Author Spotlight: J.B. Richards

Author Spotlight: J.B. Richards

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


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

A review of ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ is posted on this blog, if you’d like to read it.
You can also preview the second book by reading the first chapter of the second book, titled ‘Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road’.
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!
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
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.
Indies Helping Indies Banner
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:

Instagram: author_jb_richards
Jeannie also has author profiles on


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.

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.

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!

Book Review: The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries by J. Schlenker

‘The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries’
by J. Schlenker is an eclectic collection of
light-hearted, generally humorous short stories …”

‘The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries’
by J. Schlenker is an eclectic collection of
light-hearted, generally humorous short stories that each deliver something for the reader to muse on. Whether this is a moral or just an entertaining idea varies from one story to the next. While some are more thought-provoking than others, each story is well-written in Schlenker’s conversational, easy-going style.

This was a good collection to pick up and put down throughout the busy Christmas-New Year holiday period, and would easily suit readers with busy and demanding lifestyles, as well as those who just enjoy a good short story from time to time.

ratings-1482011_960_720-3  unnamed


Book Review: ‘Chasing the Chalice’ by Laura C Berlin

Reading this book was a lovely way to luxuriate in language
and find pleasure in poetic pensiveness.

23350012In this collection of verses, Berlin has set out to explore the different ways in which one can express love.

On the first reading, these poems seem quite simple, with alliteration the most prominent technique.

However, as one reads and thinks more deeply, the alliteration gives way to more contemplative thoughts and reflections on the moments and lessons captured in each poem.

Among the many lovely lines delivered here, my favourites are “the harmony of heaven is hypnotic” and
“Underlying you is the universe,
Unquestionable.                                   ratings-1482011_960_720-3

Reading this book was a lovely way to luxuriate in language
and find pleasure in poetic pensiveness. unnamed

‘Chasing the Chalice’ is available as ebook or paperback at

Book Review: ‘Sweet Vengeance’ by Aliya DalRae.

Brilliant work, Ms DalRae. I already want the sequel.

If you love a riveting read, and you’re not averse to a little paranormal romance, this book has it all: jealousy, love, rage, angst, mystery and intrigue, and some breathtakingly hot moments without being gratuitous or needlessly graphic.

The plot is as intriguing as it is complex, although as one is reading, it does seem straightforward. Such is DalRae’s genius at weaving plot, sub-plot and backstory seamlessly together.

The characters are believable and engaging, yet at the same time vivid and unique.

And that “penny drop” moment at the end? Nothing prepared me for that.

Brilliant work, Ms DalRae. I already want the sequel.     ratings-1482011_960_720-2



‘If I Wake’ by Nikki Moyes

‘If I Wake’ by Nikki Moyes is a really powerful and confronting book that speaks directly to the issues of bullying, peer pressure and suicide among kids and teens.

if-i-wakeIt’s a journey through Lucy’s world of despair that is punctuated by moments of joy and hope along the way.  Her times of escape are a respite for both Lucy and the reader.

As someone who still grieves one of my own senior high students who took her own life just five months ago, I found this really compelling reading. I wept and, at times, sobbed. I felt angry and defensive, feeling very protective of Lucy and her alternate realities. Lucy isn’t flawless; in fact, she’s portrayed quite realistically. While she’s not perfect, she certainly doesn’t deserve the cards she gets dealt by either her peers or her family.
“If I Wake’ made me want to reach into the world of the book and change things to give Lucy some hope for her future. To be honest, I wanted to be able to mete justice on some of the characters, which worked very effectively in keeping me
hooked right to   the end of the book.
However, that’s not how life works. ‘If I Wake’ firmly places the responsibility on those who make life so desperately hard for others, and demonstrates that their behaviour cannot be excused, regardless of whatever might be going on in their own lives.
Eventually, in something of a coup for the author, I was led to experience some compassion for the personal circumstances of some – but only some – of the characters who gave Lucy such a difficult life. This is really a testament to the power of Moyes’ writing.
I recommend ‘If I Wake’ for every teen, every parent, and every teacher. I’d love to see it as compulsory reading on every school’s book list.
Six stars out of five for ‘If I Wake’. ratings-1482011_960_720-4 ratings-1482011_960_720-2unnamed
Don’t tell me I can’t do that.  I was never good at counting.