Tag Archives: fiction novel

Book Review: Heaven’s PREY – by Janet Sketchley

Heaven's PreyBook: Heaven’s PREY: A Redemption’s Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Choose NOW Publishing
Date: November 1, 2013
Genre: suspense; regional fiction
Pages: 322
Price: Paperback under $16; Kindle under $4
My rating: hard to read but harder to put down
 

I received a copy of Heaven’s Prey from the author for my honest review.

This was a novel hard for me to read but also hard to put out of mind. I had to know how it ended, and not only in order to write a review.

In Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley we meet Ruth, the main female character who is still mourning the loss of her niece, a young woman who had been brutally attacked and murdered. We meet Tony, Ruth’s husband who refuses to accept the God to Whom his wife prays … for the killer! In a dramatic turn of events we meet the killer, Harry, who had escaped from prison and was not on the west coast of Canada where everyone was looking for him, but in Nova Scotia – on Canada’s east coast.

Mild spoiler alert: On her way home from a prayer meeting Ruth makes a stop at a convenience store. That’s when things get dramatic. In an odd turn of events Harry is there and kidnaps Ruth, not knowing her connection to his last victim (her niece) before he was caught. This traumatic event leads to dramatic change in the lives of Ruth, Tony and Harry.

Janet Sketchley is a strong writer. Heaven’s Prey is well-structured, dramatic, hard to read in places because of content, and keeps the reader interested in knowing if/how Ruth will survive, and what will happen to Harry.

Although this novel is a story of redemption and forgiveness it is definitely not a book for young readers. If you enjoy a good suspense with no foul language, scenes that are on the edge but not graphic, drama that rises and falls and increases again, then this is the book for you.

Heaven’s PREY by Janet Sketchley was a finalist in the 2014 Word Awards in the suspense category.

You can find Heaven’s PREY listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 
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Book Review: Drowning Mermaids – by Nadia Scrieva

Drowning MermaidsBook: Drowning Mermaids
Author: Nadia Scrieva
Publisher: ThunderWords
Date: January 7, 2014
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 316
Price: paperback under $12.00; Kindle – may still be free
My Rating: interesting fantasy that adds dimension to one’s imaginings
 
 

There are depths of the ocean no one has ever seen, where no human could possibly survive. Or can they? There are places in the ocean that exist only in one’s imagination. Or do they?

What if a person has mermaid abilities? What if a person has mermaids in the family but doesn’t know it?

In Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva – book one of the Sacred Breath series – we get to find out the answers to those questions. In this book we follow the life and struggles of Aazuria and her sisters who are living on land despite being better accustomed to living under the ocean waves. There is the fight-to-the-death battle with opposing forces, fisherpersons in grave danger, events and misunderstandings that lead to tragic circumstances. And of course there is the love interest, the impossible dream, the hope for a future worth pursuing.

A warning to young readers: unfortunately there is some nasty language in some places and a few suggestive mature scenes, otherwise this would have been a suitable book for them to read.

Despite what I mentioned in the above paragraph, and some editing that was missed, Drowning Mermaids is a story depicting strong female characters and a storyline that holds one’s interest. If you ever wondered what it would be like to live under water, or if there are really mermaids in the ocean (or in your family), you may like to read Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva to find out what one creative author thinks about all that. Experience the fantasy.

You can find Drowning Mermaids listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: An Illusion of Trust – by Linda Cassidy Lewis

An Illusion of TrustBook: an illusion of trust
Author: Linda Cassidy Lewis
Publisher: Two-Four-Six Publishing
Date: March 19, 2013
Genre: women’s fiction
Pages: 354
Price: $12.99; less on Kindle
My Rating: an excellent sequel but proudly can stand alone
 

Having read and reviewed The Brevity of Roses by Linda Cassidy Lewis I was happy to receive An Illusion of Trust to review as it is the sequel to Linda’s first novel. You can read my review of The Brevity of Roses here.

This story picks up where the first one left off. At the end of the first book, The Brevity of Roses, a new character was introduced, and under the circumstances I was not happy to meet her at first. In An Illusion of Trust she plays a major role. In fact, this story is told from her voice, her perspective, and it was cleverly done.

