Book Review – Deceived by Heena Rathore Pardesi #Psychological #Thriller #Book #Review

Goodreads Synopsis

How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?

Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiven betrayal.

My review

Deceived by Heena Rathore P.

My rating: 4 .5 of 5 stars


Disclaimer – I received a free ebook copy of Deceived. My review of this book has in no way been influenced by this kind offer.


An excellent debut by Heena Rathore Pardesi. Just what you would expect from a book blogger who loves to read and studies the craft of writing extensively.

I have to admit that there were times especially towards the end of the book where I went, ugh, that is so horrible, Heena! So, be prepared for that. Heena is a huge fan of horror and this comes across in her writing. She is not afraid to shock the reader.

In Deceived we read of Elizabeth’s story, a sad tale of sexual abuse perpetrated by her stepfather that led her already fragile, disturbed mind towards a need to commit violent acts herself.

Ally ‘s mum and young brother were murdered making her a vulnerable character longing for stability and love. She has suffered so much and I longed for her to be happier and free from anxiety.

Both Elizabeth and Ally are damaged people. There is a sense that anything can and will happen.

I liked the creepy journal entries which add an insight into a murder’s crazy psyche and these are interspersed with Ally (Allison Stone’s) and Elizabeth Lawson’s story.

There are obvious parallels between Ally and Elizabeth. They are both looking for love. Ally hopes to find happiness with her boyfriend Danny. Elizabeth imagines the love she thinks she deserves. Will either of them find happiness, or will there be more tragedy?

Right from the start it is clear that Ally’s best friend Sam doesn’t trust Danny. I would have liked Sam to be more determined and vocal about Ally escaping from Danny’s clutches. Especially, when it becomes obvious that Allie’s mental health is slipping due to weird discoveries in Danny’s creepy house and the ‘voodoo’ house next door. Also, it would have served as a strong contrast to the ending of the book. But, no spoilers.

Ally’s journalist cousin Steve doesn’t come across as a very trustworthy character at the beginning of the book. And yet Steve doesn’t trust Donny, (who is helping him in his murder investigations,) and is obsessional about Allie. But are Steve’s instincts right? Is Donny strange too?

Ally’s dog Max is such a sweetheart, always wanting to be beside Ally to protect her from harm. But with a killer on the prowl even Max is in danger.

And Elizabeth, what a tale that is!

There are numerous clues throughout the book to keep the reader engaged and turning the pages.

Heena Rathmore uses an unusual technique in some dialogues whilst speaking on the phone – only showing one person’s speech, which I found somewhat unusual until I got used to this style. Perhaps the author did this to maintain the pace of the story, and add an air of mystery.

This novel certainly brings a fair few questions… very cleverly done.

My recommendation:
Read this! An engaging psychological page turner. The ending will stay with me for a long time… Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

About Heena R. Pardeshi

Heena Rathore Pardeshi is a published fiction author, manuscript critic and the Editor-In-Chief at a local publishing house. She is also a fiction writing coach and conducts regular webinars, workshops and lectures on Creative Writing and Fiction Writing.

She has a Bachelor Degree in English Literature from University of Pune. She has also studied 3D Animation Film Making from Reliance Big Animation, Modern Masterpieces of World Literature from Harvard University and Introduction To Psychology from Yale University.

She has seven years of extensive knowledge in blogging and content creation and continues to create content for her YouTube Channel. She is also an animal activist and participates in regular Neuter-And-Release and animal foster activities in her city. She loves music and is currently learning Piano from a tutor of Trinity College of Music, London. She is a book aficionado and reads more than a hundred books every year. She loves travelling, but prefers a lifestyle that suits her introvert nature. She lives in Pune with her husband and 6 cats in a house full of love, chuckles and books.

Social media links:

Website: https://crazycatwriter.com

Blog: https://crazycatwriter.com/blog/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15799129.Heena_Rathore_P_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crazycatwriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/crazycatwriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crazycatwriter/


Book Links:

Amazon (India): https://www.amazon.in/Deceived-Heena-Rathore-P/dp/8193344901/

Amazon (.com): https://www.amazon.com/Deceived-Well-Really-Know-Loved-ebook/dp/B07XKVRKS5/

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The Swansong Conspiracy – #Book #Review (The Eldritch Twins #1) by Nick Vossen

Synopsis:

After a near cataclysmic worldwide event shook the foundations of society and unleashed numerous supernatural hazards onto the Earth, twins Quincy and Lilly just want to lead their lives as normally as possible. However, this proves to be quite difficult. The twins are the heirs of legendary horror writer and occultist W.A. Swansong, who has been declared a prophet now that many of his gruesome creations appear to really exist.

