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

 

890 thoughts on “Member Book Reviews – #RRBC”

  1. I just posted my three-star review of The Altar Boy by Phil Stephens.

    The Altar Boy is a compendium of “episodes” experienced by Carl Sanders, a young boy coming of age in the rural Midwest. The central theme is his experience around the Catholic church and how it precipitated the breakup of his parents’ marriage and fragments his childhood. I think the idea for the book is really good. It just seemed that the author lost his way a bit spending too much time on scenes that just didn’t not have a strong tie to the central theme. If the book had focused more on the tension created by the presence of Father Jacobson as experienced through Carl’s eyes, the book would prove to be a much more interesting read.

    I felt the characters could have been better developed. I had trouble envisioning what everyone looked like. Carl’s siblings were especially difficult to identify with. As a child of a broken home who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, I appreciated the ever-present references to the popular music of the day. Many of those same songs were a comfort to me during my youth.

    Finally, the book really could have benefited from a good copyeditor. There were numerous typos throughout the book which, for me, detracts from the quality of the story itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi all. Hope your weekend was great. I posted my 5 star review of Pregnant Future, by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko on Amazon today. It begins … The cover is beyond perfect for this story. Author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko gives the reader how to overcome oppression that begins early in her life. Birth order has its drawbacks in this case. Justina is a well-developed character that grows throughout the story… You will find the rest posted there. Enjoy your week.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amazon posted my review for The Enigma Factor by Breakfield and Burkey.
    5.0 out of 5 stars The book is a roller coaster ride through cyberspace.
    Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2020
    Jacob Michaels is a naive computer programmer who loves encryption. He monitors cyber threats for large companies. His life is simple until he meets Petra. He believes she cares for him, but Petra was hired to watch him. When cybercriminals target Jacob, he keeps his cool and sense of decency.
    I learned more technical terms in this book than in any other. The book is a roller coaster ride through cyberspace. The authors provide a chart of terms to assist readers in navigating through their complex world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Susanne, I appreciate you taking the time to read and review our story. I am glad you liked it. I am sorry it has take a while to acknowledge your efforts. Take care.

      Like

  4. I reviewed The Enigma Factor by Breakfield and Burkey. I’m still waiting to see if Amazon accepts the review.
    5 Stars.
    Jacob Michaels is a naive computer programmer who loves encryption. He monitors cyber threats for large companies. His life is simple until he meets Petra. He believes she cares for him, but Petra was hired to watch him. When cybercriminals target Jacob, he keeps his cool and sense of decency.
    I learned more technical terms in this book than in any other. The book is a roller coaster ride through cyberspace. The authors provide a chart of terms to assist readers in navigating through their complex world.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I finished The Hanged Man, by Raymond Hall and post the five star review on Amazon. It begins…Author Raymond Hall creates a captivating story of a man, John Moorcroft, put to death for the rape and murder of a young girl. Until his last breath, he vowed innocence. The prison chaplain, Digby Rolf, is opposed to killing any soul. He has no choice other than to be with the prisoner in his last minutes.
    Focused on his duty, Rolf accompanies the man at his hanging. After John is dead, the bible, in his hands at the end, falls to earth. The flurry of pages turning, from an invisible wind, stops on a page that convinces Rolf that John was unjustly put to death. … Thank you Raymond for a new experience in this series.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi, Everyone! I gave Marian Beaman’s book Mennonite Daughter a 5 star review on Amazon under the title A Feast for the Senses. Here it is:

    I have rarely picked up a non-fiction book that drew me in like Marian’s account of her life growing up as a Mennonite. Her sensory-rich writing style, lyrical and almost musical in quality, delighted me as her scenes unfolded. I did not recall the scent of linoleum until she described it and brought back my own memories of days gone by. Linoleum! Her words disappeared in the sheer experience of what she described. I wrote many of them down in order to savor them a little longer before reading on.

    The strong will that caused so many problems with one member of her family, and her longing to be who she was within the confines of plain versus fancy, reminded me of my own journey into Christianity. I thrilled at her mother’s healing, identified with her desperate search to escape the basement, understood her stubborn fight against parental tyranny, and wanted to be invited to her family’s table for the meals she made me smell and taste with her wonderful descriptions.

    Marian’s honest and beautiful memoir is one I’ll revisit, one that will stick with me as an unforgettable experience. If it were possible to rate as high as ten stars, this would be the book at the top. I loved it.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I have read and reviewed THE SECOND CHANCE by D.L. Finn
    (Posting name on Amazon is Gabby.)
    A multi-genre tale with battles in the supernatural realm
    The book opens with a scene moments before Rachael’s, the main character, second wedding. While invisibly observing the spectacle, there are dialogs between an angelic being, Zelina, and a soul without a body, Ed, who is Rachael’s deceased ex-husband. A thick, dark mist called evildwel is inconspicuously flowing at the corner of the room. Readers can sense the intensity of the plot and are drawn into the mysteriousness of the story instantly. All the characters are well-developed. For example, Rachael’s daughter, Kelly, is intrigued by the supernatural and ghostly realm, which seamlessly ties into the plot’s critical element as the story gradually unfolds.
    The narrative drama as a whole is well-crafted; however, this book encompasses various dimensions, and it is hard to characterize a defined genre. The story involves romance (intensive passion between the two main characters, Rachael and Tony); suspense (the readers keep wondering how the characters will manage the unsolved events); action (the heart-racing battles between the devil and angelic-supported souls); and tender love in the forms of siblings, friendships, and pets.
    The essence of the story is three-fold. First, it encourages the woman to find the strength to defeat abusive relationships. Secondly, it incites those who have strayed away from the right path to ascertain the courage to repent and make it right. Most importantly, the author repeatedly proclaims, “Love is stronger than hate,” and “love can conquer everything!” With love, one can find reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, restoration, and liberation. Do not be afraid to face the wrongdoings and assume a second chance to make it right and attain happiness.
    No major editorial issues are noted. There are redundancies in the storylines. For example, Tony’s father’s criminalities are retold more than once (or twice), which impede the pace. However, the redundancy is not a huge ordeal, just worthy of mention here. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of a clean, multi-genre tale of devil vs. angel, heinous vs. love, and malicious vs. good.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Just finished Acts beyond Redemption by Suzanne Burke. One of the best thrillers I have read in a long time. Unlike some that the final outcome or the plot becomes obvious early and the story is how to solve the case, this story keeps you wondering what the plot is. Just when you think you have figured it out, a new twist. I was on chapter 43 before I began to believe that I knew what was going on. To be nitpicky, Suzannes Australia upbringing is given away in one term that she uses, line drop insertions. In the US we call that a fast rope insertion, but hey did it change the story, no and even made it more interesting. Great Job Suzanne. I gave it a five star.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi all, hope you are well. I just posted my 5 star review for Vanished by Mark Bierman. You can find it on Amazon as soon as the 500# gorilla accepts it, but here is a sample…Author Mark Bierman crafts a fictional story focused on the horror of human trafficking of children. This is a relevant issue that occurs across the globe. Sadly, it helps illustrate greed, cruelty, exploitation, and corruption in an abhorrent way. Half the proceeds from sales of this book are donated to organizations that combat human trafficking.,,,

