Colleen’s Kindle: June 2022 Reads: @AskATechTeacher, @dlfinnauthor, @LBradleyAuthor

The Book Review Club!

I’ve been exploring the Kindle Unlimited offers on Amazon, and I’ve been happy with everything I’ve found. This has become an affordable way for me to feed my voracious book reading habit. For book reviewers like me, this is an excellent way to read books. It’s also a great way for authors to up their readership and still get compensated for the read. If you have your book available through Kindle Unlimited… thank you! Now, let me introduce you to some novels I absolutely loved! ❤

Check out all the books!! https://amzn.to/3HTne4X

Click on the image to visit this book on Amazon.com

Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy Book 1)

Xhosa is the leader of a tribe of “other” humans. In fact, she’s an anomaly among her species, as most women only gathered food and cared for the children. The author describes Xhosa as being taller than most men in her tribe. She’s also fearless and strong, like a man. When a group of homo sapiens threatens her tribe of homo erectus people, she realizes her people cannot just stand and fight for their homeland. In order to survive, she leads her people on a journey to search for a new land. Along the way, other tribes of homo erectus people join her quest. Xhosa calls the other people “Big Heads,” and together they search for a safe place to live.

“Survival of the Fittest” is a well-researched novel. The author, Jacqui Murray, does an outstanding job of capturing what life could have been like when homo sapiens were emerging as the dominant human species. I love stories of the ancients, and this book does not disappoint.

This is the first novel in a trilogy and I’m hooked on the characters. There is a spiritual synchronicity between Xhosa and another character that adds a delightfully pagan touch to the story. I couldn’t help myself. I had to read the next two novels in the series.

The Quest for Home (The Crossroads Trilogy Book 2)

“The Quest for Home” picks up where “Survival of the Fittest” left off. The central theme of the second book is to find a safe place for the people filled with plenty of food so they can survive and flourish once again.

Along the way, we’re introduced to smaller tribes who’ve banded together for safety. When these tribes merge with Xhosa’s people, a power struggle develops between the leaders of the different tribes. The result leaves Xhosa’s role as leader undermined, which makes delivering her people to a safe home more problematic.

Yet, Xhosa meets all the challenges head on! A true leader, she carries the weight of all the people’s problems. In order to survive, she must also combat the internal battles that threaten her leadership.

What really keeps the story going is how the main character’s inner conflicts seamlessly flow within the story line to ramp up the tension. It was this attention to detail that I enjoyed most.

Each contender for the leadership of the tribes has his own distinct personality, which includes a major flaw that becomes his own biggest problem. Once you include the natural threats of weather and geography, cannibals and other tribes who want the people dead, you’re left with high octane tension. I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Against All Odds (The Crossroads Trilogy Book 3)

At long last, Xhosa and the people, who comprised several small tribes traveling together, arrive at the base of the Pyrenees mountains. Throughout this journey, they encountered insurmountable dangers along the way, including the weather and the rough terrain. Through it all, they persevered.

These hunters and gatherers took only what they needed to survive. Not only did they face danger from the animals they preyed upon, but the people often became the prey of others, Big Heads, and cannibals! But there is great unease amongst the people. The clash between Nightshade and Thunder is inevitable. What will become of Xhosa and the people?

Jacqui Murray’s meticulous research enabled a fictional account of the many aspects of ancient man’s probable lifestyle. She portrays their communication as a type of sign language, which made total sense to me. The connection between ancient men and wolves showed that the two animals (man and wolf) benefited the most from their union. Throughout history, the use of herbs and plants as early medicines are well documented. In fact, there is a thread of a “manifest, destiny-like” belief system portrayed in the book, which hints at the possibility that man was destined to traverse and settle the lands far and wide.

Is this all there is to the story? I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

A Voice in the Silence

Drea, a widow, is still grieving the loss of her husband Rob, her soulmate. Lost and alone, Drea struggles to move on. She tries grief counseling, but that doesn’t help her one bit. Then one day, three incredible animals become part of her life, changing her world in ways she never imagined.

Just as Drea’s life changes for the better; she realizes that she’s being stalked by a serial killer. Scared, she turns to Adam, her husband’s best friend. He’s a police officer whose wife has also passed. With the help of the animals, Adam sets out to protect Drea. But there are some things about the animals that Drea hasn’t shared with Adam. Yet…

Plus, there is Drea’s grief to cope with. Can she let go of Rob and move into a future with Adam?

Speculative fiction is always a fun read, but this author’s creativity knows no bounds. There was plenty of tension, including some paranormal activity, that made the story feel unique. The animals make this story shine! Yet, this story is really about Drea, an older woman rediscovering love. This was the perfect summer read!

Maggie’s Fork in the Road (Montana Bound Series Book 2)

I read the first book in this series, (set in Michigan) last year and loved it! For whatever reason, I got sidetracked from continuing the series. Book two, “Fork in the Road” does not disappoint. Chloe and Maggie’s dog, Bones, make this story fun, along with Glad, Maggie’s mother. I enjoyed how Maggie and John’s relationship progressed, even though the progress was painfully slow.

There was a fun visit to Chicago where Maggie and Chloe attend her mother’s photoshoot. Another character to watch for is John’s father, who turns out to be a rugged Montana cowboy.

Maggie’s indecision makes her an interesting character. Considering the issues with her first husband, it’s understandable that she had a lot of things to deal with. Could she be a mother to Chloe? What about her teaching career? You can’t help loving her and that is why I had to find out if she ever makes it to Montana!

