Tag Archives: Amazon

Review: Moonlight

Moonlight by David Rose is a middle grades YA fantasy about the eleven-year-old Tadao, his childhood gal pal Yuzuki, her magical cat Gekkō-san, and their journey through childhood into true love.

Friendship Between Two Lonely Children
Friendship Between Two Lonely Children

Tadao and his parents just moved into town, and the mother shoos her son into the garden to explore while she unpacks.

A beautiful cat with silver-grey fur and pale golden eyes squeezes through the fence and sits down as comfortable as you please. A pretty ten-year-old girl follows her kitty into the garden, and so begins the wonderful friendship between two lonely children. They soon became as close as brother and sister, and also best friends.

The Biggest Loss Takes Yuzuki Away Forever
The Biggest Loss Takes Yuzuki Away Forever

The teens’ friendship turns into young love. As often happens with working parents, in less than four years Tadao’s parents must move to another town. A few months after Tadao moves away, the biggest loss takes Yuzuki away forever. But the little cat Gekkō-san works her magic with the moonlight, and nothing is ever the same for Tadao.

Moonlight is a bittersweet story full of beautiful images. David Rose uses a skilled touch capturing the innocence and sweetness of solemn childhood promises. A life of duty and inevitability swirl around these children living in their Japanese world. This story would delight all young YA readers with its rich fantasy world and a most magical moonlight-colored cat.

Moonlight on Amazon US

Moonlight on Amazon UK

Moonlight on Goodreads

David Rose on Goodreads

David Rose website

Review: A Gathering of Twine

A Gathering of Twine (The Spirals of Danu) by Martin Adil-Smith is an epic fantasy about Freeman, a writer who tells a most dangerous tale.

Shadowy Mystery Men Trail Freeman
Shadowy Mystery Men Trail Freeman

The elderly Freeman hurries to a meeting with his book publisher. He totes a briefcase stuffed with incriminating papers concerning his next story. Three shadowy mystery men trail him, people who want to keep the truth from reaching Freeman’s considerable following.

The author makes his meeting, and at his publisher Danielle’s urging, Freeman makes a most startling claim. His simple statement mocks the existence of a creator and the societal underpinnings of all we hold dear. Does Freeman have proof? Hoo boy, does he ever.

A Gathering of Twine unfolds as if picking apart a snarled ball of yarn–or more accurately, a tangle of barbed wire. The story has many threads, and they unwind Freeman’s tale starting with text from ancient stone tablets that reference modern-day conventions. Next are firsthand accounts of people mixed up with supernatural events, and sprinkled within are biblical and other holy book references.

Even the Children Drank the Poisoned Fruit Drink
Even the Children Drank the Poisoned Fruit Drink

Adil-Smith finishes the story with a fascinating explanation of the Jonestown incident with the unsettling tape-recorded confession of a Jim Jones follower. Their faith started with convincing visions of heaven. But after peeling away the magical veneer, underneath was the hell described eons ago in Freeman’s ancient stone tablets. Drinking the poison-laced purple fruit drink was truly the lesser of the Jonestown’s evils.

Fantasy fans that enjoy well-told twisty yarns would like being tangled up in A Gathering of Twine. Be warned, there are chilly ruined lives in this story, and the delicious devils are so convincing. They will have Gentle Reader reaching for that purple drink in no time.

A Gathering of Twine on Amazon US

A Gathering of Twine on Amazon UK

A Gathering of Twine on Goodreads

Martin Adil-Smith on Goodreads

The Spirals of Danu on Facebook

Review: Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King is a supernatural thriller about a recovering alcoholic, Dan Torrance, and his fight to save a young girl named Abra Stone from a group of RV-hauling vampires that eat the paranormal powers of children.

The Ghosts Tried to Steal Danny's Paranormal Powers
The Ghosts Tried to Steal Danny’s Paranormal Powers

Dan began his fight with malevolent spirits at the age of five, when he joined his parents for a terrifying winter as the caretakers of a Colorado Grande Dame hotel. Although closed for the season, the secluded Overlook Hotel teemed with specters. They tried to kill little Danny and steal his considerable paranormal powers to fuel their murderous haunting. He and his mother barely escaped. The Overlook was never rebuilt. The site became an RV park with drop-dead views.

Spirits haunted Dan’s rough road to middle age, namely the type that live inside whiskey bottles. Substance abuse deadens his psychic ability so he can forget the horrors of the grasping dead. Dan hits bottom and the filthy dregs of his life disgust him. But unlike his drunkard wreck of a father, Dan finds help, sobers up, and takes a respectable job as a hospice attendant.

They Travel in RV Caravans and Pose as Vacationers
They Travel in RV Caravans and Pose as Vacationers

Abra is just a baby, but her exceptional ESP reaches all the way across the country. A roaming group of psychic eaters hears little Abra. They travel in RV caravans and pose as vacationers. These genteel-appearing predators in ball caps and Bermuda shorts bide their time until Abra is old enough for their grim plans.