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi everyone, here is my review of The One Discovered by Yvette M. Calleiro:
    I listened to the audio book of The One Discovered, narrated by Cammy Maughan. I enjoyed Cammy’s style of reading and particularly loved the way she inserted laughs by the characters into her narration. That made this story feel very real and alive for me.

    This is an interesting sci-fi YA novel with the unusual premise of a superior race of human-looking people called Diasodz, who have a variety of different powers such as an ability to heal, and who live in a different dimension to humans. I liked the idea of a different dimension rather than a different planet and I also enjoyed the parallels between life in their dimension and life in the human dimension such as their serving of a goddess.

    Sophia is an ordinary, if pretty, teenage girl who is growing up in a single parent family. Her mother works very hard to support them both and give Sophia a good life. Sophia is an excellent student and is working hard towards gaining acceptance into a college of her choice. Sophia has a boyfriend, Rafe, who has been her best friend since birth and who is the son of her mother’s good friend, Damiana.

    The story starts with Sophia have a very life-like dream which features a gorgeous man. Before she can find out who he is she wakes up. A short while later, Sophia meets this same man at the café where she works as a waitress. At the same time, Angel, a new-comer to her high school, comes into her life and befriends both Rafe and herself.

    It soon turns out that Angel is the younger brother of the gorgeous man named Ar’ch. As Sophia gets to know them both better, all sorts of unusual and strange events start to happen in Sophia’s previously peaceful life. In addition, Sophia develops a strong attraction for Ar’ch which puts her in a complicated situation with Rafe, who is theoretically her boyfriend but with whom she has a platonic relationship.

    Sophia was a lovely character and very typical of an overly sheltered teenage girl. Her reactions to Ar’ch and the attraction she feels for him were perfect for a YA novel. I enjoyed Sophia’s loyalty to both her mother and Rafe and also her hard working tendencies which send a good message about the path to achievement to young readers.

    Ar’ch was an interesting character. A play boy who has always had lots of female attention, he falls hard for Sophia. He tries to resist his attraction to her as she is part of his “mission” to earth and he is trying to be professional. Some of his behaviour seemed a bit unlikely for a man of his experience and age, but he was still enjoyable and I enjoyed hearing about him.

    The ending as it related to Rafe was unexpected to me as I expected more to come in respect of this particular character. His reactions and behaviours were a bit unusual for a young man of his age and I thought this might lead to a bigger role for his in the future books. I have yet to see if that will be the case or not.

    The story moved quite slowly for the first half of the book and there was a strong focus on the potential romance between Sophia and Ar’ch but the pace picked up hugely during the second half of the book and there was a lot of excitement and the introduction of new evil characters which made it highly entertaining.

    This book will appeal to readers who enjoy sci-fi with a strong romantic element.
    You will find this review on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3R1CN7OH1R57D

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi everyone, here is my review of Mennonite Daughter by Marian Beaman:
    My mother calls me a people collector because I am so interested in people and their lives and I have a large circle of real and virtual friends of all ages, cultures, religions and interests. I also love reading about different peoples lives and experiences and I enjoy memoirs so when I saw this book which promised to give insight into the life of a young girl growing up in a Mennonite family I was delighted. This memoir certainly met my expectations and I was completely enthralled by the life of Marian Longenecker Beaman.

    The Mennonite faith is not familiar to me so prior to reading this book I looked up a bit about the Mennonites in the USA, their religion and how they live. It was wonderful to learn so much more about the day-to-day life of people of this faith and I discovered there is much to appreciate about their religion and beliefs. As with most religions and cultures, different people apply different interpretations to the teachings of the Bible and the faith and this can sometimes have unintended consequences for their children, especially if the child in question is strong willed with their own views on life. This was the case for young Marian who sadly found herself in frequent conflict with her father which did some damage to their early relationship. I was most admiring of older Marian’s ability to gain understanding of her father and his motivations in disciplining her. With this understanding came a measure of forgiveness and an ability to move on with her own life more easily.

    Marian paints a vivid depiction of her early life, its joys, pleasures, heartbreaks and disillusionments. I loved the sense of community she experienced and the strong family ties and traditions. These are all described with a love and enthusiasm that makes her anecdotes of family gatherings and celebrations a joy to read.