Maggie’s Montana (Montana Bound Series Book 3)

“Maggie’s Montana” provides a lovely ending to the trilogy. John and Maggie’s relationship takes center stage in this novel, and all I can say is, it’s about time! Maggie finally comes to grips with her indecision and joins John and Chloe in Montana. There are some lovely scenes and descriptions of Montana’s Big Sky Country.

I know it was a hard decision for Maggie to give up her life and career in Michigan and move to Montana. However, the series was really about Maggie deciding to build a home with John and Chloe. I felt like the book dragged once they were all together on the ranch. Yet, I loved these characters. I’m glad I read this series through to the end.

A Montana Bound Christmas: Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays (Montana Bound Series Book 4)

Just when I thought the series was over, Bradley added another book. Book 3 gave us our much expected happy ending and now, in this fourth and final book, we get one last time to spend time with John, Maggie, and Chloe by spending Christmas in Montana with them.

This book alternates each chapter with a different point-of-view character. It was interesting to read the thoughts of the other characters.

There’s a mystery to solve which adds some necessary tension to the story. If you love Christmas stories, this is a must read!

I’m an eclectic reader, but I enjoyed each of these books. There is something here for everyone! Enjoy!

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

COLLEEN’S #BOOK #REVIEWS “Tell Me a Story: in 99 words,” BY AUTHOR, Annette Rochelle Aben, @YouAreTheExpert

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

It has been a desire of mine since I was a young person to write stories. I had to start somewhere, so I chose to start by writing very short stories.That bring said, I welcome you to a collection of short stories, very short stories as each of the stories is only 99 words in length. Meet memorable characters. See something of yourself in many of the scenarios. Experience a wide range of emotions. Be inspired to write stories of your own. Return to your favorites and enjoy them again and again.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

I’ve read and enjoyed Annette Rochelle Aben’s poetry for years, so when I discovered she’d written a book of flash fiction, I knew I had to read it! Flash fiction writers face a challenge when writing a story in 99 words. The story must contain a beginning, middle, and ending. The writing has to be concise or the story fails. This author excels at storytelling with a twist. She filled these stories with humor and wisdom, embracing the complexity of the human condition in 99 word snapshots of everyday life.

I loved the story called “Determination,” where a woman faces the biggest challenge of her life. Another favorite was “Grand-Light,” where a young man finds the strength to carry on after the death of his grandfather. Don’t read these stories expecting a perfect world or a perfect ending. Read these stories and embrace the complexity of the world around you.

About the Author

Words are like threads that when woven together with passion and purpose can create a tapestry in which you long to wander. That passion was ignited in me when I was a small child and continues to burn bright even today. I was encouraged by educators who challenged me to try and by career paths that demanded I become a proficient wordsmith. I would like to think I have done them proud. Over the years, I have won awards, been nominated for an EMMY for television writing, and penned a #1 Best Selling book of poetry. My collection of books available here on Amazon include self-help, inspirational, and of course poetry. I have been invited to participate in anthologies and collections, several of which are here as well. Welcome to my world of words. Should you find something in which to lose yourself, I shall raise my glass in a toast to your happiness. Thank you for your kind attention.

Find Annette below:

Blog

Twitter

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

COLLEEN’S #BOOK #REVIEWS “Someone Close to Home,” BY AUTHOR, Alex Craigie

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About this Book

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie, Annie, who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie, who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

‘Someone Close To Home’ is a story of love, malice and deadly menace.

Amazon.com

Purchase LINK on Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

Someone Close to Home is the tragic life story of fictional pianist Megan Youngblood. The narrative is told through Megan, who alternates the story between the classical pianist part of her life and to her frightening time spent in a long-term care facility.

Megan was always a meek child; her personality formed early by the actions of her controlling and manipulative mother. After Gideon, her neighbor, rescues her from some school bullies, the two form a friendship that blossoms into true love.

Unfortunately, Megan’s mother has other plans. Her dream is for Megan to marry Jordan, the actor. So, Megan’s mother destroys any chance of a relationship with Gideon. She pushes her daughter into Jordan’s waiting arms.

From the beginning, Megan senses something wrong in their relationship. Jordan tries to convince Megan he loves her, but for him, it’s all a game. His soul’s purpose is to dominate and control her. It doesn’t take long for him to prove his domination when, on their wedding night, he rapes her. This abuse continues throughout their marriage.

Some may ask why Megan stayed in such a relationship for so long. Why didn’t she leave? True to life, Megan had to come to these decisions on her own. She had to find her own strength. And then… the horrible accident happens, and she suffers a debilitating stroke.

One theme of this story is to highlight the appalling conditions found in long-term care homes, where actions beyond Megan’s control made her time in the facility worse. I thought the sexual abuse she suffered from her husband was bad. However, the abuse she endured from Annie while in the long-term care home is truly terrifying!

Written in the first person, the reader experiences the horrors right along with Megan. This was one of the most terrifying psychological suspense books I’ve ever read. Yet, I couldn’t put this book down! Cleverly written, Alex Craigie weaves a thread of hope throughout the book, scattered like breadcrumbs for the reader to follow.

If you love psychological suspense novels, you will not want to miss this book. The characters are unforgettable!

About the Author

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.

Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job she loved.

Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller, and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.

Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019, it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

Book lovers are welcome to contact her on alexcraigie@aol.com.

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

COLLEEN’S #BOOK #REVIEWS “Linda’s Midlife Crisis,” BY AUTHOR, Toni Pike, @piketoni1

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

NOTE: I posted this review yesterday but there issues with the title. When I went in to fix the issue, the post disappeared. I have no idea what happened… but here is the review again. <3

About this Book

How does a fifty-year-old woman start a new life?

