Accepting NO review requests

As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Monday, June 30, 2014


Today is Release Day for Catherine Cavendis's second book fro Samhain Publishing, and I am delighted to review it right here!

Any story from Catherine Cavendish ought to be packaged with a warning notice:


I have been reading Ms. Cavendish's work for the last few years and not once was I not both terrified and enraptured; she delivers 100% every single time. Hers is the gentle Gothic style of my childhood cherished author Victoria Holt, yet never did Ms. Holt hold the power to frighten me so and keep me awake at night, as does Catherine Cavendish. Her characters are so deeply and preciously defined that I close the book knowing them.

SAVING GRACE DEVINE will frighten you from the very beginning, and continue nonstop. Keep all the Lights on--and whatever you do, don't look toward the Shadows in the corners.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

REVIEWS: CHERRINGHAM. (a Cosy Crime Series): EPISODE 1 and 2


The Cherringham Series is a serial cosy crime series, in the locale of a delightfully relaxed and innocent rural English village, on the Thames River, some distance from London. Life is slow-paced and the living is easy--but beneath the surface sizzle the usual human frailties, compassionate, and passions.

In this first installment, Jack, a widowed former NYPD detective living with his Lab Riley on an old Dutch houseboat on the Thames, meets web designer Sarah, recently and unexpectedly become single mother of two, over the death of her lifelong, peripatetic, globetrotting friend. Accident of intoxication--suicide--or homicide?


The Cherringham Series is a serial cosy crime series, in the locale of a delightfully relaxed and innocent rural English village, on the Thames River, some distance from London. Life is slow-paced and the living is easy--but beneath the surface sizzle the usual human frailties, compassionate, and passions.

Jack and Sarah, who have come to enjoy an appreciation for their teamwork, investigative the possibly suspicious demise of a wealthy estate owner, age 91, and discover much more than expected.



This novel totally surprised me: I had approached it with uncertainty, not sure I wanted to read about dog-fighting, since I'd been aware of the negative presentation of the sport's horror and injuries to the participant dogs. But the book held several surprises: first, I loved it and intend to reread it; second, it's extremely readable and exciting. Third, I learned much about the "art" of dog-fighting, from a perspective of respect, love, trust, and genetics, which was thought-provoking. Fourth, even within a story of three long-time friends, who grow up to breed fighting dogs, to sell marijuana in bulk, and to star in porn films, respectively, the characters are so deeply delineated; their layers of personality are peeled away and we learn their hopes, dreams, emotions, and thoughts. Loved it!! I can't recommend THE PIT highly enough. Read it!!

Friday, June 27, 2014


This series is so outrageously funny, wonderful, loving, sarcastic, feminist, that I almost wish it could be "real-life" [sigh!]. But since it isn't, thank the Universe it's an ever- expanding series!

Donna Strong is kind of a quintessential "upscale-housewife-mother-of-3-carpooler-school-volunteer"--if the quintessential includes essential marksmanship, assassination, and interrogation. Donna never knew, until too late, that hubby was a CIA spook. To avenge him, she becomes one. That's where the fun commences.

I am totally in love with this series (even though I don't care for the cover designs) and I know I must see the series through to its eventual end.:)


I've read almost all of Ms. Brooke' s writings, beginning with her first published, STILL LAKE. I quickly learned to expect full-on horror, developed through great characterization as much as through setting, unforgettable stories that chill me. I just didn't reach that height of fright with this one. Maybe it's because I live only a couple hours from the locale; maybe it's lack of empathy for any of the characters. That said, the ending did chill me, and In future, I'll take it out for a reread and see if my opinion improves.:)


Sometimes the Apocalypse comes not with a bang, but with a chirp... Long Island, New York, can be a pretty place to live, if you've the funds. If you're a long-unemployed husband with a newly pregnant wife, then maybe not so pretty--especially if Long Island is at the cutting-edge of the New Apocalypse: The Cicada Infestation. These creatures are unstoppable, determined, unavoidable. Author Michael Phillip Cash demonstrates a really vivid imagination (not only does he choose Cicadas for his venue, instead of nuclear holocaust or the overexposed Zombie trope; he couches the core narrative in the form of a stolen videotape). I was consistently reminded of my beloved B-sci-fi movies so prevalent in the 1950's. I just wish I could have developed a little more empathy for co-protagonist Seth.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: WARCHILD: JUDAS by Ernie Lindsey (WARCHILD Series Book Two)