When a mysterious inheritance falls into the twins’ hands, a strange and violent secret organization becomes hell-bent on finding them. Quincy and Lilly are forced to flee their hometown of New Orleans, leading them on a wild, supernatural chase throughout the southern United States. With only a handful of allies and a trapped Fire Vampire named Tim, the twins uncover a great mystery tied to their inheritance, the source of ll pandemonium, and even the true origins of mankind.

My review:

Many thanks to the author for an ARC copy. Apologies for taking a while to review.

I loved this. I loved how crazy it is… The characters of Lily and her twin brother Quincy are awesome, as is the Fire Vampire, Tim. I especially liked Tim and his character arc was just brilliant. It’s a very fast-paced read and there are times where you shift from the twins to Sean’s scenes and you kind of go, whoa… hold on there… whose this? And what’s about to happen now? This took a bit of getting used to… But, I guess it’s intentional. It’s the kind of novel that will have you gripping your seat, or howling with laughter.

The strengths of The Swansong Conspiracy lie in the characterisation, (particularly via the dialogue,) the humourous and engaging plot and the well written action scenes. The banter between the twins is spot on. There are also some amazing descriptions in the book and the story is unusual and weird but in a good way.

So, a definite recommend for me especially if you would like to read something a little less ‘normal.’

While reading The Swansong Conspiracy I kept on having this sensation as if an animated reel of all these ghostly, strange, horrific and dangerous characters was going on in my head. I can see The Swansong Conspiracy transferring well to film. Great debut, Mr. Vossen. Highly imaginative. I’m impressed. 

My rating: 5 stars

Author Bio:

Nick Vossen was raised on blockbuster films from the 80s and 90s as well as fantasy and sci-fi novels, comics and games. No matter the medium, his love for storytelling grew ever larger. Having always had a fascination with the fantastical and weird, he quickly grew fond of authors such as Terry Pratchett, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman and many more. During the winter of 2017 Nick released an anthology of short, weird fiction entitled The Fissures Between Worlds, which delves into the strange places on Earth where time does not flow as it should. It was received quite favourably, and so Nick’s desire to tell more stories grew. He has since been privileged to appear in several other anthologies, magazines and short story compilations and has quite a few projects still in the works. His biggest fascinations and inspirations are old forgotten woodlands, the deepest depths of the oceans and the unsettling, uncanniness of retro futurism.

Nick graduated in Media- and Culture studies at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. He is currently working as a freelance creative writer and author. He also frequently works on projects in the Dutch indie-film industry, putting his talents to use in art-direction, set-dressing and of course screenwriting. His first novel, The Swansong Conspiracy (book 1 of the Eldritch Twins series) is set to be released at the end of 2020 by Parliament House Press. The book will offer a unique blend of coming-of-age comedy, supernatural horror and mystery.

Authors Website: https://nickcronomicon.wordpress.com/

And a great article to read:

https://www.parliamenthousepress.com/post/nick-vossen-on-tour-the-inspirations-and-process-behind-the-swansong-conspiracy

Have you read The Swansong Conspiracy?

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Book Review: The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee #mystery #sci-fi #adventure #murder #fiction #book #5star #review

Synopsis:

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

My review:

I really enjoyed The Hitman and the Thief. This novel has an interesting storyline which gripped me as the chapters sped by. This is a fast paced, easy read. The character of Dan and the thief Lydia are both engaging.

Dan is an ex-serviceman, now turned assassin for Fliss. His latest kill target is Kalindra, his boss’s rival.

But, who is Kalindra? And will Dan bungle it up?

Dan’s relationship with Hesta is under strain due to a certain temptation…

But, who can he trust? The revelations and twists leading up to the awesome ending – are subtle, (read carefully!) – but well done.

All in all, I would highly recommend this for readers who like mysteries, and who might enjoy the Sci fi environment of planets and ships (great world-building,) without it being too Sci fi heavy if you know what I mean.

I’m enjoying Richard Dee’s books more and more. I’d say this is my favourite to date. There is a unique aspect to his writing which I really appreciate. So, deserves the 5 stars.

