Book Review: The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer S Alderson

This book has all the ingredients needed for a great mystery/thriller … 5 stars for ‘The Lover’s Portrait’.
You’re sure to enjoy this fantastic book.

30000039This book has all the ingredients needed for a great mystery/thriller: history, intrigue, conspiracy, heartbreak, action and suspense. It may sound contrived or mundane to say that a book is a “page-turner” and that one “couldn’t put it down”, but it really is true of ‘The Lover’s Portait’. Set in Amsterdam, t’s a well-designed, fabulous historical puzzle, solved decades later by someone who has no intention of becoming a detective; rather, it is through her dogged commitment to the truth that she uncovers the answers. The author has woven together a number of compelling plot lines to construct her own work of art. It is free of gratuitous violence and sex, making it suitable for Young Adult audiences as well as older readers.
The story moves at a great pace, keeping the reader fully engaged in Zelda’s quest for the truth. The characters are well-developed and very believable. Zelda, as the main protagonist, is flawed and realistic, while the antagonist is both intelligent and cold-hearted, and is therefore very easy to dislike. This is paralleled in the ‘historical’ characters in the story: the protagonists are likeable and genuine, both oppressed for different reasons, while the author has very effectively characterised their NAZI antagonist as cruel and vindictive through his own motivations and actions without resorting to any typecasting or cliche.  Throughout the novel, the author succeeds in using the natural empathy of the reader to drive their interest and engagement in the characters and plot without the reader being aware of any such positioning.
As the novel draws to a close, Anderson pulls the various story lines together into a neat and satisfying conclusion, albeit tinged with sadness and regret.
5 stars for ‘The Lover’s Portrait’.
Read it. You’re sure to enjoy this fantastic book.
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Book Review: ‘Tom’s Inheritance’ by T.J. Green

‘Tom’s Inheritance’ is absolutely captivating…

If you loved Harry Potter, you need to read ‘Tom’s Inheritance’.

‘Tom’s Inheritance’ is absolutely captivating. I was drawn in by the first scene in the woods, and completely enchanted by The Other.

The characters are delightfully complex and intriguing, and all so different. The way their back-stories play out in the action of this book is marvellous, adding layers of connection and engagement in the story that created wonderful involvement in the story for me.

T.J. Green has created fabulous creatures, worlds and environments, connecting them intricately with secrets, mystery, and myth. This mysterious, enchanting tale weaves magical realism, fantasy, and Arthurian legend together seamlessly in an entirely original and captivating way.

If you loved Harry Potter, you need to read ‘Tom’s Inheritance’. You will love it just as much! I know that’s a big call, but I can’t wait to read ‘Twice Born’, the sequel to ‘Tom’s Inheritance’ now!

Five very well-deserved stars!

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Author Spotlight: R.M. Gauthier

R.M Gauthier is a versatile writer who delivers well crafted stories that intrigue and interest the reader.

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R.M. Gauthier is the author of a number of published books:

The Landon Miller mystery/thriller series.

These books present strong psychological drama as the mystery surrounding Landon Miller develops.
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Read the Books Squirrel’s review of ‘Control’ here.
Read the Literature Lemur’s review of ‘Longing’ here.
 
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Renee demonstrates her versatility as a writer in her ‘Christmas Miracle’ romance novella series, based in the fictional town of Christmas. Don’t be fooled by the heading – these books are great reading at any time of the year!
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Read the Book Squirrel’s reviews of these delightful novellas here.
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In addition to writing, Renee is accomplished in filmmaking and directing, which can clearly be seen in the book trailers she creates for her works.

You can see Renee’s bio, books and book trailers on her website at http://www.rmgauthier.com/

You can follow Renee on the following social media:
twitter: @Ren071968
Insta: r.m.gauthier
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksbyRGauthier

Please support Renee and check out her books. You won’t be disappointed!

Book Review: ‘Fallen Into Bad Company’ by Kayla Jindrich

What a ripping yarn! I thoroughly enjoyed…

What a ripping yarn! I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of the man who fell into bad company. It’s a story that explores the contrasts between guilt and innocence, and between conscience and volition in a world populated by pirates, privateers, and settlers in the New World.

The characters were well developed, especially the main character, Matthew Blackwell. The author does an excellent job of evoking sympathy for Matthew, William and Stephan, and of crafting the hardhearted world in which they live.

5 stars, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum  for this rollicking pirate story.

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Author Spotlight: J.B. Richards

Author Spotlight: J.B. Richards

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Jeannie JB Richards is the author of ‘Miriamne the Magdala’, which is a fabulous read.
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After years of extensive historical research, Jeannie has written ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ as the first of her “Yeshua and Miri” series.

