‘Lineage: Of Blood’ by C.H. Clepitt

An entertaining and wickedly funny paranormal read.

#paranormal
#vampires
#greatreads
#BookRecommendations

CH Clepitt Lineage Of Blood

The second instalment of Clepitt’s ‘Lineage’ vampire shorts, this is as entertaining and wickedly funny as the first.

Emma finds that establishing herself in a family business is more complicated than she expected, but meets her challenges head on, capably assisted by Gudytha and Charlotte.
Clepitt cleverly and subtly develops these highly individual characters, and at the same time draws the reader further into their story.

This author writes with brilliant wit and demonstrates considerable cynicism regarding humanity, two qualities that I enjoy immensely, I definitely want to read on and know more of this story. I plan to read the next short in this series very soon.

If you love a good vampire story laced with dark humour, this is a series of short reads you don’t want to miss.

Acorn Award I Golden

‘Lineage: Of Blood’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Bad Candy’ by India Emerald

Bad Candy: fun for adults, not so good for kids.

India Emerald Bad CandyThe title of this wicked little book is the first indication that it’s not all going to be about sweetness and innocence. In fact, it’s a romp full of magic, mystery and mayhem through the land of Charmnia, where some very bad business has been cooked up.

This story is a lot of fun, infused wtih good humour and plenty of action, and populated by a varied cast of characters, some of whom are more tasteful than others. As Marvelo discovers, it’s hard to know who to trust in a land where everything is sugar-coated, but he’s determined to find the answers he needs.

One important thing to note is that some of the humour is oriented toward adult understandings, so even though the book has a candy theme and motifs, it’s probably not suitable for audiences younger than mid-teens.
Acorn Award II Silver

This was an enjoyable short read at the end of a busy day, and it made me laugh. I’ve awarded it a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Necrozmancy: A Short Horror Story’ by Lucretia Stanhope

A delightfully gory and subversive parody of the classic Wizard of Oz story.

Lucretia Stanhope Necrozmancy

A delightfully gory and subversive parody of the classic Wizard of Oz story, ‘Necrozmancy’ is a short read that can be enjoyed in less than an hour.

The characters are darker and more sinister than in the original tale, and yet I prefer them this way. I always enjoy the opportunity to see how things end up differently when characters take an alternative path, and Stanhope’s reinvention of Dorothy and Toto in particular is magnificent.

This story is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, but lovers of the macabre and horrific will certainly enjoy it.

Acorn Award I Golden
Because it tickled both my funny bone and my dark side, I have awarded it a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Rose Thief’ by Claire Buss

‘The Rose Thief’ is a book that I just wanted to keep reading.

Claire Buss The Rose Thief

 

‘The Rose Thief’ is a quirky fantasy adventure that makes compulsive reading. It is entirely delightful and captivating.

 

Laced with humour and loaded with vivid, unique characters, the story is set in the kingdom of Roshaven, where someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. This sets off a chain of events in which the reader discovers that things are not always as they appear to be, and there is always more to someone’s actions than what is observed on the surface.

 

Buss has crafted the story with a high degree of originality: while it includes many standard fantasy elements, the author has shaped and combined them in her own way so that their qualities and abilities are all quite individual and delightfully idiosyncratic.

 

The reader is quickly engaged by the opening scenes, and then becomes invested in the characters and the challenges they face. The story is well-developed and moves at good pace, with the author demonstrating excellent control over the reader by accelerating and slowing them down at various stages without the reader being conscious of this happening until later.

 

The unfolding mystery and the development of the characters within the narrative is enhanced by the humour, which is at sometimes very cleverly saucy and at other times subversive, which made this reader chuckle quite a bit, but it is never inappropriate, nor does it overwhelm or distract from the story that is being told.

 

‘The Rose Thief’ is a book that I just wanted to keep reading. I really hope there is going to be a sequel.

Acorn Award I Golden

Because it’s absolutely brilliant, I did wonder for a moment if there’s any higher award than a Gold Acorn— but there’s not. So a Gold Acorn it is!

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ by J. S. Frankel

An absolutely ripping read for NA and grownups.

Jesse Frankel The Unlikeliest CandidateHarry Cannell’s life is going to hell in a handcart – fast. He’s a regular guy with regular problems that start piling up until one extraordinary event changes everything for him.

It’s great to find a brilliant story that revolves around a character who is actually so ordinary and who struggles to make sense of exactly how he arrived at the point in life where he finds himself as the book opens. This makes him relatable to the reader, and positions them to feel sympathy for the misery he experiences.

This story is a unique blend of mystery, sci-fi, comedy, romance and adventure all in one. It’s a great escape into the realm of ‘What if?’ that tempts the reader to wonder and hope that there might actually be something more, some unrealised possibilities that we simply overlook as we pursue life as we know it.

There is some physical intimacy in this book, so it’s suitable for New Adult audiences and up, rather than YA.

‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ is an absolutely ripping read from start to finish.
Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded it a Gold Acorn for brilliant storytelling and great writing.

Find your copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘So Much For Buckingham’ by Anne R. Allen

A well written, clever and very entertaining book.

