Book Review – Children of The Wise Oak  by Oliver J. Tooley

Book Review – Children of The Wise Oak by Oliver J. Tooley

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Book Review – Children of The Wise Oak

by Oliver J. Tooley

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

1 Blogger Reviews

 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


 

Book Review by Joni Dee

An Epic Magical Journey with refined Historical accuracy

“Children of the Wise Oak” is an epic journey written in a magical world where the Celtic-Roman era meets magic and mythology.
Blyth and his younger brothers live in a remote Celtic village, in a lifestyle and surrounding of harsh survival where the tribe is put above all. When his father returns from distant lands, with apocalyptic prophecies that involves the newly formed Roman Republic – they are forced to flee from home. Guided by Gwenn, a powerful mage who knew their father, their journey leads them across the continent straight to the heart of the Roman Republic. They learn magic and shapeshifting, they come across new people and cultures and they learn to admire the amazing Roman architecture which is a million light years advance from anything they ever knew.This book is the first in the “Wise Oak” series, the second just published under the name “Women of the Wise Oak”.
Those of you who know me, know that I don’t tend to read fantasy, left alone YA oriented. However,this book excited me a lot. The historical accuracy is so refined that I almost forgot about the magical elements in the novel. In a sense – it can get teenagers to relate to historical event and would be appealing to mature readers with Tooley’s great figurative language and carrying imagery.
I’ve already bought the sequel and looking foward to seeing what Tooley has in mind for his alternative universe, Julius Caesar and the Wise Oak “family”.
 
free book Giveaway : FINAL NOTICE by Van Fleisher

free book Giveaway : FINAL NOTICE by Van Fleisher

free book Giveaway : FINAL NOTICE

by Van Fleisher

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* Papaerback Raffle open to US residents only for this title – sorry!

ENDED

Genre:

Thriller

Blurb:

Set in the near future, the plot centers on the age-old question, “If you knew – for certain – that you only had 10, 20 or 30 days to live, what would you do?”  This time, the catalyst for posing this question is the development and testing of a new health/sports watch which is so advanced, it can analyze minute changes in the blood and even predict imminent death … sending owners a “Final Notice” alert.

The Final Notice feature was initially included in the watch to allow its wearers to get their affairs in order, say their last goodbyes, etc.  But in several cases, the opportunity to get revenge with impunity – afforded by the knowledge of impending death – leads to some very unanticipated results, especially when the Final Notice recipient has easy access to a gun.

Laced with dark humor and political satire, Final Notice chronicles the reactions of these diverse Notice recipients – ranging from an aimless, retired truck driver to a U.S. Senator … from a benevolent old woman to an elderly resident of a retirement home … from a crass, wealthy tycoon to an internationally renowned climate scientist.

But their disparate stories are all woven into the moral dilemmas of several main protagonists:  Vijay Patel, the brilliant doctor / mathematician who developed the watch … Zoe Brouet, the young FBI agent who investigates the murders … and Vince and Trudy Fuller, a retired middle-class couple with an ethnically-diverse group of friends and an endearing Corgi.  It is, in fact, the involvement of these protagonists that fuel much of the suspense in the book.

Final Notice is a fast-paced page-turner and while the initial premise of the book – the idea of a watch that can predict imminent death – has something of a sci-fi slant to it (much like the submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), the book is totally believable.  And its portrayal of contemporary problems – political corruption, prejudice, and particularly, the role of the NRA in obstructing gun control – will hit a familiar chord with a great majority of people.

A Message from the Author:

Readers consistently describe the book as “a real page turner and a fun read” at the expense of the NRA and the “far right.” Laced with satirical humor and likeable protagonists, it’s both relevant and important.
I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your thoughts and read your reviews.  Thanks

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The Key of All Unknown by Kathryn Hitchins

The Key of All Unknown by Kathryn Hitchins

free book Giveaway : The Key of All Unknown

by K. A. Hitchins

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– ended

Genre:

Christian Fiction , thriller

Blurb:

Brilliant scientific researcher, Tilda Moss, wakes up in hospital unable to speak or move and with no recollection of what happened to her. Determined to find answers and prove she is not in a persistent vegetative state, she travels back through her fractured memories looking for clues. Could someone really have tried to kill her? An indulged younger brother, an obsessive flatmate, jealous colleagues and a missing lover. Everyone has a motive.