Renee is young, much younger than the women she now socializes with because of her marriage. Although her wealthy older husband professes to deeply love her, Renee is insecure and suspicious. A few times I was very annoyed with Renee, but I understood her insecurity and lack of confidence. She believes her husband is keeping secrets from her, and there is one woman in their circle whose attention to him adds to her suspicions.

Renee has secrets of her own, a past she doesn’t want known, and people she can’t forgive. Her tormented mind is reaching the breaking point, threatening her marriage, her children’s happiness, her own sanity. Combined with the pressures she feels from her new life – something has got to give. And it does!

An Illusion of Trust is a strongly written novel. Linda Cassidy Lewis is so convincing in her characters, bringing them to life in a very believable way, that it is easy for the reader to get pulled into their lives. This sequel to The Brevity of Roses is definitely not a disappointment. If you did not read The Brevity of Roses it is possible to read An Illusion of Trust and not have trouble following it, even though it is the sequel. Having said that, I would urge you to do yourself a favour and read both books, starting with The Brevity of Roses. Simply for the pleasure of it.

You can find An Illusion of Trust listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: Hailee (Montana Skies series) – by Penny Zeller

Hailee by Penny ZellerBook: Hailee
Author: Penny Zeller
Publisher: Whitaker House
Date: January 2, 2011
Genre: Christian historical romance; fiction
Pages: 432
Price: $12.99 paperback; under $8.00 Kindle
My Rating: good clean romance and adventure

 

Hailee is book three in the Montana Skies series by Penny Zeller. You can read my review of book two, Kaydie, here.

In this volume we meet Hailee, an orphan with two younger brothers. Because they were left on their own, she took on the responsibility of her little brothers. Eventually, Hailee is separated from them through bad choices she made, and was taken to a home for delinquents. There her life is changed despite her rebellion.

We meet Hailee in 1893 when she is nineteen and setting out to make a life for herself as a teacher. Through her memories of guilt and shame, and her learning to accept God’s forgiveness, we learn about her past and her heartache over still not knowing the whereabouts of her brothers.

There is another main character in this story. Nate, although brought up in Boston’s high society, chose to live a much simpler life as a pastor in a small rugged town – much to the great displeasure of his parents. He loves his new life among the varied and interesting personalities in the little town in Montana.

Hailee and Nate come from very different backgrounds, so when their paths intersect their lives take an interesting turn. There is drama, danger, love, family conflict, and more.

The reader is invited along in the journey in a way that makes one unwilling to leave the story even when necessary. Penny Zeller created characters who are believable, scenes that are well-described, and unfolding drama that keeps the pages turning. She subtly presents the message of God’s love and grace in a gentle and convincing way, making this an enjoyable read. 

Although Hailee is book three of the Montana Skies series, the first two books are not needed to make this one understandable; the author neatly ties them all together. Having said that, once you read Hailee you will probably want to read McKenzie and Kaydie.

You can find Hailee listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart – by Syr Ruus

Book: Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: Breakwater Books
Date: August 1, 2012
Genre: fiction, comedy
Pages: 250
Price: $18.95
My rating: great reading for those looking for something different with humour and wit regarding the human condition
 

Having met the author, Syr Ruus, at another author’s (Laura Best) book launch, I made it a point to find this book. (It was on Amazon.)

Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart is an adult novel, fictional and amusing.

Emmanuel Taggart is a forty-five-year-old man who feels his life is stuck in a rut. His two sons are grown and out, leaving just his wife and him. One cold February day he feels ill so leaves the office early. From there the story takes the reader on an adventure unlike any this reader has journeyed before – in a good way.

Believing himself to be living his last months of life, Emmanuel Taggart sees doctors, endures tests by specialists, and meets people along the way whom he never would have approached before.  His mind takes him places he wouldn’t have dared to think until then, and he begins – not without feelings of guilt – keeping secrets from his wife. It gets more and more complicated, and more and more amusing, as he convinces himself that he is dying while he spins a web in which he traps … himself.

Syr Ruus tells a marvellous story, one that has twists and turns and delightful visuals to keep the reader devouring the pages. It is enjoyable the way she words things, such as this when Emmanuel’s secretary, Rose, is concerned about him:  “I looked out and saw your car still sitting here in the lot. Then I started thinking you weren’t feeling so good and maybe you passed out or something, and I says to myself, Rose, you better check this out. And here you still are, Mr. Taggart. Are you okay? You don’t look so good.” Shivering. Pulling her coat together to protect her scrawny neck, sleeves blowing empty at the sides.