    I believe that like Marian I would chaff under the yoke of such strict traditions with regards to dress and behavior. Marian was a little girl who loved to dress up and wear bright colours. This was encouraged by her mother and female relatives until she became a member of the church. At that point she was expected to adapt to a rigid and conservative dress code including the wearing of a prayer cap. It felt a little unfair to encourage the little girl to dress up and enjoy clothes, hats and shoes and then take it away when she turned 11 years old. I expect that made it a bit harder to tolerate the restrictions.

    This is a fulfilling book that leaves the reader satisfied and happy that Marian found love, acceptance and happiness in her life and still managed to maintain her ties with her Mennonite family and relatives.

    I recommend this book to lovers of memoirs and learning about different lifestyles and religions.
    You will find this review on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1Y3CPERQBJ2DA

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I have read and reviewed the following books and posted the reviews on Amazon.Com and on other network sites:
    1.WHILE THE BOMBS FELL by Robbie Cheadle & and
    2. The Green Door by Heather Kindt

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Just finish The Alternative by Suzanne Burke. A series of short stories about life and the alternatives that people chose in life. We all go through life facing alternatives, the forks in the life road that we travel individually and together. How our lives turn out depends on the alternatives we choose. A good read and thought provoking in many ways.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I just posted this five-star review of THE JEWEL by Breakfield & Burkey on Amazon;
    After the birth of their last child, Haddy and Otto were told that they could no longer have children. This drove Haddy into a funk that was most difficult to escape. After four years, and In hopes of relighting the fires between them, Otto arranges for a night with a wonderful dinner and a visit to the theater. The dinner was beyond their expectations and Haddy was beginning to smile again. When they couldn’t locate a parking place for the theater, Otto chose to park in an alleyway near the theater. Already late for the play, both near the end of the alley when they are accosted by thugs who want to rob them and maybe do more. Otto had a sword hidden in his walking stick and easily dispatched the scoundrels. It was then they both heard strange sounds coming from a nearby dumpster. Jumping inside, Otto discovers a real jewel. One that will change their lives forever. Or maybe not.

    I thoroughly enjoyed THE JEWEL and recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a short story about love and persistence. This truly is a jewel of a story!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Happy Sunday to all. I just completed my latest 5 -star review of POISONED JUNGLE by James Ballard, a new member. Here is my review in its entirety:
    A Medic holds a special place in the hearts and minds of fellow soldiers. He is respectfully called “Doc” and thought to fix any ailment that arises, even when MD’s don’t have an answer. In Poisoned Jungle, Andy, a medic, suffers from guilt every time one of his fellow soldiers or an innocent civilian dies in his arms – guilty that he was unable to work magic and keep them alive.

    When Andy finished his tour, he felt as if he were abandoning his fellow soldiers – this seems to be a true feeling experienced by most soldiers when leaving Vietnam as soldiers came and went as individuals and not as a unit. I know it did for me. He is later devastated when learning that three of his fellow soldiers died in an ambush soon after leaving, thereby, creating further guilt in thinking that if he were there, he might have been able to save them.

    In an attempt to move on beyond his guilt, bad dreams, and feeling of survivor’s guilt, Andy turns to alcohol, goes AWOL and ends up in jail. He is continuously asked to tell his thoughts, but unable to explain what he couldn’t make sense of himself.

    Over the next forty years, he only shares his thoughts with a select group of people and begins to put his experience in Vietnam behind him. PTSD is still not a recognized mental illness and the VA doesn’t want to treat soldiers suffering from this malady. Agent Orange is touched upon and Andy loses close friends to illness caused by the defoliant. In fact, Andy and his wife adopt as he fears having a child born with deformities caused by AO.

    The author does a great job of moving the story along and giving readers a first-hand glimpse of PTSD and how war impacts soldiers. I highly recommend Poisoned Jungle to anyone who wonders why soldiers change and are not the same upon their return home. This story will help you understand!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I just finished reading Summer of ‘77 by Robert Fear. I gave it four stars. Here is my review which has now posted to Amazon.

    Sam
    An entertaining memoir
    Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2020
    Verified Purchase
    This book follows the adventures of the author on the Spanish island of Ibiza in the summer of 1977. The book is well written and will remind you of your own youth and the trips you took or those you yearned for but never realized. Throughout this book, Fred, (the author’s nickname) lives, loves and works in a tropical tourist setting doing everything from construction to bartending. Fred has several encounters with members of the opposite sex and shares his experiences and feelings about each.

    I gave the book four stars as it bogs down in a few places with too much detail on what he ate or drank. There was also a bit too much emphasis on how much money he had throughout the summer and the letters from England sometimes were monotonous. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who came of age in the ‘70’s.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I read and reviewed “Shaman” by Sam Polakoff (5 stars). When I read the excerpt for “Shaman” by Sam Polakoff, I was intrigued by the premise that a successful US Senator is transported into his past to battle his present-day demons. This book more than met my expectations. It is a unique, paranormal thriller that combines spiritualism and modern detective methods to thwart an environmental apocalypse. The story centers around Senator Dan Alston, who encounters a life-threatening accident while hiking in the Andes. He is plagued by headaches, voices, and visions that turn his reality inside out. With his assistant’s and daughter’s support, Dan discovers that he is a reincarnated Inca shaman who must journey into the depths of his soul to atone for his past deeds and to define his destiny. At the climax, past and present merge in Senator Alston’s quest to stop past sinister forces from destroying the earth by hastening climate change.

    Author Sam Polakoff has written a unique, paranormal thriller that combines the mystique of shamans and techniques of modern-day detectives to stop a world climate catastrophe. Polakoff masterfully weaves the past into the present and uses various points of view to drive the story forward. The characters are engaging, and their motivations are well-understood. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that you are introduced to the concept of soul and destiny retrieval believed by shamans. The last part of the book is told at a heart-throbbing pace, the chapters becoming shorter and keeping you in suspense until the climax in which past and present meld together to forge the future.