Dan also hears this psychic prodigy. One day, Abra reaches across the miles and begs him to help. His last stand with the murderous ghosts of his childhood takes Dan full circle back to The Overlook RV Park. He must redeem a lifetime drowned by alcoholism, and save Abra from these child eaters.

Down the Path of Reasonable Little Events to the Horrifying Showdown
Down the Path of Reasonable Little Events to the Horrifying Showdown

Doctor Sleep is a most satisfying continuation of the haunted life of Danny Torrance that we met in The Shining. Stephen King continues his masterful way of leading us down the path of accepting a string of oh, so reasonable little events. The journey ends in a horrifying showdown that mixes delicious revenge against the bad guys with bittersweet reminders of the long-lost good guys.

Gentle Readers that enjoy a well-told paranormal thriller, plus fans of psychic vampires, would enjoy this story. People who already have a fear of RVs might want to keep away. Because of Doctor Sleep, Lita now casts a fretful eye when she passes one of those lumbering motor coaches on the highway. Lita looks for ghostly faces in the windows.

Doctor Sleep on Amazon US

Doctor Sleep on Amazon UK

Doctor Sleep on Goodreads

Stephen King on Goodreads

Review: The Blue Amaryllis

The Amazon Rainforest is the Third Main Character
The Amazon Rainforest is the Third Main Character

The Blue Amaryllis by Sonia De Leon is a contemporary romance about Leia, a young woman who flees into the Amazon rainforest to heal her grief.

Chicago native Leia is heartbroken from the recent death of her mother. Her college professor invites Leia to visit the Amazon Matis tribe. Each backcountry checkpoint strips away layers of civilization. Soon, Leia is alone and facing a five-mile hike from her last drop off point. Nightfall, and a frightening chase by a fearsome native, spurs Leia into an all-out race for her life. She arrives at the Matis encampment and collapses at the feet of a handsome man named Tanun.

Leia Learns What is Truly Important From the Matis
Leia Learns What is Truly Important From the Matis

Leia must peel away the emotional barriers of her lonely life. She learns what is truly important from the wise Matis people.

Her culture shock at the natives’ nakedness becomes fascination with their loving and dignified way of life. Leia’s mutual attraction to Tanun evolves into an impossible love that the Matis strict rules cannot honor. After two months, Leia must leave behind her life with these gentle people, and abandon her soul mate Tanun.

Wrinkle Your Nose at the Earthy Reek of Jaguar Scat
Wrinkle Your Nose at the Earthy Reek of Jaguar Scat

The Blue Amaryllis is a luscious story. In addition to Leia and Tanun, the Amazon rainforest is the third main character in this cross-culture romance. The descriptions of the plants and animals became so real, Lita felt the sticky cling of Leia’s sweaty blouse and heard the bellows of water animals. Sonia De Leon used a deft hand bringing Leia’s emotions to life. Tanun was so well chronicled, well, Lita fell in love with him also.

Romance fans looking for a journey through a woman’s emotional desert into loving a worthy man would enjoy The Blue Amaryllis. For Gentle Readers who love immersive worlds, this well-drawn gem of a tale will have you marveling at the exotic scent of orchids and also wrinkling your nose at the earthy reek of jaguar scat.

The Blue Amaryllis on Amazon US

The Blue Amaryllis on Amazon UK

The Blue Amaryllis on Goodreads

Sonia De Leon on Goodreads

Review: The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact by Jana Petken is a family saga detailing the lives of María Martinéz de Amo’s kin.

Celia Lives on the Prosperous Merrill Farm in Kent
Celia Lives on the Prosperous Merrill Farm in Kent

Told through a series of narratives from her family’s journals, María’s story spans two generations. As all properly told stories should go, the tale starts at the beginning.

María’s young mother Celia lives on the prosperous Merrill Farm in Kent, England with her father Peter. It is Celia who first starts writing journals to chronicle her life. Both Celia and Peter are quite taken with a handsome and charming visitor named Joseph Dobbs, and within a short time Celia marries Joseph, and Peter makes his son-in-law the heir to Merrill Farm.

Joseph is not what he seems. He is a drinker and a gambler. His destructive and spiteful ways are a dark thread throughout Celia’s life.

Celia flees to Valencia and Starts a Better Life
Celia flees to Valencia and Starts a Better Life

Celia flees to the orange groves of Valencia, Spain with her infant son and starts a better life. She marries Ernesto, the wealthy owner of La Glorieta estate. Despite loving Ernesto and having a family (which includes María and her twin sister Marta), it is the early 1900s and civil war consumes Spain. Ernesto and Celia go into exile in London while María, along with her siblings and friends, stay in Spain.