Buy Link:

And some of my reviews of his other books:

Authors Website: http://www.richarddeescifi.co.uk

Have you read The Hitman and The Thief? Let me know in the comments below.

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Book Review: The Gypsy Bride by Katie Hutton

A moving and tragic cross-cultural love story for readers of Dilly Court and Kitty Neale.

Oxfordshire, 1917

Ellen is growing up in the Oxfordshire countryside. The granddaughter of a Methodist preacher and intending to marry Charlie, a boy from the local village, Ellen’s life is mapped out for her.

When Charlie is killed on the battlefields of the First World War, Ellen is left heart-broken and lost. But then she meets Sam Loveridge. Mysterious and unruly, Sam is from a local Gypsy community, and unlike anyone Ellen has ever met before. Before she knows what’s hit her, Ellen is swept off her feet and shown a world of passion, excitement – and true love.

But the conservative world that Ellen is from can’t possibly understand or approve of their relationship, and Ellen and Sam are torn apart. Is their love strong enough overcome their cultural distances, or will the hostility and prejudice they face destroy their chance at happiness?

The Gypsy Bride is a dramatic new saga for readers of A Village Scandal.

– – – – –

‘The history is meticulous and fascinating and the character of Sam Loveridge is absolutely captivating – I can still hear his voice perfectly, months after finishing.’ Julie Cohen, bestselling author of The Two Lives of Louis and Louise

‘A family saga that had me hooked from the first page.’ Lynn Johnson, author of The Girl from the Workhouse

A richly evoked, completely involving story of love, loss and redemption. So satisfying., Liz Woodcraft, author of The Girls from Greenway

Katie Hutton transports you to a forgotten England in this poignant story of star-crossed lovers. A triumph!, Catherine Kullman, author of The Gracechurch Trilogy

The history is meticulous and fascinating and the character of Sam Loveridge is absolutely captivating – I can still hear his voice perfectly, months after finishing., Julie Cohen, bestselling author of The Two Lives of Louis and Louise

A moving love story, brilliantly depicting the dynamic between settled communities and gypsies., Patricia O’Reilly, author of The First Rose of Tralee

A family saga that had me hooked from the first page., Lynn Johnson, author of The Girl from the Workhouse

The Gypsy Bride is an enthralling and well-researched saga, Lancashire Evening Post –This text refers to the paperback edition.

My review

I was thrilled to receive a paperback copy of The Gypsy Bride to read and review and share my opinion with you. It’s all very positive, I enjoyed reading this so much while drinking coffee in a local coffee shop!

From page one I was enthralled. This is a lovely historical tale of star-crossed lovers, which will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. There is a sense of sadness within the pages of this book, but this is counterbalanced with hope. Poor Ellen has to try come to terms with the death of her fiance.

Her rigid Methodist upbringing is so at odds with her lover’s carefree gypsy life. But is Sam as carefree as he appears to be? Or, is he unhappy, childless and married to the wrong person?

Circumstances and fate’s cruel hand force Ellen to make some painful and unfortunate decisions which have far-reaching and tragic consequences.

This is the first book that I’ve read from this author. I was impressed by the natural flow and effortless of Katie Hutton’s writing.

Wonderful storytelling. The gypsy way of life is well-researched making the story so authentic and vivid. Great characters, great story. A favourite.

5 stars. Highly recommended

About the Author

I am an Irish writer of mainly historical fiction, currently living in Tuscany, with my Italian husband, two sons and an old tabby cat. I also write under my own name, Katherine Mezzacappa, and as Kate Zarrelli. Core themes in my fiction are love and culture clash, and these come to the fore in my début historical novel, The Gypsy Bride. I’m currently revising the sequel, The Gypsy’s Daughter, for publication next year. In my spare time I volunteer with a secondhand book charity of which I’m a founder member. For my latest news please follow me on Twitter @KatieHuttonAut1.