    “Shaman” is a fast-paced, paranormal thriller with a thought-provoking ending that makes a reader self-reflect on how a journey into his or her soul positively defines the future. Highly recommended.

    You can find the review at https://www.amazon.com/review/R1KZV01LA7L9NH

    Liked by 4 people

  18. I read and reviewed “The Dead Game” by Suzanne Leist. This is a genre that I don’t normally read, but the prologue from the book piqued my interest with its descriptive scene of a family racing to escape their dark mansion that is falling apart before their eyes. What I most enjoyed about the book is the vivid, eloquent descriptions and world-building of the vampires. For example, the first chapter begins: “Leaves in rustic shades of orange, red, and yellow floated through the air, landing at Linda Bennette’s feet … She’d found her oasis, and her dreams of happiness were within reach.”

    However, as the story unfolds, the point of view frequently switches between various characters. For me, many of the characters were indistinguishable from one another and the reasons for their reckless decisions often unclear. Even so, I thought young adults might enjoy this book with the unique vampires’ world-building.

    The entire review can be read at https://www.amazon.com/review/R3NE5VHAH1P7MB/

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Hi Everyone. May your day be bright from the inside out. I just posted my 4 star review on Amazon of Time Singer by Flossie B Rogers. I enjoyed the magic and the twists. I would like more of this world for fun reading. Thank you Flossie. It begins, This is my first-time reading Author Flossie Benton Rogers. Seraphina is a compelling character developed early in the story to successfully gain reader empathy. I related to the imagery painted by words in my mind’s eye and the sensations felt by the character when she initially tried the spell.

    The rest is on Amazon. Happy reading. Next I have the next one in her series. I only hope to catch up before the next book event. Take care.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Hi all. Happy Monday. I have posted my 4 start review on Robbie Cheadle’s Through the Nethergate on Amazon. You can reAuthor Roberta Eaton Cheadle provides a balanced mix of history and ghosts in this young adult horror story. Margaret, the 16-year old girl, moves to live with her Grandfather after a horrific accident makes her an orphan. Upon her arrival, her Grandfather shows her his Inn explaining the past along the way. His knowledge of the history and her curiosity is common ground between Margaret and her Grandfather. I liked the detailed, rich storyline that draws out the reader’s imagination. ad it there of course, but it begins.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Hello all! I recently reviewed Carl Prescott and the Sleeping One by Karl Morgan on Amazon. Here is the review in its entirety: 3* This is a difficult review for me to write. The story reminded me of the first Harry Potter movie. Carl Prescott is the main character who joins his friends and goes away to school on the other side of the planet. These kids are all special and have unknown powers that need to be nurtured and taught to them. A second school, elsewhere, has a similar curriculum. Once Carl and his friends begin classes, weird things begin to happen. Readers soon question which is the good school and which one is evil.

    As the kids develop their special powers, it is clear that Carl is way ahead of everybody else, especially students who’ve been at the school for years. This story was also confusing for me when the author changed scenes abruptly to coincide with a student’s newfound power. And the practice continued as new powers were identified. This made the storyline difficult to follow and made it seem disjointed.

    As like Harry Potter, Carl Prescott’s role will be to save mankind against the evil villains and demons from the competing school and rescue souls that have been kept prisoner for centuries.

    Another reason for the low rating is the number of typos I came upon in the story – most were real words but used incorrectly. One standout was the use of “past” vs. “passed” which was the correct choice. Other errors may have been the result of editing where a word was replaced, and the replacement word was not deleted. A thorough edit should correct this.

    Otherwise, fans of magic, spells, and good vs. evil battles will enjoy this book. I have not given up on this author yet and will check out the next book in the series in hopes that it reads much better than this first book.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. The Reckoning Squad by S. Burke is a suspense novel with a different main character. She is attractive but very capable of taking care of herself and can protect the man she is with in a street fight. The story keeps the villain hidden in suspense until the end and even presents a twist at the end when you think you have it figured out. I will be on the look out for more of Ms Burke’s books.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I just read and reviewed “Unhinged” by John Podlaski. I have browsed and read some Viet Nam stories on his website and really enjoyed them. Maybe its because I had a brother who was there and I always thought, “What for? What was the point?” since I lost him.

    Thank you John for sharing your war stories. I like your writing style.

    Here is my review on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2S30RHEOYC7J3

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Good Morning Everyone and Good Luck to all who are participating in the Block Party.
    Now, I’d like to report that I got news from Amazon Germany yesterday evening that my 5-star review on The Dead At Heart by Susanne Leist was approved. Of course, I’m smiling and very happy that I didn’t have to fight to get this one through. Here is the link.
    https://www.amazon.de/-/en/gp/customer-reviews/R2JK8DT9IT0EPN/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B08DZY6LPF

    Shalom aleichem,

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Good evening, everybody! I just posted a 5-star review of Tails by WJ Scott on Amazon (10-3-2020). Loved that book! Here’s the review:

    Enchanting!

    I could not put this beautifully written fantasy adventure down.

    In this first book in the series, the main character, Kywah, is a silvertail whose tail had been severed by an evil hunter, Samsa. Without it, he had no hope of developing into adulthood, and his ability to sense his surroundings was severely limited. When approaching hunters intent on harvesting tails and pelts for the evil wizard, Tullius, threaten his community, Kywah is the only silvertail with any hope of breaking through their lines undetected to reach their species’ Wise One and the deep magic that can protect them.

    Kywah’s perseverance despite horrific challenges and narrow, painful escapes, makes for a story filled with adventure and life lessons about courage, disabilities, friendship, love, and sacrifice.

