ on Amazon UK:

    Stretched my imagination

    Dystopian fiction is not my normal genre, but this book made a refreshing read as it was so different.

    The story follows Carl, a man haunted by myriad voices in his head since the age of six. We join him twenty-two years later in the Freedom Institute. He knows little of the devastation that overtook the world not long after his incarceration, or of the freaks and mutants that roam outside the three remaining cities. His world has become limited to the doctor who “treats” him and the daily tasks he performs, but everything changes when a colleague dies and suspicion falls on Carl.

    In an intricate storyline, the voices urge him to leave his institutionalised life. They guide him along a path of twists and turns, away from the city of Montford. He aims to find his long-lost mom in another of the surviving cities, Saratin. His many encounters and adventures make for an intriguing, if sometimes disturbing, read. The ending is surreal but satisfying.

    This book is a real page-turner and stretched my imagination. It surprised me what can be achieved within this post-apocalyptic style of writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Bette Stevens introduced me to the great folks here in the Rave Reviews Book Club. We have learned to know each other through our blogs, where I found her outstanding book Dog Bone Soup. Her coming-of-age novel took me into the mind of teenage Shawn Daniels through riveting dialogue and depiction of hardscrabble life in the 1950s and 60s. My 5-star rating is well-deserved: https://www.amazon.com/review/RIRKDX1JN5G10/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

    Liked by 2 people

  37. FLIPPING: An Uplifting Novel of Love by Eichin Chang-Lim is an overwhelming testament to love, courage, and dedication. I reviewed this book and rated it with 5 stars.

    I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book but page by fascinating page it drew me in. Severe hardship is overcome and only makes the characters stronger. My heart went out to the lovers who were ready to give up everything to be together even though their parents were determined that they remain apart.

    I enjoyed the reading of this book enormously. I could see myself in the characters. The author effortlessly guides the story to uncomfortable places then leads it to an emotionally rewarding end. This is one of the best books I’ve read for a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I’ve just read and reviewed Ace Carroway and the Great War (The Adventures of Ace Carroway Book 1) by Guy Worthy. I rated the book with 5 stars.

    This is an adventure-filled read with a sixteen-year-old girl as the main character. The young pilot named ‘Ace’ because of the number of planes she has shot down is entirely believable as are the other airmen who accompany her. There is a great use of dialog, each character may be identified by his unique manner of speech. The plot is fast-moving and exciting as this crew fights behind enemy lines to disable their target and return safely to England. I am eager to read the next book in the series.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I have just read and reviewed The Enigma Factor (The Enigma Series Book 1) authored by Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey. I rated this book with 4 stars.

    A roller-coaster of adventure including a missing Brazilian heiress, drug smuggling, money laundering, computer programming, hacking, identity theft, security, and encryption. There is never a dull moment, as Carlos said, “We need to be more than just money movers. We need to have a laundry machine, relocation planning, and emergency transport options as part of our service”

    I enjoyed this book which kept me on my toes keeping track of all the plot lines and the myriad of characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Hello again. I just left this 5-star review of Brother’s Keeper by Jan Sikes on Amazon:

    Brother’s Keeper by Jan Sikes is a great short story. Quentin Marks, a successful club businessman has the responsibility to “Fix” things when his younger brother, Rowdy, got into trouble. This task was dictated by their mother after Rowdy saved Quentin’s life after a poisonous snake bit many years ago. Rowdy is coddled by his mother, doesn’ work, is an alcoholic, druggie, and tends to do what he wants. Mom always supported him. This time, Rowdy went too far. Quentin can’t fix this and loses everything.

    You have to read the story to find out what happened. The author does a great job in character development and brings the story together. Readers will love Quentin and hate both Rowdy and his mother. I was surprised that Quentin takes the path he does at the end. Great job, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Hello everybody. I just left my 4-star review of The Visit by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko on Amazon. Here it is:

    The Visit by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko takes place in a small, cramped town in Nigeria. The author’s flat in the 8-unit duplex faced a highrise building next door. Most of the property was surrounded by concrete walls that hid all the activity on-site; the compound was dead during the day and booming at night. The building was unique and many people were curious, craving a peek inside. The neighborhood wasn’t considered safe as thieves roamed the streets after dark.

    A friend, Rebecca, from the U.S., visited her flat and they spent the day reminiscing of earlier times together in school. As the visitor readies to leave, she finds her world is turned upside down. The landlord and young people in the neighborhood all come together to help make things right.

    The author does an excellent job of bringing it all together in such a short time. It was ten minutes well spent.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. My review of “A Pregnant Future” by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko has been posted on Amazon. They say that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and Tina surely grew stronger as time went on. For Tina, nothing was easy. As a child, she suffered abuse. As an adult, she couldn’t get a break. For example, someone she thought was her friend helped her escape a disastrous situation, but then expected payment in a manner she was unwilling to provide. Ultimately, he stole it from her.

    When she was finally comfortably situated and life appeared to be looking up, the death of her son was yet another blow and her security was lost. With help from a kind stranger, she started a small business, but perceived family responsibilities demanded she abandon it. Her brief achievements were foiled at every turn, until ultimately, Tina realized that in order to succeed, she had to depend on herself. She had to walk away from her past and the people who were holding her back. And, so she did.

    This chronicle is well-written with a lot of dialogue, which I always prefer. Tina is an engaging character, and when she “danced in her undies” I actually laughed out loud. It was an excellent read. https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R30ZKKNUGXDUXG/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01N1MEGRS

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Hi all. I recently reviewed Hieroglyph by WJ Scott on Amazon. Here’s the review in its entirety:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Hieroglyph by WJ Scott and was not aware that it was considered a Young Adult story. The main character, TC is only 13 years old but appears much older as the story evolves from the principal’s office. She has a special secret gift that nobody knows about; it’s the gift that allows readers to go back and forth in time as TC tries to unravel the mystery of a pair of Egyptian Princes who travel across the ocean and shipwreck in Australia. Her uncle Max, an archeologist, has tried to prove an Egyptian presence there, one that everybody else refutes over time. She may be the help he needs.

    Ms. Scott does a wonderful job with the timing of her story when switching back and forth in time. I couldn’t wait to return to the other storyline to see how it progresses. I would also have liked to learn more about the “man” who sold TC & Max the painting; how did he know TC’s secret? It was an easy read and flowed well.

    All-in-all, the story kept my interest and I highly recommend Hieroglyph for any age interested in a good adventure mystery with some Egyptian history. So, when will #2 be out Wendy?

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Hi everyone! I just left a 5-Star review for Hieroglyph by Wendy Scott on Amazon. Here it is in its entirety:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Hieroglyph by WJ Scott and was not aware that it was considered a Young Adult story. The main character, TC is only 13 years old but appears much older as the story evolves from the principal’s office. She has a special secret gift that nobody knows about; it’s the gift that allows readers to go back and forth in time as TC tries to unravel the mystery of a pair of Egyptian Princes who travel across the ocean and shipwreck in Australia. Her uncle Max, an archeologist, has tried to prove an Egyptian presence there, one that everybody else refuted over time. She may be the help he needs.

    Ms. Scott does a wonderful job with the timing of her story when switching back and forth in time. I couldn’t wait to return to the other storyline to see how it progresses. I would also have liked to learn more about the “man” who sold TC & Max the painting; how did he know TC’s secret? It was an easy read and flowed well.

    All-in-all, the story kept my interest and I highly recommend Hieroglyph for any age interested in a good adventure mystery with some Egyptian history. So, when will #2 be out Wendy?

    Liked by 1 person

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