Meet Linda Lockwood: fifty, fat, frumpy and bullied by her horrible husband Ron and the vile students and principal at the school where she teaches English. But her life is about to undergo a total transformation.

Linda suffers a breakdown after a traumatic classroom incident, and that brings out the worst in Ron and devious principal, Wayne Forsythe. Then she is rocked to discover her husband has a shocking secret.

With her own determination and the help of friends and family, she starts to turn her life around. She begins to succeed, but there are still some more surprises in store Linda.

A feel-good and inspirational romance for older women who love second chances and chick lit.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

As we head into the beginning of summer, it’s time to think about summer reads. You know, the books that make you feel like everything is alright with the world. “Linda’s Midlife Crisis” will definitely be that book!

We’re introduced to Linda, a plump fifty-something teacher, bullied by her students, the administrative staff, and her own husband, Ron, who she no longer has feelings for. Truth be told, she doesn’t even like the house she lives in.

Eventually, Linda has a breakdown. The doctor orders a period of rest. Ron feels encumbered with her care, and he leaves her. Now, Linda wipes the slate clean and steps into the rest of her life.

I enjoyed Linda’s journey, even though it all seemed a little too good to be true. But that’s what a feel-good book does. This kind of story offers glimpses of hope for other women on how to take those first steps into a new future.

There are some great karmic scenes involving the husband. After reading those, I cheered for Linda even louder.

I read this book in a couple of evenings. It’s not a heavy read which is perfect for a vacation read or an afternoon in a hammock! Enjoy!

About the Author

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing page-turning fiction for adults, hilarious books for children, and non-fiction. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of Linda’s Midlife Crisis, Desolation Bluff, Dead Dry Heart and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: The Magus Covenant, The Rock of Magus, The Magus Epiphany and Holy Spear of Magus.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space and Brody Cody and the Haunted Vacation House.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. The One Way Diet is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight. Happy Travels 101 is a short book of travel tips with advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

She has an Instagram page called  @authorlovestravel   where she shares travel photos.

She’d be delighted to hear from you. Her Email is: authortoni.pike@gmail.com

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

COLLEEN’S #BOOK #REVIEWS “Acts of Convenience,” BY AUTHOR, Alex Craigie

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.

Imagine a near future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation.

I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.

However, it’s a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself.

It’s a scenario that compels her to take action.

It’s a scenario that leads to despair and danger.

Amazon.com book link

MY RECOMMENDATION

In the first few pages of “Acts of Convenience,” a baby dies on the way to the hospital. Even more disquieting is the fact that the baby dies from an illness that proper antibiotics could have treated if the hospital staff had assessed the situation correctly.

The story begins in 2017 and takes the reader on a dystopian ride into the future. This novel deals with the funding disparity faced by the government regarding the healthcare needs of the people. This scene could play out anywhere in the world, but this book features the UK’s National Healthcare System.

The deceased baby’s mother, Cassie, is a nurse working in an NHS hospital. She knows the difficulties the hospitals face with chronic shortages of staff and medications. Eventually, new legislation passes to help reduce the costs of the heavenly burdened NHS system. They enact elective euthanasia for the chronically ill and dying patients into law. The government puts a positive spin on the new law by paying couples to end their lives. Before long, the population readily accepts these attitudes toward death, paving the way for a perilous fall into chaos and the erosion of basic human rights.

As a nurse, Cassie understands the medical issues of care, but suspects a broader, more sinister conspiracy is at play. Not only are doctors making poor decisions in care; she realizes there is always an excuse for those poor decisions. People’s lives are at stake—And, people are dying. Before long, she knows something is terribly wrong. Eventually, Cassie connects with an underground group who is dedicated to finding the truth. This secret life puts her at odds with her husband and family.

I stayed up long into the night, because in true Alex Craigie style; this author ratchets up the tension so tight, you can’t put the book down. There are so many twists and turns in this story. I guarantee you won’t guess what happens next. I fear we might be closer to this kind of reality than we realize. If you love the slow burn and excitement of a suspense thriller, you will love this book. Just make sure to keep a light on!

About the Author

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.

Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job she loved.

Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.

Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019, it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

Book lovers are welcome to contact her on alexcraigie@aol.com.

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s Kindle: April 2022 Reads

The Book Review Club!

I’ve been exploring the Kindle Unlimited offers on Amazon, and I’ve been happy with everything I’ve found. This has become an affordable way for me to feed my voracious book reading habit. For book reviewers like me, this is an excellent way to read books. It’s also a great way for authors to up their readership and still get compensated for the read. If you have your book available through Kindle Unlimited… thank you! Now, let me introduce you to some novels I absolutely loved! ❤

Check out all the books!! https://amzn.to/3HTne4X

This year, I’ll feature the books I’ve read for the month in a post. April had my head in a paranormal romance series, that I can’t seem to stop reading! It’s called the Mystic Cove Series, and the author is Tricia O’Malley. Her books are stunning! She is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR and each of her books is FREE on Kindle unlimited!

I’ve made my way through books one through seven.

The Mystic Cove Series 1 – 4: https://amzn.to/3MzsrQS

The Mystic Cove Series 5 – 7: https://amzn.to/3Kh4hcE

From the Author:

Discover ancient secrets, powerful magic, and enchanting romance on the rocky shores of Ireland! A delightful box set from a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

This boxed set includes the first four books in the Mystic Cove Series.

Wild Irish Heart – Book 1
It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O’Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.


Wild Irish Eyes – Book 2
Oh, to stop the voices in her head.

Other people’s voices, that is. As a pub owner with an extra special gift, all Cait Gallagher craves is a moment of silence. That, and to own the building her pub is housed in along with the heart of the building’s landlord, Shane MacAuliffe. Though she is irresistibly drawn to Shane, her vulnerabilities cause her to put up a tough exterior. When the two butt heads, more than sparks fly, and Cait finds herself trembling on the precipice of love.