Anne R Allen So Much For Buckingham
A wonderful blend of comedy, mystery and history, ‘So Much For Buckingham’ plunges the reader into the world of Camilla Randall, an author and bookshop owner who finds her world falling apart around her, bit by bit. Unable for various reasons to rely on those who usually support her, Camilla is overwhelmed by the awful things happening to her and those close to her.  Unwittingly caught up in other people’s murky behaviour, both Camilla and her best friend,Plantagenet, find themselves having to work out what on earth is going on in their lives with very little reliable information to help them.

 

The writing skill and intelligence of the author is demonstrated in the deftness with which the different strands of the story are spun and then woven together. I really enjoyed the fact that this book kept me guessing. The plot is definitely not predictable, and the central characters are both unique and likeable.  The humour with which ‘So Much For Buckingham’ is written is clever, varying between clever puns on names of people from the world of Shakespeare’s play ‘Richard III’, witty conversations, and deep irony in some of the plot developments.  One can read this book at any level of knowledge of things to do with King Richard III, or in complete ignorance of them, and still find the book amusing. The serious moments in the story give weight to the themes of character assassination and cyberbullying in a way which shows the extent of the consequences of such behaviour without devastating the reader.

 

Although this is part of a series, it works well as a standalone. I haven’t read the rest of the series – yet – but at no point did I feel as though there were things I really needed to know from the other books in order for this one to make more sense.

Acorn Award I Golden

In short, this is a well written, clever and very entertaining book. I’ve given it a Gold Acorn for excellence.

 

Get your copy at Amazon.

Book Review: The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

This is a book that delivers the full gamut of emotions through the course of Della’s story. It’s a well-written and very satisfying read.

51SdRC-ABRL
Some people find it easy to leave the past behind. Others cling to the parts of it that hold precious memories or give them comfort. Both types of folks exist in this beautiful story of loss, grief, and finding oneself among that which remains.

 

When love, trust, and Della’s understanding of her own family are called into question,  the reader is reminded just how rare personal integrity can be, and just how profoundly it speaks for itself to others who value it.  The reader finds themselves silently cheering for Della every time she resists the type of mediocrity to which she seems to have been relegated since she was a child, and rejoicing with her when she overcomes her challenges and does something truly extraordinary.

 

This is a book that delivers the full gamut of emotions through the course of Della’s story. It’s a well-written and very satisfying read.

 

Acorn Award I GoldenThe Bookshop On Rosemary Lane has been awarded one of Book Squirrel’s shiny Gold Acorns.

 

Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Lost Inheritance Mystery’ by Ben Hammott

An enjoyable Victorian-style mystery story.

Ben Hammott Lost Inheritance Mystery

This is an enjoyable gothic Victorian-style mystery story, fashioned in a manner that aims to emulate the style of Dickens’ portrayal of the people and society of the time. The writing and character development are infused with humour, and the story itself is interesting, although the pace of the story is at times a little slower than I would have preferred. The characters are likeable, even if their names are somewhat contrived, albeit in a humorous way. As the story draws to an end, Hammott delivers a series of clever twists that add to both the irony and the Dickensian humour of the book.

The final chapter, though, brought with it a complete change of pace, which I suspect the book may have been better off without – there is nothing wrong with this chapter in itself, but i think it may have served better as the first chapter of the next mystery misadventure for these characters.

Acorn Award III BronzeI did enjoy this book, although not as much as I have enjoyed others of Ben Hammott’s works, so I’m awarding it a Bronze Acorn.

Find ‘The Lost Inheritance Mystery’ on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Tempus Fugit by Timothy Casey

This book is a fabulously naughty romp through time and space with Veerle, Myst, and Verrick along with a diverse range of friends, adversaries and AI for company.

Timothy Casey Tempus Fugit
This book is a fabulously naughty romp through time and space with Veerle, Myst, and Verrick along with a diverse range of friends, adversaries and AI for company. It had me laughing on the first page, and countless times throughout. The storyline is original and interesting, made complete by questions that need to be answered and some serious and touching moments for balance. The humour with which the story is delivered is refreshing and clever.
It does contain mature content, so it is suitable only for an 18+ audience. It’s LGBTI friendly, so it’s sure to please anyone with an open mind and a sense of humour.

 ‘Tempus Fugit’ was a really nice change and a great escape from the more serious and thought-provoking reading in which I often indulge. It is most suited for any grownup looking for a lighthearted read that still gives the grey matter something to do.

Silver Acorns

‘Tempus Fugit’ receives a Silver Acorn.

                                                                                                   Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Blue Light Christmas 2: A Cry for Elf’ by Tobey Alexander

‘A Cry for Elf’ is a fun read for kids and grownups alike. 

Tobey Alexander Blue Light Christmas 2‘A Cry for Elf’ is a fun read for kids and grownups alike.  Set one year after the first book in the series, Alexander takes readers of all ages on a romp through the North Pole in which Constable Tim Tinsel and his daughter, Eve, are challenged with the task of rescuing Santa and reclaiming Christmas from key occupants of the Naughty list.

The story is delightful, full of action and humour that will entertain and amuse independent readers and provide meaningful family time for those who read the story together. The story delivers clear moral messages about choosing to do what is right and putting others before ourselves, without being either preachy or self-righteous.

There’s no reason at all why reading this book should be limited to the Christmas season. It’s perfectly entertaining and valuable reading for any day of the year.

Golden Acorns
This was Book Squirrel’s featured book in the Bookish Advent Event on December 9th, so it’s delightful to be able to give it a Golden Acorn in recognition of its excellence.
Find it on Amazon.