The history of humanity is all too often a long and almost unending record of wars, conflicts, battles, and violence. All too likely is civilization's end because of such friction. When I think of post-civilization (as I have frequently for more than five decades), I imagine survivors, alone or in small bands, fighting against Nature and sometimes themselves to persevere. Not so the setting of post-Apocalyptic Appalachia in Ernie Lindsey's newest series, WARCHILD. If you've read WARCHILD: PAWN (and if not, why haven't you?) you'll remember what a miserable, famished, violent, selfishly-governed, "society" exists. ( A world where fourteen-year-olds are advance scouts, is in my opinion, a severely skewed and dystopian world.) but running through the dark granite of this series is always one tiny thread of hope, glittering like mica-difficult to spot, but holding steady nonetheless.


12 stars and WOW! What a "happening'" book! I couldn't take my eyes off the page nor stop reading. Bright young couple Julie and Brad just want to pursue their own version of the American Dream, so they "flip" residential property (buy low, clean up, maybe renovate mildly, sell higher). But they just can't reach their own optimal "flip point" (turning a profit, not relying on recalcitrant banking) until a "dream-come-true" appears: the Hemming House on Bedlam Road, Long Island. But too many dreams have crashed-and-burned at "Bedlam House," and Julie's and Brad's is all set to be the next failure enacted on this terribly haunted property.


This is the first fiction by Walter Mosley I had read, and wasn't quite sure what to expect. I certainly didn't plan for the story to "blow me away," for it to light a candle in my soul, for the author to open up the fuse box of my heart and turn on all the lights. This is one incredible, lyrical, outstanding, literary, story.


Excerpt from the Progue:

In a firelit study half a mile underground, Professor Werner Thomas Cahill sweated and reddened under a councilor’s beady stare.

“It’s a wonder,” Cahill said, “bigger than we ever expected.” His hands rested, palms down, on the massive cherry wood desk in front of him, and he licked his lips, searching for words to convey scale. Towering walls crowded around him and disappeared in the darkness above. He felt like a rodent in a viper pit.

The owner of the desk drummed long, slender fingers across it, and Cahill marveled at how clean it was. A councilor of his standing should have a lot more clutter.

Councilor Ruthers leaned forward. “Professor Cahill, you are aware of what this means?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And I trust that you’ve been discreet?”

“You’re the first person I’ve told, sir.” Perspiration condensed on the polished wood under his hands.

“Then you know the complications that would arise if this were to surface.” The words came out like the first sigh of snow in the autumn air, unexpected and chilling. Cahill took the councilor’s meaning and shivered.

“Of course, sir.”

Ruthers paused, waving a hand in the air. “That isn’t all I’m talking about.” What frightened Cahill most was not that Ruthers would threaten his life, but that this was, apparently, least among their shared concerns. “This is your life’s work – your dream. It’s the same for an odd three dozen as well.”

“Actually, sir, it’s about twice that if you count

“I don’t.”

Cahill swallowed. Working with other people was hard enough. But conniving and backstabbing? This was why he tried to avoid collaborative efforts. And politics.

The chair beneath him whispered as he shifted on the velour upholstery. Councilor Ruthers smiled in what he must have thought was a reassuring manner.

“Werner, don’t worry about this. Your job is research – let me handle the politics. Agreed?”

Cahill nodded. That was all you could do when Councilor Ruthers asked if you agreed.

“Excellent. I want you to begin taking inventory. Prepare a preliminary report for Dr Hask, including an estimation of time and manpower. We’ll start next week.”

“Next week, sir?”

“Phase two.” Councilor Ruthers pulled an inch-thick, bound folder from under his desk and slid it to Cahill. It seemed out of place on the otherwise immaculate surface. Cahill took the folder, feeling slick leather under his thumbs. The cover bore one word.