What follows is a fascinating and detailed story of María’s war experiences. Some events are oh so sweet, while the brutality and injustice of other events are an outrage. Jana Petken did a splendid job with the interesting narrative about Spain’s civil war—no boring history book here. Sometimes the characters made poor decisions or took ill-advised actions.  Lita wanted to give them a good talking to and set them straight—that is the greatest fun of reading well-written fiction. The outcome of Joseph’s last revengeful stand is satisfying, to say the least.

Gentle Readers who enjoy settling in with a long story about an interesting family would enjoy The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact. Just don’t join Joseph in a game of poker. The stakes are murderously high.

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact on Amazon US

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact on Amazon UK

The Guardian of Secrets: And Her Deathly Pact on Goodreads

Jana Petken on Goodreads

Jana Petken website and blog

Review: The Dark Days

The Dark Days: End of the World – Episode 1 by Ginger Gelsheimer and Taylor Anderson is a YA thriller about teen Claudia Sheeplord and the end of the world via asteroid.

Tongue-In-Cheek Wedding at the End of the World
Tongue-In-Cheek Wedding at the End of the World

Claudia has been skeptical about the blather over the past month about the killer asteroid that will slam into the Earth and raise the tides ten feet higher. Or two miles higher. Whatever. She is flying to Denver for her brother’s tongue-in-cheek wedding at the end of the world. At least she meets a new friend sitting across the airplane isle, Ben Willoby.

Then the asteroid hits the Earth in a double-whammy strike that all but swats the jet out of the sky. A sickening nosedive, followed by the pilot’s frantic acrobatics in inky-black skies, is the start of Claudia’s adventures. Getting out of Denver’s demolished airport is trivial compared to the world’s oceans paying the Mile High City a deadly visit.

Events Preceding the Dystopian World in the Hunger Games
Events Preceding the Dystopian World in the Hunger Games

This sweet panic-filled short story tells the events that preceded the dystopian world in the Hunger Games.

It starts so normally from a teen girl’s sensibilities in the first few pages, and turns into a desperate scramble of survival with Ben and other survivors at the end. Hunger Games fans would love this well written taster story. The action should also satisfy the Gentle Readers who like white-knuckled thrillers. Before jumping in, be sure you put on winter boots and have your rubber ducky ready.

The Dark Days: End of the World – Episode 1 on Amazon US

The Dark Days: End of the World – Episode 1 on Amazon UK

The Dark Days: End of the World – Episode 1 on Goodreads

Ginger Gelsheimer on Goodreads

Ginger Gelsheimer website

Review: Terms of Surrender

Terms of Surrender by Lorrie Farrelly is a historical western romance about a former captain in the confederate army, Michael Cantrell, and his search for redemption in the ranch lands of Wyoming.

Civil War Battlefield Horrors Had Broken Michael’s Spirit
Civil War Battlefield Horrors Had Broken Michael’s Spirit

In the months following the American Civil War, the battlefield horrors have broken Michael’s spirit. He saw his beloved brother Gavin fall, and heartache consumes Michael. With nothing left of his life except for his warhorse Jet, a saber, and an army issue Colt Navy revolver, he rides Jet to the western frontier.

Annie Devlin has overwhelming cares for such a young horse rancher. Her parents are dead and she struggles to make a home for ten-year-old brother Robbie. Annie’s powerful neighbor Elias Randolph covets her family’s pastureland, and he pulls dirty and deadly tricks to get her to sell.

Annie’s Neighbor Covets Her Family’s Pastureland
Annie’s Neighbor Covets Her Family’s Pastureland

Fate brings Michael to the siblings’ rescue when Randolph’s henchmen attack the two on their way home with a mud-stuck wagon of supplies. Michael wins this skirmish, but is near-fatally wounded.

Annie takes Michael home and tends the fallen confederate captain. Bringing him back from death’s gate is just the first of their harrowing adventures to protect the ranch.

Love blossoms between the northern woman and southern man, but the War Between the States is not over for some. Despite advice from Gavin’s ghost, the cards are stacked against Michael finding redemption and love in the Wild West.

Terms of Surrender is a tender love story about a couple in a harsh world. The tale unwinds through Michael’s eyes, and at times his anguish brought Lita tears. The romance was sexy and delightful, and the bad guys were ooh, so despicable. The scene descriptions were vivid and done well. At times Lita shivered from the chilly kiss of the Wyoming wind.

Gentle Readers who enjoy westerns and spicier romances would like the story. For others who love immersive worlds, just saddle up and ride on in to Terms of Surrender.

Terms of Surrender on Amazon US

Terms of Surrender on Amazon UK

Terms of Surrender on Goodreads

Lorrie Farrelly on Goodreads

Lorrie Farrelly blog and website