    Intended for middle grade readers, this story enchanted this much older reader and left me wanting to dive into the next book.
    I give this beautifully written story with its deep message five stars.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Hi, Everyone! I posted a 5 star review on Amazon for Robert Fear’s book Summer of ’77: Beaches, bars and boogie nights in Ibiza.

    This entertaining story of 21-year-old Fred, a blonde, blue-eyed Brit who returned to the Spanish tourist island of Ibiza he’d visited the year before, had me laughing, commiserating and remembering my own youthful travels through Europe. I was astounded at the detail the author recalled from those days.

    Beautiful imagery caught the charm of the island. His characters, real people who helped him find work, and whose kindness made him feel like a comfortable, integral part of their society, accepted and liked him as he was. His love and care for them comes through clearly, as does his emotional investment in every one of the girls he falls for despite the transient and brief nature of their time together. The news articles and letters to and from home add depth and perspective to the story and reminded me that this is a memoir that reads like a fictional novel.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging and frankly honest account of Fred’s adventures in Ibiza and beyond. I give it five stars and recommend it to anyone who has ever been 21.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I posted my four-star review on Amazon today of Mark Bierman’s “Vanished.”

    Remember when Haiti suffered from a devastating earthquake in 2010? The country still hasn’t recovered from that tragedy. This novel begins by setting the scene for just how horrific the earthquake was, by describing the abject poverty of this country, in the form of the terrible conditions within a Haitian prison. The earthquake happens and some of the prisoners escape–into a country of chaos and deprivation, potentially worse than the prison they had lived in.

    Enter two Americans, who decide to go on a missionary trip to Haiti with the aim of helping to build an orphanage. Tyler is John’s son-in-law, and they’re both recovering from the untimely death of Tyler’s wife (John’s daughter) from pancreatic cancer at a very young age. Upon arriving in Port-au-Prince, they meet Steve, the head of the mission, but they don’t spend much time there. Instead, they discover that the young daughter of one of the mission’s employees has been kidnapped and sold into child slavery by a trafficking ring. Then Tyler and John decide it should be their job to find the girl, no matter what it takes.

    Although John studied Creole prior to their trip, he soon discovers that he only knows how to order a meal or ask for simple directions. The language barrier proves difficult in many ways; they must get help from the locals in order to get any clues where the traffickers have taken the girl.

    John and Tyler embark on an ever-changing, ever-dangerous, emotionally and physically challenging adventure that takes them through Haiti to the Dominican Republic. They’re shaken at every turn by the differences in culture and the language barriers, as well as the pure evil they encounter throughout the novel.

    This novel is eye-opening about the cruel world of human trafficking, whether in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world. The intense, sadistic power over the children is unimaginable; these children are slaves and considered disposable. They’re beaten, sexually abused, tortured and minimally fed. The author provides heartbreaking descriptions of inhumane treatment, and, although he assures readers in his afterword that the book is “purely a work of fiction,” what he includes in this novel is certainly true to what happens to children who have become slaves. Some are sold by their parents because they can’t afford to keep them, while some are snatched off the streets. This author’s characters capture the essence of this worldwide tragedy.

    I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read an exciting, unpredictable book. However, be prepared to encounter situations involving children that may be uncomfortable and eye-opening. It’s not for the faint-of-heart.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Hello Everyone,
    I’ve just posted my review of The Dead At Heart by Susanne Leist on Amazon’s German website.
    Here is what I posted.
    Have a great weekend.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

    If you like stories about vampires that are not grizzly and filled only with blood, then you want to read The Dead At Heart. This story will catch you up from page one and win your heart. In the end, I saw it not as a story about vampires but an excellent story about love and trust.

    With the first page, I was engaged, even though Shana, the main character, kept confusing me with her intent with William. William was not much help with his secrets and keeping things away from her.

    I met archangels on the side of the vampires and werewolves, who were not favorable to the vampires at all.

    In my opinion, there was one main story and two sub-plots running in the book, the main story being Shana wanting to find love and someone who would accept her as she was.

    Then there is William’s story and his shadiness.

    Finally, there is the story of the sister and brother, Samantha and Jonathan, who acted on their own cognition and did something that could have earned them a death sentence.

    All in all, these three plots are so well intertwined together that it kept me turning the pages, and I was rewarded with a satisfying ending that thrilled me.

    What I also like was the time sequence. The time was recorded at the beginning of each chapter when there was a shift in place or day.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. I just realized that I neglected tonote two reviews that I placed on Amazon back in August (I’m not too far behind, am I?). Just wanted to give a shout out to these two fabulous authors, so:
    Posted review on Amazon on 08/21/20 for Satin and Cinders, another beautifully told tale by author Jan Sikes, which sets before us a seemingly simple story with a deeper meaning. Loved this touching story.
    Posted review on Amazon on 08/21/20 for Unhinged, a story by the talented John Podlaski. This is a story many could identify with, a story of two boys who are spooked by a visit to a drive-in movie. Expertly told and engaging.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Just left an enthusiastic five-star review on Amazon for Sam Polokoff’s page-turner, “Shaman.” What a roller coaster ride of a read! I really enjoyed this story which is part sci-fi, part time-travel, and part supernatural thriller. Also, was impressed with the amount of research the author did to write this complex tale. Couldn’t put this one down and will be reading more of Sam’s works.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Just reviewed MENNONITE DAUGHTER by Marian Longenecker Beaman:
    Trials and Triumphs Abound!
    Mennonite Daughter is a thoughtful and well-written memoir of growing up in a family whose faith required members to follow a simple and plain existence. Marian, however, even from a tender young age, loved and yearned for all that was fancy. Trials and triumphs abound as a young girl who seeks her father’s love and approval is disappointed again and again. I found it fascinating that Marian and I grew up in the 1950s and 60s and shared similar experiences although I did not grow up in a strict religious family. I have come to appreciate the fact that regardless of faith, culture and lifestyle, families everywhere have so much in common. This book includes maps and photographs as well delightful artwork created by Marian’s husband. In addition, you’ll find book club questions that are sure to prompt thoughtful and lively discussion. I highly recommend Mennonite Daughter! ~ Bette A. Stevens, author of award-winning children’s picture book AMAZING MATILDA and other books for children and adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Good afternoon, All!