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Book Review: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales by Jack Eason

Book Review

A very long time ago, there once was a land called Goblindom hidden behind a magic barrier to protect its inhabitants from mankind. Man’s ancestors the humins lived there quietly alongside wyverns, griffins, trolls, witches and wizards as well as woods, mountain and plains goblins, ravens, eagles and many more creatures.
This anthology is a collection of thirty tales, which I have translated from goblin into English thanks to Globular Van der Graff, a friendly southern woods goblin who told them to me not long ago. They are not my tales, they are his, hence the title – Globular Van der Graff’s “Goblin Tales for Adults”.
For a long time, like most human children I disbelieved the stories read to me by my parents of goblins, witches and wizards, wyverns and griffins, believing them to be nothing more than tales designed to entertain, until that first fateful early morning visit several months ago, when Glob physically sought me out and deliberately entered my life.
I hope and pray that like me, you will all open your hearts and minds to the fact that goblins, especially of the noble and friendly southern woods kind, do still actually exist today. Through necessity for their own protection they have to hide from the modern world you and I live in. If you are fortunate as I undoubtedly am, some may even be living in an oak wood near you.
Lastly, may I just say on behalf of Glob whose anthology this is, not forgetting for one moment his good friend Bejuss, and his goblin brothers, Make, Mous, Neo, Byz, and myself, how much we thank you for taking the time to read this, the first ever written record of the once magical land of Goblindom

My review:

I really enjoyed Goblin Tales so much. This collection of wonderful short stories from Glob, whose anthology it is, gives you such a warm, cosy feeling. It’s very cheery, and diverse (from amusing stories to battle scenes.) So, there’s something for everyone. You’ll enjoy discovering more about Bejuss, the one eyed lisping raven with the twisted beak (who I loved,) Make, Mous, Neo, and simple-minded Byz.

Whilst reading there were many occasions when I laughed out loud, or smiled. I highly recommend Goblin Tales. The characters are all very carefully crafted and engaging, both the humins and the goblins as well as the raven, witches, and gremlins.

The dialogue is done so well. The author crafts the characters to speak in such a way that it makes them come alive.

Here’s a short example from Bejuss the raven: “Raark – it’th got ter be tall enuff fer me ter make a netht in itth highetht brancheth Glob,” Bejuss squawked loudly, completely forgetting for a moment just how close he was to his friend’s ear, almost deafening him in the process.

And the character names are fantastic –

Globular Van der Graff – Glob

Makepeace Terranova – Make

Byzantine Du Lac – Byz

Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous)

Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo)

My recommendation: 5 stars. Highly recommended. Not to be missed!

Find out more here. In Jack Eason’s words, this work of his is one of his favourites: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/one-of-my-favourite-short-stories-2/

Author Bio:

Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now in his mid-sixties he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”. His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in semi-retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.

Authors links:

Blog: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @Akhen1Khan2

Rating:

Have you read Goblin Tales, or any of Jack Eason’s other books?

Here are a couple of reviews I’ve written for his novellas:

The Magisters: https://mjmallon.com/2020/01/09/book-review-the-magisters-by-jack-eason-bookreview/

Autumn 1066: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/

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Book Review: Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney (Perceptions of Glass #1) #Book #Review #Mystery #Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. 

I’m a blog tour host for the upcoming release of the second book in the series, so this is my review for #1 Watching Glass Shatter.

My review:

I loved this. Fantastic family drama, strong female characters, so moving it made me cry! Enjoyed the characterisation of all the five brothers. All so different and engaging. Great characters, and dialogue. Interesting look at how shocking secrets exist in families and how circumstances can alter how we deal with them when they are revealed. The story line elaborates on many important concerns within the family dynamic: vulnerabilities, mistakes made and forgiven, pressure to succeed, the far reaching consequences of drug dependency, ‘coming out,’ accepting a love one’s different lifestyle choices and learning to forgive a husband’s decision, whilst coping with the most terrible heartbreak to remain strong. The beginning and end are powerful. My recommendation 5 stars read this! 

I’m a blog tour host for the upcoming release of the second book in the series. I’m currently reading Hiding Cracked Glass and so looking forward to being part of the tour which begins on 5th October.

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

  1. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
  2. Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
  3. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
  4. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
  5. Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
  6. Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

As a blog tour host for the second in the series I also received a copy of Watching Glass Shatter. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Have you read James Cudney’ books? Do comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “This is Lockdown” BY AUTHOR, Marjorie Mallon, along with other authors, @Marjorie_Mallon | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

Thank you so much to Colleen for this wonderful 5 star review of This Is Lockdown. Thrilled. <3

Source: COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “This is Lockdown” BY AUTHOR, Marjorie Mallon, along with other authors, @Marjorie_Mallon | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

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Book Review | The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee – Book Reviews by Satabdi

Congratulations to Richard Dee on his latest release The Hitman and The Thief

Genre: Sci-fi organized crime Publication date: August 31, 2020 Goodreads – Amazon India – My Thoughts The Hitman and the Thief is a fast-paced, gripping novel about rivalry between two…

Source: Book Review | The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee – Book Reviews by Satabdi

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Kyrosmagica Book Reviews: The Magician’s Curse by Linda G. Hill #Paranormal #Romance

Goodreads Synopsis

Even true love can be cursed …
When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.
Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?
Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.
*Winner of the 2017 Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Gothic/Mythology/Folk Tales 

My review

This is one of those books that you read and some of the niggles don’t stop you from reading it more! It’s definitely a page turner.