Shane has watched Cait for years. Stubborn, beautiful, and with a trim body that he is dying to get his hands on, Cait is it for him. And yet, she continues to infuriate him by walking away from his kiss. Every time. At his wits’ end, Shane doesn’t know what to do to make Cait his own.

Unapologetic and fiercely proud, Cait must conquer her insecurities and reveal her true self or face losing everything.


Wild Irish Soul – Book 3
Love was never her strong suit.

Aislinn is used to living life on her terms. As an artist with an extra-sensory gift, she allows her moods, and those of the natural world, to inspire her paintings for her gallery. Aislinn has danced around serious commitments her whole life.

When Dr. Baird Delaney moves his psychiatry practice to town and stops by her shop to pick up some prints for his office, Aislinn’s world tilts. Irresistibly drawn to his presence, yet convinced that the uptight doctor is a poor match for her free-flowing artistic soul, Aislinn is torn. Both Aislinn and Baird will have to suspend their beliefs as they tumble headfirst into a messy, unrepentant love that challenges both to accept each other unequivocally.


Wild Irish Rebel – Book 4
A loner at heart…

Morgan McKenzie has been on her own since she ran away from a nightmarish foster home at the age of sixteen. Afraid to put down roots again only to be hurt once more, Morgan prefers to be constantly on the move. Until she is inexplicably pulled to the small Irish town of Grace’s Cove. Before she knows it, Morgan is settling in and forming relationships for the first time in her life. Determined to keep her walls up to protect both her heart and the touch of magick she carries, Morgan fights against her growing attraction for the town’s golden boy, Patrick Kearney.

Patrick can’t keep his eyes off of Morgan. Since the moment he saw Morgan across the dance floor at Keelin’s wedding, Patrick has been lost. Pulled in by her beauty and vulnerability, Patrick’s frustration grows as his advances are continually rebuffed. As Morgan rebels against her feelings for Patrick, she is swept into a battle against her own worst demons.

The boxed set of books 5-7 in the Mystic Cove Series. 

Includes: 
Book 5: Wild Irish Roots: Margaret & Sean
Book 6: Wild Irish Witch
Book 7: Wild Irish Grace 

Wild Irish Roots: Margaret & Sean

The dramatic conclusion to the Wild Irish Roots: Prequel.
*The prequel is included as bonus in this book. The new story begins at Chapter 17.

“The longest road out is the shortest road home.” – Irish Proverb

Admitting mistakes isn’t easy. And for hardheaded Margret O’Brien, it’s virtually unheard of. When Margaret comes back to Ireland for her daughter’s wedding, she is forced to face her past. She just didn’t expect to be doing it thrown upside down over a devastatingly handsome and exceptionally angry Irishman’s shoulder.

Yet Sean Burke can still make her toes curl with lust.

Twenty-eight years, two countries, and years of hurt stand between Sean and Margaret’s chance at love.

Wild Irish Witch

As a gifted healer, Fiona O’Brien has led a magickal life, though most certainly not an easy one.

Born and raised in the small town of Grace’s Cove, Fiona faces undue criticism and scrutiny from the town’s elite and religious sectors. When Fiona is credited with healing the daughter of one of the town’s leading families, the local priest demands she be arrested and put on trial. The charge? Witchcraft.

Only the love of a warm-hearted man with a booming laugh – and the kindness of strangers – will help her win a battle against closed minds and moral hierarchy. Through it all, Fiona holds on to her faith that light must prevail against the dark.

And when Fiona is given a choice – one which will forever change the fabric of her life – she learns that she must know heartbreak to truly understand her gift

Wild Irish Grace

Is her enemy the love she’s been waiting for?

Grace O’Brien lives an unapologetic life – one where she uses magick and attitude alike to live exactly as she pleases. With talents far beyond what most can comprehend, Grace dances through life with verve and enthusiasm.

But it isn’t all magick and mirth. A secret haunts Grace through the darkest hours of the night. For in her heart lies the soul of a fierce pirate queen, one that has loved and weathered unequivocal loss. Now, as she hopes once more for true love – a love that was promised to her – It seems that Grace might not always be able to get everything that she desires.

From the moment that Dylan Kelly sailed into Grace’s Cove, the town captured his heart. Pulled by an invincible need to move to the village, Dylan changes his entire life to finally focus on his passion project. When Dylan runs headfirst into the indomitable force that is Grace O’Brien, he battles both his attraction and his ethics in order to pursue the one thing that matters most to him – building his legacy.

As centuries blur and souls collide, Grace must come to terms with the fact that she can’t control everything – even her heart.


My Recommendation:

This review covers the series of books one through seven.

In Book One: Wild Irish Heart, the reader is introduced to Keelin O’Brien, who travels from Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland called Grace’s Cove. Keelin meets her grandmother Fiona and learns that she, too, is part of the family’s inherited magical tradition. The cove is filled with secrets, and Keelin is determined to understand the magick found in the enchanted waters of the cove. This book sets up most of the characters for the subsequent novels.

With each new book, we’re introduced to characters found in the previous book who also possess some interesting power given by the magick of the cove. As the story progresses, we learn more of Grace, the pirate queen who bewitched the cove long ago. It is through her lineage; the women are all connected.

By book six, Grace’s spirit is reborn into Keelin’s daughter, also named Grace. Like the women before her, Grace possesses magical powers. She also has to deal with a few past life issues that are interfering with her current life. By the time you read the seventh book, the interwoven lives of the seven women have found their way into your heart. Keelin, Cait, Aislinn, Morgan, Margaret, Fiona, and Grace all have a story to tell.