    I just finished posting two reviews on Amazon for two great stories.

    1-I Wouldn’t Be Surprised, by DL Finn received a 4 stars. The review begins, Author D.L. Finn creates a story designed to start with a slow trail of fear before becoming an unstoppable terror. Janice and Dale move into a home in the woods. A beautiful lush location with neighbors a long walk away.
    During am average meal, Janice starts an ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if’ dialogue in fun, each outrageous statement containing one-upmanship leaps from the last. Dinner conversation entertainment until unexplained events start happening.

    2-Unwelcomed, by John Podlaski, received a 5 stars. The review begins, Author John Polaski is terrific as he sets up this story of middle-class Detroit in the Vietnam era. Young men off fighting a war, while their families continued a level of normalcy. When the solider receives a letter from his Sis, the events start to unfold.

    I really enjoyed all the visuals I gained from the words, yet the description of the Dad looking for a weapon struck me as nearly desperate…

    The full reviews will be available on Amazon soon. Enjoy the weekend, Rox

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Good morning! On September 20, 2020, I posted my 5-star review of Robert Fear’s memoir, Exclusive Pedigree: My Life In and Out of the Brethren:. Here is my Amazon review:
    I was attracted to Robert Fear’s memoir, Exclusive Pedigree, because I could relate to living a similar, sheltered life of religious separation in my early life. Author Fear and I, both memoirists, share memberships in two writing groups: We Love Memoirs and Rave Reviews Book Club, where I learned of Robert’s work, editing the journals and diaries of his father, John L. Fear.

    While my Mennonite memoir is set in Pennsylvania, USA, Robert’s setting is in England, each story revealing similar separatist interpretation of biblical rules. I could certainly relate to the family’s eschewing reading comics in newspapers, wearing make-up or jewelry, astrology, smoking, playing cards, or drinking alcohol, “Satan’s Brew.” My father too was a conscientious objector, but we were not forbidden to make friends outside of the church. Each of our families had huge gardens and valued herbal medicine. I too had a stern father, but other close family members, like a grandmother, were more benevolent.

    The text, though mostly devoid of dialogue, reads like a diary, not a novel. However, it is rich in detail, which to a modern reader may sound quaint: The family had various uses for a single galvanized zinc tub: Father brewed herbal mixtures, mother washed clothes, and the family took baths. Once in a while the tub was used for household baptisms.

    John Fear’s formative years were bookended by the Depression and World War II, after which his family left the Exclusive Brethren and his life expanded through the military service, travel to continental Europe, and an appointment to the British Civil Service. Eventually, John’s world included involvement with the Billy Graham Crusades and Christian broadcasting in India, East Africa, and other climes. Long after John and his family left the Exclusive Brethren sect, he has found comfort in his own expression of faith: “I have come to the inescapable conclusion, far too late in life, that it is better to be loving than to be right.”

    Publishing the book has been a family affair: “John wrote chapters 1 to 26 himself. Chapters 27 to 35 have been built up from his notes. Chapters 36 to 39 were compiled from John’s letters and extracts from his diary.” Brother Alastair wrote the final chapters and Robert recorded the manuscript on computer and edited it. It has since been published as an audio book.

    Like Robert, I felt compelled to write my story because I wanted to leave a legacy to my descendants. As writer Laurence Overmire states, “If you can make your ancestors real for yourself, learn their stories and who they were, your life . . . will take on added meaning.” Robert Fear, I am quite certain, would agree.

    ~ Marian Beaman, blogger and author of Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Hello all! I just posted my 5-star review of Visitors by WJ Scott on Amazon. Here is a copy: Brody and Tom’s ill mother is getting worse so she sends the two adolescent boys to stay with her artistic and reclusive Aunt Salley. When they arrive, they find that things are out of sort; their aunt appears younger, cars are all from the fifties, and strange blue lights are visible from nearby Tucker’s Mountain. With the help of the aunt’s dog, they head out to investigate and uncover a secret that the town has hidden for years. One that should help save their mom.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Visitors by WJ Scott and recommend this story for all ages.

    Have a great week!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I just posted my 5-star review of A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes on Amazon. Here is a copy: I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes. The main character, Jennifer is only fourteen years old but shoulders much responsibility in taking care of her younger seven-year-old sister. Her father is an MIA soldier in Afghanistan, mother walked out on them when meeting a new man, leaving them alone to fend for themselves. To make ends meet, Jennifer had a part-time job at an amusement park and collected monthly rent from an elderly tenant in their home. In fear of discovery by Child Services, she already queued several lying responses, and depending upon the situation, could keep them out of trouble if questioned about the whereabouts of their parents. She will do her best to keep them together and out of the “system”. Love will overcome all! Highly recommended with a happy ending.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Happy Friday! I posted the following 4-Star review of The Altar Boy by Phil Stephens on Amazon today. Here it is in its entirety:

    The Altar Boy by Phil Stephens is a fictional historical memoir. His protagonist, Carl Sanders, is the second youngest of five children. He loved his parents and enjoyed doing things with his father. However, dad’s job often took him away from home for long periods of time, and then when he returned, mom and dad argued all the time. The kids usually expected this and retreated to their own “quiet” place to escape the noise of battle. What Carl couldn’t understand was the excessive presence of Fr. Jacobson in their home and the many guest visits for dinner with him at the church rectory.