On the edge of death, and questioning the value of her life, Tilda’s only hope is to unlock the key of all unknown.

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Book Review – Ice on The Bay by Dale and Kathleen Lehman

Book Review – Ice on The Bay by Dale and Kathleen Lehman

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

book review – Ice on The Bay

by Dale and Kathleen Lehman

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

3 Bloggers Review

Dianne James Book Blogger
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic
Dianne James 
Blogger & Reader
     Joni Dee
Thrillers Author

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Gripping

Ice On The Bay by Dale and Kathleen Lehman is a marvellous contemporary murder suspense. It is the third book in the Howard County Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Once again the reader is in for a gripping ride in this compulsive read. The police officers work together to get the job done. They remind me of the three musketeers with their dedication and their loyalty to each other.

A cold case collides with present day crimes of murder, blackmail, arson and burglary. The cases run side by side as the reader tries to guess the connection, if any. Literally a jaw dropping ending that had me hooked and reading with heart racing.

Not only is there great action but the reader really gets to know the characters – their back stories and their families. They are not just flat characters in a book but well developed 3D characters that leap out and engage the reader.

Meeting up with familiar characters gave an air of consistency and a feeling of catching up with old friends. The police officers are very personable, the reader cares about what happens to them. The ‘baddies’ are well drawn too, eliciting feelings of dislike from the reader. For some, we recognise they are caught in a spiral of crime due to circumstances of their upbringing. For others we see the result of poor choices.

These Howard County Mysteries are cracking detective novels. I think they would make a marvellous television mini-series. I am hoping there are many more books to come.

Absolutely compulsive and nail biting reading.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 

Dianne James Book Blogger Reviewed by Dianne James

A Cracking Crime Novel with Enough Twists and Turns to Make a Belly Dancer Faint

Howard County PD; three separate police investigations – a murder, an arson and a two year old missing persons case. All unrelated – or are they?
Detectives Montufar, Dumas And Peller try to make sense of their respective cases and as they follow the leads they have – slim as some may be – a darker, more complicated story starts to emerge. It is a complex tale of drugs, deception, blackmail and murder and contains all the elements one might expect from a good crime suspense novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. The characters are well developed and realistic and it moves at a good pace to build the suspense. The more I read, the less I wanted to put it down – to do mundane everyday things. In the end, mundane things lost and I read this in one sitting.

It is a cracking crime suspense novel with enough twists and turns to make a belly dancer faint.
Definitely recommended.

I got this book free from Bookgobbler and was not paid to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Dianne is running the book review blog Novel Experiences

 


Reviewed by Joni Dee

A Good Howard County Sequel

I liked Dale E Lehman’s debut novel “The Fibonacci Murders”. For some reason though, I did not read the second book of the series “True Death” but went straight the task of reading and reviewing the newly written sequel, in collaboration with his wife Kathleen.

I believe that good sequels are measured if they manage to stand-alone as a book on their own. It’s a big issue in my view, if reading the first book is mandatory in order to understand the next. Albeit a hard task for an author no doubt, would you imagine needing to read nine of Agatha Christies’ superb Poirot novels before reaching the famous “Murder on the Orient Express” ? Not likely. I am pleased to report that in that aspect, the Lehman’s did not fall into a trap that many “sequeling” authors do. The book can be read as a stand-alone, and details from book II were easily filled. I did however thought that if someone read the book as a stand-alone he would have found Lieutenant Det. Rick Peller a bit timid, and over-fatherly. However, I’ll attribute it to him (Peller) simply playing a smaller role in this novel, and maybe just getting older, like most of us.

As always with Howard Country, there are few cases which seems at first not-connected, but interlink as the story draws near its end. Peller is working on an old two-year old case of a missing person; Detective Sgt. Montufar, now engaged in a hot & heavy relationship with Detective Sgt. Dumas, is trying to figure out a copycat arson event; and Dumas – who’s undeniably the main protagonist, is investigating a stone-cold murder of a hustler.
There are also subplots of Montufar’s father dying in the hospital and Peller getting involved with a socialite, both which I found completely redundant and not contributing to the plot (Dale Lehman would have to excuse me on this, as the hospital scenes are probably taken from some personal experience which he wanted to set-free).