The significance of the number seven figures prominently. In many cultures, the number seven is beneficial and protective, and in these novels, everything revolves around the protective qualities of the cove.

The characters, the writing, and the location made me fall in love with them all. I also discovered that I enjoy character driven stories. These seven women come full circle in their life experiences. There’s more here than just romantic fluff!

Guess what? There are four more novels, some of which are free from the author’s website here: https://www.triciaomalley.com/free

Romance isn’t my favorite genre, but the paranormal aspects of these books made the characters shine. There is a pattern and predictable flow to the stories, which is typical in romance novels. The first few books have some detailed sexual scenes, so I wouldn’t say these were suitable books for teens, but that’s just me. They were spicey!

If you love Nora Roberts, Trisha O’Malley will draw you into the magic of Grace’s Cove. I’m ready to begin book eight!

CHECK OUT this impressive list of books: Reading Order – Tricia O’Malley

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s Kindle: March 2022 Reads, Alex Craigie, @SarahMallery1, @FranchH45083335, @Virgilante

I’ve been exploring the Kindle Unlimited offers on Amazon, and I’ve not been disappointed! This has become an affordable way for me to feed my voracious book reading habit. For book reviewers like me, this is an excellent way to read books. It’s also a great way for authors to up their readership and still get compensated for the read. If you have your book available through Kindle Unlimited… thank you! Now, let me introduce you to some novels I absolutely loved! ❤

Check out all the books!! https://amzn.to/3HTne4X

March went by in a flash! There were so many things happening this month, I don’t know how I got through it all… but here I am! I even found time to read every night before bed! I read some excellent books this month. Wait until you hear…

Eighteen months ago, Gwen Meredith left the job she loved and came back to Pembrokeshire to help support her irritable and increasingly confused grandmother.

But someone is pursuing a vendetta against her.

As the attacks become more malicious, her old anxieties begin to build.

She’s attracted to her new neighbour who is keen to help…but can she trust him?

When those closest to her are threatened, her desperation mounts.

Who can she trust?

Gwen has a dark secret of her own.

Can she even trust herself?

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

Gwen moves back to Pembrokeshire to care for her elderly grandmother who shows signs of early dementia. For Gwen, being a part-time caregiver is difficult, and her grandmother is especially taxing. Add to this stew of problems a guilt-ridden memory of a childhood tragedy and you understand the pressure Gwen is up against.

Besides caring for her grandmother, Gwen also works in the local school, which is a hotbed for gossip. One morning, she discovers someone spray painted obscene language on her car. The tension builds. Who could have done something so vile, and why? When the strange drawings appear, Gwen knows she’s up against an unknown evil.

There’s plenty of help from her family, friends, and neighbors. But Gwen can’t help wondering if one of them isn’t behind the strange occurrences. The police don’t seem to be much help, which increases the tension even more.

I could not put this book down. The tension builds in a slow arc, mimicking Gwen’s confusion and worries about her own mental health. Nothing is as it seems in this mystery, so if you think you have it figured out, you probably don’t! I never figured it out until the very end, when all was revealed.

Alex Cragie is a new author for me and I can’t wait to read more of her books. If you love mysteries that ramp up the tension, you will love “Means to Deceive.”

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


HIDDEN SPELLS: Book #2 of the Award Winning Witch/Mystery Series

Picking up seven years later, this second witch book features the feisty, middle sister, Carly Good. Tough on the outside, vulnerable on the inside, she’s determined to not only prove her magical prowess to her family and the world, she also has worked hard to forget how her ex-boyfriend, Josh, had inexplicably left her so long ago––without a trace.

But in a flash, things are flipped upside down. Suddenly, Josh is now back in town, having written an article about a fifty-year-old missing person case. And if that weren’t enough, a murdered woman’s body has just been found, rocking the little community of Wheelton Connecticut and causing everyone to wonder: How can two such different, separate cases cause so much havoc?

But are they really different cases? And will Josh and Carly get back together?

#Magic, #Romance #MurderMystery, #Time Travel, #CockatooHumor

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

Carly Good would do anything to improve her spell work. She’s never been good with spells, but now she is determined to prove her spell mastery to her coven. So she sets to work with the attitude that practice makes perfect. Before long, Carley is shocked to learn her spells actually work!

However, seven years ago, Carly’s ex-boyfriend Josh left her without a word. Suddenly, he reappears in town. With the discovery of a woman’s body, Carley struggles to understand why Josh wrote a book about a missing person case from fifty years ago. And how are the dead woman and the cold case related? And what about Josh? Did he come back to her for good this time?

This is a delightfully lighthearted mystery filled with witchy goodness. Not every witch has to be bad, you know. Another fun character to watch for is Joselyn, the cockatoo. She adds a bit of laughter to the family. This cozy mystery kept me wondering who did it, right up to the end! I look forward to more stories featuring the Good clan.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This is a book of original poetry and quotes by the author.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

This is a small book of poems and personalized quotes that are filled with poetic wisdom. I love the rich imagery of her descriptions. She talks of “autumn leaves, the color of marmalade, and the beauty of crystal snowflakes.” After each poem, the author shares her personal thoughts. These quotes give the reader a glimpse into the author’s personality. You will like what you read!

We know Franci Hoffman as Eugi from Eugi’s Causerie.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


A free poetry book to celebrate National Poetry Day 2015 with poems on the theme of light from Deborah Alma, Brian Moses, Chrissie Gittins, Liz Brownlee, Michaela Morgan, Jan Dean, Paul Cookson, Roger Stevens, Joseph Cohelo, Indigo Williams and Sally Crabtree.

