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BLOG BLITZ  – Tuesday 6 September 2016 – BOOK REVIEW

The month of September is a special time for me:

my THIRD novel and sequel to

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the final in the unsavory heritage series,

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slide 4will be available 30 on September Amazon

WHEEEEE!!!!!

 

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BOOK REVIEW – JADED

 

 

 

Is the church a house for the broken and sinners? Or an exclusive club for those who never break the rules? Or, who break them but don’t get caught?

What happens when a child is caught in the crossfire between her mother and the judgment of others?

Ruthie Turner has lived under that judgment—and the accompanying condemnation—for thirteen years. And in small town Trapp, the effects of it are magnified with every encounter she had with nearly everyone she knows.

When the little church brings in a new preacher, a younger man, an outsider, the generations-old establishment within their ranks begin to unravel. With a true heart, and nothing more than the desire to follow and honor Christ, Dodd Cunningham is that new pastor. But can he follow the dictates of the elders of his new flock, and maintain his spiritual integrity? Or will he turn the tables over and set the congregation free? And can he set Ruthie free to embrace the love that was never supposed to be denied to her?

 

Ms. Denman writes a painfully real story, with characters who live out the saddest of all estrangements: that of a fallen church member. A child who grows to become a cynical woman who distrusts anyone associated with the church, her mother who lives in the despair and depression from that fallout. This reviewer knows depression, and Ms. Denman nailed it. And Ruthie, not trusting because she learned not to trust. Her conflict was tangible as Dodd’s love and compassion for her begin to crack the dam around her heart. She fought valiantly to maintain her distance, and Ms. Denman conveyed that struggle vividly.

This is my first read by this author but it definitely won’t be my last!

 

 

 

 

slide 7Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local cooperative, and is a home educator to her five children. She resides with her family in North Texas.

 

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The month of October is a special time for me:

my debut novel, my baby,

Tessa,

will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!

WHEEEEE!!!!!

 

BOOK REVIEW – THE LAND UNCHARTED by KEELY BROOKE KEITH

 TheLandUnchartedeBook

The Land is primitive and simple, and its people are content. They live minimal lives, at least by the standards of the 21st century. Except that this is 2025. And The Land is isolated from the world, and its turmoil that swirls around them. No one had left The Land since the ancestors arrived there seven generations ago. Nor had anyone else discovered the island.

 

Until Lieutenant Connor Bradshaw. Ejected from his aircraft during a military assignment gone bad, Lieutenant Bradshaw’s body washes up on the shore of The Land. Strolling the beach, Lydia Colburn watches in amazement as he drifts from the heavens, clad in unfamiliar military garb, and unconscious. As a doctor, Lydia’s concern for an injured patient outweighs her curiosity of his arrival.

His injuries are not life threatening, and with treatment of gray leaf tree, Connor recovers quickly.

The lieutenant’s military training demands that his priority be to recon with his squadron, but he finds that to be impossible. There is no technology in The Land, and no communication with the outside world, and the ocean currents surrounding The Land are too treacherous to navigate As time passes, however, Connor becomes acclimated, and satisfied, living in The Land – and attracted to Lydia. As his feelings for her stir and grow, he not only feels the need to protect her, but to protect The Land from the world outside. His world, a world of war and destruction.

For the first time in her life, Lydia feels her heart stir, and allows the hope of romance to begin to warm her heart.

 

Keely Brooke Keith presents a unique story, in which two worlds collide. Not unlike traveling back in time, the modern day knight in black army gear is suddenly thrust through a portal of sorts, to a world of simple means. She deftly builds tension, not only between Lydia and Connor, but with a disgruntled admirer who hovers on the outskirts of the story right up to the ending pages. Ms. Keith has created a very believable characters in Lydia Colburn, dedicated to her calling as a doctor, who struggles with real life issues, and in Lydia’s family members, as well as Connor Bradshaw, who struggles at first with being unable to return to the life he had known. Ms. Keith has also created a very believable world, The Land, in which the society is structured neatly; but not to be utopian or Pollyanna, evil lurks at the borders.

A delightful read, The Land Uncharted pulled me easily in to the story line, and as I came to know the characters, I found myself rooting for them in their quests. I look forward to more by this author.

 

 

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The month of October is a special time for me:

my debut novel, my baby,

Tessa,

will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!

WHEEEEE!!!!!

 

BOOK REVIEW – A LADY at WILLOWGROVE HALL by SARAH E. LADD

 AWOL-FOR-SEL-WEB-SFW

Who doesn’t have secrets? How many secrets do we keep because they would destroy us? Who can we trust with our deepest, darkest secrets?

 

What if the year is 1814? Aristocracy and nobility, estate tenants and servants, gentry and titles, freeholders and shopkeepers, upper class and lower class – upstairs, downstairs. Secrets could mean the difference between a secure life and a life of hardship. Of rejection and censure – shame and embarrassment. Honor and reputation was highly esteemed.

 

Cecily Faire has such a secret. And her secret changes her life forever. She is ripped from the life she knows, however turbulent it might have been, and taken to start a new life.

Time passes, and she sets off once again, this time with blessing and of her own volition, to embrace a promising new future. Until her past slams right into her face. Suddenly every day is filled with dread that old secrets will come tumbling out and ruin her.

 

Nathaniel Stanton, steward of Willowgrove Hall, has a secret of his own. And he awaits the day he can leave Willowgrove and begin a new life with no more shadows looming over him.

 

For her years at Rosemere School for Young Ladies, Cecily told no one her secret. She divulged nothing, not even a hint, not even to those to whom she was closest. And in so doing, she distanced herself from those she longed to be close to.