So what are the niggles? The characters annoyed me! They aren’t likable, but perhaps they aren’t meant to be? The magician is a Casanova type with magical powers whose actions are excusable by a curse that forces him to procreate with another until he finds true love. I suppose with such a curse it is bound to be in his genes to be so full of himself! All the women vie for his attention. But he seems pretty heartless in his treatment of his servant (no spoilers – you’d have to read the book to see what I mean.)

The young woman with the unusual name – Herman who falls in love with him is naive, inexperienced and doesn’t spare a thought for his poor servant either.

So, out of all the characters I related to the servant’s plight the most! Though, I thought her to be a bit loopy too!

The Magician’s Curse plays to various tropes: a masterful, dominant lover, unrequited love, first love, a virgin losing her virginity, love at first sight.

The sensual scenes are extremely well written – 5 stars!! Hats off to Linda G. Hill for them. They are sizzling. I can see why people would like them. I like them!

The plot idea for this story is good, and with further development I think this could be a 5 star read. The love affair between the magician Steven Dagmaru and his assistant Herman (who he meets on the train,) is sudden – even with his magical powers. Maybe I am a cynic! Lol. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more magic development within the story. This would have helped to make Steven’s power over the ladies more believable.

So, to sum up, this is definitely for you if you like to read a sizzling sensual romance and don’t mind some scenes of a sexual nature (so, not for younger readers,) with a light flourish of magic/paranormal as a backdrop.

I wasn’t sure where The Magician’s Curse fits in terms of the age group of readers who might enjoy it. Perhaps New Adult? Or anyone who likes a bit of sizzle…

A difficult one to rate. I wavered between 3.5 and 4 stars. I’d say overall 4 stars, the sizzle… took it up there!

There is more… a book two… The Magician’s Blood. Details about both books here: https://lindaghill.com/my-books/

Have you read The Magician’s Curse? Do comment below if you have.

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Book Review: Life’s Rich Tapestry by Sally Cronin

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres. 

My review:

What a lovely book from a lady who does so much for the indie author community. I’ve been following Sally’s blog for many years. The title: Life’s Rich Tapestry sums this beautiful book up perfectly. I enjoyed this immensely. It is like a treasure trove with a range of delights for everyone: poetry, micro fiction and longer pieces of writing too.

Sally Cronin is a talented story teller and I have so many favourite pieces in the collection!

Here they are:

Speculative Fiction section: A moment of alignment, Onions, The Enhancement Project.

There is a very cute dog section titled: The underdogs! Lol. And of course…The Superiority of Cats.

CAT FAVS: For the love of Lily. (my tied favourite in the collection – loved this.)

DOG FAVS: An Ugly Mutt, The Junkyard Dog (my tied favourite in the collection – loved this.)

Micro fiction:

FAVS: Strawberry Jam, Storm Windows, Splashing Good Time, Rock Star, Recycling Centre, My Mouse (so funny!) Following Elephants, The Charm Bracelet, Broken.

Poetry FAVS:

Random Thoughts: In touch with the earth

Celebrating Pets: My best friend, A Dog’s Life.

Fav poems in Remembrance: Wedding Anniversary Septhember 11th, The Poppies

Fav poems in The Natural World: The Beach, The Cave, A Magpie’s Prize, The Magnolia

FAV Poems in Fairies and Other Folk: Fairy Gold, Fairies at play.

FAV poems in the All Things Human section: Romance, Youth,

FAV Poems about the Seasons of the Year: Glorious April, March Hares,Hallowwen – This Night, Rust and Gold, November Trees, December.

Do make sure to follow Sally’s wonderful blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

I mention my favourites only so you can see the variety of stories, poems and microfiction in this collection. The cat and dog sections are superb so this collection will really appeal to those who love their cats and dogs!

My recommendation: 5 stars. An excellent collection. Highly recommended.

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0827SXLF4/

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