If you love Steampunk, or Urban Fantasy, grab this book. If you love Post-Apocalyptic Rebuilt Civilizations, grab this book. If you love Empowered Female Protagonists, grab this book. And if you love a well-written, enticing story with a great reader's  hook, well of course, grab this book! I loved it! It's a re-reader and I can't wait for more from author Carrie Patel.




Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Title: Dust To Dust (Experiment In Terror #9 )

Author: Karina Halle

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Release Date: July 29th, 2014

Goodreads link: 


About Dust To Dust (Experiment In Terror #9):

The dramatic conclusion to the Experiment in Terror Series.

Perry Palomino and Dex Foray.

On their own, they’re uniquely brilliant. Together, they’re an unstoppable team.

Until now.

Because after everything the duo has encountered, they haven’t come across an evil quite like this. An evil that has been years in the making, an evil that will stop at nothing until they, and everyone they care for, are destroyed.

Dex and Perry’s love has survived a multitude of sins.

But can it survive the end?

The Experiment In Terror series by Karina Halle:

Book #1 — Darkhouse - FREE
Book #2 — Red Fox
Book #2.5 - The Benson (An Experiment in Terror Novella)
Book #3 — Dead Sky Morning
Book #4 — Lying Season
Book #5 — On Demon Wings
Book #5.5 — Old Blood (An Experiment in Terror Novella)
Book #5.7 — The Dex Files (An Experiment in Terror Novella)
Book #6 — Into the Hollow
Book #6.5 — And With Madness Comes the Light (An Experiment in Terror Novella)
Book #7 — Come Alive 
Book #8 — Ashes to Ashes 

About the Author

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term "Hybrid Author." Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she's a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA...whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.


Facebook Goodreads Karina's Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page




Another Carole P. Roman Educational Series

In addition to the delightful "teaching" series, CAPTAIN NO BEARD, author Carole P. Roman writes an extensive educational series, "If You Were Me and Lived In..." today I'm reviewing two of these, set in two locales most fascinating to me.

"If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea...":
Educational and Fascinating, good for all ages: this series by Carole P. Roman is a great method for learning the geography, culture, and social customs of nations spanning the globe. Great for children, but also helpful for a geographically-challenged adult (such as myself). 

Learn about Russia From a Child's Perspective: I certainly learned! Nine time zones in Russia! My goodness!:) I enjoy that author Carole Roman relates facts from a Child's viewpoint, personalizing.

Here's one more for you from Ms. Roman, a simply delightful, encouraging stand-alone story.

A delightful and subtly enterprising adventure! When Hallie' s mommy attends her Yoga class, Hallie wants to imitate too. Robin leads her through several fun poses, and when Hallie discovers she's performing Yoga, she's ecstatic!

Reviews: 3 Children's Books From Award-Winning Author CAROLE P. ROMAN

This is Book 2 in the CAPTAIN NO BEARD Series, Captain No Beard' s crew gains a new member--Pepper the Parrot- who is just a little hot-tempered and impulsive. Read to see how Captain and the crew work together cooperatively to help Pepper to overcome these traits.

Here's Book 5. This series has the cutest illustrations--and plenty of them. Read on to see why this one is my favorite:
My new favorite in this wonderful series: We Love Books!! In addition to teaching teamwork and cooperation, and learning to overcome phobias, author Carole Roman states my personal philosophy of life:

"'I read it in a book, the parrot said, nodding wisely.
"That's how I learn everything, by reading.'"

Can't get wiser than that!:)

This is Book 6:
Another Wise Lesson for children and grownups too! No one of us can accomplish everything alone, and everyone accomplishes more with praise, not criticism. I totally enjoy Carole P. Roman' s books, and they are great to share with children and grandchildren. Day cares and Library storytime too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reviews: 3 Children's Books From Carole P. Roman's CAPTAIN NO BEARD Series:)

Today's reviews are of 3 short tales in a most delightful series: CAPTAIN NO BEARD by author Carole P. Roman. You are going to adore this series, as will every child you know. (these would make great Christmas and birthday gifts; also gifts for Grandparent Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day--to read to your children!)