    Carl’s father, Dean, suspected that his wife was having an affair with Fr. Jacobson and possibly fathered his youngest daughter. When he visited the archbishop with his concerns, instead of firing him, they simply transferred him to another parish and the affair continued. This caused Dean to leave the family for good.

    I could relate to much of the story as it described life in the 60’s at a catholic school: cooties & cootie doctor, wicked & strict nuns, the introduction of the Beatles, long hair, hippies, and serving as an altar boy. I remember getting up at 5:00 am and serving at mass every morning during the week before school. His recollection of songs played on the radio during that time brought a smile to my face as I remembered them and when they came out, too. Many of his experiences and antics over time were hilarious.

    I did find that the last 5% of the book suffered a formatting breakdown: sentences were fragmented and words missed. Not sure if this is the cause of the author or something caused by my Kindle, but it was quite distracting.

    The Altar Boy was a fun read and I’d recommend it to anybody coming of age during the 60’s. Beware, though, that Fr. Jacobson overshadows the story – that part of the storyline is the part many will hate.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. My 5-star review of “Jonah” by Jan Sikes was posted on Amazon today. “Jonah” by Jan Sikes is a fantasy short story that explores the deeper psychological journey of a young man, Jonah, seeking redemption. Author Jan Sikes has masterfully crafted a tale about a metaphorical purgatory in which the main character, Jonah, must learn about himself to rise above his darkness. The island’s vicious creatures and spiny plants symbolize Jonah’s bitterness and selfishness. Step-by-step, as Jonah discovers the truth about himself, he finds the magic within himself to find a way to leave the island and to return to his human world as a redeemed person. This is a story that inspires each one of us to find the magic in our soul to rise above our darkness.

    For the full review, click on the link https://www.amazon.com/review/R2KN8I1EHIQRKN/

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I have posted the following 5* review for My Maine by Bette Stevens on Amazon UK:

    This wonderful book taught me a lot about Maine and the power of haikus, neither of which I was familiar with before.

    In an enchanting, well-presented compilation, the author takes you through the seasons in her home state. You see through her eyes and become inspired by her poetic contemplations. The photos are of a high standard and the 3-line haikus beautifully constructed. I became immersed in The Pine Tree State from the viewpoint of someone proud of where they live and happy to be there.

    A bonus at the end was the listing of facts and symbols related to Maine. These rounded off my journey perfectly.

    The care and devotion dedicated to preparing this book shines through its pages.

    I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Hi, I’ve read and reviewed The Green Door by Heather Kindt. My review is live at Amazon.

    Reminiscent of Hunger Games in the beginning, The Green Door takes a plunge into an unbelievable world of speaking animals just like Alice in Wonderland. Brek and Megan enter the ‘Green door’ willingly to earn some money for their own reasons but have no idea what a weird world of fantasy they are going into. Half way through the story of winning all adventurous games, the focus shifts again and it seems all about adolescent crush with a dash of magic. It has some sane and loving interludes but most of the book is bizarre, a childish fairy tale, stretched out of proportions.

    Having said that, I would like to add that Heather’s main characters are quite realistic, with teenage emotions and perplexities. Meg is torn between her best friend and Carter – an amalgamation of guilt and infatuation is handled quite well. Cautious and calm in trying situations, Brek is the only character who is balanced but the combative spirit of Meg is admirable. If you like a mish-mash of magic with some terrible tricks to scare you, you might like this book.
    Thanks.
    Balroop Singh

    Liked by 2 people

  40. I have read and reviewed the following stories:
    1. Times Pendulum Swings Again by Joy M. Lilley on 9/10/20
    2. Terra’s Call by P.T.L. Perrin on 9/7/20, and
    3. Times Pendulum Swings Again by Joy M. Lilley on 9/14/20
    And posted my reviews on Amazon.Com and on other online sites.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Hi all, hope your weekend was good. I have a couple of new reviews I wanted to mention. September 12 – The One Enlightened by Yvette Calliero received a 5 star review on Amazon from me. Loved it. It starts … Author Yvette M. Calleiro totally delivers in The One Enlightened, book 2 of the series, Chronicles of the Diasodz. This story picks up where Sofia, Ar’ch, and Angel leave Rafe behind and travel to Diasodz via the portal. A great deal was revealed with At’ch and Angel explain the trip to Diasodz to Nolan and Valerie . (Boy, I am hooked for the next one.)
    September 10 – The Vagaries of Life by Joy Nwosu received a 5 star review from me. The collection was well done. It begins … Author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko gives the reader a fascinating collection of short stories that highlight her commitment to faith. She elegantly includes race, religion, empowerment, and nationality in each of the tales. The experience and lessons are uplifting.

    Make this week awesome! Be happy

    Liked by 2 people

  42. 9/13/2020 Just left a 4-STAR review for WHILE THE BOMBS FELL by Robbie Cheadle.
    Through the Eyes of a Child—A WWII Memoir
    While the Bombs Fell is a family and community story told through the eyes of a very young girl (Elsie Hancy Eaton) in Suffolk, England during WWII. I found this family’s story both informative and unique. Author Robbie Cheadle collaborated with her mother (Elsie) to bring us this unique perspective of war to life. From a simple family living life through food rations and bombs falling, it was a fascinating look into war torn England told from a child’s perspective. The book includes recipes and definitely left this reader with the flavor of what families and children often endure during times of war. ~Bette A. Stevens

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Hello, I published my 3-star review of Through the Nethergate by Robbie Cheadle on Amazon today. Here is a copy:

    Through the Nethergate by Roberta E. Cheadle started out interesting enough but seemed to bog down in certain areas as the story progressed. Margaret, a 16-year-old girl, discovers that she has special powers when meeting ghosts from centuries past after she moves in with her grandfather in a centuries-old Inn. It’s clear the author did a great deal of historical research when the ghosts tell their stories of times long gone. These ghosts were trapped in an “otherworld” ruled by Hugh Bigod, a treacherous ghost from the 12th century, who distracted them upon their death convincing them to remain with him and not enter the white light of Heaven. Thus, they remained in this netherworld for eternity as slaves to Bigod. Margaret vows to help all the poor souls defeat Hugh Bigod and solicits the help of her grandfather and two local priests. However, Hugh has different plans and wants to use Margaret against Satan and take over hell. In the interim, Satan kidnaps Margaret and wants to use her to conquer and rule the world. This is when the story changes and the luster is lost.