The writing is precise as always, but sometimes too precise. It’s humouristic when the boys make wise-cracks for using high vocabulary words, but when the villains use them or an immigrant family, it somewhat hurts the overall flow.
I especially liked The Lehmans’ flirtation with the cold weather, reminding me a lot of my descriptive writing style which, on numerous occasions, was blamed to be throwing the reader off the main subject. I liked it, it gave the story a body.

My main criticism involves the story:
It is a similar problem to that which Mr Lehman had when he wrote solo “The Fibonacci Murders”. Basically, a lot of the details are revealed but the story kind of solves itself before they can serve as clues. The reader doesn’t really have a chance to reach any conclusion on his own, and one witness who could have easily given the story to begin with, if enough pressure had been applied, sings at the end, after we have already speculated what had accord. For me, it was a good story, portraying mundane police work, with likeable characters, but it lacked sophistication. The Howard County detectives came across as too naïve, and too trustworthy, but I liked them.

Another point is that I wasn’t quite sold on how the stories interlink, nor do I think that Peller and Montufar had contributed much to the cracking of the case.

The story redeems itself with a nice twist right at the end, although the way it was discovered and the entire charade seemed a bit messy. I’m not going to reveal anything here, but just as you think the novel reaches its end, The Lehmans’ give us a much-needed climax with a bursting action scene.

“Ice on the Bay” is a precise written novel, which shows the hard task of police detective work. The characters are likeable, the imagery is a pleasant surprise – but the story which is crucial, is somewhat lacking, for this die-hard crime thriller fan

 

 
Free Paperback – Troy’s Possibilities by Rodney Strong

Free Paperback – Troy’s Possibilities by Rodney Strong

  1. Troy’s Possibilities by Rodney Strong

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–  ENDED

Genre:

Drama, Romance

 

Blurb:

What’s your What If?

That moment you look back on and think, what if I had made a different decision, how would my life have changed.

Troy doesn’t need to wonder.  He’s afflicted by a condition that lets him live out different futures – too many of them. Jaded by all these possibilities, he drifts from day to day never knowing if what he’s living is real life or just a possible one.

When he first meets Cat, it’s not even close to love at first sight. She pepper sprays him and steals his phone. But then he meets her again, and again. Finally, he becomes convinced that this funny, crazy, woman might be just what he needs.

But in his strange world of possibilities nothing is straightforward.

Message from the author:

Last time I only gave eBooks away, so this time I’m giving away three paperback copies of the book for readers to enjoy.

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free book giveaway – Bridgers : A Parable by Angie Thompson 

free book giveaway – Bridgers : A Parable by Angie Thompson 

free book Giveaway : Bridgers : A Parable

by Angie Thompson

Giving away:

 

  • 10 eBook(s) for reviews (5 given, ENDED)
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– ENDED

Genre:

Christian Fiction

Blurb:

Three boys. One choice. No turning back.

Peyton is a rising star in the church who is well on the way to reaching his biggest dreams. Levi is a pastor’s son struggling to live up to his faith under pressure from all sides. DaVonte is a kid from the wrong side of town who would be content if he and his friends were just left alone.

When an act of violence presents a sudden decision, each boy’s answer will shake the community to its core and shape its future forever. Love and truth face off against fear and pride in this modern extension of one of Jesus’ best-known parables.

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Book Review – Desert Jade by C. J. Shane

Book Review – Desert Jade by C. J. Shane

by Rodney Strong 1 Comment

Book Review – Desert Jade

by C. J. Shane

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

Book Review by Rodney Strong

I’d be happy to read anything from the author in future!

Desert Jade starts in the desert with the desperate struggle of an illegal immigrant, and over the course of the book takes in murders, Chinese triads, and rather surprisingly, love.

C.J Shane has written a solid thriller, with some particularly descriptive passages of the desert, and of Tucson. The characters are well drawn, and although there are a lot of them, the author mostly manages to juggle them successfully. A minor quibble here is that Shane spends quite a bit of time on characters that aren’t seen for most of the book, which distracts from the main story.  For example the entire first section is about a Mexican woman being rescued from the desert, and then we don’t see her again until the very end of the book.

Letty is a likeable character, and it was nice to have a private investigator that wasn’t hard-boiled, or burnt out.  She has her demons, like everyone, but they help round out her character rather than dominating her actions.