National Poetry Day is a mass celebration, a special day on which all are invited to discover and share the enjoyment of poems. It’s a chance to let language off the leash and to relish the sounds that words can make when they are spoken with delight.

We hope that the poems in this book – all inspired by this year’s National Poetry Day theme of light – will kindle an enthusiasm for poetry that continues to grow long after the day itself, Thursday 8 October 2015, has passed.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

I stumbled across this book while doing some research for a future book. The introduction in the book states, “The poems here are the work of the National Poetry Day ambassadors—twelve extraordinary poets who spend their lives thinking of fresh ways to make words resonate.”

I enjoyed the free verse and free style poetry, all written using the theme of light. The poets each had a section dedicated to them which explained their thoughts on poetic inspiration, including their favorite poem written by someone else. I found the poetry writing tips to be helpful. This was a lovely read, and the book is free. If you’re looking for some poetic inspiration and enjoyment, have a read!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


Someone is murdering members of the local witch’s coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky, dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

I’ve been waiting for years for this author to introduce witches into his repertoire of magical beings… and I’m so glad he did. He does not disappoint! This is the fifth book in The Hat series and it is my favorite.

After Lunar Boogie, book four, Lizzie and the Hat get back together again to come to the aid of a coven of witches. There’s a religious zealot killer on the loose, and the coven wants this person brought to justice… witch justice, that is!

The new characters are some fascinating witch-folk, along with an elemental being that ends up as a star in her own right. Cyrus Yoder and his apprentice, Dash, are gifted witches who work with ambergris, found in the bellies of bog-trogs, members of the troglodyte family. I hope to see more of these characters in future novels. They are a totally different representation of witches, finally.

I also loved the name for non-witches—mundanes, which is a throwback to “muggles” of Harry Potter fame. Watch for the antics of Noodles, an otherworldly creature. I’m always amazed at this author’s creativity and I know you will be too!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s Kindle: January 2022 Reads, @ShehanneMoore, @HowellWave, @DebHarkness

I’ve been exploring the Kindle Unlimited offers on Amazon, and I’ve not been disappointed! This has become an affordable way for me to feed my voracious book reading habit. For book reviewers like me, this is an excellent way to read books. It’s also a great way for authors to up their readership and still get compensated for the read. If you have your book available through Kindle Unlimited… thank you! Now, let me introduce you to some novels I absolutely loved! ❤

Check out all the books!! https://amzn.to/3HTne4X

I’m so behind in reviews that I’ve decided that a monthly post will be the best way to move forward in 2022.

Genoa 1820

Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: You will be fully clothed at all times…

Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position. And her secrets. But when the callously irresistible Captain James “Flint” Blackmoore sails back into her life, Lady Fury panics. She must find a way to protect herself—and her future—from the man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed. If she must bed him to keep her secrets, so be it. But she doesn’t have to like it. A set of firm rules for the bedroom will ensure that nothing goes awry. Because above all else, she must stop herself from wanting the one thing that Flint can never give her. His heart.

Ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore has never been good at following the rules. Now, once again embroiled in a situation with the aptly named Lady Fury, he has no idea why he doesn’t simply do the wise thing and walk away. He knows he’s playing with fire, and that getting involved with her again is more dangerous than anything on the high seas. But he can’t understand why she’s so determined to hate him. He isn’t sure if the secret she keeps will make things harder—or easier—for him, but as the battle in the bedroom heats up, he knows at least one thing. Those silly rules of hers will have to go…

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

These days I read little romantic, historical fiction, but a review from a friend convinced me I would enjoy the characters in this novel. Wow, was she right! I’ll be reading more of Shehanne Moore’s books in the future!

Imagine a young woman on a quest, searching for a man to furnish her with his services… stud services, that is! Lady Fury Shelton isn’t looking for love. This is business and emotions have no place in this transaction. Far from it. What she needs is an heir. While the Lady’s husband is rotting in the basement, she decides she must produce the Beaumont heir and secure her future.

When Captain James “Flint” Blackmoore reappears from Fury’s shadowy past, she knows she must protect herself from his charms at all costs. Flint agrees to stick to her rules of not kissing and being fully clothed at all times, but he extends his services for a hefty price. Can Fury jeopardize her heart again?

The chemistry between these two characters melted my Kindle! Their relationship is fraught with stormy passion. The intensity of their emotions and the witty dialogue kept me reading long into the night. If you’re looking for a sexy and unusual romance, this is the book for you!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

When not cuddling inn signs in her beloved Scottish mountains alongside Mr. Shey, or spending time with their family, Shehanne Moore writes dark and smexy historical romance, featuring bad boys who need a bad girl to sort them out. She firmly believes everyone deserves a little love, forgiveness and a second chance in life. Shehanne caused general apoplexy when she penned her first story, The Hore House Mystery—aged seven. From there she progressed to writing plays for her classmates, stories for her classmates, plays for real, comic book libraries for girls, various newspaper articles, ghost writing, nonfiction writing, and magazine editing. Stories for real were what she really wanted to write though and, having met with every rejection going; she sat down one day to write a romance, her way. https://www.facebook.com/ShehanneMoore

https://twitter.com/ShehanneMoore


James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things. 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

Eternal Road: The Final Stop begins with a suspenseful prologue where, years ago, a young girl named Sam was murdered. Seventeen years later, James stops along a stretch of highway to pick up a hitchhiker. Before long, he realizes this young woman is his childhood friend, Sam. The two realize they are no longer alive, but dead.

