Book Review: ‘The Curse of the Dragon Stone’ by J.B. Richards

This is a story of powerful contrasts: friendship and treachery, love and enmity, good and evil, life and death, dragon and wolf. 

The tale is well crafted and beautifully told. The narrative is well paced, balancing drama with action and darkness with lighter moments. The characters are varied and interesting, each having unique interests and motivations that help to develop and drive the story.  

Kirin is a complex and conflicted central character. Tyriel complements his fiery nature, yet also presents Kirin with one of his most profound dilemmas. Together with the Fabiola Sisters, these two must take up the fight against evil and seek to right the wrongs of the past. 

A convenient novella length read, this book certainly delivers a rich and inviting narrative that will have definite appeal for readers of fantasy and paranormal romance. 

This first of three parts of The Dragon’s Heir Trilogy certainly whetted my appetite for  the next two books in the series.

‘The Curse Of The Dragon Stone’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn 

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Lavender Mist of May: A Cat Collier Mystery’ by Carol Ann Kauffman

‘The fifth novella in the Cat Collier mystery story continues the story of Cat and her fiancée Carter, while she investigates various matters as a private detective.

I really enjoyed this story, which is well paced and provides well developed, balanced moments of tension, drama and action as the narrative progresses.

In keeping with the rest of the series, this is a short read, comfortably finished in a little over an hour.

‘Lavender Mist of May’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘These Savage Bones’ by Kaitlin Hillerich

The problem with committing to a relentless quest for truth and justice is that sometimes you get exactly what you wanted. 

When the ssudden, tragic loss of her beloved uncle unleashes a chain of events in Esperanza’s life that she could never have foreseen, she is confronted by a web of lies that challenges everything she thinks she knows. 

Esperanza is smart, fiercely independent, and headstrong, a young woman way ahead of her time and society in Mexico, 1875. Her spirit and loyalty are admirable, yet they can also be seen to cloud her judgement and cause her to overlook things in her life which she has always taken at face value. 

This story leaves the reader considering not only the unintended consequences of the characters’ actions, but also the difficulty of what to do with the calaveras that tumble fromthe family closet once the door is opened. 

A blend of mystery, historical fiction, and a bit of romance, ‘These Savage Bones’ is an interesting and thought-provoking tale that can be enjoyed in a couple of hours. 

This book has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here

Book Review: ‘Josie’ by Susan Lowe and Diane Iverson

‘Josie’ is the true story of a young German girl who endured the family’s expulsion from their home in Glogon, now Glogonj in Serbia, after Workd War II, and the horrors of persecution and imprisonment. 

Written from a child’s perspective, the story is told in a straightforward but very personal way, so that the reader develops a strong sense of empathy and connection with Josie, taking on her emotions and feeling the tension of key moments in the story quite profoundly. 

While Josie’s experiences are neither sanitised nor glossed over, her story is  encouraging and positive, a powerful testimony to the importance of love, hope, and family connections in a world that so often seemed to Josie to be full of hatred and violence. 

A suitable read for teens and adults, ‘Josie’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn. 

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘April Yellow Moon’ by Carol Ann Kauffman

This fourth Cat Collier mystery story continues the narrative of the relationship between Cat and Carter, which is yet again complicated by the situations which Cat finds herself investigating. 

‘April Yellow Moon’ is a good story. While not quite as suspenseful or dramatically tense as the previous stories in the series have been, the author draws the reader into Cat’s life and has them holding their breath, waiting to see what happens next, on more than one occasion.

In keeping with the rest of the series, this is a short read, comfortably finished in less than 90 minutes. 

Enjoyable and intriguing, ‘April Yellow Moon’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn. 

Find your copy here

Read my reviews of January Black Ice, February White Lies and March Blues.

Book Review: ‘Blood of Roses: Edward IV and Towton’ by J.P. Reedman

While some history textbooks are interesting and quite easy to read, it is also fair to say that many are written by historians who do not seem to mind that their works are either lofty, dull, or both. 

The beauty of historical fiction is that it has the power to make history accessible to those who otherwise would know little of the events presented in its pages, and to create interest in those men and women who made history through their words, actions and achievements. 

Reedman’s historical fiction is both very readable and enjoyable. 
‘Blood of Roses: Edward IV and Towton’  tells the story of the events during the Wars Of The Roses that resulted in the coronation of Edward, Earl Of March as King Edward IV. The author has brought history to life on these pages, transforming historical figures into vividly portrayed characters and the reader into an onlooker during those pivotal moments in English history. 

Readers who have read and studied the history of this period in detail will find the fictionalised story to be interwoven seamlessly with the account of historical events. Reedman’s narrative is smooth and fluent, and the plot and action of the story are well paced and exciting. 

For all those reasons, ‘Blood of Roses: Edward IV and Towton’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here

Book Review: ‘Half Sick of Shadows’ by Richard Abbott

As someone who has always loved Tennyson’s poem ‘The Lady of Shalott’, the title of this book caught my eye and imagination immediately. Rather than being a retelling of the poem, however, this book is a speculative fantasy about the life of the Lady before the events of the poem take place, and on the nature of her observations of the world around her tower.

The story is very creative and highly original in its development, intriguing the reader with hints about the truth of the Lady’s identity and the reasons for her being imprisoned in her tower.

The Lady’s character is quite thoroughly developed, as the reader is allowed into her thoughts and responses as well as into her activities. Other characters in the book are less well developed, simply because the story moves from one group to another as it progresses, but all are portrayed in a personal and evocative  manner that gives both the Lady and the reader a strong sense of connection to them. 

The author has given the well known story a new sense of mystery and intrigue and another layer of mystical connection that gives this book depth and has a profound effect on the reader. 

A most enjoyable read, ‘Half Sick of Shadows’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here