A delightful tale suitable for kids and adults to chuckle over, this is the first of a series, in which Captain No Beard, first mate Hallie, and a valiant crew (frog, lion, monkey) valiantly "sail the high seas." Good storytelling emphasizes using our imagination, repetition for remembrance, and dictionary research.

Author Carole P. Roman delivers another delightful tale in the 
Humorous and imaginative Captain No Beard series, this time with subtle advice about stranger avoidance, and why each of us has a role to play.

Got a problem? Use the imagination? Friends mad at you? Use the imagination to change your perspective and theirs. Kudos to author Carole P. Roman, who gently guides children to imagine e, to think, and to then make GOOD decisions. Peer pressure and the innate tendency to scapegoat CAN be overcome!

I liked all three, but so far, THE CREW GOES COCONUTS is my fave!!

Monday, June 23, 2014



Broken Branch Falls by Tara Tyler


Genre: middle-gradefantasy


Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press


Date of Publication: June 24th, 2014


Cover Artist: Ricky Gunawan






Doing homework for bully ogres and getting laughed at as the butt of pixie pranks, Gabe is tired of his goblin life. When he and his friends step out of their nerdy stereotype and pull a prank of their own on the dragons at the first football game, it literally backfires, bringing a High Council vote to dismantle not only Gingko High, but the whole town, too!


The Book of Ages–hidden handbook of the High Council, filled with knowledge and power–may be Gabe’s only hope. With the help of friends old and new, can Gabe complete his quest to find the Book in time to save Broken Branch Falls? Or will he remain an outcast forever?




About the Author:

After having a hand in everything from waitressing to teaching math to rocket engineering, Tara Tyler now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband.

This Lazy Housewife loves to share advice on organizing, time-saving, and multi-tasking, in addition to popping out her multi-genre adventure novels in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, and Chick Lit, all laced with Humor.

So many exciting stories to tell!

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google Plus



On the surface, here's a delightfully smooth, well-characterized fantasy-fable centering on a young, highly intelligent goblin and his experiences with friends, pranks that slip their bounds, and high school bullying. That's fine. It can be read and enjoyed for that level alone. But deeper is a level addressing serious issues: bigotry, ethnic narcissism, contempt for other species, and ethnic isolationism. Gabe is a young goblin with a high intellectual capacity; he is both self-analytical, and a critical thinker about his social-cultural (and geographical) environment. In human terms, Gabe would be considered a progressive. In his culture, he's considered a radical thinker, who needs to learn to toe the Establishment Line. That's what I found enticing about BROKEN BRANCH FALLS.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: FULL MOON OVER CEDAR HILL by Edward Lorn

Yes, gory; yes, horror, yes, Preternatural. I won't pretend this is a clean-and-easy walk-in-the-park. It's mean, yucky, and clear-eyed about human failings. BUT this little story has some serious insights, and they're presented through the eyes of an elderly man who can move ONLY one pinky toe, one finger, both eyebrows, both eyes. Readers owe it to themselves to Both gasp at the horror--AND understand the deeper insights. (Yes, Virginia, horror can and does contain deeper meanings.)

Review: SARA'S PAST by Ernie Lindsey

The first book in this series, SARA'S GAME, I termed "Super-Incredible." That one took me one evening and the next afternoon to read. I reviewed it and opened SARA'S PAST: 3 and a half hours was all it took, to race at the speed of light. Author Ernie Lindsey has the most incredible, unlimited, imagination, and really, he deserves a wide audience. Readers of thrillers, suspense, and mystery owe it to themselves this author, and soon!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: JULY CRISIS by T. G. Otte

We are right at the precipice of the Centennial of the Great War--the "war to end all wars"--the First World War. Cambridge University Press has provided several new works further delineating this most horrid and blood-drenched of eras. Among them is Professor T. G. OTTE'S wonderfully readable "July Crisis," a fresh look at a century-old subject. June 28 marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Serbian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the catalytic event which spiraled Britain and Europe (and America) into tragic turmoil. Every student of recent history needs this volume, and lay readers do too. Historian George Santayana spoke truth: "Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it." With texts like JULY CRISIS, we need not fall into that pit.

Please note that I have corrected the inaccuracy of the publisher's name. The excellent volume JULY CRISIS by T. G. Otte is published by Cambridge University Press.