Howell’s premise is good. He takes readers on an unusual journey into the supernatural afterworld where Sam and James battle for their souls. He rewrites the rules concerning heaven and hell, leaving it up to his characters to decide their futures.

James’s old 1956 Oldsmobile drives the couple to different places and times. These elements of time travel sometimes drag the storyline along until the characters catch up. Sam acts as his angelic guide while James travels the Eternal Road toward his transcendent destiny, with stopovers at Tombstone, AZ, Las Vegas, a visit to Sam’s parents, including a scary encounter with Lucifer.

I could compare James’ trip on the Eternal Road to the Buddhist concept of the Bardo, intended to guide the newly deceased person through the death bardo to gain a better rebirth, and also to help their loved ones with the grieving process.

Howell created an alternate reality you won’t soon forget. There is plenty of romance, mystery, and paranormal events to keep you guessing. I enjoyed this read!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. John’s latest book is titled Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existance. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets. Visit my blog at https://www.johnwhowell.com.


Picking up from A Discovery of Witches‘ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes reluctant witch Diana Bishop and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782–the lost and enchanted manuscript whose mystery first pulled Diana and Matthew into one another’s orbit–deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them. Together they find they must embark on a very different – and vastly more dangerous – journey.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

Find my review to book one, A Discovery of Witches HERE.

Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, haven broken the law of creatures by engaging in a romantic relationship. Moving forward from the events in the first book, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to Elizabethan England, hoping to find a teacher to help Diana learn how to control her emerging powers. As the two seek safety in the past, they find many dangers that threaten them and their relationship.

Shadow of Night: A Novel, book two in the All Souls Trilogy, is one of the best books in the series! The historical expertise of the author makes this book shine. The past feels authentic, along with the many details from the time period, where the reader is immersed into 17th century London. It is a glimpse into the uncertainties a modern woman would face in the misogynistic world where men rule and women follow. The author added more layers to the story with a trip to France, which sheds more light into Matthew’s past that later ties into Diana’s future.

I’ve enjoyed every bit of this series. Don’t judge the book by the television series. It doesn’t do the story justice. If you read one historical, paranormal series this year, make it this one.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont, return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

Amazon.com

My Recommendation:

The Book of Life is the third book in the All Souls Trilogy. This book is the conclusion of a well crafted and thought out trilogy. Now back in the present, Matthew and Diana must handle their grief along with the realities of becoming parents, and the complex and precarious dynamics of creature politics and vampire families. Diana must accept her weaver magic, and Matthew must deal with his blood rage.

Through it all, I could actually feel the love between Diana and Matthew. It was also a thrill when Diana comes into her own power as she courageously deals with the Congregation and with Benjamin. The ancient “discovery of witches” links in with the scientific evidence, and together the two work out the puzzle about “creatures.” It was a soul satisfying conclusion!

The author’s historical research was meticulous, and the world building—remarkable. Harkness created characters and scenes filled with imagery (without being overly descriptive) which left me wanting more. Beware if you are squeamish… there are torture scenes in this series. But I can’t image the story without those scenes. I’m glad I bought the print version of the trilogy. I’ll read this series again! It’s that good!

 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

COLLEEN’S #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Sisu: The Spy with One Finger,” BY Elmer Liimatta

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

Purchase LINK: https://amzn.to/3rs5oQ0

About this Book

This is a historical novel based on the true story of an American born Finnish communist spy from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The author, Elmer R. Liimatta, grew up in the same community as Arvid W. Jacobson. This story was written to honor Dr. Jacobson’s lifetime achievements.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

“Sisu: The Spy with One Finger,” is Elmer Liimatta’s debut novel. Facts and fiction converge in the story of Arvid W. Jacobson, a Finnish-American Communist who spied for the Soviet Union in the 1930s. But there is so much more to this story. Arvid Jacobson helped create the first ENIAC computer, along with many other contributions throughout his lifetime.

Born in Covington, Michigan, Arvid suffered from a farming accident where he lost part of his hand. That accident changed his life in more ways than he could have ever imagined.

Life was hard in the UP of Michigan in the 1930s. Jobs were scarce and people had few choices available to them. Distrust in government seemed to be inherent in all immigrants, including the Finnish. The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland realized this distrust within the Russian Empire during the early 19th century, to the demise of the personal union between Russia and Finland.

These Finnish immigrants were hardy people, used to hardships. They believed in Sisu, which is considered not to have a literal equivalent in English, as it is a Finnish concept described as stoic resolve, the steadfastness of purpose, grit, bravery, strength, and resilience.

After the stock market crash of 1929, Arvid Jacobson found himself lured by the false promises of communism. I compared much of what happened to Arvid with the false news and right-wing propaganda popular in our current affairs. There is no doubt in my mind that history seems to repeat itself.

The rest of the story is Arvid’s to tell. From the walls of a Finnish prison where he lived for three years, he shares the details of his historic release and his return to the United States. Arvid’s story, and subsequent path to redemption, are full of Finnish wisdom. Arvid never backed down from his ideal to make the world a better place. In fact, he spent the rest of his life making it better.

I’m thrilled to share that I played a small part in creating this book’s cover along with my hard-learned print and eBook formatting skills. It was a thrill to be part of this book’s journey.

About the Author

Author, Elmer Liimatta

Elmer R. Liimatta was born in 1931 in the Upper Peninsula (UP), specifically the Copper Country of Michigan. He grew up with a younger sister Betty, and a brother Wilho, in a rustic logging camp located in Bootjack (Princess Pointe). His father Ainard and mother Mamie operated a logging company on rented land with several workers.