Can’t you just see those empty sleeves flapping in the breeze, and feel that shivery cold? brrrr

Emmanuel Taggart makes discoveries about himself along the way, and not only about himself. There are surprises – some nice, some awkward, some that shock him. And there are surprises for the reader. This is a novel to add to your library.

Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart by Syr Ruus won the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize from the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. I hope you will read it to find out why this author’s writing is so highly regarded.

You can find Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: Treasure Me, Book One in the Liberty series – by Christine Nolfi

Treasure Me by Christine NolfiBook: Treasure Me
Author: Christine Nolfi
Publisher: Christine Nolfi
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: April 19, 2011
Genre: romantic fiction for adults
Pages: 352
Price: $12.95 paperback; $5.00 Kindle
My Rating: Captivating characters and a story line that reels the reader in.
 

I received a copy of Treasure Me from Christine Nolfi to review.

Treasure Me starts out at a nervous pace, snagging the reader’s attention immediately. The main character, Birdie, is hanging from a ledge three stories above street level, trying to escape from a very angry man from whom she had just lifted a wallet. Now, is that enough to reel you in?

Birdie is a petty thief, taught by her mother. She has had a hard life alongside her mother who moved from town to town, stealing and playing her con games as she went, using her daughter to sweeten the con until cutting her loose at a young age, leaving her to fend for herself. Birdie learned well, and when the opportunity arose to strike it rich she grabbed at it.

Striking it rich, though, didn’t turn out to be as simple as she thought it would be. The only clue she had to hidden treasure in a lazy little town was passed down through generations and she could only hope it still existed. Little did she know her life was about to be drastically influenced by the unsuspecting people of that town in a way that would cause her much regret.

I won’t tell you any more! If this interests you then you will have to read it for yourself. 😉  But, beware: the author sprinkled flirtation, seduction and adult information (although not explicit) throughout so that this is not a book for pre-adult readers.  If it weren’t for that, I would recommend Treasure Me for advanced young readers because the main story line is a good one, well-executed with humour and mystery mixed into the interwoven relationships and fabric of the town’s history.

Christine Nolfi created memorable characters – although a couple are a little exaggerated, perhaps – who made Treasure Me a story in a fictional little town worth visiting.

You can find Treasure Me listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Book Review: Elephant Summer – by Douglas Jackson Channell

Elephant Summer
Book: Elephant Summer
Author: Douglas Jackson Channell
Publisher: self-published; sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: April 9, 2009
Genre: fictional story based on non fiction; Nature; YA
Pages: 175
Price: (on Kindle) $2.99
My rating: Exciting, excellent story
 

I found this book on Amazon and was drawn by the title.  I love elephants and, in looking at the description of this book, had to read it. I was not disappointed.

The story opens with everyone running from a rogue elephant, so my attention was captured from the very beginning.

During their summer vacation, three young teenage friends – two boys, one girl – visit the archeologist uncle of the boy telling the story. His uncle is living and working in Kenya, Africa. The three teens become involved in learning about a family of elephants and help with gaining new information about them.

Elephants are amazing, intelligent animals, individual in personality and habits. This story brings to the reader’s attention how wonderful these animals are, and how serious is their plight as they are still being destroyed needlessly and cruelly. It is told through the concern and humour of the young friends who have the privilege of learning first-hand about them. There is adventure, danger, teenage antics, humour, and more, set in the jungle camp and surrounding area. It’s a fun book to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, except for the harsh reality of some scenes which were a little hard to read knowing it does actually happen, but it was handled in such a good way to be suitable for young readers as well. From the title and summary that influenced me to obtain this book, right to the last word in the last chapter, my interest was held. It made me want to be there.

If you like elephants, or enjoy stories about adventures in the wild – in this case, Africa – give this book, Elephant Summer, a try.

You can find Elephant Summer listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Now, apart from the book, and because I love elephants, I’m going to put in a plug here for the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, USA. This is a quote directly off their website:The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, founded in 1995, is the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered African and Asian elephants.” Check out their website: www.elephants.com  and see what they are doing to help these magnificent animals, one at a time.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