There is a little too much exposition in places, which slows the action down. In several spots the characters relate story aspects to other characters, that the reader already knows, so there’s a sense of repetition.  Also some of the dialogue is a bit stilted.

Tightening up these areas could have turned a good book into a great book.  Having said that I’d be happy to read anything from the author in future.

4 stars out of 5


The Reviewer is the Author of Troy’s Possibilities

 
free book : Travels with Vamper by George Critchlow

free book : Travels with Vamper by George Critchlow

free book Giveaway : Travels with Vamper:  A Graybeard’s Journey

by George Critchlow

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  • 5 eBooks for Reviews (ENDED)
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Genre:

Travel / Memoir

Blurb:

In the course of a two-month solo road trip through the West, the Bible Belt, and Missouri River Country during the 2016 presidential election, Critchlow reflects on race, politics, religion, war, and retirement. He weaves together legal tales, personal anecdotes, people, places, and past experiences to explore the competing narratives that divide America today. He also offers perspective on what retirement means for a generation of baby boomers.

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Book Review – The Master by Dora Ilieva

Book Review – The Master by Dora Ilieva

Book Review – The Master

by Dora Ilieva

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

Book Review by Rodney Strong

Bored with working at Starbucks – The Master is a solid book but not spectacular

The Master, by Dora Ilieva sees Kossara Kirilova being offered a job.  A chance to track down a long missing book.  Bored with working at Starbucks, and keen to utilise her brain once more she accepts the challenge, and soon finds her way from Canada to Europe, where she must keep her wits about her at all times if she’s going to survive.

There are some nice descriptive passages throughout the book, especially where it comes to locations in Europe, and the Bogomils.  Some of the dialogue is stilted, but it mostly flows well, and there is a clear sense of relationship between Kossara, Ben, and Sam.

The Master is billed as a thriller but for me there was a distinct lack of tension in the book.  There’s no sense that they are actually getting close to finding the book, and although the villian’s make several threats, Kossara and her friends are never aware of them.  Most of the deaths that occure could have been natural causes, so there’s no sense of fear from the protagonists.

Aside from an intriguing prologue there is no understanding of what’s so important about the book that people would kill for it, so the reader doesn’t know what the stakes are, and neither do the protagonists.  As far as they know they are just looking for a historical book.  The other thing that stood out was the number of coincidences that happened to push the story along.  It was almost as if the author hit a wall in the story so put in a family on a metro to provide an important clue, for example.

While Kossara is mostly well written, she is an inconsistent character.  She’s suspicious of the job offer, but completely oblivious to the coincidences of Pedro following her around.  In one scene she’s a strong, independent woman, in the next she’s indecisive and relying on her friends.

The book ends rather abruptly, which makes me wonder if there is a sequel planned, but there is no real resolution for any of the characters which is a little frustrating.

Dora Ilieva has some good plot ideas and executes some of them well.  Unfortunately there is too much repetition.  There is a descriptive passage used as a clue to the book’s hiding place, which is repeated three or four times in full.

For me, this was a solid book without being spectacular.

3 stars out of 5

 
free book giveaway : No More Heroes  by Roo I MacLeod

free book giveaway : No More Heroes by Roo I MacLeod

  1. Free Book Giveaway : No More Heroes

by Roo I MacLeod

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  • 20 eBook(s) for reviews (ENDED)
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ENDED

Genre:

Thriller / Mystery

Blurb:

HEROES Series is a fast paced, dystopian thriller. Scrapping on the streets suited Ben Jackman until his past returned to ask a favor. Run, hide or fight? If only the favor didn’t involve the girl. Ben’s world has gone mad. Riots and looting have brought soldiers onto the streets. Terrorism is the norm. And the man who married his childhood sweetheart, the man he once called a friend, wants him to babysit a long black sports bag.
When his ex-friend is found dead, battered and dumped in the vacant land adjoining Ben’s squat, the Law and the owners of the bag invade Ben’s world looking to ask questions.
He turns to his childhood sweetheart but that is his first mistake. Losing the bag is his second.
Ben must find the bag, find the killers of his old friend, and live happily ever after with the girl. Alas, two out of three is the best he can hope for.

Message from the author:

Thank you for reading No More Heroes. If you’d like to hear more about Street Boy and Wolf Girl please join my mailing list. And, if you have the time, please leave a review. There are loads more Heroes stories to come. Keep in touch through my website.

 

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