Elmer started school in the UP, but in 1942 they moved to Detroit due to WW II. After graduation from Hazel Park High School, Elmer was drafted into the Korean War. He served the U.S. Army in Korea during the war as a tank mechanic and Motor Sergeant E5.

Elmer maintains there were key elements in his life that helped him succeed. He learned early to do his best even if no one was watching. He expounded that he also learned to never give up. His dad taught him a love for tools, and how to solve problems, and how to work together as a team. By using these methods, he and his fellow army soldiers fixed mechanical problems so they could keep the tanks and vehicles running. Elmer lost three buddies in Korea. To this day, Elmer still enjoys the challenge of fixing a mechanical problem.

After serving in the Korean War, Elmer returned home and enrolled at Suomi College (now Finlandia University) in Hancock, Michigan. Elmer married Ruth Tapio in 1954.

Later, he earned a degree in Religious Education from Detroit Bible College/Willian Tyndale, a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern University, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary. Elmer was called to pastor the Apostolic Lutheran Church in Detroit where he served for forty years. They retired in 1995 and moved to Chassell, Michigan.

Elmer and Ruth had five boys, Daniel, Jeffrey, Steven, Kevin, and Mark. While serving, Elmer helped to relocate and build a new church and parsonage in Southfield, Michigan.

Elmer was also very active with the Finnish Cultural Association (FCA) in Detroit. The FCA grew over the years and became a larger association of local Finns in the Detroit area. They gathered regularly to host events and meetings. They eventually built a hall and offices for events in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Elmer’s vision of a retirement village became a reality in 1987 with Tapiola Village. The retirement complex was built on a site next to the FCA. The “village” now has 91 apartments with many structured as four-unit “cluster” housing to aid in creating a family or village environment. The village is open to all seniors.

Elmer also served as a Police Chaplain for thirty years in the Southfield and Detroit area working with police officers, including inmates and victims, during the troubled 1960’s. Elmer received training at the Michigan State Police Academy on hostage negotiations with local law enforcement at Lansing, Michigan.

Elmer is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as Post, District, State, and National Chaplain 2010-11, at the same time.

Elmer’s main goal in life was to build and strengthen his community. Throughout his life, he met many interesting people and special characters. Dr. Arvid Jacobson was a very interesting person to work with and their friendship led Elmer to write this book to honor his friend.  

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Colleen’s Kindle: February 2022 Reads

I’ve been exploring the Kindle Unlimited offers on Amazon, and I’ve not been disappointed! This has become an affordable way for me to feed my voracious book reading habit. For book reviewers like me, this is an excellent way to read books. It’s also a great way for authors to up their readership and still get compensated for the read. If you have your book available through Kindle Unlimited… thank you! Now, let me introduce you to some novels I absolutely loved! ❤

Check out all the books!! https://amzn.to/3HTne4X

I’m so behind in reviews that I’ve decided that a monthly post will be the best way to move forward in 2022. So, welcome to my February reads!

My Recommendation:

Magical New Beginnings: Paranormal Women’s Fiction (Midlife Witchery Book 1) (I did not review the next two books in the series).

I had high hopes for this book and the series. I loved the author’s description of these books. Just imagine a woman in midlife finding out she is part witch and part fey! Think of the possibilities!! Most of you know I love my fantasy series! And these books were on Kindle Unlimited and advertised all over Facebook!

The premise is good. A woman in her mid-forties finds out she has magical abilities… the rest of the book is about how Fiona learns she isn’t human but a powerful hybrid. She’s also a Guardian to a world she didn’t know existed. Along with the help of some friends, she comes into her powers, stumbling along undirected. Her half-witch, half-fey presence has brought danger to the magical area she now lives in. Hopefully, she and her friends can keep it together. Then, book one ends…

The author must be young because she describes Fiona as if she has more aches and pains than Whistler’s Mother! No one in their mid-forties would moan and groan about their knees like Fiona does. However, with all those ailments, she still has wild sex with Sebastion, the hunky faery guy.

I read three books into the series, hoping the story would expand and develop, but it was not to be. The first three books in the series are exactly the same. There are also major editing issues. I felt like the author wrote these books to hook middle-aged women into buying the books. Sometimes you have to tell it like you read it!


My Recommendation:

“Golden Healer” is the second book in The Curse of Time Series by M. J. Mallon. Amelina’s destiny is to become a magical Krystallos, and along with her friends, they set out to learn the secrets of the crystals.

The plot takes the reader on a roller coaster ride, much like the one Amelina’s father ends up riding in the book. Ryder is back as a Shadow Sorcerer. His hypnotic powers now threaten Amelina, which means the Curse of Time could steal away her father once again.

Using poetry as an introduction to each chapter is a lovely Segway into the chapter events. I also liked the use of crystals. My favorite part of the book deals with the Crystal Cottage and the mythical beings that guard it.


My Recommendation:

I borrowed the KU version of this book. It’s so good I’ll buy the paperback. If you love crystals or use them for meditation, this is the book for you!

“Crystals for Healing” covers the healing properties of 99 of the most common crystals. The book details the use of crystals along with the chakras to heal emotional distress and other ailments.

From the author:

Detailed profiles—Alphabetized for easy reference, each crystal profile provides an overview of the stone’s essential characteristics, everything from its origins to ideal positioning for healing.

Healing remedies—This book recommends the crystals you need (often two or three) to overcome issues or ailments, such as crippling fear or insomnia, or to attain specific goals, like improving empathy or being open to greater prosperity.

Identification made easy—With bright, detailed photography, this book will teach you to recognize powerful crystals and gemstones at a glance, like Amethyst, Tourmaline, and Carnelian.”

Amazon.com

This is an excellent book to begin your healing journey with crystals.


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