    Like others, I thought the author told the story instead of using the characters to move it along with dialog. As a result, I found excessive use of the passive voice and the lack of emotion which, I feel, contributed to the flatness of the story.

    The battle at the end doesn’t seem realistic and the story ends as I expected. Perhaps a younger crowd would find this story more appealing and compelling. I feel that better editing and added dialog would make this story much stronger.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Hello Everyone,
    I am jumping up and down with joy after winning a fight with Amazon Germany. I wrote a review on Mirror of Our Lives by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. That was over almost two weeks ago. They rejected it. This Time I wrote a rebuttal asking why. They told me I had a picture on my review. After checking several reviews from other authors, I disagreed I wrote another rebuttal. This time they asked me to revise the review. Instead of arguing with them, I went ahead and revised what I considered a good review by changing a few words and taking out a féw words. That. was last Friday.
    I didn‘t hear from them so I wrote another nice letter a couple of hours ago asking if they could give me an answer about my revised review since it had been over a week. 🙂
    Well, the review is now up on Amazon Germany with 5 stars and I am happy.

    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Karen,
        I don’t think even Amazon understands their basis for a review rejection. I don’t know how it is on the dot.com site but here on the dot de (German site) you really have to follow up and ask why and not just accept a form letter because most of the people reading the reviews are Germans and even though many may speak English, they don’t understand the nuances. They are really nice people. Sometimes though, I do get frustrated and when I calm down and write a rebuttal, they see my point and approve immediately. I had two more RRBC book reviews that they didn’t accept and I started the rebuttal but didn’t have the time to follow up because I was in the process of preparing my manuscript for submission. I feel bad about that. I should have taken the time. I won’t let that happen again.
        Take care.
        Shalom aleichem

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you, Pat. I often wonder why my review count changes periodically and the number dropped. I can’t figure out which reviews are pulled and for what reason. Some people wouldn’t care to push back. Bravo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Pdoggbiker! I’ve learned through my great military training that if I don’t push back my voice will not be heard. And this review was important to me as all my reviews are because it’s my time invested.
        Have a great week.
        Shalom aleichem

        Like

      1. Hi Joy,
        You are very welcome. I just had to take the time and fight because the book meant just that much to me. The story reminded me of so many women who go through the same experience. I feel like that book is a voice for many women who have similar situations all over the world.
        Shalom aleichem

        Like

    2. Pat what is wrong with these people? They sound like nitpickers to me and not-s0-nice to Americans. Do you live in Germany? Good for you for sticking it to them.

      Like

      1. Good Morning Shirley,
        Most Germans learn British English in school and think that American English is slang because that is what they have been told. The majority of the time I forget this because the German people I know always compliment me on my good English. But this was perhaps a new group of reviewers on Amazon. Every now and then, I have to go through the process again and I don’t mind. It is just that it can be aggravating when you have a lot to do and very little time.
        Shalom aleichem

        Liked by 1 person

  45. I posted my 5 star rating for Joy Nwosu’s The Vagaries Life onto Amazon today. It begins… Author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko gives the reader a fascinating collection of short stories that highlight her commitment to faith. She elegantly includes race, religion, empowerment, and nationality in each of the tales. The experience and lessons are uplifting. The rest can be found on Amazon. Have a great day all.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Hi, I am sharing my review of Treacherous Love by Karen Black though one of my August review is still awaiting moderation.
    My latest review is live at Amazon.
    Treacherous Love is a short story with a difference. It explores emotional jealousy and anger and takes it to macabre proportions. Those who are as self-centered as Rochelle and are blinded by their skewed thoughts refuse to see reason. Ethan is gentle and forgiving but too weak to stand up to the violence in his home. Is this love? A subtle message to those who condone domestic violence in the hope of better days – an abuser gets belligerent with each incident. Never trust his/her apologies.
    This story has a lot of potential for development. Sadly it ends before you bat an eye-lid. I tapped the page to see the effect of Rochelle’s recklessness but there was none. Looking forward to more.
    Thanks. Balroop Singh.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. I have left the following 4* review on Amazon UK for Out of Poland by Breakfield and Burkey

    A snapshot of events

    Having read the first two books in the Enigma series, I was drawn to this short story as it goes back to the origins of the R-Group.

    It is a quick read and a snapshot of events but is well written and provides a wonderful insight into the beliefs and motivations of the founders of the R-Group and the Enigma machine connection.

    Apart from that, it is a brief story of escaping the terror of the German (and Russian) invasion of Poland at the start of WW2. The characters were believable, and the dialogue gave an added dimension to the trauma that the escapees went through.

    I enjoyed this read but was left wanting more, which I suppose is the intention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert I missed this comment by you earlier. Thank you so much for reading the story. We are working on expanding into a screen play. Then we might just rewrite the short. Take care.

      Like

  48. I have read “Ruby Slips and Poker Chips” by Heather Kindt and gave it four big stars! It is a delightfully entertaining read that is well-written. The characters are believable and relatable. Anyone who enjoys a lighthearted entertaining read with a bit of sizzling romance will enjoy this story! I read it in two sittings.

    Liked by 2 people

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