Cecily knew she could never marry, she could never reveal her secret to another. For to marry, Cecily also knew, she could keep no secrets. As the daughter of a blacksmith, she had no dowry to bring, and therefore had only her reputation to speak for her. Cecily’s secret, then, was under highest lock and key along with her heart. She resigned herself to the life of a spinster.

 

Nathaniel also knew his secret would be made known upon Lady Trent’s death; he knew his new life would begin on that same day. Until that time, he could grant no romantic interest, could not give his heart away. Could not allow anyone in.

 

Cecily and Nathaniel dance around the romance they both long for, fighting it to the bitter end, each knowing the other would reject them for certes should they ever find out the truth.

 

Sarah E. Ladd has brought a true-to-era story of propriety and moral character. Class lines were clearly drawn and not easily crossed, rigid societal rules of the time, lower class did not speak to upper class unless spoken to.  Ms. Ladd has conveyed this in every page, every encounter, every conversation. Her descriptions vivid and strong and bright: “Anxiety wound its way around every one of Cecily’s nerves…” “With each word, the tension between them pulled harder, a battle masked behind civil, even tones.” Exquisite prose.

 

But more so than era-accurate, more than a neatly told romance, was Cecily’s struggle, to the very end, of seeking, desiring love, rang especially true for me. Longing for something she felt she could never have, something she had never known, echoes the struggle of every heart to know the Father’s love. Something that is there, always and in every moment, if only we can – will – reach for it. I felt Cecily’s pain, so skillfully conveyed by Ms. Ladd, and rejoiced with her in her triumph. Beautifully done, Sarah, beautifully done.

I look forward to reading The Heiress of Winterwood and The Headmistress of Rosemere.

HOW-FOR-SEL-WEB-SFW THOR-for-SEL-WEB

 

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#bookreview, #saraheladd, #aladyatwillowgrovehall, #theheiressofwinterwood, #theheadmistressofrosemere, #regencyerafiction, #secrets

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The month of October is a special time for me:

my debut novel, my baby,

Tessa,

will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!

WHEEEEE!!!!!

 

BOOK REVIEW – SEASONS of DARKNESS by BELINDA G. BUCHANAN

 Seasons_of_Darkness_Layers_reddest_Kindle_cover

Sixteen-year-old Ethan is following in his father’s footsteps. But not career wise, and not by choice.

When life becomes a fragile balancing act between a presentable image and the darkness that torments, Everett Harrington buries himself in his work and hides his feelings – and his fears – in a bottle of scotch. But stuffing yourself in a bottle or a board room is but a temporary fix, and the demons that are hiding eventually show their ugly faces. And with Everett, they showed up as contempt for the son who once was the little boy he so adored.

Everett, apparently, had his life neatly planned out. A solid career, no female distractions, headed for financial success. Single-minded in his career path and his future, he had no room for distractions.

Natalia was more than a distraction, though, and turned everything upside down and inside out. Natalia crept into his bed and into his heart. She twisted Everett Harrington around her little finger. She held him spellbound.

Even when he saw the signs, the instability, the inconsistency, he was helpless against the grip she had on his heart. A grip that tightened and turned to a stranglehold as her sickness worsened. And that grip ultimately rendered him unfeeling, cold and uncaring. Or trying to maintain a façade that he was unfeeling, cold and uncaring.

No man is an island, though, and those neatly contained emotions sometimes burst forth in fits of rage. Everett’s target was his son Ethan.

 

Seasons of Darkness is Ethan’s journey through his tormented adolescent years. From his mother’s death, and years of abuse, to the realization he possesses the same rage his father does. His young life is laden with tragedy and frustration, and impossible dreams.

 

Belinda G. Buchanan has masterfully conveyed the misery and agony of mental illness, and its long reaching effects. The scars on the heart, the helplessness felt by loved ones. The pain and emptiness. My heart bled for Ethan, but also for his father, for the sense of despair and helplessness. Pick up a copy, you won’t be disappointed. And when you’re through with Seasons of Darkness, Ethan’s story continues in After All is Said and Done. I’ll be reading it myself.

 

 

 

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#bookreview, #belindagbuchanan, #seasonsofdarkness, #afterallissaidanddone, #themonstersofsilvercreek, #alcoholism, #suicide

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The month of October is a special time for me:

my debut novel, my baby,

Tessa,

 will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!

WHEEEEE!!!!!

 

BOOK REVIEW – PROOF by JORDYN REDWOOD

 proof

What do you do when you’re an ER doctor and an atheist? What do you do when you tend a pregnant patient who is the victim of a serial rapist? What do you do when you butt heads with the detective on the case? Meet Dr. Lilly Reeves as she begins a journey that will take her on first one twist and then another, searching for answers that defy medical evidence. Lilly first sets out on her quest to answer unanswerable questions. DNA evidence “clears [the] suspected serial rapist” but Lilly has to find a way to prove otherwise. With well-guarded secrets of her own, her quest brings her face to face, not only with an unthinkable monster, but with her own past as well.

 

A critical and emergency care nurse, Ms. Redwood has also woven her knowledge of all things medical into her story as neatly as a pin. Or syringe, so to speak. In fact, Proof hinges on medical fact and conditions to create not only a medical mystery, but a seeming perfect crime. Ms. Redwood has spun a tale of high intrigue and suspense, layering first one twist and then another.

 

 

God sends people into each of our lives for reasons we may not recognize at the time. Ms. Redwood has placed such characters in Lilly’s life, both long term acquaintances and passers-by, who speak the necessary word in season. Little by little, step by step, Lilly is transformed from her once self-destructive behavior. Just as we all are on our journey in life.

 

Ms. Redwood is a true story teller, pulling the reader in, feeding us bits and pieces to keep us reading through to the climactic ending. Proof is the first in the Bloodline Trilogy, and leaves me eager to read the sister books, Poison and Peril.

 

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