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The ebook of Miri is only $3.99 at Amazon – excellent value for such a well-researched and well-written book.

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A review of ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ is posted on this blog, if you’d like to read it.
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You can also preview the second book by reading the first chapter of the second book, titled ‘Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road’.
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The second book in the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series is due in coming months. Narrated by the character of Yeshua Himself, it promises to be the most powerful, insightful, and revealing look into the mind and life of the Youth destined to become the Christ yet!
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Yeshua is coming
You can learn more about Jeannie and her amazing book series, and find links to buy ‘Miramne the Magdala’ on her website at  http://www.yeshuaandmirinovelseries.com/
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Jeannie also runs a fabulous project called ‘Indies Helping Indies’ in which she reads and reviews books that may not yet be so well known to the public, yet which deserve some more attention and readership than they currently have.
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You can find out more about this project at The Writer’s Block and read Jeannie’s fabulous book reviews there.

You can follow Jeannie on the following social media links:

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Instagram: author_jb_richards
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Jeannie also has author profiles on
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Finally, you can read a really great interview with Jeannie by Benjamin Thomas on The Writing Train blog.

Book Review: ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ by J.B. Richards

This is a wonderful book that gives the reader a rich and rewarding reading experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

This is a wonderful book that gives the reader a rich2016-10-22-12-11-02

and rewarding reading experience.

The reader is taken on Miri’s journeys of discovery,

love, anguish and coming of age as the story progresses, sharing in her thoughts and secrets as a close confidante. Richards’ portrayal of Miri as a strong, faithful and somewhat feisty young woman gave a new and quite captivating dimension to this young woman, whose character is quite one-dimensional and only briefly touched upon in Biblical accounts. An important note is that the novel does not purport to be a retelling of any Biblical story, nor does it seek to preach or “convert” anyone: this is  historical fiction, and must be understood as such. Comparisons with the Bible must be put aside when one picks up this book and enters the world of Miri, Yeshua and their families.  It is a considerable achievement on the author’s part to have succeeded in blending historical traditions with fiction to craft such a powerful and beautiful story.
The fabric of the novel is woven seamlessly. Events, relationships and challenges interweave to create a compelling story that develops against the backdrop of first-century Galilee. The entire cast of characters is vibrant and realistic, each richly portrayed through expressive writing and magnificent imagery. Every setting is vibrant and full of life, feeding the reader’s imagination with enough detail to allow each scene and environment to evolve in the mind as one reads. This novel offers rich sensory experiences – sounds and smells abound with the narration, and the reader experiences both the heat of the day and the coolness of a tiled floor underfoot with equal impact.
One of the most enchanting elements of this novel is the dialogue, which almost speaks itself aloud in one’s mind as the story is read. The reader can hear the voices, the laughter, and the feeling between characters as they converse and tell their own stories through the pages of the book.
The mystery and questions that develop throughout the novel also serve to keep the reader  engrossed, always wanting to know more and to discover the answers that they, and the characters, are seeking.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ and look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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Book Review: ‘Control’ by R. M. Gauthier

“If you thought ’50 Shades’ was good, this is better.”

I couldn’t put this book down. Right from the start, the characters were interesting, and I could relate easily to Lexi as she explored her thoughts and feelings. Before long, I felt like I knew her and was travelling alongside her in her adventures. I grew protective and defensive of her as the story progressed, and felt anger at those who hurt or disappointed her.
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Comparisons with ’50 Shades’ are probably unavoidable, except that Gauthier’s ‘Control’ is better written and the characters are more realistic. There is much less graphic sex, but the tension and desire are palpable, which I actually find a lot more interesting. As an avid reader, I am thankful that there is a lot more thoughtful character development and a far more believable plot. The characters are less wooden and far less shallow and selfish than Ana and Christian, who both frustrated me and angered me at different times.

There are some occasional typos, but they are easy to overlook as the story keeps moving at a really good pace, with some surprises and twists to keep the reader hooked.
There are some sophisticated and complex ideas and themes explored in this book that really challenge the reader’s own perceptions and assumptions. While some of the elements of the book are things that many people might not ever undertake or express an interest in, the point is that we can all benefit from remembering that there is always more to someone’s story than what they are willing or able to tell us.

 This book is only for an adult audience, and I’d suggest that those adults be open-minded and not too conservative in their outlook on life. If you fit into that demographic, then you’ll enjoy this book. If you thought ’50 Shades’ was good, this is better.

I really enjoyed ‘Control’.  Gauthier also has two related novellas, ‘Waiting’ and ‘Longing’, available on Amazon. They are also well worth the read!
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