One by one the Chapter children are sent off in different directions and we wonder if and when they will reunite. The setting is the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when trains carried orphans from New York to Texas. Leona is forced to board that train, all the while scheming for a way back to her family in New York. When Leona is selected from the group of homeless children and she finds herself riding over flat land in a Model T, the possibility of a return seems bleaker by the second, but Leona is tenacious and hopeful about returning.
A Family for Leona is a story of hope and restoration geared to children and young teens and at 260 pages, it's sure to keep them busy. The adventures and trials Leona and her best friend Noah endure pull us in to their plight and we cheer and ache with them. Their experiences from tenement dwelling in Brooklyn to farm life in Texas are quirky, enchanting and ultimately satisfying. Beverly Stowe McClure’s emotional fictional narrative is beautifully written through the eyes of a stubborn adolescent girl with a penchant for increasing her vocabulary. With themes like new beginnings, friendship, love and family, I recommend A Family for Leona and rate this book 5 stars.
The very beginning of the story was interesting and drew me in. Shortly, it became a fairly slow read because the plot became confusing and the killing excessive. At 355 pages, I wondered if everyone in the story would be killed.
Violina is the protagonist and the best character as she seemed to know what she wanted out of life. She and her girlfriend, Lux, suffer everything together and decide to search out and destroy the militants raging against their people and trying to take over the world.
This story would be about good versus evil if there was any goodness to be found. A lesson to be learned in this tale is that everyone is mean and a few people survive. The sheer number of fatalities was enough to shock the average reader. Lovers of sci-fi, crime fiction may find it a not such a gruesome doomsday read. I thought it was excessive and pardon the pun ... overkill.
Generally speaking, this book was depressing and had a cliff-hanger ending. On the upside, there was not much if any bad language and no sex and seemed professionally edited. Oh, and Violina and her gal pal lived—which is good because they tell the story. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.
Review: Sherlock Holmes Never Dies: Collection Six: New Sherlock Holmes Mysteries Boxed Sets by Craig Stephen Copland
The first story, The Cuckhold Man, is about a jerk military man who seeks Holmes’ services to locate his missing wife. The pace is fairly slow as Holmes interrogates a variety of suspects. Holmes wraps up his investigation with a bow and gives us a very satisfying ending which includes the jerk being put in his place.
The second novella entitled, The Impatient Dissidents is different from the first story as a terrorist throws a bomb into czar Alexander II’s horse drawn carriage—killing him. It’s up to Holmes and his sidekick, Watson, to find the murderer. This plot dragged a bit more in this story than the first, though excitement is high as the authorities chase their man, wielding guns.
Holmes attends a medical lecture about the hearts and minds of soldiers, in the third story. Afterwards, upon visiting a veteran’s hospital, Holmes’ curiosity propels him to assist an exceptional soldier whose memory has failed him. Soon enough there are too many murders to keep track of and Holmes is in deep and digging for the truth. The Grecian Earned is a confusing story.
In The Naval Knaves, Holmes arranges an interview with a carpenter from Budapest to do some woodwork for a restaurant he is starting up. The carpenter didn’t make it, he was killed in his carriage. Holmes sets out to find the murderer in a long drawn out investigation. He uncovers a surprising twist and we learn the man did not die for nothing.
These bite-sized stories are great and this book is good bathroom reading material for mystery lovers. With no sex or profanity these stories employ plenty of violence to keep your attention. I didn’t love Sherlock Homes Never Dies. I found it confusing. Not only the myriad killings, but the titles and subtitles ran together in my mind making remembering the stories rather difficult. It’s even confusing to look this book up on Amazon as the full title is: Sherlock Holmes Never Dies: Collection Six: New Sherlock Homes Mysteries Boxed Sets. Not to be confused with: Sherlock Homes Never Dies: Six New Adventures of the World’s Greatest Detective. This not my favorite genre, but I did like it. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.
REVIEW: The Ugly Truth About Self-Publishing Not another cookie-cutter contemporary romance By Oliver Markus Malloy
—adept fun-ruiner—self-published author of the book: The Ugly Truth About Self-Publishing, Not another cookie-cutter romance.
Yeah, I know there’s no such word as ruiner, but who cares? I’m going to self-publish and odds are the uneducated editor I hire will miss it. Are you laughing yet?
Mr. Malloy understands the plight of the Indie author quite well which makes this thirty-five-page rant significant and his complaints valid. His frustration with the industry is as clear as his call to action: Be interesting. You read that right; be interesting—stop all the cookie-cutter tales and be unique. Write something original.
Self-publishing has created a deluge of “crap” books consequently sullying the esteemed title of author. The brutal truths imparted in this book merits it an additional classification under self-help. Should you read this book? Yes. What a reader will do with the information revealed in this book is the big question. I give Mr. Malloy’s bitch session 5 out of 5 starts.
Review by Lauren1
A short story begging to be longer.
New author, Christopher Donaho socks it to us with a velvet hammer in this erotic account, Thresholds: Two very broken people, one very sordid remedy. Waxing poetic, the protagonist, John, unleashes twenty years of pent-up angst for Julia, in a weekend reunion with her.
Although sex is the plot in this first person, past tense, ‘cabin in the woods’ romp, there’s more. John’s thoughts about his sex life are honest, melodramatic and sometimes, funny.
Two solid characters, a destination, a collaboration and a great ending. This is a very cleverly written short story. In under 8000 words, it accomplishes what most authors fail to attain with forty-thousand words. If erotica is your genre of choice and you crave enlightened heat, Thresholds, book 1 may be your ticket to paradise. XXX Strictly mature content. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Classified correctly under Religion and Spirituality, Teen & Young Adult and Faith based books, this story weaves its own religious tapestry. It melds Christianity with Animism of the early Native American Indians. While Hannah engages in a ‘spirit dance’ to connect with the ‘Great spirit’, she prays to her Christian God—often quoting scripture. Occasionally, her prayers smack more of deal-making with the Lord whereas her husband is more fundamentally Christian and acknowledges Jesus.
There is also a combined belief effort used in healing the sick; Christian prayers and a sweat lodge, for instance. Painted Hands, an American Indian informs us, “The purpose of the sweat lodge goes beyond getting the body clean. The sweat lodge serves to cleanse the mind, body, spirit and soul. Its ceremony is a means of prayer and connecting with your spirit and the spirits of the grandfathers.”
Author, Cissy Hunt uses simple language and tone matching the book’s early setting. It begins with the end as Hannah reflects on her life—much like the way the movie, Titanic, starts. Throughout the book we time jump with her to specific memories until we experience the full emotional circle with Hannah.
Written primarily in third person, this story could have been just as easily written in first person diary form as it felt autobiographical at times—and long—at 345 pages. However, anyone desiring a decent, clean historical fiction will likely find Spirit Dancer a good read. I rate this book 3.5 out of five stars.